FUNERALS MADE CORDIALS: IN A SERMON Prepared and (in part) Preached at the solemn Interment of the Corps of the Right Honorable

ROBERT RICH, Heire apparent to the Earldom of WARWICK. (Who aged 23. died Febr. 16. at Whitehall, and was honorably buried March 5. 1657. at Felsted in Essex.)

By JOHN GAUDEN, D. D. of Bocking in Essex.

Therefore I hated life, — for all is vanity and vexation of spirit, Eccles. 2.17.
But the things that are not seen are eternal, 2 Cor. 4.18.
[...]. Plato.

LONDON, Printed by T. C. for Andrew Crook, and are to be sold at the Green Dragon in St. Pauls Church-yard, 1658.

TO The Right Honorable the Lady FRANCES RICH.

Madam,

THough I am justly tender of exasperating so vehement and unfeigned a grief as your Ladiship hath constantly expressed to the noble Mr. Rich (both living and languishing, dying and dead) by my applying any such Balsame as may seem to renew your wound and pain; yet knowing that your Ladi­ships greatest comforts (next those of divine infusion) arise from those proportions which your just sorrows bear to your generous affections, which are now become the occasion and measure of your affliction, I thought it would neither be offensive to your honour, nor unbe­seeming my respects, if I justified your exceeding grief, by representing to the world how diservedly you have loved, and how worthily you have mourned, for that Gentleman, of whose honour and happiness (even from his infancy) I was most seriously ambitious.

Hence it is that I have adventured to dedicate to your Name this Funeral Cordial, which was first devoted to adorn the Christian Interment, and revive the honored Name of your dear Husband; that since You lived not long together in your marriage, yet You might, at least, be inseparable in this monument: which aims not to add any further secular pomp to his dust, much less to gratifie the impertinent curiosity of [Page]this or after ages, touching his life, sickness, disease, or death, but rather to advance the glory of God in his unsearchable ways; also to summon such as yet sur­vive him to consider their latter ends, that they may betimes, even in youth remember their Creator, and apply their hearts to true saving and eternal wisdom.

To these great and good ends I presume your Ladi­ships passionate piety will permit me to improve so sad a dispensation of providence, whose aspect not only looks to your Ladiship, but to all that stand within the view, reach and terror of so sharp a stroak, which de­serves to be so far laid to heart by all spectators, until they find their hearts mollified and mended through that gracious virtue, which may by fear of death and grief for sin make way for faith in Christ and love of God. Certainly a penitent and pious use is the best that can be made of such dreadful monitions; that no seeming splendor of prosperity, no vain confidences of youth and life, no cumulations of worldly contents, no momentary honours and imaginary pleasures should either blind or divert any of us from dayly taking a serious prospect of our sins and our souls, of our death and judgement, of our God and Saviour: Nothing in all my lifes observation (except one unparallel'd in­stance) hath ever faln out of more pregnant and potent influence, to abate the presumption of human vanity, worldly confidence, and earthly glory, than the sudden Eclipse and fall of this great Star, which was but lately risen to its lustre and conspicuity. The contemplation of his so early death is no small warning to us, that are yet living, especially to those, who most dally with death, while they affect a dilatory indifferency as to any pra­ctise of repentance and true piety; being afraid of no­thing so much as of being good too soon, as if they [Page]could be too soon in a capacity of happiness.

I know the folly and madness of many, who have had not only ingenuous but religious breeding, is usually such, that though they please themselves in being civil and accomplist toward men, yet they make no scruple of being neglective, rude, affrontive, yea insolent toward God, and therein cruel to their own souls, forgetting (at once) both their moment and God's eternity: which desperate frolick usually holds with many, not only during the adventerous extravagancies of their youth and spring (which is the chief hour of temptation and power of darkness) but it extends by the hardning habits and deceitfulness of our sinful hearts to our Autumn and decline; God knows our vicious accesses to the vanities, and inordinacies of life are early and speedy; but our gracious recesses in order to an holy life and happy death are very flow and late if ever, unless special grace prevent the best of nature, and God's good Spirit perfect the best of our educations.

Madame, I write not at this rate, out of a Censorian vanity to reproach others; but out of an humble sense of my own infirmities; and out of a Christian sympathy to others impendent miseries. Alas 'tis too evident that many persons (otherways of excellent & useful parts) do live amidst the offers of eternal life, and the terrors of eternal death, as if they had never laid to heart, ei­ther their own or any others death; no nor the death of their blessed Saviour; by the price of whose blood they have been both meritoriously & Sacramentally, redeemed from their vain conversation; It is both a sad and shameful thing to consider, that the least and last thoughts of many (titularly Christians) are de­voted to their God, their Saviour and their Souls. These grand concernments are late, unwelcome, and but hard­ly [Page]admitted after the surfeits of sensual pleasures, the crowds and pester of worldly affairs, the importunities of ambitious designs, and other busie vanities, which so ingross the whole man and time, that there is little place allowed in most mens and womens hearts, or space in their lives (which are always upon the confines and brink of death) for that great point of wisedom and work of salvation, which consists in beginning betimes to resist and retrench those evils to which our depraved hearts do naturally prompt us; that so we might with greater speed and less impediment advance to that Su­pream and immutable good to which as we are in­vited and beseeched by the tender mercies and love of God in Christ, so by the principles of true reason and re­ligion, and no less by the real interests of our own safe­ty, honour, and eternal felicity.

The promoting of all which being my main design in publishing this grave piece, I hope both your Ladiships great sadness and passion, and my own deep resent­ments for the dead, may be sufficient Apology for my freedom both of tongue and pen toward the living: not only my natural genius prompting me, but my con­science commanding me (specially in publique and sacred remonstrances) to speak and write out, that is, to use such honest Parrhesie as will least smother wholesome truths or flatter secure sins. Nothing is more deformed then parasitick preachers, or mealy-mouthed Ministers: He that speaketh or writeth (which is a silent preaching, a speech without noise, or words without a voice) in Christs name and authority to sinful and secure mortals had need be in very good earnest, fervent in spirit, unflattering in speech, chari­tably serious, yea kindly severe, with all meekness of wisedom. For Preachers of the Gospel are ordained of [Page]God to be Antiparasites, purposely to crosse and en­counter that pleasing but pernitious humor in mankind, which loves to deceive and flatter, even to the death, both themselves and others: the itching sores which others love to scratch, we must wound that we may heal them; and if ever we (the so despised Ministers of Christ) dare to own our selves in our authority and commission (which is divine, or none) it should be at Funerals, when standinng, as it were, upon the Tombs and urns of the dead, we have more then ordinarily the higher ground above the the living; all whose pleasures, profits, pride, power, and pomp should be then like the Moon under our feet, when (as Gods Heraulds, or lesser Angels) we summon all that hear or read us to Death and Judgement: the due and timely prepa­ring for which is the great lesson Ministers have to preach and people to practise. For which purpose I have used such pathetick freedom of expressing my self, as may (by Gods blessing) be useful and so acceptable to many, but justly offensive to none, that either are truly wise or would be good and happy in Gods way and me­thod, which is grace and holiness.

The ensuing discourse is now (as your Honour easily perceives) much inlarged beyond the Horary limits of a Sermon, exceeding in length wosi of the ancient Ora­tions; I wish it might equal them in usefulness, weight and worth. For in recollecting and ruminating my meditations, they easily multiplied, and in transcribing my notes as I had prepared them, I added with Baruch (Jer. 36.32.) many like words to what I had preach­ed and had penned, but omitted, being necessarily and so excusably contracted in the Pulpit, but now more dilated in the Press, according to my own design and [Page]the desire of others, who have a great empire over me; What then was in my preaching more massive and rough hewen than I intended, I have now malleated and polished, not only to an ampler, but I hope to a more august proportion. That it may be somewhat answerable to those great respects of love and honour which I have not only to this noble Gentleman, but to his honorable Relations, and particularly to his most virtuous Mother; The few years of whose mortal life, as he oft foretold (in my hearing) he should not exceed, so he did not attain to equal them; God verifying his presages by his immature death; being so far distant from his excellent Mother that she might be said to die in her April, but he (her only child) in the February of his age, as many years sooner as a month hath weeks. Due regard to both their memories, also to Your Ladiships honour, who had neerest relation to him, and so greatest affection for him. These, next my highest and more religious designs, may I hope, not only excuse the gravity and prolixity of this Epistle to so young a Lady, but also patronise my thus publishing my self (Madame)

Your HONOURS most humble Servant J. GAUDEN.

The ERRATA thus to be mended.

PAge 3. line 23. read stone for sin, p. 4. l. 14. r. millenary of wives and concubines. p. 15. l. 20. r. revolve for resolve. p. 23. l. 27. r. wasting for washing. p. 52. l. 36. r. convictions for corrections. p. 58. l. 25. r. immoderate for moderate. p 105. l. 28. r. O my for to my. l 34. hlot out, the experience. p. 120. l. 6. r. parcreatis. l. 16. r. Inter. l. 17. r. scrophulosae.

Books published by Dr. Gauden.

A Defence of the Ministry of England. — Of Tythes. Three Sermons upon publike occasions.

FUNERALS MADE CORDIALS.

ECCLES. 7.1.

It is better to goe to the house of mourning then to the house of feasting; for that is the end of all men: And the living will lay it to his heart.

YOu have hitherto (right Honorable and Christian Auditors) either added to the Solemnity of this Funeral, by the honour of your presence and attendance, or en­joyed the pomp and ceremony of it as civil spectators: You have all contributed (what you can) to cloath this Sceleton with a robe of State, and to hold up the long train of death, till it hath carried its prey to the grave, which is its den and Throne; where after a most savage and Cyclopick manner it doth at once triumph over us, and gnaw upon us, till it hath quite devoured, not only our flesh, but our very bones; yea our names and memories, if they be only written in the dust, and not registred in heaven; if our record be only among men here below, and not with the most high God above, as holy Job speaketh. Job 16.19. You have (in­deed) made a very ample and stately Commentary, as to your civil respects, upon this Corps and that Text, [Page 2] Eccl. 12.5. Man goeth to his long home, and the mourners goe about the streets. It now remains to see what improve­ment may be made of so sad an occasion to your own interests, the inward, religious, spiritual and eternal ad­vantages of your soules.

Hitherto you have acted as men, according to the rules of honour, and methods of secular Heraldry; but you now seem (as Christians) by your earnest and patient attention further to expect something from Me as an He­rald of Diviner Honour, as a Minister of Christ and his Church, whereby to advance this Solemnity to Sanctity, this pageantry to piety; this ceremony or shadow which follows the dead, to some substance and reality of bene­fit as to the living. That it may not be fulfilled in you, what was spoken by Christ, Mat. 8.22. not without a sharp and just reproach to the young man, Let the dead bury their dead; while we are more solicitous and pleased to follow a dead friend and relation to the grave, then to follow Christ, who will set us beyond the confines of death and mor­tality in a state of grace and glory, of honour and im­mortality. Your humane and civil respects to the remains of the dead are worthy of you, both as men and Chri­stians; Religion being no enemy to the sense and ex­pression of what honour is decent and due both to the li­ving and dead, whose very dust as Christians is sacred, and their carcasses so far consecrate, as they have been Temples of the holy Ghost, 1 Cor. 6.19. and are yet in Gods special care and custody as precious reliques, 1 Cor. 15.42. never to be lost, but reparable to a state of incorruption, candidates of heaven, and expectants (in a silent, but assured hope) of eternal glory with their blessed Saviour: whose once dead, but now risen and glorified body sitting at Gods right hand (that is in the highest place, and state of celestial honour, next the Divine Essence, far above all Angels) is neer of kin even to the dead bodies and dust of his servants, whom he will raise up again at the last day, and take them to he ever with the Lord.

But it will be a work more worthy of you and me, to [Page 3]carry on this Corps and Funeral till we bring them to our own hearts, where (possibly) we may find too much of the house and state of the dead. You see the wisedome of Solomon, or rather of God by his penitential pen, teach­eth us how to turn Funerals into Cordials. Indeed no­thing is more thrifty then true piety: Religion is a good husband of all opportunities, tempers, providences, John 6.12. Jam. 5.13. events and dispensations, towards our selves or others; it fol­lowes the frugal care and counsel of Christ, Let nothing be lost. Is any man merry (saith St. James) let him sing Psalms; is any man afflicted let him pray. Not only our own passions but others may be improved by holy Sym­pathies; mourning with those that mourn,Rom. 12.15.and weeping with those that weep, as well as rejoycing with those that joy. It is a Stoical and Cynical sowreness, yea a putid and barbarous stupidity in any Christian to forget he is a man, Mollissima cor­da Humano ge­neri dare se ra­tura fatetur, Quum lachry­mas dedit. Juv. having an heart fitted [in the softness of nature) be­yond all other creatures with bowels of compassion, with aptitude to be affected with others afflictions, and to te­stifie this by our Tears, which indicate an harmony of hearts, moved by a secret symphony to an unison of affe­ctions. Ezek. 11.19. Grace is so far from stupifying or petrifying mens hearts, that it takes away the heart of sin, and gives a heart of flesh; it softens us not only to God and our selves, but to others also: nothing is further from a true and genuine Christian then either putid affectation, or stupid in affectedness, I mean that surly apathy, and sense­less indolency of soul, which argues a spirit and con­science rather scorched and seared in the furnace of pri­vate lusts and particular factions, than steeped in the blood of Jesus Christ, or suppled with the gentle oyl of Catho­lick and Christian charity, which is the greatest orna­ment and improvement of every true Christian.

We have this receipt how to make a right use of the Dead from Solomons great experience and exact observati­on of things; whose accurate palate was not glutted or confounded, nor the edge of his taste blunted or dulled by the luxurious gusto, the delicacy, plenty, and variety [Page 4]of all things to which he applied his heart, whose wisedom remained with him; That wisedome which God gave him upon his wise choise of wisedom rather then of riches, ho­nour,2 Chron. 1.10.revenge, long life, or pleasure. The desire of wise­dome is the surest way to obtain it; for the soule by un­feigned desires (like a chrystal glass) is polished and pre­pared for it, that it easily receives the beams of wisedome into its self, which (like the Sun) shine equally upon all men, and are alike receptible by all; where the gross and opacous temper, the carnal and earthly lusts, the dull and dirty disposition of mens soules being wiped off, or purged and refined, there is no inward impediment or cloud to hinder.

This is one great Instance that Solomons wives, mil­lions of concubines, with his other proportionable e­quipage and provisions of sensual pleasures, had not exhausted his wisedome, in that he now, as a Prince and Preacher, makes this wise choise, That it is better to goe to the house of mourning then to the house of feasting.

1. Better in many and great respects; chiefly for this, that it sadly and solemnly sets forth to us the end of all men.

2. A consideration worthy of the living, who are infinitely concerned in the same fate and state attending them.

3. And which they may then turn to a good account, when they seriously lay the matter and manner, the oc­casion and solemnity of Funerals to their hearts.

4. Which they will doe, if they are truly living, in a rational, prudent, and religious way of life.

5. For then they must needs be very sensible what need their hearts have of such applications; even of death, and the house of mourning to them. And what advan­tages a wise man (one that hath an humble, holy, and gracious heart) may gain by such warnings and alarms, which in many regards are proper to be laid to heart by all those that are truly living to God and his grace; yea even such as are yet only living as beasts to their senses, [Page 5]and as men to civil conversation, being dead to the wise­dom & life of God, these may hence learn to know God and themselves; yea they may be excited and enabled to live to his glory, and to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling.

1. This choise and receipt of Solomon is considerable in general, as to its chief ingredient, the house of mourning, or the condition of the dead; which 2. will be best set forth, if we consider the persons to whom he applies it, the living, whose duty and wisdome it is not to despise those spectacles and instances of mortality. 3. Consider that part of the living to which he would have this medi­cine applied, their heart; whose pestilent distempers stand in need of such applications. 4. The vertues, ends, and uses for which this receipt is sacred and soveraign, to be laid to the hearts of the living; which are all wrapped up in this one expression, For it is the end of all men.

When I have given you this account of the Text, in order to the religious benefit of the living, I shall answer your wonted curiosity and expectation, in giving you some account also of the Dead, upon whose occasion we are now met; that I may at once doe Him and you so much right as truth and justice first, next my love and honour to him, together with my charity to you, command me to doe; apart from all sinister fears or flatteries, without any partiality, or oblique passion, toward the living, or the dead: which depraved distempers can at no time become me, or any Minister of Christ, and least of all now, when I have set before me, and am to set forth to you, such a sad and serious prospect of the dead, as ought to mortifie all our impotent passions and inordinate affe­ctions.

My first endeavour must be to set forth to you in ge­neral this part of Solomons wisedome, which we may call a kind of sacred Necromancie, or Necromathy, by which he had learned himself, and instructs others, to make an holy use of the Dead; rather to goe to the house of mourn­ing in the blackest attire and representations of it (which [Page 6]are at Funerals) then to goe to the house of feasting, or to frequent those Festivals, either civil or sacred, which invited poor mortals to more mirth and jollity of spirit, but to less of mortifiedness and humility then their sinful, frail, and dangerous condition did require.

Solomon (no doubt) had observed that Feasts, like full diet to foul bodies, Morbum non hominem alen­tes. Morbi fomitem subducentes. did but pamper their diseases; but Funerals, like Physick that is less palatable yet more wholsome, did help to purge the body, to lighten nature. Feasts, like fair weather, or Summer, are prone to be­get many vermine, many putid and pestilent savours, both in our minds and bodies; but Funerals, like frosty weather, give check to the luxuriancy of evil humours, of evil weeds, and offensive savours.

Holy Job was jealous of the dangerous effects accom­panying the Festivals of his children, Job 1.5. however brought up both by his precept and example to all pious and just se­verities: He was afraid with a godly and paternal fear, lest they had cursed God in their hearts; that is, nega­tively or privatively, not blessing him at all, or not pro­portionably to the bounty they enjoyed, lest, partaking of his gifts, they might forget the Giver, and love, com­mend, or admire the creature more then the Creator. For no experience is more frequent then to see surfeiting bodies to be as the sepulchres of famished soules; to see plenty digested into impiety, as sweet and fat things turn to choler; from principles of love and civility, men stu­dy to treat their friends with plenty, Lenocinumi gu­stus. variety, delicacy of meats and drinks. This, by the inchantment of the taste, tempts to superfluity and excess, beyond the mo­desty of holy mirth and sober satiety, which God doth nei­ther deny, nor envy us; once beyond the banks of mo­deration, the wine and strong drink boyl up mens spirits to madness, to begin and enforce so many unhealthful healths by a devilish kind of importunity and hellish ci­vility, till surfeiting and drunkenness, till all manner of petulancy and violence, like a deluge or spring-tide, overwhelm all that is rational or religious, civil or humane [Page 7]in them; till their bodies are become the sinks of all fe­dities; till shameful spewing, as the Prophet speaks, is upon their tables, beds, and bosoms; till their comedies of feast­ing end in tragedies of fighting, if not with their friends, yet with their God and their own soules; and this in so ingrate and indigne a manner, as is most impudent: for, armed with the weapons of Gods bounty, power, and wisedome, they fly in his face, and fight against his holy Spirit, contrary to the gentleness and gratitude of beasts, which doe not readily return any rude or offensive acti­ons to those that are their feeders; so that the unholy and unthankful carriage of men in their excesses against God, is not far from cursing of him; yea many times men run out to such riot at Feasts, as to number their oathes by their glasses and dishes; every bit, and every draught must be sawced with the haugoust of swearing, of profane and Atheistical rallieries against God and Reli­gion.

This is (many times) the sad end of feasting, Non hos quaesi­tum munus in usus. Prov. 23.2. which begins in luxury, and concludes in blasphemy; when men need more a knife to be put to their throat, then to cut their meat. When they begin without any grace, or that very formal, and only in their lips, and end in such ri­otous and ungracious conclusions; better to be with La­zarus on his dunghil wanting the crums of Dives his ta­ble, then to be such a beast as feeds without fear, Luke 16.19. Jude 12. Deus tuus por­corum Deus. as owns no other God then the god of swine, or their own bellies, to eat and drink of the Eternals bounty, and never ei­ther crave, or own, or return a blessing in any duty, love, or fear to him; forgetting that there is not a crum of bread we eat, or a drop of drink we take to refresh our hungry and thirsty soules, which we can either make or merit; they are the fruits and effects of omnipotent power, goodness, wisedome. Epicures forget there must be an Earth, an Air, a Sun, a Heaven, a World made, to bring forth the least creature we partake of, besides a divine benignity, which allowes and enables us to use and en­joy them. We doe not owe these comforts to our selves, [Page 8]no more then to Bacchus or Ceres, to Pan or Apollo, to Sa­turn or Neptune, the imaginary Gods of the Heathen, but to the only true God, who is blessed for ever, the bountiful giver of all blessings, and who must needs be better then all, by the word of whose power they are made for us, and by the power of whose word they be­come blessings to us: Acts 14.17. He, He it is that gives all mankind witness (as the Apostle preacheth to the Lystrians) of him­self, by giving them fruitful seasons, and filling their hearts with joy and gladness: He is the Father of the for­mer and lateer rain; he gives us all things liberally to en­joy, but not so as to turn himself out of our hearts and houses.

These then are the frequent dangerous effects or con­sequences of Feastings; but at the house of mourning (unless it be turned by a strange Metamorphosis to a house of most unseasonable feasting, Isa. 22.13. by the riot and de­licacy of those who in stead of weeping and lamentation at Funerals, to which God calls them, expect onely wine and banquets) otherwise if Funerals keep their pri­mitive gravity, severity, and solemnity, who is there so vain, so wanton, so sensual, so brutish, insolent, or A­theistical, that he is not ashamed not to seem at least grave, sober, devout, and to be almost religious? Who is there that feels not something of palpable darknesse and cold when he is under or near the shadow and damp of death? Who can forbear something of horror, some­thing that looks like penitential sadness, and breaths after the manner of religious and unaffected sighs?

Thus as Labans sheep, Gen. 30 38. by the natural Magick which Ja­cob used of peeled rods laid before them, became spotted and ring-streaked; so doth ingenuous grief and sorrow by strange symbolizings work on all mens hearts; and this not so much precariously as imperiously, especially when that passion hath for a time got the Empire of all other, A lachrymis nemo tam fer­reus ut teneat se. and sits (though in sackcloth, dust, and ashes, like the King of Nineveh, on the Throne of a rational soul in its full and predominant majesty, which is then most [Page 9]conspicuous, when there is most of unfeigned sadness and obscurity, like the Sun in the greatest Eclipse.

This lesson humanity taught the very Heathen; no Na­tion so barbarous but they adorned their Funerals with something, not only of the finest flowers of humanity, Nature imperio gemimus cum funus adultae Virginis occur­rit, &c. but even with the fairest garlands of their divinity, and a special regard to their Gods. For these sad spectacles migh­tily allayed their furies, tamed their most unruly lusts, disarmed their revenges, forced them to shed teares even over their enemies corps or graves, as Alexander the Great did over Darius, and Julius Caesar when he saw his potent Rival Pompey the Great's head deformedly par­ted from his body by treacherous villany. These glasses shewed to every man their own faces in the truest and most unflattering representations. Mors sola fate­tur Quantula sint hominum corpuscula.

Some of the ancient Philosophers professed they pro­fited most by conversing with the dead, that is, with good books, whose Authors were long agone dead, as to their bodies, but living in the noble monuments of their minds, Libri animorum urnae: Menti­um magnarum aeterna monu­menta. Lipsius. their writings, which are the urns or repositories of souls here on earth. This was very elegant, and very true, there being as none more durable Monuments, so no bet­ter Monitors, Tutors, and Instructers then those that are farthest remote from all passions of fear or flattery, from the vices and parties of the age in which men live.

Nor is the frequenting of dead mens funerals less effe­ctual to work on living mens hearts. For (as some Non­conformists of old) the dead never speak louder then when they are most silenced, nor shine brighter then in that night of darkness which is sending them to their long homes, and to make their lasting beds in the cold grave, that dismal house of darkness. Dead men by an holy kind of Magick (which is a due meditation of them and our selves) doe in a sort revive to us, and walk with us, yea haunt us, and talk with us in a dumb but potent kind of oratory. Sometimes their noble deeds and good works praise them, and upbraid us who are stran­gers yet to their worth, and enemies to their holy exam­ples. [Page 10]Sometimes they lift up their voice like a trumpet of terrour to us, in the sad riot, and debaucheries, and security of of their lives, and in the suddenness, the de­spair and dreadfulness of their deaths: Sometimes the so­lemnity of their Funerals, the mementoes of their Epi­taphs and those Inscriptions which give, Marmora ani­mata. as it were, breath to their dust, and a spirit or life to their marble monu­ments: All these summon us to serious reflections; that, as Pliny tells us, the dead sea affords some medicinals, and mummy it self is become a useful drug in medica­ments; so great and special good use may be made of those that are (recens mortui) new dead among our neighbours, friends, acquaintance, relations, superiors, inferiors. Nulla unquam de morte homi­nis cunctatio longa. As no mans death should be precipitated, be­cause life is invaluable, and once lost is irreparable; so nor is any mans death to be taken with a careless and use­less indifferencie, specially when it is neer us, and like Balshazzars hand on the wall, by the fingers of a man pointing to us, Mortuorum fu­nera viventium monita. or writing, as it were, either some lesson for us, or terrors against us; some monition or instruction.

One of the great Egyptian Kings (Sesostris, as I re­member) commanded this to be written on his Tomb or Urn ( [...]) Whoever lookes on my Sepulchre, Discite justiti­am moniti, & ne temerite di­ves. let him learn to be religious, to fear and serve the gods. The Scythians, while yet Heathens, and sy­nonymous with Barbarity; yet were so ingenuous to im­prove the Deaths of their most deserving Princes, that they cut their dead bodies into little pieces, which they kept about them as Jewels in precious boxes, [...]. as amulets or defensatives against vice and maladies, no less then incentives to virtue, and conservatives of their felicity. The Ethiopians in a different manner, yet to the same design, were wont to put the intire bodies of their Princes, exsuccated or dried by sweet spices and the Sun, into glass Urns, or transparent Coffins, which they set in pub­lick and most conspicuous places, as Varro tells us the Romans did their Statues, to be, as it were, the great Censors and Monitors, no less then the exemplary in­citers [Page 11]of posterity to parallel vertues. [...]. Infinite were the inventions of ingenious Antiquity, either to advance the honour of the dead, or to vindicate or revenge them, as much as might be done by poor mortals, from mortality; or, at least, to moderate and qualifie the impotent passi­ons and enormous grief of Survivors. Hence they not only held their Geniusses immortal (which they venera­ted by a will-worship, and is properly Superstition) but they built them stately and portentous Sepulchres for their bodies in Pyramids, Mausoles, and the like Fabricks, which were Miracles of Architecture, that their dust might have as stately palaces as themselves once living enjoyed. Ludos solennes. Besides, they instituted solemn Sacrifices, and magnifi­cent conventions, mixt with activity and bravery, Judg. 11. See Ludo. Cae­pel. votum Jephtae. inter­ludes and devotion, in memorial of them; as Jephtah did for his daughters being sacrificed, as a ( [...]) curseor Anathema, so devoted to God, as was not redeemable. Alexander the great at the Funeral of Ephestion squan­dred in a profuseness of passion, and prodigality fit for none but himself, so many Talents as amounted to more then a million of pounds sterling: Nay, See Bish. Ʋsser his Chrono. Imp. Alex. M. the Roman pride and glory dared (Coelum ipsum petere ambitiosà nimis stul­titiâ) to vye with the Gods in Heaven, and by the sum­ptuous pomp of their Funeral Piles, and the Eagles mounting from the flames of them upward, to raise the vulgar credulity beyond the thoughts of their Princes mortality to the imaginations of a Deity. [...] Rom. vid. Lip. & alios. Thus fearing that Heaven should not be fully planted, they sent them Colonies from earth; that such as had either deserved very well of mankind, or were able (unpunished) to do much mischief, by such soveraign impiety as was great, but not good, might fill up the lower formes of Hea­ven, which yet wanted Gods to supply them. Which fan­cy did not stray much from that of some Christian Fa­thers, who conceive the fall and defalcation of Angels, when they degenerated to Devils, is to be repaired by substituting as many Saints, or Christian Heroes, into their room.

How the souls of all those got to Heaven, whom vul­gar clamours and applauses, or politick Deifications, or Papal Canonizations lift up thither, I list not to enquire. I believe many of their Spirits went no higher then their Eagles might soar. I am sure popular Superstition or passion is prone to fix upon many a golden Calf this title and proclamation, Exod. 32.8. These are thy Gods O Israel. Nor is a­ny thing more frequent, then (as Crysologus observes) for the pomp of Funerals to lye and flatter, Mentitur fune­ris pompa falla­ci vanitate a­dulantium. Multos pompa funeris ad coe­lum evehit, quos peccati pondus ad infernum deprimit. both as to the living and the dead. Many are raised up to Hea­ven by the magnificence of the Burnings, or Buryings, whose souls are sunk down to Hell by the ponderous weight of their unrepented and unreformed sins.

When sorrow affects too much state, and wraps up the sharpness of death in soft paradoes, mixing too much sensual sweet with the wormwood and bitterness of that cup which is offered to all mens lips, the good effects of Funerals are much defeated as to the living; the house of mourning is so far from being better in such an equipage, that it is worse then the sober house of feasting: for it flatters the dead and living too, making men deaf to Gods warning-pieces, which are shot off at their ears, and level­led at their hearts. They are like wool-sacks, or mounds of earth, 1 John 2.16. which disarm the great cannon-shot, which should batter down the ( [...]) the strong holds of sin, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, the pride of life. Empty and adulatory pomp, set up as it were by the higher ground of mens stately Funerals and Tombs, what God intends to pull down, namely those high and exalted imaginations with which poor sinful mortals are pestered and poysoned, who are then best when they see themselves and others at the worst; and then nearest to grace and glory too, when they see themselves as in their graves reduced to their dust and ashes; and in their very best estate, Psal. 39.5. as the Psalmist speaks, to be but altogether vanity.

2. Which is the great lesson that the great God in­tends to teach men by such pregnant instances of their [Page 13]mortality, which the living will learn, (i. e. such as live not only to sense, but to true reason; and not only to reason, but to true religion; not only to a moment, but eternity.) The aym of these severe Lectures is to bring sinful man down to the dust, within sight of the grave, and prospect of judgment and hell it self, that so he may be a meet object for Gods grace and mercy. It is a shrewd sign of a heart dead in sins and trespasses, stupid in sensu­al security, buried in worldly lusts and vain pleasures, dead (as the Apostle sayes of some widows) even while they live, 1 Tim. 5.6. not to lay to heart the departures of those who are snatcht out of the land of the living, to a state and place whence they shall not return, to a terra incognita, a land which is far off, a black Abyssus covered with profound darkness, of which no discovery hath ever been made by any that went thither, so as to give Survivers any Geographical map or account of it.

Which terrible summons, like the decimating of soul­diers to die one after another, cannot but infinitely affect the sober and serious living; to whose benefit only the death and Funerals, the solemnities and obsequies, civil and religious, prayers and Sermons too, may and ought to be duely improved.

For to the Dead they reach not, nor can they turn to any account, further then such civil honour and respect as is due to their place, name, and merit yet survi­ving, or to their corps, which rest in hope of a refurrection, and so deserve an handsome and Christian interment. But, as to any advantage to be made for the benefit of their soules, for redeeming them from Purgatory, for abating their purgative paines, for shortning or supply­ing their Pennance, or obtaining remission for any sin or punishment in which they are engaged being once dead; this must be let alone for ever. There is no ground of hope to relieve them in any kind; no Scripture, no Ca­tholick doctrine, no precept, no promise that gives any footing for Prayers or Sacrifices, Masses or Dirges, Obla­tions or Emptions, Remissions or Redemptions, by which [Page 14]to benefit the dead; they are vain solaces to the living, and none at all to the dead, arising first from the suggesti­ons of the impotent grief and passion in survivors; next from an unwarranted charity and benevolence to the dead. At last, policy and covetousness grew so cunning, in the darkness and superstition of times, as to make no small advantages by the vulgar easiness and prodigality, sliding by insensible degrees from those memorials of be­nediction for their piety and constancy in religion, from the gratulations for their happy and hopeful delivery out of a dangerous and naufragous Sea, and for their hoped arrival at a safe and happy heaven; together with a Catholick comprecation for the consummation and ple­nary bliss at the resurrection of them and all Saints departed in the true faith of Christ: See the excel­lent Primate of Arm. of pray­ing to and for the dead, in his Jesuites Chal­lenge. From these com­mendable customes (I say) of pious Antiquity (of which Epiphanius and others give us an account) degenerous posterity warped not onely to praying both for and to the dead, but indeed to make a notable mystery and trade of preying upon the devotion and simplicity of the living; uses and ends which we find neither So­lomon, nor any Prophet, Apostle, or Evangelist, nor Christ himself any where teaching, nor in the least kind inti­mating to the living, either in order to give such honour or help to the dead; neither of which either our blessed Saviours love of his compleater Saints, or his charity to the more defective dead, (who had not fully done their pennance here, and so stood in need of some grains of al­lowance from the charity of such as survived them) or his Apostles care would have failed to have taught the Pri­mitive Church by word, or Epistle, or example, if such prayers had been available to the living, or for the dead: No, they may be profitable fancies to the Romanists, and plausible enough to their bigot and bountiful disciples; but they are not justifiable in true religion, by Old or New Testament, nor by any practise in the first and best Centuries. No known advantages can redound to the dead from the living, nor other advantages to the living [Page 15]from the dead, but only the laying their death seri­ously and devoutly to heart; the use that wise Solomon, and the wiser God here commends to us all.

3. And this upon very great and pregnant reasons, if we consider, 1. The state of the living in respect of their hearts. 2. The proper vertues which are derivable from the dead, and fit to be applied to the hearts of the li­ving: [...], Et vivens dabit ad cor suum. The wise and considerate living, will, upon such occa­sions, not only gape at the ceremony, glory in the pomp, talk of the person, discourse of the disease and manner of death after a vulgar and easie fashion; much less will they rejoyce in anothers death (though an enemy) or triumph in the advantages which accrew to them there­by, after a malicious and covetous rate. Such as lie under the power of these depraved distempers of soul, and are of no higher form of life, are scarce among Solomons living, who lay things to heart, that is, Altâ mente re­ponunt: they deeply and devoutly, seriously and so­lemnly, rationally and religiously, consider, resolve and ponder in (intimis animi recessibus) the inward recesses of their soules or consciences, the whole purport of such occasions, what they mean in all their aspects. They make as it were a speculative Anatomy, and intellectual dissection of the dead, yea and of death it self, in all its forms and fashions; in its causes and effects; its ante­cedents, concomitants, and consequences: They look upon the face of it, which is neer at hand, and the long train or extent of it, which reacheth to Eternity.

This is the Lecture that the living read upon the dead, and many lessons they learn from them; because they are men that have an heart which is wise and understanding, duely weighing in the scale of true reason and divine wisdom, every occurrence and event of providence, which hath any remark or signal character upon it, as the death of any man or woman, young or old, infant or decre­pit, hath to such as have an heart able to apply it; not­withstanding this frequency of such spectacles, which [Page 16]with many men and women, takes away the sense and re­gard of them, though such persons need every day a me­mento mori, some spectacle or remembrancer (as King Philip had) daily to put them in mind that they are but men. Philippe, me­mento te esse mortalem. How necessary is it for them to remember their lat­ter end? to consider in what a vain shadow they live, or rather die in their life, because they are without an heart, as silly birds, not aware of the snares of sin, the pits of death and hell, over which they carelesly and confident­ly passe every moment. Frequencie of Funerals doth not lessen the right use and influence of them to such li­ving as know how to lay them to heart. They doe not as women and children, or country clowns, only start a­main when some sudden and unexpected death befals a­ny, as if it were the discharging of a great cannon near them, which they never dreamed of; but as valiant Com­manders, who finding that an hot battery and frequent shot slayes men round about them, wisely consider that they may be the next mark whom death will hit; which thought is so far from discouraging or appalling a man of a good heart (that is, pious and generous) that it onely summons him to muster up all the fortitude and strength of his soul, that whether he live or die, he may do neither like a fool, or a coward, or a beast, but like a valiant man, and a good Christian, who being engaged in a good Canse, having a good God and a good conscience, doubts not to make a good end, when God shall call him out of this life to a better.

The Living, that is, the wise and considerable sort of mankind are the only persons who have hearts to consider all things as they ought; to reflect upon their own hearts, to commune with them; to try and examine their state and tempers, their defects and disorders, their extravagancies and necessities. The Living are they that duely consider the true interests and eternal concernments of their hearts and spirits, their soules and consciences, far beyond those of their bodies, senses, or fortunes. The Living doe upon such occasions of mortality (in se descen­dere) [Page 17]make sober retreats home, looking to themselves, and searching into the (penetralia animae) their hearts a­bove all.

Which they know to be as the rudder or steerage of the soule, and of the whole man; of all thoughts, words, and actions; the card or compass by which our momentary and eternal course is shaped: They know the infinite im­portance of a well or ill constituted and managed heart. They find that verified which our Saviour tells us, That out of the heart of man proceed evil thoughts, murders, Matth. 15.18. adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphe­mies, &c. That God chiefly requires and regards this, as the Gemme of the man, most precious in it self, most proper and proportionate for God. That all beauty, strength, wit, estate, honour, offered to God without the Heart, is but the sacrifice, nay the sacriledge and affront of fools and hypocrites. Therefore it is frequently inculcated from Heaven, and in the Scripture, Prov. 23.26. to all sorts of men under all dispensations of Religion, to Jew and Gentile, Give me thy heart; an honest and good heart, Psal. 51. a pure and peaceable heart, an humble and contrite heart God will not despise; yea in this he delights; all things else are loss and dung in comparison: Nothing else in man is wor­thy of God; and yet nothing less worthy of him, that is, Gen. 6.5. naturally less fit and prepared for him. What God com­plained long ago, is verified in every mans experience, That every imagination of the thoughts of mans heart was evil, and that continually.

The ( [...]) distempers, diseases, yea and deaths of the heart of man, are as many, as dangerous, and as des­perate as those of the body; yea infinitely more: For the bodies diseases doe but kill us, as to mans society, and to a moments life on earth; but the diseases of the heart kill us, as to the life of God, and an eternal happiness of con­servation in Heaven. The living God (who delights not in the death of a sinner, nor yet in a dead heart, which is the first death of a sinner) as a gracious Father, and compassionate Physitian, hath discovered to us the many [Page 18] plagues which are in our hearts; the sicknesses to which they are subject by the surfets they take of the world and their senses.

Sometimes the Heart swels with the tumor of intolera­ble pride; sometimes it burns withcholerick inflammations; sometimes it is scorched with passionate calentures of in­ordinate lusts; sometimes it is almost drowned (like hy­dropick and overgrown bodies) with its sensual luxuries and fulness, even to abominable fedities; sometimes it hath such a gout, as it is in great pain at any the least motion for God, or any good motion from him; some­time it pines away in a Consumption, amidst all its sensi­ble pleasures, plenty, and honours, not finding any sa­tisfactory, solid and durable good in them all. Sometimes the heart is shaken with paralytick tremblings and ter­rors, like Earthquakes, which seem to arise from the dark and pestilent vapors in it self; sometimes it hath not on­ly fits of the stone, refractory tempers, but a petrified ha­bitude of a hard and stony heart, which nothing doth sof­ten; neither mercy nor judgment; love nor wrath; bounty nor patience of God. Sometimes the heart falls into Lethargick and Apoplectick stupors (like Nabals and Achitophels) it growes remorseless, benummed, stupid, senselesse; dull and dead within men, past fear or feeling of any thing, either sharp and pungent in the Law, or spi­ritful and reviving in the Gospel.

Solomon (who was a great King of hearts, and had a very large soveraign knowledge of them, Eccl. 8.11. beyond any meer man) tells us that the hearts of the sons of men are not onely full of folly, 1 Kings 8.38. Eccl. 9.3. and set upon evill, and sick of several sorts of plagues, but frenzy, fury, and mad­ness are in their hearts while they live, which is a distem­per not easily (if ever perfectly) cured.

But if any thing (as to humane applications) be like­ly to work any good upon the worst mens hearts; Job 41.7. if any dart or weapon can reach and pierce these Leviathans (whose natural proneness and customary habits in sin are so closely fixed and hardened to all manner of sin, [Page 19]without any remorse) it is such as Death brings with it; not as it is pictured to scare children, but as it is really it self, and perceived among all sorts of men, good or bad, sparing none; surprising any one, even in the pride, hardness, deadness, and damnableness of his heart. No­thing in life is a more consummated fear then that which death carries with it: It is called the King of terrors, Job 18.14. Isa. 14.9, 11, 12. Ezek. 32.27.Rex longimanus, whose Scepter or sword reacheth all, e­ven Kings themselves; such as were most impatient not to have all men living stoop down to their Scepter and Em­pire, even these mighty Cedars, and Colosses of Monarchs hath death subdued in a short time, with a little labour, and brought them down to the pit, and bound them in chaines of darkness, in the prison and dungeon of the grave, triumphing over these Triumphers with an ironick Epi­nicion (as the Prophet expresseth) How art thou faln! Art thou also become weak as we, who wert a terror in the land of the living, with thy sword lying in vain under thy head, while thine iniquities are upon thy bones!

This representation of death to the living, should be laid to Heart by all men, and will be so by all such as truly live, and not only breath. There is a great diffe­rence between vixit and fuit, being and living; he lives, that liveth wisely and worthily: As bene valere is vivere, health is the life of life; so much more, bene vivere est vi­ta vitalis, to live well is the welfare of life. For, as eve­ry disease of the body is a partial death to such a degree of health and life as is wanting; so every sinful distemper of the rational heart of man, is so far a deadness, as it is a disorder upon it.

Which God seeks to cure and conquer, by setting be­fore us frequent spectacles of mortality; which not to lay to heart, and to entertain meerly with a specious for­mality, with a childish, historick, or histrionick indifferen­cy, is the way (firmare morbum, & corroborare mortem) to increase the diseases, and confirm that death which is upon mens hearts, who are yet living in a vain shadow, or shew of life only; which is to these filly inconsiderate [Page 20]and sinful fooles, not only (mortalis and moriens, but mortua, yea mortifera vita) a mortal and dayly dying, but a dead, yea a deadly and killing life: while they live onely to beasts, to men, to their bodies, and to a moment; but are dead to soules, to their own hearts, to Gods Spirit, and to Eternity, as to their present impeni­tent state and posture of heart.

God by the Prophet complaines That the righteous pe­rish, and no man laid it to heart. Yea when he sent many messengers and promiscuous executioners of death among the Jewes, Isa. 57.1. Aezek. 14.21. his four sore judgments; yet they laid not those terrors to heart, nor considered their latter end, that they might fear before God, and live no more presump­tuously.

Our blessed Lord at once reproacheth and threatneth those that had not so laid to heart the death of those on whom the tower of Siloa fell, and whose blood Pilate min­gled with their sacrifices,Luke 13.4.that except they repent they should likewise perish. Deaths must be so laid to heart, that by the sadness of the countenance the heart may be made bet­ter, Eccl. 7.3. as Solomon speaks. The house of laughter may afford the heart of a fool more seeming pleasure for a season; but the house of mourning affords a wise mans heart more solid and durable profit; Luke 17.37. who, like the Eagle, will chuse to be there where the body (not [...], but [...]) yea the dead corps is, as our Saviour speaks in an higher sense (where the Eagle-eye of a believer, quick and clear, seeing afar off, eagerly hastens, firmly seizeth, pertinaci­ously holdeth, and greedily feedeth upon Christs blessed body and blood, which is given to die for us, as the only food of our soules in its infinite merits.)

As we must not take the name of God in vain by profane swearing, blaspheming, or jesting; nor may we receive his grace in vain, as to the meanes, the monitions and motions of his Spirit, within us, or without us: So nei­ther may we passe by the dead, as the Priest and Levite did by the wounded and half-dead traveller, without much regard, as if we were unconcerned. Gods dispen­pensations [Page 21]in this kind must not be in vain to us; though we cannot doe the dead any good, yet we may get good from them and by them; yea, account must be given, as of other things, so of this: Thou must not only (reddere rationem vitae tuae, but alienae) give an account of thy own life, but of anothers too; who may sin at the charge of thy soule, while (as Eli) thou neglectest to hinder or reprove, or give them good example, or it may be sooth­est and encouragest them in sin; or whose pious life is set before thee as an excellent pattern, but ill followed by thee: yea further, we must (reddere rationem mortis a­lienae) give account to God of anothers death; not only whom we unjustly slay, Gen. 9.5. or neglect to save & deliver asmuch as is justly in our power, God will require the blood of these both for man and beast; but further we must give account of anothers death, which we see, or hear of, and doe not consider; which we celebrate onely, but lay it not to heart in piety; when we are not warned or moved at all; when custome, as of sinning, so of seeing the dead, takes away all due sense; when being touched with so sharp a spur as that of anothers death should be to thee, thou art like a dull jade, or tired hackney, not at all af­fected or moved to mend thy pace; not one sinners sigh or Christians tear; no sad reflection, or penitent remorse; no quickened endeavours, or confirmed resolutions, in order to prepare more intentively for death, for judg­ment and eternity; only thou joggest on after the wont­ed rate and carriers pace of a formal and cold-hearted Christian.

Which evil defects (arguments of a dead and unaffe­cted heart, either totally or gradually) are the lesse excu­sable in men, because the uses or advantages to be made from the occasions and spectacles of mortality are excel­lent and many; yea as obvious and easie, as they are very useful and necessary for the state and heart of poor sinful mortals. One Commentator oppressed with the plenty and variety of the benefits which rise from the due contemplation of Death (of which he enumerates very [Page 22]few) wraps up his thoughts in this oratorious expression. He must be a potent and pathetick Orator, full of a copious and apt eloquence, who can sufficiently set them forth.

Gregory the Great in his Morals gives us this in gene­ral, Mr Cartwright on Eccles. Fructus mortis tum esse muli­plices ut illis recensendis pro­lixa oratio suf­ficeret. Oculos quos vi­tae voluptas claudit mortis amaritudo ape­rit. That many times the bitterness of death opens those eyes which the sweetness of life had quite shut up. We read that the famous Thomas Waldo of Lions, the Father of the Waldenses, had his first deaths wound, I mean as to his sin and luxury, made upon his heart, by his seeing one fall down suddenly dead in the streets: It was a dart which so strake through his liver, that he presently apply­ed to a severe and pious reformation of life.

It is your unhappiness (Right honorable and beloved) that you are not at present blessed with such a Preacher, who might most improve to you this sad occasion, by shewing you according to the merit and import of it and the Text, what are the excellent advantages you may make of it, by laying it in the several aspects and instan­ces of it to your heart: But if I were able to doe it, yet the streights of time, and your other occasions urging upon you and me, would not permit me to use so diffu­sed and ample a way of speaking as possibly I might in this particular case, and at this time attain, being my self none of the least pathetick mourners. And we know (as Synesius tells us) nothing is more eloquent then un­feigned sorrow; if I list not to be silent, or only to weep. Great grief hath something exstatick, [...]. and is capable of as high an Enthusiasm as love: Indeed both of them in their paroxysms, like some fits of sickness, doe, as it were, lift a man above, and transport him beyond his wonted and everyday Self.

However, since your and my duty is not to leave this Text and occasion unapplyed to our hearts, give me leave, as far as I may with bounds of discretion, to set forth to you what advantages Solomon intended; and if they can­not reach your hearts, possibly they may mine own; but I [Page 23]hope by Gods blessing they may come home to all our hearts.

1. At the house of mourning upon Funeral occasions, lay to heart what is first in view and next to hand; Phil. 3.21. that is, the state of thy frail and vile body. 1. As it is the pri­son, burthen, snare, poyson, and oppression many times of thy precious soul (which I doe not now aggravate, or lay to its charge:) and at its best, Rom. 7.24. it is but the cage of many foul, noxious and noysome humours and diseases; its truest stile and title is what Paul gives it, a body of death, its own traitor, devourer, killer and destroyer, for the most part conceiving and hatching, carrying and con­triving (many times) such principles of mortality, and methods of malignity in it, as lie in wait, and unawares break out to surprize thee in thy greatest security & confi­dence of life. Like a flattering and smiling Sea, so is a youthful, healthful, handsome and athletick body, soon cast into a dangerous storm of sickness, and dashing it self in pieces by violent and unexpected diseases. Thus is thy body in its seeming health.

2. View the body in its sicknesse and inquietudes, its pains and anguishes, its various and tedious distempers; like the Demoniack in the Gospel, sometimes cast into the fire of Calentures, sometimes into the water of long and fainting sweats; sometimes it's in an African Syrtes, or hot sands, boyling its self in its own grease, and washing by its unnatural flames that native oyl or Balsam of life, which sustains that lamp; otherwhile it is condemned to Scotish colds, and Northern torpors, having in the same little world both the inhabitable Climates. Thus, tor­mented between its Canicular fryings, and its Hyperbore­an freezings, what tongue can expresse sufficiently the al­ternative torments which by a strange vicissitude seem to delight in taking turnes to rack the poor and pitiful bodie of man.

3. Which (now wasted with their intestine conflicts, and having nothing to complain of, or contend against so much as it self) grows faint and feeble, exsuccated, dis­spirited, [Page 24] loathing (as Job speaks) all manner of food, Job 33.20. and robbed of its sleep by those pestilent vapours which rise from it self. At length, helplesse and hopelesse, not able to remove or move it self, it would grow its own dunghill, and be buried in its own putrefaction and filth, if the humanity and charity of some, and the mercena­ry necessity of others did not move them to help this poor carkass; whose flesh falls; its skin shrivels; the beauty and majesty of the face vanisheth; the vigour of the eyes sink; the sinews are feeble; the whole fabrick totters like a cra­zy house, ready to fall with its own weight.

4. At last all the powers of nature fail, and the soule weary of so crazy and unquiet a lodging (which is haunt­ed with so many evil spirits) flies away, leaving this poor carkass to it self. O then look seriously upon it, view it well, and lay to heart, whether the fanciful Poets and o­ther amorous flatterers, did not lye strenuously, and blas­pheme the Creator most wittily, when they were ready to swear that they saw a brighter and fairer Heaven in the face of such a body living then that which was over their heads; that the lustre of those eyes, now sadly and severe­ly closed, was sufficient to supply the Sun's absence, or dazle its noon-day light; that those were the cheeks, whose orient beauty made the morning toblush for shame to see it self overcome; that those were the lips which contend­ed with roses, and conquered all rubies; that the elo­quence of that mouth and tongue, now shut and eternal­ly silent, was the charm and amazement of all that were happy to hear it speak; that this rare creature was the center and dispenser of all favours or terrours, life and death, to the world.

Now (O fictitious fool) lay to heart, and see (Quantum mutatus ab illo Hectore) what a sad and horrid change on a sudden is befaln this Specter, this Empusa, this poor and pitiful body; how pallid, how livid, how dreadful, how menacing it is at first to all spectators: At length, how loathsome and putid, how offensive and abominable, even to those that most loved, admired, adored it: You [Page 25]are forced at last to recant your foolery by removing it out of your sight, out of your sent, out of your doors, to hide it as carrion in the earth, commit it to the wormes, and leave it to its own corruption. Ossa vides re­gum vacuis ex­hausta medul­lis. Ʋnus Pellaeo juveni non suffi­cit orbis. Sarcophago contentus erit. Even this body which was the lanthorn of so bright and noble a soul as Solomon's; The Citadel, or Fort of so great a strength as Sampson's; (who had an Army in each Arm) The Throne, or Me­tropolis of Beauty as Queen Esther's; The Magazeen of so much wit and knowledge as Achitophel's; The Seraglio of so much pleasure as Sardanapalus's; The Bel and Dagon of so much good cheer as Dives devoured; To this defor­mity, necessity, poverty, rottenness, baseness, sordidness, is it brought in a few days.

Blessed God! if we laid this to heart, could we so much dote and pamper, so much indulge and cocker our wretched bodies, to the neglect, prejudice, detriment and destruction of our precious souls? Go now, O you wanton Herodiasses, O you proud Jezebels, O you tender deli­cate women, (whose curiosity to adorn your bodies poseth Interpreters to know what those artifices and instruments were which you used in Isaiah's time, Isa. 3. when luxury and curiosity were as it were under age, and in their minority; which now are much more ingenious, adult, and full grown after two thousand years improvement.) Lay to heart what fine dishes you dress for worms, for fishes, for fowls, it may be for dogs to feed upon. Lay to heart and consider whether your ways be equal or your hour-glasses proportionate, which measure out many hours in a short day to dress your bodies, and scarce allow one half hour, or a few minutes in one or many days, to purge, to wash, to prepare and adorn your souls by prayers and tears, by reading and meditating, by humbling and repenting, by fitting and dressing them for God? Whether it be not an high degree of folly and madness, to bestow so much of a momentany and precious life, in doing that at morning which is to be undone at night; to spend the best and most of your time in a circle of vanity? Not that de­cency and elegancy, cost and comeliness are wholly de­nied [Page 26]by the severities of religion; but comparatively they are by the two great Apostles in respect of the inward, 1 Tim. 2.9. 1 Pet. 3.3.adornings of the soul.

Go now, O you Shee-men, you delicate and effeminate Gallants of my own sex, lay to heart whether it be wor­thy of masculine wisedome and strength, of manly vertue and honour, of Christian gravity and modesty, to trifle out your time also in female studies of softness and luxury; in being your own babies, Idols, and Idolaters; in studying your backs and bellies, your food and raiment more then any good books, or any good men, or any good and great design worthy of you.

Ad quid perditio haec? To what purpose is this waste of thoughts and time, of cost and pains in both sexes? O lay to heart what a rotten post you guild for a moment; and what a marble pillar you neglect to polish for eternity, I mean your souls, which are (divinae particulae aurae) the breath and beam of God in your original. Lay to heart, when either you see the deformed frowns and fedities of a newly dead body, or the black flesh and sordid dust which you may see in the coffins of those that have been long dead; think then how little cause you have to be proud of these rotten rags of the soule, this rubbidg of mortality; how injurious you are to your divine and immortal souls, when you leave them to their own native decays and eternal ruines, when you neglect to raise, polish, and improve them, when you thus study by Athe­istical luxuries to deprave, debase and debauch them much worse; being wholly, or chiefly intent to the trimming, feeding and pampering of your bodies, as if your souls were given you only for salt to keep you sweet; of which you never have so true a view and prospect as when they are represented to you in anothers death. Let dead carkaesses be your looking-glasses; then bring forth all the flowers of Oratory, all the Poets fancies, all the ornaments that art and wit can steal from all creatures, and see if by these Spices, Gums, and odours, thou canst keep thy vile body from appearing rotten and unsavoury [Page 27]to thee; or that by those colours and adornings thou canst preserve it from death and abominable deformity. Since then all these things (the whole frame and goodly fabrick of our Microcosm, these little Epitomies of the great world) our petty and pygmy bodies, in which the heaven and earth, the light and darkness, the celestial and elementary bodies are as it were bound up in a small volume, (or decimo sexto;) Since (as St. Peter says) all these things shall be dissolved, 2 Pet. 3.11. What manner of persons ought we all to be in all holy conversation and godliness?

2. When thou hast taken a full view of this sink of putre­faction, a dead body; then lay to heart and consider by way of Analogy or proportion, if a dead body be such a mass of corruption, such a summary of sordidness, such an abstract of loathsomness to thy self and others, (though formerly indeared as friends and lovers to it, as wives or husbands, as parents or children, as friends and favourites) yet thou canst now no longer indure its company or sight. O how foul, how filthy, how nasty, how ugly, how loath­some, how abominable would a dead soul be and appear, if thou couldst see it, as God's pure eyes do! Tully had a very good fancy, and well expressed, That if we could see vertue, which is the rational beauty of the soul, with our bodi­ly eyes, no man would be a suiter to, or lover of any other beauty; it would so excite, attract, and concenter all our affections to it. By a parallel allusion I may tell you, that if we could by any spectacles or opticks, by our owne or others eyes, heightned to a spiritual perspicacity, behold (as St. Bernard speaks) how rueful, dreadful, Quam foedum, quam horendū sit spectaculum Deo & Angelis anima cadave­rosa, in peccatis mortua, libidi­num tabe squa­lida, ira & in­vidia tota de­formis & hor­rida. and exe­crable an object the soul is to God and Angels when it is as a dead carkass, naturally and impenitently dead in sin, rotten with predominant vices, squallid with enormous lusts, dissolved into sensual pleasures, and deformed with all manner of confusions and corruptions. This alone would monopolize and ingross all the irascible faculties of the soul, by which we hate, loath, abhor, detest and fly from any thing. Corruptio optimi est pessima; no carkass is so unsavoury or pestiferous as mans; Hence plagues oft [Page 28]follow great slaughters of men in war; unburied carkasses poysoning and infecting the very air. No soul but that of man can putrefie or die; nor is any putrefaction like that of the divine and reasonable soul, become unreason­able, irreligious and divelish. A carrionly carkass of a man is aromatick, a very perfume in comparison of a dead and rotting soul. The body becomes dead, and so dissolves by the souls parting from it; but the soul by Gods being separated from it: first, out of its own choise, next by Gods penal deserting of it. The soul is the salt, the light, and life of the body; so is God of the soul, Anima animae, the very soul of our souls: I mean his grace, love, and spi­ritual communion; separation from this is the souls death here and hereafter: For from the power, wrath, and ven­geance of God the damned are not separated; who are dead, not to their being, but to their well being, or hap­piness; to the union at, and fruition of God in love.

The soul apart from God, in grace, or glory, is not only an orphan, or a widow condemned to eternal sorrow and desolation; (for nothing can maintain, or entertain, wooe, wed, or indow the soul to the least degree of happines, or to any allay of misery, when once God hath quite forsaken it) But it is emortua, conclamata, in heaven, earth, and hell proclaimed as starke dead in Law and Gospel, Matth. 13.42. to justice and mercy; so represented in Scripture, as the horridest expression, or the blackest colour to set forth its misery and horror, its regret and torpor, its weeping and wailing, its gnashing and despair.

Doth then such a thick cloud of horror hang over the face and state of a dead body, which is senseless of its own death and deformity, of its noysome grave and dark dungeon? Sapiens ignis. & subtilis ver­mis, carpit & nutrit, urit & reficit. Chrysol. O what a world of horror must lie upon a dead soul, when deservedly cast out of God's blessed presence, when it feels its death, and lives only to die, when it feels it is plunged in a dead Sea, which is boundless and bot­tomlesse; where the worm dies not, and the fire goeth not out; because it is as Crysologus calls it a subtil fire, and ingenious worm which burns, but consumes not; devours [Page 29]but destroyes not. Who can dwell with everlasting burn­ings, saith the Prophet in an extasie of holy horrour? Isa 33.14. Who can live in everlasting dyings? Who can abide his own everlasting rottings? Is it a gradual and lingring death to want food, raiment, light, liberty, fit company? Is it a total death to the body to want the little spark of the soul, which is the breath and spirit of life to the body? What is it then to the soul to want that God who is the breather of that breath of life, and Inspirer of that spi­rit? We want a word beyond death to expresse that state.

Lay it then to heart, Phil. 3.11. and consider what cause we have to be humble, to tremble and fear exceedingly, to escape most solicitously and diligently that second and eternal death, if by any means we may attain the resurrection of the dead to life eternal.

3. Lay to heart, upon the sight of a dead body, and the meditation of a dead soul, whence it is that these fears and faintings, sicknesses and sorrows, deaths and dark­nesses, sordidnesse and desolation, corruption and con­demnation, have thus mightily prevailed over the high­est mountains, as the flood, over the most noble, beauti­ful and excellent of all Gods works under heaven, even over mankind, good and bad, great and small, Eccles. 2.16. wise and foolish; upon which nature the great and only God had set such characters of special glory, enduing it with a di­viner spirit, so making man (as Moses saith) a living spi­rit, or a spirit of life: And this after counsel and delibe­ration, Faciamus hominem: Sanctius his a­nimal mentis [...]; capa [...]ius ali [...]e. Gen. 2.7. As in (re magni momenti) a matter of greater concern and weight then heaven and earth and all the host of them. They were made (ex tem­pore) as it were; Nudo verbo, Let there be, and there was: But man was made ex consilio, after Gods own I­mage, full of beauty, health, honour, riches, wisedome, the Spirit of the living God given him in an extraordi­nary beam. Whence is this lapse, to earth, to dust, to a sad and wretched, a decaying and dying condition, both temporal and eternal? Sure not from the im­potencie or envy of the blessed Creator, whose omnipo­tent [Page 30]goodnesse is inconsistent with such infirmities; nor yet from the frailty and inconsistency of the subject mat­ter, which he raised to so goodly a fabrick, little lower then the Angels, Psal 49.12. as man was made; who should have been as long immortal as Angels, had he continued a man, that is, Rom. 6.23. rational and religious, enjoying the Image of God on him, which forbids and excludes, as all shadow of sin and defection, so of all death or mutation to worse. No.

The Psalmist tells us after the history of Genesis, Man being in honour did not so abide, but is become like to the beasts that perish, by the frailty of his will, which fell from adherence to God, as the durable and supreme Good. Sin hath levelled us to beasts, to death, to devils, to hell.

This death, in all sizes and degrees, from the least ache and dolour, to the compleatnesse of damnation, is the wa­ges of fin. So the Apostle oft tells us, Rom. 5.17. by one mans offence death entred and reigned over all. The soul that sins, that shall die, Ezek. 18. Sin is the source of all our sorrows, the (lethalis arundo) poysoned arrow, whose infection drinks up the spirits, and eats up the health, flesh, bodies and soules of mankind. No won­der we die, since we sin at such a rate; the wonder is, that we live any one of us one moment. How much more is the miracle of Gods love and mercy, that hath by Christs death and merits brought forth to light eter­nal life, and offered it to all penitent and believing sin­ners, as purchased and prepared for them. Because sin once lived in us, we must once die; and till sin be dead or mortified in us, we cannot hope for life eternal. Through death then thou wilt best see the face of thy sin.

What Poet, what Painter, what Orator, whose co­lours are most lively, can expresse the amazement, hor­rour and astonishment that seized on the looks and hearts of Adam and Eve, Rom. 27. 2 Tim. 1.10. when they had the dreadful prospect of their first great sin and curse, written with the blood, and pourtrayed on the face of their dead son Abel, who [Page 31]in that primitive paucity of mankind was barbarously slain by his brother Cain? Who can expresse or conceive the woful lamentation they made over their dead son, in whom they first beheld the beauties of life swallowed up by the deformities of death?

Is death then so dreadful, so dismal, so deformed, so putid? O think what that sin is which thou so embracest and huggest. The fountain of bitternesse is more bitter then the stream. Our madness and misery is, that we fear to die, but not to sin; when as all the sad aspects and events of death rise from sin, which is the Marah and Me­ribah, the Stygian spring or lake, whence our waters of bitterness and strife doe flow; not to be healed, but by that sacred wood of Christs cross cast into them, not in the natural relique, but in that mystical merit of him that hung upon it, and bare our sins, 1 Pet. 2.24. Pro. 19.4. That sin which thou as a fool makest a mock of, how canst thou (O poor bubble) thus play with poyson, dally with a dra­gon, sport with a devil, and caper over hell? Wilt thou die in thy sinful smiles and pleasures? Is it not horrid to be smothered in down-beds, or drowned in malmsy, as the Duke of Clarence was? Will it not be bitterness in the latter end? Remember this stream of Jordan in which thou swimmest runs to the dead sea. The end of all these things (as St. Rom. 6.23. Phil. 3.19. Rom. 1.33. [...] Paul tells us) is destruction and death in all senses: For these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience and sons of death.

Peccati deformitatem & foetorem reputa; as a Com­mentator observes on this Text. As a dead carkass is to thee loathsome, and to be cast out of thy presence; so is a soul, a sinner that is dead in sin and impenitence while he lives. Wouldest thou disarm the terrour, power, Morticinia non erant sa­crificia. and sting of death, slay thy sin; let it not die (monte incruen­tâ) a natural death by age and infirmity, but a violent one by mortifying and crucifying. Sinne must not die with us, but before us. Deut. 14.21. Nothing that died of it self was to be offered to God as a sacrifice. No companion worse when we goe to our long home then sin, if it be yet li­ving [Page 32]in us, and with us, in the love, power, pleasure and purpose of sinning. This worm will never die after death. Now is the time to dy to sin, while thou livest: Now or never. ohn 8.21. Lay this to heart, lest thou die for ever in thy sins (as Christ tells the Jewes) for want of timely dying to them. For in the sins a man hath committed, and not re­pented of, Ezek. 18.24. he shall surely die, saith the Lord again & again by the Prophet Ezekiel. Nor is sin truly repented of, un­less it be mortified, at least in the full and unfeigned re­solutions of a believing, humble, contrite, and penitent (though dying) sinner. The will (here) shall be accep­ted for the deed, and the purpose bears the value of the practise. Wheresoever the black characters of sin are wa­shed from the soul by penitent tears, 2 Cor. 8.12. and the blood of Christ, the lively image of God will appear, as the face of the dry land did when the flood was fully asswaged. The tyranny of death shall no more prevail, when once the do­minion of sin is taken away; which hath no right, but is a meer usurpation upon the reasonable creature.

4. Quàm fugax & fallax, quam certa & incer­ta, quam procax & procellosa: Bern. Lay to heart the frailty and vanity, the misery and momentariness of this short, sinful, and sorrowful life; how fallacious and fading, how short and vncertain, how troublesome and importune, this gleam and storm of life is, as St Bernard speaks. How specious a bubble, how de­lightful a dream, how goodly a nothing it is for a rea­sonable soule to intend, to delight in, to dote upon, to rest, and root its happinesse in: Wilt thou set thine heart (saith the Prophet) on that which is not? Job 7.17. wilt thou lay out and lavish thy thoughts in such things as have no worth, and bear no price in that Country whither thou goest? so that when thy vain and vexatious life fails, all thy thoughts must perish; Psal. 146.4. when this little cock-boat of thy carkass comes a ground and splits, Magno viatico breve iter non ornatur sed op­primitur. Sen. all thy voyage is lost; all thy good things, with which thou wert not more ador­ned then incumbred, and rather childishly pleased then really profited, these sink with thee, and are swallowed up in the Abyssus of forgetfulnes, never to be buoyed up again, nor enjoyed any more by thee; as is expressed by Christ [Page 33]in the parabolical history of Dives, Luke 16.19. Luke 12.19. which is too oft veri­fied by sad experience of rich men.

In order to shew you the vanity of all things in this world, that you call great or good, high or honorable, sacred or civil, I shall not need beyond your own fresh experience to tell you (Right Honorable and Beloved) of those strange revolutions, and excentrick motions, which have befaln the highest Orbs of this British world; which have shaken Heaven and Earth, Church and State, turning the Sun into darkness, and the Moon into blood, to the terror and astonishment of all the world, at home and abroad. They are as beasts without understanding who learn not wisedom and humility by those Paradoxes of providence, which have posed the wise, exhausted the rich, debased the honorable, diminished the great: onely the gracious heart reads these riddles, and the spiritual man understands God's meaning in all these intricacies; which are like Ezekiels wheels, full of dreadful and yet orderly confusions; very perplexed in their motions, yet evidently guided by that spirit within them, Ezek. 1.20. which is wise and wonderful in all its ways. These are publick lectures of the vanity and vexation of life, which God hath taught us all in this Nation with the sound of the drum & trum­pet; lessons that are written with the point of the sword as their pens, and the blood of these Nations as their inck. They that run may read, and they that live the life of sober men, and good Christians, will learn Gods mean­ing to be this, That the rich man should not glory in his riches, nor the strong man in his strength, Jer. 6.23, 24. nor the wise man in his wisedom, nor the great man in his greatness, nor Princes in their Thrones; 1 Cor. 1.32. but he that glories should glory in the Lord, that he knows his blessed will in order to a better life.

Look a little lower to this Noble Gentleman, whose Corps are here before us, and his most Noble Mother, who Ires in her dust not far from us; There have seldom been afforded in any age, & in any one family, greater in­stances by which to confute the confidences of poor mortals, [Page 34]as to any thing desireable or enjoyable in this life. Nothing of education, honour, estate, comliness, greatness of relations, ampleness of worldly enjoyments could be modestly wished beyond what they seemed to enjoy; both of them in the flower of their age, in the conspicuity of grand fortunes and honours, in the probability of long enjoying all those happinesses which are attainable under the Sun: yet have I lived to see both their lives ended; all their humane hopes, and joys, and honours buried in the dust; the one before she was 27. years old, the other before he had compleated four and twenty. So great and neer experiments are these two for the confirmation of those two verses, used to display the excellent emptiness and glorious nothingness of this world and present life; of which subject, as many pens and wits have largely descanted, so none have expressed more in few words then he that made this distich,

Punctum, bulla, vitrum, glacies, flos, fabula, fumus,
Ʋmbra, cinis, somnus, vox, sonus, aura, nihil.

Thus in prose. No point is more concise, no bubble more pompously swelling and suddenly vanishing, no glass more brittle, no ice more self-dissolving, no flower more fair and fading, no tale more short and fabulous, no shadow less substantial, Introitus & exitus lugubris. Cum nascimur & mundi hospitio excipi­mur, initium a lacrymis auspi­camur; & cum lacrymis extinguimur. Cyp. Ordimur vitam lacrymis, & claudimus omnes. Quisque suis natus, sic sepe­litur aquis. no ashes more easily scattered and never to be recollected, no sleep or dream more de­lighting and deceiving, no voice more vanishing, no sound more transient, no breath more soft and unseen; in sum, nothing is a truer emblem of absolute and perfect nothing then this poor life: which is begun (as St. Cyprian and many observe) continued, and ended with tears: An Egyptian reed, on which if the heart of man leanes it soon fails, and the defeats of it pierce the very soul. O what a small thread is this on which we poor wretches hang the weight of our eternal state, the great interests of our immor­tal souls; while we delay our repentance, multiply our sins, dayly and hourly adding burthen to a crazy vessel, which is leakey with its own infirmities, and already over-laden with its (pondus mortalitatis) body of death.

O ye sons and daughters of men, who are lifted up, filled and stretched to the highest pitch and uttermost extents of pride, self-conceit, vain-glory; who have al­ready deified your selves in your owne imaginations of your heaven upon earth, your humane happinesses; who expect that all that see you should admire and adore you, as creatures so compleatly blest that the Angels or Gods themselves have cause to envy you, when you are so fair, so fine, so young, so lovely, so witty, so nobly descended, so mightily befriended, so invested with honour, so fortified with power, so furnished with estate, so attended with servants, so lodged in sumptuous palaces, so surrounded with all manner of pleasures, so over-flowing with all sensible contents of life. See, see in this and the like sad spectacles of vanity, mortality, and misery, What a perfe­ction of folly, 1 Tim. 6.17. what an apparent madnevs it is for you to be high-minded, to be proud of any thing you enjoy here, to trust in your uncertain riches, and not in the living God. You may as justly swell, and look big, and magnifie your selves for taking up some rich Jewels in a shop, or for seeing and handling some fine and pretious wares a little while in your hand, which you must shortly lay down and leave behind you; and then when thou art driven from the living, and thy soul taken from thee, Luke 12.19. Thou egre­gious fool, whose shall all these things be.

Experience hath taught us that a dead hand is an excellent means by rubbing it on wens and tumours of the body to allay, disperse, and as it were mortifie that irregular and deformed excrescency. The same receipt of a dead hand might serve, if duly applied to our souls, for it would be a very soveraign remedy, as against all that is in the world, 1 John 2.16. which is of a puffing and exalting nature, (as the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life) so against all those flatuous and high imaginations of our hearts. For the world passeth away and the lust thereof; but he that doth the will of God abideth for ever, 1 John 2.17.

Yea, in every Funeral there is as it were a special hand [Page 36]of providence, Dan. 5.5. like that which Balshazzar saw upon the wall, which not only wrote his fate, but weighed him as it were in a ballance, [...], Stobae. and shewed him by his own terrors and tremblings how much he was too light in God's esteem, and in his own mistaken fancies of earthly felicity. It is among the mementos of the ancient Greeks, Being momen­tany and mortal, it well becomes all mankind to be very lowly minded, Mich. 6.8. to walk humbly before their God: Not to lay much weight upon so small pillars, as our legs and sinews are; not to build upon so loose a foundation, which like quick-sands, or quagmires, in a short time swallow and bury up the building which is set upon them. How ri­diculous would he be that should bestow much time to hew, and square, and polish cakes of ice, in order to build him­self a splendid and perspicuous palace, which he should fancy to be like the Chrystal Firmament, and comparable to the etherial mansions of heaven. (Magno conatu nugas agimus.) Truly such are the industrious self-cheats of those who fancy to themselves rare felicities or real fulness in this life, Isa. 44.20. Hos. 12.1. Edunt tan­quam hodie morituri. Aedi­ficant tanquam semper victuri. so greedily feeding on the East-wind and ashes, the pleasures of sense, which blast our fouls and abase them, as if they had but one day to live, and yet so solicitous for the morrow, as if they were to live here for ever. No man takes the true dimensions of life, who doth (not as Pythagoras did the Pyramids) measure it by the shadows of death. Nor do we begin truly to live as ra­tional and religious creatures, till we lay to heart the true state and proportion of this life; of which we are but Tenants at will, having no lease, much less see simple or inheritance, but are at the will of the Lord to be turned out of house and home at a moments warning. Blessed God! If we laid this to heart as we should, what manner of men and women should we be, in all humble, holy, 2 Pet. 3.11. 1 Cor. 7.21. Frui utendis summa est de­mentia. Aug. and heavenly conversation, as St. Peter writes; using this world as if we used it not, at least enjoyed it not. For as St. Austin observes, it is extream fatuity to enjoy that as ours which is but lent us for a very little, yea for no time, but from one moment to another. The very ancient [Page 37]Heathens will rise up against Christians in this point, which they notably studied, variously and wittily ex­pressed, yea, and in many things modestly practised.

5. Add to the thoughts of lifes frailty and vanity the certain uncertainty, and inevitable necessity of death: A subject adorned by many pens, illustrated by frequent Funerals, meeting us every moment, and at every turn; yet seldom laid to heart, but as a cloud it passeth over our heads without showring down any softning drops on our souls. These discourses, as hail on the hills, rattle in every Funeral Sermon and exhortation upon our ears and heads, but seldome enter and pierce into our hearts. They are like Ghosts or Fantasms that appear and vanish; scaring us a little, but they touch us not at all; notwithstanding the heapes upon heapes which are very ten and twenty years made up of our dead friends, kindred, and acquaintance, who are no sooner removed out of our sights but they are gone out of our memories, as to any pious improvement. Xerxes is reported to have wept, when seeing his vast Army, which made a million of fighting men, he considered how one century of years would mow them all down as so many flowers, or spires of grass in a field. The softness of Chri­stians hearts should go beyond the savageness of such an Heathen: He considered the breaking of the box, but he was not sensible of those sweet resentments, that savour of life unto life which a wise and gracious heart extracts out of the objects and meditations of death. He beheld the carkasses of so many Lions, but he found no honey in any of them. He had only the eyes of experience, sense, and reason, but not of grace and religion, which looks through the dark mist and medium of death to the pro­spect of a true and eternal life. That great Persian Com­mander, as the Roman Emperors after him, Quos nec spe­ctasset quisquā, nec spectatuus esset. Ludi Seculares Suet. in Claud. (when they caused to be proclaimed at their greatest secular Interludes, and most solemn Pageants, which were presented but once in an hundred years, Come and see those shows, which no man living ever did see heretofore, nor shall ever see [Page 38]again.) These men, I say, had the Moon and Stars of common reason and experience, to shew them their own and other mens mortality; but they wanted the beams of the Sun of righteousness, the light of God's word in the Scriptures; which every where sets so many afterisks, or memorable notes of emphasis and terror upon Death. In the day that thou eatest thou shalt die: Gen. 2. An Oracle which presently began to be fulfilled as soon as the condition was forfeited, just as the sea ebbs from the very first minute of its recess or abatement, though (sensim & pedetentim) by silent steps, and almost insensible degrees, according to the patience and indulgence of a long-suffering God. Yet as the candle is dying or consuming as soon as it is light­ed or burning, and the hour-glass is emptying as soon as it is running; so the life of man ran to waste and the ex­haustings of death, so soon as it ceased to have communion and supplies of immortal influx from the God of life. When the intercourse between the spring and the current is once stopped and obstructed, the constancy, fulness, and perennity of the stream presently decays, and as it drieth up it dies.

A sinful man is presently surrounded with a thousand deaths every moment: Mille modi mortis, &c. and though we can die but one death in the conquest or completion, yet how many legions of deaths are ever marching in array against us, both as to the menacing preparation without us, and the disposition or infirmity within us, which expose us to die on every side. There is not only (mors in urna but in olla, in victu, vestitu, halitu) death in our coffins and urns, but in our cups and pots, in our meats and drinks, and in our bodies and bowels, yea in our breath and bread, which we use as the breath & staff of life; the short reciprocations & returns of which are the constant supports of our lives, and the chief (antemuralia) defensatives against death. Thus the Philosophers discoursed, when death striking upon their hard and flinty hearts, Poena ad unum, terror ad omnes they saw by the sparks or strictures of reason their own mortal condition.

But the Divine Oracles are like Thunderbolts falling [Page 39]here and there, and neer to every one of us: though their execution light not presently on our heads, Heb. 9.27. yet the terror and contrition should upon our hearts, because it is (by an unrepealable decree) appointed for all men once to die, and after that the judgement. Death as a great drag-net fetches all into its capacious bosome; this King of terror, as Job calls death, is (verè Rex Catholicus) truely a Ca­tholick King, reigning over all, Pallida mors aequo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas Re­gumque turres. Hor. as the Apostle Paul ex­presses it, even those that most glory in their royal prive­ledges and titles. No Emperor hath any Empire over it nor against it, any more then the Brittish King Canutus of Kent had against the seas incroaching upon his Throne. Or then that cunning Prince Lewis the 11th. of France, who, as Phil. Commines reports, fenced himself, Phil. de Com. Histor. of France. but in vain, with holy reliques, surrounding his body and bed, to see if he could scare away death with those ( [...]) holy terriculaments. Kings that have a just power of life and death as to their subjects, have no power over their own, to prolong their lives, or protract their deaths one moment. Kings are conquered and cow'd by death; Potentates are impotent in this conflict; for they assist they very enemy, and are traytors to themselves; and if no other force doth, the force of their own infir­mities will certainly destroy them. No Protectors can protect themselves or others from this civil war, this in­testine enemy, which is unavoidable, irresistable, which hath all the engines for battering, and arts of undermi­ning us. (Non domus & fundus, &c.) neither house nor land, nor father nor friend, nor favour nor power, nor Courts nor Crowns, nor the surest defensative under heaven against men, which is a valiant and faithful Army, these are all as bulrushes and straws in the way of death, which is the way of all the living. Death in this absolute empire and unlimited soveraignty using not only (jure suo) its own right, but (jure divino) God's right, as the executioner of his just, irrevocable, and dreadful sentence upon all mankind: Among whom none ever was sufficient to answer that Question, Psal. 89.48.What man is he that liveth and shall [Page 40]not see death? Shall he deliver his soule from the hand of the grave?

Yea, when the Son of the everliving God, who is God co-essential and immortal with his Father, appeared a­mong men, as one of us, in the form of sinful flesh, Death, though he had no just claim against him, because no guile or sin was found in him, Phil. 2.8. 1 Pet. 2.22. John 10.18. yet used its prerogative. And though this blessed Messias could not be forced (no man taking his life from him) yet he yielded to doe the low­est homage to death as a man (not without great horror of that cup) yea, humbling himself even to the death of the crosse, and to the prison of the grave, for a short time; that by dying he might overcome death in its own fort. 1 Cor. 15. By grapling with this Dragon, he pulled out his sting, and made him cast forth his poyson, so far as to be in­noxious now, and not very terrible to those that fly to this Jesus for protection and life, John 11.25. who is the resurrection and the life to believers and holy livers; who maketh light to grow up to the righteous out of their darkness, and life out of his death.

To others indeed, that are either Infidel Heathens, or unchristian Christians, which have but forms and no power of godliness, on whose hearts the death of Christ hath not yet wrought as a corrasive against sin, and a cordial a­gainst death; to these Death still appears as a direful Co­met or blazing star in his full magnitude, truculent, threat­ning, formidable, inevitable: infinitely to be dreaded, because he threatens them with a total and entire death; not onely to their estates and honours, pleasures, power, friends and bodies, but as to their soules, as to that after and eternal life.

If death prevailed so far upon the Son of God, how far will its vastations reach upon those that are the chil­dren of the flesh only, that is, of the Devil, and proper­ly [...] sons of death. If the living Lion thus died, what must become of those that are but as dead dogs? A gracious Christian, as Jonathan did Sauls javelin, avoids the stroak of death, as to the main; it may graze on his [Page 41]body, but it toucheth not his soul, Col. 3.3. when his life is hid­den with Christ in God. A natural man, though while he lived he blessed himself, yet dies wholly: Death, like the flood, prevaileth over his highest tops and mountains; it gnaweth upon them as sheep: Nothing is left him for e­ver, of which it may be said, In this he lives; as in the hou­ses of the Egyptians there was none in which there was not one dead, yea the first born. For his children, they shal follow the generation of their fathers, and never see light, if they follow their evil steps: His lands which he called after his name, in a few years they are alienated, his lamp quite extinct, and his memorial perisheth: For his fair and costly Monument (Et habent sua fata Sepulchra.) These in revolutions of time, Psal. 49.19. either by the rough hand of war, overturning all things; or by the gentle and lei­surely thawings of peace, melt and moulder away, till they bury themselves in their own dust, which were designed as repositories and conservatories of their Masters. As for their souls, they never lived the life of God, nor can they hope to live in light with him; so that eternal death feedeth for ever upon the whole man, devouring every-limb of body, and faculty of soul, as the Lions did the accusers of Daniel, before ever they come to the ground. O how sad, how mad is that security among Christians, which sleeps on the top of a mast in so dangerous a sea; that dares to live in known and presumptuous sins, amidst these infi­nite and hourly adventures of death; playing over the head of that mine, where he knows is daily sapping under him and within him; nor doth a man know in what mo­ment it may be sprung to his utter dissipation. We know not at what hour of the day, Mat. 24.42, 43. or watch of the night this notable Thief will come to break up our house of clay, and spoil us of all our goods, together with our lives; and he is but the Vancourrier of our Judge, whose counsel is holy and wholsome, advising all his disciples to watch and pray, lest we be surprised at unawares by the arrests of Death and Judgment.

Nothing concerns a wise man, or evidenceth a good man more, then to be never so imployed as he shall not dare to die; that like an honest and able debtor, he may confi­dently walk at all hours of the day in every street of the City where he dwells, and where he owes a debt, which he is able and willing to pay; whereas the lewdnesse and riot of impenitent sinners makes them, like bankrupt debt­ors, shift and shark, hide and skulk up and down, in by­wayes, and at twilight, for fear of those Creditors whom they are neither able nor willing to satisfie: and yet they cannot long escape the Bayliffs and Jaylors hand, nor by any artifices avoid that prison, out of which is no re­demption till a man hath paid the uttermost farthing; that is never, unlesse while we are in the way we agree with our merciful Creditor, Mat. 5.29. who is ready upon our hum­ble request to forgive us all that we owe him, like that gracious and generous Master in the Gospel. Mat. 18.27.

6. Lay to heart what little cause any mothers child of us hath to presume to sin, and to procrastinate our repen­tance, since we have no cause to presume of life till to morrow; to neglect agreeing with our adversary while we are yet in the way, that is, under the meanes, offer, and capacity of reconciliation and happy accord; to ad­venture so precious and momentary an opportunity, upon which depends our everlasting fate in weal or woe; Ex hoc momen­to pendet aeter­nitas. never stirring up any Sympathies in our souls toward our Savi­ours death, nor any compassions to our selves as to our own mortality; never to return any holy Ecchoes or humble Amens either to the precepts or promises, terrors or comforts of Gods word; but as if stark deaf, and quite dead, so we are utterly dumb and unmoved as to all that is thundred and lightned from heaven, 2 Cor. 5.20. 2 Cor. 6.1. to all that Gods Embassadors, those Boanerges and Barnabasses, sonnes of thunder or of consolation, daily cry unto us with infi­nite counsels and reproofs, Sermons and prayers, inviting and beseeching men to pity themselves, to flee from the wrath that is to come, to disarm Death, and defeat the Devil of his expected prey.

There is no rock that Ministers should more avoid then­this of giving people any encouragement to delay their re­pentance, which no man may upon good grounds do e that hath not any assurance of his life, nor any insurance against death. Nor doth any thing usually more con­tribute to this vulgar presumption and dilatories then the courting and complementing with the dead and living too in Funeral Sermons, making them rather Panegyricks and Harangues of commendation to the dead, then serious summons and alarms to the living; when neither the life nor the death of the interred gave any pregnant evi­dences of such grace and comfort as deserves either the commendation or imitation of the living. No; Funeral Sermons, as I hold them in many cases very fit, and of ex­cellent use, so they ought to be serious, severe, and whol­ly circumcised, as to all danger of sowing pillows under the elbows of the living, or of dawbing with any untempered mortar; and no lesse from whiting the Sepulchres of the dead, as if there were no rottenness in their bones. Prea­chers should in no point of their Embassy be more rigid, exact, precise and punctual, Matth. 3.2. Matth. 4.17. then in urging that which was Christs and his forerunners first Text and Sermon, Repent, for the Kingdome of God is at hand. As the Ro­man Legate or Consul Marcus Popilius circumscribed with a wand he had in his hand the person and answer of the proud King Antiochus, Valerius Max. in M. Popilio. when he, desiring time to resolve of war or peace, which was offered him, was confined to give his definitive answer before he stirred a step out of that litle circle: So concise and peremptory are Gods com­mands, and so must be our conjureings and requirings of all men every where to repent and turn to the Lord, Acts 17.30. Acts 3.26. Gen. 27.2. Heb. 3.11. young as well as old; even daily exhorting them while it is cal­led to day, because (as Isaac said) they know not the day of their deaths, nor we of ours; and if they die in their sins, unwarned, God wil require their blood at our hands. Ezek. 33.6. A dread­ful account! as Chrys. cals it. Can you blame us (Ministers) O Christian people, if we be quick and importune in cal­ling upon you; if we seem religiously rude, and piously [Page 44]uncivil with you, even pulling, and snatching, and ha­ling you while you are lingring, as the Angels did Lot out of Sodom, or as fire-brands out of the fire. Our defer­ring to call upon you, and your delayings to repent, these run the hazard of your and our souls.

You must therefore forgive those kind and charitable injuries we sometimes seem to doe you by our Christian importunities, Currat poeniten­tia nè praecur­rat poena. Amb. which are but the effects of our fidelity to you, to our own souls, and to God. St. Ambrose's coun­sel is excellent, Let repentance make haste, lest vengeance overtake thee. True repentance only can bring thee to the City of refuge, Christ Jesus, where thou mayst be safe against the pursuits of death and wrath. Seneca in his concise and witty way can tell us, how necessary it is to be as passengers on the shore that expect a fair wind and passage by Sea, alwayes in readiness, to have our packs and truncks packed up, that we may answer the first summons of the Master or Pilot, who when he calls to be gone, will stay for no mans occasions.

If Heathens had such principles of prudence, who saw but one side of death, and that but darkly, in a very di­stant narrow view, as to Eternity; O how should Chri­stians (who have so great discoveries) take the alarm of every night and sleep, which is a shadow of death; of every morn renewing, which is the dawning of Eternity; the gallicinium cock-crowing of the resurrection; of every infirmity in their own feeling; of every other Funeral and death they see or hear of; of every history they read, which alwayes closeth with the worke of death, drawing this black vail of burial and oblivion over all the pomp and glory, strength and victory, pleasures and passions of the world, and those great men in it, who in their greatest glistering are but gloeworms, shining a while in this night of mortality, and then extinct for ever: yea e­very hour which men live is a monitor of death, being no sooner lived out, but they are so much dead; so is every meal they eat, which is but a daily subsidy given to the body to relieve its daily expences and de­cays, [Page 45]which are the secret depredations and essayes of death. We should take, yea and make many occasions to reflect soberly upon this meditation, and lay death to heart, that the defensative of repentance may the better work upon our souls, before death hath taken the sub­urbs of our bodies by age and sickness; which are not the constant procedures of death; nor may any man rationally expect it will deal with him upon such termes of Treaty or Parly: No, 'tis oft upon the snap, and sud­den with us, and may be so to the ablest and youngest He or She. Sometimes indeed death plays with smaller shot upon us, and hews us down with many little chops: But 'tis frequent that he batters us all in pieces with one great and sudden Cannon, and blows us up at once by a storm, either of inward Apoplectick stroaks, or out­ward violences, as the wind overthrew the house on Jobs children; against which there is no foresight, no warning, or defence. Death doth not alwayes so befriend either Physicians gaines, or their patients designs, as to vouchsafe them the benefit of a lingring sickness, or a lei­surely death

How infinitely then doth it concern us to be alwayes (in procinctu) in our harnesse; never to wake or sleep, but with the compleat armour of our soules upon us, or rather within us. Gen. 6. Sure it was pitiful padling work to be building of boats, or hewing down trees to make ships and vessels of then, when the flood began to be poured down upon the Old world of ungodly men, who so long neglected their temporal and eternal safety, by delaying their re­pentance when they had Gods warning by Noahs preach­ing for an hundred years, 1 Pet. 3.19. 2 Pet. 2.5. that of so many millions of man­kind which in that generative and vivacious age had peo­pled and overstock'd the earth, there should be but eight persons found fit to be preserved alive in the Ark, which afforded room for birds, beasts, and serpents, but not for wicked and impenitent men, who had refused the voice of God calling them so long, so oft, to repentance; as he now doth every where, by that (Tuba Evangelii) Trum­pet [Page 46]of the Gospel, which is but the (Praecentor) first peal and noise of the last Trumpet: The one calls us so to pre­pare for Death, that we may stand with comfort in the day of Judgment; the other will call us out of a state of death to the eternal doom of that last day of Judg­ment.

The state and tenour of a Christians life should be a continued course of repentances, well begun, and daily renewed, never intermitted, because of daily failings. All the parenthesis of businesse, as to secular affairs, should not interrupt the series, nor confound the care of a Chri­stians Repentance and daily proficiency. Blessed God! What pity 'tis that men & women can find time for every thing else under the Sun, and none for their repentance; which is the work of works, [...]. Opus operosissi­mum. the first rough-hewing and foundation of the great building of our eternal salvati­on? Hast thou time to dresse & undresse thy body, to eat and drink, and sleep; to buy and sell, to sport and play; to fight and kill others; yea to gratifie thy senses in all sorts of pleasures, and to attend nature in the most sordid necessities; and yet canst find no time to re­pent, no nor to admit one serious thought of repentance to lodge in thy soul one day, one hour, no not one mi­nute? Yea, canst thou find time to sin all manner of sins over and over, that thou thinkest safe from the vengeance of man; and yet no time to repent of thy sins against God? No time in youth to repent of the sins of child­hood or puerice; which St. Austin now an aged, yet ten­der-hearted penitent, did reflect upon, and repent of with tears: St. Austin's confession. Tantillus puer & tantus pec­cator. No time in riper years to repent of the in­ordinate hears of youth, to quench the flames of extra­vagant lusts? (which God and nature, reason and Religi­on command to be confined, as fire, to their proper hearths and chimneys, the order of modesty and chastity, but they are not allowed to set fire on the house-top, to the fight­ing against, and endangering both soul and body) Canst thou find no time in the high noon and Solstice of thy life, no nor yet in the decline and evening, when gray hairs [Page 47]are here and there, when thy eyes grow dim, and the shadowes long, to repent of thy former misde­meanors, thy neglects and slightings of God, thy de­spising his mercies, thy uncharitableness, sacriledge, Psal. 50.21. cru­elty, oppressions, hypocrisie, lying, swearing, murthers, blasphemies, insolencies, hardness and impenitency carried on against thy God and thy Saviour, thy Mediator and thy own soul, with so high an hand, so long a time?

Sure thou either believest there is no God, or, that he is such an one as thy self; neither wise nor good, not holy nor just; that he hath revealed no Word or Will Law nor Gos­pel to mankind; that he is indifferent what we do, or impo­tent to reward or revenge; that he hath neither heaven nor hel, crowns nor flames for either good or bad; that they who feare God and they that feare him not shall be all blended by death in an eternal Chaos, medly, or con­fusion, without any distinction of reward or punishment according to their works: upon these perswasions only thou canst be hitherto impenitent.

But if any one of those sharp arrows of divine truth which are shot from heaven, which thou hast heard of, Atheus est qui non tam credit, quam cupit non esse Deum. seen, and received into thy brest, which thou canst with no colour of reason deny, or repel, and which with much adoe thou bafflest and shufflest off to a kind of cavilling unbelief; I say, if but one of them had well fixed it selfe upon thy heart and conscience, it would move thee to the speedy thoughts and essays of repentance; at least to pare off the superfluity of thy sins, and that excess of riot, 1 Pet. 4.4. which argue more a monster then a man, and a Divel then a Christian, who loves darkness more then light, and in the midst of that glorious Gospel which hath shined from Pa­triarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors, John 3.19. all good Christians in all ages and places, yea, from Christ himself, confirmed to be the light & life, the Redeemer and Saviour of the world by many infallible signs and wonders. In this blight Temple thou affectest the dungeon and vault of thy rotten and nasty lusts, chusing death, and refusing life; digging deeper into hell then when thou mightest make [Page 48]an ascent to heaven, by those gracious means (as the ladders of heaven) which are offer'd thee in precepts, promises, terrors, comforts, holy patterns and great ex­amples set before thee in all grace and virtue; which whoso seeth not must needs be blind; whoso sees and doth not praise, yea admire, must needs be unthankful; whoso is not proportionably affected to their truth and worth, Divinae verita­tis majestatem, benignitatis gloriam, grati­arum nitorem, virtutum pul­cherimam sua­vitatem qui non videt caecus est; qui videt & non laudat ingratus est; qui videns laudansque parili affectu non movetur aut mortuus est aut insanus. Eccles. 12.6. must needs be either mad or dead, as St. Austin speaks. Surely if thou couldst once meet thy self, that is, thy conscience in the cool of the day, apart from the heats of thy passions, and the rapid torrent of thy foolish and hurtful lusts, thou wouldst bethink thy selfe at length, before thou diest, of the necessary work of Repentance, and not only before thou diest, but before thou declinest and droopest. It is indeed a sad, uncertain, and uncomfor­table work to begin when a man is drawing to his end; then to tune thy soul for God when thy body is most out of tune, and thy mind too; then to begin to wind up the strings of an Instrument when the very ribs of it are flying in pieces. Who of a thousand can hope to draw waters out of the deep wells of salvation, when the golden bowl, and silver cord of life (as Solomon speaks) are al­most broken and loosed? It must needs be an hudling and most confused work then to set thy house in order, I mean that (interiorem animae domum) inward withdrawing room of thy soul, thy heart, (which ought to be as a Temple always fitted for God, purged from sin, adorned with all gracious habits) then when the Tabernacle, or out-house of thy body, in which thy soul dwels, is wholly out of order, either burning with feavorish flames, or tottering with con­sumptionary weakness, or burdened and falling with un­natural loads and painful obstructions. Thou couldst never have chosen a worse or unfitter time to repent, then when the pains of sickness, the inquietudes of body, the impertinent visits of friends, the cryes of relations, the want of sleep, all extremities, the terrors of death, and the stupors of soul are before thee, or pressing upon thee.

Repentance is a work to be begun seriously, in the most [Page 49]sedate temper of soul, and calmest state of life; when we enjoy the greatest serenity of body and mind; when we have most leisure, fewest interruptions, and least diver­sions, strongest temptations, potentest oppositions, and the greatest abilities of soul to resist them. Once well begun, it must at the same rate be carried on every day: For this, like oft pumping in a ship that hath but little leaks, will keep her afloat; but it is desperate plying the pump when a vessel hath now so many foot water in hold that it begins to sink. The early repentings in our health are the best Antidotes and Cordials in our sickness, like Summer provisions seasonably laid in against an hard Winter; nor is there any bitter potion which a sick man is less able or disposed to take then that of Repentance, when he is weak, languishing, sunk, dispirited, almost despairing in his sickness; which is like a mans setting himself to cleave logs, and therewith to make himself a fire, when he is so benummed and feeble with cold that he can hardly lift his hands to his head.

2. Besides, no man hath much cause to presume his repentance will be accepted of God when it comes per­force at the dregs and fag end of his life. Lastly, a man can then least relish and reflect upon such late and necessitated repentance, as to the comfort and joy of his own soul: for the best trial and taste of true repentance is to be had in health, amidst the exercises and assaults of temptations; then if it hold sound and firm, it argues it to be of proof and safe.

Indeed there is nothing in our life so necessary to be done, and so worthy of our living, as our timely re­penting; for if life were for nothing else but an enflaming the reckonings of our sins here, and our miseries hereafter, it were a thousand times better never to be born, or to see the Sun. The great end of our life is first to remove the sordes and rubbidg of our sins, next to build up our souls for God by grace to glory; which two make up the compleat work of repentance, which like currant coin hath two sides stampt, or impressions on it, the one is as [Page 50]cross, the other is as pile; the first is as turning from sin, or dying to sin; the other is turning to God, and living to grace. These are wrought by a double stamp upon the soul: 1. Of fear and terrour, scaring us from sin by the just apprehensions of the anger and wrath of God re­vealed from heaven, and in the heart. 2. Of love and mercy, winning us to God by the beauty of holiness, and the brightness of his goodness, which appears in the face of Jesus Christ, set forth in the Evangelical promi­fes.

The first breaks, the second melts the heart: The one is commonly much hidden, where the other most appears to the soule, either in fear or love; which have their wholsome vicissitudes, till the work be perfected by mor­tification to amendment, by hatred of sin from the love of God. This seasonably, leisurely and seriously done, doth strangely advance the souls faith, comfort, and hope of Gods love in Christ.

But it is neither an easie nor a ready thing to discerne the bright jewel of assurance, as Gods love, mercy, and pardon, there where the soul is all in dust, and hurry, and confusion, moving and removing its lumber and rubbish. A troubled water, Isa. 57.20. though it be pure, will not shew a clear reflexion of our own or anothers face; no more will a troubled spirit, especially if it be foul with mire and dirt, as a wicked heart is; though a late repentant, may find favour in Gods sight, who can see our sincerity amidst all our confusions; yet it is hard for us to have so clear a sight of God, as may amount to that plerophory, strong comfort and assurance, which a dying man, affected with his condition, would desire even beyond life it self, or a thousand worlds; having now before his eyes the dismal aspect of death, the black Abyssus of eternal night, with­out bounds or bottome, made up of desolation and obli­vion at best, and (which is insinitely more horrid) of damnation and eternal torments; a Tophet that burns with much wood, kindled by the breath of Gods displeasure, which none can quench.

I know it is not fit to obstruct or shrink the mercies of God, where there is yet any hope, possibility, or capacity allowed us by Gods indulgence. They found Manasses in a prison, and the thief on the Crosse, and the prodigal son at the swine-trough; by which sharp pennances God brought them first to themselves, then to himself by re­pentance, and so accepted of them. I know God can, and I believe sometimes he doth sanctifie sickness to the like good effects: But we have no one example of death­bed repentance so much as once recorded in Scripture, to give any instance of hope in that kind, or to occasion the least presumption impenitently to sin away our health, by putting off our turning to God, till the time that we can scarce turn our selves in our bed. Repentance like Poetry (for it is a new making of the soul for God, a compo­sing of it to the holy meeters or measures of his Word) requires solitude and recesses of mind, Psal. 4.4. that the heart of man may commune with it self and be still; seriously reflecting upon a mans self, what he is; where he lives; whence he is sprung; whither he tends; to what end he lives; what he would have to make him happy; whether this world can doe it; where he may best know, and how he may doe the will of his Maker and Preserver, God; what he will doe in age, sickness, death; what relation, pro­portion, and capacity above all things under heaven he hath as a reasonable creature toward the Creator; from what wisedom, power, and goodness all his visible and pre­sent comforts flow; what duty and gratitude, what ju­stice and holiness befits him to God and man; what to himself and his own future interests, both as to soul and body; which may without doubt be as capable of an af­ter-happiness or misery, which we call heaven and hell, in their aspects to the supreme and increated good, as they are here of health or sickness, poverty or riches, honour or disgrace, joy or grief, vexation or pleasure, a momen­tary heaven or hell in reference to those creature-com­forts they enjoy or want. These, if a man will but re­collect himself, and not shut the eyes of his soul, he may [Page 52]in seeing see Gods will, and apply himself to do his duty: But this must be done apart, and by himself, when there are least diversions, no distractions of body or mind; that removed from the noise and tintamars both of secular in­cumbrances, or sick annoyances, he may better hear the gentle and orderly voice of God, who is oftner in these silent and soft motions of reason, then in those louder earthquakes and terrours of afflictions. Nor can any pi­ous and prudent Divine, as the Confessor and Comforter of such a troubled spirit, whose inward troubles for sin never began, or were kindly entertained, till the unwel­come trouble of his sickness made him a prisoner to his bed (as the presage of his after-jayls, the grave and hell;) In such cases (I say) no wise and worthy Minister of Christ but will be very wary how by the keyes of the Gospel he shut all disquiet for sin out of such a soule, or let in the peace of God suddenly, as to any particular confiden­ces or personal assurance, which in such cases must needs be very dark.

'Tis true, in the general he may and must so temper Evangelical dispensations, declaring the riches of Gods mercy and sufficiencies of Christs merits, even to the chiefest of sinners, as may never countenance despair, as on Gods part, in the least kind; which is the dreadfullest fury of hell, hardly allayed when once conjured up by the black art of Satan: For this damps all indeavors, and at once doth both God and a poor sinner the greatest in­jury that can be, by belying the one, and lying most foul­ly to the other. It must alwayes be asserted on Gods be­half, that when ever the sinner turns from his sins with all his heart, God will abundantly pardon: And whoever comes to Christ, shall in no sort be cast out. These are most true, as to Gods readiness to receive; provided alwayes on mans part, that he seek the Lord while he may be found, and call upon him while he is near, Isa. 57.7. Ezek. 18. John 6.37. Isa. 55.6. in the means of grace, in the motions of his spirit, in the corrections of mens own consciences, in the enjoyments of many mercies, in the lengthnings of sinners tranquillity; else such a penal hard­ness, [Page 53]searedness, and benummedness, Rom. 1.24, 28. such a giving over to a reprobate sense may befall a man, that he shall have no contrition though he have time, nor comfort though some terrors; either he shall be dumb before God, not daring to speak, Hos. 7.14. or if he doth cry and howl as a natural man, or a beast, for pain and fear, yet God will not hear, Prov. 21.13. Pro. 1.26, 27, 28. or answer them; yea their very prayers shall be abomina­ble, because they so long refused to hear and answer Gods cry to them, setting at nought his counsel, &c. There­fore may the Lord justly laugh at their calamity, and mock when their fear cometh as desolation, and their de­struction as a whirlwind. These are terrible checks and coolings as to the hope of an after-crop, or death-bed re­pentance.

In which, at the best advance and proficiency of it, especially in people of riper years and full age, who have filled up the measure of their iniquity, Rom. 2.5.and heaped up no­thing but wrath against the day of wrath; if there should be melting of this rock, and softening of this milstone, by the furnace of sicknesse, even so far as what God will accept for true repentance, who is the only searcher and judge of mens hearts; yet neither he that thus confesseth and deploreth his sins, nor he that as a Minister takes his confession, only as it is now in humane appearance and by real experience extorted by sickness and terrours, neither of them can think that it is either so ingenuous, or can be so comfortable to be driven to God by the scourge of fears, rather then to be drawn to him by the cords of his love so long despised. Nothing of force and compulsion is so acceptable to others, or so reflecting with honour and comfort to a mans self, as that which flowes from the freedome of love, and such adherences as arise from choise and value. A forced Repentance begun on our sick beds, (possibly) may, as muskmelons and other tender plants, which are bred in hot beds, come to good; but they must be very carefully and warily tended, for a little cold chills and kills them. What fruit they may bear to another world, I must leave to God; but as to this [Page 54]world I am sure there are but rare, that is, few ex­amples in all experience of any whose repentance began in sickness that did ever hold long in their after health and recovery. Commonly all prayers and purposes are put into the grave of forgetfulness, when our selves are re­prieved from it. Whether it may take a better effect in heaven then usually it doth on earth, I leave to all serious Christians to judge.

Object. But I know it will be (here) retorted with quickness upon me by some more morose or petulant sin­ners, who are only witty to cavil with God, and delude their own soules; Must we not tarry the Lords leisure, when he will call us, at the sixth, or ninth, or eleventh hour? Is not repentance a grace, Matth. 20.6. and so a gift of God? How vain is it to step unseasonably into the water if the Angel move it not? there may be a royling of the pool by us, but no healing for us. Did not Christ and his Apostles heal many without scruple on their sick beds, as well as those that had firmer health? Nor is Christ to be thought a less ready Physician to sick mens soules then their bo­dies. Do not therefore torment us before our time; suf­fer us to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; it will not be long before we shall be unwilling, because wea­ry or unable to sinne; then we shall be much more at leisure and dispose to repent; mean time God gives us not, at least we have no mind to it, nor indeed any power (as you Preachers tell us) to attain or act it of our selves; for till God turn us, we cannot be turned. So that it seems rather a passionate and imperious way of preach­ing in you, agreeable to your more cholerick or melan­choly tempers, which makes you impatient not to be pre­sently obeyed by all men, then any true Divinity; you ought not to stretch mans authority, by shrinking Gods mercy.

Answ. Thus are many men (ingeniosè nequam & perdi­tè periti, as St. Austin speaks) very acute Sophisters to de­ceive and damn their own & others souls; rather listning, as Ahab, to the 400 false Prophets of their own foolish [Page 55]hearts & deceitful lusts, then to one true Micaiah which is Gods Prophet. 'Tis most true, that the life and soul of repentance, which crowns it with love, and endears it to God in Christ, as the highest good, is a special grace of God: Nor is any soul so far off from him, but he can easily and speedily reach them and win them to himself, by the attractions of his infinite goodness and mercy, discovered and offered to them in the blood of Christ. Divines that understand themselves, doe not prejudice or diminish the sweet and soveraign power or freedome of Gods grace, which compleats mans weak endeavours, and crownes all meanes with good success: But yet they justly urge and inculcate upon sinners their daily duty, incumbent upon them and required of them as rational creatures, capable to discern and chuse good and evil, sensible of feares and hopes; yea, and as Christians, compassed with a marvellous light, which convinceth them of sin, and righteousness, and judgment to come, with offers of mercy in Christ to the highest latitude, Jam. 1.21 and menaces of wrath to eternity upon their impenitency. This is that which is required of them, as in their power, to turn from sin, at least as to that ( [...]) su­perfluity of wickedness, and excess of riot, in which they knowingly wallow, to greater impudicities and fedities then the sober Heathens would indulge. Since then even these men can deny many acts and degrees of sin, even for fear of man; why cannot, why doe not they deny more for fear of God? Rom. 2.1. They must needs be inexcusable and without Apology, yea self-condemned, because it is evident there is no sin so pleasing, or so prevalent upon any man or woman, but either fear, or shame, or sense of honour, or love, or ingenuity, or gratitude, or hope of reward, will restrain and resist, even in the greatest pa­roxy sins of lust and temptations of the Devil. If a man ascend not at first to the highest pitch of repentance, (namely the love of God and goodness, or perfect hatred of sin) to which special grace must conduct him; yet he may come to the first steps and porch of it, to deny [Page 56]the ontward acts of ungodliness, and the fulfilling of worldly lusts. Let a man by this negative part of repen­tance (ceasing to doe evil) first make trial in his health to leave any sin to which he hath been addicted and long captivated: Let him prepare his heart thus to seek the Lord, though with fear and difficulty; yet the Lord will meet with such a soul, and bring him beyond his feares, terrours, and conflicts, as he did St. Austin, to the confines of love; through the wilderness of fiery serpents, and thirst, and weariness, to the Land of Canaan, to the state of rest: in which the soul shall not only enjoy the com­fort of Gods love, in its delight to doe well, and being enamoured with the beauty of holiness, but he shall re­joyce to see the blessings of Gods grace following his first weak endeavors, and dubious industry, in contesting with, and conquering temptations, and resisting such sins as lay within the power and reach of his soule, as he is a reasonable creature, and an instructed, baptized and in­lightned Christian; who furnished with such potent and mo­ral means to do his part, must not only attend the meanes, but apply to doe his duty. Nor shall any man have cause to complain of Gods defect, as to the completion of his grace, who takes care not to turn that grace into wan­tonness, which hath appeared to him, and is manifested on purpose to lead us to repentance, to teach us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly in this present world. Labour to pull up the evil weeds of thy inordinate lusts, at least keep them from being rank and luxuriant: Tit. 2.11, 12. attend also those meanes which are ap­pointed of God in his Church to sow, plant, and water the good seeds of grace and vertue, thou wilt in a short time find those wholsome and lively plants grow in thee, to thy great comfort and pleasure; Jucundissima est vita in dies sentire se fieri meliorem. which consists not on­ly in finding a mans self daily less vain and vicious, but more serious and vertuous. As it is to covetous men an infinite content to see themselves daily grow richer, and to the ambitious man to be daily advancing; so to a mind impatient of being poor and base in his sin, it is an [Page 57]unspeakable joy to see himself every day mending in his judgment, prayers, desires, designs, and hearty endeavours.

The misery is, health, and life, and liberty, and strength, and estate, and pleasure, and pride, embase our souls to­ward God, even to far lower degrees of ingratitude and unworthiness, then we can in honour, or will for shame shew toward men that have any power to punish or oblige us: we abhor to seem uncivil, uningenuous, unthankful, insolent, presumptuous, affrontive to such as are our bet­ters, and especially if they have merited many ways well of us; only to God we offer such rude and unkind, un­holy and unthankful measure, as we would not to a Prince, to a Parent, to any Superiour, no nor to an equal and inferiour, nor a noble enemy; being so far from any thing of Christian and true Divinity, which is the appro­portioning of our duty, love, respect, and service to God, that we forget all humanity which becoms our selves; sin­ning not only most shamefully & impudently against God, but also against our own consciences and principles, a­gainst our soules and bodies too, even that honour and decency which we owe to our selves. The first step to be a good Christian is to be a good man. Right reason is the fair suburbs of Religion: once cease to live as a beast without fear or understanding, and thou wilt begin to delight in the dignity which becomes a man, and a Chri­stian. God waits for thy essayes of repentance, Isa. 30.18. that he may be gracious to thee, not only in pardoning thy sins, but in speaking peace to thee; which is far better to be perceived by thee, when thou seest it was not meer slavish fear and the bastinado that compelled thee to look from sin toward God and goodness, but something of a rational and religious principle, becoming a man and a Christian. God never failes there to apply by his special hand the sweet cordials of his love, and comforts of his mercies in Christ, where we apply the corrasives proper to re­press our sins, and those bitter pills which work to the pur­gative part of repentance. They that cease to doe evil [Page 58]will so learn to doe good: Maxima pars impotentiae fluit ex voluntate. Aquinas. Isa. 1.16. It is not impotencie but unwil­lingnesse that holds us so long tame captives to grosse sins.

The least Sympathies of a sinner with his Redeemer, as suffering death and agonies inexpressible upon the Cross out of love to his soul, and upon the account of his sin, to purchase pardon, and work his redemption from hell to heaven. These reflections will work more kindly upon a mans heart to repentance, then all the sicknesses, crosses, and consternations in the world: For there is no compare between a mans sin and his Saviour to those that are not wholly blind, dead and buried in sin.

And can any rational man, that takes with patience all those bitter potions, those nauseous and painful appli­cations of Physick which are prescribed by Physicians in order to remove dangerous obstructions, to purge out noxious humours, and correct malignant spirits, thereby to prepare the way for recovering of the health of the bo­dy; Can these severe disciplines for the short and uncer­tain good of the outward man be endured, nay desired, yea with great charge be purchased, and shall we be im­patient of those restraining and healing methods of re­pentance, which possibly are less for a time agreable to our corrupted palats and viciated appetites, yet are the meanes prescribed and dispensed by God himself as pro­per to heal us of our deadly sins (for so all are unrepented of) and to prepare us for that health which our soules may enjoy by Christ? When once they are rid of those scurvy habits or ( [...]) which customary and pre­vailing sins bring upon us daily, Quò diuti­us peccamus, eò longinquius a Deo abscedi­mus. Greg. disposing us to all evil, and indisposing to all that is good.

However the operation or event may be, this I am sure, the duty and work of Ministers is not to dispute nor dis­pense the the secret workings of Gods grace, or to search the hidden purpose of Gods will, but to declare and preach his revealed will, which is our sanctification by our repenting and amending according to the tenour of the Gospel. Such as deaffen their ears, harden their hearts, [Page 59]and turn their backs on God and the meanes of grace all the time of their strength and health, will find it very hard to see or seek his face in the disorder, darkness, and clouds of sickness, which is the twilight and evening of Death. As in civil conversation, no man may so presume of Gods providence as to neglect honest industry; so in religious respects, no man may hope for grace that doth not rati­onally, duely, and conscienciously apply to the use of those meanes which God hath appointed in his Church. All blessings temporal and eternal, which are acquirable by, and offered to reasonable creatures, are ordinarily the effects of Gods mercy and mans industry, not of mi­racles or omnipotence. The meanes of grace given by God in his Church are never barren or ineffectual, but to those who neglect to attend them and use them as they may and ought to doe, if they look upon them as from God, and in order to their soules good, which is to be attained by this or no way.

7. In order therefore to promote and speed by Gods assistance our repentance, while we are yet in life and health, we should lay to heart, specially at the summons of another death, What infinite patience and long-suffer­ing it is that hitherto God hath shewed toward thee for many years of vanity, sin, and desperate folly, Rom. 2.4. in which he hath spared thee; notwithstanding thou hast daily pro­voked him to his face, yet thou art not to this day cut off from the land of the living, nor is the door of mercy and repentance shut upon thee. How many have been cut off by the sword, by sudden death, and by lingring sick­ness, here one, there another, while thou art reprieved? Should not this forbearance of God lead thee to repentance? Is it not enough in all conscience, and too much in all reason and gratitude, thus far to have offended a God that is loth to destroy thee, giving thee space to repent? Wilt thou after the hardness of thy heart, and vain confi­dence of life, still treasure up wrath against the day of wrath? The time past may suffice to give thee sufficient experience how unwilling God is thou shouldest die, 1 Pet. 4.3. and [Page 60]how willing thou shouldst repent and live: Ezek. 33.11.For it is of the Lords mercy that thou art not consumed. Thou mightest have been the corps now to be put into the grave, Lam. 3.22. where is no device or wisedome of counsel, or repentance, or prea­ching, Eccl. 9.10. or praying. O turn no longer the grace of God into wantonness, which is offered in Christ by his Mini­sters. (Breve sit quod turpiter audes.) Of a short, pre­cious, and uncertain moment, the least part is too much to be lavished in those wayes, Jude 4. which are not only unpro­fitable but pernicious. Our whole lives, after the vanity of childhood and youth, are too little to be spent in well­doing, Isa. 20.15. and in undoing what hath been either vain or wicked. To live as if we had made a covenant with death and hell, is not onely a fool-hardiness but a madness, which hath by infinite, sad, and horrid instances been fearfully punished, but not yet sufficiently cured in man­kind. Eccl. 8.12. Though a sinner live an hundred years twice told, yet it shall not be well with him. Eccl. 11.9. Though young and strong men please themselves in the delights of their eyes, and desires of their own hearts, yet they must know that for all these things God will bring them to judgment. A mans debts and dangers are not the lesse because he is not pre­sently arrested, nor sees the books and specialties which are against him, or the Serjeants which will arrest him. 'Tis high time to cease to offend that God who is willing to remit all our former arrears and debts upon our return to him, begging his pardon, and resolving to live worthy of such grace. Doe not then feed any longer on ashes; it is a deceived heart that turneth thee aside, Isa. 44.20. Jonah 2.8. Phil. 2.12. Heb. 2.9. so that thou canst not deliver thy soul, nor say, Is there not a lye in my right hand? Take heed of following lying vanities, lest thou forsake thy own mercies; which are offer'd us but from moment to moment, so as every minute of time that passeth, every clock that striketh, calls upon thee in the wise man's counsell, Eccles. 9.10. Whatever thine hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might. And what hast thou to do but to work out thy salvation with feare and [Page 51]trembling, as the Apostle calls upon the Philippians? All without this is time and labour lost.

8. Lay to heart, upon the sight and reflexions of death, the infinite want thou hast of such a Saviour, who may be able and willing to redeem thee, a captive to sin, and held all thy life in the fear of death, from both these mi­serable bondages. Lay to heart the infinite grace, tran­scendent love and mercy of Christ, Heb. 2.9. who is offer'd thee as a sufficient Saviour to all purposes; Who hath tasted death for every man, and hath overcome death as well as satis­fied for the death of the whole world, excluding none, nor excepting any, but putting all into a capacity of life and salvation upon their faith and repentance, John 5.40. John 6.37, 40. Ver. 54. John 8.52. John 11.25. Mark 16.15. so that whoever will come to him, and believe in him, shall not die, but have eternal life: yea, though he die, as to the body, yet he shall continue to live in the happiness of his soul, and his body shall be raised to live in glory and immortality by Christ, who hath wrought this for us by his death, and brought it to light by his Gospel, which is commanded to be preached to every rational creature under heaven.

Lay then to heart, that is, seriously and alone ponder with thy self, what Christ hath done and suffered for thee, what he hath deserved of thee, what he expects from thee as a man & Christian for whose sake he hath died. Wouldst thou have greater instances of his love to thee, John 10.11. John 15.13. then thus to die for thee? Shall not thy unthankful and sinful im­portunity be satisfied with that which hath satisfied divine justice, stopped the Devils mouth, conquered death, and purchased life eternal to every true believer? It wrought up blessed Ignatius's heart to an ambitious zeal of Martyr­dome, that he might shew his ( [...]) reciprocal love to Christ, when he deeply considered and oft repeated, Christ my love hath been crucified. [...]. Doth it become thee to neglect, despise, sinne against such love any longer? Canst thou trample that blood under feet which hath been shed for thee? Wouldst thou have him daily crucified for thee? Canst thou fancy or desire greater benefits then those that accrew to thee, and are offered thee by Christ? [Page 62]who hath taken away the sting of death, 1 Cor. 15. which is sin, that when thou diest in the Lord, thou art sure to be eternally blessed with the Lord; Vitam non a­mittimus sed mutamus. Hieron. for true Christians doe not lose but exchange life by death. Like a turning chatr, which serves for a door; so death natural is but a moving us out of one room, which is an ontward (antecamera) chamber, or common gallery, or base court, into another which is most ample and nobly furnished with all compa­ny and other accomplishments befitting the Majesty, Pa­lace, and presence of the King of Heaven. Death is but a transition or passage from grace to glory; the taking of the candle of our soules out of a dark and close lanthorn of our bodies, to set it on a fair candlestick in a stately chamber, till the body be restored fitter for it, crystalline, celestial, incorruptible.

When Christians defer their repentance and comming to Christ, they forget the priviledges and benefits which are enjoyable only by them both in life and death, at resurrection and judgment to come; There being no other name under heaven by which we may be saved in any of these exigents, Acts 4.12. which will in after-years overtake us all. O bethink thy self, and say in thy heart with David, What shall I render to the Lord for all his mercies? Psal. 116.12. What shall I return to my blessed Saviour, who hath redeemed me by his precious blood from so many, and so great deaths? I will devote both soul and body to him as a living and acceptable sacrifice, Rom. 12.2.which is but my reasonable service. Though I have done foolishy, ungratefully, unchristianly, and desperately hitherto, yet I will adde no more drun­kenness to thirst, or iniquity to sinne; since he hath by his meritorious passion both redeemed my life from the death in sin, and my death from the penal horrors for sin: Yea in this he hath made my death better then my life, that while I live I shall sin by daily defects and infirmities; but when I die, sin shall wholly die in me. This one cor­dial is in every good Christians death, that his sin shall not be immortal; but as he shall be ever with the Lord, so he shall never sin more against him.

9. Lay to heart, upon this and the like sad occasions, to what good end or purpose thou hast hitherto lived for many yeares, as a man or a Christian, in the sphear of reason, in the bosome of the Church, and in the light of true Religion. Bethink thy self how many hours, dayes, weeks, moneths, yeares God hath given thee since thou cam'st to be master of reason, and instructed in Religion, knowing good and evil; as a space of repentance, and opportunity to shew thy fear, love, duty, and obedience to God, that thou mightst be capable of his eternal re­wards. There are in every year eight thousand seven hundred seventy five hours: if we should allow the grea­ter half of these for sleep and necessary attending our bo­dies, take but four thousand houres for our work and bu­siness of consequence, how poor account can most men & women of ripe age, but not yet come to yeares of dis­cretion, give of all these in a whole year? Not one hour in seven (which is as a Sabbatical hour in every day) not one hour in ten (which is but the Tithe of our time) is generally devoted to God or any good duty: Nay many are weary of doing nothing, Mark 11.20. and how solicitous to ravel out their time in the most impertinent and excessive pastimes they can imagine. They are like to doe very well, who know not what to doe with themselves and their time. Phil. 3.19. [...]. When they have most leisure to intend their spi­ritual and eternal improvement, then are they most la­vish of their precious houres. Debuisti & boc tempus non perdere. So Pliny the elder checked his Nephew for losse of time when he saw him walking in the streets, and in­disposed thereby to read or note any thing. Canst thou not tell how to spend this or that long day? Wouldst thou adde spurs to the wings of time? I will tell thee; the very waste and seeming superfluity of thy time would serve thy turn for an eternal happiness, to work out thy salva­tion. Those lost shreds of hours which thou flingest away, la­zing, and laughing, and chatting, and visiting, & stretching, & yawning, and playing, and fooling, so long, till from do­ing nothing, art tempted to doe evil things) idleness being [Page 64]the Devils anvil.) Incus Diaboli desidia. Cavene te Di­abolus inveniat oriosum. Hieren. Pro. 17.16. These parings and rags (I say) of thy precious time, which is infinitely more precious then the finest gold, is a price put into thy hand, if thou be not an egregious fool, of which infinite gain and advantage may be made for ever. In this and that good hour, which thou prodigally losest, not knowing how to spend it, thou mightest be seeking thy lost-self, thy lost soul, thy lost con­science, thy lost God, thy lost Saviour, who came into the world to seek and to save that which is lost. O what might not be done in that chain and circle, which St. Je­rom commends to Laeta, Orationem le­ctio, lectionem meditatio, me­ditationē oratio sequebatur. Hieron. of dispensing time! nay, if we wrought but now and then a link of grace. O what pray­ers, what tears, what meditation, what contrition, what compunction, what godly sorrow, what ingenuous shame, what self-abhorrence, what self-despairs might be wrought upon thy heart as to the reflection of thy sins past! Yea, what fear of God, what reverence of the Divine majesty, power, wisedome, justice, goodness, evident in his works, providences, word! What breathings, sighings, and seek­ings after God! What purposes, vowes, holy resolutions thou mightst take up and begin! What hatred and loath­ing of sin, as the greatest abasing of a reasonable creature! what search into and admiration of the mystery of Christ crucified! what longing after him! what faith in him! what sense of thy want of him! what zeal for him! what humility, meekness, charity, holy industry, sense of Gods savour, sweet influence of his Spirit, power against corrup­tions, comforts against death, hopes of heaven, delight in well-doing, joy in God! What serious considerations of the deformity and danger by sin, of the beauty and bene­fits by Christ, of the vanity of the world, the certain un­certainty of dying! These meditations, and many such like effects of our thoughts, and reflexions of things, might be the happy fruits of thy true, of thy holy considerati­ons, and sober endeavours, if thou wert worthy of one moment of that life which thou art so weary of, and wa­stest so impertinently; a little portion of which will be one day (when thy distresses and terrors come upon thee [Page 65]as an armed man, attended with death and judgment, sin and hell, an evil conscience and an angry God) then, I say, one day or hour will be as earnestly desired by thee, as one drop of water was by Dives, and it may be as just­ly and certainly be denied thee; the common fate of ri­otous Prodigals following thee in this, to be reduced to a morsel of bread, after sottish profusenesse and shameful luxury

We unjustly quarrel with God and nature (as Seneca ob­serves) that our life is so short, when indeed our care is too little to live well, which is the onely true life. It is one thing to be a man, and another to live as a man. It was a true fig-tree which was barren, and cursed by Christ. (Maximam partem hominum brutum occupat) In most men for a long time the beast in them overlayes the man. Sen­sual lusts are night and day the imperious Incubusses or (Ephialtae) of their reason. What one said with much salt to an Epicure (Deus tuus est porcorum Deus) is veri­fied in most people during their youth, and in many long after, even through the whole course of their life, They own no other God then the God of swine, reverencing the Divine Majesty no more then hogs doe, nor expecting more from him then may serve their bellies, which is the God they serve, as the Apostle speaks; nor returning more acknowledgment or service to him: yea they live (tanquam poeniteret non pecudes natos) as if they only re­pented they were not made only beasts with bodies. In titles perhaps noble, in estates splendid, in words ratio­nal, and in formalities civil, yea perhaps religious in shews, but in deeds they are debasers of their native and divine dignity, Victa libidine succed it ambi­tio; victa am­bitione succedit avaritia; victa avaritia succe­dit superbia, vitium inter ip­sas virtutes ti­mendum. Hieron. dethroners of reason, despisers of their God and true Religion, doting on sensible objects all their lives, by a continued succession of vices and inordinate defires and delights, which (succenturiate, or) supply the pla­ces, decayes, and recesses of one another (as St. Jerome observes) till they have wasted life, and spirits, and time, and talents, to the very last snuff: mean time they have done nothing (unde constet vixisse) worthy of themselves, [Page 66]their relations, their God, the Church of Christ, or their Country. From youthful and extravagant lusts they run to pride; from pride to hypocrisie; from hypocrisie to ambition; from ambition to covetousness; from co­vetousness to sacriledge; from sacriledge to Atheism; from Atheism to stupidity or despair: Mean time they have at first, it may be, with great mirth & jollity, next with affected gravity and severity, not only bought and sold, planted and builded, married and given in mariage, but, it may be, griped and oppressed, killed and possessed, subverted and sacrificed all things sacred and civil, as much as they could, to their own lusts; but have never yet had leisure all this while to live, or to act any thing but dead works. Let them ask their own souls and con­sciences, not quàm fortiter & feliciter, but quam sanctè & justè? quid praeclarè, quid egregiè fecisti? Nay, let them ask apart from flatteries, Quid non tur­piter, quid non pudendum, quid non poenitendum fe­cisti? What have they done conscienciously, justly, ho­nestly, valiantly, for God, for the Truth, for their own soules, or their neighbours good? Nay, what have they done, which in the inward aspect of conscience, and ma­ny times to outward view of all men, is not vile, impious, to be ashamed of, to be repented of? They have (it may be, with Caesar Borgia, and Lewis the 11th.) had much art and Policie, but no true piety and charity in them; much self-seeking, but nothing of self-denying (which is the truest touchstone of a Christian constitution.) They may have been prosperous, and yet not pious; they may have conquered others, but yet not themselves, which is the noblest victory. They may have gotten much, and yet shall be sure to lose all, for want of that one thing ne­cessary, a good conscience, which is the end of living, and the ( [...]) only provision for an eternal life. A temper of soul which is rightly instructed, and guided by the written word of God only, sanctified according­ly by his holy spirit, practically conformed to his blessed example in all manner of holy conversation; this, this temper purged by faith in the blood of Christ, and so ac­cepted [Page 67]by Gods mercy and dignation through Christs merits, makes a good conscience, the getting and pre­serving of which is the main end of life, as to our pri­vate concern (next Gods glory) and this alone will bring a man peace in his latter end; this alone dares look death and divels in the face: to others that have a forme of godliness yet deny the power of it, 2 Tim. 3.5. John 3.19. to whom the light of Christian Religion is come, and they love darkness more then light, their condemnation will be the greater.

9. Lay to heart the sameness or variety of aspects where­in death represents to thee the faces and fates of all men living and dying, either so alike, Eccles. 2.16. that as the fool dieth so dieth the wise man, as the wicked so the righteous, as to the kind and manner of death; by sickness, pains, violence, Vide Psal. 73.12. Behold these are the un­godly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches, &c. Job 21.7. Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea are mighty in power? Jer. 12.1, 2. Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? why are all they happy that deal very trea­cherously, &c. John 7.24. Psal. 73.15. suddenness, in all shapes or figures of death. Besides, thou maist observe the frequent riddles and Paradoxes not only of mens lives, but of their deaths; The righteous and godly, that eschew evil and do good, who fear God and walk uprightly before him, who chuse to suffer ra­ther then sin, these are oft persecuted and oppressed with poverty, prison, banishment, and distresses while they live; yea, and their innocency is many times persecuted to the death by violent and unjust men; whereas these live and thrive a long time, yea and end their days in prosperous impiety, to the great scandal of many that are godly, and infinite incouragement of wicked doers, as Job, David, and Jeremiah complain.

Take heed you judge not (as Christ forewarns his Dis­ciples) by outward appearance, or the fight of thine eyes, but judge righteous judgement, lest thou condemn the ge­neration of God's people, many Prophets, Apostles, Mar­tyrs, and Confessors, who have (most what) been sufferers; yea lest thou condemne that Just One, Christ himself, who died as a Malefactor by popular suffrages, and the sentence of a timerous judge: nay, take heed lest thou condemn the righteous God, as if he were unjust in his providences and permissions. Take heed thy heart fret not against God, nor be alienated from his fear by the pro­sperity [Page 68]of any evil doers, Psal. 73.16. or adversity of well doers in this life.

But go into his Sanctuary with David, search the Scri­ptures and there thou shalt see the eternal counterpoisings of these strange momentary dispensations; how the wicked go away to eternal darkness, Psal. 97.10, 11, &c. Luke 12.4. and shall never see any light of comfort when his candle is once put out: but to the righteous, the Lord preserveth the souls of them from those that can but kill the body; Rom. 2.7. yea, light is sown in their darkness, life in their death; a crown of eternal glory will grow out of their crown of thorns; rivers of everlasting re­freshings shall flow out of the rock of their patience and sufferings in well doing, in the midst of which fiery trials the spirit of glory rested upon them: 1 Pet. 3.18. 1 Pet. 4.13, 14. Phil. 1.28. they are made conformable to Christ in sufferings, that they may reign with him; hence they enjoy a most evident sign of their adversaries condition, but of their own salvation, and that of God, who is a righteous Judge, a God of truth and faithfulness; who will not forget the labour of love, or suffer those to go unrewarded who suffer for righteousness sake: Mat. 5.10.12. great is their reward in heaven.

Do not foolishly fret and envy Dives his delicates when thou seest Lazarus die on a dunghil; Luke 16.19. Matth. 14.8. nor grudge Herod his throne when thou seest John Baptists head in a charger. There is not a greater argument, Certissimum futuri judicii praejudicium. Tert. Jer. 51.56. The Lord God of re­compenses shall surely require. Mal. 3.17. [...]. or more likely demon­stration to confute Atheism, to confirm faith and hope in a better and another life, which the Lord God of re­compenses hath certainly prepared for those that are his when he makes up his jewels. Can any man be loser for Gods cause? Shall not the just God do right to himself, and to every man according to his own word, and every mans works? No man can think God is unable or unwil­ling to make such amends in another life as shall infinitely expiate and exceed all the seeming detriments here on the part of the godly, and the increments or advantages on the part of the wicked.

Could he make such a world for the good and bad, the just and unjust, for men and beasts, enemies and [Page 69]servants, Matth. 5.45. and cannot he prepare for and bestow a better state upon his friends and children? Is this mortal and momentary state worthy the name of life, with which we are so taken, and we are loth to leave? whose welfare consists only in the using and enjoying of creatures either without life, or only with life and sense, or (at best) adorned with reason added to their life and sense, Col. 2.22. but yet perishing in the use, and dying as our selves. Is this a life to be so desired and doted upon? and must not that excel which consists in communion with, and participation of the Creator, who must necessarily be better then all his creatures, and infinitely exceed them as much as light darkness, the sea a drop, or the Sun a mote or spark? Is it a small matter that the spirit or soul of a good man, like Lazarus's and Stephens, Luke 16. is presently attended and received by many blessed Angels, which light on it as a swarm of bees, to conduct it joyfully to its blessed God and Saviour; so that as soon as it parts out of the body, it enjoys spiritual Angelical and celestial joys. But the souls of the wicked, loth to leave their carkasses, and lingring as it were about their corps, are presently beset with so many evil spirits or spiteful divels, who like wasps and hornets fall upon it as it were to bite and sting, and vex it with such resentments and terrors, as they either feel or fear, to which the soul is first self-condemned, and presently selfe-tormented, being its own Hell or Tor­mentor now as it was its own betrayer or tempter here­tofore.

10. These and the like serious reflexions may justly be laid to heart by all such as are yet but in the outward court of reason, on the bare forms of religion; and even by others who are come (or seem so at least) into the holy place, to clearer perceptions of piety, carrying sincere purposes in their souls, and professing to live in commu­nion with God and Christ: I am to speak to the hearts of these also. How come they to live still incumbred with so many strange opinions, passions, lusts and affections, which seem very weak, partial, preposterous, disorderly, earthly [Page 70]and uncharitable? Is this to live as in the prospect of death, in the confines of heaven, in the aim at eternal life? yet so eager, solicitous, impatient, disquieted and concerned for these momentary and transeunt enjoyments of life, as if these were the main interests they were to carry on in life, or to provide for against death? Art thou a Kings son and embracest dunghils? Lam. 4.5. talkest so much of heaven and graspest only earth? Art thou among Gods Nazarites, Lam. 4.7. who profess to be separate from sinners, crucified to the world? whose heart and conversation should be whiter then milk, purer then snow, beautiful as the rubies, and more polished then Saphirs, as Jeremiah laments, and yet is thy visage blacker then a coal? thy sin cleaveth to thy bones, such an hidebound Christian and politick professor, so carking and caring, so getting and griping, so sharking and shifting to and fro in thy judgement and way of religion, that thou seemest more to regard the wind and weathercock of civil interests, favours and ad­vantages, then the constant rule and compass of Gods word, shifting thy sails to every point as may most fit thy worldly occasions, rather then thy conscience and eternal concernments? Whence is it, that thou a profest pilgrim and stranger in this world art so great an agitator, and so passionately engaged in secular sidings? whence is this strange Metamorphosis, or change of Christianity from the primitive beauty and Scriptural garb or fashion used by the Confessors, Martyrs, Apostles, by Christ himself, and his best followers in all ages, when hands and eyes, heads and hearts, lives and conversations of Christians were all lifted up toward heaven, and set upon heavenly things; how are they now become dross, so groveling to the earth, joyning Christ with Belial, and God with Mammon, 2 Cor. 6.15. 1 Thes. 2.5. Col. 3.5. Rom. 2.22. Prov. 3.9. Mal. 3.8. professions of light with operations of darkness, making Christian liberty a cloke for all licentiousness and malice, for all filthy lucre, and even sacrilegious covetousness, which is worse then Idolatry; for the Idolater honours a false god with his substance, but a Sacrilegious Christian robs the true God to increase [Page 71]his private substance. This temper is far from the mor­tifying thoughts of death, 1 Cor. 7.31. or using this world as if men used it not, being so little, so nothing of a true and ge­nerous Christians main design.

Yea, not only in pursuance of secular and civil ad­vantages with much warpings from law and equity, besides violent expressions of their uncharitable passions beyond what becomes men and women professing god­liness, and tender of the scandals of Christian Religion; But further, under pretence of religious zeal, and special sanctity (Blessed Lord) what uncharitable fires, what un­christian furies are mens spirits ready to kindle in Churches and States, both Christian and reformed! (Tan­taene animis coelestibus irae?) Can heavenly hearts burn with such Kitchin-fires, which must be inflamed by pour­ing the holy oyl of religion upon them, untill they come to such conflagrations as kill and destroy even in Gods holy mountain, Isa. 65.25. raising such fewds and animosities among Chri­stians as are not to be quenched but by each others bloods; yea they burn to the nehtermost hell, to mutual Anathemas and damnings to eternity. Mortales quum simus immor­talia non debent esse odia. Have we not forgot that we are mortals, who maintain such immortal hatred, despites, cursings, condemnings? Do we remember the same con­demnation from God under which we all naturally lie? or that we have the same Redeemer Jesus Christ, who hath purchased us to himself, and called us to peace, love and good order, as children of his heavenly Father, and brethren to himself and one another? Proximorum odia sunt ac­cerbissima. (Fratrum quoque gratia rara est) The neerer we are of kindred, must we have less kindness? and the more sharp contentions because of the same Country and Church heretofore? I beseech you tell me, O you torn and tottered flock of Christians now in Old England, Can the world in reason think that we Christians are brethren, the sons of one Father, going ont of Egypt homeward to him every day of this mortal pilgri­mage, and yet we are every day falling out by the way, making religion it self one of the greatest occasions of our bitterest and bloodiest contentions, both with each other [Page 72]and with our selves, even the more silly and less subtil sort of plain and (possibly) not ill meaning Christians; these are (most what) gnawing of bones, doting about questions, endlesly disputing and doubting, even while they are decaying and dying. So intent as Souldiers to plunder other mens opinions, and to live as it were upon the spoils of the Church of England and the Re­formed Religion therein heretofore happily established and professed, (as if free quarter in professing, preaching, doubting, disputing and denying what ever they list) that they much neglect (as good husbands) the more painful, charitable and profitable duties of Gods husban­dry, planting, watering and weeding those principles and plants of religion which bear the graces of repentance, mortification, newness of life, charity, humility and good works: from being Isaacs and Jacobs, plain and peaceable spirited, professors are turned Ismaels and Esaus, rough handed, of a more ferine temper, living by their bow and sword, their hands against every man that is not of their faction and party, and their hearts alienated highly from such as were heretofore their Mother, Fa­thers and Brethren. These scorching heats of angry differences among Christians spirits do very much dry up all the dews of grace and sweeter influences of Gods Spirit. Few consider how soon the Sun may go down upon their wrath; Ephes. 4.26. not only that of a natural day (which should never be, for he that sleeps in uncharitable passions hath the Divel for his bed-fellow that night, not only in his bed but in his bosome;) but that Sun of our natural life may go down before thy distempers are alaied to a Chri­stian composure. Many Christians in our later dog days are so agitated and hurried up and down with the heat of the weather, 1 Tim. 1.16. and the vexatious gadflies of endless and vain janglings, that like cattel in Summer they cannot fall to their food, wasting much time and spirits in unpro­fitable disputes; following first this faction, next that mode in religion; 2 Tim. 3.7. ever learning, and never coming to the know­ledge of saving and necessary which are practical truths. [Page 73]So that like the poor Link-boys in winter-nights at London, they so spend their lights in running to and fro after every wind of doctrine, other mens fantasies, opinions, and humors, that they are fain to go to their own home and to be in the dark; going down to their graves in sorrow, neither so chearful nor comfortable as Christians might do, Isa. 50.11. who less delighted (living) in those sins and sparks which themselves have kindled.

From this occasion and the like meditation of death lay to heart how much it concerns and becomes thee to carry great moderation, as in all things, Phil. 4.5. so chiefly in thy passions; to be prudent in all the dispensations of thy endeavours, cares, fears, joys, loves, hopes, desires, and griefs, as well as of thy anger: these streams of thy soul must not be let go too plentifully at the flashes or flood-gates which run to waste, lest thou robbest that course which should drive thy mill; I mean carry on the grand preparations for death and eternity by a sober, exact, and holy life, in which all passions and affections may have their holy use, and a comely part to act.

It is great pity (in that one passion of grief, which is the softest and most human) to see tears plentifully shed for some temporal losse, Mollissima corda Humano generi dare se natura fatetur Quum lacry­mas dedit. or for the death of some dear friend, and yet so little, so seldome applied to soften and supple the hard and callous heart of a sinner. Men and women too are prone to be prodigal of these precious drops; which are as the pearls of a penitent sinners eyes and cheeks; whose water is turned into wine, even of Angels, when they rejoyce to see a sinners penitent sorrows which end in eternal joys; Lacrymae poeni­tentium vinum Angelorum. Luke 15.10. when every tear quencheth a fiery dart of the Divel, or rinseth the conscience of some remaining filth of sin. St. Austin confesseth and deploreth his excessive softness after his conversion in mourning for the death of his dear friend Alipius, Flebam Dido­nem occisam; cum animam meam mortuam non flebam. as somewhat beyond the gravity and moderation of a Christians sorrow: And more he bewaileth those fond tears which before his con­version he wept when he read the fable of Didoes death, when at the same time he neither deplored nor considered [Page 74](as he saith) the dead estate of his own heart and soul to God. The blessed Angels, if they did visibly converse with us, might justly ask most women and men too, as these did Mary at the Sepulchre, John 20.13. Ploratur lacry­mis amissa pecunia veris. Woman, why weepest thou? 'Tis hard for us to give a just reason and Christian ac­count for most of our weepings, and least of those that are most excessive: we weep more for any loss of a momen­tary toy then for the absence of our Lord, the loss of Gods love, the loss of a good conscience, the Churches wastes, Jerusalems ruines, and the sins of our own souls or of others, which call us to mourning. As our blessed Lord said to the women weeping when they saw him led to be crucified, so may every dead friend or other object of our weeping say to us, Weep not for me, but weep for your selves, Luke 23.28. who many times have most cause to sorrow then when you sorrow least: some tears are to be wept for again. Tears cannot profit the dead, but they may the living; yea, I recant, they may profit even dead souls, who are dead (as St. 1 Tim. 5.6. Prov. 8.36. John 11.35. Paul speaks) even while they live, who love death: tears and prayers may be a means by Gods grace to revive these, as Jesus his tears were to bring to life Lazarus. Tears are the distillations of love, resolved into drops by the coolings of some ambient sorrow. We cannot love any thing in our selves or others so justifiably as our and their souls. In reference to these all our passions and affections should be rightly disci­plined, and ranged duly, and exercised, and improved, as most needing and deserving our cares and counsels, our prayers and tears.

Nor can I here omit to lay to your hearts what this Noble Gentleman suggested to me, when being sent for, I came to him the morning before he died. He told me he was very sorry that it was so late with him, yea he feared very late; he had been long fed with some hopes of life, but now he believed his time was short, which he could wish he had more improved to his souls comfort while his strength of body had been somewhat better. I know men and wo­men too have a feminine and foolish fear to dispirit or [Page 75]deject any patient or decumbent with the serious thoughts or speech of their dying, for fear their sad physick and nauseous prescriptions should not operate well on the ill humors of their bodies. But the care of removing any burthens or obstructions upon their souls and consciences, this must be deferred and neglected till there is such a decline of life and spirits, as hangs out the black flag of death and despair; then (ubi desinit Medicus incipit Theo­logus) when Physitians have in vain done their best, the Divine must (God knows too oft) in vain do his best also: for (alas) he hath little time in the agonies of death and the precipitations of life to search and apply the necessary remedies or comforts of a languishing soul, which is as if a man should begin to read a long letter of great and present concernment when his candle was at the last twinkling; A method certainly not more preposterous then dangerous to sick bodies and diseased souls. If our Physitians were meer disciples of Galen and Hippocrates I should not wonder at their dilatory indifferencies as to mens souls, and intensiveness only to their bodies; but being many of them very learned men, and some of them very good Christians, I humbly conceive it would no way misbecome them, nor any way impede the success of their arts and applications, if they did upon the first perception of a dubious and dangerous state of any sick body, with Christian wisedom and charity advise them, yea and in­treat them not to neglect the care of preparing their souls for God; that as they will do their best with Gods help to cure their bodily distempers, so it will no way hinder their skill or cure to carry on the concurrent welfare of their souls, so as becomes good Christians: because the event of all sickness is uncertain; diseases oft flatter where they destroy; therefore Physitians and Friends should be with all speed faithful to their Patients souls as well as bodies. It bears no proportion for a sick patient to be visited twice or thrice in a day by Physitians in order to the bodies health, and by a Divine once in a week it may be, and this not till the last exigent and gasp of life, as if [Page 76]this would abundantly serve the turn. When men begin more to value their pretious and immortal souls, they will more prize the help of true Divines, whose prayers, connsels, and spiritual assistance being Gods indulgence and ordinance in his Church, is usually followed with most gracious and comfortable successes toward sick persons that desire their help and send timely for them, as St. James 5.14. James adviseth, yea commandeth to do when Christi­ans are cast down in bodily or spiritual dejections; and when they are desirous to have the comfort of forgiveness of sins further sealed to them: yea, who is there so able, so knowing, so self-confident, so comfortable in health, that may not and usually doth not finde great damps, dulness, and difficulties of soul in sickness; these are prone to be dispirited as well as the bodies of the best Christians, and may well bear with, nay most earnestly desire to have their weak hands supported, and feeble knees strengthned by the counsel, prayers, and comforts of true Ministers. Yea in the most desperate cases when disso­lute livers are catched in Gods net or toile, and now begin to make their addresses to God and preparations for eternity, even in these cases the diligent and frequent assistance of discreet Ministers, helping poor creatures to search and try their hearts, to see their sins, to look to God in Christ, to turn to him, and lay hold upon him, doth many times work miraculous effects, both to sancti­fie sickness and to save souls: so much doth God blesse the means he hath appointed when duly used, which supinely neglected the end must needs fail.

I know many men and women too are now turned Preachers (as not a few are turn'd Physitians) which truly in my judgement amount no higher (for the most part) then Empiricks and Mountebancks in both, making more work for able Divines and Physitians too. This I am sure, few men in their wits and willing to live but court the best Physitians; nor do I see less reason why they should not desire and employ the best and truest Divines, such as are most able and skilful, most willing and faith­ful, [Page 77]most authorized and commissionated by Christ and his Church, to assist and comfort, to instruct and absolve (if need be) dying sinners, beyond what any man (ordi­narily) can do in his health, much less in the distempers, dejections and darknesses of his sickness, both corporal and spiritual; who yet now affect in it most what in the frolick of their lives to be their own Teachers and Preach­ers, their own Ordainers and Confessors, their own Bishops and Presbyters too: contrary to the judgment of all pious Antiquity, who thought the Evangelical Ministry not an arbitrary business, but of Divine Authority and Institution, of highest necessity in the Church, so esteemed and so used by all good Christians. The modern neglect and indiffe­rency to it either argues the Clergy miserably embased in all points from their ancient dignity, or the minds and actions of Christians to become very degenerous and li­centious, unholy and unthankful; not to be mended till the majesty of Religion and the double honour of the Mini­stry be restored.

11. Lay to heart (upon the whole matter, drawing all the beams of my discourse and your meditations into one point, arising from this or the like Funeral-occasions) in what posture thou art for death; how furnished, fitted, and prepared. I once told this Noble Gentleman two months before he died, when I saw his tedious cough very importune, and his dispiritings so great that I could say little to him; Sir, you have nothing so much concerns you as to prepare and to dare to die. Ask thy soul (O poor mortal) not what goods thou hast laid up for many years, not what beauty and virtue thou hast married, not what honours thou enjoyest, not what lands thou possessest or expectest, but what preparation thou hast made to meet thy God? what defensative to encounter death? how far the power of sin is weakned? how far the progress of grace is advanced? what (viaticum aeter­nitatis) provision for eternity thou hast made? A Chri­stian must not onely look to Augustus his [...], Sueton. in vita Augusti. (a gentle and civil, or well-natured death) but to a gracious, [Page 78]a comfortable death for himself, and also hopeful and ex­emplary to others about him. The last lightnings or corus­cations of a good Christian should be (if his natural spirits permit) his brightest, as the preludium of eternity, ( [...].) He should adorn his death as the last act of his life, with speaking good of God, with telling all about him what the Lord hath done for his soul, what experiences of trials and conflicts, of comforts and re­freshings by Christ, his Word and Spirit. I allow any mans or womans death-bed to be their pulpit; let them then turn preachers as much as they can; let them shew forth the loathsome and deadly deformities of sin, the worth and excellencies they have found in Christ and his grace, the benefit found in his Word, Spirit, Mi­nistrations and true Ministers, that so the surviving world may be the better for those nayles, which as Masters of the Assemblies, as now candidates and expectants, yea percipients of Heaven, dying Christians do happily fasten in the minds, memories and consciences of their weeping auditors. The best Sermons are those that dying men and women preach before their own Funerals; Gen. 29. Deut. 32. 1 Kings 2.1. Joshua 23. John 14, 15, 16, and 19. Chapters. 1 Sam. 25.37. as Jacob, Moses, Joshua, and David did: yea our blessed Lord Jesus most expressed his inmost and sublimest sense to his Disciples a little before he died, as to heavenly comforts, prayers and praises. A Christian should avoid what possibly may be to die like Nabal, as if his heart were first quite dead as a stone within him; I mean when God gives spirits and strength to express themselves. None are such Infidels as not to believe these dying Orators, who are got beyond our pulpit-strains and affected forms, above all human fears and flatteries, all studies of sides and factions; Illum vita nondum dissi­mulatio deser­uit. Sueton. in vita Tiberii. then or never they are in good earnest. Few with Tiberius can be such hypocrites as to act a part only of piety when they are going off the stage of life.

If we are grafted in the tree of life we shall bear some good fruits living or dying. I know the best experiments of grace, and the surest both ( [...] and [...]) signes and indications of sincerity are from a good conscience [Page 79]kept up in our lives, not hudled up in haste a little before death, as goods in a scare-fire, only upon the alarm of sickness and death, but wisely, leisurely, gravely and pra­ctically methodised and digested, yea expressed in our health, in the humble and impartial constancy of attend­ing holy duties private and publique, in orderly waiting on the true and duly ordained Ministry of Christ in his Church, in frequent, devout and fervent partakings of the Lords Supper, in righteous, holy, charitable and exemplary lives toward all men, which are both useful to mankind by good works and acceptable to God in all humility, adorning the Christian and reformed Religion, highly magnifying the glory of the grace of God in Jesus Christ. An humble heart and an holy life are the best cordials in our deaths; for without peace and holiness (as the Apostle tells us) no man shall see God. And Heaven it self will not be welcome to us if holiness be not, Heb 12.14. Nec coelum ip­sum placebit cui sanctitas displicet. for its happiness is no other but perfected holiness; then we shall be such as we would be hereafter, when we like to be such as God would have us here.

12. Last of all; The neerer, the more remarkable and emphatick any object of death or Funeral-occasion is, the more we should lay it to heart: As when great, wise, valiant and honest men, like mighty Cedars of Lebanon; fall by death, either natural or violent, by open hostility or treachery, as Abner died, 2 Sam. 9.33. whose Biere David himself followed, honoring by a most generous example that virtue, loyalty and fortitude which he found in an enemy toward him; nor doth he do it in a courtly formality, but with ample, publick and unfeigned sorrow, even to weeping, looking upon that sad and shameful accident as a great reproach and affront to his own party and cause, as a dehonesting of his own honour and that Religion which he professed; to remove so great a scandal and dishonour from his person, conscience, Kingdom and profession, as attends all treacherous murtherings even of reconciled enemies and rivals, David himself doth Abner this honour at his burial to follow the Biere.

1. So in the deaths of such excellent Princes as have been or were like to be the Patres patriae, Fathers of their Country, maintainers of law and justice, provident for the publick good in peace and plenty, Patrons of learning, virtue, and established Religion, wise and valiant assertors (when need requires) of their own honour and their peoples safety, merciful dispensers of such favours and remissions as may abate the rigors of law, with regard to human surprises and infirmities, and yet neither weaken the hands of justice nor strengthen the hands of malicious offenders; Such Kings and Princes, yea any soveraign Magistrates (under any title, as Joshua and other Judges) that are not wholly degenerate from their dignity, duty, and place, are to be duly lamented, and their deaths are seriously to be laid to heart, because they do not only shew us the large extents of deaths dominion and soveraignty above all, Psal. 8.6. for even these Gods (Dii um­bratiles) die like men, but they are frequently attended (as the succession of months in the year) with some alteration of weather, many times for the worse. So that where any people is blessed with good Kings and gracious Princes, it is happy if they do (serò in caelum redire) in this part of deity (Immortality) come neerest to the Gods by living long and happily with their people, and going as late as may be to Heaven. For as good Princes are by good Subjects justly esteemed (inter publica gentis bona & praecipua Dei dona) the chiefest worldly blessings that God can give mankind; so their death must needs be reckoned (inter luctus epidemicos & publica damna) among the greatest losses and grounds of most publique sorrow. Although they die as Moses, Joshua, and David in good old ages, full of days and honour; as Augustus did among the Romans, Optimum esset & è Republicâ Rom. Severum aut non nasci aut nunquam denasci. of whom it might truly be said, as was of Severus the Emperor, It had been happy for the Empire if either he had never been born, or never had died; for as he attained the Empire with much war and blood, so he setled it with so much justice, wisedom and honour for a long time, that it was a felicity not possible [Page 81]to survive him. But if good and hopeful Princes be cut off immaturely by death, as Josiah among the Jews, 2 Chro. 35.25. and our pious K. Ed. the 6. no wonder if they go to their graves by water, with infinite sad hearts and weeping eyes, becoming the piety and humanity of their people. Hence the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Me­giddon became not only a Proverb, Zach. 12.11. but the highest pattern for publick lamentation at the sad fate and death of an excellent Prince. And not without cause may this be a superlative grief; because it ever follows, where the Shepheard is smitten the sheep are either scattered or wounded, or shrewdly warned of God to humble them­selves under his mighty hand and unsearchable judge­ments. Matth. 26.31.

2. Yea, when great and eminent Priests or Prophets of God and his Church, as Samuel, Jehojada, John Baptist, James, die a natural death, or are slain, who kept up the majesty of Religion, the beauty of holiness, and the order of Gods worship, being the chariots and horsemen of Israel, as Eliah was; So among Christian Churches, 1 Kings 2.12. such Ministers as have been exemplary in their lives, potent in their true doctrine, severest exactors of discipline upon themselves, burning and shining lights, that have been valiant for the truth; not popular, not partial, but un­blameable, venerable and admirable in all things, filling that sphear in which God and the Church had orderly set them either as Bishops or Presbyters, by preaching, praying, writing, living, and governing the Church, worthy of their holy order and function: So as did those ancient and renowned Bishops, Polycarp of Smyrna, Ignatius of Antioch, St. Ambrose of Milan, St. Cyprian of Carthage, St. Athanasius of Alexandria, St. Chrysostome of Constantinople, St. Iraeneus of Lions, St. Austin of Hippo, St. Gregory of Rome, with infinite other, worthy of their successions in that name and order in all Churches and ages, sufficient in my judgement to vindicate the office, degree, name, dignity and use of Bishops every where, and no where more then in England, which had of late [Page 82]as worthy Bishops as ever the Church enjoyed in any place or age since the Apostles.

When, I say, such Fathers of the Church die, who were in their times, as was said of St. Ambrose, the (Muni­menta & ornamenta urbis & orbis) defence and ornaments of their Churches and Countrys, the personal death of such Fathers ought to be laid greatly to heart; such as was that, not long ago, of the most learned, pious, in­dustrious, humble, indefatigable, and Apostolick Bishop, Bishop Ʋsher, the late Lord Primate of Armagh: As also that of the most eloquent, and venerable, and painful Bishop of Norwich, Doctor Hall, with many others now at rest in the Lord, of whom the world was not worthy, which sought to bury them in silence, indignities, poverty, and obscurity before they were dead, or any way had ill deserved of this Church and State, or the reformed Re­ligion, of which they were most able defenders.

How much more when the very Function, order and degree of that Catholick race, the primitive, Apostolick, and most excellent government of the Church by Bishops comes in any Christian or reformed Church to be de­stroyed, extirpated, and buried as it were with the burial of an Ass, cast into the graves of the common people, and exposed to be trodden under the feet of plebeian con­tempt. Which venerable Order, though sixteen hundred years old in the Catholick Church, and above 1400 in * In the Council of Arles in France, before the first great Nicene Coun­cil, about the year of Christ 230. three Brittish Bi­shops were present and subscribed, viz. Eborius of York, Restitu­tus of London, Adelphius of Colchester, as Bishop Ʋsher observes in his De prim. Eccl. Brit. & Sir­mondus. Concil. Gall. Tom. 1. p. 9. Lucius the King of the Britans, as Bede tells us, Hist. l. 1. c. 4. received the faith by such as were sent from Elcuthe­rius the 12th. Bishop of Rome, from the Apostles, as He [...]sippus tells us in Euseb. l. 4. c. 22. As Calvin in Epist. ad Sado­letum & de Necessi. Refor. Eccles. Zanchius Epist. ad Eli­zab. Regin am Angl. & in Epist. ad Grin­dal Archiep. Cant. Isaac Casaub. Epist. ad Reg. Jacob. ante Exer. Baron Moulin. Ep. ad Epis. Winto. Beza Epist. ad Grin­dal Archiep. Cant. Pet. Martyr ad Juelli Apolog. praefat. Isa. 57.1. Psal. 116.15. these British Churches, yet died not of old age, or onely inward decays in the vitals, but by force and outward violence; which government in its due constitution no Christian or reformed Church, (not wholly under a democratick or popular spirit) yea no one eminent re­formed Divine but did highly approve and desire the happiness to enjoy, as hath been made evident by their writings. But no testimony new or old, no reason or Scripture, no sense of justice or civility, no publick honour of Church or State can preserve where men are resolved to destroy good and all. This is certainly a just ground of great and better lamentation to those that lay to heart [Page 83]the licentious fedities, indignities, insolencies, popular confusions, and all sorts of irreligions, which must necessarily follow the want of due government in any Church, yea and the extirpation of that which is not more reverend for its primitive Institution and Catholick descent from the Apostles, then for its excellent use and admirable constitution, carrying with it the truest and best proportions, as well as benefits of grave and authori­tative government, in which order and counsel make up compleat authority, the want of which as we have no cause much to rejoyce in or little to lament, so posterity both in Church and State will unfeignedly deplore.

3. Yea, when any men or women that are eminently good and gracious, wise and worthy, are taken away either immaturely in their strength, or very many of them in a little times, these are Gods warnings, which are to be laid to heart; for the death of the righteous (poor or rich) is pretious in the fight of the Lord, and should be so in the sense of all good men: they many times portend some great evil to come; when God pulls off his chief Jewels, it is a sign he means shortly to strip and undress a Church or Nation of their ornaments and defences. When men take off the principal and noblest parts of a fair ship, the main-masts, rudders, prow, and upper decks, it argues that they intend to break it quite in pieces, or to take it much lower and abase it. So is it when God pulls up those (repagula) sluces and banks, which either keep off inundations of judgements, or dayly discharge the superfluities of epidemick sins, by their prayers and tears for the sins of the people. When Lot is out of Sodom, and Noah shipped in Gods Ark, then fire and flood is to be expected.

4. When our Parents, Fathers or Mothers, are taken away, though in a good old age, as Jacob, yet they may (frigidam suffundere) cast cold water by their deaths upon the varieties, heats, luxuries, and confidences of their young heirs and successors, who are prone to live as if they could never die out of this world, when yet they see [Page 84]their roots die, sure the branches cannot be everlasting. It was a notable Instance of filial sympathy which a son of the Duke of Montpensier shewed, who coming to his fathers monument in Italy at Puzzolo, where he had in the French wars died, being killed by ill air and incon­veniencies, the young Gentleman could not bear the memory of his dead father, but amidst infinite passions and tears dies upon his fathers Tomb, Guicciardin Hist. lib. 5. p. 261. as Guicciardin reports of certainty. Yea, although estates, honours, and inhe­ritances do descend upon men by the death of any, yet they may lay this to heart, that the more talents thou hast the greater account thou must give to God. Luke 12.48. It is not con­siderable as to true, internal, and eternal comfort, what lands, moneys, honours, and titles a man hath, but how wisely and nobly, how piously and charitably he useth all things. The accession of estate is but more fewel cast upon a fire, that will at last consume riotous and inor­dinate livers. A man needs not much to be holy and happy; for a man may maintain all the vertues at a cheaper rate then any one vice: nothing of competency is too little for a virtuous mind, and nothing of plenty is suffi­cient to a vain and vicious spender. As dumbness had been a mercy to swearers, to profane and filthy speakers, so had poverty been riches to many a riotous liver, whose making was his marring, Luke 15.13. as the Prodigals having his portion in his own hand utterly undid him. The more honour and estate any one is master of, the more he had need be master of himself, of his lusts and passions; for riotous expenses will end with Dives his gluttony, in eter­nal poverty, and such extream necessities as shall ever­lastingly want a drop of comfort; there being no hope that God will bestow upon those men or women the blessings of eternity, which have been such debauched abusers of these blessings which are momentary: such as have not been faithful stewards to Gods glory and the worlds good in the little (comparatively) of this worlds unrighteous mammon (as our Saviour tells us) how can they expect, Buke 16.11. when they come to die, that they should be [Page 85]trusted with eternal riches or honours, which are the re­wards of well doing, and recompenses of comely suffering.

5. If an excellent wife or husband are parted by death, who long lived, or were likely to live, as turtles in a peaceful sweetness and unspotted society, being of one mind and one heart in the Lord; joying each others joyes, and grieving one anothers griefs; who had nothing to envy or desire (beyond that love and content which they mu­tually enjoyed) save only the love of God, and the frui­tion of their blessed Saviour in the Kingdom of heaven; A blessed pair, who so lived that they were dayly ready and preparing to die, having nothing to give them any regret at death but only the leaving each other in such a solitude for a season, as none but God could supply: I need not tell these how they ought to lay to heart eithers death in point of humanity; the care must be not to lay it too much to heart, 1 Thes. 4.13. not to sorrow as meer men and women without hope, lest they be swallowed up with too much grief. A moderate mourning in such occasions is neither uncomly, nor unholy, nor unwholesome, but as the over­flowings of land-floods is beneficial to low grounds when they seasonably abate and leave them dry; for if waters stay too long on the richest bottomes they make them cold, squallid, course, and barren: Non amissi sed' praemissi. the like effects follow mo­derate and excessive sorrows upon any worldly occasion whatsoever. They must consider each other not as lost, but as gone a little before in the same way to happiness.

6. So in the loss of children, dear by nature, deserving by duty; especially if our only child; more if in the prime and pregnancy of their age; most if the hopes and honour of their families, the props and pillars of their houses; these wounds in the delights of our eyes are prone to go too deep to our hearts, to fester and gangrene to something of irreligous discontent and sowr­ness toward God, as if, like Jonah, Jonah 4.9. we did well to be angry with God, and frown upon heaven for the loss of a gourd, which had its being from God, (as St. Austin says of his pregnant son who died at 14.) but its sin and mortality [Page 86]from thy self: nor can any parents tell how sharp a thorn that child might prove in their eyes and hearts afterward, which now seems so fair, sweet, and lovely a flower to their eyes. In such cases not only the highest cordials of divine comforts and Christian hopes, but the strictest charms of Gods commands must be applied, lest we turn Gods physick into our poyson, and by a sullen stubbornness turn a fathers cqastisement to the sharp punishment of an enemy: remember God is so much beforehand with us by his bounty, that his withdrawings can never be an injury to us: He, as the spring and occan hath more right in any streams then the channel through which they pass; as all runs to him, so they come from him. So that after Job's example God is to be blessed taking as well as giving. Consider again, that parents sins are oft visited by chil­drens immature deaths, 1 Kings 14.13. as was threatned against Eli: yea, sometimes hopeful childron are cut off because some good thing was found in them, as in Jereboam's childs case. Sometimes they are the Idols of jealousie, which take up parents hearts too much, and therefore are taken away from them, that there might be less distance between them and God their heavenly Father, Ʋnicum bonum, verum, sum­mum, immuta­bile, immar­cessibile, quod amittere non potes, quam­diu amare non desinis. Aug. who hath the wisedom of a father and the tenderness of a mother, weaning us oft from those brests which we were too fond of, and out of which we sucked more wind then wholesome nourish­ment. All losses are mercies which end in the souls gain; nor can that be a losse in any creature-comfort, if it finds recompenses in his love who is the only immutable and unloseable good.

As for vain or vicious parents (who are rather perem­ptores quam parentes) when their children are taken away from their contagion, I know not how they can have any greater summons from heaven, or motives on earth to move their hearts to speedy repentance and preparation for death, then when they see their prime branches lopped off, as presages that the whole bulk of the tree, root and branch, shall ere long be hewn down, and without re­pentance cast into unquenchable fire.

7. Last of all; in the death of such as are remarkable for nothing but their sin and wickedness, for the disso­luteness of their lives, the stupidity or despair of their deaths, dying unawares, and cut off by unexpected stroaks of heaven because their sin was great before God, it may be a violent, immature, and preposterous fate, yea, it may be (flagrante crimine) as Absalom in his unnatural rebellion against his Prince and parents, 2 Sam. 18. or possibly by the hand of human justice, or by private duels, or by their own debaucheries, which are a self-assasination; even these are not lightly to be laid to heart in any family, kindred, or acquaintance, or neighbourhood, because they are like Gods thunderbolts, not every days terror, nor striking every one, therefore the more to be dreaded by all, though the punishment falls but on one; Poena ad unum, terror ad omnes though the ruine falls upon the head but of one, yet the news may justly make the ears to tingle and hearts to tremble of all that see and hear of it. No man does, deserves, or suffers from God, or man, or himself, so bad, but the same might be exemplified in thee and me to the astonished world; we might be the beacons on fire that should scare all the Country, far more then any house on fire can do. We read of David, though otherways of a mind great and gracious, 2 Sam. 18.33. full of courage and constancy becoming the majesty of a pious King, yet he takes the dreadful fate of his son Absalom so to heart (the three streams of parental, penitent, and pious affections meeting in one current) that he forgets the comfort of victory, his own and the pub­lick safety, the suppressing of so dangerous and popular a rebellion, the restitution of his throne and dominion, which my young Master (under the colour of doing speedier and better justice, or reforming publick disor­ders) had almost snatched from him, not without the ready applause and assistance of vulgar levity, giddiness, vileness and ingratitude to such a Prince; yet all these weighty concernments sink in Davids soul, and only grief swims uppermost, publikely manifesting its either excess or just violence in words too high indeed for any Tragedy, [Page 88]and never heard from any father or son in the case of a Kingdom, Would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son. The loss of a good child is tolerable, of a wicked one is intolerable, especially if bad by neglect or example, 2 Sam. 12.23. because he is eternally lost. David comforted himself, He should go to that Infant, whose innocency gave hopes of its safety, though it were the fruit of his sin; but in Asaloms desperate case he deplores (geminam & aeternam mortem) a double and eternal death; and this alone may serve to justifie the so great passions of Davids soul in that particular. Yet besides this, Absaloms sins and sufferings made secret reflexions upon the fathers offences, which had not only occasioned but deserved such unna­tural fires to burn in his own bowels, which were only to be quenched with their own blood; nor had David been only excessive in his rebellious presumings against God, but defective too in his reproving of his sons: hence sad effects of paternal indulgence toward dangerous and comminitting children, whose sins are imputable in great part to their parents, 1 Sam. 3.13. and so their sufferings on all sides are but the punishments of such unzealous fondnesses as Eli used to the ruine of himself and his sons, yea of his whole house, by intolerable toleration of such impieties as will certainly overthrow roof and foundation, root and branch of any family under heaven.

Would we have less cause to mourn in the death of any one we love, endeavour to make them as good as we can while they are with us: however, having done our duty, and expressed the best evidences of a true and faith­ful love to them in order to their eternal good, we shall with more comfort and patience bear their death, which many times gives us greater regrets for our own neglect of that Christian duty and holy love which we owe to the souls of our relations then for their corporal absence; the one being reparable, the other never either in this or the world to come.

I have now finished these instances of particular cases, in which the death of any is to be laid to heart, propor­tionably [Page 89]to the weight of the becasion; whose circumstances or manner of dying (as the feathers of some birds) are sometimes as heavy as their bodies and substances.

It were too much for me to drive this discourse (which in the whole texture of it is pathetick and applicative) to a further thinness or fineness, like leaf-gold, by multi­plied uses; which are there necessary where (as in the riveting or clinching of nails) we suspect the doctrines have not taken good hold on the hearers minds and hearts: of which in this case I am not very jealous as to the most of you, whose affections may be read in your attention.

There are only three Uses, which I conceive may not impertinently be added as advantages to, or deductions from the main of that I have hitherto set down.

1. Ʋse. To reprove the unchristian, barbarous, and in­human temper of those hearts which are made of flint not flesh, who are so far from laying to heart with any humble, mortifying, and compassionating reflexions the death of any, that they either carry it with a childish and stupid indifferency, or with a vulgar formality, or in some cases with a proud unchristian and unmanly insolency, re­joycing and triumphing in the death of those who possibly were thought their betters, or equals, or rivals, or ene­mies.

As Ahaz in his distresses sinned yet more against the Lord, 2 Chro. 28.22. so do some men and women too amidst those Funerals which concerned them most to lay to heart. How doth covetousness, ambition, envy, and lasciviousness make many men and women unfeignedly rejoyce in the death of Parents, Children, Husbands, Wives, Rivals, and Princes, that they can hardly suppress their odious joys, and un­seasonable contentments from breaking forth into such abhorred expressions as Vitellius, a most ungenerous Prince, and profligate person used, when after the battel ended (which in civil wars, as that was, makes even victory it self sad and ashamed) was heard to say, when he rode amidst the now putid and unburied carkasses of the slain Citizens, The smell of dead strangers corps is [Page 90]pleasing, Bonus odor ho­stis occisi, at melior civis. but most of dead Roman Citizens, being my enemies: A speech which Suetonius brands with a stigma of just-infamy; so infinitely distant from the clemency of Julius Caesar, Qui (que) dolet quoties cogitur esse ferox. who ever in the chase commanded to spare the Roman Citizens, and was unfeignedly grieved to use necessary severities, which are next door to cru­elty.

Poor mortals forget in their revengeful impatiencies, military jollities, and victorious triumphs, how soon the wheel may come about, and the same measure may be meeted to them, Judg. 1.6. which they meet to others. Adoni-Bezek may live to see his own thumbs and great toes one off. Should not we tremble before the great and terrible God, when we see his judgments so executed, that our selves are sometimes made the sad executioners of them upon others, who it may be in Gods sight are not greater sinners then our selves. [...]. Stobaeus. Matth. 5.28. They that joy in anothers calanity, or insult in their death (though just) doe adopt a murther, and commit man-slaughter in their hearts, as Christ speaks of Adultery. As a Judge (who pleaseth his private spite and malice in that ( [...]) most depraved passion, which sucks honey out of anothers gall) while he justly condemnes a malefactor to die; he may be a just Judge according to the Law of man, but is unrighteous according to the Gospel of Christ, which commends cha­rity and compassion, tenderness and bowels to Christians, beyond all burnt sacrifices.

Gods High Court of Justice will judge even judges themselves; and Death will in a few years, not only con­quer, but triumph over those that are lifted up above the fate and pitch of poor mortals in their gloryings over an others ruines. Let him that stands upon a mountain ne­ver so high and fast, remember the day of death is com­ing; he shall also fall and perish like one of the Princes. Yet mens sins are not to be measured by the evil or seem­ing calamity of their death, but by the open wickedness and impieties of their lives. The same fate may befall good and bad; they may die in peace, as it is said of [Page 91] Josiah, who are slain in warre, and of Zedekiah, 2 Kin. 22.20. Jer. 34.5. who died blind and in captivity. The death of men is the more to be laid to heart, by how much less they deser­ved it from men, and more from God.

It serves to exhort and excite every one of us to search and try our own hearts, Vse 2 to examine how far this or ano­ther Funeral is gone beyond our eyes and eares, so as it is or shall be laid to our hearts. What fear, what trem­bling, what holy purposes, and what humble resolutions are raised in thee? What sins mortified, what vanities left, what neglects repaired, what graces increased, what improving of life, what preparings for death by a con­stant and conscientious use of all duties, opportunities, and means, proper for so great ends as aym at eternity. Your mourning with never so great pomp and state, yea with unfeigned grief, out of humane and momentary reflexions onely, is not that just improvement which God expects. As Fullers earth cleanseth spots of cloaths, and Wood-ashes rince foul vessels; so should the contem­plation of anothers death, their dust and ashes, help to cleanse our souls. In vain do you wear black mourning on your bodies, if you still keep (pullatas & atratas ani­mas) black and sullied soules, soyled and scorched with the inordinate flames of lust, pride, malice, covetousness, &c. which are the soot of hell. These sine black garments are but in stead of courser sackeloth, the fittest coverings (indeed) for your bodies of sin and death; but they must put you in mind to get your soules cloathed in white garments, the robes of Christs righteousness, for justifica­tion and sanctification, without which thou wilt follow this corps to thy grave also, with cause enough and too much for such everlasting mournings as admit no comfor­ters or comforts.

Let thy mourning be not only civil, formal, and hu­mane, but Christian, humble, penitent: Acts 20.25. As Jacob to the Angel, so let not a Funeral goe without a blessing; as Felix at St. Pauls Preaching, so let thy heart tremble at these visible as well as audible instructions of death [Page 92]and judgment to come. Retine to thy closet after these Solemnities, and earnestly pray to God to give thee Fu­neral graces, that by an holy Christian Chymistry thou mayst extract spirits out of dead bones. Doe not play with Death, lest it bite or sting thee next; as that serpent did a merry Greek of old; who jestingly putting his hand into the jawes of a Lion, that was figured of stone for an ornamental statue in one of the Temples of the Gods, was so stung with a scorpion which lay in the mouth of that Lion that he presently died, having first laughed with his companions at that monition he had the night before in his dream, as he told them, that he should next day be destroyed by a Lion; which beast never haunted that place, and so he thought himself most secure. Death many times lies then nearest us, and in wait for us, when we least mind the monitions or credit the warnings which may by providence be given us.

I cannot but make use of this Text as a just vindica­tion of this and the like religious solemnities at Christian Burials, Vse 3 against those severe Aristarchus'es and super-re­forming Reformers, who cast most supercilious browes, and use very severe invectives against all Funeral Ser­mons, and much more against all Scriptures read, ex­hortations, and prayers, used by and to the living at the graves and interments of the dead; by which tetrick austerities they seem to me not only to reproach the piety, prudence, and charity of this deserved, famous, and well reformed Church, in its sacred offices and appointments on such occasions, which were seriously approved, hap­pily established and used for above an hundred yeares by the most noble, wise, and religious persons in this Nation of all degrees, with no small benefit of piety to the li­ving, especially the common people; but they crosse also the permissions, yea the Institutions even of God him­self in his holy word, as by Solomons pen here, so by the Apostles afterward, injoyning us to Preach, and so to pray in season and out of season, to doe all things to edi­fication, and with decency, becomming Christians as well [Page 93]as men, especially in such eases as most affect the living, in reference both to their own & others mortal state; which dasheth all faith, hope, and holy industry of a godly life, the best men being of all men most miserable, 1 Cor. 15.19. if there be not a frequent and full Antidote against our dying and sorrowing condition duely applyed from the holy word of God, as to the happy and hopeful state of such as live and die in the Lord, 1 Cor. 14, 26, 40 2 Tim. 4.2. both as to their spirits which return to God, and their bodies which rest in hopes of an happy resurrection to glory. For which purpose we see the Scri­pture hath furnished the Church with as many clear, 1 Thess. 4.13. See the long discourse of the Resurre­ction, 1 Cor. 15. large, and pregnant places to establish the faithful in that Article of their faith the bodies resurrection, as any other point whatsoever. There needs no other Form of Li­turgy, of exhortation, or consolation, or prayer, or gra­tulation, or benediction, or comprecation, then what is guided by and grounded upon the Scripture. Nor was there other prescribed or used in the Church of England by any discreet Minister.

If such sad occasions may (nay must) in many respects be duely and devoutly laid to heart by the living, as I have shewed you; what hinders, I beseech you, but that Sermons, instructions, exhortations, consolations, and prayers too may be used at them, in order to apply them most neerly to, and work most effectually upon the hearts of the living: And then especially, when the hearts of men and women, of parents and children, of neighbours and friends, yea of enemies and strangers too, are most prone to be moved and affected to good purpose; some being softened by common sympathies of humanity, o­thers steeped in teares by their more indeared relations and tender affections, the whole assembly being, as it were, in the bath and furnace, more pliable, humble, and melting, then at any other time. If we Christians only brought the eyes, the hearts, and senses of beasts to these Funeral-occasions, it were venial to give our chil­dren, parents, friends, husbands, wives, kindred, and our selves no other honour or comfort then the burial of [Page 94]an asse, or of a dead dog would afford and require; or if we came together only as so many Gymnosophists, Brach­mans, and Philosophers, or so many Heathens, Indians, and meer men, without hope, and not as Christians, who have much to learn, to hear, to say, to pray, and to pra­ctice upon these texts of mortality, not only as to natural death, but as to the spiritual and eternal death, as to judgment to come, as to a resurrection and after recom­penses, their scrupulous restraint were excusable: but, blessed be God, what a field of excellent matter, as to saith and manners, as to hope and comfort, in reference to both dead and living Christians, is there to be gone through, to be beaten oft over from the Scriptures sug­gestion and direction, that the living the living might duely, effectually, and frequently lay those things to heart, which are presented to them by every Funeral-occasion, but not easily improved by the generality of people, if they have nothing else but a dumb shew and silent pro­cession at their Funerals.

Object. But some are afraid of superstition, lest we pray for the dead, or praise God on their behalf beyond that ancient gratulation for their departure in the faith, and that comprecation for a blessed consummation of the King­dome of Christ and all his Church at and after the Re­surrection, which is under a divine promise upon all good Christians hopes, hearts, and future expectations; blessings certainly no less lawful to be prayed for, as the ancient Churches did, then desired and expected by all the faithful living, as I believe they are by all the Saints departed.

Answ. To these Objecters I answer. Let them for­bear Funeral Sermons, exhortations, and prayers, till they get more wit to understand their own, good and more charity then to grudge others their Christian liber­ty either to do or get good in such wayes as Gods word and the customes of this Christian well reformed Church allow us. This Indulgence I easily grant to such as are simply and honestly scrupulous; but to others, that are [Page 95]rudely captious and contemptuous, yea ridiculously clamo­rous and contumacious against any thing which they doe not form and fancy, though they give no reason why they scruple or condemn it, my answer is, as that of our Saviour to the Pharisees, You hypocrites, Matth. 16.3.can you discern the face of the sky, and can you not discern the signs of the times? Are you so fearful of praying for the dead, that you will not pray for and with the living? Can you en­dure the pomp of a Funeral, and not the piety of it? Can you bear with Trumpets, Banners, Escucheons, and not with the word of God, with Sermons and Prayers, which sanctifie all things in themselves lawful and expe­dient? Is not sanctity the best part of Christians Solemni­ties, who in all temporal things must look to things eter­nal? Are you so afraid of superstition, that you grudge us our devotions and holy exercises, as God gives us more signal calls and occasions? Can you endure He­raldry, and not the Liturgy, in this part of it which sets forth very handsomely and fully to the living, out of the lively oracles of God, those most pertinent places and ex­cellent truths which make most for the good hope, com­fort, and instruction of the living, both in respect of their dead relations and themselves? Take heed you swallow not camels, while you strain at gnats. If you think a dead Christian, that dies in the faith of Christ, and in the com­pass of our charity, differs not from a dead Heathen, or a dead beast; if their spirits goe all one way with their bo­dies to the dust; if neither they dying, nor you living, have any lively hope of a resurrection, without which all your faith living is but dead and in vain; if you know not how to make a holy, rational, and religious use of their death, much good may you have with those dumb shewes which you have lately taken up, with your silent solemnities and processions at the Funerals of your Chri­stian friends; much comfort may you have in your burnt wine and biscuits, in your black cloaks and ribbands, in your mourning gloves and boxes of sweet-meats, which good you somtimes get & gape for at Funerals. These are [Page 96] toyes fit for children, not to be denied or envied you; only please to give those Christians leave (who may with­out vanity think themselves, by Gods mercy, as well ad­vised and consciencious in their Religion as your selves, yea and more cautious of superstition then you seem to be, Eccles. 7.16. Be not righte­ous overmuch, neither make thy self over­wise. who are thus of late shrunk to be over-righteous, and negatively superstitious) I say give us leave to use such Christian liberty and duties as God hath allowed, Reli­gion encourageth, and experience of pious proficiency highly recommends to us, by the vote and suffrage of your and our pious Progenitors in the Church of Eng­land, which in this, as many other excellent appoint­ments, hath most undeservedly and indignely suffered, infinitely below its former reformed worth, its admired constitution, and most enviable condition, through the ignorance, petulancy, and insolency of some pitiful pre­tenders (God knows) for the most part of plebeian spi­rits and mechanick proportions; who undertake thus se­verely to catechise and discipline not only the Nobility, Gentry, and Commonalty of this Nation, but the Cler­gy and Ministry of this Church, which was not exceeded in all the world: as if they never knew how to spell the A b c, or primer of Religion (for so I esteem these out­ward orders and exercises of it) until some new Masters had lent them their sharp fescues, which were first made of a Scotch scabbard.

This vindication as I owe to the honour of this Nati­on, to the piety of this Reformed Church, to my own calling and conscience; so I cannot omit to ground it upon this Text, and express it upon this occasion, as very proper methods and pious means used to lay those things to heart which Solomon here commends, and the wise­dome of God requires of the living in their respects to the dead, who in my judgment are far more becoming to the interests of both living and dead Christians, com­mitted to their graves by the sound of the Evangelical trumpet, setting forth the hopes of both dead and living, by reading, prayer, or exhortation, then by those uncouth [Page 97] soundings of military trumpets, which seem only to add to the triumphs and pomp of death, but not to the hope, or faith, or comfort, or manners of Christians. If it be matter of civil state and decorum to persons of great quality, yet I see no sense or reason they should justle out of the Church any offices of Christian piety befitting the dead or the living.

Thus I have done with the Text, and am now to give you (Right Honorable and Beloved) some little model of this house of mourning to which you are come this day, which is greater in many degrees then you are wonted to go to. This sad occasion (if rightly understood) will make its own way to your hearts, when I have given you some account of those special regards for which it doth de­serve not only a more then ordinary mourning, empha­tick sympathies from you, but to make deeper impressions upon your spirits. And this I shall do briefly, not (tan­quam conductitius orator, & venalis praeco) or as a man (professoriae linguae & truncae manus, as Agrippina called Seneca) no, I thank God I am above any such snares and servitudes of soul as will for fear or favour flatter either the dead or the living. What I shall speak of the dead shall be words of soberness and truth, as in the presence of God and of you his people ( [...]) as a lover of truth and virtue, as an assertor of such honest and ingenuous freedom in speak­ing, as dares to oppose and confute, if need be, vulgar errors and false surmises. And however I am most un­feignedly sorry, as a man, for this sad occasion, yet I am, as a Minister, so far glad of this present imployment, be­cause, however I may be less proportionable to its di­mensions and your expectations, yet I have (hereby) the opportunity given me to express such an honour, love, and respect to this noble person's name and memory now dead, as (I confess) was one of my highest ambitions in this world.

Not only as he stood related a Grand-child, Son, and Heir apparent to that Right Honorable Family, whose [Page 98]happiness I have rather seriously wished, then been able ever effectually to promote. But taking him in his private sphear and personal confinements, you will give me leave to own him as a Gentleman many ways endeared to my particular love, care, honour, and prayers; first by long acquaintance, from his cradle to his coffin, which breeds secret and tacit endearments on our hearts, as Ivy that roots where it is long contiguous; Next by neerer and domestick conversation, he living four years in my house, with his Tutor and other attendants befitting his qua­lity at those years, when being but a youth of 13 or 14 years, he carried himself with so much civility, modesty, ingenuity, and manliness, as made his company both worthy and fit for men; so little of petulancy, pride, or morose­ness, incident to young Gentlemen of high parts and ex­pectations, that he seemed by his gentleness, candor, and humility, as if he were ignorant both of his own high and noble quality, and also of others usual but ignoble vani­ties and vapourings, which ill become any men, but most of all those that pretend to any true honour or generous extraction.

The confidence of his noble parents and relations com­mitting him thus to my care and superintendency, gave me an opportunity as welcome to me as any could have befaln me, which was to discharge a solemn promise I made to his most noble Mother seven years before, not only with civility, but with sanctity, at her earnest and importune desiring of me to assure her, while I lived, I would not be wanting, what in me lay, to his honour and happiness; She also then bespake his living with me, when ever it should be opportune for his breeding, and my re­ception of him.

Gods providence so ordered things, that what was passio­nately desired, and seriously promised, in time came to pass: in which I need not tell you how much the grate­ful memory of her most deserving virtue commanded me to contribute all the care and discretion I was capable of, for the absolving of my soul to God and the dead in that [Page 99]particular; that I might answer and follow with my best endeavours of counsels, prayers, and examples, those thoughts of virtue, piety, and honour, which his excellent Mother had (living) expressed toward him as her only child: a Son I am sure of her cares and counsels, prayers and tears, both living and dying; so oft and infinitely solicitous have I seen her noble and pious soul that this her Son might prove a person of such virtue and piety as are the only true foundations of temporal and eternal honour.

From my domestick care of him he was sent (much at my instance and perswasion) to Trinity Colledge in Cam­bridge, continuing there two years, that he might first add learning to his honour, (under the conduct of an excellent Governour, Mr. Mole, sometime Ʋniversity Orator, whom I cannot mention without such honour and love as are due to modest and most deserving worth.) Next, that he might add Honour to Learning, especially in an age where Ignorance, and Rusticity began very rudely to vie with both the famous Ʋniversities, decrying all good Learning and useful studies to make way for pitiful ra­ptures and silly enthusiasms, that is, putting out the two great lights of heaven that hedg-creeping gloe-worms might shine the better; that instead of a sage Nobility, a prudent Gentry, a learned Clergy, judicious Lawyers, and know­ing Physitians, the honour, civility, piety, the souls, the estates, the Laws and Religion, the bodies and lives of this so renowned a Church and populous a Nation might be exposed to the wills and hands of John-a-Leidens and Jackstraw's, to Cnipperdolins and Muncers, to Hackets and Naylors, to Lack-latin preachers, pettifogging Barretors, and impudent Mountebanks, all of them perfect Impo­stors in their several professions. A project so unchristian, so inhuman, so barbarous, so diabolical, as suted no interest but that of the kingdom of darkness; which the wise and merciful God hath hitherto defeated, and I hope ever will, if he have any favour toward England beyond Turkey, Tartary, or Barbary.

From Cambridge he travelled a second time into France, where he had been before he came to me, abiding there above two years, and gaining such improvements as are usually most aimed at by young Gallants, because most conspicuous and generally accepted by all persons of civility and breeding, who are glad to see that English roughness, moroseness, and surliness, (which commonly like rust, attends Country Gentlemen of only domestick and home-spun education) taken off by that politure, douceur, debonaireté, and gentlenesse, which forraigne conversation (in which young Masters are least flattered) contributes to Gentlemen that have any thing of candor and suppleness in their nature. In all places abroad his demeanour was generally such as became a person of his years and quality, which is testified to me by a Gentle­man that is ( [...]) worthy of credit, who attended him in all his motions.

During his absence in France (that the world may see my respects to him were not flashy and formal, but serious and real) I had prepared a large volume for him against that time in which he could best bear and entertain it, (for even little books are great burthens to young Gallants, when their overactive spirits make then most busily idle) This great work I had furnished and fortified with all the strength of reason and religion, of virtue and honour, of grace and civility, of useful humanity and solid Divi­nity (gained by my reading or experience) in order to satisfie all his relations to God and man, yea to exceed all the expectations of his noble friends, who could not but expect and wish an accomplished Son to repair that loss which the world had of his excellent Mother. The matter of this composure I had advanced (as much as I could) with all the comely beauties of Oratory, and majesty of language, to avoid (what might be) all tedi­ousness in the most curious and coy Readers of so copious a variety: the whole fabrick was both founded and formed after that great and goodly model, or Idea, of all true worth for judicious piety and useful virtue, which [Page 101]was most remarkable, and for many years observed by me in his noble Mother; that by his beholding so fair a figure, and so neer an example of piety, virtue, and honour, he might not only grow in love with it, but (by the secret charm of reading) be transformed into it.

But my attending the setledness of his station and con­dition of life (as most proper for such a present) caused my deferring so long the publishing of it, even untill the fatal closing of his eyes (for whose sight it was chiefly designed) hath now condemned it to correspond with that silence and darkness to which he is gone as to this world.

I now appeal to all Hearers and Readers (of any Nobleness and ingenuity) whether I am not excusable if I do with more then ordinary resentments of sorrow lay to heart the death of this young Nobleman, to whom I was so truly devoted and justly indeared. After that rate of care and kindness which the blessed St. John ex­pressed so far to a young man of great hopes (as the Ec­clesiastical Histories tell us) that when the good old man heard his dear depositum had deserted his breeding, Euseb. Histo. l. 3. c. 20. and endangered his soul, he not only severely reproved that Bishop (for Bishops above Presbyters were so early) to whose custody he had committed him, but himself in his decrepit years (true love never growing old, or cold and infirm) sought him, found him, followed him, overtook him, overcame him, first with the young mans self-con­fusions, then with his own paternal prayers and tears, which never ceased till he had recovered so welcome a captive to Christ and his Church. So loth was that holy man, and so was I (though vastly short of that beloved Disciple) that either the labour of love should be lost upon any, or that any we love should be lost for want of any labour for their good; no defensative being too much to preserve a soul from the snares of sin, and the hazzards of damnation.

After he was returned into England, I shall but fur­ther afflict my self to tell you, how (amidst all the wel­come [Page 102]receptions, visits, and caresses which he received or payed to his many noble and neer relations) he forgot not (by any juvenile or supercilious negligence) to ex­press to me and mine such civility, kindness, and noble gratitude, as shewed both living and dying that he had a real value, love, and confidence of me. I confess I un­feignedly deplore my loss of him, not that I either hoped or expected any secular advantages by his private or pub­lique station beyond those civil courtesies which I have oft enjoyed from his other noble relations, which if I did never deserve, yet I hope I did never abuse. As for publique favours, attainable by any mans mediation, I understand my self and the times so well in the point of preferment as not to look toward any, which are now rare to he seen in England for any Ecclesiastick of my proportions: nor am I so vain as to seek in vain those little great things for my self further then an Evangelical and unenviable plow in a poor Country village; where (as in most populous and plebeian Auditories) much good seed is lost, much study and pains frustrated, by falling on the thority, stony, and high-way grounds. But my work and wages, I hope, are with Him who is a merciful Master, and most impartially bountiful Patron to all faithful Labourers in his husbandry, among which I beseech God I may be found one, in whom ability, industry, and fidelity may help to keep up the authority of Evangelical Ministry from being trodden under the feet of plebeian petulancy, and mechanicke insolency, under which Incubusses in many places it is miserably faln. No, my grief is partly that I have not so improved the opportunities of his life and my interest with him, as possibly I might and should had I been aware (though I confess for some months past I was jealous) he would ere long deprive me and all the world of all capacities to serve him; which is the other part of my sorrow: this fear made me add of late such frequencies to my visits as I thought not unacce­ptable, still aiming to catch those (mollissima tempora fandi) seasonable advantages in respect of his urgent in­firmities [Page 103]as might do him most good, in being his re­membrancer for the main matters of life and death, that one thing necessary, his eternal interests, in comparison of which all things of Houses, Lands, Honours, Wife, Children, Crowns and Kingdoms, are as losse and dung.

He seemed not to expect a long life since he could judge what it was to live; by I know not what secret presage, he would oft say in the height and vigor of his youth, He should not live beyond his Mothers age, who died under 27. and he under 24. God you see hath verified what was foretold, I believe more beyond all their expectations that knew him then his own, who certainly had some secret monition, which (I hope) he did not wholly neglect, though (possibly) he did not so much regard it as the event would have required, having the hopes and flatter­ing confidences of youth and spirit yet attending him.

This possibly encouraged him (as is usual) the more earnestly to pursue those allowed contentments of life, which he conceived might most contribute to his honour and happiness, then it may be he would have done if he had foreseen the speedy and impendent period of his life: and how much more necessary for his true interests, the eternal peace and happiness of his soul, the gracious im­provements of his short time had been beyond the most deserving consort, and most splendid fortune in the world? the enjoyment of which God soon deprived him of, and (I hope) so far weaned his heart from them, and raised it above them, as became one that was shortly to leave them, after he had but a few months beheld them, not without much anxiety and bodily infirmity.

A great and remarkable instance to confute all the glory, hopes, and confidence of us poor mortals, who at our best estate are altogether vanity, Psal. 39.5, 6. disquieting our selves in a vain shadow till we turn meer shadows and cyphers to this world. Let young sparks and Gallants of both sexes see their faces in the pieces of this, sometime so fair and fulgent, now broken and defaced glass or mirroir. If parentage and descent, if Nobility and honour, if youth [Page 104]and bravery, if courtly splendors and grandeurs, if an ample fortune and revenue, if human friendships and highest favours, if neerest alliance to a person he thought most deserving of his love and most capable to make him happy in the highest point of human felicity, if experience of virtuous love, conjugal respect, extraordinary tender­ness, and passionate prudence, which he had (to comfort him) in his long and killing infirmity, immediately suc­ceeding his so desired nuptials; if any one or all of these endearments and decoyes of life had signified any thing to the preserving of it, or could have been advantaged by the care and skill of excellent Physitians, this young and noble Gentleman had not now been the subject of my discourse and your attention, of all our sorrows and tears, yea stupors and astonishments: for I assure you he is an object not lightly to be laid to all our hearts, and espe­cially to the hearts of all his neerest kindred and rela­tions.

Warning all that have seen, Isa. 40.6. 1 Tim. 6.17. or shall hear or read the sudden blastings of this goodly flower (which is as all flesh, but grass) not to trust in this vain world, not in uncertain riches, Amos 6.3. Quamvis a Diis immortabibus prope absumus mortales, tardè tamen ad Deo­rum cognitio­nem, cultum, & usum accedi­mus; nisi aut maris tempe­statibus jactati, aut terrae mo­tibus perculsi, aut vitae infir­mitatibus ve­xati, aut mortis terroribus attoniti potius quàm adducti. honours, beauties, loves, relations, selves, not to put far from them the evil day (which is indeed never far from them) even in their sense, that is, the day of sick­ness, death, and judgement, and in Gods sense it is then most upon them when they live least to God and their consciences, and most to their sinful lusts and pleasures. Such as are conscious their days and hearts are evil to­ward God, may justly fear his hand against them to cut them off from the land of the living.

I know (as one of the ancients notably observed) al­though we are ( [...]) neer of kin to God, and he is not far from any of us (as the Apostle preacheth to the Athenians, Acts 17.27.) in being and bounty, in mercies or in judgements; yea he is neerest to us, round about and within us (intimior intimo nostri, as St. Bernard) by his omniscience and exact advertence of all our ways, words, thoughts and deeds, yet we naturally affect a reserve [Page 105]a strangeness and distance, yea an enmity toward God, that (if possible) he may not be in all our thoughts, who is, as the Psalmist saith, about our beds, and spieth out all our paths, Psal. 139.2. that we may live without him in this world, withoutwhom we can neither live, move, nor have our being.

It is very late, very slowly, Isa. 51.13. and but seldome that we come to the sense, service, and use of God, unless scared by tempests at Sea, or dreadful earthquakes, or bodily sufferings, or the terrours of death. It is a long time before the conceited ( [...]) self-sufficiency of youth, which swims in plenty, pleasure, and honour, Acts 14.17. can fancy any necessity of having or owning a God, for­getting the Lord that made them, and casting his com­mands behind their backs. Not that God is wanting to give them many witnesses of himself, and by many cords of a man to draw them to him; but the headiness, pride, and presumption of our own hearts, our lusts and hu­mours is such, that (like Sampson) we break all these cords of love and divine Philanthropy, the bonds of na­ture, providence, reason, conscience, Religion, and Bap­tism, in sunder.

So that it is a mercy of God if at any time he stops the fleetness of our youthful passions, which are prone to run wilde and counter to Gods blessed will, to our own consci­ences and welfare. I hope this noble young Gentleman had a serious and humble, yea a gracious and thankful sense of Gods merciful severities and indulgent afflictions. We are certainly undone if God be not better to us then we would have him; if, as a wise father, he doe not give us seasonable Physick as well as food. Who knows but his bodily infirmities might be an holy meanes to cure those of his soule? of which, as he could not but be conscious, so he did with a very pathetick, humble, and I hope, peni­tent unfeigned sense confess them to God and my self, and possibly to others.

His knowledge, as a Christian, was too great to suffer [...]im to be ignorant or sensless of his sins, whereof he [Page 106]stood guilty before God. He is very miserable that flat­ters himself to be without them, or is reniorseless for them. Who can know (that is, acknowledge) sufficiently, with penitent shame and sorrow, the transgressions and errors of his youth, as David saith Psal. 25.7. (Optimus ille qui minimis urgetur) as St. Jerome by his own experience cries out, He is happyest that is least overcome by them, most humbled for them, and strives most against them, till he hath quite overcome them.

Although I must profess to all the world my ignorance of any way either foul, riotous, notorious, scandalous, or debauched in him, as to swearing, profaneness, or luxury, in his later yeares, since he wrote man, and was out of his pupillage: not any thing (heretofore) did I observe or hear, beyond what is usual (but not there­fore venial) in most young persons, as quick passions, and such surprises of the beast and devil within us as are in­cident to high, yea all spirits; together with the usual methods of young Gentlemen, by sports and idle travellings to unravel (by their after-neglect, and forgetting of all li­terature and serious studies) whatever learning their former education had wrought for them and woven in them. He did acknowledge that he had sins enough to exercise Gods infinite mercy, and to need all good Christi­ans charity and prayers while he lived. Who is so hap­py as he can dispense with either of them? I know, after the rate not onely of our times (which are bad and loose enough) but of all times, that a little modesty and ci­vil restraint, short of the highest vices, seem a great ver­tue in young, great, and florid persons.

The impotent and impudent debanchery of many makes their folly outvye their fortunes, Magnitudinem fortune peccan­di licentia metiuntur. deform their Ho­nours, blaspheme their Baptism, corrupt the age in which they live, disdain their God, and damn their own with others soules; insomuch that many young people are ripe in sin while their years are yet green, and their ex­perience of things but very raw. Commonly men and women flatter themselves, as if they were birds of a rare [Page 107]feather, and jewels of oriental lustre, if they be but ci­vil, polite, formal, inoffensive to man; if they be but onely apishly petulant, scenically affected, and fulsomly vain, and not monstrously vicious. To expect any thing from them at those years that is learned, serious, studious, judicious, vertuous, generous, consciencious, truly reli­gious towards God, seems to them as unreasonable and unseasonable, as if one should look for ripe fruits in time of blossomes, or for harvest in the spring: as if life, time, strength, beauty, wit, and spirits, with all other talents which they have in their youth, were none of Gods gifts, nor any good use or account to be made of them more then children doe of their babies and rattles, to use and abuse them, to break and loose them. Whereas in­deed so soon as we begin to be capable to sin knowing­ly and reflexively, we ought to begin to repent seriously. The smitings of our hearts, and checks of conscience (which this Gentleman told me he ever had after any known fin) should be minded and religiously consi­dered as Gods gracious rebukes, as Christs looking back on Peter, which smote that rock so effectually that ri­vers of tears gushed out. As we are loth to be long or a little miserable, so we should be as loth to be long or little sinful. The civil and formal righteousness of Scribes and Pharisees will not bring us to the kingdome of heaven; it must be exceeded, or we shall be damned, both young and old. There must be Christian graces proportiona­ble to Christs doctrine, precepts, promises, baptism, suf­ferings, and love, to bring us to Christs glory. They are undone that are afraid or ashamed in their youth to be too good. As we cannot be too soon happy in our own sense, nor can we be too soon holy in Gods sense. Such as intend Gods glory and their own eternal welfare in earnest, must not flatter themselves in youth, as if a lit­tle good nature would goe a great way to save young men; because the highest praise (as Aristotle sayes) of young ones is ( [...]) to be hope­ful, accessible, tractable. ( [...]) not to [Page 108]be (monitoribus asperi) morose, offensive, disdainful to all good counsel and counsellors. This is well spoken for heathen Philosophers and Poets; but this is not the height which Christian Preachers must require; and Chri­stian people exact of themselves, if they mean to go to heaven in case they die (as they may) in their youth. Are not many cut off daily in their essays of repentance and delays of reforming; being miserable before they would, because they would not be good so soon as God would, and they should have been?

As for those ( [...]) refractory reluctancies and recalcitrations against all good counsel, monition, and ex­ample, to which high-crested and obstinate youth is too prone, this noble Gentleman was so far removed (as to my experience) from them, that a little before, and soon after he had compleated what he imagined to be his chiefest worldly happiness, when I visited him, he did of himself desire me once and again, that I would advise him what I conceived the best method of living, to the improvement of his mind and time both for God and man; what books were most proper for his reading and study both in piety and prudence.

The procedure of this good motion was prevented by his languishing sickness, and that valetudinary ( [...]) indisposition which presently grew upon him, and after five moneths so prevailed that it banished all hopes of long lasting in this world. The importunity of his cough was such as forbad (almost) all long discourses with him; which perceiving, I thought it a work not unwor­thy of my faithful respects to him to send him my advise in writing, that he might at his best leisure either read it or have it read to him, which I know he did with as much regard and attention as could be expected in the course of his languishing & tedious state; yet he had some frequently to read choise places of Scripture to him, par­ticularly when the 8th of the Romans was read to him by that person whom he most loved (whose tears in reading best interpreted not the Text but her own heart and sym­pathies [Page 109]to him) he would oft pray her to repeat some verses once and again, to give him leave to pause upon them; and sometimes he ended his meditation and con­ference with such an humble ejaculation, O how infinite is the mercy of our heavenly Father, that hath given us poor sinners such gracious promises to lay hold on!

Afterward I was sent for to him, and went betimes that morning before he departed, which was at four af­ternoon. His weakness then was great and urgent; yet his calmness to speak and hear was better then I had found before. Then he deplored (as I formerly touched) the vain hopes of living which he had had, and that it was so late. There was now no delay to be made, no time to be lost in impertinent visiting and cold how-do-yous; I craved therefore his patience, privacy, and leave to doe my duty as a Minister of Christ, in order to his souls pre­sent good. Then I did (according to the wisedome that God gave me) demand many things of him, in the clee­rest, exactest, and shortest method which I could, where­by to receive from him such a confession of his sins, and of his serious repentance, of his deep sense of the want of Christ as a Saviour, of owning the excellent worth that is in Christ, of the full and free grace of God offe­red by Christ, of his humble desires and hopes of it, al­so his patience and preparedness to die, if God would have it so; And in general, of his firm perswasion that those things were true which he had been taught by me and o­ther Ministers of the Church of England out of Gods word. To all the whole series of my questions & discourse he se­verally answered with such prayers & tears, such deep sighs, such fervent Amens, and such pathetick expressions, as I could expect in his weak condition. To my last query concerning his belief of the Truths of God in his Word, he replyed with a vehemency of voice and spirit, Do I believe them? yes (Sr.) I thank God I do believe them, as most gracious and glorious truths, and I hope my heavenly Father will make them good to my soul. This last expression (my heavenly Father) he oft used as alone so to me and others; A [Page 110]sweet name and title, used oft in the private devotions which his pious and noble Mother had wrote with her own hand, as the effusions of her devout soul.

After this my private discourse with him about a quarter of an hour, his noble friends joyned with me in prayer to God for him, to which he was composedly intent and fervent. In the afternoon, soon after he had againe spoken in his dying agonies some like passionate, pious, and humble words to me, as best befits the mouth of a dying Christian, he calmly and suddenly expired without any great contest with death.

Far be it from me (who never flattered him or any man living except my self) to commend him (now dead and gone) after those riotous Hyperboles and envied ex­cesses which the Greek and Roman Orators used at the Funeral piles (or busta) of their deceased friends. Nor will I scatter upon his herse those flowers which ancient Fathers and other Christian Orators used gravely and more deservedly in their Funeral Sermons, Orations, and Epitaphs, applied to many holy men and women of old, who died either young, as Nepotian (whom St. Jerome so highly commends) or elder, as Martyrs, Confessors, and eminent professors of Christ crucified: it was but pious and prudent that their light both living and dead should so shine before men, Matth. 5.16. both Christians and Heathens, that all might see their good works and glorifie God. These were set forth by their accurate yet honest eloquence, that they were (Virtutum thesauri, gratiarum gazae, humana­rum perfectionum cumuli, &c.) treasures of virtue, maga­zeens of grace, heaps of divine perfections in the midst of human imperfections.

No; Sancta illa anima nec lau­des quaerit nec cupit humanas. Hieron. I better understand the proportions of modesty, gravity, and verity, which become both living and dead. Great applauses (never so much deserved, as St. Jerome speaks) can do the dead no good, and may do the living much hurt when they seem not so eminently deserved. I am severely confined to the bounds of soberness and truth; therefore I shall say no more then this, that, as I hope, he [Page 111]was not far from the Kingdom of Heaven in his health, Mark 12.34. so I trust his long sickness brought him not only neerer to it in the graces of true faith, unfeigned repentance, with charity, patience, humility, and willing submission to Gods will living and dying.

I well know that the rack and skrew of sickness and killing infirmitie do commonly squeeze or force some­thing of such expressions out of every one which sound to the tune of Christianity; the best verification of which is former frequent and faithful experiments in health, enjoyed in a mans own conscience, and given also to others by walking humbly with God, and keeping constant communion with Christ in all good duties and good works; the one affords nourishment, the other fruits of grace.

Yet I conceive I may, without any offence to God or good men, say thus much, That if (sinite parvulos ad me venire) suffer little ones to come unto me, Mark 10.14. be applicable to In­fant graces; if the indulgent tenderness of Christ, Matth. 11.28. bidding the weary laden with corporal and spiritual infirmities to come to him, and promising them rest; if that sweet promise, worthy of our blessed Saviours beniguity to mankind, have any spirits and life in it for a poor dying and dejected, yet believing and trembling sinner to lay hold of, Matth. 12.20. The smoaking flax he will not quench, nor break the bruised reed; if these be significant to poor sinners in their con­trite state, I may without presumption, or turning grace into wantonness, hope, that they were made good to this Gentleman, whose honour, health, hopes, happiness, and heart too were so long under the burdens and breakings of Gods hand in his sickness, so early in his life, and so suddenly casting him down from the highest pinnacle of worldly happiness, where he fancied most to settle himself. Certainly there are many times great comforts & spiritu­al cordials secretly infused with Gods bitter potions, Zach. 4.10. which keep up our spirits under them, and mend us by them. I know God despiseth not the day of small things, if sin­cere; nor shall faith, like a grain of Mustard-seed, Matth. 17.20. be in [Page 112]vain to remove mountains of sin if it be true and lively, sown on Christ, and growing in him, growing up and fructifying to him. But I have done with the Anatomizing of his soul to you, as far as I had time, opportunity, and skill.

I could also give you a true and full account of the Anatomy of his body, as it was dissected the next day by six able Physitians and two skilful Surgeons (my self being an eye witness) whose testimony under their hands is hereafter printed in their own words. The account of their discovery amounts to no more then this, That he died of that scrophulous humor abounding in him, which we call the Struma, or Kings evil, full of little and great knots or kernels in his lungs and entrails, some as big as pullets eggs, some larger, and adherent to the backbone on both sides; his lungs so full of that caseous or cheese-like sub­stance that they were swelled and inflamed to a quantity too big for his brest and breathing, so that he died on the suddain, presently after he had spoken and removed him­self with much seeming strength and earnestness; the heart being suddenly suffocated and wasted on one side or (Auricle) for want of due refreshing: and however the lungs began in some folds to be putrified, yet neither my self nor any other perceived either while he lived (though I spake very neer him) any thing offensive in his breath, or unsavoury from his pectorals or vitals.

This was the disease and languor of which this poor Gentleman died: and I know by most assured experience it hath befaln such as have been both for unspotted virtue and exquisite handsomeness inferiour to no persons living in their times. In a word, the means which providence permitted to put an end to this noble Gentlemans days was such as might well deserve the pity of all, but not the reproach of any good Christian, who being (at last) thus truly and fully informed will in all respects carry themselves as becometh humanity and Christianity, modesty and veracity.

A more solicitous confutation of any vulgar surmises [Page 105]and false reports were to give them too much reputation; credulity not duly informed is venial though applied to calumnies, but clearly convinced it becomes venomous and mortal because malicious. How miserable a people are we, whose civil and religious fewds are such, that men are made to live and die, to be saved and damned, not as the mercy and justice of God wills, but as human adherencies or antipathies list to censure. No party, no passion here sways with me; I abhor to flatter or calumniate any man in Court or Country; I follow no dictates but those of expe­rience, impartiality, certainty, upon which ground I pre­sume no ingenuous man or woman can envy or deny me to apply even to the now dead body of this noble Gentle­man these sweet persumes and honest spices made up of nothing but evident truth, comely civility, just honour and upright conscience; which last office I perform, not so much a friend and servant to him, as to truth and the God of truth, to whose merciful dispose we leave his soul for ever.

His Corps, or bodily remains are brought (you see) to be deposited with you his kind friends, his loving neighbours, his honest tenants (in reversion) and his worthy Country­men, to be laid up with the mortal reliques of his excellent Mother, and other his noble Ancestors, to whom he is gone before his Father or Grandfather, by a preproperous fate, inverting the usual and by most parents desired methods of mortality.

I need not tell your ingenuity (to my worthy Country­men and you of this place) what causes you have more then other men to lay this death to heart, and to stand still at this dead Corps as the men of Judah and Israel did that came to the place where Asahel fell down and died, as of a person eminently related, as to many other, 2 Sam. 2.23. so to a principal noble Family in this County; the experience of whose piety, hospitality, charity, and love of learning, poor and rich have had long experience, and some con­stant living monuments among you in this village, besides that to which they have committed their urns and bones, [Page 114]their dust and ashes as it were, to your safe custody. How far you are injured or detrimented by this noble per­sons death depends much on the piety, vertue, and honour of their minds and actions who now enjoy, or may after succeed to, those honours and revenews to which he was Heir apparent, which he now neither wants, nor envies, nor desires. How far you are or may be bettered by his death, and these endeavours for your good, depends much upon your care and conscience to lay to heart those many instances of improving a Funeral which I have told you; wherein Gods grace upon your humble prayers and honest endeavours will enable you to live as becomes those that remember dayly they must die and appear before God: For which last agony and great appearance the Lord in mercy fit us all, for his sake who died for us, Jesus Christ the righteous; To whom with the Father and holy Spirit be everlasting glory for ever. Amen.

Phil. 1.21. To me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Id agamus ut vita sit jucunda, morbus non injucun­dus, mors verò jucundissima.

A PRAYER in order to prepare for DEATH.

O Lord, the everlasting God, the only giver and preserver of all life, natural, spiritual, temporal, and eternal; who hast breathed into these our vile bodies of dust the breath of life, even pretious and immortal souls, by which we are capable to know, to love, to live with and enjoy Thee for ever as the only Supream Good; who only art an object adequate to the vast capacities, and sufficient to satisfie those infinite desires of living happily to eternity, which thou hast planted in us. Thou hast justly passed upon all mankind for our sinful falling from thee (which is the present death of our souls, as to an holy and happy life) the irrevocable decree of once dying, and after that appearing before thy judgement, both which will certainly ere long overtake us all.

Blessed Lord, the terrors of death and of judge­ment, of our present mortality and our deserved misery are infinite upon us; very fearful we are be­cause very sinful, and loth because unfit to die a natu­ral death; but we are wholly confounded, and even swallowed up with the thoughts and dread of that black Abyssus, an eternal death. If the death of our [Page 116]bodies by the soules separation be so horrid and grievous to us, O what must the death of our souls be, which consists in an utter separation from thy love and favour, shutting us up in the chains of eter­nal darkness, and under the pains of everlasting burnings. We confess how just cause we have to be ashamed to live, and yet afraid to die, having no hope of the least degree of life or happiness in our death, as from our selves, where our own consciences have already passed a sentence of death, and an expe­ctation of thy just vengeance to destroy us.

In which sad state of dying and despairing we should have both lived and died, if thou hadst not made us, who were dead in sins and trespasses, to hear thy voice in Jesus Christ that we might live. As thou hast been a God of great goodness and long-suffering to us, not willing we should die in our sins, but repent of them and live; so (as a most merciful Fa­ther) thou hast made a new and living way to the throne of thy grace, by the meritorious death and passion of the Lord of life and glory, the great and promised Messias, thy beloved Son, our blessed Savi­our Jesus Christ, who by suffering death hath both overcome death and satisfied thy justice for us, free­ing all true believing and penitent sinners from the sting, curse, and fear of death both temporal and eternal, bringing by his glorious Gospel life and glory, honour and happiness to light.

We beseech thee (O heavenly Father) for his sake (who hath tasted death for us all) to magnifie thy infinite mercy upon us before we go from hence and be no more seen. O be better to us then ever we should be to our selves, or we are utterly lost; Bestow upon us [Page 117]all those graces and gifts which may both teach and help us to lead an holy life and die an happy death: Prevent us graciously, and follow us effectually with the motions and operations of thy holy Spirit, which may excite and inable us speedily and throughly to mortifie the life and power of every sin in us, even while it is called to day, lest death and hell prevent us in our delays and presumptions.

Sanctifie to us all those occasions, monitions, and warnings, by which thy providence presents the thoughts and state of death to us, as the truest glass of all earthly glory, that we may so lay them to heart as to die dayly to all inordinate love of our selves and of this world, which (at best) is loss and dung in comparison of the excellency of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom thy love to us is better then life it self.

Thou hast by thy power given us our lives in this vain world, by thy providence thou hast preserved them, by thy patience thou hast spared them to this day, notwithstanding we have with many sins and much unthankefulness provoked thee to our hurt; yea by thy holy Word thou hast shewed and offered to us the way and reward of a better life upon our turning to thee with all our hearts from dead works to serve the living God. O teach us so to number our days as to apply our hearts to true wisedom, to value this pretious moment, not to mispend it, yea to redeem it, because the days past have been evil, and upon this moment depends our eternal fate. O thou that hast made our moment here (though it be sinful) not wholly miserable, but hast sweetned it with many mercies, let not our eternity be miserable and sinful. It is one [Page 118]great comfort in our mortality as to this life, that we consider our sins shall not be immortal in us. O let not sin die with us but before us, as a work of choise and grace, not of infirmity, force, and necessity.

We humbly lay hold on that eternal life, which is thy gift through Jesus Christ our Lord. As we every day grow elder, so (Lord) make us every day somewhat better; as neerer to our graves, so fitter for heaven: teach us to live every day as if it were our last, that we may never live in any such way wherein we cannot meet death comfortably: make us such as thou wouldst have us while we live, that we may find thee such as we would have thee when we die; that when we come to die we may have nothing else to do but to resign our bodies to thy custody, and our souls to thy mercy; who having made this life on earth common to the bad and good, the just and the un­just, hast (certainly) prepared another state in which shall be infinite difference, and everlasting distinction of recompenses to such as fear thee and such as fear thee not. O enable us to do our duty, and we are sure to receive thy rewards; write thy name in our hearts, and we need not doubt but our names are written in heaven, even in thy Book of Life. Sweeten the bitter thoughts of death to us by our faith and hope in the meritorious death, the victorious resur­rection, and glorious ascension of Jesus Christ for our sakes; let us find by our holiness and newness of life, by our being dead with Christ and living to him, that we are passed from death to life. That our de­parture hence may be a joyful passage to a better life, which consists in the vision and fruition of thy self, O blessed Creator, who must needs be better then all [Page 119]things thou hast made, and as more necessary, so in­finitely more useful, sweet, and comfortable to us. O that we may be willing and fitted to leave all to come to thy self, that we may with all the blessed Angels and Saints for ever in heaven see, love, praise, admire, adore, and enjoy thee, O holy Father, Son, and Spirit, the only true God; To whom be glory and honour, life and power, thanks and dominion for ever. Amen.

Observationes habitae
In Dissectione Corporis Illustrissimi & Nobilissimi Vi­ri D. ROBERTI RICH coram Medici­nae Doctoribus & Chirurgis infra subscriptis.

1. INventi sunt Pulmones substantiâ duriores quam secundùm naturam, & mole longè ma­jores quam pro ratione pectoris, toti ferè scrophu­losi, caseosâ materiâ magna ex parte purulentâ referti. Superiori parte lobi dextri lacuna reperta est pure plena ad quantitatem cochlearis unius.

2. Aqua collecta in sinistra cavitate Thoracis ad fesque librae quantitatem, vel circiter.

3. Auricula dextra Cordis major erat sinistrâ pro­portione ferè quintuplici.

4. Mesenterium refertum glandulis scrophulosis, a­liquibus magnitudinem Ovi Gallinacei aequanti­bus, aliis minoribus materiâ quadam sebaceâ plenis, cum purulentiae guttis hinc inde sparsis in aliquibus.

5. In substantia Panchreatis glandulae peregrinae, huic annexus tumor scrophulosus grandis, ad hepar usque protensus, & Orisicium Venae Portae comprimens.

6. Vesicula fellis exteriùs albicans, flaccida, ali­quam quantitatem fellis dilutioris continens.

7. Hepar colore Albidiori, & substantiâ debito ma­jori.

8. Splen satìs, laudabilis nisi quòd hinc & inde gra­nulis scrophulosis refertus.

9. Inte Musculos Lumbares glandulae duae ingentes scrophuloae à quinta vertebra sinistrae partis una ad Inguen usque se protendebat, ex dextra parte altera non adeo longa.

  • Fran. Prujean.
  • Geor. Bates.
  • Tho. Coxe.
  • Robertus Lloyd.
  • J. Goddard.
  • Theophilus Garancieres.
  • Edward Arris Chirurgus.
  • John Soper Chirurgus.

I Have judged my publishing of this Funeral-Sermon upon the immature death of the Son the fittest occasi­on I am ever like to have, while I live, to present those who can look upon eminent goodness without evil eyes, with a short Epitome of the Mothers worth, as it was long since in way of Epitaph composed by a person, whose ambition is, That justice might be done to the dead, as well as to the living. Vicious minds and manners (like dead carkasses) are then best, when so buried that nothing may appear to posterity of their noysome and contagious fedities: But exemplary and meritorious vertues must never wholly die, nor be buried in oblivion, because to the injury both of the dead and the living. The name of the wicked justly rots; but the name of the righteous ought to be had in everlasting remembrance. It is fit they should be quite forgotten, who never did any thing worthy of memory or imitation: Nor is it less fit to remember those with eternal honour, who did all things with honour, and in reference to Eternity. Commendation is the least re­ward due to Vertue: Imitation is the highest commen­dation of it; just commendation and imitation make the most noble and durable Monument for it. Which good ends are aimed at by this following Inscription, de­dicated to the Mothers Ʋrne, at the Sons Funeral; that seeing how Holy the Parent or Root was, mankind may conjecture how hopeful the Son or Branch might be, and how happy themselves may be by imitating both of Them in those things which were praise-worthy in Them; That God in all, may have the glory of all, as infinitely above all.

Piae Memoriae Sacrum, Quam a Posteris meritò exigit Nobilissima Heroina ac Domina D. ANNA RICH.

Illustrissimâ Devonienfis Comitis Familiâ oriunda,
Warwicensis Filio & Haeredi connubio juncta,
Ingens utrius (que) Gentis decus & ornamentum;
Praestantissimum verae Nobilitatis
Nobilissimarum (que) virtutum exemplar;
Optatissimis Animi Corporis (que) dotibus
Supra Invidiam Laudem (que) cumulata;
Animi excelsi, constantis, generosi,
Nec Aulae splendore, nec Sortis suae fastigio elati;
Ingenii vividi, elegantis, splendidi,
Ad summa pulcherrima (que) nati,
Genii benigni, amoeni, mitissimi,
Ad infimorum usum suaviter demissi;
Sermonis politi, Rerum pondere magis,
quàm verborum numero copiosi;
Gestus decori, gratissima Majestatis
Comitatis (que) temperie venerandi;
Amoris puri, invicti, stupendi;
Amicitiae cordatae, fidae, amicissimae;
Vitae Admirationi quàm Laudi proximae.
Conscientiae probè instructae,
Christique sanguine perpurgatae;
Pietatis non vulgaris, non fictae, non verbosae;
Quanta quanta fuit,
Tota vera, solida, sincera:
Ad speciem, plausum, populumve
Nihil datum;
Ad Deum, ad Christum omnia.
Quicquid praeclari dixeris (Viator) cogitaverisve,
Par esse non potes meritis; nedum nimius.
Id enim omne quâ Fuit Fecit (que) superavit Illa,
Quantum Res verba superant, effectus (que) Cogitata.
[Page 123] Aureus reverâ

  • Pudicitiae & Formae, Nodus & unio ful­gentissimus
  • Candoris & Judicii, Nodus & unio ful­gentissimus
  • Acuminis & prudentiae, Nodus & unio ful­gentissimus
  • Humilitatis & honoris, Nodus & unio ful­gentissimus
  • Gravitatis & dulcedinis, Nodus & unio ful­gentissimus
  • Sublimitatis & patientiae, Nodus & unio ful­gentissimus
  • Rationis & pietatis, Nodus & unio ful­gentissimus
  • Humanae divinaeque pulchritudinis,

Nodus & unio ful­gentissimus
Sexum, Aetatem, Spem, & vota Amicorum,
Faecundissima virtute supergressa:
Cui ad summam Mortalium Claritatem
Nihil defuit;
Nec ipse poteris ultra desiderare
(Lector)
Praeter Vitam in Terris diuturniorem.
Quum enim Annos
Nondum 27. numerasset,
Caelo Matura,
Spectatissimos Parentes, Nobilissimum Conjugem,
Integerrimos Fratres, Numerosissimos Amicos,
Charissimum Filiolum (unicum castissimi Amoris pignus)
Mortales (denique) omnes
(Amplissimam sibi virtutum Messem pollicentes)
Pio certè pretiosoque Numini,
placido felicique Sibi,
Solis Invidis laeto,
Caeteris acerbo tristissimóque
FATO
(Infanda tam praesentis quam posterae aetatis Jactura)
deseruit.
Aug. 24. 1638.
Hoc
Devotissimi pectoris monumentum
Lubens Maerensque posuit

J. G.

AN EPITAPH UPON The LADY RICH.

POssest of all that Nature could bestow,
All we can wish to be, or reach to know;
Equal to all the patterns which our mind
Can frame of good, beyond the good we find;
All beauties which have power to bless the sight,
Mixt with transparent vertues greater light;
At once producing love and reverence,
The admiration of the soul and sense:
The most discerning thoughts, the calmest breast,
Most apt to pardon, needing pardon least;
The largest mind, and which did most extend
To all the Lawes of Daughter, Wife, and Friend;
The most allow'd example, by what line
To live, what path to follow, what decline;
Who best all distant vertues reconcil'd;
Strict, cheerful, humble, great, severe, and mild;
Constantly pious to Her latest breath;
Not more a Pattern in Her life then death;
The Lady RICH lies here: More frequent Tears
Have never honour'd any Tomb then Hers.
SIDNEY GODOLPHIN.

THE SUMMARY OF THE SERMON.

  • OF Funeral Solemnities, civil and religious Page 1
  • 1 Of Feasting, its danger and disadvan­tages p. 6
  • 2 Of the House of Mourning, its advantages p. 8
  • Of Holy Necromancy, learning from the dead p. 9
  • The Honour paid antiently to the dead p. 11
  • 3 Who the living are in the Text p. 12
  • No advantages from the livings devotion to the dead; Romish Superstition p. 13
  • 4 How the living may be benefitted by the dead p. 15
  • 5 The Hearts decays, dangers, distempers p. 17
  • Account to be given of others deaths p. 21
  • 6 Fourteen considerations rising from the death of any to be laid to heart by the living
  • 1 Of our mortal and vile bodies, in their health, sickness, decay, death p. 24
  • Not to be preferred before our souls p. 26
  • How little cause we have to be proud of our selves, or to flatter others
  • [Page]2 Consid. By way of analogy, the putid horror and fedity of a dead soul p. 27
  • 3 Consid. The fedity and horror of sin as the meritorious cause of all deaths p. 29
  • 4 Consid. The vanity of this life, and all things in it; set forth in the pregnant instance of this noble Gentle­man.
  • 5 Consid. Of the certain uncertainty of death: Its Catholick Empire p. 37
  • 6 The danger of delaying Repentance p. 42
    • The pious importunity of Ministers urging speedy Repentance p. 44
    • Impenitence riseth from unbelief p. 47
    • Death-bed Repentance less certain and less comfor­table to our selves and others p. 50
    • Vulgar pleas for delaying repentance answered p. 54
    • Of rational and religious living, how far in our power p. 57
  • 7 Consid. Of God's patience and long suffering to us p. 59
  • 8 Lay to heart the death of Christ, the onely antidote against the curse and terror of death p. 61
  • 9 Cons [...]d. The chiefe end of our lives; unprofitable and pernicious waste of a short and pretious life p. 63
  • 10. Consid. The seeming samenesse of mens deaths after their various lives.
  • Arguments for an after life or being p. 67
  • 11 The folly of Christians uncharitable and excessive pas­sions as to any concerns of this life p. 70
  • 12 The wisedom of Christians moderation in all things; in their passion or grief for the dead p. 74
    • Of timely disposing our selves to die when we are sick p. 74
    • Why sick men are more attended by Physitians then Divines p. 75
  • 13 Consider how prepared thou art at present for death; of adorning the last act of a Christians life p. 77
    • All Christians may be preachers on their death-beds p. 78
  • [Page]14 What deaths are most emphatick, and chiefly to be laid to heart p. 79
    • 1 Of Kings and Soveraign Magistrates p. 80
    • 2 Of chief-Priests, Prophets and Ministers of God's Church p. 81
    • 3 Of any gracious and eminent Christian p. 83
    • 4 Of neer Relations, as Parents, Husbands, Wives, Children p. 85
    • 5 Of such as have been very wicked, and die in their sin p. 87
    • Of David's mourning so passionately for Absalom p. 88
  • Three Ʋses. 1 Reproving such hearts as are senseless and unconcerned in any ones death, or joy in it p. 89
  • 2 Ʋse exam. How we have improved this and the like spectacles of death p. 91
  • 3 Ʋse vindicating religious as well as civil Solemnities at Christians burials p. 92
  • Lastly, An account of this noble Personage Mr. ROBERT RICH, from his cradle to his coffin; His education, domestick, Academick, forraign; His temper of body and mind; His health, sickness, disease, death p. 92
  • The conclusion;
    • A Prayer preparatory for death p. 115
    • The judgement of six Doctors in Physick, and two Chirurgeons upon the dissection of the Corps p. 120
  • An Epitaph upon His noble Mother, added as an honour to the Funeral urne and memory of this Her onely Child.

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