The Faithful and Diligent Christian described and exemplified.

OR, A SERMON (With some Additions,) Preached at the Funeral of the Lady ELIZABETH BROOKE, the Relict of Sir Robert Brooke Kt. of Cock­field-Hall in Yoxford, Suffolk.

Who departed this Life July 22. And was in­terred in the Parish-Church of Yoxford, July 26. 1683. And in the 82d Year of her Age.

To which is annexed (including the Character then given of Her) an Account of the Life and Death of that Eminent LADY.

With an APPENDIX, containing some Ob­servations, Experiences, and Rules for Practice, found written with her Ladiship's own Hand.

By NATH. PARKHƲRST, M. A. Vi­car of Yoxford, and Chaplain to her Ladiship.

Prov. 31.29.

Many Daughters have done ver­tuously, but thou excellest them all.

London, Printed for Samuel Sprint at the Bell in Little-Britain, and John Harding at the Bible and Anchor in Newport Street near Leicester-Fields. 1684.

To the much honoured, Truly Vertuous and Religious, Mrs. MARY BROOKE.


THE shortness of the Time which was allow­ed me for the deli­vering of the Sermon preach'd at the Funeral of your Excellent Mother, would not permit that fuller Account of Her which I now humbly offer to you, (with that Sermon enlarged.)

[Page] Notwithstanding which Additions, I am sensible there remains much un­said equal to the things I have remarked, though assisted by some very conside­ble Memorials sent to me by a most worthy Friend to your Family, who hath been acquainted with her four and forty Years, and passed many of them in her House.

But there being a necessity of omit­ting some things, unless I would have exceeded the usual Bounds of such Narratives: I only beg your Pardon if I have not made the best choice a­mong those Treasures of Excellencies and Christian Accomplishments that were found in Her.

These which I have collected, I hope may be useful to them who have any Inclination to Piety, as serving to [Page]excite to a great degree of Holiness: This being the natural Tendency of great Examples recorded, even to move others to Imitation.

Which Effect I am much assured it will produce in your Self; and You of all others are most obliged to endea­vour it, having been constantly con­versant with the Patern, when living.

It is a great Honour to have de­scended from such a Parent; but it will be much more to tread with that Exactness in her Steps, that all that behold your Conversation, may see Her living in You.

It was Her earnest desire you might survive, and God hath fulfilled it. She hath left You in her Province, clothed with her Mantle. And may a double Portion of her Spirit rest upon [Page]You! that You may honour God, as She did. And that You may enjoy a long and prosperous Life here; and then ascend to Heaven, and partake toge­ther with Her in equal Glory, is the earnest Prayer of,

Your much obliged, and most humble Servant, NATH. PARKHURST.


PAge 17. line 17. for and his, read and in his. P. 19. l. 11. f. is before us, r. is set before us. P. 56. in the Margin, f. Sussex, r. Suffolk. P. 106. l. 9, 10. f. Heaven makes, r. it makes. P. 108. l. 10. f. rational, r. notional. P. 114. l. 1. f. the End, r. his End. P. 151. l. ult. f. in the State, r. in this State. Some few other lesser Mistakes of a Letter or two in a word, may be easily taken notice of, and mended in the reading.

A SERMON PREACHED At the FUNERAL of the Lady Elizabeth Brooke &c.

1 COR. XV. 58.

Therefore, my beloved Brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abound­ing in the Work of the Lord, for­asmuch as you know that your La­bour is not in vain in the Lord.

THE Gospel of our Blessed Saviour hath many Excellen­cies in it, inviting us to ac­cept, and obey it. For,

[Page 2] First, The matter of it is Grace, in the most kind and condescend­ing Offers thereof; And Holiness, described in the exactest Rules for the management of our Hearts, and Lives; no Ethicks being com­parable to the Precepts of it.

Secondly, The Author of it, is, The Prince of Peace, and King of Kings, The Eternal Son of God, The Brightness of his Father's Glory, and express Image of has Per­son.

Thirdly, The end of it, is, The most eminent Display of all the Perfections, and Attributes of God. For,

His Power is most admirably manifested in the Miracles that have confirmed it, and in the suc­cess [Page 3]of it upon the Minds of ma­ny, who have been changed by it into the Divine Image.

His Wisdom also shines most illustriously in that Contrivance in it of the Harmony between His offended Justice, and his Mercy, in being Just, and yet the Justifier of him that believes in Jesus.

Moreover, his Holiness is great­ly declared in it, in the satisfacti­on and sufferings of his only Son.

And above all, his Mercy and Goodness is most eminently ex­prest in it, by his free Acceptance of them that repent of their Sins, believe in his Son, and sincerely obey him, (notwithstanding their many Infirmities,) entertaining them with the greatest Kindness and Love, beyond expression, be­yond conception. And,

[Page 4] Fourthly, As one of its most glorious Excellencies, The Encou­ragement to receive, and obey it, is no less than the Promise of an unspeakable Future Happiness in our Souls immediatly after Death, and of a most glorious Resurrecti­on of our Bodies (in the last day) unto a Life Eternal, and Enjoy­ments no less excellent, than du­rable.

Of which the Apostle discour­seth largely in this Chapter, with abundant Demonstration of the truth of it; concluding with this pra­ctical Inference in the Text, There­fore my Beloved, &c.

In which Words (besides ma­ny things which I omit) we have observable,

[Page 5] First, The Duty of Christians proposed: Be ye stedfast, unmova­ble, always abounding in the Work of the Lord.

Secondly, The Reward of ac­complishing the Duty: Your La­bour is not in vain in the Lord.

Thirdly, The Rational Infe­rence, or Conclusion from the cer­tainty of the Reward: Therefore, my Beloved, be ye stedfast, &c. for­asmuch, &c.

Of which Things I shall dis­course in this Method, shewing,

I. It, is our Duty to be em­ployed in the Work of the Lord.

II. That we ought to attend it with steadiness.

[Page 6] III. That we should be per­petually progressive in it.

IV. That the Recompence will answer the Labour; For, it shall not be in vain.

I. It is our Duty to be employ­ed in the Work of the Lord. It is called His Work, because it is enjoyn'd by His Laws, encouraged by His Promises, and performed by His Aids. For otherwise it might have been termed Our Work, it being the whole Chri­stian Exercise which is intended by it.

In this therefore is compre­hended,

1. The Labours and Industry required of us, towards the attain­ing necessary, sound, and sufficient [Page 7]knowledge of the Great Principles of Faith, and of the Rules For con­ducting our Conversation, and the encouragements to Holiness con­tained in the gracious Promises, and the Cautions against Sin, which we have in the severe Threatnings dispersed through the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, without which Know­ledg, the Heart cannot be good, nor the Life purified, or suitable to the Christian Profession: where­fore we are directed to search the Scriptures, S. John 5.39. To incline our Ears to Wisdom, to apply our Hearts to Understanding, to cry af­ter Knowledg, and lift up our Voice for Understanding, to seek hit as Sil­ver, and search for her as for hid Treasures; Prov. 2.2, 3, 4.

And certainly the Wickedness of the most of Men among us, [Page 8]is greatly imputable to their ut­ter Ignorance of these things, or a very slight and inconsiderable Knowledg of them. For Igno­rance of God, Christ, and his ho­ly Spirit, and of his Attributes and providence, prevents all In­clination to Piety. Ignorance of the Rules for managing our Lives, prevents all that Regularity in Conversation that is required. Ig­norance of the Promises suppres­ses all the Incourgement to it; and Ignorance of the Threatnings hides all that which should move that Fear that is necessary to engage us in it. And all this Ignorance proceeds from Slothfulness, and Unwillingness to use Diligence in scearching and understanding the Scriptures, in which are the Treasures of all needful Know­ledg. And therefore the first [Page 9]thing in this Work of the Lord enjoyn'd us, is an industrious En­deavour after Knowledg, by be­ing conversant in the Scriptures, by reading, or at least diligently hearing them.

2. There is included in it all that belongs to Repentance to­wards God, consisting in a deep Sense of our many Sins against God, Christ, his Holy Spirit, our Neighbours, and our own Souls; by which God hath been disho­noured, Christ slighted, his Holy Spirit grieved, our Neighbours injured, and our own Souls pol­luted, debased, and exposed to the Wrath of God: as also in confessing them with Shame and Grief, offering the Sacrifice of a broken and contrite Heart: and in an hatred of them all attended with sincere forsaking them, de­nying [Page 10]Ungodlinss and worldly Lusts, and suffering no Sin to reign in our mortal Bodies; being able to attest, that (upon making a diligent search) there is no known Sin of Omission or Commission allowed, loved, or favoured by us: But that every such Sin is opposed by our Purpo­ses, Prayers, and true Endeavours.

3. To this must also be refer'd, all that is included in Faith. And that comprehends a settled Be­lief of the Being and All-Govern­ing Providence of God, and of the Truth, or Divine Authority of the Scriptures; A continual depend­ing on the Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of God; and the re­ceiving his Son Jesus Christ in all his Offices, as a Prophet, Priest, and King; And as the Lord our Righteousness, our Advocate with the Father, the Propitiation for our Sins, [Page 11]the End of the Law for Righteousness to them that believe, and as made of God unto us Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification and Redemption. And this we do when designing Salva­tion by Him, we search the Scrip­tures, considered as the Word of Christ, with dependance on the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of the Son, that we may understand the way of Salvation, and know the things of our Peace; and when apprehending our Guilt and Dan­ger by Sin, we seek the Pacifi­cation of our Consciences, and the appeasing of God, by belie­ving, meditating upon, and ap­plying his Death and Blood as a Sacrifice, and Satisfaction for Sin; and when we commend all our Requests to God, with Depen­dance on his Intercession; and when apprehending his Exaltation [Page 12]we become earnestly obedient to him, and depend upon him for Grace, and Strength against all our spiritual Enemies, and hope to receive from him the Crown of a blessed Immortality, and a miraculous glorious Resurrection.

4. To this pertains all that the Scriptures intend by Holiness, consisting in the Imitation of the Divine Imitable Perfection, viz. the Wisdom, Righteousness, Pu­rity, Faithfulness, Goodness, and Mercy of our Creator; in clean­sing our Hands, and purifying our Hearts; in sincerely attend­ing the Duties of both Tables of the Law, with respect to God and our Neighbour; and in mor­tifying all those Lusts that war a­gainst the Soul; as the Lusts of the Flesh, including Intemperance, and Uncleanness: The Lusts of [Page 13]the Eye, which are Avarice, and Covetousness, and the Pride of Life, i.e. The ambitious pursuit of Honour and Applause, and the affecting the Pomp and Bra­very of the World: and in fil­ling our Minds with all the Di­vine Graces, and holy Affections of Fear, Love, Trust, and Hope towards God, and of Love, Meek­ness, Humility, and Kindness to­wards Men; And in obeying the Laws of Christ, and following his Example, in being in a great measure holy, harmless, undefi­led, and separated from Sinners; In doing Good, reproving Sin, delighting to do our Father's Will, and submitting to his holy Plea­sure in all things, willingly drink­ing the Cup he putteth into our hands; and in glorifying him on Earth, that he may glorify us in Heaven.

[Page 14] 5. To this belongs all that the Scripture chargeth upon us in those full and comprehensive Pre­cepts, of, fearing God, departing from Evil; loving Him with all the Heart, Mind, and Might, keeping his Charge, doing his Will, walking in his Coun­sel, chusing the narrow Way, and ex­ceeding the Righteousness of Scribes and Pharises; by being impartial in our Obedience, and chiefly at­tending the weightier matters of the Law, and by being sincere and humble, not glorying in our pious Attainments and Actions, but rather hiding them; except­ing those things which for Exam­ple's sake must be publick, and such as the concealing them pro­ceeds from Cowardise, and fear of Reproach.

6. There is included in it, the faithful managing of our parti­cular [Page 15]Callings, as the Magistrates being just, and ruling over Men in the Fear of God: the Ministers Care of Souls, praying for the People, and shewing them the right way, endea­vouring to turn many to Righte­ousness: The Peoples revering, cheerfully attending and obeying them that watch for their Souls: The Parents care and bringing up Children in the Nurture and Admonition of the Lord; the Child's Obedience, the Master's Justice, and Kindness; the Ser­vant's Diligence and Faithfulness; and the Subjects unspotted Allegi­ance, and Obedience for Consci­ence sake: And all other our Du­ties in our several Places, Stati­ons, Employments, and Relati­ons.

7. There must be added, as pertaining to it, all the most se­rious [Page 16]part of the Christian Life, employed in fervent Prayers, and Thanksgiving, Self-Examination, serious and Divine Meditations, and solemn and fruitful attending the Publick Worship of God, consisting chiefly in the Word preached, and in Prayer, and Sa­craments.

Lastly, To this must be joyn­ed the most refined, and spiritual part of Religion, consisting in suppressing the most inward Mo­tions of Vanity, Pride, Envy, Malice, Unbelief, worldly inor­dinate Love, carnal Affections and Desires; in keeping the Mind (as much as may be) intent, and without Wandrings in Prayer, and other devout Exercises of Religi­on, and in attending in them to more than a natural Fervour and Devotion in the Imagination only, [Page 17]moved by well composed, and fit Words, even to a Devotion consisting in the real Exercise of Faith, Humility, holy Love and Fear, and other Graces; and in raising our Minds above the World, and things of this Life, to the Desires, Hopes, and Ex­pectation of the Joys and Plea­sures of Eternity; and in main­taining a real and delightful Con­verse with God daily; and in a careful thankful acknowledging Him in all the Good that befal­leth us: and insensibly apprehen­ding that our Happiness consisteth in the Knowledg of Him, and his Love and Favour towards us in Christ. All this is our Duty, and included in the Work of the Lord, and we may not willingly omit any thing of it. By which we may perceive, that though in [Page 18]some respects, Christ's Yoke is easy, and his Burden light, viz. being considered with its Reward, and the Assistances of Divine Grace, and compared with the wicked Man's Way and End considered together; yet it is not altogether easy, since so much is to be done. Religion and Godliness have their Difficulties, and he must be dili­gent that would not fall short of the Glory of God, since the Du­ties (besides that, they are great) are so numerous, as hath been now represented according to the Scriptures.

II. All this must be endea­voured, and practised with much Steadiness. Having thus begun in the Spirit, we must not end in the Flesh. Having put our Hand to the Plough, we may not draw it back, and [Page 19]make our selves unworthy of the King­dom of God.

Whatever may be the Rage of Satan, and whatever Objections may arise in our own Hearts a­gainst any part of our Duty, we may not quit it. But consider­ing that the Eye of God is upon us, and that it is necessary to per­severe to the end; and looking at the Joy that is before us, and imploring the Aids of the Holy Ghost, we must break those Bonds of Temptation to Sin, in sunder, and cast away such Cords from us, and remain fixed in Pi­ety, constant to Godliness, un­moveably resolved to abide in it, Cleaving to God with purpose of Heart, Acts 11.23. and avoiding that Reprehension in Hos. 6.4. Your Goodness is as a Morning Cloud, and as the early Dew it goeth away.

[Page 20] And that we may be the more animated to Constancy in Reli­gion and Godliness, let us consi­der the many glorious Examples of this Steadiness. Noah conti­nued firm in his Obedience to God, in the midst of a very wick­ed World: Gen. 7.1. Thee have I seen Righteous in this Generation.

Lot in the midst of the pollu­ted Sodomites preserved himself, and mightily regretted their Wic­kedness. Joseph in Pharaoh's Court, and Moses in the Court of ano­ther of that Name: Obadiah in Ahab's, David in Saul's, Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah in the Courts of the Persian Emperors, remain­ed steady in Holiness, notwith­standing varieties of Temptations both of the alluring, and affright­ing kind.

[Page 21] The holy Apostles and Primtive Christians, and the Antient and Modern Martyrs, preserved their Integrity in the midst of violent Temptations to desert Religion. They stood like unmoveable Rocks in raging Seas, and turn­ed back the Force of Tempta­tions, as they do the insulting Waves.

Wherefore let this be our firm Resolution in the Strength of God, That the World shall ne­ver gain, nor force us to revolt from Him, and his holy Ways: but that whatever Changes may come, we will be the same; and though the Mountains should be remo­ved, and the Hills carried into the midst of the Seas, we will still keep Faith and a good Conscience, be­ing stedfast and unmoveable in the Work of the Lord.

[Page 22] III. We ought not only to be stedfast, but also perpetually pro­gressive in all this Duty, like the shining Light, shining more and more to the perfect Day. Our Repen­tance must be increased, and per­fected by greater degrees of Mor­tification. Our Faith must grow, aiming at the Patriarch's Degree, who was strong in Faith, giving Glory to God; and who against Hope be­lieved in Hope: Rom. 4.18, 20. Our Love must be more intense, our Obedience more exact, wil­ling and chearful; our Charity more compleat, and every Grace ascending, and aspiring after greater Degrees, going on conquer­ing and to conquer: which thing is very possible, for Grace is as ca­pable of Growth and Increase, as the Plants in the Field, or the [Page 23]Cloud of an hand's breadth. It is compared to a Grain of Mu­stard Seed, Which from the least of Seeds, grows up into the greatest of Herbs; St. Mat. 13.31, 32.

We may assuredly (if we ear­nestly design it) mightily advance in Grace, and become much more humble, holy, obedient, morti­fied, patient and heavenly, and may add much to our present At­tainments, and may carry our Victories over Temptations much further, to higher degrees of Con­quest and Triumph, even on this side Heaven. And as we may, so we ought; for this God requires of us, That we should bring forth much Fruit; that from Babes we should advance to a more perfect stature in Christ, and encrease with all the En­creases of God. And that in pro­portion to our Means, Mercies, [Page 24]Chastisements, Experience, and Time offered us, we should grow in Grace, and in the Knowledg and Love of God, and Christ; to which there is no Encourage­ment wanting. For,

IV. The Recompence will a­bundantly answer the Labour, which shall not be in vain. We shall find a sure and sufficient Re­ward; partly in Peace of Mind, Serenity of Conscience, and pre­sent Joy in the Holy Ghost; and chiefly in the future State. For,

1. Having been stedfast, and abounding in our Duty, when our Souls shall leave these Taberna­cles of Clay, (whose Foundati­ons are in the Dust, as their first Principle) Angels shall con­vey them to Heaven, and there Christ will receive them, and [Page 25]God the Father will acknowledg them: and, being entred into that blessed Place, we shall have all the Happiness our Souls are capa­ble of in the State of Separation from the Body.

And this is no less than an en­tire Deliverance from Sin, Sor­row, Fear, Temptations, and Afflictions, with the Acquisition of perfect Grace, and likeness to the Angels in Humility, Purity, Zeal, Reverential Fear of God, delight in Him, and Charity one to another.

Moreover, We shall be little less than equal to them in Peace, and Joy, and the Enjoyment of God in a Vision of Him by Intel­lectual Sight, far transcending our best Knowledg of Him here by Faith. For now we see him by Faith only, in his Works, Provi­dence, [Page 26]and Word; all which a­mounts comparatively but to the seeing him through a Glass darkly; but in Heaven we shall see Him face to face, and know Him in some sort as we are known. 1 Cor. 13.12.

2. Having been stedfast, and abounding in Piety, and Holi­ness, we shall in the end of the World recover our Bodies again with advantage; for they shall be raised again in Incorruption, Glo­ry and Power, being made Spi­ritual Bodies; vers. 42, 43, 44. This Corruptible shall then put on In­corruption, and this Mortal shall put on Immortality, and Death shall be swallowed up in Victory.

And who can express the Joy, and Pleasure that will arise from the Soul's re-entring into the new-raised Body! As a Prince that [Page 27]leaves an old Palace till it be rebuilt with much more Glory, Mag­nificence and Splendor, returns into it with more Pleasure than ever he had in it before: so the Soul will rejoyce much more in its repaired Fabrick, than ever before during the time of this mortal Life; especially upon finding it purged entirely from Sin, the fretting Leprosy in the Walls of it, which could never be cleansed, but by the breaking of it down. And probably there will be a mighty Addition to this Pleasure, by the Soul's sensible uniting with it, or joyning to the Body, with a Perception of doing so.

The first Union that was made between them, was (to the Soul) insensibly performed by the meer Hand and Power of God, in the first Formation of the Body; and [Page 28]so the Felicity of that Uniting was never understood. But at the Resurrection, the Body being rai­sed again, and most gloriously formed, and the Soul coming down from Heaven, and know­ing to what end it descends, will with a strange Pleasure sensibly enter again into its old Habitati­on repaired and made glorious.

And being raised from our Graves with this Pleasure of the Reunion of Soul and Body, we shall be conducted to Christ's Right-hand, and hear such Words as these spoken to us, by Him the Judg and Lord of all; Come, ye Blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the Foundation of the World: And, Well done good and faithful Servant, en­ter you into the Joy of your Lord. When the Ungodly shall hear the [Page 29]Words of the Curse, (more terri­ble than the Thunder on Mount Sinai) Depart from me ye Cursed in­to everlasting Fire, prepared for the Devil, and his Angels.

And then together with all the Church of God, and the holy Angels, we shall (Souls and Bo­dies united together, never more to be separated) ascend into the highest Heaven, and enjoy, throughout an Eternity, the ful­lest, most refined, and most a­greeable Happiness, that our Na­tures are capable of; which if we can believe, depending upon the Verity of the Scriptures, we must acknowledg our Labour is not in vain.

And why should we make any doubt of it? Have we not all the Evidence we can have of this matter! The Scriptures have the [Page 30]Attestation of multitudes of Mi­racles performed, and Prophecies fulfilled. They have, the Signa­ture of God also upon them in the Holiness of the Matter, and the Ma­jesty of the Stile in many places; never Book spake like this Book.

The Matters of Faith in it are so high, the Mysteries so grave, and sublime, the Precepts so ho­ly and pious, the Promises so a­greeable, and refreshing to Minds that are mortified, and purged from Vice, the Threatnings so solemn, severe, and just; the Ex­amples so glorious, and the whole so admirable, that if we consider it, we cannot imagine the Au­thor to be other than God, who is most holy, just, and good.

There being then no doubt but that the holy Scriptures will be in all Points verified, and in [Page 31]particular in the Promise of future Happiness, consisting in a glorious Resurrection, and a blessed Im­mortality, as the Reward of true Holiness: Let us be perswaded to comply with God in the things he requireth of us; And let us manage our Lives according to our Christian Profession, and our Vowes in Baptism, and since.

And let us hearken no more to the Charms of Sense, the Voice of a tempting World, and the Whispers of the Devil our great Enemy, enticing us to Sin, and to abide in evil, and unholy Ways and Practices.

But let us deny Ungodliness and worldly Lusts, and live soberly, righ­teously, and godly in this present World, putting on the Armour of Light and Righteousness on the Right-hand and on the Left: And let us in earnest [Page 32]make Religion the great Business of our Lives, believing God's Pro­mises, and expecting this most glorious Reward.

But some may possible object in this manner.

We have heard the manifold Duties of Religion, and have sometimes considered of the great Reward proposed. But we find (to our Discouragement) that Religion is a Wisdom too high for us, and the Practice of it a Province too difficult. It is a way too strait, and a Gate too narrow, a Yoke too pressing, a Burden too heavy, a severe War­fare, a tedious Travel. It is im­possible to comply with it; and if we would endeavour the Practice of it, we cannot effect it. It were more easy to us to dig in the Mines, or serve in the Gallies, [Page 33]then to break off our Sins, and live a holy Life. And therefore urge us not to attempt Impossi­bilities.

My Answer to this Objection is, That it is a Mistake, and that what is required, is through Di­vine Assistance and Grace very possible, and certainly practica­ble. The Difficulties are great, but there is a Grace given to Be­lievers that surmounts them all, that levels the Mountains, fills up the Valleys, makes the crooked places streight, and the rough places even; that opens the blind Eyes of Mens Minds, and soft­neth hard Hearts, and subdues re­bellious Wills, and regulates dis­ordered Affections; that enligh­tens, and enables to will and to do, and out of Weakness makes strong, and calls things that are [Page 34]not, as if they were, and raises dead Souls to Life. Therefore, let it not be said, It is impossible to be Religious. But let Men beg the Grace that will make it possi­ble: And never let it be said, it is impracticable, when Multitudes (though few in Comparison of greater Multitudes) have lived in the practice and exercise of Holiness.

A Cloud of Witnesses (as they are called, Heb. 12.1.) have gone before us in the practice of these things, though Men of like passions with us. The Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, and many others, have given us the Pattern and Proof of all this Piety and Godli­ness Some of all sorts have sin­cerely, effectually, and success­fully engaged in it; viz. some Kings, Princes, and Emperours, as [Page 35] David, Jehosaphat, Hezekiah, &c. some Generals of Armies, as Jo­shua, and Gideon, &c. some Offi­cers of State, as Joseph, Obediah, &c. some Learned, Rich and Honou­rable; and some Poor, Mean, Il­literate, and Despifed Perfons: so that none of us, of what quality or condition soever, can say, Re­ligion and Godliness is Impracti­cable by Persons of our Condi­tion and Circumstances in the World.

Having then Patterns of Pie­ty in all Ranks and Conditions of Men, let us set these Exam­ples before us, and asking Grace, and imploring Aids from God, through the Mediator Christ Jesus, let us imitate them, and be holy, as They were, in all manner of Conversation. And besides these Ancient Examples, we have some [Page 36]in this present Age, by whom it is evident, that Godliness in the Life, and Power, and Exactness of it, is really practicable.

We have now before us That which is sufficient utterly to silence the Objection, I mean, The Re­mains and Memory of this Eminent LADY and Excellent CHRI­STIAN, whose great Piety was the Glory of this Place. And whose Recess from amongst us, (though She died full of dayes) hath filled many Hearts with a passionate Grief and Sorrow.

For though all that knew her Conversation (which was like that of Hizabeth in St. Luke 1.6. A walking in all the Commandments and Ordinances of the Lord, blameless) are mightily satisfied that her Soul resteth with God in the Regions [Page 37]of Light and Glory, (after which She with great, Zeal and diligence had long aspired in a way of sin­cere Obedience) Yet it is grievous to be deprived of One that was so fruitful in Age, and always rich in Good Works; and whose Prayers doubtless were through Christ ve­ry prevailing with God. Upon which Account not only Her Fa­mily, particular Friends, and this. Village, but the whole Church of God sustains a great Loss in Her Remove, and especially this sin­ful Nation, Considering that she prayeth no more for this People.

It would imploy a large Vo­lume to describe fully the eminent Qualities with which God had en­dowed Her. The sum of which I shall endeavour to represent, to this end, That God, in whom all [Page 38]Her fresh Springs were, and from whom she received all, may be glorified by it; And that we all may be moved to the Imitation of so compleat a Patern of that Sanctity that is attainable in this present and imperfect State; ha­ving had this Testimony from all that observed her, That she was stedfast, unmoveable, and always a­bounding in the Work of the Lord.

AN ACCOUNT OF THE Life and Death Of the LADY Elizabeth Brooke,

Including the Character given of Her in the Sermon preached at her Funeral.


THE Lady Elizabeth Brooke was born at Wigsale in Sus­sex, in January, 1601; Her Father was Thomas Culpepper of Wigsale in Sussex,Esquire, a Branch of an antient Family of Gentry of that Name, which was afterwards in her Brother advan­ced into the Rank of the Nobi­lity, who for his great Loyalty, and eminent Services done to the Crown, was created a Baron by Charles the First, with the Title [Page 42]of, [John Lord Culpepper of Tho­resway.] Her Mother [was the Daughter of Sir Stephen Slaney.

Thus she had the Honour of a Genteel Extraction, and a Noble Alliance; and as her Family deri­ved an Honour upon her, so she hath reflected an additional Glory upon her Family, by her great Vertues, having been one of the most Accomplished Persons of the Age, whether considered as a Lady, or a Christian.

While she was in her Infancy, she lost her Mother, and in her Childhood her Father; so that she came early under the more peculiar Care and Patronage of God, who is in an especial man­ner, the Father of the Father­less.

[Page 43] Her first Education was under her Grand-mother by the Mo­ther's side, the Lady Slaney.

She had rare Endowments of Nature, an excellent Mind lodged in a fine Body, and under a beau­tiful Aspect, something of which remained even in her old Age. She had an extraordinary quick­ness of Apprehension, a curious Fancy, great Solidity of Judg­ment, and a considerable Me­mory.

She was married very young to Sir Robert Brooke, Knight, (de­scended from a younger Brother of the Antient and Noble Family of the Brooks, formerly Lord Cobham,) a Person of a good Estate and Vertue, who lived with her six and Twenty Years, and died July 10. 1646; by whom she had seven Children, [Page 44]three Sons, and four Daughters, viz.

James, who died an Infant.

John, who lived Twenty six Years, and was married, but di­ed without Issue, Anno Dom. 1652.

Robert, who had the Honour of Knighthood conferred upon him upon the King's Restaurati­on; a Gentleman of fine Parts, and great Loyalty to his Prince, and Fidelity to his Country: He was a Member of that Parliament which brought the King from his Exile, and of the following Par­liament which began May the 8th, 1661.

He died as he was travelling through France, Anno Dom. 1669, in the 33d Year of his Age, much lamented by his Friends and Ac­quaintance: He was married al­so, but left no Childeren.

[Page 45] Mary her Eldest Daughter, and the only Survivor, who inherits much of her Grace and Vertues.

Elizabeth and Martha, Persons of great Piety, were married to Gentlemen of fair Estates, and good Reputation, who had di­vers Children, and died, the El­der Anno Dom. 1647/8, in the 25th Year of her Age; the Younger Anno Dom. 1657, about the 29th Year of her Age.

Anne, who died in her Child­hood.

They continued the two first Years in London, as Boarders, in the House of the Lady Weld, her Aunt: From thence they remo­ved to Langly in Hartfordshire, a Seat which her Husband purcha­sed purposely for her Accommo­dation, that she might be nearer, her Friends in London. And after [Page 46]some Years stay there, they came to Cockfield, his Paternal Seat, and there she passed the Residue of her Earthly Pilgrimage, excepting the two first Years of her Widow­hood. In all which places she lived a rare Example of Good­ness, and left a good Name be­hind her in every place, from which she departed; and especi­ally in the last, where she passed the most, and last, and best of her time, and from which her Soul was translated to Heaven.

She had many Excellencies which recommended her to all that had the Happiness to know her. But the greatest glory that shined in her, was in Religion, in which she was not only sincere, but excelled.

To which general Head may be referred the following things, [Page 47]as the distinct Flowers in that Crown of Righteousness.

She devoted her self to God and Religion very early, rising in the Morning of her Age, to at­tend the Work and Service of her great Lord, Remembring her Creator in the days of her Youth: She made haste, and delayed not to keep his Com­mandments. And this she pursued with great steadiness through the course of a long Life: So that she was not only an Aged Person, but (which is a great Honour in the Church of God) an Old Disci­ple.

And having begun thus early to apply her self to Religion in the Power and Strictness of it: Parts and Industry, and length of Time, and the use of excellent Books, and Converse with Learn­ed [Page 48]Men uniting together, rendred her one of the most knowing Persons of her Sex, especially in Divinity, and in the Scriptures, which made her wise unto Salva­tion.

And this Knowledg was not confined to the Practical, but ex­tended also to the Controversal, and Critical Part, even to the Difficul­ties concerning Scripture-Chro­nology, and the Solutions of ma­ny of them.

She was able to discourse per­tinently upon any of the great Heads of Theology. She could oppose an Atheist by Arguments drawn from the Topicks in Natu­ral Theology, and answer the Arguments of Papists, Socinians, Pelagians, &c. by the Furniture against them in the Holy Scrip­tures.

[Page 49] I never knew any other Person that had so great a Knowledg in Divinity, who was not skill'd in the Learned Languages; so that, no Scholar could repent the time spent in Converse with her: For she could bear such a part in Dis­courses of Divinity, whether Di­dactical, Polemical, Casuistical, or Textual, that some of her Chap­lains have professed, they have been sometimes more, profitable and pleasant than their own Studies, and that they themselves did learn, as well as teach.

This perhaps may seem incre­dible to them that were not ac­quainted with her. But some­thing of the Wonder will be a­bated, by shewing how she at­tained her Excellent Knowledg.

She was an Indefatigable Rea­der of Books, of the Scriptures [Page 50]especially, and various Commen­tators upon them, the best that our Language affords, which per­haps are not exceeded by any other. She had turned over a Multitude, not only of Practical Treatises, but also of Learned Books, and amongst many others, some of those of the Antient Phi­losophers, translated into English, gathering much from those great Lights among the Heathens, so that she could interpose wisely in a Discourse purely Philosophical.

She was also a most diligent Inquirer, and made use of all Learned Men of her Acquain­tance to increase her Knowledg, by moving Questions concerning the most material things, as Cases of Conscience, and hard Texts of Scripture, and the Accomplish­ment of the Divine Prophecies.

[Page 51] She generally also took Notes out of the many Books she read, that she might with the less La­bour recover the Notions again, without reading them a second time.

And She used a mighty Indu­stry to preserve what either in­structed her Mind, or affected her Heart in the Sermons she had heard: To these she gave great Attention in the Assembly, and heard them repeated in her Family. After this she would discourse of them in the Evening: And in the following Weeks, she had them again repeated, and discoursed the matter of them to some of her Family in her Chamber. And besides all this, she wrote the Sub­stance of them, and then digested many of them into Questions and Answers, or under Heads of [Page 52]common Places; and then they became to her Matter for repeated Meditation. And by these Me­thods she was always increasing her Knowledg, or confirming the things that were known.

And having a great Treasure of Knowledg, she improved it (through Divine Assistance, which she was most ready to acknowledg) into a suitable Practice, working out her Salvation with Fear and Trem­bling, and was zealous of good Works.

Her Piety was exact, putting Rules upon her self in all things; and universal, having respect to all God's Commands, equally regarding the two Tables of the Law. It was also constant, and affectionate; her whole Heart was given up to it, and a holy Zeal attended it, which Zeal was guided by much Wisdom [Page 53]and Prudence, the Prudence ne­ver degenerating into Craft, no­thing appearing in all her Con­verse contrary to Sincerity.

It was also serious, solid, and substantial, not touched with En­thusiasm; yet she had a great re­gard to the Spirit of God, as speaking in the Scriptures, and by them guiding the Understanding, and operating upon the Heart.

And as her own Practice was holy, so she endeavoured also that her Family might walk in the same Steps, providing for them the daily help of Prayer Morning and Evening, with the reading of the Scriptures; and on the Lord's-day the Repetition of what was preached in the Publick Con­gregation. And for their further Benefit, she many Years toge­ther procured a Grave Divine to [Page 54]perform the Office of a Catechist in her House, who came con­stantly every Fortnight, and ex­pounded methodically the Prin­ciples of Religion, and exami­ned the Servants, which was for­merly done by her Chaplains, till the Service of God in her Family, and the Care of the Pa­rish were committed to the same Person. Thus, with Joshua, she resolved that She and her House should serve the Lord.

With her Piety and Godliness, there was joyned much Christian Love, which was universal, ex­tending to all Mankind, never suffering her self to hate or de­spise (or over-look, unless in the way of Censure for a Crime) any Person in the World, abhor­ring only what was vicious and e­vil in them.

[Page 55] But this Universal Charity ad­mitted a Difference, so as that the more Christian and Holy any were, the more They had of Her Regard. That Image of God that shined in a good Conversa­tion, she could not overlook in any, though in some respects they were less acceptable to her, valuing Grace above all the Ac­complishments of Parts, Breed­ing, and Accord in lesser things.

And besides that, all were dear to her, in whom appeared the Fear of God; she had also a most peculiar value for his Am­bassadours and Ministers, the Guides of Souls, receiving them in their Ministrations, as Angels of God, fearing the Lord, and obeying the Voice of his Servants, esteeming what they delivered, in consent with the holy Scriptures, [Page 56]as his Message and Word.

She was very exact in matters of Justice, and in rendring to all their Dues, not suffering any Blot to cleave to her Hand; and could not endure to have any thing without a Title in Conscience, as well as in Law; and was particularly tender in reference to Tithes, and gave away all that she held by thatThe Im­propriati­ons of Blithburgh and Wal­derswick in Sussex, Title, to him that took the Care of the Souls, reserving only a little Portion yearly, for repairing theThe two great Chancels of the Churches there. Edifices.

Her Charity and Alms-giving was very great, and much ad­mired by all that observed it, though they knew only some part of it; Every one that needed it, had it in proportion to their Ne­cessities, and in the kind that was most suitable to their particular Wants. She esteemed her self but [Page 57]as a Steward of her Estate, and therefore gave away a great part of it to encourage the Ministry, and to relieve the Indigent. She dispersed abroad and gave to the Poor, and Her Righteousness remains for ever. She did most frequently cast her Bread upon the Waters, and gave a Portion to seven, and to eight, and lent much to the Lord. And this she did willingly and chearfully, and was ready to these good Works; so that when there was any occasion that solicited her Charity, it was never any Que­stion with her, whether she should give, or not give, but on­ly in what Proportion she should extend her Bounty. And for that she would many times most frankly refer her self to others; saying, I will give what ever you think is fit and meet in this Case, [Page 58]having in this respect an Heart as large as the Sand on the Sea-shore, and a most open Hand.

And as the Poor had her Cha­rity in abundance, so her Friends, who needed not that kind of Bounty, were yet Witnesses of her great Liberality and Genero­sity, by which she adorned Re­ligion, and gained many to speak well of it.

Her Generosity was such, That one would have imagined there was no room for Alms; and her Charity such, that it was won­dered how she could so plentiful­ly entertain her Friends. But a provident Frugality and Manage­ment, with the Divine Blessing, enabled her to both to Admira­tion.

And her Charity was not only extended to the Bodies of others, [Page 59]but she also most readily afforded Counsel and Comfort to them that repaired to her for Assistance in the Concerns of their Souls, though of meaner Rank and Condition in the World. To such she would speak wisely, hear them patiently, and treat them compassionately when un­der Temptations, and Disquiet of Mind. One of her own Ser­vants coming to her Closet upon this account, and beginning to open to her the Grief of her Heart; She required her for that time, to forget she was a Servant, and dis­coursing with her with great Tender­ness and Prudence in reference to her Temptations, dismissed her comforted, and much revived. And very ma­ny others she received with the greatest Freedom, ministring spi­ritual Comfort to them. That [Page 60]part of Religion which is peculi­arly stiled Devotion, was the Joy of her Life, and the Delight of her Soul. A very considerable Portion of her Time was daily employed in Prayer, searching the Scriptures, and in holy Medi­tations. These things were her proper Element, and in them, she would often profess, she found her greatest Refreshments; in these she conversed with God, and was then least alone when most alone. For she did not meerly perform these Duties, nor generally engage in them as a Task, but observed the frame of her Spirit in them, and commanded the Affections of her Soul to wait upon God, not being satisfied without some Emotions of Mind suitable to these holy Exercises, as she hath often professed, and which I gathered from her com­plaining [Page 61]sometimes of her Infirmities, and of the Difficulty of Praying a­right, and of preserving throughout that Duty a due Sence of God.

The Christian Sabbath was also her Delight, and a Day in God's Courts better to her than a thou­sand elsewhere; and her Enjoy­ment of God in the Publick Or­dinances, and Services of that Day, was to her as a little Heaven upon Earth. And the Impressi­ons she received by attending those holy Institutions were such, as that she long'd in the Week, for the return of the Sabbath. And great was her Affliction when her Hearing was so impaired that she could not attend the Publick Wor­ship of God, though few were better furnished to supply that Want by private Exercises, and Closet-Devotions.

[Page 62] And having so eminently prized and improved the Lord's-Days, it pleased God on the Evening of one of them to take her to him­self, there to keep an Everlasting Sabbath, in his most immediate and glorious Presence, in the Arms of Christ, the Beloved of her Soul, and in the Assembly of Angels, Pa­triarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, and all departed Saints.

And (which deserves Admira­tion) in the midst of all these At­tainments, Vertues and Graces, she was greatly humble, and clothed with the Ornament of a Lowly Spirit; and while many admired the Example she gave in the World, She apprehended that others excelled her in Grace and Godliness, and continually reckoned her self among the least of Saints. For notwithstanding her Quality [Page 63]in the World, her exquisite Know­ledge, eminent Grace, and the mighty Value her Friends had just­ly for her; I could never observe (in the whole Course of eigh­teen Years Converse) the least Indication of vain Glory, or self-Admiration in her.

And her Humility was of an excellent kind, the Fruit of great Knowledg, proceeding also from a deep Sense of the Fall, the Cor­ruption of Man's Nature, the Imperfection of Mortification in this present State, and the Re­mains of Sin in them that are sanctified; and was nourished by a great Sight of God, and Ac­quaintance with him, and fre­quent Self-Examinations, and by observing how Sin mingles it self in our best Actions, and most holy Duties; and by a diligent [Page 64]comparing her Self, and her Acti­ons, with the exact Rules of the Scriptures.

Which Grace of Christian Hu­mility was the more illustrious in her, by the Accession of the Ver­tue of Courtesy, which she had in a high degree, entertaining all Persons with Civilities proper to their several Qualities; so that she obliged all, though she was ever­more careful that nothing in Con­versation might border upon those Freedoms that dishonour God, and blemish the Christian Professi­on; by this means adorning the Gospel, and shewing that Religi­on, though it requires great Strict­ness, yet it doth not necessarily introduce either Melancholly, or Moroseness. And (which is a much greater thing than to be courteous in the highest degree) [Page 65]as a real Disciple of Christ, she had learned to deny her self, and could abridge her own Right, that she might thereby promote the Glory of God, benefit others, a­void Offence, and maintain Love and Peace.

And which may properly be subjoyned to her Self-denial, as a Grace equal to it, she industri­ously avoided Censoriousness, (dis­liking it in others) and endea­voured to make the best Interpre­tation of both Words and Actions, not lightly speaking Evil of any, nor readily receiving an evil Re­port. And above all things she abhorred to be Censorious in re­ference to Preachers, and Sermons, of which she was a most candid and equal Hearer, Judicious, and Critical enough, but not Captious in the least. If but Truth were [Page 66]spoken, and Piety urged in any ordinary method, she was satisfied, so as not to find fault. But the Sermons which she preferred, were either Discourses greatly Ration­al, or such as did particularly il­lustrate the sense of the Scrip­tures, or discover the Excellency of the Gospel; or such as dis­played Christ in his Person, Un­dertaking, and Offices; or such as discovered the difference between the Real and Almost Christian; and such as did most nearly approach the Conscience, and urge the Ex­acted Conversation, and the go­verning the Heart, Thoughts, and inward Affections.

In all her Relations she demean­ed her self as a Christian. She was a faithful, dutiful, loving and prudent Wife; And the Heart of her Husband safely trusted in her. [Page 67]She was a most affectionate, ten­der Wife, and watchful Mother, restraining her Children from E­vil, according to her power, and bringing them up in the Nurture and Admonition of the Lord, most constantly endeavouring to inftil into their Minds the Princi­ples of Justice, Holiness, and Cha­rity. To them that became her Children by marrying into her Fa­mily, she was most kinde, and treated them as her own. To her Servants and Tenants she was just and kind; and to her Neighbours, all that they could desire.

To her particular Friends, she was endeared by her Prudence, Fidelity, and almost Excesses of Love, and improving of Friend­ship to serve the great Ends of Religion, which are the honour­ing of God, and the bettering one [Page 68]another. She was also a Loyal Subject to her Prince, of which there is full Evidence in this fol­lowing Relation, which was communicated to me by one of her intimate Friends.

When his late Majesty was in his Enemies Hands, and they were preparing for the horrid Murther of that Excellent Prince, she was most passionately concerned, and being very earnestly desirous that an Hand from Heaven might have prevented that Wickedness, kept a private Fast in her Closet on his behalf. And when she knew that God, in just Judgment to the Nation, had permitted Men to take away his precious Life; she resented it with the Passions of a Mother, professing that the loss of one of her dearest Children came not nearer to her Heart. And in a [Page 69]Letter to that Friend, she thus be­wailed it.

O that you were with us, though but for a few days, that we might bemoan our selves together, and this miserable Nation; upon which God poureth out so great Wrath, and yet such Spiritual Judgments are seized upon us! That many of us who pretend the greatest Interest in Him, can see nothing but Mercies and glorious Times: I find nothing so much moves me, as to hear Men, whom I hope I may call pious, speak concerning the Times; my Patience is so much put to it, as Rules of Wisdom and Policy can find no place with me. I can truly say, I dissent from many, whom I would honour, and whose Judgments I do in many things, prefer before my own, with­out any kind of Doubt, or Reluctan­cy, [Page 70]admiring, and standing amazed at their Delusions. I am now taught the great Danger of Evil Princi­ples, strong Engagements, Spriritual Pride, &c.’

In reference to His present Majesty, her Loyalty proceeded by these steps: She was a true Mourner under his Sufferings, Exclusion, Exile, and the Dis­appointment of several Efforts that were made for his Restituti­on. And she so disgusted the then usurping Powers, that she would not joyn in the keeping of either the Fairing or Thanksgiving Days appointed by them in reference to their Designs, or Successes. She rejoyced in all his Deliverances and especially in his Miraculous and Happy Restauration. And I do verily believe there was no [Page 71]Person in the three Kingdoms, that better understood than she did the Dignity of the High Station, to which God restored Him, or that paid Him a greater Veneration, or prayed more heartily for Him, or was more sollicitous for His Safety, in His Person and Govern­ment.

She was also conformable to the present Establishment, in all things in which her Obedience was required, and her Practice concern'd; so that in reference to the Church of England, she was truly Ours, and one of the greatest Ornaments of our Commu­nion.

The Separation (though she re­spected Piety in all forts of Men) was grievous to her, and she thought it unreasonable: And this was her Judgment from the [Page 72]beginning, in which she was en­couraged in her early Years, by the Divines of her Acquaintance, (some of them Nonconformists) who (when those of the (then) Separation, attempted to insinu­ate their Principles into her) ad­vised her to neglect them, and to attend the great and substantial things of Religion, as Faith, God­liness, Justice, and Charity.

But withal, such was her Moderation, that she earnestly desired the Success of the Com­prehension, designed by the Lord-Keeper Bridgman, Sir Matthew Hale, then Lord Chief Baron, and Dr. Wilkins, &c. And as that worthy Judg, so She, relieved ma­ny sober Non-conformists with great Bounty, and most eanestly desired to have seen them legally settled in a Publick Ministry.

[Page 73] Many things more might be added to this Account of her At­tainments, Graces, and Vertues, but all may be summ'd up in this shorter Character.

She had the Knowledg of a Divine, the Faith, Holiness, and Zeal of a Christian, the Wisdom of the Serpent, and the Innocence of the Dove; She had Godliness in the Power of it, and adorn'd it. She was serious, but not melan­cholly, and chearful without any Tincture of Vanity; very holy, and no less humble, and thankful to God for all His Mer­cies, and had a mighty Sense of her need of Christ the Mediator, depending entirely upon His Me­rits and Satisfaction, renouncing all her own Works in the point of Justification.

By these things she attain'd a [Page 74]good, and (which she never sought) a great Name.

Dr. Sibs, an Eminent Divine, Master of K. Hall Cambridg, and Preacher to the Honourable So­ciety of Grayes-Inn, who frequen­ted her House at Langley in Hart­fordshire, would say, that he went to other places (mostly) to satisfy others, but thither to please himself.

Dr. Edw. Reynolds, late Lord Bishop of Norwich, having been nobly entertained at her House, professed afterward, that the best of his Entertainment was his Converse with so Excellent a Per­son.

Another (now a Dignitary of the Church of England) returned from a Visit made to her, and said the half was not told him.

Another, a Person of Quali­ty, and great Learning, who lo­ved [Page 75]to speak much in few Words, having observed her Gravity, Ho­liness, Prudence, and Freedom from all that is little, humourous, or morose, said, she was a Wo­man of a Generous Piety.

Another saith of her, That she had a Greatness of Mind, rare Knowledg, a becoming Gravi­ty, and great Sincerity: That she was highly devout, a chear­ful Giver, patient under the Cross, and endued with all the Vertues and Graces of those excellent Women, whose Praise is in the Scriptures, for Obedience to their Husbands, Religious Care of their Children, Bounty to God's Ministers, Hospitality to their Friends, Charity to the Poor, and Piety towards God. But the La­tine is more elegant, which came thus from his Ingenious Pen.

[Page 76] Ingenio mascula, Mente Theologa, Ore Gravis, Corde Sancta, Cultu In­tensfa, Charitate Laeta, Crucis Pati­ens, tota Moribus Generosa; Marito Sara, Liberis Unice, Nepotibus Lo­is, Ministris Lydia, Hospitibus Mar­tha, pauperibus Dorcas, Anna Deo.

Such were her Qualifications, great and eminent, and so were the Providences of God towards her; for she had great Prosperities, and interchangeably great Afflicti­ons. The first she entertain'd humbly, and the other patient­ly.

To her Prosperities may be referred, The great Kindness of her Husband, with a numerous Family, and a very plentiful Estate during his Life, and a competent Revenue afterwards in her Wi­dowhood; [Page 77]a fine Temperature of Body, so that she was seldom sick, though never strong; the Conti­nuance of her Parts, and the Vi­gor of her Intellectuals, and Firm­ness of her Judgment, even in the last Years of her Life; the Re­spects and Civilites she received from the Gentry in her Neigh­bourhood; the Blessing of long Life, the concluding of some un­kind Law-suits, (which as she did not begin, so she could not prevent) and the seeing every remaining Branch of her Family largely provided for, and in a ve­ry good Condition, before her Death. And, which was more than all these, as the best of her Pro­sperities, she enjoyed much in­ward Peace, which, though it had sometimes Mixtures of Doubts and Fears, was generally firm and [Page 78]steady, and sometimes advanced into Joys and great Consolati­on.

Her Afflictions were chiefly Wi­dowhood, and loss of Children. The sharpest of all her Trials was the untimely Death of her last Son, with the aggravating Cir­cumstances of it, being drown'd, this was very surprizing, invaded her like an Inundation of Waters, threatning all the Banks both of Reason and Grace: Her Friends feared she would not long sur­vive it. But the Power and Presence of God supported her, and she not only lived many Years after it, but also recovered again in a great measure her for­mer Chearfulness.

Her Demeanour under this sad Providence, was Christian. She did not murmur, though at [Page 79]first astonished, and after that, much deprest by it. Her Dan­ger was, of fainting under this correcting Hand of God, but she was upheld by him that is able to succour them that are temp­ted.

She often exprest her self in Words importing that she justified God, and acknowledg'd his Righteousness in it. She feared lest some might be scanda­lized by it, and reflect upon Religion, and decline it, because of her deep Af­fliction, and most earnestly desired that God would take care of his own Name, and Glory. But afterwards her Spi­rit revived, and she was comforted as before, and rejoiced in the God of her Salvation.

The Close of her Life was a long Languishing of divers Months, which gradually confined her, [Page 80]first to her Chamber, then to her Couch, and lastly to her Bed; at­tended sometimes with great Pains, under which Patience had its perfect Work. During this Sickness, her Mind was calm, Her Conscience witnessed to her Integrity, and she had a good hope in God, that he would crown his Grace in her with Perseverance, and then with Glory. She was very apprehensive of her need of Christ, adhered to him, rejoyced in him, and desired to be with Him. She expired almost insensibly, and had at the last, an easy Passage to the Happiness, which is the Reward of Faith and Holiness, and the free Gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

She hath left behind her (which are Evidences of an unusual Dili­gence, and an admirable Industry) [Page 81]a great number of Writings under her own Hand, some of which are these.

A considerable Body of Divi­nity, in a large Quarto, shewing what a Christian must believe, and practice, written Anno Dom. 1631.

Collections of Commentaries upon a great part of the Holy Scriptures, and of the Sum of the Controversies between Us and the Papists.

A Book containing Observations, Experiences, and Rules for Practice, which being a most lively Image of her Mind, may supply all the Defects of the Narrative I have given of her, and is subjoyned here, in hope it may be of no little Benefit to all pious Readers.

AN APPENDIX, Containing Some considerable OBSER­VATIONS, EXPERI­ENCES, and RULES for Practice: found written with her Ladiship's own Hand.

I. The World's Vanity.

ALL my Comforts below are dying Comforts; no one Creature (not all the Creatures) that ever I en­joyed, [Page 84]have given my Soul Satis­faction.

II. Good Actions will bear Considera­tion; but evil Actions will not.

Every Act of Piety and Obe­dience will bear Consideration, but so will not any sinful Action. If we consider before we attempt any sinful Action, either we shall not commit it, or we shall do it with regret, and a Conscience half set on fire. But if we consider before any holy Action or Duty, our considering Thoughts will much animate us to the Service. Wherefore I conclude from hence, that Sin shames it self, and Religi­on justifies it self.

III. The Worship of God is made pleasant by a Sense of his Presence in it.

God's Presence was formerly manifested by visible Signs, as the Cloud, Fire, and Brightness. And though we cannot expect these, yet we have the same espe­cial Presence of God with us. And when ever by Faith we at­tain any lively Apprehensions of it, How solemn, profitable, and delightful doth it make the Wor­ship of God? with what Joy doth it bring us to the Assemblies, and how unwilling are we to be kept from them, when we have this Expectation from them? And finding our Expectation in this an­swered, how devoutly do we be­have [Page 86]our selves in them? and how joyfully do we return home, as they that have seen God, and conversed with Him?

IV. It is our Interest to be Religious.

It is a most experienced Truth, that we shall never be well recon­ciled to Religion, and steady in Piety, until we see it is our Inte­rest to be Religious.

V. It is difficult to pray without some wandring Thoughts in Prayer.

It is very difficult to carry Sin­cerity, and keep a Sense of God through every part of Prayer, [Page 87]which is necessary to be endea­voured, and is the Life of the Duty. I find it hard to keep my Soul intent, for my Thoughts are slippery and swift, and my Heart is snatch'd away some­times against my Will, and be­fore I am aware; yea, even then sometimes, when I have made the greatest Preparation, and have had the greatest Resolutions through Grace to avoid wandring Thoughts. My best Prayers there­fore need Christ's Incense to perfume them.

VI. A deep Sense of God in Prayer, is desirable and ravishing.

Could I understand my near approach to God in Prayer, it [Page 88]would exalt my Soul above mea­sure. And why am I not ravish­ed with the Thoughts of being in the Presence of God, and ha­ing the Ear, yea, the Heart of the King of Heaven? It is nothing but want of Faith, and the strange Power of Sense that weakens my Spiritual Apprehensions, and keeps me from an unspeakable Delight in my Addresses to God; What an high Priviledg is this to speak to the Great JEHOVAH, as a Child to a Father, or a Friend to a Friend? But how slow of Heart am I to conceive the Glo­ry and Happiness thereof? Could I but manage this great Duty as I ought, it would be an Heaven upon Earth; It would bring God down to me, or carry me up to Him, Why should I not be car­ried above the World, when I [Page 89]am so near to God? Why should I not be changed into the same Image from Glory to Glory? Why am I not even transported beyond my self?

VII. We ought to be constant in Prayer.

Inconstancy in Prayer is not only sinful, but dangerous; Omis­sion breeds Dislike, strengthens Corruption, discourages the Spirit, and animates the unregenerate Part. Constancy in this Duty breeds an holy Confidence towards God: Inconstancy breeds Strange­ness. Upon an Omission I must never approach God again, or my next Prayer must be an exercise of Repentance for my last Omission.

VIII. Sincere Prayers are never offered in vain.

Formality is apt to grow upon our secret Prayers, one of the best ways to prevent it, is to come to God with an Expectation. This sets an Edg upon our Spirits. I do not enough observe the Re­turns of Prayer, though God hath said, I shall never seek Him in vain. And when I observe, I must acknowledg I have daily Answers of my Prayers in some kind or other. Nay, I think I may say, I never offered a fer­vent Prayer to God, but I recei­ved something from Him, at least, as to the frame of my own Spirit.

IX. Prayer promotes Piety, and Godli­ness, and Acquaintance with God.

It is the Christian's Duty in every thing to pray; and Holiness lieth at the bottom of this Duty. If I in every thing commit my self to God, I shall be sure to keep his way, or my Prayer will upbraid me. This keeps me from temp­ting him, and makes me careful to find a clear Call in every thing I undertake; knowing that if I go only where I am sent, the Angel of his Presence will go before me, and my way will be cleared of Temptations and Mis­chiefs: When our Call is clear, our Way is safe. Moreover, the Pra­ctice of this leads me into much [Page 92]Acquaintance with God; my ve­ry praying is an acquainting with Him. And if in every thing I pray, I shall in every thing give Thanks; and this still brings me into more Acquaintance with him. By this means my Life will be filled up with a going to, and return­ing from God.

X. The real Christian loves Solitude.

Solitude is no Burden to a real Christian, he is least alone, when alone: His Solitude is as busy and laborious as any part of his Life. It is impossible to be Religious in­deed, and not to love Solitude in some measure; for all Duties of Religion cannot be performed in Publick. It is also a thing as no­ble [Page 93]as 'tis necessary, to love to con­verse with our own Thoughts. The vain Mind doth not more natu­rally love Company, than the Di­vine Mind doth frequent retiring: Such have Work to do, and Meat to eat the World know not of. Their Pleasures are secret, and their chiefest Delight is between God and themselves. The most plea­sant part of their Life is not in, but out of the World.

XI. There is more necessary to the rendring us truly Religious, than a mere external Revelation of Truth.

True Religion is Heaven-born: for to the perfecting of it in any Soul, not only the outward Re­velation is necessary, but also an [Page 94] inward Secret, and particular Divine Impression. The savouring of Divine Things is from the Power of the Highest over-shadowing the Mind: for till God makes this inward Impression, Men are not a­ble to perceive the Things of God. There must be a Light within us as well as without us, otherwise the Gospel may be hid even where it shines, so that who­ever conclude aright, that they are under the Power of Religion, must experience something ve­ry supernatural, something that is the Work of God, and not of Man, something above all their own, or the Power of the whole World.

XII. Religion in the Practice of it is most highly Rational.

Religion makes a Man live up to his Reason. So far as a Man is a Christian, so far is Reason exalt­ed, sitteth in the Throne, and governs, and commands all the Powers of the Soul. Religion en­lightens, and strengthens Reason; and Reason helps and serves Reli­gion. Reason is inseparable from the Soul, (we shall be rational in Heaven) and Grace is the Re­covery of right Reason.

The whole Practice of Godli­ness, both in Divine and Moral Duties, and the frame of a Chri­stian's Spirit, is but the Rational Consequence of two great Princi­ples, [Page 96]which the Christian hideth, and embraceth in his Heart, viz. That there is a God, and that the Scripture is his Word. The In­ferences from these two, and the Life of a Christian are the same.

XIII. Religion in the Practice of it, is a li­ving in, and conversing with God.

True Relion makes a Man not only live above the World, and in Converse with his own Reason, but also to live out of himself in God, conversing much with him. A real Christian will deny himself for God, quit all Self-interest, and resign to him in all Points of Du­ty and Service. God's Glory is his End, his Work, his Directi­on. He takes no Pleasure in [Page 97]himself, nor in any thing with­out himself, further than he seeth the Stamp of God upon it. He forgets himself, and minds no­thing but the Will of God, tri­umpheth in nothing more, than in his own Nothingness, and God's All-sufficiency and Fulness. This is having nothing, and yet pos­sessing all things. This is Divine Life, and the heighth of Religi­on, to know and perceive, that not only as to our Natural Life, we depend upon Providence, and live, and move in God: But that also as to our Spiritual Life, we receive all of his Fulness, and are acted by a Life in and from him: Of this I desire to be still more, and continually sensible.

XIV. Religion gives us a real Enjoyment of God.

The true Christian liveth above himself, not only in a way of Self-denial, but in the very Enjoy­ment of God. His Fellowship is with the Father, and with the Son: He every where, and in every thing seeketh out God, in Ordi­nances, Duties, and Providences, whether prosperous, or adverse, nothing pleaseth unless God may be found in it, or admitted into it. That is to him an Ordinance indeed, wherein he meeteth God. That is a merciful Providence in­deed in which appears much of the Finger of God; God is nearer to the true Christian than to [Page 99]others, for there is an inward feel­ing, an Intellectual Touch which Carnal Men have not. And here­in is the very Soul of Religion, and the Quintessence of it, that it unites us in a nearness to God, and gives us already to enjoy him.

XV. Religion gives a Man the power of himself, who by Nature is his own worst Enemy.

True Religion gives a Man a great Command of, and restores him to a just Power and Dominion over himself, by subduing in him his own Will and Passions. Man in his depraved Condition, is himself his greatest Enemy. For the Devil and World prevail against him, not by their own Strength, [Page 100]but by the Treachery and Baseness of his own Heart. The De­struction of Souls is of themselves. Ig­norance and neglect of God takes away Fear, and there is in him such an Inclination to Sin, as leads him to a delightful Entertainment of Temptations; so that it is not so much the Devil and the World without, as the Devil and the World within, not the Baits of Ho­nour; Wealth, and Pleasure with­out, but Ambition, Covetousness, and Sensuality within, which prevail upon Men. Wherefore unto pu­rified Souls, and mortified Minds, many Temptations do in a great measure cease to be Temptations.

XVI. Self-denial bears a great part in the practice of true Religion.

The great Property of true Re­ligion, is, that it teaches Self-dental, which Self-denial is indeed the Foundation of Religion, and the Sum of all the Precepts of the Gospel. Every true Christian sin­cerely, though imperfectly denies himself, and makes a Free-will Offering of himself to God, in resigning to him his Will, And indeed we can never have Peace in Prosperity, unless our Will as to Action, be swallowed up in the Divine Will; nor can we have Contentment in Adversity except our Will be complying with God's Will. This is the [Page 102]great Victory, to conquer our selves, and to him that thus overcomes, is the Promise given of sitting with Christ in his Throne.

XVII. We glorify God, not by giving to him, but by receiving from him.

I know I can add nothing to God's Glory, I glorify him by receiving from him the Impress of his Glory upon me, rather than by communicating any Glory to him: When the frame of my Mind and Life is according to his Prescription, when I am most like to him, when a Spirit of Holi­ness, and Love runneth through all my Actions, then I glorify him. God seeketh his own Glory by communicating Grace and Hap­piness [Page 103]to me, and I glorify him by desiring and endeavouring to partake of his Grace and Happi­ness.

XVIII. God's Being, and Providence, and Covenant, are most agreeable things to purified Minds.

The Notion of God is most agreeable to my Mind; I knew not how to live in the World, if there were not a God to govern it. His Being delights me, his Pro­vidence supports me, his Covenant and Love rejoyce me: without these things, I should not value my own Being and Life.

XIX. Peace and Hope generally attend Sincerity.

I have Peace, though not always Great Assurance; my Hopes are such as keep me in the Way that leads to Heaven. The Word de­lights me;A proof of Sincerity. God's Commands are not grievous to me; I rejoice in the Promises, his Ordinances are to me a Spiritual Feast. The know­ledge I have of God, the notice I take of his Providence, and me­ditation on his Word, afford me no little pleasure.

XX. The Method of attaining Spiritual and Great Comfort.

Could I exercise Grace with greater strength, and more fully mortifie Sin! Could I believe more stedfastly, pray more fer­vently, walk more evenly, and be more spiritual, heavenly, and humble, I should have more strong and abiding Comforts. But especi­ally my Faith is weak, and there is nothing I am more liable to, than to distrust God, and to be jealous of him, and not to think my self secure without such De­monstrations of his Love as are not to be had, and would take away Faith.

XXI. A good Name is a great Blessing, which God only can preserve to us.

A good Name ought to be va­lued; It is better than precious Oint­ment, a real and a promised Bles­sing, is valuable next to Life, if not equal to it. It is an Honour to God and our Profession. Hea­ven makes us capable of doing good, and gives Strength to our Instructions and Reproofs, and with­out it we become useless in the World. But it is hard to keep a Good Name, it requireth much Innocence, Prudence, and Watchful­ness: And when all is done, un­less God restrain the Spirits of Men, every lying Tongue, or ma­licious, [Page 107]or unkind Spirit may blot our Name. It is hard to pre­serve a good Name, consider­ing our own liableness to Mis­carriages, and the Enmity of the World against Holiness.

XXII. The Certainty of a Future Glori­ous Life.

It is most certain there is a Life of Glory. Not only the Scrip­tures assert it, but it is also one of the Principles of Natural Divini­ty. We have these things in the Heathens Creed; That there is a God; That the Soul of Man is Immortal, and that there will be Rewards and Punishments in a Life to come. But notwithstanding the Certainty of it, it doth too [Page 108]little affect my Soul; partly, be­cause there is some vail yet upon the great things of Heaven: And as my Knowledge is little, so my Faith is weak.

XXIII. God must not only be known, but also acknowledged.

God may in some sort be known, and not acknowledged.The one is rational, and the other pra­ctical. This is fruit and substance, the other leaves and shadows. To acknowledge God, is to converse with him, to have a lively sense of his Being, All-governing Provi­dence, and of his Presence every­where; to consider his Majesty, Greatness▪ and Glory with due Re­verence, his Wisdom with Esteem [Page 109]and Admiration, his Power with Fear lest it should be improved against us, and with Trust, Plea­sure, and hope that it shall be im­ploy'd for us; his Holiness with deep Reflection on our own Sin­fulness, and with desire to imi­tate such an excellent Patern.

XXIV. Death is a Christian's Passage to Heaven.

To consider Death as a Passage to Heaven, and the way to the Father, will help a Christian chearfully to pass through the World, and willingly to leave it.

XXV. The necessity of having the Assi­stance of the Holy Ghost.

I find it hard to preserve en­tire my Communion with the Holy Spirit, though I perceive my de­pendance upon him is very great. He is the Original and Printiple of all Spiritual Life and Motion; and without his continual breath­ing, I am as a disjoynted weak Member, which hath neither Con­sistency, nor Uniformity in its Motions or Actions.

XXVI. Conscience must not be offended, by allowing any Sin.

I find it better to offend a World of Men, than to offend my own Conscience. Consci­ence is quickly offended, but not so soon pacified. Conscience hath a good Memory, and will keep the Remembrance of Of­fences along time, and give ma­ny a secret Wound, and make Faith and Confidence in God weak, and hinder the Vigor of Prayer, and Freedom hi our Con­verse with him.

XXVII. It is not good to pass immediately from much Business to Prayer.

I find it best to go from no kind of Employment that busieth my Head, and scattereth my Thoughts, immediately to Prayer, it I may avoid it.

XXXVIII. Christian Watchfulness is very ne­cessary.

It is sadly experienced, how Freedom from the Power of Sin, may be impaired, for want of Care and Watchfulness.

XXIX. They that know God's Law, and will consider and reflect, will discern much Sin in themselves.

If we are not sensible of Sin in our Souls, it proceeds either from Ignorance of what is Sin, or from not reflecting on our selves. They who know the strictness of God's Law, and the degrees of Sin, and are Observers of them­selves, will find many workings and motions of Pride, vain Glo­ry, Love of the World, Selfish­ness, Envy, and other evil Af­fections, and that they cannot keep themselves clean, without a continual Care of their Hearts.


It is the spiritual part of Reli­gion that is hard, the outward part is easie.

XXXI. The Remain of Sin with us, is very active.

Sin within always works, and labours to bring forth the deeds of the Flesh. It is alway either enclining to Evil, or hindring from Good, or disframing the Soul, and making it less meet for converse with God. It deceives, seduces, and tempts, and in some measure corrupts and pollutes all that we perform to God, or do for him.

XXXII. Sin cannot be mortified by our own Strength.

I find an Aptness when Sin af­flicts me, presently to promise to my self and God, that I will do so no more, and do resolve by Watchfulness and Prayer to prevent it. And this will do something for a season, till my Heat abates, and my Sense of Sin wears off, and then my Mortification va­nishes also. Therefore I resolve never to think of mortifying Sin by my own Strength, but hum­bly to look up to God for the help of his Holy Spirit.

XXXIII. There arises a great Pleasure from having resisted Temptations.

There will never be found so much Satisfaction in gratifying a Temptation, as in a noble, generous refusing of it. The more I resist, the more I find of Peace; and the most pleasing Temptation deni­ed, brings with it the sweetest Consolation.

XXXIV. It is better to prevent Sin than to admit it, and then mortify it.

If Sin enters, it must be dis­lodged again: And it is far easier to prevent than to eject it. It is [Page 117]not easy to bring the Soul back again into the State in which it was before it contracted Guilt.

XXXV. Anger is seldom innocent.

I have no reason to trust my Anger; it is not so just and righte­ous as it sometimes seems to be. Anger is apt to blind my Mind, and then Tyrannize over it. There is in it something of Rage and Vi­olence: It stirs me up to act, but takes away my Rule by which I should act. I find an Aptness to credit my Passion, and that fo­ments it. And when I am under the Power of Passion, I have cause to suspect my own Appre­hensions: For Passion is blind, and cannot judg; it is furious and [Page 118]hath no leisure to debate and consider. Giving way to it makes me unfit to act or receive Grace.

Though Anger should serve the Interest of Religion, and so be good, yet it being a strong and fierce Motion of the Spirit, it must be used with great Advice and Caution.


It is very hard and difficult to give God his due Glory under cross Providences.

XXXVII. There is a Chain of Graces.

It is most certain there is a Chain of Graces inseparably link'd [Page 119]together, and they who have one, have all in some good mea­sure. They who have a lively Hope, have fervent Love to God; and they who love God, love their Neighbours; and they who love God and their Neigh­bours, hate Sin; and they who hate Sin, sorrow for it; and they who sorrow for Sin, will avoid the Occasions of it: and they that are thus watchful, will pray fervently ; and they who pray, will meditate; and they who pray and meditate at home, will joyn seriously in the Publick Worship of God. Thus Graces are com­bined, and holy Duties link'd to­gether, and no Grace is alone. It is not with Graces as with Gifts, to one is given this, and to another that.

XXXVIII. To be impartial in Piety and Mor­tification, is very difficult.

It is a most difficult thing to withdraw Love from every Sin: To proceed a little way in Reli­gion is not hard: But it is really so to go to the Extent of Mortifica­tion and Piety; something of Re­ligion may be embraced, and our own Hearts, Satan, and the World not offended. Some Mo­rality and an outside-Devotion is not tedious to Flesh and Blood, neither doth it shake Satan's King­dom, nor trouble the most of them we converse with. But when we come once to engage in a close walking with God, and to live by Rule in every part of [Page 121]Life, resolving seriously to in­dulge no Sin whatever, we pull the Kingdom of Darkness upon our Heads. Then Corruption will strive, Satan will rage, the World will scoff, watch for our halting, and glory in our Miscarriages; and we shall find it difficult to run against the course of Nature, op­pose Satan, and go contrary to Men: But of necessity this, all this must be; for any Sin indulged, will divorce us from Christ.

XXXIX. To trust in God, is a Christian's necessary Duty.

I find trusting in God my most necessary Duty. My Condition is such, that I cannot see before me: I know not what a day may [Page 122]bring forth. I find my self weak and impotent, unable to do or suffer as I ought: I cannot pre­serve my Soul, Life, Health, or any thing dear to me. And with­out trusting in God, I cannot ex­pect God should fulfil any Pro­mise, it being the Condition of the Promise.

XL. Trusting in God produces real Comfort.

I find it comfortable to trust in God; it raises my Hope, and gives me present Rest and Quiet, and holy Contentation. Trusting in God, like many other Duties, is my Work, and my Ways.

XLI. To trust in God is one of our most difficult Duties.

I find it difficult to trust in God at all times. When Providences cross my Expectation, they dis­courage me, and prove a Temp­tation through my Weakness, I have but feeble Apprehensions of the Power and Goodnese of God when I come to make use of them for my particular Security and Benefit. I think I may say, it is easier to obey, and act for God, than to trust in him.

XLII. Faith is the Root of other Graces.

Faith is the Principle of Spiri­tual Life and Motion; every true good Work and Exercise of Grace take their Rise and Vigor from Faith. A Christian prays, reads, and meditates, hears, hopes, loves, is zealous for God, and doth good to others; Why? because he believes. What is Repentance and godly Sorrow, but the Soul acted by Faith upon the Belief of the Sinfulness of Sin, its Opposi­tion and Contradiction to God; and of the high Obligations we are under to avoid it, and of the Misery we run into by venturing upon it, and of the Madness and Folly of ruining our selves by it.

[Page 125] I find Faith most necessary, and that I cannot be without it. Where can I go, or what can I undertake, wherein Faith will not be necessary? If I pray or me­ditate, it will be a strange Exer­cise if Faith be wanting? If I read or hear the Word, it will not profit me unless I mix it with Faith: would I hope in any Pro­mise? I must call forth my Faith: Would I be heavenly-minded? it is Faith must raise me above the World: Would I be zealous for God? Zeal will not gather Heat unless Faith blows the Fire: Would I have Peace and Joy? they must be had by believing: Nay, I can do nothing in my more ordinary Affairs without Faith: I must know and believe my Design is good, and centers in my great Design, which is the Glory of [Page 126]God. And the means I employ must be known and believed to be regular and holy, or I dare not make use of them. And then I must be able to cast my Care up­on God, and to commit the E­vent and Issue to him, or else my Business becomes burdensom to me, and I have no Rest in my self.

XLIII. The Devil is a mighty, but not an invincible Enemy.

I have a powerfull, subtile, watchful, and malicious Enemy to encounter with: But he is a known Enemy, the Word hath discovered him, and his Power is limited. God hath promised me Victory over him; nay, my Lord hath [Page 127]already conquered him. And I am not alone in this Warfare against Satan, I fight not against him singly, there is a whole Army en­gaged in the Quarrel. The whole Church prayes and fights against him; the Saints collectively make War upon him. All the Prayers of the Church go up to Heaven for my Assistance, so that I have help against Temptation from every Corner; all strike this Dart into his Side, Lord, lead us not into Temptation. And we all fight un­der our Victorious Captain Christ Jesus. The Honour of God, and of Christ my Head, is bound up in my Safety, and therefore I shall conquer; nay, his very Tempta­tions shall turn to my good. All these Considerations are my En­couragement.

XLIV. The Things which the Holy Ghost teacheth.

The Holy Spirit teacheth eve­ry gracious Soul to regard the Im­mortal Spirit above the Body, to ob­serve God rather than Man, and to provide for Eternity rather than Time. And all their circumspect walking, their redeeming their Time, their daily Devotion, their Self-denial, Consciencious Carri­age, and what-ever provokes pro­phane Mouths to reproach them, are but the necessary Effects of these three Principles of Wisdome. And all the Wickedness of Un­godly Men proceeds from the want of this Wisdom.

XLV. Holiness is a Privilege.

I look upon Holiness as none of the least of a Christian's Privilege. But we are apt to consider it more as Necessary than as Glorious, as our Duty rather than our Ornament. Acceptance with God is a Privilege! And is likeness to Him inferiour to it? Is freedom from Satan's Ma­lice a Privilege? and is not the destroying his Image in us the same? To be turned from Car­nal to Spiritual, from Earthly to Heavenly, from Pride to Humi­lity, from Peevish to Kind, from Sinners to Saints; Are not these things Privileges?

Let this Truth be entertain'd. And when we shall see the beau­ty [Page 130]of Holiness, and desire it, because we love and esteem it, then God will open the Treasures of his Grace, and give us more plentifully of the pouring forth of his Spirit.

XLVI. The necessity of having, and living by some stated Rules.

To the shaking off the Tyran­nical Government of Passion, Ambition, and Self-will; and that we may not be hurried by every Motion of our Minds, it is neces­sary to have some fixed and stated Rules of Good and Evil; without this we shall never live as becomes Reasonable Creatures. Such is our Ignorance, as we shall not know how to govern our selves, unless [Page 131]we apply to some Rule for Infor­mation. And so many and great are our Temptations, that they will prevail, unless we keep some fixed Rule for our Actions. He that acteth always according to present Thoughts and Inclinations, shall never be able to resist the offers of Sin when Temptations are present. Such also is our Incogi­tancy, and Forgetfulness, that it is needful to fix some Rules for our Actions, to which we bind our selves not to depart from them; for this will allarm and inlighten Conscience, and Con­science is the surest help to Memory.

Our Inconstancy also to our selves, makes it needful to keep some Rules of Life, that so every Thought, every Company, every Accident of Life may not alter our Minds and Actions.

XLVII. We converse with God in his holy Ordinances, when our Minds are sutably affected under them.

The way and means by which God conveys himself, is by the Ordinances of his publick. Wor­ship, and private Duties of Reli­gion. These are like the Taberna­cle and Ark of old: As they were filled and covered sometimes with the Cloud, so these with Spi­ritual, and Invisible Glory. But a bare attending on these, is not our Communion with God: Our Communion is, to have our Souls suitably affected with the matter of them. When the Heart is hot, the Affections mo­ving, Grace exercised; when a [Page 133]Threatning awes us, a Command delights, and a Promise enters the Ear, like good News in a peri­lous time; when a Discourse of Christ inflames the Soul with Love and Desire; when a Discourse of Heaven raises the Mind above the World; when Truths are accom­panied with Light and Love, so that the Soul cleaves to them, and hangs upon them; this is Com­munion with God; and then are Ordinances and Duties filled with the Holy Spirit.

XLVIII. To govern the Tongue, is one of the difficult parts of Religion.

'Tis hard to govern the Tongue aright, much of Mortification li­eth in the restraining of it, much [Page 134]positive Sanctification in the right use of it. It requites much Know­ledg, Wisdom; Faithfulness, Cou­rage, Watchfulness, Deliberation, Examination of our selves, much Prayer; yea much and strong Grace to govern it well. The right governing of it is also a glorious part of our Christian Profession, and mightily commends it to others.

XLIX. He that governs his Tongue a­right, the same is a perfect Man.

The due governing of the Tongue implies, and supposes whatever else goes to the ma­king up of Evangelical Perfection. Where the Tongue is governed, the whole Life also is ordered by [Page 135]Rule. (And it will be found that whoever wants Grace, faileth much in this Particular, and dis­covers the want of it, either by his Speech, or by his Silence.) For the same Light which directs the Government of the Tongue, the same Arguments that move to it, and the same Power that assists it, will enlighten us to see other Du­ties, move as strongly to under­take them, and as effectually help us to perform them.

L. A due Care of our Thoughts is a great Evidence of Upright­ness.

It shews that Religion hath in­deed possessed our Minds, when we are careful so to mangage [Page 136]our Thoughts as that they be not only innocent, but most frequently very serious, and holy.

LI. Meekness produces Peace and Joy.

The Exercise of that Meekness, which is a supernatural Grace, a Disposition wrought in the Soul by the Holy Ghost, which aims at God, Glory, and the Honour of Religion, makes Conscience serene and joyful. When I can reflect upon Passions restrained, Injuries forgiven, an Enemy loved, Content­ment in every Condition, ready submission to every Providence, and much Self-denial, that God may be pleased; how pleasantly doth Conscience look upon it?

LII. Meekness gives us the possession of our selves.

Meekness giveth us the entire possession of our selves, and the use of our Faculties: But Anger and Impatience causeth that we cannot enjoy our selves, nor apply to any Affair, making every thing tedious and troublesom to us.

LIII. Meekness preserves our Peace with our Neighbours.

As Meekness procures Peace in our own Souls, so it also pro­cures Peace and Quiet amongst Neighbours. Few will strive with [Page 138]them that will not contend, and are so far from injuring others, that they readily forgive such as injure them.

LIV. The expectation of Death is profi­table to a Christian.

The serious Expectation of Death (not forgetting Judgment) freeth us from the afflicting dis­composing Apprehensions thereof. It doth the Christian great Service, it takes off from Carnal Plea­sures, Covetous Desires, and Am­bitious Pursuits, and administers to Patience and Contentment. It assists his redeeming his Time, prompts him to settle the Affairs of his Soul, to put his Heart and House in Order, to leave nothing [Page 139]to be done to morrow, that may be done to day. It excites to fre­quent Examination, quickens Re­pentance, and suffers him not to continue in Sin. It assists Fer­vency in Prayer, as it drives away Worldly Cares, and helps against Distraction. for Death is a so­lemn thing, and the thoughts of it breed a Passion in the Mind, and all soft Passions help Devotion. It sweetens all Labour, Work, and Duty, because of the Everlasting Rest it leads unto. It moves us to pray for others, to counsel them, and do what we can for them. Thus Death in the Ex­pectation of it, is a Blessing, if we expect it as certain, and yet un­certain when it shall come; as at­tended with Judgment, and as put­ting a full End to our Probation State. And thus Death is ours.

LV. Formality in Holy Things must be avoided.

Every Real Christian hates to act in Divine Things out of Custom and Formality, and the least mix­ture of a By-end is to him trouble­some and afflicting. His Actions are with Consideration, and good Design. He will not only pray, but consider to whom, and why! And doth it either in obedience to a Command, or as the paying of Homage to God, or as an In­stance of Trust, Dependance, and Love, or as a Means of obtain­ing some Blessing, or as an Ordi­nance that brings him near into the Presence of God. And when he waits upon the Publick Worship, [Page 141]it is that thereby he may make open Profession of Faith and Holi­ness, and that he may draw nigh to God.

LVI. The Government of our Thoughts is necessary.

It is no little Self-denial to ma­nage our Thoughts strictly, yet it is the most reasonable part of Religion, and not properly the Heighth of Piety, but the Founda­tion of it, without which it can­not stand. He that can blush at his Thoughts, and endeavours to suppress them, who dares not entertain the least Sin, no not so much as in his Imagination, look­ing upon God, and Conscience as more than a thousand Witnesses: [Page 142]This Man is Religious indeed.

This manage of the Thoughts is of great Service to a Christian; it is a vast Security against many Temptations. For Thoughts breed Desires, and Desires increase into Passion, and Passions will grow strong, and being grown strong, they abuse Reason and throw the Soul headlong, and render it exposed to divers Temp­tations.

LVII. The End of our Actions must be good.

Great Care must be had con­cerning the End of our Actions, for this, like the Altar, sanctifies the Gift. A Man's End hath a mighty Influence upon him; as is [Page 143]the End, such is the Man: He whose End is worldly, is himself earthly: But if God be a Man's End, it makes him God-like.

LVIII. We must beware of Spiritual Sloth.

Spiritual Sloth brings Spiritual Poverty. To have Affections in Holy Duties, requires much force, to which Nature is averse. Cor­rupt Nature doth not always dis­cover its opposition to that which is good, by passionate contradict­ing, but oftentimes effectually enough by Sloth and sluggish­ness.

LIX. Detraction must be avoided.

We are naturally prone to speak evil of others with delight, and to aggravate their Faults. This Sin persisted in, will shut out of Heaven, as well as Murder or Theft: And there is a secret Plague attending it in this Life; for the way of Divine Providence is frequently Retaliation.

LX. The Promises are full of Support and Comfort, but God must il­luminate our Minds to discern what is treasured up in them.

The Promises, which are the Covenant of Grace display'd, are [Page 145]most precious in the matter of them, and most necessary and useful to the Christian's Spiritual Life; they help and support when all other things fail. The Satis­faction they bring, is a real true Pleasure; yet their Glory and Ex­cellency is not to be seen till God opens the Christian's Eyes, and gives him a new Light. There is a Vail upon the Promises, or ra­ther a Film upon the Eye of the Soul, and until that is removed, the Promises are dark, and they have no Form or Comliness in them: And though they be great and precious in themselves, yet they cannot be so to us, unless God and the Promise come in together. The Spirit must move upon the face of the Waters before they become refreshing Streams to make glad the Heart. The Christian's [Page 146]own Arm will not reach Com­fort from them: For this, God must be sought, and the Promise must be our Meditation.

LXI. The Holy Ghost proceeds in his Operations gradually.

The Spirit of God operates gradually: He teaches first one Truth, and then another: He brings us first to make Conscience of a Duty, and then of the man­ner of performing it. The Holy Spirit lays a Foundation in the Heart for the whole of Religion, and then draws us on gradually to more and more.

Rules for Practice.

I. LET Love and Charity be Universal. For no pretence whatever, no not of Reli­gion and Zeal for God, can ju­stifie your not loving any Person in the World. Treat all Men with Kindness, and wish them well: Do them good according to their Necessity, and your Pow­er and Opportunity. If Persons be above you, express your Love to them, by paying them the Ho­nour and Observance their Place and Authority call for. If they are in Worldly Respects beneath you, manifest your Love by Kindness, Affability, and vouchsafing an easy Address to you. If they excel in Natural or Acquired Endowments [Page 148]of Mind, express your Love to them by a due esteem of them. If they be rather wanting than ex­celling, shew your Love by pi­tying them, and despise not their weakness. If any be in Misery, compassionate them, pray for them, comfort them with your Presence if you can reach them, relieve them according to your power. If any be defamed, shew your Love, by stopping and re­buking the Defamation.

II. Be very careful not to harbour any evil Affection in your Heart against any one what-ever. For though you are far from intend­ing any actual Mischief, yet you tempt God to let loose your Cor­ruption, and his Providence to [Page 149]permit you an Opportunity, and so before you are aware, you may be drawn to an Act you never thought of before. Moreover, by an evil Affection harboured in your Mind, you will prevent the blessed Illapses of the Spirit of God, and open a wide Door for the Devil to enter into you. And indeed an unkind disposition to­wards any Man, is so much akin to Satan, that if you admit the one, you cannot exclude the other.

III. Despise none; for Love never rides in Triumph over Inferiours.

IV. Look upon all unavoidable Temptations, as Opportunities for an [Page 150]high exercise of Grace. Are you injured? be sorry for him that hath done it, and bless God for the opportunity of shewing your self hereby a Christian, by patient bearing, forgiving, doing Good against Evil, treating him with Meekness, and breaking his Heart with Love. Every Provo­cation is a Price in your Hand, get an Heart to improve it.

V. Put a due value upon your Name and Reputation: But be not over solicitous about it, for that discovers some unmortified Lust at the bottom.

VI. Pursue Piety under the notion of an Imitation of God, and then [Page 151]so great a Pleasure will result from it, that neither Men nor Devils shall be able to make you questi­on God's Being and Attributes: This will raise an Esteem of it, and render it lovely, and make the several Duties of Religion more facile and easie; and it will gradually wear out the Re­mains of Unbelief, and unkind Jealousies of God.

VII. Let Humility be the constant covering of your Soul, and let Repentance follow all your Perfor­mances: This will demonstrate your Religion is inward. For if Religion be suffered to enter deep into the Heart, it will always find Work for Repentance while we are in the State of Imper­fection.

[Page 152] VIII. Love nothing above God and Christ; for to love any thing more than God or Christ, is the way ei­ther never to enjoy it, or to be soon deprived of it, or else to find your self deceived in it.

IX. Do nothing upon which you dare not ask God's Blessing.

X. Esteem Time as your most precious Talent, which when you bestow it upon any, you give them more than you can under­stand. A joynt Assistance of Men and Angels cannot restore it to you again.

[Page 153] XI. Never speak of Religion for Discourse and Entertainment sake, but for the Purposes of Piety.

XII. Upon the Lord's-Day consider in private the Love of God, in the several Instances of it, to thy Self and the World, in Creation and Redemption; the Promises of Eternal Life, the Care of his Providence, his Mercies to Thee, thy Friends and Family: And stay upon these Considerations till thy Heart be lifted up in his Praise, and thou canst say with David, Now will I go to God, my exceeding Joy. Consider also your Miscarriages in the Week past, and [Page 154]industriouly endeavour to pre­vent them in the following Week.

XIII. Be diligent in your particular Calling, in Obedience to God's Command: For the same God who said, Be fervent in Prayer, hath also said, Be not slothful in Business. That therefore which putteth a good Man upon praying in his Closet, calleth him out again, even a Submission to God the great Master of the World, by whom we are placed in our several Sta­tions.

XIV. Carefully avoid all those Sins which your Calling, and Diligence in it, exposeth you unto.

[Page 155] XV. Never let the Infirmity of thy Brother be thy Recreation. Let not that which grieveth God, make thee merry. Let not that be thy Sport, which is Heaven's Sor­row, and so is every thing that is evil.

XVI. Let the use of Refreshments, make you compassionate to the Poor who want them. This will be an Evidence that they are sanctified unto you.

XVII. In the Practice of Civility, a­void the Sins of Company, mention [Page 156]not God slightly, inconsiderately, or merrily.

XVIII. Censure not any Man's Acti­ons which contradict not a plain Rule, and in which there is use of Prudence, because much of Prudence depends upon Circum­stances of which you are igno­rant. God hath made you a Feoffee in Trust of your Neigh­bours Name; and it is a Greatness of Mind not to speak evil of o­thers.

Before thy Brother's Face flatter not; behind his back be as tender of his Reputation as of his Life.

XIX. In Civil Converse, though your Discourse be not always of Reli­gion, [Page 157]yet make it your Design thereby to recommend Religion.

XX. Let not Fretting and Discon­tent prey upon your Time: It makes you neglect some present Duty: It makes you like a Ship tossed upon, the Waters, which is moved, but brought to no place.

XXI. In endeavouring the Conver­sion of another, perswade him only to what is necessary to his Salvation; make him under­stand that you design nothing for your self in it, but his own Hap­piness. Press him to nothing that you will not practise your self.

[Page 158] XXII. Be exact in your Actions, be­cause they must stand upon Record to Eternity.

XXIII. That you may think of God aright, you must abstract from your present Temper, and your own Sense. For Experience tells us that if a Man be convinc'd of Sin, and under Terrors, all the Art of Man cannot satisfy him, that God intends to pardon such a Sinner as he is; because he judges of God by what he feels. So he that perceives not the Bit­terness of Sin; all Arguments can scarcely perswade him that Sin is so great an Evil as indeed it is, [Page 159]or that God will severely punish it, because he judged of God ac­cording to his present Temper, and his own Sense of things.

XXIV. Give God the Honour of his Attributes together: You desire his Mercy, let him have also the Ho­nour of his Wisdom in his chusing the Channel in which his Goodness shall run.

XXV. Never be a Spendthrift of that, of which only you can be honest­ly covetous; that is, of your Time.

XXVI. Meditate much upon the Pro­mises; for though Meditation [Page 160]can add nothing to the Promises, yet it draws forth the Sweetness, and discovers the Beauty which is in them.

XXVII. Apply the Promises frequently, tho you find not such visible Ef­fects, either of Grace or Comfort, issuing from them as you expect, or desire. The Manner of fulfil­ling them may be various, but the Performance is most certain. The Blessing of the Promise some­times descends like Rain in visible Showers, producing the sensible Effects of Joy and Peace in the Soul; and sometimes like Dew, which falleth in a silent way, with­out making any sensible Alterati­on in the Heart: The Vertue of it is real, but withal hidden and secret.


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