A FRVIT­FVL AND GOD­LY SERMON; CONTAINING NE­cessary and profitable do­ctrine, for the reformation of our sinfull and wicked liues, but especially for the comfort of a troubled Conscience in all distresses.

By M. Richard Greenham Pastor of DRAYTON.

EDINBVRGH PRINTED BY RO­bert Walde-graue, Printer to the Kings Majestie. An. 1595.

Cum Priuilegio Regio.

TO THE VERTVOVS AND GODLY MATRON, SARA SPE [...]R, Grace, mer­cie and peace, in Christ Iesus, Amen.

DEare Sister, you knowe this World is not your home, but a Pilgrimage, and a place wherein God trieth his chil­dren: And I doubt not, but you haue learned, howe to make right vse and profit of the Lord his merciful chastise­ments: For, the Lord vseth many waies and meanes for the triall of his. I knowe, You haue heard of the patience of IOB, (as saith the Apostle IAMES) and you haue seene in the end, how that God is merciful, patient and long suffering: euen so say I vnto you, that you shall receiue accordingly, if so be you be patient: that is, if you feare God, set [Page] his vvord before your eies, and serue him thereafter: and if hee lay his crosse on you, beare it with patience, the which you shall do, when you considder it, not according to the present sense, but according to the end. Heb. 12. And I doubt not, but you are of the number of them, which are daily dying to themselues, and this sinfull world: Ye are one of them that lookes for a citie, whose builder and maker is God: Heb. 13. 14 Ye are one of them that knowes your selfe and your being,Genes. 15. 13. 14. to be in this earth, but as a Pilgrime and stranger: for heere yee haue no byding place: Yee are one of them which haue made a Covenant with God, Deut. 29. 14. 15. to forsake your selfe, and this sinfull World: Yee are one of them,Mal. 3. 16. vvho say, Nay, The Lord hath all things written in his memoriall book, for such as feare him & remember his Name: Yee are one of them, vvhich haue their Loynes girded about, Luk. 52. 35 and their lights burning in their hands: Like vn­to servants that wayte vpon their Lordes comming: Yea, and I am certainlie perswa­ded, that you (and your godly Brethren and [Page] Sister,) are of the number of them, vvho haue the Lord for their portion, Deut. 32. [...] which haue their hope in heaven, Col. 1. 27. vvhose leader is Christ Iesus the sonne of God, and gover­nour of Heaven and Earth, vnto him is given all power, Mat. 28. 18. he is God almightie with the Father and the holy Ghost, praise vvor­thie for euermore.

Now (deare sister) I partly knowing the present estate of your troubled & perplexed minde, in regard of the want of your grea­test outwarde comfort, I thoght it good, to present you with this sweet Sermon (made by that godly-learned & zealous Pastor of Christs Church, M. RICHARD GREEN­HAM) which by Gods providence came vn­to my handes; containing a comfort for a troubled conscience, he being throgh the mercy of God, a man greatly exercised there­with, and therfore taught the same through his owne experience: hoping, through the working of Gods holy spirit, it shal also mini­ster comfort vnto your trobled mind. Ther­fore (my dear sister) to conclude, I beseech you to be instāt with our merciful God, by harty [Page] praier, for the spirit of wisdome, knowledge, humblenes, meeknes, sobriety & repentance, which euen the best of Gods Children haue great neede of, because our sins continuallie prouokes the Lord our God to be angrie with vs: but let vs beare his fatherly corrections, & acknowledge our faults with bitter tears, and sorrowfull sighes: not doubting, but so hee will be mercifull vnto vs in Christ: To whome with the Father and the holy spirit, be all glory, honour, praise, and everlasting thanks, for euermore. Amen.

Your wel-willer in the Lord
Christ. R. W.

A SVVEET AND COMFORTABLE SERMON FOR A TROV­bled Conscience.

PROV. 18. 14.

The spirit of a man will sustaine his in­firmitie: but a wounded spirit vvho canne beare it.

THIS Scripture is not onely woorthie to be grauen in steele with the point of an Ada­mant, and in letters of golde; but also to bee written and registred by the finger of Gods spirit in the tables of the hearte: which sentence, brieflie speaketh thus much vnto vs; that what trouble soever [Page 8] befalleth a man, his mind vnapalled, he will indifferently beare it out: But if the spirite of a man be once troubled and dismaied, he cannot tell how to be deli­uered. And no marvell, for if the minde of man be that fountaine of comforte, which ministers comfort to him in all other troubles, and if it become com­fortlesse, what shall comfort it? if it be voide of help, where shall [...] be helped? If the eye which is the light of the bo­die, be darknes; how great is that dark­nes? If the salt which sauoreth all things be vnsauorie, for what is it good? If the minde which sustaineth all troubles be troubled, how intollerable is that trou­ble? To shewe this the better, wee will first declare, howe great a punishment of God this wounde of Conscience is. Secondly, we will teach, how this trou­ble of mind may be avoided. Lastly, we will set downe, how Gods children fal­ling in some measure into this afflicti­on of spirit, may be recouered out of it.

For the first, the griefe of this mala­die [Page 9] is seene, either by some due conside­ration of the persones that haue felt it, or by some wise comparison, made be­tweene this griefe of minde, and other outward griefes incident to a man.

The persons, in whome we may con­sider this wounde of spirite, are either meerlie naturall men, or such as be re­newed by the spirite of God: the men meerly naturall, are either the heathen, such as never knewe God in Christ: or carnall professors, such as haue not pro­tested Christianitie aright: If we looke among the Heathen, howe many of them haue willingly gone vnder pover­tie, and haue bene content to vnburden themselues of all worldly tresures, how haue some of them, whilest their minds were vnapalled, suffered imprisonment exile, and extreame tortures of bodie, rather than they woulde betraye their Cuntries: &c. How many of them haue devoured many injuries, and born out­ward troubles with some ease, and with no resistance, whilest their minds were [Page 10] at libertie? and yet look not to the [...] ­nest, but to the best and most excellent men among them, even their wise Phi­losophers, sweet Oratours, and exqui­site Poets; who in bearing and forbea­ring, they thought the chiefest point of vertue to consist: and yet yee shall see, when once some great distresse of mind did wound them; some would make an end of it, by preparing a cup of deadlie poyson; some would violently and vo­luntarilie run on their enemies pykes; some would throwe downe themselues from high mountaines; some woulde not stick to stabbe most monstrouslie their own bodies with daggers, or such like instruments of death. All which men, woulde seeme to haue great cou­rage, in sustaining many harmes, so long as their minds were not ouer mai­stered; but when that devine and su­preame essence which they acknow­ledged, did by his power crosse and o­uerturne their wittie devises, and head-strong attemptes, so as without hope [Page 11] of remedy, they were hampered in pen­siuenes and sorrow of mind: then being not able to turne themselues vnder so heauy a burden, they shrink down, and by violent death, would ridde them­selues of that disquietnes and impati­encie of their troubled mindes. But, let vs come neerer, and whether we behold the Papistes, or the familie of Loue, or the common sort of Christians, we shal see, they will passe quietly through ma­ny afflictions; whether for that they haue a spirit of slumbering and num­nesse cast on them; whether because they haue branned themselues through som sensles blockishnes, as men hewen out of hard oaks, or grauen out of mar­ble stones, I knowe not: but yet when the Lord shall let lose the cord of their conscience, and shall set before their faces their sinnes committed, see what fearfull ends they haue: so, whilest some of them by hanging themselues, some by casting themselues into the water, some by cutting their owne throates, [Page 12] haue ridde themselues out of their in­tollerable griefes. Now, wherein is the difference, that some die so sensleslie, and some dispatch them so violentlie? Surely, the one feeling no sinne, depart like brutish hoggs: the other sure char­ged with sin, depart like barking dogs: But let vs come to the children of God, who haue in some degrees felt this tro­ble of minde, and it will appeare both in the members, and in the heade of all burthens, to be a thing most intollera­ble to suffer a wounded conscience: and to begin with, let vs set in the first ranke Iob, that man of God, commended vnto vs by the holy Ghost, for a mirrour of patience; who although for his riches, he was the welthiest man in the land of VZ, and for his authoritie might haue made afraide a great multitude: whose substance was the greatest of all the men of the East: yet when the Sabeans came violently and tooke away all his cattell; when the fyre of God from hea­uen burnt vp his sheep & his servants; [Page 13] when the Caldeans had taken away his Camels; when a greate winde smote downe his house vpon his children; al­though indeede he rent his garments, which was not so much for impatien­cie, as to shewe that he was not vnsen­sible in these euills: yet it is said, that he worshipped & blessed the name of the Lord, saying: Naked came I out of my mo­thers wombe, and naked shall I returne thi­ther: Howbeit, beholde, when at the strong conference of his comfortlesse friendes, his minde began to be agasht, which was not so in all his former try­all: when his Conscience began to bee troubled, when he sawe the Lord fasten in him sharp arrowes, and to set him vp as a Butt to shoot at: when he thought God caused him to possesse the sinnes of his youth, this glorious patterne of patience, could not beare his griefe, he was heauie, and so may commend to all, the image of a wounded spirite that shall come after. Dauid, a man chosen according to the Lords owne heart: E­zeckiah, [Page 14] a pure worshipper of God, and a carefull restorer of true Religion, Iere­miah the Prophet of the Lord, sanctifi­ed and ordained to that office before he was formed in his mothers wombe, were rare and singular in the graces of God: yet when they felt this wounde pearcing them, with grief of hart; they wer as Sparrows mourning, as Cranes chattering, as Pellicanes casting out fearful cries: they thoght themselues as in the graue, they wished to haue dwelt solitarie, they were as bottels parched in the smoke, they were as Doues mourning, not able without sighes & grones to vtter their wordes, their hartes claue to the dust, & their tongues to the roofe of their mouth: but aboue all, if these were not sufficient to perswade vs in this doctrine, there remaineth one ex­ample, whome wee affirme to be the perfite annotomie of an afflicted mind; that is, the Lord and Saviour of vs all, Christ Iesus, the Image of the Father, the heade of the bodie, the mirrour of [Page 15] all graces: the wisedome, righteousnes, holines and redemption of all Saints; who sustained the crosse, even from his youth vpwarde, besides povertie, base­nes, and hunger, did willingly vndergo that great trouble of contempt and re­proch, and that among them, where he should haue had a right deserued ho­nour, in respect of the doctrine that hee taught them, and in regard of the ma­nifold miracles wrought among them: as the healing of the sicke; the giuing sight to the blinde; and restoring life to the dead: this vnkindnes neverthelesse, did not so much stick into him; but, at what time hee was set as a sacrifice for all, when hee was to beare our infirmi­ties, and carie our sorrowes; at what time hee was plagued, smitten of God, humbled and wounded for our trans­gressions; when hee should be broken for our iniquities, and the chastisement of our peace was vpon him, then he cri­ed out, My soule is heauie euen vnto the death, then hee praieth, O Father, if it be [Page 16] possible, let this cup passe from me: but how praied hee? even with sweating: howe sweated he? even drops of blood: how often praied he? three times: when en­ded his agonie? not till hee was deade: what said he being ready to depart? My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken mee? was this for his humane death, as some haue imagined? no, wee wicked men haue died without complaint, whose patience then might haue seemed to exceede his: it was his suffering in his humane spirite, which encountered with the wrath of God, his God-heade suppressing it for a while, hee suffered many torments in his bodie, but much more heavilie did the wrath of God lie vpon his soule: if this consideration of an afflicted spirite in these examples, doth not sufficiently shew, what a grie­uous thing it is to suffer a wounded conscience, let vs proceed with the com­paring of this with other euils, which falleth into the nature of man: there is no sicknesse, but phisick prouideth it a [Page 17] remedie: there is no sore, but Chirur­gerie wil afforde a salue: freindship hel­peth povertie: there is no impreson­ment, but there is hope of libertie; sute and favour recouereth a man from ba­nishment: authoritie and time weareth away reproch. But what phisick cureth: what chirurgerie salveth: what riches ransome: what countenance beareth out: what authoritie asswageth: what salue delayeth a troubled conscience? All these banded togeather in league: though they would conspyre a confe­deracie, cannot help this our distres of a troubled or vnquyet mynde. And yet this one comfort of a quyet mynd doth wonderfullie cure, and comfortablie a­swage all other griefes whatsoeuer. For if our assistance wer, as an host of armed souldiers: if our friends were the Prin­ces and all the governours of the earth: if our possessions were as large as be­twene the east and the west: if our meat were as Manna from heaven: if our ap­parell were as costelie, as the Ephod of [Page 18] Aaron: if euerie day were as glorious as the day of Christs resurrection: yet our mindes, beeing appalled with the judgement of God, these things would little comfort vs. Let experience speak, if a troubled mynd impaireth not helth & dryeth not vp the blood, consumeth not the marrowe, pyneth not away the fleshe, and consumeth the bones: if it make not all pleasures painefull, and shortneth not the life: surely no wise­dome can conceale it, no counsell can advise it, no advise can asswage it, no as­swagement can cure it, no eloquence can perswade it, no power can over­come it, no scepter will affray it, no En­chanter can charme it; and yet on the contrary. If a man languish in sicknesse, so his heart be whole, and he is perswa­ded of the health of his soule; his sick­nes doth not grieue him. If a man be re­proched, so he be precious in the sight of God and his Angels, what losse hath he? If a man be banished, and yet doub­teth not, that heaven is his cuntrie, and [Page 19] that he is a Citizen among the Saints, it doth not appall him. If a man be in trouble, and findeth peace of Consci­ence, he wil quietly disgest his trouble: but if the minde be troubled, who da­reth meete with the wrath of the Lord of Hostes? Who can put to silence the voice of desperation? Who wil step out & make an agrement with the highest to spare vs? Who dare make a cove­nant with the devill, that he would not lay claime to vs? If then a good consci­ence helpeth all evills, and all other be­nefites of this life, in them selues can­not help a troubled conscience, nor see it true by proofe, which heare it by pro­uerb, The spirit of a man will sustaine his infirmitie, but a vvounded spirit who can beare it? Againe, in all other afflictions, we may haue some comfort against sin, but this is ever accompanied with the accusation of sinne: A man may be sick, reproched, imprisoned, and yet in all these haue a cleare conscience, his own heart telling him, that there is no spiri­tuall [Page 20] cause of these crosses in him, but that he may suffer them for the triall of his faith, or for righteousnes sake and wel doing: but where the spirit is woun­ded, there is still a guiltines of sinne; and when a mans spirit is troubled, hee suspecteth all his waies, hee feareth all his sinnes, he knoweth not what sinne to begin with, it breedeth such hurlie-burlies in him; that when it is day, hee wisheth it were night, and when it is night, he would haue it day: his meate doth not nourish him, his dreames are fearfull vnto him, his sleep often tymes forsaketh him; if he speake, hee is little eased; if hee keepe silence, hee boyleth with disquietnes of heart: the light doth not comfort him, the darknesse doeth grieue him; to prosecute our compari­son: where all other evills are the more tollerable, because they be temporall and pursues vs but to death; this not be­ing cured, endeth not in death, but be­commeth eternallie: for even the Hea­then men thought, that death was the [Page 21] end of al miseries: the perswasion there­of, made them being in some miserie, to make an end of themselues, and ha­sten their owne death; as Sathan doeth make many now adaies to do, who are ignorant of the Hells, which is a place of far greater paine, than any they can suffer in this world whatsoeuer. How­beit, a tormented conscience, if before it was begun, is now continued; or if it were not before, nowe beginneth, and never endeth, world without end. For, though true it is, that povertie, impri­sonment or banishment, haue ended their times in death, yet a wounded heart, which was temporall in this life; that which before death was in hope recoverable, is after death made both vncurable, and vnrecoverable. It is good then to considder, if even in this life, the torment of Conscience bee so fearefull, how much more grievous it is to sustaine it in hell, where that is infi­nite, which here is finite; where that is vnmeasurable, which heere is measura­ble, [Page 22] where is the sea of sorrowe, where­of this is but a drop; where is the flame of that fyre, whereof this is but a spark: But to shut vp argument, some there haue beene, that throughout their life time, haue beene free from other trou­bles; so as either they felt them not at all, or in very smal measure, and by that meanes never knewe their head-ache: For povertie, never knewe what want meant: who for discredit, were never e­uill spoken of; who ever put farre from them the evill daye of the Lord: who haue made a league with death (as it were) and a covenant with hell; who thoght they could crucifie every crosse rather than come vnder any, yet they could never escape a wounded consci­ence, either in this life or in the life to come: true it is, that Gods children by faith and repentance doe oft escape it; but the wicked and such as are borne to it, as to their sure inheritance, the more they flie from it, the more it pursueth them. If we transgresse the civil lawes, [Page 23] the Iudge by bribes may be corrupted: If a man haue committed some capital offence by flying his Cuntrie, hee may escape the Magistrates hands: But our conscience telling vs, that we haue sin­ned against God: what bribe shall wee offer, or whither shall wee flee? where shall we go from his spirite, or whither shall we flee from his presence? If wee ascend into heauen, is hee not there? If we lie downe in hel, is hee not there? If wee flie to the vttermost partes of the earth, is he not there also? there nedeth no Paritoure to summon vs, there nee­deth no Bailife to fetch vs, there needes no accuser to giue in verdite against vs: sinne will arrest vs, and lieth at the doore, our owne conscience will impa­nell a queast against vs, our own hearts will giue in sufficient evidence, and our iniquities will pleade guiltie to our fa­ces: Thus wee see, both by the expe­rience of them that haue suffered the wound of the spirit, and the comparing it with other evills: what a weight most [Page 24] grievous, and a burthen intollerable it is, to haue a tormented Conscience. Nowe, let vs shewe howe we may pre­uent it, and by what meanes Gods chil­dren often fall into some degrees of it: but if it rage in extremitie, it is an euill vnrecoverable, yet many safely and qui­etly be deliuered from it: and heere a just complaint is to be taken vp; and it is a woonder to be marked, (if we may wonder at Gods works) that we see ma­ny so carefull and watchfull to avoide other troubles, and so few or none take any paine to escape trouble of minde, which is so grievous; we see men loving health, and loathing sicknesse; in dyet temperate; in sleepe moderate; in phi­sick expert; skilfull to purge; and so to avoid such corrupt humours which in time many breede, though presently they do not bring forth sicknes: yet to avoide the diseases of the soule, no man abateth his sleepe, none abridgeth his dyet, no man prepareth phisick for it, no man knoweth when to be full, and [Page 25] when to be emptie: howe to want, and howe to abounde: others, carried away with the loue of riches, and fearfull to fall into povertie, will not stick to rise early, to take sleepe lately, to fare hard­ly, to travell and tyre their fleshe in la­bour, by Land and by Sea, in faire and fowle weather, by rockes and by sands, from farre and from neere: but to fall into spirituall decay, to avoide the po­uertie of Conscience, noe man taketh such paines, as though salvation and peace in mind, were a thing not worth the labouring for: some ambitiouslie hunting after honour, and not easilie digesting reproach, behaue themselues neither sluggishly nor sleepily, but are actiue in every attempt, by loue and by counsell; by prudence & prowesse, by wit and by practise, by labour and lear­ning, by caring & diligence to become famous, and to shun a civill reproch: yet to be glorious in the sight of God and his Angels, to fall before the heavens, and in the presence of the Almightie, [Page 26] to be covered with shame and confusi­on of conscience, wee make none ac­count, as they, who neuer vse means to obtaine the one, nor avoid the occasi­ons which may bring the other: others vnwilling to come within the daunger of the Lawe, that they may escape im­prisonment of the body, or confiscati­on of goods, will be painfull in penall statutes, skilfull in every branch of the civill lawes; and especially, will labour to keep themselues from treasons, mur­ther, fellonies, and such like offences of life and death; yet when the Lord God, threatneth the losse both of soule & bo­die, the attaching of our souls▪ the con­fiscating of our consciences; the banish­ing vs from heauen; the hanging of vs in hell; the suspending of our salvation; the adjudging of vs to condemnation, for the breach of his commandements: no man searcheth his eternall Lawe, no man careth for the Gospell, neither the sentence of an everlasting devorce­ment from the Lord: neither the cove­nant [Page 27] of reconciliation is esteemed of vs. And to reache out our complainte one degree farther: beholde, the more wee seeke outward pleasures, and to a­uoide the inward trouble of mind, the more we hast and runne into it: and we speed to plunge our selues in a woun­ded spirit, before we be aware: who po­steth more to become riche, who ho­peth lesse to become poore, than the Marchant man? who adventureth grea­ter treasures, who hazardeth his goods, who putteth in jeopardie his life, and yet suddenly hee rusheth vpon the rock of hardnes of heart, or else is swallow­ed vp of the gulfe of a dispairing mind, from which happilie, he cannot be re­deemed with a ship-full of golde? Wo­full proofe hath confirmed, howe some men whollie set vpon pleasure, such as could not away to bee sadde, and hed­ged vp alwaies of godly sorrowe, haue had their troubles made snares vnto them, and even their excesse of plea­sure, hath brought excesse of sorrowe: [Page 28] and whilest they laboured to put the e­uil day farre from them, they haue vsed such follies, as haue bene the bitter and most speedy hangmen of their sorrow­full Consciences. There be some of an other sorte, who never dreaming of a troubled mind, haue had their hearts set on nothing, but howe they might get some great fame & renown, and there­fore haue slipt into such dangerous at­tempts & foule flatteries, as they haue not onely lost the peace of their Con­sciences, but also fallen most deeply in­to shame, which they sought to shun. Nowe, as the peace of Conscience and joy of mind, is such a treasure, as the eye hath not seene, the eare hath not heard, nor the tongue cannot expresse, but passeth all vnderstanding: so the wounded spirit is such, as the eye hath not seene, the eare hath not heard, nor the tongue vttered it, but passeth all vnderstanding▪ and as they onely knowe what the peace of minde meaneth that feele it, so they a­lone can in trueth speake of a troubled [Page 29] minde, that haue tasted of it by experi­ence. But let vs shew what way is to be vsed, to keep vs from this wound of spi­rit; it is the vse of Phisick, as to cure vs from diseases when wee are fallen into them, so to preserue vs from sicknesses, before it hath taken holde of vs: so it is the power of the word, as to aswage the trouble of Conscience, when it doeth once presse vs, so to prevent it before it hath overtaken vs. It is a chiefe point of worldly wisedome, not to tary for the vse of phisick, till we be deadly sick; but to be acquainted with Gods mercifull preservatiues to defend vs from it: like­wise, it is a chiefe pollicie of a godly Christian, not onely to seeke comfort when the agonie is vpon him, but also to vse all good helpes, to meet with it before it comes: and if wee condemne them of follie, who will not as well la­bour to keepe themselues out of debt, as to pay the debt when we owe it: so it is a madnes, not to be as circumspect, to avoid al occasions which may bring [Page 30] trouble of minde vpon vs: as we would be provident to enter every good way, which may drawe vs out of this trouble when wee haue once entered into it: these remedies preservatiue are first the searching of our sinnes, and then the examining of our faith: the examining of our sinne, is either the due acknow­ledging of our sinnes, or the sence and feeling of them, the acknowledging of sin, is either of those that be past, whe­ther we haue repented of them, or of those that are present, whether we are truly greued for them: Thirdly, of those secreet corruptions to come, whether we are reverently afraid of them: con­cerning sins past, we must call to mind the sinnes done of old in our youth, in our middle age, and in our old age, that we judging of our selues, may not be judged of the Lord; that accusing our selues, Sathan haue no occasion to ac­cuse vs; and throwing downe our selues before the Lord, he may lift vs vp: for many going quietly away, and sleeping [Page 31] securelie in their sleeues, notwithstan­ding the sinnes of their youth; and neg­lecting to make conscience of their sins done long agoe, sodainly haue fallen into such horrour of mind, that the vio­lent remembrance of all their sinnes sure charging, they haue beene over­whelmed: this examination doth then rightly proceed, when it is reached to the errours of this life, and to the sinnes of our youth; because many, even from their childe-hood, by a civill righteous life, hauing escaped grosse sins, where­with the world culd never charge them, haue notwithstanding caried the bur­then of more secreet sins done in their youth: David Psalm. 25. 7. prayeth the Lord, not to Remember the sinnes of his youth: Iob, the man of God confesseth, that the Lord writing bitter thinges a­gainst him, made him to possesse the iniquities of his youth: what shall wee think, that David, or Iob were giuen to notorious wickednesse in their youth, no: but they knew they were subject to [Page 32] youthfull wantonnes, and vntamednes of affections; which though it did not burst out, yet it made them lesse careful to glorifie God; with loosenes, the way to lewdnes; with weaknes, the way to strange vanities; with wantonnes, the way to open wickednes, is even in the best of Gods Children in the daies of their youth: which being afterward in the time of their regeneration, brought as it were to judgment, and laid before their consciences, doth cause them to repent. But heere is a thing to be blush­ed at, which maketh mens eares to tin­gle when they heare it, that many men no doubt, farre from this true Repen­tance, can largely indeede discourse of the things done in their youth, but with such a braverie, with such a bosting, & pleasing of themselues therein, as be­sides, that they provoke others to sinne in the like, and set a flat back of brasse a­gainst Repentance, and this Christian examination; they seeme to renewe the decaied colours of their old sinne, with [Page 33] the fresh sent of their second pleasure therein: But alasse, what pleasure haue they in those things whereof they haue no profit? What profite haue they of those things, whereof they should be a­shamed? neither in this straint can wee forget the madnes of them, who may seeme to steppe one degree further to­wards this examination of sinne, than did the former, by thinking that the lea­uing of sin, and the repenting of sinne is all one: against these, both daily ex­perience, and the word of God doeth sufficiently declare. Iosephs bretheren, (Iacobs sons,) who devised evill against their brother, put him into the pitte, and solde him to strangers, did cease from this crueltie; but yet are not read to haue remembred their sin with any remorse; vntill 13. yeares after this sin was com­mitted, as we may see in the processe of the historie: David had left his sinnes of murther and adulterie, as thinking all quitte, and well the space of a whole yeare: After which time, being admo­nished [Page 34] of the Prophet Nathan, hee re­pented of it: and experience hath tryed in many that haue had some-working of God in them, that though they left their sinnes many yeares agoe, yet be­cause they repented not truly for them, they haue rebounded vpon them with terrible sightes, and fearefull visions to humble them, and to bring them to a serious examination of them, beeing done and lefte long since. Examples whereof, we need not fetch from farre, seing so many Preachers as ar acquain­ted with fearefull spirites, will giue vs witnesse hereof: the fruite of which a­mazed minds for sinnes, alredy is ours, to beware of sinnes that are to come; and that other mens harmes may teach vs blessed wisedome. Let vs labour not onely to leaue sinne, which one may do for profite, for feare, for praise, or for wearisomnes; but also to repent of it for Conscience sake. This examination of our sinnes past, must be partly of those which we committed before, and part­lie [Page 35] of those we haue done after our cal­ling: every man, especiallie hauing his reason reformed by the word of God, will graunt an examination of the life, before our true knowledge of God in Christ, to be most needfull: but it may be thought, we neede not to be so pre­cise in the searching of those sins which were after our knowledge: but seing of al other, those sinnes bite the sorest, and pearce deepest, for that they are aggra­uated with all the mercies of God go­ing before▪ and sin is then most sinfull, when after we knowe the trueth; after we haue bene delivered from sinne; af­ter we haue beene enlightned with the good grace of God, we haue fallen into it. I think that examination most espe­cially is to be had of these sins: where­fore, to iterate our former examples in a new matter, as we may see the former kinde of examining: first, from sins be­fore our calling, in the sonnes of Iacob: so wee haue a patterne of the latter in the practise of the Prophet David, who [Page 36] at the hearing of his sinne was so trou­bled in his spirit, that he could not rest: in the Prophets speach, telling him his sinne was forgiuen him, but stil was dis­quieted as one vtterly forsaken of God, and as though he could finde no com­fort of Gods spirit in him: For, as it fa­reth often in sores, so also it commeth to passe in sinnes, we are loath to haue our woundes often grated on, we can­not so well away to haue our sores rife­led, seared, lanced, but fedde with hea­ling salues: so we are hardly brought to haue our Consciences seared, or our sinnes ransacked, sifted and ripped: but coulde still haue them plastered with sweet promises, and bathed in the mer­cies of God: whereas it is farre safer, be­fore incarnatiue & healing medicines, to vse corasiue and mundifying waters: without which, though our sores may seeme to close and skinne vp apace, yet they proue worse, and being rotten still at the core, they haue aboue a thinne skinne, and vnderneath deade flesh: In [Page 37] like maner we would cloak, wee would hide and couer our sins as it were with a curtaine: but it is more sounde Chi­rurgery, to prick and parch our consci­ence with the burning yron of the law, and to cleanse the wounde of the soule, by sharp threatning; lest that a skinne pulled over the conscience for a while, wee do lament the rotten corruption, which remaineth vncured vnderneath: and so wee be constrained to crye out, that our sinnes openeth. As it is a folly then to dissemble our sores whilst they bee curable, and after to make them knowne when they be vncurable. So it is as great folly, to dissemble our sinnes whilest they may be remedied, and so after be constrained with shame for to blaze them abrode, when they are vn­remediable. But of this by the way, be­cause we shall more largely touch it in the part to come: It is sufficient to com­mit sinne before knowledge, but after knowledge to sinne, breedeth either hardnesse of heart, or a troubled heart; [Page 38] both which we shall avoide, if in trueth we be carefull to watch our affections, and beware after our deliverie, wee fall not into sin againe. Severall men, sub­ject to severall sinnes, haue their seve­rall cloggs in their consciences: some are overcome with wrath, and yet after the moodie sitte, they can tell that the wrath of a man doeth accomplish the righteousnes of God: Some are subject to lust, and afterward they say, it profi­teth them nothing: some are giuen to a continuall course of vanitie, whome notwithstanding canne say, that mans life hath another end: Some sleeping deepe into worldlinesse, and yet they be often wakened with terrible checks of Conscience: well, blessed are they, whose heartes are truely grieved with sinne: and let them beware that make a daliance with sinne: for either hard­nesse of heart will overtake them, or a troubled Conscience will confounde them: Wherefore, it oftentimes com­meth to passe, that many spending of [Page 39] their bodies on lust, do lament that e­uer they so abused their strength; ma­ny given too much vnto the pleasures of this life, haue great griefe and sor­rowe comming vpon them, to remem­ber howe they haue mispent Gods gra­ces, lauished his good giftes, and mis­spent their tyme: or else, if they haue not this griefe, they fall into voluptu­ousnesse, and drawe such a thick skinne vppon their heartes, as will cause the most strongest denouncing of Gods just judgements to redownd, be they driven on never so harde: And sure it is the sinne of this world, when men be­ing controwled in their owne heartes and Consciences; and that whilest they are a praying, do feele a secreete charge laide against them, to make them to beware of falshoode in bying and selling: for, either they haue these checks lesse and lesse, and so they grow too prophane; or else, afterwarde they are woonderfullie wounded, that they haue beene so worldlie, so greedilie [Page 40] pursuing earthly things, and so coldly purchasing heavenly things: thus even our privie thoghts not profited by, are breeders of farther trouble. Nowe the remedie against this trouble, is willing­ly and wittingly not to cheerish sinne, to wish that the minister should touch our most privie and secreet sinnes; to be glad privatlie to be admonished, to profit by our enemies when they do re­proch vs; rather to desire in such a cause to be humbled, than to suffer our selues to be flattered: This trying of our selues must yet stretche it selfe further, not on­ly to the committing of evill, but to the omitting of good: as when after some good working and feeling of the spirit, we beginne to fight and conflict with our own consciences, saying: though I must pray, I must haue time also to pro­uide for my Family: If I go to heare the word, surely I shall be in danger to lose this profite: If I thus attend vpon this exercise of Religion, I shall be cut short of the vse of my pleasures. Wherefore, [Page 41] it shall be good to search our heartes, both in the careles not vsing the means, saying to our selues in this manner. I haue heard a Sermon, but alas! without any feeling or working of my afflicti­ons: I haue bene praying, but with no power of the spirit: I haue receiued the Sacraments, but without those joyes glorious and vnspeakable which I was wont to taste of: I sawe the Discipline of the Church executed, but without any feare of sinne in my selfe, or com­passion of the members censured: And heere I dare for my owne observation, assuredly affirme, that outwarde sinnes haue not bene sometimes so grievous to Gods children; as that they haue sometimes vsed the meanes with little reverence, and with lesse fruite: and no marvell, for we shal see, that many men are sometime not so much grieved for their sicknesse it selfe, as for that they haue, either willinglie neglected the meanes, which might haue preserued their health; or they haue abused the [Page 42] Phisicke, which might haue restored their health to them againe. In like ma­ner I say it fareth with them, who either vnreverently haue refused the meanes which should keep their souls from for­getting: or else vnthankfully haue abu­sed those helpes, which might haue re­covered them againe. From hence it commeth, that some men are as much grieved, for not vsing their good giftes to the benefite of Gods Church, as o­thers are troubled for pestering of the Churche with vnprofitable corrupti­ons: As wee shall see a rich man some­times as much humbled for not giving money to the poore, which hee might haue done: As for heaping vp riches falsely, which hee ought not to haue done. And thus many hauing received good giftes and graces from the Lord, are received and sanctified by afflicti­on, wherby they are taught to put their giftes in vre, and to offer their service vnto Christ: and others are feared to hide their gifts; who cannot be without [Page 43] some decay of Gods glory, without any offence to the weake, without the losse of many saints, which otherwise might be woone to the Gospell; and without the strengthening the hand of the ad­uersarie, to slaunder our dumb and dark profession: all which things, will in the end bring terrour of minde; because, if the Lord cannot worke vpon vs, by ta­king away goods, freinds, credite, wife, children, or such like, to bring vs to re­pentance; hee will surely whip our na­ked consciences, he will enter even into our very entralls, & pearce our secreete bowels: As we must examine our souls thus for sinnes past, and sinnes present; so must we loose this practise in sinnes to come, and this is very needefull, for were it that our life were such, as nei­ther before nor after our callings, men might justly accuse it; yet the hidden corruptions of nature, may threaten som hainous downfall in time to come; which hath made men of very good re­port and conversation, to hang downe [Page 44] their heades, and feare their secreet hy­pocrisie, as that which may break faith, to the shame of all the former in time to come: But because we forget to speak of them, that in the examining of their liues past, were much grieved for the want of sinceritie, and privie vaine glo­ry in themselues: Let vs before wee go to the searching of our heart in sinne, to come to speak somwhat of this, men traveling for this privie pride are either touched or not touched. If the vale of sinne was so great in them, that it hidde Christ from them; it is the good will of God, that by this sight of the most se­creet sinnes, they should come to see that righteousnes that is in Christ Ie­sus, and so they shall the better be kept from being justiciary Pharisies; for be­ing a long time well brought vp, and leading a ciuill life, the devill woulde perswade vs of some inherent righte­ousnes in vs: It is the wisedome of our God to touch vs with the conscience of most hidden corruptions, as also to ter­risie [Page 45] and make knowne vnto vs, that e­uen from our birth, there was ever se­creet seed of sinne in vs, which without the Lord watching over vs, wold sure­ly haue broken forth to his dishonour: As for them that haue had some work­ing in them, and yet are often plagued with sore diseases: this trouble com­meth to them for two special causes, ei­ther for some hypocrisie, that they did more in shewe than in trueth: where­fore, the Lord bringeth them backe a­gaine, to see their corrupt proceeding; and that they may knowe all their Reli­gion to be but hypocrisie, all their righ­teousnes to be vnrighteousnes: or for the abusing of their knowledge, in that they made it but a mask to jugle in, and that they made their affections to fight with their dreamy judgment: wee must remedie this, by not thinking of our selues aboue that which is meet, and by laboring to imbrace the truth in truth: And heere lette vs note, that many of Gods children accuse themselues of hy­pocrisie, [Page 46] when indeede they offend not in it; for the most righteous persons are their owne greatest accusers; and yet that accusation doth justly arise of some fault of their partes: for though they haue done things in truth; yet because with trueth, they laboured not to see their secreet corruptions; in some other matters, they sustaine this trouble of minde; so that there is nothing harder, than to sift and search our hearts to the bottome: whether we respect our sinnes past, or our sinnes present; whether we looke to our privie pride, hidden wants, or secreet corruptions: and to returne from whence we were digressed, to the examining of our hearts in sin to come; Let vs obserue, that in Gods Children, there is such a jealosie, as they tremble at the first motions, & quake at the least occasion of sin: although because vice will sit in residence very neere vnto ver­tue; there may be somtime in them too much scrupulousnes: this feare causeth the dearest Saintes of God to reason in [Page 47] this sort: O Lord, I see howe many ex­cellent in giftes and beginnings, whose death were not like to their liues: This is true, whether we look into the word, or into the world: and it is a thing that may much humble vs: For though we may remember what wee haue beene, and knowe what we are; yet who canne tell what may come to him heereafter: Oh that the serious meditation hereof, woulde dwell longer vpon our Consci­ences, that with an holy jealousie, wee might prevent the sin that is to come: But alasse, there bee some venturous Knights, which think it no masterie to offer themselues to masking, minstril­sie, and dauncing: nor to runne into quarrels, brawles, and contentions: as though they had their eies, their eares, their hands, and their feet in their own power, at commandment to vse as they list: howbeit, Gods children better fen­ced with grace, than those bold buzards ar afraid of these occasions; as knowing that their eies may soone be provoked [Page 48] to lust; their eares may quickly listen to vnchast delights; their hands may sud­dainly strike a deade blowe; their feete may easilie be snared in carnall plea­sures: Beware O man, be circumspect O woman; that thou prosecute not thy selfe to so much libertie: for though in comming to such lascivious or conten­tious places, thou didst purpose none evill; yet for thy ventering without war­rant, thou maist bee over the shoes in sinne, and plunged in some wicked at­tempt, over head and eares ere thou be aware, & yet because vice is so consine vnto vertue. Beware also of suppression, for still the enemie laboureth, either to make thee too hardy in sinne; or else he will cause thee to be too fearefull, and superstitious; either he will puffe thee vppe with presumption, or assault thee with desperation: to these temptations our nature is very plyable. First, to pre­sumption, as may appeare by our com­mon speaches: Tush, the Preacher is but a man as I am; I am sure he hath in­firmities [Page 49] as others haue: we are no An­gels, our nature is corrupt, wee are but men: I am sure hee would not haue vs Gods: Thus the Devill commeth to tempt them; but hee apparelleth him­selfe in an other suite, when hee com­meth to accuse; and then of a flie, hee maketh an Elephant; of a prick of a pin, a globe of the whole earth; of a mould­hill, a mountaine: and presseth sillie souls with feares and terrors, that they knowe not how to wind themselues: If he can bring them to make no consci­ence, where they should make consci­ence: hee will labour to bring them to make conscience, where they shoulde make no conscience: hee careth not whether ye will be remisse or supersti­tious, so ye will be one of them: If hee cannot get you to followe the Epicure sinne of the world, as Libertines in dy­et and apparell, he wil make you so pre­cise, as to thinke it an hainous sinne to eate one bitte of meat, or to weare one ragge of cloth more than for necessity. [Page 50] Howe needfull therefore, it is to sayle with an even course: we may conjecture by other things, which will bewray the corruption of our nature: In the time of a plague, we shall see some so bolde, that without any lawfull calling or god­lie warrant, they will rush into places infected, and then falling sick, their conscience pricks them for their tempting of God, by an vnadvised boldnes in the houre of their death; others plunged as deeply in a contrary extremity, are too fearefull, when they do but heare of the sicknes, and for very feare haue beene brought to deaths doore, by imagining themselues to haue bin infected, when they haue bin most free, who often ha­uing even dyed without any naturall cause, that ever could be knowne, but only through an immoderate feare, and the judgment of God comming vpon them for their infidelitie and vnbeliefe. Thus it is with vs in our extremitie, in that as wel the oppressing of our selues with too much feare to be overcome, [Page 51] as the carnall securitie in not fearing to be overcome, may bring sinne vpon vs: Gods children must labour for a mea­sure, and that must be sought for in the word, which wil teach them, howe they shall neither decline on the right hand, nor on the left; but wil guid them in the narrowe way; shewing in every thing what is the vertue, and what is the vice; what is the meane, and what is the ex­treame: among many examples let vs consider, zeale a most precious vertue in christianitie, so long as it is free from the extreamities: otherwise, if wee be cold in zeale, it is a sin on the left hand; if we be zealous without knowledge, it is preposterous, and becommeth a sin on the right hand: but cannot we come to som perfection? No, if ye vnderstand it for an absolute vnspottednes; albeit, to that perfection, which the scriptures take for soundnes, trueth and sinceritie of heart, which is voide of carelesse re­mission, wee may come: neither doeth the Lord deale with vs after our sinnes, [Page 52] nor rewarde vs after our iniquities; in whose eies, the most glorious actions of man, are but as waters flowing pure­ly from the conduit, but defiled by pas­sing through a filthie channel. Where­fore, though we haue our imperfecti­ons, let vs not seeke to be more righte­ous than we can be, saying for every er­rour of this life, Oh, I am none of Gods sonnes, I am none of his daughters: for I cannot finde that perfection which is to bee required: but let vs comfort our selues in the trueth of our hearts, and singlenes of our desires to serue God, because he is God, and so we shal be ac­cepted of God. I speak this to this end, that poore souls might heare comfort, and know, that if they abhorre sinne as sinne, if they examine themselues for it, if they grone vnder it, if they mislike themselues for it, if they feare to fall in­to it, the Lord wil not pursue them with the rigour of the Lawe, but will giue to them the sweetnes of his promises, they are noe more vnder the curse, but vnder [Page 53] grace: but farther to inforce our exhor­tation, to avoid too scrupulous, a feare which hindereth the true examination of our hearts: Let vs thinke, that it hap­neth in the spirituall conflict, as in ci­uill warres: We reade, that many Cit­ties lying in great securitie, haue sud­denly, beene both assaulted and over­throwne: and also how some Cuntries, too much negligent in the warres, tho­rowe an excessiue fearfulnes, haue en­couraged their enemies with more gre­die violence to praye vpon them: with which kinde of stratagems, our adversa­rie the Devill beeing well acquainted with, often practiseth this pollicie, if he seeth vs without all feare, too quietly to rest in our selues, he thinketh his as­sault must needes be the stronger, be­cause our assistance is the weaker: A­gaine, if hee discrieth in vs a cowardlie feare and fainting of heart, before wee once begin to joyne battell with him, he wil set vpon our moderate feare, and as villanouslie as suddenly, stabbe vs to [Page 54] the heart, and make a present spoile of vs: common practise doth further teach vs, that when wee can heare the worde without all trembling at Gods judge­ments; when wee can pray without all feare before the Majestie of God; when wee can come to the Discipline of the Church, without al reverence of the or­dinance of the Lord, al in vaine. Again, let vs heare with too much trembling, and we shall learne nothing; let vs pray with too servile a feare, and our woor­shipping of God, will bee without all comfort, vncheerful. Thus if we neither lessen sin, that is indeede; neither make sin of that which is not sin in trueth; it is good to proceed to this threefold exa­mination, & to lay the edge of this do­ctrine more neere our afflictions, be­cause many will be found in this ripe­nes of knowledge, and barrannes of conscience, to speak and dispute of all these things very skilfully, which flickring, in the circumference of the braine, & not setling at the heart, do seale vp a more [Page 55] just sentence of condemnation against them: To help this evill with, we must meditate deeply vpon the law and Go­spell, togither, with the appertenances of them both; that finding our selues far from Gods blessing, and seeing our selues neere to the curses due vnto the breakers of the lawe, we may raise vppe some sence of sin in our selues: yet here­in we must not stay, but go forward: for whereas many by the diligent viewe of the law, haue come to the sense of sin in themselues, and saw their own condemnation: yet because they labored not to see their guiltinesse acquited, by the re­mission of sinne in Christ; they plunged in a bottomles sea of sorrowes: others having passed those degrees, & hither­to made these steps to avoid the wound of Conscience, haue come short of the mark; who, besides the sense of sinnes pardoned by the deth of Christ, felt not the vertue of his passion crucifying sin in them, but saw, that with remission of sins was not joined mortification of sin; [Page 56] feared that there was no forgiuenes for them, but stil languishing with sorrow, they thought their soules to stand char­ged with their former guiltinesse; yea, and which more is, for that such men haue not truly bin instructed, nor sure­ly haue bene grounded in the doctrine of Christ his death and resurrection: that is, for that they sawe not aswell power flowing from his death to sley sinne in them, as vertue to pardone sin in them; for that they felte not aswell strength vnto sanctification, striving from the rising again of Christ, as they were perswaded of justification & righ­teousnes therein: They haue lyen still bleeding at the heart, in such sort, that the wound of griefe could hardly or ne­uer be stopped and stanched: wherfore, let vs strengthen our weake soules with this sevenfold coard of consolation, a­gainst these bitter assaults: let vs first la­bour to know sinne, then to sorrow for sinne, after to feele our sinnes in Christ forgiven; farther to looke for power to [Page 57] crucifie the same, then to lay holde on Iustification, by his Resurrection; and lastly, hope for strength, to proceede from thence to further vs in sanctifica­tion, and holines of life even vnto the end. And thus much briefly for that se­cond thing which we matched in com­panie with the examination of sinne, e­uen vnto the triall of faith; both which rightly vsed, shall in some measure fafe­garde vs from the trouble of afflicted mindes. Now let vs hasten to the third part of our division, to shew how Gods children being fallen into this wounde of spirit may be helped out of it: which God willing we also wil performe; after we haue answered a necessary objecti­on, which in this former part might seeme to encounter against vs: There is no man but will graunt, that David, Ia­cob, and others of the saints of God, had a sight of their sinnes, a sorrow for their sinnes, a tast of their remission of sinne: and yet how commeth it to passe, that these men were so trobled in mind. To [Page 58] this I answer, that their trouble so befel them, either for failing in some of those former things, or else they were rather afflicted for the triall of their faith, than for the persecuting of sin in them; and therfore be it alwaies provided, that we think not every conflict of conscience, continually & chiefly to be for the pur­suing of our sins, but sometime & prin­cipally for the scoring of sin, as we may see in Iob, wherevpon, let all men be ad­monished, when as they see good men thus humbled in minde, to laye their handes on their mouthes from saying: Surely, these men are but Hypocrites, doubtles these men be great sinners, the Lord hath found out their iniquitie, the Lord hath discovered their hypocrisie; for good reason there is, that such si­lence should be vsed: for that the Lord may aswell make triall of their faith, as take punishment on their sinnes: for if such afflictions should alwaies & chief­lie be sent for sinne, then it should fol­lowe, that all others, as they exceeded [Page 59] them in sinne, should also exceed them in that punishment of sinne: but nowe comming to the salving of this sore, I shal seeme very strange in my cure, and so much the more to be wondred at, by howe much in manner of proceeding I differ from the most sort of men herein; I am not ignorant, that many visiting of afflicted consciences, cry still, Oh! com­fort them, oh! speake joyfull things vn­to them: yea there be some, and that of the learned, who in such cases are full of those and such like speeches: Why are you so heavy my brother, why are you so cast downe my sister, be of good cheere, take it not so grievouslie, what is there that you should feare? God is mercifull, Christ is a Saviour; these be speeches of loue indeed: but they often do the poore souls as much good here­in, as if they should powre colde water in their bosomes, when as without far­ther searching of their sores, they may aswell minister a malady as a medicine: For as all nutriture and carnall mede­cines [Page 60] are not good for every sicke per­son, especiallie, when the body needeth a strong purgation, then to minister matter restoratiue: And as all incarna­tiue medicines may for a time stay the paine of the patient, but afterwardes the griefe becommeth more grievous: So comfortable applying of Gods pro­mises, are not so profitable for every one that is humbled; especially, when their soules are rather to be cast farther down, than as yet to be raised vp: so, the sugered consolations, may for a while over heale the Conscience, and abate some present griefe: but so as afterward the smart may be the sorer, & the griefe may growe the greater. Heereof ensu­eth this effect, that comfort seemeth to cure for a while: but for the wante of wisedome, in the right discovering of the cause, men minister one medicine for another; and so for want of skill, the latter fit grindeth them sorer than the former. Some there are, that without all precepts and practise, will be their [Page 61] owne Phisitions; and these, so soone as the fitte commeth vpon them, thinke it best to chastise & chase away their sor­rowe, by drinking at Tavernes, by min­strilsie, in merry companies, by purge­ing melancholies, in taking phisick: all which, may seeme to weare away the paines for a while; but yet after it biteth more deeplie; when the burning feaver of their spirites shaketh them with the second recourse: and for that they were not before trulie searched, purged, sea­red and launced; it comes to passe, that the second relapse is the more dange­rous. To come to our purpose, we must knowe that all griefes are either confu­sed or distinct, and sure it is, that the mind is appalled, either for some cause knowne to vs as certaine, or for some­thing vnknowne to vs, and vncertaine to them which are troubled with such blinde griefes; whereof they can see no reason. As oft it hapneth to Gods chil­dren in secreet election, who either ne­uer knowe God, or else had but a gene­rall [Page 62] knowledge of him. I answere, that as I deny not phisick to be ministred, if in any parte it proceede of a naturall cause, so I require the word especiallie, to shewe the principall and originall cause to beginne in the soule: I do the rather, because I would haue wisedome both in the considering the state of the bodie if need so require, and in looking chieflie to the soule, which fewe thinke on: If a man troubled in Conscience, come to a Minister, it may be, he will look all to the soule, and nothing to the bodie: If he come to a Phisition, he on­lie considereth of the bodie, and negle­cteth the soule: For my part, I woulde neither haue the Phisitions counsell se­uered▪ nor the Ministers labour negle­cted: because the soule and bodie dwel­ling together, it is convenient, that as the soule should be cured by the word, by praier, by fasting, by threatning, or by comforting: so the body should be brought into some temperature by phi­sick, by purging, by dyet, by restoring, [Page 63] by musick, and such other like meanes: provided alwaies, that it be done so in the feare of God, and wisedome of his spirite; as we think not by these ordina­rie meanes, to smother and smoke out our troble, but as purposing to vse them as preparatiues; wherby both our souls and bodies may be made more capable of the spirituall meanes to follow after: As wee require these thinges to be the matters of our ministerie in such a per­plexitie; so we would wish the persons ministring, to be men learned, and of sound judgment; wise, and of godly ex­perience; meek, and of most loving spi­rits: for when the troubled patient shall be well perswaded of our knowledge & discretion; and therewithall shall per­ceiue vs to come in loving and tender affection: I think an entrance is made, and all prejudice taken away, so as we may more freely worke vpon that con­science: First, bring them to the sight of sinne, as to some cause of their trouble, wherein we must labour to put away al [Page 64] confusion and blindnes of sorrowe by wisedome; to bring the parties woun­ded to some certaine object and matter of their troble, and so draw out of them the confession of some speciall secreet and severall sinnes: I say secreete and severall sinnes, because I knowe, howe that many through a palpable blinde­nes, or disordered discerning of sinne, talke nothing so much as of sinne, and yet either they cannot descrie severall sinnes, or they will not be brought to acknowledge their secreet sins: where­of the one proceedeth of the ignorance of the Lawe of God, the other of selfe­loue; which maketh vs loth, even in our trauell of minde to shame our selues: Now, that confession of particular sins is requisite, it may appeare by the 32. Psalme, wherein being a Psalme of in­struction, concerning the forgiuenes of sinnes: the Prophet by his owne expe­rience teacheth vs, that he could finde no reliefe of his sicknes, vntill hee had remembred and made confession of his [Page 65] sinnes: What shall we think of the Pro­phet of God, which taught so wonder­fully by the word and by the spirit, and did not see his sins before: be it far from vs, rather let vs, knowe, that he had not severally and particularlie ripped vppe his sinnes before the Lord, in a severall confessing of them, which though the Lord knowes farre better than wee our selues, yet such kind of sacrifice is more acceptable to him. Nowe, in this trou­ble, the persons humbled cannot come to this particular sight of sinne in them­selues: It is good to vse the helpe of o­thers, to whome they may offer their hearts to bee gaged and searched; and their liues to be examined more deep­lie, by hearing the several articles of the Law, laid open before them: whereby, they may square the whole course of their actions. For as we said before, the grossest hypocrite will generally com­plaine of sinne; and yet deale with them in particular pointes of the particular precepts, and proue them in the apply­ing [Page 66] of things to bee done or vndone to them, to their owne conscience; and we shall see many of these poore souls tos­sed to and fore; nowe fleeting in joyes, nowe plunged in sorrowes, not able to distinguish one sin from another. Now, when we shall see the wound of the spi­rit, to arise of any certaine and knowne sinne: it is either for some sinne already committed wherein wee lie, or else for some sin yet not committed, but where­unto wee are tempted. For the former, it pleased God often to bring old sinnes to minde, when we haue not throughly repented of them before, so as it nowe representing them to vs a fresh, we may fall into a more misliking of them; and yet herein is not al, to mislike our selues for some particulars, although it bee good to be occupied about some speci­all sin: for, as it is not sufficient for the avoiding of hypocrisie, to see sin gene­rally: so it is not ynough to eschew the damnablenes of the heart, ever to bee purring in every particular, and to be [Page 67] forgetfull of the great and generall sins: and lette vs learne by the particulars to passe to the generalls. When any such one sinne doth pursue the rest, not one­ly therein, but say thus rather vnto thy selfe; O Lord, is this our sinne so grie­uous, and doth my God punish this one so sorely? howe great should be my pu­nishment, if thou shouldest (O Lord) so deale with me for all my other sinnes? Let vs labour to haue a sence, both of particular and generall sinnes, lest in time our grief passe away without any fruit, whilest, that not being displeased with one sinne, aswell as with another, we either look to such specially and ge­nerally. Concerning those sins where­unto we are tempted, as when a man is noted to think blasphemouslie of God the Father, or to doubt whether there is a Christ or no, or to imagine groslie of the holy Ghost, or to deny God, or to doubt of the Trinitie, or to be moved to adulterie, or such like. In all which temptations, hee feeleth the spirit, oft [Page 68] checking him for them; so as he know­eth not in this case what to doe; that on the one side he dares not listen willing­lie to such feareful & monstrous temp­tations: and on the other side, he fea­reth, lest then by long sute, he might fal into them: or at least, for that hee seeth not howe to be delivered from them. I suppose, these motions are not so much to be disputed with, as we by them are to bee provoked to a more instant and extraordinary zeale of prayer: Surely, these are dangerous temptations, and therefore are not to be kept close with our nature, which easily will incline vn­to, but particularly are to be confessed of vs: for the Deuill will come some­times to thee, to keep thee still in a ge­neral acknowledging of sinne, and vrge thee on this manner: Surely, thou must do this sinne, thou seest thou canst haue no ease vntill thou hast consented, thou art ordained to it, the reason why thou art tempted, is because thou doest not thus take thy pleasure, go to deny God, [Page 69] beleeue not his word, it is but a polli­cie to keepe men in awe, Religion is no such matter as men make it: Thus, for feare of yeelding of the one hand, and for shame of disclosing temptations on the other hand, many men haue pyned away, and almost haue bene overcome by them: If we should disclose this, saith these men, what woulde people say of vs? they would count vs Atheists, they would think vs the wickedst men in the world: Well, for instructions and con­solations, let vs learne herein, that these kinde of temptations, are either corre­ctions for some sinnes past, or punish­ment for some sinne present, or forwar­ner of some sinnes to come: Wee shall see many tempted to adulterie, who no doubt, can not be brought to commit it: and because they repented not of it, it came to them againe, that in their youth they haue committed it: the like may be observed in these, gluttony, and in other temptations, which are not so much seen to vs presently to overcome [Page 70] vs; as to put vs in mind, that sometimes heretofore, we hauing bene overcome with them, shuld now repent for them: Sometimes a man shal ly in some sins, whereof, when hee will not be admoni­shed, neither by the publick and privat meanes, even then some other strange temptation shall fall vpon him, diffe­ring from that wherein he presently ly­eth, to admonish him of that other sin. As when a worldling shall be tempted to adulterie, a thing which hee hath no desire to doe: yet it is to make him to look to his worldlines; when he hath so strong and so through a liking, where­at, if he wil not be awaked, he may sud­dainly fal into that to; and so by the pu­nishment of God, in punishing one sin with another; both his sinnes vnto his shame shall be laid open, and one sinne shall make known another. Sometime also it commeth to passe, that one shall be tempted with such a sinne, as neither heretofore nor presently he hath given any liking or intertainement vnto; and [Page 71] yet the Lord by it may forewarne him, howe he may fal into it hereafter; as al­so to shewe, that he hath stoode all his former life rather by the grace of God, than by the strength of flesh and blood: Wherefore, when thou art mooved to doubt of God, of Christ, of the word, of justification; do not so much stand won­dring at these strange temptations, as think with thy selfe, that it is the mercy of God by them, to cause thee better to discerne of those temptations in others. When thou shalt haue observed with feare and trembling, howe they may make their first entire into a mans hart, howe they gather strength, howe they agree with our corrupt nature, in what degrees they come vnto some growth, how the spirit of God doth resist them, what be the meanes best to prevaile a­gainst them: and thus if thou make thy profit by them, thou shalt so wonderful­ly search and descrie by severall veines, the body, age, & strength of these temp­tations in others, by an holy experience [Page 72] which God hath taught thee in others; that besides that, thou shalt lay foorth mens secreete corruptions, as if thou were in their bosomes, thou shalt be a­ble by the seede of sorrowe in thy selfe, to beget an vnspeakable joy in others: who in time may be tempted, as thou nowe art. Thus moreover and besides, that such is the efficacie of sinne, that they who nowe are no Papistes, Here­tikes, Adulterers or Theeues, may for their secure contemning & foolish pas­sing over of these temptations sent vn­to them sodainly, shortly after fall into them: because they would not seeme to make some vse of them, nor confesse be­fore the Lord, both their pronenes and worthinesse to fall into them: But if we will humble our selues in such tempta­tions, and learne by them, meekly to di­scerne the corruptions of our heart, we shall not onely deliver our selues pre­sently from peril; but be further inabled to assist others hereafter in the like dan­ger: but some will oppose against these [Page 73] things which wee haue delivered. Do you think it is a remedie, to cast downe them that are already humbled, this is rather to be a butcher than a builder of a mans conscience? to whome I answer, that I desire Preachers to be builders, and not butchers: and it is a thing gene­rally to apply, and another thing parti­cularlie to lay the medicine vnto the wound: It is good to begin the sore by the viniger of the Law, and after to sup­ply it with the oyle of the Gospell; both which must be done in wisedome, vsing them to some in greter, to some in les­ser measure: For, as some hauing no­thing but a decay of nature, and no na­turall humour neede rather restoratiue than purging medicines: so rather some troubled for some spiritual wants, than for grosse sinnes, need not so much the sharpe threatnings of the Lawe, as the sweete promises of the Gospell: But if the body through some extraordinarie repletion, hath gotten some gret surfet, not so much to the weakning of nature, [Page 74] as to the thretning of imminent death: and therfore, doth rather require some strong purgation, than comfortable and cordiall medicines. Then the soule brought to deaths doore with extraor­dinarie sinne, is rather to be boared and pearced, with the denounce of God his judgement than otherwise: but because we would deale more plainly, and lesse confusedly, it is good in our accesse to an afflicted conscience, to lay these two grounds: First, wee must perswade the parties humbled, that their sins are par­donable, and their sores curable: and af­ter, that this visitation is not so much a signe of Gods wrath and anger, as a seal of Gods mercie and favoure: in that it is not either blinde or barren, but plen­tifull in good effects, and fruitful also in godly Issue: This sorrowe, how neede­full it is, the experience of so many (al­most) as haue bene throwne downe, is a sufficient witnes, who haue had this, as a tagge tyed to their temptations, that never any wer so plunged as they, [Page 75] none ever had the like temptations: the Lord will surely make an ende of them in some strange and vnknowne temptation, wherein they are not vn­like to men fallen into some dangerous disease, who thinking to be without the fadome of Phisitions skill, and not to be within the compasse of things recove­rable, do adde a second and sorer griefe to their former: wherfore, as these men seeme to be half healed; when any man of knowledge can be brought, who by experience hath cured the like malady in like degrees in others, so then the sorrowfull soules are not a litle by hope refreshed and strengthened, for to look for some ease, when they canne see no other temptations to haue overtaken them: then such as hauing fallen into the nature of man, haue founde mer­cie at the handes of God, that he might be feared. This ground work framed, is good to build vp and repaire the decay­ed joy of the mind; partly by the Lawe, to make a preparatiue for those joyes: [Page 76] If the minde not truly humbled, is not fit truly to be comforted, & namely by the Gospell: if the Conscience kindely throwne downe, is become a fit subject to apply the sweete promises of God in Iesus Christ vnto it. And here again, to answer you that deny the Law whollie or not at all to be vsed, when we would breed comfort in one. I demaund, whe­ther it being necessary to mantaine the righteousnes of Christ, it be not also as necessarie to maintaine the righteous­nesse of the Lawe: seing the righteous­nes of the Lawe of vs not fulfilled, will driue vs to the righteousnes of Christ, to vs imputed; which is never through­lie and truly esteemed, vntill we see the righteousnes of the Lawe, of vs to be vnperformed. Againe, if our Saviour Christ did foreshew his Disciples, that the first worke of the holy Ghost at his comming, should convince the worlde of sinne: to make men know, that with­out Iesus Christ, there is nothing but sin: and then that he should rebuke the [Page 77] world of righteousnes, that they might see, howe Christ died not for his owne sinne, but for the sinne of others. I see not why it should not be very convenii­ent, first to lay open the righteousnesse of the Lawe, that men may see their sin; and then the righteousnesse of Christ, that men may see their sin discharged in him: besides, where the Lord saith by his Prophet: At what time soeuer a sinner doth repent him of his sinne, from the bot­tome of his heart, I vvill put all his sinne out of my remembrance. It may well bee gathered, that there must a sounde sor­rowe for sinne go before, and then the true joy of sin pardoned, may the more frely, by vertue of this promise, be both hoped for, and looked for afterwarde. Moreover, seeing the whole promises of God in the Gospell, are commended to vs vnder the title and tenour of resto­ring sight to the blind, hearing to the deafe, strength to the lame, helth to the sick, and life to the dead: It is manifest, not onely that there is no disease of the [Page 78] soule which Christ cannot heale; so al­so, that wee must first finde our selues blinde, deafe, dumb, lame, and dead; be­fore he wil medle with vs: because they that are whole, never need the Phisiti­on: and he came to call sinners, and not the righteous to repētance. Now, to do this in wisedome, by neither pressing the con­science too severely; nor releasing the conscience more vnadvisedlie: it shall be the safe way, to vse the well tempe­red speach of the Apostle to the Sorce­rer, Repent, that if it be possible, thy sinnes may be forgiuen thee: where he doth not wholly discourage him, because it may be, his sinne may be pardoned: neither yet too boldly to incorage him, in that without repentance, hee sheweth it al­together impossible to bee pardoned: and that we be not too preposterous in our consolation, let vs bee warned by that blasphemous speach of that dete­stable Arian; who of late yeares was put to death at Norwiche: this hellish here­tike, a litle before hee should be execu­ted, [Page 79] afforded a few whorish teares: asked whether he might be saved in Christ or no: when one told him, that if he repen­ted he should surely not perish: he brea­keth forth most monstrouslie vnto this speache: Nay, is your Christ so easilie in­treated as you say, then I defie him and care not for him: Oh! howe good a thing had it bene, not to haue cast this preci­ous stone to this swine: Oh! howe safe had it bene, to haue dealt more bitterly and to haue dealt more vehemently vp­on the conscience of this Caitife. Now to attaine some discretion in curing of this wounded spirit, we learne wisely to judge of the person afflicted, and of the nature of his affliction: First, wee may note, whether it be a man or a woman: because wee may vrge more carefully, the vse of the law to a man as being the stronger vessell: and as Sathan knewe her to be most easie, and framable to be wrought vpon at his first temptation, so hee is not ignorant, that shee is the weaker partie to sustaine accusation; [Page 80] then let vs considder, whether they that are thus humbled haue knowledge or no: because, if they haue no knowledge, then they think trouble of minde to be so strange a thing, as never any before had it: If they haue knowledge, then Sa­than is redy to accuse them of the sinne against the holy Ghost; as though every sinne done against knowledge were a sinne of presumption: farther, we are to inquire howe strong or weak they are: that if they be surely stricken, wee cease to humble them any farther: If they be not sufficiently wounded, then to touch them with some deep sense of sinne: al­so, we must be circumspect to find out, whether by nature they be more feare­full & melancholike or no: as also, whe­ther they be vsuall sinners, or haue fal­len ever of infirmitie; that so vpon their disposition and inclination, wee may build our speaches the better: To these it is good to adde the consideration of the persons age, estate, and abilitie: as if the party be troubled for worldlines; [...] [Page 81] [...] [Page 80] [Page 81] whether he be not a great housholder: If hee complaine of his estate; whether he be a young man and vnmaried: If he be humbled with covetousnes; whether he be not olde, because divers cuntries, callings, ages, conditions, and estates of men, haue their divers & peculiar sins; which wee must rightly discerne: how­beit of what sects, sorts, man or woman; [...] what complexion soever they are; of what knowledge to discerne sinne; of what degree in committing sin; of what age, authoritie, wealth, estate, or condi­tion soever they are: It is good to mark, that there be many, who are more tro­ [...]led for the vexation and disquietnes of their minde being distempered, than for the vilenes and horriblenes of their [...]nne committed: who are wounded more with feare of shame, with feare of being madde, or with the feare of run­ning out of their wittes, than with the conscience of sinne: which thing, if wee finde in them, it is our parte to travell with them; that they may make a lesse [Page 82] matter of the outward shame, & more conscience of the inward sinne; neither must we herein forget to make a distin­ction betwene our speaches vsed to the humbled, in the very time of their ex­treame agonie, & burning ague of their troubles; and those speaches which we vse then, the fit being past; because the former requireth more consolation & lesse exhortation than the other; and the latter wold haue vs more abundant▪ in admonishing, and more sparing in comforting, when wee may wisely ad­monish them to beware of sinne, which so procureth their own woe in this bre­thing time. It is also expedient to ex­hort them, that for some season, vntill they shall finde greater power in rege­neration, they would tye themselues to some holy orders & godly vowes: that thereby, they either may be furthered in mortifying some speciall sin, which for that they could finde no power a­gainst it, did most greue them, or stren­thened in some speciall grace, the want [Page 83] whereof, did also wounde them: but be­fore we launch deep into the sea of par­ticular temptations; and begin to sound the dangerous passages of natural cor­ruptions and originall sinne: the trou­blesome froth whereof, doth almost o­uerwhelme many poore Pilgrimes: It shall be good to giue this caution, that both in these, and in the former trobles, men would be stil admonished, patient­lie to bear with a wounded spirit, albeit it falleth out so, that they be somewhat pettish, seeing the holy Ghost speaketh so favorably of them: saying, a wounded spirit who can bear it. And surely, our pra­ctise in other things, by the law of equi­tie may vrge this at our handes: For if men by the light of reason, can see it to be a dutie convenient, not frivolouslie to travell; but meekly to suffer, & wisely to put vp vnadvised speaches of a man, distempered in braine, by reson of some burning ague, or other vehement sick­nes. We may easily gather even by this rule of reason; not so severely to sensure [Page 84] the impatient speaches of him, who by reason of some parching feavour of the spirit, is disquiered in mind; and hath all the veines of his hart (as it were) in a spirituall agonie vexed: wherefore, both vnsavorie of godly wisedome, & vncha­ritable for want of Christian loue, are their murmuring obtractations, which say, What is the godly man? Is this hee that is trobled for his sins? why see how pettish he is, nothing can please him, no body can satisfie him. Consider O man, if thou canst bear with a frail body, that thou must much more bear with a fraill mind: consider, that this his pettishnes doth more wound him to the hart, than any injurie thou couldest pearce him with: and therefore, seeing he afflicteth his own soule for it, thou must not adde any thing to his afflictions, and to exa­sperate his smart: considder, that it is a blessed thing, mercifullie to bethink vs of the state of the needy: and that to rub a fresh wound, and to straine a bleeding sore, is nothing else, but that which Iobs [Page 85] friendes did, to bring a newe torment where there is no neede of it. If the wise Father, rather doeth pittie than rebuke his child, when by reason of sicknes the appetite is not easilie pleased: so if wee purpose to do any good with an affli­cted mind, we must not be austere in reprehending every infirmitie; but pati­ent in considering of it, as tender frail­tie: neither do I speake this, to nourish pettishnes in any, but wold haue them to labour for patience, and to seeke for peace: which though they finde not at the first, yet by praier they must wait on the Lord; and say, Lord, because there is mercie with thee, that thou maiest bee feared: I will wayte vpon thee, as the eye of the servant waiteth vpon the eye of his ma­ster: I will condemne my selfe of follie, and say: O my soule, why art thou so heavy, vvhy art thou so cast downe within me, still trust in the Lord for he is thy helpe and thy salvation.

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