⟨Written by Wm London a bookseller in Newcastle upon Tyne.⟩

Local Cases.
  • Houghton le Spring p 42
  • Carlisle pp 44, 45, 77
  • Stanhopep 76
  • Dalston &c. p 44, 78
  • Cockermouth p 44
  • Callerton p 85

GODS JUDGEMENTS Upon DRUNKARDS, SWEARERS, And SABBATH-BREAKERS. In a collection of the most remark­able Examples of Gods revealed wrath upon these sins: with their Aggravations, as well from Scripture, as Reason. And a Caution to Authority, lest the Impu­nity of these evils bring a scourge upon the whole Nation.

By W. L.

1 Cor. 10.11.

Now all these things happened unto them for Examples, and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Luke 13.3.

Jesus said, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay, &c.

Printed for William London, 1659.

TO THE Right Worshipfull, The Mayor, Recorder, Aldermen, Sheriffe, and Common-Councell; TOGETHER With the most Ingenuous Inhabitants of the Famous and Flourishing Town of New-Castle upon TINE:

THe Authour in Testimo­ny of his sincere desires for the Peace and Pro­sperity of the Town in gene­ral, and every person in par­ticular, Dedicates this his la­bour to their kind acceptance.

Christian Reader,

WHen I consider how the great Moderator of the World, the ho­ly and just God is concerned in the Regular or Irregular conversations of men, and how much he hath interested himself in the pro­vidential notice he hath ta­ken of them, I cannot but judge that the brandishing of his sword, the recording of [Page] the signal Judgments of God; may be both acceptable to the Lord, and useful to many an habituated rebellious sinner, for the allaruming his drow­sie conscience.

Shall a Trumpet be blowne in the City, and the people not be afraid? Amos 3.6. the Lord is known by his judgment which he executeth. Psal. 9.16. God will not suffer the worst part of the world to sink into Atheisme: the wretched Emperour shall have claps of Thunder to fright him into suspitions of a deity. Julian the Apo­state shall be made to throw his blood into the ayre with a [...]. Judgments have [Page] been one of the usuall wayes of Gods asserting his Autho­rity in the world: and that the usefulnesse of the following Treatise may be the more discovered, I have a few things to intimate about the number of the judgements of God.

1. That Gods judgments are not not like arrows shot into the Aire at randome, he does not [...], God hath blessed ends, either to reclaim the party smitten, i [...] judgements short of death seize on them, or to be [...] Pillar of salt to others, that they may hear, fear, and do n [...] more so: those Jews that exemplarily [Page] fell in the wilder­nesse; they are said 1 Cor. 10.6. to be [...], types to future generations; they are engraven characters of di­vine vengeance, that we should read their punish­ment, and avoid their sin.

2. Consider the princi­ples that judgements have to work upon. Bondage, Fear, and Self-love; the one like the Spaniel, forbearing to of­fend for the Cudgel over it, the other from a principle of self-preservation, had rather want the bait, then swallow the hook; God having left some reliques of these in the most debaucht consciences, [Page] that he might have somewhat to treat with in the vilest sin­ners, when his judgements were abroad.

3. Weigh the convictions they leave of an over-ruling Deity; Atheism is one of the natural fruits of the first A­postasy, and as it is heightned by impenitency, so it is strengthned by impunity; now God by his judgements gives some evidences of his Being and Soveraignty; he hath, his coecum in mente fla­gellum, he hath his fulmen in orbe, and fulgur in animo Pharaohs bold challenge of Who is the Lord, shall shrink into a, Moses, pray for me [Page] when the Lord is in the way of his judgements.

4. He will convince the world that Scripture-threat­nings are not only a voyce of words, but when and where the Lord pleases, they are [...], they are fiery darts, the breakings forth of fiery indignation against im­penitent sinners, especially when they meet with sinnes that do devastate conscience, such as the sins here witnes­sed against; Sins that pro­voke the eyes of Gods glory, which in no Nation, if raign­ing, he will suffer to go unpu­nished: he is a jealous God, & where his honour is so emi­nently [Page] concerned, he will un­sheath his wrath, the first of these in a bestial Metamor­phosis, strives to raze out his Image, the second to tear his Name, the third to deprive him of his Worship; and I cannot but approve and en­courage the design of the in­genuous Author; who, whilst these crying sins dare with an open and brazen face, so fre­quently shew themselves, will set a brand upon their fore­heads, of the notable Judge­ments of God against them▪ and for my own part, I would not be wanting to counte­nance such publick designes for God, for the discovering [Page] of the eminent judgments of God against these sins, may like the Angell to Balaam, stop the Career of some sin­ner, provoke the zeale of those Magistrates, and under officers, upon whom God and man, so loudly call for a severe proceeding against these sins, and draw forth from the people of God that glorious confession, Psal. 58.11. Verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth. Books of this nature may do much good, where Sermons cannot reach through the prophane absence of many of those that are most guilty of these sins.

I shall say no more, but re­commend [Page] the ensuing Trea­tise to thy serious perusall, and subscribe my self one willing to be

A Servant to any design for God, J. HAMMOND.

TO THE JƲSTICES of PEACE In the NATION; Especially these Northerne Parts.


THe chief Pillars of a Nation, are the Ma­gistracy and Mini­stery; the one for punishing Sin, the other for advancement of Righteousnesse. These are the Officers of State, which, [Page] like the two great Lumina­ries of Heaven, give Law to all the rest; and amongst the Wisest, and Best of men, are accounted as useful to a Com­mon-wealth, as Castor and Polux, to the Mariners in a tempestuous night: So that as the flux and reflux of Nile, portends plenty, or dearth; so these Sword-bearers of God, are pledges of his favour, to that Nation, or Place, where they are Honoured and Respe­cted; and great care ought to be had in the due election of such as may be for the promo­tion of the great end of such Places: for, as one lately said well, They should not be [Page] like brambles, which teare the wool off the poor sheeps backs that come to shelter, for prote­ction, under them. The Lace­demonians chose none into the Senate as Magistrates, but one­ly upon account of Honesty and Vertue; forgeting the bare con­sideration of Riches, Friends, &c. where piety was a stran­ger. And Cicero tells us, A good Magistrate is the Common-wealths Physitian, Badge of Vertue, Staff of Peace, and Pillar of Honour. I would onely beg leave to break my thoughts to the first of these: and though to some this may seem boldnesse to be free; yet considering that A [Page] good cause teacheth confidence. I think in this case I should offend if I presumed not; and I have taken care so to order my flight, as not to soare a­bove the Region of Duty and Civility.

Gentlemen, I set before you three Grand Impieties, viz Drunkenness, Swearing, and Sabbath-breaking, sins that are opera tenebrarum; It's your work to look to them, they are Rageing, Reigning, Pollu­ting sins; sins for which a Land mourns, and the Nation puts on the Sable garments of sor­row and heavinesse: these sins beget a controversie betwixt a people, a place, a person, and [Page] God, and who is able to abide his indignation? for if once his wrath be but a little kind­led, blessed are all they that put their trust in him. These therefore are sins that ought not to go unpunished, and that without the strictest seve­rity in a Christian common­wealth.

Magistrates are not to beare the Sword in vain; if you do not quarrel with sin, God will with you; you are, or should [...]e, the Banks of the Common­wealth, to keep us from a Land-flood, and Torrent of confusion; you are the Hed­ [...]es to prophanesse: The life of the Law is executions; Its [Page] a principle in Moral Policy, That not to execute the Lawes, is worse than to break them, Acts and Or­dinances will not beat down prophanesse, unlesse the first be throughly acted, and the last set on fire by authority: many take encouragement by the slack execution of Justice, which otherwise might with care prove a hinderance, not onely from sin, but punish­ment, nay, it may be, from Eternal flames. I am much afraid that many are guilty of others sins, more than they dream of, by suffering their understandings to be darkened in the sense of their duties, tho­rough [Page] the sight of their Ho­nours; not seriously weighing what trust God hath commit­ted to them: They cannot de­ny presentments, but think it a work below them to search and find out debaucht houses, or persons, or examine who idlely stayes from the Word; or take care in publick resorts, to find out Blasphemers, Cur­sers, and Swearers, and pu­nish them in the Act. How sad would it be to us, if we heard the sad cryes in Tor­ment? it may be some saying, O that the Magistrate had hedged up my way with thorns! had he set bounds to my drunken meetings, cursed [Page] oathes, and prophane Sab­bath-breaking; then had I not been now roaring in an­guish, under the fury of a Re­vengful God! The mild pu­nishment of obstinate trans­gressors, makes sin grown to an excrescency: It festers a body Politick, as well as Natural, to have the wounds not tho­roughly dressed; it forces to a relapse, where the causes are not diverted or rooted out.

Seeing Drunkennesse hath so great confidence, as if Au­thority led it by the hand, let me strike at the bowels of it, that hath so many thousands crawling out of it; Oh that we might see this sin reel with [Page] the Drunkard! that there were a frequent visiting of Ale-hou­ses, and none suffered, under the greatest engagements, Not to suffer any to be drunk, or drink to excesse! and methinks, as I travel these Northern parts, especially about (I had almost said in) the Metropolis of these Counties, its scarce pos­sible to passe without infection, the streets are lined with these Pest-houses; the greatest won­der is, that they are under the roof of Authority, and yet suf­fered to breath. Oh down with disordered Ale-houses, that [...]rove the Hell and Damnation [...]f many a poor soul! where many poor wretches sit secure­ly, [Page] and there drown their fa­milies bread in Drunkennesse! where many a person of respect, buyes the ruin of his families honour, together with his own▪ at a vast expense! One said, If it were not for secret Drun­kennesse, they might bar up their doors; Oh, set a Barica [...] do to the entrance of such im­pieties and villanies, which flow hither as the humours to the stomack! Banish these fire ships from the Coasts of [...] Christian Common-wealth, o [...] we shall be set on fire from hell [...] then your Towns, Counties Cities, and the whole Nation will move in a Regular Orbe, & Congregations be well filled [Page] We may say, it would be a wonder in England if it were in any great Town, as it was in Rome, where there was a street called Vicus Sobrius, because there was not an Ale-house in it. What if some have no other living? the question is, can they live no otherwise, than by making men drunk? I admire the neglect of this foundation of Reformation in this place, which so oft by the faithfull Servants of God hath been rei­terated in our Congregations! If these corners of Hell were blown down with the breath of Authority, all the traine of At­tendants, like a great Cour­tiers, would fall with himself; [Page] as Cursing, Swearing, Blas­pheming, the Holy Name of God, Murthers, Adulteries, and all other such wickednes­ses, for which the hand of the Lord is ready with his judge­ments to reach us: till this be done, till we see the Sword of Justice make sin stagger, and like that mighty wind that came from the Wildernesse up­on Jobs children, blow down the four corners of these pla­ces of iniquity; I say, till this come to passe, every moment will thrive towards a dismal no one, the minutes of time will swell into ages, and those into eternity of punishments, if not prevented.

[Page]If Gods wrath and anger be the evils that compasse these sins about, like sparks of our own kindling, and if the refor­mation of sin, be the removing of Judgement? what need then to strike at the root of iniqui­ty? If Ahabs Humiliation, and the Ninevites Sackcloth and Ashes, caused God to let the resolution of his Judge­ments run backwards; If Phi­neas Zeal stayed the plague, and saved many thousands; I say, if outward reformation tyes Gods hands from outward plagues, what need then to look about and reform? lest we that are left of so many thousands lately swept away [Page] by sicknesse, diseasses &c. be made examples because we learn not to beware.

I could instance many Ex­amples of Gods severity, to such as were slack in their Du­ties; as Eli, whose impunity to his sons impiety, shrunk him under the heavy stroke of Justice; but I had rather lead you by examples of Piety and Justice, than drive you by those of Judgements. Look to Ne­hemiah, he sets servants at the Gates of the City, and laid hands on such as prophaned the Lords Day. Its worthy Observation, what Ambrose sayes to Theodosius; That he was more earnest and care­ful, [Page] to observe the things of God as a Magistrate, than himself as a man. The La­cedemonians had their E­phori; Magistrates that took care to all manner of intempe­rance and excesse in the City, and if any were found, they were beaten publickly. The Carthaginians made a Law, That no Magistrate should drink wine; such was their care to avoid this beastly sin of Drunkennesse: Solons Law was death to a Prince that was drunk. In Carthage, Lace­demon, and Creet, this sin was so abominable, that all which were found guilty of it, were thrust out of the Senate, and [Page] dismantled of all manner of li­berty to bear any office in their Cities. What zeal was here in Heathens against this odi­ous sin? And this may not unfitly be accounted as the rea­son why a woman reflected up­on King Philips unrighteous sentence of Judgement, by desiring to have her cause re­moved from Drunken Philip, to King Philip Sober: and it may be, this sin of his, was the cause of his death, which by a Lacedemonian Gentle­man was executed by a thrust in his body, because he refu­sed to do Justice. We read of Lewis King of France, up­on reading Psal. 106.3. Bles­sed [Page] are they that keep judge­ment, and he that doth righ­teousnesse at all times; was so wrought upon, that he pre­sently said; He that doth not punish sin, is the patron of it. These sins I speak of, are grown now so bold by impuni­ty, as if Justice were afraid to look them in the face; like the Snake in the Fable, rise up against the greatest and most noble Ingenuity possible; Its severity must subdue them. When true zeal bends the bow, and draws the arrow of Ju­stice to the head, then it strikes sin to the heart; it flyes home to the life of the Law, and death of the offence. A [Page] Modern example we have of an Irish Lord, Epistle to Mr. Murcots Wo. who lodged at West-Kirby waiting for his passage, and being a prodigi­ous Swearer, the Officers serve a warrant upon him, at which he rages with Curses and Oathes; but they seize upon his horses, and forced him to pay 20 pound to the use of the poor of the Parish; and all the while he stayed there, his tongue was held as with a bit and bridle. This is the true effect of Justice, which looks not asquint upon any man; like Aristides, who without an eye of favour to father, or friend, or malice to his ene­mies, distributed alike to all, [Page] so that he purchased the de­served name of Aristides the Just. In the Areopagite Ju­dicature, they onely heard the Cause, and never saw the per­sons, giving judgement in the night, that all might have e­quall Justice.

I cannot omit the example of one Mayor of Ex­ceter. Mr. Jourdain, of whom it might be said as of David, That the zeal of Gods house had eaten him up! Mr. Man­tons E­pist. to his life & death. for when the Book of Sports came forth, he sent an expostulatory Letter to the King, inclosed to the Bishop of Exceter, who carefully con­veyed it to his Majesty, who reading, said in a rage, He [Page] should be hanged that wrote it: The Bishop fell on his knees, and begged pardon, say­ing, That God had not a bet­ter servant, nor his Majesty a better subject. The Bishop after being visited by Mr. Jourdain, said; Ah! Mr. Jourdain, would you put me upon so hot service, knowing how many eyes Sus­pected to fa­vour Puri­tans. are upon me! who replied, Yea my Lord, the eyes of God, and his holy Angels, are upon you, to see how you dis­charge your office and duty. By his justice upon Swearers, he brought such an awe and dread upon men adicted to that sin, that many Citizens obser­ved, [Page] that in places of Publick resort, they heard not an oath sworn for many years toge­ther. Ile end with one pretty passage recorded of King James, VVil­sons. K. James. who being upon Re­moval to Theobalds, his Ma­jesties Carriages went out of the City upon the Lords Day, which the Lord Mayor hear­ing of, commanded them to be stopt; which affront, was re­presented to the King, with as great asperity, as men in Au­thority crossed in their hu­mours, could expresse. The King swears, He thought there had been no more Kings in England but him­self; but when it may be he [Page] thought there was a King in Heaven; he sent a warrant to the Lord Mayor, whom with these words he obeyed. While it was in my power, I did my duty; but being taken away by a higher power, it is my duty to obey; which after­ward it's said, the King took well, and thanked him for.

But least I be taken for one▪ transported with an over-hea [...] of Zeal, without a regular and proportioned mixture of Knowledge, give me liberty to clear my self, and leav [...] my thoughts behind me, th [...] I may not be found guil [...] of that asperse, (which [Page] some men pressed with a fiery zeal, vented more in passion than discretion) which fixes a scandal to Justice, more than it promotes Gods Honour or Reformation of men: were to consult with the prudent part of our duties, mannaging punishment to such as are drawn aside by temptation, &c. with reproof, and that secretly: But to incorrigible transgressors, such as are so accustomed to do evil, as if they professed debauched cour­ses, let the severity of the Law proceed; for to such onely, the Law strikes, to such as will not be warned: who can they blame but themselves, [Page] if they smart? And if I should here plead for respect to be had to persons, it may by some be thought, to be out of the way; but however, I am much for it, and do ac­count it no lesse than a Grand Master-piece of Prudence; for if such as seem to lead others by their example, be won from prophanesse, the fruits cannot be bad.

If therefore there be any of the better ranke which di­gresse from the good orders of Government, either of the Na­tion, or themselves, we are to use such with all the winning respect imaginable; and if the Law be satisfied, not to [Page] provoke their displeasure: the Law aimes more at Refor­mation than punishment; and to persons of Quality, whose reputations in the beame of Honour weighs down the rate of their punishment: we ought to deal with candid behavi­our, and to extend meeknesse and respect, as far as the greatest Civility, and favour of Law will reach. Ʋpon this ground, no Question, was that prudent Piece of Admi­nistration of Justice; perform­ed by a chief Magistrate, upon a Person of Quality, not long ago; by sending a Letter, beg­ging his excuse, and hoping as [...]e was a Gentleman, he would [Page] not be angry at the Admini­stration of Justice, which was his honour; demanding satis­faction which was due by Law for so many oathes, which in such a place he had sworn; The Gentleman with a High ac­knowledgment of civility, free­ly submitted. I would not be thought a favourer of debauch­edness in any, much less in the Gentry, in whom, if such vice [...] be set, they have a bad foil; Ye [...] I must needs say, they ough [...] to have more allowance that common persons; especially if they be ingenious (as alas many that are most ingenious most often fall into the snar [...] of temptations!) A little liberty [Page] they expect more than o­thers, and as much as is not an affront to the Law, let them have; because, its fit to win such by civility, which the Law cannot by force do, without a Rape upon their ho­nours and reputations; and one great reason is, because many times inferiour persons are the inflictors of punish­ment, which cannot have over good a relish, unlesse sweetned with a kinde of submission; and therefore when drink or passion is de­parted, then to write or send to them: Yet where civil­lity and meeknesse will not allure, to that just decency [Page] and order, which holds con­formity to the wholesome Lawes of the Nation, then Currat lex. All which I could wish were done with­out Malice, Prejudice, Re­venge, a spirit of domineer­ing, or to be accounted some petty some body; but with a principle, that may not onely approve the integrity of a mans soul to act for the glory of God, but also a not expecting your reward from popularity, or any other secret advan­tage below the truth and in­tent of the action; guided by the best principles both Divine and Moral.

[Page]Now, Gentlemen, to you that are guilty, or may be found in these disorders; If Lawes were not, we had as good live amongst Salva­ges; you could not say your lives were your own, if an­other through fear of the Lawes, were not kept from murdering you; if we had none to punish transgressors, we had as good be without Lawes: for your own ho­nours therefore, beware you involve not your reputations to the punishment of every mean officer; be not angry at Justice which is more the Honour of the Gentry, then any; because they are looked [Page] upon as patrons of it: be ra­ther like King Henry the fourth, who thanked God, that Justice was executed, though it lighted upon one of his own loyns. To conclude, Are not these sins fitter (if for any in any sense) for Brutes, Beasts, Beggars, and the scum of a Nation, than for Gentlemen or Christians? for shame then, you that are in any de­gree guilty of such foul spots of dishonour, to the Nation, to Christianity, to your Fa­milies, good Names, and your own Souls, let these wicked, debauched, beastly, pro­phane sins, be abandoned from your thoughts and actions, [Page] and hate it in others, that the Nation (the Gentry first lead­ing the van) may make ini­quity and sin blush, and even shame these vild courses to the eternal Honour of Eng­land.

And now Gentlemen, to whom I have been bold to Dedicate my paines, I beg you to look upon the Work, in that which you see it doth drive at, and not at the unworthinesse of the Authour, whose desire in it is nothing lesse, than may be concluded in this wish: That by your Good Government, they that are to come, may blesse your re­membrance, and we present, [Page] may together with your selves, live a comfortable, peaceable, and quiet life, and that in all godlinesse and honesty.

So prayes Your humble servant W. L.


WHen I weigh my owne unworthinesse in the ballance with any thing that may be cal­led a work for God, I am ex­tremely discouraged to ad­venture; wondring more that the Lord should not rather make me a warning to others, [Page] by his Judgements upon me for my own sin, then to write examples of others; In the deep sence whereof, I cannot say that I was constrained to this work, purely from those noble and divine principles, which should move in the wheeles of all undertakings for the glory of God▪ and good of others, lest I de­ceive my own spirit; though [...] desire a heart for both; Fo [...] upon a strict scrutiny, it will be found a difficult, and more then common attainment [...] though most men are loath▪ but in all their designes to plume themselves with these fair feathers; so that in mo­desty [Page] I choose to be rather jealous it is not so, then boast it as a reason that it is, I can indeed say and that tru­ly, that I am an honourer, and lover of Order, Decency, and good Government in a Na­tion, City, or Town; and from a naturall and moral principle, do detest these three sins of Drunkennesse, Swearing, and Sabbath-break­ing, as they strike at the Ho­nour of Order, Government: and the Reputation of a Na­tion, place or person: and I wish this principle were wrought in such ingenuous persons, as otherwise are not perswaded of a greater [Page] evill in these sins; they are evills that wound the glory of God, honour of a Christi­an state, and the good of a civill Government; yet have I been wound up to more then a common hatred of these notorious sinnes, since I have seen the face of them in the glasse of Gods Judge­ments.

I have observed Drunken­nesse, Swearing, and the slight observance of the Lords day, with the profanation of it, to grow the more by op­position, which I think is, because but slenderly punnished, like the Seas, where but bounded with [Page] weak banks, rages and roares the more, when they are bro­ken down; I have likewise ob­served, that that which should be our greatest honor, is turn­ed into sin, in that they which are under the strictest tye to Christianity by profession, should so profane the Lords day, and keep it with lesse ex­actnesse, then the Heathens do their dayes of worshiping the Devil, whilst we in troops runne to the profanation of God and his holy Ordinan­ces, by more then the one halfe of most Parishes ab­senting themselves from the Congregation, and either prophane the day by drink­ing, [Page] or, which is as sad, by a more then Heathenish idle­nesse and sloathfull con­tempt of their own salva­tion; nay, and this is so common, that it seems not otherwise, then if it were turned into a Law to con­temne the meanes of salvati­en, and slight, and abuse such as would turn them aside from hell and eternal dam­nation; and by this meanes they slight the faithful Mi­nisters of the Gospel, that labour night and day for the good of our soules, which I account the first step to Apo­stasy from the ways of God.

I have likewise observed the [Page] slack execution of lawes, by Justices not performeing their duties, discourageing under Officers, and leaving them a scorn and a reproach to wicked and ungodly men; and if it please not the Lord to stir up the hearts of Ju­stices of the Peace them­selves, to search diligently, to go about and find out dis­ordered houses, (the plagues of the Nation) and hunt men out of their houses to the congregation, sin will grow impudent, and bold; If I say they do not shew their faces, to encourage and set a rate upon others under them; men will be hardened in [Page] their wayes, and be taught to grow worse by the faint­nesse of justice; and this I account a duty, which a good conscience rightly principled cannot shift, nor excuse before God or their own consciences.

The consideration of these things, with the tendency of all to ruine, where these evills are not redressed, put me upon this, (I hope useful, and may I not say necessary?) work; especially considering the use of Judgements; their Energy if pondered in a so­ber and deliberate mind; they walk not alone, the causes and ends are to be ex­amined; [Page] nor are they only limited to the persons or sins they punish, but for warning others from the like sins, or any other sinnes whatsoever. And we see how God loves to warne before he strike, so he did to Nineve and Belsha­zar, and used very much of long-suffering and patience to Pharaoh, whose heart at last not taking warning, he [...]ardened; what are exam­ples of Gods Judgements upon others for, if not to keep us from being the ex­amples our selves?

And though Precepts in­ [...]eed are very binding, yet they never shine so much, as [Page] when set in examples. We are all acquainted how little hold reproofs, admonitions, and exhortations from the Pulpit take of men: there­fore it is, that I have great hopes, that these examples may do good; for as one in another case sayes,

A Verse may find him whom a Sermon flyes,
And turn delight into a Sacrifice.

So such as come not to hea [...] their sins ript open in a Soul [...] searching Sermon, may by reading, or hearing these examples, be frightened at [Page] the voyce of Gods Judge­ments. To consider the seve­rity of God to those that fell, may well make us think with our selves, shall I that am guilty as much as others, be yet in the land of the living? will not the Patience, Good­nesse, and Long-suffering of God, lead us to repentance? I say examples are of more force to move, nay to in­struct, then the Arguments and proofs of Reason, or their precise Precepts; for they shew things not onely [...]n the Theory, but in the pra­ctice and execution. It's re­ported of one Waldus in France, that at the sight of [Page] Gods Judgement upon on [...] that was suddenly struck dead; went home, and admonished his friends to repent, and turne from their evill wayes, and wa [...] himself a famous Christian [...] from whom also sprang the name of the Waldenses. Examples mix so with the Apprehensions, as they force the mind to a deeper understanding, and search, of the ends and causes of them.

What I have collected are not of common examples, which daily present themselves before our eye [...] but such as are the most notorious and remarkable, and [Page] I question not but authen­tick; those of modern and more late experience, I have taken from such Authours as are living, and who from their own knowledge have given testimony to the truth of them.

Now what am I, that should undertake to direct others in that, wherein I am to seek my self by walking below the strictnesse of what I prescribe to others, and short of my own duty, having, it may be, that found upon my trencher, which I disswade others from as pernicious? yet I consider the advantages of the undertaking, and, it [Page] may be, this may be one to my self, that these strict li­mits to others, will girt me more straitly within the com­passe of my own duty; and though this hath been strug­ling for a Birth a long time yet now the truth and inte­grity of my intentions have prevailed to launch into a Sea of censures, and if I aim at the good of others in the reformation of their minds and manners; I am sure it cannot be any hurt to them or my self: and this is the Rock on which I hope to stand against the proud as­saults of envy or detraction; for if any thing in the ayme [Page] or intention be good, it's made of more value by the diffusive Quality of it, in disaffecting that humour of Aspendius, who delighted to play on his Harp, so that none should heare but him­selfe.

I shall conclude in the words of the Apostle, and pray:Tit. 2.11, a 2. That the love of God which hath appeared unto all men, may teach us to deny all ungodlinesse, and worldly lusts; and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.

W. L.

THE CONTENTS of the whole.

  • THe Character of Drunkards. Page 1.2.3.
  • Drunkennesse a sin against the lawes of Temperance and Sobriety, and the practice of Heathens against it. 4.5.
  • The strict lawes of Heathens against Drunnkennesse. 6.
  • The spiritual evils of Drunkennesse. 7.
  • Drunkennesse the fountain of other sins. 8.9.
  • The outward evils which accompany this sin of Drunkennesse, consumption of [Page] estate, ruine of relations, losse of health, a shame to friends, scorn to servants, derision to boyes, losse of sences, &c. 10.11.12. &c.
  • A friendly exhortation to such Gentle­men as are tempted to this sin; especi­ally to the most learned, and ingenu­ous persons. 16.17. &c.
  • Gods threatnings aginst Drunkennesse. 21.22.
  • Gods righteous and terrible Judgements upon such as take not warning; in a collection of the most choyce examples, such only as bear the strongest remark of Gods displeasure. 23.24. to 45.
  • Some few disswasives from this sin of drunkennesse. 46.47.
  • Of profane taking the Lords name in vain by cursed oathes, &c. 51.
  • The several aggravations of this sin of cursing and swearing. 52.
  • Swearing a sinne directly against God himself. ibid.
  • It's a sin of high ingratitude. 53
  • The sin of the Devils in Hell. 54
  • No profit by it. ibid
  • Heathens detest it. 55
  • Dissuasives from it. 56.57
  • The severity of former lawes, and time [Page] against wicked swearing. 57.
  • Gods threatnings against it. 58.
  • Gods severity in his just Judgements up­on such as practised it, in a few sad and doleful examples. 59, 60. to 59.
  • The sin of profaningg the Sabbath day, a great sin. 83.84.
  • The strict command of God himselfe to observe it. 85.
  • Gods own practice for our example, to keep one day in seven from labour, &c. 84.
  • Gods end in commanding us to observe it, is for our own good. 88.
  • The reasonablenesse of Gods command, for one in seven. 89.
  • The breach of this day a great sin by ma­ny high aggravations of it, &c. 90.
  • A sin against Gods daily blessings and mercy to us. 91.
  • A word to such as sit idly at home on the Lords day. 92.
  • A word to such as profane it, by playing, drinking, &c. 91.
  • Perswasions to hear the Word, and attend Ordinances, as the greatest advanta­ges to our soules. 93.94.
  • Objections answered. 95.
  • [Page]Gods threatenings against Sabbath-breakers. 96.97.
  • Gods severe examples of Judgement and Justice upon the profaners of the Sabbath day. 98.99. to 125.
  • Conclusion.


THe sin of Drunkenesse being the womb of all others, I chuse first to speak of; by shewing, What a loathsome creature a Drunkard is; how it's condemned by the lawes of Nature, as well as Nations; the sad consequences of it, to soul, to body; by setting a full point to his life, when nature hath not yet made a Comma: Ruining his family and relations, leaving himself at last a prey to necessity, and scorne to fooles. The Aggravation of this sin to the Gen­try, [Page 2] who by their Birth, Estates, Parts, &c. are seated above the reach of such vulgar rudenesse; and therefore should soare so high with a Noble mind, as to scorne to prey upon such garbage, as is on­ly fit to feed swine with. The threatnings of God against this sin, with his Judge­ments for it. First then,

A Drunkard may be called a Mon­ster; such as entred not into the Ark; unlesse you account Noah one, who fell through temptation; he made no practice of it, yet smarted for his pregnant curiosity, to make an assay upon the unruly spirit of wine; but let's more strictly visit him, it's charity to visit the sick. I take him to be no man; God indeed made him one, but that stamp and superscription of God set upon him to distinguish him from other creatures is so defaced, that if all other of Gods creatures had done the like, who could have traced in the search of the knowledge o [...] God in his creatures? If then he be n [...] man, he is no beast; for in this sence they are sober, content with the liberty of Natures choyce; if neither Man, nor Beast, then sure God never made him; his soul is drowned, so n [...] [Page 3] man; his sence is lost, so no beast; If we grant he have a rational being, it is like those Idols mentioned, that have eyes and see not, eares and hear not, neither do they perceive any thing▪ the man is turned out of pos­session; here lies the Cabinet, the jewel's lost. He is Antipode to all other crea­tures, nay to God himself; if you will have him a Beast, he must be a beast of Prey, whose belly is the very Sepulcher of Gods Creatures, as if his life were but potestas vivendi ut velis; Like him that mourned, because his sences were not incorporated into that one of tast­ing; which pleasure he wished had been spread over all his body, whereby he might have ranged over all the sweets of nature, with a prolonged delight. Hannah gives the fittest name to him, in her Answer to Eli, Count not thine handmaid a daughter of BELIAL. In a word, he is a poor dead creature, a Lazarus, whom God in mercy raise to life again; that out of this Chaos of insensible bestiality, God would please to speak a word of power, ano­ther Fiat, even a voyce saying; Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give thee light.

[Page 4]Let's now see how much this sinne contributes to the breach of Natures Lawes, and how much condemned and rooted out by Heathens. Tempe­rance and Sobriety, those just Stew­ards are dismantled of their Authori­ty, whilst this sin with Schollars, shut the door against their Master when they rebell; it forces Nature to run the Gant-lope, which without violence would best provide for her self, if she could but spread her own table; Go to the Crib you that are given up to Ebriety, who cares for no more than what justly relieves the urgency of Nature: I am too much afraid that it may justly be said of us, as it was once of Philosophy; That it was taught at Athens, but practised in Spar­ta. Temperance and sobriety is taught in England, but practised in Turkie; Alphonsus King of Aragon, al­wayes tempered his wine with water, least it should flie above his under­standing, and betray his reason. It was a Christian reply of Alcamen to his frugal reprovers; saying, That Gods blessings should prompt us to live up unto reason, and moderation, not of [...]ust, by turning Gods mercies to a wan­ton [Page 5] liberty of excesse: The wicked man, sayes Plutarch, liveth to eat and drink, but the good man, eateth and drinketh to live: And Salust said, Nothing can be more abject and hurtful than to be a slave to thy mouth and belly: Gorgius being demanded how he came to live in health, to so great an Age; An­swered, By forbearing to eat or drink through pleasure.

There is a breach of this tempe­rance, A power to drink to a greater excesse in measure, and abuse of Gods creatures, than many a weaker constitution can endure, without be­ing drunk with the fourth part of o­ther's riot: to drown and force Na­ture beyond her due proportion, is a drunkennesse before God, though thou beest never overtaken with the power of it to the sight of the Law. If a Heathen could say, It becomes not a King to extinguish that by excesse of drink, which suports the name of an Em­perour: How much ought a Christian to value his profession at a higher rate? How sweet and comely a thing is it for men to live soberly, wisely, and temperately, by mixing our enjoy­ments with an equal proportion and [Page 6] measure of sobriety? The opposite was that which stained the glory of Great Alexander.

The Lawes of Heathens and for­mer Nations, condemn our impunity and cheapnesse of this sin: we do as it were sell drunkennesse; for where forfeitures bite not above the pleasure of it, men will be content to pay for it.

The Ancient Romans banished all Epicures out of their Cities, account­ing them the plagues of youth. Ro­mulus made a Law to punish drunken­nesse in women with death. Minos King of Creet, suffered none to drink one to another unto drunkennesse, without the censure of the Law. Se­verer Lawes are not in the World a­gainst this sin, than in Turkie; A story whereof I remember of one, that at a Festival time, had been too liberal with his cups,Turkish Hist. and being carried before the Grand Vizier, had lead poured into his mouth and eares, and so died: not that one act needed such severity, so much as to suppresse the growth and progresse of sin: The Law rather in­tends Reformation than Punishment, if the one might be without the o­ther; for Lex non Irascitur.

[Page 7]Let's see the spiritual evils of this sin; A Drunkard wounds his own soul, his heart is like mare mortuum, where no grace can live, he drowns the voice of Nature, and Conscience, the two great lights which God sets up in every man; He sells himself with Ahab, to work wickednesse: Tell him of God, he replies as the Cyclops in the Tragedy to Ʋlysses; I know no other God but my belly: Or like that Monk mentioned, who upon the news that all Abbies were voted down, and yet his maintenance continued for life, stroaked his belly with these words, Modo hic, sit bene; his care was past, so long as his camp was vi­ctualled: with Solomons fool, Come let's drinks, for to morrow we shall die; but Remember, Post mortem nulla vo­luptas.

Is it not a sad thing, to see men drown body and soul together? men may play with their eternal estates, and dance about the flames, and never see their danger till irrecoverable. How many like Amnon, die drunk, carry their own condemnation with them;Wilson. K. Ja. That as Sir Gervise Elloway said; His own hand which he took [Page 8] such a pride in, appeared to his con­demnation, when nothing else could have wrought it: and such judge­ments are heavy, seeming as if the execution were alike intended against the soul, as well as the body; They spend their dayes in Mirth, and suddenly they go down to Hell, Job 31.13.

What art thou guilty of that occa­sions this sin? which is accompanied with so great tokens of Gods sore dis­pleasure? thou that in company forcest down drink, or takest pleasure in thy sad profit, by suffering them in thy house: read the Prophet, Wo to him that giveth his neighbour drink, that putteth the bottle to him, and maketh him drunken also.

It swells greater yet, as its the foun­tain of other sins; As Nero wished the people of Rome had but one neck, that with one stroke, he might cut it off: so the Devil, makes up all his com­pounds of this one sin; this he makes the onely rode to the breach of all Gods Commandments at once: as one well said; Prove a man ungrateful, and he is every thing that is evil: So let a man be a Drunkard, and Ile se­cure, he shall not stick at the vilest [Page 9] Murther, Rape, or whatever mischief come in his way. This sin is without a guard, and though it be the King of other sins, yet it hath not so much as a life-guard: for some kill their dear­est friend, who when sober, account him according to that wise standard of Solomons, friendship; better than a Brother: others their Father, Sister, and the Wife of their bosom. Cyrillus was slaine by his drunken son, who not content with his Fathers blood, sends his Mother with child to ano­ther world, in a bloody winding-sheet; wounds one of his Sisters, and deflowers another. Uncleannesse e­scapes not this beastly sin, any more than Murder, an example whereof is recorded of one, that tempted to A­dultery, Murder, or Drunkennesse, chose the last, as the least, but proved the greatest; it was all of them: for now drunk, he commits Adultery with one, whose Husband at the same time coming in, he murders: the sin of uncleannesse is the channel wherein Drunkennesse runneth: Nunquam ego ebrium castum putabo, sayes one: I will never believe that chastity lodgeth in the Drunkards bed: As its said of [Page 10] Pumming-stones amongst the Mediter­ranean Islands, that they are produ­ced of the scum of those Seas; so I may say of uncleannesse, that it is the froth of drunkennesse. Wine is to most men the milk of Venus; he can never have a pure soul in a chast body, that sucks at these breasts, that fre­quents the society of this Baude of lust. It is the furnace of lust, the forge on which the devil frames all other sins upon.

As in Nature all things spring from the Root, so all sins are incorporated into this one of drunkennesse; As our natures contain the seeds of all impiety, and there lie for mintage: so when once a man is drunk, he is ready to coine any mischief, and set the devils stampe on every action. I pray God keep every man from this sin.

The outward evils are not few▪ thy Estate, Family, Relations, smart for thy drunken excesse; and when thou art under the extremity, what think­est thou is the greatest smart, but to consider, that thy distraction is of thy self? If a severer judgement pre­vent not, this misery of want and need [Page 11] [...]n old age, will be the inseparable ghost of this sin.

A Drunkard makes himself the li­ving tomb of his Ancestors, travelling from luxury to necessity, never till now writes an omnia vanit as upon his ex­travagancies. This sin, sayes one, is like gun-powder, which blowes up many a faire fortune. And, no doubt, that which cuts sore, is, To consider, not onely my own misery and pover­ty, but that my poor and innocent relations, should come to misery, tho­rough the road of my sin; that tho­rough want, they should be put upon such rocks of sin and temptation, as post them out of the World with la­mentation and woes, against such courses, the guilt whereof lyeth at my door. This is the vinegar, and gall.

The next evil is, the miserable e­state of their bodies; some mens sins run before to judgement, and some come after: This sin, I think, is fore­most in every thing; for whereas God sayes, I will destroy both the meat, and the belly; he cries, No, no, I will not stay so long, Ile destroy my self by Rhumes, Dropsies, Gouts, In­flammations, [Page 12] Apoplexies; who sees no [...] complexions altered, countenanc [...] changed? how many destroyed by [...] violent death? infinite numbers drowned, some broken in pieces by falling into pits, fall off horse-back dead [...] fareing with them as it is said of tha [...] Pope whom the Devill carried away with him in the very act of Adultery Intemperance is a root proper to every disease; sayes Plato: and sicknesse is the chastisement of Intemperance. Seneca Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow [...] who hath contention? who wound without cure?Prov. 23.29. those that stay long a [...] the wine, saith the Royall Phylosopher. He is next a shame to his relations, his servants scorn and slight him so cheaply doth he part with his honour, and authority, that his groom i [...] his Master; Is any thing in the world so much the subject of folly and laugh­ter, to the meanest persons, even to the boyes in the street? As once at a meet­ing,R. Junius. a company of persons having a tem­pest in their heads, by reason of a Sea o [...] drink, verily thought the house a Pin­nace at Sea, and the storm so vehement, that they unladed the vessel, throwing all they could get hold of, out of the [Page 13] windowes, instead of over-board, cal­ [...]ng the Constable Neptune; some got under the Tables, as under the Hatches, Another holds a great pot for the Mast, [...]hinking that that which once threw him down, might now hold him up; all of them crying out, what pitty it was [...]o many brave Gentleman should be [...]st, and founderd at Sea! that could not find the way home by land; not [...]uch unlike a Gentleman of no mean [...]rts, attending a funerall in the [...]hurch, pulled out his keyes, and [...]hockt at the pue door, calling of the [...]awer for a reckoning: or him that [...]ught his horse in every Inne, when he [...]me on foot to the Town. The most re­markable story I find recorded, is of one [...]hom the Duke of Burgundy found dead [...]unk, and carried to the Pallace; dis­ [...]bed of his own apparell, and equiped [...] the Court mode; as soon as he a­ [...]aked, the Dukes attendants wait upon [...]m, perswade him he is some great [...]ince: They serve up dinner with [...]e same state as to the Duke himself, [...]t a word spoke, all in silence, to the [...]eat astonishment of the poor man, and [...] small recreation of the Duke and [...]dies: after supper they began to re­vell [Page 14] it in his presence, the musick play and dances begin, with a great shew [...] much splendor, according to the custo [...] of the Court; which done, they fill b [...] belly as full of drink, as his head w [...] empty of wit and reason, so convey [...] him to the place where he was foun [...] putting on his own apparell; The m [...] when recovered, when invested wi [...] reason, made better sport with his ow [...] imagination; the jest being all the ear [...] est of his confused conceptions, w [...] now had his understanding as farre [...] seek in pursuit of his own information as when he was drunk; hardly believin [...] but that now he was drunk, if [...] thought it any thing above a pleasa [...] and delightful dream; this he resolve [...] that a vision he had seen, and could n [...] by any means be disswaded from i [...] Thus are the sences besotted, the m [...] mory that Noble Recorder lost, an [...] reason it selfe more stupified, then [...] any capacity to use it. This is the evi [...] of it, that let him do the greatest evil [...] he remembers it not.

He knowes not what a secret i [...] though it concern his own life or [...] state; and this is the reason that i [...] some Courts they tempt Embassado [...] [Page 15] to ebriety, knowing that he will then be as leaky at the mouth, as an old ship at Sea; all he knowes, comes up with as much ease, as his drink went down; It is just with a Drunkard, as it is said of a Spaniard, and a French­man; That all the drugges in Egypt, is not able to purge a secret out of the former, which is a sicknesse and punish­ment for the latter to retain.

I could have said much more of the evill effects of this sin, but I affect brevity, though I fear to be tedious. We see it is a wofull, doleful sinne; damnes the soul without repentance, destroyes Body, Estate, Reputation of a good name; In a word, undoes in this life, and that which is eternall. Me thinks I see the whole Nation reel un­der the depression of this sin, as in that though often cut, yet like quick hedges grow again; Hydra-like, increases by his wounds; but if once cut at the Root the Cedars as well as the Shrubs would fall to the ground; So long as the tall Okes stand to shelter the storms of Authority from the Brambles; lets never expect a hopefull Reformation of this Abuse. For as Gondamar said at a Councel at Madrid, Never let's ex­pect [Page 16] good from the Netherlands, so long as England feeds the Humours; let's be­gin at the cause, and the effects will follow; so I say if exhortations, threa­tenings, nor civility, will serve to find out common ingenuity from the great ones, let a handle be cut out of the Bowels of greatnesse it self, to lop of these exuberant branches of wicked­nesse, which hinder the buddings o [...] vertue, and promote the worst of vi­ces; but because I account my self strictly related to wish them well, give m [...] leave to treat civilly with the Gentry.

And oh that I could perswade som [...] Gentlemen from this foolish sordid and unmanly trade of Drinking! some few there are, and I hope but few, tha [...] think it an honour to be drunk, swear and roar with debaucht company; Ma­ny there are in these Counties as wel [...] as other, which bear the remarks of ex­emplary piety; persons, who for their vertues, are the Honour of their coun­try, whose conversations alone set a brand upon debauchedness; of such I be [...] the honour to honour them: but such as are addicted to this sin, I would di­still better perswasions into their minds▪ [Page 17] especially to such as in all points save this, are extreamely ingenuous; and such as through their too much inge­nuity cannot resist temptations, I pity their easie natures, and wish their temperatures had been more steril and morose! Oh that I could reach the most inward part, and there plant the force of perswasion if it were but to a Moral and Philosophical kind of life! that in the sight of this debau­ched and beastly custom of excesse, and riot, they might live like sober and discreet men, rather glorying in their sobriety like Christians, than [...]mpiety like beasts. Mirth, chearful­nesse, and sobriety, may be nourished without the foolish custom of Drink­ing healths, on purpose to be drunk. As Lord Bacon in his Speech in Star-Chamber, upon the consideration of [...]hat cruelty acted against Sir Tho. [...]verbury, by imprisonment said; Its [...]are in the Island of Brittain, its nei­ther of our Country, nor Church; In [...]ome and Italy there is a Religion for [...]; if it should come amongst us, it were [...]tter living in a VVildernesse, than a court. May I not wish, that Drunken­ [...]esse were a sin rare in the Island of [Page 18] Britain? This, I say, Let other Na­tions have a Religion to be debau­ched and drunk, let it be to other Nations as their natures; but let England account it self a Wildernesse o [...] wild beasts, when this sin reigns: le [...] us say, Its better to live amongst Salvages, than such beasts as Adam never found, nor God never created.

This sin formerly was practise onely by Tinkers, Beggars, &c. it wa [...] a shame to a Gentleman to be drunk but alas! how many now glory i [...] their shame, instead of being (b [...] their moderation, knowledge, and sobriety) a glory to their Country▪ Would but shame attend this sin, [...] would soon be left, but this boastin [...] of such a dayes meeting, wipes off [...] shame; so that men grow hardned [...] their iniquity. He that tempts me [...] passe the bounds of moderation, a [...] sobriety, does but civilly invite [...] to a fever, or some ruinous distemp [...] Ile Drink my own health, L. Bacon. sayes a w [...] man,D. Taylor. and pray for the Kings. Wh [...] intollerable madnesse [...] sayes a Learn [...] Divine, hath seized upon great porti [...] of mankind, that this folly should poss [...] the greatest spirits, the wittiest men! [...] [Page 19] best company! the most sensible of the word Honour! the most jealous of loosing the shadow, but throw away the thing! Thou hadst better give away thy estate, than say thy belly was the grave of thy Patrimony. Is it not a horrid thing, that a Wise, Learned, or Noble Per­son, should lose his honours, become an Apellative of scorn, a Scene of abuses, a dishonour to that party for which he with [...]thers have suffered? That which I [...]eplore, sayes he, is, that most men pre­ [...]er a cause before their life, and by one Drunken meeting, set it further back­ward in its hopes, and blessings, than a whole year of counsells and arms can [...]epair.

Indeed the Nation would hardly [...]lush, if onely the scum and froth of [...]t were tainted; but for this disease [...]o fall upon the vitals, its a dye in [...]rain, a ruine to honour without a [...]emedy. I hope there are sparkes of [...]ngenuity yet remaining in some, as well as this sin, which if once they take [...]re, from the consideration, either of [...]hreatnings, judgements, reason, honour, [...]eputation, or a good name, this de­ [...]auchednesse would soon be blown [...]nto the aire; and if once the Gentry [Page 20] left it, then it would become a shame indeed in the very Nation: But I fear the habit and custom of this sin, will force us at last to the sordid pra­ctise of some Nations, where its not accounted friendly entertainment, if men be not drunk before they part; I wish it may not be found a practise in some Gentlemens houses in this Nation!

Let me conclude with lamenting, and perswading; Is it not a great pity, that men of the greatest Honour, and expectations of the Nation for Gen­tility, Breeding, Learning, &c. should suffer the shipwrack of every thing that can be called good! That such should be so sadly ruined in this se [...] of drunkennesse! which like a Hericane, spareth none, but such as feel a lesse punishment than ruine it self. A [...] one said, he could willingly lose half his learning, to redeem his health; so many may lament and wish half their knowledge and learning which once they had! May I perswade you, let me tell you, its as much below Gen­tility, as a Gentleman is above other by birth, and that which should distinguish him from other more peasantly [Page 21] deportments. Can there be no medium in your mirth and chear­full repasts, below this sinne of Disho­nour, Beastly, and Debaucht beha­viour? Let me beg you to hate it, and remember that nothing more en­nobles a Gentlemans name, or bla­zons forth his Honour and Reputa­tion, but studying an Aptitude for his Countries service, purchased not by drunkennesse, and beastlinesse; but by Learning, Parts, Knowledge, Wis­dom, Sobriety, Temperance, Ʋrbanity, and all which, this sin destroyes, if you escape with the shipwrack of a good conscience: Let Solomons instruction be remembred; My son, be not among the wine bibbers, for the Drunkard and the Glutton shall come to poverty.

If perswasions built upon the prin­ [...]iples of Reason, the sad fruits of it, [...]ame, dishonour, &c. Gods threat­ning must nextly have place, which in­deed are not small, and yet will but [...]ake way for his more severe dis­pensations in his Judgements.

Wo to the Drunkards of Ephraim; Esay 28.1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 19. [...]he Lord as a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of haile, and a de­troying storme, as a flood of mighty wa­ters [Page 22] and overflowing, shall pull down the pride of the Drunkard; for with wine they have erred, and with strong drink have gone out of the way: thy are swal­lowed up of wine; for all Tables are full of vomit, and filthinesse: for which the overflowing scourge is threatned, as a just reward for so great a sin; to­gether with famine, which saith the Prophet in the last verse, cometh forth from the Lord of Hosts. Chap. 22.12, 13, 14. And again, the Lord calleth for weeping, howling, and lamentation, which shall come upon Gluttony and Drunkennesse; and the Lord of Hosts, saith the Prophet, hath revealed it in mine eare, that this ini­quity shall not be purged from you, Chap. 5.22. till y [...] die.

In another place. VVo to them tha [...] are mighty to drink wine, and men o [...] strength to mingle strong drink; for [...] the fire devoureth the stubble, and th [...] flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be rottennesse, and the blossom shall go [...] as dust; therefore is the anger of the Lord kindled, and hath smitten them and the Hills did tremble, and their carcases torn in the midst of the streets If these denunciations were deliberately weighed, how would the ver [...] [Page 23] joynts of sinners tremble, and smite one against another, as Beltshazars, when he saw the hand-writing upon the wall. Hear the Prophet Joel. Joel 1.5. Awake ye Drunkards, and weep and howle all ye Drinkers of wine. God oft comes when we are asleep, and many poor souls have never awaken­ed from their Drunkennesse, till in Hell with Dives; this is a sad awaken­ing. Go to, weep and howl, sayes St. James, ye have lived in pleasure and wantonnesse, and nourished your hearts as in a day of slaughter.

If yet all will not warne, what must Gods appearances then be when he comes in terrour and wrath, by his visible examples of judgement, which I have collected from Scripture, Hi­story, and Modern experience.

Elah, King of Israel, was murdered by Zimri, in the midst of his cups,1 King. 16.9, 10. as a judgement of God upon his ex­cesse. Ammon, when his heart was merry with wine, was murdered by Absoloms servants. Righteous Lot, 2 Sam 13.28. by this sin commits incest with his own daughters; and as one well observes,Gen. 9.21. made a Sodom of his own Family.

The heavy curse, that to this day [Page 24] lieth upon Noah's son, Cham's Poste­rity, was through this sin, whereby he discovered his own shame. Holo­fernes, having too much exceeded in wine, lost both wit and head at once.

Alexanders sorrow after his sin, will tell us the sad fruits of it; for sel­dom some or other of his dear friends escaped his fury when he was drunk.

Cleomena, King of Lacedemonia, at a time being drunk, was never sober after;Peards. Theatre. but as a judgement of the Lord, he lost his senses for not having judgement to keep them. Another is as justly rewarded with the fruit of the vine, Anacreon, that grand en­gulpher of wine, was choaked with an empty grape.

The Earl of Aspermont drained his estate so dry by his excesse in this sin, as he justly died in misery; for at a meeting, he drunk so deep, as he could never rise again; for he died with it.

Non ut vi­vat fed ut bibat.The Emperour Bonosius, through his custom in this sin, was said, not to be born so much to live, as to drink. This was he that would force drink into Ambassadours, the better to pump up their secrets: He was shame­fully [Page 25] hanged with this Epitaph. This is a Tun, and no man.

Zeno, Emperour of the East, be­came so hateful by his intemperance, that none could endure to see him; his wife Ariadne one day when he lay senselesse (as he oft did) cast him in­to a Tomb, and buried him alive, as a just reward of his drunken­nesse.

August 18. 1629.Mr. Neal­son, Mini­ster, his Letter to Mr. Taylor in Theatre of Gods Judge­ments. Tho. VVilson la­bourer, a known Blasphemer, and Curser, by oathes, &c. was also given up to this beastly sin of Drunkennesse; who through the justice of God, a­gainst both sins, in an angry passion stab'd himself with his own knife, and so died in the midst of many neigh­bours.

May 10. 1629. John Bone of Ely, Coachman to Mr. Balnum of Beenham, was a very vild Swearer, and Drun­kard; who on a Sabbath day, in Sermon-time, being drunk, and not able to sit in the Coach-box, fell un­der the horses feet, and was troden to death. You Sabbath-breakers, and Swearers, hearken to this doleful ex­ample of Gods immediate hand.

Nov. 16. 1618. one Tho. Alred of [Page 26] Godmanchester Butcher, being very prophane, and given to this sin, was desired by a neighbour to unpitch a load of hay, and being drunk, let his pitchfork fall, and stooping to reach it, standing with the forks upwards, fell upon it, that it run into his body, and so fell down dead, as a warning to others.

July 16. 1628. One John Vintner of Godmanchester, being a known drun­kard, and given (especially in his drink) to scoff at Religion and godly people, fell from the top of a Peare-tree, and broke his neck, and so died under the hand of justice: an ex­ample for all prophane drunkards, and scoffers of God and his people.

A Gentleman of good reputation, and demeanour, being not addicted to this sin, was through temptation overtaken with this snare;Mr. Ward, his Wo to Drun­kards. but lo, justice will be satisfied on some, to be an example and terrour to others; for riding home, his horse threw him, and beat out his brains: He being void of reason, and so not capable of advice, would follow no way but his own, which led to destruction; for without fear or sense, he spurred his horse [Page 27] over all sorts of crosse and desperate wayes, till he thus fell under the stroak of Divine wrath.

About the year 1630. nigh Maldon, five or six notorious Drunkards had plotted a meeting, and laid in beer for their prophane drinking healths: But (Divine Justice that can with his breath blast all our undertakings) did so justly give them up to excesse in this sin and meeting, as they never met more, but all yielded up their spirits to the Justice of that God, whom they abused by his creatures.

A man coming home drunk, would needs swim in a Mill dam, which his servants and wife disswaded him from, because he could not swim, and once got him out after he was in, but he gets in again, and by the just hand of God there perished. I was, says my Au­thour, at the house to enquire of the truth thereof, and found it too sadly true. And one of Alisham in Norfolk, a notorious drunkard, was drowned in a shallow brook, with his horse standing by him.

A Butcher in Haslingfield, scoffing at the Preacher for his reproving of this sin, was in the instant of his rail­ing, [Page 28] choaked by somewhat that stuck in his throat, which could by no means be got up or down; but strang­led him. Oh the Divine Justice! how Righteous and Just is the Lord in all his wayes! how are his judgements past finding out!

At Tillingham in Essex, 3 young men meeting to drink, one fell down dead, and never rose again; the other two escaped through mercy (by the gates of much sicknesse) that they might re­pent, and if not, to be the lesse excu­sable, if God followed them by the like severity.

At Bungey in Norforlk, three drunken companions coming out of an Ale-hous in a dark evening, swore they thought hell was not darker; but observe the end of Justice; one fell over a Bridge, and was drowned; the second slain with a fall from his horse: a third sleeping by the River side, was found frozen to death.

At Hedly, a Bayliffe being drunk, got upon his Mare, saying, she would carry him to the Devill; she indeed casts him off, and broke his neck. This Justice was the more remarkable, being upon the Lords day.

[Page 29]A company meeting in an Ale-house in Harwich at night, over against Mr. Russels house, was once or twice desired to depart and avoyd such wickednesse; but they would not: he comes to the place himself, and ap­prehends one of them, and offering to carry him to prison, he drawes his knife, and made his escape; But oh the Justice of the Lord! the strange and wonderfull wayes of his Providence! this man was not heard of for three dayes, and at last was taken out of the Sea with his knife in his hand, ju­stified by Mr. Russell himself, who was the Mayor of the place.

At Tenby in Pembrokeshire, A com­mon and frequent Drunkard, in the midst of this sin, fell from a high Rock, and was broke in pieces; and four other instances, my Authour sayes he could relate wallowing and tumbling in their drink, slain by Carts, &c. But being the common wayes of Gods Justice, he forbeares them in the midst of so many extraor­dinary and remarkable passages of Gods Justice and power, and indeed innumerable might be such instances, which the experience of every place [Page 30] prevents in this. A Glasier in Chan­cery Lane London, having some sparks of profession, but falling from them, fell into this sin; who being often re­proved by his Christian friends, and no better: God hardened his heart against them, and once being drunk, by the violence of vomiting, broke a vein, continued two dayes in extre­mity of Anguish and torment, not without great conflicts and distresse of mind, his conscience being awa­kened, and God in much mercy breathing some comfort to his distres­sed soul, he yielded up his soul to God, as he had done his body to Sathan, attested by a kinsman of his own to my Authour. O that, if it had been Gods will, all examples of justice were ac­companied with such sweetnesse and mercy, as to give any hope of the safe­ty of the soule, when the body in the act of sin is destroyed.

A Knight given to this wicked sin of Drunkennesse, did sometimes or­der pailes of drink into the fields to make people drunk. On a time drink­ing with company, a certain woman comes in, and giveth him a Ring with this posie; Drink and die; which he ac­cepted [Page 31] of and wore; and in six dayes died through excesse of drink, justi­fied by a Minister dwelling within a mile of the place.

Two children my Authour sayes, he hath known to murther their Mo­ther in drink; and another that at­tempted to kill his Father, of which being frustrated, he set fire of his barn, and afterward came to the Gal­lowes.

In Broad-street London, Many Gen­tlemen drinking healths to their sole Lords on whom they depended, one wicked wretch takes up a Pottle pot of Sack, sweares a deep oath, saying, will none drink a health to my Noble Lord and Master? and without any more words he begunne himselfe, and drank up the pot full to the bottome, and suddenly fell as if dead, snor­ting, but not speaking; he is layd by as one overcome, and covered with cloathes, till they drink as large a proportion, as their insatiate appe­tites would take in; when done, ex­pecting their friend should rise, they found him dead indeed. Oh sad to go to Eternity swearing and drunk! who would not dread the Issue?

[Page 32]At Barnwell nigh Cambridge, a young man and a woman, with a hun­dred more in company, met at the sign of the Plough, agreeing to drink off a Barrell of Beer, which they did; but will not examples of others warn us? then let's expect to be monu­ments to others; three of them died in twenty four houres, the fourth esca­ped with great sicknesse, and by the gates of death had life given him, wit­nessed by a Justice of Peace of the County near by.

D.T. Tay­lor.Two servants of a Brewers in Ips­wich, whilst I was Minister there, said my Authour, drinking for a Rump of a Turky, in their drink they strugled for it, and both fell into a scalding Cal­dron, the one died presently, the o­ther in Torment and Anguish pined away.

Mr. Bea­dles Dia­ry.At a Tavern in Essex, a Constable was threatned by a drunken Serving-man, to be forced out of the house by his oathes and curses, if he would not be gone, and in his drink pursuing one of his company to force him to drink off a pint of Sack, he fell down stairs, and immediately fell under the stroke of divine vengeance; oh! you swea­rers [Page 33] and cursers, remember these ex­amples of God! let them be examples to you; will not the wrath of God re­vealed stand in our way, and encom­passe us about with terrour and fear? Oh be not proud of your strength, to devour and engrosse the creatures of God to satisfy your lusts! It is recorded of a Noble-man coming to Ipswich to visit his Kinsman in that University, that demanded how he profited in his studies, to whom they reply very well, and that amongst one thousand five hundred, he had the garland given him for the ablest drinker. Gods Judge­ments will find us sooner or later.

In Salisbury, Mr. Clerks Examples one in the midst of his drink began a health to the devill, saying, if he would not pledge him, he would not believe there was either God or devill, his associates being ter­rified at his words, with fear runne away; the Vintner hearing a hideous noyse, and smelling, and unusual and noysom savour, ran up to the chamber, but his guest was gone, & the windows broken, the Iron barres of the win­dows bended and bloody; and the poor wretch never more heard of. These are sad instances of Gods displeasure, [Page 34] if he would please in mercy to set them home upon some poor sinners.

In the year 1551. in Bohemia, five drunkards were met together to drink, who seeing a picture painted upon the wall, for the devill, drank healths to him; the next night they were all found dead with their necks broken, and their bodies crusht in pie­ces, blood running out of their mouthes, nostrils, ears, &c.

In the County of Cavan in Ireland, a Gentleman of Castle-terra, was much given to delight in drunken company, wherein healths went down swiftly, and glasses broke against the walls at every health; by this sin he was so much addicted to wickednesse and im­penitency, as his sport was to repeat the Ministers Sermons in scorn, and derision, especially at one time ha­ving heard a Sermon upon faith, de­manded of the Minister if he could remove mountaines, else he would not believe he had faith. This Gentle­man is by Gods hand struck with the small pox, which gets into his throat, in such extremity, that he could not swallow any meat or drink to cool and refresh the violence of his internall [Page 35] heat; that throat that had been the gutter and channel of many a pounds worth of drink, could not now, in tor­ment like Dives, suffer one drop to re­fresh him. In this sad and bitter con­flict, he breaks out into these expressi­ons to an honest man standing by. Oh Thomas, would I could now receive one of those glasses of drink, which formerly I profusely and profanely have thrown against the walls! And growing worse and worse, without hopes of life, perceiving no remedy but death for all his soares, he breaks out again in his agony and torment; oh that now I had but as much faith as a grain of Mustard-seed, and so ex­pired the 57. year of his Age. I pray, and cordially desire, that such sinners as parallel this example, may not be reacht with the like Justice! Many there are in this Nation grown up to a height of Malice, and Rage against Gods Ministers, and some in this place boyled up to a proportion of envy, ready to break; The Lord break their hearts, and humble their soules, under that two-edged sword of his word, that they may be saved in the day of the Lord.

[Page 36] Mr. Young.A Gentleman of Quality being drunk, and rising to urine, evacuating that into the fire, that prepared fuell for himself, he fell into the fire, and not being able to rise again, his belly was gathered together like a piece of Lether, the chamberlain coming in, helped in, that could not pity or help himself, and though in great torture and pain, through the piercing anguish of Gods Judgement, yet he called for, and drank off two and twenty double Jugs of Beer, and so in this sad and lamentable estate, died; Roaring, and Crying, that he was damned for breaking his vow of Reformation, Oh that the Lord would work a Refor­mation indeed! that poor creatures may not thus fall under divine Ju­stice, too much to be feared, as well to soul as body.

Mr. Stubs Anatomy of abusesRemarkable is the example of that tragical story of two Drunkards, who the fourth of July, 1580. at Neker­shofew in Almain, came into an Inne, called for bread and wine, and drink­ing to an infinite excesse; at last, one of them drinks a health to God, demand­ing what wine God would pledg him in? and reaching forth his arm with [Page 37] a cup full sayes, God I know not what wine thou likest best, but this I think is too good for thee, unlesse thou hadst sent better; but such as it is I give thee, take it, pledge me presently, and carouse it off every drop, as I have done to thee, or thou dost me wrong.

Here's a piece of blasphemy, which I am confident the most wretched crea­ture in the world, durst not speak so­ber; Oh this sad sin! we little know what the fruits of one drunken hour may produce. This vile wretch, no sooner ended his hellish courtesie, but that just and wise God (who must be provoked before he will execute his severe Judgements) whom he had blasphemed, pledged him with a witnesse, for he left him as a pledge to the world of his wrath, and dis­pleasure against this sin. His arme which he stretched out, was never able to be pulled in again; his body stupi­fied as well as his senses, not able to stirre from the place, continuing a long time, in this sad condition, his eyes rolling to and fro in a terrible manner, his breath and speech lost, yet seemed to all alive; The people flock in droves to see this sad spectacle of [Page 38] fury and vengeance, some offer to re­move him, but could not; horses are tied to him, but could not stir him: they put fire to him, which would not take hold: so perswaded God had set him there as a warning to Drunkards, they left him so, and to this day, sayes my Author, he stands as a Pillar and Mark, to bid others avoid the like wickednesse, least they participate of Gods wrath, which though it moves a slow pace, will in the end light hea­vier, in as much as Gods patience pro­voked, turns to the most irresistable punishment.

His companion who had escaped the imediate hand of God, fell into the hands of Justice also; for as the other died a terrible, so this a shamefull death, being hanged by the common people before the door of the house where the sin was committed. O that you would consider this, ye that for­get God, least he teare you in pieces, and there be none to help!

Mr. Young.At one of Alexanders great meet­ings, appointed for his Officers and Favourits, no lesse died with excesse of drink, than 41. and after many a health, Promachus, at the bottom of [Page 39] four gallons of wine found the prize and jewel appointed for the Con­querour.

Another time he ended his own health and life, by drinking a health out of Hercules Cup, which to effect, 35. drunk their last also. These are direful and pregnant testimonies of Gods Judgements upon this impious custom of drinking healths. Against that good law of the Spartans: Ʋt bibat abitrio pocula quisque suo. Every man to his own liberty: Or that of the Goths, where it was death to drink or force a health.

Its placed in the Records of time, that Popelus, second King of Poland, doubting the fruits of his male-go­vernment to be the peoples deposing him; by his Queens counsel, faines himself sick, sends for twenty of the Elective Princes out of Pomerania, intreating their visit, (who as well now as at other times) came, and for their just reward and punishment of their great excesse in drink, and cu­stom of healths, they now drunk their last, without being drunk at all. The King makes a Speech, intreates his Son may be elected Heir to the [Page 40] Crown, after his departure, which they promise, if the Nobility consent­ed to their resolves; The Queen to seal the bargaine, brings a cup of poisoned liquor, intreating to drink his Majesties recovery: they had been so often used to this sinful custom, as it would have seemed ridiculous to refuse it; but the Kings health cost them all theirs, to the utter ruine of the Polonian Race. But this Justice of God upon Health-drinkers, ceases not in their deaths; but after also, for (to admiring of Justice) from these poisoned bodies, such infinite troopes and swarmes of Rats and Mice pro­ceed, as pursued the King, Queen, and Family, from place to place, from land to sea, and from sea to the strong Castle of Cracovia, where they were forced to flie, and neverthelesse al [...] arts were used, all opposition made, by Guards and Garrisons, Water-works and Fire-works, yet were they eaten up, and destroyed by these Rats and Mice. The Lord I hope will awaken some to see the evil of sin, by that o [...] punishment.

Doctor Beards Theatre.At Kesgrave nigh Ipswich, three Serving-men taking their leave, the [Page 41] woman of the house would needs per­swade them to drink wit, money, and her Ale out; but oh! that this won­derful example of Gods Judgement upon her, may warn all people, not to suffer, much lesse to provoke, any to this sin under their roofe; for this woman stands with Lots Wife, a Pillar and Statue of Gods wrath: she no sooner approaches with the pot in her hand, but was suddenly deprived of her speech; her tongue (that smooth oratour of the Devil to perswade to sin and wickednesse) swells in her mouth, and without a word more died. Sir Anthony Felton Justice, and others, sayes my Author, related it to me, as a thing they were eye-witnesses of:

And within these few years, sayes he, upon mine own knowledge, three being drunk nigh Huntington, were all undone and destroyed by a water, which passing, they were forced into the stream and drowned; leaving be­hind them the remarks of Gods Righteous Judgements.

On November 14. 1650. saith a Divine of this Nation,Mr. Trapp. a company of odious drunkards met at a house, and [Page 42] one coming home was drowned in a shallow ditch, his body not yet buri­ed; concluding, oh! those Ale-houses the pest of the Nation!

M. L.Another as sad, from a Reverend Divine also, of the same County, who at my request, gave it me under his hand, which he could have done ma­ny others of falling off Horseback; into Rivers, &c. but I onely aime at such as are most remarkable, knowing that the sad experience of most places, gives intelligence sufficient of such examples, which indeed are sad enough though the commonnesse take away the sense of them.

The example thus. About the year 1621. There dwelt in Houghton on the Spring, in the County of Dur­ham, one Christopher Hull, a Taylor who kept an Ale-house in the said Town, and at West Herrington in the same Parish, lived one Mr. Punshon, a most infamous and notorious Drunkard, and every way most wretchedly pro­phane; He being a frequent haunter of Hulls house, did one day fall out with him, and coming out of the door said, If ever I come within these doors, the Devil shall bring me in: some few [Page 43] dayes after, Punshon, going up the street of Houghton, Hull stood at the door, and said to him, Will you not come in? No, said he, for I have sworn the Devil, &c. Then said Hull, I will be the Devil for this time; so taking Punshon on his back, carried him in, where they drank one another drunk, and quareling, Hull stab'd Punshon in the throat, who immediately died: Hull was cleared at Durham Assizes by the favour of his Clergy, but soon after died, and, as its reported, very penitent.

In the year 1624. a Blacksmith in Oxford, being a very frequent drun­kard, after he had continued so some dayes together, did in a desperate manner, cut his own throat, yet lived some dayes, during which time, some Schollars and others, came to visit him; he often thrust his hand into the wound, and pulling out handfuls of blood, did spread it before the company, crying out, See here Gen­tlemen the fruits of Drunkennesse. This was affirmed by a Gentleman of the County of Durham, who saw and heard it.

In the year 1649. James Fairburne, [Page 44] in the Town of Mellerston, nigh the River Tweed, died in a most miserable, and roaring condition, through ex­cesse of drink.

On Easter Monday, 1656. One Tho. Foster, Carrier of Carlisle, being drunk, rode out of Town, and had not rode above a quarter of a mile from the Town, but in the very High road, fell off his horse, and in a water, not a­bove a quarter of a yard deep, he miserably perished.

In the year 1651. James Bouch of Cockermouth, being a most notorious Drunkard and Swearer, being drunk at Rosley Faire, did quarrel with two Troopers, who there killed him, as a judgement of God upon his former and present drunkennesse and swear­ing.

Robert Copeland, a Butcher in Car­lisle, being a common Drunkard, and prophaner of Gods Name, by cursed oathes, being drunk, did in the year 1651. break his neck in a stable hard by the Castle.

1632. John Emerston of Dalston, in Cumberland, was a very notorious Drunkard for many years, and one time in an Ale-house, died suddenly [Page 45] with a cup of drink in his hand.

In the year 1656. One Mr. Her­ridge, who formerly was a Linnen-Draper in Colchester, now living in this place, being too often found in the sin of drunkennesse, was at last over­taken with Justice; for coming on horseback from Sunderland, full of drink, he fell off his horse; and there died, without speaking one word. God will be glorified in his Judge­ments, where mercy and patience will not perswade and allure.

Anno 1654. One John Coultred of Orton Parish nigh Carlisle, coming drunk out of an Ale-house from Thursby, fell from his horse, not far from the Ale-house, and died im­mediately.

1650. VVilliam Howe, who kept an Ale-house in Carlisle, one time was drunk with two of his guests that were borderers, and going to convey them over the bridge, did all three fall into the River Caud; the two guests were drowned, Howe escaped by means of some bushes, and was ta­ken up alive: which may be as a warning to such as keep drink, to beware of other mens blood; I would [Page 46] be loath to be so guilty, though I might escape with my life: its a sad thing to be a means of any mans out­ward ruine, but to have a hand in mens dying in their sins, its much more to be accounted for.

These are sad examples of Gods Severity and Justice, Who can stand before a consuming fire? when once his anger is but a little kindled, blessed are all they that trust in him. Our Judges find in their Circuit, few that are arraigned, which are not brought to it by this sin, like slaves to the Judge­ment-seat; and are sent quick, from their sins to judgement, forcing cha­rity it self to censure their eternal e­states; the eccho of whose sins, re­sounds in their punishments with ven­geance from heaven.

Were I to prescribe prophilacticks, I would intreat thee to blesse thy self from this sin: none knows whither the wind of a distempered brain will hurry thee, or whither this spirit of Bacchus will drive thee: if once thou put thy foot into the stirrup to mount his saddle, when thou art up, thou must needs run when the Devil drives [Page 47] thee. Play not with healths; if thou lovest thy own, drink not other mens: flie evil society; they are the Devils Trapanners: be afraid with the Ful­ler in the Fable, who for fear of infe­ction, durst not entertain the Collier, lest he should make that black, which he made white. Be in this like the Ri­ver Danube, that will not mixe it self with the muddy streams of Sava. Evil fruit grows in bad company; they have no Autumn: wickednesse wi­thers not; the mischiefs attending them are like the Spanish Indies, which the Ambassadour told the Venetian, had no bottom.

Ephes. 5.16. Be not drunk with wine wherein is excesse.

OF BLASPHEMING THE NAME of GOD, By Cursed OATHES. With the Judgements of God upon [...] ƲRSERS & SWEARERS.

OF BLASPHEMING THE NAME of GOD, By Cursed OATHES: With the Judgements of God upon CƲRSERS & SWEARERS.

THis cursed and crying sin of taking the Lords Name in vain by wicked Oathes, hath like the River Nile, so overflowed the banks of Authori­ty, that many who should restrain the fury and rage of so horrid an Impiety, are too sadly guilty of it. This sin, to the sad experience of this Nation, doth swarm in all corners of it; A man can hardly negotiate in the [Page 52] World, unlesse he resolve it no sin to hear the holy Name of God, that God that made us, blasphemed by all sorts of people; Amongst poor people its common, and for Gentlemen its sadly accounted Generous and Valorous.

That it is a sin against God, I hope so few doubt it, as I may be spared to prove it; the most forcible argu­ment against it, lieth open in the pos­sitive Command of God Almighty, which made Heaven and Earth.

Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain; and the reason is a terrible one, by way of threat­ning; For the Lord will not hold him guiltlesse: Which Commandment is seconded by Christ in his Sermon up­on the Mount; Swear not at all, nei­ther by heaven nor earth, margMath. 5.34. but let your yea be yea, and your nay nay.

The aggravations of this sin are great, if parallel'd with the little rea­son for it, or profit by it: It must needs be a horrid sin that can pro­pound nothing as the object, but God himself: we may in this sin confesse with David, Against thee onely have I sinned, and done wickedly. All the creatures he hath made bow to him, [Page 53] and to the remembrance of him: Shall that mouth that sucks breath from God that made and daily pre­serveth thee, breath out oathes and curses against him? Oh impiety in the greatest dimensions! wickednesse with an Emphasis! Would not such ingratitude look odious in vulgar friendship? to sit at thy friends Table, and there receive daily food at his care and cost for thee, and for thee to make him the subject of thy malice and rage, and that to manifest it against his good name; Is not this [...] say, monstrous ingratitude? would not this swell provocation to the greatest latitude of revenge? Is not the Lords Name as the Apple of his [...]e? A thing he is jealous of:Prov. 6.34. If [...]alousie be the rage of a man, which he [...]ill not spare in the day of venge­ [...]ce, nor wil regard any ransom; What [...]nst thou expect from the Eternal [...]od, with whom is terrible Majesty?

It must be presumed, thou knowest [...] to be a sin; How inexcusable then [...]st it be unto thee, whose consci­ [...]ce is convinced thereof? It is a [...] therefore with the full consent of [...] will, and for want of due care [Page 54] over thy heart and lips. Oh man, what is it can provoke thee, unlesse the height of a Reprobate mind by blaspheming the blessed Name of God! How canst thou expect that blood to expiate thy sins, and to wash away thy iniquities, that hath so often spit his blood and wounds out of thy mouth? I think I should not be guilty of over-rash censure, if I say to such as are given up to this horrid im­piety; that its but as an earnest of that cursed condition in torment, and that the Devil teaches thee in this world, that thou mayest be the more ready to blaspheme God in the world to come; else what can be the mean­ing of mens giving up themselves to this wickednesse? Considering

The little profit got by it, A fa [...] advantage God knowes! no more than to rob out of sport, not need [...] and be punished for it. What profit have you of those things wherein one day you shall be ashamed? Is it because God forbids, that we will swear like that man of Venice, who for nine years, never stept out of the City, b [...] when on occasion he was commanded upon forfeiture of his life not to sti [...] [Page 55] then he was seen abroad: Much like that of the Apostle, Sin took occasion by the Commandment. How canst thou call on the Name of that God in the time of calamity and distresse, which thou hast so often cursed and blas­phemed? He that will mention the Name of God, must depart from ini­quity. Shall I, saith Polycarpus, that have served God to such an old age, prophane his sacred and blessed name, that so lovingly hath preserved my life unto this day? And being urged by the Proconsul to save his life, onely replyed, Know I am a Christian. It is indeed a sin that makes men lesse be­lieved. A Heathen could say, He was unwise that put trust in the words of a common swearer. And another Philo­sopher sayes, Virtue is never in that heart, which breaths out curses and oathes. He is accounted by all sober men, to be a prophane, wicked, and ungodly man, and its the greatest height of prophannesse that can be; Its the onely sin and practise of devils in hell, to curse, swear, and blaspheme God. The godly have this Character given them, That they fear an oath; but the wicked are not afraid of a [Page 56] world of oathes. The common ex­cuse of this sin is the custom of it, which is so slender, that it strengthens it, and indeed aggravates it; for cu­stom in sin by degrees hardens the heart from the fear of God.

This sin indeed is hatcht in the bowels of passion, which boiling to a height, vomiteth up all the corrupt filth and scum of the soul, casting it in the face of God. Beware therefore of passion, which through the depra­vednesse of our natures make us like mad dogs, that run at every thing in their way, they bark at the Moon: To see a man rage against God be­cause his neighbour hurteth him, is a perfect madnesse in reason. Strive a­gainst the custom of this sin, thou wilt lose thy senses else, and the sense of it, which is the height of sin; Its Gods giving up a soul to sin, when it loses the sense that it is a sin. Be­ware of little ones, they are the spawn of greater, Faith and Troth, are the livery of Gods Wounds and Blood, and God damn thee. We damn our souls by this sin at a low rate, if we consi­der the little, either pleasure or profit of it.

[Page 57]Avoid evil society, cursers, and swearers, are not to be associated with, lest partaking of their sin, thou taste of their punishment. If a Master of a Family; or School-Master; de­stroy it there, nip it in the bud, and resolve with David, that none such shall be under thy roof. I conclude with Psal. 25. Let them be confounded that sin without a cause.

If reason prevail not, remember the penalties of the Lawes, which though severe at this day, yet short both in the greatnesse and execution of former times. Philip King of France, made a Law; That whosoever blasphemously swore should be drowned: And Max. the Emperour; That every vain swearer should pay 13 shillings 4 pence, or if he refused, to be executed. In Hen. the fifth's time, A Law was made against prophane and vaine swearing; The forfeiture for a Duke 40 shillings, a Barron 20 shillings, a Knight or Esquire 10 shilling, a Yeoman 3 shillings 4 pence, and a servant, to be whipt; and this Law was so well executed, that all the Nation over, very few were heard to swear an oath. These were times of lesse light, than we pretend unto, [Page 58] yet a spirit of Reformation for God, was much more above our Age we live in.

If still we will not forbear, see Gods threatnings against this sin. In the Law stoning to death was the lowest punishment:Levit. 24.14. Bring him forth, that all the people may stone him.

In that black and forlorne band of sinners,Hosea 2.4. the Swearer leads the Van, which together with other sins, ma­keth blood to touch blood, and the land to mourn. In Zachariah 5.3. The thief and the swearer are linked together, against whom the flying Roll, with the curse of God is threatned to the consume­ing of their House, Timber, Posts, and Stones. As he clothed himself with cur­sing, margPsal. 109.13. saith the Psalmist; So let it come into his bowels like water, and like oyle into his bones. There is nothing more usual and certain, then for the arrows of this cursed Quiver, to reverberate and fly back upon a mans own face. God will be a swift witnesse against such as dishonour his holy name by profane swearing.Neh. 13, 2. Mal 3 4.

Now those that will not be warn­ed by the nature of this sin, nor danger to soule and body, nor be di­verted from it by Gods threatnings; [Page 59] let such harken to his just Judgements in these following examples, which are not only as a cloud of witnesses against profanenesse, hut also stand as a Pillar of Salt to warn thee from disobedi­ence, and wilfull running in a carreer, of sin to thy eternal ruine.

Earl Goodwin having slain Alfred, wished at the Kings Table, if it were so, that the bread he was eating might choak him, which God in Justice suf­fered, ere he stirred.

A Fisherman (known to the Au­thour) coming with a Boat of Macka­rell to a Town in Suffolke, Mr. Bea­dles Diary and being the first that came that year, the people pressed hard to be first served; one steps into his Boat, he presently ta­keth up a stone, swearing by God he would make them stand farther off; which was no sooner said, but he fell down and died presently: How ma­ny have I heard swear by God as com­monly as speak? Oh take heed of Gods judgement! consider what a mercy it is to thy soul, that thou art not thus judged.

A Gentleman in Edward the sixths time riding with other Gentlemen,Mr. Ridsley Serm. be­ing reproved for swearing, opened his [Page] mouth wider, and raged worse and worse; Mr, Haines Minister, tells him mildly the danger of it, and that at the great day an account must be ren­dred; he with Solomons fool refuses in­struction, bids him prepare, and take care for his own estate. Mr. H. re­plies, repent and amend, for death is as sure as uncertain. But raging and roaring with cursed oathes, he sayes; Gods wounds, take no care for me; and and coming to a Bridge, his horse leapt over with him; who like an im­penitent wretch ended his dayes. As he had lived, crying, Horse, and man, and all to the Devill.

R. Junius.In Lincolnshire, there lived a Ser­vingman, who was so accustomed to sweare, as at every small occasion he used Gods blood in his mouth, his friends mildly warne him from the evill of those wayes, lest vengeance follow at the heels of his impiety; but he takes no notice of friendly ad­monition, being visited by the hand of God, his friends again advise him to repent of his wickednesse, but God intended not that affliction to have so sanctifying a vertue in it, as to soften his obdurate heart; who by his accu­stomed [Page 61] oathes had forfeited the pati­ence and long-suffering of God, and turned his mercy into fury; He grows worse, and nigher to the chambers of death; and hearing the Bell toll for him, starts up; and under the pains and violence of death, cryes, Gods wounds the Bell tolls for me, but he shall not have me yet. Suddenly the blood from his Nose, Mouth, Wrists, Knees, and all the joynts of his body flowes out in abundance, that he became a spectacle of Gods wrath, and di­ed. O the dreadfulnesse of Gods Judgements.

There was a man in Germany so much accustomed to use the Devill in his mouth; that if he did but stumble,Theatre of Gods Judge­ments. the devill was uppermost; he was often reprehended for it, to no purpose, ex­cept to make his sin the lesse excusa­ble; which he continuing in, coming to a Bridge, stumbled and fell down; say­ing, Hoyst up with a hundred Devils, instantly the Devill appears, and car­ried him quite away, that he was ne­ver heard of after.

One who was given much to cursing & [...]wearing, being on his death-bed,Mr. Bolton. most wickedly desired those that stood by, [Page 62] to help him with oathes: and to swear for him and himself, swearing so fast, as one would think there was little need of any other then himself in the world, that could so quickly find out a way for to blaspheme God, and damn his own soul.

Theatre of Gods Judge­ments.In the City of Savoy, There lived one, who after much exhortation and reproof, hardened his neek against all admonition; the plague breaking out light upon him, he with his family re­tires to a garden, the words of re­proof by the mouth of Gods Mini­sters follow him, that if possible the plague of his heart might not at the same instance, together with Gods outward hand, contribute to the eter­nal ruine of his soul, with that of his body, but all in vain; as good turn the course of the Sun, as his soul accustomed to sin, at last swear­ing and cursing, with the Devill in his mouth, the Devill suddenly hur­ries him away into the ayre, in sight of his wife and Kinswoman, who saw the Devil flying with him over their heads; his cap fell off his head, and was found at Kosne, but himselfe was never heard of to this day. The [Page 63] Magistrate at the noyse of this exem­plary piece of Gods just Judgement, repaires to the witnesses of it, who te­stify, with a sad relation; their woful experience, no lesse horrid then true.

Three souldiers travelling through a wood in the Coutrey of Samurtia, Mr. Clerks examples. A tempest of thunder and lightening arose, one of them breaks into his u­sual oathes, and in the instant of swearing, the violence of the wind (no doubt directed by God) throwes a tree upon him, whereof he pre­sently was crushed to pieces.

Another that was very much habi­tuated to swear by Gods Armes, had his own arm hurt with a knife, and could find no remedy, but it festered daily, till it rotted and mouldred a­way gradually, and he through An­guish and Torment died,

And one Michael a Jewish Rabbin, as he was swearing by the Name of Jesus, fell down and broke his neck.

A boy at Tubing in Germany, inven­ted strange and unusual oathes, but God sent a Canker, that eat out his tongue; these are signal tokens of Gods [Page 64] anger; they are so immediate from himself, that none can see lesse then a wonderful hatred in God of them.

At Benevides, a village in Spain, a whirlwind arose; two young men be­ing in a field, apprehending the ap­proaching danger, fall down upon the ground, lest the violence of it might carry them into the ayre; when it was past, the one arises in great amaze­ment; the other being a very notori­ous curser, and swearer, lyes dead; his bones so crusht, that his joynts turned every way, his tongue rooted out, and could not be found.

In June 1649. A souldier at Warre, goeth with others to wash in a shallow river, asked whether there was a deeper to swim in, and they answered there was one nigh hand, but dange­rous, by reason it was a deep pit, who replies, God damne me, if it be as deep as hell I will in; he was no sooner in, but sunk to the bottom, and never rose again; which, sayes Mr. Clark, was at­tested by good witnesses.

And God met with that swearer and curser in France, a Citizen of Paris, whom Lewis 9. ordered to have his lips seared together with a hot Iron, [Page 65] saying; I would to God that with sear­ [...]ng my own lips, with a hot Iron, I could [...]anish out of my Realm all abuse of [...]athes!

A souldier falling sick in his jour­ [...]ey through Marchia, in Almain, Theatre of Gods Judge­ments. stay­ [...]d in his Inne; and when recovered, [...]emanded of his Landlady the mony [...]e gave her to secure for him, but con­ [...]ulting with her husband; resolved [...]ot to confesse any; so denied it: the [...]ontroversie arose to a contention, till [...]he Landlord interposed, and justifi­ [...]d his wife, and thrust him out of his [...]ouse; the souldier drawes, and [...]rusting at the door, the Landlord [...]ries, theeves! the souldier is impri­ [...]oned, and ready for Judgement: The [...]ay of pronunciation of death, the devil [...]ters into prison, tells him, he is con­ [...]emned, but if he will resign up soul and [...]dy to him, he would free him; he like a [...]hristian, repells those fiery darts [...]ith a strong denial; which the de­ [...]ll seeing, perswades him when called [...] the Bar, to intreat the Judge to [...]ant him the man in a blew cap to [...]ead his cause, for he was, (and that [...] was) innocent of the crime brought [...]ainst him. The poor souldier being [Page 66] arraigned, had this blew-cap't Attour­ney allowed him for his Advocate, who affirmed this poor man to be much abused, relating all the circum­stances of the money, with the place where it was laid, the Landlord deni­ed all with an imprecation, wishing the devill might take him, if it were true! The devill looking for this ad­vantage, took this poor man, and car­ried him up into the ayre; who was never more heard of: Oh that the Lord would open some mens eyes to see Gods mercy to them, that though they have often been guilty, yet God in mercy spared them! tremble at the justice of God, and let these warning [...] be so to us.

A certain Priest in Ruthnerwall wished if Luthers doctrine were true a thunderbolt might destroy him! a [...] ter three dayes a Tempest, with lightning and thunder, so terrified him that he run to Church, and at his devotion was struck down; who recovering, and led homewards, a flash o [...] lightening burnt him to death, a [...] black as hell it self.

One in France, of some knowledge and profession in Religion, in passion [Page 67] wisht the Devill to take one of his chil­dren! the child immediately was possessed, and, though the prayers of the Church prevailed with God for the release from this evill spirit, yet, dyed of it.

A man in anger, wishing his wife to the Devil! she was forthwith possessed, and never recovered it.

A young Courtier at Mansfield, whose customary asseveration was, the Devill take me. The Devill when he was asleep, took him indeed, and threw him out of a window, where though he was not slain,Luthers Colloquia. yet he learnt to curb that unruly member of the tongue, by escaping the danger of a severer punishment.

At a Horse-race, where divers No­ble-men were present, some cries, the Devill take the last, which happened [...]o be a Horse that broke loose, which the Devill carriad away, and was ne­ver seen more. These examples may [...]artle us, and not only to warn us, [...]ut also as a Lanthorn of the Lord to direct our feet from these paths of sin [...]nd Ruine.Theatre of Gods Judge­ments.

At S. Gallus in Helvetia 1556. A man that made foul linnen clean, and [Page 68] coming out of a Tavern drunk, wish­ed the Devill to take him if ever he followed his Trade more! next day being sober, he regards not his oaths, the devill appears to him in the like­nesse of a tall man, and told him of his promise, presently smiting him upon the shoulders, so that his feet and hands presently were dryed up, and he trembling with horror; yet God gave the devill no farther power, that it might be an example both to him­self and others.

Mr. Terry's East-India voy­age.Relates of a Taylor, that whilst the Fleet was engaged in fight with a Portugal Galleass, he cometh running out of the Cabbin with his Goose in his hand, swearing, he would never follow his Trade more, throwing the Goose into the Canon mouth; sudden­ly came a Bullet from the enemy, and shot him to pieces.

Theatre of Gods Judge­ments. Henry Earl of Schwartburg, by fre­quent and wicked wishes, was at last answered in his own coyn, for at eve­ry common occasion, he desired he might be drowned in a Privy, if such a thing were not so or so! which God in Justice answered; for he died that fil­thy death.

[Page 69]A very remarkable story is recorded of a woman in the Dutchy Megalopole, Theatre of histor [...]. at a village called Oster, who gave her selfe to the devill by her frequent cur­sings, and wicked oathes; and at a wedding she was publickly reproved, and dehorted from her sins; but ta­king no warning, the Devill, when they were all merry, came in person, and with horrid cries and roarings, mounted her into the ayre, before the face of all the company, and hovering over the Town, the people that saw it were extremely perplexed with fear; she is torn into four parts, which are let fall into as many high wayes; as directions to avoyd the road to hell. The Devill returns to the Feast, and before the Mayor, and all the compa­ny, threw her intralls upon the Ta­ble, saying. Behold these dishes of meat belong to thee, whom the like destruction [...]wayteth, if thou dost not amend thy wicked life. This is testified by Mr. Herman Minister of Oster; the Mayor and all the Town; who desired it to [...]e communicated to posterity for an example, and land-mark to avoyd eternall destruction.

[Page 70] Theatr. Gods Judge­ments.A Gentleman of Gorlitz, having in­vited many friends to supper, who failed him; in a rage, wished, That all the Devils in Hell would come: present­ly his Table is furnished as well with guests as meat, whom he welcomed, but perceiving clawes instead of hands, it was not time to bid him be gone; his Wife follows him, leaving in the house onely a child and a fool, by the fire side, who through mercy were not hurt. We are by these, bid to be­ware of rash imprecations to our selves or others.

Stow. Cron.Its fresh, the story of Hacket o [...] Oundle in Northamptonshire, who (159 [...] in the Raign of Queen Eliz. the 3 [...] year) in his common discourse use [...] to say: If it be not true, then let a v [...] sible confusion come upon me: and h [...] had his desire; for being delivered u [...] of God to Sathan, he fell foul off [...] many errours, that at last he arrive [...] to the height, and called himself Christ: with himself he seduced to Gent. Coppinger, and Arthington, w [...] believed all Hacket said; and wh [...] he bid them proclaim, That Christ u [...] come with his fan in his hand, to Ju [...] the Earth; they did, through [...] [Page 71] City; and in Cheapside, got upon two Carts, Crying Repent, repent! for Christ Jesus is come to judge the VVorld; they affirmed also, that Hac­ket presented Christ, by taking his Glorified body, &c. Hacket here­upon is apprehended, brought before the Lord Mayor of London, and at last, hanged on a Gibbet in Cheapside, ut­tering to the last horrid blasphemies against God. This was a visible con­fusion indeed.

Before Mr. Luther and others:Theatre of God, Judge­ments. A woman at VVeteburg, whose Daughter was possessed, did confesse; that she in fury wished the Devil to take her! who instantly possessed her, with an evil spirit, to their great terrour and fear.

John Peter, son to the cruel Keeper of New-gate London, Fox Acts. was a horrid swearer and curser, usually saying, If it be not so, I pray God I may rot ere I die? and so he did with great mi­sery.

In Misina, Sep. 11. 1552.Theatre Histo. A child not quick enough to dispatch his fa­thers will as he ought, provoked the fathers rage into this imprecation; That he might never stir from that place! [Page 72] its presently granted, his son sticks im­moveable, for his body could not be moved or bent: Some godly people meet and pray for him, whereby his anguish is asswaged: yet he continued three years standing with a post at his back; and four years he continued sitting, and then ended his life; yet this was a mercy to him, For that he doubted not of the mercy of Jesus Christ to save him: and being de­manded how he did? frequently re­plyed: That he was there fastened of God, and his mercy onely could re­lease him. Here was a living example of rash oathes.

At Neoburg in Germany, a cursed mother, wishing she might never see her son alive again, was answered; for the child was drowned the same day.

Theatr. of Gods Judge­ments.In Astorga, A woman cursed her son, wishing the Devils of Hell to take him from her presence! with many horrible execrations: it being late at night, the child was afraid of her anger, re­tiring to a little court behind the house, to whom appeared men of grim aspects, and large composures, who carried him into the aire with [Page 73] such swiftnesse, as was not possible to believe, and alighting amongest some bushes, trailed him, to the great tor­turing of his body, and tearing of sundry parts thereof. The boyes thoughts being better fixt than his mo­thers, craved aid of God, and so was delivered. The devils bringing him back through the aire, put him in at a little window in a chamber, and there he was found almost out of his wits, and sadly tortured and mangled, in his face, hands, legs, &c.

That penitent Gentleman,Wilson K. James. Sir Ger­vise Ellowis, being drawn in to be a partaker in the sad death of that poor Gent. Sir Tho. Overbury, in the Tower; was at last brought as a sufferer to Tower-Hill, acknowledging the just hand of God against his rash and un­preserved vow, which a great losse at Cards one time occasioned; in the sense whereof, clapping his hands up­on his breast, he vowed seriously be­twixt God and his own soul; That if ever he played again, he wished he were hanged! and being upon the ladder, Now, sayes he, God in Justice hath made me keep my imprecation, and paid my vow, by this just, though violent, death; [Page 74] and so wished all to take warning by his sad example!

Sin stig­matised.Mr. Young reports of Nichanor, who for his blasphemous cursing and swearing, had his tongue cut out, and in small pieces thrown to the fowls.

Sword a­gainst Swearers.A young Couple in love together, solemnize their private promises a­lone, the maid being rich, and the young man poor, she to assure him of her love, promises that unlikenesse of fortunes shall not disoblige her en­gagements, nor disinherit her of that loyalty which she hoped grace as well as good nature, had planted in her; which he, though before earnestly fear­ful, that she might be as changeable as others; did now neverthelesse con­tent himself in the strength of this assurance, and so at the giving their faith one to another, she with many more imprecations tied her self most strongly with this, That the Devil would take her away that day she mar­ried to another. She marries another, and on the Wedding-day two guests uninvited, come well mounted to the door, and dine with them, and were made welcome; after dinner, one of [Page 75] them complements the Bride, and bor­rows her hand to lead the Dance, and after a turn or two, lead a Dance which none could follow; for in pre­sence of all her friends, he carries her out of doors, and notwithstanding her crying for help, she is mounted into the aire, and with his companion and horses, was never seen more. See the fruits of rash vows, oathes, and impre­cations, they are not to be slightly dealt withal; for God takes notice of our own desires, when we never think of our words, how we must give an account of them.

Two prophane young men striving who should be most exquisite in oathes,Dr. Wil­liams true Church. were met with by Gods Judge­ment in Justice; for he that out-vied the other in swearing was immediately distracted.

Also he relateth of two young men, delighting themselves in swearing; sporting with oathes, as the flie with the flame, are overtaken with Gods Judgement, the one is struck dumb, and never spake word more, the other was distracted: both of them stand­ing to the example of all young men, that do not remember their Creator [Page 76] in the dayes of their youth, unlesse by blaspheming and cursing it.

Mr. Nowel.A Noble person of the City of Eflinghen, at a losse by gaming, be­gan to swear and curse bitterly, in which rage and madnesse, he mounts his horse for home, the Devil meets him, pulls him off, who with his ser­vants was misguided all the night by evil spirits; and in the morning find­ing themselves not lost, they get their Master safe to Bethen-Hansen, where in great torment for three dayes, he yeilded Justice victor.

A woman in Marchia, being a pro­phane curser and swearer, was justly left by God to Sathan; for in sight of many people she is snatched into the air, and thrown down again, which brake her neck. God we see can break us from our sins and lives to­gether, if we do not from the first, break off by repentance.

These two I have from a re­verend Di­vine of this Coun­ty.One Margret VVood, of Allercleugh, in the Parish of Stanhop, in the Coun­ty of Durham, was notoriously known for many years, upon every slight oc­casion, to use this imprecation, I wish I may sink into the earth. Upon the last day of August 1655. she with [Page 77] one Elinor Mason of the same Parish, being both washing of lead oare, to fit it for the Lead-mill, and standing up­on the same spot of ground, where many horses laden with Lead had pas­sed the immediate day before; the earth suddenly failed under them, and swallowed them both up; next day, when their dead bodies were digged out, Elinor Mason was found with her body erect, but Margeret VVood was many yards deeper within ground, and her head direct downwards.

One Elinor Short, of the same Pa­rish, did frequently use this impreca­tion; I wish my feet may rot off, if this or that be not so or so: It pleased the Just God about 20 years ago, to visit her with a pain in her feet, which by degrees did rot quite off, as afterwards did her legs also; and she is yet alive at this day, as a Monument of Gods signal Judgement: she creepes upon her hands and thighs, and doth often acknowledge Gods just dealing with her.The Re­lation from his Brothers own mouth now alive.

Robert Durance, Butcher in Carlisle, was a known Swearer and Drunkard, who about 30 years ago, being play­ing at Cards with some of his compa­nions, [Page 76] [...] [Page 77] [...] [Page 78] and having lost all his money, except 30 s began fearfully to swear he would be revenged upon himselfe, whereupon he run out at the gates of the City towards the River Eden, and though he was followed by divers, some on Horse-back, yet did he de­stroy himself by leaping into the Ri­ver; in which River, hard by the place where he leapt in, he lay for the space of four years; at the end of which, a Fisherman found the lower parts of his body, only the other parts being consumed.1645. William Knot of Dal­ston in Cumberland being a common swearer, when he was a servant to Al­derman Grey of York, he fell into a lead full of boyling liquor, by which means in ten days he dyed.

1627. John Prestman of Weighton in Cum­berland, A Sheriffes Bayliffe, being ac­counted a common swearer, one night when he was drunk at Carlisle, went out in the night; and notwithstanding the perswasion of his Landlord, leapt over the Bridge with his horse, and was drowned in the River Caude.

One Hudson of Dalston in Cumberland, did wager with another man, who should swear more oathes by God; the [Page 79] other man was by the just judgment of God struck dead ere he parted, & Hud­ston was struck dumb to his dying day; and though he lived many years af­ter, yet could speak nothing, but swear by God, which he did upon eve­ry occasion. Oh the justice of God to some, and the patience and forbea­rance to others, waiting to be graci­ous: let such as swear by the name of God, look upon this example, this sad example.

On May Eve, Mr. Bur­tons Tra­gedy, &c. 1634. one Troe of Gloce [...]ter a Carpenter, in the Parish of St. Michael, being demanded by some, whether he would go with them and fetch the May-pole, swore by the Lords wounds he would go, though he ne­ver went more. But mark the justice of God; on May day morning, as he was working on the May-pole, before it was finished, he was by a Divine stroke of Justice smote with such a lamenesse, and swelling in all his limbs, that he could neither goe, nor lift his hand to his mouth, to feed himselfe, but was forced to keep his bed for half a year together, and to this day goeth lame, May 4. 1636.


OF THE SABBATH DAY, With GODS JUDGEMENTS upon the profaners thereof.

I Am now to treat with the Sab­bath-breaker, who for many rea­sons will appear to be lesse excu­sable before God for this sin, then either the Drunkard or Swearer. Here is a double sin, profaneing it and neglecting that which is ordained by God for the eternall good of our soul; besides, it is a premeditated act, and goes along with a great aggravation, as we shall see in a word presently. It is now become so great a custome to [Page 84] prophane the Lords day, that he al­most becomes a scoffe to others, that offers to reform or punish it; and that men may not so much slight it, I have collected a few reasons to perswade men to observe it, and disswade from the profanation of it, for God will not be mocked.

That we may know this day is no mock-day, The Lord that made hea­ven and earth, Mat. 12.8. That great Jehovah stiles himself Lord of the Sabbath; and the Lord hath in a more speciall man­ner singled out this Commandement with a memento. Remember, by no meanes forget the Sabbath, for the Lord rested that day, Exod. 20. and he blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it. It's a great consideration to make us weigh the duty of keeping it, for six dayes the Lord made heaven and earth, and when the seventh day came, he rested on it. The Lord, as it were, hasted to finish the world in six dayes, that he might himself be an example to lead us to the understanding of the great weight which God himself put upon this day,

And that we may see it is no ordi­nary nor common thing to break this [Page 85] day, see how strictly God in his holy Word commands it. This is that which the Lord hath said,Exod. 16.23. & 31.15. & 35.3. To morrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord, six dayes may work be done, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, Holy to the Lord; he that works shall be put to death; that soul shall be cut off from a­mongst the people, Ezech. 22.26. it shall be observed throughout their Generations for a perpe­tual Covenant. The Lord threatens sore Judgements, and why. Because they have hid their eyes from my Sabbaths, Isay 56.2. & 58.13. and I am prophaned amongst them! Blessed is the man that keepeth the Sab­bath from polluting it; It's called by the Prophet the Holy of the Lord, Ho­nourable; there might be many more places quoted, but these few are e­nough to let people see that it is not a trifling matter to profane the day, and that we ought to give all dili­gence and respect to this day, as a day greatly valued, prised, and esteemed of by God himself.

Anno 1647. there was a deplorable accident, a tremendous instance of the justice of God upon a person, a [...]armer in a Village called Little- [...]allerton in the County of Northum­berland, [Page 86] about six miles distant from New-Castle. The Relation is thus.

The Minister teaching upon that Scripture, 1 Epist. Pet. 2. cap. 2. lat­ter part; Who hath called you out of darknesse, into his marvellous light, and in the fore-noon Sermon insisting up­on the spiritual darknesse and blind­nesse of unregenerate men, and ag­gravating the many evills attending upon that condition in this life, and asserting the wofull condition, period state, and conditon of such as should die in that estate of spiritual darknesse; how that to such is resreve [...] the blacknesse of darknesse, which was occasionally improved to discove [...] the miserable condition of the damned in hell, by reason of their separation from God, called utter darknesse. Mat. 22.13. and 8.42 & 25.1 [...]

At the ending of the first Sermon this miserable man accompanied others of his neighbours to the Al [...] house for refreshment: the time of r [...] paire to the second Sermon bein [...] come, some of them moved him to return with them, to whom he replye [...] that the Minister was preaching upo [...] darknesse, and he would not hear hi [...] [Page 87] till he should treat upon the light; and so continued drinking in the Alehouse with some other profane souldiers, and by having immoderately taken Ale and Hot Waters, was in the height of his drunkennesse, carried to bed in the Ale-house, where after a short time, he ended his miserable life, dy­ing in the very act of sin, without any visible act of Repentance.

This Relation is inserted verbatim, as I have it from a godly Minister of the Gospel, in the same County, and not farre from the same place, and is indeed a sad example of Gods Judge­ment; not only against the sin of profa­ning the Lords day, but also of drun­kennesse, and contempt of the Gospel.

Now because I observe this day so greatly neglected by the generality of the Nation, not onely neglecting to hear the Word preached, which is a­ble to save their soules, but also vio­lating of it by profanation; give me a word, and that only to such as pro­fesse the observance of it as lawfull; for if such a slighting of this day grow, we shall from it, run to Atheisme, by contempt of Gods holy Ordinances, and Commandments.

[Page 88]Let us first consider the end of God in the Sabbath, which is chiefly for sanctification of his name; and what creature dare say he is not strictly ty­ed by all the obligations expressable; It is a day of liberty, not of bondage, God can be sanctified without us; he shineth not with borrowed lights, these tapers that burne from mortall breach, can adde no glory to God, but as in his great mercy and condescen­tion, he is pleased to accept of us.

Then the intent of this day as to our advantages, it's for the eternall good of our soules, that the Lord may by this occasion reach our slow under­standing, and with his Word preached, that he may dwell with the humble & and contrite spirit. We are not only to avoyd profaning it, by not Working, Drinking, Playing, Idlenesse, Travelling, &c but we ought to frequent the pub­lick worship of God in the Assemblies of his people, and there to hear his word with Godly reverence and fear.

The reasonablenesse of one day in seven for God and our own souls, may convince us in a great measure of this day, & that is a sin less excusable that's so reasonable, & that we may have the [Page 89] lesse to say for our excuse, he gives us 6 for our outward affairs, oh then who can grudge the 7th! especially when God links in our immortal happinesse together with his own glory. It was the custom of Christians in Trajan the Emperours time, to meet on the Lords Day morning, sing a Psalm, receive the Sacrament, and covenant to flie sin on that day: and when Christians were summoned before the Heathen Go­vernours, and demanded; Dost thou believe the Lords Day? the answer was, I am a Christian. Take away the Sab­bath, sayes a Reverend Divine, and Re­ligion will soon wither and decay. The Indians might as well have been chosen the subjects of this profitable Obedi­ence, and we in their conditions, keep­ing, instead of a Sabbath to God, every day to the Devil. It will be more tol­lerable, I am afraid, for them at that Great day, than for us.

If we had been left to our own choice, What squarer division of time could have been thought upon, than one day for our souls, and another for our bodies, one for the World, ano­ther for Heaven? This had been the reasonable rule of proportion; its [Page 90] more grace than reason, that God should desire but one day in seven, and that day also to be for our eter­nal good. Oh how inexcusable will it be for us that prophane it, or neg­lect the advantages of it! Is refrain­ing from labour a toil to us? Is to be eased of sin a burden? Lord then let me be burdened? for Lord, thy yoke is easie, and thy burden is light. What is a more unspeakable mercy, than for souls to have communion with God, as well as our own hearts? And, as Divines say, glory is but grace per­fected: So that eternal Sabbath of rest, is but, as I may say, this per­fected.

This sin is accompanied with many aggravations, and this is none of the least, that we have a will given us to refuse to prophane it; Besides its a deliberate act of the mind, its not sudden, as an oath, or murder; but in the very act it self, thou canst not but know thou art sinning against the light of thy conscience: its the great­est sin, that is accompanied with time to consider, an enlightened mind to understand the evil: to purpose to evil, is an aggravation as high as the sin.

[Page 91]If aggravations face not this sin with a dreadful countenance, consi­der, and in reason think; Is it not just with God to suffer thy frail com­posure of corruption to shrink under his heavy judgements? that at night Gods protection should leave us, as in our graves, when we are in our beds? Or canst thou expect any bles­sing upon thy outward estate, when it is in the power of God to dispose of life, being, health, estate, and all? Is it not just; if we travel on this day, that God should judge us with sudden death in the like severity, as he hath made others examples of to all Ages? Yet if God do suffer thy corn, wine, and oil, to encrease, fear a curse un­der the Strawberry leaves of thy en­joyments; for a blessing is not the shadow of sin, it will not follow thee in the wayes of wickednesse; rather fear some judgement will overtake thy swift motion to impiety.

A word to two sorts.

First those that prophane it, con­temning not onely Gods Lawes, but the Lawes of the Nation; know that what is lawful on other dayes, are sins on this day; and such of you as need [Page 92] not (by Gods blessings in a full estate) toil all the week, whereby you can­not plead a wearinesse to waite on God upon his own day, you turn his blessings into a curse, if you prophane it: you play all the six dayes, its a sin with a witnesse if you play away the seventh also. You that cannot close this Holy Day without an even­ing sacrifice to Bacchus, instead of pray­ers to the Lord that made Heaven and Earth, Gods Judgements sleep not, you are preparing your selves as fuell for the fire of Gods vengeance and displeasure.

Nextly, to you that sit idly at home, never dreaming how to escape that wrath to come; methinks I read your sad conditions in your conver­sations; That never think of God all the week; you cannot for your cal­lings, you will not for your pleasures on the Lords Day: if there be any difference betwixt you and Heathens, it is, that you know your condemna­tion before it come: you will be at the Great Day, witnesses for God a­gainst your selves.

To see so many idly sit at home, and never mind to hear the Word, me­thinks [Page 93] I am amongst the Indians; Its a very heavy thing to consider in some places, half the Parish at home in idle­nesse, or walking abroad in Sermon-time; nay, I have heard it credibly af­firmed from the mouth of a Minister in this County, that of some thousands in a Parish, there hath not been, some­times, a hundred at a Sermon, nay, not fifty, nay not twenty, shall I say not ten? Is not this a sad case to be in a Christian Common-wealth? Nay its the sad experience of this place where I live, and I may speak it to my own knowledge, that three quarters of the people able to come, of this populous place, do idly stay at home, or walk abroad, not a family of ten, but the most of them are at home in idlenesse, if not at play or drinking.

Upon this account I would con­clude with one word; Good people, let me perswade you to serve God, rather than gratifie the Devil with your own damnation: Is your labour lesse to sit at home, than in the Con­gregation? Do you think you have no souls to save, nor to lose? you had better be working than idle, for that is a sin in it self, and is made greater [Page 94] on this day. You live more like the brute beasts that are fed by the senses onely. How can you be saved if you will not come unto him that you may have life? Are you Christians or In­fidels? Do you professe to worship God,Rom. 10, 14, 17. or Mahomet? How shall you be­lieve on him of whom you have not heard? how can you hear without a Preacher? not to hear that Blessed Gospel which Christ hath sent into our Coasts, our Houses, is to do as the Gadereans did, drive Christ from our Habitations. Such as followed Christ and his A­postles, were converted, I read of few else; and such onely as lay at the Pool, were healed: To see people flocking to hear the Word, like Doves to the windows, it is a blessed sight; But instead hereof, we have some that entertain Quakers meetings in their houses on the Lords Day; They have a sad account to give.

I hear some excusing their staying at home sometimes, by their going other times; these are common excuses: But thou knowest not but that day thou stayest from the Ministery of the Word, God may have intended thy eternal salvation, and that with Za­cheus, [Page 95] God might have said, This day salvation is come into thy house.

But I read good books; That thou mayest do when thou canst not hear good Sermons: and though it be good to read, yet here its a sin, and a temp­tation, because thou neglect'sta greater good. The Word stirs the soul under it, and commonly cometh with power and demonstration of the Spirit; and I know ther's great difference be­tween hearing and reading; and the later is no lesse an evil thus used, than the ejection of different thoughts in prayer from the subject and nature of the duty, is an evil by conse­quence.

But I do no body hurt, I am not play­ing, nor drinking, nor swearing, so that I need not fear Gods judgements: What judgement dost thou think a hard heart is, which commonly is the fruit of the neglect of Gods Ordinances? is it not the worst of judgements? for thou mayst be destroyed with bodily punishment, as Eli and others were, and yet thy soul be saved: but thou canst not have a judicial hardnesse of heart upon thee, and be saved: there­fore take heed of this sin, and fear [Page 96] lest a worse judgement befal thee than an outward destruction; for how canst thou escape, if thou neglect so great sal­vation?

My design is not to direct others to the keeping this day, so much as to keep from prophaning it; yet if any be perswaded to look to the keeping of it,Mr. Good­win. Mr. Caw­dry. by way of sanctifying it, I refer them to such Learned Divines as have spent their labour in it.

To those that are not moved by reason, nor perswaded by their own advantages, from polluting this Holy day by their wickednesse, debauched­nesse, idlenesse, or playing at Cards, &c. Read Gods threatnings, that his judgements may appear to be more just, by his forewarning us from the sin,Jer. 17, 27. as well as the punishment. If you will not hearken to me, to hallow the Sabbath, then will I kindle a fire in the gates of Jerusalem, and it shall devour the Palaces thereof, and shall not be quenched. Fire in the Palace, sayes a Divine, is ment, fire in the seats of Ju­stice, and the ornaments of a City: fire in the Palace, no going in, fire in the Gates, no going out; because Justice was not executed upon Sab­bath-breakes, [Page 97] therefore the place of Justice shall be destroyed; those gates that suffered any co come in to pro­fane the Lords day, must be now on fire, that none shall escape his Judge­ments: If we should see our Towns flaming with the wrath of God, and the fire of his indignation taking hold of our habitations, it is then in vain to offer to quench it; it hath been thus in our Nation, as in the examples fol­lowing. If such a judgment be threat­ned against such as keep not this day; what must be the fearful looking for of Judgment by the profaners of it?Neh. 13.18. Did not God bring all this upon us in this City, yet bring you more wrath upon Judah by profaning the Sabbath, sayes the Prophet. Ezek. 22.26. & 31. Ezekiel mentions the sin of the Sab­bath, and therefore have I powred my indignation upon them, I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath, and in the 23. Chapter is threatned Plagues and Judgements, and v. 18. the Reason; for they have profaned my Sabbaths.

If these serve not the end intended, take a prospect of Gods terrible ex­amples, which stand as Beacons to warn us from the like sins.

The poor man that did but gather [Page 98] sticks on the Sabbath day, may stand as a monument of Gods severity.

Theatr [...] of History.A Noble-man that used to hunt on the Lords day, had a child born unto him with a head like a Dog, with eares and mouth crying like a Hound, which was a very remarkable judgement of God,

Theatre of Gods Judge­ments.Reports of an Husband-man, that went to plough on the Lords day, and cleansing his plough with an Iron, it stuck so fast in his hand for two years, that he carried it about with him as a signal tostimony of the Lords just displeasure against him.

Another that gathered corn into his barn upon the Lords day, had it all with fire from heaven consumed, together with the house.

At Kimstat in France, 1559. there lived a woman that neither would go nor suffer others of her family to go to Church on the Lords day; as she was drying flax, fire issued out of it [...] but burnt it not: she taking no notice, next Sabbath day as she was busie with it, miraculously again fire proceeds out of it, and burnt it; but was put out, this poor creature was [...] blind, as not to see or take warning [Page 99] by these foot-steps of Gods mercifull providences, but the third Sabbath day, when she was busied about her flax, as before, it fires of it self, and could not be quenched, till she, and two of her children were burnt to death.

And in the year 1126. One grind­ing corn upon the Lords days it took fire, and gave him timely warning not to break the Sabbath day, by the works of his calling.

In Helvetia, nigh Belessina, Mr. Clarks examples. three men were playing at Dice on the Lords day, one called Ʋlrick Schrae­terus, having hopes of a good cast, be­cause being crost to the losse of much money before; he now expected for­tune, or rather the Devill to favour his desire; and therefore he uttered these horrid words. If fortune do de­ceceive me now, I will thrust my dagger into the Body of God as farre as I can; O the cursed frames of our naturall tem­pers, if once God cast the reins into our own wills, the Dice favours him not, and presently he drawes his dag­ger, and with a powerful force throws it up towards heaven, which never was seen more; and immediately five [Page 100] drops of blood falls before them all upon the Table, and as suddenly comes the Devill amongst them, car­ries away this vile wretch, with such a terrible and hideous noyse, as the whole City was astonished at it. Those two remaining alive, endevoured to wipe off the blood, but to so little pur­pose, that the more they rub'd, the more the drops of blood were perspi­cuous. Report carries it all over the City, multitudes flock to see this won­der, who found only the Sabbath pro­faners rubbing the blood to get it out; these two by decree of the Senate of the City, were bound in Chains, and as they were led to the prison; one of them was suddenly struck dead; from out of whose body, a wonderful num­ber of wormes and vermin was seen to crawle. The City thus terrified with Gods judgements, and to the in­tent that God might be glorified, and a future vengeance averted from the place; caused the third to be forth­with put to death: And the Table with the drops of blood on it, preser­ved as a monument of Gods wrath up­on this sin, not only of Sabbath-break­ing, but swearing, and wicked game­ing: [Page 101] O the depth of the knowledge of God, How unsearchable are his judg­ments, and his wayes past finding out, Rom. 11.33.

January 13. 1583. At the Bear-garden in Southwark on a Sabbath day afternoon, many people pressing on the Scaffolds to see the sport, forced it suddenly down, with which fall eight were killed, and many spoyled in their bodies, who lived not long after.

Much like to it was that at Risley in Bedfordshire, Theatre of Gods Judge­ments. 1607. where many peo­ple, rather then resort to hear the the word of the Lord by the mouth of his Minister, came in great num­bers to see a Stage-play on the Lords day; the Chamber floor fell down, and as a judgment of God upon this sad & wilful sin, many were killed and woun­ded, thus we see, when the works of piety and mercy are neglected, to pro­secute sinne and wickednesse, Gods judgements are swift to overtake us; thereby endeavouring to hedg up our way with thornes, which examples may push us back from the like impi­ety and vengeance of an angry God.

A sad example of Gods severity, in [...]is hot and sore displeasure against [...]abbath-breakers, is recorded of Fe­verton [Page 102] in Devonshire; which place, saith he,, was frequently admonished of the profanation of the Lords day, by a Market kept the day following; which without reformation, would inevitably pluck down divine vengeance: A lit­tle after the Ministers death, upon the third of April 1598. A sudden fire from heaven consumeth the whole Town in lesse than half an hour; excepting only the Church, Court-house, and Almes-house, where was consumed in this fire of Gods wrath, four hundred dwelling houses, and fifty soules de­stroyed. Who will not say this was a sad and immediate hand of the Lord? but alas; what will not poor creatures do, that follow sin with greedinesse! The same Town fourteen years after, on the fifth of August, 1612. for the same sin, was wholly consumed, except some thirty poor peoples houses, School-house, Almes-houses: these Judgements are not recorded for Hi­storical Perusall,Luke 13.4 but to consider of, and remember those on whom the Tower of Shilo fell.

Mr. Clarks ExamplesAt Alcester in Warwick-shire where the Authour lived, there were of his own knowledge, four remarkable [Page 103] Judgements of God. One that upon the publishing of the Declaration for sports and pastimes upon the Lords day; A young woman on this day comes to the Green, and sayes, She would dance as long as she could stand, and dancing, in the midst of her sin, God struck her with such a violent di­sease, that in two or three dayes she died in misery; as an example to all that delight more in serving their own pleasures, and sinfull desires, then to wait upon God, and delight in his wayes.

The other of a young man of the same place, and not long after the other; who on the Lords day, imme­diately after the evening exercise was finished, brings into the street a pair of Cudgells, layes them down nigh un­to the Ministers house, and invited divers to play with him; who refusing, at length comes one, and taking up the Cudgels sayes, Though I never play­ed in my life, yet I will play one bout now. A little after, sporting with a young woman, he takes up a Bird­ing-piece charged, saying, Have at thee; the piece goes off, and murders her immdiately; for which, as a de­served [Page 104] judgement, he suffered the Law.

Another of a Miller at Wootton in the same County, who going forth to a Wake, and coming home at night, found his House, Mill, and all that he had, burnt down to the ground.

A fourth upon Mr. Clarks own knowledge, is of many wicked and prophane persons, at Woolston in the same County; who on the Lords day met at a Whitsun-Ale, in a Smiths Barn, and though it grieved the holy man of God, who was Minister of the place, as the Sodomites did Lot, yet he could not help it; but in their pro­fanenesse they proceeded; not long after, a fire kindles in the place of this impiety, and burnes down not onely his House, Shop, and Barn, but rages so vehemently, as it reaches many o­ther houses with ruin, all being chief actors in this horrid profanenesse.

In the year 1634. upon a Lords day, when the River Trent was frozen o­ver, fourteen young men were at foot­ball upon the Ice near Gainsborough, and meeting all in a cluster together, the wrath of God met with them, and suddenly the Ice broke, and they were [Page 105] immediately drowned. Oh the ju­stice of the Lord, upon the propha­ners of his Holy day.

The same painful and useful Au­thor of Gods examples, relates a sad one, of Gods Judgements upon two fellows in Essex near Brinkely, that were working in a Chalk-pit; one of them boasting that he had vext his Mistresse, by coming so late in from his Sabbath-dayes Sports and Recrea­tions [...] but sayes he, I will anger her worse next Sabbath day: which words were no sooner out, but Justice seizes upon him; for the Earth falls upon him, and he never stirred more to his Sabbath prophanesse; his fellowes limbs were broken; both being sha­rers in the sin of the Sabbath, are made also to be so in their sufferings and punishments. The Lord will be known in the paths and wayes of his Judgements, to such as will not be led and allured by his tender mer­cies.

And of one Mr. Ameredith, a Gen­tleman of Devonshire, being recovered from a pain which he had suffered in his feet, one of his friends saying he was glad to see him so nimble: the [Page 106] Gentleman replies; He hoped his hopes should not be frustrated of the great ex­pectations he had to dance about the May-Pole the next Sunday: But be­hold the Lord in a just punishment (for such impious and wicked reso­lutions, and no doubt also for his for­mer prophanesse on that day) smites him suddenly with feeblenesse and faintnesse of heart ere he stirred from the place, and with such a strange dizzinesse in the head, that he was forc't to be led home, and from thence to his last home, before the Lords Day shined upon him. Now tell me, any that can, what little hopes the poor souls thus ushered to the cham­bers of death, have to keep an eternal Sabbath with God, that will not keep his Sabbath from prophaning on earth? Truly, these are sad symp­toms of Gods heavy displeasure a­gainst soul as well as body: his mercy (if any be in such dismal dispensa­tions) are occult and hidden; the Lord in mercy warn poor sinners to avoid the wrath of such an Infinite God, that such as will not be intreated to keep the Lords day, as they ought, [Page 107] may be terrified from prophaning of it.

Another as severe he relates, which together with the three former, are attested by sufficient witnesses.

At Walton upon Thames, in Survey, upon a great frost, in the year 1634. three young men having in the fore­noon heard a Sermon, from 2 Cor. 5.10. We must all appear before the Judgement-seat of Christ, &c. they went over the Ice into an house of disorder, and gaming, where they prophanely spent away the rest of the Lords day, and night also, in revelling, and drinking; the one of them next day boasting merrily of his pleasure upon the Sabbath day, and his adven­ture over the Ice. All three on Tues­day return the way they went, and upon the Ice suddenly sunk to the bottom like stones, one of them onely miraculously preserved. These judge­ments may be mercies to some that are yet prophaners of the Lords day, if God please.

At Burton upon Trent, Mr. Abberly a godly Minister, often took occasion to reprove and threaten such as make no conscience of the Lords day, by [Page 108] prophaning it: in a more peculiar manner, such as bought and sold meat upon this day; which it seems was a sin as great, and as commonly pra­ctised in this place, as it was lately at Buntingford, 1657. where in my journey, some Gentlemen of Newcastle being my fellow-travellers, we took occa­sion after Sermon to acquaint the Minister withal: I pray God it may not be so still, lest such a judgement befal the place, as did this prophane wretch: which was thus. A Taylor being a nimble and active man, dwel­ling at the upper end of the Town, must needs in a bravado go to the fur­ther end to buy some meat before morning-prayer, but coming home with both his hands full, in the midst of the street he fell down stark dead. I was, sayes Doctor Teate, an eye-wit­nesse both of his fall, and burial▪ and that it wrought a reformation in the place, both among the Butchers and others. It was a remarkable Provi­dence, and I wish, I say, that other places may be reformed of this bold and impudent sin; or truly they may repent of it when its too late.

A Pious Divine: sayes he, The [Page 109] Lord hath spoken so loud from heaven a­gainst Sabbath-sinners, Mr. P. Goodwin. Dies do­minicus re­divivus. 117. that I cannot be silent; We hereabout, have had in a short time, terrible tokens of God severe vengeance, upon such as mind not the ser­vice of his Day: amongst our selves a sad example; A Townsman going to gather Cherries on the Lords Day, fell from the tree, and in the fall was so battered, and bruised, that he ne­ver spake more, but lay groaning in his blood, until the next day, and then died.

Another man, not far from this place, in Cherry-time, as he was ga­thering fruit, fell from the tree, and with the fall was so hurt, that he lay in anguish and dreadful dolour, all the week, till Sabbath day, and then ended his miserable life.

And of a young man, that on the Lords Day, in a place nigh unto Mr. Goodwins, scrambling with others for Peares, thrown out in the Church­yard, broke his main thigh-bone, and the bone of his leg, on the same side, which was so miserably and strangely broken, as that the Bone-setter (who was a godly man) told Mr. Goodwin, though he had seen many, yet he ne­ver [Page 110] saw the like. God here dealt in mercy, as well as in judgememt, in that he [...] him space to repent, and see his sin. The Lord warn us all by these examples.

Mr, Clarks Examples.A company of prophane young men in 1635. near Salisbury, upon the Lords Day morning, went to Claring­ton Park, to cut down a May-Pole, and having loaden the Cart with the tree, and themselves with the bitter fruits of sin, they are severely punisht by the hand of God: For entring into the City of Salisbury, through a place called Milners Bars, unawares the Cart gives a turn, and the end of the tree, struck one of the Sabbath-breakers such a mortal blow that his brains flew out, and there on the place, he yeilded himself a conquered sinner by the Just hand of the Lord, lying there, as a sad spectacle of Gods in­dignation: and sayes Mr Clark, I en­quired of the truth of this at my first coming to Sarum, and very many godly persons in my hearing, attested it to be true, upon their own sight and know­ledge.

And further, Doctor Teate, he gives a second example upon his knowledge thus.

[Page 111]To my knowledge, at Compton-Chamberlin in VViltshire, at the house of Sir J. Penruddock, a dancing match was held on the Lords Day, where a stranger ushers in, to act his part, and after a few turns about, and a few capers, he in the midst of the sin, falls dead to the ground, before all the company. Here was a sad dispensa­tion of Providence from Gods im­mediate hand, as many else besides are; here was no instrument to take off any of the most severe vengeance of God; and such examples in my mind, should be taken as pregnant testimonies, to let all men know this day ought to be kept as Holy. Oh take heed of slighting this day, that God so severely punishes in his sore displeasure.

And Mr. Clark upon his own testi­mony, brings in a sad relation thus. When I lived in Cheshire, there was one Sir T. S. a Papist, and at that time a Favorite at Court, who at his ap­pearance in the Country was very much feasted and entertained by the Gentry: once amongst the rest, he was invited to a Knights house on the Lords day, where many accompanied [Page 112] him: towards evening, the proper time for the deeds of darknesse, they fell to dancing: but look to the fin­ger of God, and see what fell upon their sinful prophanesse; In the midst of their sport, there was one Sir J.D. had a blow given him on his leg by some invisible hand; for none was seen to touch him, as was attested by all the company: and thus he went lame for a good while after. It may be it set him upright in his practise and con­versation ever after; if it did, it was a good providence that saved him from a more severe Judgement.

Dr. Twiss on Sabb.One Sabbath day in the afternoon, a match at Football was made in Bed­fordshire: as two of the company was tolling a Bell to summon the rest to­gether, some that sat in the Porch of the Church suddenly hear a terrible clap of Thunder, and saw a flash of Lightning, coming through an obscure lane; which flasht in their faces, to their great terrour and fear, so pas­sing on to these that were tolling, it trips up the heels of the one, and leaves him stark dead: the other so blasted, that he died also in few dayes. These are the swift Messen­gers [Page 113] of God, which overtake poor sin­ners in the way of their sins, before resolution can be proud of any actions; God will be seen in his wrath and ter­rour, to all wilfull and impenitent sinners.

At Tidworth on the Lords day, ma­ny were met in the Church-yard to play at football, where one of this wicked company had his legge broken, which by a secret judgment of the Lord so fester'd, that it turned to a Gan­grene in despight of all means; where­of he speedily died.

Stratford upon Sluon, Dr. Beards Theatre. was no lesse then twice consumed, by the fire of Gods wrath for this sin of Sabbath-breaking, and on one and the same day twelve-moneth: besides, they were great contemners and slighters of the Word of God by his Minister; A sin that is commonly followed with hard­nesse of heart, if no visible judgement get before it.

It is recorded of Pompey, C. Tacitus, that he shrunk under the depression of Gods sore displeasure, for profaning Gods Sabbath, and Sanctuary. That which God consecrates, must be kept holy, or woe to the profaners of it.

[Page 114] Josephus.And of Herod who profaned Gods name by his wickednesse, and that, when for some treasure which he sup­posed to be hid, he caused the Sepul­cher of Gods Saints to be pluckt up; The Lord in Judgement caused a fire to breake forth of the earth, and destroyed those that he imployed, which when he saw he desisted, and durst go no further.

Mr. Nelson Minister, his letter to Mr. Taylor in Theatre of Judge­ments. Nov. 26. 1621. One Richard Bourn servant to Gasper Burch of Ely, was so accustomed to travell on the Lords day, that he made no conscience of it, seldom or never coming to the Assem­bly to hear the Word of God on that day, but went to St. Ives Market, where he stayed and spent the day; wher being drunk, he was overtaken by Gods Justice; for coming home fraught with commodities, he fell into the Ri­ver, and was drowned; a just reward of other sinnes in the punishment of one.

In the year 1635. A Miller at Church-down nigh Gloucester, would needs make a Whitsun-Ale; notwith­standing the private and publick ad­monitions of the Ministers, and of his Christian friends, large provision was [Page 115] made, and musick was set out, as the Minister and people in the afternoon went to Church; when prayer and Sermon was ended, the Drum beat up, Musick played, and the people fell a dancing till evening; at which time, they all resorted to the Mill: but O the Justice of God! before they had supped, at 9 of the clock, a sudden fire seized on the house which was so sharp, that it burned down his House and Mill, and the most of all his other provision, and houshold-stuffe.

At Baunton in Dorcetshire, 1634. some be­ing at Bowles on the Lords day, one threw his Bowle at his fellow, and hit him on the ear, whereupon blood issu­ing out at the other ear, he died; he that threw it fled.

At Simsburg in Dorsetshire, 1634. one re­joycing at the erection of a Summer-pole on the Lords day, said, He would go see it, though he went through a quick­set hedge; A Proverb here Going with wood in his arms to cast into the Bon­fire, profanely uttered these words; Heaven and earth are full of thy glory O Lord: He was immediately smitten by the stroak of God, and in two or three days died, and his wife also.

[Page 116] 1635.At Dover, the same day that the Book of sports was read in St. James Parish, one profanely went to play upon a Kit, which drew a rude multi­tude of the younger sort together. But oh the terrour of the Lord! He was struck with a divine hand, and in two dayes died.

July, 19. 1635.Two Boyes of St. Albans, going into Verolans pond to swim upon the Lords day, one of them was drowned, the other narrowly escaped, as a warning to others.

Two young men of St, Dunstans in the West London, going to swim on the Lords day, in September, 1635, were both drowned.

A fellow in Sommerset-shire, being to make a Tent on the Lords day, for a Fair, which was to be on the day following, said on the Satterday, that he would make it on the morrow; which was the Lords day, and being drunk, he died the same day roaring.

July, 1654.One Mr. Prince Chyrurgion of the of the Tower of London, did on the Lords day ride upon his horse to pace him for a Chapman, but see the justice, yet mercy of God, he broke his leg, and lay in great pain and anguish [Page 117] eight weeks; His son had disswaded him from so great a sin, which now he acknowledged as a judgement of God upon him for prophanation of his day: and ever after he became a more fre­quent resorter to the congregation, and hearing Gods word.

At Thornton nigh Worcester, 1634. upon the publishing of the book of sports on the Lords day, the people prepared for a solemn prophanation, by order­ing purveyors on purpose, to provide things fit for it; A proper maid went to the Mill on Satterday, to fetch home the meal on the Lords day, the maid passing by a hedge with the meal upon her head, was overtaken with a sudden and sad stroak of Divine Ju­stice, for she fell down dead into a ditch, there she lay all Sabbath day; on Munday she was carried to her grave, where all their intend­ed mirth was buried with her, &c. such a terrour it wrought in the peo­ple, and such Reformation in the place, that no more Summer-Ales were kept; they took down the May-pole, and none durst set it up again, or have to do with the publick prophanation of that day.

[Page 118]One at Ham nigh Kingstone, a scof­fer of goodnesse, and a common pro­phaner of the Lords day, did on that holy day presume to visit his grounds, where finding some cattle grazing, which were not his own, & running to drive them out, he fell down, and sud­denly died upon the place.

Upon May day, being the Lords day, a maid in Cripple-gate London, being married to one that had three children, one of them being at nurse in the Country, they did on the Lords day spend the whole afternoon in feasting and dancing; but God is just, and will be seen in his judgements to warn others; for a week after the plague began in the Parish, & the first house it entered into, is this new married cou­ples, with which, both himself, wife, and two children were swept away by death. These things are not to be scoffed at, they are not things of chance or blind fortune; no, no, they are providence; and though they are judgements in themselves, yet in the issue, I hope they will be mercifull warnings to others.

July, 1634.Not far from Dorchester, lived one widow Jones, whose Son Richard upon [Page 119] the Lords day (notwithstanding her admonitions, and perswasions did with his companions go to Stoak to play; where after they had done, and drank somewhat freely, they return home; and by the way fell out, whereupon John Edwards one of his consorts stab­bed him under the left side, vvhereof at seven a clock the next night, he died.

One David Price, Octoct. 1633. a servant to T. Hill, a Grasier, offering to drive his cattel from Banbury, was dissvvaded by his Landlord, and told him he vvould be stopped, and forced to satisfie the Lavv, to vvhich he replied, let me see who will hinder. In the morning he set out, and not yet out of the Tovvnes end, one met him, and said, What Da­vid, to day, to day? he ansvvered not, but passed on; and although he never complained, nor any other saw any signes of the least sicknesse, yet in a stones cast of the Town, he fell down dead suddenly, and was buried in Banbury Church-yard, the next day after.

At Wicks, 1634. betwixt Colchester & Har­wich, upon Whitsunday last in the af­ter-noon, two fellowes meeting at [Page 120] the Foot-ball, the one killed the other.

1634.At Oxford, one Lords day, one Hawkes a Butcher would needs mend his ditch, his wife disswaded him from it on that day; but he would, and did go, but behold the remarkable justice of God! he is struck dead in the ditch: a sad example, amongst other of Gods terrible Judgements,

January 1634.One Mr. Powel upon the Lords day did at Lemster serve a Writ of Sub poena upon one, Mr. Shuit a Gentleman, (which he did on purpose upon that day, as is credibly reported) as soon as he came out of the Church into the Church-yard; to whom Mr. Shuit said, I thought you had been an honester man, than to do so upon this day; who replied, I hope I am never a whit the more dishonest; which he had no sooner spake, but suddenly he fell down dead, and never spake word more; his wife seeing it, was immediately struck with sicknesse.

May 31. 1635. being the Lords day, one Rich. Clark Apprentice to Timothy Donorell of Sherston in Wiltshire, was drunk in company with one H. Par­rum, to whom he said he vvould hang [Page 121] or drown himself; desiring to know which was the best, who replied, that he hoped he would do neither: But oh the judgements of the Lord upon the prophaners of this day, and upon the sin of Drunkennsse! for on Mon­day morning, he was seen going tho­rough the Town, as if he were going about his Masters businesse, and ha­ving got up upon the midst of a Tree without the Town, he there did hang himself.

At Billericay in Essex, March, 1634. one Theo. Pease the Ministers son, would needs ring the Bells on the Sabbath day, but was hindred by the Officers; the next Lords day, he had gathered many to­gether, and in despite of any, would ring, and whilst he was ringing, a gid­dinesse surprized him like one drunk, of which he fell sick, and in three dayes died.

The Tapster and Chamberlain of Queens Head Southwark, June 1635 rode upon the Lords day to be merry, and ha­ving been too bold with drink, one of them riding homewards, fell off his horse, and broke his neck.

Being the Lords day, an Apothe­caries man in Lime-street London, Feb. 9. 1634. rid [Page 122] with another to Barnet, to be merry, and being drunk, upon their return they met with a man travelling, to whom offering some abuse, the man strikes one of their horses, one of them bid the other run him through, which with his Rapier he did through the left breast, so that he fell down dead; and being both apprehended, they confessed, and were sent to New-gate.

At Baildon in Yorkshire, two men sitting drinking at a Wake, they quar­relled with one another; but being parted, and one of them sitting by the fire side, the other presently falls upon him with a Hatchet and cleaves him down the back, insomuch as his bowels fell forth; the murderer be­ing hotly pursued leapt into a Ri­ver, and drowned himself.

April 18. 1635.Four travelling from London to Maidenhead, one of them would needs travel on the Lords day, the rest re­fused, spending the Sabbath there; this man rode in the morning to Hen­ly, and there heard a Sermon, after that travelled again in the afternoon, and on his way, leading his horse down a smooth descent, his horse sud­denly [Page 123] fell, and broke both his fore legs; He was suddenly amazed at so strange and unexpected a Providence, and could not but attribute it to the immediate hand of God: whereupon seeing him past recovery, he knockt his horse on the head, and so left him. The next day, being overtaken at Abington by his fellow-travellers, they wondering, demanded the reason how it came to passe, he was no fur­ther on his way? He smote his breast, and related the strange Providence of God, towards him, saying, He had heard many a good Sermon, but none of them ever wrought so much upon his con­science, as this Providence of God did: and since it was no worse, it should be an example and a warning to him for ever after. Oh that it might be so to others, that may heare of it or read it.

In the year 1644. was a Beer-Brewer (dwelling in Giles-Criplegate London, nigh unto the white Horse) that usu­ally followed the sinful practise of Brewing upon the Lords Day, for which he was warned, and told of the greatnesse of the sin, and how severe God was to such sinful practises, but [Page 124] he reformed not: Once upon a Lords day at noon, the Reverend M. T. VVeld, Lecturer of the said place (from whom I had the Relation) went into the house, and taking them at work, lovingly, yet sharpely, ad­monished them, to whom they promi­sed to do so no more: within a Sab­bath or two after, the same servant of the house, which before was taken in the act, was now again found guilty of the same sin; but mark the Ju­stice of the Lord; for setting fire to the Copper, when it was scalding hot, he fell over into it, and was immedi­atly scalded to death.

Mr. Weld.Another, which I had from the same hand. A Cook in the same Parish, using to make it his trade, on the Lords day, to heat Ovens, and bake meat, whereby all the family was im­ployed as on other dayes, without re­gard to the Lords day, unlesse to his own profit; never, or seldom, fre­quenting the Word preached; was often admonished, yet went on in his sin: One Christmas day, which fell upon the Lords day, as he was work­ing, and labouring (as if no time were unlawful to gain the world, though he [Page 125] neglected his eternal soul) he was consumed to death by fire.

A Vintner, that was a great swearer and drunkard,Mr. Clark. as he was standing at his own door upon the Lords day, with a pot in his hand to invite his guests, was by the wonderful justice and pow­er of God, carried into the aire with a whirlwind, and never seen nor heard of more.

Much might be said; but my Work swells upon the Loome, yet have I left many example, to have the choice. I shall conclude with one word, and that is to pray us to consider, that God blessed (that is, say Divines, with intention of bestowing favours and benefits) this day: O let's then labour for Gods blessing above all things! Read those Promises in Esay, 56.4, 5, 6, 7. Jer. 17.24, 25. let us labour for hearts to attend with de­light to his Lawes and Ordinances; when once we leave off Ordinances, I durst almost say, we are in a more sure way to ruin, than the most out­ward prophane. They are mercies not so much prized as they would, if we wanted them; A confluence [Page 126] brings a glut, and that a disgust of the most relishing mercies. A ten or five mile Sermon formerly, tasted sweeter than now greater opportunities of grace and mercy nigher hand, and within our reach: I say, let us set a high value upon the favour and means of conveyances: let's love and ho­nour the faithful Ministers of the Word: to love them, is to love to hear them; Hate thy Minister, and then follows contempt of the Word, and so hardnesse of heart: this is commonly the sad effect of this sin. Scoffers of Religion,2 King. 1. 2 King. 2: the Ministers of his precious Gospel and people, have been made spectacles of Gods anger; Judge­ments are prepared for scorners, Prov. 19.29. They are blessed that sit not in their seat, Psal. 1.1.

One present in this Congregation, (sayes a Reverend Divine) was an eye-witnesse of a woman scoffing at another for piety,Mr. Green­hill, on Ezekiel. immediately she had her rongue strucken with a palsie, and in two dayes died thereof. Va­lue therefore, I say, thy Minister, for he is set over thee for to watch for the good of thy soul; the love of the Mi­nister, [Page 127] and the Word, is no small help to the keeping of the Lords day.

I conclude with the Psalmist.Psal. 50.22 Con­sider this all ye that forget God, lest he teare you in pieces, and there be none to deliver you.

Reader, These following sad Exam­ples came to my hand, since the Printing of the former part of the Treatise; which I thought good to insert here.

On Thursday, in the last week save one, of June 1620. A house was burnt down at Hether set in Norfolk: there being a jar in the morning between the man and his wife (as is said▪) The woman wished that her husband go­ing out, might never return to his house; which was burnt down e're he came home.

On the 22 th of July 1627. at Barn­ham-broom, some would needs draw up a Bell (it being the Lords day) into his place, that it might be ready against the Bell-founder came on Fri­day, that so they might not hinder their businesse. Some went unwil­lingly to it, but others went fore­warned, and did it: when it was up, [Page 128] he that was one of the readiest W. Baynes, setting his foot on a board that brake or slipped, fell and beat out his braines, and miserably ended his dayes.

Aug. 6. 1627. At Scolebridge, a man drunken being fastned on a Cart, the horse turning suddenly, overthrew the Cart into the River, loaden with lime upon the drunken man, where he was drowned, and fearfully burnt with lime.

In the former part of Summer, a man being drunk at VVimondham, fell into a watery, miry place, and was drowned.

Another Drunkard vomiting, a Sow followed him, and eat up his vo­mit, at last falling from his horse, the Sow pulled out his throat, and so he miserably died: reported by the Judge at the Assizes.


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