Mary's Choice Declared in a SERMON Preached at the FUNERAL Of the Right Honourable Lady MARY WHARTON, Late Wife of the Honourable Sir Thomas Wharton, Knight of the Bath; At Edlington in the County of York.

Together with a Narrative of the Religious and Holy Life, and Death of that excellent Lady.

By P. W. Rector of Edlington.

Favour is deceitful, and Beauty is vain; but a Woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised,

Prov. 30.31.

Vivit post funera virtus.

London, Printed by Robert White, for Henry Mortlock, and are to be sold at the White Hart in Westminster Hall, and at the Phoenix in St. Paul's Church-yard. 1674.

Viro verè Honorabili, & omnigenà Virtute ac Pietate insigni,

Domino Thomae Wharton Equiti Ord. Balnei Patrono suo Colendissimo:

Nec non D. Philippo Wharton Armigero unico ejus, & optimae Spei Filio:

Unà cum Elizabetha ipsius uxore, ac viri Generosissimi D. Richardi Hutton de Goldsborough Armigeri Filia unica:

Praecorditer adhuc lugentibus Conjugem dilectissi­mam, Matrem desideratissimam:

Hanc qualemcun (que) Conciunculam Funebrem

Et annexam Narratiunculam In perpetuae observantiae Testimonium. Funebrem

D. D. D. Iisdem omni Obsequio Devinctissimus, P. W.

To the Reader.

Curteous Reader,

I Have here given thee a rude draught of a very exact President; presenting thee with an excellent Subject, but very inartificially handled. My acquaintance with this excel­lent Lady was very short, she not living two years, after I had the happiness to know her; yet had that short time been more carefully improved, thou hadst been enter­tained with much more than is here represented. But this is the common mistake of us miserable mortals: we set not that price, we ought, upon present Vertue, nor are we so provi­dent, as to enjoy the benefit of it so fully as we might, whilst we have it: only when it is taken from us, it leaves behind it a deep sense of our loss, and want of what we had, together with an helpless repentance, that we made no better use of it, whilst we had it. Besides this disadvantage: I who am the most unworthy of all her former acquaintances in the Ministry, and most unable and unfit for such an undertaking, yet am necessarily put upon this task (none other being at hand, with whom she hath in this short while so frequently conversed) by reason of my Relation to her, and near neighbourhood. This Picture deserved an Apelles, to have drawn it to the Life: and great pity it is, that so choice a piece should be exposed to thy view with such dull and dusky colours, and by such an unskillful hand. But I question not, but that every pious and ingenuous Reader will from these hints, represent to himself much more [Page]than I have or can express; and by his larger apprehension sup­ply my defects. Thou hast the Sermon in the same Method, where­in it was Preached, without addition of any chief head: only in the transcribing diverse passages are considerably enlarged; part­ly from what was then prepared, but could not be delivered in the short time allotted for such discourses (there being also many Noble and Honourable Persons to solemnize her Funeral, who had many miles to their home) and partly from what did occur in the transcribing, which I judged sutable to the Discourse in hand. The Narrative is, in good part, such as was spoken at the Fune­ral; but here very much enlarged; not only upon the former ac­counts, but mostly upon further information of many particulars, whereof I had no knowledge, before this was intended to be pub­lished. I assure thee (Reader) it is not from any ambition the Authour hath to appear in Print, that hath made this Dis­course publick. The conscience of his own insufficiency for such undertakings hath hitherto kept him within the bounds of privacy: which if he now seem to have transgressed, thy charity will ra­ther impute it to some other urgent cause, than his own choice. It is but lost labour, and actum agere, to censure his weakness, who himself hath done it before thee. The best use thou canst make of what he hath done, is seriously to apply, what thou findest to concern thy self, and to imitate the example here laid be­fore thee; choosing with her that good Part, whereof our Sa­viour hath given assurance, that it shall not be taken away from thee. That both thou and I may make such use of what is here presented, shall be the Prayer of

The most unworthy in Gospel-Work, P. W.

Mary's Choice.


But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good Part, which shall not be taken away from her.

THis Text is a part of our Saviour's Answer to Martha's expostulation with him for de­taining her Sister from her assistance, whilst all the Work lay upon her hands, in making provision for him and his Disciples; Lord (saith she) dost thou not take care, &c. Vers. 40.

Mary being so well employed, sitting at his feet, and hearing his Word, (ver. 39.) well might our Saviour have sharply rebuked Mar­tha's obstreperous and unseasonable disturb­ance; but with all mildness he only admonisheth her, how much Ma­ry's employment was to be preferred before hers; Martha, Martha, Repetitio no­minis est indi­cium dilectio­nis, aut for [...]è movendae intentionis, ut audiret attentiús. Aug. de verb. Dom. Serm. 26. Aret. and others in loc. (saith he) thou art careful and troubled, &c. Vers. 41.

Diverse Interpreters suppose here a vehement reprehension of Mar­tha's over-much solicitude for things not necessary; and her neglect of [Page 2]the one thing necessary, which Mary had chosen. But others suppose, that the words do not so much import a reprehension of Martha's loving care, as a defence of Mary who was better employ'd, and therefore ex­cusable,Non opus re­prehendit, sed munus distinxit, Aug. ubi supra Serm. 27. So also Ambr. in loc. Simo [...] de Cass. l. 9. c. 33. Bucer and others, in loc. though she did neglect inferiour business.

In this part of his Answer, which is to be the Subject of our Dis­course; we may observe,

  • 1. An Admonition to Martha; That one thing is needful.
  • 2. A commendation of Mary, for her choice of that one thing; Mary hath chosen, &c.

In treating of the former of these, we shall enquire by way of Expli­cation, 1. What this one thing is? 2. How it is called one? 3. In what respects it is said to be necessary.

I. For the first, it is evident in the Text it self, that this one thing is that good part, which Mary had chosen: and not that abstracted Monas, or unity (which some speak of (but extra rem, besides the Text, as one saith) opposed to multiplicity,Calv. in loc. nor yet that unity which is opposed to Schisme (as St. Augustin seems to take it) nor yet that little which may suffice for hospitable entertainment,Aug. de verb. Dom. Serm. 26. Vid. Theophil. Lyser. Stella, &c. in loc. excluding superfluity (as some others expound it:) Nor can it be that conceited perfection which the Popish Monks contend for; sequestring themselves from all worldly em­ployments, that they may attend nothing else, but (as they pretend) Divine Contemplation.Hieron. in Thr. lib. 2. cap. 3. Bern. Serm. 5. de assumpt. Mariae. Theoph. ubi supra. Though St. Jerome, and other of the Fathers, have by way of allusion made such use of this Text: which yet is far from the purpose of our Saviours Words. For can any man think, that this was Mary's constant and continual Work, because she was at this time so careful to improve this present opportunity of her Saviours com­pany? We know that God hath ordained, that all men should serve him in their several vocations;Gal. 5.13. and serve one another in Love, in the di­ligent performance of each duty in that state of Life, in which Provi­dence hath placed them;1 Cor. 7.17. as the Lord hath called every man, &c. Our Saviour would have us make a wise distribution of our times: yet ever preferring the best employment, when it sutes with our possible leisure, and seasonable opportunity.

This one thing then here meant, is that which Mary makes her present business. To understand which, we must consider it with a double re­ference, 1. To the End. 2. To the Means.

1. The End, or main thing intended is everlasting happiness; which consists in the fruition of God, in nearest communion with him accord­ing to our present condition and capacity: which is,

1. Here in Part,Psal. 34.8. 1 Pet. 2.3. Eph. 1.14. in some foretasts of Divine Comforts, which it pleaseth the Lord to allow his Servants, as an earnest or pledge of that which is prepared for them in Heaven. This consists in the sense and [Page 3]feeling of the Love of God, shed abroad into our hearts,Rom. 5.5. by the Holy Ghost, and is obtained especially by the exercise of Faith and Love.

2. Hereafter we shall enjoy him in Eternal Glory,2 Cor. 5.4. Phil. 1.23. 1 Cor. 13.12. Psalm 10.11. Acts 20.22. Luke 22.29. 1 Pet. 1.4. 2 Tim. 4.8. Jam 1.12. Phil. 3.14. Joh. 10 28. Mat. 25.34. E [...]h 1.14. Col. 1.5. Heb. 5 9. 1 Cor. 2 9. Psalm 31.19. Isa 64 4. Phil. 3.13, 14. [...] Eccles. 12.13. of which we are uncapable, whilst we remain cloathed with this mortal and corruptible Tabernacle: which therefore the Saints so earnestly desire to put off, that they may be with Christ: For then in perfect Glory we shall see him face to face, in the fulness of joy, and pleasures for evermore. This is that Inheritance, Kingdom, Crown, Price, Life, Joy, Glory, &c. so oft mentioned in the Scripture: and which is said to be purchased, prepared, and laid up for all those that obey him, love, and fear him; that put their trust in him, and diligently seek him. This is that one thing, which we are required to seek, to lay hold on, to take by force, to fight, strive, and run for, &c.

2. This one thing is likewise considered with reference to the Means whereby the mentioned End is obtained. To attend which was St. Paul's greatest care and business: which is indeed work enough for a man to do in his whole Life, with all his might. This is the whole of man, i. e. all he can do to attain happiness. It is the one thing, which comprehends All, that is to be done in order to Eternal Life; therefore must needs be very extensive. But we shall confine our Dis­course, especially to that part of this All, which is in the Context, vers. 39. viz. Hearing the Word.

One observes,Gualt. in Luc. 10.39. Acts 22 3. that Disciples were wont to sit at the feet of their Teachers, as a sign of Humility and observance. So St. Paul was said, to be brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, being perfectly by him instruct­ed in the Law. In this (saith that Authour) consists the true worship of God, and the Salvation of man.

1 That we cast our selves at the feet of Christ,Quanto hu­militi, sede­bat, tanto am­plius capiebat. Aug. de verb. Dom. Serm. 27. i. e. that we hum­ble our selves before him with a contrite heart, and tremble at his Word, Isa. 66.2.

2. That we receive his Word by a true and lively Faith; which be­gets in us true Love to God, and exhilarates the soul, by the sweet con­templation of the promises contained in the Word: whence proceeds, an earnest and ardent study, and desire to obey the commands of God. Which is the cause, that the fruit of the Word so heard, diffuseth it self through the whole Life. Thus we see what this one thing is.

II. Now we are to consider, how it is faid to be one? It is one, not exclusively (as though whilst we attend this, we were bound to neglect all other duties, which God requires of us: or those comforts, which he is pleased to allow us) but intensively: It must be our chiefest aim and scope in our whole Life: It must have the preheminence before all other business, and requires our greatest care. All we do,1 Cor. 10.31. ought to be referred to the glory of God in our Salvation. So that though we have many shafts to shoot, yet but one mark; many Offices to discharge, yet but one aim in them all. As all the Springs discharge their several [Page 4]Streams through the proper Channels of their respective Rivers, into one Ocean; So a Christians diverse duties tend all to the same Savation. In­somuch, that even worldly affairs are to be mannaged with an heavenly mind. It was an excellent Moral saying of one, which may be well ap­plied to our purpose;

Quicquid agis, prudenter agas; & respice finem.
What e're thou hast to do, do prudently;
And let the End be ever in thine eye.

This point should be the Center, in which all our actions meet. Sco­pus vitae Christus, was the Symbol of that worthy Emperour Jovinian; and should be the resolution of every one that is called Christian. Otherwise, if we neglect this one, all other our most plausible actions, are but (as St. Augustin speaks of the vertues of the Heathens) splen­dida peccata, glorious sins. Since (as he disputes against the Pelagians) Vertues are not distinguished from Vices,Non officiis sed finibus a vitiis dis­cernondae sunt virtutes.—Non acti­bus sed fin bus pensantur officia Aug. contr. Julian. lib. 4 cap. 3. Quid vobis cum virtutibus, qui Dei virtutem Chistum ignoratis? Bern. Serm. 23. sup. Cantica so much by their Acts, as by the End for which they are done. Likewise St. Bernard upon the same account, tells the most accurate Moralists, and exactest Philosophers; that they had nothing to do with Vertue, being ignorant of Christ, who is Virtus Dei, the power of God (1 Cor. 1.24.) For without him we can do nothing, Joh. 15.5.

We see then, that this thing is so one, that it is All; and that all things without this one thing, are Nothing.

III. This one thing is said to be needful, [...]. Unum est necessa­rium. or (as the vulgar Latine hath it) necessary.

1. In it self considered, it is simply and absolutely necessary; with­out which it is impossible to be happy. For our happiness consists in the full and compleat enjoyment of God, which cannot be without real communion with him; nor can we have any communion with him, but in conformity to his Will. So that we must be holy here, or else we can never be happy hereafter: Nor can we attain to holiness, so as to walk with God, but in his own way.

2. Divine Ordination also confers a double necessity upon this one thing, Necessitas Praecepti. M c. 6.8. Lu. 10.25, &c. Mar. 10 17, &c Heb. 5.9. and 11.6. and 12.28. 2 Pet. 3.14. Rom. 2.7, 10. viz.

1. Of the Precept, Deut. 10.12, 13. requiring us to fear the Lord our God, to walk in his waies, to love and serve him with all our heart and soul, &c. It is not left to our choice, to devise any other way, than he hath appointed. Heaven is entailed upon those only, that obey, and diligently wait upon the service of God, and that patiently continue in [Page 5]well doing. We deceive our selves, if we think to come in Heaven any other way, than that which he hath prescribed.

2. Another necessity is of the Means,Necessitas medii. Acts 4.12. John 1.12. Rom 10.14. whereby Eternal Life is obtain­ed. Salvation were utterly unattainable by lost man, if Christ had not purchased it for him: nor can we partake of his purchase, unless we re­ceive him; nor can we receive him, but by Faith; neither can we believe what we have no knowledge of; nor can we know except we be taught. We must some waies learn, what we can believe.

Oh! how necessary is this word of Faith?Rom. 10 8. which is Mary's present business, to receive from the mouth of him, who is the Word (Joh. 1.1.) that she may be taught the Word of Life by him, Who is the way, and the truth, and the Life, Joh. 14.6.

In which Word St. Bernard observes seven necessities.Non ambigo esse plures, & alias, sed hae interim occur­runt. Bern. Serm. 85 super [...] Cantica. Psalm 36.9. Ephes. 1.8. Psal. 119.104 Cant. 8.5. 1 Cor. 1.24. Not but that there be more; but he only mentions those which came to mind. The Soul (saith he) seeks this Word,

  • 1. Cui consentiat ad correctionem: that by divine admonition, the ob­liquities of our conversation may be reformed, Psal. 119.9.
  • 2. Quo illuminetur ad cognitionem; that in his light, we may see light; whereby the eyes of our understanding being enlightned, we may come to know God, our selves, and our Duty.
  • 3. Cui innitatur ad virtutem; that leaning upon Him, who is the power of God; we may be able to resist temptation, and overcome all the difficulties, we shall find in the way to happiness.
    Ro. 8.35, &c.
    So that nothing shall be able to separate us from the Love of God.
  • 4. Quo reformetur ad sapientiam;
    Psalm 19.12.
    that the errours of our judgements may be corrected by his instruction.
  • 5. Cui conformetur ad decorem; that observing his direction,
    1 Pet. 2.21. Phil. 2.5, 15, &c.
    and fol­lowing his example, we may live blamelesly, and without offence.
  • 6. Cui maritetur ad foecunditatem; (so he expresseth himself;) that the faithful soul being as it were married to this Word,
    Col. 1.10. 1 Cor. 15.58.
    may become fruitful unto every good work, so as to abound in them.
  • 7. Quo fruatur ad jucunditatem; that tasting of this sweetness, we may with assured comfort pass through all the sorrows,
    Psalm 23.3.5 [...].3. Rom. 12.12. 1 Pet. 1.8.
    and tryals which here abide us, and in the midst of all our fears and griefs, may yet re­joyce in the Lord, with joy unspeakable, and full of glory.

David was so sensible of this, that he overlooks all other things, and urgeth the Lord in his most earnest Prayers, to grant him this one thing, Psal. 27.4. One thing have I desired of the Lord; that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the daies of my Life, &c. His desire was to make this one thing his chiefest business, Psal. 62.5. My Soul, wait thou only upon God. Hence his earnest longing to be at that Work, Psal. 42.1, 2. As the Hart panteth after the water Brooks, so panteth my Soul after thee, O God. My Soul thirsteth for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God? He was so exceedingly ravished with the Glory, and heavenly sweetness of that [Page 6]employment;Psa. 84.1 2, 10. Vid Molier. in Psal. 84. that he esteemed one day so spent, better than a thousand otherwise; and preferred the meanest Office in this attendance, before the greatest pleasures, in the Tents of such as regarded not Gods ser­vice, notwithstanding all the gallantry and bravery of their habitations, together with all the solace and pleasure of their carnal employments.

Thus much concerning this one thing, and the necessity thereof. Now we shall draw some Inferences from what we have so explained.

Ʋse 1.

First, We learn hence, that other things are not so necessary, what­ever the World judgeth either of this or them.

1. There is not so great need of them as of this; they are needful in their kind, and place; God having ordained them for the comfort of this Life, in their several uses. But this is indispensably necessary to the attainment of everlasting happiness; as without which no man shall ever see God. We may reach Heaven without Riches, or Honour, or Applause of men,Heb. 12.14. &c. Yea without Health, or bodily Strength, or Beau­ty, &c. but never without Holiness, and attendance upon Gods Service.

Whilst we sojourn here below, we have a little need of these subsidia, or helps requisite to the support of our outward man. But, O that we did not so dote on them, as if they were the unum necessarium. By which preposterous acting we make our Life more cumbersome here, and prevent the enjoyment of everlasting Life, by troubling our selves too much about these many things, and neglecting this one. Well did that Heathen discern the non-necessity of these many things, which distract the minds of men; could he but as well have known that one thing, which is so necessary. That is near-hand (saith he) which might serve turn;Ad manum est quod satis est, ad supervacua sudatur. Senec. Epist. 4. all our toyl and sweat is for that, which is superfluous. Those Stars, whose light is not only pleasant, but useful in the Suns ab­sence, disappear at his return. Surely, if we were more near the Raies of the Sun of Righteousness, we should not be so much taken with the glimmerings of these lesser comforts.

2. But that which is also very considerable; if we cordially choose this one thing, we shall be sure to have our part of those other things, (which worldlings so much prize,Mat. 6.33. Rom. 8.32. Psalm 34.10.) in our proportion, as our heavenly Father sees needful for us. For they that seek the Lord, shall not want any good thing. This is the most compendious way, to attain the high­est degree of contentment, which only makes a man what he would be.

Ʋse 2.

How much then are they to blame, who take no care for this one need­ful thing? whose whole time is employed in making provision for the flesh,Rom. to fulfill the lusts thereof; and in conforming themselves to this [Page 7]present evil world, which lyeth wholly in wickedness:1 Joh. 5.19. Phil. 3.19. whose God is their Belly, whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things. Their inward thought is, how to make themselves great in Wealth, and Ho­nour, to enjoy, and fulfill all their pleasure. And whilst they prosper in their way, and all things succeed to their desires, they bless themselves, and other men praise and flatter them,Psalm 49.18. as if they were the only wise and prudent men in the world, who best know how to do well to themselves. But whilst they reject the Word of the Lord, what wisdom is in them?Jer. 8.9. Surely no other than that which is declared not to descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish: that which is enmity against God;James 3.15. Rom. 8.7. Jer. 4 22. which is only to do evil, but to do good hath no knowledge. The ut­most issue of all their designs, and practice is, to prove themselves Fools (as he was rightly called, Luk. 12.26.) For what can all this profit them, when their Soul shall be required of them? Are not they fools, who with so great eagerness pursue their own undoing, rejecting this one thing, which is so necessary to their Salvation? They surfeit upon the pleasures of this Life, and nauseate the service of God; saying unto him,Job 21.14. Depart from us, for we desire not the knowledge of thy waies. Finding neither carnal pleasure, nor profit in Religion, they are wholly averse from it; saying, It is vain to serve God; Mal. 3.14. Job 21.15. and what profit is it that we have kept his Ordinance? And what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?

Thus whilst they like not to retain God in their knowledge,Rom. 1.28. [...]. 1 Tim: Ephes. 4.19. [...]. they are justly given up to a reprobate mind, void of all judgement. So that they do not only make Shipwrack of a good conscience, which being cauterized, and seared, is become dedolent, and past feeling: yea they proceed so far at last, as to draw black Lines upon that very [...]. Rom. 2.15. Ephes. Register of natural Principles, which God had written in their hearts: whereby they become utterly alienated from the Life of God, without Christ, Aliens, Strangers, Hopeless, and Atheists, without God in the world. Whatever esteem these may have among men; yet with all their Ho­nour, [...]. Psalm 49.26. since they understand not (being not acquainted with this one thing) they are no better than the Beasts that perish.

Ʋse 3.

But oh! Let it be our care to make sure of this one thing, which is so necessary. Trifle away no more precious time: let that suffice which is spent already upon the vain pleasures, and follies,1 Pet. 4.3. and gayties of the world, whilst we have neglected this one thing: especially laying to heart these few considerations.

1. How short and uncertain the time is,1 Cor. 7.29. James 4.14. Ephes. 5.16. [...] which we have before us. It would be our best husbandry now to redeem the time, and make the best advantage of our present opportunity. Let not that bargain slip out of our hands: though it be purchased with the loss of those former de­lights and pleasures, which we have so hotly pursued; but could never gain [Page 8]any true comfort,1 Tim. 6.9. [...]. or satisfaction from them: but contrarily they drown, and plunge us in destruction, and perdition.

2. What if God should call thee to an account in that present state, and posture in which thou now art? This must certainly be called for; and the time is at hand,Luke 16.2. when thou must be no longer Steward; when thou must give a strict account, what thou hast done with each Talent, wherewith thou hast been trusted: how thou hast spent thy time, and state, and strength, and gifts: what progress thou hast made in this one necessary thing. O let the conscience of thy negligence hitherto, and of thy present poverty,Rev. 3.17. blindness, and nakedness (so occasioned) move thee to consider, how thou maist provide for that great account, that thou maist give it with joy, and not with grief.

3. Consider thy happiness, if when the Lord comes, he find thee so employed.Luke 12.43. Then shalt thou be blessed; as our Saviour promiseth. But with what face wilt thou look upon him, if his coming find thee idle, as to this one thing, and only busied in worldly employments, or possibly in the service of Satan, and Sin?

4. Consider, that none of those other many things, which have been so eagerly sought after (how ever glorious in the eyes of the world, or in thy own deceived judgement) can stead thee at all in that day, if thou wantest this.

That man whose attainments were so considerable, and the care of his conversation so exact,Mark 10.17.18, &c. that our Saviour is said to love him; who also had great possessions: yet could not with all these come into a capacity of Heaven and Eternal Life, for want of this. O, how many, other­wise compleat men, come short of Heaven, for lack of this? Can any man perswade his own reason, that Wealth, Honour, &c. or any of those Excelsa mundi, those so much admired things of the World can intitle him to Heaven? or that his wit, parts, learning, or carnal wis­dom can make him acceptable in the sight of God? or that his moral and innocent deportment among men, should procure his everlasting happiness without this one thing? Surely then no Rich, nor Prudent, nor meerly Moral man should ever come into Hell. Then should Heaven and Eternal Glory be as obvious to Pagans, Turks, and other Infidels, as to true Believers. Then had our Saviour in vain told his Disciples, that the way to Heaven was so strait,Mat. 7.14. Luke 13.24. Mark 16.16. John 3.18. that there be but few that find it; and that many shall strive to enter in, and shall not be able: in vain had he said, that he who believeth not, is condemned.

5. Consider, that this one is the only thing which shall never fail, when all the glory of the World shall pass away:1 Pet. 1.24, 25. 1 John 2.17. when the friendship of the world shall stand thee in no stead. But of this afterwards.

Having now done with the first part of the Text, viz. our Saviours Admonition to Martha; we come to speak of the second part, viz. the Commendation of Mary. Where we shall consider,

1. The Party commended, Mary.

2. The thing for which she is commended, viz. because she made choice of that good part, &c.

I. The Party commended is described,

1. In the Text, by her Name, Mary.

2. The Context compared with some other places, that make menti­on of her, will give us some light concerning her condition.

1. Mary is a Name renowned in Scripture. No one Name affords more plenty of good Souls registred in holy writ, than this. There we read of many and excellent Mary's.

1. Mary, or Miriam (all is one) the Sister of Moses: who was instrumental in bringing the Israelites out of Egypt; Micah 6.4. Exod. 15.20. and was most active in praising God for that deliverance.

2. Mary the Mother of our Lord, saluted by the Angel,Luke 1.28. the favorite of Heaven, and blessed among Women; of the Blood Royal, of the house of David; admirably devout;verse 46, &c. 2.14, 51. John 19 25. Acts 1.14. Luke 2.35. a great hoarder of heavenly trea­sure; she abode by the Lord at his Death, and with his Church after his Ascension; was much vers'd in Affliction, &c. as was foretold by holy Simeon.

3. This Mary in the Text;It is vulgarly taken for granted (especially in the Church of Rome) that this Mary, and Mary Magdalen are both one, and also the same with that Woman, Luke 7.37 who was a sinner. But this opinion is vehemently opposed, and refuted by diverse learned men amongst them, especially by Faber Stapulens. and Jod Clictoveus, and since by the Jesuit Salmeron, in Luc. 7. of which see an account in Gerh. Harm. c. 143. Also Vid. Lyser. Har. c. 58. Jansen. Conc. Evang. c. 55. Came [...]ar. in John 11.1. of whom hereafter.

4. Mary Magdalen, out of whom Christ cast seven Devils, Luk. 8.2. A zealous follower of Christ, and who administred to him of her sub­stance, Luk. 8.2. Diligent in attending upon the Cross, and Sepulcher of Christ, Mat. 27.56, 61. and 28.1. Mar. 15.47. To whom our Sa­viour first appeared after his Resurrection, Joh. 20.14. which she also, by his appointment, carefully reports to his Disciples, Vers. 18.

5. Mary the Mother of James and Joses; The fifth and sixth Mary's also are taken for one and the same by Jans. Conc. Evang. cap. 143. and Gerh. Harm. de Resur. cap. 1. St. Hieron. is uncertain, Contr. Helv. cap. 7. & Ep. 150 q—4. But Joh. 19.25. They are distinct in most Greek Copies, as also in our Translation, and Lat. Arab. and Eth. more clearly in the Syria [...]k, and Persian, by a copula. So likewise doth Aretius render it. who with

6. Mary the Wife of Cleophas, waited upon the Cross of Christ, (and doubtless were also of those that prepared Spices and Ointments to anoint his Body, Mar. 16.1. Luk. 24.1.) Mat. 27.56. Joh. 19.25.

7. Mary the Mother of John Mark; whose House was the recepta­cle of the Church, Act. 12.12.

8. Another Mary is mentioned by St. Paul, with this commendation; that she bestowed much labour upon the Saints, Rom. 16.6.

So many gracious and excellent Women we find in Scripture called by this Name.

[...]. As for her condition: she is is here said to be the Sister of Laza­rus and Martha (compared with J h. 11.) How religiously affected she was, appears by this Context. She is supposed to be of Noble ex­traction; and it is manifest by this place, that they were very wealthy, by their liberal and frequent entertainment of Christ and his Disciples, and by the great and sudden provision they made for him, which at this time filled Martha's hands so full of business. And that they were of special note,Calv. Lyser, Jansca. &c. in loc. may appear by the great concourse of so many of the Jews, who came in to comfort the two Sisters, at the Death of Lazarus, Joh. 11.19. How much she was in favour with Christ, and beloved by him, appeared by his frequent visits, and turning in thither.

— Rarae fu­mant felicibus arae.It hath ever been accounted rare, to find so much devotion, and re­ligious care in Persons that are Rich, Great, and Eminent in the World.

But we here see this Mary so careful of her Souls benefit, that she casts off all other business, to attend only on this one, sitting at Jesus feet to hear his Word.

Our Saviour saith, That a Rich man shall hardly enter into the Kingdom of Heaven: Mat. 19.23, 24. and that it is easier for a Camel to go through the eye of a Needle, &c. And verily there is great reason why it must be so. Since Rich men of all others are most exposed to temptations,1 Tim. 6.9. Mat. 13.22. and snares. There is a deceitfulness in Riches, which meeting with a deceitful, and desperately wicked heart easily prevails, to make such a man instrumen­tal to undo both himself and others.Jer. 17.9. For,

Certe enim multa peccata videntur ad Divites perti­nere. Quum enim plus agunt, & plus mini­strant, & plus ad eos pendet res familiaris ampla; dif­ficile est, ut non plura peccata con­trahant. Aug. in Psal. 132. Psalm. 2.3. Jer. 5.5.1. He hath power to execute, what ever his naughty heart desires to do. Quicquid libet, licet. He scorns to be controll'd, Psal. 12.4. who have said, With our tongue we will prevail, who is Lord over us? We have power in our hand, to enforce obedience to our Orders: if we say it, who dare gainsay it? Their Motto is, Sic volo, sic jubeo: and who may dispute their commands? They have enough to maintain their Pride; to practise their Vices; to gratifie the Flesh; to trample under foot their reprovers, and remove out of the way, what ever may give check to their proceedings. What care they for the Law and Commands of God? They are resolved to break those bonds in sunder, and cast away those cords from them.

When the Prophet Jeremy had considered the state of Jerusalem, and saw the Commonalty so rude and incorrigible; he imputed it to their Po­verty, which for want of breeding, and converse with the more civil and refined sort of men, rendred them utterly ignorant of, and unac­quainted with the waies of the Lord. But he hoped to find some better entertainment of his errand among the great ones: who by reason of their advantage of education, and converse, &c. could not be ignorant of such things as they were most concerned to know. But these (saith he) have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds. They were [Page 11]grown such sons of Belial (as they said of Nabal, Belial i.e. abs (que) jugo. Quod de collo suo Dei abjecerint servitutem. Hier. lib. 2. in Eph. 4. He derives it from [...] abs (que) and [...] jugum. 1 Sam. 25.17.) that he could not speak to them. Men that could not endure the yoke of any wholsome Law or discipline; or the curb of a Reproof, or Admonition.

2. But as they have power to do what they list; so they want not friends to justifie their misdoings; nor fordid flatterers to sooth them in their wickedness, nor companions to excite, and provoke them to evil; nor instruments to gratifie their lusts, and act their pleasure.

3. They are out of the reach of those, that cordially desire their re­formation. Inferiours are disdained;Heb. 13.17. and their faithful Pastors (who stand charged with the care of their Souls, and at whose hands their blood will be required,Ezek. 3.18. Amos 5.10. Jer., 10. 2 Chron. 36.16. Jer. 11.21. if they connive at their sins) if they discharge their duty, are sure to meet with such entertainment, as the Prophets of old had, viz. hatred, contempt, contumelie, and persecution. These are such, as neither fearing God, nor regarding man, dare say to the Prophets, Prophesie not unto us right things; speak unto us smooth things, &c. Get you out of the way, &c. Cause the holy one of Israel to cease from be­fore us, Isa. 30.10, 11.

But what speak I of such wicked persons, whose transgressions declare them such as have not the fear of God before their eyes; Psalm 36.1. when Riches and worldly advantages have such a bad influence upon the best hearts, being such incentives to their remaining corruptions?Psalm 30.6. Read the like of Hezekiah. 2 Chron. 32.23, &c. Mat. Even David was too prone to be exalted in his prosperity, and upon account of his greatness did greatly offend; as is diversly recorded in his story. It is a rare thing to find prosperity humble, or devout. Men grow too careless of Heaven, when they have so much treasure laid up on Earth. Besides, it is the unhappiness of rich men (though they be good) that either they have none to reprove them; or else through passion, and height of Spirit (in conceit of their distance) they cannot, or will not bear a reproof. If Jesurun wax fat, he will kick.Deut. 32.15. 1 Cor. 1.26. [...]. Well therefore might the Apostle conclude; not many (Rich or) mighty men of power, nor Noble (or well-born) are called.

Ʋse 1.

Oh what need then have great and rich men to keep their hearts with all diligence, that they be not ensnared with the deceitfulness of Riches,Prov. 4.23. so as to neglect their better part? St. Paul well knew their danger, when he required Timothy to charge them, That they be not high minded, 1 Tim. 6.17, &c. nor trust in uncertain Riches, &c. But to lay up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, laying bold on Eternal Life. According to this, is our Savi­ours ferious admonition;Luke 16.9. Make to your selves friends of the Mammon of unrighteousness, that when you fail, they may receive you into everlasting [Page 12]habitations. He teacheth how to make the best advantage of the unrighte­ous Mammon; and to convert those occasions of sin to contrary purpose; that the good use of our Riches may procure us friends and favour, when we shall stand in greatest need.

Ʋse 2.

Nevertheless, though there be but few great and Rich men, that mind the things of God, and make a right use of their worldly advantages: yet (blessed be God) there are some such. And O how are such men bound to praise God, and we for them! that he hath given them (to­gether with their Riches and Honour) an holy, humble, tractable, gracious Spirit, truly desirous to serve him, improving each opportunity (as Mary here) for the advancement of their everlasting Salvation: preferring in their most deliberate choice this one thing necessary, before all the pleasures, and treasures in the World. Whose Riches are helps to fruitfulness in works of mercy;Heb. 13.16. who forget not to do good, and to com­municate, knowing that with such Sacrifices God is well pleased.

Oh how lovely, and pleasant a thing is it, to see a great and Noble Person serious and devout in the service of God? Who with Royal Ho­ly David hath learned to prefer the true and sincere serving of God be­fore all his Riches and Honours;Ps. 119.14, 72. and to set more by the divine favour, than all that good,Psalm. 4 6, 7.63.3. Psa. 26.4. &c. 119.115. Psalm 1.1, 2. which worldings so busily enquire after, yea, than Life it self. Therefore with that religious King, he will not converse with vain persons, but casheers all wicked company, that he may attend upon heavenly employments: esteeming him only blessed, Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but delights in the Law of God, and makes it bis con­tinual meditation. Such are blessed men indeed: who, as they provide well for their own sure peace and comfort; so are they publick blessings to all their Relations, and to whomsoever else have the happiness of converse with them: whilst the light of the holy conversation becomes more conspicuous, and so more exemplary, by the advantage of that height wherein Providence hath placed them. Like benigne Planets, their influence cheareth all within their reach. How useful are such men both to Church and Common-wealth? They study the prosperity of Sion, which they prefer before their chief joy.Psalm 137.6. Job 31.16. And their care is with Job to gratifie the desire, and answer the hope of the needy, to feed the hun­gry, and cloath the naked, &c. These mens practice, and priviledges you may see lively described, Psal. 112. per totum.

Hitherto we have considered the party thus described. It remains to speak of the Thing, for which she is commended. Where we have,

1. Her Act, [...], she hath chosen.

2. The Object, or thing chosen, [...], that good part.

I. For the first: Choice supposeth two or more things, or waies pro­posed [Page 13]to a mans discretion, of which he takes that which pleaseth him best. The rational man can prefer nothing in choice,Electio est melioris ac­ceptatio. but sub ratione boni; and would not miss in it, if the rectitude of the judgement were not vitiated. As some distempered Bodies refuse good meat, to feed on Ashes, Coals, or Gravel: which is not properly the fault of the Appe­tite, but occasioned by the prevailing distemper. The Israelites guided by their Lust, loathed Manna, and lusted after the Flesh-pots, and the Onions, and Garlick of Egypt. Yea, even gracious souls,Num. 11 5.6. through mi­stake, do oft mischoose. Thus Lot beholding the pleasantness of the plain of Jordan, Gen. 13 9. &c. chose Sodom for his Habitation.

God puts man to his choice: he sets him, as it were in Bivio (as the Antients feigned of Hercules) to choose which way he pleaseth. S [...]e, Deut. 30.15. I have set before thee this day, Life and Good, and Death and Evil. Here men make a different choice, as they stand affected.

1. Those that fear God, and consult their own eternal welfare, choose the good, and refuse the evil. Such was David's choice;Psalm 84.10. I had rather (saith he) be a door-keeper in the house of my God, &c. How oft doth he record this choice in Psalm 119?Psalm 119.13, 14.30, 36, 37, 72, 97, 173. & alibi. Joseph. Anti [...]. Jud. l. 2. c. 5. which shews how exceedingly he was pleased with it, and with the very thoughts of it. Such was Moses's choice: who being adopted by Pharaoh's Daughter and Heir, that had designed him for her Heir, and Successor to the Kingdom (if we may believe Josephus) yet refused all that Honour, and grandeur, and the appendant Riches and Pleasures,Heb. 11.24, 25, 26. to embrace the hardest lot of the peo­ple of God, Affliction and [...]eproach; having respect unto the ( [...]) recompence of reward. This was the commendation of those Eunuchs, Isa. 56.4. that they did choose the things that pleased God: let men be pleased or displeased.

2. But the wicked hate knowledge,Prov. 1.22, 29. Isa. 65 12. and 66.4. and do not choose the fear of the Lord. They do evil before his eyes, and choose that, wherein he de­lighteth not: but choose their own waies, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. One would think it was impossible, that men in their wits should refuse everlasting Happiness, for momentary and sinful pleasures: but our daily experience makes it manifest.Pro. 1.22, 32. and 12.15. and 17.16. Psalm 94.8. Jude 10. Therefore the Scripture justly calls such men Fools, Bruits, and mad men, &c. who wilfully refuse the paths of life, and desperately rush upon their ever­lasting ruine.

But God gives more grace to his children; who following the guid­ance of his Spirit, with Mary make choice of this good part upon best consideration: For,

1. They are sensible of their own need. They know they are sick,Mat. 9.12. Ps. 109.24, 26. Rev. 3.17, 18. and stand in need of Medicine; weak, and need support: they know they are wretched and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: and therefore make hast to Christ for spiritual riches, and heavenly grace (whereof he hath an inexhaustible store, Joh. 1.16. Ephes. 3.8.) to enrich them; for eye salve of divine knowledge (from his plenitude, [Page 14] Col. 2.2,Eph. 1 17, 18. Ph [...]. 3.9. 3.) to illuminate them; for the robe of his righteousness, to cover their nakedness. Necessity enforceth them (as the Prodigal, Luk. 15.17, &c.) to go to him for relief; who so lovingly invites them, Mat. 11.28. and is ready ebviis ulnis, with spread arms to embrace them. Therefore they refuse the evil, and choose the good, seeing the inevitable destructi­on in the one, and assured comfort in the other.

2. They see and acknowledge the glorious excellency of holiness, and heavenly practise: how excellent it is in it self, being the lively Image of the most holy God;Ephes. 4 24. 2 Pet. 1.4. whereby they are made partakers of the divine nature. As also the sweetness and comfort of its exercise: whereby they have communion with God, conversing and walking with him (as Enoch and Noah did,Mic. 6.5. Gal. 5.25. Rom. 8.1. and 6.4. Gen. 5.22. and 6.9.) in and after the Spirit, in newness of Life, having their conversation in Heaven, Phil. 3.20. As Children of Light, Ephes. 5.8. David seeing this, prefers one day so spent before a thousand otherwise.Psalm 84.10. Indeed one hours sweet enjoyment of God, gives the Soul more satisfaction, than all the pleasures of the world can give:Psa. 119.14, 72. Phil. 3.7, 8. and is therefore to be chosen rather than all Riches. Christ alone (who is only thus enjoyed) is to be preferred before all gain. And every wise Merchant, who trades for Heaven, will sell all, to pur­chase this Pearl.Mat. 13.45, 46.

To enlarge upon this Subject, would soon exceed the intended limits of this Discourse. Therefore I shall only intimate this further: that the way of holiness is the high way to everlasting happiness (which is but Holiness perfected in Glory) For without holiness no man shall ever see God: Heb. 12.14 Mat. 5.8. Ps. 15. and 24. since that beatifical Vision is reserved for them only, who are pure in heart, and Life.

Ʋse 1.

Oh then, how ill do those men provide for their immortal Souls; who either wilfully refuse what Mary chose; or make a bad choice of such things, as are either hurtful, or at least unprofitable; or that only pre­tend to make this good choice, but do not; or that relinquish (after such profession) what they seemed to choose?

1. How many are there, who enjoy the precious opportunities of this Word,Heb. 2.3. so constantly Preached amongst them, and yet neglect so great sal­vation; making light of the Lords earnest invitation (as those recusants, Mat. 22.5.) who refuse,Prov. 1.24, 25, 29. Isa. 65.2. when he calls, and when he stretcheth forth his hand, regard it not; who set at nought all his counsel, and will none of his reproof; but hate knowledge, and will not choose the fear of the Lord? These men put away the Word of God from them; there­by declaring that they judge themselves unworthy of Eternal Life: whilst they even say unto God,Acts 13 46. Depart from us, for we desire not the know­ledge of thy waies. Hating instruction they cast Gods Word behind them; instead whereof they choose their own waies,Job 21.14. Psalm 50.17. and their soul delighteth in [Page 15]their abominations;Isa. 66.3, 4. whereby they provoke God to choose their delusi­ons. And even as they delight not to retain the knowledge of God in their minds, it pleaseth him to give them over to a reprobate mind,Rom. 1.28. [...]. to do those things which are most unseemly and unhandsome, and quite contrary to all decency and duty.

Thus it fares likewise with them,Jer. 2.36. Judg. 5.8. 2 Tim 4 3. 1 Tim 4.1. Gal. 3.1. who (in reference to Religion) gad about to change their way, with the Idolatrous Israelites, choosing new Gods, new opinions, and fancies. Who having itching ears, heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; and whilst they give ear to those seducing Spirits, which bewitch them, they depart from the Faith, and do not obey the Truth. For not receiving the love of it,2 Thes. 2.10, &c. they will not believe it, but take pleasure in unrighteousness. Wherefore God in just judgement sends them strong delusions, that they should believe a Lie; and gives them up to uncleanness, through the lusts of their own hearts: Yea,Rom. 1.24. Rev. 22.11. Ephes. 4.19. Heb. 2.3. they give themselves over to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greedi­ness. Thus they receive a just reward of their slighting this good part, and neglecting so great salvation.

2. And although some of these wilfull refusers do escape these gross debaucheries; yet they are so far left to themselves, as (with Demas, 2 Tim. 4 10.) to embrace this present World, which lieth wholly in wickedness, and can afford no better thing than Lust and Pride;1 John Cum pereunte deceptrice, & ipsi pereunt. A [...]g. 1. Cor. 7.31. 1 Pet. 1.24. Prov. 11.7. Psalm. 49 11. [...] Intima eorum viscera. to which whilst they conform themselves, they perish with that perishing cheat. For as its form, and outward appearance (it being nothing more) even all its pomp and glory perisheth, and passeth away, withereth, fadeth, and vanisheth; so doth the worldlings hope, and expectation, even his inward thoughts, his plots, designs, and projects to perpetuate his Name and Inheritance in his posterity. So that whilst they refuse this one thing necessary, they make choice of such things, as are either destructive or unprofitable.

3. Neither can they escape this reproof, who only pretend to make choice of this good part, but do not. Who have a Form, and appearance of godliness, but deny the power thereof. They have a figure,2 Tim. 3.4. [...]. or shape of holiness, but not the substance and essence; using it only as a Vizard or Mask to cover their shameful deformities.Mat. 23.27. Our Saviour compares them to painted Sepulchres, which are gloriously gilded on the outside, but in­wardly are full of all uncleanness. Such feign themselves just men (as Luk. 20.20.) and boast with that Pharisee (Luk. 18.11,Isa. 65.5. Luke 16.15. Mat. 15.8. Psalm 78.36. Hos. 11.12. Acts 8.21. Ezek. 14.3, 4. 12.) that they are holier than others, justifying themselves before men; but God knoweth their hearts; how far they are from him, when they draw near, and flatter him with their Lips, and lie unto him with their Tongues, compassing him about with their lies, but their heart is not right with him. For in it have they set up their Idols; therefore the Lord will not be enquired of by them; but will answer them according to the multi­tude of their Idols, and not according to their pretence. In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men, and bring to light the hidden things [Page 16]of darkness, 1 Cor. 4.5. and make manifest the counsels of their bearts, and render to every man according to his works; then shall these pretenders be sent away with a Non novi vos, Mat. 7.23. I know you not, depart from me, ye workers of iniquity.

4. But how damnable then is the condition of those, that have seemed Religious and devout, pretending to choose the better part; but after all their flourishes have started aside like a deceitful Bow,Psal. 78.57. and 18.21. 2 Pet. 2.22. and wickedly de­parted from their God; returning with the Dog to his vomiting again, and with the Sow that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire. What­ever these have seemed, or pretended to be; they may have had some slight tast of the heavenly gift,Heb. 6.4, 5. and of the good Word of God, and of the powers of the World to come; not only their understandings being enlightned, but their affections also moved, like those Temporaries, (Mat. 13.20. Mar 4.16.) who immediately receive the Word with joy, [...]. Rev. 22.17. Psalm 17.15. and 63.5. Rom. 15.13. 1 Pet. 1.8. none more forward, nor sooner close with it than they: but they never had any deep tast of that heavenly sweetness, which the Lord vouchsafes his beloved (Cant. 5.1.) to whom he gives large draughts of his Grace and favour, to their full satisfaction, replenishing their hearts with unspeakable joy. They have never attained that which holy David so passionately commends, (Psal. 34.8.) and admires (Psal. 119.103.) nor have they really experienced how gracious the Lord is.1 Pet. 2.3.

Let not this be Interpreted to the prejudice or discouragement of any poor soul, that hath sincerely made choice of the Lord Jesus as his Por­tion, esteeming all things short of him as dung and dross in comparison of him; Phil. 3.8. Psal. 42.1. & 119.38, 131. who pants after him, as the Hart panteth after the water Brooks, and longs for his Commandments, and is devoted to his fear: Though he yet hath not attained such satisfactory perceptions and experience of the divine favour, as to keep his love sick heart from fainting, when the be­loved withdraws himself, Cant. 5.6, &c. and cannot be found upon diligent search, &c. Those consolations are oft delayed, and this good Wine is reserved for the last; this great goodness is laid up for all such as fear God, though they for some time neither see nor feel it.Psal. 31.19. He knows (though they do not) the thoughts of Peace,Jer. 29.11. that he thinketh towards them, and will manifest in his due time.

But these who are here apprehended, are such as never had any real hungring, or thirsting after Righteousness: but have only for low ends seemed to comply with the Gospel, and have taken up only a form of Godliness.Ps. 106.21, 24. Therefore it is no marvel, that they soon forget God their Saviour, and despise the promised Inheritance, lusting after their former Fleshpots, and preferring the Onions and Garlick of Egypt, before the Milk and Honey of Canaan. Having taken a few steps out of Sodom, the remembrance of their former pleasures, there prevails upon them to look back (but as it was with Lots Wise,Heb. 10.39. Gen. 19.26.) to their own perdition. Their glorious building had no better than a sandy Founda­tion; therefore when the rain,Mat. 7.26, 27. 2 Pet. 2.20, 21. Luk. 11.25, 26. and floods, and wind beat upon it, it must needs fall. Their blaze goes out in stinking snuff, their latter end be­ing worse than the beginning.

Ʋse 2.

Surely then it highly concerns every man to examine himself, whether he hath made a serious choice with Mary of this good part. If we have done so indeed, not deceiving our selves,

1. We shall earnestly desire, and long to enjoy what we have so chosen (as was said before) our souls will thirst for God, for the living God,Psal. 42.1, 2. and 101.2. and cry out with holy David, When shall I come and appear before God? And, O when wilt thou come unto me? So did that gracious soul long after the Ordinances of God (wherein only he could enjoy him, whom he so dearly loved) that he opened his mouth and panted,Psal. 119.131. verse 20. longing for his Commandments: like one that had run himself out of breath, in pursuit of what he passionately desireth, and stands in greatest need of, so that he even breaks his heart with vehement striving to obtain it. The long­ing soul cannot be without this one necessary thing: it cannot brook de­lays, but presseth upon the Lord. How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord, Psal. 13.1. Quamdiu, quamdiu cras & cras? Qua­re non modo? Quare non hac horâ? Aug. Co [...]s. lib. 9. cap. 12. for ever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I be put off from day to day? Why not now, Lord? said St. Augustin, after the Lord had opened his eyes to discover, and his heart to choose and desire this one thing. This choice can not stand with a careless indifferency.

2. We shall diligently and solicitously enquire after, and make use of all means to obtain it. That eager desire, even now mentioned, will en­force earnestness in Prayer, attentiveness in Hearing, studiousness in Reading, seriousness in Meditation. All our delight will be in the Law of the Lord, and in his Law we shall meditate day and night. How sweet will the glad tidings of Salvation be to the longing Soul? How com­fortable to hear of joy and gladness, and that Peace of God which passeth all understanding, Mat 7.7. Prov. 2.3, &c. 10.4. Heb. 12.3. and all those sweet breathings of the Holy Ghost in the Gospel of Salvation? And these are the requests of those only, that ask, and seek, and knock. This hid treasure cannot be found, but by most diligent search. It is the diligent hand, that brings in this riches. He that would partake of these joys, must not be weary,Gen. 49.18. nor faint in his mind, nor slack or take off his hand, but persist with all perseverance, even to the last gasp, waiting (with good Jacob) for this Salvation.J [...]b 23.12. Prov. 8.11. Phil. 3.8.

3. Such as choose this good part, will esteem it according to its worth. They will set an higher price upon it, than any worldly treasure. Thus Job preferred it before his necessary Food; David before all Riches; So­lomon accounts it better than Rubies, and that all the things that can be desired, are not to be compared to it. Such a price did St. Paul set up­on Christ (who is the substance of the Gospel, 1 Cor. 1.23.) that he accounted all things but loss, and no better than [...]. Unus apex do­ctrinae, &c. in Gal. 5. Ego qui­dem sine verbo ne in Paradiso optarim vive­re: At cum verbo etiam in Inferno facile est vivere. Id. in Psal. 120. Dung (or Dogs meat) that he might win Christ. This made Luther say, That one Tittle of the Word was more worth than Heaven and Earth; and that he would not wish to live in Paradise without the Word; but with it he could live in Hell [Page 18]it self. A strange Hyperbole, but an express evidence of his exceeding great affection to it.

4. This choice is ever attended with great care, that we come not short of that which we have chosen. Let us fear (saith the Apostle, Heb. 4.1.) lest any come short, or be cast behind (as he that sets in vigo­rously to run the Race, [...]. but fails before he reach the Goal). And again, we ought abundantly to heed, that we spill not, or shed the things which we have heard, [...]. 2 John 8. Rev. 2.25. Heb. 2.1. As a riven Vessel which loseth the liquor pour­ed into it. This is that which St. John adviseth; Look to your selves, that we lose not the things, which we have wrought, but that we may receive a full reward. Such was that admonition to the Church of Thiatira: That which ye have already hold fast. He that is serious in his choice, will (with St. Paul) stretch forth to those things, which are yet before, and press towards the mark (or scope) for the Prize, Phil. 3.13, 14. and grow yet more vigorous in the pursuit.J [...]b 17.9. [...] The righteous shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands, shall add strength.

Thus it appears, that no careless or sloathful persons, who set light by the Word of God; or such as neglect it; or prefer the World before it; or that grudge to be at cost or pains to attend upon it, can be said to make choice with Mary of this good part.

Ʋse 3.

Let us therefore take care, that Mary's Choice may be ours; consi­dering, what hath been said before, our great necessity of it, and the great benefit and comfort it brings with it. If we refuse, we are undone for ever; whilst we wilfully neglect, and reject everlasting Happiness, for the love of momentary, vain, and sinful pleasures.

Behold the Lord hath brought thee before the two Mounts, Gerizim, and Ebal; Deu. 27.12, 13. Deu. 30.15, 19. setting before thee this day Blessing and Cursing, Life and Good, Death and Evil. Thou hast thy choice: consider what thou hast to do, whether thou wilt Live or Die Eternally. Do not delay the Lord, weary not his patience;Jude 4. turn not this Grace of God into lasciviousness; Despise not the riches of his goodness, forbearance, and long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to Repentance. Rom. 2.4. Take heed now, lest there be in thee an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. Heb. 3.7, 8, 12. Hear his voice, while it is called to day, lest you be further hardned through the deceitfulness of sin. Now is the day of thy visitation, take care to know it, and improve it. This day is Salvation come to thine house; Lu. 19.41, &c. verse 9. Isa. 65.2. Ezek. 18.32. open thy heart and entertain it. Lay hold on Eternal Life, whilst the Lords hand is stretched out all the day to offer it. Do not continue to walk in thy evil way, after thine own thoughts; but turn to the Lord, that thou maist live.

Object. But perhaps thou wilt say, How gladly would I make this choice? but alas, I am so opprest with violence of Temptations, and [Page 19]overpowered by my own vigorous corruptions; that my desires are nipt in the bud, and prove abortive: so that I still come short and fail of the attainment. Besides, I have no power in my self, so much as to will, without Gods special Grace. And it is not of him that willeth,Rom. 9.16. nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. But this is re­served in the secret of his own hidden counsel, unknown to me. For he hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. verse 18. Eccles 9 1. And who knoweth either love or hatred, by all that is before him?

Resp. Yet are we not upon any of these considerations, to be discou­raged from this choice.Vid. Chem [...]. Exam. part 1. de fid. justific. Ge [...]h. Tom. 3. de justific. c. 4. sect. 96. As for that saying in Eccles. 9.1. it is not right­ly applied to this case, (though so much urged by the Papists, against the certitude of Divine Grace) as our Divines have abundantly proved. And let us further consider, that God hath sufficiently declared in his holy Word, how seriously he willeth, that we should choose and enjoy this great blessing.Deut. 29.29. Why do we object against our selves his secret counsel (which belongeth not to us) and neglect his revealed Will, wherein he doth as­sure us by his Oath, that he hath no pleasure in the death of the wicked; Ezek. 33.11. but rather that he should turn from his way and live? And though the pos­session of this Salvation (which is the end of our Faith, and holy con­versation) be beyond the reach of any creatures merit;1 Pet. 1.9. Ephes. 1.14. Isa. 55.1. 2 Cor. 5.20. Ezek 18.31. John 5.40. 6.37. yet it is pur­chased to our hand, by the precious blood of our Redeemer. And doth not the Lord freely offer it? Doth he not wooe us to it, and beseech us to accept of it? Dot he not expostulate with those that refuse it; why they will die, and not come to him that they might have Life: And gives all assurance, that those who come unto him, he will in no wise cast out. If we despond in the sense and apprehension of our own imbecillity,2 Cor 3.5. as not sufficient of our selves, to think any thing as of our selves: Let us with­all consider, that all our sufficiency is of God, whose Grace is sufficient for us, and who will perfect his strength in weakness.12.9. He will work all our works in us: without whom indeed we can do nothing, but may do all things by him strengthening us.Isa. 26.12. J [...]hn 15.5. Phil. 4.13. Rev. 22.12. Heb. 10.37. 2 Cor. 6 2. Isa 45.9. Psalm 145.19.

And that thou maist not think him long; he hath told thee, that he will come quickly, and not tarry: yea, that now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation: Now, that he hath put it into thy heart to desire it, to pant after it, to seek it, and pray for it. For he never said to the seed of Jacob, that they should seek his face in vain; but will fulfill the desire of them that fear him, he will hear their cry, and will save them.

Now that we may manage this choice aright, we must proceed by such degrees, as reason directs in every considerable act, wherein the under­standing must perceive, the Will begin, Prudence direct, and Constancy perfect the Action. So it is here.

1. Take sufficient cognizance of the things commended to thy choice, that thou choose not blind fold. We never enjoy the true benefit and com­fort of our choice, till we know the excellency and use of it. Nor is it [Page 20]accounted of as Worship, when we Worship God ignorantly, as the Sa­maritans, Acts 11.23. Psalm 82.5. John 12.35. Deut. 15.21. Mal. 1.8. and Athenians did. He that knoweth not, walketh on in dark­ness, and knoweth not whither he goeth. And God will not accept a blind sacrifice; it is an abomination to him.

2. The Will also must readily close with this discovery: For an un­willing choice, is no choice. A wicked man may choose to act in some things vertuously, for fear of the punishment, that attends the contrary practice.2 Cor. 9.7. Col. 3.23. 2 Cor 8.12. The Lord loves chearful obedience, when we grudge not our Duty, nor do it as of necessity, but willingly. It pleaseth him best, when the heart accompanies the work. A little with good will is accepted.

3. Consult, and deliberate seriously, by what means thou maist accom­plish thy desire and obtain this choice. In vain is a choice pretended, when the means is not attended. We can never hope, nor think to obtain this good part, but only in that way, and in the use of that means which God hath ap­pointed. In this case he hath so ordered, that the Means should partake of the nature of the End. Salvation is begun in Holiness, which is the foun­dation of Happiness, and the Earnest, and First-fruits, and a Fore-tast of Heavens joy.Rom. 2 7, 10. Glory, Honour, Immortality, and Eternal Life, and Peace shall be rendred unto them, who seek for it, by patient continuance in well doing. It is not idling at home, or following thy carnal pleasures, or looking after thy worldly occasions, when thou shouldst be at Church in the solemn Worship of God, or in holy exercises in they Family, or in thy Closet, which will bring thee into acquaintance with the Almighty. For the friendship of the world is enmity with God. James 4.4. 1 John 2.15. And, if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Therefore Mary having made this choice of the End, she likewise chooseth the Means whereby it is obtained.

4. Having thus deliberately pitched upon the way, let there be a re­solute determination to enter upon it. Lay obligations upon thy soul to pursue this choice with all serious diligence. Thus David having consi­dered that blessedness belongs only to those that are undefiled in the way, Psa. 119.1, 2. who walk in the Law of the Lord, and that keep his Testimonies, and seek him with their whole heart, and that it is Gods command, that we should do so:Verse 5. he straightway falls to Prayer, that his waies might be so directed; and in the rest of that devout Psalm, he very frequently professeth his re­solution to walk in this way with all diligence: Yea, he binds himself by solemn vow to do it; I have sworn (saith he) and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous Judgements. Verse 106.

5. Yet all this is not sufficient, unless we actually engage in the dili­gent and conscientious use of the Means, whereby we may obtain our choice; of which we have spoken before; Trial 2.

6. Lastly, It is necessary, that we persevere unto the End; that we be not weary of well doing:Gal. 6.9. For in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. The Promise (in the Epistles writ by Christs appointment) is Vincenti dabitur: The reward is given to him that overcometh. It is not said [Page 21] Currenti or Pugnanti, to him that runneth, or to him that striveth (though without these, no conquest) but to him that overcometh: As before, Trial 4.

Thus much concerning Mary's Act: She hath chosen.

II. We are now to speak of the Object, or thing chosen, viz. that good part which shall not be taken away from her. In which words the Object is described by two Prophecies: 1. It is good. 2. Durable, such as shall not be taken away from her.

1. It is [...],That good part.

The vulgar Latin Translation calls it Optimam partem, that best part, as it is indeed, though the Original express it only in the positive degree, which yet doth import the superlative, calling it That good part [...] by way of excellency.

We have before shewed how comprehensive this one necessary thing is, having respect both to the End, and Means whereby the End is attained. And in that means we did more especially consider Mary's present employ­ment; which was to sit at Jesus Feet, and hear his Word. [...]. Hom. Iliad 1. de Nestore. Her Eyes and Ears did even hang upon his Lips, which were to her like Lillies dropping sweet smelling Myrrhe, (Cant. 5.13.) How sweet were his words unto her tast? yea sweeter than Honey to her mouth (Psal. 119.103.) She sate down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to her tast, Cant. 2.3.

It is true: Hearing is but the Means to attain some degrees of this good part. But it being so considerable a part of Mary's Choice, and her present employment, and an evidence of her choice of the rest; we shall consider, how good it is.

One observes (out of Seneca, To. de Trugill in fest. Assumpt. as he tells us) that all external things are propter corpus, for the Body, as Meat, Cloaths, &c. And that the Body is propter sensus, for the Senses; that by corporal Organs we might perceive the wonderful works of God: and that the Senses are propter mentem, for the Mind, being subservient to it: and the Mind (in which are the rational faculties of understanding and will) is propter Deum; that we may attain to heavenly knowledge, and divine wisdom, &c. This alone were sufficient to commend Hearing the Word of God, which tends to the perfecting of mans best part, and the obtaining of his ut­most End. But to speak something more largely of it; Consider that,

1. It is the Means which God hath ordained,Acts 26.18. Rom. 12.2. John 5.25. Ephes. 2.1. Nemo adeò ferus est, ut non mi [...]escere possit, Si modo culturae pati­entem accom­modet aurem, Hor. Ep. 1. [...]. to turn men from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God. It changeth men from Sinners to Saints, from children of Wrath, to children of God, and Heirs of Heaven: transforming them thus by the renewing of their mind, whereby they come to prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect Will of God. It raiseth from Death to Life: so were the Ephesians quickned, who before were dead in trespasses and sins. It will meeken and tame the fiercest nature (as one said well of Learning) forcing the most Tyger-like, and Lion like hearts (as they feigned of [Page 22] Orpheus's Harp) to lay aside their bruitish, and cruel nature, and become tractable. It is by the power of the Gospel thus received, That the Wolf shall dwell with the Lamb, and the Leopard shall lie down with the Kid, &c. and a little Child shall lead them. Isa. 11.6, &c.

This is the Fire and Hammer, wherewith God breaks the Rocks (the stoniest hearts) in pieces. It makes the flintyest heart contrite and hum­ble, and to tremble at the Hearing of it: whereby it becomes tractable, and ductile, [...]om. 6.37. [...]. apt to receive divine impressions. Hence the Apostle praiseth God, who had so moulded the Romans, that they were delivered into that form or type of Doctrine (for so it is in the Greek) they were cast into that mould, or received that stamp. Surely that which hath such an happy operation upon the heart, must needs be good.

2. It leads the way to every other Duty. We hear, that we may learn; and learn that we may practise, and do that which we have learned. It is from hence that we are furnished with meet subjects for meditation, and with direction in our Prayers to God. By this we are instructed in our duty both to God and man. For it is this Grace of God which bringeth salvation,Tit. 2.11, 12. that teacheth us to deny ungodliness, and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.

3. It is therefore preferred before other duties and employments. Mar­tha's diligence in her careful and loving entertainment of Christ, is here set behind Mary's devotion in hearing his Word. To offer sacrifice was a necessary duty under the Law.Exod. 23.15. None must appear before the Lord emp­ty. Yet when this is neglected, sacrifice is not esteemed, but rather ab­horred. For to obey is better than sacrifice: and to hearken, than the fat of Rams. 1 Sam. 15.22. Prov. 15.8. Jer. 6.19, 20. Isa. Psalm 51.17. Isa 66 2. Eccles. 5.1. Prov. 28.9. Acts 6 2. 1 Cor. 1.17. Praedicandi munus est pri­us, potius, dif­ficilius & ma­gis necessari­um. Par. in 1 Cor. 1.17. But the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord. When men do not hearken to his Word, but reject it: to what purpose is their bringing Incense from Sheba, &c. Their burnt-offerings are not acceptable, nor their sacrifices sweet. The most acceptable sacrifice is a broken spirit, and an heart that trembles at Gods Word. What ever men pretend in religious service; if they be not ready to hear; all they do is in Gods account no better than the sacrifice of Fools. And he that turneth away his ear from hearing the Law, even his Prayer shall he abomi­nation. Therefore the Apostle preferred the Preaching of the Word be­fore Alms, and administring the Sacraments; which yet are necessery du­ties: but this is more excellent, difficult, and necessary; as being ordained for the salvation of all those, that by true and lively Faith receive it; (Sam. 1.21. 1 Tim. 4.16.) and without which, we know not how to perform the other.

Now Hearing is the nearest End of Preaching: therefore the excel­lency that is ascribed to Preaching, is for the sake of Hearing.

4. It is the most excellent Antitode against the poison, and the malig­nity of sin. Now are ye clean (saith our Saviour) through the Word which I have spoken to you. John Psalm 119.9. Even young men in that wanton and unruly Age may cleanse their way by this means. For it discovers the ugliness [Page 23]of Sin; so that a mind well instructed, cannot but loath that abominable thing (which the Lord hates) and himself also,Jer. 44.4. Ezek 6.9. Jam. 1.23. Eph. 5.12, 13. for the evils that he hath committed in all his abominations. The Law of God is a mirrour or Glass, whereby a man may discover his spiritual deformities; it is the light which makes manifest the hidden things of darkness, and sets them out in their proper colours; and that shews us the way wherein we should walk, and guides our feet into the way of Peace.

5. It is indeed the Word of Eternal Life; the Word of Salvation;John 6.68. Acts the Word of Gods Grace, which is able to build us up, and to give us an inheritance amongst the sanctified. Therefore to make choice of this, must needs be with Mary to choose that good part, whereof indeed this is the least part, as but leading to that which doth compleat it.

II. The second illustration of this Choice is, that this good part is al­so durable, It shall not be taken away. This makes good the former: it is therefore the better good, because permanent.Psalm. 1.3. The fruit of this de­vout Hearing shall never fade. Those that are thus planted in the house of the Lord, shall flourish in the Courts of our God; Psal. 92.13, 14. Boni operis transituri merces est re­quies perman­sura. A g. Mat. 6.19, 20. they shall bring forth fruit in old Age, they shall be fat and flourishing. The wages of this tran­sient work shall be everlasting rest. This part shall not be taken away: For,

1. No enemy can take it away: no Thief can rob us of this treasure. If any could, it must be either the Devil, or the World, or the Flesh, or Death. But

1. The Devil cannot, notwithstanding all his malice, power, or sub­tilty. The Gates of Hell, with all their temptations, terrours, or strata­gems can never deprive us of this choice. That enemy may tempt, and sift, and buffet,1 Cor. 7.5. Luk. 22.31, 32. 2 Cor. 12.7, 9. &c. But the grace of God is sufficient to preserve and uphold the soul in temptation; and through Christs intercession Faith shall not fail. He may thrust sore at the child of God, to make him fall; but the Lord will help.

Upon resistance he is forced to flee;Psalm 118.13. Jam. 4.7. Rom. 16.20. Gal. 2.20. Ephes 3.17. Luke 11.22. 1 John 4.4. and shall at length be trod under­foot, through the power of Christ, who lives and dwells in every true Believer. The victory must certainly (in this case) fall to the stronger: and surely greater is he that is in his Saints, than he that is in the World.

2. The World cannot take it away, notwithstanding all its enmity, and malignity, or its scorns, and reproaches, and cruel mockings, and per­secutions; or yet its snares, enticements,John 16.33. 1 John 5.4, 5. &c. There is power enough in Christ by Faith in him, to overcome it.

3. Nor yet shall the Fesh, that remains in corrupt nature, ever be able to take it away; notwithstanding all its averseness to that which is good, or perverseness, and strong inclination to that which is evil.Rom. 7. Though it be rebellious, and lust against the Spirit, and hindreth from duty, and pro­voketh to sin; yet shall it never prevail so far, as to deprive a Believer of his choice. For it is daily crucified, mortified,Gal. 5.24. and subdued by the po­wer of divine Grace, which worketh mightily in every child of God. Though he be compassed about with this body of death, and forced to [Page 24]cry out with St. Paul, Rom. 7.23, 24. O wretched man that I am, &c. Yet he can also him thank God, that Jesus Christ is his deliverer.

4. Neither yet can Death or any of its attendants take it away. For it is never able to separate from the love of Christ,Ro 8.35, &c. 1 Cor. 15.54. being swallowed up in that victory, which God giveth us through Christ our Lord.

2. As no enemy can, so God will not take it away. For 1. He delights in it,Isa. 57.15. to see his children to make this choice. He whose Name is holy, who inhabiteth Eternity; whose Throne is the Heaven, and the Earth his foot-stool, 66.1, 2. &c. Yet this Almighty God hath a special eye, to him that is of a poor and contrite spirit, and trembleth at his Word. For he sees his own Image, and likeness there; wherewith he is so taken, that he is held in the Galleries to behold it.Cant. 7.5. Psalm 34.18. 1 Cor. 6.19. Psa. 132.13, 14. So great pleasure doth he take in this, that he is ever nigh unto such an heart, and delights to dwell in it. It is his Temple, his chosen and desired habitation, his Rest, where he will dwell, for he hath desired it, and will take up his residence, and make his abode there. He engageth his Word and Pro­mise never to forsake it.John 14.23. Heb. 13.5.

2. Besides, it is the work of his own Spirit, by which he leads into all truth, brings the soul in frame, sacrifices the whole man, kindles holy desires, and fervent affections towards himself, and what ever may conduce to everlasting happiness. It is the Spirit which worketh all our works in us;Isa. 26.12. Rom. 8.26. Phil. helps our infirmities; gives both to will, and to do: and what he hath begun, he will not take off his hand, until he hath also finished.

3. Furthermore; it is part of the purchase of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, viz. to sanctifie here, as well as to glorifie in Heaven. He hath procured both the Choice, and Grace to choose. And he shall surely obtain the fruit of his sufferings: he shall see of the travel of his Soul, Isa. 53.11. and shall be satisfied. Having paid an infinite ransome for his Captives, he will take care, that they may be actual partakers of that dear bought Freedom. He will lose none of those, whom the Father hath given him:John therefore he improves the opportunity of his exalta­tion to the right hand of the Father, in making intercession for them; and a part of his Prayers in their behalf is,Rom. 8.34. Luke 22.32. Joh. 17.11, 15, 17, 19, 23, 24. that their Faith may not fail: but that they may be kept through the Name of the Father, from the evil that is in the World; and that they may be sanctified through the Truth, which is his Word; that they may be made perfect in one; until they be with him, where he is, that they may behold his Glory.Heb. 7.25. John 11.42. Heb. 5.7. [...]. Vid. Par. Gerh. Esti­us, and à Lap. in loc. Now he ever liveth to intercede thus for them, and he is sure to speed: for the Father will deny him nothing, and he is heard al­waies for his Piety, or (as others) for his Dignity. All which be­ing considered, it must follow, that as he hath merited for them Grace to choose this good part, so likewise that what they have so chosen, shall never be taken away from them.

4. Yea, God hath laid upon himself a Covenant-engagement, to maintain this Priviledge, which he hath vouchsafed to his Saints. As for me, Isa. 59.21. this is my Covenant with them (saith the Lord) My Spirit which is upon thee, and my Words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, &c. from benceforth, and for ever. Again, I will put my fear in their hearts, and write it in their inward part, and I will be their God, Jer: Heb. 13.5. and they shall be my People: and I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Likewise he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. And very aptly to our purpose, speaks that Promise of our Saviour: Whosoever drinketh of the water, John 4.14. that I shall give him, shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him, shall be in him a Well of Water, springing up into everlasting Life. And in another place; He that believeth in me, John 7.38. Tit. 1.2. 2 Tim. 2.13. Psalm 119.49. out of his Belly shall flow Rivers of living Water. Thus he hath promised, who is the God of Truth, and cannot Lie; and will not he remember the Word unto his Servants, wherein he hath caused them to hope? Surely he will ever be mindful of his Covenant; of the performance where­of he hath given so many securities: for he hath bound it with his Oath, Heb. 6.17. and Seal, Ephes. 5.13. and Earnest, ibid. vers. 14. and the first fruits of his Spirit, Rom. 8.23. which is a blessed fore­rast of Eternal Happiness, in some degrees of that joy of the Holy Ghost, which is unspeakable and full of Glory, 1 Pet. 1.8. and of that Peace of God which passeth all understanding, Phil. 4.7. And shall we think all this to be in vain? as indeed it might be, if it could be taken away. No surely; his design in these various confir­mations of his Promise, and of our Faith in it is, that by such immu­table things, wherein it is impossible for God to Lie,Heb. 6.18. we might have strong consolation.

5. Lastly, This good part so chosen and enjoyed is of a spiritual and divine nature.2 Pet. 1.4. Although through the strength of remaining corruption, and the violence of temptation it may for the time be obscured, and eclipsed: yet it shall never be extinguished, and utterly lost.

This Reed may be shaken, and bruised;Mat. 12 20. but shall not be quite broken: This Flax may be reduced to smoaking, but shall not utterly be quenched.

The Seed that is sown shall remain,1 John 3.9. though for a time it lie hid under-ground, yet the Prolifick vertue that is in it will make a seasonable appearance, that it was not dead when it lay hid.Job 19.28. The root of the matter is still in him, who is once planted in the Courts of the House of our God; so that he shall still bring forth,Psalm 92.13. though sometimes (for the while) his branches shew neither Fruit nor Leaves; yet that Sap which is retired to the heart and root, will certainly put forth its vigour again, and produce both Leaves and Fruit. The things [Page 26]that are chosen,Col. 3.1. 2 Cor. 4.18. Col. 1.5. 2 Tim. 4.8. Mat. 25.34. 1 Pet. 1.4, 5. are above; things not seen, and eternal; our Hope and Crown is laid up for us in Heaven; the Kingdom and Inheritance was prepared for us from the Foundation of the World; and it is in­oorruptible, and fadeth not away, being reserved in Heaven for us; and we our selves are kept by the power of God through Faith unto Salvation, &c.

How should these things be; if this good part so chosen could be taken away?

Since therefore this one thing is so necessary, so good, useful and pro­fitable; and withal so durable, that when we are once actually posses­sed of it, we can never be wholly deprived of it: What remains; but that we prefer it in our esteem, according to its worth, before all things in the World: and speedily resolve (as we were before exhorted) to make this Choice with Mary? To which the Lord direct us, and in it assist us, for his great Names sake: To whom with our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, that ever blessed Unity in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, be all Glory, Honour, and Praise now and ever. Amen.

A Narrative of the Religious and Holy Life and Death, of the Lady Mary, late Wife of Sr. Thomas Whar­ton Knight of the Bath: In great part as it was de­livered at her Funeral, with many material passages since added.

HAving now done with the Text, it will justly be expected, that I should speak something of that Heavenly Soul, whose Corps are now to be In­terred; to solemnize whose Funerals, so many Noble and Worthy Persons are here congregated. She was a very sutable Parallel to Her in the Text, both in her Name and Choice. Nor will it seem strange to those that knew her, that she should be in some degree matched with those re­nowned Maries, whom we have had occasion to mention (the Mother of our blessed Saviour only excepted, who was favoured, and blessed above all Women) had she but enjoyed the Priviledge of their oppor­tunities, to have given like evidence of her great Devotion, and Hea­venly affection.

Her Extraction was Noble and Honourable (as this Mary's in the Text is probably supposed to be) being the Eldest Daughter of the late Right Honourable Henry Earl of Dover, whose Grandfather was the re­nowned Henry Lord Hunsdon, Cousin German, by the Mothers side, to that most excellent Queen of ever blessed memory, Queen Elizabeth. Her Mother was of the Antient and Worthy Family of the Pelhams, of Haland in Sussex, called Lady Judick, Daughter of Sir Thomas Pelham, whose Ancestors were of great Note many hundred years ago, meriting for Chivalry, in the service of their King and Country, an access of Honour, which is yet born in their Arms.

She was Born November 13. 1615. being the third Child (after two [Page 28]Sons) and the Eldest Daughter of her Parents: who had besides her, three Sons (of whom, the Right Honourable John Earl of Dover is yet living) and three Daughters, all eminent for Piety, and all commenda­ble endowments, whereof two are with the Lord, and one yet sur­viving. Her Mother died, leaving them very young: yet she having the advantage of seven years more than the Eldest of her other Sisters, supplied a Mothers care of them, in their tender years. And what in­fluence her instructions, advice, and gracious example in all her com­portment had upon them was very evident, in their early proficiency in all Vertue, and gracious imitation of so fair a Copy.

It pleased God, who had made Choice of her for himself before all time,Eccles. 12.1. In seculo no­bilis apud Deum cupit esse nobilior. Auth. Epist. ad Demetriadem. Ab illustribus nasci, Deo per spiri­tum renasci. Nobilis gene­re, sed multo nobilior san­ctitate. Hier. E. 27. ad Eustoch. de Paula. —Nobilitas sola est, at (que) unica virtus, Juv. Sat. 8. Illa dives, quae in Deo est di­ves. Cypr. de hab. Virg. Dan. 11.21. 1 Kin. 21.20, 25 Ephes. 2.2. 2 Tim. 2.26. Rom. 6.12. 2 Pet. 2.19. Non est quod sibi aliquis de nobilitate ge­neris blandia­tur, si ex meli­ore parte sit famulus. Mul­tò est indigni­us mente ser­vire quam cor­pore. Auth. Ep. ad Demetr. to work her to a serious Choice of his waies in the best time: To remember her Creator in the daies of her youth. For even in those frail times, which most others waste, and ravel out in folly and vanity, she received such an happy tincture of true Piety, and the fear of God, as never lost, but ever increased its lustre till her last breath. This advanced her pious Soul above all carnal priviledges of Nobility, Ancestry, and all terrene Glories derived from her eminent Progenitors, to fix upon that which was only able to make her truly Noble and Glorious. She was indeed Noble in the account of the World; but not satisfied with that, her desire was to be more Noble in the sight of God.

Her Heaven-born Faith trampled under-foot all conceit, or considera­tion of secular advantage. It was no great matter to her, to issue from illustrious Progenitors: her greatest ambition was to become the Child of God by spiritual birth. She esteemed it but a small thing to glitter with the Ensigns of a Noble Family, whose great care was to be enrol­led among the Saints, and Family of God. She forgot her self to be Rich or Honourable; regarding it only so far, that the holiness of her mind, might exceed the splendour of her outward man: For she esteem­ed that to be the greatest, which is the truest Nobility, viz. to be the Child of God, and co-heir with Christ. Being thus perswaded, her constant endeavour was to preserve the honour of her Nobility, by keep­ing it unstained from those Vices, which are not only a blemish to it, but leave the offenders (how Nobly so ever extracted) under the ignominy of degeneracy, and in the rank of the vilest of men; who sell them­selves to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord; whereby they be­come willing slaves to the Prince of darkness, who worketh effectually in and by them, leading them Captive at his Will. Whilst they serve their own Lusts, and suffer sin to reign in their mortal bodies, obeying it in the lusts thereof; they even proclaim themselves to be the servants of sin, being by it vanquished, and brought in bondage. She well knew, that no man hath any cause to boast of his Nobility, when his better part is enslaved; it being much more shameful to enslave the mind than the body. Her care therefore was to transfer all outward advantages, to the inward adorning of the Soul; slighting all secular Pomp and splen­dour, [Page 29]that she might with more freedom choose that good part, which could not be taken away from her.

Having so early received into her tender heart the Heavenly dew of Di­vine Grace; natural corruption (that common disease of all mankind) was thereby even nipt in the bud, and received its Deaths-wound before it could get that advantage, which it ordinarily obtaineth in miserable mortals.

How soon did she begin to perform her Baptismal Vow and Covenant, renouncing the Devil and all his works, the pomps and vanities of this wicked World, and all the sinful lusts of the Flesh? Those vanities which were the carnal delights and darlings of her equals, were her burden and grievance. When to please Relations, and that she might not seem too scrupulously morose, she was some-waies necessitated to be present at the interludes which were at certain times acted in the Family; yet (as I have heard her sometimes say) her heart was otherwise employ'd, and she would ever be sure to take the first opportunity to withdraw, and retire her self from those vanities, to exercise her thoughts in better meditations, according to her (yet slender) capacity.

Being grown up to years of discretion, when her towardliness was more conspicuous in her Religious and Gracious comportment; how dear and precious was she to all such of her acquaintance, as had devo­ted themselves to the fear of God? She was ever beloved and honoured by them; and they of all others were most dear to her.

Whilst she kept in her Fathers-House, and afterwards till the day of her Marriage, besides her secret retirements, she was a diligent Atten­dant upon publick Ordinances; not omitting to watch at Wisdoms gates, and wait at the Posts of her House continually. Insomuch as, living under the Ministry of that Eminent and faithful Servant of Christ, Doctor Holdesworth, she would not miss either Lords-Daies, nor Holy-Daies Sermons, nor Mornings Prayers, on Wednesdaies and Frydaies, nor such times in the Week as he appointed for Catechise: though she was constrained hereby to leave her mornings rest very early; and for haste cover with her Scarfe the defects of those Dresses, which detained others of her Rank, from that, which she more prized, than all world­ly gayeties.

But these were her more obscure times before she was so fully known to those, who are yet living, witnesses of her pious regard to hea­venly practices. From whose credible reports, and my own knowledge in the (O too short) time of our acquaintance (which was not full two years) take these ensuing few Observations.

It was the thirtieth year of her Age, before she gave way to any mo­tion of Marriage (though she had many from very considerable persons) but at that time it pleased God, who ordereth all the concernments of his dear Children for their assured good, to present her with such a mo­tion, as could not but be acceptable to her, viz. Sir Thomas Wharton, [Page 30]Knight of the Bath, and only Brother to the Kight Honourable Phillip Lord Wharton of Wharton: who being well acquainted with that Fa­mily (to which his was nearly allied) took so much notice of her Ver­tues, and gracious conversation (the great attractive of his affections to her) that gave him occasion to move her in order to Marriage. Which motion (most happy to them both) she upon serious consideration did embrace; yet with this provision (such due regard she had to filial duty) that her Fathers, and her Uncle Sir Thomas Pelham's consent (whom she ever honoured as a Father, and he ever tenderly loved her as a Child) should first be obtained. Sir Thomas was at hand, and therefore the first address was made to him, who readily and chearfully gave his approba­tion. Her Father was then at Oxford with the King, and his whole Estate under sequestration; nor had she any further expectation from him of any augmentation of that Portion, which was long before in her own hands, and dispose; yet would she not Marry, till his assured con­sent was gained, to her full satisfaction; which himself did signifie to her by divers Letters (which I have seen) written from Oxford: where­in he declared, that he was assured, that Sir Thomas would prove both honest and kind; and farther assured her, that his blessing should accom­pany them in their Marriage, &c.

And now was the time, when that light of Divine Grace, long since kindled, must become more conspicuous, shining more and more unto that perfect day.Prov. 4.18. Now that precious seed, which had taken such firm root in her heart, and had already made a hopeful progress in the blade, shall produce the Ear, and after that the full Corn in the Ear, and yield the great Husband-man an acceptable Harvest.Mark 4.28.

To mention the particular passages of her well spent Life, would ra­ther be to write an History, than (what is only intended) a short Nar­rative. I can therefore here give only a general account of some few passages, which yet may sufficiently evidence the sincerity of her Faith, working by Love, which is the whole of Christianity.

What is intended may be referred to these two Heads; 1. Her Qua­lification. 2. Her Conversation.

1. For the former of these; She was a careful observer of the Apo­stles earnest Exhortation; adding to her Faith Vertue, and to Vertue, Knowledge, 2 Pet. 1.5. &c.

The odious aspersion of Solifidianism could not be fastened on her; though in the point of Justification, she depended only and wholly upon the righteousness of Christ imputed to the Believer, and received by Faith: in this case not at all looking at her own inherent righteousness. Her Faith was a lively and active Faith, manifesting its vigour and genu­ine nature by its proper fruits. It provoked those Vertues, wherewith she was plentifully furnished,Virtus, à vi­ribus, quasi vi­ri vis. Varro. de Ling. Lat. lib. 4. to exert their force and strength (whence they are so called.) in the production of every good work as she had opportunity.

And because she was perswaded it was as necessary to do well, as to do good; which cannot be without some good competency of knowledge to direct each vertuous action: Therefore she gave all diligence, to add to her Vertue Knowledge; not only speculative, whereby she knew what she ought to do; but practical, in doing what she knew: which pro­duced the advantage of a further degree, viz. experimental knowledge; by which means she reaped the sweetest comfort, which ariseth from the conscience of well-doing. Her knowledg was savoury, and her judge­ment sound in the things that concern salvation. She was never tainted with Novel opinions, and fancies; but well acquainted with, and tena­cious of the form of sound words contained in the holy Scriptures; and as they are taught in the Church of England, whereof she was a true and dutiful Child. So well was she grounded in the Principles and main points of Religion, that she was out of the reach of the subtilest Papists seduction; as she sometimes was not free from their attempts, but ever from their Impressions.

Moreover, knowing that whilst we are in this Tabernacle, we bear in our bosoms a rebel to the law of our mind; the Flesh lusting against the Spirit; that she might subdue and mortifie that enemy, she gave all diligence to add to her knowledge, temperance, [...]. Maenand. that promptuary of Ver­tue, most remarkable.

1. In her eminent and exemplary Modesty, and Chastity. She never came within the reach of the most curious suspicion of Immodesty, Vir­gin or Wife: being ever careful to abstain from all appearance of evil by any wanton word or gesture.

2. In her moderate use of those subsidia, which our heavenly Father knows are needful for us, and therefore is pleased to allow us for the com­fort of our Life.

1. In her Apparel. She restrained her self from the use of those Fa­shions, which though in themselves they are unseemly (to say no worse) yet are too frequent and common in use amongst such as were her equals:Peccandi fo­menta, Lupa­na [...] insignia, ornamenta Meretricum, &c. Cypr. de hab. Virg. Tertul. de hab. Mal. & de cult. Foeminarum. Vide etiam, Aug. Epist. 73. & de Doctr. Christ. l. 4. c. 21. Ambr. l. 1. de Virg. Hier. Epist. 10. 1 Pet. 3.3, 4. whereby the practice is become incorrigible, and the contrary disdained by the exorbitant. She never used to bare her Breasts and Shoulders, or Paint, or Spot her Face, &c. or any such Dress, as were ever exploded by all sober Christians, and vehemently reproved by the Primitive Fathers, as enticements, and provocations of Lust, ornaments of light persons, and inventions of the Devil, &c. But this chast Soul abhorred to be so disfigured. Her ornaments were not broidered or platted Hair, Gold, or Pearls, or costly array (though she wanted none of those things, if she had fancied them) but the hidden man of the Heart. Her best Dress was that shamefac'dness and Sobriety commanded by St. Paul, (1 Tim. 2.9.) and the incorruptible ( [...]) of a meek and quiet spirit, which St. Peter tells us, takes such worth in the sight of God. This is the Dress which Tertullian commends to Christian Wo­men; [Page 32]men:Vestite vos serico probita­tis, byssino san­ctitatis, pur­purâ pudici­tiae. Taliter pigmentatae Deum habebi­tis Amatorem. Tert. de cultu foemin. in fine. Cloath your selves (saith he) with the Silk of Honesty, with the Sattin of Sanctity, with the Purple of Modesty: in such Paints God will be your Lover. In such attire would she appear before God, as she knew was best pleasing to him.

2. Nor was her Temperance less remarkable in reference to her Diet: being nothing studious, or desirous of dainty or costly Fare. Her or­dinary food was good and wholesome; but plain, and such as is most ac­commodate for the ends for which God hath ordained it: viz. preserva­tion of Health, and increase of strength: not to please a dainty Palate, or gratifie an exorbitant Appetite, and excite Lust. But the ordering of Family provisions by her appointment, was plentiful, as to ordinary House-keeping; generous and free in her entertainments, to the great contentment of her Friends and equals: whose Visits were exceeding frequent and grateful.

Neither was she wanting to add fortitude to her other Vertues; re­solutely persisting in well-doing, being strengthened with power by the Spirit in the inward man,Eph. 3.16. to resist the temptation, and overcome the difficulties, which are ever ready to obstruct all godly endeavours. She was indeed [...], a Woman of valour, never weary of well-doing, nor faint in her mind:Prov. 31.10. Lxx. [...]. v. L. Mulier fortis. Gal. 6.7. Heb. 12.3. Job 17.9. Heb. 10.23. Rev. 2.10. but held on in her way, growing yet stronger and stronger, she held fast her Profession, and was faithful unto the End, that she might obtain the promised Crown.

But the Crown of all her Vertues was her Sincerity. They were not in shew only, but in reality and truth: she was what she seemed; her Gold needed no Gilt. She was (as is said of the Kings Daughter, Psal. 45.13.) glorious within, as well as without. Her hidden man was richly furnished; though not so much exposed to the eye of man, as of him who seeth in secret, and searcheth the heart and reins. Never­theless, though it be most difficult to determine of any mans sincerity, which is only know to him, that is the discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart; yet where there are such clear appearances, and satisfactory evidences; he must be less than a Christian, that hath not so much Charity, as to conclude that such a one as she, must needs be sincere: who did so uniformly practise godliness to the last period of her Life; never varying, or abating in her godly care and watchfulness, but al­waies proceeding in a constant tenor of an holy conversation, according to that invariable rule, Gal. 6.16. Her universal closing with all good, and detestation of all sin, abstaining from the very appearance of evil; hating sin both in her self and others: her fervent zeal for Gods glory; her cordial Love, and vehement affection to, and constant use of all his holy Ordinances: her ready submission to his Will in all things; her fear to offend him in any thing; her grief frequently expressed, that she was not more holy; her earnest desire of and longing for farther assurance of divine favour; her exemplary Humility, ever having low thoughts of her self, and of any thing she did, alwaies acknowledging her great [Page 33]defects in each Duty, and her unworthiness of the least mercy; esteem­ing her self the greatest of sinners, and the least of all Saints (as St. Paul) nothing esteeming any thing she was or did,1 Tim. 1. 15, Ephes. 3.8. Phil. 3.8. Opibus & no­bilitate con­temptâ, facta est in humili­tate nobilior, Hier. Ep. 16. Psalm 50.23. no not her greatest attain­ments in Grace and Holiness (as to any dependence upon them) much less her outward priviledges of Nobility, and worldly greatness, that she might gain Christ.

II. As for her Conversation it was sutable to her Qualifications; ever studying to walk according to the rule of holiness. Her great care was to prepare her heart to seek the Lord: that she might in all things order her conversation aright, both towards God and man.

1. In respect of God, what is said in Scripture of Enoch, Noah, and other holy persons, that they walked with God, was also verified in her.

How she did deport her self in secret duties, was known only to God, and her own Soul: according to her Saviours admonition. Yet if we may measure her more retired Devotions,Mat. 6.6. by what was evident in Church and Family Duties, nothing could be more affectionate. Her secret Pray­ers, as also her Meditations, and heavenly raptures were more immedi­ate exchanges between her pious Soul, and him whom her Soul loved. Some part whereof could not yet be so concealed, but that such as were near her, could observe her constant retirements, and by her Discourses take notice (at least in general) how her time was employed in her Clo­set. For such is the nature of true Love, that it cannot contain, but must at sometimes break forth in the praises of its beloved, and express its joys and heavenly content in him whom it so much admires; as is evident by the Discourse of the Church in the Canticles. Vid. Cant. 2.16 5.10, &c. Those ravish­ing joys cannot be concealed: the Daughter of Jerusalem must be ac­quainted with the excellencies of her beloved, and how exceedingly she is affected with, and to him.

Thus much, and much more was known to her dear and indulgent Husband (who himself was not only an incourager, but also an excellent example and Pattern of private Devotions) as followeth:

1. Her diligent and careful Reading of the holy Scriptures, which being a considerable part of her retirements, brought her to a famili­ar acquaintance with the revealed Will of God. She tasked her self with Reading a daily portion; which was studiously performed. And what good use she made thereof, may be gathered from her Observations which were found among her Papers written with her own hand,Prov. 3.3. These were called Tota­photh, or Phy­lacteries, and by the Rabbins Tephilin. Of which read. Buxtorf. Syna­gog. Jadaic. cap. 4. Ainsw. & Synops. Critic. in Exod. 1 [...]. which I have seen and perused: wherein no less than three hundred remarkable passages were transcribed verbatim, to be the subject of her private Meditati­ons, and that she might more firmly imprint them in her memory, ac­cording to that injunction of Solomon: write them upon the Table of thy heart. Thus the Lord commanded the Israelites that they should write certain Sections of the Law, which they should wear upon their hands, and as Frontlets before their eyes: that the Law might be had in perpetu­al remembrance. These were in time superstitiously, and hypocritically [Page 34]abused, as appears, Mat. 23.5. But she was far from ostentation, nor was this pious care of hers known till after her death. Amongst others, these Scriptures she most especially proposed to her Reading and Meditation, at such times as she set apart for private humiliation, Dan. 9. Isa. 61. Ezr. 9. Neh. 9. Joel 2. Jam. 4.9, 10. Mat. 6.18. Isa. 58.1 Joh. 1.9. Neh. 1. ad 10. I have transcribed them as they were found in her Papers.

And as she was thus diligent in reading the holy Scripture: so did she also take great pains and delight in reading of such Books as were written by those worthy persons, who were of greatest esteem among the most se­rious and religious Readers. For as her great design in reading was to understand the good, and acceptable, and perfect Will of God; so she rationally conceived,Rom. 12.2. that none could more likely acquaint her with the mind of God, than those who were designed to this Office, and who con­versed most with him in their pious, exemplary, and constant practice: remembring that the secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he will shew them his Covenant.Psalm 25.14. Prov. 3.32. These Authors were com­mended to her by B. usher, and others who were ful­ly for the Church of England. Amongst these, she chiefly read Mr. Daniel Dyke, of the deceitfulness of the Heart (a Book she highly prized, and oft times read over) Mr. Arth. Hildersham's works also, and Dr. Preston's, Dr. Sibs, Mr. Dod, Mr. Rogers's seven Treatises, and the Epitome, called The Practice of Christianity; Mr. John Downham's Christian Warfare, though very voluminous, yet could not the bigness of any good Book prevent, but rather excite her diligence.

Near her end she was Reading Mr. Calvin's Institutions (translated into English) the second time, having not many weeks before Read it quite through.

Many other such good and practical Authours she had carefully Read with great profit, turning their words into Works. For she was ever care­ful, not only to take in more light by such good mens pains, but chiefly to feel her heart warmed by their kindly heats. She used her Reading in stead of a Looking-Glass, whereby to discover and reform, whatsoever was amiss in her practice; and also how to adorn her conversation with re­gular obedience: so that her Reading did not only enrich her mind with knowledge, but beautifie her life with vertuous practice; knowing that God hath given us his Word and Law, not only to be known, but to be actually obeyed. For what doth it profit, to learn what we should do, if we do not what we have learned? When she would recreate her mind with any pleasant Discourse; besides her Reading of serious History, she took great delight in Reading Mr. Herbert's Verses, most of which she could repeat without Book. These her recreation instead of Play­books, and Romances.

2. Besides her diligent and unwearied Reading (which was not only part of her Closet work, but usually her afternoons employment, when not hindred by company, or not exercised in needle-work, for she was never idle) she constantly observed her designed and slated times for secret Pray­er. In which if she were at any time hindred by entertainment of [Page 35]friends, &c. yet would she redeem time even from her sleep, rather than shorten her accustomed Devotions.

And here though no other account can be expected, than of every pious Soul,Mat. 6.6. 2 Sam. 7.18. Dam. 6.1 [...]. whose care is not to be seen or heard in those retirements by any but their heavenly Father: yet by providence something was found among her Papers, written with her own hand upon a special occasion, which may afford some discovery of her godly and devout frame of Spirit, even in that heavenly and secret Duty.

The occasion was this: That Reverend and holy man of God Mr. John Hudson (now the Right Reverend Bishop of Elphin in Ireland) Preach­ing upon that Text, 1 Sam. 1.27. For this Child I prayed, &c. amongst other savoury passages observed; That Mercies and Blessings obtained by Prayer will be sweet, and that we should especially record special mercies, which practice would both help our memory (we being very apt to for­get mercies, Psal. 106.7.) and also strengthen our Faith, Psal. 85.1, 2, 3, &c. vers. 8, 9. I will hear what God the Lord will speak, &c. Surely his Sal­vation is nigh them that fear him. Her gracious Soul made such good use of that Sermon, that she from that time resolved to keep a Record of such special mercies, as it should please the Lord to vouchsafe her; more espe­cially such, as were given in upon Prayer. And in those Papers wherein they were found Recorded, she thus bespeaks the Lord in her Prayers.

O my God, I desire now to come before thee, humbled in my Soul for my own baseness and filthiness from Head to Foot: Every member of my Body being ready and inclined to every sin; every faculty of my Soul being polluted and defiled with that foul and ugly sin, wherein I was conceived and born. And to aggravate this; having received, and still possessing more mercies, and gracious dispensations from thee, than (I think) ever any creature had. But it is thy free-grace, who canst as well give me a thankful heart, as a receiving hand: which I beg for his sake, upon whose account only I come before thee, and have this confidence to approach unto thee. And here, O Lord, through thine assistance I desire to recount, as I am able, some of those innumerable mercies, that I daily receive.

Then after an enumeration of many general mercies, she thus proceeds. Good God, give me the Grace likewise, that all this thy goodness may not be in vain upon my poor Soul.— I bless thy Name for the gracious pre­sence of thy blessed Spirit, at all times, when I set my self before thee in earnest to seek thy face and favour in private; and in especial at a Fast I kept, and Sacrament I received, when I was left all alone at Wobourn, when I received much comfort, &c.

Then again reckoning up many particular mercies received at the Lords hand upon her Prayers to him, for her Husband and Son: amongst which she forgets not affectionatly to mention the good means of Grace and Sal­vation, they had lived under, and the contented, peaceable, plentiful, chearful condition they had enjoyed ever since they came together. But these (saith she) are but Ones of thousands, that I have and do enjoy. O give [Page 36]me to live in some measure answerable to this goodness of thine, &c.

After this manner hath she Recorded the many special mercies, deliver­ances, blessings, which she, her Husband, Son, and Family had received; note­ing the day and month of the year. And the whole contexture is in the same tenour of Prayer and Praises; ever desiring of the Lord, that he would give her to live the life of Faith, and Thanksgiving, which was her fre­quent expression. But the particular mercies conferred upon her self and her Relations, were not the only Subject of her thankful praises. So great was her affection to the Church of God, and to her dear native Country, that publick blessings were also sound Recorded in her secret Devotions. Thus when it pleased God to heal the breaches of this distracted Nation, by the happy Restauration of his Royal Majesty: she thus expresseth her deep sense of that wonderful change. But now, O God, I am confounded, and know not what to say, nor which way to begin to bless and praise by great Name for thy infinite preservations of, deliverances to, and blessed restauration of our dear King, and his Family from their sad banished, and distracted condi­tion, which they have long lain under, to their own Inheritance. And all this is beyond what we could have asked or thought; to be without blood, or obli­gation to strangers, or any thing but thy own hand, which is for ever to be mag­nified, and adored for this great Work; for which I beseech thee to give me, and all thine, to live the life of Faith and Thanksgiving; to lay our selves in the dust, and to be low in our own eyes, that thou alone maist be exalted for these great and wonderful things, that thou hast done in our daies, for preserving them in the true Religion in the midst of diverse temptations, and keeping them from diverse dangers of Soul and Body: for all which let our Souls bless thy great Name.

This may suffice to give some aim, whereby to measure her private Devotions, which could not otherwise be discovered, but by her own Pa­pers, occasioned as is before declared. But by this it may appear, how se­rious she was in her Meditation of Gods loving-kindness to her, and her Relations in every concernment: with which she was so exceedingly af­fected, that she could not forbear to speak of it in her private discourses with her friends. In the short time of our acquaintance, how frequently have I heard her, with tears of joy express her deep apprehensions of Gods gracious Providence in their outward prosperity beyond her hopes; ad­miring his blessings, according to his holy promise, heaped upon them, she knew not how; owing his hand, and disowning all their own care and endeavour, as of no signification in reference to the greatness of (even outward) mercies received.

This wrought her Soul to the highest content with that Estate which it pleased God to place her in: which had it been much meaner, would yet no doubt, have been acceptable to her thankful heart, which ever took its measure from the consideration of Gods bountiful providence, in admi­nistring blessings sutable to her condition; and not from any ambitious emulation of others grandeur.

Such as is said was her more private converse with God. What was more obvious to the eyes of men, was very exemplary; whether we con­sider her deportment in the publick Congregation, or in her Family duties.

In the publick Prayers in the Church (as also in the Family) her Po­sture, outward gesture, and voice was ever most decent, humble, and re­verent with all evidences of a broken, contrite, serious, and servent spirit; expressing greatest affection, with such diligent and undistracted attention, without the least shew of Ostentation, that whosoever observed her de­portment, could not but conclude,1 Sam. 1.12, 13. Sancti sine vo­ce cl [...]mant ad Deum. — Inspirante Spiritu san­cto apud De­um per silen­tium Sancto­rum clamor auditur. Aug. Ser. 90. de temp. that her Prayers (like Hannah's) were more the work of the heart, than of the lips; or as it is said of Moses, that he cried to the Lord, even whilst he kept silence, Exod. 14.15.

And that she might not lose the opportunity of enjoying any part of Divine Service, she ever came to the Church before the beginning of Prayers, at the usual hour.

Nor had she less regard to the Preaching of the Word. She would not miss one Sermon, whilst she was able to go abroad. And she constantly writ every Sermon, which every morning she perused in the following Week: that she might both better digest in Meditation, what she had heard; and that her memory might better guide her in the contexture with the next Discourse upon the same Subject.

This Ordinance she ever highly prized, esteeming it one of the greatest blessings it pleased the divine bounty to vouchsafe her.Isa. 66.2. Heb. 5.14. [...]. 1 Joh. 1.1. 1 Thes. 5.21. She was one of them, that trembles at his Word, which ever had an awe upon her spirit. Having her senses exercised by reason of use (or habit obtained by custo­mary diligence) to discern between good and evil, so that she was able to try the spirits, whether they were of God, and to prove all things, that she might hold fast that which is good; when she was satisfied concern­ing the soundness of the Doctrine, and Orthodoxy of the Preacher, she would receive that which was so Preached, not as the word of man, but as it is indeed the Word of God,1 Thes. 2.13. [...]. Acts 16, 14. which had therefore an effectual opera­tion on her believing heart: which (like Lydia's) was ever open to at­tend with all reverence to the things which were spoken. She considered that she was at that place and time, especially present before God, to hear what his Embassadour had in commission to say to her; what she was about; and to what end she came thither, viz. to learn, not to carp at or despise what she heard. She was so judicious, as to discern the Preachers weakness (if he were such) but yet had so much reverence to the Ordi­nance of God, and charity to the Minister, as to pity, not despise his weak­ness. Her humble heart, like the low Valley,Corfluit enim aqua ad hu­militatem convallis; de­natat de tu­moribus collis. Aug. Ser. 27. de verb. Domini. entertained those refreshing Streams, which were sent forth from the Fountain of Life; that could find no place of abode in a proud and censorious heart.

Such was her pious regard to the Preaching of the Word. Nor had she less respect to both those holy Sacraments, which our Saviour ordained in his Church, in their respective use. Therefore when any Infant was to be Baptized, she would ever attend with all reverence to the whole Office; [Page 38]rejoycing to behold a new Member admitted with such solemnity into the Church; fervently and affectionately joyning with the Congregati­on in Prayers to God for it.

As for the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, she so greatly hungred after that spiritual food, that she would not lose the opportunity of one Sacra­ment, when (as at the feast of Easter) it was more frequently administred. What care she took that she might be a fit guest at that heavenly Feast, may appear by that passage, which was before observed out of her Papers: hum­bling her self in a private solemn Fast, the week before the Sacrament, that she might by self-examination become more sensible of her failings and wants; whereby she might be prepared with more eager appetite, and de­sire to partake of those comforts, which are there represented, ratified, and exhibited to every true Believer. And it appears by her own careful ob­servation, that the fruit was answerable; in these words, Wherein (saith she) I received much comfort.

I have never observed in any Communicant greater evidence of humi­lity, reverence, and devotion than in her reception of the holy Ele­ments; which together with her eager desire, careful preparation, and diligent attendance upon that divine Ordinance, was a sure argument of that great comfort which she received in the use of it.

The last Sacrament which she ever received, was upon June 9. 1672. being the occasion of her coming abroad, after a long weakness, which had confined her to her house, and was indeed the last time of her being abroad. She had a longing desire to receive it in the publick Congregation (hav­ing once before received it in private, by reason of her great weakness) which was (as God was pleased to order it) to the great prejudice of her health. That morning, more than her strength could bear, she rose two hours earlier than of a long time before she had done: the day was very rugged, and the air unmild; so that in all probability her coming abroad was a great cause of increasing her distemper. But with desire she desired to eat with us this Passover before her approaching Death.Luke 22.15. Being therefore conducted by her tender Husband to the Church, after Sermon she received the Sacrament with more than ordinary Devotion: which was indeed to her a blessed viaticum before her departure hence, [...]. into her heavenly Mansion (which was but the tenth day after) where she now enjoys him immediately (without the use of Ordinances) whom her Soul loved.

Besides this conscientious attendance on, and careful improvement of the Ordinances, and publick means of Salvation; her earnest desire of ho­liness, and increase of Grace was evident by the great pleasure she took in godly discourse and conference; wherein that part which she usually bore was proposal of such Queries, in which she desired further satisfaction; with some affectionate expressions arguing self-application, and that seldom (if ever) without contrite tears. Her humble and broken spirit, would ever judge her self unworthy of offered comfort; yet would earnestly listen to [Page 39]it, desiring with David, to hear the voice of joy and gladness, admiring it,Psal. 51.8. and not willfully rejecting what she was urged to receive; entertaining each argument with joyful tears, which might give her any assurance, or hope of divine favour through Christ, on whose alone merits she wholly relied, trampling under-foot all conceit of any worth of her own Righteousness.

And when there was any occasion to speak to her by way of advice, ex­hortation, or admonition; with what complacency would she receive it? What ever was said on such occasion to her (with any evidence from the Word, that it was the Will of God and a declared duty) was ever readily admitted without the least reluctancy or hesitancy. For the true fear of God, and his love shed abroad in her heart constrained her obedience. Yea, so careful was she, that she might not in any thing offend; that she would make request (where she was confident of Faithfulness) to be re­proved; of which I had this experiment. Upon our first acquaintance, when I was but newly settled in the Rectory, having a fit opportunity, none being present, she thus bespoke me: Sir, Herein she imitated that gracious Queen Anna Bullen, who was her great Grandfathers Aunt. Vid. Book of Mar­tyrs, Vol. 2. p. 371. (said she) God hath sent you hither to take care of our Souls; therefore I intreat you, that you would not spare, faithfully to reprove whatever you shall see amiss in me. For she esteemed faithful reproof to be a requisite and necessary duty both of a Minister, and of a Friend. Accordingly having such encouragement, I resolved upon that ground, to deal freely with her, as I should have occa­sion. But I ever observed such an uniform regard of duty, and care of her deportment at all times, and towards all persons; that during the re­sidue of her Life, nothing offered it self, which any ordinary discretion could think worthy of a reproof: so careful she was to practise the Apostles prescript, Phil. 2.15. That ye▪ may be blameless, and harmless, &c.

Such was her Conversation towards God: Therefore,

2. She could not miss to order her Conversation aright towards all sorts of men: which indeed was most lovely and exemplary, her light shining forth, to the glory of her heavenly Father, and the great refreshment of such pious Souls as had the happiness to know her. For,

1. She was of a lovely and amiable comportment towards all with whom she did converse; being altogether unaccustomed to any morosity, or disdain, even towards inferiours, though of lowest rank. In her enter­tainments she was alwaies chearful (which was indeed her constant temper) and even her mirths were not only innocent, but also grateful.

And as her good nature inclined her to love all mankind; Grace di­rected her more especially to affect those that were (in her judgement) beloved of God. She had learned David's lesson,Psalm 15. to honour them that fear the Lord; and also followed his example, in placing all her delight in the Saints that are in the Earth, whom she esteemed of all men the most excellent. These were ever dear to her, though differing in judgement from her in such things wherein we ought to bear with one another. For she loved Religion, not Division.Religio, à ligando. When she admitted any into the num­ber of her nearer Friends; as she was exactly judicious to guide her [Page 40]choice (wherein she was seldom, if ever, mistaken) so she was faithful, and constant, to continue her affection without change, or suspicion of change;Joh. 13.1. imitating therein her Saviour, in loving them unto the End.

2. Nor was she only curteous, but also innocent, and harmless in all her deportment: being of a meek, quiet, peaceable spirit, she became an ab­solute Mistriss of her Passions. I cannot remember, that I ever saw her discomposed by any prevalent passion. Her constant frame was interwo­ven with chearfulness, and seriousness: usually chearful and pleasant in humane concerns, serious in Divine. But never (that upon enquiry I could hear of) either transported with anger, clouded with sullenness, swallowed up with overmuch sorrow, or exorbitant in her joys: though she hath not wanted occasions enough, no doubt (since none can be free) to excite and provoke passion. None could better know how to bear and digest an injury; nor could any be more fearful to do one. None more loth to take offence, and none more careful of giving any. Though she could see as soon as another, any undecent, and provocative misde­meanor of an inferiour: yet she knew how to connive, without any ma­lice towards the offendor: for that Monster had no place in her calm heart. If at any time she found her self mistaken in faulting another (though a Servant) she would be really sorry for it: and I have heard her say, that in such case, she would not grudge to ask them forgiveness.

3. Her Charity and Bounty in giving, was beyond her Estate, which yet was plentiful to her own content, and in which she found no want, but to satisfie her eager desire to communicate, and do more good. Though a less Estate, than she had, would have pleased her thankful and humble heart; yet the greatest would have been little enough to have supplied her Beneficience; being so devoted to practise that Apostolical injunction, viz. to be careful to maintain good Works for necessary uses,Tit. 3.4. Psa. 92.13. &c. Ezek. 27. Rev. 22. that she might not be unfruitful. Having been planted in the House of the Lord, by that River of the Sanctuary, whose Streams make glad the City of God, she flourished in his Courts, bringing forth her fruit in its due sea­son, yea, even in old Age still flourishing.

Verily her Charity was most exemplary, whether we consider its mea­sure, manner, principle, or End.

Her end in giving was not for Ostentation or vain glory, that men might see and applaud her Charity. For so much as was possible, she so concealed it from others knowledge, that none but such instruments as she must necessarily make use of to convey her Alms, and the parties re­lieved might be conscious of it. Her only design was to glorifie God in doing good to his poor Creatures,Mat. 25.40. In this also she imitated (ac­cording to her ability) her noble Ancestor Queen Anna Bullen, Book of Mart. ubi supra. and to his living Temples, which our blessed Saviour takes as kindly as if done to himself.

The measure of her Alms was liberal and bountiful. Her gifts were distributed with a full hand, as her store could furnish her with supplies. For from the time of her Marriage, her most kind and indulgent Husband allowed her (upon her request for this purpose) a considerable monthly [Page 41]which was freely committed to her dispose: of which she was so sparing from other uses, that she would rather abridge her self in some things that her condition might require, than she would pinch her Almes, which was ever proportionable to the case she had under consideration.

The way and manner she observed in her beneficence, was ever directed by Prudence. For seeing such largess must necessarily disable her from the frequency which she desired (that practice being indeed a great part of her joys) therefore she would ever make prudent choice, not only of the way whereby, but also of the Party whom she should relieve.

As for the Party to whom she would extend her Bounty; that she might not cast away her Money, either through indiscretion or vain glory, she was ever careful to discharge this as a Duty, in obedience unto Gods com­mand: not heedlesly giving, but where she was perswaded that she ought to do it: observing that advice, Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, Prov. 3.27. Heb. [...]à Dominis ejus, Domi­num illum ef­ficit necessitate & te Dispen­satorem Deus. Jun. in loc. Psal. 119.72. when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. She would therefore give only there, where she thought it was a due required by God; either by way of recompence for their pains, who laboured and watched for her soul, (Heb. 12.13.) as she was directed by Gods Word, 1 Thes. 5.12, 13. 1 Cor. 9.11. Gal. 6.6. (For she had learned with holy David, to prefer the Law of Gods mouth before worldly Riches) or by way of compassi­on, where there was real, and not pretended necessity. She was perswad­ed, that God required her to help, when he was pleased to present her with such an object of Charity. But then did she judge, she had got the fittest object, when this necessity was accompanied with sincere Piety,Omnibus nos debitores fecit communis hu­manitas; sed fidelibus vin­culum arctius spiritualìs cog­nationis, quam Dominus in­ter nos sacra­vit. Calv. in Gal. 6.10. according to the Apostles prescript, Gal. 6.10. As we have opportunity let us do good to all men, especially to them who are of the houshold of Faith. There she accounted her Charity most due.

But she was not only careful to make right choice of the Party whom she ought to relieve, but also of that way and means, whereby she might do them most good, and her Charity make for the greatest advantage. The Hungry she would Feed, and procure Cloaths for the Naked, and comfort the Sick with such things as she had. That of Job. 29.13. might fitly be applied to her: The blessing of those that were ready to perish, came upon her, and she caused the Widdows heart to sing for joy. She was the poor Orphans Mother, taking some of them into her own Family,Ita singulis su­am pecuniam dividebat, ut singulis neces­sarium erat, H [...]eron. Ep. 27, Job 31.16. others were kept to School, others were placed forth as Apprentices with her Money. For some poor Families she would purchase Cows, that the Children might have Milk; or what other waies she could devise, where­by to help poor and decayed people. Thus she with-held not the poor from their desire, nor would she cause the eyes of the Widdow to fail. Nor was this her practice for a fit, or seldom, but constant, and continued till her dying day, she was not weary of well-doing, nor did she fail to the last; leaving order even at her End for further distribution of the remainder, yet undisposed of. No doubt, but she now enjoyeth a plentiful Crop of that blessed Seed; and her Works follow her.

Such was her converse with others, who were not her Family Relations. What her deportment was towards them, I shall speak the less, because I cannot say enough. She that thus walked with God, and whose Con­versation towards all others, was such as is before declared, must needs be most benigne and respective to all her Relations. To mention her goodness towards each of them particularly, would but too much grate upon their grieved spirits, and renew their yet fresh sorrows for so great a loss.

This I may presume to say, that no Husband could lose a more loving, respective, obedient, and in each regard a better Wife, and Friend: No Child a more tender, loving, careful Mother: No Servant a more lov­ing, meek, provident, indulgent Lady, that could more desire and en­deavour their good. And this not only in reference to their body and outward man; but with more especial respect to their Souls, and spiri­tual state. It was ever her great desire and careful endeavour, that all who were near her, should serve God with her, and that she might ever find them in the fear of God. Nor could any thing more grieve her, than at any time to see any of them offend or sin against God.

As to her carriage in all things towards her Husband, and his recipro­cally toward her. I have never observed in any married pair a greater mutual complacency, than betwixt them two. They lived together as if they had but one Heart, and one Will in all things: that which was pleasing to either, was ever most eligible to the other. Yea, who ever observed any difference of opinion in them, or the least discontent, or ever heard any contest between them; whose only strife was, whether of them should more please and gratifie the other?

But instead of larger reports of her gracious and loving respects to her nearest Relations, these few notes following may suffice to declare her affection to them, and care for them: which I have transcribed out of her own Papers, prepared five years ago (she having long laboured un­der an Hectick distemper) and which she delivered with her own hands, one to her Husband, and the other to her only Son, the day before her Death.

Some part of the Paper to her Husband being dated Feb. 20. 1667. is as followeth,

My dear Heart Sir Thomas Wharton,

OƲR good and gracious God will be thy great support and comfort in all conditions, and will make up all Relations, without whom none could have given any contentment. We have by his mercies lived more happy daies, than almost any: but changes must come to us, as well as to all others. Therefore let us be thankful for all our good we have enjoyed; and be wil­ling and ready to give up what is dearest to us, when he calls, who will do nothing to hurt us, being our most loving Father in Christ, who has bought us with his precious blood. This I believe, Lord help my unbelief, and give me [Page 43]to live the life of Faith and Thanksgiving, and prepare me for his Will, whe­ther Life or Death. I am very infirm, but heart whole, &c.

Then making mention of her only Son,

Of whom (saith she) I need not desire your taking care, for he is yours as much as mine, and I know you love him, &c. I would fain have him much in your company, or under your eye. Though I know, his Youth and your Gravity will not altogether sute; yet I hope you will allow him grains, and he yield you all obedience of Love, as well as Fear. I shall need to say no­thing of his Marriage: for I think we both agree, in desiring he may meet in the first place with Piety, Vertue, and a good Extraction. And if any Wealth or Beauty attend upon these, let it come: they are not ill Servants, though unfit to be uppermost in our desires or esteem. If God give his blessing, a little will be enough; if not, enough will be too little to satisfie the covet­ous desire: from which good God deliver him. I had rather his Education might instruct him to use that little be will have, well; than to covet more, to spend ill.

The Paper to her Son followeth verbatim.

My dear Philip,

I Pray God bless you; and he who has raised you from many illnesses and weaknesses, raise your heart and life to some degree answerable to these great mercies, and all other which I am not able to reckon up. I am at this time, I praise God, well, and have no illness on me; but grow Old, and infirm often: which makes me desire to leave something in charge with you, which you may read, and remember your old Mother by.

In the first place, Love and fear God; and press and strive every day to increase more and more in the love and service of him, in whom you live, move, and have your being. There is no Wisdom or Policy like it. And the more you converse with Gods Word, and his People, the more you will find it, and the better you will like it: For in his Service is perfect freedom. Let me conjure you to let no day go without reading the holy Scripture, and other good Books, as you have leisure; you will find them excellent company. And do not only Read, but consider what you Read, to remember it. I should be very glad, you would early fit, and prepare for the communion of the blessed Body and Blood of Christ; not rashly because others do it, but ad­visedly; finding the want of it, and the preciousness of it; which may give you a true hunger and thirst after it, and all other Ordinances of God; upon which, I pray, attend very diligently. Next, Honour and Love your King, and look upon Rebellion as the sin of Witchcraft. Observe and obey all his just commands; and what ever they be, pray for him, and submit, and suffer what you cannot obey of them; but never rise, nor murmur at any lawful Authority, though it be never so cross to your own humour; but pati­ently bear what you cannot amend. Lastly, Reverence, Honour, Obey, and Love your Father. Obey his commands, observe his instructions, mark his [Page 44]reproofs to prevent the need of them any more. And let them not make you love his company less; for it is his kindness. When he is angry, be your very mild, and discreet in your replies; and do not expostulate with him, but own your fault, which will quickly obtain pardon: for he loves you dearly, and so would I fain have you do him. Be careful of him in Age or Sickness: Love to be in his company. And alwaies choose the best company; for there is no good got in ill, mean company. And avoid, as much as you can, all Debauchery, and these that are so. Let the fear of God first prevail with you; then the pleasing of your Father, and your dead Mothers injunctions, when she was alive. And consider well your Vow made in Baptism, which though it were then promised by others, yet you are bound to perform now, as your Catechise teacheth you. To which end consider the Church-Catechise well, and there you will find your obligation: which I beseech God to enable you to strive to perform in resisting the World, the Flesh, and the Devil; and Loving our good God, and our Neighbours. I would give you warning of two sorts of People; the Flatterer, and the Backbiter; and of being either your self. And when any flatters you to your Face, be not pleased with it, but have a more strict guard upon your behaviour and actions, and examine whether it belong to you or no; if it do, give God the glory; if not, take that occasion to endeavour after being what you would be thought to be. And if you hear any speak ill of others, who do not deserve it: Look to your self; for you are like to have the same, when your back is turn'd. My dear Child, be careful of your waies; and let not these things I say, be slighted by you: for they come from one that loves you, and wisheth your welfare, I assure you; by Name your old Mother,

Mary Wharton.
Feb. 26. 1667.

By this it may appear, what pious and loving regard she had to her dearest, and nearest Relations; that after her Death they might have this (as her last Legacy) to put them in mind of her dear affection to them, and of her most godly desire of their spiritual welfare after her depar­ture. She had reserved these Papers, by her in her Cabinet, till she ap­prehended her approaching Dissolution. And then though exceedingly faint, yet with a chearful countenance (which had ever been her ordina­ry aspect,Index animi vultus. an argument of a serene mind) she with her own hands trans­mitted them to theirs.

And since we are in hand with Paper-evidences of her pious Vertues, it shall not be amiss in this place, to insert the Testimony of the Right Reverend Bishop of Elphin, in Ireland (formerly mentioned) who had spent much of the time with them, during the troubles in Ireland, where­by he had the opportunity of intimate acquaintance with the Family; and therefore most able to give a good account of their Conversation. Having received intelligence of her Death, he writes this consolatory Epistle to her soffowful Husband, from Elphin.

Honoured Sir,

ALthough the decease of your pious Consort, and sense of your loss must needs work an exceeding great grief: Yet the consideration of her holy Life, religious End, and the hope of receiving her again, cannot but revive and comfort you. I need not tell you, that her publick carriage was an exact Commentary upon that description, which Solomon's M [...]ther gives of a Vertuous Woman. Her gentle, discreet, well-temper'd demeanour, all that ever knew her, or had the happiness to converse with her, will without blush­ing be witnessed by them. But that which sets her beyond all verbal praises: As she was of a Vertuous, so of a Gracious disposition. I speak it unfainedly: The fear of God was planted in her heart: she had not an outward semblance, or shew of Piety, but the Power of Godliness; which she manifested in her conscionable frequenting of the publick Ministry; with Mary treasuring up the Word in her heart, and bringing it forth into action. What hours were spent in her Closet, in Prayer, Reading, Meditation, which was a great means of her spiritual progress in Knowledge and Grace, and the surest evi­dence and seal of sincerity, is best known to your self. It pleased God by a long and lingring Sickness, to mean her from the delights of this World, to carry her thoughts and desires Heaven-ward, living fruitfully, and dying comfortably. The Lord shewed in her, that it is not in vain to serve him; and that a constant course of a Religious Life, will minister abundance of sweet consolation at the hour of Death, &c.

And in another Letter of a much later Date, having occasion to make mention of her, he hath these words, Little is nothing, and much not enough to be recorded of her Piety, Loyalty, Charity, and Devotion. Her own Works will praise her in the gates.

Thus much I thought good to Transcribe from the Letters of that Holy and Reverend Prelate, as an unquestionable confirmation of what I have declared in this Narrative.

Hitherto we have had a general account of some remarks in her exem­plary Life: And even as she lived so she died.Qualis vita, Finis ita. Indeed a great part of her Life was but as it were a lingring Death. For many years before her Death, she was afflicted with an Asthmatical distemper, which caused (as I conceive) an Hectick, under which she laboured till she left this troublesome World. No means was left unassayed by her loving and careful Husband; but Nature was by degrees so far spent and weakened, that the continual use of Cordials prescribed by the most expert Physici­ans could not repair, much less restore it, but only a little prolong, and draw out the infirm thread of her daily-dying-life. She that had spent the daies of her Youth, and her more healthful years so studiously in the Service of God, must needs make the greatest improvement of this dis­pensation to the advantage of her inward man, which was daily renew­ed, as her outward man daily decayed; whilst she lived in a continual expectation of her Dissolution.

This gradual decay of natural vigour, together with her wasted s [...] ­rits, [Page 46]and extream shortness of breath considered; we could not expect, that when ever it should please God to visit her with any extraordinary Distemper, threatning Death, she should speak much, though she much desired to do it. Hence it came to pass, that we want the verbal evi­dences of her dying consolations, as also the benefit of her last advice, and dying admonitions to us, who are left behind to bewail our loss of so great a treasure. She seemed to fore-see thus much diverse years before her Death, having had so frequent experience of her inability, to speak after any more than usual motion of her Body, when the humours were stir­ing. This might be one cause (besides those other which we spoke of) that she prepared those Papers to her Husband and Son, to supply the want of words, in case of such feared inab [...]lity. Accordingly (as was most probable) it came to pass: For that very day, after she had received the Sacrament, she retired to her Chamber, which she never afterward left, till her earthly part was carried forth to burial. From which time her speech so failed her by degrees, that at last she did rather whisper than speak (and very difficulty even that) which likewise failed some short while before her Death.

With what remarkable Patience and chearfulness did she entertain these last assaults of her accustomed Distempers, smiling even in the face of Death, as being confident of the Conquest, though she must die in the Conflict? What ever pain, or faintings she endured; you should hear no complaint, or observe any evidence of discontent, but of chearful and pati­ent submission to the Will of her heavenly Father. So long as she was any waies able she ceased not to evidence her earnest desire of, and great delight and complacency she took in our Prayers, and in each consolatory discourse then directed to her. Her careful, and then sorrowful Husband being in Prayer with her, not long before her departure, though strength and voice seemed utterly to have failed, yet she strained her self to utter an audible, and affectionate Amen, at the end of his Prayer, wherein he had re­signed her up to the Lord. Immediatly before her Death I was intreated by her mournful Husband to perform that Office, when she now seemed insensible of any thing said or done: Yet those that kneeled by her, ob­served by the motion of her Hand (her Face being turned from the Bed­side) that she was not without some apprehension of those things which were uttered in Prayer, in her behalf; and conceived that she would have endeavoured to have said Amen in the Conclusion, but could not utter it.

Thus as she lived in Prayer, with it she took leave of the World, to go to her Saviour; where she is partaker of his Prayer, which he put up for her, and all his Elect, whilst he lived on Earth, viz. that they may be with him, where he is; that they may behold his Glory, which the Father hath given him: Which that We also may with Her behold; let us fol­low her Example, and we shall not fail of her Happiness.


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