ACCOMMODATED BOTH for those that are without, and for those that are in Christ,

Who are thereby instructed how they must be fitted to apply Christ unto themselves.

In 25 Cases upon that excellent Text in CANT. 2.1. I am the Rose of Sharon.

BY CHRISTOPHER IELINGER, Minister of Gods Word at Stonehouse in Devonshire.

LONDON, Printed by I. L. for Fran. Eglesfield, and are to be sold by William Russell Bookeseller in Plimouth, 1641.

TO THE RIGHT VVorshipfull Master VVILLIAM BIRCH, Maior, together with his Brethren, and the rest of the inhabitants of the famous town of Plymouth.
The best blessings of this life, and everlasting blessednesse in the life to come.

THe In hac Dominica (quae septima est ab illa quae septuagisima vocatus) Romanus Pontifex celebraturus ad Ecclesiam pergens & rediens ab eadem, auream in manu sub aspectu populi fert rosam, &c. Durand. Rational D [...]in offi [...] [...]6 f 120Pope of Rome is wont to exhi­bite, and to shew forth once a yeer on a [Page] Lords day unto his Roman people, a certain gli­stering, and glorious Rose to signifie the LORD JESUS, who in my text resembleth himself to a Rose most faire and fra­grant.

The consideration whereof (I confesse inge­niously) moved me not a little to think more seri­ously of this most excel­lent comparison, then e­ver I did before; for a man (being a Minister) cannot but reason thus [Page] with himself: if he whom we Protestants judge to be against Christ take it upon him thus solemnly to put men in mind of the Lord Christ, by shewing unto them a Rose emblematizing Christ, how much more should we Evangelicall Teachers, who professe our selves to be all for Christ, shew forth unto our Christian people their Lord and Master Christ not onely once a yeer, as he his Golden [Page] Rose, but as much as pos­sibly we can, by our of­ten preaching, and pub­lishing the Gospel fo Christ (that most sweeet and redolent Rose of Sharon) whereby we may hope to do infinitely more good unto Gods Orthodoxe people, then he by shewing a Rose artificially unto his super-stitious Romans.

For the Triplex autem est in h [...]c flore materia, au­rum videli­cet Muscus & Balsa­mum. Idem fol. 121.matter of that Rose is but,

  • 1. Gold.
  • 2. Musk.
  • [Page]3. Balsame.

But the matter of the Gospel, (whiche he preacheth not) is Not sig­nified one­ly but profered whereas the Popes Rose is but significant as they say. Christ himself the Rose celestiall, which is more fragrant then Musk, and more medicinall then Balsame, as I have endea­voured to make it appear, as evidently and mani­festly as I could in this Treatise, which through importunity) I have been animated to publish, and now am bold to tend­er [Page] unto you first, because you heard me preach first (in your own Paro­chiall Temple the last Winter) of this most delicious Rose, which is Christ himself blessed forever.

To say no more now of the said Rose it self, because I affect brevity in a Preface, I shall but crave the good blessing of our good God upon my poor indeavours, that they may prove as bene­ficiall unto you as my [Page] enlarged heawrt towards you, my most respected, kinde, and loving neigh­bours, doth desire it.

Yours in Christ, C.J.

To my much respected and deerely beloved friends, The Inhabitants of the town of Stonehouse.
Grace, Mercy, Peace and com­fort from Jesus Christ the most precious and comfortable Rose of Sharon.

SEeing it hath pleased the Lord Christ first to move me to select this subject, and to spend my Meditations upon it, and good Christians next again and again to desire it, while I was yet teaching of it, before I could finish it, that it might be copied out, and communicated unto themselves and others, I could not well with a safe con­science [Page]detaine i [...]. For if he that reserves corn and will not spare it to those that need it, be lyable to a Prov. 11.26. curse. I might justly feare lest I also keeping back the spi­rituall food of the soul-fatting word of God, when it is thus earnestly craved, should incurre the same horrible danger of be­ing accursed. Better it was ther­fore and safer for me to expose my self to a censure (which be­ing a stranger and most insuffi­cient, I cannot well avoyd) then to a curse.

And now for as much as those hungry souls have moved me at last to impart it, as not da­ring to deny it, I could do no lesse then expresse my singular care for you, and great love, [Page]which I beare towards you, by sparing the same spirituall ali­monie unto you in speciall, and making you partners with those, who were served first, be­cause they came first, and heard me first, when I distributed and divided the word of truth first, touching that most sweet and medicinall Rose of Sharon Christ Iesus blessed for ever.

Nor may you be offended wth me for making you partners onely, and not sole owners, for

1. You loose nothing by that, having as much as they.

2. Besides that sweet Rose, of the which I treat here, is a Rose of the field, and not of a gar­den, and therefore ought not to be enclosed, as garden Roses are [Page]and reserved by a few, but ra­ther as common be imparted unto many. And therefore it is my heartie vote, and the thirst­ing desire of my soul, that not you onely, and those to whom I dedicate this book as joynt­partners with you, but also all others, that shall reade it, may take and own that most need­full and wholsome spirituall food, the preaching I meane of Christ, the sweet Rose of Sha­ron, and most nutritive bread of Life, who in those Sermons made publike for the good of all, is profered and tendered un­to all.

Your loving Friend and Minister, C. I.


SECT. 1. That Christ is like a Rose in Sharon field, Cant. 2.1.

[I am the Rose of Sharon.]

I Have beene long enamored with this most fragrant and precious Scripture, behol­ding in it a more then ordi­nary beauty and shining eminencie, & now my love breaketh out by this my choice, because I was not able to keepe [Page 2]it in any longer, and I doe wish from the very bottome of my heart, that you also, my dearely beloved, may affect the same: [...]rue it is, that car­nall love cannot endure a corrivall, and fellow-lover, but the love wherewith I love this text is of another nature, spirituall, and not carnall, and there­fore as Moses said once upon another occasion, when Eldad and Medad pro­phesied in the Campe, & Iosua envied at them for Moses sake, would to God that all the Lords people were Pro­phets, Numb. 11.27, 28, 29. so say I, would to God that all this people may not onely love this text with me, but also may chuse and love him who is enclosed in it, even Christ Iesus him­selfe, who as hee shineth with uncon­ceivable spendor above the bright­nesse of the sunne it selfe in heaven a­bove, so likewise doth he even spread and dart forth some rayes of his glori­ous beauty heere below in the most delicious garden of my text, where his most amiable person is most aptly assimilated to a rose faire and ruddy, [Page 3]by this most sweet expression, I am the rose of Sharon.

This whole song, whereof these words are but a little peece, is tran­scendental and mysticall, composed by Salomon the wisest King (so honored and titled by the spirit of God) and most Nec va­cat mysfe­rio quod liber bic ternus po­nitur in operibus Solomonis, &c. Greg. in proleg. super. cant aptly placed after the Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, for whereas in the Proverbs there is set forth and pressed the morall life of man, and in Ecclesi­astes the life naturall, subject to vanity, the consideration whereof may aptly moove a man to the life morall: here in this love-song is expressed the life contemplative, for the which Ecclesi­astes unvailing and representing to the life, the vanity of the life naturall, and by that meanes weaning and divorcing mans affection from terrestrialls, ma­keth way in a mysterie; for as much as none is fit for contemplation, untill his mind be taken off from earthlinesse and convinced of that nothingnesse, which is in all things created under the sunne. The matter of contemplation therin contained is Connubiall, touch­ing [Page 4]the mysticall union and communi­on between Christ the Celestial bride­groome and the Church his spouse, set forth in a Origen. hom. 3. in Cant. dramaticall stile so sub­lime and elegant, as that the whole treatise might well be stiled The Vocatur enim ideò Canticum, quia est omnibus canticis sublimius. of songs which is Salomons, who was a King of Kings, as being more excel­lent then all Kings, and most able to compile a canticle more high and lof­ty then all other ordinary canticles, by reason of his most excellent wisedom. The occasion of the words, The oc­casion of these words. which (be­ing the first peece of the first mēber of the former part of this bipartite Chap­ter, containing a mutuall commendation, in the 1, 2, 3 verses) I have singled out from among the rest, you may ob­serve in the precedent chapter, verse 16. where the spouse of Christ having obtained her beloveds presence, 12, 13, 14. uttereth these words. Also our bed is greene, Conscien­tia bonis reserta o­peribus. Bern. bestrawed as it were with flowers of grace; for answere whereunto, Ad hoc respicere puto quod sponsa de spa [...]sis lectulum floribus commen­dat. &c. Bern. ser. 47. super. Cant. in Loc. as S. Bernard aptly con­ceives, Christ heere takes her off from all selfe conceitednesse, saying J am [Page 5]the Rose of Sharon, as if he should say: But thinke not, O my sister, and deare spouse, that such flowers of grace grow in natures garden, arrogating them un­to thy selfe. No, but know that all that shining beauty and ravishing ex­cellency, wherewith thou sayest and seest that thy bed, or heart is crowned, is of mee, J am the Rose of Sharon; in which words, two things are mainely considerable, 1. Their nature. 2. Their parts. For the first, you see that for their Nature they are comparative, for Christ compareth himselfe to a Rose, and therefore wee will terme it a com­parison, and such a one, as Logicians call contracted, as being most breife, without any large deduction after the manner of plenarie resemblances so called.

2. And it consists of two parts, or termes, as they terme the parts of a comparison. The first terme is a per­son, which is here compared. Second­ly, a thing, unto which the person is resembled.

1. The person compared is imply­ed [Page 6]in the pronowne I, that is, I Christ, and not the Church as most Origen. hom. 3. in Cant The­odor. in los. Bern. in Loc. Tremell. in loc. Thom­son in loc. inter­preters new and old doe herein unani­mously agree, and that rightly, for modesty will not suffer a meere man to call himselfe thus, the Rose of Sha­ron. True it is, that the spouse is cal­led a lillie, as Christ in this same verse, but she doth not call her selfe so: for Christ himselfe puts that stile upon her. Not I, is a more fitter speech for a sinfull man in a matter of praise and commendation, Gal. 2.20. and there­fore let Christ, who is God and man, and whose name is I am, bee the I heere.

2.2 The thing unto which Christ compareth himselfe, is a Rose of Sha­ron] where first two things are to bee understood. Secondly, two things are expressed. For the 1. the two to be understood are. 1. Am. 2. like.

1. Am, which being omitted in the originall, must necessarily bee under­stood, because Christ not onely was, and will be, but also in very deede is such a rose, for the originall is indefi­nite, [Page 7]see Revel. 1. 8. J am Alpha and O­mega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come.

2.2 Like] J am like a rose: for wee must not thinke that Christ properly is a rose, fading and corruptible. No but onely respectively or compara­tively, wherfore I said that this speech is a comparison contracted, or tacite, because the note of similitude is omit­ted.

Secondly, the two things expressed come next to be viewed, namely,

1.1 The quid or substance, unto which Christ is resembled.

2.2 The quale, or qualitie of that substance.

First the substance is a Rose, or a flower; for the [...] originall signifieth both, and therefore Saint Hierom and the rest of the Latine Fathers, & some Luther in Bibl. Germ. So Treme­lius like­wise ren­ders the word. E­gosum rosa. moderne translators doe so translate it, I am the flower, which not withstan­ding I must tell you, that I for my part like your English translation farre bet­ter, as beeing farre more significant & [Page 8]emphaticall then the other, yea com­prizing and enclosing the other too; for every rose is a flower, whereas e­very flower is not a rose.

2.2 For qualitie, this rose is said to bee a rose of Sharon or the field or plaine, or of a field called Sharon, for the [...] originall beares all these signifi­cations.

1. Of the field or plaine] whereby Origen in loc. Origen understands the Jewes, whom God by his Prophets did husband, like a field, but others more aptly af­firme that for some other very preg­nant considerations, which shall bee hereafter declared, mention is made of the field.2 2 of Sharon a speciall field or region Hierom. situated betweene the Ta­borine mount and the lake of Tyberias, and extending it selfe from Cesarea to Joppa, mentioned 1 Chron. 27.29. Esay 33.9. a field in which the Thom­son in Loc. fai­rest and most fragrant roses were wont to grow, unto which Christ is pleased to resemble himselfe, for such reasons as are to bee given hereafter.

Hence then springs up this faire and [Page 9]cordiall flower, Doct. out of the most deli­cious garden of my text, I meane this Doctrine.

Christ Jesus our Saviour is most like unto a goodly Vnder­stand a red double rose as be­ing most faire and usefull, & so more significant then a common field rose, for such double ro­ses and the fairest in­deede did grow in that field as Authors write. 1. Prose­cution. 1. Branch 1. Reason 2. Reasonrose in Sharon field.

For the prosecution of which point I will first produce sundry grounds and reasons of it.

2. Propound and resolve some ne­cessary Queries.

3. Presse home divers profitable uses.

For the first, I affirme that Christ is 1. Most like unto a Rose, partly by reason.

I. Of those secret vertues which are in him, like unto those of a Rose, as is to be shewed hereafter.

I. By reason of his blood shed, which makes him as red as a Rose, see Esay 63.2. wherefore art thou red in thine apparell, and Rev. 19.13. And hee was cloathed with a vesture dipt in bloud.

III. By reason of his fragrancie, Psal. 45.8. Reason

2. Hee is not onely like a rose, 2 Branch 1 Reason but like a rose in the field.

I. Because he suffered in the Heb. 13.13. field, [Page 10]without the gate, that he might be the patterne of sufferours usually dying in the field, even as hee is the glory of tri­umphers.

2.2 Because hee is an open Saviour bringing common salvation, Jude 3.

3.3 Christ compares himselfe to a rose of the field as Bernard in Loc. one saith, to call forth his spouse out of her bed of ease into the field to fight.

3. He is like a rose in Sharon field. Branch

1. By reason of his excellencie in ge­nerall, Reason for there the most excellent roses did grow, see Cant. 1.10.

2.2 By reason of his surpassing plea­santnesse in speciall, Cant. 5.16.

3.3 Because hee is sprung up out of the most fervent Rom. 5.8. love of God, as the roses of Sharon spring out of the hottest soyle. Prose­cution. Quaere 1

If you aske mee whether God the Father and God the Holy Ghost may not also be said to be like a rose in Sha­ron field.

I answer, Answer. first in some sence they may be so resembled, as namely; they be alike faire & fragrant with Christ; for [Page 11] these three are one saith Saint Iohn, 1 Joh. 5.7. Doctor Boys in Loc. One in Essence, and one in Attri­butes, and therefore as the one is all faire, so the other two persons must needes be so too.

2. But in a stricter sence, as Christ is like a Rose in regard of his bloudshed, so he is the Rose of Sharon singulariter & propriè, Tho. Aqu. 3. p. q. 16. a 1. See also Lom­bard 1.3. dist. 1. that is, singularly and pro­perly: for onely Christ who is the second person in the Trinitie called the word incarnate shed his bloud, and in that respect is as red as a Rose, Reve. 19.13.

2. If you demand whether a true be­leever may not also bee said to bee like such a Rose? Quaere 2

I answer, that derivedly and re­spectively hee is a Rose likewise, and may bee called so, as beeing all faire, Cant. 4.7. but not such a Rose as Christ, who primarily, peculiarly, ori­ginally, and transcendently is onely such a Rose of Sharon, yea the Rose indeede, as being infinitely fairer then the sonnes of men, Psal. 45.2. And ha­ving troden the winepresse of Gods wrath [Page 12]alone, as it is written Esay 63.3. I have troden the winepresse alone, and of the people there was none with me; the ori­ginall is more emphaticall, for therein Christ speakes of more then one people, in the plurall that not one man among all people did helpe him, least men should construe his words against his meaning, as if hee did onely speake of the Jewish people, which did crucifie him, and therefore were rather agents against him then patients with him, so that Psellus and Lyra understanding the Church by this Rose of Sharon must needs be mistaken.

SECT. 2. Of Christs fairenesse, usefulesse, De­sirablenesse.

FOr application. Prose­cution. The ap­plication of this poynt. Now as Roses and flowers are good for the head, for the braine, for the heart, and for many things: so is the Rose-like Do­ctrine or flower which this next affords good and usefull

1. For the understanding of man to informe it.

2. For the conscience to satisfie and to convince it.

3. For the affection or heart to moove it.

4. For the will to incline it.

Of these in order.

First, Ʋse 1. it is usefull for the understan­ding to helpe it, and to informe it, and that of 3. things.

1. Of Christs fairenesse; 2. useful­nesse; 3. desirablenesse.

First I beginne with the first of these,1 to informe you of Christs admirable fairenesse, Christs fairenesse forasmuch as himselfe com­pares himselfe to a Rose, which is one of the Vnde Ro­sa olim propter pulchritu­dinem & suavem o­dorem ve­neri saera fuit Cale­pin. Thomson in loc. fairest flowers among all flow­ers, yea to a Rose of Sharon, which of all roses are held to bee the most faire and fragrant, by reason of the sunne which shineth so much upon that soile, and heateth it, and maketh the roses prosper as Authors write of it, see Psal. 45.2. How David in that song of loves (for so that Psalme is in­titled) sets forth the beauty of this sweetest rose, saying thou art fairer then all the children of men, Pulcher admodum fuisti. yea thou art exceedingly fairer then the chil­dren of men. For the originall impor­teth so much and more too; even more then I able to expresse, for as­much as the Holy Ghost doth even ingeminate the ordinarie word heere, speaking of a more then ordinary-beauty to make it more significant, and it must needs bee so, whether wee doe reflect the eyes of the minde upon his Deity, or upon his Humanity.

I. To beginne with his Deity, how can hee but bee fairer then all the chil­dren of men, who is not onely a sonne of man, but also the naturall sonne of God, even God of God, and coequall with God his father, who as God himselfe maketh all men, and all things faire that are faire, for the sons of men, and therefore must needs be in­finitly fairer then all; for it is a true ground in Philosophie that that thing for whose sake an other thing is thus qualified or such and such, must needs be more such, and more so qualified, so as that we may truely say of Christ that sweetst rose of Sharon, that hee is not onely fairer then all men but even Beauty it selfe.

I. As man so he is most faire, first in regard of his soule, Col. 2.9. for in him dwelleth all the fulnesse of the God­head bodily, so that needs he must bee Durand. Rat. Div. offic. l. 6. f. [...]06. void of sinne and full of grace and therefore all faire.

III. Christ is fairer then all the sons of men in respect of the exact beauti­fulnesse and comly lineaments of his [Page 16]body, whether wee looke upon it as it was in the state of humiliation, 1 or as now is in the state of exaltation.

First in the state of humiliation: for all deformities of the body proceede ori­ginally from enormities of the soule, & therefore Christ being exemped from the one, must needs be far too from the other, as in his minde so in his body, whose glorious & most excellent beau­ty even Eutropi­us in An­nal. Sena­torum Ro­onr. Cent. 1. l. 1 c. 10. p. 34. Cassanaus in Cata­log. part. 4. Consid. 6. Lentulus a Romā in his Epistle to Tiberius the Romane Emperour de­scribeth after his manner; that hee was a man goodly to behold, having a re­verent countenance, his stature some what tall; his haire after the colour of the ripe hazelnut, from his eares downeward somewhat curled, parting it selfe in the middest of the head, and waving with the winde, after the man­ner of the Nazarites; his face without wrincle mixed with moderate red; his beard somewhat copious, tender, and divided at the chin; his eyes gray, vari­ous & cleere; but what need we goe so farre as to alledge the Roman writers, having a farre more ample and surer [Page 17]description of Christs most admirable beauty nearer home, even in this same sweetest love-Song, out of which my text is taken, the words are these. My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand; his head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushie and blacke as a raven; his eies are as the eies of doves by the river of water washed with milke, and fitly set; his cheekes are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers; his lips like Lillies, dropping sweet smelling myrrhe; his hands are as gold-rings set with the Beryll; his belly is as bright yvory overlaid with saphires; his legs are as pillars of marble set upon sockets of fine gold; his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the Cedars; his mouth is most sweet, yea he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend O daugh­ters of Ierusalem. Now I am not igno­rant of that sense which some put up­on these words, understanding them altogether of Christs spirituall and in­ward beauty, and I doe willingly as­sent unto them in this, that that faire­nesse is And ther­fore I doe so expound it in the first let or impedimēt, that keeps men from Christ, where this whole de­scription is largely [...]pened. Sect. 12. chiefly meant: But yet I hope [Page 18]I shall be suffered to extend the large­nesse of so rare an expression to his body also in some sort, even so farre forth as to conceive that his body also must needs be passing faire, as well as his soule, even by vertue of this de­scription, which his faire Spouse ends with this Epiphonema; or sententious close: Hee is altogether lovely, or throughout and wholly lovely, or de­lectable, forsomuch the Tetus ipse & in uni­versum de­lactabilis & desiderabil [...]s. original doth more significantly import; he is throughout and wholly lovely saith she, whereupon it followeth necessari­ly, that his body must be so lovely too: for else it cannot be said that he is wholly lovely, and throughout dele­ctable; and hence it is, as I conceive, that Tremellius who hath been a Jew converted, being most expert in the holy language doth understand many passages in this description literally, and not he only, but others also, who yet in many things are very mysticall.

If it be objected that in Esa. 53.2, 3. Toms in ver 13. he is said to have neither forme, So Chrys in Psal. 45. nor beauty.

I answer first with Saint Hierome, that the Prophet speaks so of Christ, as he was abased and abused upon the crosse, and before, when Pilat brought him forth, and uttered these words: Ecce homo, Behold a man; and I adde, Theodoret. in text. that in regard of some he is said to have no forme, because they then could not, nor would not see any such beauty in him; Hieron. Epist ad Pri [...]cip. for otherwise the god­ly see comlinesse enough in him, as I noted before out of the 45. Psal. 2. Thou art fairer then the children of men, on which words one of the Augsin l [...]. ancient paraphrasts most sweetly: Vnto us who beleeve, the heavenly bridegroome seems to be every way most faire; faire in hea­ven, faire on earth, faire in the wombe, faire in his mothers armes, faire in his miracles, faire in his stripes, faire upon his crosse, faire in his very grave.

2. But especially in the state of Ex­altation, his body must needs be fairer then the sons of men: for if the face of Moses did shine so, after he had been with God upon the mount, where no­thing but lightening and thundering [Page 20]was to be expected, how must needs the precious body of the son of God now shine with incomprehensible splendor, being next to Gods owne right hand in that holy hill above, where there is nothing but light; and blisse, brightnesse, and blessednesse to be enjoyed for ever and ever. See Phil. 3.20. How therefore that holy and blessed Apostle cals his body a glori­ous body, [...]. or, a body of his glory, which is more, according to the originall, as if he should say, a body all full, or made of glory; and of his glory, which is the glory of the only begot­ten son of God, whose bright shining Deity doth so illustrate, clarifie, and glorifie all his body, as that every part and member of it must needs be infi­nitely more resplendent and bright then that of the sun, which yet is farre more glistering and glorious then the burnished gold of Ophir; And there­fore, O my soule, doe thou elevate and lift up thy selfe above thy selfe, and consider this ravishing and transcen­dent beauty of thy most deare and [Page 21]glorious Saviour, so as that no crea­ture under the sun may be fairer and dearer in thine eies then he, who is fairer then all.

2. This informes us of Christs use­fulnesse. The second thing. Seeing he compares himselfe to A Rose, which how usefull and me­dicinall it is all men know in some sort; but Physicians, and such as have any skill in herbs know it in an especi­all manner. Petr. Andr. Matth. l. 1. Diosc. c. 112. There is scarce any herb or flower to be named, which for its vertue and usefulnesse goes beyond it. Now Christ is like it, as he saith himselfe, yea transcendently more medicinall and usefull then it: For he can heale all our inward and outward, spirituall and corporall diseases, Psal. 103. when Roses though never so faire and good, yet cannot cure so much as one sin, which is a most dan­gerous gangrene and leprosie of the poore soule. And therefore O that the besotted soules of men were but sensible of so great a worth and inesti­mable good, as is to be had in so preci­ous a Rose, as Jesus Christ is, blessed [Page 22]for ever! and ô that they did but weigh it, and firmely beleeve it; for then they could not, nor would neg­lect so great salvation.

3. And must not Christ be very de­sirable, The 3. thing. seeing he compareth himselfe to a Rose (which is as desirable a flower as any) both for her fairenesse, and use­fulnesse formerly mentioned. See Iohn 1.47. how desirous therefore Na­thaniell was to see him; and Luke. 19.4. how Zacheus climbed upon a tree to looke downe upon him that was high­er then the heavens; and it was the chiefest of Saint Austines three wishes, that he might have seen Christ in the flesh, whom he now beholdeth in glo­ry. And therefore, O that men were but wise, and had eyes to see, and eares to heare! for then would they resort, and flocke from all parts to Iesus Christ the rose of Sharon, to he are his voice with gladnesse, and to see his fairenesse, and to taste of his goodnes; yea then would they out of some ex­perience doubtlesse say with his▪ faire spouse, Cant. 5.16. His mouth is most [Page 23]sweet, yea he is altogether lovely [...]or desi­rable.

SECT. 3. Satisfaction for the Consciences of Christs people.

1. THis faire flower, and most usefull point is good for the conscience two wayes. [...] Which is also a part of the un­derstanding Tho. Aqu. 1. p. q. 79. a. i. 1. This serves to satisfie the conscience.

1. It will serve to satisfie the Con­science of those men who would faine know whether Christ is in them or no: For they may know it now by such marks and signes as may be derived from this present comparison; our Saviour you see assimilates and re­sembles himselfe to a rose, and there­fore,

I. Those that are inhabited by Je­sus Christ, Marke. may know it by the mighti­nesse of his purging Vertue. If one take but fading Damask-Roses conserved, they will purge and cleanse the body, you know; much more doth Christ [Page 24]the soule, that most medicinall Rose of Sharon, whose words falling from him like leaves of Roses, and being taken inwardly, did once so purifie his best beloved disciple, as that nothing in this whole world could make them cleaner; for so saith Christ himselfe, Iohn 15.3. Now ye are cleane through the word which I have spoken unto you; and hence is that Apostolicall conclusion, Gal. 5.24. And they that are Christs, have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts thereof.

But I now not what here will be ob­jected by a scrupulous Christian, Obiect. say­ing, Then I feare that I am none of Christs, because I am not able to say so, that I am thus cleansed, and that I have thus crucified the flesh; for as much as I am so pestered still with abundance of filthy and corrupt hu­mors, which seem even to fill up my poore soule, yea and breake out now and then in my life and conversation to my confusion.

For Answer, Sol. whereunto I must tell you, that when we affirme that Christ [Page 25]doth purge out sin, and that they that are Christs have crucified the flesh. We must not be so understood, as if Christ did take away sin quite, and that they that are his, are without sin; No, 1 Iohn 1.8.for if we say we have no sin, we deceive our selves, and the truth is not in us, saith S. John, and he that thinketh he liveth without sin, doth not avoid sin, but rather excludes all pardon, saith S. Austin; and you know your selves how between the very rocks some weeds do usually grow and spring up, Aug l. 14. c. 9. de Civ. Dei. which may teach us, that though a man be in the rocke Christ, and Christ in him, yet some weeds of sin may ill be seen in his life and conversation, as Paul testifies of himselfe, that even in the estate of his regeneration, Sin did dwel in him, Rom. 7.20.

In what sense then is a man in Christ said to be purged from sin, Quest. and to have crucified sin?

I answer, first, when Sin is resisted, Answ. Gal. 5.17. For the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other. [Page 26]Not to sin, is to stir against, and resist sin, and so to study to be pure.

2. When Sin is hated, Beza in Psal. 119. Dicuntur non peccare, quia peccato non consenti­unt, quin po­tius luctando luctantur. Calvin in 1 John 3. Piscat in locum.Rom. 7.15. Psal. 119.104. like an enemy, who inva­ding a people that desires to live quiet and unmolested, is detested of all the countrey.

3. When it is not usually practised, as it is written, Whosoever is borne of God, doth not commit sin, that is, he doth not make a trade, or usuall practise of sin, as learned Interpreters expound that hard and difficult sentence; and the reason of it is, because his seed remai­neth in him, saith the Apostle there, that is, Rey [...]olds. the word of promise, as some say, or the Ames. in Coron.principle of externall perse­verance, or the Piscat. in loc.spirit of Christ, as others take it, because Christ himselfe hath said, that he shall abide with us, and in us, and that for ever, Iohn 14.16, 17. So as that sin cannot possibly live nor enthrone it selfe there, where he is thus resident; but rather must be wea­kened, and die, and decay more and more, and become unable to doe the hurt which it did once in him in the [Page 27]state of unregeneracy, and doth still in others, who are yet enslaved by it. Cypr. l. 4. Epist. 7. Saint Cyprian compares sin and Satan with his angels in this respect most aptly to scorpions and serpents, who being precipitated into the water, can doe no hurt there; for so they can doe no damage, neither much lesse de­stroy such as are regenerated by the Spirit of God, who is like to the wa­ter; and remaineth in the regenerate, that such scorpions or serpents may not prove hurtfull nor deadly unto them, nor have dominion over them.

Q. But here it may be you will reply, Quest. that though you may easily know you doe not live in the usuall and outward practise of any sin, yet you know not what to make or to thinke of inward sinfull motions, whe­ther you doe not inwardly practise one sin or other; for many such moti­ons, because they doe not breake out, but both arise and die within, can hardly bee discerned, when they prevaile, and when not: how shall one know say you, that such inward evill [Page 28]motions doe not prevaile within, though they doe not manifest them­selves in our lives without us?

For Answer, Solut. whereunto I must tell you in the first place, that most cer­tainly this case which here is propoun­ded is very difficult; and therefore I desire the all wise, and all-gracious God so to enlighten my minde with the rayes and beames of his holy Spi­rit, as that I may be able to resolve you as I ought. according to the rule of his holy and heavenly oracles, and ever­blessed word of truth.

2.2 I must and will distinguish be­tween thoughts flying, and staying, im­manent, Transiët thoughts. and transient; the one, that is, transient or flying. We shall never be able so to know, as that we shall be able fully to resolve our selves, whether or when we doe prevaile against them; for of such it may be truly said, Who can understand his errors, Psal. 19.12. If we first mislike them in generall; 1 so as that they be not dilecta peccata, or beloved sins, though they be our Deli­cta, 2 or unavoydable faults. 2. And with [Page 29]all pray God to pardon them, saying with holy David, Psal. 19.12. cleanse thou me from my secret sins; then must we rest therewith contented, and sa­tisfied, as Paul in the like case, whom the Lord, upon his earnest sute for his freedome and exemption from the pricke in the flesh, gave no other an­swer but this, My grace is sufficient for thee, 2 Cor. 12.9.

2. But whether the other sort of thoughts, and inward evill motions, Immanēt thoughts. which we call immanent and staying for some time, doe prevaile, or not against us, that we may know by these ensuing evidences.

1. When we doe not regard them, Evidence while they stay with us, according to holy Davids most gracious speech, Psal. 66.18. If I regard iniquity in my heart; that is, when we doe not ho­nour them: for so much the originall doth import, but sleight and vilifie or despise them, like a stranger that in­trudes upon us; and therefore is not esteemed, nor made much of, but ra­ther to be farther off.

2. When we take no such delight in them, as Non-beleevers doe in many of them; and as one that looketh on a woman with delectation, lusting after her in his heart, Mat. 5.28. for so much the same originall word implyeth.

3. When they leave us upon such tearmes as these, Evidence. or after this man­ner.

1. After they be espied and Prov. 4.23. Where the originall is. [...] That is, keep thy heart with all obser­vation, no­ting thy thoughts, as it were. noted, like a thiefe, that flieth when he per­ceiveth that he is discovered and ta­ken notice of when he comes to steale.

2.2 Or after they have been migh­tily opposed, and struggled withall by the force of faith, 1 Pet. 5.9. applying the word of promise, and by the mighty power of prayer, Eph. 6.12, 13, 18. Iam. 4.7.

Where note by the way, that a sinfull motion may make a longer stay in a man inhabited by Christ, A Note. then in an other, who is possessed and beslaved of the devill, because it meets with more opposition; whereas the devils vassals, whether they be hypocrites or prophane Esauites, yeeld quickly to [Page 31]sundry pleasing and profitable moti­ons; though they be never so bad and entertaine them, though they breake not out for the present, whereupon it comes to passe that Satan leaves them seeing them secretly to give way even to his first motions: So as that he needs not to presse them more, as he is forced to urge, and often to assault and to reassault the beleeving soule, wherein Christ dwels, Ephes. 3.17. Like a Generall, or war-making King, who will tarry longest where he is re­sisted most: And leave that place soonest, where he is least opposed; be­cause he seeth that he needs not much to infest or batter that fort which yeelds and surrenders it selfe upon his very first summons, without any great deliberation or reluctancy.

Q. If you replie, Quest. it should seeme then that such as are without Christ, Answ. may and doe make some resistance too sometimes against evill motions.

I Answer yes, by vertue of that power of the soule, which by the lear­ned is called Est autem [...] ea p [...]rs ani­mae quae semper resi­stit vitijs. [...]; but it is so weak, [Page 32]as that it cannot last long, but is and must needs be vanquished quickly, be­cause Satan who usually suggests and followeth evill motions most violent­ly, is stronger then that naturall power of Conscience; and therefore they a [...]e said to be overcome for all this 2 Pet. 2.19. and to be led captive by the de­vill at his will, 2 Tim. 2.26.

3.3 When they relinquish us, after they have been condemned, reproved and well checkt for their over-bold obtrusion and stealing in upon us, like Rogues and vagabonds who are taken up, and well whipt for their comming into a well governed Towne or City. See Psal. 42.11. how David there cor­rects his turbulent thoughts, and finds fault with his owne soule for let­ting them passe freely; saying, O my Soule, why art thou so disquieted within me? or why makest thou such a noise, or art so loud, raising thoughts as loud and boisterous as the waues of the sea, when it is tempestuous.

4. When the Conscience is calme, Evidencequiet and cheerfull, or well comforted [Page 33]after they be gone. Like a countrey, that having been much infested by a forraine enemy, finds it selfe on a sud­den delivered from such a hostile in­vasion. See Psal. 42.11. how Davids heart at last did even dance, as it were for joy after that resistance which he made against the commotions and boisterous thoughts of his troubled and perplexed soule; saying, Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Q. But may not an incredulous person find his heart quiet too when evill thoughts are past away? Quest.

I answer, yes, Solut. but then there is much difference, and discrepancie between the calmnesse of that happy soule which Christ inhabiteth, and that which he inhabiteth not.

Q. What difference? Quest.

Answer 1. The one, Solut. 1. difference I meane the unbeleeving, may be quiet not know­ing wherefore; but the other he can tell, if he be asked, that it is upon his manly resistance and opposition, which he made against sinfull moti­ons, [Page 34]of which his owne conscience beares him witnesse, that he did nei­ther love them nor like them, Psal. 119.104. as the unbeleever doth, who finds much Iob 20.12 sweetnesse in them. Whereupon it followeth that the qui­etnesse of the former, or the one, is but carnall securitie, and the calmnes the other, a gracious and grounded Tran­quillity.

2. The unbeleeving may be quiet, difference because other thoughts concerning his temporall affaires, and imploy­ments may interrupt evill motions, and take up his mind in such a man­ner as that he cannot thinke upon the [...]llnes, and danger of such motions, and so consequently neither is, nor can be troubled about them; but that blessed soule, which Christ inhabits, is not so wholly possessed and drawne away with the cares and thoughts of this life; but that it reflects withall upon the inordinatenesse of such evill mo­tions, as make some stay in the minde; notwithstanding, is well comfor­ted in God, who did send it a [Page 35]most happie deliverance. See Rom. 7.24.

5. We may know that we doe pre­vaile against such evill motions, when, Evidence being tried and provoked afterward, we can stand out like a Rocke unmova­ble, and impenetrable, and doe not as we would do, if it were not for Christs dwelling in us by his holy and blessed Spirit, Gal. 5.17. wherein such graci­ous soules mainly differ from all un­beleeving persons, who being without Christ, though they may keep in, and seeme to have overcome their evill motions, yet will be ever ready to dis­cover themselves in time of tryall, and provocation; for they are but like Leopards chained and kept in a den, who being let loose, and meeting with a prey, will manifest the cruelty of their natures forthwith. See Ier. 13.23. So as that thereby we may easily conceive how fitly also, even then, when they doe not breake out, they are resembled to an Oven heated by the Baker, Hos. 7.4. that is, the devill, who is the baker that heats their hearts; [Page 36]so as that, like an oven stopped, they are so much the hotter within; their hearts doe even burne with envy or pride, and wrath, and lust, and the love of money.

6. VVe may understand that evill motions reigne not in us, Evidēce. though they rage when we doe lament them after we have been foiled and vanquished by them at any time, giving way to them, and taking pleasure in any of them against the study, bent, and purpose of our hearts: Like Tamar, who though she had lost her virginity, being forced by her brother Ammon; but secretly and closely in a close roome; yet did afterward most la­mentably bewaile and bemoane the same. See Rom. 7.23, 24. how the Apo­stle himselfe, who being forced, like Tàmar, 2 Sam. 13.19. and brought into Captivity to the Law of Sin, by sin dwelling in him, and prevailing now and then against him in his mind and soule, did bemoan himselfe, saying; O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death? and how he did prevaile [Page 37]for all this, and was respectively deli­vered, as he implyeth in the words following: I thanke God through Iesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind; that is, the part regenerate, I my selfe serve the Law of God, but with the flesh; that is, the part unrege­nerate, the Law of Sin.

2. Those that have Christ in their hearts truly, Marke generall. may know it by the very smell and sweetest fragrancy, which he sends forth out of the heart into every part and member of the body. So as that their thoughts must needs even smell as it were of Christ, Eph. 4.29. most sweet­ly, and their words likewise, and workes must be most pleasant, gracious, and savoury: For if there be but corrupti­ble and withering roses in a close roome, you know how sweetly and strongly all that roome doth smell of roses; how much more must the hearts and the lives of those be most sweet, and fragrant, who have and car­ry within them the Lord Jesus Christ himselfe, that sweetest rose of Sharon, whose s V. stimenta ej [...]s, sunt sancti ejus, electi ejus. t [...]ta Ecclesia ejus. Aug. in loc. garments smell all of Myrrh and [Page 38]Aloes, and Cassia, Psal. 45.8. VVhen Po­lycarpus was to be sacrificed unto the Lord by fire, by the hands of his most bloudy persecutors (who not beeing able to burne him, because the fire would not touch him, did at last kill him with the sword, as he was standing in the midst of the fire, all resplendent Euseb. Ecc. hist. l. 4 c. 14. like shining burnisht gold) his body did send forth such an odoriferous and sweet savour, as they of Smyrna record it in an Epistle of theirs, as if it had been perfumed with incense, or some other fragrant and aromaticall Essence. Now though every other ordinary Christians body doe not yeeld such a miraculous odor, yet you may read as much in effect of a most gracious perfume, which the precious soules of all Christs belee­ving members, his mysticall Spouse, doe send forth in a most sweet and pleasant manner, Cant. 3.6. Who is this that commeth out of the wildernesse, like pillars of smoake, perfumed with myrrhe and frankincense, with all the powders of the Merchants? Marke, Who is this] [Page 39]saith Christ, the coelestiall bride­groome of his faire Spouse, the Church, and her members, That com­meth out of the wildernesse) that is, Greg. in loc. out of this world, which is like a wil­dernesse.) Like pillars of smoake] that is, having an aspiring and ascending mind. Perfumed with myrrhe and fran­kincense, and with all the powders of the Marchant] that is, being perfumed, and sweetned with all the most fragrant and sweet smelling graces of the Spi­rit of Christ, who being the Merchant here spoken of, doth so perfume and grace the same.

SECT. 4. Conviction for such as want Christ.

2. THis point may serve to con­vince the Consciences of all car­nall, This point serves to convince the consci­ence. civill, and hypocriticall men and women, that Christ is not in them: For Christ is like a Rose, wheresoever he is, yeelding a most sweet and fragrant sent; but they doe even stinke by rea­son of their abominable thoughts, words, and deeds; Like the snuffe of an extinct candle, as the Apostle doth mostaptly describe them, Tit. 1.15. af­firming that such as are unbeleevers, are also abominable, or execrable, odious, and stinking-persons, as the [...], i.e mal [...] [...]tes, a [...], i.e. foetor ex­tinctae lu­cernae. originall plainly sheweth. Say therefore, or thinke what you will of your estates, you that are so bad; I must needs tell you to your faces, that Christ is not in you: For if Christ did inhabit in you, your thoughts, words, and workes, would be as sweet and savory as Christ [Page 41]is, that most sweet and fragrant rose of Sharon; but now thy words and works, O thou prophane Esauite, are de­testable; and though thou hypocrite, and civill honest man make a faire shew without, and professe much, yet are thy very inward parts, reserved imaginations, and closest thoughts most execrable; for they smell altoge­ther and stinke of hellish pride, and devillish envy, of filthy lusts, and dunghill covetousnesse; and there­fore who will beleeve any of you, that Christ that is in you? you your selves will never beleeve a man, though he should sweare that there are roses in his closet or chest, if when he openeth it, you smell in stead of roses nothing but dung and stinking carrion. Now this is just your case, O ye carnall, ci­vill and hypocriticall men and wo­men; you may thinke or say Christ is in you, and so consequently, that you have saving faith in Christ; but when you doe but open your mouthes, and disclose your thoughts, unlocking the chests and closets of your hearts, by [Page 42]your deeds, then we can smell no­thing but the ill savour of boasting, or lying, or rayling, or cursing, or ban­ning, or swearing, or coveting, or lu­sting, or ryoting, which stinks worse then any dung: And when you keep in such stuffe, and doe not breake out, then your evill thoughts doe stinke within you; Like the dead corps of Lazarus in the grave, Iohn 11.39. So that you shall never make me beleeve that Christ is in you, though you should even sweare by your faith, as some doe, who even thereby testifie to the world that they have none at all, being so free and prodigall, as to sweare away even that faith which they say or thinke they have.

And therefore be convinced of it, all you that are thus abominable, and say no more, that Christ is in you, and that you have saving faith in Christ, seeing you cannot make good what you say, and so consequently neither are nor can be credited or beleeved, what ever ye say and protest of it. What doth it profit, my brethren said [Page 43]Saint Iames once, Iam. 2.14. though a man say he hath faith, and hath no works, can faith, that is, such a verball faith save him? And so say I, what doth it profit you, though you say that Christ is in you, when as the Saviour of your thoughts words, and works is so ill, and the pur­ple spots of your foulest sins and enor­mities so many? Can your saying save you? or bind others to beleeve you though you say it? No, No.

SECT. 5. Matter of feare for such as reject Christ.

3. THe point is usefull and good for mens affections to work up­on them. This serves to work upon mens affe­ctions: and 1. To make men feare.

And first of all, to terrifie those who refuse and reject the Lord Christ, preferring with those base spirited Gadarens, (Mat. 8.32.34.) their Swine or swinish lusts, and brutish desires and filthy sins before him, whereas they [Page 44]should rather infinitely desire and esteeme him, even above pearles and diamonds, and rubies, and the burni­shed gold of Ophir, and the whole world, if it were all turned into one intire masse and lump of gold, seeing he is so faire and so usefull, and so desi­rable, as I shewed you, being like a rose, a Rose indeed, outmatching all other roses, for beautifulnesse, useful­nesse, medicinalnesse, and desirablenesse, and so consequently worthy to be esteemed, and to be preferred before all things: So that all such sordid and detestable Gadarens amongst us may well even tremble and be astonished at it, that they doe so despise and trample under the feet of so mon­strous contempt, the Son of God, that most glorious Rose of Sharon: For what will you say another day, you that are so vile and so base, why you did not embrace the Lord Jesus, for­going and forsaking all your bosome sinnes, though never so delightfull, deare, and desirable to your corrup­ted and depraved natures? Nay, I de­mand [Page 45]againe, What answer will you returne unto him whom now you doe so vilifie and lightly esteem, when he shall come in the rowling clouds of heaven to judge you, and all men else both quicke and dead; and shall que­stion you, as he did once those stiffe­necked Jewes, ler. 2.5. What iniquity or fraud, as the originall hath it, could you find in me, that you went so farre from me, or stood at such a distance with me, and would not approach and draw neere unto me, but have walked after vanity, that is, as the originall in­timates, after things of nought, and which did soone fade away; and in the which you could find nothing but a meere emptinesse, and became so vaine your selves, as that you were but like so many empty caskes, ecchoing, and sounding loud enough, but con­taining not so much as one drop of grace, and goodnesse, as being wholly sequestred and alienated from me, who am the fountaine of goodnesse, Iohn 1.16. What can you say then, say I, for your selves, why you did so [Page 46]shamefully forget your selves? will you say that Christ was not desirable, or usefull, or faire enough for you? then my text will stop your mouths that you shall not be able to justisie nor maintaine your saying: For therein you see Christ himselfe resembles himselfe to a Rose right faire and good, and desirable, saying, I am the Rose of Sharon; so as that he may well answer you then after this sort: If I were and had been like a tearing bramble, or a nettle which will sting those that touch it, you might have had some excuse for your abhorring and rejecting of my glorious person; but now I have made my selfe other­wise knowne unto you, I have told you that I am like a rose, to comfort, and to revive, and not to sting, nor to teare those that come unto me; & therefore now you have no cloake for your de­testable and horrible sin of despising me, and neglecting so great salvation. See Iohn 15.22. Whereupon shall I tell you what you may be like to say: O bedlams, that we were, when we [Page 47]despised and rejected so glorious a Saviour, we fooles then could see no beauty in him, nor comlinesse where­fore we should desire him, Esa. 53.2. but now how faire and glorious is his body, which there we see upon that white and glorious throne; and how desirable is his sacred person, which is crowned with such Majesty? Oh how doth he shine now with incomparable splendor above the brightnesse of the sun; and oh! how amiable is his coun­tenance; and therefore, oh! how have we wronged our own soules, whom we have bereaved and deprived of so beautifull, blissefull, and delightfull an object, as this most glorious and sweetest Saviour is, whom now we be­hold with most bitter griefe, and un­utterable vexation of heart, because we have so wilfully, disdainfully, and obstinately withstood and lost so great salvation: If now we had time and leave to make our choise, we would prefer this glorious Saviour, whom we have once so despised, be­fore ten thousand worlds if there were [Page 48]so many, and before more then ten hundred thousand pleasures and sports, and pastimes, and carnall oble­ctations; but alas we cannot, the time of mercy is expired, and the time of justice, wrath, and vengeance, so much spoken of by our faithfull pastors, hath appeared, and we must now be judged, and adjudged to the easelesse, reme­dilesse, endlesse torments and flames of that infernall pit; and all our plea­sures, Wisd. 5. profits, and delights are passed away from us. Like a shadow and a poast, that hasted by; and there is no­thing of all things we ever enjoyed and possessed, that can solace and comfort us now in that mercilesse flame in all eternity; and therefore, O that we had never been borne, oh! that we had been but so happy as our cattell, horses, oxen, dogs, swine, beasts, birds, which died but once, and feele no more paine for ever; whereas we must be ever dying, and yet shall ever be living in paine, in woe, and mi­sery. Oh woe, woe, woe unto us that ever we were borne to see this day, [Page 49]and to die this death, and to live such a life, which will be unto us a perpetu­all and everkilling destruction.

SECT. 6. Matter of shame for carelesse and loose Walkers.

2. THis may serve to shame many of us, who professe our selves to be Christs espoused members, and yet are so regardlesse of our selves many times, and doe so disfigure, defile and staine our selves with such a number­les number of sins and transgressions, which are the very excrements of abused and polluted soules, as that both at home and abroad we doe even disgrace our holy profession, and di­shonour that King of glory, Jesus Christ, our dearest Savior, who is most like unto a Rose fresh and faire; and therefore requires a singular fairenes of carriage and conversation of all those who call themselves after his [Page 50]name, and will be reputed to be his mysticall Spouse. If a poore maid should be married to a Lord or knigh [...], as faire as Absalom, and as wise and rich as Solomon, able and willing to provide her the richest clothes, and bracelets, and jewels, as if she were a Queene; and yet she should not carry her selfe somwhat accordingly, neatly and decently at least, nor make some advantage unto her selfe of so great and good a husband, according to her degree; but should come before him, like a beggar in filthy rags, and all be­smeared, and goe likewise abroad thus among the people, would not all that know her, cry shame on her, that ha­ving such an excellent husband, she should disgrace both him and her self? well, if we doe indeed belong to Christ, and beleeve in Christ, then are we espoused unto Christ, who is fairer then Absalom, being the rose of Sharon; and is also both able and ready to clothe us, even as Saul the Lords anointed did clothe the daughters of [...] in Sharle [...]; I meane the skarlet [...] of his owne righteousnesse, and [Page 51]to put on even ornaments of gold, (of grace) upon our apparell, 2 Sam. 1.24. that we may be all glorious within, Psal. 45.13. and therefore how can I chuse but cry shame upon all you that are loose and carelesse professors; who take your selves to be thus richly and happily married, and yet are not asha­med to come in the glorious presence of that goodliest and fairest bride­groome of all bridegroomes, Christ Jesus, with hands and mouthes, and hearts all soiled, and beslubbered with sin, which is that abominable and hate­full thing, Esa. 1.14. And so in like manner dare even to goe abroad among men of all sorts, with such foule mouths, and filthy hands, and polluted hearts, to the great disho­nour of so great a king, and the almost irreparable and irrecoverable dam­mage of your owne soules, whom hereby you expose to his fierce and flaming wrath, for the time present; and likewise, y Defraud and dispos­s [...]sse your selves. defraud and dispossesse your selves of all those rarest and ri­chest comforts, which doe so happily [Page 52]replenish, and revive the blessed hearts of other carefull and gracious Christians, who doe alwayes industri­ously labour to be faire, even as he is faire, and glorious, even as he is glori­ous, and pure, as he is pure, 1 Iohn 3.3. be ashamed therefore of your selves, all you that are so regardlesse of your selves, that dare presume to bring even into Gods owne house and pre­sence such foule and filthy souls as are altogether stuffed and topfull with most horrible & execrable thoughts; that embolden your selves to lift up there such contaminated and defiled hands, as have touched many unclean things but a little before; yea, and moreover, to open such filthy mouths as have exhaled and uttered so many vaine, impure, and unseemly speeches, when you were even ready to enter the Congregation. Assure your selves, that if you shall not henceforth labour with all possible care to carry yourselves more fairely then hitherto you have done; that this very perfor­mance, the word you heare, the pray­er [Page 53]you make, will be a meanes even to increase and to aggravate those stin­ging tortures, wherewith the most jealous, most just, and righteous God will vexe and plague those foule and filthy soules of yours here in this present life, though he doe not cast and throw them into hell hereafter, in case they belong unto him by the ir­revocable degree of his eternall pre­destination.

SECT. 7. Comfort for Gods carefull people.

3. THis point may serve to cheare up all Gods people, This serves to comfort, and to cheere up Gods peo­ple. that their deare Saviour is thus pleased to com­pare himselfe to a Rose: For as roses are able to comfort the very heart, and to Tho. Hill in his art of gardening, p. 88. rejoice the bloud: so Christ must needs be very comfortable too, yea transcendently more.

1. I say Christ must needs be much [Page 54]more comfortable, refreshing, and re­viving, and that in a twofold respect:

For 1. Respect. b [...] R [...]sa r [...]f [...]i­gerat. Dioscor. l. 1. c 112. de medica ma­teria. Id. c. 113. as roses doe * refresh and coole mens bodies in hot diseases * and sweats, and allay the heate: So Christ is able to allay the burning heate of hell fire, though you should feele it sweating, as it were, in your very soul, as he sweat bloud himselfe in the an­guish of his soule, Luke 22.44. to deli­ver us from the horror and fire of hell, and to make us glad.

2. Respect. c Petr. A [...]dr. Mattbiol. in Dioscer. l. 1. c. 112. As roses doe revive men when they are taken with dead palsies: So Christ will restore his to life againe, Ioh. 6.54. Who so eateth my flesh, and drinketh my bloud, hath everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

2. I affirme that Christ is transcen­dently more comfortable then a rose. For as much as every D [...]onys. Areopag. excellency and goodnesse which is in any creature, is is still after a more excellent manner in the Creator.

And here that you may see this transcendency, as much as I am able to make you see it, I pray you [Page 55]take notice of these following dispro­portions.

1. Dispro­portion. Sometimes, I meane in the wi [...] ­ter there is not a fresh rose to be seen nor to be had in all the fields of c I say our land, be­cause about Carthage there are fresh roses all the win­ter long, as Petr. Andr. Matth. in l. 1. D [...]s [...]. c. 112. af­firmeth it. our land, if one would give never so much for any to smell to it; but Christ is ever to be found, and never wanting unto those that seeke him, neither winter nor summer, that is, in adversi­ty as well as in prosperity, yea, most of all, and chiefly then, Esa 43.1, 2. and therefore how much more comforta­ble must he needs be then all roses?

2. Dispro­portion. And though also other corrupti­ble roses may be had and used, yet can they not administer comfort unto us at all times, even whilest we have them, how ever they may exhilarate the heart at some times; but Christ as he is alwaies to be found in a time of need, so is he alwaies able to comfort us in a time of need, Heb. 4.16.

3. D [...]sp [...] ­portion. When other roses doe yet com­fort the heart, alas how cold and weak is that comfort, being not able to pe­netrate and reach to the soule? For [Page 56]the operation of roses is but physicall, and not metaphysicall, corporall, and not spirituall; but Christ the rose of Sha­ron comforteth the very soule of a man, as you may see, Psal. 103.3. where David communs with his soul, saying; Who healeth all thy diseases, mark, all thy diseases, O my soule; and in Esa. 66.13. where God (and so consequently Christ also, who is God) promiseth us most graciously, that he will comfort us; as one whom his mother comforteth, marke, as a Quae amore liberos in sinu nutriens om­nem superat charitatem. H [...]yme in locmother who most affe­ctionately comforteth the very soule of her childe, whereas the rose doth but comfort the body; and therefore how ravishing and how great must needs be that comfortablenesse, which is in the Lord Christ; the com­forts of a mother we know are excee­ding great and sweet, and doe a childe more good then honey or sugar. And such are Christs; nay, I dare say as in­sinitely greater as himselfe, being an infinite God, is infinitely greater in compassion then any mother. See Esa. 49.15. Can a woman forget her suck­ing [Page 57]childe, that she should not have com­passion on the son of her wombe, yea, they may forget, yet will not I forget thee.

4. Dispro­portion. And though roses do sometimes revive men, being faint, yet can they not take away the sting of death it selfe; nor comfort us after death, though many doe bestrow the dead with roses; but Christ can doe both:

1.1 He can, nay he hath taken away the sting of death; as it is written, O death I will be thy plague, Hos. 13.14.O grave I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes, or though comfort be now hid from mine eyes, saith the Lyra in loc. Prophet, for the Hebrew is Nocham, which signifieth comfort as well as re­pentance; and therefore it is so tran­slated both by Saint Ierome, and Do­ctor Luther. And hence it was that Bainham, that blessed Martyr, uttered those most comfortable words in the midst of the fire, * O ye papists, M Foxe.behold you looke for miracles, and here you may see a miracle; for in this fire I feele no more paine, then if I were in a bed of Downe, but it is unto me as a bed of roses. This [Page 58]he speakes when his legs and armes were halfe burnt.

2.2 But especially after death Christ doth comfort the precious soules of his, giving unto them the crowne of life, Rev. 2.10. and comforting them in Abrahams bosome, Luke 16.25. which is a place of blisse and everla­sting wealth, and of Cyril. Alex, hom pasc. 11 unexpected de­lights, even Origen Dial 2 con­tra Marcion. heaven it selfe.

5. Dispro­portion. Other roses can doe us no good in losses and reproaches, and in other externall afflictions, though they may comfort our heatts in some diseases; but Christ can and doth solace his then too, as you may read, Acts 5.41. how the blessed Apostles did even re­joyce, when they were most reproach­fully used, and shamefully beaten, be­cause they were worthy to suffer shame for Christs name. So Heb. 10.34. you may note how those beleeving Hebrewes did even joyfully endure the spoiling of their goods. The like is reported of Pau­linus Bishop of Nola, that having lost all, at the taking of Nola, he uttered these words: Let me not be afflicted [Page 59]and vexed, O Lord, for gold or silver, for thou art all in all unto me; and of the people of Aug. de Civ. Dei, l. 1. c. 10. k M. Foxe in his Acts and Monu­ments.Merindol, that when they saw their houses burnt before their eyes, they rejoyced at it greatly, being honoured so highly, as to suffer that losse for Christ his sake, who inabled and caused them so to doe.

If any of you that are held to be of the number of Gods people shall ob­ject, Obiect. 1 that say you can find no such comfortablenesse in Christ, as is spo­ken of here.

I answer, Answ. That such as are held to be of the number of Gods people, are of two sorts:

1. Some are Christians in shew: 2. some in deed.

The former are such as have a form of godlinesse, Christiās in sh [...]w. and deny the power thereof, loving their pleasures, sports, lusts, pride, money, friends, or belly more then God, 2 Tim. 3.4. Now if some of you be such, then never com­plaine or wonder, that you can find no such comfortablenesse in Christ; for you are dead like the widow. 1 Tim. 5.6. [Page 60]which living in pleasures is dead while she liveth: and as the Rev. 3.1. Angell of the Church of Sardis: So you have a name that you live, being called Professors of the Gospell, but you are dead. Now though one should even fill the mouth of a dead corps, and cover it all over with roses; yet can that same take no comfort in them, because it selfe is void of life; So you, what comfort can you take in Christ, the rose of Sharon, though we doe even fill your eares with the preaching of Christ, seeing that you be dead and destitute of the life of Christ; and that Christ himselfe hath said, that whosoever lo­veth father and mother more then him, is not worthy of him; and that he that loveth sonne or daughter more then him, is not worthy of him, Matt. 10.37. Whereupon it followeth, that all you who love worse things then father and mother, sonne or daughter, even base and filthy lusts, and bosome sinnes, more then Christ, must needs be un­worthy also of Christ himselfe, and so consequently of the comforts of [Page 61]Christ, which he never can or will throw away and bestow on such un­worthy hypocrites, and selfe-lovers as you are, who have nothing but a meer forme and shadow of piety without any substance or reality; and therefore my advise and counsell is, that you do labour for the power and life of godli­nesse, and prefer the love of Christ be­fore all things, if you desire to finde that comfortablenesse, which is in Christ, or else never look for it.

2. Christiās indeed. As for Christians indeed, they are of 2. sorts againe: 1. some some­what carelesse, 2. others very care­full.

1. 1 Carelesse Christians. Some are somewhat carelesse, sometimes I meane: 1.1 of their dyet, wherein they doe not keep a golden meane; and 2.2 of their apparell, where­in they shew too much conformity to the monstrous fashions of this world; and 3.3 of their sleep, wherein they take up too much time; and 4.4 of their worldly cares, unto which they give too much way; and 5.5 of their compa­ny, which they doe not so distinguish, [Page 62]as to avoid those which are most dan­gerous enemies to their poore foules; and 6.6 of their duties, which they doe not so heedfully performe, as they ought, daily prayer I meane, and holy meditations, and deep humiliations for daily sins, and continuall applyings of Christ, and the like. Such carelesse Christians were the Corinthians once, 2 Cor. 7.11. as the Apostle implyeth, when he saith; Behold this selfe same thing that you sorrowed after a godly sort, what care­fulnesse it wrought in you, saith he, to shew that there was none such in them before, and that they did not grieve so before. Now if some of you that cannot find so much comfortable­nesse in Christ, as was spoken of here, be such, then never wonder at it: for what comfort can a man take in roses, if he will not take the paines to fetch them, or to apply them; or if he be asleep, how can he smell them, though his chambers were full of roses? well may others that wake, be refreshed with the sent of them, and take de­light in them; but he cannot, so long [Page 63]as he sleepeth: So you that are so carelesse, what comfort can ye take or find in Christ, as long as you will not take the paines, to draw what comfort you can from Christ in that carefull manner, as you ought? yea, are in a manner asleep, in that you be so drow­sie, dead, dull, backward, and carelesse in the doing of your duties; and doe so seldome humble and afflict your soules for your manifold exorbitan­cies, slips, failings, and grievous sins. God comforteth those that are cast downe, saith the Apostle, 2 Cor. 7.6. but you are not so dejected; Tamē quod divinas cou­solation [...]s non habemus, aut rarius senti­mus, nos in culpasum [...]s; quia cōpun­ctionē cordis non quaeri­mus. Tho à Kempis, de Imit. Christi, l. 1. c. 21. and there­fore, what wonder is it to heare that you are not comforted: So that I for my part doe not intend to cast away the precious comforts of Christ upon you, that are so carelesse, preaching comfort to Gods people; for you are not capable of comfort in this case, and we ministers wrong both our selves, and you too, when we doe pro­miscuously pronounce, and preach comfort to Gods people: For then you carelesse ones, perswading your [Page 64]selves to be Gods people as you may be, doe snatch at such comforts, and apply them, though you doe not feele them, nor indeed are then fit for them; and therefore, I must and will distinguish between you that are carelesse, and those that are carefull, telling you that you for your part, be­ing so secure and undejected, you may not, nor must not looke for any sensi­ble comforts from Jesus Christ, the rose of Sharon, as long as you are, and shall be so carelesly disposed.

But secondly, Carefull ones. as for those that are carefull among us of every thing, and humble themselves much continu­ally, and are dejected, and yet find or feele no comfort for the present, they must not therefore be disheartened, because that he which should comfort them, is farre from them as they con­ceive; for they may take comfort in this, that either,

1. They have in times past sate downe under Christs shadow with great delight,1 and his fruit was sweet to their taste, that is, that they have [Page 65]tasted of the sweet comforts of Christ, wherewith he is wont to re­fresh young beginners, especially in their minority, and in the infancy of their conversion, Cant. 2.3.

2. Or if they have not yet been made partakers of the sweet consola­tions that are in Christ,2 they may comfort themselves in this, that such comforts belong to them, and that in the That is, When you shall have most need of it; either when the spirit would taile else without it. Esa. 57.16. Or against some great affliction approach­ing, or some great encounter with the world for the name of Christ. Goodwin in his returne of prayers, p. 152. Lords good time they shall feele them, as he who upon a great stop­page, not being able to smell roses, may and shall smell them in time, when that stoppage is gone. For so it is written, Esa. 54.6, 7, 8. the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken, and grie­ved in spirit; and a wife of youth when thou wast forsaken, saith thy God: for a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee; but with everlasting kindnesse will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redee­mer: But when it will be, that he tels us not, but keepeth it to himselfe; and therefore you must live by faith, you [Page 66]that complaine of the want of com­fort, and stay upon God, even in the want of comfort, as a man, who in the want of bodily strength stayeth him­selfe upon a staffe; Esa 50.10 for so saith God, Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darknesse, and hath no light, Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God, [...]Esa. 50.10. the baculus sic appellatus quod illi ho mo inmtatur. ori­ginall is, let him leane upon his God, as upon a staffe, which will be a comfort to him for the present, by a gracious supportation of him in the want of comfort, and in the end by a most sweet and sensible distillation of com­fort into his sad and pensive soule, as it is written: Thy rod and thy staffe they comfort me, Psal. 23.4. that is, as Chrys. in loc. one of the Ancient expounds that place; thy Christ (who is my rod and my staffe, in that he came in the old age of the world) doth comfort me as a staffe, (which is a comfort and supporter to old age.) A Note. Where note by the way, that Christ is a staffe to comfort old age, that is, such as wait with old Simeon [Page 67]for the consolation of Israell, Luke 2.25. and make not too much hast to have comfort by and by; and hence it is, that some of the most eminent Saints of God felt most comfort a lit­tle before their departure, in the very last age and end of their dayes; heare their owne words.

Deare wife, Foxe in his Acts and Monu­ments, p. 1361. said M. Sanders, that blessed Martyr, riches I have none to leave behind me; but that treasure of tasting how sweet Christ is to hungry consciences, whereof I feele a part. I bequeath unto you. I am merry, and I trust I shall be merry, maugre all the devils in hell.

And when Ier. Bur­roughes in his Grac. spirit, p. 77. alleadgeth this speech. Oecolampadius lay sick, and his friends did aske him whether the light did not offend him, he clapt his hands on his breast, and said, Hic sat lucis est, here is light enough, mea­ning comfort enough.

So Edward Bagshaw, in the life and death of M Bol­ton, p. 34. blessed M. Bolton said to some of his parish that came to visit him when he lay a dying: I am by the won­derfull mercies of God as full of comfort as my heart can hold, and feele nothing [Page 66] [...] [Page 67] [...] [Page 68]in my soule but Christ, &c.

If you shall reply, Ob. that you feare you shall never feele the like comfort in Christ, because these men were so eminent, and you so pestred with a number of corruptions, which you cannot master yet to your content.

I answer, Solut. 1. That they also were sub­ject to infirmities as we are; for we may not thinke that they were holier then Elias, who was a man subject to like passions as we are, Iames 5.17. and there­fore why may not you feele some true comfort too at last, though not so much as they.

2.2 That indeed sin allowed or too much yeelded unto, keeps off com­fort; but you that are carefull Christi­ans (for to such I speake here) doe not so.

If you say you feare you doe; Ob. Solut.

I answer: doe not you build upon needlesse and groundlesse feares, but examine your hearts, and they will tell you, that you doe what you can to purifie your selves, and to avoid sinne, and all the occasions of it, shutting the [Page 69]very windowes on high, you eyes, and stopping the fountaines of sinne below in the heart, by a holy and care­full watching over your owne hearts, thoughts, and motions, even as God himselfe did then stop the fountaines of the deep, and the windowes of heaven, when he would dry up the floud, Gen. 8.3.

And therefore what should let you, why you should not cheare up your hearts with the serious consideration of this most comfortable doctrine that I have delivered unto you, tou­ching the most sweet and comforta­ble rose of Sharon?

Will you say that you meet with so many troubles, crosses, afflictions, Ob. re­proaches, calamities, losses, and the like, that you cannot bee cheer­full?

Then I answer, Solut. that all these things should not shake nor move you so as to make you refuse comfort, and to walke sadly and dejectedly, to the great disheartening and discouraging of others, and the hurting of your [Page 70]owne soules, whom you torture more then needeth by a number of selfe created vexations and trou­bles, which by your pensivenesse and heavinesse you draw upon them: for,

1. All your afflictions of what sort, Ground. Heb. 12.11, 12. kind, or degree so ever they be, what are they but purgations to take away sin? When God opened the windowes of heaven, and powred downe seas of water, even immeasurably and most dreadfully, downe went all stately towers, and lofty buildings, and sump­tuous monuments; but as the waters rose, so the Arke rose higher and high­er still, and was so much nearer heaven: So when God sendeth flouds, and seas of troubles, downe goeth our pride, security, carnality, impurity, and a number of aspiring and rising corruptions; and in stead thereof Christ rises, and the poore soule rises, like unto the Arke, ever higher and higher, sleighting and despising the world. Like that woman cloathed with the Sun (whereby we may understand [Page 71]Christ with his crosse and afflictions, as hot as the Sun) is said to have the Moon, that is, all sublunary earthly things under her feet, Rev. 12.1.

2. They are but like those charets and waggons, Ground. which Ioseph sent for Ia­cob, Gen. 45.27. for as they revived Ia­cob, and brought him neare unto Io­seph: so do afflictions revive and quic­ken us, being dead and dull, and bring us nearer unto Christ, who is our Io­seph, then we were before. See 1 Pet. 1.7, 8.

3. As Iacob made his sonne Ioseph a coat of divers colours, Ground. because he loved him best, Gen. 37.3. so Christ bestowes such various and sundry afflictions, like a coat of many colours, upon those whom he loveth best. See Rev. 3.19. As many as I love I rebuke and chasten; and therefore I say, they are but signes of his dearest love.

4. But last of all, Ground. Christ himself the rose of Sharon, I dare say is more sweet then all your inward or outward trou­bles can be bitter, for he is as a sweet rose among all such thornes, or thorn­like [Page 72]like afflictions; and he sweetens them, though other roses cannot so sweeten the thornes among which they grow: even as that Tree did sweeten the bitter waters of Meriba, which other­wise no body could drinke, Exod. 15.25. for he assures us, that how ever we speed here and may be entertained in this world, we shall rejoyce in him, and live with him in glory at the last, as you have heard that he will quicken us as a rose, and revive us after death, which is more then a rose can doe: So as that needs we must gaine infinitely more by Christ then we can possibly lose by him.

And therefore as you take delight in a rose, though it be among thorns, so take comfort and joy in Christ, though he be a rose among thornes, that is, surrounded with a number of pricking, piercing, and heart-cutting vexations. If one should rob you of all that you possesse, and you were made sure at the same time of an orient Jewell in a sure and a safe place, more worth a thousand times then all that [Page 73]you lost, I suppose you would not be so foolish, as to take on, and to vexe your selves about your losse; but ra­ther rejoice at so rare a Jewell, whose prize doth so farre surmount the worth of all your other goods, which are nothing at all comparable to so precious a Jewell▪ And did not I assure you but now of Christ, the rose of She­ron, whose prize is above rubies and pre­cious stones, and whom yee can never lose againe after ye have made him once your owne? and therefore I hope you will not be so foolish again hereafter, as to grieve immoderately at any afflictions or losses of goods or good name by wrongs or revilings; but rather rejoyce in Christ, who be­ing that Mat. 17.45, 46. pearle of inestimable prize, is better then a thousand livings, and ten thousand earthly contentments, and millions of gold; and sweeter then all the pleasures, all the friends, hus­bāds, wives, fathers, mothers, brothers sisters, &c. in the world, for they are many times rather bitter then sweet, and doe more grieve then relieve us; [Page 74]but he is ever sweet, and is ready even then, when they or any other thing doth crosse us most, sweetly to com­fort us, being altogether as sweet and comfortable as a rose, nay much more, as hath been largely shewed already.

SECT. 8. An exhortation to such as want Christ, to seeke him in the Law and Gospell.

4. THis point may serve to encline the wils of those men and wo­men that formerly were averse from Christ, to be for Christ: Vse gene­rall, serving to encline the wils of such as hi­therto were averse, and farre from Christ to seeke after Christ. For he is most like unto a rose in Sharon field, and so consequently most desirable, as you have heard, wherefore as in the summer time, when roses are plenti­fully to be had, every body almost will have a rose in his hand: so let every one of you that hitherto wanted Christ labour to get him into his heart.. But this is too generall, and therefore I'le descend to particulars, [Page 75]instructing you of five things; as namely,

  • 1. Where this rose is to be sought.
  • 2. Where with it is to be taken.
  • 3. When it is to be sought.
  • 4. Wherefore, or upon what grounds.
  • 5. What impediments must be re­moved, that it may be sought and ta­ken.

For the first: I say that Christ is to

  • be sought for 1. In the Law.
  • be sought for 2. In the Gospell.

1. This Rose of Sharon is to be sought for in the Law preached; Dilatati­on of this use. for so saith the Apostle, Wherefore the Law was our Schoolemaster, to bring us to * Christ, Gal. 3.24. Whereupon it fol­loweth, that as he who will gather ro­ses, must seeke for them among Nam [...]osa ex spina nas­citur, Pl [...]n. nat. bist. l. 21▪ thornes: So he that will come to Christ, must come to him by the pric▪ king thornes of the law, as those con­verts, Acts 2.37. who were sore pricked in their hearts before they could be so happy as to enjoy Christ; and the rea­son of this assertion is most evident and plain.

For as long as we are not to some purpose terrified by the law and made sensible of our owne misery, we will not care for Christ, even as scarce any body would have cared much for the brazen serpent, lifted up in the wilder­nesse, if it had not been for the fierie serpents, which having stung men unto death, compelled them to looke up: so we would hardly make account of Christ, if the terrours of the law, like fierie serpents should not sting us to death, and make us afraid of death, death I meane everlasting: Simile. Or, if you will take this comparison, Men by na­ture are like mariners & passengers in a ship, which is in great danger, not far from a great rocke, as long as they have the least hope that they may es­cape, and be saved in the ship, they will not leap into the sea, and swim; but when they are told by the skilfull shipmaster, that there is no hope of life, unlesse they doe so, then they will rather swim and try, whether they may come to the rocke, there to be saved, then die and sinke in the ship: [Page 77]So as long as men in the state of na­ture (which is like a broken ship, very dāgerous) may have any hope to go up to heaven, & do well enough, abiding where they are, i.e. in the state of open prophanenes, or civil honesty, or pha­rasaicall hypocrisie, and keeping their bosome-sins, they will not wagge one foot to goe to Christ thus as they ought, forgoing and forsaking all their darling delights, and sinfull profits, honours, and contentments; but when once they are absolutely and roundly told by that skilfull schoolemaster or shipmaster, whose name is Law, that if they abide in that state, and forsake not their forlorne hopes, and sweetest sins, which are like greatly desired goods in a broken ship, they must pe­rish and sinke, and be engulphed in that formidable lake, which burneth with fire and brimstone, Rev. 21.8. then, then will they rather doe so then dye; rather swim to Christ, who is like a 1 Cor. 10. [...] rocke, upon any termes, then perish with their goods; I should say profits, pleasures, honours in hell for [Page 79]evermore. And therefore if any of you all that want Christ, doe in good earnest desire to get Christ; Let him not refuse to heare the law, and to thinke on it seriously, that so he may be thereby terrified and urged effe­ctually to goe to Christ, even speedi­ly, that he may not be damned eter­nally. But hereof more is to be said hereafter. This is but to make way for them.

2. This rose of Sharon is to be sought in the Gospell preached, In the Gospell. which is like a field for its largenesse, because therein Christ offereth himselfe to as many as will come to him; saying, Come to me, all you that travell, and are heavy laden, and I will ease you, Matt. 11.28. so as that he might well compare himselfe here to a rose in Sharon field, which is not so inclosed, and reserved as your garden roses are; but may be had of any that travelleth by, and hath a mind to it; for doe but marke his speech, and you shall see it, Come unto me, all ye that travell] marke all, as if he should say; I doe not either [Page 78]reserve my selfe to my selfe, or deny my selfe to any that would have me. No, but I am ready and willing to ease and to embrace even with the dearest embraces of my love any poore tra­velling soule that comes to me; and therefore, come hither all ye poore sinners, that groane under the burden of your sins, and seeke Christ in this sweet and gracious promise; for here you shall undoubtedly find him, he cannot go from it, because he is faith­full.

SECT. 9. Faith must be gotten for the taking of Christ.

2. ONly I must tell you, Dilatati [...] of this use. Get faith. that as he will plucke a rose, must have a hand to plucke it with, so you must have the hand of faith, wherewith you may and must lay hold on Christ, be­leeving verily, that according to his faithfull promise he will be a Saviour [Page 80]unto you, and refocillate you, and ease your poore soules of the most heavy and grievous burden of sin, and that you shall have rest by him here and hereafter eternally in the heavens. See Iohn 6.37. Him that commeth to me, I will in no wise cast out.

But how shall we get faith? Quest. Sol.

I answer, Christ himselfe is the au­thor of it, Heb. 12.2. and he works it by his word and spirit, Rom. 10.17. 1 Cor. 12.9. and therefore goe to him by prayer, and cast your selves downe before the throne of his grace, both before and after the hearing of his word, and beg of him, that as he hath given you hands to take your meat with, and to gather and plucke roses for the good of your bodies in sick­nesse, that you may live the life of na­ture: so he would give you the hand of faith, wherewith you may take and apprehend him, being that most sweet and medicinall rose of Sharon, for the good of your soules, that they may live the life of faith here, and the life of glory hereafter.

Now it may be, that Christ will not heare ye by and by, because you would not heare him, when he did seeke af­ter you in the preaching of his faith­fullest messengers; but let not that dismay you, for he loves to be impor­tuned, and therefore solicite him againe and againe; and be ye as ear­nest with him, as once Rachel was with Iacob, when she said; Give me children, or else I die, Gen. 30.1. so say ye unto Christ, O Lord Jesus, who art the au­thor of faith, and canst give it to whom thou wilt, even as thou canst give children when, and to whom thou wilt give us faith, Lord, or else we die and perish for ever; or else, as once a good old Ioh. Badly bornt in King He [...]y the 4. time. Anno 1409. Martyr cried out in the fire, saying, Mercy Lord, mercy; so cry ye (as being in the estate of hell fire by nature, so as that needs you must needs burne and frye for ever, if ye have no saving faith, wherewith you may take Christ who must save you from hell) faith Lord, faith, even true saving faith let us have, that we perish not in those mercilesse, ease­lesse, [Page 82]and endlesse flames of hell, which our former unbeliefe hath just­ly deserved.

SECT. 10. Christ must be sought speedily.

3. ANd that you may find Christ (as hath been shewed) in the Law and Gospell, [...] D [...]latatiō S [...]k Christ while he may be found spee­dily. you must seeke him while he may be found, as it is writ­ten, seeke the Lord while he may be found, Esa. 55.6. which saying of the Lords Prophet plainly intimates that there is a time when he may not be found of some, who seeke him too late; where fore as they that gather roses take their time, and looke out for them in the summer, when they may have them: so doe you looke out for Christ n [...]w in these warme summer dayes of the Gospell, which shines so fairely and fully among us; yea to d [...]y seeke him as it is written, Heb. 3▪7. To day if ye will heare his voice, harden not your [Page 83]hearts; for you know not how soone you may be taken from the meanes, or the meanes from you; and whether the Lord will then be found of you, when lying upon your death beds, you cannot heare his word, after you have despised it a long time in your best health: As for Gods people, they may be sure (as I told you formerly) that they shall alwaies find Christ in the winter of adversity, as well as in the summer of prosperity, and upon their death beds especially, yea after death, but you cannot be certaine of it, that you shall find Christ at last, when you would, because you did not answer his call when he would. See Prov. 1.24.25. late repentance may speed, but early repentance is sure to speed, saith Perkins in Gal. one; and I say so too of seeking after Christ, adding witha [...], that however late see­king after Christ: I am sure it spee­death so rarely, and so seldome, as that I can read but of one that sought him so late, and found him, and that is the thiefe upon the crosse, and none else besides him; for God loveth not such [Page 84]night-birds, Levit. 11.19. he forbid­deth his people the Jewes to feed on bats or flindermice, Cyr. in Lev. 17. and those twi­light birds signified putters of, and prolongers of repentance, and of see­king after Christ, who thinke to flut­ter confusedly about Christ, and re­pentance in the evening of their wi­thered yeares, and in the night of their latter end; so as that easily you may conceive how welcome most of them are then to Christ Heare what a great ancient Aug. bom. 41. [...]erepaeni­tentibus. Doctor saith of such, if a man will in his last necessity obtaine repentance, and so departeth, I con­fesse we doe not deny him what he postulates, and desires, but we pre­sume not neither that he dieth well; whether he goe hence securely and safely I cannot tell, quoth he, and so he concludes at last, Vis ergo à dubio te liberare, &c. wilt thou therfore deliver & free thy self from doubting, repent while thou art in health: Thus he of repenting, and so say I touching see­king after Christ, will you free your selves from the doubt whether Christ will welcome you at last, after ye have [Page 85]wasted your best time, and his best time, wallowing in sinfull and sensuall delights, then seeke after him, now to day, without delay, and say not either as they in Hagg. 1.2. the time is not come for us to come to Christ, it is too soon yet, to morrow, to morrow; For God Non quaerit Dous dilati­on [...]m in voce corvina, sed co f [...]ssionem in gemitu co­lumbino. Aug. in Psal. 102. seeketh not after a dilation in the voice of the crow, but an humble con­fession and groming after Christ in the voice and sighing of a dove, whose tune is, Now, Now; and not as the voice of a crow, [...]o morrow, to mor­row; nay come, you shall not go hence, but you shall promise first, and resolve within your selves, that as God shall enable you, so you will now forthwith think upon this matter seriously, and seek after Christ in the Law and Gos­pell earnestly; and that you will labour for faith industriously, praying to Christ for faith instantly, that so you may carry away Christ at last most happily, to be saved by him eternally; I know the devill will be loth to let you go so, and to way these things, wch belong to your peace, he will rather [Page 86]solicite you to stay and tarry a little longer with him, as Laban would have stayed Iacob to be his drudge for a lon­ger time; but doe you not hearken unto him, nor be perswaded by him, to stay a day or an houre longer with him, to be his slaves as you have been, no; but rather hearken unto the Lord Christ, who in his word did now appeare unto you; and as once he appeared unto Iacob, saying, (as hee said then, Gen. 21.3.) Come unto me, and so consequently, come away from La­ban; I should say Satan, for he doth but oppresse you, but Ile ease you, yea come presently, quickly, saith he; for [...]e speaks in the present time, Come, without delay, manè, or early, which is Gods adverbe, whereas the Devill saith, mane, which is his verbe, that is, tarry: well if I were but able to pull you away from this cunning deceiver of your poore soules, and to enstate you in Christ this d [...]y, you should not tarry with him one moment longer; but it is God who must draw you, as it is written, Ioh [...]. 6.44. No man can [Page 87]come to me, except the father which hath sent me, draw him, Iohn. 6.44. And therefore as the spouse of Christ did once pray for her selfe, Cant. 1.4. draw me, and we will run after thee: so will I pray for you, Lord draw those who of themselves cannot goe, that they may come to Christ, even as ma­ny as belong to Christ by the unalte­rable decree of thine eternall prede­stination.

I for my part can but perswade you, and it may please God to blesse my perswasions, and to make them effe­ctuall unto your poore soules, who can tell? and therefore;

SECT. 11. Foure grounds which should draw men to Christ.

4. I'le shew you what grounds should move you so to goe to Christ, Dilatatiō of this use. and to get him into your hearts, as you were instructed.

1. Doe but consider his admirable fragrancy and sweetnesse, 1 Christs sweetnesse. Me thinks there is no earthly thing that yeelds so perfect a pleasure to any sense, as the odor of the first rose doth [...]o the sent. B. Hall in his most: Excel. Oc­cas. Medit. [...]3. for being like a rose, he must needs be as redo­lent as a rose (whose sent is most sweet and pleasant) in regard of the sweet odor of his gracious words and works of obedience active and passive, and in regard of the sweetnesse and faire­nesse of his person formerly menti­oned; and therfore how▪ ô how should ye be moved with this transcendent sweetnesse of that sweetest rose of Sharon, to seeke after it, and to get it? how farre doe men goe for fragrant spices; and how doe they adventure their lives, sailing in the Indies, and the spicy Islands? but ye need not goe so farre for Christ, who is sweeter then all spices; for he is nigh unto you, even in the word, which we preach unto unto you. Againe, ye need not leave your house and home, and friends, as men that are bound for the Indies, but onely your sinnes, and you shall not need to adventure your lives, if you goe to Christ; for then you shall finde them, and save them; and should ye [Page 89]not be willing then to goe to Christ, which is but a little way, forsaking your best beloved sinnes, which can yeeld but little comfort?

2. Consider his delightfulnesse: Christs delightful­nesse. For being like a rose, he must needs be as delectable as a rose, which de­lights our eyes as much as any flower. John [...]ari­on, Ch [...]on. l. 3 p 130. Some write of Titus the Romane Emperour, that he was of so sweet and amiable a disposition, as that he was commonly called, delitiae generis hu­mani, the delight of mankinde, which might be but a flattering speech of men; but of Christ Jesus, that high and mighty monarch of heaven and earth, we may truly say so, without flattering, that he is indeed the very delight of mankinde: See Cant. 5.16. how he is said to be altogether lovely or delectable, as the * Hebrew hath it, marke, he is altogether delightfull; delightfull I, namely in his person,1 first for its admirable beauty, Psalme, 45.2.

2.2 Delightfull in his gracious Ti­tles, for first,1 he is stiled the Light [Page 90]of men, Iohn 1.4. Now all know how delectable and pleasing the light is, as the light of the sun, the light of the stars, and the light of a candle, even little children do rejoyce at the light of a candle, and desire to play with it, because they see a delightfulnesse in it, and we doe all take great delight in the shining sun, and shall take a farre greater delight in that masse of shi­ning light, which we shall see another day in the highest heaven, which for its brightnesse may be truly Z [...]sth de coe [...]o [...]e [...]t. c. 4 termed [...], hat is, all light; and therefore how delectable must Christ himselfe needs be, who is the Light, and that light, [...]. even that transcendent light, Iohn 1.8. and that true light which en­lighteneth; that is, Scilicet rationts, se [...] intellig [...] Pis [...]. [...] loc. endueth with rea­son, Every man that commeth into the world, or is borne into the world, and is the cause of another light, for as much as all things were made by him, ver. 3. yea, the very perfection of all created light, which Plato [...] 7. d [...] A [...]ima. Plato termes the perfection of shining bodies.

2.2 He is called a T [...]t. [...] 13 Saviour, and the [Page 91] Saviour of all men, 1 Tim. 4.10. which title of his is so delightfull, as that it should even cause your hearts to leap within you, when you heare it as Saint Iohn did leap in his mothers wombe for joy, at the voice of the blessed Virgins sweetest salutation, Luke 1.44. yea, should even forthwith pluck your hearts out of your breasts and bo­somes, to transplant them into the bo­some of Christ; for how delightfull is the very naming of a temporall Savi­our unto them that are in misery, when they understand or heare of his willingnesse to deliver them; and therefore how can your hearts chuse but even dance for joy within you, whiles you heare me speake of such a Saviour as is called the Saviour of the world, and of all men, and so conse­quently willing to save you also, if you shall beleeve in him? for so the Apostle goes on, who is the Saviour of all men, especially of those that be­leeve, Pisc. in loc. because he saves them not on­ly corporally, but spiritually and ever­lastingly, whereas otherwise he doth [Page 92]but Vade B [...]ze versi [...]. Co [...]servator om [...]iu [...]n▪ preserve you and others corpo­rally;

3.3 Nay is he not called salvation it selfe, Luke 1.30. to shew, saith Heary Smith [...]his fi [...] s [...]m [...] of t [...]sang of Sim [...]on. one, that there is no other Saviour but this one; and this word salvation, quoth he, is the sweetest word in all the scripture, and therefore how de­lightfull must he needs be, who beares this name, which is the sweetest word in all the bible?

4.4 He is stiled a bridegroome, Iohn 3.29. Matt. 9.15. in Latine sponsus, quasi promissus, as being promised by his heavenly father, to be a husband unto all true beleevers. Now how delectable is the name of a bride­groome to a virgin, especially it being told her that she may have a bride­groome whose beauty and sweetnesse of disposition passeth all other mens? and therefore how delightfull must Christ needs be, who is fairer then all the children of men, and sweeter too, then all other men, in regard of his disposition, and how should ye be delighted with him, O my dearly [Page 93]beloved, when ye heare me tell of him desiring you even forthwith to chuse him for your bridegroome, for­saking all other sinfull and sensuall de­lights, wherewith you have been hi­therto too much enamoured and fascinated, or bewitched? O consi­der of it, consider of it deare friends, you can never make the like choice, while the world standeth, the Lord open your eyes and hearts, that you may see your owne good, and may not let slip so faire an opportunity to be so highly preferred, and for ever made!

5.5 Againe, is he not called a friend, Cant. 5.16. This is my friend, O daugh­ters of Ierusalem. Now how delight­full a good friend is you know like­wise, the very sight of such a friend is sweet Arist. l. 9. Eth c. 11. * Franciscus P [...]trar [...]bo, dial. 52. saith one; and hee that hath such a friend, saith another, hath the sweetest thing that may bee; nay, there is no thing better then it, next unto ver­tue upon Earth, quoth hee, preferring it before Parents, [Page 94]childrē, brothers, for as shining bodies doe even transfuse some of their light into those places which are nigh unto them: so doth a true and faith­full friend send forth, and breathe sweetnesse, and grace, and pleasant­nesse, saith Maximus monachus. another; and therefore how pleasant must Christ needs be? who is that true and faithfull friend indeed, who being once be­friended with any indeed, never cea­ses, nor can he cease to be kind, and courteous, and affable unto him, and to send and dart forth some comforta­ble beames of his pleasant counte­nance into his beleeving soule, to make it lightsome, serene, and chear­full? You will have all things com­mon with you according to the Omnia amicorum communia. na­ture of true friendship, which Arist. l. 8. Eth. c. 9. requi­reth a societie, and consists of a soci­etie.

1.1 A common righteousnes, I mean in the first place, Ier. 23.6.1 Cor. 1.1, 30.2 Cor. 5.21.

2.2 A common Father, Iohn 20.17.

3.3 A common kingdome, Ioh. 17.24 2 Pet. 1.11.

4.4 A common throne, in that cele­stiall kingdome, Rev. 1.11.

Now tell me what friend else can doe so much for you, as this friend will doe for you. Is there any that you know among all the friends you have, and in whom you take most delight? No, No, there can be none such, but Christ, none but Christ; and therfore, O that you were willing to forget even father & mother, brethren, and sisters, and all your kindred, yea, and all other friends besides, that are carnall, for this deare friend Christ his sake as it is written, Hearken, O daughter, and consi­der, and encline thine eare, and forget also thine owne people, and thy fathers house, Psal. 45.10. The Lord incline your hearts to doe it, that so you also may be able to say in truth, This Christ who is that pleasant rose of Sharo [...], is our friend also as well as yours, ô ye daughters of Jerusalem, Cant. 5.16.

3.3 Consider Christs lovingnesse, who for being like a rose, Ch [...] lo­vingnesse. and as red as a rose, in regard of his bloudshed, he must needs be most loving, or else he [Page 96]would never shed his heart blood for us. See how the Apostle reasoneth. 1 Ioh. 3.16. Hereby perceive we the love of God, that is, of Christ, who is God, as well as man, because he laid down his life for us. Great was the love of these two great friends, Val Max. lib. 4. Damon and Pythias, who were even ready to dye one for another; but greater was Christs, who did lay down his Life for us, being then none of his friends, but his great­est Enemies, Rom. 5.10. and therefore how loving, ô how loving a Saviour, say I, must Christ needs be, who out of his meere and free love would even unsoule himself for us men by death, and depose his blessed life for us re­bels, that had justly expo [...]ed our selves to the stroke of death by our sinfull life!

O go, go then unto this loving and gracious Saviour, ye poore sinners, go, be not afraid of him, for if he would have you die, he would never have dyed himself for you; and if he were minded to deny you that eter­nall life, which every one of you [Page 97]should infinitely preferre before this present life, which is but fraile and mortall, and momentany, he would never have laid down his own most precious life, to deliver you from that death which is eternall; or thus, as Manoahs wife said once to her husband, when he was afraid that they should should surely dye, because they had seen God; If the Lord were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering at our hands, and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shew­ed us at those things, nor would he at this time have told us such things, as these, Iudg. 13.22, 23. so say I unto you, if happily you be afraid least you dye, and that for ever, being damned by the Law of God for your sins in gene­rall, and for your unbeliefe in speciall, because you have not yet by faith seen and beheld the Lord Christ, as it is written, he that beleeveth not is con­demned already. Iohn 3.18. if the were pleased to kill you, he would not have offered himself as an offering unto God, his Father, upon the crosse, [Page 98]neither would he have now shewed you all these things, which you have heard related of him, onely Aug. in Psal. 148. Crede, Crede, &c. beleeve beleeve on him, and then you shall not die but live. For so God loved the world, that he gave his onely begotten Son, that whosoever beleeveth on him should not perish but have everlasting life, Iohn 3.16. wherefore Ezech. 18.31, 32. cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby you have transgressed, and so going away from your sins go and draw neere to Christ, by faith in his name, which the Lord in mercy grant you. For why will you dye, ô house of Israel. Or thus, why will you dye, ô ye poore sinners, the Lord hath not pleasure in the death of him, that dyeth, wherefore turne your selves, and turne in unto Christ by faith, and live you, The Lord of life put life in you that ye may live; I humbly beseech his Majestie.

4. Consider also, my dearely belo­ved, Christs nee [...]ful­nesse. the needfulnesse of Christ, who therefore resembles himself to arose, that you may see what need you have of him. For Roses, as you know, we [Page 99]can The rose is chiefe of all flowers. William Langham in his garden of health, pag. 535. hardlyest spare of all flowers, because they be so usefull and so me­dicinall, whereby you may easily con­ceive how needfull then Christ him­self is, in whom, as the Creator, ac­cording to that often mentioned rule, there must needs be more medicinall­nesse and needfulnesse then possibly can be in a created Rose, unto which he is pleased to compare his sacred self;

Take a view of some particular respects.

1. See how needfull he is in regard of the life naturall.

2. In regard of the life spirituall.

3. In regard of the Life eternall.

1. To begin with the life Naturall, Inregard of the life Naturall. what is it without Christ, but a cursed death? for without him, you are still under the curse, Gal. 3.10, 13▪ So as that your very meat and drink, and wealth, and store, and fruits, and bo­dies are all accursed; see Deut. 28.15, 16, 17, 18. till Christ who was made a curse for them that beleeve, deliver you from that curse, Gal. 3.10. and [Page 100]have you not cause enough to go to Christ to be freed from such a curse? some Emperours and Kings have even prostrated themselves before the Popes of Rome, being but ex­communicated by Popes to be freed from their curse. Lob. Corion C [...]en, lib. 4 p. 217. Nicolaus Vigni [...], An. 11 [...]77. Frederick Barbaros­sa, that glorious and victorious Em­perour of Rome, did even suffer one of the Popes of Rome to tread upon his neck to have his absolution, and to free his son, who was then the Popes prisoner at Venice. But you for your part need not goe to the Pope of Rome, but onely to Christ, by faith, who is in the middest of us, to be ex­empted from the curse of God upon your estates, and b [...]dies, as well as souls, and you need not put your necks under the odious feet of an im­perious and in [...]ing Pope, but under the yoke of Christ, who saith, I am lowly, and my yoke is easie, and my burden is light, M [...] b. 11.29, 30. and should ye not be willing to go to Christ, yea, into Christ, believing on him, to free your selves from that curse, which [Page 101]lyeth so heavy upon you, and upon all that you possesse.

Secondly, In regard of the life spirituall. Consider Christs need­fulnesse in regard of the life spirituall.

1.1 It is he that must free you from the burning heat of filthy lusts, and covetous desires. Yea, from the reign and power of every heating sin, even as Roses either distilled or infused or conserved, do take away, or allay the heat and hight of hot diseases and purge the body. See Iohn 8.36. If the sonne therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed, whereupon it followeth, that if he deliver us not, we are in bondage still, and are sick still, even very sick, irrecoverably sick of the most dangerous and contagious le­prosie of sin; nay, for ever sick, and for ever in thraldome for the will of the damned will be ever perverse, saith Lombard l 4. dist. 50. where he decideth the questi­on, whe­ther the damned shall sin in hell also, yea, or no. Lombard, Some sins, men may leave indeed, for want of means and opportunities, or for feare, whereup­on they may conceive that they are not so bad as they are. Yea, may even justifie themselves with the Pharisee, [Page 102] Luke 18.11. and conclude, that they are indeed converted, and shall be e­ternally saved; but there is none for all this of all those that are out of Christ, who liveth not under the pow­er and predominancy of one com­manding sinne or other, inwardly, or outwardly, or both, because Christ hath said it, that he must make us free, if we shall be free indeed, mark indeed, or substantially, really, existently, as the [...]. originall hath it, and not imagi­narily, verbally, seemingly, as many conceive themselves to be, being la­mentably deceived, and that either because they never search them­selves to any purpose, or because God hath deservedly Quis enim nesciat fieri ut humo de­tur in repr [...] ­bum sensum de m [...]i [...]o praecedenti­um p [...]ato­rum, ut non videat pec­cata sua. Gabr. Biel. in Can. M [...]s [...] sae Lect. 8. m [...]hi, sol. 11. given them over, for their former delinquencies, and abhorred exorbitancies into a repro­bate sense, that they cannot feele, nor see their sins.

Take a Survey, if you will, of those severall Lordly sins, which domineere over them, and then their guiltinesse, and filthinesse, will appear as cleare as the noon day.

First, Some of them cannot deny,1 if they will but tell the truth, that they are most horrible swearers; though perhaps they be no theeves, or adul­terers.

Secondly,2 others most audacious prophaners of the Lords most holy and glorious Day, pretending Chri­stian libertie.

Thirdly,3 others they be no swea­rers, yet are most spightfull, ungrate­full, and stubborn against their very parents, being worse then brute crea­tures, which do recompense, support, and help their Ciconia e­nim fessos p [...]rentes fert humer [...]s, & ore jisdem suppeditat cibos Gesne­rus. aged parents as much as much as they can, 2 Tim. 3.2.

Fourthly, others,4 though they be neither drunkards, nor usurers, yet are most fierce like Tigers, bears, and Lions, when they are provoked, 2 Tim. 3.3.

Fifthly, others are most lascivious,5 either in, or out of the state of marri­age, like unto filthy Dogs, and neigh­ing Horses.

Sixthly,6 others most insatiably co­vetous and greedy, like the Prov. 30.15. Horse­leeches [Page 104]daughters, which ever cry, give, give, [...] sucking blood and vomit­ing it up again, to sill themselves a­fresh.

Seventhly, others most brutishly intemperate in eating or drinking, s [...]etimes breaking out by notorious drunkennesse, and gluttonie, and sometimes vailing themselves with a kinde of restraint,7 when they be not so over-drunk, nor so notoriously glut­tonous; as others, but only do over greedily please their pallates with delicate meat, and strong drink; which both they love better then God him­self who made both, 2 Tim. 3.4.

Eighthly,8 others are as envious as Saul, [...] Sam. 18.8, 9. or as a Gemin. l. 4. c. 43. Peacock, who out of en­vie, as it were, hideth his own dung, which is most medicinall, that man may not be the better for it.

Ninthly,9 others are most hatefull and malicious, against some, either; First,1 Because they differ from them in the power of religion; 2 or secondly, because they are like to carry away some profit, or some preferment, or [Page 105]applause, which they would fain have, and gaine to themselves; or thirdly,3 because they have given them some, even the least distaste, therefore they cannot endure the sight of them, yea, they could even teare them, being like a St. Basil Orat. de In­vid & odio mihi, p. 823. Panther, who if he doe but see a mans picture upon a paper will teare it, because he hateth him most deadly, and cannot abide him.

Tenthly,10 others are as insolent and proud as the devill himselfe, manife­sting so much by their monstrous fa­shions, paintings, boastings, or else keeping it in secretly to themselves, as being contented with a hidden, most eager and greedy desire of vaine-glo­rie, which like an ever vexing, urging, and scourging Hoc enim sisriarum p [...]prium est ant corum qui fini [...]s [...]itantur. Calep. fury so hunteth them, as that they doe even all they doe to Mat. seen of men, who see but their glo­rious works, but cannot see their odi­ous pride, and abominable affectation and ambition. I should be infinite, if I should nominate all the domineering sinnes which reigne in the children of disobedience, and convince them to [Page 106]be out of Christ, who makes men free, these may suffice at present; onely suf­fer me to perswade you, who live un­der such tyrannous Lords, even there­fore to get Christ, that by him you may be freed from such an insuffera­ble tyranny; or if you will have me speake more sutably, to the metaphor of a cooling rose, from the foresaid burning Fit enim quaedam le­pra de cho­lera inficiex­te sanginem ac d [...]itur leonina, Gae­min. l. 6. c. 11. leprosie of sinne, we read, 2 King. 5.1.23. that Naaman the Syri­an was a great man with his master, and honourable, and a mighty man of valour, but a Leper, which spoiled all, whereupon a little Hebrew maid, which waited on his wife, said to her mistresse, would God my Lord were with the Prophet that is in Samaria, for he would recover him of his le­profie. Answerably whereunto say I unto you, who may be ennobled likewise with many excellent na­turall parts and endowments, but withall are stained with one kind of le­profie or other (for there are sundry kinds of it) I meane one infectious reigning sinne or other, being either [Page 107]outwardly and notoriously spotted as Elephants, Distinguitur enim à medi­cis quadru­plex [...]ommu­niter lepra, Elephantia, L [...]onina, Ty­gria. Allo­pecia. or inwardly ravenous as Wolves, or fierce as Lyons, or de­ceitfull as serpents (that I may allude to all the foure sorts of naturall lepro­sie) whose heat and power none but Christ the rose of Sharon can take away. To you I say, as that damosell wished her master to be with the Prophet Elisha, so doe ye heartily wish and de­sire now that your soules may be with Christ, that sweet rose of Sharon, Christ Jesus, that he may recover them of their spirituall leprosie. Some write of Agath 79. papa vir fi [...]t tantae sancti­tatis ut le­prosum ob­viam factū os [...]ula suo statim libe­rarit. Gara [...]za. Summa Concil▪ & po [...]tif. mihi. so. 208. Agatho, that he was a man so holy and gracious, as that with a kisse he did cure a man of his leprosie, assoone as he met him, which relation whether it be true or no, this I am most certaine of, that Jesus Christ, the rose of Sharon, both can and will free not one leper onely, but every one of you whose soules are leprous, from their most in­fectious and pernicious spirituall le­prosie, if you doe but kisse him with the kisse of faith. See Act. 15.9. how he is said to Hinc Am­hros. in Psal 118. ser. 10. Nisi per fiaē diligatur, Deu [...] non mundatur cor ad scien­d [...]meum. purifie the heart by faith; [Page 108]and therefore get faith first, and then kisse Christ next, observing the instru­ctions formerly tendred unto you, and praying especially, or speaking as much to Christ, as the damosell to her mistresse. O that our poore soules also were with thee, as the soules of others are, sweet Jesu! O let them come to thee, and that they may come, draw them, and then free them, as Elisha freed Naaman from the leprosie of sin and corruption, we humbly pray thee. This doe, and then I dare secure you in the words of Christ, that ye shall be all cleane through the word of Christ, or by vertue of the word of Christ, which I have preached unto you, Iohn 15.3.

Secondly, it is Christ that must quicken you to live the life of grace: as roses in vineger especially doe re­vive a man that is taken with dead pulles, that he may live the life of na­ture, for therefore he is said to be the life of beleevers, Col. 4.34. and to live in them, Gal. 2.20. and this life is so ne­cessary, as that without it we can doe [Page 109]nothing, that is, nothing as we ought, acceptably and sincerely, to the right end, and in the right manner: For otherwise men may doe many things, as Herod, Mar. 6.20. they may pray much, heare much, read much, fast must, give much, repeate much, con­fer much, yea, they may have shewes of every grace, saith Belton. one, insomuch as that they may even deceive both others and themselves, as those foo­lish parabolicall virgins, Matt. 25.11, 12. who, because they were virgins, did make no question but they should enter into the coelestiall marriage, as well as the wise; for therefore they said, Lord, Lord, open unto us, but they could have no other answer but this, ver. 12. Verily I say unto you, I know you not, for they wanted the oyle of the life of grace, and held forth only the empty Lamps of shewes of grace. Againe, they wanted Christ, who is the life of the righteous, and the oyle, or cause and ground of the light and life of grace, and therefore he tels them, I know you not: so that [Page 110]needs you must get Christ, if ye will truly live the life of grace, or else though you make never so many shews, you will but deceive your selves, like those virgins, or like those silly Sceleratae quaedam mulieres, dae­monum illu­sionibus se­ductae, no­cturnis horis cum Diana paganorum Dea & in­numera mul. titudine mu­lierum cre­da [...]t se aequi­tare super bestias quas­dam, & mul­ta terrarum spatia per­transire. Concil An­eyr. con. 24. women, who, in ancient time, being deluded by Satan, did verily thinke that they did ride on beasts by night, and travell over many coun­tries, when they did not: so you will but imagine that you goe I know not how farre in the way of life and true godlinesse, having a forme thereof; whereas, for want of Christ your hearts will not stirre nor move a whit as they Nullus aut diligere De­um sicut oportuet, aut credere in Deum, aut operari prop­ter Deum quod bonum est potest, nisi gratiae eum & miserecor­dia Dci prae­venerit. Con. Trans. [...] to 2 mih p. 23 ought, so as that you shall do what you doe in sincerity, and truth, and to the glory of God, because the truth hath said it, without me ye can doe nothing: O goe then and get Christ, what ever ye doe in the manner and order aforesaid, and let none of you sleep or slumber as the foolish virgines did; but stirre and rouze up your droo­ping spirits, and goe I will not say, ad vendentes, to them that sell, as the wise virgins said to the foolish, but ad ven­dentem, [Page 111]or to him that sells himselfe, I meane Christ himself, and beg faith, which is like gold, for he selleth it, yea, himselfe, for loe here he offereth himselfe, saying, Rev. 3.18. I counsell thee to buy of me gold, that is, faith, that thou mayest be rich, and rayment, that is, me, Christ himself, that thy naked­nesse may not appeare, I adde by way of exposition; but rather that thou mayst be graced and clothed with the glorious robe of my righteousnesse imputed, and with fine linnen of ha­bituall righteousnesse infused, and derived from the fulnesse of grace and goodnesse, which is in me, as the ocean and fountaine of all grace and holinesse, Iohn 1.16.

Thirdly,3 it is Christ that must com­fort your soules, as roses doe comfort the heart of the body. See Ioh. 15.26. Ioh. 16.7. how himselfe againe and again [...] [...]oth promise to send the com­forter [...]plying, that if any man will be be [...] [...] with the sweet consolati­ons [...] [...]e must be beholding to [...] he must goe with­out [Page 112]out it: even as whosoever would have corne in the seven yeares of famine, was to get it of Ioseph, or else he might starve, even in Egypt it selfe, where there was corn enough in the granaries erected by Ioseph for that purpose. So a man say I, may live in the church, & want that true and solid comfort, which commeth by Christ, both in his life and in his death, though he live in a place, where there is no want of com­fort, but comfort enough taught and profered, and to be had by Christ, un­lesse he will repaire to Christ, who is the true and caresull Joseph, that must impart unto us his holy spirit the com­forter, A Prolepse and cheare up our hearts, as a rose.

Some temporaries that are illumi­nated and forward for a time, such as are said to have tasted of the heavenly gift, and of the good word of God, and of the powers of the world to come, [...]eb. 6.5, 6. may have certaine flashes of joy and comfort; but the true, and sound, and solid comfort, which dif­fers as much from their taste, as the [Page 113]tasting of good meat from the eating of it, none can enjoy and feele but onely by Christ himselfe, inhab [...]ing the heart, and blessing it with the sweetest influence of the unutterable joyes and comforts of his holy spirit, by whom he doth not only enlighten them as temporaries, but also regene­rates, and new creates them in such an admirable and glorious manner, as that the joy and comfort thence re­sulting, must needs be also full of glo­ry, 1 Pet. 1.8. And therefore as they that wanted corne, went to Ioseph in Egypt to get some, so do ye repaire to Christ, beleeving in him, that so you also may rejoyce in him with joy un­speakable and full of glory: For why will ye, and how can ye live so uncom­fortably, as ye have lived formerly, being altogether destitute of that ho­ly spirit of promise, whose soule-re­freshing comforts none can truly feele, till he be truly and throughly come home to Christ.

3. So for the life to come, In regard of lise ete [...] ­nall. it is Christ that must procure and assure [Page 114]the same unto you, or else you must never looke for it, but rather for death and destruction, as it is proba­bly conceived, that if roses had not revived some by Gods blessing upon them, they had dyed when they were taken with grievous pulls. See Iohn 3.36. He that beleeveth not the sonne, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth upon him. Hence De Corrept & grat l. c. 7. Austin, no man is freed from the damnation which Adam hath brought upon us, but only by faith in Jesus Christ.

This one ground well digested, is like to doe you most good; for as I told you formerly, the terrors of the law, breathing out nothing but hor­ror, and damnation, must first make you afraid, before you will goe to Christ a [...] ye ought: even as a great ma­ny men will never yeeld to leave the world, and the cares of it, till they see that they must die; and as some others will never beg, being too much asha­med to doe it, till they see that they must doe it, or starve: so you will ne­ver yeeld to leave your dearest sins, [Page 115]and bosome delights, and to beg faith in good earnest, and to goe to Christ by faith, unlesse you see death as it were before your eyes, and consider of it seriously, that you must starve, and dye, and perish for ever in that formidable and horrible lake, which burneth with fire and brimstone if you doe it not.

And therefore, as 2 [...]am. 2.23. men went no farther, but stood still by the dead bo­dy of Asael: so goe no further, till ye have viewed and digested this chiefe and last ground, concerning life and death, that so you may proceed no far­ther, neither in your chase and eager pursuit after the profits, sports, plea­sures and preferments of this world; but rather may beg saving faith of Jesus Christ, who is the author of it (as I no­ted before) and then may looke up by faith on Jesus Christ, that ye perish not. O my dearly beloved, what will not a man doe that he may not Quomodo homines om­nem impe [...]dunt operam ne moriantur temporaliter, quare non item ne mo­riantur in aeternum. Aug de verb. Apost ser. 18. die; Skin for skin, yea all that a man hath will he give for his life, said Satan once to God, Iob 2.4. I adde, especially, if a man [Page 116]being a prisoner, were like to be car­ried every moment out of his prison the place of execution, there to be ro­sted in a chaire of brasse by a small fire, and so to dye by little and little, and to finish his miserable life in un­speakable torments, would not a man give all that he hath that he might not dye such a fearfull death. And therefore what is it that you should not be willing to doe, and to forgoe, who being prisoners too, must expe [...] every minute to be carried away of the devill, who keeps you in prison, 2 Tim. 2.26. into the terrible place of execution, called hell, there to be ro­sted, and to be burned, and tormen­ted, not by a small, but a great and mighty fire, which the wrath or breath of God, like a streame of brimstone, doth kindle, Esa. 30.33▪ even for ever and ever, if Christ free you not▪ nay, suppose a man might escape such a temporall punishment of fi [...]e, and save his life, if he would but goe forth out of prison to his King, who can free him, falling downe before him, [Page 117]and submitting himselfe unto him to be disposed of by him, doe ye thinke he would not willingly leave his pri­son, and even run to the King, and do any thing rather, that the King shall command, then burne, Well, you may escape so, I am sure, and therefore should ye not gladly leave sinne, which is but like a stinking prison, and goe to Christ the King of Kings, who requireth no more but your comming, and the leaving of your sinnes, and humbling of your soules, and a ready submission to be disposed by his holy will▪ Le [...] Satan then sug­gest what he will, saying, how can ye forgoe such a da [...]ing delight? and how can ye spare such a sweet gaine? and how can ye live without such honour? you may now easily put him off with his owne words, say­ing, All that a man hath will he give for his life; are not these thine owne words? canst thou deny them Sa­tan? thou canst not, thou canst not; and therefore, never trouble us more with these insinuations and [Page 118]whisperings of thine, we are resolved to suffer such a temporall losse rather, and to goe to Christ now, then to goe on in our sinnes to the utter undoing and loosing of our poore soules for ever and ever. Thus repell Satan, and thus be induced, I pray you, to consi­der the day of your visitation, and the most terrible danger you are in, that so you may come home to Christ, and Christ may come to you, which God in mercy grant for his goodnesse, and for his Christs sake.

SECT. 12. Sixe Lets, which keep men from Christ, are to be removed.
The first is Blindnesse.

5. BUT I am afraid for all this, Dilatatiō of this use. lest my perswasion prove fruitlesse, unlesse some certain impediments, which lie in the way, be first dissolved and removed, and therefore Ile now [Page 119]bestow some of my pains that way, as being confident, that, as when the pil­lars and postes of an old tottering house are taken away, down comes the house, so your former and old Dispo­sitions which I suppose are now tot­tering and wavering already, upon that which hath been said already, will quickly fall to the ground, and be prostrated unto Christ, who looks for such, as are dejected and throwne down, if those severall postes, which as yet keep them up, may be pulled a­way both by me, and your selves.

1. I say by me first, who must shew them unto you, and perswade you to throw them away.

2. By your selves, who must follow my advise, for else I can doe you no good.

For the first, that I may discharge my dutie, I say there are six maine posts, or lets, which yet beare up ma­ny mens tottering wils, and must be taken away; I meane,

  • 1. Blindnesse.
  • 2. Blockishnesse.
  • [Page 120]3. Basenesse.
  • 4. Brutishnesse.
  • 5. Bitternesse.
  • 6. Businesse.

1. Blindnesse is a main supporter, [...]. Let, B [...]ndnesse. and Keeper up of the wils, and dispo­sitions of men, to make them stand out against Christ, and to go without him.

For,1 1. as a blind man, doth not see a Rose▪ and therefore cares not for it, though it be never so faire; so naturall men, being blind, 2 Corinth. 4.4. can­not see any such excellency and beau­tie in Christ, for the which they should desire him, and therefore they care not for him, though they heare us tell much of him, they may be moved a little for the time, but I say they will not so care for him, as to go to him as they ought, away from themselves, and away from their base lusts, away from their pride, and away from all their bosome sins, who be as deare un­to them, as their right eyes, and right hands.

2. As a blind man, who cannot see [Page 121]or smell a Rose, being farre from it, can put no difference between a pain­ted flower, and a true naturall rose, so naturall men and women, can put no difference between Christ the true Rose of Sharon, and the vain and tran­sitorie delights, pleasures, profits, which are but like painted flowers, and hence it cometh to passe, that they do farre preferre the vanitie of perishing creatures, before the everliving Lord of glorie, because they are not able to see the emptinesse and nothing­nesse of the one, and the fulnesse, fairenesse, and Glory of the other, Like Esops Cock, who preferred a bar­ley corn, before an orient pearle, and like Esau, who set a higher prize upon a pottage of Lentiles, whereby vene­rable Beda [...] Loc. Beda understands vanitie, then upon his birth-right, whereby was ty­pified the inheritance of the King­dome of heaven, Gen. 24.34.

If you aske me how shall we re­move this blindesse? Quest.

I Answer. 1. You must pray God, Answ. that as he opened the eyes of those [Page 122]two Disciples that went to Emaus that they knew him, Luk. 24.31. so he would open your eyes, that you may know him and see his glorious beautie, with the eyes of your minde, and also the vanitie of those things, which you do so prize above him, or else I preach in vain.

2.2 Suffer me to compare both Christ and those things which you prize so together, and do you thinke on it. For though a blind man of him­self, cannot put a difference between flowers and flowers by sight, yet when he hears others tell of them he may: And so may you be able to distinguish between Christ and sinne, after you have prayed to God to open your eyes, and have heard the Minister speak of both in the preaching of his word, which his divine Majestie may blesse unto you, who can tell, I for my part do infinitely desire it, and pray God that it may be so, saying, even so, Lord, give thy heavenly benediction and blessing to thy word, that it may work and illuminate those men and women, whose understandings are [Page 123]darkened that they may see.

Now to the matter.

As for Christ first, Christs properties. him Ile describe out of the Canticles 5.10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. concluding thence-from, that 1. he is more faire. Proper­tie. For so his faire Spouse tells those which inquired af­ter him, saying, What is thy beloved more then another beloved, that thou doest so charge us. vers. 9. My beloved is white and ruddy, vers. 10. Proper­tie. of which beautie much hath been said already.

2. He is most excellent strong and valiant; For he is the chiefest among ten thousand, or as the [...] Hebrew hath it,Proper­tie. the very foremost or standard-bearer, among an infinite multitude, v. ib. see also v. 15. the strength of his legs

3. He is most rich. For 1. his head is as the most fine gold, even Gregor. in Loc. God him­self, who is In auro in exhaustos thesauros cle­mentiae & miseri [...]ordiae recte int [...] ­gunt. Tomson in Lo [...]. rich in mercy, and abun­dant in goodnesse and in truth, Exod. 34.5, 6. 2. and his hands are as gold rings, set with the beryl, that is, his Quid enim per manus Christi de­signatur, nisi opera quae in mundo gessit. Greg in Loc works are most rich, and precious, even the most rare works of his; first Redemption; and secondly, Mortifi­cation; [Page 124]and thirdly, Sanctification by his holy Spirit. 3. and his Belly, that is, his very death and Idem in Loc. mortalitie, im­plyed by his belly, as Gregory notes, is most rich, tending to incorruption and immortalitie, signified by bright Ivory [which is most durable, and is assumed among Kingly ornaments, overlaid with Saphires] which are of an aeriall and heavenly colour, Proper­tie. and signifie those rich and heavenly joyes and va­rious pleasures, which Christ by his death hath purchased for us, so that in these words here, you here of nothing but of gold and precious Jewels, which are doubtlesse set down, to set forth the inestimable riches of Christ.

4. He is most wise. For his Per capi [...] ­los, &c. Sa [...]ientiam admirab [...]e, consilia im­per [...]s [...]iga­bili [...], j [...]cia arcena & prosunda in­corpretant [...]ur, qu [...]e ita im­plexa su [...], & [...], ut iadagar, [...] a [...]ra ul c [...]rni, ac dig­nosci liquido [...]si pe [...]aro, & non à quibusvis possi [...]. Tom­son in Loc.locks are bushie and black as a Raven, that is, his wisdome is most admirable, and his counsels so mysterious and past finding out, so deep and dark, as that none can match or reach them.

5. He most harmlesse, and single eyed, for his eyes are as the eyes of doves by the ri [...]ers of waters, washed with milk and fitly set, Proper­tie. that is, he is most sincere [Page 125]and innocent, in all his works general­ly, and in his all-seeing [...] Idem [...]b. providence, especially as interpreters note, v. 12.

6. He is most pleasant. Proper­tie. For his cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers, his lips like lillies dropping sweet smelling myrrh, vers. 13. whereby is set forth unto us, both the sweetnesse of his disposition, and the gracious­nesse of his verball expressions, which have proceeded out of his mouth, [...] as Matth. 11.28. and Iohn 6.37. See also vers. 16. his mouth is most sweet, Proper­tie. or all sweetnesses, as the Hebrew hath it.

7. He is most sure. For his legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold, in regard of the Greg. in Loc. 2 Pet. 1.19, 20. surenesse of the word of prophecie, Proper­tie. spoken both by him and his.

8. He is most sublime and high. For his countenance is as Lebanon, ex­cellent as the Cedars] 1. as Libanus quippe [...] est in quo sublim [...]s val [...]è & o­doriferae ar­bore [...]ascun­tur. Cedrus etiam excelsa est arbor & imputrib [...]lis. Greg in Loc. Lebanon] which is a most loftie mountaine. 2. excellent as the Cedars] which are both high and incorrup [...]le, as Christ is.

9. He is most amiable and ravish­ing. [Page 126]For she concludeth. He is altoge­ther lovely, or he is all desireable things, as the Hebrew phrase doth set him forth more emphatically, [...] to shew that in him there is all that we can desire.

But now what are all those things which you prize so much above Christ, Diffe­rence. but 1. most fowle, like dung, Phil. 3.8. in comparison of Christ.

2. And likewise most w [...]ake and unable to help you, Diffe­rence. and to deliver you in the day of wrath, take a view.

  • 1. Of Riches.
  • 2. Of Pleasures.
  • 3. Of Honours.

To begin with Riches, let a man en­grosse all the wealth of the land, and fill his house full of silver, and gold, and let then Gods wrath se [...]ze upon him, and see, whether all his treasures will be able to deliver his Soul; No, No, they cannot, they cannot, do that which properly belongs to Christ, who alone is able to free us from that wrath, [...]sa 63.3. and hence is that excellent, peech of Solomon, riches, profit not in the day of wrath, Prov. [Page 127]11.4. Remember Spira, Spira rela­ted and confessed so much himselfe, that he was exceeding covetous. (who once was exceeding covetous of money, so as that he got abundance of wealth) what good could all his great estate, which he preserved by his apostasie, do unto him in the sense and feeling of Gods flaming wrath, None at all.

2. So pleasures, how weake are they to rescue a man then, when the wrath of God is upon him, Balshazzar you know wanted nothing that might either please his daintie palate, or de­light his amorous eyes, and yet loe how, when he did even wallow in plea­sure, his countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him; So as that the joynts of his Ioynes were loo­sed, and his knees, smote one against the other, because the Almightie did begin to manifest his wrath against him, by a hand writing upon his wall, whose meaning as yet he knew not, which notwithstanding he was so per­plexed in his thoughts, as that neither wine nor women could please him af­terward, for the text saith, He cryed a­loud to bring in Astrologers, &c. Dan. 5.7. Dan. 5.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. [Page 128]whereas before he called for the ves­sels of the Temple, and for drinke, &c. Now he calls for Caldeans to know the meaning of the hand wri­ting, which he conceived to be a­gainst him, because his own consci­ence accused him, thus neither the delicatest bel [...]y cheere, nor the most delicious love of women, can free a man from perplexitie in the day of wrath.

3.3 The like may be said of honours and high places; let a man be carried upon mens shoulders, as the Pope; and weare a triple crown upon his head, let him b [...] attended with all the nobi­litie of the land, where he lives, let him be honoured and idolized as a god, like Alexander, and Herod, and then let Gods wrath fall on him, as it d [...]d on the said Herod, Act. 12.23. who was eaten up of wormes, because he gave not God the glory, when the people said of his speech, This is the voice of a God, and not of a man, vers. 22. and then see whether all that glit­tering honour, and pleasing applause, [Page 129]will be able to deliver him from the revenging hand of that great and mightie God, whose wrath burneth like fire; alas it cannot, but Christ can, and none but Christ indeed; and should ye not thē put a higher esteem upon Christ then upon these things?

3. Whereas Christ is most rich in mercy and comfort, Diffe­rence. those things which you prize so above Christ are most poore, and vain, and emptie. More par­ticularly.

1. Riches are most emptie and as unable to comfort you, as they be un­able to deliver you in the day of wrath; let a man accumulate and heap up wealth like dust, and let him tum­ble himselfe upon heaps of shining Like Ca­ligula, who was so de­lighted to touch and to handle money, as that laying great heaps of gold in a spacious place, he would tread on it barefooted and some­times tum­ble himself in it. Su [...]ton, in vita. Calig. gold, and let him see whether he can extract or attract so much as one dram or drop of comfort from all that abundance, to sustaine and to refresh him in the middest of Gods burning ire, and flaming indignation; Tis all in vaine, he cannot; for riches are nothing, as saith the wisest King, who over-flowing with wealth himselfe, [Page 130]found what he writ by experience, Prov. 23.5. Wilt thou cast thine eyes up­on that which is nothing, for riches beta­keth her selfe to her wings; marke how riches with him are nothing, whereas you thinke that they are something, and that there is some true comfort to be found in them, but do you imagine what you will. Ile rather beleeve Gods penman, and his experience, then your deluded and abused imagi­nations, and so consequently I cannot but conclude, that seeing riches are nothing, they can comfort nothing in the day of wrath: for how can a man fetch any thing out of an emptie bag, or an emptie chest?

2.2 Nor can pleasures comfort you in the day of wrath, and in the houre of death, though your table should be covered with the choisest dishes, and your beds should be all of Down, and your Cellers should be full of sweetest wines, and your eyes should feed on the fairest objects, and your eares should drink in the most melodious and sweetest musick, yet would not [Page 131]all this be able to comfort your hearts, when God is angry, and death approaches, like a cruell and unmercifull executioner to bring you to the place of Gods dreadfullest execution, called hell, marke but the end and period of other dying men, and see what little comfort they can take in any such thing. For all is vanitie, Eccles. 1.2. that is, a meere [...] Id est res quae non est quidpiam. Pagn. emptinesse, and therefore these things must needs be so too, and so consequently unable to yield the least true and solid comfort in the evill day, so as that we may truly say of them, as Iob of his friends, that they are miserable comforters.

3.3 What comfort can a man take in all the honour and applause of the world, when he comes to dye, and to yield up his ghost, or else is affrighted with the terrours of the Almightie? let me instance in Saul, what content could he finde in all his royall pomp, and in the most glorious title of a crowned King, when God being an­gry with him, would not answer him, [Page 132]neither by dreames, nor by Vrim, nor by Prophets, 1 Sam. 28 6. and when thatFor he was no [...] S [...] ­mue [...] but S [...]an [...], [...] of Samuel, [...] [...]. [...]. p. 56. Th [...]od [...]e [...]. Quest 62 in l 1 Reg [...]o. 1. H [...]ds that God did speak, then by a shape [...]kened un­to Samuel his words are these. Hinc e [...]gn verspi [...]u in quod ip [...] Deus uni­vers [...]um [...]ss [...]rma [...]a, ut voluit sp [...]ci [...] Samuelis pro [...]li [...] su­ten [...]am [...] pot [...]s­isse [...] [...] loqua, sed Deus, ei mi­ni [...] protulit [...] per [...]d [...]sario, &c Eus Eccles hist l 8 c 28, 29. supposed For he was no [...] S [...] ­mue [...] but S [...]an [...], [...] of Samuel, [...] [...]. [...]. p. 56. Th [...]od [...]e [...]. Quest 62 in l 1 Reg [...]o. 1. H [...]ds that God did speak, then by a shape [...]kened un­to Samuel his words are these. Hinc e [...]gn verspi [...]u in quod ip [...] Deus uni­vers [...]um [...]ss [...]rma [...]a, ut voluit sp [...]ci [...] Samuelis pro [...]li [...] su­ten [...]am [...] pot [...]s­isse [...] [...] loqua, sed Deus, ei mi­ni [...] protulit [...] per [...]d [...]sario, &c Eus Eccles hist l 8 c 28, 29. Samuel, raised up by a Witch, told him that the Lord was departed from him, and become his enemie, vers. 16. and that to morrow he should be with him, vers. 19? upon that the text saith, He fell all along on the earth and there was no strength in him, vers. 20. if that instant he might have had all the applause of Israel as much as David, 1 Sam. 18.7, 8. and if one should have shewed him all the crowns of all the Kings of the earth, to make him merry it had been in vain; for what comfort can he take in crowns, and worldly honours and pre­ferments, who within a day must leave the world, and loose all the glory of it? it is Christ and onely Christ that can then comfort the heart, and cheer it. So Maximinus that great and migh­tie Emperour of the East, what com­fort could he take in his Imperiall dia­dem, and in all the pompe, honour, and slattering applause that ever filled his eares, and lifted up his ambitious [Page 133]heart, when the wormes, as the just executioners of the implacably pro­voked God of heaven, and most glo­rious King of Kings did crawle upon all his body? none at all, though he did even recant and revoke his bloo­dy edicts against the poore and harm­lesse Christians, because he was no Christian himself, and so consequent­ly uncapable of comfort, as being out of Christ, who onely can and must comfort the heart.

4. Whereas Christ is most wise, Diffe­rence. those things, which you do so preferre before Christ, are most foolish▪ See 1 Tim. 6.6. how they that will be rich fall into temptation, and into many foolish and hurtfull lusts, marke, foolish lusts, the like may be said of all things else, as of vain-glory, that it is a foolish thing, and maketh a man a foole, and of the love of Prov. 7.2 [...].pleasures, that it is a foolish thing, and of anger, revenge, and envy, that it is a foolish thing: for anger is said to rest in the bosome of fooles, and e­very man, before he turneth into wis­dome, which is Christ, in Solomons [Page 134]Proverbs is judged to be but a foole, Prov. 8.5.

5. Whereas Christ is most harm­lesse, Diffe­rence. those things, which you value a­bove Christ, are most hurtfull, for 1.1 riches like thornes do prick the very hearts of their owners, yea, pierce them thorow with many sorrows, and drown men in destruction and perdi­tion, when they be so greedy, and co­vetous after them, 1 Tim. 6.9, 10.

2.2 Pleasures, like the Amb [...]. de [...], Mu [...] cap. 6. anglers bait, have a hooke hid under their enticing sweetnesse wherewith those, that are inconsiderate, are caught and killed, Luke 16.19, 23, 25.

3.3 The like may be said of honours, ambitiously desired, and pursued, that thereby men are caught as with s [...]ares, which the Devill layeth for them, to carry them along with him into everlasting fire, prepared for him, and all such, as are like him for pride, and other wicked qualities, Matth. 25.41. Mal. 4.1.

6. Whereupon it comes to passe, Diffe­rence. that, whereas Christ is most sweet, those [Page 135]other things, which you esteeme a­bove Christ, are, or will be in the end most bitter, the best fruit, that can grow from them, is Si [...]e Ari­stoi [...]ler mone­hat ut v [...]., [...] con­templem [...], non venien­ [...]s sed abe­ [...], ve [...] [...] enim [...] specie blandiuntur, abeuntes do­ [...]rem & p [...]aitentiam relinq [...]unt. repentance and re­morse of conscience for sweet meat must have sower sauce.

7. And whereas Christ is most sure, they are most uncertaine and unstable. For instance, 1. See 1 Tim. 6.17▪ how riches are said to be uncertain, and ri­ches saith Solomon, betakes her selfe to her wings, like an Eagle, Prov. 23.5. and therefore the forme of money agree­eth well with the condition of it. For it is stamped round, Diffe­rence. because it is so apt to run from him, that owneth it.1

2.2 The same may be spoken of Ho­nours, that as in a wheele the spoke that now is upward, is by and by down­ward: so he that now liveth in pompe and honour may be shortly so dethro­ned from his greatnesse, as that he may be little the better for all former happinesse. Thus a great King once applyed the unstablenesse of a wheele, when being dejected from the top of his prosperity, and taken prisoner, he [Page 136]was inforced to drive a chario [...] (which indignity was added to his former dis­asters, as a complement of his calami­ty) as those wheeles turne round, said he, so doe mens conditions change likewise, they that are high on a sud­den are brought low.

3. And are not Pleasures as varia­ble? are they not said to be but for a season? Heb. 11.25. and to passe away, 1 Iohn 2.17. and doe we not find it so, that as a bird in the aire, and as a ship in the sea under sayle, and a post upon the land hasteneth away: so pleasures of all sorts doe post Fluit vo­luptas & prima quae (que) evolat Cic. 2. de sin and fly away from us? No longer then the meat and drinke is in our throats, and other pleasant things are in use, doe we, or can we perceive any pleasantnesse at all; the consideration whereof, caused In the advance­ment of learning, l. 1. Vitium solū nomen habet voluptatis absequere. Chrys. [...] 1 Cor. 6. one to affirme, that therefore they are no pleasures, but rather deceits of pleasures, because after they be used, their vigor presently Vra cum satietate mo­ritur memo­ria v [...]pta­tis, sic 2. effi [...]. expireth, and departeth, and is no longer to be per­ceived.

Thereupon a Thriver [...] Apoph [...]. wife man wisely con­cludes, [Page 137]that as Esops dog, being delu­ded with a vaine shadow of flesh, lost the true flesh: so they are likewise all deceived, who in stead of the true de­lights of the soule, consisting in ver­tue, hunt after the vanishing plea­sures of the flesh; answerably where­unto, say I, may we affirme the very same of those, who leaving Christ, that is most firmly and unchangeably plea­sant, embrace with Demas the transito­ry pleasures of this present world; [...] Tim 4, 10 & I de­sire you who are such, to lay it to heart, and to thinke seriously of it, that you may change your minds, before God change your conditions, which for ought I know may be very shortly.

3. And are not all these things, Differēce. which you doe so dote upon, most base and low, even much below your immortall and heavenly borne spirits, whereas Christ is most high and sub­lime; and therefore were much fitter for your high and immateriall soules, then those base things here below? Take a survey of some of them:

1. What is Beauty in men or wo­men, [Page 138]but a little colour [...]d skin, cove­ring raw flesh; and sometimes, much rotten stuffe, Non intel­ligo quid tantopere ex­petendumha­beat iste non solidus, nec in ipso homine, nise super [...]icie [...]e [...]nus fu [...]gens, decor, multa­que faeda c [...]ategens, & [...]erre [...]da, [...]aendissimo­ [...]e [...]utis o [...] ­ [...]entu. s [...]nsi­ [...] blandi­ [...]ns & illu­d [...]s [...] in [...]pist ad [...]. and corrupt matter, that lyeth hid under a faire outside, as that faire Emperour of Rome once wrote to a friend of his, so as that Gods word might well say, that favour is deceit­full and beauty vaine, Prov. 31.30? and is there no difference then between this vaine, and Christs matchlesse fairenesse, both inward and outward? and is not that same fitter for your sublime spirits, then that which is so low and vain?

2. What is Meat, which the base glutton preferres before Christ, but a morsell of a dead bird, or beast, or some other livelesse creature, too low an object for man, who being the master-peece of earthly creatures, and Lord of them all, should infinitely preferre the Lord Christ, who being most sublime, and the very food of the soule, is most fit for his uns [...]tiable ap­petite, and for his aspiring Spirit?

3. What is Wine, which the drun­kard preferreth before Christ, but on­ly [Page 139]the refined blood of the vine, which springs up from the earth, too low an object also for a man inspired with an immortall soule, which he should ra­ther inebriate and make drunke with the blood of that high and coelestiall vine, which came down from heaven, to satiate our thirsty soules on earth?

4.4 What are Clothes, but either the excrements of wormes, or the haires and coats of beasts, borrowed of them, or rather taken from them by violence? which caused Er [...]sm l. 8. Ap [...]pht▪ once Demo­nax to checke a vaine man for being proud upon his purple clothes, whis­pering these words into his eares;

Heus tu, haec ante tegestabat ovis,
This a sheep did weare before you

Compare then that which comes from beasts here below with Christ, who comes from above, and is a farre more fitter object for your immortall spirits, which he is most willing to clothe with himselfe, as with a Rev. 3.17 gar­ment, more glorious then the sun, that so you may scorne to set a higher prize upon so low and base an object, as [Page 140]your cloathes are, then upon Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, and upon the garment of his salvation.

5.5 And what is applause but a little vanishing breath, and a passing sound, which also is to low an object for that immortall breath, which breatheth in your humane breasts, and should be fed with no such corrupted aire, exha­ling from sinfull and corrupt men; but with the incorruptible, high, and hea­venly spirit of Christ, and with his everlasting and bright shining glo­ry?

6.6 Againe, what is wealth, gold I meane and silver, but a little shining clay, and painted earth? too low an object likewise for such lofty spirits, as lodge in these your breasts, who should rather pant after those high and hea­venly, and incorruptible treasures and riches that are in Christ, Col. 2.3. in whom dwelleth all the fulnesse of the God­head, which is the fountaine of all ri­ches Scilicet [...] [...]ntialite [...], praesentialiter & potenti­aliter. Durand Ra­tion div of­fis. l. 6 f. 106 9. Differē [...]e bodily, Col. 2.9.

7. And lastly, whereas in Christ are all desirables it may be truly said of [Page 141]all other earthly things, which are so preferred before Christ, that there is none of them all so absolute or con­tenting and satisfactory, as that one might say, now I have enough, I de­sire no more. Will you see instances? Let a man empty all the spicy Islands of their fragrant spices, and let him evacuate all the richest mines in America of their most precious mi­nerals, and let him find out the Philo­sophers stone, if he may possibly be gotten, and then let him turne all that he touches with it into beaten and shi­ning gold; and besides all this, let him empty the Erythrean seas of their ori­ent and brightest pearles; nay, let him ingrosse and get into his hands the whole materiall, and most spacious world, which the ancient Poets have called [...], that is, infinite, by rea­son of his vastenesse, and incredible bignesse, in its Quem ambitum quidam esse [...]olunt [...]uca­rum, ga [...]licu­rum novem millium, & amplius, al [...]j autem habe­re Leucas decies mille & ducentas Danaeus phys. Christ. tract. 3. c. 23. circumference.

And yet I dare say, that all this will not, yea, cannot satisfie the infinite and immeasurable appetite of his tri­angled and unsatisfiable heart: For [Page 142]how can such a round globe as the world is, fill a triangle? and what saith the wisest King that ever swayed scep­ter upon earth: He that loveth silver, shall not be satisfied with silver, Eccles. 9.5.

Hence Val. Max. l. 8. c. 15. Alexander that great Pel­lean Monarch, having a world of king­domes, yet weeps, and takes on, and is discontented, because he heard that there was but one world for him to conquer; whereas his inlarged heart did wish that there had been many more.

2. Let a man drinke in pleasures like a river, and let him fill his belly with the most exquisite and delicious varieties of meat and drinke, let him have the Vnus Pel­ [...]eo juveni nonsuffi [...]it orbis, Aestuat — in­saelix angu­sto limine mundi. Juvenal. fairest woman in the worlds circumference, and let him please his eares with the most ravishing and en­chanting musicall harmonies; and yet I dare say, he will not be pleased, but find a vexation and wearinesse, and and unsatisfiablenesse, and emptines, even in the affluence and fulnesse of all these earthly Paradises, if you will Captus est quis amo [...]e faeminae p [...]l chrae quomo­do to qu [...]tur antequam [...]a fruitur, & cum fruitur, & post oest il lib [...]di [...]is vo­luptas com­pescitur, ubi ergo voluptus cum nec in i [...]itio, nec sine posset re­periri. Chrys. in 1 Cor. 9. [Page 143]not beleeve me, beleeve Solomon, who for his part enjoyed as much pleasure as was possibly to be taken in the most dainty dishes, or sweetest wines, or beautifullest women, or the most plea­sing and melodious musicke, as you may read, Eccles. 2. I said in my heart, goe to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therfore enjoy pleasures, &c. ver. 1. again, I sought in my heart to give my selfe to wine, ver. 3. I gate me men-singers, and women-singers, and the delights of the sonnes of men, as musicall instruments, and that of all sorts, ver. 8. and whatso­ever mine eyes desired, I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoyceth in all my la­bours, ver. 10. adde his seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred con­cubines, 1 King. 1 [...].3. and his daily de­licate provision of Harts, Ro-bucks, and Fallow-Deare, and fatted foule, besides fatted oxen and sheep, 1 King. 4.22, 23.

And yet at last he could draw no other conclusion from all such premi­ses, but the very same which I have [Page 144]here set downe, affirming that a man shall find in the end even an emptines and wearinesse, and trouble in the very fulnesse of all such pleasing and fugitive follies. Heare him speake, I said of laughter thou art mad, and of mirth what doth it, ver. 2. Again, then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, &c. and behold all was va­nity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sunne; and therefore I said, that onely in the sunne, that is, in Christ the sun of righteousnesse, and not under the sunne, or in things be­low this sun, there are or can be all de­sirables.

3. Let a man have as much honour as the fishes in the great ocean have water; let him even swim in the prai­ses of men, and let him flye upon the wings of fame, and soare as high as an Eagle, let him draw in the breath of a world of applauding flatterers, yea, let him live by such breath as the Acrem illi aliquando pro cibo cer­tum est. Nam & annum integrum inediam to­lerat, & ex­cepta hiatu aura clausis q [...]e malis turgidum ventrem ostentat. Lonston. Thaumat [...]gr. Nat. class 7. cap. 13. Cha­maeleon doth by the aire, and yet I dare say that all that aiery and glitte­ring glory will not content the most [Page 145]eager and greedy desire of his aspiring and unsatisfiable breath, or soule, [...] Psal. 24. Quod affini­tatem habet cum [...] honorabilis. which ever craves more till he doe fill it, who is called the King of glory, and God Almighty, or all-sufficient, and all-honourable, Gen. 17.1. See Est. 3. how restlesse, and how discontented ambitious Haman was, even then, when Ahasuerus had promoted him, and set his seat above all the Princes that were with him, ver. 1. because Mordecai, a poore despised Jew, who sate in the gate, and did not bow to him, the text saith, he was full of wrath, ver. 5.

None of all his mounting greatnes and towring honour could then satis­fie his vexed and discontented mind; which shewes how small a matter will marre and unglorifie all the stateliest pomp, and most refulgent and admi­red glory of the world; every poore caitife, and most vilest wretch; refu­sing to adore it, and to stoop thereun­to, is able to eclipse it, and to create even a little hell in the aspiring mind of a vaine-glorious person, who there­fore, [Page 146]as a Nam certe quot homines in populo sunt, tot vin­culis con­stringitur ambitiosus, tot dominis subijcitur. Ch [...]ys. in Mat. 12. hom. 42. l 2 mihi. p. 334. father saith wel, may be said to have as many Lords, unto whom he is subject, as there be men among all the people, among which he li­veth, though in his mind he doe des­pise them all, so that honour cannot possibly satisfie. If Alexander get up into the imperiall throne of Darius, and be made a Monarch of the world, yet that will not content and suffice his ascending and lofty mind, but he must needs be Deified too, and called a Quint. Curt l 6. p. 257. God, and Iupiter in stead of King King Philip must be his father. Good God, what will not the restlesse soules of men doe and desire, when they be out of Christ, who onely can and must satiate our endlesse appetites, being himselfe all desirables, and the onely ocean of all desirables, whence they doe originally flow, and whether they doe finally returne: so as that Paulinus might well say of him, as he did in the want of all things, Tu es mihi omnia, thou Lord art to me in stead of all things. Have what you will, desire what you will, and yet you shall want [Page 147]one thing or other still, till you come home to Christ, and he be unto you all in all. The Lord open your eyes, that you may now see all these diffe­rences clearly, and weigh them duely, and compare them together wisely, that so you may chuse at last the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom are all desira­bles, unfainedly, and also may be saved everlastingly. Amen, Good Lord, let it be even so, if it be thy will to have it so.

SECT. 13. Of Blockishnesse, the second Let.

THe second let which here must be pulled away, is Blockishnesse, The second Let, is Blockish­nesse. wher­by many men and women are so stupi­fied, as that they care as little for this rose of Sharon, as a great many of your blockish countrey people care for other roses, though they have great store of them in the countrey: For they doe not conceive that they may [Page 148]be sicke and stand in some need of them, and therefore they will not take the paines to gather them, and to preserve them against a time of faintnesse or sicknesse which may hap­pen; Nor doe a great many men among us once seriously thinke upon the evill day, when Christ the rose of Sharon will doe a man more good then this whole world, if it were turned in­to one entire lump of gold, nay, they doe even purposely put off all such pensive thoughts as now and then doe mind them of such a day: Like that timorous King of France, who char­ged all his followers, that they should not once name before him that most dreadfull, fearfull name of death; they doe not desire to thinke that ere long they must sicken, and dye, and come to judgement; and therefore, though we Ministers tell them never so much of Christ, and doe even fill their eares with Christ, and make them even weary to heare so much of Christ, yet can we doe them no good, because they be so blockish, as that they can­not [Page 149] or will not remember their latter end. So that needs thou must remove out of the way this blocke, if thou be yet out of Christ, and remember that a day is comming, even a day of dark­nesse, and of gloominesse, a day of clouds, and of thicke darknesse, Ioel 2.2. when thou shalt lie downe upon thy death-bed, in thy last sicknesse, unlesse God take thee away suddenly. When the Tremell. in Eccles. 12.keepers of the house, thine armes shall tremble, and the Idem. [...]b.strong men, thy knees shall bow themselves, and the grinders, thy teeth, I mean, shall cease, and those that looke out at the windowes, even those very eyes of thine shall be darkened, when friends will be trou­blesome unto thee, thy servants or those that shall keep thee, will not be able to please thee, when speaking will spend thee, and silence grieve thee, and thy wife and children, those pie­ces of thy selfe, in another kind, wee­ping about thee will torment thee, and when thy feet will begin to grow cold, and thy face to waxe pale, thy lips and mouth to retire, thine eyes [Page 150]to pitch, thy tongue to faile, thy teeth to close, thy breath to faint, thy heart to beat and ake; and when the me­mory, the magazine of the soule, as Manchest [...]r al mondo. one aptly termes it, will recount all that thou hast done, thought, or spo­ken, and Satan, yea, many devils and malignant spirits will in this thy last assault with combine forces sur­round thy bed, and lay to thy charge what thou now slightest, even thy most abhorred underprizing and un­dervaluing of the Lord Christ, and thy wilfull neglect of a number of golden seasons, and precious duties, besides an infinite multitude of other most grievous and haynous abomina­tions, youthfull lusts, and execrable pollutions, extortions, oathes, cur­sings, revilings, and the like, which will most bitterly aggravate the unex­pressable N [...]m dolor est s [...]lutio continui. Cur [...]us de se [...]s. l. 2. c. 4? So that the dissolution of soul and body most nearly compacted, must needs be excee­ding great. paine of death, who in the meane while will put thy whole dying body into a most grievous and coldest sweat, as an infallible P. Boaysiu­an in suo th [...]a [...]ro mun­di, l. 3 p. 147. evidence that nature is now vanquish [...]d, yea, will be sure to batter chiefly thy once strong­est [Page 151]castle the heart, straightening and d [...]stressing it round on every side, and bur [...]ing the very strings of it, to make the last fatall breath, and to fetch out by force and maine strength thy poore and trembling soule, and to deliver it, if thou dye out of Christ (which God forbid) unto his fellow, [...] death, to be tormented for [...] ever: For therefore it is [...] 12 20. thou foole, this night [...] be required of thee, [...]. or [...] require thy soule of thee. [...] who they be, thinke ye? [...] death, and the second, one succeeding, as it were, and seconding the other; Seriously. and therefore I beseech you,Freq [...]ētly think but seriously and frequent­ly on this your last sicknesse, and upon your latter end, which is approaching, and be not so blockish as formerly you have been: For then, as the little Bee, which so soone as flowers spring, goeth abroad, vieweth the gay diape­ry, and the variety of the sweetest flowers, growing in the coloured fields, fraights her thighes, maketh a [Page 152]curious combe, and so betimes hoards up honey in the pleasant summer against the cold, sad and troublesome winter: so you cannot chuse but take this golden opportunity, which God in mercy offereth you, causing the most sweetest rose of Sharon, even Je­sus Christ himselfe, blessed for ever, to spring, as it were, and to appeare. Here before you, I say you cannot but goe forth now forthwith, & use the means formerly shewed, that you may sucke, provide, and get, I will not say a little corruptible honey out of this my text, which is Christs owne speech; but Christ himselfe, who is sweeter then honey, though it be made never so pleasant with the most fragrant roses, against that most heavy, most grie­vous, and sorrowfull winter of your latter end, which is to come.

The Lord make you thinke upon it, that you may not neglect or for-slow this most pleasant summer day of your most gracious visitation, in the which the Lord Christ doth so bles­sedly appeare unto you in his blessed [Page 153]word, and proffers himselfe unto you so lovingly and pleasantly, like a rose full fresh and faire in the field.

SECT. 14. Of Basenesse, the third Let.

3. AS some base people will not gather roses to bestrow their cloathes and roomes with the same, Let. Basenesse. though they smell most odiously and abominably, because they can endure any sent, and make no reckoning of it, being used to it: so carnall men and women are so base and sordid, as that they will not get Christ, because they are so accustomed to the filthy smell of sin, as that they doe scarse perceive it themselves, though a stranger to them, who is not used to such an abo­minable sent, doe smell it quickly; and therefore, I pray you be sensible of this basenesse, and remaine it by la­bouring to be sensible of those odious smels, which your filthy hearts doe [Page 154]continually exhale and send forth, as it is written, that every imagination of the thoughts of mans heart (by nature) is onely evill continually, Gen. 6.6. and that out of the heart proceed evill thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witnesse, blasphemies, which defile a man, Mat. 15.19, 20.

Doe ye not smell these abominati­ons brethren (I speake but to the guil­ty) nay should ye not perceive them? how can you chuse? every body that knowes you, cannot but take notice of you how basely you carry your selves, and how strangely you be overswayed with fiercenesse and anger, and with monstrous pride, which doth even stinke before God and man, and some­times with filthy avarice, and other times with that detestable sinne of drunkennesse; and therefore seeing others note you, can you not, and should you not observe it in your selves, being privy to your very hearts and most secret and reserved imagi­nations, which others know not so well as you? Well you know that [...]f [Page 155]one doe stirre in a dunghill, and put it abroad, it will stink so much more then it did before, so as that one must needs smell it, and I doubt not but if you shall stirre but a little in this matter, 1. [...]an­sacking your hearts; and 2. ripping up your lives, and sitting them exactly, you shall smell more of your odious sinnes then ever you did; and there­fore, search your selves, and so labour to come to the sight and sense of all your abominations, that you may get Christ to sweeten you, as roses doe sweeten our houses.

And here looke back a little I pray you to the second branch of the se­cond generall use tending to convi­ction: For I confesse that there is such a neare affinity between this let and that use, as that one may be said to embrace & to re-imbrace the other, and that both agree in one, I meane in one end principally. For as there I did labour to make men see that they are out of Christ by the ill savour of their abominable thoughts, words and works to fit them for Christ, and [Page 156]for the meanes to be used for the get­ting of Christ, that they may see what need they have of Christ: so here I strive againe to make men sensible, if I can, of that same odious savour, up­braiding them with their execrable basenesse, that I may take away that which letteth, after men have heard much of Christ, and know what they must doe to obtaine Christ, pressing them before and behinde, as fighting souldiers are wont to doe in the wars, to make some yeeld, who yet will stand it out and maintaine the field against Christ, supposing that they are for Christ, and Christs already, and need not goe to Christ, when indeed they are against Christ, as may ap­peare by the odious sent of their cor­rupt hearts and lives, both to others, and to themselves, but to themselves especially.

Brethren, this is my aime I tell you, and therefore I have purposely super­added this lot of Basenesse, not for­getting my selfe what I had said in the former use of conviction, but intend­ing [Page 157]to second that by this, because I know that else all my preaching and my labour will be in vaine, if men be not made sensible of the most odious sent of their abominable deeds; and on the contrary, that if men doe once smell the intolerable stinch of their very dearest and most delicious sins, they will then labour as much as they can for that sweet rose of Sharon, Jesus Christ, to perfume and to sweeten their most corrupt and filthy hearts: For doe we not see how men will fetch roses, and other flowers and perfumes to perfume their roomes, if by reason of one that dyed of a fil­thy disease, and stinks most abomina­bly, they cannot otherwise stay in their houses, as not being able to en­dure the odious and pestilent sent wherewith the dead corps doth fill the same? and therefore I doe pro­portionably conclude, that if men were but or could be sensible of that infinitely more abominable and ex­ecrable smell, which that body of death, even sinne within their hearts [Page 158]evaporates, and sends forth conti­nually out of their hearts, they would not goe so as they doe with­out Christ that heart-sweetning rose of Sharon; but rather cry out as those, Acts 2.37. What shall we doe to get Christ, that he may take away this most odious sent, which we are no longer able to endure; and with the Apostle, Rom. 7.24. O wretched men that wee are, who will deli­ver us from that stinking body of death? Oh that Christ would doe it! and oh that we were but able to get Christ to doe it.

SECT. 15. Of Brutishnesse, the fourth Let.

4. THere is much brutishnesse like­wise in the hearts of a great many men and women, Let. Brutishnes. which keeps them from Christ: For as the bruit beasts are all for grasse, and care not for roses, so are they altogether for their victuals and belly cheare, and sensuall delights, as that they doe not at all regard Christ. See Luke 14.20. how one of the guests there invited to the great supper, doth upon this very ground refuse to come, I have married a wife, saith he, and therefore, I cannot come. Marke, I cannot come perempto­rily, whereas the former desired to be excused onely, which plainly shewes, how hard it is for a Luxuriosi enim per ter­tium intelli­guntur. Durand. Ration. l. 6. fol. 157. luxurious person to come to Christ, who is the good cheare of that great supper; wherefore be divorced, I pray you from luxury, [Page 160]which is the wife there meant, and withdraw your selves but a little from your pleasures, sports, meat, drinke, and carnall company; and then consi­der of this businesse which doth so much concerne the eternall welfare of your never dying soules, for then and not till then there is hope that you will care more for Christ then ever you did yet. Take one Conside­rations of eternity. p. 244. Theodo­rus for an example, when as a great fe­stival day was kept through all Egypt, a great feast was at his fathers house, and many were invited to it, some of whom did dance, and others laugh, and were merry, he retired himselfe into his closet, and expostulated with himselfe thus: unhappy Theodore, is it according to Christian religion to passe from delights to delights! either I am much deceived, or else Christ hath shewed us another way into the kingdome of heaven; whereupon, as he prayed, that God would not suffer him to die eternally, and wept, in comes his mother and telleth him, that he is looked for; but he excusing [Page 161]himselfe send her away againe, say­ing that he was not well in his fro­macke. Thus being alone, he confer­red with God and himselfe a [...]out eter­nity, and of his former course what am I? or what have I been? or how will it be with me hereafter? there are divers helps to heaven: I'le goe that way which is most convenient for me, but my friends will grieve at it? what then? but must I doe it now in my youth? that is hard; so it is in­deed to flesh and bloud; but experi­ence hath taught that late services are seldome good. Therefore, Now, but I have been tenderly brought up, shall I be able to live so strictly? I hope I shall, but it is a hard matter to strive against custome: I have hitherto lived like a nobleman, and shall I now live like a poore man? Theodore, what thinkest thou? canst thou doe so? I'le strive what I may, Christ is gone but a little before me, shall not I fol­low him? Therefore farewell all the world, and the things that are in it, I care not for you, farwell, I say all, but [Page 162]welcome eternity, thou art the onely thing I seeke after, my soule longeth after thee, there is nothing that I de­sire in comparison of thee. With that bent of cogitations he resolved to be­come one of Pachomius his schollars, and did so, saith my author, and as he did thus leave a feast, and all, and mu­sed on eternity, and reasoned the mat­ter with his owne soule, when he was alone, and so welcomed eternity, and resolved to be a follower of Pachomi­us: so say I, doe you in like manner, first retire your selves, setting apart one whole day of fasting at least, and then, secondly, reason the matter with your selves concerning Christ, that so you may yet embrace and welcome Christ, and become his followers and disciples, which the Lord in mercy grant that it may be so.

SECT. 16. Of Bitternesse, the fifth Let.

THe fifth impediment is bitternesse. Let is Bitternesse. For as a rose of its quality is Galen. l 7. simpl. Medi­cam. bit­ter: so Christ is somewhat bitter too,1 or seemes to be so in regard, 1. of the law, whose bitternesse he that will come to Christ, must taste of Gal. 3.24. before he can taste how sweet the Lord Christ is, Psal. 34.8. 2. in re­gard of those bitter troubles and per­secutions,2 which attend those that will live godly in Christ, 2 Tim. 3.12. and retard and hinder many from com­ming to Christ; but that must not dis­courage you, my dearly beloved: For as the bitternesse is great first, and the troubles many, that such must taste of, who come to Christ: so the comforts and the sweetnesses to be found in Christ both here and hereafter are great, and many, yea, infinitely grea­ter, [Page 164]and more then all your greatest and manifold discomforts can possi­bly be; for so saith the Apostle, 2 Cor. 1.5. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. See also, Esa. 7.22. also, 1 Pet. 1.8. and 2 Cor. 4.17. Oh that you did but know what it is to be in Christ, and with Christ; and oh that you could but taste once and feele what some have felt and tasted, even that joy un­speakable and full of glory! For then you would never complaine of any bitter­nesse, that is in Christ, even as he that tastes and takes roses conserved with sugar, never complaineth of any bit­ternesse, that he finds in the same ro­ses, because their bitternesse is taken away by the abundance of sugar which swee [...]eth them: Nay, you would ra­ther cry out (with Peter in Christs transfiguration) Lord, it is good for us to be here, Matth. 17.4. and there­fore I pray you consider what I say, and tell me no more of that bitternesse which Christ himselfe will take away with the abundance of sugred com­forts, [Page 165]whererewith he will overswee­ten all your discomforts.

SECT. 17. Of Businesse, the sixth Let.

6.Impedi­ment. Businesse. THe last impediment is Busines [...] For as some worldly people are so busie and greedy still, as that they will afford themselves no time to provide or to gather r [...]ses to preserve them against a time of need: so there are not a few, who plunge themselves so deeply in a sea of businesses, as that they can never be at le [...]sure to thinke seriously either on Christ himselfe or on the gracious meanes whereby they should labour to g [...]t Christ; and hence it comes to passe, that they also goe still without Christ. See Luke 14.18, 19. how some that were invited to the foresaid great and blessed supper, put it off; one saith, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs goe, marke, needs goe, and see it, I pray thee [Page 166]have me excused, Vnde V [...]rsus V [...]a, bove [...], uxor c [...]enam clausere veca­ [...]s, Mundus, cura, caro cael [...]m clau­sere ren [...]tis. Durand Ra­tion [...] vi. [...] l 6. to. 157. and another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I goe to prove them, I pray thee have me excused, both are wholly for this world, and wholly taken up with the cares of this life; and therefore they cannot come to taste how sweet the Lord Christ is, who is the cheare pro­vided for those that come to that most happy supper of the great God of heaven Wherefore that the same may not befall you, doe not you pre­tend businesse, [...]. P [...]utarch. saying, as once Antipa­ter, King of Macedon, said to one who profered him a treatise tending to happinesse, I am not at leasure: so we are not nor can be at leisure to thinke on this matter. For lo I tender unto you such a subject and theme, as ten­deth to everlasting happinesse, and therefore you ought to be at leisure, and put off all businesse rather then Christ, who is that one most needfull rose of Sharon, which you must prefer before a thousand worlds, were they all composed of the finest gold, and brimfull with the richest orient pearls. [Page 167]I pray you thinke on it, that you may put your selves indeed upon the use of those gracious meanes, which in great mercy the God of mercy hath by his unworthiest messenger made knowne unto you, for the getting of the Lord Jesus Christ, blessed for ever, putting aside all other imployments whatso­ever: For then, and not till then there is hope that so many words (spoken now, and heretofore) will not be as water spilt upon the ground, and as a sound vanishing in the aire; but rather that you will labour for Christ with all the might and strength you can.

To it then, to it, my deare friends, Branch. whom now it concernes in the second place to follow all these my perswasi­ons: As I said at first, that as I must la­bour to remove the Lets now disco­vered by speaking, and perswading: so you must pull them away by obeying. You have heard how blindnesse, bloc­kishnesse, basenesse, brutishnesse, busi­nesse, bitternesse, are the posts where­upon your tottering wils doe stand; and you know how earnestly I have [Page 168]exhorted you all this while to pull them downe, and that is all I can doe; but now you must not thinke that all is done when I have done, No, No, but you must then begin to be most busie, when you neither heare nor see me at home in your closets, as I told you: you must thinke on this matter seri­ously, ponder all things understand­ingly, and labour to yeeld obedience in all things conscio [...]ably, that so con­sequently you may carry away Christ for your labour most joyfully, having devolved and overcome all those un­happy Lets most blessedly; and there­fore when you come home doe not, as you were wont, ca [...] for meat, drinke, worke, company, sports, delights; but rather call upon your poore soules, to whom this word of exhortation is sent, and le [...] them recount all that you have heard and are able to recall, and so fall to the worke which I provided for you at this time, that is, fall a pul­ling, and shaking; and see if by any means you may pull away these sixe postes or Lets, labouring as for life to [Page 169]see a difference between Christ * and all earthly things whatsoever, A [...], o [...] Recapitu­ [...]ation an­nexed to this [...]inall exhorta­tion. by comparing one with the other, and to be seriously mindfull of your latter end, and to be truly sensible of the odiousnesse of your most filthy sinnes, and to weane your selves from your former brutishnesse, which you have too too much discovered by your most eager pursuite after sensuall and brutish delights, who have hitherto kept you from Christ, and to cast of all businesse whatsoever for Christ his sake; and if you find this to be a taske too heavy for you, then, as Sampson be­ing minded to throw downe the house in the which the Lords of the Phili­stines were, besides three thousand men and women, and finding himself too weake and unable for so great a worke, prayed unto the Lord his God, and said, ô Lord God, remember me, Jud. 16.27, 28, 29, 30. I pray thee, onely this once, ô God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes, and so tooke hold of the two middle pil­lars upon which the house stood, and [Page 170]on which it was borne up the one with his right hand, and the other with his left, and bowed himselfe with all his might, and threw down the house, which fell upon the Lords, and upon all the people that were therein, and slew them? so pray ye unto the same God, saying, O Lord God, remember us this time, O God, that we may be able to pull downe these sixe pillars or postes whereon our tottering wils doe stand, that they may come down, and there­upon we may be fitted, as being deje­cted for the Lord Jesus Christ blessed for ever, and so lay hold on all the sixe postes or Lets, and pull them with all your might, and then see whether, if you be both earnest and constant in your endeavours, your wils and all these Lets will not come downe? and whether all your lordly sinnes will not thereupon be even crushed, Like the Philistines by the mighty power of Christ, of whom Sampson was a type, there being no blocke in the way, to keep him from you, or you from him. [Page 171]The Lord strengthen you, that you may be able to goe through this great and mighty worke, which must bring you along to Christ, for Jesus Christ his sake, our alone most deare and glo­rious Redeemer, to whom be glory for ever. Amen. Rom. 11.36.

SECT. 18. An exhortation to Gods people to be more for Christ then ever they were.

2. THis point may serve to incline the wills of Gods people: This ser­veth to in­cline the wills of Gods peo­ple yet more to Christ­ward.

1. To be more for Christ then ever they were.

2. To make more use of Christ then ever they did.

For the first,1 I say they should be more for Christ then ever they were, manifesting so much;

I. By a happy undervaluing of all earthly vanities in comparison of Christ.

II. By a holy willingnesse to be with Christ.

III. By a mighty care to keep Christ still.

1. To begin with the first of these particulars, how willing should all Gods people be to preferre the Lord Christ before all things else here be­low, even as they would preferre roses before nettles, and thistles, and things of no value; for,

1. Christ, [...]. being like a rose, will comfort us, Iohn 14.18. where as worldly riches, and honours, and plea­sures will but vexe and sting us, as you have formerly heard.

2. Being like a rose, he is most 1 [...] [...].2. G [...]d. precious: For [...] Rom [...]s fuit [...]. roses were ever highly esteemed; among the * Ro­mans especially.

3. Gro [...]. John. [...] [...] Egor [...]a Sharon. Christ is a rose still: For he saith not I have been, but I the * rose of Sha­ron, indefinitely, and remarkably, not nominating any [...]me past, present, or to come, to shew that he is not a rose for a time onely, as other fading roses are, though in many other respects he [Page 173]be like a rose, No, but that he is a rose still, faire still, precious still, fresh still, even the immortall and everliving God, Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, Rev. 1.

True it is, that this sweet rose once withered a little, when Christ died, but it was onely for a little while, and according to his humane nature, that he died; for his divine nature could not postibly suffer, or die, being im­mortall, 1 Tim. 1.17. and his humane nature rose againe likewise the third day, 1 Cor. 15.4. Like a true Phoenix, which burneth himselfe to ashes, and so dieth, and revives again wholly the third day, and then returne to his own place, as Epiph. phy­sol, c. 11. de ph [...]eni [...]. [...] ionem faciunt hu­ [...] avis Tortullianus quoque, Ambrosius, [...]illus, Ar­te [...]ido [...]s, & alij. Epiphanius records it.

Thus Christ for his part is a rose still durable and permanent, seeing he ever liveth, Heb. 7.25. but all earthly things else are fading, vanishing, mu­table. I'le instance in a man that swims in honour, wealth, and pleasures, and flourishes, like a rose for a time.

There is one who writes of a fa­mous Physician of Cracaw, that he [Page 174]did so Sili [...]et magni nomi­nis apud Cracovienses Medicus e­rat, qui adeo eleganter ap­parabat cine­rem ex om­nibus plantae partibus, u [...] omnes earum scitè conser­varet spiritus Cinis, admo­ta vasculo candela ali­quanto iaca les [...]ens apertae rosae emitte­bat spe [...]iem, quam sensim cres [...]ere, ve­ [...]tari, ac formam peni­tus caulis fo­liorum, ac geminae de­ni (que) storide re [...]e um­bram expri­mere tandem explicatissi­mam rosam produccre in­tueri licebat, red bat in pulver [...] igne remoto. Rosenberg. Rhodoing. cap ult. artificially apt and fit ashes of all the parts of a rose plant, as that he did preserve the spirits thereof; inso­much as that, when he did bring neare it a candle and heate it, one might see the forme of a perfect rose, which af­terward returned againe to dust, when the fire and heate was removed. Thus he: whether his relation be true or false I know not; but this I am sure of, that however man, being raised of the dust, and warmed with a living soule, may make a faire shew, and seeme to be like a rose in his flourishing estate, if God doe but blow out his candle, and take away that heate which must preserve his naturall life, he returne to dust, from the which he is taken, and then all his thoughts perish, his plea­sures perish, his faire lineaments pe­rish, his honour likewise and glory doth perish, and all his goods vanish; for he carrieth nothing with him but a winding sheet of all his abundance. See Esa. 40.6. All flesh is grasse, and all the goodlinesse thereof as the flowers of the field. The grasse withereth, the flower [Page 175]fadeth, because the spirit of the Lord flow­eth upon it.

Wherefore let us looke upon all earthly Paradises with a most disdain­full eye, and scornfull countenance, and trample under with the feet of a holy contempt all sublunary fading, and flowry prosperity, Like that my­sticall woman, Rev. 12.1. and let the Lord Jesus Christ be alone exalted, and mounted in our truly beleeving hearts. Let him reigne there, and sit upon his Throne as King, and have the preheminence as our dread and soveraigne Lord, whose glorious ex­cellency, ravishing beauty, and inex­plicable delightfulnesse doth more then infinitely transcend the utmost and height of all earthly felicities, rai­sed above the highest possibility by the most inventive and strongest ima­gination of any meere humane brain, and extended to the very last end of the world, or that length of time you can imagine.

2. Be more willing then ever you were to be with Christ.

1. Here.

2. Hereafter.

1 Here, seeing he is thus like a rose, and therefore Rosa quip­pe p [...]ae caete­ris [...]ribus cohere [...] ­ctat, odore re [...]cal, & sapore com­f [...]rt [...]t d [...] ­ctat in vis [...], reercat in ol­fact [...], & comfortat in gustu. Durand. Ra­tion div of­fi [...]d. 6. p. 121. most faire, most sweet, most pleasant; for the rose de­lights us more then any flower * saith Durand, by its colour, and recreates us more by its odour, and comforteth us more by its taste. I am sure you will grant, that if a woman were joyned by matrimoniall copulation to a hus­band, as faire as Absalom, and as plea­sant as Ionathan, she should not desire to goe abroad among other men for content; but rather keep home and satiate her selfe with that passing de­light, which she may take in so sweet a companion, nay should even infinite­ly long to be where he is, rather then any where else.

Well, Christ Jesus to whom all you, who are Gods people, are most bles­sedly united, and married in a mysti­call and ineffable manner, is fairer then Absalom, pleasanter then Iona­than: For he is like a rose, yea, he pas­ses any rose, as I noted formerly. For [Page 177]fairenesse and pleasantnesse, being the author of that fairenesse and sweet­nesse, which is in all roses created, and therefore I said but now that he is most faire. And should ye not then desire to be with Christ rather then any where and with any creature else? nay, should ye not even be restlesse as long as you be out of his blessed light, and sweetest company? and should ye not even be in paine, and regardlesse of all things else, if therein you can­not meet with your deare love Christ? Remember Asaph, who could say for his part, whom have I in heaven but thee? Psal. 7.25.and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee? or * with thee, that is, like thee, or as much as thee, as if thou alone wert not my all-sufficient hus­band, to content me, but that I must needs associate my selfe with others, that they may satisfie me, No, No. Thou Lord art unto me all in all, swee­ter then a thousand other friends, and ten thousand companions; If I may but enjoy thee, I have enough; and if I should misse thee, there is no friend, [Page 178]no company, no conference, no place that would or could please me; so sweet [...]. [...] 25. S. Bernard could say the like, all the meat of the very soule is but unsavory, if Christ be not in it: if thou write unto me, thy writing de­lights me not, if I cannot reade Jesus i [...] it; if thou dispute or talke and con­ferre with mee, thy discourse cannot please me, unlesse Jesus do sound in mine eares; Thus he, even in those darke and nusty dayes of ignorance and blindnesse, in the which he lived (neere 400 yeer, [...] before the Refor­mation) and should not you living and flourishing under the brightest Sun-shine of Christs glorious Gospel be as much for Christ?

You will say unto me, where would you have us then to desire and to seek to be with Christ, seeing you do so charge us? Christ you know is in hea­ven, and you would have us to be willing to be with him here.

For answer whereunto I say first, [...] that Christ is not like unto that rose of gold, which the Pope of Rome [Page 179]sheweth upon a Lords day in the Lent onely in Rome, which his Durand. Ratio [...] d [...]. [...]. 6. [...]. 111. fl [...]terers hold to typifie the new Jerusalem, No, he is not onely in one place even in heaven, which is his proper place, though his humane nature be there bodily, but he is also to be seene and to be met with here below, as he is God, shewing himself graciously pre­sen [...] in his own ordinances, and in the hearts and meetings of his people. See Matth. 18.20. When two or three be ga­thered together in my name, there I am in the middest of them, and Ioh. 17.20. At that day you shall know that I am in my father, and you in me, and I in you.

Thus generally.

More particularly I answer;

Be willing therefore to meet him and to be with him.

1. In the word preached in the house of God, which is like the pleasant field of Shar [...]n, where the Sunne shi­neth most warme and faire, so as that there you cannot [...]sse the Lo [...]d Je­sus Christ, that sweetest Rose, who hath obliged himself by pro [...]ise to be [Page 180]there even as in Sharon field properly so called, wth lyeth most pleasantly un­der the warm [...]st Sun shine one might not want a goodly Rose springing out of that prosperous earth in S [...]lom [...]ns dayes, and when the time of the yeer did serve. Wherefore as the little Bee loves to flie about those gardens and places which are full of Roses, as be­ing a Pl [...]n. Na [...]tur hist l 21 c. 12. lover of Roses, so do ye love and like the house of God, whereas in a Rose garden you may be sure to find Christ that sweet Rose of Sharon.

2. Be willing to be with him, at and in the mysterious administration and participation of the blessed Sacrament of his sacred Supper. For there also you cannot but meet him, yea, see him with the eyes of faith, as bleeding for your sins, and being all red, as it were, like a Rose, with bleeding, in re­gard of that precious blood which once he shed for your immort all souls, when he died for your transgressions, and which then you do savingly and seasonably remember to have been so powred forth, as the wine is powred [Page 181]out, when you feast and feed your souls with that celestiall and mysticall food, which is there provided for you; nay you may even there embrace the Lord Jesus Christ in your armes, the armes I meane of faith, as that good old Simeon, held him in the armes of his body, being ready even to sing with him, for joy the same Cyge [...]n caution, or song, which he sa [...], say­ing; Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart (home) in peace according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy s [...]lva­tion, Luk. 2.29, 30. Thus he, and you may adde; for our eyes of saith have now seene that sweetest Rose of Sharon, our eyes have seen his precious blood, as it were, as red as a Rose, and our souls have tasted how sweet the Lord is, even sweeter then sugared roses, and the sweetest honey; oh how good, how good, and gracious is he? and how infinite are his tender mercies, and his sweetest comforts past finding the like?

3.3 Be willing to be with Christ in prayer, talking and conferring with [Page 180] [...] [Page 181] [...] [Page 182]him, as freely and frequently and fa­miliarly as a Bride with her Bride­groome, and as Zosimas, relicto Ar­cesilao, s [...]lus ad cubiculum prop [...]re a [...] ­cu [...]t in q [...]o D [...]m sami­lia [...] [...] pe [...]lat &c. Ev [...]. hist. Eccles. l. 4 c. 7. Zosimas, and Latimer that blessed martyr, and worthy Bi­shop did, who prayed (as M. Foxe re­porteth it, of him) as if he had seene God face to face in a most sweet and familiar manner, so let your beleeving hearts also even mount up and ascend into heaven it self, where Christ is at the right hand of God, that Christ may again descend in and with your hearts in a most sweet and inexplica­ble manner, returning most comfort­able and heart-reviving answers, to your most gracious and heart-break­ing desires, as you may see, Cant. 5.1. I am come into my garden (meaning the Church and every Cant. 4.12. In ho [...]tum dil [...]ct [...]s v [...] ­nit, quando Christus mentes visi­tat. Gregor. in loc. beleeving soule which is his most delicious paradise) my Sister, my Spouse, as if he should say, it was thy heartie desire, ô my deare Spouse, that I should come into this pleasant garden; for thou saidst let my beloved come into his garden, Cant. 4.16. and now loe here I am to answer the longing expectation of [Page 183]thy blessed soule, which doth even pant and thirst after me, who am the health of thy countenance and thy God, Psal. My company thou doest affect, I see, and it is most sweet unto thee, and therefore my compa­ny thou shalt have, here I am to be with thee, as thou didst desire me: for as thou takest delight in me, so do I take delight in thee, and as my voice is sweet to thee, so thine is sweet to me, Cant. 2.14. and as I am like a rose in thy sight, most amiable and most faire, so art thou like a garden of flowers most pleasant and most fragrant in my sight, Cant. 4.12. and as the unexpres­sable and sweetest comforts of my spi­rit which are my fruit, that I bring with me, do marvelously please thee, so do thy most Cant. 4.16. pleasant fruits, which are the Vel bona opera Psellus in Cant. [...].16. graces of my spirit, whom I find in thee, when I come unto thee, please me, and therefore behold, here I am to enjoy thee, who dost so earnestly and ardently long to be with me.

4. Be willing to be with Christ by reading much and often in the booke [Page 184]of God, which is like a most pleasant [...] l. 5. paradise (as Irenaeus aptly resembles it) in the which the Lord Jesus Christ doth flourish, as a Rose in Sharon field, shewing himselfe thorow the very thornes of the most pricking and pier­cing Law of God, but especially tho­row the green and reviving leaves of the soul-solacing Gospel, and so con­sequently throughout the whole book of God, whereof that Princely prea­cher, the Philip. Camerar in vitacom. Anbalt. Prince of Anhalt was wont to say; what else is the whole Scri­pture, but swadling clothes of the childe Jesus, he being to be found al­most in every page, in every verse, and line, so as that the Col. 3.16. Apostle might well terme the whole word of God, the word of Christ, because he is the matter of the whole, and the contents of all the Bible, Ideo enim Moses posuit aeneum ser­pentem non inco [...]gru [...] [...]stendens, quod lex Christum. prophetavit. Be [...]a in Num. [...]1. shadowed in the Law, shewed in the Gospel, which caused August. in Psal. 49.5. St. Austine to say most aptly, Vnam vocem habent duo testamenta, The word of the Lord containes nothing but the word, which is the Lord.

5. Be willing to be with Christ in [Page 185]the reading of such good books as were written by good men of Christ. For we must not thinke that the Pope of Rome onely is authorized to shew Christ by a rose of gold unto the peo­ple, as his Romanus ver [...] po [...]ti­fix successor utique P [...] ­tri [...]t vica [...]i­us [...]esu Chri­st [...] hu [...] fl [...] ­rem fide [...]thus populis de­mons [...]rat. Dur [...]d. Rat [...]. 6. fo. 11 [...]. flatterers doe make him beleeve. No, but every faithfull Mi­nister of Christ may shew him forth in the best manner he can, though he be not able to doe it in golden lines and phrases, and therefore divers able men have done their best to shew Christ both by speaking and by wri­ting unto the people of God, whose most excellent treatises are to be found extant as so many delightfull rosaries or rose-gardens, wherein Je­sus Christ is most sweetly set forth, and flourishes like a rose, faire and pleasant: so as that ye may doe well to fetch a walke in them now and then, to recre­ate your wearied minds with the sight and smell of so fragrant and faire a flower, and to manifest that ardent and longing desire to be with Christ, wch ought to be in every one of you.

6. Be willing to be with Christ in [Page 186]the people of God, who also are as a most delicious garden, Cant. 4.12. In the which this faire rose doth shew him­selfe most graciously by their sweet and savory speeches, and fairest carri­age, emblematizing and representing in a most fit and proportionable de­gree that most admirable and ravi­shing pleasantnesse, amiablenesse, and fairenesse which is in Christ himselfe the rose of Sharon. See Gal. 2, 20. Psal. 16.3.

2. Be willing to be with Christ in heaven hereafter, and not so unwilling to depart this fraile life, as many are: For so you shall mount up with Elias, though not in a chariot of fire, yet up­on the wings or armes of Angels into the very bosome. as it were of Christ, that fairest rose of Sharon, assoone as your earthly tabernacles are dissol­ved, and unsouled by death, you goe then to behold and to see his glorious beauty and to enjoy his sweetest soci­ety through all eternity.

Socrates prosit [...]tur se [...]bent. [...] m [...] ­ [...]iturum ut poss [...] videre [...] caetus veterum h [...] ­ [...]oum, inter [...] s [...] Or­ [...]eus, He­s [...]dus, H [...] ­ [...]cus &c quid n [...]s si­ [...]les? No [...] [...]ti (que) illos: [...] catus prophetarum [...] ip­ [...]m in sua g [...]oria. A [...]et. probl. de Morte p 410. Socrates did professe once, that he for his part was most willing to die, [Page 187]that he might see those companies and assemblies of those ancient heroi­call personages, Orpheus namely, Hesi­odus, Homer▪ &c. and should not you Christians that are espoused to Christ, be infinitely more desi [...]ous to goe hence upon the summons of death, that you might enjoy the beatificall and most glorious vision of Jesus Christ, your coelestiall bridegroome, that sweetest and fairest rose of Sharon, blessed for ever? should ye not even eccho forth as it were the same words which once issued from the blessed soule of that holy Apostle, Phil. 1.23. answering him and saying; we also have a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better.

3. Be perswaded likewise to mani­fest it, that you make more of Christ then ever you did, seeing he is so faire and so usefull, and so desirable a rose; by a mighty care to keep him still, as we keep and conserve roses over yere, in glasses and vessels of earth: so be carefull I say, to conserve Christ, that sweetest rose of Sharon, not onely over [Page 188]yeare but every yeare, and every day of your whole race, till your very last gaspe.

If you ask me how and where would you have us to keep him? Quest.

I answer: Answ. 1 In the vessels of your hearts,1 and within the compasse of your minds, striving to thinke upon him continually, even as a spouse up­on her best beloved, and as Val Max. Artemisia did ever carry in her mind her deare deceased husband Ma [...]seolus, ming­ling her very drinke with his ashes: so doe you beare Christ in mind, who is your best beloved, and mingle or bestraw all your meat and drinke, and words and works with his sweetest re­membrance, even as the ancient Romanis fol a rosarum serculis epu­larum in­spergere mo [...]rat Jonston Thaumato [...]r Nat. p. 215. Ro­manes did bestraw their meat with ro­ses, nay, come you must promise him so much, before ye depart in the words of his spouse Cant. 1.4.: We will remem­ber thy love more then wine.

2.2 Keep him not onely by way of a holy and perpetuall recordation and mindfulnesse of him, but also by an extraordinary care to preserve and to [Page 189]enjoy the comfortable sense and fee­ling of his gracious presence in your blessed soules, imitating his faire spouse in the Canticles, who when he had him, would not let him goe, chap. 3.4.

You will say unto me, Quest. how can we keep him if he will be gone?

I answer: Answ. as you conserve roses with sugar, so you may keep him a long time with

1. Sugred and sweet thoughts of God, and him, and his word, and saints, &c. abandoning other vain and worldly cogitations: For then we make, as it were, our minds his Salomoni ergo (vel Christo) lectulum facimus, cum amundi solicitudi [...]i [...]bus omni­ [...]-cessamus, dum in solo desiderio Christi [...] ­benter pau­samus, eique, ut nobiscum pausit cor ab omni ter­ [...]na cup [...]di­tate munda­mus, Greg. [...] Cant. 3.7. bed, whereon he is then pleased to rest, Cant. 3.7.

2. With sweet and gracious spee­ches and communications, if you have a care to bridle your tongues, and to refraine your lips from bitter words, and unprofitable discourses; and contrarily, to sugar the concepti­ons of your minds with sweet and sa­vory expressions, tending to the glory of God, and to the edification of [Page 190]others; For with such communcica­tion God is well pleased. See Luke 24.15.

3. With sweet and gracious works, which are even able to attract him, and to draw him towards you after he hath been (in regard of his sense and feel­ing) absent from you; for so he saith to his faire Spouse, I am come into my garden, &c. meaning the beleeving soule, Cant. 5.1. after she had desired him to give her a gracious visit, saying, Let my beloved come into his garden, and eate of his pleasant fruits, that is, let him please and delight himselfe with these precious graces, and glorious works, which himself hath wrought by his holy spirit, as I noted formerly, that this is the meaning of that excel­lent place, Gregor. in loc. Psellus [...]:. as both Gregory and Psellus in their annotations affirme.

SECT. 19. Christ should be used much.

2. BE willing also to make more use of Christ then ever you did yet, seeing that now you understand how that he is most like unto a rose, whose usefulnesse and medicinallnesse Petrus Andre. Matthiolus a Physician so extol­leth and setteth forth in his Commen­taries on the 1. Book of Dioscorides the 112. Chapter, as that I for my part must not thinke that I shall be able to magnifie them more then he did, and therefore Ile here set down his own words (which formerly I have cited in the margin) Certainly, saith he, roses are much to be magnified, and to be had in high esteeme, because they serve not onely for an ornament to beautifie our gardens, and are most delightfull to the eye, but also because they be used in the most excellent medicines, whereby the life of man [Page 192]is succoured. Thus he, and therefore how may we extoll and magnifie, say I, the Lord Jesus Christ, that most admirable Rose of Sharon, which must needs be more then infinitely more medicinall, being the Creator, then all roses created. Make use of him therefore, as men make use of roses in such cases as these.

SECT. 20. Christ is to be made use of in 25. Cases.

1. 1 Case. VVHen you be overcome with choler and anger, or else finde your selves prone to it at any time: for as Rosa suc­cus sanq [...]i nem bilio­sum expur­ [...]at. Petr. Audr. Matthiol. l. 1. Dios. c. 11 [...]. roses do purge cho­ler, so Nihil ita irae impe­lum c [...]hibet sicut Jesus. Bern. super. Cant Serm. 15. Christ is able to purge out your anger, and better too, for him­self is most meeke, Matth. 11.29. and therefore as it is the nature of contraries to expell one another, so Christ, being most meeke, must needs be able to expell your wrath, even [Page 193]then when you are apt to be most an­gry, if you make use of him aptly, that is, in such a sort and manner, as is to be shewed hereafter.

2. When you be apt and prone to hate any man, Case. which is more then to be angry onely with another. For as Flos rosae sanguinem sistit, Plin. Nat. Histor. l. 21. c. 19. Roses, being physically and rightly used, do stop a bloody fluxe, so Christ is able to stop this bloody sin, which runs paralell with the bloody crime of murder, in the sight and Judgement of God, as it is written, 1 Iohn 3.15. Whosoever hateth his brother is a mur­therer. This sin I say Christ is able to stay, Case. and to subdue, being rightly made use of: for he is all love, being God, as it is written, 1 Iohn 4.16. God is love, and therefore by the same rule of con­traries, he must needs be able to cast out hatred also, which is contrary to love.

3. When you be pestered with that Invidenti [...] diabolicum vitium est. Aug. de disc. Christ. tom. 9 mihi, p. 914 Est diaboli inventum Basil. de In­vidia, mihi, p. 173. diabolicall sin of Envie: for as William Langham in his garden of health, p. 538. Ro­ses preserve from rottennesse, so Christ is able to keep you from that rotten sin also, as we may call it, be­cause [Page 194]it Prov. 14 30. causeth rottennesse that it may not Nihil ita livoris [...]ul­nus sanat si­ [...] nomen Iesu. [...] Serm. 1 [...] super Cant. reign; for who ever did shew himself more opposite to that soul-wasting sinne, then he, in that he prayed, that his very servants might be one with him, and gave them the same glory which his heavenly father gave him. Iohn 17.22, 23. and there­fore there is no doubt, but if you make use of him, as you ought, he will free you more and more from that sinne, which is so opposite to his own nature.

4. When you are troubled with the most detestable sinne of Pride, Case. being strongly tempted to be proud of your wealth, or gifts, and spirituall graces; for as Roses are good against Si mem­bram per in­flammatio­nemintumu­crie infun­denda erit rosa tepida. Celsut l. 8. c. 4. swel­lings, so Nihil ita superbie tu­morem sedat sicut Jesus. Bernard. Christ the Rose of Sharon is usefull against that swelling sin, being himself most humble, Matth. 11.29. and therefore, as contrary to pride, is also able to expell it in any of his faith­full members, that is, or shall be in­fected with it.

5. Case.When you feele the scorching heat of concupiscence, and know not how to free yourselves of it, then also [Page 195]go to Christ for help, and make use of him. For as Roses do coole and take away Petr. Andr. Matthiol. in Diosco. l. 1. c. 112. inflammations, so Nihil i ta extinguit li­bidinis flam mam sicut Iesus. Bernard. Christ can quickly allay that flaming heat of ori­ginall concupiscence, which doth so molest his own beleeving members, as they be partly flesh, now and then as that it maketh them cry out with Paul, who, as Apud Dio­nys. Carthus. in Loc. dif­fering somewhat frō others, who take it to have been pride, as Erasm. in Mil. Christ. some hold, means this same concupiscence by the prick in his flesh, 2 Cor. 12.7. I say, Christ can quickly take away such heat, that it may not break out into a flaming fire of notorious and scandalous unclean­nesse, but rather shall die in the heart, without being allowed, or desired. For he is most pure, and therefore most opposite to such burning lusts, which are most impure, so as that they can­not consist or subsist together with him, if he be made use of and taken as the onely Soveraign antidote against the same.

6. 6 Case. When the eyes of your mindes grow somewhat dim, and you cannot, or do not see so well as you were wont the foulenesse of sin, and fairenesse of [Page 196]Christ and grace, then also make use of Christ in that case. For as William Langh. p. 539. Roses are good for the cleering and curing of the eyes of the body, so Christ is able to cleere the eyes of the soul, so as that you shall see farre cleerer and better then ever did Lynscus tam certa acje luminū usus est, ut à Lelybaeo por­tu Carthagi­nensium classes egre­dientes intu­aeretur. Vnde Lyncei oculi Val Max [...]. [...] de Mirac. Lynceus, who with his Eagle-like eyes could see from the Lelybean Port the Cartha­ginian Fleet, going forth out of their haven, for living and being on earth, you may behold with the illightened eyes of your mindes Christ himself in heaven, which is more then For Ma­thematici­ans by their computati­ons finde 74703180 miles di­stance be­tween the [...], orbe onely and the earth, as for the highest heaven, that is transcendently higher again, even so high, as that it may be called the height it self, or heights. [...], Iob 11.8. infi­nitely farther, even as Abraham saw him and his day by faith, before ever he was born, Ioh. 8.56. and with the same eyes of an illuminated minde, you may see even the least sins, and such as by others are scarce perceiva­ble; see Revel. 3.18. I counsell thee to buy of me, &c. and anoint thine eyes with eye salve] Colly­rium est propriae fragilitatis agnitio, s [...]ique abjectio & humiliatio. Gag­neus in Loc. that is, with the knowledge of thine own frailtie and sinfulnesse [Page 197]that thou maist see] that is, mayest see how poore, how wretched, how naked, how odious, how sinfull a creatnre thou art; therefore Subandi eme ex me. Idem ib. buy of me this eye salve: for so much is to be under­stood, as interpreters here have well noted it. Evagrius Eccles. hist. l. 4. c. 7. Evagrius writes of Zosimas and Chuzubites, that they did at a time restore unto the wife of Arcesilaus the sight of her eyes even miraculously, which narration of his, whether it may be undoubtedly beleeved, or not, this I am certain of: that Christ can make you see as well as ever you did; if you make use of him, because St. Iohn in this Canonicall Book of the sacred Scriptures, (which is infinitely to be preferred before Evagrius his Ecclesiasticall Story) sets down these words, which but now I cited, as Christs own, and therefore you may boldly go to him, whensoever you cannot see well, that you may be en­abled by him, to see both him and your own sinfulnesse more cleerely then you do.

7. Case. When you can hardly keep in [Page 198] boasting, and detracting, or any other rotten stuffe, that it may not breake out in your conferences and commu­nications with others, then also make use of Christ, the Rose of Sharon. For as Roses are by their nature Galenus, l. 7. simpl. Medica­ment. astrin­gent and binding, so Christ by his na­ture is binding also, being cleane con­trary to such boasting and reviling, as you may guesse by his humilitie, Matt. 11.29. and by his silence mentioned, 1 Pet. 1.23. in these very words, Who when he was reviled, reviled not again, &c. So as that you may be sure, that he can easily bridle your tongues, and bind your vain-glorious and malicious humors, unto which you may be sub­ject by nature, so as that they shall nei­ther breake forth by the tongue, nor be predominant in the heart, if you do but make use of him, as you ought, and are to be shewed hereafter.

8. Case. When you can hardly retain any thing that is good, being oblivious and forgetfull, go to Christ. For as Roses are able to Folia Rosae retentricem facultatem corroborant. Matchiolus in Diosc [...]. l. 1. c. 112. corroborate the reten­tive facultie for the good of the body, [Page 199]so Christ can as easily strengthen the magazine of your souls, your memo­ries, yea infinitely more easily, for he can write his Law in your very hearts, as he hath promised, Ierem. 31.33. Wherefore make use of him.

9. Case. When you begin to nauseate and to loath his word, as the Children of Israel did loath even Manna, which came down from heaven, Iohn 6.32. for as Roses doe stop and cure the loathing of meat, if we may beleeve Plin Na­tural. hest. l. 21. c. 19. Plinte, so Christ can quickly cure the nauseating of his word, which is the epidemicall disease of our age, yea, thousand times better. For he is Man­na himself, and the word it self; and therefore if you can but take and taste him how sweet he is, you will find such a sweet relish in him, as that you can­not loath his word, which is also most sweet, by reason of him, as meat and drink is sweet, if sugar be in it, by reason of the sugar, which is in it, Psal. 19.10. Therefore take him.

10. Case. When you are so obstructed and troubled with stoppages, as that [Page 200]you cannot fetch your breath, as you were wont, that is, do not, cannot breath and pant so after God, as the Hart breathes after the water brookes, Psal. 42.1, 2. by reason of some ob­struction within, proceeding from any cause whatsoever, then also make use of Christ, who also can undo such stoppings in the soul, as Roses can re­move Succus ro­sae obstructi­onibus, &c. mirificeopem praestat. Matthiolus in Diosco. l. 1. c. 112. obstructions in the body: for else his deare Spouse would not have prayed him so, as she did, to draw her, that she might run after him (Can. 1.4.) if he were not able to take away all short­nesse of breath, and to enlarge the heart, that one may Cui ali­quando ste­tit ante faci­em salutaris nominis ig­naviae t [...]r­por. Bernard. run, which he cannot do, whose breath is but short.

11. Case. If you be pestered with hard­nesse of heart, so as that ye cannot mourn for sin, or be sensible of sin, &c. go to Christ for help, for as the Rose can mollifie those parts that are hard, as Cōserves of Roses mollifie those parts, which are hard, yea help break the stone. Will. Lang­ham in his garden of health, p. 534. Cui sons forte siccatus la­chrymarum invocato Je­su non fluxit uberior. Bernard. one writes of it, so Christ can take away the very heart of stone, as he hath promised being God, Eze. 36.26. hence Bernard what hardnesse of heart was ever able to stand before Jesus.

12. Case.When you are troubled with Melancholy, and distrustfull thoughts, go to Christ in that case also. For as Ro­ses have a facultie, as Thomas Hill in his Art of Gard. p. 88. they write to expell melancholy, so hath Cui in ad­versis diffi­denti, jam jamque defi­cienti si no­men adju [...]o­rii sonuit de­fuit fortitu­do. Bernard. Christ a most singular facultie to cast out and dispell all those pensive and perplexed conceits, which do so torture many of his beleeving members. For he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee, Heb. 13. Iosh. 1.5. which words of his, being spoken home to the heart of a distrustfull person, by his own spi­rit within, in case you make use of him in such a time of need, must needs be of such force and power, as that light must even come out of darknesse, as when he said, let there be light, Gen. 1.3.

13. Case.When your hearts are not very stable, go to Christ for stabilitie. For as Roses if Plinie Plin. Nat. hist lib. 25. may be credited, con­firme the tottering teeth in ones mouth, so he is able to confirme and to make stable your hearts, as the A­postle writes, 2 Corinth. 1.21. Now he which establisheth us with you in Christ, &c. is God, marke in Christ, [Page 202]who therefore is aptly resembled to a rock, which firmly beares that edifice, which is built on it, Aug re­tract l.c. 21. Matth. 16.10.

14. Case. In a word, when any sinfull mo­tion or evill humour doth arise in your hearts, then make haste to make use of Christ, who is able to purge it out, as Roses have a facultie to purge the heart, so as that they suffer not any corruption to remain in it, if we may give credit to that, which The Sy­rupe of Roses suf­fereth no corruption to remain in the heart Will. Langh. p. 537. one writes of the same, nay Siquidem cum nomin [...] Ies [...]m homi­nen [...] mihi propono mi­tem, & hu­milem corde, benignum, sobrium, ca­stum, miseri­cordem, &c. eundém (que) ipsum Deum omnip tentem, qui me & exemplo sance & roboret adjutorio. Vnde concludit, quod nome [...] I su totius inde­coris fugat pruriginem. Bernard. Serm. 15 super Cant. much more. For so saith the Apostle, whom we may cer­tainly beleeve, Hebr. 9.14. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternall spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

15. Case. If you say, what if one do yeeld or have given way to sin, what shall he do then, shall he go to Christ too?

I answer, yes, For whether will ye go else but to him, who is able and rea­dy to take away your sins, and to cure [Page 203]your wounds after you have been bit­ten of sin, and Satan, even as the Plin. Nat. hist. l. 25. c. 2. root of a field rose is able to take away the venome out of the wound of a man, that hath been bitten of a mad dog, as Plinìe writes; for therefore he com­pares himself both to a Rose in the field here, and to the brazen Serpent in Israels camp, which being looked on by those that were stung of fierie Serpents, did heale and cure the same, Ioh. 3.14, 15, 16. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wildernesse, even so must the Son of man be lifted up, (who, as b one notes by the way, by reason of his e­verlasting Dietie, I adde, and by rea­son of the long-lasting vertue of his death, to deliver us from death, not­withstanding sin, which ever cleaves unto us, is most aptly set forth by a ser­pent of brasse, which is the more du­rable mettall) that whosoever beleeveth in him, should not perish but have ever­lasting life; unto this most excellent passage (of which more is to be said hereafter) we may annexe that in 1 Iohn 1.1, 2. My little children, these [Page 204]things write I unto you, that ye sinne not. And if any man sinne, we have an Advo­cate with the father, lesus Christ the righ­teous, and he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours onely, but also for the sins of the whole world, where note by the way, how Christ in such a case is com­pared to an Advocate, so as that poore sinners, who cannot plead for them­selves, may plead by him to escape the Iudgement of God denounced against sinners, that they must die, Ezech. 18.4. even as by the Litigaturo liberum est, ut vel ipse in persona pro­pria compa­reat, &c. si ipse in judi­cio standi personam habeat. Na­tura autem quidam im­ped [...]untur, ut infantes, quidā loge, ut soemi [...]ae, quae per pro­curatores a­gere poss [...]nt. Doctor Vul­teius, Iuris Prud. l. 2. c. 30. civill law, women & children that cannot defend them­selves, are to plead their case by a Pro­curator or Advocate, whereas others may plead themselves.

So that one may as much encourage you to go to Christ, notwithstanding those sins into which through infirmi­tie you fall, as Cavāza in sūma concil. mihi. p. 281. those 227. fathers, which met in Trullo, under the Empe­rour Iustinian (to adde Canons unto the sixth generall Counsell of Con­stantinople, which made none) do Licea [...] om­ni Christiano monasterium ingred [...], &c. in quocun (que) crimine de­prehensus fuerit: Salua [...] tor enim no­ster Deus in­quit. Eum qui ad me venit non ejiciam for as Caxon 43. Con [...]. 6. Const. sic dicti. a­nimate and allow even criminall per­sons and notorious malefactors to [Page 205]enter into a Monastery: yea more, then they, seeing the word of God it self, as I shewed but now, maketh for such an encouragement, whereas they can bring no proofe sufficient. They say indeed that Christ hath said; him that comes to me, Ile in no wise cast out, but they prove not that, he who enters into a Cloyster, having been a male­factor, such as by the Law of God ought to die, goes to Christ, nay they cannot prove it. For so any murderer, or Sodomite, to save his life, may go into a Monastery, and yet be farre e­nough from Christ, wherefore I say one may more safely animate poore sinners, that sin out of weaknesse, to go to Christ himself rather then into a Cloyster, which cannot save them, as Christ can.

16. If you say, Case. what if our own hearts do even tremble and shake, and condemn us as hypocrites, shall we go to Christ and make use of him for all this?

I answer, yes. For therefore he as­similates and likeneth himselfe to a [Page 206]Rose, to shew, that as Rosa cordis palpitationi salutare est remedium. Matthiolus in Diosco. l. 1. c. 112. Roses do take away the trembling of the heart, so it is he, that must remedie and cure the Palpitation and trembling of your hearts, as being greater then your hearts, as it is written, 1 Iohn 3.20. and neere at hand to justifie you, Esa. 50.8. for­asmuch as he also died for you, so as that you may boldly eccho forth these very words, after the Apostle to an­swer your self-accusing and condemn­ing consciences; who is he that con­demneth? it is Christ that died, &c. Rom. 8.34. but hereof more is to be said hereafter, in the manner of taking Christ. This by the way.

17. If you aske me, what if we can finde no rest for all, Case. shall we go to Christ?

I answer, yes. For therefore also he is compared to a Rose, because he brings rest and quietnesse, and calm­nesse at last, as the Pl.nat.hist. l 21. c. 19. Rose conciliates ease, and brings men Quiescere. Cujus (scili­cet Christi) figura erat Noah, quem ubi pater e­jus g [...]nitum vidisset jux­ta prophetiā imponebat ei nomen Noe, dicens; hic quietos nos faciet ex pecoatis no­stris, &c. Noe vero à peccato quie­tos non fecit, sed in Chri­stum prophe­tavit La­m [...]ch, qui per Noe sig­nificatur in veritate. E­piph. l. 1 [...]o. 2. mihi p. 132. a sleep, being Physically taken. See for proofe here­of, Matth. 11.28. where Christ him­self, like a true [...] Noah, so called from [Page 207]rest, doth most lovingly promise you rest, saying, Come unto me all you that travell, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, Marke but these words, and see, how Christ himself answers you in this case; you say, what if we can finde no rest for all this, shall we go to Christ? and Christ saith, yes, come. you shall be welcome. For I look for such, as you be, restlesse, ease­lesse, and dejected souls, and such I promise rest, which they want, and F [...]isti nas Domin [...] pro te, & inqui­etum est cor nostrum, do­nec veniat ad te Aug. will want, till they come and cleave to me, and me alone.

18. When you perceive your selves to be entring into a spirituall con­sumption, Case. so as that you do not as in times past abound in good works, but rather pray lesse, read lesse, meditate lesse, and give lesse then you did, then also go with all speed to Christ, who can and must cure this consumption of the soul, as For the Consump­tion make a confecti­on with the flowers of Borage & Roses with aromaticall spices, and use it. [...] Will La [...]. p. 5 [...] Roses are said to help the curing of the consumption of the bo­dy in the beginning. See Iohn 15.5. He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, note, [Page 208] much fruit, so as that he cannot enter farre into any consumption, or conti­nue long in it; for as much, as having a care to abide in Christ, he hath Christ reciprocally abiding in him, who will not suffer him to decay and to consume away, Nisi enim palmes in vite manse­rit & de ra­dice vixerit quantum-li­bet fructum à semetipso non potest ferre. Aug. in Loc. if therefore you would not fall back, as some do, then be carefull to suck what efficacy and vertue you can from Christ, as the branch from the Vine, and so making use of that true Vine, and most medi­cinall Rose of Sharon, prevent a dange­rous consumption.

19. When you finde your selves dead and livelesse, Case. to think or do any good thing go to Christ, who like a Matthiolus in Diosco l. 1. c. 111. Rose is able to revive you; and there­fore is called our very life, Col. 3 4. and in the Judgement of Ambros. in loc Durand Rat. Divin offic. l. 6. fol. 159. Judicious Writers is held to be that good Sama­ritan, which, as himself speaks, Puts wine and oyle, that is, the Dr. Boys in his Works, p. 477. Law and Gospel in the wounds of a poore tra­velling soul, that is faln among such theeves, as the devill, the world, and the flesh are, to revive the same, Ambr. ib. [Page 209]when it is halfe dead, Luke 10.30.33, 34.

20. Again, Case. when you be so a thirst af­ter more righteousnes, as that nothing can satisfie you, then run to Christ likewise, who being like a Rose is also able to quench your spirituall thirst, even as other William Langh. p. 539. Roses are able to quench your corporall, For so he saith himself, Matth. 5.6. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousnesse, meaning both himself, as our righte­ousnesse: 1 Cor. 1.30. and that which is Scilicet opera justitiae Hieron. in Loc. inherent. For they shall be filled: using the means, namely, which are ordained for them, to quench their thirst, as a man who being a thirst, goes and seeks for drink. The like may be said of an unsatiable thirsting after riches and pleasures, that as Roses do quench the naturall thirst, Nihil it [...] temperat si­tim avari. tiae, sicut no­men Iesu. Bern ibid. so Christ is able to quench this sinfull thirsting after these things, for so he saith, Ioh. 4.14. Whosoever drinketh of the water, shall never thirst, meaning the Cyril l. 2. in Ioh. c 85. grace of his Spirit, which will so satiate the soul of such a one, as that he shall not [Page 210]thirst so, or long after the transitorie riches, and fugitive pleasures of this world, as formerly he did, and as he would do again, if he should neglect me the fountain of living water, and drink rather of the Etenim aqua in pu­teo voluptas saeculi est, in profunditate [...]nebrosa Hinc eam hauriunt ho­mines hydria cupidita­tum. August. in Loc. well of pleasure, and of the golden streames of earthly riches, to quench his thirst. For thus a most judicious ancient Etenim aqua in pu­teo voluptas saeculi est, in profunditate [...]nebrosa Hinc eam hauriunt ho­mines hydria cupidita­tum. August. in Loc. Doctor writes of that Well, which Christ speaks of, that the water in it is pleasure, and that men draw it with the water Pot of concupiscence, and that therefore whosoever drinketh of it, shall thirst again, whereas, if a man make use of Christ, and drink in those streames of grace, which flow from his blessed Spirit, he shall thirst no more.

21. Case. Is God angry with you, and do all his waves and billows go over you, and are ye almost overwhelmed with the fiercenesse of his wrath, and doth his fury even burn within you, like fire? then, ô then, make haste to go to Christ, who must free you from that wrath, and take away that heat, [Page 211]as Roses do take away the heat of a hot disease. For none else but he, was ever able to pacifie the provoked wrath and fury of God; It was the foolish pride of that Romane Empe­rour Caligula; Caligulaes folly. having made a bridge of grappled ships over a narrow arm of the Sea, in imitation of Xerxes, and triumphing at midnight with innume­rables torches, to boast that he had wrought two great miracles, having made the sea dry land, and the night day: but our Emperour of heaven and earth, even the Lord Jesus Christ did so indeed, when he dried up the red Sea of his fathers wrath, and changed our present night of ignorance & sad­nesse, and future of torment into the eternall day-light of his grace and glory, and there was none with him, when he did it, because none but he was able to do it: nor will be ever. See Esa. 63.3. I have troden the wine­presse alone, and of the people there was none with me, that is, none did Nemo mi­hi patienti adsuit. Cy­ryl. in Loc. suffer with me, when I suffered my fathers wrath: wherefore as God said once [Page 212]to his people, so say I unto you, Enter into the rock, Alti [...]ri intellectu praecipitur omnibus ut ingrediantur in p [...]tram, i [...] est, confu­gium faciant ad Chri­stum, vera­citer creden­do in eum. Haymo in Loc. that is, in Christ who is the rock, for feare of the Lord, and for the glory of his Majestie; when he is angry, and there hide your selves, making what use you can of Christ, and labouring to be found in Christ, and to have Christ ever in your mind, till the indignation be over past, Esa. 2.10. and Chap. 26. vers. 20.

22. Case. Moreover, are you deprived of your dearest friends, goodly chil­dren, or loving parents? or hath any of you been bereaved of a kinde yoke­fellow, and do ye thereupon con­clude; that God is displeased with you? then go to Christ in this your heavy and sad condition, who is ready to be unto you in stead of a sonne, a fa­ther, or mother, or brother, or friend, Matth. 12.50. and so consequently to exhilarate and to cheere you up as a Rose, whose Roses do rejoyce the blood, Tho. Hill, in his Art of gar­dening. p. 88. propertie it is to be exhilarative.

23. Case. Again, though you do not feel the wrath of God in your souls, yet if you be but comfortlesse and destitute [Page 213]of the sense and feeling of his love to­wards you, rest not so, but go with all speed to Christ, who is both able and ready to comfort your sorrowfull souls, as Roses are able to William Langh. p. 533. comfort the head and heart of a man, when he is weake. For so he saith, Ioh. 14.18. I will not leave you comfortlesse, I will come to you. Mark, Ile come to you, saith he, Where as other Roses cannot come to us, but we must go after them, to shew how ready he is to come and to comfort us, whensoever we are sad and comfortlesse; where­fore I cōclude with sweet St. Tristatur aliquis no­strum, veni­at in cor Jesus. Bern. S [...]rm. 15. super Cant. Bernard, is any man sad? Let Christs sweetest name Jesus, I adde, and this precious promise come into his heart; and minde, and so let him procure that peace and comfort, which the world cannot give, in and by Jesus Christ, that sweet and most comfortable Rose of Sharon, but this comfortablenesse of Christ, I have likewise already en­forced upon your affections, as now I do reinforce it upon your wils, and therefore I am here the more brief [Page 214]in my perswasion.

24. Case. Are you sick and weake in bo­dy, and like to die? then, ô then, make use of Christ chiefly. For then usually, men make most use of their corruptible Roses, or Rose-water, Rose-vinegar, Roses conserved, and For few cordials can want the help of Roses, or Rose-wa­ter. Will. Langh. p. 535. cordials made of Roses, and other ingredients, when they be very ill, and should ye not then, above all other times, make as much account of Christ, that incorruptible Rose of Sha­ron; yea, infinitely more: Forasmuch, as he is then able to do good both to your souls, and bodies, whereas other Roses (as I noted formerly) are but good for the one, and nothing for the other.

It is Christ and none but Christ,1 that can heale all diseases, as he is not one­ly man but also God all-powerfull, Psal. 103.3.

It is Christ and none but Christ,2 that can then strengthen us, when naturall strength faileth, as it is writ­ten, Esa. 40.29. He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might, [Page 215]he encreaseth strength, which all the cordials upon earth cannot do.

It is Christ and none but Christ,3 that can then content your languish­ing souls and drooping spirits, when neither meat nor drink will down with you, as it is written, Psal. 23.4, 5. Yea, Though I walk thorow the valley of the shadow of death I will feare none ill: for thou, namely Aug. in Loc. Christ, art with me, thy rod and thy staffe they comfort me. Thou preparest a table, or feast, for my poore soul before me, in the presence of mine enemies, where by enemies, we may understand death, and Satan, also a­mong the rest, who then are before us, when we are dying.

Lastly,4 it is Christ and none but Christ, that can then keep us alive, that we die not the everlasting death, when neither money, nor friends, nor Physick, nor Physicians can keep us from death. For so he saith, Ioh. 6.49.50. Your fathers did eat Manna in the wildernesse and are dead (that could not keep them alive,) This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a [Page 216]man may eat thereof and not die, namely, for ever. And therefore as in ancient time, sick and weak and dying Chri­stians, were Ansèlm. apud Rosi­um in conf. Petriconien­si cap. 73. Georg. Cas­sander in append. ad opusc. Iohan. Roffens. de siducia & misericordia Dei. directed to make use of Christ at that time especially, inter­posing the death of Christ betwixt them and Gods Judgement, so do I advise and perswade you now to do the like, saying, as they were taught to say, if the Lord will Judge you; Lord we interpose the death of of our Lord Ie­sus Christ betwixt us and thy Iudgement, no otherwise we contend with thee, &c. I must not proceed farther, lest I should prevent my self in that which I must say by and by touching the form and manner of making use of Christ, and therefore let that suffice, which I have already spoken.

25. Case. Finally, my brethren, if your faith be weake, either then when you be weak and sick, or at any other time then, ô then, be sure to go to Christ, who, being like a Rose, is as able to corroborate your faith in the heart, as Roses are able to Rosarum succus cor corroborat. Matthiol. in Diosco l. 1. c. 112. strenthen the heart it self, yea, much more. For he is the [Page 217]author of the Roses themselves, and of the heart it self, and of faith also: Hebr. 12.2. and therefore must needs be infinitely more able to strengthen, then a Rose, which himself hath made, so as that it can have no other power, or vertue, but such as is derived onely from him, who is omnipotency it self, and therefore you may note, how his own disciples finding their faith to be but infirme and weake, did re­paire themselves unto him for more strength, and for a larger measure of it, acknowledging him to be both able to do it, and themselves altoge­ther impotent and unable to helpe themselves in it, saying, Luk. 17.5. Lord increase our faith.

SECT. 21. Eight Rules to observed in the taking of Christ.

YOu will say unto me; Quest Here are Cases enough, and you have told us enough, that we must go to Christ in all these cases, but alas! we do not know how to go to him, and to make use of him as we ought, and therefore we desire that you would shew us next the manner after which we are to make use of Christ in all these cases.

I answer. Answ. So I will by Gods help. For I know full well, that as the Phy­sician. prescribing a generall medicine to a patient, can do him no good at all, unlesse he tell him, with all, how he must take it, so I shall profit you but little by my former perswasion; un­lesse I informe you touching the form and manner of taking Christ, as the onely soveraign medicine appointed [Page 219]appointed of God, for the good of your poore and sin-sick souls.

Take therefore and observe these following Physicall Rules for your instruction, which God blesse unto you.

1. As it is requisite, that before men take bodily Physick, they should first be 1. Rule. Vide Praxin Medicam. Gualteri Bruel. Do­ctoris cele­berrimi. prepared for it, so it is neces­sary, that you should be fitted for Christ, before you go to take him, as a medicinall Rose for the health and good of your souls. For do but note the promises, which he hath made, and you shall finde that they are made not to all promiscuously, but onely to such, as are thus and thus qualified. See Matth. 5.4. for an instance. Bles­sed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted; Marke they shall be com­forted, if they be such as mourn, and therfore you must be fitted for Christ, I say, if you will comfortably take him.

You will say unto me, Quest. How would [Page 220]you have us to be fitted for Christ.

I answer. Answ.

  • 1.1 Be well humbled.
  • 2. Well resolved;

1. Well humbled, For he resists the proud, and giveth grace to the humble, 1 Pet. 5.5. and he loves to dwell with the humble, Esa. 57.15. and therefore, as he that would keep Roses, must have Qui vo­lunt rosas conservare in rudi ella [...]ndit [...]rs sub [...] abruunt a [...] reservant Palladius. earthen pots for them, to keep them in, so you, if you will take and keep Christ to do you good, you must have humble hearts, like rude pots of earth, voide of allowed pride, and ar­rogancie.

Now there are three severall steps or degrees, [...]. Steps to humiliati­on. by the which men are to descend unto this here required humi­liation.

  • 1. Self-examination.
  • 2. Self-lamentation.
  • 3. Self-accusation.

1. For the first, Self-Examina­tion. as the Apostle writes, Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup, 1 Corinth. 11.26. So say I, will any man take Christ, as Physick, [Page 221]either sacramentally, or spiritually onely, then let him examine himself first, and that touching these sixe things:

1. Whether Christ belong to him or no, so as that he may truly say, Thing. My beloved is mine and I am his, Cant. 2.16.

2.2 Whether he be in the faith or no, 2 Corinth. 13.5.

3.3 Whether he be in love with Christ, and with man, but especially with all the members of Christ, rich and poore, yea, or no. For that is chiefly required, Iohn 21.17. 1 Cor. 16.22. 1 Ioh. 4.11.

4.4 Whether he doth not finde him­self so full of corruption yet within and without, as that he sees more then cause to humble himself as low as dust, like the poore Publican, Luk. 18.13. and here let a man rip up his whole life, as much as he can for the present, that he may be humbled, Lament. 3.40.

5.5 Whether he do allow of that masse of corruption or no, Rom. 7.15.20.

6.6 And whether it be his chiefest care to serve God in true holinesse and righteousnesse all the dayes of his life, Luke 1.74, 75.

The first is to be tried by the se­cond, the second by the third, fift and sixt, as is to be seen, Gal. 5.6. Act. 15.9. Act. 26.18. But the fourth serves onely as a glasse, that we may not be proud; but humble and lowly in our selves, as seeing no cause wherefore we should exalt our selves, and so con­sequently, that we may be fit and apt for Christ, who looks for such and none but such to take him; as for o­thers, if they will presume to appre­hend him, and to lay hold on him, in the Sacrament especially, they may justly feare that the Lord will even cut them off, as the Invenio praeterea & concham praevisa ma­nu apprehen­surae se ut­pote suas operituram divitias, sese comprimere, inimicam quoque ma­num, si forte comprehen­derit, ampu­tare, &c. Francisc. Ruens de Gemmis l. 2. c. 13. A Case of Consci­ence. Oister or shell wherein the orient pearle is hid; is said to cut off the hand of her enemy that comes to take it. See 1 Cor. 11.29, 30. This by the way.

If you aske me, how you may know that you have examined your selves sufficiently?

I answer. Tantam diligentiam debet facere in Exami­natione con­scientiae re­cogit antis praeterita peceata, quā ­tam faceret in magno & arduo nego­tio pro mag­na & ardua re tractanda aut incom­mod [...] gravi vitando. Gerson in Tripart. Quest. or a Case of Consci­ence. (With Gerson) that a man is to adhibit so much diligence herein as he would in another matter of mo­ment, whereby he may either gain, or loose much: let me adde a reason. For it is supposed that, that then a man will do his utmost, which is as much as is required, Deut. 6.5.

But how shall one know you will say, that he hath had so much care to examine himself, as he would have had in another of great importance, and so hath done his best endeavour?

I answer (With Gabriel Biel that most learned and profound Doctor in the Schooles) if you omit and passe by nothing voluntarily, and if oblivi­on and forgetfulnesse please you not, but it be your heartie desire rather, Si non placet obli­vio, sed ma­gis desideret ad omnium peccatorum suorum illu­minari me­moriam. Si nihil voluntarie omittit, &c. Gabriel Biel in Can. Missae Lect. 8. mihi. fol. 11. that your memories may be so illumi­nated, as that you may be able to re­count and to remember your sins; I adde, and to come to the true know­ledge of your selves and of your e­states. For so in like manner, you [Page 224]would be loath to forget or to neglect any thing in a weightie and important earthly businesse, and you would be glad to be fully informed of every­thing that may concern you, and we know by the word of God, that a de­ceitfull negligence is that which God condemneth, because it is voluntary, Ier. 48.10. Cursed is he that doth the work of the Lord negligently, and deceit­fully. For the [...] Hebrew signifieth both.

Let me superadde but a necessary Corollary, A Corol­lary. and then I have done with this important matter of examination; That it may appeare that you do not willingly omit any thing necessary, but rather use all means to come to the knowledge of your sins, see that you search yourselves so diligently, as that ye neglect not seriously to passe in your search through all the ten Commandements, being assisted by one good Writer or other (as Mr. Dod, Dr. Maior, Mr. Scudder, or some other on the Commandements. For this kinde of examination is held also by [Page 225] Perkins in his Cases of Consci­ence. l. 1. c. 5. sect. 2. judicious Casuists to be sufficient. And the reason hereof is, because the Law of God is so perfect as that next unto Gods own immediate discovery, there can be no more required, to bring a man to the knowledge of his own sinfull estate. See Psal. 19.7. The Law of the Lord is perfect.

2. Having searched as much as you were able, Self-la­mentation. then lament and bemoane your selves as much as you can, for ha­ving so highly and hainously offended so good a God, and high a Majestie; Thus Peter remembring himself what he had done, went out of the High Priests Hall, and wept bitterly, Luk. 22.61, 62. And Epiphanius writes of the proud [...]. Epiphan. phy­siol. c. 12. Peacock, that when having beheld himself as he goeth, and admi­red his beautifull glorious feathers, he reflects at last upon his blackish and ugly feet, he cryeth out as loud as he can in the midst of all his bravery, be­cause they are not proportionally cor­respondent and answerable to the o­ther parts of his faire body, and there­fore well may we cry out, rather then [Page 226]brave it out, when upon an exact sur­vey and search made, we see the mon­strous deformitie of our souls, by rea­son of sin, which is that abominable thing, and the cause why our lives are not answerable to that transcendent beautie, which is in Christ, and to that proportionable comelinesse, which should be in every one of us, so as that we should not stand so much upon any good parts, that are in us, seeing that our souls have such black feet, that is, such ugly motions and inclinations, whereupon they go, and break out even into words and actions, which are to be lamented even with teares of blood, Self-ac­cusation. if it were possible.

3. Having lamented your selves fall to self-Accusation, and confesse your sins, Ile not say to Quid mi­hi ergo est cum bomi­nibus [...]u [...] au­diant conses­siones meas quasi [...]psi sa­naturi s [...]t amnes lan­guores meos. Aug. confes. l. 10. c. 3. A Case of Cō [...]cience. man, who is a sinner himself, and cannot forgive, or justifie you, but to God, who is able and faithfull also, and just to forgive you, and to cleanse you from all un­righteousnesse, 1 Ioh. 1.9.

You will say unto me, how would you have us confesse our sins, must we [Page 227]confesse them all to God in particu­lar, or will a generall confession serve?

I answer. In some cases it will serve, Sol. and in some it will not.

If you aske me in what cases it will suffice? Quest.

I answer. Answ. If 1. we be prevented by time, as the thiefe upon the crosse,1 Luke 23.40, 41, 42, 43.

2.2 Perkins in his Cases of Consci­ence, l. 1. c. 5. sect. 2. When upon a diligent search we cannot finde out some, yea many sins, then we may warrantably con­fesse, and say with David in generall, Who knoweth the errors of his life; cleanse me Lord from my secret sins, Psal. 19.19.12.

But when will a generall confession not suffice? A Case of Consci­ence.

I answer. When we have time and may know, and do know our maine sins. For so saith Saint Iohn: If we confesse our sins, he is faithfull and just to forgive them; Marke, here is both a promise, and a condition; the promise is remission, the condition is confes­sion, and a confession of our sins, note [our] now all the sins, that we know and [Page 228]may know, being main ones, are ours, so as that we may not say such are, and such are not, so as that we may chuse whether we will confesse them or no. Heare also the Judgement of holy [...] &c. Chrysost. in E­pist. ad Hebr. c. 12. hom. 31. Chrysostome in this case. Let us not onely call our selves offenders, but let us reckon up our sins, and repeat eve­ry one of them in particular. I do not say accuse thy self unto others, but I counsell thee to follow the Prophet, saying, Reveale thy way unto the Lord, &c. which words of his I adde, lest men should think that he would have us confesse our sinnes in speciall to a Priest, as the Romanists do teach, and compell the people so to do. No, No: that good In [...]ffusione notatur inte­gritas, &c. Non enim confitenda sunt solum verba & fa­cta, commis­siones & o­missionès, sed etiam cogita­tiones immū ­dae & mor [...] ­sae affectio­nes, inordi­natae inten­tiones, mixtae voluntates, perversa ju­dicia, & su­spiciones te­merariae, Al­bert. Mag. Epis. Ratiep. in paradyso animae. c. 40. Father as well as divers others was rather against, then for any such auricular confession. I close up this Case in the words of another great Doctor on Lam. 2.19. Powre out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord, in the powring out of the heart, saith he, Integritie and univer­salitie is to be noted, that we are to powre out our whole hearts by con­fession. [Page 229]For deeds are not onely to be confessed, quoth he, and words, com­missions, and omissions, but uncleane thoughts also, and churlish affections, and disordered intentions, mixt wils, perverse censures, rash suspicions. For else, as Orig [...]n. one saith well, such thoughts will accuse us in the last day, I adde, if we do not now accuse ourselves, con­fessing them that they may not leave some impressions in our souls, as in waxe.

Let me superadde one Corollary, A Corola­ry. keep short reckoning therefore, and humble your selves often, by often confessing, even [...]. Chrys. in Psal. 50. hom. 12. daily or hourely, if you can, that you may be able to re­member the manifold exorbitancies of your ever-erring souls, which o­therwise, for the most part will be through your own carelesnesse and oscitancie buried of you in oblivion, to the great damage and disquietnesse of your ever Rom. 2.15. accusing consciences, See Psal. 32.3, 4. When I kept silence my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. Marke all the day long, [Page 230]and For the Hebrew is [...] which sig­nifieth both every day and the whole day. which word som­times sig­ [...] [...] [...]heth thoughts that are e­vill, as Psal. 36.1. [...] dixit prae­varuatio impii, idest, mala cogita­tio. every day in the which he did not confesse, for day and night thy hand was heavy upon me, &c.

I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquitie have I not hid, I said, I will confesse my transgressions, (Mark transgressions in the plurall number, lest men should think that he speaks but of one notorious sin, that troubled him and such transgressions, as by ver­tue of the * originall do also comprize (his very thoughts) and thou forgavest the iniquitie of my sin.

Which sacred passage plainly com­monstrates the needfulnesse of an ex­act and frequent confessing of our main and known [...]nnes, as without which no calmnesse or true quietnesse of conscience is to be expected, wher­fore, as I said, so I say again, recount your sins often spreading them abroad before the Lord, as Hezekiah the rai­ling Letter of Rabshekeh (2 King. 19.14.) that so you may have the lesse work to do in the kinde, when you goe to prepare your souls for Christ, the most medicinall Rose of Sharon, to [Page 231]take him as the onely soveraign medi­cine of your sin-sick souls.

Thus descend by these three steps down to that depth of humiliation, which possibly you can reach unto, by the help and assistance of the all powerfull God, which in the use of such holy means by earnest prayer you must crave, and beg at his bountifull hands.

2. In the next place be well The next thing in repentance is the change of the minde, &c. And this stand­eth in a constant purpose of minde and resolution of the heart not to sin, but in every thing to do the will of God. Perkins Ca­ses of Con­sci [...]nce. l. 1. c. 5. sect. 4. re­solved, not to live under the reigning power of any allowed or approved sin, and not to neglect the performing of any known dutie; when a man is to take Physick for the good of his bo­dy, he resolves to part with a little money, yea, any money rather then want Physicke, without which he knows he shall be sickly still, and that he will do any thing prescribed by the skilfull Physician, who knows farre better what is good for him then him­self.

And therefore well may you re­solve too, being to take the Rose of Sharon as Physick for the good of your [Page 232]souls, that you will by Gods help for­go any money, I adde, any sinfull pleasure, honour, or whatsoever else may be offensive unto Christ, and that you will follow all the good instructi­ons and directions, which he hath set down in his word, that you may enjoy him and be able to take him as you do desire. Better is it, and a thousand times better for you to follow Christs precepts and to be without such de­lights, honours, moneys, while you live, then one houre to want Christ, who indeed will not comfortably im­part himself and his hidden vertues unto one, whose heart hankereth after such fugitive follies, vain delights, and golden fetters; for he saith, He that loveth father or mother more then me is not worthy of me, and he that loveth sonne or daughter more then me, is not worthy of me, Matt. 10.37. from whence I draw this inference, and therefore how much more is he, who for the present loves either money, or plea­sure, or honour more then Christ un­worthy of Christ, and unfit for Christ, [Page 233]to take him to his comfort.

Nay, The life of Galeaci­us Caraccio. lus cap. 28. Let their money perish with them (said once Galeacius, that noble Marquesse of Vico to a Jesuite, enticing him to return from Geneva into Italy to his own home, wife and children) who esteeme the gold in the world not worth one dayes societie with Je­sus Christ, &c.

And therefore as Barnabas did once exhort the Antiochians, that with pur­pose of heart they would cleave unto God, Act. 11.23. So do I here per­swade you to the like purpose of heart, that you will part with any thing, though never so deare, and do any thing, though never so irksome to flesh and blood, that Christ your deare love may impart himselfe, and the sweetest influence of his grace and comforts unto you, which that you may obtain, I pray God in mercy to settle your hearts for such a gracious purpose of heart.

You will say unto me, A Case of Consci­ence. you have re­solved so many times, but you were never able to perform what you pur­posed, [Page 234]and therefore you do not know whether you may resolve so again?

I answer. So [...]ut.

If you did rashly resolve, the fault is yours, and therefore be wiser next and advised, as Christ himself inti­mates by his two parables of a builder, and a King, Luk. 14.25.29, 30, 31, 32.


1.1 What strength you have impart­ed unto you, much or little onely, as the Church of Philadelphia, Revel. 3.8. that you may not presume beyond it.

2.2 What strength there is in sinne, which you would vanquish, whether much or little, that you may not slight it, and so have the lesse care to watch it, and to use all holy means to over­beare it, when Porters are to beare a burden they poise it first, that they may know how heavie it is, and so may not lye under the burden afterward, but rather in the beginning may get more help, if it be too heavie, and therefore well may you also poise the burden of a resolution first before you take it up, and charge your souls with [Page 235]it, that they may not afterward sinke under the burden, for want of more strength and help, and for want of poi­sing the burden of sinne withall, whose weight indeed maketh the burden of resolution so heavie, as usually men after they have taken it up do finde it to be.

2.2 I say however it came to passe, that you were not formerly able to performe, and to do what you resol­ved yet be not disheartened, but re­solve again and again. For he that wils you to return again, and again, and again and again: foure times, Cant. 6.13. will doubtlesse accept also here­after of your reiterated resolutions accompanied with wisdome in ma­king, and care in keeping, though as yet you were never able to do as ye Rom. 7.15 Gal. 5.17. would. For if there be first a willing minde, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not, saith the Apostle, 2 Corinth. 8.12. * That is, not according to that which is beyond his power: Hence Dionys. Carthus. in Leo, what a man was not able to do [Page 236]yesterday, let him doe it to day, let him ever, Leo de conflicta vit & virt. mihi. p. 113. as he receives grace from above, resist his depraved cu­stome, let him say both mornings and evenings now I have begun. This is the change of the hand of the most High.

2. As other bodily Physick must be taken fasting, Rule. so be emptie when you take Christ, that is. 1. if need be ab­staine even from meat, keeping a truly religious fast, according to our Savi­ours speech, Mark. 9.29. 2. Thinke not your selves to be able to doe any thing, as of your selves. No: but ra­ther that all your sufficiencie is of God, 2 Corinth. 3.5. they that will keep Roses, saith Rosas nondum pa­tesactas ser­vabis si in [...]anna viridi fixa reducas &c. Palla­dius. one, must keep them in a greene cane, And yee know that Christ cals himself a Rose in my text, and therefore upon that very ground I inferre so much, that seeing he is a Rose, if you will take and keep him, you must be as greene hollow canes, that is, evermore emptie and voyd of self-conceitednesse, for as much as himself hath said; Without me you can [Page 237]do nothing, Ioh. 15.5. Ne quis­quam puta­ret saltem parvum ali­quem fru­ctum posse à semetipso palmitem ferre, cum dixisset, bic fert fiuctum multum, non ait, quia sine me parum potest [...]s fa­cere, sednibil pot [...]stis fa­cere, Aug. in Loc. 3. Rule. Quest. Solut. Not, but little, but just nothing, I pray you confider of it, and be perswaded then to goe even quite out of your selves, and to unbottome your selves, wholly, cast­ing away all self-confidence, and self-relying, that so you may be fit for the Lord Christ, who filleth but the hungry with good things, who is emptie, and sends the rich, that is, the rich in con­ceit, emptie away, Luk. 1.53.

3. As Patients will see what they take, so see you and consider Christ by faith with Abraham, who saw his day and rejoyced, Ioh. 8.56.

You will say unto me, what great vertue can there be in this sight?

I answer very much. For if they, that did but look on the Numb. 21. brazen Ser­pent, being stung of the fiery Serpents, were healed, what will not faiths look do upon Christ himself, who is God himself, Quod au­tem aeneus est signifi [...]al quod ille se­cundum carnem mor­tuus suerit, sed divini­tus aeternus sit. Beda. in Num. 21. typified by the brasse of that erected Serpent in the wilder­nesse, and so consequently most able to heale us instantly, when by faith we do but look upon him, and eye him, [Page 238]as the Apostle would have us, saying, Heb. 12.12. Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin, which doth so easily beset us, &c. Looking unto Iesus; Mark, Look­ing, to shew that there is a most singu­lar vertue and energie in the sight of Christ, by a true and lively faith to subdue sinne, and therefore I beseech you looke up to Christ, and elevate your mindes a little, and doe not al­wayes and onely pore upon your sins: For that can doe you no good, but Christ can, Christ will; and will not you look upon him? O go, go: nay run, as it is like they did that were stung of the fiery Serpents; and be­hold him as lifted up; Ile not say in the wildernesse, but in the Heremus Ecclesiam significat. Idemib. Churches of Christ signified, as venerable Bede hath well noted it, by the wildernesse. Let me adde, because it contained the people of God: for are not you pitti­fully stung too of Satan, and a number of stinging sins, like so many fiery Ser­pents, and therefore why do ye look one upon another, and why do ye cast your eyes so much upon your soares [Page 239]and wounds, which your sins made in your bleeding consciences? This is not the way to health; No: No: you must look up to Christ, and therefore I say again run, Quest. 1 Answ. and make all the haste you can to eye Christ, that you may be healed of Christ inwardly, as they that beheld the brazen Serpent were cured outwardly. Answ.

You will say unto me, how would you have us to look upon Christ.

1. I answer with the Apostle, Heb. 12.3. consider him that endured such contradictions of sinners against him­self, and so Considera­tio enim est inspectio. Langius. eye him, believing it to be so indeed that you may be moved by his The like may be said of his hu­militie, chastitie, sobrietie, meeknesse, merciful­nes, benig­nitie, san­ctitie, that a due and and serious considera­tion there­of▪ may & must move us to a carefull i­mitation of the same. See Bern. Serm. 15. super. Ca [...]. example patiently to endure the like. Againe, 2. consider all his other bitter pangs and passions, but especially the stupendious effusion of his most precious blood, and beleeve verily that he shed it, and suffered so much as he did for the good of his, to save them from their sins, and from his fathers wrath, and to give them everlasting life, Ioh. 10.15.28. Ioh. 6.33. Matth. 1.21. 1 Ioh. 1.7. Hebr. [Page 240]9.12.14. Ephes. 2.13.16. Coloss. 2.14.

4. But rest not here when you have seen Christ by faith assenting to the word of truth concerning him, Rule. you must go farther yet and apply or take him inwardly, as men take Roses con­served or distilled into their bodies, beleeving verily, that Christ not one­ly died for his people in generall, but also for every one of you in speciall, to free you from his fathers wrath, and from sins tyranny, and to intitle you to everlasting life. In a word that he will do for you in all the 25. Cases for­merly propounded as much as may be safely desired and expected.

Thus 1. Ground. the Saints of God did ever apply him in their severall times and exigencies as you may see Iob 19.25. Esa. 9.6. Ier. 23.6. Christus enim est bo­nus ille pa­st [...]r Aug. in Loc. Psal. 23.1. Luk. 1.47. Ioh. 20.28. Gal. 2.20. 1 Pet. 2.24. 1 Ioh. 2.1. Revel. 1.5.6.

2.2 And thus the Lords Secretaries and pen-men of the holy Ghost, per­swade us to appropriate and to apply Christ to our poor & languishing souls as you may see, Which words also are to be understood of Christ. Idem in Loc. Psal. 34.8. Zach. 9.9. [Page 241] Rom. 13.14. * Ephes. 4.24. 1 Ioh. 2.12.

3. Yea, thus Christ himself invites us to take and apply himself; heare him speak himself if you will not be­leeve me.

Come eate of my bread and drink of my wine, saith he, which I have mingled, Tremell. in loc. that is, partake of those good things which my father would have me to communicate unto you, Prov. 9.5. Againe, Est invita­tio Christi. Idem in loc. Ho every one that thirsteth come ye to the That is, to the free gifts of the Spirit. Haym o in loc.waters, and he that hath no money come ye buy and eate, yea, come buy wine and milke? milke if ye be weake, wine if ye be sad, without mo­ney and without price, or freely, Esa. 55.1. Again, if any man be a thirst, let him come unto me and drink, that is, let him derive from me by a lively faith so much spirituall grace as may Bibat po­tum illum salutarem qui animam reficiat, et omnem a [...]st [...] cupiditatum hujus mundi reflinguat Cyril. l. 5. in Ioh. c. 10. quench his thirsting after the things of this world, Ioh. 7.37. adde Matth. 11.28. Mark. 5.36. You see by all these sacred passages, what warrant you have to apply Christ and to per­swade your selves, that Christ will do for you what may be done. For as [Page 242]much, as he both invites you to come unto him, and also tels you what you shall have and finde in him, when you come unto him, and take him into your very souls, as you take meat and drink into your bodies, namely, what­soever is necessary for the life of your souls shadowed forth by bread, and wine, and milk, and water, which things, as ye know, are most necessary and usefull for the preservation of the naturall life of man, and therefore in Gods name take, yea, eate, and drink Christ, even most confidently and boldly, as the onely soveraign medi­cinall Rose or Rose-water, which must revive and cure your sin-sick soules, assuring your selves, that in all the foresaid Cases, he will doe for you what is to be done for your everlast­ing health.

5. But withall, Rule. I must advise you that as men, who are to take bodily Physick are to pray unto God for a blessing, so beleeving you will be­seech and invocate the Lord Jesus Christ, who is both Physick as a Rose, [Page 243]and the Physician himself, as he is a Saviour, that he will blesse your en­deavours, and make himself effectuall unto your poore and sickly souls.

More particularly, that like a Rose he will purge out choler, and hatred, and lustfulnesse, and envie, and pride, and every other corruption, that you may be most troubled with, and that he will cleere your sight, that you may see your sinfulnesse more then you did, and take away your stonie hearts, that you may be able to mourn or to grieve more for your sinnes then you did, and that he will dissolve all stop­pages within you, and enlarge your hearts, that so you may run after him in the way of his commandements, and that he will be pleased to establish your hearts, and to pardon your of­fences, and to give rest unto your souls, and to take away all trembling from your hearts. Moreover, pray him with all humblenesse of minde, that he will not suffer your graces to decay, nor to be so dead as sometimes you are, but rather will quicken your [Page 244]spirits, and when you be a thirst after more grace, that he will satisfie you, and when you begin to thirst too in­ordinately after the things of this life, that he will quench your thirst, that you thirst so no more, and when his fathers wrath is kindled against you, that he will appease it, and when you be comfortlesse and have lost a deare friend, that he will comfort you, and when you are sick in body and weake in faith, that he will strengthen you. Thus according to the Cases formerly prosecuted beseech Christ to be good unto you, and if he seeme to be strange, and inexorable then urge him, as the good Shunamite the Pro­phet Elisha, when her sonne was dead, saying, As the Lord liveth and as thy soul liveth I will not leave thee, 2 King. 4.30. So say thou unto Christ as thou livest, I will not leave thee till thou help me, or as Si s [...]e du­ [...]io [...]ētis ac­cesseris & dixeris ei, niss accepero non credam, [...]ross us acci­pies, si [...]amen [...]sum postu­ [...]a [...]eris, qxe [...]m dared­aeat, & tibi [...]tenti [...]i [...]cdiat. [...]. Chrysostome would have us, unlesse thou give me what ac­cording to thy will I desire of thee, I will not beleeve thee, assuring thy self that thou shalt impetrate, and have [Page 245]what thus It mov­eth inge­nu [...] na­tures to ses m [...]n take [...] & den [...]alls well, which proud per­son [...] will not do, and so it mov­ [...]th God. Th. Good­win in his return of prayers▪ [...]. 212. importunately thou doest postulate and crave. See Luk. 18.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Matth. 15.26, 27. how Christ himself would both have us to be im­portune, and instant, and how he com­mendeth the woman of Canaan which was so constant, and would not give him over till he did help her. And I could tell you even of many wonders, which fervent and importunate pray­ing hath wrought from time to time, constraining Christ to help his people, which prayed even beyond hope and imagination, and contrary to the course of nature to encourage you, but Ile content my self with one in­stance onely for the present, which may suffice. Foxe act, & men, p. 689 When Solymani [...] had besieged Gunza in Hungary, and eight companies were entred in the middest of the town, there was gathered in a house a company of women, children, and impotent folk, which made such a noise with their cry and prayers, that went up to heaven, as that the Turks thought a new supply did come against them, and so left the citie again, and [Page 246]compounded with it, whereupon that poore place was miraculously preser­ved, and therefore I say again pray whensoever you be in any distresse, though you can have but as little hope as they of that little citie, Christ him­self seeming to be against you, as he seemed to be utterly against the good woman of Canaan, yet pray, and say unto him as she said, Lord help, nay cry and cry even mightily as the same Canaan petitioner, and as the said poor women and children of Gunza did cry saying againe, and againe, and againe, Lord help, and if that will not do it, cry again both day and night, using the same words, or some such like, ô Lord Jesus, sweet Rose of Sharon, help: for we are grievously vexed of the Devill, or thus, Lord help; for we are grievously tormented of thy fathers wrath, or thus, Lord help; for we are grievously perplexed by reason of sin. Thus in all the foresaid Cases cry out for help, and Nam cui quaeso in du­biis aestuanti & fluctu­anti non su­bito ad in­vocation [...]m clarinominis emicuit cer­titudo. Bern. super Cant. Serm. 15. fol. 125. doubt you not but that as Christ said at last to the good wo­man of Canaan; O woman, great is thy [Page 247]faith be it unto thee as thou wilt; So, as that her daughter was made whole from that very houre. Matth. 15.28. and as that good people of Gunza was blessedly preserved upon their loud­crying prayers, so you also shal be like­wise most happily and wonderfully delivered and made whole though not in the same houre, when you will, yet most certainly when For God considereth all times of thy life, and still chuseth the best and fittest to answer thy prayers in. Goodwin. ibid. God will, which clause leadeth me to an other rule which I must adde in the next place. As for this I have urged it so much the more, because I know ye need it most, and are like to gain by it most, the Lord giving a blessing to your endeavours and mine, which I humbly and heartily crave at his mer­cifull hands.

6. Again, Rule. as they that take bodily Physick must have patience to waite till it work, so you, having taken or applyed Christ, that most medicinall Rose of Sharon, and prayed most pati­ently waite with blessed David, Psal. 40.1. till he incline his eare unto you, and help you. For therefore it is writ­ten. [Page 248] He that beleeveth] namely in Christ, shall make no hast Hieron in loc. or must mak [...] no hast] namely, Tremell. in loc. [...] out of impatience, so as to Luther. flie as one translates the For God sheweth his wis­dome and love as much in giving the thing it self. Good­win in his returne of prayers. p. 146. ori­ginall, Esa. 28.16. and hence it is that one of the ancient, who by Davids blessed mans, Psal. 1.1. understandeth Christ himself observeth in him well, that he is a tree of life bringing forth his fruit in due season. vers. 3. Non im­portune sed tempore suo. Hilar. in psa, to. 2. mihi p. 16. that is, in his own time, which himself cals his e houre, saying to his blessed mo­ther, mine houre is not yet come, namely, to turn water into wine, Iohn 2.4. so that you must not be dismaid, though he do not deliver you by and from your sins, and crosses, when you cry, concluding that he will never help or heale you, because he answers not your expectation, when you would. No, but as good old Simeon waited a long time for the consolation of Israel, till he met his much desired Saviour, most happily and joyfully in the Lords Temple, where also he did embrace him with the most heartie and dear­est embraces of his tenderest affection [Page 249]both in the arms of his blessed body, and with the arms of his most precious faith, having been formerly assured by a divine revelation from the spirit of God, that he shovld not see death before he had seen the Lord Christ, Luk. 2.26. so you are to waite in like manner for that consolation, ease, and help, which you do or shall desire, till Christ send it in his own time, having been heretofore sufficiently promised in the like manner, that sooner or la­ter before you be unmanned by death, and dissolved, you shall have as much help from the Lord Christ as is need­full and For the Lord doth all things in weight and mea­sure, and hath like­wise ap­pointed a certaine measure of grace, and faith and comfort, inwardly to be en­joyed Rom. 12.3. Ephe. 4. [...]. and a measure of common blessings outwardly to be re­ceived Pro. 30.8. convenient for you, which securitie or promise ought to content you. And therefore I say again waite: For the vision. is yet for an appointed time, but in the end it shall speak, and not lye, though it tarry, waite for it, because it will surely come, it will not tarry, saith God himself, not I, Habak. 2.3.

If you aske me what time the Lord doth usually help.

I answer. 1. When you need his help most, being ready to sink, Mat. 8.24.26.

2.2 When you are most fit for it, be­ing humbled, Esa. 57.15. So that ac­cordingly you may expect his help sooner, or later.

7. Rule. As they that take corporall Phy­sick keep their chamber, so must eve­ry one of you taking, or having taken Christ the Rose of Sharon, as spirituall Physick for the good of his poor soul. Keepe the chamber or closet of his heart with all diligence, as it is written, Keep thy heart with all diligence, or with all omni custo­dia & vigi­lantia. custodie and watchfulnesse, as the originall more emphatically import­eth, Prov. 4.23. Keeping fast your doores, I meane your senses, and not suffering any cold or infectious aire to come in.

If you aske me how shall we do to keepe our hearts thus with all dili­gence? Quest.

I answer. Solut. 1. Directi­on. 1. Stopping every little hole or occasion that may let in the least coldnesse.

2. Keep fast your doores, Directi­on. that is, your senses not suffering any coldnesse or infectious aire, that is, infecting [Page 251]objects or matters to come, in Iob 38.1. Psal. 39.1.

3. Pray God to assist you herein, Directi­on. as David did, saying, Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth, keep the doore of my lips. You may say moreover, keepe mine eyes also, ô Lord, and the doores of mine eares, and watch my heart that I may neither take a cold, nor any o­ther infection. I humbly beseech thee.

4. If those domestikes, Directi­on. that are with thee in the chamber, that is, those sinfull motions, which are Math. 15.19. bred in the heart, do offer to open thy doores and to go out, and so to let in the cold­nesse and infection, which ever fol­loweth them, 1.1 observe. 2.2 question. 3.3 check. and 4.4 restraine them forth­with, and suffer them not to range so like Dina, Gen. 34.1. and to go in and out. Nay, 5.5 shut them out of your doores quite, and let them stay or lodge no longer within you, remem­bring the words of the Lord, Ier. 4.14. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee, or be so approved, tolera­ted, entertained, as guests that are [Page 252]most welcome, and are even intreated to stay day after day, night after night, and so do stay, and continue with the entertainer, as the [...] Whose root is [...] Pernoctare, hospitari, ma­nere, com­morari. originall doth most significantly imply so much, and more too, then I can well expresse here, or have expressed heretofore, touching the same matter in the se­cond generall use upon another oc­casion.

Lastly, Rule. Taking or having taken Christ that most medicinall and ope­rative Rose of Sharon, you are as pati­ents to keep close to the fire, or rather to three severall fires; by

1. 1 Fire. Thinking much and often on that most formidable fire of hel which shall never go out, Esa. 66.24. Namge­hennam semper ti­mens nun­quam in ge hennae ig­nem cadet, semper hoc castigatus metu Chrys. hom. 5. ad pop. Antioc. p 48. 2 Fire. That so you may keep down your bodies of sin, as Paul did, 1 Corinth. 9.27. being ever most carefull to be even universally obsequious and obedient to Gods sa­cred Law.

2. By musing ever on the word of truth and promise, with holy David, Psal. 119.97. as an other fire, which also shall never go out, Ierem. 23.29. [Page 253]1 Pet. 1.23. that so it may like a pillar of fire conduct you safely thorow the great and terrible wildernesse of this men-devouring world into the cele­stiall Canaan, not suffering you either to stumble against the stone of stumb­ling and rock of offence, which is Christ, accidentally, 1 Pet. 2.8. or to wander totally and finally out of the way of Gods commandements, Psal. and may likewise warme your faint and sickly souls, when they begin to coole, blazing and flaming, as it were, about your heads, & hearts, and vibrating, or sending forth now this, then that most sweet and preci­ous promise. Besides a number of o­ther holy truths and passages, like so many hot burning sparks of fire, whereby your cooling brains and breasts may be re-heated, and re-enlivened, and so consequently most blessedly re-enabled to hold out and and to persevere unto the end, in the metaphysicall and supernaturall taking of the most effectuall Rose of Sharon, 2 Pet. 1.19.

3. By holding forth also your very heads and hearts against that ever burning fire, which is God himself blessed for ever, Hebrews 12.19. and bathing your ravished and aspiring thoughts even most deliciously and frequently in the hotte burning flames, or manifestation of that most holy and everliving essence, even as a blessed Martyr, being condemned to be burnt alive, did even bathe his hands in the flames of fire, to evi­dence and to declare the unconceiva­ble and unexpressable delight and joy which he tooke and felt in the midst of the fire, so do you in like manner manifest and shew forth your inexplicable delight and soul-ravish­ing content, which you take in God and Christ, by so thinking upon God much and often, yea, ever with Gen. 39.9. Io­seph, and Psal. 16.8. David: that so you may be ever afraid, as Ioseph was, to sin against his Sacred Majestie, Genesis 39.9. and also may be ever warme and fire-hot, as it were, in affecti­on, but then especially, when you [Page 255]do take and apply, or have taken that most sweet, most fragrant, most pleasant, most operative, and salu­tiferous Rose of Sharon Christ Jesus, our most deare and blessed Sa­viour, to be adored and magnified for ever and ever.


The Contents.


    THat Christ is like a Rose in Sharon Field, is mani­fested by sixe grounds drawn from his.

    • 1. Operation or hidden vertues.
    • 2. Blood-shed.
    • 3. Fragrancie.
    • 4. Suffering in the field.
    • 5. Opennesse.
    • 6. Intention to draw his Spouse into the field to fight.
    • 7. Excellencie in generall.
    • 8. Pleasantnesse in speciall.
    • 9. Fervenoy of Love.

    Two Queries resolved.


    Informes us of Christs,

    • 1. Fairenesse.
    • 2. Vsefulnesse.
    • 3. Desireablenesse.

    Satisfaction for the consciences of Christs people, who may know that Christ is in them;

    • 1. By the mightinesse of his Rose-like purg­ing; where
      • 1. An objection is answered.
      • 2. Two Questions resolved.

    1. Q. In what sense Christs people is said to be purged from sin:


    2. Q. How one may know that his evill thoughts are so purged, as that they do not reign; Cleered By six Evidences.

    2. By the sweet Saviour of Christ.


    Conviction for the consciences of such as want Christ, who may know it by the ill savour of their

    • 1. Works.
    • 2. Words.
    • 3. Thoughts.

    Matter of feare for such as reject Christ, having no cloake for their sin, seeing Christ is so faire, where is shewed

    • 1. What Christ may say to them on that day.
    • 2. What they are like to say of him again.

    Matter of shame for carelesse and loose Christi­ans, who are so foule, whereas Christ is so faire manifesting it both:

    • 1. At home.
    • 2. Abroad bringing most foule.
      • 1. Mouthes.
      • 2. Hands.
      • 3. Hearts into Godsown house.

    Comfort for Christs people set forth.

    • 1. By two resemblances.
    • 2. By five disproportions, shewing how farre more comfortable Christ is then any Rose.

    4. Objections answered by severall very needfull distinctions and Solutions.


    An exhortation to such as want Christ to seeke him:

    • 1. In the Law.
    • 2. In the Gospel.

    Faith must be gotten as a hand for the taking of Christ, who himself must work it.

    • 1. By his Word.
    • 2. By his Spirit.

    Christ must be sought speedily, as Roses in the Summer, whey they may be had before,

    • Either you may be taken from the means, or the means from you.

    Foure grounds which should draw men to Christ to take him.

    • 1. His Rose like sweetnesse.
    • 2. Delightfulnesse appearing.
      • 1. In his person.
      • 2. Titles, being called
        • 1. Light.
        • 2. A Saviour.
        • 3. Salvation.
        • 4. A Bridegroome.
        • 5. A Friend.

    3. Lovingnesse, manifested by the effusion of his precious blood, which makes him as red as a Rose.

    4. Needfulnesse in regard of the life.

    • 1. Naturall.
    • 2. Spirituall for
      • 1. Mortification.
      • 2. Sanctification.
      • 3. Consolation.
    • 3. Eternall.

    Sixe Impediments that keep men from Christs are to be removed:

    • 1. Blindnesse.
    • 2. Blockishnesse.
    • 3. Basenesse.
    • 4. Brutishnesse.
    • 5. Bitternesse.
    • 6. Businesse.

    All founded and grounded upon the Rosie Meta­phor or simile used in the Text.

    Of Blindnesse in speciall, for the removeall whereof men are called upon.

    • 1. To pray to Christ for illumination.
    • 2. Christ is compared with those things which vain men do so preferre before Christ, who is set forth by nine properties. For,
      • Nine pro­perties of Christ. 1. He is most comely.
      • Nine pro­perties of Christ. 2. Most valiant and strong.
      • Nine pro­perties of Christ. 3. Most Rich.
      • Nine pro­perties of Christ. 4. Most Wise.
      • Nine pro­perties of Christ. 5. Most Harmlesse.
      • Nine pro­perties of Christ. 6. Most Pleasant.
      • Nine pro­perties of Christ. 7. Most Sure.
      • Nine pro­perties of Christ. 8 Most Sublime.
      • Nine pro­perties of Christ. 9. Most Concupiscible and contenta­tive: all drawn out of Cant. 5.10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16.

    Whereas those things which are so valued above Christ are: [Page]

    • Nine Dif­ferences. 1. Most Foule.
    • Nine Dif­ferences. 2. Most weake.
    • Nine Dif­ferences. 3. Most Poore.
    • Nine Dif­ferences. 4. Most Foolish.
    • Nine Dif­ferences. 5. Most Hurtfull.
    • Nine Dif­ferences. 6. Most Bitter.
    • Nine Dif­ferences. 7 Most Vncertaine.
    • Nine Dif­ferences. 8. Most Low and Base.
    • Nine Dif­ferences. 9. Most Vnsatisfiable.

    Of Blockishnesse to be removed by a

    • 1. Frequent.
    • 2. Serious consideration of our last sicknesse, when this Rose of Sharon, will stand us more in­steed then all Rose waters, or Cordials what­soever.

    Of Basenesse the third lett, which is to be remo­ved by an exact

    • 1. Ransacking of our hearts.
    • 2. Ripping up of our lives, words, and actions.

    Of Brutishnesse the fourth lett, which must be removed by

    • 1. A retiring of our selves from all meat and drink, and other pleasant things for a season.
    • 2. By reasoning.

    Of Bitternesse the fift lett, which we may re­move by comparing the bitternesses, which are said to attend Christ and those that chuse and [Page]take Christ with the sweetnesses and comforts of Christ.


    Of Businesse the sixt lett, which concerneth world­ly men and women, who must

    • 1. Leave all businesse for a time.
    • 2. Think seriously of that maine businesse, which doth so neerely concerne them, even the chu­sing and taking of this most delicious and needfull Rose of Sharon.

    A Finall exhortation to a serious removing of all these six Impediments, and an earnest and painfull labouring for, and seeking after Christ the Rose of Sharon.


    An exhortation to Gods people to be more for Christ (who like a Rose is so delightfull, usefull, and desireable) then ever they were;

    • 1. By a happy under-valuing of all earthly things in comparison of Christ; for 3 Respects.
    • 2. By a holy willingnesse to be with Christ.
    • 1. Here.
      • 1. In the Word preached.
      • 2. At and in the mysterious administration and participation of the blessed Sacra­ment of his Sacred Supper.
      • 3. In Prayer.
      • 4. In the reading of his own Sacred Book.
      • 5. In the reading of such good books, as are written of him by holy men.
      • 6. In his best beloved people, conversing with them as with Christ, whose Image they beare, and members they are:
    • 2. Hereafter.
    • [Page]3. By a mightie care to keep him still,
      • 1. By a holy and perpetuall recordation and mindfulnesse of him.
      • 2. By a sweet and comfortable feeling of his gracious presence in their blessed souls.

    Quest. What if he will be gone can we keep him.

    Answ. You may keep him, as you keep Roses with sugar.

    • 1. With sugared and sweet thoughts.
    • 2. Words.
    • 3. Works.

    Christs people should be willing to make more use of Christ, (who is so usefull being like a Rose) then ever they did.


    Christ is to be made use of, in 25. Cases set down in order.


    Eight Physicall Rules to be observed, in and about the taking of Christ, as the onely most Sove­rain Rose or medicine, ordained of God for sin-sick Souls.



PAg. 10.1.14. Cant. 1.10. read. Cant. 5.10. p. 13. l. 8. next. r. text. p. 24. l. 14. I now not. r. I know not. r. p. 29. l. 26. rather to be farther. r. rather to be wished farther, p. 34. l. 25. notwithstanding, is, r. which notwithstanding it is, p. 48. l. 18. in all eternitie, r. to all eternitie, p. 53. l. 10. degree. r. decree. p. 58. l. 1. he speaks, r. he spake. p. 79. l. 11. for them. r. for that, p. 83. l. 22. after Christ. r. after Christ may speed, p. 94. l. 18. you. r. yea. p. 124. l. 24. He most r. he is most. p. 150. l. 9. combine. r. combined. p. 151. l. 4. breath. r. breach. p. 153. l. 24. remaine, r. remove p. 156. l. 24. Lot. r. let. p. 173. l. 17. returne. r. returnes, p. 175. l. 1. floweth, r. bloweth. p. 189. l. 13. and him. r. of him. p. 192. l. 18. for himselfe, r. for he himselfe. p. 193. l. 11. runs. r. is. p. 198. l 22. are to be. r. is to be. p. 200. l. 2. cannot. r. nor cannot ibid. l. 4. breathes. r. panteth. p. 203. l. 16. r. Deitie p. 218. l. 2. r. to be observed. p. 223. l. 12. another of, r. another matter of. p. 225. l. 20. ad­mired, r. admireth. ibid. 22. he cryeth, r. and cryeth. p. 230. l. 25. in the, r. in that p. 248. l. 7. mans, r. man.


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