HEART-SALVE FOR A WOVNDED SOUL; AND EYE-SALVE FOR A BLIND WORLD, OR Meditations of comfort for the Holy Living, and Happy Dying Christian; ei­ther in the depths of dark Desertion, or in the heighth of Heavens Glorious Union.

The Second Edition, with an Addition of an Elegie upon an Eminent Occasion.

By Tho. Calvert, Minister of the Gospel.

When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? When he hideth his face, who then can behold him? Job 34.29.

O aeterna veritas, & vira charitas, & chara aeterni­tas; Tu es Deus meus, tibi suspiro die ac nocte: Aug. Confes. lib. 7. cap. 10.

LONDON, Printed by F. L. for Tho. Passenger at the Three Bibles on London-Bridge, and William Thorpe in Ousegate in Yorke, 1675.

To the Beloved and Honoured Lady in the Lord, Ursula Barwick Widow, full of Grace and Gravity.


I Have borrowed some con­fidence to set your name in the front of this Treatise, and concionary discourses, which my thoughts are you will freely vouchsafe me without grudge. In this I put you not to be the lug or [Page] handle to a common Pot, but to a choice and Golden Vessel: and whom you know of old seasoned with Christs liquor for his service. At first edi­tion I did nominally affix no dedication, there being some reasons preponderating in those wretched times, full of the worst parts of Arithma­tick, Divisions & Fractions of Church and State, Now first press being all exhaust, and some urging to have it in a 2d birth. I have yielded it the liberty of coming into the World again. Nor I hope you will be ashamed of pub­lishing the holy life of your sanctified Neighbour. Mat­ters there are all over in print of several natures: some A­doxa, [...] Z [...]zer in Chili­ad. 11. as pamplets in praise of Fornication & Drunkenness, [Page] of being in Debt, in praise of Baldness, of banishment, &c. Some are Amphilaxa, praising things of a middle nature, and indifferent, in themselves nei­ther good, nor evil. Some Paradoxa, strange things cryed up and commended beyond all mens sound opinions. O­ther writings are Eudoxa, of good and stanch report with­all are good and wise, truly praise worthy, as Grace,St. Hieron in Psalm 147. Vir­tue, Piety, Sobriety, &c. What I here give out is of this last sort, that will sute every good and holy palat, as Jews fable, that Manna answered e­very gust. If they thought of Hony, of Partrigdes, of any desired dainty, what they had in their minds, Manna was the representative of it to their Mouths. your Ladyship I choose for facing this Script, [Page] [...] you are much [...] she was, [...] much [...] [...]pon the deli­cate [...] one word and prayer, p [...]ly, privately, secretly And truly I must needs approve of your diet: for your body, caring to live Epicratically, rather than Hypocritically, Studying a course dayly of slender, so­ber, and plain feeding (though compast with much infirmity, and indispositions) rather then to live medically and Physi­cally, translating the Apo­thecaries Shop into your flesh.Barrad. in Itiner. Israel in Dis. The first mischief that let in all misery upon us, was Eves and Adams ill diet, neg­lecting the Tree of life to seek and taste the forbidden fruit. Indeed all our sin, misery, sick­ness, death, wrath of God, [Page] and Hell came in at this Gate of an ill diet: for our first pa­rents made it not their meat to obey and do the will of God, which should have been their corporal & spiritual diet. But it is your spiritual order of diet I most aim at and com­mend, the humble and quoti­dian feeding your Soul with waiting on God in the way he has commanded you, and pro­mised to bless you, you well digesting that word of our best Lord, Labour not for the meat that perisheth, but for that meat which endureth to everlasting life, Aquin. pust. 63. which the Son of man shall give unto you. Other meat perishes, and nourishes them that eat it to a perishing life; but Christs spiritual food endures for ever, abides with us, and [Page] nourishes us to the growing up to eternal life. Neither this meat, nor the man pe­rishes. A modern Roman Doctor of Physick disputes the case,Paul Zac­hias in Quest. Medico­legal. lib. 7. Tit. 2. Quest. 2. whether a Popish clergy man be excused and without blame, if sore trou­bled with the Asthma he ab­stain from his office of reci­ting divine things, as Preach­ing, Reading, Praying, Singing. He indeed deter­mines, that unless a sore Pa­roxysm, and a strong fit of the same be afresh come upon him, his speaking, singing and loud voycing will do him no harm; for he saith, all practical Physitians say, it is profitable and helpful for them that are Asthmatick, to read or speak with an high voyce (that is, if they be a­ble, and at the the instant not [Page] opprest with a violent assault) for it helps to purge the lungs of the matter impacted in them. But you look not to be ruled by him, but in and out of the strong invasions of the di­sease, you know how to breath high and loud in your Soul to God, when you breath strait­ly and strainingly to those a­bout you. Madam go on in this wholesome diet for Body and Soul: and if, while you are here below, you cannot in Body and Soul get into Hea­ven, yet continue and abide on the threshold of this beau­tiful Gate of the Heavenly Temple of Gods mercy: the Patient abiding of the meek shall not perish, nay such shall be fatherly and sweetly sup­ported to the end. Physitians cannot speak so much of the [Page] advantage of good and order­ly diet for Body, but from the word of God, we may reason as strong for the benefit of spiritual diet for the Soul: Let them tell us from their puni-godling,Hippo­crat. lib. de vet. Med. that if the sick would use the same diet they do, that are sound and whole, the Art of medicines would fall to nothing. Hereby he inti­mates, that great is the digni­ty of exquisite looking to di­et,Aurel. Severin. in Trin. Chit. as if it were all medicine. Wherefore they tell us, that the right hand in diseases and wounds is Physick and Chy­rurgery, but the left hand is diet, which doth very much. Now if we would study the most necessary Physick by di­rection of divine Medicks, then is nothing so necessary, as to learn to know God and ourAl [...]uinus. [Page] Souls. Philo the Jew tells us, the Essens three Principles were these, they studied wholly to be [...], to sea­son all their life and labours with love of God,Philo. Jud love of men, love of virtue. But we have a full voice of direct­ion,Mic. 6.8. and better particulared to us from Micah in his Ter­nary, He hath shewn thee, O Man, what is good, and what doth the Lord require of thee; but to do justly, to love mer­cy, and to walk humby with thy God. Or take we St. Pauls three, To live soberly, Righteously, and Godly, Tit. 2. in this present world. Or if we hearken to him he will tell us of taking good heed to these two things, which are the complex of the whole counsel of God.Acts 20. & 27. Repentance [Page] towards God, and Faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Or last­ly, take his unum magnum, his one great point of exercise, To have always a Conscience void of offence towards God and towards Men. Act. 24.16. Gen. 5.12. All comes to this one, to imitate Enochs holy Peripateticks, to walk with God continually. Many things of beauty and novelty are lookt after in this World, outwardly glorious and rich things are applauded: men and great persons dote upon rarity, and splendors of this World, and think those men are in a kind of Heaven, though they be very fairly for­ward in a way to Hell.Plato in T [...]ae [...]. Thus the glorious Tent and Taber­nacle of the great Persian Kings were called Ouranoi, the Heavens: you have learnt [Page] better to know Christ in the Soul, and the Soul in Christ to be Heaven upon Earth. He that believeth hath ever­lasting life. What a glorious vanity was that of Kings of Cusco and Mexico, one of them having a glorious Garden, where all the Trees, Fruits,Lord St. Aug. Herbs, Plants, Flowers ac­cording to order, and great­ness they have in a Gar­den, were curiously framed in Gold: and in his Cabinet all the living Creatures were known in Earth or Sea curi­ously fashioned and cast in Gold. A princely Heathenish vanity, would make his life no better then a, St. Augustine calls this life, A shadow in Moonshine, which is little more then shadow of a sha­dow. I know you more stu­dy [Page] to have all the fair flowers of Heaven, Faith, Patience, Humility, Meekness, Love of Christ, Thankfulness &c. cast in a sanctified model, by Gods Spirit kept in your heart and life, exceeding massy gold. Carlo Boccomeo, Bp. of Millain, Canonised for a Saint, said well, A Bishop should have no Garden, but the holy Scrip­tures. Go you on still to make Prayer your Garden and Flowers, and by holy glorifying of God, as St. Chry­sostome directs, Give up your five spiritual senses to wait on God continually. For the Soul has spiritual seeing, smel­ling, tasting, touching, hear­ing; which in their way ap­plyed to God, and his mani­festations, you shall not only please God, but give him Musick, and be his Decachor­da [Page] Cithara, St. Chry. in op. Im­perfecto in cap. 22. S. Matth. Hom. 24. his ten stringed Harp to praise him. No far­ther will I detain you, but pray for you, that you may have support of Gods Spirit in your great infirmities, try­als, and gravid years, to an­swer them from Heaven with grace sufficient for you, and very efficient in you, that when your strength of flesh and heart fails you, God may come in with fresh store and assure you of Holy Asaphs viaticum, that he will be the strength of your heart, & your portion for ever. He the Guide & Faher of his Israel lead you, till per [...] a right Chri­stian comfortable death, he bring you ad [...], to an immortal life, which all good Mortals wait for by Jesus [Page] Christ the blessed Purchaser, and unfailing Preparer of it.

So prays your ob­servant servant in the Lord. T. C.


FAith and assurance, the Christians Ourania, is better worthy Wooing and figh­ting for, then the Grecians Helena; the one is but the sub­ject of a worm-eaten beauty, the other carries with it a decor and beauty that no old age (no not Eternity it self) can wrin­kle or furrow with uncomeli­ness: holy Souls find it hard in [Page] the getting, and meet with [...] task, that makes them implo [...] all their shoulders and sinews fo [...] the keeping of it. The Labours of the Saints to fight with the Monsters that Satan sets on work against them,2 Cor. 2.11. Revel. 2.24. the scruples, doubts, fears, distempers, temp­tations, hellish methods, noe­mata and depths of the Serpent, do put a name of softness and fa­cility upon all Hercules his la­bours,Phil. 1.6. Phil. 4.13. & sore tryals with Beasts and Men; yet this is their com­fort, their help is more, for Christ having begun his Grace, will stand by them, and work for them till all his Heavenly business be perfected; and though the Serpent may rend the Skin, and wound the flesh of the Heel, yet Gods Servants shall end in capite, in the Head, both bruising the Head of the [Page] Serpent, and being sure to have the benefit as members of Jesus Christ their Head, of whom they hold. The first of these Texts was addressed and dressed for the wounded Heel of a gracious Saint, that was struck sick by the Serpent, of which sore (drinking up the moysture of her Spirits) she was dangerously, deeply, and distressfully sick, lying in the valley of the sha­dow of death 3 Quarters of a Year, day and night combating with God, about Ecclipses of his Face, desertions, manifestati­ons of wrath, apprehensions of hell, which squeezed out fre­quent confessions and complaints of an estate worse then Cains, an owning of the Sin against the Holy Ghost, a challenging repro­bation as its due portion. And besides the, sense of an angerful [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] God, there was continual com­bating with the spiteful Spiri [...] of Hell, every day ready t [...] write its own Epitaph with the blackest letters of damnation, and a lost Soul: All these ac­companied with solitude, and secrecie, with two & three days together fasting, praying, and weeping, till the eyes were turn­ed into buckets, and few spiritual comforters and legati pa­cis to be met withal, save one spirit of Grace, that had bound up the Soul in this Resolu­tion, Though God will not be my God, yet I will die praying and seeking after him: and a poor messenger of God, who ha­ving but a little Oyl in his cruse, by dayly dropping of it into the wound, it both increa­sed and healed with the drop­ping. It pleased God at length, [Page] to make the winter and sad wea­ [...]her of this storm-beaten [...]l to be over & end, so as the flow­ers appeared, singing of birds was come and the voice of the Turtle was heard, & a cheerful Soul, began sweetly to sing in its Cage of Clay. The sorrows were deep, the comforts rose very high; and as once worm­wood waters were drunk in the Cellar of bitterness, and the banner over the Soul seemed in [...]reat letters to have it The Lord hath forsaken me: Cant. 2. Isa. 49.14. Now [...]t is led into the Wine Cellar of of Gods promises, the sweetest comforts are broached and drunk, and the Lords banner of love is spread over. Here Heaven out of Heaven, and some of the masters joy descen­ded down, before the Soul ascen­ded up to it. After the Vesse [...] [Page] had been seasoned some months with this unknown and admi­rable new Wine of living com­forts,Largissi­mum quoddam caeli gre­mium, Bernard in Cantic. Ita mihi visus sim tanquam unus ex illis beatis esse, O Si duresset. Idem in cantic. Ser. 23. the Lord by a Chariot of sickness, and that a violent one, hurries the Soul to Heaven, first giving it clusters of Canaans Grapes, and then making it walk through Jordan to come into the promised Land, and eat of all the fruits of blessedness to the full. The second Tractate was after the cure of the Heel, at the celebration of the triumph in the Head Jesus Christ.Titulum frontis erade, ut mutasit pagina, & quod suf­ficit, lo­quatur materi­am, non loquatur autorem. Sever. Sulpit. in Epist. ad. Histor. D. Mart. We say no more of the discourses and treatises, but that they may still be profitable even after the hours of their first hirth; they are of age, whether they can speak much for themselves or no, I know not; you may see no great desire there was in the Author to send them abroad, [Page] though they have been desired. They were conceived and born in the year 1632. when the Womb they came from could plead nothing but unripeness and youth, and therefore hopes his pardon may be the soo­ner sued out; it is now fifteeen years since almost, Horoces no­ [...]um prematur in annum; It hath the same matter and form it had, unaltered; only that [...]f Esay has the Conclusions all [...]andled, and so suff [...]rs a little [...]ddition of what was not spo­ [...]en, to fill up the Text. I have [...]me reasons why I make this walk in publick, for, first, I owe so much to her memory my self. 2. There is some need of [...]eviving her graces for others that knew her, among whom [...]uch examples are rare living, [...]nd are rarely thought of when [Page] the parties are dead; for we are very prone to bury good ex­amples, but evil examples have a dayly Resurrection, 3. No great reason app [...]ars, but that now when so many Wild Goose Quills are writing, and so many Soul poysoning, and Faith blasting Themes are dayly printed and published, to the detriment of many Souls, set out with the plausible and gay flourishes of new Truth, and new Revelations, but it will stand the servants of God in hand to put out something pra­ctical, and sound, to fill the hands of their [...]riends with that which is wholesome, though it be not so glori [...]as to the eye and fancy, We run like the Dromedary in the wilderness af­ter Doctrines of new Theories, and we forget the old rules of holy practical Theologie; O that [Page] in Science we were more sober, and in Conscience more sound! It was a true censure of our, and former times, that the Primi­tive and foregoing servants of God had less Science,Beza in Epist. lib. Epist. 1. Andreae Duditio. and more Conscience: and our men and age have more Science, but less Conscience. that is, less inte­grity and simplicity of Consci­science; the former times were full of Fire, and ours full of Glow-worms. That good Soul about whom these en­suing lines were, might for a wakened and right Conscience) challenge some praise, to set her forth as exemplary, specially to her rank, that they might not strive to be called fine Ladies, Ladies always in the fashion, but what is better, Ladies in the faith, and as St. John's E­lect Ladies; But living she de­sired [Page] it not, and dead she needs not any such thing. Flatterly commonly, and Wit sometimes has gone very far in the praise of things,Pirkhai­merus laudavit podagram. Janus D [...]uza umbram. Joannes Bruno I­talus eti­am Dia­b [...]lum. Frid. Taubman in Virgil. Culic. where all was an oc­cult quality, so hidden as could not be found. Augustine saith of Julian the Pelagian, that he was [idoneus dicere panegyricum Satanae] He was fit to make an Oration in praise of the Devil: And one Bruno an Ita­lian did expresly do it: But a­way with such fancies, it will be better for us to enquire after the great Rabbies and Mastors under which she tutor'd did, and we also may profit, and at­tain to exact holiness; and they were three great Tutors,Melch. Adam. in vit. Luth. that (Luther writes) make a com­pleat Divine, Meditation, Pray­er, Temptation. Reader, peruse, ponder, practise, thou mayst find [Page] what (rightly considered) may teach thee to be a Christian Cen­tinell, to watch thy Soul, and keep thy spiritual peace careful­ly, lest thou come to the mourn­ning and great cries of Ramath, with Rachel, to weep if not for the Children of thy womb, yet for thy peace and assurance, the Children of the Lords womb, and be much troubled because they are not. A right use of the departure of good Souls may be learnt so much the rather because it is so neglected, as if there were no more thoughts of heart to be had about the withering of Roses, then the cutting up of Nettles; the departure of a Stephen, and the death of a Cain. Thou mayst if thou wilt receive some benefit, if not, this is one witness more against thee then thou knewest of be­fore: [Page] good things if they profit not, they hurt. I will not abuse my small leisure to a larger prod­rom, or extended, Epistle, lest, as the lips of a fool swallow up himself,Cicero de Accio. In orationi­bus mul­tus & in­eptus. De legibus, lib. 1. so my lines might be censured. If this and such like Treatises may keep any from conversing in the frothy todder of Pamphlets idle and vain; or if any Soul may hereby learn better to mind duty, and either keep or recover sense of sweet mercy, he shall rejoyce Who is

The Churches servant in the Gospel. T. C.


PSAL. 143.7.

Hear me speedily, O Lord, my spirit faileth, hide not thy face from me, lest I be like to them that go down into the Pit.

IN this Psalm we have the Pi­cture of David without his Harp, having laid aside all his pleasant Tools, he is now in his poenitential plight: sadness sorts not with Musick: If we ask the reason of the metamor­phosis of this holy man, from his heights of joy to such depths of sorrow, he may answer with him [Page 2] who was a Patriarch of the same Tribe of affliction,Job 30.30, 31. My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burnt with heat, my Harp also turn­ed into mourning, and my Organ into the voice of them that weep. Or with the words of this Verse, My Musick fails, for my spirit fails: Let the living rejoyce, but I am as one dead and ready to be laid in the pit. The Septuagint intitle the Psalm, In Hiero­nym. qua­drupl. Psalterio. Quum furgeret Saulem. Piscator. A Psalm of David when he was persecuted by his son Absalom; the Original has no such matter. The ground of the former is fetcht from the 3, and 9, and last Verses of the Psalm: True it is, this wic­ked Son often made his Father sing with a heavy voice, where David was deceived in imposing on him the name of Absalom, his Fathers Peace, his life signified no such thing, he being Benoni, a Son of sorrow and mischief to his Father; whatsoever were the oc­casion, the matter of the Psalm is evident, the light of Gods coun­tenance, Gods audience of his Prayers, the comforts of his Spi­rit, [Page 3] his power to sustain him, his Grace to quicken him, all ear­nestly desired; these are the sub­stance of this holy Psalm: what the Father saith of that Verse,Monachus qui non vigilat hunc ver­sum non potest di­cere. Hie­ron in Psal. 77. Psal. 77 4. Thou holdest mine eyes waking, &c. a sleepy Monk can­not say that Verse; the same may I say in another kinde, a sleepy se­cure Christian, that mourns not for his sins, and by faith and pati­ence not earnestly trusting and waiting upon God, cannot truly say this. The Psalm is a congress for a Combat, or a pitched field 'twixt faith and distrust, the old and new man in the Soul of a san­ctified man; distrust of the flesh arms it self with a multitude of sorrows, and fainting with waiting for Gods delayed help: Faith in the new man comes strengthened with a multitude of Gods mercies against the multitudes of miseries, waiting to spie Gods face, though he do for a while hide it; yea, as winning the Battel,Ver. 9, 10 stedfastly con­cluding, Though thou hide thy face, yet art thou my God, and my hiding place. Here, about [Page 4] Gods help, we have David reque­sting and reasoning with God. The request are two, the reasons two, to move the Lord to grant his re-requests. 1. Request is for audi­ence, and that speedily. Hear me speedily, O Lord. And that is backt with reason, why? What haste? why begest thou for so speedy hea­ring? He gives the reason, My spirit fails, I can hold out no longer. 2. Request is for light of Gods countenance, Hide not thy face from me.

2. Reason, for that is the pre­sent peril he is in, even ready to die: If thou hide thy face, Lord, I shall perish, and accompany them that lie in the pit. We may frame him to our understanding, as if he thus pleaded with the Lord,Sum and Sense. How long, O Lord, wilt thou shut out my prayers, look upon me, and behold how low I am brought; O hear me quickly, lest my tired spirit give over, lest my faint heart, which has now no more strength to subsist without thy help, do quite break off, as drown­ed [Page 5] in the whirl pit of my deep sor­rows. Now at length, O Lord, after my long waiting, send, and let shine the light of thy counte­nance upon me, which may glad my Soul, shew me thy face, which may raise me up again, else if thou still delay, what is there can keep me alive any longer from the com­pany of them that are laid in the grave, and sleep under the c [...]o [...]s of death; my life (without sense of thy love) being worse than death..

Doctr. First request, Hear me speedily: David he is in trouble and he be­takes him to prayer: Prayer is the sovereign Remedy the Godly flie to in all their extremities. The Saints in sorrows have fled for comfort and healing unto Prayers and Supplications. Heaven is a shop full of all good things, there are stored up blessings and mer­cies; this the Children of God know, who flie to this shop in their troubles, begging for help from this holy Sanctuary;Psal 77.2. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord. [Page 6] When any vexation makes our life grievous unto us, what should we seek but help? of whom should we seek, but of the Lord? how should we seek,Psal. 116.3, 4. but by prayer? My sore (saith he) ran and ceased not; so his Soul ran and ceased not to pray to the Lord. When the sorrows of death compassed him, and the pains of hell got hold up­on him, what was his course? then he got hold of the Lord, and pray­ed unto him right humbly: Then called I upon the name of the Lord, O Lord, I beseech thee deliver my Soul. We have to confirm this, for a sure and saving way, Precept, Practice, Promise, Performance.

1. Precept, God commands us to pray at all times, especially in sad times.Psal. 50.15. Call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorifie me. He commands us to depend on him for deliverance, and calling upon him is the best dependance.

2. Practise, the Godly have walked in this way, which God has prescribed: All Davids Psalms [Page 7] will witness, that he coupled his troubles and prayers together, Psa. 6. Psal. 38. So Hezekiah, Esa 38.2. at hear­ing the message of death, sent to the Lord a message of Prayers. So Nehemiah in Jerusalems destructi­on,Nehem. 1.4, 5. sought succour to her distress by prayer.

3. Promise, the Lord hath arm­ed us in our Petitions with hope,Esa. 65.24 John 16.23. which is made up of sure Promi­ses; we shall not pray to one that is deaf, assoon as we can finde our tongue, we shall finde his ear: E­very humble praying sinner, shall have a hearing and helping Savi­our.

4. Performance; all Saints are ready to subscribe, We prayed, the Lord has performed and deli­vered, This poor man cried, Psal. 34.6. and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. This poor wo­man, even Hannah prayed,1 [...] a [...]. [...].19, 2 [...]. and the Lord heard her, he gaver her Samuel, the thing she asked of God, as the name signifies: All the Saints cry, and by experience witness the Lords performance [Page 8] upon their prayers: we have swim­med (say they) in all Seas of sor­rows, ready to sink, but prayer hath held up our heads. I was in the stocks, I prayed and am deli­vered, saith Joseph; in the Lyons den by prayer I muzzeled those cruel Beasts, that they did not bite, saith Daniel: our bed was made in the fire, our coverings violent flames, prayer prevailed with the Lord to cool all this heat, say the three Children. God has thus per­formed, he will still perform; our evils are no greater, God is not deafer; he can still deliver, for he is as strong; he will still deliver, for he is as loving and gracious; he must hear and deliver us, for he is faithful, and will not deny his Seal and Promise, which he hath given us.

Use. Away then with all broken reeds, learn we not to lean on, or to trust to vain confidences, & fly­ing to carnal remedies in our evils. Is there any evil which the Lord hath not wrought? Are we in some trouble? the arm of Heaven [Page 9] sent it, the arm of flesh cannot re­move it. Has God wounded thee? seek not then to the Devil, or the Witch his Agent for a Plaister: Art thou in poverty? trust not to unlawful shifts, they may raise thee up again in the world, they cast thee twice as low in the world to come. O the folly of worldly men, who think with pleasures to drown their sorrows, with mirth to stop the mouth of Conscience, and to laugh away the burden of their evils.Jer. 3.23. In vain is salvation ho­ped for from the mountains; if God wound, worldly comforts are but foolish Physick. There is no way like this, to fly to him by Prayer; when we trust to earthly helps, we take no notice of Gods hand.

Secondly,2 Use. Lawful means may not be neglected; carnal and sinful means may not be used: Better use none but prayer, then use all without prayer: As carnal and e­vil helps are to be avoided, so let this give an exhortation for dire­ction to the Sovereign means of help in all our necessities and exi­gencies, [Page 10] to betake us unto prayer, that, even for the time we pray, will mitigate and alleviate the e­vil, and in Heavens appointed time will obtain a removal of it. The voice of a good heart is that of the Prophets,Hos. 6.1 [...] Come let us return to the Lord, for he hath torn, and he will heal us, &c. Tender before God your troubled spirits, lay be­fore him all your sorrows, he will be overcome by fervent prayer, to lay unto them an equal, yea a far more surpassing weight of mercies, in giving a gracious deliverance. The Prophet knew the vertue of prayer to be so powerful, that he falls a wondring why God can be angry with his people that prays:Psal. 80.4. For how can God be angry with a [...]ruly praying heart? unless he will be angry with his own Spirit, which teaches to pray, yea which frames the Petitions his Children put up unto him. God cannot be displeased, and continue his wrath, if there continue in me his Spirit of prayer, for then there should be discord 'twixt God the Father [Page 11] and the Holy Spirit, when yet they are but one God. If we pleaded with the bare spirit of man, our Weapons were but Vitrea tela, Weapons of Glass, Austin. as the Father calls Hereticks Arguments, quick­ly broken, of no force, but be­ing assisted by the Spirit of Grace, what shall stand in our way? not tribulation, not anguish, not sor­row of minde, not temptations of Devil, not malice of men, not the failings of our own hearts, for he that hath given us his Son to inter­cede above, and his Spirit to inter­cede below for us, and in us, how shall he not wtth them give us all things else, especially things con­cerning his Service? If God have any marks for his sheep, sure this is one, that they call upon God, and are accustomed in all their needs to shew their rent fleeces, their weakness, their evils to the eye, and ear of the great Shepherd of their Souls by prayer. If there be and so carnally foolish, as will cavil at, and se [...]m this Heavenly habit of prayer, saying, Who can [Page 12] shew us any good that comes from it? many pray, but where is their Cross removed, and blessings con­ferred by it?Zcch 12.10. to such this good we can shew, that though their deliverance do not appear, yet this appears a signe of their adoption, and which shall certainly bring them peace at the last, when all carnal men shall be accursed,Psal. 14.4. who have carried this mark of Goats, that they loved not to call upon God. Besides, this good shall certainly come, their afflictions are sanctified to them by prayer, and a sweet communion and fel­lowship is maintained 'twixt God and the Soul, which is the only Heaven to be had upon earth.

Verse.Here are two errors about pray­er would be avoided. The first of wicked men, who despise small e­vils, and use not to fly to the reme­dy of prayer, but at some sore plunge and last pinch, when the Boat has tried all other Oars, and cannot be brought safe into the Haven. It is not the custom of them that are unaccostomed to Godli­ness, [Page 13] not to betake themselves to prayer, till worldly helps are out of joynt and cannot help them? Then when worldly means will not delp our decayed estate, the last refuge is to call on God. When the Apothecaries pots cannot draw them out of the bed of sickness, (after all) prayer chuses God for the Physition.Mark 5. When 12 years Physick will do no good, then the diseased woman cares not to ask Christ his counsel. When death or the utmost end of any evil ap­proaches, then doth the worldly spirit turn to God, because he can­not work it out himself: an evil ordering, when God must be put in the second and last place. Thus justly doth God suffer men to de­spise small Crosses, till they by ne­glect of prayer grow vehement and immense, like waters from the ankle to the chin. Well worth St. Austine, who,In Con­fess. lib. 9. when his teeth did but ake, did flie unto prayer, and desired them that were present with him to pray for him, and with him: whereas we [Page 14] only foolishly, ungodlily, do de­sire the prayers of others, and fly to our own prayers, only when e­vils are grown great and ripe. Be our evils never so small, yet they may grow greater, unless we take prayer the remedy for preven­tion.

Second error is of Godly men, who by the greatness of their sins, or afflictions are kept and affright­ed from prayer, as if it were only able to remove lighter burdens; nay rather, they should be more diligent in prayer, by how much more vehement their anguish is. If your evil be so great, why do you encrease it? Expectation of deliverance from the most lea­den and heaviest weights is not hopeless, unless we be prayerless. This is as if some silly one should argue, Strong ropes and good tack­lings, firm Masts, and whole Sails are profitable in a calm Sea, but in a storm and violent tempest no­thing will hold, all will be broken with the Win [...]s, yea, [...]less, if in our calm or evil [...] [...]e [...] be profitable, [Page 15] much more is it necessary when the winds blow, the rain fall and the storms beat, for this will underprop and stablish a Christian to keep him from falling.

But against prayer in those ca­ses the Godly (deeply afflicted) have to shifts.

Fain would we pray,1 Shift. but in our prayers we finde no delight, no spiritual rellish in this duty: and what shall we get in that if we go about it, for which we are so unfit and indisposed? so shall we ra­ther provoke God than any way please him. This is called driness and barrenness in spiritual exerci­ses; yet why should this hinder us? be our hearts never so dry and barren, this is the way to moi­sten them: It may be through the trouble of our hearts we finde no delight in our devotions;John 5. we know the Angel was in the Pool when the waters were stirred and trou­bled; so though we think our troubled tumultuous thoughts, un­fit to meet and commune with God in prayer, yet even then Gods [Page 16] Spirit can move in those troubled waters: our unfitness cannot hin­der the fitness of Gods Spirit, whose best and most prevailing language is troublesome groans and sighs that cannot be exprest.Rhm. 8. We may go to God unfit for pray­er, and yet be marvellously fitted by him that works upon hearts in the very act of prayer. Yea, surely, a prayer which is put to God con­strainedly, not to please our selves, for we find no tast pleasant in it, but reemly to obey God, because it is his will, is very acceptable to him. The more humble we are in misli­king our prayers, the more com­monly doth the Lord like them. This hindred not the Prophet in his distress,Psal. 77.34 I am so troubled (saith he) that I cannot speak; yet for all this he prays:Esa. 38.14. And Hezekiah, when his great sorrow so disturbed his prayers, that he seemed rather to chatter like a reasonless Crane, than to speak like a man or pray like a Servant of God; yet this cackling, chattering, troubled prayer brought to him the sealed [Page 17] Patents of Gods Promise, for spin­ning out the thred of his life to fifteen years length; what better prayer could the freest prayer have brought? God knows our broken fighs, and loves our undigested troubled groans, for he commonly dwells most pleasingly in troubled hearts; he takes our prayers, not as they are heavy and distracted, dead and dull, but such as we would have them, quick and fer­vent, lively and earnest.

Yea,2 Shift. but God seems to be our enemy, he hides away his face, and if the face be turned away, the ear goes with it. Here the Ser­pent shews his tail, this is one of Hells Arguments, to withhold the humbled heart from approaching the welspring of comfort. Suppose God seem to be thy enemy, is not Christs counsel good,Matth. 5. to agree with thine adversary quickly, to appease him and make him thy friend by supplication unto him? When two are at odds, the best way is to bring a third person, to mediate betwixt them. Dost thou feel a [Page 18] seeming sense of Gods displeasure, then say I in like advise to that gi­ven to Abraham, Go take his son, his only Son Jesus, offer him up to his Father upon the Altar of thy contrite heart, pray him to be the third Person to mediate betwixt God and thee; beseech this Hea­venly Proctor and Advocate, to plead the causes of thy Soul unto his Father; say unto Chrip, I dare not speak to God, he seems to be my enemy, let thy blood speak for me, stand thou betwixt him & me & be my reconciler, for in thee he is well pleased. The Prophet was in this case, he would gladly pray to God,Mat. 3. Tantum aberat ut cogitatio de Deo mentem inquietam micaret, ut contra nil aeque me perturba­ret. Beza in Psal. 77.3. in Para­phrasi. but the remembrance of God troubled him, when he saw (to his judgment) that the tokens of Gods displeasure were upon him. But against this fear we may be bold and confident in it, that if God be displeased, he cannot re­fuse the sighs of a contrite heart, let this sacrifice smoke before him, and Gods displeasure cannot long smoke against thee; Satan may be displeased at it, but believe him [Page 19] not when he tells thee, that for all this God is displeased.

Speedily: his request is not only for hearing, but for speedy hear­ing: Hear me, and hear me speedi­ly: answer, and answer quickly; this is the tone and tune of men in distress. Man in misery earnestly sues for speedy delivery. In our afflictions and troubles, delive­rance though it should come with wings, we never think it comes soon enough. Weak man cannot content himself to know he shall have help, unless it be present help.Accelera quia mag­na esset poena mea tarditas tua. Card. de Aliaco in Psal. 31. Qui nunquam Solem nec orientem, nec oc­cidentem viderunt. Cicero de finib. lib. 2. Smyndirides the Syba­rite bragged of his blessed voluptuous life, that for 20 years he never saw the Sun either rising or setting. Athen. Dipuos. li. 6. c. 8. If evil fall upon us in the night, we would have it removed ere the morning; if in the morning, we would not have it our bed fellow in the even­ing. We would have the Lords Promise run thus, Your sorrows shall not endure the whole night, your joy shall come long before the morning. The luxurious Emperour and his drunken mates [Page 20] eat and drank all the night, and slept all the day, in so much as it was said of them, they never saw Sun-set nor Sun-rise. Such would we have our evils we suf­fer, of so short continuance, as might neither have Sun-set nor Sun-rise, to see us in our misery. Which makes me marvel at that strange Aegyptian Beast called Pha­raoh, who being demanded by Moses, when he would have Gods Plague of the Frogs removed, an­swered,Exo. 8.1 [...]. To morrow. Surely here he spake not as a man, to whom an hours trouble is accounted a day, a day a month, a month seems a year. For in leaving of two things we change our desires, and are much different.

1. In leaving of sin, there we procrastinate and put off; and when God says, to day hear my voice, we answer, to morrow, and are like the Levites Father too kind hosts to such bad Guests;Judg. 19.6. O my sins, you shall not be left to day, tarry till the morning; our pace to re­pentance is slow, far from haste.

[Page 21]2. But for afflictions to leave us,Psal. 55.6. there we wish they had feet like hindes feet, to run away from us, or we the wings of a dove to fly away from them, and be at rest. The Prophet, who had good shoul­ders to bear much, yet cares not how soon the weight were off them:Psal. 40.13 Be pleased (O Lord) to deliver me. How long time would he willingly lie under his troubles? doth he desire God to help him af­ter some months and years? alas, no, within some few hours; Make haste (saith he) to help me. Yea, be­cause God seems to come slowly, he intreats him to amend his pace, Make no long tarrying, O my God, Ver. 17. in the day when I call, answer me speedily. He would be helpt the first day of his trouble; nay,Psa. 102.2. and he would not have the day spent neither; speedily let it be, be­times, even in that day. What Prisoner desires not to be present­ly set free, and that liberties soft hand may loose his Iron knots? what Mariner wishes a long storm? what Servant sighs not for [Page 22] his hard Apprentiship? yea, who is he, th [...] if there were an appea­r [...] of [...] offering to take the C [...]p o [...] calam [...]ty [...]om his mouth, saying, Thou shal [...] [...]ri [...]k no more, would answer, This Cup shal [...] not yet pass [...]om me. I delig [...] to ca­rouse and drink deeply of these bitter waters: yea, this de­sire extends so far, as it comes to the Son of Man, the blessed Seed of the Woman, who was so clad with our humane weakness, as that he earnestly prays for speedy help from his heavy anguish, and that not once, but often, O my Father, if it be possible, &c. and when his Father answers not, he cries like one ready to fall under the burden, Reas. 1 My God, my God, &c. The rea­son in Christ thus complaining is to be fetcht from thence, whence his flesh came, even from us; it was our humane flesh not his divine Spirit which was so weary of suf­fering; his Spirit was willing, it was our flesh that was so weak.

And the reason in us is that to the Hebrews, Heb. 12.11. all chastisement for [Page 23] the time is sharp and uncoo [...]h some; affliction is grievo [...] [...] pre­sent to mankind [...], [...] [...] mong some Priests [...] Baal, th [...] [...] [...]e lancing of [...] foolish [...]rs of the Romans Baal, [...] d [...]ght fo [...] penance to lash and whip their own skins; few or else none but they shrink at the Cross.

Or we may fetch the Reason Reason. 2 from the common appetite, and de­sire of the unreasonable Creatures; the withered hand of meer sense leads the poorest Creature to seek for its own ease and quiet; the simple Bird would have speedy deliverance from the Cage.

Use. Take we heed, that we do not so dote upon speedy help, that for it we venture the loss of Gods love, and the breach of his Com­mandments: Never so affect speedy release, unless it may come in at the right door. Do we suffer hard things, do we cry, how long, O where is he that shall deliver me! yet take we heed that Gods [Page 24] wisdom be not thrust out of the Chair, and carnal Policie put in the room of it. There are such un­lawful shifts and shifters, that when they have waited a while and help comes not, they bid farewel to dependance on God, and as it were resolve, we will tarry no lon­ger, come brains plod for release; now Policie and arm of fleshly helps play thy part; now carnal shifts invent a means of safety. I do confess, we may thus get a de­liverance, but it's a deliverance with a vengeance, when there is neither Gods Hand and Seal at it, nor our faith in it; it proceeds from an incredulous, impatient heart to say, when help is deferr'd (with that impious King) Why should I wait for the Lord any lon­ger? 2 King. 6.33. If we love help and release, let us cleave only to God that Rock of help, and look for it on­ly at his hand, It comes soon e­nough, and in a good time, what time soever it come, if it come from him.

[Page 25] Use. 2 2. Let them that are in distress learn not only to call upon God, but to call waiting, and to tarry the Lords leisure, lest we make too much speed; God may love thee though he do not presently deliver thee, and thou must learn to trust in God, though (with Simon of Cyrene) thou travel a long way with an heavy Cross upon thy neck. He that believeth maketh not haste, for in too much haste we we may come to stumble in Gods service. As the Prophet confesses, his hastiness made him stumble; being long afflicted,Psal. 116.11. He said in his haste, all men were lyars, that thought there were hopes of deli­verance. When we in passion cry out, God has forgotten me, do's not our patience stumble? our confi­dence, doth it not here cath a fall, and cannot keep his feet? Beware lest Satan give thee a reed instead of a staff, and cause thee in thy weakness to think God is weak, and I am now past remedy; or his truth is weak, he will not keep promise to deliver me. Often­times [Page 26] Satan raises in the minds of Gods afflicted ones an hard con­ceit of God, that he loves them not, that he cares not for them, and all is by dashing them upon this Rock, because he delays and doth not speedily help them. It is a point of precious wisdom to learn with Paul and Silas to sing in the stocks; to be a Scholar in Jobs form, praising God even upon the dunghil, patiently expecting deliverance, though it come with a slow foot.Quod non veri­simile scribit, Jo­an. Gerar. 1 Vossius de Orig. Ido­lolat. lib. 3. cap. 44. The Jews Hebrew Language ('tis thought by some) shall be used in Heaven, but their words in the desart are the very Language of Hell, to murmure, grumble, and repine at the Lords doings, if the Salve be not as rea­dy as the sore, and meat as ready as their appetite. This same spee­dy deliverance is good, but to trust and depend upon the Lord in his Word of Truth, when help lingers and is long a coming, this is far better. Gladly would I with good Jonathan shoot some Arrows,1 Sam. 20, 55 36. to let David in his trou­ble [Page 27] know what to do, and how to collect, that we may have the Lords love, and the Lords Rod both together, and a long time to scourge us without ease, and spee­dy help: and thus I shoot them in these considerations, it may be some instead of Jonathans Boy will gather them, and take them up.

1. Consider that the Lords rea­sons are for thy good, though he do not speedily deliver thee; now the Lord means to try what is in thee; thou madest good shews in the day of prosperity and ease, now he has brought thee to the proof, to see if thou madest not false flourishes and gave the view of Clouds without any water in them:Jude ver. 12. He has brought thee into the field, to see how thou canst clasp hold of him, and wrastle with faith and patience. There were fair promises as great as Pe­ters in thy mouth, he has brought thee into the High Priests Hall, to try what is in thy heart:2 Chron. 32.31. thus he tried Hezekiah. God loved Joseph, [Page 28] though in the stocks, yet he made not that haste he desired to help him; he suffered the Butler to forget him; this was harsh, that both God and man should seem to fail him, yet was it for his profit and proof, all this while was the Lord a trying him in his affiance, patient dependance, and then he must be delivered, and the Prince looses him, and sets him free,Psal. 105.28, 19, 20. when the time of Gods Word is come, and when the Word has tried him: our time of deliverance is come, when time of trial ends. Thus is it with thee, look to thy self, the Lord is trying thee, play thy part of con­fidence, and hope in God well in thy troubles & then for one bles­sing thou expectest, thou shalt have two; God will both release thee and praise thee. Art thou not yet helpt? why, suffer a while longer, thou art not yet tried, the Lord knows well enough the way he takes with thee, and when thou art tried,Job. 23.10 thou shalt not only come forth, but thou shalt come [Page 29] forth as gold that is tried in the fire, fitter by the fire to make a vessel of honour.

2. Consider, the great benefit that the Lord would bestow on us by deferring help: the Lord by this means teaches thee an Art beyond all the seven liberal Scien­ces, the Art of prayer: In prayer we have special familiarity with God; but prayer in deep afflicti­on comes nearer him than at any other time, and is more welcome to him! We should never learn to beg right and soundly, but by begging often and frequently. Of­ten visits breed stronger and dear­er acquaintance 'twixt friends. I will willingly be acquainted with troubles to get acquaintance with the Lord, and his Court of mer­cy. When we are fain to pray a­gain & again, it teaches us to seek out several Arguments and mo­tives to move God; some from his power, he is able to help us; some from his truth,Psal. 77.8, 9 Lord what is become of thy true promise, is thy Co­venant come to an end for evermore? [Page 30] some from his love and mercy, Hast thou forgotten to be gracious? Art thou that God of whom they sing. His mercy endureth for ever; and hast thou no mercy to hear and help me? Thus like a scru­ple in our estates, which makes us seek all the Court Rolls, do our longing affections lead us to God with earnest and urgent prayers, and seek out the wisest and mo­vingst Arguments to put life into our Prayers. O the excellent learning of afflictions, which teach us to search out all Gods Promi­ses, to lay to our own hearts and before his eyes by faithful pray­er. There is a great deal of dif­ference betwixt a prayer in ease,Coloss. 4.12. Agonizein en tais proseuchais and that in adversity, especially spiritual troubles: there is more Art and Arms, more wisdom, more life, and feeling in the one, than in the other: it is one thing to pray, another thing to strive in prayer.

III.Consider that the longest trou­ble is but short in several re­spects

[Page 31]1. In respect of the time of our sinning: Thou sufferest but a week, thou hast lived in sin ma­ny weeks and months; or, thy grief lasts a year, hast thou not provoked God many a year?Job 11.6. We love indeed long faults and short rods: we should never be free from scourges, if the Lord conti­nued striking so long as we conti­nue sinning, God exacts less than our iniquities deserve.

2. In respect of God it is long to us, it is short to him: with him a thousand years are but as one day; we seem to suffer a thou­sand hours, this unto him is but as one minute.2 Pet. 3.8 It is not our sen­tence, but Gods Judgment that must stand for giving estimation to any thing. He calls our suffer [...]gs but a To 'nun, sufferings of this present time.

3. In respect of tha [...] [...] a [...]d en [...]less eas [...] [...] bo [...] suc [...]eds [...] [...]ese sorrow [...]d sufferings [...] now criest, make haste to help me, hear me speedily, how long shall I be [Page 32] vexed in my Soul? thou wilt one day say, O happy heavy af­flictions, for a night, which have brought such joy in the morning: Blessed temptations, which though grievous and tedious in the end, have brought me to glory and peace without end. Who will be afraid of suffering a little while with Christ here, that he may be a partner of everlasting glory with him hereafter? Jacobs hard seven years service, he counted but short, compared with that sweet society he should have with his wife at the end. We suffer an hour, we shall reign for ever. Compare a moment and eternity together: we shall weep but a short time, we shall have a long time of joy for it. The Lord would have us consider how he will make amends for our suffer­ings.Esa. 54.7, It is but for a small moment that I have forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee: In [...] little wrath I hid my self from thee, for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, [Page 33] saith the Lord thy Redeemer. It is good being scourged an hour, to have the Rod cast away for ever. O how well should we endure the sorest afflictions, if we did but consider that they are light and momentany, yet work unto us an exceeding surpassing weight of glory?

4. Consider,1 Cor. 4. thou hast a safe way by resignation of thy self in to the Lords hands;Non cor­rigat aeger Medica menta sua Austin. Psal. 146. Cast thy self upon him, he brought thee in, trust him with it, he will in good time bring thee out: Conclude with thy self, if release do not yet come, it must and will chme, for God is faithful who hath promi­sed; Submit to his hands and handling; being sick do not cor­rect and find fault with thy Phy­sick; the Physitian knows best what and when any thing is fittest for us; when these corrasives have eaten out sins foul matter, then the Cordials of Gods Spirit of Peace shall refresh thy Soul.Paterete curari ita sananduses. Aug. We would have no tart nor bitter Me­dicine, when God knows it may [Page 34] be Sugar would mar our Physick. Impatient man would have the Plaister pulled off the sore too soon, before the wound be either drawn or closed. Give the Lord leave to do his pleasure, he conti­nues thy grief, because hasty Phy­sick might do thee hurt. If the Lord heals us slowly, say to thy self, Be contented, O my Soul, it is for thy good, that he may do it soundly.

5. Consider, that when one eye sails thou must get another, when the eye of sense is shut up, open the eye of faith, and thou shall see wonders. Look up and wait upon God with that eye, and then thou shalt sweeten darkness with the hope of light, peep under the black leaves of sorrow, and see a goodly fruit of joy budding forth; which shall appear in time. Exercise faith to see him that is in­visible, and that secret arm which all this while supports thee. O! if thou couldest well look upon that eye, thou shouldest see there is one at Gods right hand, who cannot forget thee, yea, in thy [Page 35] troubles he is at thy right hand,Psal. 16. stopping and breaking the strength of temptations blowes, so as thou shalt not greatly be moved; yea, he carries thee in his arms,Psal. 22.14. Psa. 34.20 so that not one of thy bones shall be bro­ken, though they may be astonisht a while, ond out of joynt. And if the Lord take care and count of thy bones and hairs, surely his care is more for thy Soul, it shall never miscarry; only learn thou a Lesson over, and beyond the leaf of sense, and present feeling, to see something in nothing, to be­lieve that the Bush shall not be hurt, though the fire be in it; to hope for a sweet kernel within the hardest shell, and to see the Son of Man walking with thee in the midst of thy furnace. Look as well upward to the Crown,Revel. 2.17. on which is writ, Vincenti dabitur, To him that overcomes, as to the bottom of thy deep Cross; with an holy indifferencie resolve to in­dure the Lords good pleasure: Say unto him, this trouble (O Lord) is grievous, O haste to deliver me: yet (O Lord) my will shall wait [Page 36] (as a servant) upon thine: I will suffer any thing, only sanctifie thou my sufferings, and strength­en me to bear them.

6. Lastly, consider and often ruminate upon the Saints carri­age, and words in the like extre­mities; if thou be wearied run­ning with footmen, how wouldst thou ever have kept with the Hor­ses? if thou be so discouraged in shallow foords, what wouldst thou have done if thou hadst swimmed with them in the swellings of Jor­dan? J [...]. 12.9. Esa. 8.17. Psa. 31.24 Esa. 43.1. I will wait upon the Lord that hideth his face from the house of Ja­cob, and I will look for him. Habak. 2.3. See Jonah 2.2. Micah 7.7, 8, 9. Psal. 73.25, 26, 27, 28. Psal. 23.4. Psal. 42.11. Psal. 130.5.6, 7. Job 23.10, 11. Jerem. 30.11. Lament. 3.24, 25, 26. and 31, 32. Rom. 8.18. and 35. to the end 2 Tim. 1.12. Heb. 10.35, 36, 37. To this purpose the prayer of Ful­gentius in his sore sickness was not ill-beseeming a Saints behaviour, Do [...]ine, da mihi modo patientiam & postea indulgentiam: Lord, here [Page 37] give me a little patience, and hereaf­ter thy merciful indulgence.

Doct. My spirit faileth: This is Da­vids first reason to move the Lord, he is at the last cast and even gi­ving up the ghost, with long wait­ing for help: from his low condi­tion we may see what is often the condition of Gods Children, That the best of Gods servants have wait­ed for comfort [...]nd the feelings of his Spirit, to the very failing of their own spirit. David, a man after Gods own heart, is yet brought low with the faintness and failing of his heart, in waiting for help from God.Gen. 3.19 In the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread; this lies upon the Sons of men. But here not to sweat of face only, that were but small, but to sighs and fainting of the heart lies upon the Sons of God, in seeking and hungring after a taste of Gods Bread of life, inward comfort, assurance, and joy of the Holy Ghost: Thus the Church was brought to this sick bed, ere her comfort came.Lam. 1.16 For these things [Page 38] I weep, mine eye, mine eye runs down with water, because the comforte [...] that should relieve my Soul is fa [...] from me. The Disciples spirits were even failing in the Tempest when Christ slept, and seemed to neglect them, as if he cared not though they perished. How should our spirits do other bu [...] fail, when our Comforter sleeps when our only friend seems to b [...] our enemy?Psa. 88.15. I am afflicted (saith the Prophet) and even ready to di [...] while I suffer thy terrors distracted or, with a troubled minde.

The good man of an house may sit quietly at peace within his own house, and under his roof, though there be quarrellings and tumults without doors: but if there be no troubles without, if there be wounds, and fightings and terrors within, this wounded spirit is hard to bear up, have we never fo [...] strong reins of patience, all is lit­tle enough to keep it from fainting. The heart of man is much like an unquiet Dame of an house, if she be not pleased, all is in a [Page 39] tumult, the house is full of tem­pests, this dry land is more stor­my than the Sea; and till she be pacified,Pro. 21.9. Solomon thinks if a man get to the house-top, he gets him not far enough from the mis­chief. Such tumults in the thoughts, such fears in the minde doth the heart disquieted stir up, if it want a pacifying feeling, an inward settling, it disturbs all without and within, it maks that there is no rest in the bones, no soundness in the flesh, all strength fails, and all the Orderly Offices of this little Common-wealth of Soul and body are thrust out of order. This spiritual inward War being like a Civil War in a State,Faelix ille defectus non veni­ens ex in­firmitate animi, sed ex fortitu­dine desi­derii i [...] promos­sum Dei. Alhinus in Psal 98. which brings the strength of the best things in it to weakness: So we hear the Saints complain of eyes failing with waiting, hands with stretch­ing forth, Soul with sighing, and body pining, when God hides his face, delays grant of prayer, re­moves not the hideous face of sin from being presented to the Souls eye, without hopes of pardon; [Page 38] [...] [Page 39] [...] [Page 38] [...] [Page 39] [...] [Page 40] and thereby suffering the heart to be steept in gall and wormwood that if their strength were strength of stones, and flesh o [...] brass, yet it can harldly hold out, as Job argued.Job 6.12.

Reas. Unto such straits will the Lord have his Children brought, be­cause comforts thus earnestly, and long sought, and thus dearly bought, are the best for Christi­ans,Ex diffi­cultate & delatione sanitatis, fit dili­gentior custodia receptae sanitatis. Card. de Aliaco in Psal. 6. they will do them the most good when they get them. When we come so hardly to the sense of Gods love, it will make us hug it, and embrace it the more, and safe­ly lock it up in our hearts, that we lose it not, to be put to as much cost and care in recovering it. When as the Captain said of his Romish freedom, so we can say of our spiritual freedom, With a great sum I obtained this freedom: we shall then count t a precious prerogative, and look well to it that we lose not the comforts of it. None is so careful of that Les­son,1 Thes. 5. Quench not the Spirit, as he whom it hath cost much labour to [Page 41] kindle the sparks of that fire. Bid such an one in Pauls Text preach­ed to him, Quench not, Ephes. 4. and grieve not that good Spirit; he will an­swer, I have good cause to look that I grieve it not, for with great grief obtained I the joy of it. The Spouse in the Canticles represents every careful Soul that comes hardly to its comfort,Cantic. 3.1, 2, 3, 4. when she has had weary heart and foot in seeking Christ in bed, City, streets, broad ways; at last when she finds him, she lays not a slack hand on him, but careful to keep her dearbought comfort, she holds him fast, and will not let him go, and carries him to her Mothers house, and Chamber, is very watchful in keeping him, whom she (after long labour) found. And indeed if God should let us come to our desires more easily, we should be the more careless in keeping those good things. Short gettings have commonly short cares, or less esteem, and va­luing of them.

Reas. 2 Failing of Spirit, is both a mo­tive which God means to yiel [...] unto and to be won withal; and it is also his opportunity, when h [...] usually helps. It is a strong motive in our prayers to move him for he is pitiful, and will not le [...] his Children utterly fail and pe­rish; he is a pitiful Spirit to failing Spirits. I will not contend sait [...] the Lord) for ever, neither will be always wroth; Why? we deserve his wrath should last an [...] take fire for ever against us; yea but (saith the Lord) this is the reason,Esa. 57.16. The spirit should then fai [...] before me, and the Souls which [...] have made: I love and pity the fainting Souls and Spirits of men, I will help my Children; how can I see my Creatures whom I made, and do love, to perish for want of my help? David knew the Lords nature, and that this was a speeding argument in pray­er, which made him here and else­where, so often use it. A p [...]tiful Father will no [...] [...] [...]his Children utte [...] [...] [Page 43] op­portunity, he usually helps when all other helps fail, that we may [...]he more strongly cleave to him, and ground our selves upon him, as knowing how infirm we are, if he confirm us not. When mans Cruse of Oyl is dry, and fails, can drop no more, then is Gods time to prepare his. Thus helpt he the Israelites at the Red Sea, when all mans strength and wis­dom was at a stand. He loves to be seen in the Mount, in extremi­ties. These are the truest glasses to shew Gods truth, power, wis­dom, goodness, and to shew to man his own No­thingness,Valeant humana praesidia quae nos deserunt modo in anima spes firma ma [...]eat, Deum nobis servatorem non de fore, qui saepe gentem harc eripuit exitio. Philo Iud. in Legat. ad Cajum. Emp­tiness, Vanity, that he can do nothing with the strongest brawn of his own fleshly arm. We should never learn rightly this Lesson of dependance upon God alone, if he did not delay deliverance oft­times to the very failing of our Spirits.

[Page 44]1. Art thou then in that shi [...] which is tossed, and Christ sleep [...] and helps thee not? doth thy sp [...] rit fail in struggling with the stro [...] sense of inward misery, want [...] Grace, or want of the joy [...] Grace? Learn at that time t [...] look on thy condition aright: Loo [...] not on thy self in thy self, but loo [...] upon thy self in the Saints se [...] thy case in the Saints commo [...] case. Thou art not singular, God sheep have commonly been thu [...] markt.

Thou thinkest God has forgotten thee: yes, he has forgot thee as he forgot his Children heretofore. Thus he forgot David, Job Paul, they were brought to perplexity, though not to despair; we are cast down but not destroyed I intreat thee, tell me if this [...]hy, comfortless estate, shall bring thee the jocund offspring of the world, whom conscience sleeping never troubles; [...] Cor. 4.8, 9. Cain the Builder, Juba [...] the merry Musitian, worldly Nabal, carnal Ishmael, temporizing Demas, or any of that fleshly [Page 45] Tribe, who never knew one sigh of a penitent heart, nor ever came [...]ear to the failing of their spi­ [...]it in waiting upon God. O no, [...]hou sayest, it is fearful to be sor­ [...]ed with these, whose Candle God will put out, who spend their days in jollity,Job. 11.13. and in a moment [...]umble into the grave. But now the Lord has dealt well with thee, having joyned thee to the number of his own; thus hath he scour­ged (though not in the same de­gree) every Son and Daughter he has received, thus have they been taught to mourn before him. Great joy ought it to be to us, that we bear the same Livery and Badge upon earth, which they once wore, who are now the blest Courtiers of Heaven.

The Apostle was so far from troubling himself for it, that he bids all others cease troubling him, and take heed what they do to him, for he carries in his body the noble marks of sufferings, and wounds for Christ; he gloried in it:Gal. 6. Let no man henceforth trouble [Page 46] me, for I bear in my body the mar [...] of the Lord Jesus. O high dign [...] tion, to be like Christ in any [...] state, yea, though it be in h [...] sweating, suffering, and sighi [...] out his My God, my God, why ha [...] thou forsaken me? 2 Cor. 4.10. For if we bear [...] bout the dying of the Lord Jesus, is for our future comfort that the li [...] of Jesus may be manifest in our mo [...] tal bodies. Remember we the [...] always, that be our spirits neve [...] so low, Gods dearest Childre [...] have been in the same pit yea, an [...] lower than we, and yet God a [...] length raised them up from thes [...] hopeless depths.Psal. 22.15. Psal. 119.82. They cried til [...] their tongues failed, with long praying for deliverance; thei [...] eyes failed with waiting, thei [...] hands failed with being lif [...] up. And yet which of these wait­ed upon God in vain? None of them; tell us amongst all these failings that God failed, and did not at length give them their hearts desire.

[Page 47]
Meque istis potius societ quam con­greget illis,
Prosper. in Verse de Providen­tia.
Quos jam summoto permisit verbere, cursu
Ire voluntatis—

Use. 2 Let the failing spirit be direct­ed to take Davids course, though he cried out of failing, yet he failed not of crying to his God. The weaker we are, it should make us cry the faster. So long as the Spirit of prayer fails not in us, so long the Spirit of power will not fail to uphold us: only cry we as men far cast down, Lord, if thou wilt forsake me, yet Lord, forsake me not long:Psal. 119.8. Defect enim Spi­ritus me­us, ut im­pleat me Spiritus tuus Pro­sper. in Psalm. Esai. 40.29, 30, 31. My spirit now fails me, that thy Spi­rit may help, & fill me; for so some gloss upon this Verse. For this is is the ground of the applicati­on of Gods Promise, and for our encouragement. Are we weak? now is the time come he promised to help us: He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might he encreaseth strength: Even [Page 48] the youths shall faint and be wear [...] and the young men shall utterly fall But they that wait upon the Lor [...] shall renew their strength, &c. An [...] again, when we are thinking, [...] I shall never get out of this troublesome evil: the Lord answers Fear not, Esa. 41.10. for I am with thee, be n [...] dismayed, for I am thy God. Ye [...] but I have no more strength t [...] wait upon God; then have w [...] Gods answer, I will strengthe thee, I will help thee. O but th [...] Cross is so heavy, I shall fail an [...] perish under it. No (saith he) will uphold thee with the right han [...] of my righteousness. Here is [...] large and liberal promise: Tho [...] hast Gods Word, Gods hand [...] Gods help, Gods strength, tho [...] mayst utterly fail if his strengt [...] fail thee. If thou criest on him t [...] look at his Promises, and remember his Covenant with his Chil­dren, he cannot finally neglec [...] thee, unless Christ sleep in his sea [...] of intercession, or his memory perish that he forgets his Chil­dren, or he forget his own hands, [Page 49] where his Childrens names and necessities are ingraven.Esa. 54.11 For this end in crying and calling upon him, the failing spirit may plead with these two strengthening Ar­guments.

As first, that it stands much for Gods glory that he do help us in respect of ungodly and impious men. Thus may it be urged, If thou suffer my spirit to fail and me to perish, then Lord thou lo­sest not only thy Creature, but thy Glory also: let none of thy glo­ry be diminisht;Psal 79 10. For why should the Heathen say, where is now their God? If God cast off his Chil­dren, and give them not de­liverance, Religion would re­ceive a great blow, and ungodly men would speak evil of his ways and worship. They whose ser­vice is sin, when they see Gods devout Children are at a low ebb, & in a deep extremity, then they throw dung in the face of Religi­on, and cry, there, there, Psal. 35.25. Job 4.6. so would we have it. Is not this the fruits of your fear, confidence, upright­ness [Page 50] of your ways, and your hope? This is the fruits of Reli­gion and profession, it spoils all our mirth, see how it makes them melancholly and pensive, they are all alike unsociable, and un­comfortable; who will enter that path which leads to such sadness? Beseech God to let thy case be no impediment to his Glory, by hin­dring and deferring those that are without, from coming in, lest they dislike Religion for thy sake. God has sometimes said, he would do good to his Children,Deut. 32.26, 27. that their enemies might not have cause to lift up their Horns.

Call on him to do it for his own Childrens sake, that are within the Church;Psal. 69.6. Let not them that wait on thee be ashamed for my sake, O God of Hosts, let not them that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel. As if he said, There are many weak in the the faith, O Lord, who trust in th [...]e, and if thou fail me, they will be scanda­lized, their weakness will make them stagger, and start back, when [Page 51] they see thy Promises fail to­wards me; how shall they trust in those Promises for themselves, which they see have failed others? Nay, Lord, rather deliver me, that the weak thereby may be the more strengthened thou shalt get glory by bringing many both to praise thee, and trust in thee more confidently for my sake, or for thy promises gracious perfor­mance towards me;Psal. 66.16. They that fear thee will be glad when they see me, because I have hoped in thy Word, yea, the righteous shall then resort unto my company; I will call them and tell them what great things thou hast done for my Soul: Further, in thus delivering me, much praise and glory shall come to thy name, thanksgiving shall be sent to thee by many in my behalf, who will shout for joy, and say,Psal. 35.27. Praised be the Lord, who hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.

Use. 3 If the comforts of the Soul be bought so dear, as they will cost us the very fainting, and almost failing of our Spirits, let him be [Page 52] lesson'd who hath his Soul replea [...] with peace and quietness in his God, [...]eatus es, si cor tuum tripli­i timore repleveris; ut ti­ [...]eas quidem pro accepta ratia, amplius pro amissa, nge plus pro recuperata. [...]rnard supra Cantic. Serm. 4. to lock the Promises within his heart, to che­rish and keep burning that good fire lest wit [...] many strong blasts of prayers he cannot get it kindled afresh, when once it is somewhat quenched, and dying out. For this purpose it behoves those who are yet in the Sun-shine of peace, and lightsom­ness of heart, to rejoyce in God and his mercies, to labour as much to keep it, as ever they laboured to get it.

1. To beware of sin, that they fall not into any wickedness, for that will devastate the Consci­ence, and spoil its peace.

2. They should cherish and make much of Gods Spirit, and the joyous motions it stirs up in them. Guests stay with us ac­cording to their welcome; bad ente [...]tainment, and neglect of [Page 53] them, gives us their backs in­stead of their faces:Ephes. 4. Grieve not the Spirit of God.

3. Keep we our hearts exerci­sed in good things, prayer, hear­ing, reading, meditation, those put forth our Talents we have, to come in with more increase. Take we heed, if such good means be not used, we may come to see our Candle burn dim, and with per­plexed hearts, and sorrowing spi­r [...]ts, as Joseph and Mary, we may come to seek our Comforter, and be long without him, till our spirits be ready to fail in seeking, because our care and diligence failed in keeping.

Use 4 Lastly, though all the Saints of God have cryed ther spirits fail, yet this may make for their exceeding comfort, none of their spirits did ever yet so utterly fail, but they have had their resurrecti­on to some lively hopes, who seemed hopeless. We have our [Page 54] spiritual dejections, and spiritua [...] resurrections. Where is [...]ha [...] man, and who is that Saint an [...] Servant of God, that perished in waiting upon God, and expecting his help? Our comfort may be long in coming, but at length it shall come and not deceive us: either the tongue shall cry it after long waiting,Mr. Glo­ [...]r Mat­tyr in Fo [...]es Acts and [...]onum. He is come, he i [...] come; or the heart shall feel it, or finde it, it may be without, but certainly beyond expressions. It may be that the noon, afternoon, evening, night, may all hold him in the bonds of vexation, but (un­doubtedly) joy comes in the mor­ning: If it cannot be found in the beginning, no nor in a long time in the proceedings; yet, Mark the perfect man, Ps. 37.37. and behold the upright, for the end of that man shall be peace. There are who have been brought from those desperate con­clusions made in the strength of temptations,Geoffry of Peronne in vita St. Bern. lib. 4. c. 3. I shall never be mer­merry again so long as I live, to tell the same party, being strong­ly fill'd with new quickning hopes, [Page 55] If I told thee before I should ne­ver in my life be joyful,2 Tim. 2. now I assure thee, I shall never any more be sorrowful. Though we should be so low, as we were hopeless, yet God must continue faithful, he cannot deny himself,1 Cor. 10.13. he will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able, but will with the tem­ptation make a way to escape, that we may be able to bear it.

Doctr. The next request is, that God would not hide his face, and the reason, because in the light of his countenance is life, in the hiding of it is very death: From Davids request that God would not hide his face, see this Position, That God hath his times of hiding and shewing his face to his Children, and all for their good: both by decla­red favour, and seeming displea­sure, God leads on his Chil­dren unto blessedness. All the months of the year are not alike, some make the earth horrid with frosts and mists, and large expen­ces out of the Lords Treasury of Hail and Sow, as in Job, Job 38.22. the Lord [Page] calls [...]t; others make the fiel [...] [...] with abundance of flower [...] fruits, the Sun with his revi [...]ing heat, putting life into bird bud, and beast. Shall, we than [...] God for May and not for March The dispensing of fair and foul seasons are both acts of Divine Pro­vidence, for the good of man and beast.Epiphan. He that is God of the Sum­mer, is as good a God of th [...] Winter, in spite of the blasphe­ming Manichees, procuring our good in the one, as well as in the other. Thus is it with Man the a­bridgement of Gods Creation, and with the holy man the object of his more special love; The Sun shines not always alike on him, he is sometimes joyed with a sense of Gods love, by and by in sorrow through some growing afflictions: his months are some­times watry as April, sometimes mirthful as May, and yet by all these varieties his field of sancti­fication becomes more fruitful. All the months of Jobs years were not alike,Job 29.2. O that I were (saith he) as in [Page 57] the months past: What were those seasons? lightsome days, prospe­rous, favourable, Gods Candle burnt over my head, all went with a sweet stream. But now he possesses months of grief and dark­ness, he goes mourning without the Sun,Job 30. yet we know all these wrought for his good, the glory of his patience, the excellencie of his affiance, the worthiness of his hope, when the blind eye of man could espie nothing but what ap­peared hopeless. These changes of joy & sorrow are not because the Lord is changed, for he is immu­table and changes not; but they signes of our changeableness. When God bestows good things on us, and his favour is towards us, we are ready to change this into occasion of pride, and securi­ty; thereupon the Lord strips us of our consolations, and sends some Messenger of Satan to buffet us, lest we should be puft up, or be­cause we are puft up.2 Cor. 12 [...].

1. Lest we should, for preven­tion: And is not this for o [...]r good, [Page 58] when the poyson is taken out [...] our hands, which we are ready t [...] drink?

2. Because we already are, fo [...] our humiliation: and is not this fo [...] our good also, that like Tenant we might acknowledge of whom we hold? In a short time yo [...] shall see David both up and down,Psal. 30.6. by the Lords hand so setting him in prosperity; up, by his own security,Ver. 7. I shall never be moved: Presently he is down; down, by the Lords hiding his face, as a pric­king of this windy Bladder, that his proud confidenec may fall; and down in own sad apprehen­sions; then I was troubled, and saw how quickly the Lord can a­base our highest thoughts, and turn away his face from us.

We do not always finde God writing pleasant Epistles to his Children, he sometimes writes bitter things.

Reason. It must be thus to make good the difference 'twixt Earth and Heaven: Earth is a place of change and variation, in Heaven [Page 59] all things always continue alike. The Sun if it rise with us, in its very rising it is passing from us to the West. In Heaven the glori­ous light rides always in the East, there is no declination, nor set­ting; the Lord is an everlasting light. Here all things are full of Transitions, joy sits but while, then sorrow takes the room.Eccl. 1, 4. One generation passeth, and another com­eth. In our way to Heaven we must look for change of ways, many turnings; only at our jour­nies end we finde a good, and al­ways remaining good estate, du­rable and immutable: When once we come in presence of that face of glory, there is no Cloud can ever be interposed 'twixt us and it, to hide it from us. Earth would be too like Heaven, if our good things did fasten their foot with us, and we should know no change.

Reason, 2 This sorts with the nature of man, who cannot well coniinue and endure in any stayed estate to use it aright. He cannot keep within his measure: If he be full, [Page 60] he will burst like a bottle, unle [...] God give him some vent: If [...] be empty, he will burst with impatience, unless God put som meal into the barrel. Mans han [...] is paralytick, cannot hold the ballance even, one of the Scales goe too low by too much sorrow, o [...] is lifted up by too much presump­tuous and secure joys.2 Cor. 2. We can­not well grieve, but over-grieve; and when we joy, we are subject to be over joyed. Only we have a wise God, that knows our tem­per and whereof we are made, and so disposes of us, that we shall sometimes have matter o [...] patience in our afflictions, other times matter of praise and thanks in a condition more easie and pros­perous. Surely I think these two excellent vertues would scarcely be found, were it not for the vi­cissitude and changes of sweet and bitter. For where would God get his due thanks, if he did not sometimes manifest his face and favour to his Children? and what use had we for patience,Heb. 10.36, if God [Page 61] suffered us not sometimes to wait for his countenance to shine on our persons, and his accptance of our prayers, and grant of our de­sires? Here is now some work for that Grace.

Use. Doth God work our good by such contrary means? This should teach us to weigh Gods work with his own weights, and to look into his dealings with us with bet­ter eyes than those of humane wis­dom. The wisdom of men is but foolishness with God, it can­not give a true censure of his acti­ons. If God work not by visible and probable means and instru­ments, such as man would ima­gine the fittest, we then conclude our vain expectance of a good end from such strange proceedings. We, if we had seen Christ put clay and spittle in a mans eyes, should be ready to shoot our bolts of folly, and to think what fault has the man committed, thus to have his eyes put out? Alas, weak wisdom!

Consider the workman, it is Christ, who can bring light out of darkness, heal with wound­ing, fetch water out of flints, and beget good to be brought out of the womb of evil. That God who made waters stand like a wall, who quickned the dead and barren womb of Sarah; that God who made a Maiden a Mother,Was not the Vir­gin Mary meter a­nandros parthenos brepho­trophos. Joan. Eu­chaitens. in Jambic. Gen. 1.11 & 16. who raised the Prince of righte­ousness & glory out of a Manger who made the earth bring forth fruit before there was a Sun to shine upon it; that God, I say, who works by contrary means, and without means, why should we distrust him working by un­likely means? He turns away his face from thee, it is for thy good, to strengthen thy faith in waiting and praying, to bring thee to loath and distaste worldly com­forts, when thou findest so little health and help in them, and to raise thy affections to run the fa­ster him. When we think God is so angry with us,Psal. 39. as no better end can be expected, than [Page 63] that his sore strokes should con­sumes us, and make an end of us, then has the Lord worthy ends in­tended; working for his own glory, and his Childrens fuller consolation thereby; for it is the priviledge of his Divine Power to effect matters far above all that we can either ask or think, or con­ceive with the most quick eye of humane wisdom.Ephes. 3. What if we be cast into the dungeon with Jo­seph, cannot God bring him through this room, and make it the high way to seat him a Com­peer with Pharaoh? though cast out with Moses into the Bullrush-boat, it may be God sees this the ready way to advancement. When we look upon a man rowing in a Boat, we see him look one way, and row another way; he looks from home; but his boat goes homeward. Whatsoever the Lords dealings be, cast not away thy confidence, O distressed heart, though he seem to be a going from thee: he is coming to thee: Thou thinkest the Lord in anger turns away his face from [Page 64] thee, yet the Boat of thy Soul for al [...] this is rowed homeward and Hea [...] venward. These afflictions of thy spirit, faintings of heart, strong groans after sense of his love, are infallible Sea-marks in thy way to the Haven of life and comfort: only keep thy self in the Boat, leap not out with diffidence, though great waves leap in, trust the Lord with the rowing, commit thy ways unto him,Psa. 37.5. and he will bring it to pass.

Use. 2 Learn to suspect, rather than envy that estate which knows no changes: It is the sinners saddest lot to be settled on the Lees, and never moved nor changed from Bottle to Bottle.Jer. 48.11 Let my Soul never sleep the sinners unbroken sleep of security; they have no change,Psa. 73.5. and are not in trouble like other men. But the righteous and whom God loves, find mani­fold diversities of Gods proceed­ings with them, because he means to make something of them.

His reason for his last request, Lest I be like them that go down into [Page 65] the pit: Not the Pit or Lake of Hell or Purgatory; nor the depth and profundity of sins, as some would have it; but the pit of Golgotha, the place of dead mens skulls, the Chambers of morta­lity, the Grave. Elsewhere he seems so to reason,Psa. 30.9. Shall the dead praise thee? what profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Note here how David joyns Gods love and his life together, and counts the hiding away his face to be death, and that which carries him to the grave.

Doct. The faithful heart finds no life, but in Gods love. Gods favoura­ble face is the Christians health and life; his maintenance lies all in Gods countenance. The ba­sest low condition'd life is royalty with Gods favour, and the roy­allist life, is but a painted dung­hill, or a golden grave, if his face be hid from it, and shine not there. Yea, but David, thou may'st be a living man, eat, drink, and sleep, though his face be hid from thee; Thou hast Musick to chear [Page 66] thee, art thou not a Prince? th [...] hast the Sovereignty of a Kin [...] dom to comfort thee, Nobles a [...] High Estates to attend and a [...] company thee, thou mayst ha [...] all the delights of the Sons of m [...] and earthly contentments to e [...] hilerate thee; why dost thou th [...] speak of a grave or pit? can man die among so many livin [...] comforts? Thus indeed mig [...] reason reason the case: But D [...] vid spoke advisedly, he did n [...] (as sometimes he did) speak [...] his haste, he is often saying th [...] same,Psal. 119.77. ver. 88. Let thy tender mercies co [...] unto me that I may live: There's n [...] life without assurance of his me [...] cies: Quicken me after thy lovin [...] kindness: He counts himself dea [...] without his loving kindness, th [...] quickens him, and puts new li [...] into him. It is a great dignit [...] and comfort to a man to hav [...] birds, beasts, fishes, Sea, Ai [...] Earth and all things to be mad [...] for him, and subjected to him Now David looks higher than th [...] Psal. 8. [Page 67] 8th Psalm, there must be more than all this to make a man to have a true and worthy life. Though the body live by the Soul, yet there wants Gods favour and face, which is the Soul of the Soul, and more to it, than it is to the body. The spiritual life, to have to have the vital powers of grace, the inspiration of Gods quickning Spirit, an inward sight [...]iewing of Gods face in Christ, and sweet s [...]nse of his loving coun­ [...]enance, as John saith of the true [...]ight, so this is the true life. In anotner place he has the very words, His an­ger endureth but for a moment, Psal. 30.5. ver. 7. Anima ho­minis Christiani Tulipae in­star est, quae se ad Spiritus Sancti radios explicat, iis­dem absentibus contristatur. Causin. Parab. Hist. lib. 10. and in his favour is life. Again, Thou didst turn away [...]hy face, and I was troubled: There is death in [...]he hiding of his countenance. In the first Psalm the righteous man is compared to a tree, and here methinks the righteous man is [Page 68] compared to a flower, the Tuli [...] or Marygold; if the Sun open h [...] bright lightsome face upon them these open their leaves; but if [...] set and shut up his shining shopi [...] Heaven, these lour, and clasp t [...] gether their leaves on earth Such is Gods favour and fac [...] of love; Davids Soul, and ev [...] ry Christians holy Soul rises a [...] sets with it. Absalom cou [...] tell us, though he had lands a [...] maintenance from his father, y [...] he lived bion 'abion, Principis sideris ab­sentiam gemere diceres. a lifeless lis [...] so long as he might not come in his fathers presence, and beho [...] his face. The face of God reco [...] ciled, has more ravishing swe [...] ness in it for every adopted Chil [...] who has tasted how gracious t [...] Lord is: and how can they b [...] droop, when that is hid fro [...] them, under se [...] and feeling of displeasure?Psal. 90.9. Redde oculos mea vita tuos ni cenere pergam, Frigidus exanimi pectore di­speream, Jan. Lernut. in Poem. Ocelli. Cain, Saul, Judas, Spira. W [...] thou art angry our days are go [...] The Idolizi [...] Lover will t [...] [Page 69] you his life lies in his Mrs eyes; an amorous and pleasant look quickens him, a frown or neglect­ing countenance casts him into deep vexations of heart. This is but the Creature; shall there not be thought there is more power of life and death in the Creator, ap­pearing graciously favourable, or displeased?

Real proofs of this have been the horrible vexations, even to dispair, of wretched men, when the ireful face of God has been set against them for their sins, and presented to their Souls. As also those bitter cries, and prayers of the Godly in deep afflictions, when no glasses could shew unto them the face of Gods favour, this made them averse and pull back their hand from all offered comforts,Natura speciem ita formavit oris, ut in ea penitus recon­ditos mores effingeret. Is qui appellatur vultus, qui in nullo amimante esse praeter hominem potest, indicat mo­res, Cicero de Legib. lib. 1. Psal. 51. because they wanted the sense and sight of this only com­fort. And this [Page 70] is a common phrase of Gods fa­vour and love, the shewing of his face, because the heart acts all the parts of its several affections upon the Stage of the face, it is the outward Map of the inward passions of the mind. If there be fear within, it may be seen in the trouble of the countenance, and paleness clothing the face with­out. If anger rise, then cloudy frowns and angry demonstrations give warnings of it. If love and favour sweeten the disposition of the Soul, then a pleased look, a chearful eye, a gladsome conten­ted countenance will declare the good pleasure and acceptation of the mind. According to those va­riations of Gods face do the Saints vary their prayers; one while praying the Lord to shew them his face, and the light of his coun­tenance to shine upon them; that is, to shew them his divine fa­vour, and fatherly good pleasure; otherwhiles praying him to turn away his face, that is, his angry [Page 71] countenance, and face of displea­sure.

Reas. Reason why the life of the faithful lies in Gods loving face, is, because it is the very life and happiness of the Saints in Hea­ven. For those even in Heaven in the presence of all good things, and want of all evils, had but a miserable happiness, if either God were not present with them, or, being present, if they did not al­ways behold his blessed face of [...]ove and favour. If this be the [...]ife of Heaven, much more must [...]he comfort of it quicken the [...]aints upon earth.

Use. Here will be a fair trial of the [...]incerity of a good Christian [...]eart, hereby may be known, 2 Corint [...] 8.8. To [...]nesion tes 'agapes, the sincereness and genuineness of our love whe­ [...]her our service and obedience be grounded upon a right love to God or no. How are we affect­ed to the Lord, do we lay up all our treasure in his love and loving countenance? can we content and [...]uiet our hearts with this, that [Page 72] God is well pleased with us in the midst of our calamities? Canst thou say in the midst of ease, rich­es, friends, honour, and the ful­lest streams of wordly content­ment. Alas! foolish vanities, one glance of Gods face, the perswa­sion of Gods favour do I delight in more than all you? yea, I had rather be the basest footstool of the world with Gods love, than a glorious Monarch with a grace­less Soul. Wicked men always love Gods hand, better than his face, the gifts better than the gi­ver. Give them the worlds mar­row and fatness, let their Corn and Wine, and Oyl increase, let them walk in Sunshine of earthly prosperity, and they never finde a want of inward assurance of Gods love in the Soul, they want eyes to see the want of spiritual life, and want Grace to long after Gods countenance, to shine upon their Souls in sanctification and true peace. The worlds voice is, who will shew us any good? that is, gifts of Gods hand: but the [Page 73] Godlies voice is,Psal. 4. Lord lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. If thou canst make it all thy care to keep the assurance of Gods love, and all thy joy to rejoyce in his face when thou hast it, and make it all thy grief that nothing can comfort thee when thou want­est it, & all thy labor for to regain it; doubtless thy love to God is sin­cere and true, you are reconciled ones, for one friend cannot brook the absence of another.

Use. 2 What esteem will this teach us to give to the life of a wicked man? doth he live who wants the Spirit of life, the face of Gods favour, which is better than life? No, his life is a spiritual death, he may live in the eyes of men, but he is a dead stinking Carrion in the eyes of God, Dead, nay, that is not enough, he is thrice dead and pluckt up by the roots.Jude ver. 12. For first, he is dead in sin; next, he is more miserably dead, because Gods face is turned away from him, he loves him not, delights not in him, and which is worse [Page 74] than death, this wretched Soul perceives it not, and is not grieved for it. O man, pray for an Hea­venly light, that thy eyes may be opened to see thy misery. Thou art merry and jolly, for all things fall out to thy wish. Thou grow­est from weak to strong, from young to old; this is but the life of trees and plants. Thou walk­est, eatest, drinkest, sleepest well, this is but the sensual life of birds and beasts. Thou buildest, talk­est, reasonest, this is but the life of men, even Heathens, and stran­gers to Christ: thus thy life pas­ses; but alas! among all these thou wantest the life of Grace, the loving countenance of God in Christ, the assurance of salvation by faith in him. Thou yet want­est the seeds and principles of a true Christian life, and therefore art a poor dead wretch before God, and canst not but perish, if thou seekest not for better com­forts, and a better life than these; even that Christ may be thy life, and visit thy dead Soul with his [Page 75] quickning Spirit,Colos. 3.4 and set his face of favour upon thee for his own chosen One. This is the misery of a senseless sensual Soul, Ahab. like, to grieve for no wants, but only of earthly things. If the Children of the most High so hard­ly come to Heaven with faintings of spirit, and approachings to the very grave and pit, in seeking Gods face, what shall become of them then, that count Gods face not worth looking after? sure a­gainst such the Lord hath set his face of wrath and displeasure for ever.

Use. 3 This will discover the common spring, whence these troubled wa­ters arise, which so often almost drown the godly: Their anguish flows from a mistaking, and mis­interpretation of this face of fa­vour.Facìes ho­minis est speculum cordis. Bernard. ad sorot. de modo bene viv, cap. 65. Whensoever they fall in­to any temptations they pass an hard sentence against themselves, that God has turned awy his face from them, and is angry with them, because their anguish con­tinues, and he doth not present­ly [Page 76] deliver them. When Gods face is towards thee, why dost thou deny it? the Sun shines, though there be a Cloud 'twixt it and me; and even now Gods face shines upon thee, though Sa­tan hath placed some foggy va­pours and clouds of distrust and temptations 'twixt thy Souls eye and it. It is no difficulty to prove, that we complain of Gods hiding his face, when it is not hid from us. The best parts of a mans face for comfort, is the eye, and the ear; the one to see, and look kindly on us, the other to hear us willingly. Dost thou (though sore afflicted) trust in God, and wait on him, are thy eyes to him? then I am sure his eyes are upon thee, his eye of pi­ty, of love, of tender compassion; he will not withdraw his eyes from the righteous; and his ears are open unto their prayer. What wouldst thou have more than an open ear, and piteous eye? what dost thou in this thy trouble, thou callest on God by prayer, thou [Page 77] mortifiest every known sin, thou labourest to finde God in every promise? who guides thee to do this? not the tempter, for this is the way to break in pieces all his Temptations; not thy self, for thou knowest not aright what course to take; it is because Gods eye is upon thee, for his eye guides thee to these ways.Job 36.7. Psal 34 14. Ignoras Agrippa, me oculis non minus quam v [...]ce, loqui solere? Cajus Agrip Philo Iud de Legat. ad C [...]um. Profecto in oculis animus habitat. Plin. lib. 11. cap. 37. I will guide thee (saith the Lord) with mine eye. And they say the seat of Love, though it be in the face, yet it is specially in the eye. Again, Gods ear is towards thee, thou prayest, and he hears; thou beggest strength and comfort, he gives the first? he delays but the last: he gives thee the comfort of strength, makes thee able to hold out in thy trouble; though he do not yet give thee the strength of comfort, to get out of thy trouble. Surely we want not his face and favour, [Page 78] when we have thus his good eye and gracious ear, and can say to to the Tempter, Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall, Psal. 32.9. Vid. Guazzum de civil con­vers. lib. 4. de oculorum vi in amore. Sunt cordis fe­nestrae & pedisse qui. but the Lord hath been my helper. What wantest thou then of his face? nothing but one word from his mouth, that he would speak peace to thee, and say within thee in the voice of his Spirit, I am thy salvation: This I know is that the Saints oft-times want,Psal. 118.13. Psal. 35.3. Proverb. 12.25. Cupiendi amoris visus est an­sa. Plutarch. His mouth is most sweet. Cant. 5.16. Cant. 2.14. that God is long silent, speaks not comfort to them. Heaviness having seized upon the heart of man makes it stoop, but then a good word makes it glad. One good word from God would build up thy Soul, if he should but say, Be of good chear thy sins are forgiven thee. And doubtless, this thou hast also, he speaks to thee in his promises; only Satan, [Page 79] and thy wrestling heart drown his voice, that thou canst not hear his promises speaking par­ticularly and distinctly to thee. In the mean time call and pray unto God, that is a seeking of his face, and howsoever for a while he stand behind the wall, thou seest him darkly, but through the windows, and he shew himself to thee but through the lattice,Cant. 2.9. yet thou shalt in good time enjoy his face of comfort more fully, and have a more compleat presence of him bringing sweet consolations to thy wearied Soul. Thou hast alrea­dy his countenance, he will grant thee the joy of that countenance.

I conclude with that discourse of the Father concerning Gods face.

If God should come (saith he) and with his own voice speak to you (though he is not silent, but speaks by his Letters) and should say to man; Wilst thou sin, sin on; do what delights thee; what ever thou lovest on earth, let it be thine, whom thou art angry at, [Page 80] let him perish; whom thou wouldst have taken away, let him be ta­ken away; whom thou wouldst stay, let him be slain; whom con­demned, let him be condemned; whom possess, thou mayest possess him: Let none resist thee, none say to thee, so much as, What dost thou? &c. Take thee abun­dance of all earthly things thou desirest, live in them, and not for a time, but for ever; only upon this condition, thou shalt never see my face. Wherefore is your heart smitten, if God should say, Thou shalt never see my face. Be­hold, thou shalt be full of all earth­ly felicity, of all things, all tem­poral good things shall flow about thee, thou losest them not, never forsakest them; what wouldest thou have more? Surely chaste fear would weep and lament, yea, and say, Rather let all these things and this felicity be taken from me, so I may but see thy face; chaste fear would cry out with the Psal­mist,August. in Psal. 127. Turn us again, O Lord of Hosts, let thy face shine on us, and [Page 81] we shall be saved; Psal. 80.19. And, One thing I have desired of the Lord, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the fair beauty of the Lord, and to visit his Temple, Psal. 27.4. O Brethren, would you know where Paradise is scituate, and what Quarter Heaven lies in? It lies in Gods countenance, and in his reconciled face; and the sorest torments of Hell lie in the everlasting hiding away of Gods face. O Lord, we are helpless,Psal. 42.5. give us the help of thy counte­nance When we are in darkness, O lift thou upon us the light of thy countenance, and our dark­ness shall be as Noon-day: When we are full of sorrow, thou shalt make us full of joy with thy countenance: Turn thou unto us, Act 2. [...]8, Psal. 80. O God of our salvation, cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved.

The end of the first Book.

EYE-SALVE FOR The blind World: OR, An Excitation to the secure World, to see and fear the Judg­ments of God are a coming upon it, when God frequently calls his Rare Saints by death to go out of it.

By THO. CALVERT, Mr. of Arts, and Minister of Gods Word in York.

Luke 10.42.

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

Foelix domus & beata semper congregatio est, ubi de Maria Martha conqueritur. Ber­nard. in Assumpt. 6. Ma. Serm 3.

London, Printed by Fr. Leech for Th. Pas­senger, at the Signe of the the three Bi­bles upon London-Bridge. 1675.

EYE-SALVE FOR The blind World.

ESAI. 57.1.

The Righteous perisheth and no man layeth it to heart; and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.

THe preaching King hath put this among his golden Observati­ons,Eccl. 7.8. Constet finem prae­cipuum esse, & eo semper spectan­dum, omnia propter illum patienter ferenda. Mer­cer. comment in Eccles. 7, 8. That the end of a thing is better than the [Page 86] beginning: His intended purpose therein, being to animate the faint-hearted, not to start back at the first, as afraid of enterprising weighty matters, because of an harsh entrance into them. Yet the beginning of this Chapter is much better than the end: it be­gins with Christs Legacie, Peace to the Righteous; but the dregs are bitter at the bottom, which the ungodly shall suck up.12 last ver. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wic­ked. Who cares for a blasted Rose? or what verdict gives the world on a righteous man in his life, but this, which the Prophet gives of Christ for his humane base appearance?Esa. 58.3. there is no form or comliness in him, and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. And yet these blind Ba­laams, when they have done Sa­tan all his work, would willing­ly exchange their best wages of unrighteousness for the godly mans Vineyards penny. Is it not a misery, to see a Soul, that hath [Page 87] all the days of this life, been drunk with the wine of worldly [...]usts, the body now standing up­on the brink of the grave, not shaking the hands of others, but wringing their own hands in a woful farewel, the fingers pid­ling with the bed-clothes,Animam quod imodo inter dentes habentem. August. id Epist. Joan. tract. 10. Ari­staeas Proconnesis. Hujvs a­nimam corvi specie visam ex ore evolantem tradiderunt. Plin. Hist. lib. 7. Jo. Franc. Picus Mirandula praenot. lib. 9. cap. 2. Maximus Tyrius Platonicus, Serm. 22. and the Soul now stand­ing upon the lips, like a bird ready to take her flight, and if it were vi­sible, should be seen like his soul, which was said to be seen to flie out of his body in shape and co­lour of a Crow; that then at last, alas! too late, it should come to this sober and sad reckoning, O let me die the death of the righteous, and let my later end be like unto his, Num. 23.10. Children, when they are asleep look the prettiest; the Godly man is a fool in his life, yet the worlds deepest heads would be no wiser in their deaths, [Page 88] his last sleep has form and comliness in it. Our Prophet intends i [...] these words to tel us as much, tha [...] under the hard shell of death, h [...] findes a sweet kernel of life; h [...] is taken away from evils an [...] troubles, quietly to rest; as if he were laid in his own Bed cham­ber. This Prophet has many drops to comfort Gods Servants; he writes like an Evangelist, our Saviour and his Apostles dwelt much in his leaves, for he spake the Gospels Language of conso­lations,Verse 3. Musculus in Praefat. ad com­ment. in Esay. the New Testament has honoured him above other Pro­phets, with quoting his Prophesie 60 times, from Chapter 40. to the end of the whole Prophesie; it is like Canaan, full-stream'd with milk and hony, almost altogether consolatory. This very Chapter, among the rest, is not so short, as sweet, having goodly beams come from it.

First, It gives a bright and clear beam, to stand like a light over the grave of the Right [...]s, to [Page 89] let us see how they are buried in [...]eace, to the third verse.

Secondly, a sharp piercing [...]eam of reproos for conviction of the ungodly of divers sins, mocking of the Holy, Idolatry, &c. to the thirteenth Verse.

Lastly, an heating beam of comfort, promises of favour, re­conciliation and peace, to stay the tears of all Zions mourners, to the end of the Chapter.

These words otherwise may be named, the short Table or view of the Child of God, in his life and death.

1. In his life, and so he is described two ways.

  • 1. God-ward, so he is righteous.
  • 2. Manward, so he is merciful.

2. In his death, which we consider two ways.

  • 1. How expres­sed.
  • 2. How respe­cted.

[Page 90]1. Expressed two ways, he is said to

  • 1. Perish.
  • 2. Be taken a­way out o [...] the world.

2. Re­spected two ways:

  • 1. Of God, he respect [...] them with care, to free them from the evil to come.
  • 2. Of wicked men, thei [...] respect is respectles­ness, set out

Two ways, by two Phrases of care­less neglect:

  • 1. They never take it to heart.
  • 2. They little con­sider or minde it.

Or more briefly, the whole may be summed into these two Heads:

1. Gods Judgment in the death of the Righteous, taking them away to himself, when he means to punish the world.

2. The worlds want of judg­ment and consideration of Gods [Page 91] end of it, None considers it, none lays it to heart.

Let some light of explication make clear the words.

The righteous. Rom. 3.10 Eccl 7.20] Righteousness is hard to finde. Are there some Righteous? is it not the voice of the Scripture, there is none righ­teous, no not one: Not a Just man upon earth? True, when we name Righteousness, we call to mind our lost Pearl: God made man Righteous. This Apple of our eye was given away for an Apple of the Tree of Knowledge. If we speak of men Righteous and Just, in respect of their deeds among men, we mean upright and honest dealing; if we speak of Righte­ousness in respect of God, then we mean no more a righteousness of inherence, that is gone; but of adherence and cleaving to Christ by faith. Christs Righteousness and merits are imputed to us. Just and righteous is that stile holy and good men are honoured withal in the Scriptures, denoting fruits of righteousness in an upright life, [Page 92] according to that,1 Joh. 3.7. Mat. 1.19. Act. 10.22. he that doth righteousness is righteous. Thus Joseph is called a Just man; so Cor­nelius; where the word Just notes the universal and general carriage in uprightness, holiness and Gods fear.

Perisheth.] This word sounds harshly, as to die miserably, un­timely; but surely the righteous so perish not, un­less the Prophet speak after the opinion and in the phrase of the ungodly.Wisd. 3.2. Perishing is taken for any ordinary or na­tural kind of death, as well as violent, Job. 34.15. Prov. 31.6. to him that is ready to perish, that is, ready to die. In the sight of the un­wise they seem­ed to die or perish, and their de­parture is taken for misery; yet to perish is expounded afterward to be nothing else, but to be taken a­way, and depart this life.

No man layeth it to heart.] No man, that is, very few or none mind to take care for the worlds loss of the Righteous, their hearts are nothing at all moved, or toucht with it. Things that come near [Page 93] the heart most affect us. To lay to heart, is a common phrase in Scripture, and is expounded af­ter by the word consider: It is used again verse the eleventh, Thou hast not remembred me, nor laid it to thy heart. It seems to imply three things.

First, to understand the thing we would consider.

Secondly, To consider and ear­nestly to think of the causes, and consequents of it.

Thirdly to be affected with it upon that consideration, so as the heart joys in it, if it find it good; is greatly grieved, and sorry for it, finding it evil: the affection of sorrow arising in a matter deplo­rable, of joy in a thing comfor­table. So then, none lays it to heart, is thus much, None consi­ders at all Gods anger intended to the world in the death of the god­ly; none repent of their sins, or stand in fear of some ensuing Judgment.

Mic. 7.2. Psal. 12.1. Significat pro natu­ra loci, vel benigne acceptum a Deo, vel benig­num erga alios. Tar­nov. in Psal. 4. & ver. 4. Merciful men.] The word sig­nifies Good or kinde men, and it is Translated Good, or Godly in o­ther places: To shew us, that Mercy is a great part of Godli­ness. It is taken passively, for one that has receiv'd mercy from the Lord, or Actively, for one that shews mercy to others, in which acception it stands here.

Are taken away] Colliguntur, are gathered together; so the Patriachs dying are said to be gathered to their fathers, which is not so meant of their bodies, which were it buried in Tomb purchased by their Kindred, for a burial place to that family; but especially it is meant of the Souls of the faithful, which in the death of their bodies are gathered to the blessed number of the righteous,Heb. 12.23. glorified in Heavens; gathered to the rest of the spirits of Just men made per­fect. This taking away, or ga­thering, may be considered dou­bly, as a gathering out, or a ga­thering in.This is se­lectio po­tius quam collectio.

First. A gathering out, which is [Page 95] when there is a mixture of things good and bad together, when we pick out one sort from the other, it is a gathering or selecting colle­ction. As when the Net catches all kind of fishes, the good are pickt out, and the bad cast away. Sometimes they are thus gathered, when danger is likely to seize on al together, then that which is good gathered out, that the danger may not fall on it. Thus the righte­ous are mixt in this world with ungodly men, and the Lord picks his Children from among the rest, he is preparing plagues for the world, and before hand he takes care for his, by gathering them out of the danger: so that phrase imports, from the evil to come.

2. A gathering in,Both these gatherings in the Pa­rable of the Draw­net, Mat. 13.47, 48. which is af­ter the picking out, to lay that which is good in a better place by themselves. Thus the Righteous (separated from the world by death) are gathered (like the good fishes) into a vessel by themselves, into one blessed society and un­mixt company, into heavenly [Page 96] glory, where no wicked men shall enter among them any more. And of this gathering is this Colligun­tur, they are thus taken away.

None considering.] Before, none laying it to heart, for so they are both taken one for another, Consi­der your ways, Hag. 1.5. in Haggai in the O­riginal is, set your heart on your ways.

A facie mali. From the evil to come.] From the face or presence of evil.

From the evil of sin, lest if he should live any longer, he might be infected with the sins of wic­ked men: But the truest is, from the evil of punishment,Wis. 4.11. where­with God means to plague the wicked world, that they may not smart with the sinners. When God has a quarrel with the earths In­habitants, he takes his Children from among them, that he may be revenged upon those who have provokt him. Thus the mea­ning of the words appearing, the Prophet seems to speak to his peo­ple, and in them to us, after this manner.

O how great and graceless is our security,Sum and Sense of words. Which careless and sinful security is plain in the verse foregoing. Esa. 56.12 with what hasty feet do all men run to their pleasures? How blinde are we, that cannot see the Land falling under the hand of the Lords severe Judg­ment? Do we not daily see the Lord fetching away by death his dearest and holiest Servants? Sure­ly therein he would signifie to us, that his intentions are to bring punishments upon us, he taking his own out of the way, that they may not see nor feel the vengeance which the world has deserved and shall undergo. Yet where is there a man that thinks of this, or lays it to heart, or takes notice what the Lord is a­bout to do, when he takes the righteous from among us?

From the words (like clay thus tempered and prepared) we may make up these five Vessels,5 Con­clusions or Do­ctrines. or ex­tract these evident Conclusions.

First, that Righteous and holy men are also merciful men.

Secondly, Gods most Righte­ous [Page 98] Servants must die as well as o­thers.

Thirdly, The Souls of the Saints in their deaths are gathered to the Lord, and (by the Lord) into blessedness.

Fourthly, When the Righteous go from among us, some Judg­ment is to be feared is coming to­wards us.

Fifthly, The secure wicked world is little mov'd with the re­moval of the Godly. — None considers it, none lays it to heart. How easily these rise, we need not fly to Reasons to demonstrate it: Righteous men are merciful men. 1 Doct. — Our Saviour hath enjoyned it them, and they lay up his sayings in their hearts,Luke 6.39. Be ye merciful as your Heavenly Father is merciful. These have received mercy of the Lord, and are thereby transform­ed into such a merciful and piti­ful nature, as his is. If we should ask fire why it burns? It must be answered, It is the na­ture of fire: Why doth the Sun [Page 99] shine? It is the nature of the Sun to do so: How is it the Godly man is so merciful? It is the na­ture of him, I mean the new na­ture that is ingrafted in Christ, to be like affected to the misery of othors, as he has found Christ to him. These may truly say, We cannot but do it, the love of God constrains us to it.2 Cor. 5 14.

There are no Graces poured by God into a good mans heart, as water into a Tub or Pond, which keeps all to it self, and lets the ground be dry about it; but every gracious man is a Spring, a Foun­tain, that sends forth streams to water the eatth, and feeds the ri­vulets that flow from it. When we once come to Christ the great Spring, he makes us little Springs to others:Zac. 13.1. Joh. 4.14. The waters that I give (saith Christ) shall be in him that receives it a Well springing up to everlasting life: yea, might some say, it springs up for himself: yes, and for others also, for out of his belly shall these waters flow to the benefit of others. The wo­man [Page 100] of Samaria had no sooner drunk of this water of Christs re­ceiving her to mercy,Joh. 7.38. but it burst and flowed out of her belly, in pity she laboured the salvation of her Neighbours, crying earnestly on them, Come and see a man, &c. Come and taste of that mercy which I have tasted of in Christ:Joh. 4. the Prophet David has the very words of this conclusihn, the Righ­teous is merciful and liberal; that is, he shews his mercy by his libe­rality. Elsewhere he sings the Marriage song of these two in God,Psal 37.21. Mercy and truth are met to­gether; and as sweet is Righte­ousness and Mercy, Piety and Pi­ty conjoyn'd in a Christian: A sweet pair and lovely couple of young Pigeons, not the offering of the poor, but this Offering to the poor, which the Lord loves better than a fat Bullock laid on his Altar; With such sacrifices of mercy (for he loves mercy better than sacrifice) is God well pleased. Hos. 6.6. Heb. 13.16. This mercy is an holy affection of the heart sympathizing with them [Page 101] that are in misery, and a liberal and holy action of the hand help­ing and refreshing those in misery. Piteous affection that is the root; actions of liberal distribution, and relief, that is the fruit, which like the fruit of the Vine,Judg. 9.13. chears both God and man. Misery which is the object of Mercy is corporal or spiritual.

1. Mercy looks at them both, to the bodies sickness, nakedness, poverty, beggery; there mercy will make a Christian a Dorcas, to clothe, and relieve, to visit and refresh.

2. To the Souls misery, as ig­norance of God, impenitencie, li­ving in sin, &c. there mercy will be a counsellor, to counsel them for God; an instructor, a repro­ver, a builder, pitying those blind Souls.

Briefly, all misery is the object of mercy, upon every occasion it has (like Christ) an open side to shew the bowels of compassion.

Use. This will be of Use, as if it were a Book with two leaves to [Page 102] let two several sorts of men read legibly in it their condition and estate, thereby to learn what it is.

1. If Righteous men be mer­ciful men, then here is a note to try our Righteousness by, here in this Leaf mayest thou read thine estate towards God, in thy pite­ous compassion towards man. Art thou pitiful-hearted to any in ne­cessity? dost thou love to stretch forth thy hand, & reach out boun­ty to the poor Members of Christ?Heb. 13.2. canst thou fee Christ in a stranger? then art thou no stranger to Christ. There are many notes of Righteousness, the Lady and Queen of all is Faith; yet Faith is dead if she want breath; the breath of Faith is Love, and Love is dead if it shew not Mercy. How can any have a surer characteri­stick signe of his sins pardon than this, that in injuries he can fee­lingly say, I will pardon, for Christ has pardoned me; in poverty he can say, I will help this misera­ble wretch, for the Lord might [Page 103] have made me far more misera­ble: Yea, when he meets with these objects of pity,The oppressor the only Can­nibal, by whom the poor and needy are crushed, Amos 4.12. their skin pull'd from flesh, and flesh from bones. Mic. 3.22. chopt in pieces as flesh for the pot Mic. 3.3. eaten like a loaf of bread, Psal. 14.4. they are swallow­ed down like meat, Amos 8.4. and quite devoured, Hab. 1.13. he can say in himself, Lo, Christ has cast this man in my way to try my bounty and com­passion, I will not lose this op­portunity. If up­on all occasions thou art ready to distribute to the necessity of Gods poor Children, doubtless thou art one of Gods Children, for he be­gets Sons like himself, piteous and compassionate.

2. If the Righteous be merci­ful, then let us turn to the other leaf. Look here churlish Nabal, unmerciful Christian, covetous I­ron-bowel'd oppressor, let me say as Christ, What is writ in the Law, how readest thou? What is writ in this leaf? this mayest thou read to the shame of thy face, and ter­ror of thine heart, that such un­merciful [Page 104] men are unrighteous, yea, godless wretches. Are there not some, whom the Lord has fil­led with earths good things, and yet the Box of Spikenard, that those in necessity might smell the odour of Mercies Oyntment? The Godly man puts his earthly trust in his hand,Esa. 3.15. it never comes in his heart: the ungodly cove­tous put it in their hearts, it ne­ver comes in their hands to distri­bute; and can there be any room for Christ, or his Grace in such earthly hearts, where earthly me­tal takes up all the place? Be not deceived, you that have abun­dance, and riot in that abundance, never pitying nor rembring the af­flictions of Joseph; you that by oppression and hard dealing, as Satans grindstones,Oppesso­res Mola­ras Sata­nae. do grind the faces of the poor, shut your ears and hands at the cry of the needy, and worse than Bethlemites, will not help Christ (in his Members) to Stable-room, you (running in this course) are strangers to righ­teousness,Pro. 12.10 and enemies to mercy. [Page 105] Doubtless such never tasted of Christ, nor love Christ; for who loves the Head, which hates the Members? If the righteous man be merciful to his beast, then sure­ly such are unrighteous, and very beasts who will not shew mercy to man. Learn of me (saith Christ) what will he teach? pity, compas­sion, meekness, love: If we will not learn this of Jesus, we may seek out another Master; unmer­ciful men may go to School to Ju­das and profit under him, he will (of all men most unmerciful yet) read unto them a Lecture of mer­cy, might not this have been sold and given to the poor? Joh. 12.5. sorry that the Oyntment was not better spent; the lesson was good, though his meaning was naught. Little and slender are the hopes for Hea­ven, who go on in the path of co­vetous mercilesness. If unmer­ciful men ever come in Hea­ven, then unrighteous men may come there also, and then where will the truth of Gods Word ap­pear,Rom. 1. [...] which threatens those who [Page 106] cast away all piteous affection, an [...] consider not the cause of the poo [...] and needy. Such may perswad [...] themselves with presumptuou [...] hopes, that for all this they hav [...] claim; but sure they build [...] goodly house which forget to la [...] the foundation: Saint Paul hath herein given us the way to make sure hold and hopes of eterna [...] life,2 T [...]m. 6.18, 19. by being rich in good works, and ready to distribute, this lays a sure foundation for time to come. Mercy (in one word) marks us for God, unmercifulness for Sa­tan, and is the cognizance of an unrighteous man;Mic. 6.8. to do justly, and love mercy, and walk humbly with God, must be found in him that belongs to God.2. Use.

Where might exhortation be better bestowed, and largelier ur­ged, then in stirring up all men, to let their light shine before men in works of mercy.Col. 3.12. O that we would all put on these bowels of mercy [...]and tender-heart­edness, clothes that wax not old, which will keep us warm with a [Page 107] comfortable heat in the coldest day [...] distress, in life, death, and judg­ [...]ent. The only way to be rich, [...] to be trading with the poor in [...]cts of mercy and pity. We take [...]reat care to lay up our wealth [...]ase; it is never so safely laid up, [...]s when it is thus laid out, in clo­ [...]hing the naked back, and filling [...]he empty belly, and main­ [...]aining the right cause of the Fa­ [...]herless and Orphans. So many [...]s have been refreshed by our [...]ounty, are made our Intercessors [...]n earth, and are bountiful in [...]heir prayers to us and for us, that when we pray, we have all their prayers joyned with an holy im­portunity, overcoming God to grant our requests.2 Tim. 1.16. Happy was O ever nesiphorus, that he lookt merci­fully upon Paul in his Chain, for he got Pauls prevailing prayer, that for mercy to him, the Lord would have mercy likewise on him at the last day. Especially, Learn we to pity sinners, blind, naked, and beggarly Souls: Save such [Page 108] ungodly wretches with fear;Dubio procul flamma ignis, five Gehennae intelligi­tur, Phil. Pareus in Epist. Jud. tom. Jude vers. 22, [...]3. wh [...] fear? with fear, lest thou suff [...] them to perish in their sins; a [...] pull them out of the fire, ev [...] out of the fire of Hell, towar [...] which every sin (unrepented o [...] carries a man; of such have co [...] passion, by correcting them f [...] their evil course, and by directin [...] them into the way of Go [...] fear.

In four actions may we she [...] our merciful disposition.

First, In bearing, for mercy h [...] an ingredient of patience to be [...] wrongs.

Secondly, In forbearing revenge and shewing a meek and gentl [...] nature.

Thirdly, In giving, whethe [...] corporal or spiritual Alms.

Fourthly, In forgiving, yea praying for our persecutors: a high degree of mercy, so to fo [...] give, as we can pray for God mercy to forgive our enemies.

Motives to this might be many but that one most powerful, the [Page 109] the Judicatory Sentence of Christ Judging the world, shall pass ac­cording to the works of mercy done, or omitted;Mat. 25.34. I was an hun­gry, and you fed me, naked and you clad me, &c. Therefore, Come you blessed Children of my Father, &c. For the mercy of a crum you shall have the mercy of my King­dom. On the contrary, how dreadful is that voice, I was sick and you visited me not, naked and you clad me not, &c. Therefore, go you cursed, &c. you shall have Judgment without mercy, because you have shewed no mercy.Jam. 2.13 Canes ante men­sam impa­stos esse non pati­mur, & homines extrudi­mus? Am­bros. offic. lib. 3. c. 7. How deeply will that wound the mer­ciless heart, when Christ shall lay it to his Charge. The dogs were fed, and my Children famisht. These Actions of mercy are that which procures God to be our Orator, when he, in the general concourse of all them that ever lived upon earth, will mention and declare the Alms and compassion of the good man to his Children. What Abel suffered, how Noah preserved the World, Abraham kept the [Page 110] faith; Christ tells not of these at the last day, but Angels and all Saints shall hear of the bread that the poor have eaten, of the clothes that have covered their naked­ness, of the drink which quencht the thirst of their throats. Some wish the Crown of Jobs passion I desire the recompense rather of his compassion; happy is he that hath skill to pronounce his lan­guage of mercy:Job 29.12, 13, 15. I delivered the poor that cried, the fatherless and him that had none to help him: The blessing of him that was ready to pe­rish came upon me, and I caused the widows heart to sing for joy: I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame: I was a father to the poor, and the cause which I knew not, I searched out.

Doct. 2 Gods Righteous and holy Ser­vants must die as well as others. At one common door all enter, the Womb; at one common door we all go out, the Grave. All men came upon the Stage of life upon this condition, that having acted our parts we should go off. There [Page 111] is a way that is called the way of [...]ll flesh: Christ himself, if he take [...]pon him mans flesh, mortality [...]eizes upon that which is mortal, [...]e dies. I may take Davids words, speaking of another Gate, [...]nd apply them to this Gate of [...]eath, This is the Gate of the Lord, Psal. 118. [...]ven the Righteous shall enter in [...]hereat. Gods Servants (even [...]is best) must be taken away, and [...]hat in a threefold respect.

I In respect of Nature, they must [...]lie, whose Candle is not infinite, [...]t cannot burn always; it was [...]ighted upon this condition, that [...]t should once die out. The Week [...]hich burns, and the matter [...]hich feeds it, is elementary, ends to corruption.

1. This Candle is sometimes [...]iolently dasht out, as Abimelechs [...]andle of life with a stone thrown [...]t it.Judg. 9.53.

2. Sometimes a great winde lows it out, as Herods breath puf­ [...]ed out John Baptists light.

3. Sometimes it burns it self to [...]e very last, and spends it self in [Page 112] the Socket, as Methusalem and A­braham, dying in their old age, and full of days.

4. Yea, often this Candle is no sooner lighted up,In puncto temporis sal [...]e pari­ter, vale (que) dixerunt, Hieron. de Ausonio subito proficis­cente. Ad Julian. epist. 34. but it is pre­sently thrown down and put out; so died the Innocents, and so ma­ny young Children; the world had scarce bid them welcom, and they turned their backs, and bad it fareful. The Clew of life, though it were not violently cut, yet voluntarily would it in time unwinde it self, and let it appear that humane life is wound up but upon a bottom of Clay. Righte­ous men in the world are Flowers among Grass and Weeds; yet are they but Flowers, these Lillies must wither, these Roses must cast their leaves:1 Pet. 1.24 For all flesh is grass, and the glory thereof as the flower of the field; the grass withers, the best flower will fade.

II In respect of Grace it is neces­sary they die: will God put off his Children with the first-fruits of his Spirit? no, he in [...]eads to perfect all Grace, and to fill them [Page 113] with all Divine fulness, to make them full Heirs, in bringing them to the Fountain and Well-head of life. Achsah gets the upper-Springs granted to her, as well as the nether; so God has upper-Springs of perfection for his Chil­dren, whose best Graces are here mixt with many imperfections: the Grace of Sanctification is here perfect for the nature,Eph. 4.13. Prov. 4.18. Mors Hebraice Mavet & Met. per Metathesin Tom & Tam, in nostra patria sonat apud sinceros maternae lin­guae scrutatores, perfectum & Innocens. In hac enim vita nihil est per­fectum, sic Rabbi Jacobus apud Nic. Crogerum in Am­phitheatr. mortis conflict. 13. because it is holy, divine, and comes from God, but not for the stature, the strength and growth of it: it is always a growing here, there is a perfect measure and sta­ture of the fulness of Christ, which once attained (and must be attained by death) it is ripe, and grows no more: then all planting and watring shall cease by Word and Sacraments, the Tree of Grace being come to full [Page 114] growth. It is called, The righteous mans perfect day; now tha [...] which is perfect, cannot come till that which is imperfect [...] done away, which is by death that conveys us to our estate an [...] place of perfection: so some hav [...] drawn the Original of Death, t [...] signifie that which is perfect. The [...] shall our Wheat grow without ei­ther Straw or Chaff, when temp­tations and imperfections shall n [...] more trouble us, all corruptio [...] being perfectly weeded out of th [...] heart, which cannot be her whiles we are absent from th [...] Lord.

3. Lastly, the Righteous mu [...] die, in respect of the miseries o [...] this life, that their afflictions an [...] troubles may die and have an end The world laughs and the godl [...] weep: But shall the Righteou [...] mans Cheeks always be an Islan [...] compassed with Tears? No, th [...] Lord has told of a time, wherei [...] all tears shall be wiped from h [...] eyes. Who is persecuted, mockt scourged, the Butt of Satans temptations, [Page 115] the subject of the worlds [...]corn, but the Servants of Christ? [...]hall this time last always? No, [...]urely the Lord has a time for [...]hem, called,Rev. 21.4. The time of refresh [...]ent, when they shall be fuller of [...]lory and rest, than ever they [...]ere of troubles and miseries. We are here set in a warfare,Act. 3.19. as­ [...]aulted with fightings without, and errors within:2 Cor. 7.5. Exoothen machai, esoothen phoboi. we are compast [...]ith an unruly body of flesh; we [...]re laden with corporal maladies, [...]ains, infirmities; pestered with [...]piritual faintings, qualms, and [...]eak fits, that if we had not bet­ [...]er comfort brought us for the fu­ [...]ure, to free us from these cum­ [...]ersom anxities, a servant of God [...]ere of all men most miserable: but [...]weet Death looses our Chains, [...]nd sets us free. Upon this ground [...]id the Holy Father build that [...]ghing prayer of [...]is to God,Domine solve hanc tunicam ita mihi gravem & pondero­sam, & da mihi leviorem. Nazianz. O Lord (saith he) [...]elp me off, loose [...]nd unbuckle this [...]eavy Coat (mea­ning [Page 116] the flesh full of infirmitie which lies with such a ponde [...] pressing weight upon my should [...] and give me a lighter and easier g [...] ment; meaning the garment eternal life, so pleasant, so eas [...] and free from all troubles, whi [...] death brings us, and clothes withal. If there were [...] such Sugar at the bottom the Christians Cup, and the b [...] Wine kept to the end of the Fea [...] he had the worst fate of all me [...] but he may with a patience dig [...] these earthly troubles, because t [...] Lambs Supper shall make amen [...] for the worlds sharp Dinner.Psal. 27.15. I h [...] utterly fainted (saith David) [...] that I believed verily to see the go [...] ness of the Lord in the Land of th [...] [...] ving. That is meant of this li [...] much more may thoughts of et [...] nal life keep us from fainting. T [...] hope of death, is the hope of [...] life: it is necessary we die that [...] sorrows may die.

Use. 2 Must the very Righteous d [...] let it lead us to consider of, a [...] conclude that universal delugeGen. 2.17. [Page 117] [...]riginal corruption, wherein all [...]ankind lies drowned. It is too [...]rue, that being made of dust, sin ends us to retur [...] to dust again. Who will defend nature to be im­ [...]aculate, and unwounded? [...]eaths Weapons could not enter [...]lesh, had not our original impu­ [...]ity weakned us, and streng [...]h [...]ned [...]im. Man first brought sin into [...]he world, sin brought death;Rom. 5.12. Let one be so bold as to defend na­ [...]ure to be untainted, unless he [...]an bring this Argument to [...]rove it, Here is one free from [...]eath, Ergo, free from that sin. We are born Heirs and Coheirs (annexed with Adam) of sin [...]nd death. Pray we and strive we against Original lust, yea, repent we of this sin, as that which put death in office, and reached the dart into his hand.

Use. 2 This might stir us up, that see­ing all men (even the Righteous) must die, that we should labour to die Righteous. The Righteous mans eye is all on God in his life; and Gods eye (as at other times [Page 118] so) especially is set on him at his death, to fetch him to a blessed Mansion. We must die, but oh! that that last Act were made the Axle-tree,Deut. 32.29. on which all the acti­ons of our life might turn about, by continually thinking on our la­ter end. A paper newly written is kept from blotting, if dust or sand be cast upon it: The remem­brance that we are but dust and ashes, often, and daily cast upon our hearts and meditations, would keep us in an holy watchful course, that our lives should not be stained with so many blots of impiety, and neglect of Gods worship. Death indeed shall come to all, but our lives are that which makes death bitter or swee [...] unto us. For he shall come to the wicked and rigtheous in a differ­ent manner.

1. To the wicked and unrigh­teous he shall come as a man of War to a man where sin lives as long as he lives, where Sata [...] sways the Scepter of his Monarchy in his Soul, living impenitent­ly [Page 119] in fleshly lusts, deaths message is astonishing to such a one; Such a sinful wretch looking approach­ing death in the face, his Consci­ence cries a loud,1 Kin. 21.20. 1 King. 14.6. Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? as Ahab to Elias. To whom death answers with no better answer, than Ahi­jahs to Jeroboams wife, I am sent to thee with heavy tidings, a hard message, I have brought thee thy wages of sin, which is death. And then doth the desperate sinner tremble and quake,Rom. 6.23. remembring how bad a life has made way for death, and death to torment; then (too late) his sins affright him, and he cries out, but one day longer to repent, as did that man in his death, O spare me, Chrysao­rius in morte cla­mabat, In­ducias us­que mane. Gregor. Hom. 12. in Evang. and give me but respite and truce till the morn­ing, that I die not in my sins, and for my sins. O where are those ma­ny hours neglected in vanity?

2. But to the Godly and Righ­teous Soul, his appearance and face is glorious and amiable, he speaks a comfortable language to [Page 120] him. I cannot hurt thee, thy Sa­viour has taken thy weapons from me;1 Cor. 15.55. his death was my death was my death, for his Children, I come but to be thy Bridge that thou mayest pass over me into eternal life. So great a difference is there 'twixt the Godly and the wicked. Christian, get thy debts paid in Christ, and thy Bond cancelled in his blood, get into the croud, and touch but the hem of his Gar­ment by faith, to draw vertue, holiness, and his righteous-making merits, then shall there be no ter­rour in deaths Vizard, that will sweeten the bitterness of the Grave unto thee, and finding that thou art righteous and accepted in Christ, thou mayest challenge him, O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? O! by repentance keep thy Soul from dying and the death of the body wil [...] be a blessed prelude to immortali­ty. And so much for a general view [...] of the necessity of death to the very righteous.

Doct. The Souls of the Saints at their death are gathered to the Lord, and by the Lord into blessedness.

This Conclusion has inclusively in it two parts.

1. That in this life there is a mixture of good and bad.

2. That in death God gathers the Souls of the righteous into a [...] happy unmixt society by themselves.Eccl. 3.20Do not all go to one place? saith Solomon, yes, for bo­dies in death, the Grave is the common receptacle of good and bad; a Murderer and a Martyr may be laid in one Grave toge­ther, but for Souls they change Countries. The Sanctum San­ctorum is for those Souls which have been Kings and Priests to God; the Righteous are gather­ed into Heaven, but the wicke [...] they shall be gathered into ano­ther place, they shall be turned into Hell, into the Company of all them that forget God.Psa. 9.17. This Phrase of being gathered together in death, may be an allusion to the custom of the Jews who in death [Page 122] are said to be gathered to their Fa­thers when they died,Gen. 23.9 Gen. 49.29. Gen. 50.25. Rut. 1.17. 2 Sam. 19.37. for bodies as well as Souls, because they purchas­ed burial places for their family a­apart. So both Jacob and Joseph charged their Children to carry them out of Egypt, and bury them with their Fathers, and thei [...] own people in Canaan. Whic [...] desire of theirs to be buried nea [...] their holy Kindred did,

1. Shew their love to one another, desiring their company being dead, whom they loved living

2. They did it to testifie the faith in the Resurrection, hopin [...] by this means at the last Resurr [...] ction, they should all rise togethe [...] in glory.

3. Not to mention a third s [...] perstitious reason, by which p [...] haps they might be induced, [...] opinion of receiving some wo [...] or acceptableness to God, by [...] ing near to those in the Gra [...] who for holiness were dear to hi [...] and beloved of him. Thus J [...] ahs death was a gathering to his [...] thers, of his Body to the Sep [...] chres [Page 123] of his Fathers, and of his Soul to the company of all the Holy Fa­thers, that died in the same faith, pose may be seen To this pur­in the knowledge of the words Sanctuaria & Brandea, Habeo sepulchrum super quod jaceam, & commenda biliorem Deo futurum est me credam quod super sancte corporis ossa requi escam Ambros. de excessa fra [...] Saty. in cap. 2. Baron. Annal how far this Superstition afterward grew; which Scolars may inquire after. Our Saviour tells of this happy gatering, I say unto you, that many shall come from the East and West, and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Ja­cob in the Kingdom of Heaven. Our departure out of this life, where­soever we live. East, West, North, South, sends all holy Souls to sit at the same Table of Glory with all Patriarchs and Believers that have been since the beginning of the World. Here we sit at Table hand over-head, Judas has his hand in the same dish with Jesus, Goats and Sheep go in the same Pasture; good and bad are mixed; but hereafter there shall be a seperation, [Page 124] there shall be a society of the bles­sed, where no unclean thing shall enter. The Godly shall sit at a Table by themselves, none shall come there without a wedding Garment. Here is Mega Chaos, a great confusion, Habak. 1.4. but there wil be a time when there shall be Mega Chasma, a great Gulfe seperating distance, whereby sinners an [...] Saints shall be kept from blending together.Luke 16.16. That same last division which shall be made, i [...] fearful to think on, when Goat shall go among Goats, and Shee [...] with Sheep: yea, (that we ma [...] quake and tremble at it) of tho [...] many hundreds that hear me th [...] day, there shall be a divisio [...] some shall go to the right han [...] other shall be gathered to the le [...] we are all gathered together her [...] there will be a seperation,Mat. 24. [...] 4 [...]. yea two that sit in one Seat, of t [...] that lie in one bed, the one sh [...] he taken and the other left; the [...] gathered to glory, the other tu [...] bled into a lake of wrath, ne [...] to meet again. To confirm t [...] [Page 125] doctrine of gathering, we have the Parables of our Saviour of the Wheat and Tares, which here grow together, but at length shall be seperated,Mat. 13. when Wheat shall be gathered to the Barn,The Jews Liturgy print, at Venice. Of ancient this was the common Epitaph, Sit a­nima cius in fasciculo viven­tium. Hen. Kornmannus in lib. de mirac. mhrtuor. cap. 30. and Tares to burn. The modern Jews have a prayer for their dead, which has more of Babylon than Zion in it:1 Sam. 25.29. The Lord (say they) have mercy on the Soul of N. or such a one, who is gone to his World, therefore I vow to give alms for him, that his Soul may be bound up in the bundle of life, with the Souls of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Leah, and the rest of the Righteous men, and women, Amen. Though part of this prayer be foolishly super­stitious, to pray for the dead, yet that which is for our purpose in hand, is the phrase of the bun­dle of life, which the Scripture acknowledges. Which manner [Page 126] of speaking instruct us, that God keeps all the Souls of his Saints bound up by themselves, as it were, in one blessed bundle.

A bundle it is called, first, to signifie that they were once dis­perst one from another here on earth, but are there collected into one company and place.

2. To signifie the unity of the blessed, These flie not asunder in discord, there is perfect agree­ment and concord. A bundle, a tied up Fagott, a Wheat Sheaf, is an embleme of unanimity.

3. To signifie the firm perpe­tuity of their estate; God has bound them up fast, and sure­ly, and what can break Heaven's bundles?

4. It notes their felicity and happiness, its a bundle of life and glorious immortality: Thus are they gathered all the faithfu [...] Members one to another, and al [...] to their Head Jesus Christ. Deat [...] gathers Souls, but the great gathering day is, when Bodies and Souls shall all be gathered together unto Glory.

Why should not the Saints be gathered together by themselves, they never desired the society of the wicked? yea, it is an heavy part of their Cross that there are Ishmaels in the same family with them. Here living among the wicked, their bodies are joyned, but their affections, hea [...]ts and wills are distinct and seperate.

Reason 2 They have had many gather­ings by themselves.Luke 10.20.

1. They have their names (and they only) all written and ga­thered in one Book of Life, by E­lection.Mat. 24.11.

2. They all flie and are gather­ed like Eagles unto one Carcase, and food of life, Jesus Christ, to seed on him in Word and Sacra­ments.1 Cor. 19.

Use. 3. How far so ever they be se­parates they are all, gathered into one common communion of Grace; and why should they not be ga­thered at last into one communi­on of blessedness, and Glory.

Are the Saints Souls gathered [Page 128] in death, till then must there be a mixture? This will meet with them who accurse the Moon for some spots they find in her, such as will either throw away the Church, or themselves out of the Church, because the Fringes of her Coat are somewhere rent off, & all is not aright in her. True it is (and O that the Lord would purge his Temple, and set up Pastors after his own Heart) that there is something in the Church as black as Tents of Kedar,Cant. 1. for which good hearts will mourn; but withall in many other things she is comely as the Curtains of Solo­mon, for which we owe the Lord much praise. It is one thing to live, where means of pure wor­ship are wanting,Greenh. in his com­mon place of religion chap. 13. Title the Church. another to be where false worship is erected for the first we are not to flie the Church, but by purges and patience to stay the Lords mercy for the other, we must depart, because of that abomination. Who is so mad as to set a fire on his house, because he finds some [Page 129] Spiders webbs in it? Here will be always in the Church good and bad Shepherds, sound and un­sound Members; It is the time she must be militant, when she is Triumphant, there shall be none in her but those that are sound, and righteous.

Abuses have bin and will be in the purest Church; she must suffer Cramps and Convulsions, in Schismes and Sects, that good members may be approved. The fanning time is not yet come, when God will blow away all the Chaffe; these spots and wrinkles will be in her face, till the last day, when Christ will present her to his Father without spot or ble­mish. In the mean time pray we that she may be purged, and seek we for as pure a congregation as may be, though we could thrust our selves into Noahs Ark, (Gods Church in a little compass) we should find among those eight Righteous Souls, one Cabbin full of Beasts and dung, something in our judgment off [...]n [...]ive, either [Page 130] crossing orders decency, or doct­rines verity: And for our parts let us be so wise, as to let God use his own Fann, and not to se­parate our selves, because the time is not yet come, hearkning to these directions,

1. Joyn we our selves to the soundest and best parts of Christs Body.

2. Remember we to build up our selves in Christs sufficiency, to be a careful Superintendent and Governour of his Church, to amend what is amiss; censure no farther then the Lord censures. 3. Though he say to the Church of Ephesius he has something against her,P [...]ev. [...].2.4. yet he doth not un [...] church her, he still loves her as a true Church, which had many good things in her. 4. Lastly wait, and waiting meditate or that time, when there shall b [...] gathered a glorious Church toge­ther, and all her chalk stones that are now in her, shall b [...] stampt to powder, and she buil [...] upon preceious stones, free from [Page 131] all fault, and the least blemish, Christ immediately in his own person governing. That shall not be Domecratia, but Theocra­tia, as Josephus calls the Govern­ment of the Jews common­wealth, and Church.

Use. 2 Are the Saints Souls gethered together in death, this in the mean while may be a Plaister for their sore, among whose griefs this is not the least, that they can­not live here but among wicked and ungodly men. The Child of God would have all like himself, and O how it vexes his righteous Soul from day to day to see such Waves of impiety drown them among whom he lives!2 Pet. 2.7.8. It is a good tryal of our Hearts sincere love to the Lord Jesus, when we are often in the Prophets ditty, O that I had Wings like a Dove to flie away and be at rest, from seeing or hearing the Lord dishonoured: It grieves him that he lives or liv­ing, that he has eyes to see it. As that Bishop of Chalcedon Maris in the Primitive Church, who be­ing [Page 132] blind and meeting with tha [...] Arch enemy of Christ Julian th [...] Apostate,Socrat. hi [...]s. Eccl. lib. 3. cap. 10. who called him reproachfully a blind wretch, an [...] askt him whether his Galilaea [...] God would not cure him? h [...] presently replied, I thank my Go [...] that I have no Eye-sight to see suc [...] a sworn Enemy of Christ, as thee. But how will this medicine b [...] applyed to do us good? even thus that we apply our selves to submit to the Lords will, and pleasure, in patiently undergoing this, that we must converse amongst wicked men; for if all the Saints should live together, it would be Hea­ven upon earth. There is no such holy ground our seat can stand on, but we shall find cause to sing that tune, Woe is me that I am constrained to dwell with Mesech: to have my habitation among the Tents of Kedar. P [...]. 120.5. Sit à te ju­stus r [...]mo­tus nescio quot mili­bus & man­qiu [...]d: sim [...]l habi­ [...]atis, siunū [...]ot [...] aba is Aug. in Psal. 101. We must con­tent our selves, for a while, the time doth not yet appear, when none but the righteous shall live together. Gods Children seem to be fa off us, and we grieve [Page 133] that there is such a distance often times betwixt us, notwithstand­ing how far soever they live from us, we have the benefit of their best society, their communion and fellowship in pity and Pray­ers; though Bodies be severed, we have the best conjunction of their wills, and Hearts to ours. We must rest in Gods pleasure, who out of this mix­ture, fetches much benefit to his Church.

1. The godly are dispersed in­to several Angles and Corners of the World (like the Levites all over the Land) to work the fear of God in the hearts of wicked men where they live.

2. We must remain among those that are stangers to God, that our patience may have the perfect work, in bearing their reproaches daily which they have cast upon us.

3. That our conversation in holiness may ashame and con­vince them,Heb. 11.7. as Noahs preparaing an Ark condemned the World.

[Page 134] Use 3 4. God hereby takes occasion to make our Crown the more glo­rious, because we keep the faith in the midst of hinderances, and continue to hold fast his name, and worship though we dwell where Satans Seat is.Rev. 2.13. It is a secret in Ga [...] ­denings Art,Satione rerum foetidarum prope flores odore evadent suaviorce. ut si allium prope rosam collovaveris Ioa. Ca­merar. Med c. in Centur. Symbos. feu Emblem. to Sow and Set Ro­ses near the un­pleasant smelling Garlick, as a means to bring forth Roses far sweeter, and more fragrant then others not so planted. So is it in grace, they that honour the Lords name, being amongst wicked men, where are least incourage­ments; these Roses are the Lords sweetest flowers, their devotion is most acceptable to the Lord.

Thirdly, this may lend com­fort to the Friends of some dying, and to the person dying. 1. To the Friends of men dying.

1. Commonly we send away those that we love swiming in our Tears, and make the Coffin, as [Page 135] it were a Boat; This is the drink-offering of natural affection. And what is the burden of our grief, but this? why, they are gone away from us, whose love, and society was sweet and dear unto us. What then? if they loved us, why then do not we love them? would we have them out of Heaven, and the company of the blessed, to whom they are gathered? we our selves shall discontinue but a small time, then shall we have their blessed society again: Our Souls and theirs (by death) shall meet and be gather­ed together never more to be par­ted. As Saul and Jonathan, if we loved one another in our lives,2 Sam. 1.23. so in death we shall not be divided. Away then with that tearing of Hair, and immoderate sorrows for a dead Child, sweet Wife, or loving Husband departed this life; they are gathered to the Lord, and his flock of blessed ones, Do we envy their happi­ness? would we have them break off their blessed company, for [Page 136] ours? and have their Souls re­inspired into these Clay-Taberna­cles, and then to live again below in these smoaky Houses of sin, and vanity? No, let us set a period to our plaints, and say, Blessed be God, who hath delivered these our Friends from all mundane mise­ries, and gathered them so near unto himself;2 Sam. 12, 23. We shall go to them, but they shall not come to us, as Da­vid said of his dead Child.

2. To the person dying Death indeed seems terrible; but shall we fear it, as that which destroys all our joy? What is there else that we need fear, if we fear God? Doth thy Conscience wit­ness within thee, that all thy in­deavours have bin to honour the Lord in thy life? never start then for fear of death, all the harm he will do thee, is a gathering of thy Soul unto the Lord, and to the so­ciety of the blessed. Socrate [...] could fly to this, to sweeten his poysoning Cup of death, to which he was condemned, saying, Count ye it not an high matter to have con­ference [Page 137] in another life with Orphe­us, Musaeus, Homer, Hesiod? Xenophon O how shall I swimm in abundant plea­sures, when I shall meet with Pala­medes and Ajax, and other fasly con­demned? Truly (saith he) I would willingly often go out of this life, if it might be to find these men my Com­panions. Lo, Christian, blush before the Heathen, who could warm himself with these poor Chipps, and this cold comfort: How far sweeter will be the Hea­venly inhabitants, when thou shalt see Adam, Abel, Abraham that glorious Friend of God, and Father of the faithful; Moses and Elias, those pickt out by Christ to conferr with at his Transfigu­rations: There shalt thou see Da­vid and Samuel, Paul, who hath filled the world with sweetness by his honied leaves,Paulus, John the dar­ling of Christ; yea, that Jewel of women, Mary the blessed Mo­ther of Christ, and Christ himself the Lord of Glory, with all the faithful Saints that ever the world had; yea, all our dead Friends [Page 138] departed in the faith of Christ. Would he go often to see such blind Heathens whose Heaven (it is to be suspected) is Hell, and shall we be afraid once to be transported into such a glorious Clew of Heavens Citizens? Go out therefore undaunted (O my Soul) fear not death, thou goest to God, thou art gathered to Christ, to Angels, to Saints glori­fied, to the society of the Spirits of just men made perfect. Shall the Souls of righteous, &c. Use 4 Learn we farther from it these things. 1. It will teach us what becomes of the wicked in their deaths, they also are gathered together among themselves, as the Godly among themselves, to make a bundle of life, so are these Tares bound up in the bundle of death, to feed eternal fire. Hear, O drossy Hearts, you sons of Abaddon have a great mercy that you live mixt with Saints, whose examples might be made unto you at occasion of blessedness, but from their lives you will not learn holi­ness: [Page 139] you shall not be always to­gether, hereafter, you shall be se­perated, and go Goats with Goats. The righteous when they die go to Heaven,Gen. 30.25. and the blessed Canaan, that is their own place, as the earthly Canaan was called Jacob; and so wicked men when they die they go the Kingdom of perdition, that is their own place, as Judas when he perished. They have a place of their own,Act. 1.25. (where no righteous man shall come a­mong them) they have wrought for it, and they shall have it, the place of darkness and horrour. Which made the Prophet cry out, O Lord, Ps. 26.9. gather not my Soul with sin­ners, nor my life with bloody men. O what mirth and joy is here up­on earth,Drunkards made songs of me. Psal. 69.12. when a knott of lewd and licentious livers, that hate Christ and laugh at his Word, do meet together, and he is the hap­piest counted of this unhappy Crue, that can coyn some scur­rilous and base jest upon a Christi­an, that walks after Pauls rule circumspectly, strictly,Eph. 5.15. or (as [Page 140] they call it) precisely: yet these blind wretches in their death shall wish to be the Dogs, that might but lick the Crumbs which fall from the Table of these Children of the most High, whom they have despised and reviled. O sin­ner, learn betimes the way of the righteous, Without holiness no man shall see the Lord. If thou diest unreconciled to God, thou shalt not have part with the righteous, thou shalt be gathered among thy miserable Companions; as the faithful are gathered into Abra­hams bosome, so shalt thou be ga­thered into Judases bosome (the Patriarch of them that perish) with Cain, Perdito­rum Patri­archa. Saul, Demas, Herod, Julian, &c. And all that wicked crue which hated Christ.

2. Seeing the Righteous shall be gathered together hereafter, let it exhort us to love their com­panions in Heaven; seek out the Godly man, affect his society, talk with him, walk with him, for he walks with God. As he that rubbs his hands on Musk, or [Page 141] Civit, shall savour of it; so by thy society with the righteous,Cant. 5.5. thou shalt get a savour of good things: his conference will quick­en up thy Graces, his zeal pro­voke thee, his hands drop myrrhe upon thee.

3. Hate all wicked associates, partners in sins shall be partners in sins scourge. As thou desirest not to be gathered with the wicked men and their black Angels here­after, so hate thou to be gathered into their counsel and company here.

When the Righteous go from a­mong us, some Judgment is to be feared is coming towards us. It is to be suspected that some great evil is ready to fall on that peo­ple, out of whom God selects them. When mercy gathers the godly, some judgement is like to come and scatter the ungodly. God in this may be compared to a careful Husband, whose House beginning to burn, here he snat­ches his Plate, there he gathers up his Jewels, conveys away his [Page 142] Trunks of Linnen, and Goods o [...] most worth: as for baggage [...] wood-vessels, and other cheap an [...] baser Furniture, he lets that bur [...] because he has saved that he love [...] the best. Thus doth God, whe [...] a sinful nation is kindling hi [...] wrath against it in some judgmen [...] the Lord before it begin, or in th [...] beginning, takes, and snatche [...] away here an holy man, and ther [...] an holy woman; he gathers u [...] these his Jewels and choice [...] Plate, to lay them out of th [...] reach of the fire, that only th [...] wicked may perish in those flame [...] their own sins have kindled. Se [...] it in Lot, so long as he is in Sodo [...] their Table is not spread for God [...] hot banket of fire and Brimstone [...] but assoon as the Lord has go [...] him out,Gen. 19.22. Non posse se dixit, quod sine dubio po­rerat per potenti­am, non poterat per justitiam. Aug. cont. Gaud. l. r. cap. 30. fierce wrath overwhelm [...] them, it stays not long after hi [...] departure. The Lord said before, I can do nothing till thou come hithe [...] that is out of Sodom into Zoa [...] Why could the Lord do no­thing while Lot was there? Be­cause,

[Page 142]1. Either Lot with his prayers bound the Lords hands, as it were, that he should not smite.

2. Or because the Lord will not destroy the righteous with the wicked. Justice indeed crys a­gainst sinners, Tumble them down into the Sea of thy wrath. Mercy then stands up and saith, nay,Aut Serva, aut fepata, but rather save them for the righteous sakes, or at least free them from the vengeance, let not the Wheat be burnt with Chaff, The like is manifest i [...] Josiah, he is like Wheat among Tares. The Lord purposes to burn the sinful Tares with a judgment, but he first plucks up the Wheat from that evil to come. I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gather-into thy Grave in peace, 2 Kings 22.20. and thine eyes shall not see all the evil, which I will bring upon this place. Josiah goes, and Judgment comes.

When the Leaves fall fast off the Trees, then we say Winter is at hand: so when we see not Leaves only, but the fruitfullest branches, even righteous men, [Page 144] cut off from the Tree of this life we may judge there is some Wi [...] ter-weather of Judgements abo [...] to fall on the World.

Reason We may take Solomons reaso [...] Righteousness exalts a nation, Prov. 14.34. b [...] sin is a reproach to any people: If th [...] Righteous and righteousness co [...] tinue in it, it is likely to flouris [...] but if nothing but sin and sinne [...] be left, wrath is not far off, [...] cannot prosper. Weeds are fence about in a Garden for the Her [...] sake, and wicked men may than God for the holy men that li [...] among them, for they are bett [...] unto them than the Roman Tutel [...] Gods, wrath is held off for the sakes; they build Walls abou [...] the place where they dwell wi [...] their Prayers, and Righteouness.

Q. It may be demanded, C [...] there no wrath seize on a natio [...] or place, or people, while t [...] righteous are alive, and rema [...] among them?

A. Yes, But not upon t [...] righteous in that nation, it is n [...] [Page 145] wrath to them; and if it do fall upon the people, or place:

First, it is a long time deferred, and kept off, it comes not till af­ter Gods long patience, even for their sakes.

2. When it comes, it comes not so sore; the cup of Gods fury is cast in a lesser mould, and he puts in fewer dreggs, gathers less Gall and Wormwood to im­bitter it for their sakes.

3. It continued the shorter for their sakes; God sounds a re [...] at the sooner to the Hosts of his wrath, for their prayers,Esay. 62.9, 7. that are continually sounding in his Ears: They will not let him alone, un­till he let the land alone, and pull back his wrath.

Neither doth the death of the Righteous foretel Judgments, but besides that, look at their usage in the world, and it will prove the best Almanack to prognosticate it fair, or foul weather, that is likely to come on the Church, or Common-wealth.

Look we into the Skie of the Righteous, it is an infallible Astro­nomy; if their Skie be fair, if the righteous, and holy be advanced and honoured, with high places, either in Church or Weal-pub­lick, it is a sign of fair Weather; God means a blessing to that land, for they will maintain truth and equity, that they shall like streams run in the streets; when God means to bless a people he sets up such; even Aegypt shall not want a blessing whilest Joseph is the Go­vernour.See Iere. 22.3, 4. 2 Chron. 9.1.

On the contrary, if the Skie be lowring, if good men be the dis­pised Branches of the Land, if they that fear God be not set up, and honoured, but wicked Heads and Governours (not fearing God) get all the power into their hands, foul-weather cannot be far off, the Lord has a purpose to punish that people. When a [...] King arose that knew not Joseph, and he was not in favour in the Egyptian Court, as before, then the Egyptian Sun declined to­wards [Page 147] setting, and (not long ofter) wrath fell on them and rooted them out, in sore plagues, and drowning in the Red Sea. King Solomon has long since obser­ved it, who had the best insight into matters of kingdoms,Pro. 22.2. When the Righteous are in Authority, the people rejoyce; God smiles upon that Land; But when the wicked bear rule the people mourn; some Judgment lies at the door.

The Application of this, and the last conclusion, shall be joyn­ed together.

Doct. 5 The secure wicked world is little or nothing moved with the removal of the Godly. None considers, none lay it to heart, and says to him­self, Sure these are taken away from some evil to come. Our considera­tion is never so much to seek as in matters 'twixt God and us: In a private loss of a dear friend, we can mourn, and take on, and lay it to heart, but in a publick dam­mage, where Gods Church is cast into danger, there we fear not at all, take no care for it. When [Page 148] we see one great stone after ano­ther fall out of the Wall, we con­sider it, and say, This Wall will not stand long: The righteous, the best and strongest stones of ou [...] wall,Esay. 26.11. are dayly falling, and drop­ping into the Grave and yet no man regards it; sensual security still makes the land drunk. It is the Lords complaint, that we have no eyes, his Judgments are far out of our sight, Lord, when thy hand is lifted up, Jer. 5.4. they will not see: Surely these are poor and foolish peo­le, for they know not the way of the Lord, nor the judgement of their God. It is the plague of the world that they shall have Eyes and see not, and hearts which consider not the things of God. Has the World neither Eyes, nor Heart? yes but none for God. These things are hid from their eyes, and far from their Hearts. Their Eyes and their Hearts are but for their coveteousness, and for to purvey for these earthly things.

Jer. [...]2.17.The Reasons among many, may be judged these.

Reas. 1 There is an evil disease of deep-sleep and security lies upon the World,Am. 6.3. Esay. 28.15. whereby they mind no­thing of this nature, and are prone to put far from them the evil day, making covenants with death.

2.Act. 17.21. There is the Athenians dis­ease of curiosity, which makes us inquire after novelties, and the Lords dealings are altogether neglected, not thought upon.

The Lord in Judgment suffers it,1 The. 5.4. that evils may overtake the wicked, before ever they thought on them.

The righteo [...]s are not regarded in their lives,Job. 12.4. and therefore are dispised, and little consideration had of them in their deaths.

So far are the ungodly from thinking they are taken away from evil to come, that they lay it another way to Heart, even as matter of joy, that the Land, or place is well rid of them.

Are the Righteous taken away from evil which is to come upon others, then much more from evil to come upon themselves.


[Page 151]1. Then away with Purgatory the righheous are taken from tha [...] evil to come. An evil it is, where there is the punishment of loss and want of Gods presence, yea which differs nothing in punish­ment of sense from Hell, but for the continuance. If the Lord take away the Righteous from evils on earth, much more from that evil of a temporary Hell. When they die, they go to rest and peace, but small is the rest that those torments will afford them.

2 Kings 22.20.2, Again it will cut off prayers to Saints departed, they are taken away from evils, they know not our evils,Dr. Field in apprehend. to the fourth book of Church chap. 22. shews the very pontificians doubting this cleer Glass? they see not the mise­ries we suffer up­on earth. So the Lord saith of Jo­siah, his eyes shall not see all the evil that he will bring upon that place; No, he shall not see it in that Glass of the Trinity. The Saints departed see not our parti­cular [Page 152] miseries; they can help us living upon earth with their Pray­ers, but when they are dead, Abra­ham is ignorant of us, and Israel doth not acknowledg us; Esay 63.16. Scultetus in Esaiam, 63.16 ibi plura con­tra specul. Trinitatis imaginari­um. Our praying to them to see and help us out of our evils, is like the vain breath of a bowler, who having thrown his Bowl out of his hand, calls after it, and intreats it to run this way or that way. If the Saints be taken away from seeing, or knowing our evils, then do we call upon them for help in vain.

Use. 2 Let this give warning to a na­tion and people (yea to our nation, and us people) to take notice of the Lord's of late takeing his Saints fast from among us, holy Sons, zealous Hearts, Heavenly Spirits, faithful Preachers? Hast thou not taken these from us, O Lord? what wilt thou do with us? art thou not separating us for some judgment?

O Brethren, let us meet the Lord, and hold his weapons, for doubtless when he comes thus, [Page 153] he comes with a purpose to strike.

Zac. 3 2.For are not these as brands pluckt out of the fire? Now the Lord may deal with us as our sins deserve, and God knows that is an heavy doom; for the Righteous that would have broke the strong streams of his indignation are car­ried away. If the Righteous a­bide among us, though they do but hold up their hands, Amalek shall not prevail;Exod. 17.11. but if we have no Moses left to do it, then Ama­lek, the enemy may over-run Is­rael. Why did not the plague now of late destroy all where it came? why came it not among us? thanks be to God for the prayers of the Righteous, for their sakes we are kept from the infection.

But what if the Lord thus deal often with us, to take from among us such praying Soule as this, what shall we then do, God being provoked, and we have none to quiet him and appease him, none to clap the hands and [Page 154] stamp with the feet, and cry,Ezek. 6.11. a­las, for the abominations of the house of Israel? O let us be in­treated (as wise Christians) to ob­serve these evil days, and not be so sensual and senseless, as no think but meanly of the death of Gods dear ones. In them we lose our horsemen and our Chari­ots,2 Kings 13.14. the strength and munition of Israel consists in them. We had better lose many Pieces of Ordi­nance, then to have one of these taken from among us, for it is to be feared God has a controversie with that place where he picks out these persons in their flourishing age, and the prime of their years. Hard before the destruction and o­verthrow of Jerusalem there was a voice heard in the Temple, Migre­mus, Migremus hinc, Let us away, Josephus Sepe eti­am stellas vento im­pend [...]; vi [...] Precipites celo labi, Virgil. Georg. lib. 1. let us away from hence: We have heard this voyce, many of Gods Saints both have cryed, let us go away, and they are gone away from among us, yet we fear not, yet we tremble not, and ne­ver dream of any evil to come.

And though we see the Stars falling, have not the wisdome to Collect, that it is a sign of some great Winds to blow upon us.

The prophet David might teach us to make better use of these things, who seeing the number of the godly dayly diminish'd, he creis out, Help Lord. He crys as if the axietree of Heaven and Earth had bin split asunder, as if the poles had knapt in pieces, and the World had received an inre­coverable loss; and what is it that makes this good man thus cry out, nothing but this, that the godly grew scarce, and the righ­teous fell into a small number, whereby some great judgment was likely to follow and destroy the corrupt World.

Besides Nations, it may be a warning to our Towns and fami­lies, if the godly in our Towns, or houses be taken from among us, it will not [...]e [...]n [...] [...]r us to [...]o [...]k e [...]r [...]estly to [...] y [...] lest [...]he Lord make this as [...] [...]o­logue [Page 156] to some Judgement coming upon us. These are like good An­gels, while we have them to guard and procure blessings to our dwellings and inhabitations.

Q. It may be asked, yea, but how shall we lay their deaths to hrart?

Answer, This way and by this means.

First, Prayer, beseeching God and praying for these two things.

1. That his taking of them a­way be in mercy, and not in Judgment: It is in mercy always to them, but pray we that he do it in mercy to us also.

2. That he would raise up holy and righteous ones in their room, that there may never want some holy ones to stand in the Gap.

Secondly, Repentance: so lay­ing it to heart, as that we seek out and repent of those sins of ours for which the Lord might take them away, and bring his wrath on us.

Thirdly, Imitation: so think­ing of the righteous gone from us, that we labour to tread in those holy footsteps, and imitate those Graces which were eminent in them, and left for our pattern. Thus though they be taken away for evil to come, yet by this, our laying it thus to Heart, the Lord will avert the evil from us.

Ʋse 3 This will teach us how to lay the death of the wicked and un­righteous to Heart, that is to be considered of us also. As the Righ­teous are taken away from evil to come, so should we consider that the wicked are taken away for e­vil to come. They dying in im­penitency and unbelief, can­not scape the deserts of vengeful wrath, that is their evil to come.

When prophane and Godless wretches die, the wicked should lay it to heart that live, lest they die so, and (as the Rich man said) come into the same place of torment. Alas, when they die all [Page 158] their good days are done; now they are taken away from evil, and vengeance to come, The God­ly should lay it to heart also, and it should cause them to depart from iniquity.Psal. 73. This was the Pro­phets practise, and ought to be ours, to consider the end of them, how God sets them in slip­pery places, and at length they rumble and fall into the pit, and sin and death push them down in­to perdition.

Yea, but are we not to mourn for them as such, by the loss of whom the Church and Common­wealth have received some sore stroke?

No such matter, nay rather it be­hoves us to joy when these horns (that pusht at Jurusalem, and hurt Gods Children) are thus broken in pieces: It is for some good to come unto the Church that they are removed out of the way: yea, when God picks out prophane and wicked men (especially great Branches) then may we have hope he is procuring same great [Page 159] blessings for his people. Take a­way the dross from the silver and there shall come forth a Vessel for the Finer; Take away the wicked from before the King, and his Throne shall be established in righteousness. Prov. 25.4.5. When the Godly are taken from among us, we lose a precious li­quor of soverain vertue for good to the Church: if wicked ones be taken from among us, let their sinful associates mourn for the loss of one of their hellish Confede­rates and Companions. But count we no better of them then the Holy Ghost doth,Ps. 108.9. their death is but the emptying of a filthy wash­pot, (Moab is my wash pot) Corn will grow the better when Weeds are taken from it, which hinder the growth.

Our account must go like Gods account. The wicked are vile and base in their lives in his e­steem, but more vile in their deaths.

Precious is the life and death of the Saints in his sight, so let it be in ours, for [...] and [Page 160] laying to heart their departure from among us; lamenting in Je­remiahs tone, The Crown is fallen from our Heads, woe unto us that we have sinned: they are taken away for our evils of sin,Lam. 5.10. and for some evils of punishment to come upon us.


AN ELEGIE OR The flowing Tears of a mourning friend, poured upon the Grave of the Holy living, and Happy dying Christian, the Lady Mary Gryffith, first wife to Sir Hen­ery Gryffith, Barronet of Bur­ton Agnes, who ascended to Christ the day named from his Ascention, An. Dom. 1632.

THus run Heavens VVheel! Then Peace my plaining Heart;
Such Heaven-born purposes 'tis not thy part
To cross with Murmers. May not Providence
His Colonies of Hopefull'st souls from hence
Translate, to seat them in a happier Clime,
Far above these Regions under the Line
Of frailtie and sin? Are there not Eastern Fruits,
Whose Seeds disdain with us to spread their Roots,
Bread in more generous soil and purer air?
Each flower has its own Orb, where it most fair
Doth grow & show; and in strange Earth doth pine,
As being from home. Thus thou, O Soul divine,
In this great Garden of the world didst spring
'Mongst lewd Mortals, and such fruit didst bring,
As sham'd our barren plants, sin-blasted Trees:
Yet, for all this by manifold degrees,
Our ground it was base, yea too much unfit
For thee a Graffe of Grace coelestial Slip.
Therefore that hand, which first thee planted here
(Heavens holy hand) because thou couldst not bear
Such flowers and fruit in this corrupted soil
As thou desired'st, (O now incorrupt Soul)
Has thee transplanted: Happie thou so dies,
To Re-grow a Prime-rose in Gods paradise.
Our eyes are needless Garden-pots with Tears
To water thee, there are no doubts or fears
Of parching heat, which siccity doth bring
So near to living water, blessed spring.
But O my thaughtful Heart, thy Sighs supplie
The Rainy moisture of my Aprild Eye.
Oh that the puling Poet, whose purest skill
Was threneful Elegies, writ with Ravens quill,
Would now lend Verses to my grief-drown'd Muse,
Or into me their poetick Souls infuse:
Sure then this Name posterity and all times
Should find Immortalized in my lines,
Yet shall our Pen drop some black Tears for thee,
And write long Virtue's short Epitomie,
Dumb grief shall lend us Mutes, Liquits wet eyes,
Which joyn'd with Vowels of Sighs, thence will arise
Words, to set forth that which Mankind may vex,
All virtues, strong in one of weaker Sex,
Two things there are denominate, one compleat,
Concurring in her, she was Good and Great.
Twice born, first great next Birth did stile her Good,
Noble by man, far Nobler by Christs Blood.
O, how swells Wormseed Man, lifts Crest on high,
If Or, Gules, Argent deck his Blazoncie?
This honour here counted such Glory loss,
Chuse Faith her Herald, for Arms, a bloudy cross
Thus Born, choice education brings her up,
Seasoning with sweetest liquors this fresh cup.
Her Infants age gives Childhood full of hope,
Childhood brings youth, where Piety is the scope
Of all her actions Single, Married, both
To virtue, Husband, Christ she keeps firm troth.
And now my Boat being entering on the Main,
For life full-stream'd with good gifts fullest strain
Of Art is needful, Since I cannot skill
To handle curious Pencil, yet I will
Use shadowing Charcoal, Vertue needs no lace,
No Jaggs, or Fashes, her plain Coat to Grace,
When Sea, Earth, Air, Woods Gardens at on time
Do, deck, and dish a Table with the prime
Of all Tooth-witching Cates, stomach doth stand,
A doubtful Question is't how to move the hand.
This's good, that dainty palate likes th' other best,
This sawce, that Junket's rarity, 'bove the rest.
Such is the Tooths tempation, like's my case
A Squadron of air qualities are in Chase
Before my Pen, which first to single out
In midst of such rich choice I stand in doubt.
Yet none so fit I find to have first place,
As that Great-little Virtue, High-low Grace
Humility, which ne'r could Trumpet blow,
Plaies least in sight, and hides it self from show.
Who ever saw Prides Chair set in thine eyes,
Or like the swellig Bubble saw thee rise
Above the level of Waters? Glories seat
Follows the lowly-little, flies the great.
Thou sought'st not earths applause or fumy same,
Whose heart was modeld to a better frame.
It is in th' Sphere of Saints as in the Skie,
The highest Stars seem smallest to the Eye.
What needs it name thy Faith, thy love! we guess
Poor long since styl'd the Pities patroness,
Touching thy Zeal, whiles here we thee did hold,
Winter was warm, now midsummer is cold,
Some Querists ask, what this cold weather meant?
Why? Have we not lost Zeals fervid Element:
Chast, modest, sober, patient, discreet,
A very Center, where Virtues did meet?
Thrifty in words, shunning her Sexes blot,
A Tongue that hangs too loose without a knot.
Yea you corrupted Times, worlds worst, curst dreggs,
The Dam that daily hatches some bla [...]k Eggs
Of Lust, Soul-rusting pride, and fashions strange,
Whose brood's Court Lunaticks in monthly change:
(How many traps, alluring baits do lie
And rest in naked breasts for an adulterous Eye?)
Tinctur'd by you not she, knew not your toys,
Nor dieted her Soul with Dunghils joys,
Smells as foul earth: your Sophistrie she fled,
Which makes a two-fac'd Monster with one Head:
An Act calls God Bungler, Blush stars and Sun:
Art perfects that face Heaven had not well done.
Three things were deemed precious [...] Eye,
Time, Faith, Christs Blood for which her prayers did vie.
In first the second, by second third she got,
'Bove both Indie's treasures a surpassing lot.
Put to the Trial Temptations hotest flame
She du'd, endured, stood, withstood, quencht, ore­came:
And from Whales belly, out of sorrows Hell
Of Gods supporting Grace could wonders tell.
O Heavenliest Art, (that sweet Experience)
She could decline Afflictions in each Tense,
What Present, Past, and future fruits they bring,
How Saints do sometimes sink, then float and swim.
Yet here's not all, more Virtues could I pick,
To puzzle and gravel all Arithmetick:
Which makes me pity that poor S [...]agyrite,
When he did his Ethnick Ethick Volumes write,
VVhere all the moral Virtues he could count,
The number of eleven did not surmount.
Our living Volum fair printed had far more,
Our little VVorld saith his great world was poor:
For whose dear sake Grammarians may define
Virtue always of Gender femenine.
Thy death sham'd not thy life, thy dearest friend
On his day chose thee to him to ascend.
Thy green years promis'd life, Virtue full grown.
Pronounc'd thy field was ripe, fit to cut down
Living, each one had part of Joys in thee,
Dying, like griefs as having from our Tree
Best branch rent off, O loved Spousess c [...]ys one!
Dear Daughter another, Sister, Companion.
Kind Lady these, all Friend bo [...] tyed and true
With love engrain'd that never, chang'd the hew.
Thy Battel's ended, Lawrel decks thy brows
Deaths livery ours, the fadest Cypress boughs
Had death spar'd thee a while, and given leave
'Mongst us thy friends some legacies to leave,
Our griefs had lower ebb'd, Lo, I desire
For Legacy some coals of thy hot fire
Of Zeal, to heat my freezing frigid heart:
Or else of thy Humility a part.
'Gainst innate Pride. O thou mightst well have given
Thy Love divided amongst six or seven.
Thy worlds contempt had been an excellent gift,
That eight or nine amongst us might it shift.
And knowing our hasty spirits, when thou slipt hence
Why didst thou not bequeath thy Patience?
Thou knewst how many walk'd with that bad note
Of busie scullers in anothers boat:
Couldst not thou say, Friend, take thee this bequest.
Handle thine own Oars, that becomes the best,
I leave thee it 'cause I lov'd it? Thus, good heart,
Thou mighst have given us every one a part.
I see Death will engross, say what we list,
He scorns our Laws, will be a Monopolist
I'le not Chide fate, nor curse dire destiny,
Nor challenge Death to field, nor rage and cry,
O hateful Heavens! when Providence will & must
Have the perledst Mortals once to kiss the dust.
Here Heart from sighs, our Eyes from brackish tears,
Body from weakness, Mind from horrid fears
Can't be priviledged. Earths Cushions, pillows best
Be stufft with thorns: or life is stuck and drest
VVith netles, briars. Blest be thy Pylat Death,
VVho hence from Pirats on these Seas beneath,
Sin, Misery, Vanity, doth our Souls transport
Into Heavens blessed Harbour, Rests true Port.
VVhere neither boistrous North, West, South or East
Raises ambitious VVaves, nor yet that Beast
Leviathan below can Cables break,
Or with Temptations make our Pinnace leak:
VVhere we forget those Threnodies of grief,
VVeep watery Eyes; and, VVho can send relief?
For me, (Impar [...]dis'd Soul) to thee once dear,
Assistant, witness in thy assaults of fear.
And sore Soul-combates, were Saints power to mind,
As mind here was I should not stay behind:
For reason and religion both this prove,
Heaven doubles Gr ce, and so it doubles Love.
Some curious Eyes did look I should rehearse
Some light-heel'd lines in a wit-woven verse.
VVisemen will think the match is very base,
To lay on cloth of Gold a Buck-rams lace,
Or motleys purls and edge. The sobred Grave
Hate feathred leightness, and substantials crave.
Her aims o'rclimb'd the Stars, who gravity
Sleight neither know themselves nor her nor me.
Nor eare I what capriccious Judges think,
Who say, here it flatteries mart, and Oile for Ink:
I'le glew these lines on envious slaunders barr;
And Twelve of Malice's Clients, that would marr
A VVorld of honesty shall empaneld be,
To vent galls verdict 'gainst this verity.
Truth fears no blasting breath; come, slander speak,
Or bite thy lips in anger till th' Heart break.
Had she no faults? yes some, thou more, none's free;
Adam fell once, we often, sometimes she.
VVhen Marbles moulder, and pounded are to dust,
Yet fresh shall be the Memorial of the Just.
When in my Memory enrolled I find thee not.
Well may I doubt all virtue I hove forgot
Sanctities pen writes such an Epicede,
Quaint'st brains mere Pernasian doth exceed.
Ermins are vermin base in Arms and Coat,
Where Grace powders not life with holy note.
Good Day thou hast gotten, & bidst us Good night,
Leaving thy virtuous pattern to guide us right:
An holy course chalks th' way to Heavenly light.
Let vain World dress its Carps, spit, spite, fume, laugh,
A Gracious life leaves fairest Epitaph.

The Epitaph on the La­dy Mary Gryffith.

FRom mothers womb unto earths womb the grave,
Through th' Worlds desert some years I wandered have.
Nature gave being, Grace well-being, Death th' best,
Heavens happy Being to Soul, to Body rest
I lie here waiting till the last shrill-voic'd Trump
Shall breath new life into this dead Clays lump:
Then shall be at once two Nuptials solemniz'd
Of Body to Glorious Soul, and both to Christ.
O Mortals learn of me, make Christ your scope,
By Prayers and Tears I came to rest in Hope.

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