A SERMON Preached at the FUNERAL OF THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE Lady Margaret Mainard, AT Little EASTON in ESSEX.

On the 30th. of Iune, 1682.

By Tho. Ken D. D. one of his Majesty's Chaplains in Ordinary.

LONDON, Printed by M. Flesher, for Ioanna Brome, at the Sign of the Gun in St. Paul's Church-yard; And William Clarke Bookseller in Winchester, MDCLXXXII.

TO The Right Honourable WILLIAM Lord Mainard, BARON of EASTAINS, AND Comptroller of His MAJESTY'S Houshold.

My LORD,

THough I am unwilling, to decline any Service, which Your Lordship expects from me, yet when You enjoyn'd me, the Printing of this Sermon, I could not obey Your Command, without disputing it. For I consider'd, that in such an Age as this, where an Exemplary Holiness, is very rare, I shall be thought guilty, of most gross Flattery, in the Cha­racter I have given, of Your Incomparable Lady, now in Heaven.

[Page] But knowing I have so many, unexceptionable Witnesses, to attest every Line I have said, espe­cially Your Self, who best understood her value, and are most sensible of her loss; and being Conscious to my self, that I have spoken no other throughout, than the words of Truth, I soon broke through, all the discouragements I had, either from the just Censures the World would fix, on the meaness of the Discourse, or from the unjust ones it might pass, on my Insincerity; and resolv'd, to doe all that little Honour I could, to her Memory, and to give God, the glory of her Example: And I humbly beseech the Divine Goodness, that what I now offer to the Publick, may not be wholly unprofitable, to those who reade it; However, I am sure, it will not be unacceptable to Your Lordship, or to those, who were so happy to know her, which will be satisfaction enough, to

My Good LORD,
Your Lordship's most Hum­ble and Faithfull Servant THO. KEN.

A SERMON Preached at the FUNERAL Of the Right Honourable The LADY MARGARET MAINARD,

On Prov. 11. xvi.‘A gracious Woman retaineth honour.’

THE World was never yet so bad, but the good Man, though his life was a continued Satyre to the Age he lived in, did always either find, or extort, a Veneration from it. So true is it of both Sexes, which Solomon here affirms of Woman only, that gracious Persons, they who are in the Grace and favour of God, and are strengthned by his [Page 2] gracious assistances, they who by the covenant of Grace, are enrolled in his service, and in whose hearts, there is a conspiration, of all the Graces of his holy Spirit; all which particu­lars, are included in the word Grace, and do all concur, to make up a gracious Soul; Such persons, I say, as these, shall from the gene­rality of Men, gain an inward esteem, and a great Opinion, and for the most part, an outward, and a suitable respect, or as the Wise man words it, shall retain honour.

I must confess, that there are many instan­ces, even in our own perverse generation, wherein Vertue has rather been contemn'd and ridicul'd than Honour'd, but I will mention no other than the most signal of all, God Incar­nate, whose example, though it was as perfect, and unblameable, as the fulness of the God­head, could render it; yet his most divine Per­son, was so far from being honoured, by ma­ny of the Iews, that he lay under the ut­most imputations of Slander and Blasphe­my, which words could express; and as glori­ous as all his Miracles were, they were as­crib'd to no other, than Beelzebub, the Prince Matt. 12. 24. of the very Devils.

But though it be true, that our blessed Lord, in regard to his state of Humiliation, [Page 3] seemed to have no form, no comeliness in him; yet all his Conversation, had so many Isa. 53. 3. irradiations of Divinity in it, which did a­bundantly evince his heavenly Extraction; and it is no wonder he should suffer such con­tradictions of sinners, it being usual for an Heroick virtue, which is singly to encounter whole Legions, to contend with inveterate Errours, or reigning Vices, to reprove, and reform the World, as our Saviour was, to be loaded, with most diabolical reproaches. But Goodness has an inseparable splendour, which can never suffer, a total ecclipse, and when it is most revil'd, and persecuted, it then shines brightest out of Cloud. So that all who are not willfully blind, who will but make use of their eyes to see, must acknow­ledge the force of its raies.

This did the very Iews themselves, as ma­ny as had any reliques of common inge­nuity left: The Multitude own'd our Savi­our Luke 7. 16, 4, 22. for a great Prophet, wonder'd at his gra­cious words, confest he had done all things Mark 7. 16. well, insomuch, that they would have exal­ted Iohn 6, 15, 18, 38. him to the throne, and have made him their King; Pilate could find no fault in him at all; and the Centurion, a Heathen, even when he saw him hanging on the Cross, as [Page 4] a Malefactour, cried out, Certainly this was a Luke 23. 47. Righteous man. So that a gracious Person, un­der the most extreme degree of Infamy and Slander, shall yet retain honour, shall from all that are in their right minds, have at least an inward Veneration.

If this be verifi'd of a publique Vertue, there can be less doubt of it in a private one, which not being on such a stage, as may pro­voke and affront the angry World, by open­ly contradicting, or upbraiding, or chasti­sing it, passes along with a less assaulted, and less envied reputation, and more undis­turb'dly retains honour than the former.

There is, I know, an honour which is due to all men, as they are God's workmanship, 1 Pet. 2. 17, 18. and have some lines of his Image in them, but especially to Kings, and to Magistrates, whom it is our duty to honour, whether they be gracious Persons or no; this we are to render to the Froward, and Pagan, as well as to gen­tle and believing Masters; to Princes that 1 Tim. 6. 2. are Infidels and Persecutours, as well as to Rom. 13. 1. Christian and nursing Fathers. But then this honour is not paid them out of respect to any real Goodness in them, but only to their Au­thority, as they are God's ordinance, as we depend on their Protection, and as our Obe­dience [Page 5] is enforc'd, by Law and Penalties; But the honour we give to a gracious Person, is pure­ly in reference to his moral excellencies, which are legible in the whole conduct of his life: The former is merely civil, the latter may in some sort, be styl'd Religious: Empire is honour'd as it resembles God's power, ab­stracted from his Holiness, and therefore it is compatible with an ungracious Person, it is confin'd only to this World, and reaches no farther: But Graciousness is honour'd as a participation of the divine Nature, appro­priate 2 Pet. 1. 4. to no other than Saints, and which has its prospect only on Heaven: The for­mer is like Thunder and Lightning, and works on our Fear; the latter is like the ap­pearance of a good Angel, arraid in Beams, awfull, but kind, which do not afflict, but chear the sight, and raise in us a mixt passion, of Love and Veneration together; and in this sense it is, that the gracious Person, for the venerable goodness that is visible in him, shall retain honour.

To attempt any labourious Proof, of so clear a Truth as this, were needless; do but consult the universal practice of Man­kind, and read it there. What Rules do the Philosophers prescribe to render our lives [Page 6] most satisfactory to our selves, and most commendable to others? with what Colours do the Oratours paint those persons they in­tend to Celebrate? what Images do the Po­ets form when they design an Heroe, are they any other than the Rules, and Colours, and Images of moral Goodness? Do not Hypocrites, to court the esteem of the Vul­gar, personate the Saint, and Politians, to make the People honour them, pretend to Religion? and why do they both put on this disguise, but because they know, that Wick­edness bare-fac'd, is in the eyes of all men most detestable, and that the names of Saint, and of Religion, are creditable in the World? Shew me that profligate Wretch, who in his cool thoughts, or on his Death-bed, does not decline all his loose Companions, and seeks out for men truly good, and conscienci­ous, to whom he may intrust his Estate, his Children, and all that is dearest to him, even his own Soul too, for which he then begs their ghostly counsel? What man is there so wicked, who on his death-bed does not wish that he may die the death of the Righteous, and that his latter end may be like his? Look into the Histories and customs of Ages past, see how greedily coveted, how dearly purchast, and [Page 7] how highly valued, the Statues, and all the little remains of Good Men have been: The Heathens, to express their great esteem of Goodness, built Temples to Vertue and Ho­nour, and join'd these Temples together, and made the former the only passage into the latter, they thought Praise to Good men as just a Tribute, as Sacrifice to their Gods; and one of the Wisest of them, wonderfully pleas'd himself, in fansying how lovely and venera­ble, how divine and transporting an Idea he should see, could he but look into the breast of a[?] Good man. We have then the practice and the judgment of the whole World, to confirm this truth, that Vertue has always had a great and a general esteem, that the gracious Person retains honour.

On the contrary, is there not a natural shame, a sense of turpitude, or a confusi­on of face in vicious and unclean actions? why else are men afraid to commit them, before the most inconsiderable Spectatour, and chuse darkness for a thick Mantle to co­ver them? why else do they blush to own them, wish a thousand times they had never been done, and reflect on them with dissa­tisfaction, and horrour? why else do their own Consciences, lash and upbraid them? [Page 8] whereas if we will but take the pains, to make up an Induction of all Christian gra­ces, we shall easily se, that there is none, whose friendship is more ambitiously sought, none with whom men would sooner change Persons, none who are accounted of more substantial worth, or more generally rever'd, or more influential to the good of Mankind, or sooner wanted in the World, or who make a nobler figure in Story, than the Devout, the Humble, the Just, the Meek, the Tem­perate, the Charitable; or to express all in one word, the gracious Person, who therefore shall always retain honour.

I need not reckon up the numerous places of Holy Scripture, where Goodness and Ho­nour are link'd together; how the Wise are Prov. 3. 35. said to inherit glory; the humble and meek Luke 1. 52. to be exalted; how we are commanded to 1 Thess. 4. 4. keep our Vessels in sanctification and ho­nour, and how God has promis'd to honour 1 Sam. 2. 30. those who honour him: I need not mention the primitive Dypticks, or how the Church Catholick, has celebrated the Festivals, and honour'd the memories of the Saints, and of the Martyrs; I need not suggest that obvi­ous Conclusion, That if gracious Persons can draw even wicked Men, to a reverential [Page 9] love of their Vertue, much more will they engage the friendship, of all that are Holy, and not only of holy Men, but of holy An­gels too, who being all ministring Spritis, de­puted by God to attend them, the more hea­venly, Heb. 1. 14. they see any committed to their charge does grow, the more respectfull attendance, in all probab [...]lity they give him.

And there is the highest reason in the World, why there should be so honourable a loveliness, in a gracious Person, if we consider, the likeness he bears to that great God, whom we Adore. For as there are on all men, innate impressions of God's Existence, so there are also of his Attribut [...]s, and none ever yet in earnest, believed there was a God, but he also believed that God was a Being, Infinite in all Perfections, in Wisedom and Power, Justice and Mercy, Purity and Holiness, Veracity and Beneficence, and as these excite our Love, and our Adoration to God, so where ever we see any, though but imperfect resemblances, of his imitable perfections, in the Saints here on earth, where ever we see men in any measure Holy and Pure, Just and Mercifull, Faithfull and Beneficent, we there see the image of God himself, and cannot but pay them a suitable honour: Thus as [Page 10] Goodness and Adorableness are co-eternal in God, so are Sanctity and Venerableness co­eval, in gracious Persons.

Nor are we only by Grace made like to God, but he is also pleas'd actually to dwell in us, and to consecrate our Souls to be his Temples; and as God commanded the Iews to reverence his Sanctuary, the place of his 1 Cor. 3. 16. residence among them, where he sat between Lev. 19. 30. the Cherubims, and a glorious Light that shin'd on the Propiti [...]to [...]y, was the Symbol of his Presence: So when in gracious Souls, we discover all the fruits of the Spirit, a kind Gal. 5. 22. of glory brightning their Conversation, and a sacred Amiablen [...]ss breath'd on them from Heaven, we are sure that God inhabits there, and cannot but reverence his Temples.

Such Honour have all God's Saints from even wicked men, from all holy persons, and from the good Angels, and infinitely above all th [...]se, from God himself, who honours them with his Image, after which they are renew'd, and with his Presence, of which they are possest; Such Honour, I say, have all his Saints even in this life, which if we did but seriously Contemplate, would stir us up to a generous emulation, would encourage us to implore the Divine Grace, that we may [Page 11] bewail all our past sins, cleanse our selves from all filthiness, both of Flesh, and of Spi­rit, which produce nothing in the end, but Shame, and Horrour, and daily grow more conformable to his Likeness, which is the on­ly way, to assert the dignity of our Nature, and to retain honour.

But when once our Souls, shall be divorc'd from our bodies, when the name of the wick­ed Prov. 10. 7. shall rot, and stink, sooner than his car­case, leaving no memorials b [...]hind, unless it be, of his sin, his infamy, his madness, or his folly; Precious then in the sight of the Psa. 116. 15. Lord, shall[?] be the death of his Saints, bless [...]d shall be their memories, They shall be had in Psa. 112. 6. everlasting remembrance, and their good Names, being Registred in the book of Life, shall flourish to immortality.

All this while, I have not done Justice to my Subject, by affirming only in general, that Goodness is honourable, I must therefore be more particular, and enquire, why Solo­mon does here instance, in the Woman, rather than in the Man, A gracious Woman retains honour.

And the reason seems to me, to be either this, that as Vice is more odious, and more detested, so on the other hand, Vertue is more [Page 12] attractive, and looks more lovely, in Wo­men, than it usually does in Men, insomuch that the gracious Woman, shall be sure to pur­chase, and to retain honour.

Or it is, because Men have more advan­tages, of aspiring to honour, in all publick stations, of the Church, the Court, the Camp, the Bar, and the City, than Women have, and the only way for a Woman to gain honour, is an exemplary Holiness; This makes her Children, rise up and call her blessed, her Hus­band Prov. 31. 28, 31. and her own works, to praise her in the gate, the sole glory then of that Sex, is to be good, for 'tis a gracious Woman only, who retains honour.

Or it is, because Women are made of a temper, more soft and frail, are more endan­ger'd by snares, and temptations, less able to control their passions, and more inclinable to extremes of good, or bad, than Men, and generally speaking, Goodness is a tenderer thing, more hazardous, and brittle in the for­mer, than in the latter, and consequently a firm, and steady Vertue, is more to be valued in the weaker Sex, than in the stronger; So that a gracious Woman, is most worthy to re­ceive, and to retain honour.

Or it is, because Women in all Ages, have [Page 13] given, many Heroick examples of Sanctity, besides those recorded in the Old Testament, many of them are named, with great ho­nour in the New. For their Assiduity and Zeal, in following our Saviour, and their Charity, in ministring to him of their sub­stance, Luke 8. 3. they accompanied him to Mount Cal­vary, lamented his Sufferings, waited on the Cross, attended the Sepulchre, prepared Spi­ces, Matt. 27. 55. and Oyntments, and regardless, either Luke 23. 27. of the Insolence of the rude Souldiers, or of the Malice of the Iews, with a love that cast out all fear, they came on the first day of the Week, before the morning light, to Embalm him; and God was pleas'd to honour these holy Women accordingly, for they first saw the Angel, who told them the joyfull news that he was risen, and as if an Angel, had not Matt. 28. 5. been a Messenger honourable enough, Iesus himself first appear'd to the Women, the Wo­men first saw, and ador'd him; and it was these very gracious Women, whom our Lord sent to his Disciples, that Women might be the first Publishers of his Resurrection, as An­gels had been of his Nativity; Our Saviour himself, has erected an everlasting Monument in the Gospel, for the penitent Woman that anointed him, and God Incarnate honour'd Matt. 26. 13. [Page 14] the Sex to the highest degree imaginable, in being born of a Woman, in becoming the Son of a Virgin Mother, whom all Genera­tions shall call Blessed; and I know not how to call it, but there is a meltingness of Dispo­sition, an affectionateness of Devotion, an easie Sensibility, an industrious Alacrity, a lan­guishing Ardour, in Piety, peculiar to the Sex, which naturally renders them, Subjects more pliable, to the Divine Grace, than Men com­monly are; So that Solomon, had reason to bestow the Epithete Gracious, particularly on them, and to say, that a gracious Woman retains honour.

I am well aware, that if we consult the sensu­al, and debaucht rank of Men, 'tis not the Gra­cious, or the Chast Woman they esteem, but only the Fair, or the Lascivious; Esteem, did I say! Men may court an idle, or a wanton Beauty, for their Lust, but they can only esteem, a Gracious, and a Chast one, and when all is done, she only deserves the name of Beautifull: As for the Lascivious, and the Pro­stitute, against whom Solomon so often, and so pathetically, warns the Young man, She is so utterly impure, that I will not so much as name her, in the same discourse with a graci­ous Woman; I will then, make the Compari­son, [Page 15] between mere outward Beauty only, and Grace, and you will soon perceive the difference.

For Beauty, if it be Natural, is from a Wo­mans birth, 'tis her chance, and not her me­rit; if it be Artificial, it makes her no other, than a painted Sepulchre, Gaudy without, and that has nothing but Rottenness, and Stanch within: But Grace, is the free gift of God, and our own free choice, in a happy conjunc­tion, 'tis no other than a God-like loveliness, imprest on our Spirit.

Beauty is often incident to starke Fools, and to the Profane, and Irreligious; But Grace is peculiar to holy Persons, who like the Psa. 45. 13. King's Daughter, are all glorious within.

Beauty is prone to admire its self, and to swell with Pride; Grace instills a just sense of our own vileness, and teaches Humility: That is apt to invite Temptation; This is a Preser­vative against it: The former spends her morning hours, at her glass; The latter at her Prayers: That most delights her self, in new fashions, and fine cloaths, in plaiting the 1 Pet. 3. 3. hair, and wearing of Gold; This puts on the or­nament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God, of great price.

Beauty has been often, to the best, and [Page 16] wisest of Men, witness Solomon himself, de­structive, and fatal, for which reason holy Iob made a Covenant with his eyes; and our Saviour Iob 31. 1. commands us, not to look on a Woman, to lust Matt. 5. 28. after her, and the fairer she is, the greater is the danger; But Grace, secures our Innocence, awes men into Sobriety, looks them into Chastity, and the more intense it grows, its influence, is the more sovereign, and efficaci­ous.

Beauty, gratifies only our outward sense, 'tis a mixture of Colour, and Figure, and Fea­ture, and Parts, all in a due Proportion, and Symmetry; or indeed, 'tis a well shap'd Frame of dust and ashes, belov'd by fond Men only, who like the most stupid of Ido­laters, worship the bare Statue, without regard to the Deity there enshrin'd: But Grace, is a confluence of all Attractives, which approves it self to our own most d [...]liberate judgments, and is belov'd by God: Do but imagine you were in the Spouse's Garden, where, when the South-wind blows, the several Spices, and Cant. 4. 16 Gumms, the Spikenard and the Cinamon, the Frankincense and the Myrrhe, send forth their various smells, which meeting together, and mixing in the Air, make a compounded Odour; Such a composition, of all Vertues, [Page 17] such an universal and uniform Agreeableness, is there in a gracious Soul, which in a manner, whether we will or no, engages our affections.

Beauty is vain, and Favour is deceitfull, says the Prov. 31. 30. Wise man, it soon evaporates, and cheats our expectation, in a little time it decays, by cares, or Child-bearing, or Sickness, or a thousand other accidents; Men no sooner begin to crop the Flower, but it fades, and sinks, and dies, or it is often sowr'd, with such inward dispositions, which render it afflicting, and insupportable; But Grace, creates to our minds an intire satisfa­ction, has a goodness intrinsick, and eternal, grows more amiable, the more it is enjoy'd, so that the Woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be prais'd, she shall for ever, retain honour.

As a jewel of Gold in a Swines snout, which is Prov. 11. 22. hung there on purpose to be defil'd, to be roll'd in filth, and mire, and is one of the most noto­rious, and ugly incongruities, in the World; Such a kind of absurdity, if you will believe Solomon, is a fair Woman without discretion; her beauty 'tis true, is a Jewel, but a Jewel extreme­ly ill plac'd, and serves for no other purpose, but to make her folly more conspicuous, to ex­pose her the more to impurity, and to a swinish sensuality; But Grace makes a Woman a Crown to Prov. 12. 4. 1 Cor. 11. 5. Prov. 31. 10. her Husband, the glory of the Man, and advances her [Page 18] price above Rubies; So that a gracious Woman, is a Jewel of a value inestimable, she has worth, and ornament, and lustre, and beauty, and ho­nour, all combind together. Most deservedly then, did wise Solomon, give the preference to Grace, and did assure us, that a strong Man, is not more powerfull to get, and when gotten, to retain his riches, than a gracious Woman to ac­quire honour, and to retain it, when acquir'd.

It is now time, to doe all the right I am able, to the noble Lady deceased, who was a woman, so remarkably Gracious, and retain'd an Honour, so entire, and unblemish'd, that all the measures I have hitherto laid down, either of Grace, or of Honour, are but a faint Copy, drawn after her, she was all the while before my thought, her holy example is the original, and though I will not say, that among the many daughters, who Prov. 31. 29. have done virtuously, she absolutely excells them all, yet I am sure, she deserves to be esteem'd, one of the highest order.

But alas! we have nothing now left, except this poor relique of Clay, which in a few mi­nutes must be restor'd to its native earth, and for ever hid from our eyes, the gracious Soul that inform'd it, is flowd back again to God, from whom it first stream'd, and his most blessed will be done, who is compassionate and ado­rable, [Page 19] in all his chastisements; yet as we are flesh and bloud, we cannot but feel the stroke, which even his Fatherly hand has given us. It is the Curse of the wicked, to die unlamented, unless it be, that they are sometimes carried Ier. 16. 4. to the Grave, with the mercenary tears, of those who make mourning a trade; But the death of the Righteous, being a loss irrecoverable, and a real calamity, to us who survive, must needs fill us, with sad resentments, when we consi­der, of how great a blessing we are depriv'd.

Our Saviour himself, has countenanc'd a moderate grief for our friends, in weeping o­ver, his own dead friend Lazarus; So that if Iohn 11. 35. we shed our tears, over the Grave of this graci­ous and honourable Lady, 'tis but to be just to her ashes, to ease our own sorrowfull Spirits, and to testifie to the World, how dear a sense we have of her worth. For had she had no­thing but her Quality, to have recommended her, we might have perform'd her Funeral Ce­remonies, with a bare outward Solemnity, but without any more concern, than a common object of Mortality gives us; But she was a Wo­man so truly gracious, that we could not but most affectionately honour her, and cannot but have a greif, that bears some proportion to our loss.

For 'tis our loss only we can bewail, we [Page 20] grieve for our selves, not for her; She has a joyful deliverance from temptation and infir­mity, from sin and misery, and from all the evil to come, she is now past all the storms, and dangers of this troubled life, and is safely ar­riv'd, at her everlasting Haven; she is now ful­ly possest, of all that she desir'd, which was, to be dissolv'd, and to be with Christ, and we can­not lament, her being happy. When we weep for common Christians, we are not to be sor­ry, as men without hope, but when we have 1. Thess 4. 13. so many, so uninterrupted, and so undeniable demonstrations, of the sanctity of a Person, as we have of this gracious Woman, we have no rea­son at all to grieve on her account, since we have not only a bare hope, but an assurance ra­ther, that she is now in glory.

But why did I call her death a loss? 'tis ra­ther our gain, we were all travelling the same way, as Pilgrims, towards our heavenly Coun­try, she has only got the start of us, and is gone before, and is happy first; and I am persuaded that we still enjoy her prayers for us above; However, I am sure, that we enjoy her good works here below, which now appear more illustrious, and without that vail, her modesty, and her humility cast over them; we still en­joy her example, which being now set, in its [Page 21] true light, and at its proper distance, and deli­ver'd from that cloud of flesh, which did obscure and lessen it, looks the more gracious, and the more honourable; and if we follow the track, she trod, we shall ere long, enjoy her society in Heaven.

Let us then alter our Note, and rather honour, than bewail her, she was a gracious Woman, and ho­nour is her due; Her good Name, like a precious Oyntment poured forth, has perfum'd the whole Sphere, in which she mov'd. To paint her fully to the life, I dare not undertake, she had a graci­ousness in all her Conversation, that cannot be exprest, and should I endeavour to doe it, I must run over, all the whole Catalogue of Evangeli­cal Graces, which do all concenter in her Cha­racter; I must tell you, how enflam'd she was with heavenly love, how well guided a Zeal, she had for God's glory, how particular a rever­ence she paid, to all things, and to all persons, that were dedicated to His Service, how God was always in her thoughts, how great a tenderness she had, to offend her heavenly Father, how great a delight to please him; But you must be con­tent, with some rude strokes only, for such par­ticulars would be endless,; All my fear is, that I shall speak too little, but I am sure, I can hard­ly speak too much.

[Page 22] Say, All you who have been Eye-witnesses of her Life, did you from her very Cradle, ever know her any other, than a gracious Woman? As to my self, I have had the honour to know her, near twenty years; and to be admitted, to her most intimate thoughts, and I cannot but think, upon the utmost of my observation, that she always preserv'd her Baptismal Innocence, that she never committed any one mortal Sin, which put her out of the state of Grace; Insomuch, that after all the frequent, and severe examina­tions, she made of her own Conscience, her Con­fessions were made up, of no other than sins of Infirmity, and yet even for them, she had as deep an Humiliation, and as Penitential a Sor­row, as high a sense of the Divine forgiveness, and lov'd as much, as if she had had Much to be forgiven: So that after a life of above Forty Years, Nine of which were spent in the Court, bating her involuntary failings, which are una­voidable, and for which, allowances are made, in the Covenant of Grace, she kept her self unspot­ed 1 James 27. from the World, and if it may be affirmed of any, I dare venture to affirm it of this, gracious Woman, that by the peculiar favour of Heaven, she past from the Font, unsullied to her Grave.

Her understanding was admirable, and she daily improv'd it, by reading, in which she em­ploy'd [Page 23] most of her time, and the Books she chose, were only serious, or devout, and her memory was faithfull, to retain what she read: She took not up her Religion on an implicite faith, or from education only, but from a well-studied choice, directed by God's holy Spirit, whose guidance she daily invok'd, and when once she had made that choice, she was immoveable as a rock, and so well satisfi'd in the Catholick faith, profest in the Church of England, that I make no doubt, but that she always liv'd, not only with the strict­ness of a Primitive Saint, but with the resolution also, of a Martyr: It was strange to hear, how strongly she would argue, how clearly she un­derstood, the force of a Consequence, and how ready at all times she was, to give a reason of the 1 Pet. 3. 15. hope that was in her, with meekness, and fear; Her Letters which were found in her Cabinet, not to be deliver'd till after her death, and very ma­ny others, in the hands of her Relations, suffici­ently shew, how good, and how great she was, In them this humble Saint, before she was aware, has her self made an exact impression, of her own Graciousness; They are pen'd in so proper and unaffected a Style, and animated throughout with so divine a Spirit, with such ardours of De­votion, and Charity, as might have become a Proba, a Monica, or the most eminent of her Sex, [Page 24] Insomuch, that her very absence, was the more supportable to her friends, in regard she com­pensated the want of her presence, by writing, and sent them a blessing, by every return.

I cannot tell, what one help she neglected, to secure her perseverance, and to heighten her gra­ces, that she might shine more and more, to a perfect Prov. 4. 18. day; Her Oratory was the place, where she prin­cipally resided, and where she was most at home, and her chief employment, was Prayer, and Praise; Out of several Authours, she for her own use, transcrib'd many excellent Forms, the very choice of which does argue, a most expe­rienc'd Piety, she had Devotions suited, to all the primitive hours of Prayer, which she us'd, as far as her bodily Infirmities, and necessary Avocati­ons would permit, and with David, Prais'd God seven times a day, or supply'd the want of those solemn hours, by a kind of perpetuity of Eja­culations, which she had ready, to answer all oc­casions, and to fill up all vacant intervals, and if she happened to wake in the Night, of proper Prayers even for mid-night, she was never un­provided. Thus did this gracious Soul, having been enkindled by fire from Heaven, in her Bap­tism, liv'd a continual Sacrifice, and kept the fire always burning, always in ascension, always as­piring towards Heaven from whence it fell. Be­sides [Page 25] her own private Prayers, she Morning, and Evening offer'd up to God the publick Offices, and when she was not able, to go to the house of Prayer, she had it read to her, in her Chamber.

To Prayers she added Fasting, till her weak­ness had made it impossible to her constitution, and yet even then, on days of Abstinence, she made amends for the Omission, by other sup­plemental Mortifications. Her Devotions she en­larg'd, on the Fasts and Festivals of the Church, but especially on the Lord's days, dividing the hours, between the Church and her Closet.

She never fail'd, on all opportunities, to ap­proach the holy Altar, came with a Spiritual hunger, and thirst to that heavenly Feast, and Communicated with a lively, with a Crucifying, but yet endearing Remembrance, of her Cru­cifi'd Saviour.

The Sermons she heard, when she came home she recollected, and wrote down out of her me­mory, abstracts of them all, which are in a great number, among her Papers, that she might be, not only, a hearer of the Word, but a doer also.

The Holy Scripture she attentively read, and on what she read, she did devoutly meditate, and did by Meditation, appropriate to her self, it was her Soul's daily Bread, it was her delight, and her Counsellour, and, like the most blessed Virgin Mo­ther, [Page 26] she kept all things she read, and ponder'd them in her heart.

Who is there can say, they ever saw her idle? no, she had always affairs to transact with Hea­ven, she was all her life long numbring her days, and applying her heart to wisedom, or, to de­scribe her with her own Pen, she was making it her business, to fit her self for her change, know­ing, the moment of it to be uncertain, and having no assurance, that her warning would be great; Oh happy Soul, that was thus wise, in a timely con­sideration of that, which of all things in the World, is of greatest importance to us, to be consider'd, namely our Latter end!

You may easily conclude, that a Saint, who was always thus conversant with her Grave, and had heaven always in her view, must have little or no value for things below, as indeed she had not, she did not only conquer the World, but she tri­umph'd over it, had a noble contempt of Secu­lar greatness, liv'd several years in the very Court, with the abstraction of a Recluse, and was so far from being solicitous for Riches, for her self, or her Children, that, to use her own words, she look'd on them, as dangerous things, which did only clog, and press drown our souls to this earth, and judg'd a Competency, to be certainly the best.

All the temporal blessings, the divine Good­ness, [Page 27] was pleas'd to vouchsafe her, she receiv'd, with an overflowing thankfulness, yet her affec­tions were so disengag'd, her temperance, and moderation so habitual, that she did rather use, than injoy them, and was always ready to restore them, to the same gracious hand that gave them, but no one can express her thoughts, so pathe­tically as her own self; O, says that blessed Saint, since God gives us all, let us not be sorrowfull, though we are to part with all, the Kingdom of Heaven, is a prise, that is worth striving for, though it costs us dear: Alas! what is there in this World, that lincks our hearts so close to it! and elsewhere she affirms, that All blessings are given on this condition, that either they must be taken from us, or we from them, if then, we lose any thing, which we esteem a blessing, we are to give God the glory, and to resign it freely.

She was a perfect despiser, of all those vanities, and divertisements, which most of her sex, do usually admire; her chief, and, in a manner, sole recreation was to doegood, andto oblige, and if we will be advis'd, by one so wise to Salvation, We are to seek for comfort, and joy, from God's ordi­nances, and the converse of pious Christians, and not to take the usual course of the World, to drive away Melancholy, by exposing our selves to temptations; and this was really her practice, insomuch that next to the Service of the Temple, which she daily [Page 28] frequented, There was no entertainment in the whole World, so pleasing to her, as the discourse of heavenly things, and those she spake of, with such a Spiritual relish, that at first hearing, you might perceive she was in earnest, that she real­ly tasted the Lord was good, and felt all she spake.

Amidst all her pains, and her sicknesses, which were sharpe, and many, who ever saw her shew, any one symptome of Impatience? So far was she from it, that she laments, when she reflects, how apt we are to abuse prosperity, Demands, where our conformity is to the great Captain of our Salva­tion, if we have no sufferings; Professes, that God by suffering our Conditions to be Uneasy, by that gentle way, invites us to higher satisfactions, than are to be met with here, and with a prostrate spi­rit, acknowledges, that God was most righteous in all that had befallen her, and that there had been so much mercy mixt wth his chastising, that she had been but too happy. Thus humble, thus content, thus thankfull, was this gracious Woman, amidst her very afflictions. Her Soul always rested on God's Paternal mercy, and on all his exceeding great, and precious promises, as on a sure and stedfast Anchor, which she knew would secure her, in the most tempestuous Calamities; To his bles­sed will, she hourly offer'd up her own, and knew it was as much her duty, to suffer his fatherly in­flictions, [Page 29] as to obey his commands. Her Cha­rity, made her sympathize, with all in Misery, and besides her private Alms, wherein her left hand, was not conscious to her right, she was a common Patroness to the Poor, and Needy, and a common Physician to her sick Neighbours, and would often vvith her own hands, dress their most loathsome soars, and sometimes keep them in her Family, and vvould give them both Diet, and Lodging till they were cur'd, and then cloth them, and send them home, to give God thanks for their recovery, and if they died, her Charity accompany'd them sometimes to the very grave, and she took care even of their burial. She would by no means endure, that by the care of plentiful­ly providing for her Children, the wants, and necessi­ties of any poor Christian, should be over look'd, and desir'd it might be remembred that, Alms and the Poors prayers, will bring a greater blessing, to them, than Thousands a year. Look abroad novv in the World, and see, hovv rarely you shall meet, vvith a Charity, like that of this gracious Woman, vvho next to her own flesh and bloud, vvas ten­der of the Poor, and thought an Alms as much, due to them, as Portions to her Children.

To corporal Alms, as often as she savv oc­casion, she joyn'd spiritual, and she had a singu­lar talent, in dispensing that alms to Souls, she [Page 30] had a masculine Reason to persuade, a steddy Wisedom to advise, a perspicuity both of thought, and language to instruct, a mildness that endear'd a reproof, and could comfort the afflicted, from her own manifold experience of the Divine Goodness, and with so condoling a tenderness, that she seem'd to translate their an­guish, on her self.

And happy was it for others, that her Chari­ty was so comprehensive, for she often met with objects so deplorable, that vvere to be reliev'd in all these capacities, so that she vvas fain to be­come, their Benefactress, their Physician, and their Divine altogether, or if need vvere, she bid them shew themselves to the Priest, or else took care, to send the Priest to them; Thus was it vi­sibly her constant endeavour, to be in all res­pects mercifull, as her Father in Heaven is mercifull.

She could bear long, and most easily forgive, and no one ever injur'd her, but she would heap coals of fire on his head, to melt him into a cha­ritable temper, and vvould often repay the inju­ry, with a kindness so surprising, that if the in­jurious person vvere not vvholly obdurate, and brutish, must needs affect him. But if any one did her, the least good office, none could be more gratefull, she vvould if possible, return it a hundred-fold, if she could not in kind, she would [Page 31] at least doe it, in her prayers to God, that out of his inexhaustible goodness, he would reward him.

Her Soul seem'd to possess, a continued sere­nity, at peace vvith her self, at peace vvith God, and at peace vvith all the World, her study vvas to give all their due, and she vvas exactly sincere, and faithfull to all her obligations, she kept her heart alvvays vvith all diligence, vvas vvatchfull against all temptations, and naturally considerate in all her actions, her disposition vvas peacefull, and inoffensive, she lookt alvvays pleas'd, rather than chearfull, her converse vvas even, and seri­ous, but yet easie and affable; her Interpretations, of vvhat others did, or said, vvere alvvays candid, and charitable, you should never see her indecent­ly angry, or out of humour, never hear her give an ill character, or pass a hard censure, or speak an idle word, but she opened her mouth in wisedom; Prov. 31. 26. and in her tongue, was the law of kindness.

If you look on her, in her several Relations, in her Childhood, her Father, the Right Honour­able, the Earl of Dyzart, being banish'd for his Loyalty, she was under the breeding, of the Ex­cellent Lady her Mother, to whom she was in all respects, so dutifull a Child, that she protested, her Daughter had never, in any one instance, of­fended her; By that time, the young Lady was a­bout Eleven or twelve years old; God was pleas'd [Page 32] to take her good Mother to himself, and from that time to her Marriage, this gracious Woman liv'd with a discretion so much above her years, with so conspicuous a Vertue, and so constant a Wariness, that she always retain'd honour, such an honour, as never had the least Mote in it. And to her honour be it spoken, that in an Age, when the generality of the Nation, were like Children, tost to and fro, with every wind of Doctrine, she still con­tinued stedfast in the Communion of the Church of England, and when the Priests and Service of God, were driven into Corners, she daily resort­ed, though with great difficulty, to the publick Prayers, and was remarkably Charitable to all the suffering Royallists, whom she visited, and re­liev'd, and fed, and cloth'd, and condol'd, with a zeal, like that which the Ancient Christians shew'd, to the Primitive Martyrs.

The silenc'd, and plunder'd, and persecuted Clergy, she thought worthy, of double honour, did vow a certain Sum yearly, out of her In­come, which she laid aside, only to succour them. The Congregations, where she then usually communicated, were those, of the reverend and Pious, Dr. Thruscross, and Dr. Mossom, both now in Heaven, and that of the then Mr. Gunning, the now most worthy Bishop of Ely, for whom she ever after had a peculiar Veneration.

[Page 33] But I must by no means pass by, the Right Reverend Father in God, Bishop Duppa, then of Salisbury, afterwards of Winchester, but now with God, who was then put out of all, and an Exemplary Confessour, for the King, and the Church; This holy Man, when she resided in the Country, liv'd in the Neighbourhood, and she often visited him, and he seem'd to be de­sign'd on purpose, by God's most gratious di­rection, to be her spiritual Guide, to confirm her in all her holy Resolutions, to satisfy all those Scruples, to becalm all those Fears, and regulate all those Fervours which are incident to an early, and tender Piety, and God's good­ness render'd him so successfull, that she retain'd, the happy influence of his ghostly Advice, to her dying day.

Before the Age of twenty, she was married, to the Right Honourable, William Lord Mainard, to whom in her Letters, she often gives, the most affectionate thanks imaginable, for his unvalua­ble, and unparallel'd kindness towards her, as she her self terms it, and most fervently prays, that The Lord Iesus Christ would be his exceeding great re­ward, and his portion for ever; But I forbear to offer violence to the modesty of the Survivor, and will content my self, to say only in general, that when she was a Wife, she still retain'd her ac­customed [Page 34] devotion, which she practis'd when a Virgin, and her greatest concern, was for the things of the Lord, how she might please the Lord, how in a Marriage honourable, and a Bed undefil'd, she might be holy both in body, and in spirit, and at­tend 1 Cor. 7. 32. upon the Lord, without distraction. And since, as Solomon affirms, a prudent Wife is from the Lord, Prov. 19. 14. she was certainly the immediate gift of God, and sent by propitious Heaven, for a good Angel, as well as for a Wife.

As a Mother she was unspeakably tender, and carefull, of the two Children, with which God had blest her; but her zeal for their eternal wel­fare, was predominant, and she made it her dying request, that in their education, their piety should be principally regarded, or to speak her own words, that the chief care should be, to make them pious Christians, which would be the best provision, that could be made for them.

In reference to her Son, it was her express de­sire, that he should be good, rather than either rich, or great, that he should be bred in the strictest principles of Sobriety, Piety, and Charity, of Tem­perance and Innocency of life, that could be, that he should never be indulg'd in the least sin, that he should never be that, which these corrupt days call a Wit, or a fine Gentile man, but an honest, and sincere Chri­stian, she desir'd he might be.

[Page 35] She profest, there was nothing hard to be parted with, but her Lord, and her dear Children, but though her passion for them, was as intense, as can well be imagin'd, yet for the sake of her God, whom she lov'd infinitely better, she was willing to part with them also, had long fore­seen the parting, and prepar'd for it, and humbly beg'd of her heavenly Father, to take them, into his protection; she took care of their Souls, even after her death, in the Letters she left behind her, and comforted her self, with an entire acquiescence, in the good pleasure of her beloved, with hopes, that she should still, pray for them in Heaven, and that she should ere long, meet them there; and this consideration of meeting above, put her into a transport, which makes her, in one of her Letters, cry out, O how joyfull shall we be, to meet at Christ's right hand, if we may be admitted, into that Elect number!

In her Family, she always united Martha, and Luke 10. 41, 42. Mary together, took a due care of all her dome­stick Affairs, and manag'd them with a wise fru­gality, with a constant deference, to God's mer­cifull Providence, and without either covetous fears, or a restless anxiety; but withall; she sate at the feet of Jesus, and heard his word, and of the two, was still most intent on the better part.

She studiously endeavour'd, by private, and [Page 36] particular, and warm applications, to make all that attended her, more God's Servants, than her own, and treated them, with a meekness, and in­dulgence, and condescention, like one, who was always mindfull, that she her self also, had a Eph. 6. 9. Master in Heaven.

Her near Relations, and all that vvere blest vvith her friendship, had a daily share in her in­tercessions, all their concerns, all their afflictions vvere really her ovvn; her chief kindness vvas for their Souls, and she lov'd them vvith a cha­rity, like that which the Blessed shew to one ano­ther in Heaven, in their reciprocal compla­cence at each others happiness, and mutual in­citements to devotion.

In respect of the Publick, vvhich she often laid sadly to heart, her eyes ran down in secret, for all our National Provocations, and she had a parti­cular Office, on fasting Daies, for that purpose; vvhich shevvs hovv importunate she was, at the Throne of Grace, to avert God's Judgments, and to implore his Blessing on the Land.

And now, after all these great truths, which I have said of this Excellent Lady, one Grace I must add, greater than all I have hitherto mention'd, and it is her Humility; she was so little given to talk, and had that art to con­ceal her goodness, that it did not appear at first [Page 37] sight, but after some time, her vertue would break out, whether she would or no; she seem'd to be wholly ignorant of her own Graces, and had as mean an opinion of her self, as if she had had no Excellence at all, like Moses, her Face Exod. 34. 29. shin'd, and she did not know it; others she esteem'd so much better, had that abasing sense of her own Infirmities, and that profound awe of the Divine Majesty, that though she was great in God's eyes, she was always little in her own.

After the Whitson-week was over, she remov'd from White-hall, to Eastonlodge in Essex, not out of any hopes of recovery, but onely that she might have, some little present relief from the Air, or that she might die in a place which she lov'd, in which God had made her, an in­strument of so great good to the Country, and which was near her Grave; and you may easi­ly imagine, that after a life so holy, the death of this gracious Woman, must needs be signally hap­py; and so it was, not but that during her pains, she had often doubts, and fears that af­flicted her, with which in her health she was un­molested, and which did manifestly arise from her Distemper, and did cease as that intermitted; but the day before she died God was please to vouchsafe her, some clearer manifestations of His mercy, which in the tenderness of His com­passion [Page 38] he sent her, as preparatives of her last conflict, and as earnests of Heaven, whither he intended, the day following to translate her.

How she behav'd her self in her sickness, I cannot better express, than by saying, that she pray'd continually; and when the Prayers of the Church were read by her, or when the hour of her own private Prayer came, though she was not able to stand, or to help her self, she would yet be plac't on her Knees; and when her Knees were no longer able to support her, she would be put, into the humblest posture, she could possibly endure, not being satisfied, unless she gave God his entire oblation, and glorify'd him in 1 Cor. 6. 20. her body, as well as in her spirit, which were both God's own by purchase here, and were both to be united in bliss hereafter.

On Whit-sunday, she received her viaticum, the most holy Body, and Bloud of her Saviour, and had received it again, had not her death surpris'd us, yet in the strength of that immor­tal food, she was enabled to go out her journy, and seem'd to have had a new transfusion of Grace from it, insomuch, that though her Limbs were all convulst, her Pains great, and without intermission, her strength quite exhau­sted, and her Head disturbed, with a perpetual drousiness, yet above, and beyond all seeming [Page 39] possibility, she would use force to her self, to keep her self waking, to offer to God her customary Sacrifice to the full, to recollect her thoughts, and to lodge them in Heaven, where her Heart, and her Treasure was, as if she had al­ready taken possession of her mansion there, or as if she was teaching her Soul, to act indepen­dently from the Body, and practising before­hand the state of separation, into which having receiv'd absolution, she in a short time, happily lancht; for all the bands of Union being untied, her Soul was set at liberty, and on the wings of Angels, took a direct, and vigorous flight, to its Luke 16. 22. native Country, Heaven from whence it first flew down.

There then we must leave her, in the bosom of her heavenly Bridegroom, where, how radi­ant her Crown is, how ecstatick her Joy, how high exalted she is in degrees of glory, is im­possible to be described, for neither eye hath seen, 1 Cor. 2. 9. nor ear heard, nor has it enter'd into the heart of man, to be conceiv'd, the good things, which God hath prepared for those that love him, of all which she is now partaker.

We have nothing then to doe, but to congra­tulate this Gracious Woman, her eternal and un­changeable honour, and as she always and in all things, gave God the Glory here, so that his praise was continually in her mouth, for all the [Page] multitude of his Mercies, and of his loving-Kindnesses towards her, and is now praising him in Heaven; Let us also offer up a Sacrifice of Praise, for her great example, her light has long shin'd before us, & we have seen her good works, Let us therefore glorifie the father of Lights, at whose beams, her Soul was first lighted.

Blessed then for ever, be the infinite goodness of God, who was so liberal of his Graces, to this humble Saint, who made her so lively a picture, of his own perfections, so gracious, and so honou­rable; blessed be his merey, for indulging her to us so long, for taking her in his good time to himself, and for that happiness she has now in Heaven; To God be the glory of all that honour, her graciousness did here acquire, for to him onely it is due; let therefore his most ho­ly name, have all the praise.

To our Thanksgiving let us add our Prayers also, that God would vouchsafe us all his holy Spirit, so to assist, and sanctify, and guide us, that every one of our Souls, may be gracious like hers, that our life may be like hers, our lat­ter end like hers, and our portion in Heaven like hers, which God of his infinite mercy grant, for the sake of his most belov'd Son, To whom with the Father, and the blessed Spirit, be all honour and glory, adoration, and obedience, now and for ever.

Amen.

THE END

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