A SERMON Preach'd in the Cathedral Church of NORWICH, AT THE FUNERAL OF THE Right Reverend Father in GOD, EDWARD LORD BISHOP of NORWICH, Who Departed this Life, July 28. 1676.

By B. Riveley, one of his Lordships Chaplains, and Preacher in the said City.

Of whom the World was not worthy, Hebr. 11. 38.

LONDON, Printed for Sam. Lowndes near the Savoy in the Strand, and Wil­liam Oliver Bookseller in the Market-place in Norwich. 1677.

A Sermon Preach'd in the Cathedral Church of Norwich, at the Funeral of the Right Reverend Father in God, Edward, Lord Bishop of Norwich, &c.

JOB XXX. 23.‘For I know thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all the living.’

NO Book of Scripture better furnish'd with Funeral Texts than this of Job; and no Fu­neral could better deserve a Text out of Job than this; being the Funeral of a Man fearing God, and eschewing Evil; a Man perfect and up­right in his Generation; a Man patient, and holding fast his Integrity to the last: But intending his just Encomium at the end of my Sermon, I shall say no more of Him now.

The words are doubly considerable to us, in their dependent, and in their abstracted sence.

That they have a Coherence, easily appears by the [Page 2] Illative Particle, [For,] by which they are tack'd to somewhat said afore: But to spend any of my time in giving you the various Conjectures of Expositors about their Connexion, would be hugely unjustifi­able, knowing my own mind of not handling them at all under this Consideration; only this may be (obiter) observable to us, That Job was at present in sad case—The dayes of Affliction had takenVer. 16, 17, 18. hold upon him, he was diseased in body, and restless through pain and sickness, (as out of the foregoing Verses may be learn'd) and he thought this a fit sea­son wherein to contemplate humane frailty; and to consider his own dying. He knew no Man at best was far distant from a Crave, or could entertain hopes of living alwayes; much less could he do so, that was at the brink of that place already; 'twas an easie and short remove he knew for God to send him from his weary Pallet and sick Bed, to his long and last Home. And possibly this was the Argument of his patience, that in all likelihood he had but a little while longer to endure. He was sure (if nothing else could) his own Mortality at last would give him a Quietus est: The Grave is a period as to all earthly, Comforts, so to all worldly Crosses and Perturbati­ons; and to this period Job Knew all must come, and himself among the rest: For I know thou wilt bring, &c.

But it is the entire and abstract sense of the words that I would come to, and I take them to contain in them a right comfortable, profitable, and practical Nation of Mans Mortality in general, and of thine and mine in particular. I [know] thou wilt bring [me] [...] death, and to the [house] appointed, &c.

[Page 3]'Tis the speech of a Job, that was not only a good Man himself, but an Exemplar of such, and so refer'd to in the Jam. 5. 11. New Testament, and therefore when he saith, I know—'tis as much as if he had said, I would have others to know it too—That God will bring them (every Mothers child of them) to death, and to the house, &c.

Let us then carefully observe what the holy Man professes to know here, and how, and thence draw Rules and Documents for our own present instructi­on and regulation of future practice. As

I. He knows the Grave, under the Metaphor of a House (that is) he hath a comfortable Notion of that sad, solitary, dark, silent place; for doubtless that is it he means by the House of all Living. The Allegory is the very same, Chap. 17. 13. If I wait, the Job 17 13. grave is mine house.

From whence we may know thus much too—That Doct. 'tis in the power of Religion, and the grace of God, to frame in a Mans mi [...] most comfortable and amiable Idea's even of dying, and being laid in the Grave: things otherwise most formidable and terrifying.

He that sayes here—I know that I shall dye, had said before—I know that my Redeemer liveth. Job was aJob 19. 2 [...]. Christian by Anticipation, and embraced the promises afar off, (as the holy Men of the Old Testament are said to do, Hebr. 11. 13.) His fearlesness and hope in his own death; sprung from his faith in Christs Resur­rection; and whoever they be that can plead a title to that victory of Jesus (as well à posteriori, as à pri­ori; Hebr. 13. 8. for he is the same to day, that he was yesterday) have a sufficient foundation for the like courage and comfort in and about dying that he had.

[Page 4]Without a Christ, I can't excuse any one from look­ing upon Death as a Ghastly thing, the King of Ter­rors, the greatest of Temporal Evils, the dissolution of Nature, the revenge of the Law for sin; but there is a reverse of this prospect in the Gospel, and by the virtue of Christs Religion. Here you may behold the Son of God as the great Lover of Souls, and Captain of their salvation, marching out of his glorious Tent into the Enemies Country, on purpose to deliver them Hebr. 2. 15. that through fear of death, were all their life-time sub­ject to bondage. Yea, here you may behold him set­ting his foot upon the neck of this Goliah, and dis­arming1 Cor. 15. 55, 56. him of all his weapons, as St Paul represents him. Yea, here you may see him an actual Trium­pher, and weighty Conqueror, girt with a golden Girdle, and the Keyes of Death and Hell hanging atRev. 1. 13 18. it, as in St Johns Vision. Now Death is abolished, (so the Apostle speaks) (that is) as to its deadliness,2 Tim. 1. 10. poyson, ugliness, enmity. Now the Serpents sting is pulled out, it can but lick and glide, it can't pierce and wound; like a Worm, it can only feed on the dusty part, the baser mold, but the precious Soul is out of its reach. Now Hell is dismounted from be­hind him that sate on the pale Horse, and though heRev. 6. 8. may chance to look big, and threaten still, yet he can­not kill and damn at the old rate. Yea, Death is now not only disabled, but reconciled; Treacle is extracted out of this Viper; Honey is found in this Lyons Carkass; the Devils Cudgel is beaten to his own head, what he design'd for mischief, is over-ruled into an instrumentality for the greatest good; and whom he had set on work to be the worlds Butcher, proves the Christians Priest to send up his Soul a Sacrifice to [Page 5] God, and to preserve his Body awhile in the Ashes be­low. By the admirable grace of the Redeemer, of the most shun'd Foe, is made a kind Friend; of a grisly Worm, a familiar Confident; an amiable rud­diness is put into Deaths pale Cheeks, since the effusi­on of Christs blood; by his being made a Curse, Death becomes a blessing; that which was the punish­ment of Vice, proves the security of Virtue; which was the instrument of Justice, the token of Mercy; which was the dissolution of Nature, the completion of Grace. Now Death is no longer the Saints loss,Phil. 1. 27. but their gain; it turns to great account; 'tis put in­to their Inventory among their riches, Death is yours. 1 Cor. 3. 21. 'Tis no longer the grim Serjeant of their Judge, but their humble Servant, their officious Black and Slave to hold by the Hangings on their Clay Wall, till their Princely Spirit enters the Presence Chamber of the great King; the Grave is no longer their Prison, but their House, their resting place from their labours, their hinding place from the storm, yea, 'tis Janua Vi­tae, Porta Coeli, their only passage into the eternal state of bliss and glory.

This is the victory of Christ. This is the effect of Christianity, it doth not quite kill Death, but it makes that Death shall not kill us There is a killing with death threat­ned, Rev. 2. 23.; it does not cause us not to dye, but it certainly keeps us from being damn­ed; it wo'nt prevent our coming to a Grave, but it will mightily chear us in our passage thither, and so embalm us when we come there, that not a hair of our heads shall everlastingly perish.

O Sirs I let us be able to know Death and a GraveƲse. after this comfortable rate, not foolishly to presume [Page 6] with Agag, but groundedly to hope with holy Souls, That the bitterness of Death is past. Let us approve1 Sam. 15. 32. our selves living Members of the great conquering Head Jesus Christ, and so his victory will be our victo­ry; We shall be Conquerors too through him that loves Rom. 8. 37. us; and Death shall have no more dominion over us, than it had over him. Let us endeavor an hearty and universal performance of the conditions and terms of the New Covenant, which are Repentance from dead Works, and Faith in Jesus Christ, that we may there­by assure to our selves the said promises and privi­ledges of the same Covenant. This way the Saints of God have alwayes come by their courage against, and their comfort in a dying hour.—This hath car­ried them to their Graves, with the same unconcer­nedness wherewith they pass to their Beds every night. This made a holy David not afraid to pass through the valley of the shadow of death. This madePsal. 23. 4. a holy Job to claim Kindred of the worms and rot­tenness—I have said to Corruption, Thou art my father: and to the Worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister. Job 17. 14. And to speak as familiarly of his going to the Grave, as if he were a going to his Home—I know thou—wilt bring me to the House appointed for all Living.

So much for the first sort of Notion which Job here professes to have of his own Mortality, viz. comforta­ble and chearing—pass we to the next kind of Notion thereof, which is reflexive and applicatory—I know thou wilt bring [me] to death, and to, &c.

II. Job not only has a general Notion of Death, as the way of all Flesh, and of the Grave, as the House of all Living, but he has a particular Notion of both, [Page 7] referring the case to himself. He knows, that as none can, no more can he put in Plea or Barr a­gainst his coming to the Dust, and being ere long a Tenant in that dreery Habitation, yet common re­pository of the Grave.

From whence we may please to know thus much too, viz.

That Good and Holy Men are not only convinc'd, Doct. and knowing of other folks dying, but particularly of their own.

To know that all must dye, is a Lesson that few are ignorant of; he is a very dullard that is not come so far. This Nature teaches, Law obliges to, common Experience, and Observations, ratify and confirm.

There were but two, that we read of, Enoch and Elijah, (and they upon extraordinary priviledge, not for ordinary example) that balked the Grave in their passage to the other World. All others have laid their Heads down upon a green Turf, and dwelt with Worms, and such like creatures, of an Equivocal Production. (The Sons and Daughters of their own Flesh and Bones) in a House of Dirt and Rotten­ness.

And there is a Must for this—as that wise Tekoite said, We [Must] needs dye; there's necessity for it thus2 Sam. 14. 14. far; from the original Law of our Nature, and from the consequential Law of our sin: so that if God and Nature can hold us to conditions, we must needs dye.

[Page 8]I. Supposing Man innocent, he was yet mortal in his Nature, he was an excellent creature as he came out of Gods Hands, but yet but a Creature; 'twas never put into his Nature, that if he fell, he should not break: he was a mixture of Heat and Cold, of Dryness, and Moisture, compos'd of corruptible qua­lities and materials: only there was a possibility of not dying through the Divine Favour, and the Al­mighties supportation. He grew upon an immortal Root, (there was his security) but cut off from that, by his own degeneracy, he soon wither'd, and shew'd what he was:

II. In which laps'd condition, if you further con­sider him, Death is made his Doom (as 'twas his Na­ture before) and as to the stroke of it, there is now no remedy (though as to the sting of it there be.) 'Tis appointed for men once to dye; 'tis now Sta­ture-Law,Hebr. 9.: 7. and has been executed through all ages, and will be so to the end of the World: Your Fa­thers, where are they? and the Prophets, do they live Zach. 1. 5. for ever? that is in this world: where is Abraham, the Father of the Faithful, and David, the Man after Gods own Heart; and Lazarus, the Friend of Christ? the Patriarchs and Apostles, Men of all sorts, under both Oeconomies of the Old and New Testamant, have long since tasted Death. If ever there had been any dispensation from dying, (I suppose) Christ would have brought it along with him, but I find no such thing in the whole Gospel Charter. 'Tis said, there is no condemnation to them that are in Rom. 8. 1. Christ Jesus, but 'tis not said, there is no Death. Just as God dealt by the Serpents in the Wilderness, so did Christ with Sin and Death in the Gospel-state: [Page 9] he did not presently destroy all the Serpents, but took care, that whoever was stung with them, should be healed—No more did Christ make Sin to be no Sin, or Death to be no Death, but he provided Pardon and Salvation, Balme and Cure in his own Bloud; he did not keep Men altogether from dying, because he could do his Redeeming-work better without it; for it is more to the honour of his Grace, to make Men live in death, and in despight of it, than to continue a bare natural life unto him, and thus does our Saviour, not slaying this our Enemy out-right, by making him to drag his Chariot, and to subserve some nobler End.

However, Death is Death still, since Christ, at least in the Physical Notion of it, if not altogether in the Moral. Dust must turn to Dust, Man must pass into his first Principles. This curious frame of the Body must be dissolv'd. The original Sentence thus far stands irrepealable: the sinner must dye, and we are none of us sinless, and though some of us may be better than others, yet no mans Grace or Vir­tue (no more than his Youth, or Wit, or Beauty, or Strength, or Wealth, or Greatness) can excuse him from dying. This courtesie indeed it may do him—that he shall but dye (as the poor Lepers at the Gates of2 Kings 7. 4. Samaria)—He shall not dye over and over, the first and the second Death: but yet dye he must; still the Grave is the Landing-place of all Living, but Christ has taken Order, that in Hell none shall come but Hypocrites and Unbelievers.

But what need I wade further into this general Notion of Mortality—Every bodies knowledge is no bodies knowledge: the more common the spe­culation, [Page 10] the less reflected on and consider'd, 'Tis the Virtue onely of some men to lay the end of all Men to heart. Job was one of this high Proficiency,Eccles. 7. 2. in the School of the Grave—I know (says he to God) thou wilt bring [Me] to death, and the way that all goe, I shall follow: this is right profitable Knowledge—Knowledge with Application, and such should ours be.

This is the Christian Philosophy, to argue from the common condition of Man, to my own particu­lar concern.

To count my self as much a Mortal, when I am well, and in health, as when I am under the imme­diate stroke of death, by sickness, or some acute and deadly disease. To be able to approximate and appropriate never so far distant danger, and to see the evil day a great way off, through all the peri­ods of time, that are filled up with never so much Wealth, Honour, and temporal Prosperity, and to number my dayes, when they have few or no nights in them—I mean when they are all Glorying, and Sun-shine; and to ballance my Actions, Resoluti­ons, and Affections, in, about, and towards the world, and its injoyments with such present Meditations and thoughts as these—

Am I not of the Order of Gods Creatures here below? Brother to the Worms, Sister to the Dust? Is not my Breath in my Nostrils, where there is room for it to go out, and possibility for it never to re­turn? may not God this night take me away from these things? be I never so great, may I not by and by, instead of mine Honour; be laid under mens Feet? Instead of my Purple and Soarlet, be oloath­ed [Page 11] with rottenness (as Joh speaks) and instead of my Delicacies and Luxuries, become my self, Worms­meat? Is not the time a coming apace, when, of all my rich Silks and Naperies, I shall have nothing left me but my Winding-sheet? of all my Houses and Lands, nothing but the length of my Grave?

I confess this is hard, ordinarily for Men to be made to think otherwise of this condition, than they at present find and feel; 'tis difficult while they are in Life and Health, in Youth and Bloud, in Pros­perity and Affluence, to cast their thoughts into such a mould as this; Men are loth to fright away their plea­sures with a Deaths-head, and they are ready to conceit foolishly, that an applioation of death to themselves, after this rate, is a kind of presage, and ominous in­vitation of it, and will make it come, sooner than it otherwise would; (a mistake like that of some su­perstitious persons, who forbear making their Wills, for fear of thereby hastening their ends) But the vast Spiritual profit of this course, will recompense its uneasiness to the Flesh, and I dare assure those that conscienciously use it, that they Will thereby make their lives much the better, but not a whit the shorter.

And therefore I shall hence exhort you all, to stu­dyƲse. to attain this Christian sagacity, and to know Death and the Grave, beyond the Theory; when you see death in other folks brows and Visages. feel it at the same time in your own Pulses and Bowels. Apply all Lectures, Notices, and Moniti­ons of Mortality, wherever you meet with them, unto your selves, and for Gods sake, let not this be lost—

[Page 12]Let not one Funeral procession be a matter only of custom and formality to you; and when you see a friend or a neighhor laid in his Grave, don't only shake your Head, and say, This is it we must all come to, but lay the Providence to your Heart, goe home, and set your whole House in Or­der, and alwayes remember (for ought you can tell to the contrary) your own turn may be next; There's not a Corps goes to the Dust, but we should have the Wit and the Grace (as in a broken Glass) to see our own Faces there.

III.—But I proceed to the third and last observable out of the words. Job knew other men dyed, and he himself should dye, so as to be the better for that his knowledge.

That common Rule in Divinity (that words of Knowledge in Scripture-phrase, do connotate both Affections and Actions, sutable to that knowledge) is here of use.

When the Holy man says here [I know] 'tis as much as if he had—I so know I shall dye, and be buri­ed as well as others, that I will take care to live accord­ingly.—'Tis not only my observation that others dye, and my opinion that I my self shall dye, but 'tis my resolution to practice according to both. 'Tis the knowledge of my Heart and Will, as well as of my Head, and Understanding.

If these words be not meant thus, there's little or no great matter in them, for a Job to speak; but if there be, we may know thus much from them again.

[Page 13] That 'tis a chief part of a mans wisdom to know Doct. Death practically: to know it for his good, to do him good, and to make him good.

Job knew it thus, and he seems here to boast kind­ly of it, not barely to profess it [I know] thou wilt bring me, &c.

'Tis true, I must dye, that any one may say, butJob 5. 27. that won't satisfy a wise, holy Man; he enquires fur­ther, Am I fit to dye? Is my work done? Have I got Oil in my Lamp to meet the Bridegroom with­al? Is my Peace made with God? Are my Accounts1 Tim. 6. 19. ready? Have I laid up a good foundation against the time to come, that I may lay hold on Eternal Life, when I let goe my hold on this life?

A mans knowing to such purposes as these, that he shall dye, viz. to put him upon such enquiries, and upon endeavours consequent upon such enquiries, is a great degree of Spiritual Wisdom, and Religion.

—As may appear by the natural effects of it, which are two great ones, viz.

  • 1. To make a man live more Holily,
  • 2. To make a man dye more hopefully, than otherwise he would.

1. 'Twill make him live better in several particu­lars, as,

1. It will not let him sin in quiet. A Christian con­siderate of his latter end, can't commit sin at the rate of other men, no temptations can be offer'd him, but it will beget such questions as these. Is it fit for a dying man to enterprize? Can I appear before God with such a thing laid to my charge? Am I [Page 14] going (I know not how soon) to give up my Ac­counts, and shall I run upon a new score? perhaps this may be the last Act of my Life, and shall I con­clude so ill? Shall I let my Sun set in a cloud? Shall I kill my self with death? Shall I arm my Enemy with a fresh sting? Shall I commit those things, which if they hasten not my end, will certainly make it more uneasie by reflection upon them?

2. It will repress in a Man the rankness and wild­ness of sinful Lusts and Affections, such as Ambition, Covetousness, and all Licentious practice. 'Twill watch him tame and sober, and make Religious pre­cepts and counsels dwell deep in the Soul, and take impression. Thus the Cynick taught the Macedonian Prince how to get greater Victories over himself, than over others, by carrying him to his Fathers Tomb. And I have heard of a great Deboichee that was migh­tily chang'd, by this holy Artisice of a dying Friend, who to the bequest of a Ring with a Deaths head, an­nex'd this condition, That he should constantly wear it, and one hour in a day, for seven dayes together, look, and think upon it. This is St Paul's Argument, The time is 1 Cor. 7. 29, 30, 31. short, let them that have Wives, be as if they had none: And they that rejoyce, as if they rejoyced not: And they that use this World, as not abusing it: For the fashion of this World passeth away. And it is St Peter's too—1 Pet. 2. 11. I beseech you as Pilgrims and Strangers, abstain from fleshly Lusts. That must needs be a lewd, ungoverna­ble intemperance, that will be drunk out of a Scull, and Revel it in a Charnel-house.

3. It will quicken a Man to the Duties of Religion; make him more frugal of his time, hold him closer to his [...], the great errand of his life, and keep [Page 15] him watchful against Neglects and Errors. What St Peter writes to the scatter'd Christains, (I will put you in remembrance, knowing that shortly I must put off 2 Pet. 1. 13. this Tabernacle) is the constant language of a Man knowing after this example of Job in my Text. I will do all the good, and receive all the good I can, know­ing that I ha'nt long to live. I'll make as sure, and as quick work as I can for my Soul, since I have so little security in the earthly House of this Tabernacle. Scri­pture measures our Life-time by a Day, and Death is call'd a Night. Now we all know Day-time is Work­ing-time; in Allusion to which our Saviour sayes of himself, I must work the works of him that sent me, while John 9. 4. 'tis day: the night cometh when no man can work.

And just thus the wise Christian takes his measures too. His knowledge of his much work to do, and his little time to do it in, wo'nt suffer him to lose any opportunity, lest he should be benighted in his work; but whatsoever his hand finds to do, he does it with all his might, knowing there is no work, nor device, nor Ecc'. es. 9. 10. knowledge, nor wisdom in the Grave, whither he is a going.

No better way to keep Fire alive, than in its own Ashes; and if there be any sparks of Reason or Re­ligion in our Souls, any sense of God and our Duty, nothing will2 Tim. 1. 6. [...], stir and blow them up, and kindle from them religious affections, and pious per­formances, better than this knowledge and considera­tion of our own mortality.

Lastly, This will make a Man dye more comforta­bly, as well as live better. This is a way to make Death no Bugbear, by being acquainted with it in our life-time. To prevent the killing eye of this Basilisk, [Page 16] by seeing it, before it sees us. To make the ending of a natural, animal Life, to be the beginning of a divine, eternal Life, by dying before we dye, that is, in a believing prospect of it, and provision for it.

This I take to be the great governing Virtue, and Mistress of Morals, call'd Prudence, which is nothing else but Providence under a contracted name, and all other wisdom and knowledge must vail unto it. I find two of the best and greatest men in the Bible aspi­ring and suspiring after this knowledge, bending all their endeavors and prayers for the attainment of it.

David prayes thus—Lord, make me to know my end, Psal. 39. 4. and the measure of my dayes what it is: that I may know how srail I am. 'Tis not to be understood as if he desired to know in a literal sence what year or day his Life should end, but in a spiritual sence how he should end it well any day of the year, or any hour of the day. Doubtless he was a Man given to pious medita­tion, and his thoughts had been in the dust before now, but he could not bring his heart and will to that practical knowledge of his own frailty which he de­sir'd, and therefore he turns to God—Lord, make me, &c.

Moses another great Man, and skill'd in all the wis­dom of the Egyptians, prayes thus—Lord, teach me to Psal. 90. 12. number my days, that I may apply my heart unto wisdom. He had been numbring his own, and all other MensYer. 10. dayes a little before, and he could tell no further than three or fourscore years, but what was this towards the application of his heart to wisdom? We need but little Arithmetick to number our dayes, but we need a great deal of Grace to number them, so as to be the [Page 17] wiser and the better for it. Even a Moses prays for this—Pray we therefore for the wisdom of these holyUse Men, and for the knowledge of a Job—That we may know (as he did) God will bring us to death, and to the House appointed for all Living.

All this while I have discours'd you as at com­mon Funeral, now let me offer somewhat more pro­perly Calculated for this Meridian and Occasion, viz. The Funeral of Dr. Edward Reynolds, late Lord Bishop of this Diocess.

What I have hitherto said, concern'd you in your general capacity as mortal Men, and Citizens of the World; but now I have a few words to you, as Citi­zens of Norwich, as Members of this Diocess, and as surviving Pupils of this Holy and Reverend Father; whose Soul is with God, but his Body still with us. Once hugely useful, yet by and by to be laid up in the common Repository of the Grave, as an useless piece of Clay.

'Tis a great (though no sudden) change you have liv'd to see—The Mitre and the Crosire both laid in the dust. Your Master Elijah taken from your head to day. A great Man fallen in Israel. Death has play'd a mighty Prize, and triumph'd over Learning and Authority, and sweet Nature and Goodness, and great Experience and Wisdom, and an honourable Age, at one blow. God has smote our Shepherd, and we are left for present as a scatter'd Flock. What shall we do now? Why, you have done well already, in your sad and solemn Procession to this place, to con­dole your Loss, to bring this your true Friend part of his journey towards his long home. Once Angels dis­dain'd not to carry a poor Lazarus towards his eter­nal [Page 18] rest; and therefore the best of you being but Lazars of sin and misery, have done nothing be­yond your Duty, in paying those your last Respects to your departing Angel. He had your Prayers while he liv'd, and he deserves as well your Tears now he's dead: And herein most of all you have reason to sor­row (as the Ephesian Elders did for St Paul) that you shall see his Face no more, you shall feel his Hand no more, you shall hear his Voice no more. But is this all you can afford? to hear a Sermon at the Funeral, or sprinkle a Tear upon the Herse of so eminent a Ser­vant of Christ and of your Souls? Have you nothing but a little Rosemary and Bayes wherewith to per­fume? nothing but a few bring drops wherein to preserve so excellent a Memory? Shall this great Light go out as a Gloworm at the Hedge bottom, with no greater noise than you can make with your eyes? I hope not so; but rather that you will remember him that had once the Rule over you, and has often spo­ken to you the Word of God, that you will follow his Faith, acknowledge the Gifts and Graces of God that were in him, and the good that has been done to you by him. That you will transcribe his excellent pattern into your Lives, dress by his Glass, and walk in the light of his Fires. In a word, I hope that you will hear him, and love him, and reverence him, and obey him, as long as he Preaches to you, and then I am sure you can't cease to do so now, for Dead as well as Living, he is still a Preaching Bishop. His Coffin is his Pulpit, his Grave is his Temple, and he still teaches you, though he sayes never a word, viz. by his pious and mostinstructive example left unto the world, by his fair character and good report easily and deser­vedly [Page 19] obtainable from others concerning him. Now he is in Heaven, he lives in his good Name upon Earth, as when he was upon Earth, he liv'd by his good heart in Heaven. Death has but done us a cour­tesie by breaking the Box, to make the precious oynt­ment of his Fame to have a more fragrant and diffu­sive savor.

What St Paul in his famous Funeral Oration for departed Saints, Hebr. 11. sayes of Abel, perfectly agrees to him; he has obtained witness that he was righteous; and being dead, yet speaketh: that is, not with his own lips (too cold and stiff (God knows) though Priests, yea, Bishops lips, either to preserve, or to derive knowledge) but by the lips of others that knew him, and can bear faithful Testimony to his Virtues and Memory. Among whom I have the hap­piness to be able to profess my self one, though of all others most unfit, most unworthy to be the Encomiast of so great a Person—Vir nec taoendus nec dicendus—A Man of whom I can't be silent, without detriment to the Church, and dishonour to God; and yet a Man of whom I can't speak without loss to his merit, and diminution to his worth. O then for another Elisha to follow this our going Elijah with his due Ac­clamation and Eulogy, My Father, My Father, the Chariots of Israel, and the Horsemen thereof.

O now for one of his own Order and Spirit, and measures of Learning and Grace, to write and tell his Story. But since this is rather our wish, than our at­tainment, I see no remedy, but you must be content with an Eccho for a Voice, with a rude Draught for a fair Effigies, only with this additional promise from your deficient Orator, That what he wants in skill, he [Page 20] will make up in faithfulness; neither flattering him he speaks of, nor fearing them he speaks to, though there should chance to be among them some of that peevish and ill humor, as to make a scruple to com­mend the Dead though never so deserving, but none at all to calumniate the Living.

Concerning this our Deceased and justly to be Commemorated Lord and Father, I shall dare to re­commend thus much as true to succeeding Generati­ons, viz. That he was a Person in whom all was general­ly good, (allowing for humane srailties) and many things were excellent, and exceeding remarkable. Of which only Materials I shall compose his following Character. As for other Ornamentals and Additio­nals,

Et Genus & Proavos—
—Et quae non fecimus ipsi.

I shall lightly pass them by. To tell you of his Birth, Place of his Gentile Extraction, of his Liberal Edu­cation, of his Advantageous Institution, of his Gra­dual Promotions and Employments in the University, in the Countrey, in the City, in the Church. To tell you of the several great Ranks wherein this great Light did both shine and burn. To tell you how he pass'd the state of his Childhood, the course of his Studies in his Youth, and how he arrived at the Epis­copal Chair and Dignity in his old Age. These be­ing things wherein I am not so fully informed as 'tis fit I should be ere I relate them to others, and whereof he himself, being of a singular Modesty and Humili­ty, was not wont to speak, and whence we can re­ceive but little benefit though exprest, I say, being [Page 21] such things, I shall choose not to be more particular in them. The Pearl needs no Art, 'tis beautiful enough in its own Lustre. 'Tis not painting the Pro­phets Sepulchre that I intend, but describing the Pro­phet himself, that you may know in him you had a Pro­phet of the Lord amongst you, and neither the dust of his Feet while alive, nor the dust of his Grave while dead, may be us'd as a Testimony against you unawares.

First then, He was universally good. That is, pro­portionably fitted and qualified to all his capacities, both as a Man, as a Christian, as a Minister, and as a Bishop.

I. He was a good Man. Nature had before indu'd him much in his constitution, he was of a most sweet and obliging temper, of great candor, meek­ness and ingenuity; he had a comely countenance, a gentle disposition, a pleasantness of conversation; there was no monstrosity in his Body, nor inversion of Natures order in his Soul; Reason sat as Queen there, and Passion and Appetite were as Handmaids in their natural places and measures. There were no brutish lusts, no unreasonable desires, no furious trans­ports to be found in him; he neither eagerly sought any dignity, nor declin'd any capacity of doing good. But

II. He was a good Christian. Revelation was a great Mistress with him, and he was a great Adorer, as well as Practiser of the Will of God. Religion san­ctified his Reason, and Grace his Nature; and of all [Page 22] Accomplishments, he counted it his glory to be a Dis­ciple of Christ. The fear of the Lord was to him the top of his wisdom. He put on the Lord Jesus Christ in all his integral parts, and endeavoured that his wayes might be found perfect before God. He was none of the lame and criple Christians of these dayes, that hope to go to Heaven with one wooden Leg. He was careful to maintain good Works (I speak it knowingly) as the necessary fruits of Chri­stian Faith, and such Works as are due to Men, as well as those that have a more immediate respect to God. To honour his King, to speak well of his Superiors, to be obedient to Laws in Church and State, to govern his Tongue, to love his Neighbors, and to take the worst Enemies he had in the world into the number; this was his Religion: 'Twas a piece of his Con­science to do these things, as well as to Preach, and to Pray, and to frequent the Worship of God.

III. He was a good Minister of the Gospel. For this he had a great name, all his undignifyed time, and when he came to the High-place, he did not make an end of Prophecying, as 'tis said Saul did.1 Sam. 10. 13. He was a true Labourer in the Word and Doctrine. He was not onely the Light, but the Salt of all the places he came in. He did much good in that his Office: and receiv'd the Seal of his Ministry, in the sober and grateful acknowledgements of a great ma­ny. He was built and fram'd on purpose (as it were) to be an Instructor and Curate of Souls, for he was sober and wise, able to solve difficulties, to deter­mine cases, to quiet Consciences. He was an interpre­ter, one of a thousand. Another Apollo's Mighty in [Page 23] the Scriptures. He always sought to find out accep­table words, and upright even words of Truth. He was of a sedate mind, of a tender compassionate Spi­rit, heartily desirous of mens Eternal Good; and not onely his Industry, but his delights ran out that way, viz. how to bring it about.

The Throne of Grace, his Study, and the Pulpit had the most of his time divided among them. In all probability he contracted his fatal diseases of the Stone and Strangury, with his sedentary Studies, and vast Labours in the Priestly Function: yet to his dying day, Preaching was his desirable Work. Praelucendo peribat, might be his Motto, for he wore out with Ʋse, and not with Rust.

IV. He was a good Bishop. And now I am come to that onely part of his commendation, that ever was deny'd him.

There was two sorts of people, and they differ among themselves toto coelo, that can hardly allow him to have been a good Bishop; the one sort think him not good, because a Bishop at all, making those terms, Good, and Bishop inconsistent, but these are absurd, and unreasonable men, and their tongues is no slander, and I trouble my self no further with them; the other can't afford him to be good in his capacity, because he was not so much a Bishop, as they would have had him, that is to say, because he would not drive their pace; he would not govern by their Rules, not execute Censures at their heights, not interpret Canons in their sence. Phaebus must let [Page 24] Phaeton have the Reins, and then the Chariot shall be better manag'd. David must give place to Ab­solon, and then there shall be no lack of justice; if there be any here of this kidney, that love thus to be pecking at the little Mote (not only in their Bro­thers but) in their Fathers Eye, I would desire them first to cast out the great beam that is in their own Eye, Prejudice and Envy, Pride and Pragmatical­ness, despising of Government, and speaking evil of Dignities, and then when they have done this, they will be better able to discern of a good Bishop, by St. Pauls Canons, and the Churches (the best rules that I know of, whereby to judge of such a one.)1 Tim. 3. 2, 3. &c. Tit. 7. 8, 9.

And first let's lay our Prelate to the Apostolical Standard in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus; it is caution'd there, that a Bishop must be blameless (that is) free from scandal, the Husband of one Wife, mo­derate in all his actions, as it is oppos'd, to distemper and giddiness, (so I find Doctor Hammond upon the place, rendring the word [...]) that he must be attending on his Offices, of Grave, Venerable Aspect and Behaviour, apt to receive strangers, and a Lo­ver of good Men.

That he must be no Hector, nor Tavern-haunter, no Usurer of unjust Arts for gain, no Bowtefeau or Incendiary; ho smiter with Hand or Tongue; no Upstart or Novice, but a Veterane Soldier, in the Faith of Christ. He must be apt to Teach, and have Learning sufficient for Communication to an Order of Men; he must have clean Hands, fit to lay upon all Heads; he must have great wisdom, to deal out portions to every Child and Servant in Gods [Page 25] House, and in his own House too, there must be his godly example, and prudent influence. In a word, he must be one of a good report within, and with­out able—able to stop The mouths of all Gain-sayers, by sound Doctrine, and a sober, righteous, and Godly Conversation.

Now in the judgement of Charity, you ought to be perswaded, that your deceased Bishop is already come out off at Christs Barr, according to this rule, and shall he not then much more do so at your petty Sessions?

But I know your Evasion, it is the Churches Ca­nons, and Laws, you would have your Ecclesiastical Governor to stand and fall by, and so he shall; if you will but leave your singular dogmatical Com­mentaries at home, and be so candid, as if you can find no fault, to make none. What truer Judication would you have of wise and good Government, than from its natural and proper effects? And for that mat­ter I dare appeal to your own observation, whether in any other Diocess of the Kingdom (Caeteris puri­bus) there be to be found a more sober, regular, and Loyal Clergy, a more Conformable People, more decent, and well repaired Churches, and a greater alteration both of the Judgements and Manners of Men, since the late times of Anarchy and Confusion which (is especially visible in the matter of the Sacra­ment) than in this Diocess. Resolve this into its true Reason, and continue malevolent to the memory of him that's gone, if you can.

I have oft heard him express his desires, that the Churches Rules might be strictly observed by him­self, [Page 26] and those about him, and wherein there was a wilful failure, you nor I can't tell: unless you will pertinaciously insist on the incision of the sea­sons of Visitation and Confirmation, which (yet you all know) are Offices he did discharge when he was able to travel, and when he was not—that should (one would think) serve as a sufficient excuse unto reasonable Men—But what need I say more? now I think on't; the length of his Government is the only argument against it. I tell you, to sit sixteen years in the Chair is a great fault; and if it was true which one said of any Long-liver, (Miraculi instar vite iter si longum sine offensione percurrere) That it was half a miracle, if such a one should live with­out offence: How much more is it likely to be true of Men in high places, especially Churchmen, who have an inseparable Envy attending upon them.

Therefore I pass from the Bells and Pomegranats, on the skirts of his cloathing, to the glittering Jewels of Aarons Breast-plate. From his Goodness to his Ex­cellencies, which may be thus reckoned, his Learn­ing, Writing, Preaching, Living.

1. He was an excellent Scholar, he had a great stock of Natural Parts, and Endowments, to which he added an indefatigable Industry, and God gave a plentiful Benediction. What Melancthon was us'd to say—That himself was a Logician, Pomeranus a Gra­marian, Justin Jonas an Orator, but Luther was all; might be in a fuller way applyed to this person we are speaking on. There are few kinds of Literature but he was a Mystes in them. His skill in the Greek [Page 27] Tongue, got him his Fellowship in Merton Colledge in Oxford, in Sir Henry Savil's time: and what a rare Humanist he was, and how well vers'd in the Polite parts of Learning; his Juvenile Piece upon the Passi­ons abundantly testifies.

2. And indeed he was an admirable Writer, for Wit, Judgement, and Fancy, of all which there seems to be a curious mixture in his Books; maugre that observation of a great Virtuoso, that there is requi­red a several Complexion for them.

3. Moreover, he was a Great Divine, and in his time a most celebrated Preacher. For his Divinity, I need onely to say, He was a true continuer of the name of Reynolds, in the Church of England; and for his Sermons, they have run the Gantlett through the Universities, Inns of Court, and City. They have met with the approbation, both of the Prince, and his People, Scholars, Gentlemen, and Citizens—all ranks of Men, have given their Honourable testi­mony to them;

In summ, I may reckon him among those happy men, Caius Plinius speaks of (Quibus Deorum munere datumest aut facere scribenda aut scribere legenda) that either doe things worthy of Writing, or write things worthy of Reading, for he has done both: he was a man of God, throughly furnished to every good Word, and Work; he had the Art of Saving Souls, and the skill of making Sermons, if ever any had.

[Page 28]4. But above all, I must not forget the Virtues,Prov. 16. 31. and Graces, wherein he did excel; for he was as good a Liver, as he was either a Preacher or a Wri­ter. All his other good qualities were adorned—and both his greener and riper years, were season'd with the Piety of a Saint; his Youth was not ob­serv'd to be stain'd with the Vices of that age; and when the Church brought him her Mitre, God had crown'd his Head before, according to that of Solo­mon, The hoary Head is a Crown of Glory, if it be found in the way of Righteousness.

  • But more par­ticularly his Humility are remarkable unto us.
  • But more par­ticularly his Meekness are remarkable unto us.
  • But more par­ticularly his Patience are remarkable unto us.
  • But more par­ticularly his Charity are remarkable unto us.

1. He was cloathed with Humility, as the Apostle1 Per. 5. 5. Peter exhorts; yea, 'twas his upper garment, and cover'd all the rest of his accomplishments—He had mean thoughts of himself, and was content that others should have so too; and though his face shone, yet he would not know it. There was no Leaven of pride, or ill humor, or surliness, or ambition in him; no difficulty of access, nor affectation of distance; if you had but the face of a Gentleman, or the habit of a Clergyman, all Ceremony must be laid aside in order to converse. Doubtless he was a great Judge of Learning, and yet the most candid Auditor of Sermons [Page 29] in the world. He was never heard to censure any body, though he himself has not been spared. In this Virtue he was a true Nazianzen [...]. High in place and merit, but lowly in mind and disposition.

2. Neither was there wanting to him the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, whereby he became a true Copy of the grand Exemplar, and Bishop of our Souls, Christ Jesus, whose word is, Learn of me, for I Matth. 11. 29. am meek and lowly. 'Tis an usual saying among some, Such a thing would vex a Saint: But truly what would vex, or ruffle, or discompose this holy man, was a hard matter to determine. 'Tis scarce remembred that ever he was seen in a passion. For 49 years to­gether (wherein he and his Consort liv'd in marry'd state) not many words worthy of the denomination of angry, have been observ'd to drop from him.

And now that this might not be put purely upon the account of natural temper, or voidness of gall, (as some late Inquirers into his Body did observe from that part) it would be consider'd, whether he that understood the passions of the Soul so well as to write so learnedly on them as he did, could not also have practically thrown their force and vigor upon occasion, if there had not been a superior principle, and sway of the Religion of Christ within him? This I can assure you, he had his share both of injuries from Men, and of afflictions from God, and he was sensible of them; but alwayes with the preservation of his Religious integrity, and the exercise of meek­ness towards Men, and of patience towards God.

[Page 30]3. And now I am fallen upon that virtue too, I may truly say that in him Patience had her work. In this he seem'd to exceed the great pattern of my Text; though towards the latter end of his Life, his dayes were like Jobs, dayes of pain; and his nights like his too, nights of weariness, yet he never was heard to say to God, O that it would please God to de­stroy Job 6. 9. cap. 7. 15. me, that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off; My Soul chooseth strangling, and death, rather than life. He knew that by Patience he was as well to wait, as to endure; and that he was to honour the Sovereign of his Life and Death as well by tarrying his leisure, as by bearing his hand. His repeated Prayer to Heaven was, that in his utmost extremities he might not be provoked to speak dishonourably of God; and when through some fierce exacerbation of his disease, he was constrain'd to make some noise and outcry, he would presently subjoin, Though he did roar, yet he did not murmur. Every Fit he was wont to call a Storm, and in the intermission he would smile and discourse, and pray, as if he were providing his tackling against the next Assault. His Patience was of the right stamp, not stoical, and sullen, but purely Christian, and grounded upon right principles. By the grace of the Gospel, his Soul was set above the miseries his flesh lay under, and Moses like, he endured, as seeing him Heb. 11. 27. that is invisible. He knew with holy Job in my Text, That God would bring him to death at last, and so give him a Writ of ease; and with the same holy Man elsewhere he knew also, that his Redeemer lived, and would be his exceeding great reward.

[Page 31]4. Furthermore, as the complement of all therest, there was in this worthy Prelate a generous and ex­tensive Love. He was come to the top of St Peter's 2 Pet. 1. 7. Climax, Brotherly Kindness, and Charity. No man could say his Prayers with a better Spirit, for he was full of Love, and empty of Wrath and Rancor. He could give and forgive both at the same rate, Toties quoties, that is, as oft as there was need. He was not like that Bishop I have somewhere read of, That would part with his blessing, but not with his money: for his pardon and his peace pass'd from him to those that stood in need, with equal freedom and chearfulness. His universal Charity in reference to the Persons and Souls of Men, was so conspicuous, that the world could not deny it, but was forc'd to miscall it, Com­pliance. All the doubt may be concerning his Cha­rity to the Poor and Needy, with reference to their outward estates, because the excellency of this virtue lies in the secresie of its practice, according to the great Masters Rules, whereof (as near as he could) he was a strict observer. He was for giving of Alms, Matth. 6. 1, 2, 3, 4. but not with a Trumpet. He was for laying up his trea­sure in Heaven, with him that sees in secret, and rewards openly, and not in the eyes and ears, and tongues of men; Chests that have neither locks nor keyes to se­cure what is put into them. He was not for damming up his waters quite, till death should break the bank, and cause them run down at last with a greater noise and torrent of ostentation, but he was for their si­lent, pure, and uninterrupted motion in a constant, though narrower Channel, into broken Pitchers, and [Page 32] empty Vessels. Daily and hourly were the emana­tions of his Charity while he lived, but most of them running like streams, under-ground, till he was dead▪ Many were the Gifts he scatter'd to the bringing up of poor Children to School; to the maintenance of poor Scholars in the University; to the supportation and encouragement of ancient foundations of Piety and Learning; to the relief of visited places in his Dio­cess, in the time of the great Plague; to the supply of the wants of poor Ministers Widows; to the aug­mentation of small Vicarages in his Gift, not very much less than 300 l. per annum, being upon the Kings Letter by him setled to that use. And if to these you add the several shares that Southampton, the place in which he entred the world; Merton Colledge in Oxford, the place of his first Preferment; North­ampton, the place of his first Ministerial employment; Norwich, the place in which he departed the world: I say if to the foregoing Accounts, you add the seve­ral shares which these places have had of his bounty, you cannot want a sufficient evidence of his being rich in good Works, and abundantly Charitable; nor can any hereafter doubt of it, excepting such as lookt upon his revenues with an ill eye, and so could not look upon his disbursements with a good one.

Thus far it appears he was an extraordinary person in his Life, and now that he might no less appear so in his Death, we may observe that therein God was plea­sed to do him an extraordinary kindness, and make that which us'd to be to others a part of the punish­ment of their sin, to be to him a part of his excellent [Page 33] reward. The great Augustus's wish was his enjoy­ment, an [...], a civil and well-natur'd death. The last Sand in the Hour-glass falls not with less difficulty than he expired with. There were no Noises, Groans, Convulsions, Cramps, distortion of the Looks, staring with the Eyes, gnashing with the Teeth, in the last Scene of his Life. His passive Fortitude had been abundantly try'd before, and his active Graces de­monstrated, and therefore the less need of either now. His meek Soul glided from him in a fine, impercepti­ble Vehicle, and he dyed much after the rate of the Rabbins talk concerning Moses, Osculo Oris Dei, as it were with a kiss of Gods mouth. In sum, the descri­ption of old Enoch's life and death fits him well, He walked with God, and he was not: for God took Gen. 5. 24. him.

By this time I have finish'd a plain Monument unto the memory of a good and excellent Person, our pre­sent deceased Diocesan; now to rail it in, and make it the more intemerate and inviolable to the most auda­cious hands, I shall beseech you lastly to consider, This was the Man that bore the heat of the day for us; This was he that came to us in our gore and rubbish; This was he that entred our Augaean Stable in its filth, and reduc'd it to that degree of cleanliness wherein you now find it; This was he that carried us through the Wilderness, and has brought us to the brink of Jordan; Norwich was his Nebo, to this Mount he came, and here he dyed. And I shall beseech you al­so to join in this Prayer,

[Page 34] That the Spirit of the God of Elijah may be doub­led upon Elisha; That a Joshua may arise unto us after this our Moses, one that may perfect Gods workupon us, one that may carry us over the River, one that may conquer the Canaanite for us, one that may see us setled in the promised and long ex­pected Land, viz. in Uniformity of Practice, in Peace of Mind, and in Prosperity of Condition.


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