THREE GODLY TREATISES.

  • 1. To Comfort the Sicke.
  • 2. Against the feare of Death.
  • 3. Of the Resurrection.

WRITTEN IN FRENCH By Mr. I. D. L'Espine, Preacher of the word of GOD in ANGEERS.

And Translated into English, by S. VEGHELMAN.

¶ Nullo nisi in Deo Salus.

LONDON Printed by W. Stansby for Richard Ba [...] ­werth. dwelling in Pauls Church-yard at the Signe of the Sunne. 1611.

TO THE RIGHT worshipfull Sir THOMAS MIDLETON Knight, and Al­derman of this Citie.

SIr, your Wor­ship may well account mee bold to dedi­cate this my bare Translation vnto you but indeede I know not well how to auoid the imputation, because that if I should haue presented it to any other, I [Page] must haue done you wrong, as the case standeth; for may it please you to vnderstand, that being in your Sonnes studie at Grayes Inne (vnto whom for a while I read the French tongue,) he chanced amongst other bookes to find out the o­riginall of the two last Trea­tises of this booke, which in our perusing, J in my poore iudgement found to be such worthy matters, that I could not content my selfe with the reading of them, but bor­rowed the booke of him, and [Page] my wast times tooke occasion (as well for my owne further satisfaction, as to impart it vnto others, my particular friends,) to translate it in­to our English tongue, not meaning to haue had it published in print. Which when your said Son (whom J haue still found to bee a louer of such godly workes) vnderstood, hee was very desirous to haue it printed, alledging that it could not chuse but bee verie pro­fitable for the Common­wealth, [Page] whereunto (although somewhat vnwilling in re­gard of my weaknesse in the performance thereof) yet at last I condescended, and to amplify the volume, annexed another excellent Treatise to comfort the sicke, written by the same Author, which for order sake I haue placed before the other two, and do present them together vnto your Worship, as belonging vnto you of right; beseeching you to take them in as good part as they are willing­ly [Page] offered, and to haue in mind in your iudiciall cen­sure, that although I haue not shewed the part of an ex­cellent Orator in setting of it forth in our newe refined Phrases, yet that J haue done the duty of a faithfull Translator, in following the originall word for word so neere as with sence J could. And if this my first little labour shall proue agreeable and profitable, I shall not on­ly thinke it well bestowed, but also be much encouraged, to [Page] goe on with the rest of the same Authors works which will bee of a greater conti­nent, wherein at the request of some, J am already well entred. And thus beseeching the Almighty to grant you plentie of his Graces, I com­mend you, and all yours to his most blessed protection. From my house in London this 14. of May. 1611.

Your Worships at commaund, S. Veghelman.
¶To the Ouerſeers of …
¶To the Ouerſeers of …

¶To the Ouerseers of the Church of ANGEERS.

IEsus Christ not without cause amongst those things which he commands vs to require of God in our praiers, doth enioyne vs to demaund that hee leade vs not into temptation: for, regarding on the one side the weaknes & infirmity which is in vs, & on the other the enuy and de­sire which the diuell hath of our ruine, the diligence & pursuit which he vseth to procure it, and finally the subtilties, meanes and practises that he holds to attaine thereunto, incessantly search­ing for to deuoure vs like vnto a roa­ring Lyon rauening after his prey: we haue great neede to stand vpon our gard, and to watch and pray for to preuent his ambuscadoes and surpri­sings, to the end we bee not caught in his nets. And for as much as the last assaultes which an enemie giues to those that are besieged, are [Page] ordinarily the hardest & most furious, we must prepare betime, and prouide our selues (during our life) of those things which shall be necessary for vs at our death, for to arme our selues a­gainst the great assaults which then the diuell makes to cary vs away. knowing wel that if he faile at that time the place is lost for him, and that it behoues him shamefully to raise his siege, without hope to come thither any more. Now the weapons & engins wherewith we should principally furnish our selues, are faith, and the word of God; faith by the which we apprehend the grace of God, and the iustice of Iesus Christ, for to serue vs for a buckler and target, to couer and defend vs from the flames of the enemy. And the word for to assault him vigorously, and to cast him on the ground, as did Iesus Christ. For there are but these two means by the which we are able to withstand or repulse his assaults, and carry away a full victory ouer him. Therfore is it (my brethren) [Page] that I haue gathered you out of the Scripture some notes, proper for to comfort & strengthen you against the tentations, wherewith you may be as­saulted at the point of death. But I pray you not to stay till that howre, to take them, & to arme your selues with them; doing as do the negligent Captaines, who stay to furnish the places which are committed vnto them, with things needfull for to keepe them, till they are compassed and enuironed with men of war, wherby it often hapneth, that fin­ding themselues vnprouided of means needfull for to defend themselues, and so finding themselues astonied, they presently forsake them, & easily yeeld vnto the enemy. But by the example of the Ant and the Bee, make your proui­sion in due time and season, to the end that when the winter comes you may be wel prouided of all that shalbe need­full easily to passe & sustaine the rigor thereof. Aboue all, I pray you to note in the treaty which I send you those pla­ces [Page] which are therein alledged against rashnes and presumption. For they are the two principall tentations which the diuell ordinarily employeth for to ouerthrow vs: representing before our eyes, either the multitude & greatnesse of our sins, for to cast vs headlong into a mistrust of the mercy of God: or our vertues and good works, for to raise vs vp vnto presumption and vaine confi­dence therin. These are the two ropes (saith S. Augustin) which this tormēter doth continually vse to strangle & stifle men with, if they take not heed of him. But it shall be easie for you to preuent these dangers, calling often to minde that which is said in the scriptures, tou­ching the corruption & vanity of men to humble them, and on the other side that which is also spoken of the great and infinite mercy and grace of God, to assure them of their saluatiō. I hope that with his helpe, my labour writing vnto you this little Treatise, and yours in the reading of it attentiuely, shal not be vnprofitable. So be it.

THE PREFACE.

FOR asmuch as death of it selfe is fearefull, and that we cannot chuse naturally when we see it come neere vs, but we must abhorre it, and that our minds must bee then assayled with many and sundry feares, and tyred with many cares, it is good to thinke vpon it in good time, and foreseeing it, make a good prouision in our minds, of that which may comfort and strengthen vs, against all the apprehensions that either may any way trouble or disturbe them in vs. Whereun­to nothing is more necessarie, then to haue the word of God alwayes ready and at hand, thereby to strengthen our faith on euery side, where the diuell would either breake, or make breach therein: as wee see our Sauiour IESVS CHRIST did, [Page] who by this meanes sent backe Satan con­founded, who came to present himselfe vnto him in the wildernesse to tempt him. And it is an vndoubted thing that a faith so grounded vpon such rockes as are the promises of God and Iesus Christ, who is the warranty thereof, can neuer be beaten downe, what shockes soeuer the di­uell and our other enemies can hit against it. Which is the reason that hath induced mee to write this little Treatise of the comfort of the sicke, wherein I haue brief­ly gathered the passages of the Scripture which haue seemed mee most fit, to treate and deduct this matter well. If it may profit and bring any edification to the Church of God, it is all that I haue pre­tended or desired in the writing therof.

A TREATISE TO COMFORT THE SICKE, AND TO AS­SVRE THEM AGAINST THE FEARES AND APPRE­HENSIONS OF THEIR SINS, OF DEATH, OF THE DIVEL, of the Law, and of the Anger and Iudgement of God.

THE life of all men that liue in the world is besieged on euery side with many aduer­sities; whereof some are par­ticular to some, and the o­thers are generall and common to all, as are Death, and the diseases which tend there­vnto, the which ordinarily astonish vs by so [Page 2] much the more, as they are more dangerous, and that there is lesse meanes to auoid them. For although that Kings, Emperours, and other Princes, and great Lords can some­times (with the helpe of God, and the great meanes which hee hath administred vnto them preserue and warrant themselues from many dangers; yet none of them can saue or exempt themselues, but in the end they must die, either in the warres, by the sword, or in their beds through age or sicknesse, or elsewhere, by such accidents, as God by his prouidence, euen before they were borne, had appointed vnto them: which Dauid teacheth vs in many places, as in the 82. Psalme where he speakes of Princes.

Psal. 82.
I had decreed it in my sight,
As Gods to take you all,
And children to the most of Might,
For loue I did you call;
But not withstanding yee shall die,
As men and so decay,
Psal. 49.
Though Princes you, yet must you passe,
As others cleane away.

Item elsewhere where he speakes in general of the condition and end of all men.

Psal. 89.
What man is he that liueth here,
And death shall neuer see,
Or from the hand of hell his soule,
Shall be deliuered free?

[Page 3]or And againe in the Psalme following.

Thou grindest man through griefe and paine,
Psal. 90.
To dust, to clay; and then,
And then thou sayest againe returne,
Againe yee sinnes of men.

So here we see it is an inuiolable decree and ordinance of God, that all men that come into the world, come with this charge not to stay there long, like vnto trees, which are fastned to it by the rootes; but to thrill lightly through it as doth the water,2. Sam. 14. and to goe forth of it as soone as it shall please the Lord to call them. And although that the most part of vs indeauour (as saith the Pro­phet) to make alliance with death,Isay 28. or at the least to haue some truce or respit with it, for to put backe and stay the comming thereof; we experiment neuerthelesse eue­ry day, that our time being come, and the day of our assignation past, we must appeare before the Iudge at the houre present, and at the very instant, to heare from his mouth a diffinitiue sentence, by the which life or death is adiudged vnto vs. Then the first and principal care which we ought to haue,Psal. 62. is not too seeke as did the King Asa, for the Phisitions,2. Chro. 16. and to vse the recreates and di­rections which they appoint vs, to arme vs against the diseases which may befall vs; [Page 4] nor yet presentatiues as vsed Metridates, to auoide the danger of poisons which our do­mesticques or others may prepare for vs; nor finally a strong horse,Psal. 33. a well tempered sword, a corslet of proofe, to assure vs a­gaine the hazards of a battaile, for there is nothing of all these that can breake the or­dinances of God, or warrant vs from his anger, nor (in briefe) in any sort turne the effects and executions of his will; But the first thought that should present it selfe be­fore our eyes, whether it be that we will an­ticipate the euils, which wee foresee may happen, or turne away those which are al­ready happened vnto vs; is to desire and seeke after the fauour and grace of God, which is the most soueraigne and fittest re­medy that men can choose, sodainly to pre­uent all their aduersities. Now by reason that I haue beene prayed by some brethren my friends, to gather together & set downe in writing, some passages and places of Scripture to comfort the Sicke, and to strengthen them against the terrors and ap­prehensions, which then they may haue, as well of their Sinnes, as of Death, of the Di­uell, and of the Iudgment of God,Rom. 13. 1. Cor. 13. 1. Cor. 12. Ephes. 4. which is yet more fearefull then all the rest; know­ing that charity binds mee vnto it, by the [Page 5] which as with a band all the members of the body of IESVS CHRIST, are straightly tyed together, and that also it was one of the parts of the charge which God did impose, not only vpon the Mini­sters of the Gospell; but also vpon the ouerseers, which are giuen and associated vnto them for helps and assistants; I would not refuse them, although I am not igno­rant that diuers of my fellowes, vnto whom God hath imparted more of his graces, are more sufficient to deale therein then I am; neuerthelesse, seeing that the members in what rancke or degree soeuer they bee, ought not to denie any labour to the body, which is in their power, I will assay with the helpe of my God, what by his grace I can doe for to content them, and satisfie to their desire. Leauing then apart all o­ther sorts of affliction, wherewith it plea­seth God to chastise and exercise his chil­dren: Let vs here only speake of sicknesse and of death, and let vs propound briefly the meanes and consolations the fittest we can, for to instruct and accustome men to take and beare them wisely, and mo­derately; beginning at sicknesse which is not a casuall thing, and which happens rashly, now to some, then to others, as it [Page 6] fals out, but we must thinke that it is sent by the prouidence of God.

And although that the ends and occasi­ons are not all alike, neuerthelesse the Au­thor of it is alike, as hee is of health: for it is from the mouth and ordinance of God, as saith Ieremy, Lamen. 3. that the good things proceed, & also the euill which are contrary vnto them. And there is no euill (as saith Amos) whe­ther it bee in the Citie,Amos. 3. or in the Coun­trey, but commeth from God. Then euen as Peace and Warre, Pouertie, and Riches, Liberty and Prison are of God; so are health and sicknesse; which Dauid in all his sicknesses did alwaies confesse and ac­knowledge. In the sixt Psalme doth he not say,

Psalm. 6.
Lord in thy wrath reprooue me not,
Though I deserue thine ire?

Acknowledging that the sicknesse where­with he was so grieuously afflicted, was an effect of the wrath of God whom he had offended. As much saith he of it:

Psal. 38.
Thine arrowes do sticke fast in mee,
Thy hand doth presse me sore:
And in my flesh no health at all,
Appeareth any more.
Psal. 32.
For day and night thy hand on mee,
So grieuous was and smart,
[Page 7]That all my bloud and humours moist
To drinesse did conuert.
I was as dumbe, and to complaine,
Psalm. 39.
No trouble might me moue,
Because I know it was thy worke,
My patience for to proue.
Lord take from me thy scourge and plague,
I can them not withstand:
I faint and pine away for feare
Of thy most heauie hand.

Ezechias and Iob likewise do not attri­bute their sicknesse to any other but to God▪ Esay. 38. Iob. 1. Iob. 5.19. & 27. and Iob said that in the stink which came out of his flesh halfe rotten, and in that heape of wormes which it did produce, he did behold one of the hands of his Sauiour which stroke him, for afterwards to heale him with the o­other. Euen the Paganes and vnfaithfull, haue sometimes acknowledged, that their sicknesses had hapned vnto them by no o­ther meanes, but from God, who punished them, because they had offended him: As Pharao and his family in the time of Abra­ham, the Egyptians in the time of Moses, Gen. 12. Exod. 9. Philistines. and the Philistines in the time of Samuel, when they would haue kept in their coun­trey the Arke of the alliance as a captiue and prisoner, after they had taken it in the war, where the children of Israel were euer­come; [Page 8] wee must then conclude that all sicknesses, and generally all afflictions come vnto vs from God,Psal. 33. who doth nothing but iustly and wisely; for all his workes are so well ordained, that there is nothing but is done by weight, number, and measure, and grounded vpon good reason, although that sometime it be vnknowne vnto vs. Then, as the Goodnesse, Power, Wisedome, Iu­stice, Doctrine, Constancie, and Veritie, which do appeare in all the workes of God, are cause that we approue & praise them; al­so acknowledging all his vertues in our sick­nesses and other aduersities; ought not we to take it in good part, and arme our selues with this faith and cogitation against the impatience and bitternesse of the heart, which pricks and summons vs to murmur and to dispite against God, and sometimes horribly to blaspheme him, when he doth not conforme himselfe, to the disordinate will and desires of our flesh; which if he did he should become like vnto vs,Psal. 50. that is to say, flatterers and dissimulators of our vices. To the contrarie, for to be good, holy and vertuous, we ought to endeuour to render our selues like vnto him, and to submit and subiect all our desires vnto his will; for otherwise we are hypocrites,Mat. 6. and euery time [Page 9] when in our prayers we aske that his will be done, our heart secretly belyeth our mouth, and saith in our eares, Ha hypocrite, if thou wert at thy choyce thou hadst rather that thine were done then Gods. When in gene­rall men speake vnto vs of the prouidence of God, and that by the great, men aske vs whether all that God doth be not wel done, we yeeld vnto it presently, and do euen pro­pound it to our neighbours and friends, when they are in any trouble to comfort them, as the fittest, the presentest, and singu­larest remedie that we can counsel them: but when we come to apply it to our selues; we doe as Physitions,Simil. who can well appoint Physick for others, which they will not take for themselues; neuerthelesse there is no­thing so healthfull and necessary for vs, as to exercise our selues daily in the meditation of the prouidence of God, and to acknow­ledge that it rules, ordaines, turnes, and dis­poseth all things, to the end that contem­plating alwaies the workman in his works, we may presently approue it, knowing well that nothing can come out of that shop, but is polished and perfectly accomplished in all points. And if wee do this honour to good Artificers,Simil. to receiue their worke as soone as we see their marke vpon it, should we be [Page 10] more vniust, in esteeming and approuing of the workes of God, wherein we see the markes and signes of his goodnesse or iu­stice so apparant?

It is true indeed that that which happe­neth vnto vs directly of his goodnesse, is more answerable to our taste, then that which is of his iustice; as it happens also, that in the workes of nature, some of them are more pleasant vnto vs then others, the day is more agreeable then the night, and Sommer then Winter,Comp. and faire and cleare weather reioyceth vs more then doth a weather gloomie, rainie, and darke. When in like manner, God smileth vpon vs, and sheweth vs an open countenance, and that with a soft and fauourable regard, he che­risheth & embraceth vs on euery side with his mercy, multiplying without ceasing his fauours vpon vs, and honouring vs euery day with some new benefit,Psal. 89. (as saith the Prophet) that without doubt is a great deale more pleasing vnto vs then when he sheweth vs a sad and frowning visage, and when he makes vs to feele some rigor and pricks of his iustice.Psal. 89. Did not Dauid take more pleasure to heare the faire promises which God made him, firmely to establish his kingdome,Psal. 18. and to continue it to him and [Page 11] his children for euer, to giue him victory a­gainst all his enemies, which he saw on eue­rie side spread like mudde on the ground; to see his glory & renowne to flie and be noi­sed on euery part, among strange nations,Psal. 32. to heare from Gods owne mouth, who had found him according to his owne heart, to consider how God had taken and chosen him amongst the sheepe,1 Sam. 13. Psal. 78. to raise him aboue all the houses of Israel, and in a manner to disgrade wholy all the house of Saul for to inrich him, & to adorne him with his Roa [...]s, hauing bene induced to do him all these fa­uours by nothing else but his onely grace and good will. I demand if so many and so ample demonstrations of the goodnesse and mercy of God towards him, were not a great deale more easie for him to digest; then the great reproches which he gaue him for his ingratitude,1. Sam. 12. after hee had oftended him? and the fearefull threats which he ad­ded thereunto, to discouer and publish his sinne? to cause that his house should be filled with murder & with bloud & that the honor of his wiues should be tamted by his owne son? and neuerthelesse although that such ex­ploits of the iustice of God were heard, & a burthē which was importable vnto him, yet did he yeeld his shoulder vnto him, and old [Page 12] submit himselfe altogether to his will, assu­ring himselfe alwaies vpon his mercy (of the which hee did remember himselfe alwaies in his iudgements) that the charge which he should lay vpon him should not be altoge­ther to presse him downe.Abac. 3. And we haue a singular example of his patience of this humble obedience which he was resolued to render vnto God in all his aduersities, when with so peaceable, and so moderate a spirit, he bare the great and scandalous iniuries that Semei spake vnto him, at that time when for to saue himselfe from the conspi­racy made by his sonne, and by his people a­gainst him,2. Sam. 16. he was constrained to flie in great diligence, and to abandon the Citie of Ierusalem; for the principall cause which made him so soft and supple; was that he did referre all the insolencie and brauery which that little mastiffe did vnto him, vnto the prouidence of God which had stirred him vp to speake those iniuries vnto him, to humble him and trie his patience and vertue; Which was cause likewise,Iob. 1. & 2. that Iob after so many & notable losses of all his goods and children, and finally of the health of his bodie, did praise God as cheerefully as he did in his a­bundance; and when he had the scope of his desires, except the regard which he had to [Page 13] the prouidence of God, the which he did contemplate in all his miseries, for [...] them at his hands as speciall blessings and fauours which hee doth to his children, yea the most deare and best beloued. And it suf­ficeth not that wee beleeue that all our sick­nesses come from God: but wee must beleeue it in all the circumstances thereof, as that they are great, long, tedious, pain­full, languishing, and sometimes incu­rable, that by reason of their contagion, they let our friendes and kindred from comming to visite and comfort vs; that wee finde no remedie no more then that poore woman that had the bloodie flixe which held her twelue yeares,Mat. 9. Luc. 5. Iohn. 5. and the poore man who was eight and thirtie yeares bound in his bed, by reason of a palsie wherewith hee was stroken in all the members of his bodie. Wee must also at­tribute all that to God, and thinke that he is equally free to dispence of the good and euill, which hee drawes from his treasures, vnto whom hee thinkes good, and in such portion and measure as it pleaseth him, without that any one can iustly complayne of him, or with rea­son demaunde of him why hee doth so or so.

[Page 14]After that we are resolued in our minds; that not only the sicknesses, but also all o­ther euils, happen vnto vs by the prouidence of God, and that from them we haue gathe­red all the comforts which may be drawne: Then, to comfort vs yet more, we must con­sider who is this God that sends them vnto vs, and how neare he is vnto vs; for it is not such a God as are those that these foolish people worship,Psal. 96. and are but a thing of no­thing whereto they giue themselues,Psal. 115. who cannot see anything with their eyes, nor heare with their cares, nor smell with their nose, nor taste with their tongues, nor speake with their mouthes, nor take, nor giue with their hands, nor walke with their feetes, who in briefe can neither doe well nor ill; for they are not only mortall like vnto men and beasts, but things altogether dead, who haue neither sense, nor vnder­standing, nor mouing, nor feeling, nor force, nor vigour. But the God in whom we beleeue,Act. 14. Hebr. 1. is the Creator of heauen and earth, who causeth euery thing to liue, and die, and breathe, who beares the world and all things contained therein, by the only vertue of his powerfull word, who with one of his fingers measures and poises the earth, as with a beame,Esay 40. Psal. 147. who knoweth the num­ber [Page 15] and names of the Starres,Rom. 4. Reuel, 1. who cals the things that are not, as well as if they were; who beares the keyes of life and death, who is infinite in himselfe, and all his vertues are infinite: for his Goodnesse, Mercy, Wisedome, Iustice, and Vertue, are so high and so great, that the length thereof can be no more couered then the breadth, nor the breadth then the thicke­nesse.

Now this most good and most great God is not farre from vs,1. Cor. 3. Psal. 5. Psal. 17. neither in presence nor in affection: he is in vs as in his Temple, for to sanctifie vs, and round about vs for to couer vs with his fauour, and to hide e­uery part of vs vnder the shadow of his wings. He dwelleth in vs as in his house,2. Cor. 6. for to gouerne and inrich vs, to furnish and adorne vs; our vnderstandings and our hearts are his galleries, wherein he walkes and takes his pleasure, there deuising with vs by the diuine thoughts and holy affecti­ons which he hath inspired. And albeit that he replenisheth heauen and earth, and that the loue which he beareth to his creatures, and the care which he hath of them, are cause that he doth assist and accomodate them with all that is necessary for to pre­serue and entertayne them. Neuerthelesse,Psa. 148. [Page 16] we are nearer to his heart,Job 3. Ephes. 6. hauing receiued of him so many fauours, as to haue espou­sed, conioyned, and vnited our selues inse­parably vnto him, and by the meanes of this vnion, to receiue vs into a participation and communalty of all his goodnesse. Then euen as a woman that knowes her selfe well beloued of her husband, and which doth wholly possesse him, cannot feare that hee should vse to her any euill intreatment;Simil. also wee ought to assure our selues, that God who loueth vs infinitely, cannot doe nor suffer any thing to be done vnto vs to hurt vs;Rom. 5. for if as saith S. Paul, when we are eni­mies, we were reconciled vnto him by the death of his Sonne; much more rather be­ing already reconciled vnto him, shall we be deliuered by his life; Is there any thing more absurd then to thinke that God who is the soueraigne good, can be the authour of any euill;Iam. 3. doth a fountaine cast our both sweet and bitter water?

The Heretikes themselues as Marcion, and the Manicheans, for the horror which they had of such a blasphemy, would esta­blish two principles; the one of life and of the light, the other of death and of darke­nesse, not being able to perswade them­selues that of God,Psal. 36. who is the fountaine of [Page 17] life and all happinesse, can proceede any mi­sery: Wherein they were not deceiued, but insomuch only that from a good maxime, they drew a bad conclusion. For indeede, the good in such a degree as God is, that is to say, soueraigne and infinite, can no more produce euill, then fire cold, light darke­nesse, and life death. And it is the reason for the which God after he had created the world and all that therein is contained, and attentiuely considered all his workes, did testifie that they were all very good; which ought not only to be referred to the workes themselues of the creation; but extended generally vnto all that God doth, without any exception.

For seeing God is alwaies like vnto him­selfe, and that in him, as saith S. Iames, Psal. 102. Iam. 1. there is no mutability nor shadow of changing, as his goodnesse is eternall; also at all times it can produce nothing but good workes, and good things; And this is the reason for the which answering by his Prophet vnto the people,Ose 13. who did complaine of the great calamities which had befallen them, hee saies, that he was not the cause of them, and that as for him he had only procured their good and their saluation. But that they themselues were cause of their ruine, and of [Page 18] all the desolations that were seene in their Countrey;Simil. for as the fire produceth fire, and all other things produce or bring forth their like; so doth God from whom no euill can come. Yea, but sicknesse, famine, pouerty, sterility, warres, are they not euils which God sendeth, and so is the author of them? God sends them indeed as well to the good as to the wicked, to the one to punish their sinnes, which is a iust & laudable act, to the other to exercise their vertue, or to draw and bring them to repentance. And if wee would be good husbands, and appropriate our sicknesse well, and referre it to the ends for the which God sends them vnto vs, wee might gather much fruit, and many good lessons by it: In the first place, there is no­thing that is so necessary, as to know our sinnes, and the vice and corruption which is in vs, to humble our selues to God, and to dispose our selues to require and seeke af­ter his grace, which is the only meanes by the which they may bee remitted, couered and hidden before him, to auoide his iudge­ment, and the condemnation which other­wise should therein bee prepared for vs, if they were not pardoned vnto vs. Now so it is that naturally we are blind in the iudg­ment which we haue of our selues, by reason [Page 19] that the excessiue & vnmeasured loue which we haue of our selues, doth blinde our eies, in such sort that wee cannot perceiue, nor discouer the malice, the hypocrisie, the pride, the vanity, the mistrust, the iniustice, the impiety, the idolatry, the inhumanity, and all the infinite peruersity, which from our child-hood is bred in our hearts, and discloseth it selfe with the time, according to the occasions which are presented vnto vs. For although that we doe all indeauour for a time to hide the malice which we haue conceiued in our hearts,Simil. like vnto women that desire to steale their children: Neuer­thelesse, when the belly comes to swell, and that their time of childing drawes neare, they are constrained to auouch that which they had alwaies denyed. Also wee neuer confesse our debts, vntill such time as by certaine proofs we are conuinced of them, yet will wee then shuffle and alwaies abate something if we can of the enormity of our faults; whereof wee haue a notable exam­ple in our first Parents, who although they were before God, (from whom no­thing can bee hidde nor couered) and that they were liuely pursued and accu­sed by their owne consciences; neuerthe­lesse, they sought all the slights they could [Page 20] to disguise and turne from them the fault which they had committed,Gen. 3. and could not be brought, neither by the feare and reue­rence of God who spake to them, neither by the accusation and witnessing of their owne cōscience, which vrged them on euery side, to come to this point, to confesse clearely, and without any inuolution, their disobedi­ence, their ingratitude and their ambition, by the which they were precipitate; where­in men may see how difficult it is to men, to acknowledge and confesse their sinnes in verity, and without hypocrisie. It may like­wise bee seene in the Patriarks, who did so long dissemble their wickednesse, and the cruell and inhumane conspiracie,Gen. 42. which they had made against their poore brother, the which they did neuer acknowledge vn­till such time they were compelled thereun­to by the anguish and distresse whereunto God reduced them to put them in minde thereof; and Dauid how long did he sleepe in his sinne, whereupon he neuer thought earnestly, vntill such time as he felt himselfe touched to the quicke by the hand of God, and that he found himselfe almost vndone, as he himselfe doth confesse it.

Psal. 32.
For night and day thy hand on me,
So grieuous was and smart,
[Page 21]That all my blood and humors moist,
To drynesse did conuert.
I did therefore confesse my fault
And all my sinnes discouer,
Then thou ô Lord didst me forgiue,
And all my sinnes passe ouer.

And S. Peter after he had so oftentimes denyed his Master, euen cursing and swea­ring that he neuer knew him; Would hee not haue perseuered therein, and altogither haue abandoned the Church of God as wel as Iudas, and infinite more Apostates, that goe from it euery day, if Iesus Christ had not cast his eye vpon him,Luk. 22. and by his loo­king on penetrated into his conscience, for to make him to feele and weep for his sinne? And S. Paul who like vnto a furious raue­ning beast, sought euery where for Christi­ans to slay and deuour them; would he e­uer haue repented of these faults? But to the contrary, would hee not haue beene obsti­nate and hardened,Act. 9. to haue spoiled and dis­persed the flocke, if the strong hand of the Sheep-heard who watched ouer it, had not held him backe & slaid him short, and com­pelled him perforce to know and feele the great euill that he had done? By these few examples, may be clearely perceiued that al­though men are couered and filled with an [Page 22] infinite number of sinnes, they cannot ne­uerthelesse know nor feele them, if God doth not giue them the grace to set them before their eyes; Which is the reason for the which in many passages of the Scripture, Penitence (which cōsists partly in the know­ledge and displeasure that man hath of his sinne) is called the gift of God.2. Tin. 2. For as wee cannot know God, nor the goods which we ought to seeke for in him, and hope for of his goodnesse; if first we be not inwardly illuminated by his spirit, and outwardly taught by his word; Also wee cannot well know our selues, nor well sound the vice & euill which is in our hearts, if the spirit of God doth not giue vs eies for to behold our selues, in the looking glasse of his law. For to see our selues and that which is in vs, we haue no eyes naturally, no more then that old Lamia, Compar. who as fables recount had eies which shee laid away in her house, because shee would there see nothing, and put them on when shee went forth, to spie and ob­serue what was done at her neighbours. Whereunto also agreeth the fable of Esop, wherein is said that we carry euery man his wallet, in the hinder part whereof we put our owne sinnes that they may neuer come before our eyes, and in the forepart, the sins [Page 23] of our neighbors, to the end that seing them we may haue argument to detract & speake euill of them. And it is a meruailous thing that our sins should be such great and dan­gerous diseases, and euen mortall, and that notwithstanding they are so litle sensible to those that by them are detayned; for we see how the Idolaters, hypocrites, ambitious, couetous, and voluptuous men doe solace themselues without sorrow, not any whit complaining of their euill. Which is more, the Idolater hath neuer more pleasure, then when he beholds, kisses, and worships his Idoll; nor the hypocrite is neuer more con­tent, then at such time as by the appearance of some counterfait vertue, he can insinuate himselfe into some good opinion, and pur­chase the estimation and reputation to bee vertuous; & the others neuer esteeme them­selues more happy then when they peace­ably enioy the honors, riches, pleasures of this world, which they desire; and the cause of all this is, that they haue no feeling of their euill, which is so much the more dan­gerous. As amongst the bodily diseases,Simil. the most pernitious are those that bring least paine, as Palsies, Lethargies, Apoplexies, & other cold Catarres, for such diseases are or­dinarily incurable; which was cause in times [Page 24] past to make an ancient man to say, he did well desire not to be sicke altogither, but if he were, he desired also to feele his paine: giuing to vnderstand thereby, that there is nothing more dangerous then to be sicke, and not to thinke they are so. What shall then become of vs, who neuer thinke wee are so vitious as we are, and alwaies to bee more vertuous then wee are? for wee neuer ballance nor weigh our vices with our ver­tues, but with false weights and false mea­sures; by reason that when we weigh our vices we take the smal weight, and the great when it is question of our vertues, the which we alwaies thinke to bee greater then they are, by reason of this furious loue of our selues, the which stoppeth our eyes, and blinds our sight.Simil. And euen as the vapours and mists which euening and morning rise from the earth, being put betweene vs and the Sunne, make it seeme greater vnto vs then it is; so when we behold our vertues through this loue which couers our eyes, we iudge them alwaies to be more greater and more perfect then they are. What must we then doe to correct and amend this false iudgement which we haue of our selues, e­steeming our selues more vertuous and lesse vicious then we are? we must learne to know [Page 25] our selues, and to that end meditate the law of God day and night, referring there­vnto, our thoughts, our affections, our wordes, our actions, and in summe all the estate of our life, as the straight rule, accor­ding to the which it ought to be measured. But because we are badde Schollers, and that we neuer vse a full and intire duety to apply our selues to this study; God like vn­to a good Master and carefull for the pro­fit of his children, is constrained oft times to take rods, to awake and set vs forward, and by sicknesses and other mortifications of our flesh, makes vs to acknowledge the corruption which is in vs, for there is no­thing that rangeth vs better vnder the obe­dience of the will of God, then a good dis­cipline (as saith Esay) that men learne iu­stice when the iudgements of God are vpon the earth.Esay 26.

Ere thou didst touch me with thy rod,
Psal. 119.
I erred and went astray,
But now I keepe thy holy word,
And make it all my stay.

It is then a thing very profitable to man, to haue sicknesse and all other aduersities, which happen vnto vs, when wee can vse them well; for they make vs to know and feele our sinnes; As to the contrary health [Page 26] and prosperity makes vs to forget them; for when in prime of age, we are healthfull and Iustie, and that all things smile vpon vs, wee thinke vpon nothing but of leaping and dancing like to yong fawnes & yong beasts.Simil. And if any one should come towards vs then, to giue vs some instructiōs of our duty, he should lose his labour and his time; for there is nothing more fiere, more resty, more contrarie and indocible then a man cheri­shed and made wanton by fortune, and puf­fed vp with his prosperitie: which God reprooues in the people by his Prophet, I would speake vnto thee in thy felicitie,Iere. 22. but thou wouldest neuer vouchsafe to hearken vnto mee; and such hath bene alwaies thy fashion from thy youth. And Salomon spea­king of the prosperity of fooles,Prou. 1. saith, that it is that which ruinates and makes them foolish. Surely faith Xenophon, it is very dif­ficult for a man to be wise and happie also, and that being raysed vp to honour, and abounding in riches, and in pleasures, he should acknowledge himselfe to be dust and ashes,Gen. 18. Psal. 39. as did Abraham, or to be no­nothing but vanitie, as did Dauid; But to the contrarie all thinke themselues Gods, or halfe Gods, as we may plainly see in Senacherib, Jsa. 10. Jsa. 14. Nebuchadnezzar, Antio­chus [Page 27] Theus, Xerxes, Alexander; King Herode, Domitian, who became so inso­lent and proud, by reason of their prospe­ritie, that they would compare themselues with God; Which Philip of Macedone considering, because that by the happie successe of his businesse hee should not come to fall into such an arrogancy, ap­pointed one of his Gentlemen of his cham­ber, to say to him euerie morning at his awaking, Remember (Philip) that thou art a mortall man; and did verie wise­ly therein, foreseeing that prosperitie is a verie slippery thing, which makes men drunke,Simil. and sleepe more easily then doth sweete wine when men drinke it, or the whisling of a sweete ayre which is heard. The sicknesses then which doe awake vs, and make vs to acknowledge what is our condition, and that the sinne which is in vs, is the principall cause that brings them, are verie healthfull vnto vs, and we ought to take them as so many aduertisementes, which God sends vs that we should remem­ber him, and do our dutie in seeking to him. The which we do when first we confesse our sins and faults before him, with a sorrowfull and contrite heart,Psal. 40. with a feeling of his an­ger, & by the displeasure which we haue for [Page 28] hauing offended him, after we haue recei­ued so many graces and fauours which wee haue receiued from him in so great abun­dance, that we cannot not onely number and reckon them, but also sufficiently com­prehend them. Hereupon to be the more stirred vp and pricked to the quicke with the feeling of our ingratitudes, we ought to re­member, that hauing bene created after the Image and semblance of God,Gen. 1. and raised by that meanes aboue all the creatures of the earth, without hauing any regard to the dignitie vnto the which hee had called vs,Col. 3. wee haue not onely hid and darkened it, turning our selues wholy from Iustice, Ho­linesse and Veritie, which are the vertues by the which we may resemble him, for to fol­low the errors and vanities of the world, the foolish desires and disordinate lustes of our flesh, briefe, for to walke in our owne waies, and to represent in the whole course of our liues, the picture and image of the diuell. After that hee had drawne vs out of the darknesse of ignorance, wherein wee were as it were buried, and raysed ouer vs the brightnesse of his face, by the preaching of his Gospell, and by the know­ledge which hee had giuen vs of his sonne, that wee should follow him, who is the [Page 29] light of the world,Iohn. 1. Ephe. 5. and to communicate no more with the workes of darknesse: But forsaking our guide, and the way which hee had traced vs, wee haue strayed in a thousand, and a thousand sortes, and like poore blinde men hauing no bodie to conduct and direct vs but our appetite and foolish fantasies, which are likewise blinde, wee haue beene many times at the verie brinke of the ditch, and readie to fall there­in and to be quite lost: If it had not plea­sed this good God,Iohn. 5. Heb. 2. to surmount our ma­lice, by his goodnesse, and to remember vs when wee had quite forgotten him. Moreouer hee had deliuered vs from the bondage of the diuell, and of sinne, which was a great deale more harder and cruell then that of Aegypt, and of Babilon could bee; and had set vs free, to the end that we should stand firme in the liberty which had beene so dearely purchased for vs, by the death of his onely and welbeloued Sonne. But how many times haue wee looked behinde vs, as did Lots wife,Gen. 19. and not onely grudged at the leauing of our Aegypt, but also taken the way to re­turne thither, and to remit our selues vn­der the yoake from the which wee were taken? louing better to liue shamefully and [Page 30] miserably vnder the tyranny of the diuell, of the world, & of our flesh, then happily & in honor vnder the reigne of the Son of God. Againe how haue we acknowledged this so great, & altogether incōparable grace which he hath done vnto vs, whē he came by man­ner of speaking to seeke vs in the brothers house, when being transported, & as it were possessed with a spirit of adulterie, we ran too & fro, and did abandon our selues to the diuell, our Ruffian, about all the high places where we meet with his pictures, adultering with him publikely, without being stayed neither with feare, nor shame, nor the reue­rence of God, who was the spectator of all this stinking filthinesse: who neuerthelesse could not hinder it vntill he gathered & re­tired vs into his house, for to espouse & con­ioyne vs vnto him by an indissoluble band of friendship, requiring no other dowry of vs, but pudicitie and chastitie, and promising to forget al our life passed, prouided that after­ward we would keepe faith & loyalty with him. Then considering now how often, and in how many sorts we haue broken our ma­riage, adultering with the world & the lusts & concupiscences of our flesh, some making their riches their God, others their belly, and their pleasures, and others their offices [Page 31] and honors, worshipping our passions and cupidities, which we haue setled in our harts as vpon an Altar, and in the most eminent place of the Temple of God, which by that means we haue polluted & prophaned, and by consequent deserued to die the death, that is to say, to be quiterazed out and exter­minate. And what shame and confusion is if for vs, that hauing bene elected & chosen out of the midst of the world, and of children of wrath which we were by nature,Ephes. 2. made the children of God to this end, to liue & die in his seruice, and to vow vnto him for euer, a loue, a feare, an honor & obedience with all our heart, & with all our strength? and in the meane time, that in our whole conuersation we haue shewed our selues rebellious, debauched & stiff necked, reiecting all discipline, stopping as did the serpēt our eares, because we would not be inchanted by the sweete voice of the Gospel, taking again our stony and vncircumcised harts, to the end that the promises & ordinances of God, might be no more ingraued. How often hath our Pastor assaied to gather vs together vnder his wings as the Hen doth her chickens,Mat. 23. & we would not? how often hath he knocked at our gates, & we wold not vouchsafe to opē? how many times hath he stretched forth hisEsa. 65. [Page 32] arme to embrace vs, and we haue beene al­waies rebellious vnto him: when hee hath sought vs, we haue fled from him, when he hath called vs, wee haue not answered him, when he hath commaunded vs to fol­low him, we haue fained our selues wearie, when he hath beaten vs, we haue bene har­dened, like vnto the yron with the knoc­king of the hammer; when he hath cheri­shed vs,Simil. we haue flattered our selues, whe­ther hee drew vs vnto him by promises, or astonied vs by his threatnings,Mat. 11. wee haue growne obstinate not to beleeue the one, and to scoffe at the other: Briefe, what meanes soeuer he hath assayed to take vs, we haue kept our selues from him like vnto cunning beasts; Item we were his vine, wherein hee tooke all his pleasure,Isay. 5. and in the which he had spared nothing, to till it well, and to fit it in all perfection; he had planted it with exquisite plantes, cleansed it, and pruned it, closed and shut it vp on euery side, for the hope which hee had to gather great store of fruite in the season. But it fell out all otherwise, for in steade of bringing him good grapes, we haue brought forth nothing but veriuyce, and crabbes, and it hath not stayed at vs, that we haue not beene quite cut off from the flocke, [Page 33] and that like vnto old and dry bauens wee haue not beene many times cast into the fire there to be burned and consumed for euer? What hath hindered also, that being barren trees, euen in the season and agreable times, as speaketh the Prophet,Mat. 21. Iesus Christ fin­ding no fruit in vs, did not curse vs at the same houre, as he did the Fig-tree? For with what excuse could wee couer our sterility? Were we not planted by the cleare running brookes of the word of God, wherewith we were continually watered; and neuerthe­lesse, wee haue brought forth nothing but thornes such as are in hedges?Mat. 3. Seeing that the axe is laid to the roote of the tree, which bringeth not forth good fruit, who keepeth vs from being cut off by the rootes, and cast into the fire there for to be burned euerla­stingly? We cannot denie but that we haue beene as vnprofitable straw, and that oft times we haue built with stubble,1. Cor. 3. vpon the precious foundation of vs & of the Church; What then hath hindered, that we haue not beene carryed away with the winde, and that the fire hath not consumed vs and all our workes?Iere. 3. In time past the Prophets re­proched Iuda, that shee had iustified her si­ster by the dissolutions vnto the which shee had yet more abandoned her selfe then she. [Page 34] But we may well confesse, that we haue iu­stified them both, for what sort of wicked­nesse haue we omitted or forgotten to com­mit? the impieties, the blasphemies, the prophanation of the pure and legitimate seruice of God, the contempt of his word: hath not vniustice, oppression, violence, rebellions, disobedience, hatred, enuy, mur­der, adultery, detraction, reigned amongst vs? If men make accompt of the goodnesse of the earth,Heb. 6. by the good fruits which it bringeth forth,Iam. 1. being well tilled and well watered with raine from heauen, what will men say to the contrary of that which hath euery way abundantly receiued an infinite number of blessings from aboue from the father of light, & brings forth neuerthelesse nothing but thornes and thistles? What du­ty haue we done, I say not of children, ser­uants and friends (as we were held) but of the least creatures that are in the world, the which doe all contayne themselues vnder the obedience of their Creator, without changing the roome or place which he hath appointed for them, without being weary of keeping it, and executing his commande­ment? Our fathers haue seene, and wee see after them, that the Heauens, the Sunne, the Moone, the Elements, the Beasts, the [Page 35] Plants, the Trees, haue alwaies kept one course since they were created, and kept a measure in their paces, and in all their mo­uings which God had giuen them, without going any iot out of their rancks, nor trou­bling the order which from the beginning was established in the whole world. But men haue alwaies beene Annomaux and Heteroclites, and wee are worse then euer; And which is more, we see that for the most part, men for to heape vp the measure of all their other misdeedes, adde impudency vn­to them, stopping their eares against all admonitions, and shewing in all their be­hauiours the brasen face of a strumpet.Isa. 3. Where is now in sinners the shamefast­nesse which was seene in Daniel? Dan. 9. Where is that earthly face of the poore Publicane, who durst not lift vp his eyes to heauen,Luk. 18. for shame that hee had so often offended that good God?Luk. 7. Where are the riuers of teares, which ranne downe from the poore sinnefull woman, in such great abundance that they were sufficient to wash the feete of Iesus Christ? Where are the eyes con­uerted into fountaines, as were those of Ieremie, Iere. 9. with lamenting for the sinnes and miseries of the world? VVhere is that bitternesse of heart, vvherewith [Page 36] S. Peter was seased vpon,Luk. 22. Act. 2. as soone as his sinne came before his eyes? Where is that compunction and sorrow which the people shewed to haue after the admonishing which S. Peter made them, for that they had so vildly consented to the death of Ie­sus Christ, to obey vnto the appetite and de­sire of the high Priests? Where is this griefe and sorrow of heart wherewith Dauid was pressed, when groaning and sighing he said?

Psal. 6.
So grieuous is my plaint and moane,
That I waxe wondrous faint,
All the night long I wash my bed
With teares of my complaint.
Psal. 51:
Remorse and sorrow doe constraine
Me to acknowledge mine excesse.
My sinnes alas doe still remaine
Before my face without release.

Ionah 3.Where is that sackcloth and ashes, wher­with the Niniuites did shew that their re­pentance was good and intire, and with the which without doubt they shall at the day of iudgment condemne the debated and re­pented maskes, which we see in Italie and Auignon? Where is there any at this time who with griefe and displeasure that they haue for hauing offended God, doe teare their haire and plucke off their beards, as Isay. 22.the Prophets required of those in their time [Page 37] whom they did exhort to penitence, to turne away the wrath of God when they were threatned with it, or to appease and quench it when they were bereaued by it? Where shall we finde any, that with a soule pierced through with griefe and sorrow, with an humble, broken, & contrite heart, as the Prophet Ioel demands it,Ioel 2. with a sor­rowfull conscience, with an intire & cleare displeasure of all feining hypocrisie, doth present himselfe before the maiesty of God, for to make a true confession of our faults vnto him, and in all humility to beseech and require his mercy to pardon them? By this may wee know what is the hardnesse of our hearts, the little feeling which we haue of our sinnes, the little feare that wee haue to offend God, the little loue and reuerence that vve beare him, and the little obedience vvhich vve render him: And being such, vvhat faith (O God) can vve haue in thee? Faith (as saith S. Peter) purifies the heart;Act. 10. What faith then can those pretend whose hearts are yet full of filthinesse and corrup­tion; who haue them big and swolne vvith ambition, vvith pride, vvith couetousnesse, vvith voluptuousnesse, with impatience, with hatred, with enuy, and other such like carnall and disordinate passions & affections [Page 38] of the minde? Faith should regenerate and make vs new creatures, of earthly it should make vs heauenly, of carnall it should make vs spirituall men, of children of wrath and of darkenesse, children of grace and of light; Briefe, of Diuels it maketh Angels. VVhosoeuer then hath yet his heart fastened to the earth, and thinketh not at all or very little vpon those things that come from aboue; who ioyne not with the Spirit to combate a­gainst the flesh;Galat. 5. But being set vpon by his concupiscences or desires, presently yeelds the place vnto them, and makes him­selfe their slaue; he that abuseth the grace of God, and in steade of preseruing and keeping it, liuing in his feare and obedi­ence of his holy will, hath put it backe by a licencious life, whereto he abandons him­selfe vnder a vaine confidence, which hee hath to finde it alwaies ready to excuse and couer all his faults, doth not he deceiue him­selfe to thinke that he is faithfull, hauing no better faith then that of Diuels, nor that can any more assure them at the day of iudgement, then doth theirs? Item, doth not faith take away from vs the iudgement and condemnation of God,Iohn 3 [...]. 5. Rom. 8. as saith Iesus Christ, that he that beleeueth commeth not [Page 39] to iudgment; and S. Paul, that there is no condemnation for those that are ingraf­ted by faith into the body of Iesus Christ? Now those which liue according to the flesh, and that haue no feare to doe that which God forbiddeth, and to the contra­ry to omit that which he hath commanded, how can they auoide the sentence of death and malediction, giuen and pronounced in the law against all those that transgresse it, seeing withal that they doe it wittingly and willingly of set purpose?Iohn 3. Psal. 44. Rom. 3. If their consci­ences condemne them, God who is more then their consciences, and who knowes and sownds their hearts to the depth, how can he be able to absolue them? Item, faith when it is true doth clothe vs with the iu­stice and spirit of Iesus Christ, which doe hold together and follow each other in such sort that the one is neuer found without the other. As then albeit that the spirit of God cannot reside in vs, but it must doe his worke, that is to say, but it must illuminate, sanctifie, quicken, guide and gouerne in our counsailes, thoughts, affections, wordes, and actions; what faith doe wee thinke wee haue, if wee doe not shew it by a holy and laudable conuersation,Gal. 5. Ephes. 4. morti­fying and crucifying our flesh with all [Page 40] the hists thereof, putting off the old man with all his affections, shunning and dete­sting all sorts of vices, and applying our selues on the other side to all sorts of ver­tue,1. Thess. 5. abstaining not only from euill, but al­so from all things that may haue any shew of it. And for conclusion continuing this exercise without any interruption vntill he end of our life?Mat. 10. For if any one (as saith the Prophet) hauing done his duety by liuing well for a while,Eze. 33. comes to stray and to de­cline from the strayte way before they bee gotten to the end; God will haue no re­membrance of all his precedent iustices, and will not approue one of them when he shall come to heare his accompt; for he doth not promise saluation and life to those that haue begunne well; but to those only that with all alacritie and a heart inuincible haue con­tinued vntill the end. And giueth not the crowne of prise and immortality, but vnto them that shal runne to the end of the race,1. Cor. 9. and haue duely fought all the dayes of their life.Simil. For what good doth it to a Merchant that goeth to Sea towards the Indies to lade his shippe with some precious commo­dities, if after he hath escaped many perils, and sayled happily some fourteene or fifteen Moneths, hee comes to split his shippe and [Page 41] to suffer ship-wracke before hee arriues at his port? All those that went out of Egypt vnder the conduct of Moyses, did not enter into the land of Canaan; for the most part stayed by the way, and were excluded from the rest which God had promised to their fathers, by reason of their incredulity and other vices, which the Apostle repeates in the first to the Corinthians.1. Cor. 10. Also wee must not hope once to enioy the happy euerla­sting life, which God hath promised and kept for his elect, if we doe not perseuere vntill the end in the faith of his word, and the obedience of his holy will; the which is giuen to very few. Moreouer, faith, when it is true, is it not alwaies accompanied with a heate and vehemencie of Spirit, which brings it forth for to confesse the name of God, to sing his praise publikely,Rom. 10. to preach and announce his Miracles euery where; al­so for to make a publike confession and pro­fession of Iesus Christ and his Gospell, and without any feare, shame, or dissimulation, to maintaine and defend the truth constant­ly against all those that resist and will con­trary it? But if wee will well examine our selues, and iudge truely and without any flattery of all our actions, wee must ac­knowledge and confesse, that amongst the [Page 42] most of vs there is a maruellous slacknesse, to doe our dutie in this behalfe, and that we haue bene very cold and timorous, when it hath bene question to oppose our selues against the wicked, whom we haue heard and seene to blaspheme the name of God, Iesus Christ, religion and the truth, holding our peace, and suffering that in our pre­sence the honour of God was not onely stained and offended, but troden vnder foot, without opening our mouthes to speake one word in the defence thereof. Ah what zeale haue we also shewed to redresse the Tabernacle of Iacob, which was quite throwne downe? What pitie and compas­sion haue we had seeing the ruines and hor­rible desolations happened so long since to the poore Citie of Sion? Is there any man that can say, that he hath employed him­selfe and meanes as he ought, to reedifie the Temple of God, and close againe the brea­ches which the enemie had made on e­uerie side of his Church? How many is there of vs to whom it cannot be iustly re­proached, that hee hath bene too much more curious in building againe and re­payring his owne house then Gods?Aggee. 1. For indeede there are very fewe that haue in such recommendation as they ought the [Page 43] pure and legitimate seruice of God, for to reestablish it when it is broken and propha­ned, and to preserue it when it is whole. And neuerthelesse although that wee are so cold and negligent to procure that the Order and Estate of the Church should be put into her first dignitie and splen­dour, and that God may be there prea­ched, knowne, and worshipped in spi­rite and truth, as is required in his word; there is none but thinke themselues faith­full and Christians, yea of the most per­fect, although that they seeke not the king­dome of God and his iustice,Mat. 6. but after o­ther things, and then onely when there re­maines nothing of his smallest businesses to be done. If, to be short, the most cer­taine iudgement that can be giuen of a good tree, is the goodnesse of the fruite which it bringeth forth, we may also iudge of faith that it is good when it sets our con­science at rest,Rom. 5. and that in it we feele neither feare, nor inistrust, nor scruple, nor doubt, nor sorrow, nor torment, that can trouble or call it in question before God: but are al­together resolued and assured to be absol­ued in his iudgement, and iustified of all the faults and accusations which the diuell may there propose against vs, by the meanes [Page 44] of the ransom which Iesus Christ hath these paied by his death and his bloud for vs,Mat. 20. 1. Thes. 1. Rom. 10. and by that payment wholy satisfied to his iu­stice; Item, when it incites and stirres vs vp to praise God continually, whether it be in prosperitie, for to be thankfull for it, or in aduersitie, for to prostrate our selues be­fore him, and humbly to intreate him to deliuer vs out of it, or if hee dispose other­wise, at least to asswage and moderate it, and on the other side to be fortified in such sort, that in conforming our selues wholly to his will, we may beare it patiently as long as it shall please him. If finally it doth kindle and inflame vs with a loue of God,Gal. 5. and of our neighbours, in such sort that we may boyle with desire to serue and honour God, to summon and induce as many as we can to know and glorifie him, and that we haue no greater sorrow and dispite then to see him dishonoured and blasphemed. And for our neighbours that we loue them as our owne flesh, and members of one bodie with vs, as our brethren, and children of one father which we and they haue in hea­uen; and that we make a demonstration of the loue which we beare them by all the effects and meanes that shall be possible vn­to vs, desiring their good, their ioy, their [Page 45] honours, their rest, aduancement and aduan­tage as our owne; to assist them in all their necessities, with money, with counsaile, with fauour, with labour, with friends, with re­commendations, and without any excepti­ons, with all that shall be in our power. Now who is he among vs, yea of those that haue profited the best, and are the most ad­uanced in the knowledge and feare of God, that dares to boast to haue such a faith, which were sufficient to combat with the diuell and all the gates of hell, and to ren­der vs inuincible against all the tentations wherewith we may be assaulted;Mat. 16. and euen withdraw our thoughts and affections from the earth, and to rauish and lift them who­ly on high aboue the heauens, in a certaine hope of the immortalitie and happie life, which God hath there promised and prepa­red for vs? The which hope would make vs altogether to forget the world, with all the glorie, pompe, pleasures, riches, and mag­nificence thereof, and no more esteeme of all those corruptible things then of doung: because of the taste which it should giue vs of the sweetnesse of the heauenly ioyes, and by the which it should sodainly blot out, and coole the feeling and remembrance of all other pleasures,Mat. 17. as it hapned to the three [Page 46] disciples, in whose presence Iesus Christ was transfigured in the mountaine, for they had scarce tasted a little of the happy life: but in the same instant they lost the remembrance of all the things of this world, desiring no­thing at all, but the continuance onely of that estate and happinesse, wherein they found themselues to be. Seeing then that faith, hope and charitie, which are the three principall vertues which ought to shine in the life and in all the workes of a Christian man, are imperfect and weake in vs, and that euen in the perfectest that can be found in the world, there be so many doubts, mi­strustes, vaine feares, presumption, hatred, enuie, choller, and other like passions and desires, the which like vnto staines doe blot out the glosse and beauty of the vertues that are in vs; we must when it is question to present our selues before the face and ma­iestie of our God, with the sicke folkes that we desire to comfort and admonish, beginne by an humble confession of our faults;Confessi­on of the sicke. acknowledging first our ingrati­tudes, and the neglect, which hath bene in vs to heare and meditate his word, to put it in practise, to profit the gifts and sin­gular grace, which he hath parted vnto vs; to consider and haue alwaies before our [Page 47] eyes, the end and marke of our vocation, thither for to referre and addresse the whole estate of our liues, to walke in his feare, and not to soile his image which hath bene re­stored and painted againe in vs in our rege­neration; to keepe faith and loyalty with him, which we haue promised in the alli­ance which he hath contracted with vs, to liue and die to his glory, to offer to him our bodies for holy and liuing Sacrifice,Rom. 12. and not to conforme our selues to this world; to liue and walke in spirit, that we do not ac­complish the desires of the flesh; to walke as children of light, to stand firme in the liberty in the which Christ hath set vs free,Gal. 5. Rom. 6. and to take heed that we be not brought vnder the yoake and bondage of sinne: to fight valiantly against the lusts of our flesh, to resist the diuell, to hinder that sinne haue no domination nor rule ouer vs, so well to rule our life and all our fashions, that we may not onely be free from all crime and sinne, but also from all doubt; to looke carefully that our liberty be not occasion that our flesh goes astray, and that wee doe not commit any act that may bring scandall to our neighbours, or that it may in any sort induce our aduersaries to blame the name of God, and of Iesus [Page 48] Christ, and defame the religion we fol­low; to seeke for nothing but those things onely that are from aboue,Col. 3. and to haue all our heart and our vnderstanding, our thoughts & our affections, and to make short, all our conuersation in heauē, to haue alwaies our lampes burning, and our selues prepared to waite for the comming of the Lord, and to be readie to follow him, and by his grace to do whatsoeuer he shall com­maund vs: incessantly to pray and prayse God, and to depend vpon his prouidence, wholly to remit both our selues and our af­faires vnto him, altogether to resigne our will vnto him, and to conclude, to loue him with all our heart, with all our soule, and with all our vnderstanding; and our neigh­bour as our selfe. After you haue propoun­ded before the sicke all the faults which he hath committed, to astonish him, and by that meanes to prepare him to require, and re­ceiue the grace of God, you must present before his eyes what he hath iustly deserued by the offences which he hath done, to wit, to be altogether deuoured by the wrath of God, whereof he hath made a heape, con­tinuing in his sinne, and so long abusing of his patience and benignitie.Rom. 2. Item, to be o­uerthrowne with his iudgement, the which [Page 49] (as saith the Apostle) is prepared for all that disobey God, and singularly for those ser­uants, who knowing his will, and being wel informed of all that belongeth to their du­tie, haue made no reckoning to acquire themselues of it. Item, that all the curses contained in the law, and ordained against those that transgresse it, fall vpon his head; seeing it hath bene his hap to deborde him­selfe not onely once and twise by ignorance and frailtie, but to violate the holy ordi­nances of God wittingly and willingly, al­most as many times as he hath bene inuited and solicited by the diuell and his owne desires. Item, to be banished and shut out of the kingdome of heauen; seeing that the flesh according to the which hee hath li­ued, cannot inherite nor possesse it;1. Cor. 15. for if our first parentes haue beene shamefully hunted out of Paradise,Rom. 5. whither they had beene called after their creation, by rea­son of their disobedience; what doth man now deserue by so many rebelli­ons and iniquities which hee drinkes and swallowes downe euerie day as if it were water?

Item, to be condemned to euerlasting death, and consigned for euer to fire and tor­ments with the diuell and the reprobate, [Page 50] seeing that it is the recompence and reward of sinnes and for conclusion, that hee hath deserued to be buried in hell, and there in the flame to suffer such torments as doth the euill rich man,Luc. 16. for hauing disdained the poore and their afflictions, and hauing made no reckoning to succour them at their need, and vse such humanity towards them as he would haue desired of others,Simil. being reduced to like necessity. When the sick shall be thus brought downe, and that in the law as in a looking glasse, his iudgement & con­demnation shall be represented vnto him, and when he shall be seene to be wounded and pierced with sorrow in his heart, then must be applied to his sore lenitiue medi­cines,Simil. and do as doth a mason when he cuts a stone, first they giue it great strokes with the hammer till they get out great flakes; & presently after they polish & plain it in such sort with the chisell, that the blowes are no more perceiued. So it must be that after the sicke hath bene so rudely intreated, and ha­uing by the rigorous threatnings of the law let him downe into hell, be is drawne vp a­gaine by propounding vnto him the sweete and amiable promises of the Gospell, to the end that by the sweetnesse of this oyle, the biting sowernesse of the law may be swe [...] ­ned, [Page 51] and that the ioy of the good things of the grace of God, may make him to passe a­way & forget the sorrow & despaire where­into the law reduceth him; first he must be shewed, that the bond which was against vs,Col. 2.2. and the which lay in the ordinances, & was cōtrary vnto vs, hath bin blotted out, aboli­shed, & fastned on the crosse of Iesus Christ.

Item, that Iesus Christ hath bought vs a­gaine from the malediction and curse of the law, when he was made a curse for vs; (for it is written,Gal. 3. cursed is he that hangeth on a tree) that the blessing of Abraham should come vpon the the Gentiles through Iesus Christ; to the end that wee should re­ceiue the promise of the spirit of faith. That Christ is the end of the law;Rom. 9. and of iustice to all beleeuers. And finally that by the perfect obedience which he hath rendred to God, obseruing all his commaundements, without breaking thē in any thing; or omit­ting one only little point of them to the en­during of the cursed death of the Crosse for vs, because that such was the will of his Fa­ther; he hath procured a generall remission & abolition of all our sin, & an acquittāce of all our debts & obligatiōs; the which he hath paid not in gold, siluer, or precious stones,Peter. 2. but with his own bloud, which is an incom­parable [Page 52] price and ransome; And ouer and a­boue he hath purchased vs a righteousnesse, the which being allowed vs by the faith and assurance which we haue thereof as well by his word and Sacraments, as his spirit which giues testimony thereof in our hearts, wee ought to take away all feare and apprehen­sion that we may haue of our sins, of death, of the diuell, of the rigour, & malediction of the law, and finally of the wrath & iudge­ment of God.Rom. 4. For to begin at our sinnes, be­ing cloathed with the righteousnesse of Ie­sus Christ, we ought to assure our selues not onely that they are couered & hid from be­ing perceiued and discouered before the eyes and face of our God, but altogether blotted out as it were with a spunge, and disperced as are the clouds by the Sun and the wind; and although they were as red as vermelion or scarlet, yet shall they become as white a snow, (as saith Isay.) And before him Dauid. Isa. 1.

Psal. 51.
If thou with Isope purge this blot,
I shall be cleaner then the glasse,
And if thou wash away my spot,
The snow in whitenesse shall I passe.

And it makes no matter what manner of sinnes, not in what number they be, so they be not sinnes against the holy Ghost, not [Page 53] yet in what sort and manner they haue bene committed, whether by ignorance, weake­nesse, or of set malice; for the sin cannot so much abound, but the grace of God which is procured vs by the death and iustice of Ie­sus Christ doth yet more abound. And al­though that the sinne being committed a­gainst the infinit maiesty of God, be also for that regard reputed infinite, yet that hinders not that the bloud of Christ, which by the eternall spirit hath offered him selfe to God himselfe without any spot, doth cleanse our consciences from dead works; to serue the liuing God,Heb. 9. as writeth the Apostle to the Hebrewes. For the diuinity being vnsepara­bly vnited to the humanity in the person of Iesus Christ, is cause by his omnipotēce, that his death hath an infinite vertue to redeeme vs, and his iustice to sanctifie vs, and his life to quicken and make vs happy; insomuch as being God, as he is stronger then the diuell, also are his workes more powerfull to saue, then are those of his enemies to destroy and to consume. His iustice hath more force to iustifie vs then sinne (whereof the diuell is author) hath to condemne vs, and his puri­tie to wash and make vs cleane, then this fil­thy spirit hath by his filthinesse to defile vs. And his light is more strong for to illuminate [Page 54] and lighten vs, then the darknesse of the Prince of the world to blinde vs; and his truth to instruct vs, then the errours of the father of lies to abuse vs; briefe, his life hath more vertue to raise vs againe and quicken vs, then the enuie of this murtherer & homi­cide hath to kill and slay vs. Whereby wee see that the Sonne of God, (as saith St. Iohn) is not come into the world to any other end, but to destroy the workes of the diuell; and that in his bloud all our enemies, that is to say, all our sinnes haue bene drowned, no more nor lesse then in old time Pharao and the enemies of Gods people, were all discō ­fited and drowned in the red sea. It is that strong one which St. Luke saith, surpriseth an other strong one,Luc. 11. whom he hath comba­ted and ouercome, and from whom he hath taken all the weapons wherein he trusted; that is to say, sinne, death, and the law, lea­ding euen with him captiuitie captiue,Eph. 4. when he ascended into heauen; so that the diuell being so disarmed, hath no more meanes to hurt vs, neither by our sins which Iesus Christ hath washed away in his bloud, neither by death which he hath swallowed vp dying, neither by the law, vnto the which he hath fully satisfied, accomplishing at, and submitting himselfe for vs to the curse [Page 55] which in it was ordained for vs. And albeit that he be alwaies our aduersarie, and that for the hatred that he beares vs, and the de­sire which he hath to hinder vs, and let vs from attaining to the felicitie from whence he was put away by his pride, he walks like a roaring Lyon round about vs, seeking whom he may deuoure; neuerthelesse we may resist him being strong in the faith,1. Pet. 5. and abiding ancred in the perswasion which wee haue of the remission of sinnes, which is euerlasting, as is the vertue and effi­cacie of the death of IESVS CHRIST by the which it was obtained for vs: it is the freedome of the Church, in the which all that are faithfull ought to re­tyre themselues to bee in safetie, when they are pursued by their owne consci­ences, and the other Sergeants of the iu­stice of God. VVhereunto Dauid also ex­horteth vs.

Let Israel then boldly
In the Lord put his trust,
Psal. 30.
Hee is the God of mercy,
That his deliuer must:
For hee it is that must saue
Israel from his sinne,
And to all such as surely haue
Their confidence in him.

[Page 56]And else where.

Psal. 51.
The heauie heart, the minde opprest
O Lord thou neuer doest reiect,
And to say truth, it is the best,
And of all sacrifice the effect.

And Iesus Christ who is the soueraigne medicine of our soules, and who came into the world but to seeke those that were lost, and to heale that which was sicke, and (as saith the Prophet) to beare our infir­mities;Isa. 53. can he take more pleasure then to see vs comming towards him to be dis­charged for our sinnes? did he euer reiect a Publicane or sinner that came to present himselfe before him? (as saith the Pro­phet.)

Psal. 103.
The Lord is kind and mercifull
When sinners doe him grieue;
The slowest to conceiue a wrath,
And readiest to forgiue.

We may plainly see it in the examples of the Publicane, of the woman sinner, of the prodigall, of the good theefe, of Da­uid, of St. Peter, Mat. 16. of St. Paul, and of the ser­uant that was indebted tenne thousand Ta­lents to his master, which were acquitted him as soone as hee had confessed the debt, and had requested and prayed his master to haue pitie on him? Ha, to what end [Page 57] hath the father sent hither his sonne? why was he annointed by the holy Ghost? Is it not to declare vnto the captiues that hee came from heauen to pay their ransom, and to draw them out of captivity,Isa. 61. and to the prisoners, that he is come to open the pri­son for them, and to the indebted, that he is come to acquit them, and to the sicke for to heale them? And the Apostles which he hath sent throughout the world, as he was sent of his Father, what charge had they? was it not to publish the Gospell, that is to say, the remission of sinnes to all creatures in the name of Iesus Christ? If then that their labour be not in vaine, and that like­wise of the faithfull Ministers which came after them; we must assure our selues of the remission of our sinnes. There is yet more, that if they were not pardoned vs in belee­uing him, the Birth, the Death, the Resur­rection, the Ascension, the Intercession; Briefe, all the mysterie of Iesus Christ, should be as nothing, barren and fruitlesse,1. Cor. 15. and our faith altogither vaine. Item, how could we beleeue him to bee our Iesus and our Emanuel, Mat. 1. if he did not saue vs from our sinnes,Isa. 59. Heb. 8. Iere. 3. and carry away by that meanes the enmities that are betweene him and vs, which turne away and hinder him that hee [Page 58] cannot associate with vs? What assurance would wee haue more, then that the new alliance which hee hath contracted with vs, was confirmed and ratified by his death, and the blood which he hath shedde, if hee had not forgotten all our iniquities, and did not write his lawes in our hearts by his holy Spirit; seeing that they are the promises and conditions, vnder the which it hath beene conceiued and yeelded? What fruit would come vnto vs of his Priest-hood, and of the Sacrifice which he hath offered to his Father for our redemption, if we remaine in our sinnes?1. Iohn 2. If also it were not purposely for our sinnes, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world? How could we assure our selues that he is our Mediator and Aduocat, and vnder that assurance goe to the throne of grace, to obtaine mercy, & to finde grace to be aided in time of neede? Wee must not then doubt the remission of sinnes; And as saith Dauid,

Psal. 103.
God doth remoue our sinnes from vs,
And our offences all,
As farre as is the Sunne rising,
Full distant from his fall.

And how can we doubt of it, seeing wee carry it printed and sealed, not only in our hearts and consciences, but also in our bo­dies, [Page 59] with the two great seales of the Chan­cellor of the Kingdome of heauen, to wit, Baptisme and the Lords Supper? Let then the sicke assure themselues, that beleeuing the remission of his sinnes, hee obtaine. It presently; For hee dealeth with vs accor­ding to our faith. And S. Ambrose writes, that all that we beleeue we obtaine; for we cannot beleeue but what God hath told and promised vs, who is so faithfull and true in his promises,Rom. 3. that euen the vnbeleefe and infidelity of men cannot abolish his truth. And although that the wicked reiecting and contemning the word and promise of God, hinder that by their contempt and ob­stinacy it doth not bring forth his effect, in not shewing the vertue which it should haue to saue them if they did beleeue it; ne­uerthelesse that cannot preiudice others that receiue and obey it, nor hinder that belee­uing in it, and by faith receiuing it into their hearts, but they shall be quickened;Simil. euen as a man that should close his eyes against the light, and flie from it, cannot hinder, but he that openeth his eyes shall enioy and bee enlightened with it; For the light and co­lour are the obiects of the eye, which be­ing opened, whole and well disposed, appre­hends them presently. Also is the promise [Page 60] of God the obiect of the faithfull, which causeth that man receiueth it so soone as it is denounced vnto him, and that he hath heard it published; prouided that by the spirit of God his heart be before hand pre­pared; For otherwise if it should continue in its stony nature, the spirituall seede were not able to take roote therein, nor to fructi­fie no more then the bodily seede cast vpon a stone, for a land vntilled. The sicke being then thus resolued of the remission of all their sinnes, neede not in any sort to doubt but that they are in the grace and fauour of God, and that from thence they may infal­libly hope for eternall life; For there is no­thing that can exclude vs from it, but sinne only, the which being not imputed vnto vs, but being couered and quite blotted out, what is it that can hinder or keepe backe God from vs? And if by faith (as hath been said) we remaine conioyned and vnited in­separably with him who is a fountaine of life,Ephes. 3. and the scope of all good things, what can we desire but we shall presently finde it in him?Psal. 56. What mishap or misery can wee feare, being in his fauour? If he be with vs, who shall be against vs? Then are we assu­red that the good will that hee beares vs, shall be continued for euer, and that there [Page 61] is no creature in the world that shall be able to turne it from vs (as writeth S. Paul to the Romans.) I am assured that neither Death, nor Life, nor Angels, nor Principallities, nor Power, nor things present, nor things to come, nor heigth, nor depth, nor any o­ther creature shall bee able to separate vs from the loue of God which he beareth vs in Christ Iesus our Lord. And a little before this passage. What shall separate vs from the loue of Christ? shall it be tribulation or an­guish, or persecution, or hunger, or naked­nesse, or perill, or sword? All men then that haue beene ingrafted once by faith into the body of Iesus Christ, and by consequent adopted of God, and receiued into his fa­uour, and into his house as his child, neuer departs from thence afterwards; But as he is assured of his election by his vocation and iustification, which haue followed;Rom. 5. also is he of his glorification, which is the conclusion, and as it were the crowne of his saluation. For the gifts and the vocation of God are without repentance; which the Apostle writes very plainly to the Romans.Rom. 8. Those that he hath predestinate, he hath also cal­led, and those that he hath called he hath al­so iustified, and those that he hath iustified he hath also glorified. And although that [Page 62] there are alwaies many vices and infirmities in vs, and that it euen happens sometimes vnto vs to fall very heauily, as it happened to Dauid, S. Peter, S. Paul, and almost to all the Saints, yea the perfectest that euer were; neuer he lesse there is a point vpon the which we should be alwaies grounded, and which ought greatly to comfort vs, and vp­hold vs against all the assaults and tempta­tions of Sathan; which is that which Saint Iohn saith,1. Iohn 3. Whosoeuer is borne of God doth not sinne: (meaning to death) for the seede of him remaines in him, and hee can­not sinne, because he is of God; which he declares yet better else where.1. Iohn 5. All iniqui­ty, faith he, is sinne: but there is some sinne which is not to death; we know that who­soeuer is borne of God sinneth not; For by that hee giueth sufficiently to vnder­stand, that faith and the word of God, which is in the soule and in the foundation, are neuer altogither drawne away and ex­terminate out of the hearts of the elect, and that by that reason they cannot commit that sinne which S. Iohn cals to death. For although that faith bee sometimes as it were buried in them, hauing not any mo­uing, nor feeling no more then a dead thing; neuerthelesse, it is not altogither quenched, [Page 63] no more then a fire couered in the ashes,Simil. although it neither shew his light nor heate; nor likewise dead no more then a tree in winter, when the sappe being drawne to the roote, bringeth forth neither flowers, nor leaues, nor fruit that shew any life, which neuerthelesse is clasped vp with­in, and hidden in the roote. There is the reason for the which Dauid speaking of the faithfull man in the 27. Psalme saith,

Though that he fall,
Psal. 37.
yet is he sure
Not vtterly to quaile,
Because the Lord stretcheth out his hand
At neede, and doth not faile.
And eeke his seede I will sustaine
Psal. 89.
For euer strong and sure,
So that his seate shall still remaine
While heauen and earth endure.
If that his sonnes forsake my law,
And so beginne to swerue,
And of my iudgments haue none awe
Nor will not them obserue,
Or if they doe not vse aright
My statutes to them made,
And set all my commandements light
And will not keepe my trade;
Then with my rodde will I beginne
Their doings to amend,
And with scourging for their sinne,
[Page 64]When that they doe offend:
My mercy yet and my goodnesse,
I will not take him fro,
Nor handle him with craftinesse,
And so my truth forgoe.
But sure my couenant I will hold,
With all that I haue spoke,
No word the which my lips haue told,
Shall alter or be broke.
Psal. 23.
And finally while breath doth last,
Thy grace shall me defend,
And in the house of God will I
My life for euer spend.
Psal. 30.
For why his anger but a space
Doth last, and slacke againe,
But in his fauour and his grace
Alwaies doth life remaine.
Though gripes of griefe and pangs full sore,
Shall lodge with vs all night,
The Lord to ioy will vs restore
Before the day be light.
Psal. 65.
The man is blest whom thou doest chuse
Within thy courts to dwell,
Thy house and temple he shall vse,
With pleasures that excell.
Psal. 119.
Of thy goodnesse still shewd to me,
Thou wilt not Lord I frustrate be.

All these passages and others like out of the Scripture must be alleaged to the sicke [Page 65] to strengthen their faith on euery side, and to furnish and arme it strongly against the inflamed darts and arrowes of the Diuell, to the end that on which side soeuer hee may shoote them, hee may not finde any place bare, where hee may reach or wound him; For wee must not doubt but then hee will vse all his forces, and all his sleights, for to shake our faith and to ouercome vs. But the meanes to defend our selues, is, to keepe our selues alwaies in our fortresse, and neuer to depart from the promises of God, whatsoeuer hee can alleadge to the contrary; Let vs propound vnto him that which I say, saith, that Israel is saued by the Lord, with an eternall saluation,Isay 45. and that we shall not be confounded nor asha­med from this time forth for euermore. And elsewhere,Isay 51. The heauens shall vanish a­way like smoake, and the earth shall bee worne out like a garment, and the inhabi­tants thereof shall likewise bee abolished; But my saluation shall be for euer, and my iustice shall neuer faile. And to the end that the demonstrations which hee hath sometimes made vs of his anger, doe not beget in our hearts too great a feare, where­of may follow a mistrust of him, and of the promises of saluation which hee hath made [Page 66] vs, let vs heare what saith this Prophet, speaking to the Church in the name of God:Isay 54. I haue forsaken thee for a little while, but I will gather thee againe by great com­passion: I haue a little as in a moment of indignation hid my face from thee: But I haue had compassion on thee by an euer­lasting benignity, saith the Lord thy Re­deemer; And this shall be as Noahs wa­ters, for as I sware, that I would no more passe the waters of Noah vpon the earth; So haue I sworne that I will no more bee angry with thee, and will reprooue thee no more. For although that the moun­taines bee moued, and the little hils shake, my mercy shall neuer goe from thee, and the alliance of my peace shall not stirre, saith the Lord, who hath compassion ouer thee. God in Ose to this purpose saith vn­to his Church,Ose 2. that hee will espouse her for euer in faith, iustice, verity, mercy, and iudgement; declaring thereby vnto it, that the alliance that hee will contract with it, shall bee firme and inuiolable, and for to bee such as hee shall sound it in himselfe, that is to say, in his mercy, ve­rity, and iustice, requiring only that it walke vpright before him, [...]nd that in all its wayes it follow a roundnesse and [Page 67] integrity, keeping it selfe as much as it may from deceit and hypocrisie. Which must bee diligently noted; for the Diuell for to astonish vs, and to make vs to doubt of the effect of the promises of GOD, when wee are ready to appeare in iudge­ment, and when being adiourned, our cause is ready to bee called vpon; if hee see that we stand firme, and that for to answere thereunto, wee are setled vpon the word of his Gospell, in the which hee offereth vs his grace, hee yeelds vnto vs that God is true in all that hee saith, and likewise that he offers vs his grace and life by his promise; But that hee is hindred from accomplishing it, and exhibiting that which hee hath pro­mised by our indignity and vnworthinesse, because that hauing so much offended him, euen since wee were illuminated and rege­nerate by the knowledge of his truth, and that hee hath done vs so much fauour as to receiue vs into his family, and to adopt vs for his children, wee by our ingratitude haue made our selues altogither vncapable of these benefits, and vnworthy, that hee should fulfill the promises which hee hath made vs. Therupon to driue back this temp­tation, which is the strongest and most dangerous wherewith wee can be assailed; [Page 68] Wee must first note, that as the only good pleasure of God, hath beene the begin­ning and only motiue, by the which hee hath beene induced to desire to contract an alliance with vs, and to offer vnto vs the promise of saluation, by the which hee declares himselfe our God, and receiues vs to bee his people, that also his grace is the only meanes, that may stirre him vp to accomplish it towards vs. By the meanes whereof Saint Paul said,Rom. 6. that the reward of sinne is death, but that grace is life; Although that to dispose well and set downe the Antithese, it seemes that hee ought to haue said, to oppose member against member, That as life is the reward of our righteousnesse, also is death of our sinnes; But to giue vs to vnderstand, that life which is the effect of the promise, is gratis as well as is the promise which of­fereth it vnto vs, hee hath wholly attribu­ted it to the grace of God, without ma­king any mention of our workes, nor ver­tues. Whereunto ought to bee referred that which hee alleageth in the two and thirtieth Psalme, where Dauid declares that the beatitude of man consists in that God alloweth him his iustice without workes, saying, Happy are they whose [Page 69] iniquities are remitted, and whose sinnes are couered; Happy is the man vnto whom God hath not imputed his sinne. Seeing then that the beatitudes which God offereth vs in his promises are not graun­ted in the contemplation and fauour of the merits and vertues which are in man, but by the only grace of God, thence it fol­lowes that as the price and dignity of our workes, cannot purchase vs euerlasting life, that also our indignity and vnworthynesse cannot hinder vs from attayning it. For it is a meere gift of God, which hee be­stoweth on whom hee pleaseth, according to his mercy, and not according to the me­rit of our iustices, the which are not only imperfect, but also defiled with much fil­thinesse, by reason that our hearts from whence they proceede, can neuer bee so well cleansed in this world, but there doth still remayne much corruption whereby they are contaminate; Which is the cause that the Prophet prayeth God so feruently not to enter into iudgment with him.

In iudgment with thy seruant Lord
Oh enter not at all,
Psal. 143.
For iustified be in thy sight,
Not one that liueth shall.

And else where.

[Page 70]
Psal. 130.
O Lord our God if thou dost weigh
Our sinnes, and them peruse,
Who shall then escape, and say
I can my selfe excuse?

And that St. Augustine in his booke of Confessions saith this good and memora­ble sentence; Mishap to all our righteous­nesse, if it be examined and iudged without mercy. But neuerthelesse that cannot hin­der, but God will giue vs eternall life as he hath promised; prouided that wee know, feele and confesse our indignity; For there is nothing that makes vs capable, and (if it may bee so spoken) worthy of the fauours and blessings of our God, but the know­ledge and feeling which wee haue in our selues to bee altogither vnworthy of them. And what worthinesse could bee noted in the Theefe hanged vpon the Crosse, at one of the sides of Iesus Christ, who had conti­nued in his theeuery and wickednesse vntill the extremity of his life,Luk. 23. without euer ha­uing knowen his Sauiour, vntill the houre that hee was ready to giue vp the Ghost? And neuerthelesse, hee had no sooner ope­ned his mouth, generally to confesse and to require the mercy of Iesus Christ, but it was presently said vnto him, Thou shalt bee this day in Paradise with me;Luk. 16. What wor­thinesse was there in the poore Publicane, [Page 71] who for the great shame and horror which hee had of his life passed, durst not life vp his eyes, yet neuerthelesse presently when hee had acknowledged his pittifull and mi­serable estate wherein hee was, and prayed God to haue pitty on him, then al his sinnes were forgiuen him, and hee went home iu­stified? What dignity was found in Saint Paul, when hee went to Damascus trans­ported with rage and furie, to informe him­selfe according to the commission which he had obtained of the high Priest,Act. 9. of all those that did confesse the name of Iesus Christ, & to bring them bound and shackled to Ieru­salem, to the end to prosecute against them, & to cause them to be condemned to death? And neuerthelesse, although he was so hor­rible a blasphemer of Iesus Christ and his Church, and by that meanes vnworthy, not only to bee of the number of the Apostles (as hee himselfe confesseth) but also of the sheepe, God forgetting in an instant all these iniuries which had beene done to him and to his Church, made an elected and chosen instrument of him, and a trum­pet chosen among all his fellowes, for to publish his Gospell throughout the world. Who will say that hee had any regard to his merit, and to the dignity of his gestures and actions, when hee raised him to such a [Page 72] degree of honour, and hath done him as much or more fauour then to any of all his fellowes. Seeing that hee himselfe doth so highly magnifie grace whereunto hee attributeth all that hee euer thought, said, or did, that was commendable; It is then the only grace of God that is the founda­tion and meanes of the life which wee hope for; as it also is of iustice and holynesse, by the which wee attayne it. Which Ie­sus Christ plainely teacheth vs, when spea­king of his sheepe, hee saith that they heare his voice,Iohn 10. and follow him, and in the meane time that hee giueth them eter­nall life; signifying thereby that it is free­ly graunted vnto them, and of meere gift, and not in contemplation and respect that they haue heard his voice, and followed his steppes. Which also cannot bee gathe­red by the wordes of Moyses, in the twen­tieth of Exodus, Exod. 20. where God promiseth to continue his mercy to a thousand genera­tions towards those that loue him, and keepe his commandements; Whereupon wee must note, that he promiseth no other recompence to his seruants for all their ser­uices, but to vse mercy towards them and their posterity. As much may we obserue in the foure and twentieth Psalme where the [Page 73] Prophet speaking of those that shall goe vp into the mountaine of the Lord, saith, that it shall be a man,

Whose hands are harmelesse,
Psal. 24.
and whose heart
No spot there doth defile,
His soule not set on vanity,
Whose heart hath sworne no guile.

And addeth afterward.

Him that is such a one, the Lord
Shall place in blessefull plight,
And God his God and Sauiour,
Shall yeeld to him his right.
This is the broode of Trauellers,
In seeking of his grace,
As Iacob did the Israelites,
In that time of his race.

For to giue to vnderstand, that what duty soeuer wee haue done in obeying to God, in washing our hearts from all euill thoughts and affections, and our handes from all euill workes, in humbling, our selues vnder the hand of God, and presu­ming nothing of our selues, nor of our vertues; neuerthelesse that for all that, we shall not goe vp into the mountaine of our Lord, but that it shall bee only in fauour of the grace which hee giueth vs, and of the mercy that it pleaseth him to shew to­wards vs. And it is much better (to comfort [Page 74] and assure vs our hope entirely, that it be grounded vpon his mercy and truth, which are firme and immoueable, then vpon the dignitie of our workes and vertues, which are so imperfect. Now when yee shall see the sicke well resolued of the remission of all his sinnes, and that in his heart there shall no more remayne any feare of them, that doth any more trouble his consci­ence; then you must proceede farther, and arme him against the horrour and ap­prehension that hee may haue of death, in shewing vnto him out of the word of God, that it hath bene done away, and swallowed vp by the death of Iesus Christ, who speaking by the mouth of the Pro­phet, sayeth to Death,Ose. 13. 1. Cor. 15. O Death I will be thy death. For seeing that the sting of death is sinne, and the power of sinne is the law, Iesus Christ accomplishing the law for vs, hath by that meanes taken a­way the sting of death; so that it can hurt vs no more; And likewise broken the power of sinne, so that it can no more condemne vs. And although the decree and ordinance of God beares, that all men must die, and that being come out of the dust, they shall returne to dust againe: neuerthelesse to speake properly, the se­paration [Page 75] of the bodie and the soule in the faithfull man, ought not to bee called death. Also IESVS CHRIST spea­king to his Disciples of Lazarus, Iob. 11. who was dead, tolde them, that hee slept. This manner of speaking is very vsuall in the old Testament, to signifie the death of the Fathers. St. Paul vseth it also when hee writeth to the Corinthians and Thes­salonians,1. Cor. 15. 1. Thessa. of those that shall be departed before the day of the resurrection, which be calleth sleeping. But he speaks yet more ma­gnificently in the Epistle which hee wri­teth to the Philippians, where he calles the departure of soules from bodies,Phil. 1. dislod­ging. Which agreeth well with the saying of Iesus Christ, who being desirous to aduertise his Disciples of his approaching death, said vnto them, That the howre drewe neere,Iohn. 13. that hee was to passe from this world to goe to God the Father; cal­ling the corporall death a passage by the which we must passe out of this vale of mi­sery, for to enter into the fruition and pos­session of a Paradise that is to say, of a place of assured rest, and full of delecta­tion. The which the ancient Greekes haue also taught by the name which they haue giuen to death, calling it, Thanaton, which is [Page 76] as much to say according to the Tymologie which Temiste hath giuen of it, that ano eis ton theon; in French is, now vp to God, and Telutin eion ei teletin, consecration: as if he would say that death is like vnto a solemne ceremonie, by the which the faithfull are al­together consecrated and dedicated to God, for afterwards to apply themselues to no o­ther exercise then to sing the praises of God and to sanctifie his holy name. And for that regard Iesus Christ did also call it Baptisme,Mat. 20. because that by death we passe as by a port, and thorow a water to arriue in a place of rest and pleasure whither we pretend. And if the bodie which the Greekes call Soma, to shew that it is a sepulcher to the soule, which they call by a name comming very neere to the other, to wit, Sima, where it seemes that during this life it is as it were buried and interred; when it pleaseth God to take it away, is it not as if he made it to come out of a tombe, and that he raised it. What occasion then can men haue to flie from bodily death, and to abhorre it so; seeing that separating the soule from the bodie, it puts the soule out of prison, and sends it in libertie to heauen, there to be re­ceived into the bosome of Iesus Christ, and to enioy with him and all the happie spirits [Page 77] the euerlasting consolations which are there promised and reserued for the elect. And the bodie on the other side in the earth, as in a bed, there for to sleepe and rest at his ease, without that his slumber be any more interrupted or troubled, neither by trouble­some dreames, nor by cares and solicitudes, nor by feares, nor by alarmes and violent noyses, nor by any other occasion whatsoe­uer, and that vntill the day of the resurre­ction, in the which it shall be awaked by the sound of Gods trumpet, & reunitted to the soule, hauing lost his mortalitie, corrup­tion,2. Cor. 15. dishonour and weakenesse in the earth, and bing clothed againe with glory, force, immortalitie and incorruption. Wherin we may see that it is without reason that men are so greatly affraid of the bodily death; the which for a time separates the body from the soule to the great profit of the one and the other; For the bodie is by that meanes out of all danger, not onely of sinne and of miseries which it draweth along with it, but also of all temptation, lying & resting in the earth in assured hope of the resurre­ction and euerlasting life. And although it seeme to be altogether depriued of life in the earrh, because that the soule departing from it, leaues it without any mouing, or [Page 78] feeling, and also that it rots and is reduced to dust; neuerthelesse being alwaies accom­panied with the spirit and infinite vertue of God who quickneth all things, it is not al­together separated from life, as saith St. Paul; If the spirit of him that hath raised vp Iesus Christ from the dead, dwelleth in vs, he that hath raised him vp wil also quickē your mortal bodies, because his spirit dwelleth in you. And it is the reason for the which else­where, he being willing to giue vs a picture of the resurrection to come of our bodies, doth propound it vnto vs vnder the figure of a seed put into the groūd, which hath life in it selfe; although that being in a garner it hath no shew of any, and that holding it in our hands we can iudge no otherwise of it but that it is a dead thing; neuertheles, whē it is put into the earth, where it might seeme that the life which should be in it, should there bee quite stifled and smothered, it shewes it selfe, and comes forth euen as out of the rottennesse, from whence we see spings the stalke, which afterward taketh nourishment and growth, which are effects and demonstrations of the life which was hid therein before it was put into the earth. And albeit that God in the Scripture calles himselfe the God Abraham, Mat. 22. euen after his [Page 79] death, and that he is not the God of the dead, but of the liuing, from thence it fol­lowes that not onely the soule of Abraham which he hath redeemed by the death of his Sonne, is yet liuing after it is separated from the body; but that also the body which doth participate in this same redemption, and which is vnited and incorporated with IESVS CHRIST, for to bee of his members, and which finally hath beene consecrated and dedicated vnto God, to the end that hee should dwell in it as his Temple, is not depriued of life,1. Cor. 3. euen at that time when it is rotted in the earth. Because that it is alwaies accompanyed with the grace of God, and comprehen­ded as well as the soule in the euerlasting alliance, which hee hath made with his people: the which alliance is a spring and veine of life, not vnto the soules onely, but vnto the bodies also of all the faithfull. And if as saith St. Iohn in his reuelati­ons, those are happy that die in the Lord,Reuel. 14 and there is no beatitude without life; from thence wee must conclude of two thinges, the one, eyther that the beatitude com­meth not to the bodie, or if it doth reach to it, that it is not exempt from life ly­ing in the earth. For although that beeing [Page 80] all worme-eaten it doth not in such estate shew any appearance of life, yet doth it al­waies retaine as it were a seed thereof, and budde, which shall appeare at the day of the resurrection, when the Spirit of God pow­ring his infinite vertue vpon our bodies, it shall raise them, and shall adorne them with glory and excellency, which God hath pro­mised to his elect. And euen as in an egge there is a chicken,Simil. and life hidden, the which is put in euidence when the hen commeth to heate and broode it with her heat; so the immortality and life, to the participation whereof as well our soules as our bodies haue bene called from that time that by faith we haue receiued the Gospell, (which is a word of life, and an incorruptible seed) shall be as it were disclosed at the latter day by the power of our God, who will reuiue vs as the heauen,2. Peter. 3. the earth and all other creatures, which thē shal be deliuered quite from the bondage of corruption.Rom. 8. Whereof we are also assured by the Baptisme which hath bene communicated vnto vs in the name of the Father, of the Sonne, and of the holy Ghost▪ for the water which hath bene powred on our bodies, & which the Scrip­ture calleth the washing of regeneration, is not to assure vs that our soules onely are [Page 81] washed and cleansed in the bloud of Iesus Christ, by the remission of our sinnes, but also our bodies. And that both together; being couered and cloathed with the iustice and innocency of the Sonne of God, and o­uer and aboue sanctified by his Spirit, are presently put in possession of life, and alto­gether freed and deliuered from the bon­dage of death, which hath no power (as we haue said) but there onely where sinne reigneth, which is the onely cause of death. The Lords Supper, in the which by faith ta­king the bread and wine which therein are administred by the M [...]ster, we are recei­ued to the participation of the flesh and bloud of Iesus Christ, and so vnited and in­corporated with him, that for euer (as saith St. Iohn,) he dwelleth in vs, and we in him,Ioh. 6. doth it not also assure vs, that being insepa­rably conioined with life, and the meanes of life, wee cannot die neither in soule nor in body, by the meanes of this vnion, which is common to both of them? The bodily death then should not seeme so horrible and feare­ful vnto vs as it is to many, who are affrigh­ted with it,Simil. as are children with a maske and false visage; for if a mother did present her self before her child in a shape mōstrous and hideous to behold, he would be affraid [Page 82] of it, and crying, would runne from it; but as soone as she hath lifted vp her maske, and that he knoweth her againe, he will runne towards her to embrace and kisse her. We also to be deliuered from this naturall feare and fright which we haue of death, we ought to vnmaske it, and looke vpon it now in the forme whereunto Iesus Christ by his death hath brought it; for euē as by his crosse he hath discharged vs of the curse vnto the which we were bound, and hath conuerted it into a blessing for vs; also by his death hath he not onely o [...]rcome it in vs, but al­so quickned our death: insomuch that now it is a hand of health vnto vs, and a port to enter into the kingdome of heauen, and to take possession of the most happy life which God hath promised to his children. That which maketh vs so to feare it is, that we be­hold it in the loking glasse of the law, which represents it vnto vs a fearefull figure to be­hold, and in guise of a Sergeant armed with the wrath of God, & all the threatnings and curses propoūded in his law against all those which transgesse it; who comes to do his ex­ploit, and to adiourne vs presently to ap­peare before his iudgement seate, and there to heare a sentence of the last & soueraigne Iudge, by whom we may be sent into an e­uerlasting [Page 83] fire, without hope of consola­tion, nor to haue euer other company, but that of diuels to torment vs. Which happe­ning, it is not possible when death presents it selfe so before our eyes, but we must haue such an apprehension, that it were sufficient altogether to confound & cast vs headlong into the gulfe of despaire, if it did continue long. But for to turne it from vs, we must do as they that haue their sight dimmed & da­zelled, which being too long setled vpon a colour too glistering, for to get it againe,Simil. they turne and cast it vpon another which is more cheerefull, ge [...]enish, & delightsome. Also to get our spirits againe when we feele them straied from vs, because of the appre­hension which the law hath giuen vs of death, we ought to behold the image therof in the looking glasse of the gospell, in the which Iesus Christ propounds it vnto vs as faire and more gracious and amiable,Act. 2. then Moses in his law had shewed it vs vgly and fearefull, without that she hath any more sting to pricke vs, nor cordes, chaines, or bands to retaine vs vnder her power. For Iesus Christ rising againe, hath broken them as Sampson in times past by a meruellous strength brake (as if it had bene a small twined flaxen threed) the great cords and [Page 84] cables, wherewith the Philistines thought they had so straitly bound and shakled him, that he could neuer haue escaped them. And neuerthelesse, they found themselues decei­ued, when thinking to haue set vpon him with great fury and impetuositie, they saw him breake them as easily, as another man would a towe threed halfe burnt. So death thinking, by causing Iesus Christ to die, that he had ouercome all, and brought all vnder his power, and so assured his Empyre, that it should neuer bee shooke, found her selfe vanquished and beaten downe, in such sort that she shall neuer be able to rise againe▪ as the Apostle writes to the Corinthians, that death hath bene swallowed vp of vi­ctory,1. Cor. 15. to wit, that which it had thought to haue obtained, when it caused Iesus Christ to die. Then death ought not to be fearefull for the reasons which we haue deduced, but to be wished for, for those which we shall deduce hereafter. For first it puts our soules in libertie, and deliuers them from the tor­ments, anguishes, feares, mistrustes, cares and desires, wherewith they are cruelly tor­tured whiles they are inclosed in the filthie prisons of our vicious, mortall and corrup­tible bodies. And deliuers likewise our bo­dies from innumerable dangers whereto [Page 85] they are exposed as well by sea and by land, as in all places where they are to be found. Item, from so many sorts of diseases, and languishings which do vndermine and con­sume them with insupportable dolours. I­tem, from the necessitie and paine of labour, vnto the which they are made subiect by sinne. And finally from a continuall care which they haue to enquire and seeke after the meanes to be nourished, cloathed, lod­ged, and fitted with all things necessarie for their entertainment. But all that is nothing in regard of the good which it doth vs, put­ting vs out of the danger of sinning any more, and of being any more tempted of the diuell, of the world, and of our owne desires, which cease, not to solicite vs to do euill and to prouoke vs incessantly to of­fend God, and by that meanes to draw vp­on vs all the curses, where with he threatens in his lawes all those that transgresse them, and disobey him. With what heate and vehemencie? with what sighes and gro­nings did the Apostle desire and demaund of God, that he would deliuer him from that pricking which he felt in his flesh?1. Cor. 11. from that Angell of Satan that buffeted him? And after that long and lamentable complaint which he maketh of this law,Rom. 7. which he saw [Page 86] in his members against the law of his vnder­standing, & rendering it captiue to the law of sin which was in his members: vpon the con­clusion of his discourse, what a lowde crie commeth he to cast from the bottome of his heart? Miserable man that I am, who shal deliuer me from the body of this death? whereby a bodie may know the mourning, which this holy man made, to see in him­selfe the tyranny of sinne, and to feele the violence which it vsed towards him, con­straining him to doe the euill that he would not, & to forsake the good which he desired to do with all his heart. O then happy death, who puttest vs out of so cruel & troblesome a bondage. Who shall also consider what a miserie it is to liue euen in the middest of the Church amongst barbarous people, and such as the Apostle foretold should come in those latter times, [...]. Tim. 3. to wit, people louing themselues, couetous, boasters, proud, scandalous, disobedient to father and mo­ther, vnthankfull, contemners of God, with­out naturall affection, backbiters, without temperance, cruell, hating the good, tray­tours, rash, puffed vp, louers of their plea­sures rather then of God, hauing a shew of godlinesse, but denying the forme thereof. And to be on the other side, inuironed and [Page 87] besieged on euery part, by people coniured and mortall enemies of the Gospell of Iesus Christ, and of his Church; mad and raue­ning dogs and wolues, phrenticke, dispiting God and his graces, curious, violent, out­ragious, prophane, blasphemers, hauing neither faith nor law, nor feare, nor consci­ence, that can reproue or retaine their ma­lice; who I say shall regard what an anguish it is to conuerse in the middest of a nation so wicked and peruerse, and to be constrai­ned to see their abhominable impieties and sacriledge, and heare their horrible blasphe­mises, which without feare and shame they disgorge against heauen, against the throne and Maiesty of God; and will not complaine of the length of his life, and say with Dauid?

Alas too long I slacke
Within the tents so blacke,
Psal. 120.
Which Cedars are by name,
By whom thy flocke elect,
And all of Isaacks sect,
Are put to open shame.
With them that peace did hate,
I came a peace to make,
And set a quiet life;
But when my tale was told
Causelesse I was controld
By them that would haue strife.

[Page 88] Elias seeing that the people of Israel had forsaken God,1 King. 18. and had altogether abando­ned themselues to Idolatry, and on the o­ther part the strange cruelties that Achab and Iesabel did vse and exercise against the Prophets, and seruants of God; being glut­ted and wearie of his life, hauing cast him­selfe into the desert vnder a banke, prayed God to take him out of this world, that he might see no more that which he had seene in it. Also it is not possible that a man of a good heart, seeing the disorders and confu­sions that are this day in the world, and that euerywhere (excepted a very few pla­ces) godlinesse and iustice are turned vpside downe, faith and the feare of God, vertue and veritie banished and exiled out of the companie of the most part of men; but hee must in his heart feele strange griefes: and that for to turne away the sight of such pitifull spectacles, would not wish his soule quickly to bee dislodged out of this earthly Tabernacle, for to take and haue his dwelling in heauen, where we hope for a permanent Citie, and a ha­bitation furnished and assured against all dangers, and that then shall bee fully accomplished that which the Prophet saith,

[Page 89]
Against all dangers from henceforth▪
Thy soule he will preserue,
And to thy deedes for euermore
A happy end reserue.

And that which ought to increase this de­sire, is, that going from hence, we shall be sodainly transported into heauen, where we shall see God face to face, and Iesus Christ in his glory; Which is a fight that rauish­eth the Angels, and all the happy Spirits, in such sort that they desire nor seeke after any thing else for their perfect contentment, as saith the Prophet,

I set the Lord still in my sight,
Psal. 16.
And trust him ouer all,
For he doth stand on my right hand,
Wherefore I shall not fall.

The Queene of Saba hauing seen Salomon and vnderstood his great wisedome by the resolution which he had giuen vpon all the points and questions,1. Kings 10. which shee had pro­pounded vnto him, hauing moreouer dili­gently considered and marked the order and great state which hee kept in his court; being as it were rauished, and as it were out of her selfe, shee cryed out; O how happy are the seruants of thy house, that may be­hold thy face euery day, and vnderstand the profound wisedome which distilleth inces­santly [Page 90] from thy lips? How much more happy shal we then be then they, fully enioying the glorious face of our God? and all the trea­sures of his diuine patiēce being opened vn­to vs? If Moyses be esteemed happy, & hath bin held for one of the greatest Prophets in the world, because he saw Gods hinder part only, what shall we be when wee shall see him face to face, & such as he is? Many kings and Prophets in the time of the Fathers, did feruently desire the cōming of Iesus Christ, & would haue thought themselues happy to see God manifested in the flesh, as Iohn Bap­tist, Simeon, & the Apostles saw him; what fe­licity ought we at this day to esteem it, when by death wee are so happy to see him in his glory & maiesty, clothed with his roial robe, sitting on the right hand of God his Father, hauing authority and power in heauen and earth, to gouerne & dispose of all things ac­cording to his good pleasure, and holding al his enimies as a foot-stoole, vnder his feete? When he transfigured himself in the moun­taine, Peter, Iohn, & Iames, because they had only seen as it were passing by, a small splen­dour of his glory, were sodainly so rauished and transported with it, that forgetting in an instant all other things, they desired for all happinesse, but that the pleasure which they [Page 91] felt at that houre, might alwaies continue with them. Then let vs now thinke, if [...] patterne, and as it were a finall drop of the life and glory to come, hath had so much power as to rauish the Disciples & to trans­port them forth of themselues; what shall become of vs, when according to our hope we shall haue the whole power, and shall drinke in that brooke, or to speake better, in that Sea of pleasure, and all perfect con­tentment, when this sempitern all happinesse whereof the Prophet speaketh, shall bee powred on our heads? Moreouer, shall not this ioy redouble when with Iesus Christ we shall see and behold all this faire and noble company of Angels, Archangels, Principal­lities, Powers, Patriarks, Prophets, Apostles, and Martyrs, and generally all the Church triumphant of the happy Spirits, who occu­py and exercise themselues in nothing else, but without ceasing to sing the praises of God, saying, Holy, holy, holy,Reuel. 4. Lord God e­uerlasting, which was, which is, and which shall befor euer? Item, To him that fitteth on the throne, & to the Lambe,Reuel. 5. be all honor praise, glory and power, for euer and euer. In times past it was a wonderful thing to see the assembly of all the Tribes of the people of Israell in Ierusalem,1 Kings 8. when that Salomon [Page 92] after hee had made an end of building the Temple, would solemnely dedicate it, with an Infinite number of Sacrifices, with per­fumes and sweet incense, with prayers and thanks-giuing, and an alacrity of the people of God, neuerheard off, nor seene before. There were yet since that two other nota­ble assemblies in Ierusalem, which are much celebrated in the Scripture, the one vnder the reigne of Ezekias, 2. Chron. 30. 2. Kings 23. and the other vnder Iosias, when these two good Princes moued with a zeale, piety, and seruice of God, which had beene miserably corrupted by the Idolatry and impiety of their Predeces­sors, did vndertake with valiant and heroy­call hearts, to cleanse the holy land of the filthy and stinking whordomes, as well cor­porall as spirituall, wherewith it was infe­cted; taking away all the stewes and Idols, in the whole land of Iuda, and abolishing all the false seruices, that the fathers and hypocrites had inuented, and established a­gainst the word and ordinance of God. And besides, to renew the alliance of God, which was almost altogither buried, and blotted out of the hearts of the people, did call togither all the inhabitants of the coun­trey, with the which, after the publike rea­ding of the law, they celebrated the feast of [Page 93] the Passeouer, with the greatest solemnity that euer was heard off or seene before. And we must not doubt but all well minded people, seeing such a company assembled togither to such a good end, did leape for ioy, beholding God in the middest of his holy people, hearing the accords and agree­ments which were reuiued betweene both parties, and the solemne promises and pro­testations, which were respectiuely made by God, assuring his people of his fauour for e­uer; and of his people, promising also ne­uer to change, but to continue in his alli­ance for euer, without euer departing out of his seruice, nor to make any other recko­ning after but only to honour him, and to celebrate and sanctifie his name. Although that such assemblies of the Church militant, whereof hath beene seene some pictures in these latter times, and should yet be seene, if Antichrist and his adherents did not hin­der it, be the goodliest, excellentest, and most to bee wished for thing, that can bee seene vpon the earth, as saith the Prophet,

O God thy house I loue most deare
Psal. 26.
To me it doth excell,
I haue delight and would be neare
Whereas thy grace doth dwell,

Item else where.

[Page 94]
Psal. 42.
Like as the heart doth breathe and bray
The well-spring to obtaine,
So doth my soule desire alway,
With thee Lord to remaine.
My soule doth thirst and would draw neare
The liuing God of might,
Oh when shall I come and appeare
In presence of his sight?
Psal. 92.
It is a thing both good and meete,
To praise the highest Lord,
And to thy name, ô thou most high
To sing with one accord,
To shew the kindnesse of the Lord
Betime eare it be light,
And eke declare his truth abroade,
When it doth draw to night.

All these passages, and many other suffici­ently shew in what estimation hee had the holy assemblies, which he preferred before all other pleasure. And to say true, all men that know and feele in themselues what the loue, the goodnesse, gentlenesse, mercy, cle­mency, benignity, wisdome, faithfulnes, pa­tience, verity, power, greatnesse, maiesty, iustice, liberality, and other soueraigne and infinite vertues of God, is, they can neuer sufficiently content themselues with thin­king on them, with preaching and celebra­ting them, with worshipping and admi [...]ing [Page 95] them, and summoning not only the Angels & all the hosts of heauen, but also all the ele­ments, all the plants, & euen the vnreasona­ble creatures, to magnifie his name, & to re­ioyce infinitly, when they heare him exalted and glorified. Although that neuerthelesse, the praises that men liuing yet in the world, sing vnto God, cānot be so holy, nor so well framed, but there will be much more to be desired; for being alwaies vnperfect, as we are, to what degree of faith or charity soeuer we haue attained; & besides, hauing a flesh the which fights incessantly against the spi­rit, and holds it backe and hinders it, when it would lift it selfe vp to God, it is impossi­ble that we should heare the word of God with such zeale & attention as might be re­quired, nor likewise that wee should make our confessions, prayers, and thansgiuings, with such humility as we ought. So it is yet, that when we heare the singing of Psalmes, spirituall Hymnes, Canticles and Songs, to eccho & sound in the middest of the assem­bly out of the mouthes of the faithfull, al­though they be infirme, weake, poore, and miserable sinners, we doe not let to be ra­uished & transported out of our selues, with the great ioy that we feele in our harts; what may we then think of the pleasure which we [Page 96] hope to receiue in heauen, when that our soules separated from our bodies, being then mounted, shall heare that sweet musicke and harmony of Angels and other happy Spirits, singing with one accord the praises of God, with such a melodious sound, that the contentment and ioy which they shall conceiue thereby, shall make them in an in­stant to forget not only all displeasure, but also all other pleasure? Like as a Tubbe of water is no more seene so soone as it is cast into the Sea, nor the brightnesse of the Starres when the Sunne beginnes to shine, and to cast his beames vpon the earth. Moreouer, when we die in the faith of our Lord, we are euen at the same instant most happy, that is to say, that then we haue no more desires, but such as are holy, and which at the selfe same houre of our death are fully glutted and satisfied; Which is not a small felicity, that wee hauing no more flesh to contrary the spirit, nor rebellious appetites to reason, nor law in our mem­bers disagreeing to the law of God; but that all tumults and troubles ceasing in our hearts, we may haue a soule altogither spi­rituall, calme, peaceable, liuing wholly to God, and which may be so fastened and v­nited vnto him, that neither by temptations [Page 97] nor any occasion it can be distracted neither from his loue and seruice, nor from the be­holding of his face. Is there any thing more pleasant to behold then a well gouerned ci­ty, where all the citizens and inhabitants are of one minde, and streightly bound to­gither by a true and firme amity, that giue no way to contentions, annoyances, de­bates, quarrels, partialities, diuisions, tu­mults, and seditions, but hold togither and liue all in an amiable concord? Is there like­wise any thing more to be wished for, then to see a house well ordered, where the Fa­ther and Mother of a family, with the chil­dren and seruants, walke altogither in the feare and obedience of God, contayne themselues within their bounds without exceeding, nor yet forsaking the rule and measure which God hath giuen in his law? St. Paul in many places of the Scripture propounds vnto vs the sweete harmony which is betweene all the members of mans body,Rom. 12. 1. Cor. 12. and the mutuall communication which is betweene them, of their faculties and powers, without being enuious of the dignity the one of the other, or that the other contemnes his fellow for his base­nesse; being desirous by this comparison to teach the Church, the fraternity and iust [Page 98] proportion, which ought to bee in the members thereof, for the good and con­seruation of euery one in particular, and of all the body in generall; which is the goodliest thing and most agreeable that is to be seene, if it might bee seene amongst men. It is also a very pleasant thing to heare a good lute well tuned, when it is touched by a skilfull player; But yet there is nothing more pleasant, then a soule well tuned in all her faculties, when the vnder­standing thinkes no more vpon any thing but God, and our will loueth, desireth nor aspires after any thing but him, and fi­nally our memory hath no other remem­brance but of him, as it happeneth vnto it, when hauing forsaken the body, it is re­ceiued in Paradise; For then it is all fil­led with God,1. Cor. 15. who is in her all things afterwards (as saith the Apostle) that is to say, all her thoughts, all her loue and desires, all her delights, all her remem­brance: Briefe, all her good, her part, her wishing and contentment is in God. Seeing then that by death wee attayne to a good, which wee cannot finde in this world, in what state soeuer wee are, and what commodities soeuer wee haue; for there is no King, nor Prince, nor Plow­man, [Page 99] nor Merchant, nor Aduocate, who liuing in this world, doth not of­ten complayne, and who hath not great occasions to complayne, many things hap­pening to all of them contrary to their liking, desire, and hope: are not wee then much beholding to death, when in a moment it maketh vs to enioy the so­ueraigne good, which consisteth in the perfect rest of our mindes, and in the sa­tisfaction of all our desires; the which indeede vaine men in vaine seeke for in the transitory thinges of this world? There is yet an other point which ought to make vs to embrace death willingly when our houre is come, which is, that it putteth vs in possession of all the good thinges which Iesus Christ hath purchased for vs. For whiles we liue in this world we are saued (as saith S. Paul) but by hope on­ly; But when by death wee depart out of it, then we shall enioy the euerlasting life, and that so great good, which the eye, the eare, the vnderstanding, and the heart of man, cannot conceiue nor apprehend the greatnesse of it. It was a great plea­sure to the children of Israel when after so long and hard a bondage in the which they had bin detained in Aegypt, after so many [Page 100] crosses and euill encounters which they had had in the deserts of Arabia the space of forty yeares, they saw that they were arriued at the riuer of Iordan, and that they wanting nothing but the passage ther­of, to enter into the possession of the land which God had promised to their Fathers, and which they had so long looked for. A yong man also that hath beene a long time vnder the keeping and protection of a ri­gorous and inhumane protector, that hath vsed him hardly, and hath suffered him to endure very much, without administring those things that were necessary vnto him, hath not he great matter of reioycing, see­ing the time approch, in the which hee is to be emancipate, and to goe out of his kee­ping, to bee at liberty, and to enioy his goods and pleasure, and that without any more controulement? The yong children of good house, that are with a King, or in the house of a Prince and great Lord, vnder the hand and conduct of a seuere and sharpe Rider or Tutor, who nourisheth and enter­taineth them vnder a good and rigorous discipline, are so glad when they are dis­charged of being Page, and that they goe out of the feare and bondage in the which they haue beene long and stricktly detay­ned. [Page 101] The young Maidens likewise, that haue beene very shortly curbed, in their Father and Mothers house during the time of their child-hood and youth, leape for ioy, when there is speech of marrying them, and reioyce yet more when they are affian­ced; but the scope of their pleasure is when they are espoused, and giuen into the hands of a husband that loues them, and is agree­able vnto them, for by this meanes they are wholly satisfied. We also that here be­low by the preaching of the Gospell of Ie­sus Christ, and the faith which we haue ad­ded to his promises, haue as it were affian­ced or betrothed him, what occasion shall we haue to reioyce, when our soules depar­ting from their bodies, shall flie vp into heauen, to marry him, and to celebrate the nuptiall feast with an alacrity and content­ment that shall neuer end, nor be interrup­ted nor troubled, neither by death nor by sicknesse, nor by any other accidents that may euer happen vnto vs? It shall be then, that our spouse comming to meete vs, shall say that which is written in the booke of Canticles; Come hither my loue, enter into the closet of thy friend, that thou and I may peaceably and without feare enioy our loues. Thy winter is passed, [Page 102] and so are likewise the Raine, the Snow, the Haile, the Cold and Frost, and all this sharpe and cruell season which thou hast beene faine to endure till now with much paine; but the spring wherein thou doest now enter, shall last thee for euer, and likewise all the pleasures that accompa­ny it. Enter then my loue into the ioy and rest of thy Lord; then shall it bee that the saying of the Prophet shall bee accom­plished.

Psal. 126.
Full true it is
That they which sow in teares in deede,
A time will come
When they shall reape in mirth and ioy.
They went and wept,
In bearing of their precious seede,
For that their foes
Full oftentimes did them annoy.
But their returne,
With ioy they shall sure see,
Their sheaues home bring,
And not impaired bee.

And that being out of custody and ward­ship, and taken from vnder the hands and discipline of our Tutors, wee shall bee set in full liberty and possession of the heri­tage, which God our good Father hath promised, and destinated vnto vs when [Page 103] hee adopted vs for his children, that is to say, of eternall life, and of the King­dome of heauen: which is a good that here may well bee hoped for; but for to speake of it or thinke it, it is impossible, what tongue or eloquence soeuer should bee imployed therein, for the greatnesse of it passeth all humane capacity. Now hauing fortified the sicke against the feare that hee may haue of death, hee must al­so bee assured against the feare of the Di­uell, who holds the Empire of death.Hebr. 2. For it is then as at a last assault, that hee vseth all his indeauours, and that hee prepares all his engins against vs, to assay to carry vs away; but being in the safe keeping of our Pastor, who is vigilant and watch­full to keepe vs, and stronger to defend vs, then can be the Wolfe and the Lyon to assault vs, wee ought not to feare: for who can snatch vs out of his hands,Iohn 10. seeing that hee and his father (who is greater then all) are but one in essence, in power, glory, and maiesty? VVee then are assured that as there is no sub­tlety that can surprise or beguile his wise­dome, that also there is no force suffi­cient to combate and resist his power. Let vs then keepe our selues vnder the [Page 104] shaddow of his wings, and assure our selues that he will keepe vs well and surely, and will hinder that the Diuels nor other crea­tures shall be able to hurt nor offend vs, as saith the Prophet.

Psal. 91.
He that within the secret place
Of God most high doth dwell,
In shaddow of the mightiest grace,
At rest shall keepe him well.
Thou art my hope and my strong hold,
I to the Lord will say,
My God is he in him will I
My whole affiance stay.

And after hee hath spoken of some euils from the which he doth assure the faithfull, that they cannot come neare them; at last he comes to the Diuels, ancient and mortall enimies to mankinde, and speaketh of them in this manner.

Vpon the Lyon thou shalt goe,
The Adder fell and long,
And treade vpon the Lyon yong
With Dragons stout and strong.
For he that trusteth vnto me
I will dispatch him quite,
And him defend, because that he
Doth know my name aright.

Where we see the victory which he promi­seth vs ouer the Diuels. And the example of [Page 105] the Apostles,Luk. 9. vnto whom Iesus Christ had made them subiect, insomuch that they were constrained to acknowledge the power which had beene giuen them ouer them, in obeying to the cōmandements which they made them in his name, ought well to as­sure vs, that going forth to combat against them, prouided that wee bee furnished with the same weapons that they had, to wit, faith and the word of God, we cannot faile but carry away the victory ouer them, and by faith to quench all their fiery darts:Ephes. 6. your aduersary the Diuell (saith S. Peter) like a roaring Lion walketh about seeking whom he may deuour,1. Peter. 5. whom resist stedfast in the faith; And S. Iohn, you are strong,1. Iohn 2. and the word of God dwelleth in you, and you haue ouercome the wicked. And doth not Iesus Christ say, speaking of faith,Mat. 16. that the gates of hell, that is to say, all the counsell, the subtleties, the sleights, meanes and power of the Diuell, shall haue no power against it; and as little haue they against the word. Which wee see plainly in the example of Iesus Christ;Mat. 4. for when hee came to assaile him, and hauing tryed by all meanes hee could, to cause him to fall into a mistrust of God, hee could neuer attaint him with all his fencing, because he found him coue­red, [Page 106] and so well armed on euery part with the word, that he was faine to leaue the field and victory, and to returne with shame. If we also be well armed with it, we need not feare that he can offend vs, or doubt but that vsing such weapons, we shall be victo­rious both against him, and against all our enemies. As saith St. Paul The weapons of one warfare are not carnall,2. Cor. 10. but mighty through God, to the ouerthrowing of strong holds, destroying the counsels, and euery high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God. Whosoeuer then would feare the diuell,Luc. 11. Iohn. 12. 1. Iohn. 3. Reuel. 12. being furnished with faith and the word of God, should thereby shew, that hee doth not yet well know what the force of the one and the other is, nor what is the strength of the Captaine that conducts vs, and vnder whose banner wee fight: for hath not he brused the head of the Serpent? hath not hee cast forth the strong out of his tower, and pillaged all his weapons? Is it not he that hath cast forth the Prince of this world, and who hath destroyed all the workes of the diuell? Is it not this great Captaine Michael, who hath alreadie got the victorie against the Dragon and his Angels, and still pursueth them vntill [Page 107] such time as they bee quite exterminate? Now the better to keepe our selues from him, we must note that the two prin­cipall crafts which hee trieth against vs, to make vs fall, are, if he seeth vs to bee vertu­ous, to eleuate vs into a vaine presumpti­on of our selues, of our workes and vertues. But if to the contrary he sees that we are vi­cious, and that during our life wee haue bene debauched and dissolute; then hee propones and sets that before our eyes, and doth euen amplifie and aggrauate as much as he can the enormitie of our sins, to the end to precipitate vs into a despayre of the grace of God. They are the two cordes (saith St. Augustine) wherewith this tor­mentor of mankinde is vsed to strangle men. But wee haue before shewed how wee must cast off these two temptations. And as for our Iustice, that it is so filthie and so imperfect, that wee must make no more account of it before God, then of old ragges and durtie linnen. And on the other part, that our vices cannot be so great, but the grace and mercy of God surmounts them; nor so filthy, but the iustice and bloud of Iesus Christ is sufficient to wash & make them cleane: nor finally so damnable, but in confessing then with humility & displeasure, [Page 108] God as soone sheweth himselfe faithfull, and iust to pardon,1. Iohn. 1. and quite forget them. It remaineth now to assure the sicke against the feare that he may haue of the iudgement of God. For when we see our selues as it were adiourned by sicknes, there personally to appeare shortly, if we are not altogether stupid, we will call to mind that which is said in the Scripture, to wit, That it is a horrible thing to fal into the hands of the liuing God.

Item, that there is no fauour, nor accep­tion of persons,Rom. 2. that is to say, respect to the greatnesse, nobility, riches, beauty, knowledge, kindred, alliance nor other such like, which are regarded amongst men, and oft times eauseth to make them strong, and decline in their iudgements from the straite way of iustice; Which happens not in the iudgement of God, who being impassible and vnchangeable, there is no­thing that can alter his will. By the meanes whereof all his iudgementes are mea­sured by the rule, and pronounced accor­ding to the rigour of the law. Item, that all our thoughts, affections, words, workes, and generally all the course of our life from the beginning to the end, is there vnfolded and sifted out to the last. That the bookes and registers are there produced, wherein [Page 109] are noted all the faults that euer wee did commit in heart, or in thought, with all their circumstances. Item that iudgement without mercy shal be done vnto those that haue not shewed mercy. And to be short, that no ver­tue is there receiued, nor any iustice allowed, that is not perfect, and accomplished in all points. When I say, we shall come to set all those things before vs, touching this iudgement so fearefull, the which we can neither shunne nor turne away from vs; and that on the other side there presents before our eyes the vices, the corruptions, the imperfections that are in vs, and the in­finite number of sinnes that we haue com­mitted, against the first and second table, that is to say, against God and man; it is not possible but we must stand astonished, and altogether amazed, seeing likewise that we haue parties and accusers, that pursue vs with all extremitie, to wit, the diuell, the law, and our owne consciences, which pro­duce against vs a thousand and a thousand informations, requiring that we be dam­ned, considering the quality of the crimes whereof wee are conuicted. All which thinges we cannot preuent, nor otherwise escape the rigour and iudgement of God, but first in confessing our debts; and af­terwards [Page 110] hauing recourse vnto the death of our Sauior Iesus Christ, to acquit vs of it. For it is not so with the iudgement of God, as with that of men, amongst whom the cri­minall is condemned as soone as by his mouth he auoucheth the offence: but to the contrary, the confession of our faults, is one of the meanes by the which we obtaine re­mission, and are absolued and iustified be­fore God, as faith St. Iohn, If we confesse our sins,1. Iohn. 1. he is faithfull & iust to pardon our sins, & to clense vs from all iniquity. And Dauid,

Psal. 32.
I did therefore confesse my faults,
And all my sinnes discouer,
Then thou O Lord didst me forgiue,
And all my sinnes passeouer.

After the confession and acknowledge­ment of our sinnes, we must goe to Iesus Christ, the iust, who is our aduocate towards the father, and the attonement for our sins, and relie wholy vpon him touching the handling of our cause. For hauing put it in­to his hands, we are assured to get it. And that when we shall appeare at the iudge­ment seate of God, wee shall not be con­demned, what accusation or crime soeuer be alledged or produced against vs by our ad­uersaries. He (saith he) that beleeueth and trusteth in mee,Iohn. 3. commeth not into iudge­ment. [Page 111] And elswhere, to comfort his disciples, hee exhorts them to looke for the day of iudgement, & when they see it come neere, to lift vp their heads on high,Luc. 21. and to re­ioyce, because their full and perfect redemp­tion is reserued to that day. And St. Paul confirmes it in the Epistle to the Romanes, with a maruellous ornament and magnifi­cence of words. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods chosen?Rom. 8. It is God that iustifieth; who is he that condemneth? It is Christ which died, yea rather which is raised againe, which is also on the right hand of God, and maketh intercession for vs: wherupon we must conclude that which he saith in the beginning of the chapter, That then there is now no condemnation for those that are in Iesus Christ, that is to say, that walke not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit; and that as Ie­sus Christ their head cannot be saued, but with them that are his members; also cannot they be damned, but he must bee also with them, by reason of the inseparable vnion that is betweene the head and the members. Moreouer seeing that Iesus Christ dying for vs, hath suffered the paine & curse that was due vnto vs by our sins, & by con­sequence satisfied to the iustice of God, we [Page 112] must not feare, that hee should againe demaund of vs the payment of these debts that are already acquitted. For it should be against all order of iustice, not onely diuine, but also humane, to demaund to be paid one onely debt twise. Hauing then remitted both our selues and all our causes into the hands of our Sauiour and Aduocate Iesus Christ, let vs neuer feare to sink vnder the iudgement of God, where the Sonne is alwaies before the face of his Father making intercession for vs,Rom. 8. Heb. 9. and bea­ring vs vpon his shoulders, and in his bo­some, as in times past the high Priest bare the names of the twelue tribes of Israel, to pre­sent them vnto God as often as they entred into the Sanctuary, with a plate of gold vpon his forehead, wherein was ingraued these words, The holy one of the Lord: To the end (as saith Moses) to render them agreeable before the Lord. Which was a figure, of the which Iesus Christ our great High Priest, and euerlasting Priest ac­cording to the order of Melchisedecke, did exhibite and represent the truth vpon the Crosse, when offering himselfe to God a sacrifice for vs, he sanctified vs, and made vs agreeable to God for euer. We must not then feare that being in the grace and fauor [Page 113] of God, as we are, and hauing an aduocate towards him, in whom hee taketh all his pleasure, hee can of will euer condemne vs, when wee shall appeare before him in iudgement; and likewise being cloathed, with these goodly long roabes whereof is spoken in th [...] Reuelation, the which be­cause they are dyed and cleansed in the bloud of the Lambe, shall beare our iu­stification with them. After the sicke hath beene so assured against the feare which hee may haue of his sinnes, of death, of the diuell, and iudgement of God; if you see that he is in any sort sory to leaue the world, and that the honours, riches, plea­sures, ease, rest, and the loue that he may yet beare to weake and corruptible things, doe hold him as it were pestered, and doe hinder his will from departing and going willingly whither God doth call him: Then you must first shew him in generall, that the world is altogether laid and soaked in wickednesse,1 Ioh. 5. 1. Ioh. 2. that it passeth away with all the lustes thereof, that it knoweth not God, that we are no more of the world, that God hath taken vs out of it, to the end we be not wrapped vp with it in one and the fame condemnation; that wee can­not loue the world, but we must be enemies [Page 114] to God; that the diuell is the Prince of the world, and by consequent, that wee can­not loue the word, nor all the things of the world, but we must be subiects and slaues to the Prince of darknesse: that we cannot be faithfull nor members of Iesus Christ, but the world must be crucified to vs,Gal. 5. and wee to the world: that by the example of the A­postle, we ought no more to esteeme the world with all the glory, and excesse there­of, then doung or a withered flower: that being heere as passengers and strangers, we outght not there to settle our dwelling, as in a permanent Citie and lodging, but to lodge as in an Inne, and to be alwaies rea­die to packe and be gone betimes, that we may rid way, vntill such time we attaine to the place where we pretend to soiourne for euer; that is to say, in heauen, whither we should bee alreadie wholly transported in heart, in thought, in desire, and in all our affection, and there to haue all our con­uersation, as saith the Apostle.Phil. 3. For being risen againe with IESVS CHRIST, and vnited with him inseparably, although that in bodie wee are kept off, and sepa­rated, yet ought wee to be conioyned and present with him in our mindes, and in our soules, and wholy to forget the world [Page] and the earth, that wee may no more thinke vpon, nor seeke after any thing but onely those that are from aboue. Should not our heart bee where our treasure is? and where is our treasure but in heauen, where IESVS CHRIST is in glorie? who hath all our life hidden in him,Col. 3. and all the treasures, not onely of the science and wisedome of God: but also of all the giftes, graces, honours, riches, and bles­sings, which God his Father hath com­municated vnto him, to impart vnto his Church heere beneath through hope, and there aboue by possession, when our soules going out of the filthie, stinking, and ob­scure prisons of our bodies, shall (like vnto that of poore Lazarus) bee by the Angels conueied into Abrahams bosome, there to rest and to reioyce for euer, as it is written,

The children of thy seruants Lord,
Psal. 102.
Continually endure,
And in thy sight their happy seede,
For euer shall stand sure.

Although then that it bee so that wee doe nothing but languish in the world, like poore men that liue in exile with barbarous and inhumane people, ought not we to bee glad, when God calles vs to [Page 116] establish vs in our countrie, or with our bre­thren, that is to say, the Patriarches, Pro­phets, Apostles, Martyrs, and all the happie spirits, that we may together enioy in peace, the glory, honour, rest, and all that great and perfect felicity, which he hath promi­sed and prepared in his Kingdome for all his elect. It is maruell that men, and euen the faithfull, that are instructed not onely by the word of God, but also by so many ex­periences which they see euery day, that all the brightnesse and glory of the world are but vanities and illusions and dreames that passe, doe neuerthelesse suffer themselues to be so bewitched by flatteries and wan­tonnesse, that at last they become altoge­ther sencelesse beastes, like the compani­ons of Vlysses by the charmes and enchant­ments of Circes. For must not their iudge­ment be much corrupted, and altogether peruerted, to grieue at their departure out of this world to go vp into heauen; and to preferre changeable, vncertaine, tran­sitorie and corruptible things, which cause infinite paines to follow & purchase them, and as many cares to keepe them, and yet more sorrow and griefe when they are lost, before the goods which God promiseth in his Kingdome, which are certaine, vn­changeable, [Page 117] incorruptible, euerlasting, and assured, and which can bring nothing to those that enioy them, but a true, entire and perfect contentment: Wherein (as did our first parents) for an Apple we for­sake a Paradise, not earthly, but heauenly, that is to say, all the delightes and grea­test pleasures that can be imagined; for a messe of pottage, wee sell our birth-right aod goods appertayning thereunto, as did Esau; we make more account of the gar­like and onions of Egypt, then the holy Land with all the plentie and blessings thereof. Briefe, wee had rather (as did the prodigall child.) liue amongst hogs, vpon chaffe and wash, then bee nou­rished and sustayned in our fathers house with the breade of Angels; and finally, that after the example of Lots wife, we mourne for the losse of the infamous plea­sures of our Sodome, with the which we had rather perish, then by forsaking them to be saued: the which bewayling, we may say with the Prophet.

O folke vnwise and people rude,
Psal. 94.
Some knowledge now discerne,
Ye fooles among the multitude,
At length beginne to learne.

For what maketh you so much to e­steeme [Page 118] the world and that which is there­in, but a damnable desire, the which blindes vs in such sort that it maketh vs oft times to take the light for darknesse, and to the contrary, darknesse for light, the bitter for the sweete, and the sweete for the bitter? To the end then that we be not deceiued in our iudgements, wee must ground them not vpon the outward appearance; nor vpon the common er­rour of men, which being sensuall, doe not approoue nor reiect the thinges that are present before them, but according as they are pleasant, or contrarie to their sence and appetite. But wee must iudge all thinges as saith the Apostle, by the word of God, which is an infallible rule to discerne the true from the false. And not in our iudgements to follow our rea­son or carnall prudence, which is ene­mie to GOD, and iustifieth ordinarily that which hee condemnes, and to the contrarie condemnes that which hee iu­stifieth.

Now let vs then see what the word of God teacheth vs touching the world and the thinges that are of the world: Loue not the world (saith Saint Iohn,) nor the thinges that are of the world; [Page 119] for if any man loue the world, the cha­ritie of the Father is not in him; for that which is in the world, to wit, the de­sires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the ouerweaning of life, is not of God, but of the world. There is then that which the holy Apostle teacheth vs of the world, that wee must not loue it, if wee will that God loue vs. And Salo­mon when hee speakes of it, sayeth, that after hee had long and diligently consi­dered all the state of this world, the va­rietie and inconstancie of mens mindes, the diuersitie of studies, whereunto they apply themselues, the mutabilitie and so­daine changing of their counsels, the little iudgement that they haue to praise or reuile, to extoll or disprayse; to loue or hate, to pursue or disdayne the things which are set before them; hee hath ob­serued not onely by reason, but also by experience, that the desires of most men are but folly and vanitie, the which they worship, being induced thereunto by their appetites; the which because they are blind, and doe not suffer themselues to be led by any good reason, are easi­ly transported euery where, where their pleasure and the diuell driues them; whereof [Page 120] commeth that some pursue ambitiously the honors and greatnesse of the world, & that for to attayne thereunto they violate all rights and lawes, forget all piety and huma­nity, mingle and confound all things, cherish and fauour the wicked with whom they league themselues, hate and reiect the good and vertuous, make warre against the coun­trey wherein they were borne, nourished and brought vp, take the liberty from it if they can, & by a cruell tyrannie which they vse therein, bring it to a miserable bondage, as did Iulius Caesar, and before and after him many others; doth not that euidently shew that there is nothing truer then that which Iesus Christ said of such ambitious men: to wit, that that which is great and much estee­med of men,Luk. 16. is for the most part abhomina­ble before God? And how should they be agreeable, seeing the most part beleeue nei­ther in him not in Iesus Christ? as it is writ­ten in St. Iohn, Iohn 5. How can you beleeue seeing you receiue glory the one of the other, and seek not after the glory which cōmeth from God alone? And elsewhere, the Pharisees & chiefe men of Ierusalem, condemning them­selues, said;Iohn 9. Is there any one of al the Princes that haue beleeued in him, to wit, Iesus Christ?Mat. 11. And in St. Mathew, O Father Lord [Page 121] of heauen and earth, I giue thee thanks that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and vnderstanding, & hast reuealed them to the little ones. We ought not then to grieue to forsake the honors and greatnesse of this world, which ordinarily maketh vs to for­get God and our selues, and which turne vs from the study and exercise of vertue, which induce vs to seeke our owne glory rather then Gods, which maketh vs to disdaine our neighbours, and to forget that wee are but dust and ashes, and which finally brings vs to worship the Diuell, and make vs in­sensible as saith the Prophet.

Thus man to honor God hath cald,
Psal. 49.
Yet doth he not consider,
But like brute beast so doth he liue,
Which turne to dust and powder.

And a little before where hee yet speakes more expresly of the foolish purposes and imaginations of the ambitious.

Their care is to build houses faire,
And so determine sure,
To make their name right great on earth,
For euer to endure.
Yet shall no man alwaies enioy,
High honor, wealth and rest,
But shall at length taste of deaths cup,
As well as the brute beast.

[Page 122]Now as wee ought not to grieue to for­sake the honours and great estates of the world, for the reasons aboue declared; al­so ought wee not to bee sorry for the riches and temporall goods, when going out of this life wee are constrained to leaue them. For to speake properly, they are not the right goods of the children of God, nor the inheritance which their father keepeth, and that Iesus Christ hath purchasest for them; for his Kingdome, which is the good which is promised vs, is not of this world, but heauenly; Also the force, the estate, the riches, the honours, the plea­sures, the counsell, the peace, and all the felicity of that Kingdome is diuine and spi­rituall. IESVS CHRIST who is the King, what temporall goods did hee pos­sesse or purchase, being in the world, where he had not only so much as the little birds or the foxes, that is to say, a neast, a caue, or a little hole to rest his head in? And the Apostles, who are as Princes of the King­dome, what reuenues, what great possessions had they in the world? St. Peter said, spea­king to the lame man that lay at the gate of the temple asking almes,Act. 3. I haue neither gold nor siluer, but that which I haue I giue it vn­to thee, In the name of Iesus the Nazarite [Page 123] arise and walke. And S. Paul, 2. Cor. 6. we are poore and needy, and neuerthelesse we inrich ma­ny; as hauing nothing and possessing all things. We may see by this, that the goods wherewith God doth here inrich his chil­dren, are not the earthly and corruptible goods that are subiect to Theeues, to the rust and to the moth: but spirituall, certaine and permanent goods, which cost nothing neither to buy nor to keepe them; for God of his gracious goodnesse hath giuen them vnto vs, & preserues them for vs. And there is none that can take them from vs but him selfe, which he neuer doth, but when hee is compelled, either by our ingratitude, or be­cause that we abuse them, turning them to an other end, then that for the which he did inlarge them vnto vs. The goods then which we ought to esteeme and seeke after, are the heauenly goods, as the grace of God, our adoption, faith, the word of the Gospell, hope, charity, patience, humility, the peace and rest of our consciences, & singularly the iustice of Iesus Christ, which is the fountaine from the which spring and distill vpon vs all the graces, fauors, and blessings of our God; because that by it, and by the communicati­on which is made vnto vs by it, wee are re­conciled and reunited vnto him, continued [Page 124] and entertayned in his fauour, whereby we conceiue a certayne and infallible hope of life euerlasting, which is the fulnesse and heigth of all good, and of all the true felici­ty that we can desire. It is there then where we ought alwaies to aspire, and whither all the thoughts of our minds, and all the de­sires of our hearts should tend; For it is our soueraigne good, and the scope of our bea­titude, and not these transitory things, which make them neuer the better that pos­sesse them; but are many times cause that they waxe worse, if they obserue them well, as saith the Apostle,1. Tim. 6. and to swell with vaine presumption, and to be haughty and proud, and to set their hope vpon the vncertainty of riches, to keepe a ranke by themselues, and to be very little conuersant, to be inso­lent and outragious, as saith Dauid.

Psal. 73.
Therefore presumption doth embrace
Their necks as doth a chaine,
And are euen wrapt as in a roabe,
With rapine and disdaine.

And speaking of the trust which ordina­rily they set vpon their riches, saith else­where.

Psal. 49.
—As for them that riches haue,
Wherein their trust is most,
And they which of their treasure great
[Page 125]Themselues doe bragge and boast.

Then mocking them he addes:

There is not one of them that can
His brothers death redeeme,
Or that can giue a price to pay
Sufficient for him.

Item, in an other place where he speakes of both togither, to wit, of the iniustice, vio­lence, and oppression which the rich and mighty of this world vse to the poore, and of their vaine hopes.

The sonnes of men deceitfull are
On ballance but a sleight,
Psal. 62.
With things most vaine doe them compare,
For they can keepe no weight.
Trust not in wrong, robbery or stealth,
Let vaine delights be gone,
Though goods well got flow in with wealth,
Set not your hearts thereon.

It is the reason for the which Iesus Christ calleth richesse, riches of iniquity,Luk. 16. not but that they are creatures of God, and good, when men can vse them well, and apply them as God hath commanded; But be­cause almost all men abuse them, causing them to serue to their disordinate desires. Also saith St. Paul, 1. Tim. 6. the Diuell makes vse of them as of snares and ginnes, to intrap and intangle them, and to cause them to fall into [Page 126] many foolish and noysome desires which bring them to perdition and destruction, and euen sometimes causeth them to de­part from the faith: as euery day wee see it happeneth to many Apostataes, who being reproued for reuolting and going from the Church, haue no other answere to excuse and colour their Apostacy, but that they will not leese their goods; louing rather to perish cursedly in keeping them as goods for a short time, then to be saued for euer in forsaking them. Wherein they shew them­selues to be farre from following the coun­sell of Iesus Christ, and to bee of his Disci­ples, vnto whom he counselleth, that if their hand or foote cause them to stumble,Mat. 19. that they cut it off and cast it behinde them, because it is better for them to goe into the Kingdome of heauen lame, then to be sent into torments with two legges and two armes. And of the eye likewise, which is the part of the body that we hold dearest; if it offend vs, that wee ought to pull it out and cast it from vs. For (saith he) it were better to enter into life with one eye, then to haue two, and to bee cast into torments. What ought wee then to doe with tempo­rall goods, when wee feele that by them wee are detayned or distracted from fol­lowing [Page 127] IESVS CHRIST chearefully? were it not more expedient and healthfull for vs, with a good courage to breake these snares that hold vs so intangled, and to escape, then to remayne caught and intrapt, and to fall into the handes of the fowler? Crates the Theban, feeling that the goods which hee did possesse drew him from the study of Philosophie, and that the care which hee had to administer them, did not suffer him to practise it with such leasure and liberty of minde as hee desi­red, tooke them and cast them into the Sea; saying very well, that hee had rather to drowne them, then they should drowne him. And if a poore Pagane hath done this through a desire that hee had to learne the knowledge of morall and pollitike vertues, to the ende to frame and rule the course of his life well, what should wee doe that are Christi­ans, instructed by the word and Spi­rit of GOD, that haue the promises, and so certayne a hope of euerlasting life and the Kingdome of heauen, that wee ought not in any wise to doubt, but that wee shall also one day haue the possession of it? Let vs then leaue the vvorldly goodes to vvorldly men, [Page 128] and to those that haue no other hope, not other Paradise but vpon the earth. If wee haue any;1. Cor. 7. let vs possesse it as if we had it not, and let vs take no more of it then wee must needes for our vse, that is to say, for our bare nourishment and cloathing; which Iesus Christ teacheth in his forme of praier which he gaue to his Disciples, where he teacheth them to demand nothing else but their day­lie bread; Condemning thereby the deli­cates, the lickorishnesse and wantonnesse, the sumptuousnesse, the excesse, and all the vaine superfluities of this world. For the world as it is corrupted and excessiue in all things, doth not content it selfe with super­fluous things only; but the children of God ought to content themselues with things necessary, & thinke that they are very rich, when they haue crusts or barly bread, or lit­tle fishes broyled as had Iesus Christ and his Apostles, a little cake baked vpon the harth, as Elias had; Locusts, as Iohn Baptist had to nourish him, and to cloth him, a course coate shagged with Cammels haire. How­soeuer, they must possesse the riches, and not suffer themselues to bee possessed by it, let them rule it, and let them not suffer them­selues to be ruled of it. Conclusion, whether God giueth them any, or whether hee takes [Page 129] any from them, they must bee as ready to leaue it as to take it, and to blesse the name of God as well for the one as for the o­ther, as did patient Iob. The third concu­piscence and the most dangerous, is the concupiscence of the flesh, the which Salomon pursues at large, in Ecclesiastes, to shew that it is the chiefest and most generall of all vanities; For there are few folkes in the world, or perhaps none, but seeke after the contentment and pleasure of the flesh. Some delight in building of houses and stately Pallaces, for to perpe­tuate the memory of their names, as saith the Prophet,

Their care is to build houses faire,
Psal. 49.
And so determine sure.
To make their name right great on earth;
For euer to endure.
Yet shall no man alwaies enioy,
High honor, wealth and rest,
But shall at length taste of deaths cup.
As well as the brute beast.

Others take pleasure in hauing faire gar­dens, faire orchards, faire plats, faire al­lies well couered, to bee coole and in the shaddow; Others apparell themselues richly, and spend almost the whole day in combing and curling their haire, in [Page 130] setting of their stuffes, in looking in a glasse, in perfuming of them selues. O­thers desire to haue rich and sumptuous houshold stuffe, for to adorne and decke vp their Hals and Chambers, good Tape­stry, faire Pictures, Bedsteds, Couerings, Chaines of gold, and the richest imbrode­rings that can be found, Iuory casements, and great store of gold and siluer plate. Others desire to haue their tables well co­uered with the rarest and most exquisite meates that can bee found, and lickorish Cookes answerable to dresse and season them. Others take pleasure in being in merry company, there to laugh, reioyce, dance and reuell, and to doe other things which cannot bee spoken nor written with modesty. And what is all this in summe? is it any thing else but the markes, monu­ments and trophees of the luxurie, dissolu­tion and vanity of Christians? As it was spoken in times past of the golden Image which Phryna a famous Cortizan of A­thens, caused to bee erected in the mid­dest of their Citty, with this faire inscrip­tion vnder it, This is the trophie of the spoiles of the dissolute and infamous lasci­uiousnesse of the Greekes, that was done in one onely Citty of the Grecians, for [Page 131] to reproue the lasciuious life of the Citti­zens.

But this day amongst Christians, there is neuer a house in the Citties and Townes, nor any Villages in the Countrey, but you may see the Scutchins of the world set vp, and of that filthy spirit that reignes therein; and euen in those dayes which GOD hath reserued to himselfe, to the end that in them all the world should employ themselues to serue and to praise him, and they altogither should thinke of nothing else, but of sanctifying and cele­brating his most holy name. But men are so farre from doing that, that of the seauen dayes in the weeke there is neuer a one wherein GOD is so much propha­ned and blasphemed, as hee is on those dayes; which now a dayes seemes to bee appointed to giue pastime to the Diuell, to our flesh, for dancing, feasting, and all other merry pastimes, which the one and the other desire. Who is hee then that can with reason bee sorry for such pleasures when they leaue them? the which bring nothing else but shame and dishonour, spoile and losse of goods, infinite diseases to body and soule, a stu­pidity and dulnesse; ruines and desola­tions [Page 132] of Countries, Kingdomes, and houses, a contempt of vertue and of all honesty, a hatred of all true religion and of God him­selfe, whom these swine flie from, and haue in such horror, that they would gladly ne­uer heare talke of him; Which moreouer doe not only effeminate vs, but make vs in the end like vnto beasts, and they stay not long to bring vs to death, when wee continue in them. Let vs then looke that by their flatteries and faire countenance, they doe not seduce vs. Their apparant beauty which appeares outward, is alluring, and deceiues those that doe not beware of the poyson that is hidden vnderneath. Like vnto the Bird and the Fish that are taken with the hooke,Simil. being drawen thereunto and deceiued by the baite that couers it. Let vs then behold them behind and not before, as Aristotle did wisely admonish; for pleasures before seeme faire like vnto Syrenes; but if men looke vpon them behinde, they draw after them a long Serpents taile so vgly, that the sight of it only is fearefull. Ha, who were able to recount the deluge of euils and miseries that haue befallen vs by that little pleasure which our first Parents had in eating the fruit that was forbidden them? Which [Page 133] was cause that God, who is so patient and so stow to wrath, did send that great deluge of waters vpon the earth, by the which he blotted out and raced euery liuing soule from off the face of the earth, reseruing none aliue but onely Noah and his wife, and the liuing creatures which he gathered into the Arke with him. The occasion of so horrible and fearefull a iudgement of God, was it not the filthy whordomes that reigned in those dayes amongst men, who tooke indifferently all the women and maids they pleased, without hauing any re­gard to the order and honesty which GOD had commanded in instituting marriage at the beginning of the world? What was like­wise the cause of the totall subuersion and ruine of Sodome and the Townes round about, but their infamous adulteries, and the filthy pleasures that they tooke in their banquets and gluttony? Wherefore also did God anger himselfe so sharpely a­gainst his people in the deserts, where at one time hee slew three and twenty thousand, and at an other a great num­ber; was it not by reason of the whore­domes which they committed with the Madianitides? And the quailes which they had demaunded to satisfie their gluttony, [Page 134] whereof GOD would perpetuate, the memory, commaunding that the place; where they had receiued so great a wound, should bee afterwards called the Sepulcres; of concupiscence? What did happen af­terwards in Hemors house and Towne, by reason of the whoredome which his sonne Sichem had committed with Dina, Iacobs onely Daughter? And in Dauids for hauing abused the wife of his seruant Vriah? And Salomons his sonne who was so wise, and had receiued of GOD so many honours and fauours, and so much glory, richesse, and power, and besides all that so many faire and excellent pro­mises of GOD, that hee might iustly call himselfe, of all the Kings and Princes of the earth the Pearle? And neuerthelesse the delights and pleasures of the world, could mannage him so well, that they tooke away his good vnderstanding, e­uen in his old age when hee should haue had most prudence, and his iudgement most setled and stayed. And they made him not onely to forget GOD, and the obligation which hee had towards him; But also to sacrifice vnto Idols, like a man out of his wits, and that to satisfie to the Women and strange Concubines [Page 135] wherewith hee had acquainted himselfe, against the expresse commaundement of GOD; whereupon afterward followed many euils vnto his house, and to his po­sterity. Achabs house was it not ruina­ted and destroyed euen to the roote, by reason of the whoredomes as well corpo­rall as spirituall that reigned therein? What was the cause of so many piteous tragedies, that haue beene written of the ruines, miseries and desolations hap­pened in the house of Priam, a King re­nowned in riches, greatnesse, and glory, amongst all the greatest and mightiest Princes of Asia; was it not the foolish loue betweene Helen and Paris? The occasion likewise of those which happe­ned in the Court of great Agamemnon, after hee was returned from Troy with victory, and loaden with glory and boun­ty, was it not the impudency of his wife Clitemnestra, and of Aegistus, her adul­terer? The spoiles which were made in Ionia in the time of Cyrus, and the great calamities and miseries that fell ouer all the Countrey, which was the fairest and most fruitfull that was in all Asia, did they not also proceede of this occasion, as Herodotus reciteth? Ah, who is able [Page 136] to repea [...]e all the euils, which this cursed concupiscence of the flesh hath brought, and still bringeth daylie with it? Surely, Plato named it very well, a baite of all mishaps and miseries. And Adrian the Emperour figured it properly,Simil. comparing it to a Pill that is gilded on the toppe, to bee swallowed the more easily; But when men come to disgest it, then they feele the bitternesse of it. There is only this difference, that the pils purge and empty all ill humours out of the body, to make it healthfull; But pleasures to the contra­ry heape on more and multiply them, and doe wholly corrupt all good dispositions as well of body as of soule. When they are turned from vs, either by sicknesse, po­uerty, age, or otherwise, wee ought no lesse to reioyce then if wee were escaped from the hands of some cruell and furious Tyrants: for there is no tyrannie more cruell, then that of our pleasures and cu­pidities (as saith Cicero,) by reason that others extend but onely to the goods and body; but this reacheth to the soule and conscience, which it tortures and torments in a strange fashion. Whoso­euer then desireth a liberty and peace in his minde, and to haue a ioyfull and [Page 137] peaceable heart, which is the most pre­cious good that wee can seeke or finde in this world, hee must giue ouer all the plea­sures of this world, and reioyce when they goe from him, as they doe at death. These things must be propounded to the sicke that finde themselues too much addicted to the deceitfull pleasures of this world; and on the other side represent those vnto them that stay & are alreadie prepared for them in heauen, the which are so great that the odour and taste onely which by the spirit of God the Apostles and Martyrs haue had of them, hath made them to forget the world with all the delights thereof, before they were departed out of it. What shall it then be, when being dead, we shall drinke by great draftes at the floud of these pleasures? when we shall openly behold the face of our God and Sauiour Iesus Christ? when we shall be set at his Table with the Patri­arkes, Abraham, Isaak, and Iacob? when we shall heare the sweete musicke of An­gels, singing incessantly, To the holy, holy, holy great God of battailes be praise, glo­ry, and honour for euer when God shall wipe all teares from the eyes of his chil­dren, that he will cause them to enter into the possession of his rest and of his ioy? [Page 138] That he will cause them to sit by [...] vpon the seats that were long since set vp and prepared for them, that they may altoge­ther iudge the world and the diuels: and finally that in steede of the Sunne and the Moone, Hee will bee a perpetuall light vnto them, and will powre vpon them a sempiternal pleasure. This pleasure shall bee as saith IESVS CHRIST, a per­manent and euerlasting pleasure, and not like vnto the worldly pleasures which va­nish away with the time, and loose their sauour, how great and agreeable soeuer they be in their beginning: which we see in men euery day by experience, who long for the things which they desire with a feruencie and vehemencie, and when they haue obtained that which they demanded, and haue enioyed it for a time at their plea­sure, then this great heate beginneth to coole and diminish, and in the end, is withered and decayed quite. And likewise it happeneth oft, that after wee haue en­ioyed that which wee desired with such af­fection, wee disdaine it afterward, with as great a dislike; whereof wee haue in the Scripture a notable example in Am­mon Dauids sonne, and his sister Tha­mar.

[Page 139]But the true pleasures which the happie soules enioy in the kingdome of heauen, are of another nature. For in satisfying vs, they leaue vs alwaies an appetite, and in glut­ting vs, they leaue vs hungrie; they quench our thirst, and yet wee are alwaies drie, insomuch that in contenting and satisfy­ing our appetites, they leaue vs a desire to remaine alwaies in that estate, which maketh that wee are neuer wearie. They are then the true pleasures which wee ought alwaies to desire and seeke after, and not the worldly pleasures that are all itchie and scabbie.Simil. For as those that are scabbie take pleasure, and feele some ease whiles they doe scratch their scabbes, the which neuerthelesse lasteth but a little, be­ing presently followed with a paine that smarteth afterward: Also the voluptuous men haue neuer any pleasure but it is in­termingled with a thousand sorrowes.Simil. And their pleasure is like vnto that which those feele that are tickled, the which hath I cannot tell what kinde of paine and toyle, which maketh him to forget and hate it.

There is yet a griefe that may much torment the sicke, and which must be ta­ken away; to wit, for their wiues and [Page 140] children, from the presence and companie of whom they feare to bee separated by death. Now the consolation which ought to be giuen them, & the remedy which ought to be applied thereunto, is to alledge vnto them the promises which God maketh to widowes, that he takes them into his pro­tection, and promiseth to haue a particular care ouer them, and to defend & maintaine them against those that shall oppresse them, and to doe a horrible vengeance for the outrages and iniuries that shall be done vnto them.

Item, it must be alledged vnto them, that although they be forsaken of their mortall husband whom they had espoused; not­withstanding that there remaineth another immortall for them, to wit, Iesus Christ, who will neuer forsake them, no more then all the rest of the faithfull, who altoge­ther relie vpon him, and that leauing them in the keeping of such an executor they can want nothing; you must also shew them that going out of this world, it is as if they and their wiues, vndertooke a iourney toge­ther, whither the one goeth first, and the other followeth soone after. And finally, that as in the beginning of their mariage, it hath not grieued him to forsake father [Page 141] and mother to cleaue to his wife; that now also it should not bee grieuous to him to leaue his wife for to returne to God, who ought to be dearer to vs then fathers, mo­thers, wiues, children, or any thing else. As for the children, you must set before them that faire promise, which God made to them and to their children, and which hee hath sealed and ratified in the Baptisme of the one and the other; to wit, that he will be their God, and to their seede after them: for that ought to assure them, that the same fauors that God hath done for them, shall be continued to their posteritie, as he promiseth expresly in Exodus, that he will shew mercy to a thousand generations in those that loue him, and feare him, and are curious in keeping of his commaunde­ments. What then can those children want, who being imitators of the faith and godli­nesse of their fathers, are assured by the pro­mise of God, to be alwaies enuironed and couered with his grace & goodnesse, which grace is the spring head from whence all happinesse and prosperity floweth vpon vs? Moses saith, that man liueth not by bread onely,Deut. 6. but of euery word proceeding from the mouth of God; which is not to be re­ferred to the nourishment onely, but to all [Page 142] the other commodities of mans life. The fathers that shall leaue this word with their childrē, ought not to be in care for the nou­rishment, nor the apparrel, nor all the enter­tainment of their children; for they are cer­taine by the word of God, that in seeking his kingdome and his iustice, hee will ac­commodate them with all things neces­sarie for this present life: for being their Pa­stor as he hath bene to their fathers, can he euer forget them, or leaue the care that he hath of his sheepe? Dauid saith, speaking of the prouidence of God, and exhorting e­uery one to relie vpon it as he did,

Psal. 23.
The Lord is onely my support,
And hee that doth mee feede,
How can I then lacke any thing
Whereof I stand in neede?

Item else where, where he compareth the condition of the wicked with that of the good, he speaketh thus of the good:

Psal. 37.
They shall not bee discouraged
When some are hard bested,
When other shall bee hungerbit,
They shall be clad and fed.
For whosoeuer wicked is
And enemie to the Lord,
Shall quaile, yea melt euen as lambs grease
Or smoake that flieth abroad.

[Page 143]And going on.

Behold the wicked [...] much,
And neuer payeth againe,
Psal. 37.
Whereas the iust by liberall gifts
Makes many glad and faine.
For they whom God doth blesse shall haue
The land for heritage,
And they whom hee doth curse likewise,
Shall perish in his rage.

And a little after.

I haue bene yong, but now am old,
Psal. 37.
Yet did I neue see
The iust man left, nor yet his seede
To beg for misery▪
But giues alwaies most liberally,
And lends whereas is neede:
His children and posteritie
Receiue of God their meede.

Let him then that is sicke leaue his childrē in Gods keeping. For he cannot giue them a better nor a more faithfull executor; and you must not feare, prouided that they containe thēselues in his obediēce, & that they walke in his feare, & that they goe alwaies before him with a roundnes & simplicity of heart, that any mishap befal them. Now hitherto we haue treated and spoken of the things which are fitting to be propounded to the sick, as wel to instruct the, as to comfort and [Page 144] exhort them to do their dutie; and also the meanes that they must follow, to arme themselues against the temptations, where­with they may be assayled in their sicknesses It remaines to make the summe of all these discourses, to the end the Reader may com­prehend, and note briefely all that is there­in handled, and serue himselfe there­with in the comforting of those that are sicke, as hee shall finde to bee expedient for them.

Eccles. 7. Salomon saith that it is better to goe into the house of mourning then into the house of banquetting, because that there is the end of all men, and the liuing puts that in his heart: To teach that the principall stu­die and exercise whereto man ought to ap­ply himselfe during this life, is the medita­tion of the frailtie, misery, breuitie, incon­stancie, and vncertainty thereof. And to present his end before him, it is death which alwaies followeth vs step by step, and wee know not the howre nor the day when it must call vs like vnto an husher before our Iudge, to giue him an account of all our life. It is then good that we haue alwaies our memory present, and keeping our selues readie, and that holding our lampes burning and lightned in our hands, we bee [Page 145] not surprised with the sudden and vnexpe­cted comming of our spouse, but readie to receiue him, when he shall come, and to enter into his rest with him. But because the loue of this life, and the sweetnesse and delights of this world, doe often full vs a­sleepe, and turne from vs the remembrance of these things, to awake vs, we cannot doe better then to frequent the sicke folkes houses, and hospitals, not onely there to behold on euery side, the Images and ex­amples of the corruption and mortality of our poore nature, to the end to humble our selues, and to containe our selues modestly: But also to exercise our charity towards those that languish and are affected, in com­forting them.

The which then to do, we must first shew them, that all sicknesse commeth from God, and he sendeth it, sometimes to chastise and to bridle vs, sometimes to proue and exer­cise our vertue; giuing vs by that meanes matter and argument to shew the affiance and trust that we haue in him, to require his mercie by prayers, and sighings, to acknow­ledge and confesse our faults and offences with griefe & displeasure; and to bring the sicke to this point, to cause him to make a true and humble confession of his sinne.

[Page 146]Secondly we must propound vnto him, that it is the spring and principall cause of sick­nesses as well corporall as spirituall, and for to heale them, they must take away the cau­ses which ingendred them; that is to say, our sinnes, whereof we cannot be otherwise deliuered, but by the remission and pardon that God giueth vs of them by his grace; prouided (as saith St. Iohn) that we confesse them vnto him,1. Iohn. 1. and be assured that Iesus Christ is our aduocate and mediator to­wards him, by the means of his iustice wher­with he couereth and blots them out, in such sort that they come not in iudgement.

And because that the loue which we beare naturally doth blind vs, and is cause that we neuer thinke our selues so vicious, and im­perfect as we are, we must (to take away this vaile from before the eyes of the sicke) lay before him the law of God, as a loo­king glasse, wherein hee may behold his whole life, and to giue him to vnderstand how by that, not onely our actions, but al­so our whole nature is condemned.

And for proofe and confirmation there­of alledge generally vnto him, that we are all conceiued in sinne, and borne the chil­dren of wrath, that we are but flesh and all vanity, that we are sold vnder sinne, that in [Page 147] vs there is no goodnesse, that euen all our iustice is but olde ragges; and for conclu­sion that we are nothing at all, but dust and putrifaction. After that, we must make vn­to him a briefe discourse vpon all the com­mandements of God, and shew vnto him by little and little, that whensoeuer he shall examine himselfe, he shall finde that there is not one of them, but he hath very often transgressed, and beginning at the first table put him in mind.

1 That he hath not done his duty in see­king after God, & endeuoring to know him.

That he hath not loued him with all his heart, with all his strength, and with all his vnderstanding.

That he hath not alwaies put his whole trust in him.

That he hath often doubted of his pro­mises, and hath mistrusted his helpe.

That hee hath rather relied vpon the armes of the flesh, and humane meanes which he had, then vpon the succour and helpe of God.

That hee hath not waited for all his prosperity and aduancement from his onely fauour and blessing.

That he hath not alwaies called vpon him in his affairs, with assurance & certaine hope [Page 148] to be vnderstood, and to obtaine.

That he hath not alwaies feared and re­uerenced him, as did appertaine to his high and soueraigne Maiestie.

That hee hath not alwaies giuen him thankes, and blessed his name for all things, and at all times, as well in aduersitie as in prosperitie.

2 Afterwards, that thinking vpon God, he hath presented him vnto himselfe some­times vnder a humane and corporall figure.

That he hath not apprehended him like vnto a Spirit being immense, infinite, inui­sible, immortall, impassible, vnchangeable, soueraigne in might, goodnesse, mercy, iu­stice and verity, like vnto a protector of all vertue and perfection, and a spring of all life and light, fountaine of all fulnesse and good, the scope of beatitude and felicity, beginning and end of all things, who is, and by his onely word causeth all creatures to subsist.

That he hath not serued and worshipped him in spirit and truth, as he requireth and commandeth vs in his law.

That he hath bene more curious of cere­monies and exterior demonstrations of pie­tie, then of piety it selfe, and to make the shew of a Christian then to be one indeed.

[Page 149]And finally, that he hath not alwaies thought that the true and legitimate seruice of God, consisteth onely in the obedience of his holy will.

3 That speaking of God, it hath not bene with such respect and reuerence of his Maiestie as did appertaine; that he hath not studied to sanctifie, celebrate and glorifie his name as he ought.

That by his wicked life and conuersation, he hath bene cause that he hath bene blas­phemed by the ignorant and infidels.

That he hath not heard, reade and medi­tated the word of God, with such de­sire, feare and zeale as was required, to doe honour vnto the Lord who spake, and in whose name it was denounced vn­to him.

That he hath not alwaies spoken of the workes of God, nor in them acknowledged the greatnesse of his power, wisedome, and goodnesse, with such praise, admiration, and astonishment as they deserue by their am­plitude and magnificence.

That being at the Lords table at all times when the communion hath bene celebrated in the Church, it hath not bene with such humility and deuotion, nor such contēplati­on of the mystery there set before him, nor [Page 150] such eleuation of his heart vpwards, where Iesus Christ is set at the right hand of God his father, as he ought to haue done.

4 That in the daies appointed to abstaine and rest from prophane and bodily worke, to the end wholy to be applied to the san­ctification onely of the name of God, hee hath not altogether giuen himselfe to the meditation and exercises of spiritual things, thinking vpon, nor seeking after nothing, but onely those that are aboue.

That he hath often bene more curious of his temporall affaires, then to seeke the kingdome of God and his iustice, prefer­ring by that meanes this transitorie and corruptible life, before the happy and euer­lasting life, and the care of his bodie before that which he should haue had of his soule: and the seruice of the world, and of his flesh before the seruice of God, which hee ought to haue honoured aboue all things.

That for small and light occasions he hath dispenced with himselfe not being at the place of conuocations and Ecclesiasticall as­semblies, there to make a publike confession and protestation of his faith, to shew his deuotion, and the feare that he hath of God, to edifie the company by his example, [Page 151] and to publish to euery one without shame, without feare, and without any dissimulation and hypocrisie, the religion that hee meanes to follow and hold, and in the which hee is resolued to liue and die.

That hee hath not employed himselfe to instruct and catechise his wife, his chil­dren, his seruants, and all his familie, as he is bound, calling them to morning and euening prayer, exhorting them to reade and meditate the word of God, and to sing Psalmes, Hymnes, and Can­ticles to his praise, and to conferre amongst them of all holy things, and not to holde any speech but that onely that may ad­uance and make them them to grow more and more in the knowledge and feare of God.

That after the spirituall exercises to the which men ought principally to giue them­selues in the daies of rest, as to heare the exhortations with feare and reuerence, and in all humilitie to assist at the pub­licke confessions, prayers, and thankes­giuings that are made and giuen to God in the whole assembly, hee hath not re­serued himselfe the rest of the day to vi­site the prisoners, to comfort the sicke, [Page 152] to enquire after the poore, and to seeke them out to assist them.

After hauing thus briefly discoursed to the sicke the faultes which he may haue committed against the commandements of the first Table, then must you passe from thence to the second, and giue him to vn­derstand:

5 That first he hath not borne to his su­periours such honour and reuerence, nor shewed such nor so readie obedience, nor finally bene so fearefull to offend them as God commaunds him in his law. And if he haue done any duty towards them, that it rather hath bene to be ridde of them, or for feare of punishment, if he should haue done otherwise, then for respect that he beares them in his conscience, or desire that he had in that to obey God.

That he hath not alwaies so well prayed to God for their health and prosperity, and to direct them with his holy Spirit in their counsels, and to giue them the grace to gouerne themselues by his word in all their actions, and generally to blesse and direct them in all their waies, as he was bound thereunto by the expresse comman­dement of God.

That he hath not had such an opinion and [Page 153] esteeme of his Pastors, that haue the charge of his soule, and to administer the spirituall foode and nourriture; that he hath not re­spected their authority, hearkened to their voice, receiued their admonitions, obeyed the doctrine which they did preach, and wil­lingly yeelded to the soft yoake and charge of Iesus Christ, which they imposed vpon him in his name.

That he hath not often spoken of them nor of their fashions and demeanures in such honour as might be required. And if in his presence any would blase or prate of them, that he hath not opposed himselfe a­gainst them, and hath not forbidden them as he ought.

6 Item, that hee hath not loued his neighbours as himselfe, desiring and wish­ing as much good to them as to themselues.

That hee hath hated them when hee hath thought to haue receiued some da­mage by them, wishing all ill hap and death vnto them.

That hee hath desired and sought the meanes to be reuenged of his enimies, ma­king no reckoning of the defence which God maketh against it, reseruing the pur­sute and vengeance to himselfe of all the wrong done to his children and seruants.

[Page 154]That hee hath not beene pittifull to the poore, nor done his duty in administring of his goods vnto them, to nourish and clothe them, lodge and fit them with things necessary to the comforting and entertayning of their poore life, and to the easing of so many miseries and tribu­lations, wherewith they are inuironed on euery side.

That hee hath not visited his poore bre­thren being sicke, nor afforded them bodily and spirituall comfort.

That hee hath not opposed himselfe against the wicked and malicious men, that did oppresse them, and hath not im­ployed his power and his meanes to defend them, from the violence and outrage that is done vnto them.

That hee hath not reioyced at the pros­perity of his neighbours; but hath beene iealous and enuious of their felicity, when hee hath seene that God did blesse them, and did aduaunce them to some higher de­gree then hee.

7 That hee hath not possessed his ves­sell, that is to say, his body, in honour and sanctification as hee ought, nor considered that it was a Temple that God by his spirit had dedicated to himselfe, and that hee [Page 155] ought for this regard to keepe it from all filthinesse and pollution.

That hee hath not turned his eyes from false beholdings so carefully as hee ought, but in steede of retaining and keeping them in, hath suffered them to stray and runne after all their concupiscences.

That hee hath not subdued his flesh vnto such seruitude as hee ought, to make it sub­iect or obedient to the spirit in all points.

That hee hath nourished and intreated himselfe too delicately, and hath not al­waies vsed sobriety and abstinence, suffi­cient to represse the passions, and to coole the heate of his concupiscence.

That by discourse, letters, gifts, smiles, lookes, dances, gestures and shamefull mo­tions, hee hath tempted the chastity and honour of the wife, daughter, and seruant of his neighbour.

That in the fashion of his apparell hee hath had more regard, and taken more pleasure to adorne the outward man, then the interiour, and to please the world, then to edifie the Church with an outward apparant modesty in his be­hauiour.

That hee hath not beene curious enough to keepe the chastity of his eares and [Page 156] of his tongue, neither to heare nor speake word or speech, that were dissolute or dis­honest.

8 That hee hath beene couetous to in­rich himselfe by vnlawfull and indirect meanes.

That in his dealings and businesse with his neighbours, hee hath not alwaies wal­ked straightly, roundly, iustly, sincerely, and vprightly, as God commandeth to keepe and entertaine the society that he will haue kept amongst men.

That hee hath obserued the times of fa­mine and dearth, to sell his goods and mer­chandizes at the highest rate, and by that meanes to make his gaine vpon the publike miseries and calamities.

That the surplus of the goods that God had giuen him for the entertainment of him and his family, being due to the poore, hee hath reserued and laid vp in his chests, sel­lers, and garners, robbing and defrauding by that meanes, those to whom it was iust­ly due.

That not considering, that piety with contentment (as saith the Apostle) is a great reuenue, and that for that reason it ought to suffice to haue apparell, nourishment, and that which is necessary for vs, hee thought [Page 157] hee was not rich, if beside that hee had not many superfluous things.

That hee hath not beene liberall, nor quickly giuen some of his goods to whom­soeuer demanded any, considering and be­leeuing that it is a happier thing to giue then to take.

That hee hath not payed the labourers their wages presently without deferring till the next day.

9 That he hath not loued the truth in his wordes and deedes, saying and speaking no­thing foolishly and slightly; nor shewing a grauity and sincerity in all his speeches, workes, fashions, and countenances, that might be worthy of a true man in deede.

That in him there hath beene much hy­pocrisie, colouring and disguising, whether it were to exalt and magnifie his vertues, or to palliate and excuse his vices with some false pretence.

That hee hath not beene so couragious, nor so constant to confesse and defend the truth against the blasphemers and enimies thereof, and to the contrary to combate a­gainst errours and lyes as he ought.

That through enuie and malice hee hath detracted and spoken euill of his neigh­bours, and falsly to accuse their actions, [Page 158] which might haue beene excused, and by his exceptions vsed meanes to obscure the brightnesse and the glory of their vertues.

That hee hath taken pleasure to heare flatterers, and these that indeauoured to make him beleeue that hee was more ver­tuous and lesse vicious, then his conscience it selfe in secret did witnesse vnto him.

10 That in fine to close vp his confession, you must shew vnto him, that all his nature, as also the nature of all men vpon the earth is vicious, and that of it selfe it cannot bring forth nothing but bad fruits, no more then a bad tree; to wit all euill thoughts, all dis­ordinate affections, all noysome and disho­nest speeches, and all workes contrary to the will of God; leauing and omitting on the other side, all that which is conformable and commanded by him.

Now after hauing shewed him his faults to make him the better to feele them, and thereby to conceiue the more displeasure for them, they must bee exaggerated vnto him by the circumstances of the person, of the place, and of the time that hee did them.

And when you see him humbled and beaten downe with the feeling of them, you must raise him againe and comfort [Page 159] him, in shewing him the remission of his sinnes, and for to assure him thereof intirely.

You must deduce and discourse particu­larly the reasons contayned in the Treatise, and going on take away the feare that hee may haue of Death, of the Diuell, and of the Iudgement of God, and finally the griefe for the world, and those thinges which hee leaueth therein, by the hope and desire which ought to bee laid before him of the neare enioying of heauenly and incorruptible goods; and that done, to kneele downe and pray to GOD for him and all that are in the company in this man­ner.

Prayer.

O GOD and Father of all consolati­on, who hast promised to heare the prayers and graunt the requests of all those that call vpon thee in verity, and not to reiect any one that presents and prostrates themselues before thee with a sorrowfull soule and a contrite heart, sub­dued and deiected with the remembrance and feeling of his sinnes, wee beseech [Page 160] thee altogither that in the name and for the loue of thy sonne Iesus Christ our only Sa­uiour and Mediatour, thou wouldest please to stretch forth thy mercy ouer all vs that are here assembled in thy name, and singu­larly vpon our brother whom thou hast pleased to visit and afflict with sicknesse, and by it to couer, forget, remit, and quite blot out all his faults whereby hee may haue of­fended thee in all his life. And we pray thee to doe him yet this fauour, to seale in his heart by thy holy Spirit the remission which thou giuest him of all his sinnes; to the end he may feele peace in his conscience, and that with ioy and full assurance, he may pre­pare himselfe to appeare before thee when it shall please thee to call him out of this world; Assuring himselfe that there is no condemnation neither for him, nor for all those that by a true faith are ancred, vnited, and incorporated into thy sonne IESVS CHRIST; That his Sinnes, Death, the Diuell, nor any creature can separate him from thy loue, nor cast him out of thy fauor; and that thy throne, is not a throne of ri­gour and iustice, but a hauen of health, a shelter and saueguard for all the faithfull. Doe him this good (good God) to fortifie and strengthen him in the faith of all these [Page 161] things; in such sort that hee may couer himselfe with them as with a Target, and may by that meanes bee strengthened and made inuincible against all the temptations wherewith hee may bee assailed, and that leauing and casting behinde him all other trust, he may make no reckoning, nor relie vpon any thing else, but vpon the onely iustice, obedience, and sacrifice of thy sonne, to assure himselfe against thy iudgement. Wee beseech thee moreouer to giue him the grace, with all his heart to pardon his neighbours all the faults by the which they may haue offended him; To the end that being conioyned and vnited in true chari­ty to all the members of the body of thy Church, hee may bee so likewise with the head, and with thee Lord. Finally, wee beseech thee that it would please thee to giue vs the grace so well to behold in the person and sicknesse of our brother, how vncertaine and short the course of our life is, that wee may looke about vs betimes, and that withdrawing our hearts from the vanities of this world, wee may employ that little time that wee haue here to liue, to learne thy wisedome, that is to say, firmely to beleeue and to trust to thy pro­mises, [Page 162] quickly to obey to that which thou commandest, and carefully to shunne and auoid that which thou forbid­dest.

FINIS.
COMFORT FOR THOSE TH …

COMFORT FOR THOSE THAT ARE SICKE (DRAWEN OVT OF THE HOLY SCRIP­TVRES) TO PREPARE them to die.

MORE, A short Catechisme, which is not only to instruct the Sicke, but also to refresh his memory with the great mysterie of our Redemption.

MATTHEW 24.

The negligent seruant that makes not him­selfe ready, shall bee surprised and hewen in peeces, and haue his portion with the Hypocrites; there shall bee weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Death is the end, and beginning of life.

PRINTED 1611.

Ecclesiasticus 18.

Take physicke before sicknesse, and examine thy selfe before iudgment, and thou shalt finde pardon in the presence of God.

Reuelation 3.

If thou doest not watch, I will come vnto thee as a theefe, and thou shalt not know at what houre I will come vnto thee.

Reuelation 16.

Happy is hee that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, to the end that hee walke not naked, and that his shame bee not seene.

Matthew 24. Luke 12.

Bee ready, for the sonne of man will come in an houre that you thinke not.

To the faithfull Reader, Health.

FRiendly Reader, take in good part this present com­fort, the which I haue here written for the good and profit of euery one that hath the feare of God, to make vse of it at his neede, when it shall please the Lord to call him; But be aduertised (that thou maist vse it well) that these three letters B.S.N. the first signifieth, brother to a man, the second sister to a woman, and the third, that you must name the partie by their proper name. For it ought not to be ho­noured with names of worldly honour and dignity, but to oppose it selfe against Sa­tan [Page 166] in the name of the Lord, it ought to be named by the proper name which it re­ceiued at the holy Sacrament of Baptisme. Which doing thou shalt obey vnto God, whom I beseech to be fauourable vnto thee, at the day of his comming. (*⁎*)

COMFORT FOR THOSE THAT ARE SICKE, DRAWEN OVT OF THE HOLY SCRIPTVRES FOR to prepare them to die.

B.S.N. HE that is of God hearkeneth to the word of God,Iohn 8. and doth not onely hearken vnto it, but keepeth it and puts it in execution; for all things shall haue an end,Mat. 7. Hebr. 1. Isa. 40. and waxe old as doth a garment, but the word of God du­reth for euer. Now seeing it is so, that by a man sinne came into the world,Rom. 5. and by sinne death, and consequently all afflictions and aduersities thereon depending, with iust occasion the life of man is but a con­tinuall warfare vpon earth;Rom. 7. so that the flesh fighteth against the spirit, and the spirit [Page 168] against the Diuell, the World, and the Flesh, which are the enimies of our soules. But following the counsell of the Apostle, to obtayne victorie in this spirituall battaile, wee must constantly resist by faith;1. Peter 5. For the victorie that surmounts the world, is our faith;1. John 5. The which is a certaine and a firme knowledge of the loue of God to­wards vs,Hebr. 11. according as by his Gospell hee declares himselfe to bee our Father and Sa­uiour, by the meanes of IESVS CHRIST. Hauing then such a firme faith for your principall foundation; Acknowledge and confesse without feyning before the maie­sty of God, that you are a poore and mise­rable sinner,Psal. 51. conceiued and borne in ini­quity and corruption, inclined to doe euill, vnprofitable to all good, and that through your vice you haue without ceasing trans­gressed the holy Commandements of God;Luke 17. which doing, you haue purchased by his iust iudgement, ruine and perdition vpon you. Neuerthelesse, you are displeased with your selfe that you haue offended him, and doe condemne both you & your vices with true repentance, desiring that the grace of God may succour you in your calamity; Pray then in such a firme faith,Psal. 51. if you cannot with your mouth, say it with your heart; That [Page 169] God our benigne father, and full of mercy, enter not in iudgement,Psalm. 142. nor in account with you, but that it would please him to haue pitie on you in the name of his sonne Iesus Christ our Lord, and that he would blot out all your spottes and vices by the merite of the death and passion of the same Iesus Christ; in whose name pre­sent vnto him his holy prayer, the which hee hath taught vs, saying with all your heart:

Our Father which art in heauen, Matth. 6. hal­lowed be thy name, Thy Kingdome come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heauen, Giue vs this day our daily bread, And for­giue vs our trespasses, as we forgiue them that trespasse against vs, And leade vs not into temptation, But deliuer vs from euill, For thine is the kingdome, the power and the glory, for euer and euer. Amen.

B. S. N. Acknowledge with all your heart, your vnrighteousnesse, haue a dis­pleasure for your sinnes, repent incessant­ly, and the kingdome of God will draw neere vnto you.Matth. 3. Acknowledge that there is no righteousnesse, nor innocency, nor a­ny good workes from you, nor in you;Titus. 3. but that like vnto a childe of wrath, con­ceiued and borne in the sinne of old Adam, [Page 170] you merite euerlasting death and damna­tion. Neuerthelesse that neither that, nor all the sinnes in the world,Ephe. 2. Psal. 51. Rom. 8. although you should haue committed them, doe not make you affraid. For IESVS CHRIST true Sonne of the euerlasting God, is be­come man, conceiued of the holy Ghost, borne of the Virgine Mary, to sanctifie and cleanse you;Rom. 1. Luc. 1. Mat. 1. hee hath suffered vnder Pontius Pilate many afflictions, iniuries and outrages, yeelding himselfe to bon­dage,Phil. 2. Act 3. Mat. 27. to set you at full liberty. IESVS CHRIST was crucified as accursed vp­on the Crosse, to deliuer you from the e­uerlasting curse: IESVS CHRIST died and shed his most precious bloud,Isa. 13. Reuel. 1. Heb. 9. to wash you, to redeeme you, to deliuer you wholy from death, from hell, and from the power of Satan.1. Pet. 1. Rom. 6. Act. 2. 1. Pet. 2. Iesus Christ was bu­ried in a Sepulcher, to burie all your sinnes, the which hee hath borne and blot­ted out. Iesus Christ descended into hell, suffering an extreme agonie, for to deliuer you from all the paines & dolours of death.Marc. 16. Iesus Christ is risen againe from the dead, to make you rise in your proper body,1. Cor. 15. and glorious immortality.Act. 1. Iesus Christ ascen­ded into heauen, to make you ascend thi­ther after him.Col 3. Iesus Christ fitteth at the [Page 171] right hand of God his Father Almightie, being your aduocate and intercessour to­wards him,1. Iohn. 2. Heb. 7. Mat. 25. Psalm. 61. Rom. 8. and the attonement of all your sinnes; we waite for his comming to iudge the quicke and the dead, to render vnto e­uery one according to his workes. But to the faithfull that beleeue in him,Mat. 25. he will not impute their sins; but hauing iustified them through his grace, wil make them to reigne with him for euer in his heauenly throne.

B. S. N. Such is the great mysterie of our redemption, the which by the meanes of the holy Ghost, you must firmely be­leeue hath bene done for your saluation. And doubt not but by the merits of Iesus Christ, the head of his Church, you are one member incorporated therein;Eph. 1. giuing him thankes in all humilitie, that he hath giuen you the grace to liue in the communion of his faithful ones, hauing nourished you with his word, with his body, and with his bloud:Mat. 4. 1 Cor. 11. acknowledging as well assured, the great mercy of God in the remission of all your sinnes,Rom. 5. 1. Cor. 15. the which is shewne you through Ie­sus Christ, who shal cause you to rise againe at the latter day to reigne with him in euer­sting life,Marc. 16. the which he hath promised to all those that beleeue in him, being baptized in his name.

[Page 172]Then B. S. N. seeing you haue this faith, doubt not but to receiue the pro­mise of faith; for God is true, he is no lyar like vnto men.Rom. 3. Mat. 24. Heauen and earth shall passe; but the word of God shall endure for euer;Isa. 40. God is your Father and Creator, you are his Creature, and the workman­ship of his hands;Gen. 1. hee did not make you to destroy you; for he is the Sauiour of all men,1. Tim. 2. and desires not the death of a sin­ner, but that hee turne and liue. Where­fore I pronounce vnto you in the name of God,Mat. 9. Marc. 2. that by his great goodnesse and mercy, hee hath giuen you a pardon and full remission of all your sinnes,Luc. 5. Titus. 3. through the onely merite of his sonne IESVS CHRIST our Lord, in the shedding of his most precious bloud;Tim. 1. Act. 4. Reuel. 1. 1. Iohn. 2. for hee is the propitiation, not onely for your sinnes, but for the sinnes of the whole world.

Mat. 17. B. S. N. Iesus Christ saith with his owne mouth, that all things are possible to him that beleeueth: Beleeue then with­out doubting at all,Rom. 1. Phil. 2. 1. Pet. 1. that Iesus Christ put­ting on our flesh, made himselfe perfect man, whereby hee died for you, hauing borne all your sinnes in his bodie to abo­lish and blot them out. Present vnto God the precious death of his Sonne Iesus [Page 173] Christ, and by the merite of that death and passion aske him forgiuenesse, and mercie, saying, from the bottome of your heart in all humilitie and repentance.

LOrd God Almightie, be mercifull to mee poore miserable sinner, for the loue of thy Sonne IESVS CHRIST my Lord and Sauiour,Rom. 3. Iohn. 14. and through the merite of his death and passion, that it may please thee to receiue my soule,Mat. 26. the which I recommend into thy hands.

B. S. N. Put your firme confidence in God; for seeing hee is with you,Rom. 8. no man will bee against you: Iesus Christ, who is the imaculate Lambe, hath ouer­come all for you,Isa. 61. Heb. 7.8.9. hee hath offered him­selfe once for you, and by that onely ob­lation hath quite done away all your sinnes; he hath done away your folly, vn­righteousnesse, abhomination, and obli­gation; with this good Lord IESVS CHRIST, God the Father hath giuen you all things.

B. S. N. Strengthen your selfe in IE­SVS CHRIST,Rom. 8. who calleth and inui­teth you by his Prophets, Apostles and Euangelists, to addresse your selfe directly vnto him: saying. All that are thirstie,Isa. 55. Mat. 11. [Page 174] come to the great fountaine;Isa. 55. Mat. 11. Come to me all yee that are heauy laden, and I will re­fresh you.

B. S. N. Beleeue stedfastly that IESVS CHRIST hath discharged you of all your sinnes,1. Iohn 5. and hath reconciled you to God his Father; vnto whom in all humility and re­pentance, say from the bottome of your heart.

Rom. 3. Iohn 14.LOrd God Almighty, be mercifull vnto mee poore miserable sinner, for the loue of thy Sonne IESVS CHRIST my Lord and Sauiour; and by the merit of his death and passion,Mat. 26. Psa. 30. that it would please thee to receiue my soule the which I com­mend into thy hands.

B.S.N. Bee in hope; for, for a cer­tayne hee will receiue your soule as his owne for the loue of Iesus Christ his Sonne our Lord,Marke 16. Deut. 18. Psal. 2. Isa. 53. Genes. 3. & 22. Mat. 9. who is the Sauiour and Redee­mer of all those that beleeue in him. Moy­ses and all the Prophets haue testified, that all people shall receiue saluation and bles­sing through Iesus Christ. The Apostles and Euangelists testifie that Iesus Christ is not come to call the iust,Iohn 10. Luke 22. but sinners to repentance, and to giue his soule for the redemption of many; for hee hath shedde [Page 175] his bloud for the remission of sinnes. Be­leeue then and doubt not at all, for IE­SVS CHRIST hath made the purga­tion of all your sinnes,Heb. 1. hauing promi­sed that all those that beleeue in him, and in his Father that sent him, shall haue eternall life,Iohn. 5. and shall not come to iudgement, but shall passe from death to life.

Got to then. B. S. N. Take courage in Iesus Christ, for hee hath loued you,Isa. 53. Reuel. 1. and washed you from all your sinnes in his bloud;Rom. 5. haue this firme faith to fight va­liantly against the aduersarie; haue no o­ther buckler to defend you, but that pre­cious bloud of Iesus Christ, who by ver­tue of his death and passion, hath reconci­led you to God his Father; vnto whom from the bottome of your heart, in all hu­militie and repentance, present this prayer.

LOrd God Almighty, be mercifull vnto mee poore miserable sinner;Rom. 3. Iohn. 14. for the loue of thy Sonne Iesus Christ my Lord and Sauiour; and by the merit of his death and passion, that it may please thee to re­ceiue my soule, the which I recommend into thy hands.Math. 26. Psal. 30.

[Page 176] B. S. N. Haue this hope and stedfast saith, that this good God full of mercy, will receiue your soule as his, into his handes, for the loue of his Sonne Iesus Christ:Iohn. 10. Act. 4. for there is no other name vnder Heauen giuen to men, whereby wee must be sa­ued, and there is no saluation in any o­ther but in IESVS CHRIST. Then arme your selfe well with Iesus Christ. For hee hath done all for you, he hath accom­plished the law for you;Rom. 8. Rom. 10. he hath ouercome all for you.

Go to then, B. S. N. Reioyce in God, be alwaies stedfast in this liuely saith, fol­low and imitate the holy Patriarkes,Heb. 11. Pro­phets, and Apostles, who are all saued in this faith, who do all assure you, that the aduersarie cannot in any wise hurt you; for your cause is gotten through IESVS CHRIST,Iohn. 5. 1. Iohn. 2. who is your Iudge and your aduocate likewise: wherefore say alwaies in this firme faith, Although I should walke in the middest of the shadow of death, yet would I dread none euill,Psal. 22. for thou Lord God art with mee. B. S. N. Also bee neuer wearie with saying from the bot­tome of your heart in all humilitie and repentance,

[Page 177]LORD God Almightie, bee mercifull vnto mee poore miserable sinner, for the loue of thy Sonne IESVS CHRIST my Lord and Sauiour,Rom. 9. Iohn. 14. and by the me­rite of his death and passion, may it please thee to receiue my soule,Mat. 26. Psalm. 36. the which I recommend into thy hands. So be it.

A singular Prayer for a bo­die greatly afflicted with sicknesse, who is more likely to die then to liue.
With a little Catechisme made ex­presly to instruct the sicke, and to make him by faith behold the my­sterie of our redemption.

ECCLESIASTICVS. 18.

Before sicknesse take Phisicke, and before iudgement, examine thy selfe, and in the presence of God thou shalt find pro­pitiation.

NOw the Lord doth admo­nish vs to pray continually,Mat. 26. principally when wee are touched with his correcti­on; Wherefore all such pa­rents and faithfull friends as visite the sicke bodie; ought not onely to visite and solicite the bodie,Mat. 6. but also seeke after, and desire the spirituall Phisicke [Page 180] for their soules. Which ought to be done by good prayers, confession of sinnes, and Christian exhortations, according to the word of God,Mat. 4. without the which man cannot liue. And to that end that all things may be done in good order, and with zeale, first, it shall bee conuenient to fall downe before the Maiestie of God, and pray vnto him, beginning, ‘Our helpe is in the name of the Lord, who hath made both heauen and earth.’

Then present vnto him the generall con­fession of sinnes, and consequently this present prayer, as followeth.

LOrd God Almighty, and father of mer­cy, we heere assembled in the name of thy welbeloued Sonne our Lord and Saui­our Iesus Christ,Mat. 18. Iohn. 14. in his fauour haue bene so bold as to present our selues before thee, to call vpon thy holy name, hauing our onely refuge to thy soueraigne goodnesse, the which we doe not onely desire to feele and taste in our selues, but also in the necessitie of thy poore creature, being afflicted with sicknesse in body,Iames. 5. affliction and calamitie of minde. We know Lord, that thou hast iust­ly visited and chastised him with thy rod,1. Cor. 11. to make him to vnderstand thy fatherly [Page 181] affection. But thy great mercies, the which thou hast vsed towards our fathers,Psal. 78. are not quenched and consumed. For thou art the great God euerlasting,Mat. 26. Psal. 102. propitious and mer­cifull, that neuer alterest. Thy holy word teacheth vs plainely that the whole earth is full of thy mercies, the which do much surmount this iudgement: wherefore Lord appease thy wrath towards thy creature. Haue pitie and compassion on him for the loue of thy Sonne IESVS CHRIST our Lord; Looke not vpon his sinnes,Iohn. 14. Heb. 7. & 9 but looke vpon the face of thy Christ, who hath sufficiently satisfied thee for him, in offering vnto thee the great Sacrifice of his bodie on the Crosse. VVee beseech thee, then, O God most benigne and full of mercie, to make him to feele thy grace, which thou diddest neuer refuse to thy children.

And because thou art our eternall Fa­ther,Mat. 6. knowing well what is expedient and necessay for our saluation, wee doe not pray thee to prolong his life, or to a­bridge it. For wee relie vpon thy holy will, vnto the which onely wee desire to please.Rom. 11. Thou art wise without counsell to dispose of thy creature according to thy good pleasure. If it please thee to call him, [Page 182] who is it that can resist;Rom. 8. Iohn. 11. If thou please to restore him to health againe, who is it that can reproue thee? For all thinges are in thy handes, and nothing is done with­out thy will and holy prouidence. Neuer­thelesse Lord, if by thy fauour thou doest prolong his daies,Psal. 22. thy rod shall serue for a chastisement vnto him, to amend and con­uert him vnto thee, and wee with him will render thee thankes and praise. But if thy will bee setled, to make him passe into a better life, wee beseech thee in the fauour of thy Sonne Iesus, to forget all his faults and sins, the which it was thy will to haue blotted out,Reuel. 1. and washed in the shedding of his precious bloud.

May it please thee by the merite of the death and passion of thy Sonne, to receiue his soule into thy handes,Mat. 16. Psal. 20. when it shall please thee to call him out of this world. Lord God doe not despise the worke of thy handes,Psalm. 137. Psal. 129. Psal. 51. for behold thy poore creature al­most consumed, who calleth vpon thee out of the bottome of his sorrowes, pre­senting vnto thee his sorrowfull and peni­tent soule, with his humbled heart, which wee beseech thee to accept in good part, for the loue of thy Sonne Iesus Christ our Lord,Iohn. 14. in whose name thou hast promi­sed [Page 183] to grant our requestes. Wherefore, Lord, wee beseech thee to receiue vs in­to thy holy keeping; illuminating our hearts and vnderstandings to addresse our selues towards thee, and to call vpon thy holy name,Mat. 6. as thy Sonne Iesus Christ our Lord hath taught vs to pray vnto thee for all our necessaries, saying, ‘Our Father which art in heauen, &c.’

Finally, O God most benigne Father and full of mercie, that it may please thee, alwaies to sustaine vs by thy grace and vertue, to the end, that through the infirmitie of our flesh, wee doe not fall. And because that of our selues wee are so weake that wee were not able to remaine stedfast, one minute of time, may it please thee to fortifie vs by thy holy Spirit, and to arme vs with thy graces, that wee may constantly perseuere in faith; without the which it is not possible for to please thee.Heb. 11.

May it please thee then to confirme vs from day to day in it, whereof we will make a confession with heart and mouth saying.

[Page 184]I beleeue in God the Father, &c.

The prayers ended, you may looke how the sicke bodie doth, and inquire of his health, with friendly wordes and Christianlike speeches. And if you per­ceiue that hee declineth, and that no signe of health doth appeare; a little after you may chuse a fit time to speake to the said sicke bodie, and aske him whether hee hath a good minde to talke of God, and to hearken to his word, whiles hee is yet in his good sence; that if hee bee of God,Iohn. 8. you may beginne this little Catechisme that followeth.

A SHORT CATECHISME, which is not only to instruct the Sicke, but also to refresh their memories, with the great mysterie of our redemption;Eccles. 18. the which well to vnderstand and keepe in his latter dayes, hee ought to make Confession of his faith before the assistants of the faithfull, whereof one of them, in the ab­sence of the Minister, ought to examine him as followeth.
THE MINISTER.

B.S.N. EVery man that know­eth himselfe well, and is not ignorant of his condition and quality; surely he ought to confesse, that notwith­standing that he is created after the Image and likenesse of God,Genes. 1. neuerthelesse that he is conceiued and borne in the sinne of old Adam, Psal. 51. Ephes. 2. Rom. 5. whereby he is made a poore mise­rable sinner, ignorant, inconstant, and full of iniquity, and consequently subiect to all miseries, afflictions, aduersities, and finally to death; All which sinne hath caused: which because God would not leaue vnpu­nished, he afflicts vs daylie, and to speake better, he chastiseth vs in this world, to the end not to damne vs with the world; wher­fore,

[Page 186] 1. Cor. 11. Psal. 31. B.S.N. Bee patient in your sicknesse, and you shall possesse your soule in spiri­tuall ioy; Acknowledge your sinne, and accuse your selfe before the Maiesty of God, vpon whom you must looke by faith, making confession thereof with heart and mouth, before all the assistants; for it is written,Rom. 10. that men beleeue in heart to righteousnesse, and with their mouth con­fesse to saluation. Hearken then vnto the questions which now I shall demaund you, and answere faithfully according to the vnderstanding that you haue receiued of the Lord; which if you cannot by rea­son of the weakenesse and hinderance of your sicknesse,Mat. 10. I will answere for you, and it shall suffice for you to giue vs your heart, and constancy of faith, in the which you must liue and die.

Now I aske you, wherefore and to what end you were created in this world?Genes. 2.

The Sicke. To know God.

The Minister. Was it necessary for you to know God?

Psal. 16. & 17. The Sicke. Yes surely; for seeing hee is my soueraigne good, without the know­ledge of him, I had beene more wretched then the brute beasts.

The Minister. Seeing you know God, [Page 187] you know well that hee is the mighty, the wisedome, and the infinite good,Genes. 1. Iohn 1. Luke 1. 1. Iohn 5. Genes. 18. one God in three persons, Father, Sonne, and holy Ghost; It is the only God that Abraham, Isaacke, and Iacob worshipped, in spirit and truth: It is the only euerlasting God, who hath created heauen and earth, and all things therein. The knowledge that you haue of God is it not such?

The Sicke. Yes.

The Minister. But such a simple know­ledge of God, were it able to conduct you to eternall life?

The Sicke. Very hardly: for euerlasting life,Iohn 17. is to confesse and knowledge one on­ly God, and him whom hee hath sent, his euerlasting Sonne, our Lord and Sauiour Iesus Christ?

The Minister. Wherefore is it necessa­ry for you to know and confesse the Lord Iesus Christ.

The Sicke. Because that I must recouer in IESVS CHRIST,Rom. 5. Psal. 51. Luke 24. Psal. 21. Rom. 11. that which I haue lost in my selfe, through the sinne of the old Adam, whereunto I was conceiued and borne; Therefore, it hath beene needfull for my saluation, that IESVS CHRIST true God and true Man, ha­uing put on our flesh, should giue me by his [Page 188] grace all that I had lost in Adam.

The Minister. It is very well said. That is the reason why Iesus Christ was concei­ued by the holy Ghost,Mat. 1. Luke 1. and borne of the Virgin Mary, to purge and sanctifie you; For cleane contrary to him,Ephes. 2. Psal. 51. you were con­ceiued and borne in sinne, and of sinnefull parents. Wherefore doe you not confesse, that without Iesus Christ you had remayned a wretched and miserable sinner,Rom. 8. in euerla­sting death?

The Sicke. Yea certainly, but I beleeue and confesse,Rom. 6. that this good Iesus Christ, hath reconciled me to God his Father.

The Minister. But how did he reconcile you to God his Father?

Mat. 26. Heb. 7. & 9. The Sicke. By his Death and Passion, & the shedding of his most precious blood: for to deliuer me out of al euerlasting paine, this good Iesus Christ hath suffered vnder Pontius Pilate for me, many afflictions, in­iuries, and tribulations:Act. 3. Mat. 27. It is Iesus Christ, who hath beene crucified for me, as accur­sed, vpon the Crosse, to deliuer mee from the euerlasting curse, vnto the which Adam had bound me. This my Sauiour IESVS Christ was truly buried, to bury al my sinnes with him, to the end they bee not imputed to me before God. It is my Lord and Sa­uiour [Page 189] IESVS CHRIST,Rom. 6. who descended into hell,Act. 2. 1. Peter 2. suffering an extreme temporall anguish for to deliuer mee from the euerla­sting.

The Minister. All that you haue now confessed of Iesus Christ, was it sufficient to saue you?

The Sicke. No, according as the holy Scriptures ought to bee accomplished in all things;Isa. 53. Mat. 26. For what had it profited mee that Iesus Christ was borne, crucified, dead, bu­ried, and descended into hell for me onely, without rising againe? Wherefore,Marke 16. 1. Cor. 15. I be­leeue and confesse, that my Lord, my head and Sauiour Iesus Christ, is risen againe from the dead, to cause mee to rise againe with him, as one of his little members, in e­uerlasting life.

The Minister. Consequently, it is writ­ten that hee ascended into heauen,Act. 1. being now set at the right hand of God his Fa­ther; But what doth this Ascension profit you?

The Sicke. My Lord, my head, and my Sauiour Iesus Christ, is gone vp into heauen, to make mee ascend after him;Colos. 3. 1. Iohn 2. Rom. 8. For where the head is, there are the mem­bers also. And I beleeue that being set at the right hand of God his Father, hee [Page 190] is my Aduocate,Rom. 8. Intercessor, and only Me­diator towards him, assuring me very well, that no man can hinder mee,Iohn 5. seeing Iesus Christ is my Aduocate,Mat. 25. and Iudge also; wherefore I haue no occasion to feare his iudgement, when hee shall come to iudge the quicke and the dead; For I beleeue and confesse with a stedfast faith, that there is no iudgement nor condemnation for those that are faithfull members in Iesus Christ.Rom. 8.

The Minister. VVho hath giuen you the grace to know and vnderstand all these things?

The Sicke. It is by the grace of the ho­ly Spirit,1. John 5. one only God with the Father and the Sonne, by the meanes whereof wee receiue all the goods and gifts, which are offered vnto vs in Iesus Christ.

The Minister. Seeing you haue al­ready confessed that you are a member of Iesus Christ, it followeth then that you are also incorporated in his Church, the which hee hath caused you to beleeue to bee Holy, Catholike, and Vniuer­sall.

The Sicke. I verily beleeue the holy vniuersall Church,Ephes. 5. washed and cleansed in the precious blood of IESVS CHRIST; [Page 191] for the which I giue him thanks, with all humility, that hee hath giuen mee the grace to bee one of the small members of his Church, and being baptised in his name, hath caused mee to liue in the communi­on, vnity, and charity thereof; hauing in­structed mee with his holy word,Mat. 4. 1. Cor. 11. and nourished mee with his very body, made mee drinke of his precious blood, in hope of eternall life.

The Minister. Now seeing you are so well grounded vpon the liuely Rocke which is IESVS CHRIST,1. Cor. 10. in know­ing your selfe aright, you must acknow­ledge and confesse the principall good which you haue receiued of this good IESVS CHRIST.

The Sicke. It is very reasonable; For I will not bee vnthankefull to remember the goods and gifts that I haue receiued of God; wherefore I confesse that I mi­serable sinner,Psal. 51. haue incessantly offended the goodnesse and iustice of God, hauing transgressed his holy Commandements,Luke 17. in which doing I haue deserued euerla­sting death and damnation; Neuerthe­lesse, appealing to the mercy of GOD, I haue asked forgiuenesse, and doe beleeue and confesse, without doubting any whit, [Page 192] that full and entire remission of all my sinnes is giuen me,Act. 4. Reuel. 1. by the only merit of the death and passion of my Lord and Sauiour Iesus Christ,Mat 26. Hebr. 1. by the shedding of his precious blood, in the which I assure my selfe to bee sufficiently and intirely washed and purged; which is the greatest good and content­ment that I could euer receiue; And such is my faith,Mat. 10. in the which I will liue and die, by the grace of the holy Ghost.

The Minister. Seeing you haue recei­ued such a great good from God, by the meanes of his Sonne Iesus Christ, it is also fitting that you should doe his commande­ment: for euen as he doth pardon you, and maketh a remission of all your sinnes;Mat. 11. likewise you must also pardon with all your heart all those that may haue offended you.Mat. 15. Otherwise you shall not walke accor­ding to God.

The Sicke. In that I haue knowne the faith of Iesus Christ, to bee alone holy and perfect,Mat. 19. commanding vs to loue our neigh­bours, friends and enimies, as our selues; wherefore I beseech all those to whom I may haue offended,Luke 23. either in thought, word, or deede, to pardon mee with as good a heart, as I forgiue all those that haue offen­ded mee; desiring to doe them pleasure [Page 193] and seruice, as to my good Brethren and Friends.

The Minister. Then seeing it is orday­ned of God that all men must die,Hebr. 9. Genes. 3. we can­not resist his ordinance; but wee ought alwaies to conforme our selues to his holy will; Wherefore Brother, you must not finde it strange, if I say that to you which the good Prophet Isay said to King Eze­kias, speaking from the Lord,Isay 38. Dispose of thy house, for thou shalt die, and shalt not liue. This good counsell, ought to stirre you vp to fit your selfe spiritually in your con­science; That is, first to conuert your selfe to God, and to bewaile your sinnes,Jsay 55. as did that good King, desiring his mercy, asking him forgiuenesse, and saying alwaies in your heart, Lord God, bee propitious and mercifull vnto mee poore miserable sinner, for the loue of thy Sonne Iesus Christ my Lord and Sauiour; Afterward you must not forget your house and familie, the which you ought so well to order and dispose of, by a good will or last Testament, that after­ward it may bee in peace and tranquility. But to make you better to vnderstand the disposing of your house, you ought to giue euery man his owne, without deceiuing any man. You must leaue your wife, your [Page 194] heire, your children and friends in good friendship and charity, to the end that after your decease,1. Iohn 2. they may haue no occasion of discord; That done you must forget all the troubles and sorrowes of the world, which passeth away with the lust thereof; But who so doth the will of God,Mat. 26. endures for euer. Touching your children, you ought to be only a natural father for a time; but God is their spirituall Father for euer, hauing them in his holy keeping and pro­tection, to conserue, preserue and nourish them, from all euill, prouided that they will walke in his waies. Moreouer, seeing you are a Christian, regenerated by the holy Sacrament of Baptisme, you know long since, that wee haue not here a permanent Citty,Hebr. 13. for wee waight for a better which is euerlasting; Wherefore I pray you in the name of God, not to vexe your selfe with any sorrow for this world; For here wee are all but strangers,Psal. 38. as were our Fa­thers; When then God shall appoint that you must dislodge and goe before vs, will you not conforme your selfe to his holy will and ordinance? Also if hee finde it expedient for your saluation, to prolong your life,Isay 38. as hee did to good Ezekias; will you not bee contented with what [Page 195] soeuer it shall please him to doe with you? Yes surely, for hee is Lord and Master, you are but his seruant: Hee is your Crea­tor, you are his creature, and the worke­manship of his hands. By that meanes then he will dispose of you at his will, vnto the which onely you ought to conforme and humble your selfe, saying vnto him with all your heart,

LOrd God, thou knowest my necessi­tie, if it please thee to prolong my life, thy will be done; If also it please thee to call me vnto thee, thy will be done; for thy creature Lord, hath no other will but thine.

Now Brother, comfort your selfe in God, whom if hee hath appointed to call you, your calling shall bee happie, for you must beleeue and hope with a sted­fast faith, that hee will cause you to rise againe in your owne bodie,1. Cor. 5. in immor­talitie and glorie, for to make you reigne with him in euerlasting life, the which is purchased for, and giuen vnto you, in the vertue of the pretious bloud of our Lord and Sauiour IESVS CHRIST;Reuel. 1. In whose name the Lord GOD blesse, and preserue you, and make his face to [Page 196] shine vpon you, and bee propitious vnto you. The Lord turne his fauourable counte­nance towards you, and maintaine you in good prosperity, so be it.

THat done, if you see the sicke body to waxe worse, and to draw neare to his death, as desirous to tend to his appointed end, presently in his mortall agony, you must not faile to repeate before him with a loude voice the Christian Comfort, which is here before set downe; Which doing God will giue him the grace to die well and faithfully. Amen.

L. S. V.
FINIS.
A TREATISE TO TAKE A …

A TREATISE TO TAKE A­WAY THE FEARE OF DEATH, AND CAVSE IT TO BE DESIRED OF the faithfull man.

WITH A SHORT DECLARATION OF THE RESVRRECTION OF THE DEAD; AND with certaine Prayers and Meditations.

LONDON, Printed for Richard Bankeworth. 1611.

To the Reader.

FRiendly Reader, the first of these Treatises being come forth of his Countrey of Aniou, to be communicated to other nations, at the last it fell into my hands. And seeing that di­uers did greatly desire it, as well for the vtility as for the breuity thereof; I was also willing that it should be communica­ted to those of our nation, adding vnto it an other little Treatise of the Resurrecti­on of the dead, and some good Prayers and Meditations, fitting to this matter, that we might all learne betimes to die well; which is the lesson which therein as lear­nedly as briefly is taught vs. Wherefore if I finde that my intention be agreeable, I will indeauour to goe on from good to better to serue to the publike good: Fare­well this 21. of March 1583.

A TREATISE TO TAKE A …

A TREATISE TO TAKE AWAY THE FEARE OF DEATH, AND CAVSE IT TO BE desired of the faith­full man.

PLATO said, that the Phi­losophie wherein man (li­uing in this world) should principally exercise himself, is the meditation of death; that is to say, of her con­ditions, fraile, diseased, and mortall; of the diuers accidents of this humane life, and of her houre so vncertaine and vnknowne; to the end that considering these things, hee might withdraw his affection and trust from this world, that he might despise it, and all temporall things, wherein he sees and dis­couers so much inconstancy, and such sud­den and frequent mutations or changes: and that by such a despising of vncertaine & ca­suall things, he should stir vp himselfe vnto [Page 200] a contemplation of those that are diuine, and heauenly; And forsaking that which is heere perishing and transitorie (vnto worldly men) hee should chuse his part in heauen, and should stay himselfe at that which is permanent and eternall. For the like reason, Philip the father of Alexander the great, a man of good vnderstanding, and of very great consideration, to the end that in the middest of his great prosperity, he should not forget himselfe in his dutie, gaue order that one of his Gentlemen should e­euery day at his awaking come and speake these words vnto him; King, haue in re­membrance that thou art a mortall man.

Iesus Christ also our Sauiour and Mai­ster, tending to the same end, doth exhort vs to watch, & to lay vp treasures in heauen, and not on earth, where all things are vn­certaine and changeable. Wee see by that, that during our life, we cannot doe better then to thinke vpon death, and our bodie being vpon the earth, to accustome our selues to haue alwaies our spirit and heart in heauen. Now because that the remem­brance of death is a fearefull thing to many, I haue bethought my selfe, to passe away my griefes, and to recreate my selfe from my other studies, and also to giue you a [Page 201] testimony of the Obligation which I thinke I haue towards you, as well for the good which you haue done vnto mee, as for the friendship which you beare me, to write vn­to you, and to present this small Treatise, wherein I haue briefely touched certaine points, wherewith the faithfull may arme themselues against death: which hee ought to doe in time, and prepare himselfe to re­ceiue it with assurance, at such time as it shal please God to send it; for that which doth astonish many, is that the comming thereof is suddaine vnto them, and that they are sur­prised vnlooked for. We see by experience, in a frontier towne, that when it is well vi­ctualled, and prouided of all things neces­sary, for to withstand a long siege, those within are a great deale the more assured and bold; whereas if it were vnprouided, they would stand amazed and tremble with feare, if they should chance to see the ap­proaching of the siege. It is easie to iudge by that, of what importance it is to haue preuented a danger, and to bee prepared for it.

Then to prouide and arme the faithfull man against death, wee must note that there are two sorts of it: the one is temporall of the body, which Christiās ought to desire; [Page 202] the other is eternall, of bodie and soule which they ought not to feare, perfeuering in the faith of our Lord.

That it is so, all feare presupposeth euill and danger; we doe not feare that which is good, but long after, desire and pursue it, and when it offers it selfe, we receiue it ioy­fully: But an euill, we apprehend and feare, we flie from it, and when it happens vnto vs, we sorrow, and do complaine. If then it doth appeare by good and euident proofes, that the faithfull man is not in danger of this second death, may we not then conclude, that if we feare it, it is foolish and without occasion? And surely if we had iudgement, and neuer so little faith, it were suffici­ent presently to take away the feare of it from vs.

For first, the proper nature of faith is to animate and quicken our heart, so soone as it is receiued in vs. The iust, saith the Pro­phet, shall liue by faith. Now euen so as the bodie, whiles the soule is in it, liueth, and dieth not, vntill such time as it be separated from it; no more doth the faithfull man, perseuering in the faith which hath bene in­spired and put into his heart by the grace of God. Although (saith Dauid) I should walke in the middest of the shadow of [Page 203] death, I will not feare; for thou art with mee O Lord. What was the cause of this assurance? was it not faith? wherewith we ought no more to feare death, then wee doe sicknesse when we are in perfect health, well disposed, and in good liking; or po­uerty, when we haue plenty and abundance of all good things.

Secondly, by faith we haue remission, and an abolition of all the faults which we haue done; why doe wee then feare death? There is no death where there is no sinne; by sinne death came into the world, saith St. Paul: and else where; The reward of sinne is death; sinne causeth God to be an­grie with vs, and that in his anger he con­demnes vs to death. Now all seedes doth bring forth, euery one according to their sort and qualitie. The wheat bringeth forth wheat, and the Rie, Rie, and we must not hope for any fruit, if there be not seede be­fore hand.

That being true, and witnessed in a thou­sand places of the Scripture, that vnto a Christian all his sinnes and debts are quit­ted him by the grace and mercy of God, that they are forgotten, that they are co­uered, that they are not imputed, and that they are remitted and pardoned, that [Page 204] they are cast as farre from vs, as the East from the West; Prouided that there be no more seede thereof, we neede not looke for any fruite: That is to say, if there be no more sinne, there is no more anger of God, nor of death, and by conse­quent that also there ought to be no more feare.

Thirdly, by faith: wee haue the word, and the promises of God, whereupon it is grounded: Among others this; Who so beleeueth shall not die, but is passed from death to life. Now this promise can no more faile, then he that gaue it vs. It is e­ternall. And all that God saith, is as sure and permanent, as heauen, or earth; For this cause when wee looke into them, wee ought in them to consider the vertue and power of this word, by the which they were once created, and euer since pre­serued and maintained in that estate where­in now we see them, and to inferre thereu­pon: that being of the same power and effi­cacy in all other things, nothing is impossi­ble nor vncertaine of all that which God doth say and promise vnto vs. And there­fore, as St. Iames saith, Receiuing his holy word by faith in our hearts, and the promi­ses which hee hath made vs, to giue vs e­ternall [Page 205] life, wee ought to assure our selues of it, and take away all feare and appre­hension of death. What was the cause of the ruine of vs and our forefathers? was it not because they did decline from the word of God to follow their owne fancies and the counsell of Satan? If then to the contrarie wee will cleaue to it, without leaning any iot neither to the right hand nor to the left, wee shall liue by it, and in it. Hearken vnto mee, saith God (speaking by Esay) and your soule shall liue. And Zacharie in his Canticle; Hee hath gi­uen vs a science of saluation. And Saint Peter speaking to IESVS CHRIST, Thy wordes are wordes of eternall life. If God, the Prophets and Apostles, doe assure vs that the word of God, recei­ued by a true faith in our heartes, doth there quicken, keeping and retaining it, what occasion haue wee then to feare death?

Moreouer by faith wee dwell in IE­SVS CHRIST, and haue him dwel­ling in vs, who hauing life in himselfe as his father, doth quicken vs, and all those vn­to whom he doth communicate himselfe, Wherefore then being his members, flesh [Page 206] of his flesh, and bone of his bones; briefe, being one with him shall wee feare death? Hath not hee power ouer it, and not onely for himselfe, but also for vs? He, saith St. Cyprian, who hath once ouercome death for vs, will alwaies ouercome it in vs. Hath not hee beate downe, dispos­sessed, chased and spoyled Satan, the Prince and Lord of death? hath not hee accom­plished the law? and by this perfect obe­dience, which hee hath borne to God his Father, appeased his anger, satisfied his will, and abolished the malediction of the law, which is nothing else but death? Did not hee die to make it die? when hee rose againe, hath not he bro­ken and dissipated all the torments, pluc­ked downe the gates of Hell, and trium­phed ouer her and all her power? Say not henceforth saith St. Paul, who shall go vp into heauen, or who shall descend into the depthes, for to bring life vn­to vs? for IESVS CHRIST is dead, and risen againe from the dead, for to deliuer vs from death; and risen a­gaine to restore vs to life; Hee is our Pastor; And for this reason wee ought not to feare, that any creature should snatch vs by violence out of his handes, [Page 207] or can hinder him from giuing vs eternall life. He is our Aduocate, we ought not then to feare to be ouerthrowne in iudgement; nor that by sentence we should be condem­ned to death: He is our Mediator, we neede not to feare the wrath of God: Hee is our light, we neede not to feare the darkenesse: He is our shadow and our cloude, we ought not then to feare the heate of the fire eter­nall, no more then did the children of Israel the heate of the Sunne in the Wildernesse, being hidden vnder the pillar. Let vs then for these reasons forsake and cast behinde vs all feare of death; the which hauing had no power nor aduantage ouer the head, shall haue no power ouer his members.

Item, By faith we haue with Iesus Christ God his Father, and are allied & ioyned to­gether with him, as he saith by his Prophet, I will marry thee if thou wilt promise me thy faith: and Iesus Christ in St. Iohn; Hee that loueth me will keepe my worde, and I and my Father will come and dwell in him: for this reason we are also called his Temples, because we are consecrated and dedicated vnto him by his holy spirite, that he should dwell in vs. Now seeing God is with vs, we haue the originall, the fountaine, the cause, the beginning and the author of life; we [Page 208] haue the great Iehouah; of whom all things depend, by whom all things are and moue: in whom the Angels, Arch-angels, Principa­lities, the heauens and all the elements con­sist; we haue him that is the true Zeus, from whom al creatures, visible and inuisible take their life and their being, by the participati­ons which they haue with him: We haue him who is the true Promitefz, most perfect and soueraigne worke-man of all things, who by his breath doth quicken and make them to liue: We haue ton Theon, that is to say, he who discoursing all things, by his power infinite doth preserue them: Wee haue, to make short AEL, that is to say, he who onely can satisfie, and by his presence cause that of life & of all other good things we shall haue, and thinke we haue enough: Shall we then feare death in such company? If as S. Augustine saith, God is the soule of our soule, we cannot die but by being se­parated from him; the which Dauid doth confirme in one of his Psalmes, say­ing, Those shall perish O Lord, who doe depart and go from thee; which being considered, let vs striue onely to keepe him with vs by faith and obedience, and besides, let vs take away all the feare which we may haue of death.

[Page 209]Againe, by faith wee haue the spirite of God: you are not carnall, sayth S. Paul, wri­ting to the Romanes, but are spirituall; for who hath not the spirit of God are none of his. And else-where speaking to the Gala­thians; Haue you not the spirit of God by faith? Now this spirit is the spirit of life; if God withdrawes it from his creatures they die, they perish, and come suddenly to nought: to the contrary, when he pleaseth to send and powre it vpon them, he raiseth and restoreth them in an instant; euen as we see a Hen brooding of her egges, by a secret vertue doth disclose and bring them to life, albeit that before they were without soule or feeling. Euen so doth the spirit of God, al creatures by his diuine power: He giueth testimony and doth assure vs in our hearts that we are the children of God, to the end that from him as from our father, by a cer­taine and assured hope wee should waite and looke for life: He is as a pledge vnto vs for feare left wee should doubt. Hauing such earnest of life, hauing testimony from him, who being the spirit of truth cannot lie nor abuse, hauing him himselfe who is the preseruer of all creatures; shall we feare death? It is as much as who should feare the darkenesse at none-day, [Page 210] the spirite of him who hath raised againe Iesus Christ, and who hath vp-held him be­cause he should not be ouercome of death, being in vs will quicken vs also, saith Saint Paul and wil preserue vs from it; let vs then put away all feare of it.

Faith also causeth that God doth adopt and repute vs for his children: you are all children of God by faith, saith S. Paul: and S. Iohn, he hath giuen power to al those that shall receiue him, and beleeue in his name, to be made the children of God; then be­ing children, we are the heires & co-heires with Iesus Christ; and we are by the meanes of this adoption certaine once to come vn­to life, vnto the rest, and vnto the glory wherein we shall reigne eternally with his Father. Moreouer, being children of God, we are of his houshold, and it is not in his house where death dwelleth, it is in hell in the diuels house; in heauen and the place where God abides, there is an vnspeakeable light, so great a beatitude and happinesse, that in the contemplation thereof, Dauid crying out, said, O that they are happy that doe inhabite and dwell in thy house! And else-where; In this consists all my good, Lord that I may be neere vnto thee. Again, being children we are at liberty, free from [Page 211] sinne, free from death, free from the con­demnation and rigor of the law, freed from the seruice and force of the diuell: what do we feare being then children of God, and consequently brothers of Iesus Christ? Is it possible that he can euer denie or abandon his flesh and blood, or suffer them to die, ha­uing power to saue them? Conclusion. Be­ing the children of God our Father, hee lo­ueth vs with a loue vnfained and fatherly. And if, as saith S. Paul, during the time that we were his enemies, hee had such a care o­uer vs, that not sparing his onely begotten Sonne, he hath deliuered him ouer to death to preserue vs from it, and to reconcile vs vnto himselfe, now that wee are his friends and in his fauour, will he not saue vs? Who is that man, who considering these reasons, will not presently assure himselfe, and doe away all feare which he had of death? That which also ought to assure vs against death, & take away all feare which we haue of her, and the dishonour of the tribulation, of the horror and anguish prepared for the repro­bate and damned, is our calling: that God of his grace hath vouchsafed to withdraw vs out of the darkenesse wherein we were, and to illumine vs by his holy spirite, teach­ing vs by his holy word, wherein we ought [Page 212] to trust, and wherein lieth our saluation; and so what we ought to doe to please and obey him, to the end that walking in his law and seruing him in all iustice and holinesse, we might after we haue a little suffered in this world, be faithfully glorified with him in the end: for that which God beginneth he will accomplish; and when he hath de­termined to call any one to him and to saue him, hee neuer changeth his counsell, ney­ther doth repent himselfe of the good that he will doe vnto him. He is vnchangeable, and so stedfast in his purpose and determina­tion, that that which he once willes and or­daines, he doth execute without being tur­ned from it. If then we feele in our selues that God hath giuen vs the grace to heare, to beleeue, and to loue his word, and to flye from and reiect all that which is contrary to it, and to haue an affection to obserue that which he commandeth vs, and a dislike, if haply by infirmity or otherwise, we chance to commit any thing against his law: let vs not doubt but we are regenerate, elected, and predestinated to eternall life, and conse­quently out of danger of death. Let vs then take away all feare, and let vs say with Saint Paul, What shall separate vs from the loue and charity of God? what shall make vs to [Page 213] thinke, that he hath not a will to saue vs? It shall not bee paine, affliction, hunger, persecution, nor any aduersity, nor death, nor any creature whatsoeuer shall make vs to doubt that hee doth not loue vs, in the fauour of Iesus Christ; and that hauing chosen; called and iustified vs in him, but that finally he will also glori­fie vs by him.

The Sacraments which IESVS CHRIST hath left vs for the con­firmation of our faith ought likewise to assure and strengthen vs against the feare of death.

First, Baptisme by the which wee are buried and die with Christ, that wee may rise againe with him; in the which wee are washed from all our sinnes, and clothed with his innocency, to the end that presenting our selues to the Father, so adorned and couered with the robe of our elder brother, we may receiue his holy blessing, and be saued from the great deluge, wherein all the infidels perish, as Noe was in his time by the Arke. Ha­uing then the promises of God, as we haue said before, and ouer and aboue his signe, by the which he is bound to render that life to vs, which we haue lost by our sin; wherfore [Page 214] doe we feare death, doe we thinke that he wil reuoke or that he wil denie and disauow his signe?

Secondly, the Lords Supper, where wee take the bread and the wine, for to be re­ceiued into the Communion and participa­tion of the body and blood of our Lord Ie­sus Christ, and by consequent into the fruits of them: that is, to haue part in his obedi­ence, in his iustice, in his satisfaction and re­demption, in the Testament and new alli­ance, and generally in all the promises of God, the which by his death haue beene ra­tified. It remaineth now to conclude our purpose, and to inferre vpon the precedent things, that if we feare death, it is for want of considering them, or if wee doe consider them, it is for want of beleeuing them; for there is no man so timorous, being firmely perswaded of that which is spoken, but will take away all feare of death, and will say with Dauid; I shall not die but alwaies liue, to declare perpetually the workes of the Lord, and praise him. And who will not scorne at it with S. Paul, and insult vpon it, saying, O death where is thy victory? where is thy sting? where is thy strength? where is the terrour and feare which men had of thee? Iesus Christ our Sauiour perceiuing [Page 215] the time of his death draw neare, said, that in short time hee should passe from this world to goe to his Father, calling death a passage; which should greatly comfort vs. We haue almost all this opinion rooted in vs, and it is that which doth so discourage vs, that it is a dangerous passage & vneasie. Now for to take it from vs, and to stirre vp our hearts, he would needes passe it before vs, and as it were sound the depth, to the end that we seeing that he did not sticke at it, should take courage: as also we see before and after him, the Prophets, Apostles, Mar­tyrs and other holy personages haue done it; who hauing passed it without any ap­prehension of danger, and being escaped safe and well, doe now reioyce with God, that they are gotten to the land and to the port where they did aspire. Shall we then be such cowards, shall we be so faint-hear­ted, and of such render and effeminate cou­rage, as to feare to goe by a place so fre­quent, and a way so great and beaten, that men go it, as said some of the Auncients, blindfolded Likewise we see that not one alone of those that trusted in God, calling vpon his ayde, that put themselues to passe it, did euer miscarry: when the children of Is­raell did feare at the passage of the redde [Page 216] Sea, Moyses did shew vnto them, that if they would trust in God, they should see his glory and power; which they did see, passing safely through the middest of the danger, whereas their enemies did remaine: so shall all the faithfull through the straights of death, prouided that they commend themselues to God, and doe one­ly set their trust vpon him. They being in the desarts, although they were bitten by the Serpents, yet were they preserued from the danger in looking vpon him, that Moyses had caused to be erected; although also that the cursed and enuious serpent hath tainted vs with his venome, yet shall we not die if by faith we looke vpon Iesus Christ crucified. Let death come, let it take vs, let it binde vs, yet shall wee breake the bonds as easily as did Samson those of the Philistines his enemies; let it swallow and deuoure vs as the Whale did Ionas, yet shall it be faine to disgorge and cast vs vp againe, if in the middest of the depth wee doe re­member God and call vpon him. Let it bury vs as it once did Iesus Christ, yet shall wee rise againe as hee did, and it shall be impossible for this Tyrant to re­taine vs vnder his power. After hauing shewed how wee should arme our selues [Page 217] against the apprehensions of eternall death, let vs also shew that we ought not only nor to feare the temporall, but also desire it; and when it pleaseth God to send it vnto vs, to thanke him for it, to reioyce at it, to em­brace it, and to sing for ioy; whe­ther it be that we behold the misery, the mishappes and euils of this life, from which it doth deliuer vs; or else the ioy and contentment of eternall life, wher­to it doth bring vs.

As for the pouerties, miseries, in­certitudes, fragilities, accidents and mu­tabilities of this life, not onely the Scripture, but also diuers wise and great Philosophers doth shew them vn­to vs: And there is one amongst them, who declaring the originall of the Greeke phrase signifying life, sayeth [...], which is, that life hath beene so called of the Greekes, because of the vio­lence, of the assaults, excesse, pains, and out­rages which therein we suffer, which are in­numerable both in body and soule.

Our bodies are subiect to colde, to heat, to hunger, to thirst, to time, to age, and to so many diseases, that there is no part but hath his particular infirmity: the feete are subiect vnto the goutes, the belly vnto [Page 218] gripings, the sides to pleurisies, the stomack to rawnesse, the lights to the cough, the head to a thousand diseases; we neede but a Spider or other little worme to kill vs, wee neede but a haire or a crumme to strangle vs: in summe, the flesh with all it strength, is nothing else but grasse; Is it to day greene and pleasant? let but the Sithe passe, it will cut downe a thousand leaues at once, which in an howre will be drie and withered. The Greekes doe call the body of man in their language, Soma and Demas, whereof the one is taken from a phrase which signifieth to binde, and the other comes neere to that which signifieth Sepulchre, for to shew vnto vs in what estate and disposition soeuer he be, he doth represent rather death vnto vs then life, and seruitude then liberty. As for the soule, it is first subiect to all the euils and diseases of the body: for it is vnpossible if that be ill, but that for the coniunction & amity which is betweene them, it must en­dure and feele paine. Moreouer, shee hath her owne, as ignorance, sinne, mistrust, sus­picion, iealousie, hatred, enuie, loue, lust, ambition and passions, the which as tor­mentors, do hale her the one one way, the other another, as if they would pull it to pieces. I leaue a million of importunities [Page 219] which she hath, and which man taketh to attaine to his purposes, to liue in rest and at ease, to be in honour, to maintaine his alli­ances and friendships, to beware of his ene­mies, to encrease his house, to maintaine and keepe it in it greatnesse, the which doe tor­ment vs oft-times in such sort, that we can neither eate nor sleepe at ease.

And we must not thinke that there is any estate exempt from this misery; begin at the highest Prince or Emperour that euer was in the world, and so discoursing descend to the poorest begger that euer the earth did beare, and you shall not finde one con­tent, neither the Artificer nor the Merchant, nor the Aduocate, nor the Gentleman, nor the Duke, nor the King; enter into their closets, there you shall often finde them, as said Menander, laid vpon their beds with a mournfull voyce, and pittifull, crying, Alas, alas. Valeriꝰ speaketh of a King, vnto whom the Scepter and Diademe were offered; before he put it on his head, he tooke it in his hands, then hauing looked long vpon it, he cryeth out, O Diademe, if one knew the miseries and incumbrances which thou do­est bring there is no man that finding thee vpon the ground, would once take thee vp; shewing by that exclamation that the life of [Page 220] Kings is lesse happy then that of priuate per­sons. Tiberius Caesar, vnder whom Christ was crucified, and who commanded that he should be worshipped as a God also as Ter­tullian recordes it after the death of Augu­stus his predecessour, who by will had left him heire, as well of his goods as of the Empire; which being offered him by the Senate, according to custome, doubted a great while whether he might accept of it, by reason of the feare that hee had of the weight of this charge, and of the paine that he was to suffer in the vndergoing of it. Dioclesian after hee had held the Empire some twenty yeares, left it of his owne ac­cord, & chose for the rest of his time to liue a peaceable and domesticall life; wherin after the great agitations and stormes of trouble wch he had had during the time of his go­uernement, he found the rest to be so sweet and pleasing, & his minde so contented and freed, that many times amongst his familiars he did witnesse, that the time had neuer see­med so good to him, nor his sun-shine daies so pleasant; shewing by these wordes how he did abhorre the imperiall life, although that few Emperours before or after him had had such honours in victories, and other prosperities as he had.

[Page 221]These examples do sufficiently shew, that the life of Kings is not so happy, as some men sometimes esteeme them, more by er­rour then by reason; and they are so farre from being at quiet and without trouble, that by reason of the great care and trou­ble that they haue; the auncient Greekes surnamed them anacas, dia tô anacôs échin, sayth Plutarke, in expounding the words: which is as much according to his expositi­on, as who should say, carefull. By how much a tree is planted and seated in higher place, by so much the more is it subiect to the winde; also are the great men more then the commons, to diuers fortunes and accidents; the thunder-bolts and the tem­pests fall ordinarily in high places, so do the great and pittifull misfortunes vpon men of state and renowne.

And if in this world the estates which wee esteeme most of are subiect to so many mishaps, what may we thinke of others, which we our selues by reason of the discommodities which are ioyned vnto them doe flie from the esteeme vnhap­py? So wee see that there is not any estate, that of it selfe doth make a body happy or contented; and as in estates, be­sides the common miseries, euery one [Page 222] hath his owne particular, also haue all the ages of man, euils which are proper vnto them.

In his child-hood he is full of infirmities, without vertue, without vnderstanding, without the vse of reason and speech, and without wit, and he must be fifteene yeares olde, before he is capable to know onely what estate is fittest for him; wherin often­times he deceiues himselfe, chusing that whereunto he is least fit.

Is he come into his youth? he is rash, ad­uenturous, foolish passionate, voluptuous, prodigall, drunkard, gamester, quarrelsome; whereby it hapneth oft, that in this age hee falleth into great inconueniences and dan­gers, to be imprisoned, to be hanged, to lose his goods, and euen to bring his parents with sorrow to the graue.

When this great heate by little and little begins to coole and diminish, and that hee waxeth a perfite man, then he must labour night and day for to entertaine his house, nourish his children, and prouide for them for time to come: he is besieged, now with desire and coueteousnesse, then with feare lest his children should remaine vnprouided for, lest they should behaue themselues ill, and lest they should doe some dishonour to their house.

[Page 223]The age of vertue and perfection decli­ning, behold in our sight, old age comes creeping on, in the which man is sickly, vnwieldy, cold and forsaken; and as a­mong the seasons of the yeare, the last is Winter, and the most troublesome, so amongest all the ages of man is the olde age.

That which I haue said is not the hun­dreth part of all the euils whereunto the sicke man is subiect, and neuerthelesse that little which wee haue spoken of it, is suffi­cient to shew that in all estates, and in all ages it is miserable, and as said Menander, life and misery are two twinnes; for they are borne, & grow, they are nourished and liue alwaies together, the which nature teacheth vs in two things. First, in that the little children comming into the world, they alwaies crie, as presaging the euill which they are to endure if they liue long; Secondly, in that coming forth of their mo­thers belly, they are all bathed in bloud, and are more like vnto a dead man, whose throate had bene lately cut by murtherers, then to any thing else. Two ancient Philo­sophers, considering these things said, the one, That God did loue those which hee takes out of this world in their childhood: [Page 224] the other, That it were good neuer to be borne, or else to die presently. Surely it is a wonderfull thing, and which sheweth well that we haue want of vnderstanding, that although life were neuer so vglie and disfi­g [...]ed, and that in all her partes there were neither grace nor beauty that could com­mend it, we neuerthelesse should be so in loue with it, that we alwaies desire to keepe it and neuer to change. But we are much abused; for it is more vncertaine then it is miserable: for to shew vs the vncertainty of it, the Auncients called it a shaddow, and a dreame, which are the two things in the world, the most vaine and least setled in our estate. Pythagoras being once demaunded what humane life was, spake neuer a word; for his custome was to answere and instruct more by signes then by wordes; but went into a chamber, and came forth againe presently: signifying, that the life of man is but an entring in, and going out. And IESVS CHRIST exhorting vs to watch, grounds him­selfe vpon nothing else but vpon the inconstancie and vncertaintie of this life: Watch, saith hee, for you know not at what houre the Lorde will come. And who is that man in how [Page 225] good disposition and happinesse soeuer hee bee, that can promise himselfe to continue in it but a day? Those in Sa­maria doubted of nothing, when in an instant they were destroyed by the ru­ines of the Tower of Syloe. In the time of the flood they did build, and made marriages and banquets, when suddenly contrary to the expectation and opinion of all the world, the raine fell in cleere weather, which raine did ouerflow the whole earth. The rich man, wherof mention is made in the twelfth of LVKE, though hee was very secure; who hauing so much wealth that hee knew not where or whord it, made acount to giue him­selfe to pleasure, and to liue after that time at his ease; when, while hee was stan­ding vpon these termes, beholde the Ser­icant of GOD comes and arrests him to appeare the same day, to giue vp an ac­count vnto him, of all the precious things and goods which hee had left, and which hee had gathered with such great la­bour.

But it is labour lost to goe about to prooue a thing so manifest, and which we experiment and see daily: For in this world there is nothing more ordinary nor [Page 226] more frequent then that which Ouid saith that the life of man, and all humane things are hanged, and doe hold but by a little threed.

Let vs behold then, seeing on the one side the great euils whereof it is full, and on the other side the inconstancy of the good which it hath; if we haue great oc­casion to desire of God, that he would pro­long it vnto vs; or to complaine or discon­tent our selues at death, when it taketh it away from vs? Wee haue vnderstood the euils from the which death doth deliuer vs, Let vs now come to consider the good which it bringeth vnto vs, from thence we shall yet better know, that we ought not onely not to feare, shune, and auoid it, but also desire it with all affection; For one of the goods only which we enioy by deathes meanes, is greater then all those which we can haue in the world, liuing in it for euer.

By it first we rest, as saith St. Iohn in his Apocalyps. And after that we haue endured and are almost consumed with innumerable troubles and labours, dying, our spirit go­eth into heauen, & our bodie into the earth as into a bed, there for to rest and refresh it selfe. The poore artificers are so glad when [Page 227] euening drawes neere, and that it is almost night, that they may be paid for their labor, and goe home to rest themselues; or when after they haue laboured the sixe daies in the weeke, that Sunday comes, when they hope to recreate themselues, and recouer the force and vigour as well of their bodies as of their mindes: we ought not to be lesse ioyfull, when the time of our death draw­eth neere, which wee ought to waight for, and desire as a holy day; in the which wee hope to rest, and by the pleasure, which therein we take, presently forget all the sor­rowes and troubles which wee haue had in this world. The end of all that we doe, and of that which we purpose, is it not our rest? Why doe we gather goods with a thousand troubles, and as many dangers? why doe wee studie? why doe wee fight? why doe we labour? why doe we all other things? Is it not by that meanes to come to ease, and to a rest, which we pretend and seeke as a soueraigne good? What is the principall reward which God doth promise to his people, and to all those that serue him faithfully, is it not a perpetuall rest, whereinto he himselfe is entred since the creation of the world? When we do pray vnto him that his kingdome come, is it not [Page 228] to the end that we should be in peace and rest? Finally, what doe wee hope for at his handes, is it not that? Then the rest which God hath promised vs, which we demaund of him, which we wait for, briefe, which we doe purpose as the end and conclusion of al that we doe and vndertake, is giuen vs by no other meanes but by death. Some seeke for it in their goods, which they loue, suppo­sing there to finde it; others in study, others in voluptuousnesse and worldly pleasures: but all that is but an abuse. For it is found but in death, which we ought more to loue for this reason, then the world doth his pleasure, the couetous man his treasure, the scholler his bookes, or the ambitious his humours; by reason that in one houre it putteth into our hands, and giues vs the en­ioying of goods, which they cannot finde by great labour all their life time, in the afore­said things. Afterwards, death causeth that by it we are content, satisfied and very hap­py. Happy are those wch depart in the faith of our Lord, saith S. Iohn. Then is this bles­sednes the soueraigne good whereunto we aspire, and which we cannot finde in this world, where we are neuer content. If we haue goods we desire knowledge, if we haue knowledge wee desire honours, if we haue [Page 229] honours we desire health, if we haue health we desire to be young; briefely, we alwaies want something which we seeke after, and when we cannot get it, that is a cause of grudging and discontentment. Then shall we be fully satisfied, as saith Dauid, when by death we are come to the Kingdome of God, and his glory hath appeared vnto vs.

In it are all things; it is the soueraigne good which in it dooth comprehend all o­ther: therefore when wee shall haue it, our appetite and desire shall rest in it; we shall rest there without going any further, with­out demaunding or seeking for any thing else. Then shall be accomplished that which IESSVS CHRIST hath promised to all his faithfull, who, beleeuing in him with an entire faith, and such a one as God requires in his word, will raise vp in their hearts a spring of water of life, springing to life eter­nall. We shall no more feare any thing, be­ing no more in danger; we shall desire no­thing, hauing all in our possession; we shall hope for nothing, for all promises shall bee accomplished; wee shall no more aske any thing, for we shall haue no more neede; God shall bee all in all. If wee will be rich, we shall then haue him that doth inrich all those that call vppon [Page 230] his holy name. If we will be wise, we shall haue the heauenly wisedome; if we will be mightie, we shall haue the Almightie; if we desire to be good, we shall haue the onely excellent good: if we will be faire, we shall haue the great Architect, and perfect work­man of all things: If we will be healthfull and liue long, we shall haue the eternall.

All our senses shall be rauished with the greatnesse of the pleasures which they shall haue and feele. Our eyes, seeing the great, sumptuous and magnificent Pallace of our God, seeing the perfect & soueraign beauty of his bright shining face: seeing the Sun of iustice, the fountaine of water of life, the tree of life, the Paradice, that is to say, the plea­sant garden of our God, his faire and noble company of Angels, of Apostles, Patri­arches, Martyrs, and of all the blessed spirits. And if the onely sight of Iesus Christ trans­figured in the mountaine, was of such great power, that S. Peter, all other thinges forgotten, in an instant, was thereby trans­ported out of himselfe, and desired so to remaine perpetually; what may we thinke of the ioy and pleasure that he receiues, who seeth IESVS CHRIST glorified, and with him his Father, his holy Spirit, and all the abouesaid assembly? Eye hath not [Page 231] seene, eare hath not heard, heart hath neuer conceiued, the good, the pleasure, the rest, and the contentment, prepared for those which God hath elected to saluation.

Our eares shall likewise be rauished, hea­ring the discourses and Sermons of the in­comprehensible wisedome of our God; A­gaine the good musicke, the sweet and plea­sant accords of the Angels and Saints reig­ning with him, which sing without ceasing, To the holy, holy, holy God of battailes, be honor and glory for euer and euer. Salomon vpon the earth rauished the people, and made them astonished at the great wisdome and knowledge that was in him. So did IE­SVS CHRIST also when he preached. What can he then now do in heauen, where all the great treasures of his diuine elo­quence are vnfolded and laid open? When Aeschines had repeated to the Rhodians the Oration of Demosthenes, for the which he was banished, seeing that they maruel­led at it, What would you haue done said hee, if you had heard him pronounce it? We also that are so rauished onely with the reading of the holy Scriptures, when wee shall heare Iesus Christ pronounce them, and with open mouth discourse continually with vs; shall we not stand stocke still be­fore [Page 232] him? In the like extasie as was S. Paul being rauished into the third heauens; shall we not haue our eyes setled with continu­all looking vpon our Master, and our eares alwaies attentiue to hearken vnto him? Pla­to gaue God thankes for three thinges; for that he was a man, for that he was a Greci­an, for that he had bene so happy as to heare Socrates. And shall not we giue him thanks for that we are Christians, for that we are heauenly, and for that by the meanes of death wee hope once to haue facultie to heare the wisedome of God?

VVe haue said, what wee shall see and heare: what shall we tast? we shall be set at the table of our Lord, where we shall haue abundance of all good things, It shall be all couered with meates that he hath fattened, and reserued a long while since, for that ban­quet, we shall there be fed with the bread of Angels; we shall be made to drink in brooks of pleasure, we shall be glutted and filled with all good things, we shall be alwaies at Nuptials, and in an instant we shall forget all the delights of the earth, hauing tasted those of heauen; as did the companions of Vlysses all other meates, when they had eaten Lotos so celebrated by Homer. It is an other manner of Manna then that of [Page 233] the children Israel, for they waxed weary of it, and were sorry in the desert, that they had lost the quailes and flesh-pots of E­gypt. But we in heauen, at the first taste of the meates which there shall be serued vs, shall loose then all the lickorishnesse of this world. VVee haue heere eaten of the fruites of the tree of knowledge of good and euill, against the command of the Phy­sitian: VVhereupon followed the sicknesse of all, and death to those that were not succoured and warranted by Iesus Christ; But in the kingdom of God, and of Para­dise, we shall eate of the fruit of the tree of life, which shall alwaies keepe vs yong and fresh; and which more is, will make vs incorruptible and immortall. There is that which wee shall taste; VVhat shall we smell? A hall of perfumes, the gar­ments of the bride and the bridegroome, perfumed with all odoriferous and fragrant things. It shall be then that the Church shall triumph, & that the vine being blos­somed, shall giue such a pleasant odour that the whole heauens shall bee filled with it.

There shall be no stinke, for there shall be no corruption; wee shall there plain­ly smell the sweetenesse of the Sacrifice, [Page 234] which Iesus Christ made for vs on earth, so great and pleasant, that the Father for the pleasure which he tooke to smell it, was re­conciled with the world, and his anger to­wards vs hath bene appeased. What a plea­sant Sacrifice, and precious Incense is also the praises of the Saints, who with one ac­cord doe glorifie God, and sanctifie his holy name? Moreouer what an odour giues that faire flower sprong from the root and sappe of Iesse, now that it is in it force & strength? To conclude, we cannot misse there to smell good odours; for our Winter shall then be past, & we shal be in a perpetuall springtime? wherin all things shal grow and flourish for the delectation and pleasures of the Church. For to satisfie our desire, and content the lust of our selues, we shall touch no more, nei­ther shall we be touched of any thing that may hurt vs. VVe shall be gathered vp by IESVS CHRIST our Lord and Saui­our, who will come at the entrance to re­ceiue vs, saying, Come hither faithfull ser­uant, thou hast serued me faithfully in the world, while thou hast beene in the world: enter now into the ioy and rest of thy Lord. He will kisse and embrace vs, and will keepe vs neere to his person, without suffering vs to depart or go farre from it.

[Page 235]Now if the greatest good, & that vnto the which all others are referred, be this felici­tie, which doth consist in a possession and enioying of all good, to the contentment of our will, and of all our sences, with what a desire should wee waite for death, by the which we attaine it?

Moreouer death doth deliuer vs out of all dangers; In this world night and day, with­in and without we are alwaies in feare of perill. Our life is a cruell and bloody warre, we haue a great many enemies that kill vs continually, and doe assay by all meanes to destroy vs: the diuels watch for vs, and cease not compassing about like deuouring Ly­ons, and rauening Wolues, to see whether they cannot surprise vs, and carry vs away; the world sometimes by enticings and al­lurements, sometime by threates and vio­lence, endeuours to trie and turne vs out of the right way. Our flesh on an other side, doth flatter and tickle vs, and the better to vndermine vs, with great cunning doth pro­pound and lay before vs, things wherin wee haue most delight. It weepeth also some­times, to stirre vs vp to pittie it, all to the in­tent to winne vs, and cause vs in all points to yeeld vnto it, and that it may maister vs.

Now if we consider our infirmitie, our [Page 236] stupiditie and negligence, the little wari­nesse and watchfulnesse that is in vs, wee may iudge in what danger we liue. It is im­possible that we should liue in this world a­mong so many that are infected, and that with so great a contagion, without falling often into sicknesse. Is it possible that wee should so often grapple with such strong and mighty enemies, without being some­times staggered and ouerthrowne? Is it pos­sible that we should go in such durty and muddy waies, without being durtied? We see it in good Saints of old time, who could not gouerne themselues so well, but the serpent who alwaies dogs vs at the heeles, hath rea­ched them with his venome; but that they haue fallen in diuers faults, some in in­credulity, others in Idolatry, others in adul­tery, others in excesse and drunkennesse, o­thers in murthers: there is none of them but had his fall, yea sometimes so great & hea­uie, that they had bene altogether bruised, if God had not vpheld them with his hand. Ought not we then follow the example of St. Paul, and as he did, crie: Who shall de­liuer vs from these dangers wherein we liue, whiles our soule is in this miserable & mor­tall body? Let vs confesse that it is our gaine and profit for to die, that by death we may [Page 237] be fully deliuered from all mortal things.

Againe, death puts vs in full possession of all the promises of God, and of those goods which Iesus Christ hath purchased for vs, & that we hope for of him. He in dying hath freed vs, and purchased our liberty, and ne­uerthelesse wee see our selues still in great seruitude.

We are Kings, Lords, Iudges, heires of God, coheires with Iesus Christ the Prince of heauen and earth, yet it seemes not so, whiles we liue in this world: for there wee are beaten and vsed like seruants, like chil­dren vnder age, we haue as yet no vse nor managing of our goods. Kings and great Lords though we bee, we are often in such necessitie, that we haue neither bread to eate, nor water to drinke, nor wooll to co­uer vs. Moreouer IESVS CHRIST hath purchased for vs the grace of God, a perfect Iustice, life eternall, an immortall incorruption, glorie and vertue to our bo­dies, and to our soules an assured peace and quietnesse, a ioy and a contentment: but this good hath not yet bene deliuered vnto vs; for often times wee experiment the wrath and iudgement of God: Wee feele the concupiscences and vicious de­sires of our flesh.

[Page 238]In our bodies there is corruption, morta­lity and weaknesse, and in our spirit, trou­bles, anguish, and as it were a studious and intestine warre betweene our good and bad desires, which fight the one against the other; and because these euils are more grieuous, so are the abouesaid goods more great, & more to be desired. If then, although they be al­ready purchased for vs, and that they bee ours, we neuerthelesse cannot come to the possession of them but by death, are not we for this reason much bound vnto it? Ought not we to loue and desire it? The children of Israel being arriued at the riuer of Ior­dane, seeing on the other side thereof the fruitfull land which God had promised them, and that being passed, they should be­ginne to enioy it and to rest, had they not great cause to reioyce, and to passe the riuer with great alacrity? And why not we, when we shal come nere vnto death, that is to say to the passage, beyond the which is our country, our house, or City, our friends, & kinsfolks, our rest, our ioy, and our pleasure? The child who during the time of his mino­rity hath alwaies liued in feare & base serui­tude, doth he not reioyce when he seeth the day comming wherin he doth hope to haue liberty, and quietly to enioy his goods? So [Page 239] ought euery faithfull man, seeing the day of his death draw neere, in the which he shall be put in possession of all the goods which God hath giuen him, and the gift wholly resigned.

When a man that hath vndertaken some long and tedious iourney, hauing trauelled many daies, and being wearied on the way, seeth the gate of the town whither he goes, doth he not reioyce, and as it were leape for ioy? Doth he not giue God thankes going into the towne, that it hath pleased him to conduct and bring him safely thither? Now euer since wee were borne, we haue alwaies bene in this world as strangers, we haue done nothing else but trauell in this low place, as in great desert, we haue heere wearied o [...]elues; then seeing death neere vnto vs, that is to say, the gate whereby wee must enter into the kingdome of our God, and the staires whereby wee must ascend vnto his holy mountaine, haue wee not occasion to consolate our selues, and to leape for ioy, considering that we are almost arriued at the place, where we hope to rest perpetually: If poore Adam being driuē out of the earthly Paradise, after he had tasted of the miseries whereinto hee had precipi­tate himselfe by his sinne, had beene called [Page 240] thither againe, and set in his first estate, what occasion should he haue had to reioyce? And we also, who after so many and diuers afflictions, are called out by God, by the means of death, into no earthly but heauenly Para­dise, not Adams, but Gods, where there is no sin, where there is no Serpent, where there is no forbidding, briefe, where there is no feare nor shame. When Noah after the flood, and falling of the waters which had broken and torne all, began to see the firme, land he did reioyce, and for ioy sa­crificed to God for a thanksgiuing; although it was accursed and brought forth thornes and thistles as before. VVhat more great occasion shall wee haue, when after the great flouds, and desolations which wee haue seene in this world, [...] shall be­ginne to see and salute the land of the li­uing, the blessed land, the land that was promised to the good, the land flowing with Milke and Honey, and all sweete and sauory things? When Ioseph after hee had a long time beene prisoner in great ca­lamitie, suddenly without thinking there­one, was raised to such dignitie, that hee was next the King in Egypt, making lawes and ordinances, for to dispose the State and Kingdome; had not hee mat­ter [Page 241] of consolation?

VVee haue no lesse, but much more, when after our prisons, captiuities, ser­uitudes, banishmentes, and so many o­ther afflictions which wee suffer in this world, wee by death are in a moment lifted vp from the dunghill into heauen, there to reigne with IESVS CHRIST, and to bee partakers of his glory, of his honour, of his faith, of his rest, and of his table.

VVas it not a great ioy to the Iewes, who had beene captiue three score yeares in Babylon, amongest the Idola­ters in great miserie, depriued of the vse and commoditie of spirituall thinges, as to assemble together to prayse God, and to heare his word, and to doe other thinges appertayning to the office of a Christian; weeping sometimes when they were by themselues, and hanging vp their Harpes and Instruments, through griefe that they could not serue God according to their desires, nor sing his prayses among the strangers; for to haue the Kings let­ters to returne into their countrey, build their Temple? and there according to their ancient manner, in all liberty, serue, [Page 242] praise and worship their God; It is lesse to vs, when after a long and redious captiui­tie that we haue endured in this world, con­uersing with Idolaters, vnbeleeuers, blas­phemers, despisers of God and of his word, we are deliuered, and haue our pasport to goe into this celestiall Ierusalem, and into the holy Temple of our God, there for to praise him perpetually, and in beholding his goodnesse, to glorifie and sanctifie his holy name.

Death is also to be desired by reason that with our sorrowes it also ends our mour­ning; we in this world are alwaies sad, hea­uie, and malancoly. In it we weepe, we sigh, and alwaies weare the blacke weede. But when by death wee goe forth of it, to goe into the house of our Bridegroome, wee put off and leaue the mourning weed for to take our goodly and sumptuous a­biliments.

With goodly Robes, rich and imbrodered,
Before the Kings she shall in state be led,

Saith our diuine Poet Esay: and euerlasting ioy shall be powred on those which haue bene the faithfull sereants of God, and then shall be accomplished that which hath bene promised them; You that doe weepe in this world are happie, for you shall laugh: [Page 243] there shall be no more griefe, nor complay­ning, nor teares; for God at our comming into his kingdome will wipe them away from our eyes, we shall be comforted, and we shall rest in Abrahams bosome, as did Lazarus, there shall be no other question but of singing and saying euery one to our soules,

Go to praise God in all things, oh my soule,
And all my parts without let or controlle,
Praise his most good, holy and blessed name.

Say to the Harpe and other instruments, Go to, awake that you may now be set vp a­gaine in the estate to serue God, and praise him for his goodnesse: say to all the Church,

Giue vnto God praise and renowne,
For hee's louing and kinde,
And which is more, his gracious loue
Shall dure world without end.

Say to all creattures blesse the Lord in all his works, praise and exalt his name. Blesse God ye Angels of heauen, Sunne, Moone, Fire, Ayre, Water, Earth, Trees, and Beasts. A maide that hath long time bene betro­thed, desires that the day of her mariage were come, and when it is come shee re­ioyceth, seeing that shee shall soone be brought to her husbands house to dwell perpetually with him; wee ought also to [Page 244] comfort our selues, when the time drawes neere that our Lord must come; and wee ought to attend him waking as did the fiue wife Virgines, that so soone as hee shall bee come, wee may goe in to the wedding with him, and that the gate be not shutte against vs, as it was against the fiue foolish, becaue they were fallen asleepe.

An other reason why death is to bee wi­shed for, is that it causeth vs to see our friend and Sauiour IESVS CHRIST, of whom we haue as yet seene but the pi­cture. The Prophets and Apostles haue de­scribed him vnto vs so faire, of such a come­ly stature, so courteous, so vertuous, so loyall, so eloquent, so louely, so noble, so rich, so louing of vs, that for our saluati­on hee did abandon his owne life, which ought more to moue vs then any o­ther thing. Where is that maid, who ha­uing heard of so many perfections to be in her friend, would not burne, and be altoge­ther transported with desire and affection to see him? If our King, or some Prince of renowne, comes into our countrey, we de­sire to see him, because of the report which we haue heard of his vertue and valour. If Hercules, Alexander the great, Caesar Cato, [Page 245] of whom we so much commend the ancient pictures, were now in this world, we would through curiositie goe a hundred miles to see them; with what an affection then should we aspire to that day, in the which we shall face to face see and behold that so mightie Prince, who with an inuincible force hath broken the head of all our enemies; who like vnto a valiant Iosua, in despite of them hath brought vs through the dangers, and conducted vs into the land which God had promised vs? What a pleasure shall it be to vs to see him glorious, in order and in tri­umphant array, and round about him the goodly trophees of his great victories set vp? It is said that when Alexander had ouer­come Darius King of the Persians, entring into the place where he made his residence, He sits downe in his throne, and that pre­sently a Greeke Gentleman of his company began to weepe for ioy in speaking these words. O happy day in the which we see our King victorious against the Barbarians, and their pride troddē vnder foot. O that all Grecia had now the sight & the pleasure of this spectacle. Think what ioy, it will be also to euery faithfull man, to see Iesus Christ in his royal seat, holding vnder his feet all his e­nemies & ours, but specially the serpēt whose [Page 246] head is alreadie broken, and now hee doth nothing else but wagge his tayle, waiting his finall end, which shall bee at the day of iudgement. May Kings and Princes did with great affection desire to see him when he was on earth accustomed like a seruant.

Simeon because he saw him so, did so re­ioyce, and was so satisfied, that he feared no more to die: ought not we more to desire to see him in heauen in a kingly robe, with company, greatnesse, maiestie and pompe, and in the state of a Lotd. The Queene of Saba, who being induced by the rumour which was spred ouer all the earth of the great Court of King Salamon, came run­ning thither, from the farthest part of the South, to see him, and to heare his wise­dome; after she had diligently considered his great and maruellous wisedome, the or­der, the splendour, and state of his house, stood all astonied, & with great admiration said; O how happie are the seruants of thy house, who may see thy face euery day, and heare thy diuine speeches; let vs say also, O thrice and foure times happy are the faithfull, who dying goe directly to hea­uen, to be hold the face of Iesus Christ, who is much more then Salomon; For the onely [Page 247] contemplation of it, makes man content in euery point, in taking from vs the memory and feeling of all other pleasures, causeth that we cannot nor will not turne our eyes and thoughts from it. Now death doth not onely cause vs to see Iesus Christ, but ma­keth vs with him to behold the Angels, the Patriarkes, the Prophets, the Apostles, the Martyrs, which haue beene singular in gra­ces and vertues. And if any man that hath a hart towards God, desires to see the Church well ordered in this world, and preferreth it to all that can be giuen him, albeit the or­der of is neuer so great, but that there will be many things more to be desired; with what vehemence and heate should he wish to see it in heauen, without spot or wrinkle, shining like the Sunne, clothed in robes as white as Snowe, set forth in nuptiall or­der?

The last reason for the which wee ought to desire death, is, that by it our spirite be­ing parted from the body, which doth clog it, is more at liberty and more capable to looke into the mysteries of God. We liue all in this world with a natural desire to know; therefore is it that for our contentment, we seeke alwayes to heare and see some nouel­ties; then is it not possible that here beneath [Page 248] we should come to any great knowledge, chiefely of the truth, as well because that of it selfe it is obscure and hard to know, as for the cares, perturbations, afflictions, pas­sions, &c. wherewith our minde is intang­led and hindered, whiles it is in our bodies, which are vnto it as dust in a mans eye, which doth hinder it from discerning any thing vnderstandingly. It is the reason wherefore God said to Moyses, that whiles we liue wee cannot see it cleerely; for the which also S. Paul sayth, That we know but in part, and S. Iohn, That we see the my­steries of our God, but as it were in a glasse, or through a window: but when our soule shall be parted from this body, and the vaile taken away which blindeth her eyes, then shal it behold and see God face to face, then shal it haue the perfect knowledge of him & of Iesus Christ his Sonne, & in it eternal life. We shal behold that wch now we worship; for we shal enter into the Sanctuary of our Lord, and there shall looke on him without ceasing, the propitiation & the Cherubins: nothing neither of the law nor the Gospell shal be any more vnknowne or hid from vs. God wil shew vnto vs as vnto his friends & familiars, all the riches of his house; he will talke friendly with vs, & wil impart all vnto [Page 249] vr. An ancient man turning from merchan­dise, & being entred into the hall where De­metriꝰ Phalereꝰ read; when he had hard him a litle while, begins to complaine, & said, O vnhappy man that I am, haue the good of this world bin cause that I haue bin so long depriued of such good things as these? Let vs also say, O miserable life, wilt thou dure much longer, wilt thou not shortly let vs go whither we aspire, wch is the schoole of our God? Must we lose so many dayes? Happy death wilt thou not hasten to bring vs thi­ther? We see by these reasons what occasion we haue to feare, flie from, and complain of death, which is a rest & sleepe most delight­full aboue all other; for there is no noise nor dreames to trouble or interrupt it: it is a holsome medicine, which being swallowed, doth heale vs of all diseases, & taketh al pain from vs. Which Socrates considering, after he had drunke the poyson by the comman­dement of the Athenians, who had vniustly condemned him to die, when the venom was dispersed in his members, & his friend Crito a litle before he gaue vp the ghost, had asked him, if he would commaund him no­thing: no, said he, but that thou offer sacrifi­ces to Aesculapiꝰ the god of physick, to giue him thankes: for I neuer tooke a medicine of such great force, nor which wrought [Page 250] better. It is a great shame that these Pagans in their ignorance and infidelity seeme to bee better instructed and more vertuous then wee are▪ for wee feare death and flie from it, as an euill thing, and they hold and esteeme it as an incomparable good. Epa­minondas at the houre of his death percei­uing his friends about his bedde weeping, comforted them, saying, Reioyce O my friends, for your friend Epaminondas is go­ing to begin to liue. Is death then an euill, which hath nothing else of that which we esteeme death, but the name and reputati­on, for indeed it is a life? Also is this life a good, which hath but the name of it, for in effect it is a very death? both the one and the other, as saith Saint Iohn Chrysostome, is masked and haue both false faces. Life which is so euill fauoured hath the faire, which maketh it to be beloued; death which is so faire hath the vgly, which maketh it to be feared and hated. When it presents it selfe vnto vs so masked, at the first it seemes fearefull; but if wee put vp the maske wee shall finde it vnderneath so faire and beau­tifull, that presently wee shall bee inflamed with the loue of it. Let vs then take away this vaine feare of death; let vs beleeue that which is true, that it is the greatest good [Page 251] that can happen vnto vt. That which anci­ently Apollo answered to Pindar, being questioned what thing hee did esteeme the most healthfull & profitable to man, To die, answered he. It is said of Cleobis and Biton, that God would recompence them for their piety, and obedience, & respect which they had borne towards their mother. Now ha­uing giuen them leaue to demaund what they would, they referred themselues to his iudgement, as knowing best what is most profitable and necessary for vs then our selues: What came of it? the same day they died. Whereby did appeare that there is nothing more profitable vnto man, then death, by the which we are ledde into a place of pleasure, where we begin to liue. In the olde time the Sepulchres were built in gardens, which was done not onely for to bring into our mindes our end, in ta­king of our pleasures and delights, and by that meanes to moderate them, but also for to instruct vs, that death is a consecutiue af­ter pleasure and Paradice, and is as a passage for to enter into a pleasant Orchard: it is the reason for the which at Athens, when they buried the dead bodies, they turned their faces towards the East, and not to­wards the West, to shew that in death our [Page 252] life and light begins: Why doe we put our bodies in Sepulchres as in chests, if it be not to shew that they are not lost, but layed vp as pretious vessels of the holy Ghost, & that in time they shall be taken forth, and shall be put into light, for the decoration of the house of their Lord. These things conside­red, let vs take away all feare and apprehen­sion of death, let vs reioyce and sing as doe the Swannes when they are neere their death: let vs say with Dauid, Lord I haue beene glad when it hath beene said vnto me, Goe to, let vs goe into the house of our Lord.

It remaines now, before we end this pre­sent Treatise, to shew how we should be­haue our selues at the death of our friends, and how to mittigate the sorrowes, which we conceiue for them, which to do we must consider that which followeth.

First, the vnauoidable necessity of al men, the which cannot be remedied neyther by counsaile nor any other meanes. Dauid ha­uing a regard thereunto, did comfort him­himselfe after the death of his little childe, for whom hee had wept and prayed so much during his sickenesse, when there was yet some hope to impetrate of God, by humble prayers, that he would restore him [Page 253] to health: but when he saw that it was too late, that all teares were now vaine and vn­profitable, he left his mourning and began to reioyce. Iesus Christ saith, that euery day hath afflictions enough of it selfe to trouble vs, without that we should heape on those of others, or of those that are gone, renuing it by the remembrance of them; or of those which are to come, anticipating by feare and coniecture. It is an instruction most necessary, and which we ought all to take, for the rest and tranquillity of our mindes. Secondly, we must consider whē our friends die, that it is the will of God, which doth, nor ordeyneth nothing but for the good of his children, as saith S. Paul, to those that are loued of God, all things succced & turne to their profit: if we do not beleeue that, we are vnbeleeuers; if we beleeue it, we ought not to grieue for any thing that befals vs; for all is profitable to vs. Now there is no great reason that we should hide vs from our pro­fit. The soueraigne wisdome of God is cause that there is nothing better done then that which he doth; and his goodnes that there is nothing better; if there be nothing bet­ter, nor better done then that which he or­deyneth and disposeth; and he disposeth of vs and of our affaires, and generally of all [Page 254] that which hapneth vnto vs, why do we [...] row, why doe we desire any thing else? For we cannot haue any thing that is better why do we complaine? For all is well and cannot be better done.

We must thirdly thinke, that to dye is a thing general and common to all: We passe and flye away as doth the water of a brook; and it is an act and statute of our God, that we must dye all: if then that happen vnto vs which is common to all, is it not a great folly and pride in vs, to desire to be exempt from the common condition, and to wish for a particular? What are we the worse that our friends are dead? so doe those of our neighbours die. Menander writing to a friend of his to comfort him, alleadged this reason vnto him: Thou shouldest haue, sayth he, iust occasion to grieue, if thy for­tune and destiny were worse then other mens; but if it be alike, why dost thou complain? There are more that if we would diligently consider, and make an intire com­parison betweene vs and others, we should finde there are an infinite many worse for­tuned then we are. And that is true which Anaxagoras said, as reporteth Valerius the great, that if it were possible to assemble all the miseries of the world on a heape, for [Page 255] afterwards to part them by equall portions, there is not hee but would rather chuse his owne then his part of the whole heape. See­ing that we are not alone losing our friends, and that if we will looke into it, wee shall finde that there are enough, more ill at ease then we: let vs content our selues, that so it pleaseth God, and let vs not desire immor­tall friends, where we see those of others to be but mortall.

Againe, let vs thinke that it is a naturall thing to die, as it is for winter to be colde, and sommer hote. Our bodies (saith S. Paul) are mortall. Then let vs not maruell if in winter there be raine, frost and snow, for the season brings it. Let vs not maruell that the night followes the day, and that man at night after his labour goeth to sleepe, for all that is naturall. Also ought not we for the same reason to be astonied when a man dyeth; no more, saith S. Basil, then when he is borne and commeth into the world, for the one and the other is ordinary: And want of considering it, is cause oftentimes, that at the death of our friend we are so a­mazed, as if it were a thing prodigious and not accustomed. When newes was brought to Anaxagoras, that his sonne was dead, it moued him not at all, onely he said that [Page 256] it was not a new and vnusuall thing that a mortall man should die, and that when he begot him, he did not beget him immortall. What made him so constant, but that before hand he had foreseene and often considered that it ought so to come to passe, being a na­turall thing?

Moreouer, we must consider, that death is a tribute which we owe and are bound to pay vnto nature. Thou art dust and earth, and to earth thou shalt returne, saith God, speaking to man after he had sinned: Then, when one of our friends dieth, why are we discontented? Because he hath quit­ted himselfe and payed what he ought? If he had payed his King the tribute and ordi­nary taxe, we would approue of that as most right, and an obedience and duety to­wards his Prince; and if hee hath done as much to nature, what reason is there to grieue at it?

Againe, that in it God heareth vs; for we aske of God that his Kingdome come, and that his will be done; what doe we iest with God, asking him that which we would not haue, and feare to obtaine? and doe vexe our selues, and murmure, in stead of giuing him thankes when he hath graunted our requests? We shew well that we thinke [Page 257] little on the prayers which wee make: for if wee thought vpon them, eyther we would not pray so, or else in praying so if God grant our request, we would not be sory for it.

Againe, that when our friendes die we lose them not; for our Lord whose they are both before and after death, is not the God of the dead but of the liuing. Cirus speaking to his friends before his death, for to comfort them, said; Doe not thinke when I shall be dead that I am lost, or shall come to nothing. When we sow a land, the graines of corne are not lost, they rotte therein, but it is the better to fructifie; so are our bodies in the earth, for to reuiue one day, and to rise againe in incorruption, immortality, glory and vertue. When also a man goeth a long & tedious iourny, do we thinke him lost? when any one of our friends is at the Court with his Prince, who will not suffer him to depart out of his company, raised to honour, and prouided of great of­fices, are wee sory for it? Why then are we sory for a friend whom wee know assuredly to bee in the house of God, in honour and credite, and so well at ease, that he would not change for all the felicity of this world? Againe, that it is a [Page 258] very vnhonest and vnseemely thing in a faithfull man to greeue so immoderately and as if hee were desperate. A Christian ought to haue a strength and courage, which should be inuincible against all ad­uersities, and euen against the gates of hell: he should be like a building grounded vp­pon a firme rocke, that may hold firme a­gainst all the stormes, waues and windes, and all the inconueniences wherewith he may be assayled; he must not be soft, and yeelde presently to aduersity, melting in teares, and therein drowning (as Dauid saide) his bedde. The Liciens in time past had a law, by the which it was ordeyned that whosoeuer would weepe for the death of his friend, should put on womens clothes, to shew that that it is more answering to a cowardly and effeminate heate, then to a manly courage. And as it happens in mens bodies, that when they are tender and deli­cate, they cannot endure the colde in win­ter, nor yet the heate in summer; so may we iudge of such courages, that if they cannot beare aduersity without impatience, no more can they prosperity without insolency.

We must finally consider, that by the teares and complaints which we vse at the death of our friends, we doe not remedie [Page 259] our selues, no more then doth the sicke man his disease by his sighes, but rather doth encrease his misery. And we may say that euen as by common experience, and the reports of Physitions, wee see in cholericke folkes, that the more they anger themselues the more their rage and choler doth aug­ment: also in the mournfull and heauy peo­ple, that continuing in their teares and la­mentations, their sorrow doth grow and strengthen. So said an ancient Philosopher to Arcinoe, to comfort her; If, sayd he, thou louest teares they wil loue thee reciprocally, and as friends will alwayes frequent and ac­company thee: What then doth this great mourning profit vs, if not to make vs more miserable? I, but will some say, in excusing themselues, it is a naturall thing to weepe at such an accident: I agree to it, neyther will I condemne a moderate sorrow. As a certaine man saw an auncient Philosopher weeping for the death of his sonne, and did reproue his inconstancy: he answered him very well, saying, Good friend, suffer me to be a man. We must not be like Barbarians or sauage beastes without humanity, with­out affection, without pitty nor feeling. I wish, sayth Pindar, not to be sicke, but if I am, I would not be without feeling; for it is [Page 260] an euill signe, when in our sickenesse we are dull and feele nothing. Then when in our mourning we shall keepe the meane, and shall auoyde the two extremes, which S. Basil doth condemne as vitious, to wit, Phi­lotrijnon & thiriodian, which is, that we be not Stoikes, that is to say, without affection, nor soft on the other side, to suffer our selues to be wonne and ouercome with sor­row; I doe approue, that if we shew our selues men in weeping, let vs also shew that we are Christians furnished with hope in correcting and moderating our sorrowes. Others say, I loued them so dearely. If thou louedst him so dearely as thou sayest, shew it and reioyce at his happinesse and rest: I rather beleeue that that which causeth in vs this great mourning, is the loue which we haue of our selues, which is the cause that we greeue at the losse of our friends, not for the respect which we haue to them, but to our selues, being discontent to be depri­ued of the pleasure and consolations which they gaue vs. Which Iesus Christ said vnto his Disciples, seeing that they grieued that he had tolde them, that in short time hee should be put to death: It is not for loue of me that you are so heauy; for if you loued me you would be glad, for as much as it is [Page 261] my good or happines to die. Others say, he was so honest a man, therfore is it that God tooke him, as he did Enocke, for feare lest by the malice and corruption of this age, he should change. When the fruit is ripe must it not be gathered, for feare lest it should rot on the tree?

Others say hee died in the prime of his age; by so much the happier is he: for, as said Anacharsis, that shippe is happiest which arriueth first at the port. Moreouer, there is no certaine time determined for all men to die: but as we see in fruit time, some are gathered sooner then the others; so is it amongst men. There are some also that say we must honour the dead, by mourning for them, falling into the superstition of the Iewes, who holding this opinion, did hire certaine singers & musitians, to sing pittifull & funeral songs for the death of their friēds; which Iesus Christ did reproue in the house of the Prince of the Synagogue: & not with­out cause, for it is not good in praise of a bo­dy to mourne for it: complaints & teares are rather signes of miserie then any thing els. We do not now weep for the holy Martyrs, which yet we should doe, if in teares there did consist any honor; but we honor them by a remembrance of them, with blessing & [Page 262] thankesgiuing, and by paine and study we endeauour to follow them. If likewise wee haue a friend whom we will honor after his death, it must not be with teares and lamen­tations, but rather by an honorable mention which we are to make of him and of his ver­tues, and by a desire which we haue to imi­tate and follow his good and laudable fa­shion.

It is time to conclude this present Trea­tise, and to resolue the precedent reasons; that wee must neither feare nor flie from death, but rather loue and desire it more then life, and preferre the day of our death before the day of our birth: for by our birth we come to paine and affliction, and dying we goe to God, and to a perpetuall rest. Which the Greeks haue very fitly shewed vs; for in their language the day of our na­tiuity is called Genethlia, that is to say in the same language, Genesis ton athlon, and in our French tongue, beginning of troubles: and death is called Thanatos, which is as much as to say, according to the interpreta­tion of Themiste, Now vp to God. Let vs then strictly examin them, & iudge of them, that wee may take away the feare of the one, & the excessiue loue of the other. God through his holy spirit giue vs the grace to do it. So be it.

Prayers and Meditations touching Life and Death.

THE life of Christians ought to be occupied in conside­ring the things that follow, and to put them in practise; to wit, to haue alwaies in re­membrance the benefits which they haue receiued at the hands of God; to giue him thanks for them without ceasing, both wih heart and mouth; to loue him, who is the goodnesse it selfe, to feare and wor­ship him, seeing he is the Almightie, and onely wise; to be stirred vp by the loue which they beare to God, also to loue their neighbours. The loue of God drawes vs from the loue of corruptible things, lifts vs vp to heauen, and inflames our hearts to a holinesse of life. The loue of our neigh­bour turnes vs from all troublesomenesse, in will or in deed, & doth stirre vs vp to inte­grity, and well doing.

An other.

LET vs often thinke what we are: The principall part of vs is the Soule, the which is endued with vnderstanding, with reason, and with iudgement, to know the soueraigne good, which is God, to loue him, to adhere and vnite our selues vnto him, that we may haue part of his immor­tality and happinesse. Now we forsake and contemne this great good, for to grouell vpon the earth, and to goe downe into the pit of carnall desires, applying the vigour of our vnderstanding and iudgement, to things that are not worth the paines that we employ in them. We burie our selues quicke, by manner of speaking; of heauen­ly we become earthly, and of men created for eternall life, we endeuour as much as in vs lieth, to set our selues in the ranke of brute beasts. God doth not forsake vs ne­uerthelesse, although that our ingratitude hath well deserued it, but calles vs vn­to him by his word, presents vnto vs infi­nite testimonies of his grace, continues it daily, he supports, exhorts, counsels, chides and fatherly chastiseth vs; Neuerthelesse we continue blinde, deafe, and negligent, despising his goodnesse, or vse it not as we [Page 265] should, or indeed abusing it: which is worse, we loue vaine and transitory things better, and haue our mindes too much fixed and setled vpon them. God stretcheth forth his hand to conduct vs, we draw back ours, and flie when he calleth vs. If he put vs into the way of saluation, we grudge and repine for the worlde, we looke behinde vs, deferring and remitting our desire to dwel til to mor­row. Let vs awake then, let vs not alwayes stick in the mire, let vs strengthē ourselues in the vertue of him that supports & succours vs, let vs a little vndertake to despise corrup­tible things, and to desire those that are truly good and euerlasting. When God cal­leth vs, let vs hearken, if he guides vs let vs follow him, that we may come to his house: let vs receiue his good things, and himselfe too; for he giues himselfe vnto vs in the per­son of his Sonne. He shewes vs the meanes to get to heauen, let vs then desire of him to giue vs the will and the courage by faith, repentance, charity and hope to ayme thi­ther, and that he would maintaine his grace in vs vntill the end, to sigh in this mortall life, and to waite (through the assurance of his mercy) for our departure out of this world, and our last day, which shall be the beginning of our true life.

Prayers and Meditations.

HOW great are the illusions and im­postures of the enemy of our salua­tion? He sheweth vs a farre off things that are ridiculous and vaine, and perswades vs that it is all good and happinesse; he scares vs with things that we ought not to feare; makes vs to flie from those things which we ought to embrace; Hee calleth, inti­ceth and flattereth vs, by the intermission of our desires; if that will not serue, he roares and stormes, and endeuours to astonish vs within and without. O eternall light and veritie, O Lord and mercifull Father, dis­perse those clouds of ignorance and errour, illuminate our vnderstandings, and doe not suffer vs to come neer to that, which thou hast commanded vs to flie from, and which is hurtfull and pernicious vnto vs; let vs not desire, but what is truly to be desired, to wit, thy selfe, who art the spring-head of all goodnesse, of our life, and of eternall happinesse. All flesh is grasse, and the glo­ry of man is like the flower of the field; cause then that we may seeke for our firme­nesse and contentment in the grace which thy Sonne hath brought vs: let our life lye hid in him, so that at the day of the sepa­ration [Page 267] of our soules from our bodies, wee may finde it wholly in heauen, waiting with assured rest and ioy, the happy resurrection, of this flesh; in the which all corruption, in­firmity and ignominie being abolished, and death being swallowed vp of victory, wee shall liue eternally with thee, in an incom­prehensible happinesse in thee, by the which thou shall be glorified. Maintaine then thy children, O Lord, in this faith and hope, fi­nishing thy worke in vs, vntill they be alto­gether with thee, for to enioy the inheri­tance, and the glory which thine onely Sonne hath by his merit purchased for them. Amen.

Prayer.

LOrd Iesus Christ, Creator and Redee­mer of mankind, who hast said, I am the way, the truth, and the life, I do beseech thee by this vnspeakable charity which thou hast shewed, in yeelding thy selfe to death for vs, that I may neuer stray any iot from thee, who art the way, nor that I doubt of thy promises, seeing thou art the truth, and dost accomplish that which thou promi­sest. Cause that I may onely take pleasure in thee who art the eternall life, beyond the which there is nothing to be desired, [Page 268] neyther in heauen nor earth. Thou hast taught vs the true & only way to saluation, because we should not abide erring like strayed sheep, in the lost waies of this world; shewing vs so clearly that nothing can be more, that which wee ought to beleeue, to do, to hope, and wherein we ought to yeeld & settle our selues; It is thou that hast giuen vs to vnderstād, how cursed we are in Adam; and that there is no way to escape from this perdition in the which we are all plunged, but by faith in thee. Thou art that faire light which doest appeare to those that walke in the desert of this life, & who hauing drawen vs out of the darknesse of the spirituall Egypt, hast driuen away the darknesse of our vnderstandings, and doest enlighten vs, to the end we may tend towards the pro­mised inheritance, which is the life euer­lasting; into the which the mistrustfull doe not enter, but those that haue assured­ly relied vpon thy holy promises. O what a goodnesse, that thou hast vouchsafed to descend from thy Fathers bosome, and from the euerlasting throne to the earth, to put on our poore nature, of master to be­come seruant, to the end that by thy do­ctrine thou mightest doe away the darke­nesse of our ignorāce, to guide our feet into [Page 267] the way of peace, & to make plaine the way of saluatiō vnto vs? a way made vnto vs, the which if we follow, we cannot stray nor wax weary, seeing that thy grace & power do ac­companie vs therin all the daies of our life.

Moreouer by thy spirit thou doest streng­then vs in it, and double our courage. Thy word is bread which nourisheth vs therein, thy promise is the staffe which vpholds vs. Thou thy selfe by thy secret and incompre­hensible vertue doest beare and maintaine vs in it, in an admirable manner; to the end that both in faire and foule weather we may walke with all alacrity vnto thee. And as in preseruing vs thou hinderest that we do not fall into the snares of Satan & the world, al­so seeing thou art the truth, thou takest a­way all doubts, scruples, & mistrusts, which may trouble & let vs, or turne vs during our course; thou causest vs to behold the super­nall vocation, the misery and vanity of the world, the frailty of this present life, the gate of death, & the most happy life which is be­yond that. And as thou art this true life, euen in this world thou dost quickē by thy truth, vs that are poore, wretched, and dead in sinne; thou doest augment that life by the ministery and efficacie of thy holy Gos­pell, and doest confirme it by the vse of [Page 268] [...] [Page 267] [...] [Page 270] the Sacraments which thou hast established to confirme the faith of those that are thine, vntill that our corruption & what we haue of mortality in vs, being abolished by the resurrection, we shall bee, and liue euerla­stingly with thee, both in bodie and soule, when thou shalt be all in all. Life euerla­sting is to know the true God, and thee his Sonne, which wert sent vnto vs. Now we see thee by faith in a glasse, and in obscuri­tie; but one day we shall behold thee face to face, and shall be transformed into thy glory, and wholly reformed vnto thy image. I doe beseech thee, mercifull Sauiour, to in­crease my faith, that I may be so well groun­ded in the doctrine of my saluation, that nothing may turne mee from it: increase in my heart the reuerence which I owe thee, that I may neuer turne from thy obedience; strengthen mee in such sort that the allure­ments nor threatnings doe neither intrappe nor astonish mee, but that constantly I may cleaue vnto thee (who art my life) till death. Cause that in vertue of thy holy promises, and of thy Spirit, I may heate my selfe more and more in thy loue, and leauing behind mee the things of this world. I may tend to that which is firme and perfect; In­crease thy grace in mee, that euery day I [Page 271] may die in my selfe, for to be quickened and guided by thy fauour, fearing no other but thou God Almighty, louing nothing but thee, as there is nothing but thee to be lo­ued; boasting my selfe in nothing but in thy onely grace and mercy, which is the glorie of all thy seruants; seeking no other good but thee, nor desiring any thing but thee, who art the full and entire felicity of all the faith­full. Amen.

An other.

LOrd Iesus, who art alwaies mercifull, who doest not sticke to be my Sauiour, as well in aduersitie as in prosperity, giue me the grace in all humble obedience to yeeld vnto thy will, when it shall please thee to mingle bitternes amongst so many sweet things which thou causest me to taste in li­uing vnder thy protection. Thou art admi­rable and most good in the time of afflicti­ons: In that by such meanes thou doest heale spirituall diseases, and in visiting of vs in this world, thou disposest vs to medi­tate of a better life, hauing thy selfe shewed vs the example thereof. True it is that I find it verie hard to digest, but thou hast beene brought to a more strange condition, when for to draw me out of hell, [Page 272] thou wentest downe into it thy selfe, and for to reconcile mee to thy heauenly Fa­ther thou hast vndergone his curse, by rea­son of my sinnes. I haue so often deserued hell and the fiery torment, and thou deliue­redst me, assuring mee that I haue part in the merits of thy death, and thy obedience, and that I am one of thy coheires, for to reigne one day with thee in thy kingdome; and at this present in the middest of so ma­ny afflictions, to be neuerthelesse set in the heauenly places. Hauing part in so many good things, why shall I vexe my selfe for a little endurance, by the meanes whereof thou wilt awake mee, and make me better, and draw mee so much the more to thee? But seeing thou knowest mee better then I know my selfe, if it be thy pleasure to put me to any triall, giue me necessary force & patience to glorifie thee, conuerting all the euill that may happen vnto mee, to good and saluation. And if in supporting my weaknesse, thy goodnesse is pleased to ad­uertise mee by some light affliction, cause that this thy well willing may draw mee more and more to loue and honour thee, to giue thee thanks for the care which thou hast of thy poore little seruant, and by that meanes to dispose me to weight for thee at [Page 273] my death, that after it I may finde the life which thou hast purchased for me by thy death, and therein with thee to haue part in ioy and rest for euer. Amen.

An other.

LOrd God heauenly Father, when, I consider in how many sorts I haue sin­ned before thy face, and against thy high maiesty, I haue horrour in my selfe, in thin­king that I haue so often turned from thee. Propitious and fauourable Father; I detest my ingratitude; seeing in what serui­tude of sinne, I haue bene too often preci­pitate, selling as much as in me lay the preci­ous liberty which thy Son had purchased for mee. I condemne my folly, I altogether dis­like of my selfe, I see nothing but death and mishap hanging ouer my head, and my con­science rising for a Iudge & witnesse of my iniquities. But when on the other side I en­ter into a contemplation of thy infinite mercy the which surmoūteth all thy works, and in the which if so I dare to speake, thou surmountest thy selfe, my soule is comfor­ted. And indeed, why should I make my selfe beleeue that I cannot find grace be­fore him that summons and so often and [Page 274] gently calles the sinners to repentance, pro­testing expresly that hee desires not the death of a sinner, but rather that he turne from his wickednesse and liue.

Moreouer thy onely Sonne hath so well assured vs, that we shall finde fauour in thy sight, by the sweete wordes which he him­selfe hath vttered, as that of the lost sheepe, and of the prodigall sonne, the image of whom I acknowledge my selfe to bee; that I should be most vnthankfull, incredulous and wicked, to goe backe & to be ashamed of thy presence, although I am wretched; & seeing thou dost so stretch forth thy hand vnto mee, and draw mee to thee with such a pitifull affection. I haue very vildly for­saken thee, O benigne Father, I haue vn­happily let slip thy graces; and adhering to the desires of my flesh, and straying from thy obedience, I haue wrapped my selfe in the base seruitude of sinne; I am fallen into extreme misery, I know not whither to retire, vnlesse it be towards thee whom I haue abandoned. Let thy mercy receiue this poore supplication whom thou hast supported during his errours. I am vn­worthy to lift vp mine eyes vnto thee, or to call thee Father; But I pray thee bow downe thine eyes to mee, seeing thou wilt [Page 275] haue it so, and that without that, I am in the power of thine enemies. The sight of thy face will reuiue me, and bring me againe to thee. Seeing I haue some displeasure in my selfe, I know thou lookest vpon me, that thou hast giuen mee eyes to see the danger wherein I was: thou hast sought & found me in death, and in the world, & hast through thy mercy giuen mee a desire to enter into thy house. I dare not desire that thou shoudest kisse and embrace mee, nor that thou shouldst weepe for ioy that thou hast found thy poore seruant and slaue; I do not demaund the pretious ornaments wherewith thou doest honour thy great seruants, and most affectionate children. It is inough for me to bee in the troope of the least of thy house, amiddest the greatest sinners, that haue obtained pardon of thee, and that haue some shelter in thy Pallace, where there are so many dwellings: That euen in thy house I may bee as little as thou shalt please, prouided that thou wilt auouch me thine for euer.

O mercifull Father, I beseech thee that for the loue of thy welbeloued Sonne my onely Sauiour, thou wouldest giue mee thy holy Spirit, which may I purifie my heart, and strengthen mee in such sort, [Page 276] that I may alwaies dwell in thy house, there to serue thee in holinesse and iustice all the daies of my life. Amen.

Prayers.

WHat doe we in this world but heape sinnes vpon sinnes? so that the mor­row is alwaies worse then the day before, and we doe not cease, drawing thy indigna­tion vpon vs; But being out of this world in thy heritage, we shall be altogether assu­red of our perfect & eternall felicity, the mi­series of the bodies shall be abolished, the vices & filthinesse of the soule shall he done to nothing. O heauenly Father, increase our faith in vs, for feare lest we should doubt of things so certaine; imprint thy grace and thy loue in our hearts, which may lift vs vp to thee, and strengthen vs in thy feare. And because thou hast lodged vs in this world, there for to remaine as long as it shall please thee, without declaring vnto vs the day of our departure, the which thou alone knowest, I doe beseech thee to take mee out of it when thou shalt know the time to hee come, and then to doe me that good that I may acknowledge the same, that in the meane while I may fit my selfe [Page 277] thereunto as thou hast appointed by thy holy name. Amen.

An other.

THis bodie is the prison of the Soule, yea a darke prison, narrow and fearefull, wee are as it were banished men in this world, our life is but woe and misery: to the contrary, Lord, it is in thy heauenly king­dome, that we finde our liberty, our coun­trey, and our perfect contentment. Awake our soules by thy word, to the remembrance and apprehension of such a good, imprint in our hearts the loue and the desire of the euerlasting good things, and onely to bee wished for; giue vnto our consciences some taste of that ioy wherewith the happie soules which are in heauen are filled, that I may hold as doung and filth all that which the worldlings find so faire, and couet so much, which so obstinately they retaine, and doe adore with such feruency. Cause that finding taste but in thy verity and grace, I may waite for (calling vpon thee) the day of my perfect deliuerance, through IESVS CHRIST thy Sonne, to whom with thee and the holy Spirit be glory euerlasting. Amen.

Another.

LOrd Iesus, the onely saluation of the li­uing, life euerlasting of the dead, I sub­mit my selfe to thy holy will, whether it be thy pleasure yet to suffer my soule to bee some space within this body, for to serue thee, or that it please thee to take it out of prison, being assured that what thou keepest cannot perish. I am content with all my heart that my body returne into the earth from whence it was taken, beleeuing the last resurrection, which shall make it immortall, incorruptible and full of glory▪ I doe be­seech thee to fortifie my soule against all temptation, enuiron me with the buckler of thy mercy, to beate backe the darts of Sa­than: as for me, I am weakenes it selfe, but I relie vpon thy strength and goodnesse. I cannot alleadge any good thing before thee whereof to boast, to the contrary, alas, my sinnes infinite in number accuse and tor­ment me, but thy merite assures me that I shall be saued: for I hold for certaine, that thou wert borne for me, that thou wert tempted, that thou hast obeyed to God thy father, that thou hast taught and bought life euerlasting for me; seeing thou hast gi­uen [Page 279] thy selfe to mee with all these good things, let not such a gift be vnprofitable; let thy blood wipe out the filth of my faults, thy iustice couer my iniquities, thy merites make me to finde grace before the heauenly Throne. If my euils doe increase, augment thy grace in me; so that faith, hope, and charity may not die, but rather waxe strong in me: that the apprehension of death doe not daunt me, but that euen after this body shall be as it were dead, cause that the eyes of my soule may lift themselues vp to hea­uen, that the heart may then crie feruently vnto thee, Lord I commend my soule into thy hands, fulfill thy worke, for thou hast bought me, I am thine by the gift of thy Fa­ther: to whom with thee and the holy Ghost, be euerlasting glory.

AMEN.

TO THE MOST ILLVSTRI …

TO THE MOST ILLVSTRIOVS AND PV­ISSANT PRINCESSE, THE Lady Iagueline of Rohan, Marquiso of Rothelin, Princesse of Castelail­lon, &c.

THat which hath giuen me occasion, Madame, to write this Treatise of the Resur­rection, in the which con­sisteth all the hope of our saluation, is to warrant the faithfull a­gainst the impiety of those, who desiring neuer to giue accounts of their workes, or­dinarily scoffing at this doctrine, and say with those that were in the time of the Prophets:Isa. 21. & 16. Let vs eate and drinke, for to morrow we shall die.Wisd. 2. Which is cause that they not onely abandon themselues to all [Page 281] impiety, perswading themselues, that af­ter this life there is neither pleasure nor sorrow, but also doe stirre vp others to doe the like, perswading them that the Lord doth so abide in heauen, enioying of his happinesse, that he cares not for the go­uernement of men, of whom there shall be no more mention after death then of o­ther creatures. Which heresie taking a­way all hope of euerlasting happinesse, doth also take away from those that follow it the courage to liue wel & holily for in all acti­ons (as saith Chrysostome) whether cor­porall or spirituall,Mat. 22. Hom. 41. that which causeth to doe, is the hope of the prise to come; for he that tilleth, tilleth to reap, he that fighteth fighteth for victory. Seeing then that it is so difficult in this life, to keepe holi­nesse and iustice, who is he that would take it in good part to fight daily against him­selfe, if he had not some regard to the hope of the resurrection? wherefore who so ta­keth away this hope, taketh with it all the reuerence due to piety and iustice.

Now so it is Madam, that hauing seene [Page 280] [...] [Page 281] [...] [Page 282] the booke, which is dedicated vnto you, of the preparation of death, and hauing kno­wen the pleasure that you take in the rea­ding thereof, for the singular deuotion which you haue to the heauenly countrey, where through Iesus Christ our common hope, you looke for your perfect and soue­raigne beatitude: I haue perswaded my selfe, that for to increase in you this holy desire, it would not be to ill purpose that I did offer vnto you this my little Treatise, yet the better to mitigate the horror that we haue all naturally of the separation of the soule from the bodie, knowing that there is no doctrine that can cause vs to seeke for heauen with a better heart, and to despise the world then this, and that all the reasons that may bee alleadged for to prepare vs to goe willingly out of this mi­serable age, are of very little power if they be not grounded vpon this Article of faith: as also hee that is well perswaded cannot but must desire, with the Apostle, to be out of this world,Phil. 2. for to be with Iesus Christ his Sauiour.

[Page 283]Wherefore, knowing the singular graces which God bestowes vppon you, in ratifying his dilection vnto you, and gi­uing vnto you a full resolution of your sal­uation in his Sonne, by a liuely faith, shining in you by the most ardent desire that you haue to perseuere in his seruice in the middest of his Church: I present vnto you this my little labour, in the which you shall finde a liuely Image, and true and certaine description of that euer­lasting happines, vnto the which God cal­leth you, & for the which you haue learned to despise the vanity of the world, and to settle your hart altogether vpon the inesti­mable treasures of the kingdom of heauen. It is true that in describing the felicity to come of the iust, and the euerlasting con­demnation of the vniust, I haue taken the similitudes and comparisons which the scripture vseth, not only when it speaketh of the future felicity and beatitude of the elect, and condemnation of the reprobate; but euen those which it vseth to specifie the prosperity which God giueth his in this [Page 284] world, and the punishment wherewith he threatneth and punisheth the wicked euen in this life. But I haue done that, because that according to my opinion, the felicity of the one, and the ill hap of the others, which are incomprehensible vnto vs in this life, are more liuely represented vnto vs, by such holy circumlocutions or ex­amples.

Now Madam, I humbly beseech your excellency, to receiue this little present, with as good will as it is presented vnto you, by him who all his life, shall be your ob­liged seruant. And so Madam, after I haue commended my selfe very humbly vnto your excellencies good graces: I will beseech our eternall God, Madam, that in giuing you and all yours, health, long and happy life, he will augment vnto you from day to day, the gifts and graces of his spi­rit, that you may better and better serue to the aduancement of his glory, and to the edification of his people. So be it.

A BRIEFE AND CLEERE DECLARATION OF the Resurrection of the DEAD.

FOr as much as in all times there haue beene some, who haue mocked at the Resur­rection, and haue vtterly de­nied it:Mat. 12. Act. 17. 1. Cor. 15. it is not without good cause that the Apostle S. Paul doth so carefully teach vs, that the dead shal rise againe: for euen as this know­ledge doth bring vnto vs a soueraigne ioy and consolation, and doth giue vs a will and affection to follow vnto the end IESVS CHRIST our head and Spouse,Eph. 5. to bee [Page 286] crowned with him, with that eternall beati­tude, which God hath prepared for his chil­dren. Also likewise those that are not assu­red of the resurrection,Mat. 25. which is the foun­dation of our Religion, are lesse affectionate to follow the Lord, and to giue themselues to piety and iustice. And we must not doubt but the wicked, who abandon themselues to all impiety against God, & who without remorse of conscience, doe exercise all sorts of wickednesse against their neighbours, they doe it by so much the more freely, as they perswade themselues, that so they e­scape the iudgement and punishment of men, they shall heare nothing of it after this life. For seeing that to auoyde onely the vengeance of the Magistrate in this world, they hide as much as they can their iniqui­ties, and giue such good colours to their misdeedes as possible they can, to the end not to be conuicted wicked; how much more doe you thinke they would be bridled from doing euill, if they were perswaded that although their bodyes die, yet their soules shall remaine immortal, and shall en­dure the iudgement of God which it hath deserued; and that one day their bodies shall rise againe,Heb. 10. that both body and soule may be eternally tormented in hell, by the [Page 287] iudgement of God so horrible and feare­full;Heb. 10. whereupon we may see how necessa­ry it is to know that the dead shall rise a­gaine, being this doctrine the principall vpholder of Christian Religion; of the which if a man be not altogether perswa­ded all the rest is nothing. And it is impos­sible to perseuere amongst so many difficul­ties and afflictions which are daily present at the seruing of the Lord: for if the hope of the resurrection were not, we should be the most miserable of the earth, seeing that in this world the faithfull are ordinarily more afflicted, then the infidels;1. Cor. 15. but our con­solation is the promise of Iesus Christ, that although the world shall reioyce for a time, and that we shall weepe,Ioh. 16. Rom. 8. Psal. 37. & 73. the time will come that our Head will visite vs, and re­ioyce our hearts with a ioy that shall neuer be taken from vs.

Now for to vnderstand this Article of faith, we must well vnderstand these three points.

First, we must now know whether the soule dieth with the body or no.

Secondly, whether the body returnes so into the earth, that it cannot rise againe.

Thirdly, if it doth rise, who it is that doth raise it, and in what estate it shall be being risen.

THE FIRST POINT.

AS for the first part, The Lord for to de­clare vnto vs the immortality of soules, compares death to the sleepe, of man, and sayeth that those that are dead sleepe: assuring vs, that euen so as when the body doth sleepe, the soule doth not sleepe, as appeares by so many dreames which men haue, that also although the body shall be put into the Sepulchre, as in a place of sleep: neuerthelesse the immortall soule shall be gathered and assembled in its place; from the which it shall come againe at the day of iudgement, to put on her body; that there­in she may enioy the happy life, or suffer e­ternall punishment. The Apostle speaking of the daughter of Iairus, Rom. 2. Mat. 25. Luc. 8. whom the Lord did raise againe, sayth, That the spirite did returne into her; shewing that it was not dead like the body, but onely that she was gone to the place, from the which by the commandement of Iesus Christ shee came againe to re-enter into her body: as also that of Lazarus of Bethleem.Ioh. 11. For euen so as the body doth returne to the earth, from whence it was taken; so the spirite doth returne to God, who gaue it. The [Page 289] same Euangelist declares, that the soule of dead Lazarus liues in heauen,Luc. 16. and that of the euill rich man in hell. The Lord dying, to shew that the soule was not subiect to death as the body,Luc. 22. Act. 7. did recommend his soule to his Father. Saint Steuen that first Martyr, recommended his to Christ. Saint Paul de­sired to be dissolued, and to be with Iesus;Phil. 1. knowing that after his soule should be deli­uered out of the prison of his body, it should goe to the ioy of the children of God. Vn­to the theefe it was said, This day thou shalt be with me in Paradice;Luc. 23. which cannot be vnderstood of the body, but shewes that the faithfull dying,Ioh. 5.6. make the passage from death to life.

The which ought only to be vnderstood of the soule, seeing that the body must first be brought to earth, and that it must put off all corruption, for to rise at the last day incorruptible and in glory. Iesus Christ against the Saduces, who denied the im­mortality of soules, shewes,Mat. 22. that for as much as GOD calles himselfe the God of Abraham, of Isaacke and of Iacob, Exod. 3. infallibly the soules departed doe liue; for hee is not the God of those that are dead in such sort, that they are no more, but he is the God of those that are, [Page 290] and that liue; and doth good to the poste­rity of those that are, and not of those that are not; which cannot be vnderstood but of their soules, seeing their bodies were re­turned to the earth. Whereby we see that they deceiue themselues greatly, that say that their soules die and vanish with the body where they sleepe; also those like­wise who thinke that they enter into other bodies.Mar. 6. Luc. 9. Euen the Pagans by naturall appre­hensions, haue beleeued that the soules were immortall; as we see that Euripides in the Tragedy which hee intituled Hecuba, doth declare it, when he brings in Polixe­na speaking to Hecuba, and dying, saying to her, What shall I say to Hector thy husband, who was dead, she answered her, tell him that I am the most wretched in the world: And in that which he intituled, The suppli­cants, he sayes, The spirite shall returne to heauen. Likewise Pholicides sayes, That the soule is immortall, and liuing alwayes, wax­eth not olde: Pythagoras in his golden verses said, If when thou hast left the body thou commest into heauen, thou shalt be as God, liuing alwayes, and being no more mortall: Cicero likewise writes of it in his booke of friendship, and in that which he writ of age, in some sort comforting him­selfe [Page 291] in the hope which he had of the im­mortality of his soule. We see then that it is a thing most assured, that the soule is immortall, as the Lord by his word, which is the infallible truth of heauen, doth shew it vs: and likewise the Pagans, how igno­rant soeuer they were of the true religion, haue well vnderstood it. Wherefore those that denie the immortality of soules, accuse God of lying, & make themselues in worse estate then the Pagans.

This knowledge is a great consolation to the faithfull in all their afflictions, and doth take from them the feares of death, knowing that their soules being separated from their bodies liue in heauen:1. Ioh. 2. in which they are admonished, not to settle them­selues vpon the transitory things of this life; and not to loade their soules with the burthen of sinne, to the end that dying they may bee raised vp towards God our Father, and IESVS CHRIST our Sauiour, vnto whom we ought with a stedfast faith recommend them. Now euen as the faithfull doe reioyce at it, the vnfaithfull on the other side, kno­wing the soules to bee immortall,Jam. 1. 1. Pet. 1.4. are so much the more fearefull of death; seeing the eternall paines and [Page 292] torments to bee prepared for them at their going forth of this world. So that which serueth to the elect for ioy and instruction, is vnto the wicked nothing but sorrow, and occasion of despaire.

THE SECOND POINT.

TOuching the body, it is all apparant that it is subiect to die, as well be­cause that we know that those that were in times past are dead, and that we see that those of our time die one after another; as principally because that the Lord declares to Adam, that by rea­son of his sinne,Gen. 3. he with his posterity shall be subiect to returne into the earth, from whence he was taken. The Apostle sayes, that by a man sinne came into the world,Rom. 5.8.6. and by sinne death, and so death came vnto all men, by reason that all haue sinned, and the reward of sinne is death, whereof the houre is vncertaine vnto vs.Luc. 12. Although we are certaine that it is the iourney that euery man must go,Jos. 12. 1. King. 2. by reason that vnto them all it is ordeined to die once, and that the Lord hath set bounds for mans life, the which he will neither aduance nor put backe.Heb. 9. Iob 14. The Scripture is full of testimonies vpon this [Page 293] matter, although it be well enough knowne of all by euery dayes experience. The Pa­gans themselues without instruction of the word of God, haue well vnderstood that vnto man it is a thing that cannot be auoy­ded; as Euripides shewes it in the Tragedie of the Supplicants, saying, that euery part of man must returne from whence it came; the spirit into heauen, the body into the earth, which is the mother nurse thereof. Where­fore it is a noted thing to all, that we must die; and all the faithfull ought to be per­swaded that the Angels wait for the depar­ture of men, for to carry their soules into their place. The holy Angels carry away those of the faithfull, according to the charge which they haue for their saluation, into Abrahams bosome, and into the place of the happy; and the euill Angels those of the wicked into hell. That is the reason wherefore men often heare and see many things when a man is to die, the Angels gi­uing to vnderstand therby of their presence, and the neere departure of men. But there is this difference, that that which is seene before the departure of the iust, is lesse fearefull, comming from soft and peace­able spirits, and seemes to serue but for an admonition to those that are neere [Page 294] to the sicke, for to stirre them vp to pray vnto God, and to comfort their brother, and to exhort and encourage him to pre­pare himselfe for the will of God, to go cheerefully out of this world, that he may be with IESVS CHRIST his Sa­uiour. Then the faithfull being departed, all such things cease; although it may happen that the faithfull shall be in all ex­tremity assaulted by Sathan, to make him fall from faith, if it were possible for him: but those are extraordinary things, and in the meane time the Lord giueth victory to his,1. Ioh. 5. Mar. 16. 1. Thes. 1. Gen. 24. & 31. and makes them the better to know the power of their faith, and the assistance of the holy Angels. But ordinarily that which is seene and heard at the departure of the wicked, is fearefull, comming from the destroying Angels and enemies of men, & Authors of troubles; the which do all they can to bring the vnfaithfull to desperation, and to keepe thē in it, & endeuour as much as in them lieth, to hinder and trouble the praiers of the assistāts: for the feare that they haue lest their damnation should bee prolō ­ged; knowing well that the prayers of the iust, made for the sicke, are of great power and efficacy towards God, for the faith which they haue in Iesus Christ. Then after [Page 295] the departure of the wicked, Satan returnes,Iames. 5. Iohn. 11. appeares, and makes a noyse, in the place which he did enioy, before him that was his,Mat. 12. willing as it were to keepe the place of his child deceased, and take possession and en­ioy of that which he had gathered him to­gether. And we see that the Scripture de­clares that the habitations of the wicked, after they shall bee hunted out of it, shall be the habitations of diuels,Apo. 18. Ier. 51. Isa. 13. Ier. 50. and a re­sort for all euill spirits, and of all filthy and execrable fowle; wherefore it is a great fol­ly and abuse to thinke that the soules of the children of men appeare in this world after their death; for those of the faithfull do en­ioy such and so great felicity,Mat. 17. and find that it is so good remayning where they are,Marc. 9. that although they could, they would not nor desire not to returne hither,Luc. 9. but rather forgetting that which is of this life, are con­tinually rauished in the praise and seruice of the holinesse of the Eternall,Apo. 4. & 7. and in the con­templation of his glory,Mat. 17. Psal. 16. which is their soue­raigne good. Those of the wicked would faine come againe, and haue so much respit, but they cannot, otherwise the euill rich man would very willingly haue done his message to his brothers himselfe,Luc. 16. which hee did request to be done by the Lazar. For the [Page 296] Scripture doth not know this third place, which Antichrist hath forged, contrary to the declaration of Iesus Christ,Mat. 7. for to inrich himselfe, & purge the substance of the world for the intertainment of her creatures; Satan being very glad thereby to suggest vnto him some matter and colour after the de­cease of the Infidels and Idolaters. Now by how much it is easie to beleeue, that neces­sity to die is imposed vpon vs, by so much is it more difficult to beleeue that our bo­dies being returned to dust, shall rise againe: and indeede the sensuall man cannot com­prehend any thing therein, neyther hath a­ny thought of it; as we see that the Pagans neuer thought of it, although that they haue disputed of the immortality of soules. But the man that is regenerate by the Spirite of God, doubts not but that the Lord can raise the dead, seeing he will haue it, and that nothing can hinder his will. For as, sayeth the Prophet,Psal. 115. Apoc. 4. he doth what he will. We must then see how the Scripture doth assure vs, that the bodyes as well of the good as of the wicked, shall rise againe, the first to be crowned with glory, the other with perpe­tuall infamy. For to teach vs the Resurre­ction, it compares death to a sleepe,Dan. 12. as hath beene already sayd, to the end we may be [Page 297] certaine that as the bodies, after they haue laboured shall rest by sleepe, that they being awaked may with so much more alacrity re­turne to worke; so when wee shall haue made an end of this present life, our bodies shall be brought to the tombe, as in a bed of rest, for to rise againe from thence at the latter day, and be put into their place. Iob prophecying of the resurrection, the which he did firmly beleeue, saies,Iob. 14. & 19. I know that my Redeemer liueth, and that he wil stand vp at the latter day vpon the earth, & although af­ter my skin, this body shall be deuoured by wormes, yet with my flesh shall I see God, I shall behold him, & my eyes shall looke vpō him, and none other for me, although my reines are consumed within me. Dauid fore­tels the resurrection of Christ,Psal. 16. by whom we shall rise againe;Ion. 2. Mat. 12. the which was figured by this, that Ionas was three daies and three nights in the whales belly, as Iesus Christ himselfe declares it. The Prophet Esay in the 26. chap. speaking of the elect,Isa. 16. saith vnto the Lord with faith, Thy dead shall liue & rise a­gain with my body. Awake & reioice ye ha­bitants of the dust, for thy dew is as the dew of the fields, & the earth shall cast forth the dead. The Lord willing to assure his people Israel, that deliuering thē from the captiui­tie [Page 298] of Babylon, he would bring them backe into the land which he had giuen them, he said vnto them in a vision, by the Prophet, that as certaine as the dead shall rise, so cer­tainly will he deliuer them from the capti­uitie of the Babylonians,Eze. 37. for to set them in peace in their owne land. Daniel saith, that those that sleepe in the dust shal wake, some to eternall life, and others vnto perpetuall shame and infamy, and those which haue bene wise,Dan. 12. shall shine as the brightnesse, of the firmament, and those which doe perswade many to righteousnesse, shall bee as starres for euer and euer. Iesus Christ shewes the Saduces, that the dead shall rise againe,Mat. 22. because that God is their God;Iohn 6. In St. Iohn he saith, that the will of his father who sent him, is, that he shall lose nothing of all that he hath giuen him; but that he shall raise it vp at the latter day. The Apostle declares that Christ is risen againe for our iustification. Then he saith that euen as we die in Adam, so we shall rise againe, and shall be quickened in Christ.Rom. 4.5.6. 1. Cor. 15. For see­ing that he who is the life, when he was put into the Tombe, thereby made many to rise againe,Iohn. 19. Psal. 36. Matth. 27. Thess. 4. by much more reason now, being risen againe and glorified, will he raise vs a­gaine. In like manner he declares, that hee [Page 299] that raised vp the Lord Iesus, will raise vs a­gaine by Iesus, and will cause vs to come in­to his presence. And euen so as God is eter­nall, so he will cause that the bodies of his children, which are his temples,1. Cor. 3.6. & 14. 2. Cor. 6. Iohn. 5. shall be e­ternall. Briefe, the Scripture is full of testi­monies of the resurrection; wherefore to end, I will bring in one, which ought to serue in steed of all; St. Iohn saith, that the howre shall come, wherein all those that are in the graues, shall heare the voyce of the Sonne of man, and those that haue done well come forth in resurrection of life, but those which shall haue done euil, shall come forth in resurrection of condemnation.

All humane wisedome which is folly be­fore God, cannot perswade themselues,Mat. 24. & 25. 1. Cor. 15. Phil. 7. 2. Cor. 5. Act. 2. & 4. 1. Thess. 1.4.8. 1. Pet. 1. 1. Cor. 1. that the bodies which are returned into dust, can rise againe, nor those which haue bene bur­ned, whereof the ashes haue bene dispersed by the winds, nor those which haue beene deuoured by birds, and by beasts, and dige­sted, and reduced to doung, nor those which haue perished in the waters, which haue bene made foode for fishes. But the Lord by that which he had done before, plainly she­weth that hereafter it shall be very easie for him to do what he will with our bodies; for seeing he hath made all things of nothing, [Page 300] can he not make that to returne to life,Gen. 1. Psal. 33. Gen 1. which hath already bene? And as he made man first of the earth, can hee not as well make him to rise againe from it? In the be­ginning the earth was so obediēt vnto him,Gen. 1. that when he commanded it to bring forth the bud of the hearbs that seedeth seed, & the fructifying tree, and the liuing creature, beasts, wormes, &c. it of it selfe by and by brings forth that which before had neuer bene; how much more easily by the com­mandement of God, may it restore many which haue already bene, & shall be retur­ned into it?Iohn. 11. We see that although that Laza­rus of Bethania had already bene three daies in the earth, & neuerthelesse when the Lord commanded him to come out of the earth, presently it was done; He himselfe also rose again from the earth the third day for to as­sure vs that he will raise vs againe:Mat. 28. Apoc. 1. for as death could not ouercome Iesus Christ, but that he is risen, so shall it not be able to hin­der his members from rising againe,Rom. 14. Gal. 1. 1. Thess. 1. & 4. because that he hath as much power ouer the dead, as ouer the liuing; If God hath raised the head, it followeth, that he will also raise his body, which we are if we beleeue. When we consider that he did hinder the so hot bur­ning furnace from doing any hurt to any [Page 301] one of Sidracke, Misake, and Abednego, Eph. 4. Dan. 3. we shall not finde it an impossible thing to God, to make them rise againe which haue bene buried, that they may bee re­united vnto their soules. And he that shut the Lyons Iawes, because they should doe no harme to Daniel, Dan. 6. shall be able to raise those againe which haue beene deuoured. And as he commanded the fish to cast vp Io­nas, Ion. 2. also can he easily cause that the sea shall obey him, when he shall commaund it to cast vp his dead. In briefe, the faithfull can­not doubt of his resurrection, knowing that neither death, nor life, nor Angels, nor prin­cipalities, nor powers, nor things present,Rom. 8. nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, can separate him frō the loue which God beareth him, in IESVS CHRIST our Lord.Reue. 20. For also the sea must cast vp those dead bodies which are in it, and death and hell those which are in them; for as much as the Lord hath the keyes of hell, and of death, ha­uing power ouer them.

Moreouer God cannot be true,Reue. 1. nor truly wise, nor Almighty, nor Iust, if he doth not raise the dead, and by consequent cannot be God. And so who denieth the resurrection, denieth also that there is a God: for seeing [Page 302] by his word he promiseth to raise vp the dead, if he doe it not, he is not true. And seeing that he declares that he will haue it, if he doth it not, it followes, that it is for want of knowledge, and of power, and so shall neither be truly wise nor Almighty. Al­so he shall not be iust if he doth not render to euery one that which he promiseth him; for the Author to the Hebrewes saying that God is,Heb. 11. Mat. 10. Marc. 8. Luc. 9. saith also that he is a remunerator to those that require it. Now in this world, the children of God haue nothing but afflicti­ons euery day, being set out for a shew, as men condemned to death, and being made a spectacle to the world,Cor. 4. John. 16. to the Angels and to men. As our Sauiour also saith to his dis­ciples, that it shall come vnto them, You shall weepe and lament, and the world shall reioyce.2. Tim. 3. The Apostle declares, that whoso­euer will liue holily in Christ, he shall endure affliction.Act. 5.20.21. Col. 1. Heb. 10.11. Mat. 6. Marc. 14. 1. Cor. 10. & 11. 1. Thes. 1. & 3. Psal. 37. We see that the Apostles & those which receiued their doctrine, haue almost alwaies bene in continuall afflictions. In our time the afflictions of the faithful haue bene notorious, that there is none so simple but may see them. On the contrary part the wic­ked in steed of receiuing punishment in this world, are ordinarily better at their ease then the faithfull, and doe flourish like the bay [Page 303] tree, as saith the Prophet; Wherefore there must necessarily be an other place where the good shall be recompenced with ioy & the wicked with sorrow, otherwise God should not be iust, and Christ should haue died in vaine. But will some one say, God doth ac­cōplish his promises, vpon the soules of the iust, & his threatnings vpon those of the vn­iust, and by that meanes God shall not let to be iust although he should not raise againe the bodies of men. With this we must consi­der, that if it be so, that a free retribution is done to the soule, as (according to the pro­mise of God) it ought to be done to the iust, and punishment is iustly inflicted vpon the soule of the reprobate, to the end that the iustice of God may be safe, so must it of ne­cessity be, that the bodies be remunerated, some with honour, others with disdaine, to the end that God may remaine iust for euer. For euē so as the soule of the man renued by the holy Ghost, giueth it self to serue God, so doth the body, whē it ceaseth frō euil doing,Reue. 12 and being euen readie to be martyred for professing the Lord, seruing to iustice & ho­linesse. For example we haue the Prophets,Rom. 6. Act. 7. St. Stephen, the Apostles, & so many Martyrs and true seruants of God,Reue. 6. & 8 whose bodies haue greatly giuen themselues to serue God: also [Page 304] in like manner as the spirit of the wicked doth employ it selfe but only to offend God, likewise they employ their bodies to serue to filthinesse & iniquity, and to doe all euill; which is so apparant that there needs no ex­ample to proue it. By that meanes, who so denies the truth of God,Rom. 6. & 7 his wisedome, his power, & his iustice, and so takes God from being God, and as much as in him lieth ma­keth him the father of lies; and he makes no conscience to make the incarnation and bo­dily passion of Iesus Christ vnprofitable. For if the bodie doth not rise againe, what nee­ded he to take humane nature vpon him, and to suffer in it, to deliuer our bodies from the euerlasting curse? Seeing that if it were so, that the bodies being dead, should so re­turne to the earth, that they should haue no more being, and so could neither enioy the ioy, nor suffer paines and sorrowes; had it not bene enough that he had onely suffered in soule,Marc. 14. being heauie to the death, for to deliuer the soules from hell? Whosoeuer then denies the reestablishment of bodies, through ignorance makes the humanity of Christ vnprofitable, and accuseth God the Father of cruelty, as if he had taken pleasure to see his welbeloued Sonne, so cruelly en­treated, without hauing (for his part) deser­ued [Page 305] it, and without that it should serue to the elect; he maketh him also (for his part) in blaspheming, a lyer with his father, be­cause he saies, that he will raise his at the lat­ter day.Iohn. [...]. In like manner doth he accuse the holy Ghost of vanity, which by the mouth of the Prophets hath prophesied & foretold the resurrection of the dead. Then he disa­nulleth Christian religion; for if the dead do not rise againe, Christ also is not risen, and so the preaching of the Apostles should be false, and we should be abused to beleeue their doctrine, and those which are dead in Christ should be cast away.Cor. 15. The Lord fit­ting himselfe to our capacity, as the mother nurse to the child, teacheth vs the celestiall things by the comparison of the things ter­restrial, to the end we may comprehend that which otherwise is incomprehensible vnto vs. And touching the matter which we haue now in hand, the Prophet Esay declares vn­to vs,Esay. 19. that euen as in Winter the grasse of the field seemes to be dead, and in the spring after it hath felt the dew it springs and wax­eth greene againe, also likewise our bo­dies being dead shall rise againe, when at the latter day they shall feele the dew of the grace of God, hearing the voyce of the Sonne of man. The Apostle saith, [Page 306] that as the seed must die before it be quick­ned,Mat. 24. 1. Thess. Iohn. 5. 1. Cor. 15. and then it riseth by vertue of the sap which it hath had in the earth, in greater glory then it was sowen; so likewise all men must die, seeing they rise againe, the elect in greater glory then they were set vpon the earth,Rom. 8. Thess. 4. by the vertue of the eternall Spirit of Iesus, in whom they died; the reprobate in greater dishonour then they were before, by the vertue of the immortall spirit of Satan, in whom they are departed. For seeing the Lord doth so excellently vnfold his power towards the insensible creatures, we ought not to doubt, but he hath at the least as much will to shew his power in making them to rise againe for whom Christ died, to the end to crowne them with glory; and his enemies to be charged with shame and infamie, seeing they haue so much dishono­red him. When a nut, or the kernel of a peare or apple is rotted in the ground, God cau­seth it to rise againe to a great tree, for to beare much more fruit, being risen againe, then it did before; and a graine of wheat, be­ing put into the ground,Iohn. 12. and dying, brings forth much fruit; doe wee thinke that the Lord hath not as great power to raise vp men, as he hath to raise these things, so small, and as it were of no value? shall it [Page 307] not be as easie for him to raise vs againe, as it hath bene easie to him to draw vs forth of the matrix of the mother aliue, where be­fore we were borne, we were as it were in a sepulcher? If the Prophets and Apostles in the name of God haue raised vp the dead,Psal. 18. 2. King. 4. Act. 9. shall it be impossible to the Lord by his power to raise them? Let vs assure our selues, that nothing can separate the bodie and soule of the faithfull from the loue which God beareth them, neither hin­der but that hee shall make the wicked both in bodie and soule to bee his foote-stoole.

Now by reason that the Apostle saith,Iohn. 6. Heb. 10. 1. Cor. 15. that the bodie which is sowen is not that which riseth againe; there are that will infer therupon, that at the resurrection our soules shall not returne into those bodies which now we haue, but into other bodies which the Lord shall giue vs. He himselfe in that place sheweth vs, that he speakes not that, but onely to shew vs, that although our bo­dies shall rise in the same substance which now they haue, they shall notwithstanding be changed in quality & glory; seeing that this corruption must put on incorruption, and that this mortality shall be swallowed vp of life, and shall put on immortalitie;2. Cor. 5. [Page 308] declaring that they shall be these selfe same bodies in substance, but diuers in qualities. St. Paul saith, Christ will transforme this vile bodie,Phil. [...]. that it may be made like vnto his glo­rious body, according to the power by which he is able to make all things subiect vnto himselfe.Mat. 27. Luc. 24. John. 20. Whereon followeth, that as Iesus Christ rose againe in the same bodie, which was crucified for vs, being cleansed and discharged of all infirmitie; also we shal rise againe in the same bodies which now we haue in this world, hauing in them, cold, heat, hunger and thirst, pouerty, sick­nesse, banishment,Heb. 10. & 11. imprisonment, and such like aduersities: being cleansed and disrobed of all that which by sinne did cause vs any griefe; for the iustice of God cannot consist without remunerating the bodies of those that haue fought for his glory, in crowning his graces in them, & punishing those which haue laboured to offend him. Moreouer we see that those which the Prophets and Apo­stles, and Iesus Christ himselfe haue raised a­gaine,Mat. 27. it hath bene in the selfe same bodies in the which they had liued before. Who doubts but those that rose again at the death of our Lord, did rise in the selfe same bodies which they had before; for otherwise how should they haue bin knowne by those [Page 309] to whom they did appeare? The Apostle puts vs out of doubt of it, saying,1. Cor. 15. That if the Spirit of him who raised Iesus from the dead, doth dwell in vs, he that hath raised vp Christ frō the dead, will also quicken our mortall bo­dies, because his spirit dwelleth in vs; he saith moreouer, that the body which is sowen in corruption, shall rise againe in incorruption. It is sowen in dishonor, it shall rise againe in glory: it is sowen in weaknesse, it shall rise a­gaine in force: it is sowen a sensuall body, it shall rise a spirituall body. Wherefore, wee ought to beleeue that the bodies which now we haue, shall be the selfe same which shall rise again in the same substance, but the earthly qualities shall be changed into hea­uenly; which is no small consolation, seeing that we loue our bodies so much, although that in this world they be lodē with so many miseries.

The third point.

AS concerning the Author of the resur­rectiō, the scripture doth declare vnto vs, that God the Father in the beginning made man by his word, which is his son,Gen. 1. & 2. Iohn. 1. Gen. 2. Psal. 33. 2. Cor. 4. 1. Cor. 15. & hauing made his body, breathed into him a liuing soule, by his spirit: so in the resurrectiō of the dead, he shal raise vs againe by his Son in a quickning spirit.

And when the Sunne of iustice shall comeMal. 4. [Page 310] in iudgement for to iudge the quicke and the dead,Mal 4. Reuel. [...]. 2. Tim. 4. the Sunne shall waxe darke, and the Moone shall not yeeld her light, and the brightnesse of the Starres shall be seene no more then if they were fallen from heauen, and the vertues which are in the heauens, as the Starres, the Planets, and other ce­lestiall creatures,Mat. 24. Luc. 21. Reue. 6. 2. Pet. 3. with heauen and earth shall be shaken; then the Sea and her waues shall roare after an vnaccustomed manner; and when the order of nature shal be chan­ged, those shall bee signes of the comming of the Son of man. And when that Iesus Christ,Mat. 16. Luc. 1. Act. 1. the son of God shal come, who tooke humane nature vpon him in the virgines wombe, he shall come in the same bodie, wherewith he did conuerse here below vp­on the earth, before and after his death, as he himselfe declares, calling himself the Son of man,Mat. 24. Marc. 13. Luc. 24. Iohn. 5. Marc. 16. & 24. 1. Thess. 4. Reue. 1. Mat. 24. sent of God his Father, (who gaue him power to do iudgement, in so much as he is the Son of man) set aboue the clouds, at the right hand of the power of God, ac­companied, with cries of exhortation, with the voices of Archangels & of Angels, with Gods trumpets, & all eyes shall behold him; for he will cause his signe to appeare in hea­uen, & his voice to be hard, the which at the 1. Cor. 15.last tromp shalbe hard of those that haue bin [Page 311] Put into the Sepulchres, to the end that first they may rise againe:1. Thes. 4. and those which shall be found liuing shall heare it also, to the end they may be translated, which vnto them shall be a kinde of death, being chan­ged from mortal and corruptible, to immor­tall and incorruptible bodies,1. Cor. 15. and shall rise againe, and shall be changed in a moment and twinckling of an eye.

This day shall not surprise the elect that are in the light, because it shall be the day which they haue so long waited for,1. Thes. 5. 1. Iohn 1. and wished, with the other creatures: but to those who haue ouercome Sathan by the blood of the Lambe,1. Cor. 1. Rom. 8. 1 Ioh. 2.4.8 5. Reu. 12. & 21. and by the word of their testimony, and haue not loued their liues to the death, it shall bring vnto them an vnspeakeable ioy, making them to lift vp their heads aloft, seeing their perfect deliue­rance come. For their Sauiour shall send his Angels with great sound of Trumpets,Esay 35. Zach 9. Luc 22. Rom. 8. Mat. 25. to gather them together, how farre in funder soeuer they be from the foure windes, from the end of the earth to the end of heauen; and then they shall be altogether caught within the cloudes to meete the Lord in the Ayre, for to be ioyned with their head,2. Thes. 4. as members of his body, and shall be alwayes with him who will separate them from the [Page 312] reprobates, as the shepheard doth the sheep from the Goates,Mat. 25. to put them both in body and soule in full possession of the euerlasting heritage and happinesse by them so long hoped for.

The estate of the elect that are risen againe.

THen their bodies which shall be risen againe in triumph shall be changed, not in substance but in quality, being dis­charged of the earthly heauinesse, for to be made spirituall bodies;1. Cor. 15. to the end to be fit for the heauenly habitation; where they shall haue no need of meats which doe cor­rupt,Reu. 7. for they shall be no more hungry, nor thirsty, and they shall die no more, but shall vse of the heauenly food, which is the word of God:Luc. 20. they shall also be deliuered from the bondage of sinne, for to serue euer­more to iustice. For these are the two prin­cipall things which hinder man from be­holding the face of God, this heauy earthly body, and infectious sinne. As for the first, we see that the Lord said to Moyses, Exod. 33. who was desirous to see him; Man shall not see me vpon the earth and liue. As for the o­ther, it was cause that the wicked Angels [Page 313] were cast downe from heauen, and man out of Paradice;Gen. 3. for there is nothing common betweene God and a sinfull man. Where­fore the faithfull shal haue a spirituall body, discharged and purified from al sinne. There shall also be no defect in their bodies, nor imperfection, and all deformity and vice, which commeth of sinne, shall be done a­way; for the Lord will transforme their vile and contemptible bodies, & make them conformable and like vnto his glorious bo­die. Moreouer,Phil. 3. 1. Joh. 3. they shall no more suffer a­ny torments, paines, sickenesse, nor any o­ther aduerse thing, because there shall be no more mourning, nor weeping, nor laboring; for the Lord will wipe away all teares from their eyes. And there shall happen no more corruption to them by death;Reu. 21. Isa. 25. Reu. 7. & 21 whereof there shall be no more remembrance, but being made immortall, they shall be made incorruptible, & deliuered from al suffering, for to be in a happy estate for euer.

Their soule, which before was a liuing soule, shalbe changed into a quickening spi­rit:Gen. 2. then it shall be deliuered from all sorrowes, griefes, annoy,1. Cor. 15. perturbati­ous and feare, which came through sinne, and shall bee set in rest,Psal. 61. ioy, consolation, happinesse, good hope, and [Page 314] perpetuall assurance, without being any more troubled nor defiled with trouble­some affection.

Then being put in so excellent estate, both of body and soule, the image of God shall truely shine vpon them, hauing this power to serue God, being perfectly wise, holy, pure, irreprehensible, innocent, without spot,1. Cor. 1. Ephes. 5. Col. 1. good, iust, true, immortall and incor­ruptible, being resplendant in glory and ho­nour, before the Throne of God.

The which shall be the white vesture, wherewith S. Iohn sayth, they shall be clo­thed,Reu. 14. & 21. Reu. 3 4.6.7. which is the pure and shining Sipirs; which are the iustifications of the Saints that shall hold the palmes in their handes in signe of victory: after that the bookes be­ing opened,Reu. 19. they shall heare the voyce full of meekenesse, grace and mercie, receyuing in the presence of the wicked,Reu. 7. who iudged them the out-casts of the earth, the sentence of eternall blessing,Reu. 10. being found written in the booke of life, which is the booke of the Lambe,Sap. 4. 5. 1. Cor. 4. Reue. 13. & 21. 2. Cor. 5. Gal. 3. Apoc. 14. being clothed with the innocency of Iesus Christ: and hauing the name of their Father written in their forehead, they shall be with Christ the Spouse, crowned with the incorruptible crowne of life, and eternal glory, being pronounced the sonnes and [Page 315] heyres of God, and co-heyres with Iesus Christ,Reu. 2. 2. Tim. 4. 1. Pet. 5. Rom. 8. Gal. 4. and Iudges with him of all the A­postate Angels, and of all the reprobate: for all power and iudgement is so giuen to the Sonne, that he wil receiue the Saints to par­ticipate in this honour as his assistants,Wisd. 3. Mat. 19. Luc. 22. 1. Cor. 6. Iohn 5. they shall be put in possession of the Kingdome of heauen, hauing praise of God, which is the incorruptible heritage, which cannot contaminate, nor wither, and which is pre­serued in heauen for them: they shall shine therein as the firmament, and as the Sunne,Reu. 2. Mat. 25. 1. Cor. 4. Pet. 1. Dan. 12. Mat. 13. Wisd. 3. Reu. 2.21. & 22. and as the starres for euer. Then they shall haue their right in the tree of life, and shall enter into the new celestiall Ierusalem: in the which there shall be no temple, for the Lord Almighty is the temple thereof, and the Lambe. They shall be in it euerlasting Kings and high Priests, offering sacrifices of praise and thankesgiuing vnto the Lorde. Then being in the house of God,Reu. 15. & 7. which is the blessed house which the faithfull haue in heauen, which is not made with handes,2. Cor. 5. they shall be filled with the magnificence of the Lord, and shall budde like the Oliue branch, and blossome like the Palme, and like the Cedar which is in Lebanus,Psal. 16.17.52. & 92. being immortall and incorruptible, and shall not be importuned by Sathan, to sinne and of­fend [Page 316] God. The face of God which is the fountaine of light,1. Cor. 13. Psal. 16. Reu. 22. the brooke of pleasure, and sea of good hap, they shall see it, which shall giue them such a great and perfect ioy, that all the ioyes which may be compared to that,Marc. 9. are but as a sparkle compared to a great fire; It will make them forget all ter­restrial,Heb. 11. & 12. what pleasure soeuer they could take in them in the world, and they shall not re­member any thing that may bring them sorrow or griefe. They shall be ledde to the mountaine of Sion, and to the citie of the li­uing God, which hath no need of the Sunne nor Moone to shine in it:Reu. 21.22. for the light of God hath lightned it, and the Lambe is the candle thereof; and of thousands of Angels, and of the assembly of the first borne, which are written in heauen, and to God which is the Iudge of all,2. Cor. 11. Col. 1. Eph. 1. Reu. 19. and to the sanctified soules of the iust, and to IESVS CHRIST their head and their Spouse, mediator of the new alliance, and of the bloud shedde, preferring better things then that of Abel: then with all this company, and all the o­ther Saints, with whom they shall be fellow Citizens, being domestickes of God, and with Mary and the other Saints, they shall bee called to the nuptiall banquet of the Lambe, and shall enioy the Kingdome of [Page 317] God their Father,Reu. 19. the felicity which Iesus Christ by his death hath conquered for them, in whom they haue put their whole trust;Heb. 2.5.9. & 10. Gal. 3. & 4. Rom. 4 & 5 Eph. 1.5. Rom. 5.9. & 10. Ioh. 12.14. & 17. for the wch also they shall not be con­founded: as he himselfe promiseth, saying, Father, I will that those which thou hast gi­uen mee bee with mee, and see my glory which thou hast giuen me; and then, I dis­pose the Kingdome vnto you, as the Fa­ther hath disposed it vnto me; to the end you may eate vpon my table in my King­dome. The Apostle saith,Luc. 22. if we die with him we shall liue with him, and if we suffer with him we shall reigne with him, and shal be glorified with him.2. Tim. 2. Rom. 8. Of these promises the children of God neede not doubt: for seeing that the Lorde when hee died, gaue Paradice to the theefe, can hee not more easily giue it to those to whom hee hath promised it, when hee shall come into such great glorie and Ma­iesty? Now being with him,Luc. 23. and seeing him as hee is,1. Ioh. 3. they shall haue a much more greater ioy then had the Disciples, seeing him transfigured: they shall be so vnderstanding,Mat. 17. Marc. 9. Luc. 9. that they shall know all the Saints that euer haue beene, and euen those with whom they haue conuersed in this world ioyfully, [Page 318] and according to God. For if it be so that in the transfiguration of our Lord, which was but a little demonstration, as well of the glory of the body of Iesus, as of the estate and condition in the which the children of God shall be in heauen; for their meanenes and infirmity could not haue beene able to see the incomprehensible Maiesty of the Lord, without being destoyed: the Apo­stles although they had neuer seene the bo­dy of Elias and of Moyses, neuerthelesse they knew them. How much sooner shall the elect know themselues, when they shall be endued with this perfect knowledg and intelligence of the image of God, which shall be in them? That if Adam in his first estate which was a great deale lesse, why shall not that of the sanctified by Christ?1. Cor. 13. Did hee know the beastes which God brought before him,1. Cor. 1. and did properly im­pose a name to each one: and euen knew Eue to be bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh;Gen. 2. although that the Lord tooke the ribbe from him without his feeling it: shall not we in this admirable glory, haue more wisedome to know each other?Luc. 16. Now this knowledge shall be disrobed of all carnall and corrupt affection; for the elect shall not be knowne for louing the one more [Page 319] then the other, or hating one reprobate more then another, in calling to minde the iniuries and displeasures which they may haue receiued in this world.

But they shall loue directly without re­spect of persons, those which God loueth, and shal hold in abhomination those which God shall detest: For then all Paternity, brotherhood, and mariage shall be abolish­ed, and there shall be but God alone Father of all, whose children we shall be, and bro­thers and sisters one to another: the chil­dren of God shall be made partakers of the diuine nature;Marc. 12. Eph. 4. 2. Cor. 6. 2. Pet. 1. 2. Thes. [...]. for God shall be glorified in his Saints, and shall be made admirable to those that haue beleeued. Wherefore see­ing God will communicate his glory, ver­tue and iustice to his elect; imparting him­selfe vnto them, let vs know, that this be­nefite containes the soueraigne good of man, which all desire, & which the wisdome of man could neuer comprehēd. And indeed when by all the similitudes which the Scrip­ture doth teach vs, we shall haue said and learned much of the excellency of the chil­dren of God, it is almost nothing in compa­rison of that which shall then appeare; then the Apostle with the Prophet hath good reason,1. Ioh. 3. hauing tasted in spirite the inestima­ble [Page 320] glory of the elect in the heauenly life, to say, the things wch eye hath not seene, nor care hard, and wch is not come into the hart of man, are those which God hath prepared for them which loueth him, which are vn­speakeable: & it is not possible for man to tell them.1. Cor. 2. Isa. 64. 2. Cor. 12. For although Adam was created in a very noble estate, yet so it is, that if the elect were to re-assume that estate, they should be miserable in regard of the soue­raign excellency, in the wch they shal be set.

Gen. 2. 1. Cor. 14.1 He had an earthly & sensuall body, the elect shall haue spirituall & celestiall bodies.

2 He had a liuing soule, they shall haue a quickning spirit.

3 Hee could faile and render himselfe subiect to death, they shall not be able to faile,1. Cor. 15. nor fall in danger of death; the which then shall be abolished.

4 Sathan had power to tempt him, and to make him to fall; but he shall not haue power of eyther of both to them.

5 He was husbanding in an earthly Pa­radice, they shall be in rest and enioy the heauenly Paradice.

6 He had command ouer the birds of the ayre,Gen. 2. the fishes of the Sea, the beastes of the earth; they being in greater power shal con­demne Sathan & all the wicked: and the ho­ly [Page 321] Angels shall be their companions,Mat. 22. & shall haue power in the kingdom of their Father.

7 Adam had such great wisdome, that he named euery beast according to their pro­perty;1. Cor. 9. Rom. 2.3 & 5. 1. Pet. 3. 2 Cor. 1. Rom. 15. Rom. 3. & 4. Mat. 3. et 17 they shal be endued with such wisdom & filled with such a perfect knowledge, that they shall be ignorant of nothing. Briefe, we ought to be much moued and stirred vp to worship and serue God; who, without any desert of ours, will for the loue of his wel­beloued Sonne so admirably vnfolde his in­comprehensible goodnesse vnto vs.

The estate of the reprobate.

NOw this day shall surprise the wicked and reprobates which are in darknes,Rom. 2. & 9 whom the Lorde hath borne and suffered with great patience, to the end to bring them to repentance; as the theefe by night stealeth vpon the Master of the familie while he sleepeth; & they shal be foūd with­out clothes, and shall walke naked,Reu. 2. Reu. 16. 1. Cor. 5. & their shame shal be seene: for when they shall say peace and security, then shall sudden destru­ction come vpon them, like to a woman in trauell, and they shall not escape,1. Thes. 5. but shal be marueilously affraid, by reason that it shall be a day of darkenesse vnto them,Amos. 5. and not [Page 322] of light, an obscure and not a cleere day and then they shall be condemned by their owne consciences, like vnto Caine, giuing praise to God, seeing the Lord with his Saints come, which are by millions, for to giue iudgement against those that haue not had the feare of God before their eyes: and to the end to conuince all the wicked of all the euill workes which they haue wickedly done, and of all the rude speeches which the wicked haue preferred against him:Sap. 4. 5. Gen 4. Rom. 14. Iude. Rom. 3. Reu. 19. Eph. 5. then for to weigh downe the Wine-presse of the an­ger and wrath of Almighty God, because they haue persecuted Iesus Christ in his members, which are bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh; so that they shal be in such great agonies and afflictions feeling the ter­rible iudgment of God to come vpon them,Heb 10. Rom. 2. that they shall hide themselues in holes and betweene the stones of the mountaines, and shal say to the mountains & stones, fal vpon vs,Reu. 6. and hide vs from the face of him who is set vpon the throne, & from the wrath of the Lambe; for the great day of his wrath is come,Reu. 9. and who is it shall be able to subsist? They shall seeke for death and shall not find it, and shall desire to die, but death shall flie from them; they shall strike themselues with despaire, and shall be as dead for feare, by [Page 323] reason of the expectation which they haue of those things which shall come suddenly vpon them:Luc. 21. they shall lament before the Lord, who shall haue a flame of fire to doe vengeance and iudgement, according to truth and iustice, vpon those which haue not acknowledged God, and who haue not obeyed the Gospell of the Lord,Mat. 24. Reu. 1. 2 Thes. 1. Rom. 2. & 3. Ioh 5. 1. Thes. 4. and shall punish them in body and soule with eternal perdition in the face of the Lord, and in the glory of his strength.

The bodies of those which were dead before, shall come out of the earth: and of those which shall be found liuing shall be changed, and put on immortality, and shall be charged with oprobrious infamie before God and his Saints: for hee shall make cleare the things that are hid, and shall ma­nifest the counsels of hearts & of tremblings and incomprehensible sufferings,Reu. 16. Dan. 12. Isa 66. 1. Cor. 4. Reu. 20. being charged with the burthen of their sinnes, for afterward to be throwne downe into the bottomlesse pit.

Their immortall soule shall bee loaden with feare, with sorrow, with frightnings, with griefe, with desolation,Mat. 24. Luc. 21. Marc. 13. Reu. 1. and with such despaire, that it is vnpossible for vs to com­prehend it.

Then being in such opprobry in body and [Page 324] soule, the image of Sathan their head shall appeare vpon them: that is to say, infidelity, iniquity, wickednesse, abhomination, filthi­nesse, hatred, cruelty, tyrannie, periury, ly­ing, enuie, and all that is of impiety and vniustice, which is the blacke roabe of the reprobate: and euen so as the elect haue Christ for their head, of whom they are the body,1. Cor. 11. & 12. Eph. 1. & 5. Mat. 25. vnto whom they shall be made alike; so likewise the reprobates haue Belzebub for theirs, vnto whom they shall be made conformable.

For although that all the Diuels are all apostate Angels, neuerthelesse the Scripture in sundry places attributes the principality to one alone, to the end to gather all the wicked vnto him, as members in one body, for to be put to perpetuall ruine.

Then the wrath & indignation of God shal shew it selfe cleerely vpon all the infidelity and vniustice of the fearefull,2. Cor. 4. Ephes. 2. Mat. 9.10.12. & 25. Marc. 3. Luc. 11.21. Rom. 1.2. Rom. 2. Reu. 21. & 17. Rom. 9. vnbeleeuers, and execrables, which shall not be found written in the booke of life; for which they shal receiue sentence of condemnation, & being separated from Christ, shall be dri­uen from before the presence of the Lord, as the dust before the wind, & cast like dogs forth of the Citie of the children of God, & sent with their Captain Satan & his Angels, [Page 325] who did accuse the elect before God night and day, in perpetuall malediction,Psal. 1. Isa. 17. Reu. 21. & 22. Reu. 12. Mat. 25. for to drinke of the wine of the wrath of God, yea of the pure wine, filled into the cup of his wrath, and shall be tormented with fire and brimstone before the holy Angels, and be­fore the Lambe, and the smoke of their tor­ments shall mount for euer,Reu. 14.15. & 16. and they shall haue no rest neither day nor night.

Now this place of torment for the wick­ed is so horrible,2. Thes. 1. that it is incomprehensi­ble vnto vs; and euen as God is eternall, al­so this ruine shall be eternall. The Scripture for to declare it vnto vs,Psal. 55. Reu. 9. Isa. 30. vseth many com­parisons. Dauid saith, that the wicked shal be cast into the pit of ruine, and of the bot­tomlesse pit. Isay saith that the torture is al­ready prepared for the wicked, which God hath made deep & large; the building of it is fire & much wood, & the breath of the Lord like vnto a brooke of Brimstone doth kin­dle it;Isa. 66. then he saith that the worme of the wicked shall not die, and therefore shall not be quenched, and they shall be hatefull to all flesh.Dan. 12. Daniel sayeth also that they shall bee in perpetuall shame and con­tempt. Malachy declares that the day of the Lorde shall come,Mal. 4. burning like an Ouen, and all the proude [Page 326] and those that doe wickedly shal be like the stubble, and the day of the Lord shall burne them, and shall leaue them neither root nor branch.Mat. 3. S. Iohn Baptist saith, that the chaffe shall be put into the fire, which shall neuer be quenched.Mat. 13. The Lord saith, that they shall be cast into the Furnace of fire, which is the euerlasting fire.Mat. 25. Luc. 16. Saint Luke sheweth that the euill rich man whose soule is in hel, is in such great heate, that he greatly desires to haue a drop of water, which he shall ne­uer be able to get; how much more shall he be tormented when hee hath put on his body?Heb. 10. Reu. 19.20 21. The Apostle saith, that they shal feele a feruentnesse of fire, which shall deuoure them. S. Iohn declareth that they shall bee cast into the lake of fire & brimstone, which is the second death. For although they shal liue, yet by reason of these incredible tor­ments, they ought rather to be called dead then aliue. Now although that by all these similitudes it is demonstrated vnto vs, that the damned shall be grieuously and euerla­stingly tormented: yet neuerthelesse man cannot thinke nor comprehend how great the euerlasting sufferings shall be, no more then he can comprehend the ioy of the chil­dren of God.Marc. 9. 1. Cor. 2 Hebr. 10. Wherefore with good cause the Author to the Hebrewes saith, that it is [Page 327] a terrible and fearefull thing to fall into the hands of the liuing God. For although that we should see one continually knawed with wormes, and burnt with fire, that torment should notwithstanding be as nothing, in regard of that which is prepared for the wicked. For besides that their bodies shall be horribly afflicted, their soules shall be in incredible distresses and sorrowes. This ought wel to stirre vs vp to watch and pray, and to refraine from doing euill,Reu. 3. Mat. 24. 1 Thes. 1. Psal. 25. & 51. Iere. 31. Lamen. 5. Cant. 1. Luc. 17. Ioh. 3. Wisd 4. & 5. and to moue vs to serue God, and to desire him with the Prophets and Apostles, to change, reuiue and increase our faith, that so being made new creatures, we may escape this place of torment, and be numbred amongst the sonnes of God. Which the Lord grant for the loue of his welbeloued Sonne our Sauiour, to whom be all honor and glory for euer and euer

AMEN.

A conclusion of this booke conteyning an exhortation to all estates to prepare themselues to die well, for feare least the vncertaine howre of death should surprise them.

MOreouer my brethren & friends it remaines, that this booke be not onely in our hands, but also in our hearts, and if we haue any desire to amend ous liues, let it not be deferred till to morrow; for when to mor­row shall come, wee will yet referre all to the next day, and so consequently the whole yeare shall passe, yea our whole life.

If then at this present howre there bee some little good affection in vs, let vs not suffer it to be quenched, let vs not kill that grace which God hath giuen vs; but to the contrary by all meanes which shall be possi­ble to vs, let vs endeuour our selues in such sort, that from howre to howre it may not onely be confirmed, but also augmented.

God is mercifull enough and liberall to grant vs our requests, but he will be impor­tunated, not in his owne regard, but ours, for he knoweth how backward we are to pray and call vpon him, and how soone we are weary of it; although we should desire [Page 329] nothing more in this world, for it is no small thing to speake vnto God. And which ought yet more to moue vs, is, that he doth willingly hearken vnto vs, and neuer puts backe those which come vnto him,

I speake this, because I see not that by any other better meanes we can preuent confusion, than by prayer. Surely if euer men had need of this aide, we are in great necessity of it, in these last daies, and olde age of the world; for we must not doubt but that Satan now doth set himselfe in armes, perceiuing well that the howre drawes neere, that he shall not be able to doe that which hee hath done heretofore, and that the Sonne of God must be mani­fested to all creatures, and that then the perfection ought to come of the blessed and the finishing of their happinesse, of the which hee knoweth well hee hath no part. If then for his part he sets himselfe forth in his strength, it remaines that we should do the like for vs, that wee may be furnished with all celestiall armour, and that we bee not daunted with all his plots and treacheries; for surely the victo­rie is in our handes, so that we fight a­gainst him, and not with him, as doth almost all the world at this day, al­though [Page 330] that the most part thinke the con­trary, for so they haue the name of a Chri­stian, and be without reproch before men, who are no better then thēselues, they then thinke themselues very well assured. Others thinke that they shall need but a good sigh, (as they say) at the last howre for to blot out all the rest of their life passed, and presently to transport them into the kingdom of hea­uen; but who hath assured them that God will giue them the grace to make that sigh, and to haue a true repentance of their sins, at the howre of their death? Where haue they had pattents and good assurance, that they shall not die a sudden death? Is not that to mocke God openly? If that may serue, verily St. Peter and St. Paul and the other Apostles should haue bene much de­ceiued to labour and to toyle so much, and to beare so grieuous a Crosse, if it were so easie a matter to enter into the kingdome of heauen; I meane, by the meanes which those Libertines doe pretend.

Let vs assure our selues that the way is straite which leadeth to saluation, and that there are few that go therein. These words are no lies, but I pray God that we may not experiment the truth of them, to our great paine and griefe. I know well that the mer­cie [Page 331] of our God is incomprehensible and in­finite, but it is towards his seruants, it is to­wards those that feare and reuerence him.

Besides I know that among the children and seruants of God, there are many infir­mities, euen a great imperfection in all ver­tue and iustice, and which endures till death; but there is a great difference between your life, O worldlings, and the life of the elect of God. The iust man sinneth seuen times a day; but he shall be raised seuen times. Now you continue in your euill, and goe to bed with your sinne as with your friend and companion.

Men will say an Aue Marie, beat them­selues on the breast, or perhaps will haue some distaste of their sinne and wicked­nesse. But if we neerely looke into all, we shall finde that it is nothing but meere hypocrisie. If our friend or kinsmen dies, if we loose our goods, if wrong or iniury be offered vnto vs, if our good name be taken away, if we be stricken or hurt, behold we are presently in choller, or very extremely sad, our hearts euen closed vp with melan­choly; but if our spirit dies, and if we loose the euerlasting riches by our transgression, we make no account of it, we are not mo­ued with it, we grieue more for the losse of [Page 332] this world, which is nothing, then we doe for the losse of God, which is all.

In seeing all which, cannot such men yet feele their griefe? can they not yet know how much the opinion which they haue of their vertue and prudence is vaine and fri­uolous? Can they not see how farre they are from their reckoning? Certainly the world is full of such people that haue no feeling of their sinne, but the prophesies must needs be accomplished, to the end when the Sonne of man shall come, he may finde no faith vpon the earth: Verily this howre commeth on a pace, the signes there­of are very manifest. But because we should not bee dismaid, seeing such a danger round about vs, let vs be sure that the Lord will bee with vs till the end of the world, prouided that our Lampes be burning, and in steed that the wicked euery day shall be worse and worse, for our parts let vs ende­uour to goe forward in all holinesse and iu­stice. I know well, that they will mocke at vs, and at our simplicity, that we shall be cast out of their companies. But we shall be exalted of God, and receiued of the most blessed assembly.

VVherefore let vs with all patience waite for the comming of our Lord Iesus Christ, [Page 333] and let vs labour that so we may be found of him without spot, and without reprehen­sion. Surely that day ought to be very feare­full to the wicked, but as for vs we ought so much the rather desire it, knowing for a cer­taine that there is no cōdemnation for those that are in Iesus Christ; knowing well the great goodnesse and kindnesse of him which is to come, with whom God grant wee may liue for euer and euer. Amen.

A Prayer vnto God on the same subiect.

ALas when shall wee come before the face of God our Father, and when shall we haue a dwelling in his house, and vntill when shall we be in this exile, wherunto by sinne we haue bin regenerate? But how shall the sinner cōsist before this great God? How shall this poore flesh be able to go vp into this heauenly & euerlasting Paradise? O how vncertaine should our hope be if we had not the true promises of our God, & how mise­rable should we be, if we did relie vpon our selues? But O great God, thou wilt that all things be possible to beleeuers, for the belee­uers do trust only thy promise, & in thy mercy. Do not then O Lord regard so many sins which are in vs. Remember rather that we are thy creatures, & the worke of thy hands. [Page 334] VVe are vnworthy to be called thy children, but it pleaseth thee to be our Father; It was thy will that thy Sonne Iesus should come downe to vs here beneath, to make that we should go vp to thee. We feare not death O Lord; for thou hast promised to bee with vs; death lost her strength, when thy deere Sonne died, so that when our bodies shall be knawne with wormes in the sepulcher, our soules shall reioyce in heauen with the holy Angels. We desire then to die to see thy amiable and glorious face, to liue with Ie­sus Christ out head. O our God open vs then the gates of thy Kingdome. Cause vs to heare that sweet speech which was spoken to the poore theefe vpon the crosse, which is, This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise. Alas Lord we are vnworthy of it; but thy mercy and thy promises do giue vs assurance. Giue vs also O heauenly Father, the strength to perseuer, and desire the im­mortall and glorious life to come, which thou hast purchased for vs, through thy Sonne Iesus Christ, to whom with the Fa­ther and the holy Ghost, be all honour, praise and glory for euermore. So be it.

FINIS.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.