[...], OR, SPARKES OF THE SPIRIT, BEING, Motives to Sa­cred Theorems, and Di­vine Meditations.

By a Reverend Father of the Church of England.

This book of the Law shall not de­part out of thy mouth, but thou shall meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is writ [...]en therein, &c. Josh. 1.8.

London Printed for Edw. Thomas at the Adam and Eve in lit [...]le Brit­tain without Aldersgate, 1658.

TO ALL, True Prote­stants, especially to the Religious Knights, Es­quires Gentlemen, and all others his loving Country­men in the County of Gla­morgan, and to all their vertuous Ladies and Wives, A. D. wisheth health and happines, both here and here­after.

Honoured Sr.

THe Prince of the air is assisted with no smal ar­mies of spiritual warri­ours, [Page] who are for their number Legions, for their power Lions, for their feircenes Dragons, and for their subtilty Serpents, who have made such a Pestilent advantage in these kingdomes by our late great distractions, facti­ons and fractions; I mean not onely those Heresies of old, which the Ebionites, Chiliasts, Gnosticks, Donatists, Eu­nonians, Marcionites, Ne­storians, Valentinians, Montanists, Novatians, Sabellians, Maniches, Ar­rians, Eutychians, Patri­passians, [Page] Jacobites, Armi­nians, Monothelites, &c. held, but by these late upstart Tat-poles of our times, who go under the notion of Seekers, Shakers, Quakers, Ran­ters and the like, who are of yesterday-stand­ing, as I may say, and know nothing, that God be mercifull unto us and our times.

I fear me there were not more bodies, when Christ came, possessed with ill spirits, than souls are now with odd ones: and yet not one but pretends he hath [Page] the spirit; but I am sure it is rather that spirit that tempted our Savi­our in the Wilderness, than led him thither. Aecebolius his ghost haunts them, they have been in religion wrong and right, and right and wrong again: it fares now with Religion in England, as with her in Plutarch, who having many Suiters, when e­very one could not have her to himself, they pull'd her in pieces, that so none might have her, using her no better than the body of [Page] that Harlot, which was chopt in pieces, flesh and bones, and cast into all the quarters of Isra­el: these men I say, dare and do call their private conceits the (Spirit): This is the speciall errour with which St. Augustine long ago charged this kind of men, Tantò sunt ad seditionem faciliores, quantò sibi videntur spi­ritu excellere: by so much the more prone are they (saith he) to kindle schism and con­tention in the Church, by how much they [Page] seem to themselves to be indued with a more eminent measure of spirit than their Bre­thren. Therefore let e­very good soul beware of these devillish de­ceivers, for they are the greatest and the most pernicious quacksal­ving Juglers that ever the earth did bear, or hell hatcht: These false Prophets have Linsey­wolsey garments; intus linum subtilitatis, extra lanam simplicitatis de­monstrant, the subtile thred of deceit is with inside, but the plain [Page] web of simplicity with outside; their inside is of Fox furre, their out­side of Lambs wool.

Quaenam sunt istae pel­les ovium nisi nominis Christiani extrinsecus superficies? All these Sheep cloathing are no­thing else but precise titles of holiness, and outsides of Christiani­ty: And as Sathan the Prince of darkness of­tentimes transformeth himself unto an Angel of light; so these his children quote Scrip­ture for their practise, using fair vizards to co­ver [Page] their foul faces, but yet dealing with Scrip­tures as Chymicks do with naturall bodies, torturing them to ex­tract that out of them which God and nature never put in them. Scripture is a rule which will not fit it self to the obliquity of our con­ceits, but our perverse and crooked discourse must fit it self to the straightness of that rule, but as it was in the La­cedaemonian army, all were Captains, so it is with these, all are Do­ctors; and as he that [Page] bought Orpheus's Harp, thought it would of it self make admirable melody, how unskilfull soever he toucht it: so these men, suppose that Scripture will sound wonderfully musical, if they do but strike it, with how great infeli­city or incongruity soe­ver it be, it booteth not: let every good soul be­ware of their perni­cious wayes; For as St. Chrysostome saith, [...]: new ways are no ways: Old wine and the old way was e­ver held the best. Gen­tlemen, I am neither [Page] worthy of note nor no­ted; the consideration not only of your great­ness, but goodness hath emboldned me to dedi­cate this learned Piece to your gracious Patro­nage and Protection, not doubting of your favourable acceptance: being your honoured Ladies have already vouchsafed to his eldest Brother (The Protestant's Practise) so gracious a Patronage, it were the highest ingratitude, a most heynous and hor­rid kinde of unthank­fulness to bury in obli­vion [Page] their unmerited favours, and to judge your honours so uncha­ritable to a poore Or­phan and a younger brother, so worthily de­scended, having so ex­cellent a spirit, & indu'd with a Benjamin's por­tion as to deny your Fa­vour, Patronage and Protection unto him; but being more than confident of your good­ness herein, I heartily commend you all to the Protection of the Pro­tector [Page] of us all, and humbly take my leave, and rest,

Your servant in all Christian commands ATHANASIUS DAVIES.

To the courteous READER.

READER,

THose that honour God, God will honour; and so will all good men do: but such as forget him shall go into the land of forget­fulness, and shall have their portion in that infernall lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: Look therefore in [Page] time before he on the pale horse comes, who is the childe of sin, the father of confusion, and the Pursivan [...] of Hell. Consi­der well how oft thou hast pro­voked thy Maker, stirred up his anger, deserved his displeasure, and a thousand wayes done e­vill in his si [...]ht, and that not ignorantly but presumptuously, not weakly but wil [...]ully, and not fearfully but impudently; who when thou erredst did reduce thee; when thou wert igno­rant he did instruct thee, when thou wert negligent he did cor­rect thee when thou stumbledst he did stay thee, when thou wert fallen he did raise thee; when thou stoodst he did streng­then thee; in all thy affaires, he did direct the [...]; in thy trouble he did help [...]h [...]e; in thy dangers he did deliver thee; [Page] waking he did enlighten thee, sleeping he did watch thee, sin­ning he did suffer thee, and praying he did hear thee; how canst thou then forget him who remembreth at all times, in all places, by all means, ever, every where, and every way, in thy journeies by his conduct, at home by his safeguard; in thy Prayers by his assistance, in thy afflictions by his comfort, in thy board by his bounty, in thy bed by his protection, and in all thy wayes by his support: who doth by outward means and by secret inspirations invite thee unto him, beating continually at the doore of thy ears by his words, and at the doore of thy heart by his spirit, suggesting unto thee both wayes the great­ness of thy sins, the severity of his justice, the shortnesse of this [Page] life, and the eternity of that to come.

Reader, Let me crave thy patience awhile, mark dili­gently my words, follow well my Counsell, let these my words take deep impression in thy heart: by all means walk in the strait way, but let it be the right way, beware of su­perstition in Religion, to de­cline to the left hand, and of rash zeal to run on the right; be to God faithfull, and to law­full Authority not disloyall: Endeavour to be what thou oughtest to be, though thou canst not attain to that thou shouldest be; never presume to reform others before thou hast well ordred thy self; see at home, then look abroad: re­dresse that which is faulty, and in thy power to amend before [Page] thou doest meddle with that which is beyond thy reach; be not faire in publike and foule in private; hate hypocrisie and avoid vain-glory; let not the badge of Religion be the bond of wickednesse; receive no o­pinion in Religion, but what the word of God doth evident­ly warrant: see unto the glass of the word by thy own sight, without other men [...] Spectacles, and hold what thou judgest truth onely in love of the truth: beware of by-respects, be not high minded, and be not wise in thy own conceit, but make thy self equall with them of the lower sort; and if it be possible have peace with all men: avenge not thy self, but give place unto wrath, be an­gry but sin not: ow nothing to any man but love, put on the new [Page] man, which after God is crea­ted in true holinesse: Cast off lying and speak the truth from thy heart; let no corrupt com­munication proceed out of thy mouth; work out thy salvation with fear and trembling; and give all diligence to make thy Calling and Election sure; And consider hadst thou Sam­pson's haire, Milo's strength, Scanderbergs arme, Solo­mon's wisdome, Absolon's beauty, Craesus his wealth, Caesar's valour, Alexander's spirit, Tullies eloquence, Gy­ge's ring, Perseus's Pegasus, Gorgon's head, and Nestor's years, yet thou canst have no true content or happiness in this world, which is but a maze or labyrinth of errours, a desart, a wilderness, a den of thieves and cheaters, nor ever arrive [Page] at the port of rest, without the two wings of Davids Dove, Prayer and Meditation, those inseparable twins, like those of Hypocrates's, which did feed together, joy together, weep to­gether, live together, and die together. Prayer disposeth our souls to meditation: medita­tion supplieth matter to our prayer, both give life and strength, the one to the other: Meditation prepareth our souls and maketh them fit to receive God: Prayer inviteth that glo­rious guest b th to entertain him▪ and make him pleased to abide in them; or to speak more properly, Prayer is the speech of the soul unto God, and Meditation is as it were the speech of God to the soul: both make a familiar conference and conversing between God [Page] and the soul. In this Trea­tise thou shalt finde a sweet Dialogue both of Meditation and Prayer, the devout soule humbly praying unto God, and God graciously answering the soul: this is Jacob's his ladder whereupon the Angels of God cease not to ascend with our Petitions, and descend with Pardons; This is the rod of Aaron, with which we may do wonders: this is the haire of Sampson wherein lies all the strength of a Christian: And this is the Path-way of perfe­ction, which will safely bring thee to thy journey's end, where are those joyes, which neither eye hath seen, nor ear heard, nor ever entered into the heart of man. To which place God of his infinite mercy in Christ bring thee and all Christi­ans: [Page] which shall ever be the hearty prayer of the greatest of sinners, and the least of Saints, thy unknown freind in the Lord,

Athanasius Davies.

SPARKES OF THE SPIRIT.

SECT. I. Of the holy Scripture.

LORD,The Atheists conviction. as thou art full of Majesty and might, of com­mand and Authority; so dost thou shew thy self no where to be [Page 2] of greater credit and Autho­rity than in thy Word: For all other Books and wri­tings to induce the Reader to give credit unto the Au­thors thereof, are full of reasons, and arguments, and of naturall probations: But thy Word (good Lord) is most plain and absolute, de­claring simply and abso­lutely thy will, without any further Naturall or Philo­sophical arguments, shew­ing thereby, that it is the Word of such an Author, who is to be believed upon his bare word, simply and absolutely, without any fur­ther reasoning: For we know (dear Lord) that thy holy Scriptures differ from all mens writings, because they command and controll [Page 3] all Princes & Potentates of the world absolutely enjoyning & forbidding vice, threatning everlasting misery to the wicked, and assuring eternal felicity to the godly. There­fore (Lord) we know and believe, that the holy Scrip­tures are thy holy and Sa­cred Words, and thy un­doubted books. For it be­longeth to no creature to be able to inflict eternall punishments, or to bestow endless blessedness; There­fore those Books that con­tain threatnings of the one, and assurance of the other, must needs have none other but thy Majesty for their Author. For what creature can or dare say, I will judge all men in the day of judgement, and, I will give unto every man [Page 4] according to his works? Who's of that Authority & power as to threaten eternal pains to all men past, present, & to come, resisting his will, but only thou most mighty God? What is he that could say, or write, That there lights not a Sparrow on the ground without his knowledge and pro­vidence; That he knoweth all the words, deeds, and thoughts of all men, but onely thou most wise & gracious Lord? Who could say, I will bring a generall deluge upon the earth, I will melt the Elements with heat, I will rayse up all the dead at the sound of a Trumpet, and judge the world, but thy Infi­nite power? For if any crea­ture had been the Author of the Scripture, he must be ei­ther good or evill: It was [Page 5] not an evil creature: for the words be simply, and abso­lutely good, dehorting from all evill, and exhorting un­to all godlinesse, and to the chief good; and therefore these words which are con­tained in the Scripture, could not proceed from the nature and inclination of any evill creature. Neither could these words properly proceed from the motion and disposition of any good creature, because they are spoken in precepts and in commanding manner, with great Authority, in much power, threatening punish­ment to such as obey it not, as eternall happinesse to such as follow it. For no good creature would pre­sume to take upon him such [Page 6] power and Authority of himself, as to threaten eter­nall damnation to some, and assure eternal salvation unto others, which onely is proper to a Divine and Infi­nite Power, and therefore it were intolerable pride, and presumption in any creature, to take so much Authority upon him, being a thing so flat and contrary against the nature and will of an Almighty power. Therefore (good Lord) we are compell'd to believe and confesse, that the holy Bible is thy Book, and not the work of any creature.

1 First, Because those things which are written in many places of the holy Bible are written in such a lofty stile, with such an extraordinary [Page 7] phrase, and with such super­natural matters, as are a­bove the capacity and nature of men wholly; yea, beyond all humane knowledge, un­derstanding, or imaginati­on: So that it is impossible for men to conceive or ima­gine such words, much lesse to know or to write them of themselves, without the di­rection of an all-wise God. For such words, as are writ­ten in the Bible, could never be understood, thought up­on, or so much as once ima­gined by the wit of man, much lesse laid down in writing. For what man was able to write, conceive, or imagine of that inscrutable mystery in the Sacred Trini­ty; namely, that there be three Persons in one God-head, [Page 8] really distinguished in­to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and yet these three to be coequal in dignity, con­substantiall in nature, co­eternall in being; yea, all three Persons to be one and the same simple and indivi­sible God, without body, parts or passion.

2 Secondly, Who could i­magine that power to be three distinct persons which is the same in substance, in essence, in number, in pow­er, and Deity? surely flesh and blood could never re­veal these things to Moses, to Daniel, to Peter, to Paul, nor to any other man. A man might conceive perhaps as some Philosophers have done, That God is One, Simple, and Indivisible, but [Page 9] that this one God should be three distinct persons, equal in all things, is above mans reach: Therefore he that caused this to be revealed and written, was no lesse than a God that knoweth all things.

Thirdly, What man of 3 himself durst once say, or affirm, yea, or imagine, that God was made man? That the Word was made Flesh? That the Deity assumed the humanity? And the huma­nity unto the Deity in one person united? So that both Deity and humanity are and remain in one and the same person without confusion of natures, so that one Christ is both God and man? And this mystery done in the Se­cond person in Trinity, and [Page 10] not in the First or the Third? Could this be the invention of any man's braine? Could any deep sighted Philosopher either produce the like ex­ample in Nature, or invent the same in reason? can any carping Atheist, of the sub­tilest & sharpest, conceive or imagine of himself how this should be? therefore the Bible is the wisedom & writing of God and not of men. For if we should admit that men might know that it was needfull that God should be united unto our man-hood (though none of themselves could be so wise) yet who was able to say that it shold be so, when it should be, how, in what place, and by what means? surely no crea­ture, neither good nor bad [Page 11] could imagine of himselfe. An evill creature especially could neither say nor ima­gine it of himself, because it was a matter tending un­to the chiefest good, and to the highest exaltation and greatest dignity of mans na­ture: For now our nature in the person of Christ is ex­alted above all the Angells in heaven; and therefore an evill creature could never imagine or think of so good and so great a benefit: Nei­ther could any good crea­ture of himself or his own wisedome speak of these things;Joh. 1. because no creature was able to know these things of himself.Luke 1. If there­fore neither a good nor a bad creature could write these of themselves, then it [Page 12] must be that the Creator of all wrote them; or if at least wise some good men wrote them, yet they first received them of God.

4 Fourthly, To adde more proof to this, How could any man be ever able to write or to imagine, that a young Virgin should con­ceive without a man? and bring forth a man, and yet remain a pure Virgin both before and after? What man durst either say or affirm such a thing for a truth, it being the contrary to na­ture and common experi­ence? Therefore (good Lord) as it was thy holy arm that wrought it, so was it thy wisedom that revea­led it, and caused it to be written.

Fifthly, To seal up all, 5 What man was able of him­self to write of the begining of the world, when it was made, in how many dayes, what were done in every se­verall day? That man was made last? For if he was made last of all creatures, how could he have written either when himselfe was made, or what things were made when he had no be­ing? (except thou Lord hadst taught and instructed him how & what to write) Was Adam able of himselfe to know that that was the sixt day wherein he was cre­ated, except thou Lord hadst taught him. Who could af­firm that the floods did o­verflow all the tops of all the Mountains in the world,Gen. 7:20. [Page 14] and how many Cubits the waters did prevail above all Mountains, seeing Noah and his family were in the Arke? Could he measure it wh t height it was by Cubits, if thou (Lord) hadst not in­structed him? Or, who could be so bold, so fond, so fool­ish, and so voyd of sense and reason as to write, That so huge, so firm, and so faire a building as this world is, shall be consumed with fire in a moment, and that so suddenly the Elements should be dissolved and melt with heat, and that the very same bodies of men that are now consumed to dust and ashes should rise again in the twinckling of an eye? could any man know, or imagine these things, much less write [Page 15] of them, but onely the Spi­rit and power that hath made and created them? Se­ing therefore (my Lord and maker) the holy Scrip­tures have such Authority, such threatnings, such eter­nall promises, such lofty style, such extraordinary phrases, such supernaturall matters, so farre out of all creatures knowledge, so strange unto all mens con­ceits, and so far above their imagination; Lastly, seeing all other Books of the same subject are found to be erro­neous, & the authors there­of disagreeing among them­selves so many wayes; And seeing the holy Scriptures could never be branded with errours, or justly charged with enlargement in any [Page 16] line or leaf thereof (though penned and translated with so many sundry instruments so farre asunder) who then so blind or so blear-eyed that cannot see or acknow­ledge the Holy Bible to be thy Word or work alone?

Sparke 1.

O gratious God and most wise Father, seeing it is so manifest that the holy Bible is thy Book, and of thy one­ly making,(2 Pet. 1.21.) inspire in­to our hearts good motions, that our delight may be in thy Lawes, and that we may exercise our selves therein day and night,(Psal. 1.2.) grant we may ever without doubt(Act. 28. [...]4.) or wavering believe it with all our heart and soul, th [...]t it [Page 17] may be sweeter unto our mouthes than the honey or the honey-comb;(Psal. 90.) and that it may be dearer unto us than thousands of gold & silver. Give us that firme resoluti­on to believe thy Word with out any further reasoning and arguing. Work so in us (good Lord) that (despi­sing(Luk. 10.16.) thy Word delivered unto us) we never seek af­ter strange revelations. And for as much (good Lord) as there is nothing so near and so dear unto thee as thy Word, which proceeded(Mat. 5.) from thy mouth. Grant that we may be in love with no­thing so much as with thee and thy Word. Grant there­fore (O Lord) that we may keep thy sayings(Luk. 2.) and ponder them with blessed [Page 18] Mary in our hearts. Lastly, Lord, whatsoever thy word doth sound in our ears, let not our hearts be like the thorny ground, the sto­ny, nor the beaten high way, but like the good ground that bringeth forth some forty, some fifty, some sixty, and some an hundred fold, To the glory of thy name and our salvation, through Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sect. II. Of the Honour of God.

The School of Honour.SEing that every creature is made & created for the honour of the Creator, and doth in his nature respect his honour and glory, in so­much that the greatest ho­nour [Page 19] that the creature can have, is to be made for Gods honour, & that the honour of God doth respect the ho­nour of all other creature [...], and the injury and disho­nor of God, the injury of all other creatures: so that when the creatures are well used to God's honour, then God is glorified; and when they are abused, then is he disho­noured. For God being ho­noured; & God being disho­noured the Creatures are di­shonoured. And hence it is, that in the honour of God, are included infinite ho­nours, and in the dishonour of God infinite dishonours. Therefore that man which honoureth God, cannot chuse but honour a [...]l his creatures, and especially [Page 20] himself being the chief of his creatures. But he which dishonoureth God, disho­noureth all Gods creatures with him, and especially himself, which is Lord of the creatures: So that to ho­nour God is for a man to honour himself; and he that dishonoureth God, doth the greatest wrong and disho­nour to himself that may be. Hence I conclude (Lord) that for me to preferr any crea­tures honour or praise be­fore thine is a great disho­nour to thee, to my self and to all the rest of my fellow-creatures. For seeing all things ought to be for thy glory, and that thy glory is the glory of all cre tures, then whensoever we aime at our own honor, we become [Page 21] directly thine enemies. For whensoever we seek not thy glory directly, then of neces­sity we seek our own glory, for there is no mean between them; insomuch that we are alwayes directly either sub­jects or traytors, friends or foes to our God.

O good Lord, is it fit that thou shouldest make a crea­ture of nothing, after thine own image, & he to be con­trary to thine owne glory, being the omnipotent Arti­ficer? what greater foolish­ness, what greater dishonesty what greater disorder, what greater blindness, and more against reason than that the work made of nothing, should seek his owne proper praise?

Sparke 2.

O Lord, whether we sleep or wake sit, or lie, stand or goe, we are thine: There­fore grant that whether we eat or drink, or whatsoever we do else,(1 Cor. 10.) let all be done to the honour, glory, and praise of thy name. For seeing thou art our Maker,(Gen. 1.) grant we may obey thee. Seeing thou art our Master,(Mat. 1.6.) grant we may fear thee. Seeing thou art our Father, grant we may reverence thee; and seeing thou art one God, grant we may glorifie thee. O Lord, grant us grace to honour thee with all wherewith thou hast honoured and bles­sed us. So shall our(Prov. 3.9) barns be filled with abundance, [Page 23] and our presses shall burst with new wine. Grant us ever to glorify thee in thy self, & in thy memb [...]rs; for thou hast taught us, that he, which oppresseth the poor, reproveth him that made him, but he(Prov. 14.31.) that hath mercy upon the poor honou­reth [...]hee.

O loving Father, seeing that thine is glory, victory and praise, for thou art the King(Psal. 24.) of Glory; Let all my(Psal. 62.) health and glory be in thee: let us not honour thee with our lips, but with our lives and souls also.

For thou wilt not give thy glory to none other,(Isa. 42.) let us not be desirous of(Gal. 5.) vain-glory. Therefore, not unto us, not unto us (Lord) but to thy name give the glory, To [Page 24] whom be Glory for ever. Amen.

Sect. III. All in us must be to Gods glory.

The Saints Service.FOrasmuch as man is made for Gods glory, and because whatsoever is given to man, is given him only for the service of God, therefore we are to think, that because we can love, we are to love God; and because we have power to know, we are to know God; and be­cause we can understand, we are to understand what God is; because we can fear, we are to fear God; because we can honour, we are to ho­nour [Page 25] God; because we can worship, we are to worship God; because we can pray, we are to pray to God; be­cause we can obey, we are to obey God; because we can trust, we are to trust in God; because we can hope, we are to hope in God: And what­soever good thing else we can do, we have power to do it, that we might serve our Ceator in doing it.

Sparke 3.

O eternall God and most mercifull Father, Hallowed be thy name(Mat. 6.) for ever. As thy intent in creating me was to frame me for thy glory, so grant it may be my mind, and purpose, study, and whole endeavour to [Page 26] seek thy glory, and to pub­lish thy praise. For Lord, thy glory and praise wilt thou give to none(Esay 42:) other but to thy self. Lord give us such measure of thy grace, That our lights may so, shine before men, that they seeing our good works(Mat. 5.16) may glorifie thee our Father which art in heaven. O Lord, because we can love, let us love(Mat. 10.37) no­thing in comparison of thee, let us desire to know no­thing but thee, and Christ Jesus thy Son crucified. Let us never fear them that can hurt the body, but rather fear thee that canst destroy both body(Mat. 10.28) and soul toge­ther. Let our honour be to reverence thee, our prayers to invocate thee, our obedi­ence unto thee; our belief, [Page 27] faith, hope and trust in thee, through Jesus Christ for e­vermore, Amen.

Sect. IV. How God must be served.

ALthough we owe all good duties generally unto God,The Paths of Piety. because he is our Creator, & we his creatures, he our Lord and we his ser­vants, yet are we to perform every duty to him for parti­cular respects: For we ought to yield him some service in one respect, and some in an­other respect; and therefore we are,

1. To love God, because he is the fi [...]st good, and chief [Page 28] good, and onely good; for there is nothing good but by him, and therefore God is to be loved in respect he is good, and after the same manner as he is good, so is he to be beloved. Now, he is the first good, and there­fore first to be loved: He is the chief good, and there­fore chiefly to be loved: He is the purest good, and there­fore most purely to be loved: He is an infinite good, and therefore infinitely to be lo­ved. And because nothing is good but thorough, and in him, therefore nothing is to be beloved but in him.

2. God is to be feared, because he is omnipotent; and because he is chiefly and onely Almighty, therefore is he chiefly and onely to be [Page 29] feared: And because he is eternally Almighty, there­fore he is eternally to be feared: And because he is the onely Almighty, there­fore to him onely belongeth fear: And because he is most truly Almighty, therefore is he most truly to be feared.

3. In respect he is our Lord, he is to be honoured: And whereas he is the chief Lord, therefore he is chiefly to be honoured: And be­cause he is infinitely chief, therefore is he infinitely and chiefly to be honoured: And because he is the first begin­ning of man, therefore he is the first to be honoured of man.

4. Obedience belongeth to God, because he is above all things, and because he is [Page 03] onely, chiefly, and eternally above all, therefore he is onely, chiefly, and eternally above all to be obeyed: And because he is only superiour unto man, therefore he is chiefly to be obeyed of man.

5. He is to be glorified and praised, in respect he is the Worker, Maker, and Cre­ator of all things: And be­cause he is the chiefest, the wisest, the first and onely Creator and maker of all things, therefore he is chief­ly, principally, wisely, and onely to be glorified, mag­nified, and praised: And because he is the maker of man, therefore he is to be lo­ved and glorified of man.

6. God is to be beloved, because he is true, and truth it self and no lyar: And be­cause [Page 31] he is the first truth, and most perfect truth; therefore he is first to be be­loved, & most perfectly to be beloved: because he is the chief truth and chiefly faith­full; therefore he is chiefly and most faithfully to be be­loved. To conclude, to God belongeth Hope, because he is powerfull and willing; and onely knoweth how to help and to save: and be­cause he is the first power, the onely powerfull, chiefly powerfull, wise and willing; therefore he is chiefly, prin­cipally, onely wisely and willingly to be hoped in. Thus we ow all duty to him who is Lord of all, and that particularly for particular causes.

Sparke 4.

O Lord, we are thy crea­tures, and thou art our Creator; create in us a new heart to love thee above all,Gen. 1. Deut. 11. who art most good andJoel 13. loving. And as thou art the first good, so grant we may first love thee and seek thy kingdomeMat. 6.. And for as much as all things do fearAmos 6. thee, which art most fearful, let us fear thee first, and fear thee most, let us neither love, fear or reverence any thing above thee, nor any thing before thee, nor any thing equal with thee, nor any thing but for thy sake. And because thou art onely praise-wor­thyPsal. 145:; therefore (Lord) let all the world praise thee, and especially man. O Lord, let [Page 33] our tongues be the PenPsal. 45. of a ready Writer, to paint thy praise. Let us not onely praise thee with the best members that we have, but with all the members that we have, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Sect. V. The love of God the best Gift.

OF all the gifts and blessings which the Lord bestowed upon man,The Deb­ters dis­charge. there is none so great, so good, so sweet and so plea­sant as his love; because whatsoever other blessings he hath bestowed upon us; th [...]y were and are bestowed upon us for his loves sake. For he first gave his love un­to [Page 34] us with himself; and then all things for his sake. Yet if we would desire to requite Gods kindnesse, and to be thankfull unto him for his blessings; there is nothing wherein we may answer him so easily as in his love: For if God be an­gry with us, we must not answer him in his anger, and be angry again; If God doth judge us, we must not judge him again; If he doth teach us, we must not teach him again; or if he doth correct us and rebuke us, we must not think to doe so with him again: But when God doth love us, we may love him again. For God did never finde fault with such as did seek to imitate him in his love. Adam aspi­ring [Page 35] to be like God in knowledge, was cast out of Paradise. Lucifer aspiring to be like God in Majesty, was cast out of heaven: The Sor­cerers of Aegypt, seeking to imitate God in his Miracles and wonders, were drowned in the Sea. But for cove­ting to be like God in love, none, neither man nor An­gel was punished. For see­ing God doth love us in the highest degree and above all degrees of affection, we may love him again with the highest strain of our love, e­ven with all our heart, soul, strength and might: For God loveth us, to the intent he may be beloved of us.

Sparke 5.

O Blessed Lord (the true loade-stone of love) as thou hast made me after thine own image,Gen. 1. so repair it in me, that by loving thee a­gain for thy love, I may be the more like unto thee which art love it self: Let the beams of thy love so warm me, and so beat upon my cold heart, that it may reflect unto thee again: And as thou hast loved me above all the works of thy hands;John 3: so grant I may love thee a­gain above Father, Mother, Wife, or children, and be ready to forsake all and fol­low theeMat. 10.: Yea let me love nothing in comparison of thee, nor any thing but in [Page 37] thee and for thy sake. There­fore, Lord, let nothing seem sweet or worthy of love in my sight besides thee: for such as love thy namePsal. 5. shall be joyfull in thee. There­fore as thou art love ever­lasting, so grant I may love thee with an everlasting love: and as thou art all love, so grant I may love thee with all my love; And as thou lovest all the works of thy hands (and hatest no­thing which thou hast made) but especially man above all; so grant that for thy sake I may love all the works of thy hands, as they are thy works, but thee a­bove all, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Sect. VI. Of the glory of Heaven.

The Saints Freedome.VVEll might the sweet Singer and Psalmist of Israel say of that glorious habitation of Saints, very excellent things are spoken of thee thou Ci­ty of God. Psal. 87. For thou, Lord, to shew us the beauty and bravery of that place, callest it by the name of a City. For whereas, it is called in many places a kingdome,Mal. 5. to shew the greatnesse and largeness of the place; yet, left any man by that name of a kingdom might suspect or imagine that there were in heaven many Hils and Deserts, and such like waste places, where nothing but [Page 39] bruit beasts did inhabite, as in Woods and Rocks and such like, as in this world; therefore though it be cal­led a kingdome, yet it is such a kingdome, as in all beauty, civility & pleasant­ness, is like a city, where fair Temples, Houses, Galleries, Gardens, Orchards and such delights are most plen­tifull. Neither is it termed a city so much for the beau­ty of the place, as for the goodness therein contained and practised: For in this city, though there be divers Nations, of all countries and kindreds; yea, of An­gels, Archangels, Principa­lities and Powers an infinite company, and an innume­rable multitude, and in all likelihood, more in num­ber than men, being of a dif­fering [Page 40] kind from man; yet they have all but one law and one language, one king and one government, being all true citizens, having one heart and one mind, all gui­ded and governed by the law of perfect charity; and because charity is contrary to hatred, envy, contention, discords, braules, and other sins, and vices; Therefore that city and place of blisse must needs be void of all anger, braule, strife, envy, malice, uncharitablenes and such like. For there must raign true charity with ju­stice, peace and joy in the holy Ghost:Rom. 14. neither is peace and amity the onely felicity of this place, but per­fect liberty is also granted unto the citizens thereof; [Page 41] and that in many respects; as first, a freedome from the servitude of sin. For where­as in the earthly Paradise Adam had ability and po­wer not to sin, à posse non pec­care; in this celestiall Para­dise they have non posse pec­care, an impossibility to sin. Such shall be their liberty from sin, that they shall not be able to sin at all. And as they have this freedome and liberty from the servitude of sin, so likewise from the ser­vitude of death and morta­lity. For as in the earthly Paradise Adam had non posse, non mori, a disability not to die; so in the city of Hea­ven, he hath an impossibility to die. So that, not to be able to sin, or not to be able to die, sheweth a freedome [Page 42] from sin and death. And as they are free from sin and death, so from all kinde of necessity. For here men have need to eat, drink, sleep, sit, stand and walk sometimes; but in Heaven the Saints of God have no such need: for they need nothing, but en­joy the glorious liberties of the sons of God.Rom. 8. How sweet this liberty is, the poor, the rich, and the hollest men in the world may quickly know and perceive. For what pains do poor take; yea, how do they toile and moile, cark and care, trot and drudge for a little meat, drink and cloathing, which they must have to supply their bodily wants; and what great thanks do they heartily give unto those that [Page 43] supply their present want & free them from this painfull servitude of necessity. Yea not onely poore men feele the misery of this; but ho­ly and sanctified persons are much molested and cum­bred with this servitude of necessity, and think it a grievous burden to be bound to care for their own bodies necessary provision, accounting the time they spend about such business, in a manner lost, and ill spent, or at least, that this care in providing is a hin­derance to them from better imployments in holy busi­nesses, in so much that many Christians in the time of the Apostles were so busied and delighted in holy meditati­ons,Euseb. lib. 2 Hist. c. 15. that commonly they [Page 44] never took leisure to feed their bodies till after the suns going down: yea, some forgetting to take meat and for three days to­gether,Mar. 8. and some for whole weeks; This bondage of necessity and corporall need was so heavy unto some of them, that no doubt it made them cry out with St. Paul, Oh wretched man that I am, Rom. 7. who shall deliver me from this body of death. And though the rich citizens of this world seem to be little troubled with this bondage of necessity, because their meat and drink is sweetly prepared for them, their rest in soft beds, a kinde of con­tented quietness, and Sab­baoth of rest; yet if they exceed never so little in the [Page 45] use or abuse of any of these, they fill their bodies with sundry, and perhaps incure­able diseases, for the expel­ling of which they shall be fain carefully to seek, and unwillingly to take many bitter potions, and to en­dure many griping pains; yea, they shall be driven, wi [...]l they nill they, either to be at debate with God, and to undergo his wrath, or else to fight with their fleshly concupiscence for tempe­rance and sobriety, which strife is often both dolo­rous and dangerous to the patient. Therefore both rich and poore, wicked and godly are troubled and vex­ed in the city of the world with this servitude of neces­sity: [Page 46] but the children of God in the city of God, are freed from the servitude of all this misery: For they cark not, toil not, eat not, drink not, sleep not, surfeit not, sicken not, but have perfect liberty from the bondage of sinne, of death, of necessity, and which is more from the law, because the law is not given to the just, but to the unjust, and none are more just than the blessed Saints which are ju­stified in the blood of the lamb, and cloathed with his white unspotted robe, be­ing confirmed in true justice, and unable to do injustly; and though the just that live in this world have no threatning and permanent law to which they are [Page 47] bound, because willingly and with a glad heart they obey unto the precept of God without law or com­pulsion; yet they have a di­recting law and rule of god­liness given them of God, binding them to do what the law commandeth, and to leave undone what it for­biddeth: but the Saints in heaven which enjoy that glorious liberty of the sons of God, need no law or di­rection, who in the word and Son of God behold all righteousnesse, and are so confirmed in perfect love, that they cannot decline from the will of their God. Thus do they live and love in that holy place as crow­ned Kings and free Citizens in the heavenly Jerusalem, [Page 48] being freed from the bon­dage of sin, death, necessity, and the law, attending the service, of the everlasting God, which is true liberty and perfect freedome for­ever.

Sparke 6.

O Gracious God, bring me unto thy strong CityPsal. 40., say unto me in the worthi­ness of thy son, thou good and faithfull servant, enter into thy Lords joy Mat. 25.. O God thou seest how my sins have taken such holdPsal. 40.15 upon me, that I cannot look up to thy holy place. Lord, break the chains of my sins, and let the pitifulnesse of thy great mercy loose me from [Page 49] the bondage of sinne, the fear of death,Rom. 8.1. the misery of this wretched life, & from the terrour and rigour of thy law, that I may believe and feele that there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. Lord, grant that we maybe fellow Citizens with the Saints, and never look for a resting place here; but let me say and sing with thy holy Prophet, If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning; yea, If I remember thee not, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I prefer not Je­rusalem in my(Psal. 1 [...].) mirth

Sect. VII. Of the Kingdome of Heaven.

The Kings Palace.THe place of Joy, and the eternall rest of the Saints of God is described unto us in the Word of God by four speciall names above the rest, whereby we may guess at the happiness therein contained, namely by the name of(2 Cor. 12.) Paradise, of a(John 14.) House, a(Heb. 12.) City, and a(Mat. 5.) Kingdome. It is called a Paradise, to shew that it is as a Garden or Orchard of all sweet plea­sure and delight: But least we might imagine by the name of Paradise, that the [Page 51] place of joy is but as a Gar­den adjoyning to a back­side, or a place by some cor­ner of a house; It is called a Princely House, or Palace, where many mansions and chambers be, where besides a Garden, there are also Halls, Parlers, Chambers, Galleries, Banquetting-houses, and all other Lod­ges of pleasure; but because a house, though never so great, cannot contain any great company or extraor­dinary multitude, whereby we might be induced to be­lieve that there can be but very few that can be saved for want of roome in hea­ven, therefore the place prepared for us is also cal­led a City, which containes many Houses, many Palaces, [Page 52] many Temples, many Or­chards and such like pla­ces fit to contain and en­tertain many millions of Saints and Angels, but least we should imagine that a City may be little, and not spacious enough for the Sonnes of God, and such as follow the Lamb, therefore it is not called onely a Pa­radise, a House, or a City, but a Kingdome, yea, the Kingdome of Heaven, in comparison of which the whole earth is but as a point: So that the Saints of God shall not onely be [...] a Garden or Paradise of all delight, but also in a Pa­lace of all pleasures, In a City of all good Govern­ment, acquaintance and fa­miliarity, yea, in a King­dome [Page 53] of all Glory and Ma­jesty, where every Servant of God shall be his Sonne, and every Sonne a Citizen, and every Citizen a crown­ed King to raigne with the King of Kings for ever.

Sparke 7.

O God, seeing there is with thee such a Paradise of pleasure,(Psal. 84.1.) grant that I may not love this earth nor the vain delights therein, and seeing thy House and Palace hath so many room [...] and mansions,(John 14▪ [...]) let me not delight too much in building houses here upon earth, as if I meant to stay here for ever,(Psal. 49:11.) but with the Patriarchs,Heb. 11:10. Prophets and Apostles be content [Page 54] with such tents and mansi­ons, as may best put me in mind of thy dwelling. And seeing that holy and hea­venly Jerusalem is so great and glorious,(Psal. 84.1.) let not me look here(Heb. 11.9.) for any a­biding City, nor greedily gape for the Kingdome and preferments of the world; seeing such a Kingdome is prepared for me that is like a well governed City, a strong Palace, or a Paradice of pleasure: But when I walk in my garden, let me desire thy Paradise, when I sit in my house, let me think of thy Palace, when I tread in the town, let me remem­ber thy holy City; and when I see the glory of the world, and this earthly Kingdome, let me seek thy [Page 55] Kingdome and the righte­ousness thereof,Mat. 5. through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Sect. VIII. We must serve God in our prime and best time.

IT is a rule most certain in Reason and Divinity,Abell's Oblation. That man ought to yeeld his love and service to God as Creatures do give their love and service unto us, who by the Ordinance of God do yeeld us both love and service in the best fashi­on, or else man would not accept it: And therefore the trees do not onely give [Page 56] their fruit willingly, but such fruits as are season­able, sweet and delectable; otherwise if they were bit­ter, rotten and unpleasant, we would not care for them. For we ought to give our love and service to God when it is season­able, sweet and pleasant, or else God will not accept of it.

Sparke 8.

O gracious God, as thou hast made me in the best fa­shionGen. 1. Psal. [...]. Col. 3. more excellent than all other Creatures, thy holy Angells excepted; So grant I may yeeld the sweeter love & more plea­sant service than they, by how much my Creation [Page 57] excelleth theirs. Let me not bear leavesMat: [...]1. Mark 11. but fruits, and those fruits which are most sweet and pleasant in thy sight. Let my prayer be fervent,1 Cor. 14. my zeal bur­ning,Psal. 69. and 119. 2 Kings 10. my faith unfain­ed,Mat. 9. 1 Tim. 1. my fear filiall,Psal. 86. my obedience child-likeLuke 2. my almes cherefull, with­out ostentation, and my whole life a patternMat. 5.1 [...]. for my posterity, through that true pattern of all purity, Jesus Christ our Lord, A­men.

Sect. IX. Our love to God.

Sorrow's Antidote, or Salve.AS sorrowfulnesse is the death of the body and the grief of the soul, so joy is the life of both. For where there is no joy, there is no life; and where there is all sadness, there is no­thing but death. For as the Soul's life consisteth in joy, so the death thereof in sor­row: So that he which hath true joy hath life; but he which loveth his God in heart unfainedly, hath true joy. And seeing this joy doth arise from the love of God onely and from [Page 59] none other; therefore it followeth that to have all our love, all our good, all our content, and all our delight, yea, and all of life is to have the love of God. And seeing the love of God. (I mean, our love to God) is within man, that is in his will, heart, and affection, it followeth therefore, that to seek all our love, all our life, and all out content­ment, we need not to go out of our selves.

Spark 9.

O gracious God, teach me to have this treasure within me, namely, to love thee with all my heart,Deut. 6. with all my soul, and with all my strength; and be­cause, [Page 60] sweet Father, I can­not love thee1 John 4.20. whom I have not seen, except I love my brother whom I see day­ly. I beseech thee, that ILevit. 19. may love my neighbour as my self, and that I may love thee above my self, that nei­ther tribulation,Rom. 8. nor anguish, nor famine, nor nak [...]dnesse, nor life, nor death may be able to sepa­rate me from the love that I have unto thee in Christ Jesus; That I may forsakeMat. 10.81. Father and Mother, Wife and Children, and leave all and follow thee.

Sect. X. Of Christ's Passion.

O Sweet Saviour,The Pati­ent's Pat­tern. we finde that most true which the Prophet Jeremy spake in thy person, when he said, My grief is above all grief. For all thy five sen­ces had no small taste of grief: As the feeling vexed with the sharp nails, where­with thou wast pricked. Thy hearing with the op­probrious termes where­with thou wast blasphemed. Thy tast with the vineger and gall wherewith thou wast fed. Thy smelling with the filthy spittle wherewith [Page 62] thou wast besmeared; and thy fight with that wicked crew by whom thou wast abused; nay, there was not one part in thee left untormented that might be afflicted: For thy head was grieved with thornes, thy hands and feet with the nailes, thy back with the whip, thy heart and side with a spear, thy whole body with grief and naked­ness, and thy soul with hea­viness. Thus wast thou tor­mented in every part for me that have offended thee in every member; giving mine eyes to behold vanity, mine ears to listen to folly, my tongue to speak blasph [...] ­my, my throat an open se­pulcher, my hands the in­struments of wrong, my [Page 63] feet swift to mischief, my heart to all wickedness, and my whole body to unclean­ness.

Spark 10.

O most m rcifull Father, behold thy S [...]nne, who did endure this for my sake,Isa. 53. behold him that hath suf­fered, and of thy goodnesse remember him for whom he hath suffered. Behold his humble hands, and for­give the sins which my harmefull hands have com­mitted: Behold his graci­ous eyes th [...]t never affected1 John 2.1 vanity, and so give the wickedness that my greedy eyes have delighted in: Be­hold his chast ears that ne­ver were attentive but to [Page 64] goodness, and forgive my sins in hearkening to lewd­ness: Behold his deep wounds in his mercifull hands, and forgive the sins of my idle hands: Behold his feet which never stoodPsal. 1.1. in the way of sinners, and make my pathes perfect in thy tract: Behold how his side became bloody, his bowels dry, his sight dim, his countenance pale, his armes stiffe, how his feet hung, and his blood ranne in streams to the ground; O Lord, spare me for whom he hath spilt his blood; O good Lord, my sins were the thornes, the nailes and the spear that wrought such a passion in him, and shall such a passion work no compassion in me? Shall [Page 65] not so powerfull a passion, that wrought remorse in the Sun, in the Moone, in the Earth, in the vail of the Temple, in the dead bodies, and in the very stonesMat. 27.51, 52, move me to pitty thy pains for whom thou hast suffer­ed; for thou diedst not for the Sun, nor the Moon, nor the Temple, nor the Earth, nor the Stones, but for me Man, and for my salvation thou camest down from heaven, and wast made man, crucified and buried, there­fore I will praise thy name for ever with the best mem­ber that I have.

Sect. XI. Of our Filiation.

The Affinity of the godly.BY Grace we may not onely call God our Father, because by Christ we are his adopted sonnes, but because we are also his creatures and the works of his hands: For we call them rightly fathers, which give their being to their children; I mean, which immediat [...]ly are the cause that their children h [...]ve substantial bodies, and they are called sonnes to those men of whom they receive body and blood, being and beginning. Now as we have [Page 67] the substance and originall of our corruptible bodies from our earthly Fathers, so have we our soules im­mediately from God, who is our heavenly Father: so that God by creation is the Father of us all, and we his sonnes; and as all those are termed brethren which receive their bodies and be­ginning from one man; so may all those be well called brethren, that receive their spirit, life and soul from one God: So that God both by Creation and Re­demption is the Father of us all, and all of us are bre­thren: and look how much the soule doth excell the body, so much the more farre, doth our heavenly Fa­ther excell our earthly Fa­ther;[Page 68] and so much doth our fraternity in God ex­cell our brotherhood in man. For without compa­rison God is more proper­ly to be termed a Father in respect of the soul, than a carnall Father is in respect of the body, because the bo­dy in comparison of the soul is as nothing. For a man is a man in respect of his soul, and the body hath his being onely for the soul; in re­spect therefore that the soul is the chief thing in man, it is evident that God from whom it cometh, is the chief Father. So that every man is more the son of God than he is the son of his carnall Father, because he receiveth this principall part immediately from [Page 69] God. Nay, which is more, man receiveth from his car­nal Father but some part of his body, for he receiveth part from his mother; yea, both his Father and Mother are but the instrumentall cause in generation, for God is the principal in the generation of the body, and the onely and sole cause of the soul; for man receiveth his soul onely from God, not in part, as his body from his carnal Father, but wholely and entirely. Now therefore seeing we are cal­led sons more in respect of our soules than in respect of our bodies, it followeth that we are brethren in re­spect of the soul, more than in respect of the body; for in respect of the body a­lone, [Page 70] bruit beasts have a fraternity as well as we, but not in respect of the soul, because they have none properly. So that it followeth that we are all rather to be tearmed bre­thren, b [...]cause we receive our immortal souls imme­diately from one God, cre­ated after his image, than those who but in part and imperfectly receive their bodies from one and the same carnal Father; there­fore, look how much more dear our soules are than our bodies unto us, so much more dear ought God to be unto us than our car­nal Fathers, and our love to men as they are our bre­thren in God, more than as they are our brethren in the [Page 71] flesh. And if we be induced to love, honour, fear, reve­rence, and obey our carnal Fathers, of whom as instru­ments we received but our bodies, and those but in part; then how much rather ought we to fear, re­verence, love, honour, and obey our spiritual Father, from whom onely and im­mediatly we receiv'd whol­ly our Souls & principally our bodies also. And fur­ther if we love our Father, and brother in the flesh so dear, that we can suffer no injury to be offered unto them, no harm to be pre­tended towards them, nor no word of the least dis­grace to be spoken of them, and that onely in respect they are our father and bro­ther [Page 72] in the flesh: How much more then ought we to love our Father and bre­thren in the spirit, and to affect them so dearly, as not to suffer any dishonour un­to them, any disgrace, any injury, nor any unseemly word at all to be uttered a­gainst them, by any, if we might help it or hinder it.

Spark 11.

O good Lord, thou art our God and Grand-Fa­ther, yea, our neer and dear Father; give us, Lord, thy spirit of grace, wherebyRom. 8. we may call and acknow­ledge thee our Father: Let us remember, Lord, that our Father in heaven is oneMat. 23. [...] and therefore study all [Page 73] to becomRom. 12. one in thee,Eph. 4. for we have but one Father, one faith, one body in Christ, one Baptisme through Christ, one Lord, and one Law. Therefore, Lord, as thou art one; so grant we may all be one in thee: Teach us, O Lord, to re­verence thee as our Lord, to love thee as our Father, to fear thee as our Judge, to obey thee as our Maker, & to expect thee as a Saviour; Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, in whose name we and all thy chil­dren are bold to call thee Father, saying as thy Son taught vsMath. 6., Our Father which art in Heaven, &c.

Sect. XII. Christ our onely Saviour.

A watch word for Jewish in­fidels.AS the Scripture doth promise us no other Saviour but Jesus Christ: So doth Christian Faith and humane Reason per­swade us, that there can be no other: For if Jesus Christ were not that onely Messias, and true Saviour, that must satisfie Gods in­finite Justice for all our sins, it were expedient and need­full, that, before this time, another Saviour should be sent. But seeing God per­mitted Christ Jesus alone all this while to rule in the [Page 75] world in his name, suffer­ing all people to follow him, and to believe in him, as in God the true Saviour. If Christ then were not the Messias, it should happen that God by suffering him should hinder himself, and be against himself, and his own Kingdome, because he disposed his people to be­lieve in such a one as Christ is. For it must needs be that he which God sends for a Saviour, should do as Christ Jesus did, affirming himself to be true God and man, destroying and impugning all sins, and this cannot be done: For if God should send another that should do as Christ did, and say as he said, then he should in all things agree with Christ; [Page 76] his Doctrine with Jesus's Doctrine, his works with Christs works, for greater works cannot be, but this cannot be, for then more than one could be the Son of God, the Messias, the Sa­viour, and Gods anointed, which must be anointed with the oyl of gladness a­bove his fellowes: But if there should be more than one, then the Saviour must have an equall, but Christ hath no fellow: For he is the Arch-angel and chief Messenger of all. The Jews indeed for all this do look still for God's promise to be fulfilled, and so look for Christ to come, and the Christians believe that he is come already, and that God hath fulfilled his promise: [Page 77] God therefore having pro­mised to send the Messias to Jew and Gentile, and to [...]ll that want him; by this means he should do against himself (were Jesus not the promised Messias) by hin­dering all people to believe a future promise, and by suffering Christ Jesus so long to rule and raigne un­der the name of the true Messias, and so he should suffer all Christian people to be deceived in his pro­mises: But God hath suffe­red Christ to raign, and will, ill he hath put all his enemies under his feet, till he hath delivered up the Kingdome to God the Fa­ther,1 Cor. 15. and hath also permit­ted all Christians, and ma­ny Jews firmely to believe [Page 78] in him, and to preach him over the world. Therefore, Lord, they that will not be­lieve the coming of thy Son, the true Messias, are utterly deceived, and far wandring from thee and thy truth.

Spark 12.

O sweet Saviour, be thou over me a Saviour, and grantAct. 4.12 that I may never acknowledge any other name whereby I may be sa­ved but onely by thy sweet name Jesus. And I beseech thee, Lord, let not any thing be able to separate me from the love of Christ,Rom. 8.35.38.3 [...]. neither tribulation, nor anguish, nor persecution, nor famine, nor nakednesse, nor perill, nor sword, nor death, nor [Page 79] life, nor Angels, nor princi­palities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor heighth, nor depth, nor any other crea­ture, but grant that I may countPhil. 35. all but dung that I may win Christ. Let me never forsake thee,Joh. 17.1. but e­ver acknowledg thee to be on [...]ly God and whom thou hast sent Jesus Christ. ForEsay: 5.3 11. the know­ledge of thy righteous ser­vant shall justifie many. In­struct me therefore that am unjust, that I may perfectly know him, and by know­ing him aright I may be rightly justified. Grant this Lord, for his sake that ne­ver disobeyed thee, even thyMat. 3.17 well pleasing Son, and my most loving Saviour, [Page 80] Jesus Christ the righteous, to whom with thee, and the Holy Ghost be ascri­bed all praise and power, government and glory, might and majesty, rule and dominion, now and for evermore, Amen.

Sect. XIII. Of our Regeneration in Christ.

The frater­nity of Chri­stians.VVE find that there are three things requisite to make a man perfect & compleat in this world, namely, 1. A Body (or trunke of flesh.) 2. An im­mortal soul. And 3. A ver­tuous disposition or inclination in both; namely, the well-being [Page 81] and well-doing of both. Now the first man, Adam received all these three from God (i. e.) 1: A Body, 2. A Soul, 3. The wellfare and good being of both: But because our first parents lost the well-being and good inclination of both these, and having onely these two remaining, name­ly, a Soule and a Body: therefore other men begot­ten from Adam, received from him but only a being, namely, a body with a soul infused of God; but not the happy being and good disposition of both. There­fore in every man there is a double generation, the one from Adam, the other from God. In the first gene­ration, man receiveth im­mediately [Page 82] his body and flesh from the fi [...]st man, Adam. In the second generation man receiveth his soul im­mediately from God; al­though indeed both body and soul be from God, yet after diverse manners: But in a Christian man and the child of God there's a third kind of generation, which we usually call Regenerati­on. For he receiveth his body immediately from man, his soul immediately from God, and the holiness and sanctity of both from Christ, God and man: So that a Christian man hath three generations, or he is thrice begotten. First, re­ceiving his body mediately from man: Secondly, his soul immediatly from God: [Page 83] and Thirdly, the holiness of both from Christ, both God and man; And this third and last generation maketh the childe of God compleat, for without this we are nothing in God, though something in na­ture. For the first generati­on is libidinous, unclean, and corrupt; and by it a man is damnable: Because rec [...]iving our flesh from A­dam, we receive with it the fault of Adam, the corrup­tion of Adam, and the pu­nishment due to it for the same; by which we becom hatefull to God, odious to good creatures, and the children of wrath. The se­cond generation, which is the creation and infusion of the soul by God into our [Page 84] bodies, is clean and holy, as it is infused by God; but because the body is infected and corrupted, it doth pre­sently infect the soul. But the third generation is ho­ly; in it we receive all the goodness, beauty, & recti­tude of soule and body, which reduceth them both to the right state, taking a­way the wickednesse and corruption thereof, ma­king a man, being before Gods enemy, to become now his friend, and his child; So that we have not lost (God be thanked) so much by our first fall and generation in Adam, as we have gained by our regene­ration & recovery in Christ. For in our first generation Adam was the head; but in [Page 85] our regeneration Christ is our head. In our first be­getting Adam was espoused to Eve, but in our last be­getting every Christian is espoused to Christ. In our first generation the flesh did bear rule, in our last gene­ratiation the spirit doth bear rule, subjecting the flesh unto his motion. By our first generation we were al­together carnal, bruitish, and beastly, but by the last generation we become spi­rituall, reasonable, and di­vine. By his first generati­on man lost the true image and similitude of God, and got the similitude of Satan; but by this last generation we got again the rectitude of Gods image lost, the goodness, fairness, & beau­ty [Page 86] thereof. By our first ge­neration in Adam we got the roots of all evill, but by our Regener [...]tion in Christ we receive the roots of all goodness. So that our last g [...]neration is not the least work of grace. For man by his fall was worse than no­thing, but by this last gene­ration he is renewed, born again, and made a good thing. And as in our fi [...]st generation we have our Fa­ther and Mother, namely, Adam and Eve; So in this generation we have our Fa­ther and Mother, our Fa­ther, Christ God and man, and our Mother the Church which is the Spouse of Christ; so that in our Regeneration our conception is by the [Page 87] spirit of God, our birth is our Baptisme, the Church our Nurse, and Mother, the breasts which we suck are the two T [...]staments, our meat th [...] pure milk thereof, our growth increase of grace, heavenly wisdome, and everlasting life. And by this new birth in Christ all of us Christians are bre­thren three wayes. First, we are brethren as concer­ning the flesh, having all of us Adam for our Father. Secondly, we are brethren as concerning the soul, ha­ving all of us received our soules from one & the same God. Thirdly, we are bre­thren in Christ, touching the holinesse and sanctity thereof by grace in him, which is our new birth. [Page 88] For wheresoever this third kind of brotherhood is not, there all the rest are dead in deed; for this is the frater­nity of grace, and the rest but of nature; and betwixt grace and nature, I mean, between our being in na­ture, and our being in grace, there is no small difference: For there is great difference between our simply being, and our holiness of being. For it is one thing to be, & another thing to be well, holy, and godly, in the man­ner and forme of our being, for being may be without the holinesse thereof. For we see by experience in our bodies, that our members have being, and their well-being; for the heart, the li­ver, and the head or brain [Page 89] do impart unto the rest of the members whatsoever they have; for the liver gi­veth all blood and grosse humors unto the members, of which the member [...] are both made & nourished, and these humours are con­veyed to the members tho­rough the veines, and this liver may be compared to the first man in generation, which onely giveth a body unto man. The second part in a mans body is the heart, and it sendeth naturall heat unto all the members, with vitall being; and this is con­veyed from the heart to the members by the arteries; and the heart giving this vi­tall heat is like unto God, that giveth the living soul to the body: for as the soul [Page 90] doth quicken the body, e­ven so doth the heart give vital heat to the members, for without this naturall heat the members were dead; The head, which is above all, contayning the brain in it, doth by the nerves give unto all the members both sense and motion; this head is like Christ, which giveth all sense and motion of grace unto us his members. Therefore, as the members of our bodies receive blood from the liver, life from the heart, and sense and moti­on from the head; so, we receive first our flesh from man, our soul from God, and all motion and sense of grace from Christ, both God and man. Whatsoever the liver & the heart doth give [Page 91] to us, it is for the being of our bodies; but whatsoe­ver the head giveth to our bodies, it is for the perfe­ction and well-being of the members. So that when a member in our bodies loos­eth sense and motion, it looseth then his perfection and well-being; though it looseth not his being which it receiveth from the liver and the heart: So that we see, that a member may lose his well-being and perfe­ction, though not his being simply. As for example, that member that is posses­sed with a dead palsie, hath lost his well-being and per­fection, namely, sense and motion which is receiveth from the brain. By this, Lord, I see thy mercy to­wards [Page 92] thy enemies; for though they receive not the sense & motion of grace from Christ, as from their head, yet they still receive their influence from God, because they are preserved in their being, as touching their soul. For, having no life of grace, they have from God the life of nature by the soul; and as concern­ing their flesh and body, they receive the benefit of creatures, namely, a preser­vation of their being.

O Lord, if thou doest so much for such as have no life nor motion from Christ; what wilt thou do to such as live in Christ? Lord, thou art full of wisdom, and hast given us these three princi­pall parts, that we might [Page 93] think of our threefold ge­neration. For when we think of our liver, that gi­veth blood and substance to our members; it putteth us in minde that we recei­ved our flesh from man: when we think of our heart which giveth vitall and naturall heat to our members, it puts us in mind that we received our Soul from the living God. Lastly, when we think of our head that giveth sense and motion to our bodies, it maketh us remember, how that we receive in our last generation all sense and motion of grace from our head Christ. And calling this to minde, we must re­member, that every Christi­an is a threefold brother [Page 94] unto us: First, by man, as having all of us our flesh from one and the same man Adam. Secondly, by God, as having all our souls in­fused into our bodies, by one and the self same God. And thirdly, by our Redee­mer, as having all of us that be Christians received all grace and good motions from one and the same Christ, God and man. Therfore, we ought to love all as brethren in the flesh; but love them the more as brethren in Soul; but love them best of all that are bre­thren in grace unto us; for whosoever is our brother in grace, must needs be our brother in soul and body likewise: And therefore a Christian is no half brother or base bro [...]h [...]r.

Sparke 13.

O Lord, That we may be perfect, grant that we may be bornJoh. 3.5. again of water and of the spirit: And be­cause our first generation in the flesh is foul and filthy, lustfull and lawless, grant we mayRom. 8.13 mortifie the deeds of the flesh by the spi­rit, and subdue the rebel­lion thereof: O Lord, be­get us again in thy Son1 Joh. 5.1: Joh. 3.3. Christ, after thine ownEphes. 4 23 24. Image in righteousnes and true holiness of life. O Lord, grant, that as the first Adam by his flesh1 Cor. 15.22. cor­rupted all thy children; so the second Adam by his flesh may save all thy children. Good Father, seeing we are [Page 96] madeGen. 1.27 by thee, andJoh. 3.3. born again of thee; let us have no strife between us for our Fathers sake; be­cause we are brethren, grant us to love our bro­ther whom we see daily, & to love thee whom we have not seen; least otherwise we be judged of thee to re­main in death, and counted as1 Joh. 3.14, 15. Murtherers and man­slayers. Therefore give us grace to love our Christian brother more for his fa­ther's sake, for his own sake, for Christ's sake, and for thy Image sake, than our brother, cosen, or kins­man in the flesh. For by this love towards our brother, we shall be known to be thy1 Joh. 2.3 disciples. Grant us therefore, sweet Jesus, that [Page 97] we may follow thee as thy Disciples,Ephes. 4.11.2. and as dear children, walking in love as thou hast loved us, and given thy life for us. Grant this, O Father, for thy son and our Saviours sake, Je­sus Christ, Amen.

Sect. XIV. Christ our chiefest felicity.

VVE count him most happy,The felici [...] of the faith­full. that hath all things at will, & wants nothing; then most happy are we that are in Christ; for he is all in all unto his servants: For if we have wounds, and would have [Page 98] them cured, he is the best Phisician: If we be wrong­ed, our Master is most just: If we be poor, our Master is Lord of Heaven and Earth, and will not see us want: If we fear death, he is life: If we would go to heaven, he is the way: If we be in darknesse, he is the light: If we desire to be nourished, he is our meat: If learning, he is wisdome: If strength, he is power. No marvell then though David had ra­ther be a door-keeper in the house of such a Master, than to dwell in the Palaces of Princes.

Sparke 14.

OMat. 8.20 sweet Jesus, thou wast poor1 Cor. 1.5 Luke 1 to make me [Page 99] me rich: Thou wast stript stark naked to clothe my nakedness: Thou hast spilt thy preciousMar 15.46. Math. 26.28. blood, to make a plaister for my pu­trified wounds: Thou be­camest aPhil. 2. [...]. servant in earth among sinners, that I might be made a King in heaven a­mong Saints. Sweet Savi­our, I honour thee, and humbly embrace and kisse the wounds of thy hands and feet; I esteem more of thy Crown of thornes, thine hysop, thy reed, thy spunge, thy spear, thy vine­ger; than of any princely Diadem. I am more proud of thy thornes and nailes, than of all Pearls and Jew­ells: And I account thy Cross more splendent and glorious than any Princely [Page 100] Crown. Teach us, O Lord, to know thee as we ought, for thou art the way, the truth, and the life; with­out a way, men walke not, without a truth, men know not, without a life, men live not: Be thou therefore still the way for us to walk in, the truth for us to stick unto, the life for us to hope in. For indeed thou art the way inviola­ble, the truth infallible, the right way, the chiefest truth, and the truest life, grant we never wander from thee, never hope but in thee, nor never learn but to know thee our onely Sa­viour, Amen.

Sect. XV. Of Christ's Passion.

O Good Lord,A Sove­raigne Salve. why doth not my heart bleed for my sins, to think how often my Saviour bled for them. First, being but young and tender, eight dayes old when he was cir­cumcised. Secondly, when he was condemned and scourged. Thirdly, when he was nailed and crucified on the Cross. And Fourth­ly, after his death, his side was pierced, and his very body wept water & blood for my sins. And Fifthly, in his bloody sweat, when [Page 102] every member wept and melted for me.

Sparke 15.

O dear Saviour, make me sorry that I am no more sorrowfull for my sinnes. For if my teares were in quantity like the Sea; If my sighes were like the smoake of a furnace; If my sobs could pierce the har­dest Diamonds, and my wailings like thunder: yet have I still cause to weep, sigh sob & bewail my mani­fold sins. Good Lord, make my mouth to be filled with thy praise, my eyes with tears for my offences, and my heart to bleed with sor­row for my sins. O Lord, by thy blood,Mat. 9.3 [...]. heal the [Page 103] bloody issue of my sins; and through thy precious blood wash and cleanse me from all my sins;1 Joh. 1.7 that through the bloodRev. 7.14. of that tender Lamb, the gar­ments of our filthy spotted flesh may be made white, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Sect. XVI. Of the holy Ghost's operation.

O Blessed comforter, it was thy divine will to shew thy self to thy chil­dren in four sundry forms for our comfort and in­struction. First like fire to manifest thy love and pow­er. [Page 104] Secondly, like a cloud, to manifest thy pitty and compassion. Thirdly, like a Dove, to declare thy pa­tience and peaceableness. Fourthly, like tongues, to shew thy wisdome and elo­quence. For as the fire doth heat and warme all things, and ascend upward; so doth thy love warme our cold zeal, and cause our hearts to ascend up to seek those things that he above: And as the clouds do drop down waters, to wash the filthiness of the earth; so the grace of thy holy spirit doth cause often a cloud of sorrow for sins to arise in our hearts, and so to dis­solve into tears at our eyes. Thirdly, as the Dove is a mild bird, void of gall; so [Page 105] that Dove-like spirit, the holy ghost would have his nest in our hearts, that we might be meek as thou art meeek, Lord, patient and peaceable like the milde Dove, void of anger and malice. Lastly, As the tongue doth exhort and perswade by the eloquence thereof; so the blessed spi­rit of thee, our God by ap­pearing in the forme of tongues, would have us to be exhorted and perswaded by the wisdome and elo­quence thereof, and not to build upon vain philoso­phy and humane wisdome.

Sparke 16.

Gracious Father, let thy good spiri [...],Psal. 143. l [...]d us in­to the l [...]nd of righteous­nesse, let it go still before us to give us asExod. 13.21. a pillar of cloud by day, and as the pill [...]r of fire by night. Yea, let him still be the starre of Grace, to direct us unto that blessed Saviour of the world, [...] Mat. 2.11 thy onely son Je­sus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Sect. XVII. Our soules are not begotten by men.

THat principle which denieth the soule to be begotten from the pa­rents,The Soul's Pedegree. needs no other proof than experience. For if the soul came from the sub­stance of the parents, as the body doth, the soul then of one man should be some kinne to the body and soul of another man, his beget­ter, and so one man would love the soul of his friend, better than his body: But we see by Experience, that men are more carefull for [Page 106] [...] [Page 107] [...] [Page 108] the body of their children than for their soul, for the most part, and men will venter much to fetch the bodies of their friends out of prison, or to save them from death: but for the soul, which is as it were Gods kinsman, infused by him into us, men are lesse carefull. And therefore our Saviour Christ careing most for the soul, which was most dear to him, taught us [...]wo petitions for the good of the soul, and but one for the necessities of the body, which is the peti­tion for our dayly bread.

Sparke 17.

Good Lord grant we may love both in our selves [Page 109] that which thou best lovest and hate which thou hatestMat. 6.10 O good father, from th [...]e we have received this soul and living breathGen. 1. by which we breathe, we comm [...]nd it, Lord, into thy carefullPsal. 31. hands; deliver it, good Lord, from the un­godly, and comfort the souls of thy servants. And let ourLuk. 1.46 souls magni­fie thee, Lord and our spi­rit ever rejoyce in thee, our God and Saviour. The ve­ry God of peace, sanctifie us throughout,1 Thes. 5. and I pray God that our whole spi­rit and soul and body may be kept blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sect. XVIII. Love admits no excuse.

IN man's reason we may finde some excuse for o­mitting any duty but love; for there is no excuse for our defect in love. For there is no charges, no weariness no labour, no pain, nor no grief in loving, yea, it ma­keth all paines and labour to seeme sweet and delight­full. For the hunter for love of his game will travell all day without weariness. And herein appeareth the sweetness of God's mercy, and the greatnesse of his liberality towards us; [Page 111] which would not tye man to that which was heavy, laborious and wearisome, bu [...] to that which was most plea [...]ant and [...]asie.

Sparke. 18

O sweet Lord, true it is, that thyMat. 11:30. yoke is easie, and thy burden light. Lord make us to love thee and thy truth more than all thy creatures; yea, more than our goods, more than our friends,Mat. 10:37. more than our flesh, more than our selves, our soules and our bodies. And seeing thou hast givenGen. 1.28 29. us all things for thy service, Lord give us a heart to love thee a­bovePsal: 119. all, with all our hearts, with all our strength, [Page 112] with all our mind and with all our soul through Jesus Christ,Deut. 6. Amen.

Sect. XIX. The love of God and the love of Mammon.

The Soul's Solace.THere's no proportion between the love of worldly things and the love of God. For from the one must needs follow sor­row, & from the other con­tinuall joy. For all things in this world are mutable & co [...]ruptible: Therefore, as often as the object or the thing we set our love upon do [...]h either perish, change, or vanish; so often must it needs be a grief unto us, to [Page 113] lose it that we loved [...]o well. But if God [...]e the ob­ject of our love, and the thing we best affect; then must we needs have conti­nual joy and never sorrow. For we never sorrow much, but for the loss of the thing we love most: Therefore, if God be the object of our love, and marke of our af­fection, our joy can never decay, for God can neither die, nor perish, nor be chan­ged, nor be wanting; but is alwayes present to our wills, alwayes sufficient to our desires, alwayes omni­potent to our wants, al­wayes loving, alwayes mer­cifull, alwayes most good, most pleasant, most just, most wise, and most glori­ous: Therefore the object [Page 114] of our love never failing; our joy shall never fail. No marvaile then if with God there is everlasting joy and never dying happinesse, himself being the object of our love, and cause of our joy. For seing all our love ariseth from God, and all our joy from our love, therefore both our joy and our love will endure so long as God endureth.

Sparke 19.

O Lord God the onely Lover and Saviour of our soules, let us not love the world, nor the things that are therein.1 John 2. Good Fa­ther, thou that best knowest the deceitfull baits of this alluring world, let us live [Page 115] in the world and not love the world. If richesPsal. 6 10. en­crease, let us not set our hearts thereon. If honours be heaped upon us, let us not be delighted therewith. If pleasures do tempt us, let us not be enamoured there­with.Mark 10. But let us love thee, Lord, with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our strength. Let us never love father, mo­ther, brother, sister, nor friends more than thee, lest we be not worthy of thee.Psal. 5.12 For they that onely love thy name, shall be joy­full in thee, (b) and they shall prosper that love thee. Therefore, Lord, let me love thee above all, and love all in thee, and for thy love. Grant this, O Lord, for Je­sus [Page 116] Christ our sweet and onely Saviour, Amen.

Sect. XX. The mean is best.

Vertue's Chayre,O Lord, thou hast often by thine own example encouraged us to follow the meane, and to avoid vices, and extreams: For first, in the blessed Trinity, thy place is in the middle room. In our Redemption thy place is a middle room; for thou art the mean between us and thy Father. In thy Fathers congregation thou hast the middle room; for for thou art that middle Arch in Gods Church that [Page 117] doest couple together Jew and Gentile. The place of thy birth was a middle roome, the heart of the world: The time of thy birth about midnight: Thy passion not farre from mid-day: The place where thou suff [...]redst a middle roome, between two Theeves, one upon the right hand, and the other upon the left: Thy peaceable abode after thy rising from death, in the middest of thy Disciples: Therefore, Lord, there is no fitter place for thee to dwel in me than in my mid­dle, which is my heart, made to be thy seat, and thy holy Temple.

Sparke 20.

O Lord, I beseech thee to dwell in myEph. 3.17. heart by thy holy Spirit. Let every vertue be a middle room in my heart for thy gracious self to lodge in, and grant that I never decline from thy Commandments either to the right hand or to the left.Prov. 4. Let my faith, Lord, be a meanes to apprehend thee and thy merits, and be thou still a mean to recon­cile me unto thy Father,2 Cor. 5. Rom. 5. Eph. 2. that being justified through thee, we may have peace wi h God the Father; To whom with thee and the holy Spirit in unity of Godhead, be all praise and glory for ever and ever, A­men.

Sect. XXI. Crosses Christians coats.

IT is partly suspition,The Chri­stians Coat. that they that at no time have crosses, have at all time no Christ. For indeed we find but few of God's children void of all trouble. For ei­ther they are troubled in their reputation, as Susan­nah was, or crossed in their children, as Ely was; or per­secuted by their enemy, as David was; or wronged by their friends, as Joseph was; or tormented in their bodies, as Job was; or re­strained in their liberty as John was. For indeed the [Page 120] good man is but as it were the but of the wicked, whereat they shoot their sharpest headed Arrowes.

Sparke 21.

O dear Father, lay upon us any misery, so it be in thy mercy; any punishment in thy pitty,Jer. 10.24. Psal. 6.1. correct us O Lord, yet in thy Judge­ment, not in thy fury, least we should be consumed and brought to nothing:Job 2.8. O Lord, if it be thy will, to let us ly sick in the ashes with Job, or imprisoned in iron with Joseph, Gen. 29.20. or persecuted with Ene­mies with David, 1 Sam. 22.1. or pinched with hunger likeLuk. 15. the pr [...]digall son: yet Lord, be not angry with us [Page 121] for ever. If heavinesse en­dure for a night, let joy ap­pear in the morning. Grant good Father, that we may with patience expect and see the blessed Jubilee of thy free mercy, through Jesus Christ our dear Saviour, Amen.

Sect. XXII. A Christian the best Artist.

AN upright Christian is a Musitian,A Salve for every sore. a Physiti­an, a Lawyer, and a Divine to himself: For, What is sweeter musick than the witnesse of a good consci­ence? What is better Phy­sick, than abstinence and [Page 122] patience? What deeper counsell in Law, than in having nothing, to possesse all things? And what soun­der Divinity, than to know God & whom he hath sent, Jesus Christ?

Sparke 22.

O blessed Jesus, let my musick be peaceRom. 14.19. of con­science, and joy& 14.17. in the holy Ghost. My Physick the blessed potions and re­storatives of thy precious blood. My Policy to keep thy statutes. And my Divi­nity to know Christ and him crucified, and in the end with joy to behold him glorified, for the merits of his bitter death and passion, Amen.

Sect. XXIII. Of spirituall blindness.

IT is most certain (good Lord) that spirtuall blindnesse is farre worse than corporall.The borne-blinde. For to want the eyes of angels is worse than to want the eyes of beasts; for whereas the bo­dily blind is led by his Ser­vant, his Wife or his Dogg; the spiratually blind is mis­led by the World, the Flesh, and the Devill. Yea, the bodi­ly blinde will be sure to get a seeing guid; but the spiri­tually blind followeth his own lust, which is a blinde guid, & so falleth into the ditch. The bodily blinde [Page 124] feeleth and acknowledgeth his want of sight, and im­perfection; but the spiritu­ally blind thinks no blame nor blemish in his sight. The bodily blind supplieth his want of sight, oft by feel­ing, as Iasac Gen. 27.11. did; but the spiritually blinde though he feels the flashing, yet ne­ver avoids the flame of hell fire. To conclude, the bo­dily blind accounts them happy which see; but the spiritually blind despiseth the seers.

Sparke 23.

O Lord, open our blind eyes, that we may see our wickedness, and by our wickedness our weaknesse, and by them both our accursedness. [Page 125] For (good Lord) thou knowest, that of our selves we are stark blinde; For, The naturall 1 Cor. 2.14. man per­ceiveth not the things that be of God, and knowes them not, because they are spiritually dis­cerned. Lighten our eyes (O Lord) that we sleep not in Death. Awake thou usEphes. 5.14. from sleep, & raise us up frō the dead, & then give thou us light, grant Lord, that we mayJohn 12:35, 36. walk while we have the light, least the darkness come upon us. Therefore Lord, open thou the eyes of our understanding, that we may believe in the light. O good Lord, seeing that we trust in thee that art the tru light,Eph. 4.17, 18. let us not walk as other Gentiles, bl [...]nded in vanity of minde, having [Page 126] their cogitation darkened, and being strangers from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them. But we being once darkness and now are made light in thee (x) Lord,Psal: 5.8 let us henceforth walk as the chil­dren of light, that we may see perfectly, and attain that eternall light in the King­dome of glory through Je­sus Christ, Amen.

Sect. XXIIII. The Drunkard the greatest Self-Enemy.

The danger of Drunken­nesse.OF all men the Drunk­ard is the greatest Ene­my to himself. A malicious [Page 127] man is a murtherer of him­self. The Prodigall man a Thief to himself. The Vo­luptuous man a Witch to himself. The Covetous man is a Devill to himself: But a Drunkard is all these to himself: Namely, a Mur­therer to his body, a Thief to his purse, a Witch to his witt, and a Devill to his Soul.

Sparke 24:

O Lord, give me the spi­rit of Sobriety; and grant that I be not drunken with wine wherein isEph. 5.18. excess. Lord, let me never make a god of my belly,Phil. 3.19 but e­ver be moderate in my di­et,Prov. 23.1, 2. vigilant in my cal­ling,1 Pet. 4.7. and evermore wa­ry; [Page 126] [...] [Page 127] [...] [Page 128] that by surfetting and drunkenness I lose not my time,Eph. 5.16. spend my wealth,Eccl. 13. impair my health, bring infamy to my name and cal­ling, and offend thy hea­venly Majesty. Oh spare me, and save me from this Enormity, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Sect. XXV. A true Motion.

A Violent motion is quick in the begin­ning, but slow in the end. For a stone cast upward is then most weak when it is most high: But a natu­rall motion is slow in the [Page 129] beginning and quick in the end. Therefore, when a man in his first conversion is ex­ceeding quick, but after­ward waxeth every day slower & slower, in the waye of the Lord; his motion is not n [...]turall and kinde, but forged and forced. Other­wise the longer he liveth, and the neerer he runneth to the mark, the more swiftly would he run to gain the Crown of Glory.

Sparke 25:

O dear Father, most gra­cious and wise God, which hast ordained all thy crea­tures to avoid idleness,Gen. 1. and to be alwaies in continuall motion, giving and infu­sing into me such a soule as [Page 130] is alwayes in motion: Grant I, (g) may ever en­deavour towards that which is before, and forget that which is behinde, and follow hard towards the marke for the high calling of our Lord Jesus Christ. And seeing thou hast pro­mised2 Tim. 4.8 us a crown of life, if we continue to the end, grant that we faint notGal. 6.9. nor be weary of well-doing, but that we may so run, that we may obtain,1 Cor. 9.24. through Jesus Christ our dear and onely Savi­our, Amen.

Sect. XXVI. Of Covetousness

THere be foure kinds of Creatures that live each one upon that ele­ment in which he had his breeding. First,The miser's hunger: The Want on the Earth. Secondly, The Herring on the water? Thirdly, The Chamelion on the Aire. And Fourthly, The Salamander on the fire: But man being but dust of the earth, is not contented to live on the earth, the wa­ter, the aire, and the fire. For his desire and unsatia­bleness is such, that all these elements cannot give [Page 132] him content, nor all the creatures that live thereon; but, if it were possible, he would either go above the fire, or under the earth, to see, if he could finde ano­ther element more than God made. And therefore the Lord did wisely consi­der of our greediness when he hid so many treasures in the bottome of the sea, and the heart of the earth; least, had they been within our view, and easy reach, we should make our goods our God, fixing our hearts un­to our treasures.

Sparke 26.

O deare God, and mer­cifull Father, seeing only with thee is all plenty and [Page 133] no want,Jam. 1.17 all fullness, and no scarcity, all wealth and no poverty, all solace and no sorrow, all pleasure and no discontent; I be­seech thee, Lord, to establish my heart with thyPsal. 51.12. free Spirit to accomplish my desire with thyPsal. 145.16. bounti­full hand, and to replenish my soul with goodness of thy grace, that I count,1 Tim. 6:7 godliness to be the onely gaine, and so to be content with what thou hast given me through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Sect. XXVII: Of Gods especiall Grace.

The growth of Grace.AS the children of the bodily, barren have been excellent pillars in Gods Church, as Isaac of Sarah, Joseph of Rachel, Sa­muel of Anna, John Baptist of Elizabeth: So also they which have been begotten from spiritual barrennesse, that is, converted from a sinfull life, have proved most famous instruments of grace, as Zacheus from the world, St. Mathew from the receipt of custome, St. Paul from a persecutor to be­come an Apostle, and many [Page 135] heathen Infidells to become glorious Martyrs for the crosse of Christ.

Sparke 27.

O heavenly Father, I con­fess unfainedly, that I have been hitherto barren, bear­ing but green leaves of outward profession onely, and no efectuall fruits of a true faith. Therefore, Lord, I beseech thee to dig and dung about me with thy grace, and to water me with the dew of thy bles­sing; that I may be like a tree planted by the water side which in due season shall bring forth fruits of land and praise to thy name, Amen.

Sect. XXVIII. Comforts for Women.Women's wellfare.

LOrd, what though I be a weak vessell, and subject to many Infirmities, yet have no cause to di­strust thy help, or despair of thy mercy, and especial­ly considering how com­passionate and pitifull thou hast been to the weak sex of silly women:John 8.11. as first, to the unclean woman that w [...]s taken in adultery.Math. 15. Second­ly, to the poore afflicted Cananite, granting her re­quest, and commending her [Page 137] faith. Thirdly,Math. 9. to the sick diseased with an issue of bloud for the space of twelve years, healing her with the hem of thy gar­ment. Fourthly,Luk. 4.39. to Peters wife's mother, whom thou didst presently heal of a languishing feaver. Fifth­ly, to Mary Magdalen whom thou hast freed from seven devills. And to the two sisters Marye and Martha, at whose pitteous moane,John. 11 thou hast raised up their brother Lazarus that had been four days in the grave. Sixthly, to thine own di­stressed mother, by com­mitting her, being succour­lesse to the guard and tui­tion of John thy beloved di­sciple. Seventhly,John. 19. to all the women that wept, when [Page 138] thou wentest to be crucified saying,John 19. weep not for me. Eighthly, to the sorrowfull women, that came to an­oint thy body to the grave, saying, be not afraid, you seek Jesus of Nazareth, he is risen, he is not here. Last­ly, to a poor widow wee­ping for the death of her onely son, to whom thou didst speake comfortably, saying, weep not, and withall did'st restore her son to life.

Spark 28.

O dear Saviour, I am by nature in a more miserable case than all these were, be­ing but the unclean seed of my old seduced Grandmo­ther Eve. Eph. 2.3. My condition [Page 139] is worse than hers, having not onelyPsal. 106. the seed of all sin staining the womb of my soul, but also dayly pollu­ting my whole body with all uncleanness and2 Chro. 6. a­ctuall transgression. Had the Adulteress, Lord, need of thy mercy, so have I. For whoProv. 20. can say, my heart is clean? Was the Cananite but as a Dogg before thee? Alas, good Lord, without thy mercy I shall be more vile than a Toad in thine eyes. Was her disease, which the hem of thy garment did cure, an unclean issue of twelve years continuance? Alas, sweet Saviour, the is­sue of my sin did run upon me since I came from my MothersPsal. 51. womb. Ah! good Lord, thou didst pitty [Page 140] the state of Peter's mother in Law, having but a feaver, and behold I consume away for fear of thy displeasure,Psal. 6. my very bones do quake for fear; yea, my sins have taken such hold upon me that I cannot lookPsal. 40. up. If Mary Magdalen was pos­sessed with seven Devills; Lord, thou knowest that many Devils do continual­ly walk about, not onely to seek to possess, but to de­vour my1 Pet. 5.11. soul. And though Mary and Martha had cause of grief for the death of their brother, whom thou didst restore; yet my grief is more,John 11. being dead in sin my self, desiring to be revived by the spirit of thy Grace. Lord, as thou didst commit thy Mother [Page 141] the blessed Virgin to the tuition ofJoh. 19. John: So dear Father, command thy holyPsal. 34.7 Angells to guide and guard me from all evill. Grant also sweet Jesus, that with the three Maries I may seek thee early in the mor­ning and seeking thee finde thee, and finding thee, be­lieve in thee, and lodge thee in my heart for ever, Amen.

Sect. XXIX. To performe Promise, needfull.

IT is an old saying,An honest promise is due debt. That an honest Promise is due debt. I have often promised to serve thee (my good God) and yet never perform'd the [Page 142] same as I ought; and there­fore the more I promise, except thy grace help me to performe, the more I am in­debted unto thee.

Sparke 29.

O Lord, grant that I may promise unto thee that which thou hast comman­ded me, and afterDeut. 23.21. per­forme that which I havePsal. 66. promis'd, that I may obtain thy promise through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Sect. XXX. Of Christ's vertues in healing, and Satan's policie in hurt­ing.

IT is no wonder that the Devill did so much pre­vail against the Jewes to have Christ tormented in e­very member;A box of precious ointments. as his Head with Thornes, his Hands and Feet with Nailes, his Sides with the Spear, his Eyes with Spittings, his Face with buffettings, and his Taste and Mouth with Gall; for the Devill well perceived, that there issued out great vertue from every member of Christ. For he [Page 144] healed the Leper by touch­ing him with his hand; he healed Peter by looking back upon him with his eye; he healed Matthew with his mouth, by saying, come and follow me; he healed the deaf and dumb with his fin­gers, by putting them into his ears; he healed Mary Magdalen with the vertue that went from his feet, when she washed them wi [...]h her tears; he healed the wo­man diseased with the twelve years issue, with the hem of his garment; he healed & raised up Lazarus out of his grave with his voice, sayin [...], Lazarus come forth; he he [...]l [...]d all the souls of his children with the blood and water that ran out of his blessed side.

Spark 30.

Heal us, O Lord, for our bones arePsal. 6. vexed, send out thy curing Word, and heal our wounded soules that refuse all manner of comforts;Psal. 107.19, 20. say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.Psal. 35. O thou pittifull Saviour, and sweet Samaritan,Luke 10. leave me not thus wounded and half dead in the high­way of perdition, but bind up my wounds, and poure therein the oyle of thy ever­lasting grace, through Je­sus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Sect. XXXI. Of Avarice and Oppression.

The World­liings Woe.ALbeit every sin calls for eternall vengeance, yet we read in Scripture but of four crying sins: The First is Murther and Bloodshed.Gen. 4.10. The Second is Glutto­ny and Idleness, or the sin of Sodom. Gen. 18.21. The Third is the sin of Wrong and Op­pression.Exod. 3.9. The Fourth is the detaining of the Labou­rers hire.Jam. 5.4. Now three of these cry with open mouth against the Covetous wretch, as against an open Oppres­sor, a secret Defrauder, both an open and secret [Page 127] Murtherer. Therefore the clamours of many poore Debters in the Dungeon, of many poor Labourers in the Field, and of many poore Neighbours crying and dy­ing in the street, enters into the ears of the Lord of hosts; Nay, the cry of his owne soul and body will come a­gainst him; for though he keepeth his pelf with many locks from others, yet from none doth he keep them so fast as from himself: For though he possesseth them, yet hath he no power to use them, as holy Records doe shew, Eccles. 6.1. where the Spirit of God sayeth, That there is an evill under the Sun which is much used among men; A man to whom God hath gi­ven Riches, and Treasure, and [Page 128] Honour, & wanteth nothing for his soul of all that it desireth, but God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a strange man shall eat it up; This is an e­vill sickness. Consider this then, thou Worldling, that sayest in thy heart I shall ne­ver have enough.

Spark 31.

O blessed Trinity, that fillest every living thing with thyPsal. 104. blessing: Lord blesse us and thy blessings, that in using them we abuse not thee. O Sacred & All suf­ficient Trinity, fill thou our hearts so full, that we may desireEzech. 36. nothing but thee, & thy glory; our hearts good Lord, are made Triangle­wise; a fit seat for the blessed [Page 129] Trinity; They are made narrow below, and shut close to keep out worldly desires, and wide, and open above, to receive all heaven­ly blessings. O Lord, as they are thy vessels, so let them be of thy filling; yea, fitted with nothing but with thy self and thy love,Psal. 10.17 through Jesus Christ our Saviour, Amen.

Sect. XXXII. Nothing can satisfie God for our sins but his Son.

VVHat is that which man can off r un­to his Maker,The Accep­table Sacri­fice. to pacifie his wrath 'gainst sins? If he cold [Page 130] give the whole world unto God, what doth he offer, but what he hath received of God, and lost by his disobe­dience? If man could offer himself, what offereth he but un [...]hankfulness, dust, and ashes, blasphemy and wickednes, which provokes Gods wrath more & more. If the Angells would offer themselves and their service to satisfie the wrath of the everlasting God, what were that but a thing finite in goodness to seek to cover an infi [...]it evill? Therefore God himself was fain to step between his Justice and Mercy, to reconcile us again unto him by his own me­rits.

Spark 32.

O Lord, from whence then cometh our help? Surely our help cometh of thee,Psal. 121. which hast made heaven and earth. There was no other water to wa [...]h away Naaman's leprosie but Jordan's2 Kings 5 No ladder that reached up to Heaven but Jacob's.Gen. 28.12. No serpent that healed the Israelites but the brasen:Numb. 21 9. So, there is no other Name under heaven whereby we may be saved,Acts 4. but only by thy name and merits, sweet Jesus. O Lord, it was not our own arm that helped us,Psal. 44.3, 4. but thy right hand and thy arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hast a favour [Page 132] unto us, it is thou that sa­vest us from our enemies, and puttest them to confu­sion that hate us.

Sect. XXXIII. Christ onely a fit Mediator, be­cause God and man.

The Onely Man.NOne but Christ could be a fit Mediator be­tween us and the Majesty of God. For, whosoever would be a Mediator t'is re­quisit that he be God & man: Man to be born under the Law, God to performe the Law: Man, to serve, God, to set free: Man, to hum­ble himself under all, God, to exalt himself above all: Man, to suffer, God, to o­vercome: Man, to dye, God, to triumph over death: Man, to be born of [Page 133] a woman, God, to overcom the Devill. So that now we may see Jesus in the Stable (there behold the man Je­sus;) In the Temple dispu­ting with the Doctors, (there behold the Lord Jesus;) in Simon's house; washing the Disciples feet (there behold the man Je­sus;) walking on the Sea (there behold the Lord Je­sus;) calling for meat when he was hungry (there be­hold the man Jesus) feed­ing five thousand with five loines and two fishes (there behold the Lord Jesus) weeping over Lazarus (be­hold the man Jesus) but calling Lazarus out of his grave (behold the Lord Je­sus;) riding on an Ass (be­hold the man Jesus;) but riding on the clouds (be­hold [Page 134] the Lord Jesus.) If therefore, sweet Jesus, we may not with Moses behold thy face, yet we may behold with him thy hinder parts. If thy Godhead be too ter­rible to behold, yet we see the terrour thereof mitiga­ted with thy manhood. If thy humanity seem too humble, we see it again ex­alted by thy Godhead. So that now, sweet Jesus, we find no cause we should too much fear thee, because of thy glory, nor at all despise thee, because of thy humili­ty; but both, and for both to love and reverence thee, to believe and trust in thee, as in a most wonderfull Sa­viour, whose name is won­derfull for ever.

Spark 33.

O blessed Jesus, let thy Majesty teach us true fear, and thy manhood true hu­mility. In thy manhood thou hast made thy self low­er than thy Father, saying, my Father isJohn. 20. greater than I; lower than the An­gells;Psal. 8. For, which of the Angells did wash the feet of sinners? Lower than men, for thou wast counted aPs. 22.6. worm and no man; yea, the very scorne of men: Lower than all thy creatures by dying and descending int [...] hell: And therefore thou art exalted to be equal with the Father, above Angells, above men, above all crea­tures: For thou hast a name [Page 136] above all names, for at the name of Jesus all knees shall bow, of things in hea­ven of things in earth and of things under the earth.Phil. 2.10 Good Lord, grant we may follow the steps of thy hu­miliation, that we may be exalted through thy mercy and merits, Amen.

Sect. XXXIV. O Humility.

The Lesson of Lowli­ness.GOod Lord, thou hast commanded us to learne of thee, that thou art meek and humble. Sweet Jesus, thou hast not said learne of me to make the world, to raise the dead, to [Page 137] cast out Devills, to turne water into wine; but to be lowely of heart; and this lesson thou hast often com­manded unto us by thine own examples. For thou hast chosen a lowly wo­man to be thy mother, and a poor Carpenter to be thy reputed father; a lowly place to be thy bed of rest, which was the manger; a lowly house, which was but a stable in an In: a low­ly brast to carry thy blessed body, which was but an Ass, lowly men to be thy disci­ples and followers, being for the most part but poor fishers, a lowly exercise, which was to w [...]sh thy di­sciples feet; and a lowly and base d [...]ath which was the detah of the cross.

Sparke 34.

Good Lord, seeing thy precept is, that I should imitate thy patternMat. 11.29. so far as I can in my fraile na­ture, grant me grace to en­deavour and desire to be­come like unto thee, not in thy power, knowledge or miracles; but in thy mo­ralls: especially in true hu­mility which is the first les­son to be learned in thy schoole. Lord, when I think upon the poor Car­penter, grant I brag not of my birth. When I think of the stable and m [...]nger wherein thou didst lye, grant I vaunt, not of my buildings, or be too desi­rous of beds of downe for [Page 139] my ease. When I think that thy disciples were poor fish­ersMat. 4. Luke 5. grant I may learn not to despise any poor brethren.Mat. 18. O Saviour of soules, Let Mount Calvary be my Schoole; thy Crosse my Pulpit; thy Passion, my Meditation; thy Wounds, my Letters; thy Lashes my Comma's; thy Nailes my Ful points; thy open Side my Book; and to know thee Crucified, my whole lesson. Let me learn by thy naked­nesse how to adorne me, by thy vineger and gall how to diet me, by thy prayer for thy Murtherers, how to revenge me, by thy cry on the Crosse, how to bewaile my sins, and by thy bloody swe [...]t, to weepe for my wickednesse.

Sect. XXXV. Of the fall of Adam.

The Sinners PrefermentVVHen the Serpent had deceived our parents, God said, cursed art thou above all beasts, upon thy belly shalt thou goe, and dust shalt thou eat And presently unto man that sinned God said, dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt returne. If by the Serpent the devil be meant, and if dust must be the Ser­pent's meat, and if a sinfull man be but dust, and must returne to dust, then a wicked sinner is but that old Serpent the devill's meat.

Sparke 35.

O Lord, that hast made us for thine own gloryEphes. 1.6. redeemed us with thine own bloud,1 Pet. 1. Apoc. 5. sanctified us with thine own spirit,2 Thes. 2. save us by thy own mercy, challenge what is thine in us. If our sins dis­please thee, wash them awayPsal. 51. and let satan feed upon sin which is his own, and not upon us miserable sin­ners, being the works of thy hand, let it be meat and drink unto us to do thy willJoh. 4.34. and to feed our souls with that blessed MannaJohn 6. that came down from Heaven, Amen.

Sect. XXXVI. We must imitate God in his goodness, &c.

SEeing the Lord hath created heaven and earth, and brought such a glorious world out of his secret and hidden treasure,The godly Ape. and bestowed it upon the sons of men desiring to make others partakers of his goodness, he doth teach us, that if we have either riches, knowledge, or coun­sell in store, we should most freely let it out for the good and profit of our neighbours. But why are we so covetous, that we can part with nothing? Is it not a wonder to see so [Page 143] bountifull a master as God is to have so miserable a servant as man is? What hath God bestowed on us gold, or silver, or precious stones; yea, and a greater matter, heaven and earth, and all contained therein, to whom gave he all this? to his children? or them of his house? or to his friends nay, not onely to them, but to all, to his enemies, to I­dolaters, to such as make a God of the gift and de­spise the giver.Deut. 4. And shall we shut our compassion from men, because they are strangers, or wicked, or of­fensive to us, seeing our Lord and Master gave all these to all, and to his friends and children gave heaven's trea­sure, and his own dearest [Page 144] Jewell which is his Son Christ blessed for ever more offering him also to all, though all receive him not.

Sparke. 36.

O blessed Lord, abun­dant in thy mercies, and most liberall and bountifull in thy gifts,Psal. 36. Psal. 136. Psal. 137. Prov. 2. Psal. 26. 2 Cor. 2. Ephes. 5. 1 Thes. 5. Mat. 6. 1 Kings 3. yea more rich in mercy than we can be poor in misery; continue thy blessings towards us so far forth as it is for our good, make us thankfull for them, and forgive us the abuse of them. Let us not want those things without the which we cannot serve thee, and having them, give us grace to use them unto thy glory. Give us with thy blessings a liberall heart, [Page 145] that by the disposing of those blessings committed to our trust, we may be known to be thy thildren. Grant this O Blessed Savi­our for thy mercy sake, A­men.

Sect. XXXVII. Of our Naturall Blindness.

GReat is our weakness to be lamented,The healing of the blind, and the corruption of our Judgement to be condem­ned, by which we prefer the shadow of that which seems before the truth of that which is, and for a momen­tary taste of earthly vanities depart from the hope of e­verlasting [Page 146] joys; as being the naturall sons of Adam, who lost Paradise for an Apple, and the brethren of Esau, who sold his birth-right for a mess of pottage; where­as we cannot but know that which we dayly hear of thee, O Lord, and seem to believe, that there is no nobility to a new birth in Christ, no beauty to the beauty of the daughter of Sion; whose beauty is all within, no honour to the service of God which is per­fect freedome; no glory to the Cross of Christ; no rich­es to godliness; no treasure to that which is laid up in Heaven; no clothing to the righteousnesse of Christ; no building to that which is not made with hands; no [Page 147] Crowne to that of Immor­tality; no Kingdome to the conquest of our selves; no learning to the knowledge of Christ; no wisedome to that of the Spirit; no joy to a good conscience, and no life to a conversation in heaven.

Sparke 37.

O sweet Jesus; which art the true light that lighten­eth every man that com­eth into the world,John 1.5. Psal. 43. lighten our darknesse we beseech thee;Gen. 3.7. And as the eyes of our first Parent's conscience were opened to see their miseries;Psal. 36.9. so open the eyes of our understanding that we may behold thy mer­cies, and thee the Lamb of [Page 148] God that takest away the sins of the world;John 1.29. give fight O Lord, unto our blinde eyes, that we may see our weakness,Esa. 35.5. & by our weak­ness our wickedness, and by them both our accur­sedness.Psal. 115.5 Let us not be like dumb Idolls, th [...]t have mouths and speak not, eys and see not; or like those accursed ones, that in seeing perceive not, and in hear­ing understand not.Isa. 5. Let us not call light darkness, or good evill; but put off the scales of our understand­ing, that we may know a difference between good and evill; and to ensue the one and esch w the other, through him that is able and willing to help us, Je­sus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Sect. XXXVIII. Against Pride.

O Man,The proud's looking-glasse. I much wonder why thou shouldest be so proud, considering thy beginning which is but dust, the unprofitablest earth that is: For clay is good for something, Sand is good for something, Marle, Lime Coal, Dung and Ashes good for something; yea, Earth, Gravel, Stones or Metals, good for somthing; but dust is profitable for nothing, but hurtfull many wayes: Yet such is thy Almighty power, O Lord, that thou hast created light out of [Page 150] darknesse, the world out of nothing, and man from the dust of the ground which was nothing, making him Lord of all creatures, and more excellent than all the works of thy hands.

Sparke 38.

Judg. 9Good Lord, there was never proud person that pleased thee; Let me that am but dust have no proud thought or high look, but with Mary humble my self before thee;Luk 1.48. Gen. 18 27. Mat. 15. with Abraham acknowledge my base be­ginning; with the Cana­anite woman, my unwor­thiness; with David my vileness; with Job my mi­sery, and with Paul my In­firmity, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Sect. XXXIX. The condition of the godly of in this world is not of the best.

LOrd,The Godli's Lot. we finde it true that the state of thy children is not alwayes of the best, neither in outward account with the world, nor yet in their own feel­ing: For sometimes, the spirit of wisdom calls them the afflicted ones;Prov. 15.15 Math. 5. Esay. 41. Luke 12. Psal. 41. some­times the hungry and thir­ty; sometims little worms, as the little worm Jacob; sometimes a little flock; sometimes the poore and needy: And yet they are in [Page 152] account with the Lord; for the afflicted shall have a continuall feast, the hun­gry shall be filled with good things, the little worm Jacob shall be writ­ten upon the palm of thine hand, the poor shall be re­lieved and helped, and the needy raised up out of the dust.

Sparke 39.

O Lord, let my estate be what thou wilt, So I may be thine,Rom. 8.35. Luk. 15.29 make me as one of thy hired servants, and feed me, if not with thy dainties,Math. 15.27. yet with the crums that fall from thy table. If I must taste of thy vineger and gall for a while in this world, yet if in the end I [Page 153] shall be fed at thy table with Manna, I shall digest it with a good stomack, and look after it with a cheerfull countenance, as Daniel did,Ròm. 8.31. for if thou, Lord, be with me, what can hurt me?

Sect. XL. Christ's Passion, the soul's best salve.

GOod Lord,Sin's reme­dy. we have often seen those men that have been delivered from some dangerous and desperate sickness to be ever delighted with the very name of that medicine that helped and healed them, prescribing it unto their [Page 154] friends for a chief and pre­sent remedy in all such des­perate cases; and now we have found by the pacifica­tion of our own conscience that thy merits are the best medicine for our Sickness.

Sparke 40.

Esay. 53.5.O Lord, it is by thy stripes that we are healed of all our sins. Thy bloud is the onely plaister, where­by our wounds may be cu­red.Iohn. 1.7. Therefore, let us ever be delighted with this salve, let us by thy grace prescribe it unto others. O Lord, poure the oyl of thy mercy into our festred wounds, thy blood, hath helped many of thy Saints,Luk. 10.34. and it is not yet dry, but fresh [Page 155] and powerfull to heal mee.

Sect. XLI. God is Mercy it self.

O Lord,The wofull mans joy. 2 Tim. 2.13 thou hast caugh us by thy Apo­stle Paul that thou art most faithfull, and canst not deny thy self. If we desire wealth thou mayest deny us, for it is not thy self. If we desire revenge, thou mayest deny us, for it is not thy self. If we desire worldly pompe and preferments, thou mayest deny us, for it is not thy self. If we desire gold and silver, thou mayest de­ny us, for it is not thy self; [Page 156] But if we desire mercy thou canst not deny us, for it is thy selfe, for thou canst not deny thy self. Thou art not onely mercifull, but mercy it self: For thou did'st pray for thine enemies, give thy life for thy friends, and ne­ver did'st deny their just pe­titions unto thy Servants.

Sparke 41.

O Lord, I want nothing but thy mercy,Rom. 8. [...]2. 1 Cor. 15. Psal. 67. & 109. & 51. which is thy self. For having thee I have all, because thou art all in all, shew us therefore the light of thy Countenance and be mercifull unto us. O Lord, I am poor and nee­dy, but thy mercy may lift me up. Therefore, in the [Page 157] multitude of thy mercies do away my Offences; O Lord, thy mercy being thy self, is above all thy works, much more above the workes of Satan which are my sins, mercy therefore good Lord, mercy I crave, it is the total Sum; for mer­cy, Lord, is all my suite, Lord let thy mercy come, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Sect XLII. Of Prayer.

O Eternall and Infinite Power,The Saints post-messen­ger. seeing thou art the King of Glory, the [Page 158] Lord strong and mighty, e­ven the Lord might in bat­tell; whose Palace is in the highest heaven, and we thy poor creatures, being thy foes by our own follies, & therefore in thy sight more base than the vilest worm on earth; seeing, I say, there is such distance of place betwen us, as is between heaven & earth; such difference in qualities, thou so glorious in Majesty, and we so grie­vous in misery; such odds in quantity, we as it were nothing, & thou all things, and all in all: When thou art offended with us, or when need compells us, what messenger shall we presume to send unto thee, either for peace & pardon, or to informe thee of our [Page 159] necessities, or rather to en­treat thee for to supply our wants, for thou needest no informer. If we send our merits unto thee, they are in too base a habit, being like a menstruous and stain­ed clout: The starres in heaven will disdain it, that we which dwell at the foot-stool of God should pre­sume so farre, when the pu­rest creatures in heaven are impure in his sight. If we send up our fear & distrust­fulnesse, the length of the way will tire and weary them out; for being as hea­vy as lead, they will sink to the ground before they come half the way to the seat of Salvation and the throne of Grace. If we send up Blasphemies and Curses, all [Page 160] the creatures betwixt hea­ven and earth will band themselves against us: The Sun and Moon will rain down burning Coals upon us: The Ayre will throw thunderbolts upon our heads. If we send up pride, then we and our messenger shall be thrown down to the Dungeon of the deepest Hell: For thou resistest the proud: what messenger then shall we presume to send up unto thee, thou King of Glory? Even that which thou hast commanded us to send, & which thou ac­ceptest being sent, servent prayer from a faithfull and unfained heart; which nei­ther the tediousness of the way, nor the difficulty of the passage can hinder from [Page 161] passing unto thee: Who be­ing quick of speed, faithfull for trustiness, happy for success, & is able to peirce the Clouds, and to mount above the Eagles of the Skie into the heaven of heavens, and there to enter boldly into the Chamber of Pre­sence, and to [...]he Throne of Grace before thee, the great King of Glory.

Sparke 42.

O Lord, give us grace to send up our prayers unto thee, and to call upon thee in the dayes of our necessi­ties and trouble. Hear the voice of our prayers be­times in the morning: Let us cry out of the deep of our miseries, unto the [Page 162] bottomless depth of thy mercies. And because our nature is such as we know not how to aske, as we should,Rom. 8.26. Eph. 3.20. and thou alone both wisely doest know, and effectually canst grant, not onely what we desire, but a great deale more than we can think upon; Pour upon us the spirit of grace & prayer, which may with unspeakeable groanings make intercession for us. Give us grace (good Fa­ther,Math. 11.24: Math. 6.) to perswade our selves, that whatsoever we shall aske at thy hand through faith, we shall ob­taine the same. And grant that in all places we may pray, lifting up pure hands without wrath or doubting making with deep fighs and [Page 163] zealous minds continuall supplications, prayers, in­tercessions, and giving of thanks for all men through Jesus Christ, our Lord,1 Tim. 2.1. A­men.

Sect. XLIII. Of the Authority of Gods Word, &c.

THough faith be the eye of the soule, and the hand that apphehends the soul's Saviour, yet if faith should tell me that God is three and one together; or if faith should say, believe that the son of God is the son of a Virgin, that Christ is risen again the third day [Page 164] from the dead, to die no more: that I should believe all this to be true, because Peter, Paul, & John; Isay, Ie­remy and Ezekiel have said so. I would doubt and not believe such matters diffi­cult, fo far above reason and beyond the reach of man's apprehension, and seing they were spoken but of men as I am, I durst not believe them, because it is written, every man's a lyars which makes us require so many oathes,Psal. 11.5. and so many witnesses before we can cre­dite the report of men in many things. But when faith tells me that God hath revealed these things, and that neither Peter, Paul, nor John, nor the rest of the Apostles and Prophets [Page 165] have taught these things of themselves, but were first taught of God, and that they have preached not their own word, but the word of God; then my heart yieldeth, & is ready to believe it, especially seeing the same God that spake by the Prophets and Apostles confirmed his sayings with so many fignes and won­ders. Therefore as Paul says, How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation? which at the first began to be preached of the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard it,Mark. 16.20. God bearing witness thereto both with signes and won­ders also, and with divers powers and gifts of the Ho­ly Ghost according to his own will.

Sparke 43.

O Holy Father, I believe, help my unbelief; & though an Angell from Heaven should teach & preach con­trary to that which thou by thy holy Prophets & Apo­stles hast taught, let me not believe him, but hold him ac­cursed. Let me never doubt of the verity of the Scrip­ture, because it is thy word; For as thou hast comman­ded us not to believe every spirit;2 Ioh. 4. so are we forbidden to doubt of that Truth which proceeds from the spirit of Truth, Which can­not deceive nor dissemble. Let us therefore never gain-say what thou dost affirm, never doubt what thou dost [Page 167] promise; never mistrust what thou hast spoken; nor call into question what thou hast verified.

Sect. XLIV. How to purchase Heaven.

LOrd,A great pur­chase. thou hast taught us that there be four kindes of men which by foure kind of meanes come to Heaven. For some buy it at a rate, at it were, and bestow all their temporall goods for the better com­passing thereof: Some catch it by violence, and they for­sake Father and Mother, land and living, trade and traffick, and all that they [Page 168] have for the possession of it: Some steal it and do their good deeds secretly, and they are rewarded openly: And some are enforced to take it, and by continuall affliction made to fall to a liking thereof.

Spark 44.

O dear Saviour, thy King­dome is such a Pearle, that all I have cannot buy it: For I have nothing to give thee, but that which came from thee and is thine own. Therefore teach me to ob­tain thy Kingdom by what means thou wilt, so that I may enjoy It. Let not my care be for the things of this world, but give me grace, first to care for that [Page 169] one thing necessary, name­ly, the seeking of thy King­dome and the righteousness thereof, and all temporall blessings shall be added thereto, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Sect. 45. God in his Glory will be All in All to his Elect.

IF we consider the right use of a Temple,An End of man's Mini­stry. we shall easily perceive the reason why John having seen the Order and Ornaments of the heavenly Jerusalem saw no Temple therein. For Temples here on earth, had [Page 170] by the Lord's Commande­ments but five uses or ends.

1 First, To offer Sacrifices for sins and burnt offerings, as in the time of the Law.

2 Secondly, to preach the Word, as in the time of the Gospell.

3 Thirdly, To administer the holy Sacraments.

Fourthly, To offer 4 prayers and supplications unto Gdo.

5 And Lastly, To laud and praise his holy name with Thanksgiving, hymnes and spirituall songs. But in Heaven there needs no sa­crifices, for there are no sins committed; no preach­ing of the Word; for the word incarnate will ma­nifestly speake unto all men face to face, according to [Page 171] the Prophet Jeremiah. Ierem. 31. The use of the Sacraments like­wise have an end; which being but signes and seales of true things themselves, serve no longer, seeing the things signified by them are perfectly seen and enjoyed. And as for Prayers and Praises to God, there needs no Temple erected in Hea­ven to performe them, for they shall see God as he is seen openly, face to face; and he shall be easily heard of all men, for he himself will be their Church, Tem­ple, and House of Devoti­on.

Sparke 45:

O Gracious Father, build the Kingdom of grace [Page 172] here upon earth, and hasten the Kingdome of Glory. Let us visit thy holy Temple often here upon earth, to worship thy name, that at last thou mayst bring us to that place that needs no Temple, to Jerusalem than is above, that is the free Mother of us all, where thou art our Temple for e­ver. Let us dwell in thee by faith and love while we are on earth, that hereafter we may by an inward reverence and humility be so neerly joyned unto thee, that thou mayest be our Temple to sing Hal-le-lu-jah to thy name for ever, through Je­sus Christ, Amen.

Sect. XLVI. Of God's Fore-warnings.

ALthough the sword of our God is ever ready drawn and burnished,Gods Cove­nant to his people. his bow bent, his arrowes pre­pared, his Instruments of death made ready, his cup mingled, yet, he seldome powreth down his plagues, but a shower of mercy go­eth before them, to make us the more heedy, before his wrath be kindld to con­sume in's sore displeasure: for, peace be to this house, was so indeed to every house where th' Apostles en­tred: but if that house was [Page 174] not worthy of peace, then war followed, and their peace returned back un­to them. Vertues were wrought at Chorazin and Bethsaida before the woe took hold upon them Noah was sent to the old World; Messengers to the Hirers of the Vineyard; Moses and A­ron to the Aegyptians; Pro­phets from time to time to the Children of Israel; John Baptist and Christ, and the Apostles together, with signes in the host of heaven, and tokens in the Elements to Jerusalem before it was destroyed: Yea, many signs of warning foretold us, be­fore that fearfull and finall day of Judgement; as the Preaching of the Gospell to all Nations, the reveal­ing [Page 175] of Antichrist, a depart­ing from the faith, corrup­tion in manners, great tri­bulations, a deadly securi­ty, and the conversion of the Jewes, which is the last signe and warning we must expect for, saving the signe of the Son of man.

Sparke 46.

O Dear Father, let thy pitty prevent my punish­ments, and the greatness of thy mercy supply the grie­vousness of my misery, for thou Lord, wilt not the death of a sinner, but rather he should convert and live. Therefore, let me know that my salvation is neerer than when I believed. Let me not despise the riches of [Page 176] thy bountifulness, and pa­tience, and long suffering; but let me know that thy bountifulness leadeth me to repentance, through Jesus Christ our Lord,Rom 2.4. Amen.

Sect. XLVII. The Titles of the Damned.

IF we observe the Scrip­ture,Satans bag. we shall find that the Devill hath no name gi­ven him, which the wicked are not branded with. For he is called a Lyar, so are they: He if called a Temp­ter, and they are called Tempters: He is called an Enemy, and they are called Enemies: He is called a [Page 177] Murtherer, and they are cal­led Murtherers. He is cal­led a Slanderer, and they are called Slanderers: He is called a Viper, and they are called Vipers: Thus God will'd that they which should be damned should bear the name of him that is damned.

Spark 47.

O Lord Jesus, grant me grace to differ from the damned in nature, as the godly do in name. Lord, do thou give me of thy hid Manna to eat, and a white stone, and in that stone a new name written, which no man knoweth but he that hath it. Grant this, O Father, for our dear Savi­our's sake, who hath a name [Page 178] above all names, to whom all things shall bow in hea­ven, in earth, and under earth, Amen.

Sect. XLVIII. God is the best Master.

IT is counted meer folly for any man to serve three kinde of Masters,Choice of Masters. to wit, his Enemy, his Equall, and his Servant: He which serveth the Devill, serveth his Ene­my: He which serveth his Flesh, serveth his Equall: And he which serveth the World, serveth his Servant. Therfore of all service it is the basest service to serve the world, because such a [Page 179] one like Cham shall be but the servant of servants: and to serve the Devill is but an unthankfull office, for such one is sure to have no bet­ter payment than death for his stipend: And for to serve the flesh, it is but to seek to please a chollerick, brittle, and unconstant ma­ster. Therefore, to serve God is the best service, for he is the b st master. For if we be poor, he onely can enrich us. If we be sick, he is the best Physitian. If we be wronged, he can right us. If we be weak, he is most strong. If ignorant, he can best instruct us. And if dis­contented, he onely can please and prefer us.

Sparke 48.

O Dear Father, make us to be of thy hired ser­vants,Luk. 15. let us desire to be ra­ther door-keepers in thy house, than to remain in the pleasant Palaces of Prin­ces.Psal. 84. Good Lord, thou hast taught us that no man can serve two masters, but either he shall hate the one and love the other, or cleave to the one and leave the other. Therefore, Lord, let our choyce be with thy Disci­ples, to forsake all and fol­low thee:Josh. 22.5. And grant we may serve thee with all our heart, and with all our soul, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Sect. XLIX. God the Teacher of true Wise­dom onely.

O Lord, I am ignorant and want instructions in true wisedom.The Well of Wisdome. To whom shall I repair to learn it? shall I go to the world? A­las no; for all the world lieth in Wickedness. Shall I go to the flesh? That be far from me, for the flesh doteth and lusteth against the spirit. Shall I go to the Devill? God forbid; For he is a Liar, a Tempter and a Seducer of the Brethren: To whom then shall I go? To mortal men? Alas no; [Page 182] for all men are liars; the children of men are set on fire, their teeth are spears and arrowes, and their tongue a sharp sword, there is none that under­standeth and seeketh after God. To whom then shall I go to learn wisdom? Shal I go to the Law of Moses? No neither; For the Law it self is but a School-Ma­ster to bring us to Christ. Shall I go to the Angels for true wisedom? I must not do so; for they themselves learn of Christ and adore him. Shall I come to the Lord, without Christ? No that must I never do. For it is a horrible thing to think of thee without thy sonne Christ, to whom therefore shall I go but unto thee, my [Page 183] blessed Saviour, which hast the word of wisedom and eternal life. Thou art a King to rule me, a Priest to pray for me, and a Prophet to teach and instruct me.Joh. 6.

Sparke 49.

O God the fountain of wisedom and knowledge, give me understanding and I shall live, for through thee I shall be wiser than the aged, and have more under­standing than my teachers.Psal. 90. & 143. Teach me therefore, good Lord, in thy Statutes, and to do the thing which plea­seth thee; and for the first lesson, learne me the fear which is the beginning of wisedom, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Sect. L. The least sin deserves death.

The Devills DiminutiveO Good Lord; I see that the World is grown to that passe that men make not so much account of small fins as of old shots. A mote in the sun is but a small thing, and yet enough to hinder the fight, to pain the eye, and to trouble the whole body: A haire but a small thing, and yet e­nough to choke the strong­est man: The Flies of Egypt were but little things, yet none of the least plagues; yea, the lice were lesse than the flies, and yet one of the [Page 185] greatest plagues that came into Egypt. Like unto these be our sins, which we call little sins, or the men of this world call veniall, and to be washed with their ho­ly waters; but how little ac­count soever the world makes of them now, the time will come, when we shall wish we had never of­fended in the least diminu­tive evill. For what smaller offence, in our sight, than a thought of pride? yet the Angells were punished in everlasting, chaines for it. What lesser fault than to bite of an apple? yet Adam and Eve, when there were no more men in the world, were banished Paradise for it, and made to everlasting misery without Christ's [Page 186] mercy. Lot's wife for once looking back (a small of­fence one would think) was turned into a fearfull Monument for all posteri­ty to look upon.

Sparke. 50.

O dear Father, seeing thou art most pure, and so pure that the stars of hea­ven are not clean in thy sight,Job. 25. cleanse us from our secret sins;Psal. 19.12. & 51. & let us think no sin a smal offence that offen­deth thee which art infinite. For we are no sooner born but become forlorne crea­tures without thy great mercy, and no sooner con­ceived but damned, if thou dealest in the rigour of Ju­stice [Page 187] with us, Therefore en­ter not into judgement with us thy servants, for no flesh is righteous in thy sight; but spare us good Lord, spare thy people whom thou hast redeemed with thy preci­ous bloud, and be not angry with us for ever.

Sect. LI. The shadowes of sin.

IT is strange to think that so many things should point out unto us the cur­sed nature of sin, and yet we cannot avoid it. It is like to leaven, a little whereof will sower the whole lump of dough: It [Page 188] is like fire, a sparke where­of is able to burne a whole City. It is that Jew­ish Leprosie that infected every thing that came nigh unto it. It is like a tetter or a ringworm, which though it have but a small begin­ning, yet being not stopped, will run over the whole body. It is like that dead sea that killeth all that swimmeth in it. Or like the quick-sands which sudden­ly let a man sink over head and ears, if he stand still in it never so little. It is like Jezabell (that painted Har­lot) whose very skull of the head with the palmes of the hands must be buried, lest they infect the very ayr.

Sparke 51.

O dear Father, if all thy creatures be not able to shew us the ugliness and deformity of this foule monster, and to make us loath it, grant that we may have a dayly recourse unto thy law,Rom. 7. the glasse where­of will plainly shew unto us both the name and na­ture, propertie and pro­portion of this hellish le­prosie, and so seeing it we may be sorry, and being sorry may loath it, and loa­thing it may avoid it; and so come the nerer unto thee in perfection, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Sect. LII. The Lords Royalty.

THough the Lord shares so liberally with man, that of all his Creatures he reserved but the least part to himselfe; yet in most things he will have us to acknowledge him for our cheif Lord, and of every thing to pay him some­thing as his chief rent and royalty; As of our time the seventh day; of the trees of Paradise the tree of knowledge of good and e­vill; of all our increase, the tenth; of our generation, the first born; of our Corn, [Page 191] the first fruits; of his people Israel, the tribe of Levi; of all Cities, Jerusalem; of all mountaines, Mount Sion; of all the sons of Ishai, lit­tle David; of all women, the blessed Virgin; and of all the members of our bo­dies, the heart.

Spark 52.

O King of Glory how liberall doest thou deale with us, and how niggard are we in repaying thee? For how many a thousand thoughts have we conceived and not one of them in re­membrance of thy good­ness? How many thousand words have we spoke, and not one of them to the praise of thy name? How [Page 192] many thousand deeds have we done, and not one of them for the setting-forth of thy glory? Good Lord, as thou hast given me all things saving thy glory, so for thy glory, give me of thy grace, that I may ac­knowledge thee. Let my heart be alwayes inditing of a good matter that my tongue may be the pen of a ready writer,Psal. 45: and my hand diligent in well doing, and open unto the needy, through Jesus Christ,Prov. 12.30 A­men.

Sect. LIII. The earthly Planet.

AS the Bridegroom, the bright Son of happi­ness and Lord of life is of­ten compared to the Sun of heaven; so his Spouse the Church doth often resemble the Moon: For as the Moon hath all her light from the Sun; so the Church from Christ. And as the shadow of the earth doth somtimes hinder and Eclipse the Moon, that she cannot shew the light of the Sun, the which she received; so our sins like earthly shadows do hinder and debar us often­times [Page 194] from giving thanks and glory to God for what we received, and to shew the same to others, giving him the glory from whom they proceed. But as that good Planet the sun faileth not to give light continual­ly unto the body of the Moon, and to all inferiour bodies, though sometimes it seems to be eclipsed in regard of us: so the glori­ous Sun of Righteousness doth never fail to give light unto his Church, and his Elect here on earth, though by reason of the black cloud of our sins, he seems some­times for a while to be ab­sent from us; And as the Moon will not utterly fail, by any Eclipse that can hap­pen, though to our sight is [Page 195] be almost quite darkened; so the Church of God can never faile, nor fall clean a­way, but shall ever be a Church world without end being grounded upon a sure Rock, Jesus Christ be­ing the chief corner Stone.

Spark 53.

O most glorious Sun of Righteousnes, and the bright day-Star of grace and glory, vouchsafe we beseech thee to lighten our darknesse by thy holy Spi­rit, and to shew us the pure light of thy countenance, by shining in our hearts and souls: Let thy holy word be a lanthorn to our feet, and a light unto our paths; disperse all the [Page 196] black clouds of ignorance and errours, that may E­clipse the light of thy holy Spirit from us; be thou al­wayes with us unto the end of the world; and pray unto the Father for us, that our Faith may not faile: Marry us unto thy self for ever, that though we seem sometimes to have a faile, yet we may never fall final­ly from thee, which art the way, the life, and light for ever.

Sect. LIV. The Sympathy of Christ's Passion.

O Sweet Saviour, work in me that pitty of thy paint, that the Creatures had at thy Passion: For then the Sun was darkned, the earth quaked, the tem­ple rented, the stones clea­ved, and the graves opened. And yet thou didst not suf­fer for the sun, nor the earth; for the graves, the temple, nor the stones, but for us men and our salvati­on. Shall these be amazed at the pungs, and we not moved at thy pains?

Sparke 54:

O Lord, let the wounds of thy hands cause a wound in my heart; The nayles of thy feet prick my conscience; Thy Vineger and Gall draw tears from mine eyes; Thy bloudy side cause me a bleeding Soul; And thy paines cause in me sorrow and passions:

Sect. LV. The eyes Imperfection.

SOme can see a mote in their brothers eye, and not so much as a beam in [Page 199] their own; such was the Pharisee that prayed with the Publican. Some again can see a mote in their brother's eye, & a beam in their own, such was Peter, when he de­nied Christ and wept: And Paul, who counted him­self not worthy to be called an Apostle. There be also some that espie beames both in their own eyes and in every bodies else; such are they that know them­selves in conscience to be bad, and therefore think every body else to be so; Such was Pharaoh that thought God's people to be idle, because he was idle himself. Some again see no mote neither in their own eyes nor in others; such are blinde Atheists and loose [Page 200] Liberties that think that every man may do what he will. Some again can see two beames in their own eyes and a beam in others; such was Judas and Cain, and such as see their own sin so great that they de­spaire of Gods mercy: For though they judge others to be great sinners, yet they think their own unpardo­nable.

Sparke 55.

O Lord, blesse me from such a sight. For (Lord) if I offend thy Justice by transgression, yet let me not offend thy mercy by dispe­ration. And yet give me grace alwayes to see the beam in mine own eye, and [Page 201] to take it away; that then I may the better see the mote in my brothers eye.

Sect. LVI. Our Credite once Crack't, &c.

VVE have need to have Gods Grace to guide us every minute in all our actions. For we may commit in an houre such a fault as will be a ble­mish to us in a whole age. Noab was but once drunk yet is ever spoken off. Da­vid but once in Adulterer, yet his fact never forgot­ten. Adam but once tasting of an apple, yet his poste­rity smart for it to the [Page 200] worlds end. Lot once com­mitting incest with his Daughters, yet his fin is notorious for ever. Lots wife turning but once back to Sodome, yet an example for ever. Peter but once fallen, yet his weakness per­petually noted.

Sparke 56.

O Lord, let thy Angels guard me, thy grace guide me, thy word direct me, and thy spirit preserve me, that I neither stirre, nor nor start, waver nor wan­der out of thy path. Lord keepe me as the apple of thine eye, and as the fignet on thy right hand; that all my thoughts may be of thy goodnesse, all my words to [Page 203] thy praise, and all my works to thy glory; to whom be all glory and goodnesse, might and ma­jesty, both now & for ever­more, Amen.

Sect. LVII. Trust not unto a rotten stick.

HE that trusteth to his own strength, leaneth on a rotten stick. For we see the skilfullest Wrastler sometimes have a fall; the cunningest Fencer to have the foyle; the stoutest Can­tain killed; the best Rider under his horses feet; the nimblest Swimmer sunk un­der the water; the best wits [Page 204] perish, and the wisest men erre.

Sparke 57.

O Lord God, let me ac­knowledge my weaknesse and not presume on my strength. For it is better to trust in thee, than to put any confidence in Princes. O Lord, in thee have I trusted, let me never be confounded, Amen.

Sect. LVIII. The best increase.

THe Husbandman's field doth bring him for e­very grain, sometimes thir­ty, sometimes forty, some­times [Page 205] sixty, and sometimes an hundred sold. If God so blesse our bodily labour: How much more will he bless the labor of our souls. If therefore we sow in tears, we shall reap in joy. If we sow in the Spirit, we shall reap of the Spirit life ever­lasting. For he that first seek­eth the Kingdome of God and the righteousness there­of, shall have all other things added unto it.

Sparke 58.

O Lord, give me grace to labour in the Spi [...]it, to seek thy Kingdome, to lay up treasure in Heaven, that when the generall harvest shall come, my eyes may be waking, my lamp light, and my self as a sheaf of wheat [Page 206] gathered into thy farne, through Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sect. LIX. The Servant's access to his Lord.

MAny a man is sain to travell farre to see a great man, and to suffer ma­ny dangers, and perhaps when he comes to his jour­neys end, he shall find either his Lord from home, or not at leasure, perhaps dead, or if alive not willing to plea­sure him. It is not so with God: For if I come once to Heaven, to see my Lord and Master, my dear Father and best Friend; as Mary [Page 207] and Joseph after their jour­ney found him in the Tem­ple amongst the Doctors, so shall I be sure to finde him in his holy Temple amongst the Angells; yea, I shall be sure of such kinde enter­tainment, that I shall never think of my paines and la­bour in coming, or once dream to returne.

Sparke 59.

Lord, give me grace to be stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as I know that my labour is not in vain in the Lord. Lord, I will come unto thee, and seek thee whilest thou mayest be found. I will knock and [...]ll at midnight at thy mer­cy, [Page 208] and though I have no friends either to plead my cause, or to preferre my pe­tition unto earthly Lords; yet (dear Father) I have an advocate in thy Court that will both plead my cause, and pitty my case, even thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Sect. LX. Soon ripe soon rotten.

THere is no flower that will not fade, no fruit that will not corrupt, no garment that will not wear, no beauty which will not wither; no strength which will not weaken; and no time so long but at last will [Page 209] pass. I cannot see these va­nish, and not say that my self must pass. The flower of my youth is gone alrea­dy, my best fruits are cor­rupt, my time passeth while I speak of it.

Sparke 60.

Lord, teach me to number my dayes, that I may apply my heart to wisedom, and have un­derstanding in the way of god­liness. For the longer time thou givest me the more I have to answer. Lord, make me ready at thy call, and sweet Jesus pay my debts for me.

Sect. LXI. The best Pattern.

O Lord, I need no bet­ter Master to teach me than he that is my Saviour. For by his nakedness on the Cross I may learn to clothe me. By his Crown of thorns how to adorne me. By his Vineger and Gall, how to diet me. By his prayer for his Murtherers, how to re­venge me, and by his whole passion for me, how to suf­fer for him.

Spark 61.

Lord, give me grace in all my actions to learn of thee to be mercifull, as thou art mercifull; meek, as thou art meek; holy, as thou art holy; true, as thou art true; and faithfull, as thou art faithfull. Let me honour thee as a Creator, love thee as a Redeemer, and expect thee as a Saviour: And in the mean while, let me rest in thy peace, that I may rise in thy power.

Sect. LXII. Take heed how you walk.

LOving Father, what time so ever I bestow out of thy service, I bestow it on my self, & am a Thief, because I rob thee of thy due. And if I be more ena­moured with any of thy blessings than with thee, I commit Adultery, and take another God before thee. And if I spend good houres in evill actions to bad pur­pose, then I commit Trea­son against thy Majesty.

Sparke 62.

Give me grace (most lo­ving Father) to serve thee in righteousnesse and holi­nesse all the days of my life; to love thee with all my heart, with all my strength, and with all my soul; and to do, say, nor think ei­ther in merriment or sober­nesse, but those things which may please thee, and advance thy glory.

Sect LXIII. The last Enemy.

THere is no Enemy which a man cannot avoid either by flying for­ward, retyring backward, or standing still, hidden or disguised, or at the least by prayer, but death. For if we go forward, we meet death; if backward it meets us; If we stand still, it is coming upon us: Yea, whether we sleep, or wake, go or stand; all is one, we must needs meet death. Therefore, we must be re­solute and prepare our selves for this last enemy, [Page 215] from whom we cannot fly. It is but a bug-bear, it hath lost his sting, we need not fear.

Sparke 63.

O Lord, prepare thy ser­vant to die. Grant I may live the life of the godly, that I may die the death of the righteous. For what man liveth and shall not see death: O Lord, how pre­cious in thy sight is the death of thy Saints? for they sleep in thee, and cease from their labour: Grant (Lord) that I may put my house in order and joy that I must dye.

Sect. LXIV. The insatiable Worm.

I See that all the Crea­tures and worms of the earth can live onely upon some kinde of food, that comes from the earth either upon grasse, hay, or corne, or upon some fruits of trees or herbes. But man is from the earth, and yet all the Creatures of the earth will not suffice him; but he must go to the Fowles of the ayre, and the fishes of the sea for daintie; and all too little to satisfie his ap­petite: So that if he had as many dishes as he lived [Page 217] dayes, he would both de­sire and invent novelties.

Sparke 64.

O Lord, let me not pamper my body dayly with delicates; but pre­pare my soul with dutifull obedience to feed on the heavenly Manna of thy word. That having meat and drink to suffice nature I may learn therewith to be content. Let his diet that was but a loaf and a fish with a cup of cold water, teach me to be content with the least of his blessings, and to give him thanks, know­ing that man liveth not by meat onely, but by every word that proceedeth from thy mouth, through [Page 218] Jesus Christ our Savi­our.

Sect. LXV. Good Neighbours

THe childe of God hath some comfort in adversity above all others, because all his neighbours are his father's tenants at wil, and hold both life and land of him during his pleasure. Therefore he that is God's childe shall finde some that love the Lord of their life and land, and will be ready to yield relief and comfort unto his son. Da­vid was not unmindfull of this, when he said, I have [Page 219] been young and now am old, yet I never saw the righteous forsaken, nor their seed begging their bread. Nay, if all men should forsake Gods elect, the bruit creatures would succour him at need: for rather then Elias shall starve the ravens will feed him: rather than Jonas should be drowned, the Whale will preserve him: rather than Daniel should perish, the Lions will comfort him.

Sparke 65.

O Lord, Thou art my Father, I am thy child, but (good Father) I have sin­ned against heaven and a­gainst thee, I am not wor­thy to be called thy son; O [Page 220] make me as one of thy hir'd servants: let me not want the thing without which I cannot serve thee. For Lord, in thee is my trust, let me never be confounded Amen.

Sect. LXVI. The sickness of the Soul.

THe diseases of the body, as the Ague, the Stone, the Pox, the Palsie, the Plague, Impostumes, &c. Are cured either by Physick, tract of Time, or ended by Death: But the diseases of the soul, as Pride, Envie, Malice, &c. are cured nei­ther by Time, Physick, nor [Page 221] Death; but onely by the blood of Jesus Christ: there­fore, seeing the diseases of the soul be so incurable, and the Physick so precious, we had need to be watchfull of our selves, that though we have a sick body, yet a sound soul.

Sparke 66.

O Lord, my soul is sick with divers diseases, my wounds great, and my Ma­lady grievous, heal m [...] therefore, O Lord, for my bones are vexed, yea, heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee; speak the word Lord, and thy ser­vant shall be healed.

Sect. LXVII. Paul's desire.

THey that live most ho­nestly, will die most willingly. For willing­ly doth the traveller que­stion about his Inne. Often casteth the Apprentice when his years will expire. Many times will the woman that hath conceived wish her de­livery. And he that knows his life to be away to death, and his death the doore to joy, will often covet to be dissolved and to be with Christ.

Sparke 67.

O Lord, while we breath here, grant that we may live in thee; and departing hence we may live with thee for ever, being sound in faith, and strong in hope, look­ing with chearfullness for the day of our departure, and the joyfull appeare­ing of thy Son Jesus Christ our Redeemer; and in the hour of death; Lord, let thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation. Grant this, O Lord, for thy sonne and my Saviour, thy Lamb and my loving advocate Jesus Christ the righteous, A­men.

Sect LXVIII. The Sinner's Wound.

EVery worldling some­time or other is sorry for the vices he followeth, as the drunkard for his drunkennesse, the whore­monger for his uncleanness, &c. But the godly man ne­ver repents him of any ver­tuous action. For when did any man repent that he did relieve the poor? who was sorry that he kept him­self chast? who ever had cause of grief because he did not rob or steal? who ever repented him for being pa­tient, humble, mercifull? [Page 225] sober, honest, and faithfull? But sinfull actions leave a sting behinde them, which hardly can be cured; where­as Godly deeds, how bit­ter soever they seem in the doing, yet being done, in­stead of leaving a sting be­hind them, they minister a sweet comfort unto the doer.

Sparke 68.

My blessed God, give me evermore grace to avoid e­vill and to do good, to hate the works of darkness, which causeth nothing but shame, grief & repentance, and to put on the Armour of light, that may shield me with comfort, and save me from confusion.

Sect. LXIX. The Christian's Primer-Book.

HE that will be a Scho­lar in Christianity may take Mount Calvarie for his school, the Crosse for his meditation, Christs wounds for his letters, his stripes for his comma's, his nailes for his full points, his open fide for his book, and to know Christ and him crucified for his les­son.

Sparke 69.

Lord, open mine eys that I may know thy son Jesus [Page 227] Christ and him crucified. Grant I may enter into life through theneer and living way, which thou hast pre­pared, that is, through thy bloud and passion; so that no tribulation, nor anguish, nor persecution, neither hunger, nor naked­nesse, neither perill nor sword, neither death nor life may separate us from thee, to whom be praise and glory both now and ever more, Amen.

Sect. LXX. The Courtier's walke.

COurtiers, desirous by following Prince's Court to benefit themselves and to raise their house for them and their posterity, ought to be carefull to know the right way by which they may be exalted, being but earthly men, see­ing there are but four ways ordinarily whereby all hea­vy things here below may be promoted; first, By art, at the water that of it self is heavy, and by nature runs downward, is by skil and knowledge not onely drawn up as high as the fountain from whence it [Page 229] first sprang, but far higher. Secondly, by nature's or­dinary course in things here below, as in trees and plants, whose tops do mount up so much the higher above the earth, by how much their roots are lower and deeper in the earth. Thirdly, by vertue & power of the celestial bo­dies, as those vapours that are exhaled up by force and vertue of the Sun-beames. Lastly, by force and vio­lence used here below to drive things upward, as when an arrow is shot up from a strong bow, a stone from a sling, or a bullet from a piece; by which vi­olence things suddenly mount up, but doe as sud­denly fall again. In like [Page 230] manner are men exalted here upon earth: Some by art, learning and indu­stry exalt themselves and their houses, not onely as high as the fountain of their bloud & linaege, but far above them as Moses, So­lomon, &c. have done: some again by their humble ser­vice to God and their Prince do root themselves to low in the earth, that their fair boughes and branches of their name and posterity grow extraordi­narily in height above o­thers, and by reason of their sure and sound root­ing continue longer before they either fall or decay; And so did Christ and his Apostles exalt themselves: some like the vapours are [Page 231] immediately drawn up on high by the celestiall power and pleasure of God, by his extraordinary mercies to try them, as Lucifer, Saul Herod, Nabuchadnezzar &c. who, if th [...]y be earthly, wa­tery, and impure vapours, are cast down again after a while like thunderbolts, or at least dissolved into water; but if they be pure, fine and dry, they will be set on fire and burne with zeal to God in their exal­tation as David, Elias, &c. L [...]stly, There be some that leek to exalt themselves by violence and indirect means, as by treason, op­pression, Tyrany, bribery and extortion; these as by their violence they mount up suddenly, so do they [Page 223] soon fall fearfully, as Saul, Balthasar, Haman, Herod, Gehezi, and Judas did.

Spark 70.

O Lord, we are all in thy view, and often tread with­in thy great chamber of presence, grant that we may learne to be wiser unto Salvation,Ephes. 3.18, 19. that we may be able to comprehend with all Saints what is the breadth and length, depth and height and to know the love of Christ which passeth all knowledge, that we may be filled with all fullness of God. Let us af­ter the example of our Sa­viour be so rooted in cha­rity, so grounded in humi­lity, and so humble in our [Page 233] owne conceit before thee, that we may acknowledge with Abraham that we are but dust and ashes; with Ja­cob that we are less than the least of thy mercies: with the Centurion that we are not worthy that thou shouldest come under our roof; and with the Prodi­gall child confesse, that we be no more worthy to be called thy sons. For he that humbleth himself shall be exalted of thee, O King of Heaven; and he that exal­teth himself shal be brought low. Good Father, if it please thee to exalt us sud­denly in thy mercy, as thou didst David from the sheep-fold, Mordeicai from the gate, Joseph from the dun­geon, and Daniel from the [Page 234] Den; let us not be puffed up, but still say with David, I will be more humble yet: let us with Dauid cry out in the Court of the Lords house, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and with Elias mount up in a fiery Chariot of fervent zeal. And if at any time thou please to correct us for our pride & presumption, good Lord, cast us not down suddenly like a thun­derbolt, as thou didst Lu­cifer and Balthasar; but give us grace and space to re­pent with Nebuchadnezzar; that at last like a watry va­pour we may melt in sor­row with Mary Magdalen, and dissolve into tears with Peter through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Sect. LXXI. The Creature's Call.

THe little birds when the day appeareth do in th [...] kinde seem to be thankfull for their rest; and in the evening likewise with chirping notes th [...]y praise God for the light that they enjoyed, and so take their rest again. Shall we hear these to sing melody unto God, and not sing the base with them to make up a per­fect harmony and a full concent?

[...]
[...]

Sparke 71.

Lord teach me to praise thee betimes in the morn­ing,Psal. 55. and let the lifting up of my hands be an evening sacrifice unto thee, for Je­sus Christs sake, Amen.

Sect. LXXII. The quick buried.

VVHen we begin to be men, we begin to be sinners; and when we begin to be sinners, we be­gin to be dead; and when we begin to be dead, we be­gin to be buried; first, in our mothers womb, th [...]n [Page 237] in the cradle, afterwards in our beds, and at last in our graves.

Sparke 72.

Grant (O Lord)Psal. 39. Rom. 8. that re­membring my end I may live in thy fear and die in thy favour, Amen.

Sect. LXXIII. Sinners visage.

EVery sin seemeth fair before the action, sweet in the action, and poison after the action. For three things follow after the committing of every sin, to wit fear, shame, and guilt: [Page 238] the fear of hell, shame of men, and guilt of consci­ence.

Sparke 73

Lord, if these will not make me loath sin,Exod. 20.6. yet let thy love make me leave it, and thy mercy forsake it.

Sect. LXXIV. The Covetousnesse of the God­ly.

IF I be rich, I may want: If I be strong I may be o­vercomed. If I be learned I may be deceived: But if I be wise, I shall be perfect. For the fear of the Lord is [Page 239] the beginning of wisedom, and a good begining ma­keth a good ending. This made Solomon to pray for wisedom, Moses to study for wisedom, and the Queen of Sheba to travaile for wise­dom.

Sparke 74.

Grant (O Lord) that I may learn, to fear thee, that I may begin to be wise;Prov. 1. Psal. 111. and keep thy laws that I may have understanding.

Sect. LXXV. Too much of one thing is good for nothing.

IT hath been said alwayes that the mean is best, and that the middle way is the golden way. But we see by experience that extremity beareth rule in this world: For every Vertue there are two Vices; we will be ei­ther too curious or too careless: Either we cry Ho­sanna, or Crucifie. Either Christ must not wash our feet, or else he must wash our feet and bodies toge­ther. Either we say, tast not, touch not, for it is unclean; or [Page 241] else we say, let us eat and drink, for to morrow we shall dy. If we love, we over love, If we be fearfull, we are too fearfull, If angry, we are too angry.

Spark 75.

Lord, give me grace to fear, but not to despair,Eccles. 2. Psal. 4. Ephes. 4. Prov. 4. to be angry, and not to sin; to decline from thy Statutes neither to the right hand nor to the left, Amen.

Sect. LXXVI. The Flatterer's Gesture.

ON the Stage of wick­ednesse the Flatterer [Page 242] playeth his part best: For he is like a shadow, which doth imitate the gesture of the body: For it stands when you stand, walks when you walk, sits when you sit, and rises when you rise. So the Flatterer will praise, when you praise, reprove, when you reprove, smile, when you smile, and frown when you frown; till the Sun of his hope is set, and then no shadow, no Flat­terer.

Sparke 76.

Prov. 13.Deliver me (O Lord) from a flattering tongue, and from the net that he spreadeth for my steps.

Sect. LXXVII. The abused Creature's Grave.

THe Glutton and the Covetous man never cease to bury Gods Crea­tures, untill themselves be buried; for the one buri­eth them unlawfully in his belly, & the other, miserably in his chest. Therefore, at the generall resurrection, these Creatures will rise in judgment against these men.

Spark 77.

Keep me, O Lord, from surfeiting and excess, and from coveting any thing but thy Grace.

Sect. LXXVIII. The Careless Christian.

I See that every man, sa­ving a Christian, studies to be perfect in his vocati­on, and carefull to know and observe his grounds. As the Grammarian, his Rules: The Philosopher, his Axioms: The Lawyer, his Maximes: The Physiti­an, his Aphorismes: The Musitian, his Keyes & Mea­sures. These observe their grounds, though they be many in number. But the Christian hath but few Principles, and yet can keep few or none of them; for [Page 245] all the Principles of Religi­on are, to love God with all our heart, and our Neigh­bour as our self.

Spark 78.

Most loving Father, grant me perfect love, and then I shall fulfill thy Law,Rom 13. Gal. 5. 1 Cor. 15. and be skil [...]ul in the rules of Chri­stianity, through that load­stone of love Jesus Christ, Am [...]

Sect. LXXIX The House-holder's Office.

EVery man in his House, should beare the same Office as Christ doth in hisGen. 32. [Page 246] Church, who is King, Priest, and Prophet: So most that good man be, a King to rule his Family and to cor­rect his Children, so did Jacob: A Priest to pray for his Children,Job 1. 1 Kings 2.2 so did Job: And a Prophet to teach and instruct them, so did David.

Spark 79.

Grant (O Lord) that I may correct my Children: For,Prov. 13. The sparing of the rod is the spoyling of the Childe. Teach me to instruct them in their youth, that they may it, when they are old. Teach me how to pray both for me and them:Mat. 7. For to him that knocketh it shall be o­pened.

Sect. LXXX. A Medicine well tempered.

THough God's blessings be sweet alwayes in themselves, yet he maketh them often times seem more sweet to us by the manner of giving them; as when he sends a calm after a great tempest; perfect health af­ter long sickness; free li­berty after close Imprison­ment; a bright day after a dark night; a blessing to Jacob after long wrastling; the Land of Canaan to Israel after long Warre; riches to Job after great poverty; light to Paul after long [Page 248] darkness; Sorrow for a night to his Children, but joy in the morning.

Spark 80.

O Lord, If thy blessings taste not sweet enough in the mouth of my sickly and sinfull soul, feed me some­times with [...]hy tart benefi [...]s, that thy sweet bl [...]ssings m [...]y be the more welcome to me, and my self more thankfull unto thee; that I may say with David, [...]er. 10, 24. It is good for me that I have been in trouble, for before I was troubled I went wrong.

Sect. LXXXI. Sin's port-way.

IF a man wil take his jour­ney towards Hell, he need not fear to be out of his way, for that way is both common and plain, where he shall overtake many to bear him company; but none coming back to bring him commendation to his friends. But he that will resolve to take his voyage towards H [...]aven, shall have much ado to finde the way; for it is a troublesome path frequented but by few, and therefore we had need to set forwards betimes, if we will [Page 250] come to the end of our jour­ney. But the best is, though we travail [...] hard to come to it, yet when we come, we shall be sure of a good lodging, where we may be joyfull and merry, and rest for ever without any more pain; banquetting and feast­ing, like glad children in our elder brother's house.

Spark 81.

Psal. 5. Psal. 139. Psal. 143.10: Luk. 16. Mat. 4. Exod. 23, 20Teach me (O Lord) thy way, and let thy holy spirit direct me, thy Word con­duct me, and the blessed An­gells attend me, that I nei­ther wander, fall, nor stum­ble untill I arrive at the ha­ven of happiness to dwell with thee forever more, A­men.

Sect. LXXXII. The chiefest Trade.

VVHen men are a­bout to bind their children to any Trade, they will commonly be carefull to know that profession wherein they may be admit­ted with less charge, where the Professor is of good name and credit, the calling honest, and gainfull, and whereby in the end, they shall be sure to come to great preferment. Christianity is the best profession of all; and such a calling that the poorest man may be admit­ted unto without charge. [Page 252] Who is of greater credit than God? And who can choose a better mast [...]r to serve than his Maker? The calling is most honest and gainfull: For what greater honesty, than to do unto all men, as I would they should do unto me? And what greater gain than godliness? Lastly, having served out the time, what greater free­dome can any have, than to be a free-man of Heaven? & what greater preferment can any wish, than to have a Crowne of glory, and life everlasting?

Sparke 82.

O Lord, this is onely my profession; I am bound to it since I was a child: How­beit, [Page 253] I have a thousaand times broken my Inden­tures, and run away from thee, and thou hast still brought me back again and forgiven me. I am ashamed (L [...]rd) I have so often dis­pleased so gentle a Master. Good Lord, forgive me for Jesus Christ's sake, Amen.

Sect. LXXXIII. The best conception.

SOme have bin for a time barren in body, but fruitfull in soul, so was Sa­rah, Rebecca, and Elizabeth. Some have been fruitfull in body, but barren in soul, so were Lot's Daughters, that so readily conceived of their Father. Some again [Page 254] are fruitfull both in body and soul, and so was the blessed Virgin, for she con­ceived Christ in her womb, and pondered all his say­ings in her heart.

Sparke 83.

Lord, grant that how barren soever our bodies be in multiplication, yet our souls may be always bring­ing forth fruit in due season, conceiving a good faith in thee, and bringing forth good works to thy praise and glory.

Sect. LXXXIV. Welcome God's Will.

SOme men have many children, and have no inheritance for them; some have inheritance and no children; some have both children and inheritance; some neither children, nor inheritance, &c.

Sparke 84.

Lord, if it please thee to send me many Children without inheritance, make them thine by adoption; and then they shall be inhe­ritors of thy Kingdome. If [Page 256] thou send me children and inheritance, make me the more thankfull unto thee, and let me not esteem them above thee. If I have neither children nor inheritance, then give me a lively faith in Christ to purchase Hea­ven for my patrimony, and to become a childe my self, that I may have thee for my Father. But if it please thee to send me wealth without children, Lord, give me grace to bestow it upon my poor brethren, which are thy children, and my spiri­tuall kinsmen; for in so doing I do but lend unto thee of thine owne, & thou wilt be sure to pay me the best interest.

Sect. LXXXV. For us men and for our salva­tion he —came down from heaven.

VVHen I view the earth, and see that of her own accord she brings forth both herbs and fodder and food suffici­ent for all creatures, save man, wi [...]h [...]ut labour or tillage, and that onely man must till and labour for his food; then I well perceive (Lord) that it is man onely that hath and do h daily offend, and not the bruit creature.

Spark 85.

Good Lord, forgive me my sins both originall and actuall, that I with all thy elect may evermore praise thee, that the earth may bring forth her increase, and that God, even our own God, may give us his bles­sing, &c.

Sect. LXXXVI. The Kings Court.

IF it pleased such as at­tend the Court to see the difference between the Court of Princes here on earth and the Court of the [Page 259] King of Glory in heaven; they would quickly for­sake all the Profits of the one to attaine unto the pleasurs of the other. For First, He that will be a Courtier here, must often forsake his own Countrey where he lived at ease, the place where he was known and beloved, the neighbors of whom he was visited, the goods wherewith he was maintained, his wife and children of whom he was comforted; yea, often be [...]ain to remove when the Court removeth, trusse up his baggage, and load his horses, seek him a newlodg­ing. But he that will mind to be of the great King's Court, shall not go out of his Country, but come [Page 260] into his Country, not go from his neighbors that lo­ved him, but to such neigh­bours as wil ever love him, he shall not there forsake his parents but meet them; not lose his goods but find them; not misse his comfort but receive it; not often re­move, but for ever be at rest and most sure of a pleasant lodging Secondly, In follow­ing earthly Courts a man shall hear many discontented persons about the Court, that, if he be good, shall of­fend him much; such as are rejected and favourlesse Courtiers meeting together murmuring at their Prince, backbyting his councelors and Offic [...]rs, c [...]ntemning his Laws, envyng his libe­rality, grudging at others [Page 261] favours; some perhaps blas­pheming th [...] d [...]vine provi­dence for ei h r placing or suff ring such to be in credit, and themselves to be discarded. But in the su­pream Court of heaven e­very one shall hear his King glorified, and his maker praised, not envying but all rejoycing at the prefer­ment and glory of their fellowes as at their own. Thirdly, when perchance in these earthly Courts a m [...]n may be crept into his Prin­ce's favour to day, as Ha­man was, he may be out to morrow, and while he continueth in favour he feareth every hour to fall; and if ever he be once out of favour and in disgrace, he commonly despaireth of [Page 262] regaining his former credit. But it is not so with such as wait upon the Lord; For whom the Lord loveth he lo­veth him unto the end; he writes him in his Book cal­led Ʋade mecum, and from thence he shall never be blot­ted out, though the earth be moved, and though the hills thereof be cast into the midst of the sea.Psal. 46.2. Fourth­ly, In the Court of earthly Princes men must be fear­full to move their Prince, and to speak unto him, and most commonly use their means that be most in fa­vour to speak for them: But in the high Court of heaven every Saint and Subject of the great King may boldly approach to the throne of grace, and speak to his So­veraigne [Page 263] as to his kind and loving Father. Fifthly, Men commonly to win the fa­vour of earthly Princes must spend much time and indure much toyle, and the least dislike will oftentimes put them out of favour a­gain; and if they forgive the fault, yet he should want their favour: But God up­on our willingness to do him service presently ac­cepts of us as he did of the prodigall child, and if we do offend him, he is the slowest to conceive displea­sure, and the readiest to for­give. This made the good King of Israel to say, that he had rather be a door-keeper in the house of the Lord, than to dwell in the Palaces of Princes.

Sparke 86.

O most Mighty, Magnifi­cent, and most Glorious King, though we be unwor­thy to take the name of so high a Monarch in our mouthes, or to lift up our sinful eyes unto the heaven­ly throne of thy glorious Majesty, trusting in our own worth & worthiness; Yet having thy Word for our warrant, thy Spirit for our guide, and thy Son for our advocate, we are imbol­dend to approach thy pa­lace, and through th [...] blood of thy Son and by his me­rits and obedience we see by the eye of Faith thy gol­den Scepter of favour and free access stretched out un­to [Page 265] us. Therefore we will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercies;Psal. 84 2.84.10 65. for most amiable are thy dw [...]llings, O Lord God of hosts! my soul hath a de­sire and a longing to enter into thy Courts; For one day in thy Court is better than a thousand. O Lord, bless [...]d is the man whom thou choosest and receivest unto thee; he shall dwell in thy Court, and sh [...]ll be sat [...]sfi [...]d with the pl [...]asures of thy House Good Lord, give me grace to love thee above all things, and the place where thin [...] honour dwelleth. O Lord, gra t that I may dwel in thy house for [...]ver; and during the time of my pil­grimage here, in thy House of Grace; grant I may [Page 266] lead an uncorrupt life, doe the thing that is right, speak the truth from my heart, neither doing evill to my neighbour, nor slandering him, nor setting by my self, but to be lowly in mine owne eyes, making alwayes much of them that fear thee, having alwayes a regard to keep both my oath and my promise with God & man, hating all oppression, bribe­ry, and usury; that when the time of my removing shall come, I may be sure to be transl ted from thy Court of Grace into the Kingdom of Glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord, A­men.

Sect. LXXXVII. The Sea-mans Card.

DAvid said not without great reason, that those that go downe to the Sea in Ships, and occupy their business in great waters, see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep: For indeed, those that be often at Sea be­hold so many wonders and such diverse godly observa­tions, that they never want there either a Sermon or a Preacher, for every thing a­bout them preacheth unto them: First, those Crea­tures that are in the Sea, are great in quantity and in­numerable, [Page 268] exceeding farre the number of land-Crea­tures, and y [...]t they all mul­tiply without any lustfull copulation; whereby we see that there is no encre [...]se like unto that which is void of sin and carnall lust; such as the fruit of Zachariah and Elizabeth was; or of Abra­ham and Sarah. Again, [...]he condition of the Sea doth b [...]st describe unto us the condition of the world: For as the Sea is in continu­a [...]l motion and never quiet, but som [...]times toss [...]d up to the heavens, and suddenly falling down again, to the terrour of the beho [...]ders; So in this world, some are one while like proud surging waves hoysed up unto the highest sphear of honour, [Page 269] and in a moment again thrust down, into the low­est Down & Den of disgrace. Secondly, as the Sea is al­wayes unquiet untill it cast up his dead; So the world is ever roaring and uneasie untill it cast out of it such as are dead unto the world, and live unto God; such the world is ready to vomit up & to surfeit upon. Third­ly, as in the Sea the greater fish do devour the lesser, and small ones; So do the po­tent in this world eat and swallow up the poor. Fourthly, as the Sea is full of dangers, as Rocks, Sands and Syrens, &c. So is the world full of tri [...]lls and travells, deceit and trouble, perills without & terrours within (as the Apostle says) [Page 270] casting Job into the Dung­hill, Daniell to the Den, and Joseph to the Dungeon. Fifthly, as often times in the midst of greatest calms there ariseth at Sea the soa­rest tempest; So oftentimes in the midst of the worlds solace ariseth the greatest sorrow. Sixthly, the Sea is no certain place of abode, but serves onely to bring men to some surer haven or harbour: No more is this world any certain place of dwelling for us, but a mean to bring us to that City which we expect for. Se­venthly, as a man on the Sea cannot saile whither he would, but whither the winde driveth him; So is it not in the power of man in this world to do what he [Page 271] will, or to go whither he will, but onely as the Spi­rit of God guideth him. Eighthly, as the water of the Sea is brinish and bitter, and the extreamest holes and end thereof but sand; So is the world bitter and distastfull, & the end there­of but sand, dust, and ashes: And as upon the Sea Ships do alwayes sail; So on the Sea of this world, the Church of God like Noah's Arke doth continually a­bide, whose main-Mast is the Cross of Christ, her Sails the holy Scriptures, her An­chor true Faith, her Pilate the Spirit of God, hee Calls Christian Hope, and Gods gracious Promises, her chief Master & Governour, Christ himself. This Ship is often [Page 272] tossed and troubled with the tumults of our Enemies, which are like uno foure tempestuous windes; the Atheist, the Turk, the Pa­pist, and the Puritan. The Atheist acknowledgeth not the Ship-Master, the Turk would hew down her main-Mast, the Papist would take away her Anchor-hold, & the Puritan would break her Sterne of Government, and cast away her Ordnan­ces: But God still these windes. Yet those that are at Sea se [...] by their Card that in the midst of tempestuous weather the needle of their Compass remaineth always unmovable, & stayeth upon one point, because it go­verns it self by the Pole. In like sort the soul of a faith­full [Page 273] Christian in the midst of all these unruly windes, and sturdy stormes, will stand quiet, & enjoy a most assured peace, because his love and affection, like the needle point, aimeth at Heaven, and stayeth it selfe upon Gods Promise, which is the true Pole and Object of our love.

Spark 87.

O sweet Jesus, sleep not in the Ship of thy Church, still and stay all tempests and unruly stormes that may a­rise to terrifie us. Lord, look upon us in these dan­gerous times, wherein we are well nigh covered with wicked waves. Lord, save us least we perish, and re­buke [Page 274] these winds and waves that trouble thy poor Ma­riners.Mat. 8.23, 24, 25, 26. Good Lord, walke thou with us upon the Sea of this world, that if the Sea cast us up as dead, thou mayest receive us. Hinder the great Leviathan to de­vour us, and the mighty Nimrods of the world to hunt after us, and let the needle of our affection re­main alwayes stedfast to the Pole of thy Promises. Be with us on the Sea as thou wast with Jonah, and on the Land as thou wast with Jo­seph; that if we be cast to the Whale's belly with the one, or into the Prisons profundity with the other, yet do thou never forsake us. But till our Cause be knowne, let us still out of [Page 275] the deep call upon thee; that the deep of thy mercy may help the deep of our misery, & so one deep may call upon another.

Sect. LXXXVIII. Good Service.

IT is the common custom of many men to use their servants as they do their apparel, that is to cast them away, when they are worne out, and can serve them no longer as before. Happy are they therefore that serve such a Master in youth, that will be sure not to forsake them in age, and for a little sorrow on earth, will give [Page 276] them continuall, solace in Heaven.

Sparke 88.

Grant Lord, that I bestow both life and Limbe, time and talent to thy glory; that now being by Christ delivered from the hands of mine Enemies, I may serve thee without fear all the dayes of my life.

Sect: LXXXIX. Christ's Rest.

O My Saviour, thy first lodging was a new womb, wherein never man before was conceived: Thy [Page 277] second lodging a new tomb, wherein never man before was buried: And thy third lodging must be in a new heart that must never be de­fi [...]ed.

Sparke 89.

Grant Lord, that as thy Mother conceived thee in her wombe, so I may con­ceive thee in my heart. Lord, let my heart be thy grave, thy stable and manger, thy Tem le, and thy dwelling House, that I may dwell in th [...]e and thou in me for evermore, Amen.

Sect. XC. Hopes Confirmation.

VVHen I see the earth to bring forth all things that are committed unto it, my hope is confir­med, and my joy increased, because I know it must one day r [...]store our bodies com­mitted in trust unto it, and then the year of the great Jubile will come, when such as groan under their burden and all the lands Prisoners shall be set at li­berty: For the just in Christ (saith David) shal flourish as the Palm tree, which though it have many weights at the [Page 279] top, and many snakes at the root; yet is it still nei­ther oppr [...]ssed with the weights, distressed with the snakes: so though the earth oppresse us, and th [...] worms devour us, when our Salva­tion draweth neer at hand, we shall lift up our heads again, & shall no more die, but death and corruption shall die in us. Then may ev [...]ry one of us sing with David, I layd me down and sl [...]pt, and rose up again, for the Lord sustained mee: O my God, how many things hast thou ordained to strength­en my faith? and to con­firm my hope herein? For the sun setteth and is closed up in darknesse, and yet ri­seth again the next mor­ing. The moon waneth e­very [Page 280] moneth, and becom­eth small or nothing to our sight; yet it groweth again to her glorious and former light. The trees in winter are as dead before us, and all their beautifull leaves withered, wasted and fallen away; yet when the spring commeth they revive again, and are gor­geously cloathed as be­fore. The Lion being too long ere he finde his prey, when he comme [...]h home he findeth his whelps dead, and with his very roaring revi­veth them again. The Peli­can by her blood reviveth her young ones. The Phe­nix from her dead ashes re­ceiveth life. The Serpent being cut in twain by ly­ing a while in the dung, [Page 281] knitteth her self and revi­veth again. Many small birds for the Winter lie in fens, holes and caves and trees, as buried and dead; yet rise again in Spring and sing melodiously. Lastly, what is our bed but the I­mage of our graves? the clothes that covers us of the dust and earth cast upon us? The little flea that biteth us, of the wormes that shall consume us? The Co [...]k that croweth, of the last Trum­pet. Therefore, as I rise up lustily when sluggish sleep is past; so I hope to ris [...] Joyfully to Judgment at the last.

Sparke 90.

G [...]nt me, O Lord a live­ly [Page 282] faith,1 Cor. 15. not to sorrow for my brethren that sleep in thee,Mat. 24. as one without hope; but rath [...]r to watch for the day of my redemption and the glorious comming of my saviour to deliver me from thi body of sinne;Rm. 9.7. that my vile body may be made like his gl [...]rious body, and that in the mean time whether I sl [...]ep or wake, I may continually hear the sound of thy Trumpe in mine ear, saying, Arise ye dead and come unto judgement; Phil. 3.21. and at last be ravished with the sweet sentence of my Sa­viour, Venite Benedicti, &c.

Sect. XCI. The fruitfull Valley.

I See alwayes the highest hills to be most barren, and the low valleys fruit­full; therefore the higher I exalt my self like a moun­tain, the more barren I shall be before God; And the lower I humble my self, the more fruitfull I am to o­thers by good and whole­some examples.

Sparke 91.

O Lord, teach me to learn meekness of thee that art meek, and to humble my [Page 284] self, that I may be exalted, Amen.

Sect XCII. The Scorner's Chayre.

IT is noted for no small disdain in Pharaoh to say, Who is the Lord, that I should obey him? Such as those Okes of Basan, and those tall Cedars of Lebanon in the height of their pride, as be­ing too wise to be moved with ordinary judgements. If we have th [...] honour to be Gods among men, or the power to work mighty things in the world;Hab. 1.16. We sa­crifice to our owne nets, and burne incense to our yarn; [Page 285] and say, if not in our mouth, yet in our heart, There is no God. Psal. 14.1. If our evill counsels have good success, and when we rebelliously transgress, we prosper in our wickedness; we spare not to say, Tush, Ezek. 9.9. the Lord seeth not. If when we multi­ply sin upon sin, and by the cords of vanity draw on the cart­ropes of iniquity, and adde thirst unto drunkenness, we be not plagued like other men, we presume to say, Tush, Zeph. 1.12. the Lord careth not, he will do nei­ther good nor evill. If God forbear us, we think his hand shortned, and if we do not feel his rod, we make a question of his power; yea, the irreligiousnesse of this prophane age is such, and growne to that impudency, [Page 286] as to dispute of principles and grounds of faith; to call, not onely God, and his holy Word the Scrip­ture, but Heaven, Hell, An­gells, Devills, the Resur­rection of the body and the Immortality of the soul in­to question; so that if he will finde any faith among such, he had need come with new miracles, and more than miracles, least our searching wits should finde the reason of them, or o­therwise conclude them to be but our ignorance of the cause. For whatsoever ex­ception either vain Philo­sophy,Exod. 3.2. or prophane Genti­lity took against the won­derfull works of God in el­der times; as that the bur­ning and not consuming [Page 287] Bush was but a Meteor;& 14.12. that the passage of Israel through the Red-Sea upon dry ground,& 16.15: was but the advan­tage of an Ebbe-tide; that the Manna which God rain­ed in the Wilderness, was but the Mildew of the Countrey;Josh. 6.20, that the fall of the walls of Jerico at the sound of the Trumpets, was but an Earth-quake; that our Saviour himself did no Miracles, but by the help of Belzebub; Yea, that and worse than that do the scor­ners and licentious wits of our times object against the power of God, & to make God and his power either nothing at all, or tie him unto second causes; as if th [...] world did run upon the constant wheeles of ever­lasting [Page 288] motions, which is not in his power, so much as in the power of a Clock-keeper, either to break or to alter.

Sparke 92.

O thou wonderfull, and powerfull Essence, whose strength is seen in our weak­ness, we beseech thee to give us grace to humble our selves under thy Almighty hands,Psal. 1.1. that we neither walke in the Counsell of the ungodly, stand in the way of sinners, & 10. nor sit in the seat of the Scorn­full. & 20.9. Arise, O Lord God, and lift up thy hand, forget not the poor, put th [...]m in fear, O Lord, that the Heathen may know themselves to be but men, for the ungodly walk on every side, 12.9. [Page 289] when they are exalted the chil­dren of men are put to rebuke. O Lord, thou canst do what­soever thou wilt both in heaven and earth; For hea­ven is thy seat, and the earth is but thy footstool; Yea, the earth is thine and all that therein is; the compass of the world, and they that dwell therein. O Lord, Psal. 24.1. by thy Word were the heavens made, and all the hosts of them by the breath of thy mouth, &c, Be thou exalted, Lord, in thine owne strength, so shal we sing & praise thy power for ever and ever, Amen.

Sect. XCIII. The Gospell's Law.

VVEll might our Sa­viour say, that he came not to destroy but to ful­fill the Law: For the Gos­pell of Grace is so far from taking away the obedience of the Law, as that it addeth to our obedience, and is se­vere against the affections, as the Law against the acti­ons of evill, making it theft to covet our N [...]ighbours goods, and murther to be angry with our Brother, & adultery to look upon a Woman to lust after her;Mat. 5.22. Ecl. 12.20. and Treason to curse the King, [Page 291] though but in thought:1 Thes 5.22 Esay. 2.18. Math. 12. restraining not only from evill but from all ap­pearance of evill; condem­ning not onely the Cart­ropes of sin, but the cords of vanity; taking a strict ac­count not onely of every wicked, but idle word; nay our wandring thoughts al­so.

Sparke 93.

O dear Father, thy law is a perfect law converting the soul. It is no eye-service that can please thee, but thou requirest truth in the inward parts. Good Lord, as thy Gospel is a new law adding perfection unto perfection: So create in me a new heart, and put a right [Page 294] spirit within me; that my thoughts being undefil'd may please thee; my words be­ing seasoned with grace may praise thee, and my actions being sanctified by thy spi­rit, and proceeding from the holy motions thereof, may glorifie thee. To whom be all honour praise and glory for ever, A­men.

Sect. XCIV. Ʋertue is in action.

GOd infused not the soul of man into a lump, or block, or such a body, as was unfit for mo­tion, but into such a bo­dy, [Page 293] as had legs, arms, hands, feet, eys and ears, to shew that we must not be idle, but work with our hands, la­bour with our feet, instruct with our tongues, and mark with our eyes.

Spark 94.

Lord, let me not be given to idleness, but be diligent in my place, and painfull in my calling, getting my li­ving either by the sweat of my browes, or my braines, that thou mayest not finde me idle all the day long, but working either in thy field or thy vineyard, and doing alwayes that which is just and acceptable in thy sight, through Jesus Christ, A­men.

Sect. XCV. — Passe the time of your dwelling here in fear.

AS we must give an ac­count of every idle word which we speak; so we must give an account of every idle hour which we spend. Therefore when we see the glasse run, or hear the clock strike, or the sun passe in the Diall, let us think that there is now a­nother hour come whereof we are to yield a reckoning, and so endeavour to sp [...]nd one hour better than ano­ther.

Sparke 95.

O Lord, let me rejoyce in thee evermore, pray con­tinually, and in all things give thanks, redeeming the time because the dayes are evill: let me passe no mi­nute idlely, but while I have the light, walk in the light; for the night will come wherein I can work no more.

Sect. XCVI. The Merchant's gaine.

SAint Paul, the vessell of honour, doth teach that Godliness is great and true [Page 296] gaine: Let us therefore seek and search, hunger and thirst for this gain. Let the love of godlinesse (not of money) break our sleep, possesse our thoughts in the night; let us minde it first in the morning, and medi­tate on it most in the day time. And as the Merchants for his gaines, maketh long voyages, hazards life and health, sequesters himself from his wife and children: So let us for the Kingdom of God indure troubles without, & terrours with­in, leave wife and children, and with a valourous mind passe all the seas and storms of this world: and as the covetous Merchant, the el­der he waxeth the more greedy he is to gather; so [Page 297] the elder we are, let us make the more carefull provision of faith and good works. If we be Merchants, let us ex­change our commodities for better; let us leave our avarice, that we may receive content; refuse sin that we may receive our Saviour. One soul is more precious than the whole world, let us then sell the world to save our soules. The Kingdome of Heaven is a Pearl that can­not be purchased except we part with all we have. If we be merchants, let us ven­ture for it. Who would not with the poor fisher-men leave an old net to follow Christ?Math. 4. Who would not with the woman of Samaria change a cup of well water for the water of the foun­tain [Page 298] of life?Luk. 19. Who would not with Zacheus do away half his goods to obtain a King­dom? Who would not with the penitent thief bestow a broken heart, and a short prayer for a Crown of glo­ry?Luk. 21. Who would not with the poor widow forgoe a mite to receive a million? Who would not with Christ and his holy Martyrs endure the Crosse, that he may enjoy the Crown? Who would not with the wise men exchange gold, frankincense and myrrhe to obtaine Grace, truth, and mercy?

Spark 96.

O God, thou art my God, my goods are nothing unto [Page 299] thee. Whom have I in heaven but thee, and whom shall I de­sire on earth in comparison of thee? O Lord, thou did'st with thy bloud arrest hea­ven for me, when thou wast circumcised, thou hast paid the whole, when thou wast crucified? then didst thou take our sins, and ga­vest us thy salvation. I am a poor banquerupt; I can offer thee nothing that is of worth, accept of my mite of devotion, my cold wa­ter of almes, my grain of faith, my desire of sorrow, my sighes of satisfaction, and my purpose to praise thee. Alas, sweet Jesus, I cannot give thee thy own goods to gain my own glo­ry. I have nothing left me but the name of Merchant: [Page 300] Satan, the man of War, hath taken away the gold of my faith: I have exchanged thy graces for the worlds vanity, and I have so long listened to the sirens of my own con­cupiscence, that I have made a shipwrack of all thy bles­sings. Sweet Jesus, pardon my doings, and pay thou my debts: Give me that life which thou hast pur­chased for me, and for­give me that death which I have purchased for my self by my sins, Amen.

Sect. XCVII. A Christian Salutation.

WHen a man first comes to a house, we use to say, you are welcome, when he is parting away, God speed you, or fare you well; when we meet with him on the high way, God save you: So when we see a man born, we may say, you are wel­come; for he is but newly come▪ When we see one under forty, God keep you for he is at the best: but if past forty, God speed you, or, fare you well; for he is going out of the world.

Sparke 97.

Lord, I am alwayes go­ing out of the world: there­fore, grant me a prosperous journey, and a happy arri­vall; teach me betimes to take my leave of all, and to follow thee; let me never look back to the Sodom of sin, till I come to the mountain of happy felici­ty, through him and by him who is the way, the truth and the life.

Sect. XCVIII. The way to preferment.

HE that will be joyfull must weep; he that will be satisfied must hun­ger and fast; he that will be rich, must give; and he that will bear rule, must o­bey.

Sparke 98.

Lord give me grace to hunger for thee, that I may be filled, to weep for my sins that I may be comforted; to give, that it may be given to me; to be mercifull, that I may obtaine mercy, to o­bey [Page 304] and be humble, that I may be exalted.

Sect. XCIX. The luke-warme Professor.

HE is like the twilight, neither day nor night; like the Autumne, neither faire nor foule; like one sick of an ague, one day well another day ill; or like the Mary-gold, that openeth and shutteth with the sun; having on eye towards So­dom, and another towards Zoar or like the butterfly on the glasse window, that will neither backward nor for­ward. If he puts his hand once to the plough, he is [Page 305] presently ready to look back: he is but almost a Christian like Agrippa: he is one while minded to be fel­low-servants with Paul, a­nother while resolved to leave him and to follow De­mas; embracing this pre­sent world; whose uncon­stant honour is so offensive and so loathsome to God, that he threatens to spew him out of his mouth.Rev. 3 16. He is earnest in nothing; runs both with the hound and with the hare: worships God and Baal; weares gar­ments of linnen & wollen; serves two masters, God & Mamon: he is as well for Romish Babylon as for En­glish Sion: he can be con [...]ent with as many religions, as he hath honours and vain [Page 306] affections. Whereas one heaven held not Michael and the Dragon in peace: nor one house the Arke and Dagon; nor one womb Jacob and Esau, nor one Temple prayer and mer­chandizing; nor one Camp the clean and leprous; nor one Bath John and Cerinthus, nor one tongue God and Milchom; nor one con­science true Religion and false superstition: yet the lukewarme mans heart is a seat for all these, and yet not const [...]nt and z [...]alous in any of these. It is enough with such a one to be out­wardly religious. I [...] he hath but a shew and shadow of religion he cares not for the substance.

Sparke 99.

O dear Father, that art one God, true and constant in all thy wayes, and un­changeable, yea, a jealous God and a consuming fire, grant that I may be true and constant in all my wayes, not having a shew of godli­ness, and denying the power thereof: let me not become half a christian like Agrippa; but grant unto me the love of thy servant John; the heart and constancy of Da­vid; the zeal of Phineas; the boldnesse of Peter; the re­solution of Paul; the pati­ence of Job; the perseverance of Joseph; the courage of Jo­shua; the earnestness of Moses, and the constancy and inte­grity [Page 308] of my Saviour: That so I may run the way of thy commandments, and count it my meat and drink to do thy will. Good Lord, make me every day more fervent of thy glory, more faithfull in thy service, more fearfull of thy judgements, and more sorrowful for my sins, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Sect. C. The death of his Saints is dear in the Lords sight.

IT is not without great reason that murther is so hatefull unto God; that the bloud of the slain crieth [Page 309] in his ears for revenge. For if we respect the majesty of Goh himself, what can be more odious to him than to see his own image defaced in his own presence? or what can be more contemptuous, than to kill one in his view which he loved so dear, that he gave his onely son to dy for him? Nay, what more wicked than willfully to deprive him of life, of whose life and safety God was so carefull, that he numbred the haires of his head, least one of them should perish?

Sparke 100.

O Lord, keep mee from bloud thirsty men, give me grace to love thy image for [Page 310] thy sake, and not to destroy that which thy hands have made, and for whom thy son died.

Sect. CI. The beastly Man.

IT was not for nothing that the Poets did faine men to be transformed into the shape of some beasts; for indeed we are worse in some things than beasts. The drunkard is more filthy than the swine; the mur­therer more cruell than the tiger; the wordling more subtile than the Serpent; the cholerick more angry than the Wasp; the covetous [Page 311] more greedy than the Wolf, the adulterer more leach­erous than the Goat. Yea, many beasts have exceeded us in vertue, but we exceed all in vice.

Sparke 101.

O Lord renew thy image in us, and repaire our de­fects: let us not any more with the Swine wallow in the mire of our filthiness. Instruct thou us, Lord, and let us not be like horse, and mule that have no under­standing, but keep us in thy wayes, that we walk in thy wisedom, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Sect. CII. The Foolish Worldling and the wise Christian.

BOth will yield honour to man, but diversely, the one honoureth him that hath the richest gar­ment, and other externall ornaments glorious to the eye: the other honours him most who is richly ador­ned within, with wisedom and good qualities. For as the world respects the out­ward man; so do the chil- of the world: And as God respects the inward man; so do the children of God. For if a man be vain out­wardly, [Page 313] he is like unto the world, and therefore the worldlings will honour him; but if he be good in­wardly, he is like God; and therefore the godly will reverence him.

Spark 102.

O Lord, grant I may give tribute to whom tribute, honour to whom honour, worship to whom worship, and fear to whom fear is due, through Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sect. CIII. Faith's feeding

Some Creatures by the providence of God are said to live in the air, as the Chamaeleon, & some in the water, as Fishes &c. some in the earth, as Wants and Wormes &c. & some in the fire, as Salamanders &c: but hope is such a creature, that is not tied to any one Element, but hath free liber­ty to comfort and refresh her self upon all these: As first, upon the aire and light of heaven: For how can we see the sun and the rest of those glorious Planets, to [Page 315] set and rise every day, and not be confirmed in our hope of our own resurrect­ion? Secondly, upon the fire, which we see covered and buried at night in the ashes, like our bodies in the dust, and in the morning to be kindled with a little dry straw, which may assure us, that [...]hough now the dust doth cover our bodies, (as it were for a night) yet the joyfull morning of our re­surrection will come, when our bodies shall be quicken­ed and lightened again with the candle of our soul through the power of our Saviour, and the fiery force of the holy spirit, that we may shine as bright lamps in his house for ever. Thirdly, is not our hope [Page 316] much sustained by the wa­ter, which now we see to decrease and ebbe, & within few hours after to flow and fill again all those empty chinkes and channels which of late were dried up, and so to revive them with a new floud and fresh current: and shall not those empty veynes of our bodies, and those holy arteries of our flesh at the spring-tide of the resurrection by the pow­erfull blowing of the Sou­thern wind of Gods spirit, be filled again with bloud, and the spirit of life? Fourthly, shall we observe the earth to bring forth all things committed unto her and not hope (without doubt) that she will one day likewise deliver up our [Page 317] bodies committed to their trust, and that much more glorious than she doth any corne or seeds which she keep but for lesse than a year. Let us not think it therefore unlikely for our vile bodies to be made glo­rious, seeing that fine pa­per is made of foul rags, and pure glasse of the ashes of ferne, yea, of a heap of, dry bones, faire and stronge bodies, and life given unto them with a blast of winde.Ezek. 37▪ For could God create all things of nothing and can he not work his own will in his own creatures? could he fetch light out of dark­ness, as it were out of a grave? can he in the womb of a woman of a little bloud frame a body distin­guished [Page 318] with so many and sundry instruments, as that it may go for a little world, and within the space of some few dayes add lif [...] un­to it? And can he not re­store the body that hath been so, to what it was? Can he quicken us in the womb of our mother, and can he not receive us in the womb of the earth? Can we fetch fire out of the flint, and can­not he fetch us out of the earth?1 King. 17.23. 2 King. 4 32 Acts 9.40. & 23.10. Could Eliah and Elisha raise the widow of Zareptha, & the Shunamites children? Could Peter raise Tabitha, and Paul Eutychus? and cannot God their Lord and ours raise both them and us?

Sparke 103.

O dear Father,1 Pet. 1. which by thy great mercy hast rege­nerated us to a lively hope by the resurrection of Je­sus Chrst from the dead,1 Tim. 3. Rom. 5. to the end that being justified by his grace we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternall life, which hope maketh us not asha­med; I humbly beseech thy Fatherly goodness to illu­minate the eyes of my soul, that I may clerely see what the hope of those is, Whom thou hast called to the in­corruptible inheritance of thy glory. And as thou hast in many of thy workes prin­ted the true character of our resurrection; so fix & fasten [Page 320] the same for ever in the heart and soul of thy ser­vant, that I be not as a man without hope, either of my own glorification or of theirs that sleep in thee;1 Cor. 15. that in the end this body of mine being renewed, and to my soul in farre more glorious manner reunited, I may in the society of Angells, being co-heir with the glorified Spirits, shine as the Sun in glory, and be fully united unto Christ the true Son of righteousness, and the first fruits of the resurrection. And let this holy meditati­on, and the hope to enjoy that full and perfect conten­tation so possesse my soule and senses, that it may be my thought, my pleasure, delight, labour and care to [Page 321] attain to that perfection through Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sect. CIV. God's wayes are not our wayes.

THere is a Speech of So­crates greatly commen­ded by St. Augustine, De consens. Evang. l. 1. c. 18. Ʋnum­quem (que) sic c [...]li oportere quomo­do ipsum colendum praeceperat: that is, Every god was to be honoured as he himself had gi­ven in Commandement; which sheweth by the judgement of a Heathen, that no man must serve his God after his own lust, but after Gods Law; not after our owne reason, but after God's di­rection: Least otherwise the [Page 322] Lord cry out upon us, say­ing, Who hath required this service at your hands? For is it reason that we should serve an earthly Master after his own will, and not serve God after his owne Law. Therefore certain it is that our good meanings in Gods service makes not al­wayes our doings good; neither is our Zeal a rule whereby we may measure out either our faith or good workes, but only the known will and pleasure of God. There wanted not a good intent or meaning either in the Isralites when they made a golden Calfe;Exod. 3.24. or in Nadab or Abihu, wh [...]n they offered strange fire; or in Saul, when he spared King Agag; or in Ʋzza, when he put his hand [Page 323] to hold the Arke; or in Je­hu, Levit. 10. when he would needs joyn the worshipping of Je­roboam's goldens calves with the worship of the true God of Israel.

Sparke 104.

O gracious Father, as in our godly endeavours, we intend thy service and not our own; so grant (good Lord) that in the doing thereof, we may alwayes have thy will for our war­rant, thy law for our levell, and thy commandments for our direction. Give us grace (dear Father) to shun and avoid all those things (be they never so good in mans sight) which thou ei­ther hatest or hast no plea­sure [Page 324] in: And that we be not blinde servers of thee, run­ning after our own inven­tions: grant us true under­standing and knowledge of thy word, which is the glass of thy will; that seeing therein both thy will and our own weakness, we de­sire thy grace to perform that which thou hast com­manded us, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Sect. CV. A Caveat for the Demas's of our dayes.

THat Caveat of our Sa­viour to his Disciples should be his Saints care, [Page 325] namely, to endure to the end that we may be saved;Mat. 10.22 and so to run that we may ob­tain; and not to look back with Lots Wife; or to faint in our journey, or be wea­ry of well doing. For to what purpose is it that the Marriner sayls prosperou­sly, and obtaines a rich prize, if he sink or suffer Shipwrack before he ar­rives at the haven of his own home. That a Chri­stian be laden with many Craces; and obtain the rich pearle of the Gospel, and be fairly imbarked for hea­ven, if afterwards he suffer Shipwrack of his faith? What availeth it a Captain to march hotly with Jehu, to fight manfully with Jo­nathan, if he turn his back [Page 326] with Ephraim before the end of the battaile? For us to encounter Satan, if we suffer him to s [...]yle and con­quer us? If the Souldier shall fly forth of the field, revolt from his Captain, forsake his colours, run from his company, and turn to the enemy; he dis­graceth his profession, dis­ableth himself for the Tro­phies of honour, and me­riteth condigne punishment O Lord, we are thy soul­diers, the Church is our field, Christ Jesus our Captain, thy word and Sacraments are our colours, the com­munion of Saints our com­pany: he that sh [...]ll fly forth of this field, revolt from this Captain, forsake these colours, run from this com­pany, [Page 327] and be found fighting under Satan's conduct; di­shonoureth his christian profession, depriveth him­self of the Crowne of glory, and incurreth the danger of God's heavy Judgement. For if we have given our names to Christ, served in his camp,2 Tim. 4 9. & 2.17. taken pay in his wars, and yet play the car­nall Apostates with Demas the Hereticall, with Hyme­neus and Philetus, the scorn­full with Julian the Emper­our, the spightfull with A­lexander the Copper-smith; their remaines small hope of receiving any comfort by the bloud of the Lambe, and Christ's eternall Sacri­fic [...]; but rather extream ter­rour in the expectation of his fearfull sentence; small [Page 328] probability of being clean­sed in his precious bloud, but rather a sore possibility of being devoured by a vio­lent fire. For he onely that fights the good fight, fini­shes his course,2 Tim. 4.7. and keeps the faith, can expect the Crown of righteousness.

Sparke 105.

O most mighty and mer­cifull God, which art able to give more than we can deserve or desire, for thy tender mercies sake keep me poor weakling and un­constant waverer from the shame of backsliding, and defend me from the dread­full sinne of Apostasie. Keep me by thy power that I fall not, restore me by thy [Page 329] mercy when I am fallen, preserve me by thy grace that I never finally fall away; take not thy holy spirit from mee, but establish me with thy free spirit, that I may be set­tled and confirmed in thy truth; that being effe­ctually sanctified in thy Kingdome of Grace, I may be eternally blessed in the Kingdome of Glory: Through the merits and mercy of thy sweet Son and my sole Saviour Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Sect. CVI. The Christian Weather-Cock.

Psal. 65.7.THe wavering Professor is not unfitly compared unto the waves of the sea:Esay. 17.12 It is the Lord that stilleth the raging of the sea, and the madness of the people. So delighted with novel ies, so full of alterations is the fickle faith, and the tempo­rizing profession of the pal­sie shaking members of the Church, that there be no waves so restless, no winde so mutable,Acts 28. no creature so changable: while the Viper hung upon Paul's hand he was a Murtherer, but in the [Page 331] turning of a hand, when the Viper was shaken off, he was counted a god.c. 3. v. 12. In Ezra the people wept because they had no Temple; but after, when the Temple was buil­ded, they wept as fast again, because the glory of the se­cond was not like the first.3.7. In Exodus the people groan and cry to be deliver'd from the tyranny of Pharaoh and their intolerable troubles;14.11. but the same people again cry out against Moses and Aaron for bringing them from Egypt, wishing to be there again. In Exod. 20.19. the people intreat that Mo­ses may be their Ruler and Spokes-man; but in Numb. 16.3. the same people refuse Moses and tax him for an in­termedler that taketh too [Page 332] much upon him. In Exodus 16.3. the people cry out for bread, and having bread from Heaven they gather it greedily, as if they should never have enough of it: But in Numb. 11.6. the same people despise & loath the same bread when they had it. In 1 Sam. 8.5. the peo­ple are very impatient and in a rage because they had not a King: But in 1 Sam. 12.19. they are very sorry and much displeased be­cause they sought a King and had him. In Matthew, on Palme-Sunday the people cried all unto our Saviour, Hosanna, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; spreading their gar­ments in the way, and cut­ting downe branches of [Page 333] trees: But within a se'night after, the same peop [...]e in­stead of Hosanna, cry out Crucifige; and instead of casting their garments in his way, they rob him of his garments; instead of cut­ting down branches of trees they hang him upon a tree. In the time of Constantius the Father of Constantine the Great, the people at the be­ginning were glad to im­brace the faith of Christ, and to offer the Sacrifice of praise unto him; but in a little while after the same people in hopes of prefer­ment by the Emperour's fa­vour, become very ready and willing to offer Sacri­fice unto Devils. In the time of Queen Mary there was la­mentation and crying out, [Page 334] that Idolatry was set up, the Church polluted, the light obscured, and the Gospell taken away; But afterward, when by the mer­cy of God the light was re­stored, and the Gospell ad­vanced; they murmured & cried out as fast again, that we had no Church, no Mini­stery, that truth was wrapt up in Ceremonies, and that all was Popish & Antichri­stian. In Acts 19. Demetrius and other subtle heads of the Tradesmen of Ephesus meerly for their own gain, raised a great tumult, and cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians: But present­ly the people were carried with such a tempest of fury, that the City was all in an uprore, and every man run [Page 335] and rushed whither he list in great conf [...]sion, and after much violence offered (vers 32.) the most-part knew not wherefore they were come together. For, as a weak & feeble brain followeth the waxing and waining of the Moon: So the brain-sick humour of many lukewarm Christians is subject and pli­able to every change and re­volution. Like the standing corne that shakes & bowes here and there as the winde bloweth, or like the wea­ther-cock that turnes with every blast; or the Urchin that altereth his door as the winde turneth; or like the Amphibia that will play one while upon the land, another while upon the wa­ter; or like the Israelites [Page 336] that spake both Ashdod and Hebrew. These are but half Christians, neither true Be­lievers nor meer infidells, they halt between two opi­nions, sometimes for the Ark and sometimes for Da­gen; now for Jehovah and presently for Baal: Not re­solving what Religion to profess, or what God to worship: Like Tully among the Romanes, who could not resolve, whether he should take Caesar or Pompey's part; or like Tidides amongst the Graecians, who could not de­termine whether he should joyne himself with Achilles or with Hector. These men are all for the time and no­thing for the truth; like E­cebolius, who suited his pro­fession to every Emperour's [Page 337] Religion; They with one breath call for fire from hea­ven with the Disciples, and say with Peter, Master, looke to thy self.

Sparke 106.

O Almighty God that art ever immutable and for ever one & the same, with whom there is no variable­ness or shadow of change, settle my heart in thy truth, and knit my soul unto thy Testimonies; that I may say as Elizeus said to Elias, as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. Give me grace not onely to promise with thy servant Peter, but also to performe, that though all the world forsake thee, [Page 338] yet I may never leave thee; but be so linked in affecti­on unto thee, the Saviour of our souls, and to thy truth, that neither tribute, nor anguish, nor persecu­tion, nor famine, nor na­kedness, nor perill, nor sword, nor death, nor life, nor Ang [...]ls, nor Principali­ti s, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other crea­ture shall be ever able to separate me from thy love in Jesus Christ. But as thou (Lord) hast made me for thine own self; so let my heart be alwayes unquiet while it is from thee,Rom. 8.35. and never at quiet till it comes unto thee, no more than the needle in the mariner's [Page 339] compasse till it turns to the North star; or the Dove till it come to the Arke, or the child till it comes to the breast; or the bee till it comes to the hi v. But be thou alwayes the center of my soul, the circumference of my thoughts, the star of my desire, the arke of my content, the loadstone of my love, the breast of my comfort, and the lodge of my affections; that I may ever believe in thee with­out wavering, professe thee without fearing, serve thee without diss [...]mbling, and love thee and thy word per­fectly, purely, and perpetu­ally, through Jesus Christ my Saviour and redeemer Amen.

THE END.

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