Fructús laboris gloria

Adolescens Bacchum et venerem fugiens, recta adhonoris,
Et quietis metam tendit, dum vigilat currit, et
Caeli ac fortuna jniurias inuicto fert animo
P. Stent Excudit


Converted out of Drexelius to our own proper use.

By John Dawson at Maidenhead Berksh. somtime of Christ Church in Oxford.

LONDON, Printed for Jasper Emery. 1655.

TO Our most gracious and Dread Soveraign King CHARLES, His Royall Consort Queene MARY, The most Illustrious Prince CHARLES, And the rest of the Royall Issue, Be all gracious and glori­ous perfections both of this life and that which is to come, And let all that are of a RIGHT INTENTION say, Amen.

THe Ornament of the Head in old time (if wee give [Page] credit to Suidas) was a Tyar.A round Cap or Coronet worne by Kings and Princes in Persia. This onely Kings among the Persians did weare upright, but Cap­taines bending downe­ward. Demaratus a Cap­taine of the Lacedemoni­ans, but then an Exile, wisely counselled the most potent King Xerxes, what course was best to bee ta­ken for the successe of his War. Xerxes now being taught discretion not by one discomfiture onely, thanked Demaratus, that he alone had told him the truth, and gave him leave to aske what hee would. Hee requested, that hee might bee triumphantly [Page] carried in a Chariot in­to Sardis the chiefe Ci­ty of Asia, wearing an upright Tyar upon his Head. That was lawfull for Ki [...]gs onely. (Senec. l. 6. De benef. c. 31.) A Right Intention, most Gracious and Mighty Princes, not onely shew­eth Kings, but also ma­keth them to weare an upright Crowne, nor is but an Ornament of the Head, but the Head it selfe of all humane acti­ons. Without this Tyar, or upright Diadam, no man shall ever enter into that blessed Kingdome in Heaven.

And although a Right Intention may bee not unfitly likened to this peculiar weare of Kings, an upright Diadem, ne­verthelesse our Saviour compared it farre better to an Eye, and that A single one. This eye is like a Rule wherewith every straight thing u­seth to bee tryed. A thou­sand errours there bee, wherewith wee are in­volved; if wee deflect our eyes but for a mo­ment from this eye, or this line and rule. On this truely depend all things, by this all things are to be examined. For that [Page] cause very necessary eve­ry way is a most exact understanding of a Right Intention, as of our end in all things that we doe. And Plato Iudged all Science unprofitable, with­out knowledge of the best end. (Plato in Th [...]at.) And although a great many doe apprehend that all things are to bee di­rected to God, yet it falleth out with them, as it doth with some, which perceive not that they know what they know, even as wee seeke for that many times which wee hold in our hands: So for the most part wee [Page] are not ignorant so much what a Right Intention is, as negligent to ex­ercise the same. This was the cause which not onely excited, but also constrained in a manner as the first Author to endite, so me to relate the same answerable, if I could, to our Tongue and mind, that the use of a most necessary thing might not onely bee per­fectly knowne, but also exactly and daily put in practise. That man must needs offend in most things, yea even in all, which either knoweth not what a Good, what [Page] an Evill Intention is, or neglecteth to apply that to all his Actions, in all of them to abandon this. So great a matter it is, not onely to doe what is fit, as to aime at the right marke. The eyes of all men must of ne­cessity bee lifted up to that All-seeing Eye. He seeth nothing, or at least seeth with offence, whosoever observeth not that eye continually. Ne­ver shall hee be reckoned among those Kings in Heaven, which weareth this Tyar either bended f [...] [...] backward: [...] [...]n is [...] [...]e [Page] the utter bane of what­soever falleth out. Nor can that bee ever tear­med good, which is done with an evill in­tention. Intention is the even Rule of all actions whatsoever.

And this Rule, this single Eye, I here pre­sent with all humility to Your most Gracious eyes, as those that are intent upon their high­est welfare: Would to God this present en­deavour might any way prove the fit object of a looke sent downe from them [...] constr [...] [...] [Page] the purpose and mat­ter it treates of, then the outward forme can make it. But that which blusheth at its owne naked limbes in ano­ther Language then it was first set forth in, takes new courage from the Front, it is revi­ved, and put in hope by the Title which it carrieth, A Right In­tention. For this one­ly hath skill to com­mend even the poorest gifts.

It is observed in old Histories, that Sinaetas a poore Country man brought water out of [Page] the River Cyrus to King Artaxerxes in the hol­low of his Fists. This Present was received into a G lden Bottell, and reckoned for a migh­ty treasure. (Aelian. l. 1. Var. Hist. c. 32.) Nothing else made so slender a gift accepta­ble, but so Good an In­tention. Conon an Hus­bandman presented a faire Rape to Lewis the eleventh King of France, this was like­wise a most acceptable Gift, and requited with gold. (Io. a Coch. l. 2. Aphor. c. 17.) But who set this high price [Page] upon a Rape? Good Intention. For indeed neither Silver, nor Gold, nor any of those things which are accounted for mighty matters is a kindnesse, but the Will it selfe of the dis­poser. And this is it which hath encouraged a meane person to ex­presse his will and good desire in such a small peece of service. For it is not so much to bee valued what is given, as with what mind: because a mans respect consisteth not in that which is done or gi­ven, but in the very [Page] mind of the Giver or Doer, that is, in His Good Intention. Even as also the honour of the Gods (saith the Romane Wise man) is not in Sacrifices, although they bee rich and garnished with gold, but in the pi­ous and right meaning of the Offerers. (Seneca. l. 1. De benef. c. 6.) With the very same this Rule new limned, this single Eye is here of­fered and devoted to your most Gracious eyes. Grant that it may en­joy their favourable a­spect, which then shall not feare the night of [Page] any misconceiving eyes, when it shall be refreshed with the Day-light of such a Sacred Counte­nance.

Vivat, Rox, Consors, Princep,
ac Regia Prola [...],
In Spom, Rem, Columen, Fide [...],
Regnique, S [...]que,
So wisheth the humble Subject of a Right Intention IOHN DAVVSON.

To the Reader.

I Hope Reader, thou wilt not contest with mee a­bout tearmes. Here often times wee bid Vala adiew, or any whosoever is greedy of delicate Language. It is our purpose to discourse re­ligiously, what matter, if lesse curiously? We treat of A Right Intention, this let another terme the end, or scope, let him call it the meaning, or mark. Give he the thing what name or ti­tle soever he please, wee re­gard the matter, for indeed we desire not here to learne to speak, but to know what we say. Neither are we ig­ [...] [...] [Page] not onely not to be under­stood, but also to be under­stood hardly. So we disdain not to speak lesse eloquent­ly, so that wee may speake plainly. And would to God Augustus Caesars Age might return, when as yet mens words were not dan­gerous unto them. Sen. l. 3. De benef. c. 27.

Our Discourse compre­hendeth the summe of things, the Rule and prin­cipall poynt of all humane actions, A Right Intenti­on. This tearm, though of an obscured derivation, we rehearse unto thee a thou­sand times, that,Luk. 11.8. as Christ giveth us notice, importu­nity [Page] may at least perswade, what reason cannot.

A Right Intention may not bee unfitly called the head and Captaine, the Ca­stle and Tower, and the Metropolis of all vertues, as that which defendeth them all with her mighty strength. But forasmuch as she is not without her open enemies, therefore we bend our forces worthily against two mighty mischiefes of mankind, Vaine Glory, & Rash Iudgment, the most deadly enemies of a good in­tention. These forces Rea­der, whosoever thou art that meetest with this booke, labour to enjoy as [Page] fully, as they are freely set forth for thy good. And that thou maist be certified, the knowledge of a Right In­tention, is an Art, which in a brief compendium teach­eth, never to offend. All o­ther Arts make for the get­ting of bread, but this for the gaining of heaven. Not to know this Art, is to loose heaven. Wherefore, good Reader, be carefull of thine own profit, and learn to buy heaven without expences. So much the better will be every one of thy actions, by how much the sounder is thine intention. This I would have thee to bee ac­quainted with, & farewel.

A briefe Index upon the Rule of a Right Intention.

The First Booke.

  • CHAP. I. What a Right In­tention is.
  • Chap II What the most Right Intention is.
  • Ch [...]p. III. How necessary a Right Intention is.
  • Chap. IV. That nothing which men doe, is pleasing unto God, without a Right jntention where briefly concerning Vaine Glory.
  • Chap. V. Wherein a Right In­tention chiefly consisteth where somewhat is spoken of actuall and vertuall Intention.
  • Chap. VI. Whether a Right, that [Page] is to say a Good Intention, can make an evill worke good.
  • Chap. VII. What are the degrees of a pure and Right Intention.
  • Chap. VIII What an evill intenti­on is.
  • Chap. IX. How the making of a deed knowne, bewrayeth an ill intention.
  • Chap. X. How diverse and mani­fold an ill intention is.
  • Chap. XI. That great Herod the Ascalonite was a notable example of an ill intention.
  • Chap. XII. What we call an in­different, what No Intention.

The Second Booke.

  • Chapter I. That a Right Intention is that Good VVill, which was commended by the Angels.
  • Chap. II. That God onely is the full reward, of that which is done with a Right Intention.
  • Ch [...]p. III. How much a Right In­tention is opposed by the Divill.
  • Chap. IV. That the greatest enemy which the Divell stirreth up a­gainst a Right Jntention, is Vaine Glory.
  • Chap V. Lastly what Vaine Glory is, and how shamefully it murde­reth a Right Intention, unlesse it bee prevented
  • Chap VI. Certaine questions con­cerning a R ght Intention
  • Ch [...]p. VII. VVhat Observations follow upon those things which [Page] have bin spoken concerning a right intentton. VVhere more at large of Rash Iudgement.
  • Chap. VIII. VVhat the practise of a Right Intention is.
  • Chap. IX. VVhat the signes of a Right intention are.
  • Chap. X Certaine Conclusions up­on a Right Intention.
  • Chap. XI. An Exhortation to the Clergy, to Courtiers, to all sorts of men, to exercise a Right In­tention
  • Chap. XII. The Conclusion of those things whieh have beene spoken of a Right Intention.

The ARGVMENT Or, The Survey of both Bookes.

Booke 1. GIveth us to understand, what A Good, Evill, Indifferent, None Intention is.

Booke 2. DEclareth who are both the Fautors, and also the foes of a Good Intention, especially Vaine Glory and Rash Iudgement; the Signes, Practise, and Rewards thereof.

THE FIRST BOOKE explaines the Good, and Evill, Indifferent, or bad Intentions.

CHAP. I. What a Right Intention is.

DArius the King of Per­sia, most famous for his owne Destruction, and t [...]e Macedonian Alexande [...]s fortune, had a Sword, whose scabbard was of precious stone, which he wore effeminately girt about him in a golden Belt.Hung. (Curtius lib. 3. post initium) A gallant sword, had it light into a [Page 2] manly hand. Most famous in the Writings of many is the Sword of George Castriot, whom they cal­led Scanderbeg, who as report went, could cut a man in twaine with one crosse blow. Remarkable out of the Sacred Volumes are the Swords of Go [...]iah and Saul. Many other Swords of valiant men are remembred by learned Authors,Set forth. sometimes reverenced with super­stitious zeale. But indeed the sword of no Commander was ever of such lasting fame, as the rod of the Hebrew Moses: that Rod the worker of so many miracles, so many stupendious prodigies. God demanded of Moses what he held in his hand? he answered, a Rod: to whom God, cast it from thee (saith he) upon the ground: hee cast it from him, and it was turned into a Serpent. The Lord Com­manded againe, hee should stretch forth his hand and take the Ser­pent by the tayle; hee put forth his hand and caught it, and it was tur­ned into a Rod. Exod. 4.2, 3, 4. Here God fairely hath laid before our eyes, that good and evill actions [Page 3] proceede from us in such manner, that if we looke upon the earth, and earthly things when wee doe them, they become Serpents; deedes of wickednesse stained with poyson: but if we lift up our mind to Heaven, they are Moses Rod, workes aspiring to an eternall re­ward. So much respect is to bee had, how this Mosaicall Scipio is dealt with, whe [...]her held in the hand, or cast upon the ground. This Scipio, this Rod of Mose [...], devoured all the rods of the M [...]gi­tians; this turned rivers into bloud; this melted the rocke into a foun­taine, and out of the veines of hard Flint drew a sudden Torrent: this divided the waves of the Sea into safest walls. Moses could say, by the helpe of this Staffe, I pene­trate both rockes and seas; all things are pervious unto mee. In this Staffe of Moses sacred Inter­preters doe say, a Right Intention in all humane Actions is disciphe­red, to which all things are pene­trable. But here, this is the first question of all, what is a Right Intention?

Christ our Lord teacheth a Right Intention, [...] single eye. Why an eye? why single? God Divines call Substantiam simplicis simam, A most simple substance, wherein is no composition or mixture; no­thing taken or borrowed from a­ny other, for there is nothing in God, which is not God. So it is called a simple Intention, and eye, wherewith nothing impure, noe selfe-love, no foolish feare, no vaine hope is intermixed, but that which is pure; not troubled with a­ny such kind of filth, directed to God onely, contented with him alone: Therefore a Right Intention is, which when it worketh, makes God the end of her worke; or that which reduceth all things to the honour and glory of God. Saint Ambrose explaines this in the policy of the Eagle: She about to try her implumed birds,Bastard from the right breed and to sever the unkindly from the kindly, holds them aloft within her talons, and opposeth them to the Sun-beames; they which receive the Sun with open and undaunted eyes are ac­knowledged for her brood, they [Page 5] are carried backe to the nest, suck­led and well fed; even as if the Mother should say, these are my Children, an Eagles race, worthy to be nourished. The rest which hardly admit the Sun but with trembling and twinckling eyes, she throwes headlong from her Nest as degenerate, and disherits with a miserable fall as none of her stock: even so they which can throughly looke upon God with a continuall respect, insomuch that they direct all their deeds sincerely and who­ly to his honour, follow onely his heavenly will in all things; are most truely the Children of God, these have a single eye.

2. (a) There was a certain pious old man who as often as he went about any matter,Vitae pa­trum. stood still a while like to one in a muse: being de­manded why he did so; our wo [...]k [...]s hee replyed are nothing of them­selves, but like a mishapen post, unlesse they bee covered and laid over with a right end, and sincere intention. And even as they which shout one against another at the Buts, let not their Arrowes fly be­fore [Page 6] they have taken their aime at the marke: so also I, whatsoever I am in hand with, direct my pur­pose to God our last end and scope: and this is it which I doe, whilst I stand stiil, for this God requires of us. Saint Bernard rightly think­eth, all our obedience, and pati­ence to bee unsavory to God, un­lesse hee bee the cause of all things which we doe or suffer. And even as they which for a wager shoote with Guns at some round boord, and be lesse wide of the center, for the most part shut their left eye, using onely the right, whereby their sight may be the quicker, and more su [...]ely carried to the midst of the marke. Iust so must wee also shut the left eye of so many world­ly respects,Coustmes so many base observa­tions, so many vaine Sciences, so that onely our right eye is to be set open at large, to looke upon God by a sincere Intention. This eye of base respects is that which our Saviour counsells us to plucke out, and cast from us, that it hinder us not from the true light.Iohn 4. Mat. 8.29.

Our Saviour sate by the Well [Page 7] weary of the way, and exhaust with hunger and thirst, and when he had ended his discour [...]e with the Samaritane woman, his Disciples setting before him such things as they had bought, Master, say they, eate. To whom the Lord, I, saith he, have meate to eate which yee know not of. Nor yet doe his Disciples give over to enquire a­mong themselves, and hath any body say they, brought him ought to eate? At length plainely Christ, My meat [...] (saith hee) is to doe the Will of him that sent mee, that I may performe his worke. This in like manner is the meate of all men desiring to serve God, that they performe his worke. And if we call the matter to a right ac­count, wee all eate of the same dish, master and servant, rich and poore, learned and unlearned; there is one meat of all, one onely will of God, one onely honour; and as well is the first and highest to be contented with his chance, as the last and lowest, when as if action of all men ought to b [...]e one, to aime at the one and onely [Page 8] glory of GOD in all things.

[...]i [...]at 16. de ebriet. & in­gluvic.3. The manner of living faith Basil, in a Christian man, hath al­wayes a true end set before it, the glory of God: And it is the pre­cept of holy Paul, serving not with eye service, as men pleasers, but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. And that he might imprint this deeper in the minde, with good will, doing service as to the Lord, and not unto men. Ephes. 6.6, 9. God is to be loved in taking paines, and in lo­ving God we must take paines for God. This will appeare by exam­ple: A matron of an honest life, when she receives her Husband re­turned from his journey, safe and sound, who whether he were li­ving or no shee knew not; from whom for a long time she received no Letters, so soone as shee sees him present, sheweth wonde [...]full tok [...]ns of joy: here she reputes it not below her estate to doe the part of a Servant, to pull off his Bootes, cle [...]ne his feet; she knowes this to bee the duty of maids or servants, yet she taking this service [Page 9] worke upon her before-hand, will have her love and joy so testified: that service seemes not vile to her, which love makes so sweet: she ac­counts it an honour, to bee so hum­bled by her selfe. In like manner, if we whatsoever we be, attend one­ly our own charge, businesse, office,Estate. fortune, easily will wearinesse creepe upon us, and the very ligh­test labour will be a burden; grie­vously shall wee complaine, as of­ten as we cannot take our ease at pleasure: But if we shall turne our eyes the other way, and looke up­pon God, doing service as to the Lord, and not unto men, we shall account no labour neither too base nor too heavy; ease wil be trouble. Tradesmen when they know they worke for their Masters them­selves, doe that with a farre grea­ter diligence. A Taylor receives a Doublet to bee mended: here the first question is, for whom? if for his Master such a one, pr [...]sen [...]ly o­ther things laid by for a time, the master of the shop himselfe takes that worke to him, which other­wise he would have given in charge [Page 10] to his boy. Therefore let us not attend our selves, but the Lord, do­ing service as to the Lord, and not unto men.

Our Intention shall bee pure, saith Bernard in Sentence: If in e­very of our actions, wee seeke ei­ther the honour of God, or the profit of our neighbour; or a good conscience. Very excellently Sene­ca, Epist. 48. initio. Not any man saith he, can live happily, which onely regardeth himselfe, which con­verteth all things to his owne profits, advan­tages. alteri vivas oportet, si vis tibi vive­re, thou must needs live to another if thou wilt live to thy selfe: eve­ry vice doth so leade away a man from God, that he may live to him selfe, wake to his owne commo­dity, and be fast asleepe to other mens: where therefore the Inten­tion doth gape after Gold and Sil­ver, there is no welcomer guest then mony: where the Intention savours of flesh, there pleasure is numbred amongst the most inti­mate friends: but where the inten­tion aspires high after honours and dignities, there with carefull dili­gence [Page 11] are feathers gathered, which may advance to high matters, nor does any bring a more acceptable gift,present then he which giveth wings fit for an ambitious flight. Behold, how the eyes of such men are car­ried away from God after most vaine things; thus they live to themselves: but hee cannot live to God, which will live to himselfe. Therefore the eye constantly re­flected upon God, this at length is simple, the Intention waiting every where upon God, nor loo­king upon any thing, unlesse with­all it looke upon God; this is fi­nally both a Right and sincere In­tention. By this wee live to God, even as it delighted that sweete Singer of Israel to say, My soule shall live unto him. Psalm. 21.30. Secund. Hier. Hereby winning from himselfe that excellent say­ing,Psal. 101.4 I have set no wicked thing be­fore me: or as we read, I will take no wicked thing in hand,

CHAP. II. What a most Right Intention is.

WEe direct for the most part our Intention after a three­fold manner unto God. First, some m [...]n serveth God, and keepes him­selfe from the greater sort of offen­ces, for feare of punishment; hee dreads Hell fire, eternall torments: such a one not long after dareth some hing,Adventu­reth. worthy of not onely the Pr [...]son, or the turne-off, but of Hell [...]ee adventu [...]es I say some­thing▪ [...]nd puts the matter to the hazard; for thinkes he. I am not yet so [...]e [...]r to the pit of Hell, but I may with courage enough at­t [...]mpt this or that; the debt which perhaps I sh ll bind my selfe in, I m [...]y lose by a penitent Confession; the guilt which by chance I shall draw upon me, I may wipe off a­gaine: let us goe on therefore, we [Page 13] shall have time enough to returne to our duty. Ah, this is not a sin­gle eye, nor if it be, is it long such; for it lookes not upon God onely. If the Divell and Hell were a fable, that man would build a Heaven for himselfe out of Heaven, and would beleeve himselfe blessed, if he might live at his pleasure; and wholly given to his belly like a Beast. This is their Intention for the most part whom Paul calleth naturall men, which perceive not the things that are of the Spirit. 1 Cor. 2.14.

Another way, the Intention is directed to God. Some man ser­veth God, because hee desires to live among the blessed; Heaven is sweet to him: an eternall reward, a reward over and above great. He enclines his heart to doe righte­ousnesse for retribution sake. This Intention is much better then the first, yet not the best: I say it is better, for he which coveteth the joyes of Heaven,Cautions, is more regard­full then he which onely feareth the torments of Hell, neither fea­reth them alwaies, but sometimes [Page 14] forgetfull of his dread, runs into that which is forbidden.

The third way, he directeth his Intention most rightly to God, who concludes thus in his minde, I serue God, and therefore doe I serve him, because this Master is most worthy to bee served of all men; and because he prevents me with exceeding and innumerable benefits: I owe all things to him, I desire to please him, and for him I doe all things that I doe: I am not any ways solicitous of wages or reward: God I serve, and will serve whilst I live, wheresoever my recompence be.

This is the most Right Intenti­on of all, to doe all things not with a respect of ones selfe, but of God; not of gaine, but onely honesty: Of this Intention the Hebrew King David making his boast: An Offering of a free heart (saith hee) will I give thee, and praise thy Name (O Lord) because it is so comfortable. Psal 54.6. Here most eloquently Saint August. Why of a free heart, (saith hee) because I freely love that which I praise; I [Page 15] praise God, and rejoyce in his praise, whose praise I am not ashamed of. Let it be free, both what is loved, and what is praised, what is free? himselfe for himselfe, not for any­thing else. What reward shalt thou receive of God, O thou covetous man? He preserveth not the earth, but himselfe for thee, who made Heaven and Earth. Voluntarily will I offer unto thee: doe it not then of necessity, for if thou prai­sest God for any other thing, thou praisest him of necessity; if thou hadst that present which thou lo­vest, thou wouldst not praise God. Marke what I say; thou praisest God, namely, that hee might give thee a great deale of money: if thou couldst have much money else-where, and not from God, wouldst thou praise God at all? If therefore thou praisest God for money, thou offerest not freely to God, but offerest of ne­cessity; because thou lovest I know not what beside him. Contemne all things, and attend him, love him of thy owne accord; because thou findest no better thing which [Page 16] he can give, then himselfe. And I will confesse unto thy Name (O Lord) because it is so good; for nothing else, but because it is good. What does hee say? I will confesse unto thy name, (O Lord) because thou givest mee fruitfull lands, because thou givest me gold and silver, because thou givest me great riches, and excelling dignity: not, but why? because it is good. I find nothing better then thy Name, therefore will I praise thy Name O Lord, because it is good. Augus. Tom 8. in Psal. 54.

1. Behold to serve God, for Gods sake, this at length is to serve God truely, for so God both loveth us, & serves us himselfe, even as hee promiseth by Osea. Osea. 14.15. I will love them freely, saith he, that is, meerely of mine owne accord. The same he justly requireth of us, for indeed he will not have us to serve him so, as a dogge serves his ma­ster for a bit or a bone, for if wee serve God for heaven, wee make shew enough, that heaven is dea­rer unto us then God. Most fitly to this purpose Seneca, lib. 4. de be­nef. [Page 17] c. 1. There are found some (saith hee) which use honesty for advantage, and whom vertue alone pleaseth not; which carrieth no great shew, if so be she hath any thing common, whereas vertue is neither invited by gaine, nor affrigh­ted by losse, nor corrupteth any man in that sort by hope or promise, tread­ing profit under feet we must goe af­ter her, whithersoever shee calleth, whithersoever shee sends us, with­out any respect of our private gaine: yea sometimes must wee goe on not sparing our owne blood; nor is her command ever to be slighted. What shall I obtaine, sayest thou, if I shall doe this, which I doe frankly, & freely, nothing over is promised thee, if any booty shall come in the way, thou shalt reckon it among thy vailes; the price of honesty is in itselfe. Lodovi­cus Blosius comes for a conveni­ent witnesse to this purpose, who m [...]king good this very thing: The Lord saith he, upon a time inspired a certaine Virgin with these words: I would have my Elect so perswaded in themselves, that their good workes and exercises doe throughly please [Page] [Page 16] [...] [Page 17] [...] [Page 18] me, when they serve mee at their owne charge, Expences. but they * serve me at their owne charge, Tender me service. which although they tast not any other sweetnesse of their Devotion, yet performe their prayers, and other pious exercises as dutifully as may be: being confident of my goodnesse, that I will take these things willingly and well at their hands.

Wee approve therefore of this Intention, as the best and purest, whereby a man does any thing, because it so pleaseth God, because God [...] will, because God for his immense goodnesse is most worthy that it bee done to his honour: Wherefore let every man deter­mine thus with himselfe. I serve God for Gods sake, who is so great, that if there were neither Heaven nor Hell, is yet onely most worthy; to whom all Angels, to whom mankind, to whom what­soever is created should performe most exact service. Moreover it is easie to apprehend, whether a man conceive thus in his mind, for it falls out many times, that we rash­ly despise one another, and say in [Page 19] contempt:Scorne. What great matter hath this writing, this saying? what rare thing is in this counsell, this action, this worke? let it bee enjoyned others, any man might doe it: with these cavills a man of a Right Intention is nothing at all troubled; but with a generous spi­rit: O good Sir, lirtle am I moved that this displeases you, I did not this that you should praise it; let it not please you, and a thousand more, I take no care for that, so it displease not GOD onely. It is the greatest praise and reward to me, to have done well. Let God approve it, though all the world say nay, truely I weigh it not a rush; I have already learnt to con­temne, and to be contemned. Let men know me to bee such a one, whom they may offend without danger. I know what Master to call upon after my labour; I know how to rejoyce within. These things the leavell of a Right In­tention teacheth.Rule.

But if any man, because his things are not highly esteemed by others, thinkes it a great punish­ment, [Page 20] is troubled, vexed, grieved, and falls in his mind, saying: there­fore hereafter all my care shall be, that these Wits may not have what to condemne: it shall be more de­lightfull to me to be at ease,Pleasure, then to under goe these perverse judge­ments. Loe, silly soule, here thou art taken in a burning fault, for if thou hadst a Right Intention to God, thou wouldest put amongst thy smallest accounts, not to have thy selfe and thy doings commen­ded by others; and to be beaten by sinister judgements and speeches: these things never move a man of a Right Intention one foot: hee lightly esteemes to be lightly estee­med: hee hath an eye to God, to whom alone hee desireth to ap­prove himselfe, and his doings.

Alas, how miserable were wee, (and truely are) which turne the judgements of other men to our owne torments, beleeve it the grea­test hurt to displease others, e­steeme praises flowing from the common assent to bee the chiefest good; nor to take paines is ever pleasing unto us, unlesse when [Page 21] others begin to commend us, or at least to cast a favourable aspect up­pon our doings. Or are wee igno­rant, that humane eyes are seldome and hardly satisfied, which onely respect the deed they see, but passe by the mind in a trance? To serve God is both pleasant and easie; for God, as Gregory speakes, weighs the heart, and not the mat­ter, Nec cogitat quantum, sed ex quanto quis operetur, nor regards how much, but out of how much a man worketh.

II. The root of a Tree either makes the fruit sweet, or marres it with bitternesse; for as the sap of the root is sweet or bitter, so also the fruit. If the root bee holy, so are the branches. Rom. 11.16. and as the water of a streame is of the same taste with the fountaine; so likewise the actions of men are of the same goodnesse, or ill quality with the intention, which is both the root and fountaine thereof. Excellently, and briefely withall Saint Augustine, Attend not great­ly, saith he, what a man doth, but what he lookes upon when hee [Page 22] doth it. August. in Psal. 31. Some man hath given a great piece of mony, but a rich man, but not like to feele the want of it; another hath given, but a poore man, but ready to make away a part of his Patrimony. The summe is all one, not all one the good deed; the In­tention varies it. Seneca like one of the soundest Christians, delive­ring most excellent instructions concerning this matter: Because indeed saith he, the praise is not in the fact, but in the manner how it is done; this hee confirmeth by examples: the same thing if it be bestowed on superfluity is base, if on comlinesse, is without repre­hension. Some man abides by his sicke friend, wee approve it; but if he doe this for an Inheritance, he is a Raven, he waites for the car­case: the same things are both base and honest: it killeth, wherefore or how they are done. Therefore ought there to be a fast persuasion, (wee call it an Intention) belong­ing to the whole life: such as this persuasion shall bee, such shall be our doings; such our thoughts: [Page 23] and suc [...] as these shall be, such will be our life. Marcus Brutus giveth many instructions both to his Pa­rents, and Children, and Kindred: No man will doe these things, without a reference to somewhat. Wee must propose the chiefest good for our end, whereto we must en­deavour; to which every one of our deedes and sayings may have respect (No Christian could ex­presse this more Christianly) wee must direct our course like Saylers by some Starre. Vita sine proposito vaga est, a life at randome is no lifeNo fast purpose, no fast life. what could be spoken more religiously?

Publius Mimus hath spoken in­deed succinctly, but excellently with all: That man is to be termed evill, which is good for his owne sake. Therefore not onely is it lawfull for me to be evill for my selfe, but neither also to bee good for my selfe: all things for God. Let every thing that we doe or say have respect (as Seneca speakes) to the end of the chiefest good.

Wisedome guided the righteous in right paths, and shewed him [Page 24] the Kingdome of God. Wis. 10 10. But in what kind is that true was not Paul, when hee was th [...] Preacher of the world a just man yet by what tedious circuits, [...] how many turnings, and winding by what crooked pathes was h [...] led to the Kingdome of Heaven? Senec. Longiss. sed aurea Epist 95. circa. med.

First of all a Iew, was a Discip [...] of the Pharisees, most zealous o [...] the Sect, whereunto hee wa [...] brought up: afterwards of a Disciple a master, an earnest Pharisee a stiffe Rabbine. Thirdly, hee wa [...] made a Persecutor and tormento [...] of the Christians, chiefe of th [...] Officers, that if hee found any o [...] this way, whether they were me [...] or women, hee might bring them bound to Hierusalem. Acts 9.2 Fourthly hee became a Discipl [...] againe, but of Ananias, a very good Christian. Fiftly, hee him­selfe also became a Christian, and the Oratour of Christians. Sixtly, being sent by God into every coast of the World, hee passed both Sea and Land,Iournying * going from land to land, from sea to sea. Are not these doubtfull wayes? Besides, [Page 25] with how many chances, with how great dangers, with what almost innumerable troubles was hee pressed? now the sea threatneth his death, now false brethren, now Theeves lay waite for his life: one while the Gen­tiles molest him, another while the Iewes vexe him; now within the ship, now in prison, now in the wildernesse, now in the City hee feeles strange alterations: one while hee is beaten with Rods, then pressed with stones; almost every day dying: who may not call these pathes untoward? But heare my good man, this so cr [...]b­bed a way is not the right way to Heaven. Another, not Paul, might endure as much as this, and more then Paul, and yet goe wide of Heaven. Therefore Pauls straightest way to Heaven, was his most pure and sincere intent on to God, in undergoing all these things hee aimed at the glory of God onely.

This is the exact way to Hea­ven, this all the Saints tooke, from this no just man turned into any [Page 26] by path: Wisedome hath guided the righteous through right pathes. But those so various changes, such multiplicious troubles, such uncer­taine and ill events whereof our whole life is full, warne us to car­ry our selves like Souldiers. In war it is no new or strange thing to raise winding Bulwarkes, yea when the Generall intendeth to cast a Trench before the walles of a City, hee layes it not straight a­long, but bending to and fro. This is the right way to besiege a towne which is so crooked and wavering: So God leadeth us to Heaven through all kind of calamities, yet because in this so very a froward path, the intention of the just is most right to GOD, it is most truely affirmed, The LORD Conducteth the Righteous in right pathes, and that which is nearest unto it: the righteous live for evermore, their reward al­so is with the Lord, and the care of them with the most high. Wisd. 5.15. Because they incessantly thinke upon this, care for this one­ly, to please the Lord, not men: [Page 27] therefore they shall receive from God a most ample reward. This therefore (as Bernard speaketh, is the purity of Intention, that what­soever thou dost, thou doe it for God, and that blessings returne to the place from whence they pro­ceeded, that they may abound. Bernard in v. g. Nativit. Dom. Serm. 3. med. Mat. 6.2 [...].

CHAP. III. How necessary a right Intent [...]on is.

IF the Divine pages were alto­gether silent else where con­cerning a right intention,The neces­sity of it would appeare at large from this one saying of our Saviour, how ne­cessary that is for all men, most apparently Christ: If thine eye bee single, thy whole body shall b [...] full of light. Augustine affirmeth, that Christ our Lord d d here properly speake of a Right Intention, as he [Page 28] which a little before discourse [...] particularly of Prayer, Almes, an [...] Fasting; that no man therefor [...] should choke all the force of h [...] prayer,Largesse pittance, fasting, in hunting after a little vaine report, on Saviour adds a most wholsome instruction concerning the eye, whic [...] is either single and pure,Diverse or vario [...] and wicked. Therefore even a when the eyes are bright, cleare sharpe, and lively, the body hat [...] day within, and carries his Sunn [...] about with it, moveth up an [...] downe at pleasure, and is i [...] light: but if the eyes be sore, an [...] diseased, if asquint, or purblind, bleared, or growne o're with filme, all the body is in misery, an groanes under a cloudy mansion Iust so if the intention bee sincere and free from all shadowes o [...] vaine glory, our prayers, almes deeds, abstinences, are cleane from the dreggs of vice: but if the inten­tion be evill, all a mans actions are such. What saith Gregory, is ex­pressed by the eye, but the inten­tion of the heart preventing its worke, which before it exercises it [Page 29] selfe in action, contemplates that thing which now it desireth. And what is signified in that appellation of the body, but every action which followes the intention as her eye going before? The light of the body therefore is the eye, quia per bonae intentionis radium, merita il­lustrantur actionis, because the de­fects of the action, are illustrated by the raies of the intention. Greg. lib. 28. mor. c. 6. prope finem.

Saint Ambrose was wont to say very well, As much as thou inten­dest▪ so much thou doest; for surely thy labour is of such worth, as is thine eye which goes before it. If thine intention bee right, right also will be thy action, without doubt in the eyes of God: for herein are the eyes of man a thousand times decei­ved. Of these Saint Bernard said wisely, Opera probant, quae cernunt, sed unde prodeunt non discernunt. They approve the deeds they see, but from whence they proceed they dis­cerne not. Bern. tract. de humil. grad. 5. Thus the summe, and foundation, and ground of all our actions is the intention. Hereof [Page 30] notably Gregory, T [...]e supporters of every soule are her intentions, for as the building upon the pillars, but the pillars doe stay upon their bases: so our life in vertues▪ but our vertues subsist in our innermost [...]ntentions. Most in­ward. And because it is written, Other foundation can no man l [...]y, then that is layed, which is Iesus Christ. 1 Cor. 3.11. then b ses are in the foundation, when our intentions are made strong in Christ (Greg. in c. 38. Iob. ad fin.) We are alto­gether such, as our intention is: we get the pra [...]se of vertue, o [...] the marke of vice, from our intention. If our intention looke upon earth, wee are made earthly; if heaven, heavenly: and most commonly where a vertuous end is wanting, there comes in a vaine, sensuall, and vitious one.

Excellently Laurentius Iustinian: In all workes saith hee, whosoever desireth his soules health, let him looke to the manner of his intention, and direct it to that end, which the Divine Law commandeth: that he spend not his labour in vaine. Hee adds: It is to little purpose, to med­dle with difficult affaires, to con­verse [Page 31] familiarly with Kings and Princes, to get a famous name of sanctity and science, and to doe all this with a wrong intention. (Laur. Iust. de Regim. prae [...]at. c. 22.) Richardus Victorinus, That, as the body is, saith hee, without life, the same is a deede without a good intention. Rich. De statu inter hom. c. 7.) even as often as Christ proclaimeth that his, Attendite, Take heede, or beware, as when he admonisheth; Beware of the Scribes, Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, Beware of false Pro­phets. (Luk. 10.46. Luk. 12.1. Mat. 7.15. Mat 6.1.) for the most part some grievous danger is at hand, and then wee must deale very warily. In this voyce Christ calling aloud to us all, Take heede saith he, that yee doe not your almes before men. Have a care to your feet, there creepes a Sharke behind you ready to plucke off your Cloak: as soone as you looke backe, hee will fawne upon you, he will kisse your hand, hee will counterfet a thousand services. What, who is this Thiefe? who this Sharke? [Page 32] Intention, but that wrong one of pleasing men, of satisfying the eyes of men, of striving for humane praises; therefore Christ signifi­cantly added: To bee seene of them. Take heede that yee doe not your almes before men, to be seene of them. (Mat. 6.1.) Augustine: Let them see saith hee, your good workes, and glorifie not you, but God: for if you doe good workes to glo­rifie your selves, it is answered to you, what hee himselfe spoke of some such: Verily I say unto you, they have their reward: (a present reward of worldly praise, not of future glory.) Therefore, thou wilt say, ought I to hide my works, that I doe them not before men? I com­mand not saith the Lord, contrary things: take heede to the end, sing to the end, see for what end thou dost them: If therefore thou dost them to glorifie thy selfe, this I have forbidden; but if therefore that God may be glorified, this I have commanded. Sing therefore not unto your owne name, but un­to the name of the Lord your God. Sing you, let him be praised; live [Page 33] you well, let him bee glorified. (August. Tom. 8. in Psal. 65.) St. Gregory expounding that precept of the Lord touching the concea­ling of our almes: Let the worke saith hee, be so in publick, as that the intention may remaine in private; that we may both give an example of the good worke to our neighbours, and yet by the intention, whereby wee seeke to please God onely, we wish it alwaies secret. (Greg. Hom. 2. in Evang.) Therefore a good inten­tion is necessary, which onely knowes best how to avoyd these Cut-purses: Therefore take heed.

3. Amongst the ceremonies of the old Testament, which God re­quired of the Israelites, for com­mending the Sacrifices, this was one of the chiefe; To lay the hand upon the Oblation. Thus the Lord commanded: He shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering, and it shall bee accepted. (Levit. 1.4.) Expositors enquire, for what reason God exacteth this im­position of hand, that so the Sacri­fice might be both gratefull to him, and availeable for the offerer. Ole­aster: [Page 34] God would have saith hee, that the party about to sacrifice, should not onely offer a burnt offering, but moreover should adjoyne himselfe, his heart, will, and intention. All this together is necessary, for beasts onely are neither acceptable to God, nor beneficiall to the offerer. Hence Augustine, upon that of the King­ly Prophet: In me sunt Deus vota tua. Thy vowes are in (or upon) me O God. (Psal. 56.12.) enqui­rest thou, saith he, what thou must give unto God? not beasts offered upon Altars: out of the Cabinet of thy heart, out of the closet of a good conscience, out of thy selfe bring forth thy selfe. Even so, offer thy will, thy minde, thy heart; say unto God, in me, O my God, are thy vowes; for those things which thou requirest of me, are within my selfe: these things th [...]u O Lord, demandest of mee for an offering, not those outward t [...]ings voyd of a heart and intention. August in Psal. 56.

In [...]he judgement of Chrysostome, [...]e t [...]ue Sacrifices of Christians are Almes-deeds, Prayers, and tem­perance: but God will not have [Page 35] these naked, but that a man adde himselfe thereto, whereby it may bee an offering full of marrow and fatnesse: for the Royall Psalmist determining thus with himselfe; I will offer, (saith he,) unto thee fat burnt offerings. Psal. 66.13. What is, saith Austine, fat or full of mar­row? I will hold fast thy love within, that which I tender shall bee not in the outward parts, but in the mar­row? then which nothing is more inward. The bones are within the flesh, within the very bones the marrow. Whosoever therefore wor­ships God outwardly, Out side will rather please men then God: for hee which hath other thoughts within, offereth not burnt offerings of fatlings; but whose marrow God beholdeth, him hee wholly accepteth. Aug. Tom. 8. in dict. Psal. Those workes there­fore are fat burnt offerings, wherein is a good will and Intention. By no meanes will God have dry, starve­ling, saplesse bones. You may finde many, who frequently say their pray­ers, and are present at holy duties, sometimes hunger-bite themselves, give the common dole, but alas, how [Page 36] little marrow is in these workes? these indeed are like smooth white bones, but there wants juyce, spirit, a right intention, a pious affection; which should lift up these deeds to God.

Amongst all the Sacrifices, the burnt offering was chiefe: others made also for the good of the Offers, but this was wholly burnt to God and to his honour. And even as the offerings in times past were distin­guished, so now our workes. Some are also a benefit to us, as to eate, to drinke, sleepe, walke, reade, write, make accounts; these workes bee good, if well done, and as they ought. Others use to be contrived to the honour of God alone, in the manner of burnt sacrifices, as to pray, to endure want, to waite upon divine Service, to purge ones selfe by hearty consession, to come to the Lords Ta­ble. Those of the first sort with most men, have seldome any marrow in them; for when the houre comes they goe to their meales, and have no further thoughts; when sleepe in­vites them, they make hast to bed, nor does any thing else take up their [Page 37] mind, but rest: when faire wether calls them into the field, their heart is set upon nothing else then pleasant walking: thus many eate, drinke, prattle, goe about their matters, and looke no other way; it is enough for them that these things bee done, in these they unite not their mind with God, they lift not up their meaning to God. These are not fat burnt Sa­crifices, they are not: but it is more to bee admired, and more grievously blamed, that the burnt offerings themselves have no fatnesse; that prayer is without attention, fasting without amendment, almes without commiseration, the communion of the Lords Body without devotion: out of the lips we poure prayers, Common rates. out of the purse money for the poore, but where are the fervent affections? where the ardency of minde? where the earnest desire of pleasing God? where the marrow? Therefore you that will offer any thing gratefull to the heavenly power, offer fat burnt Sacrifices. Poure out your hearts before him. Psal. 62.8. Honour God with a full and whole Inten­tion.

Cyrill of Alexandria moves the question, Why did God forbid the bloud of the Victime to be eaten? in these hee so answereth: The bloud is the seate of the life, hee which takes away the bloud, takes away the life also: God hath therefore required in every Sacrifice, that the heart, will, and intention should bee poured out like blood before him, not so much as a drop being reserved for other uses. When therefore wee Sa­crifice, when we pray or fast, thither onely let the intention tend that wee may please God, and reject whatso­ever is contrary hereunto. From hence Eusebius Emesenus agrees upon these two things, the first, eve­ry good worke whatsoever is of so much price with God, as this effu­sion of heart, and intention in man is The other, wee ought in every good worke wee goe about, to have the greatest care of a right intention, or good will. Emes. in c. 6. Matth. The Law formerly gave order, All thy estimation sha [...]l bee accor­ding to the shekel of the Sanctua­ry. Levit. 27.25. for these onely weights were voyd of deceit. Iust so our works also are not to be esteemed [Page 39] or weighed according to the opi­nion of the vulgar, or outward show, Glosse or credit of the eyes; and oftentimes by the falsest testimonies, but by the onely intention of the heart. How often are the noblest workes valued scarce one groat, which by God the most equall esteemer of things are received as an hundred pound of sil­ver? Of how small a price were the Hebrew Widdowes? two brasen mites beleeved, to that great heape of silver which was cast in by the Pharisees? and yet they did farre exceede this. Marke 12.42. How ponderous might the prayers, fast­ings, almes-deeds of the Pharisee, praising himselfe in the Temple seeme? they were all scarce worth the least counterfeit Iewell; Stone they might all have beene recompenced with the poorest reports of men. Slightest

The Divell is not ignorant of this, hee understands most exactly, that all the worth comes to a worke by the right intention, therefore hee moveth every stone, and laboureth extreamely, that either he may take away a right intention, or spoile it: skilfull enough, that then wee toyle [Page 40] to no purpose, and in doing much do nothing, and in vaine expect a reward, where labour so ingratefull [...] God went before. Wounded Surely God cleanly confessing himselfe to bee wonde [...] fully taken with this single ey [...] Thou hast wounded my heart saith hee, my Sister, my Spouse thou hast wounded my heart wit [...] one of thine eyes, and with on chaine of thy necke, Cant. 4.5 In the Hebrew Idiom, Thou ha [...] ravished my heart. Tertullian con­sidering this: Solomon, saith hee, had respect to the fashion of women in the East, which for maintaining their honour, went abroad with their faces covered, leaving onely one eye unvailed. The Spouse therefore com­mending this use as an argument of honesty, confesseth himselfe rapt so in love with this one eye. But others searching more deepely into this mystery, say that here the admirable whether union or unity of the eyes is set forth, for both ever goe with equall pace, nor does this ever wan­der any way from that, they al­waies behold the same thing toge­ther, nor can there bee so great dis­sent [Page 41] betweene them, for that to looke upon Heaven, this the Earth: the same also is the unity of the Haires, when all are platted together in that order, that they may seeme one haire. The eyes of the heart are the affections, and intentions, the cogitations the haires. Here nothing is more deformed then the disagree­ing variety of these eyes; if this bee carried this way, the other that way: if wee desire to please God, and withall not to displease the world: if with this eye wee looke upon Heaven, with that unjust gaine Luxury, or any unlawfull thing, then is the heart wounded with love of the Divine Power, when there is the eye of man, and that fixt upon God, one intention, and that erected to God.

And this did God evidently de­clare in Abrahams Sacrifice, where­in hee was commanded to offer both Birds and other living Creatures, these namely divided and cut in peeces, those not so. Gen. 15.10. whereby is signified, that although one may impart his cares upon his Wife, Children, Houshold, Sub­jects, [Page 42] yet that his intention, which the Birds exemplified, is not at all to bee div [...]ded. Let the Father looke to his Children, let the Merchant thinke upon his wares, the Shepheard upon his sheepe, the Consull upon his Citizens, the Exchanger upon his money; in the mind s of all these men in­numer [...]ble cogitations will offer themselves thicker then the haires of the head, notwithstanding let these haires bee united, let all these cogitations looke to one thing, God, Gods honour, Gods Ser­vice. This one haire, one eye is necessary before all things. In this manner the heart of the King a­bove is most sweetly wounded, in one of the eyes, and with one haire of the necke.

CHAP. IIII. That no action of humane affaires is pleasing to God without a Right Intention: where strictly of vaine glory.

THe Vesture of Aaron the high Priest, wherein he performed Divine Offices was of such great worth and beauty, not on [...]ly in respect of matter, but of art; that all the robes of Kings and Empe­rours cannot any way bee compa­red with it. Beseliel, the best Arti­ficer wrought that Garment: but it had a greater Artist then him, which dictated, which prescribed the manner of making it, and gui­ded the masters hand himselfe, as it were a childs. Of this Vesture the Sonne of Syrach: Hee beauti­fied him with comely ornaments, and clothed him with a robe of glory: Hee put upon him perfect [Page 44] glory, and strengthened him with rich garments: and againe in con­clusion, hee set a Crowne of gold upon the Mitre, wherein was en­graven Holinesse, an ornament of honour, a costly worke, the de­sires of the eyes, goodly and beau­tifull: Before him there was none such. Ecclesi. 45.8.12. What comely thing soever in this kind even the most curious eye could de­sire, that it might behold in this one garment. The desires of the eyes, this robe satiated all desire, e­ven of the greediest eye: nothing more precious, more beautifull would any man wish to see; no not in the most excellent wo [...]ke.

This the good God would have for that end, that the chiefe Priest going to the Temple, should snatch the eyes of all after him: and for that cause also hee com­manded three hundred sixty sixe golden Bells to bee hung at the lower Hemme of this Vestment, that the Priest with his very going should convocate all from every part to the spectacle; nor was there any which would not willingly [Page 45] loose his eyes in this shew: yet in the meane while was it not law­full for this high Priest, which tur­ned the eyes of all upon himselfe, to cast his eyes upon any body: he that was to be looked upon by all, ought himselfe to looke upon none. For God would that the Priests eyes should goe together onely upon the ineffable Name of God, which therefore the Priest wore upon his fore-head, ingraven in a plate of gold.

This is a most noble patterne of a man just to a farthing; let a man that is good in earnest shew by proofe in himselfe, whatsoever honest eyes would wish to looke upon: In all things shew thy selfe a patterne of good workes. Titus 1.9. In such a man as this, let the wealthy see an example of pious liberality; the afflicted and poore, of patience; the angry and quar­relsome, of meekenesse; the im­pure and intemperate, of continen­cy; the idle and slothfull, of in­dustry: finally let him bee such, the desire of holy eyes. Let your light so shine before men, that [Page 46] they may see your good workes. For indeede they which draw the eyes of others unto them by the exam­ple of a more holy life, must them­selves by no meanes cast their eyes upon their sp [...]ctators, that they may please them, but that they may learne of them: Let them look [...] upon the honour of God alone in all things, even as Aaron kept his eyes upon his frontall onely: so these contemplating God onely with a stedfast looke, let them re­fuse even praise offered, and passe it from themselves to God, and as much as they displease themselves, so much let them desire to please God onely, by a true and sincere intention in all things; of which was spoke in the Chapter next be­fore, how necessary it is: now it shall bee moreover shewed, how none of our actions without this can please God.

Wedding Song1. In the divine Epithalamium, the Kingly Bridegroome from Heaven doth marvellously com­mend the eyes of his Royall Love, but by most unlike similitudes, in­somuch that a man unskilfull of [Page 47] heavenly secrets, may not without cause demand: I pray, is not this Bridegroome beside himselfe, with what words commends hee his Spouse? Thou hast Doves eyes saith hee; and againe, Thine eyes are like the Fish-pooles in Hes­bon by the Gate of Bathrabbim. Cant. 7.4. Have Doves eyes any thing with a Fish-pond? what is lesse like one to another then an eye and a great wide Poole? the Divine Spirit hath folded up this mystery in an elegant cover. The eyes are like Doves eyes, for to looke with, compared to the Fish-pooles in Hesbon, to bee lookt up­pon. Hesbon, the royall City, ac­cording to Hierom, was twenty miles distant from Iordane, at one of the Gates hereof were two most stately Fish-ponds, as cleare as Christall; hither the people upon holy dayes did flow in whole troopes, to the spectacle of this Christall sea: It was therefore al­most a daily thing for these Fish-pooles to be lookt upon, and from hence the Holy Ghost compareth such eyes as please him both to [Page 48] Fish-pooles, and Doves eyes; and indeed first of all hee assimilate them to Doves eyes. The Dove i [...] the understanding of all Nations was a Symbole of the mutuall fide­lity of man and wife, when a one regards the other with equal faith. And this the Heavenl [...] Bridegroome greatly praiseth in as undefiled soule, that it hath Dove-like eyes: Thou hast, saith hee Doves eyes; faithfull and cha [...] eyes, which thou deflectest upo [...] mee onely, and which I onely satisfie for indeed in whatsoever thou dost, thou respectest no other but me; and towards me is thy desire. Can. 1.10. And even as either married party turning away their eyes from the other, moveth suspition of an adul­terous minde: So the soule, if she cast the eye of her intention upon any other thing then God, ma­keth show that her will is to breake promise, and to please o­thers besides God: for the faith­full soule doth daily ingeminate that saying; Mine heart hath tal­ked of thee, seeke yee my face: thy face Lord will I seeke. Psal. 29.9. [Page 49] Mine eyes are both of so wide and narrow capacity, that besides thee, my God, they can receive none; nor can serve the eyes of none, but thine.

For that cause such constant Doves eyes are also compared with the Fish-pooles in Hesbon, for God will have his lovers to bee seene of all men, hee will have the eyes of all men to bee fastened on them, that the proud man by ob­serving them may learne, what an excellent vertue Humility is; that the covetous person may see what liberality can doe, that the disho­nest may perceive, how comely Chastity is; that the wrathfull may know, what meekenesse and placability can performe. GOD will have his friends to bee like the Fish-pooles in Hesbon, which many may contemplate, out of which they may draw, from which they may take vertuous examples. And although these Fish-pooles be seene, yet let them not perceive themselves to bee seene; nor let them looke upon others so, as that they covet to please them, al­together [Page 50] as Aaron which received the eyes of all upon himselfe, him­selfe daring to send forth his eyes upon none. Therefore let him not covet to please others, who covets to please God; nor let him fixe the eye of his intention upon any created thing, who de­sires to stirre up the love of the Creator towards himselfe.

Here is the principall matter, that man continually observe God, the end of all his actions. Surely the duty of a Christian is not to be measured by the beginnings; one may goe out of the meanest Cot­tage to London into the Kings Court, againe he may from hence take his way to the poorest Coun­try house, and by these bounds of the way both that, and this jour­ny is to be esteemed. But as a Tra­veller about to goe to London, hath his minde continually running upon London, museth with him­selfe day and night on London, dreames of London, this cogitation forsakes him not going to bed, nor rising, for London is the utmost bounds of his way: so in all our [Page 51] actions let us ever set before us our end: let every man say to him­selfe daily, whither doe I goe? what doe I seeke? for what doe I weary my selfe? This intention is as necessary for him that will live godly, as it is necessary for him to draw his breath, that will live naturally; and that for a two­fold cause. The first to drive away vaine glory: the other to encrease good deserts. Vaine glory a vice most dangerous and also most sub­till, so diversly treacherous, that it can bee hardly avoyded. Other vices lay waite for us on earth, but this sets traps almost in heaven it selfe; it invades him on all sides that is busied in vertues: Yea the more holily one liveth, by this it takes to it selfe the more liberty, and rushes on so much the bolder, by how much the more defence it sees against it selfe; it encreaseth, and gets strength from our vertues. Every sort of Vermine, as Froggs, Mice, Mothes, Beetles, Wormes, and such kind of Creatures are bred of putred matter out of the earth: But this most filthy worme, [Page 52] vaine glory, proceedes out of a fresh and generous seed, out of large almes, out of rigid fasting, out of fervent prayers takes her birth, and spareth, as Hierome speakes, No State, Order, or Sexe, and being overcome riseth up more vehemently against the Conquerour. Vaine glory is a strong Hecticke sucking up the marrow, and scarce ever, if it have possest a man, forsaking him, the first and last vice wee have to overcome, in Augustines opinion.

How sweet was it to the Prophet Ionah, to repose at noone under his shady Gourd? one little worme confounded all that amenity. Af­ter this manner our good workes flourish, like a tree spreading forth his fruitfull armes, but as soone as the worme of Pride bites this Tree, all things in a moment wi­ther. This little worme knowes how to hide her selfe so, so privily to gnaw, that they themselves which swell with vaine glory, not onely take no notice of it, but not so much as beleeve him which notes, and gives them warning of [Page 53] it: This worme suffers it selfe to bee driven away, and gives place to the Charme, but presently re­turnes. It is not sufficient that vaine glory hath once flowne a­way, she returnes a hundred times, a thousand times she returnes, and often with the greater assault. Therefore this venemous Serpent is daily, and more often to be laid at with sacred Inchantments. A true Charme against this plague is that of the Kingly Prophet: Non nobis, Domine, non nobis: Not un­to us Lord, not unto us; but to thy name give the praise. Psal. 115.1. Whilst wee live, as Bernard ad­monisheth, Let not this Sacred Charme of the Hebrew King goe out of our heart and mouth. But who is so cheerefull to sing this al­waies? Hee which in all things is of sincere and right intention: this exciteth, and makes quicke, this teacheth to doe well, and dai­ly to sing forth: Not unto us O Lord, not unto us, but to thy Name give the glory: to thine, O Lord, not to our name, nor to our merits, but thine: all things for the [Page 54] greater glory of God. So necessary is a right intention, that without this no man can avoyd vaine glory; which rightly Cyprian calleth a most subtill evill, which penetrates the more hidden secrets of the heart, and infuseth it selfe insensibly in more spirituall minds. Cypr. De [...]ent: et ieiun: initio. elegantly Peter Chrysologus, Vaine glory, saith hee, is a secret poison, the staine of vertues, the moth of sancti­ty. Chry. Sermon 7. Excellently Iohn Chrysostom: O strong kinde of calamity, saith hee, O this furious disturbance, what the Moth cannot corrode, nor the Thiefe breake into, those things vaine glory quite con­sumeth. This is the Canker of the heavenly treasure, this is the Thiefe which steales eternall Kingdomes, which takes away from us immarces­sible riches, which like a contagious disease corrupteth all things So because the Divell foresees it to bee an inexpugnable Fortresse, as well against Theeves and Wormes, as other warlike Engines, he subverts it by vaine glory. Ch [...]y. in c. 22. Mat. Hom. 27.

Behold even Heaven is not safe from these wormes. Christ per­swads: Lay up for your selves treasures in Heaven. Matt. 6.20. and yet neither so indeed are the things altogether secure, which are laid up there; vaine glory creeping be­hind with a thievish pace, privily a sporteth the treasures already laid up in Heaven, unlesse a right in­tention bee set for their Keeper, which yet may not goe a nailes breadth from the riches committed to her trust: what good soever we have done at any time, whatsoever wee shall doe hereafter, let us fence on all sides with a most right intention, unlesse it delight us to spend our labour in vaine. The most difficult, as also the most excellent workes are of no moment, unlesse a good intention accompany: all labour is vaine, which a right intention com­mends not.

This God lookes upon in all our actions, to this hee will aime the reward. Scarcely is there a greater or more memorable de­signe, then for one to spend his [Page 56] life for another. But although one cloath a hundred Gibbets with his body, put on sixe hundred tortu­ring Wheeles, purple a thousand Axes, and dye a thousand times, unlesse that bee done for Christ, in Gods cause, with a holy in­tention, hee may dye, but he shall never bee a Martyr; that shall pro­fit him nothing unto heavenly glo­ry. Not paine, but the cause, but the purpose maketh Martyrs; as Hierom witnesses, Hier. in c. 5. ad Gal. The same reason is, in o­ther things of greatest moment.

Since therefore the intention is of so great nobility, rightly in the divine Leaves is it called the heart. The heart is the beginning of life, such a life, as a heart. A man turnes into a beast, if a beasts heart bee planted in him; a beast turnes into a man, if a mans heart bee added to him. God would have Nebuchadnezer the King to bee made a Beast, and to live among them as one of them: therefore hee commanded, Let his heart be changed from mans, and let a Beasts heart bee given him, Dan. 4.16. [Page 57] but GOD would that this Beast should againe bee changed into a man; it was done: and, it stood upon his feet as a man, and a mans heart was given to it. Dan. 7.4. Such is the intention, the heart of all things, which we doe.

Consider me here I pray you, the same sentence pronounced in two Courts. In the Court of Hie­rusalem, Caiphas the High Priest being President, in a full assembly of Senators it was said: It is expe­dient for us that one man dye for the people, and that the whole Na­tion perish not. Ioh. 11.50. This the chiefe Priest Decreed, the rest subscribed.

The very same thing was De­creed in the Court of Heaven, by the most Holy Trinity: It is expe­dient that one man dye for the Peo­ple. But this same decretory Sen­tence, was indeed in the Counsell of Hierusalem a thing of greatest folly and injustice; in the heavenly Counsell of greatest Wisedome and Iustice: there the Savage heart of Caiphas, and the Sena­tours by his malice and envie was [Page 58] stirred up, against this one man; but here the Divine Heart was car­ried with exceeding love towards this man. Thus the heart is the beginning of life; and even as the heart being hurt, death is nigh to all the faculties of the same: so no worke of man can bee tearmed li­ving, which wants this heart, which is not for God: all labour is as good as dead, whatsoever is destitute of this living intention.

Appianus Alexandrinus relates a marvelous thing of two heartlesse Sacrifices. Iulius Caesar the same day which hee fell in Court, be­fore hee went into the Senate, made the accustomed Offering: the beast opened, there was no heart. The Southsayer Prophecy­ing, I know not what of the Empe­rours death, Iulius laught, and commanded another to be brought, and this also wanted a heart. Mar­vellous indeed, twice marvellous. Cicero l. 2. de Divin. And by what meanes could a Creature live without a heart, whether then at first consumed, or else wanting be­fore? if before, and how did it [Page 59] live? if then, and how was it con­sumed? Whatsoever the matter bee, a Beast offered in Sacrifice without a heart, was a sure messen­ger of Death; so also a worke without a right intention, is a dead worke; unprofitable, none. There­fore keepe thy heart above all kee­ping, for out of it are the issues of life. Prov. 4 23. Therefore how often soever wee undertake any businesse, either about to pray, or to heare divine Service, or to give almes, or to doe any other thing; let us care for this onely, and be­fore all things, that such a heart as this bee not wanting to us in these actions, that by a right in­tention wee may doe all things for Gods honour. It is not vertue, nor any right deed, whereunto the best part of all, a right intention is de­ficient. Looke to your selves that yee loose not the things yee have wrought, but that you may receive a full reward. Ioh. Epist. 2.8.

CHAP. V. Wherein a Right Intention chiefly consisteth; where somewhat of the Act and habite of Intention.

A Strange kind of Covenant, and almost incredible, if one should thus agree with another: We will enter into friendship, but for the establishment of a mutuall League, I will have thy Nose cut off: thy Nose shall bee to mee instead of Bonds, and Seale, and subscripti­on. Yet this bloody and barbarous Covenant would bee more tolle­rable then that of Naash King of the Ammonites, with the men of Ia­besh Gilead, which requested they might bee taken into League, and so would serve the King. To whom Naash the Ammonite: On this condition saith he, will I make a Covenant with you, that I may [Page 61] thrust out all your right eyes. 1. Sam. 11.2. The cruell King would make the poore wretches wholly unfit for Warre, for the left eye was covered with a Buckler, the right hee would have thrust out. This therefore hee did, that not onely they should not know how to overcome, but also to fight.

Lucifer the King of Hell, enters into friendship with man upon no other condition, then that he suf­fers the right eye of a good inten­tion to bee thrust out of his head, that single eye, to be directed unto God. As soone as this League is admitted, Satan sounds a triumph; hee overcomes a man very easily, and makes him his Vassaile, for hee wants that, which onely is to bee used against the enemy. Of this right eye, which Christ cal­leth Single, hath hitherto beene intreated, how necessary, and how without this nothing can please God. Now moreover wee will ex­plaine, what is most agreeable with this eye, wherein chiefly a right in­tention consisteth.

There was a cause why Christ [Page 62] should reprehend his Disciples, wherein they seemed not at all to have deserved reprehension. The seventy, saith Luke, returned a­gaine with joy, saying: that even the Divells are subject unto us. Luk. 10.20. for indeed they had per­formed their parts with credit, and also had done miracles; were they therefore to bee sorry, or weepe for this? but yet Christ replyes to their story. Notwithstanding in this rejoyce not: Your doings O my Disciples, I mislike not; but this truely is not to bee lookt upon in your deeds, let not your intention tend hi­ther, nor indeed is this fountaine of joy pure enough, although this bee a rare and great gift, admirable and magnificent, this power over evill spirits, yet this worke is not yours, but my Grace, nor does it belong to your safety that the spirits are sub­ject, but to others. Others there be, and more excellent gifts, in respect whereof you may soundly rejoyce; you are to make most of this one thing, that you are in good esteeme with my Father: but rather rejoyce, that your names are written in the booke [Page 63] of life. Luk. 10.20. at this let all your actions, your joy leavell at this.

Behold how the Heavenly Phy­sitian hath wiped the ill-moyste­ned eyes of his, and dryed the fluxe of their not commendable inten­tion. An ill intention alwaies lookes upon some fraile and vaine thing, and with that is vitiously contented. A good and pure in­tent desires not but everlasting things, and if it bee the purest, onely God.

Wee said in the second Chap­ter, that to beware a fault onely with that mind, left the fault may bee punished in flames, is an inten­tion not to bee condemned, but by no meanes pure; nor of so great price in Gods estimation. And even as that Citizen is not of so good note, which precisely kee­peth that Civicke law of not ma­king Feasts out of the City, yet not for reverence of the Law, but for love of his mony; hee spares his purse, not his credit; for hee should drinke so much dearer then another in Country Tavernes, therefore hee rather Gormandiseth [Page 64] in the City: so neither is that alto­gether the purest intention, to o­bey Gods Law for that end, that it may bee lawfull to leade a life eternall in joyes: It is good in­deed, and better then the former, but it savours of some selfe-love. It is the best and purest intention, and a truely Single Eye, which lookes upon God, onely so sted­fastly, as that hee which hath this eye, may pronounce most sincerely of himselfe: I will serve God, for God. In this sense the Hebrew King heretofore cries out; And, whom have I, saith he, in Heaven, but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of thee: My flesh and my heart fai­leth, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. Psal. 73.24, 25. For thee onely, O my Lord, will I willingly eschew all things, which thou hast com­manded to bee eschewed; gladly will I doe and suffer all things, which shall come in my way to bee done or suffered. That onely thing, For thee Lord, for thee; O my Lord, for thee, is still, still sixe [Page 65] hundred times, and still a thou­sand times, yea continually to bee ingeminated. Let no day passe, nor yet houre, wherein we readily sub­mit not our selves to labour, and even to any trouble, with a fer­vent repetition of this very thing in our mind: For thee Lord, for thee; both to abstaine from this, and sustaine that: I am ready to doe this, and to endure that; but for thee Lord, for thee. For thy sake are wee mortified all the day long. Psal. 44 22. Rightly Bernard, Bern. Ser­mon 83. Pure love, saith hee, is not merce­nary. It is not ignorant that re­ward will follow the worke, but it never aimes at that, nor therefore speakes well, that it may bee well fed; nor therefore does holily, that it may bee copiously repaid. Pure Love sets God before it for a Pat­terne, which made all things for himselfe, and for his owne glory: Prov. 16, 4. It is altogether e­quall, that man should refuse to doe or suffer no thing for this same Lord and Maker: such was that heavenly Spouse, which saith that Shee kept all manner of pleasant [Page 66] fruites, both new and old for her be­loved Cant. 7.13. The fruites new and fresh are, those which spring from the Grace of God in the new Law, such as are to love God, to beleeve and hope in God, to pray, to undergoe watchings, fasting, and other asperous things for God; and this is to Crucifie the old man with the affections and lusts, and these are those new and redolent fruits. The old fruits are those workes of nature, to eate, to drinke, to repose, to talke of Affaires, and such like, which yet are to bee offered toge­ther with the new; that even when wee are to doe these things, wee should never but say, For thee Lord, I will eate and drinke, for thee will I rest, for thee will I doe all things, that I may please thee alone, although I displease all men.

And albeit it be not hard to doe those workes of the first sort for Gods sake, yet those workes of the second sort is hard, whereas the inferiour ability of the soule, and more depraved nature, drawes to [Page 67] it with an incredible affection, whatsoever it knowes gainefull and pleasant to it selfe; hither it wholly hasteneth, and does that of all that it may not fare ill, and if left to it selfe, serves its owne turne most carefully. Therefore shee is to bee compelled by force,Nature. that she permit all those things to be done for God; that therefore one­ly a man may bee willing to eate, drinke, speake, sleepe, because that pleaseth God; all in that manner as shall bee pleasing to him. And this is it which holy Paul so seri­ously commending: Whether therefore saith he, yee eate or drinke, or whatsoever yee d [...]e, doe all to the glory of God. 1 Corint. 10 31.

Basil demandeth, By what meanes (I pray) may one eate and drinke to the gl [...]ry [...]f God? To this his owne question hee answers af­ [...]er this manner: Let him come to the Table with a minde not to loose, and gaping onely after the meate, which onely may command; bring away, bring away, the meate is my owne, I dip in mine owne Platter, I live at mine owne cost, therefore I [Page 68] will take care that I may doe well, and feele my selfe live. We must not so speake, nor so eate, but resolve this in our minde: I have GOD my overseer, therefore I will take meate in that manner, that none bee offended therewith, Gods glory not diminished: I will not bee the slave of my belly, that here I may follow pleasure onely; neither indeed doe I live that I may eate, but eate that I may live: and may bee sit to take paines. In a word, hee that will take repast without offence, let him never eate and drinke, but doe the same to the praise of God; For thee Lord, for thee will I eate and drinke; thee will I seeke for mine end in all things.

But is this to bee our cogitation at that very time when wee come to the Table? It is to bee noted here, that there is one intention which is called Actuall, another which is called Vertuall; the Actu­all is, when one offers to God that which hee doth whiles hee doth it, or whiles hee begins to doe. And surely with this intention wee must begin every day, before [Page 69] wee doe any thing, by offering to Gods glory, whatsoever wee are about to doe.

But it is expedient to set before God not a confuse company of workes, and all on an heape, but expresly and premeditately the acti­ons of the ensuing day in this man­ner: My God, whatsoever this day I shall speake, or doe; yea whatso­ever I sball thinke, I offer wholly to thee: These and these prayers, that and that businesse, those and these my affaires I consecrate to thee; nor desire any thing else, then what­soever I shall performe this day, eve­ry houre, my God, may wholly turne to thy honour. This intention whilst it is thus conceived in the morning is Actuall, for then the will is in operation. With this so begun one goes into the Church, into the Market, into the Court; or say in­to the Tennis-Court, any place of honest Recreation, nor thinks any further, that hee goes hither or thi­ther for Gods honour: and then his intention which in the mor­ning was Actuall, beginneth to be Vertuall, if so bee that any power [Page 70] thereof sticke fast in those remote actions, even as a stone being flung with the hand, whirling aloft through the aire, is swayed, and carried not with his owne weight, but by force of hand. Heere the perpetuall custome of the Saints is to bee noted, who not contented with that matutine Resolution, to congest all their deeds as it were upon an heape, and so deliver them to God in grosse, but as often as they take any new matter in hand, so often they renew their intention, alwaies repeating that with them­selves: Lord, I will doe this for thee, for thee will I labour; I will think this for thee; for thee will I hold my peace now, and now will I speake for thee.

This is the perpetuall course of upright men; and there are Di­vines which deny the said matu­tine intention alone to bee suffici­ent, to consecrate all the actions of the day to God. For it is ne­cessary, that the Virtuall intention at least wise perswade and pro­mote action: but what enforce­ment is there from the morning intention, when one at noone [Page 71] comes to the Table, being admo­nished by the time, by hunger, by custome, without any remembrance of God, or the Divine Honour. There is not in that matutine pur­pose any other strength, then that thereby the things be thought good, which afterward are done as it were by command thereof; but those things onely are put in execution, which proceed from hence by a force not interrupted: but that againe oblivion, cogitati­on, or diverse naturall action breaks off. From hence it appeares, that it is not sufficient for a righ­teous man, so as to worke deser­vingly in all his actions, to offer himselfe wholly to God in the be­ginning of the day, with a pur­pose of doing all things to his ho­nour: but it is necessary that this purpose be effectuall, & hereunto a generall intention is not enough, but it is requisite, that it bee pecu­liarly set downe, as for example: A summe of mony to bee given to the poore, which moreover by the vertue of that purpose may bee distributed. This is the mind [Page 72] of Divines. Thom. l. 2. q. 144. Art. 4. Bonavent. Dist. 41. Art. 1. q. 3. Et aliorum.

From hence also it is cleare, why Christ to good deeds pro­mised a reward of glory, yet not without this Appendix; if they bee done for his Name sake. A purpose conceived in the beginning of the weeke or the day, of doing all things for the love of God to his glory, is truely an Act of Charity and Religion, so much more ex­cellent and of greater worth, by how much the more ample and extended object it hath; yet it puts not the excellency thereof upon all the actions of that day or weeke: for, that the workes following out of such an act, may procure Gods love and heavenly glory, it is ne­cessary that they bee effects there­of; out of a good intention either actuall or vertuall are the things, which proceed from her power, as a Tree springs out of the seed. As if a man bee going some farre jour­ny, about a matter undertaken for Gods glory, all actions to be exer­cised in the way, or labours to bee [Page 73] endured, shall bee of singular good estimation, if those bee exercised, these endured out of the strength and necessity of that purpose never recalled. And that wee may sum­marily speake; the worke of a righteous man gaineth eternall glory, if it bee governed by the act of charity, or a right intenti­on, and bee referred to GOD, as to its last end, either by the pre­sent act of a good intention (which is to bee actually referred) or by the fore passed, from whence it may proceed as from the mo­ving cause, which is to bee refer­red vertually.

Therefore, if wee desire to imitate the examples of the righ­teous, if wee doe out of vertue, if to consecrate all our actions to God, let us by no meanes bee weary of this not laborious endea­vour, but with a matutine purpose renewed oft through the day, and with an actuall intention (which goeth with a surer foote then the vertuall) let us dir [...]ct all things to God. How often doe mechanicall Worke men examine [Page 74] their worke by a true square, Ievell, rule? how often in a day doth the Carpenter, or Pargetter with his rule prove the lengths, with his square Angles, with his plummet the altitudes? how often doth the Statuary, Mason, Stone-cutter apply his Compasse? how often doe Architects, Picture-drawers, Mathematicians mea­sure all things, every way by their Wand or Line? so let Christians examine all their doings by the plumbe-rule of Gods holy will, that they may not bee deceived or erre, and least some oblique inten­tion creepe in, and deprave all their goodnesse.

It is most gratefull to God, in all and every action, to apply the line of his Divine honour after the aforesaid manner. Blosius reports of a holy Virgin admonished by Christ,Pertude that shee should consecrate all her doings one by one to him, not onely her reading in generall, or writing, but the words she was to reade, the Characters she was to write; nor onely the meate or drinke which shee was to take, [Page 75] but the morsells which shee was about to eate, all the words she was ready to speake, all the steppes shee was to goe, all the breath which either sleeping or waking shee was to draw, shee should of­fer with a singular affection. Blos. instit. spir. c. 9. What other thing is this, then to require that a hun­dred peeces, which are owing to a­nother man, should be told backe by every halfe penny and farthing? But why doth God require such a strict reckoning of us, as wee note in that speech of Christ, that men shall give an account in the day of Iudgement of every idle word. Mat. 12.36. It is not for us to aske, why God would have this or that, (for who can say, why dost thou so?) Iob. 9.12. But yet the reason is at hand: God will have men to bee exquisitely carefull of his service, vigilant, industrious, and to bee attent upon his whole wor­ship, which may performe that they ought not loosely, perfuncto­rily, or in a gaping sort, which may never halt in their duty, halt before their best friend, and doe [Page 76] nothing dissolutely, but looke to all things most studiously and dili­gently, which day and night may doe nothing else, then seeke how to please their Lord, which strive with all their paines and abilities, to approve themselves to him, whom they desire to please.

This contented industry of man, is ac­ceptable to God, even in the smallest things. Palladius Bishop of Heleno­polis, of himselfe a young man, On a certaine day, saith hee, I came to Macarius of Alexandria very pensive, and said unto him: what shall I doe, father, my cogitations afflict me daily casting in that: Palladius c. 20. thou dost nothing, get thee gone, all thy deeds are in vaine. To these Macari­us answered: say thou to thy imagi­nations, I keepe the walls for Christ. What I beseech you is more easie then to keepe walls, which not onely not run away, but not so much as can bee stird out of place? and yet this very keeping of the walls is greatly to be esteemed, for that single eye sake which is cast upon Christ.

Turned. T [...]ere are two things in every sin, Aversion, and Conversion, or tur­ning [Page 77] away, and turning to. Hee which doth against reason, Consci­ence, Gods Law, turnes himselfe a­way from God, as a degenerous un­toward Sonne from his father stand­ing against it, and reclaiming with a loud voyce: stay sonne, stay at home, stay: Hee neverthelesse run­ning out of the house thrusts him­selfe into some Taverne forbidden him by his Parent. This refractory young man is a double delinquent: hee gets him gone from his father, and goes into the forbidden Stewes. The very same reason is of all more grievous offenders. Hee to whom his owne lust, or dignity, or purse is of more regard then Gods Law, ve­ry easi [...]y contemneth Gods Comman­dements, hee will not be d [...]iven from the doore of that hee loves, there­fore hee turnes him away from God, and runs after unlawfull th,ngs; this man forsooth after money that man after a Harlot, the third after other forbidd [...]n pleasures. But which of the two is more grievous in the offence of he rebellious sonne, whe­ther his running out from his father, or his going into a noted House? [Page 78] surely this flight from his Father seemes more grievous, as it were the cause of his fault following: even so in every sin, Aversion from God is the greatest evill, and the Origi­nall of the evills proceeding from thence. After the same manner plainely in every vertue there are two things to be respected. Let the example bee pious liberality to the poore, wherein is seene, both a boun­tifull hand towards the needy, and a minde turned to Christ, whom it de­sires to please, and whose Law hee wisheth to performe, which is libe­rall to the poore in that manner, but yet this conversion to Christ is of more worth then that other, and procu­reth very much grace to every action. As much therefore as thou inten­dest, so much thou doest.

CHAP. VI. Whether a good or Right Intention can make an evill worke good.

GOd giving a Sacrifice in com­mand to Abraham: Take me, (saith hee) an Heifer of three yeares old, and a shee Goat of three yeares old, and a Ramme of three yeares old, and a Turtle Dove, and a young Pigeon. Genes. 15 9. God will not have a Pidgeon a­lone, unlesse a Turtle Dove be joy­ned with it, to wit, that Bird which belongs to the kinne: hee admits not a Vultur, not a Lapwing, not a Hawke, into the Society, but a Turtle Dove; for indeed God requireth, that to all things which wee offer unto him, wee adjoyne the Dove, a sincere Intention: but if any one to this Dove joyne a [Page 80] stinking Lapwing, hee shall offer a most ingratefull Sacrifice. Let the Turtle bee with the Pidgeon, let a deed every way not evill be with a good intention: otherwise the Pidgeon and the Lapwing are joy­ned in unequall marriage. A good intention, and an evill worke, is a hatefull Sacrifice to God. From hence it is manifest how unwel­come a gift comes to the Almigh­ty from him, who takes from some to give to othe [...]s, or as wee say, robbes Peter to pay Paul, which clothes the poore, but steales cloth and leather for these Garments. This is nothing else, then to thrust the Pigeons and the Lapwing into one Sacrifice, to goe about to cloath an evill worke with a good intention, which is nothing so. But thou maist not without cause aske the question: why can not a good intention make an evill worke good, when as an ill in­tention may make a good worke evill? From whence I pray hath an evill intention so much force, that it can corrupt even the best worke, whereas a good intention is not [Page 81] of so great strength, that it can heale an evill worke? A good worke is contaminated with an ill intention, and how comes it to passe that an evill worke cannot be amended by a good intention? if fasting out of covetousnesse bee of no worth, why is not the stealing of Bond-men out of mercy a thing of some desert? most clearely Christ: If thine eye (saith hee) be single, thy whole body shall bee full of light: but if thine eye bee evill, thy whole body shall be full of darke­nes. It seemeth therefore in equall right, that a good intention should bee able to performe in an evill worke, what an ill intention can in a good worke. Wee answer, ac­cording to Saint Bernards mea­ning: Two evills are stronger then one good: where a good intention is not, although the worke bee good, there are two evills, namely an ill intention, and d [...]ceiveable er [...]our. For examples sake: I abstaine in a manner three dayes from drinke, and take it very sparingly▪ for there is to c [...]me to me a not [...]ed inker, that I may answer him at his owne wea­pons, [Page 82] for the present I drinke lesse: that afterward I may drinke more largely.

Here is a double evill: the first, an Ill Intention. I suffer thirst for drunkennesse sake: the other, an errour of Faith, which perswades mee to beleeve that this temperance of liquor will not displease God. And here is a good worke joyned to a dou­ble evill, Intention, and Errour, which elegantly Bernard: That the eye saith hee, be truely single, there is required charity in the intenti­on, and truth in election. Bern. De Praecept. et dispens.) But now where there is an evill worke with a good intention, the intention is the onely good, all the rest are naught. Hereupon though this lea­ven bee good, it is not of such strength, as to penetrate and change an evill lumpe into better. It is well knowne, In asymbolaes, such as are Fire and Water,Things voyd of a­ny likenes. the Transmutation is not easie: to thinke well and doe ill, are Asym­b [...]laes in the highest degree. It is not sufficient to a good action, to thinke that it is good; it is also [Page 83] necessary that there be no errour or deceite in it: To an evill action it sufficeth that one onely part there­of bee evill. Most divulged is that of Saint Denis. Bonum constat ex integrâ causâ, malum verò è quovis defectu: Good consisteth of an intire cause, but evill out of every defect. Which Seneca confirming, Adde now hereunto, saith hee, that no­thing is done honestly, but with what the whole minde hath beene present and intent upon, what it hath gaine­said with no part of it selfe. Senec. Epist. 82. prop. finem. To walke well, saith Hierome, men must goe in the middle and beaten path: to doe good with an ill intention, is to bend too much to the right hand; to doe ill with a good intention, is to decline too much to the left hand whether of these bee done the Divel [...] greatly cares not, so either of them bee done, so the Traveller bee led out of the mid way, whereas that is e­ver the course of vertue; that which exceeds doth as bad, as that which faileth.

Gregory Nazianzen confirming what hath bin spoken: who may doubt [Page 84] saith hee, that it is a thing of grea­ter skill, to restore health to the sicke, then to take it from the sound; that it is harder for bitter liquor to become sweet, then sweet Wine to become bitter; for to this there need but a few drops, to that a huge Tub is scarce sufficient. It is a Rule in Logicke: The conclusion followeth the weaker part, where a good in­tention, and an evill worke is, the whole conclusion is naught. So it is a tricke and mee [...] cousenage, to goe about to set forth an action of it selfe naught under a good end, to desire so to cover vice with a good intention, as that God may take it for vertue. Excellently Gil­bertus, What when a good deed is pretended, saith hee, and not good indeed, but the contrary is wholly in­tended, shall this eye bee called darke all over, or dimme in part; To me in­deed it rather seemeth quite blind: For although light bee deputed in the worke, yet none is acknowledged in the intention. But how is the inten­tion good which wisheth not good? or how single, Ma [...]keth which hideth it selfe under a bare shew of goodnesse? Gil­bert [Page 85] Serm. 22. in Cant. D. Bernar­do in hoc labore succenturiatus. He which recalls to memory the state of former yeares, and weigheth the horrible troubles of the Christian World, and the most grievous rebel­lion of so many Provinces, will per­haps favourably descend to that opi­nion, as to suffer himselfe to be per­swaded, that many of the rebellious were deluded with a most honest end. Purpose How great a clamour was there of the parties calling to Armes, and animating one another with mutuall encouragements, but for what end, with what intention? what store mightest thou have heard say: That the Word of God may grow, that the Gospell may be p [...]opaga­ted. Many I doubt not, deceived them­selves with most holy words, which had this one thing in their mouth: Wee fight for God and the Gos­pell. But O good [...]irs, if indeed yee fight for God and the Gospell, why doe yee rise up against the lawfull Magistrate? why without appa­rant cause, doe yee so cruelly bend your forces against these and these? This is against God, against Gods [Page 86] Word, this the Gospell forbids. The Word of God is not pleased with Se­ditions, not with tumults, not with rebellions: neither is any evill to be committed, that any good may come of it. Therefore let goe the most spe­cious Titles, you shall never cloake as you thinke, a most wicked worke with a good intention. A good end and a naughty meanes are ill joyned together: the Lapwing and the Dove are no pleasing Sacrifice to God. To take by maine force from one what thou maist give to ano­ther, is a thing forbidden. A good intention shall never put true honesty upon an evill deed.

In like manner, did not they which murthered the Apostles, purge the deed with an excellent intention? Christ premonishing in a most cleare Prophesie. The houre commeth saith hee, that whosoever killeth you, will thinke that hee doth God service. Ioh. 16.2. For in­deed therefore were the Apostles killed, that religion should not be innovated, neither strange wor­ships brought into the Provinces. Thus they overlaid a most grie­vous [Page 87] crime with a most vertuous Title, for there is scarce any kind of unrighteousnesse, which may not bee covered with a mantle of honesty.

This is to bee most apparantly seene in Saul King of Israel: one would have sworne that the King was reprehended by Samuel the Prophet, more out of passion then reason, that Saul dealt providently and with a good minde. The mat­ter went thus. It was commanded Saul, Goe and smite the sinners the Amalekites, and utterly destroy all that they have. God required that men and Beasts together should be put to utter destruction. 1 Sam. 15.3. But Saul, and the people spared Agag, and the best of the Sheepe, and of the Oxen, and of the fatlings, and the Lambes, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they utterly destroyed, v. 9. Samuel therefore comes to him, And what meaneth then saith hee, this bleating of the Sheepe in mine eares, and the lowing of the Oxen which I heare? To whom [Page 88] Saul: They have brought them from the Amalekites, saith he, and the people spared the best of the Sheep, and of the Oxen, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God, and the rest we have utterly destroyed. What harme I pray is here? is not this a very good intention, to Sacrifice them to the Lord thy God? Is not this to doe wisely, to spare the best things for use of the Sacrifice, and to consume all the rest that was refuse? But notwithstanding Sa­muel weighing this fact in another Balance, Wherefore saith he, didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fly upon the spoile, and didst evill in the sight of the Lord? Yea, I have obeyed the voyce of the Lord, saith Saul, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me. To whom Samuel, Hath the Lord as great de­light in burnt Offerings and Sacri­fices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Didst thou feare the people? but God thou oughtest more. Hast thou offered these things to the Lord? but obed [...]ence is better then sacrifice. Didst thou thinke that Gods Commandements are to bee ta­ken [Page 89] in a more favourable sence? but Rebellion is as the sin of Witchcraft. Didst thou imagine God not to com­mand that so strictly? but stubborn­nesse is as iniquity and [...]dolatry. The summe of summes is this: Thou hast done foolishly my Saul: diso­bedience cannot bee defended with a good intention. To steale Lea­ther closely, and to make shooes of it for the poore, is almes worthy of a halter.

Of the same kind is this: The Master calleth presently for his Servant, which then being drunke, and not able to stand on his leggs, another of the Servants to excuse him; Master, saies he, hee is not well: Here he lyeth, as he thinks honestly. But is this lawfull? not at all, a lye is the enemy of truth, it is a fault, although thou cast the cloake of a good intention upon it. It is true indeed which Bernard gives us to understand: A good in­tention excuseth a word or deed which is not so very good, Si non a toto, saltem a tanto, if not whol­ly, yet at least in part; to make it bee the lesse fault in him, which [Page 90] loves the right, and does the wrong unwittingly. Bern. l. de praecept.

In how great a straight was the most chast Susanna, when she was taken alone in the Garden by the two Elders lying in waite for her? the losse of good name and life was present before her eyes, nor yet that shee might not loose her good name and life, could shee bee drawne to commit Adultery, and forgoe her right intention to God. Daniel 13. After the same man­ner does one seeke recreation of minde: he seekes here a thing not unlawfull, a good intention, but if hee set two together by the eares to fight, or wrangle, he shall never defend his ill deed with a good in­tention. Hee doth the same, which keepes wild Beasts to hunt for lawfull sport, but this is to the dammage of his Neighbour, and divers others, whose Corne hee treads downe, and spoiles their grounds: here indeed is a good intention, but an evill action by no meanes excusable, just like a stollen Hide, and shooes given out of it for an almes.

Augustine confirming all this ele­gantly. There is much respect to bee had, saith hee, for what cause, for what end, for what intention a thing is done; but those which wee know apparantly to bee sins, wee must not doe with any pretence of a good cause, not for a good end as it were, not as if with a good intention. And to distinguish workes good of themselves from others, which are neither good of themselves nor evill, hee adds; Because those workes of men, even as they proceede of good or evill causes, are now good, now evill; which of their owne na­ture are not sins. But whereas the workes themselves are sinnes, as Thefts, Whoredomes, Blasphe­mies, or such like, who is it that can say, These things must bee done for good causes, either to make them no sinnes, or which is more absurd, to make them righ­teous sinnes. Who is it may say, that wee may have somewhat to give the poore, let us steale from the rich, or let us sell false Othos, especially if the harmelesse bee not hurt thereby, but the wicked [Page 92] throwne downe the rather by the sentence of the Iudge? for two conveniences are wrought by the sale of this one lye, that so both mony may bee got to sustaine the poore with, and the Iudge decei­ved, that a man may escape punish­ment. Why doe wee not suppresse, although wee can, true Wills or Testaments, and put false in the place? that unworthy people may not have Lands or Legacies, which doe no good out of them, but rather they by whom the hun­gry are fed, the naked are cloathed strangers entertained, captives re­deemed, Churches reared? why may not those evills be done for these good things sake, if for these good things sake, neither are those things evill: Who may say these things, but hee which endevours to turne the world and all rights and customs upside downe? August. Tom. 4. l. Contra mendac. c. q. ante med. Therefore in Augustines judgment, no evill must bee done, although wee hope a manifold good will come of it. But Augustine making this Objection to himselfe: Some [Page 93] man, saith hee, will say, therefore any Thiefe whatsoever may bee com­pared with that Thiefe which stea­leth with an intent of mercy. Who can say this? but not any of these two is therefore good, because one is worse, for he is worse which steales for covetousnesse, then hee which steales for compassion: but if all theft bee sinne, wee must ab­staine from all theft. Lib. antedict. c. 8. After the very same manner wee may say with Saint Austin. If every lye bee a trespasse, wee must avoyd every kind of lying, whether it bee the lye of Honour, or the lye of Office, or the lye of compassion. Service For witnesse the same Saint Austin, If wee lay open this way to sinnes, to commit lesser, that others may not commit greater, all vices will enter in and raigne without bounds or limits, an infinite compasse. To be wise in this manner, what is it else, but to play the foole, or rather the mad man?

How ill therefore doe Parents provide for themselves and their Children, whiles they gape after all kind of gaine, that they may not leave their issue in a meane e­state. [Page 94] A good end, to encrease their Childrens living, but an evill deed, to steale out of the poore mans Boxe, to rob the Spittle, to hunt after all kind of advantage.

In the yeare nine hundred forty nine, Thuis King of Hungary with a mighty Army invaded Italy. King Berengarius cast about how to free the Italian Coast, and to repell the enemy; a good end, a very good intention, so hee had used a good meanes in the businesse: but surely he tooke no good course, hee did so pill the Temples and Houses of the Commonalty, that from all parts hee shaved a migh­ty treasure, out of which the Hun­gar could easily measure ten bush­ells of mony, whatsoever remai­ned hee kept to himselfe, being made richer even by meanes of his enemy. Luitprand. Ticin. l. 5. Hist. c. 15.

So also when one desires to be cured, and made well of his dis­ease, a very good end: but hee sends to Fortune-tellers, and Pro­phets, to Diviners, and Wizards; to Conjecturers, and Magitians, [Page 95] this now hee doth very ill, neither shall hee cleare his offence with an honest end. So one sues for an Office, Calling, Dignity; hee de­sires to rise, an end in it selfe not evill. If a man desire the Office of a Bishop, hee desireth a good worke. 1 Tim. 3.1. but if hee goe about this, least a poorer, though a fitter man then hee come before him, if hee bee free of his monie and gifts, if after much bestowed hee promise more, and so climbe high by Silver staires, or if otherwise he remove another out of his place, that hee may succeed into it him­selfe, they are naughty deeds, al­though that which hee affecteth be not evill.

So some body else desires an end of a suite at Law, surely hee longs for a good thing, but because hee anoynts these and these mens hands with silver, and drawes them with bribes to his side, therefore hee corrupts and destroys a good end with base liberality. Evill is not to bee done, that good may come of it: I may lawfully goe into a Chamber, but not through [Page 96] the windowes. So all actions which are destitute of Christian Prudence, shall never put on the credite of true vertue, although they bee done with the best inten­tion. Without Prudence no act is good. Bee yee wise as Serpents. Math. 10.16. Nor does it excuse to say: I thought it was to bee done so, I thought not this hurt would have followed, I thought this man was to bee punished. He was as thou saiest, worthily to be corrected, but not to bee defamed, not so rigorously handled. Many have the zeale of God, but not ac­cording to knowledge. Rom. 10.2. The Iewes were carried with that fervency to the Law of Moses, that wheresoever they could, they went about to extinguish the ho­nour of Christ: behold under the great zeale of the Law, did lye their hate of the Law Maker. But if a good intention cannot throughly correct an evill action, what will it bee to adde an evill worke to an evill intention? if to use good things ill be evill, to use evill things ill will bee worst of all. The hea­venly [Page 97] Spouse is praised for the comlynesse of her cheekes. The cheekes are comly. Cant. 1.10. No body is beautifull, in Bernards estimation, which hath one cheeke blobbed, or is like waxe, it is ne­cessary that both of them smile with a lovely colour. Study saith hee, to have both these cheekes of thy intention beautious. Bern. Serm. 40. in Cant. post med. For it is not enough that the intention be good, but beside this a good action is re­quired, or at least that which is not evill. Wee must aime at this marke, to doe all things with a most sincere intention. Nor let us love to be deceived with such specious pre­tences. Howsoever I am of a good meaning I have reasons and c [...]uses for that matter; I did this and that out of this or that inducement. I pray let us not deceive our selves, wee shall not get credit to our acti­ons by words, hee is good to small purpose, which is good but from the teeth outward. A [...]d truely it is to bee feared, that many times there is little vertue, besides that flattering conceite which b [...]guileth [Page 98] us. Affection too too frequently overswaies our judgement. And as often as wee are driven upon this or that, either by custome, or some sudden motion which is not good, notwithstanding wee vaine­ly give out that: to Gods glory. Therefore examine thy selfe, I pray good Christian, whether in­deed the glory of God hath moved thee to this? or whether some thing else were the cause of it? or whether custome or thine owne affection lead thee hereunto: And how comes it to passe that thou canst make such hast, yea and runne to the Table, to gadding, to sport; but to those things which are thy duty, and the part of ver­tue, scarce goe or creepe. Is this to goe about all things with an even pace for the glory of God? Beleeve mee, such manner of speeches as these are commonly meere pretexts, whereby wee shall never excuse our evill deeds to GOD. What I said I say a­gaine: GOD will have the Turtle to bee joyned with the Pidgeon, not the Lapwing. [Page 99] A worke every way not evill to bee with a good intention; not directly contrary, no ob­liquely, but just for his glory.

CHAP. VII. What are the degrees of a pure and Right Intention.

EXperience teacheth, that wa­ter which floweth from an high place, although it t ke the course by diverse turnings and windings, meander-like, yet at length ascends to the height of the first fountaine, and is equalled with the originall Spring, as is to bee seene in diverse Conduits. The very same in a manner wee may observe in the actions of men, which all flow from the intenti­on, this is the sowrse and foun­taine thereof, for whereas no man doeth with reason, which doeth without intention; by how much [Page 100] higher then the intention is, by so much also the action: for true­ly our actions doe sometimes let downe themselves into a deepe Gulfe, and runne headlong into a profound valley, and as it were quite lose themselves.

And that there have beene some religious men, which being deli­cately brought up, accustomed to no other then pretious garments, to no other then dainty fare, onely to honourable affaires, would have thought it a terrible trespasse be­fore, to handle a Besome, to sweepe a floore, to make cleane but one little Pot. But when they have taken a religious life upon them, accounted it an honour and a pleasure, to doe all those things, and farre baser very readily. So Saint Iohn Damascene formerly the Kings chiefe Praefect of his Court, afterward a ragged Monke, was found by a great man making cleane very Sinkes.Scouring Behold into what a profound depth did this water precipitate it selfe! but like as a Torrent falling from some steepe place, recurs to his foun­taine, [Page 101] so these actions also though the vilest, because they have a lof­ty Originall, because they are un­dertaken for Gods sake (for from this intention they issue) therefore they come home to their Originall, and returne to their first fountaine, they take their end and reward both from God, from whom they tooke their beginning. So mu [...]h it maketh for advancing the most contemptible actions to greatest dignity, to have the highest in­tention, which is God himselfe. And hereof wee have spoken hi­therto, It remaineth to shew cer­taine degrees therein, and those three; to ascend the uppermost and loftiest of all these, will not bee hard to him that is willing These deg [...]ees I now assigne in order.

The first is, in all things so to attend the honour of God onely, that all aff [...]ction to these transito­ry things may be put to death, by earnestly respecting that onely which may please the Lord. Hee which in hot weather comes home weary of long travaile, suffers all the burden of his Garments to [Page 102] hang loose about him,At ran­dome. puts off his Hat, throwes away his Cloake, openeth his Doublet, undoes his Coller and his Girdle, so exposeth himselfe to take the coole aire. In like manner whose heart is infla­med with God, hee easily puts off the affection, which formerly hee bore [...] these sading things. Bernard of the inner house, For how saith hee, dost thou perfectly love, or art loved unlesse thy mind bee carried upward in desire of true goodnesse? Bern. 1. a [...]tedict. c. 69. sine. Collect thy selfe to thy selfe, and rest in the onely desire of God. And here the saying of Saint Austine is most true. Hee loves thee the lesse. O Lord, which loves any thing beside thee.

Esther that mighty Empresse, which had Assuerus reigning over an hundred and s [...]ven and twen­ty Provinces in her power, which might have flowed (if shee would) in all kind of pleasures, yet notwithstanding: Thou know­est O Lord, saith shee, that I hate the glory of the unrighteous, and ab­horre the bed of the uncircumcised. [Page 103] Neither had thine Hand maid any joy since the day that I was brought hither, but in thee O Lord God of Abraham. Est. 14.18, And this is the first degree of a pure inten­tion. To depart from the love of created things.

The second is, A departure from ones selfe. This teacheth by what meanes one may not bee mindfull of himselfe, but account it the one­ly pleasure, to bee satisfied with the Will of God onely. Even as it is a marvellous delight to the bles­sed in Heaven, to see the Will of God taking its course through the whole world, and even through Hell it selfe as it were with a still foo e,Without stumbling. nor any thing any where to bee found, which can resist his di­vine purpose. Yea which is most to bee admired, that pleasure does not so affect them, bec [...]use they possesse goods which cannot bee lost; as th [...]t God is most benevo­lent towards them, beares a spe­ciall respect to them, and doth ve­ry much favour their joyes. And this is it which David the King of Israel cryes out: O give thankes [Page 104] unto the Lord, for hee is good. Psal. 118.1. O give thankes unto the Lord, not because hee hath made me of a Shepheard a King, not be­cause hee hath made me of a poore man a rich man; nor therefore because hee hath promised to give mee so great things besides. But confesse unto the Lord, because he is good, because his mercy endureth for ever. This is another degree of a pure intention, yet not easily to be exceeded by that which the Kingly verse thus noteth: Men will praise thee, when thou doest well unto them. Psal. 49.18. In this de­gree therefore one forgets and for­sakes himselfe, which is not so ready at hand with all men: for it is not hard to forgoe ones goods, but very hard to forgoe ones selfe. This forgetfulnesse of ones selfe consisteth in vertue.

The third is, when a man ser­veth God, not onely that it may please God, for yet this also hath I know not what humane respect in it, but because God pleaseth him in this service, or it pleaseth him to serve God in this manner, or be­cause [Page 105] God is good, that hee vouch­safeth to accept of our endeavours, and sheweth himselfe to bee taken and contented therewith, The di­vine Psalmist, I will goe forth in the strength of the Lord God: and will make mention of thy righ­teousnesse onely, Thou O God hast taught mee from my youth up untill now: therefore I will tel of thy won­drous workes. Psal. 71.14, 15. I truely am a man unlearned, for I have not knowne Literature, but I doe so well understand Gods Om­nipotency and Iustice, that I have nothing more frequently in my mouth: I will therefore most gladly serve this so good, so po­tent, so just a Lord, and for that cause will I serve him, because he is so good, so potent, so just. Ber­nard, O pure, saith hee, and spot­lesse purpose of the Will, and indeed so much the more spotlesse, as there is left in it no mixture of her owne. Sic affici deificari est: Qualified to bee so af­fected, is to bee deified. Bern. de dil, Deo.

Christ about to charge the first of the Apostles, very accurately [Page 106] stirring up this purest intention in him. Peter, saith he, lovest thou mee? This now I doe, that I may commend the care of my Office to thee, and commit my sheepe to bee fed, but thou canst not exe­cute this duty, and undertake my part, without a most pure intention. Therefore my Peter, lovest thou mee? neither did Christ before assigne this charge to him, then he had three times plainely pronoun­ced, whether his heart, eyes, and intention went, and had said, Lord thou knowest that I love thee. At length Christ: Therefore my Pe­ter, if I doe so much please thee, and thou wilt serve mee for mine owne sake, now I commit my Flocke unto thee. Feed my Sheepe. Ioh. 21.15. O Prelates, O Bi­shops, and Arch-bishops: O Prin­ces, O Magistrates▪ and Presi­dents, O Iudges and Guides of the people, take heede whither your eyes, whither your mind and in­tention is carried; see what yee seeke, whether your selves and a prey of your subjects, or else the safety and good of your Subjects: [Page 107] Marke whether yee plead rather your owne cause, or the Common Wealths: consider, I pray, whe­ther yee looke after God and his glory, with a most pure intention in all things. Be wise now therefore O yee Kings: bee learned yee that are Iudges of the earth. Psal. 2.10.

The Emperour Augustus in times past dismissed a young man from the Warre, which carried not him­selfe like a good Souldier, and when the yong man required, what answer hee should give his Father at home? Augustus to him againe, Tell him, saith he, that I doe not please thee. He would have said, T [...]ou dost not please mee, therefore I can very well bee without thy service. Wee Christians, let us doe so with God, that every one may thinke thus for his owne part: Lord, I desire to serve thee, and will serve thee to the utmost of my power, because thou pleasest me exceedingly in all things; for that cause, my Lord, plainely for that, and with this very intention will I serve thee, as long as I live, and set all my veines to worke up­pon [Page 108] this, that I may spend all my desire, and my selfe wholly upon thy service, because thou canst not but please me. This is a sincere and pure intention indeed, this is Mi­das his rod, turning all it touches into gold.

But this intention because so pure, therefore also so delicate and impatient of all mixture. Gardi­ners know that some fruits are spoiled onely with a fall to the ground; scarce any faire Apple, or Peare falleth from the Tree, but it gets some scarre, and shewes it selfe hurt. A sincere intention is a tender fruite, and is marred but with one dash against the earth. To serve God, for feare of eternall punishment, is not a thing forbid­den, nor is this feare, evill, but yet it is servile: unlesse it were good, David had not well said, My flesh trembleth for feare of thee, and I am aff [...]aid of thy judgements. Psalm. 119.120. Notwithstanding Di­vines say, that hee should sinne, which should thinke in this man­ner, if there were no Hell, I would commit this offence, for such a [Page 109] thought would proceed from a per­verse will. To serve God in hope of an eternall reward, is a better mind then t [...]at before, yet not the best. I have inclined my heart to keepe thy Statutes alway even unto the end. Propter retributio­nem, for great is the benefit there­of, according to Hiercmes Transla­tion; o [...] as we finde it Psalm. 19.11. In keeping of them there is great reward. To serve God for Gods sake, this is the best and purest in­tention of all. O give thankes un­to the Lord, for hee is gracious: be­cause his mercy endureth for ever. Psal. 118.1. This last intention is continually to bee inculcated by all men, for the greatest respect is to be had, with what minde one doth all things: at this point lyeth the eternall, exceeding great re­compence of reward

There was one which was about to counsell his very good friend, did first demand of him: Hast thou I pray any silver which is pure and unmixt? I have, saith hee, five hundreth Florens more or lesse. Hee againe: If thou wilt heare me, [Page 110] saith hee, Doe not turne it into cash, but prepare it for some other present: Should I give it for a pre­sent, saith hee? my meanes will not beare this. He once againe: My deare friend, saith hee, thou shalt give it in this manner, and grow ri [...]h by giving. Beleeve mee, to bestow fitly, is the way to bring encrease This [...]hou shalt doe by my advice, thou shalt get a Bason and Ewer made of thy silver, and give to the Prince: the first weeke after five thousand Philips will returne to thee, together with thankes and am­ple favours. I engage my house, if it come not so to passe. This Lord can endure nothing lesse, then for any thing to bee given him gratis, and hee recompences all liberality to­wards him with so great interest, as a man would esteeme the pre­sent ten times of more worth then it is. Therefore give unto him, if thou wilt encrease thy estate by venturing. The party gave his friend infinite thankes, and pro­mised hee would use his counsell. Have yee understood this? The Intention is after the very same [Page 111] manner: Some serve God, and like vile and abject soules they feare torment, they stand in awe of hell, very Drudges. Others do like Pensioners, which that they may get a place of publike main­tenance, lay out all their money; for so these shall be ever provided for: So very many serve God in hope of reward for heaven as their wages, p [...]oper servants. Others in conclusion serve God for love, as children a most loving parent. A son under age, when his father makes a feast, standeth amongst the servitours, and ministreth to the guests, yet thinks upon no re­compence, for he is the son, which often heareth that sweet one from his father; Sonne thou art ever with mee, and all that I have is thine. Luk. 15.31. Such, O Christi­ans, such altogether let us likewise bee, not slaves, not servants, but Sonnes, since God himselfe vouch­safeth so great honour to us wormes and no men, for behold what manner of love the father hath bestowed upon us, that wee should bee called the Sonnes of [Page 112] God. 1 Ioh. 3.1. Doth not a Ser­vant also, which is any thing inge­nuous, account it a great matter, that his master is pleased with him, and likes well of his service? this is dearer to him then Gold. May not the Sonne therefore re­pute it the greatest riches to please his Father? Chrysostome: Requi­rest thou, saith hee, another re­ward yet, besides this very thing that thou hast desered to please him? thou knowest not at all how great a good it is to please the Lord Chry. l. 2. de compunct: cord. Be yee there­fore followers of GOD, as deare Children. Ephes. 5.1. Let it de­light you, not to sell, but to give all the silver of good workes to GOD, nor to require wages or reward for them: so there will returne not onely a thousand Flo­rens for an hundred, but also so many and more for a farthing. Chrysostome fitly admonis [...]ing: Let us not thinke, saith he, that we shall want our reward if wee l [...]bour not for reward; y [...] for this very thing our reward shall bee greater. Chry. Hom. 5. in Epist. ad Rom. [Page 113] For every worke by how much lesse it aimes at the g [...]ine of the doer, hath so muc [...] the purer in­tention, and is it selfe the more perfect. If wee bee C [...]ildren, then Heires, Hei [...]es of G [...]d, and joynt heires with Chr [...]st. Rom 8 17. God is more [...]e [...]dy to [...]ender gift for gift, then to set up [...] Bro­kers Shop, and put mony to ex­change.

The Daughter of Pharaoh King of Egypt, hired Moses his mother for a summe, to bring up the little one for her, but she not p [...]r [...]waded with the mony, but induced w [...]th motherly love, very readily did what shee required. Such eyes as these, such a loving intention as this will God have: for they which serve God for hope of reward, or feare of punishment, se [...]ve him so, as wee doe meate and drinke, not for themselves, but for our owne sake. Here immoderate selfe love intermixeth it selfe, which Christ setting forth in his owne colours: Yee seeke me, saith he, not because yee saw the miracles, but because yee did eate of the loaves and were filled. Ioh. 6.26.

The Divell in this case tryeth every way how hee may either cor­rupt the intention, or that which hee cannot corrupt, hee may at least wise affright. Two certaine men, lived in a solitary place, ra­ther to God then themselves in great unity, and no lesse profici­ency. The fiend envying them these treasures of life in so great poverty, and that hee might let a trappe in their way, puts on an Angel of a glorious shape, so ap­pearing to the elder, that he might deceive them the better. I am a Messenger, saith he, of no good newes to thee, or surely to thy Associate, for that young man thy fellow Soul­dier and companion in this holy con­flict, being fore knowne of God, is already destined to eternall flames, therefore what ever he doth never so well, hee doth all in vaine. The old man was astonished at these spee­ches: O terrible newes saith hee! therefore must this young mans so excellent paines and endeavours come to nought! ah, my soule pitties it. Here againe the Angel from Hell: I knew, saith hee, that thou [Page 115] wouldest heare this not without sighes and groanes, but yet the Di­vine Decrees cannot bee rescinded: So vanisht out of his sight this most beautifull Bugbeare. By this meanes the old man could never looke upon the young man his Companion without a deepe sigh, presaging his griefe. At length the young man noted it, nor deferred to aske, what the cause w [...]s, that, as often as hee lookt upon him, did withall fetch a sigh? whereat the old man againe, shewing the same pittifull exp [...]ession: why dost thou enforce mee, saith hee, to re­peate mine ineffable sorrow? thou maist wish mee to hold my pe [...]ce here, rather then speake. This same tergiversation of the old man greatly stird up the young man to extort his answer. The old man therefore wearied with many en­treaties,Speake out that hee would declare whatsoever it were, at length not without groaning. It is signi­fied unto mee, saith hee, that thou art to bee damned and strivest in vaine for Heaven. Here the young man with a singular alacrity: ô [Page 116] my Father, saith hee, let not this trouble or afflict thee: Hitherto I have served GOD not as a mer­cenary for Heaven, but as a sonne out of duty, because hee is the chiefest good, to whom I owe my selfe wholly, whatsoever hee may finally determine of mee. The elder admiring so sincere Intention of minde; let us serve GOD saith hee, to the uttermost of our strength: that good Father cannot put off a Father: hee hath care of us.

Neither did GOD deferre to shew his fatherly affection to­wards such obsequent Children. Shortly after hee sent downe his true Angel to perswade the old man, not to beleeve the Tales of that cheating Divell, that the young man was ordained by God to eternall rewards, and that he was singularly well pleased with such a generous mind in his service. God will therefore be served of us, not to that end that we may escape the bottomles dungeon, nor to that end that we may inhabite the hea­venly Temple; but because hee is most unworthy of the duties [Page 117] of all men and Angels: where­fore the greatest reward of good deeds is, To please GOD. For indeed GOD is of so great goodnesse and liberality, that hee doth not reject the homage even of Slaves fearing Hell, or servants hoping for heaven, but they which serve a plainely voluntary and free servitude; these he embra­ceth as truely loving Children, to every one of these answereth that lovely saying: Sonne, all that I have is thine.

CHAP. VIII. What an ill intention is.

THe Waspe is a little Creature, but that member which it hath strucke, how doth it ake, and beat, and burne? The Gnat is a much smaller Fly; how slender a Nebb hath it? yet therewith as with a Gimlet it draweth blood, and the part which it hath wounded, pre­sently swelleth.More sub­till What is thinner then the sting of a Scorpion? the eye can scarce perceive it, yet there­with as with an invisible Dagger the whole man is stabb'd to death. How great a lumpe of Dowe doth a little Leaven passe through in a few houres? one little measure of Vineger, or a drop of Gall, spoy­leth a whole Vessell of generous Wine. An ill intention is so strong and cruell a Poison, that it depra­veth [Page 119] any good action whatsoever. Wee have hitherto entreated of a good intention, what it is, and how necessary. Now moreover we will discourse of an evill one, and declare how this Leaven, how this filthy poison infecteth the best things: how this subtill sting of a Scorpion killeth without more adoe.

The Statue appearing to King Nabuchadnezer, was a prodigy for price, matter, and magnitude; an incomparable Tower of Gold, Silver, Brasse, Iron. But because the lower part thereof was not firme, because the feet were of Earth and Clay, therefore one lit­tle stone did so shiver this precious heape, that not so much as a Tyle was left fit for use. Then was the Iron, the Clay the Brasse, the Sil­ver, and the Gold broken in pieces together: and became like the Chaffe of the Summer threshing floores, and the winde carried them away. Dan. 2.35. Even so an ill intention doth so batter a good worke whatsoever it be, that it leaves it not the least goodnesse behind. That which [Page 120] hath an evill end, is it selfe also evill. Those two hundred and fifty seditious Princes of the assem­bly offered incense; every one of these had his Censer. Thou wouldst have said there had beene as many Priests, as there were heades of this Function. Over­against them stood Aaron by him­selfe. So on both sides they did the same thing, as if they had strove who should better execute this Office: which part therefore over­came? which did more please the Lord? God was extreamely a­gainst them all, not because their Censors were little worth. For Aarons Censor was of the purest Gold, but these mens Brasen. Vide Iacob. Salianum Tom. 2. Annal. vet. test. Anno Mundi. 3547. n. 1 Numb. 16. or because their In­cense was lesse fragrant, but because their intention was the worst, whereby they endeavoured to draw Moses and Aaron into hatred with the people. Wherefore they were all swallowed up by the revengefull earth, And they went downe alive into the pit, and the earth closed [Page 121] upon them, and they perished from among the Congregation. Their Censers were mad [...] broad Plates for a covering of the Altar; that it might bee a perpetuall m [...]nument to the Israelites, whereby they might bee put in minde, that God beareth not respect to the action, but to the intention. That whi [...]h hath an evill end, is it selfe also evill.

How great things have beene done in all Ages, and are at this day done in the world, vvhich to humane eyes may seeme most ex­cellent, most holy, whereas the all discerning eyes of GOD, condemne the same as starke naught? And note mee I beseech you, the Royall young man Abso­lon, how humane, how obsequi [...]us, and how modest was hee? First hee stood early in the morning at the Kings Gate like a Porter, and when any one came to doe him obeysance, Absolon put forth his hand, and tooke him, and kissed him. 2 Sam. 15.5. Who ever saw a young man of the Royall Bloud equall to him in courtesie? for if any one came about businesse to [Page 122] the Court, hee called him unto him in a friendly sort, asking from what City hee came; which as soone as hee understood, most fa­miliarly cheares up the man: thy matters saith hee, seeme to mee good and right; but there is no man deputed of the King to heare thee. O what a clement and be­nigne Lord is here, and how fit will hee be hereafter to fit at the sterne of the Kingdome, and beare rule! for saith hee, O that I were made Iudge in the Land, that every man that hath any Suite or cause, might come unto mee, and I would doe him Iustice. Behold a mighty friend, both of labour and Iustice. But who may not see that under this stone lyeth a Scorpion, which most subtilly poysoneth all the deeds of Absolon? For to what [...]nd is all that mildnesse, and prolixe courtesie? to what end are so ma­ny Complementing services? to what end riseth hee so early in the morning, taketh commers and goers by the hand and kisseth them, promiseth himselfe a Iudge, but that hee may strike off the [Page 123] Crowne from his Fathers head, and set it on his owne? That which hath an evill end, is it selfe also evill.

Besides, what is more holy then to vow to God and pay? this very thing did the same righteous, I may so say, deceiver Absolon: hee vow­ed a Sacrifice and Pilgrimage, and for that cause requesting leave of his Soveraigne Father to be gone: I pray, saith hee, let mee goe and pay my vow, which I have vowed to the Lord in Hebron, for thy Servant vowed a vow, while I abode at Ge­shur in Syria saying, If the Lord shall bring mee againe indeed to Hierusa­lem, then will I serve the Lord. Is not this an excellent act, what is better then the same? I vowed a vow, saith hee, and will Sacrifice to the Lord. All this seemeth very worthy of praise: but what is the drift of all this? deceitfull, perverse, impious. That hee might thrust a good Father out of his Throne, and reigne himselfe, hee invented all these things, all tended hither. From hence was it a wicked vow, a wicked Iourney, a wick­ed [Page 124] Sacrifice. That which hath an evill end, is it selfe also evill.

Of the same painted wickednes was that Galilean Foxe Herod. This King also counterfeited a Pilgrimage, to goe to worship the new King of the Iewes: That I, saith hee, may come and worship him also. Matt. 2.8. Had not this I pray beene a holy Iourney? yes truely: but with what intenti­on had hee come? that he might murder the little Infant newly borne in his Cradle. That which hath an evill end, is it selfe also evill. But how frequent is this in Princes Courts? what a daily thing almost, to cogge, and dissem­ble, to kisse the hands, and stretch them out at length, to bow downe at other mens knees, to act a thou­sand pleasing tricks, to omit no ceremonies, to promise all humble service, to faine himselfe an entire friend, to droppe words sprinkled with Sesamum and Poppie, to speake meere hony. But where is the heart and intention? The tongue is in hony, but the heart [Page 125] in gall. The hands indeed are be­nevolent, the mouth full of humble services, the countenance promi­seth friendship, but the intention whispereth the contrary. This ma­ny times wisheth the Gallowes, the Rope, the Divell, and all the crew of ill fortune to take him. The tongue indeed saluteth very kindly; there is not any one, my Brother, that I had rather see, then you: the intention addeth, but upon the Gallowes. The tongue, as it is taught, very readily prates: I d [...]sire nothing more, then to serve my Lord; the intention suggest­eth: but for mine owne profit. The tongue most efficiously wish­eth: I would I could gratifie my very good friend in some great matter: the intention shewes how, but without my paines. O Herod, O Foxe, how farre different is this, to say, and thinke the contrary to what thou sayest? It is easie to vent words, but to adde a good intention to every word and deed, this is vertue.

Exquisitely Publius Mimus: Looke not, saith hee, how full hands [Page 126] one offereth unto God, as how pure. For a testimony hereof, I propose two Suiters together, Ezechias, and the Pharisee, who out of the same kind of Petition doe suppli­cate the Divine Majesty. King Hezechias: I beseech thee O Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth, and with a per­fect heart: and have done that which is good in thy sight. 1 King. 20.3. The Pharisee: God I thanke thee that I am not as other men are. What else is this then to say, That hee had walked before GOD in truth, and with a perfect heart? which also Ezechiah spake of him­selfe. The Pharisee goes on: I fast twice in the weeke, I give Tithe of all that I possesse. Luk. 18.11, 12. Both of them commendeth himselfe, the Prayer of both is the same in substance: Why therefore did his please, but this mans dis­please? Saint Gregory resolving this doubt: It falleth out many times, saith hee, that the just and unjust have words alike, but yet al­waies an unlike heart: and out of what speeches the Lord is offended [Page 127] by the unjust, in the same manner also hee is well pleased of the just. Behold the Pharisee justifieth him­selfe in deed, Ezechiah in affecti­on: why therefore doth he offend, and this please? Almighty God weigheth every mans words by his thoughts, and they are not proud in his eares, which proceed out of an humble heart.

But I propose other two, doing very like one another with farre different conceites. Thomas Aqui­nas, a holy man, and the Trojan adulterer Paris, Saint Thomas, as they remember of him, sitting at meate, cast his eyes very stedfastly upon a beautifull woman, being demanded the cause of it by one that sate neare somewhat offended thereat: I admired saith he, the Creator of the World: for if there be so much beauty and comlinesse in created things, the Maker and Cre­ator himselfe must needs be infinite­ly more comely and beautifull; if fraile men doe so excell in favour in this Pilgrime state, what shall the blessed bee after the resurrection in Heaven? Vide specula p. Ioan: David. [Page 128] spec. 9. pag. III. So Thomas Aquinas rose from the Table with a free conscience and good intention, and encreased in the love of God. And perhaps this holy man did no lesse out of vertue, then Pior Abbas, which did the contrary, which would not so much as looke upon his owne sister, a sickly old Wid [...]w wo­man but presented himselfe to her with his eyes shut. Like unto Tho­mas Aquinas in fact, but not in mind, was the lascivious yonker Pa­ris, which did not much otherwise at Menelaus his Table, where hee con­tinually beheld Helena none of his wife, but with unchast eyes, but to his owne and the perpetuall infamy of his friends, for hee thought upon Rape, lewdnesse, adultery. That which hath an evill end, is it selfe also evill.

I propose three other Persons, Christs mother, Christs Disciple, but whom hee called a Divell, and Christs Hostesse, whose Action was in a manner all one, but their intention most unlike. The mother of Christ a thousand times saluted her Son in his swadling bands with a [Page 129] reverend kisse. Magdalen kissed the Lords feet with like reverence, when Simon the Pharisee was reprehended for neglecting this duty: but even Iudas Iscariot also fastned a kisse on his Masters mouth. Here is as unlike desert, as intention. His mo­ther obtaineth a mighty encrease of Gods love and favour. Mary Mag­dalen pardon of her sinnes, Iudas Hell. From whence is this so great inequality in a mother, Disciple, Servant, kissing the very same man? The Mother did this out of most chast love; Magdalen with a most religi­ous affection; Iudas with a most wicked desire of betraying him. That which hath an evill end, is it selfe also evill. The same is to see in many other things, one stayeth by his sicke friend, not because he is a good friend, and mindfull of his duty, but because he is an insinuating companion, yea be­cause he is a Raven, which from the next hill, spieth Cattell fainting sick, and ready to kicke up their heeles; he waiteth for death, and expecteth a Legacy. Loe how an ill intention doth most filthily corrupt a good acti­on. In like manner, both Herod and [Page 130] Zacheus desired to see Christ; the action of both was all one, but unlike the intention. The Chirurgeon binds a sicke party very fast, hee wounds his arme, cutteth off his hand, saw­eth off his legge, yet thankes are given him, and Gold for his paiment. A Thiefe likewise maimeth a man, but the Gallowes is due to him for his reward: and the reason is, hee addresseth his weapon, that hee may cure the hurt, but this man, that he may hurt the sound.

After the same manner a godly man takes up a stone, that hee may lay it unto the building of a Church; an angry man also takes up a stone himselfe, but that hee may throw it at him whom hee stomacks. Two men goe together to an eminent Ci­ty, the one in some religious behalfe, the other to kill his enemy; a reward from Heaven belongs to the one; to the other from Hell. Intention ma­keth a difference of reward▪ There was one, which intending to doe ano­ther a mischiefe, would take upon him to cut open a great swelling; was hee therefore to bee thanked, or receive a recompence for this, because [Page 131] he launced an Impostume, which the Chirurgions hand feared, and cured him by a desperate adventure, whose destruction hee longed for? perceive you how there is not any great mat­ter in the action it selfe, but in the intent of the doer: so he seemeth not to have conferred a benefit, which did good with an evill mind; for the benefit came by chance, an injury by the man. Vide Senec. l 2. Debenef. c. 1 [...]. initio. Ciceron. l 3 de Nat. Deor. Valer. Max. l. 1. c. 8. Plu­tarch: De utilitate ex inim [...]c. capiend.

A fault out of forgetfulnesse, neglect; errour, deserveth not so many stripes. But when there com­meth intention and a will to re­sist, this shall scarce bee expiated with a hundred blowes. For this of stubbornesse and contumacy, is as the sinne of Witchcraft. Excel­lently and truely Bern. The pride, saith he, of the contemptuous, and obstinacy of the impenitent, even in the least Commandements, maketh no little fault. Bern. l de praecept. & disp. Heere wee must bee very cautious, least in any kind of of­fence [Page 132] to negligence heedlesnesse, in obedience there come pride, con­tempt, pertinacy, for by this meanes vices doe wonderfully multiply themselves, and grow beyond measure. And for as much as those which I sayed, are lurking faults, an evill intention addeth an ab­hominable weight to them, with marvellous celerity; Therefore the Divell cares not so much what good or evill wee doe, so hee can obtaine this, that wee may doe good with an ill intention. Gregory of this craft of the Divell: He seeth the whole Tree, saith hee, to bring forth fruite for him, which he hath infected in the root with his vene­mous tooth. And in Bernards judg­ment, a naughty intention doth quite Condemne a good man. Christ himselfe most apparantly: If thine eye, saith hee bee evill, thy whole body shall bee full of dark­nesse.

But there is a sort of Vizards in the world to bee found all about, whom GOD will never admit into Heaven, namely, good workes clad with an evill intention. It may [Page 133] be said of these Divels elfes: A wolfe playes the Thiefe in Sheeps clothing, vice goeth in the habite of vertue. Satan looketh like an Angel of light. Iob. Mine owne clothes, saith hee, shall abhorre me. Iob. 9.31. I am so filthy, and full of lothsome corrup­tion, that mine owne Garments de­test mee, as if they scorned to touch a man so impure. The Garments are externall good workes, these doe abominate, condemne, con­temne him, which inwardly and in mind is so ulcerous, and flowes with evill intentions, even as if they grieved, that a man should bee so faire without, and foule within. If thine eye bee evill, thy whole body shall bee full of darknesse, although thou put a sheep skin a­bout it, or a cloake of vertue, or an Angels Garment. Gregory: When even any right thing is done with a perverse meaning, although it bee seene to shine bright before men, yet it is proved darke by the examination of the secret Iudge. Greg. l. 28 mor. c. 6.

And this God evidently shewed on a certaine time. The same holy [Page 134] Writer relates a marvellous thing in this manner: Fortunatus Bishop of Todi, a man of wonderfull sanctity, by Prayer cast out a Di­vell which possest a man, the Di­vell being driven out of his Lodg­ing, that hee might make up his injury, God so permitting, put on the habite of a Traveller, whom counterfetting out of subtiltie, he came into the City about twilight, and like a poore exile began to cast out complaints against Bishop Fortunatus, and, Loe, saith hee, what a holy man is Fortunatus your Bishop; see what hee hath done, hee hath excluded a man which is a stranger, and over-taken by ill fortune from his Lodging: Whither shall I goe? there is none that may receive mee into his house. Whiles hee maketh this lamentation, a Citizen heareth it, sitting by him, the Fryer with his wife and little Child, and by and by with an envious curiosity he enquireth more narrowly, what wrong the Bishop had offered him? As soone as hee heard the com­plaints of the subtile stranger, [Page 135] freely offered his owne house for an Inne, not so much that hee might shew courtesie to a stranger, as that hee might traduce the Bi­shop whom hee wished very ill: So drew the counterfeit Divell along with him to the Fyer side. Heere when they had had much discourse, his Guest suddenly lea­ping out a doores, takes up the Child, and with all violence throwes him into the fire, and killed him. Greg. l. 1. Dial. c. 9. Alas wretched Parent, confesse at length, either whom thou recei­vedst into thy House, or whom your Bishop roosted out of his Lodg­ing. Hospitality is a most laudable vertue, but if an evill intention de­prave it, it degenerates from vertue to vice. To entertaine strangers was a most commendable thing even in that great Abraham, but if a good meaning bee wanting, a Di­vell is as soone received as an An­gel. All other vertues are in the same manner, whereunto if a wic­ked intention insinuate it selfe, the evill spirit findeth an open Inne, which hee may take up at his plea­sure, [Page 136] and maketh a man an Ido­later, that hee may adore his owne belly, his owne mony, his owne Treasure Chest, or the Table whereon hee eates, which is seene to bee the course in every deadly sin. If thine eye be evill, thy whole body shall be full of darkenesse. Ah, how circumspectly must we attend here, that wee weary not our selves in vaine, and throw away our paines, least we loose all the re­ward to bee obtained by good deeds, by an intention that is not good. Therefore with the sweet Singer of Israel, we must continu­ally pray: Create in mee a new heart O God▪ and renew a right spi­rit within me, that so I may desire to serve, and please thee in all things. Psal. 51.10.

CHAP. IX. How the Publication of a worke may discover an evill Intention.

THe Hebrew Spyes, sent by Iosua Captaine of the Warres, ha­ving entred the City Hiericho, tooke Rahabs house the H [...]rlot for their Inne. She received them, hid them, fed them: They, that they m [...]ght requite the kindnesse of their Hostesse, after thankes, promised a matter of great mo­ment, but upon that condition: If, say they, yee utter not this our busi­nesse: but if thou utter this our busi­nesse, then wee will be quit of thine Oath which thou hast made us to sweare. Iosu. 2.14.20. The men were wise enough to know it could hardly come to passe, that they [Page 138] should bee altogether indescryed. And indeed the Neighbour smel­ling the businesse as close as it was, presently brought it before the Ma­gistrate. But Iosuahs men required no more then this very thing: Doe not thou betray us, for if it be revea­led by thee, that we are here, we will not pay thee a farthing for our en­tertainment, we wil not stand to our promise. Good workes are Spyes, and Letter-carriers to heaven, which being strangers in this world are hated of all the Citizens. The world reckoneth Cousenage, Ini­quity, Vice, Deceit among her Ci­tizens. Moreover those Spyes doe promise us rewards, which neither eare hath heard, nor eye hath seene, to bee given then by that great Iosua Christ, when hee shall come to burne Hiericho, that is, this World. But they require that con­dition: If thou utter not our busi­nesse. When thou doest thine Almes, Christ admonisheth, doe not cause a Trumpet to be sounded before thee. Mat. 6.2. vertues vanish in a flourish.

For indeed boasting and vaine glory is so full of tongue, that [Page 139] there is nothing which it doth not at once betray, and bewray.Speake and spill. This prating Monster therefore must have not onely her mouth, but her feet and hands tyed, that it may not be able to give any token of the heavenly messenger, good Workes undiscovered. It is often up with that precept of Christ: Take heed that yee doe not your Almes before men, to bee seene of them. When yet in the same Ser­mon hee commands: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good workes. In what sort these agree, and who is the betrayer of good deeds? now wee will dispatch.

One of Jobs friends demandeth of him: Can the Rush grow up with­out mire? or can the Flagge grow without water? Iob. 8.11. Bul­rushes are greene in Marshes and Ponds, nor indeed can the Rush prosper without mud, nor the Flag without water: But these stalkes yield no fruit, no Figs are gathe­red from hence, nor any thing which is fit for humane uses. So you may find many, whose out­ward [Page 140] habite is neate and trimme, which say and doe many things daintily, but therefore because they have both Auditors, and Specta­tors, therefore they grow up and flourish, whilst they are seene and praised; this maketh the Rush lusty, the mire of humane praise: when such men as these leave off to bee commended, they leave off likewise to bee in their fresh Co­lours. For because, saith Gregory, Hee studied to doe rare things with­out right meaning thoughts, hee shewes that hee flourished without a root. Greg. l. 8. mor. c. 24. ante finem. Which the same holy man much lamenting It is great idle­nesse, saith he, to performe laborious matters, and gape after the aire of praise, with strong endeavour to follow the heavenly precepts, but seeke for the reward of an earthly retribution. Greg. ibi. c. 25. initio. For that I may so say, Hee which for the vertue hee expresseth, desi­reth the favours of men, carries a thing of great worth to bee sold for a meane price. Hee asketh the mony of a little transitory speech, [Page 141] for that which might gaine him the Kingdome of Heaven. Hee selleth his worke therefore at a sorry rate, because he doth great matters, but hath small commings in.

Plato, when hee had invited some of his more noble friends to Supper, and had commanded the Banqueting roome to bee drest up after the best fashion; in rusheth Diogenes the Cynick, and with his beastly and durty feet began to trample the Carpets. Plato en­tring with his Guests: What dost thou, saith hee, O Diogenes? I tread upon Platoes pride, saith hee: Thou treadest upon it answered Plato, but with another greater pride. There was certainely a more unbridled kind of state in the mind of Diogenes, because he was poore, then in Platoes, who presented all that bravery to the eyes of his friends▪ not to himselfe. So you may find very many, both proud and poore together, which in their owne eyes seeme better and holier then other men, which are rich onely under this colour, because they have nothing: as if the Lord [Page 142] had commended a low estate, not a lowly mind; and as though it were vertue to want, and not ra­ther to take want in good part. That same Diogenes suffered many things hard to bee borne, but with that mind, that hee might draw every bodies eyes to looke upon him. Therefore when in the deep of Winter hee went into the cold water to wash himselfe, and the people came in aboundance to the spectacle; and some also pitty­ing the man, did as well entreat that hee would spare himselfe. Plato among the lookers on cryed out:Si vuitis misereri, [...]bite. If yee will have pitty upon him, get you gone. Plato knew the qua­lity of this disease, which is then forsaken of its owne strength, when it wants the eyes and eares of others.

Take heed that yee doe not your Almes before men, to bee seene of them: as much as others doe seeke the eyes of men, so much doe you avoid them. Aristotle true­ly accounts him magnanimous, which will have neither more nor lesse honour bestowed upon him, [Page 143] then is fit, Arist. l. 1. mor. c. 25. But in the Academy of Christ this precept is exploded. Christ judge­eth him magnanimous, which can despise all honour, and himselfe moreover. Surely no honour what­soever shall bee a reward worthy enough for vertue. Honour is a light and inconstant possession, and playes the runagate like a stranger, nor is in the power of the honoured, but of the honourer. Therefore Christ pittying our childishnesse, so carefully warneth: Take heed that yee sell not your vertues at too vile a price: If yee will be Seene of men, GOD will turne his eyes from you. Take heed, otherwise yee shall have no reward of your Father which is in Heaven. Therefore be not willing­ly deceived; the greatest honour for the least good deed, is every way an unequall and unworthy reward.

Without doubt Seneca through­ly understood this, and urging the same in his Epistles, The price of all vertue saith he, is in themselves: the reward of a thing well done is, Rectè facti merces est fecisse. [Page 144] to have done it. No man in my mind seemeth to esteeme more of vertue, no man to bee more devo­ted to it, then he which hath spoi­led the report of a good man, least he should spoile his conscience. Senec. Epist. 81. A good name indeed is of very much worth, but a good conscience more. But thou maist say perhaps, I d [...]sire not to be com­mended of men alone, but of GOD and men together. O my good friend, thou hast not yet knowne God, if it sufficeth thee not to bee praised of God onely. The Arke of GOD, and the Idole of Da­gon are no more then the Arke: Let God therefore be so much to thee, as God and all other things together. Thou knowest also that Christ and the World are not friends, why therefore wilt thou be enriched or commended by the enemy of Christ? neither art thou ignorant that God hath a care of thee, if it may be for thy profit; hee will spoile Egypt, that he may furnish thee. The greatest reward of vertue is, that she suffereth not her friends to lye hid; shee brings [Page 145] them forth unto glory, but in her owne time. In the meane space en­dure thou to have all hurtfull ho­nour removed from thee, and complaine not: I am not honoured, as I have deserved, another respect would be fit me &c. These are most vaine complaints; Take heed, yea, So will not God have the favours and honours of men to bee loved of us, as that he permitted even his owne Son to be called Beelzebub; nor is there almost any kind of contempt or injury, which the Sa­viour of the World did not under­goe, who that he might make all humane praise most hatefull to us, in that most excellent Sermon, which Matthew hath described, endeavouring to perswade this one thing in a manner:Nesciat om­ninò faciat quid dextra, sinistra. But when thou doest thine almes, saith hee, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth. Mat. 6.3. Let the coun­tenance of a Christian turne it selfe wholly inward, let it never goe curiously abroad with Dina, let it not looke after a stranger with Sampson, not an Egypti [...]n with Solomòn. For what reason [Page 146] doe we yield the wealth of our ver­tues to humane praises, as it were to flattering Heires? they carry away all by flattering. Let not therefore thy left hand know, what thy right hand doth.

Christ goes on, and presseth it divers waies, that every worke is to be done with a most pure inten­tion for Gods sake; nor must wee enquire here, what relisheth with us, what pleaseth, or agreeth with our humour: Let not thy left hand know. Beleeve it, wee loose very much of our labours, whilst wee follow onely our owne taste and sence in them, and doe, as we call it, according to our devotion: If these things be wanting, we rashly omit both our prayers, and our du­ties, and this, and that, because we have no taste of the matter; but surely when this is in our mouth, when that which we doe, or pray, or endeavour agrees with our pa­late; this is to sacrifice to our selves, not to God. If Boyes will not learne, unlesse they may have white bread and butter to carry to Schoole with them, they will be­come [Page 147] Doctors at leasure. Our workes for the greatest part have then most worth, when least de­lectation, when we drive our selves thereunto by a godly constraint, when we feele a certain molestation and loathing in them, but yet wee overcome it. Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth.

Moreover also, the very party which is succoured is to bee decei­ved, that hee may have, nor yet know from whom hee receiveth. Every good man is contented with Heaven and God for his witnesse, and comforteth himselfe with Iob [...] Also now my witnesse is in Heaven, and my Record is on high. Iob. 16.19. This is a part of our folly, when to our selves we seeme to labour in vaine, unlesse there bee many spectators and witnesses of our paines. God, O vaine people, hath his Theater in the darke, why doe yee so hunt after the light and open world? But one may aske, what hurt is it, if a Servant desire to please his Master, and approve him­selfe to him? I say: let every one performe his duty, even as it is [Page 148] commanded: when he goes about, whatsoever his master would have, let him doe that which is to bee done, as accurately as he can for his heart; for the rest, let him ne­ver be sollicitous, whether he shall please or displease, otherwise hee shall bee accounted to have served the eyes of men onely.

Gedeons Souldiers going to fight against the Madianites, in their left hand held a Pitcher with a Lampe in it, and Trumpets in the right. And when it came to the point of joyning Armies, and skir­mish, they blew their Trumpets, and brake their Pitchers, and gave a shout withall, crying: For the Lord, and for Gedeon. Iudg. 7.20. In like manner wee, when wee breake our Pitcher, and beate down our body, when wee sound with Trumpets, and extoll the Religion of Christ in our Churches, our Lampes burne bright Excellent [...]y all this, so no man cry out: for my selfe, and for Gedeon. Not so, but for the Lord and for Gedeon. Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to thy Name give the glory: Not to [Page 149] me, but to Christ: not for my selfe, and my owne palate, but for Gede­on, and the safety of many others. Let us seeke onely the glory of God, and for God onely, not for our selves; being so farre from our owne, that the left hand may not know what our right hand doth.

Peter Ravennas, If he will have thee thy selfe not to know, how much more another? Augustine, cal­leth love & a pure intention to God, the right hand; an eye cast a one side upon the shadowes of false glory, the left. August. Serm. 60. The sweet Singer of Israel: If I forget thee, saith he, O Ierusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. Psal. 137.5. When wee are not mindefull of Heaven, our right hand is forgetfull of us, nor stan­deth us in any stead, as good as if wee had none at all: when this right hand is out of action, then the left hand bestirs it selfe. Doe we not reprehend little Children when they offer their left hand to one that salutes them, when with their left hand they take victualls; who doth not cast it in their teeth? [Page 150] You may bee ashamed, not to use your better hand. Nay, we dissem­ble not the matter in such as are of ripe age, when we observe them to be Scaevolaes; much rather in things concerning the Soule, to use the left hand, and goe a hunting after the speech of people, is farre baser, and not onely carrieth base­nesse along with it, but mischiefe. But as Children have their left hand tyed, that they may be apter with the right: so he which noteth his intention to bee untoward in many things, let him tye it up with the consideration, of the exceeding and eternall damage which ariseth from thence.

Very daintily Peter Chrysologus: The righteousnesse, saith he, which placeth it selfe in humane eyes, ex­pecteth not the heavenly Fathers re­ward. It would be seene, and it is seene; it would please men, and hath pleased them; it hath the re­ward which it would; it shall not have the reward it would not. Chrys. Serm. 9. And how congruously Seneca to the Christian Law! Let us apply that peace, saith he, to our [Page 151] soules, which good deeds will apply, and a mind intent upon the onely de­sire of honesty. Let the conscience be satisfied, let us not labour at all for fame, let it even fall out to bee ill, so long as thou deservest well. Senec. lib. 3. de ira. c. 41. Doth not Saint Paul often inculcate the very same? But now a daies in all places (which Pliny noteth) Ma­ny are affraid of their credit, Multifa­mam, consci­entiam pauci verentur. but few of their conscience. Most take no heed how well they doe themselves, but how well others thinke of them; how readily they applaud them: so they be in the mouthes of men, so they be praised, how praise worthy they behave themselves, this is the least care that troubles their heads.

The heavenly Spouse farre other­wise: His left hand, saith she, is under my head, and his right hand shall embrace me, Cant. 2.6. H [...]re are an hundred mysteries; but ours is this: The left hand under the head cannot be seene, but the right hand embracing seeth he which is embraced. The Spouse therefore beholdeth not the left hand, but [Page 152] the right shee beholdeth. In the Bridegroomes left hand are riches and glory, but such as shall perish with time; in his right hand is length of dayes, most blessed eter­nity. Hereupon the faithfull Spouse affirmeth, that she fastneth her eyes upon eternity, but riches, and honours, as the left hand are not beheld of her. What therefore Christ commandeth, let not thy left hand know, This also the Bridegroome gives in charge: Let my left hand bee under thy head, my right in thine eyes.

Moreover, even as he is a faith­full Servant, which paieth many millions of Florens to his Master with so great trust, that not so much [...]s a farthing stickes to his pitchy fingers ends: so hee dealeth most truely with God, who what­soever humane praise he receiveth, payeth it all backe againe to this his Lord, nor reserveth the least part thereof to himselfe. Whereof notably Chrysostome: It is the greatest vertue, saith he, for a man to ascribe all to God, to esteeme no­thing his owne, to doe nothing for [Page 153] his owne glory sake, but to have his sight perpetually cast upon the Will of God. For this is he which will call for a reckoning of our life spent. But now a dayes the course is alte­red; and we feare not him greatly which is to sit Iudge, and take ac­count; but we are sore affraid of them, which shall stand at the Barre and be judged with us. Chrysost. Hom. 5. in Epist. 2. Ad Cor.

It falleth out sometimes, that Letters are delivered not to the right Owner whom they are writ­ten to, but to another; these if some wiser body receive, as soone as he lookes into the superscripti­on, presently: these Letters, will he say, belong not to mee; this titulary Preface speaketh not to me, nor doth so high a stile befit my person. Iust so doth he, which acknowledgeth praises to bee due not to himselfe, but to God, who deriveth all glory to God from himselfe, this man at length is a faithfull Servant, serveth God sin­cerely, his left hand knoweth not, what his right hand doth.

But so let thy left hand not [Page 154] know, what thy right hand doth, not as though we may doe nothing in publicke, nor will have any of our workes to be seene of others, but so as not to be commended of others. It is not ingratefull almes to God, saith Chrysostome, which shall be seene of men, but which is done therefore that it may bee seene. Chrysost. in Mat. Hom. 9. Nay let them which beare an eminent and publicke person, doe some things publickely, and with that example animate others to attempt the like. Nor in this case let them bee of a fearefull and dastardly mind: for, as Augustine nobly, If thou fearest Spectators, thou shalt not have followers, thou oughtest to be seene, but not doe to this end, that thou maist bee seene; publicke the worke, the intention secret. August. Tom. 9. Tract. 8. in Epist. Sancti Ioann. That they may glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matt. 5.6. But hee which is weake in vertue, must be made acquainted with that of properties: — Learne to stay at home. Disce manere Domi. Prop. l. 2. Eleg. which [Page 155] Gregory also very well remem­bring: But it is the part of those, Property. saith he, that are very perfect, so to seeke the glory of God by a demon­stration of the [...]r workes, that they know not how to expresse any in­ward joy to themselves, for praises offered by others. For then onely a laudable deed is presented faultlesse unto men, wh [...]n the mind truely scorneth to accept of commendation for it: Which because all such as are weake overcome not by perfect contemning, it remaineth necessary, that they keepe close this good, which they worke. For many times they seeke their owne praise from the beginning to shew a worke, and many times in the full shew of it, they de­sire to lay open the Authors glory, but being taken up with favours, they are wrapt into desire of their owne renoune: and when they neg­lect to examine themselves within, they know not what they doe being outwardly d [...]splayed, and their deeds march for their owne advancement, and this service they imagine they performe in favour of the Great giver. And indeed this threefold ob­servation [Page 156] is to be kept of these men.

First, let them cast the eyes of their mind upon GOD as every where present, whether they doe any thing privately, or publickely: Let them wish to please GOD alone, as if God onely were in the world: although it bee hard fot these weaker ones not to loose God abroad. The other: Let them set out no signes of their good deeds: to cry vertue about the streetes, is to make it nothing worth. This publication is a Trum­pet, calling Spectators together which may looke on, and praise it. Christ prohibiting this: When thou doest thine almes, saith he, doe not sound a Trumpet before thee. Mat. 6.2. So also will hee have our fasting to bee covered, least they be described as it were in the countenance: But thou when thou fastest, annoynt thy head, and wash thy face, that thou appeare not unto men to fast, but to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Ibid. v. 17, 18. So let our goodnesse looke inward. The [Page 157] third: Let such men as these, shun not onely the open world, and hide themselves from eyes to bee their praisers, but let them shun themselves, and forget what they did, least happily they become selfe-pleasers. Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth. Ve­ry well Iob. Though I were perfect, yet should not my soule know it. Iob. 9.21. Let a spirit, Christian friend, let a good and upright spirit know what thou art about to doe, this will direct thy deeds; nor let it much deliberate with the flesh a­bout them, otherwise thou shalt be entangled with a thousand re­luctances, and stubborne humours, and innumerable other intentions, smelling of flesh and earth will intermixe themselves, thus thou shalt rather seeke thy selfe then God. Therefore so performe thy worke, that the flesh may not bee conscious of it, and looke after this one thing: To will what God will. Let not therefore thy left hand know what thy right hand doth: Let thine almes, and thy other good deeds bee most secret, [Page 158] and voyd of all ostentation. But thy hand is then as it were con­scious of thy benevolence, when it is made a chiefe actor in bestow­ing it. Wherefore if it be sufficient that thy right hand should know it, let not the left also be used. Be thou so farre therefore from all love of ostentation, and this de­sire of Hypocrites, which lay their deeds in open view, that thou, for thine owne part, wouldst have thy doings utterly concealed, nor looke after any witnesses, nor wouldst so much as take any no­tice of what thou dost well, nor remember the things any longer then thou art about them, and mayst presently put in oblivion what thou hast performed, least thou shouldest bee taken up with selfe-admiration,Selfe con­ceits. forgetting those things which are behind, and reach­ing forward unto those things which are before. Pbilip. 3.13. But if wee be possest with a greater esti­mation of ou [...] owne deeds then is fit, if our mind bee carried up and downe with the matter, we shall bee rapt up with our selves for [Page 159] spectators, admirers, and praisers of that which wee have done, which is nothing else, then if the other hand bee employed without any need.Negligentio­rss facit, et in arroganti­am tollit, Chrysostome plainely to the matter: Nothing saith he doeth so much frustrate and spoile good workes, as the remembrance of those things which wee have done well, for it begets two evills▪ it maketh us more negligent, and sets us on the wings of pride. Chrysost. Hom. 12. in Epist. ad Philip. God in times past gave charge that his Altar should bee built not of hewen Stones: And if saith he, thou wilt make me an Altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewen stone: for if thou lift up thy toole upon it, thou hast polluted it. Exod. 20.25. Is there so great Religion in this? much truely. Stones are hewen, that they may bee lookt upon, those that are to be placed within side the wall, need not any po­lishing of Tooles. So God in the Soule of man as it were an Altar built to him, approves those ver­tues, which are practised out of a pure and simple intention: but [Page 160] such as are therefore practised, that they may be seene, are like hewen stones not fit for this Al­tar. It is enough and enough to all good minded men, that their righ­teous dealings shall in the last day of Iudgement bee knowne of all both men and Angels. This at length shall bee true honour, to have done well, and to bee com­mended for it by the whole World.

CHAP. X. How diverse and manifold an ill intention is.

THe Salamander is no great Beast, but a little Creature of a speckled and bright spotted skin, like a Lyzard, but it carries so much poison about with it, that if it touch the root of a Tree, it kil­leth all the fruite in the root, and [Page 161] takes away all life from the Tree. The Divell, that Orcinian Ser­pent, the most true Salamander, Hellish to be consumed with no fire, if he set his teeth into the root of a fruite­full Tree, corrupteth it all over. The root of al our doings is our in­tention, if the Devill do but touch this, and infect it with the poyson of an ill intention, the whole tree becomes unfruitfull; every vene­mous deed whatsoever is made un­profitable, perverse, poysonous, which is hurt by this tricke of the subtile fiend. It is a knowne say­ing: when the intention which goes before is untoward, every deed which followes after is naught. If thine eye bee evill, thy whole body shall be full of darknesse. Wee shewed in the Chapter next before how neare a Kinne it is to an evill intention, for a man to proclaime his worke: now wee must expresse how various an ill intention is, and how from many severall fountaines this kind of poison issueth.

Scarce any thing springs out of the earth, which doeth so fortifie [Page 162] and enwrap it selfe against winter, as an Onion: seaven Coates are not enough for it; but moreover it fasteneth the head under ground.Shootes Not unlike to these Coated Oni­ons are the eyes of those, whereof the Sonne of Syrach. A fooles eyes are manifold▪Oculi insi­pientium septemplices.Eccles 20.14. They have many Coates like an Onion. Such eyes are not single at all, as Christ would have them. Most like to these eyes, and these so well cloathed Onions is an ill in­tention: if thou take away one coate from her, there is another at h [...]nd: dost thou take away this also? another is presently to be seene. And even as Onions doe hide themselves, so likewise an ill intention: no mortall man can sift her out sufficiently, and search deepe enough that way. An evill intention, will not seeme evill; she wants no kind of colours or pretences. Christ reprehended the Pharisees, for causing a Trumpet to be sounded before them, when they went to give almes, they casting the Coate of a very honest excuse upon the matter: Wee doe [Page 163] not these things, said they, to set forth our liberality, but to call the poore together, not that others may call us bountifull, but that the needy may come all about to the Dole. Fooles eyes looke sundry waies at once: an ill intention is manifold, of a speckled, and chang­able coloured skinne, like the Salamander.

All of us by nature long to know, but how diverse and multi­plicious is the intention in this onely desire of knowing? Curiously Bernard: There be some, saith he, which desire to know, for that end onely, that they may have know­ledge, and this is idle curiosity. There are, which desire to know, that they may be knowne, them­selves, and this is filthy vanity: be sure these people shall not e­scape the scoffing Satyrist, reading this Lesson to such as these:Scire tuum nihil est, nisit escire hoc scia [...] alter. A Pinne for that skill, which no man was ever the better for but thy selfe. Persius, Sat. 1. And there are, which desire to know, that they may sell their knowledge, name­ly for mony, for honours; and [Page 164] this is filthy gaine. But there are some also which desire to know that they may edifie, and this is charity. And some likewise there are which desire to know, that they may be edified, and this is discretion. Of all these the two last onely are not found in any abuse of knowledge; for as much, as they labour to understand onely for this end, that they may doe good. Bern. Serm. 36. in Cant. med. Loe, how manifold an ill intention is in one thing: loe, how many stu­dy not for their life, but for their purse! and what a number vanity and pleasure, gaine and curiosity drawes to their bookes. Seneca ob­serving the same: Some, saith he, come not to learne, but to heare, as wee are led to a Play for pleasure sake, to delight our eares with speech, Language Conceits or voice, or merry [...]ests. You shall see a great company of Auditors, which make loyterers Inne of the Philosophy Schoole; they doe it not, that they may put off any of their vices there, that they may receive any rule of life, according to which they may square their manners, but [Page 165] that they may find sport for their eares. And yet some come with Ta­ble Bookes, not that they may note matters, but words, which they may learne as well without profit to others, Senec. Epis [...] 108. post init. as heare without their owne.

The intention of those is in a manner as diverse, which come to Church to heare a Sermon. Some draw nigh, not that they may learne, nor that they may become better, but onely for to heare. Others that they may passe away the time, and feele their stay the l [...]sse till dinner: others that they may doe according to custome, these that they may sleepe, and take a sweet nappe before noone; the Preacher is insteed of a Min­strill to them, softly lulling them asleepe. Moreover others are pre­sent at Sermons that they may prattle, and maintaine a talke sometimes with this body, some­times with that: others that they may obey their Masters command, because they cannot otherwise choose; whether they will or no, they are driven to this kind of du­ty. [Page 166] If any one now enquire: From whence I pray after so many Ser­mons, after such loud cryes, after so many serious exhortations, doth not the world put on a new face of honesty?Another it is easie to answer. Very many come not at all to Sermons, too many others, al­though they come, a good inten­tion is wanting; they are drawne by curiosity, by custome, by necessi­ty; for many, if they had the Law in their owne hands, would stay out altogether, and of those very people which frequent Sermons: who is it for the most part which brings a mind free from other thoughts? which aboundeth not with innumerable fantasies, which giveth his mind seriously to what hee heareth, which in conclusion will be the better? You shall hard­ly find an Auditor wholly compo­sed to heare. Here is the griefe of it, because a good intention goes not along with them to Church, or is changed into another by the way, and very easily is bent into an evill one. Excellently Senec: Hee, saith hee, which waites upon [Page 167] the Schooles of Philosophers, let him carry away some good thing every day, let him returne home either the better indeed, or the better to bee wrought upon. Aut sanior, aut sanabili­or. Either sound or in better case. Senec. Epist. ante­dict. The very same I shall say of the Sermons of Christians: hee which comes to Church to heare the Preacher, let him alwaies car­ry away some good with him; let him returne home either the better indeed, or the better to be wrought upon. But he shall so returne, who­soever will, for that is the power of Christian erudition,Teaching. that it becomes a very great helpe to all Auditors of a sincere intention. whosoever com­meth into the Sunne,Quia in se­lem venit &c. although he come not to that purpose, shall be Sunne-burnt. They which have sate in an Apothecaries Shop, and stayed there any long time, carry away the smell of the place with them. And they which have bin with the Preacher, must of necessi­ty have got somewhat, which had profited even the negligent. Marke what I shall say; negligent, nor obstinate. What therefore? doe wee not know some, which have [Page 168] sate many yeares under the Pul­pit, and got not so much as one looke like it? such as these, would never reape any profit, but onely heare. Attalus both a subtile, and eloquent Philosopher was wont to say:Idem & do­centi, et dis­centi debet esse proposi­tum: ut ille prodesse velit, hic proficere. The Master and the Scho [...] ­lar ought to bee both of one mind; hee to bee willing to profit, this to proceed. Hereupon let no body marvell that hee hath received no benefit by so many Sermons, but let him marvell that hee would re­ceive none. This is the businesse of a good intention, and earnest en­deavour. But let us proceed far­ther.

Selfe-love knowes how to insi­nuate it selfe in the finest manner almost into all actions, and whiles by degrees, and closely it with­drawes a good intention, it puts an ill in the place. Selfe-love is a friend to all pleasing affections, and teacheth this one thing throughly, to seeke ones selfe. This is the very fountaine, this the Originall and root of all evill in­tentions. Every man hath his plea­sure:Trahit sua quemq. vo­ [...]tas. there is none but is a favou­rable [Page 169] Iudge in his owne cause, which can endure nothing lesse then to hate himselfe. An ill in­tention alwaies seekes after either delights, or riches, or dignities, but not eternall ones. For this is the difference betweene a good and evill purpose: the good never but hath an eye to some eternall thing; the evill is contented with such as are transitory and vaine; this takes up all her time, to looke upon her selfe and her own commo­dity. And this forsooth is a subtile kind of Idolatry, and most privy adoration, to be found in all dead­ly sinnes,Maine when the furthest end is placed in the Creature, which should bee reposed in the Creator onely. But there is scarce an of­fence so grievous, so it bee secret, whereupon that spotted and speck­led Salamander cannot put a false dye of innocency. An ill intention hath her pretences, colours, names, titles, shapes,Maskes wherein shee can faine her selfe beautifull. And where I pray doeth not Avarice set forth it selfe un [...]er a Cloake of Parsimony?Frugality The pompe of appar­rell, [Page 170] and excesse of dyet, and all kind of intemperance, advanceth it selfe under the name of necessity: Ambition creepes forth under the scheme of Office, duty, assistance. Envy applaudes it selfe in the title of most just indignation. An ill inten­tion ever finds a hole open,Triumph­eth. at whi [...]h it may escape, for it is most sub­tile: but let us demonstrate the matter by examples.

First of all for worldly respects; alas how much good is usually omitted, and how much evill com­mitted? who almost is there, which gives not heed rather to o­thers then himselfe, nor weigheth so much what his owne duty is, as what other mens opinion. How many which being reasonable ho­nest men in the rest, should yet use more meanes to helpe others for­ward in a right way, but are hin­dered with these very respects: and what, say they, would this and that man speake of it, how would such and such dislike it, what lou­ring eyes would they cast upon mee? A thousand such things there are, whereupon variable eyes [Page 171] are continually shot.Oculi septem­plices. A single eye respecteth the one and onely ho­nour of God. Hee which hath a single eye: this, saith hee to him­selfe, is my good meaning, and this is my conscience; this my care, and this my duty: whatsoever this or that body objecteth, whether it please him or the other, I stand not upon that: this ought to bee done, and therefore no care is to bee ta­ken whether they like it or no. I regard God, not men; whatsoever mortall people say, if the King im­mortall command otherwise, I follow him.

Againe, and which is to bee no­ted in the second place: What strange things are not done onely for a little gaine?Lucre Worlds end the Merchant to fly poverty runs to the Indies. I passe by innumerable Slaughters and Robberies.Pauperiem fugiens Mer­cator currit ad Indos. Lucri odor bonus est ex qualibet, te [...]t quolibet modo. It is the common rule of the world: the smell o [...] gaine is sweet out of any thing, or any way. Wee doe infinite matters onely for a little lucres sake, which if we did with a right intention▪ for the love of God, should not lose its reward. Hee said very true: [Page 172] Men run a great way for a small li­ving, but many will scarce lift one foot from the ground, for eternall life. Wee seeke for that which is no­thing worth; there is sometimes fil­thy striving about a poore farthing: and we thinke it nothing, to let our mind run day and night upon a small promise, and that which never comes to passe. Thom. a Kemp. l. 3. c. 3. n. 2. Iethro in old time repro­ving his Sonne in Law Moses: The thing, saith hee, which thou doest, Stulto labore consumeris is not good: thou wilt surely weare away. Exod. 18.17, 18. The very same is to bee uttered a­gaine and againe to all those Cor­morants, which live upon the catch; every one of these must have this Item: What dost thou, O Man, thou wilt surely weare away; thou wilt make a foole of thy selfe: the thing which thou doest, is not good: but to make it good, use a good intention, that thou maist be a gainer, let goe gaine, especially all which is not honest, or which useth to runne away from a good conscience.

Thirdly, how much is endured [Page 173] in respect of pride? it is most true: either bee not proud, or be patient. Many dissemble when they are a cold, that they may not spoyle the grace of their fine cloths; they will not put on good thicke Coats, and soundly lined like Farmers. So the shooe be neat and sit close to their foote without wrinckles, although it wring it is no matter. H s Coller pincheth this proud man, his Dublet that. Anothe [...] that hee may shew the strength of his pride,Expresse the spirit refuseth not to be loaded with Garments, this body that hee may goe according to the fashion, is ready to starve himselfe. Nay forsooth, we have got a tricke to eate p [...]int,Cretam. that we may bring our faces to a dainty white colour. What should I say of other Tor­ments of this madnesse: these and other things more then can be ut­tered pride beareth patiently, but she beareth them for her selfe and her owne ends, which if they were un­dergone with a Right intention for Gods sake, how highly would his goodnesse reward them? Such a Vassall of pride as this hath also [Page 174] this lesson rightly played to him: Thou wilt make a foole of thy selfe at last. Stulto labore consumeris. Sir Thomas Moore, a man as religious as learned, by chance lookt in upon a maid in her Chamber, standing before the glozing judge her Looking-glasse, which platted her haire with great labour and paine, to make her a broad fore-head, and laced her stomacher very strait, that shee might seeme slender. Sir Thomas Moore to her: Vnlesse God, saith hee, reward thee with Hell for this mighty paines, certainely he shall doe thee great injury. And hee did seri­ously affirme, hee was verily per­swaded, That many in this life did get Hell with that trouble, with one halfe whereof they might have purchased Heaven. For want of what must wee thinke this commeth to passe, but onely of a good inten­tion.

Fourthly, what is not done to gaine, retaine, and encrease fa­vour? heere no labour is spared, no trouble refused, nothing thought intollerable: to waite whole daies in presence of great men, is accoun­ted [Page 175] no paines. Some religious men in times past, stood divers yeares together upon Pillars, and from thence tooke their name, Simon the Stilete, Daniel the Stylite, Alipius and Theodulus the Stylites. These men stood day and night to wor­ship the Lord, and keepe downe their bodies. This Sect of Stylites, standing certaine yeares continu­ally had an end, but theirs not so, which stand upright many houres together, and expect a little favour onely, which notwithstanding is placed upon a slippery stone and ready to turne up the heeles, and may farre sooner be lost, then got­ten. Ioseph the Viceroy of Egypt, Protex. was in mighty grace with his Pha­raoh, next unto him in power, but another King succeeded, which re­fused to know Ioseph. How deare to Darius was Daniel, and yet all the favour of Darius could not deliver Daniel from the Denne of Lyons.T [...]anta. Achitophel Absolons Iewell was a Counsellour in greatest Grace, but this grace put not a Gold-chaine about his necke, but a Rope to hang him. Haman [Page 176] most high in favour, and almost another Assuerus, yet by these gol­den stayers of favour hee went up to the top of a stately Gallowes. And what was Belisarius under Iustinian, a Generall most renow­ned for so many Victories? hee lost at length not onely his favour, but both his eyes also, being tum­bled downe to extreame poverty. Who was Seianus under Tiberius? ere while another Tiberius in a manner, was dispoiled of his repu­tation and life also; being drawne with an Iron Dragge, and cast into the River Tiber. The day would sooner end, then I could expresse even the Titles onely of these Tra­gedies. Let Argus have a thousand eyes; no man can deny that fa­vour hath a thousand wings to fly away withall. And yet this light and inconstant Gossip is pursued with such earnest desire, and en­treaties, is gone about with so ma­ny labours, is sought for with such sweating, with so many solicitous thoughts and cares, is scarce after all, and very hardly obtained: to hold her when she is obtained, no [Page 177] lesse labour and care is bestowed, the mind being alwaies fearefull, and troubled every way, least what is purchased with so great charge, may be all dispersed with one little blast. So you may see these Hun­ters, for favour alwaies trembling and doubtfull, ever solicitous, and fearing the losse of credit, as the greatest hurt that can happen; the sound of a shaken leafe chaseth them. Levit. 26.36. They sleepe in a manner like Hares with their eyes open, they doe so shake at every blast of favour. For (which is a great evill) they begin now to have need of fortune: their life following is doubtfull, suspitious, fearefull of chances, and hanging upon the Moments of Time. They never set their vertue on a sure foundation, but bid her stand a side in a slippery corner. Marke these things I beseech you Courti­ers, marke them other people. And what a hard serv [...]t [...]de is this,In unius gra­tiae gratiam. to doe and suffer these things day and night for favour, onely of favour? H [...]e which should doe and suffer these things with a [Page 178] good intention, for Gods sake, how much advantage should hee beare away? But now whiles this man and that, and another and another neglecteth this, every one of them must have this Lesson played him: The thing which thou doest is not good; Stulto labo­re consumeris thou wilt make a foole of thy selfe in the businesse, a very foole, a most egregious foole, for thou doest this, that thou maist hurt thy selfe with a great deale of paines and trouble.

Fiftly, what doe not others out of Court endure, both men and maid Servants? They must swal­low many times not onely words, but also blowes. How often doth a Master, or a Mistresse cry out when they are moved, rogue, hangman, foole, beast, sl [...]ve, asse, villaine; after these Thundering words many times followeth lightning comming from the hand, Cudgels fly about, and whatsoe­ver weapons anger and madnesse bring in play. And what gaine have the poore wretches by this? a lit­tle wages, some slender fare, and for the m [...]st part out of season, and [Page 179] most commonly cold. Whosoever beareth these things for that end onely that he may live, weares out himselfe also like a foole, a very foole in the businesse. But if a Maid or man Servant offer these things with a generous mind to God, and saith; Lord, for thy sake I will suffer my selfe to bee wearied and vexed, for thy sake, my Lord I will endure all these things: for I know very well that thou art a more gentle and liberall master▪ then hee to whom I am enthralled; of thee, my God, I will expect my reward. Hee truely is wise which selleth his paines so, as Saint Paul excellently instruct­eth such kind of people in these: Not with eye service as men plea­sers, but as the Servants of Christ, doing the Will of God from the heart. Ephes. 6.6. Sixtly, what misery doe not Mechanicall worke­men endure? They returne early in the morning to their hard labours, and follow the same till darke night, yet many times they rub out scarce one browne Loafe for themselves and their family: they suffer heate, [Page 180] stinkes, frost, very many inconveni­ences for a little gaine, who is poorer then many of these, if we looke onely upon the body? and who againe is richer then these people, if any one of them shall likewise say in his mind: My God, I poure these drops of my sweat into thy hand, I offer all my labours to thee, for thy sake I am wearied, Good Lord, thou art that rich Housholder, which never but surpassest the paines of thy Servants in liberall paiment, nor sufferest any thing to bee done gratis for thee, more then to doe it: thy rewards infinitely exceed our poore endea­vours. J therefore consecrate and present to thee all my sufferings, to­gether with thine owne Sonnes: of such as these bringing all their mat­ters to God in this manner, Saint Paul truely, That in every thing, saith hee, yee are enriched by him, in all utterance. 1 Cor. 1.5.

If we cast our eyes round upon all estates and orders of men, sure­ly wee shall find many things to bee endured in all of them. And even you your selves, whom wee salute as rich and blessed, and a­dore [Page 181] after a sort, have you not your shares of troubles and vexati­ons? which of you complaineth that you want somewhat to endure? it sounds of vertue when every good man, although most afflicted, dares say with a generous spirit: O Lord give more, send har­der things for me to suffer. The case standeth very well with this man, such a request as this is a cleare signe of a pure intention. But you others, O fortunes darlings, O great ones, and abounding with all kind of wealth, and how doe you beare your afflictions? I d [...]ubt not at all but you are perplexed many waies, although yee say nay, which in this case are not to bee credited: nay I am verily perswaded, that you are often more grievously, though more secretly tormented then any men of the strictest Orders, whose life is a meere act of penitency: You have softer Beds indeed then those poore men, but it may bee a question, whe­ther you, or they sleepe quieter, for wee doe not goe to Bed that we may lye well, but that wee may take our rest well: I cannot not deny the time [Page 182] of your rest to bee longer then theirs, but I know not whether I may be­leeve it to bee sounder and sweeter: there bee very many things which disturbe your sleeping, which doe not theirs one jot. You have much more variety of meates and farre better, but it may be a question againe, with whom they rellish better, neither in­deed doe I doubt, that to many which are kept to their stint, their Sallets and Oate-meale, Pottage, boyld Barley and Lettice tast more plea­sant, Barley pudding then Capons to you, fed with nothing but white bread and butter, and the very braines of Iupiter doe. You have more and more curious Clothes then they, but here also let me aske the question, who have the fittest, they which suffer the least cold in them, and are least pinched? Their shooes seldome hurt poore peo­ple, but you more commonly. You have greater leasure, and more holy dayes, but perhaps many labour with more case▪ then you play. Lastly you have freer liberty then poore people, but many vices accompany your li­berty, Rent the remorse of mind, and deepe wound of conscience. Now therefore, [Page 183] observe, I beseech you, whether yee come to Bethany for Christs sake, or else to see Lazarus; whether yee sustaine those things which yee ought to sustaine, with such a mind as is fit. Two men hung by Christ on either side upon mount Golgotha, both of them Theeves, both Cruci­fied, both dyed by this one and the same punishment, but one was re­ceived in [...] Paradise, the other into Hell. What I pray made such an unequall division betweene them equally guilty, and having equall execution? Intention. Besought Hee desired Christ to accept of his submission; the other turning away from Christ, ended in impatience. This is the way from the very like crosse, to contra­ry Kingdomes, if the intention be so different.

Therefore wee must take great heed, that we be not the Worlds Martyrs, the Divells Confessors, the Disciples of Mamon, and the Schollars of Venus. Selfe-love finds out a thousand cunning trickes, shee most smoothly per­swadeth what she list, and takes for hee scope private Iudgement,Determi­nation. [Page 184] curiosity, selfe-will; this it doth, that it may make intention, wrong, unsound, farre from God, and such from which God justly turnes himselfe away. If you offer one that is very hot and thirsty the best Creame that can be to drinke, yet if it be out of such a Cup wherein a great many flyes are swimming, doe you thinke you shall doe him a courtesie? who will presently drinke, although hee bee sore a-thirst? the snow-white licour in­vites him indeed, but the Crea­tures that swim up and downe make him affraide: first throw out the little blacke birds,Bugs after­ward bring the milky Nectar to him. So good workes, like a white and sweet potion, like the daintiest Dishes, shall for all that never be pleasing to God, if Vaine glory, selfe-will, curiosity, covetousnes, Selfe-love and conceit defile them. Dead Flyes spoyle the Apotheca­ries Ointment. Eccle. 10.1. So all intention which is not right and sincere, corrupteth and de­stroyeth the most excellent deeds that can be: who would not laugh [Page 185] at that Inne-keeper, which invi­ting a stranger into his Taverne, with most gallant words: Good Sir I pray turne in hither, I have very rich and delicate wine indeed, but that it is a little sower? Out upon you with this your delicate wine, which is either sower, or water-washt, or dull. GOD in times past makes this very com­plaint by the Prophet Esay: Thy Wine is mixed with water. Esay 1.22. The same may bee spoken of many: This deed of his, these workes, this service of his, this in­dustry, this endeavour would be good wine, unlesse it were mingled with the water of an ill intention: when the intention which goeth before is untoward, every worke which fol­loweth after is wrong, although it seeme to be right. Greg. l. 1. Dial. c. 9. In the old Law, when any person that had the Leprosie was to bee made whole,Clensed the tippe of his right eare, and the thumbe of his right hand, and the great toe of his right foot, were to be anoynted with Oyle. Levit. 14.17. What doth God more commend unto us [Page 186] by this observation, then when we are about to use the oyle of mercy, or give almes, or performe any deed of Charity and Religion, that wee touch nothing that be­longs to the left side, that no am­bition, no boasting, or wrong in­tention intermixe it selfe. Let not thy left hand know, what thy right hand doth.

Two Women strove about a Child before Solomons Iudgement-Seate, both of them indeed had a Child, but one a living Child, the other a dead; for she had ove [...]-laid it in her sleepe. This contention instructeth us, if we mar [...]e it. Wee indeed pray, give almes, assist with counsell and hand, use abstinence and other things; good Action begets these Children as it were, but unlesse we watch over all these things, unlesse a most sincere in­tention alway defend these In­fants, wee over lay them with carelesse sleepe, our prayers, our Almes-deeds, our abstinence, and all kind of suffering wee destroy with drowsinesse, and so take away what life and strength soever [Page 187] was in them before. For as Ri­chardus Victorinus excellently: That which the body is, saith he, without the soule, the same is an action with­out a good intention. Victor. tract. 1. De statu inter Hom. If therefore these Children of ours bee deare unto us, if wee will not labour in vaine, let us alwaies labour so, as to doe those things; not because it so pleaseth and agreeth with our humour, nor because it is the fashion, or because it is done of others, but because it pleaseth God so. Let a single eye aime at the one and onely honour of God in all things, wherein it refu [...]eth to erre. Let God be the cause, why wee doe these things, avoyd the other, endure those things. If now, as it falleth out many times, they bee more slacke in recompencing our paines, upon whom it is be­stowed, we have God for our Sure­ty and Pledge: what God said to Abraham, let all that are of a good intention account the same to bee spoken to them: I am thy Shield, and thy exceeding great reward. Gen. 15.1.

CHAP. XI. That Great Herod the Ascalonite, was a notable example of an evill Intention.President

IVo, a man learned and religi­ous, of the Order of Saint Dominicke, was sent Embassa­dour by Lewis King of France, to the Sultan of Damascus: A mar­vellous thing happened to him in his journey, and as is credible, was done on purpose for the in­struction of many in this manner. An old Woman met Ivo in a cer­taine place, carrying a Pitcher full of water in one hand, and a Cop­per Vessell full of fire coales in the other.Burning Ivo wondering at the strange approach of the old Wife bearing fire and water, enquireth what these things meant? to whom the old woman: I carry Coales saith shee, that I may set Paradise on fire with them, and burne it up: I carry [Page 189] water, that I may quench the infer­nall flames and destroy Hell. And now Ivo wondering more at such a desperate answer, demandeth farther, to what end shee went about such things, and for what good? That hereafter saith shee, all intention which is not right and pure, may cease, that no man may be righteous onely in hope of Heaven and reward; no man also may hate sinne for feare of punishment and horror of Hell, but for the onely love of God, and desire to please him.

There came three great Princes from the East, to the Manger and strawye Cradle of the Babe Christ: In all their Iourney as well in He­rods House, as other places,Palace they were heard to answer things so frequently,Readily Et venimus adorare eum. as that of a most right intention: And wee are come to worship him. Mat. 2.2. But He­rod also pronounceth the very same with sober mouth: That I may come and worship him also.Earnestibi. v. 5 Here no hope of reward, or feare of punishment intermixt it selfe; nor indeed is there any mention made either of Heaven or Hell: [Page 190] the onely end of the Bethlemiticall Voyage, is Divine Worship and Adoration. As well Herod as his Guests seeme to agree upon this truely sacred intention.The Wor­shipers are ready. They are ready to goe to worship, being provoked neither by any feare of punishment, or hope of reward. And who can say Herod determi­neth not the same, as those pious strangers? But now wee will de­monstrate, that there is as much difference betweene the intention of Herod and his three Guests, as is betweene Heaven and earth: And Herod shall appeare to be an egregious Idea of an ill intent.

It is the common saying of Phi­losophers:Vitimum in actione, pri­mum est in intentione. The last thing in action, is the first in intention: the end is that to which all things are refer­red. That is manifold by daily experience, one taketh upon him diverse kinds of labours; this weeke he bringeth in Lime, the next Tiles and Stones, the third Sand, the fourth Boards, after­wards hee deliberates with his friends; one while hee measureth this, another that; now hee tur­neth [Page 191] about his Compasses, and then hee telleth his mony; one while he talketh with Carpenters, then he sendet [...] for Masons; now he hireth a Glazier and a Smith, and wherefore all this? For a House. A House is the end of all this, the first indeed in intention, but the last in action. Matthew re­porteth of three great Lords ta­king their Iourney from the East towards Ierusalem;Dynasta [...]. this journey was long, difficult, laborious, and of great expences. But what is the the end and scope of this our jour­ney? The adoration of the new King. And wee are come to worship him. All the way they meditated upon this:Appointed We are come to worship him. This intention of theirs set the voyage, this laded them with diverse gifts, this prescribed ne­cessaries for the way, this brought them to Hierusalem the Metropolis of Iudea, this sought the entertain­ment of Herod, this most faith­fully obeyed the conducting Star: the end did dictate all these things, truely a most excellent and lauda­ble end, And we are come to wor­ship [Page 192] him. But Herod also saith the same, and that with the same words: That I, saith he, may come and worship him a [...]o. Who would not beleeve Herod and his Royall Guest to be of one mind, of like purpose, of the very same intention? But see I pray, as much as Heave [...] and earth differ, so much the mind, purpose, intention of Herod, and the three Sages disagreed. Their end was the best that could bee, none worse then his. Hereof these are most cleare arguments.

First of all, When Herod the King had heard these things, Mat. 2.3. he wa [...] troubled. The matter is suspitiou [...] already, and behold the first Ar­gument of an evill intent, to bee troubled. A man of a good mea­ning is never wholly troubled, howsoever the businesse goeth, al­though all things fall out in the foulest manner, he altereth not, he is like himselfe. There shall no evill happen to the just. Pro. 12.21. For hee cannot fall from the good intention which hee hath: Hero [...] therefore was troubled, because he feared to bee thrust out of hi [...] [Page 193] Kingdome. But from whence is this feare? being too great a friend to himselfe, hee loved and sought himselfe so fervently. In the yeare 1414. there were three Popes, (that was the staine of the Age) Iohn, Blemish Gregory, Benedict. In these trou­bles, Iohannes Dominicus, one of the purpled Fathers,Cardinalls a very sincere man, could not dissemble his true­ly honest mind and intention For though he alone could doe all things with Gregory, and by him also had beene raised to that state, yet notwithstand ng hee fail [...]d not to advise Gregory, that hee should descend of his owne accord from so high a Throne, whereinto hee had entred by a negative and un­lawfull w [...]y Gregory obeyed one so since [...]ly admonishing The other two were removed by force from this Sea. Which done, Iohannes Dominicus the purple Senator, en­deavouring to reduce himselfe al­so into order, went to the Coun­sell of Constance, To re­forme put off his purpose for another that should bee more worthy, and placed himselfe be­low Bishops. See, how many waies [Page 194] and how happily a right intention triumphed over ambition. Herod because hee was so ambitious, therefore also so troublous. If a man had blowed into his eares day and night, that the Messiah was borne, but neverthelesse would doe not the least hurt, nor that he came to take away King­domes, but to give; Notwithstan­ding Herod in this most trouble­some state would have feared dai­ly, nor cast any thing else in his mind then the speedy slaughter of the Infant King. But if one little veine of Herod had flowed with a right intention, hee would have reasoned thus with himselfe: If the Child be borne which is the Messias and Christ indeed, God will be with him; but if otherwise, I trust God will stand on my side. But the wicked King gave place to no such honest thought, his mind run upon this one thing: Let this Child dye, let him dye; and al­though I must stab him through a thousand,Smite although through foure­teene thousand bodies, let him bee stabbed, let him be slaughtered, let [Page 195] him dye. That so many Children were slaine, is the assertion of the best authors. And yet covering this Parracides mind with such pi­ous words and countenance; That I, saith hee, may come and worship him also. The first signe that betrayed evill thoughts under a faire spoken tongue, was disturbance. And when Herod had heard these things, hee was troubled.

Secondly, And when he had gathe­red all the chiefe Priests, and Scribes of the people together, hee deman­ded of them, where Christ should be borne. What was the intent of Herod in this? To know the place where the Child was borne. What hurt I pray is this? This forsooth, because there is no good at all therein. To desire to know, is of it selfe indeed, as they call it, an indifferent intention, which is neither good nor evill; hereunto if an evill action be joy­ned, ne [...]ther of them can bee tear­med good. And why would Herod know the Country where Christ was borne? whether that he might [Page 196] salute, present gifts, adore him? That he might murder him. This was his mind, this was his in­tention. Thirdly, Then Herod when hee had privily called the Wise men, enquired of them dili­gently what time the Starre appea­red. Neither is this a signe of a good intention. To call the Wise men, was no evill; to call them privily, was little goodnesse, and next doore to evill▪ For every one that evill doeth, hateth the light, neither commeth to the light, least his deeds should be reproved. Iohn. 2.20. This is a sure signe of no good meaning in any one, if hee labour so much to hide, cover, keepe close a thing, that it may be no waies knowne of others: this: person hates the light, and desireth that not himselfe, but his faults may lye hid.

Many things without question are done in private, which are never so much as spoke of; the Court hath her secrets, and so the Campe, and yet in these very pla­ces, no body feareth to have his witnesse, if he know it to be ne­cessary. [Page 197] How much almes is gi­ven privately by some, when the Author is knowne scarce to one, many times to none? Religiously this, holily, and to the mind of Christ. If yet they which give, did understand it to make for the greater honour of God▪ that they should be knowne, it is like they would not suppres these speeches: I am the man, it is I that give. Vices are not after the same man­ner: for there are private places and corners, where they play, where they drinke, where they steale em­bracements▪ where they take un­lawfull paines. These fly Mer­chants, these Players, these good fellowes, these Lovers will bee knowne by no meanes. What Ora­tour can perswade such as these? [...] will b [...]e for Gods honour that it should bee knowne, who they a [...]e themselves, and who their compa­nions They heare nothing, but they bind every one with threat [...]ing, ei­ther hold thy peace, Aut file [...] peri. or pay dearely for it. There is none of them from whom thou canst wring this speech: I am a Gamester, I am a Com­panion, [Page 198] I am a Wencher, and a Spend-thrift. These things use to be done by stealth & privily. But this same privily, is an evident token, that all these things are done with no good meaning: Things carried in secret, are for the most part not without suspition Herod there­fore while hee privily sendeth for the Wise men, Tecta p [...] ­num [...]. sus­pecta. maketh himselfe openly suspected of an ill intent. From this corrupted root, there sprang up such branches. Whatso­ever Herod did here, hee did viti­ously. When the intent which goes before is perverse, every deed which followes after is naught. As soone therefore as he had privily called the Wise men, hee enquired of them di­ligently the time of the Starre, hee sent them away to Bethlem, com­manded every thing to be narrowly sought out, and tidings thereof re­turned him: all malitiously and with harme enough, for he added a most deceitfull and wicked intention: That I may come and worship him also. Behold a Divell▪ but a faire one, and trimmed up in the habite of an Angell. An Angels Plumes O most subtile [Page 199] Foxe! our Saviour not without cause gave that name to the Hero­dian breed. They trusted to cover a bloudy, inhumane, mischievous mind with a Foxes cunning. Wilynesse

But Herods sacred Senators, and privy Counsellors, of what mind and intention were they? Of a diverse: For when the Counsell was called out of course, it is cre­dible that there were some of them which said: What Divell hath brought these Out-landish men from the East Country, as if wee had not enough to doe with­out them? You might have heard another say: I would have these Idolaters, to stay at home, and not come and disturbe our peace. Another cursing them, said per­haps: Let these fellowes goe with a mischiefe, they have made us ashamed of our selves. Must they know these things in Arabia, and must we be ignorant of them in Iudea? Others, a little more modestly: We owe this out of duty to the King, to whom wee have obliged our selves for per­formance of this matter, there­fore [Page 200] it behooves us to goe to our Bookes and search, which is the native Country of Christ. But neither were these men of so praise-worthy an intention. For a good intention seldome puts men on, when force and necessity con­straine. It is no vertue to say to him which gives a good thing in charge:I will when I needs must Indeed I will not, but I ought. Although wee search He­rods Court all over, wee shall searce find any right intention therein, and which followeth, no good action. For all those things, to come together, to enquire, to examine Bookes, to give answers, are a thing of policy, and indiffe­rent actions,Adiaphorae whereunto if a good meaning be not joyned, they ob­taine no heavenly reward at all. Moreover that disturbance of He­rod, Perturba­tion consultation of the Rabbines, astonishment of the City, might have made those three Kings of the East very doubtfull, have drawn them into errour, and perswad [...]d them to returne with­out performing their businesse· For they had occasion enough to [Page 201] say, What children are we, & wor­thy to be laughing-stocks for Kings. Behold in the very midst of Iudea, they know nothing of this King of the Iewes, whom we seek for, and wee so rashly following a dumbe starre,Mutum ig­nem. forsaking our owne Countries h [...]ve cast our selves up­pon these forraigne Coasts: wee have troubled King Herod, and made worke for his Counsellors of Estate, we have raised the Ci­ty of Hierusalem to no purpose, wh [...]t vanity have we sought for by this Iourney? They let in none of these thoughts, they let in none; but with what foote they began, with what intention they set forth, with that they went on constantly, they gave no other answer to all men then this: Wee are come to worship him. If any one had questioned them in the Cave at Bethlem: Stable And what doe these gifts of yours meane, what this humble carriage of men prostrating themselves, what this bowing of your bodies to the ground? they had never answered any thing else, then this: Wee are [Page 202] come to worship him, neither feare, nor force, or any necessity drove us hither, no hope of gaine con­strained us, this one businesse brought us out of doores. Wee are come to worship him. And what is he, O men, whom you are come to worship? The very same, say they, whose Starre wee have seene, whom the Stars obey, which hath brought a Torch for us from Heaven, him wee are come to worship. Hunc ve­nimus ado­rato. At length they obtained their end, and fell downe flat and worshipped him. Every one might have said for his owne part: I have not sought mine owne glo­ry, but his that is borne King of the Iewes; I give my mind to this, for that cause I undertooke this Iourney, for this end I brought these Gifts: they had all one mind and one voice. Wee are come to worship him. Being brought at last, by the Conduct of a Starre, to the meanest Cot­tage, to a house for Beasts, to a poore little Infant, nor having any God like Booke, neverthe­lesse They fell downe and worship­ped [Page 203] him. Behold, good Christi­an, what an evill, what a good intention teacheth: Behold how dissembling and fearefull that is, how constant and erect this, and how both bewray themselves every way by their owne markes!Discover Herod though he were an abstruse and concealed man, and knew how to dissemble his truculent mind in cunning!, yet hee gave apparent tokens enough of his wicked intent. The three Wise men from the East did goe astray something, when they sought Herods lodging, but this very er­rour proved some good to them, for their good intention, it was a helpe so to erre. Whereas there­fore they were carried to the Cra­dle of Christ new borne, with a very good intention, they had not onely a starre for their Guide, but also an Angell for their Guard, which most faithfully in­structed them, carefully to shun their treacherous Lodging, not to returne to Herod, but depart home another way, that they might not deprave the excellent intention, [Page 204] wherewith they came. Neither indeed did the Wise men fol­low the Starre with any other mind, then that they would wholly submit themselves to his will and pleasure, which had sent the Starre for their Conduct. This is a true, and pure intenti­on indeed, To follow the Will of GOD in all things. Hereof a Divine of our Age: He which is so minded, saith hee, that hee desireth nothing else, then to fulfill the Will of GOD, God can never forsake that man. Tymp. in Spec. Epist. Signo. 117. A mighty promise.

Le [...] this therefore bee the in­tent of a Christian man in all things that hee doth, to say daily to himselfe with a sincere heart: Lord, I doe all things for thine honour, I desire to obey thy Will in all things, whether they bee easie for me to doe or hard, whether sweet or sower. I come to worship thee, not as Herod, but as the three Kings out of the East, I desire to adore thee Lord alwaies, [Page 205] and in all my actions; for that cause I live, therefore I eate, drinke, rest, labour that I may serve thee, please thee, obedient­ly follow thy Will every where, alwaies, in all things: will so live, so dye.

CHAP. XII. What we call an indifferent inten­tion, what None.

ALthough there bee no volun­tary Action, which is not derived from some Intention; for whatsoever we doe willingly and wittingly, we doe with desire of obtaining some end or other: notwithstanding wee performe many things so doubtfully, most things so gapingly, loosely, and heedlesly, that in many things we may seek to have an adiaphorous or indifferent Intention, in most none at all. But what intention we call Indifferent, what None, now we will plainely expresse.

It is called an [...]ndifferent in­tention, or Adiaphorous, which in it selfe is neither good, nor e­vill, nor maketh any thing to honesty or dishonesty, and hath commonly meere naturall Acti­ons for her end, such as are, to eate,Goe up and down to drinke, to walke, to sleepe. Seneca comes for a good light to this purpose, who in a plaine Christian sence: Indiffe­rent things, s [...]ith he, I terme to be neither good, nor evill, as sicknes, paine, poverty, banishment, death; none of these is glorious by it selfe, yet nothing without these: For not poverty is commended, but he whom poverty dejecteth not, nor ma [...]es him steope. Banishment is not com­mended, but hee which taoke it not heavily. Griefe is not commen­ded, but whom griefe hath nothing constrained. No body praiseth death, but him whose spirit death sooner tooke away then troubled. All these things by themselves are not wor­thy, nor glorious, but whatsoever vertue hath enterprised or exploy­ted by reason of these, it makes worthy and glorious. They are pla­ced [Page 207] betweene both: This is the diffe [...]ence whether wickednesse or vertue lay hand on them. Senec. Epist. 82. Med. And that wee may clearely know, what indiffe­rent, what good, what evill is, Annaeus addeth. Every thing recei­veth honour which had none before, when vertue is joyned with it We call the same Chamber-light, which in the night is all darke: day puts light into it, night takes it away. So to these which are tearmed indifferent and ordinary things of us, Riches, Strength, Beauty, Honours, Rule: and on the contrary Death, Banish­ment, Sicknes, Grievances, and other things which we feare lesse or more, either Wickednesse or Vertue giveth the name of good or bad. A piece of metall which is neither hot nor cold of it selfe, being cast into the Fornace be­comes hot, being throwne into the water growes cold againe. Idem ibid. Therefore, onely vertue is good, onely wickednesse evill. In­different things are neither good, nor evill by themselves: use gi­veth [Page 208] them their name, when ei­ther vertue, or vice comes to be joyned with them. So Wit, Art Science, Health, Strength, Riches, Glory, Noblenesse, bee things indifferent, because they bee naturall, nor rise any higher then whither a good intention lifteth them, which also if shee contains her selfe within the bounds of nature, nor mounteth up to God, continueth indifferent, and with­out reward. Hereupon to goe, to stand, to sit, to runne, to speake, to labour &c. are not good, no [...] gaine the name of a good desert but onely from a good intention, which extolleth a small action although the least and vilest, to a very high degree of honour; which that wee may throughly under­stand, Lodovicus Blosius instruct­eth us excellently after this man­ner: Those things which are to be done (although when it behoo­veth us to take meate and drinke, to give our selves to rest, or to ap­ply any other nourishing comfort to our bodies) let this consideration goe before, that thou desire to doe [Page 209] these very things purely for Gods honour For even as a matter which seemeth of it selfe t [...] bee weighty and of great moment, is wholly displeasing to God i [...] the in­tent of him that d [...]eth be impure: so ad [...]ed which of it selfe is accoun­ted poore and of no importance, d [...]eth very much please the Lord, if the intent of the doer be right. And this can a good intention doe, but an in­diffe [...]ent intention can doe none of these t [...]ings, but m [...]keth the action wherewith it is coupled neither worse nor better, as wee will shew more at large hereafter.

That [...]s called Noe Intention of us, when one doeth this or that lightly out of custome, and proposeth to hims [...]lfe no end of his doing, and l veth as it were by chance▪ This is [...] great abuse of life, and privy gulfe devouring all our paines. Seneca most justly complaineth heretofore: And it must needs bee, saith hee, that chance should prevaile much in our life, because we live by chance. As often as thou wilt know, what is to be avoyded, or desired, looke [Page 210] unto the chiefest good, and pur­pose of the whole life, for what­soever we doe, ought to be agree­able to that. None will set every thing in order, but he which hath already resolved upon his end. No body, although hee have co­lours ready, will make a Picture, unlesse hee know before hand what he meaneth to paint. There­fore we offend, because we stand all upon the part of life, but none deliberates upon his whole life. He ought to know what hee Arrowe: which will let fly his aimes at, and then to direct and rule the Weapon with his hand. Our devices goe astray, because they have no end, whereat they should be directed.Ignoranti quem portum petat, nullus suus ventus est. No wind fits for him, which understandeth not to what Po [...]t hee saileth. Senec. Epist. 71. init. All very excel­lently; and he is truely ignorant to what Port he applies himselfe, which wearieth himselfe in vaine with No Intention.Rudis indi­gestaq. moles, Where an action hath no sure end and scope, there is confusion, and a rude and indigest Chaos over all. God [Page 211] gave charge in times past. All the fat, saith he, shall be the Lords, by a perpetuall Statute for your genera­tions, throughout your habitations. Levit. 3.16. What marvell saith Isychius, that GOD so straitly required the fat of the out [...]ard and inward parts: This fat is a Right Intention, to be directed to God in all things; God leaveth this for no body. But hee which setteth no intention before his doings, he takes away the best of the Sacrifice from God. Such a one as this, whatsoever hee per­formes, he doth either out of in­clination, or custome, for hee knowes not why he doth it, or to what purpose, or for whom. This sort of people are in a most miserable estate, which after a great deale of paines can hope for no certaine reward.

Who is more restlesse then Children at three or foure yeares old? they runne whole daies to and fro, nor ever stand still long in one place: now they thinke they are riding,Play with then they tosse a Shittle-cocke into the aire, anon [Page 212] they build houses, by and by they leape up and downe upon stooles so they weary themselves off of their leggs, being never idle in nothing but idlenesse, and when they have worne out the whole day, and beate themselves out of play, at length wh [...]t is all their paines and wearinesse? t [...]ey have dealt with trifles, they have cha­sed away flyes, they have drawne water with a Sieve, they have sowed in the water, with baby-like and frui [...]lesse paines. Very like to these babyes are all those, which governe their doings with no intention, they scarce ever lay hold upon any great matters, or if they touch them, they run over them with a sl [...]ght hand, and ra­ther nibble upon the top, then search to the bottome.Reach cun­ning. The Cloudy Satyrist fitly enquireth of these people:

Est aliquid quò tendis, & in quod duigis a [...]cum?
An passem sequeris corvos testaque lutoque,
Securus quò pes ferat, atque ex tempore vivis?
Per­sius Sate. 3.
[Page 213]
What goest thou after with thy bended Bowe?
Or doest thou follow every wandring Crow?
With Stones, and Clods, not looking to thy way,
But stayest upon a course, that knowes no stay?

Hast thou any certaine end whi­ther thou referrest all things? or livest thou for a day without pur­pose, without providence, as na­ture perswades thee? Suggeste [...] And what is that Carrier, who to one that as­keth, Whither travellest thou? should reply, indeed I know not my selfe. O fooles head returne home, silly foole returne, and thinke first whither thou goest, before thou goest forth. In this life, O Christians, we must not play the idle Gossips, and runne a gadding whither our foote leades us: every houre must our last hour bee thought upon, and Iournies end, a Right Inten­tion must be renewed almost eve­ry minute. Very great respect is to be had, how wee affect things, whether for love of goodnesse, or [Page 214] of our selves; to set forth naked workes is nothing praise-worthy. And indeed where the intention is not right, there it is either evill, or none. The disposition which thou replenishest not with vertue, lyes free for vices, even as a field which thou shalt cease to Till, for feare of over-loading it with crops, will of its owne accord eate it selfe out with unprofitable weedes. So for the most part as soone as we cease, to doe well, wee begin to doe evill. Hereof likewise exceeding well Seneca: Let us imagine some body, saith he, to doe that which he ought: hee will not doe it continually, he will not doe it equally, for hee knowes not why he doth it. Some things will come forth right, either by chance, or continuall doing, but there will not be a rule in the hand by which they may be squared, which he may beleeve that the things hee did are right. He will not promise himselfe such for ever, because he is good by chance. Moreover it may bee Sta­tutes will tell thee what thou ough­test to doe; but they will not tell [Page 215] thee how to doe, in that manner as thou oughtest: and if they per­forme not this, they bring us not home to vertue. He will doe, I con­fesse, what he is charged: but that is a small matter, because in­deed the commendation is not in the fact, but in the manner how it should bee done. Senec. Epist. 95. Med. Most excellently every way, and according to the rule of Gods sacred Word. Truely the commen­dation is not in the fact but in the manner how it should be done. It is not sufficient not onely to doe, nor yet to doe well, unlesse this very thing be done with a good intention. So much therefore let us account of a single eye at all times, and every where to lift it up to GOD But are we not often more foolish then every Child, whose sight faileth us in so great light, nay we make all things darknesse to us, and by that meanes we see nothing at all, nei­ther what is hurtfull, nor what expedient; we run up and downe all our life, nor stand still for all that, or set our foote the more cir­cumspectly. But who knowes not [Page 216] how furious a thing violence is in the darke?ImpetusBut surely wee doe it, that wee may bee called backe the farther from home: and when wee understand not whither we are car­ried, we runne lightly hither and thither, at last any whither, with blind hast.

God most faithfully warning us by the Prophet Aggee: Set your hearts, saith he, to consider your waies, yee have sowne much, and bring in little: yee eate, but yee have not enough: yee drinke, but yee are not filled with drinke yee cloath you, but there is non [...] warme: and hee that earneth wages, earneth wages to put i [...] into a bagge with holes. Thu [...] saith the Lord of Hosts, conside [...] your waies. Agge. 1.5, 6, 7 Loe, how God presseth that matter: Consider, call your waies to account. How would hee have i [...] thought upon, which way an whither we goe; Loe how every where hee requireth a good intention.Siminastit multum, et intulistis pa­rum. But all that are negligent hereof have this lesson sun to them: Yee have sowne much [Page 217] and brought in little. There bee some that sow mony, so much mo­ny forsooth they bestow upon their T [...]ble, so much upon cloth s and housholdstuffe, so much upon re­creations, playes, banquets, so much also for the hearing of newes, so much upon divers crea­tures, so much upon Bookes, which they neither reade them­selves, nor suffer to bee read by others, but keepe them as a Dog doth the manger. So much mony they spend over and above upon fawning companions, Ieasters, Iuglers, Parasites, Fooles; to say nothing of other base kind of people; so much also they lay out upon curious conceits,Devices and many times pernitious, so much upon other most idle fooleries, so much in conclusion they give away upon almes and benevo­lence, if so be th [...]t be done with a sound intention. These people beleeve it, sow very much mony, thou maist rightly say of every one of these, Hee hath dispersed, but not, given to the poare, but to them that were rich before; or he [Page 218] hath given to taylers, hee hath given to Cookes, Comfit-maker Clawbacks, morrice Dancer Tale-carriers: hee hath given to these, and those, and the other, that hee might draw them to hi [...] side, that hee might corrupt them and buy their mouthes for him selfe. But what has he given wit [...] a good will to religious uses, so the maintenance of truth? O wretches I Yee have sowne much and brought in little, because ye [...] have sowne not with a due intention, hereupon your harvest is s [...] meane, so none: Yee have eatet [...] but yee had not enough; yee hav [...] dranke, but yee were not filled wit [...] drinke. There bee some whic [...] may eate and drinke, there be [...] which may heare many and excellent things of Divine matters they are divers waies perswade to goodnesse: and as Cookes us [...] to doe which serve in sometime boyled meates, sometimes rosted sometimes baked: now dry, now laid in broth; now cold, now hot and smoking, that they may whet the stomacke to eate: so [Page 219] vertue must bee commended with a lovely variety to these fastidious hearers of holy things, they heare,Mealy mouthed and as it were eate that they heare, they shew themselves greedy, but presently they long for something else, they bury what they heard in speedy oblivi­on, and turne their mind another way: they become neither in bet­ter state nor stronger for it, for they give eare to sacred admoni­tions not with that intention, that they may grow better and more holy. O silly wretches! Yee have eaten, but yee are not sa­tisfied. Yee have cloathed your selves, but there is none warme. There be some which now and then take vertues part, they fre­quent the Church, they pray, they arme themselves with con­fession of their sins, with the Sa­crament of the Eucharist, and yet are not warme for all that, partly because they direct not these things to God by a sincere and servent intention, partly because they presently expose themselves againe to the cold; they are scarce [Page 220] gone out of the Church, from prayer, from holy duties, but they returne to their former wal­lowing in lust, they take up their ancient course of cursing and swearing, they avoyd no ill occa­sions; so they never put off their old manners, they stand still be­num'd in their accustomed vices, as before. O silly wretches! Yee have clothed your selves, and there is none warme. And hee which earneth wages, puts it into a bagge full of holes. God is most liberall in bestowing gifts, which we put up into our bag, but such a one many times as hath holes. Our mind like a bag hath so ma­ny slits,Graces through which the gifts of God may fall out, as it avoy­deth not occasions, which invite unto wickednesse. Bernard com­prising all this daintily: Hee sow­eth much, saith hee, to his owne heart, which knoweth much of the divine Commandements by hearing, or reading but b [...]ing forth little fruite by negligent practising Hee eateth, and is not satisfied, w [...]ich hearing the Word of God, coveteth [Page 221] the gaine or glory of the world. But he is well said not to be satistied, which eateth one thing and long­eth for another, hee drinketh, and is not filled, which listeneth to the voice of preaching, but changeth not his mind. Greg. l. 1. in Ezech. Hom 10. God in times past to Ezekiel: Sonne of man, cause thy belly to eate, and fill thy bowels with this role that I give thee. Ezek 3 3. But what else, saith Gregory, are the bowels of the belly but the treasures of the mind, a Right Intention, an holy desire, an humble affection towards G [...]d, and pitifull towa [...]ds our neigh­bour. Let us weigh, my beloved brethren, how godly this promise is. For many re [...]d, and are hun­gry, as soone they h [...]ve done rea­ding. Many heare the voice of p [...]eaching, but goe away empty after the hearing of it. Who se bowels are not filled, although their belly eateth, because though they perceive with their mind the meaning of Gods Words, by forgetting and not keeping the things which they heard, they lay [Page 222] them not up in the bowes of their hearts. Greg. l. 1. in Ezech. Hom. 10. post init. O poore soules! Yee earne wages, but yee put it in­to a bag with holes. Here the same Gregory: We see, saith he, when mony is put into the torne bag, but we see not when it is lost out. They therefore which looke how much they bestow, but weigh not how much they steale, put their wages into a bag with holes: because for­s [...]oth they lay it up looking upon the hope of their confidence, but they never looke when they loose it. Greg. par. 3. Curae pastoral. c. 22. sine. Thus in conclusion we labour in vaine, which take no care for the soule of labour, intention. We set the good which wee doe before our eyes, but we make no account of the right intention, whi [...]h wee neglect: [...]o we earne wages, and put it i [...]to a bag with holes.

There is no more troublesome labour, then labour in vaine, and without effect. No body would willingly loose their paines. Some forsooth labour like Asses, they take many and heavy burdens up­on [Page 223] them, and place all the credit [...] that, to undertake great mat­ters: Issachar is a strong Asse &c. he bowed his shoulder to beare, and became a servant to tributes. Gen. 49.14. But these labour not for themselves, but others, when they want that intention which should commend their labour to God. Some moreover suffer like Martyrs, but it shall not bee sung of them: The noble army of Mar­tyrs praise thee, in Angli. Liturg. Te Deum. Men in a pitifull case indeed, and so much the more to be lamented as they bee more in number. Ah, how many are there which make a great profession of bearing the crosse, and yet goe on scarce a foote in the way to Heaven, for want onely of inten­tion. They suffer mighty matters, but therefore because they are con­strained to suffer them. They hang backe for certaine, they beate themselves miserably, they resist as much as they can, but be­cause they cannot shake off the crosse which is laid upon them, they goe on in a recling manner. [Page 224] This is not to suffer for Christ; this is to row up and downe in the ayre, to set in into a cold O­ven, to build upon the sand Baa­lims Priests what paines I pray did they spare, that they might excell Elias in sacrificing? They called upon their God from mor­ning even untill evening, continu­ally crying out, Baal [...]eare us, O Baal heare us &c. And [...]hey leapt upon the Altar which was made. And when it was noone, Elias mocked them, saying, cry aloud. And they cryed aloud, and out them­selves after their manner with Knives and Lancers, till the bloud gushed out upon them. 3 King. 18.27. Neverthelesse there was no voyce of Baal, no sparke of fire, no successe of the matter shewed it selfe.Kindled The mad Priests should first have stird up fire in their minds (as Elias d d) have row­zed their intention to God, and by this meanes they had called fire out of Heaven. The world as it were another Baal, doth trouble, weary, vexe his owne di­verse waies, these it drawes to [Page 225] all wickednesse, those to any sla­very whatsoever. The wretches are disturbed with going, standing, running. They are exercised ma­ny times with odious, difficult, troublesome, wicked, mad, un­worthy labours.Businesses They which serve the world, had need bee able to swallow all kinds of invectives, reproaches, reprehensions, dis­praises, bitter taunts, many wry lookes: and as Iuglers devour Knives by cleanly conveiance, so these are constrained to indure and take downe whether they will or no many bitter and stinging words indeed. They have their detracters, corrivals, adversaries, malevolent and envious antago­nists, yet notwithstanding they are driven to make low congees to them, to kisse their hands, to reverence them with a thousand ceremonies and pleasing gestures, or else to renounce the service of the world. Neither yet doe they want cares, vexations, perturba­tions and troubles at home. All these things taken together would be like a fat Oxe cut in [Page 226] pieces, so that fire were not wan­ting, so that a right intention like the coelestiall flame would licke them up. But now because many beare such things, but impatient­ly, they beare, but not offer them to God; they suffer these things, but without a right intention, they suffer not for Christ, but for themselves, for their owne and the worlds sake, hereupon no de­sert or reward is to be thought of in this case: they beate the ayre, they sow upon stones, they de­serve no favour from God. Of these people elegantly and truely Bernard: Woe be to them, saith hee, which carry the crosse, not as our Saviour did his, but as that Cyrenean another mans. For they are broken with a double contri­tion, which are of this sort, both for as much as they temporally afflict themselves here for tempo­rall glory; and for their inward pride are drag'd to eternall punish­ment hereafter. They labour with Christ, but they reigne not with Christ. They drinke of the brooke in the way, but they shall [Page 227] not lift up their head in the gate: they mourne now, but they shall not be comforted. Bern. in Apol. ad Gul. abb. initio. So that revi­ling Theefe was Crucified indeed by Christ, but he did not goe with Christ from the Crosse to Paradise. In like manner many take much paines, but in vaine; sustaine much, but also in vaine: they exercise vertue likewise, as it seemeth, but all in vaine, yea with losse, because they want a right intention in all these things. Oseas the Hebrew Prophet deciphering these very people: An Heifer, Osc. 10.11▪ saith he, that is taught to tread out the Corne. They which labour without a sure and right intenti­on, are like Oxen which tread out the Corne, these though they be loosed from their worke, yet returne of their owne accord; they are already growne perfit in this labour, which also they enjoy, for thereby they fill their mouths full of Provender, and so wil­lingly perpetuate this businesse, and put on the yoke againe very easily. No otherwise doe these [Page 228] Schollers of the world, whom Gregory notably setting forth: They willingly toyle and moyle for the glory of the world, and likewise how their necks with all devo­tion to the yoke of hard labours. And what wages have they for their worke? a mouth full of Provender, but not a purse so well fild with monies. They bee Heifers indeed taught to tread out the Corne, they labour like Beasts that draw or grinde, or like blind horses in a Ful­lers Mill, they are driven by one boy with a whip, and run all day. And whither doe they come at length in the evening? they are in the very same place, because they goe round in a Circle: so they which want a right intention, are starke blind, and make no progresse at all in vertue this day: to morrow, the next day comes without any diffe­rence to them. These Oxen alwaies plough in the same path, and have this labour for their paines, there­fore they can expect nothing else from God. This is the cause why Paul so contentedly exhorteth: Whatsoever yee doe in word o [...] [Page 229] deed, doe all in the name of the LORD IESVS, giving thankes to GOD, and the Father by him. Colossians 3.17. The same Apostle as earnestly pressing it againe: Whether yee eate, saith hee, or drinke, or whatsoever yee doe, doe all to the glory of GOD. All, all which must so eate, so drinke, so doe every thing else, that GOD may bee honoured, no man hurt or offended.

Chrysostome explaining this precept of Paul: Although a thing, saith hee, be spirituall, yet if it bee not done for Gods sake, it hurts him very much that doth it. Chrysostome, Tom. 5. Orat. Calendis dictâ. And e­ven as Masons doe carry their Rule from Angle to Angle, so let that Divine saying of Paul bee our rule: Whether yee eate, or drinke, or whatsoever yee doe, doe all to the glory of God. Most rightly therefore Lauren­tius Iustinian: Let the first Word, the first Thought, the first Affection, sound of the di­vine [Page 230] praise; let it direct a Sup­plication inkindled with zeale to GOD. Iust: de discipl. et per­fect. Mon. c. 10. Fine. A thing well begun, is as good as halfe done. Dimidium facti, qui bene coepit, haber.

The end of the first Booke.

The Second Booke declareth who are both the fa­vourers and foes of a good intention, but chief­ly Vaine glory, and rash Iudgment; the Signes, Practise, and re­ward thereof.

CHAP. I. That a Right Intention is that good will commended by the Angels.

GOod will, is the Soule of acti­on, good will it never but rich, good will can doe all things. The night which Christ was borne,Genij the heavenly ministers sung a wonderfull Song on earth; they which heard these Musitians from Heaven were Shepheards; [Page 232] the Quire,Et in terra pax, homini­bus bona vo­lungat. the Field; the Song i [...] selfe, And in earth peace, god will towards men. Luk. 2.15. I beseech you, let us take so much time, as to enquire: this very thing of all those which duty­fully stood about the strawen Cradle of Christ, what Good wil [...] is? Let us begin first to demand of the Angels themselves.

O most pure and blessed Spi­rits, why doe yee come downe in troups unto our Cottages, what seeke yee in earth that can be wanting in Heaven? we have no lodging worthy of you. To this our question, this is the voyce of all the Angels at once: O mortals, we know well the con­dition and inhabiters of the place. Neither indeed doe wee seeke famous adventures, rare in­ventions, exotick Arts, strange fashions, nor Gold or Iewels by this our comming, but Good Will, which is more precious, and deare to us then gold, and all kind of Iewels. And surely here­in the Angels seeme in my mind to have done so, as Great men [Page 233] sometimes use to doe when they come in their Iourney to a poore Ale-house. For the t [...]pster when hee seeth an honourable Baron, or noble Earle to bee his Guest, first of all he purposeth to excuse the meannes of the house, that they can find no delicates or dain­ties there, no Beds fit enough for so great a stranger, that they have bread and drinke in a readinesse, but are without almost every thing else, and that indeed the manner of living in the Country is no otherwise: yet if hee please to stay, at his Masters command he will be ready to bring forth what­soever he hath in custody over all the house.Is M of The Earle courte­ously and pleasantly to encourage the man: I know, saith hee, my good friend, what house I am come into; if thou shalt bring me a cou­ple of Eggs and a cup of thy Beere, thou hast provided enough for this meane; neither did I come hither to feast my selfe, an unknowne Guest that desire to be private, and to leave thee the richer. Dost thou like this? The Host full of joy, [Page 234] and with a cheerefull counte­nance: What else, saith hee, O my Lord, what else but this, with all my heart? Charge, call, com­mand; I, and mine will doe what you require to the utmost of our powers. This forwardnes of mind, this most ready will, the Angels those great Powers from above did seeke in this inferiour world, and that for our profit,Pax Hom. bonae volun­tatis. that they might leave us farre richer then they found us. And in earth peace, good will towards men. So Otho the Emperour taking occasion to visit Romualdus, would not onely goe into his Cell, and tast of his victuals, but also in his poore and hard Bed would so great a Ma­jesty lye. Hier. Plat. l. 2. de bon. stat. rel. c. 37. So other Kings and Pr [...]nces turning sometimes into most desert Cottages, have made use of the fountaine onely, and bread almost as hard as stone for their Dyet, not without plea­sure. And so Angels delight a­mongst us, is good will, and a right intention. But let us en­quire of Ioseph also, with what [Page 235] intention hee came to Bethlem.

O religious Housholder, most chast Joseph, what seekest thou in this journey, so long, so difficult, especially the time so contrary? why travellest thou to Bethlem? all the Innes every where are ta­ken up, not so much as a corner is empty for thee, thou art every way an excluded man; thou maist goe to a thousand houses to look bed and bo [...]rd, a thousand bars will keepe the doores shut, none will let thee and thy wife come in: Therefore rather goe backe againe, and dwell at Nazareth. Here no body will bid thee wel­come, much lesse entertaine thee with a cup of Wine. Ioseph full of most holy resolution: It is no matter, saith hee, that no habi­tation of men is free for me, there­fore wee will make hold with Ca­tell, neither truely did we take our Iourney hither, to dwell conveni­ently and at ease, but that wee might obey the divine pleasure, we bent all our mind to this, that which we seeke, is obedience, thither will we follow, whithersoever the Will [Page 236] of God shall call us But by your favour,Threshed O good Ioseph, you seeme to be beside the matter: Thi [...] is not the Will of God, but the pride of the Romane Emperour. It may be Augustus Caesar desired to know his strength and power, therefore hee troubleth all King­domes and Provinces, that hee may understand how great he is, and be more proud by this occasi­on. On the contrary Ioseph: God, saith he, findeth this very pride of an Idolater, to bee a fit instrument to accomplish his own Will. It is the Lord: let him doe what seemeth good in his fight. 1 King. 3.18. Forasmuch there­fore as Augustus Caesar, the su­preme Magistrate, hath by Gods Providence made a Decree throughout the whole World, that every one should repaire to the City of their owne Tribe: therefore wee also undertooke this Iourney, that we might shew our obedience to this Edict: This is mine, and the Virgins inten­tion committed to my trust, which we can as conveniently per­forme [Page 237] in the poorest Cottage, in the vilest corner, in a Stable, as in the Palace of King Herod, or Annas the High Priest. But aske wee likewise the Blessed Virgin her selfe concerning the same matter.

O most Blessed Virgin, if I shall call thee the Mother of God,Give thee all due praise I shall lay all praise upon thee. Thou art that truely wor­thy Mother, at whose maiden Travell the Angels should de­scend from Heaven. What I pray, divine Virgin, lookst thou after in the native place of thy Lynage: or art thou ignorant? there is none acknowledges poore Kin­dred. And it is much to be fea­red least thy Iourney be taken in vaine, for the richer sort of Da­vids stocke have taken up every Inne of the City before hand: you must either live abroad in the streets, or else returne. Never thinke that those that be of your race will give place to you, there is none of them will come to see you, wee will send meate and drinke to entertaine you, which [Page] [Page 236] [...] [Page 237] [...] [Page 238] will bestow any honour upo [...] you. None will bee knowne [...] your allyance, all courtesie banished from hence already nor any little Inne will recei [...] you: They which bee poore as despised, though they bee nev [...] so good.Mortuus vi­vos frequen­tat, pauper inter divites. A [...]d it is truely said: poore man amongst the rich, com [...] as welcome as a Ghost to the ving. Vet. monast. Trochaic. Wherfore, O most entire Virgin, [...] ther the open street must bee t [...] house, or thou must take the sa [...] way againe, which thou came Hereunto the Child-bearing Vi [...] gin: My Ioseph, saith she, and seeke not after our Kinsfolke, a [...] the honour of our Parentage, [...] a convenient place to lodge i [...] but the one and only Will God, which God hath declar [...] unto us by Augustus Caesar. B [...] O most blessed Mother, g [...] leave to a word, this seemeth [...] to be the will of God, but of man which is an enemy to Go [...] for that the poore are burdened miserably and without cause done by command of Cyrinus t [...] [Page 239] President,Wearied this is the man which disquiets and disturbs all Syria, this is he which calleth all men hither, and thither out of their dwellings. Whereunto the Vir­gin: But who, saith shee, hath permitted Cyrinus to doe that? I may thinke, say I, Augustus Caesar. The Virgin againe: Hath any permitted Augustus Caesar? God verily, I have answered. Here at last the heavenly Virgin: There­fore saith she, wee follow Gods permission of this man, we obey his pleasure, with this intention we undertooke this Iourney: We are not troubled with conceit of our Inne: God will provide. Gen. 22.8. If men deny us place, per­haps beasts will not refuse us. Gods Will bee done. But let it please us, to enquire this of the most divine Infant himselfe.

O Infant wiser then any Solo­mon, O king of Angels, what seekest thou, may wee presume to aske, amongst poore exiles which thou maist not find a thou­sand times better among thy Citizens the Angels? What [Page 240] does it please thee for thy mind sake to tast of strange and coun­try fare, what does it deligh [...] thee to change thy Heavenly Tempe for this most horri [...] wood?Rude for­rest. O Lord, the world doth not know thee, and unl [...]sse tho [...] discover thy selfe some other way it will tread upon thee with al [...] kind of contempt. Hereunto th [...] child Christ, either with a sign onely of his eyes,Nutu Winke or with teare alone, gave answer enough t [...] this sense: I seeke not honours nor pleasures, nor desire any daintin [...] of Dyet, My meat is, to doe th [...] will of him that sent me, that may performe his worke. Ioh. 4.3 It will be easie for mee to want a other kind of meate, but that mos [...] pleasant meate, that meate whic [...] is truely mine I long for with [...] greedinesse, this I seeke: this is [...] end, this my intention. But as no [...] yee see me lye in the Manger, [...] one day yee shall see mee upon t [...] Crosse. And all this shall bee do [...] according to the rule of my Father Will. For as now my Father uset [...] the pride of the Roman Emperour [Page 241] and discourtesie of my Kindred to that end, that I may be thrust low into this filthy Cave, so hee will use the envy of the Hebrew Priests, that hereafter I may bee lifted up upon an ignominious piece of wood. My meat is to doe the Will of him that sent me, because I seeke not mine owne will, but the Will of him that sent me. Ioh. 5.30. Be­cause I came downe from Heaven, not to doe mine owne will, but the Will of him that sent me. Ioh 6.38. This is the answer of Christ to us.

What therefore is that Good Will, whereunto the Angels give a blessing of peace? Saint Leo very rightly to this demand: A Christians true peace, saith he, is not to be divided from the Will of God. Wee must say unfainedly eve­ry houre: Thy Will bee done, O Lord, both in me, and in all men most perfectly, at all times, as it is in Heaven. This, O Christians, is Good Will, to desire this one thing in all things with all the heart: O Lord, thy Will bee done. This Will, this intention of mind [Page 242] the Angels commend. Truely hereof Saint Gregory: No richer thing, saith hee, is offered, then Good Will. Hom. 5 in Evang. This will begets true peace. This will the Shepheards brought a­long to the Cradle of Christ. They would goe and seeke, they went and sought out that very Infant, whom the Angels perswaded them to seeke, from hence grew their mutuall consultations: Let us now goe even unto Bethlem, and see this thing which is come to passe, which the Lord hath made knowne unto us: And they came with hast. This will that most crafty Foxe, Herod the Ascalonite wanted altogether, which pro­mised that he would both come, yea and worship him also. For­sooth hee had come to cut the Childs throat, not to kisse his knees. Lastly, in this good will and Right Intention consisteth true peace and quietnesse. Doe whatsoever thou canst, O Christi­an, thou shalt find a thousand troubles in all things else? there is nothing any where so quiet as [Page 243] it should bee without this good will. Distemper and innumerable disturbances by the body, by the mind, by friends, by Kindred, by Children, by Subjects, by Ser­vants, by Office, by Businesse; troubles at home, abroad, at Church, in the world, in the wa­ters, in the woods; troubles in recreations and pleasures them­selves, [...]boundance of troubles will environ thee on all sides. And though thou composest all things for peace, notwithstan­ding thou shalt find peace no where but onely in this good will, which tyeth it selfe to the will of God in an insoluble Band. And this is Heaven out of Hea­ven, or the gate of Heaven.Entry Peace to men of a good will, good, constant, safe peace; true peace, and that none needs to repent. One may use that speech of the Vulgar in many other things: I had rather have a good quarrell then an ill quarter: A good staffe then an ill stoole if the spirit will make a league with the flesh, obey the lusts thereof, cover every fault of stubbornnesse; a very bad peace, [Page 244] and farre worse then Warre and discord. Therefore there can be no good or safe peace to any, but onely to men of a good will and Right Intention.

CHAP. II. That the deed of a Right Intention can bee recompenced by God onely.Act

THe rule over the Celestiall Spheres and Starres, over all orders of Angels, doth not equall the dignity of an Action coupled with vertue. For exam­ple, a halfe penny given to a Beg­ger, but with a sound and right intention, how highly suppose you, is it esteemed in Heaven? Put all Kingdomes of the world together, both Turkish, and Indi­an, and Persian; Spanish, and French, with all their wealth, yea with all their pleasures, and yet thou hast not pitched upon the full price of that halfe penny. The reason hereof is most evi­dent: [Page 245] all those things as they had a beginning, so they shall draw to their end, they are kept in with close bounds on both sides. But that halfe penny be­stowed upon a poore Begger hath amounted to an eternall value. Our light affliction which is but for a moment, wor eth for us a far more exceeding and eternall weight of glory. 2 Cor. 4.17. What canst thou call lesse, then that which is light and but for a mo­ment? So one sight for God, one groane in earnest for our former offences, a cup of cold water offe­red to the thirsty (can I speake any thing less [...] [...]) doe obtaine an eternall reward,Meaner and great above all measure: The wo ke an eter­nall weight of glory. The gold of all the Kings in the World brought together into one place, may all be easily examined by the Scales in the space of a weeke, nor indeed can it make an infin [...]e heape: But now that encrease or a halfe penny, which we spake of, cannot bee weighed throughout all eternity, it is infinite. But how [Page 246] comes it to passe that this halfe penny is so precious? By the grace of God,Et cum Deus coronat me­rita nostra, nihil aliud coronat quā munera sua. which August most truely affirming, saith: Grace onely wor­keth all our worthinesse in us, and when God crowneth our deserts, hee crowneth nothing else then his owne gifts. Aug. Epist. 105. ad sextum. The grace of God ma­keth a marriage betweene God and the Soule. Assuerus the migh­tyest of Kings, which was Empe­rour of an hundred and seaven and twenty Provinces, was yet pleased to take Hester a poore Orphan maid, the kinswoman of a captive Iew to his wife, and made her a Queene: Nor en­quire thou the cause. This was his pleasure. Who now can deny the Children of Assuerus and Hester to be Heires of the King­dome. Our Soule being most poore of it selfe (when as wee are not sufficient of our selves to thinke any thing as of our selves, 1 Cor. 3.5.) yet God makes choyce of her for his Bride through the admirable benignity of his grace. From hence the In­heritance [Page 247] of a Kingdome is deri­ved to our Children, that is, to our actions, from hence we shall hereafter Be parta [...]ers of the di­vine nature. 2 Pet. 1.4. For the spirit it selfe beareth witnesse to our spirit, that wee are the Chil­dren of God, and if Children; then Heires. Rom. 8.16, 17.

Therefore GOD onely can fully pay the reward of that halfe penny which we said, nor will by any other paiment, but himselfe. That Sun of Theology, for so the holy man understood very well, that God is the fittest reward for a good action. To this purpose Saint Paul most dili­gently adviseth us, saying: I cease not to give thankes for you, making mention of you in my prayers, That the God of our Lord Iesus Christ, the father of glory may give unto you the spirit of wised me, and re­velation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding be­ing enlightned: that yee may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of his glory in the Saints. Ephes. 1.16. This the [Page 248] Apostle incessantly prayed, That God would give them the spirit of wisedome and revelation, how that such a reward is assigned by God to every right action, as all the wisedome of Philosophers can­not comprehend. Whosoever shall give to drinke to one of these little ones, a cup of cold water onely in the name of a Disciple, verily I say unto you he shall in no wise loose his reward. Mat. 10 42. The Lord proposeth here the most despica­ble persons, and the meanest thing, a cup of water not warme, for it could not be warmed with­out cost, but cold as it runs out of the spring. Hee shall in no wise lose his reward, which may rejoyce him for ever. They were very great gifts which two Kings did promise, but amongst their cups. Assuerus in the heate of wine: What is thy Petition Queene He­ster, and it shall bee granted thee? and what is thy request, and it shall bee performed even to the halfe of the Kingdome? Hest. 7.2. Herod assured the same in a man­ner to the Damosell which dan­ced [Page 249] before him: Whatsoever thou shalt aske of me, saith hee, I will give it thee, though it bee to the halfe of my Kingdome. Mark, 6.23 Behold here the greatest gift of a King, the halfe of his Kingdome, but such as shall not endure. God who is a more bountifull King, is ready to bestow his whole King­dome which shall never have an end, even himselfe, for a reward of the least good worke that can be, of one halfe peny. Hee hath called us unto his Kingdome and glory. 1. Thes. 2 13. For the present God conferreth all things for the most part by his Creatures, by the Heavens, the Stars, the Earth, the fruites of the ground, by his Mi­nisters the Angels. But hereafter, When hee shall have put downe all rule, and all authority and power, 1 Cor. 15.24. then the Ministe­ries of all created things shall ce [...]se, then God shall exhibit all kind of pleasure, to the blessed in himselfe, for a reward of their good deeds. He shall bee all in all. Therefore Saint Chrysostom judg­eth him to bee a cruell tyrant a­gainst [Page 250] himselfe, which can bee contented with an other reward, then God. Chrysost. Hom 21. in Mat. And surely such a one as this is more foolish then hee, which exchangeth the noblest Diamond for five farthings, or a few Apples.

If therefore for every good action there bee a reward decreed which is infinite, eternall, inex­plicable, God himselfe: or that I may speake more plainely, if for every, even the least good deed an everlasting Guerdon is to bee expected: no marvell then that Steven would not sell his stones neither to vaine glory, nor to vio­lence, nor to any of those Huck­stresses, for none could pay a price worthy of them, but onely the Father of that Infant, whose Cradle was the Manger and Straw at Bethlem. But we most silly Babies (I have said little) most cruell tyrants against our selves doe sell so many worthy deeds for a poore apple, for an Oyster-shell, for a broken piece of Glasse, or a few painted tri­fles, [Page 251] yea for the short smoke of a little glory, for the light breath of favour, either to the eyes, eares, or tongues of those whom we desire to please. Thus all the wages is, to bee seene, to bee heard, to bee praised. How truely Saint Gre­gory: Hee that for the goodnesse saith he, which hee sheweth, desi­reth the favours of men, carrieth a thing of great and mighty worth to be sold for a sorry price: Hee asketh the rate of a little transitory speech, for that whlch might gaine him the Kingdome of Hea­ven. Greg l. 8 Mor. c. 28. ad fi­nem. For that cause Saint Paul so seriously exhorteth, saying: Ser­vants obay in all things your Ma­sters according to the flesh, not with eye service as men pleasers, but in singlenesse of heart fearing God. Whatsoever yee doe, doe it heartily as to the Lord, and not as to men, knowing that of the Lord yee shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for yee serve the Lord. Christ. Colos. 3, 22. Therefore let us especially take heed of this, that we goe not about to approve [Page 252] our endeavours unto men alone, and serve their eyes and presence onely, but rather fulfill all the parts of our duty with a certaine singular Candor of mind, cou­pled with the feare of God. In which respect whatsoever we doe, let us doe truely and heartily, cer­tainely perswading our selves, that we performe service not to men, but to God, the Author and Lord of all good things. And be­cause we ought to bee sure and certainely acquainted, that the everlasting seat of the blessed is proposed as a Crowne, reward, and recompence to our labours and good endeavours, it is very meet, that all our intention bee directed to Christ onely, that these eyes of ours bee bent upon Christ, that we sell all our things most readily to Christ, who is willing to pay so liberally for them. To set them free from the mouth of the Dragon, and to en­seate them in glory.

CHAP. III. How much a Right Intention is impugned by the Divell.

THat Apocalypticall Angell Saint Iohn, saw a woman clothed with the Sun, shod with the Moone, crowned with Starrs, and this woman in travaile. Be­fore her stood a Dragon with sea­ven heads, waiting while shee brought forth, that hee might take away her Child and devoure it. But he waited in vaine for a prey. For that woman brought forth a man Child, and her Child was caught up to GOD, and to his Throne: and the woman fled into the Wildernesse, where shee had a place prepared of God. Apoc. 12.5. So the hunger-bitten Dragon was deceived of his booty. It is wonderfull to bee thought, how much the Divell that wakefull Dragon laboureth, what subtile devices he useth about this one [Page 254] thing, that hee may turne a good intention into an evill or unpro­fitable one: here the gaping Beast waiteth, whiles the young one is brought into the world, that hee may presently devoure it. Christ had scarce given a new Charge to Peter to execute his Office, when straight-way Peter turning him about, said: Lord, and what shalt his man doe? Ioh. 21.20. O Peter what I pray doe these things con­cerne thee? have a diligent care of thy selfe, looke to thy selfe. There is one which lyes in waite that he may interrupt the course of thy duty: What is that to thee, follow thou me: Let thine eyes waite upon mine, let thy feete cleave close to mine, follow thou me. That therefore wee may de­fend a good intention from the power of this seaven-headed Dra­gon, wee must now unfold the vision of Saint Iohn, and shew withall, how diversly, and how solicitously the evill spirit bestirs all his veines in this matter, that he may either take away or cor­rupt a Right Intention.

The woman which Iohn saw great with Child, signifyeth the Soule, which is in favour with God. All things doe service to this Soule, the very Starres waite upon it, the Sun and the Moone obey it,Transcrip­tion. Heaven is made subject unto it. Such a Soule is never but in travaile with good desires, of serving God more faithfully and respectfully; neither onely is she in travaile, but hath issue also, and brings her holy purposes to effect, she is happily delivered, and gives the world a fight of most excel­lent deeds in all kinds. And as a great-bellyed woman is of a very dainty stomacke, and loathes ma­ny times those things that before seemed meere Hony to her, and longs for those that before were in her conceit like gall: So the mind of man great with chast de­sires, abhorreth all the pleasures of the flesh, all the world; but in the meane time it embraceth all adverse things whatsoever, and the whole provision of pati­ence with great affection. Heere the seaven-headed Dragon watch­eth, [Page 256] and layeth waite every mo­ment, that hee may infect that mind, either with secret pride, or subtile avarice, or blind envy, or privy luxury, or againe with god­linesse, but glozing, or with any other faire-seeming, but sinister intention. So the Hell-armed Serpent stands gaping before the woman, ready to bee delivered. What therefore must the Soule doe in this case, if even by the least token a wrong intention bewray it selfe, what resistance must be made? Let the Child be snatched up to GOD and to his Throne, let the intention advance it selfe to the Creator by these wings of prayer. My Lord, I have done, and am about to doe this for love onely of thee. And let the woman fly into the Wilder­nesse. Let the Parent of this Child say: I desire not, my Lord, to bee seene to be knowne, I affect not to be praised: I will not have it proclaimed in the Market, I will not have it commended for a mighty and rare thing, I would have this done so, as if I had done it in the remo­test [Page 257] desert, in the most desert Wil­dernesse: So thou, my GOD, knowest it, as thou knowest all things: thou onely art a Theater large enough for all my actions.

Cornelius the Centurion, that approved Souldier to God above, sent all his Sons and Daughters, that is, all his good workes before him into Heaven. Therefore the Angell most courteously spake un­to him, saying: Thy prayers and thine almes-deeds are come up be­fore God for a memoriall. Acts 10.4. For hee was a devout man, and one that feared God, and prayed to God alwaies. Thus all his Chil­dren were caught up to God, and to his Throne, that Stygian Dragon being deluded, which exceedeth all Theeves, Pirates, Robbers by many degrees. For this roving Theefe is never but in hand with his wiles, he observeth a Travel­ler before he passeth by, and also in his very passage. The Divell is weary of no labour, many times in the beginning of an acti­on, sometimes in the middle, ve­ry often in the end he endeavou­reth [Page 258] to pull a Right Intention in pieces, which Gregory eloquently setting forth: For we must under­stand, saith he, that the old enemy pursueth our good workes three manner of waies, that the very same thing which is done right before men, may be spoyled in sight of the inward Iudge. For sometimes in a good worke he polluteth the in­tention, that every thing which followeth in action, may for so much not come forth pure and cleane, as he distempers it in the very Originall. But sometimes he is not able to corrupt the intent of a good worke, but opposeth it in the action it selfe as it were by the way side,Subiuncto latenter vitio, quasi ex in­sidiis peri­matur. that when one makes account he goeth out more secure, by setting vice privily to dog him, he may bee killed as it were by treachery. But sometimes he neither corrupteth the intenti­on, nor supplanteth by the way side, but entraps a good worke in the end of the action, and how much farther hee faines himselfe to be gone from the house of the heart, or the passage of the deed, [Page 259] he waiteth so much more craftily to disappoint an action at the journies end: and by what meanes he makes every one that is not wary secure by thinking him farre enough off, thereby hee suddenly runs them through with a harder and more incurable wound. For so hee contaminates the intention in a good worke, because when hee perceiveth the hearts of men easie to bee decei­ved, he presents the aire of tran­sitory favour to their desires, that in these things which they per­forme right, they may be enclined by the strength of intention, to covet base matters: whereupon it is rightly said by the Prophet under the similitude of Iudea, of every soule which is caught in the trap of a wretched intention.Facti sunt hostes eius in­capite. Her enemies are the chiefe. Thren. 1.5. As if it were apparently said: When a good deed is undertaken not with a good intent, the ad­versary spirits are chiefe over it from the very first thought, and possesse it so much the more fully, as they have also dominion over [Page 260] it by the beginning. Greg. l. 1. Mor. c. 19. initio. Yea, as Chry­sostome hath moreover noted, The Divell sometimes by an evill intention distaineth workes even now already committed to Gods custody. Laid up in And if hee bee not able to hinder a deed by casting diffi [...]ulties before it, he provoketh the intenti­on, and endeavoureth to defile it. Nor yet doth his policy prevaile; hee sets upon it with diverse en­gines to disturbe it. Meither so in­deed doth he effect what he would? he studieth to pervert the end of the action. Chrysost. Hom. 1. in illud. vidi dominum.

Horace telleth of a most im­portunate fellow, whom that he might send away from him, hee pretended diverse businesses to be dispatched here and there.— Vsque sequarte: Nil habeo quod agam, et non sam [...]iger: usque sequar [...]e. But he most importunately answered this one thing, I will ever follow thee. I have nothing to doe, and I am not idle: I will ever follow thee. Horat. l. 1. Serm. Sat. 9 So the Divell which hath nothing else to doe, then to impugne and vexe us, and is truely no sluggard, Hee [Page 261] like an individuall companion, continually mutters that — I will alwaies follow thee, ever and ever will I pursue thee; ever will I hold and follow thee close: I will not be quiet, I will not cease, I will not give over, till I turne aside thine intention another way, that it may not goe so right to God; I will ever follow thee. Surely hee doth so, whom he cannot delude by vaine glory, them he deceiveth by an­ger, or by sorrow, or impatience, or else by joy, or immoderate de­sire, or too much longing. There be a thousand waies to hurt. If paines succeed ill, it puts out of courage: what will be said of the matter? thou shalt bee nothing esteemed, thou shalt be a laugh­ing-stocke to all, this will cer­tainely be great hurt to thee. But if the matter fall out according to wish,Hellish the Orcinian Foxe is at hand againe. Behold the practi­tioner, behold his device! very well, excellently, passing well, he could not have done better, what has this or that man done like it? there is none that can [Page 262] come neare this deed, all men will commend it. So the blind body seemes such a proper fellow in his owne conceit, pleaseth himself so admirably: he carries his eares listening every where like a Bore what people thinke of him, to heare how they praise him: for­sooth it is a great matter in the sorry judgement of the man, and a brave thing to bee pointed at, and have it spoken,Et pulcrum est digito enonstrari et dicter hic est. Top this is the man. Pers. Sat. 1. v. 28. O poore Soule! His enemies are the chiefe, indeed. The beginning and head of a worke is the intention. The Divell aimes at this marke, he throwes right against this fore­head, as David did to Goliah. If this head be hurt, if a good af­fection to God bee corrupted or extinct, all the rest of the building tumbles downe. David greatly rejoycing that hee kept this head safe: O Lord God, saith hee, thou strength of my health, thou hast covered my head in the day of bat­tell. Psal. 140.7. Pliny repor­teth, that the Pelican a most craf­ty bird, lives by roving upon the [Page 263] waters after this manner: Shee flyeth unto those birds which swim in the Sea,Dive, dip them­selves and catcheth at their heads with her Bill, till she plucketh up her prey. Plin. l. 10. Nat. Hist. c. 40. Righteous men not much unlike to birds, have their habitation indeed on high, but they fly downe to the waters for their food, and dip themselves therein: they refuse not to un­dergoe cares, vexations, labours, diverse troubles; they carry these waves upon their backes, for no otherwise are good workes made evident; there is need of sweat­ing and industry. No body en­dureth want with vertue, unlesse his body feele it. No man pray­eth so as hee ought, unlesse hee watch, and excite his mind to attention. In this manner the godly get the nourishment of their soules. But the Divell, like a Pe­lican assaulteth the head of these birds, Intention. Doth he see one praying? he plucks away the rule of a right intention, and, many, saith he, looke upon thee; let them goe now and say if they [Page 264] can that thou art not a lover of Prayer. Does he see money in the hand for the poore? he snatcheth away the eyes after spectators of the almes, or draweth the eares to the beggers importunate cryes, that whiles hee gives almes, hee may give a reproach with it, and say looke here shamelesse Dogge, cease to barke. Most men will pro­claime every one his owne goodnes: but a faithfull man who can find? Prov. 20.5. Doth hee perceive in thee some charity, patience, obedience? presently hee seekes letters of commendation, hee takes up the least words of them that praise thee, and drops into thine eares: loe, thou art of a good report, thy submission hath pleased this Lord; in good troth this is to be reckoned among thy praises. This hellish Pelican faste­neth a thousand such gripes, whilst he wounds the head,Till and kills a right intention. Therefore in all actions, let that be diligent­ly observed of the mind: To God, and to his Throne. Otherwise we shall not escape the Stygian Peli­can, [Page 265] unlesse every one of our Children, [...]ll our good actions, bee caught up to God, and to his Throne.

It is to be [...]dmired which is remembred among the acts of St. Severine Bishop of Coleine. (Surius Tom. 5. die 23. Octobris. Seve­rinus flourished about the yeare 40 [...]) There was in the time of Severinus the Bishop an Hermit descended of a princely stocke, brought up in his youth to all kind of delights, who when hee was growne of ripe yeares for a wedded est [...]te, tooke a Bride not unequ [...]ll to him in meanes and blood. And now Hymen sounded over all the Court, and now the nuptiall Bed called upon the new married Couple, when [...]n a sud­den the Bridegroome being taken with great feare, saw a young man in a most beautifull shape standing close by his side, which spake to him with a cheerefull Countenance, and said: If I should surely promise thee greater d li [...]hts, Betroth thee with and farre more illustrious beauty, wouldst thou follow mee [Page 266] whither I goe? I would, saith the Bridegroome, if thou promise things excelling these To whom the Angell in a mans shape:More then this I promise thee, saith he, heavenly de­lights, and immo [...]tall glory, if so thou bee a man, and knowest how to contemne these in respect of those. The Bridegroome forth-with fild with greedy ambition to enjoy these promises, and taken with love of the promiser:Surety Behold the man, saith hee, passe thy word, and lead mee whither it listeth thee, I am ready to follow. Hee said, and did it: neither earned away any thing else with him of all his treasure beside a wood­den Bottle. The Angell having brought him following so coura­giously into a place remote from all company of men: Here, saith he, bee free to God and thy selfe: forbeare to care for any thing else. So with-drew himselfe out of sight Vpon this Stage did this new Actor pl y the part which he undertooke exceeding well a long time, where God and Angels be­ing Spectators, hee followed his [Page 267] austere course of life very close for divers yeeres together, ex­haust in a manner with continu­all prayer, watching and fasting. At length a desire inv [...]ded the men to know, who should re­ceive an equall reward with him in Heaven, for he l [...]d a life al­mo [...] immitable. H [...] was answe­red from Heaven. That the Bi­shop of Colein should bee like him in the yeare of the B [...]ss [...]d The Hermite wondering at this equa­lity of reward in such an unequ [...]ll state of life, H [...]e beseecheth therefore very earnestly, that this man may bee sh [...]wed unto him.Might h ve a sight of And without delay, he very same which h [...]d conducted him thi­ther, stood before him, and shew­ed the way whereby hee should c [...]me to the very pl [...]ce where this Bishop was. The Hermit thus in­structed, upon a solemne day came to Colein, and was present at divine Service, after Church he was admitted into the roome where the Bishop dined, to looke on. Here the Anchorite saw a feast, although not according to [Page 268] the profuse Genius of our Age,Genium sa­liare. yet sumptuous and liberall. This the Bishop gave to the chiefe men of the City of Colein. The plenty of Dishes, the variety of dainties, the great richnesse of Plate to serve in, was in that age accoun­ted an example of rare prodigality. Here this same devout Spectator began in mind to conferre with himselfe: Have not I therefore with my Canne of water, saith he, with a piece of dry bread, with unsavory rootes and hearbs, by daily fasting, almost continuall praiers, and forsaking all this bravery of mine owne accord, deserved more favour at Gods hands, then this Bishop in so great excesse? What doe I, if I doe no more, then this prelate which aboundeth so much with riches and delights? O my very good Anchorite, thou maist rea­son perhaps discreetly, but not holily; heare I pray, and suffer an answer of the Angell that guideth thee, whose words are these: This Bishop, whom thou seest, is lesse delighted with all his [Page 269] pompe of dainty Dishes, then thou with thy woodden Platter. Vn­derstandest thou this? That man is truely great, which useth earthen Vessels so, as if they were Silver, and useth Silver so, as if it were earth. Sen Epist. 5. Here the discreet Palmer acknow­ledged, how that God would weigh not so much the deeds, as the intents of the doers, nor value how much every one did, as with what respect. Right so it is: —

Qui quid agant homines, inten­tio judicat: Omnes.
Intention is the Iudge to try,
What all men doe, when, how, and why.

And loe, how the Acheron­tick Pelican, could not by all stately aboundance extort from Severinus, his Love and good in­tention to God. This Bishop of Colein sent all his Actions, as it were his Children before him, to God, and to his Throne. And in [Page 270] this Stratagem, he delivered from that most w [...]tchfull Dragon, whatsoever piety hee exercised. But whom may wee find imita­ting it? It shewes rare vertue in­deed, not to be corrupted in the midst of riches, and pleasures, when the most rigid poverty that is, may find some occasion or other to offend a good meaning. For this other which betooke himselfe to the Wildernesse, be­ing every way else an holy man, and of a most commendable life, neverthelesse had let fall some of his good intention, and better affection into his wooden Tan­kard. Wee doe after that sort e­ven in the smallest thi [...]gs, let goe or gaine no small mat [...]er, according as our intention lea­neth either to the Creator, or things created. Satan hath very many sn [...]res and [...]lmost not to be descried, which hee placeth closely under foot to intrap a Right Intention. Our dainty-mouth'd senses, and too much selfe-love offer themselves of their owne accord to bee entangled in [Page 271] these Nets: it is sweet to them to be so taken. What action soever therefore of ours is not at the ve­ry first sent up to God, and to his Throne, is presently caught and devoured by the most nimble Dragon.

The Hebrew Prophet Ezechiel, saw foure living Creatures, whose wings and heads were lifted up towards Heaven: Their faces and their wings were stretched up­ward. Ezek. 1.11. The upright both lookes and flight of these Creatures, put us in mind of no other then th [...]s very thing, that nothing whatsoever is safe e­nough from th [...]t Dragon, which flyeth not up instantly to God. It perisheth,Preserveth whatsoever with­drawes not it selfe by this meanes from the Dragons clawes. There­upon Richardus Victorinus c [...]lleth him, which performeth good workes yet with an ill intention, a murderer of his owne Chil­dren. Here we meet with two things worthy to bee noted. Let the first thing in question bee, wherein doth the sap, kernell, [Page 272] strength and force,Nervus. Maine drift or the Master­veine of a good intention consist? whereat must we principally aime in this point, or what man ever had a good intention indeed? Christ the repairer of mankind, of whom his Father pronounced from Heaven: Heare him. Mark, 9.7. This Master of ours, had chiefly three intentions. The first was of Obedience. This Comman­dement saith he, have I received of my father. Ioh. 10 18. For the first moment that he put on man in the Virgins Wombe, his Fathers Sentence was objected to him. Thou must be Crucified, thy Father gives such charge. Christ most obediently submitted him­selfe to this Decree of his Father. H [...]reupon it may bee truely said, The Saviour of the world did hang upon the Crosse foure and thirty yeares. For the intention of Christ went all his life long to­ward the Crosse, did cleave to the Crosse: This Commandement he received of his Father. The Se­cond was of Respect to his Fa­thers honour: For I, saith hee, [Page 273] seeke not mine owne glory, but I honour my father. The third was, of Love and aff [...]ction to his fath [...]rs Will. I saith he, doe those th [...]ngs alwaies which are pleasing to him, because so it seemed good in thy sight Neverthelesse, not as I will, but as thou wilt, thy Will bee ful­filled. This three-fold intention is almost [...]he very same in sub­stance, but yet it may be perceived also in that difference. For it is one thi [...]g to doe any matter ther [...]fore, because it is so com­mand [...]d; another, because it ma­keth for the honour of another, and another thing yet, because it so pl [...]aseth another. Hee which is of this mind, to observe ano­thers will, and bee also at his b [...]ck, and offers himselfe freely, may say: What need have I to be hidden? I am none of th [...]m that are to be compelled by force, or power, or Law; I will doe this of mine owne accord, upon this perswasion onely, because I know it pleaseth him that is in authority, his desire is set upon it. And therefore I am as ready to [Page 274] doe, as he to wish, his Will is to me instead of a thousand Com­mands. And this, I take it, is the top and highest point of every Right intention. And this was the intention of Christ our Lord in his life, in his sufferings, in his death; in all things: His fathers Will Even as the father gave mee Commandement, so doe [...]. Ioh. 14.31. The father which sent me, he gave me Commandement, what J should say and what I sh [...]uld speak. And I know that his Commande­ment is life eternall: whatsoever I speake therefore, even as the Fa­ther said unto me, so I speake. Ioh. 12.10.

Hereupon let that never depart either from our mouths or hearts: O my Lord, and my God, I offer my selfe, and all that I have to thee, to thy good pleasure in every thing. Or that: Even so Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight, even so Father, even so Father. Or this. Neverthelesse not as I will; but as thou wilt, thy Will bee fulfilled. The other thing also in question is, and that most frequent a­mongst [Page 275] men of a doubtfull con­science,Fearefull whom it troubleth and vexeth diverse waies Thou maist heare many saying. So I knew in what manner my case stood with God, that I were in favour, and Gods deare servant, whether my actions pleased that most wise sear­cher of hearts, so I were through­ly acquainted herewith, most wil­lingly would I performe whatsoever is required of mee. O my good Christian, desirest thou to know this? examine thine owne con­science: Doe but weigh what man [...]er of intention thou hast, how sincere and pure, for how much the more sincere and pure this is, how much the more con­formable and nearely knit to the Will of God: so much better thou art, so much the more acceptable and dearer to God, never doubt it. Or knowest thou not, whatso­ever men doe, intention judgeth them all? It is not possible, that thou shouldst be of a sincere in­tention, and good mind towards God, and yet not please God, unlesse thou wouldst make God [Page 276] unjust. It is the voyce of God. I love them that love me. Prov. 8.17. and I doe not conteine, nor can otherwise choose, but em­brace them againe with a benigne affection, which are so well af­fected towards me.

Thou therefore, good Christi­an, have especiall care of this, al­waies most readily to attend the divine pleasure in every thing. Let Gods Will be both thy Will, and Deed. In this manner thou shalt wound the heart of God with the golden dart of Love. For this gaines such an interest in Gods favour, that wee may pro­cure very much not onely by spea­king and doing, but also by omit­ting and making holy day. Lodo­vi [...]us Blosius, a truely pious Wri­ter: If any one, saith he, resisteth his owne will even in the smallest matters for Gods sake, hee perfor­meth a thing more acceptable to God, then if hee should raise (let it be marked) many dead men to life. So it is necessary that he bee ready prepared in all other mat­ters, which would be of a Right [Page 277] Int [...]ntion, that it hee know any thing tha [...] God desireth, he also may desire the same how [...]pposite soever it be to his owne Will. To which purpose (as Blosius in­structeth) let him frequently say with himselfe: F [...]r thy sak [...]. O Lord, I will [...] [...]hat thing, when it is not necessary that I should see it: in respect of thee J will not heare that, I will not tast that, I will not speake that, I will not touch that. Lord if my Cloathes, if my Dyet, if my Affaires, La­bours, or that which I am in hand with, displease thee, I refuse not to bee covered with a course clout, to live with Bread and Water, to put away these and these things farre enough from me. But we, O how often doe wee both speake, and doe a great deale otherwise? you may heare him many times that saith: I am at mine owne plea­sure and disposing, what Con­troller need I feare? I am wont thus to doe; this is my cu­stome: this cost is out of my Purse; I feed upon mine owne Trencher: what doe I regard o­thers? [Page 278] I will have it to be in this manner; no body shall appoint mee what to doe in this case &c. This is not to carry himselfe answera­ble to the Will of God.Happy There­fore O thrice blessed hee, which with a most sincere intention, followeth the one and onely plea­sure of God in all things. This man of all others escapeth the eyes and clawes of the ever-wa­king Dragon, and whatsoever he doth, hee sends before hand with safe conduct to God and to his Throne.

CHAP. IIII. That the greatest enemy which the Divell rageth against a Right Intention, is Vaine Glory.

THis Enemy of a Right in­tention is worthily to bee feared of all men: Vaine Glory steales away the rewards [Page 279] of all vertues, and turnes them to most grievous punishments.

Herod Agrippa, no degenerous Impe from the wickednesse of his Fore-fathers, slew James the Sonne of Zebedee, a most holy man, God passed by that: Hee cast Peter in Prison, neither was hee punished of God for this, hee added more outrages to the for­mer, neither yet did God revenge that. But when he made an Ora­tion, glittering in Royall Appar­rell, not to instruct the people, but for his owne ostentation sake, and the multitude gave a Shout: The voyce of a God, and not of a man, immediately the Angell smote him, because he gave not GOD the glory, and hee was eaten of Wormes, and gave up the ghost. Hee hath him sure enough Hee tooke away a mans life, and God held his peace; hee would have stollen the glory from God, and here God riseth in his owne de­fence, and he was consumed of Wormes and gave up the ghost. He paid so deare for Wind. Au­gustine rightly pronounceth a­gainst [Page 280] Herod. Lo [...]d hee that will be praised because of thy gift, and therein seeketh not thy glory but his owne, although for thy gift hee bee praised by men, yet hee is discom­mended by thee, because that out of thy gift, he sought not thy glory. Aug in Medit. But he which is praised of men, when thou rebu­kest, is not defended by men when thou Iudgest, nor shall be delivered when thou condemnest.

There are two speciall things to be found in all the Workes of God, Vtility, and Dignity: God would have the Vtility to come unto man, the Dignity hee hath reserved to himselfe. Even as a famous Painter easily yeeldeth the Picture which hee made to another, accounteth that onely to be his, which hee writeth un­derneath, Pr [...]togenes invented it, Timander made it, Apelles drew it. So likewise God: and for that cause also hee ordained that the Offerings in times should bee made in this wise, that Flesh, Fruites, Bread, and pure Incense should be offered together, which [Page 281] hee parted so liberally, that what profit soever was herein, it should turne to the benefit of the Sacri­ficers, he required the perfume of the Incense onely for himselfe. And even as when two Mer­chants become partners, both of them layeth out upon Trafficke what their meanes afford: Or say that one findeth all the ex­pences, another the paines, some­times equall portions either of mony or Wares, the gaine which commeth by Trafficke they di­vide, it is wholly due to neither of them▪ Iohn the eye of the Lord affirmeth that the Saints have fellowship with God This fellow­ship is entred into for that end,Iohn 1.7. that eternall blessednesse may be obtained, thereby as it were gaine. Not God alone maketh this Merchandise, nor man alone: That saying of Saint Austia is well knowne:Qui fecit te sine te, non salvabit te sine te. Hee truely which made thee without thee, will not save thee without th [...]e. God be­stoweth all the charges towards this tr fficke, For it is God which worketh in us both to Will, and [Page 282] to doe of his good pleasure. Philip. 2.13. Man bringeth his industry onely, what gaine soever com­meth by this dealing, is to be di­vided betweene God and man: God is contented onely with the honour and glory, whatsoever wealth or happinesse there is, he assigneth unto man. Let a good division therefore be made: Let glory be to God in the highest, to man peace, and the possession of all good things. He now that arro­gates to himselfe, what is due to God, dealeth most unjustly, and deserveth to be turned out of this fellowship, and deprived of all his goods. God Created all things for himselfe. Prov. 16.4. This Great Maker of all things, requi­ring honour as it were Tribute of all his Workes. My glory, saith he, will I not give to another. Esay 42.8. This revenue a Right Intention most truely paieth unto God, the very same vaine glory most unjustly taketh from him. Can any man likewise endure another most vainely boasting of that which hee built, which yet [Page 283] never came out of his owne purse. Why braggest thou proud fellow, which bestowedst not so much as a stone of thine owne towards this Structure,Brough­test any man may easi­ly build at another mans costs In like manner why doe wee poore wretches bost of our actions and good deserts, as it were of great buildings? all the charges where­with we build come from God, for our use, not for our report. Most apparently Christ: Without me, saith he, can yee doe nothing. Iob 25.5. Why therefore doe we brag? we are permitted to in­habite the building, the honour which followeth the fabricke of the House, is onely GODS. Therefore, Take heed that yee doe not your good workes before men, to be seene of them, otherwise yee shall have no reward of your father which is in Heaven. Mat. 6. [...], And there­fore Christ so solititously adviseth us, because this vice of Cenodoxy, or vaine glory, is both very sub­tile, and also very hurtfull by this her subtilty. Climachus: Ceno­doxie, saith hee, hath an hand in [Page 284] all devices. For example, Doe I fast? I take a pride in it. If I breake off my fast, because I would not have it knowne, againe I am proud as it were of mine owne policy, if daintily apparelled, Peste I am over­come of that disease. If I be poore­ly clad, againe I take a pride in it. If I speake, she vanquisheth me If I hold my tongue, againe I am van­quished. Bryer Which way soever thou throwest this Bramble, it stan­deth with the prickles upward. Clim. Grad. 21 de Cenodox initio. But such a vaine glorious man as this, is a true worshipper of Idoles, which seemeth indeed to worship and serve God, whilst he studieth to please not GOD, but men.

I said before that this vice is most subtile, and even so it is. Glory is despised [...]ry often, that it may be gotten, and from the very contem [...]t of glory vaine glo­ry springeth and sometimes assai­leth those most strongly, which seeme to have cast off all glory long agoe. I will determine no­thing in this case out of mine [Page 285] owne judgement, A man of great repute, [...] Divine of our age, dis­courseth of this point as follow­eth. Hieron. Bapt. de la Nuza. Tom 1. Tract. 2. part 2. de recto affectu in Deum. It faileth one not seldome, that a gallant Lady taketh not so much delight in all the bravery of her Sexe, or a Knight in all his gorgeous attire, as a poore ragged Monke sitting close in a corner of the meanest Monastery, pleaseth and applau­deth himselfe, in his sorry Cloths, in his torne and mish [...]pen Hood, his naked Feet, in his empty Cell,Bare and his very victory over all kind of Pompe. O wretch indeed, whom Vaine Glory was not able to deceive with honours, she de­ceiveth by humility it selfe. Thus vaine glory spareth no body, it invadeth all sorts of men: but, as Saint Basil saith. It infecteth every good worke softly, sweetly, pleasant­ly, insensibly, and before it be seene, and spoyleth all the beauty thereof. Defaceth Vaine glory is a sweet kind of thing to the unskilfull, a sweet robber of Soules. Basil. de Constit. Mon. [Page 286] Cap. 11. Many doe privily seeke themselves in the things which they doe, and know it not. Kempis. l. 1 c. 14. v. 2. And oftentimes, saith Gregory, whilst the praise of men meets with a good worke it chan­geth the mind of him that doth it, which t [...]ough it were not sought for, yet it delig [...]teth being ffered With the pleasure whereof when the mind of him that performeth well is let loose, it is quite dispersed from all vigour of the innermost in­tention. For hee which doth good things, and hereby desireth not to please God, but men, turneth the face of his intention downeward. Greg l. 1. Mo. c. [...]9. For that cause the holyest men that we [...]e, have defended themselves most vi­gilantly against it.

Laurentius [...]urius reporteth, and, When as on a time, saith hee, Pachomius sate among the Seniors of his Order, a Monke brought two Matts which hee had made that day, Scoreas and set them over against the place where they sate, that they might easily behold them for hee hoped that hee should have heard [Page 287] of Pachomius. Behold the dili­gence of our Brother, whic [...] h [...]th doubled his daily taske, and hath finished two Matts, whereas o­thers make but one in a day. But on the contrary, Pachomius ex­pr [...]ssing great sorrow for his vaine hunting after praise in this m [...]n­ner: Fathers, saith hee, this our Brother hath wrought very hard from breake of day to this time, but he hath ded [...]cated all his labour to the Divell, for indeed hee hath pref [...]rred humane praise before Di­vine. Therefore calling the man un­to him, and chiding him in grievous tearmes, When others, saith hee, goe to Prayers, take thou thy matts upon thy shoulders, and cry: I be­seech you Fathers and Brethren, entreat God for mee miserable wretch, which have made more of two Matts then Heaven. Hee did as hee was commanded. Pacho­mius afterward gave charge, that when others were called to Sup­per, this man that was more busie then needed, should stand with his Matts supperlesse in the midst of the roome. Neither yet Pa­chomius [Page 288] thinking this to be satis­faction enough, hee commanded that the man should be shut up in his Cell, and sparingly fed five monthes together onely with Bread, Salt, and [...]ater: and pro­hibited that any should goe to aske how he did all the time of his confinement. c. (Sur. Tom 3. Die. 14 Maij) With such e [...]gines as these vaine glo y must be bea­ten downe,Battered a mischiefe otherwise almost invincible, and which groweth out of ve [...]tue it selfe. Rig tly Climachus: The sp [...]it of d speration, s [...]ith hee, rejoyceth when it seeth vi [...]e to be multiplyed, but vaine g [...]ory when it seeth vertue to encrease. Perceive Obse [...]ved diligently, and thou shalt see th [...]t wicked blemish to follow thee close even to thy death and grave. Clim. D. l. Grad. 21. d [...] Cenodox. He saith moreover: Hee which growes p [...]oud of the naturall part wherein hee excel­leth, imagine apprehension cun­ning Reading, pronun [...]iation, wit, and all other things which come unto us without our paines, he shall never enjoy the blessi gs which are [Page 289] above nature, for he which is un­faithfull in a little, will bee un­faithfull also in much. And surely such is the servant of vaine glory. Gregory said excellently to this sence: Whosoever extolleth him­selfe, for his beneficence to ano­ther, incurreth a greater fault by boasting, then he obteineth a re­ward by giving, and is made naked whilst he cloaths the naked, and whilst he thinkes himselfe the bet­ter, becometh so much the worse. Forasmuch as hee is lesse poore which hath no cloaths, Minus inops est, qui ves­tem non ha­bet, quàm qui humilitatem. then hee which hath no humility. Greg. l. 21. Mor. c. 14. The Grecian and holy Oratour Chrysostom, Shewed himselfe who was most eloquent against this plague, and lashing very often at it in the Chaire: And how, saith hee, can it bee other then extreame folly, to seeke after the praise of men, which are so corrupt in mind, and doe all things rashly? whereas we ought to have recourse to that eye, which ever waketh, Give at­tendance and to speake and doe all things, with respect to the appointment of that. For these although they com­mend, [Page 290] neverthelesse can helpe us as good as nothing. But he, if those things which we doe, bee plea­sing unto him, maketh us both of good report and illustrious here, and in time to come bestoweth ineffable benefits upon us.Chry. Hom. 12. in 1. Ep. ad Cor. Fine. His al­so are these: wherefore if thou de­sirest to obtaine glory, refuse glo­ry, but if thou huntest after it, thou shalt goe without it. And if you please, let us sift out this speech also in those which fol­low this promiscuous course of life. For doe we call any in questi­on of their credit? Is it not those which greatly desire it? There­fore they especially are the men which want it, as those which suffer innumerable reproofes, and are despised of all men. Againe, say I pray, doe wee respect or commend any? Is it not those that contemne and account no­thing of it? Therefore these are they which inherit glory. For even as hee is rich indeed, not which wanteth many things, but nothing: so he is truely famous and honourable, not which bur­neth [Page 291] with desire of glory, but con­temneth and maketh light of it. For this glory is but a shadow of glory. And indeed no body which seeth a piece of bread pain­ted, will lay hold on the Picture,To eate it. although he be ready to starve a thousand times. After the same manner therefore stirre not thou at all in pursuit of a shadow, for to follow a shadow is the part of one out of his senses.Wit Chrys. Hom .29. in 2. ad. Cor. It is not possible, that any man can be Great, No­ble, and Valiant, which carrieth not himself free from vaine glory,Grovell but he must needs creepe upon the ground, and bring much to ruine, whilst he waiteth on this wicked Mistris, and more cruel then any Barbarian. For what I pray can bee more truculent then shee, which then raves and rages most of all, when she is most of all re­verenced and observed? Not so much as Beasts are of this dispo­sition, but grow tame, by much gentle usage.Handling But quite contrary vaine glory, for she is quiet being contemned, but starke mad when [Page 292] she is honoured, and takes Armes against him which beares respect to her.Chrys. ibid He which is brought in bondage to vaine glory, can nei­ther see what is profitable for o­thers, nor yet for himselfe. And that Chrysostom may confirme all this that he hath spoken:Hom. 35. in Ep. ad Cor. Vaine glory, saith he, is the Mother of Hell, and doeth exceedingly kindle that fire, and feed that deadly Worme, and setting downe the rea­son hereof, Other vices, saith he, are brought to an end by death, this obtaineth strength in the dead also. Becomes of force Hom. 17. in Epist. ad Rom. Looke upon a Tombe extraor­dinary sumptuous, and you shall perceive with what a subtile blast it breathes forth vaine glory, O foole, what doeth so ambitiously desired memory profit thee? if where thou art, tnou art reviled, and praised where thou art not.

No lesse elegantly Saint Vale­rian, Bishop of Massilia: It it a kind of folly, saith hee, that when thou owest to another the benefit of life, thou shouldst ascribe to thy selfe the ornaments of vertue. Be­hold [Page 293] this man is puffed up with honour, another flattereth him­selfe in the proportion of his bo­dy; this man imputeth wealth to his labour, that man assigneth his skill in learning to his studies. O silly people, all humane in­dustry staggereth,Faileth where Gods helpe is not sought for: It is our part to desire good, but Christs to bring it to perfection. Hee hath lost all that ever he did, which hath ascribed the fruit of holines to his own vertues. Valerian. Hom. 11. Fine hujus serm. The case standeth even so, although thou hast all the excellencies that can be, Learning, Eloquence, Wit, Wisedome, Munificence,Fit for an Emperour a coun­tenance beseeming Majesty, if thou season so great things as these with vaine glory, as it were with Salt, thou maist imagine drops of Hony to run out of an invenomed pipe, to the end that all beauty, opinion, love of for­mer things might perish, by the onely vanity of glory, as it were by a confection made to poison one. Although thou bee a good [Page 294] Singer, a good Scribe, a good Painter, a good Champion, a good Poet, a good Oratour &c. yet if thou be an ill prizer of all these things, thou hast spoyled all: but now hee priseth these things ill, which contaminates them with vaine glory. And al­though vices sometimes bewray themselves in that manner, that they cannot possibly be denyed, yet there is some colour left, which wee may daube over our credit; no body in this case is so slow of utterance, but he can rea­dily put out: that man limpeth, stammereth,Awry goeth wrong, failes in sight more then I, is blacker. So wee thinke our selves beau­tifull Creatures, if wee bee not reckoned among the most de­formed.

For all Ho­nour and glo­ry which men have bestow­ed upon them is wholly to bee returned to God, as to the first Au­thor, and last end of it.After the people of Israel were brought out of Egypt, they set up the Golden Calfe which they had wickedly devised, to be worship­ped for GOD, giving a shout withall: These bee thy Gods O Israel, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt. Exo. 32.4. [Page 295] Not much otherwise doe they, which looke round upon them­selves with a stately brow as Masters of their owne workes, and whatsoever they effect by Counsell, Art, or industry, they will have accounted as it were for Gods. O Idolaters! To God onely be honour and glory, proclaimeth Paul, 1 Tim. 1.17. To God onely, onely, onely bee honour and glory. The utility of good workes, is ours, the dignity Gods. Agasicles was driven into exile by the people of Halicarnassus, Sparta. be­cause he did not Consecrate the three footed Stoole which hee won in their games to God,Apollo. but carried that gift home with him. Herodot. l. 1. All the glory of every thing that is well done, is from God, and to bee given to God onely.

Dijs te [...] minorem quòd geris, imperas.
Huc omne principium, huc reser exitum. Horat. l. 3. ode 6.
[Page 296]
Thou raign'st because thy deeds to God doe yeeld.
Bring thy attempts, and Acts both to this field.

Notwithstanding wee are more Baby-like then any Baby, for even as Children doe so verily take themselves for others in their new clothes, that they are perswaded the best acquainted eyes be deceived by their fine ap­parrell: So we Children of fifty or an hundred yeares old, doe put on ambition upon the most trifling and vilest things that can be. That man boasteth, because he knowes how to use neater Complements, another because he is a dainty Carver of meate, this man because hee goeth more upright then others. There bee infinite sorts of ostentation. Nay we fall to d shonesty and shame­full trickes, and take a pride in our basenesse:

Malus numerat sceleste facta in gloriam. Vet. Iamb.
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The wicked counts the story,
Of all his hainous facts a glory.

That man makes his brags that he onely can carry most Wine of all the company, another avouch­eth himselfe to have excellent skill in all kind of play:Games he pro­fesseth himselfe a master of vila­ny. Infants indeed,Babyes but most wicked ones, and which Sacrifice to Zabulus. Zabulus is reported to have first found out the Dye. He did not onely set up a stately Image in honour of himselfe, in the lap whereof a paire of Tables was to be seene, but also would have Sacrifice done to him by Dice-players, before they went to their game. (Cyprianus de Aleato­ribus) In that manner the un­godly, not onely devise how to worke mischiefe with a cursed kind of industry, but triumph therein when they have the way of it, And rejoyce greatly to doe evill. Prov. 2.14. Others take themselves to bee a little wiser, and offend with more modesty, out of whose mouth you may [Page 298] heare these reports: This Coun­sell was mine, it had never hapned so well to those Block-heads. This was my providence, my earnest care: Had it not bin for mee, this businesse had never seene an end: they have reason to thanke mee, I brought this to effect: this is a point of policy indeed; but out of mine owne head: I know, if any man else doeth, how to play my part, I can tell very well, there is none like me in this kind: I am sure e­nough how much need they have of my helpe. There is that cryeth with a loud voice: I defie all that handle a Sword in this quarrell: That man, and I against all Coun­sellors: He, and I to all Doctors. This man, & I all knights that beare Armes: Another, and I dare all workemen to the contrary. O vani­ty,O quantum est, in rebus inque! O idle dreames, O how much folly is in things! What is more vaine, then the love of vaine glo­ry? very well the Son of Sirach concerning these idle boasters: The hopes, saith he, of a man voyd of understanding are vaine, and false, and dreames lift up fooles. [Page 299] Ecclesiast. 34 1. All the praise, favour, grace, honour, commen­dation of men, what else is it, then wind, aire, a blast, a bubble, smoke, vanity, a meere dreame? For if any man thinketh that he is something when he is nothing, he deceiveth himselfe. Gal. 6.3. When the hony is to bee taken out,Cum exigun­tur mella, fumo abigun­tur ape [...]. the Bees are driven away with smoke. Vaine glory is a smoke, which the Divell over­spreadeth, to carry away the dropping hony of good workes, as Basil said truely. The hate which Bees beare to smoke, signifieth, that they which make hony for God, are offended with nothing so much as the smoke of humane praises Basil. in Ascet. To that purpose said Isidore: Pompe, and Pride, and Vaine Glory have no agreement with heavenly light. Isid peleusiot. Epist 197. At the last day of all, these things not onely shall not profit, but shall doe very much hurt to many. For thou wilt blesse the righteous. Psal. 56 13. Vpon which words Chry­sostom: For what damage, saith [Page 300] he, doth he receive, if men despise him, and all the people of the world, when the Lord of Angels commen­deth and extolleth him. Even as, if he blesse not, though all that in­habite the Earth, and Seas com­mend, it profiteth him nothing. For even holy Iob, sitting upon the Dunghill, and smitten all over with filthy sores, and flowing with whole streames of Wormes more then could be numbred, and enduring that reproachfull usage, as he that was spitted on by his Servants, and had snares laid for him by his friends and enemies, and by his Wife, and was brought to that ex­treame poverty and hunger, and despetate sicknesse, was the happiest man alive, because God blessed him, saying, Iob. 1.8. A perfect and upright man, one that feareth God and escheweth evill. Chry. Tom. 1. in Psal 5. propius finem.

Divinam minime assequitur, qui humanae servit gloriae.
Esse quaeris gloriosus? gloriam omnem despice.
[Page 301]
Hee gaines not Gods report, which mans applyes.
Wilt thou bee glorious? glory quite despise.

It was not the custome with Christ our Lord, to provoke his Auditors to laughter, and merry gesture, much lesse to perswade them to excesse, yet notwithstan­ding he permitted, nay hee com­manded, for privacy when men fasted, to use Oyntments after the fashion of the Country: An­noynt thine head. Mat. 6.17. that with the sweet smell and pleasant countenance thy fasting may bee hid. That thou seeme not unto men to fast. The Pharisees when they used to fast, did interdict them­selves all signes of cheerefulnesse, that they might make it apparent to all, how they were despisers of pleasures, and applyed themselves to hard and severe fasting. Our Saviour commands to the contra­ry, that we should alter nothing in the ordinary course of our life, to shew we fast, but rather after the manner of the place bee of a [Page 302] merry, cheerefull, pleasant coun­tenance,Fasting to conceale our absti­nence, that wee may receive the reward of a secret and sincere worke at GODS hands. That therefore others may not com­mend our continency, let us ra­ther use this outward alacrity: for it is better to bee anoynted and appeare beautifull, then to make a shew of abstinence,Pretend and desire to be seene, insomuch that many times to publish vertues Offices is to spoyle them. The praises of them that looke on, are flatteries, they are not praises. Pliny reciting amongst other won­ders: Wee found, saith he, a Vine and a Pomegranate Tree, growing without leaves, which bare fruite upon the Stocke, not upon the boughes or branches. Plin. l. 17. Nat. Hist. c. 25. Good men, and devoted to humility doe in this manner, they keepe close their fruites, that is, their pious deeds, and take speciall heed that the rumour of them run not abroad,Spread So their vertue is safer, and lesse obnoxious to the treche­ry [Page 303] of Divels, which run desperate­ly all in a Troupe to the breaking up of wares. Wilt thou advance thy vertues? bewray them not.Disclose Live to thy selfe, and bee farre from desire of a great name.Vive tibi, & longè nomina magna fuge.

Travellers, that what Gold they carry they may keepe, doe they not sow it up in their shooes, or hose, in their doublet, girdle, cap, or put it into a hollow staffe, nay after all use trickes to lay it up in their bellies, as the Iewes formerly did at the siege of Hie­rusalem? is there any need to hide such precious metall in this manner? for this very reason it is never free from enemies, because it is precious; that it may bee kept, it is kept close: Gregory: There is no other way, saith hee, for him which feareth to be robbed in his Iourney, then to hide the wealth which hee carrieth. (Greg. l. 8. Mor. c. 30.) In the very same sort it is extreame dange­rous to expose the pious actions which one goes about, I will not say to other mens eyes or eares onely, but even to his owne. [Page 304] So Ezechias the King of Iudah, lost his treasures, because he shew­ed them. Hierome very excellent­ly admonisheth: and, Let every man, saith hee, call his owne heart to account, and hee shall try by experience all his life long, how rare it is to find a faithfull soule, which doeth nothing for desire of glory, and vaine reports of men. Nor indeed doth every one that fasteth, presently fast for God, or that stretcheth out his hand to the poore, lend to God, vices are at the next doore to vertues. It is a hard matter to bee contented with God onely for the Iudge. Hier. Contra Lucif. c. 6. With Hierome agreeth Iohan. Sarisberiensis, Bishop of Chartres, Exceedingly a man extraordinary learned, who describing the pedi­gree of vaine glory: If vaine glo­ry, saith he, set spurres to any man, he must needs run headlong through most dangerous vices. This is that forsooth which is accounted a noble vice, and doeth so flatter the fraile disposition of men, that it is scarce a stranger to generous minds, for it commeth also of noble descent, [Page 305] and knoweth not how her expences goe on, untill she fall headlong from that height, which she aimed at. For so vices proceed one of ano­ther. But now vaine glory fastneth her Originall root in vertue it selfe, for wherein every one is more excel­lent then others, therein, unlesse Grace sit Moderatour, he takes the more easie occasion to be proud. Yet there is scarce any which insisteth not upon vaine glory, and coveteth not that praise, which is of men. Hereunto some take their way by vertue, some by a shew of vertue, others by the helpe of nature or fortune. Sarisb. l. 8.Natures or Fortunes be­nefit Poly­crat. c. 2.

The ambition of glory, is the disease of men in prosperity.

That Light of the Chur [...]h, Gregory the Great, lamented this disease privately with himselfe, nor deploring the same without teares: Whilst I looke exactly, saith hee, upon the very roote of mine intention, then I know thereby that my desire is chiefly to please God. But with the same intention whereby I study to [Page 306] please God, the intention of hu­mane praise, by stealth I know not how, intermixeth it selfe, which when not till afterwards and slowly I perceive, I find my selfe to doe otherwise, that which I know I meant otherwise at first. For so many times whilst our in­tention is rightly begun in the sight of God, the intention of humane praise over-takes it, following close by undiscovered, and as it were laying hands on it by the way. Even as meat is taken in­deed for necessity, but in the very eating, whiles greedinesse cree­peth upon us unawares, a certaine delight is joynd with our eating. Whereupon it falleth out for the most part, that the refection of body, which wee received for healths sake, we turne to gluttony for pleasures sake. Wherefore we must confesse, that our Right In­tention which striveth to please God alone, an intention which is lesse right doth sometime ac­company by subtilty, which out of Gods gifts, endeavoureth to please men. So that if wee bee [Page 307] strictly examined from above concerning these things, what place of salvation remaineth a­mong the same, forasmuch as our evills are pure evills,Goodnes and the good things which wee beleeve our selves to have, cannot by any meanes be purely good. Greg. l. 35. Mor. c. 16. et ult. Thou maist object: Why therefore did God give man a desire of glory, if all glory must bee refused by man? Why doe men of great worth take such paines to obtaine glory, if to obtaine her be a hai­nous offence? My friend, we con­demne not all glory, but that which is inordinate, and unlaw­full, which insinuates it selfe every where with a pleasing, but thie­vish behaviour, doing this, that the man which is covetous of glory, may seeke to get glory by the vertue which he wanteth, or by any other thing, whereunto such a reward belongeth not. As thou knowest; Glory is the sha­dow of vertue,Gloria umbra virtutis est, invitos eti­am comita­tur. and followeth men whether they will or no. Senec. Epist. 79. Fine. But wee [Page 308] hunt after this shadow too carefully, and embrace too greedily we expect glory not of God, bu [...] of men, and convert the sam [...] when it is gotten, not to God honout, but our owne. Seneca sai [...] most truely: O how ignorant are m [...] which covet glory, What is it, how to be sought for? Senec. [...] 95. Fine. And tell I pray, in wh [...] part of the world, and amo [...] what people desire of honour to be found every way moderate A rare thing indeed — and far rarer then a white Crow.Corvo quo­que rarior albo — It easier utterly to refuse glory, th [...] to seeke it rightly.

So this aire hath some tim [...] blowen upon even the holiest m [...] and women, but it hath blow [...] upon them onely, not infecte [...] or cast them to the ground. Sur [...] ly Dominick, Familia (that illustrious St of his most ample Order) d [...] strive manfully against this pest [...] lent aire. For when at Tolouse h [...] hath turned many unto Chris [...] yet he rather setled his aboad Carcosia. Being demanded th [...] cause thereof: Because, saith h [...] [Page 309] many honour me there, but here all contest with me. The holy man beleeved that it was safer dwel­ling in the midst of peoples hate, then among blandishments and faire reports, and had rather ex­pose himselfe to bee slaine with the darts of vexation,Wounded then vaine glory. (Vita ipsius. l. 4. c. 10. The repulse of honour, is great emi­nency of glory. It shewes rare vertue, for a man to doe great matters, and not know himselfe great, that the sanctity which is manifest to all men, should lye hid onely from the Author. There is nothing harder then to spurne at all glory. Yet for all that it hath bin nobly triumphed over by women also.

Sarah a Prioresse of holy Vir­gins, being a maid of marvellous sanctity, was assaulted thirteene yeares daily, by an uncleane spi­rit, nor would Satan in this lasci­vious humour be otherwise satis­fied, then that she should confesse her selfe a woman, and yeeld to be sweetly wounded. But the Vir­gin most stoutly resisted him, nor [Page 310] ever admitted the enemy withi [...] her doores, alwaies keeping saf [...] the fortresse of her chastity. Th [...] Divell therefore plotted to worke his purpose by another stratagem that whom he could not by lasc [...] viousnesse, he might undermine a [...] leastwise by vaine glory. Nor di [...] the crafty enemy doubt, but t [...] wound her mind not fearing thi [...] weapon, with a stroke that she should never feele. Therefore i [...] was his pleasure after the manne [...] of the Parthians to attempt th [...] Victory by flight, that whom b [...] standing he could not, he migh [...] overcome by running away. Fo [...] that cause the Orcinian sprite appeared openly to her, and as if now he purposed to bee gone without hope of victory, began to cry out with a horrible voice: Thou hast overcome me Sarah, thou hast overcome, thou hast overcome me. But the maid not ignorant how to avoyd this wea­pon also: Not I, saith she, have overcome thee, but my Lord Ie­sus. This is true glory, to trans­ferre all glory to God, as a thing [Page 311] not belonging to us. No body romiseth himselfe a booty from hence without offence.

The Hawke, as Fables tell, derided the Wren, that Bird which useth the water side, that whereas it was not unlike him in colour, yet had such a degenerous stomacke, that it had rather live upon Wormes, and sorry victuals, then feed upon the sweet flesh of other birds. To whom the Wren: There is no reason, saith he, that thou shouldst so much as rejoyce, my Brother, for the good cheere which is none of thine owne, and which thy unjust prolling gets thee. I that am contented with meaner dyet, enjoy greater peace then thou, and the time will come perhaps, when you shall pay deare for your dainty belly, and shall repent too late that ever you tooke up these hunting sports without right or reason. This Bird might have seemed to bee a Prophet. For not many dayes after, the Hawke in the very midst of his game was taken by a Country man, whose Pidgeons [Page 312] he pursued, & hanged out at a high Tower in the manner of other birds, for a terrour to the rest. The Wren saw the Corpse han­ging in the aire a great way off, and presently flying unto it, O my Brother, saith he, how much better hadst thou provided for thy life, to gather Wormes for th [...] meat as I doe, then to follow o­ther mens Fowle, and be made a laughing-stocke to all birds. I [...] thou wouldst not have gone a hunting, thou mightst have beene alive still.

Mutato no­mine de te Fabula nar­ratur.O wretch, O vaine Glory hunter! Change but the name and the Fable is told of thee Thou art that Hawke: but why doest thou hunt after flying re­ports and rumors, why applauses and gratulations, why favour and credit, why flattering speeches and commendations, why popular fame, and specious Titles? No Law permits thee, O Hawke, to fly at this Game. This is not glory, which thou seekest, it is not; thou followest after shadows of Glory, and indeed false, and [Page 313] that to thy destruction. How much happier were it for thee to imitate the Wren, and to feede upon wormes; I say, those, which thy Sepulchre,Grave whither thou art ready to goe, encloseth. Thinke thou of these wormes,Let these Wormes fill up thy thoughts and thou shalt easily despise other folkes birds, the praises of men. Most remarkably Austin: It is better, saith he, to thanke God, but for a small gift, then thy selfe by other courses for a great one. (Aust. Epist. 32. ad Paulinum) Dost thou hope for any thing truely great, or everlasting in this world? here is no continuall possession. Honour gotten by armes, by learning, by wealth, by industry, by deceite, yea by vertue it selfe, vanisheth sooner in a manner, then thou canst fully enjoy it. All the glory of man is but like the Solstitiall Flower.Floris Solsti­tialis. To what purpose doest thou heape sweat upon sweat? so fugitive and inconstant is all praise and favour; it is not held by the bo­dy, nor so much as by the wing, and cannot likewise be stayed by [Page 314] force, no more then the swiftest To rent. Why therefore dost thou let fly thy thoughts upon credit and commendations? knowst thou not that all things which mortals possesse are unstable, and how much the more thou hast obtai­ned, so much the more brittle and dangerous thy estate is.

Vitam agit leporis quicunque va­nus auceps gloriae est.
Hee lives in feare most like a Hare,
Which gapes to bee vaine glories Heire.

And although the event be an­swerable to thy wishes, and for­tune put thee in possession of the things thou hopest for; how great will these be, and for how long? perhaps to morrow, perhaps to day, perhaps this very houre thou shalt be laid along for a tale to posterity, and a prey to wormes. Pliny reporteth, that on the ut­most borders of Jndia there inha­bite the people called Astomi, ha­ving [Page 315] no mouth, their body all hai­ry, clothed with the soft downe of Trees,Cotten leaves living onely by brea­thing, and the smell which they draw at their nostrils. Plin. 9. nat. Hist. c. 2. propius finem. The Cenodoxall or people desirous of vaine glory, have no mouth, where-with either to render due thankes to God, or seriously to commend well deserving men, they are starke naked from the orna­ments of true honour, and have nothing besides haires and leaves, that is, the refuse of humane prai­ses; they live onely by breathing, even by the aire of a little vaine glory, which they draw in at their nostrills, forasmuch as they want a mouth, and never fare more daintily to their mind, then whilst they are commended. O­thers which have a mouth and face, doe then blush and shew signes of bashfulnesse most of all, when this aire is set before them most abound [...]ntly [...] their dyet. Very well that truely religious Writer: He that desir [...] [...], saith he, everlasting and true glory, careth [Page 316] not for temporall. And hee which seeketh for temporall glory, or con­temneth it not in heart, is mani­festly proved to beare the lesse love to heavenly: That man enjoyeth great tranquillity of mind, which regar­deth neither praise nor dispraise. Tho. de Kemp. l. 2. c. 6. n. 2.

Gloriae umbra, est parva magnis, pusillis maxima:
Si compendio asse qui vis gloriam; contemnito. Monost. Trochaic.
Great to the little, little to the great
That shadow seemes, which waites on glories seat.
Wilt thou obtaine all praise in one?
The most praise is, to covet none.

Thou art in an empty Theatre, and that a very narrow one, why dost thou expect applause here? lift up thine eyes to that high and most ample Theatre of Heaven, and thou wilt scorne these ex­treame [Page 317] cold applauders.

Auctior redit, spreta in tempore gloria.
That glory growes to greater head,
Which under foote in time wee tread.

Is it not? because as by rash judgement, so by vaine testimo­nies men offend very frequently, with whom this is a customary errour,Solennis. to dispraise things worthy to be commended, and to com­mend things worthy to bee dis­praised. Thereupon the Christian wise man: I will not bee praised, saith he, by them, whose praise is discredit, neither doe I feare to bee reprehended by them, whose re­proach is praise. Is it not? because many times we please them least of of all, whom we hope to please most. Herodotus. (l. 6. ante finem) relates the Story, how Agarista the daughter of Clisthenes, was desired in marriage, by the sun­dry suites of many. There strove [Page 318] amongst the most flourishig youth of Greece Hippoclides, the Sonne or Tisander, who, as hee perswaded himselfe, was second to none in the most skilfull grace of dancing. Therefore to obtaine the Bride, he thought it necessary to spend all his Art upon that exercise, and he exprest marvel­lous strange motions. He displea­sed many, especially the Father of Agarista, who when the lesson was ended: O Hippoclides, saith he, thou hast lost thy Wife by dancing. When in the meane time the foolish young man tooke himselfe for the skilfullest of them all, and that the maid was due to him onely. So wee silly Creatures, are very often decei­ved with a credulous perswasion, when we believe we please others so exceedingly, because we are so pleasing to our selves before, that every one seemes a miracle in his owne eyes. Some Preacher or other supposeth himselfe to have spoken notably, and none was ta­ken with it. A Musitian imagi­neth, that all will applaude him, [Page 319] and no body praiseth him. A Pain­ter is mightily pleased with him­selfe, for the curiousnesse of his worke, and many find fault with it. A Captaine in warre, expect­eth Crownes and Triumphs,Garlands and is scarce lookt upon with fa­vourable eyes. A Courtier drea­meth mighty favours from the Prince, and is at next doore, to be turned out of the Court. The master of a Play hopeth for I know not what applause, and the Spectators shew disdaine. The Parasite, the Flatterer, the Iester thinkes to make all merry, and none so much as laugheth. Some Iopas with his curled haire, or Hortensius tricked up to an inch,In the nea­test fashi­on promiseth himselfe admira­tion, and praises, and all scoffe him. So silly wretches wee turne their stomacks oftentimes, whom we hoped to allure most of all with our fopperies. We loose the Bride by dancing.

Demosthenes before he was fa­mous for Greeke Oratory, is said to have affected the grace of curi­ous apparrell: for he knew that a [Page 318] [...] [Page 319] [...] [Page 320] lawyer is sold by his habit.Purpura. But after he had obtained the renown of eloquence, being contented with a meaner Gowne, he used to say, that he desired to be a glory to himselfe, by himselfe rather, then by his cloths or exquisite at­tire. For whom his owne honour extolleth, other mens basenesse presseth not downe, and whom his owne basenesse throwes to the ground, other mens honour lifteth not up. That commenda­tion is begged, and no credit to any man, which is sent for alto­gether abroad.Make proofe hereof This I seale up in Chrysostomes words: The glory of this present time is both none,Chrys. Hom. 3. in 1. Epist. ad Tim. and also as uncertaine as the waves: and if it continue for any space, is at length suddenly extinguished.

Sequitur fugientes gloria, sequen­tes sugit. Monost. Trochai.
Glory followes them that fly her,
But flyeth them that would come nigh her.

But it is hard, thou sayest, not to love, not to follow glory, even this which is vaine and fruitlesse. All men have a strong opinion, and conceit of their owne worth, and there liveth in the best men that can bee the sting of I know not what glory, which very sel­dome dyeth so fully, that no seeds remaine behind, which being nourished grow not up to beare leaves and fruit. Ah, how often doe we labour rather fot credit then conscience? Ah what a company have overcome all kind of adversity, which were shame­fully overcome by vaine glory? We returne eftsoones unto our selves, and are resolved into our owne credit. Men put off the de­sire of glory last of all. And where I pray maist thou find them, which turne their backes to all Glory? All of us openly de­test pride, yet we heare Songs in our owne praise without any wound in our eares.And our eares are ne­ver wounded The love of vaine glory is approved by no bo­dy, when in the meane time this sticks fast to all, which all are dis­pleased [Page 322] with. And many times while we forbid our selves to bee praised, we silently invite, that he which began, should not so quick­ly give over: It is a hard matter to abhor glory, to make no ac­count of praise, nor favour of him that praiseth, is hardest of all. No man was ever refractory against his owne glory. Herein yet far­ther Chrysostom agreeth to my mind: How therefore, saith hee, shall we be freed from this hard ser­vitude? If we shall affect another glory, namely that which is true glory. For even as those that are led with fleshly desires, another fairer face being seene, doth separate from the former: so likewise those that are deepely in love with this glory, that faire heavenly glory, if it bee lookt upon, can draw away from this. A man covetous of vaine glo­ry, is like to them which endure tempests, Are wea­ther-beaten. alwaies trembling, al­waies jearing, and waiting upon I know not how many Masters. But he that is out of this slavery, is rightly compared to them, which being set in the haven, doe now en­joy [Page 323] their full liberty. But the other not so, but to as many as hee is knowne, so many Masters he hath, being constrained to serve them all. Chrys. Hom. 17. in Epist. ad Rom. circa finem.

Vniversis singulisque servit ser­vus gloriae.
He that waites on Glories Throne,
Serveth all and every one.
Vetus Troch.

Amongst these one that was no small Lord in Court: (I name him not, but Floresta, who writes of him) Hee met with a certaine man of the Kings House, to whom with a disdainefull coun­tenance: Sirrah, quoth he, what speech of me in the Court? The o­ther blushing at it: None, quoth he, my Lord, neither which ma­keth to your praise, nor against it. This heard the man most greedy of glory, which believed that every ones mouth was taken up with him, and scorning to be no­ted [Page 324] by them that stood and lookt on, presently began to Cudgell the fellow thinking no hurt; after the blowes, he commanded that fifty pieces of Gold should be gi­ven him,Aureis. whereunto hee addeth these words himselfe over and above: Now thou hast matter both of praise and d spraise; make use, and apply it in the Palace. Wilt thou call this man Lord of himselfe? hee serveth a thousand masters, whosoever glory. Nay, he is all mens servant, whosoever is glories. For:

Gloriae servire, mentis non nisi abjectissimae est:
Gloriae servus nihil rectè inchoat, nil perficit.
To serve glory is the kind
Of no other then the basest mind.
Who on glory doth attend,
Nothing begins, nor rightly brings to end.

Rightly, least the end should not be answerable to his begin­ning. One thing therefore, saith [Page 325] Chrysostom, let us have an eye un­to onely, to that let all our intentions be directed even which way wee may deserve to be praised at Gods mouth. Does not that or that man praise thee? thou loosest nothing thereby: and if any one discom­mend thee, thou art not a jot hurt: for whether it be praise or dispraise, it receiveth gaine or losse onely from God. As for all humane things, they are utterly vaine. Truely, most vaine. This was the mind, this the Doctrine of our Saviour Iesus Christ, whose learning when the Iewes wondred at, and said: How knoweth this man letters, ha­ving never learned? Hereunto the true Master of Humility: My Doctrine, quoth he, is not mine, but his that sent me. Ioh. 7.16. So when he wrought Miracles, and healed men of most desperate infirmities,For the most part hee charged that they should tell no man. This was done for our instruction, that If we would glory, wee should glory in the Lord, for not he that commendeth himselfe, is approved, but whom GOD commends. [Page 326] 2 Cor. 10.18. Therefore, a Seneca very excellently hath ad­monished, Let the conscience be discharged, let us take no paines a [...] all for Fame. And accordingl [...] Annaeus compelling himselfe here unto:Nihil opini­onis causa, omnia con­scientiae fa­ctam. I will doe nothing, saith he for love of opinion, all things fo [...] conscience sake. Sen. l. 3. de Ir: c. 41. et devit. beat. c. 20 Bernard confirming these things i [...] fuller tearmes: Our Intention saith he, shall be pure, if in ever [...] thing that we doe, we seeke eithe [...] the honour of God, or the profit o [...] our Neighbour, or a good conscience God in times past decreed unde [...] paine of death, a thing at first sight of small moment, that none should burne perfumes appointed for the service of God in any pro­phane use:Ordained You shall not make to your selves according to the compo­sition thereof. It shall be unto thee holy for the Lord. Whosoever shall make like to that, to smell there­unto, shall even be cut off from the people Exod. 30. ver. 3.9.38. Glory is a precious perfume, but it is due to God, and to him [Page 327] onely. What man soever thou art, beware to touch these Odours, it is a matter of death: To God onely be all honour and glory. With a vi­gilant care therefore, saith Grego­ry, in all things that we doe, we must weigh our intention, that it may aime at nothing Temporall, in whatsoever it performeth, but fixe it selfe wholly upon the soli­dity of Eternity, least if the buil­ding of our Actions have no foundation to stay it, the earth may sinke, and bring it to confusi­on. (Greg. l. 28. Mor. c. 6. pro­pius finem.) Whosoever loveth a good intention, must needs hate vaine glory, or else he makes no great account of Heaven.

We have treated at large con­cerning this plague of a Right In­tention.Rancour But the malignity of this disease which is so obstinate and common every where, requireth that we discourse farther of the very same, in the Chapter fol­lowing.

CHAP. V. Finally what Vaine Glory is, at how shamefully it murdereth a Right Intention, un­lesse it be pre­vented.

VAine Glory is a huge Rocke, upon which there are scarce­ly any men, but either suffer ship­wracke, or at least damage. What Marriner is there so skilfull, which can take heed enough, not to split his Vessell upon this Rocke? And looke how diverse vaine glory is in her selfe, so many severall names she hath obtained of an­cient Writers. Basil: Let us be­ware, saith he, of that sweet Spy of spirituall Workes, that pleasing enemy of our Soules, that moth of vertues, that most fauning robber of good deeds, and that some paintresse of poison, in a hony colour. (Basil. de constit. Mon. c. 11.) Fit Titles [Page 329] for us to bestow. The sweet Spy, saith he, of spirituall Workes, like to treacherous Delilah, which with soothing blandishments be­reaved Sampson of his strength, and delivered him to his enemies. The Soules pleasing enemy, and kil­leth the more cruelly, the more it delighteth, and as Cyprian aptly: Whilst it lifteth up,Dum extollit, emollit; et puln git, cum un­git. it pulleth downe; and woundeth, when it healeth. The Moth of Vertues, Vaine Glory. And withall as out of the more precious Garment,Salveth is bred the stronger Worme, which teares and gnawes about her Pa­rents, so out of the nobler vertue, proceedeth the vainer glory, and more pernitious, the death of her mother. The most flattering robber of good workes. She allureth, and delighteth, shee provoketh, and perswadeth, that she may mur­ther, and despoile the soule of [...] goods. The Painter of Poyson. Ah! what man is so religious and holy, that hee can espy and beware of all her treacheries?

But how audacious and hurt­full this vice is above the rest, [Page 330] egregiously Chrysostom: There is nothing, saith he, secure from this enemy, which like a contagious dis­ease corrupteth all things. Christ our Lord exhorted, that wee should lay up our treasures in hea­ven, whither neither Thiefe approacheth, and where the Moth maketh no spoyle. Neverthelesse vaine glory reacheth up thither and many times the things which one had treasured up in Heaven through the fruit of good workes one assault of vaine glory destroyeth, consumeth, and utterly confoundeth. Chrys. Hom 72. in Mat In the very same man [...]er Basil. Vain Glory, saith he, is a crafty Deceiver, and even in the very closure of Heaven, Contriver of plots a placer of wiles agains [...] us. Basil. in Constitut. Mon. c. 11. Peter Chrysologus no lesse elo­quently of this mischiefe: It is saith he, a subtile evill, a secret poyson, hidden venome, the staine of vertue, the moth of Sanctity. All adverse things contend with their owne strength, fight with their owne Weapons, impugne openly, whereby they are both [Page 331] as easily avoyded, as seene: but this by cruell Art heweth vertues asunder with the sword of ver­tues, killeth fasting with fasting,In pieces emptieth the force of prayer by prayer, overthroweth mercy with pitty: this vice of remedies cre­ates diseases, and of medicine ma­keth longer infirmities.

Eleazar the Hebrew, that jew­ell of Noble men, that hee alone might overcome a whole Army, tooke upon himselfe to slay the Kings Elephant, for Hee supposed that the King was upon it. 1. Mach. 6.43. Therefore taking his Dag­ger, he ranne most couragiously under the Beast, and thrust him into the belly, where it is softest, so that withall he fell downe un­der the Elephant which hee had slaine, and remained, as Ambrose speaketh, buried in his owne Tri­umph. Triumpho suo sepultus, A marvellous exployr! We also bestir our selves in Bat­tell, but vices stand and fight a­gainst us with diverse manner of assaults. Here the first and grea­test labour is to overthrow the Elephant of our flesh. But alasse [Page 332] poore wretches that we are, who [...] many times the Victory it self oppresseth and destroyeth, whils [...] we fall downe under the enem [...] which we overcome. We suppres [...] the wantonizing flesh with fas [...] ings, watchings, and other rigorous courses, but are overthrown and buried in this our very Tr [...] umph, being slaine not by th [...] flesh, but by vaine glory. To [...] much selfe-conceit (and that [...] we have by nature, of admirin [...] and esteeming our selves and o [...] owne things) cuts our throates after we are Conquerours. A p [...] tifull exploit! Epictetus hee [...] sweetly producing a noble example: Even as the Sun, saith hee expecteth not prayers and entre [...] ties, to make him rise, but present [...] shineth, and is joyfully received [...] all: So neither doe thou expect applauses, nor stirs or praises, [...] make thee doe good, but doe well [...] thine accord, and thou shalt likewis [...] be as welcome as the Sunne. Stobaeus de Magistrat.

The Ostritch, a notable embleme of folly, is a Bird fo [...] [Page 333] bulke of body not incomparable to a Camell, in which respect it is also called a Camell-Ostritch,Struthio Ca­melus. but the head small, like a Ducks; it hath large wings like an Hawk, but never flyeth; in the manner of a foure-footed beast. It bring­eth forth eggs in marvellous a­boundance, yet preserve [...] not many of them, but leaveth them in the dust to be troad upon by Passengers. She loveth the Chick­ens mightily when they bee hatcht, but cruelly neglecteth the same. He that sueth for the praises of men, is not inferiour to the Ostrich in folly, it hath wings very like a Pelican. The winges of holy men where-with they are advanced on high, are prayers, almes-deeds, fastings, watchings, which those Ostriches want not, but they are not lifted up on high with them, they cleave close to the earth, nor covet any thing else, then To bee seene. And although they bring forth young, pious actions, which they love also themselves, and esteeme very much, and would have to bee lo­ved [Page 334] and esteemed of others, neverthelesse they commit these deare Children to places not covert, and without security, and expose the things they doe to ope [...] sight,They long to be pub­licke. They love to pray standin [...] in the Synagogues, and in the corners of the streets, to bee seene [...] men: They disfigure their faces that they may appeare to men t [...] fast. (Matt. 6.5. and 16. Tha [...] Caine by envy, Abiram by pride Zambri by luxury, Iscariot by covetousnesse, the Purple-cloathe Glutton by excesse should ru [...] headlong to Hell was no marvell: this is a marvell, and mor [...] then a marvell, that there bee no [...] a few, which by prayers, absti­nence, almes-deeds, and mos [...] worthy goe to the Infernall Pit O most foolish Ostriches! There­fore Let us not be desirous of vain [...] glory. Gal. 5.26. Chrysostom: If thou lovest glory, saith hee, ra­ther love that which is from God. (Hom. 2. and 28. in Iohan.) How foolish is that Champion or Fencer, which hath the King, and all his Royall Traine, to bee [Page 335] Spectators of his Combat, and for his reward s [...]es a Crowne pre­pared all set with Iewels, he not withstanding asketh a poore blind Begger,Played his part whether hee did well, and for the prize of his va­lour requireth of him,Scarabaeus a shining Beetle, or a painted Bead. Wee also are within the listes, as ma­ny as are alive, being made a Spectacle to the world, to Angels, and to men. (1 Cor. 4 9.) but fooles and mad men, how well we have behaved our selves, we enquire of them, which can no way perceive the Acts of hidden vertue, and also greedily re eive a few cold praises at their hands in the place of a reward. But is not this most egregious folly, to performe great matters, as Gre­gory speaketh,Greg. l. Su­pra cit. maxi­me l. 8. Mo­ral. and gape after the aire of praise, with strong endea­vour to attend the heavenly pre­cepts, and looke for the reward of an earthly recompence? Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a Spiders Web. Iob. 8.14. The Spider runs about hi­ther and thither, and marvellous­ly [Page 336] wearieth her selfe, and goeth backward and forward sixe hun­dred times, draweth threads o [...] of her belly,Scio alio: a­liter sentire. and maketh a toile to ensnare the poorest little creatures, spreading it abroad in th [...] manner of a Net. This woave [...] worke of the Spider, is a thing o [...] much labour and marvellous subtilty, but to bring this to utter confusion, there is no need of Hammers or Axes, or Guns, a littl [...] stronger blast then ordinary carrieth it all away. Looke I pray uppon the sweating and running abou [...] of busie people, how they struggle, how they strive to the utmost, how they goe to it, Omnibus, ut decitur, un­gulis. and that with their whole body, and with all foure, as they say! they breake and ex­haust themselves with diverse bu­sinesses, goe into shops, have recourse to places of Iustice, take notice o [...] Schooles, Offices looke into Princes Courts, and thou wilt wonder at the mise­rable industry of many. So many months, and likewise so many yeares labours come to naught often in a moment of time, for where a Right Intention is wanting, all la­bour [Page 337] vanisheth into wind, the aire of humane favour carrieth away all things, And his trust shall be as a Spiders Web:

He reporteth which gave credit to his eyes, That he saw an Earle of great renowne, Noble-man who being very grievously offended by his Sonne, whereas he esteemed it not fit, to take any revenge for the present, invented this kind of punishment. Looking by chance upon his Sons Picture, hee tooke it downe from the wall, and without delay tore it in pieces, making this the most fa­vourable argument of a fathers in­dignation. Hee desired his Sonne should have so much discretion, as to confesse at last of his owne ac­cord, that himselfe did owe the punishment, which his picture pay­ed. Hierom. Nuza. Tom. 1. Tract. 2. par. 2. They say also that the Persians, when they are to punish a great man, doe plucke off his Robe, and the tyare from his head, Tiaram, and hanging them up, doe beate the same, as if it were the man him­selfe. Christ our Lord inflicted a judgement not much unlike this, [Page 338] upon such as are desirous of vaine glory. Our Saviour saw in the way a Fig-tree full of leaves, but bearing no fruit, therefore giving severe sentence against it and be­reaving it of all life: Let no fruit, saith he, grow on thee henceforth for ever, and presently the Fig-tree withered away Mat. 21.19 This Tree, so beautifull for leaves, but empty of fruit, is a right re­semblance of them, which serve for outward shew, but want a Right Intention. These that Christ might terrifie, whilst hee spared them, pulled their picture in pieces with execrations, that the displeasure which they had deserved, they might behold in their Image. Wee wonder that our first parents of all, were so grievously punished for tasting of but one Apple. For what Dioclesi­an or Phalaris, for a few Figgs, or two or three little flowers, or onely for an Apple, ever sent a thousand men to the Gibbet? Why therefore did God condemn not a thousand men, but innu­merable millions of men to eter­nall [Page 339] death? not for plucking up one little Tree, but despoyling it of an Apple, and th [...]t onely one? That might have seemed, saith Theodoret, a childish Precept, and fit for Infants: Eate thou n [...]t of this Tree. Why therefore is the transgression revenged with such continuall severity? Worthily without question, because this most easie charge, and not trou­blesome for Children the First of mankind refused to performe.Protoplasti. If God had commanded any great and difficult matters, they might have had some excuse for their fault. But whereas most free liberty was granted them over all the Trees of Paradise, one onely excepted, it was an in­tolerable offence, and worthy of so gre t a punishment, that they would not abstaine their hands so much as from that one, which was so seriously forbidden them. From hence then it appeares, how much also God detesteth those, which goe about most un­justly to fore-stall him of his glo­ry, which he will have to be onely [Page 340] due unto himselfe: God hateth all sinfull people, but hee also resisteth the proud and arragant. ( [...]am. 4.6) even them, whom this vice which is neare kinne to Idolatry hath infected. The truth it selfe standeth for a wit­nesse: and, How, saith he, can yee beleeve, which receive honour one of another, and seeke not the honour which commeth from God onely, Ioh. 5.44. O wretches, a Theatre is set up for you in Heaven, and yet yee gather Spectators upon earth. Chrysost. in Epist. ad Rom. Hom. 17. ante finem, ubi plura huc faci­entia licet videre.

Augustine strucke at the rable of old Philosophers, with the weapon which hee tooke from them, after this manner. They set up an Image of this fashion A Queene, having neither attire nor countenance befitting that dignity, yet sate in a high Chaire of Estate, the Queenes name was Pleasure. Close by her stood a troupe of noble Damosels, The Vertues, like Hand maids ready at every backe of their Mistresse. [Page 341] These the wanton Lady tired with diverse commands, and now she gave charge to Prudence, now to Fortitude, now to Temperance, what they should performe in her service. Well, saith Austin, did the Philosophers expresse, what they pleased, in this picture, but plaine­ly to prove the desire of Glory, Praise wherewith they themselves were exceedingly possest. Therefore let us draw a Table like to that be­fore, but in the roome of Plea­sure let us place Vaine Glory, upon whose command the Vertues may waite in that manner, that Pru­dence may provide nothing, Iustice distribute nothing, Fortitude en­dure nothing, Temperance mo­derate nothing, but what is en­joyned by Vaine Glory, and hoped will please the eyes of others. And what I pray is more unreasonable then this wicked Government? That the most filthy monster, that anticke shadow of true Glo­ry, should triumph thus over. Most Royall Queenes, the vertues and make them subject whether they will or no, to her full de­testable [Page 342] power? even thus the case standeth, men live after this manner, in this sort they spend their service, these are the specta­cles of the world, these the mira­cles thereof very weighty, I con­fesse, and oftentimes of much sweat and trouble, but not hard to the greedy appetite of praise, all things come flowing under the lovely dominion of Vaine Glory; Vertues themselves degenerate into this sweet affection, and will not have their generous stout­nesse to be much assaulted in this point, but readily yeeld to the pleasure of counterfet Glory. But, Verily I say unto you, they have their reward Math. The Romanes which were Lords of the World, how bravely did they performe many things, how excellent were they in peace and warre? how praise-worthy their Iustice,Notable how exquisite their Pru­dence, how famous their Clemen­cy, how invin [...]ible their Forti­tude, their Temperance how il­lustrious, how pure and impene­trable their Chastity, how admira­ble [Page 343] their Constancy? But they had their reward. Augustine be­ing a most plentifull Witnesse: The honour and glory, saith he, wherewith God made the Ro­mans most illustrious, was the wages of the good workes they did, nor have they any cause to complaine of the Iustice of the great and living God Aug. l. 5. De Civit. c. 1 [...]. Their workes were singular, but they had a re­ward fit for them. They were ambitious of glory, and surely they obtained it. The bounds of the Romane Empire were, the compasse of the earth, and the Ocean, so that whatsoever was convenient or worthy to bee won they overcame. Therefore they made the East and West their borders, except a few places with­out accesse or inhabitants, or else of no regard. They had their re­ward The most upright God lets passe no vice, nor yet vertue without punishment or reward. Whereupon to those better Acti­ons, which yet his Will is not to endue with Heaven, he assigneth [Page 344] a recompence proportionable, and out of Heaven: they have their revvard,Receive but so that they may not have an eternall one. Ah, how much paines is taken every where, but these paines are nothing to Heaven. I beseech you, let us but looke onely into Princes Courts, of what a diverse kind are servi­ces here, of what exact industry, of what fine patience, of what cu­rious trust, of what active policy? to stand whole dayes, and many times all [...]ll night, or to run to and [...] wearinesse, to endure the envy of many, to be ready [...] all points [...]f service, is the daily use there And there are which p [...]forme all these things with m [...]st [...] of carri­ [...]e, but they desire nothing else [...] and favour. They have their reward For they tooke no thought how deare they [...]hould be to God, but how deare to the [...]. Others that are de­p [...]ed to busin [...] [...]es and the sub­tilty of cares in Pr nces Courts, send forth most vigil [...]nt eyes eve­ry way, that no detriment happen [Page 345] to the Kings Treasures or ho­nours, but often these good men, whilst they looke to all things with most attentive carefulnesse, they reckon not their owne soule among the things to be cared for; so they stuffe their purses, so they lose not the Princes favour, they thinke it lawfull, in the meane while to bee negligent of them­selves and Heaven, and scarce ever call themselves to account, they conferre with their owne consci­ence very seldome, and no other­wise then by chance, they examine not their intention in the things they goe about: Of all other mat­ters they know how to conferre sweetly, but very hardly endure to heare one discoursing for an houre of Heaven. At a word, They use not to bee present at home, and speake with their owne persons, being more faithfull to all other than themselves. And these likewise Have their reward, the aire of humane favour, and gold a piece of shining earth, alas an inheritance, that endures no longer then we stay here. There­fore, [Page 346] Looke to your selves (O Cour­tiers, O whatsoever others) that yee loose not the things which you have wrought, but that yee may receive a full reward. Ioh. 2. Epist. v. 8. Be ye industrious and dili­gent in your places? this is well indeed: But because you will have notice taken of your diligence,Be noted for this now is ill: nay this now is worst of all, that many times yee take no care how diligent and industrious you are, as how yee may seeme to be. Looke there­fore to your selves, least you also heare in time to come:Receberunt mercedem suam. They have their reward.

Iephthaes Daughter in times past went out to meet her Father returning from Warre, to sing the praises of a most loving parent, and withall to congratulate his victory and Triumph. Iephtha heard with what glorious tearmes the maid extolled her Father, but yet for reward of her praises, he slew her that set them forth, al­though against his owne will. Iudg. 11 39 A wonderfull ad­venture, and to be imitated of us [Page 347] as neare as we can. Wee also are in War, and never want enemies: should the Divell give over his fierce assaults, yet the flesh alone which is never but refractory,Stirreth up wa­geth continuall Warre: After we have behaved our selves like Con­querours in this fight, this daugh­ter of ours commeth forth to meet us, with stately Elogies in our commendation. This is, as Origen explaineth,Orig. Hom. 5. in Ge [...]. ad s. Vaine Glory, which then appeareth most of all furnished with praises, when the matter is carried happily and with good successe: When thou hast gi­ven meanes to an Hospitall, when thou hast built a Church, when thou hast beene long at prayers, when thou hast endowed a poore maid, when thou hast bestowed more libe­rall almes, when observed a stricter fast, then that flattering daughter presents her selfe by the way, with full mouth, commending whatsoe­ver is done, and like a sweet Song, ingeminating these or the like words: How excellently;Sounding forth how godly and laudably this; how religiously and holily that; what a [Page 348] good example will this prove? a noble deed, who can deny it? the matter speaketh, thou hast excelled thy selfe: so it was fit­ting, and would to God many vvould imitate thee: thou hast done bravely. In these tearmes the Conquerours flattering daugh­ter applaudeth him. What now is to bee done? Course to be taken Sterne af­fection Thou, if thou bee a man, and desirest thy labours should not be in vaine, put on here a grave disposition, and with a generous hand kill that soothing Gossip, whatsoever thou hast done, passe it wholly to God together with all the glory, and stoutly resume the Right Intention, which thou tookest unto thee at the first offer. Augu­stine giving encouragement here­unto: This desire, saith he, with­out doubt is better resisted, then suffered, [...] s [...]cu [...]quam faello est lats de [...]arere dum donega­tur, [...] est ea non de­lectari, cum effertur. For none perceiveth the force of this enemy, but he that stands at defyance with it, be­cause although to want praise be easie to any man, whilst it is de­nyed, it is hard not to be deligh­ted therewith, when it is offered. Every one is so much the more [Page 349] like to God, as hee is freer from this pollution. Aug. l. 5. de Civit. c. 14. ipso initio. & Epist. 64. ad finem. But what man is he which can sufficiently beware of all vaine glory? Iephtha could hard­ly hinder his daughter from com­ming forth to meet him, but hee was able to make her not sing, or finish her life sooner then her song, by taking away her voice and breath together. So how re­ligious and holy soever a man be, he can hardly withstand, but that vaine glory after many fa­mous deeds will come to meet him, but that she will begin to sing and tickle him in the eare, but he can, nay ought to prohi­bit, that the Song should be sung out Therefore let him make no delay to detest this meeting, to ruin away from the Charme of the praiser, to kill the Enchantresse her selfe, this glory with a Right Intention, if he desire to please GOD, rather then himselfe. Vaine Glory murdereth all Right Intention, if she be not prevented, and slaine her selfe at the first ap­proach. [Page 350] Questionlesse Vaine Glo­ry as Chrysostom very rightly, is a cruell beast,Monster an horible Divell, the plague of the whole earth, a venemous Viper,Chrysost. H. 12. in Epist. ad Rom. 2. for even as that beast teareth open the Dam [...] belly with her nailes, so likewise this vice pulleth the parent of i [...] in peeces. And how worthily that Author Thomas of Kempis: Without doubt, saith hee, Vaine Glory is an evill sicknesse, an ex­ceeding great vanity, because it draweth men away from the true Glory, and despoileth them of hea­venly Grace. For while a man wholly pleaseth himselfe, hee dis­pleaseth thee. Whilst hee coveteth humane praises, he is deprived of true Vertues. Let the Iewes seeke that glory which commeth from one another, I will seeke for that which commeth from God. For all hu­mane glory, all temporall honour, all worldly pomp, being compared to thy eternall glory, is very vanity and idlenesse. (Kemp. l. 3. c. 40. n. 4. et 6.) And if we give credit to Climachus, Vaine Glory is the consumption of labours, the de­struction [Page 351] of paines, the trapper of treasures, the child of false-hood, the fore-runner of pride, ship­wracke in the Haven, an emmet in the Barne, which although it be little, yet layeth waite to steale all the paines and profits. The emmet lyeth waiting till the Corne be brought in, but Ceno­doxy whilst much wealth be hea­ped up: she rejoyceth that shee may play the Theefe, but this the Destroyer. (Clim. grad. 21. de Ceno [...].) A labouring man, saith the Sonne of Sirach, which is gi­ven to drunkennesse, shall not bee rich, because whatsoever hee ear­neth by honest labour, he consumeth vainely when he is drunke. Eccli. 19.1. But I feare that many doe not sufficiently understand these lessons. For now adayes we love these courses, that when any vice is sharply touched, you shall easily find none, which will confesse that he is troubled with it, nei­ther can you draw a sincere con­fession from him by a thousand witnesses. And who is it that will confesse himselfe stately,Acknow­ledge and [Page 352] be sorry for it? When yet Augustine a very holy Bishop, in hi [...] owne particular pronounceth tha [...] he was not wholly free from th [...] fault, for elegantly accusing himselfe:Song This is my daily Lesso [...] saith hee, and yet skirmishi [...] strongly with the adversary, ma [...] times I receive wounds from hi [...] being not able clearely to avoyd t [...] delight of praise when it is offer [...] me. Aug. Epist. 64. ad Aure [...] Episc. fine. We truely all condemn vaine glory, not all contemne i [...] There is no body, but beleeveth that he cleanlily concealeth thi [...] sicknesse: many will sweare tha [...] they are as sound as a Bell from this disease, when they are mightily infected therewith, very like to those Drunkards, which the [...] seeme most wise in their owne conceite, and to be in right sence and doe all passing well, whe [...] their tongue and feet both trip So they that thirst after a little vaine glory, doe then principally admire themselves for religious honest men, when they are nota­bly tipled with this sweet licour. [Page 353] To that purpose Chrysostom: Vaine Glory, saith he, is an intolle­rable kind of drunkennesse, whatso­ever it doth, it doth for other mens sake. Chrysost. Hom. 2. in Ioh. For that cause Christ so often re­peateth that faithfull premoniti­on: Take heede, that wee should beware of vaine glory with all diligence, as a most subtile and cunning Theefe in the Art of stealing. Therefore Take heede, All goodnesse which is openly shewed out of a desire of com­mendation, is enslaved to the power of this lurking enemy, saith Greg. l. 8. Mor. c. 30.Spoliari vult, quisquis ab hominibus vult videri. He desi [...]eth to be robbed of all, whosoever will be seene of men.

CHAP. VI. Certaine Questions concerning a Right Intention.

TO Serve GOD, is agreeable not onely to all Lawes, and all reason, but also is the most [Page 354] noble and best Office in th [...] World, and a thing altogethe [...] necessary for the obtaining [...] Heaven. Moreover that sweetne [...] of solace, which many feel [...], th [...] doe serve God, is honey fro [...] Heaven, and a thing very pret [...] ous. Neverthelesse to serve G [...] for that end to gaine this swee [...] nesse of mind, is little praise wo [...] thy, and this intention was a [...] waies accounted vitious by m [...] of a more holy judgement. S [...] delicate a thing is Pure Intentio [...] and never but an enemy to self [...]-love, which way soever it m [...] insinuate it selfe. But selfe-love the friend of all delights, a [...] even of them which are esteeme in no wise prophane.Are in no prophane estimation And becau [...] God cannot otherwise choose b [...] drop some of this honey fro [...] Heaven for his more faithfull se [...] vants, private love suddenly tak [...] it up, and for this very tast, profereth it selfe to be at greater se [...] vi [...]es. But this is not to see [...] God, but ones selfe, nor to ta [...] paines for the Givers, but the gif [...] sake, which is esteemed a thin [...] [Page 355] not throughly free from sin, and indeed is no other, then if a Man-servant, or Maid should goe into a Victualers service, be­cause he hopeth for tit bits either of gift, or by stealth, and relicks more ordinary of his Masters Dishes: or if one became bound to an Apothecary, or Comfit-seller, or one that dresseth Feasts, that hee may have sweet scraps to licke more usually. This self-love worketh so privily, for it is a most suttle Artificer, that sometimes so close an imposture,Can may not bee found out a great while even of a man that is very industrious.Circumspect Yet may it bee found out, and then especially when prayers, and paines, when whatsoever is vertu­ous, beginneth therefore to be in disdaine, because that honey fai­leth. And if you should demand of such a one, why dost thou not pray, why dost thou not labour, as thou didst lately? he will an­swere, because it relisheth not, I loath it, prayer is an unpleasant thing, I am weary of labour. But now he that is of a sincere Inten­tion, [Page 356] is nothing moved with the things: although he be wearie [...] labour, yet he holds out to [...] paines, although he distast p [...] er, yet he ceaseth not to pray; though troubles be heaped up him, yet he endureth them, [...] indeed hee serveth God not [...] Heaven, but for God, And [...] is the property of a pure and [...] cere intention, which seemeth to be expounded more through therefore now we will propo [...] some short questions concern [...] this very point.

1. Briefe question.

What can God require lesse more easie of us, then this ve [...] thing, a Right Intention? T [...] speak truly, he desireth that [...] us, which no man of what sta [...] order, or se [...]e soever, how po [...] or sick soever hee be, can de [...] what can a creditour demand le [...] of his debtor, then this partic [...] lar thing that he should be willi [...] in earnest to pay the debt? G [...] asketh the very same of us: a [...] [Page 357] thou willing to pay what thou owest? thou hast already payed the greatest part, for with me but to be willing, is to doe. And who hath not free leave to be Willing? this treasury of Will, every one that is sickest and poorest, this he that is most afflicted hath in his power. God in times past wor­thily complaineth against them, which refused to performe but this most gentle Charge: This Commandement which I command thee this day, is not hidden from thee, neither is it farre off, neither is it in Heaven, that thou shouldst say? Who shall goe vp for us to Heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may heare it and doe it. Nei­ther is it beyond the Sea, that thou shouldst say: Who shall goe over the Sea for us, and bring it unto us, that wee may heare it and doe it. But the Word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart, that thou maist doe it. Deuter. 30.11.13, 14. The very same may be said of a Right Intention, It is very nigh thee, that Intention, is in thy mouth, and in thy heart, [Page 358] but what is nearer unto thee the [...] thy mouth and thy heart? A [...] thou not able to cloath a poo [...] body? give two halfe penie [...] adde thereunto a mighty and ea [...] nest desire of releeving all th [...] are in want for Gods sake, a [...] thou hast cloathed the poore. Is beyond thy strength, to po [...] forth long prayers? doe wh [...] thou art able, but withall adde strong desire of praising God a [...] waies, and thou hast prayed [...] him as long as can bee. I brin [...] Chrysostom before thee for a compleat witnesse in this poynt, wh [...] elegantly confirming the same These things, saith hee, are no [...] provided by cost, nor labour, no [...] sweat; it is enough to bee willing and all things are discharged. Chry­sost. Hom. 24. in Epist. [...] Hebr. fine.

2. Briefe Question.

Can a man exercise diverse good Actions at one and the same time? he can absolutely, and with small trouble, onely by in­tention. [Page 359] It is not easie indeed for all men, to finish two white walls with one Tray of Morter; to seeth diverse broths together in one Pipkin, to take severall co­lours out of the same Shell. But it is very easie for a good intention to over lay not onely two, but ten walls with the same Vessell of plaister. It is very commodious indeed, at the beginning of every worke, to set before one diverse ends or intentions. Let this bee for example: I goe to Divine Ser­vice, and to the Church. 1. Out of ob [...]dience to my Master, whom by place I ought to accompany, as the Court Nobility her Prince. 2. I will have my respect to be sincere, I will not onely conduct my Master a long, as it is the fashion of some, pre­sently they withdraw themselves, and at the end stand before their Master againe, as if they had been alwaies present: Such an hypocrite will I not play, 3. Out of obedience to the Church, to which I owe this upon Sundayes and Holydaies. 4. Out of a gratefull minde to God, that I may give him thankes for so [Page 360] many benefits received. 5. Wher [...] as it is cold weather to day, a [...] very sharpe season, I will exert patience. 6. Whereas they [...] not wanting that cruelly hate [...] J will earnestly entreat the [...] mighty for these mine enemies 7 will trust in God; Without cause I might ind [...] find businesse enough at home, [...] God will recompence this abse [...] from home with a secret adv [...] tage. Behold here seaven Int [...] tions at once, or seaven Acts Vertue, of double obedien [...] sincerity, a gratefull mind, P [...] ence, Charity, Trust in GO [...] There might bee added so ma [...] more also: For this verily is [...] Pillar of smoake perfumed w [...] Myrrhe, and Frankincense, t [...] with all Powders of the Mercha [...] Cant. 3.6. But thou wilt [...] perhaps: It is too hard for [...] to multiply so many Acts, and it were with one breath to inte [...] so many things in my mind. T [...] Counsell therefore I give the [...] good friend, embrace the o [...] and onely Will of God in th [...] mind, and whatsoever thou doest [Page 361] alwaies premit this For thy sake O Lord, I will performe both this, and that, and the other, and all things. For thy sake O Lord, for thy honour, for thy pleasure, for thee especially it is done, whatsoever is done of me. But hee which will follow the steps of those familiar men with God, hath a Leader which can shew them the way, unto this more lofty wisedome. The most holy King David undoubtedly joyned these intentions together, in his actions, and the government of such a mighty people, for those that were committed to the tuiti­on of his care and Scepter,Whom he received into &c. he fed them according to the integrity of his heart: and guided them by the skilfulnesse of his hands. Psal 78.72 What meaneth this? have hands also understanding? yes many waies, even such as David endued his hands with. For so the most wise and vertuous King in his Actions, which hee calleth hands, did combine diverse kinds of most excellent affections to­wards God, What else are the [Page 362] sacred verses of this King, then the quintessence of most noble affections, the treasure of most holy Intentions? What did King David more frequently breathe in sighes then this: O that I might please thee Lord: that I might rightly governe the peo­ple committed to my charge: that I might propagate thy Worship over all the earth: would to God I might never but praise thee, would to God all my members might be­come tongues to warble out thy praises. My lips will bee faine when I sing unto thee. Psal. 71 20. My song shall be alway of the loving kindnesse of the Lord. Psal. 89.1. I refuse not to instruct the very wicked, that they may re­turne unto thee, O my God. Let me be the vilest and most regard­lesse, so I may bee in thy House my Lord. Let the enemies of God, let all them that hate God come to nought. But let it be [...] well with the Servants, well with the friends of God, well with all that love God.Vnder­standing Loe what excel­lent skilfulnesse of hands is here! [Page 363] a thousand such things did the soule of the Hebrew Monarch breathe forth! Truely,Mind according to the skilfulnesse of his hands, he guided the people like Sheepe, he solicited Heaven with innumera­ble good intentions. This is that holy violence to bee offered vali­antly unto Heaven. Hee taketh Heaven by force, he over-com­meth God, which in this man­ner, so often assaulteth Heaven, and God with desires.

3. Briefe Question.

What doth very much defile a Right Intention? Selfe-love. To speake in a word: when one deriveth all things in a sweet current to himselfe, and maketh this all his thoughts. This plea­seth me, this agreeth with my tast; this is for my good, my benefit; this is done according to my fancy and liking; this is pleasant and delightfull to mee, to conclude, this maketh mee a man. This selfe-love is a Savage Bull, a filthy Monster, it pusheth against a Right Intention with [Page 364] foure Hornes. The first is the Horne of honour, Titles, greed [...] nesse of Praise, which holds th [...] in great estimation, to be eminen [...] and observed before other me [...] The second Horne, is greedine [...] of delight, which teacheth to receive meat and drinke, not s [...] much for necessity as pleasure nor to sit downe at meales, t [...] assw [...]ge hunger, but to pacif [...] the Gut. The same course it keepeth in other refections of th [...] body. The third horne is Gredinesse of wealth, which laye [...] on many and grievous labou [...] in that respect onely, that th [...] Purse may swell bigger and begger. The fourth Horne, is Gree­dinesse of other mens hurt, th [...] being furnished with manifo [...] deceit, speaketh and doeth th [...] which may endamage others, [...] least which may prove a troubl [...] which an offence, which dista [...] to them: and yet doth it not a [...] waies endeavour the destructio [...] of others by open assault, it many times it practiseth evill s [...] fin [...]ly,A loose off and with such a compasse [Page 365] that it may seeme to desire no­thing lesse, then to hurt them whom it hateth. A daily and per­nitious mischiefe to Princes, with whom they that are graci­ous, under pretence of ayding or giving advise, doe glut their en­vy, and sometimes highly extoll them that are in the way of fa­vour, that afterward they may be more readily beleeved, when they bring accusations. Thus Selfe-love is an horned Beast, which buts and throwes downe all good intention with this four­fold horne; take heed. The de­sire of private advantage,Pessimum veri affectus venenum est, sua cuique utilitas. is the deadly poyson of all true affecti­on. Therefore Selfe-love aimeth at this, that every where it may be well in flesh, it feedeth it selfe, looketh to it self, and doeth as he in times past, of whom Gel­lius reporteth. When one that was corpulent, and shined with fat had a leane Horse that was nothing but skin and bones, being demanded what might be the cause, that he looked far better then his Horse? Shewed answered, it ought to seeme no [Page 366] wonder, if he were in better pligh [...] then his Horse, forasmuch as he himselfe was his owne keepe [...] but his man Statius his Horse Gell. l. 4. Noct. Attic. c. 2 [...] Even so Selfe love, whatsoever reputeth not its owne, that it o­ther puts off to others, or ve [...] lightly regardeth: to labour too [...] and naile for priv [...]te gaine, th [...] [...]t supposeth its owne duty. Ass [...] redly; good intention goeth [...] wracke so much the more lamentably, as Selfe-love groweth [...] greater prosperity.

4. Briefe Question.

Why in the Sacred Leaves a [...] so many things otherwise of ve [...] small [...]cc [...]unt so much aggrav [...] [...]ed? as the more unwary touching of the A [...]e, [...]t [...]s g [...]there [...] on the Sabbath day, t [...]e mult­ [...] of Subje [...]ts numbred, givin [...] a [...]up of cold water, la [...]civio [...] look [...]ng upon a woman, &c. M [...] es [...] time proclaiming: A [...] this is the offering, saith he, whic [...] [...]e had take of them, Go [...]d, a [...] [Page 367] Silver, and Brasse, and blew, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linnen, and goates haire, &c. Exod. 25.3. That Gold and Silver should be reckoned among gifts is no mar­vell. But of what valew amongst these is Goates haire, a g [...]ft without all dignity? Are such small and despicable things also deare to God? What a great matter was an handfull of meale, and a little Oyle bestowed in courtesie upon Eliah? 3 King. 17.12. What were the Widowes two little pieces of mony, did they re­quire so gre [...]t commendations, as they obtained? As Christ was sit­ting and intent (as it were) upon some serious sp [...]ctacle, he beheld the company which east mighty gifts into the holy Treasury. A­mong so many wealthy people, a certaine poore Widow brought no more then two brasen mites, wh [...]ch make on farthing, [...]n whose praise Chri [...]t most li [...]e­rally pronouncing. Verily, s [...]t [...] he, I say unto you, that this po [...]re Widow hath cast in more then they all Luk. 21.3. It was a small [Page 368] matter which that poore woman brought into the Treasury, bu [...] more she could not: and it came much more gratefully,Ready which wa [...] given with such an easie the [...] with a full hand. For these gift [...] consist not in the things, but it the very desire to doe good. Hee giveth very much, which giveth but a few things royally, and with his mind equalleth the wealth of K [...]gs, which contri­butes a little, but willingly. Which forgetteth his owne po­verty, whilst hee looketh upon anothers, which thinketh hee re­ceiveth a benefit, when hee be­stoweth one. Which giveth as not looking to receive againe, which both preventeth and seeke­eth occasion to doe good, this man is the richest and most libe­rall of all, for his right intention. What therefore, I pray, did so much commend those small Coynes, what that little meale, what the Goates haires? Right Intention o [...]ely and alone. This is it which surmounteth all mens profits, store. Treasures, [Page 369] and all the brave Wealth of Persia. Nothing is richer then Right Intention.

5. Briefe Question.

Is it possible for one to sleepe and pray at once? For so our Sa­viour earnestly requireth, saying: That men ought alwayes to pray and not faint. Luk. 18.1. Can we therefore pray also when we are asleepe? we can if we will, and that in this manner: we must use prayer immediatly before we goe to rest, and offer our rest it sel [...]e to Gods S [...]rvice, in these or the like word [...]: I desire my Go [...], as often as I shall draw breath this night, so often all my respiration; Breathing may praise thee, as if I d d alway pronounce that: Blessed bee God for ever, Blessed bee God, Blessed &c. Or 1. with thy sleep [...], my good le us which th [...] [...] t [...]ke on earth, I also unite [...]i [...]e, a d withall offer it to t [...]ee [...]e whi [...]h prepareth himselfe to s [...]pe [...] sort, ever prayeth. To which p [...]r­pose he may not imp [...] [...] [Page 370] suppose with himselfe, that hee heareth Christ speaking in these words: When any one will repose himselfe to sleepe, let him meditat [...] somewhat of mee, or conferre wit [...] me. For so although hee sleepe i [...] body, yet he shall watch in mind un­to me. Yea let every one which [...] ready to close his eyes desire, that I would receive every breath whic [...] he shall fetch that night, as it we [...] to my exceeding praise, and [...] which cannot be wanting to the holy wishes of a pious and loving soule, will fulfill his desire in truth.

Surely we seeme not to under­stand sufficiently, how much ad­vantage it bringeth, to reduce all things in this manner to the ho­nour of God. There is no mo­ment of time but we may bee on the getting hand. And how sweet is this gaine of vertue to procure a reward in Heaven even by ea­ting, drinking, and sleeping. One may verily by intention onely doe more good in one day, then some other can in a whole yeare. He came late into the Vine-yard to worke, which came about the [Page 371] last houre of the day, yet hee re­ceived a penny no lesse then they, which travelled from day breake untill late evening. Math. 20.9. It is one thing to bestow long paines, another that which is in­tent. God respecteth not so much how long one laboureth, as how well. And it falleth out often, that a very meane and easie thing to be done, is of more worth,For the Right In­tention then any the most excellent acti­on, but destitute of that intenti­on. VVhom therefore may not that Art delight, which teacheth the ingenious celerity of growing rich? This is that Art,Discretion to grow rich with speed the know­ledge of Right Intention, this is that Rod of Midas, which tur­neth whatsoever it toucheth into Gold. Vpon which motion, it may prove an apt advise for all, to bee deeply imprinted in their minds: Let all study to have a right intention, not onely about the generall state of their lives, but also about all particular things there in ever ayming sincerely at that, that they may serve & please the divine goodnes especially for it selfe.

6. Briefe Question.

What deed is most acceptab [...] unto God? If we may be Iudge [...] in this case, we account that th [...] most excellent of all, which aboundeth most with the love o [...] God, or, which proceedeth fro [...] a most fervent intention of pleasing God onely.Ludovicus Granata One discoursin [...] of this point: That worke, sait [...] he, is most acceptable to GOD which being manifest to his eye onely, is neither a profit, nor ho­nour, nor pleasure to him that per­formeth it, but onely in this kind, that it is done in respect of God With how great desire many times of amplifying Gods hono [...]r are the breasts of the Saints inflamed, though they should lay downe their lives ten, although an hundred times? These very desires of such a [...] ardent affection towards God, are to be recounted amongst the grea­test workes of vertue. There be some Stage-players, which act a whole Comedy for one great mans sake only; but that one pay­eth [Page 373] the Boxe more liberally then a great many other of the Specta­tors: So a man of a most sincere intention, offering himselfe daily to the Service of God: My Lord, saith he, I set forth a spectacle to thine eyes onely, I am an Actor for thee to loo [...]e upon, I care not for the eyes and eares of other behol­ders: whatsoever they shall say or thinke of me, no way disturbeth my thoughts, so that thy eyes, so thy eares may approve me, I make light of all things else, and addict my selfe to thy Service, thine ho­nour, my God, I principally regard. It was a renowned saying among the ancient:Alter alteri, satis magnum est theatrum vi [...] probus. One good man is a Theatre wide enough for another. When Epicurus wrote to one of the Professors of his owne stu­dies: These, saith he, I not to ma­ny, but to thee, for wee are a Stage great enough for one another. Sen. Epist. 7. fine.Exceeding large. God is a Theatre over and above large for a good man, and a man of a good in­tention is a Theatre also large enough for GOD. What excellent Theatres were Abraham alone, [Page 374] and Paul alone for GOD who were of a most sincere int [...] tion?

7. Briefe Question.

How often is a right intenti [...] to be renewed? Saint Bernar [...] If any man, saith he, consume the day in that manner, that i [...] doeth mixe the heavy anger of G [...] with all his Actions, at the en [...] the day how many Hells hath i [...] deserved for committing the so [...] wickednesse so often? But on t [...] other side if one passe the day [...] that in all his doings he exercise [...] the sincere love of God, how hig [...] seat in Heaven shall this man [...] taine? For God is more ready [...] bestow rewards, then to requi [...] punishments. Thus the Counse [...] of Bernard is, to revive a rig [...] intention very often in the da [...] that which we have already demonstrated before. Christ by t [...] mouth of Mathew: Hee wh [...] receiveth a Prophet, saith he, i [...] the name of a Prophet, shall receive a Prophets reward: and [...] [Page 375] that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous mans reward. Math. 10.41. Christ will not onely have entertainement affor­ded, but a sure intention to bee joyned with it. For what great matter dost thou, if thou settest open thy doores to a Stranger, and shuttest up thy heart? from whence we may gather how pro­fitable and necessary it is for one that earnestly desireth heavenly gaine, commonly to revive a good intention, for to entertain a Pro­phet is not so worthy of reward, as to have done it with an excel­lent intention. But if any man desire to know the direct houre to renew intention, I esteeme it five times in the day especially to be observed. The First is after our rest in the morning. The Se­cond, at noone before meales, and after it. The Third, before Prayers, but especially before di­vine Service. The Fourth, before labour, or any businesses. The Fift, before we goe to sleepe. At these set times of the day chiefe­ly, [Page 376] let the mind bee at his own command, and betake it selfe t [...] it selfe; let it take breath as i [...] were, to adore his Maker, an [...] so renew a right intention. N [...] man is so full of busines, but h [...] may performe that very easil [...] and with conveniency: all th [...] matter [...]s dispatched onely i [...] three words. GOD hath easi [...] waies to come to him, and then is no minute of the night or day that he denyeth free accesse. Le [...] him therefore that is about to renew his intention, repe [...]t some o [...] these sayings with a ready mine [...] Lord for thy sake: for thy honou [...] Lord: In regard of thee: To th [...] glory: In thy Name: For love t [...] thee: For thee, my God I will do [...] this, I will utter this, I will endur [...] this, for thee all things. It is won­derfull to be sp [...]ken, how much thi [...] commendeth our Actions, how muc [...] also it enricheth them. And the more often recalled intention, will stop the passage against a great many vices, which other­wise are ready grievously to as­saile us, and withall turneth [Page 377] that vanity to flight, which smoothly insinuates it selfe into all things, by the onely desire of pleasing God.

8. Briefe Question.

How may an Elephant be made of a Fly? If sins otherwise of a lighter degree, be committed with no lightly wicked intention. A most apparant witnesse hereof was the hunter Esau, who was so greatly condemned for eating red pottage, as if hee had met with I know not what Apicius-like dainties. What hurt I pray is it to sup the broth of lentles, especially when hunger so pro­voketh? But Esau, like an hound, did so greedily devour the boiled lentles, that Gluttony getting the upper hand there was no place for reason, that for a sorry messe of Pottage he sold his Birth-right, and which is more reproachfull, made little account that hee had sold it. Genes. 25.34. Even so the greedy appetite of some men transgresseth more in the meanest [Page 378] fare, then the temperance of othe [...] in the most exquisite delicates and sometimes there lurketh more pride under the course [...] Coate, then under a gowne o [...] Gold. The mind and intention is herein respected, not the victuals or Garment. And even as h [...] prayeth with more commendat [...] on, which prayeth in fewe [...] words, but yet more fervently then he which poureth out most prolixe prayers, but without an [...] fire:Devotion So many times he offendet [...] more grievously, which is set upon a thing although of smal [...] moment otherwise, yet wit [...] mighty heate and violence, the [...] he which commeth into the i [...] society of a fault faintly,Within the compasse and a [...] if his mind were about somewhat else.

9. Briefe Question.

How manifold is the profit [...] a Right Intention? Wee have shewed in diverse places before, how pleasant, profitable, necessa­ry a right intention is. In this [Page 379] place briefly and summarily a sevenfold emolument commeth into account. The first is: By this meanes we endeavour as farre as we are able to reconcile our selves to God. Wee understand that paines and punishments are due to our sins, and these one day to be certainely payed. These we helpe to avoid, as often as wee lead away our minds as it were by a good intention from transi­tory things, and lift them up to God, looking with penitent eyes upon the time past, and carefull upon the time to come. Another: There commeth a great improve­ment to vertue, and a mighty en­crease of Grace, not onely from the exercises of piety, but also from the daily tenour of life.Course A man of a Right Intention never l [...]boureth in vaine, for whether he writeth, readeth, heareth; whether he buyeth, selleth, tra­velleth, is about businesse; whe­ther hee eateth, drinketh, slee­peth, finally whatsoever he doth, so long as hee determineth upon the honour of God in all things, [Page 380] he alwaies maketh most hone [...] gaine. A sincere intention is verely the beginning of salvation.▪ The third: A right intention addeth marvellous force to o [...] prayers. For this is that swee [...] tongued Mediatresse, whi [...] knoweth how to pacifie God and make him yeeld to the Pet [...] ­tioners request.Encline A right intention understandeth not onely ho [...] to pray, but also to prevaile. Hitherto have yee asked nothing i [...] my Name: Ask, and yee shal [...] receive. Ioh. 16.24. The main [...] string of Prayers is Right Intenti­on.Nervus. They call diligence in he [...] proper kind the most fruitfull o [...] all vertues, I may worthily repor [...] the same in a manner, or more o [...] a right intention. A right intention is both the most fruitfull o [...] all vertues, and best Oratour be­fore God. The fourth, a good intention doth knit man to Go [...] in a marvellous union. Hereo [...] excellently Rusbrochius: A single intention, saith he, is that, which looketh upon nothing but God, and all things in relation to God. She is [Page 381] the end, beginning, glory, and orna­ment of all vertues. She driveth away all fiction, hypocrisy, and double dealing: helpeth, and col­lecteth the dispersed powers of the soule in unity of spirit, And com­bineth the spirit it selfe unto God. She presseth downe, and treadeth Nature under foot, and preserves all vertues in safety, and giveth peace, hope, and confidence in God, both here, and at the day of Iudgement, Wherefore thou oughtest to use diligence, that thou retaine and re­gard her in all thy actions (Rus­broch. in farrag. Instit. apud L. Blos.) A right intention is a vast and endlesse treasure to an earnest affection. The fift:Him that earnestly desirethA right inten­tion deriveth a perpetuall current of grace from God to man, and that appeareth then especially, when adversity is to bee endured Good or bad Leather sh [...]weth it selfe chiefly in raine; a good or evill man in adversity. How patient and ob­servant of God an upright man is, so impatient and stubborne against God is a wicked man. Augustine declaring this exceeding well: How [Page 382] commeth it to passe, saith hee, that in the same [...]ffliction, evill men detest and blaspheme God; but good men pray and praise him? So much respect there is, not what manner of things, but what manner of man every one suffereth. For durt being stirred about no otherwise then balme sendeth forth an horrible stinke, and this a fragrant smell. Aug. l. 1. De civit. c. 8. ad finem. The sixt: A right intention assaileth her enemies with a stratagem that never faileth,Warlike policy and alwaies carrieth away the victory. Whilst Moses upon the Rocke lifted up his hands toward Heaven, Israel prevailed, and put the Amalekites to flight by a most memorable conquest. As long as intention standeth upright towards God, so long it falleth before no ene­mies, it is invincible, inexpugna­ble: but when it begins to bee weary and looke downeward, presently she looseth her strength, and is taken Captive by her ene­mies. I cannot omit here that which may seeme strange. It falleth out [Page 383] sometimes, that two contend before a Iudge: each man pleadeth his cause, he affirmeth, this denyeth, both of them alledgeth his reasons, both desireth equity of the Iudge: If you consider the cause, both of them cannot overcome; if the in­tention, both many times goeth a­way Conquerour, then especially when neither of them beginneth the controversie by evill fraud, Intendeth when neither will hate Iustice for giving opposite sentence, being in­differently resolved to win or loose the Suit, as it shall seeme good to Iustice. So both of them overcome, They over come both not by the cause, but by intention, which is very commendable in both. The seventh: A right intention is a mighty comfort in all things, espe­cially in that houre which passeth sentence upon all our yeares. For I suppose truely that at the last time of this life, nothing will bee more joyfull to a dying man, then to have done all things through his whole life before with a very good intention. He truely shall dye most securely, which hath lived most sin­cerely. For if the goodnesse of God [Page 384] have decreed such liberall munif [...] ­cence towards all, although th [...] meanest actions, yet offered [...] him with a good intention, wit [...] what ample gifts will hee crow [...] the whole life with a sincere m [...] ever devoted unto him? But who horrour and trembling will posses [...] the wretch, whose conscience sh [...] lay all the course of his life before him in order: and cry out against him with a lamentable aggravation in this manner: Thou has [...] neither dealt sincerely with God, nor yet among men: thou hast ma [...] times shamefully deceived others▪ thy selfe alwaies: thou would [...] seeme one man, and wast another thou hadst honesty in thy words, n [...] in thy mind: how often didst the counterfet friendship with th [...] mouth and gesture, Deadly being a capita [...] enemy in heart? How often dids [...] thou put a very beautifull viz [...] upon thy Actions, that therewith thou mightst hide a wicked inten­tion? thou didst speake mu [...]se [...] meere honey, whiles thy enviou [...] mind was whetting a razour, tho [...] didst commonly vaunt thy selfe in [...] [Page 385] Peacocks painted Coate, but didst nourish a Kite and a Vulture in thy brest, being as faire without, Keepe as foule within. But thou hast de­ceived thy selfe, not GOD to whom all things are manifest. Woe hee to thee, woe bee to all men, which many times with no intention, commonly not pure, for the most part evill, dedicate their Actions not to God, but to their owne Genius, and themselves, and so utterly destroy them.

At the last day of Iudgement very many may bee upbraided with that: Thy silver is turned to drosse: Suffered — So frequent­ly to bee inticed with them thy wine is mixed with water. Esa 1.22. Indeed thy Workes did shine like the pu­rest Silver, but because they admitted such a frequent mix­ture of ill intention, they are changed into base silver, yea even into drosse. How continu­ally therefore must we cry: Not unto us O Lord, not unto us, b [...]t to thy name give the glory. It is the precept of Christ: Let your light so shine before men, that they may glorify (not you, but) [Page 386] your Father which is in Heaven. Math 5.17. Therefore, O all yee workes of the Lord blesse yee the Lord, praise and exalt him above all for ever. Dan. 3.57. Let our workes all wholly, the le [...]st, the greatest blesse the Lord for evermore.

CHAP. VII. What observations follow out of those things which have bin spoken concerning a Right Intention: where it is treated more at large of Rash Iudgement.

THere are diverse beautifull Arts indeed, and of no vul­gar account, but because they make nothing to the Mill, and getting bread, therefore they are not fought after by any great company. What doth it profit say they, to know these things, and bee ready to starve? Many [Page 387] things are disputed among the learned, many things also at Church in the Pulpit, whereof thou mayest truely pronounce, It is nothing to the getting of bread, yea, it is nothing to the gaining of Heaven. What good is it to any, most eloquently to recount the story of times? what availeth it to comprehend the number of the Starres? what doth it profit to know the motion of the heaven­ly Orbes, if thou knowest not the Art which may advance thee above the Stars? How many shall obtaine Heaven, al­though they never heard any question made, whether Heaven standeth still, or the earth is turned round.

But now this Art, which teacheth in what manner the Rule of all human Actions is to be handled, how exceedingly doth it make to the getting of bread, the bread of Angels which we shall eate in the Kingdome of God! Luk. 14.15. It is an old Song in praise of Mony,Et genus e [...] formam re­gina [...] Mony royall [...] bestoweth both beauty and dignity. [Page 388] Let us turne it, and wee shall sing [...]righter,Regina In­tentio. Jntention royally be­stoweth both beauty and dignity. Sincere Intention setteth an hea­venly price upon all things with­out this all the noblest Actions that can be lye without honour, and nothing worth. For the more compleat understanding of this Right Intention, it is very necessary to declare now what may aptly follow upon it out of that which hath beene spoken. Therefore we will annexe some consequences in order following.

1. Consequence.

He which erreth in intention, erreth in all things The whole matter is apparant, and this one testimony surer then a thousand: But if thine eye be evill, thy whole body shall be full of dar [...]nesse. Mat. 6.23. He which in his journey wandereth out of the way, the f [...]rther he goeth on, the more grievously he erreth: so the more earnestly a thing is done, or how much nobler the matter which [Page 389] is undertaken, it is made so much the worse, if a good intention [...]e wanting. Intention bestoweth the nobility upon all Actions, if this be ignoble, and savou [...]eth of the flesh and earth, how shall [...]t give that to other things which i [...] wants it selfe? Hee which ap­plyeth himselfe to Learning onely that he may know, he which su­eth to be of some religious Or­der, that he may not lack bread, he which followeth the Court that he may grow rich, or be ad­vanced; he which seeketh a be­nefice that he may find a Ki [...] ­chin is quite out of his way: because the eye of all these men is n [...]ught, their whole body is full of d [...]rknesse. R g [...]tly Grego­ry: The light of the body t [...]eref [...]re is the eye, saith he, because the deserts of the action are illustrated by the rayes of the intent [...]on. And if thine eye be single, thy wh [...]le body shall be full of light. Be­cause if we intend rightly by single­nesse of thought, the worke is made good, alth ugh it seeme o­therwise of less [...] go [...]dnesse. And if [Page 390] thine eye be evill, thy whole bo­dy shall be full of darknes: be­cause when even any right thing is done with a perverse intention, al­though it seeme to shine before men, it appeareth darke upon exa­mination of the inward Iudge. Greg. l. 18. Mor. c. 6. propius finem. Hee addeth: Take heed therefore, least the light which is in thee bee darknes. If the light which is in thee bee darknes, how great is that darknesse? because if we da [...]ken that which wee be­leeve we doe well, with an ill intention, how great are the ve­ry evills, which we understand to be evill, even when wee doe them?

2. Consequence.

A good wo [...]ke may bee omit­ted, but not an evill committed, with a good intention. Thomas of Kempis: We must doe no evill, saith he, for any worldly thing, or for love of any man: but yet for the benefit of the needy, a good worke may sometimes bee freely in­termitted, [Page 391] or else exchanged for a better. Put off Kemp. l. 1. c. 15. n 1. Here many times wee stumble grievously,Impingimus and feele it not. Some have their set prayers for every day, they have [...]ertaine devoti­ons, as they call them; hereupon now and then they dwell so stiffly, that they suffer others to perish with hunger and thirst, rather then they will intermit any thing of their usuall course. This I may call a godly dishonesty, whereby many times wee get re­proach for our paines: wee are touched with no care of others, but are wise onely for our owne respects; whatsoever m [...]y happen to others, we alwaies prefer our owne ends: here our devotions and prayers give place to no body. But how much better were it to observe Christian charity, then such obstinate piety, with how much greater advantage might such things be omitted, or at le [...]st deferred. There were many a­mong the ancient Hermites most observant of fasting, yet there were found of these, which to [Page 392] entertaine Strangers could Dine sixe or seaven times, and alwaies have a stomacke. Among things concerning the soules good, it is very profitable for a man to give over his owne profits in time; and to have no regard of his owne commodities, is often the greatest commodity of all. Gregory very well to the purpose: For commonly vertue, saith hee, is let goe, Laid aside when it is indiscreetly held, and is held t [...]e faster when it is for a time discreetly let goe. Greg. l. 28. Mor. c. 6. From hence it is fitly deduced.

3. Consequence.

The intention is thus much the purer, by how much lesse a man seeketh himselfe, and thus much the impurer, by how much more sensible and carefull a man is of his owne matters. Abel the first Martyr, and virgin, being a­bout to Sacrifice unto God, did appoint all the best things for his Offering, being ready to give bet­ter, if in his power it had beene. [Page 393] Abel also brought of the firstlings of his Flocke, and of the fat thereof. Gen. 4.4. Chrysostom observing here the wonderfull free behaviour of Abel towards God: He brought not onely, saith he, of his Sheepe, but of his first­lings, of his best and choycest things, and of these he selected the very principall, and of the fat hee set apart all the fattest for the Al­tar. Caine did no such thing. But, it came to passe in processe of time, that Caine brought of the fruit of the Ground an Offering unto the Lord, such as grew upon Trees, and all that came next to hand he caught up for a Sacrifice. Ab [...]l theref [...]re provided as it were a feast for God, Caine rudely set before him the latter end of a feast, Apples, Nuts, Peares,Epiloguem Plums, a clownish Present. H [...]re­of notab [...]y Avstin: Caine, saith he, made no right division, be­cause like an ill liver, hee g [...]ve God somewhat of his owne, but himselfe all to him [...]elfe. D [...]ute­ronomy commendeth it in Moses: His eye was not dimme, nor h [...] na­turall [Page 394] force abated. Deut. 34.7. An old E [...]positor: The looke, saith he, of his pious Intention did not wander from the right in a cloud of wickednesse: For Mo­ses sought after God, not him­selfe. Hereupon his intention was so pure and strong. Bernard expounding that precept of the Paschall Lambe: The Lord, saith he, keepeth all their bones. Psal. 34.19. not one of these shall bee broken, because never is the pur­pose of their heart, never is their sound intention broken, insomuch that they should give any consent to itching concupiscence. Therefore let us keepe our intention and purpose of mind with that earnest care, Brethren, as wee would keepe the life of our soules. Thy intention, O Christian, is there­fore so much the more sincere, by how much the lesse thy affecti­on is to thy selfe.

4. Consequence.

In most things the intention onely is rewarded, or punished. [Page 395] For example, when ability is wanting, the Will receiveth the reward. In every kind Office, the Will of the giver is greatly estee­med: He gave freely, which was willing to give quickly; hee be­stowed very much, which was able to bestow no more. Plato knew himselfe to be disdained of Dionysius the Sicilian King. Wherefore hee desired that hee might be admitted, and have au­dience. Being brought in pre­sence, he began to speake in this manner: Most Potent KING, wouldest thou suffer him to goe unpunished, whosoever should enter into Sicily with that mind, to offer thee some great mis­chiefe, although by reason of some impedim [...]nts hee h [...]d com­mitted no harme? H [...]reunto Dionysius: By no meanes, saith hee, O Plato, for not onely the wicked enterprises of enemies, but also their Counsells and evill purposes are to bee punished. Here Plato speaking on. But if any man, saith he, had come into Sicily, for your Majesties honour [Page 396] and benefit, would it be iust, to let such a one goe without all re­spect, with disgrace and infa­my? Who is there so, quoth the King? presently Plato: Eschines, quoth he, a very upright man, as constant a follower of Socrates as any other, and such a one as is able to make all those the better with whom he is conversant. He hath adventured himselfe a great way by Sea, for the generall good, and to make others par­takers of his skill, yet hitherto he hath bin neglected. This short Apology did so encline King Dionysius to his part, that he be­gan to love Plato whom he ha­ted before,Laert. l. 3. and to deale bounti­fully with Aes [...]hines. Behold even men also doe punish or gratifie the intention onely, how much more God? If there bee first a willing mind, it is accepted, accor­ding to that a man hath, and not according to that hee hath not. 2 Cor. 8.12. What abound [...]nce of praise did God lay upon that memorable fact of Abraham: Seeing thou hast not with-held thy [Page 397] Sonne, thine onely Sonne from me. Gen. 22.12. Yet the Fathers sword did not touch his Son, nor so much as hurt an haire of him. In Will Abraham spared not his Son, he slew him in mind, hee sacrificed him with intention. God accepting this for a most p [...]r­fit burnt Offering, Now, saith he, I know that thou fearest God, Thou hast not spared him for my command, but I have spared him for thine obedience: It is enough to me, Abraham, that thou wast willing to doe this, therefore I will remunerate thine intention no lesse bountifully, then I would have remunerated thy deed.

Noah was no sooner gone out of the Arke, but presently hee built an Altar after a confused manner, and taking of every cleane Beast, and of every cleane Fowle, he offered burnt Offerings upon the Altar. Gen. 8.20. being per­swaded, that his good will and intention of mind herein was very pleasing to God. And the Lord smelled a sweet savour. [Page 398] Loe how intention made the ve­ry smell and smoake of the acri­fice delightfull. God regarded not the Birds and foure-footed Beasts, but he smelled somewhat in them that had a sweet savour, namely the affection of Noah. Of what kind soever, saith Chryso­stome, our Sacrifice is, whether we pray, whether we fast, or give almes, herein it must be the smell of the Sacrifice which onely plea­seth. To this sence said Saint Bernard: Sometimes the good will alone suffi [...]eth, all the rest do­eth no good, if that onely bee wan­ting. The intention therefore ser­veth for desert, Valet inten­tio ad meri­tum, actio ad exemplum the Action for ex­ample. If we should set an example of what we speake, before our eyes. One seeth a lamentable poore Beg­ger, who is not rich himselfe, he is sorry for him in mind, hee looketh up to Heaven, and giveth GOD thankes for that which he enjoyeth, and O, saith hee with himselfe, that I were able fully to relieve this beggers want, how gladly would I doe it: Such a one as this although he giveth nothing, or [Page 399] but a little, being able to give no more, shall receive a reward, as if he had given to his wish. In like manner, if a sicke man desire se­riously and ardently, both to poure forth praye [...]s, and to af­flict himselfe outwardly, or to exercise other workes of Piety, but is not able to performe these for want of strength, hee shall have God no lesse propitious un­to him, then if he had done all those things, which hee wished to doe, so his mind deale thus with God: My God, how wil­lingly would I execute this for thy hono [...]r! but thou knowest Lord, that it is not in my power, therefore I most submissively of­fer this my desire and will unto thee instead of the deed. Here­upon Chrysostome affirming to the exceeding comfort of a great many: Give, saith he, to the nee­dy, or if thou hast it not, if thou give but a sigh, thou hast given all; for that ever waking eye seeth thee to have given whatsoever thou hadst. (Chry. Hom. 7. de p [...]nit. ad finem. Hereupon also Gregory: [Page 400] In the sight of God, saith he, the hand is never empty of gifts, if the closet of the heart bee filled with good will. Greg. Hom. 5. in Evang. Therefore both the poorest out of their meane estate, and the most diseased out of their miseries, may offer as rich and excellent gifts to God, as the most wealthy and healthfull. This is not the proper businesse of riches or strength, it chiefly concerneth the Will, which if it be truely good, doth parallell both riches, and strength, and all things. As the very same some­times is an eloquent man, which holds his peace, the very same a strong man which hath his hands bound or kept downe, the very same a good Marriner, which is on dry l [...]nd: so he is both libe­rall, and painefull, and obsequi­ous, which desireth onely, and hath no other witnesse then him­selfe, of this his desire. The Kingly Psalmist: [...]n me sunt Deus vota tua. [...]eron. Thy vowes, saith he, are in me O God, I will render praises unto thee. Al­though, O God, I find nothing [Page 401] outwardly, which I can lay up­on thine Altar, yet I find some­what in my selfe, to offer unto thee: there are things laid up in my memory, in my understan­ding, but especially in my will, which being presented unto thee, are never but accepted. Christ most exactly confirming all this: Whosoever, saith he, shall give to drinke to one of these little ones, a cup of cold water onely in the name of a Disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise loose his reward. (Math. 10.42.) I know, it is not in all mens power to give entertainement, and sup­ply the wants of nature, there­fore that which every poore man is able, let him give a draught of cold water to the thirsty, he shall not loose his reward No man therefore may utterly excuse himselfe by poverty, from succou­ring those that belong to Christ, seeing such a noble recompence is promised even for those bene­fits, which are of no value, hee shall not loose his reward. And that no body might complaine of the [Page 402] charge of wood in providing warme [...]ater to wash their feet, let him give cold onely, neverthelesse for such a slender and easie kindnesse, even for such a small matter, he shall in no wise loose his reward. For in this kind of courtesie not the rich liberali­ty, but the godly will, and right intention is regarded. God estee­meth workes more out of the de­sire and endeavour, then by the greatnesse of the thing, rather by the affection of the giver, then the price of the gift. Hereupon even the very least and vilest thing given for Christs honour, shall not lose its reward. That wee should take paines to no purpose in these meaner things, is the thought of our pufillanimity, not understanding how greatly God respecteth even the very meanes [...] good turne, yet b [...]stowed with a good intention. For this cause Augustine: God, saith he, crow­neth the good will, when he findeth no power to performe. Aug. in Psal 105. Bernard of the same mind sayed: God undoubtedly im­puteth [Page 403] to good will, what was wan­ting to ability. What more plaine, then that our desire of a thing should bee accounted for the deed, where the deed is excluded by ne­cessity? Bern. Epist. 77. Whosoever will, may become a Martyr by intention. It is a generous thing indeed, to expresse himselfe thus in mind to God: How glad, my God, would I be, did thy cause require it, to drinke a purple cup of my blood to thee: I am ready to lay downe my head, and my whole life for thy sake. Assuredly such a one as this, which is not unprovided of will, but occasion to dye, shall not lose his reward, and th [...]t a mo [...]t ample reward. M [...]ny times but t [...] attempt wor­thy things in wi [...]h,Sae i [...] in magnis vel vo­luisse sat est. is enough But there are slothfull p [...]ople, which carry continu [...]ll winter in their breasts. If any among these be troubled with a little cough, or feele their head ake, or if the wind blow any thing sharpe, they use to t [...]ke up such godly sp [...]eches as these: We are not fit to be at Church to day, therefore we will [Page 404] tarry at home, God is so good he will reward our pious desires for the deed it selfe. When ability is wanting, the will is sufficient. After the same manner of spea­king both the covetousnesse and sluggishnes of many cheareth it selfe up. When the poore are to be releeved, we are not able, say they, therefore it will be enough to have a mind to releeve them. When fasting ought to be [...]ept: infirmity hindereth, wee cannot endure hunger; therefore fasting-dayes can challenge no power o­ver us. When the difficulty of an hard matter is generously to bee broken through: Behold, say they, who is able to doe this? therefore let the will serve instead of the worke.Of no Hea­venly race Frozen win­ter of a dye­ing mind O idle beasts not lo ne for Heaven! O the frozen condi­on of a soule dead in sin! What leave have yee to exercise your s [...]oth in this manner, and to bee absent when you list from the service of God, and to omit all other things at your pleasure? these words are no defence at all for your sluggishnesse. It is one [Page 405] point, my friends, to assay a thing hardly and difficultly; another not to assay at all. If we deny our ability in all things, which we can doe very hardly, what worthy or excellent matter I pray will there be, which wee should confesse our selves able to per­forme? This saying therefore, (When there wanteth ability, Cum deest facultas, sup­plet voluntas, will serve the turne) doeth not one whit favour your cause: yee might be able, so yee were willing. If whatsoever is not easily effected, might be freely omitted, what famous or worthy thing I pray would ever be brought to per­fection? All these things have every one their difficulties, which hee that avoydeth,Seeks to avoyd loseth his re­ward. The Pelican a bird filleth her selfe with shell-fish lying on the shore, and after casteth them up againe, being concocted with the heat of her stomacke, and chooseth out of these such as are fit to be eaten. Thus, O drowsie Christians, if you would but swallow some labour and diffi­culty, [Page 406] you shall find your selves by experience able to doe very hard things.Qui nueleum vult esse, nu­cem conf [...]n­gat oporet. He which will eat the Kir­nell, must first breake the shell. He delayeth not to fight, wch loveth victory: he feareth not blowes, nor refuseth the combat, which desireth the Bayes. But that which men deny themselves able to doe, let them be ready at least seriously to wish. But wee must proceed.

5. Consequence. More especially of Rash Iudgement.

It is very great rashnesse, to judge or condemne any man of wickednes, not apparent, where­as the intention whereby we are all acquitted or condemned, is knowne to God onely. Moses an Abbat in times past was called to give Sentence upon a Brother that had offended. Hee came therefore, but withall brought a Bag full of Sand upon his shoulders. Being demanded what he meant by that sight? They are my sins, saith he, which I can nei­ther [Page 407] sufficiently know, and am scarce able to beare; how then shall I judg of anothers? Determine It is an extream audacious part indeed, and a vice most hatefull of all to God, to goe about to search into the se­crets of the heart,Rip up and to dragge the very thoughts of others to the Barre, and passe Sentence against them. Who art thou, that Iudgest another mans Servant? he standeth or falleth to his owne Ma­ster. Rom. 14.4. His Master searcheth out his heart. If he be approved of his owne Master, why dost thou thrust thy selfe in­to the businesse? For which very thing thou art inexcusable,Rom. 2.1. O man, whosoever thou art that judgest another, for wher [...]in thou judgest another thou condemnest thy selfe. How many Actions in all ages have seemed very unjust, which neverthelesse for the in­tentions sake, have bin not onely no waies evill, but also most worthy of commendation. Am­brose a very uncorrupt man went into a common Stewes, but be­cause he might avoyd Ecclesiasti­call [Page 408] dignities. Abraham the Her­mite, changed his habite like an Apostate, but that he might dis­swade his Neece from her lewd courses. Pynuphius the Anchorite tooke up his Inne with Thais the famous Harlot of Alexandria, but that hee might convert her from the Service of Venus. Who is there amongst us all, which if he had seene any of them taking his way to these notorious corners, but conjecturing very ill, had presently leapt out like a Iudge with these words: Started up Looke upon the unchast varlet, which goeth for lascivious delight to a Brothel-house. It had bin very ready with us to Iudge in this manner, but had not this bin a most unjust Iudgement? Therefore whatsoever men doe, Intention Iudgeth them all. That which Bernard said truely: The purpose of intention discerneth betwix: good deserts and bad.

It is as cleare as can bee in Di­vine Scripture. Iacob the Sonne of Isaac, that most worthy Grand­child to Abraham, deceived his Father by his Mothers policy, be­guiled [Page 409] his Brother of very grea hopes, and yet obtained a most gra­cious blessing of his Father. For Iacob was howsoever of a very good intention,Plaine as he that had also this worthy commendation given him: And Iacob was a sim­ple man. Gen. 25.29. Phinees run two men at once through with a Iavelin, nor yet was he tortured or adjudged to the Gibbet. His adventurous fact did wonderfully please God: Then stood up Phin­nees, and executed Iudgement, and so the plague was stayed, and that was counted unto him for righte­ousnesse. Psal. 106.30. Cain slew Abel, David Goliath, and Vriah, Ioab Abner, and Amasa, Great Herod the Ascalonite the Infants at Bethleem, Herod Antipas Iohn Baptist, Herod Agrippa Iames, Peter Ananias and Sapphira: very murders, and committed ei­ther by hand or command, but their intentions and causes were of a farre different condition. In like manner one Apostle and foure Kings uttered that voyce of sorrowfull men,Pecca [...] I have sinned. [Page 410] Pharaoh said this, and David said it, this said Saul in like manner, King Manasses also, and Judas Iscariot said the very same, but a­las with how not like successed for as their intentions were alto­gether unlike, so most different likewise the effects. That holds out hitherto most true: Whatsoever men doe, Intention is Iudge of all. And what a company of acti­ons might seeme most praise-worthy, if a wicked intention did not vilifie them. Cataline, that notorious disgrace to a Romane name, might have bin taken for an Apostle by his worke, not by his intention. He carried himselfe most patient of heat, cold, hun­ger, thirst. These things, saith Au­gustine, hee underwent, that hee might accomplish most inhumane desi [...]es: The Apostles, that they might suppress [...], and compell them to bow to reason. (Aug. l. 2. de Mor. Manich.) The Herodian Linage expressed a most remark­able example of this thing. Herod the Ascalonite: That I, saith he, may come and worship him also. He [Page 411] would have come surely, but brought home a bloody Dagger. Herod Antipas that parricide of the Baptist, was glad indeed to see Christ, whom Pilate had sent unto him, but not as Zacheua. Curiosity begot this gladnesse in him, he hoped to see a Miracle. Herod Agrippa the murderer of Iames, played the Preacher, for He made a Sermon to them. Oration Act. 12.23. But not to instruct the people, but that hee might shew himselfe in his Royall Apparrell for a mirrour, therefore hee was smitten to death by an Angell in the very Pulpit.Chaire

Intention is the Iudge to try,
What all men doe indifferently.

Since God therefore regardeth not so much the deed, as the in­tent of the doer, and the intention cannot be discryed but onely by God, it is too too bold and in­tollerable rashnes, to Iudge any mans Actions although they seeme very evill. For to doe in this manner, is as much as to say: I see this mans thoughts, I behold [Page 412] that mans intention, I am Christ, I try out the reines and hearts, I am God. Such Iudges as these complaine out of hell: We fooles accounted their lives madnes, and their end to be without honour: how are they reckoned among the Children of God, and their lot is among the Saints. (Wisd. 5.4, 5.) Wee looked upon the outward parts,Outside Inside and by these wee judged of the inward, from thence sprang out so rash, and so foolish errour. Iob in those his most grievous miseries, uttering wonderfull things, one while he desired to dispute with God,Argue Reason ano­ther while to have his sins weigh­ed and examined in the Balance; now he said that he knew he had committed no wickednesse, his friends tooke such kind of words in an ill sence, and judged no o­therwise, then that he was most worthily punished of God as an hainous offender, when in the meane time he was most deare to God. O rash and wicked Iudges! And such as these, that they may be knowne very well, [Page 413] being blind in their owne mat­ters, are most full of eyes in other mens; like a Monster. They see not their owne faults at home and neare hand, other mens they search out a great way off, even to the bones and marrow. More­over, they behold things in ano­ther which are not at all: they dart eyes out of suspition onely into the faults of others, in whose praises they are without eyes. If there be any darknes they see it, and discover night very often in another mans sky, wherein the light sh [...]neth clearely, they behold that in their owne obscu­rest night there is day. Thus they find day in night, in night day; by a prodigious errour on all parts. The smallest f [...]ults in o­thers, are exceeding great with them, their owne faults they ac­count vertues. Whereby it com­meth to passe, that they sl [...]de into most grievous errours, and no marvaile, they have eyes no way single, but heavy with envy and hate in other folkes matters, with selfe-love in their owne. O the [Page 414] judgement not of Areopagites, but the blindest that can be.

Hor. l. 1. Sat. 3.
Cur in amicorum vitijs tam cer­nis acutum,
Cum tua pervideas aculis male lippus inunctis?
Thy friends defaults why seest thou so acute,
And bleare-ey'd art, when thine owne come in suite?

Thou hast mistaken, and wilt mistake herein a thousand times. Whatsoever men doe, intention judgeth them all.

In this manner the unruly hu­mour of judging doth shamefully infatuate the whole World: Chrysostome said truely: Thou shalt hardly find any man free from this errour. All men though they mount not the Chaire of estate, though they have no executioners, no racks, and fetters at their com­mand, neverthelesse these very peo­ple also doe judge them, whom they conceive to be offenders, in their common talke, in their ordinary meetings, Giving their verdict in delivering their con­science. [Page 415] Chry. Hom. 5. in c. 2. ad Rom. ante med. And Augustine: The greatest part, saith hee, of mankind, is proved to be ready and forward to reprehend with indis­creet judgement, when in the meane time they will not be so judged of others, as they will judge others themselves. Aug. de temp. Serm. 202. Right so it is; we lash one another continually with rash judgements. Nor give Sentence onely against those things which carry a shew of evill, but are un­just Iudges likewise against those, which not onely admit, but also require a favourable interpretati­on. As much as old Rome was deceived in her opinion of Fabius Maximus, so much and no lesse in Minutius. In him she grievously mistooke Rashnes for Fortitude, and Prudence for Cowardise in the other. But one houre proved, that it is the condition of the multitude, to have no discretion,Common peoples condition and to judge rashly, insomuch that they looke for the issue, when there is need of advice. But I omit profane testimonies, see­ing [Page 416] we are bound with Sacred. When Moses had taken an Ethio­pian to his Wife,Num. 12.1. presently his Sister construing this marriage ill, fastned a taunting censure upon her Brother. Neither could the holy King David escape his Wives most reviling Iudgement. If any one ignorant of the fashi­on of the Country, or lasciviously bent, had seene Iacob at the Well saluting Rachel with a kisse, without doubt hee would have drawne suspition from thence of no chast intent, or Iudged Iacob to be like himselfe, given to fond desires. Who that had beheld Iudeth going so curiously attired into the Assyrian Captaines Tent, would not withall have surmi­sed very ill of her? Far otherwise Ioseph, that most continent Hus­band of the most blessed Virgin. The Mother of our Lord, a maid for ever,Appeared was great with Child. Ioseph, because hee knew his Wife to be more like an Angell then a woman, could not bee drawen to that opinion, as to be­leeve that any thing was commit­ted [Page 417] by her contrary to the law of Marriage So he freely referred all the matter to the judgement of God. And although hee had a most strong argument before his eyes to move suspition, yet hee could by no meanes endure to be Iudge of this secret. And indeed Christ himselfe, being ready to dye, when he could not deny the most villanous fact of them that crucifyed him, excused their ma­lice, and the abhominable state of their wickednes, he called in a mild tearme Ignorance. Thus all that are Christians indeed, when the fact they can not, ex­cuse the intention, and when the intention seemeth not excusable, yet they take not upon them the authority of Iudging, but trans­fer it all to Christ the [...]u [...]ge of all men. These know without doubt, how truely that religious Author said: A man useth frivo­lous paines, many times mistaketh, and easily transgresseth in censu­ring others. Kemp. Lib. 1. de imit. c. 14. n. 1.

Anastasius the Sinaite relateth, [Page 418] how there was one in a Mona­stery, religious to see by his ha­bit, but not commendable at all for his manners, as hee which had spent most of his life in ease and slothfulnes. He came to the last point, and now being nigh unto death, neverthelesse, shewed no signe of feare or terrour. This amazed the standers by, which feared ill of the man, least hee should make no good conclusion of his life, which he never began to amend, One of the Company therefore heartier then the rest: My Brother, saith he, wee know very well, in how great idlenesse thou hast led thy life hitherto, and for that wee marvaile, how thou commest to have this dangerous se­curity: this time requireth groanes and teares, not this unseasonable mirth. Hereunto the dying party: So it is, Fathers, nor doe I deny, saith he, I have passed my daies in shame­full negligence, neither can I speake now of any vertues. But, this very houre the Angels brought mee a Bill of all mine offences, and with­all demanded of mee, whether I [Page 419] would acknowledge them to bee mine? To whom I: I acknow­ledge them, plainely, and am sorry▪ yet there is one thing which pro­miseth the Iudge more favourable unto me. Since the time I put on a Monasticall life, unlesse my memory faile me, I never Iudged any man, nor called any injury ro remem­brance. I request therefore, Would re­member Let these words of the Lord protect me that am guilty, saying: Iudge not, and yee shall not bee Iudged: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. These as soone as the Angels had heard they tore in pieces the hand­writing of my sins. Hereupon now I being ioyfull, and replenished with good hope, am ready to depart into another world. No sooner had the dying man uttered these things with a failing voyce, but hee yeelded up the last breath of life most pleasingly. And that thou maist not question my credit in this matter, Reader, behold I give it thee under authentique hands St. Anastasius in oratione de sacra [...]ynaxi. Baronius Tom. 8. and 599. n. 14. Of so great [Page 420] consequence it is, O Christians, of so great consequence it is, to Will, and fulfill but this one thing onely, To Iudge no body. He can doe very much with Christ the Iudge, whosoever cannot Iudge within himselfe.In his own person Therefore Iudge not, and yee shall not bee Iudged. Luk. 6.37. whosoever is in doubt to offend, let him bee afraid to Iudge.

But who is it that hath a de­sire to avoyd these errours? Han­nah prayed in times past, and mingled her ardent prayers with a floud of teares. Eli the Priest saw her, and observed her mouth while she prayed, and supposing her to be taken with drink: How long, saith hee, wilt thou be drun­ken? put away thy Wine from thee. (1 Sam. 1.10. and fol) This suspitious old man strucke the excellent good woman with most unjust Iudgement, who when she was in bitternes of soule, prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore. Now Hannah spake in her heart, onely her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. The Priest [Page 421] noting this carriage of her while she prayed, judged by the motion of her lips that she was drunken, and muttered idle words. A Iudg­ment as false as rash; and no lesse such, then that which fol­loweth. David the King of Israel, sent to the Prince of the Ammo­nites, those that in his name should condole the losse of his Father lately deceased. He belee­ved that they were sent unto him, not for kindnes sake, but to spy out all his wealth. Being drawne to this opinion, hee sha­ved off the messengers beards, contrary to the Law of Nations, and shamefully cut off their gar­ments in the middle. A mighty over-sight,Rashnes and that which hee carried not away unrevenged. For indeed he bereaved the Messen­gers of their beards, but himselfe of his Kingdome. Goe now and interpret the purpose of a good mind ill. Daintily Gilbertus: Both a naughty intention saith he; and a perverse construction, are both an abuse, both full of Gall, both false, having no agreement [Page 422] with a Dove-like nature. Nec falli volunt, nec fallere norun [...]. They are D [...]ves eyes, which will neither bee deceived, nor know how to deceive. Gilb. Serm. 40. in Cant. fin. But Christ himself the most excellent patterne by farre of all our Acti­ons, alas, how often and what unjust Iudgements did he under­goe? The Pharisees those most carping Criticks, most impudent Censours, and most wicked Iudges did continually stand up­on their watch, to see if they might lay hold upon any thing in the words and deeds of the Lord,Could which they might teare in peeces with an envious tooth. Our Savi­our anon invited himselfe to Feasts without bidding:Sometims By and by the Pharisees cryed with a loud voyce: Behold a Prophet, a Wine-bibber, a gluttonous man, a smell feast. When the Lo [...]d held that most noble Discourse con­cerning the Shepherd and the Sheep, many of his Auditors did not feare to say: Hee hath a Di­vell, and is mad, why heare yee him? Iob. 10.20. If Christ had healed any body on the Sabboth [Page 423] day, presently againe did the Pharisees burst out of their Watch Tower, and, Loe they cryed, this man breaketh the Sab­bath by plaine impudency. Finally whatsoever Iesus had done or [...]poken, the Pharisaicall Tribe lid instantly fasten a most male­ [...]olent interpretation upon it. Nor were more favourable judgements pronounced against the Disciples of the Lord, when being con­strained by hunger they pulled the eares of Corne, when they washed not their hands superstiti­ously, when they fasted not in that manner as others did, pre­sently they were marked with a rigid censure. When in conclusion they were inspired with the Holy Ghost, and declamed most elo­quently and constantly likewise of the resurrection of Christ, there were some which cavilling against this eloquence said like wicked Criticks: Why wonder yee, fluent Cups can doe this: good men they have tippled too much, and are full of new wine, this makes them speake so bravely.

There is no body which ca [...] escape the benches of these rash Iudges. If any goe in a little fine [...] apparrell then ordinary, presently we hale him to Arraignement, and enquire after our manner, how commeth this fellow by so much mony, that he can tricke up himselfe thus after the best fashi­on? It is credible that one Purse maintaineth him and his Master, and that which hee cheates his Master of, is laid out upon cloathes. If any one be conten­ted with a meaner habit, and be­stoweth all his care in reforming his life,Ordering manners presently wee are upon him, and O covetous man, say we, how doth he spare his mony, and liketh base apparrell and out of fashion best! If any one frequent the Sacrament of the Communi­on, and other holy duties; pre­sently censures and calumnies follow him, and hee wants not those that say: Looke where dis­sembled sanctity goes, he is no lesse wicked then others, but he faigneth himselfe the man which he is not. If any one macerate himselfe [Page 425] with much abstinence, presently he is hist, and pointed at; Behold an abstemious Pharisee, he is ready to starve himselfe, that hee may bee praised. If any one by reason of his weakenesse, and want of health, cannot observe a solemne Fast; presently againe hard spee­ches, and the blacke marke of condemnation passeth upon him:Nigrum theta. Behold a Gluttonous man, and borne for his belly, which for one dayes refraining feareth death: If any one addicted to privacy and quietnesse, withdraweth himselfe from the affaires of the World, suddenly there starteth up not one alone, to stone him with these speeches: This man desireth ease and good dayes, labour beginneth to be out of fashion with him, or de­speration hath thrust him upon this course. If any one detesting ill company, endeavoureth to ob­serve an holier manner of life, here diverse and inconsiderate clamours arise, those call him Flatterer, these Hypocrite, the other close Companion. A man by himselfe No body is safe from these flying Dag­gers, [Page 426] wherewith the name of ma­ny is shamefully stabbed. If any goe along over-whelmed with his thoughts, and uncovereth not his head to a greater man then himselfe,To one of a good credit forth-with the Iudge starts up, and Loe cryes he out; the pride of man, what mighty state he takes upon him! If any one saluteth not his acquaintance by the way, or carrieth himselfe somewhat strange, accusation and Iudgement is at next word: Behold,Set out their Mouthes they are in an uprore, how this fellow cannot choose but shew his hate and envious mind, see how hee scornes to know his poore friends. Augu­stine tru [...]ly: The ordinary course of seeing, is all the aime that a car­nall man hath of Iudging. Ah how rashly oftentimes,Spirituall Callings are men in re­lig [...]ous degrees both Iudged and condemned, as well of pride as covetousnesse, and other vices? The more bold [...]nd nimble any one is with his mouth, so much the more severe and inexorable Iudge he is in pronouncing defi­nitive Sentence against them; he [Page 427] admits of no defence, heareth no reasons, beleeveth no body but himselfe, and such as are like him. Truely, and we are a com­pany too apt to judge the worst.Et nos in vi­tium credulae turba sumus. Hence come those thundring wordes of Iudges: a Rope for this proud Prelate; to the Dogs with that greedy Parson; to hell with that wicked Priest; or the like. O mortals, how much pu­nishment hangs over your heads for these Iudgements? Impudent whoredome, and rash censuring draw the whole world almost to destruction: there men are mad within continency and lust, here they use tyrannous state in Iudg­ing others faults. So subtill is the Divell, that whom like ho­lier people he cannot entice to the filthy pleasure of Beasts, these he easily ensnareth with the custome of rash judgement There is none absolutely which knowes how to spare others in this point. What a company are to be found which in all places carry Table Bookes about with them, like censours of all men, and when they [Page 428] chance to see or heare any thing that dislikes them, presently they give it the grace of their Table booke.

But thou wilt say, if a very cre­dible person declare any thing, if I see a thing with mine owne eyes, if I heare a thing with these very eares of mine, neverthelesse may I not presume to passe sen­tence? Thou maist not presume my friend, for so also thou maist be deceived, and numbers before thee have beene deceived by the selfe same meanes. One of a re­ligious society came to the Priest their Governour, and desired that he would give him leave to de­part out of the Covent, for hee would have no longer conversa­tion with that Brother, which bore such an ill report. To whom the Governour: Bee not so hasty, saith he, to beleeve the harme which thou hast heard He on the contrary, that he had taken it upon relation of a very faithfull man, and therefore pressed his departure: Hereunto the Governour excel­lently: Jf he were a man of credit, [Page 429] saith he, he had never told thee so. Aptly noting the wickednesse of whisperers, and backbiters. But al­though thou shalt heare and see a thing thy selfe, yet thou, unlesse it be thy duty, maist not be Iudge over what thou hearest and seest. Thou wilt say, if thou be wise: I know that this is done, but with what mind, with what intention, upon what motions, for what causes it is done, I know not. But imagine (which cannot be effected) that all things were manifestly knowne unto thee, thou nevertheles restrain thy judgement, and as Dorotheus admonisheth. Serm. 6. say with thy selfe, Woe is me, whereas he hath offended to day, it may bee I shall to morrow. I seeme in my con­ceit to stand, and the next day per­haps shall fall, and happily he hath already repented him of his fact, which I cannot absolutely promise my selfe to doe. Bernard: Al­though, saith he, thou find out a thing to be done otherwise then it ought, neither so judge thy Neigh­bour, but excuse him rather. Excuse the intention, if thou canst not the [Page 430] deed: Suppose ignorance, suppose over-sight, suppose mishap. But if the certainty of the matter dis­claime all reasonable pretence, yet notwithstanding meditate thou with thy selfe, and say privately: The temptation was too strong. What passe had I bin brought to, if it had likewise obtained power over me. Bern. Serm. 40. in Cant. fine. The Christian Law not one­ly commandeth; doe thou not steale, doe not commit adultery, but also doe not judge. Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not: and let not him that eateth not judge him that eateth. Rom. 14.3. Wonderfull, thrice wonderfull it is! we poore wretc­ches are not able to reach to the abstrusest corners of our owne hearts, and yet wee boldly assay to breake through walls, and search out other mens secrets; we are of a dull and dead sight in our owne matters, and our eyes faile us even at hand (For who can understand his errours? Psal. 19.13.) And yet we take upon us to see into the closest of other [Page 431] mens breasts a great way off, and give Iudgement of them. Here I breake forth with Chrysostome: O man, looke diligently upon thine owne life, descend into thine owne [...]onscience. Beholdest thou Why dost thou see a note in thy Brothers eye, but per­eivest not a beame in thine owne ye? Or how sayest thou to thy Brother, let me pull out the mote [...]ut of thine eye; and behold a huge [...]eame, an horrible beame is in [...]hine owne eye: Thou Hypocrite, first cast out the beame out of thine owne eye, and then sha [...]t thou see clearely to pull out the mote which is in thy Brothers eye. Matth. 7.3. and Luk. 6.41. Thou that wast so quicke-sighted, saith hee, in anothers matters, as to marke even the smallest faults, how comes it to passe thou wast so negli­gent in thine owne, as to passe by even great faults. No otherwise then if one that lyeth sicke of a grie­vous Dropsie, or any other incura­ble disease, should altogether neg­lect this, and blame him which re­gardeth not a little swelling in any part of his body. If then it be evill, [Page 432] not to discerne ones owne sins, it is surely double or treble hurt to judge others, and carry a beame in his owne eye without trouble. Chry. Tom. 5. orat. de provid. et Tom. 2. in 7. Math. Hom. 24. post init.) But thus we are wont, this is our fashion: to over-slip our owne faults negligently, and to insult unadvisedly upon other mens. What dost thou, O rash Iudge? seeing thou canst safely trust nei­ther thine owne eares, nor yet thine eyes; nay if an Angell from Heaven declare unto thee what another hath done, neither so indeed canst thou alwaies give sentence against another, foras­much as an Angell himselfe can­not fully discover the secrets of another mans heart. It is GOD onely, The Lord that searcheth the heart, and tryeth the reines. Ierem. 17.10. To him onely are the intentions of all men clearely knowne. Whereas now it depen­deth upon the intention how guilty or harmelesse every man is; what strange temerity is this we use,Innocent to remove GOD from his [Page 433] Tribunall, nay thrust him out,Iudgment Seat and place our selves therein with incredible presumption: What strange temerity I say, is this, and how worthy of revengefull flames, to usurpe Gods peculiar right, and pronounce Sentence against any body at our pleasure. Hence is that vehement admoni­tion of the Apostle Iames, Hee which speaketh evill of his Brother, and judgeth his Brother, speaketh evill of the Law, and judgeth the Law. But who art thou that judgest another? Iam. 4.11.12.

And indeed this is as Barba­rous and cruell an offence, as common and usuall. The whole world is troubled with this dead­ly but sweet disease.Sicke of It is plea­sing and delightfull unto all for the most part, to bee upon whose backe they list with a lawlesse censure. Thus there appeareth scarce any vice more ordinary in this life, no grosser darkenesse over-whelmeth the mind of man in any course, greater ignorance no way. For we affirme doubtfull things for certaine, or if they be [Page 434] certaine, yet certainely they be­long not to us; or if they doe be­long, we judge unknowne things for apparant; or againe if they be apparant, yet with what mind they are done, we know not, ne­verthelesse we prosecute them as if they were done quite amisse.Contrary to all goodnes And many times we grow to that presumption, that with most un­just rashnes for one Traytour Iudas, we condemne all the A­postles, and the whole Colledge of Christ; for some naughty Pre­lates, all Arch-bishops and Bi­shops; for some exorbitant Schol­lers, all scholasticall Societies; for some Priests that carry them­selves ill, all Clergy men and Ministers; for some jarring Cou­ples, all married people; for some loose Virgins and Wid­dowes, all single life; for some dishonest Merchants all dealing in wares; for some base Citizens and Trades-men, a whole City; for a few Senators or Consuls that are not good, a whole Se­nate;Vnworthy for some discommendable Princes, Kings, Emperours, all [Page 435] degrees of state. Alas we are too presumptuous in this case, and more rash then can bee spoken,Rash above measure which make it nothing to pre­vent the everlasting Iudge with our Iudgement Christ will come to Iudge the world: whosoever commeth before him, is not Christ, but Antichrist. Magi­strates are Gods Interpreters, and they, as divine Oracles, may not pronounce of any man,Gather but what they know by sure authority from God. If they doe other­wise, and follow their affections,Fancies they also shall incurre most severe Iudgement. Men, as men, are forbidden to Iudge.

God ordained in the old Law, that the Priest should not give Iudgement of the Leprosie, before the Seventh day. It required so great deliberation to find out a disease,Was a mat­ter of so great respite to resolve upon which yet was beheld with the eyes. How then will God in his goodnes permit, that one man should Iudge anothers intention, which is manifest to no eye but Gods. The men of Bethshewesh used no violence to [Page 436] the Arke of the Covenant, but lookt a little too curiously into it. And yet they were grievously pu­nished for this their curiousnesse, which might have seemed of no regard, if not pious. For there fell of the people fifty thousand, and threescore and ten men at one slaughter. 1 Sam. 6.10. How much more close, I pray is mans heart, then that wodden Arke? and yet thou, whosoever thou art, dost rashly dare to open that chest of God not onely with a curious eye, but also wicked Iudgement: and to set it abroad likewise to be gazed upon and derided by others. Chrysostome here as freely every way as fully. If no other sin, saith he, were com­mitted by us, there were cause over and enough that we should bee cast into Hell for this onely. Forasmuch as wee sit severe and most bitter Iudges in other mens faults, but see not the beames which stick in our owne eyes. Who search even the least matters that concerne us not to the quicke, and spend the whole time of our life to Iudge others: [Page 437] from which vice you can hardly find any Secular, or Spirituall man free. Yea, and although so sharpe a threatning counter-check it, for the Word of God defineth: With what judgement yee Iudge, yee shall be Iudged also your selves. Seeing therefore so great a punish­ment is appointed for this will, and in the meane time no pleasure or d [...] ­light can be gotten thereby, as it useth in other sins, neverthelesse all have run themselves heedlesly and headlong under the yoke of this vice, as if they studied and strove a purpose, Made a m [...]rch a­mong them­sel [...] who should come first of all to this mi [...]chiefe. Chrys. Tom 5. l. 1. de compan [...]t cordis circa med.

Therefore as Seneca very ex­cellently adviseth, Suspition and conjecture must be removed out of the mind, as most deceivable en­ticements. Hee saluted me some­what unkindly, he suddenly broke off the discourse, hee invited mee not to supper, his countenance see­med a little coy. Suspition will never want matter to cavill at. There is eed of simplicity, and [Page 438] a favourable construction of things Let us beleeve nothing, but what shall be manifest and clearely obvi­ous to the eyes: and as often as our suspition shall appeare vaine, let us chide this our credulity. For this reproofe will bring us to a course, Sen. l. 1. de [...]a. c. 24. not to beleeve easily. I adde, and not to Iudge rashly. Moreover they that conceive ill of all men, and take whatsoever thou dost in the worst sense, are not unlike a cooping glasse used by Physitians, which is made onely for that end, to draw out corrupt bloud. Thus these rash Iudges passe by all that is good, but if there be any thing worthy of blame, among the vertu [...]s of others, if there be any thing amisse which is not known they bring it, as they suppose, to light, they shamefully confound all vices and vertues in each o­thers tearmes. A man of a low­ly carriage, they call Sotte or dis­sembler; the simple honest, foole; the sober, too austere; the absti­nent, dotish; one that is earnest against offenders, they tearme cruell; one that is given to dis­creet [Page 439] quietnes, sluggard; the pro­vident, they name loyterer and coward; the saving, they brand with the marke of covetousnes; the stout and magnanimous, is with them contentious; the si­lent is accounted for illiterate; the modest is defamed with the name of Mopus: But on the con­trary they honour a flatterer for a friend, and interpret flattery, friendship; rashnes by them is set forth in the title of fortitude; madnesse is commended under a colour of mirth; the fearefull is taken for wary; the prodigall, for liberall; the base and churlish for saving and frugall; the cove­tous beareth the name of in­dustrious; the splenetick and fu­rious, are made companions with the valorous; the ambitious and insolent, are reckoned among the generous; the fraudulent obtaine the grace of prudent, the proud of constant; the talkative and wanton of affable;Familiar Droanes the most un­profitable slow-backs, are trans­lated like Gods amongst the lovers of peace. All things are [Page 440] turned upside downe by such rash judgements as these, whereby we offer God great injury, for wee rudely arrogate that to our selves, which belongeth onely to the Tribunall of God. And even as it turneth to the notable mis­chiefe of the Common wealth, if every one take upon him the authority of a Iudge, to decide controversies, which arise among people at his owne pleasure So it is extreame rashnes of any man, to usurpe, as he listeth, the office of Christ the Iudge, which hee hath nothing to doe with, to whom alone it throughly appea­reth, with what mind all things are done. There is one Law giver and Iudge, who is able to save and to destroy. But who art thou that Iudgest another? Thou hast a dead corpse at home, upon which thou mayest bestow thy teares, and yet thou goest to anothers house, to bewaile the dead there. O Wretch. Goe, then, and learne to spend thy nights, [...] nunc, et noctes, disce ma­nere Domi. v. Elegi. at home. First bewaile thine owne dead. The deepe night of ignorance over­whelmeth [Page 441] thee in discerning thine owne matters, and dost thou pro­mise thy selfe day in other mens? And what impudency is this which yee use, O Christians Doe yee take the person of God for a shadow, and doe yee contend for God? Iob. 13.8. And what more dishonest rashnes can there bee, then to Iudg those hidden things, such as the intention is, which can never be fully knowne to any man besides the Author?Owner For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? 1 Cor. 2.11. Nay ma­ny things escape even the spirit of man it selfe, which none but the spirit of God perceiveth, where­unto all the secrets of the hearts are manifest. Man lo [...]keth on the outward appearance, but God loo­keth on the heart. 1 King. 16.7. One very fitly reclaimeth his companions eyes,F [...]i [...]us Assis [...] S [...] ­ra [...] which were sent too boldly into another mans mind. As he was travelling, he met a man by the way with a pittifull countenance, and almost naked. The holy man deeply [Page 442] sighed at this spectacle, and was sorry that he had not a bountifull almes to bestow. But his compa­nion: Father, saith hee, why art thou so much grieved? doth this man want cloaths, but perhaps hee is full of ill desires. The other hereunto with an earnest looke: Is it so Brother, saith he, that thou Iudgest in this manner of others? Give him thine owne Garment presently, and withall goe, and hum­bly kneele downe before him, and aske pardon for thy words. So thou shalt learne hereafter not to give such rash Iudgement. Excellently done: The Lord looketh upon the heart, not man.

Since mans eye therefore can­not possibly reach to these dee­per things,Executeth revenge hee which judgeth rashly, inflicteth punishment upon men, not like man, but GOD. Whereof Iob complaining, Wherefore, saith he, doe yee perse­cute me as God? Iob. 19.22. Nay this punishment is not godly, but altogether devillish. For the Di­vell running upon Iob with an hasty censure. Doth Iob, saith he, [Page 443] feare God for nought? Iob. 1.9. Behold, an unknowne suspition indeed, and false and wicked judgement. For which cause God himselfe (as Gregory obser­veth) whereby he might restraine our unbridled rashnes in judging, would not pronounce sentence a­gainst the hainous and beastly crimes of the Sodomites, before he had examined all things. Every way to a Tittle, therefore, I will goe downe, saith he, and see, whe­ther they have done altogether ac­cording to the cry which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. Genes. 18 21 In which forme of speaking God declared, that he calleth not any to account by re­lation, or light conjectures, but by full appearance of the matter. But we, not Gods, not Angels, nor yet blessed,Saints but most vaine men, doe not modestly goe up in­to this Iudgement Seat, but lay hands impudently and leape into it; if any one resist, we thrust in by force, and possesse it. Thus we judge peremptorily of unknowne matters, confidently of uncer­taine, [Page 444] plainely of ambiguous, arrogantly of many things that belong not to us, and in conclu­sion wickedly and unjustly of all. When wee are most favourable, we suspect the least thing that can be. Herein suspition it self is judg­ment, but somewhat doubtful, & relying upon slight conjectures. But miserable inconveniences follow such a rash course of suspecting and judging. Whosoever thou art that judgest in this manner, bee assured that a far heavier judge­ment is ready to bee laid upon thee,Come upon [...]hee from not by men on [...]ly, but by God, For that thine owne sinnes may be the more diligently exa­mined, saith Chrysostome, thou hast made a Law thy selfe first of all, by judging too severely of the things wherein thy Neighbour offended. Bernard also is a trusty Counsellour in this case: Be thou saith he, as mild in other mens of­fences, as in thine owne, nor questi­on any body more precisely then thy selfe: Iudge others so, as thou desi­rest to be judged. Thine owne Law hindeth thee, the judgement which [Page 445] thou layest upon others, thou shalt beare thy selfe. Bern. de interior. domo. c. 45. With what judge­ment yee judge yee shall bee judged. Math. 7.1. The Pharisee which went together with the Publican into the Temple, and contended as it were in prayer, was over­come and condemned, not be­cause he had given thankes to God for his benefits, but because he judged the Publicane rashly, taking him to be wic [...]ed, whom repentance had before justified.Purged And as this presumptuous judge­ment did very much harme to the Pharisee himselfe, so did it none at all to the Publican. Thus many times, saith Austine, the rashnesse of judging [...]urte [...]h no man more, then the Iudge him­self. Aug. l. 2. de Serm. Domini. Abbas p [...] ­tor. in mont. c. 6. One said very fitly: There are some, that may hold their peace, and not trouble their mouthes, but because they are not quiet within, and censure in he art, there­fore their tongues run without cea­sing, but they benefit no body, and injure themselves very much. Pela­gius. [Page 446] Libell. 10. n. 5 1. And it comes to passe ordinarily, that we fall into the same things our selves, which we condemned be­fore in others, that at least by this meanes we may learne to be ashamed of our folly. So that old Mechetes (as Cassian reporteth) complaining against himselfe, said: I have found fault with my Brethren in three things, and have grievously transgressed my selfe in the very same Cass. l. 5. Instit. c. 30. But this is very common, that he which is such a quick-sighted Iudge in other mens faults,Lynx-like is an Owle and a Mole in his owne. Hee pulleth out the least mote that sticks in anothers eye with great care, but is so far from casting the beame out of his owne, that he doth not so much as see it. This is the manner of rash judgement, to spare no bo­de, to lay a censure on every one that comes in the way, to suspect the worst that can be of others, to search out and examine all mens intentions, not to know himselfe at all. Which Gregory [Page 447] deploring, Fooles, saith he, doe judge so much the more earnestly of others, as they are possest with greater ignorance in their owne matters. (Greg. l. 14. Mor. c. 1.) Most truely the Son of Sirach: A foolish mans foot, saith hee, is soone in his Neighbours house. Eccles. 21.25. because he runneth in and searcheth his neighbours houses,Other mens and looketh not to his owne. Hereunto it agreeth very well which one spake in times past of the assemblies of the A­thenians: Wise men and Learned propose matters, but fooles and ig­norant men judge and determine. The case is all one here: Modest and prudent people doe indeed observe many things, but al­waies they represse and suspend their judgement; the foolish and rash understand few things, and without delay give Sentence upon all. By this evident token, it is very easie to distinguish men and women of sober discretion from fooles. And even as Bees, when the weather is raynie, and stormy cloudes hover in the aire, betake [Page 448] themselves into their Hives to make honey: so men of a good mind, and no venemous mouth, descend into themselves, they live privately within, and make the honey of good thoughts, and fly not abroad at their perill, when as they see the world all over surrounded with tempestuous cloudes, just as the case requires: for what is involved with thicker cloudes, then the intention of mans heart? Wee heare the words, we see the actions, but the intentions lye hid, nor can any Lynx his eyes ever pierce in­to the same. Intention is the Iudge to try, whatsoever men doe. To those that are troubled with the Iaundies, and generall over-flowing of the Gall, all things seeme to be of a waxy and yellow colour, for the cure of this disease the hearbe Salendine is put under the sole of the foot. There is a Iaundise disease of the mind, which to all that are troubled with this disease, repre­senteth all things not in their owne, but in a false colour. He [Page 449] that desireth to be recovered, let him begin the cure at his feet, that is, at his affections. Let him beare a mind towards others not pee­vish, not obdurate, not disdaine­full, not odious, not inhumane, not hostile; but rather gentle, courteous, facile, which may paste over all things with a milder in­terpretation, which hateth the sin, not the sinner, which saith: His intention may bee otherwise, and better then his action: but has he done amisse? perhaps he hath al­ready repeated of his errour. This is a very excellent kind of mercy, to shew ones selfe benevolent to­wards another, not so much by giving many things, as by Iudg­ing nothing. They that drinke the juyce of Ophiusa, an herbe growing in Aethiope, imagine that they see Serpents, and I know not what terrible mon­sters. They that have swallowed the juyce of pride, ambition, envy, or hatred, will carpe at, and condemne all that they shall see or heare, they will admire and extoll themselves onely, being so [Page 450] precious in their owne conceit, that they doubt not to say with the Pharisee: I am not as other men. Luk. 18.19. A very cruell disease in this respect, that for the most part it despiseth all re­medies.

And this is it which Saint Paul presseth so strongly, this same is it, from which hee so earnestly disswadeth us, crying out? There­fore judge not, judge not before the time, untill the Lord come, who will bring to light the hidden things of darknes, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts. 1 Cor. 4.5 Why doe yee judge too hastily, the matter is still depending, and lyeth in the Iudges hands. Whilst yet every secret counsell of the hearts is locktup in Gods Exche­quer,Among Gods Re­cords whereinto no man [...]an en­ter; the day of hearing is not yet, nor the witnesses yet produced, or the Causes pleaded. But let there be a time of giving Iudgment, yet this is not at your appointment, but Gods, God wilbring to light the hidden things of darknes. In the meane time therefore, till the [Page 451] Iudge of all things come, forbeare your censures. Christ himselfe uttereth the very same, with a most earnest voyce: Iudge not, and yee shall not be Iudged; condemne not, and yee shall not be condemned: forgive, and yee shall bee forgiven. Therefore, Iudge not, conster not wrong of doubtfull words and actions, neither aggravate small offences, or make a common speech of faults, although they be certaine, or cast reproches up­on good deeds, or say perempto­rily of a delinquent that he will never be good, for this vice of judging rashly is most ordinary with Pharisees, which pardon all things in themselves, nothing in others Iudge not, for whosoever is a curious, severe, unjust censour of other men, shall find such cen­sours also of his owne life, as he hath bin of other mens. Iudge not, otherwise yee shall undergoe an exact, severe, rigid Iudgement in like manner at GODS hands. Iudge not, for God is so full of kindnes, that he is ready to remu­nerate this very Negative will of [Page 452] yours most liberally; this shall be your reward, Yee shall not bee judged. At the last day of all, the Iudge of the world will speake courteously to you, not as Male­factors to be cast into Hell, but as friends to be endowed with Hea­ven. A certaine Monke asked a question of Ioseph an Abbot, to this purpose: I pray, good Father, what shall I doe? I have no almes to bestow; I endure so many trou­bles very hardly, what course there­fore d [...]est thou perswade mee to take? Hereunto Joseph: If thou be able, saith he, to doe none of these things, doe this at least, and Iudge no body, he hath done much, who­soever could performe this. (Pela­gius e Graeco Libeli. 10. n. 51.) But how many are there which will not be able to doe this, al­though it be very easie? Against whom Chrysostome being worthi­ly incensed, upon those words of the Lord, (Iudge not) discourseth in this manner: If therefore not by one, but by all waies, as I may so say, and by all passages we run and make hast to take possession of Hell [Page 453] fire, wee are justly condemned of wrong dealing on both sides alike, not onely for those things which doe seeme to require some labour and stay, whereinto we cast our selves headlong, but also for those which are easie, and have no necessity, nor any allurement, or pleasure in them. For wee are convinced by these small and easie things, that we of­fend through our owne negligence and idlenes, in those things also which seeme to be full of trouble. For tell me what paines is in that, that thou shouldst not judge ano­ther, nor examine other mens faults, nor condemne the neighbour? Nay rather in examining and searching out other mens offences there is great labour, and exceeding diffi­culty, to judge of anothers mind. But who that heareth this, will be brought to beleeve in any time, that whereas we may keepe the comman­dement without paines, we strive and take paines that we may break it. If we should offend by idlenes and neglect, they might perhaps be some way excused, which were not able to take paines. But where men [Page 454] take paines to offend, and endea­vour, and earnestnes is used, to transgresse the commandement, who is it, that can hope to bee forgiven for this wickednes? For this is to contend against him which made the Statute, and to offer violence to his Lawes. Chrys. Tom. 5. l de com­punct. cordis, circa med. Out of the matter thus debated by Chry­sostome, it appeareth how that rashnes of judging is therefore reckoned among the more hai­nous sort of sins, because it wil­fully over-throwes a Law which is most easie to be observed. Who­soever hath obtained that onely desire of himselfe, I will not Iudge, hath fulfilled the Law before hand. But if such a licentious hu­mour of Iudging doe provoke thee, here I pray the same Chry­sostome counselling thee excel­lently in these words: Wilt thou judge; judge thine owne matters. No man accuseth thee, if thou con­demne thy selfe: but hee accuseth if thou judge not; he accuseth, if thou reprove not thy selfe, he accu­seth thee of frozen ignorance. Seest [Page 455] thou any one to be angry, to be in a rage, or to commit any other horri­ble or unfitting thing? presently al­so doe thou call to mind what thine owne case likewise is, and by this meanes thou wilt not so much con­demne him, and wilt free thy selfe from a number of sins. If we order our lives in this manner, if we car­ry them thus, if we condemne our owne selves, Lightly we shall perhaps not commit many sins, but shall perform many good and excellent matters, if we be mild and sober. Chrys. Hom. 21. fine in Ep. ad Hebr. These things concerning rash judgment, were necessarily to be inserted a­mong the rest. And it is in a manner certaine, that how much the lesse one examineth his own, so much the more earnestly he judgeth other mens intention, but to his owne hurt, which for the most part is so much the grea­ter, as it is lesse felt.

CHAP. VIII. What the practise of a Right Intention is.

MAthematicians doe account the round Figure most per­fect of all, the end and beginning whereof are both the same.All one The worthiest Actions of men are they, which properly have both one beginning and end, that is God, and his honour. He which doeth invest all his actions with such pure and candid sincerity of heart, never but behaves himself in a deserving manner,Highly de­serving and it is very easie for such a man as this to gaine more true happines in one day, then another can in a whole yeare. Truely those things that we offer to God (as Salvian speaketh) are respected not ac­cording to the richnes, but the affection. This is it which that Divine said notably: Phil. Bosq. par. 2. Acad. conc. 14. n. 1. That [Page 457] Christians obtaine Heaven not by Verbes; but by Adverbes, seeing it is not so much to be regarded, that the action be good, as that it be well done: and indeed to fast onely, or to pray, and give almes, or to execute any other worthy matter, doth not procure Hea­ven, but to fast rightly, to pray well, to give almes after a godly sort, to doe all things religiously: there is need of a double portion of Eliahs Spirit; of two Oxen to carry the Arke, of two young pigeons to make a compleat Sa­crifice, that is to say, of a good worke, and a good intention. Furthermore it remaineth to ex­presse, that which is chiefly to be observed in matters concerning the Soule and salvation, namely that we should not take care so much, by what meanes we may understand wholsome Precepts and commit them to memory, as which way wee may bring the things wee heare to effect, and learne them in that manner, that those which were words, may be­come deeds, and that wee may [Page 434] make actuall proofe of our lear­ning, (Sen. Epist. 20. initio) The Christian Law teacheth to doe, not to say. Now therefore let us dispatch this, and declare how intention is to bee coupled as it ought indeed, with seve­rall actions.

At the happy returne of the Day.

Therefore let us take our be­ginning at the Morning Spring. Let our first cogitation of all eve­ry day have recourse to GOD. Excellently Laurentius Iustinian: Let the first word, saith hee, the first thought, the first desire sound forth the divine praise, and be­queath it selfe thereunto with a sincere heart. Laur. Iust. l. de discipl. c. 10. And if we require words, they may be these. O my most l [...]ving God, I devote all the actions of this day unto thee, for thy honour and glory, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. Wee may adde. O good Iesu, I beseech thee by thy passion, preserve mee [Page 435] this day from all wicked intention And let the beginning of thy rest be the very same. For we cannot be ignorant without offence, that the Divell is most busie in this first part of the day and night, considering the old Deceiver doth what hee can, that hee may sweetly take up a mans mind be­tweene sleeping and waking with evill imaginations, and sowe in him the seeds either of envy, or lust, or impatience, which by this meanes will grow up migh­tily all the day after. This Orci­nian Foxe knowes very well, that he hath dispatched h [...]lfe his busi­nesse, when hee beginneth so hand omely Therefore we must watch as at the entrance of the d [...]y, so likewise at the end, for the Divell hath all the night be­side at his pleasure, if he make the first part of the night his owne. At these times therefore especi­ally the mind must be armed with chast cogitations, least the enemy be sound to have over come it, before hee was perceived t [...] lay siege to it.

For every houre.

It is a most profitable exercise indeed, and of great moment, to commend ones selfe every houre to God, and his gracious pro­tection, to thinke upon the end of his life, and so to revive a Right Intention. For which end it will be very convenient, every houre with a fervent affection to repeat the Lords Prayer, or some other sweet ejaculation of holy men exemplified in Divine Scrip­ture. For indeed how can God of his aboundant goodnes but grant that man a happy end of his life, which hath desired the same di­verse yeares every houre? True it is, GOD, who is no mans Debtor, can most justly deny this, if it be his pleasure, although one had requested the same every houre for a thousand yeares to­gether. But, Thinke yee of the Lord with a good heart, or as some read it, in goodnes. Wisd. 1. [...]. Your heavenly Father shall give the holy Spirit to them that aske him. Luk. 11.13. All things, whatsoever we [Page 461] shall aske in Prayer, beleeving, we shall receive Ma [...]. 21.22. He there­fore that will obtaine true happines at the last houre of his life, let him earnestly beg the same of God every houre. To promote this most commodious piety, he shall doe very well,Rightly whosoever to that before sh [...]ll adjoyne these th [...]e short Petitions. Blessed be God for ever. Have mercy upon me O God, according to thy great compassion. O my Lord, and my God, I offer my selfe unto thee, with respect to thy good pleasure in every thing. This therefore is to be added▪ be­cause the study of a good intenti­on is then especially renewed, when a man committeth himselfe all wholly to the pleasure of God. Lodovicus Blosius testifieth, that a holy Virgin being excited hereunto by inspiration,Saint Ger­trudo pronoun­ced these words three hundred threescore and five times toge­ther: Not mine, but thy will bee done, O most loving Iesu. Blos. Mo­nil. spirit. c. 11. This may be imi­tated of every man, and that with praise, as the same Blosius excel­lently: [Page 438] There is, saith he, no bet­ter prayer, then for a man to aske, that the good pleasure of GOD may be fulfilled, both in himselfe, and in all others In Instit Spirit. c. 8. Who so useth no such exer­cise as this, with him houres and dayes run on, with him weekes and moneths, and yeares passe away, wherein there is seldome any remembrance of God, scarse is God ever thought upon, and but very slenderly, which is not onely an unchristian, and inhu­mane thing, but also brutish. But if any man would willingly square all his actions by a generall inten­tion, as it were by a Rule, this brief forme we give him of the best in­tention.Patterne O my most gracious God, I entirely desire to conforme my selfe and all that belongs to mee, to thy most holy Will in all thinge. This one comprehendeth all good in­tentions whatsoever, nor is there any thing that sooner bringeth a man to true tranquillity and hap­pines, then in all things to will the same that God willeth. Whoso­ever commeth to this perfection, [Page 439] is above all dangers, and in the next place to Heaven.

Before Prayer either private, or publicke, examination of Con­science, Communion.

He which is about to pray, let him determine thus in his mind. 1. I will pray, that I may ho­nou [...], worship, and magnifie God. 2. That I may please God, and offer a gratefull Sacrifice unto him, and so keepe my selfe in his favour. 3. That I may give my God thankes, for his liberall and and innumerable benefits towards me. 4. That I shay shew contri­tion for mine offences. 5. That I may crave such things as are ne­cessary both for body, and soule;Procure strength, health, right understan­ding of mind, the knowledge of my selfe. 6. That I may obtaine increase of vertue in this life, and of glory in that which is to come. 7. That I may unite my will more and more with the Will of God. He which shall prepare him­selfe thus seriously to prayer, shall [Page] [Page 438] [...] [Page 439] [...] [Page 464] not pray in vaine. Blosius commen­deth this short Prayer to be said by a Minister before divine Service, which may very well accord with the devotion of all men. Lord [...]e­su, for thy honour sake I humbly de­sire to obey, and serve thee faithful­ly, and sincerely to praise thee, with­out thee I can doe nothing, as sist me by thy grace. He that is about to ex­amine his conscience, let him say thus before hand. 1. I will call my conscience to account,Vse these premisses that I may learne to know my selfe. 2. That I may obtaine purity of conscience. 3. That I may the more diligently avoid such often relapses into former crimes. 4. That I may continue in fa­vour with God, and thereby have my doings accepted. 5. That by this meanes I may prepare my selfe to make Confession of my sins. Hee that loveth purenesse of heart, for the grace of his lips, the King shall be his friend. Prov. 22.11. He which is about to confesse his sins, let him advise thus with himselfe. 1. I stedfastly purpose to lay open my mind fully. 2. I [Page 465] will shew submission by accusing my selfe. 3. I have a longing to returne in [...]o favour with God. 4. I would faine be freed from the fil­thy burden of my sins. 5. I desire to obtaine tranquillity of consci­ence, and a more fervent spirit in holy duties. He that is about to receive the Sacrament of the Lords Supper,Eucha­ristian let him meditate upon these things. 1. I will ap­proach to this heavenly Banquet, that I may stir up the remem­brance of the Lords passion with­in me, as Christ himselfe com­manded: Doe this in remembrance of me, Luk. 22.19. 2. That I may bee partaker of so great a Mystery, wherein I firmely be­leeve, that the Body and Bloud of Christ is received verily and in­deed of the faithfull. 3. That I may be very nearely knit to my Christ in the bond of love. 4. That I may arme my selfe against all the temptations and treacheries of the Divell. 5. That I may truely become most humble and obedient to God. 6. That I may obtaine all manner of grace, and [Page 442] increase of all vertues, especially of humility, patience, and charity.

Before any vertuous Action whatsoever.

He that is about to doe a good turne for another, especially that hath not so well deserved, let him consider thus with himselfe. 1. I will performe this kindnesse O God, for this man, in respect of the singular love which I beare to thee, and that I may imitate thee my Lord to the uttermost of my power, which wast most kind to all, even thine enemies. 2. That I may grow in favour with thee here, and attaine thy promise of glory hereafter. 3. That I may be obedient unto thee, which hast so much commended, and com­manded mee to use Charity to­wards all, even mine enemies. He which is about to give almes, let him make these his ends. 1. I will deale bountifully with the poore, for the greater glory of God, that I may shew my selfe thankefull for all his benefits. 2. That I may doe to others, that [Page 443] which I desire should be done to me, and that I may procure the be­nefit of the needy, and embrace them with Christian charity. 3, That the most just Iudge of the world may have mercy also upon me, forasmuch as hee him­selfe hath promised mercy to the mercifull. Moreover it is very ex­pedient to direct one and the same action to God with diverse intentions, for this gives a won­derfull improvement to the love of God For when the Acts bee multiplyed; the habit is increased. But now a Right Intention is the act of love, the acts of love there­fore being multiplyed, needs must love it selfe be marvellously aug­mented. Now that we may have more intentions as were in a rea­dines, of all things which we doe for the honour of Almighty God, we will set a patterne underneath, whereunto we may conforme all other actions. Let this be for ex­ample. Is there any that would keepe fasting dayes, besides those that are commanded by the Law, now then that he may make this [Page 468] abstinence from meat the better liked of God, let him use this short prayer before. O my most loving God, I devote this fast unto thee. 1, For thy glory, and the ho­nour of Iesus Christ crucified. 2. So now I have determined to fast for love to thee. 3. And that I may become more acceptable to thee. 4. And may give thee more worthy thankes for thy innumerable bene­fits towards me. 5. and that I may the sooner obtaine those vertues which are necessary for me in this life. 6, That I may expresse the greater sorrow for my sins. 7. That I may refraine the immoderate de­sire of meat and drinke. 8. That I may preserve Chastity befitting my estate, undefiled. 9. That I may follow the steps of my Lord Christ, who fasted, that he might be an ex­ample to me. O my God, I offer un­to thee this fasting, all my afflictions and miseries, and whatsoever I have suffered or shall suffer hereaf­ter in body or in mind, together with all my doings in every respect, as well thoughts, as words and deeds, to thy honour, through the merits [Page 469] of Christ Iesus my Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee world with­out end. Amen. At times of fasting enjoyned by the Church, or our superiours in any publique respect, to those mentioned before, may be added this tenth intention. That I may obey my superiours, and fulfill the Lawes of the Church. This same briefe prayer, with a little alteration, may be used be­fore any other vertuous act [...]ons whatsoever. And that wee may give a speciall instance of this matter: There is some man per­haps, which would exercise an Heroicall act, as they c [...]ll it, a generous, difficult, painefull act, and approve his chastity to God, let him put forth this brief prayer as it were a Buckler.He shall O most un­defiled Iesus, I resolve with thy grace to keepe my chastity inviola­ble, and to resist all the blandish­ments of the flesh to the uttermost of my power. 1. That the greater honour may accrue thereby to thy most holy name. 2. That I may please thee more and more, and serve thee the more exactly. 3. That I [Page 446] may enjoy the sweet society of so many holy Virgins, so many other most chast persons, and of so many most pure Angels, and so prepare my selfe for a more plentifull mea­sure of thy gifts and graces. 4 That I may represse the unbridled motions of lust, and all petulancy of the flesh, and so may avoyd my former offen­ces. 5. That I may obtaine that sin­gular, heavenly, eternall reward promised to all that live chastly. Moreover there is some man, which hath to doe with fretfull, stiffe-necked, refractory people, that therefore he may digest all contumely of words with Christi­an submission and gentlenes, let him arme himselfe before with these intentions, and oppose these briefe p ayer. O most mild Iesu, I utterly detest anger, and all bitter­nes of words, and desire to deale gently and favourably with all men. 1. That I may amplify thy glory. 2. That J may imitate thee my Master, which commendest this in a speciall manner to all thy Di­sciples: Learne of me, for I am meeke and lowly in heart. Mat. [Page 447] 11.29. 3. That I may be a good example to all men, may hurt no bo­dy, nor provoke any to anger or im­patience. 4. That I may preserve tranquillity of mind in my selfe, and with others friendship and peace. 5. That at the last houre of my life I may find thee the more favou­rable Iudge. 6. That I may have thee my Lord for a Surety and Deb­tor, who hast made thy promise to the lowly. Blessed are the meeke, for they shall inherite the Land. Mat. 5 4. Namely that blessed land of the living. 7. That I may be advanced to the highest happi­nes, I will gladly submit my selfe to all men, forasmuch as J know it to be most certaine: He that humb­leth himselfe, shall bee exalted. Mat. 23. 12. There is some man, which may have a froward, severe, cruell Master, or Mistris like him, or yet diverse not so much Masters as Kings, or ci­vill Tyrants in a sort. That therefore hee may endure this proud and even imperious Master with a generous obedience, hee constraineth himselfe to submis­sion, [Page 472] with these intentions: O my God, I bequeath my will un­to thee, and determine to yeeld respect to all those unto whom I am obliged, readily, truely, sin­cerely. 1. That while I serve man obediently. I may doe accord [...]ng to thy will and commandements, for I know by whom it is said to me: He which heareth you, hea­reth me, and hee which despiseth you, despiseth mee. Luk. 10.16. 2. That I may avoyd so many evills ready to fall upon the un­dutifull and rebellious, for I know that also, who said: Let every soule be subject to the higher pow­ers, for there is no power but of God. The powers that be, are or­dained of God. Therefore he which resisteth resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall re­ceive to themselves damnation. Rom. 13.1, 2. 2. That I may triumph in the victory set before me,Rejoyce it selfe for neither am I ignorant of this injunction: Servants, obey your Masters, with all feare, not onely the good and gentle, but also the froward. For this is thanke­worthy, [Page 473] if a man for conscience to­ward G [...]d end [...]ri g [...]ese, suff [...]ing wrongfully. 1. [...]et. 2.18. 4. That I may not swarre from th [...] foote-st [...]ps of my Lord and Saviour, who for me Was made obedient to the death, even the death of the Crosse Philip. 2.9. 5. That I may enjoy the great reward pro­mised to obedience, for I know how much God esteemeth this one vertue, For obedience is better then sacrifice. 1 King. 15.22. And an obedient man shall speake for the victory. Prov. 21.28

There is some one moreover which may find the flesh re­fr [...]ctory. That therefore he may tame rhis wild beast,Keepe it a bay and make it come at a call, hee sets upon it with sundry kind of Stratagems. One while he beguileth it of meat, another while hee oppresseth it with thirst, now hee altereth his daintier Diet into courses, then he teacheth it to endure hunger at a Table full of good cheare. One while hee perplexeth it with watchings, another while he vex­eth it with labours and studies; [Page 450] now he wearieth it with trouble­some journeys, (either for the composing of differences, or other pious endeavou [...]s for vicinity sake,) and lastly he exposeth it to many other rigorous exercises fit­ting his condition, to cut off idle­nes and excesse: that all these things may be both pleasing to God, and wholsome for his soule, hee stirs himselfe up with the industry of these intentions. This myrrhe of repentance gathe­red from thy Cross, my good Iesus I present unto thee, this violence I will offer to my selfe. 1. That I may dilate thine honour. 2. That I may encrease thy love toward me. 3. That I may suppresse the wicked rebellion of the flesh. 4. That I may condemne and take revenge of my selfe in a pious manner.

For the right enduring of labours, or troubles likewise.

He which is going to worke, or in hand with any busines whatso­ever, let him use these considera­tions. 1. This busines O God I [Page 451] offer unto th [...]e for thy honour, which I will p [...]rforme with care, diligently, f [...]ithfully, [...]nd exactly. 2. That I may sustain my life to be bestowed in thy service. 3. That I may inure my selfe to obedience (if the labour be prescribed or commanded) 4. That I may shew charity to others (if the bu­sinesse will profit others also.) 5. That I may apply my mind to submission (if the worke be base and ignoble.) 6. That I may learne patience (if the matter be troublesome, difficult, and of un­certaine event.) 7. That with la­bour I may breake and over-ma­ster the flesh, which is prone to sloth and wantonnes. When ad­versity commeth upon us, when troubles, perplexities, difficulties, afflictions, heavines oppresse us, when any thing happeneth that is grievous & hard to be borne then especially let a Right Intention rouze it selfe. And forasmuch as there is scarce any man but hath an hundred occasions even in one day to exercise his patience, hee must have a most exact care of [Page 476] this, that all things be borne with such an intention as is fit. You may find a great many, which sustaine the losse both of health, and meanes, and credit, and good name; which are sick, poore, despised, but because they suffer nothing quietly, nothing patient­ly, nothing but in a stubborne manner, because they beare all things no otherwise, then because they are constrained to beare them, being never but impatient and complayning, therefore they deserve nothing but paines and punishment due to untoward peo­ple. For that which God sends un­to them for a Medicine; this they turne into poyson. In this case therefore let a right intention doe her endeavour, that what men must needs beare, may be borne with profit and advantage, and a vertue may be made of necessity. As often therefore as things fall out inconvenient and harsh, grie­vous miserable, troublesome, he which will not be hurt, let him arme himselfe with these intenti­ons. 1. This, whatsoever it be, my [Page 477] God, I will patiently suffer, that I may conforme my will to thy most holy pleasure, forasmuch as I know certainly, that this is sent upon me by thee, for my good. 2. This, Lord Iesus, I will wil­lingly endure, for love of thee, and that I may cleave close to thy foot-steps, which have shewed me the way before. 3. I will both re­ceive and suffer all afflictions gladly, that I may bee corrected for my former wicked life, and reape Gods favour, and the reward of glory hereafter. It is the grea­test art, to bee able to beare all kind of evils well. And this learned patience is withall the greatest advantage.

Before a man change his state to the Ministry, or any Ecclesi­asticall function.

There arose a controversie in times, amongst learned and reli­gious men, what Order of all was the strictest? Some delivered one thing concerning this questi­on, and some another. They con­cluded that the rigid Brethren of [Page 454] Saint Bruno, these of St. Francis his Order, the other that others liv [...]d the most austere life of all. At length one of them when he had heard all their opinions. Sin, by your favour, saith he, let me tell you: that for your learning yee have judged not amisse, but very ill for your experience: There is not an Order in all the world of a more strict obligement, Rigid Strict then Marriage is: and that he began to confirme by diverse arguments. This man seemeth to have spoken most truely of all, and especially if Ma­trimony be contracted not with that intention as is fit. He which taketh either Queene Mony, or Lady Beauty, or Madam Nobili­ty for his Wife, involveth himself in a world of miseries, he bring­eth himself indeed into Order, but a most cruell one: He marrieth a Wife, but he selleth his liberty. Thus God useth very often to pu­nish a corrupt inten [...]ion (experi­ence speaketh) that hee which sought for pleasures and riches with a perverse intention, should find perpetuall brawling and dis­sentions. [Page 455] Alas, what misery like to this, then for a man so often to utter this confession against his will. I can neither live with thee, nor without thee. Nec possum re­cum vivere, nec fine te. Such a Marriage as this perplexed with Civill warres, thou maist not un­fitly tearme a lively Protraict of Hell, Where no order but eternall horrour doth inhabit. Ectyp [...]n. Iob 10.22. Looke therefore you that thinke upon Wedlock, that yee undertake it with a very good intention. You must not marry pedigree onely, nor onely beauty, or mony, good and upright manners are to be sought for. But especially we must take heed of that, that the match be not unequall. For this in parity cannot choose but be the Semina­ry of discord. Before all things the intention of both man and wife ought to be right, that they come not together as Achab and Ieza­bel. but as Tobias and Sara, as Ioachim and Susanna. For they which take Marriage upon them in that mann [...]r that they shut ou [...] God from them and from their thoughts, [Page 480] and so addict themselves to their owne lust, like to Horse and Mule which have no understanding, the evill Spirit hath power over them. Tob. 6.17. According to Saint Ieroms Translation. Therefore let not a mutuall consent bee plighted in Marriage, before a right intent. Tobias giveth us this brief forme of the same intention: O Lord, thou knowest, that I take a Wife not for concupisence, but one­ly for love of posterity, wherein thy name may be blessed for evermore. Tob. 8.9. according to St. Ierom. But I turne me unto Clergy men. Here I would have sighes and groanes to speake for me, Alas, I am affraid, least happily there be found some, which come into the M [...]nistery, not that they may obtaine on holy Office, but more liberall maintenance, that they may get all manner of provision, that they may furnish their Kit­chin, that they m [...]y fill their Coffers, I passe by worse things, which yet a naugh [...]y intention is wont to suggest in wrong man­ner, even then when we are set­ting [Page 481] upon the honestest courses. It is an old, but just complaint of the Priests. Malachi in Gods stead cryes out: Who is there even a­mong you that would shut the doores for nought? neither doe yee kindle fire upon mine Altar for nought. J have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of Hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hands. Malach. 1.10. Even as if he had said, al­though I would not have the paines of my Ministers to bee without wages wherewith they may maintaine themselves, yet I will not that they execute their Office, especially for so base an end. Let them looke to my service principally, and let them account their owne benefit, for an additi­on. Hereby it appeareth that it is a deadly offence, to performe Di­vine Offices, and duties of this sort, chiefly with that intention, that they may not lose their year­ly profits and revenews. O Clergy­men (I appeale to you whomso­ever an unsound intention puts upon this course) this is to bee quite out of the way to Heaven, [Page 482] and to offend not in one thing, but in all. If you will needs goe on in this way, yee goe the ready way to Hell,Tread therefore choose a­nother path, or change your naughty intention. To goe this way, and with this mind, is to come to destruction. Whosoever therefore is desirous of a benefice, let him seeke not his owne ho­nour, but Gods with a sincere in­tention, let him be ready not to sheare or flay the Sheep, but to feed them, let him thinke not up­on a better living, but an holier life. Wherefore O Ministers and spirituall men, consider, take heed; the busines of eternall salvation is not to bee undertaken with a blind desire. There can be no ho­ly Guide hereunto, but onely a right, sincere, pureintention. Who­soever commeth to a spirituall Office, or promotion with any o­ther Conduct or companion, then this good intention, must either returne hence to his former state of life, or here certainely he shall perish.

CHAP. IX. What the signes of a Right In­tention are.

THe common People of Israel were for a great part rude and churlish, and of such a dull un­derstanding, that they would very hardly beleeve, what they did not see with their eyes. That therefore they might behold with their owne eyes most apparantly, what an evill and misguided intention is, it was Gods Will, that the Manna which by direction they gathered for the Sabbath, should be preserved whole, fresh, and in­corrupted, but that which they ga­thered against the Law for other dayes also, being either vitiously provident, or weary of taking the same paines againe, it was all pre­sently corrupted, and began to swarme with wormes. Here nei­ther the place, nor the Vessell wherein this heavenly aliment was kept, nor the Manna it selfe was in fault, but onely the evill, [Page 484] and naughty intention, refusing to be obedient to the Law.

This God did set before the Israelites eyes in that manner, as if he had proclaimed from Hea­ven: Behold yee at length O un­civill people; what the will in man can doe, what it is to be rea­dy to obey or not, what a good or evill intention bringeth forth? these wormes are witnesses of your rebellion, these fruits your head-strong will, and perverse intention produceth. Looke upon these things with your eyes, han­dle them with your hands yee unbeleev [...]rs. God dealeth with Ch [...]istians after so many Sermons of his Son, in another manner: he proposeth the signes of a good and evill intention to them also, but more secret ones, and not to be discerned so much with the eyes as with the mind. If a man con­sider the eyes of the body he shall find them to be of a very prating disposition,Without [...]oice though they cannot speake, for by their pratling they commonly betray their Master, f [...]smuch as it is very easie to [Page 485] perceive health and sicknes, mirth and sorrow, hatred and love by the eyes: the eyes divulge these hidden affections. An Hogge, for his inwards, being most like a man, bewrayeth his sicknes to the beholder by his tongue and eyes. If we should give judgement how sound a mans action is, we must examine his inward eye, the in­tention: If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall bee full of light. Behold, men learne by the eye, what to pronounce of the whole body. But as it is no cunning to know,Sicknes that a Disease is perceived by the eyes, unlesse it be knowne withall by what signes and sym­ptoms it may be discovered. So it is not sufficient to know that up­rightnes of life is gathered by the intention, unlesse we know with all what be the signes and tokens of an upright intention, whereof we are now to treat. Therefore that every man may trust himselfe, and beleeve that he goeth the right way, we will reckon up Twelve Signes in order whereby it shall be easie for every one to judge of his owne intention.

The first Signe of a good Intention.

Not easily to be troubled, not heedlesly or hastily to set upon any thing. Their wit is not good, which goe about businesses with an inconsiderate lightnes, which doe all things with violence, and come not on by degrees, but are fiercely hurried upon matters; they fume, they throw their hands and feet about, they pant for feare, as if there would be no time left to gaine their purposes: they [...]un about in a rage, as though they would dispatch all things at first dash. What need is there of this fuming and fretting? Make sl [...]w hast,Festinae lente. my friend. There is need of counsell, not force, as Q [...]ntus Curtius warneth; Hee which runs so fiercely at first, quickly gives over: he that tra­velleth with a gentle, and stayd pace, goes forward still, and is lesse we [...]ried. Hee that hasteth with his seet, sinneth. Prov. 19.2. That saying of the Ancient must be taken for a rule: Bee thou a [Page 487] Snaile in thy advice, an Eagle in thy doings. Sis inconsiliis cochlea, in factis Aquila Leasurely Therefore at the be­ginning we must walke for the most part pleasantly, untill such time as strength encrease by our very going. Wee know the words which are taught in the imitation of Christ: That a man should not bee importunate in doing. Imit. Christ. l. 3. c. 39. And let thy actions bee swayed by thee. Hee which is of a sincere intention, even in the most troublesome bu­sinesses, converseth thus in his mind: God hath committed these businesses to my care, as he will al­so give time and grace to accomplish them. I labour for God and his ho­nour, and I doe what lyeth in my power: God in his goodnesse will supply the rest. Therefore as the very Poets instruct: Permitto Di­vis caetera. I leave the rest to God. Horat. l. 1. carm. ad Taliarch.

2. Signe of a Good Intention.

In every matter to be so affected as if one should demand, to what purpose are these things? hee [Page 488] should answer with all readines, For the greater glory of GOD. Why are those things? For this very end: why the other? for the very same. As a Traveller being asked whither he takes his way, answereth without delay, To In­golstad, or Vienna, or to Prague, or Rome. And if hee understand himselfe to be never so little out of his Iourney, returneth as soone as can be into the Kings H [...]gh­way. He which determineth to walke abroad onely for recreati­on sake, many times carrieth nei­ther bread, nor mony with him, for indeed it is nor his mind to turne into any place of repast. But they which are to goe [...]a long Iourney, take either mony for the way, or victuals, as men com­monly use from a Country Town, and as soone as the belly begins to grumble, and the empty bulke to complaine, they draw their provision out of their Scrip, and cheare up their barking stomack. Even so a man of Right Intenti­on, which never but remembreth himselfe to be in a Pilgrim state, [Page 489] when he is wearied with travaile, and begins to seele the troubles of this life more heavily, presently renewing a R [...]ght Intention with himselfe: And for whom doe I these things, saith he, for whom doe I labour, for whom doe I read and write, for whom doe I stand and run? Is it not for God? doe I not endure all these things for Gods sake? Therefore bee gone faint heart, be gone wearines; be gone ease and idlenes, get thee farre e­nough impatience, bee packing yee mischievous companions. If all these things be done for God, as it is meet they should bee done for him onely, therefore I will patiently, and readily, and willingly both doe, and endure these things every one. Thus I goe forward, for thee Lord; all things are both easie and plea­sant to me, O Lord, for thy sake. They doe otherwise which leade their lives like a walking for recre­ation, which carry neither victuals nor mony with them; they want both a serious and sincere intention: silly men, prone to all kind of entise­ments, whose soule was given them [Page 490] for Salt. Their course of life, is to walke sor recreation sake, whither their feet carry them, whither their affections run before. Not so those true Travellers, which have both victuals, and mony, not onely a se­rious, but also a sincere intention.

3. Signe of a Good Intention.

Not to be vexed, nor disturbed in thoughts about doing matters, which may call a man away from prayer, from the care of consci­ence, from the remembrance of God. He which is of a sincere in­tention, bends himselfe to this, that he may doe according to his strength and ability. Chrysostome observeth, that he was as much commended of the good man in the Gospell, which received two Talents, as he that received five. Chrys. Hom. 41. in Gen. But thou wilt say perhaps: Why was like honour given to both of them? Because there was like diligence in both, although about an unlike summe of mony. This falleth out very often, that two employ their [Page 491] paines in the same matter, but al­together with unequall effect, one being far exceeded by the other. Yet may it come to passe, that both of them hath gained an equal reward with God howsoever, who respecteth not of what kind the worke is, as from what kind of endeavour and industry it pro­ceedeth. There be some that ex­cell in strength, or wit, or under­standing, and those things which are exceeding hard to others, they doe as it were in sport. Others againe there bee, which either have sorry strength, or an unhap­py, grosse, and dull apprehension, these although they sweat, and try all their force, and spend all their endeavour in a busines, yet at length a homely Pitcher comes forth, a worke without all grace and beauty. And whether of these are worthy of the greater reward? many times those, whose worke as it were too devoid of skill, is despised of all men. Gods Iudge­ments are exceeding different from mans. And this may wor­thily cut off the wings of their [Page 492] pride; which excell in quicknes of wit, or have the graces assisting them in all things; and advance the other,Put in courage and adde courage to them, seeing it is a thing of no moment to please the eyes of men, but exceeding great to please Gods. Worthily Thomas of Kem­pis: If God, saith he. were al­waies the very intention of our de­sire, we should not be so easily troub­led for the thwarting of our senses, Crossenes Kemp. l. 1. c. 14. n. 1.

4. Signe.

After the finishing of a workWhen a Worke is finished, not to run about, and keepe a fishing after other mens. Iudgements. There be some which like Stage-players, when they have Acted their parts enquire, How did we please? doth no body applaud us? So these are wont to enquire; What doe great men thinke of me, and my worke? have I given satisfaction, what have I pleased them? why doe they not speake? An evident signe of a corrupt in­tention. For he which is of a sin­cere [Page 493] intention, saith thus with himselfe: I know whom I have be­leeved, and I am perswaded that he is able to keepe that which I have committed unto him against that day. 2. Tim. 1.12. I truely have done what I was able, and that with a sincere mind for the divine honour: whether commendation follow after or not, all is one to me, I know how easie it is for one that is willing in earnest to serve and please God.

There was one that found a Iewel-ring of very great worth, which carrying presently to the next Shoomaker: Tell me I pray, quoth he, good Sir, at what price doe you esteeme this Ring with the stone in it? The Cobler, which had more skill in a piece of Leather then in Gold and Iewells: The curious shew, saith he, may perchance make it richly worth three Florens. Which I pray was the veriest foole of these two, whether he that as­ked the question of such a one, or he that returned such an answer? Surely he that found the Ring in my conceit won the fooles [...]auble, which [Page 494] carried a Iewell to bee prized, to a Iudge that had no skill at all in Iewells. Deeds performed with a good intention, are Iewells, of an in­valuable price: but why doe wee aske mens eares and eyes concerning them? these know lesse how to e­steeme of them, then a Cobler of Diamonds; especially seeing the intention, which gaineth worth to the deed, can never bee throughly knowne to any man. A Nut-shell and the Sky, Bebble a drop and the Ocean, a little stone and the whole earth, admit of no reasonable comparison one with the other: much lesse that which is done with a good intenti­on, suffers it selfe to bee compared with that which is done with an evill one. And how then can eyes be Iudges in this case? why doe wee foolishly contend before them about the dignity of our Pearles? It is God onely which knowes how to value them, we must leave all to his judgement, to his wee must stand. By men vertues and vices are esteemed for the most part not accor­ding to desert, Peoples fancy but popular conceit. In this kind there is no end of errour.

5. Signe.

Not to be troubled or daunted at the crosse event of any matter or businesse, seeing at whom our intention must aime, respecteth not so much what is effected, as in what sort, with what intenti­on, with what diligence any thing is done. That great Apostle Iames, as they report, gained no more in all Spaine to the Christi­an faith, then eight Persons, so returning as it were after a fruit­lesse Iourney to Hierusalem, hee laid downe his head under Herods Sword.Was be­headed Was not God ready to give the same reward to Iames, as he did to other the Apostles, which converted Kings and whole Kingdomes to Christs Religion? The same in every respect, and peradventure greater. For God did not give him charge what he should effect, but what he should doe. The Seed was to be sowne by the Apostle, the increase of the seed was in Gods hands. This a man of an upright intention throughly considereth, that it is [Page 496] his part to labour; and Gods to prosper the worke. Therefore when his Art faileth him, when nothing goes forward, when any thing turneth to his ruine, when his hope is utterly voyd, hee is scarce a whit troubled, for this faith he, is not in my power, but Gods. I have done what I was able, what I ought, what was fit­ting. Did the matter fall out con­trary? this is the condition of humane things. And this is very necessary to be knowne, for it is not unusuall, that even the grea­test paines may faile of their gaines, and any worthy labour whatsoever may be to no purpose. Shall a man therefore be tormen­ted in mind? by no meanes. If he be of a good intention, he will commit both faire and foule e­vents, to Gods disposing, not distrusting the divine providence. Christ himselfe in the last foure yeares of his life, how many did he win by his most divine Ser­mons? you shall number not ve­ry many. The Apostles turned farre more to the true religion.

In like manner he which enterpri­seth nothing but with an holy in­tention, although he be sensible of his wants in many things, although he find many pravities and imper­fections in himselfe, yet he doth not presently loose his courage, he is not astonished, he is not daunted, but as much as his owne misery depresseth him, so much the mercy of God lifteth him up; neither doe things wind so ill at any time, that they are able to change his good intenti­on. In prosperity and adversity his heart is all one, that is alwaies bent upright to God. All other things hee treadeth like the Clouds under his feet, hee sets his mind like the Firmament against all casualties and incursians of fortune; hee be­holdeth all things with a contented and chearefull eye. His mind is al­waies equall, and such as goes on in a pleasant course, and continues in a quiet state. Therefore hee commeth to that passe, as to obtaine that great and God-like disposition, Not to be shaken. No evill shall happen to the just: or as some read it: Whatsoever can happen to the [Page 498] just, shall not trouble him. Prov. 12.21.

6. Signe.

At the accomplishment of any thing, to shun vaine glory, and all Phantasticall conceits. Who is he, and wee will praise him, which never applaudes himselfe private­ly, which esteemeth not highly of his owne labour, which hea­reth not from his owne mouth, well, bravely, excellently, who could have done better? But this is nothing else then to make bas­kets whole weekes, and when all is done,Sacrifice to Vulcan to throw the worke in the fire. They were vaine in their ima­ginations, and their foolish heart is darkned. Rom. 1.21. There bee some which praise their owne things onely, other peoples they eondemne, and passe over with silence; they receive their owne praises with open mouth, even at the hands of the unskilfull, other mens they entertaine with a de­jected looke, brow, eyes, and when they cannot disprove them, [Page 499] yet they never like them. These people not borne for God, but onely for their owne credit doe hide mighty mountaines of pride under a modest brow. Nor does this pinching praise of other mens vertues proceed from any thing else, then from a mind greedy of their owne honour; hee which feareth that his owne commenda­tions will be impayred by ano­thers, is very wary that nothing slip from him, wherein another deserves to be commended: hee hateth equalls in the raigne of glory. Annaeus Seneca here giving a touch to the purpose: Keepe that yet in mind, saith he, which I told thee a little before: It is no mat­ter at all, Take no­tice of how many know thy up rightnes. Hee which would have his vertues to bee made a common talke, laboureth not for vertue, but glory. Wilt thou not be just without glory? but beleeve me thou ough­test to be just sometimes with infa­my. And thea, if thou be wise, an ill repart well gotten, is pleasi [...]g. Opinion Mala o [...]inio bene [...]arta delectat. Sen. E [...]ist. 113. fine. The Patri­arch Iacob upon his death Bed: [Page 500] Dan, saith he, shall be a Serpent by the way, an Ad [...]er in the path, that biteth the Horse heeles, so that his Rider shall fall back­wards. Genes. 49.17. The Adder, being a Serpent of no great body, hideth himselfe in the Sand, that he may bite the Horse heeles which passeth that way, to make him cast his Rider in a furious fit. The Divell most like an Adder, whilst wee goe in the narrower path of vertue, covers himselfe in the dust of humane praise, that he may sting the Horse heele, that is, a right intention, and so over­throw it under a colour of vaine glory. He which is of a good in­tention doth most warily avoyd this Adder, and in every place con­tinually cryeth out: Not unto us O Lord, not unto us; but to thy name give the praise. Psal 115.1. To God onely be glory: the Lord of Hosts, he is the King of glory.

7. Signe.

Not to have the least touch of envy. He which studieth onely for the honour of God, little re­gardeth, [Page 501] although he have equalls or yet superiours in skill and knowledge.Arts and Sciences He desireth that no­thing should bee performed by him onely, nor doth hee ever wish, not to bee excelled of ano­ther: he never envieth one that stands above him; that which is great in others, he debaseth not, that his owne things may be ex­tolled. Moses gave us a most wor­thy example of this point. There came a young man to stir up his anger against others, for he ac­cused them of strange Prophecy­ing.Rare The Divine Scripture rela­teth the matter thus: And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad doe Prophesie in the Camp. And Ioshua the Son of Nun, the servant of Moses answered, and said: My Lord Moses forbid them. And Mo­ses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God all the Lords people were Prophets, and that the Lord would put his Spirit upon them. Numb. 11.27. &c. It falleth out in Princes Courts, that an Embassadours, or any other [Page 502] duty is to be executed, and per­chance one is chosen thereunto who was least of all thought up­on, he is left, who supposed that he should be chosen before all men. Here he acteth a great mat­ter, which can abstaine from en­vy. The same commeth to passe among Clergy men: there are di­verse Offices among them, of governing, of teaching, of Preach­ing, of looking to this or that. In this case he is to bee esteemed a man of great vertue, and a very good intention, which can behold another governing, teaching, Preaching, looking to this or that, with as much content as himselfe. But sometimes another disposition bewrayeth it selfe. How often doth it happen that we would a mans poverty should be releeved, but of our selves, (because we would have both the wealth and the credit;) that con­science should be taught, bu [...] of our selves, that vice should bee corrected, but of our selves; that Confessions in some cases should bee received, but of our selves; [Page 503] that these or those should be salu­ted in all humble sort, but of no body else then our selves; that Sermons should bee preached to the people, but not by others, when we distrust not that wee can performe it as well our selves or better. How few be the Mose­ses at this day which will cry out in earnest, Would God all the Lords people were Prophets? That all were his faithfull Embassadors, That all were fit to Governe, to teach, to Preach; would God it were so. After the same manner when some are more aboundant­ly praised for their industry, for wit, for fidelity, for learning, for other endowments of Nature, of mind and understanding, if a man can heare these praises with indifferent eares, and not have the least touch of envy within him, beleeve me, he also performes a great matter. But whosoever is of a good intention will say hear­tily to all these things, Would to God there were a thousand such, I envy not these nor the other. Would to God, my Mstaer had as many [Page 504] praise-worthy Servants like thi [...] as he desireth; I will discharge wh [...] lyeth in me with a faithfull ende [...], vour, I will suffer my selfe to bee [...] celled by this or that men without e [...] vie. These good words are co [...] ­mon, and better then these. Th [...] fellow is not so trusty and dili­gent as he is beleeved to be: Thi [...] same man in troth hath no grea [...] learning: Hee is one of no suc [...] great worth, as he is suppose [...] This is to teare other mens prai­ses with an envious tooth, an [...] then at length to admire himselfe for a brave fellow, when he hath all men in poore estimation beside himselfe. All which things are quite contrary to a good inten­tion. But O Envy, O mischievous beast! how many Courts, how many, I may almost say, Religi­ous Houses dost thou either over­throw or infect? O envy alwaies the greatest enemy to other mens good! Hence is that wearinesse, and tossing of a mind that never lyes still, and sorrowfull and sicke enduring of any rest. From thence commeth heavines, and repining, [Page 505] and hatred against other mens proceedings, and a thousand per­turbations of a wavering breast: from thence commeth that dispo­sition of men detesting their owne quietnes, and complaining that they have nothing to doe: that o­thers are promoted to honourable functions, and they neglected. A mind left to its owne swinge, and not sufficient for it selfe, beates upon these things. And who is there, which if he have done any thing worthily, and the honour of the deed redound also to ano­ther, will not presently utter with indignation: I made these Verses, Ho [...] ego ver­siculos feci, tulit aelter honore [...]. and another carried away the grace. Others triumph in my victories, and I am led like a Captive. But to be delighted with other mens harmes, is not the pleasure of a man, but of the Divell. To bee vexed at other mens happines, is an eternall misery. These not ri­volets, but whole streames of emulation and envy, doe flow from the fountaine of a naugh­ty intention, before a Right In­tention they are dryed up.

8. Signe.

To be able to make no account of mens judgements, this is one of the greatest and most necessary Arts that can be. He will never be a man, whosoever hath not learned exactly to performe this. This all wise men will cry out un­to us upon every side, that the Iudgements of men are not to be feared. It is below the dignity o [...] a Christian to be tost hither and thither with the Iudgements of men, and a mighty mischiefe in­deed, to hang upon other mens opinions, as it were by a thread. For what felicity is there so mo­derate, which can avoyd hard censures?Meane It is a caveat of the Ancient: If thou wilt bee blessed, thinke upon this first of all, to make no account, and to bee made no ac­count of. Thou art not yet happy, if the multitude have not yet dis­deigned thee. But far more excel­lently Thomas of Kempis: Rejoyce thou thy heart, saith he, firmely in the Lord, and feare not the Iudge­ment of men, as long as thine owne [Page 507] conscience assureth thee to be godly and innocent. A good and blessed thing it is to suffer in that manner, Kemp. l. 3. de imitat. c. 37. n. 21. If thou be praised thou art never the holier, and if thou be disprai­sed thou art never the worser. What thou art, thou art; neither canst thou bee tearmed greater, then thou art by the witnesse of God. If thou considerest what thou art in thy selfe inwardly, thou wilt not care what men speake of thee: man regardeth the deeds, but God weigheth the in­tentions. He which is of a sincere intention, therefore dreadeth not these Iudges, 1. Because he find­eth very well how grievously they may be deceived in many things, and learneth this even from him­selfe, who was so often deceived in judgeing others. 2. He know­eth that nothing commeth unto him by these Iudgements,is added and nothing is taken away. Such every man is, as he is in Gods eyes, and no more. Truely no more, al­though men lade him with com­mendations. 3. Because he hath [Page 508] his conscience for a witnes, that he dealeth with a sincere purpose. 4. He knoweth that no body ever can please all men, neither Peter, nor Paul, no nor Christ himselfe. 5. He knoweth likewise, that it is exce [...]ding great vertue to be able to disgest these Iudgements with Christian magnanimity, which Paul of Tarsus could doe indeed, who although he were made all things to all men, yet hee freely cryed out:Protested But with me, it is a very small thing to bee Iudged of you or of mans Iudgement. (1 Cor. 4, 3.) 6. Because God in time to come will Iudge these Iudge­ments, by a certaine Rule most exactly. These things whereas a man of a good intention through­ly underst [...]ndeth, hee easily con­temneth the Iudgements of men, as it were the barking of little Dogs, and never careth what he may seeme to others, but what he may seeme to God and himselfe.

9 Signe.

In all things which doe please the flesh, to be very temperate [Page 509] and continent, but if otherwise, it is a sure token in a manner, that a man is too precious and deare to himselfe. Selfe-love is most plaine-dealing, and most subtile withall. When self-love gets the upper hand, it careth a jot neither for God nor man, it hath no con­sideration at all either of Heaven, or Hell. It draweth all things with a favourable interpretation to it selfe. It looketh ever most diligently to its owne profit, par­doneth and pampereth it selfe freely in all things, but especially it loveth ease and daintinesse, these two bits, it casteth both to Body and Soule, like a poysoned sop. It breeds all curious conceits, that it may win the m [...]nd, it in­viteth to all kind of pleasure, that it may captivate the body, and hath a speciall care of this, that nothing troublesome or distastfull may offend so good a friend. But it is a most true speech of St. Gre­gory, and with him of all good men: Even as when the body is at ease, the spirit waxeth feeble, so when that is troubled, Exercised the spirit [Page 510] waxeth strong. And as content doth nourish the flesh, so perturbations doe raise up the Soule. For shee is fed with delights, and this is quickned with sorrowes. Greg. Tom. 2. in 3. Psal. poenit. The spirit waxeth feeble, when the flesh is at rest: for as the flesh is nourished with pleasures, so the soule with paines. If any man therefore incline his mind to ease and delicacy, he giveth signe e­nough of himself that he hath an impure intention, wherewith he regardeth not the honour of God, but his owne advantage, as a Maid Servant which helpeth a Baker to worke for white bread.Hireth her selfe to Such a one as this, as soone as he feeleth any trouble, draweth backe his hand, and returneth to his pleasure againe, and chooseth rather to lye like a beast in his idle commodity, then to make way through valorous attempts to a better estate; or if at any time he put forth his hand to dif­ficult matters, he extendeth his endeavour no farther, then whi­ther the desire of honour, and his [Page 511] owne reputation enforceth him. Bernard deciphering such a man as this, who lyeth hid under a religious garbe: He is couragious saith he, in all things that concerne himselfe, but a very Drone in things that concerne others; hee watcheth in his Bed, but sleepeth in the open Assembly. Philautia Even so selfe-love is most couragious in all things that concerne it selfe, and goes cheerefully about to procure, what­soever she conceiveth fit for her owne turne. In this case a man of a good intention most earnestly restraineth himselfe, and conti­nually repeats that lesson,Seeke not Looke not after thy selfe, but God.

10. Signe.

To do any thing with as good a will in private as in publicke, and to labour as diligently out of o­ther mens sight, as if the eyes of all men were cast upon him, nor yet to stand upon the number of them that heare him, looke upon him, praise him. There be some that shed teares to make a shew, [Page 512] and keepe their eyes dry, as often as they want one to looke on. There be some which labour tooth and nayle, as long as they are beheld, take away their wit­nesses and Spectators, to labour in secret will please them no longer. Seneca very worthily counselling a man that loves the open world too well, and desires to be gazed upon: There is no reason, saith he, why the glory of making thy wit knowne, should bring thee forth, to the end thou maist discourse or dispute before people. Therefore, sayest thou, for whose sake have I learned these things? Thou hast no reason to feare, least thou shouldst lose thy labour, if thou hast learned them onely for thine owne sake. But to shew I have not learned for mine owne sake onely at this pre­sent, I will relate unto thee three excellent sayings which I have met with very neare the same purpose (Observe them I pray, especially you, whose whole desire is, to bee seene and heard of a great many. (Observe the same) Democritus saith. One man is to me instead of [Page 513] the People, and the people instead of one man, Well likewise he, Vnus mih [...] pro populo est, et populus pro uno. whoso­ever it was, who when hee was de­manded, to what purpose hee used so much diligence about that skill which should come to the knowledge of very few: Enough for me, saith he, are a few, enough is one, e­nough is none. Worthily this in the third place: Epicurus when on a time he wrote to one of his owne Sect: These, quoth he, I not to many, but to thee; for we are a The [...]tre great enough for one a­nother. These things my Lucilius, are to be taken to heart, that thou mayst learne to despise that plea­sure, which commeth from the approbation of a multitude. Senec. Epist. 7. at the end. So many of us may say: One Angell to me, my conscience onely, God alone is instead of a City, instead of a Kingdome,As much instead of the whole World, instead of the eyes and eares of all men. It is enough to me, if a few, enough if one, e­nough if none know, wh [...]t I h [...]ve hitherto both done and en­dured. So every Christian unto [Page 514] Christ. We are a Theatre wide enough one for the other. O Christ, thou art a most spatious Thea [...]re to me of Obedience, of Love, of Patience, and of all vertues: I am a Theatre to thee of a world of misery, and almost all kind of vices. This is a sincere intention which laboureth onely for the eyes of God, and endu­reth all things for the same; mens eyes it regardeth alike, whether they looke on, or off.

11. Signe.

Not to be put out of heart with dispraises, nor deterred from good proceedings by others in a world of respects. It is well knowne what answer Bernard ve­ry fitly retorted upon the Divell. The Divell had praised him ex­ceedingly, and how excellently dost thou this, how admirably! when hee was nothing moved, the crafty Foxe turned his stile, and, to what purpose at all is this that thou dost, how foolishly, and how unhandsomely goest thou [Page 515] about all things? leave off for shame, thou buildest Houses for flyes. Hereunto the holy man made this answer onely: I began not for thy pleasure, neither will I give ov [...]r for thy pleasure. (The Acts of St. Bernard. The use of this saying, St. Ignatius declareth. l. Exercit. de. dignosc. Scrup.) This briefe forme of speaking a good intention useth: I began not that I might be praised, neither will I give over when I am discommen­ded. But thou maist say perhaps: if a Master, or Mistris, or any bo­dy else, for whose sake a man takes paines, and of whom the worke deserveth to be well accep­ted and approved, and yet he ma­keth apparant shew that it very much disliketh him, who would not take that grievously? Truely a man of a pure intention will not take it grievously, but will reason thus with himselfe: I have done what I was able, and that with a very good meaning, but that I have not given satisfaction to this man or the other, I in­terpret it to be no great damage, [Page 516] so long as God and I be friends; here unlesse I much mistake my selfe, I am not blame-worthy. For a man to hope to please all men, is most idle hope. Shall I therefore be ready to hang my selfe, because I am not commen­ded, because I have displeased? I began not for these trifles, for these I will not make an end. God is to me both the reward of my labour, and my praise, and all things. Thus a good intention discourseth. And he truely enjoy­eth great tranquillity of heart, who careth neither for praises, nor reproaches. Happy is hee which deserveth this report, Thou carest not for any man, for thou regar­dest not the persons of men. Mat. 22.16. It is an old saying and a true: Despite,Despectus, suspieto, & respectus aeverti [...]r or­ [...]em. Suspition, and Respect overthrow the world. It [...]s no part of honesty so to respect others, as to forget thy selfe: Be yee harme­lesse as Doves. Mat. 20.16. Lots Wife cast back her eyes upon So­dome and the fire that rained downe, and so perished. Stephen [...]ning away his countenance [Page 517] from the stony Haile looked up to Christ,Stones throwne as thick as Haile and so ended in a most godly manner. It is the saying of Christ: What is that to thee? follow thou me. Ioh. 21.22. Whether others blame, or commend thee, what is that to thee? Looke upwards to Christ, follow him. Despise the reproaches of others with a right intention. It is no fault to be dispraised, but to doe things worthy of dispraise.

12. Signe.

To be ever ready prepared for all assayes. Philip 3. King of Spaine did commonly use this Motto. Ad utrumque. Emblem Poesie Present Against both. Or, For all assayes, which a Lyon did expresse, who in his right Paw held a Crosse and an Olive branch, and a Souldiers Speare in his left. A man of a good mind a d intention, is so provided against both, that he ma­keth almost no difference be­tweene adversity and prosperity, wealth and poverty, honour and contempt, favour and neglect of himselfe, health and sicknes, long [Page 518] life and short: It is all one to su [...] a man as this, to lead his life [...] riches, or in want, in sicknes, [...] soundnes, in a smiling or fro [...] ning fortune; he is indifferent t [...] wards all these things, as it sha [...] please God to dispose from above He looketh after God; whether he come to God by this way o [...] that, is no matter to him, so h [...] come to him. He that doth an [...] thing so preparedly,Readily there is r [...] doubt but he doth it willingly. [...] be longeth to Mathematicians to discourse of numbers, lines, di­mensions, and circles, but whe­ther they draw their Mathemati­call figures in paper, or wood, i [...] lead, or silver, or else in the sand, they sticke not upon that, where­as all their Disputation is employ­ed about abstracted quantity, as they [...]earme it. So, as many as doe give their mind in earnest un­to vertue, are bent upon God and his honour with their whole in­tention: if now it be as expedi­ent for them to attaine to this marke, as well by adversity, as prosperity, by sicknesse, as by [Page 519] health, by penury, as by aboun­dance, they make no question in the world, being contented with their lot, and prepared For Both, every way tractable; for so they take all things that happen in good part: there none of these but saith even an hundred times in oneday: My heart is ready O God, my hart is ready. Psal. 57.8 and 108.1. I will freely goe on whither thy pleasure is. But if all kind of adversity, if poverty, ignominy, sor­row, can shew me a shorter and sa­fer way to God, then prosperity, then riches, honour, pleasure, here they are throughly resolved before riches, honour, pleasures, to em­brace poverty, ignominy, sorrow with open armes, and not to com­plaine at all of the difficulty of the way, seeing it leadeth to such a joy­full state of life, and that eternall life. Whosoever is come to this understanding of ma [...]ters, hath a full perswasion, that all things which are in the World, are go­verned by God in the sittest man­ner; he knoweth that all these things which wee sign at, which [Page 520] so much trouble us, are tributes of Nature, from which wee are ne­ther to hope, nor to aske for im­munity, whereas these things doe not happen, but are Decreed. An [...] indeed by this meanes a man of a right intention doth ascend to that height, that hee beginneth now to wish, or hope for nothing, to desire nothing, to feare nothing but God, and wickednes, him a the chiefest good, that as the greatest of all evills.Sinne If we should cast an account of all these signes, the totall summe will bee this. 1. To set upon nothing turbu­lently. 2. To be lead with a con­tinuall love to a good intention. 3. Not to be solicitous about the affaires of the world. 4. After things are done to take no care what other men thinke. 5. Not to bee troubled for the [...]nh [...]ppy event of a matter. 6. By all meanes to avoyd vaine glory. 7. To keepe himselfe free from [...]nvy. 8. To know how to con­ [...]emne the Iudgements of men. 9. To bee very temperate in all things that are pleasing to the [Page 521] flesh. 10. Not to sue for the open World, not for Spectators or Au­ditors.Led away 11. Not to bee seduced with opinions, nor dejected with dispraises. 12. Touching every state of life, to be indifferent and prepared for all affaies. Truely God is loving unto Israell, even unto such as are of a cleane heart. Psal. 73.1. Such as labour onely for this one thing, that they may find these signes of salvation within them.


‘The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. Mat. 6.22.

THe Ancient were of opinion that the principall beauty of man is in the eyes, forasmuch as in these the comlines of face hath taken up her chiefe seat.Looke For al­though the Symmetry or due pro­portion of the whole countenance be required to forme, yet there is [Page 522] no part in the face; whereby the mind and the affections thereof doe shine so clearely, as through the eyes. Surely by these glassy Be [...]des the heart appeares, they are the interpreters of inward de­sires, as Quintilian eloquently. O quam bene quicquid volunt imi­tantur oculi! O how well do the eyes imitate what they will: whereupon old Poets in thei [...] praises of the beauty of Goddes­ses began at the eyes. Hom [...] hath his gray-eyed Minerva, his black-eyed Iuno, and his rolling-eyed Muses. This opinion of the Ancient, that the fairest in man is in his eyes, is most certaine of all, if we shall speake of the inward Pulchritude of man. Si oculus tuus simplex fuerit, totum [...]orpus luci­dum erit. If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light, These eyes doe procure man ad­mired beauty; they make him all faire. By the eye the intention of man is signified, as is to be seene by the drift of our Saviours Dis­course: If a man have a good meaning, it seasons all the rest of [Page 523] his Actions with goodnes. And how this stands in it selfe, wee will endeavour to shew in some briefe conclusions following, such as suite with the consent of Di­vines about this matter. 1. Of every good worke acceptable to God there are three conditions, 1. That malice be absent. 2. That Grace be present. 3. That a right intention be not wanting. If any one of these bee deficient, it is a worke without desert, neither gratefull to God nor profitable to men. As concerning the first con­dition, it excludes all works in re­spect of themselves, or the Object (as they say) evill. Such are luxu­ry, envy, anger, and the like. We can never call that good Cloth, which hath nere a good thread in it. The next condition of a good worke is, That the Author there­of be in favour with God, which is the foundation of all worthy Offices: as long as a man is the enemy of God, so long hee does not that which is pleasing unto him. Cains offering was not ac­cepted, because sinne lay at the [Page 524] doore. And Sauls Sacrifice wa [...] rejected because he wanted o [...]edience which is better then Sac [...]ifice. And the third condition is a good intent, for even us tho [...] five foolish Virgins that slept we [...] not to be admitted by the Spou [...] without Oyle, so neither o [...] workes are approved of GO [...] without a right intention. W [...] knocke at Heaven with va [...] wisnes, if the Oyle of a good intention be wanting unto us. [...] thine eye be evill, thy whole b [...] shall be full of darknes. Mat. 6.23

2. Conclusion. All indifferen [...] workes a Right Intention make through Gods grace capable o [...] eternal [...] life. Indiff [...]rent worke are those, which of themselves b [...] neither good nor evi [...]l, s [...]ch a [...] the necessary Offi [...]e [...] of the bod [...] and life, as to eate and drinke, t [...] writ [...], to walke, to [...]aint, to sleep [...] to lab [...]ur, to sell, to traffi [...]ke, o [...] the like. For all these have no­thing beyond the power of Na­ture. But if a good intention bee joyned with them, they put on a new dignity, and win an eternall [Page 525] reward, so that fountaine of all merit the Divine favour bee not absent. So by dyning, by supping, by sleeping and the like, our most bountifull God would have us amongst other things enabled to attaine Heaven, when as whether we eate or drinke, or whatsoever we doe, we doe it to his glory. For in such an Action as these, those three things which I said meet together. 1. Malice is ab­sent; for to eate, to drinke, to sleepe and the like have no evill of themselves. 2. Grace is present, for this we admit. 3. A Right In­tention is not wanting.

The third Conclusion is this: 1. An evill intention doeth so vi­tiate every Action, although the most excellent, that it makes it of no worth at all. What can a man attempt more generous, then to cast himselfe alive into the flames? yet if the grace of God and a right intention be wanting, this enterprise hath no vertue, no praise. Most remarkably. St Paul. 1 Cor. 13.3. And though I bestow [...]ll my goods to feed the poore, and [Page 526] though I give my body to be burn [...] and have not charity, it prof [...] me nothing. 2. An evill intent [...] makes every indifferent wor [...] whatsoever presently evill. Fo [...] a bad intention corrupteth ev [...] good Action, yea the best of [...] with her contagion, how m [...] more those that be scarce goo [...] A wicked intention is a most co [...] tagious plague; whatsoever [...] breathes upon, it kills. Where [...] to doe or speake any thing [...] thou maist be esteemed or pra [...] hath no good in it, because [...] very fountaine is naught, a Pu [...] pose smelling of vaine glory. S [...] to buy, to sell, to exercise a [...] Art, onely that thou mayest b [...] rich; so to take meat and drink to enjoy rest, to give ones selfe, discourse, to play, to sport, one [...] because it is pleasant and deligh [...] full, is of no value, and to be r [...] jected. 3. An evill intention jo [...] ned with an evill action is wo [...] of all, and a faire booty for a [...] Divell. Isidore. l. 3. Sent. c. [...] fine. Bonis male uti malum, sic n [...] [...]is male uti pessimum est, To [...] [Page 527] good things ill (saith he) is evill, so to use evill ill is worst of all. Of this sort are, to steale that thou maist have what to spend upon play, upon gluttony, and unchast desires. To excell in pride of cloths, that thou maist entice o­thers to lasciviousnes; to take a­way anothers good name, that thou mayest doe him a mischief; to be high flowne in wine, that thou mayest have the better cou­rage to villany; to be given to co­vetousnes, that nothing may bee wanting to pride, and the like. This is truely to run with both feet, or as fast as can be to Hell.

4. Conclusion. An indifferent intention coupled with an indif­ferent worke is of no desert with God. It is the common saying of Divines, No worke meerely natu­rall is worthy of eternall life. As to exercise a mechanicall Art for lucre sake onely. To abstaine from eating but for better health, to fetch accustomed walkes, no otherwise then to deceive the time. These actions can never be reckoned amongst vertuous Offi­ces. [Page 528] And this also is pronounce [...] out of the Schooles of Divinity Every worke availeable to eternall life must of necessity hav [...] something supernaturall, which i [...] acquires by a right intention t [...] God. The Divine Leaves doe s [...] much commend the sacred Bui [...] ­ding of Solomon: That there was nothing in the Temple, which was not covered with Gold. Yea th [...] whole Altar of the Oracle he ove [...] laid with Gold. 3. King. 6.2. Our cogitations, our speeches, o [...] deeds must be so clad with th [...] gold of a good intention, th [...] there may be nothing in the min [...] nothing in the mouth, nothin [...] in the hand which participates no of the nobility of this Gold. pray yee, say, what is the bod [...] without the soule? it hath no [...] sense, nor forme, nor motion, bu [...] is a miserable Trunke. What is [...] Tree without a roote? What a House without her foundation and building? such is an Actio [...] without a Right Intention.

5. Conclusion. A man of a si [...] cere intention in all things re­maines [Page 549] one and the same immu­table, unshaken, and which one would wonder at, never erreth to his owne or anothers hurt. Solo­mon affirmes this. Prov. 12.21. There shall no evill happen to the just: but the wicked shall bee filled with mischiefe. Those accidents of life cannot bee avoyded, but that sometimes we shall bee mer­ry, sometimes sorry, sometimes cheerefull, sometimes dumpish, sensible now of these, now of those alterations, but (as Thomas of Kempis speakes. Imit. Christi. l. 3. c. 33. n. 1.) A wise man and well instructed in spirit standeth o­ver these mutable things, not atten­ding so much what he feeles in him­selfe, or on what part the wind of instability bloweth, but that the whole drift of his mind may make forward to the right and best end. For so he shall continue one and the same, immoveable, Immediately when the eye of his intention being single, it keepes a right course through so many various chances unto G [...]d. Straight It is the part of folly and very slender wit, to measure things ra­ther [Page 550] by casual [...]y of fortune, the [...] reason. It falls out on a sudden that diverse winds struggle on [...] against another, but if the Eas [...] or West wind bee highest, faire weather and cleare daies hold out So in a man of a sincere intention, diverse affections doe striv [...] among themselves. But hee, th [...] single eye of his intention bein [...] immediatly directed to God, passes safe and sound through mos [...] contrary events,Different and by how much his intent is more pure, b [...] so much more constant is hee amids all stormes, nor suffers him­selfe to be drawne away from h mselfe, never but throughly contented with whatsoever it please God to send. So he yeeldeth al [...] things to change but his mind even as if one weareth a Head peece to day, a Hat to morrow the day following handles hi [...] Spade, not long after his Pen, an [...] now layes himself to sleep on straw anon upon a Feathers. So change [...] his Clothes, or his Bed, not th [...] cheare of his brow or mind. Suc [...] is a man of a sincere intention [Page 551] alwaies like himselfe in this one­ly respect: hee composeth all things to Gods greater glory: I s [...]y not, hee feeles not adversity, but over-comes it; that's the part of marbl [...], this of a man. If thou intendest and seekest no other thing (saith the same Thomas of Kem­pis Imit. Ch 2. 4. 1.) then the pleasure of God, and the profit of thy Neighbour, thou shalt enj [...]y in­ward freedome. If thy heart were right, then every creature should be a Looking-glasse of life to thee, and a Booke of holy instruction. I add [...]d before, that he can never goe astray, who verily is of a right intention, who lookes with a single eye, be­cause all things worke toget [...]er for the best to them that love God, Rom. 8.28. And how can he erre at any time from truth and goodnes, which in all things that he doth, most g [...]adly embraceth God in his intention, the very truth and goodnesse? [...] [...] now the wisest men that a [...]e offend in many things. I know there is no man so circumsp ct but his diligence sometimes failes him, none so mature, whose judge­ment [Page 552] mishap drives not upon some untimely fact. None so fearefull of offences, which falls not into them, whilst he shuns them. So Seneca. lib. 3. de Ira. c. 14. But these po­liticke errours (so we may tearme them) prove many times a caution and document to the party mista­king, nor lesse good to others. Those three wise men out of the East wer [...] in an errour, when they turned aside to Herod that most capitall enemy of the new King, yet because their intention was most right, this errour was a benefit as well to themselves, as to all Christians. Jt was better so to erre, that many might unlearne their owne errours. No oftner will a good meaning man slip (to speake in a politique way) otherwise then to his owne and other mens advan­tage. If thine eye bee single, thy whole body shall be full of light. Al [...] things worke together for the best, to them th [...]t love God.

6. Conclusion. The greatest ene­my of a Right Intention, is the desire of humane praise, and the father hereof Self-love, never but wickedly witty. We men subtile [Page 553] in our owne affaires, are most like to Catts, a Catt howsoever shee tumbles from an high place lights upon her feet, and falls at last to stand. So in what manner soever God dealeth with us, whatsoever he threatneth, whatsoever he pro­miseth, we likewise f [...]l back to our own selves, and stand upon naugh­ty feet, and evill affections. Blan­dimenta carnis haec nostra sunt ful­cimenta. The blandishments of the flesh, these are our props, upon these pillars we insist. What is sweet, what pleasing, what delightfull to the flesh, this is most greedily sought of us. It is most truely said of one.Kemp. 1. 3. C. 33. In many things the eye of a pure in­tention is dimme, for wee presently looke backe upon some delectable thing which comes in our way. Yea very seldome is there found any one wholly free from the blemish of hi [...] own inquisition. So the Iewes here­tofore came into Bethany to Mar­tha and Mary, not for I [...]sus sake onely, but that they might see Laza­rus who was raised from the dead. Ioh. 12.9. The eye of the mind is therefore to be cleared, that it [Page 554] may be simple and right, and lif­ted up beyond all occurrences un­to God. Whatsoever the matter be, if any enquire why thou doest so, thou wilt returne no other answer then this: Because it so pleaseth me, because it d [...]lights and is Hony to me, because it agrees with my stomacke, tis my meat; I am fed with it, my desire waites up­on it, tis my pleasure, and such like. In this manner wee alwaies fa­vouring our selves give order for our meales, thus we speake to have our clothes made, thus wee fashion our Houses, thus we affect Titles, thus we doe all things with a pleasing indulgence and gentle affection towards our selves. Yea we play the part of Catts to a haire. Illud felium fe­liciter imitamur. They are sc [...]rce ever so farre transported from home, but they know how to re­turne home againe: So wee though wee m [...]ke a discession from our selves for a while by a right inten [...]ion, yet shortly wee come backe to our selves, and those profits, delights, gain [...]s, and [Page 555] whatsoever we account of, wee se [...]ke with the same industry as bef [...]re. No otherwise doe wee jumpe int [...] the Proverb used by St. Iames then Hypocrites, The D [...]g is tu [...]ned to his vomit againe, a [...]d the Sow that was washed, to her wallowing in the mi e. Iam 7.22. When all things dec [...]ive us, w [...] hold that fast in our teeth, so it pleaseth me▪ and so, many times are we evill o our minds sake. But a faithfull man w [...]o can find? Prov. 20 6. which never seeketh himselfe, but GOD in all things.

7. Conclusion. To lift up him­selfe alwaies with a right intenti­on to God, to beare all things with a contented mind, to aime at the will and honour of God in all things, is Heaven out of hea­ven, or a heaven on earth, and that royall Banqueting-house of eternall blisse, wherein we drinke healths of the highest good. Au­gustine. Lib. 5. Hom Whatsoever GOD gives thee otherwise (saith he) is lesse then himselfe: Colis non gratis, ut aliquid ab eo accipias: gratis cole, [Page 556] et ipsum accipies. Quod enim dulcius a Deo praemium, quam Deus ipse? Thou servest him not freely, to re­ceive something of him; serve him freely, and thou shalt receive him. For what sweeter reward from God, then God himselfe? Does not the most munificent God deale very lovingly with us, which thus invites us to his service? By how much greater wages thou askest, the dearer servant thou art to me; but thou canst aske no more then my selfe, the chiefest good; this very thing I will not deny thee, if so be thou dispose thy actions hereunto. How sweetly would it allay our de­sires, if one would promise us five pieces of Gold for every houre, so that every houre twice or thrice one would confesse in earnest, that what he does, he does it meerely for the gold sake. O yee Christians, doe we then at length perceive this? every houre may we earne not five pieces of gold, but the chiefest, but all, but infinite good, so that what we doe every houre, we refer to the honour of the highest good, but with one onely briefe cogitation of this [Page 557] sort. My God, I doe this for thy ho­nour, Lord for thee all things. Whilst wee follow the warfare of this life, we must continually cry, For the Lord, & for Gedeon. Iudg. 7.18. To God, and his divine glory. To God, and his heavenly Will. So much briefly for your quicke discer­ning of a single eye, or Right Inten­tion in 9. conclusions going before. Now a word or two to men of all sorts, for the better influx or draw­ing light into the body thereby.

CHAP. XI. An Exhortation to the Clergy, to Courtiers, to all sorts of people, for the exercising of a Right Intention.

To the Clergy.

WHereas a Right Intention is the Rule of all humane Acti­ons whatsoever, there is nothing more to be taken heed of, then that it be not thrust awry. For it falleth out for the most part, that the more delicate a thing is, so much the sooner it is infected; the more tender, so much the more easily hurt; the more excellent, so [Page 558] much the more grievously im [...]ug­ned. A Right intention when she is in her perfect kind is most de­li [...]ate ev [...]ry way, most tender, and excellent, hereupon shee is so quickly infe ted, so easily hurt, and so grievously impugned. Religion indeed her selfe teach­eth them that waite upon her charge to perform all things with right intention, but alas how easi­ly and prone a thing it is to goe out of the right way, and nothing for the most part asketh lesse trou­ble then to deceive ones selfe.Vgly In this case let no man trust his ha­bit, but let him search deeper into himself, and look to his intention with most vigilant eyes. There is nothing more usuall with the Sty­gian Lyon, then to cover his ter­rible maine with a holy garment. There be 3. things of a lurking disposition, saith Bernard, unl [...]w­full dealing, a deceitfull intention, & in unchast affection. Bern. in Ser. b ev. Serm. 2. Although thou avoy­d [...]st unlawfull dealing, and an unchast affection, thou canst not so easily beware of a deceit­full intention, which knowes how [Page 559] to conveigh it selfe at a thousand doores into the closest receptacles of the heart. And mark I beseech you, with what encroaching policy a false intention wandereth all a­bout. What is more commenda­ble in a religious man, then to be alwaies in action, and to be exer­cised one while in teaching the ig­norant, an other while in comfor­ting such as are troubled in mind, sometimes in making Sermons, then in admonishing the sick. But with what secret malignity doth a wrong intention insinuate it selfe into these very actions that are most religious. For oftentimes we desire nothing more then to bee doing, but not so much that wee may doe, as that we may rouse our selves a lit [...]le We desire to become publicke, not that wee may p [...]ofit many, but b [...]c use wee have not learned how to be privat. We seek for diverse imployments, not that we may avoid idlenes but that we may come into peoples knowledg. It is not onely a p [...]infull, but also a religious thing to preach, but [...]o measure all the fruit of a Sermon [Page 560] not by the endeavour, but the e­vent, to despise a small number of hearers, or such as are poore, sim­ple, and rusticall, to let fly their en­deavours at more eminent chaires though not in apparant pursuit, yet to make way thereunto by se­cret courses, and to discourse of those things in the Pulpit, which are more for admiration then in­struction, which may make the au­ditors more learned, not more ho­ly, is a plain argument of a corrupt intention. Of the same kind it is; to disdaine to visit meane people, or at least-wise not to be so ready, as when there is occasion to visit men and women of high degree. It tends to the same purpose, to teach in the Schooles not without pompe and lofty straines, to shew himself excellent in Sciences, to looke big upon others as it were out of a Chaire of Estate, to set all their care upon this, that none or very few may carry the victory & praise away from them: moreover to take most things in hand rashly, lightly, and unadvisedly, & to doe almost all things for applause, nor [Page 561] to think any musick sweeter, then to heare, this is that most eloquent Rhetorician, this is that great Preacher, that acute philosopher, that profoundly learned Divine. O yee that wait upon Religion, O Ministe [...]s of God, this is to sell most transcendent wares at a very low rate, nay to cast them into the fire. Observe you whose manners Chrysostome deploreth in these very words: So now likewise it is growne common in the Church: The fire de­voureth all things. We seeke for ho­nours of men, and are enflamed with the love of glory. We have let goe God, and are become the servants of honor. We can no longer reprehend those that are governed by us, when wee our selves also are taken with the same disease, we want Physick likewise our selves whom God hath appointed to cure others. But what hope of recovery is there now left, when they them­selves that are Physitians, doe want other mens helpe. Chrys. Hom. 10. in Ep. ad. Ephes. Moses twice dissol­ved the Rock into a fountaine, and commanded whole streams to issue out of the hard flint, by the stroke of [Page 562] his Scipio, but he did not please th Divine Power in his fact at bo [...] times. And what caused the difference? for in both places there w [...] a mighty Miracle, in both places [...] struck the Rock at Gods comman [...] in both places he wounded the st [...] ny rocke so that rivers gushed ou [...] The reason of the difference was this. In that first Miracle, whilst Moses laid his Rod upon the rocke he fastened his eyes most intentive [...] on God. For God promised, sayin [...] I will stand there before thee, upon t [...] Rock in Horeb, and thou shalt smi [...] the Rock, and there shall come wat [...] out of it, that the people may drink Exod. 17.5. But in the second Miracle, th [...]s self same Moses had hi [...] eyes fixed, not upon God onely, bu [...] upon the people of Israel. For, Hear [...] now, saith he, yee Rebells and unbeleevers, must we fetch you water o [...] of this rocke? Moses did not pl a e in this, as before. The Lord was in­censed against him and Aaron, s [...]y­ing: Because yee beleeved me not, t [...] sanctifie me in the eyes of the childre [...] of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this cong egati [...]n into the Land, which [Page 563] I have given them. Numb. 20.10. & 12. So much it concerneth, when we doe any thing, whether we turne our countenance towards God, or any other way ômen of the Church, you indeed doe smite the rock with a Rod, when yee weare out your bo­dies, with fasti [...]g, watching, and o­ther religious exercises, bu [...] unles yee fixe your eyes upon God with con­tinuall attention, you doe not please. Ingratefull, vaine are all Services, which a Right Intention commends not. Therefore wh lst your hand is upon the worke, let your eye be set­led upon God. It was the custom in the Greeke Church heretofore, that when bread w [...]s brought to the Al­tar to be consecrated in the presence of the Congregation, he that Mini­stred at the Altar went up into the Pulpit and admonished the people in these words. Sancta Sancte, Let holy things bee holily performed. By this hee signified, that they should goe abou [...] an holy matter with a full d [...]sire of holines. So God in times past comm [...]nded: That which is just, shalt thou follow justly: or as wee read it: That which is altogether just [Page 564] shalt thou follow, that thou maist liv [...] Deut. 16.20. The same course is o [...] be kept in all other actions, the that which is good may be execute [...] likewise with a good intention, th [...] which is excellent, with an excelle [...] intention also. Let every Ecclesiastcall person throughly aime even i [...] this in all actions whatsoever, th [...] holy things may bee holily perfo [...] ­med, and that he himselfe also ma [...] imitate the most holy King, an [...] say: I have set the Lord alwaies b [...] fore me. Psal. 16.9.

To Courtiers.

TormentIf punishment did make a Martyr and not the cause, I might scars [...] doubt to speake unto many that follow the Court, as unto most holy Martyrs. Many things are to be endured of religious persons, yet ofte [...] times no lesse of Courtiers, to whom a certaine spirituall man said very well, Yee see our crosses, but yee see not our annointings. But now our discourse is of the miseries of Cour­tiers, we may change the note, and sing: We see their annointings, but we doe not so well see their Crosses. They have diverse kinds of Oyntment [Page 565] from Pleasure, but they have no lesse diverse kinds of vexation from one cause or other, and oftentimes such as can receive little helpe by those oynt­ments and unctions. How great is that one torment alone, to be troubled with his owne, or the envy of other men! it is a mighty crosse, as well to be an Agent, as a Patient in this kind. Chrysostome bestoweth her Titles upon envy, when hee calleth her the Divells weapon, the root of murder, unworthy of all pardon and excuse, the onely hurter of her self, and the envi­ous mans punishment, and mother of all mischief. They say that envy is bred and brought up in Princes Courts, I know not whether I may not say also that she waxeth old there. This is a grievous mischief, and easily findeth no remedy, because there is ha [...]d [...]y none but it despiseth. Nor doth the plague of envy alone, which is almost incurable, afflict many in Princes Courts. Other things also are not wanting, which can be no better overcome, then by pa­tient enduring. It was the famous speech of him, which grew old in the service of Kings. When one asked him how he came to the grace of old age, a [Page 566] very rare thing in Court? By taking injuries, saith he and returnin [...] thankes. Senec. L. 2. de. Ira. c. 33 For the injuries of great men are t [...] be borne not onely patiently, b [...]t wit [...] a cheerefull [...]ountenance It is ma [...] tim [...]s so necessary to vind [...]cate an injury, that there is need not so mu [...]h [...] to confesse it. Therefore although go [...] Fortune, golden Fortune, may seeme to have taken her way into Prince Courts, with all her mighty Tr [...]in [...] yet unles patience likewise be called i [...] to company, there is no felicity of lo [...] continuance in Princes Courts. Ev [...] in the fairest Pallaces and Castles [...] Kings, there is need of patience, a [...] that often, and many times such as more then people commonly use. If m [...] want the art of suffering here, the [...] will be a world of complaints on a [...] sides. Scarce any will confesse, that [...] hath full fatisfaction given him; no [...] will beleeve that he is sufficiently v [...] lued at his own rate; all will say, th [...] hoped for greater matters, or obtain [...] lesse then their deserts. The most S [...] veraigne Antidote against all th [...] mischiefs is a Right intention Wit [...] out this vanity of vanities, all is va [...] ­ty, [Page 567] whatsoever paines is bestowed in the service of Kings, surely God re­payeth them with a reward most fit for such, which corrupt all their in­dustry with a naughty intention. There be some that serve onely the eyes and eares of Princes, so they fill the one, & take up the other, this is all that they desire: they are little troubled about the directing of a right intention con­tinually to God. As they d spise not the favour of God, so truely they nei­ther sue for it, nor doe they live any otherwise, then if they said plain­ly, Who will give us mony from Heaven? The golden hands of Kings doe stuffe our pu [...]ses; let him expect gold [...]n showers from heaven that will, we receive this wealthy raine out of the Court. The favour of Kings is these mens greatest felicity, and then at length they account themselves blessed, when they have Princes eyes most propitious and favourable unto them. God I say, is ready to deale with these people, according as they have deserved of him, sometimes all things fall out otherwise with them then they hoped, they begin to displease those very eyes, to which they were [Page 568] most devoted, and find them now [...]e more so open and courteous, Tractable as in times past. Here they make Heaven a [...] earth ring with complaints, that n [...] thing is repayed worthy of their se [...] vice, that they deserved better, and the helpe of man be wanting, that G [...] will be the revenger of their wron [...]s And why now, O good sits, doe yee al [...] God to take your parts? yee waite upon the Princes eyes, not the Lord All the intention of your labours inc [...] ned to the Court, not to Heaven. D [...] yee now without shame hope for assi [...] ance from Heaven which yee ne [...] sought; for helpe from God, whom y [...] never served. Where are the Gods i [...] whom yee trusted, which did eat th [...] fat of your Sacrifices, and drank th [...] wine of your drink offerings? [...] them rise up and helpe you, and [...] your protection in time of nee [...] Deut. 32.37. This is a very fit rewa [...] for them, that have wrested a rig [...] intention which they did owe to G [...] onely, awry upon men. At length bei [...] most justly farsaken of men and Go [...] they are left to themselves for destr [...] ction So great a matter it is to alter [...] right intention, which we all owe [...] [Page 569] God, by wicked cousenage into the sla­very of men: So great a matter it is, carelesly to turn away the intent of all their paines unto mens eyes, from Gods. You therefore, whosoever fol­low Princes Courts, I desire you, as yee tender your own safety, that you would be of this mind at least-wise, namely not to cast away your paines, for indeed nothing is more profitable, then to procure your own profit in this manner. Let vertue please you, and before all things a right intention, not because it de­lighteth, but let it therefore delight you, because it is pleasing. You must perform the least and greatest mat­ters by the advise of right intention. The manner of doing is oftentimes more acceptable to God, then the deed it self, although never so excel­lent. Even as meat daintily seasoned is sweeter sometimes then other which is far dearer, if it be seasoned ill.Vile What more base then Davids dancing before the Arke? and yet the affection & worthy intent there­in was wonderfull pleasing. That cannot displease God, which procee­deth from a right intention. A right [Page 570] intention can sweetly salve many sores of P [...]inces Courts, if it be em­braced. There be f [...]und in Princes Courts, besides those that we sp ke of not a few, which though they carry smiling countenan [...]s, yet they a [...] heavy in heart, and [...]lw [...]ies grievin [...] with whom there is no cause b [...] serves to complain of, troubled pe [...] ­ple, & never but repining, for whom a shower of Gold would not be e­nough, to stop their mouths. An unhappy kind of men, whom nothin [...] pleaseth, but what they doe themselves, to whom whatsoever is give [...] is lesse then they desired [...]r looke [...] for. O heavy soul [...]s! but all long [...] your selves, that which ye complain of the Court, the same is found every where els [...].Setteth all things on Gods Score Therefore think o [...] ten with your selves, that there no felici [...]y so good, whereof we m [...] not complain in some kind. B [...] whosoever is of a right intention [...] all things, is contented with himse [...] and his owne conscience f [...]r a w [...] nes, with the witnes of God as Heaven. He calleth God the d [...]bts of all things, which are not answ [...] ­rable to his deservings. There be [...] ­thers [Page 571] in Princes Courts, not much unlike those before, whom it de­lighteth not to doe w [...]ll, but to be s [...]ene to have done well: which be­ing ad [...]icted to glory, doe put on a stately shew upon all that they doe, which s ll boasting & vaine glorious work t t [...]e eyes or eares of Princ [...]s, c [...]ring for a right intention the least of all things. As some fruits are plea­sant to the eye, not to the tast, and as some Iewels of a darker c [...]lour, doe sometimes receive a lust [...]r l ke to the b [...]st, from the ra [...]e wo [...]kman­ship and Gold which is put about them, so their services m [...]ke a faire shew by the borrowed raies of glo­zing poli [...]y. Of these men Gregory truely: When they covet to set them­selves forth to other mens eyes, they condemne that w [...]ich they doe. Greg. l. 8. mo [...]. c. 30. Most idle are these mens labou [...]s, and directly none, be­cause they are dest t [...]te of a right intention. But if they will not bee weaned in vaine, let them mixe a right intention with all their acti­ons, and learn to plu [...]k off all proud shew from their duty, let them learn to doe much, and to speake very little [Page 572] of themselves. But there are other [...] also that follow the Court, who forasmuch as their greatest care is how to obtain grace and favour, do stand in feare continually, that the dignity may turne up her heeles, an pleasures chang countenance and b [...] gone. These men leade an Hars life, alwaies out of quiet and qui­king, and at every little blast drea­ming of dangers, one care turmoyleth them after another, who if the would settle their mind with arigh [...] intention, they might live witho [...] this feare and trembling, relying u [...] on God, and not the favours of me [...]

Moreover what shall we think [...] them, which can least of all endure that which they doe themselves, th [...] is to envy and strive to surpasse others. It seemeth an intolerabl [...] thing to them, when they are shot [...] by other mens envy, but they quie [...] ly passe over their owne envy to o­thers with a favourable conceit o [...] themselves. Wee have already give Sentence against these before. He [...] a right intentions enemy, whosoeve [...] is such a friend to envy. But why doe ye take so much paines to mischiefe [Page 573] every one himself? This is the part of unskilfull men, which while they purpose to strike their enemy, turne back the weapon & run themselves through. No body envieth another never so little, but he hurteth him­self very much.

Scorn envy with thy heart: it scapes his head,
At whom it aimes, & strikes the owner dead.
Or hurt where it was bred

Endeavour therefore, whosoever thou art, to macerate thy adversaries with thy patience, a d well doing; so thou overcommest them. Thou knowest how well Phaeton used his Chariot, or Icarus his wings. If thou wilt needs advance thy self above o­thers, thou must fall. Nor yet are there some wanting in Princes Courts, whom the bewitching cu­stom [...] of bodily pleasures, and for­getfulnes of piety as a superfluous thing, doe bring to that strange p [...]sse that they onely are in estimation with themselves, they looke downe upon others as it were from on high, and make nothing of them in com­parison of themselves; they oppresse their underlings, and can endure not so much as the shadow of an in­jury. [Page 574] But vertue is so gracious, that the very wicked have this quality, to like that which is good. Which of them is there that would not seeme an upright dealer? that in the midst of wickednes and injurious courses, af­fecteth not an opinion of goodnes? that casteth not some shew of ho­nesty, upon those things which he [...] doth most unjustly? and would seem likewise to have bestowed a good turne upon them, whom hee hath hurt. And therefore they take it well to have thankes given by those, whom they afflicted; and faine themselves honest and liberall, be­cause they never meane to be good indeed. But a right intention will teach these very men, (if they will be ruled at all) to looke upon the course of their life, and to contem­plate the variable condition of for­tune, they shall learne not to be for­getfull of mans fraile estate, nor [...]o bee puft up with too much trust in thems [...]lves to use gentlenes towards their inferiours,Too good an opinion of reverence to their bette [...]s, to cast off those kind of care­les and hatefull manners, to doe all things without stubbornnes in that [Page 575] manner, that there shall be no diffi­culty in hearing, no delay in answe­ring, and they, when need is, shall be ready to goe about all things that are to be done, with quietnes. And a Right Intention teacheth that moreover. If he be weaker that did thee wrong, spare him; if mightier, hold thy peace, and carry thy for­tune, whatsoever it be, in a reverent manner. Thou knowest what was wisely spoken: whilst I was in an high st [...]te, I was never but in an ho­rible dread. Sen. Thyest. Act. 3.

A mighty fortune wants not mighty feare,
Nor glorious state from danger goeth free:
What ere is high, long staies not in that spheare,
But will by envy; or time ruind be. (Apollod.

Trust not too much unto thy self, nay even nothing at all, whoso­ever thou art,

And carefully pluck in the Saile:
Pro [...]osi­rique m [...] ­mor, con­trane v [...]la tui. Ovid. lib. 3. Trist.
Of that, which with thy mind prevailes.

The end of an aspiring life hath usually bin, to fall. Let him which feareth a fall take a right intention for his Guide, hee which wanteth this, profiteth neither himselfe, nor [Page 576] others. He bestoweth not a kindnes, which doth good with an evill mind. He seeketh his owne ruine, which graceth not his actions with an upright end: hee laboureth in vaine, which aimeth not at God in his labour. Of all Servants he is the most wretched, that wanteth a right intention. Sowe not therefore O Lord Palatines, O what Courtiers soever yee bee, Sowe not among thorres (Ierem. 4.3.) Mixe not so much basenes with your deserts, as to defraud them of an heavenly re­ward. Perform I beseech you, not for ambition, not for fame, or out­ward sight, whatsoever the conditi­ons of your charge lead you unto; and whatsoever in conclusion com­meth to be undergone, undergoe not for favour and affection, not for mony and riches, not for ostentati­on and glory, but for God, to whom no man ever approved himself o­therwise, then by a right intention.

To all Estates of men.

Diogenes seemes to me to have spoken excellently, who s [...]yed: That men seeke with greatest diligence af­ter [Page 577] those things which belong to life, but those things which conduce to good living, they neglect and nothing esteeme. Stob. Ser. 2 Even so it is, we all take this course, to doe our own busines, but how well, or with what intent we doe it, few there are which use a serious mind about that. O Christians, not onely what we doe, but with what mind we doe it, is of exceeding moment. Hereup [...]n th [...]t Apocalypticall Angell St. I [...]hn against the Prelate of the Church of Sard s. Revel 3.2. was comman­ded thus grievously to complaine. I know (saith he) thy workes, how thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead For I have not found thy wo [...]kes perfect before God. The workes of this Bishop did indeed seeme compleat and rare unto men, but they were not such before God, which lookes upon the inward meaning of man, therefore they are accused as altogether empty and vaine, for they tooke their aime amisse. And even for this cause is the same Elder of the Church of Sardis pronounced dead, though by others he were reckoned among [Page 578] the living. O how great a number of such dead men, is to be beleeved, live in the world. Which have a name that they live, and yet are dead, whose workes indeed may seeme perfect, but because they bee destitute of a Right Intention, are altogether fruitlesse, and like a pipt Nut, very night, and meere darknes inwrap all things, wheresoever the light of a right intention shines not. No body without this eye is faire, none with it foule. Lucerna corpo­ris tui est oculus tuus, The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evill, thy whole b [...]dy shall bee full of dark­nesse. We h [...]ve said before: To doe well onely that thou maist escape Hell, is the p [...]rt of a Slave; to ob­taine Heaven, the part of a greedy Merchant: to please God, this a­lone the part of a loving Sonne. A good man out of the good treasure of his hea [...]t, bringeth forth good things, and an evill man out of the evill trea­sure of his heart, bringeth forth evill things. Mat. 12.35. The drift of the thoughts is verily the treasure [Page 579] of the heart. It is the intention saith St. Austine, lib. 2. de Serm. Dom. c. 21. whereby we doe, whatsoever we doe, which if it bee pure and up­right, considering that which is to be considered, all our workes which wee worke according to that, must needs be good. In which respect, it skilleth not so much what we give, what we doe, or what we endure, as with what mind, and intent. For vertue con­sisteth not in that which is give [...], which is done, or endured, but in the very mind and intention of the Giver, Doer, or Sufferer. Wherein wee must weigh (saith Greg. l. 1. 1. in Ezech. Hom. 4.) that every good which is done bee lifted up by a Right Intention to heavenly ends. It is the intention which extolls small matters, illu­strates poore, but debaseth such as are great, and had in reputation, even as she her selfe is right or wrong.Slight The things which are de­sired have neither nature, nor of good, nor of evill: The matter is, whither the intention drawes them, for this gives things their forme. All vertues fall to the ground with­out [Page 580] a Right intention, which is the life of vertues, and source of all deserving actions. St Bernard upon those words of the Lord (But when thou fastest, annoynt thine head and wash thy face) By this saith hee, that he bids thee wash thy face, he inst [...]ucteth us to keepe a right mea­ning:Pure because as the beauty of the body is in the face, so the grace of the Soules operation consisteth wholly in the intention. Bernard. in Sentent. The heavenly King commending his Spouse for her height, This thy stature, saith he, is like to a Palme Tree. Cant. 7.7. In this Encomium doeth hee most fitly decipher the uprightnesse of a good intention, which advanceth her selfe alwaies constant and di­rectly towards God, which is pro­per to the Palme Tree, namely to shoot her branches upward, and to be eminent amongst Trees. The Spouse so praised, least shee should be of an ingratefull mind replyes, All manner of fruits both new and old I have laid up for thee, O my Beloved. I yeeld my selfe, and all mine to thy most holy Will. Whol­ly [Page 581] I doe consecrate my selfe to thy honour. Mine eyes shut to all other things, I onely open to thee. To thee alone I lift them up. Yea all my member [...], I apply to thy service onely. Furthermore how cu [...] mem­bers are to bee employed in Gods service, notably St. Chrysostome: He made, saith hee, thine eye for thee, offer thine eye to his use, not to the Divells. But how shalt thou offer thine eye to him? if seeing his Creatures thou shalt glorifie him, and withdraw thy sight from the lookes of women He made thee h [...]nds; keepe these for thy self, not for the D [...]vell, exercising and stretching them forth not to theft and covetousnes, but to his com­mand and pleasure, as also to con­tinuall prayer, and to helpe such as h [...]ve need. He made thee eares; lend these to him, not to obscaene Tales, to lascivious Songs; but let all thy meditation be in the Law of the most H gh. Hee made thy mouth, let this doe none of those things which are displeasing to him, but sing Psalmes, & Hymnes; and spirituall Odes. He made thee [Page 582] feet, not to run to mischiefe, but to such things as be good. Hee made thy belly, not that thou shouldst bu [...]st [...]t with meates, but play the Philosopher. He gave us clothes to put on, not for vaine ostentation, or to weare much gold, and Chr [...]st be starved for cold. Hee gave thee house, mony, and crop, not to pos­sesse them alone, but to bestow upon other, and especially the poore. Chrysost. in moral. Hom. 10. et 11. All these things doeth a right intention teach, which ele­vates all humane actions to God, and hath nothing corrupt in her, al­waies of a good conscience, infati­gable, exposed to all men, for never are all things shut up in that manner, but there is a place left for good intention. Never is a right intention vexed, nor hatefull to her selfe, nor changes a jot, be­cause it ever followes the best, one­ly God, onely good. Thither there­fore it ascendeth, from whence no force can plucke it, where there is no entrance, neither for griefe, nor hope, nor feare. Not yet for any thing, which may loose the em­bracements [Page 583] of the chiefest good. A right intention beareth, whatsoever adversity happeneth, not onely pa­tient, but willing, and joyfull, and confesseth every difficulty of times to be the law of Nature. A right intention is the best sauce for the worst fortune that can be. And as a good Souldier dreads not his wounds, numbers his scarres, and run-through with weapons, loves the Gen [...]rall to his death, for whom he falls: so a Right Inten­tion takes that old precept for a Rule, Follow God. And cleaves to God alwaies with all her strength: refuseth nothing at any time to bee done for Gods sake. Most willing­ly embraceth the sharpest troubles for God, judgeth it the greatest li­berty to obey God in all things; accounts it the sweetest clause of fe­licity to dye for GOD. By this meanes a right intention is never without gaines, whithersoever she moves her selfe never so lightly she is on the getting side. Shee assaies nothing in vaine, she depends not upon th [...] event of things, all things fall out to her wish, nor can she [...] [Page 584] any way be hindred. And although she be not yet in her Kingdome, yet she knowes her selfe to be borne to a Kingdome, and that an hea­venly one. Most qu [...]ck sighted is a Right Inten [...]i [...]n, yea she [...]s all eye, but that which rem [...]n [...]s con inu­ally sixt upon God. Whosoever therefore you are of a right inten­tion, imagine th [...]t God saith to you, what is [...]here, wherein you that have bin ple [...]sed with the truth, can complaine of me? others snatch at seeming goods, and carry away vaine minds, as deceived with a d [...]e [...]me after long sleep. Those are adorned with gold, with silver, and tisskewe, within have no good, These whom yee looke upon for happy, if yee sh [...]ll see them not wh [...]re they appeare, but where they lye h [...]d, are wretched, beastly, filthy,Trimm'd b [...]ing outwardly p [...]inted in the manner of their walls. Not so­lid and sound felicity is this, shalow it is, and thin indeed. Whiles there­fore they may stand, or vaunt them­selves at pleasure, they make a faire shew and coosen; when any thing happeneth that disturbs and [Page 585] detects, then appeareth how much grosse and very filth a false bright­nes covered. To you I have given sure and enduring riches, by how much more you shall turne and wind them, so much better and grea­ter shall they bee. To you I have granted, to contemne fearefull things, to scorne desirable things, you glitter not outwardly: your goods meet you within. Your hap­pines is, not to w [...]nt happines. But many things fall out grievous, fearefull, hard [...]o bee endured; be­cause by those I would not with­draw you from your owne good, I h [...]ve armed your minds against all those things. Beare up stou [...]ly, and renew in your selves a Right Inten­tion daily, like the fire of the con­tinuall Sacrifice. Therefore, O Christians, in you, and in your pleasure it lyes, to erre never or ever; whether you will bee deser­ving seldome or all waies. No man suffers the want of a right intenti­on, but he that will, forasmuch as the fi [...]st and greatest part thereof is To be Willing. Whosoever sin­cerely desireth all things for God, [Page 586] he studieth all vertues in a Com­pendium. For as of all other ver­tues, so of this the whole Benefit re­turnes unto the soule.

CHAP. XII. The conclusion of those things which have beene spoken of a Right Intention.

TAke heed to thy selfe: or bee circumspect in all things: was very fitly spoken to Tobit and Ti­mothy, Tob. 4.14. 1 Tim. 4.16. for vertues p [...]eservation. It sets open the doore to all vices, not To take heed to ones selfe, to be seldome at home, not to bee his owne man, to let the mind run whi­ther it list, to meddle with many matters, to send the desires a gad­ding, to thinke upon nothing be­fore hand, to labour in frivolous things, or such as belong not to us; to doe much and nothing, to looke upon all things with a distemperd mind and roving eyes. A single eye is most commendable.

Cyrus the mighty King of Persia, as Zenophon storieth, although hee [Page 587] held Tigranes King of Armenia whom he vanquished in Battell, to­gether with his Wife in captive Bands, yet he would not be forget­full of humanity, but wisely re­membred that himselfe also was a m [...]n. When therefore he h [...]d deeply weighed and considered with him­selfe the variable fortune of Prin­ces,Descended into a deep and weighty consideration of &c. he admitted those two royall Consorts, not onely into confe­rence with him, but also to his Table, he like a man of entertain­ment, and Master of the Feast, be­ing diversely pleasant while they were at their cheere, and merry not without laughter. At length to try the mind of his Guests: Tell me, I pray thee Tigranes, saith he, what price wilt thou give mee to redeeme thy Wife? To whom Tigranes readily: Beleeve me, I would give my Kingdome for a ransome, if thy fortune had not envied me the same. Now whereas I am destitute of a Kingdome, I will freely lay downe my Head for her deliverance. Cyrus being wonderfully delighted with such sincere love, did willingly con­descend to a pittifull affection,Put on a compassiona [...] affection and [Page 588] yeelded them both their liberties againe together with their State, Tigranes now restored to himselfe and his Kingdome, shortly after asked his Wife, what she thought of the wisedome and magnanimity, what of the beauty of Cyrus? Whereunto the discreet Queene: O my deare Husband, quoth shee, I cast mine eyes not upon Cyrus, but upon him, which proffered to redeeme my liberty with the losse of his life, him alone did I behold, whilst wee lived among the Persians. A most prudent saying: That the eyes doe of right belong to him, to whom thou canst not deny thy life.

Wherefore especially, good Christian, Take heed to thy selfe, and deny him not thine eyes, to whom thou owest even thy life. Thou knowest that thou art not thine owne, thou understandest who gave thee thy life by dying for thee: and why shall not thine eye, thine intention goe after this thy Deliverer onely? Thou livest in vaine, unlesse thou spend thy time especially in the contemplation of him. For by this onely meanes thou [Page 589] art present with thy selfe, when thou makest this convoy to thy Maker and Saviour. Alas how often are we from home, and depart out of our selves? Who almost is so hap­py as to possesse hims [...]lf? Observe me an angry man, and thou shalt heare how he confesseth freely, that hee is not his owne man by reason of vexati­on, for he hath nothing lesse at com­mand then himselfe, and his passion. Looke upon a man given to fleshly de­sires; he hath lost his eyes and under­standing in anothers countenance: he is not himselfe, hee hath nothing to doe with a single eye. Take notice of a covetous man, hee is never in his right mind, Many hath stole it away from him. And who can say, that an envious man is his owne master? he never hath an eye to himselfe, but to those whose distruction hee studieth. Behold a gluttonous man, hee is of a sottish disposition, he is wholly bu [...]ied in good cheere, or cups. All vices whatsoever, all errou [...]s have this for their beginning, Not to take heed, to be scarse ever in his owne presence. Hoc se quis (que) modo sugit — Lucret. l. 3. In this manner every [Page 590] one runs away from himselfe. Thus also an imp [...]tient man quite depar­teth from himselfe, liverh altoge­ther out of himselfe, and hereby i [...] made the subject of most deplorabl [...] follies.Driv [...]nas last to most frivolous t [...]mplaints He which retaineth any par [...] of himselfe and a sound understan­ding, enters into this private dis­pure: What doe I? I shall not alter my estate from worse to better by playing the foole. If I have endure [...] any hurt, it will increase by thi [...] madnes; if I should goe about to d [...] any, I am attended with an hea [...] strong minister, Fury. Whatsoever shall take in hand, I shall sooner brin [...] to an ill end by this giddines, then can well set upon it, and there is [...] other gaine to bee expected thereby but sudden and unprofitable repen­tance. To speake the truth, that whic [...] a mans naile is on a boy [...]e, the ve [...] same is impatience in every action. [...] which would have his affl ction to be exasperat [...]d, let him take it impat­ently. Why therefore doe I not lea [...] off raging, and keep in my complaints? I barke but to the wind, to no end and purpose, but that as many as shall heare me, may throw stones at me, like [Page 591] a Dog. Therefore I will take heed to my selfe, and that state which I should confound by outragious dealing, I will restore by patient bearing. Tran­quillity will supply, what fury would bereave me of. Thucydides said true­ly, That there are two things very contrary to a right mind, Rashnes, and anger. For that cause see that thou be able to moderate anger, and let not every distast transport to rash words. This is the expostu­lation of a man that departs not out of himselfe, this single eye be­holdeth far more, then those eyes that are manifold. But even as those before, so he that is heedlesse and hasty in giving counsell, or pas­sing sentence, unlesse he put him­selfe continually in mind of that: Attende tibi: or, Take heed to thy selfe, such over-hasty and hot deter­minations, doe not unusually draw great repentance after them. There be some which rush out with such fiercenes upon the execution of things, that they seeme to have plaid their parts, before they knew what they were about, which doe not goe upon businesses, but run [Page 592] headlong as if a man were enfor­ced out of his house by a sudden fire, which spreads and consume [...] all round about it. All these m [...]n counsell [...]s as it were in the midst or fl [...]mes.Advice They know not how t [...] d [...]l b [...]rate, and [...]all not so much a the domestick Sen [...]te of their owne heart into consultation. To have done is with them to [...]ve delibe­r [...]ted; and to have finished the matter, is as much as to have we [...]ghed it before h [...]d. Th [...]y pro­ceed not to things, but bu [...]st out at once; or more properly fly upon them: as if a man should forcibly bou [...]d himselfe [...]t one leape from some exceeding steep pl [...]ce, not p [...] ­tient of that d [...]l [...]y which he seeth must be bestowed up [...]n a prudent and gentle d [...]s [...]ent. The first ad­v [...]ce I will not say, but the first on­set occasioned by what fortune so­ever stands wi h them for a full de­termination, whether it will bring dis-advantage, or otherwise, they doe not [...]o much [...]s think [...], so that [...]hey l [...]e rather by chance then Counsell; perhaps things will fall out well, perhaps [...]ll, they are [Page 593] [...]eady to take the chance of the Dice. Scribanij superior rel g. l. 1. c. 14. Here we must cry out with a loud voyce: Take heed to thy selfe, whosoever thou art, and put a bri­dle not onely upon thy judgment, but likewise upon thy tongue. Hee will perish a thousand times,Suffer a thousand mischiefes who­soever will not refraine his tongue.

Above all things, see that before War thou provide weapons: in this case especially Take heed to thy selfe, Exposea naked side that thou goe not unarmed against thine enemy. Vse this [...]ourse, to prepare a medicine for all [...]hings by musing thereon before hand. The premeditation of all those evills, which thou fore-seest long before they come, doth light­ten their comming, and it is the part of a wise man to premeditate, that whatsoever can happen to man, must be patiently borne. Christ to arme his followers against all kind of injuries and vexations: These t [...]ings, saith he, have I told you, that when the time shall come, you [...]ay remember that I told you of [...]hem. Iob. 16.4. As if he had said [...]o his Disciples: yee shall endure [Page 594] all things the more easily, if yee looke for them to be endured. This provision of mind is exceeding ne­cessary for the due ordering of our lives. Therefore the Son of Sirach giveth earnest charge: and, My Son, saith he, if thou commest to serve the Lord behave thy selfe with reve­rence and feare, and prepare thine heart for temptation Ecclesiastic. 2.1. Prepare thy selfe, forasmuch as the preparations of the heart are in man. Prov. 16.1. A Buckler of Adamant against all adversity, is the serious premeditation thereof: whatsoever thou fore-seest, hurteth not with so much force. Nam praevisa min [...] tela ferire solent.

For Arrowes noted while they fly,
Lesse wound the body then the eye.

All things that come unexpected, seeme the more grievous, and very eesily overthrow us, which run up­on with a sudden assault One of the Roman Sages, discoursing like an excellent Mo [...]llist: It is the sa­fest course, saith he, to make tryall of fortune very seldome, but to thinke of her alwaies, and to put [Page 595] no confidence at all in her good­nesse. I shall take a journey by Sea, unlesse somewhat happen in the meane space: I shall be made Pre­tor, unlesse so mething hinder it: and Trading shall fall out to my mind, unlesse something crosse it. This is the cause why we say, that nothing befalleth a wise man contra­ry to his expectation. Ne have not excepted him from the chances, Opinion but from the errours of men: neither doe all things happen to him as he would, but as he thoug [...]t But first of all hee thought that something might be able to resist his d [...]signes. And indeed, the griefe of a dispointed desire must needs come the lighter to thy heart, where­unto thou promised [...] no absolute suc­cesse. Senec. de tranqu l. Hee which in this case takes not heed to himself, if any thing happen contrary to what he determined, fretreth, and is outra­gious, which he would have taken pa­tiently, had before-seene it. So Zeno of Citium when he had heard that all his riches were drowned in the Sea: O Fortune, saith he, I comm [...]nd thy fact, which bringest us to a short Coate, and a little House, now thou [Page 594] [...] [Page 595] [...] [Page 596] commandest me to play the Philoso­pher more diligently. Hee saw this stroake, before hand, therefore hee tooke it contentedly. Things that are unexpected come the more heavily. The strangenes thereof addeth weight to calamities. Wee must send the mind before into all things, and think [...] upon not whatsoever is wont, but whatsoever can come to passe. No time is excepted from a bitter event, in very pleasuret spring up the causes of griefe. War ariseth in the midst of peace, and the succours wherein wee trust are turned into feare. Of a friend is made a foe, an enemy of a compani­on. Many times we suffer invasion without an enemy; and too much fe­licity finds out causes of destruction for her selfe, if other things he wan­ting. Sicknesse layeth hold upon the most temperate, a Consumption the most able, punishment the most inno­cent, trouble the most private livers. Senec. Epist 91. post init. et Ep. 107 paucis mutatis. But those things for the most part doe exceedingly grieve us, which we wonder at as never thought of, and unusuall and enquire, what's the reason of this? how com­meth [Page 597] it about? who would have ima­gined it? Therefore take heed to thy selfe, let none of those things which thou sufferest be strange, none unexpected to thee. To bee offended with these things is as ridiculous as to complaine, that thou art dashed in the high way, or daubed in the dirt. The manner of our life is the same as it is of a Bath, throng, or jour­ny: some things will be enforced, some will fall out of themselves. To live in the world, is no delicate matter. Thou art entred into a long way;Hast taken a long Iourney and thou must needs trip, and be weary, and fall. In one place thou shalt leave thy compani­on, in another place thou shalt bee faine to beare, in another thou shalt feare. Take heed to thy selfe. By such displeasures as these this trou­blesome Iourney must bee measu­red. Therefore let the mind be pre­pared against all things. Let a man know that he is come where hee must endure thunder-claps, let him know that he is come, where

Luctus & ultrices posuerecubilia curae,
[...]allentesque habitant morbi, tristis­que senectus.
[Page 598]
Griefe and revengefull cares have made their nest,
And pale Diseases dwell, and age opprest.

In this Mansion wee must lead our lives. These things avoid thou canst not, thou maist fore-see, thou maist lightly account; but thou shalt lightly account them, if thou shalt often thinke upon, and pre­sume that they will come. No man ever but came more couragiously to that, for which he had a long time fitted himselfe, and bore up stoutly against adversity, if hee considered it before. But on the contrary the smallest things have made him shake, that was unprepared. We must order the matter so, that no­thing may be sudden unto us: and because all things are more grievous for their strangenes, this daily cogi­tation will bring to passe, that we shall be novices to no inconveni­ence. Let us wonder at none of those things whereunto wee are borne, which therefore must be ta­ken in ill part of none, because they are alike to all men; whats [...]ever thou canst speake, hath hapned un­to [Page 599] many, and shall hereafter hap­pen. So I say, they are alike. For even that which one escapeth, it was possible for him to suffer. But it is an equall Law, not which all men have undergone,Condition but which was made for all men. Let the mind be enjoyned equity, and let us p [...]y the tributes of mortality without complaining. Winter bringeth sharp frosts, we must be cold. Summer produceth heat, wee must sweat. The untemperatenes of the aire troubles our health, we must be sick. And a wild beast will meet us in some place, and man more perni­cious then all beasts, Take heed to thy selfe. Some thing the water, another thing the fire will bereave us of. This condition of things we are not able to alter: that we are able, to take a good courage, and befitting a Christian man, where­with we may endure chances vali­antly. It is the best to suffer what thou canst not helpe, and to goe along with God without murmu­ring, by whose providence all things fall out. He is an ill Souldier which followes his Captain crying, [Page 600] This is a couragious spirit, which hath resigned it selfe up to God: but on the contrary he is faint hear­ted and degenerous, which keeps a strugling, and thinkes ill of the government of the world, and had rather amend all things then him­selfe. Let us freely bequeath our selves to God, and fixe the single eye of our intention upon GOD onely. Let us so live, so speake. Let Gods most holy Will find us al­way prepared and ready to fol­low him.

Epictetus most worthily confir­ming this very point: Consider first saith he, the beginning and end of every thing, and so set upon it. Otherwise thou wilt indeed set up­on it eagerly, as considering none of those things which follow. But afterward when any troubles or difficulties shall offer themselves, thou wilt desist with shame.Prize in wrestling, &c. Desi­rest thou to win the Olympick Games? Consider what goeth be­fore and followeth; and so if it be for thy purpose, addresse thy selfe to the busines. Thou must observe a strict Order, belly-cheare is to be [Page 601] abstained, thy body must be exer­cised though it be irksome, and that at the houre appointed, in hot wea­ther, in cold. Thou must drinke no water, nor yet wine sometimes. Lastly thou must yeeld thy selfe to the Fencers Discipline, as it were to a Physitian. Afterward it happe­neth the body to be rent in conflict, the hand to be hurt, the loynes wrenched, much dust swallowed, to be grievously lashed, and toge­ther with all these sometimes to be overcome. These things considered, if thou please, enter the combat. But if not, be sure that thou wilt doe after the manner of Children, which one while play the Wrest­lers, another the Fencers; now they sound the Trumpet, then they Act Stage-playes, when they have seene these things before, and wondred at them. So thou in like manner wilt be now a Wrestler, then a Fencer, by and by a Philosopher, after­wards an Orator, but with thy whole heart nothing: but shalt mitate, whatsoever thou seest, like an Ape. So that one thing will please thee after another, and still [Page 602] what thou usest will grow into dis­pleasure. For indeed thou hast taken nothing in hand considerately, nor hast searched or examined the whole busines, but put upon it rash­ly and with a cold desire. Epictet. l. 3. dissert. c. 15. Therefore here­after Take heed to thy self. Diogenes being asked what he had learned in Philosophy? Answered: To fore-see misfortunes, and when they came, to beare them patiently. He knowes no­thing, whosoever hath not learned this. Those things which are made easie to some by long enduring, a wise man maketh easie by long considering. Sen. l. de Tranquil, c. 11. In such a great revolution of things turning up and downe, if thou accountest not that whatsoever can, will come to passe, thou givest adversity power against thee, which he hath weakned, whoso­ever saw it before. Sen. l. 6. qq. na­tural. Question 3. The Basiliske, as they say, killeth a man by seeing him first; but if he be first seene of a man, he is put to flight. The same hapneth to us, if calamity be quicker then our thoughts, And rush upon us in security it quite over-throwes us with little trouble. But if we harden [Page 603] our minds against it, and behold it com­ming with that single eye, it is voyd of strength, and shall but lightly assaile us when we are already provided, and that to our profit and advantage. Therefore, Take heed to thy self, and be prepared to entertaine the hardest fortune whatsoever. When Anaxago­ras was inbonds among the Athenians two messengers were brought to him in one day into the prison. The first signi­fied unto him that his d [...]ath was de­creed. To whom Anaxagoras with a constant looke: Nature, saith he, hath long agoe given sentence, as well against me, as those that condemne me. Moreover the other declared, that his two Sons were dead. And to him without changing his countenance, he answered: Sciebam memortales ge­nuisse. I knew that I begat mortall men. Behold darts here so long fore-seene, that they doe no hurt. Sevetus the Emperour being wont to meditate likewise upon death, as he did upon other things before hand, had a Coffin by his Bed side, which he used to speake unto in these words: Tu virum ca­ [...]ies, quem orbis non po­ [...]est. Thou shalt containe the man whom the World cannot. Vlysses having spent 20. yeeres in the travailes of warre, [Page 604] when he came whom saluted his wife Penelope as she wept with dry eyes; but shed teares for a little Dog madly frisking to see his Master, and sudden­ly dead. Plut. de tranquil. animi. For he sympathiz'd his Wives teares be­fore, and gave them a full regreet in mind, but a sudden and unexpected thing enforced him upon that weeping. So all adverse things must hee antici­pated in m [...]nd, and they will be borne far the more quietly. For even as he that puts himself into a throng can ex­pect no other, then to be violently dri­ven, thrust, and trod upon: so he which is about to travell, let him not hope, but for cloudy, boisterous, windy, rainy weather, hideous tempests, most incon­venient lodgings, and yet such as exact no mean charges. Then let him consider wrong waies, the falling of Horses, the overthrowing of his Coach, diverse mischances, as the usuall appendixes of Iou [...]nies, that when these things happen, he may say: I fore-saw the same. Most shamefull speeches are those: I hoped better, I did not thinke it would have fallen out so with me: I expected not such troubles: I knew not that fortune was a step mother to [Page 605] me: who had beleeved, that this would ever have bin? who could have sus­pected such an envious mind in this man? who would ever have lookt af­ter all these things. So there is a great company of men, which being ready to satle never think of a tempest. But this is not the part of a wise man. if thou wilt be wise for thy advantage, Take heed to thy self, and send forth a provident mind into all things, that thou maist say with Anaxagoras: I fore-saw these, I knew these other, I thought upon those things long before. Have I lost my mony? I knew that it might be taken away. Am I out of fa­vour? I [...]new that I possessed an in­constant benefit. Am I fallen into po­verty? I was confident before, that this is free, merry, safe, if a p [...]oee man be not vitious. Doe men speake ill of me? they do [...], not that which I de­serve, but what they are wont, as some Dogs which have that quality by nature, that they barke not so much out of [...]urstnes as custom. Doth sick­nes trouble me? I know I am obnoxious both to discases and to death, but there is occasion of vertue give a upon the Death-bed. Have I cruell enemies? I [Page 606] have read before hand in Chryso­stome,Neminem laedi, nisi a soipso. that no man is hurt but of him­self. Doe envy, trouble, pensivenes op­presse me? neither doth this fall out contrary to expectation. Lamentation, sorrow, feare, are not punishments so much, as tributes of our present life. H [...]th death taken away our children, parents, kinsfolk, friends? wh [...]t new or strange thing is this? they [...]re dead which must one day have dyed: my turn is next, I have alre [...]dy learned that the death of mortall men is not to be bewailed extreamely. If any one shall take this to heart, and sh [...]ll so looke upon all other mens harmes, whereof there is a huge company d [...]i­ly, as if they had a free pass [...]ge to him also, he will arme himself long be­fore they c [...]me on. Therefore, Take heed to thy selfe, and performe this li [...]ewise with the fame prowesse, that none of these things which h [...]ppen, m [...]y be sudden unto thee. For by loo­king as it were for that to come, what­soever can come to passe, will abate the force of all evills. The mind is in­structed to the patient be [...]ring of dan­gers too late afterward. Take heed to thy selfe.

But in all other things also, I put thee in mind of the same continu­ally. Take heed to thy selfe. Wee are led by little and little to irrecovera­ble down-falls. And even so from slender beginnings we descend to endlesse inconveniences. There is no reason, when once affection is brought in, and hath any leave af­forded it by our will. It will doe afterward as much as it listeth, not as much as thou sh [...]lt permit. The enemy, I say, is to be driven away in the very frontiers, for when he is entred, and hath brought himselfe within the Gates, he takes no limi­tation from th [...] Captives. Sen. l. 1. de ira. c. 7. & 8. The affections obay but in stubborn manner. There is no vice without its p [...]tronage, none but hath a modest and exorable ad­dres, but for this it spreads the fa [...] ­ther. Thou sh [...]lt not entreat it to m [...]ke an [...]nd, if thou permittest it to begin. Therefore, Take heed to thy selfe, and resist the first attempt. The way must be stopt against vi­ces at the beginning, by a right in­tention. If wickednesse once t [...]ke root, and grow old, like a disease [Page 608] come to the full it will be hardly re­moved. It is more easie to keep out pernitious things then to rule them, and not to admit, then to restraine them when they are admitted. For when once they have put them­selves in possession, they are more master then the Land-lord, and suf­fer not themselves to be thrust out or diminished. Moreover reason it self, to whom the reines are commit­ted, is so long in power, as it is seve­red fron the affections: but if it have mixed and contaminated it selfe therewith, it cannot containe them, whom it might have kept out of place. For the mind being once in a commotion and combustion sub­mits to that, of which it is assaulted. The beginnings of some things are in our power: if they goe any far­ther, they carry us away with their force, and hardly leave any possibi­lity to returne. As bodies violently throwne downward have no com­mand of themselves, and cannot give backe nor tarry when they are cast head-long, but an irrevocable precipitation cuts of al advice and re­pentance, and they cannot but come [Page 609] thither, whither they were not able to goe. So the mind if it dissolutely cast it self into anger, lust, and other passions, will hardly repres the force, the proclive nature of vices, will carry it away, and throw it to the very bottom. Therefore let us resist vices at the threshold; because they are, as I said, more easily not let in, then they goe out afterwards. Na­ture hath commanded us a care of our selves, but when thou givest too much respect to this, it is vice. So from a beginning, which is not evill we goe on to the flesh, and the com­modities of the body, and whatsoe­ver bordret [...] upon them. Excellently Isidore: The Divell, saith he, is a slip­pery Serpent, whose head that is, his fi [...]st suggestion if men resist not, hee glides wholly into the very bottome of the heart, and is never felt. Isid. [...].3 de sum. bon. c. 5. Therefore, Take heed to thy selfe, and withstand the first beginnings by a right intention con­tinually renewed, otherwise thou wilt commonly [...]un head long into errours scarse ever to be recovered.

Next of a [...]l [...]ve must take heed, that we strive not in frivolous mat­ters, [Page 610] or such as belong not to us, that is, that we neither desire those things which we cannot obtain, or having gotten our purpose,Sped under­stand the vanity of our desires too late, & after a great deale of shame. Or yet that our labour bee not in vaine and without effect, or the ef­fect bee unworthy of our labour. For commonly sorrow followes up­on these courses, if either the mat­ter have not succeeded, or the suc­cesse be shamefull. We must weane our selves from running about, saith Seneca, such as a great many people use, which goe up and down to hou­ses, and playes, and markets. They put themselves forward upon other folkes businesses,Hang their noses over &c. like those that have alwaies somewhat to doe. If you shall aske any of these, when they are going out a doores, whi­ther now, what intend you? he will answer thee. I know not very well: but I will goe see some or other, I will doe somewhat. When they come home again wearied with frivolous busines,Occasions they sweare they know not themselves, wherefore they went out, where they have bin, being rea­dy [Page 611] the next day to tread the very same maze.Without purpose So they wander hither and thither to no purpose, seeking after busines: and they doe not the thing they determined, but which they ran into by chance. They use a vaine and inconsiderate course, such as Emets creeping up and downe a­mongst trees, which run madly up to the top, and by and by to the bottome. Diverse lead a life like to these, whose one may not usually tearme an unquiet idlenes, which love busines more then doe any. Let all labours therefore be referred to some end, let it aime at some mark, and never let it want a sound inten­tion. Vpon that naughty custome doth wait this mischievous vice, listning after newes, enquiring into private and publique affaires, the knowledge of many matters, which are neither told, nor safely heard. How often doe wee put our hands into other mens matters, and neg­lect our owne, or are busie about unnecessary things, and omit those that be necessary and profitable, nor compose any thing with a holier care for the most part, then that [Page 612] which belongeth not to us. Why doe we learne vaine, why unprofi­table, or harmefull things? Let us learne to encrease continency, to re­straine luxury, to temper our bel­ly, to asswage anger, to look upon poverty with contented eyes, to fol­low frugality. Isaiah in time past complaining: Wherefore, saith hee, doe ye spend your mony for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which satisfieth not. Isa. 55.2. What canst thou think of that man, which being now ready to starve, yet carri­eth all that little mony which hee hath left, to the Merchant, and buy­eth a feather to trimme his Cap? Many commit folly not unlike to this, whom a strong sottishnes pos­sesseth, who doe all things besides those, which belong to their soule and salvation. They weare out themselves many waies with la­bou [...]s and cares, but they grace the [...]r cares and labours with none, or not a right intention. They sue for mo­ny or favour, or both, bu [...] they are never troubled with looking after heaven: they reckon it amo [...]g their gaines to stir till they bee weary in [Page 613] all other things. Against these St. Paul worthily cryes out: Have yee suffered so many things in vaine? Gal. 3.4. There bee some which measure the Seas, goe through all Countries, compas the world about. There be which doe search almost all Authors, and draw what newes soever is in any place into their eares; of these thou maist say true­ly: Such p [...]ople as these doe meet with none in the world more hard­ly at home, then themselves, they are alwaies out of themselves, and straggle wh [...]re they have nothing to doe, and that which followeth hereupon, they are knowne to no body lesse then to themselves. A miserable kind of men, which shall freely confesse at the latter end of their life: Wee have laboured all night, and have taken nothing. Luk. 5 5. Therefore, Ta [...]e heed to thy felf, and bee occup [...]ed about thine owne busines; let thy mind stick to it self, let it looke to it self, and not meddle w [...]th other folkes matters. All ve t [...]es are tender at the begin­ning, in time they grow strong and hardy. At first therefore the mind [Page 614] must be gently enforced, that it may continue vigilant in this attention, & carefully insist upon those things which it doth, least it bee rapt hi­ther and thither into contrary opi­nions with an heedles instability; but so soone as it hath bin suffered to take breath even a very little, it may retire it self into the bosome of aff [...]cted prayer, although performed in few words. The mind which is thus present with it selfe, not onely runs not abroad to other mens mat­ters, but is wary also in its owne, that nothing goe beyond the bounds.

Lastly a continuall respect of ones selfe, doth governe [...]ll affaires rightly. In this point especially Take heed to thy selfe, and never undert [...]ke businesses so, but that from thence thou maist have a free regresse to God. For indeed the mind is frequently to bee recalled from all externall things unto it selfe, and ever and anon, as in dangerous time of sayling turne thou into the Haven, nor tarry untill things let thee goe, but breake from them of thine owne accord, [Page 615] and come home to thy selfe as soone as lyeth in thy power.To take the aire Accu­stome to walke abroad even in the midst of earnest businesses, and with fighes fetcht ordinarily from the bottome of thy heart, to goe unto the common father of all things, and withall revive a right intention. Be mindfull of Eternity at hand, and fly up with a fervent spirit unto God, as often as occasi­on will permit. Make God alwaies thine aime, in whom thine eyes may never but be bounded. So thou shalt doe all things as diligently, and as circumspectly, as a faithfull and upright man useth to keepe his charge. So thou shalt not bee ter­rified at hard matters, nor with­draw thy foot fearefully, but be­ing above all invasive forces, shalt attempt nothing rashly, valiantly many things: so thou shalt looke with an equ [...]ll [...]ye both upon pro­fit and displeasures. Thou knowest that he is accounted the wi [...]est man; which bo [...]roweth advice of him­selfe, not of another. This in this case is not onely laudable, but ne­cessary. Fetch the soule and life of [Page 616] all thy actions, not from other mens eyes and eares, but from thy selfe and thine owne intention. This is true wisedome, these are the safest Counsels, before all our actions, the least, the greatest, ever to place a right intention, and never to deflect the eyes from God. Here we may take occasion to grow into words of d [...]sdaine, Distast and most wor­thily to bee incensed against the idle­nesse of men. Wee are all for the most part carefull in small matters, but negligent in the greatest: Wee doe not onely neglect a right intention in many passages of our lives, but al­so too commonly mixe a wrong one with our actions. Iacob in times past reprehending his Sonnes: Why doe yee looke one upon another, saith hee, goe downe, and buy for us, th [...]t we may live. Genes. 42.2. The same here may I cry out, Why doe yee looke one upon another O mortall men, why doe yee follow most vaine courses, why doe yee take paines to no purpose, and let passe necessary things: I may not unfitly [...]ay of the vaine and idle en­deavours of a great many, that [Page 617] which one said of his owne Studies and his companions: Wee learne all things, saith he,Omnia dis­cimus praeter necessaria. besides those that are needfull. After the very same manner thou must find not a few, which learne all things, know all things, besides those that make for the gaining of Heaven. Who so knoweth onely to doe, hee truely knoweth nothing, unlesse hee know also how to doe well, and to joyne a Right Intention with all his doings. Alas how many things doe wee, and corrupt our deeds with a naughty in­tention, and so wee burne our owne fields our selves, and cut downe our owne Vine-yards. Wee pray, but because we may be accounted lovers of Prayer. Wee give same-what to the poore, but that wee may avoyd the name of miser, and be called be­neficiall. Wee fast, but therefore one­ly sometimes, that we may devour the more afterward. We take paines, but [...]nly for gain, but for shew, but for praise [...]ut for necessity, but for nothing but [...]urpurse. We frequent the Church, but because we may be seene, or at least that we may see things not then to be lookt upon. We are present at divine [Page 618] Service, but often but of meere cu­stome, or to passe away the time. Wee heare Sermons, but drawne by curio­sity, that we may become more lear­ned, not the better. Wee are ready in all acts of devotion, but that we may be thought to performe no lesse then others. We come to the heavenly Ban­quet, but neither doe we forsake our selves here, nor here many times looke after any thing but sweetnesse. We goe a great way to Church hither and thither, but onely that we may recreate our spirits, and shake off the wearinesse of our Houses. We invite to good cheere, not the poore, but those that may invite us againe. We give, that it may likewise bee given to vs. We bestow kindnesse, that it may be bestowed upon us also. We praise others, that we may bee also praised our selves. Wee speake Hony and Roses when wee see our time, but that we may be affably spo­ken to againe, that we may be estee­med courteous, or that wee may deceive the more sweetly. We eate and drinke, not onely because we are not hungry and thirsty, for so doth a Mole also in the field, but because to [Page 619] eate and drinke, relisheth daintily with us, and doth wonderfully please our appetite. Wee heape up wealth, not that wee may helpe the poore, but that wee may bee rich our selves. Wee talke, wee walke, wee sport, wee sleepe, not that wee may refresh a weary mind or body, but that we may sacrifice to our Genius, and doe that which most contenteth or de­lighteth. How often doe wee bow downe our selves even to the lowest pitch of humility, but that wee may rise up, and ascend the higher: How often doe we observe some very slight things with mighty religion, but make no account of mighty sins: How of­ten doe we endure bitter cold, straite Garments, pinching Shooes, and I know not what, but because pride hath perswaded us to it? Wee take reprehension also silently, being in­structed thereunto not by modesty, but obstinacy. Sullennes Alas wee doe a thousand such things. Thus wee fill our lives with innumerable errours, and that which is most miserable of all, wee know not that wee transgresse, or at least never marke it. So we hoord up treasures, but of chaffe, or base mony.

In the yeare one thousand and sixteene after the birth of Christ, as Ditmarus remembreth, Ditmar. l. 7. the Saracens invaded the Coasts of Italy with a barbarous fiercenesse. Pope Benedict the eight thinking it fit to meet with the ene­my in the utmost borders, having gathered a well accomplished Fleet, carried the matters so happily, that he utterly extinguished the adverse forces, and put the Saracen King to flight. The Queene being lesse experienced in the manner of fly­ing, was taken and beheaded. The King being wonderfully enraged with the punishment and death of his Wife, and the destruction of his people, began to give out terrible threatnings, and to provide meanes of revenge. And first th [...]t he might put Italy in feare, before he assaies the chance of Wa [...]re, hee sent an huge Sack full of Chest-nuts to the chi [...]fe Bishop, a [...]d withall com­manded the messenger to let him know: That the next Summer there should come as many Souldi­ers to destroy Italy, as hee could number Chest-nuts in that Sacke. [Page 621] Pope Benedict that he might fit an Answer to such Barbarous menaces as these, sent backe a large Bag full of wheat,Milium. and charged it should be told him againe: That if he came, he should find so many armed men in Italy, as there were graines of Corne contained in that Bag. (Baronius relateth the same. Tom. 11. Anno 1016.) This Sacke, and this Bag being thrust full, not of Saffron, not Pepper, or Gold, but ordinary ware, doth excellently re­present the ridiculous vanities of mans life.By what meanes Christ hath taught us after what manner wee should lay up treasures in Heaven. Matth. 6.19. But we contented with our own homely Cottages, hord up Chest­nuts and Melium for our Trea­sure.A kind of our landish Wheat Wee heape a number of deeds one upon another, but such as are little worth, as being destitute of a Right Intention. Thus wee are rich in Melium, and Chest-nuts, at length, as Gregory speaketh (l. 1. Dial. c. 9.) The end of the work will prove, that the intent of the doer was not sound.Currant When death therefore shall knock at our doores, [Page 622] when it shall fling her fatall Dart at us, when it shall command us to be packing out of this World into another, what Treasures shall we carry with us from hence? Bags full of Melium, and Sacks stuft with Chest-nuts, Actions wan­ting a pure intention: alas wares that willyeeld nothing in Heaven! Therefore as Bernard hath most rightly admonished. There is the greatest need of purity of intention, whereby our mind may both covet to please, and bee able to cleave to God onely. (Bern. Serm. 7. in Cant.) Whatsoever wee can doe, will not bee a right Action, unlesse the Will be right, or the intention; for from this the Action procee­deth. Seneca very well to the pur­pose: Vertue, saith hee, hath pro­ved thankefull to every man, both alive and dead, if so hee hath fol­lowed her in good earnest,Bona fide if hee have not trickt and set forth him­selfe in glozing colours, but conti­nued ever the same. Senec. Epist. 79. fine. Behold, I pray, not so much as Seneca thinketh it enough to follow Vertue, unlesse one [Page 623] follow her in good earnest, which what other thing is it, than with a good intention.

Shee truely suffereth no man to be so trickt and painted by his owne cunning, that his doings should not as well bee, as seeme to bee good: all those faire shewes and glosses a Right Inten­tion hateth extreamely: She com­mandeth us to follow vertue, but that wee follow her in good earnest, not allured with vaine hope, not driven by feare, but for love of vertue her selfe. Austin expressing this very daintily: Thou shalt ful­fill that, saith he, by love, which by feare thou couldst not. For hee which doth not evill by fea­ring, had rather doe so, if hee might. Therefore the Will is kept, although leave bee not given. I doe not say, thou saist. Where­fore? Because I feare, thou dost not yet love righteousnesse (thou dost not yet love sobriety, not yet Chastity) thou art a Servant still, become a Sonne. But of a good Servant is made a good Sonne. In the meane space doe it not by [Page 624] fearing, and thou shalt feare also not to doe it by loving. August. Tom. 8. in Psalme 32. The same most holy Bishop enveigheth a­gainst the too wrong intention of a covetous man in this manner: Why gapest thou O covetous man after Heaven and Earth? Better is hee which made Heaven and Earth, thou shalt see him, thou shalt have him. Thou desirest that that Farme may bee thine, and passing by it thou saiest, Blessed is he, which enjoyeth this possession. This a great many say which passe by it: and yet when they have said and passed by it, they may beate their braines, and long for it, but doe they possesse it eare the sooner? Thy words sound of greedinesse, thy words found of iniquity: But thou maist not covet thy Neigh­bours goods.Happy Blessed is he which owneth this Farme, which owneth this House, which owneth this Field. Refraine to utter iniquity, and heare the truth. A blessed Ge­neration whose is, what? yee know already what I am about to speake. Therefore desire that yee may have [Page 625] it, then at length yee shall be hap­py. And this onely yee shall bee blessed, yee shall bee the better, and with a better thing then you your selves are. God I say, is bet­ter then thee, which made thee. Aug. in conc. 2. Eiusdem Psalme 31. post med. Lift up thy selfe to him, and what sight soever thou hast, convert it onely upon him.What eyes soever thou hast in thy head

What therefore Tigranes his Wife did in Persia, this must thou doe in every place, continually, through thy whole life: She fast­neth her eyes upon him onely, which offered to lay downe his head for her: the same in all right is re­quired of thee, that thou fixe thine eyes onely upon him, which gave both his eyes, and head, and him­selfe wholly, and thy selfe there­withall to thee. Which not onely was ready to offer his life, and his blood to redeeme thee, but offe­red it indeed. But it is a small matter to imitate Tigranes his roy­all Consort: wee are prest with more holy examples. Whosoever thou art that delightest in a good intention [...], emulate the Kingly [Page 626] Psalmist of Almighty God, and Set the Lord alwaies before thy face. Psal. 16.8. Let thine eye waite upon him onely, but let it waite simple and right, let thine inten­tion be directed to him onely, but see that it be directed pure and sin­cere; nor must we looke upon any other thing, but through him a­lone, or in him. Therefore which I admonish thee in the last place, Take heeed to thy selfe.


To the Reader.

COurteous Reader, thou art intreated in the per­usall of this Booke, that if thou meet with any literall faults to amend them, which by reason of the Authors ab­sence from the Presse, and the over-sight of the Printer, thou wilt charitably passe o­ver, knowing that faults are incident to all.



Thomas Weekes.
February 15. 1640.

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