AN ELEGIACALL COMMEMORATION OF THE Pious Life, and most lamented Death, and Funerals, of Mr. JOSIAH SHVTE, Rector of the Parish, of St. MARY WOOLNOTH in Lombard-street. Who left us on the 13 of June. 1643.

London, Printed in the Yeare of our Lord, 1643.

To the Reader.

Reader,

I Here adventure to offer thee some Fu­nerall Sheets, privately consecrated to the happy memory of that late Reverend Divine, Mr. JOSIAH SHUTE; by one who had long studied him. They come to thy hands now thus openly, to vindicate the Subject and the Pen which lamented Him: To both which, Malice, or Igno­rance, or Negligence, or all of them, have done a spreading Injury, by scattering some corrupted Copies; which are so studiously false, that no Line or Sentence carries its first and native sense with it. It is but Rea­son therefore, that the faulty Presse, which hath made every Page a continued Errata, should redeeme the multiplyed wrongs it hath done, and recant those falsities which mingle themselves almost in every word and Comma, by sending abroad these more [Page] legitimate Leaves; which may be com­mended to thee, rather for the Ingenuity and Truth, then the Elegancy or Art which furnish them. And though the Hand that drew those Lines, drawes it selfe in, either thinking that it hath not dressed them fine enough to look abroad, or unwilling to sin among the common Scriblers of the Times; yet certainly it is pardonable in me thus to doe Him right; and to present thee with this, though without his leave.

Farewell.

AN Elegiacall Commemoration, &c.

FArewell to my Teares! I'le weepe no more. Let those that can finde no other expression for their griefes, then what their shewring eyes afford them, be­waile our departed Prophet in the si­lent language of a Teare; and weepe out Elegies for their souls great losse: Whilest I find out some other meanes to empty my full Bosome: not that I would willingly part with the remembrance of our Josiah, nor powre out all those sad thoughts his Death hath left there; (for even my Melancholy is welcome to me, whilest he is the Subject of it.) But that I would transcribe some reverentiall conceits, which my contemplative Griefe hath written on my Heart, that may perhaps be better read on my Paper: For, within me, they now have a confused Method; and take up so much of me, that they scarce leave roome for other thoughts, which these Times, fruitfull in sorrowes, do continually dictate to me.

I may freely admire Thee now; for, thy modest Eares are deafe to our applause; and thy well-led-life was above our Flattery: So that I shall have no cause to check my selfe, whilest with praise and wonder I runne over the variety of thy merit. Nor shall our inquiry begin at the last Act of thy Life; we will cursorily, at least, examine every Scene of [Page 2] it; and wil look back upon thee even from thy Cra­dle to thy Grave.

And we shall finde Thee consecrated even from thy Infancy, to the service of thy Great Master. Thou wert the Sonne of a Prophet, of a religious and faithfull Minister, who was blessed with five more; every one of which, with a carefull and pi­ous Hand, he led through all their Studies, till He brought them from the Schoole to the Pulpit: and when, as in an eminent Candlestick, He had there placed them, as so many burning & shining Lights, (as if there wanted nothing to make Him perfectly happy but Heaven it selfe,) He left this world (en­gaged to Him for those five happie Legacies) in a full old age. We will not here any further search after the religious courses of thy learned Brothers: yet, whilest we bemoane Thee, we cannot but re­member the considerable losse of thy NeighbourMr. Shute of the Poultry, Dr. Bolsworth at the Funeral recounted above 3000 Sermons which he had preached. Brother (who was Sainted some few yeares before Thee;) whose various Learning, whose devout In­dustrie, whose divine Gifts, made his Life also admi­red, and his Death lamented by all that heard of him; being Brother as well to thy Desert, as Blood.

When we take a view of Thee, and examine all thy Merit; we need no other description of an exact Protestant, and a true Father of the Church. And let those that shall hereafter have occasion to write such a Character, remember Reverend Shute, and make Him their Patterne.

We will first consider Him as a Man; How well He did instruct Himselfe, and preach to his owne soule. And we shall here find that his ordinary con­versation, [Page 3] was a continued Lecture. Hee was ofBene vixit or­dinabiliter si­bi: sociabiliter Proximo, hu­militer Deo. Bernard. a disposition sociable; yet affording Nature on­ly such refreshments as might enable Her, to assist Him in his holy imployment; for they were but as so many preparatives to study. To all Hee was generally affable, to none severe; never disco­vering any Austerity, but against a confident Sinner. Hee was knowne almost to all; acquain­ted with but a few. He kept a civill correspondence with many learned men; but those that He com­monly bestowed his leizure houres with; He chose rather for their free and innocent friendlinesse, then for any eminencie of their parts; rather studying Books then Men, yet conversing so much with the last, that He might not be quite a stranger to theHis Rectory being worth about 80 li. Per Annum. times He lived in. His greatest wealth was the ri­ches of content. His greatest expence next to his Bookes was his Charity, and Hee could never find himself touched with any thing like Covetousnesse; but when his small Treasury could not afford Him reliefe for some that were the objects of his Pity. He was long happy in a grave and vertuous wife, but ne­ver was indeed a Father; though He often shewed himselfe so to those that were Fatherlesse. He knew not how to be proud, and could as ill endure a cree­ping Flattery. In briefe, He was a man of so even a spirit, so happily tempered, that He was Master of his Passions, and had no unruly Humour predomi­nant in Him. I could lay downe out of the observa­tion of his life so many divine, so many morall rules and precepts; that his very example were direction [Page 4] enough, how we should steere our Actions and Af­fections. But these are the sleightest pieces of his worth: Let us look upon Him in his proper sphere, and enquire how fit a man Hee was for his sacred Function: How he was qualified to be an Embassa­dor from the Court of Heaven: and here He will be well worth our wonder: for it will appeare, that all those Eminencies, which doe disperce and divide themselves amongst severall other men did all meet in Him: what was it that any one Man might boast of; of his profession which Hee himselfe was not Master of?

When He shewed Himselfe in his Pulpit, his gravity & preaching countenance, did chastize every carelesse or wanton Hearer: So that to wear his Pi­cture near our Eye or Heart, or to suppose Him loo­king upon Us were enough, methinks, to fright a­way a sinfull Thought: Devotion hovered about Him; when He was addressing Himselfe to pray; and his whole gesture kindled a warme Zeale even in a frozen Bosome. Whilest his petitioning words fell from Him; they begate penitent sighes in those which joyned with Him; to witnesse that their Hearts breathed out the same requests: All his Eja­culations were the sober dictates of the spirit, they were not fiery and sudden raptures, hudled up, con­ceived and born in a hasty minute; his Zeale, though fervent, was modestly ordered, considering to whom he spake: nor did He (on the otherside) tye himself to a few set words, as if the Almighty were to be ap­peased with spels: but his well-fitted Petitions va­ried as oft, as any occasions offered themselves: and [Page 5] when Hee had as it were prepared the attentive Soule by prayer, and begg'd a blessing upon His houres discourse; hee so chearefully, so solemn­ly, addressed himselfe to the worke of a holy Orator, that Hee presently had possession of our Eyes, Eares, and Hearts. He seldome (unlesse some proper occasiou call'd for it) varied His Text; or leapt from place to place to start a new Subject; He commonly pursued one piece of Scripture with such learned perspicuity, such a pious pleasancy; and did so heighten our religious appetites, that we were sorry for the parting Sands, and long'd for the next houre to finish that, which to day perhaps he did only cut out, or divide, for another dayes ex­ercize. In His delivery, He was neither affected nor loose; having such a command of his tongue and voice, that he could handsomely fit them for every subject. At a Funerall He pleaded so morti­fyingly in the behalfe of Death; that He made some desirous not to live, others to live better, nor did any returne from Him without a beneficiall convi­ction of their owne Mortality. So pathetically would He solemnize the passion of our Saviour; that his hearers might well laugh at the superstition of a Crucifix, which only reacheth the gazers eye, or but slightly toucheth the abused soule: when as He imprinted in every heart Christ crucified, by representing every circumstance of His Passion so to the life, as if He were bleeding a fresh; and were againe stabb'd and wounded by us that were His sin­full Auditory. By these meanes He became Master of our consciences, which stood in awe of His [Page 6] words; and were powerfully subdued to his saving Doctrines. Nor did He administer sharp things only; He had Balme for the broken and contrite heart; soft and gentle perswasions to win a tremb­ling soule: He never denounced judgement, but his eyes were big with Teares: He was none of those Thundereres, who represent GOD in all his terrible Attributes, and shaddow over his Mercy and Com­passion. He rather allured then terrified a straying conscience, and rather endeavoured to bring it home to the Fold, then drive it further from safety.

And though He did dresse Divinitie with all the winning advantages, and pious allurements of spiri­tuall Rhetorick: though the words He cloathed it in, were imbroadered with all the flowers of Learn­ing, with golden Sentences, and precious Meditati­ons (which did cath the attention of every Auditor.) Yet, this Kings Daughter (for so is the word, well preached) was all glorious within: the matter, which was the in-side, was rich and substantiall. The weakest Capacity went along with Him un­derstandingly, all the way; so well did He comply with the meanest hearer. The more delicate appre­hension of the Nobility and Gentry (which were still part of that Religious Throng) was so advised­ly suited; that He did, as it were, court them from their sins, and by a holy Insinuation, did even steale into their Bosomes; and so powerfully convince them of their vanities, that they alwayes carried home with them new resolutions. And the most Sober, the most Learned Persons (for some such were almost alwayes a part of this Auditory) dis­covered [Page 7] in every Sermon such a digestion of gene­rall Learning, so many full expressions of a Scholar, of a sound Preacher, of a Holy man, that they could even have kissed the Pulpit, in approbation of those blessed Truths sent down from it.

There might you see the graver Divines, willing to improve their Knowledge and their Piety, by that Summary of Divinitie which might be found in every dayes Lecture. And there might be seene the Young-men of the Cassock (lately set up in their Trade for Soules) inabling themselves for their sa­cred Imployment; so attentively fixing their whole selves on Him, as if they had a designe to assimilate themselves to every excellency of His. One eyeing Him, as if he were learning to put on his Reverend Gesture, which gave Life to all that fell from him: the other, how to borrow his unaffected Art, and fa­cility of utterance: another, how to weave his rea­ding and his meditation with such cunning and ad­vantage: another, curiously observing his Method, with a purpose to contrive his after labours by so rare a Modell. Thus, He was a President for all men; yet was there such a mixture of Grave Humi­lity in all these Perfections, as if He only had beene ignorant of them.

And wonder not that this Towre of David made so faire a shew, and had so many swelling eminen­cies, for He had a Foundation large, and sure. Grace laid the first stone; and Perseverance built upon it: a connexion of Piety and Good-works was the Mor­ter or Ciment: Faith was the Buttresse that kept it upright and stedfast: the Holy Spirit was the Ma­ster-workman, [Page 8] by whose active influence every thing was disposed. Nature lent all her aides to make the worke perfect; for, (as so many Labou­rers, whose proper imployments were herein neces­sary,) she lent an open Capacitie, a retentive Me­morie, a searching wit, a trying Judgement: And here were all those servants of Art which make the super-structure; as indefatigable Industry, inquisi­tive Studie, curious Observation, satisfying Expe­rience, and the usefull extractions of Bookes and Antiquities.

Let it then be the boast of others, that they are able to performe the most sacred and mysterious office of the Ministery, without being much behol­ding to Learning, that necessary Hand-maide to di­vine Knowledge; whilest we pitie, and laugh at the cunning Ignorance of these zealous Drones. It will be a worthy addition to his lasting Fame, that He was not contented to make himselfe intimate with the whole Scripture, and have every Text readie to refute an Adversarie, or convince a Sinner: but He did run over the whole Bodie of Learning, sipping from every part of it, as from so many flowers, some serviceable notions, which being by his holy Art di­gested (as by the subtile Chymestrie of the Bee) help'd to make up that Honey, those sweet and cor­diall Lectures, with which He frequently entertai­ned us.

He read the Bible in that Originall language, in which those happie Secretaries to the Holy Ghost penned it; that he might be the more familiar with the true intentions of every word and expression of [Page 9] it; making himselfe acquainted with the learned Languages, because he would look back into the first Essence and purity of things, before the per­plexing variety of humane conceipt had spent it self upon it: that he might examine upon what Grounds and Reasons, the antient Expositors and Fathers have founded those numerous Volumes, which at this day do furnish our holy Libraries. Doing this, not out of a proud curiositie, or to defend Errour; but out of a reverend feare of assenting to the newer opinions of any, how eminent soever; if he found them dissonant to those ancient verities, which he studiously traced, by going so far backward into the unfoiled Learning and wisdome which was behinde him.

And then,—But I'le summe up no more of his parts, but, will abruptly leave his many abilities in the mid-way: Seeing every Ser­mon of his told us how generally, how admirable he was qualified; for, they were not the elaborate Issues of many dayes, (so much time not being allowed him) but they were the disgested quintessence of his former labours; to which his leisure only gave him leave to adde little else but Meditation, & Method. There is yet something behinde which will give more lustre to his precious Memory. It is possible, that we may finde his parallell, if we only look up­on the qualifications of Learning and strong Parts. But, where shall we finde so much sober integrity; one so like to those first Disciples, whose immedi­ate Tutor, Christ himselfe was? One, that so deser­vedly may be stiled an Apostle of our Church? Herein lay his prime Excellency.

Let us first looke upon Him, as appointed by his great Master to the cure of those soules, amongst whom He expired; we shall find Him continually diligent in his charge (where He fixed himselfe for one and thirty years) behaving Himselfe much like that Shepherd, that gave his life for his sheepe: for it is well knowne, He spent himselfe so without in­termission in his study and his Pulpit: that his un­stirred humours (which wanted part of that immo­derate exercise which his spirits had) setled into Dis­eases; wch pressed upon Him so violently in his later years; that he often preached in pain, in faint sweats, nay, sometimes in Bloud; of which he had many sad witnesses. Nor could He be won from his station, wherein his Conscience told Him, his God had set Him, by any richer Invitations, or Livings of a grea­terOstered Him by some of his Lay-friends. value; which he often refused, as unwilling, when Hee had brought his neighbours soules halfe-way to Heaven, to leave them to a new Convoy; who might perhaps rather direct them a crooked course, or bring them back againe, then helpe them forward, (for He would often lament the paucity of consci­entious Guides.) He was observed to be so far from that (almost epidemicall) crime of Temporizing, that he was looked upon as a professed (though not a rigid) Antagonist to the times he lived in, as if he scorned to bee a Favourite to that predominant Power, under which the evils he lamented, seemed to him to receive their countenance and growth; his well-setled soule was still kept within its religious Center, and could never be conjured out by all those powerfull Charmes which Ambition scatters, to [Page 11] enveagle the judgements and inclinations of her opposites. Yet he sometimes commanded himselfe to a mannerly and civill obedience, as a subject, and a sonne of the Church; in some indifferent things rather yeelding to the publique, and a good consci­ence, than to the wilfulnesse of his own private opi­nions. But when at any time he saw plainly any in­direct Designes on foot, which some great Agents in Church and State, kept going, either to put new fetters upon the subjects, or new disguises on Reli­gion; he could never be courted to lend his Tongue to make Apologies for their Innovations; nor could be silenced from declaiming against the dangerous attempts of these first troublers of Israel. And there needs no greater approbation of his uprightnesse, nor a fuller conviction of the corrupt Genius of those dayes, then that he and some more of his Form, (whose standing in the gap, when superstition was rushing in, drew upon them that then venerable nick name of Puritans) were so long left unpreferred; whilest the Dignities of the Church (wch shold have been the reward of Men, singular for their Piety and Ability) were chiefly taken up by such who rather studied, preached, and practiced the Politiques then Divinity. And when afterwards, the winds were quite turned, when stormes and foule weather see­med to threaten every one that came not into the new roade, he did not forsake that Anchor of a ho­ly Resolution, but rather endured sharpe blasts of envie and malice; disdaing a wavering compliance to the fatall alterations of our giddie times; which drew from him many a Tear, & private groan: Nor could he refraine from a more open expression of his [Page 12] griefe, though there was danger and suspition in his very Sighs: For he would modestly and warily com­plaine of, and bewaile the miscariages or mistakes of those above him: but with a warme and warran­table Zeale be angry with such among the heady people, who would not see the confusion they were violently hurrying into. No bold-fac'd sinne could scape him without a seasonable reprehension. No distructive Doctrines, no false glosses, no schisma­ticall Tares could be sowed by the Malice or Igno­rance of any, but he would carefully set himselfe to the weeding of them out betimes; lest the seeds of them should prove fruitfull; and scatter themselves in his well-kept Garden, (for such is a Parish well instructed.) He was so earnest a Lover of Union and right Devotion that the dividing Separatist, and su­perstitious Papist received a wound from him at every Lecture. To conclude, hee was such an eager opposite to all those things that interrupted our Peace, and sullied the faire Face of Truth; that we must needs complaine, that Truth and Peace have lost one of their chiefe Champions.

Nor did he encounter the divers enemies of the times with a loud violence, but moderately and calmely overthrew Them; (having learned the ex­periment of breaking a Flint with more easinesse upon a cushion) scorning that vain-glory, and those false ends, which make some partially and uncivilly raile against the present managers of our Affaires; tempting on purpose the Anger and the power of those, whose Interest commands them to stop their their mouthes: that they may undeservedly gain the [Page 13] title of a Prerogative Martyr, and hazard their pet­ty preferments, in expectation of some better guer­don: so catching at a Dignity, by their hot ambiti­on, which they were never likely to reach by their luke-warme Devotion. But his Diviner Soule knew no indirect ends; the Cathedrall honour, ne­ver had any magnetick Influence upon his consci­ence: his Eye and his Heart were alwayes toward Heaven, as if he thence expected his Bishoprick; and desired no other preferment, then what was there laid up for him: Being so high minded, that he slighted the Miter to make himsefe sure of a Crowne.

It is time that I should make haste to his Morta­litie, lest, when I have enquired after, and call'd to­gether all his worth, my Reader want faith to goe along with me further. Let us therefore descend quickly to his declining, and we shall finde an eve­ning becomming such a day, glorious even in his Sun-set. Nor could we look for any other Cata­strophe at the last Scene, when all the rest of his life was so well Acted. He lived 55 yeares to learn how to dye well; for indeed his whole Age was no otherwise imployed. At last, Nature being over­wrought, groaned under many Infirmities; which with cheerefulnesse he a great while passed over; till Death, which would not be deferr'd further; and Heaven, which would no longer be without this Guest, agreed together to summon him, by a swouning Fit; which (as soone as he had retired out of his Pulpit into his Chamber) suspended his spirits and had throwne him on the ground; had not [Page 14] a luckie friend (whose fortune it was to close his eyes at last) then by chance rescued him from the Fall. After this, his Disease pursued him so close, that it took him from his profession; and this hee accounted Death even before Death to be forc't from his Pulpit, where he would willingly have ex­pired, his soule being then nearer, and on its way to heaven.

But, Blessed Man, thou mad'st thy Bed thy Pul­pit; and finding thy Soule upon her Wing, thou didst (almost after thy usuall Method) betake thy selfe to thy Text, which was, that commanding Monosyllable Death. Yet before thou didst enter upon it, thou didst prepare thy few and happie Au­ditors, by a most devout and patheticall Prayer; wherein all the world was beholding to thy exten­sive Charitie. And, may thy bleeding Countrie, thy disquieted Prince, thy divided Brethren, thy melancholy Friends, and even thy peevish enemies feele those Blessings, which in thy last words thou didst beg for them. When thou hadst (as if thou didst intend them as so many Legacies) summ'd up all things which are necessary for us; Thou didst bequeath thy selfe into those hands that made thee, and suddenly after didst fall asleepe.

He that shall with a contemplative soule observe all this, and yet want a Sermon to teach him how to dye well, when Reverend SHUTE now very near a Saint, preacheth from his Death-bed to him, will hardly be brought to a true sense of saving Mortifi­cation, should his blessed Angell descend, and bring down instructions more immediately from GODS [Page 15] Mouth, how he might dye to live immortallie.

Nor did this Man of God, goe to his Grave with meane Funerals; he had more true Mourners then followed the Hearse of a departed Prince. Such put on an affected griefe with their dissembling blacks; and at these stately Obsequies there is no circumstance which is like Sorrow, but a counter­feit Solemnitie: when as there wanted no Pageants of Mortality nor borrowed sadnesse to attend him to the house of Death. In his Melancholy Traine, (which was made up of thousands besides his droop­ing Kindred) it was hard to finde out a dry eye, or a face wherein griefe did not apparently shew it selfe. The Nobility and Gentry could not command their Teares; or were willing to bestow that last gatefull showre, in acknowledgement of those many bles­sings they owed him for. The dejected Clergie hung downe their heads, as if they had lost the cre­dit of their Profession. His sad Parishioners, who for so many yeares had received the bread of life by his faithfull Ministerie, looked pale and disconso­late, as though they had feared a succeeding Famine. And the rest of the weeping croud (who had hereto­fore gathered up, whilest he shook the Tree of Life to all that came) by their Laments and Peales of sighes did witnesse, that they had soules sensible of the injuries which death had done them by taking away him; who alwayes stood Sentinell for all his Auditors, and gave them a timely Alarum against the surprizals of their Arch-Enemy, the Devill.Mr. Vdall that preached his Funerall Sermon. Well then might his Learned Friend have spared his Funerall Lectnre; for there were no eyes present [Page 16] which needed pumping, no hearts, which were not already melted, at this Buriall of their Favourite. But his words were Cordiall to us, when he excel­lently shewed; how, He had fought a good fight, fini­shed The Text at his Funerall. his course, and kept the faith, and was gone to re­ceive that Crowne of Righteousnesse which the Lord the righteous Judge had laid up for him.

Let us therefore wipe our eyes, seeing we are so well assured of his happinesse, lest we seeme to en­vie him his blessed repose, and the reward of his righteousnesse, which, we have reason to hope is as certaine, as that the Almighty is mercifull; and that he hath prepared heaven for a Kingdome, and immortality for a Crowne, for all those that have fought a good fight, &c. Yet, 'tis said, there want not those that dare more then doubt of his soules blisse. Oh, desparate uncharitablenesse, even against their own selves! If our God be so severe, that thy well-drest soule (which never went without its true Wedding-garment) cannot be admitted: what shall become of those, who have nothing but rags of vanity, and patches of pretended zeale to cloath their sinfull nakednesse? O my God, if there be no roome in Heaven, for this good, this vigilant Shep­herd, where shall his poore weak flock be folded, when we are driven out of this life? Is not the Gate of Blessednesse narrow enough, but must wretched man streighten it, yet farther? If so much, so pure Piety cannot enter; how shall prophanenesse and accumulated sin struggle through? That forward Intruder that will make himselfe of Gods Jurie, and dares presumptuously condemne the Just and Inno­cent, [Page 17] passeth a sure sentence against his own soule.

But, Heaven and Earth (whose Darling he al­wayes was) have lifted him above the reach of their violent malice. And whilest God and Men (having now divided him betwixt them) shall take care, the one of his Soule, the other of his Fame; and shall eternize him in the Register of the Saints; the me­mory of these dregs of men, (who are professed ene­mies even to Mortality, to Learning, Vertue, Piety, almost to all those true and essentiall parts of Cha­rity and Religion) shall be odious to Posterity; (to which they have help'd to give a wound by their fu­rious and unlimited zeale and practises, which will be beyond the cure either of Time or Policy.) Yet even for these Malignant Spirits, his Soule left a blessing, whilest he begd of the Almighty (whither he was about to goe) to enlighten and amend their bloodshed eyes, and to pardon their wilfull and ma­litious Blindnesse. Thus, instead of repaying the Gall of his Detractors with Bitternesse, he tooke them into his Prayers, and so sacrificed for their sin; a benefit bestowed upon them against their will and merit.

Come hither then all ye that have any aime at heaven, and set your selves to study the life and death of this holy man: what we cannot performe by his precepts, and passed Instructions; let us reach at by his example and imitation. Thus he may live with us in despight of Death: and preach saving Do­ctrines; though himselfe be for ever silenced. Thus every pious bosome may make it selfe his Tombe; which, being adorned with any resemblance of his [Page 18] better part, will more fully evidence his worth, then a speaking marble, whose partiall Inscrptions doe most times flatter their dead guests; and are there­fore justly suspected, as no more then a Funerall Complement. Yet, it were both pity and ingrati­tude, should that silver Trumpet (which hath so of­ten awakened us from our sinfull Lethargies) be be now hudled up in common dust, without some little memoriall, where it is laid up. Go on then; and doe you (whose soules were above thirty yeates obliged to him,) deliver him over to Posterity in your intended Monument. That when aged Time hath worne out all those, who have been witnesses of his matchlesse parts and Piety; the stones may tell his happy story, by offering this Epitaph to eve­ry Reader,

Here lies, &c.

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