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NO CROSS, NO CROWN. A DISCOURSE Shewing the Nature and Discipline Of the HOLY Cross of CHRIST. And that The Denial of SELF, and daily Bear­ing of CHRIST's Cross, is the alone Way to the Rest and Kingdom of GOD.

To which are added The Living and Dying Testimonies of divers Persons of Fame and Learning in Favour of this Treatise.

By William Penn.

And Jesus said unto his Disciples; If any Man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his CROSS, and follow me, Luke 19. 23.
I have fought a good Fight, I have finished my Course, I have kept the Faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a CROWN of Righteousness, &c. 2 Tim. 4. 7.

The Seventh Edition.

BOSTON, Printed and Sold by ROGERS and FOWLE. 1747.

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THE PREFACE.

READER,

THE Great Business of Man's Life is, to answer the End for which he Lives; and that is, To Glorify God, and save his own Soul: This is the Decree of Hea­ven, as Old as the World. But so it is, that Man mindeth nothing less, than what he should most Mind; and de­spiseth to inquire into his own Being, its Original, Duty and End; chusing rather to Dedicate his Days (the Steps he should make to Blessedness) to gra­tifie the Pride, Avarice and Luxury of his Heart; as if he had been Born for himself, or rather given himself Be­ing, [Page] and so not subject to the Reckon­ing and Judgment of a Superior Power. To this Wild and Lamentable Pass hath poor Man brought himself, by his Dis­obedience to the Law of God in his Heart, by doing that which he knows he should not do, and leaving undone what he knows he should do. And as long as this Disease continueth upon Man, he will make his God his Enemy, and himself uncapable of the Love and Sal­vation, that he hath manifested by his Son, Christ Jesus, to the World.

If, Reader, thou art such an one, my Counsel to thee is, To Retire into Thy Self, and take a View of the Con­dition of thy Soul; for Christ hath gi­ven thee Light, with which to do it: Search carefully and throughly, thy Life is upon it; thy Soul is at Stake. 'Tis but once to be done; if thou a­busest [Page] thy self in it, the Loss is Irre­parable; the World is not Price e­nough to Ransom thee: Wilt thou then, for such a World, be-late thy self, over-stay the time of thy Salva­tion, and lose thy Soul? Thou hast to do (I grant thee) with great Patience; but that also must have an End: there­fore provoke not that God that made thee, to reject thee. Dost thou know what it is? 'Tis Tophet, 'tis Hell, the Eternal Anguish of the Damned. Oh! Reader, as one knowing the Terrors of the Lord, I perswade thee to be Se­rious, Diligent and Fervent about thy own Salvation! Ay, and as one know­ing the Comfort, Peace, Joy and Plea­sure of the Ways of Righteousness too, I Exhort and Invite thee, to embrace the Reproofs and Convictions of Christ's Light and Spirit in thine own Con­science, [Page] and bear the Judgment, who hast wrought the Sin. The Fire burns but the Stubble; the Wind blows but the Chaff: Yield up thy Body, Soul and Spirit, to Him that maketh all things New; New Heavens and New Earth, New Love, New Joy, New Peace, New Works, a New Life and Conversation. Men are grown corrupt and drossy by Sin, and they must be Saved thro' Fire, which purgeth it a­way; therefore the Word of God is compar'd to a Fire, and the Day of Salvation to an Oven; and Christ him­self to a Refiner of Gold, and a Puri­fier of Silver.

Come, Reader, hearken to me a while; I seek thy Salvation; that's my Plot; thou wilt forgive me. A Refiner is come near thee, His Grace hath appear'd to thee: It shews thee [Page] the World's Lusts, and teacheth thee to Deny them. Receive his Leaven, and it will Change thee; His Medi­cine, and it will Cure thee: He is as Infallible as Free; without Money, and with Certainty. A Touch of his Garment did it of Old; It will do it still: His Vertue is the same, it can­not be exhausted; For in Him the Fulness dwells: Blessed be God for his Sufficiency. He laid Help upon Him, that He might be Mighty to Save all that come to God through him: Do thouso, and he will Change thee: Ay, thy Vile Body, like unto his Glorious Body. He is the great Philosopher in­deed, the Wisdom of God, that turns Lead into Gold, Vile Things into Things Precious: For he maketh Saints out of Sinners, and almost Gods of Men. What rests to us then, that we must [Page] do, to be thus Witnesses of his Power and Love? This is the CROWN: But where is the CROSS? Where is the Bitter Cup and Bloody Baptism? Come, Reader, be like him; for this Transcendant Joy, lift up thy Head a­bove the World; then thy Salvation will draw nigh indeed.

Christ's CROSS is Christ's Way to Christ's CROWN. This is the Sub­ject of the following Discourse; first writ during my Confinement in the Tower of London, in the Year 1668▪ now Re-printed with great Enlarge­ments of Matter and Testimonies; that thou, Reader, may'st be won to Christ; and if won already, brought nearer to Him. 'Tis a Path, God in his Ever­lasting Kindness guided my Feet into, in the Flower of my Youth. when a­bout Two and Twenty Years of Age: [Page] Then he took me by hand, and let me out of the Pleasures, Vanities and Hopes of the World. I have tasted of Christ's Judgments, and of his Mercies and of the World's Frowns and Reproaches: I Rejoice in my Experience, and De­dicate it to thy Service in Christ. 'Tis a Debt I have long ow'd, and has been long expected: I have now paid it, and delivered my Soul. To my Country, and to the World of Christi­ans I leave it: My God, if he please, make it effectual to them all, and turn their Hearts from that Envy, Hatred and Bitterness, they have one against another, about Worldly Things; (Sa­crificing Humanity and Charity to Ambition and Covetousness, for which they fill the Earth with Trouble and Oppression.) That receiving the Spi­rit of Christ into their Hearts, (the [Page] Fruits of which are Love, Peace, Joy, Temperance and Patience, Brotherly Kindness and Charity) they may in Body, Soul and Spirit make a Tripple League against the World, the Flesh and the Devil, the only Common Ene­mies of Mankind; and having con­quered them through a Life of Self­denial, by the Power of the CROSS of JESUS, they may at last attain to the Eternal Rest and Kingdom of God.

So Desireth, So Prayeth, Friendly Reader, Thy Fervent Christian Friend, WILLIAM PENN.
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THE CONTENTS.

  • CHAP. 1. §. 1. Of the Necessity of the Cross of Christ in general; yet the little regard Christians have to it. §. 2. The degeneracy of Christendom from Purity to Lust, and Moderation to Excess. §. 3. That Worldly Lusts and Pleasures are become the Care and Study of Christians, that they have advanced upon the Impiety of Infidels. §. 4. This Defection a second Part to the Jewish Trage­dy, and worse than the first: The scorn Christians have cast on their Saviour. §. 5. Sin is of one Nature all the World over; Sinners are of the same Church, the Devil's Children: Profession of Religion in wicked Men, makes them but the worse. §. 6. A Wolf is not a Lamb, a Sinner cannot be (whilst such) a Saint. §. 7. The Wicked will persecute the Good; this False Christians have done to the True, for Noncompliance with their Superstitions; The strange Carnal Measures false Christians have taken of Christianity; The danger of that Self-seduction. §. 8. The sense of that has obliged me to this Discourse, for a Dissuasive against the World's Lusts, and an Invitation to take up the daily Cross of Christ, as the Way left us by him to Bles­sedness. §. 9. Of the Self-condemnation of the Wicked; That Religion and Worship are comprised, in doing the Will of God. The advantage good Men have upon bad Men in the last Judg­ment. §. 10. A Supplication for Christendom, that she may not be rejected in that great Assize of the World. She is exhor­ted to consider, what Relation she bears to Christ; if her Savi­our, how saved, and from what: What her Experience is of that great Work. That Christ came to save from Sin and Wrath by Consequence: Not save Men in Sin, but from it, and so the Wages of it. From p. 1. to p. 15.
  • CHAP. II. §. 1. By this Christendom may see her Lapse, how soul it is; and next, the worse for her pretence to Christianity. §. 2. [Page] But there is mercy with God upon repentance and propitiation in the blood of Jesus. §. 3. He is the Light of the World that reproves the Darkness, that is, the evil of the World; and he is to be known within. §. 4. Christendom, like the Inn of old is full of other Guests: she is advised to believe, receive and apply it. §. 5. Of the nature of true Faith; it brings power to over­come every appearance of evil. This leads to consider the Cross of Christ which has been so much wanted. §. 6. The Aposto­lick Ministry and End of it; its blessed Effect; the character of Apostolick times. §. 7. The Glory of the Cross, and its triumph over the Heathen▪world. A measure to Christendom what she is not, and should be. §. 8. Her declension and cause of it. §. 9. The miserable effects that followed. §. 10. From the consideration of the Cause, the Cure may be more easily known, viz. Not faithfully taking up the Daily Cross; then faithfully taking it daily up must be the Remedy. From p. 15. to p. 28.
  • CHAP. III. §. 1. What the Cross of Christ is? a Figurative Speech, but truly, the Divine Power, that mortifies the World. §. 2. It is so called by the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians. §. 3. Where it is the Cross appears and must be born? Within, where the Lusts are, there they must be crucified. §. 4. Experience teaches every one this, to be sure Christ asserts it, From within comes murder, &c. and that is the house where the strong man must be bound. §. 5. How is the Cross to be born? The way is spi­ritual, a denial of Self, the pleasure of Sin, to please God and obey his Will, as manifested to the Soul by the Light he gives it. §. 6. This shows the difficulty, yet the necessity of the Cross. From p. 28. to p. 34.
  • CHAP. IV §. 1. What is the great work of the Cross? The answer to this of great moment. §. 2. The Work of the Cross is Self▪Denial. §. 3. What was the Cup and Cross of Christ? §. 4. What was our Cup and Cross? §. 5. Our duty to follow Christ as our Captain. §. 6. Of the distinction upon self, a lawful and unlawful self §. 7. What the lawful self is? §. 8. That [Page] it is to be denied in some cases by Christ's doctrine and example. §. 9. By the Apostles pattern. §. 10. The danger of preferring lawful self, above our duty to God. §. 11. The reward of self­denial an excitement to it. §. 12. This Doctrine as old as A­braham. §. 13. His Obedience of Faith memorable. §. 14. Job a great Instance of Self-denial, his contentation. §. 15. Moses also a mighty Example, his neglect of Pharaoh's Court. §. 16. His Choice. §. 17. The Reason of it, viz., the Recom­pence of Reward. §. 18. Isaiah no inconsiderable instance, who of a Courtier became an holy Prophet. §. 19. These Instances concluded with that of holy Daniel, his patience and Integrity, and the success they had upon the King. §. 20. There might be many mentioned to confirm this blessed Doctrine. §. 21. All must be left for Christ, as men would be saved. §. 22. The way of God is a way of Faith and Self-denial. §. 23. An earnest supplication and exhortation to all to attend upon these things. From p. 34. to p. 51.
  • CHAP. V. §. 1. Of unlawful Self, 'tis twofold, 1. In Religion. 2. In Mo­rality. §. 2. Of those that are most formal, Superstitious and Pompous in Worship. §. 3. God's Rebuke of Carnal Appre­hensions. §. 4. Christ drew off his Disciples from the Jewish exterior Worship, instituted a more spiritual one. §. 5. Ste­phen is plain and full in this matter. §. 6. Paul refers the Temple of God twice to man. §. 7. Of the Cross of these worldly Worshippers. §. 8. Flesh and Blood makes their Cross, therefore can't be crucified by it. §. 9. They are Yokes without restraint. §. 10. Of the gawdiness of their Cross, and their respect to it. §. 11. A Recluse Life no true Gospel Abnegation. §. 12. A comparison between Christ's Self-denial and theirs. His leads to Purity in the World, theirs to voluntary Imprisonment, that they might not be tempted of the World. The mischief that that Example followed would do to the World. It destroys use­ful Society, honest Labour. A Lazy Life the usual Refuge of Idleness, Poverty and Guilty Age. §. 13. Of Christ's Cross in this case. The Impossibility that such an external Applica­tion [Page] can remove an Internal cause. §. 14. An exhortation to the men of this Belief, not to deceive themselves. From p. 51. to p. 64.
  • CHAP. VI. §. 1. But Men of more refined Belief and Practice are yet con­cerned in this Unlawful Self about Religion. §. 2. 'Tis the Rise of the Performance of Worship God regards. §. 3. True Worship is only from an Heart prepared by God's Spirit. §. 4. The Soul of Man dead, without the Divine Breath of Life, and so not capable of Worshipping the Living God. §. 5. We are not to study what to Pray for. How Christians should Pray. The Aid they have from God. §. 6. The way of obtaining this Preparation: 'Tis waiting, as David and others did of old, in holy Silence, that their Wants and Supplies are best seen. §. 7. The Whole and the Full think they need not this waiting, and so use it not: But the Poor in Spirit are of another mind; wherefore the Lord hears and fills them with his good Things. §. 8. If there were not this Preparation, the Jewish Times would have been more Holy and spiritual than the Gos­pel; for even then it was required; much more now. §. 9. As Sin, so Formality, cannot Worship God. Thus David, Isaiah, &c. §. 10. God's own Forms and Institutions hateful to him, unless his own Spirit use them; much more those of Man's contriving. §. 11. God's Children ever met God in his Way, not their own; and in his Way they always found Help and Comfort. In Jeremiah's Time it was the same; his Goodness was manifested to his Children that waited truly upon him: 'Twas an Inward Sense and Enjoyment of him they thirsted after. Christ charged his Disciples also to wait for the Spirit. §. 12. This Doctrine of Waiting further opened, and ended with an Allusion to the Pool of Bethesda; a lively Figure of inward Waiting, and its blessed Effects. §. 13. Four Things necessary to Worship: The Sanctification of the Wor­shipper, and the Consecration of the Offering, and the Thing to be prayed for; and lastly, Faith to pray in: And all must be right, that is, of God's giving. §. 14. The great Power of Faith in Prayer; witness the Importunate Widow: The Wicked and Formal ask, and receive not; the Reason [Page] why. But Jacob, and his true Off spring, the Followers of his Faith, prevail. §. 15. This shews, why Christ upbraided his Disciples of their little Faith. The Necessity of Faith. Christ works no good on Men without it. §. 16. This Faith is not only possible now, but necessary. §. 17. What it is, further unfolded. §. 18. Who the Heirs of this Faith are; and what were the Noble Works of it in the former Ages of the Just. From p. 64. to p. 91.
  • CHAP. VII. §. 1. Of Pride, the first capital Lust, its Rise. §. 2. Its De­finition and Distinction. §. 3. That an inordinate Desire of Knowledge in Adam, Introduced Man's Misery. §. 4. He thereby lost his Integrity. §. 5. Who are in Adam's State. §. 6. Knowledge puffs up. §. 7. The evil Effects of false, and the Benefit of true Knowledge. §. 8. Cain's Ex­ample a proof in the Cause. §. 9. The Jew's Pride in pretend­ing to be Wiser than Moses, God's Servant, in setting their Post by God's Post. §. 10. The effect of which was the Per­secution of the true Prophets. §. 11. The Divine Knowledge of Christ brought Peace on Earth. §. 12. Of the blind guides the Priests, and the Mischief they have done. §. 13. The Fall of Christians, and the Pride they have taken in it, hath exceed­ed the Jews: Under the Profession of their New moulded Chris­tianity they have murdered the Witness of the Lord Jesus. §. 14. The Angels sung Peace on Earth at the Birth of the Lord of Meekness and Humility: But the Pride of the Pharisees withstood and calumniated him. §. 15. As Adam and the Jews lost themselves by their Ambition, so the Christians losing the Fear of God, grew Creed and Worship-makers, with this In­junction, Conform or Burn. §. 16. The Evil Effects of this in Christendom (so called.) §. 17. The way of Recovery out of such miserable Defection. From p. 91. to p. 106.
  • CHAP. VIII. §. 1. Pride craves Power as well as Knowledge. §. 2. The case of Korah, &c. a Proof. §. 3. Absalom's Ambition confirms it. §. 4. Nebuchadnezzar's does the like. §. 5. The History of [Page] Pisistratus, Alexander, Caesar, &c. shews the same thing. §. 6. The Turks are a lively Proof, who have shed much Blood to gra­tifie Pride for Power. §. 7. The last ten Years in Christendom ex­ceed in Proof of this. §. 8. Ambition rests not in Courts, it finds room in private Breasts too, and spoils Families and Societies. §. 9. Their Peace is great, that limit their Desires by God's Grace, and having Power, use it to the good of others. From p. 106, to p. 111.
  • CHAP. IX. §. 1. The third evil Effect of Pride, is Love of Honour and Re­spect. Too many are guilty of it. §. 2. It had like to have cost Mordecai dear. Great Mischief has befallen Nations on this account. §. 3. The World is out in the Business of true Ho­nour, as well as in that of true Science. §. 4. Reasons why the Author, and the rest of the People be walks with, use not these Fashions. §. 5. The first is, the sense they had in the Hour of their Conviction, of the Unsuitableness of them to the Christian Spirit and Practice; and that the Root they came from, was Pride and Self love. §. 6. Reproach could not move them from that Sense and Practice accordingly. §. 7. They do it not to make Sects, or for Distinction. §. 8. Nor yet to countenance Formality, but passively let drop vain Customs; and so Negative to Forms. §. 9. Their behaviour are a Test upon the World. §. 10. And this Cross to the World a Test upon them. §. 11. The second Reason against them is their Emptiness. §. 12. Honour in Scripture is not so taken as it is in the World. 'Tis used for Obedience. §. 13. It is used for Preferment. §. 14. A digression about Folly in a Scripture sense. §. 15. Honour is used for Reputation. §. 16. Honour is also attributed to Func­tions and Capacities, by way of esteem. §. 17. Honour is taken for Help and Countenance of Inferiors. §. 18. Honour is used for Service and esteem to all states and capacities: Honour all Men. §. 19. Yet there is a Limitation in a sense to the Righ­teous by the Psalmist; To Honour the Godly and Contemn the Wicked. §. 20. Little of this Honour found in the world's Fashions. §. 21. The Third Reason against them is, they mock and cheat people of the Honour due to them. §. 22. The Author and his Friends are for True Honour. §. 23. [Page] The Fourth Reason is, that if the Fashions carried true Honour in them, the Debaucht, could Honour Men, which can't be. §. 24. The fifth Reason is, that then Men of Spite, Hypocrisie, and Revenge, could pay Honour, which is impossible. §. 25. The sixth Reason, is drawn from the Antiquity of true Honour. §. 26. The seventh Reason is from the Rise of this vain Ho­nour, and the Teachers of it, wherein the Clown, upon a Com­parison, exceeds the Courtier for a man of Breeding. §. 27. The eighth Reason against these Honours is, That they may be had for Money, which true Honour can't be. §. 28. The ninth and last Reason is, Because the Holy Scriptures expresly forbids them to true Christians. §. 29. As in the case of Mordecai. §. 30. A Passage between a Bishop and the Author in this matter. §. 31. Likewise the case of Elihu in Job. §. 32. Also the Doctrine of Christ to his Disciples. §. 33. Paul against con­forming to the World's Fashions. §. 34. Peter against Fashi­oning our selves according to the World's Lusts. §. 35. James against Respect to Persons. §. 36. Yet Christians are civil and mannerly in a right way. §. 37. But unlike the World in the Nature of it, and Motives to it. §. 38. Testimonies in fa­vour of our Dissent and Practice. From p. 111, to p. 150.
  • CHAP. X. §. 1. Another piece of Non Conformity to the World, which is our simple and plain Speech, Thou for You. §. 2. Justified from the use of Words & Numbers Sing. & Plur. §. 3. It was and is the Speech of Hebrew, Greek and Latin in Schools and Universities. §. 4. It is the Language of all Nations. §. 5. The Original of the present Custom defends our dis use of it. §. 6. If Custom should prevail, in a sense it would be of our side. §. 7. It cannot be Uncivil or Improper; for God him­self, the Fathers, Prophets, Christ and his Apostles used it. §. 8. An Instance given in the Case of Peter, in the Palace of the High Priest: §. 9. It is the Practice of Men to God in their Prayers▪ The Pride of man to expect better to himself §. 10 Testimonies of several Writers in Vindication of us. §. 11. The Authors Convictions; and his Exhortation to his Reader. From p. 150. to p. 164.
  • [Page]CHAP. XI. §. 1. Pride leads People to an Excessive Value of their Persons. §. 2. It is plain from the Racket that is made about Blood and Families: Also, in the case of Shape and Beauty. §. 3. Blood no Nobility, but Vertue. §. 4. Vertue no Upstart. Antiquity, no Nobility without it, else Age and Blood would Bar Vertue in the present Age. §. 5. God teaches the true Sense of Nobility, who made of one Blood all Nations; There's the Original of all Blood. §. 6. These Men of Blood, out of their Fathers look like other Men. §. 7. This is not said to reject, but Humble the Gentleman: The Advantages of that Condition above others. An Exhortation to recover their lost Oeconomy in Families, out of Interest and Credit. §. 8. But the Author has an higher Motive; the Gospel, and the Excellencies of it, which they profess. §. 9. The Pride of Person, respecting Shape and Beauty; The Washes, Patches, Paintings, Dressings, &c. this Excess would keep the Poor: The Mischiefs that attend it. §. 10. But Pride in the Old, and Homely, yet more hateful: That it is usual. The Madness of it. Counsel to the Beautiful, to get their Souls like their Bodies; and to the Homely, to supply want of that in the Adornment of their Lasting Part, their Souls, with Holiness. Nothing Homely with God, but Sin. The Bles­sedness of those that wear Christ's Yoke and Cross, and are Cru­cified to the World. From p. 164. to p. 175.
  • CHAP. XII. § 1 The Character of a Proud Man: A Glutton upon himself. Is proud of his Pedigree. §. 2. He is insolent and Quarrelsom, but Cowardly, yet Cruel. §. 3. An ill Child, Subject and Ser­vant. § 4 Unhospitable. §. 5. No Friend to any. §. 6. Dangerous and Mischievous in Power. §. 7. Of all Things Pride bad in Ministers. §. 8. They claim Prerogative above others. §. 9. And call themselves the Clergy: Their Lordiness and Ava­rice. §. 10. Death swallows all. §. 11 The way to escape these Evils. From p. 175. to p. 186.
  • [Page]CHAP. XIII. §. 1. Avarice (the second Capital Lust) its Definition and Dis­tinction. §. 2. It consists in a Desire of unlawful Things. §. 3. As in David's Case about Uriah's Wife. §. 4. Also A­hab's about Naboth's Vineyard. §. 5 Next, in Unlawful Desires of lawful Things. §. 6. 'Tis Covetousness, a mark of False Prophets. §. 7. A Reproach to Religion. §. 8. An Enemy to Government. §. 9. Treacherous. §. 10. Oppressive. §. 11. Judas an Example. §. 12. So Simon Magus. §. 13. Lastly, In unprofitable hoarding of Money. §. 14. The Covetous Man a common Evil. §. 15. His Hypocrisie. §. 16. Gold his God. §. 17. He is sparing to Death. §. 18. Is reprov'd by Christ and his Followers. §. 19 Annanias and Sapphira's Sin and Judgment. §. 20. William Tindal's Discourse on that subject referred unto. §. 21. Peter Charron's Testimony against it. §. 22. Abraham Cowley's witty and sharp Satyr upon it. From p. 186. to p. 209.
  • CHAP. XIV. §. 1. Luxury, What it is, and the Mischief of it to Mankind, An Enemy to the Cross of Christ. §. 2. Of Luxury in Diet, how unlike Christ, and contrary to Scripture. §. 3. The Mis­chief it does to the Bodies, as well as Minds of People. §. 4. Of Luxury in the Excess of Apparel, and of Recreations: That Sin brought the first Coat▪ People not to be proud of the Badge of their misery §. 5. The Recreations of the times E­nemies to Vertue: They rise from Degeneracy §. 6. The end of Cloaths allowable; the abuse reprehended §. 7. The chiefest Recreations of good men of Old was to serve God, and do good to Mankind, and follow honest Vocations, not vain Sports and Pastimes. §. 8. The Heathens knew and did better things. The Sobriety of Infidels above Christians. §. 9. Luxury con­demned in the case of Dives. §. 10 The Doctrine of the Scrip­ture positively against a Voluptuous Life. From p. 209. to p. 225.
  • [Page]CHAP. XV. §. 1. The Judgment of God denounced upon the Jews for their Luxury; all Ranks included. §. 2. Christ charges his Disci­ples to have a care of the Guilt of it: A Supplication to the Inhabitants of England. §. 3. Temperance Prest upon the Churches by the Apostles. §. 4. An Exhortation to England to measure her self by that Rule. §. 5. What Christian Recrea­tions are. §. 6. Who need other Sports to pass away their time, are unfit for Heaven and Eternity. §. 7. Man has but a few days: they may be better bestowed: This Doctrine is ungrate­ful to none that would be truly blessed. §. 8. Not only good is omitted by this Luxurious Life, but Evil committed, as Breach of Marriage, Love, Loss of Health and Estate, &c. Play-Houses and Stagers, most Instrumental to this Mischief. §. 9. How Youth is by them Inflamed to Vanity: What Mischief comes of Revels, Gamings, &c. Below the Life of Noble Hea­thens. §. 10. The true Disciples of Jesus are mortified to these things: the Pleasure and reward of a right Employment of time. From p. 225. to p. 243.
  • CHAP. XVI. §. 1. Luxury should not be used by Christians, because of its in­consistency with the Spirit of Christianity. §. 2. The Cup of which Christ's true Disciples Drink. §. 3. O! who will drink of this Cup? §. 4. An Objection answered of the nature of God's Kingdom, and what it stands in. §. 5. Of the frame of the Spirit of Christ's Followers. From p. 243. to p. 250.
  • CHAP. XVII. §. 1. The Customs, Fashions, &c. which make up the Attire and Pleasure of the Age, are Enemies to inward Retirement §. 2. Their end is to gratifie Lust. §. 3. Had they been solid, Adam and Eve had not been happy, that never had them §. 4. But the confidence and presumption of Christians (as they would be called) in the use of them, Abominable. §. 5. Their Authors [Page] further condemn them, who are usually loose and vain People. §. 6. Mostly borrowed of the Gentiles, that knew not God. §. 7. An Objection of their Usefulness considered and answered, and the Objectors reproved. §. 8. The best Heathens abhorring what pretended Christians plead for. §. 9. The use of these things encourages the Authors and Makers of them to continue in them. §. 10. The Objection of the Maintenance of Fami­lies, answered. None must do Evil, that good should follow: But better Employs may be found more serviceable to the World. §. 11. Another Objection answered: God no Author of their Inventions, and so not excuseable by his Institution. §. 12. Peo­ple pleading for these Vanities shew what they are. An Exhor­tation to be weighty and considerate. A great part of the way to true Discipleship, is to abandon this School and Shop of Satan. From p. 250, to p. 273.
  • CHAP XVIII. §. 1. But if these Customs, &c. were but indifferent, yet being abused, they deserve to be rejected. §. 2. The Abuse is acknow­ledged by those that use them, therefore should leave them. §. 3. Such as pretend to Seriousness should exemplarily withdraw from such Latitudes: A wise Parent weans his Child of what it dotes too much upon; and we should watch over our selves and Neigh­bours. §. 4. God in the case of the Brazen-Serpent &c. gives us an Example to put away the Use of abused Things. §. 5. If these things were sometimes convenient, yet when their Use is prejudicial in Example they should be disused. §. 6. Such as yet proceed to love their unlawful Pleasures more than Christ and his Cross, the mischief they have brought to Persons and Estates, Bodies and Souls. §. 7. Ingenuous People know this to be true: An Appeal to God's Witness in the Guilty: Their state that of Babylon. §. 8. But Temperance in Food, and Plainess in Apparel, and sober Conversation conduce most to Good: So the Apostle teaches in his Epistles. §. 9. Temper­ance enriches a Land. Tis a Political Good, as well as a Re­ligious one in all Governments. §. 10. When People have done their Duty to God it will be time enough to think of pleas­ing themselves. §. 11. An Address to the Magistrates, and all People how to convert their Time and Money to better purposes. From p. 273. to p. 287.
[Page]

The Contents of the Second Part.

  • CHAP. XIX. §. 1. An Introduction to the Examples and Testimonies of those counted Heathens (I.) Among the Greeks, viz. §. 2. Of Cy­rus. §. 3. Artaxerxes. §. 4. Agathocles. §. 5. Philip. §. 6. Alexander. §. 7. Ptolomy. §. 8. Xenophanes. §. 9. Antigonus. §. 10. Themistocles. §. 11. Aristides, §. 12. Pericles. §. 13. Phocion. §. 14. Clitomachus. §. 15. Epaminondas. §. 16. Demosthenes. §. 17. Agasicles. §. 18. Agesilaus. §. 19. Agis. §. 20. Alchomenes. §. 21. Al­exandridas. §. 22. Anaxilas. §. 23. Ariston. §. 24. Ar­chidamus. §. 25. Cleomenes. §. 26. Dersylidas. §. 27. Hippodamus. §. 28. Leonidas. §. 29. Lysander. §. 30. Pausanius. §. 31. Theopompus. §. 32. The manner of Life and Government of the Lacedaemonians in general. §. 33. Ly­curgus, their Lawgiver. (II.) Among the Romans, viz. Of §. 34. Cato. §. 35. Scipio Africanus. §. 36. Augustus. §. 37. Tiberius. §. 38. Vespasian. §. 39. Trajan. §. 40. Adrian. §. 41. Marcus Aurelius Antonius. §. 42. Pertinax. §. 43. Pescennius. §. 44. Alexander Severus. §. 45. Au­relianus. §. 46. Dioclesian. §. 47. Julian. §. 48. Theo­dosius. (III.) The Lives and Doctrines of some of the Heathen-Philosophers among the Greeks and Romans. viz. §. 49. Thales. §. 50. Pythagoras. §. 51. Solon. §. 52. Chilon. §. 53. Periander. §. 54. Bias. §. 55. Cleobulus. §. 56. Pittachus. §. 57. Hippias. §. 58. Gymnosophistae. §. 59. Bamburacij. §. 60. Gynaecosmi. §. 61. Anacharsis. §. 62. Anaxagoras. §. 63. Heraclitus. §. 64. Democritus. §. 65. Socrates. §. 66. Plato. §. 66. Antisthenes. §. 67. Xen­ocrates. §. 68. Bion. §. 69. Demonax. §. 70. Diogenes. §. 71. Crates. §. 72. Aristotle. §. 73. Mandanius. §. 74. Zeno. §. 75. Quintillian. §. 76. Seneca. §. 77. Epicte­tus. (IV.) Of Vertuous Heathen Women, viz. §. 78. Pene­lope. §. 79. Thedrena. §. 80. Pandora and Protagenia. §. 81. Hipparchia. §. 82. Lucretia. §. 83. Cornelia. §. 84. [Page] Pontia. §. 85. Arria. §. 86. Pompeja Plautina. §. 87. Plotina. §. 88. Pompeja Paulina. §. 89. A Reproof to Vo­luptuous Women of the Times. From. p. 1, to p. 88.
  • CHAP. XX. §. 1. The Doctrine of Christ from Mat. 5. about Denial of Self. §. 2. John Baptist's Example. §. 3. The Testimony of the A­postle Peter, &c. §. 4. Paul's Godly Exhortation against Pride, Covetousness and Luxury. §. 5. The Primitive Chris­tians Nonconformity to the World. §. 6. Clemens Romanus against the Vanity of the Gentiles. §. 7. Machiavel of the Zeal of the Primitive Christians. §. 8. Tertullian, Chryso­stom, &c. on Mat. 12. 36. §. 9. Gregory Nazianzene. §. 10. Jerom. §. 11. Hillary. §. 12. Ambrose. §. 13. Augustine. §. 14. Council of Carthage. §. 15. Cardan. §. 16. Gratian. §. 17. Petrus Bellonius. §. 18. Wal­denses. §. 19. What they understood by Daily Bread in the Lord's Prayer. §. 20. Their Judgment concerning Taverns. §. 21. Dancing, Musick, &c. §. 22. An Epistle of Bartho­lomew Tertian to the Waldensian Churches, &c. §. 23. Their Extream Suffering and Faithfulness. Their Degeneracy reproved that call them their Ancestors. §. 24. Paulinus Bi­shop of Nola, relieving Slaves and Prisoners. §. 25. Aca­cius Bishop of Amida, his Charity to Enemies. From p. 88, to 128.
  • CHAP. XXI. §. 1. Solomon. §. 2. Chilon. §. 3. Ignatius. §. 4. Justin Martyr. §. 5. Chrysostom. §. 6. Charles V. §. 7. Mi­chael de Montagne. §. 8. Cardinal Woolsey. §. 9. Sir Philip Sidney. §. 10. Secretary Walsingham. §. 11. Sir John Mason. §. 12. Sir Walter Rawleigh. §. 13. Sir H. Wotton. §. 14. Sir Christopher Hatton. §. 15. Lord Chancellor Ba­con. §. 16. The Great Duke of Momerancy. §. 17. Hen­ry, [Page] Prince of Wales. §. 18. Philip III. King of Spain. §. 19. Count Gondamer. §. 20. Cardinal Richlieu. §. 21. Cardinal Mazarine. §. 22. Chancellor Oxcisterne. §. 23. Dr. Donne. §. 24. Jo. Selden. §. 25. Hugo Grotius. §. 26. P. Salmasius. §. 27. Fran. Junius. §. 28. A. Rive­tus. §. 29. The late Earl of Marlborough. §. 30. Sir Henry Vane. §. 31. Abraham Cowley. §. 32. Late Earl of Rochester. §. 33. One of the Family of Howard. §. 34. Princess Elizabeth of the Rhine. §. 35. Commissioner Whit­lock. §. 36. A Sister of the Family of Penn. §. 37. My own Father. §. 38. Anthony Louther of Mask. §. 39. Seigneur du Renti. From p. 128. to p. 173.
  • CHAP. XXII. §. 1. Of the way of Living amongst the first Christians. §. 2. An Exhortation to all professing Christianity, to embrace the foregoing Reasons and Examples. §. 3. Plain Dealing with such as reject them. §. 4. Their Recompence. §. 5. The Au­thor is better perswaded and assured of some: An Exhortation to them. §. 6. Encouragement to the Children of Light to perse­vere, from a Consideration of the Excellency of their Reward; the End and Triumph of the Christian Conquerour. The whole concluded with a brief Supplication to Almighty God. From p. 173, to p. 184.

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No Cross, No Crown, &c.

[Page]No Cross, No Crown, &c.

The Contents of the First Chapter.

§. 1. Of the Necessity of the Cross of Christ in general; yet the little regard Christians have to it. §. 2. The degeneracy of Christendom from Purity to Lust, and Moderation to Excess. §. 3. The Worldly Lusts and Pleasures are become the Care and Study of Christians, that they have advanced upon the Impiety of Infidels. §. 4. This Defection a second Part to the Jewish Tragedy, and worse than the first: The scorn Christians have cast on their Saviour. §. 5. Sin is of one Nature all the World over; Sinners are of the same Church, the Devil's Children: Profession of Religion in wicked Men, makes them but the worse. §. 6. A Wolf is not a Lamb, a Sinner cannot be (whilst such) a Saint. §. 7. The Wicked will persecute the Good; this False Christians have done to the True, for Noncompliance with their Superstiti­ons; The strange Carnal Measures false Christians have taken of Christianity; the danger of that Self-seduction. §. 8. The sense of that has obliged me to this Discourse, for a Dissuasive against the World's Lusts, and an Invitation to take up the daily Cross of Christ, as the Way left us by him to Blessedness. §. 9. Of the Self-condemnation of the Wicked; That Religion and Worship are comprised, in doing the Will of God. The advan­tage good Men have upon bad Men in the last Judgment. §. 10. A Supplication for Christendom, that she may not be rejected in that great Assize of the World. She is exhorted to consider, what Relation she bears to Christ; if her Saviour, how saved, and from what: What her Experience is of that great Work. That Christ came to save from Sin and Wrath by Consequence: Not save Men in Sin, but from it, and so the Wages of it.

CHAP. I.

§. 1. THough the Knowledge and Obedience of the Doctrine of the Cross of Christ be of Infinite Moment to the Souls of Men; [Page 2] for that it is the only Door to true Christianity, and that Path the Ancients ever trod to Blessedness: Yet, with extream Affiction, let me say, it is so little Understood, so much Neglected, and what is worse, so bitterly Contradicted, by the Vanity, Superstition, and Intemperance of Profess'd Christians, that we must either renounce to believe what the Lord Jesus hath told us, Luke 2. 23. That whosoever does not take up his daily Cross, and follow him, cannot be his Disciple: Or, admitting that for Truth, conclude, that the generality of Christendom do miserably de­ceive and disappoint themselves in the great business of Christianity, and their own Salvation.

§. II. For, let us be never so Tender and Chari­table in the Survey of those Nations, that intitle themselves to any Interest in the Holy Name of Christ, if we will but be Just too, we must needs ac­knowledge, that after all the gracious Advantages of Light, and Obligations to Fidelity, which these latter Ages of the World have received, by the Com­ing, Life, Doctrine, Miracles, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ, with the Gifts of his Holy Spirit; to which add the Writings, Labours, and Martyrdom of his dear Followers in all times; there seems very little left of Christianity but the Name: Which being now usurp'd by the old Heathen Na­ture and Life, makes the Professors of it but True Heathens in disguise. For tho' they Worship not the same Idols, they worship Christ with the same Heart: And they can never do otherwise, whilst [Page 3] they live in the same Lusts. So that the Unmorti­fied Christian and the Heathen are of the Same Religion. For tho' they have different Objects, to which they do direct their Prayers, that Adoration in both is but Forc'd and Ceremonious, and the Deity they truly worship, is the God of the World, the great Lord of Lusts: To him they bow with the whole powers of Soul and Sense. What shall we eat? What shall we drink? What shall we wear? And how shall we pass away our time? Which way may we gather Wealth, increase our Power, enlarge our Territories, and dignifie and perpetuate our Names and Families in the Earth? Which base Sensuality is most pathetically express'd and compriz'd by the Beloved Apostle John, in these words: The Lust of the Flesh, the Lust of the Eye, and the Pride of Life, which (says he) are not of the Father, but of the World, that lieth in Wickedness.*

§. III. It is a mournful Reflection, but a Truth no Confidence can be great enough to deny, that these Worldly Lusts fill up the Study, Care and Con­versation of wretched Christendom! And, which ag­gravates the Misery, they have grown with Time. For as the World is older, it is worse; and the Ex­amples of former lewd Ages, and their miserable Conclusions, have not deterr'd, but excited ours; so that the People of this, seems Improvers of the old stock of Impiety, and have carried it so much far­ther than Example, that instead of advancing in Ver­tue, upon better times, they are scandalously fallen [Page 4] below the Life of Heathens. Their High-mindedness, Lasciviousness, Uncleanness, Drunkenness, Swearing, Ly­ing, Envy, Back-biting, Cruelty, Treachery, Covetousness, Injustice and Oppression, are so common and committed with such Invention and Excess, that they have stumbled and embitter'd Infidels to a degree of Scorn­ing that holy Religion, to which their good Exam­ple should have won their Affections.

§. IV. This miserable Defection from Primitive Times, when the Glory of Christianity was the Pu­rity of its Professors, I cannot but call the Second and worst Part of the Jewish Tragedy upon the blessed Sa­viour of Mankind. For the Jews, from the Power of Ignorance, and the extream Prejudice they were under to the Unworldly way of his appearance, would not acknowledge him when he came, but for two or three Years persecuted, & finally crucified him in one day. But the false Christian's Cruelty lasts longer: They have first with Judas, profess'd him, and then, for these many Ages, most basely betrayed, persecuted, and crucified him, by a perpetual Apostacy in Man­ners from the Self-denial and Holiness of his Doctrine; their Lives giving the Lye to their Faith. These are they that the Author of the Hebrews tells us,* crucifie to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to open Shame: Whose defiled Hearts, John in his Revelation, stiles, The Streets of Sodom and E­gypt [...]spiritually so called, where he beheld the Lord Jesus crucified, long after he had been ascended. And [Page 5] as Christ said of old, A Man's Enemies are those of his own house; so Christ's Enemies now, are chiefly those of his own Profession: They spit upon him, they Nail and Pierce him, they crown him with Thorns, and give him Gall and Vinegar to drink. Nor is it hard to apprehend; for they that live in the same evil Nature and Principle the Jews did, that crucified him outwardly, must needs crucified him inwardly; since they that reject the Grace now, in their own Hearts, are one in Stock and Generation with the Hard­hearted Jews, that resisted the Grace that then ap­peared in and by Christ.

§. V. Sin is of one nature all the World over; for though a Lyar is not a Drunkard, nor a Swearer a Whoremonger, nor either properly a Murderer; yet they are all of a Church; all branches of the one wicked Root; all of Kin. They have but one Fa­ther, the Devil, as Christ said to the Professing Jews, the visible Church of that Age: He slighted their pretensions to Abraham and Moses, and plainly told them, That he that committed Sin, was the Servant of Sin. They did the Devil's Works, and therefore were the Devil's Children. The Argument will al­ways hold upon the same reasons, and therefore good still: His Servants you are, saith Paul, whom you o­bey: And, saith John to the Church of old; Let no Man deceive you, he that committeth Sin, is of the De­vil. * Was Judas ever the better Christian for cry­ing, Hail Master, and Kissing Christ? By no means: [Page 6] They were the Signal of his Treachery; the Token given, by which the bloody Jews should know and take him. He call'd him Master, but betray'd him; he kissed, but sold him to be kill'd. This is the up­shot of the false Christians Religion. If a man ask them, Is Christ your Lord? He will cry; God for­bid else. Yes, he is our Lord. Very well, but do you keep his Commandments? No how should we? How then are you his Disciples? It is impossible, say they; What would you have us keep his Commandments? No man can: What! impossible to do that, without which Christ hath made it impossible to be a Chri­stian? Is Christ unreasonable? Does he reap where he has not sown? * Require where he has not enabled? Thus it is, that, with Judas, they call him Master, but take part with the Evil of the World to betray him; and kiss and embrace him, as far as a specious Profession goes; and then sell him, to gratifie the passion that they most indulge. Thus, as God said of old, they make him serve with their sins, and for their sins too.

§. VI. Let no man deceive his own Soul; Grapes are not gathered of Thorns, nor Figs of Thistles▪ A Wolf is not a Sheep, nor is a Vulture a Dove. What Form, People, or Church soever thou art of, 'tis the truth of God to Mankind they, that have even the Form of Godliness, but (by their unmortified Lives) deny the Power thereof, make not the true but false Church: Which though she intitle her self the Lamb's Bride, [Page 7] or Church of Christ, she is that mystery or mysterious Babylon fitly called by the Holy Ghost, the Mother of Harlots, and all Abominations; * because dege­nerated from Christian Chastity and Purity, into all the Enormities of Heathen Babylon: A sumptuous City of old time, much noted for the Seat of the Kings of Babylon, and at that time the place in the world of greatest Pride and Luxury. As she was then, so Mystical Babylon is now the great Enemy of God's People.

§. VII. True it is, they that are born of the Flesh, hate and persecute them that are born of the Spirit, who are the Circumcision in heart. It seems they cannot own nor worship God after her Inventions, Methods and Prescriptions, nor receive for Doctrine, her vain Traditions, any more than they can comply with her Corrupt Fashions and Customs in their Conversation. The Case being thus, from an Apostate she becomes a Persecutor. 'Tis not enough that she herself de­clines from Ancient Purity; others must do so too. She will give them no rest, that will not partake with her in that degeneracy, or receive her Mark. Are any wiser than she, than Mother Church? No, no: Nor can any make war with the Beast she rides upon, those worldly Powers that protect her, and vow her maintenance against the crys of her Dis­senters. Apostacy and Superstition are ever proud and impatient of dissent: All must conform, or perish. Therefore the Slain Witnesses, and Blood of the Souls [Page 8] under the Altar, are found within the Wall of this Mystical Babylon, this great City of false Christians, and are charged upon her by the Holy Ghost, in the Revelation. Nor is it strange that she should Slay the Servants, who first crucified the Lord: But strange and barbarous too, that she should kill her Husband, and murder her Saviour, Titles she seems so fond of, and that have been so profitable to her; and that she would recommend her self by, though without all Justice. But her Children are reduced so entirely under the Dominion of Darkness, by means of their continued Disobedience to the manifestation of the Divine Light in their Souls, that they forget what man once was, or they should now be; and know not true and pure Christianity, when they meet it: Yet Pride themselves to profess it. Their mea­sures are so carnal and false about Salvation, that they call good evil, and evil good: They make a Devil a Christian, and a Saint a Devil. So that though the Unrighteous Latitude of their Lives be matter of Lamentation, as to themselves, it is of Destruction, yet that common Apprehension, That they may be Children of God, while in a State of Disobedience to his Holy Commandments; and Disciples of Jesus, though they revolt from his Cross; and Members of his true Church, which is without Spot or Wrinkle, notwith­standing their Lives are full of Spots and Wrinkles; is, of all other Deceptions upon themselves, the most pernicious to their Eternal Condition. For they are [Page 9] at Peace in Sin, and under a Security in their Trans­gression. Their vain Hope silences their Convictions, and over-lays all tender Motions to Repentance: So that their Mistake about their Duty to God, is as mischievous as their Rebellion against him.

Thus they walk on Precipices, and flatter them­selves, till the Grave swallows them up, and the Judgment of the Great God breaks the Lethergy, and undeceives their poor wretched Souls with the An­guish of the Wicked, as the reward of their Work.

§. VIII. This has been, is, and will be the Doom of all Worldly Christians: An end so Dreadful, that if there were nothing of Duty to God, or Obligation to Men, being a Man, and one acquainted with the Terrors of the Lord in the way and work of my own Salvation, Compassion alone were sufficient to ex­cite me to this Dissuasive against the Worlds Super­stitions and Lusts, and to invite the Professors of Christianity to the knowledge and obedience of the Daily Cross of Christ, as the alone way, left by him, and appointed us to Blessedness: That they who now do but usurp the Name, may have the Thing; and by the power of the Cross, (to which they are now dead, instead of being dead to the World by it) may be made partakers of the Resurrection, that is in Christ Jesus, unto Newness of Life. For they that are truly in Christ, that is, redeem'd by and interested in him, are new Creatures.They have received a New Will, such as does the Will of God, not their own. [Page 10] They pray in Truth, and don't mock God when they say, Thy will be done in Earth as it is in Heaven. They have New Affections, such as are set on things above, and make Christ their Eternal Treasure: New Faith * such as overcomes the Snares and Tem­ptations of the World's Spirit in themselves, or as it appears through other: And lastly New Works, not of a Superstitious Contrivance, or of human Invention, but the pure fruits of the Spirit of Christ, working in them, as Love, Joy, Peace, Meekness, Long suffering, Temperance, Brotherly kindness, Faith, Patience, Gen­tleness and Goodness, against which there is no Law; and they that have not this Spirit of Christ, and walk not in it, the Apostle Paul has told us,{inverted †}are none of his; but the Wrath of God, and Condem­nation of the Law, will lie upon them. For if there is no Condemnation [...] them that are in Christ who walk not after the Flesh, but after the Spirit, which is Paul's Doctrine; they that walk not according to that Holy Spirit, by his Doctrine, are not in Christ: That is, have no interest in him, nor just Claim to Salvation by him: And consequently there is Condemnation to such.

§. IX. And the Truth is, the Religion of the Wicked is a Lye: There is no Peace, saith the Pro­phet, to the Wicked. ** Indeed there can be none, they are reprov'd in their own Consciences, and con­demn'd in their own Hearts, in all their Disobedience. [Page 11] Go where they will, Rebukes go with them, and of­tentimes Terrors too: For it is an offended God that picks them, and who, by his Light, sets their Sins in Order before them. Sometimes they strive to appease him by their corporal framed Devotion and Worship, but in vain; for true Worshipping of God is Doing his Will, which they transgress. The rest is a false Complement, like him that said he would go, and did not. Sometimes they fly to Sports and Company to drown the Reprovers Voice, and blunt his Arrows, to chase away troubled thoughts, and secure themselves out of the reach of the Disquieter of their pleasures: But the Almighty first or last is sure to overtake them. There is no flying his final justice, for those that reject the terms of his mercy. Impenitent Rebels to his Law may then call to the Mountains, and run to the Caves of the Earth for Protection, but in vain. His All searching Eye will penetrate their thickest Coverings, and strike up a Light in that obscurity, which shall terrific their Guilty Souls; and which they shall never be able to extinguish. Indeed their Accuser is with them, they can no more be rid of him, than of themselves; he is in the midst of them, and will stick close to them. That Spirit which bears witness with the Spirits of the Just, will bear witness against theirs. Nay, their own hearts will abundantly come in against them; and if thy heart condemn thee, says the Apostle John, God is greater, and knows all things: That is, there [Page 12] is there is no escaping the Judgments of God, whose power is so infinite, if a man is not able to escape the Condemnation of himself. 'Tis at that day, proud and luxurious Christians shall learn, that God is no Re­specter of Persons; that all Sects and Names shall be swallowed up in these two kinds, Sheep and Goats, Just and Unjust: And the very Righteous must have a Tryal for it. Which made that holy Man cry out, If the Righteous scarcely are saved, where shall the wicked and ungodly appear ? If their Thoughts Words and Works must stand the Test, and come un­der Scrutiny before the Impartial Judge of Heaven and Earth; how then should the Ungodly be ex­empted? No, we are told by him, that cannot lye, many shall then even cry, Lord, Lord; set forth their Profession, and recount the Works that they have done in his Name, to make him Propitious, and yet be rejected with this Direful Sentence; Depart from me, ye Workers of Iniquity, I know ye not As if he had said, ‘Get you gone, you evil doers; though you have profest me, I will not know you: Your vain and evil lives have made you unsit for my holy Kingdom. Get you hence, and go to the Gods whom you have served; your beloved. Lusts, which you worship'd, and the Evil World that you so much coveted and ador'd: let them save you now, if they can, from the wrath ready to come upon you, which is the wages of the deeds you have done.’ Here is the end of their [Page 13] Work that build upon the Sand, the Breath of the Judge will blow it down; and woful will the fall thereof be. Oh 'tis now, that the Righteous have the better of the Wicked! which made an Apostate cry in old time, Let me die the Death of the Righteous, and let my latter end be like unto his. * For the Sen­tence is chang'd, and the Judge smiles: He casts the Eye of Love upon his own Sheep, and invites them with a Come ye Blessed of my Father, that through pa­tient continuance in well doing, have long waited for Immortality : You have been the true Companions of my Tribulations and Cross, and with unwearied Faith­fulness, in obedience to my holy Will, have valiantly en­dur'd to the End, looking to me the Author of your pre­cious Faith, for the Recompence of Reward, that I have promised to them that Love me and faint not: O enter ye into the Joy of your Lord, and inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the Foundation of the World.

§. X. O Christendom! my Soul most fervently prays, that after all thy lofty Profession of Christ, and his meek and holy Religion, thy Unsuitable and Un-Christ-like life may not cast thee at that great Assize of the World, and lose thee so great Salvation at last. Hear me once, I beseech thee: Can Christ be thy Lord and thou not obey him? Or, canst thou be his servant, and never serve him? Be not deceived, such as thou sowest, shalt thou reap : He is none of thy Saviour whilst thou rejectest his Grace in thy heart, by which he should save thee. Come, what has he [Page 14] saved thee from? Has he saved thee from thy Sinful Lusts? Thy Worldly Affections and vain Conversati­ons? If not, then he is none of thy Saviour. For though he be offered a Saviour to all, yet he is Actu­ally a Saviour to those only, that are saved by him; and none are saved by him that live in those Evils, by which they are lost from God, and which he came to save them from.

'Tis Sin that Christ is come to save man from, and Death and Wrath, as the Wages of it: But those that are not saved, that is delivered, by the power of Christ in their Souls, from the power that Sin has had over them, can never be saved from the Death and Wrath that are the assured Wages of the Sin they live in.

So that look how far people obtain Victory over those evil Dispositions and Fleshly Lusts they have been addicted to, so far they are truly saved, and are witnesses of the Redemption that comes by Jesus Christ. His Name shews his Work; And thou shalt call his Name Jesus, for he shall save his People from their Sins. And Lo (said John of Christ) the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the World! That is Behold him, whom God hath given to enlighten People, and for Salvation to as many as receive him, and his Light and Grace in their hearts, and take up their daily Cross and follow him: Such as rather deny them­selves the pleasure of fulfilling their Lusts, than sin against the knowledge he has given them of his Will▪ or do that they know that they ought not to do.

[Page 15]

CHAP. II.

§. 1. By this Christendom may see her Lapse, how soul it is; and next, the worse for her pretence to Christianity. §. 2. But there is mercy with God upon repentance and propitiation in the blood of Jesus. §. 3. He is the Light of the World that reproves the darkness, that is, the evil of the World; and he is to be known within. §. 4. Christendom, like the Inn of old is full of other Guests: she is advised to believe, receive and apply it. §. 5. Of the nature of true Faith; it brings power to over­come every appearance of evil. This leads to consider the Cross of Christ which has been so much wanted. §. 6. The Aposto­lick Ministry and End of it; its blessed Effect; the character of Apostolick times. §. 7. The Glory of the Cross, and its triumph over the Heathen▪world. A measure to Christendom what she is not, and should be. §. 8. Her declension and cause of it. §. 9. The miserable effects that followed. §. 10. From the consideration of the Cause, the Cure may be more easily known, viz. Not faithfully taking up the Daily Cross; then faithfully taking it daily up must be the Remedy.

§. I. BY all which has been said, O Christendom, and by that better help, if thou wouldst use it, the Lamp the Lord has lighted in thee, not utterly extinct, it may evidently appear, first, How great and foul thy Backsliding has been, who from the Temple of the Lord, art become a Cage of Unclean Birds; and of an House of Prayer, a Den of Thieves, a Synagogue of Satan, and the Receptacle of every defiled Spirit. Next that, under all this manifest Defection, thou hast nevertheless valued thy corrupt self upon thy Profession of Christianity, and fearfully deluded thy self with the hopes of Salvation. The [Page 16] first makes thy disease dangerous, but the last almost incurable.

§. II. Yet because there is Mercy with the God of Bowels, that he may be feared, and that he takes no delight in the Eternal Death of poor Sinners,* no, though Back-sliders themselves, but is willing all should come to the knowledge and obedience of the Truth; and be saved He has set forth his Son a Propitiation, and given him a Saviour to take away the Sins of the whole World, that those that believe and follow him, may feel the Righteousness of God in the Remission of their Sins, and blotting out of their Transgressions for ever. Now, behold the Re­medy! an Infallible Cure, one of God's appointing; a precious Elixir indeed, that never fail'd; and that Universal Medicine, which no Malady could ever escape.

§. III. But thou wilt say, What is Christ, and where is he to be found? And how received and ap­plied in order to this mighty Cure? I tell thee then: First, he is the great spiritual Light of the World, that enlightens every one that comes into the World; by which he manifests to them their Deeds of Darkness and Wickedness, and reproves them for committing them. Secondly, He is not far away from thee, as the Apostle Paul said of God to the Athenians Behold (says Christ himself) I stand at the Door and knock; if any Man hear my Voice, and open the Door, I [Page 17] will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me * What door can this be, but that of the Heart of Man?

§. IV. Thou, like the Inn of old, hast been full of other Guests: Thy Affections have entertained o­ther Lovers: There has been no room for thy Sa­viour in thy Soul. Wherefore Salvation is not yet come into thy House, tho' it is come to thy Door, and thou hast been often proffered it, and hast profest it long. But if he calls, if he Knocks still, that is, if his Light yet Shines, if it reproves thee still, there is hopes thy Day is not over: and that repentance is not yet hid from thine Eyes; but his love is after thee still, and his holy Invitation continues to save thee.

Wherefore, O Christendom! believe, receive and apply him rightly; this is of absolute Necessity, that thy Soul may live for ever with him. He told the Jews, Unless you believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins; and whither I go, you shall not come : And because they believed him not, they did not receive him, nor any benefit by him: But they that believed him, received him; And as many as received him, his own beloved Disciple tells us, to them gave he power to become the Sons of God; which are born not of Blood, nor of the Will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. That is, ‘Who are not Children of God after the Fashions, Prescriptions and Tra­ditions of men, that call themselves his Church and People (which is but after the Will of Flesh and Blood, and the Invention of Carnal man, unacquainted [Page 18] with the Regeneration and Power of the Holy Ghost) but of God; that is, according to his will, and the Working and Sanctification of his Spirit and Word of Life in them.’ And such were ever well vers'd in the right Application of Christ, for he was made to them indeed Propitiation, Reconciliation, Salvation, Righteousness, Redemption and Justification.

So I say to thee, Unless thou believest, that he that stands at the door of thy heart and Knocks, and sets thy sins in order before thee, and calls thee to Repentance, be the Saviour of the World, thou wilt dye in thy Sins, and where he is gone thou wilt never come. For if thou believest not in him, it is impos­sible, that he should do thee good, or effect thy Sal­vation. Christ works not against Faith, but by it. 'Tis said of old, He did not many mighty Works in some places, because the People believed not in him * ▪ So that if thou truly believest in him, thine ear will be attentive to his Voice in thee, and the door of thine heart open to his knocks. Thou wilt yield to the dis­coveries of his Light, and the Teachings of his Grace will be very Dear to Thee.

§. V. It is the nature of true Faith to beget an holy fear of offending God, a deep reverence to his Precepts, and a most tender regard to the inward Testimony of his Spirit, as that, by which his Chil­dren, in all Ages, have been safely led to Glory. For as they that truly believe, receive Christ in all his Tenders to the Soul; so, as true it is, that those who [Page 19] receive him thus, with him, receive power to become the Sons of God: That is, an inward Force and A­bility to do whatever he requires. Strength to mor­tifie their Lusts, controle their Affections, resist evil Motions, deny themselves, and overcome the World in its most enticing Appearances. This is the Life of the blessed Cross of Christ, which is the subject of the following Discourse, and what thou, O Man, must take up, if thou intendest to be the Disciple of Jesus. Nor canst thou be said to receive Christ, or to believe in him, whilst thou rejectest his Cross: For as receiv­ing of Christ is the means appointed of God to Sal­vation, so bearing thy daily Cross after him, is the only true Testimony of receiving him; and there­fore it is enjoyned by him as the great token of Dis­cipleship; Whosoever will be my Disciple, let him take up his daily Cross and follow me .

This, Christendom, is That thou hast so much wanted, and the want of which has prov'd the only cause of thy miserable Declension from pure Christiani­ty: To consider which well (as it is thy Duty) so it is of great use to thy Restoration.

For as the knowledge of the Cause of any Distem­per, guides the Physician to make a right and safe Judgment in the Application of his Medicine; so it will much enlighten thee in the way of thy Recovery, to know & weigh the first Cause of this spiritual Lapse and Malady that has befallen thee. To do which, a General View of thy primitive Estate, and conse­quently [Page 20] their Work, that first laboured in the Chri­stian vineyard, will be needful, and if therein some­thing be repeated, the weight and dignity of the sub­ject will bear it without the need of an Apology.

§. VI. The Work of Apostleship, we are told by a prime Labourer in it, was, To turn People from Darkness to Light, and from the power of Satan unto God. That is, instead of yielding to the Temptations and Motions of Satan, who is the Prince of Darkness (or Wickedness, the one being a Metaphor to the other) by whose power their Understandings were ob­scured, and their Souls held in the service of Sin, they should turn their minds to the appearance of Christ, the Sight and Saviour of the World; who by his light, shines in their Souls, and thereby gives them a sight of their sins and discovers every Temptation and motion in them unto evil, and reproves them when they give way thereunto; that so they might be­come the Children of Light, and walk in the Path of Righteousness. And for this blessed Work of Re­formation did Christ endue his Apostles with his Spirit and Power, that so men might not longer sleep in a security of Sin and Ignorance of God, but awake to Righteousness, that the Lord Jesus might give them Life: That is, that they might leave off sinning, deny themselves the pleasure of wickedness, and by true Repentance turn their hearts to God, in well-doing, in which is peace. And truly, God so blessed the faithful Labours of these poor Mechanicks, yet [Page 21] his great Ambassadors to mankind, that in a few years many thousands (that had lived without God in the World, without a sense or fear of him, lawlesly, very strangers to the Work of his Spirit in their hearts, being captivated by Fleshly Lusts) were in­wardly struck and quickned by the Word of Life, and made sensible of the coming and power of the Lord Jesus Christ as a Judge and Law giver in their Souls, by whose holy light and Spirit the hidden things of Darkness were brought to light and condemned, and pure Repentance from those dead works begotten in them, that they might serve the living God in Newness of Spirit. So that thence-forward they lived not to themselves, neither were they carried away of those former divers Lusts, by which they had been seduced from the true fear of God; but the Law of the Spirit of Life, by which they over­came the Law of Sin and Death, was their Delight; and therein did they meditate day and night. Their Regard towards God was not taught by the Precepts of men any longer, but from the knowledge they had received by his own Work and Impressions in their Souls. They had now quitted their old Masters the World, the Flesh, and the Devil, and deliver'd up themselves to the holy Guidance of the Grace of Christ, that taught them to deny Ungodliness and the World's Lusts, and to live soberly, righteously and Godly * in this present Life, this is the Cross of Christ, indeed; and here is the Victory it gives to them that take it [Page 22] up▪ By this Cross they died daily to the old Life they had lived; and by holy watchfulness against the secret Motions of evil in their hearts, they crusht Sin in its conceptions, yea, in its Temptations. So that they (as the Apostle John * advised them) kept themselves, that the evil one touched them not.

For the Light, which Satan cannot endure, and with which Christ had enlightned them, discover'd him in all his Approaches and Assaults upon the Mind, and the power they received through their in­ward Obedience to the manifestations of that blessed Light, enabled them to resist and vanquish him in all his Stratagems. And thus it was, that where once nothing was examined, nothing went unexamined. Every Thought must come to Judgment, and the Rise and Tendency of it be also well approved, be­fore they allowed it any room in their minds. There was no fear of entertaining Enemies for Friends, whilst this strict Guard was kept upon the very Wicked of the Soul. Now the old Heavens and Earth; that is, the old Earthly Conversation, and old Carnal, that is Jewish or shadowy Worship, pass'd away apace, and every day all things became New. He was no more a Jew, that was one outwardly, nor that circumcision, that was in the Flesh; but he was the Jew, that was one inwardly; and that Circumcision, which was of the Heart, in the Spirit, and not in the Letter, whose praise is not of Man but of God .

[Page 23] §. VII. Indeed, the Glory of the Cross shined so conspicuously through the Self denial of their Lives, who daily bore it, that it struck the Heathen with a­stonishment; and in a small time so shook their Al­tars, discredited their Oracles, struck the multitude, invaded the Court, and overcame their Armies, that it led Priests, Magistrates and Generals in Triumph after it, as the Trophies of its Power and victory.

And while this integrity dwelt with Christians, mighty was the Presence, and invincible that Power that attended them: It quenched Fire, daunted Lyons, turned the edge of the Sword, out-fac'd Instruments of Cruelty, Convicted Judges, and converted Executioners . In fine, the ways their Enemies took to destroy, in­creas'd them; and by the deep Wisdom of God, they were made great Promoters of the Truth, who in all their Designs endeavoured to extinguish it. Now not a vain Thought, not an idle Word, nor an unseemly Action was permitted: No not an immodest Look, no Courtly Dress, Gay Apparel, Complemental Respects, or Personal Honours; much less those lewd Immoralities and scandalous Vices, now in vogue with Christians, could find either Example or Connivance among them. Their care was not how to Sport a­way their precious Time, but how to redeem it, that they might have enough to work out their great Salvation (which they carefully did) with fear and trembling: Not with Balls and Masks, with Play-Houses, [Page 24] Dancing, Feasting, and Gaming: No, no: to make sure of their Heavenly Calling and Election,* was much dearer to them, than the poor and trifling Joys of Mortality. For they having, with Moses, seen him that is invisible, and found that his Loving-kindness was better than Life, the Peace of his Spirit, than the favour of Princes; as they feared not Cae­sar's Wrath, so they chose rather to sustain the Af­flictions of Christ's true Pilgrims, than enjoy the plea­sures of Sin, that were but for a season; esteeming his Reproaches of more value than the perishing Treasures of the Earth. And if the Tribulations of Christianity were more eligible, than the Comforts of the World; and the Reproaches of one, than all the Honour of the other; there was then surely no Temp­tation in it that could shake the Integrity of Chri­stendom.

§. VIII. By this short Draught, of what Christen­dom was, thou may'st see, O Christendom, what thou art not, and consequently, what thou ought'st to be. But how comes it, that from a Christendom, that was thus Meek, Merciful, Self-denying, Suffering, Tempe­rate, Holy, Just and Good, so like to Christ, whose Name she bore, we find a Christendom now, that is Superstitious, Idolatrous, Persecuting, Proud, Passio­nate, Envious, Malicious, Selfish, Drunken, Lascivious, Unclean, Lying, Swearing, Cursing, Covetous, Oppres­sing, Defrauding, with all other Abominations known in the Earth, and that to an Excess justly Scandalous [Page 25] to the worst of Heathen Ages, surpassing them more in Evil than in Time: I say, how comes this lament­able Defection.

I lay this down, as the undoubted Reason of this Degeneracy, to wit, the Inward disregard of thy Mind to the Light of Christ shining in thee, that first shewed thee thy sins and reproved them, and that taught and enabled thee to deny and resist them. For as thy Fear towards God, and holy Abstinence from Un­righteousness was, at first, not taught by the Precepts of men, but by that Light and Grace, which revealed the most secret Thoughts, and Purposes of thine heart, and searcht the most inward parts of thy Belly, (set­ting thy Sins in order before thee, and reproving thee for them, not suffering one unfruitful thought, word or work of Darkness to go unjudged) So when Thou didst begin to disregard that Light and Grace, to be careless of that holy Watch that was once set up in thine Heart, and didst not keep Centinel there (as formerly) for God's glory and thy own peace; the restless Enemy of man's good, quickly took ad­vantage of this slackness, and often surprized Thee with Temptations, whose suitableness to thy Incli­nations made his Conquest over thee not difficult.

In short, thou didst omit to take up Christ's holy Yoke, to bear thy daily Cross; thou wert careless of the government of thy Affections, and kept'st no journal nor cheque upon thy Actions; but didst de­cline to audit Accounts in thy Own Conscience with [Page 26] Christ thy Light, the great Bishop of thy Soul, and Judge of thy Works; whereby the holy Fear de­cay'd, and Love waxed cold; Vanity abounded, and Duty became burdensom. Then up came formality instead of the Power of Godliness; Superstition in place of Christ's Institution: And whereas Christ's business was to draw off the Minds of his Disciples from an outward Temple, and carnal Rites and Ser­vices, to the inward and spiritual Worship of God (suitable to the nature of Divinity) a worldly, humane, pompous Worship is brought in again, and a worldly Priesthood, Temple and Altar are re-established. Now it was that the Sons of God once more saw the Daughters of men were fair: That is, the pure Eye grew dim, which Repentance had opened, that saw no Comliness out of Christ; and the Eye of Lust be­came unlosed again by the god of the World; and those Worldly Pleasures, that make such as love them forget God (though once despised for the sake of Christ) began now to recover their old Beauty and interest in thy Affections; and from liking them, to be the Study, Care and Pleasure of thy Life.

True, there still remained the exterior Forms of Worship and a Nominal and Oral Reverence to God and Christ; but that was all; For the offence of the holy Cross ceas'd, the Power of Godliness was denied, Self-denial lost; and though fruitful in the Invention of Ceremonious Ornaments, yet barren in the blessed fruits of the Spirit. And a thousand shells cannot make up one Kernel, nor many dead Corps one living Man.

[Page 27] §. IX. Thus Religion fell from Experience to Tradition, and Worship from Power to Form, from Life to Letter; that instead of putting up lively and powerful Requests, animated by the deep sense of Want and the Assistance of the Holy Spirit, by which the Ancients prayed, wrestled and prevailed with God; behold, a by rote Mumpsimus, a dull and insipid Formality, made up of corporeal Bowings, and Cringings, Garments, and Furnitures, Perfumes, Voices and Musick; fitter for the Reception of some Earthly Prince, than the heavenly Worship of the only true and immortal God, who is an Eternal, Invisible Spirit.

But thy heart growing Carnal, thy Religion did so too: and not liking it as it was, fashioned it to thy liking; forgetting what the holy Prophet said, The Prayers of the Wicked are an Abomination to the Lord; and what James saith, Ye ask, and ye receive not, (Why?) because ye ask amiss; that is, with an Heart that is not right, but insincere, unmortified, not in the Faith that purifies the Soul, and therefore can never receive what is askt: So that a man may say with Truth, thy Condition is the worse by thy Religion, because thou art tempted to think thy self the better for it, and art not.

§. X. Well! by this Prospect that is given thee of thy foul Fall from primitive Christianity, and the true cause of it, to wit, a neglect of the daily Cross of Christ, it may be easy for thee to inform thy self of the way of thy Recovery.

For look at what Door thou went'st out, at that [Page 28] door thou must come in: And'as letting fall, and forbearing the daily Cross, lost thee; so taking up and enduring the daily Cross, must recover thee. It is the same way, by which Sinners and Apostates be­come the Disciples of Jesus. Whosoever (says Christ) will come after me, and be my Disciple, let him deny himself, and take up his daily Cross and follow me . Nothing short of this will do; mark that, for as it is sufficient, so it is indispensible: No Crown, but by the Cross: No Life Eternal, but through the Death of it: And it is but just that those Evil and Barbarous Affections, that crucified Christ afresh, should, by his holy Cross, be crucified. Blood requires Blood; his Cross is the Death of Sin, that caused his Death: and he the Death of Death, according to that Passage, O Death! I will be thy Death!

CHAP. III.

§. 1. What the Cross of Christ is? a Figurative Speech, but truly, the Divine Power, that mortifies the World. §. 2. It is so called by the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians. §. 3. Where it is the Cross appears and must be born? Within, where the Lusts are, there they must be crucified. §. 4. Experience teaches every one this, to be sure Christ asserts it, From within comes murder, &c. and that is the house where the strong man must be bound. §. 5. How is the Cross to be born? The way is spi­ritual, a denial of Self, the pleasure of Sin, to please God and obey his Will, as manifested to the Soul by the Light he gives it. §. 6. This shows the difficulty, yet the necessity of the Cross.

THE Daily Cross being then, and still, O Chri­stendom, the Way to Glory; that the succeed­ing [Page 29] Matter, which wholly relates to the Doctrine of it, may come with most Evidence and Advantage upon thy Conscience, it is most seriously to be con­sidered by thee,

First, What the Cross of Christ is?

Secondly, Where the Cross is to be taken up?

Thirdly, How and after what manner it is to be born?

Fourthly, What is the great Work and Business of the Cross? In which

The Sins it crucifies, with the Mischiefs that attend them, will be at large express'd.

Fifthly and Lastly, I shall add many Testimonies from Living and Dying Persons, of great Reputation either for their Quality, Learning or Piety, as a Ge­neral Confirmation of the whole Tract.

To the First, What is the Cross of Christ?

§. 1. The Cross of Christ is a Figurative Speech, borrowed from the outward Tree, or Wooden Cross, on which Christ submitted to the Will of God, in per­mitting him to suffer Death at the hands of evil Men. So that the Cross Mystical is that Divine Grace and Power, which crosseth the Carnal Wills of Men, and gives a contradiction to their corrupt Affections, and that constantly opposeth it self to the Inordinate and Fleshly Appetite of their Minds, and so may be justly Termed the Instrument of Man's holy Dying to the World, and being made conformable to the Will of God. For nothing else can mortifie Sin, or make it [...]asie for us to submit to the Divine Will, in things otherwise, very contrary to our own.

[Page 30] §. II. The Preaching of the Cross therefore in Primitive Times was fitly called by Paul (that fa­mous and skilful Apostle in Spiritual Things) the Power of God, tho' to them that perish, then, as now Foolishness. That is, to those that were truly weary and heavy laden, and needed a Deliverer; to whom Sin was burdensome and odious, the Preaching of the Cross by which Sin was to be mortified, was, as to them, the Power of God, or a Preaching of the Divine Power, by which they were made Disciples of Christ, and Children of God: And it wrought so powerfully upon them, that no proud or licentious Mock [...]rs could put them out of love with it. But to those that walk'd in the Broad Way, in the full Latitude of their Lusts, and dedicated their Time and Care to the Pleasure of their Corrupt Appetites, to whom all Yoke and Bridle were and are intolerable, the Preaching of the Cross was, and is, Foolishness▪ To which I may add, in the Name but of too many now-a-days, and the Practice Ridiculous; imbrac'd by none, if they may be believed, but half witted People, of stingy and singular Tempers, affected with the Hypocondry, and oppress'd with the Power of Me­lancholy. For all this, and more, is bestowed upon the Life of the blessed Cross of Christ, by the very Professon and pretended Admirers of it, in the Per­sons of those that truly bear it.

2. §. III. Well, But then where does this Cross ap­pear, and where must it be taken up?

I answer, Within: That is, in the Heart and [Page 31] Soul; for where the Sin is, the Cross must be. Now, all Evil comes from within: This Christ taught. From within (saith Christ) Out of the Heart of Men proceed Evil Thoughts, Adulteries, Fornications, Mur­ders, Thefts, Covetousness, Wickedness, Deceit, Las­civiousness, an evil Eye, Blasphemy, Pride, Foolishness: All these Evils come from within, and defile the Man .

The Heart of Man is the Seat of Sin, and where he is Defiled, he must be Sanctified; and where Sin lives, there it must dye: It must be crucified. Custom in Evil hath made it Natural to Men to do Evil; and as the Soul rules the Body, so this Cor­rupt Nature sways the whole Man: but still, 'tis all from within.

§. IV. Experience teaches every Son and Daugh­ter of Adam an Assent to this; for the Enemy's Temptations are ever directed to the Mind, which is within: If they take not, the Soul sins not; if they are embrac'd, Lust is presently conceived, (that is, inordinate Desires) Lust conceived, brings forth Sin; and Sin finish'd, (that is, acted brings forth Death . Here is both the Cause and the Effect, the [...] Ge­nealogy of Sin, its Rise and End.

In all this, the Heart of Evil Man is the Devil's Mint, his Work-House, the place of his Residence, where he exercises his Power and Art. And therefore the Redemption of the Soul is aptly called, The de­struction of the Works of the Devil, and bringing in of Everlasting Righteousness {inverted †}. When the Jews would [Page 32] have infam'd Christ's Miracle of casting out of Devils, by a Blasphemous Imputation of it to the Power of Beelzebub, he says, That no Man can enter into a strong Man's House, and spoil his Goods, till he first bind the strong Man *. Which, as it shews the Contra­riety that was between Beelzebub, and the Power by which he dispossess'd him; so it teaches us to know, that the Souls of the Wicked are the Devil's House, and that his Goods, his evil works, can never be de­stroyed, till first he that wrought them, and keeps the House be bound. All which makes it easie to know, where the Cross must be taken up, by which alone the▪ strong Man must be bound, his Goods spoil'd, and his Temptations resisted, that is, within, in the Heart [...] Man.

3. §. V. But in the next place, How, and in what manner is the Cross to be daily born?

The Way, like the Cross, is Spiritual: That is, An inward Submission of the Soul to the Will of God, as it is manifested by the Light of Christ in the Con­sciences of Men; though it be contrary to their own Inclinations. For▪ Example: When Evil presents, That which shews the Evil, does also tell them, They should not yield to it; and if they close with its Counsel, it gives them Power to escape it! But they that look and gaze upon the Temptation, at last fall in with it, and are overcome by it; the Con­sequence of which is Guilt and Judgment. There­fore as the Cross of Christ, is that Spirit and Power in [Page 33] Men, though not of Men, but of God, which cros­seth and reproveth their Fleshly Lusts and Affecti­ons: So the Way of taking up the Cross, is an in­tire Resignation of Soul to the Discoveries and Re­quirings of it: Not to consult their Worldly Plea­sure, or Carnal Ease of Interest, (for such are Capti­vated in a moment) but continually to watch against the very Appearances of Evil, and by the Obedience of Faith, that is, of true Love to, and Confidence in God, chearfully to offer up, to the Death of the Cross, that Evil Part, that Judas in themselves, which, not enduring the Heat of the Siege, and being im­patient in the Hour of Temptation, would, by its near Relation to the Tempter, more easily betray their Souls into his hands.

§. VI. O this shews to every Experience, how hard it is to be a true Disciple of Jesus! The Way is narrow indeed, and the Gate very straight, where not a Word, no, not a Thought must slip the Watch, or escape the Judgment : Such Circumspection, such Caution, such Patience, Such Constancy, such Holy Fear and Trembling. This gives an easie Interpretation to that hard saying, Flesh and Blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God: Those that are captivated with fleshly lusts and affections; for they cannot bear the Cross *; and they that cannot endure the Cross, must never have the Crown. To reign, 'tis necessary first to suffer.

[Page 34]

CHAP. IV.

§. 1. What is the great work of the Cross? The answer to this of great moment. §. 2. The Work of the Cross is Self Denial. §. 3. What was the Cup and Cross of Christ? §. 4. Who was our Cup and Cross? §. 5. Our duty to follow Christ as our Captain. §. 6. Of the distinction upon self, a lawful and unlawful self. §. 7. What the lawful self is? §. 8. That it is to be denied in some cases by Christ's doctrine and example. §. 9. By the Apostles pattern. §. 10. The danger of preferring lawful self, above our duty to God. §. 11. The reward of self-denial an excitement to it. §. 12. This Doctrine as old as A­braham. §. 13. His Obedience of Faith memorable. §. 14. Job a great Instance of Self denial, his contentation. §. 15. Moses also a mighty Example, his neglect of Pharaoh's Court. §. 16. His Choice. §. 17. The Reason of it, viz., the Recom­pence of Reward. §. 18. Isaiah no inconsiderable instance, who of a Courtier became an holy Prophet. §. 19. These Instances concluded with that of holy Daniel, his patience and Integrity, and the success they had upon the King. §. 20. There might be many mentioned to confirm this blessed Doctrine. §. 21. All must be left for Christ, as men would be saved. §. 22. The way of God is a way of Faith and Self denial. §. 23. An earnest supplication and exhortation to all to attend upon these things.

Q. BUt Fourthly, What is the great Work and Bu­siness of the Cross respecting man?

Answ. §. 1. This indeed is of that mighty mo­ment to be truly, plainly and throughly answered, that all that went before, seems only to serve for pre­face to it; and Miscarrying in it, to be no less than a misguidance of the Soul about its way to Blessedness. I shall therefore pursue the Question with God's help, and the best knowledge he hath given me, in the experience of several years Discipleship.

[Page 35] The great work and business of the Cross of Christ, in Man, is Self-Denial; a Word, as of much depth in it self, so of sore contradiction to the World: Little understood, but less embrac'd by it; yet it must be born for all that. The Son of God is gone before us, and by the bitter Cup he drank, and Bap­tism he suffered, has left us an Example, that we should follow his steps. Which made him put that hard Question to the Wife of Zebedee and her two Sons, upon her solliciting that one might sit at his right, and the other at his left hand in his Kingdom*; Are ye able to drink of the Cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the Baptism I am baptized with? It seems their Faith was strong; they an­swered, Yes. Upon which hereplied, Ye shall drink indeed of my Cup, and be baptized with the Baptism I am baptized with; but their reward he left to his Father.

§. III. What was his Cup he drank, and Baptism he suffered? I answer: They were the denial and offer­ing up of himself by the Eternal Spirit to the Will of God, in undergoing the Tribulations of his Life, and Ago­nies of his Death, upon the Cross, for Man's Salvation.

§. IV. What is our Cup and Cross that we should drink and suffer? They are the Denial and Offering up of our selves, by the same Spirit, to do or suffer the Will of God for his Service and glory: Which is the true Life and Obedience of the Cross of Jesus: Narrow Still, but before, an unbeaten way. For when there was none to help, not one to open the [Page 36] Seals, to give knowledge, to direct the course of poor Man's Recovery, He came in the greatness of his Love and Strength; and though cloathed with the infirmities of a mortal Man, being within fortified by the Almightiness of an immortal God, he tra­velled through all the straights and difficulties of Hu­manity; and first, of all others, trod the untrodden Path to Blessedness.

§. V. O come, let us follow him, the most Un­wearied, the most Victorious Captain of our Salvati­on! To whom all the great Alexanders and mighty Caesars of the World are less than the poorest Sol­dier of their Camps could be to them. True, they were all Great Princes of their kind, and Conquerors too, but on very differing Principles. For Christ made himself of no Reputation to save Mankind; but these plentifully Ruin'd People, to augment theirs. They vanquish'd others, not themselves; Christ conquer'd SELF, that ever vanquish'd them: Of Merit therefore the most excellent Prince and Con­queror. Besides, They advanc'd their Empire by Rapine and Blood, but He by Suffering and Perswa­sion: He never by Compulsion, They always by Force, prevail'd. Misery and Slavery followed all their Victories; his brought greater Freedom and Felicity to those he overcame. In all they did, they sought to please themselves; in all he did, he aimed to please his Father, who is God of Gods, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

'Tis this most Perfect Pattern of Self denial we [Page 37] must follow, if ever we will come to Glory: To do which, let us consider Self-denial in its true Distinc­tion and Extent.

§. VI. There is a Lawful and Unlawful Self, and both must be denied for the sake of him, that in Submission to the Will of God, counted nothing dear, that he might save us. And tho' the World be scarcely in any part of it at that pass, as yet to need that Lesson of the Denial of Lawful Self, that every day most greedily Sacrifices to the pleasure of Un­lawful Self: Yet to take the whole thing before me, and for that it may possibly meet with some that are so far advanced in this Spiritual Warfare, as to re­ceive some Service from it, I shall at least touch upon it.

§. VII The Lawful Self, which we are to deny, is that Conveniency, Ease, Enjoyment and Plenty, which in themselves are so far from being Evil, that they are the Bounty and Blessings of God to us: As Husband, Wife, Child, House, Land, Reputation, Liberty and Life it self: These are God's Favours, which we may enjoy with lawful Pleasure, and justly improve as our honest Interest. But when God requires them, at what time soever the Lender calls for them, or is pleased to try our Affections by our parting with them; I say, when they are brought in Competition with him, they must not be preferr'd, they must be deny'd. Christ himself descended from the Glory of his Father, and willingly made himself of no Reputa­tion among Men, that he might make us of some with God; and from the Quality of thinking it no [Page 38] Robbery to be Equal with God, he humbled himself to the poor Form of a Servant *; yea, the Ignomi­nious Death of the Cross, that he might deliver us an Example of pure Humility and entire Submission to the Will of our Heavenly Father.

§. VIII. It is the Doctrine he teaches us in these words: He that loveth Father or Mother, Son or Daughter, more than me, is not worthy of me. Again, Whosoever he be of you, that forsaketh not all that he hath, cannot be my Disciple . And he plainly told the Young Rich man, That if he would have Eternal Life, he should sell all, and follow him **: A Doc­trine sad to him, as 'tis to those, that like him (for all their high Pretences to Religion) in truth love their Possessions more than Christ. This Doctrine of Self-denial, 'tis the Condition to Eternal Happiness: He that will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his Cross, and follow me ††. Let him do as I do: As if he had said, He must do as I do, or he cannot be as I am, the Son of God.

§. IX. This made those honest Fishermen quit their Lawful Trades, and follow him, when he cal­led them to it; and others that waited for the Con­solation of Israel, to offer up their Estates, Reputati­ons, Liberties, and also Lives, to the Displeasure and Fury of their Kindred, and the Government they liv'd under, for the Spiritual Advantage that accrew'd to them, by their Faithful Adherence to his holy Doc­trine. [Page 39] True, many would have excus'd their follow­ing of him in the Parable of the Feast: Some had bought Land, some had married Wives, and others had bought Yokes of Oxen, and could not come : that is, an immoderate Love of the World hindred them: Their Lawful Enjoyments, from Servants, became their Idols; they worship'd them more than God, and would not quit them to come to God. But this is Recorded to their Reproach: And we may herein see the Power of Self upon the Worldly Man, and the Danger that comes to him by the Abuse of Law­ful Things. What thy Wife dearer to thee than thy Saviour; And thy Land and Oxen preferr'd be­fore thy Soul's Salvation! O beware, that thy Com­forts prove not Snares first, and then Curses: To over-rate them, is to provoke him that gave them, to take them away again: Come, and follow him that giveth Life Eternal to the Soul.

§. X. Wo to them that have their Hearts in their Earthly Possessions! For when they are gone, their Heaven is gone with them. It is too much the Sin of the best part of the World, that they stick in the Comforts of it: And 'tis lamentable to behold how their Affections are bemired, and entangled with their Conveniences and Accommodations in it. The true Self-denying Man is a Pilgrim; but the Selfish Man is an Inhabitant of the World: The one uses it, as Men do Ships, to transport themselves, or tackle in a Journey, that is, to get home; the other looks no [Page 40] further, whatever he prates, than to be fix'd in Ful­ness and Ease here, and likes it so well, that if he could, he would not exchange. However, he will not trou­ble himself to think of the other World, till he is sure he must live no longer in this: But then, alas! 'twill prove too late; not to Abraham, but to Dives, he must go; the Story is as true as sad.

§. XI. But on the other hand, it is not for nought, that the Disciples of Jesus deny themselves; and in­deed, Christ himself had the Eternal Joy in his Eye: For the Joy that was set before him (says the Author to the Hebrews ) he endured the Cross; that is, he denied himself, and bore the Reproaches and Death of the Wicked: And despised the shame, to wit, the Dishonour and Derision of the World. It made him not afraid or shrink, he contemned it: And is set down on the Right Hand of the Throne of God. And to their Encouragement, and great Consolation, when Peter asked him, What they should have that had forsaken all to follow him? He answered them, Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me in the Regeneration, when the Son of Man shall sit on the Throne of his Glory, ye also shall sit upon Twelve Thrones, judging the Twelve Tribes of Israel *; that were then in an Apostacy from the Life and Power of Godliness. This was the Lot of his Dis­ciples; the more immediate Companions of his Tri­bulations, and first Messengers of his Kingdom. But the next that follows is to all: And every one that hath [Page 41] forsaken Houses, or Brethren, or Sisters, or Father, or Mother, or Wife, or Children, or Land, or Livings, for my Names sake, shall receive an Hundred fold, and shall inherit Everlasting Life. 'Twas this Recompence of Reward, this Eternal Crown of Righteousness, that in every Age has raised, in the Souls of the Just, an holy Neglect, yea, Contempt of the World. To this is owing the Constancy of the Martyrs, as to their Blood the Triumph of the Truth.

§. XII. Nor is this a new Doctrine; 'tis as old as Abraham. In several most Remarkable Instances, his Life was made up of Self-denial. First, in quit­ing his own Land, where we may well suppose him settled in the midst of Plenty, at least Sufficiency: And why? Because God called him. Indeed this should be Reason enough; but such is the World's Degeneracy, that in Fact it is not: And the same Act, upon the same Inducement, in any now, though prais'd in Abraham, would be derided. So apt are People not to understand what they com­mend; nay, to despise those Actions, when they meet them in the People of their own times, which they pretend to admire in their Ancestors.

§. XIII. But he Obeyed: The Consequence was, That God gave him a Mighty Land. This was the First Reward of his Obedience. The next was, A Son in his Old Age; and, which greaten'd the Bles­sing, after it had been, in Nature, past the time of his Wife's Bearing of Children. Yet God called for [Page 42] his Darling, their only Child, the Joy of their Age, the Son of a Miracle, and he upon whom the Ful­filling of the Promise made to Abraham did depend. For this Son, I say, God called: A mighty Trial, that which, one would have thought, might very well have overturned his Faith, and stumbled his In­tegrity; at least have put him upon this Dispute in himself: This Command is Unreasonable and Cruel; 'tis the Tempter's, it cannot be God's. For, is it to be thought that God gave me a Son to make a Sacrifice of him? That the Father should be Butcher of his only Child? Again, That he should require me to offer up the Son of his own Promise, by whom his Covenant is to be performed: This is incredible. I say, Thus A­braham might naturally enough have argued, to withstand the Voice of God, and indulge his great Affections to his beloved Isaac. But Good Old A­braham, that knew the Voice that had promised him a Son, had not forgot to know it, when it required him back again: He disputes not, tho' it look'd strange, and perhaps with some surprize and horror, as a Man. He had learn'd to believe, that God that gave him a Child by a Miracle, could work a­nother to preserve or restore him. His Affections could not ballance his Duty, much less overcome his Faith; for he received him in a way that would let him doubt of nothing that God had promis'd of him.

To the Voice of this Almightiness he bows, builds an Altar, binds his only Son upon it, kindles the Fire, and stretches forth his hand to take the Knife: [Page 43] But the Angel stop'd the Stroke, Hold, Abraham, thy Integrity is proved. What follow'd? A Ram serv­ed, and Isaac was his again. This shows how little serves, where All is resigned, and how mean a Sacri­fice contents the Almighty, where the Heart is ap­proved. So that 'tis not the Sacrifice that recom­mends the Heart, but the Heart that gives the Sacri­fice Acceptance.

God often touches our best Comforts, and calls for that which we most love, and are least willing to part with. Not that he always take it utterly away, but to prove the Soul's Integrity, to caution us from Ex­cesses, and that we may remember God, the Author of those Blessings we possess, and live loose to them. I speak my Experience: The way to keep our En­joyments, is to resign them; and tho' that be hard, 'tis sweet to see them returned, as Isaac was to his Father Abraham, with more love and Blessing than before. O stupid World! O Worldly Christians! not only Strangers, but Enemies to this Excellent Faith! And whilst so, the Rewards of it you can never know.

§. XIV. But Job presses hard upon Abraham: His Self-denial also was very Signal. For when the Messengers of his Afflictions came thick upon him, one Doleful Story after another, till he was left as naked as when he was born; the first thing he did, he fell to the Ground, and worship'd that Power, and kiss'd that Hand that strip'd him: So far from mur­muring, that he concludes his Losses of Estate and Children with these words: Naked came I out of my [Page 44] Mother's Womb, and naked shall I Return: The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord . O the deep Faith, Patience, and Contentment of this Excellent Man! one would have thought, this repeated News of Ruine had been e­nough to have overset his Confidence in God: But it did not; that stay'd him. But indeed he tells us why: His Redeemer liv'd; I know (says he) that my Redeemer lives * And it appeared he did; for he had Redeemed him from the World: His Heart was not in his Worldly Comforts; his hope lived above the Joys of Time and Troubles of Mortality; not tempted with the one, nor shaken by the other; but firmly believed, That when those Skin-worms should have consumed his Body, yet with his Eyes, he should see God. Thus was the Heart of Job both submitted, and comforted in the Will of God.

§. XV. Moses is the next great example in sacred Story for remarkable Self-denial, before the times of Christ's appearance in the flesh. He had been saved when an Infant, by an extraordinary Providence, and it seems, by what followed, for an extraordinary ser­vice: Pharaoh's daughter (whose Compassion was the Means of his Preservation when the King de­creed the slaughter of the Hebrew Males) took him for her son, and gave him the Education of her Fa­ther's Court. His own Graceful Presence and ex­traordinary Abilities, joyned with her love for him and interest in her Father to promote him, must have [Page 45] rendred him, if not capable of Succession, at least of being chief Minister of Affairs under that wealthy and powerful Prince. For Egypt was then what A­thens and Rome were after, the most famous for Learning, Arts and Glory.

§. XVI. But Moses, ordained for other work, and guided by a better Star, an higher Principle, no sooner came to Years of Discretion, than the Impiety of Egypt, and the oppressions of his Brethren there, grew a burden too heavy for him to bear. And though so wise and good a Man could not want those generous and grateful resentments, that be­came the kindness of the Kings Daughter to him; Yet he had also seen that God that was invisible, and did not dare to live in the ease and plenty of Pharaoh's House, whilst his poor Brethren were required to make Brick without straw. *.

Thus the fear of the Almighty taking deep hold of his heart, he nobly refused to be called the Son of Pharaoh's Daughter, and chose rather a Life of Af­fliction with the most despised and opprest Israelites, and to be the Companion of their Temptations, and Jeopardies, than to enjoy the Pleasures of Sin for a Sea­son; esteeming the Reproaches of Christ (which he suffered for making that unworldly choice) greater Riches than all the Treasures of that Kingdom.

§. XVII. Nor was he so foolish as they tho't him; he had reason on his side: For it is said, He had an Eye to the Recompence of Reward: He did but refuse [Page 46] a lesser Benefit for a greater. In this his Wisdom transcended that of the Egyptians; for they made the present World their Choice (as uncertain as the Weather) and so lost that which has no end. Moses lookt deeper, and weighed the Enjoyments of this Life in the Scales of Eternity, and found they made no weight there. He governed himself not by the immediate possession, but the nature and duration of the Reward. His Faith Corrected his Affections, and taught him to sacrifice the pleasure of self, to the hope he had of a future more excellent Recompence.

§. XVIII. Isaiah was no inconsiderable Instance of this blessed self-denial; who of a Courtier became a Prophet, and left the Worldly interests of the one for the Faith, Patience and Sufferings of the o­ther. For his Choice did not only lose him the Fa­vour of men, but their wickedness, enraged at his Integrity to God, in his frequent and bold reproofs of them, made a Martyr of him in the end. For they barbarously saw'd him asunder in the Reign of King Manasses. Thus died that Excellent man, and (commonly call'd) the Evangelical Prophets.

§. XIX. I shall add, of many, one Example more and that is from the Fidelity of Daniel; an holy and wise Young-man, that when his external Advantages came in competition with his Duty to Almighty God, he relinquished them all: And instead of being soli­citous how to secure himself, as one minding nothing less, He was with utmost hazard of himself, most [Page 47] careful how to preserve the honour of God, by his fidelity to his Will. And though at the first it ex­pos'd him to ruin, yet, as an instance of great encou­ragement to all, that like him will chuse to keep a good Conscience in an Evil time, at last it advanced him greatly in the World; and the God of Daniel was made Famous and Terrible through his perseve­rance, even in the Eyes of Heathen Kings.

§. XX. What shall I say of all the rest, who counting nothing dear, that they might do the Will of God abandon'd their Worldly Comforts and ex­posed their Ease and Safety, as often as the Heavenly Vision called them, to the Wrath and Malice of de­generate Princes and an Apostate ChurchDoroeth. ibid.? More especially Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Micah, that after they had denied themselves in obedience to the Di­vine Voice, sealed up their Testimony with their Blood.

Thus was Self-Denial the Practice and Glory of the Ancients that were Predecessors to the coming of Christ in the flesh: And shall we hope to go to Heaven without it now, when our Saviour himself is become the most excellent Example of it? And that not as some would fain have it, viz. for us, that we need not; but for us, that we might deny our selves, and so be the true followers of his blessed Example.

§. XXI. Whoever therefore, thou art, that would'st do the will of God, but faints in thy desires from the Opposition of Worldly considerations; remem­ber [Page 48] I tell thee, in the Name of Christ, that he that prefers Father or Mother, Sister, or Brother, Wife or Child, House, or Land, Reputation, Honour, Office, Liberty or Life, before the Testimony of the Light of Jesus in thine own Conscience, shall be rejected of him in the solemn and general Inquest upon the World when all shall be judged, and receive accord­ing to the deeds done, not the profession made, in this Life. It was the Doctrine of Jesus, that if thy right hand offend thee, thou must cut it off: and if thy right eye offend thee, thou must pluck it out : That is, If the most dear, the most useful and tender comforts thou enjoyest, stand in thy Soul's way, and interrupt thy obedience to the Voice of God, and thy conformity to his holy will revealed in thy Soul, thou art engag­ed under the penalty of Damnation to part with it.

§ XXII. The way of God is a way of Faith, as dark to Sense, as mortalto Self. 'Tis the Children of Obedience who count, with holy Paul▪ all things dross and dung that they may win Christ, and know and walk in this narrow way. Speculation won't do, nor can refined Notions enter, the Obedient only eat the good of this Land : They that do his will (says the blessed Jesus) shall know of my Doctrine; them he will instruct. There is no room for Instruction, where lawful Self is Lord, and not Servant. For Self can't receive it: That which should, is apprest by self; fearful and dares not. O what will my Father or Mother say? How will my Husband use [Page 49] me? Or finally what will the Magistrate do with me? For though I have a most powerful perswasion, and clear Conviction upon my Soul of this or that thing, yet considering how unmodish it is, what Ene­mies it has, and how Strange and Singular I shall seem to them, I hope God will pity my weakness: If I sink, I am but flesh and blood; may be hereafter he may better enable me; and there is time enough, I will weigh it more thro'ly. Thus Selfish fearful Man.

But Deliberating is ever worst; for the Soul loses in Parly: The Manifestation brings Power with it. Never did God Convince People, but, upon sub­mission, he impower'd them. He requires nothing without ability to perform it: That were mocking, not saving of men. It is enough for thee to do thy Duty, that God Shews thee thy Duty; provided thou closest with that Light and Spirit by which he gives thee that knowledge. They that want Power, are such as don't receive Christ in his Convictions upon the Soul; and such will always want it: But such as do, they receive Power (like those of old) to become the Children of God, through the pure O­bedience of Faith.

§. XXIII. Wherefore, let me beseech you by the love and Mercy of God, by the Life and Death of Christ, by the Power of his Spirit, and the Hope of Immortality, that you, whose Hearts are esta­blish'd in your Temporal Comforts, and so Lovers of Self more than of these heavenly things, would let the time past suffice: That you would not think [Page 50] it enough to be clear of such Impieties, as too many are found in, whilst your Inordinate Love of lawful things has defil'd your enjoyment of them, and drawn your Hearts from the Fear, Love, Obedience and Self­denial of a true Disciple of Jesus. Tack about then, and hearken to the still Voice in thy Conscience; It tells thee thy Sins, and of Misery in them. It gives a lively Discovery of the very Vanity of the World, and opens to thy Soul some prospect of Eternity, and the Comforts of the Just that are at rest. If thou adherest to this, it will Divorce thee from Sin and Self: Thou wilt soon find that the Power of its Charms exceed that of the Wealth, Honour and Beauty of the World, and finally will give thee that Tranquility, which the Storms of Time can never shipwrack, nor disorder. Here all thine Enjoyments are blest, though small, yet great by that Presence that is within them.

Even in this World the Righteous have the better of it; for they use the World without Rebuke, be­cause they don't abuse it. They see and bless the Hand that feeds, and cloaths, and preserves them. And as by beholding Him in all his Gifts, they don't Adore them, but him; so the sweetness of his Bles­sings that gives them, is an advantage such have up­on those that see him not. Besides, in their Increase they are not lifted up, nor in their Adversities are they cast down: And why? Because they are mo­derated in the one, and comforted in the other, by his Divine Presence.

[Page 51] In short, Heaven is the Throne, & the Earth but the Footstool of that man that hath Self under Foot. And those that know that Station will not easily be moved. Such learn to number their days, that they may not be surprized with their Dissolution; and to redeem their Time, because the days are evil : Remembring, that they are but Stewards, and must deliver up their Accompts to an Impartial Judge. Therefore not to Self, but to him they live, and in him dye, and are blessed with them that dye in the Lord. And thus I conclude my Discourse of the right use of Lawful Self.

CHAP. V.

§. 1. Of unlawful Self, 'tis twofold, 1. In Religion, 2. In Mo­rality. §. 2. Of those that are most formal, Superstitious and Pompous in Worship. §. 3. God's Rebuke of Carnal Appre­hensions. §. 4. Christ drew off his Disciples from the Jewish exterior Worship, instituted a more spiritual one. §. 5. Ste­phen is plain and full in this matter. §. 6. Paul refers the Temple of God twice to man. §. 7. Of the Cross of these worldly Worshippers. §. 8. Flesh and Blood makes their Cross, therefore can't be crucified by it. §. 9. They are Yokes without restraint. §. 10. Of the gawdiness of their Cross, and their respect to it. §. 11. A Recluse Life no true Gospel Abnegation. §. 12. A comparison between Christ's Self denial and theirs: His leads to Purity in the World, theirs to voluntary Imprisonment, that they might not be tempted of the World. The mischief that that Example followed would do to the World. It destroys use­ful Society, honest Labour. A Lazy Life the usual Refuge of Idleness, Poverty and Guilty Age. §. 13. Of Christ's Cross in this case. The Impossibility that such an external Applica­tion can remove an Internal cause. §. 14. An exhortation to the men of this Belief, not to deceive themselves.

[Page 52] §. I. I Am now come to Unlawful Self, which, more or less, is the immediate Concern­ment of much the greater part of Mankind. This Unlawful Self is twofold. 1st, That which re­lates to Religious Worship: 2dly, That which concerns Moral and Civil Conversation in the World. And they are both of infinite Consequence to be consider­ed by us. In which, I shall be as brief as I may, with Ease to my Conscience, and no injury to the Matter.

§. II. That Unlawful Self in Religion, that ought to be mortified by the Cross of Christ, is Man's Inven­tion and Performance of Worship to God, as Divine; which is not so, either in its Institution or Perform­ance. In this great Error, those People have the Van, of all, that attribute to themselves the Name of Christians, that are most Exteriour, Pompous, and Su­perstitious in their Worship: For they do not only miss exceedingly by a Spiritual Unpreparedness in the way of their performing Worship to God Al­mighty, who is an Eternal Spirit; but the Worship it self is composed of what is utterly inconsistent with the very Form and Practice of Christ's Doctrine, and the Apostolical Example. For whereas that was Plain and Spiritual, this is Gawdy and Worldly: Christ's most Inward and Mental, theirs most Out­ward and Corporal: That suited to the Nature of God, who is a Spirit; this accommodated to the most Carnal Part. So instead of excluding Flesh and Blood, behold a Worship calculated to gratifie them: As if the business were not to present God [Page 53] with a Worship to please him, but to make one to please themselves. A Worship dress'd with such Stately Buildings and Imagery, Rich Furnitures and Garments, rare Voices and Musicks, costly Lamps, Wax-Candles and Perfumes; and all acted with that most pleasing Variety to the External Senses, that Art can invent, or Cost procure: As if the World were [...] turn Jew or AEgyptian again; or that God was an old Man, indeed, and Christ a little Boy, to be treated with a kind of Religious Mask; for so they Picture him in their Temples; and too many in their Minds. And the truth is, such a Worship may very well suit such an Idea of God: For when Men can think him such an one as themselves, it is not to be wonder'd, if they address to him, and entertain him in a way that would be most pleasing from others to themselves.

§. III. But what said the Almighty to such a Sensual People of old, much upon the like occasion? Thou thoughtest I was such a one as thy self, but I will reprove thee, and set thy Sins in order before thee. Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. But to him that ordereth his Conversation aright, will I shew the Salvation of God * This is the Worship acceptable to him, To do Justice, love Mercy, and walk Humbly with God . For he that searches the Heart, and tries the Reins of Man, and sets his Sins in order before him, who is the God of the Spirits of all Flesh, looks not to the Ex­ternal Fabrick, but Internal Frame of the Soul, and [Page 54] Inclination of the Heart. Nor is it to be soberly thought, that He, who is Cloathed with Divine Ho­nour and Majesty, who covers himself with Light, as with a Garment, who stretches out the Heavens like a Curtain, who layeth the Beams of his Chambers in the Deep, who maketh the Clouds his Chariots, and who walks upon the Wings of the Wind, who maketh his Angels Spirits, and his Ministers a Flaming Fire, who laid the Foundation of the Earth, that it should not be moved for ever, can be adequately Worshipped by those Humane Inventions, the Refuge of an Apostate People from the Primitive Power of Religion, and Spirituality of Christian Worship.

§. IV. Christ drew off his Disciples from the Glory and Worship of the outward Temple, and Instituted a more Inward and Spiritual Worship; in which he instructed his Followers. No more at Je­rusalem, nor at this Mountain (says Christ to the Sa­maritan Woman) will God the Father be Worship­ped; for he is a Spirit, and he will be Worshipped in Spirit and Truth. As if he had said: ‘For the sake of the Weakness of the People, God condescended in old time to limit himself to an outward Time, Place, Temple, and Service, in and by which he would be Worshipped: But this was during Mens Igno­rance of his Omnipresence, and that they consider'd not what God is, nor where he is. But I am come to reveal him to as many as receive me. And I tell you, that God is a Spirit, and he will be Wor­shipped [Page 55] in Spirit and in Truth. People must be ac­quainted with him as a Spirit, consider him, and worship him as such. 'Tis not that Bodily Wor­ship, nor these Ceremonious Services, in use among you now, that will serve, or give acceptance with this God that is a Spirit: No, you must obey his Spirit that strives with you, to gather you out of the Evil of the World, that by bowing to the In­structions and Commands of his Spirit in your own Souls, you may know what it is to worship him as a Spirit; then you will understand, that 'tis not going to this Mountain, nor Jerusalem, but to do the Will of God, to keep his Commandments, and commune with thine own heart, and sin not, take up thy Cross, meditate in his Holy Law, and follow the Example of him, whom the Father hath sent.’

§. V. Wherefore Stephen, that bold and constant Martyr of Jesus, thus told the Jews, when a Prisoner at their Bar: For, disputing about the end of their beloved Temple, and its Services, (but falsly accused of Blasphemy) Solomon (said Stephen) built God an House; howbeit, God dwelleth not in Temples made with Hands; as saith the Prophet, Heaven is my Throne, and the Earth is my Foot-stool; what House will ye build me, saith the Lord? Or what is the place of my Rest? Hath not my Hand made all these things ? Behold a Total overthrow to all Worldly Temples, and their Ceremonious Appendencies! The Martyr follows his Blow upon those Apostate Jews, who [Page 56] were, of those times, the Pompous, Ceremonious, Worldly Worshippers: Ye Stiff-necked and uncircum­cised in Heart, and Ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as did your Fathers, so do ye. As if he had told them: ‘No matter for your outward Temple, Rites, and shadowy Services, your pretensions to Scccession in Nature from Abraham, and by Religion from Moses; you are Resisters of the Spirit, Gain­sayers of its Instructions: You will not bow to its Counsel, nor are your Hearts right towards God: You are the Successors of your Father's Iniquity; and though verbal Admirers, yet none of the Suc­cessors of the Prophets in Faith and Life.

But the Prophet Isaiah carries it a little further than is cited by Stephen. For after having declar'd what is not God's House, the place where his Honour dwells. immediately follow these words: But to this Man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite Spirit, and Trembleth at my Word . Behold, O Car­nal and Superstitious Man, the true Worshipper and the place of God's Rest! This is the House and Temple of him whom the Heaven of Heavens can­not contain: An House Self cannot build, nor the Art nor Power of Man prepare or consecrate.

§. VI. Paul, that great Apostle of the Gentiles, twice expresly refers the word Temple to Man: Once in his first Epistle to the Church at Corinth; know you not (Says he) that you are the Temples of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God? &c. [Page 57] and not the building of Man's Hand and Art. A­gain, he tells the same People (in his Second Epistle) For ye are the Temple of the Living God, as God hath said; (and then cites God's Words by the Prophet) I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my People. This is the Evangelical Temple, the Christian Church; whose Or­naments are not the Embroideries and Furnitures of Worldly Art and Wealth, but the Graces of the Spi­rit; Meekness, Love, Faith, Patience, Self-denial and Charity. Here it is that the Eternal Wisdom that was with God from everlasting, before the Hills were brought forth, or the Mountains laid, chuses to dwell, rejoicing (Says Wisdom) in the habitable part of the Earth, and my Delights were with the Sons of Men ; not in Houses built of Wood and Stone, This living House is more glorious than Solomon's dead House; and of which his was but a Figure, as he, the Builder, was of Christ, who builds us up an holy Temple to God. 'Twas promised of Old, That the Glory of the latter House should transcend the Glory of the former *; which may be applied to this: Not one outward Temple or House to excel another in outward Lustre; for where is the Benefit of that? But the Divine Glory, the Beauty of Holiness in the Gospel House or Church, made up of renewed Believers, should ex­ceed the outward Glory of Solomon's Temple, which in Comparison of the latter days, was but Flesh to Spi­rit, fading Resemblances to the Eternal Substance.

[Page 58] But for all this, Christians have Meeting-places, yet not in Jewish or Heathen state, but Plain; void of Pomp and Ceremony; suiting the Simplicity of their bles­sed Lord's Life and Doctrine. For God's Presence is not with the House, but with them that are in it, who are the Gospel-Church, and not the House. O! that such as call themselves Christians, knew but a real Sanctity in themselves, by the washing of God's Regenerating Grace instead of that imaginary Sanc­tity ascribed to Places: They would then know what the Church is, and where, in these Evangelical days, is the place of God's Appearance. This made the Prophet David say, The King's Daughter is all glorious within, her cloathing is of wrought Gold. What is the Glory that is within the true Church, and that Gold that makes up that inward Glory? Tell me, O superstitious Man! Is it thy stately Tem­ples, Altars, Tables, Carpets, Tapestries; Thy Vest­ments, Organs, Voices, Candles, Lamps, Censers, Plate and Jewels, with the like Furniture of thy Worldly Temples? No such matter; they bear no proportion with the divine Adornment of the King of Heaven's Daughter, the blessed and redeemed Church of Christ. Miserable Apostacy that it is and a wretched Supple­ment in the loss and absence of the Apostolick Life, the Spiritual Glory of the Primitive Church.

§. VII. But yet some of these Admirers of exter­nal Pomp and Glory in Worship, would be thought Lovers of the Cross, and to that end have made to themselves many. But Alas! What hopes can there [Page 59] be of reconciling that to Christianity, that the nearer it comes to his Resemblance, the farther off it is in reality? For their very Cross and Self-denial are most unlawful Self: And whilst they fancy to Worship God thereby, they most dangerously err from the true Cross of Christ, and that holy Abnegation that was of his blessed Appointment. 'Tis true, they have got a Cross, but it seems to be in the room of the true one; and so mannerly, that it will do as they will have it that wear it: For instead of mortifying their Wills by it, they made it, and use it according to them. So that the Cross is become their Ensign, that do nothing but what they list. Yet by that they would be thought his Disciples that never did his own Will, but the Will of his heavenly Father.

§. VIII. This is such a Cross as Flesh and Blood can carry, for Flesh and Blood invented it; therefore not the Cross of Christ, that is to crucifie Flesh and Blood. Thousands of them have no more Virtue than a Chip: Poor empty Shadows, not so much as Images of the true one. Some carry them for Charms about them, but never repel one Evil with them. They sin with them upon their Backs; and though they put them in their Bosoms, their beloved Lusts lie there too without the least disquiet. They are as dumb as Elijah's Mock Gods ; no Life nor Power in them: And how should they whose Matter is Earthly, and whose Figure and Workmanship are but the In­vention and Labour of Worldly Artists? Is it pos­sible [Page 60] that such Crosses should mend their Makers? Surely not.

§. IX. These are Yokes without restraint, and Crosses that never contradict: A whole Cart-load of them would leave a Man as unmortified as they find him. Men may sooner knock their Brains out with them, than their sins: And that, I fear, too many of them know in their very Consciences that use them, indeed, Adore them, and (which can only hap­pen to the false Cross) are proud of them too, since the true one leaves no Pride, where it is truly born.

§. X. For as their Religion, so their Cross, is very Gawdy and Triumphant: But in what? In precious Metals and Gems, the spoil of Superstition upon the Peoples Pocket. These Crosses are made of Earthly Treasure instead of Learning their Hearts that wear them to deny it: And like men, they are respected by their Finery. A Rich Cross shall have many Gazers and Admirers; the mean, in this, as other things, are more neglected. I could appeal to them­selves of this great Vanity and Superstition. O! how very short is this of the blessed Cross of Jesus that takes away the sins of the World!

§. XI. Nor is a Recluse Life, (the boasted Righ­teousness of some) much more commendable, or one whit nearer to the nature of the true Cross: For if it be not Unlawful as other things are, 'tis Unnatural, which true Religion teaches not. The Christian Con­vent and Monastery are within, where the Soul is encloistered from Sin. And this Religious House the [Page 61] true Followers of Christ carry about with them, who exempt not themselves from the Conversation of the World, though they keep themselves from the evil of the World in their Conversation. That is a lazy rusty unprofitable Self-denial, burdensome to o­thers to feed Idleness: Religious Bedlams, where their People are kept up left they should do mischief a­broad: Patience per force: Self-denial against their will, rather ignorant than Virtuous; and out of the way of Temptation, than constant in it. No thanks if they commit not, what they are not tempted to, commit. What the Eye views not, the Heart craves not, as well as rues not,

§. XII. The Cross of Christ is of another nature: It truly overcomes the World, and leads a Life of Purity in the face of its Allurements: They that bear it, are not thus chained up, for fear they should bite; nor lockt up, left they should be stole away: No, they receive Power from Christ their Captain, to resist the Evil, and do that which is Good in the sight of God; to despise the World, and love its reproach above its Praise: And not only not to offend others, but love those that offend them, though not for of­fending, them. What a World should we have, if every Body for fear of Transgressing should mew him­self up within four Walls? No such matter; The Perfection of Christian Life extends to every honest Labour or Traffick used among men. This Seve­rity is not the Effect of Christ's free Spirit, but a Vo­luntary, Fleshly, Humility; meer Trammels of their [Page 62] own making and putting on, without prescription of reason. In all which, 'tis plain, they are their own Law-givers and set their own Rule, Mulct and Ran­som: A constrained Harshness, out of joynt to the rest of the Creation: For Society is one great end of it, and not to be destroyed for fear of Evil; but sin banish'd that spoils it, by steady Reproof, and a con­spicuous Example of tryed Vertue. True Godliness don't turn men out of the World, but enables them to live better in it, and excites their Endeavours to mend it: Not hide their Candle under a Bushel, but set it upon a Table in a Candlestick. Besides, 'tis a Selfish Invention; and that can never be the way of taking up the Cross, which the true Cross is therefore taken up to subject. But again, this humour runs away by it self, and leaves the World behind to be lost: Chri­stians should keep the Helm, and guide the Vessel to its Port; not meanly steal out at the Stern of the World, and leave those that are in it, without a Pi­lot, to be driven by the Fury of Evil Times upon the Rock or Sand of Ruin. In fine, this sort of Life, if taken up by Young People, is commonly to cover I­dleness, or to pay Portions; to save the Lazy from the pain of Punishment, or Quality from the disgrace of Poverty: One won't work, and the other scorns it. If Aged, a long Life of Guilt sometimes flies to Su­perstition for a Refuge; and after having had its own Will in other things, would finish it in a wilful Re­ligion to make God amends.

§. XIII. But taking up the Cross of Jesus is a more [Page 63] Interior Exercise: It is the Circumspection and Dis­cipline of the Soul, in Conformity to the Divine Mind therein revealed. Does not the Body follow the Soul, and not the Soul the Body? Do not such consider, that no Outward Call can shut up the Soul from Lust, the Mind from an Infinity of unrighteous Imagina­tions? The Thoughts of Man's Heart are evil, and that continually. Evil comes from within, and not from without: How than can an External Application re­move an Internal Cause; or a Restraint upon the Body, work a Confinement of the Mind? Less much than without doors: For where there is least of Action, there is most time to Think; and if those Thoughts are not guided by an Higher Principle, Convents are more mischievous to the World than Exchanges: And yet a Retirement is both an excellent and needful thing: Crowds and Throngs were not much fre­quented by the Ancient holy Pilgrims.

§. XIV. But then examine, O Man, thy Bottom, what it is, and who placed thee there; lest in the end it should appear, thou hast put an Eternal Cheat upon thy own Soul. I must confess I am jealous of the Salvation of my own kind, having found Mercy with my heavenly Father: I would have none de­ceive themselves to Perdition; especially about Re­ligion, where People are most apt to take all for granted, and lose Infinitely by their own Flatteries and Neglect. The inward steady Righteousness of Jesus is another thing, than all the contrived Devo­tion of poor Superstitious man: And to stand ap­proved [Page 64] in the Eye of God, excells that Bodily Ex­ercise in Religion, resulting from the invention of Men: And the Soul that is awakened and preserved by his holy Power and Spirit, lives to him in the way of his own Institution, and worships him in his own Spirit, that is, in the holy Sense, Life and Leadings of it; which indeed is the Evangelical Worship. Not that I would be thought to slight a true Retirement: For I do not only acknowledge, but admire Solitude. Christ himself was an Example of it: He lov'd and chose to frequent Mountains, Gardens, Sea sides. They are requisite to the growth of Piety; and I reverence the Vertue that seeks and uses it; wishing there were more of it in the World: But then it should be free, not constrained. What benefit to the Mind to have it for a Punishment, and not a Pleasure? Nay, I have long thought it an Error among all sorts, that use not Monastick Lives, that they have no Retreats for the Afflicted, the Tempted, the Solita­ry, and the Devout; where they might undisturb­edly wait upon God, pass through their Religious Exercises; and, being thereby strengthened, may with more power over their own Spirits enter into the Business of the World again; tho' the less the better to be sure. For Divine Pleasures are found in a free Solitude.

CHAP. VI.

§. 1. But men of more refined Belief and Practice are yet con­cerned in this Unlawful Self about Religion. §. 2. 'Tis the Rise of the Performance of Worship God regards. §. 3. True [Page 65] Worship is only from an Heart prepared by God's Spirit. §. 4. The Soul of Man dead, without the Divine Breath of Life, and so not capable of Worshipping the Living God. §. 5. We are not to study what to Pray for. How Christians should Pray. The Aid they have from God. §. 6. The way of obtaining this Preparation: 'Tis waiting, as David and others did of old, in holy Silence, that their Wants and Supplies are best seen. §. 7. The Whole and the Full think they need not this waiting, and so use it not: But the Poor in Spirit are of another mind; wherefore the Lord hears and fills them with his good things. §. 8. If there were not this Preparation, the Jewish Times would have been more holy and spiritual than the Gospel; for even then it was requir­ed; much more now. §. 9. As Sin, so Formality, cannot wor­ship God. Thus David, Isaiah, &c. §. 10. God's own Forms and Institutions hateful to him, unless his own Spirit use them; much more those of Man's contriving. §. 11. God's Children ever met God in his way, not their own; and in his way they al­ways found Help and Comfort. In Jeremiah's time it was the same; his Goodness was manifested to his Children that waited truly upon him: 'Twas an Inward Sense and Enjoyment of him they thirsted after. Christ charged his Disciples also to wait for the Spirit. §. 12. This Doctrine of Waiting further opened, and ended with an Allusion to the Pool of Bethesda; a lively Figure of inward Waiting, and its blessed Effects. §. 13. Four things necessary to Worship; The Sanctification of the Worshipper, and the Consecration of the Offering, and the Thing to be prayed for; and lastly, Faith to pray in: And all must be right, that is, of God's giving. §. 14. The great Power of Faith in Prayer; witness the Importunate Widow: The Wicked and Formal ask, and receive not; the Reason why. But Jacob, and his true Off spring, the Followers of his Faith, pre­vail. §. 15. This shews, why Christ upbraided his Disciples of their little Faith. The Necessity of Faith. Christ works no good on Men without it. §. 16. This Faith is not only possible now, but necessary. §. 17. What it is, further unfolded. §. 18. Who the Heirs of this Faith are; and what were the Noble Works of it in the former Ages of the Just.

[Page 66] §. I. BUt there be others, of a more Refined Specu­lation, and Reformed Practice, who dare not use, and less adore, a piece of Wood or Stone, an Image of Silver or Gold; nor yet allow of that Jew­ish, or rather Pagan Pomp in Worship, Practised by others, as if Christ's Worship were of this World, tho' his Kingdom be of the other; but are Doc­trinally Averse to such Superstition, and yet refrain not to bow to their own Religious Duties, and esteem their formal performance of several parts of Worship, that go against the grain of their fleshly Ease, and a preciseness therein, no small Cross unto them; and that if they abstain from gross and scandalous Sins, or if the Act be not committed, though the Thoughts of it are embrac'd, and that it has a full Career in the Mind, they hold themselves safe enough, within the Pale of Discipleship and Wall of Christianity. But this also is too mean a Character of the Discipline of Christ's Cross: And those that flatter themselves with such a sort of taking it up, will in the end be deceived with a Sandy Foundation, and a Midnight Cry. For said Christ, But I say unto you, that every idle word that Men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the Day of Judgment.

§. II. For First, 'Tis not Performing Duties of Religion, but the Rise of the Performance, that God looks at▪ Men may, & some do, cross their own wills in their own wills; voluntary Omission or Commission: Who has required this at your hands? * Said the Lord of old to the Jews, when they seemed Industrious to have ser­ved him; but it was in a way of their own contrive­ing [Page 67] or Inventing, and in their own Time and Will; not with the Soul truly touch'd and prepar'd by the Divine Power of God; but Bodily Worship only, that the Apostle tells us, profits little. Not keeping to the Manner of taking up the Cross in Worship, as well as other things, has been a great Cause of the troublesome Superstition that is yet in the World. For Men have no more brought their Worship to the Test, than their Sins: Nay, less; for they have Ignorantly thought the one a sort of Excuse for the o­ther; and not that their Religious Performances should need at Cross, or an Apology.

§. III. But true Worship can only come from an Heart prepared by the Lord. This Preparation is by the Sanctification of the Spirit by which, if God's Children are [...] in the general Course of their Lives, [...] Paul teaches; much more in their Worship to their Creator and Redeemer. And whatever Prayer be made or Doctrine be uttered, and not from the Preparation of the Holy Spirit, it is not acceptable with God▪ Nor can it be the true Evangelical Wor­ship, which is in Spirit and Truth; that is, by the Preparation and Aid of the Spirit. For what's an heap of the most Pathetical Words, to God Al­mighty; or the Dedication of any Place or Time, to him? He is a Spirit, to whom Words, Places and Times (strictly considered) are improper or Inade­quate. And tho' they be the Instruments of Publick Worship, they are but Bodily and visible, and can­not carry our Requests any further, much less recom­mend [Page 68] them to the Invisible God; by no means: They are for the sake of the Congregation. 'Tis the Language of the Soul, God hears; nor can that speak, but by the Spirit; or Groan aright to Al­mighty God, without the Assistance of it.

§. IV. The Soul of Man however lively in other things, is dead to God, till he breathe the Spirit of Life in it: It cannot live to him, much less worship him, without it. Thus God, by Ezekiel tells us, when in a Vision of the Restoration of Mankind, in the Person of Israel, (an usual Way of speaking a­mong the Prophets, and as often mistaken) I will open your Graves (saith the Lord) and put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live. So tho' Christ taught his Disciples to Pray, they were, in some sort, Disciples before he taught them; not Worldly Men, whose Prayers are an Abomination to God. And his Teach­ing them, is not an Argument that every body must say that Prayer, whether he can say it with the same Heart, and under the same Qualifications, as his poor Disciples&Followers did, as is now too Superstitiously and Presumptuously practised. But rather, that as they then so we now, are not to pray our own Prayers, but his; that is, such as he Enables us to make, as he Enabled them then.

§. V. For if we are not to take Thought what we shall say when we come before Worldly Princes, be­cause it shall then be given us *; and that it is not we that speak, but the Spirit of our heavenly Father that Speaketh in us; much less can our Ability be [Page 69] needed or ought we to study to our selves Forms of Speech in our Approaches to the Great Prince of Princes, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords . For be it his Greatness, we ought not by Christ's Com­mand: Be it our Relation to him, as Children, we need not: He will help us, he is our Father; that is, if he be so indeed. Thus not only the Mouth of the Body, but of the Soul, is shut, till God opens it; and then he loves to hear the Language of it. In which the Body ought never to go before the Soul: His Ear is open to such Requests, and his Spirit strongly interceeds for those that offer them.

§. VI. But it may be ask'd, How shall this Pre­paration be obtained?

I Answer; By Waiting Patiently, yet Watch­fully and Intently upon God: Lord (says the Psal­mist*) thou hast heard the Desire of the Humble; thou wilt prepare their Heart, thou wilt cause thine Ear to hear: And (says Wisdom) The Preparation of the Heart in Man is from the Lord. Here it is thou must not think thy own Thoughts, nor speak thy own Words, (which indeed is the Silence of the Holy Cross) but be sequestred from all the confused Ima­ginations, that are apt to throng and press upon the Mind in those holy Retirements. It is not for thee to think to overcome the Almighty by the most Composed Matter, cast into the aptest Phrase: No, no; One Groan, one Sigh from a Wounded Soul, an Heart touch'd with true Remorse, a sincere [Page 70] and godly Sorrow, which is the Work of God's Spi­rit, excells and prevails with God. Wherefore stand still in thy Mind, wait to feel something that is Di­vine, to prepare and dispose thee to Worship God truly and acceptably. And thus taking up the Cross, and shutting the Doors and Windows of the Soul against every thing that would interrupt this Atten­dance upon God, how pleasant soever the Object be in it self, how lawful or needful at another season, the Power of the Almighty will break in, his Spirit will work and prepare the Heart, that it may offer up an Acceptable Sacrifice. 'Tis he that discovers and presses Wants upon the Soul; and when it cries, it is he alone that supplies them. Petitions, not springing from such a Sense and Preparation, are For­mal and Fictitious: They are not true; for Men pray in their own blind Desires, and not in the Will of God; and his Ear is Stopp'd to them: But for the very Sighing of the Poor, and Crying of the Nee­dy, God has said, he will arise; that is, the Poor in Spirit, the Needy Soul, those that Want his Assistance, who are ready to be overwhelmed, that feel a need, and cry aloud for a Deliverer, and that have none on Earth to help, ‘None in Heaven but [...], nor in the Earth in comparison of him: He will deliver (said David *) the Needy, when he cries, and the Poor, and him that has no Helper. He shall re­deem their Soul from Deceit and Violence, and [Page 71] precious shall their Life be in his [...]ight. This poor Man (says he) cried and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his Troubles. The Angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivers them': And then Invites all to Come and Taste how good the Lord is. Yea, He will bless them that fear the Lord both small and great.’

§. VII. But what's that to them that are not Hun­gry? The Whole need not the Physician: The Full have no need to sigh, nor the Rich to cry for help. Those that are not sensible of their inward Wants, that have not Fears and Terrors upon them, who feel no need of God's Power to help them, nor of the Light of his Countenance to comfort them; What have such to do with Prayer? Their Devotion is but, at best, a serious Mockery of the Almighty. They know not, they want not, they desire not what they Pray for. They Pray, the Will of God may be done, and do constantly their own: For, tho' it be soon said, 'tis a most terrible thing to them. They ask for Grace, and abuse that they have: They Pray for the Spirit, but resist it in themselves, and scorn as it in others: They request the Mercies and Goodness of God, and feel no real Want of them. And in this inward Insensibility, they are as unable to Praise God for what they have, as to Pray for what they have not. They shall Praise the Lord (says David) that seek him: For he sa­tisfieth the longing [...]oul, and filleth the hungry Soul [Page 72] with good things . This also he reserves for the Poor and Needy, and those that fear God: Let the (Spiri­tually) Poor and the Needy praise thy Name: Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; and ye the Seed of Ja­cob glorifie him * Jacob was a plain Man of an up­right Heart; and they that are so, are his seed. And tho' (with him) they may be as poor as Worms in their own Eyes, yet they receive Power to Wrestle with God, and prevail, as he did.

§. VIII. But without the Preparation and Conse­crating of this Power, no Man is fit to come before God; else it were matter of less Holiness and Re­verence to Worship God under the Gospel, than it was in the times of the Law, when all Sacrifices were sprinkled, before offered, the People Consecrated, that Offered them, before they presented themselves before the Lord. If the touching of a dead or unclean Beast then, made People unfit for Temple or Sacri­fice, yea, Society with the Clean, till first sprinkled and Sanctified; how can we think so meanly of the Worship that is instituted by Christ in Gospel-times, as that it should admit of unprepared and unsanctified Offerings? Or, allow that those who either in Tho'ts, Words or Deeds, do daily touch that which is mo­rally Unclean, can (without coming to the Blood of Jesus, that sprinkles the Conscience from dead Works) acceptably Worship the pure God; 'Tis a down-right Contradiction, to good Sense: The Unclean [Page 73] cannot acceptably worship that which is Holy; the Impure, that which is Perfect. There is an holy Intercourse and Communion betwixt Christ and his Followers; but none at all betwixt Christ and Be­lial; between him and those that disobey his Com­mandments, and live not the Life of his blessed Cross and Self-denial.

§. IX. But as Sin, so Formality cannot Worship God; no though the manner were of his own Or­dination. Which made the Prophet, personating one in a great streight, cry out*; ‘Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow my self before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt Offerings? with Calves of a year Old? Will the Lord be pleased with Thousands of Rams, or with ten Thousands of Rivers of Oyl? Shall I give my first-born for my Transgression, the Fruit of my Body for the Sin of my Soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good. And what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, to love Mercy, and to walk Humbly with thy God?’ The Royal Prophet, sensible of this calls thus also upon God; ‘O Lord open thou my Lips, and my Mouth shall shew forth thy Praise.’ . He did not dare open his own Lips, he knew that could not Praise God; and why? ‘For thou desirest not Sacrifice, else would I give it:’ (If my formal Offerings would serve, thou shouldst not want them): ‘Thou delightest not in burnt Offerings, The Sacrifices of God are [Page 74] a broken Spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise:’ And why? because this is God's Work▪ the effect of his power: and His own Works praise him. To the same purpose doth God himself speak by the Mouth of Isaiah, in Opposition to the Formalities and Lip Worship of the degenerate Jews: ‘Thus saith the Lord, The Heaven is my Throne, and the Earth is my Foot­stool, where is the House that ye build to me? And where is the place of my Rest? For all these things have my Hand made. But to this man will I look, even to him that is Poor, and of a contrite [...], and Trembleth at my Word.’ O behold the [...] Wor­shipper! One of God's preparing, circumcised in Heart and Ear, that resists not the holy Spirit, as those lofty professing Jews did. Was this so then, even in the time of the Law, which was the Dispen­sation of External and shadowy Performances, and can we now expect Acceptance without the prepa­ration of the Spirit of the Lord in these Gospel. Times, which are the proper times for the Effusion of the Spirit? By no means: God is what he was; and none else are his true Worshippers, but such as Worship him in his own Spirit: These he tenders as the Apple of his Eye: The rest do but mock him, and he despises them. Hear what follows to that People, for it is the State and Portion of Christen­dom at this day ‘He that killeth an Ox, is as if he slew a Man; He that sacrificeth a Lamb, as if he [Page 75] cut off a Dogs Neck; He that offereth an Oblation, as if he offered Swines Blood; He that burneth Incense, as if he blessed an Idol. Yea, they have chosen their own Way, and their Soul delighteth in their Abominations.’ Let none say, we offer not these kinds of Oblations, for that is not the mat­ter; God was not offended with the Offerings but Offerers. These were the Legal Forms of Sacrifice by God appointed; but they not presenting them in that frame of spirit, and under that right disposi­tion of Soul that was required, God declares his Ab­horrence, and that with great Aggravation, and else­where by the same Prophet forbids them to* ‘Bring any more vain Oblations before him: Incense (saith God) is an Abomination to me: Your Sabbaths and calling of Assemblies I cannot away with; it is Ini­quity, even the solemn Meeting. And when you spread forth your Hands, I will hide mine Eyes from you; when you make many Prayers I will not hear you.’ A most terrible renunciation of their Worship; and why? because their Hearts were polluted; they loved not the Lord with their whole Hearts, but broke his Law, and Rebelled against his Spirit, and did not that which was right in his sight. The Cause is plain, by the Amendment he requires: ‘Wash you, (says the Lord) make you clean, put a­way the Evil of your Doings from before mine Eyes: Cease to do evil, learn to do well: Seek Judgment, Relieve the Oppressed, Judge the Fatherless, plead [Page 76] for the Widow.’ Upon these terms (and nothing short) he bids them come to him, and tells them, That though their ‘Sins be as Scarlet, they shall be white as snow; and though they be as Crimson, they shall be white as Wool.’

So true is that notable passage of the Psalmist* ‘Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will de­clare what he hath done for my soul: I cryed to him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue. If I regard Iniquity in my Heart, the Lord will not hear me. But verily God hath heard me, he hath attended to the Voice of my Prayer. Blessed be God which hath not turned away my Prayer, nor his mercy from me.’

§. X. Much of this kind might be cited, to shew the Displeasure of God against, even his own Forms of Worship, when performed without his own Spirit, and that necessary Preparation of the Heart in Man, that nothing else can work or give: Which above all other Pen-men of sacred Writ, is most frequently and Emphatically recommended to us by the Exam­ple of the Psalmist, who, ever and anon calling to mind his own great slips, and the Cause of them, and the way by which he came to be accepted of God, and obtain strength and comfort from him, remem­bers himself to Wait upon God. ‘Lead me in thy Truth and teach me, for thou art the God of my Salvation, on thee do I Wait all the day long.’ His Soul lookt to God for Salvation, to be delivered [Page 77] from the snares and evils of the World. This shews an Inward Exercise, a spiritual Attendance that stood not in External Forms, but an Inward Divine A [...]d.

And truly David had great Encouragement so to do, the Goodness of God invited him to it, and strengthened him in it. For says he, ‘I waited Pa­tiently upon the Lord, and he inclined unto me, and heard my Cry. He brought my feet out of the Mire and Clay, and set them upon a Rock.’ That is, the Lord appeared inwardly to consolate David's Soul, that waited for his Help, and to deliver it from the Temptations and Afflictions that were ready to overwhelm it, and gave him Security and Peace. Therefore he says, the Lord hath establisht his going; that is, fixt his mind in Righteousness. Before, every step he took bemired him, and he was scarcely able to go without falling: Temptations on all hands; but he waited patiently upon God; his Mind retired watchful and intent to his Law and Spirit; and he felt the Lord to incline to him. His needy and sensible Cry entred Heaven, and prevail'd; then came rescue and deliverance to David, (in God's time, not Da­vid's) strength to go through his Exercises, and sur­mount all his Troubles. For which he tells us, A New Song was put into his Mouth, even Praise, says he, to our God, But it was of God's making and putting, and not his own.

Another time, we have him crying thus ‘As the Heart panteth after the Water-Brooks, so panteth [Page 78] my Soul after thee, O God. My Soul thirsteth for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before him?’ This goes beyond Formality, and can be tied to no Lesson. But we may by this see, that true Worship is an Inward Work; that the Soul must be touch'd and raised in its heavenly Desires, by the Heavenly Spirit, and that the true Worship is in God's Presence. When shall I come and appear? Not in the Temple, nor with outward Sacrifices, but before God, in his Presence. So that the Souls of true Worshippers see God, make their Appearance before him; and this They Wait, They Pant, They Thirst for. O how is the better part of Christendom degenerated from David's Ex­ample! No wonder therefore that this good Man tells us, Truly my Soul waiteth upon God; and that he gives it in Charge to his Soul so to do; O my Soul, wait thou upon God; for my Expectation is from him. As if he had said, None else can prepare my Heart, ‘or supply my Wants; so that my Expectation is nor from my own voluntary Performances, or the [...]odi [...]y Worship I can give him; they are of no value: They can neither help me, nor please him. But I wait upon him for strength and power to pre­sent my self so before him, as may be most pleasing to him: For he that prepares the Sacrifice, will cer­tainly accept it.’ Wherefore in two Verses he re­peats it thrice, ‘I wait for the Lord—My Soul doth wait—My Soul waiteth for the Lord, more [Page 79] than they that watch for the Mornings’ Yea, so intently, and with that Unweariedness of Soul, that he says in one place, Mine Eyes fail, while I Wait for my God. He was not contented with so many Prayers, such a set Worship, or limitted Repetition; no: He leaves not till he finds the Lord; that is, the Comforts of his Presence; which bring the an­swer of Love and Peace to his Soul. Nor was this his Practice only as a Man more than ordinarily In­spired; for he speaks of it as the way of Worship, then amongst the true People of God, the Spiritual Israel, and Circumcision in Heart, of that day, ‘Be­hold (says he*) as the Eyes of Servants look to the hand of their Masters, and as the Eye of a Maiden unto the hand of her Mistress, so our Eyes Wait upon the Lord our God, until he have Mercy upon us’. In another place, ‘Our Soul waileth for the Lord, he is our Help and our shield. I will Wait upon thy Name, for it is good before thy Saints’. It was in request with the truly Godly of that day, and the way they came to enjoy God, and Worship him acceptably. And from his own Experience of the benefit of Waiting upon God, and the Saints Practice of those times, he recommends it to [...] ‘Wait upon the Lord, be of good Courage, and he shall strengthen thy Heart: Wait, I say, upon the Lord’.** That is, Wait in Faith and Patience, [...] and he will come to save thee. Again, Rest in the Lord, [Page 80] and Wait patiently upon him: That is, Cast thy [...] upon him; be contented, and wait for him to help thee in thy Wants: Thou canst not think how near he is to help those that wait upon him: O try, and have Faith! Yet again, he bids us, Wait upon the Lord, and keep his way. Behold the Reason so few profit! They are out of his way; and such can never wait rightly upon him. Great Reason had David for what he said, that had with so much Comfort and Advantage met the Lord in his blessed Way.

§ XI. The Prophet Isaiah tells us That though the Chastisements of the Lord were sore upon the People for their Backslidings, yet in the way of his Judgments (in the way of his Rebukes and Displeasure) they waited for him, and the Desire of their Soul (that is the great Point) was to his Name, and the remembrance of him. They were contented to be chid and chas­tised, for they had sinned; and the Knowledge of him so, was very desirable to them. But what! Did he not come at last, and that in Mercy too! Yes, he did, and they knew him when he came, (a Doctrine the brutish World knows not) This is our God, we have Waited for him, and he will save us. O blessed Enjoyment! O precious Confidence. Here was a Waiting in Faith which prevailed. All Wor­ship; not in Faith, is Fruitless to the Worshipper, as well as Displeasing to God: And this Faith is the Gift of God, and the Nature of it is to purifie the Heart, and give such as truly believe, Victory over [Page 81] the World. Well! But they go on: ‘We have Waited for him, we will be glad, and rejoice in his Salvation.’ The Prophets add. ‘Blessed are all they that Wait upon God:’ And why? ‘For they that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength; they shall never faint, never be weary:’ * The Encouragement is great. O hear him once more! ‘For since the beginning of the World, Men have not heard, nor perceived by the Ear, neither hath the Eye seen, O God! besides thee, what he hath prepared for him that Waiteth for him.’ Behold the Inward Life and Joy of the Righ­teous, the true Worshipers! Those whose Spirits bowed to the Appearance of God's Spirit in them, leaving and forsaking all it appeared against, and embracing whatever it led them to. In Jeremiah's time, the true Worshippers also waited upon God: And he assures us, That ‘the Lord is good to them that wait for him, to the Soul that seeketh him.’ Hence it is that the Prophet Hosea exhorts the Church then, to turn and wait upon God**: ‘Therefore turn thou to thy God; keep Mercy and Judgment, and wait on thy God continually.’ And Micah is very zealous and resolute in this good Exercise|| ||: ‘I will look unto the Lord, I will Wait for the God of my Salvation: My God will hear me.’ Thus did the Children of the Spirit, that thirsted after an in­ward Sense of him. The Wicked cannot say so; nor [Page 82] they that Pray, unless they Wait. 'Tis charg'd upon Israel in the Wilderness, as the cause of their Disobedience and Ingratitude to God, that ‘They Waited not for his Counsels.’ We may be sure it is our Duty, and expected from us; for God re­quires it in Zephaniah: ‘Therefore Wait upon me, faith the Lord, until the day that I arise, &c.’ O that all who profess the Name of God would wait so, and not offer to arise to Worship without him! and they would feel his stirrings and arisings in them, to Help, and Prepare, and Sanctifie them. Christ ex­presly charg'd his Disciples,* ‘They should not stir from Jerusalem, but Wait till they had received the Promise of the Father, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost,’ in order to their Preparation for the Preach­ing of the glorious Gospel of Christ to the World. And tho' that were an Extraordinary Effusion for an Extraordinary Work, yet the Degree does not change the Kind. On the contrary, if so much waiting and preparation by the Spirit was requisite to fit them to preach to Man; some, at least, may be needful to fit us to speak to God.

§. XII. I will close this great Scripture Doctrine of Waiting, with that Passage in John, about the Pool of Bethesda. ‘There is at Jerusalem, by the Sheep­Market, a Pool, which is called in the Hebrew Tongue, Bethesda, having five Porches; in these lay a great multitude of Impotent Folks, of Blind, Halt, and Withered, Waiting for the moving of [Page 83] the Water. For an Angel went down at a certain season into the Pool, and troubled the Water: Whosoever then first, after the troubling of the Water, step'd in, was made whole of whatsoever Disease he had—’ A most exact Representation of what is intended by all that has been said upon the Subject of Waiting. For as there was then an Out­ward and Legal, so there is now a Gospel and spiritual Jerusalem, the Church of God, consisting of the Faithful. The Pool in that old Jerusalem, in some sort, represented that Fountain, which is now set o­pen in this New Jerusalem. That Pool was for those that were under Infirmities of Body; this Fountain for all that are Impotent in Soul. There was an An­gel then that moved the Water, to render it Bene­ficial; it is God's Angel now, the great Angel of his Presence, that blesseth this Fountain with success. They that then went in before, and did not watch the Angel, and take advantage of his Motion, found no benefit of their stepping in: Those that now wait not the moving of God's Angel, but by the De­votion of their own forming and timing, rush, before God, as the Horse into the Battle, and hope for Suc­cess, are sure to Miscarry in their Expectation. There­fore, as then, They Waited with all Patience and In­tention upon the Angel's Motion, that wanted and desired to be Cured; so do the true Worshippers of God now, that need and pray for his Presence, which is the Life of their Souls, as the Sun is to the Plants of the Field. They have often tried the Unprofita­bleness [Page 84] of their own Work, and are now come to the Sabbath indeed. They dare not put up a Device of their own, or offer an unsanctified Request, much less obtrude bodily Worship, where the Soul is really unsensible or unprepared by the Lord. In the Light of Jesus they ever wait to be Prepared, Retired, and Recluse from all Thoughts that cause the least De­traction and Discomposure in the Mind, till they see the Angel move, and till their Beloved please to wake: Nor dare they call him before his time. And they fear to make a Devotion in his absence; for they know it is not only Unprofitable, but Reprov­able? ‘Who has required this at your hands? He that believes, makes not haste.’ They that Wor­ship with their own, can only do as the Israelites, turn their Ear-rings into a Molten-Image, and be curs'd for their pains. Nor fared they better,* ‘that gathered Sticks of old, and kindled a Fire, and compassed themselves about with the sparks that they had kindled;’ for God told them, ‘They should lie down in sorrow.’ It should not only be of no Advantage, and do them no good, but incur a Judgment from him: Sorrow and Anguish of Soul should be their Portion. Alas! Flesh and Blood would fain Pray, tho' it cannot Wait; and be a Saint, tho' it can't abide to Do or suffer the Will of God. ‘With the Tongue it blesses God, and with the Tongue it curses Men, made in his similitude.’ It calls Jesus Lord, but not by the Holy Ghost; and [Page 85] often names the Name of Jesus, yea, bows the Knee to it too, but departs not from Iniquity: This is A­bominable to God.

§. XIII. In short, there are Four Things so ne­cessary to Worshipping of God aright, and which puts its Performance beyond Man's Power, that there seems little more needed than the naming of them. The First is, The Sanctification of the Worshipper. Secondly, The Consecration of the Offering, which has been spoken to before somewhat largely. Thirdly, What to pray for; which no Man knows, that prays not by the Aid of God's Spirit; and therefore, without that Spirit no Man can truly pray. This the Apostle puts beyond Dispute. ‘We know not(says he) what we should Pray for, as we ought, but the Spirit help­eth our Infirmities.’ Men unacquainted with the Work and Power of the Holy Spirit, are ignorant of the Mind of God; and those, certainly, can never please him with their Prayers. It is not enough to know, we want; but we should learn, whether it be not sent us as a Blessing: Disappointments to the Proud, Losses to the Covetous; and to the Negligent, Stripes: To remove these, were to secure the De­struction, not help the Salvation of the Soul.

The vile World knows nothing, but Carnally, af­ter a fleshly Manner and Interpretation; and too many that would be tho't enlightned, are apt to call Providences by wrong Names. For Instance, Afflict­ions they stile Judgments; and Trials (more precious [Page 86] than the beloved Gold) they call Miseries. On the other hand, they call the Preferments of the World by the Name of Honour, and its Wealth, Happiness; when for once that they are so, 'tis much to be feared, they are sent of God an hundred times for Judgments, at least Trials, upon their Pos­sessors. Therefore What to Keep, What to Reject, What to Want, is a Difficulty God only can resolve the Soul. And since God knows, better than we, what we need, he can better tell us what to ask, than we can him: Which made Christ exhort his Dis­ciples to avoid long and repetitious Prayers; telling them, That ‘their heavenly Father knew what they needed, before they ask'd:’ And therefore gave them a Pattern to pray by; not as some fancy, to be a Text for Humane Liturgies, which of all Ser­vices are most justly noted and taxed for length and repetition; but expresly to reprove and avoid them. But if those Wants that are the subject of Prayer, were once agreed upon (tho' that be a mighty Point) yet how to pray, is still of greater moment, than to pray; 'tis not the Request, but the Frame of the Petitioners Spirit. The What may be proper, but the How defective. As I said, God needs not be told of our Wants by us, who must tell them to us; yet he will be told them from us, that both we may seek him, and he may come down to us. But when this is done, ‘To that Man will I look, faith the Lord, even to him that is poor and of a con­trite [Page 87] Spirit, and that trembleth at my Word.’ To the sick Heart, the wounded Soul, the hungry and thirsty, the weary and heavy laden Ones; such sinc­erely want an Helper.

§. XIV. Nor is this sufficient to compleat Gospel­Worship; the Fourth Requisite must be had, and that is Faith, True Faith, Precious Faith, the Faith of God's Chosen, that Purifies their Hearts, that O­vercomes the World, and is the Victory of the Saints. This is that which animates Prayer, and presses it home, like the Importunate Widow, that would not be denied; to whom Christ (seeming to admire) said,* 'O Woman, great is thy Faith.' This is of highest Moment on our part, to give our Addresses success with God; and yet not our Power neither, for it is the Gift of God; From him we must have it; and with one Grain of it, more Work is done, more Deliverance is wrought, and more Goodness and Mercy received, than by all the Runnings, Wil­lings, and Toilings of Man, with his Inventions and Bodily Exercises. Which duly weighed, will easily spell out the meaning, why so much Worship should bring so little Profit to the World, as we see it does, viz. True Faith is lost. They ask, and receive not; they seek, and find not; they knock and it is not opened unto them: The Case is plain; their Re­quests are not mixed with purifying Faith, by which they should prevail, as good Jacob's were when he [Page 88] wrestled with God and prevailed. And the truth is, the generality are yet in their Sins, following their Hearts Lusts, and living in Worldly Pleasure, being Strangers to this Precious Earth. It is the Reason rendred by the deep Author to the Hebrews of the unprofitableness of the Word Preached to some of those days; Not being(faith he)mixed with Faith in them that heard it. Can the Minister then Preach without Faith? No; and much less can any Man Pray to purpose without Faith, especially when we are told, That the Just live by Faith. For Worship is the su­pream Act of Man's Life; and whatever is neces­sary to inferior Acts of Religion, must not be want­ing there.

§. XV. This may moderate the Wondor in any, why Christ so often upbraided his Disciples with, O ye of little Faith! Yet tells us, That one Grain of it (though as little as that of Mustard, one of the least of Seeds) if true and right, is able to remove Moun­tains. As if he had said, There is no Temptation so powerful, that it cannot supply: Wherefore those that are captivated by Temptations, and remain un­supplied in their Spiritual Wants, have not this pow­erful Faith: That's the true Cause. So necessary was it of old, that Christ did not many mighty Works where the People believed not; and tho' his Power wrought Wonders in other places, Faith open'd the way: So that 'tis hard to say, whether that Power by Faith, or Faith by that Power, wrought the Cure. Let us call to mind what Famous Things a little [Page 89] Clay and Spittle, one Touch of the Hem of Christ's Garment, and a few Words out of his Mouth, did, by the Force of Faith in the Patients:* Believe ye that I am able to open your Eyes? Yea, Lord, say the Blind; and See; To the Ruler, only Believe; he did, and his Dead Daughter recovered Life. A­gain, If thou canst Believe: I do Believe, says the Father, Help my Unbelief; and the Evil Spirit was chased away, and the Child recovered. He said to one, 'Go, thy Faith has made thee whole;' and to another, ‘Thy Faith has saved thee; thy Sins are forgiven thee.’ And to encourage his Disciples to believe, that were admiring how soon his Sentence was executed upon the Fruitless Fig-Tree, he tells them, ‘Verily if ye have Faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this, which is done to the Fig­Tree; but also, if ye shall say unto this Moun­tain, Be thou removed, and cast into the Sea, it shall be done; and all things whatsoever ye shall ask in Prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ This one Passage convicts Christendom of gross Inside­lity; for she Prays, and receives not.

§. XVI. But may some say: 'Tis impossible to receive all that a man may ask.†† Tis not impossi­ble to receive all that a man, that so believes can ask.** The Fruits of Faith are not impossible to those that truly believe in the God that makes them [Page 90] possible. When Jesus said to the Ruler, If then canst believe, he adds, All things are possible to him that believeth. Well, but then some will say, It is impossible to have such Faith: For this very faithless Generation would excuse their want of faith by mak­ing it impossible to have the Faith they want. But Christ's Answer to the Infidelity of that Age, will best confute the Disbelief of this. The things that are impossible with men, are possible with God. It will follow then, that it is not impossible with God to give that Faith; though, it is certain, that without it, it is impossible to please God; * for so the Author to the Hebrews teaches. And if it be else impossible to please God, it must be so to Pray to God without this precious Faith.

§. XVII. But some may say, What is this Faith, that is so necessary to Worship, and that gives it such acceptance with God, and returns that Benefit to Men? I say, ‘It is an Holy Resignation to God, and confidence in him, testified by a Religious O­bedience to his holy Requirings, which gives sure E­vidence to the Soul of the things not yet seen, and a general Sense and Taste of the Substance of those things that are hoped for; that is, the Glory which is to be revealed hereafter.’ As this Faith is the Gift of God, so it purifies the Hearts of those that receive it. The Apostle Paul is witness, that it will not dwell, but in a pure Conscience: He there­fore [Page 91] in one place couples a pure Heart and Faith unseigned together: In another, Faith and a good Conscience. James joins Faith with Righteousness, * and John with Victory over the World: ‘This, says he, is the Victory which overcomes the World, even your Faith.’

§. XVIII. The Heirs of this Faith are the true Children of Abraham (though the Uncircumcision in the Flesh) in that they walk in the Steps of Father Abraham, according to the Obedience of Faith, which only entitles People to be the Children of Abraham. This lives above the World, not only in its Sin, but Righteousness; to which, no man comes but thro' Death to Self, by the Cross of Jesus, and an intire de­pendance, by him, upon God.

Famous are the Exploits of this divine Gift: Time would fail to recount them. All sacred story is fil­led with them. But let it suffice, that by it the holy Ancients Endured all Tryals, Overcame all Enemies, prevail'd with God, renowned his Truth, finisht their Testimony, and obtained the Reward of the Faith­ful, a Crown of Righteousness, which is the Eternal Blessedness of the Just.

CHAP. VII.

§. 1. Of Pride the first Capital Lust, its Rise. §. 2.Its Definition and Distinction. §. 3. That an inordinate desire of Knowledge in Adam, Introduced Man's Misery. §. 4. He thereby Lost his Integrity. §. 5. Who are in Adam's state. §. 6. Knowledge [Page 92] puffs up. §. 7. The Evil Effects of false, and the Benefit of true Knowledge. §. 8. Cain's Example a proof in the Case. §. 9. The Jews Pride in pretending to be wiser than Moses, God's Servant, in setting their Post by God's Post. §. 10. The Effect of which was the persecution of the true Prophets. §. 11. The Divine Knowledge of Christ brought peace on Earth. § 12. Of the blind Guides the Priests, and the mischief they have done. §. 13. The Fall of Christians, and the Pride they have taken in it. hath exceeded the Jews: Under the profession of their New moulded Christianity they have murdered the Witness of the Lord Jesus §. 14. The Angels sung Peace on Earth at the Birth of the Lord of Meekness and Humility: But the Pride of the Pharisees withstood and calumniated him. §. 15. As Adam and the Jews lost themselves by their Ambition, so the Christians losing the fear of God, grew Creed and Worship ma­kers, with this Injunction, Conform or Burn. §. 16. The Evil Effects of this in Christendom (so called.) §. 17. The way of Recovery out of such miserable Defection.

§. 1. HAving thus discharged my Conscience a­gainst that part of Unlawful Self, that fain would be a Christian, a Believer, a Saint, whilst a plain Stranger to the Cross of Christ, and the holy Exercises of it; and in that briefly discovered what is true Worship, and the use and business of the holy Cross, therein to render its performance pleasing to Almighty God; I shall now (the same Lord assist­ing me) more largely prosecute that other part of Unlawful Self, which fills the Study, Care, and Con­versation of the World, presented to us in these three Capital Lusts, that is to say,

Pride Avarice, and Luxury: From whence all other Mischiefs daily flow, as Streams from their pro­per Fountains: The Mortifying of which, makes [Page 93] up the other; and indeed a very great part of the Work of the true Cross; and tho' last in place, yet first in Experience and Duty: Which done, it Intro­duces in the room of those Evil Habits, the blessed Effects of that so much needed Reformation, to wit, Mortification, Humility, Temperance, Love, Pati­ence, and Heavenly-mindedness, with all other Graces of the Spirit, becoming the Followers of the Perfect Jesus that most heavenly Man.

The Care and Love of all Mankind are either di­rected to God or Themselves. Those that love God above all, are ever humbling Self to his Commands, and only love Self in subserviency to him that is Lord of all. But those that are declin'd from that Love to God, are Lovers of themselves, more than God: For supream Love must center in one of these two. To that inordinate Self-Love, the Apostle rightly joins Proud and High minded. * For no sooner had the Angels declin'd their Love, Duty and Re­verence to God, than they inordinately loved and va­lued themselves; which made them exceed their Station, and aspire above the order of their Creation. This was their Pride, and this sad Defection their Dismal Fall; who are reserv'd in Chains of Darkness unto the Judgment of the Great Day of God.

§. II. Pride, that Pernicious Evil, which begins this Chapter, did also begin the Misery of Mankind: A most Mischievous Quality; and so commonly known by its Motions, and sad Effects, that every [Page 94] Unmortified Breast carries its Definition in it. How­ever, I will say, in short, That Pride is an Excess of Self Love, join'd with an undervalue of others, and desire of Dominion over them: The most troublesome thing in the World. There are four things, by which it hath made it self best known to Mankind, the Con­sequences of which hath bro't an equal Misery to its Evil. The First is, An Inordinate Pursuit of Know­ledge. The Second, An ambitious craving and seeking after Power. The Third, An Extream Desire of Per­sonal Respect and Deference. The last Excess is that of Worldly Furniture and Ornaments. To the just and true Witness of the Eternal God, plac'd in the Souls of all People, I appeal as to the Truth of these things.

§. III. To the First, 'Tis plain, that an Inordinate Desire of Knowledge introduced Man's Misery, and brought an Universal Lapse from the Glory of his Primitive State. Adam would needs be wiser than God had made him. It did not serve his turn to know his Creator, and give him that holy Homage, his Being and Innocency, naturally engaged and ex­cited him to; nor to have an Understanding above all the Beasts of the Field, the Fowls of the Air, and the Fishes of the Sea,’ joined with a Power to Rule over all the visible Creation of God; but he must be as wise as God too.* This Unwarrantable Search, and as Foolish as Unjust Ambition, made him unworthy of the Blessings he received from God. This drives him out of Paradise ; and in­stead [Page 95] of being Lord of the whole World, Adam be­comes the wretchedest Vagabond of the Earth.

§. IV. A Strange Change! That instead of being as Gods, they should fall below the very Beasts; in comparison of whom, even God had made them as Gods. The Lamentable Consequence of this great Defection has been an Exchange of Innocency for Guilt, and a Paradise for a Wilderness. But, which is yet more worse, in this State Adam and Eve had got another God than the only True and Living God: And he that had enticed them to all this Mis­chief, furnished them with a Vain Knowledge, and Pernicious Wisdom: The Skill of Lyes and Equi­vocations, Shifts, Evasions, and Excuses.—They had lost their Plainness and Sincerity; and from an Up­right Heart, the Image in which God had made Man, he became a Crooked, Twining, Twisting Serpent; the Image of that Unrighteous Spirit to whose Temptations he yielded up with his Obedi­ence, his Paradisical Happiness.

§. V. Nor is this limited to Adam; for all, who have fallen short of the Glory of God, are right born Sons of his Disobedience. They, like him have eaten of what they have been forbidden: They have ‘Committed the things they ought not to have done, and left undone the things they ought to have done.’ They have sinned against that Divine Light of Knowledge, which God has given them: They have grieved his Spirit; and that Dismal Sen­tence [Page 96] has been executed, ‘In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt dye.’ That is, when thou dost the thing which thou oughtest not to do, thou [...] no more live in my Favour and enjoy the Comforts of the Peace of my Spirit: Which is a dying to all these Innocent and Holy Desires and Affections, which God created Man with; and he becomes as one Cold and Benumbed; insensible of the Love of God, of his Holy Spirit, Power and Wisdom; of the Light and Joy of his Countenance, and the Evi­dence of a good Conscience, and the Co-witnessing and Approbation of God's Holy Spirit.

§. VI. So that fallen Adam's Knowledge of God stood no more in a daily Experience of the Love and Work of God in his Soul, but in a Notion of what he once did know and experience: Which being not the true and living Wisdom, that is from above, but a meer Picture, it cannot preserve Man in purity; but puffs up, makes People Proud, High-minded, and Impatient of Contradiction. This was the state of the Apostate Jews before Christ came; and has been the Condition of Apostate Christians ever since he came: Their Religion standing (some Bodily Performances excepted) either in what they once knew, of the Work of God in themselves, and which they have revolted from; or in an Historical Belief, and an Imaginary Conception and Paraphrase upon the Experiences and Prophecies of such holy Men and Women of God, as in all Ages have deserved the Stile and Character of his true Children.

[Page 97] §. VII. As such a Knowledge of God cannot be true, so by Experience we find, that it ever brings forth the quite contrary Fruits to the true Wisdom. For as that is first Pure, then Peaceable, then Gentle, and Easie to be intreated: so the Knowledge of Degenerated and Unmortified Men is first Impure: For it came by the Commission of Evil, and is held in an Evil and Impure Conscience and Heart, that disobey God's Law, and that daily do those things which they ought not to do; and for which they stand Condemned before God's Judgment-Seat in the Souls of Men: The Light of whose Presence searches the most hidden things of Darkness, the most secret Thoughts, and concealed Inclinations of Ungodly Men. This is the Science, falsly so called; and as it is Impure, so 'tis Unpeaceable, Cross, and hard to be intreated; Froward, Perverse, and Persecuting; Jealous that any should be better than they, and hating and abusing those that are.

§. VIII. 'Twas this Pride made Cain a Murderer: 'Tis a spiteful Quality; full of Envy and Revenge. What! was not his Religion and Worship as good as his Brother's*? He had all the Exterior Parts of Worship; he offered as well as Abel; and the Of­fering of it self might be as good: But is seems the Heart, that offered it, was not. So long ago did God regard the Interior Worship of the Soul. Well! what was the Consequence of this Difference? Cain's Pride stomach'd it: He could not bear to be [Page 98] out-done by his Brother. He grew Wrathful, and resolved to Vindicate his Offering, by Revenging the Refusal of it upon his Brother's Life: And without any regard to Natural Affection, or the low and early Condition of Mankind, he Barbarously Dy'd his hands in his Brother's Blood.

§. IX. The Religion of the Apostatiz'd Jews did no better; for, having lost the Inward Life, Power and Spirit of the Law (they were puff'd up with that Knowledge they had; and their pretences to Abraham, Moses, and the Promises of God, in that frame, served only to blow them up into an unsuf­ferable Pride, Arrogancy and Cruelty. For they could not bear true Vision, when it came to visit them, and entertain'd the Messengers of their Peace as if they had been Wolves and Tygers.

§. X. Yet, 'tis remarkable, the false Prophets, the great Engineers against the True Ones, were ever sure to persecute them as False; and, by their Interest with Earthly Princes, or the poor seduced Multitude, made them the Instruments of their Malice. Thus 'twas that one holy Prophet was sawn asunder, ano­ther stoned to Death, &c. So Proud and Obstinate is False Knowledge, and the Aspirers after it: Which made holy Stephen cry out,* ‘O ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in Heart and Ear, ye resist the Holy Ghost; as did your Fathers, so do ye.’

§. XI. The true Knowledge came with the Joy of Angels, singing Peace to the Earth, and Good­will [Page 99] towards Men *: The False Knowledge enter­tain'd the Message with Calumnies: Christ must needs be an Impostor: and that must prove him so, to wit, his Power of working of Miracles; which was that which proved the contrary. They stoned him, and frequently sought to kill him; which at last they wickedly accomplish'd. But what was their Motive to it? Why, he cried out against their Hy­pocrisie, the Broad Phylacteries, the Honour they sought of Men. To be short, they give the Reason themselves in these words; ‘If we take not some Course with him, the People will follow him:’ That is, he will take away our Credit with the Peo­ple; they will adhere to him, and desert us; and so we shall lose our Power and Reputation with the Multitude.

§. XII. And, the Truth is, he came to Level their Honour, to overthrow their Rabbiship, and by his Grace to bring the People to that Inward Knowledge of God, which they, by Transgression, were departed from; that so they might see the Deceitfulness of their Blind Guides, who by their vain Traditions, had made void the Righteousness of the Law; and who were so far from Being the true Doctors, and lively Expounders of it, that in Reality they were the Chil­dren of the Devil, who was a Proud Lyar, and cruel Murtherer, from the beginning.

§. XIII. Their Pride in False Knowledge having made them uncapable of receiving the Simplicity of [Page 100] the Gospel, Christ ‘thanks his Father, that he had hid the Mysteries of it from the Wife and Prudent, and revealed them to Babes’. It was this False Wisdom swell'd the Minds of the Athenians to that Degree, that they despised the Preaching of the A­postle Paul as a vain and foolish thing. But that Apostle, who, of all the rest, had an Education in the Learning of those Times, bitterly reflects on that Wisdom, so much valued by Jews and Greeks; ‘Where (says he*) is the Wife? Where is the Scribe? Where is the Disputer of this World? Hath not God made Foolish the Wisdom of this World?’ And he gives a good Reason for it, ‘That no Flesh should Glory in his presence.’ Which is to say, God will stain the Pride of Man in False Know­ledge, that he should have nothing on this occasion to be proud of: It should be owing only to the Re­velation of the Spirit of God. The Apostle goes further, and affirms ‘That the World by Wisdom knew not God.’ That is, It was so far from an Help, that, as Men use it, it was an Hindrance to the true Knowledge of God. And in his First E­pistle to his Beloved Timothy, he concludes thus**: O Timothy! Keep that which is committed to thy Trust, avoiding profane and vain Babblings, and Oppositions of Science, falsly so called.’ This was the sense of Apostolical Times, when the Divine Grace gave the true Knowledge of God, and was the Guide of Christians.

[Page 101] §. XIV. Well! But what has been the success of those Ages, that followed the Apostolical; Any whit better than that of the Jewish Times? Not one Jot. They have exceeded them; as with their pre­tences to greater Knowledge, so in their degeneracy from the true Christian Life; For tho' they had a more Excellent Pattern than the Jews, to whom he spoke by Moses his Servant, he speaking to them by his Beloved Son, the Express Image of his Substance, the Perfection of all Meekness and Humility. And tho' they seemed Addicted to nothing more than an Adoration of his Name, and a Veneration to the Me­mory of his blessed Disciples and Apostles; yet so great was their Defection from the Inward Power and Life of Christianity in the Soul, that their re­spect was little more than Formal and Ceremonious. For notwithstanding they, like the Jews, were mighty Zealous in Garnishing their Sepulchres, and Curious in Carving of their Images; not only keeping with any pretence what might be the Relicts of their Per­sons, but recommending a thousand things as Relicts, which are purely Fabulous, and very often Ridicu­lous, and to be sure altogether Unchristian: Yet as to the great and weighty things of the Christian Law, viz. Love, Meekness, and Self-denial, they were degenerated: They grew ‘High-minded, Proud, Boasters, without Natural Affection, Curious, and Controversial; ever perplexing the Church with doubtful and dubious Questions; filling the Peo­ple with Disputations, Strife and Wrangling, draw­ing [Page 102] them into Parties,’ till at last they fell into Blood: As if they had been the worse for being once Christians.

O the Miserable State of these pretended Christi­ans! That instead of Christ's, and his Apostles Doc­trine, of Loving Enemies, and Blessing them that Curse them, they should teach the People, under the No­tion of Christian Zeal, most Inhumanely to Butcher one another; and instead of suffering their own Blood to be shed for the Testimony of Jesus, they should shed the Blood of the Witnesses of Jesus, for Here­ticks. Thus that subtil Serpent, or Crafty, Evil Spi­rit, that tempted Adam out of his Innocency, and the Jews from the Law of God, has beguil'd the Christi­ans, by Lying Vanities, to depart from the Christian Law of Holiness, and so they are become Slaves to him: For ‘he rules in the Hearts of all the Children of Disobedience.’

§. XV. And it is observable, that as Pride (which is ever followed by Superstition and Obstinacy) put Adam upon seeking an Higher Station than God placed him in; and as the Jews, out of the same Pride, to out-do their Pattern given them of God by Moses upon the Mount, set their Post by God's Post, and taught for Doctrines their own Traditions, in so much that those that refused Conformity to them, ran the hazard of Crucifie, crucifie: So the Nomi­nal Christians, from the same Sin of Pride, with great Superstition and Arrogance, have introduced, instead of a Spiritual Worship and Discipline; that which is [Page 103] evidently Ceremonious and Worldly I with such In­novations and Traditions of Men, as are the fruit of the Wisdom that is from below: Witness their Nu­merous and Perplext Councels and Creeds, with Con­form or Burn, at the end of them.

§. XVI. And as this Unwarrantable Pride set them first at work to pervert the Spirituality of the Christian Cult, making it rather to resemble the Sha­dowy Religion of the Jews, and the Gawdy Worship of the AEgyptians, than the great Plainness and Sim­plicity of the Christian Institution, which is neither to resemble that of the Mountain, nor the other of Jerusalem; so has the same Pride and Arrogancy spur'd them on, by all imaginable Cruelties, to main­tain this great Diana of theirs. No meek Supplica­tions, nor humble Remonstrances of those that keep close to Primitive Purity in Worship and Doctrine, could prevail with these Nominal Christians to dis­pense with the Imposition of their Un-Apostolical Traditions. But as the Ministers and Bishops of these degenerate Christians left their painful Visita­tion and Care over Christ's Flock and grew Ambiti­ous, Covetous and Luxurious, resembling rather worldly Potentates, than the Humble-spirited and Mortified Followers of the Blessed Jesus; so almost every History tells us, with what Pride and Cruelty, Blood and Butchery, and that with unusual and ex­quisit Tortures, they have persecuted the holy Mem­bers of Christ out of the World: and that upon such Anathema's, that, as far as they could, they [Page 104] have disappointed them of the Blessings of Heaven too. These, true Christians call Martyrs, but the Clergy like the persecuting Jews, have stil'd them Blasphemers and Hereticks: In which they have fulfilled the Prophecy of our Lord Jesus Christ; who did not say, that they should think they do the Gods good Service to kill the Christians, his dear Follow­ers (which might refer to the Persecutions of the Ido­latrous Gentiles) but ‘that they should think they do God good Service to kill them:’ Which shews, that they should be such as professedly own'd the true God as the Apostate Christians have all a­long pretended to do. So that they must be those Wolves, that the Apostle foretold* ‘should arise out of themselves, and worry the Flock of Christ,’ after the great Falling away should commence, that was foretold by him, and made necessary, in order to the proving of the Faithful, and the Revelation of the great Mystery of Iniquity.

I shall conclude this Head with this Assertion, That it is too undeniable a Truth, where the Clergy has been most in Power and Authority, and has had the greatest influence upon Princes and States, there has been most Confusions, Wrangles, Blood-shed, Se­questrations, Imprisonments and Exiles: To the justifying of which, I call the Testimony of the Re­cords of all times. How it is in our Age, I leave to the Experience of the Living: Yet there is one De­monstration that can hardly fail us: The People are [Page 105] not converted but debauched, to a Degree, that time will not allow us an Example. The Worship of Chri­stendom is visible, ceremonious and gawdy: The Clergy ambitious of worldly Preferments, under the pretence of Spiritual Promotions; making the Earthly Revenues of Church-men much the reason of their Function; being almost ever sure to leave the pre­sent smaller Incumbance, to sollicit and obtain Bene­fices of larger Title and Income. So that with their Pride and Avarice, which good old Peter foresaw would be their Snares, they have drawn after them Ignorance, Misery and Irreligion upon Christendom.

§. XVII. The way of Recovery from this mise­rable Defection, is to come to a saving Knowledge of Religion; that is, an Experience of the Divine Work of God in the Soul: To obtain which, be diligent to obey the Grace that appears in thy own Soul, O man! that brings Salvation: It turns thee out of the broad Way into the narrow Way, from thy Lusts to thy Duty, from sin to holiness, from Satan to God. Thou must see and abhor Self, thou must Watch, and thou must Pray, and thou must Fast: Thou must not look at thy Tempter, but at thy Preserver; avoid ill Company, retire to thy Solitudes, and be a chaste Pilgrim in this evil World: And thus thou wilt ar­rive at the Knowledge of God and Christ, that brings Eternal Life to the Soul: A well-grounded Assu­rance from what a man feels and knows within him­self: Such shall not be moved with evil Tidings.

[Page 106]

CHAP. VIII.

§. 1. Pride craves Power as well as Knowledge. §. 2. The case of Korah, &c. a Proof. §. 3. Absalom's Ambition confirm it. §. 4. Nebuchadnezzar's does the like. §. 5. The History of Pisistratus, Alexander, Caesar, &c. shews the same thing. §. 6. The Turks are a lively Proof, who have shed much Blood to gratifie Pride for Power. §. 7. The last ten years in Chri­stendom exceed in Proof of this §. 8. Ambition, rests as in Courts, it finds room in private Breasts too, and spoils Families and Societies. §. 9. Their Peace is great, that limit their De­sires by God's Grace, and having Power, use it to the good of others.

§. 1. BUt let us see the next most common Emi­nent and Mischievous Effect of this Evil. Pride does extreamly crave Power, than which, not one thing has proved more Troublesome and Destructive to Mankind. I need not labour my self much in Evidence of this, since most of the Wars of Nations, Depopulation of Kingdoms, Ruin of Cities, with the Slavery and Misery that have fol­lowed, both our own Experience and unquestionable Histories, acquaint us to have been the Effects of Ambition, which is the Lust of Pride after Power.

§. II. How specious soever might be the pretences of Korah, Dathan and Abiram against Moses, 'twas their Emulation of his mighty Power in the Camp of Israel, that put them upon Conspiracies and Muti­nies. They long'd for his Authority, and their not having it, was his Crime: For they had a mind to be the Heads and Leaders of the People. The Con­sequence of which was a remarkable Destruction to Themselves, and all their unhappy Accomplices.

[Page 107] §. III. Absalom too was for the Peoples Rights, against the Tyranny of his Father and his King; at least, with this pretence, he palliated his Ambition: But his Rebellion shewed he was Impatient for Power, and that he resolved to sacrifice his Duty, as a Son and subject, to the Importunities of his Restless Pride, which brought a Miserable Death to himself, and an Extraordinary slaughter upon his Army.

§. IV. Nebuchadnezzar is a lively instance of the Excessive Lust of Pride for Power. His Successes and Empire were too Heady for him: So much too strong for his Understanding, that he forgot he did not make himself, or that his Power had a Superior. He makes an Image,* and all must Bow to it, or be burnt. And when Shadrach, Meshach and Abed­nego, refused to comply, ‘Who (says he) is that God that shall deliver you out of my Hands?’ And notwithstanding the Convictions he had upon him at the Constancy of those Excellent men, and Daniel's Interpretation of his Dreams, it was not long before the Pride of his Power had fill'd his Heart, and then his Mouth, with this Haughty Question, ‘Is not this great Babylon that I have built for the House of the Kingdom by the might of my Power, and for the Honour of my Majesty?’ But we are told, that while the Words were in his Mouth, ‘A Voice from Heaven Rebuk'd the Pride of his Spi­rit, and he was driven from the Society of men, to graze among the Beasts of the Field.’

[Page 108] §. V. If we look into the Histories of the World, we shall find many Instances to prove the Mischief of this Lust of Pride. I will mention a few of them for their sakes, who have either not read or consi­dered them.

Solon made Athens free by his Excellent Consti­tution of Laws: But the Ambition of Pisistratus be­gan the Ruin of it before his Eyes. Alexander not contented with his own Kingdom, invades others, and filled with Spoil and Slaughter those Countries he subdued: And it was not ill said of him, who, when Alexander accused him of Piracy, told him to his face, That Alexander was the greatest Pirate in the World. It was the same Ambition that made Coesar turn Traytor to his Masters, and with their own Army, put into his hand for their Service, sub­due them to his Yoke, and usurp the Government; which ended in the Expulsion of Freedom and Ver­tue together in that Common-wealth. For Good­ness quickly grew to be Faction in Rome; and that Sobriety and Wisdom which ever rendred her Se­nators Venerable, became dangerous to their Safety: Insomuch that his Successors hardly left one they did not Kill or Banish; unless such as turned to be Flatterers of their Unjust Acquisition, and the Imi­tators of their Debaucht Manners.

§. VI. The Turks are a great Proof to the point in hand, who to extend their Dominion, have been the cause of shedding much Blood, and laying many stately Countries Waste. And yet they are to be [Page 109] out-done by Apostate Christians; whose Practice is therefore more condemnable, because they have been better taught: They have had a Master of another Doctrine and Example. 'Tis true, they call him Lord still, but they let their Ambition Reign: They love Power more than one another; and to get it, Kill one another; tho' charged by him Not to strive, but to love and serve one another. And which adds to the Tragedy, all Natural Affection is sacrifi­ced to the Fury of this Lust: And therefore are Sto­ries so often stained with the Murder of Parents, Chil­dren, Uncles, Nephews, Masters, &c.

§. VII. If we look abroad into remoter parts of the World, we shall rarely hear of Wars, but in Christendom of Peace. A very Trifle is too often made a ground of Quarrel here: Nor can any League be so Sacred or Inviolable, that Arts shall not be used to evade and dissolve it to Increase Dominion. No matter who, nor how many are slain, made Wi­dows and Orphans, or lose their Estate and Liveli­hoods; What Countries are ruined, What Towns and Cities Spoil'd; if by all these things the Ambi­tious can but arrive at their Ends? To go no fur­ther back than sixty Years, that little period of time will furnish us with many Wars begun upon ill Grounds, and ended in great Desolation. Nay the last Twelve Years of our time make as pregnant a Demonstration as we can furnish our selves with from the Records of any Age. 'Tis too tedious, nor is it [Page 110] my business, to be particular: It has been often well observed by others, and is almost known to all, I mean the French, Spanish, German, English and Dutch Wars.

§. VIII. But Ambition does not only dwell in Courts and Sena [...]: It is too natural to every pri­vate Breast to strain for Power. We daily see how much men labour their utmost Wit and Interest to be Great, to get Higher Places, or greater Titles than they have, that they may look Bigger, and be more ac­knowledged; take Place of their former Equals, and so Equal those that were once their Superiors: Compel Friends, and be Revenged on Enemies. This makes Christianity so little lov'd of Worldly Men, Its Kingdom is not of this World: And though they may speak it fair, it is the World they love: That without Uncharitableness we may truly say, People profess Christianity, but they follow the World, they are not for seeking the Kingdom of Heaven first, and the Righteousness thereof, and to trust God with the rest; but for securing to themselves the Wealth and Glory of this World, and adjourning the care of Sal­vation to a Sick bed, and the extream Moments of Life; if yet they believe a Life to come.

§. IX. To conclude this Head; Great is their Peace, who know a limit to their Ambitious Minds, that have learnt to be contented with the Appoint­ments and Bounds of Providence: That are not careful to be Great, but being great, are Humble and [Page 111] do good. Such keep their Wits with their Consci­ences, and with an Even Mind, can at all times mea­sure the uneven World, rest fixt in the midst of all its uncertainties, & as becomesthose who have an Interest in a better, in the good time and Will of God, chear­fully leaves this; when the Ambitious, Conscious of their evil Practices, and weighed down to their Graves with Guilt, must go to a Tribunal, that they can neither Awe nor Bribe.

CHAP. IX.

§. 1. The third Evil Effect of pride, is Love of Honour and Re­spect. Too many are guilty of it. §. 2. It had like to have cost Mordecai dear. Great Mischief has befallen Nations on this account. §. 3. The World is out in the business of true Honour, as well as in that of true Science. §. 4. Reasons why the Au­thor and the rest of the People he walks with, use not these Fashi­ons. §. 5. The first is, the sense they had in the hour of their Conviction of the Unsuitableness of them to the Christian Spirit and Practice, and that the Root they came from was Pride and Self Love. §. 6. Reproach could not move them from that Sense and Practice accordingly. §. 7. They do it not to make Sects, or for Distinction. §. 8. Nor yet to countenance Formality, but passively let drop vain Customs; and so Negative to Forms. §. 9. Their behaviour are a Test upon the World. §. 10. And this Cross to the World a Test upon them. §. 11. The second Reason against them is their Emptiness. §. 12. Honour in Scripture is not so taken as it is in the World. 'Tis used for Obedience. §. 13. It is used for Preferment. §. 14. Adi­gression about Folly in a Scripture sense. §. 15. Honour is used for Reputation §. 16. Honour is also attributed to Functions and Capacities, by way of esteem. §. 17. Honour is taken for Help and Countenance of Inferiors. §. 18. Ho­nour is used for Service and esteem to all states and capacities: [Page 112] Honour all Men. §. 19. Yet there is a Limitation in a [...] to the Righteous by the Psalmist; To Honour the Godly and Contemn the Wicked. §. 20. Little of this Honour found is the World's Fashions. §. 21. The Third Reason against them is, they mock and cheat people of the Honour due to them. §. 22. The Author and his Friends are for True Honour. §. 23. The Fourth Reason is, that if the Fashions, carried true Honour in them, the Debaucht could Honour Men, which can't be. §. 24. The fifth Reason, is that then Men of Spite, Hypocrisie, and Revenge, could pay Honour, which is impossible. §. 25. The sixth Reason, is drawn from the Antiquity of true Honour. §. 26. The Seventh Reason is from the Rise of this vain Ho­nour, and the Teachers of it, wherein the Clown, upon a Com­parison, exceeds the Courtier for a man of Breeding. §. 27. The eighth Reason against these Honours is, That they may be had for Money, which true Honour can't be. §. 28. The ninth and last Reason is, Because the Holy Scripture expresly forbids them to true Christians. §. 29. As in the case of Mordecai. §. 30. A Passage between a Bishop and the Author in this matter. §. 31. Likewise the case of Elihu in Job. §. 32. Also the Doctrine of Christ to his Disciples. §. 33. Paul against con­forming to the World's Fashions. §. 34. Peter against Fashi­oning our selves according to the World's Lusts. §. 35. James against Respect to Persons. §. 36. Yet Christians are civil and mannerly in a right way. §. 37. But unlike the world in the Nature of it, and Motives to it. §. 38. Testimonies is favour of our Dissent and Practice.

§. 1. THE Third Evil Effect of Pride, is An Excessive Desire of personal honour and Respect.

Pride therefore loves Power, that she might have Homage, and that every one may give her Honour; and such as are wanting in that, expose themselves to her Anger and Revenge. And as Pride, so this Evil Effect, is more or less diffused through corrupt [Page 113] Mankind; and has been the occasion of great Animosity and Mischief in the World.

§ II. We have a pregnant Instance in holy Writ, what Malice and Revenge; the Stomach of Proud Man, is capable of, when not gratified in this par­ticular. It had almost cost Mordecai his Neck, and the whole People of the Jews their Lives, because he would not Bow himself to Haman, who was a great Favorite to King Ahasuerus. And the Practice of the World, even in our own Age, will tell us, That not striking a Flag or Sail; and not Saluting certain Ports or Garisons; yea, less things have given Rise to mighty Wars between States and Kingdoms; to the Expence of much Treasure, but more Blood. The like has followed about the Precedency of Prin­ces, and their Ambassadors. Also the Envy, Quar­rels and Mischiefs, that have happen'd among pri­vate Persons upon conceit that they have not been Respected to their Degree or Quality among Men, with Hat, Knee, or Title: To be sure Duels and Murders not a few. I was once my self in France * set upon about Eleven at Night, as I was walking to my Lodging, by a Person that way-laid me, with his Naked Sword in his hand, who demanded satisfaction of me for taking no notice of him at a time when he civilly saluted me with his Hat; tho' the truth was, I saw him not when he did it. I will suppose he had kill'd me, for he made several Passes at me, or I in my Defence had kill'd him, when I Disarm'd him, (as [Page 114] the Earl of Crawford's Servant saw, that was by) I ask any Man of Understanding or Conscience, If the whole Ceremony were worth the Life of a Man, con­sidering the Dignity of the Nature, and the Impor­tance of the Life of Man, both with respect to God his Creator, Himself, and the Benefit of Civil Society?

§. III. But the truth is, the World, under its De­generacy from God, is as much out of the way, as to True Honour and Respect, as in other things; for meer Shews (and those vain ones too) are much of the Honour and Respect that are express'd in the World: That a Man may say concerning them, as the Apostle speaks of Science, that is, They are Ho­nour's and Respects, falsly so called; having no­thing of the Nature of true Honour and Respect in them: But as Degenerate Men, loving to be Ho­noured, first devised them; so Pride only loves and seeks them, and is Affronted and Angry for want of them. Did Men know a true Christian State, and the Honour that comes from above, which Jesus teaches, they would not covet these very Vanities, much less insist upon them.

§. IV. And here give me leave to set down the Reasons more particularly, why I, and the People with whom I walk in Religious Society, have declined, as Vain and Foolish, several Worldly Customs and Fa­shions of Respect, much in request at this time a day: And I beseech thee, Reader, to lay aside all Prejudice and Scorn, and with the Meekness and Enquiry of a [Page 115] Sober and Discreet Mind, read and weigh what may be here alledged in our Defence: And if we are mis­taken, rather Pity and Inform, than Despise and Abuse our Simplicity.

§ V. The first and most Pressing Motive upon our Spirits, to decline the Practice of these Present Customs of Pulling off the Hat, Bowing the Body or Knee, and giving People Gawdy Titles, and Epithets in our Salutations and Addresses, was, That Savour, Sight and Sense, that God, by his Light and Spirit, has given us of the Christian World's Apostacy from God, and the Cause and Effects of that Great and lamentable Defection. In the Discovery of which, the Sense of our State came first before us, and we were made to see him whom we had pierced, and to mourn for it. A Day of Humiliation overtook us, and we fainted to that Pleasure and Delight we once loved. Now our Works went before hand to Judgment, and a Tho­row-Search was made, and the words of the Prophet became well understood by us; ‘Who shall abide the Day of his Coming? And who shall stand when he appears; He will sit as a Refiners Fire; and as Fullers Sope:’ And as the Apostle said,* ‘If the Righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the Un­godly and the Sinner appear? Wherefore, says the Apostle Paul, knowing the Terrors of the Lord, we perswade men.’ What to do? To come out of the Nature, Spirit, Lusts and Customs of this Wicked World: Remembring that, as Jesus has said, ‘for [Page 116] every Idle word that man speaketh, he shall give an Account in the day of Judgment

This concern of Mind and Dejection of Spirit, was visible to our Neighbours; and we are not ashamed to own that the Terrors of the Lord took such hold upon us, because we had long under a Profession of Religion, grieved God's Holy Spirit, that reproved us in secret for our Disobedience; that as we abhor­red to think of continuing in our old Sins, so we feared to use Lawful things, left we should use them unlaw­fully. The words of the Prophet were fulfilled on us*: ‘Wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his Loyns as a Woman in Travail?’ Many a Pang and Throw have we had; Our Heaven seemed to melt away, and our Earth to be removed out of its place; and were like men, as the Apostle said, Upon whom the ends of the World were come. God, he knows it was so in this day, the Brightness of his Com­ing to our Souls discovered, and the Breath of his Mouth destroyed every Plant he had not Planted in us. He was a swift Witness against every evil Tho't, and every unfruitful Work; and blessed be his Name we were not offended in him, or at his Righteous Judgments. Now it was, that Grand Inquest came upon our whole Life: Every Word, Thought and Deed was brought to Judgment, the Root examin'd, and its Tendency considered. ‘The Lust of the Eye, the Lust of the Flesh, and the Pride of Life’ were opened to our view; the Mystery of Iniquity in [Page 117] us: And by the knowing the Evil Leaven, and its divers Evil Effects in our selves; how it had wrought, and what it had done; we came to have a sense and knowledge of the States of others: And what we could not, nay, we dare not let live and continue in our selves (as being manifested to us to proceed from an Evil Principle in the time of Man's Degeneracy) we could not comply with in others. Now this I say, and that in the Fear and presence of the All-see­ing Just God, the present Honours and Respect of the World, among other things became Burdensome to us: We saw they had no being in Paradise, that they grew in the Night time, and came from an ill Root; and that they only delighted a Vain and Ill Mind, and that much Pride and Folly were in them.

§. VI. And though we easily foresaw the Storms of Reproach that would fall upon us, for our refusing to practice them; yet we were so far from being sha­ken in our Judgment, that it abundantly confirmed our sense of them. For so exalted a thing is Man, and so loving of Honour and Respect even from his Fellow Creatures, that so soon as in Tenderness of Con­science towards God, we could not perform them, as formerly, he became more concern'd than for all the rest of our Differences, however Material to Salvation. So that let the Honour of God, and our own Salva­tion, do as it will, it was greater Heresie and Blas­phemy to refuse him the Homage of the Hat, and his usual Titles of Honour; to deny to pledge his Healths, or play with him at Cards and Dice, than any [Page 118] other Principle we maintained for being less in his view, it seemed not so much in his way.

§. VII. And though it be frequently objected, That we seek to set up outward Forms of Preciseness; and that it is but as a green Ribbon, the Badge of the Party, the better to be known. I do declare in the Fear of Almighty God, that these are but the Ima­ginations and vain Constructions of Unsensible Men, that have not had that sense, which the Lord hath giv­en us, of what arises from the Right and the Wrong Root in Man: And when such Censures of our Sim­plicity shall be inwardly touched and awakened, by the mighty Power of God, and see things as they are in their proper Natures and Seeds, they will then know their own Burden, and easily acquit us without the Imputation of Folly or Hypocrisie herein.

§. VIII. To say, That we strain at small things, which becomes not People of so fair pretensions to Li­berty and Freedom of Spirit. I answer with Meek­ness, Truth and Sobriety; First, nothing is small, that God makes matter of Conscience to do or leave undone. Next, As inconsiderable as they are made by those that object upon us, they are much set by; so greatly as for our not given them, to be Beaten, Imprisoned, refused Justice upon Application to Courts of Justice, &c. To say nothing of the Deri­sion and Reproach that hath been frequently flung at us on this Account. So that if we had wanted a Proof of the Truth of our Inward Belief and Judg­ment, the very Practice of them that opposed it, [Page 119] would have abundantly confirmed us. But let it suffice to us, That Wisdom is justified of her Children: We only passively let fall the Practice of what we are taught to believe is Vain and Unchristian: In which we are Negative to Forms: For we leave off, we don't set up Forms.

§. IX. The World is so set upon the Ceremoni­ous part and Outside of things, that it has well be­seemed the Wisdom of God in all Ages, to bring forth his Dispensations with very different Appear­ances to their settled Customs; thereby contradict­ing humane Inventions, and proving the Integrity of his Confessors. Nay, it is a Test upon the World: It tries what Patience, Kindness, Sobriety and Mo­deration they have: If the rough and homely Out­side of Truth stumble not their Minds from the Re­ception of it (whose Beauty is within) it makes a great Discovery upon them. For he which refuses a Precious Jewel, because it is presented in a plain Box, will never Esteem it to its value, nor set his Heart upon keeping it: Therefore I call it a Test, because it shews where the Hearts and Affections of People slick, after all their great Pretences to more Excellent Things.

§. X. It is also a mighty Tryal upon God's Peo­ple, in that they are put upon the Discovery of their Contradiction to the Customs generally receiv'd and esteem'd in the World; which exposes them to the Wonder, Scorn, and Abuse of the Multitude. But there is an hidden Treasure in it: It inures us to [Page 120] Reproach, it learns us to despise the false Reputation of the World, and silently to undergo the Contra­diction and Scorn of its Votaries; and finally with a Christian Meeekness and Patience, to overcome their Injuries and Reproaches. Add to this; It weans thee off thy Familiars; for by being slighted of them as a Ninne, a Fool, a Frantick, &c. Thou art de­livered from a greater Temptation, and that is, The Power and Influence of their vain Conversation. And last of all, it lists thee of the Company of the Bles­sed, Mocked, Persecuted Jesus: To fight under his Banner, against the World, the Flesh, and the Devil: That after having faithfully Suffered with him in a State of Humiliation, thou may'st Reign with him in a State of Glorification: Who Glorifies his Poor, Despised, Constant Followers, with the Glory he had with his Father before the World began. This was the First Reason of our declining to practice the be­fore-mentioned Honours, Respects, &c.

§. XI. The Second Reason, why we decline and refuse the present use of these Customs in our Ad­dresses and Salutations, is from the consideration of their very Emptiness and Vanity: That there is no­thing of true Honour and Respect in them, supposing them not to be Evil. And as Religion and Wor­ship are degenerated into Form and Ceremony (and they not according to Primitive Practice neither) so is Honour and Respect too; there being little of that in the World, as well as of the other; and to be sure, in these Customs, none that is Justifiable by Scripture or Reason.

[Page 121] §. XII. In Scripture, we find the word Honour often and diversly used. First, For Obedience: As when God faith, 'They that Honour me; that is, that keep my Commandments. Honour the King; that is, Obey the King* Honour thy Father and thy Mother; that is, (saith the Apostle to the Ephe­sians. Obey thy Father and thy Mother in the Lord, for that is right;' Take heed to their Precepts and Advice; pre-supposing always, that Rulers and Parents command Lawful Things, else they Disho­nour themselves to injoyn Unlawful Things; and Subjects and Children dishonour their Superiors and Parents, in complying with their Unrighteous Com­mands. Also, Christ uses this word so, when he says, I have not a Devil, but I Honour my Father, and ye Dishonour me : That is, I do my Father's Will, in what I do; but you will not hear me; you reject my Counsel, and will not Obey my Voice. 'Twas not refusing Hat and Knee, nor empty Titles: No, 'twas Disobedience; Resisting Him that God had sent, and not Believing in him. This was the Dishonour he taxed them with; using him as an Impostor, that God had ordained for the Salvation of the World. And of these Dishonourers, there are but too many at this day. Christ has a Saying to the same effect; That all Men should Honour the son, even as they Honour the Father; and he that Honoureth not the Son, Honoureth not the Father, [Page 122] which hath sent him: That is, they that hearken not to Christ, and do not Worship and Obey him, they do not Hear, Worship, nor Obey God. As they pretended to believe in God, so they were to have believed in him; he told them so. This is preg­nantly manifested in the case of the Centurion, whose Faith was so much commended by Christ, where, giving Jesus an account of his Honourable Station, he tells him, He had Soldiers under his Authority, and when he said to one, Go, he went; to another, Come, he came; and to a third, Do this, he did it. In This it was he placed the Honour of his Capacity, and the Respect of his Soldiers, and not in Hats [...] Legs: Nor are such Customs yet in use amongst Sol­diers, being Effeminate, and unworthy of Masculine Gravity.

§. XIII. In the next place, Honour is used for Preferment to Trust and Eminent Employments. So the Psalmist speaking to God; For thou hast Crown'd him with Glory and Honour: Again;* Honour and Majesty hast thou laid on him: That is, God had given Christ Power over all his Enemies, and exalted him to great Dominion. Thus the Wise Man Intimates, when he says, 'The fear of the Lord is the Instruction of Wisdom, and be­fore Honour is Humility:' That is, before Advance­ment or Preferment, is Humility. Further, he has this Saying; As Snow in Summer, and as Rain in Harvest, so Honour is not seemly for a Fool: That is, [Page 123] A Fool is not capable of the Dignity of Trust, Em­ployment, or Preferment; they require Virtue, Wisdom, Integrity, Diligence, of which Fools are unfurnish'd. And yet if the Respects and Titles, in Use amongst us are to go for Marks of Honour, Solomon's Proverb will take place, and doubtless doth, upon the Practice of this Age, that yields so much of that Honour to a great many of Solomon's Fools; who are not only silly Men, but Wicked too; such as refuse Instruction, and hate the Fear of the Lord; which only maketh one of his Wise Men.

§. XIV. And as Vertue and Wisdom are the same, so Folly and Wickedness. Thus Shechem's Ravishment of Dinah, Jacob's Daughter, is called: So is the Rebellion and Wickedness of the Israelites in Joshua * The Psalmist expresses it thus; ‘My Wounds stink because of my Foolishness; that is, his Sin. And, ‘The Lord will speak Peace to his Saints, that they turn not again to Folly; that is to Evil. ‘His own Iniquities (says Solomon) shall take the Wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the Cords of his Sins: He shall dye without Instruction, and in the greatness of his Folly he shall go astray.’ Christ puts Foolishness with Blasphe­my, Pride, Thefts, Murders, Adulteries, Wicked­ness,** &c. I was the more willing to add these Passages, to shew the Difference that there is between the Mind of the Holy Ghost, and the Notion that [Page 124] those Ages had of Fools, that deserve not Honour, and that which is generally meant by Fools and Folly in our own Time; that we may the better under­stand the Disproportion there is between Honour, as then understood by the Holy Ghost, and those that were led thereby, and the Apprehension of it, and Practice of these latter Ages of Professed Christians.

§. XV. But Honour is also taken for Reputation, and it is so understood with us. A Gracious Woman (says Solomon retaineth Honour: That is, she keeps her Credit; and by her Vertue, maintains her Repu­tation of Sobriety and Chastity. In another place; It is an Honour for a man to cease from Strife: That is, it makes for his Reputatoin, as a wife and good Man. Christ uses the word thus, where he says,* ‘A Prophet is not without Honour, save in his own Country:’ That is, he has Credit, and is Valued, save at Home. The Apostle to the Thessalonians has a Saying to that effect: ‘That every one of you should know how to possess his Vessel in Sanctifi­cation and Honour; that is, in Chastity and So­briety In all which, nothing of the Fashions, by us declined, is otherwise concerned, than to be totally Excluded.

§. XVI. There is yet another use of the word [Honour] in Scripture, and that is to Functions and Capacities: As, An Elder is worthy of double Ho­nour: That is, he deserves double Esteem, Love, and Respect; being Holy, Merciful, Temperate, [Page 125] Peaceable, Humble, &c. Especially one that labours in Word and Doctrine. So Paul recommends Ti­mothy to the Philippians; ‘Receive him therefore in the Lord with all Gladness, and hold such in Re­putation: As if he had said, Let them be Valued and Regarded by you in what they say and teach. Which is the truest, and most natural and convinc­ing way of testifying Respect to a Man of God; as Christ said to his Disciples, ‘If you love me, ye will keep my Sayings. Further, the Apostle bids us, To Honour Widows indeed; that is, such Women as are of Chaste Lives, and Exemplary Vertue, are Ho­nourable. Marriage is Honourable too, with this Proviso, That the bed be undefiled: So that the Ho­nour of Marriage, is the Chastity of the Married.

§. XVII. The word Honour in the Scripture is also used of Superiors to Inferiors. Which is plain in that of Ahasuerus to Haman; ‘What shall be done to the Man, whom the King delighteth to Honour *?’ Why, he mightily Advanced him, as Mordecai afterwards. And more particularly it is said, ‘That the Jews had light, and Gladness, and Joy, and Honour: That is, they escaped the Per­secution that was like to fall upon them, and by the means of Esther and Mordecai, they enjoyed, not only Peace, but Favour and Countenance too. In this sense the Apostle Peter advised Christian Men, To Honour their Wives; that is, to Love, Value, Cherish, Countenance and Esteem them, for their [Page 126] Fidelity and Affection to their Husbands, for their Tenderness and Care over their Children, and for their Diligence and Circumspection in their Fami­lies: There's no Ceremonious Behaviour, or Gawdy Titles, requisite to express this Honour. Thus God Honours holy Men: ‘They (says the Lord) that Honour me, I will Honour; and they that despise me, shall be lightly esteemed:’ * That is, I will do Good to them, I will Love, Bless, Countenance, and Prosper them that Honour me, that Obey me: But they that Despise me, that Resist my Spirit, and Break my Law, they shall be lightly esteemed, lit­tle set by, or accounted of; they shall not find Fa­vour with God, nor Righteous Men. And so we see it daily among Men: If the Great visit, or con­cern themselves to aid the Poor, we say, that such a Great Man did me the Honour to come and see or help me in my Need.

§. XVIII. I shall conclude this with one Passage more, and that is a very large, plain and pertinent one: Honour all Men, and Love the Brotherhood: That is, Love is above Honour, and that is reserved for the Brotherhood. But Honour, which is Esteem and Regard, that thou owest to all Men; and if all, then thy Inferiors. But why for all Men? Be­cause they are the Creation of God, and the Noblest Part of his Creation too; they are also thy own Kind: Be Natural, have Bowels, and assist them with what thou canst; be ready to perform any Real Respect, [Page 127] and yield them any Good or Countenance thou canst.

§. XIX. And yet there seems a Limitation to this Command, Honour all Men, in that Passage of God­ly David, ‘Who shall abide in thy Tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy Hill? He in whose Eyes a vile Person is contemned; but he Honour­eth them that Fear the Lord.’ Here Honour is confined and affixed to Godly Persons, and Disho­nour made the Duty of the Righteous to the Wick­ed, and a mark of their being Righteous, that they Dishonour; that is, slight or disregard them. To conclude this Scripture-Inquiry after Honour, I shall contract the Subject of it under three Capacities, Su­periors, Equals, and Inferiors: Honour to Superiors, is Obedience; to Equals, Love; to Inferiors, Coun­tenance and Help; That is Honour after God's Mind, and the holy People's Fashion of Old.

§. XX. But how little of all this is to be seen or had in a poor Empty Hat, Bow, Cringe, or Gawdy, Flattering Title? Let the Truth speaking Witness of God in all Mankind judge. For I must not ap­peal to Corrupt, Proud, and Self-seeking Man, of the Good or Evil of these Customs; that as little as he would render them, are loved and sought by him, and he is out of Humour and Angry if he has them not.

This is our Second Reason, why we refuse to Prac­tise the accustomed Ceremonies of Honour and Re­spect, because we find no such Notion or Expression [Page 128] of Honour and Respect, recommended to us by the Holy Ghost in the Scriptures of Truth.

§. XXI. Our Third Reason for not using them as Testimonies of Honour and Respect, is, Because there is no discovery of Honour or Respect to be made by them: 'Tis rather Eluding and Equivocating it; cheating People of the Honour or Respect that is due to them; giving them Nothing in the shew of Something. There is in them no Obedience to Su­periors, no Love to Equals, no Help or Counte­nance to Inferiors.

§. XXII. We are, we declare to the whole World, for True Honour and Respect: We Honour the King, our Parents, our Masters, our Magistrates, our Landlords, one another, yea all Men, after God's Way, used by holy Men and Women of old time: But we refuse these Customs, as vain and deceitful; not answering the End they are used for.

§. XXIII. But Fourthly, There is yet more to be said: We find that Vain, Loose, and Worldly Peo­ple, are the great Lovers and Practisers of them, and most deride our Simplicity of Behaviour. Now we assuredly know, from the sacred Testimonies, that those People cannot give true Honour that live in a dishonourable Spirit; they understand it not: But they can give the Hat and Knee; and that they are very liberal of; nor are any more expert at it. This is, to us, a proof, that No true Honour can be testi­fied by those Customs, which Vanity and Looseness love and use.

[Page 129] §. XXIV. Next to them, I will add Hypocrisie, and Revenge too. For how little do many care for each other? Nay, what Spight, Envy, Animosity, secret Back-biring, and Plotting one against another, under the use of these Idle Respects; till Passion, too strong for Cunning, break through Hypocrisie into open Affront and Revenge too. It cannot be so with the Scripture-Honour: To Obey, or Pre­fer a Man, out of Spight, is not usually done; and to Love, Help, Serve, and Countenance a Person, in order to Deceive and be Revenged of him, is a thing never heard of: These admit of no Hypo­crisie, nor Revenge. Men do not these things to palliate Ill will, which are the Testimonies of quite the contrary. 'Tis absurd to Imagine it, because impossible to be done.

§. XXV. Our [...] is, That Honour was from the beginning, but Hat Respects, and most Titles, are of late: Therefore there was true Honour before Hats or Titles; and consequently true Honour stands not in them. And that which ever was the way to express true Honour, is the best way still; and this the Scripture teaches better than Dancing-Masters can do.

§. XXVI. Seventhly, If Honour consist, in such like Ceremonies, then will it follow, that they are most ca­pable of shewing Honour, who perform it most exactly according to the Mode or Fashion of the Times; conse­quently, that Man hath not the Measure of true Hon­our, from a Just and Reasonable Principle in himself, [Page 130] but by the Means and Skill of the Fantastick Danc­ing-Masters of the Times: And for this cause it is, we see, that many give much Money to have their Children learn their Honours, falsly so called. And what doth this but totally exclude the poor Country People: who, though they Plow, Till, Sow, Reap, go to Market; and in all things Obey their Justices, Landlords, Fathers, and Masters, with Sincerity and Sobriety, rarely use those Ceremonies; but if they do, it is so Awkwardly and Meanly, that they are esteemed by a Court Critick so Ill favour'd, as only fit to make a Jest of, and be laugh'd at: But what sober Man will not deem their Obedience beyond the others Vanity and Hypocrisie? This Base Notion of Honour turns out of Doors the True, and sets the False in its place. Let it be further considered, that the Way or Fashion of doing it, is much more in the Design of its Performers, as well as View of its Spectators, than the Respect it self. Whence it's commonly said, He is a Man of good Mein; or, She is a Woman of exact Behaviour. And what is this Behaviour, but Fantastick, Crampt Postures, and Crin­gings, Unnatural to their Shape; and, if it were not Fashionable, Ridiculous to the view of all People; and is therefore to the Eastern Countries a Proverb.

§. XXVII. But yet Eighthly, Real Honour con­sists not in a Hat, Bow, or Title, because all these things may be had for Money. For which Reason, how ma­ny Dancing-Schools, Plays, &c. are there in the Land, to whom Youth is generally sent to be Educated in [Page 131] these Vain Fashions? Whilst they are ignorant of the Honour that is of God, and their Minds are al­lured to Visible Things that Perish; and instead of remembring their Creator, are taken up with Toys and Fopperies; and sometimes so much worse, as to cost themselves a Disinheriting, and their Indiscreet Parents Grief and Misery all their Days. If Parents would Honour God in the help of his Poor, with the Substance they bestow on such an Education they would find a far better Account in the End.*

§. XXVIII. But Lastly, We cannot esteem Bows, Titles, and Pulling off of Hats, to be real Honour, be­cause such like Customs have been prohibited by God, his Son and Servants, in days past. This I shall endea­vour to shew by Three or Four Express Authorities.

§. XXIX. My First Example and Authority, is taken from the Story of Mordecai and Haman: so close to this point, that methinks it should at least command Silence to the Objections frequently ad­vanced against us. Haman was first Minister of State and Favorite to King Ahasuerus. The Text says, That ‘the King set his Seat above all the Princes that were with him; and all the King's Servants Bowed and Reverenced Haman; for the King had so commanded concerning him: But Mordecai (it seems) Bowed not, nor did him Reverence.’ This, at first, made ill for Mordecai: A Gallows was prepared for him at Haman's Command. But the sequel of the Story shows, that Haman Proved his own Invention, [Page 132] and Ended his Pride with his Life upon it. Well now, speaking as the World speaks, and looking upon Mordecai without the Knowledge of the suc­cess; Was not Mordecai a very Clown, at least a Silly, Morose, and Humorous Man, to run such a Ha­zard for a Trifle? What hurt had it done him to have Bowed to, and Honoured one the King Ho­noured? Did he not despise the King in disregard­ing Haman? Nay, had not the King commanded that Respect? And are not we to Honour and Obey the King? One would have thought, he might have Bowed for the King's sake, whatever he had in his Heart, and yet have come off well enough; for that he Bowed not meerly to Haman, but to the King's Authority; besides, it was but an Innocent Ceremony. But it seems, Mordecai was too plain and stout, and not Fine and Subtile enough to avoid the Displeasure of Haman.

Howbeit, he was an excellent Man: He feared God, and wrought Righteousness. And in this very thing also, he pleased God, and even the King too, at last, that had most cause to be Angry with him: For he advanced him to Haman's Dignity; and, if it could be, to greater Honour. 'Tis true, sad News first came; no less than Destruction to Mor­decai, and the whole People of the Jews besides, for his sake: But Mordecai's Integrity and Humiliation, his Fasting and strong Cries to God, prevailed, and the People were saved, and poor condemned Mor­decai comes, after all, to be exalted above the Princes. [Page 133] O this has great Doctrine in it, to all those that are in [...]heir Spiritual Exercises and Temptations, whe­ther in this or any other respect! They that endure Faithful in that which they are convinced God re­quires of them, tho' against the grain and humour of the World, and themselves too, they shall find a Blessed Recompence in the End. My Brethren, re­member the Cup of Cold Water! We shall reap if we faint not: And call to mind that our Captain Bowed not to him that told him, ‘If thou wilt fall down and Worship me, I will give thee all the Glory of the World:’ Shall we Bow then? O no! Let us follow our blessed Leader.

§. XXX. But before I leave this Section, 'tis fit I add, That in Conference with a late Bishop (and none of the least Eminent) upon this Subject and Instance, I remember he sought to evade it thus: Mordecai (says he) did not refuse to Bow, as it was a Testimony of Respect to the King's Favourite; but he being a Figure and Type of Christ, he re­fused it, because Haman was of the Uncircumcision, and ought to Bow to him rather.’ To which I Re­plied; That allowing Mordecai to be a Figure of Christ, and the Jews of God's People or Church; and that as the Jews were saved by Mordecai, so the Church is saved by Christ; this makes for me: For then, by that Reason, the Spiritual Circumcision, or People of Christ, are not to Receive and Bow to the Fashions and Customs of the Spiritual Uncircumcisi­on, who are the Children of the World; of which, [Page 134] such as were condemnable so long ago, in the time of the Type and Figure, can by no means be justify­ably Received or Practised in the time of the Anti­type or Substance it self. On the contrary, this shews expresly, we are faithfully to decline such Worldly Customs, and not to fashion our selves according to the Conversation of Earthly-minded People; but be renewed and changed in our Ways; and keep close to our Mordecai; who having not Bowed, we must not Bow, that are his People and Followers. And whatever be our Sufferings or Reproaches, they will have an end: Mordecai our Captain, that appears for his People throughout all the Provinces, in the King's Gate, will deliver us at last; and, for his sake, we shall be favoured and loved of the King himself too. So Powerful is faithful Mordecai at last. Therefore let us all look to Jesus, our Mordecai the Israel in­deed; he that has Power with God, and would not Bow in the Hour of Temptation, but has mightily Prevailed; and therefore is a Prince for ever, and of his Government there shall never be End .

§. XXXI. The next Scripture Instance I urge against these Customs, is a Passage in Job, thus ex­prest;* ‘Let me not, I pray you, accept any Man's Person; neither let me give Flattering Titles unto Man, for I know not to give Flattering Titles; in so doing my Maker would soon take me away.’ The Question that will arise upon the Allegation of this Scripture, is this, viz. What Titles are Flattering? [Page 135] The Answer is obvious, namely, Such as are empty and Fictitious, and make him more than he is. As to call a Man what he is not, to please him; or to Exalt him beyond his true Name, Office or De­sert, to gain upon his Affection; who it may be, lusteth to honour and respect: Such as these, Most Excellent, Most Sacred, Your Grace, Your Lordship, Most Dread Majesty, Right Honourable, Right Wor­shipful, May it please Your Majesty, Your Grace, Your Lordship, Your Honour, Your Worship, and the like unnecessary Titles; and Attributes, calculated only to please and tickle Poor, Proud, Vain yet Mortal Man. Likewise to call Man what he is not, as My Lord, My Master, &c. And Wise, Just, or Good, (when he is neither) only to please him, or shew him Respect.

It was familiar thus to do among the Jews, under their Degeneracy; wherefore one came to Christ and said, 'Good Master, What shall I do to have Eter­nal Life?' It was a Salutation or Address of Respect in those times. 'Tis familiar now: Good my Lord, Good Sir, Good Master, do this, or do that. But what was Christ's Answer? How did he take it? Why callest thou me Good? says Christ, There is none Good save one, that is God. He rejected it, that had more Right to keep it than all Mankind: And why? Because there was one Greater than he; and that he saw the Man addrest it to his Manhood, after the way of the Times, and not his Divinity which dwelt within it; therefore Christ refuses it, shewing [Page 136] and instructing us that we should not give such Epithets and Titles commonly to Men: For good being due alone to God and Godliness, it can only be said in Flattery to fallen Man, and therefore Sinful to be so said.

This Plain and Exact Life well became him that was on purpose manifested to Return and Restore Man from his Lamentable Degeneracy, to the In­nocency and Purity of his first Creation; who has taught us to be careful, how we use and give Attri­butes unto Man, by that most severe saying,* ‘That every idle word that man shall speak, he shall give an Account thereof in the day of Judgment.’ And that which should warn all men of the Latitude they take herein, and sufficiently justifie our Tenderness, is this, That man can scarcely commit greater Injury and Offence against Almighty God, than to ascribe any of his Attributes unto Man, the Creature of his Word, and the Work of his Hands. He is a Jealous God of his Honour, and will not give his Glory unto ano­ther. Besides, it is so near the Sin of the Aspiring, fallen Angels, that affected to be greater and better than they were made and stated by the great Lord of all, and looks so like Idolatry to entitle man to a Station above his Make and Orb (the unpardonable Sin under the Law) that it is hard to think, how men and women professing Christianity, and seriously reflecting upon their Vanity and Evil in these things, can continue in them, much less Plead for them, and least of all Reproach and Deride those that through [Page 137] Tenderness of Conscience cannot use and give them. It seems that Elibu did not dare to do it; but put such Weight upon the matter, as to give this for one Reason of his forbearance, to wit Lest my Maker should soon take me away: That is ‘For Fear God should strike me dead, I dare not give man Titles, that are above him, or Titles meerly to please him. I may not, by any means, gratifie that Spirit which lusteth after such things. God is to be exalted, and Man abased. God is jealous of Man's being set higher than his Station: He will have him keep his Place, know his Original, and remember the Rock from whence he came: That what he has is borrowed, not his own, but his Maker's, who bro't him forth, and sustained him; which Man is very apt to forget. And lest I should be accessary to it by Flattering Titles, instead of telling him truly and plainly what he is, and using him as he ought to be treated, and thereby provoke my Maker to Displeasure, and he, in his Anger and Jealousie, should take me soon away, or bring sudden Death, and an untimely End upon me, I dare not use, I dare not give such Titles unto Men.’

§. XXXII. But if we had not this to alledge from the Old Testament Writings, it should and ought to suffice with Christians, that these Customs are se­ver [...]ly Censored by the great Lord and Master of their Religion; who is so far from putting People upon giving Honour one to another, that he will not indulge them in it, whatever be the Customs of [Page 138] the Country they live in: For he charges it upon the Jews, as a Mark of their Apostacy: ‘How can ye believe, which receive Honour one of another, and seek not the Honour that cometh from God only?’ Where their Infidelity concerning Christ is made the Effect of seeking Worldly, and not Heavenly Ho­nour only. And the thing is not hard to apprehend, if we consider that Self Love, and Desire of Honour from Men is inconsistent with the Love and Humi­lity of Christ. They sought the good Opinion and Respect of the World, how then was it possible, they should leave all and follow him, whose Kingdom is not of this World; and that came in a way so cross to the Mind and Humour of it? And that this was the meaning of our Lord Jesus, is plain: For he tells us, what that Honour was, they gave and received, which he condemned them for, and of which he bid the Disciples of his Humility and Cross beware. His Words are these (and he speaks them not of the Rabble, but of the Doctors, the great Men, the Men of Honour among the Jews) They Love (says he) the Uppermost Rooms at Feasts; that is, Places of greatest Rank and Respect; and Greetings, that is, Salutations of Respect, such as Pulling off the Hat, and Bowing the Body, are in our Age; in the Market­Places [viz. In the places of Note and Concourse, the Publick Walks and Exchanges of the Country.] And lastly, They love (says Christ) to be called of Men Rabbi, Rabbi: One of the most Eminent Titles [Page 139] among the Jews. A Word comprehending an Ex­cellency equal to many Titles: It may stand for Your Grace, Your Lordship, Right Reverend Father, &c. It is upon these Men of Breeding and Quality, that he pronounces his Woes, making these Practices some of the Evil Marks, by which to know them, as well as some of the Motives of his Threatnings a­gainst them. But he leaves it not here: He pursues this very point of Honour, above all the rest, in his Caution to his Disciples; to whom he gave in Charge thus: ‘But be not ye called Rabbi; for one is your Master, even Christ, and all ye are Brethren. Nei­ther be ye called Masters; but he that is greatest a­mongst you, shall be your Servant: And whosoe­ver shall exalt himself, shall be abased.’ Plain it is, that these Passages carry a severe Rebuke, both to Woldly Honour in General, and to those Members and Expressions of it in Particular, which, as near as the Language of Scripture and Customs of that Age will permit, do distinctly reach and allude to those of our own time; for the declining of which we have suffered so much Scorn and Abuse, both in our Persons and Estates: God forgive the unreasona­ble Authors of it!

§. XXXIII. The Apostle Paul has a Saying of great Weight and Fervency, in his Epistle to the Romans, very agreeable to this Doctrine of Christ; 'tis this: ‘I beseech you therefore, Brethren by the Mercies of God, that ye present your Bodies a Liv­ing Sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is [Page 140] your reasonable Service: And be not Conformed to this World, but be ye Transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that Good, and Acceptable, and Perfect Will of God.’ He writ to a People in the midst of the Ensnaring Pomp and Glory of the World: Rome was the Seat of Caesar, and the Empire: The Mistress of Invention. Her Fashions, as those of France now, were as Laws to the World, at least at Rome: Whence it is Pro­verbial;

Cum fueris Romoe, Romano vivito more.

When thou art at Rome, Thou must do as Rome does.

But the Apostle is of another Mind: He warns the Christians of that City, That they be not conformed; that is, that they do not follow the vain Fashions and Customs of this World, but leave them: The Em­phasis lies upon This, as well as upon Conformed: And it imports, that This World, which they were not to Conform to, was the Corrupt and Degenerate Condition of Mankind in that Age. Wherefore the Apostle proceeds to exhort those Believers, and that by the Mercies of God, (the most powerful and win­ning of all Arguments) That they would be Transfor­med; that is, Changed from the way of Life, custo­mary among the Romans; and prove what is that acceptable Will of God. As if he had said, ‘Exa­mine what you do and practise; see if it be right, and that it please God: Call every Thought, Word, and Action to Judgment; try whether they are wrought in God or not; that so you may prove or [Page 141] know, what is that Good, and Acceptable, and Perfect Will of God’ .

§. XXXIV. The next Scripture-Authority we appeal to, in our Vindication, is a Passage of the A­postle Peter, in his first Epistle, writ to the Believing Strangers throughout the Countries of Pontus, Gala­tia, Capadocia, Asia, and Bithynia; which were the Churches of Christ Jesus in those parts of the World, gathered by his Power and Spirit: 'Tis this; * Gird up the Loyns of your minds; be sober, and hope to the end, for the Grace that is to be brought unto you at the Revelation of Jesus Christ; as O­bedient Children, not Fashioning your selves accord­ing to the former Lusts of your Ignorance.’ That is, ‘Be not found in the vain Fashions and Customs of the World, unto which you Conformed in your former Ignorance: But as you have Believed in a more plain and excellent Way, so be Sober and Fervent, and Hope to the End: Don't give out; let them mock on; bear ye the Contradiction of Sinners constantly, as Obedient Children, that you may receive the Kindness of God, at the Revelation’ of Jesus Christ. And therefore does the Apostle call them Strangers, (a Figurative Speech) People Estranged from the Customs of the World, of new Faith and Manners; and so unknown of the World: And if such Strangers, then not to be Fashioned or Conformed to their pleasing Respects and Honours, whom they were Estranged from: Because the [Page 142] Strangeness lay in leaving that which was customary and Familiar to them before. The following words (ver. 17.) prove, he used the word Strangers in a Spiritual Sense, Pass the time of your Sojourning here in fear; that is, Pass the time of your being as Stran­gers on Earth in Fear: Not after the Fashions of the World. A Word in the next Chapter further explains his Sense, where he tells the Believers, That they are a Peculiar People; to wit, a Distinct, a Sin­gular and Separate People from the rest of the World; not any longer to fashion themselves according to their Customs: But I don't know how that could be, if they were to live in Communion with the World, in its Respects and Honours; for that is not to be a Peculiar or Separate People from them, but to be like them, because conformable to them.

§. XXXV. I shall conclude my Scripture-Testi­monies against these foregoing Respects, with that memorable and close Passage of the Apostle James, against Respect to Persons in general, after the World's Fashion: My Brethren, have not the Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory, with Respect of Persons: For if there come unto your Assembly, a Man with a Gold Ring, in goodly Apparel; and there come in also a Poor Man, in vile Raiment, and ye have Respect to him that weareth the Gay cloathing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a goodly place (or well and seemly, as the word is) and say to the Poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my Footstool; are ye not then [Page 143] Partial in your selves, and are become Judges of Evil Thoughts?’ [that is, they knew they did A­miss]* ‘If ye fulfil the Royal Law, according to the Scripture, Thou shalt love thy Neighbour as thy self, ye do well; but if ye have Respect to Persons, ye commit Sin, and are convinced of the Law, as Transgressors.’ This is so full, there seems nothing left for me to add, or others to object. We are not to Respect Persons, that's the first thing: And the next is, If we do, we commit Sin, and break the Law: At our own Peril be it. And yet perhaps some will say, ‘That by this we overthrow all manner of Distinction among Men, under their divers Quali­ties, and introduce a Reciprocal and Relational Re­spect in the room of it: But if it be so, I can't help it, the Apostle James must answer for it, who has given us this Doctrine for Christian and Apostolical. And yet one greater than he told his Disciples, of whom James was one, viz. ‘Ye know, that the Princes of the Gentiles exercise Dominion over them, &c. But it shall not be so among you; but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your Minister; and whosoever will be Chief among you, let him be your Servant:’ That is, he that affects Rule, & seeks to be Uppermost, shall be esteemed least among you. And to say true, upon the whole matter, whether we regard those early Times of the World, that were Antecedent to the coming of Christ, or soon after, there was yet a greater Simplicity, than in the times in which we are fallen. For those early Times [Page 144] of the World, as bad as they were in other things, were great Strangers to the frequency of these Fol­lies: Nay, they hardly used some of them, at least, very rarely. For if we read the Scriptures, such a thing as My Lord Adam, (though Lord of the World) is not to be found: Nor My Lord Noah neither, the Second Lord of the Earth; Nor yet My Lord Abraham, the Father of the Faithful; nor My Lord Isaac; nor My Lord Jacob: But much less My Lord Peter, and My Lord Paul, to be found in the Bible: And less Your Holiness, or Your Grace. Nay, among the Gentiles, the People wore their own Names with more Simplicity, and used not the Ceremoniousness of Speech that is now practised among Christians, nor yet any thing like it. My Lord Solon, My Lord Phocion, My Lord Plato, My Lord Aristotle, My Lord Scipio, My Lord Fabius, My Lord Cato, My Lord Cicero, are not to be read in any of the Greek or Latin Stories, and yet they were some of the Sages and Heroes of those great Empires. No, their own Names were enough to distinguish them from other Men, and their Vertue and Employment in the Pub­lick, were their Titles of Honour. Nor has this Va­nity yet crept far into the Latin Writers, where it is [...] for Authors to cite the Most Learned, and the Most Noble without any Addition to their Names, unless Worthy or Learned: And if their [...] give it them, we make no Conscience to deny it [...]. For Instance: The Fathers they only cite thus; Polycarpus, Ignatius, Irenoeus, Cyprian, Tertul­lian [Page 145] Origen, Arnobius, Lactantius, Chrysostom, Jeroms &c. More Modern Writers; Damascen, Rabanus, Paschasius, Theophilact, Bernard, &c. And of the last Age; Luther, Melancthon, Calvin, Beza, Zuin­glius, Marlorat, Vossius, Grotius, Dalleus, Amaraldus, &c. And of our own Country; Gildas, Beda, Alcu­inus, Horn, Bracton, Grosteed, Littleton, Cranmer, Ridley, Jewel, Whitaker, Selden, &c. And yet, I presume, this will not be thought Uncivil or Rude. Why then is our Simplicity (and so honestly grounded too, as Conscience against Pride in Man, that so ea­gerly and perniciously loves and seeks Worship and Greatness) so much despised and abused, and that by Profess'd Christians too, who take themselves to be the Followers of him, that has forbid these foolish Customs, as plainly as any other Impiety condemned in his Doctrine? I earnestly beg the Lovers, Users, and Expecters of these Ceremonies, to let this I have writ have some Consideration and Weight with them.

§. XXXVI. However Christians are not so Ill­bred, as the World think; for they shew Respect too: But the Difference between them lies in the Nature of the Respect they perform, and the Rea­sons of it. The World's Respect is an Empty Ce­remony, no Soul or Substance in it: The Christian's is a Solid Thing, whether by Obedience to Superiors, Love to Equals, or Help and Countenance to Infe­riors. Next, their Reasons and Motives to Honour and Respect, are as wide one from the other: For Fine Apparel, Empty Titles, or Large Revenues, are [Page 146] the World's Motives, being things her Children Worship: But the Christian's Motive, is the sense of his Duty in God's sight; first to Parents and Ma­gistrates; and then to Inferior Relations: And lastly, to All People, according to their Vertue, Wisdom, and Piety: Which is far from Respect to the meet Per­sons of Men, or having their Persons in Admiration for Reward; much less on such mean and base Mo­tives of Wealth and Sumptuous Raiment.

§. XXXVII. We shall easily grant, Our Honour, as our Religion, is more Hidden? and that neither are so discernable by Worldly Men, nor grateful to them. Our Plainness is odd, uncooth, and goes mightily against the Grain; but so does Christian­ity too, and that for the same Reasons. But had not the Heathen-Spirit Prevail'd too long under a Christian Profession, it would not be so hard to dis­cern the Right from the Wrong. O that Christians would look upon themselves with the Glass of Righ­teousness; that which tells true, and gives them an exact Knowledge of themselves! And then let them examine, what in them, and about them, agrees with Christ's Doctrine and Life; and they may soon re­solve, whether they are real Christians, or but Hea­thens Christened with the Name of Christians.

Some Testimonies from Ancient and Modern Writers, in favour of our Behaviour.

§. XXXVIII. Marlorat, out of Luther, and Cal­vin, upon that remarkable Passage, I just now urged [Page 147] from the Apostle James, gives us the sense those Primitive Reformers had of Respect to Persons, in these words, viz. ‘To Respect Persons (here) is to have regard to the outward Habit and Garb: The Apostle signifies, that such Respecting of Persons is so contrary to true Faith, that they are altogether inconsistent: But if the Pomp, and other Worldly Regards, prevail, and weaken what is of Christ, it's a sign of a decaying Faith. Yea, so great is the Glory and Splendor of Christ in a Pious Soul, that all the Glories of the World have no Charms, no Beauty, in comparison of That, unto one so Religiously inclin'd. The Apostle maketh such Respecting of Persons to be repugnant to the Light (within them) insomuch, as they who follow those Practices, are condemned from within themselves. So that Sanctity ought to be the Reason or Motive of all outward Respect; and that none is to be honoured, upon any account, but Holiness:’ Thus much Marlorat. But if this be true Doctrine, we are much in the Right, in refusing Conformity to the vain Respects of Worldly Men.

§. XXXIX. But I shall add to these the Admo­nition of a Learned, Ancient Writer, who lived a­bove 1200 Years since, of great Esteem, namely, Jerom, who writing to a Noble Matron, Celantia, di­recting her how to live in the midst of her Prosperity and Honours, among many other religious Instructi­ons, speaks thus: ‘Heed not thy Nobility, nor let that be a Reason for thee to Take Place of any; [Page 148] Esteem not those of a meaner Extraction to be thy Inferiors; for our Religion admits of no Respect of Persons, nor doth it induce us to repute Men from any External Condition, but from their Inward Frame and Disposition of Minds: It is hereby that we Pronounce Men Noble or Base. With God, not to serve Sin, is to be Free; and to excel in Ver­tue, is to be Noble: God hath Chosen the Mean and Contemptible of this World, whereby to humble the Great Ones. Besides, it is a Folly for any to boast his Gentility, since all are Equally Esteemed by God. The Ransom of the Poor and Rich cost Christ an Equal Expence of Blood. Nor is it mate­rial in what State a Man is born; the New Creature hath no Distinction. But if we will forget how we all descended from one Father, we ought at least per­petually to remember, that we have but one Saviour.

§. XL. But since I am engaged against these fond and fruitless Customs, (the proper Effects and De­lights of Vain and Proud Minds) let me yet add one Memorable Passage more, as it is related by the fa­mous Causabon, in his Discourse of Use and Custom, where he briefly reports what past between Sulpitius Severus, and Paulinus Bishop of Nola, (but such an One as gave all to Redeem Captives, whilst others of that Function, that they may shew who is their Mas­ter, are making many both Beggars and Captives, by Countenancing the Plunder and Imprisonment of Christians for pure Conscience to God) He brings it in thus: ‘He is not counted a civil Man now, of [Page 149] late Years amongst us, who thinks it much, or re­fuseth to subscribe himself Servant, tho' it be to his Equal or Inferior.’ Yet Sulpitius Severus was once sharply chid by Paulinus, for Subscribing himself his Servant, in a Letter of his, saying, ‘Take heed hereafter, how thou being from a Servant called into Liberty, dost Subscribe thy self Servant unto one, who is thy Brother and Fellow-Servant; for it is a Sinful Flattery, not a Testimony of Humility, to pay those Honours to a Man, and Sinner, which are due to the one Lord, and one Master, and one God.’ This Bishop was (as it seems) of Christ's mind, Why callest thou me Good? There is none Good, but One. By this we may see, the sense of some of the more Apostolical Bishops, about the Civilities and Fashions, so much reputed with People that call themselves Christians and Bishops, and who would be thought their Successors. 'Twas then a Sin, 'tis now an Accomplishment; 'Twas then a Flattery, 'tis now Respect; 'Twas then fit to be severely Re­proved, and now, alas, it is to deserve severe Reproof not to use it. O monstrous Vanity! How much, how deeply, have those who are called Christians, revolted from the Plainness of the Primitive Days, and Practice of holy Men and Women in former Ages? How are they become degenerated into the loose, proud and wanton Customs of the World, which knows not God; to whom Use hath made these things; condemned by Scripture, Reason and Example, almost Natural? And so insensible are they [Page 150] of both their Cause and bad Effects, that they not only continue to Practise them, but Plead for them, and Unchristianly make a very Mock of those who cannot Imitate them. But I shall proceed to what remains yet further to be said in our defence, for de­clining another Custom, which helps to make us so much the Stumbling-block of this light, vain, and inconsiderate Age.

CHAP. X.

§. 1. Another piece of Non-Conformity to the World, which is our simple and plain Speech, Thou for You. §. 2. Justified from the use of Words and Numbers Sing. and Plur. §. 3. It was and is the Speech of Hebrew, Greek and Latin in Schools and Universities. §. 4. It is the Language of all Nations. §. 5. The Original of the present Custom defends our dis use of it. §. 6. If Custom should prevail, in a sense it would be of our side. §. 7. It cannot be Uncivil or Improper; for God him­self, the Fathers, Prophets, Christ and his Apostles used it. §. 8. An Instance given in the Case of Peter, in the Palace of the High Priest. §. 9. It is the Practice of Men to God in their Prayers: The Pride of man to expect better to himself. §. 10. Testimonies of several Writers in Vindication of us. §. 11. The Authors Convictions; and his Exhortation to his Reader.

§. 1. THere is another piece of our Non-confor­mity to the World, that renders us very Clownish to the Breeding of it, and that is, Thou for You, and that without difference or Re­spect to Persons: A thing that to some looks so Rude, it cannot well go down without Derision or Wrath. But as we have the same Original Reason for declining this as the fore-going Customs, so I [Page 151] shall add, what to me looks Reasonable in our de­fence; though it is very probable, Height of Mind in some of those that blame us, will very hardly al­low them to believe, that the word Reasonable is re­concileable with so silly a Practice as this is esteemed.

§. II. Words of themselves are but as so many Marks set and employed for necessary and Intelligible Mediums, or Means, whereby Men may understand­ingly express their Minds and Conceptions to each other; from whence comes Conversation. Now, though the World be divided into many Nations, each of which, for the most part, have a peculiar Language, Speech or Dialect; yet have they ever concurred in the same Numbers and Persons, as much of the Ground of Right Speech. For Instance; I love, Thou lovest, He loveth are of the singular Num­ber, importing but One, whether in the first second or third Person: Also, We love, Ye love, They love, are of the Plural Number, because in each is implied more then One. Which undeniable Grammatical Rule might be enough to satisfie any, that have not forgot their Accidence, that we are not beside Reason in our Practice. For if Thou lovest, be Singular; and You love, be Plural; and if Thou lovest, signifies but One; and You love, many; is it not as proper to say, Thou lovest, to Ten Men, as to say, You love, to One Man? Or, why not I love, for We love, and We love, instead of I love? Doubtless it is the same, though most Improper, and in Speech Ridiculous.

§. III. Our next Reason is; If it be Improper or [Page 152] Uncivil Speech (as termed by this vain Age) how comes it, that the Hebrew, Greek and Roman Authors, used in Schools, and Universities, have no other? Why should they not be a Rule in that, as well as other things? And why, I pray, then are we so Ridiculous for being thus far Grammatical? Is it reasonable that Children should be Whipt at School for putting You for Thou, as having made false Latin, and yet that we must be, tho' not Whipt, Reproached, and often Abused, when we use the same Propriety of Speech.

§. IV. But in the Third Place, It is neither Impro­per nor Uncivil, but much the contray; because it is used in all Languages, Speeches and Dialects, and that through all Ages. This is very plain: As for Example, It was God's Language when he first spake to Adam, viz. Hebrew: Also it is the Assyrian Chal­dean, Grecian and Latin Speech. And now amongst the Turks, Tartars, Muscovites, Indians, Persians, Italians, Spaniards, French, Dutch, Germans, Poloni­ans, Swedes, Danes, Irish, Scottish, Welch, as well as English, there is a Distinction preserved; and the word Thou, is not lost in the word which goes for You. And though some of the Modern Tongues have done as we do; yet upon the same Error. But by this 'tis plain that Thou is no upstart, nor yet Im­proper; but the only proper Word to be used in all Languages to a single Person; because otherwise all Sentences, Speeches and Discourses may be very Am­biguous, Uncertain, and Equivocal. If a Jury pro­nounce a Verdict, or a Judge a Sentence (three being [Page 153] at the Bar upon three occasions, very differingly culpable) and should say, You are here Guilty and to dye, or Innocent and Discharg'd; who knows who is Guilty or Innocent? May be but One, perhaps Two; or it may be, all Three. Therefore our Indictments run in the Singular Number, as, Hold up Thy Hand: Thou art indicted by the Name of &C. for that Thou, not having the fear of God, &c. And it holds the same in all Conversation. Nor can this be avoided but by many unnecessary Circumlocutions. And as the preventing of such Length and Obscurity was doubtless the first Reason for the Distinction, so can­not that be justly disused, till the Reason be first re­moved; which can never be, whilst Two are in the World.

§. V. But this is not all: It was first ascribed in way of Flattery to Proud Popes and Emperors; imitating the Heathens vain Homage to their Gods; thereby ascribing a Plural Honour to a single Per­son; as if One Pope had been made up of many Gods, and One Emperor of many Men. For which Reason, You, only to be used to many, became first spoken to One. It seems the word Thou, look't like too lean and thin a Respect; and therefore some, Bigger than they should be, would have a Stile suit­able to their own Ambition: A Ground we cannot build our Practice on; for what begun it, only loves it still. But supposing You to be Proper to a Prince, it will not follow it is to a common Person. For his Edict runs, We Will and Require, because perhaps [Page 154] in Conjunction with his Council; and therefore You to a private Person, is an Abuse of the Word. But as Pride first gave it Birth, so hath she only promoted it. Mounsier, Sir, and Madam, were, originally, Names given to none but the King, his Brother, and their Wives, both in France and England; yet now the Plow-man in France is called Mounsier, and his Wise Madam: And men of ordinary Trades in England, Sir, and their Wives, Dame; (which is the Legal Title of a Lady) or else Mistress, which is the same with Madam in French. So prevalent hath Pride and Flattery been in all Ages, the one to give, and the other to receive Respect, as they term it. See Howel's History of France in these things.

§. VI. But some will tell us, Custom should rule us; and that it is against us. But it is easily answered, and more truly; That though in things reasonable or indifferent, Custom is obliging or harmless; yet in things Unreasonable or unlawful, she has no Autho­rity. For Custom can no more change Numbers than Genders, nor Yoke One and You together, than make a Man into a Woman; or One a Thousand. But if Custom be to conclude us, 'tis for us. For as Custom is nothing else but Ancient Usage, I appeal to the Practice of Mankind, from the beginning of the World, through all Nations, against the Novelty of this Confusion, viz. You to One Person. Let Custom, which is Ancient Practice and Fact, issue this Question. Mistake me not: I know Words are [Page 155] nothing, but as Men give them a Value or Force by use: But then, if you will discharge Thou, and that You must succeed in its place, let us have a Distin­guishing Word in the room of You, to be used in Speech to many. But to use the same word for One and many, when there are two, and that only to please a proud and haughty Humour in Man, is not reasonable in our Sense; which, we hope, is Chri­stian, tho' not modish.

§. VII. But if Thou to a single Person be Impro­per or Uncivil, God himself, all the holy Fathers, and Prophets, Christ Jesus, and his Apostles, the Primitive Saints, all Languages throughout the World, and our own Law-Proceedings are Guilty; which, with Sub­mission, were great Presumption to imagine. Be­sides, we all know, it is familiar with the most of Authors, to Preface their Discourses to the Reader in the same Language of THEE and THOU: As, Rea­der, Thou art desired, &c. Or, Reader, This is writ to inform Thee of the Occasion, &c. And it cannot be denied, that the most famous Poems, dedicated to Love or Majesty, are writ in this Stile, Read of each in Chaucer, Spencer, Waller, Cowley, Dryden, &c. Why then should it be so Homely, Ill-bred, and In­sufferable in us? This, I conceive, can never be an­swered.

§. VIII. I doubt not at all, but that something altogether as Singular, attended the Speech of Christ and his Disciples: For I remember it was urged upon Peter in the High Priest's Palace, as a Proof of his [Page 156] belonging to Jesus, when he denied his Lord: Surely (said they) thou also art one of them; for thy Speech bewrayeth thee. They had guess'd by his Looks, but just before that he had been with Jesus; but when they discoursed him, his Language put them all out of doubt: Surely, then he was one of them, and he had been with Jesus. Something it was he had learn'd in his Company, that was Odd and Observa­ble; to be sure, not of the World's Behaviour. Without question, the Garb, Gate and Speech of his Followers differed, as well as his Doctrine, from the World; for it was a part of his Doctrine it should be so. It is easie to believe, they were more Plain, Grave, and Precise; which is more credible, from the way which Poor, Confident, Fearful Peter took, to disguise the business; for he fell to Cursing and Swearing. A sad shift! But he thought that the likeliest way to remove the Suspicion, that was most Unlike Christ. And the Policy took; for it silenced their Objections; and Peter was as Orthodox as they. But tho' they found him not out, the Cocks­Crow did; which made Peter remember his Dear Suffering Lord's words, and he went forth, and Wept bitterly; that he had denied his Master, who was then delivered up to Dye for him.

§. IX. But our last Reason is of most weight with me; and because, Argumentum ad Hominem, it is most heavy upon our Despisers, which is this: It should not therefore be urged upon us, because it is a most extravagant piece of Pride in a mortal Man, to [Page 157] require or expect, from his Fellow Creature, a more civil Speech or Grateful Language, than he is wont to give the Immortal God, and his Creator, in all his Worship to him. Art thou, O Man, Greater than he that made thee? Canst thou approach the God of thy Breath, and Great Judge of thy Life, with Thou and Thee, and when thou risest off thy Knees, scorn a Christian for giving to thee(Poor Mushroom of the Earth) no bet­ter Language than thou hast given to God but just be­fore? An Arrogancy not to be easily equal'd! But again, it is either too much or too little Respect; If too much, don't Reproach and be Angry, but gravely & humbly Refuse it: If too little, why dost thou show to God no more? O whither is Man gone! To what a Pitch does he soar? He would be used more Civilly by us, than he u­ses God; which is to have us make more than a God of him: But he shall want Worshippers of us, as well as he wants the Divinity in himself that deserves to be worshipped. Certain we are, that the Spirit of God seeks not these Respects, much less pleads for them, or would be Wroth with any that Conscienci­ously refuse to give them. But that this vain Gene­ration is guilty of using them to gratifie a vain Mind, is too palpable. What Capping, what Cringing, what Scraping, what vain unmeant Words, most hyperbolical Expressions, Complements, gross Flatteries, and plain Lyes, under the name of Civilities, are Men and Women guilty of in Conversation! Ah, my Friends! whence fetch you these Examples? What part of all the Writings of the holy Men of God warrants these things? But to come near to your own Profession: [Page 158] Is Christ your Example herein, whose Name you pretend to bear? Or those Saints of old, that lived in Desolate Places, of whom the World was not wor­thy? Or do you think, you follow the Practice of those Christians, that in Obedience to their Master's Life and Doctrine, forsook the Respect of Persons, and relinquished the Fashions, Honour and Glory of this Transitory World: Whose Qualifications lay not in External Gestures, Respects and Complements; but in a meek and quiet Spirit, adorned with Temper­ance, Vertue, Modesty, Gravity, Patience, and Bro­therly-Kindness, * which were the Tokens of True Ho­nour, and only Badges of Respect and Nobility in those Christian Times? O no! But is it not to expose our selves both to your Contempt and Fury, that we Imitate them and not you? And tell us pray, are not Romances, Plays, Masks, Gaming, Fidlers, &c. the Entertainments that most delight you? Had you the Spirit of Christianity indeed, could you con­sume your most precious little Time in so many Un­necessary Visits, Games, and Pastimes; in your Vain Complements, Courtships, feigned Stories, Flatteries, and Fruitless Novelties, and what not? invented and used to your Diversion, to make you easie in your Forgetfulness of God: Which never was the Chri­stian Way of Living, but Entertainment of the Heathens that knew not God. Oh were you truly touch'd with the Sense of your Sins, and in any mea­sure Born again; did you take up the Cross of Jesus, [Page 159] and live under it, these things (which so much please your Wanton and Sensual Nature) would find no place with you! This is not seeking the things that are Above, to have the Heart thus set on things that are below; nor Working out your own Salvation with Fear and Trembling, to spend your days in Va­nity. This is not Crying with Elibu, I know not to give Flattering Titles to Men; for in so doing my Ma­ker would soon take me away: This is not to deny Self, and lay up for a more bidden and enduring Sub­stance, an Eternal Inheritance in the Heavens, that will not pass away. Well, my Friends, whatever you think, your Plea of Custom will find no place at God's Tribunal: The Light of Christ in your own Hearts will Over-rule it, and this Spirit, against which we testifie, shall then appear to be what we say it is. Say not, I am serious about flight things: But beware you of Levity and Rashness in serious things!

§. X. Before I close, I shall add a few Testimonies from Men of general Credit, in favour of our Non­conformity to the World in this particular.

Luther, the Great Reformer (whose Sayings were Oracles with the Age he lived in,* and of no less Reputation now, with many that Object against us) was so far from Condemning our Plain Speech, that, in his Ludus, he Sports himself with You to a Single Person, as an Incongruous and Ridiculous Speech, viz. Magister vos estis iratus? Master, are You An­gry? As Absurd with him in Latin; as, My Mas­ters, [Page 160] art Thou Angry? begin English. Erasmus, a Learned Men, and an Exacts Critick in Speech, (than whom, I know not any we may so properly refer the Grammer of the matter to) not only derides it, but bestows a whole Discourse upon rendring it Absurd: Plainly manifesting, that it is impossible to preserve Numbers, if You, the only word for more than One, be used to express One: As also, That the Original of this Corruption, was the Corruption of Flattery. ‘LIPSIUS affirms of the Ancient Romans, that the manner of Greeting, now in Vogue, was not in use amongst them.’ To conclude; HOWEL, in his History of France, gives us an Ingenious Account of its Original: Where he not only assures us, That Anciently the Peasants, Thou'd their Kings, but that Pride and Flattery first put Inferiors upon paying a Plural Respect to the Single Person of every Superior, and Superiors upon receiving it. And though we had not the Practice of God and Man so undeniably to justifie our Plain and Homely Speech; yet, since we are perswaded that its Original was from Pride and Flattery we cannot in Conscience use it. And how ever we may be censured as Singular by those Loose and Airy Minds, that through the continual Love of Earthly Pleasures, consider not the true Rise and Tendency of Words and Things; yet, to Us, whom God has convinced, by his Light and Spi­rit in our Hearts, of the Folly and Evil of such Cour­ses, and brought into a Spiritual discerning of the Nature and Ground of the World's Fashions, they [Page 161] appear to be Fruits of Pride and Flattery, and we dare not continue in such vain Compliances to Earthly Minds, lest we offend God, and Burden our own Consciences. But having been sincerely affected with the Reproofs of Instruction, and our Hearts being brought into a Watchful Subjection to the Righte­ous Law of Jesus; so as to bring our Deeds to the Light to see in whom they are wrought, if in God, or not; We cannot, we dare not Conform our selves to the Fashions of the World, that Pass away; know­ing assuredly, that For every Idle Word that men speak, they shall give an Account in the Day of Judgment. .

§. XI. Wherefore, Reader, whether thou art a Night-walking Nicodemus, or a Scoffing Scribe: One that would visit the blessed Messiah, but in the dark Customs of the World, that thou mightest pass as undiscerned, for fear of bearing his Reproachful Cross; or else a favourer of Haman's Pride, and countest these Testimonies but a foolish Singularity; I must say, Divine Love enjoyns me to be a Messenger of Truth to thee, and a faithful Witness against the Evil of this Degenerate World, as in other, so in these things; in which the Spirit of Vanity and Lust, hath got so great an Head, and lived so long uncontrol'd, that it hath Impudence enough to term its Darkness Light, and to call its Evil Off-spring by the names due to a better Nature, the more easily to deceive People into the practice of them. And truly, so very Blind and Insensible are most, of what Spirit [Page 162] they are, and Ignorant of the meek and self-denying Life of holy Jesus, whose Name they profess, that to call each other Rabbi, that is, Master; to Bow to men, (which I call Worship) and to Greet with Flat­tering Titles; and do their fellow-Creatures Homage; To Scorn that Language to themselves that they give to God, and to spend their Time and Estate to gratifie, their wanton Minds; [the Customs of the Gentiles, that knew not God] pass with them for Civility, good Breeding, Decency, Recreation, Accomplishments, &c. O that Man would Consider, since there are but Two Spirits, one good the other evil, which of them it is that inclines the World to these things! And whe­ther it be Nicodemus or Mordecai in Thee, that doth be-friend these Despised Christians, which makes thee Ashamed to disown that openly in Conversation with the World, which the true Light hath made Vanity and Sin to thee in secret? Or if thou art a De­spiser, tell me, I pray thee, which dost thou think thy Mockery, Anger or Contempt do most resemble, proud Haman or good Mordecai? My Friend, know, that no man hath more delighted in, or been Pro­digal of those Vanities called Civilities, than my self; and could I have covered my Conscience under the Fashions of the World, truly. I had found a Shelter from Showers of Reproach that have fallen very of­ten and thick upon me: But had I, with Joseph, Conformed to AEgypt's Customs, I had sinned against my God, and lost my Peace. But I would not have thee think, it is a mee [...] Thou or Title, simply or [Page 163] nakedly in themselves, we boggle at, or that we would beget, or set up any Form Inconsistent with Sincerity or true Civility? There's but too much of that: But the Esteem and Value the vain minds of men do put upon them, that ought to be crossed and strips of their Delights, constrains us to testifie so steadily a­gainst them. And this know, from the sense God's Holy Spirit hath begotten in us, that That which re­quires these Customs, and begets fear to leave them, and pleads for them, and is displeased, if not used and paid, is the Spirit of Pride and Flattery in the ground, though Frequency, use, or Generosity may have abated its strength in some: And this being discovered by the Light that now shines from Heaven in the Hearts of the despised Christians I have Communion with, necessitates them to this Testimony, and my self, as one of them, and for them, in a Reproof of the Un­faithful, who would walk Undiscerned, though Con­vinced to the contrary, and for an Allay to the proud Despisers, who scorn us as a People guilty of Affecta­tion and Singularity. For the Eternal God, who is great amongst us, and on his way in the Earth to make his Power known, will root up every Plant that his Right Hand hath not planted. Wherefore let me beseech thee, Reader, to consider the foregoing Rea­sons, which were mostly given me from the Lord, in that time, when my Condescention to these Fashions would have been purchased at almost any Rate; but the certain sense I had of their Contrariety to the meek and self denying Life of holy Jesus, required of [Page 164] me my disuse of them, and faithful Testimony against them. I speak the Truth in Christ, I Lye not; I would not have brought my self under Censure and Disdain for them, could I, with Peace of Conscience, have kept my Belief under a Worldly Behaviour. It was extream Irksom to me to decline and expose my self: But having an Assured and Repeated sense of the Original of these vain Customs, that they rise from Pride, Self-love and Flattery, I dared not gratifie that Mind in my self or others. And for this Reason it is, that I am earnest with my Readers to be Cautious, how they reprove us on this occasion; and do once more entreat them, that they would seriously weigh in themselves, whether it be the Spirit of the World, or of the Father, that is so angry with our honest, plain and harmless Thou and Thee: That so every Plant that God, our heavenly Father hath not Planted in the Sons and Daughters of Men, may be rooted up.

CHAP. XI.

§. 1. Pride leads People to an Excessive Value of their Persons. §. 2. It is plain from the Racket that is made about Blood and Families: Also, in the case of Shape and Beauty. §. 3. Blood no Nobility, but Vertue. §. 4. Vertue no Upstart. Antiquity, no Nobility without it, else Age and Blood would Bar Vertue in the present Age. §. 5. God teaches the true Sense of Nobility, who made of one Blood all Nations; There's the Original of all Blood. §. 6. These Men of Blood, out of their Fathers, look like other Men. §. 7. This is not said to Reject, but Hum­ble the Gentleman: The Advantages of that Condition above others. An Exhortation to recover their last Oeconomy in Fa­milies, out of Interest and Credit. §. 8. But the Author has an higher Motive; the Gospel, and the Excellencies of it, which [Page 165] they profess. §. 9. The Pride of Person, respecting Shape and Beauty; The Washes, Patches, Paintings, Dressings, &c. this Excess would keep the Poor: The Mischiefs that attend it. §. 10. But Pride in the Old, and Homely, yet more hateful: That it is usual. The Madness of it. Counsel to the Beautiful, to get their Souls like their Bodies; and to the Homely, to supply want of that in the Adornment of their Lasting Part, their Souls, with Holiness. Nothing Homely with God, but Sin. The Bles­sedness of those that wear Christ's Yoke and Cross, and are Cru­cified to the World.

§. 1. BUt Pride stops not here; she excites Peo­ple to an Excessive Value and Care of their Persons; They must have Great and Punctual Attendance, Stately Furniture, Rich and Exact Apparel: All which help to make up that Pride of Life, that John tells us, is not of the Father, but of the World . A Sin God charged upon the Haughty Daughters of Zion, Isai. 3. and on the Proud Prince and People of Tyrus, Ezek. 27. 28. Read these Chapters, and measure this Age by their Sins, and what is coming on these Nations by their Judgments. But at the present, I shall only Touch upon the first, viz. The Excessive Value People have of their Persons; leaving the rest to be considered under the last Head of this Discourse, which is Luxury, where they may not be improperly placed.

§. II. That People are generally Proud of their Persons, is too visible and troublesome? especially if they have any pretence either to Blood or Beauty: The one has raised many Quarrels among Men; and the other among Women, and Men, too often, for their sakes, and at their Excitements. But to the [Page 166] first: What a Puther has this Noble Blood made in the World, Antiquity of Name or Family, whose Father, or Mother, Great Grand-Father, or Great Grand-Mo­ther, was best Descended or Allied? What Stock, or What Class they came of? What Coat of Arms they gave? Which had, of right, the Precedence? But methinks, nothing of Man's Folly has less Shew of Reason to palliate it.

§. III. For first, What matter is it of whom any one is Descended, that is not of Ill Fame; since 'tis his own Vertue that must Raise, or Vice Depress him? An Ancestor's Character is no Excuse to a Man's Ill Actions, but an Aggravation of his Degeneracy: And since Vertue comes not by Generation, I neither am the better nor the worse for my Fore-Father: To be sure, not in God's Account; nor should it be in Man's. No body would endure Injuries the easier, or reject Favours the more, for coming by the hand of a Man well or ill Descended. I consess, it were greater Honour to have had no Blots, and with an Hereditary Estate, to have had a Lineal Descent or Worth: But that was never found, no, not in the most Blessed of Families upon Earth, I mean Abra­ham's. To be Descended of Wealth and Titles, fills no Man's Head with Brains, or Heart with Truth: Those Qualities come from an higher Cause, 'Tis Vanity then, and most Condemnable Pride, for a Man of Bulk and Character, to despise another of Less Size in the World, and of Meaner Alliance for want of them; because the latter may have the [Page 167] Merit, where the former has only the Effects of it in an Ancestor: And though the one be Great, by means of a Fore-Father; the other is so too, but 'tis by his Own: Then, pray, which is the Bravest Man of the two?

§. IV. O, says the Person proud of Blood, It was never good World, since we have had so many Upstart Gentlemen! But what should others have [...] that Man's Ancestor, when he started first up into the Knowledge of the World? For he, and all Men and Families, ay, and all States and Kingdoms too, have had their Upstarts, that is, their Beginnings. This is like being the True Church, because Old, not be­cause Good; for Families to be Noble, by being [...] and not by being Vertuous. No such matter: It must be Age in Vertue, or else Vertue before Age; for otherwise a Man should be Noble by the means of his Predecessor; and yet the Predecessor lets No­ble than He, because he was the Acquirer: Which is a Paradox that will puzzle all their Heraldry to explain. Strange! that they should be more No­ble than their Ancestor, that got their Nobility for them! But if this be Absurd, as it is, then the Up­start is the Noble Man: the Man that got it by his Vertue: And those are only Intituled to his Honour that are Imitators of his Vertue; the rest may bear his Name from his Blood, but that is all. If Vertue then give Nobility, which Heathens themselves a­gree, then Families are no longer truly Noble, than they are Vertuous. And if Vertue go not by Blood, [Page 168] but by the Qualifications of the Descendents, it Fol­lows, Blood is excluded: Else Blood would bar Ver­tue; and no Man that wanted the one, should be allowed the benefit of the other: Which were to stint and bound Nobility for want of Antiquity, and make Vertue useless.

No, let Blood and Name go together; but pray [...] and Vertue keep Company, for they are [...] of Kin. 'Tis thus posited by God himself, that best knows how to Apportion things with an Equal and Just Hand. He neither likes nor Dis­likes by Descent; nor does he regard what People were, but are. He remembers not the Righteousness of any Man that leaves his Righteousness; much less any Unrighteous Man for the Righteousness of his An­cestor.

§. V. But if these Men of Blood please to think themselves concerned to Believe and Reverence God in his Holy Scriptures, they may learn, That in the Beginning * He made, of One Blood, all Nations of Men, to dwell upon all the Face of the Earth; and that we all Descended of One Father and Mother. A more certain Original than the best of us can Assign. From thence go down to Noah, who was the Second Planter of Humane Race, and we are upon some Certainty for our Fore fathers. What Violence has rap'd, or Vertue merited since, and how far we that are alive are concerned in either, will be hard for us to determine but a very few Ages off us.

[Page 169] §. VI. But, methinks, it should suffice to say, Our own Eyes fees, that Men of Blood, out of their Geer and Trappings, without their Feathers and Fi­nery, have no more Marks of Honour, by Nature stamp'd upon them, than their Inferior Neighbours. Nay, themselves being Judges, they will frankly tell us, They feel all those Passions in their Blood that make them like other Men, if not farther fr [...] the Vertue that truly dignifies. The lamentable [...] ­norance and Debauchery that now rages among too many of our Greater sort of Folks, is too clear and casting an Evidence in the point: And pray tell me, Of what Blood are they come?

§. VII. Howbeit, when I have said all this I in­tend not, by Debasing one false Quality, to make In­solent another that is not true. I would not be tho't to set the Churle upon the present Gentleman's Shoul­der; by no means: His Rudeness will not mend the matter. But what I have writ, is to give Aim to all, where true Nobility dwells, that every one may arrive at it by the ways of Vertue and Goodness. But for all this, I must allow a great Advantage to the Gentleman; and therefore prefer his Station, just as the Apostle Paul, who after he had humbled the Jews, that insulted upon the Christians with their Law and Rites, gave them the Advantage upon all other Nations in Statutes and Judgments. I must grant, that the Condition of our Great Men is much to be preferr'd to the Ranks of Inferior People. For, Ist, They have more Power to do good; And, if [Page 170] their Hearts be equal to their Ability, they are Bles­sings to the People of any Country. 2dly To Eyes of the People are usually directed to them; and if they will be Kind, Just, and Helpful, they shall have their Affection and Services. 3dly, They are not under equal Straits with the Inferior fort; and conse­quently they have more help, leisure and occasion to [...] their Passions and Tempers with Books and Conversation. 4thly, They have more Time to ob­serve the Actions of other Nations; to travel and view the Laws, Customs and Interests of other Coun­tries, and bring home whatsoever is Worthy or Imi­table. And so an easier Way is open for Great Men to get Honour; and such as love true Reputation, will imbrace the best means to it. But because it too often happens, that Great Men do little mind to give God the Glory of their Prosperity, and to live answerable to his Mercies; but on the contrary, live without God in the World, fulfilling the Lusts thereof, his hand is often seen, either in Impoverish­ing or Extinguishing them, and raising up Men of more Vertue and Humility to their Estates and Dig­nity. However, I must allow, that among People of this Rank, there have been some of them of more than ordinary Vertue, whose Examples have given Light to their Families. And it has been something Natural for some of their Descendents to endeavour to keep up the Credit of their Houses, in proportion to the Merit of their Founder. And to say true, if there be any Advantage in such Descent, 'tis not [Page 171] from Blood, but Education: For Blood has no Intelli­gence in it, and is often Spurious and Uncertain; but Education has a mighty Influence and strong Byes [...] upon the Affections and Actions of men. In this the Ancient Nobles and Gantry of this Kingdom did Excel: And it were much to be wisht, that our Great Peo­ple would set about to recover the Ancient Oeconomy of their Houses, the strict and vertuous Discipline of their Ancestors, when men were honoured for their Atchievements, and when nothing more exposed a man to Shame, than his being born to a Nobility, that he had not a Vertue to support.

§. VIII. O but I have an higher Motive! the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, which having taught this Northern Isle, and all Ranks professing to believe in it; let me prevail upon you, to seek the Honour that it has brought from Heaven, to all the true Dis­ciples of it, who are indeed the Followers of God's Lamb, that takes away the Sins of the World *. Re­ceive with Meekness his Gracious Word into your Hearts, that subdues the World's Lusts, and leads in the holy way to Blessedness. Here are Charms no Carnal Eye hath seen, nor Ear heard, nor Heart Per­ceived, but they are Revealed to such humble Con­verts by his Spirit. Remember you are but Crea­tures, and that you must dye, and after all be Judged.

§. IX. But Personal Pride ends not in Nobility of Blood; it leads Folks to a Fond Value of their Per­sons, be they Noble or Ignoble; especially if they have any pretence to Shape or Beauty. It is admira­ble [Page 172] to see, how much it is possible for some to be taken with Themselves, as if nothing else deserved their Regard, or the good Opinion of Others. It would abate their Folly, if they could find in their Hearts to spare but half the time to think of God and their latter End, which they most prodigally spend in Washing, Persuming, Painting, Patching, At­tiring and Dressing: In these things they are Precise and very Artificial; and for Cost they spare not. But that which aggravates the Evil is, the Pride of One might comfortably Supply the Need of Ten. Gross Impiety, that it is, that a Nation's Pride should not be spared to a Nation's Poor! But what is this for at last? Only to be Admired, to have Reverence, draw Love, and command the Eyes and Affections of Beholders. And so Fantastick are they in it, as hardly to be pleased too. Nothing is good, or fine, or fashionable enough for them. The Sun it self, the Blessing of Heaven, and Comfort of the Earth, must not shine upon them, left it Tan them; nor the Wind blow, for fear it should disorder them. O Impious Nicity! Yet while they value themselves above all else, they make themselves the Vassals of their own Pride: Worshipping their Shape, Feature or Com­plexion, which so ever is their Excellency. The end of all which is but too often to excite unlawful Love, which I call Lust, and draw one another into as Mi­serable as Evil Circumstances. In Single Persons it is of ill consequence: for if it does not awaken Un­chaste Desires, it lays no Foundation for solid and [Page 173] lasting Union. Want of which helps to make so many Unhappy Marriages in the World. But in Married People, the Sin is aggravated; for they have none of right to please, but one another; and to affect the Gayety and Vanity of youth, is an ill sign of loving and living well at Home: It looks rather like dressing for a Market. It has sad Effects in Fa­milies; Discontents, Partings, Duels, Poysonings and other Infamous Murders. No Age can better tell us the sad Effects of this sort of Pride, than this we live in; as, how Excessive Wanton, so how Fatal it has been to the Sobriety, Vertue, Peace and Health of Fa­milies in this Kingdom.

§. X. But I must needs say that of all Creatures this sort of Pride does least become the Old and Home­ly, if I may call the Ill-favoured and Deformed so; for the Old are Proud only of what they had, which shews to their Reproach, their Pride has out-liv'd their [...] and when they should be a Repenting, they [...] Work for Repentance. But the Homely are yet worse; they are Proud of what they never had, nor never can have. Nay, their Persons seem as if they were given for a Perpetual Humiliation to their Minds, and to be proud of them, is loving Pride for Prides sake, & to be proud without a Temp­tation to be proud. And yet in my whole Life I have Observ'd nothing more doting on it self: A strange Infatuation and Inchantment of Pride! What! Not to see right with their Eyes, because of the Partiality of their Minds? This self-Love is blind [Page 174] indeed. But to add Expence to the Vanity, and to be Costly upon That which can't be mended; One would think they should be down-right Mad: Es­pecially if they consider that they look the Homelier for the things that are thought Handsom, and do but thereby draw their Deformity more into notice, by that which does so little become them.

But in such Persons Follies we have a Specimen of Man; what a Creature he is in his Lapse from his Pri­mitive Image. All this (as Jesus said of Sin of Old*) comes from within; that is, the Disregard that Man and Woman have to the Word of their creator in their Hearts, which shews Pride and teaches Humi­lity, and Self-abasement, and directs the mind to the true Object of Honour and Worship; and that with an Awe and Reverence suitable to his Sovereignty and Majesty. Poor Mortals! but living Dirt; made of what they tread on; who, with all their Pride, cannot secure themselves from the Spoil of Sickness, much less from the Stroke of Death. O! Did peo­ple consider the Inconstancy of all visible things, the Cross and Adverse Occurrences of Man's Life, the Certainty of his Departure and Eternal Judgment. 'tis to be hoped, they would bring their Deeds to Christ's Light in their Hearts; they would see if they were wrought in God or no, as the Beloved Dis­ciple tells us from his dear Master's Mouth. An thou Shapely, Comely, Beautiful; the exact Draught or an Humane Creature? Admire that Power that [Page 175] made thee so. Live an Harmonious Life to the cu­rious Make and Frame of thy Creation; and let the Beauty of thy Body, teach thee to Beautifie thy Mind with Holiness, the Ornament of the Beloved of God. Art thou Homely or Deformed Magnifie that Goodness which did not make thee a Beast; and with the Grace that is given unto thee, (for it has appeared unto all) learn to adorn thy Soul with un­during Beauty. Remember The King of Heaven's Daughter, the Church, (of which true Christians are Members) is all glorious within: And if thy Soul excel, thy Body will only set off the Lustre of thy Mind. Nothing is homely in God's fight but Sin; and that Man and Woman That commune with their own Hearts, and Sin not who in the Light of holy Jesus, watch over the Movings and Inclinations of their own Souls, and that suppress every Evil in its Conception, they love the Yoke and Cross of Christ; and are daily by it Crucified to the World, but live to God in that Life which out-lives the fading Satis­factions of it.

CHAP. XII.

§. 1. The Character of a Proud Man: A Glutton upon himself. Is proud of his Pedigree. §. 2. He is insolent and Quarrelsom, but Cowardly, yet Cruel. §. 3. An ill Child, Subject and Servant. §. 4. Unhospitable. §. 5. No Friend to any. §. 6. Dangerous and Mischievous in Power. §. 7. Of all Things Pride [...]d in Ministers. §. 8. They claim Prerogative above others. §. 9. And call themselves the Clergy: Their Lordliness and Avarice. §. 10. Death swallows all §. 11. The way to escape these Evils.

[Page 176] §. 1. To Conclude this great Head of Pride, let us briefly see upon the whole Mat­ter, what is the Character of a Proud Man in himself, and in divers Relations and Capa­cities. A Proud Man then is a kind of Glutton upon himself; for he is never satisfied with loving and admiring himself; whilst nothing else, with him, is worthy either of Love or Care: If good e­nough to be the Servant of his Will, 'tis as much as he can find in his Heart to allow: As if he had been only made for himself, or rather that he had made himself. For as he despises Man, because he cannot abide an Equal, so he does not love God, because he would not have a Superior: He cannot bear to owe his Being to another, lest he should thereby acknowledge One above himself. He is one that is mighty big with the Honour of his Ancestors, but not of the Vertue that brought them to it; much less will he trouble himself to im­itate them. He can tell you of his Pedigree, his Antiquity, what Estate, what Matches, but forgets that they are gone, and that he must die too.

§. II. But how troublesome a Companion is proud Man! Ever Positive and Controuling; and if you yield not, Insolent and Quarrelsom: Yet at the Up­shot of the Matter, Cowardly: But if strongest, Cruel. He has no Bowels of Adversity, as if it were below him to be sensible: He feels no [...] of other Men's Miseries, than if he were not a Man, or it were a Sin to be sensible. For not feeling [Page 177] himself interested, he looks no further: He will not disquiet his Thoughts with other Men's Infelicities: It shall content him to believe they are Just: And he had rather Churlishly upbraid them as the Cause, than be ready to Commiserate or Relieve them. So that Compassion and Charity are with him as useless, as Humility and Meekness are hateful.

§. III. A Proud Person makes an ill Child, Ser­vant and Subject: He contemns his Parents, Mas­ter and Prince: He will not be Subject. He thinks himself too wise, or too old, to be directed; as if it were a slavish Thing to obey; and that none were free, that may not do what they please; which turns Duty out of Doors, and degrades Authority. On the other hand, if it be an Husband, or Father, or Master, there is scarcely any enduring. He is so insufferable Curious and Testy, that 'tis an Affliction to live with him: For hardly can any Hand carry it even enough to please him. Some Piccadillio about his Clothes, his Diet, his Lodging or Attendance, quite disorders him: But especially if he fancies any Want in the State and Respect he looks for. Thus Pride destroys the Nature of Relations: On the one side, it learns to contemn Duty; and on the other side, it turns Love into Fear, and makes the Wife a Ser­vant, and the Children and Servants, Slaves.

§. IV. But the proud Man makes an ill Neigh­bour too; for he is an Enemy to Hospitality: He despises to receive Kindness, because he would not shew any, nor be thought to need it. Besides, it [Page 178] looks too Equal and Familiar for his Haughty Hu­mour. Emulation and Detraction are his Element; for he is jealous of Attributing any Praise to others, where Just, left that should cloud and lessen him to whom it never could be due: He is the Man that fears, what he should wish, to wit, That others should do well. But that is not all; he maliciously miscalls their Acts of Virtue, which his Corruptions will not let him imitate, that they may get no Credit by them. If he wants any Occasion of doing Mis­chief, he can make one; either, they use him ill, or have some Design upon him; t'other Day they paid him not the Cap and Knee; the Distance and Respect he thinks his Quality, Parts or Merits do require. A small Thing serves a proud Man to pick a Quarrel; Of all Creatures the most Jealous, Sul­len, Spightful and Revengeful: He can no more forgive an Injury, than forbear to do one.

§. V. Nor is this all; a proud Man can never be a Friend to any Body. For besides that his Am­bition may always be brib'd by Honour and Prefer­ment to betray that Relation, he is unconversible; He must not be Catechis'd and Counsel'd, much less Reprov'd or Contradicted: No, he is too co­vetous of himself to spare another Man a share, and much too High, Stiff, and Touchy: He will not away with those Freedoms that a Real Friendship re­quires. To say true, he contemns the Character; it is by too much familiar and humble for him: His Mighty Soul would know nothing besides himself [Page 179] and Vassals to stock the World. He values o­ther Men as we do Cattel, for their Service only; and if he could, would use them so; but as it hap­pens, the Number and Force are Unequal.

§. VI. But a Proud Man in Power is very Mis­chievous; for his Pride is the more dangerous by his Greatness, since from Ambition in private men, it be­comes Tyranny in them: It would Reign alone; nay, live so, rather than have Competitors: Aut Caesar, out Nullus. Reason must not check it, nor Rules of Law limit it; and either it can do no Wrong, or 'tis Sedition to Complain of the Wrong that it does. The men of this Temper would have no­thing thought Amiss they do; at least, they count it dangerous to allow it to be so, though so it be; for that would Imply they had Erred, which it is always matter of State to deny. No, they will ra­ther chuse to Perish obstinately, than by acknow­ledging, yield away the Reputation of better Judg­ing to Inferiors; though it were their Prudence to do so. And indeed, 'tis all the satisfaction that Proud Great men make to the World for the Mi­series they often bring upon it, that, first or last, upon a Division, they leave their real Interest to fol­low some one Excess of humour, and are almost ever destroyed by it. This is the End Pride gives proud men, and the Ruin it brings upon them, after it has punisht others by them.

§. VII. But above all things, Pride is Intolerable in Men pretending to Religion; and, of them, in [Page 180] Ministers; for they are Names of the greatest Con­tradiction. I speak without Respect, or Anger to Persons or Parties; for I only touch upon the Bad of All. What shall Pride do with Religion, That Rebukes it? or Ambition with Ministers, whose very Office is Humility? And yet there are but too many of them, That, besides an Equal Guilt with others in the fleshly Pride of the World, are even proud of that Name and Office, which ought al­ways to mind them of Self-denial. Yea, they use it as the Beggars do the Name of God and Christ, only to get by it: Placing to their own Account the Advantages of that Reverend Profession, and thereby making their Function but a Politick Han­dle to raise themselves to the Great Preferments of the World. But O then! how can such be His Ministers, that said, My Kingdom is not of this World? Who, of Mankind, more Self-conceited than these Men? If Contradicted, as Arrogant and Angry, as if it were their Calling to be so. Counsel one of them, he Scorns you; Reprove him, and he is al­most ready to Excommunicate you. I am a Minister and an Elder: Flying thither to secure himself from the reach of Just Censure, which indeed exposes him but the more to it: And therefore his Fault can­not be the Less, by how much 'tis worse in a Mini­ster to do Ill, and Spurn at Reproof, than an Ordi­nary Man.

§. VIII. O but he pleads an Exemption by his Office! What I shall he Breed up Chickens to pick [Page 181] out his own Eyes? Be Rebuked or Instructed by a Lay-man, or Parishioner! A man of less Age, Learn­ing or Ability! No such matter: He would have us believe that his Ministerial Prerogative has placed him out of the Reach of Popular Impeachment. He is not subject to Vulgar Judgments. Even Questions about Religion are Schism: Believe as he says: 'Tis not for you to pry so curiously into the Mysteries of Religion: Never good day since Lay­men medled so much with the Ministers Office. Not considering, poor Man, that the contrary is most true; Not many good days since Ministers medled so much in Lay-mens business. Though perhaps there is little reason for the Distinction, besides Spi­ritual Gifts, and the Improvement of them by a di­ligent use of them for the Good of others.

Such good sayings as these, ‘Be ready to Teach, Answer with Meekness: Let every man speak as of the Gift of God, that is in him: If any thing be revealed to him that fits by, let the first hold his Peace; Be not Lords over God's Heritage, but Meek and Lowly; Washing the Feet of the People, as Jesus did those of his poor Disciples;’ * are Unreasonable and Antiquated Instructions with some Clergy, and little less than Heresie to remem­ber them of these things: To be sure, a Mark of great Dis-affection to the Church in their Opinion. For by this time their Pride has made them the Church, and the People but the Porch at best: A [Page 182] Cypher that signifies nothing, unless They clap their Figure before it: Forgetting, that if they were as good as they should be, they could be but Ministers, Stewards and Under Shepherds; that is, Servants to the Church, Family, Flock and Heritage of God; and not that they are that Church, Family, Flock and Heritage which they are only Servants unto. Remember the Words of Christ, Let him that would be greatest, be your Servant.

§. IX. There is but one place to be found in the holy Scripture, where the word Clerus (kleros) can properly be applied to the Church, and they have got it to themselves; From thence they call themselves the Clergy, that is, the Inheritance or Heritage of God Whereas Peter exhorts the Ministers of the Gospel, ‘Not to be Lords over God's Heritage, nor to feed them for filthy Lucre.* Peter (be like) fore­saw Pride and Avarice to be the Ministers Tempta­tions; and indeed they have often proved their Fall: And to say true, they could hardly fall by worse. Nor is there any excuse to be made for them in these two Respects, which is not worse than their Sin. For if they have not been Lords over God's Heritage, it is because they have made themselves that Heri­tage, and Dis-inherited the People: So that now they may be the Peoples Lords with a Salvo to good Old Peter's Exhortation.

And for the other Sin of Avarice they can only avoid it, and speak Truth, thus, that never feeding the [Page 183] Flock, They cannot be said to feed it for Lucre: That is, They get the Peoples Money for Nothing. An Example of which is given us by the Complaint of God himself from the Practice of the Proud, Covetous false Prophets of Old, That the People gave their Money for that which was not Bread, and their Labour for that which did not profit them:’ And why? Because then the Priest had no Vision; and too many now despise it.

§. X. But alas! when all is done, what Folly, as well as Irreligion, is there in Pride! It cannot add one Cubit to any mans Stature: What Crosses can it hinder? What Disappointments help, or harm frus­trate? It delivers not from the Common Stroke; Sickness Disfigures, Pain Mis-shapes, and Death Ends the Proud Man's Fabrick. Six Foot of Cold Earth bounds his big Thoughts; and his Person, that was too good for any place, must at last lodge within the strait limits of so little and so dark a Cave: And who thought nothing well enough for him, is quickly the Entertainment of the lowest of all Ani­mals, even Worms themselves. Thus Pride and Pomp come to the Common End: but with this difference, less Pity from the Living, and more Pain to the Dying. The Proud Man's Antiquity cannot secure him from Death, nor his Heraldry from Judg­ment. Titles of Honour vanish at this Extremity, and no Power or Wealth; no Distance or Respect can rescue or insure them. As the Tree falls, it lies; and as Death leaves men, Judgment finds them:

[Page 184] §. XI. O, what can Prevent this Ill Conclusion? And what can Remedy this Woful Declension from Ancient Meekness, Humility and Piety, and that Godly Life and Power which were so Conspicuous in the Authority of the Preachings and Examples of the Living of the first and Purest Ages of Christian­ity! Truly, nothing but an Inward and Sincere Ex­amination by the Testimony of the holy Light and Spirit of Jesus, of the Condition of their Souls and Minds towards Christ, and a better Inquiry into the Matter and Examples of holy Record. 'Twas his Complaint of old, ‘That Light was come into the World, but Menlov'd Darkness rather than Light, because their deeds were Evil. If thou wouldst be a Child of God and a Believer in Christ, thou must be a Child of Light, O Man! Thou must bring thy Deeds to it, and Examine them by that holy Lamp in thy Soul, which is the Candle of the Lord, that shews thee thy Pride and Arrogancy, and re­proves thy Delight in the vain Fashions of this World. Religion is a Denial of Self; yea, of Self-Religion too. It is a firm Tye or Bond upon the Soul to Ho­liness, whose End is Happiness; for by it men come to see the Lord. The pure in Heart (says Jesus) see God: * He that once comes to bear Christ's Yoke, is not carried away by the Devil's Allurements; he finds Excelling Joys in his Watchfulness and Obedi­ence. If men loved the Cross of Christ his Precepts and Doctrine, they would Cross their own Wills [Page 185] which leads them to break Christ's holy Will, and lose their own Souls, in doing the Devil's. Had A­dam minded that holy Light in Paradise more than the Serpent's Bait, and stayed his mind upon his Cre­ator, the Rewarder of Fidelity, he had seen the Snare of the Enemy, and Resisted him. O do not De­light in that which is Forbidden! Look not upon it, if thou wouldst not be Captivated by it. Bring not the Guilt of Sins of Knowledge upon thy own Soul. Did Christ submit his Will to his Father's, and for the Joy that was set before him, endure the Cross, and despise the shame of a new and untrodden way to Glory [...]? Thou also must submit thy Will to Christ's holy Law and Light in thy Heart and for the Re­ward he sets before thee, to wit, Eternal Life, Endure his Cross, and despise the shame of it. All desire to rejoice with him but few will Suffer with him, or for him. Many are the Companions of his Table; not many of his Abstinence. The Loaves they fol­low, but the Cup of his Agony they leave. 'Tis too Bitter: They like not to drink thereof. And divers will magnifie his Miracles, that are offended at the Ignominy of his Cross. But O Man! As He for thy Salvation, so thou for the Love of Him must Humble thy Self, and be contented to be of No Reputation, that thou mayst follow him, not in a Carnal Formal way of vain Man's Tradition and Prescription, but as the Holy Ghost by the Apostle [...] express it, In the new and living way, which [Page 186] Jesus hath consecrated, that brings all that walk in it, to the Eternal Rest of God*: Whereinto he himself is entred, Who is the Holy and only blessed Re­deemer.

CHAP. XIII.

§. 1. Avarice (the second Capital Lust) its Definition and Di­stinction. §. 2. It Consists in a Desire of unlawful things. §. 3. As in David's Case about Uriah's Wife. §. 4. Also Ahab's about Naboth's Vineyard §. 5. Next, in unlawful Desires of Lawful things. §. 6. Tis Covetousness, a mark of False Prophets. §. 7. A Reproach to Religion. §. 8. An Enemy to Government. §. 9. Treacherous. §. 10. Oppres­sive. §. 11. Judas an Example, §. 12. So Simon Magus. §. 13. Lastly, In Uprofitable hoarding of Money. §. 14. The Covetous Man a Common Evil. §. 15. His Hypocrisie. §. 16. Gold his God. §. 17. He is sparing to Death. §. 18. Is reprov'd by Christ and his Followers. §. 19. Annanias and Saphira's Sin and Judgment. §. 20. William Tindal's Dis­course on that subject referred unto. §. 21. Peter Charron's Testimony against it. §. 22. Abraham Cowley's witty and sharp Satyr upon it.

§. 1. I Am come to the second part of this Dis­course, which is Avarice or Coveiousness, an Epidemical and a raging Distemper in the World, attended with all the Mischiefs that can make men miserable in themselves, and in Society; So near a kin to the foregoing Evil, Pride, that they are seldom apart: Liberality being almost as hateful to the Proud, as to the Covetous. I shall define it thus: Covetousness is the Love of Money or Riches: which (as the Apostle hath it) is the Root of all Evil . [Page 187] It brancheth it self into these three parts; 1st, Desir­ing of Unlawful Things, 2dly, Unlawfully desiring of Lawful Things. And Lastly, Hoarding up, or unprofitably withholding the Benefit of them from the Relief of private Persons, or the Publick. I shall first deliver the sense of Scripture, and what Examples are therein afforded against this Impiety: And next, my own Reasons, with some Authorities from Authors of Credit. By which it will appear, That the work­ing of the Love of Riches out of the Hearts of Peo­ple, is as much the Business of the Cross of Christ, as any one Sin that Man is fallen into.

§. II. And First, of Desiring or Coveting of un­lawful things: It is expresly Forbidden by God him­self, in the Law he delivered to Moses upon Mount Sinai, for a Rule to his People, the Jews, to walk by: Thou Shalt not Covet (Saith God) thy Neighbours House: Thou shalt not Covet thy Neighbours Wife, nor his Man-Servant, nor his Maid servant, nor his Ox, nor his Ass, nor Any Thing that is thy Neighbours. This God confirmed by Thunderings and Lightnings, and other sensible Solemnities, to strike the People with more Awe in receiving and keeping of it, and to make the Breach of these moral Precepts more Terrible to them. Micah complains full mouth'd in his time, They covet Fields, and take them by Violence;* but their End was Misery. Therefore was it said of old, Wo to them that covet an evil Covetousness. This is to our point. We have many remarkable Instances of [Page 188] this in Scripture; two of which I will briefly report.

§. III. David, though otherwise a good Man, by Unwatchfulness is taken; the Beauty of Uriah's Wife was too hard for him, being disarm'd and off from his Spiritual Watch. There was no Disswa­sive would do: Uriah must be put upon a Despe­rate Service, where it was great odds if he survived it. This was to hasten the Unlawful Satisfaction of his Desires by a way that look'd not like direct Murder. The Contrivance took; Uriah is kill'd, and his Wife is quickly David's. This interpreted David's Covetousness. But went it off so? No, David had sharp Sawce with his Meat.* ‘His Pleasure soon turn'd to Anguish and Bitterness of Spirit: His Soul was overwhelmed with Sorrow: The Waves went o­ver his head: He was consumed within him: He was stuck in the Mire and Clay; He cryed, He wept; Yea, his Eyes were as a Fountain of Tears. Guiltiness was upon him, and he must be purged; his Sins washt white as Snow, that were as red as Crimson, or he is undone for ever?’ His Repentance prevail'd: Behold, what Work this part of Covetousness makes! What Evil, what Sorrow! Oh that the People of this Covetousness would let the sense of David's Sorrows sink deep into their Souls, that they might come to David's Salvation! Restore me, saith that good Man: It seems he once knew a Better State: Yes, and this may teach the better sort to Fear, and stand in Awe [Page 189] too, left they Sin, and Fall. For David was taken at a Disadvantage: He was off his Watch, and gone from the Cross: The Law was not his Lamp and Light, at that instant: He was a Wanderer from his Safety, his Strong Tower, and so surprised: Then and There it was the Enemy met him, and vanquish'd him.

§. IV. The Second Instance is that of Naboth's Vineyard: It was coveted by Ahab and Jezabel: That which led them to such an Unlawful Desire, found means to accomplish it. Naboth must Die, for he would not fell it. To do it, they accuse the Innocent Man of Blasphemy, and find two Knights of the Post, Sons of Belial, to Evidence against him. Thus, in the Name of God, and in shew of pure Zeal to his Glory, Naboth must Die; and accord­ingly was Stoned to Death. The News of which coming to Jezabel, she bid Ahab arise and take Pos­session, for Naboth was Dead: But God follow'd both of them with his fierce Vengeance. In the place where the Dogs licked the Blood of Naboth, (faith E­lijah in the Name of the Lord) shall Dogs lick thy Blood; even thine; and I will bring Evil upon thee, and take away thy Posterity: And of Jezabel (his Wife and Partner in this Covetousness and Murder, he adds) the Dogs shall cat her Flesh by the Walls of Jezreel. Here is the Infamy and Punishment due to this Part of Covetousness. Let this deter those that Desire unlawful things; the Rights of others: For God, that is Just, will certainly repay such with [Page 190] Interest in the End. But perhaps these are Few; either that they don't, or dare not shew it, because the Law will bite if they do. But the Next part hath company Enough, that will yet exclaim against the Iniquity of this part of Covetousness; and by their seeming Abhorrence of it, would excuse them­selves of all Guilt in the rest: Let us consider that.

§. V. The Next, and most common part of Co­vetousness is, The unlawful desires of Lawful things, especially of Riches. Money is Lawful, but the Love of it is the Root of all Evil, if the man of God say true. So Riches are Lawful, but they that pursue them Fall into divers Temptations, Snares & Lusts; if the same good Man say right. He calls them Uncertain, to shew their Folly and Danger, that set their Hearts upon them. Covetousness is hateful to God: He hath denounced great Judgments up­on those that are Guilty of it. God charged it on Israel of old, as one of the Reasons of his Judgments; ‘For the Iniquity of his Covetousness (saith God*) was I wroth, and smote him. In another place, Every one is given to Covetousness; and from the Prophet to the Priest every one dealeth falsly; Therefore will I give their Wives unto others, and their Fields to them that shall inherit them.’ In another place God complained thus: ‘But thine Eyes and thy Heart are for nought but thy Cove­tousness. By Ezekiel God renews and repeats his complaint against their Covetousness: ‘And they [Page 191] come to thee as thy People, and fit before thee as thy People: They hear thy Words, but will not do them; with their Mouths they shew much Love, but their Hearts go after Covetousness. There­fore God in the choice of Magistrates, made it part of their Qualification to hate Covetousness; foreseeing the Mischief that would follow to that So­ciety or Government were covetous Men were in Power; that Self would byass them, and they would seek their own Ends at the Cost of the Publick. David rejoiced, That his Heart inclined not to Co­vetousness; but to the Testimonies of his God. And the Wise Man expresly tells us,* that He that hateth Covetousness shall prolong his Days; making a Curse to follow it. And it is by Luke charg'd upon the Pharisees as a Mark of their Wickedness. And Christ, in that Evangelists, bids his Followers, Take heed and beware of Covetousness: And he giveth a Reason for it, that carrieth a most excellent Instruction in it; For (faith he) A Man's Life consisteth not in the Abundance of the things which he possesseth: But he goeth further; He joyns Covetousness with A­dultery, Murder and Blasphemy. No wonder then if the Apostle Paul is so liberal in his censure of this Evil: He placeth it with all Unrighteousness, to the Romans: To the Ephesians he writeth the like; and addeth,** Let not Covetousness be so much as named among you: And bids the Colossians, |||| Mortify [Page 192] their Members; and names several Sins, as For­nication, Uncleanness, and such like, but ends with Covetousness; with this at the [...]ail of it, which (faith he) is Idolatry. And we know there is not a greater offence against God: Nay, this very Apostle calls it ‘The Root of all Evil; which (saith he) whilst some have Coveted after, they have Erred from the Faith, and Pierced themselves through with di­vers Sorrows: For they that will be rich, fall into Temptation, and a Snare, and many foolish and hurtful Lusts. O Man of God (saith he to his beloved Friend Timothy) flee these things, and follow after Righ­teousness, Faith, Love, Patience and Meekness.’

§. VI. Peter was of the same mind* for he maketh Covetousness to be one of the great Marks of the false Prophets and Teachers, that should arise among the Christians; and by that they might know them; who, saith he, through Covetousness shall with seigned words, make Merchandise of you. To conclude, Therefore the Author to the Hebrews, at the end of this Epistle, leaves this (with other things) not without great Zeal and Weight upon them: Let, saith he, your Conversation be without Covetous­ness (he rests not in this generality, but goes on) and be Content with such things as you have; for God hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. What then? Must we conclude that those who are not Content, but seek to be Rich, have forsaken God? The conclusion seems hard; but yet it is natural: [Page 193] For such, 'tis plain, are not Content with what they have; they would have more; they covet to be Rich, if they may: They live not with those Dependance and Regards to Providence, to which they are exhorted: Nor is Godliness with Content, great Gain to them.

§. VII. And truly it is a Reproach to a Man, es­pecially the Religious Man, that He knows not when he hath enough; when to leave off; when to be satisfied: That notwithstanding God sends him one plentiful Season of Gain after another, He is so far from making that the cause of withdrawing from the Trafficks of the World, that he makes it a reason of Lanching further into it: As if the more he hath, the more he may. He therefore reneweth his Appe­tite, bestirs himself more than ever, that he may have his share in the Scramble, while any thing is to be got: This is as if Cumber, not Retirement; and Gain, not Content, were the Duty and Comfort of a Christian. Oh that this thing were better consi­der'd! For by not being so observable, nor obnoxi­ous to the Law, as other vices are, there is the more Danger for want of that Check. 'Tis plain that most people strive not for Substance, but Wealth. Some there be that love it strongly, and spend it li­berally when they have got it. Though this be Sinful, yet more commendable than To love Money for Money's sake That is one of the basest Passions the Mind of Man can be captivated with: A perfect Lust; and a greater, and more Soul-defiling one [Page 194] there is not in the whole Catalogue of Concupiscence. Which consider'd, should quicker People into a se­rious Examination, how far this Temptation of Love of Money hath entred them; and the rather, because the steps it maketh into the Mind, are almost insen­sible, which renders the Danger greater. Thousands think themselves unconcern'd in the Caution, that yet are perfectly Guilty of the Evil. How can it be otherwise, when those that have, from a low Condi­tion, acquired Thousands, labour yet to advance, yea, double and Treble those Thousands; and that with the same Care and Contrivance by which they got them. Is this to live comfortably, or to be Rich? Do we not see how early they rise; how late they go to Bed? How full of the Change, the Shop, the Warehouse, the Custom-house; of Bills, Bonds, Charter-Parties; &c. they are? Running up and down, as if it were to save the Life of a condemned Innocent. An Insatiable Lust, and therein ungrateful to God, as well as hurtful to Men, who giveth it to them to use, and not to love: That's the Abuse. And if this Care, Contrivance and Industry, and that continually, be not from the Love of Money, in those that have ten times more than they began with, and much more than they spend or need, I know not what Testimony Man can give of his Love to any thing.

§. VIII, To conclude, It is an Enemy to Govern­ment in Magistrates; for it tends to corruption. Wherefore those that God ordained were such as [Page 195] Feared him, and hated Covetousness. Next it hurts Society; for old Traders keep the young ones poor: And the great reason why some have too little, and so forced to drudge like Slaves to feed their Families, and keep their Chin above Water is, because The Rich hold fast and press to be Richer, and covet more, which dries up the little Streams of profit from smaller Folks. There should be a Standard, both as to the Value and Time of Traffick; and then the Trade of the Master to be shared among his Ser­vants that deserve it. This were both to help the Young to get their Livelihood, and to give the Old, time to think of leaving this World well, in which they have been so busy, that they might obtain a share in the other, of which they have been so careless.

§. IX. There is yet another Mischief to Govern­ment, for Covetousness leads Men to abuse and de­fraud it, by Concealing or Falsifying the Goods they deal in: As Bringing in forbidden Goods by stealth; or lawful Goods, so as to avoid the payment of Dues, or owning the Goods of Enemies for Gain; or that they are not well made, or full Measure; With abundance of that sort of Deceit.

§. X. But Covetousness has caused destructive Feuds in Families: For Estates falling into the hands of those, whose Avarice has put them upon drawing greater Profit to themselves, than was consistent with Justice, has given Birth to much trouble, and caused great Oppression. It too often falling out that such Executors have kept the right Owners out of Pos­session with the Money they should pay them.

[Page 196] §. XI. But this is not all; for Covetousness be­trays Friendship: A Bribe cannot be better placed to do an ill thing, or undo a Man. Nay, it is a Murderer too often both of Soul and Body: Of the Soul, because it kills that Life it should have in God: Where Money masters the Mind, it ex­tinguishes all Love to better things: Of the Body, for it will kill for Money, by Assassinations, Poisons, false Witness, &c. I shall end this Head of Cove­tousness, with the Sin and Doom of two Covetous Men, Judas and Simon Magus.

Judas's Religion fell in Thorny Ground: Love of Money choaked him. Pride and Anger in the Jews endeavoured to Murder Christ; but till Co­vetousness set her hand to effect it, they were all at a loss. They found Judas had the Bag, and pro­bably lov'd Money; they would try him, and did. The Price was set, and Judas betrays his Master, his Lord (that never did him wrong) into the hands of his most cruel Adversaries. But to do him right, he returned the Money; and to be revenged of himself, was his own Hang-man. A wicked Act, a wick­ed End. Come on, you Covetous! What say you now to Brother Judas? Was he not an ill Man? Did he not very Wickedly? Yes, yes: Would you have done so? No, no, By no means. Very well; but so said those evil Jews of Stoning the Prophets, and that yet crucified the beloved Son of God; he that came to save them and would have done it, if they had received him, and not rejected the day of [Page 197] their Visitation. Rub your Eyes well, for the dust is got into them; and carefully read in your own Consciences, and see, if, out of love to Money, you have not betray'd the Just One in yourselves, and so are Brethren with Judas in Iniquity. I speak for God against an Idol; Bear with me! Have you not resisted, yea, quenched, many times, the good Spirit of Christ, in your pursuit after your beloved Wealth? Examine your selves, try your selves; know you not your own selves, that if Christ dwell not (if he rule not, and be not above all beloved) in you, you are Repro­bates; in an undone condition.

§. XII. The other covetous Man is Simon Magus, * a Believer too; But his Faith could not go deep e­nough for Covetousness. He would have driven a Bargain with Peter; So much Money, for So much Holy Ghost, that he might sell it again, and make a good Trade of it; corruptly measuring Peter by himself, as if he had only had a better Knack of Couzening the People than himself, who had set up in Samaria for the great Power of God, before the Power of God in Philip and Peter undeceived the People. But what was Peter's Answer and Judg­ment? ‘Thy Money (says he) perish with thee, thou hast neither Part nor Lot in this matter: Thou art in the Gall of Bitterness, and in the Bond of Iniqui­ty;’ A dismal Sentence. Besides, it tends to Lux­ury, and rises often out of it: For from having much, they spend much, and so become poor by Luxury: [Page 198] Such are covetous to get, to spend more, which Tem­perance would prevent. For if Men would not, or could not by good Laws well Executed, and a better Education, be so Lavish in their Tables, Houses, Furniture, Apparel and Gaming, there would be no such Temptation to covet earnestly after what they could not; For there is but here and there a Miser, that loves Money for Money's sake:-

§. XIII. Which leads to the last and basest part of Covetousness, which is yet the most fordid, to wit, Hoarding up, or keeping Money unprofitably both to o­thers and themselves too. This is Solomon's Miser, that is Rich, and hath nothing: A great Sin in the sight of God. He complained of such,* as had Stored up the labours of the Poor in their Houses; he calls it their Spoils, and that it is A grinding of the Poor, because they see it not again . But he blesseth those that consider the Poor; and commandeth every one To open freely to his Brother that is in need; not only [...]e that is spiritually but naturally so; and not to withhold his gift from the Poor. The Apostle chargeth Timothy in the sight of God, and before Je­sus Christ, ‘That he fail not to charge them that are Rich in this World, that they trust not in their uncertain Riches, but in the living God, who giv­eth liberally; and that they do good with them, that they may be Rich in good works.’ Riches are apt to corrupt; and that which keeps them sweet and best, is Charity: He that uses them not, gets them [Page 199] not for the end for which they are given; but loves them for themselves, not their Service. The Avari­cious is Poor in his Wealth. He wants for fear of spending; and encreases his fear with his hope, which is Gain; and so tortures himself with his Pleasure: The most like to the Man that hid his Talent in a Napkin, of all others; for this Man's Talents are hid in his bags out of sight, in Vaults, under Boards, behind Wainscots; else upon Bonds and Mortages, growing but as under Ground; for it doth good to none.

§. XIV. This Covetous Man is a Monster in na­ture; for he has no Bowels, and is like the Poles, always cold. An Enemy to the State, for he spirits their Money away: A Disease to the Body Politick, for he obstructs the Circulation of the Blood, and ought to be removed by a Purge of the Law: For these are Vices at heart, that destroy by whole-sale. The Covetous, he hates all useful Arts and Sciences as vain, left they should cost him something the learning: Wherefore Ingenuity has no more place in his Mind, than in his Pocket. He lets Houses fall, and High-ways poch, to prevent the charge of Repairs: And for his spare Diet, plain Cloaths, and mean Furniture, he would place them to the Account of Moderation. O Monster of a Man! that can take up the Cross for Covetousness, and not for Christ.

§. XV. But he pretends Negatively to some Re­ligion too; for he always rails at Prodigality, the better to cover his Avarice. If you would bestow a Box of Spikenard on a good Man's Head, to have [Page 200] Money and shew Righteous, he tells you of the poor; But if the Poor come, he excuses his want of Chari­ty with the unworthiness of the Object, or the causes of his Poverty, or that he can bestow his Money up­on those that deserve it better; who rarely opens his Purse till Quarter-day, for fear of losing it.

§. XVI. But he is more Miserable than the Poor­est: For he enjoys not what he yet fears to lose; they fear not what they don't enjoy. Thus is he Poor by overvaluing his Wealth; but he is wretched, that hungers with Money in his Pocket in a Cook's­Shop: Yet having made a God of his Gold, who knows but he thinks it unnatural to Eat what he Worships?

§. XVII. But, which aggravates this Sin, I have my self once known some, that to get Money, have wearied themselves into the Grave; and to be true to their Principle, when Sick, would not spare a Fee to a Doctor, to help the poor Slave to live; and so died to save charges: A constancy, that canonizes them Martyrs for Money.

§. XVIII. But now let us see what Instances the Scripture will give us in reproof of the fordid Hoar­ders and Hiders of Money. A good-like Young­Man came to Christ, and enquired the way to E­ternal Life: Christ told him, He knew the Com­mandments: he reply'd, He had kept them from his Youth (it seems he was no loose person, and indeed such are usually not so, to save charges) And yet lackest thou one thing, saith Christ, Sell all, distribute [Page 201] it to the Poor, and thou shall have Treasure in Hea­ven, and come and follow me. It seems Christ pinch'd him in the fore place; he hit the mark, and struck him to the Heart, who knew his Heart: By this he tryed how well he had kept the Commandments, To love God above all. 'Tis said, The Young-man was very sorrowful, and went his way; and the Reason which is given, is, That he was very rich. The Tides met, Money and Eternal Life: contrary Desires: But which prevailed? Alas! his Riches. But what said Christ to this? How hardly shall they that have Riches enter into the Kingdom of God? He adds, It is easier for a Camel to go through a Needle's Eye, than for a Rich Man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven: That is, such a Rich man, to wit a covetous man, to whom it is hard to do good with what he has: 'Tis more than an Ordinary Miracle. O who then would be Rich and covetous! 'T was upon these rich men, that Christ pronounced his Woe, saying, We unto you that are Rich, for ye have received your consolati­on here: What! None in the Heavens? No, Un­less you become willing to be Poor-men, can resign all, live loose to the World, have it at Arms End, yea, under Foot, a Servant and not a Master.

§. XIX. The other Instance is a very dismal one too: 'Tis that of Annanias and Sapphira. In the beginning of Apostolick times it was customary for those who received the Word of Life, to bring what substance they had, and lay it at the Apostles Feet: of these Joses, Sirnamed Barnabas, was exemplary. [Page 202] Among the rest, Annanias and his Wife Saphir [...], confessing to the Truth, sold their Possession, but co­vetously reserved some of the Purchase-Money from the common Purse, to themselves; and brought a part for the whole, and laid it at the Apostles feet. But Peter, a plain and a bold man, in the Majesty of the Spirit said, Annanias, why hath Satan filled thine Heart to lye to the Holy Ghost; and to keep back part of the Price of the Land? Whilst it remained, was it not thine own? And after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? Why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? Thou hast not lied unto Men, but unto God. But what followed this Covetousness and Hypo­crisy of Annanias? Why, Annanias hearing these Words, He fell down and gave up the Ghost. The like befel his Wife, being privy to the deceit their A­varice had led them to. And it is said, that great fear came upon all the Church, and those that heard of these things: And also should on those that now read them. For if this Judgment was shewn and record­ed, that we should beware of the like Evils; what will become of those, that under the Profession of Christianity, a religion that teaches Men to live loose from the World, and to yield up all to the Will and Service of Christ and his Kingdom, not only retain a part, but all; and cannot part with the least thing for Christ's sake. I beseech God to encline the Hearts of my Readers to weigh these things. This had not befallen Annanias and Sapphira, if they had acted as in God's presence and with that entire Love, Truth [Page 203] and Sincerity, that became them. O that People would use the Light that Christ has given them to search and see, how far they are under the Power of this Iniquity! For would they but watch against the love of the World, and be less in bondage to the things that are seen which are Temporal, they would begin to set their hearts on things above, that are of an Eternal nature. Their Life would be hid with Christ in God, out of the reach of all the uncertainties of Time, and Troubles and Changes of Mortality. Nay, if People would but consider how Hardly Riches are got, how Uncertainly they are kept, the Envy they bring; that they can neither make a man Wife, nor cure diseases, nor add to Life, much less give Peace in Death: No, nor hardly yield any solid benefit a­bove Food and Raiment (which may be had with­out them) and that if there be any good use for them, 'Tis to relieve others in Distress; being but Stewards of the plentiful Providences of God, and consequently accountable for our Stewardship; If, I say, these considerations had any room in our Minds, we should not thus post to get, nor care to hide, and keep such a mean and impotent thing. O that the Cross of Christ (which is the spirit and power of God in Man) might have more place in the Soul, that it might crucifie us more and more to the World, and the World to us; that like the days of Paradise, the Earth might again be the Footstool and the Treasure of the Earth, a Servant, and not a God to Man!—Many have writ against this Vice; three I will mention.

[Page 204] §. XX. William Tindal, that worthy Apostle of the English Reformation, has an entire Discourse to which I refer the Reader, Entituled, The Parable of the Wicked Mammon. The next is—

§. XXI. Peter Charron (a famous French man, and in particular for the Book he wrote of Wisdom) hath a Chapter against Covetousness, Part of which take as followeth: ‘To love and effect Riches is Co­vetousness: Not only the Love and Affection, but also every over-curious care and industry about Riches. The desire of Goods, and the pleasure we take in possessing of them, is grounded only upon Opini­on: The immoderate desire, to get Riches it is a Gangreen in our Soul, which with a venemous heat consumeth our natural Affections, to the end it might fill us with virulent Humours. So soon as it is lodged in our Hearts, all Honest and Natural Affection, which we owe either to our Parents, or Friends, or our Selves, vanisheth away: All the rest, in respect of our profit, seemeth nothing; yea, we forget in the end, and condemn our Selves, our Bodies, our Minds, for this transitory Trash; and as our Proverb is, We sell our House to get us Hay. Covetousness is the vile and base Passion of vulgar Fools, who account Riches the principal Good of a Man, and fear Poverty, as the greatest Evil; and not contenting themselves with necessary Means, which are forbidden no man, weigh that is good in a Gold-Smith's Ballance, when Nature hath taught us, to measure it by the Ell of Necessity. For, [Page 205] what greater Folly can there be, than to adore that which Nature it self hath put under our Feet and hidden in the Bowels of the Earth, as unworthy to be seen; yea rather to be contemned, and trampled under foot? This is that which the Sin of man hath only torn out of the Entrails of the Earth, and brought unto Light to kill himself. We dig out the Bowels of the Earth, and bring to light those things, for which we would fight: We are not a­shamed to esteem those things most highly, which are in the lowest parts of the Earth. Nature seem­eth even in the first birth of Gold, and the Womb from whence it proceedeth, after a sort, to have presaged the Misery of those that are in love with it; for it hath so ordered the matter, that in those Countries where it groweth, there groweth with it neither Grass, nor Plant, nor other thing that is worth any thing: As giving us to understand thereby, that in those Minds where the desire of this Metal groweth, there cannot remain so much as a spark of true Honour and Vertue. For what thing can be more base, than for a man to degrade, and to make himself a Servant and a Slave to that which should be subject unto him? Riches serve Wise Men, but Command a Fool; for a covetous Man serveth his Riches, and not they him: And he is said to have Goods, as he hath a Feaver, which holdeth and tyrannizeth over a man, not he over it. What thing more vile, than to love that which is not good, neither can make a good man? [Page 206] Yea, is common,& in the possession of the most wic­ked of the world; which many times pervert good Manners, but never amend them? Without which so many wise men have made themselves happy, and by which so many Wicked men have come to a wicked End. To be brief; what thing more mise­rable than to bind the Living to the Dead, as Me­zentius did, to the end their Death might be lan­guishing, and the more cruel, to tie the Spirit unto the Excrement and Scum of the Earth; to pierce through his own Soul with a thousand Torments, which this amorous Passion of Riches brings with it; and to entangle himself with the ties and cords of this malignant thing, as the Scripture calls them, which doth likewise term them Thorns and Thieves, which steal away the heart of Man, Snares of the Devil, Idolatry, and the Root of all Evil. And truly, he that shall see the Catalogue of those En­vies and Molestations, which Riches ingender into the heart of Man, as their proper Thunder-bolt and Lightning, they would be more hated than they are now loved. Poverty wants many things, but Covetousness all: A Covetous man is good to none, and worse to himself.’ Thus much of Char­ron, a wise and great Man. My next Testimony is yielded by an Author not unlikely to take with some sort of People for his Wit; may they equally value his Morality, and the Judgment of his riper time.

§. XXII. Abraham Cowley, a witty and ingenuous man, yieldeth us the other Testimony: Of Avarice, he [Page 207] Writeth thus: ‘There are two sorts of Avarice; the one is but a Bastard-kind, and that is a Rapacious Appetite of Gain; not for its own sake, but for the pleasure of Refunding it immediately through all the Channels of Pride and Luxury. The other is the true kind, and properly so called, which is a restless and unsatiable desire of Riches, not for any further end or use, but only to hoard, and preserve, and perpetually encrease them. The Covetous man of the first kind, is like a greedy Ostridge, which devoureth any Metal; but it is with an intent to feed upon it, and in effect it maketh a shift to digest and excern it. The second is like the foolish Chough, which loveth to steal Money, only to hide it. The first doth much harm to Mankind, and a little good to some few: The second doth good to none, no, not to himself. The first can make no excuse to God or Angels, or rational Men, for his Actions: The second can give no Reason or Colour, not to the Devil himself, for what he doth: He is a Slave to Mammon without Wages. The first maketh a shift to be beloved, ay, and envied too by some people: The second is the Universal Object of ha­tred and contempt. There is no Vice hath been so pelted with good Sentences, and especially by the Poets who have pursued it with Stories and Fables, and Allegories and Allusions, and moved (as we say) every Stone to fling at it; among all which I do not remember a more fine Correction, than that which was given it by one line of Ovid's:

[Page 208] Desunt Luxurio [...] multa, Avaritia omnia.

Which is, Much is wanting to Luxury, All to Ava­rice. To which Saying I have a mind to add one Member, and render it thus: Poverty wants Some, Luxury Many, Avarice All things. Some body saith of a Vertuous & Wise man, that having nothing, be hath All: This is just his Antipode, who having all things, yet hath nothing.

And Oh! What Man's Condition can be worse,
Than this, whom Plenty starves, and Blessings curse?
The Beggars but a Common Fate deplore;
The Rich-poor Man's Emphatically Poor.

‘I wonder how it cometh to pass, that there hath never been any Law made against him: Against him, do I say? I mean For him. As there are Pub­lick Provisions made for all other Madmen, it is very reasonable, that the KING should appoint some Persons to manage his Estate, during his Life (for his Heirs commonly need not that Care) and out of it to make it their business to see that he should not want Alimony befitting his Condition; which he could never get out of his own cruel Fin­gers. We Relieve Idle Vagrants and Counterfeit Beggars, but have no care at all of these really Poor­men; who are, methinks, to be respectfully Trea­ted in regard of their Quality. I might be endless against them; but I am almost choakt with the superabundance of the Matter. Too much Plenty impoverisheth me, as it doth them. Thus much a­gainst Avarice that Moth of the Soul, and Canker of the Mind.’

[Page 209]

CHAP. XIV.

§. 1. Luxury, What it is, and the Mischief of it to Mankind. An Enemy to the Cross of Christ. §. 2. Of Luxury in Diet, how unlike Christ, and contrary to Scripture. §. 3. The Mis­chief it does to the Bodies, as well as Minds of People. §. 4. Of Luxury in the Excess of Apparel, and of Recreations: That Sin brought the first Coat: People not to be proud of the Badge of their misery. §. 5. The Recreations of the times E­nemies to Vertue: They rise from Degeneracy. §. 6. The end of Cloaths allowable; the abuse reprehended. §. 7. The chiefest Recreations of good men of Old was to serve God, and do good to Mankind, and follow honest Vocations, not vain Sports and Pastimes. §. 8. The Heathens know and did better things. The Sobriety of Infidels above Christians. §. 9. Luxury con­demned in the case of Dives. §. 10. The Doctrine of the Scrip­ture positively against a Voluptuous Life.

§. 1. I Am now come to the other Extream, and that is Luxury, which is An excessive Indul­gence of Self in Ease and Pleasure. This is the last great Impiety struck at in this Discourse of the holy Cross of Christ, which indeed is much of the subject of its Mortifying Virtue and Power. A Disease as Epidemical, as Killing: It creeps into all Stations and Ranks of men; the Poorest often exceeding their Ability to indulge their Appetite; and the Rich frequently wallowing in those things, that please the Lusts of their Eye and Flesh, and the Pride of Life: as regardless of the Severe Discipline of Jesus, whom they call Saviour, as if Luxury and not the Cross, were the ordained way to Heaven. What shall we eat, What shall we drink, And what shall we put on? Once the care of Luxurious Heathens, is now the Practice and (which is worse) the Study of pre­tended [Page 210] Christians. But let such be ashamed, and repent; Remembring that Jesus did not reproach the Gentiles for those things, to indulge his Followers in them; they that will have Christ to be Theirs, must be sure to be his, to be like minded to live in Tem­perance and Moderation, as knowing the Lord is at [...]. Sumptuous Apparel, Rich Unguents, Delicate Wastes, Hately Furniture, costly Cockery, and such Di­versions as Balls, Masques, Musick-meetings, Plays, [...] &c. which are the Delight and Enter­tainment of the Times, belong [...] the Holy Path that Jesus and his true Disciples and Followers trod to Glory: No, Through many Tribulations (says none of the least of them) must we enter into the Kingdom of God. I do earnestly beseech these Gay and Lux­urious, into whose hands this Discourse shall be di­rected to consider well the Reasons and Examples here advanced against their Way of living; if haply they may come to see how remote it is from true Christianity and how dangerous to their Eternal Peace. God Almighty by his Grace, soften their Hearts to Instruction, and shed abroad his tender Love in their Souls, that they may be overcome to Repentance, and to the Love of the holy Way of the Cross of Je­sus, the blessed Redeemer of Men. For they can­not think that he can benefit them, while they re­fuse to lay down their Sins for the love of him, that laid down his Life for the Love of them. O [...] that he will give them a place in Heaven, that re­fuse him any in their Hearts on Earth. But let us examine Luxury in [...] parts.

[Page 211] §. II. Luxury has many parts, and the first that is forbidden by the Self-denying Jesus, is the BELLY: Take no thought (says he to his Disciples) saying, What shall we Eat, or what shall we drink?—for after these things do the Gentiles seek: As if he had said, The uncircumcised, the Heathen, such as live without the true God, and make a God of their Belly, whose care is to please their Appetite, more then to seek God and his Kingdom: You must not do so, but seek you first the Kingdom of God, and his Righteousness, and all other things shall be added. That which is con­venient for you, will follow: Let every thing have its time and order.

This carries a serious Reprehension to the Luxu­rious Eater and Drinker, who is taken up with an excessive Care of his Palate and Belly, what shall he Eat, and what he shall Drink: Who being often at a loss what to have next, Therefore has an Officer to [...] and a Cock to dress, disguise and drownd the Species, that it may cheat the Eye, look New and Strange; and all to excite an Appetite, or raise an admiration. To be sure there is great Variety, and that curious and costly: The Sauce, it may be, dearer than the Meat: And so full is he fed, that without it he can scarce find out a Stomach; which is to force an Hunger, rather than to satisfie it.—And as he eats so he drinks; rarely for Thirst but Pleasure; to please his Palate. For that purpose he will have di­vers Sorts, and he must taste them all: One, howe­ver good, is dull and tiresom; Variety is more de­lightful [Page 212] than the Best; & therefore the whole World is little enough to fill his Cellar. But were he tem­perate in his proportions, his Variety might be im­puted rather to Curiosity, than Luxury. But what the Temperate Man uses as a Cordial, He drinks by full Draughts, till enflamed by Excess, he is fitted to be an Instrument of Mischief, if not to others, al­ways to himself; whom perhaps at last he knows not: For such Brutality are some come to, they will Sip themselves out of their own knowledge. This is the Lust of the Flesh, that is not of the Father, but of the World: For upon this comes in the Musick and the Dance, the Mirth and the Laughter, which is Madness, that the Noise of one Pleasure may drown the Iniquity of another, left, his own heart should deal too plainly with him. Thus the Luxu­rious live; They forget God, they regard not the af­flicted. O that the Sons and Daughters of Men would consider their Wantonness and their Iniquity in these things! How ill do they requite the Goodness of God in the use and abuse of the Plenty he yields them; How Cruel are they to his Creatures, how Lavish of their Lives and Vertue, how Thankless for them; Forgetting the Giver and abusing the Gift by their Lusts; and despising Counsel, and casting In­struction behind them. They lose Tenderness, and for­get Duty, being swallowed up of Voluptuousness; adding one excess to another. God rebuked this Sin in the Jews by the Prophet Amos *: ‘Ye that put [Page 213] far away the Evil Day, and cause the seat of Vio­lence to come near; that lie upon Beds of Ivory, and stretch themselves upon their Couches, and eat the Lambs out of the Flock, and the Calves out of the Stall; and chaunt to the sound of the Viol, and invent to themselves Instruments of Musick, like David; that drink Wine in Bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief Ointments: But they are not grieved for the Affliction of Joseph,—These it seems, were the Vices of the degenerate Jews, under all their pretence to Religion; and are they not Chri­stians of this day? Yea they are, and these are the great parts of Luxury struck at in this Discourse. Re­member Dives, with all his Sumptuous fare, went to Hell: And the Apostle pronounces heavy Woes upon those whose God is their Belly; for such glory in their Shame .

Christ Places these things to the Courts of Worldly Kings, not his Kingdom; making them unseemly in his Followers: His Feast therefore (which was his Miracle) to the Multitude, was plain and simple; enough, but without Curiosity, or the Arts of Cookery: And it went down well, for they were Hun­gry: the best and fittest time to eat. And the A­postle in his directions to his much beloved Timothy, debases the Lovers of Worldly Fulness; advising him to Godliness and Content, as the chiefest Gain: Adding, And having Food and Raiment, let us there­with be content *. Behold the Abstemious, and most [Page 214] contented Life of those Royal Pilgrims, the Sons of Heaven, and immortal Off-spring of the great Power of God! They were in Fasts and Perils often, and eat what was set before them; and in all Conditions learned to be Contented. O Blessed Men! O Blessed Spirits! let my Soul dwell with yours for ever!

§. III. But the Diseases which Luxury begets and nourishes, makes it an Enemy to Mankind: For be­sides the Mischief it brings to the Souls of People, it undermines Health and shortens the Life of Man, in that it gives but ill Nourishment, and so leaves and feeds corrupt Humours, whereby the Body becomes Rank and Foul, Lazy and Scorbutick; unfit for Exercise, and more for honest Labour. The Spirits being thus loaded with Ill Flesh, and the Mind effe­minated, a man is made Unactive, and so Unuseful in Civil Society; for Idleness follows Luxury, as well as Diseases. These are the Burdens of the World, Devourers of good things, Self-Lovers, & so Forgetters of God: But( which is sad and yet just) the end of those that forget God, is to be turned into Hell.

§. IV. But there is another part of Luxury, which has great place with vain Man and Woman, and that is the Gorgeousness of Apparel, one of the Foolishest, because most Costly, Empty, and Unprofitable, Ex­cess People can well be guilty of. We are taught by the Scriptures of Truth to believe, that Sin bro't the first Coat; and if consent of Writers be of force, [...] was as well without as within: To those that so [...] my Discourse because they, I am [Page 215] sure are the generality. I say, if Sin, brought the first Coat, poor Adam's Off-spring have little reason to be proud or curious in their Clothes; for it seems their Original was Base, and the Finery of them will neither make them Noble, nor Man Innocent again. But doubtless blessed was that time, when Innocence, not Ignorance, freed our first Parents from such shifts: They were then naked, and knew no Shame; but Sin made them ashamed to be longer Naked. Since therefore Guilt brought Shame, and Shame an Apron and a Coat, how very low are they fallen that glory in their Shame, that are proud of their Fall? For so they are, that use Care and Cost to trim and set off the very Badge and Livery of that lamentable Lapse. It is all one, as for a man that had lost his Nose by a Scandalous Distemper, to take pains to set out a false one, in such shape and splendor, as should give but the greater occasion for all to gaze upon him, as if he would tell them, he had lost his Nose, for fear they should think he had not. But would a wise man be in love with a false Nose, tho' never so rich, and however finely made? Surely no: And shall People that call themselves Christians, shew so much love for Clothes, as to neglect Innocence, their first Clothing? Doth it not shew what cost of time, pains and Money People are at, to set off their Shame, with the greatest shew and solemnity of Folly? Is it not to delight in the effect of that Cause, which they rather should lament? If a Thief were to wear Chains all his Life, would their being Gold, and well made, [Page 216] abate his Infamy? To be sure his being choice of them, would encrease it. Why, this is the very case of the vain Fashion-Mongers of this shameless Age; yet will they be Christians, Judges in Religion, Saints, what not? O miserable state indeed! To be so blinded by the Lust of the Eye, the Lust of the Flesh, and Pride of Life, as to call Shame Decency, and to be curious and expensive about that which should be their Humiliation. And not only are they grown in love with these Vanities, and thereby express how wide they are from Primitive Innocence; but its Notorious how many Fashions have been, and are invented on purpose to excite Lust: Which still puts them at a greater distance from a simple and harmless state, and enslaves their Minds to base Concupiscence.

§. V. Nor is it otherwise with Recreations, as they call them; for these are nearly related. Man was made a Noble, Rational, Grave Creature: His Plea­sure stood in his Duty, and his Duty in Obeying God; which was to Love, Fear, Adore and Serve Him; and in using the Creation with true Temperance and godly Moderation; as knowing well that the Lord, his Judge, was at hand, the Inspector and Reward of his works. In short, his Happiness was in his Communion with God; his Error was to leave that Conversation, and let his Eyes wander abroad to gaze on Transitory things. If the Recreations of the Age were as pleasant and necessary, as they are said and made to be, Unhappy then would Adam and Eve have been, that never knew them. But had [Page 217] they never fallen, and the World been tainted by their Folly and ill Example, perhaps Man had never known the necessity or use of many of these things. Sin gave them Birth, as it did the other; They were afraid of the Presence of the Lord, which was the joy of their Innocency, when they had sinned; and then their Minds wandered, sought other Pleasures, and began to forget God; as he complained after­wards by the Prophet Amos, ‘They put far a­way the Evil Day: They eat the fat of the Flock: They drink Wine in Bowls: They anoint themselves with the chief Persumes: They stretch themselves up­on Beds of Ivory: They chaunt to the found of the Viol, & invent unto themselves Instruments of Mu­sick, like David, not heeding or remembring the Afflictions and Captivity of poor Joseph; Him they wickedly sold, Innocency quite banished and Shame soon began to grow a Custom, till they were grown Shameless in the Imitation. And truly, its now not less a shame to approach primitive Inno­cence by modest Plainness, than it was matter of shame to Adam, that he lost it, and became forc­ed to tack Fig leaves for a covering. Where­fore in vain do Men and Women deck themselves with specious pretences to Religion, and flatter their miserable Souls with the fair Titles of Christian, In­nocent, Good, Virtuous and the like, whilst such Va­nities and Follies reign. Wherefore to you all, from the Eternal God, I am bound to declare, You mock him that will not be mocked, and deceive your [Page 218] selves; * such intemperance must be denied, and you must know your selves changed, and more nearly ap­proached to primitive Purity, before you can be en­tituled to what you do but now usurp; for none but those who are led by the Spirit of God, are the Chil­dren of God, which guides into all Temperance and Meekness.

§. VI. But the Christian World (as it would be called) is justly reproveable, because the very end of the first Institution of Apparel is grosly perverted. The utmost Service that Cloaths originally were de­signed for, when Sin had stript them of their native Innocence, was, as hath been said, to cover their shame, therefore Plain and Modest: Next, To fence out Cold, therefore Substantial: Lastly, To de­clare Sexes, therefore Distinguishing. So that then Necessity provoked to Clothing, now Pride and vain Curiosity: In former times some Benefit obliged, but now Wantonness and Pleasure: Then they mind­ed them for Covering, but now that's the least part; Their greedy Eyes must be provided with Gawdy superfluities; as if they made their Clothes for trim­ming, to be seen rather than worn; only for the sake of other Curiosities that must be tacked upon them, although they neither cover Shame, fence from Cold, nor distinguish Sexes; but signally dis­play their Wanton, Fantastick, full-Fed Minds, that have them.

§. VII. Then the best Recreation were to serve God, be just, follow their Vocations, mind their [Page 219] Flocks, do good, exercise their Bodies in such manner as was suitable to Gravity, Temperance and Vertue; but now that word is extended to almost every folly that carries any appearance above open Scandalous Filth (detested of the very Actors, when they have done it) so much are men degenerated from Adam in his Disobedience; So much more Confident and Ar­tificial are they grown in all Impieties: Yea, their Minds, through Custom, are become so very insen­sible of the Inconveniency that attends the like Fol­lies, that what was once meer Necessity, a Badge of Shame; at best but a Remedy, is now the Delight, Pleasure and Recreation of the Age. How Ignoble is it! how Ignominious and Unworthy of a reasona­ble Creature; Man which is endued with Understand­ing, sit to contemplate Immortality, and made a Com­panion (if not Superior) to Angels, that he should mind a little Dust; a few shameful Rags; Inventions of meer Pride and Luxury; Toys, so Apith and Fantas­tick; Entertainments so Dull and Earthy, that a Rat­tle, a Baby, a Hobby-Horse, a Top, are by no means so foolish in a Simple Child, nor unworthy of his That's, as are such Inventions of the care and pleasure of Men. It is a Mark of great Stupidity that such Vanities should exercise the noble Mind of Man, and Image of the great Creator of Heaven and Earth.

§. VIII. Of this many among the very Heathens of old had so clear a Prospect, that they detested all such Vanity, looking upon Curiosity in Apparel, and that variety of Recreations now in Vogue and Esteem [Page 220] with false Christians, to be destructive of good Manners, in that it more easily stole away the Minds of People from Sobriety to Wantonness, Idleness Ef­feminacy, and made them only Companions for the Beast that perishes: Witness those famous Men, Anaxagoras, Socrates, Plato, Aristides, Cato, Seneca, Epictetus, &c. who placed true Honour and Satis­faction in nothing below Vertue & Immortality. Nay such are the remains of Innocence among some Moors and Indians in our times, that they do not only Traf­fick in a simple posture, but if a Christian (though he must be an odd one) fling out a filthy word, its customary with them, by way of Moral, to bring him Water to purge his Mouth. How much do the like Vertues and reasonable Instances accuse People pro­fessing Christianity, of gross Folly and Intemperance O! that Men and Women had the fear of God be­fore their Eyes! and that they were so charitable to themselves as to remember Whence they came, What they are doing, and to what they must return: That so more Noble, more Vertuous, more Rational and Heavenly things might be the matters of their Pleasure and Entertainment! That they would be once perswaded to believe how inconsistent the Fol­ly, Vanity and Conversation they are mostly exer­cised in, really are with the true Nobility of a rea­sonable Soul; and let that just Principle, which taught the Heathens, teach them, lest it be found more tolerable for Heathens than such Christians in the day of Account! For if their Shorter Notions, [Page 221] and more imperfect Sense of things could yet disco­ver so much Vanity; if their degree of Light con­demned it, and they, in obedience thereunto, disused it, doth it not behove Christians much more? Christ came not to extinguish, no, but to improve that Know­ledge: And they who think, they need do less now than before, had need to act better than they think. I conclude, That the Fashions and Recreations now in repute are very abusive of the end of Man's Creati­on; and that the Inconveniences that attend them, as Wantonness, Idleness, Prodigality, Pride, Lust, Respect of Persons (witness a Plune of Feathers, or a Lace­coat in a Country Village, whatever be the man that wears them) with the like Fruits, are repugnant to the Duty, Reason and true Pleasure of Man, and, ab­solutely inconsistent with that Wisdom, Knowledge, Manhood, Temperance, Industry, which render Man truly Noble and Good.

§. IX. Again, these things which have been hi­therto condemned, have never been the Conversation or Practice of the Holy Men and Women of old times, whom the Scriptures recommend for holy Ex­amples, worthy of Imitation. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were plain Men, and Princes, as Grasiers are, over their Families and Flocks. They were not so­licitous of the Vanities so much lived in by the Peo­ple of this Generation, for in all things, they pleased God by Faith. The first forsook his Father's House, Kindred and Country; a true Type or Figure of that Self-denial all must know, that would have Abraham [Page 222] to their Father. They must not think to live in those Pleasures, Fashions and Customs they are called to leave; no, but part with all in hopes of the great recompence of Reward, and that better Country, which is eternal in the Heavens. * The Prophets were generally poor Mechanicks; one a Shepherd, another an Herds man, &c. They often cried out upon the full-fed, wanton Israelites to Repent, to Fear and Dread the Living God, to Forsake the Sins and Vanities they liv'd in; but they never imi­tated them. John Baptist, the Messenger of the Lord, who was sanctified in his Mother's Womb, preached his Embassie to the World in a Coat of Camels-Hair, a rough and homely Garment. Nor can it be conceived that Jesus Christ himself was much better Apparelled, who according to the Flesh, was of poor Descent, and in life of great Plainness; insomuch that it was usual in a way of Derision to say, Is not this Jesus the Son of Joseph a Carpenter? And this Jesus tells his Followers, That as for soft Raiment, Gorgeous Apparel and Delicacies, they were for Kings Courts: Implying that he and his Fol­lowers were not to seek after those things; but seems thereby to express the great difference that was be­twixt the Lovers of the Fashions and Customs of the World, and those whom he had chosen out of it. And he did not only come in that mean and despica­ble manner himself, that he might stain the Pride of [Page 223] all Flesh, but therein became Exemplary to his Fol­lowers, what a self-denying Life they must lead, if they would be his true Disciples. Nay, he further leaves it with them in a Parable, to the end that it might make the deeper impression, and that they might see how inconsistent a Pompous Worldly-pleas­ing Life is with the Kingdom he came to establish and call men to the possession of: And that is the remarkable story of Dives; who is represented, first, As a Rich man; next as a Voluptuous man, in his rich Apparel, his many Dishes, and his Pack of Dogs; and lastly, as an Uncharitable man, or one who was more concerned how to please the Lust of the Eye, the Lust of the Flesh, and the Pride of Life, and fare sumptuously every day, than to take Compassi­on of poor Lazarus at his Gate: No, his Dogs were mere pitiful and kind than he. But what was the Doom of this Jolly man, this great Dives? We read it was Everlasting Torment; but that of Lazarus Eternal Joy with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in the Kingdom of God. In short; Lazarus was a good man, the other a great man: The one Poor and Temperate, the other Rich and Luxurious: There are too many of them alive; and 'twere well, if his doom might a­waken them to Repentance.

§. X. Nor were the twelve Apostles, the imme­diate Messengers of the Lord Jesus Christ, other then poor men, one a Fisherman, another a Tent ma­ker; * and he that was of the greatest (though per­haps [Page 224] not the best) Imployment, was a Custom-gather­er. So that 'tis very unlikely, that any of them were followers of the Fashions of the World: Nay they were so far from—, that, as became the followers of Christ, they liv'd poor, afficted, self denying Lives; bidding the Churches to Walk as they had them for Ex­amples. * And to shut up this particular, they gave this pathetical account of the Holy Women in for­mer times, as an example of Godly Temperance, name­ly, That first they did expresly abstain from Gold, Silver, braided Hair, fine Apparel, or such like; and next, that their Adornment was a meek and quiet Spi­rit, and the hidden man of the Heart, which are of great Price with the Lord: Affirming, That such as live in Pleasure, are dead whilst they live; for that the Cares and Pleasures of this Life choak and destroy the Seed of the Kingdom, and quite hinder all progress in the hidden and divine Life. Where­fore we find that the Holy Men and Women of for­mer times were not accustomed to these Pleasures and vain Recreations; but having their minds set on things above, sought another Kingdom, which consists in Righteousness, Peace, and Joy in the Holy Spirit; who having obtained a good Report, and en­ter'd into their Eternal Rest: Therefore their Works follow, and praise them in the Gates.

[Page 225]

CHAP. XV.

§. 1. The Judgments of God denounced upon the Jews for their Luxury; all Ranks included. §. 2. Christ charges his Disci­ples to have a care of the Guilt of it: A Supplication to the Inhabitants of England. §. 3. Temperance prest upon the Churches by the Apostles. §. 4. An Exhortation to England to measure her self by that Rule. §. 5. What Christian Recrea­tions are. §. 6. Who need other Sports to pass away their time, are unfit for Heaven and Eternity. §. 7. Man has but a few days: They may be better bestowed: This Doctrine is ungrate­ful to none that would be truly blessed. §. 8. Not only good is omitted by this Luxurious Life, but Evil committed, as Breach of Marriage, Love, Loss, of Health and Estate, &c. Play­Houses and Stagers, most Instrumental to this Mischief. §. 9. How Youth is by them inflamed to Vanity: What Mischief comes of Revels, Gamings, &c. Below the Life of Noble Hea­thers. §. 10. The true Disciples of Jesus are mortified to these things: the Pleasure and reward of a Employment of time.

§ I. But such Excess in Apparel and Pleasure was not only forbid in Scripture, but it was the ground of that lamentable Message by the Prophet [...] to the People of Israel: ‘Moreover the Lord saith, Because the Daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth Necks and wanton Eyes, Walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their Feet; therefore the Lord will smite with a Scab the Crown of the Head of the Daughters of Zion, and the Lord will disco­ver their secret parts; in that day the Lord will take away the Bravery of their tinkling Ornaments, and [Page 226] their Cauls (or Net-works in the Hebrew) and their round Tires like the Moon; the Chains and the Bracelets, and the spangled Ornaments; the Bon­nets, and the Ornaments of the Legs, and the Head­Bands, and the Tablets, and the Ear-Rings, the Rings and Nose Jewels; the changeable suits of Apparel, and the Mantles, and the Whimples, and the Crisping Pins; the Glasses and the fine Lin­nen, and the Hoods and the Vails: And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet Smells, there shall be a Stink; and instead of a Girdle, a Rent; and instead of well-set Hair, Baldness; and instead of a Stomacher, a girding of Sack-cloth, and Burn­ing instead of Beauty: Thy Men shall fall by the Sword, and thy mighty in the War; And her Gates shall lament and mourn, and she being desolate shall sit upon the Ground.’ Behold O vain and fool­ish Inhabitants of England and Europe, your Folly and your Doom; Yet read the Prophet Ezekiel's vision of miserable Tyre, what Punishment her Pride and Pleasures brought upon her; and amongst many o­ther Circumstances these are some; *These were thy Merchants in all sorts of things; in blue Cloaths and broidered Work, and in Chests of rich Appa­rel, Emeralds, Purple, fine Linnen, Coral and Agat, Spices with all precious Stones and Gold, Horses, Chariots, &c.’ For which hear part of her Doom; ‘Thy Riches and thy Fairs, thy Merchandise and all thy Company, which is in the midst of thee, shall fall into the midst of the Sea in the day of thy Ruin; [Page 227] and the Inhabitants of the Isles shall be astonished at thee, and their Merchants hiss at thee; thou shalt be a terror, and shalt be no more:’ Thus hath God declared his displeasure against the Luxury of this wanton World. Yet further the Prophet Ze­phaniah goes; for thus he speaks; ‘And it shall come to pass in the day of the Lord's Sacrifice, that I will punish the Princes, and the King's Children; and all such as are cloathed with strange Apparel.’ Of how evil Consequence was it in those times, for the Greatest Men to give themselves the liberty of following the vain Customs of other Nations; or of changing the usual End of Cloaths or Apparel, to gratifie foolish Curiosity?

§ II. This did the Lord Jesus Christ expresly charge his Disciples not to be careful about; inti­mating that such as were, could not be his Disciples. For, says he,* ‘Take no care what ye should eat, nor what ye should drink, neither wherewithal ye shall be cloathed (for after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father know­eth, that you have need of all these things; but seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his Righte­ousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.’ Under which of Eating, and Drinking, and Apparel, be comprehends all external things whatso­ever; and so much appears, as well because they are opposed to the Kingdom of God and his Righte­ousness, which are invisible and heavenly things, as that those very matters he enjoins them not to be [Page 228] careful about, are the most necessary, and the most innocent in themselves. If then, in such cases, the minds of his Disciples were not to be solicitous, much less in foolish, Superstitious, idle inventions, to gratifie the Carnal Appetites and Minds of Men: So certain it is, that those who live therein, are none of his Fol­lowers, but the Gentiles; and (as he elsewhere says) the Nations of the World who know not God. If now then the distinguishing Mark between the Disci­ples of Jesus, and those of the World, is, That One minds the things of Heaven, and God's Kingdom, that stands in Righteousness, Peace, and Joy of the Holy Ghost, (being not careful of External mat­ters) even the most Innocent and Necessary, and that the Other minds Eating, Drinking, Apparel, and the Affairs of the World, with the Lusts, Pleasures, Pro­fits, and Honours that belong to it; be you intreated for your Souls sake, O Inhabitants of England, to be Serious, to reflect a while upon your selves, what Care and Cost you are at, of Time, and Money, about foolish, nay vicious things: So far are you degene­rated from the primitive Christian Life. What Buy­ing and Selling, what Dealing and Chaffering, what Writing, and Posting, what Toil and Labour, what Noise, Hurry, Bustle and Confusion, what Study, what little Contrivances and Over reachings, what Eating, Drinking, Vanity of Apparel, most ridicu­lous Recreations; in short, what Rising Early. Go­ing to Bed Late, Expence of precious Time, is there about things that perish? View the Streets, Shops, [Page 229] Exchanges, Plays, Parks, Coffee-Houses, &c. And is not the World, This fading world, writ upon every face? Say not within your selves, How otherwise should men live, and the World subsist? The common, though frivolous Objection: There is enough for all; let some content themselves with less: A few things plain and decent, serve a Christian Life. 'Tis Lust, Pride, Avarice, that thrusts men upon such Folly: Were God's Kingdom more the exercise of their Minds, these perishing Entertainments would have but little of their Time or Thoughts.

§ III. This Self-denying Doctrine was confirm'd and enforc'd by the Apostles in their Example, as we have already shown; and in their Precepts too, as we shall yet evince in those two most remarkable Passa­ges of Paul and Peter: Where they do not only tell us, what should be done, but also what should be De­nyed and Avoided.* In like manner, I will that Wo­men Adorn themselves in Modest Apparel: (What's that?) with Shamefacedness and Sobriety; not with broidered Hair, or Gold, or Pearls, or costly Array [then it seems these are immodest] but which becom­eth Women professing Godliness, with good works: Absolutely implying, that those who Attire them­selves with Gold, Silver, broidered Hair, Pearls, costly Array, cannot in so doing be Women professing God­liness; making those very things to be contrary to Modesty and what's Good; and consequently that they are Evil, and unbecoming Women professing Godliness. To which the Apostle Peter joins another [Page 230] Precept after the like fort; viz. ‘Whose Adorning let it not be that outward Adorning of plaiting the Hair, and of wearing of Gold, or of putting on Ap­parel; (What then?) but let it be the hidden Man of the Heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the Ornament of a meek and quiet Spirit, which is in the sight of God of great Price.’ And as an Induce­ment, he adds, ‘For after this manner in the Old time, the holy* Women, who so trusted in God, adorned themselves.’ Which doth not only inti­mate, that both holy Women were so adorned, and that it behoves such as would be Holy, and trust in the holy God, to be so adorned; but also, that they who used those forbidden Ornaments were the Wo­men and People in all Ages, that (for all their talk) were not Holy, nor did trust in God. Such are so far from trusting in God, that the A­postle Paul expresly says, ‘That they who live in Pleasures are dead (to God) whilst they live:’ And says James, ‘They that live wantonly on Earth, stay the Just. They farther enjoined, That Christians should have their Conversation in Heaven, and their Minds fixed on things above: Walk honestly, as in the Day, not in Rioting and Drunkenness, not in Chambering and Wantonness, not in Envy and Strife: Let not Fornication, Uncleanness, or Co­vertousness be once named amongst you; neither Filthiness, nor foolish Talking or Jesting, which [Page 231] are not convenient; but rather giving of Thanks: And let no corrupt Communication proceed out of your Mouth, but that which is good, to the use of edifying, that it may minister Grace unto the Hearers. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the Flesh, to fulfil the De­sires thereof. And Grieve not the holy Spirit; (in­timating, such Conversation doth) but be ye Fol­lowers of God, as dear Children: Walk circum­spectly, not as Fools, but as Wise; redeeming the time, because the days are Evil

§. IV. By this measure your selves, O inhabitants of this Land; who think your selves wrong'd, if not accounted Christians; See what proportion your Life and Spirit bears with these most Holy and Self­denying Precepts and Examples. ‘Well, my Friends, my Soul mourns for you: I have been with and among you: Your Life and Pastime are not stran­gers to my Notice; and with Compassion, yea, unexpressible Pity, I bewail your Folly. O that you would be wise! O that the Just Principle in your selves were heard! O that Eternity had time to plead a little with you! Why should your Beds, your Glasses, your Cloaths, your Tables, your Loves, your Plays, your Parks, your Treats, your Recrea­tions (poor perishing Joys) have all your Souls, your Time, your Care, your Purse and Consideration? Be [Page 232] ye admonished, I beseech you, in the Name of the living God, by one that some of you know, hath had his share in these things, and consequently time to know, how little the like Vanities conduce to true and solid Happiness:’ No, any Friends, God Al­mighty knows (and would God, you would believe and follow me) they end in Shame and Sorrow. Faith­ful is that most holy One, who hath determined, That every Man and Woman shall reap, what they sow; And will not Trouble, Anguish and Disappointment be a sad and Dreadful Harvest for you to Reap, for all your Mis-spent Time and Substance, about Super­fluities and vain Recreations? ‘Retire then; quench not the Holy Spirit in your Selves; Redeem your precious abused Time; Frequent such Conversation as may help you against your evil Inclinations;’ So shall you follow the Examples, and keep the Pre­cepts of Jesus Christ and all his Followers. For hi­therto we have plainly demonstrated, that no such way of living, as is in request among you of the Land, ever was, or can be truly Christian.

§. V. But the best Recreation is To do goods. And all Christian Customs tend to Temperance, and some good and beneficial End; which more or less may be in every Action. For Instance, ‘If Men and Women would be diligent to follow their spective Callings, frequent the Assemblies of Religious Peo­ple, visit sober Neighbours to be edified, and wicked Ones to reform them; be careful in the Tuition of their Children, exemplary to their Ser­vants, [Page 233] relieve the Necessitous, see the Sick, visit the imprisoned, administer to their Infirmities and In­dispositions, endeavour Peace amongst Neigh­bours: Also Study moderately such commendable and profitable Arts, as Navigation, Arithmetick, Geometry, Husbandry, Gardening, Handicraft, Me­dicine, &c. Read the best reputed Histories of An­cient Times: And that Women Spin, Sow, Knit, Weave, Garden, Preserve, and the like House-wife and honest Employments, (the practice of the great­est and noblest Matrons and Youth among the very Heathens) ‘helping others, who for want are unable to keep Servants, to case them in their necessary Affairs: Often and private Retirements from all Worldly Objects, to enjoy the Lord; secret and steady Meditations on the Divine Life & Heavenly Inheritance* Which to leave undone, and pro­secute other things, under the Notion of Recreati­ons, is accursed Lust and damnable Impiety. It is most vain in any to object, ‘That they can't do these always, and therefore, why may not they use these common Diversions?’ For I ask, What would such be at? What would they do? And what would they have? They that have Trades, have not time enough to do the half of what hath been recom­mended. And as for those who have nothing to do, and indeed do nothing, which is worse, but Sin which [Page 234] is worst of all, here is variety of Pleasant, of Profita­ble, nay, of very Honourable Employments and Di­versions for them. Such can with great delight fit at a Play, a Ball, a Masque, at Cards, Dice, &c. Drinking Revelling, Feasting, * and the like, an entire day; yea, turn Night into Day, and invert the very order of the Creation to humour their Lusts. And were it not for Eating and Sleeping, it would be past a doubt whether they would ever find time to cease from those vain and sinful Pastimes, till the ha­sty Calls of Death should summon their Appearance in another World. Yet do they think it intolerable, and hardly possible for any to fit so long at a profi­table or Religious Exercise.

§. VI. But how do these think to pass their vast Eternity away? For as the Tree falls so it lies Let none deceive themselves, nor mock their Immortal Souls with a pleasant, but most false and pernicious Dream that they shall be changed by a constraining and irresistable Power, just when their Souls take leave of their Bodies: No, no, my Friends, What you have Sown, that shall you Reap If Vanity, Folly, vi­sible Delights, fading Pleasures; no better shall you ever reap than Corruption, Sorrow, and the woful Anguish of Eternal Disappointments. But alas! what's the Reason that the Cry is so common, Must we always dote on these things? Why, most certainly it is this, they know not what is the Joy and Peace[Page 235] of speaking and acting, as in the Presence of the most holy God: That passes such vain Understandings, darkened with the Glories and Pleasures of the God of this World; whose Religion is so many mumbled and ignorantly devout-said Words, as they teach Par­rots; for if they were of those, whose Hearts are set on things above, and whose Treasure is in Heaven, there would their Minds inhabit, and their greatest pleasure constantly be: And such who call that a Burden, and seek to be refreshed by such Pastimes as a Play, a Morice-dance, a Punchanello, a Ball, a Masque, Cards, Dice, or the like, I am bold to affirm, they not only never knew the divine Excellency of God and his Truth, but thereby declare themselves most unfit for them in another World. For how is it possible that they can be delighted to Eternity with that Satisfaction which is so tedious and irksom for thirty or forty Years; that for a supply of Recrea­tion to their Minds, the little Toys and Fopperies of this perishing World must be brought into Practice and Request? Surely, those who are to reckon for every Idle Word, must not use Sports to pass away that time, which they are commanded so diligently to Redeem,* considering no less Work is to be done than making their Calling and Election sure : Much less study to invent Recreations for their vain Minds and spend the greatest part of their Days, & Months, and Years therein, not allowing a quarter of that [Page 236] time towards the great Concernment of their Lives and Souls, for which that time was given them.

§. VII. There's but little need to drive away that by foolish Divertisements, which flies away so swiftly of it self; and when once gone, is never to be recal­led. Plays, Parks, Balls, Treats, Romances, Musicks, Love-Sonnets, and the like, will be a very Invalid Plea for any other purpose than their Condemnation, who are taken, and delighted with them, at the Re­velation of the Righteous Judgment of God. O my Friends! these were never invented, but by that mind which had first lost the Joy and ravishing De­lights of Gods holy presence* So that we conclude, First, That of those many Excellent Employments already mentioned, as worthy to possess such Minds as are inclined to these Vanities, there is store enough of time, not only to take up their spare-hours, but double so much, and that with great Delight, Diver­sion and Profit both to themselves and others; were they but once weaned from vain and fruitless Foppe­ries, and did they but consider, how great the Satis­faction, and how certain the rewards are, which at­tends this, and the other Life for such universal Be­nefits and Virtuous Examples. The second Conclu­sionis, That what is alledged by me, can be displea­sing and ungrateful to none, but such as know not what it is to walk with God, to prepare for an Eter­nal Mansion, to have the Mind exercised on heavenly and good things, to follow the Examples of the Holy Men and Women of former happy Ages: Such as [Page 237] know not Christ's Doctrine, Life, Death and Resur­rection, but only have their Minds fastned to the Flesh, and by the objects of it are allured, deceived, and miserably ruined: And that lastly, that despise Heaven, and the Joys that are not seen, though E­ternal, for a few perishing Trifles that they do see, though they are decreed to pass away. ‘How these are baptized with Christ into his holy Life, cruel Sufferings, shameful Death, and raised with him to Immortal Desires, Heavenly Meditations, a divine New Life, growing into the Knowledge of hea­venly Mysteries, and all Holiness, even unto the measure of the stature of Jesus Christ, the great Ex­ample of all,* How (I say) these resemble most necessary Christian Qualifications, and what share they have therein, let their Consciences tell them upon a serious Inquiry in the cool of the day.

§. VIII. But in the next place such Attire and Pastimes do not only shew the exceeding worldliness of Peoples inclinations, and their very great ignorance of the Divine Joys, but by imitating these Fashions, and frequenting these places and Diversions, not only much good is omitted, but a certain Door is o­pened to much evil to be committed. As first, Pre­cious Time, that were worth a World on a dying Bed, is lost: Money, that might be employed for some general good, vainly expended: Pleasure is taken in meer shame; Lusts are gratified, the Minds of People alienated from Heavenly things, and ex­ercised [Page 238] about meer folly: Pride taken in Cloaths, first given to cover Nakedness, whereby the Creature is neglected, and the Noble Creation of God disre­garded, and men become Acceptable by their Trims and the Alomodeness of their Dress and Apparel; from whence Respect to Persons doth so naturally arise, that for any to deny it, is to affirm the Sun shines not at Noon-day: Nothing be more notorious, than the Cringing, Scraping, Sirring and Madaming of Persons, according to the Gawdiness of their Attire, which is detestable to God, and so absolutely forbid­den in the Scriptures, that to do it, is to break the whole Law, and consequently to incur the punish­ment thereof. Next, What great holes do the like practices make in mens Estates? How are their Vo­cations neglected? Young Women deluded? The Marriage-bed invaded? Contentions and Family Animosities begotten? Partings of Man and Wife? Disinheriting of Children? Dismissing of Servants? On the other hand, Servants made Slaves, Children disregarded, Wives despised and shamefully abused, thro' the intemperance of their Husbands; which either puts them upon the same extravagance; or laying such cruel Injustice to heart, they pine away their days in grief and misery. But of all these wretched Inventions, the Play-houses, like so many Hellish Seminaries, do most perniciously conduce to these sad and miserable Ends; where little beside Frothy, Wanton, if not directly Obscene and Profane Humours are represented, which are of notorious ill [Page 239] Consequence upon the Minds of most; especial­ly the Youth that frequent them. And thus it is that Idle and Debaucht Stagers are encouraged and maintained; than which scarcely a greater Abomi­nation can be tho't on of that Rank of Impieties, as will anon particularly be shown: And truly, nothing but the excessive Pleasure People take therein, could blind their Eyes from seeing it.

§. IX. But Lastly, the grand Indisposition of Mind in People to solid, serious and heavenly Meditations, by the almost continual, as well as pleasant Rumina­tion in their Minds, of those various Adventures they have been entertain'd with, which in the more Youthful can never miss to Enflame and Animate their boiling and airy Constitutions. And in the rest of the common Recreations of Balls, Masques, Treats, Cards, Dice &c. *there are the like opportunities to promote the like Evils. And yet farther; how many Quarrels, Animosities, nay, Murders too, as well as Expence of Estate and precious Time, have been the immediate Consequences of the like Prac­tices? In short; These were the ways of the Gen­tiles that knew not God,but never the Practice of them that feared him: Nay, the more Noble among the Heathens themselves, namely, Anaxagoras, So­crates, Plato, Antisthenes, Heraclitus, Zeno, Aristides, Cato, Tully, Epictetus, Seneca, &c. have left their dis­gust to these things upon Record, as Odious and Destructive, not only of the Honour of the Immor­tal [Page 240] God, but of all good Order and Government, as leading into Looseness, Idleness, Ignorance and Ef­feminacy; the great Cankers and Bane of all States and Empires. But such is the Latitudinarian Im­pudence of this Age, that they Canonize themselves for Saints, if not guilty of every Newgate-Filth, and Kennel-Impiety. And the pretended Innocency of these things, steals, away their Minds from that which is better, into the love of them: Nay, it gives them confidence to plead for them, and by no means will they think the contrary: But why? Be­cause it is a Liberty that feeds the Flesh, and gratifies the lustful Eye and Palate of poor Mortality: Where­fore they think it a laudable Condition to be no bet­ter than the Beast that eats and drinks but what his Nature doth require, although the Number is very small of such. So very exorbitant are Men and Wo­men grown in this present Age; for either they do believe their Actions are to be ruled by their own Will; or else at best, that not to be stained with the Vilest Wickedness, is matter of great Boasting: And indeed it is so, in a time when nothing is too wicked to be done. But certainly, it is a sign of Universal Impiety in a Land, when not to be guilty of Sins the very Heathens loath, is to be Vertuous, yes, and Chri­stian too, and that to no small degree of Reputation: A Dismal Symptom to a Country! But is it not to be greatly Blinded, that those that we call Infidels should detest those Practices as Infamous, which Peo­ple, that call themselves Christians, cannot or will not [Page 241] see to be such, but gild them over with the fair Ti­tles of Ornaments, Decency, Recreation, and the like? Well, my Friends, if there were no God, no Heaven, no Hell, no holy Examples, no Jesus Christ, in Cross, Doctrine and Life to be conformed unto; yet would Charity to the Poor, Help to the Needy, Peace amongst Neighbours, Visits to the Sick, Care of the Wi­dow and Fatherless, * with the rest of those Temporal good Offices already repeated, be a Nobler Employ­ment, and much more worthy of your expence and pains. Nor indeed is it to be conceived, that the way to Glory is smooth'd with such variety of Carnal Plea­sures; for then Conviction, a wounded Spirit, a Broken Heart, a Regenerate Mind; in a word, Immortality would prove as meer Fictions as some make them and others therefore think them: No, these Practices are for ever to be extinguished and expelled all Chri­stian Society. For I affirm that to one, who inter­nally knows God, and hath a Sense of his blessed Presence, all such Recreations are Death; yea more dangerously Evil, and more apt to steal away the Mind from the heavenly Exercise, than grosser Im­pieties. For they are so big, they are plainly seen; so dirty, they are easily detected: Which Education and common Temperance, as well as Constitution in many, teach them to abhor; and if they should be [Page 242] committed, they carry with them a proportionable conviction. But these pretended Innocents, these supposed harmless Satisfactions, are more Surprizing, more Destructive ; for as they easily gain an admis­sion by the senses, so the more they pretend to Inno­cency, the more they secure the minds of People in the common use of them; till they become so insen­sible of their Evil Consequences, that with a mighty Confidence they can Plead for them.

§. X. But as this is plainly not to deny them­selves, but on the contrary, to employ the vain In­ventions of carnal Men and Women, to gratifie the Desire of the Eye, the Desire of the Flesh, and the Pride of Life*; all which exercise the Mind be­low the divine and only true Pleasure, or else, tell me what does; So, be it known to such, That the Heavenly Life and Christian Joys are of another kind, as hath already been exprest: Nay, that the true Disciples of the Lord Christ, must be hereunto crucified, as to Objects and Employments that at­tract downwards, and that their Affections should be raised to a more sublime and spiritual Conversa­tion, as to use this World, even in its most inno­cent Enjoyments, as if they used it not. But if they take Pleasure in any thing below, it shall be in such good Offices as beforementioned, whereby a benefit may redound in some respect to others. In which God is honoured over all visible things, the Nation relieved, the Government better'd, Them­selves [Page 243] rendred exemplary of Good, and thereby justly entituled to present Happiness a sweet Memorial with Posterity, as well as to a Seat at his Right hand, where there are Joys and Pleasures for ever: Than which, there can be nothing more Honourable, no­thing more Certain, World without end

CHAP. XVI.

§. 1. Luxury should not be used by Christians, because of its in­consistency with the Spirit of Christianity. §. 2. The Cup of which Christ's true Disciples Drink. §. 3. O! who will drink of this Cup? §. 4. An Objection answered of the nature of God's Kingdom, and what it stands in. §. 5. Of the frame of the Spirit of Christ's Followers.

§. 1. But the Luxury opposed in this discourse, should not be allowed among ‘Christians, because both that which invents it, delights in it, and pleads so strongly for it, is inconsistent with the true Spirit of Christianity; nor doth the very nature of the Christian Religion admit thereof.’ For there­fore was it, that Immortality and Eternal Life, were brought to Light, * that all the invented Pleasures of Mortal Life, in which the World lives, might be de­nied and relinquished: And for this reason it is, that nothing less than immense Rewards and Eternal Mansions are Promised, that Men and Women might therefore be encouraged willingly to forsake the Va­nity [Page 244] and fleshly Satisfactions of the World, and en­counter with boldness the Shame and Sufferings they must expect to receive at the hand of, it may be, their nearest Intimates and Relations.

For if the Christian Religion had admitted the Pos­session of this World in any another sense, than the simple & naked use of those Creatures, really given of God for the necessity and convenience of the whole Creation: For instance, Did it allow all that ‘Pride, Vanity, Curiosity, Pomp, Exchange of Apparel, Honours, Preferments, Fashions and the Customa­ry Recreations of the World, with whatever may delight and gratifie their senses; then what need of a daily Cross, A self denying Life, Working our Salvation with fear and trembling, Seeking the things that are above, Having the Treasure and Heart in Heaven, No Idle Talking, no vain Jest­ing, but Fearing and Meditating all the day long, Undergoing all Reproach, Scorn, Hard Usage, Bitter Mockings and Cruel Deaths*?’ What need these things? And why should they be expected in order to that glorious Immortality & eternal Crown, if the Vanity, Pride, Expence, Idleness, Concupiscence, Envy, Malice, and whole manner of living among the (called) Christians were allowed by the Christian Religion? No certainly; but as the Lord Jesus Christ well knew in what foolish Trifles and Vain [Page 245] Pleasures, as well as groffer Impieties, the minds of Men and Women were fixed, and how much they were degenerated from the Heavenly Principle of Life, into a lustful or unlawful seeking after the En­joyments of this Perishing World, nay, inventing daily new satisfactions to gratifie their carnal Appe­tites so did he not less foresee the Difficulty that all would have to relinquish and forsake them at his call, and with what great unwillingness they would take their leave of them, and be wean­ed from them. Wherefore, to induce them to it, he did not speak unto them in the Language of the Law, that they should have an Earthly Canaan, great Dignities, a Numerous Issue, a long Life and the like: No, rather the contrary, at least to take these things in their course; but he speaks to them in a higher strain, namely, ‘He assures them of a Kingdom and a Crown that are Immortal, that neither Time, Cru­elty, Death, Grave nor Hell, with all its Instru­ments, shall ever be able to disappoint or take away from those who should believe and obey him: Further, That they should be taken into that near Alliance of loving Friends, yea, the intimate divine Relation of dear Brethren and Co-heirs with him of all Caelestial Happiness, and a glorious Immor­tality Wherefore if it be recorded ‘That those who heard not Moses, were to die; much more [Page 246] they who refuse to hear and obey the Precepts of this great and Eternal Rewarder of all that dili­gently seek and follow Him’

§. II. And therefore it was that he was pleased to give us in his own Example, a Taste of what his Disciples must expect to drink more deeply of, namely, The Cup of Self-denial, Cruel Tryals and most bitter Afflictions: He came not to consecrate a way to the eternal Rest through Gold and Silver, Ribbons, Laces, Points, Perfumes, costly Cloaths, curious Trims, exact Dresses, rich Jewels, pleasant Recreations; Plays, Treats, Balls, Masques, Revels, Romances, Love-songs, and the like Pastime of the world: No, no, alas! but by forsaking all such kind of Entertainments,Yea, and sometimes more lawful Enjoyments too; and chearfully undergoing the loss of All on the one hand, and the Reproach, Ignominy, and the most cruel Persecution from ungodly men on the other. He needed never to have wanted such variety of Worldly Pleasures, had they been suitable to the na­ture of his Kingdom: For he was tempted as are his Followers, with no less Bait than All the Glories of the World: But he that commanded to seek another Country, and to lay up Treasures in the Heavens that fade not away, * and therefore charg'd them, never to be much inquisitive about what they should Eat, Drink, or put on, because (saith he) After these things the Gentiles, that know not God, do seek; and Chri­stains [Page 247] that pretend to know him too) but having Food and Raiment therewith to be content: He, I say, that enjoined this Doctrine, and led that Holy and Hea­venly Example, even the Lord Jesus Christ, bid them, that would be his Disciples, Take up the same Cross, and follow him.

§. III. O who will follow him! who will be true Christians? We must not think to steer another Course, nor to drink of another Cup than hath the Captain of our Salvation done before us*: No, for 'tis the very question he asked James and John the Sons of Zebedee of Old, when they desired to sit at his Right and left Hand in his Kingdom, ‘Can you first drink of the Cup I am to drink of, and be bap­tized with the Baptism I am to be baptized with­al?’ Otherwise no Disciples, no Christians. Whoever they are, that would come to Christ, and be Right Christians, must readily abandon every De­light that would steal away the Affections of the mind, and exercise it from the Divine Principle of Life, and freely write a Bill of Divorce for every be­loved Vanity; and all, under the Son of Righteous­ness, is so, compared with him.

§. IV. But some are ready to Object, (who will not seem to want Scripture for their Lusts, although it be evidently misapplied) The Kingdom of God stands not in Meats, or in Drinks, or in Apparel, &c. Answ. Right; therefore it is that we stand out of them. But surely, you have the least Reason of any to object this to us, who make those things so neces­sary [Page 248] to Conversation, as our not Conforming to them renders us obnoxious to your Reproach; which how Christian, or resembling it is of the Righteousness, Peace and Joy in which the Heavenly Kingdom stands, let the Just Principle in your own Conscien­ces determine. Our Conversation stands in Tempe­rance, and that stands in Righteousness, by which we have obtained that Kingdom, your latitude and excess have no share or interest in. If none therefore can be true Disciples, but they that come to bear the Daily Cross, and that none bear the Cross, but those who Follow the Example of the Lord Jesus Christ* thro' his Baptism and Afflictions and Temptations; and that none are so baptiz'd with him, but those whose Minds are Retired from the Vanities in which the generality of the World live, and become obedient to the holy Light and divine Grace, with which they have been enlightned from on high, and thereby are daily exercised to the crucifying of every contrary Affection, and bringing of Immortality to light: If none are true Disciples but such (as most undoubt­edly they are not) then let the People of these day; a little soberly reflect upon themselves, and they will conclude, ‘That none who live and delight in these vain Customs, and this un-Christ-Like Conversa­tion, can be true Christians or Disciples of the Cru­cified Jesus:’ For otherwise, how would it be a Cross? Or the Christian Life matter of Difficulty [Page 249] and Reproach? No, the Offence of the Cross would soon cease, which is the Power of God to them that be­lieve; that every Lust and Vanity, may be subdued, and the Creature brought into an holy Subjection of Mind to the heavenly Will of its Creator. For therefore has it been said, That Jesus Christ was and is manifested, that by his holy, Self-denying Life and Doctrine, he might put a baffle upon the proud minds of men, and by the Immortality he brought, and daily brings to light,* he might stain the Glory of their sading Rests and Pleasures; that having their Minds weaned from them, and being Crucified there­unto, they might seek another Country, and obtain an Everlasting Inheritance: for the things that are seen are Temporal (and those they were, and with all true Christians are to be redeem'd from resting in) but the things that are not seen, are Eternal those they were, and all are to be brought to, and have their Affections chiefly fixed upon.

§. V. Wherefore a true Disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ is to have his mind so conversant about hea­venly things, That the things of this World may be used, as if they were not: That having such things as are necessary and convenient, he be therewith con­tent, without the Superfluity of the World, where­by the Pleasure, that in times of Ignorance was ta­ken in the Customs and Fashions of the World,** may more abundantly be supplied in the hidden and [Page 250] heavenly Life of Jesus*; For unless there be an a­biding in Christ, it will be impossible to bring forth that much Fruit which he requires at the hands of his Followers, and wherein his Father is glorified. But as its clear, that such as live in the Vanities, Plea­sures, Recreations and Lusts of the World, abide not in him, neither know him, (for they that know him, depart from Iniquity) so is their abiding and de­lighting in those bewitching Follies, the very reason why they are so ignorant and insensible of Him: Him who continually stands knocking at the Door of their Hearts, in whom they ought to abide, and whose divine Power they should know to be the Cross on which every beloved Lust and alluring Va­nity should be slain and crucified; that so they might feel the heavenly Life to spring up in their hearts, and themselves to be quickned to seek the things that are above; that when Christ shall appear, they might appear with him in Glory, who is over All, God blessed for ever, Amen

CHAP. XVII.

§. 1. The Customs, Fashions, &c. which make up the Attire and Pleasure of the Age, are Enemies to inward Retirement §. 2. Their end is to gratifie Lust. §. 3. Had they been solid, Adam and Eve had not been happy, that never had them. §. 4. But the confidence and presumption of Christians (as they would be called) in the use of them, Abominable. §. 5. Their Authors further condemn them, who are usually loose and vain People. [Page 251] §. 6. Mostly borrowed of the Gentiles, that knew not God. §. 7. An Objection of their Usefulness considered and answered, and the Objectors reproved. §. 8. The best Heathens abhorring what pretended Christians plead for. §. 9. The use of these things encourages the Authors and Makers of them to continue in them. §. 10. The Objection of the Maintenance of Fami­lies, answered. None must do Evil, that good should follow: But better Employs may be found more serviceable to the World. §. 11. Another Objection answered: God no Author of their Inventions, and so not excuseable by his Institution. §. 12. Peo­ple pleading for these Vanities shew what they are. An Exhor­tation to be weighty and considerate. A great part of the way to true Discipleship, is to abandon this School and Shop of Satan.

§. 1. NExt, Those Customs and Fashions, which make up the common Attire and Conver­sation of the times, do eminently obstruct the in­ward Retirement of Peoples Minds, by which they may come to behold the Glories of Immortality: Who instead of ‘fearing their Creator in the days of their Youth, and seeking the Kingdom of God in the first place (expecting the Addition of such other things as may be necessary and convenient,) according to the Injunctions of God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, as soon as they can do any thing, they look after Pride, Vanity,* and that ‘Conversation, which is most delightful to the Flesh, which be­comes their most delightful Etertainment:’ All which do but evidently beget Lustful Conceptions, and enflame to inordinate Thoughts, Wanton Dis­courses, Lascivious Treats, if not at last to Wicked Actions. To such it is tedious and Offensive to speak [Page 252] of Heaven, or another Life: Bid them ‘reflect upon their Actions, not grieve the Holy Spirit; consider of an Eternal Doom, prepare for Judgment::’ And the best Return that is usual, is Reproachful Jests, Prophane Repartees, if not direct Blows. Their Thoughts are otherways employed: Their Mornings are too short for them to Wash, to Smooth, to Paint, to Patch, to Braid, to Curle, to Gum, to Powder and otherwise to Attire and Adorn them­selves*; whilst their After-noons are as commonly bespoke for Visits and for Plays; where their usual Entertainment is some ‘Stories fetcht from the ap­proved Romances; some strange Adventures, some Passionate Amours, Unkind Refuses, Grand Impe­diments, Importunate Addresses, Miserable Disap­pointments, Wonderful Surprizes, Unexpected Encounters, Castles Surprized, imprisoned Lovers rescued, and Meetings of supposed dead ones: Bloody Duels, Languishing Voices Ecchoing from solitary Groves, Overheard Mournful Complaints, deep fetch't Sighs sent from wild Desarts, In­treagues managed with unheard of Subtility:’ And whilst all things seem at the greatest distance, then are ‘dead People alive, Enemies Friends, Despair turned to Enjoyment, and all their Impossibilities reconciled: Things that never were, are not, nor ever shall or can be, they all come to pass.’ And [Page 253] as if Men and Women were too slow to answer the loose Suggestions of corrupt Nature; or were too intent on more divine Speculations and heavenly Affairs, they have all that's possible for the most extravagant Wits to invent, not only Express Lies, but utter Impossibilities to very Nature, on purpose to excite their Minds to those idle Passions, and in­toxicate their giddy Fancies with swelling nothings, but airy Fictions; which not only consume their Time, effeminate their Natures, debase their Reason, and set them on work to reduce these things to Prac­tice, and make each Adventure theirs by Imitation; but if disappointed, as who can otherwise expect from such meer Fantasms, the present Remedy is Latitude to the greatest Vice. And yet these are some of their most Innocent Recreations, which are the very Gins of Satan, to ensnare People: Contrived most agreeable to their weakness, and in a more in­sensible manner mastering their Affections by Enter­tainments most taking to their Senses. In such oc­casions, 'tis their Hearts breed Vanity, and their Eyes turn interpreters to their Thoughts, and their Looks do whisper the secret Inflamations of their in­temperate Minds; wandring so long abroad, till their Lascivious Actings bring Night home, and load their Minds and Reputations with Lust and Infamy.

§. II. Here is the End of all their Fashions and Recreations, To gratifie the Lust of the Eye, the ‘Lust of the Flesh, & the Pride of Life*: Cloaths’ that were given to cover shame, now want a Co­vering [Page 254] Covering for their shameful Excess; and that which should remember men of lost Innocency, they pride and glory in: But the Hundreth part of these things cost Man the loss of Paradise, that now make up the agreeable Recreation, ay, the Accomplishment of the Times. For as 'twas Adam's fault to seek a Satisfaction to himself, other than what God ordain­ed: So it is the Exercise, Pleasure and Perfection of the Age to spend the greatest portion of their Time in Vanities,* which are so far from the end of their Creation, namely, a Divine Life, that they are de­structive of it.

§. III. Were the Pleasures of the Age true and solid, Adam and Eve, had been miserable in their Innocency, who knew them not: But as 'twas once their Happiness, not to know them in any degree, so it is theirs, that know Christ indeed, to be by his Eternal Power redeem'd and raised to the love of Im­mortality: Which is yet a Mystery to those who live and have Pleasure in their ‘curious Trims, Rich and changeable Apparel, Nicity of Dress, Invention and Imitation of Fashions, Costly Attire, Mincing Gates, Wanton Looks, Romances, Plays, Treats, Balls, Feasts,’ and the like Conversation in Request: For as these had never been, if man had staid at home with his Creator and given the entire exercise of his Mind to the Noble Ends of his Creation; so [Page 255] certain it is, that the use of these Vanities is not only a sign that Men and Women are yet Ignorant of their true Rest and Pleasure, but it greatly obstructs and hinders the Retirement of their Minds, and their serious Enquiry after those things that are Eternal*. O, that there should be so much Noise, Clutter, In­vention, Traffick, Curiosity, Diligence, Pains and vast Expence of time and Estate, to please and gra­tifie poor vain Mortality! And that the Soul, the very Image of Divinity it self, should have so little of their Consideration! What, O what more preg­nants Instances and evident Tokens can be given, That 'tis the Body, the Senses, the Case, a little Flesh and Bone covered with Skin, the Toys, Fopperies, and very Vanities of this Mortal Life and Perishing World, that Please, that Take, that Gain them; on which they dote; and think they never have too much Time, Love or Money to bestow upon them.

§. IV. Thus are their Minds employ'd, and so vain are they in their Imaginations, and dark in their Un­derstandings, that they not only believe them innocent, but perswade themselves, they are good Christi­ans all this while; and to rebuke them is worse, than Heresie. Thus are they Strangers to the Hidden Life; and by these things are they diverted from all serious Examination of themselves; and a little by­rote-Babble, with a forc'd Zeal, of an half hours [Page 256] Task, in other mens words, which they have nothing to do with, is made sufficient; being no more their States, or least their Intention, as their works, shew, than 'twas the Young Man's in the Gospel, that said, He would Go, and did not. But alas! Why? Oh, there are other Guests! What are they? Phara­mond, Cleopatra, Cassandra, Clelia; a Play, a Ball, a Spring Garden; the Park, the Gallant, the Ex­change, in a word, the World. These Stay, these Call, these are Importunate, and these they Attend, and these are their most familiar Associates. Thus are their Hearts captivated from the Divine Exer­cise; nay, from such external Affairs, as immediately concern some Benefit to themselves, or needy Neigh­bours; pleasing themselves with the received Idaeas of those Toys and Fopperies, into their loose and airy Minds: And if in all things they cannot Prac­tice them, because they want the means of it, yet as much as may be, at least to dote upon them, be taken with them, and willingly suffer their Tho'ts to be Hurried after them. All which greatly indis­poses the Minds, and distracts the Souls of People from the Divine Life and Principle of the holy Je­sus: But as it hath been often said, more especially the Minds of the Younger sort, to whom the like Advertisements (where their Inclinations, being pre­sented with what is very suitable to them, they be­come excited to more Vanity than ever they thought upon before) are incomparably dearer than all that can be said of God's Fear, a Retired Life, Eternal [Page 257] Rewards, and Joys Unspeakable and Full of Glory: So vain, so blind, and so very insensible are Men and Women, of what truly makes a Disciple of Christ! O! ‘that they would ponder on these things, and watch against, and out of all these Vanities, for the com­ing of the Lord, lest being unprepared, and taken up with other Guests, They enter not into his Everlasting Rest’ .

§. V. That which further manifests the unlaw­fulness of these Numerous Fashions and Recreations is, That they are either the Inventions of Vain, Idle, and Wanton Minds, to gratifie their own Sensuali­ties, and raise the like wicked Curiosity in others, to imitate the same; by which nothing but Lust and Folly are promoted: Or the Contrivances of Indigent and Impoverish'd Wits, who make it the next way for their Maintenance: In both which respects, and upon both which Considerations, they ought to be detested. For the First Licenses express Impiety; and the Latter countenances a wretched way of Live­lihood, and consequently diverts from more lawful, more serviceable, and more necessary Employments. That such Persons are both the Inventors and Actors of all these Follies, cannot be difficult to demon­strate: For were it possible, that any One could bring us Father Adam's Girdle, and Mother Eve's Apron, what Laughing, what Fleering, what Mocking of their homely Fashion would there be? surely their Taylor would find but little custom, although we Read, [Page 258] twas God himself that made them Coats of Skins.' The like may be asked of all the other Vanities, con­cerning the Holy Men and Women through all the Generations of Holy Writ. How many Pieces of Ribbond, and what Feathers, Lace-bands, and the like Adam and Eve did wear in Paradise, or out of it? What rich Embroideries, Silk, Points, &c. had Abel, Enoch, Noah, and good old Abraham? Did Eve, Sa­rah, Susannah, Elizabeth, and the Virgin Mary use to Curl, Powder, Patch, Paint, wear false Locks of strange Colours, Rich Points, Trimmings, Lac'd Gowns, Embroidered Petticoats, Shoes with Slip slaps lac'd with Silk or Silver Lace, and Ruffled like Pigeons Feet, with several Yards, if not Pieces of Ribbonds? How many Plays did Jesus Christ and his Apostles Recreate themselves at? What Poets, Romances, Comedies and the like, did the Apostles and Saints make, or use to pass away their time with­al? I know they bid all ‘Redeem their time, to a­void foolish Talking, vain Jesting, prophane Bab­blings and fabulous Stories; as what tend to Un­godliness: And rather to watch, to work out their Salvation with fear and trembling, to flee Foolish and Youthful Lusts, and to follow Righteousness, Peace, Goodness, Love Charity; and to mind the things that are above, as they would have, Honour, Glory, Immortality and eternal Life’ .

§. VI. But if I were asked, Whence came they [Page 259] then? I could quickly answer, From the Gentiles, that knew not God; (for some amongst them de­tested them, as will be shown) They were the Plea­sures of an Effeminate Sardanapalus, a Fantastick Miracles, a Comical Aristophanes, a Prodigal Cha­raxus, a Luxurious Aristippus; and the Practices of such Women, and the Infamous Clytemnestra, the painted Jezabel, the Lascivious Campaspe, the im­modest Posthumia, the costly Corinthian Libidinosa, the most impudent Flora, the wanton AEgyptian Cle­opatra, and most insatiable Messalina: Persons whose Memories have Stunk through all Ages, and that carry with them a perpetual Rot: These, and not the Holy Self-denying Men and Women in Anci­ent Times, were devoted to the like Recreations and vain Delights. Nay, the more sober of the very Heathens themselves, and that upon a Principle of great Vertue, as is by all confessed detested the like folly and wanton practices. There's none of them to be found in Plato, or in Seneca's Works: Pytha­goras, Socrates, Phocion, Zeno, &c. did not accustom themselves to these Entertainments. The Vertuous Penelope, the chast Lucretia, the Grave Cornelia, and Modest Pontia, with many others, could find them­selves Employment enough amongst their Children, Servants and Neighbours: They, though Nobles, next their Devotion, delighted most in Spinning, Weaving, Gardening, Needle-work, and such like good House-wifery, and commendable Entertain­ment. Who though called Heathens, expres'd [Page 260] much more Christianity in all their Actions, than do the wanton, foolish People of this Age, who notwith­standing will be called Christians. But above all, You Playmongers, whence think you, came your so passionately beloved Comedies? Than which, as there is not any one diversion, that's more Pernici­ous, so not one more in esteem, and fondly frequent­ed? Why I will tell you, Their Great Grand-father was an Heathen, and that not of the best sort: His Name was Epicharmus. 'Tis true, he is called a Philosopher, or a Lover of Wisdom; but he was only so by Name, and no more one in reality than the Comedians of these times are true Christians. 'Tis re­ported of him by Suidas a Greek Historian, that he was the first man who invented Comedies; and by the help of one Phormus, he made also fifty Fables. But would you know his Country, and the Reason of his Invention? His Country was Syracuse, the chief City in Sicily, famous for the Infamy of many Ty­rants; to please and gratify the Lusts of some of whom, he set his Wits to work. And don't you think this an ill Original? And is it less in any one to im­itate, or justify the same, since the more sober Hea­thens have themselves condemned them; Nay, is it not abominable, when such as call themselves Chri­stians, do both imitate and justify the like Inventi­ons? Nor had the melancholly Tragedies a better Parentage, namely, one Thespis an Athenian Poet; to whom they also do ascribe the Original of that impudent custom of Painting Faces and the coun­terfeit [Page 261] or representation of other Persons by change of Habit, Humors, &c. all which are now so much in Use and Reputation with the great Ones of the Times. To these let me add that Poetical Amoroso, whom an inordinate Passion of Love first transport­ed to those Poetical Raptures of Admiration (indeed fordid Effeminacy, if not Idolatry) they call him Alcman or Alcina, a Lydian: He being exceedingly in Love with a young Woman of his own Country, is said to have been the first Person that gave the World a sight of that kind of Folly, namely, Love­stories and Verses; which have been so diligently imi­tated by almost all Nations ever since in their Ro­mances.

§. VII. I know that some will say, ‘But we have so many Comedies and Tragedies Sonnets, Ketch­es, &c. that are on Purpose to reprehend Vice, from whence we learn many commendable things.’ Though this be shameful, yet many have been wont for Want of Shame or Understanding, or both, to return me this for Answer. Now I readily shall confess, that 'twas the next Remedy amongst the Heathens, against the Common Vices, to these more grave and moral Lectures of their Philosophers, of which Number I shall instance two: Euripides, whom Suidas calls a Learned Tragical Poet, and Eu­polis, whom the same Historian calls a Comical Poet. The first was a Man so chaste, and therefore so un­like those of our days, that he was called Misogones, or one that hated Women, that is wanton ones, for [Page 262] otherwise he was twice Married: The other he cha­racters as most severe Reprehender of Faults. From which I gather, that their design was not to feed the Idle Lazy Fancies of People nor meerly to get Mo­ney: but since by the means of loose Wits, the Peo­ple had been debauched, their work was to reclaim them, rendring Vice Ridiculous, and turning Wit a­gainst Wickedness. And this appears the rather, from the description given, as also that Euripides was supposed to have been Torn in pieces by wanton Wo­men; which doubtless was for declaiming against their Impudence: And the other being slain in the Battle betwixt the Athenians and Lacedemonians, was so regreted, as a Law was made, as that never after such Poets should be allowed to bear Arms: Doubt­less it was because in losing him, they lost a Reprover of Vice. So that the end of the Approved Comoe­dians and Tragoedians of those times, was but to Reform the People by making Sin odious: And that not so much by a rational and argumentative way, usual with their Philosophers, as by Sharp Jeers, severe Reflections, and rendring their vicious Actions Shameful Ridiculous & Detestable; so that for Reputation sake they might not longer be guilty of them: Which to me is but a little foster than a Whip or a Bride­well. Now if you that Plead for them will be con­tented to be accounted, Heathens, and those of the more dissolute and Wicked sort too, that will sooner be Jeer'd, than Argued out of your Sins, we shall acknowledge to you, that such Comedies and Trage­dies [Page 263] as these, may be serviceable: But then for shame, abuse not the Name of Jesus Christ so im­pudently, as to call your selves Christians, whose Lusts are so strong, that you are forc'd to use the low shifts of Heathens to repel them: To leave their Evils not for the love of Vertue, but of our Fear, Shame, or Reputation. Is this your Love to Jesus? Your Reverence to the Scriptures, that thro' Faith are able to make the Man of God perfect? Is all your Prattle about Ordinances, Prayers, Sacra­ments, Christianity, and the like; come to this, that at last you must betake your selves to such Instructors, as were by the sober Heathens permitted to reclaim the most Vicious of the People that were amongst them? And such Remedies too, as below which there is nothing but Corporal Punishment?

§. VIII. This is so far from Christianity, that many of the Nobler Heathens, Men and Women, were better taught and better disposed; They found out more heavenly Contemplations, and subjects of an Eternal Nature, to meditate upon. Nay, so far did they outstrip the Christians of these times, that they not only were exemplary by their grave and sober Conversation, but for the publick Benefit, the Athe­nians instituted the Gy [...]cosini, or Twenty Men, who should make it their Business to observe the Peoples Apparel and Behaviour; that if any were found im­modest, and to demean themselves Loosly, they had full Authority to punish them. But the case is al­ter'd, 'tis punishable to Reprove such: yes, its mat­ter [Page 264] of the greatest Contumely and Reproach. Nay, so impudent are some grown in their Impieties, that they sport themselves with such Religious Persons; and not only manifest a great Neglect of Piety and a severe Life by their own Looseness, but their Ex­tream Contempt of it, by rendering it Ridiculous thro' Comical and Abusive Jests, on Publick Stages. Which, how dangerous it is, and apt to make Reli­gion little worth, in the People's Eyes, besides the demonstration of this Age, let us remember, that Aristophanes had not a readier way to bring the Re­putation of Socrates in question with the People; who greatly reverenced him for his Grave and Ver­tuous Life and Doctrine, than by his Abusive Repre­sentations of him in a Play: Which made the airy, wanton unstable Crowd, rather part with Socrates in Earnest, than Socrates in Jest. Nor can a Reason better be given, why the poor Quakers are made so much the Scorn of Men, than because of their se­vere Reprehensions of Sin and Vanity, and their Self­denying Conversation, amidst so great Intemperance in all Worldly Satisfactions: Yet can such Libertines all this while strut and' swell for Christians, and strut it out against Precept and Example; but we must be Whimsical, Conceited, Morose, Melancholy, or else Hereticks, Deceivers and what not? O Blindness! O Pharisaical Hypocrisy! As if such were fit to be Judges of Religion; or that'twere possible for them to have a sight and Sense of true Religion, or really to be Religious; whilst darkened in their Under­standings [Page 265] by the God of the Pleasures of this World, and their Minds so wrapt up in External Enjoyments, and the variety of worldly Delights: No, In the Name of the Everlasting God, you mock him and de­ceive your Souls; for the Wrath of the Almighty is a­gainst you all, whilst in that spirit and condition: In vain are all your Babbles and set Performances, God laughs you to Scorn; his Anger is kindling because of these things. Wherefore be ye warned to Temperance and Repent.

§. IX. Besides, this sort of People are not only Wicked, Loose and Vain, who both invent and act these things; but by your great delight in such vain Inventions, you encourage them therein, and hinder them from more Honest and more serviceable Em­ployments. For what is the Reason, that most Com­modities are held at such excessive Rates, but because Labour is so very dear? And why is it so, but be­cause so many Hands are otherwise bestowed, even a­bout the very Vanity of all Vanities? Nay how com­mon is it with these Mercenary Procurers to Peoples Fol­ly, that when their Purses begin to grow low, they shall present them with a New (and pretendedly more con­venient) Fashion; and that perhaps, before the for­mer Costly Habits shall have done half their Service: Which either must be given away, or new-vampt in the Cut most Alamode. O Prodigal, yet frequent Folly!

§. X. I know I am coming to encounter the most plausible Objection they are used to urge, when driven to a Pinch, viz. ‘But how shall those many Families [Page 266] subsist, whose Livelihood depends upon such Fa­shions and Recreations as you so earnestly decry?’ I Answer; It is a bad Argument to plead for the Commission of the least Evil, that never so great a Good may come of it: If you and they have made Wickedness your Pleasure and your Profit, be ye con­tent, that it should be your Grief and Punishment, till the one can learn to be without such Vanity, and the others have found out more Honest Employ­ments. 'Tis the Vanity of the few great ones, that makes so much Toil for the Many Small; and the great Excess of the One, occasions the great Labour of the Other. Would men learn to be contented with Few Things, such as are necessary and conve­nient, the ancient Christian Life, all things might be at a cheaper Rate, and men might live for little. If the Landlords had less Lusts to satisfy, the Tenants might have less Rent to pay, and turn from Poor to Rich, whereby they might be able to find more-ho­nest and domestick Employments for their Children, than becoming Sharpers, and living by their Wits, which is but a better word for their Sins. And if the report of the more Intelligent in Husbandry be credible, Lands are generally improveable Ten in Twenty: And were there more Hands about more lawful and serviceable Manufactures they would be cheaper, and greater Vent might be made of them, by which a Benefit would redound to the World in general: Nay the Burden lies the Heavier upon the Laborious Country, that so many Hands and Shoul­ders [Page 267] (as have the Lust-Caterers of the Cities) should be wanting, to the Plow and useful Husbandry. If men never think themselves rich enough they may never miss of Trouble and Employment; but those who can take the Primitive State and God's Creation for their Model, may learn with a little to be con­tented; as knowing that desires after Wealth, do not only prevent or destroy true Faith, but when got encrease Snares and Trouble. It is no Evil to repent of Evil; but that can't be, whilst Men maintain what they should repent of: It is a bad Argument to avoid Temperance, or justify the contrary, be­cause otherwise the Actors and Inventors of excess would want a Livelihood; since to feed them that Way, is to Nurse the Cause, instead of Starving it. Let such of those Vanity-Hucksters as have got suf­ficient, be contented to Retreat, and spend it more honestly than they have got it; and such as really are Poor, be rather helpt by Charity to better Call­ings: This were more prudent, nay, Christian, than to consume Money upon such foolish Toys and Fop­peries. Publick Work Houses would be effectual Remedies to all these Lazy and Lustful Distempers, with more Profit, and a better Conscience. There­fore it is that we cannot, we dare not square our Con­versation by the World's: No, but by our Plainness and Moderation to testify against such Extravagant Vanities; and by our Grave and Steady Life to ma­nifest our dislike, on God's behalf to such Intempe­rate and wanton Curiosity; Yea, to deny our selves, [Page 268] what otherwise perhaps we lawfully could use with a just Indifferency, if not Satisfaction, because of that Abuse that is amongst the generality.

§. XI. I know, that some are ready farther to ob­ject; Hath God given us these Enjoyments on purpose to damn us, if we use them? Answ. But to such Mi­serable, Poor, Silly Souls, who would rather charge the most High and Holy God with the Invention or Creation of their dirty Vanities, than want a Plea to justifie their own practice; not knowing how for shame, or fear or love, to throw them off; I Answer, That what God made for Man's use, was good, and what the Blessed Lord Jesus Christ allowed, or en­joyn'd, or gave us in his most heavenly Example, is to be Observed, Believed and Practised. * But in the whole Catalogue the Scriptures give of both, I never found the Attires, Recreations and Way of Living, so much in request with the generality of the Christians of these Times: No certainly, God crea­ted man an Holy, Wise, Sober,! Grave and Reasona­ble Creature, fit to govern himself and the World; but Divinity was then the great Object of his Rea­son and Pleasure; all External Enjoyments of his giv­ing being for Necessity, Convenience, and lawful De­light, with this Proviso too, That the Almighty was to be seen, and sensibly enjoy'd and reverenced, in e­very one of them. But how very wide the Christians of these times are from this Primitive Institution, is not difficult to determine, although they make [Page 269] such Loud Pretensions to that most Holy Jesus, who not only gave the World a certain Evidence of an happy Restoration by his own coming, but promised his Assistance to all that would follow him, in the Self-denial and way of his Holy Cross; and there­fore hath so severely enjoin'd no less on all, as they would be everlastingly saved. But whether the Minds of Men and Women are not as profoundly involv'd in all Excess and Vanity, as those who know him not any farther than by Hear-say? And whether being thus banished the presence of the Lord, by their greedy seeking the things that are below, * and thereby having lost the taste of Divine Pleasure, they have not feigned to themselves an Imaginary Pleasure, to quiet or smother Conscience, and pass their time without that anguish and trouble, which are the consequences of Sin, that so they might be at ease and security while in the World, let their own Consciences declare. Adam's Temptation is repre­sented by the Fruit of a Tree, thereby intimating the great Influence, external Objects, as they exceed in Beau­ty carry with them upon our Senses: So that unless the Mind keep upon its constant watch, so prevalent are Visible Things, that hard it is for one to escape being ensnared in; and he shall need to be only sometimes entrap'd, to cast so Thick a Vail of Dark­ness over the Mind, that not only it shall with plea­sure continue in its Fetters to Lust and Vanity, but [Page 270] proudly censure such as refuse to wear them, strongly pleading for them, as serviceable and Convenient. That strange passion do perishing Objects, raise in those minds, where way is made, and entertainment given to them. But Christ Jesus is manifested in us, and hath given unto us a Taste and Understanding of him that is true *; and to All, such a proportion of his good Spirit, as is sufficient, would they obey it, to redeem their Minds from that captivity they have been in, to Lust and Vanity, and intirely ransom them from the Dominion of all Visible Objects, and whatso­ever may gratifie the Desire of the Eye, the Lust of the Flesh, and the proud Life, that they might be Re­generated in their Minds, Changed in their Affections, and have their whole Hearts set on things that are a­bove, where Moth nor Rust can never pass or enter to harm or destroy.

§. XII. But 'tis a manifest sign, of what Mould and Make those persons are, who practice and plead for such AEgyption shameful Rags, as Pleasures. Its to be hoped that they never knew, or to be fear'd they have forgot the Humble, 'Plain, Meek, Holy, Self­denying and Exemplary Life, which the Eternal Spirit sanctifies all Obedient Hearts into; yea, its indubi­table, that either such always have been Ignorant, or else that they have lost Sight of that Good Land, that heavenly Country and blessed Inheritance, they once had some glimmering prospect of. O that [Page 271] they would but withdraw a while, sit down, weigh and consider with themselves, where they are, and whose Work and Will they are doing! That they would once believe, the Devil hath not a stratagem more pernicious to their immortal Souls, than this of exercising their Minds in the Foolish Fashions and Wanton Recreations of the times? Great and gross Impieties beget a detestation in the opinion of sober Education and Reputation; and therefore since the Devil rightly fees such things have no success with many, it is his next, and fatalest design, to find some other Entertainments, that carry less of Infection in their Looks, though more of Security, because less of Scandal and more of Pleasure in their enjoyment, on purpose to busie and arrest People from a diligent Search and Enquiry after those matters, which ne­cessarily concern their Eternal Peace: That being ignorant of the heavenly Life, they may not be in­duced to press after it; but being only formally Re­ligious, according to the Traditions and Precepts of others, proceed to their common Pleasures,* and find no Check therefrom (their Religion and Conver­sation for the most part agreeing well together) whereby an Improvement in the knowledge of God, a going on from Grace to Grace, a growing to the measure of the stature of Jesus Christ himself, is not known: But as it was in the beginning at seven, so it is at seventy; nay, not so innocent, unless by rea­son of the old saying, Old Men are twice Children. [Page 272] Oh! the Mystery of Godliness, the heavenly Life the true Christian, are another thing! Wherefore we conclude that as the design of the Devil (where he cannot involve and draw into gross Sin) is to busie, delight and allure the Minds of Men and Women by more seeming innocent Entertainments, on pur­pose that he may more easily secure them from minding their duty and progress of, and Obedience to the only true God, which is Eternal Life ; and thereby take up their Minds from heavenly and Eternal Things: So these who would be delivered from these Snares, should mind the holy, just, grave and self-denying Teachings of God's Grace and Spirit in themselves,* that they may reject and for ever abandon the like Vanity and Evil ; and, by a reformed Conversation, condemn the World of its Intemperance: So will the true Discipleship be obtained; for otherwise many enormous Conse­quences and pernicious Effects will follow. 'Tis to encourage such impious persons to continue and pro­ceed in the like Trades of feeding the Peoples Lusts, and thereby such make themselves partakers of their plagues: Who by continual fresh desires to the like Curiosities, and that way of spending Time and E­state, induce them to spend more time in studying how to abuse Time; lest, through their pinching and small allowances those Prodigals should call their Fathers House to mind; for whatsoever any think, [Page 273] more pleasant Baits, Alluring Objects, Grateful Enter­tainments, Cunning Emissaries, Acceptable Sermons, Insinuating Lectures, taking Orators, the Crafty De­vil has not ever had, by which to entice and ensnare the Minds of People, and totally to divert them from heavenly Reflections, and divine Meditations, than the Attire, Sports, Plays and Pastimes of this Godless Age, the School and Shop of Satan, hitherto so rea­sonably condemned.

CHAP. XVIII.

§. 1. But if these Customs, &c. were but indifferent, yet being abused, they deserve to be rejected. §. 2. The Abuse is acknow­ledged by those that use them, therefore should leave them. §. 3. Such as pretend to Seriousness should exemplarily withdraw from such Latitudes: A wise Parent weans his Child of what it dotes too much upon; and we should watch over our selves and Neigh­bours. §. 4. God in the case of the Brazen Serpent &c. gives us an Example to put away the Use of abused Things. §. 5: If these things were sometimes convenient, yet when their Use is prejudicial in Example they should be disused. §. 6. Such as yet proceed to love their unlawful Pleasures more than Christ and his Cross, the mischief they have brought to Persons and Estates, Bodies and Souls. §. 7. Ingenuous People know this to be true: An Appeal to God's Witness in the Guilty: Their state that of Babylon. §. 8. But Temperance in Food, and Plainess in Apparel, and sober Conversation conduce most to Good: So the Apostle teaches in his Epistles. §. 9. Temper­ance enriches a Land. Tis a Political Good, as well as a Re­ligious one in all Governments. §. 10. When People have done their Duty to God it will be time enough to think of pleas­ing themselves. §. 11. An Address to the Magistrates, and all People how to convert their Time and Money to better purposes.

§. I. BUt should these things be as Indifferent, as they are proved perniciously unlawful (for [Page 274] I never heard any advance their Plea beyond the Bounds of meet Indifferency) yet so great is their A­buse, so universal the sad Effects thereof, like to an infection, that they therefore ought to be rejected of all, especially those whose Sobriety hath preserv'd them on this side of that Excess, or whose Judgments (though themselves be guilty) suggest the Folly of such Intemperance. For what is an Indifferent Thing, but that which may be done, or left undone? Granting, I say, this were the case, yet do both Rea­son and Religion teach, that when they are used with such an Excess of Appetite, as to leave them would be a cross to their Desires, they have exceeded the Bounds of meer Indifferency, and are thereby rendred no less than necessary. Which being a Violation of the very Nature of the things themselves, a perfect Abuse enters; and consequently they are no longer to be considered in the rank of things simply Indiffer­ent, but Unlawful.

§. II. Now that the whole Exchange of Things a­gainst which I have so earnestly contended, are ge­nerally abused by the Excess of almost all Ages, Sexes and Qualities of people, will be confessed by many who yet decline not to conform themselves to them; and to whom, as I have understood, it only seems Lawful, because (say they) The abuse of others, should be no Argument, why we should not use them. But to such I Answer, That they have quite forgot, or will not remember, they have acknowledged these things to be but of an Indifferent Nature: If so, (and Va­nity) [Page 275] never urg'd more) I say, there can be nothing more clear, then since they acknowledge their great abuse, that they are wholly to be forsaken: For since they may as well be let alone, as done at any time, surely they should then of Duty be let alone, when the use of them is an abetting the General Excess, and a meer exciting others to continue in their Abuse, be­cause they find persons reputed sober to imitate them, or otherwise to give them an Example: Precepts are not half so forcible as Example.

§. III. Every one that pretends to Seriousness, ought to inspect himself, as having been too forward to help on the Excess, and can never make too much haste out of those Inconveniences, that by his for­mer Examples he encouraged any to; that by a new one he may put a seasonable Check upon the Intem­perance of others. A wise Parent ever withdraws those Objects, however Innocent in themselves, which are too prevalent upon the weak senses of his Children, on purpose that they might be weaned: And 'tis as frequent with men to bend a crooked Stick as much the contrary way, that they might make it straight at last. Those that have more So­briety than others, should not forget their Steward­ships, and exercise that Gift of God to the security of their Neighbours. 'Twas Murdering Cain, that rudely asked the Lord, Was he his Brothers Keeper ? For Every Man is necessarily obliged thereto; and therefore should be so wise, as to deny himself the [Page 276] use of such Indifferent Enjoyments, as cannot be used by him, without too manifest an Encouragement to his Neighbours Folly.

§. IV. God hath sufficiently excited men to what is said; for in the case of the Brazen Serpent, which was an heavenly Institution and Type of Christ, He with great displeasure enjoin'd it should be broke to pieces, because they were too fond and doting upon it. Yes the very Groves themselves, however plea­sant for Situation, beautiful for their Walks and Trees, must be cut down; and why? Only because they had been abused to Idolatrous Uses. And what's an Idol, but that which the Mind puts an over esti­mate or value upon? None can benefit themselves so much by an Indifferent thing, as others by not using that abused Liberty.

§. V. If those things were convenient in them­selves, which is a step nearer Necessity, than meer In­differency, yet when by Circumstances they become prejudicial, such Conveniency it self ought to be put up; much more what's but Indifferent; should be deny'd. People ought not to weigh their private Satisfactions more than a publick Good; nor please themselves in too free a use of Indifferent things, at the cost of being so really prejudicial to the Publick, as they certainly are, whose use of them (if no worse) becomes Exemplary to others, and begets an Impatien­cy in their Minds to have the like. Wherefore it is both reasonable and incumbent on all, to make only such things necessary, as tend to Life and Godliness, * [Page 277] and to employ their freedom with most advantage to their Neighbours. So that here is a twofold Ob­ligation; the One, not to be Exemplary in the use of such things; which, though they may use them, yet not without giving too much countenance to the abuse and excessive Vanity of their Neighbours*. The other obligation is, that they ought so far to condescend to such Religious People, who are of­fended at these Fashions, and that kind of Conversa­tion, as to reject them.

§. VI. Now those, who notwithstanding what I have urged, will yet proceed; what is it, but that they have so involv'd themselves and their Affections in them, that it is hardly possible to Reform them; and that for all their many Protestations against their fondness to such Fopperies, they really Love Them more than Christ and his Cross. Such cannot seek the good of others, who do so little respect their own. For, after a serious consideration, What Vanity, Pride, Idleness, Expence of Time and Estates, have been, and yet are? How many Persons debauched from their first Sobriety, and Women from their natural Sweetness and Innocence, to Loose, Airy, [...] and many times more Enormous Practices? How many plentiful Estates have been over-run by nu­merous Debts, Chastity ensnared by accursed lustful Intrigues? Youthful Health overtaken by the ha­sty seizure of unnatural Distempers, and the remain­ing [Page 278] days of such spent upon a Rack of their Vices procuring, and so made Slaves to the unmerciful, but necessary Effects of their own inordinate Plea­sures? In which Agony they Vow the greatest Tem­perance; but no sooner out of it, than in their Vice again.

§. VII. That these things are the case and almost innumerable more, I am perswaded no ingenuous Person of any Experience will deny: How then, upon a serious reflection, any that pretend Conscience, or the fear of God Almighty, can longer continue in the Garb, Livery and Conversation of those, whose whole Life tends to little else, than what I have re­peated, much less join with them in their abomi­nable Excess, I leave to the just Principle in them­selves to judge*. No surely! this is not to obey the Voice of God, who in all Ages did loudly cry to all, Come out of (of what?) the Ways, Fashions, Converse and Spirit of Babylon; Who's that? The great City of all these Vain, Foolish, Wanton, Su­perfluous, and Wicked Practices, against whom the Scriptures denounce most dreadful Judgments; as­cribing all the Intemperance of Men and Women to the Cup of Wickedness she hath given them to drink; whose are the things indifferent, if they must be so. And for witness, hear what the Revelations say in her description; ‘How much she hath glo­rified her self, and lived deliciously, so much Tor­ment [Page 279] and Sorrow give her. And the Kings of the Earth, who have lived deliciously with her, shall bewail and lament her; and the Merchants of the Earth shall weep over her; for no man buyeth their Merchandise any more: The Merchandise of Gold, and Silver, and precious Stones, and of Pearls and fine Linnen, and Purple, and Silk, and Scarlet, and all manner of Vessels of Ivory, and all manner of Vessels of most precious Wood; and Cinnamon, and Odours, and Ointments, and Frankincense, and Wine, and Oil, and fine Flower, and Beasts, and Slaves, and Souls of Men.’ Behold the Character and judgment of Luxury: And though I know it hath a further signification than what is literal; yet there is enough to shew the Pomp, Plenty, Fulness, Idleness, Ease, Wantonness, Vanity, Lust and Excess of Luxury, that reign in her. But at the Terrible Day, who will go to her Exchange any more? Who to her Plays? Who will follow her Fashions then? And who shall Traffick in her delicate Inventions? Not one; for she shall be judged. No Plea shall ex­cuse or rescue her from the Wrath of the Judge; for [...]rong is the Lord who will perform it. If yet these reasonable Pleas will not prevail; however, I shall caution such, in the repetition of Part of 'Babylon's mi­serable Doom: Mind, my Friends, more Heaven­ly things, hasten to obey that righteous Principle, which would exercise and delight you in that which's Eternal; or else with Babylon, the Mother of Lust and Vanity, the Fruits that your Souls lust [Page 280] after shall depart from you, and all things which are dainty and goodly, shall depart from you, and you shall find them NO MORE:’ O Dives: no more. Lay your Treasures therefore up in Heaven,* O ye Inhabitants of the Earth, where nothing can break through to harm them; but where Time shall shortly be swallowed up of Eternity!

§. VIII. But my Arguments against these things end not here; for the contrary most of all con­duces to Good, namely, ‘Temperance in Food, Plain­ness in Apparel; with a meek, shamefac'd and quiet Spirit, and that Conversation which doth only express the same in all Godly Honesty:’ As the Apostle saith, ‘Let no corrupt Communication proceed out of your Mouth, but that which is good to the use of Edifying, that it may administer Grace to the Hearers; neither Filthiness, nor fool­ish Talking, nor Jesting, but rather giving of Thanks: For let no Man deceive you with vain words, because of these Things cometh the Wrath of God upon the Children of Disobedience.’ And if Men and Women were but thus Adorned, after this truly Christian manner, Impudence would soon receive a Check, and Lust, Pride, Vanity, and Wantonness find a Rebuke. They would not be able to attempt such universal Chastity, or encounter such Godly Austerity: Vertue would be in Credit, and [Page 281] Vice afraid and ashamed, and Excess not dare to shew its Face.*. There would be an end of Glut­tony, and Gaudiness of Apparel, Flattering Titles, and a Luxurious Life; and then Primitive Innocency and Plainness would come back again, and that Plain­hearted, Down right Harmless Life would be re­stored, of not much caring what we should eat, drink or put on, as Christ tells us, the Gentiles did, and as we know this Age daily does, under all its talk of Religion: But as the Ancients, with moderate Care for Necessaries and Conveniences of Life, devoted themselves to the Concernments of a Coelestial King­dom, more minded their Improvement in Righte­ousness, than their Increase in Riches; for they laid their Treasure up in Heaven, and endured Tribu­lation for an Inheritance that cannot be taken away.

§. IX. But the Temperance I plead for, is not only Religiously, but Politically Good: 'Tis the Interest of Good Government to Curb and Rebuke Excess­es: It prevents many Mischiefs, Luxury brings Effeminacy, Laziness, Poverty and Misery: but Temperance preserves the Land. It keeps out Fo­reign Vanities,** and Improves our own Commodi­ties; Now we are their Debtors, then they would be Debtors to us for our Native Manufactures. By this means such Persons who by their Excess, not Charity,†† have deeply engaged their Estates, may [Page 282] in short Space be enabled to clear them from those Incumbrances, which otherwise (like Moths) soon eat out plentiful Revenues. It helps Persons of mean substance to improve their small Stocks, that they may not expend their dear Earnings and hard­got Wages upon Superfluous Apparel, Foolish May-Games, Plays, Dancing-shews, Taverns, Ale▪ houses, and the like Folly and Intemperance; of which this Land is more infested, and by which its rendred more Ridiculous, than any Kingdom in the World: For none I know of is so insested, with Cheating, Mountebanks, Savage Morrice-Dancers, Pick poc­kets, and prophane Players, and Stagers; to the slight of Religion, the shame of Government, and the great Idleness, Expence and Debauchery of the People: For which the Spirit of the Lord is grieved and the Judgments of the Almighty are at the Door, and the Sentence ready pronounced,* Let him that is Unjust, be Unjust still. Wherefore it is, that we cannot but loudly call upon the generality of the Times, and testify, both by our Life and Doctrine, a­gainst the like Vanities and Abuses, if possibly any may be weaned from their Folly, and choose the Good old Path of Temperance, Wisdom, Gravity and Ho­liness, the only way to inherit the Blessings of Peace and Plenty here, and Eternal Happiness hereafter.

§. X. Lastly, Supposing we had none of these fore­going Reasons justly to reprove the Practice of the Land in these particulars; however, let it be sufficient [Page 283] for us to say, That ‘when People have first learned to Fear, Worship and Obey their Creator, to pay their numerous vicious Debts, to alleviate and abate their oppressed Tenants; but above all outward regards, when the Pale Faces are commiserated, the Pinch'd Bellies relieved, and naked Backs cloathed; when the famished Poor, the distressed Widow, and helpless Orphan (God's Works and your fellow Creatures) are provided for*;’ then I say, (if then) it will be time enough for you to plead the Indifferency of your Pleasures. But that the Sweat and tedious Labour of the Husbandman, early and late, cold and hot, wet and dry, should be con­verted into the Pleasure, Ease and Pastime of a small number of men; that the Cart, the Plough, the Thrash, should be in that continual severity laid upon Nineteen parts of the Land, to feed the inordinate Lusts and delicious Appetites of the Twentieth, is so far from the Appointment of the great Governour of the World, and God of the Spirits of all flesh, that to imagine such horrible Injustice as the effect of his Determinations, and not the Intemperance of Men, were Wretched and Blasphemous. As on the other side, it would be to deserve no Pity, no Help, no Relief from God Almighty, for People to [Page 284] continue that Expence in Vanity and Pleasure, whilst the great Necessities of such Objects, go unanswered; especially, since God hath made the Sons of Men but Stewards to each others Exigencies and Relief. Yea, so strict is it enjoin'd, that on the omission of these things, we find this dreadful Sentence partly to be grounded, Depart from me, ye cursed, into E­verlasting Fire, &c. As on the contrary, to visit the sick, see the Imprisoned, relieve the Needy, &c *, are such excellent Properties in Christ's account, that thereupon he will pronounce such Blessed, saying, Come ye Blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom pre­pared for you, &c. So that the great are not (with the Leviathan in the deep) to Prey upon the Small, much less to make a Sport of the Lives and Labours of the Lesser Ones, to gratifie their Inordinate Senses.

§. XI. I therefore humbly offer an Address to the Serious Consideration of the Civil Magistrate, That if the Money which is expended in every Pa­rish in such vain Fashions, as wearing of Laces, Jew­els, Embroideries, Unnecessary Ribbons, Trim­ming, costly Furniture and Attendance, together with what is commonly consumed in Taverns, Feasts, Gaming, &c. could be collected into a Pub­lick Stock, or something in lieu of this extravagant and fruitless Expence, there might be Reparations to the broken Tenants, Work Houses for the Able, and Alms houses for the Aged and Impotent. Then [Page 285] should we have no Beggars in the Land, the Cry of the Widow and the Orphan would cease, and charitable Reliefs might easily be afforded to­wards the Redemption of Poor Captives, and Re­freshment of such Distressed Protestants as labour under the Miseries of Persecution in other Coun­tries: Nay, the Exchequer's Needs, on just Emer­gencies, might be supplied by such a Bank: This Sacrifice and Service would please the Just and Mer­ciful God: It would be a Noble Example of Gra­vity and Temperance to Foreign States, and an un­speakable Benefit to our selves at home.

Alas! why should Men need Perswasions, to what their own Felicity so necessarily leads them to? Had these Vitioso's of the Times but a sense of Heathen Cato's Generosity, they would rather deny their Car­nal Appetites, than leave such nobles Enterprizes unattempted. But that they should Eat, Drink, Play, Game and Sport away their Health, Estates, and above all, their Irrevocable precious Time, which should be dedicated to the Lord, as a necessary Introduction to a Blessed Eternity, and than which (did they but know it) no Worldly Solace could come in competition; I say, that they should be continually employ'd about these poor, low things, is to have the Heathens judge them in God's day, as well as Christian Precepts and Examples condemn them. And their final Doom will prove the more Astonishing, in that this Vanity and Excess are acted under a Profession of the Self-denying Religion of [Page 286] Jesus, whose Life and Doctrine are a perpetual Re­proach to the most of Christians. For he (blessed Man) was Humble, but they are Proud; He For­giving, they Revengeful; He Meek, they Fierce; He Plain, they Gawdy; He Abstemious, they Lux­urious; He Chaste, they Lascivious; He a Pilgrim on Earth, they Citizens of the World: In fine, He was Meanly born, Poorly attended, and Obscurely brought up: He lived despised, and dyed hated of the Men of his own Nation. O you pretended Fol­lowers of this Crucified Jesus! Examine your selves, try your selves; know you not your own selves, if he dwell not (if he Rule not) in you, that you are Repro­bates? Be ye not deceived, for God will not be Mocked (at last with forced Repentances) such as you Sow, such (such you must) Reap in Gods Day * I beseech you hear me, and remember you were Invited and Entreated to the Salvation of God. I say, As you Sow, you Reap: If you are Enemies to the Cross of Christ (and you are so, if you will not bear it, but do as you list) and (not as you ought) if you are Uncir­cumcised in Heart and Ear (and you are so, if you will not hear and open to him that knocks at the Door with­in) and if you Resist and Quench the Spirit in your selves, that strives with you, to bring you to God (and that you certainly do, who Rebel against its Motions, Reproofs and Instructions) then you sow to the Flesh, to fulfil the Lusts thereof, and of the Flesh will you reap the fruits of Corruption, Wo, Anguish, and Tribulation, from God the Judge of quick and [Page 287] dead, by Jesus Christ But if you will daily bear the holy Cross of Christ, and sow to the spirit; if you will listen to the Light and Grace that comes by Jesus, and which he has given to all People for Salvation, and square your Thoughts, Words and Deeds there­by (which leads and teaches the Lovers of it, to deny all Ungodliness, and the Worlds Lusts, and to live So­berly, Righteously and Godly in this present Evil World) then may you with confidence look for the blessed Hope, and joyful Coming, and glorious Appearance of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ * Let it be so, O you Christians, and escape the Wrath to come! Why will you dye? Let the time past suf­fice: Remember, that No Cross, No Crown. Redeem then the Time, for the days are Evil, and yours but very few Therefore Gird up the Loyns of your Minds, be Sober, Fear, Watch, Pray and Endure to the end; calling to Mind, for your Encouragement, and Consolation, that all such as through Patience and Well doing wait for Immortality, shall reap Glory, Honour and Eternal Life, in the Kingdom of the Fa­ther; whose is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory for ever, Amen.

FINIS.
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NO CROSS, NO CROWN. The Second PART, Containing an ACCOUNT OF THE Living and Dying SAYINGS OF Men, Eminent for their Greatness, Learning, or Vertue. And that of Divers Periods of Time, and Nations of the World. All Concurring in this One Testimony, That a Life of Strict Virtue, viz. To do Well, and bear Ill, is the Way to Lasting Happiness. Collected in Favour of the Truth delivered in the FIRST PART.

By WILLIAM PENN.

The Seventh Edition.

BOSTON, Printed by ROGERS and FOWLE. 1747.

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THE PREFACE.

No Cross, No Crown, should have ended here; but that the Power, Examples and Authorities have put upon the Minds of People, above the most reasonable and pressing Argu­ments, inclin'd me to present my Rea­ders with some of those many Instan­ces that might be given, in favour of the Vertuous Life recommended in our Discourse. I chuse to cast them into three Sorts of Testimonies (not after the Threefold Subject of the Book, but) sutable to the Times, Qualities, and Circumstances of the Persons that gave them forth; whose divers Excel­lencies and Stations have transmitted their Names with Reputation to our [Page] own Times. The first Testimony comes from those called Heathens, the second from Profess'd Christians, and the last from Retir'd, Aged, and Dying Men; being their last and serious Re­flections, to which no Ostentation or Worldly Interests could induce them. Where it will be easy for the Conside­rate Reader to observe how much the Pride, Avarice, and Luxury of the World, stood reprehended in the Judg­ment of Persons of great Credit a­mongst Men; and what was that Life and Conduct, that in their most Re­tired Meditations, when their Sight was clearest, and Judgment most free and disabused, they thought would give Peace Here, and lay Foundations of Eternal Blessedness.

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I. The Testimonies of Several Great, Learned, and Vertuous Personages among the Gentiles, urged against the Excesses of the Age, in favour of the Self-denial, Temperance and Piety herein recommended.

§. II. Cyrus (than whom a greater Monarch we hardly find in Story) is more famous for his Vertue, than his Power; and indeed it was that which gave him Power. God calls him his Shep­hard: Now let us see the Principles of his Conduct and Life: So Temperate was he in his Youth, that when Astyages urged him to drink Wine, he an­swered, ‘I am afraid left there should be poison in 'it; having seen Thee reel and sottish after having drunk thereof.’ And so careful was he to keep the Persians from Corruption of Manners, that he would not suffer them to leave their Rude and Mountanous Country for one more Pleasant and Fruitful, left, through Plenty and Ease, Luxury at last might de­base their Spirits. And so very Chaste was he, that having taken a Lady of Quality, a most Beautiful Woman, his Prisoner, he refused to see her, saying, 'I have no mind to be a Captive to my Captive.' It seems, he claimed no such Propriety; but shun'd the occasion of Evil. The Comptroller of his Houshold asking him one day, what he would [Page 2] please to have for his Dinner?' Bread, saith he; for 'I intend to Encamp nigh the Water:' A short and easie Bill of Fare: But this shews the power he had over his Appetite, as well as his Soldiers; and that he was fit to Command others, that could Command himself. According to another saying of his, ‘No man (saith he) is worthy to Command, who is not better than those who are to Obey:’ And when he came to dye, he gave this Reason of his Belief of Immortality, ‘I cannot, saith he, perswade my self to think, that the Soul of man, after hav­ing sustained it self in a mortal Body, should perish, when delivered of it, for want of it;’ A saying of perhaps as great weight, as may be advanced against Atheism from more enlightned Times.

§. III. Artaxerxes Mnemon, being upon an extra­ordinary occasion reduced to Eat Barly Bread and dryed Figgs, and drink Water; ‘What Pleasure (saith he) have I lost till now, through my Delica­cies and Excess!’

§. IV. Agathocles becoming King of Sicily, from being the Son of a Potter, always to humble his Mind to his Original, would be daily served in some Earthen Vessels upon his Table: an Example of Humility and Plainness.

§. V. Philip King of Macedon, upon three sorts of good News arrived in one day, feared too much success might transport him immoderately; and therefore pray'd for some Disappointments to season his Prosperity, and caution his Mind under the En­joyment [Page 3] of it. He refused to oppress the Greeks with his Garrisons, saying, ‘I had rather retain them by kindness, than fear; and to be always Beloved, than for a while Terrible.’ One of his Minions per­swading him, To decline hearing of a Cause, wherein a particular Friend was Interested; ‘I had much ra­ther, says he, thy Friend shall lose his Cause, than I my Reputation.’ Seeing his Son Alexander endea­vour to gain the Hearts of the Macedonians by Gifts and Rewards, ‘Canst thou believe, says he, that a man that thou hast corrupted to thy Interests, will ever be true to them?’ When his Court would have had him quarrel'd and corrected the Peloponnen­ses for their Ingratitude to him, he said, ‘By no means, for if they despise and abuse me after being kind to them, what will they do if I do them harm?’ A great Example of Patience in a King, and wittily said. Like to this was his Reply to the Embassadors of Athens whom asking after Audience, If he could do them any Service, and one of them sur­lily answering, ‘The best thou canst do us is, to hand thy self;’ He was nothing disturbed, though his Court murmured; but calmly said to the Em­bassador, ‘Those who suffer Injuries, are better Peo­ple than those that do them.’ To conclude with him, being one day fallen along the ground, and see­ing himself in that Posture, cried out, ‘What a small Spot of Earth do we take up, and yet the whole 'World cannot content us!’

§. VI. Alexander, was very temperate and Ver­tuous [Page 4] in his Youth: A certain Governour having written to him that a Merchant of the place had se­veral fine Boys to sell, He returned him this Answer with great Indignation, ‘What hast thou seen, in any Act of my Life, that should put thee upon such a Message as this?’ And avoided the Woman, his Courtiers flung in his way, to debauch him. Nay, he would not see the Wife of Darius, famed for the most Beautiful Princess of the Age; which with his other Vertues, made Darius (the last Persian King) to say, ‘If God has determined to take my Em­pire from me, I wish it into the Hands of Alex­ander, my vertuous Enemy.’ He hated Covetous­ness; for though he left great Conquests, he left no Riches; which made him thus to answer one that askt him dying, ‘Where he had hid his Treasures, Among my Friends, says he. He was wont to say, He owed more to his Master for his Education, than to his Father for his Birth; by how much it was less to live, than to live Well.

§. VII. Ptolomy, Son of Lagas, being reproached for his mean Original, and his Friends angry that he did not resent it; ‘We ought, says he, to bear Re­proaches patiently.’

§. VIII. Exenuphanes, being jeer'd for refusing to play at a forbidden Game, answered; ‘I do not fear my Money, but my Reputation: They that make Laws, must keep them.’ A commendable saying.

§. IX. Antigonus, being taken sick, he said, ‘It was a Warning from God to instruct him of his [Page 5] Mortality.’ A Poet flattering him with the Title of the Son of God; He answered, ‘My Servant knows contrary.’ Another Sycophant telling him, that the Will of Kings is the Rule of Justice: ‘No saith he, Rather Justice is the Rule of the Will of Kings’. And being prest by his Minions to put a Garrison into Athens, to hold the Greeks in subjec­tion, He answered, ‘He had not a stronger Garri­son, than the Affections of his People.’

§. X. Themistocles after all the Honour of his Life, sits down with this Conclusion, ‘That the Way to the Grave is more desirable than the Way to Worldly Honours.’ His Daughter being court­ed by one of little Wit and great Wealth, and ano­ther of little Wealth and great Goodness; he chose the poor man for his Son in Law; For, saith he, ‘I will rather have a Man without Money, than Money without a Man; reckoning, that not Mo­ney, but Worth, makes the Man.’ Being told by Symmachus, that he would teach him the Art of Me­mory; he gravely answered, ‘He had rather learn the Art of Forgetfulness;’ adding, ‘He could re­member enough, but many things he could not forget, which were necessary to be forgotten;’ as the Honours, Glories Pleasures and Conquests he had spent his Days in, too apt to transport to vain Glory.

§. XI. Aristides, a wife and just Greek, of greatest Honour and Trust with the Athenians; He was a great Enemy to Cabals in Government: The Rea­son he renders is, ‘Because, saith he, I would not be [Page 6] obliged to authorize Injustice:’ He so much hated Covetousness, though he was Thrice chosen Trea­surer of Athens, that he lived and died Poor, and that of Choice: For being therefore reproached by a rich Usurer, he answered, ‘Thy Riches hurt thee, more than my Poverty hurts me.’ Being once banished by a contrary Faction in the State, he pray'd to God, ‘that the Affairs of his Country might go so well, as never to need his Return;’ which however caused him presently to be recalled. Whereupon he told them; ‘That he was not troubled for his Exile with respect to himself, but the Honour of his Country.’ Themistocles, their General, had a Project to propose to render Athens, Mistress of Greece, but it required Secrecy: The People obliged him to communicate it to Aristides, whose Judgment they would follow. Aristides having privately heard it from Themistocles, publickly answered to the People, ‘True, there was nothing more Advantagious, nor nothing more Unjust:’ which quasht the Project.

§. XII.Pericles, as he mounted the Tribunal, prayed to God, ‘that not a word might fall from him, that might scandalize the People, wrong the Pub­lick Affairs, or hurt his own.’ One of his Friends praying him to Speak falsly in his favour: ‘We are Friends, saith he, but not beyond the Altar;’ meaning not against Religion and Truth. Sophocles being his Companian, upon sight of a Beautiful Wo­man, said to Pericles, ‘Ah, what a lovely Creature is that!’ To whom Pericles reply'd, ‘It becometh a [Page 7] Magistrate not only to have his Hands clean, but his Tongue and Eyes also.’

§. XIII. Phocion, a famous Athenian, was honest and poor, yea, he contemned Riches; For a certain Governour making Rich presents, he returned them; saying, I refused Alexanders. And when several per­swaded him to accept of such Bounty, or else his Children would want, he answered, ‘If my Son be Vertuous, I shall leave him enough, and if he be Vicious, more would be too little.’ He rebuked the Excess of the Athenians, and that openly, saying, ‘He that eateth more than he ought, maketh more Diseases than he can cure.’ To Condemn or Flat­ter him, was to him alike. Demosthenes telling him, when ever the People were enraged, they would Kill him; he answered, ‘And thou also, when they are come to their Wits.’ He said, ‘An Orator was like a Cyprus Tree, fair and great, but Fruitless.’ Antipater, pressing him to submit to his sense, he an­swered, ‘Thou canst not have me for a Friend and Flatterer too.’ Seeing a man in Office to speak much, and do little, he askt, ‘How can that man do business, that is already drunk with Talking?’ Af­ter all the great Services of his Life, he was unjustly condemned to dye; and going to the place of Ex­ecution, lamented of the People, one of his Enemies Spit in his Face, he took it without any disorder of mind, only saying, Take him away. Before Execu­tion, his Friends askt him, Whether he had nothing to say to his Son? ‘Yes, said he, Let him, not hate [Page 8] my Enemies, nor Revenge my Death,: I see it is better to sleep upon the Earth with Peace, than with Trouble upon the softest Bed: That he ought to do that which is his Duty: and what is more, is Vanity: That he must not carry two Fa­ces: That he promise little, but keep his Promises: The World does the contrary.’

§. XIV. Clitomachus, had so great a love to Ver­tue, and practised it with such exactness, that if at any time in Company he heared wanton or obscene Dis­course, he was wont to quit the place.

§. XV. Epaminondas, being invited to a sacrificial Feast, so soon as he had entred, he withdrew, because of the sumptuous Furniture and Attire of the Place and People; saying, ‘I was called at Lectures to a Sacrifice, but I find it is a Debauch.’ The day after the great Battel, which he obtain'd upon his Ene­mies, he seemed sad and solitary, which was not his ordinary Temper; and being askt, Why? answered, ‘I would moderate the Joy of Yesterdays Triumphs.’ A Thessalian General, and Colleague in a certain En­terprize, knowing his Poverty, sent him two thou­sand Crowns to defray his part of the Charges; but he seemed Angry, and answered, This looks like cor­rupting me: contenting himself with less than five pounds, which he borrowed of one of his Friends for that Service. The same Moderation made him re­fuse the Presents of the Persian Emperor, saying, ‘They were needless if he only desired of him what was just; if more, he was not rich enough to cor­rupt [Page 9] him.’ Seeing a Rich man refuse to lend one of his Friends Money that was in Affliction; He said, ‘Art not thou ashamed to refuse to help a good man in Necessity?’ After he had freed Greece from Trouble, and made the Thebans, his Country-men, triumph over the Lacedaemonians, (till then invinci­ble) that ungrateful People arraigned him and his Friends, under pretence of acting something without Authority: He as General, took the Blame upon himself, justified the Action both from Necessity and Success, arraigning his Judges for Ingratitude, whilst himself was at the Bar; Which caused them to with­draw with fallen Countenances, and Hearts smitten with Guilt and Fear. To conclude, he was a Man of great Truth and Patience, as well as Wisdom and Courage; for he was never observed to Lye in Ear­nest or in Jest. And notwithstanding the ill and cross Humours of the Thebans, aggravated by his incom­parable Hazards and Services for their freedom and Renown, it is reported of him, That he ever bore them patiently, often saying, ‘That he ought no more to be revenged of his Country than of his Father.’ And being wounded to Death in the Battle of Man­line, he advised his Countrymen to make Peace, none be­ing fit to command; which proved true. He would not suffer them to pull the Sword out of his Body, till he knew he gained the Victory; and then he ended his days, with this Expression in his Mouth, ‘I die con­tentedly, for it is in defence of my Country; and I am sure I shall live in the eternal Memory of Good­men.’ [Page 10] This, for a Gentile and a General, hath matter of Praise and Example in it.

§. XVI. Demosthenes, the great Orator of Athens, had these Sentences: ‘That Wise men speak little, and that therefore Nature hath given men two Ears and one Tongue, to hear more than they speak.’ To one that spoke much, he said, ‘How cometh it, that he who taught thee to speak, did not teach thee to hold thy Tongue.’ He said, of a Covetous man, ‘That he knew not how to live all his Life time, and that he left it for another to live after he was dead. That it was an easie thing to deceive ones self, because it was easie to perswade ones self to what one desired. He said, That Calumnies were easily received, but Time would always disco­ver them. That there was nothing more uneasie to Good men, than not to have the Liberty of speaking freely: And that if one knew what one had to suffer from the People, one would never meddle to govern them. In fine, That Man's Happiness was to he like God; and to resemble him, we must love Truth and Justice.

§. XVII. Agasicles King of the Lacedaemonians (or Spartans, which are one) was of the Opinion, That it was better to govern without force: ‘And, says he, the Means to do it, is to govern the People as a Father governs his Children.’

§. XVIII. Agesilaus, King of the same People, would say, ‘That he had rather be Master of him­self, than of the greatest City of his Enemies: And [Page 11] to preserve his own Liberty, than to usurp the Li­berty of another man. A Prince, says he, ought to distinguish himself from his Subjects by his Vertue, and not by his State of Delicacy of Life.’ Where­fore he wore plain simple Cloathing; his Table was as moderate, and his Bed as hard, as that of any or­dinary Subject. And when he was told, That one time or other he would be obliged to change his Fa­shion; ‘No, saith he, I am not given to change, even in a Change: And this I do, saith he, to re­move from Young men any pretence of Luxury; that they may see their Prince practise what he counsels them to do.’ He added, ‘That the Foun­dation of the Lacedaemonian Laws was, to despise Luxury, and to reward with Liberty: Nor, saith he, should good men put a value upon that which mean and base Souls make their Delight.’ Being flattered by some with divine Honour, he askt them, ‘If they could not make Gods too? If they could, why did they not begin with themselves.’ The same Austere Conduct of Life made him refuse to have his Statue erected in the Cities of Asia; Nor would he suffer his Picture to be taken; and his rea­son is good; ‘For, saith he, the fairest Portraicture of Men, is their own Actions.’—Whatsoever was to be suddenly done in the Government, he was sure To set his hand first to the Work, like a common Per­son. He would say, ‘It did not become men to make Provision to be Rich, but to be good.’ Be­ing askt the Means to true Happiness, he answered, [Page 12] ‘To do nothing that should make a man fear to die:’ Another time, 'to speak well, and do well.' Being called home by the Ephori, (or supream Ma­gistrates, the way of the Spartan Constitution) he re­turned, saying, ‘It is not less the duty of a Prince to obey Laws, than to command men.’ He con­ferred places of Trust and Honour upon his Ene­mies, that he might constrain their Hate into Love. A Lawyer asking him for a letter to make a Person Judge, that was of his own Friends; ‘My Friends, says he, have no need of a Recommendation to do Justice.’—A Comedian of note wondering that Agesilaus said nothing to him, askt, if he knew him, Yes, saith he, ‘I know thee; art not thou the Buf­foon Callipedes? One calling the King of Persia the Great King, he answered, ‘He is not greater than I, unless he hath more Vertue than I’—One of his Friends, catching him playing with his Chil­dren, he prevented him thus; ‘Say nothing, till thou art a Father too’—He had great care of the Education of Youth, often saying, ‘We must teach Children what they shall do when they are Men.’ The AEgyptians despising him because he had but a small Train and a mean Equipage; Oh, saith he, ‘I will have them to know, Royalty consists not in vain Pomp, but in Vertue.’

§. XIX. Agis, Another King of Lacedaemonia, imprisoned for endeavouring to restore their declin­ing Discipline, being askt, whether he repented not of his Design? answered? No; for, saith he, Good [Page 13] Actions never need Repentance. His Father and Mo­ther desiring of him to grant something he thought Unjust, he answered, ‘I obeyed you when I was young; I must now obey the Laws, and do that which is Reasonable’—As he was leading to the place of Execution, one of his People wept, to whom he said, ‘Weep not for me; for the Authors of this Unjust Death are more in fault than I.’

§. XX. Alcomenes, King of the same People, be­ing askt, which was the way to get and preserve honour? Answered, To despise Wealth. Another wondering, why he refused the Presents of the Mes­senians, he answered, ‘I make Conscience to keep the Laws that forbid it.’ To a Miser accusing him of being so reserved in his Discourse, he said, ‘I had rather conform to Reason, than thy Cove­tousness; or, I had rather be Covetous of my Words, than Money.’

§. XXI. Alexandridas, hearing an Exile complain of his Banishment, saith he ‘Complain of the Cause of it (to wit, his Deserts) for there is nothing hurtful but Vice.’ Being askt, why they were so long in making the process of Criminals in Lacedaemonia? ‘Because, saith he, when they are once dead, they are past Repentance.’ This shews their Belief of Immortality and eternal Blessedness; and that even poor Criminals, through Repentance, may obtain it.

§. XXII. Anaxilas, would say, ‘That the greatest Advantage Kings had upon other men, was their Power of excelling them in good deeds.’

[Page 14]§. XXIII. Ariston, hearing one admire this ex­pression, We ought to do good to our Friends, and evil to our Enemies; answered, ‘By no means; we ought to do good to all; to keep our Friends, and to gain our Enemies.’ A Doctrine, the most difficult to Flesh and Blood, in all the Precepts of Christ's Sermon, upon the Mount: Nay, not allowed to be his Doctrine, but both An Eye for an Eye, defended against his express Command, and oftentimes an Eye put out, an Estate sequested, and Life taken away, un­der a specious Zeal for Religion too; as it Sin could be Christened, and Impiety entituled to the Doctrine of Christ: Oh, will not such Heathens rise up in Judg­ment against our Worldly Christians in the great Day of God!

§. XXIV. Archidamus also, King of Sparta, being askt, who was Master of Lacedaemonia, The Laws, saith he, and after them, the Magistrates.—One prai­sing a Musician in his presence, Ah! saith he, but when will you praise a good man?—Another saying, ‘That man is an excellent Musician: That's all one, saith he, as if thou wouldst say, There is a good Cook.’ Counting both, Trades of Voluptuousness.—Ano­ther promising him some excellent Wine; ‘I care not, saith he, for it will only put my Mouth out of taste to my ordinary Liquor;’ which it seems was Water.—Two men chose him an Arbitrator; to accept it, he made them promise to do what he would have them: ‘Then, saith he, stir not from this place till you have agreed the matter between [Page 15] your selves,’ which was done.—Dennis King of Sicily, sending his Daughters Rich Apparel, he forbid them to wear it, saying, ‘You will seem to me but the more homely.’—This great man certainly was not of the Mind to breed up his Children at the Ex­changes, Dancing Schools and Play-houses.

§. XXV. Cleomenes, King of the same People, would say, ‘That Kings ought to be pleasant; but not to cheapness and contempt.’ He was so just a man in Power, that he drove away Damaratus his fel­low King, (for they had always Two) for offering to corrupt him in a Cause before them, ‘Lest, saith he, he should attempt others less able to resist him, and so ruin the State.’

§. XXVI. Dersillydas, perceiving that Pyrrbus would force a Prince upon his Country-men, the La­cedoemonians, whom they lately ejected, stoutly op­posed him, saying, ‘If thou art God, we fear thee not, because we have done no Evil; and if thou art but a Man, we are Men too.’

§. XXVII. Hypodamus, seeing a young man a­shamed, that was caught in bad Company, he re­proved him sharply, saying, ‘For time to come keep such Company as thou needst not blush at.’

§. XXVIII. Leonidas, Brother to Cleomenes, and a brave man, being offered by Xerxes, to be made an Emperor of Greece, answered, ‘I had rather die for my own Country, than have an unjust Command over other mens.’ Adding, Xerxes deceived him­self, to think it a Vertue, to invade the Right of other Men.’

[Page 16] §. XXIX. Lysander, being askt by a Persian, what was the best Frame of Government? ‘That, saith he, where every man hath according to his Deserts.’ Though one of the greatest Captains that Sparta bred, he had learned by his Wisdom to bear Personal Af­fronts; Say what thou wilt, saith he, (to one that spoke abusively to him) Empty thy self, I shall bear it. His Daughters were contracted in Marriage to some Persons of Quality, but he dying poor, they re­fused to Marry them; upon which the Ephori Con­demned each of them; in a great Sum of Money, because they preferred Money before Faith and En­gagement.

§. XXX. Pausanias, Son of Cleombrotus, and Col­league of Lysander, beholding among the Persians Spoils they took the Costliness of their Furniture, said, ‘It had been much better if they had been worth less, and their Masters more.’ And after the Victory of Platee, having a Dinner drest according to the Per­sian manner, and beholding the Magnificence and Furniture of the Treat; ‘What, saith he, do these People mean, that live in such Wealth and Luxury, to attack our Meanness and Poverty?’ For they loved to live low.

§. XXXI. Theopompus, saith, ‘The way to pre­serve a Kingdom, is to embrace the Counsel of ones Friends, and not to suffer the meaner fort to be op­pressed.’ One making the Glory of Sparta to con­sist in commanding well, he answered, ‘No, it is in knowing how to obey well.’ He was of Opinion, [Page 17] ‘That great Honours hurt a State;’ adding, ‘That time would abolish great, and augment moderate Honours among Men;’ meaning, that men should have the Reputation they deserve, without Flattery and Excess.

A Rhetorician bragging himself of his Art, was reproved by a Lacedaemonian, ‘Dost thou call that an Art, saith he, which hath not Truth for its Ob­ject?’ Also a Lacedaemonian being presented with an Harp after Dinner, by a Musical Person, ‘I do not, saith he, know how to play the Fool.’ Ano­ther being askt, what he thought of a Poet of the times? Answered, ‘Good for nothing but to cor­rupt Youth.’ Nor was this only the Wisdom and Vertue of some particular Persons, which may be thought to have given light to the dark Body of their Courts; but their Government was Wise and Just, and the People generally obeyed it; making Vertue to be true Honour, and that Honour dearer to them than Life.

§. XXXII. Lacedaemonian Customs, according to Plutarch, were these; ‘They were very Temperate in their Eating and Drinking, their most delicate Dish being a Pottage made for the Nourishment of 'ancient People. They taught their Children to Write and Read, to Obey the Magistrates, to en­dure Labour, and to be bold in Danger: The Tea­chers of other Sciences were not so much as ad­mitted in Lacedaemonia.—They had but one Gar­ment, and that new but once a Year.—They rarely [Page 18] used Baths or Oyle, the Custom of those parts of the World—Their Youth lay in Troops upon Mats; the Boys and Girls apart.—They accustomed their Youth to Travel by Night without Light, to use them not to be afraid.—The Old Governed the Young; and those of them who obeyed not the Aged, were punisht.—It was a shame not to bear Reproof among the Youth; and among the Aged matter of Punishment not to give it. They made ordinary Cheer on purpose to keep out Luxury; holding, that mean fare kept the Spirit free, and the Body fit for Action. The Musick they used was simple, without Art of changings. Their Songs composed of vertuous Deeds of Good Men, and their Harmony mixt with some Religious Ex­tasies, that seem'd to carry their minds above the fear of Death. They permitted not their Youth to Travel, left they should corrupt their Manners; And for the same Reason, they permitted not strangers to dwell amongst them, that conform'd not to their way of Living. In this they were so strict, that such of their Youth that were not edu­cated in their Customs, enjoy'd not the Priviledges of Natives. They would suffer neither Comedies nor Tragedies to be acted in their Country. They condemned a Soldier but for painting his Buckler of Several Colours: And publickly punisht a Young man for having learnt but the Way to a Town given to Luxury. They also banisht an Orator for bragging that he could speak a whole Day upon [Page 19] Subject; for they did not like much speaking, much less for a bad Cause.—They buried their Dead without any Ceremony or Superstition; for they only used a Red Cloth upon the Body, Broi­dered with Olive Leaves: This Burial had all de­grees. Mourning they forbad, and Epitaphs too.—When they prayed to God, they stretcht forth their Arms, which with them was a sign that they must do good Works, as well as make good Prayers. They ask'd of God but two things, Patience in Labour, and Happiness in Well doing.’ This Ac­count is mostly the same with Xenophans; Adding, ‘That they eat moderately, and in common; the Youth mixed with the Aged, to awe them, and give them good Example.—That in walking, they would neither speak, nor turn their Eyes aside, any more than if they were Statues of Marble. The Men were bred Bashful, as well as the Women; not speaking at Meals, unless they were ask'd a Ques­tion. When they were Fifteen Years of Age, in­stead of leaving them to their own Conduct, as in other places, they had most care of their Conversa­tion, that they might preserve them from the Mis­chiefs, that Age is incident to.—And those that would not comply with these Rules, were not count­ed always honest People. And in this, their Govern­ment was Excellent; that they thought, there was no greater Punishment for a Man; than to be known and used as such, at all times, in all places: For they were not to come into the Company of [Page 20] Persons of Reputation—They were to give place to all others; to stand when they sate: To be ac­countable to every Honest Man that met them, of their Conversation—That they must keep their poor Kindred.—That they used not the same Free­doms, that Honest People might use: By which means, they kept Vertue in Credit, and Vice in Contempt. They used all things necessary for Life, without Superfluity, or Want; despising Riches, and Sumptuous Apparel and Living: Judging, that the best Ornament of the Body, is Health; and of the Mind, Vertue. And since (saith Xenophon) it is Vertue and Temperance, that renders us Commendable, and that it is only the Lacedaemonians, that Reverence it publickly, and have made it the Foundation of their State; Their Government, of right, merits Preferrence to any other in the World.—But that, saith he, which is strange, is, that all Admire it, but none Imitate it.’ Nor is this Account and Judgment Fantastical.

§. XXXIII. Lycurgus, their famous Founder and Lawgiver, instill'd these Principles, and by his Power with them, made them Laws to Rule them. Let us hear what he did: Lycurgus willing to retire his Citizens from a Luxurious, to a Vertuous Life, and shew them how much good Conduct, & honest Indu­stry, might meliorate the State of Mankind; appli­ed himself to introduce a new Model of Government, perswading them to believe, That ‘though they were descended of Noble and Vertuous Ancestors, [Page 21] if they were not exercised in a course of Vertue, they would, like the Dog in the Kitchin, rather leap at the Meat than run at the Game.’ In fine, they a­greed to Obey him. The first thing then that he did, to try his Power with them, was, To divide the Land into Equal Portions; so that the whole Laconick Country, seem'd but the Lots of Brethren; This grieved the Rich; but the Poor, which were the most, rejoiced—He render'd Wealth useless by Community; and forbid the use of Gold and Silver. He made Money or Iron, too base and heavy to make a Thief. He retrench'd their Laws of Building, suf­fering no more Ornament than could be made with a Hatchet and a Saw; And their Furniture was like their Houses. This Course disbanded many Trades; No MERCHANT, no COOK, no LAWYER, no FLATTERER, no DIVINE, no ASTRO­LOGER, was to be found in Lacedaemonia. Injus­tice was banish'd their Society, having cut up the Root of it, which is Avarice, by introducing a Com­munity, and making Gold and Silver useless. To prevent the Luxury of Tables, as well as of Apparel he ordained Publick Places of Eating, where all should Publickly be served; those that refused to come thither, were reputed Voluptuous; and Re­proved, if not Corrected. He would have Virgins Labour, as well as Young Men; that their Bodies, being used to Exercise, might be the Stronger and healthier, when married, to bring forth Children. He ‘forbad that they should have any Portions, to the [Page 22] end, that none might make suit to them for their Wealth, but Person and Worth:’ By which means, the Poor went off as well as the Rich; and that their Vertue might prefer them, they were de­nied to Use any Ornaments. He would not let the Young People Marry, till they arrived at the Flower of their Age; to the end, that their Children might be strong and vigorous. Chastity was so General, and so much in Request, that no Law, was made against Adultery; believing, that where Luxury, and the Arts leading to it, were so severely forbid, it was needless. He forbad, Costly Offerings in the Temple, that they might offer often; for that God regarded the Heart, not the Offering—These, and some more were the Laws he instituted; and whilst the Spartans kept them, 'tis certain, they were the first State of Greece, which lasted about Five Hundred Years. It is remarkable; that he would never suffer the Laws to be written, to avoid Barratry; and that the Judges might not be tied Religiously to the Letter of Law, but lest to the Circumstances of Fact; in which no Inconvenience was observed to follow.

II. The Romans also yield us Instances to our point in hand.

§. XXXIV. Cato, that sage Roman, Seeing a Lux­urious Man loaden with Flesh, ‘Of what Service, saith he, can that Man be, either to himself, or the Common wealth?’ One day beholding the Sta­tues of divers Persons erecting, that he thought lit­tle worthy of Remembrance, that he might despise [Page 23] the Pride of it: ‘I had rather, said he, they should ask, why they set not up a Statue to Cato, than why they do’—He was a Man of Severity of Life, both Example and Judge—His Competitors in the Government, hoping to be preferred, took the contrary Humour, and mightily flattered the People; This good Man despised their Arts, and with an un­usual Fervency, cry'd out, ‘That the Distempers of the Common wealth did not require Flatterers to deceive them, but Physicians to cure them;’ which struck so great an awe upon the people, that he was first chosen of them all.—The fine Dames of Rome became Governours to their Husbands; he lamented the Change, saying, ‘It is strange, that those who command the World, should yet be subject to Woman.’—He thought those Judges that ‘would not impartially punish Malefactors, greater Criminals than the Malefactors themselves:’ A good Lesson for Judges of the World. He would say, ‘That it was better to lose a Gift than a Correction; for, says he, the one Corrupts us, but the other Instructs us.—That we ought not to se­parate Honour from Vertue; for then there would be few any more Vertuous.’ He would say, ‘No Man is fit to command another, that cannot com­mand himself. Great Men should be temperate in their Power, that they may keep it. For Men to be too long in Offices in a Government, is to have too little regard to others; or the Dignity of the State. They that do nothing, will learn to [Page 24] do Evil. That those who have raised themselves by their Vices, should gain to themselves Credit by Vertue. He repented him, that ever he pass­ed one day without doing good. And that there is no Witness any Man ought to fear, but that of his own Conscience.’ Nor did his Practice fall much short of his Principles.

§. XXXV. Scipio Africanus, though a great Ge­neral, loaded with Honours and Triumphs, preferred Retirements to them all; being used to say, That be was never less alone, than when he was alone; Im­plying, that the most busie Men in the World, are the most destitute of themselves; and that External Solitariness gives the best Company within. After he had taken Carthage, his Soldiers brought him a most Beautiful Prisoner; he answered, I am your Ge­neral; refusing to Debase himself, or Dishonour her.

§. XXXVI. Augustus, Eating at the Table of one of his Friends, where a poor Slave breaking a Chrystal Vessel, sell upon his Knees, begging him, that his Master might not fling him to the Lampresses; as he had used to do for food, with such of them as offended him; Augustus, hating his Friends Cruel­ty, ‘broke all his Friends Chrystal Vessels, both re­proving his Luxury and his Severity.’ He never recommended any of his own Children, but he al­ways added, if they deserve it. He reproved his Daughter for her Excess in Apparel, and both Re­buk'd and Imprison'd her for her Immodest Latitudes. The People of Rome complaining, That Wine was [Page 25] Dear; He sent them to the Fountains, telling them, They were Cheap.

§. XXXVII. Tyberius would not suffer himself to be called LORD; nor yet HIS SACRED MA­JESTY; ‘For, says he, they are Divine, Titles, and belong not to Man’. The Commissioners of his Treasury advising him, To increase his Taxes upon the People; he answered, ‘No, it was sit to shear, but not to flea the Sheep’.

§. XXXVIII. Vespasian was a great and an ex­traordinary Man, who maintained something of the Roman Vertue in his time: One day seeing a Young Man finely dress'd, and richly persum'd, he was dis­pleas'd with him, saying, ‘I had rather smell the poor Man's Garlick, than thy Persume;’ and took his Place and Government from him. A certain Person being brought before him, that had conspired against him, he reproved him, and said, ‘That it was God who gave and took away Empires.’ A­nother; time conferring Favour upon his Enemy, and being ask'd, Why he did so? He answered, ‘That he should remember me the right way.’

§. XXXIX. Trajan would say, ‘That it became an Emperor to act towards his People, as he would have his People act towards him.’ The Gover­nour of Rome having delivered the Sword into his hand, and created him Emperor, ‘Here, saith he, take it again: If I Reign well, use it for me; if ill, use it against me.’ An Expression which shews great Humility and Goodness, making Power sub­servient to Vertue.

[Page 26] §. XL. Adrian, also Emperor, had several Sayings worthy of notice: One was, ‘That a good Prince did not think the Estates of his Subjects belong'd to him.’ He would say, ‘That Kings should not always act the King:’ That is, should be Just, and mix Sweetness with Greatness, and be conver­sible by good Men. ‘That the Treasures of Princes are like the Spleen that never swels, but it makes other Parts shrink:’ Teaching Princes thereby to spare their Subjects. Meeting one that was his E­nemy before he was Emperor, he cry'd out to him, ‘Now thou hast no more to fear.’ Intimating, that having Power to Revenge himself, he would rather use it to do him good.

§. XLI. Marcus Aurelius Antonius, and a good Man (the Christians of his time felt it) commended his Son for Weeping at his Tutor's Death, answering those that would have rendered it unsuitable to his Condition, ‘Let him alone, says he, it's [...]it he should shew himself a Man, before he be a Prince.’ He refused to divorce his Wife at the Instigation of his Courtiers, though reputed Naught; answering, ‘I must divorce the Empire too; for the brought it:’ Refusing them, and defending his Tenderness. He did nothing in the Government without consulting his Friends; and would say, ‘It is more just that one should follow the Advice of Many, than Many the Mind of One. He was more Philosopher than Em­peror; for his Dominions were greater within than without. And having commanded his own Passions [Page 27] by a circumspect conformity to vertuous Principles, he was fit to Rule those of other Men. Take some of his excellent Sayings, as followeth: ‘Of my Grand father Verus I have learned to be Gentle and Meek, and to refrain from all Anger and Passion. From the Fame and Memory of him that begot me, Shame facedness and Manlike Behaviour. I ob­served his Meekness, his Constancy, without waver­ing, in those things, which after a due Examina­tion and Deliberation he had determined. How free from all Vanity he carried himself in matter of Honour and Dignity! His Laboriousness and Assidu­ity; His readiness to hear any Man that had ought to say, tending to any Common Good; How he did abstain from all unchaste Love of Youth. His moderate cond. scending to other Mens occasions as an ordinary Man—Of my Mother, to be Religi­ous and Bountiful, and to forbear, not only to do, but to intend any Evil. To content my self with a spare Diet, and to fly all such Excess as is incident to great Wealth—Of my great Grand father, both to frequent publick Schools and Auditories, and to get me good and able Teachers at home; and that I ought not to think much, if upon such oc­casions I were at excessive Charge. I gave over the study of Rhetorick and Poetry, and of elegant neat Language. I did not use to walk about the House in my Senator's Robe, nor to do any such things. I learned to write Letters without any Af­fectation and Curiosity; and to be easie, and rea­dy [Page 28] to be reconciled and well-pleased again with them that had offended me, as soon as any of them would be content to seek unto me again. To ob­serve carefully the several Dispositions of my Friends, and not to be offended with Idiots, nor unreasona­bly to set upon those that are carried away with the vulgar Opinions, with the Theorems and Tenets of Philosophers. To love the Truth and Justice, and to be Kind and Loving to all them of my House and Family, I learned from my Brother Severus: And it was he that put me in the first conceit and desire of an equal Common Wealth, administred by Justice and Equality; and of a Kingdom, wherein should be regarded nothing more than the Good and Welfare (or Liberty) of the Subjects. As for God, and such Suggestions, Helps and Inspirations, as might be expected, nothing did hinder, but that I might have begun long before to live according to Nature. Or that even now, that I was not yet Partaker, and in Present Possession of that Life, that I my self (in that I did not observe those in­ward Motions and Suggestions; yea, and almost plain and apparent Instructions and Admonitions of of God) was the only cause of it.—I that under­stand the Nature of that which is Good, that it is to be desired; and of that which is Bad, that it is odi­ous and shameful: Who know moreover, that this Transgressor, whosoever he be, is my Kinsman, not by the same Blood and Seed, but by Participation of the same Reason, and of the same divine Parti­cle, [Page 29] or Principle; How can I either be hurt by any of these, since it is not in their Power, to make me incur any thing that is reproachful, or be angry and ill-affected towards him, who, by Nature, is so near unto me? For we are all born to be fellow-Wor­kers, as the Feet, the Hands, and the Eyelids; as the rowes of upper and under Teeth: For such therefore to be in Opposition, is against Nature.’—He saith, ‘It is high time for thee to understand the true Nature, both of the World, whereof thou art a Part, and of that Lord and Governour of the World, from whom, as a Channel from the Spring.’ Thou thy self didst slow. ‘And that there is but a certain limit of time appointed unto thee, which if thou shalt not make use of, to calm and allay the many Distempers of thy Soul, it will pass away, and thou with it, and never after return.—Do, Soul, do, abuse, and contemn thy self, yet a while, and the time for thee to Repent thy self, will be at an End. Every Man's Happiness depends from himself; but behold, thy Life is almost at an End, whilst, not regarding thy self as thou oughtest, thou dost make thy Happiness to consist in the Souls and Conceits of other Men. Thou must also take heed of another kind of wandering; for they are Idle in their Actions, who toil and labour in their Life, and have no certain Scope, to which to di­rect all their Motions and Desires. As for Life and Death, Honour and Dishonour, Labour and Plea­sure, Riches and Poverty, all these things happen [Page 30] unto Men indeed, both Good and Bad equally, but as things, which of themselves are neither good nor bad, because of themselves neither shameful nor praise-worthy. Consider the Nature of all world­ly visible Things; of those especially, which either ensnare by Pleasure, or for their Irksomness are Dread­ful; or for their outward Lustre and Shew, are in great esteem and request; how Vile and Contempti­ble, how Base and Corruptible, how destitute of all true Life and Being they are. There is nothing more Wretched than that Soul, which, in a kind of Circuit, compasseth all Things; searching even the very Depths of all the Earth, and, by all Signs and Conjectures, prying into the very Thoughts of o­ther Men's Souls; and yet of this is not sensible, that it is sufficient for a Man to apply himself whol­ly, and to confine all his Thoughts and Cares to the Guidance of that Spirit which is within him, and truly and really serve him. For even the least Things ought not to be done without relation unto the End: And the end of the reasonable Creature is, To Follow and Obey him who is the Reason, as it were, and the Law of this great City, and most an­cient Common-Wealth. Philosophy doth consist in this, For a Man to preserve that Spirit which is within him, from all manner of Contumelies and In­juries, and above all Pains and Pleasures; never to do any Thing either Rashly, or Feignedly, or Hy­pocritically: He that is such, is he surely; indeed a very Priest and Minister of God, well acquainted, [Page 31] and in good Correspondence with Him; especially, that is seated and placed within himself; To whom also he keeps and preserveth himself; neither spot­ted by Pleasure, nor daunted by Pain; free from any manner of Wrong or Contumely. Let thy GOD THAT IS IN THEE, to rule over thee, find by thee, that he hath to do with a Man, an Aged Man, a Sociable Man, a Roman, a Prince, one that hath ordered his Life, as one that expecteth, as it were, nothing but the found of the Trumpet, sounding a retreat to depart out of this Life with all readiness. Never esteem of any Thing as profitable, which shall ever constrain thee, either to break thy Faith, or to lose thy Modesty; to hate and Man, to sus­pect, to curse, to dissemble, to lust after any thing that requireth the secret of Walls or Vails. But he that preferreth, before all Things, his Rational Part and Spirit, and the sacred Mysteries of Vertue which issueth from it, he shall never lament and exclaim; never sigh; he shall never want either Solitude or Company; and which is chiefest of all, he shall live without either Desire or Fear. If thou shalt intend that which is present, following the Rule of Right and Reason, carefully, solidly, meekly; and shalt not intermix any other business; but shalt study this, to preserve thy Spirit Unpolluted and Pure; and as one that were even now ready to give up the Ghost, shalt cleave unto him, without either Hope or Fear of any Thing, in all Things that thou shalt either do or speak; contenting thy self with Heroical [Page 32] Truth, thou shalt live Happily; and from this there's no Man that can hinder thee. Without Relation to God, thou shalt never perform aright any thing Humane; nor on the other side, any Thing Di­vine. At what time soever thou wilt, it is in thy power to retire into thy self, and to be at rest; for a Man cannot retire any whither for to be more at rest, and freer from all business, than into his own Soul. Afford then thy self this Retiring continu­ally, and thereby refresh and renew thy self. Death hangeth over thee, whilst yet thou livest, and whilst thou mayest be Good. How much time and leisure doth he gain, who is not curious to know what his Neighbour hath said, or bath done, or hath at­tempted, but only what he doth himself, that it may be Just and Holy. Neither must he use him­self to cut off Actions only, but Thoughts and Imaginations also, that are unnecessary; for so will unnecessary consequent Actions the bet­ter be prevented and cut off. He is Poor, that stands in need of another, and hath not in himself all Things needful for his Life. Consider well, whether Magnanimity rather and true Liberty and time Simplicity, and Equanimity, and Holiness, whether these be not most Reasonable and Natu­ral. ‘Honour that which is chiefest and most Powerful in the World, and that is it which makes use of all Things, and governs all Things: So also in thy self, Honour that which is chiefest and and most powerful, and is of one Kind and Na­ture [Page 33] with that; for it is the very same, which being in thee, turneth all other Things to its own use, and by whom also thy Life is governed.’‘What is it that thou dost stay for? An Extinction or a Translation; for other of them, with a Pro­pitious and contented Mind. But till that time come, what will content thee? What else, but to Worship and Praise God, and to do Good unto Men? As he lay a dying, and his Friends about him, he spake thus, Think more of Death, than of me, and that You and all Men must die as well as I. Adding, I recommend my Son to You, and to God, if he be worthy.

§. XLII. Pertinax, also Emperor, being advised to save himself from the Fury of the Mutineers; answered, No; What have I done, that I should do so? Shewing, that Innocence is bold, and should never give ground, where it can show it self, be heard, and have fair play.

§. XLIII. Pescennius, seeing the Corruption that reigned among Officers of Justice, advised, ‘That Judges should have first sallaries; that they might do their Duty without any Bribes or Perquisit.’ He said, ‘He would not offend the Living, that he might be praised when he was Dead.’

§. XLIV. Alexander Severus, having tasted both of a private Life, and the state of an Emperor, had this Censure; ‘Emperors, says he, are ill Managers of the publick Revenue, to feed so many unuseful Mouths; wherefore he retrench'd his Family from [Page 34] Pompous to Serviceable. He would not employ Persons of Quality in his Domestick Service, think­ing it too mean for them, and too costly for him: Adding, ‘That Personal Service was the work of the lowest Order of the People.’ He would never suffer Offices of Justice to be sold; ‘For, saith he, it is not strange that Men should sell what they buy;’ meaning Justice. He was impartial in Cor­rection: ‘My Friends, says he, are dear to me, but the Common Wealth is dearer.’ Yet he would say, ‘That sweetning Power to the People, made it lasting. That we ought to gain our Enemies, as we keep our Friends;’ that is, by Kindness. He said, ‘That we ought to Desire Happiness, and to Bear Affliction; that those Things which are de­sirable, may be pleasant; but the Troubles we a­void, may have most profit in the end.’ He did not like Pomp in Religion; for it is not Gold, that recommends the Sacrifice; but the Piety of him that offers it. A House being in Contest betwixt some Christians and Keepers of Taverns, the one to per­form Religion, the other to sell Drink therein; he decided the matter thus; ‘That it were much bet­ter, that it were any way employ'd to Worship God, than to make a Tavern of it.’ Behold! by this we may see the Wisdom and Vertue that shined among Heathens.

§. XLV. Aurelianus the Emperor, having threat­ned a certain Town that had rebelled against him, that he would not leave a Dog alive therein; and [Page 35] finding the Fear he raised, brought them easily to their Duty, bid his Soldiers, go kill all their Dogs; and pardoned the People.

§. XLVI. Dioclesian would say, ‘That there was nothing more difficult than to Reign well;’ and the reason he gave was, ‘That those who had the Ears of Princes, do so continually lay Am­bushes to surprize them to their Interests, that they can hardly make one right step.’

§. XLVII. Julian coming to the Empire, drove from the Palace Troops of Eunuchs, Cooks, Barbers, &c. His reason was this, ‘That having no Wo­men, he needed no Eunuchs; and loving simple plain Meat, he needed no Cooks:’ And he said, ‘One Barber would serve a great many.’ A good Example for the Luxurious Christians of our times.

§. XLVIII. Theodosius, the Younger, was so mer­ciful in his Nature, that instead of putting People to Death, he wish'd, ‘It were in his power to call the Dead to Life again.’

II. These were the Sentiments of the ancient Grandees of the World, to wit, Emperors, Kings, Princes, Captains, States-men, &c. not unworthy of the Thoughts of Persons of the same Figure and Quality now in being: And for that end they are here collected, that such may with more ease and brevity behold the true Statues of the Ancients, not lost or lesson'd by the decays of Time. I will now proceed to report the vertuous Doctrines and Sayings [Page 36] of Men of more Retirement; such as Philosophers and Writers, of both Greeks and Romans, who in their respective times were Master, in the Civility, Knowledge and Vertue that were among the Gen­tiles, being most of them many Ages before the Coming of Christ.

§. XLIX. Thales, an ancient Greek Philosopher, being ask'd by a Person that had committed Adul­tery, If he might swear? answer'd, ‘By no means; for Perjury is not less sinful than Adultery; and so thou wouldst commit two Sins to cover one.’ Be­ing ask'd, What was the best Condition of a Go­vernment? Answered, ‘That the People be neither Rich nor Poor;’ for he placed external Happi­ness in Moderation. He would say, ‘That the hard­est Thing in the World was, to know a Man's self; but the best, to avoid those Things which we re­prove in others;’ an excellent and close Saying. That we ought to chuse well, and then to hold fast. That the Felicity of the Body consists in Health; and that, in Temperance; and the Felicity of the Soul, in Wisdom. He thought that God was without Be­ginning or End; that he was the Searcher of Hearts; That he saw Thoughts, as well as Actions. For be­ing ask'd of one, If he could Sin, and hide it from God? Answered, ‘No; How could I, when he that thinks Evil, cannot?’

§. L. Pythagoras, a Famous and Vertuous Philo­sopher of Italy, being ask'd, When Men might take the Pleasure of their Passions? Answered, ‘When [Page 37] they have a mind to be worse.’ He said, ‘The World was like a Comedy, and the true Phi­losophers the Spectators.’ He would say, ‘That Luxury led to Debauchery, and Debauchery to Violence, and they to bitter Repentance. That ‘he who taketh too much care of his Body, makes the Prison of his Soul more insufferable.’ That ‘those who do reprove us, are our best Friends.’ That ‘Men ought to preserve their Bodies from Diseases by Temperance; their Souls from Ignorance by Meditation; their Will from Vice by Self-denial, and their Country from civil War by Justice.’ That it is better to be loved than ‘feared.’ That ‘Vertue makes bold; but, saith he, there is nothing so fearful as an Evil Conscience.’ He said, ‘That Men should believe of a Divinity, that it is, and that it overlooks them, and neglecteth them not; there is no Being nor Place without God.’ He told the Senators of Crotonia (being Two Thou­sand) praying his Advice, That ‘they received their Country as a Depositum or Trust from the People; wherefore they should manage it accordingly, since they were to resign their Account, with their Trust, to their own Children. That the way to do it, was to be Equal to all the Citizens, and to excell them in nothing more than Justice. That every one of them should so govern their Family, that he might refer himself to his own House, as to a Court of Judicature, taking great Care to preserve natural Affection. That they be Chaste, knowing [Page 38] only their own Wives. That they be Examples of Temperance in their own Families, and to the City. That in Courts of Judicature none attest God by an OATH, but use themselves so to speak, as they may be believed without an Oath. That the Discourse of that Philosopher is vain, by which no Passion of a Man is Healed: For, as there is no benefit of Medicine, if it expel not Diseases out of Bodies; so neither of Philosophy, if it expel not Evil out of the Soul.’ Of God, an Heavenly Life and State, he saith thus, ‘They mutually exhorted one another, that they should not tear asunder God which is in them. Their Study and Friendship, by Words and Actions, had reference to some Divine Tem­perament; and to Union with God, and to Unity with the Mind, and the Divine Soul. That all which they determine to be done, aims and tends to the acknowledgement of the Deity. This is the Principle; and the whole Life of Man con­sists in this, that he follow God; and this the ground of Philosophy.’ He saith,

Hope all things, for to none belongs despair,
All things to God easie and perfect are.

‘The Work of the Mind, is Life. The Work of God, is Immortality, Eternal Life. The Mind in Man is term'd God, by Participation: The Rational Soul, if directed by the Mind, It inclines the Will to Vertue, and is term'd the good Daemon, Genius, or Spirit, If by Phantasie and ill Affections it draws the Will [Page 39] to Vices, the evil Daemon; Whence Pythagoras desireth of God, ‘To keep us from Evil, and to shew every one that Daemon, or good Spirit, he ought to use. The Rational Man is more Noble than other Creatures, as more Divine; not content solely with one Operation (as all other things drawn along by Nature, which always acts after the same manner) but endued with various Gifts, which he useth according to his free Will, in respect of which Liberty,’

Men are of Heavenly Race,
Taught by diviner Nature,
what t'imbrace.

By Diviner Nature, is meant, the Intellectual Soul: As to Intellect, Man approaches nigh to God; as to Inferior Senses, he recedeth from God: Chorus, the Infinite Joy of the Blessed Spirits, their Immu­table Delight, stiled by Homer, asbestos gelos (inextri­cable Laughter.) For, ‘what greater pleasure than to behold the serene Aspect of God, and next him the Idea's and Forms of all things, more purely and transparently, than secondarily, in Created Beings.’ The Pythagoreans had this Distich, among those commonly called the Golden Verses:

Rid of this Body, if the Heavens free,
You reach, henceforth Immortal you shall be.

Or thus:

Who after Death, arrive the heavenly Plain.
Are strait like Gods, and never dye again.

§. LI. Solon, esteem'd, as Thales, one of the seven [Page 40] Sages of Greece, a Noble Philosopher, and a Law­giver to the Athenians, was so humble, that he refused to be Prince of that People, and voluntarily banish'd himself, when Pisistratus usurp'd the Government there; resolving, never to out-live the Laws and Freedom of his Country. He would say, ‘That to make a Government last, the Magistrates must o­bey the Laws, and the People the Magistrates.’ It was his Judgment, That Riches brought Luxury, and Luxury brought Tyranny*. Being ask'd by Croesus, King of Lydia, when seated in his Throne, richly Cloathed, and magnificently Attended, If he had e­ver seen any Thing more Glorious? He answered, Cocks, Peacocks and Pheasants, by how much their Beauty is Natural. These undervaluing Expressions of Wise Solon. meeting so pact upon the Pride and Luxury of Croesus, they parted: The one desirous of Toys and Vanities; the other an Example and In­structor of true Nobility and Vertue, that contemned the King's Effeminacy. Another time Croesus, ask'd him, Who was the most happiest Man in the World? Expecting he should have said, Croesus, be­cause the most Famous for Wealth in those parts; he answered, Tellus, who, though Poor, yet an honest and good Man, and contented with what he had: That after he had served the Common­Wealth faithfully, and seen his Children and Grand­Children vertuously Educated, dyed for his Country in a good old Age, and was carried by his Children [Page 41] to his Grave.’ This much displeased Croesus, but he dissembled it. Whilst Solon recommended the Happiness of Tellus, Croesus moved, demanded whom he assigned the next place to? (making no question but himself should be named) Cleobis, saith he▪ and Bito, Brethren that loved well, had a Competency, were of great Health and Strength; most Tender and Obedient to their Mother, Religious of Life, who after sacrificing in the Temple, fell asleep, and waked no more. Here at croesus growing Angry, Strange! [...]aith he, doth our Happiness seem so despicable, that thou wilt not rank us Equal with Private Persons? Solon answered, ‘Dost thou enquire of us about [...]. Affairs? Knowest thou not, that Divine Providence is Severe, and often full of Alteration? Do not we, in process of time, see many things we would not? Ay, and suffer many things we would not? Count Mans Life at Seventy Years, which [...] Twenty Six Thousand, Two Hundred and [...] odd days, there is scarcely one Day like mother: So that every one, O Croesus, is attended with Crosses. Thou appearest to me very Rich, and King over many People; but the Question thou askest, I cannot resolve, till I hear thou hast ended thy day; happily: For he that hath much Wealth, is not happier than he that gets his Bread from day to day; unless Providence continue those good Things, and that he dieth well. In every Thing, O King, we must have regard to the End; for Man to whom God dispenseth worldly good [Page 42] Things, he at last utterly deserts.’ Solon, after his Discourse, not flattering Croesus, was dismist, and ac­counted unwise, that he neglected the present good, out of regard to the future. AEsop, that writ the Fa­bles, was then at Sardis, sent for thither by Croesus, and much in favour with him, was grieved to see So­lon so unthankfully dismist; and said to him, Solon, we must either tell Kings nothing at all, or what may please them: No, faith Solon, either nothing at all, or what is best for them. However, it was not long, but Croesus was of another mind; for, being taken Prisoner by Cyrus, the Founder of the Persian Mo­narchy, and by his Command Fetter'd,* and put on a Pile of Wood, to be burn'd, Croesus sighed deeply, and cryed, O Solon, Solon! Cyrus bid the Interpreter ask, On whom he called? He was silent; at last, pressing him, answered, ‘Upon him, whom I desire, above all Wealth, would have spoken with all Ty­rants.’ This not understood, upon further impor­tunity he told them, Solon an Athenian, who long since, says he, came to me, and seeing my Wealth, despised it; besides, what he told me, is come to pass: Nor did his Counsel belong to me alone, but to all Mankind, especially those that think them­selves happy.’ Whilst Croesus said thus, the Fire began to kindle, and the out parts seized by the Flame: Cyrus informed of the Interpreters, what Croesus said, began to be troubled; and knowing himself to be a Man, and that to use another, not in­ferior to himself in Wealth, so severely, might one [Page 43] day be retaliated, instantly Commanded the Fire to be quenched, and Croesus and his Friends to be bro't off: Whom, ever after, as long as he lived, Cyrus had in great Esteem. Thus Solon gain'd due Praise, that of Two Kings his Advice sav'd One, and instructed the Other. And as it was in Solon's time, that Tragical Plays were first invented, so was he most severe a­gainst them; fore-seeing the Inconveniencies that followed, upon the Peoples being affected with that Novelty of Pleasure. It is reported of him, That he went himself to the Play, and after it was ended, he went to Thespis, the great Actor, and ask'd him, ‘If he were not ashamed to tell so many Lyes in the Face of so great an Auditory?’ Thespis answered, as it is now usual, ‘there is no harm nor shame to act such things in jest’. Solon, striking his staff hard upon the ground, reply'd, ‘But in a short time, we who approve of this kind of Jest, shall use it in Earnest in our common Affairs and Contracts.’ In fine, he absolutely forbad him to teach or act Plays, con­ceiving them Deceitful and Unprofitable; divert­ing Youth and Trades men from more necessary and vertuous Employments. He defined them ‘Hap­py who are competently furnished with their out­ward Callings, that live Temperately and Honest­ly:’ He would say, ‘That Cities are the Common­shore of Wickedness.’ He affirmed ‘that to be the best Family, which got not unjustly, kept not un­faithfully, spent not with Repentance. Observe (saith he) Honesty in thy Conversation, more strictly [Page 44] than an Oath. Seal Words with Silence; Silence with Opportunity. Never Lye, but speak the Truth. Fly Pleasure, for it brings Sorrow. Advise not the People what is most Pleasant, but what is Best. Make not Friends in haste, nor hastily part with them. Learn to obey, and thou wilt know how to Command. Be arrogant to none; be Mild to those that are about thee. Converse not with Wicked Persons. Meditate on serious Things. Re­verence thy Parents. Cherish thy Friend. Conform to Reason, and in all Things take Counsel of God.’ In fine, his two short Sentences were these, Of no­thing too much; and know thy self.

§. LII. Chilon, another of the Wise Men of Greece, would say, ‘That it was the Perfection of a Man, to foresee and prevent Mischiefs. That herein good People differ from bad Ones, their Hopes were firm and assured, That God was the great Touch­stone, or Rule of Mankind. That Men's Tongues ought not to out-run their Judgment. That we ought not to flatter great Men, left we exalt them above their Merit and Station; nor to speak hard­ly of the Helpless. They that would govern a State well, must govern their Families well.’ He would say, ‘That a Man ought so to behave him­self, that he falls neither into Hatred nor Disgrace. That that Common-Wealth is happiest, where the People mind the Law more than the Lawyers. Men should not forget the Favours they receive, nor re­member [Page 45] those they do.’ Three Things he said were difficult, yet necessary to be observed; ‘To keep Secrets; Forgive Injuries; and use time well. Speak not ill (says he) of thy Neighbour. Go slow­ly to the Feasts of thy Friends, but swiftly to their Troubles. Speak well of the Dead. Shun busie Bodies. Prefer Loss before covetous Gain. De­spise not the Miserable. If Powerful, behave thy self Mildly, that thou may'st be loved, rather than feared. Order thy House well: Bridle thy An­ger: Grasp not at much: Make not haste; nei­ther dote upon any Thing below. A Prince (saith he) must not take up his time about Transitory and Mortal Things; Eternal and Immortal are fittest for him.’ To conclude, he was so just in all his Actions, that Laertius tells us, ‘He professed in his Old Age, That he had never done any Thing con­trary to the Conscience of an Upright Man; only, that of one Thing he was doubtful, having given Sentence, against his Friend, according to Law, he advised his Friend, to appeal from him (his Judge) so to preserve both his Friend and the Law.’ Thus True and Tender was Conscience in Heathen Chilon.

§. LIII. Periander (Prince and Philosopher too) would say, ‘That Pleasures are Mortal but Vertues Immortal. In Success, be Moderate; in Disap­pointments, Patient and Prudent. Be alike to thy Friends, in Prosperity and in Adversity. Peace is Good; Rashness, Dangerous; Gain, Sordid. Be­tray [Page 46] not Secrets: Punish the Guilty: Restrain Men from Sin. They that would rule safely, must be guarded by Love, not Arms.’ To conclude, saith he, ‘Live worthy of Praise, so wilt thou die blessed.’

§. LIV. Byas, one of the seven wise Men, being in a Storm with wicked Men, who cry'd mightily to God; ‘Hold your Tongues, saith he, it were better he knew not you were here:’ A saying that hath great Doctrine in it, the Devotion of the Wicked doth them no good: It answers to that Passage in Scrip­ture, The Prayers of the Wicked are an Abomination to the Lord. * An ungodly Man asking him, What Godliness was? He was silent; but the other mur­muring, saith he, ‘What is that to thee, that is not thy Concern?’ He was so tender in his Nature, that he seldom judged any Criminal to Death, but he wept; adding, ‘One part goeth to God, and that other part I must give the Law. That Man is unhappy, saith he, that cannot bear Affliction. It is a Disease of the Mind, to desire that which can­not, or is not fit to be had. It is an ill Thing not to be mindful of other Men's Miseries.’ To one that ask'd? What is hard? He answered ‘To bear chear­fully a Change for the worse. Those, says he, who busy themselves in vain Knowledge, resemble Owls that see by Night, and are blind by Day; for they are sharp sighted in Vanity; but dark at the ap­proach of true Light & Knowledge.’ He adds, ‘Un­dertake [Page 47] deliberately; but then go through. Speak not hastily, left thou Sin. Be neither Silly nor Subtil. Hear much; Speak little and seasonably. Make Profession of God every where; and im­pute the Good thou dost, not to thy self, but to the Power of God.’ His Country being Invaded, and the People flying with the best of their Goods, ask'd, Why he carried none of his? I, saith he, car­ry my Goods within me. Valer. Max. adds, ‘in his Breast; not to be seen by the Eye, but to be priz­ed by the Soul; not to be demolish'd by mortal Hands; present with them that stay, and not for­saking; those that fly.’

§. LV. Cleobulus, Prince and Philosopher of Lin­dus, he would say, ‘That it was Man's Duty to be always employed upon something that was Good. Again, ‘Be never Vain nor Ingrateful Bestow your Daughters Virgins in Years but Matrons in Dis­cretion. Do good to thy Friend, to keep him; to thy Enemy, to gain him. When any Man goeth forth, let him consider, what he hath to do; when he returneth, examine, what he hath done. Know, that to Reverence thy Father, is thy Duty. Hear willingly, but trust not hastily. Obtain by Perswa­sion, not by Violence. Being Rich, be not exalted: Poor, be not dejected. Fore-go Enmity: Instruct thy Children: Pray to God, and persevere in Godliness.’

§. LVI. Pittacus, being ask'd, What was best? [Page 48] He answered, 'To do the present Th [...] [...] well.' He would say, ‘What thou dost take [...] in thy Neighbour, do not thy self. Reproach [...] the Un­happy; for the hand of God is upon them. Be true to thy Trust. Bear with thy Neighbour: Love thy Neighbour: Reproach not thy Friend, tho' he recede from thee a little. He would say, That Common­Wealth is best order'd, where the Wicked have no Command, and that Family, which hath neither Ornament nor Necessity. To conclude, He ad­vised to acquire Honesty; love Discipline; ob­serve Temperance; gain Prudence; mind Dili­gence; and keep Truth, Faith and Piety.’ He had a Brother, who dying without Issue, left him his Estate; so that when Croesus offer'd him Wealth, he answered, 'I have more by half, than I desire.' He also affirmed, That ‘Family the best, who got not unjustly, kept not unfaithfully, spent not with Re­pentance:’ And, That ‘Happiness consists in a vertuous and honest Life; in being content with a Competency of outward Things, and in using them temperately. And, to conclude, he earnestly in­join'd all to flee corperal Pleasures; for (says he) it certainly brings Sorrow: But observe an honest Life, more strictly than an Oath: Meditate on seri­ous Things.’

§. LVII. Hippias a Philosopher, it is recorded of him, That he would have every one provide his own Necessaries; and that he might do, what he taught, he was his own Tradesman. He was singu­lar [Page 49] in all such Arts and Employments, insomuch as he made the very Buskins he wore. A better Life than an Alexander's.

§. LVIII. The Gymnosophistioe were a Sect of Philosophers in AEgypt, that so despised gaudy Appar­rel, and the rest of the World's Intemperance, that they went almost Naked; living Poorly, and with great Meanness; by which they were enabled a­gainst all Cold, and overcame that Lust by Inno­cence, which People, that are call'd Christians, tho' covered, are overcome withal.

§. LIX. The Bamburacij were a certain great People, that inhabited about the River Tygris in Asia; who, observing the great Influence, Gold, Sil­ver and precious Jewels had upon their Minds, a­greed to bury all in the Earth, to prevent the Cor­ruption of their Manners.*They us'd inferior Met­tals, and lived with very ordinary Accommodation; wearing mostly but one very grave and plain Robe, to cover Nakedness. It were well, if Christians would mortifie their insatiable Appetites after Wealth and Vanity any Way, for Heathens judge their excess.

§. LX. The Athenians had Two distinct Num­bers of Men, call'd The Gynoecosmi and Gynoecono­mi: These were appointed by the Magistrates, To over-look the Actions of the People. The first was to see, that they apparelled and behaved themselves gravely; especially, that Women were of modest Beha­viour: And the other was to be present at their Treats [Page 50] and Festivals, To see that there was no Excess, nor dis­orderly Carriage. And in case any were found Cri­minal, they had full Power to Punish them. When, Alas! when shall this Care and Wisdom be seen a­mongst the Christians of these Times, that so Intem­perance might be prevented? But 'tis too evident, they love the Power and Profits, but despise the Ver­tue of Government; making it an End, instead of a Means, to that happy End, viz. The well ordering the Manners and Conversation of the People, and e­qually distributing Rewards and Punishments.

§. LXI. Anacharsis, a Scythian, was a great Phi­losopher*; Croesus offered him large Sums of Mo­ney; but he refused them: Hanno did the like; to whom he answered, ‘My Apparel, is a Scythian Rug; my Shoes, the hardness of my Feet; my Bed, the Earth; my Sawce, Hunger: You may come to me, as one that is contented; but those Gifts which you so much esteem, bestow, either on your Citizens, or in Sacrifice to the Immortal God.’

§. LXII. Anaxagoras, a Noble Man, but true Philosopher, left his great Patrimony, to seek out Wisdom: And being reprov'd by his Friends, for the little Care he had of his Estate, answered, It is enough that you care for it. One ask'd him, Why he had no more love for his Country, th [...]n to leave it? Wrong me not, saith he, my greatest Care is my Country, pointing his Finger towards Heaven. Re­turning home, and taking a view of his great Pos­sessions; [Page 51] If I had not disregarded them (saith he) I had Perished. He was a great Clearer and Improver of the Doctrine of One Eternal God, denying Divi­nity to Sun, Moon and Stars; saying, God was In­finite, not confined to place; the Eternal Wisdom, and Efficient Cause of all Things; the Divine Mind and Understanding; who, when matter was confused, came and reduced it to Order, which is the World we see. He suffer'd much from some Magistrates for his O­pinion; yet, dying, was admired by them: His E­pitaph, in English thus:

Here lyes, who through the truest Paths did Pass,
To th' World's Coelestial, Anaxagoras.

§. LXIII. Heraclites was invited by King Dari­us, for his great Vertue and Learning, to this Effect; 'Come as soon as thou canst to my Presence, and Royal Palace; for the Greeks, for the most part, are not Obsequious to wise Men, but despise the good Things which they deliver; With me you shall have the first Place, and daily Honour and Titles: Thy way of Living shall be as Noble as thy In­structions.' But Heraclites refusing his Offer, return­ed this Answer; Heraclites to Darius the King, Health. ‘Most Men living refrain from Justice and Truth, and pursue Insatiableness and vain Glo­ry, by reason of their Folly: But I, having forgot all Evil, and shunning the Society of inbred Envy and Pride, will never come to the Kingdom of Persia, being contented with a little, according to my own Mind.’ He also slighted the Athenians. [Page 52] He had great and clear Apprehensions of the Na­ture and Power of God, maintaining his Divinity a­gainst the Idolatry in Fashion. This Definition he gives of God; ‘He is not made with Hands. The whole World, adorned with his Creatures, is his Mansion. Where is God? Shut up in Temples? Impious Men! who place their God in the Dark. It is a Reproach to a Man, to tell him he is a Stone; yet the God you profess, is born of a Rock; You ignorant People! you know not God: His Works bear Witness of him.’ Of Himself he saith, ‘Oye Men, will ye not learn why I never Laugh? It is not that I hate Men, but their Wickedness. If you would not have me Weep, live in Peace: You carry Swords in your Tongues; you Plunder Wealth, Ravish Women, Poison Friends, Betray the Trust the People repose in you: Shall I Laugh, when I see Men do these Things? Their Garments, Beards and Heads adorned with unnecessary Care; a Mo­ther deserted by a wicked Son; or young Men con­suming their Patrimony; a Citizens Wife taken from him; a Virgin Ravish'd; a Concubine kept as a Wife; Others filling their Bellies at Feasts, more with Poison, than with Dainties? Vertue would strike me Blind, if I should Laugh at your Wars. By Musick Pipes and Stripes, you are excited to Things contrary to all Harmony. Iron, a Metal more proper for Ploughs and Tillages, is fitted for Slaughter and Death: Men raising Arms of Men, covet to Kill one another, and punish them that [Page 53] quit the Field, for not staying to Murder Men. They Honour as Valiants such as are Drunk with Blood; but Lyons, Horses, Eagles and other Crea­tures, use not Swords, Bucklers, and Instruments of War: Their Limbs are their Weapons, some their Horns, some their Bills, some their Wings; To one is given Swiftness; to another, Bigness; to a third, Swimming. No Irrational Creature useth a Sword, but keeps it self within the Laws of its Cre­ation, except MAN that doth not so; which brings the heavier Blame, because he hath the greatest Un­derstanding. You must leave your Wars and your Wickedness, which you ratifie by a Law, if you would have me leave my Severity. I have over­come Pleasure, I have overcome Riches, I have o­vercome Ambition, I have mastered Flattery: Fear hath nothing to object against me, Drunkenness hath nothing to charge upon me, Anger is afraid of me: I have won the Garland, in Fighting against these Enemies.—’ This, and much more, did he write in his Epistles to Harmodorus, of his Complaints against the great Degeneracy of the Ephesians. And in an Epistle to Aphidamus, he writes, ‘I am fallen Sick, Aphidamus, of a Dropsie; whatsoever is of us, if it get the Dominion, it becomes a Disease. Excess of Heat, is a Fever; Excess of Cold, a Palsie; Ex­cess of Wind a Cholick: My Disease cometh from Excess of Moisture. The SOUL is SOMETHING DI­VINE, which keeps all these in a due proportion. I know the Nature of the World: I know that of [Page 54] Man; I know Diseases; I know Health: I will Cure my self, I will imitate GOD, who makes equal the Inequalities of the World: But if my Body be overprest, it must descend to the place ordained; however, my Soul shall not descend, but being a Thing Immortal, shall ascend on high, where an heavenly Mansion shall receive me.—’ A most weighty and pathetical Discourse: They that know any thing of God, may favour something Divine in it. Oh! that the degenerate Christians of these Times would but take a view of the Vertue, Temperance, Zeal, Piety and Faith of this Heathen, who, notwithstanding that he lived Five Hundred Years before the Com­ing of Christ in the Flesh, had these excellent Sen­tences: ‘Yet again, he taught that God punisheth not by taking away Riches; he rather alloweth them to the Wicked to discover them; for Poverty may be a Vail.’ Speaking of God, ‘How can that Light which never sets, be ever hidden or obscur'd? Justice, saith he, shall seize one day upon Defrau­ders and Witnesses of false Things. Unless a Man hopes to the end, for that which is not to be hoped for, he shall not find that which is unsearchable;’ which Clemens, an ancient Father, apply'd to Isa. 6. ‘Unless you believe, you shall not Understand. He­raclitus derided the Sacrifices of Creatures; Do you think, saith he, to pacifie God, and cleanse your selves, by polluting your selves with Blood? As if a Man should go into the Dirt to cleanse himself.’ Which sh [...]wed a fight of a more Spiritual Worship, [Page 55] than that of the Sacrifices of Beasts. He lived Solitary in the Mountains; had a sight of his End: And as he was prepared for it, so he rejoiced in it. These certainly were the Men, who having not a Law with­out them, became a Law unto themselves, shewing forth the Work of the Law written in their Hearts *. And who, for that reason shall judge the Circumci­sion, and receive the Reward of WELL DONE, by him who is Judge of Quick and Dead.

§. LXIV. Democritus would say, ‘That he had lived to an extraordinary Age, by keeping himself from Luxury and Excess. That a little Estate went a great way with Men that were neither Covetous nor Prodigal. That Luxury furnish'd great Ta­bles with Variety; and Temperance furnisheth lit­tle ones. That Riches do not consist in the Pos­session, but right use of Wealth.’ He was a Man of great Retirement; avoiding publick Honours and Employment: Bewail'd by the People of Addera as Mad, whilst indeed he only smiled at the Mad­ness of the World.

§. LXV. Socrates, the most Religious and Learn­ed Philosopher of his time (and of whom 'tis report­ed, Apollo gave this Character, 'That he was the wisest Man on Earth) was a Man of a severe Life, and instructed People gratis, in just, grave and ver­tuous Manners: For which, being envied by Aris­tophanes, the vain Comical Wit of that Age, as one [Page 56] spoiling the Trade of Plays, and exercising the ge­nerality of the People with more noble and vertuous Things; was represented by him in a Play, in which he rendred Socrates so ridiculous, that the Vulgar would rather part with Socrates in earnest, than Socrates in jest; which made way for their impeaching him as an Enemy to their Gods; for which they put him to Death. But in a short space, his Eighty Judges, and the whole People, so deeply resented the loss, that they flew many of his Accusers: Some hang'd them­selves; none would Trade with them, nor answer them a Question. They erected several Statues to his Praise; They forbid his Name to be mentioned, that they might forget their Injustice: They call'd home his banish'd Friends and Scholars. And, by the most Wise and Learned Men of that Age, it is observed, That famous City was punished with the most dreadful Plagues that ever raged amongst them; and all Greece with it never prospered in any consi­derable Undertaking; but from that time always decay'd. Amongst many of his Sober and Religious Maxims, upon which he was accustomed to discourse with his Disciples, these are some.

He taught every where, ‘That an upright Man, and an happy Man, are all one. They that do good, are employ'd; they that spend their time in Re­creations, are idle. To do Good, is the best course of Life; he only is idle, who might be better em­ploy'd. A Horse is not known by his Furniture, [Page 57] but Qualities; so Men are to be esteemed for Ver­tue, not Wealth.’ Being ask'd, Who lived with­out Trouble? He answered, ‘Those who are Con­scious to themselves of no evil Thing’. To one who demanded, What was Nobility? He answered, A good temper and disposition of Soul and Bo­dy. They who know what they ought to do, and do it not, are not Wise and Temperate; but Fools and Stupid.’ To one that complained, he had not been benefitted by his Travels; ‘Not without reason (says Socrates) thou didst travel with thy self:’ Intimating, he knew not the eternal Mind of God, to direct and inform him.* Being demand­ed, What Wisdom was? Said, ‘A vertuous compo­sure of the Soul. And, being ask'd, Who were Wise? Answered,|||| Those that Sin not. See­ing a young Man Rich, but ignorant of Heavenly Things, and pursuing Earthly Pleasures; ‘Behold (say he)†† a Golden Slave. Soft ways of living, beget neither good Constitution of Body nor mind. Fine and Rich Cloaths are only for Comedians. Being demanded from what Things Men and Wo­men ought to refrain? He answered, Pleasure. Be­ing asked, What Continence and Temperance were? Said,** Government of corporal Desires and Plea­sures. [Page 58] The Wicked live to eat, &c. but the Good eat to live: Temperate Persons become the most ex­cellent; Eat that which neither hurts the Body nor Mind, and which is easy to be gotten. One saying,* It was a great matter to abstain from what one de­sires; But (says he) it is better not to desire at all. [This is deep Religion, even very hard to profest Christians.] It is the Property of God, to need nothing; and they that need, and are contented with least, come nearest to God. The only and best Way to Worship God is, to mind and obey whatsoever he Commands. That the Souls of Men and Women partake of the Divine Nature: That God is seen of the vertuous Mind: That by waiting upon him, they are united unto him, in an inaccessible place of Purity and Happiness; which God, he asserted always to be near him.’

Many more are the excellent Sayings of this great Man, who was not less Famous for his Sayings, than his Examples, with the greatest Nations; yet died he a Sacrifice to the sottish Fury of the vain World. The History of his Life reports, that his Father was told, ‘He should have the Guide of his Life with­in him, which should be more to him, than Five Hundred Masters;’ which proved true: Instruct­ing his Scholars herein, ‘Charging them, not to neg­lect these Divine Affairs, which chiefly concern Man, to mind or enquire after such things as are [Page 59] without in the visible World.’ He taught the use of outward Things, only as they were necessary to Life and Commerce;* forbidding Superfluities and Curiosities. He was Martyred for his Doc­trine, after having lived seventy Years, the most admired, followed and visited of all Men in his time, by Kings and common-Wealths; and than whom, Antiquity mentions none with more Reverence and Honour. Well were it for poor England, if her con­ceited Christians were true Socrates's; whose strict, just and self-denying Life doth not bespeak him more Famous, than it will Christians Infamous at the Revelation of the Righteous Judgment, where Hea­then Vertue shall aggravate Christians Intemperance; and their Humility, the others excessive Pride: And justly too, since a greater than Socrates is come, whose Name they profess, but they will not obey his Law.

§. LXVI. Plato, that famous Philosopher, and Scholar to Socrates, was so Grave, and devoted to Divine Things, nay, so discretely Politick, that in his Common-Wealth he would not so much as harbour Poetical Fancies, (much less open Stagers) as being too effeminate, and apt to withdraw the Minds of Youth, from more Noble, more Manly, as well as more Heavenly Exercises. Plato seeing a young Man play at Dice, reproved him sharply; the other answered, What, for so small a matter? Custom (saith Plato) is no small thing: Let idle Hours be spent more usefully. Let Youth (saith he) take delight [Page 60] in good Things; for Pleasures are the Baits of Evil. Observe, the momentary Sweetness of a delicious Life is followed with Eternal Sorrow; the short Pain of the contrary with Eternal Pleasures: Being commanded to put on a Purple Garment by the King of Sicily; he refused, saying, He was a Man, and scorn'd such Effeminacies. Inviting Timothy, the Athenian General to Supper, he treated him with Herbs, Water, and such spare Diet, as he was accustomed to eat. Timothy's Friends next day laughing, ask'd, How he was entertain'd? He answered, ‘Never bet­ter in his Life; for he slept all night after his Sup­per:’ Thereby commending his Temperance, He addicted himself to Religious Contemplations; and is said to have lived a vertuous and single Life, al­ways eying and obeying the Mind, which he some­times call'd, God, the Father of all things; affirm­ing, Who lived so, should become like him, and so be related to, and joined with the Divinity it self. This same Plato, upon his Dying-Bed, sent for his Friends about him, and told them, ‘The whole World was out of the way, in that they understood not, nor re­garded the Mind, (that is, God, or the Word, or Begotten of God) assuring them, Those Men died most Comfortably, that liv'd most Conformable to Right Reason, and sought and ador'd the first Cause, meaning God.

§. LXVI. Antisthenes, An Athenian Philosopher,* had taught in the Study of Eloquence several Years; [Page 61] but upon his hearing Socrates treat of the Seriousness of Religion, of the Divine Life, Eternal Rewards, &c. bid all his Scholars seek them a new Master; for he had found one for himself: Wherefore, sel­ling his Estate, he distributed it to the Poor, and betook himself wholly to the consideration of Hea­venly Things; going chearfully Six Miles every day, to hear Socrates .—But where are the like Preachers and Converts amongst the People called Christians! Observe the daily pains of Socrates; surely he did not study a Week to read a written Sermon: We are assured of the contrary; for 'twas frequent with him to Preach to the People at any time of the day, in the very Streets, as Occasion served, and his good Genius moved him. Neither was he an Hireling, or Covetous; for he did it Gra­tis: Surely then he had no fat Benefices, Tithes, Glebes, &c. And let the Self-denial and Diligence of Antisthenes be considered, who of a Philosopher and Master to become a Scholar, and that a daily one: Surely, it was then matter of Reproach, as 'tis now; showing thereby, both want of Knowledge (tho' call'd a Philosopher) and his great desire to obtain it of one that could teach him. None of these us'd to go to Plays, Balls, Treats, &c. They found more se­rious Employments for their Minds, and were Ex­amples of Temperance to the World.—I will repeat some of his grave Sentences, as reported by Laertius and others; namely, 'That those are only Noble, who are Vertuous. That Vertue was self sufficient [Page 62] to Happiness. That it consisteth in Actions, not requiring many Words, nor much Learning, and is self-sufficient to Wisdom: For that all other Things have reference thereunto. That Men should not Govern by Force, nor by Laws, unless good, but by Justice.' To a Friend, complaining he had lost his Notes, 'Thou shouldst have writ them upon thy Mind (saith he) and not in a Book. Those who would never dye, must live Justly and Piously.' Be­ing ask'd, What Learning was best? ‘That (saith he) which unlearneth Evil.’ To one that prais'd a Life full of Pleasures and Delicacies; ‘Let the Sons of my Enemies, saith he, live Delicately;’ Counting in the greatest Misery. ‘We ought, saith he, to aim at such Pleasures as follow honest Labour; and not those which go before it.* When at any time he saw a Woman richly dressed, he would, in a way of Re­proach, bid her Husband, bring out his Horse & Arms: Meaning, If he were prepared to justifie the Injuries such Wantonness useth to produce, he might the bet­ter allow those dangerous freedoms: ‘Otherwise, saith he, pluck off her rich and gaudy Attire.’ He is said to exclaim bitterly against Pleasures; often say­ing, ‘I had rather be Mad, than addicted to Pleasure, and spend my days in decking and feeding my Car­case. Those, says he, who have once learned the way to Temperance and virtue, [...] them not offer to entangle themselves again with fruitless Stories, and vain Learning; not be addicted to corporal [Page 63] Delicacies, which dull the Mind, and will divert and hinder them from the pursuit of those more Noble and Heavenly Vertues.’ Upon the Death of hi [...] be loved Master, Socrates, he instituted a Sect, called Cynicks ; out of whom came the great Sect of the Stoicks: Both which had these common Principles, which they daily, with great and unwearied dili­gence, did maintain and instruct People in the know­ledge of, viz. No Man is Wise or Happy, but the good and vertuous Man. That not much Learning, nor study of many Things was necessary *. That a wise Man is never Drunk nor Mad: That he never Sinneth. That a wise Man is void of Passion. That be is Sincere, Religious, Grave: That he only is Divine: That such only are Priests and Prophets, that have God in themselves. And that his Law is imprinted in their Minds, and the Minds of All Men: That such an one Only can Pray, is Innocent, Meek, Temperate, Ingenious, Noble; a good Magi­strate, Father, Son, Master, Servant, and worthy of Praise. On the contrary, that wicked Men can be none of these: That the same belongs to Men and Women.

Their Diet was slender, their Food only what would satisfie Nature . Their Garments exceeding mean. Their Habitations solitary and homely. They affirmed those who liv'd with fewest Things, and were con­tented, [Page 64] most nearly approach God, who wants Nothing. They voluntarily despised Riches, Glory and Nobili­ty, as foolish Shews, and vain Fictions, that bad no true and solid worth or happiness in them. They made all Things to be Good, and Evil, and flatly deny'd the idle Stories of Fortune and Chance.

Certainly these were they, who having no (exter­nal) Law, became a Law unto themselves; and did not abuse the knowledge they had of the invisible God; but to their capacities instructed Men in the Knowledge of that Righteous, Serious, Solid and Heavenly Principle, which leads to true and ever­lasting Happiness all those that embrace it.

§. LXVIII. Xenocrates refused Alexanders Present, yet treated his Ambassadors after his temperate and spare manner, saying,* ‘You see I have no need of your Master's Bounty, that am so well-pleased with this.’ He would say, ‘That one ought not to carry ones Eyes or ones Hands into another Man's House; that is, be a busie Body. That one ought to be most circumspect of ones Actions before Chil­dren, left by Example, ones Faults should out-live ones Self.’ He said, ‘Pride was the greatest Ob­struction to true Knowledge.’ His Chastity and In­tegrity were remarbable and reverenced in Athens: Phryne, the famous Athenian Courtizan, could not place a Temptation upon him, nor Philip King of Macedon, a Bribe, tho' the rest sent in the Embassy were corrupted. And being once brought for a [Page 65] Witness, the Judges rose up, and cry'd out, ‘Ten­der no Oath to Xenocrates, for he will speak the Truth.’ A Respect they did not allow to one a­nother. Holding his Peace at some detracting Dis­course, they ask'd him, Why he spoke not? ‘Be­cause, saith he, I have sometimes repented of speak­ing, but never of holding my Peace’

§. LXIX. Bion would say, That Great Men walk in slippery places. That it is a great Mischief not to bear Affliction. That Ungodliness is an E­nemy to Assurance.’ He said to a covetous Man, That ‘he did not possess his Wealth, but his Wealth possessed him; abstaining from using it, as if it were another Man's. In fine, That Men ought to pur­sue a Course of Vertue, without regard to the Praise or Reproach of Men.’

§. LXX. Demonax seeing the great Care that men had of their Bodies, more than of their Minds; ‘They deck the House, saith he, but slight the Master.’ He would say, ‘That many are inquisitive after the Make of the World, but are little concerned about their Own, which were a Science much more wor­thy of their Pains.’ To a City that would establish the Gladiators, or Prize Fighters, he said, ‘That they ought first to overthrow the Altar of Mercy:’ Intimating the Cruelty of such Practices. One ask­ing him, Why he turned Philosopher, ‘Because, saith he, I am a Man.’ He would say, of the Priests of Greece, ‘If they could better Instruct the People they could not give them too much; but if not, the [Page 66] People could not give them too little.’ He lamented the Unprofitableness of good Laws, by being in bad Mens hands.

§. LXXI. Diogenes was angry with Criticks, that were nice of Words, and not of their own Actions; With Musicians, that tune their Instruments, but could not govern their Passions; With Astrologers, that have their Eyes in the Sky, and look not to their own Goings; With Orators, that study to speak well, but not to do Well; With covetous Men, that take care to get, but never use their E­states; With those Philosophers, that despise Great­ness, and yet court great Men: And with those that Sacrifice for Health, and yet surfeit themselves with eating their Sacrifices. One time, discoursing of the Nature, Pleasure and Reward of Vertue, and the People not regarding what he said, he sell a Sing­ing; at which every one prest to hear: Whereup­on he cryed out, in abhorrence of their Stupidity, O God, how much more is the World in love with Folly, than with Wisdom! Seeing a Man sprink­ling himself with Water, after having done some ill Thing; ‘Unhappy Man! saith he, Dost thou not know, that the Errors of Life are not to be wash'd away with Water? To one, who said, Life is an ill Thing; He answered, ‘Life is not an ill Thing, but an Ill Life is an Ill Thing.’ He was very Temperate, for his Bed and his Table he found every where. One seeing him wash Herbs, said, If thou hadst followed Dionisius, King of Sicily, thou [Page 67] wouldst not have needed to have wash'd Herbs: He answered, ‘If thou hadst wash'd Herbs, thou needst not to have follow'd Dionisius. He light­ed a Candle at Noon, saying, 'I look for a Man;' implying, that the World was darkned by Vice, and Men effeminated. To a Luxurious Person, that had wasted his Means, supping upon Olives; ‘If, saith he, thou hadst used to dine so, thou wouldst not have needed to sup so.’ To a young Man, dressing himself neatly; ‘If this, saith he, be for the sake of Men, thou art Unhappy; if for Women, thou art Unjust.’ Another time, seeing an effe­minate young Man; ‘Art not thou ashamed, saith he, to use thy self worse than Nature hath made thee? She hath made thee a Man, but thou wilt force thy self to be a Woman. To one that court­ed a bad Woman; ‘O Wretch! said he, What meanest thou, to ask for that, which is better lost than found?’ To one that smelled of sweet Un­guents, ‘Have a care, saith he, this Perfume make not thy Life stink.’ He compared covetous Men, to such as have the Dropsie, ‘Those are full of Mo­ney, yet desire more; These of Water, yet thirst for more.’ Being ask'd, What beasts were the worst? ‘In the Field, saith he, Bears and Lions; in the City, Usurers and Flatterers. At a Feast, one giving him a great Cup of Wine, he threw it away; for which being blamed, ‘If I had drunk it, saith he, not only the Wine would have been lost, but I also.’ One asking him, How he might order himself [Page 68] best? Said, ‘By reproving those Things in thy self, which thou blamest in others. Another de­manding, What was hardest? He answer'd, ‘To know our selves, to whom we are Partial.’ An Astrologer discoursing to the People of the wander­ing Stars; ‘No, saith he, it is not the Stars, but these (pointing to the People that heard him.)’ Be­ing ask'd, What Men were most Noble, ‘They, saith he, who contemn Wealth, Honour and Plea­sure, and endure the contraries, to wit, Poverty, Scorn, Pain & Death. To a wicked Man, reproach­ing him for his Poverty; ‘I never knew saith he, any Man punish'd for his Poverty, but many for their Wickedness.’ To one bewailing himself that he should not die in his own Country; ‘Be of Com­fort, saith he, for the way to Heaven is alike in e­very place.’ One day he went backwards; where­at the People Laughing, ‘Are you not ashamed, saith he, to do that all your Life-time, which you deride in me?’

§. LXXII. Crates, a Theban, famous for his Self­denial and Vertue; descended from the House of Alexander, of great Estate, at least Two Hundred Talents; which, having mostly distributed amongst the poor Citizens, he became a constant Professor of the Cynick Philosophy. He exceedingly inveighed against Common Women. Seeing at Delphos a Golden Image, that Phryne, the Courtizan, had set up, by the Gains of her Trade, cry'd out, ‘This is a Trophy of the Greeks Intemperance.’ Seeing a [Page 69] young Man highly Fed, and Fat; ‘Unhappy Youth, saith he, do not fortifie thy Prison.’ To another, followed by a great many Parasites; ‘Young Man, saith he, I am sorry to see thee so much alone.’ Walking one day upon the Exchange, where he be­held People mighty busie after their divers Callings; ‘These People, saith he, think themselves Happy; but I am Happy that have nothing to do with them: For I place my Happiness in Poverty, not in Riches. Oh! Men do not know, how much a Wallet, a Measure of Lupins, with Security, is worth.’ Of his Wife, Hipparchia, a Woman of Wealth and Extraction, but Nobler for her Love to true Philosophy, and how they came together, there will be occasion to mention in its place.

§. LXXIII. Aristotle, Scholar to Plato, * and the Oracle of Philosophy to these very Times, (tho' not so divinely Contemplative as his Master, neverthe­less) follows him in this; That Luxury should by good Discipline be exil'd humane Societies. Aris­totle seeing a Youth finely drest, said, ‘Art thou not asham'd, when Nature hath made thee a Man, to make thy self a Woman?’ And to ano­ther, gazing on his fine Cloak; ‘Why dost thou boast of a Sheep's Fleece? He said, It was the Duty of a good Man, to live so under Laws, as he should do, if there were none.’

§. LXXIV. Mandanius, a great and famous Phi­losopher of the Gymnosophists, whom Alexander the [Page 70] Great required to come to the Feast of Jupiter's Son (meaning himself) declaring, That if he came, he should be rewarded, if not, he should be put to Death. The Philosopher contemned his Message, as vain and fordid: He first told them, ‘That he deny'd him to be Jupiter's Son;’ (a meer fiction.) Next, ‘That as for his Gifts, he esteemed them no­thing worth; his own Country could furnish him with necessaries, beyond which, he coveted nothing.’ And lastly, as for the Death he threatned, ‘He did not fear it; but of the two, he Wished it rather, in that (said he) I am sure it is a Change to a more blessed and happy State.’

§. LXXV. Zeno, the great Stoick, and Author of that Philosophy, had many Things admirable in him; who not only said, but practiced. He was a Man of that Integrity, and so reverenced for it by the Athenians, that they deposited the Keys of the Ci­ty in his Hands, as the only Person sit to be intrusted with their Liberties: Yet by Birth a Stranger, being of Psittacon in Cyprus. Antigonus, King of Macedo­nia, had a great Respect for him, and desired his Company, as the following Letter expresseth:

‘King Antigonus to Zeno the Philosopher, Health: I think that I exceed thee in Fortune and Glory; but in Learning and Discipline, and that perfect Felicity, which thou hast attained, I am ex­ceeded by thee; wherefore I thought it expedient to write to thee, that thou wilt come to me, assu­ring my self, thou will not deny it. Use all means [Page 71] therefore to come to us, and know, thou art not to Instruct me only, but all the Macedonians; for he who Teacheth the King of Macedonia, and Guideth him to Vertue, it is evident, that he doth likewise Instruct all his Subjects in Vertue: For such as is the Prince, such for the most part are those who live under his Government.’

Zeno answereth thus: ‘To King Antigonus, Zeno wisheth Health: I much esteem thy earnest desire of Learning, in that thou aimest at Philosophy, not popular, which perverteth Manners, but that true Discipline which conferreth Profit, avoiding that generally commended Pleasure, which effeminates the Souls of Men. It is manifest, that thou art in­clined to generous Things, not only by Nature, but by Choice; with indifferent Exercise and Assistance thou may'st easily attain to Vertue. But I am very infirm of Body, being Fourscore Years of Age, and so not well able to come; yet I will send thee some of my chief Disciples, who, in those Things con­cerning the Soul, are nothing inferior to me; and whose Instructions, if thou wilt follow them, will conduct thee to perfect Blessedness.’—Thus Zeno refuseth Antigonus, but sent Persaus his Country­man, and Philonides a Theban—He would say, That ‘Nothing was more unseemly than Pride, especially in Youth, which was a time of Learning.’ He there­fore recommended to young Men Modesty in three Things; In their Walking, in their Behaviour, and in their Apparel: Often repeating those Verses of Euripides, in Honour of Capaneus: [Page 72]

He was not pust up with his Store,
Nor thought himself above the Poor.

Seeing a Man very finely drest, stepping lightly over a Kennel; ‘That Man, saith he, doth not care for the Dirt, because he could not see his Face in it.’ He also taught, the People should not affect Deli­cacy of Diet, no, not in their Sickness. To one that smelt with Unguents; ‘Who is it, saith he, that smells so effeminately?’ Seeing a Friend of his ta­ken too much up with the Business of his Land; ‘Unless thou lose thy Land, saith he, thy Land will lose thee.’ Being demanded, Whether a Man that doth Wrong, may conceal it from God? ‘No, saith he, nor yet he who thinks it:’ Which testifies to the Omnipresence of God. Being ask'd, Who was his best Friend? He answered, 'My other self;' in­timating the Divine Part that was in him. He would say, ‘The End of Man was not to Live, Eat and Drink; but to Use this Life, so as to obtain an happy Life hereafter.’ He was so Humble that he conversed with mean and ragged Persons; whence Timon thus:

And for Companians, gets of Servants store,
Of all Men the most Empty, and most Poor.

He was Patient, and frugal in his Houshold Expen­ces: Laertius saith, he had but one Servant; Seneca avers, he had none. He was mean in his Cloaths: In his Diet by Philemon thus described:

He Water drinks, then Broth and Herbs doth eat;
Teaching his Scholars, almost without Meat.

[Page 73] His Chastity was so Eminent, that it became a Pro­verb; As chaste as Zeno. When the News of his Death came to Antigonus, he broke forth into these words, 'What an Object have I lost?' And being ask'd, Why he admired him so much? ‘Because, saith he, tho' I bestow'd many great Things upon him, he was never therewith exalted nor dejected.’ The Athenians, after his Death, by a publick Decree erected a Statue to his Memorial; it runs thus: ‘Whereas Zeno the Son of Mnaseas, a Scythian, has professed Philosophy about Fifty Eight Years in this City, and in all Things performed the Office of a good Man, encouraging those young Men, who applyed themselves to him, to the Love of Vertue and Temperance, leading himself a Life suitable to the Doctrine which he professed; a Pattern to the best to imitate: The People have thought fit to do Honour to Zeno, and to Crown him with a Crown of Gold, according to Law, in Reward of his Vertue and Temperance, and to build a Tomb for him, publickly in the Ceramick, &c. These two were his Epitaphs, one by Antipater:

Here Zeno lies, who tall Olympus scal'd;
Not heaping Pelion on Ossa's Head:
Nor by Herculean Labour so prevail'd;
But found out Vertue's Paths, which thither led.

The other by Xenodotus, the Stoick, thus:

Zeno, Thy Years to hoary Age were spent,
Not with vain Riches, but with Self-Content.

[Page 74] §. LXXVI. Seneca, a great and excellent Philo­sopher, who, with Epictetus, shall conclude the Tes­timonies of the Men of their Character, hath so much to our purpose, that his Works are but a kind of continued Evidence for us: He saith, ‘Nature was not so much an Enemy, as to give an easy Passage of Life to all other Creatures, and that Man alone should not live without so many Arts: She hath commanded us none of these Things. We have made all Things difficult to us, by disdaining Things that are easy: Houses, Cloaths, Meats, and Nou­rishment of Bodies; and those Things which are now the Care of Life, were easy to come by, free­ly gotten, and prepared with a light Labour: For the Measure of these Things was Necessity, not Vo­luptuousness: But we have made them precious and admirable; they must be sought with Art and Skill. Nature sufficeth to that which she re­quireth.’

Appetite hath revolted from Nature, which con­tinually inciteth it self, and increaseth with the A­ges, helping Vice by Wit. First it began to desire super­fluous, then contrary Things: Last of all, it sold the Mind to the Body, and commanded it to serve the Lusts thereof. All these Arts, wherewith the City is continually set at work, and maketh such a stir, do center in the Affairs of the Body, to which all Things were once performed as to a Ser­vant, but now are provided as for a Lord: Hence the Shops of Engravers, Persumers, &c. Hence [Page 75] of those that teach effeminate Motions of the Bo­dy, and vain and wanton Songs: For natural Beha­viour is despised, which compleated Desires with necessary Help: Now it is Clownishness and Ill-Breeding, to be contented with as much as is requi­site. What shall I speak of rich Marbles curious­ly wrought, wherewith Temples & Houses do shine? What of stately Galleries, & rich Furniture? These are but the Devices of most vile Slaves; the In­ventions of Men, not of wise Men: For Wisdom sets deeper; it is the Mistris of the Mind. Wilt thou know what Things she hath found out, what she hath made? Not unseemly Motions of the Bo­dy, nor variable Singing by Trumpet and Flute; nor yet Weapons, Wars or Fortifications: She endea­voureth profitable Things; She favours Peace, and calls all Mankind to an Agreement: She leadeth to a Blessed Estate; She openeth the Way to it, and shews what is Evil from what is Good, and chaseth Vanity out of the Mind: She giveth solid Greatness, but debaseth that which is puffed up, and would be seen of Men: She bringeth forth the Image of God, to be seen in the Souls of Men: And so from Corporeal she translateth in to Incorporeal Things.’ Thus in the 90th Epistle to Lucilius.—To Gallio he writeth thus: ‘All Men, Brother Gallio, are desirous to live Happy, yet blind to the Means of that Blessedness; as long as we wander hither and thither, and follow not our Guide, but the dissonant Clamour of those that call on us, to [Page 76] undertake different Ways. Our short Life is weari­ed and worn away amongst Errors, altho' we la­bour to get us a good Mind. There is nothing therefore to be more avoided, than following the Multitude without Examination, and believing any Thing without Judging. Let us enquire, what is best done, not what is most usually done; and what planted us in the Possession of Eternal Felicity; not what is ordinarily allowed of by the Multitude, which is the worst Interpreter of Truth. I call the Multi­tude, as well of those that are clothed in White, as those in other Colours: For I examine not the Co­lours of the Garments, wherewith their Bodies are clothed: I trust not mine Eyes to inform me what a Man is; I have a better and truer Light, where­by I can distinguish Truth from Falshood. Let the Soul find out the good of the Soul: If once she may have leisure to withdraw into her self, O! how will she confess; I wish all I have done, were un­done; and all I have said, when I recollect it, I am ashamed of it, when I now hear the like in o­thers? These things below, whereat we gaze, and whereat we stay, and which one Man with Admi­ration shews unto another, do outwardly Shine, but are inwardly Empty. Let us seek out somewhat that is Good, not in Appearance, but Solid, United and Best, in that which least appears: Let us dis­cover this. Neither is it far from us; We shall find it, if we seek it. For it is Wisdom, not to wander from that Immortal Nature, but to form our selves [Page 77] according to his Law and Example. Blessed is the Man who judgeth rightly: Blessed is he who is content­ed with his present Condition: And Blessed is he who giveth Ear to that Immortal Principle in the Government of his Life.’—An whole Volume of these excellent Things hath he written. No won­der a Man of his Doctrine and Life escaped not the Cruelty of Brutish Nero, under whom he suffered Death; as also did the Apostle Paul, with whom it is said, Seneca had conversed. When Nero's Mes­senger brought him the News, That he was to Die; with a composed and undaunted Countenance, he received the Errand, and presently call'd for Pen, Ink and Paper, to write his Last Will and Testa­ment: Which the Captain refusing, he turned to­ward his Friends, and took his Leave thus; ‘Since, my loving Friends, I cannot bequeath you any other Thing in acknowledgment of what I owe you, I leave you at least the Richest and Best Portion I have, that is, the Image of my Manners and my Life; which doing, you will obtain true Happiness.’ His Friends shewing great Trouble for the loss of him, ‘Where (saith he) are those Memorable Pre­cepts of Philosophy? And what is become of those Provisions, which for so many Years together we have laid up against the Brunts and Afflictions of Providence? was Nero's Cruelty unknown to us? what could we expect better at his hands, that kill­ed his Brother, and murthered his Mother, but that he would put also his Tutor and Governor to Death? [Page 78] Then turning to his Wife, Pompeja Paulina, a Ro­man Lady, Young and Noble, beseeched her, ‘for the love she bore him and his Philosophy, to suffer patiently his Affliction; for (saith he) my Hour is come, wherein I must shew, not only by Dis­course, but by Death, the Fruit I have reaped by my Meditations. I embrace it without Grief, wherefore do not dishonour it with thy Tears. As­swage thy Sorrow, and Comfort thy self in the Knowledge thou hast had of me and of my Acti­ons; and lead the rest of thy Life with that honest Industry thou hast addicted thy self unto.’ And dedicating his Life to God, he expired.

§. LXXVII. Epictetus, Contemporary with Se­neca, and an excellent Man, thought no Man wor­thy of the Profession of Philosophy, that was not pu­rified from the Errors of his Nature. His Morals were very excellent; which he compriz'd under these two words, Sustaining and Abstaining; or Bearing and Forbearing: To avoid Evil, and patiently to suffer Afflictions: Which do certainly comprize the Christian Doctrine and Life, and is the Perfection of the best Philosophy that was at any time taught by AEgyptians, Greeks or Romans, when it signify'd Ver­tue, Self denial, and a Life of Religious Solitude and Contemplation.

How little the Christians of the times are true Phi­losophers, and how much more these Philosophers were Christians than they, let the Righteous Princi­ple in every Conscience Judge. But is it not then [Page 79] intolerable, that they should be esteem'd Christians, who are yet to learn to be good Heathens? That prate of Grace and Nature, and know neither? Who will presume to determine what's become of Heathens, and know not where they are themselves, nor mind what may become of them? That can run readily over a tedious List of famous Personages, and Ca­lumniate such as will not with them Celebrate their Memories with Extravagant and Superstitious Praises, whilst they make it laudable to act the contrary: And none so ready a way to be come Vile, as not to be Vicious: A strange Paradox, but too true. So Blind, so Stupified, so Besotted are the foolish Sen­sualists of the World, under their great Pretences to Religion, Faith and Worship. Ah! did they but know the Peace, the Joy, the unspeakable Ravish­ments of Soul, that inseparably attend the innocent, harmless, still and retired Life of Jesus? Did they but weigh within themselves the Authors of their vain Delights and Pastimes, the Nature and Dispo­sition they are so grateful to, the dangerous Conse­quence of exercising the Mind and its Affections be­low, and arresting and taking them up from their due Attendance and Obedience to the most holy crying Voice in their Consciences, ‘Repent, Return, all is Vanity and Vexation of Spirit?’ Were, but these Things reflected upon; were the incessant Wooings of Jesus, and his importunate Knocks and Entreaties, by his Light and Grace, at the door of their Hearts, but kindly answered, and he admitted [Page 80] to take up his abode there: And lastly, were such resolved to give up to the Instructions and holy Gui­dance of his Eternal Spirit, in all the humble, hea­venly and righteous Conversation it requires, and of which he is become our Captain and Example: Then, O then, both Root and Branch of Vanity; the Nature that invented, and that which delights her self therein, with all the Follies themselves, would be consum'd and vanish. But they, alas! Cheat themselves by misconstrued Scriptures, and daub with the untempered Mortar of Misapply'd Promises. They will be Saints, whilst they are Sin­ners; and in Christ, while in the Spirit of the world, walking after the Flesh, and not after the Spirit, by which the true Children of God are led. My Friends, mind the just Witness&holy Principle in your selves, that you may experimentally know more of the di­vine Life, in which (and not in a multitude of vain Repetitions) true and solid Felicity Eternally consists.

IV. Nor is this Reputation, Wisdom and Vertue, only to be attributed to Men: There were Women also in the Greek and Roman Ages, that honoured their Sex by great Examples of Meekness, Prudence and Chastity: And which I do the rather mention, that the Honour Story yields to their vertuous Con­duct, may raise an allowable Emulation in those of their own Sex, at least, to equal the Noble Character given them by Antiquity: I will begin with—

§. LXXVIII. Penelope, Wise to Ulisses, a Wo­man [Page 81] man Eminent for her Beauty and Quality, but more for her singular Chastity. Her Husband was absent from her Twenty Years; partly in Service of his Country, and partly in Exile, and being believed to be Dead; she was earnestly sought by divers Lovers, and prest by her Parents to change her Condition; but all the Importunities of the one, or Perswasions of the other, not prevailing, her Lovers seem'd to use a kind of Violence, that where they could not In­tice, they would Compel: To which she yielded, upon this Condition; That they would not press her to Marry, till she bad ended the Work she bad in hand: Which they granting, she undid by Night what she wrought by Day; and with that honest Device, she delay'd their Desire, till her worthy Husband re­turn'd, whom she receiv'd, tho' in Beggars Cloaths, with a Heart full of Love and Truth. A Constancy that Reproaches too many of the Women of the Times, who, without the excuse of such an Absence, can violate their Husband's Beds. Her Work shews the Industry and Employment, even of the Women of great Quality in those Times; whilst those of the present Age despise such honest Labour, as Mean and Mechanical.

§. LXXIX. Thedrena, a Woman of great Vertue, being in a place encompassed by the Armies of the King of Macedonia, finding she could not escape their Hands, rather than fall under the Power of his Soldiers, to be defiled, chose to Dye: And therefore fly­ing into the Sea, delivered her Life up in the Waters; [Page 82] Thereby chusing Death, rather than save her Life with the hazard of her Vertue.

§. LXXX. Pandora and Protogenia, two Vertuous Daughters of an Athenian King, seeing their Country like to be Over-run by its Enemies, freely offered their Lives in Sacrifice, to appease the Fury of their Enemies, for the Preservation of their Country.

§. LXXXI. Hepparchia, a fair Macedonian Virgin, Noble of Blood (as they term it) but more truly No­ble of Mind, I cannot omit to mention; who enter­tain'd so earnest an Affection for Crates, the Cynical Philosopher, as well for his severe Life, as excellent Discourse, that by no means could her Relations nor Suitors, by all their Wealth, Nobility and Beauty, disswade her from being his Companion: Upon which strange Resolution, they all betook themselves to Crates, beseeching him to shew himself a true Phi­losopher, in perswading her to desist: Which he strongly endeavoured by many Arguments; but not prevailing, went his way, and brought all the little Furniture of his House, and shewed her: This (saith he) is thy Husband; that, the Furniture of thy House: Consider on it, for thou canst not be mine, unless thou followest the same Course of Life: (For, being Rich above Twenty Talents, which is more than 50000 l. he neglected all, to follow a retired Life:) All which had so contrary an effect, that she immediately went to him, before them all, and said, I seek not the Pomp and Effeminacy of this World, but Knowledge and Ver­tue, Crates; and chuse a Life of Temperance, before a [Page 83] Life of Delicacies: For true Satisfaction, thou knowest, is in the Mind; and that Pleasure is only worth seeking, that lasts for ever. Thus was it, she became the constant Companion both of his Love and Life, his Friendship and his Vertues: Travelling with him from Place to Place, and performing the publick Exercises of Instruction with Crates, where­ever they came. She was a most violent Enemy to all Impiety, but especially to wanton Men and Wo­men, and those, whose Garb and Conversation shew'd them devoted to vain Pleasures and Pastimes: Effeminacy rendring the like Persons not only Unpro­sitable, but Pernicious to the whole World. Which she as well made good by the Example of her ex­ceeding Industry, Temperance and severity, as those are wont to do, by their Intemperance and Folly: For Ruin of Health, Estates, Vertue, and loss of Eternal Happiness, have ever attended, and ever will at­tend such earthly Minds.

§. LXXXII. Lucretia, a most Chaste Roman Dame, whose Name and Vertue is known by that Tragedy that follows them. For Sextus, the Son of Tarquin the Proud, King of Rome, hearing it was her Custom to work late in her Chamber, did there attempt her, with his sword in his Hand, vowing, he would run her through and put one of his Servants in the Pos­ture of lying with her, on purpose to Defame her, if she would not [...] to his Lusts. Having forc'd his wicked End, she sends for her Father, then Governour of Rome, her Husband and her Friends, to whom ha­ving [Page 84] revealed the matter, and with Tears lamented her irreparable Calamity, Slew her self in their Pre­sence; That it might not be said, Lucretia out liv'd her chastity, even when she could not defend it. I praise the Vertue, not the Act: But God soon Aven­ged this, with other Impieties, upon that Wicked Fa­mily; for the People hearing what Sextus had done, whose Flagitious Life they Equally hated with his Father's Tyranny, and their sense of both, aggra­vated by the Reverence they conceiv'd for the Chaste and Exemplary Life of Lucretia, betook themselves to their Arms; and headed by her Father, her Hus­band Brutus, and Valerius, they drove out that Ter­quin Family: In which Action the hand of Brutus avenged the Blood of Lucretia upon infamous Sex­tus, whom he flew in the Battle.

§. LXXXIII. Cornelia, also a Noble Roman Ma­tron, and Sister to Scipio, was esteemed the most fa­mous and honourable Personage of her Time, not more for the greatness of her Birth, than her exceed­ing Temperance. And History particularly mentions this, as one great Instance of her Vertue, for which she was so much admir'd, to wit, That she never was accustomed to wear Rich Attire, but such Apparel as was very Plain and Grave; rather making her Chil­dren (whom her Instructions and Example had made Vertuous) her greatest Ornaments: A good Pattern for the Vain and Wanton Dames of the Age.

§. LXXXIV. Pontia was another Roman Dame, renowned for her singular Modesty: For tho' Octavius [Page 85] attempted her with all imaginable Allurements and Perswasions; she chose rather to Dye by his Cruelty, than be Polluted by his Lust. So he took her Life, that could not violate her Chastity.

§. LXXXV. Arria, Wise to Cecinna P [...]tus, is not less famous in Story for the Magnanimity she shewed, in being the Companion of her Husband's Disgraces, who thrust her self into Prison with him, that she might be his Servant; and shew'd him first by Death to be revenged of the Tyrant.

§. LXXXVI. Pompeja Plautina, Wise to Julia­nus the Emperor, commended for her Compassion of the Poor, used the Power her Vertue had given her with her Husband, to put him upon all the just and tender Things that became his Charge, and to disswade him from whatsoever seem'd harsh to the People: Particularly, she diverted him from a great Tax his Flatterers advised him to lay upon the People.

§. LXXXVII. Plotina, the Wise of Trajan, a Wo­man (saith a certain Author) adorn'd with Piety, Chastity, and all the Verlues that a Woman is capa­ble of. There are two Instances; one of her Piety, t'other of her Chastity: The first is this; When her Husband was proclaim'd Emperor, she mounted the Capitol after the Choice; where, in a Religious man­ner, she said, ‘Oh that I may live under all this Ho­nour, with the same Vertue and Content, that I en­joyed before I had it!’ The second is this: Her Husband being once Exil'd, She caused her Hair to be cut short, as the Men ware it, that with less Notice and [Page 86] Danger she might be the Companion of his Banishment.

§. LXXXVIII. Pompeja Paulina, A Roman Lady of Youth and Beauty, descended of the most Noble Families of Rome, fell in love with Seneca, for the Excellency of his Doctrine, and the Gravity and Pu­rity of his Manners. They Married, and lived Great Examples together, to both their Sexes. So great was her Value for her Husband, and so little did she care to live, when he was to die, that she chose to be the Companion of his Death, as she had been of his Life; And her Veins were cut as well as his, whilst she was the Auditor of his excellent Discourses: But Nero hear­ing of it, and fearing, left Pauline's Death might bring him great Reproach, because of her Noble Al­liance in Rome, sent with all haste, To have her wounds closed; and if it were possible, to save her life: which, tho' as one half dead, was done, and she against her will lived; but always with a Pale hue, and Was [...] ­plection of Face, to tell how much of her Life was gone with Seneca her dearest Friend, Philosopher and Husband.

§. LXXXIX. Thus may the Voluptuous Women of the Times read their Reproof in the Character of a brave Heathen; and learn, That solid Happiness consists in a Divine and Holy Composure of Mind, in a neglect of Wealth and Greatness, and a contempt of all Corporal Pleasures, as more befitting [...], than Immortal Spirits: And which are loved by none but such, as not knowing the Excellency of Heavenly Things, are both Inventing and Delighting, like [Page 87] Brutes, in that which Perisheth: Giving the Prefer­ence to poor Mortality, and spending their Lives, to gratifie the Lusts of a little dirty Flesh and Blood, that shall never enter into the Kingdom of Heaven: By all which their Minds become darken'd, and so insensi­ble of more Coelestial Glories, that they do not only refuse to enquire after them, but infamously Scoff and Despise those that do, as a Foolish and Mad People: To that strange degree of Darkness and Impudence this Age has got. But if the exceeding Temperance, Chastity, Vertue, Industry and Con­tentedness of very Heathens, with the plain and ne­cessary Enjoyments, God has been pleased to vouchsafe the Sons and Daughters of Men, as suf­ficient to their Wants, and conveniency (that they may be the more at leisure to answer the great End of their being Born) will not suffice, but that they will Exceed the Bounds, Precepts and Examples, both of Heathens and Christians; Anguish and Tri­bulation will overtake them, when they shall have an Eternity to think upon, with gnashing Teeth, what to all Eternity they can never remedy! These Dismal Wages are decreed for them, who so far affront God, Heaven and Eternal Felicity, as to neglect their Sal­vation from Sin here, and Wrath to come, for the En­joyment of a few fading Pleasures. For such to think, that notwithstanding their Lives of Sense and Pleasure, wherein their Minds become Slaves to their Bodies, that they shall be Everlastingly Happy, is an addition to their Evils; since 'tis a great Abuse to [Page 88] the Holy God, that Men and Women should be­lieve him an Eternal Companion for their Carnal and Sensual Minds: For, As the Tree falls, so it lies; and as Death leaves Men, Judgment finds them: And there is no Repentance in the Grave. Therefore I beseech you, to whom this comes, to Retire: Witt, draw a While; let not the Body See All, Taste All, Enjoy All; but let the Soul See too, Taste and En­joy those Heavenly Comforts and Refreshments, pro­per to that Eternal World, of which she is an Inha­bitant, and where she must ever abide in a State of Peace or Plagues, when this visible One shall be dissolved.

CHAP. XX.

§. 1. The Doctrine of Christ from Mat. 5. about Denial of Self. §. 2. John Baptist's Example. §. 3. The Testimony of the A­postle Peter, &c. §. 4. Paul's Godly Exhortation against Pride, Covetousness and Luxury. §. 5. The Primitive Chris­tians Nonconformity to the World. §. 6. Clemens Romanus against the Vanity of the Gentiles. §. 7. Machiavel of the Zeal of the Primitive Christians. §. 8. Tertullian, Chrysostom, &c. on Mat. 12, 36. §. 9. Gregory Nazianzene. §. 10. Jerom. §. 11. Hillary. §. 12. Ambrose. §. 13. Augustine. §. 14. Council of Carthage. §. 15. Carden. §. 16. Gratian. §. 17. Petrus Bellonius. §. 18. Wal­denses. §. 19. What they understood by Daily Bread in the Lord's Prayer. §. 20. Their Judgment concerning Taverns. §. 21. Dancing, Musick, &c. §. 22. An Epistle of Bartho­lomew▪ Tertian to the Waldensian Churches, &c. §. 23. Their Extream Suffering and Faithfulness. Their Degeneracy reproved that call them their Ancestors. §. 24. Paulinus Bi­shop of Nola, relieving Slaves and Prisoners. §. 25. Aca­cious Bishop of Amida, his Charity to Enemies.

[Page 89] HAving Abundantly shewn, how much the Doc­trine and Conversation of the Vertuous Gentiles Condemn the Pride, Avarice and Luxury of the Pro­fessed Christians of the Times; I Shall, in the next place, to discharge my Engagement, and further for­tifie this Discourse, present my Reader with the Judg­ment and Practice of the most Christian Times; as also of Eminent Writers, both Ancient and Modern. I Shall begin with the Blessed Author of that Reli­gion

§. 1. JESUS CHRIST, in whose Mouth there was found No Guile (sent from God, with a Testi­mony of Love to Mankind, and laid down his Life for their Salvation; whom God hath raised by his mighty Power to be Lord of all) is of right to be first heard in this Matter; for never Man Spake like him, to our Point; Short, clear and close; and all opposite to the Way of this wicked World. Blessed (says he) are the Poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God: He doth not say, Blessed are the Proud, the Rich, the High-minded: Here is Humility and the Fear of the Lord Blest. Blessed are they that Mourn, for they shall be Comfort­ed: He doth not say, Blessed are the Feasters, Dan­cers and Revellers of the World, whose Life is Swal­lowed up of Pleasure and Jollity: No, as he was a Man of Sorrows, so he blest the Godly Sorrowful. Blessed are the Meek, for they shall inherit the Earth:

[Page 90] He doth not say, Blessed are the Ambitious, the Angry, and those that are Puffed up: He makes not the Earth a Blessing to them: And tho' they get it by Conquest and Rapine, it will at last fall into the Hands of the Meek, to Inherit. Again, Blessed are they which do Hunger and Thirst after Righteousness: But no Blessing to the Hunger and Thirst of the Luxurious Man. Blessed are the Merciful, for they shall obtain Mercy: He draws Men to Tenderness and Forgiveness, by Reward. Hast thou one in thy Power that hath wronged Thee? Be not Rigorous, Exact not the utmost Farthing; be Merciful and Pity the Afflicted, for such are Blessed. Yet further, Blessed are the Poor in Heart, for they shall see God: He doth not say, Blessed are the Proud, the Covetous, the Unclean, the Voluptuous, the Malicious: No, such shall never see God. Again, Blessed are the Peace Makers, for they shall be called the Children of God: He doth not say, Blessed are the Contentious Back-biters, Tale bearers, Brawlers, Fighters, Ma­kers of War; neither shall they be called the Chil­dren of God, whatever they may call themselves. Lastly, Blessed are you when Men shall Revile you, and Persecute you, and say all manner of Evil against you falsly, for my sake; Rejoice and be exceeding Glad, for great is your Reward in Heaven: He blesseth the Troubles of his People, and translates Earthly Sufferings into Heavenly Rewards. He doth not say, Blessed are you when the World Speaks well of you, and fawns upon you: So that His Blessings cross [Page 91] the World's; for the World blesseth those as Happy, that have the World's Favour: He blessed those as happy that have the World's Frowns. This solveth the great Objection, "Why are you so foolish to ex­pose your Selves to the Law, to incur the Displeasure of Magistrates, and suffer the Loss of your Estates and Liberties? Cannot a Man serve God in his Heart, and do as others do? Are you wiser than your Fore­Fathers? Call to mind your Ancestors. Will you question their Salvation by your Novelties, and forget the future Good of your Wife and Children, as well as sacrifice the present Comforts of your Life, to hold up the Credit of a Party?" A Language I have more than once heard: I say this Doctrine of Christ is an Answer and Antidote against the Power of this Objection. He teacheth us, to embrace Truth un­der all those Scandals. The Jews had more to say of this kind than any, whose way, had a more Extraor­dinary Institution; but Christ minds not either insti­tution or Succession. He was a New Man, and came to Consecrate a New Way, and that in the Will of God, and the Power that accompanied his Ministry and that of his Followers, abundantly proved the divine Authority of his Mission, who thereby warns his to expect and to bear Contradiction, Reviling and Per­secution: For if they did it to the green Tree, much more were they to expect that they would do it to the dry: If to the Lord, then to the Servant. Why then should Christians fear that Reproach and Tri­bulation, that are the Companions of his Religion, [Page 92] since they work to his Sincere Followers a far more Exceeding and Eternal Weight of Glory? But in­deed they have great Cause to Fear and be Ashamed, who are the Authors of such Reproach and Suffering, so contrary to the Meek and Merciful Spirit of Christ: For if they are Blessed, who are Reviled and Persecuted for his sake; the Revilers and Persecu­tors must be Cursed. But this is not all: He bid his Disciples Follow him, Learn of him, for he was Meek and Lowly: He taught them to Bear Injuries, and not Smite again; To exceed in Kindness; To go two Miles, when ask'd to go one; To Part with Cloak and Coat too; To give to them that ask, and and to Lend to them that borrow; To Forgive, ay, and Love Enemies too; commanding them, saying, Bless them that Curse you; Do Good to them that Hate you; and Pray for them which Despightfully use you, and Persecute you: Urging them with a most sensible Demonstration, That, saith he, you may be the Children of your Father, which is in Heaven: For he maketh the Sun to rise upon the Good and the Evil, and his Rain to descend upon the Just and the Unjust. He also taught his Disciples, to believe and rely upon God's Providence, from the Care that he had over the least of his Creatures: ‘Therefore, saith he, I say unto you, Take no thought for your Life, what you shall Eat, and what you shall Drink, nor yet for your Body, what you shall put on: Is not the Life more than Meat, and the Body than Rayment? Be­hold the Fowls of the Air; for they Sow not, nei­ther [Page 93] do they Reap, nor gather into Barns; yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them: Are you not much better than they? Which of you by taking tho't can add one Cubit unto his Stature? And why take you thought for Rayment? Consider the Lillies of the Field, how they grow, they Toil not, neither do they Spin: And yet I say unto you, That even So­lomon in all his Glory, was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so cloatheth the Grass of the Field, which to Day is, and to Morrow is cast into the Oven, shall he not much more cloath you? O ye of Little Faith! Therefore take no Tho't, saying, What shall we Eat, or what shall we Drink, or wherewithal shall we be Cloathed? (For after all those Things do the Gentiles seek) For your Hea­venly Father knoweth, that you have need of all these Things’. But seek you first the Kingdom of ‘God, and his Righteousness, and all these Things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no Tho't for to Morrow, for to Morrow shall take Thought for the Things of it self; Sufficient is the Day for the Evil thereof.’ Oh! how Plain, how Sweet, how Full, yet how Brief are his blessed Sentences! They thereby shew from whence they came, and that Divinity it self spoke them: What are Labour'd, what are Forced and Scattered in the best of other Writers, and not all neither, is here compriz'd after a natural, easie and conspicuous Manner. He sets Nature above Art, and Trust above Care. This is He that himself came Poor into the World, and so [Page 94] lived in it: He lay in a Manger, conversed with Mechanicks; Fasted much, Retired often: And when He Feasted, it was with Barly Leaves and Fish, dress'd doubtless in an easie and homely Manner. He was Solitary in his Life, in his Death Ignominious: The Foxes had Holes, the Birds of the Air had Nests, but the Son of Man had not a place whereon to lay his Head. He that made All Things as God, had No­thing as Man; which hath this blessed Instruction in it, that the Meanest and Poorest should not be de­jected, nor yet the Richest and Highest be exalted. In fine, having Taught this Doctrine, and Lived as he spoke, he Dyed to Confirm it; and offer'd up himself a Propitiation for the Sins of the whole World, when no other Sacrifice could be found, that could attone for Man with God: Who rising above the Power of Death and the Grave, hath led Captivity Captive, and is become the first Born from the Dead, and Lord of the Living; and his Living People Praise him, who is worthy for ever.

§. 2. John the Baptist, who was the Fore runner of Christ's Appearance in Flesh, did by his own Ab­stinence sufficiently declare what sort of Person it was he came to prepare and bespeak People to receive. For, tho' sanctified in his Mother's Womb, and de­clared by Christ, to be the greatest of all Prophets, yet his Cloathing was but a Coarse Garment of Camels Hair, and a Leathern Girdle, and his Food only Lo­custs and Wild Honey: A Life very Natural and of great Simplicity, This was all the Pomp and Retinue, [Page 95] which the greatest Ambassador that ever came to the World, was attended with, about the best of Messa­ges, to wit, Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at [...]and. And, There is one coming after me, whose Shoe-latches I am not worthy to unloose, who shall Bap­tize you with Fire, and with the Holy Ghost; and is the Lamb of God that taketh away the Sins of the World. Did the Fore runner of the Coming of God (for Emmanuel is God with Men) appear without the State, Grandeur and Luxury of the World; and shall those who pretend to Receive the Message, and that for Glad Tidings too, and confess the Emmanuel, Christ Jesus to be the Lord, live in the Vanity and Excess of the World, and care more for their Fine Cloaths, Delicate Dishes, Rich Furniture, Stately At­tendance, and Pleasant Diversion, than for the Holy Cross of Christ, and the blessed Narrow Way that leadeth to Salvation? Be ashamed and Repent!

§. 3. Peter, Andrew, Philip, and the rest of the Holy Apostles, were by Calling as well as Doctrine, not a Luxurious People; for they were made up of poor Fishermen and Mechanicks: For Christ called not his Disciples out of higher Ranks of Men, nor had they Ability as well as Will, to use the Excesses herein reproved. You may conceive what their lives were, by what their Masters Doctrine was; for they were the true Scholars of his Heavenly Discipline. Peter thus speaks, and exhorteth the Christians of his time, ‘Let not your Adorning be that outward Adorning of Plating the Hair, and the Wearing [Page 96] of Gold, and of putting on of Apparel; but let it be the Hidden Man of the Heart, in that which is not Corruptible, even the Ornament of a Meek and Quiet Spirit, which is in the sight of God of great Price; for after this manner in the old Time, the holy Women, who also trusted in God, Adorned themselves. Wherefore gird up the Loins of your Minds, be Sober, and hope to the end, as obedient Children, not Fashioning your selves according to your former Lusts, in your Ignorance, but as he, which hath called you is Holy, so be you Holy, in all manner of Conversation, and giving all Di­ligence, adding to your Faith, Vertue; to Vertue, Knowledge; and to Knowledge, Temperance; and to Temperance, Patience; and to Patience, Godliness; and to Godliness, Brotherly Kindness; and to Brotherly Kindness, Charity; for if these things be in you and abound, they make you that you shall be neither Barren nor Unfruitful: For so an entrance shall be ministred unto you abundant­ly, into the Everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: Not rendring Evil for Evil, or Railing for Railing; but contrariwise, Blessing; knowing, that ye are thereunto called, that ye should Inherit a Blessing: For even hereunto were ye called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an Example, that we should follow his Steps, who did no Sin, neither was Guile found in his Mouth; who, when he was Reviled, he Reviled not again; when he suffer'd, he threatned not, but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.’

[Page 97] §. 4. PAUL, who was also an Apostle, though, as he faith, born out of due time: A Man of great Knowledge and Learning, but ‘I count it, saith he all Loss for the Excellency of the Knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffer­ed the Loss of all Things, and do count them but Dung, that I may win Christ. Brethren, be fol­lowers of me, and mark them which walk so, as ye have us for an Example: For many walk, of whom I have told you often; and now tell you, even Weeping, that they are the Enemies of the Cross of Christ, whose End is Destruction; for their God is their Belly, they glory in their Shame, and they mind earthly Things. For our Conversation is in Heaven; from whence we look also for our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. In like manner also,* I will that Women adorn themselves in modest Appa­rel, with Shamefacedness and Sobriety, not with broidered Hair, or Gold, or Pearls, or costly Ar­ray; but with good Works, as becometh Women professing Godliness. Be Followers of God, as dear Children, and walk in Love, as Christ also hath loved us: But Fornication, and all Unclean­ness, and Covetousness, let it not be once named a­mongst you, as becometh Saints; neither Filthiness, nor foolish Talking, nor Jesting, which are not con­venient; but rather giving of Thanks: For this ye know, that no Whoremonger, Unclean Person, nor Covetous Man, who is an Idolater, hath an In­heritance [Page 98] in the Kingdom of Christ, and of God. See then that you walk Circumspectly, not as Fools, but as Wise, redeeming the Time, because the Days are Evil. Wherefore be ye not Unwise, but Un­derstanding what the Will of the Lord is; and be not drunk with Wine, wherein is Excess; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to your selves in Hymns and spiritual Songs, Singing, and making Melody in your hearts to the Lord. Rejoice in the Lord always; and I say again, Rejoice.* Let your Moderation be known to all Men, for the Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing, for we brought nothing into this World, and it is certain we can carry nothing out: And, having Food and Raiment, let us be therewith content; for Godli­ness with Contentment is great Gain: But they that will be Rich, fall into Temptation, and a Snare, and into many foolish and hurtful Lusts, which drown Men in Perdition and Destruction; for the love of Money is the Root of all Evil, which whilst some coveted after, they have erred from the Faith, and pierced themselves through with many Sor­rows; but thou, O Man of God, flee these Things, and follow after Righteousness, Godliness, Faith, Love, Patience, Meekness. Fight the good Fight of Faith, and lay hold on Eternal Life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good Pro­fession before many Witnesses. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickened all Things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate wit­nessed [Page 99] a good Confession, that thou keep this Com­mandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. Charge them that are Rich in this World, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain Riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all Things to en­joy, that they do Good, that they be rich in good Works, ready to Distribute, willing to Communi­cate, laying up in store for themselves a good Foun­dation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on Eternal Life. O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy Trust, avoiding profane and vain Bablings, and Oppositions of Science, fals­ly so called, which some professing, have erred concerning the Faith. Grace be with thee, Amen.’ This was the blessed Doctrine these Messengers of Eternal Life declared, and which is more, they liv'd as they spoke. You find an Account of their Recep­tion in the World, and the way of their Living, in his First Epistle to the Corinthians *; ‘For I think, saith he, that God hath set forth us (the Apostles) last, as it were, Men appointed to Death, for we are made a spectacle to the World, to Angels, and to Men. We are Fools for Christ's sake; we are weak, we are despised: Even unto this present Hour we both Hunger and Thirst, and have no certain dwelling place; and labour, working with our Hands: Being Reviled, we Bless; being Persecu­ted, we Suffer it; being Defamed, we Entreat. We are made as the Filth of the World, and are as [Page 100] the Off-scouring of all Things unto this Day.’ This was the Entertainment those faithful Followers of Jesus received at the Hands of an Ungrateful World: But he who tells us of this, also tells us, it is no un­usual Thing [...]; For, saith he, such as will live Godly in Christ Jesus, must suffer Persecution. Besides, he knew, it had been the Portion of the Righteous in preceding Ages, as in his Excellent Account of the Faith, Trials and Victory of the Holy Ancients, in his Epistle to the Hebrews, he does largely express, where he tells us, how great a Sojourner Abraham was, even in the Land of Promise, a Stranger in his own Country, (for God had given it unto him and his Posterity) Dwelling, saith he, in Tents, with Isaac and Jacob. And why not better settled? Was it for want of Understanding, or Ability, or Materials? No, He gives a better Reason; ‘For, saith he, Abraham look'd for a City which had Foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God.’ And speaking of Moses, he tells us, ‘That by Faith, when he was come to Years of Discretion, he refused to be cal­led the Son of Pharaohs Daughter, chusing rather to suffer Affliction with the People of God, than to enjoy the Pleasures of Sin for a Season, esteeming the Reproach of Christ greater Riches than the Treasures of Egypt; for he had respect unto the Recompence of Reward, nor feared he the Wrath of the King, for he endured, seeing him who is in­visible. He adds, and others had Tryals of cruel Mocking's and Scourgings; Yea, moreover, of [Page 101] Bonds and Imprisonments: They were Stoned, they were Sawed asunder, were Tempted, were Slain with a Sword; they wandred about in Sheep-Skins and Goat-Skins, being Destitute, Afflicted, Tor­mented, of whom the World was not Worthy. They wander'd in Desarts, and in Mountains, and in Dens, and Caves of the Earth, and these all have obtained a good Report.’ Methinks this should a little abate the Intemperance of professed Christians. I do not bid them be Thus Miserable, but I would not have them make themselves so hereafter; for even this afflicted Life hath Joys transcending the utmost Pleasure that Sin can give, and in the end it will be found that it were better to be a poor Pilgrim, than a Citizen of the World. Nor was this only the Life and Instruction of Apostolical Teachers; the same Plainness and Simplicity of Life was also followed by the first Christians.

§. 5. ‘The Primitive Christians, Ouzelius, in his Animadversions on Minutius Felix, saith, were Reproach'd by the Gentiles for their Ill breeding, rude and unpolish'd Language, unfashionable Be­haviour, as a People that knew not how to carry themselves in their Addresses and Salutations, cal­ling them Rusticks and Clowns, which the Christians easily bore, valuing their Profession the more for its Nonconformity to the World; wherefore it was usual with them, by way of Irony and Contempt, to call the Gentiles, the Well-bred, the Eloquent and the Learned. This he proves by ample Testi­monies [Page 102] out of Arnobius, Lactantius, Is [...]odorus, P [...]l [...]si­ota, Theodoret, and others. Which may instruct us, that the Christians Behaviour was not regulated by the Customs of the Country they lived in, as is usu­ally objected against our Singularity: No, they refu­sed the Imbellishment of Art, and would not wear the Furniture of her Invention, but as they were Singular in their Religion, so in the way of their Conversation among Men.

§. 6. Clemens Romanus * (if Author of the Con­stitutions that go under his Name) hath this amongst the rest: ‘Abstain from the vain Books of the Gen­tiles What have you to do with strange and un­profitable Discourses, which only serve to seduce weak People?’ This Clement is remembred by Paul in one of his Epistles, who in this exactly fol­lows his Advice to Timothy, about vain Questions, doubtful Disputes, and Oppositions of Science. Let us see how this Moderation and Purity of Manners con­tinued.

§. 7. Machianel (no mean Author) in his Dispu­tations assures us, ‘That the first Promoters of Christianity were so diligent in rooting out the Va­nities and Superstitions of the Gentiles, that they commanded all such Poets and Historians, which commended any Thing of the Gentile Conversation, or Worship, to be burn'd:’ But that Zeal is evi­dently extinguish'd, and those Followers received a­mong the Professors of the Religion of Jesus.

[Page 103] §. 8. Tertullian, Chrysostom, Theophylact, Gregory Nazianzene, * Upon these words of Christ, ‘But I say unto you, that every idle word that Men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment:’ Thus reflect upon vain Discourse; ‘The words mean (saith Tertullian) of all vain and superfluous Speech, more Talk than is necessary:’ Says Chrysostom, ‘Of such words as are not conve­nient, nor profitable, but move Immodesty.’ Says Theophilact, ‘Of all Lyes, Calumnies, all inordi­nate and ridiculous Speeches.’ Says Gregory, ‘Such words Men shall account for, which want that pro­fit, ever redounding from modest Discourses, and that are seldom uttered from any preceeding neces­sity or cause; Things frivolous, Fables, old Wives Tales.’ All which sufficiently reprehend the Plays, Poetry and Romances of the times, of great Folly, Vanity and Sin.

§. 9. Gregory, and this a Father of the Church, a very Extraordinary Man, was so Zealous for the Simplicity and Purity of the Mind, Language and Lives of the Christians of his time, that he suppressed several Greek Authors, as Menander Depholis, Apol­lodorus, Philemon, Alexis, Sappho, and others, which were the Recreations of the vain Gentiles. Thus Cardan. Hear his Judgment of Fine Cloaths (none of the least part of the Luxury and Vanity of the Age) There be some, saith he, are of Opinion, that the Wearing of Precious and Sumptuous Apparel is no Sin; Which, if it were no Fault, The Divine Word [Page 104] would never have so punctually expressed, nor Histori­cally related, how the Rich Man that was Tormented in Hell, was cloathed in Purple and Silk: Whence we may note, that touching the Matter or Subject of Attire, Humane Curiosity availeth highly: The first Substance of our Garments was very mean, to wit, Skins with Wool; when it is we read, God made Adam and his Wife Coats of Skins; that is, Of Skins of dead Beasts. Afterwards (to see the growing Pride and Vanity of Men and Women) they came to pure Wool, because lighter; after that to Flax, then to Dung and Ordure of Worms; to wit, Silk: Lastly, to Gold and Silver, and precious Stones; which Ex­cess of Apparel highly displeaseth God: For instance whereof (which the very Pagans themselves observ­ed) We read that the very first among the Romans that ever wore Purple, was struck with a Thunder­bolt, and so dy'd suddenly for a Terror to all succeed­ing Times, that none should attempt to live proudly in Precious Attire. This was the Sense of Gregory Na­zianzene, that Ancient Christian Writer, who wore commonly a poor Coat, like to a Frock; so did Justin Martyr, Jerom, and Austin, as their best Robe.

§. 10. Jerom (a famous Man, and also stiled a Father of the Church) above all others, seems positive in this matter, in an Epistle he wrote to a Noble Virgin, called Demetias, in which he exhorted her, ‘That after she had ended her Devotion, she should take in hand Wool and Weaving, after the com­mendable Example of Dorcas that by such [Page 105] changing and variety of Works, the Day might seem less tedious, and the attempts of Satan less; grievous;’ concluding his Religious Exhortation with this positive Sentence (says he) ‘I speak gene­rally, No Raiment or Habit whatsoever shall seem precious in Christ's sight, but that which thou makest thy self; either for thy own particular use, or Example of other Virgins; or to give unto thy Grand-mother, or Mother; No, though otherwise thou didst distribute thy Goods to the Poor.’ Let but this strictness be considered, and compared with the Apparel and Conversation of the Age: For how­ever, Pharisee-like, they otherwise Saint him, and call him an Holy Father, sure it is, they reject his Counsel.

§. 11. Hilary, Bishop of Poictiers, a Father of the Church, and famous for his Writings against the Arrians, having travelled into Syria, was informed, that Abra his only Daughter, whom he left with her Mother, was by the greatest Lords of the Country solicited in Marriage; being a young Woman, Well­bred, Fair, Rich, and in the Prime of her Age; He writ to her, earnestly pressing her, ‘by no means to fix her Affections upon the Pleasure, Greatness or Advantage that might be presented to her; for in his Voyage he had found a greater and worthier Match, an Husband of far more Power and Mag­nificence, who would endow her with Robes and Jewels of an inestimable Value.’ This he did to take off her Desires from the World, that he might wed her unto God: And it was his fervent and frequent [Page 106] Prayer, which in some sense was answer'd; for she lived Religiously, and dyed a Virgin; which shewed great Nobility of Mind, that taught his Daughter to tread upon the Mountains of Worldly Glory; and it was not less Honourable in her, that so readily yielded to the excellent Counsel of her pious Father.

§. 12. Ambrose, another Father, who was Lieute­nant of the Province and City of Milan; and upon his discreet appeasing of the Multitude, disorder'd upon some difference amongst them, about Electing a Bishop, was by their uniform Consent chosen him­self: Although this Person of all others might have been thought to plead for the accustomed Recrea­tions, especially not having been long a Christian (for he was a Catechumanist, or one but lately Instructed) at the time of his being Elected; yet doth he in so many words determine the matter thus; Plays ought not to be known by Christians; then not Made, Heard, and Defended by Christians or they must be none, that do so.

§. 13. Augustine, more famous for his many Books, and Knowledge in Church Affairs, whose Sen­tences are Oracles with some, gives this as his Opi­nion of Plays, and the like Recreations, That they were more Pernicious and Abominable, than those Ido­latrous Sacrifices, which were offer'd in Honour of the Pagan-Gods; doubtless he thought the one not so offensive to Reason, and the Impressions Divinity hath made on every Understanding, as the other was very pleasant to the Senses and therefore apt to steal away [Page 107] the Mind from better Things; for'twas his Maxim, That every Thing a Man doth, is either a hindrance or furtherance to Good. This would be esteemed in­tolerable Doctrine in a poor Quaker, yet, will the Quaker rejoice if it be esteemed and followed, as good Doctrine in Augustine.

§. 14. The Council of Carthage, tho' Times be­gan to look somewhat mistier, and the Purity and Spirituality of Religion to be much declined by the Professors of Christianity; yet there was so much Zeal left against the worst part of Heathenism, that I find an Express Canon against the Reading of Vain Books, and Comedies of the Gentiles, lest the Minds of the People should be defiled by them. But this Age ei­ther hath no such Canon, or executeth it not, to the Shame of their Profession.

§. 15. Cardan more particularly relateth How even Gregory the Great was so Zealous of preserving Purity of Manners among Christians (who lived almost 200 Years after the Charthaginian Council, that he caused many Latin Authors to be burn'd, as Vain and Lascivious; as Caecilianus, Affranius, Naevius, Lici­nus, Zennius, Attilius, Victor, Livi's Dialogues; nor did Plautus, Martial and Terence (So much in request, both in the Schools and Academies of the Land) es­cape their honest Zeal, altho' the Multitude of Copies so far frustrated their good Intentions, as they are multiply'd of late.

§. 16. Gratian also hath such like passages as these, [Page 108] * We see that the Priests of the Lord, neglecting the Gospel and the Prophets, read Comedies or Play-Books, and sing Love-Verses, and read Virgil (a Book in which is yet some good Expressions) Strange! that these Things should have been so severely censur'd of Old, and that Persons whose Name are had in so much Reverence, should repute these their Censures, the construction of Christ's Precepts, and the natural Consequences of the Christian Doctrine; & yet that they should be so far neglected of this Age, as not to be judged worthy an Imitation. But pray let us hear what Doctrine the Waldenses teach in this Affair.

§.17. Petrus Bellonius, that Great and Inqui­sitive Traveller, when he came to Mount Athos, where there live in Several Monasteries, Six Thousand Coloeri, or Religious Persons (so called) He did not so much as find there (no, nor in all Greece) one Man acquainted with the Conversation of those Parts; for tho' they had Several Manuscripts of Divinity in their Libraries, yet not one Poet or Historian; for the Rulers of that Church were such Enemies to that sort of Learning, that they Anathematiz'd all such Priests and Religious Persons, as should Read or Transcribe any Books, but what treated of Religion: And per­swaded all others, that it was not lawful for a Chris­tian to Study Poesie, &c. tho' nothing is more grate­ful in these Days. Zeno was of the same Opinion against Poetry.

[Page 109] §. 18. Waldenses were a People so call'd from one Peter Waldo, a Citizen of Lyons in France, in the Year 1160. that inhabited Piedmont, elsewhere cal­led Albigenses, from the Country of Albia; Lollards in England, from one Reynard Lollard, who sometime after came into these Parts, and Preached boldly a­gainst the Idolatries, Superstitions and vain Conver­sation of the Inhabitants of this Island. They had many other Names, as Arnoldists, Esperonists, Henri­tians, Siccars, Insabaches, Patarenians, Turlupins, Lyonists, Fraticelli, Hussites, Bohemians (still the same;) but finally, by their Enemies, damnable Here­ticks, though by the Protestants, the True Church of Christ. And to omit many Testimonies, I will in­stance only in Bishop Usher, who in his Discourse of the Succession of the Christian Church, defends them not only as True Reformers, but makes the Succession of the Protestant Church to be mainly evincible from their Antiquity *. I shall forbear all the Circumstances and Principles they held, or in which he strongly De­fends them against the Cruelty and Ignorance of their Adversaries, particularly Rainerius, Rubis Cape­taneis, &c. only what they held concerning our pre­sent Subject of Apparel and Recreations, I cannot be So Injurious to the Truth, their Self-denial, the Good of [Page 110] others, at whose Reformation I aim, and my own Dis­course, as to omit it. And therefore I shall proceed to alledge their Faith and Practice in these Matters, however esteem'd, but of a trifling Importance by the Loose, Wanton and Carnal-minded of this Genera­tion, whose feeling is lost by the Enjoyment of their inordinate Desires, and that think it a high State of Christianity to be no better than the Beasts that Pe­rish, namely, in not being excessive in New-gate, and meer Kennel-Enormities; that these Ancient Refor­mers had another Sense of these Things, and that they made the Conversation of the Gospel of a Crucified Jesus, to intend and require another sort of Life, than what is used by almost all those who account them­selves Members of his Church; I shall shew out of their own Doctrines, as found in their most Authen­tick Histories.

§. 19. To be brief, In their Exposition upon the Lord's Prayer, that part of it which speaks thus, Give us this Day our daily Bread, Where next to that Spi­ritual Bread (which they make it to be the Duty of all to seek more than Life) they come positively to deny the Praying for more than is requisite for out­ward Necessities, or that its Lawful to use more; condemning all Superfluity and Excess out of Fashion, Pride or Wantonness, not only of Bread, but all out­ward Things, which they judge to be thereby com­prehended [Page 111] using Ezekiel's words, That fulness of Bread, and Abundance of Idleness, was the Cause of the Wickedness and the Abominations of Sodom, for which God by Fire destroyed them off the Earth. Whereupon they conclude, with an Ancient Father of the Primi­tive Church, after this manner, That costly Apparel, Superfluity in Dyet (as three Dishes, when one will Serve) Play, Idleness and Sleep, which fatten the Body, nourish Luxury, weaken the Spirit, and lead the Soul unto Death; but (say they) a Spare Diet, Labour, Short Sleep, plain and mean Garments, help to purifl [...] the Soul, tame the Body, mortifie the Lusts of the Flesh, and comfort the Spirit So Severe were they, that in that Chapter of the Instructions of their Children, they would not suffer them to converse with those of strange Places or Principles, whose Conversation was Gaming, Plays, and the like wanton Recreations; but especially concerning young Women. A Man (say they) must have a great care of his Daughters: Hast thou Daughters? keep them within to wholesome Things; See they wander not; for Dina, Jacob's Daughter, was corrupted by being seen of Strangers: They affirm no better to be the general event of such Conversation.

To which I shall add their Judgment and Prac­tice concerning Taverns, publick Houses for Treats and Pleasures, with which the Land Swarms in our Days*.

[Page 112] §. co. ‘A Tavern is the Fountain of Sin, the School of the Devil, it works Wonders fitting the Place: It is the Custom of God to shew his Power in his Church, and to work Miracles; that is to say, to give Sight to the Spiritually Blind, to make the Lame to Leap, the Dumb to Sing, the Deaf to Hear: But the Devil doth quite contrary to all these in Taverns, and the like Places of Pleasure. For when the Drunkard goes to the Tavern, he goes upright; but when he comes forth, he cannot go at all; he has lost his Sight, Speech and Hearing too. The Lectures that are read in this School of the Devil (say these poor Waldenses, and first Re­formers) are Gluttonies, Oaths, Perjuries, Lyings, Blasphemies, Flatteries, and divers other wicked Villanies and pernicious Effects, by which the Heart is withdrawn further and further from God. And as the Ecclesiasticus faith, The Taverner shall not be freed from Sin.

But above other Recreations, do but seriously ob­serve, of what Danger and Ill Consequence these first Reformers thought Dancing, Musick, and the like Pastimes to be, which are the greatest Divertisements of the Times, viz.

§. 21.* Dancing is the Devil's Procession, and he that entreth into his Procession, the Devil is the Guide, the Middle, and the End of the Dance; as many [Page 113] Paces as a Man maketh in Dancing, so many Pa­ces doth he make to go to Hell. A Man sinneth in Dancing divers ways, for all his Steps are numbred; in his Touch, in his Ornaments, in his Hearing, Sight, Speech, and other Vanities. And therefore we will prove, first by the Scripture, and afterwards by divers others Reasons, how wicked a Thing it is to Dance. The first Testimony that we will produce, is that which we read in the Gospel, where 'tis said, It pleased He­rod so well, that it cost John Baptist his Life. The Second is in Exodus, when Moses coming near to the Congregation, saw the Calf, he cast the Tables from him, and broke them at the foot of the Mountain; and afterwards it cost Three and Twenty Thousand of their Lives. Besides, the Ornaments which Women wear in their Dances, are as Crowns for many Vic­tories, which the Devil hath got against the Children of God, for the Devil hath not only one Sword in the Dance, but as many as there are beautiful and well a­dorned Persons in the Dance; for the words of a Wo­man are a glittering Sword. And therefore that place is much to be feared, wherein the Enemy hath so many Swords, since that only one Sword of his may be justly feared. Again, The Devil in this place Strikes with a sharpned Sword; for the Women (who make it acceptable) come not willingly to the Dance, if they be not Painted and Adorned; which (Painting and Ornament) is as a Whetstone, on which the Devil [Page 114] sharpneth his Sword.—They that deck and Adorn their Daughters, are like those that put dry Wood to the Fire, to the End it may Burn the better: For such Women kindle the Fire of Luxury in the Hearts of Men. As Sampson's Foxes fired the Philistines Co [...]; so these Women, they have Fire in their Faces, and in their Gestures and Actions, their Glances and Wanton Words, by which they consume the Goods of Men. They proceed, The Devil in the Dance useth the strongest Armour that he hath; for his most powerful Arms are Women: Which is made plain unto us, in that the Devil made choice of the Woman to deceive the first Man: So did Balaam, that the Children of Israel might be rejected of God. By a Woman he made Sampson, David and Absalom to Sin. The Devil Tempteth Men by Women three manner of ways; that is, by the Touch, by the Eye, by the Ear, by these three Means he Tempteth foolish Men to Dancing, by touching their Hands, beholding their Beauty, hearing their Songs and Mu­sick.—Again, They that Dance, break that Promise and Agreement they have made with God in Baptism, when their God-fathers promise for them, That they shall renounce the Devil and all his Pomp; for Dancing is the Pomp of the Devil; and he that Danceth, maintaineth his Pomp, and singeth his Mass. For the Woman that Singeth in the Dance, is the Prio­ress (or chiefest) of the Devil, and those that Answer are the Clerks, and the Beholders are the Parishio­ners, and the Musick are the Bells, and the Fidlers [Page 115] the Ministers of the Devil. For, as when Hogs are strayed, if the Hogherd call one, all [...] them­selves together; so the Devil causeth one [...] Sing in the Dance, or to play on some Instrument, and presently gather all the Dancers together.—A­gain, in a Dance, a Man breaks the Ten Command­ments of God: As first, Thou shalt have no other Gods but me, &c. for in Dancing a Man serves that Per­son whom he most desires to serve (after whom goo [...] his Heart:) And therefore Jerom saith, "Every Man's God is that he serves and loves best" (and that he loves best, which his Thoughts wander and g [...]d most after.) He sins against the second Command­ment; When he makes an Idol of that he loves. A­gainst the Third, In that Oaths (and frivolously using Gods Name) are frequently amongst Dancers. Against the Fourth, For that by Dancing the Sabbath-Day is prophaned. Against the Fifth, For in the Dance, Parents are many times Dishonoured, since thereby many Bargains are made without their Counsel. A­gainst the Sixth, A Man kills in Dancing, for every one that sets about to please another, he kills the Soul as oft as he perswades unto Lust. Against the Seventh, For the Party that Danceth, be it Male or Female, committeth Adultery with the Party they Lust after; for he that looketh on a Woman, to Lust after her, hath already committed Adultery with her in his Heart. Against the Eighth, A Man Sins in Dancing, when he withdraweth the Heart of another from God. Against the Ninth, When in Dancing he [Page 116] speaks Falsly against the Truth (and for some little Honour, or secret lascivious End, denies what's True; or affirms what's False.) Against the Tenth, When Women affect the Ornaments of others, and Men covet the Wives, Daughters and Servants of their Neighbours (which undeniably attends all such Plays and Sports.) Again, A man may prove how great an Evil Dancing is, by the multitude of Sins that accompany those that Dance; for they Dance without Measure or Number: And therefore, saith Augustine, The miserable Dancer knows not, that as many Paces as he makes in Dancing, so many leaps he makes to Hell. They Sin in their Orna­ments after a five-fold manner: First, By being Proud thereof. Secondly, By enflaming the Hearts of those that behold them. Thirdly, When they make those ashamed, that have not the like Ornaments, giving them occasion to covet the like. Fourthly, By mak­ing Women Importunate in demanding the like Or­naments of their Husbands: And, fifthly, When they cannot obtain them of their Husbands, they seek to get them elsewhere by Sin. They Sin by Sing­ing and Playing on Instruments; for their Songs be­witch the Hearts of those that hear them with Tem­poral Delight; forgetting God; uttering nothing in their Songs but Lyes and Vanities; and the very Mo­tion of the Body, which is used in Dancing, gives Tes­timony enough of Evil.—Thus you see, that Dancing is the Devil's Precession, and he that enters into a Dance, enters into the Devil's Procession. Of Dancing, the Devil [Page 117] is the Guide, the Middle and the End; and he that en­treth, a good and a wise Man, into the Dance (if it can be that such a one is either Good or Wise) cometh-forth a Corrupt and a Wicked Man: SARAH, THAT HO­LY WOMAN, WAS NONE OF THESE. Be­hold the apprehensions of those good Old Refor­mers touching those Things, that are so much in Practice and Reputation in these Times, with such as profess their Religion; thus far verbatim. But I cannot leave off here, till I have yet added the Con­clusion of their Catechism and Direction, with some Passages out of one of their Pastor's Letters, fit to the present Occasion.

They conclude with this Direction; namely, How to rule their Bodies, and live in this World as becomes the Children of God. Not to serve the mor­tal Desires of the Flesh. To keep their Members, that they be not Arms of Iniquity (and Vanity.) To rule their outward Senses. To subject the Body to the Soul. To mortifie their Members. To fly Idleness. To observe a Sobriety and Measure in Eating and Drinking, in their Words and Cares of this Life. To do Works of Mercy. To live a moral (or just) Life by Faith. To fight against the Desires. To mortifie the Works of the Flesh. To give themselves to the Exercise of Religion. To confer together touching the Will of God: To examine diligently the Consci­ence. To purge, and amend, and pacific the Spirit.

[Page 118] To which I shall add the Epistle of one of their Pastors, as I find it recorded amongst other Matters relating to those poor afflicted People.

§. 22. An Epistle of Pastor Bartholomew Tertian, written to the Waldensian Churches of the Valley of Pragela; thus translated.*

JESUS BE WITH YOU.

TO all our Faithful and Well-beloved Brethren in Christ Jesus; Health and Salvation be with you all, Amen. These are to put you in remembrance, and to admonish you, my Brethren, (hereby acquit­ing my self of that Duty which I owe unto you all, in the behalf of God, principally touching the Care of your Souls Salvation, according to that Light of the Truth, which the most high God hath bestowed on us) that it would please every one of you, to main­tain, encrease and nourish, to the uttermost of your Power, without diminution, those good Beginnings and Examples which have been left unto us by our Fore-Fathers, whereof we are no ways worthy. For it would little profit us to have been renewed by the Fatherly Visitation, and the Light which hath been given us of God, if we give ourselves to worldly, carnal Conversations, which are Diabolical, abando­ning the Principle which is God, and the Salvation of our Souls, for this short and temporal Life. For the Lord saith, What doth it profit a Man, to gain the whole World, and to lose his own Soul? For it would be better for us never to have known the way of Righteousness, than having known it, to do the con­trary. [Page 119] Let me therefore entreat you, by the love of God, that you decrease not, or look back; but ra­ther increase the Charity, Fear, and Obedience, which is due unto God, and to your selves, amongst your selves; & stand fast in all those good Principles, which you have heard & understood of God, by our means: And that you would remove from amongst you, all vain conversation and evil Surmises, troubling the Peace, the Love, the Concord, & whatsoever would indispose or deaden your Minds to the Service of God, your own Salvation, & the Administration of the Truth, if you desire that God should be Merciful to you in your Goods Temporal and Spiritual:* For you can do nothing without him; and if you desire to be Heirs of his Glory, do that which he commandeth: If you would enter into Life, keep my Commandments.

Likewise be careful, that there be not nourished among you ANY SPORTS, Gluttony, Whoredom, Dancings, nor any Lewdness, or Riot, nor Questions, nor Deceits, nor Usury, nor Discords; neither sup­port or entertain any Persons of a wicked Conver­sation, or that give any Scandal or ill Example a­mongst you; but let Charity and Fidelity reign a­mongst you, and all good Example; doing to one another, as every one desires should be done unto him: For otherwise it is impossible, that any should be saved, or can have the Grace of God, or be good Men in this World, or have Glory in another. And therefore, if you hope and desire to possess eternal Life, to live in good Esteem and Credit, and to prosper [Page 120] in this World in your Goods Temporal and Spiritual, Purge your selves from all disorderly ways, to the end that God may be always with you, who forsakes not those that trust in him. But know this for certain, that God heareth not, nor dwelleth with Sinners, nor in the Soul that is given unto Wicked­ness, nor in the Man that is subject to Sin. And therefore let every one cleanse the ways of his Heart, and fly the danger, if he would not perish therein. I have no other thing to write at this present, but that you would put in practice these Things; and the God of Peace be with you all, and go along with us, and be present among us in our Sincere, Hum­ble and Fervent Prayers, and that he will be pleased to Save all those his Faithful, that Trust in Christ Jesus.

Intirely yours, ready to do you Service in all Things possible, according unto the Will of God, Bartholomew Tertian.
*
Mat. 19. 17.

§. 23. Behold the Life and Doctrine, Instruction and Practice of the Ancient Waldenses *! How harm­less, how Plain, how Laborious, how exceeding Se­rious, and Heavenly in their Conversations! These were the Men, Women, ay, and Children too, who, for above Five Hundred Years, have Valiantly, but Passively, maintained a cruel War, at the expence of [Page 121] their own Innocent Blood, against the unheard-of Cruelties and Severities of several Princes, Nuncio's and Bishops; but, above all, of certain Cruel Inqui­sitors; of whom their Historians Report* "that they held, it was a greater Evil to conceal an Heretick, than to be guilty of Perjury; and for a Clergyman to Marry a Wife, than to keep a Whore. In short, to Dissent, tho' never so Conscientiously, was worse than open Immorality." 'T was against the like Ad­versaries, these poor Waldenses fought by Sufferings thro'out the Nations, by "Prisons, Confiscations, Banishments, Wandring from Hill to Valley, from Den to Cave, being Mocked, Whipped, Racked, Thrown from Rocks and Towers, driven on Moun­tains, and in one Night Hundreds perishing by ex­cessive Frosts and Snows, Smothered in Caves, Starved, Imprisoned, Ripped up, Hanged, Dis-mem­bred, Rifled, Plundred, Strangled, Broiled, Rosted, Burned;" and whatsoever could be invented to Ru­in Men, Women and Children. These Waldenses you Protestants pretend to be your Ancestors: From them you say you have your Religion; and often, like the Jews of the Prophets, are you building their Praises in your Discourses: But oh look back, I be­seech you, how unlike are you to these afflicted Pil­grims! What Resemblance is there of their Life in yours? Did they help to Purchase and Preserve you a Liberty and Religion (can you think) at the Loss [Page 122] of all that was Dear to them, that you might pass away your Days and Years in Pride, Wantonness and Vanity? What proportion bears your Excess with their Temperance? Your Gaudiness with their Plainness? Your Luxury and flesh-pleasing Conver­sation, with their Simplicity and Self-denial? But are you not got into that Spirit & Nature they condemn­ed in their Day? Into that Carnality and Worldly-mindedness they reproved in their Persecutors? Nay, into a strain of Persecution too, whilst you seem to hide all under a Cloak of Reformation? How can you hope to confute their Persecutors, whose worst part perhaps was their Cruelty, that turn Persecutors your Selves? What have you, besides their good Words, that's like them? And do you think that Words will fend off the Blows of Eternal Vengeance? That a little By-rote-babble (tho' of never so good Ex­pressions in themselves) shall serve your turn at the Great Day*? No: From God I tell you, That whilst you live in the Wantonness, Pride and Luxury of the World, pleasing and fulfilling the Lust of the Eye, the Lust of the Flesh, and the Pride of Life, God Detests you all, and Laughs you and your Worship to Scorn. Never tell me, I am too Rash; It's the Devil that says so: He has got two Scriptures by the end in these days; One, That there's none that doth good; and why? That he may perswade all, it's Impossible to Overcome him; which is the reason so many are Overcome: Although Glory is promised to none [Page 123] but Conquerors. The second, That we must not judge, lest we be judged; that it, whilst we are Guilty of the same Things that are equivalent, lest we are judged. But away with Satan and his Hypocrisie too; I know what I say, and from whom I speak: Once more I tell you all, That unless you forsake your Pride, Luxury, Avarice, and whole Variety of Vanities, and diligently mind the Eternal Light of God in your Hearts, to obey it, Wrath will be your Portion for ever, whether you hear or forbear. Trust not your Souls upon misapply'd Scriptures* He that is a Child of God, must be Holy, for God is Holy; and none are his Sons and Daughters, but those who are adopted by the Eternal Spirit, and led thereby. 'Twas a Holy, Plain, Humble Divine Life these poor suffering Christians both professed and Practised; refusing to Converse with such as lived in the Superfluities and Excess of the World; for which, if you will believe their very Adversaries, they were persecuted: For, says, Rainerius (a great Writer against them) They use to Teach, first what the Disciples of Christ ought to be, and that none are his Disciples, but they that imitate his Life: And that the Popes, Cardinals, &c. because they live in Luxury, Pride, Avarice, &c. are not the Suc­cessors of Christ, but themselves only, in that they [Page 124] walk up to his Commandments; thus (says he) they win upon the People. But if so, that none are Chri­stians, but those who Imitate Christ, What will become of those who call themselves Chri­stians, and yet live at Ease in the Flesh; not re­garding the Work of the Holy Cross of Christ in their Hearts, that Crucifies them that bear it, to the World, and the World to them? This was the true Ground of their Sufferings, and their loud Cries against the Impieties of the Greatest; not sparing any Ranks, from the Throne to the Dunghill; as know­ing their God was no Respecter of Persons. And now, if you would follow them indeed, if you would be Protestants in Substance, and learn your Enemies a Way worth their changing for (else better words go but a little way) if you would obtain the Hea­venly Inheritance, and you would be eternally Blessed, be ye perswaded to forsake all the Pride and Pomp of this vain World. O mind the concerns of an Ever­lasting Rest! Let the Just and serious Principle of God within you, be the constant Guide and Compa­nion of your Minds; and let your whole Hearts be exercised thereby; that you may Experience an in­tire Reformation and Change of Affections, through the Power of that Divine Leaven, which Leavens the whole Lump, viz. Body, Soul and Spirit, where it is received; to which, and its Work in Man, our blessed Lord likened the Kingdom of God, which he came to set up in the Soul: That so having the Joys and Glory of another World in your View, [Page 125] you may give your best Diligence to make your Cal­ling and Election, to the Possession of them, Sure and Certain: Lest Selling that Noble Inheritance for a poor Mess of perishing Pottage, you never en­ter into his Eternal Rest. And tho' this Testimony may seem tedious, yet could it by no means be o­mitted.—But because no Instance hath been given to Authorize our last Reason of converting Superflu­ities into the Relief of distressed Persons (altho' one would think it is so equal and sober, that it needs no other Authority than its own, yet) I shall produce Two Testimonies, so Remarkable, that as they ever were esteemed truly Good, so they cannot be ap­proved by any, that refuse to do the same, without condemning themselves of great Iniquity. O you are called to an High and Holy Call; as High as, Heaven, and as Holy as God; for it is he that calls us to Holiness, through Christ, who sent his Son to bless us, in turning us from the Evil of our Ways; and un­less we are so turned, we can have no claim to the Blessing that comes by Christ to Men.

§. 24. It is reported of Paulinus, Bishop of Nola in Italy; ‘That instead of converting the De­means of his Diocess to particular Enrichments, he employed it all in the Redemption of poor Slaves and Prisoners: Believing it unworthy of the Chri­stian Faith, to see God's Creation labour under the want of what he had to spare.’ All agree this was well done, but few agree to do the same.

§. 25. But more particularly that of Acacius, Bi­shop [Page 126] of Amida, given us by Socrates Scholasticus, in this manner; ‘When the Roman Soldiers purposed in no wise to restore again unto the King of Persia such Captives as they had taken at the winning A­zazena, being about Seven Thousand in Number (to the great Grief of the King of Persia) and all of them ready to starve for Food; Acacius la­mented their Condition, and calling his Clergy to­gether, said thus u [...]to them, Our God hath no need of Dishes or of Cups, for he neither eateth not drink­eth; these are not his Necessaries: Wherefore seeing the Church hath many precious Jewels, both of Gold and Silver, bestowed of the free Will and Liberality of the Faithful, it is requisite that the Captive Soldiers should be therewith redeemed, and deliver'd out of Prison and Bondage; and they, pe­rishing with Famine, should therewith be refreshed and relieved. Thus he prevail'd to have them all converted into Money: some for their immediate Refreshment, some for their Redemption, and the rest for Costage or Provision to defray the Charges of their Voyage.’ Which Noble Act had such an universal Influence, that it more famed the Christian Religion amongst the Infidels, than all their Dis­putes or Battles: Insomuch that the King of Persia, and an Heathen, said, The Romans endeavour to win their Adversaries both by Wars and Favours: And greatly desired to behold that Man, whose Re­ligion taught so much Charity to Enemies; which, 'tis reported Theodosius the Emperor commanded A­cacius [Page 127] to gratifie Him in. And if the Apostle Paul's Expression hath any force, That he is worse than an Infidel, who provides not for his Family, how greatly doth this Example aggravate your shame, that can behold such Pity and Compassion expressed to Strangers, nay Enemies, and those Infidels too, and be so negligent of your own Family (for England, ay, Christendom, in a Sense, if not the World, is no more) as not only to see their great Necessities unan­swered, but that wherewith they should be satisfied, converted to gratifie the Lust of the Eye, the Lust of the Flesh, and the Pride of Life. But however such can please themselves, in the deceitful daubing of their Mercinary Priests, and dream they are Members of Jesus Christ, it is certain that Things were otherways in the Beginning; for then all was Sold and put into a common Purse, to supply all Indigencies*: Not mattering earthly Inheritances, further than as they might, in some Sense, be Subservient to the great End for which they were given, namely, The good of the Creation: Thus had the purest Christians their Minds and Thoughts taken up with the Better Things, and raised with the Assurance of a more Ex­cellent Life and Inheritance in the Heavens, that will never pass away. And for any to flatter themselves with being Christians, whilst so much exercised in the Vanities, Recreations and Customs of the World, as at this very Day we see they are, is to Mock the Great God, and Abuse their Immortal Souls: The Christians Life is quite another Thing.

[Page 128] And left that any should Object, Many do great and seemingly good Actions, to raise their Reputa­tion only; and others only decry Pleasure; because they have not wherewithal, or know not how to take it; I shall present them with Serious Sayings of Aged and Dying Men; and those of the greatest Note and Rank: Whose Experience could not be wanting to give the truest Account, how much their Honours, Riches, Pleasures and Recreations conduced to their Satisfaction, upon a just Reckoning, as well before their extream Moments, as upon their dying Beds, when Death, that hard Passage into Eternity, look­ed them in the Face.

CHAP. XXI. Serious Dying as well as Living Testimonies.
[Page 129] III. The Serious Apprehensions and Expressions of seve­ral Aged and Dying Men of Fame and Learning.

§. 1. Solomon. §. 2. Chilon. §. 3. Ignatius. §. 4. Justin Martyr. §. 5. Chrysostom. §. 6. Charles. V. §. 7. Mi­chael de Montagne. §. 8. Cardinal Woolsey. §. 9. Sir Philip Sidney. §. 10. Secretary Walsingham. §. 11. Sir John Mason. §. 12. Sir Walter Rawleigh. §. 13. H. Wotton. §. 14. Sir Christopher Hatton. §. 15. Lord Chancellor Ba­con. §. 16. The Great Duke of Momerancy. §. 17. Hen­ry, Prince of Wales. §. 18. Philip III. King of Spain. §. 19. Count Gondamer. §. 20. Cardinal Richlieu. §. 21. Cardinal Mazarine. §. 22. Chancellor Oxcisterne. §. 23. Dr. Dun. §. 24. Jo. Selden. §. 25. H. Grotius. §. 26. P. Salmasius. §. 27. Fran. Junius. §. 28. A Rive­tus. §. 29. The late Earl of Marlborough. §. 30. Sir Henry Vane. §. 31. Abraham Cowley. §. 32. Late Earl of Rochester. §. 33. One of the Family of Howard. §. 34. Princess Elizabeth of the Rhine. §. 35. Commissioner Whit­lock. §. 36. A Sister of the Family of Penn. §. 37. My own Father. §. 38. Anthony Louther of Mask. §. 39. Se­ignour du Renti.

§. I. SOLOMON, than whom, none is believed to have more delighted himself in the En­joyments of this World, at least, better to have Un­derstood them; hear what he says, after all his Ex­perience:* "I said in my Heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with Mirth, therefore enjoy Plea­sure: And behold, this also is Vanity. I said of Laughter, It is Mad; and of Mirth, What doth it? I made me great Works, builded Houses, planted Vineyards, made Gardens & Orchards, planted Trees in them of all kind of Fruit: I got me Servants and Maidens, also great Possessions; I gathered me Sil­ver and Gold, and the peculiar Treasure of Kings and Provinces; also Men and Women-Singers, and the Delights of the Sons of Men; as Musical Instru­ments, and that of all sorts; So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Je­rusalem: And whatsoever mine Eyes desired, I kept not from them: I with-held not mine Heart from any Joy. Then I looked on all the Works which my Hands had wrought, and behold, All was Va­nity and Vexation of Spirit". The Reasons he gives in the 18th and 19th Verses, is, That the time of enjoying them was very short, and it was uncer­tain who should be benefited by them when he was gone. Wherefore he concludes all with this; "fear [Page 130] God, and keep his Commandments: For this is the whole Duty of Man: For God shall bring every Work into Judgment, with every Secret Thing, whether it be Good, or whether it be Evil." O that Men would lay this to Heart!

§. 2. Chilon (one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece, already mentioned upon another occasion (af­fords us a Dying Testimony of great Example: It is related thus by Agellius; When his Life drew to­wards an End, ready to be seized by Death, he spoke thus to his Friends about him: "My Words and Actions, in this long Term of Years, have been (al­most all) such as I need not Repent of; which, per­haps, you also know: Truly, even at this time I am certain, I never committed any Thing, the Re­membrance of which begots any Trouble in me, unless this one Thing only; which, whether it were done amiss or not, I am uncertain. I sate with two O­thers, as Judge, upon the Life of my Friend; the Law was such, as the Person must of necessity be condemned, so that either my Friend must lose his Life, or some Deceit be used towards the Law. Re­volving many Things in my Mind, for Relief of a Condition so desperate, I conceiv'd that which I put in Practice, to be of all other the most easie to be born: Silently I Condemned him, and perswaded those Others, who Judged, to Absolve him: Thus preserved (in so great a Business) the Duty both of a Judge and Friend. But from that Act I received this Trouble; that I fear it is not free from Perfidi­ousness [Page 131] and Guilt, in the same Business, at the same Time, and in a publick Affair, to perswade Others, contrary to what was in my own Judgment best." Oh tender Conscience! yet a Heathen's. Where dwells the Christians that excelleth? Hard to be found a­mong the great Rabbies of Christendom.

§. 3. Ignatius, *who lived within the First Hun­dred Years after Christ, left this, amongst other Things, behind him (who was torn in pieces of wild Beasts at Rome, for his true Faith in Jesus) there is nothing better, than the Peace of a good Conscience: Intimating, there might be a Peace to wicked Con­sciences, that are past feeling any Thing to be Evil, but swallowed up of the Wickedness of the World. And in his Epistle to the Churches at Ephesus, Mag­nesia, Trallis and Rome, upon his Martyrdom, faith, Now do I begin to be a Disciple; I weigh neither visible nor Invisible Things, so that I may gain Christ. O Heavenly Minded Man! A Blessed Martyr of Jesus indeed.

§. 4. Justin Martyr, a Philosopher, (who receiv­ed Christianity Five and Twenty Years after the Death of Ignatius) plainly tells us, in his Relation of his Conversion to the Christian Faith, "That the Power of Godliness in a plain simple Christ, had that Influence and Operation on his Soul, that he could not but betake himself to a serious and strict Life:" And yet before he was a Cynick, a strict Sect: And this gave him Joy at his Martyrdom, having spent [Page 132] his Days as a serious Teacher, and a good Example. And Eusebius relates,* "That tho' he was also a Follower of Plato's Doctrine; yet, when he saw the Christians Piety and Courage, he concluded, no Peo­ple so Temperate, less Voluptuous, and more set on Di­vine Things:" Which first induced him to be a Christian.

§. 5. Chrysostom, another Father, so called, lays this down for necessary Doctrine, "To Sacrifice the whole Soul and Body to the Lord, is the highest Ser­vice we can pay unto him. God promiseth Mercy unto penitent Sinners; but he doth not promise them they shall have so much Time as to Morrow for their Repentance."

§. 6. Charles V. Emperor of Germany, King of Spain, and Lord of the Netherlands, after Three and Twenty Pitch'd Fields, Six Triumphs, Four King­doms Conquer'd, and Eight Principalities added to his Dominions (a greater Instance than whom can scarce be given) Resigned up all his Pomp to other Hands, and betook himself to his Retirement; leav­ing this Testimony behind him, concerning the Life he spent in the Honours and Pleasures of the World, and in that little Time of his Retreat from them all; "That the sincere Study, Profession and Practice of the Christian Religion, had in it such Joys and sweet­ness, as Courts were Strangers to."

§. 7. Michael de Montaigne (a Lord of France, Famous with Men of Letters for his Book of Essays) giveth these Instructions to others, and this Charac­ter [Page 133] of himself, viz. "Amidst our Banquets, Feast and Pleasures, let us ever have this Restraint or Ob­ject of Death before us; that is, the Remembrance of our Condition: And let not Pleasure so much mis­lead or transport us, that we altogether neglect or forget, how many ways our Joys, or our Feastings be Subject unto Death, and by how many Hold fasts she threatneth us and you. So did the Egyptians, who in the midst of their Banquetings, and in the Full of their greatest Cheer, caused the Anatomy of a dead Man to be brought before them, as a Memorandum and Warning to their Guests. I am now, by Means of the Mercy of God, in such a taking, that without Regret, or Grieving at any worldly matter, I am pre­pared to Dis-lodge, whensoever he shall please to call me. I am every where free: My Farewel is soon taken of all my Friends, except of my self: No Man did ever prepare himself to quit the World more simply & fully, or more generally shake off all tho'ts of it, than I am fully assured I shall do. All the Glo­ry I pretend in my Life, is, that I have Liv'd Quietly; Quietly, not according to Metrodorius, Arcesilas, or Aristippus; but according to my Self. Since Philoso­phy could never find any way for Tranquility, that might be generally Good; Let every Man in his own particular seek for it. Let us not propose so fleet­ing and so wavering an End unto our selves, as the World's Glory: Let us constantly follow Reason: And let the Vulgar Approbation follow us that way, if it please. I care not so much, what I am with o­thers, [Page 134] as I respect, what I am in my self: I will be Rich in my self, and not by borrowing. Strangers see but external Appearances and Events: Every Man can set a good Face upon the Matter, when within he is full of Care, Grief and Infirmities: they see not my Heart, when they look upon my outward Countenance. We are nought but Ceremony; Ce­remony doth Transport us, and we leave the Sub­stance of Things: We hold fast by the Boughs, and leave the Trunk or Body, the Substance of Things behind us.

§. 8. Cardinal Wolsey, the most Absolute and Wealthy Minister of State this Kingdom ever had, that in his time seem'd to Govern Europe as well as England, when come to the Period of this Life, left the World, with this close Reflection upon himself. "Had I been as diligent to serve My God, as I was to please my King, he would not have left me now in my Gray Hairs." A dismal Reflection for all worldly minded Men; but those more especially who have the Power and Means of doing more Good than ordinary in the World, and do it not; which seems to have been the Case and Reflection of this Great Man.

§. 9. Sir Philip Sidney (a subject indeed of Eng­land, but they say Chosen King of Poland; whom Queen Elizabeth called Her Philip; the Prince of Orange, his Master; whose Friendship the Lord Brooks was so proud of, that he would have it part of his Epitaph, Here lyes Sir Philip Sidney's Friend: [Page 135] Whose Death was lamented in Verse, by the then Kings of France and Scotland, and the Two Univer­sities of England) Repented so much at his Death, of that witty Vanity of his Life, his Arcadia, that to prevent the unlawful kindling of Heats in others, he would have committed it to the Flames himself; and left this Farewel amongst his Friends, "Love my Memory, Cherish my Friends, their Faith to me may assure you that they are Honest, but above all, govern your Will and Affections by the Will and Word of your Creator. In me behold the End of this World, and all its Vanities." And indeed he was not much out, in saying so, since in him was to be seen the End of all Natural Parts, Acquired Learning, and Civil Accomplishments. His Farewel seems spoken without Terror, with a clear Sense, and an Equal Judgment.

§. 10. Secretary Walsingham, and an Extraordinary Man, in Queen Elizabeth's time, towards the Con­clusion of his Days, in a Letter to his Fellow-Secre­tary, Burleigh, then Lord Treasurer of England, writes thus; We have lived enough to our Country, our For­tunes, our Soveraign: It is high time we begin to live to Our Selves, and to Our God. Which giving occasion for some Court Drol to visit, and try to di­vert him; Ah! (said he) while we Laugh, all Things are Serious round about us; God is Serious when he preserveth us, and hath Patience towards us; Christ is Serious, when he dyeth for us; the Holy Ghost is Serious, when he Striveth with us; the whole Crea­tion [Page 136] is Serious, in serving God and us: They are Seri­ous in Hell and in Heaven: And shall a Man that hath one Foot in his Grave, Jest and Laugh? O that our States Men would weigh the Conviction, Advice and Conclusion of this Great Man; and the greatest Man perhaps, that has bore that Character in our Nation: For true it is, That none can be Serious too soon, because none can be Good too soon. Away then with all Foolish Talking and Jesting, and let People mind more profitable Things!

§. 11. John Mason, Kt. who had been Privy Counsellor to four Princes, and spent much time in the Preferments and Pleasure of the World; retired with these Pathetical and Regretful Sayings: After so many Years Experience, Seriousness is the greatest Wisdom; Temperance the best Physick; a Good Con­science is the best Estate. And were I to live again, I would change the Court for a Cloyster, my Privy-Counsellors Bustles for an Hermits Retirement, and the whole Life I lived in the Palace, for One Hours Enjoyment of God in the Chappel. All Things else forsake me, besides my God, my Duty, & my Prayers.

§. 12. Sir Walter Rawleigh is an Eminent In­stance, being as extraordinary a Man, as our Nation hath produced: In his Person, well Descended; of Health, Strength, and a Masculine Beauty: In Under­standing, Quick; in Judgment, Sound: Learned and Wise, Valiant and Skilful: An Historian, a Philosopher, a General, a States-Man. After a long Life, full of Experience, he drops these Excellent [Page 137] Sayings a little before his Death, to his Son, to his Wife, and to the World, viz. "Exceed not in the Humour of Rags and Bravery; for these will soon wear out of Fashion: And no Man is esteemed for Gay Garments, but by Fools and Women. On the other side, seek not Riches basely, nor attain them by evil Means: Destroy no Man for his Wealth, nor take any Thing from the Poor; for the Cry thereof will pierce the Heavens: And it is most detestable before God, and most dishonorable before worthy Men, to wrest any Thing from the Needy and La­bouring Soul: God will never prosper thee, if thou offendest therein; But use thy poor Neighbours and Tenants well." [A most worthy Saying! But he adds] "Have Compassion on the Poor and Afflicted, and God will Bless thee for it: Make not the Hungry Soul Sorrowful; for if he Curse thee in the Bitterness of his Soul, his Prayer shall be heard of him that made him. Now, for the World (dear Child) I know it too well, to perswade thee to dive into the Practices of it; rather stand upon thy own Guard against all those that tempt thee to it, or may practice upon thee; whether in thy Conscience, thy Reputation, or thy Estate: Resolve, that no Man is Wise or Safe, but he that's Honest. Serve God; Let him be the Author of all thy Actions: Commend all thy En­deavours to him, that must either wither or prosper them: Please him with Prayer; ▪left if he frown, he confound all thy Fortune and Labour, like the drops of Rain upon the Sandy Ground. Let my Experi­enc'd [Page 138] Advice, and Fatherly Instruction sink deep into thy Heart: So God direct thee in all thy Ways, and fill thy Heart with his Grace."

Sir Walter Rawleigh's Letter to his Wife, after his Condemnation.

YOU shall receive, my dear Wife, my last Words in these my last Lines. My Love I send you, That you may keep when I am Dead; and my Counsel, that you may remember it when I am no more. I would not, with my Will, present you Sorrows, Dear Bess; let them go to the Grave with Me, and be buried in the Dust: And, seeing that it is not the Will of God, that I shall see you any more, bear my Destruction patiently; and with an Heart like your self. First, I send you all the Thanks, which my Heart can conceive, or my Words express, for your many Travels and Cares for me; which, tho' they have not taken Effect, as you wished, yet my Debt to you is not the less; but pay it I never shall in this World. Secondly, I beseech you, for the Love you bear me Living, that you do not hide your self many Days; but by your Travels seek to help my miserable Fortunes, and the Right of your poor Child; Your Mourning cannot avail me, who am but Dust. Thirdly, You shall understand, that my Lands were conveyed (bona fide) to my Child; the Writ­ings were drawn at Midsummer was a Twelve Month, as divers can witness; and I trust, my Blood [Page 139] will quench their Malice, who desired my Slaugh­ter, that they will not seek to Kill You and Yours with extream Poverty. To what Friend to direct you, I know not; for all mine have left me in the true time of Tryal: Most sorry am I, that being surprized by Death, I can leave you no better E­state; God hath prevented all my Determinations, that Great God, which worketh All in All. If you can live free from Want, care for no more; for the rest is but a Vanity. Love God, and begin betimes; in Him shall you find true, everlasting and endless Comfort: When you have travell'd and wearied your self with all sorts of worldly Cogitations, you shall sit down by Sorrow in the end. Teach your Son also to Serve and fear God, whilst he is Young, that the Fear of God may grow up in him; then will God be an Husband to You, and a Father to Him; an Husband and a Father that can never be taken from You. Dear Wife, I beseech you for my Souls sake, Pay all poor Men. When I am Dead, no doubt but you will be much sought unto; for the World thinks I was very Rich: Have a care to the fair Pretences of Men; for no greater Mi­sery can befal you in this Life, than to become a Prey unto the World, and after to be despised. As, for Me, I am no more yours, nor you Mine: Death hath cut us asunder; and God hath divided me from the World, and you from Me, Remember your poor Child, for his Father's sake, who loved you in his Happiest Estate. I sued for my Life, but (God [Page 140] knows) it was for You and Yours, that I desired it: For know it, my Dear Wife, your Child is the Child of a true Man, who in his own respect despis­eth Death, and his mishapen and ugly Forms. I cannot write much; God knows, how hardly I steal this Time, when all are asleep: And it is also time for me to Separate my Thoughts from the World. Beg my dead Body, which living was deny'd you; and either lay it in Sherburne, or in Exeter-Church, by my Father and Mother. I can say no more; Time and Death calls me away. The Everlasting God, Powerful, Infinite, and Inscrutable, God Al­mighty, who is Goodness it self, the True Light and Life, keep You and Yours, and have Mercy upon Me, and forgive my Persecutors, and false Accusers; and send us to meet in his Glorious Kingdom. My Dear Wife, Farewel; Bless my Boy, Pray for me; and let my True God hold you both in his Arms.

Yours that was, but not now my Own, Walter Rawleigh.

Behold, Wisdom, Resolution, Nature and Grace! How Strong in Argument, Wise in Counsel, Firm, Affectionate and Devout. O that your Heroes and Politicians would make him their Example in his Death, as well as magnifie the great Actions of his Life. I doubt not, had he been to live over his Days again, with his Experience, he had made less Noise, and yet done more Good to the World and himself. 'Tis a sad thing to consider, that Men [Page 141] hardly come to know Themselves or the World, till they are ready to leave it.

§. 13. Henry Wotton, Kt. thought it the Greatest Happiness, in this Life, to be at leisure to be, and to do Good; as in his latter end he was wont to say, when he reflected on past Times, tho' a Man esteemed Sober and Learned, How much Time have I to repent of, and how little to do it in?

§. 14. Sir Christopher Hatton, a little before his Death, advised his Relations to be Serious in the Search after the Will of God in the Holy Word: For (said he) it is deservedly accounted a piece of Excellent Knowledge, to Understand the Law of the Land, and the Customs of a Mans Country; how much more to know the Statutes of Heaven, and the Laws of Eternity; those Immutable and Eternal Laws of Justice and Righteousness! to know the Will and Pleasure of the Great Monarch and Universal King of the World! I have seen an end of all Perfection; but thy Commandments, O God, are exceeding broad.

Whatever other Knowledge a Man may be endu­ed withal, could he by a vast and imperious Mind, and a Heart as large as the Sand upon the Sea-shore, command all the Knowledge of Art and Nature, of Words and Things; could he attain a Mastery in all Languages, and sound the depth of all Arts and Sciences; could he Discourse the Interest of all States, the Intrigues of all Courts, the Reason of all Civil Laws and Constitutions, and give an Account of all Histories; and yet not know the Author of his Be­ing [Page 142] and the Preserver of his Life, his Sovereign, and his Judge; his surest Refuge in Trouble; his best Friend, or worst Enemy; the support of his Life, and the Hope of his Death; his future Hap­piness, and his Portion for ever; he doth but Sapi­enter descendere in infernum, with a great deal of Wisdom go down to Hell.

§. 15. Francis Bacon, Lord High Chancellor of England, some time before his Death confessed, ‘That to be Religious, was to live strictly and severely; for if the Opinion of another World be False, yet the sweetest Life in this World is Piety, Vertue and Honesty. If it were true, there be none so wretched and miserable, as loose, carnal & prophane Persons.’

§. 16. The Great Duke of Momerancy, Colleague to the Duke of Orleance (Brother to the French King, Lewis the Thirteenth) in the War by them agitated against the Ministry of Cardinal Richlieu, being ta­ken and Convicted at Lyons, a little before his Be­heading looking upon himself, then very Richly atti­red; Ah! (says he) this becomes not a Servant of the crucified Jesus! What do I with these Vanities about me? He was Poor, Despised and Naked, when he went to the Cross to Dye for my Sins: And immediately he strip'd himself of all his Finery, and put a more grave and Modest Garment on him: A serious Reflection at a Time when he best knew what was best.

§. 17. Henry, Prince of Wales, Eldest Son to King James I. of whom others say many excellent Things; hear what account he gives of himself at [Page 143] last: A Person whom he lov'd, and that had been the Companion of his Diversions, being with him in his Sickness, and asking him, How he did? was, a­mongst many other sober Expressions, answered thus, Ah Tom! I in vain wish for that time I lost with Thee, and Others, in vain Recreations. So Vain was Recreations, and so Precious was Time to a Prince, and no ordinary one neither, upon a Dying-Bed. But why wished he, with others, for more Time, but that it might be better employed? Thus hath the just Principle and Holy Spirit of God in Men, throughout all Generations, convinced them of their Vanity and Folly upon their Dying-Beds, who before were too much taken up, to mind either a Dying-Bed, or a Vast Eternity; but when their Days were almost numbred, when Mortality hasten'd on them, when the Revelation of the Righteous Judgment was at the Door, and that all their worldly Recreations and En­joyments must be parted with, and that Eye for ever shut, and Flesh turned to Worms Meat, that took De­light therein: Then, O then it was, the Holy Wit­ness had room to plead with Conscience: Then no­thing but a Holy, Strict and Severe Life was valua­ble; then All the World, for a little Time; who be­fore had given all their Time, for a little of a vain World. But if so short a Representation of the In­consistency of the Vanities of the World, with the Christian Life, could make so deep an Impression; Oh! to what a Noble Stature and large Proportion, had they been grown in all Pious and Heavenly [Page 144] Knowledge*; and how much greater had their Re­wards been, if they contentedly had forgone those pe­rishing Entertainments of the World betimes, & given the Exercise of their Minds to the Tuition and Gui­dance of that Universal Grace and Holy Spirit of God, which had so long shined in Darkness, uncompre­hended of it, and was at last but just perceived to give a fight of what they had been doing all their Days?

§. 18. Philip III. King of Spain, seriously re­flecting upon the Life he had led in the World, cryed out upon his Death-Bed, Ah! how Happy were I, had I spent these Twenty Three Years that I have held my Kingdom, in a Retirement. Crying out to his Confessor, My Concern is for my Soul, not my Body: I lay all that God has given me, my Dominion, Power, and my Life, at the Feet of Jesus Christ my Saviour. Would Kings would live, as well as dye so.

§. 19 Count Gondamar, Ambassador in England, for that very King, and held the ablest Man of his Time, who took great Freedom as to his Religion in his Politicks, serving his Ends by those ways that would best accomplish them. When towards his latter End he grew very Thoughtful of his past Life, and after all his Negotiations and Successes in Business, said to one of his Friends, I fear nothing in the World more than Sin, often professing, He had rather endure Hell, than Sin; so clear and strong were his Convic­tions, and so exceeding sinful did Sin appear to him, upon a serious Consideration of his ways.

[Page 145] §. 20. Cardinal Richlieu, after having been first Minister of State of Europe, as well as of France, confessed to old Peter du Moulin, the Famous Pro­testant of that Country, ‘That being forced upon many Irregularities by that which they call Reason of State, he could not tell how to satisfy his Con­science for several Things; and therefore had ma­ny Temptations to doubt and disbelieve a God, another World, and the Immortality of the Soul, and thereby to relieve his Mind from any disquiet, but in vain: So strong, he said, was the Notion of God on his own Soul, so clear the Impression of him upon the Frame of the World, so Unanimous the Consent of Mankind, so Powerful the Convic­tions of his own Conscience; that he could not but taste the Power of the World to come, and so live as one that must Die, and so die as one that must Live for ever.’ And being asked one Day, Why he was so Sad? Answered, Monsieur, Mon­sieur, the Soul is a Serious Thing; It must be either sad here for a Moment, or be sad for Ever.

§. 21. Cardinal Mazarine, reputed the Cunning­est States-Man of his Time, and gave great Proofs of it in the Successes of the French Crown, under his Ministry: His aim was the Grandeur of the World to which he made all other Considerations submit: But, poor Man! he was of another Mind a little be­fore his Death: For being awakened by the smart Lashes of Conscience, which represented [...] Souls Condition very Dismal; with Astonishment and [Page 146] Tears he cry'd out, O my poor Soul, what will become of thee! Whither wilt thou go? And spake one day thus to the Queen Mother of France, Madam, Your Favours have undone me: Were I to Live again, I would be a Capuchin, rather than a Courtier.

§. 22. Count Oxcistern, Chancellor of Sweedland, a Person of the first Quality, Station and Ability, in his own Country; and whose Share and Success, not only in the Chief Ministry of Affairs in that King­dom, but in the Greatest Negotiations of Europe, dur­ing his time, made him no less considerable Abroad. After all his Knowledge and Honour, being Visited in his Retreat from publick Business, by Commissi­oner Whitlack, Ambassador from England, to Queen Christina, in the Conclusion of their Discourse, he said to the Ambassador, ‘I have seen much, and enjoy­ed much of this World, but I never knew how to Live till now. I thank my Good God that has gi­ven me time to know Him, and to know my Self. All the Comfort I have, and all the Comfort I take, and which is more than the whole World can give, is Feeling the Good Spirit of God in my Heart, and Reading in this good Book (holding up the Bible) that came from it.’ And further Addressed himself thus to the Ambassador; ‘You are now in the Prime of your Age and Vigour, and in great Favour and Business; but this will all leave you, and you will One Day, better Understand and Relish what I say to you; and then you will find that there is more Wisdom, Truth, Comfort and Pleasure in Retiring [Page 147] and Turning your Heart from the World, to the Good Spirit of God, and in reading the Bible; than in all the Courts and Favours of Princes.’ This I had, as near as I am able to remember, from the Am­bassador's own Mouth more than once. A very e­difying History when we consider from whom it came; one of the Greatest & Wisest Men of his Age, while his Understanding was as Sound and Vigorous as his Experience and Knowledge were Great.

§. 23. Dr. Donne, a great Poet, taking his Fare­wel of his Friends, on his Dying-Bed, left this saying behind him, for them to measure their Fancies and Actions by; I Repent of all my Life, but that part of it I spent in Communion with God, and doing Good.

§. 24. Seldon, one of the greatest Scholars and Antiquaries of his Time: One who had taken a dili­gent Survey of what Knowledge was considerable a­mongst the Jews, Heathens and Christians; at last professeth this towards the End of his Days (in his Conference with Bishop Usher) ‘That notwithstand­ing he had been given so Laborious in his Inquiries, and Curious in his Collections, and had possest him­self of a Treasure of Books and Manuscripts upon all Ancient Subjects; yet he could rest his Soul on none, save the Scriptures:’ And above all, that Pas­sage lay most remarkably upon his Spirit. Titus 2. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. For the Grace of God, that bring­eth Salvation, hath appeared unto all Men; teaching us, that denying Ungodliness, and worldly Lusts, we should Live Soberly, Righteously and Godly in this pre­sent [Page 148] World; looking for that Blessed Hope, and Glori­ous Appearing of the Great God, and our Saviour Je­sus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might Redeem us from All Iniquity, and Purify unto himself a Peculiar People, Zealous of good Works: These Things speak, & exhort, & rebuke with all Authority. And in­deed it is one of the most comprehensive Passages in the Scripture. For it comprises the End, Means, and Recompence of Christianity.

§. 25. Hugo Grotius, than whom these Latter A­ges think they have not had a Man of more Univer­sal Knowledge (a Light, say the States-Men; a Light, say the Church-Men too) witness his Annals; and his Book, De Jure Belli & Pacis; also his Christian Religion, and Elaborate Commentaries. He winds up his Life and Choice in this remarkable Saying, which should abate the Edge of other Mens inordinate De­sires after what they falsly call Learning; namely, I would give all my Learning and Honour for the plain Integrity and Harmless Innocency of Jeanurick; who was a Religious poor Man, that spent Eight Hours of his Time in Prayer, Eight in Labour, and but Eight in Meals, Sleep, and other Necessaries. And to One that admired his great Industry, he returned this by way of Complaint; Ah! I have consumed my Life in laboriously doing Nothing. And to ano­ther, that inquired of his Wisdom and Learning, what Course to take; he solemnly answered, Be Se­rious. Such was the Sense he had, how much a se­rious Life excell'd, and was of Force towards a Dy­ing-Hour.

[Page 149] §. 26. To whom I joyn Salmasius, that Famous French Scholar (and the Other's Contemporary) who (after his many Volumes of Learning, by which he had acquired great Veneration among Men of Books, confessed so far to have mistaken true Learning, and that in which solid Happiness Consists, that he ex­claimed thus against himself; Oh! I have lost a world of Time; Time, that most precious Thing in the World! whereof, had I but one Year more, it should be spent in David's Psalms and Paul's Epistles. Oh, Sirs! (said he to those about him) Mind the World less, and God more:* The Fear of the Lord, that is Wisdom; and to depart from Evil, that is Under­standing.

§. 27. Francis Junius, an Ingenious Person, who hath writ his own Life, as he was reading Fully de Legibus, fell into a Perswasion, Nihil [...], nec sui, nec alieni; till in a Tumult in Lyons, the Lord wonderfully delivered him from imminent Death; so that he was forc'd to acknowledge a Divine Pro­vidence therein: And his Father hearing the dange­rous Ways that his Son was misled into, sent for him home, where he carefully and piously instructed him, and caused him to read over the New Testament; of which himself writeth thus; ‘When I opened the New Testament, I first lighted upon John's first Chapter, In the Beginning was the Word, &c. I read part of the Chapter, and was suddenly convinced, that the Divinity of the Argument, and the Majes­ty and Authority of the Writing, did exceedingly [Page 150] Excel all the Eloquence of Humane Writings:’ My ‘Body Trembled, my Mind was Astonished, and was so affected all that Day, that I knew not where and what I was. Thou waft mindful of me, O my God, according to the Multitude of thy Mercies; and calledst home thy Lost Sheep into thy Fold.’ And as Justin Martyr of old, so he of late professed, ‘That the Power of Godliness in a plain simple Chris­tian, wrought so upon him, that he could not but take up a strict and a serious Life.’

§. 28. A. Rivetus, a Man of Learning, and much Reverenc'd in the Dutch Nation, after a long Life of Study, in search of Divine Knowledge, upon his Death-Bed, being discours'd by his Friend of Hea­venly Things, brake forth in this manner; God has learned me more of himself in Ten Days Sickness, than I could get by all my Labour and Studies. So near a Way, so short a Cut it is to the Knowledge of God, when People come into the Right Way, which is to turn in their Minds and Hearts to the Voice of God, and learn of Him, who is a Spirit, to be taught of Him, and led by Him: For in Righteousness such shall be Established, and great shall be their Peace.

A Letter from James Earl of Marleborough, a little before his Death, in the Battle at Sea, on the Coast of Holland, 1665.

§ 29. I Believe the Goodness of your Nature, and the Friendship you have always born me, [Page 151] will receive with Kindness the last Office of your Friend. I am in Health enough of Body, and (thro' the Mercy of God in Jesus Christ) well disposed in Mind. This I premise, that you may be satisfied, that what I Write proceeds not from any fantastick Terror of Mind, but from a sober Resolution of what concerns my self, and earnest Desire to do you more Good after my Death, than mine Example (God of his Mercy Pardon the Badness of it) in my Life-time may do you Harm. I will not speak ought of the Vanity of this World; your own Age and Experience will save that Labour: But there is a certain Thing that goeth up and down the World, called Religion, dressed and pretended Phantastically, and to Purposes bad enough, which yet by such evil Dealing loseth not its Being. The Great Good God hath not left it without a Witness, more or less, sooner or later, in e­very Man's Bosom, to direct us in the pursuit of it; and for the avoiding of those Inextricable Disquisiti­ons and Entanglements our own frail Reasons would perplex us withal; God in his Infinite Mercy hath given us His Holy Word, in which, as there are many Things hard to be Understood, so there is enough Plain and Easie to Quiet our Minds, and direct us concerning our Future Being. I confess to God and You, I have been a great Neglecter, and (I fear) Despiser of it: (God of his Infinite Mercy pardon me the dreadful Fault.) But when I retired my self from the Noise and deceitful Vanity of the World, I found no true Comfort in any other Resolution, than [Page 152] what I had from thence: I commend from the bot­tom of my Heart the same to your (I hope) happy use. Dear Hugh, let us be more Generous than to believe we Dye as the Beasts that perish; but with a Christian, Manly, Brave Resolution, look to what is Eternal. I will not trouble you farther. The Only Great God, and Holy God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, direct you to an happy End of your Life, and send us a joyful Resurrection.

So prays your true Friend, Marleborough.

§. 30. The late Sir Henry Vane must be too fresh in Memory to need a Character; but it is certain, his Parts were of the first Rate, and Superiour to the generality of Men; but he would often say, He ow­ed them to Religion. In his Youth he was much ad­dicted to Company, and promised little to Business; but in reading of a Book, called, The signs of a Godly Man, and being convicted in himself that they were Just, but that he had no share in any one of them; he fell into that extream Anguish and Horror, that for some Days & Nights he took little Food or Rest, which at once dissolved his old Friendships, and made those Impressions and Resolutions to Religion, that neither University, Courts, Princes, nor Parents, nor any Losses or Disappointments that threatned his new Course of Life, could weaken or alter: And tho' this laid him under some Disadvantages for a Time, his great In­tegrity and Abilities, quickly broke through that Obscurity; so that those of very differing Senti­ments, [Page 153] did not only admire, but very often desired him to accept the most eminent Negotiations of his Country, which he served according to his own Principles, with great Success, and a remarkable Self-denial. This great Man's Maxim was, Religion was the best Mas­ter, and the best Friend; for it made Men Wise, and would never leave them that never left it; which he found true in himself: For as it made him Wiser than those that had been his Teachers, so it made him firmer than any Hero, having something more than Nature to Support him: Which was the Judgment as well of Foreigners as others that had the Curiosity to see him Dye. Making good some Meditations of his own, viz. The Day of Death is the Judge of all our other Days; the very Tryal and Touch-stone of the Actions of our Life. 'Tis the End that Crowns the Work, and a good Death honoureth a Man's whole Life. The fading Corruption and Loss of this Life, is the Passage into a better. Death is no less essential to us, than to Live or to be Born: In flying Death, thou flyest thy self; thy Essence is equally parted into these two, Life and Death. It is no small Reproach to a Christian, whose Faith is in Immorta­lity, and the Blessedness of another Life, to fear Death much, which is the necessary Passage thereunto.

§. 31. Abraham Cowley (whom to name, is enough with the Men of Wit of our Time and Nation) speaks not less in Favour of the Temperance and Soli­tude, so much labour'd in the preceeding Discourse: Yet that his Judgment may have the more Force [Page 154] with the Reader, it may be fit that I should say, That he was a Man of sweet and singular Wit, Great Learning, and an even Judgment; that had known what Cities, Universities and Courts could afford; and that not only at Home, but in divers Nations a­broad: Wearied with the World, he broke through all the Intanglements of it; and, which was hardest, great Friendship, and a perpetual Praise; and retired to a solitary Cottage near Barn-Elms, where his Garden was his Pleasure, and he his own Gardiner: Whence he giveth us this following Doctrine of Retirement; and may serve for an Account how well he was plea­sed in his Change. "The first Work (saith he) that a Man must do to make himself capable of the Good of Solitude, is the very Eradication of all Lusts; for how is it possible for a Man to Enjoy himself, while his Affections are tied to Things without himself. The First Minister of State hath not so much Busi­ness in Publick, as a wise Man hath in Private; if the one have little leisure to be Alone, the other hath less leisure to be in Company; the one hath but part of the Affairs of one Nation, the other All the Works of God and Nature under his Consideration. There is no Saying shocks me so much, as that which I hear very often, That a Man doth not know how to pass his Time: 'Twould have been but ill spoken by Methusalem, in the Nine Hundred Sixty ninth Year of his Life. But that is not to Deceive the World, but to Deceive Our Selves, as Quintilian saith, Vitam fallere, To draw on still, and Amuse and Deceive [Page 155] our Life, till it be advanced insensibly to the fat [...] Period, and fall into that Pit, which Nature hath pre­pared for it. The Meaning of all this is no more, than that most vulgar Saying, Bene qui latuit, bene vixit, He hath lived well, who hath lain well hid­den. Which, if it be a Truth, the World is suffici­ently deceived: For my part, I think it is, and that the pleasantest Condition of Life is in Incognite: What a brave Piviledge is it, to be free from all Con­tentions, from all Envying, or being Envied, from Receiving and from Paying all kind of Ceremonies! We are Here among the Vast and Noble Scenes of Nature; We are there among the Pitiful Shifts of Policy: We walk Here in the Light and open ways of the Divine Bounty; We grope There in the dark and confused Labyrinths of Humane Malice: Our senses are Here Feasted with the clear and genuine Taste of their Objects, which are all Sophisticated There; and for the most part, overwhelmed with their Con­traries. Here Pleasure looks (methinks) like a Beauti­ful, Constant and Modest Wife; 'Tis There an Im­pudent, Fickle and Painted Harlot. Here is Harm­less and Cheap Plenty: There Guilty and Expence­ful Luxury: The Antiquity of his Art is certainly not to be contested by any Other. The Three first Men in the World were a Gardiner, a Plough-man, and a Grasier: And if any Man object, That the Second of these was a Murderer, I desire he would con­sider, that as soon as he was so, he quitted our Profession, and turn'd Builder. 'Tis for this Reason, I suppose, [Page 156] that Ecclesiasticus forbids us to hate Husbandry; Be­cause (saith he) the Most High hath Created it. We were all Born to this Art, and taught by Nature to Nourish our Bodies by the same Earth, out of which they were made, and to which they must return, and pay at last for their Sustenance. Behold the Origi­nal and Primitive Nobility of all those Great Per­sons, who are too Proud now, not only to Till the Ground, but almost to Tread upon it. We may talk what we please of Lillies and Lyons Rampant, and spread Eagles in Fields d'Or, or d' Agent; but if He­raldry were guided by Reason, a Plough in a Field Arable would be the most Noble and Ancient Arms.

—Blest be the Man (and blest is he) whom 'ere
(Plac'd far out of the Roads of Hope or Fear)
A little Field, a little Garden feeds;
The Field gives all that frugal Nature needs:
The Wealthy Garden lib'rally bestows
All she can ask, when she Luxurious grows.
The specious Inconveniences that wait
Upon a Life of Business, and of State;
He sees (nor doth the Sight disturb his Rest)
By Fools desir'd, by Wicked Men possest.
—Ah wretched, and too Solitary He,
Who loves not his own Company!
He'll feel the weight of't many Day,
Unless he call in Sin or Vanity
To help to bear't away.

[Page 157] Out of Martial he gives us this following Epigram; which he makes his by Translation and Choice, to tell his own Solitude by: I place it here as his.

—Would you be Free? 'Tis your chief Wish, you say:
Come on; I'll shew thee, Friend, the certain Way:
If to no Feasts abroad thou lov'st to go,
Whilst bounteous God doth Bread at home bestow,
If thou the Goodness of thy Clothes dost prize
By thy own Use, and not by others Eyes;
If only safe from Weathers, thou canst dwell:
In a small House, but a convenient Shell:
If thou without a Sigh or Golden Wish,
Canst look upon thy Beechen Bowl or Dish;
If in thy Mind such Power and Greatness be,
The Persian King's a Slave compar'd with thee.
—Whilst this hard Truth I Teach, methinks I see
The Monster, London, Laugh at me;
I should at thee too, foolish City,
If it were fit to Laugh at Misery;
But thy Estate I pity.
Let but thy Wicked Men from out thee go,
And all the Fools that crowd thee so;
Even thou who dost thy Millions boast,
A Village less than Islington will grow;
—A Solitude almost.

I shall conclude him with this Prayer of his own.

—For the few Hours of Life allotted me,
Give me (great God) but Bread and Liberty;
[Page 158] I'll beg no more, if more thou'rt pleas'd to give,
I'll thankfully that Overplus receive.
If beyond This no more be freely sent,
I'll thank for This, and go away content.

Here ends the Wit, the Praise, the Learning, the City, the Court, with Abraham Cowley, that once knew and had them all.

§. 32. The late Earl of Rochester was Inferior to no Body in Wit, and hardly any Body ever used it worse; if we believe him against himself, in his dy­ing Reflections. An Account of which I have had from some that visited him in his Sickness, besides that larger one made publick by the present Bishop of Salisbury. It was then that he came to think there was a God, for he felt his Lashes on his Conscience; and that there was such a Thing as Vertue, and a Reward for it. Christianity was no longer a worldly or absurd Design; but Christ a Saviour, and a most merciful one: And his Doctrines Plain, Just and Reasonable, and the true Way to Felicity here & here­after. Admiring and Adoring that Mercy to him, which he had treated with so much Infidelity and Ob­stinate Contempt: Wishing only for more Life to Confute his past one, and in some measure to Repair the Injuries he had done to Religion by it. Begg­ing forgiveness for Christ's Sake, tho' he thought him­self the most unworthy of it for his Own. Thus di­ed that witty Lord Rochester, and this Retreat he made from the World he had so great a Name in. [Page 159] May the loose Wits of the Times, as he desired, take Warning by him, and not leave their Repentance to a Dying-Bed.

§. 33. A Noble Young Man of the Family of Howard, having too much yielded to the Tempta­tions of Youth, when upon his Sick Bed (which prov­ed his Dying-Bed) ‘fell under the Power and Agony of great Convictions, mightily bewailing himself in the Remembrance of his former Extravagances; Crying strongly to God to forgive him, abhorring his former Course, and promising Amendment, if God renew'd Life to him. However, was willing to Die, having tasted of the Love and Forgiveness of God; warning his Acquaintance and Kindred that came to see him, to fear God, and forsake the Pleasures and Vanity of this World: And so will­ingly yielded his Soul from the Troubles of Time, and Frailties of Mortality.’

§. 34. The late Princess Elizabeth of the Rhine, of Right claimeth a Memorial in this Discourse: her Vertue giving greater Lustre to her Name than her Quality, which yet was of the greatest in the German Empire. She chose a single Life, as freest of Care, and best suited to the Study and Meditation she was always inclined to: And the chiefest Diversion she took, next the Air, was in some such Plain & House­wifely Entertainment, as Knitting, &c. She had a small Territory, which she govern'd so well, that she shew'd her self fit for a Greater. She would con­stantly, every last Day in the Week, sit in Judgment, [Page 160] and Hear and Determine Causes her self; where her Patience, Justice and Mercy, were admirable; fre­quently remitting her Forfeitures, where the Party was Poor, or otherwise Meritorious. And which was Excellent, tho' unusual, she would temper her Dis­courses with Religion, and strangely draw concern'd Parties to Submission and Agreement; exercising n [...] so much Rigor of her Power, as the Power of her Perswasion. Her Meekness and Humility appear'd to me extraordinary: She never consider'd the Qua­lity, but the Merit of the People she entertain'd. Did she hear of a Retir'd Man, hid from the World, and seeking after the Knowledge of a better, she was sure to set him down in the Catalogue of her Charity, if he wanted it: I have casually seen, I believe, fifty Tokens sealed and superscribed to the several Poor Subjects of her Bounty, whose distances would not suf­fer them to know one another, tho' they knew her, whom yet some of them had never seen. Thus, tho' she kept No sumptuous Table in her own Court, she spread the Tables of the Poor in their solitary Cells; breaking Bread to vertuous Pilgrims, according to their Want, and her Ability. Abstemious in her self, and in Apparel void of all Vain Ornaments. I must needs say, her Mind had a Noble Prospect: Her Eye was to a Better and more Lasting Inheritance, than can [...]he found Below; which made her often to despise the Greatness of Courts, and Learning of the Schools, of which she was an extraordinary Judge. Being once at Hambrough, a Religious Person, whom she [Page 161] went to see for Religion's sake, telling her, It was too great an Honour for him that he should have a Visitant of her Quality come under his Roof, that was alli'd to so many Great Kings and Princes of this World: She humbly answer'd; If they were Godly as well as Great, it will be an Honour indeed; but if you knew what that Greatness was, as well as I, you would value less that Honour. Being in some Agony of Spirit, af­ter a Religious Meeting we had in her own Chamber, she said, It is an hard Thing to be faithful to what one knows: Oh the way is strait! I am afraid I am not weighty enough in my Spirit to walk in it. After another Meet­ing, she uttered these words; I have Records in my Libra­ry, that the Gospel was first bro't out of England hither into Germany by the English, and now it is come again. She once with-drew, on purpose to give her Servants the liberty of discoursing us, that they might the more freely put what Questions of Conscience they desired to be satisfied in: for they were Religious: Suffer­ing both them and the poorest of her Town to sit by her in her own Bed-Chamber, where we had two Meetings. I cannot forget her last Words when I took my leave of her; ‘Let me desire you to re­member me, tho' I live at this Distance, and that you should never see me more: I thank you for this good Time; and know and be assured, tho' my Condition subjects me to divers Temptations, yet my Soul hath strong Desires after the Best Things.’ She liv'd her single Life till about Sixty Years of Age, and then departed at her own House [Page 162] in Herwerden, which was about Two Years since; as much Lamented, as she had liv'd Beloved of the People: To whose Real Worth, I do, with a Re­ligious Gratitude, for her kind Reception, dedicate this Memorial.

§. 35. Bulstrod Whitlock has left his own Charac­ter in his Memorials of English Affairs; a Book that shows both his Employments and greater Abi­lities. He was almost ever a Commissioner and Companion with those great Men, that the Lords and Commons of England, at several times, appointed to treat with King Charles I. for a Peace. He was Commissioner of the Great Seal, Ambassador to the Crown of Sweedland, and sometimes President of the Council: A Scholar, a Lawyer, a States-man; in short, he was one of the most accomplish'd Men of the Age. Being with him sometimes at his own House in Barkshire, where he gave me that account I have related of Chancellor Oxcistern, amongst many serious Things he spoke, this was very observable. ‘I ever have thought, said he, there has ever been one true Religion in the World, and that is, the Work of the Spirit of God in the Hearts and Souls of Men. There has been but indeed divers Forms and Shapes of Things, through the many Dispen­sations of God to Men, answerable to his own wise Ends, in referrence to the Low and Uncertain State of Man in the World; but the Old World had the Spirit of God, for it strove with them; and the New World has had the Spirit of God, both Jew [Page 163] and Gentile; and it strives with all; and they that have been led by it, have been the Good People in every Dispensation of God to the World. And I my self must say, I have felt it from a Child to con­vince me of my Evil and Vanity, and it has often given me a true Measure of this poor World, and some taste of Divine Things; and it is my Grief I did not more early apply my Soul to it. For I can say, since my Retirement from the Greatness and Hurries of the World, I have felt something of the Work and Comfort of it, and that it is both ready and able to Instruct, and Lead, and Preserve those that will Humbly and Sincerely hearken to it. So that my Religion is the good Spirit of God in my Heart; I mean, what that has wrought in me, and for me.’ And after a Meeting at his House, to which he gave an entire Liberty, for all that pleased to come; he was so deeply affected with the Testimony of the Light, Spirit, and Grace of Christ in Man, as the Gospel Dispensation; that after the Meeting closed in Prayer, he rose up, and pulled off his Hat, and said, ‘This is the Everlasting Gospel I have heard this Day; and I humbly Bless the Name of God, that he has let me live to see this Day, in which the Ancient Gospel is again preached to them that dwell upon the Earth.’

§. 36. A Sister of the Family of Penn, of Penn in Buckingham-shire, a Young Woman delighting in the Finery and Pleasures of the World, was seized with a violent Illness, that proved Mortal to her. In [Page 164] the time of her Sickness she fell into great distress of Soul, bitterly bewailing the want of that Inward Peace which makes a Death-Bed easie to the Righteous. After several Days Languishing, a little Consolation appeared after this manner. She was some Hours in a kind of a Trance; she apprehended she was bro't into a place where Christ was; to whom could she but deliver her Petition, she hop'd to be reliev'd. But her Endeavours encreast her Pain; for as she prest to deliver it, He turn'd his Back upon her, and would not so much as look towards her. But that which added to her Sorrow, was, That she beheld others ad­mitted: However, she gave not over importuning him. And when almost ready to Faint, and her Hope to sink, He turn'd one side of his Face towards her, and reached forth his hand, and receiv'd her Re­quest: At which her troubled Soul found immediate Consolation. Turning to those about her, she repeats what had befallen her; adding, Bring me my New Clothes, take off the Lace and Finery: And charg'd her Relations, Not to Deck and Adorn themselves after the manner of the World; for that the Lord Jesus, whom she had seen, appear'd to her in the likeness of a plain Country-Man, without any Trimming or Orna­ment what-ever; and that his Servants ought to be like him.

§. 37. My own Father, after Thirty Years Em­ployment, with good Success, in divers Places of e­minent Trust and Honour in his own Country; upon a serious Reflection not long before his Death, spoke [Page 165] to me in this manner: Son William, I am weary of the World; I would not live over my Days again, if I could command them with a Wish; For the Snares of Life are greater than the Fears of Death. This troubles me, that I have offended a gracious God, that has followed me to this Day. O have a care of Sin! that is the Sting both of Life and Death. Three Things I commend to you; 1. Let nothing in this World Tempt you to wrong your Conscience; I charge you, do nothing against your Conscience; so will you keep Peace at Home, which will be a Feast to you in a Day of Trouble. 2. Whatever you design to do, Lay it Justly, and Time it Seasonably; for that gives Security and Dispatch. Lastly, Be not Troubled at Disappointments; for if they may be recover'd, do it; if they can't, Trouble is Vain. If you could not have help'd it, be content; there is often Peace and Profit in submitting to Providence: For Afflictions make Wise. If you could have help'd it, let not your Trouble exceed Instruction for another time: These Rules will carry you with Firmness and Comfort through this inconstant World. At another time he Inveigh'd against the Profaneness and Impiety of the Age; often crying out, with an Earnestness of Spi­rit, Wo to thee, O England! God will Judge thee, O England! Plagues are at thy Door, O England! He much bewailed, That divers Men in Power, and many of the Nobility and Gentry of the Kingdom, were grown so Dissolute and Profane; often saying, God has forsaken us! we are Infatuated, we will shut our [Page 166] Eyes, we will not see our true Interest and Happiness; we shall be destroyed! Apprehending the Consequen­ces of the growing Looseness of the Age to be our Rui [...]; and that the Methods most fit to serve the Kingdom with true Credit at Home and Abroad, were too much neglected. The Trouble of which did not a little help to feed his Distemper, which drew him daily nearer to his End; and as he believed it, so less concern'd or disorder'd I never saw him at any time; of which I took good Notice: Wearied to Live, as well as near to Dye, he took his leave of us; and of me, with this Expression, and a most composed Countenance: Son William, if you and your Friends keep to your plain Way of Preaching, and keep to your plain Way of Living, you will make an end of the Priests to the End of the World. Bury me by my Mother: Live all in Love: Shun all manner of Evil: And I pray God to Bless you all; and he will Bless you.

§. 38. Anthony Lowther of Mask, a Person of good Sense, of a sweet Temper, a just Mind, and of a sober Education; when of Age to be under his own Government, was drawn by the Men of Plea­sure of the Town, into the usual freedoms of it, and was as much a Judge as any Body of the Satisfaction that way of living could yield; but sometime before his Sickness, with a free and strong Judgment, he would frequently Upbraid himself, and Contemn the World, for those Unseasonable as well as Unchristian Liberties, that so much abound in it; which appre­hension [Page 167] increased by the Instruction of a long and sharp Sickness: He would often despise their Folly, and abhor their Guilt; breathing, with some Impa­tience, after the Knowledge of the Best Things, and the best Company, losing as little Time as he could, that he might redeem the Time he had lost; testify­ing often, with a lively Relish, to the Truth of Reli­gion, from the sense he had of it in his own Breast: Frequently professing, He knew no Joy comparable to that of being assured of the Love and Mercy of God. Which as he often implored it, with strong Convic­tions, and a deep Humility and Reverence, so he had frequently Tastes thereof before his last Period; pressing his Relations and Friends, in a most serious and affectionate manner, to Love God & one another More, and this Vile World Less. And of this he was so full, it was almost ever the Conclusion of his most inward Discourses with his Family; though he some­times said, He could have been willing to have liv­ed, if God had pleased, to see his younger Children nearer a Settlement in the World, yet he felt no de­sire to live longer in the World, but on the Terms of Living better in it. For that he did not only think Vertue the Safest, but the Happiest Way of Living: Commending and Commanding it to his Children upon his last Blessing.

I shall conclude this Chapter of Retired, Aged and Dying Persons, with some Collections I have made out of the Life of a Person of great Piety and Qua­lity of the French Nation.

[Page 168] §. 39. Ru Renty, a Young Noble-man of France, of admirable Parts, as well as great Birth, touch'd with a Sense of the Vanity of the World, and the Sweetness of a Retired and Religious Life, notwith­standing the Honours and Employments that waited for him, abandons the Pride and Pomp of the world, to enjoy a Life of more Communion with God: Do but hear him: 'I avow (saith he) ‘that I have no gust in any Thing, where I find not Jesus Christ; and for a Soul that speaks not of him, or in which we cannot taste any effect of Grace flowing from his Spirit (which is the Principle of Operations, both inward & outward, that are solidly Christians) speak not to me at all of such an one: Could I (as I may say) behold both Miracles and Wonders there, and yet not Jesus Christ, nor hear any talk of Him, I count all but Amusement of Spirit, Loss of Time, and a very dangerous Precipice. Let us encourage our selves, to lead this Life; unknown and whol­ly Hid from Men, but most known to, and intimate with God; divesting our selves, and chasing out of our Minds all those many Superfluities, and those many Amusements, which bring with them so great a Damage, that they take up our Minds instead of God. So that when I consider that which thwarts and cuts into so many pieces this Holy, this Sweet and Amiable Union, which we should have conti­nually with God, it appears, that it is only a Mon­sieur, a Madam, a Complement and Chatting, indeed a meer Foolery; which notwithstanding doth Ra­vish [Page 169] and Wrest from us the Time that is so Pre­cious, and the Fellowship that is so Holy and so Desirable. Let us quit this, I pray you, and learn to court it with our own Master: Let us well un­derstand our Part, our own World (as we here phrase it) not that World I mean, which we do Renounce, but that wherein the Children of God do their Du­ties to their Father. There is nothing in this world so separate from the World, as God; and the greater the Saints are, the greater is their Retire­ment into him. This our Saviour taught us, whilst he lived on Earth, being in all his visible Employ­ments united to God, and retired into the Bosom of his Father. Since the Time that I gave up my Liberty to God, as I told you, I was given to understand, to what a State of Annihilation the Soul must be brought, to render it capable of Union with him: I saw my Soul reduced into a small point, contracted and shrunk up to nothing: And at the same time I beheld myself, as if encompassed with whatsoever the World Loves and Possesseth; and as it were, a Hand removing all this far from me, throwing it into the Ocean of Annihilation. In the first place, I saw removed all Exterior Things, Kingdoms, Great Offices, stately Buildings, Rich Hous­hold stuff, Gold and Silver, Recreations, Pleasures; all which are great Incumbrances to the Souls pas­sing on to God; of which therefore his Pleasure is, that she be stripped, that she may arrive at the point of Nakedness and Death, which will bring [Page 170] her into Possession of solid Riches, and real Life. Assure your self, there is no Security in any Estate, but this of Dying and Annihilation; which is, to be Baptized into Christ's Death, that we live the Life of Mortification. Our best way is therefore, to di­vest our selves of All, that the Holy Child Jesus may govern All. All that can be Imagin'd in this lower World, is of small Concernment, tho' it were the Losing of all our Goods, and the Death of all the Men in it; this poor Ant hill is not worthy of a se­rious Thought. Had we but a little Faith, and a little Love, how happy should we esteem our selves, in giving away all to attend no more, save on God alone; and to say, Deus meus, & omnia! My God, and my All! Being (saith he) in a Chapel richly Wainscotted, and Adorned with very excellent Sculpture, and with Imagery. I beheld it with some Attention, having had some Skill in these Things, and saw the Bundles of Flowers de Luces, and of Flowers in form of Borders, and of very curious Workmanship; it was on a sudden put into my Mind, The Original of what thou seest, would not de­tain thee at all in seeing it. And I perceived, that indeed all these, and those Flowers themselves (not in Pictures) would not have taken me up; and all the Ornaments which Architecture and Art Invent, are but Things most mean and low, running in a manner only upon Flowers, Fruits, Branches, Har­pies and Chymera's, part whereof are in their very Being, but things Common and Low, and part of [Page 171] them meerly Imaginary; and yet Man (who crouch­eth to every Thing) renders himself Amorous and a Slave of them; no otherwise than as if a good Workman should stand to copy out, and counter­feit some Trifles and Fopperies. I consider'd by this sight how poor Man was to be cheated, amused and diverted from his Sovereign Good. And since that time, I could make no more Stand to consider any of these Things: And if I did it, I should re­proach my self for it; as no sooner seeing them in Churches or else where, but this is presently put up­on my Spirit, The Original is Nothing, the Copy and the Image is yet Less; each Thing is Vain, except the Employment of our selves about God alone. An absolute Abnegation will be necessary to all Things, to follow in Simplicity, without reserve or Reflection, what our Saviour shall work in us, or appoint for us, let it be This or That. This Way was shewed me, in which I ought to walk towards him; and hence it is, that all Things to me ordinarily are without any Gust and Delight. I assure you, it is a great Shame to a Christian to pass his Days in this World more at Ease than Jesus Christ here passed his: Ah! Had we but a little Faith, what Repose could we take out of the Cross.

I will conclude his Sayings with his Dying Blessing to his surviving Children.

‘I Pray God Bless you; and may it please Him to Bless you, and to Preserve you by his Grace from the Evil of the World, that you may have no part [Page 172] therein: And above all, my Children, that you may live in the Fear and Love of God, and yield due Obedience to your Mother.—’

Expressions of that Weight and Moment to the immortal Good of Men, that they abundantly prove, to all sensible Readers, that the Author was a Man of an Enlightned Mind, and of a Soul Mortifi­ed to the World and Quickned to some Tastes of a Supernatural Life: Let his Youth, let his Quality, a­dorn'd with so much Zeal and Piety, so much Self-denial and Constancy, become exemplary to those of Worldly Quality, who may be the Readers of this Book. Some perhaps will hear that Truth from the several Authors I have reported, whose Names, Death and Time have recover'd from the Envy of Men, that would hardly endure it from me, if at all from the Living. Be it as it will, I shall abundantly re­joice, if God shall please to make any part of this Discourse effectual to perswade any into the love of Holiness, without which, certain it is, no Man shall see the Lord: But the Pure in Heart shall behold Him for ever.

To conclude, I cannot pass this Reflection upon what is observed of the Sayings of Dying Men, and which to me seems to have great Instruction in it, viz. All Men agree, when they come to Dye, it is best to be Religious; to live an Holy, Humble Strict and Self-denying Life; Retired, Solitary, Temperate and Disincumbred of the World. Then loving God above all, and our Neighbour as our selves, Forgiv­ing [Page 173] our Enemies, and Praying for them, are solid Things, and the Essential Part of Religion, as the true Ground of Man's Happiness. Then all Sin is exceeding Sinful, and yields no more Pleasure: But every inordinate Desire is Burthensome, and severely reproved. Then the World, with all the Lawful Comforts in it, weighs light against that Sense and Judgment, which such Men have between the Tem­poral and Eternal. And since it is thus with dying Men, what Instruction is in it to the Living, whose Pretence for the most part is a Perpetual Contradicti­on Oh that Men would learn to number their Days, that they might apply their Hearts to Wisdom; of which the Fear of the Lord is the True and Only Be­ginning. And Blessed are they that Fear always, for their Feet shall be preserved from the Snare of Death.

CHAP. XXII.
The CONCLUSION.

§. 1. Of the way of Living amongst the first Christians. §. 2. An Exhortation to all professing Christianity, to embrace the foregoing Reasons and Examples. §. 3. Plain Dealing with such as reject them. §. 4. Their Recompence. §. 5. The Au­thor is better perswaded and assured of some: An Exhortation to them. §. 6. Encouragement to the Children of Light to perse­vere, from a Consideration of the Excellency of their Reward; the End and Triumph of the Christian Conquerour. The whole concluded with a brief Supplication to Almighty God.

§. 1. HAving Finish'd so many Testimonies, as my Time would give me leave, in Favour of this Subject: No Cross, no Crown; no Temperance, no Happiness; no Vertue, no Reward; no Mortifica­tion, [Page 174] no Glorification; I shall conclude with a short Description of the Life and Worship of the Christians within the First Century, or Hundred Years after Christ; What Simplicity, what Spirituality, what ho­ly Love and Communion did in that Blessed Age a­bound among them? It is deliver'd Originally by Philo Jud [...]us, and cited by Eusebius Pamphilius, in his Ecclesiastical History;* ‘That those Christians renounced their Substance, and sever'd themselves from all the Cares of this Life; and forsaking the Cities, they liv'd Solitarily in Fields and Gardens. They accounted their Company who followed the contrary Life of Cares and Bustles, as unprofitable and hurtful unto them, to the end that with earnest and s [...]rv [...]nt Desires they might imitate them which [...]ad this Prophetical and Heavenly Life. In many places, says he, this People liveth (for it behoveth as well the Grecians as the Barbarians, to be Par­takers of this absolute Goodness) but in Egypt in e­very. Province they abound; and especially about Alexandria. From all Parts the better Sort with­drew themselves into the Soil and Place of these Worshippers (as they were called) as a most com­modious Place, adjoining to the Lake of Mary, in a Valley very [...]it, both for its Security, and the Tem­perance of the Air. They are further reported to have Meeting-Houses, where the most part of the Day was employed in Worshipping God: That [Page 175] they were great Allegorizers of the Scriptures, mak­ing them all Figurative: That the External show, of Words (of the Letter) resembleth the Superficies of the Body; and the Hidden Sense or Under­standing of the Words seem in place of the Soul; which they contemplate by their beholding Names, as it were in a Glass:’ That is, their Religion con­sisted not chiefly in Reading the Letter, Disputing about it, accepting Things in literal Constructions, but in the Things declared of, the Substance it self, bringing Things nearer to the Mind, Soul and Spi­rit, and pressing into a more Hidden and Heavenly Sense; making Religion to consist in the Temper­ance and Sanctity of the Mind, and not in the For­mal Bodily Worship, so much now a days in Repute, fitter to please Comedians than Christians. Such was the Practice of those Times: but now the Case is alter'd; People will be Christians, and have their worldly Mindedness too. But tho' God's Kingdom suffer Violence by such, yet shall they never enter; the Life of Christ and his Followers hath in all Ag [...] been another Thing; and there is but one Way, one Guide, one Rest; all which are Pure and Holy.

§. 2. But if any (notwithstanding our many sober Reasons, and numerous Testimonies from Scripture, of the Example and Experience of Religious, worldly and Profane Living and Dying Men, at Home and Abroad, of the greatest Note, Fame and Learning in the whole World) shall yet remain Lovers and Imi­tators of the Folly and Vanity condemned: If the [Page 176] Crys and Groans, and Sighs and Tears, and Com­plaints and mournful Wishes of so many reputed Great, nay, some Sober Men—"O that I had more time! O that I might live a Year longer, I would live a stricter Life!—O that I were a poor Innocent Jean Urick!—All is Vanity in this World:—O my poor Soul, whither wilt thou go?—O that I had the time spent in vain Recreations! A serious Life is a­bove all," and such like: If, I say, this by no means can prevail, but if yet they shall proceed to Folly, and follow the vain World, what greater Evidence can they give of their heady Resolution to go on Im­piously, to Despise God to Disobey his Precepts, to Deny Christ, to Scorn, not to bear his Cross, to for­sake the Examples of his Servants, to give the Lie to the Dying serious Sayings and Consent of all Ages; to Harden themselves against the Checks of Consci­ence, to befool and sport away their precious Time, and [...] Immortal Souls to Wo and Misery? In short, [...] plainly to discover, you neither have Rea­son to justifie your selves, nor yet enough of Modes­ty to Blush at your own Folly; but as those that have lost the Sense of one and the other, go on to eat and Drink, and rise up to Play. In vain therefore is it for you to pretend to Fear the God of Heaven, whose Minds Serve the God of the Pleasure of this World: In vain is it to say, you Believe in Christ, who receive not his self denying Doctrine: And to no better purpose will all you do, avail. If he that had loved God and his Neighbour, and kept the [Page 177] Commandments from his Youth, was excluded from be­ing a Disciple, because he sold not all, and follow [...] Jesus; with what Confidence can you call your selves Christians, who have neither kept the Command­ments, nor yet forsaken any Thing to be [...]? And if it was a Bar betwixt Him and the Eternal Life he sought, that (notwithstanding all his other Vertues) love to Money, and his External Possessions could not be parted with; what shall be your End, who cannot deny your selves many less Things, but are daily multiplying your Inventions to please your fleshly Appetites? Certainly, much more impossi­ble is it to forsake the greater. Christ try'd his love, in bidding him forsake all, because he knew (for all his Brags) that his Mind was rivetted therein; not that if, he had enjoy'd his Possessions with Christian Indifferency, they might not have been continued; but what then is their Doom, whose Hearts are so fixed in the Vanities of the World, that they will ra­ther make them Christians, than not to be Christians in the use of them? But such a Christian this Young Man might have been, who had more to say for him­self, than the strictest Pharisee living dare pretend to; yet he went away sorrowful from Jesus. * Should I ask you, if Nicodemns did well to come by Night, and be ashamed of the Great Messiah of the World? And if he was not Ignorant, when Christ spake to him of the New Birth? I know you would answer me, He did very Ill, and was very Ignorant. But stay a while, the Beam is in your own Eyes; you [Page 178] are ready doubtless to condemn Him and the Young Man for not doing what you not only refuse to do your selves, but Laugh at others for doing. Nay, [...]d such Passages not been writ, and were it not for the Reverence [...] pretend for the Scriptures, they would both be a stupid as Nicodemus in their An­swers to such Heavenly Matters, and ready to call it canting to speak so: as it is frequent for you, when we speak to the same Effect, tho' not the same words: Just as the Jews, at what time they called God their Father, they despised his Son; and when he spake of Sublime, and Heavenly Mysteries, some cry'd, He has a Devil; others, He is Mad; And most of them, These are hard Sayings, who can bear them?

§. 3. And to you all, that Sport your selves after the Manners of the World, let me say, That you are of those who profess you know God, but in Works deny him ; living in those Pleasures which slay the Just in your selves. For tho' you talk of Believing, it is no more than taking it for granted, that there is a God, a Christ, Scriptures, &c. without farther con­cerning your selves to prove the Verity thereof, to your selves or others, by a Strict and Holy Conversa­tion: Which slight way of Believing is but a light and careless way of ridding your selves of farther Ex­amination; and rather throwing them off with an Inconsiderate Granting of them to be so, than giving your selves the Trouble of making better Inquiry (leaving that to your Priests, oft times more Ignorant, and not less Vain and Idle than your selves) which is [Page 179] so far from a Gospel Faith, that 'tis the least Respe [...] you can shew to God, Scriptures, &c. and next [...] which kind of Believing is nothing, under a [...] of All.

But if you have hitherto laid aside all Temptations, Reason and Shame, at least be intreated, to Re­sume them now in a matter of this Importance, and whereon no less Concernment rests, than your Tem­poral and Eternal Happiness. Oh! Retire, Retire, observe the Reproofs of Instruction in your own Minds: That which begets Sadness in the midst of Mirth, which cannot solace it self, no [...] be contented below Immortality; which calls often to an account at Nights, Mornings and other Seasons; which lets you see the Vanity, the Folly, the End and Misery of these Things; this is the Just Principle and Holy Spirit of the Almighty within you: Hear him, o­bey him, converse with them who are led by him; and let the Glories of another World be ey'd, and the Heavenly Recompence of Reward kept in sight. Admit not the Thoughts of former Follies to revive; but be steady and continually exercised by his Grace, to deny all Ungodliness and Worldly Lusts, and to live Soberly, Righteously and Godly in this present World. *: For this is the True and Heavenly Nature of Chri­stianity, "to be so Awakened and Guided by the Spirit and Grace of God, as to leave the Sins and Va­nities of the World, and to have the Affections Regenerated, the Mind Reformed, and the whole Man so Baptized into Purity and Faithfulness to­wards [Page 180] God and Man, as to act with Reverence, Jus­tice and Mercy: To care for a very few Things; to be Content with what you have; to use all as if you used them not; and to be so dis-intangled from the Lusts, Pleasures, Profits and Honours of the World, as to have the Mind raised to Things above, the Heart and Affections fixed there: That in all Things you may glorifie God, and be as Lights set on a Hill, whose shining Examples may be conducing to the Happiness of others, who beholding such good Works, may be converted, and glorifie God the Fa­ther of Lights, in which you all would be Eternally Blessed."

§. 4. But if the Impenitence of any is so great, their pursuit of Folly as earnest and notwithstanding what has been thus seriously offered to reclaim them, they are resolved to take their Course, and not to be at Leisure for more Divine Things, I have this far­ther to leave with them from the Almighty, who first called me to this Work, "That Tribulation, Anguish and Sorrow shall make their Dying Beds; Indignation and Wrath shall wind up their Days; and Trouble and Vexation of Mind and Spirit shall be the miserable Fruits which they shall reap, as the Reward of all their wretched Folly and Rebellion! Be not deceived, God will not be Mocked:" It's so irreversibly Decreed; Whatever is sown here, shall be Reaped hereafter. And Just is the Almighty to make good his Determinations upon such, who in­stead [Page 181] of Employing the Time given them, to Work out their Salvation with Fear and Trembling, have spent [...]in the Pleasures of the Flesh, which Perish­eth; as if their Heaven were Here Nor can it seem unreasonable, since he hath thus long waited with Remission of Sin, and Eternal Life in his Hand, to Distribute to them that Repent; that if such will not, to recompence so great Obstinacy and Love of this perishing World with Everlasting Tribulations.

§. 5. But I am otherwise perswaded of many; yes, I am assured, the Mercies of the Everlasting God have been so extended to many, that this will prove an effectual Call to bring them out of [...] Ways and Customs of this Corrupted and Corrupt­ing World; and a Means for Establishing [...], [...] hitherto have been Unfaithful to what they [...] been already Convinced of. And you, my [...] whose Minds have received the ALARUM, " [...] Hearts have truly heard the Voice of one Crying in the Wilderness, where you have been straying from the Lord, Repent, Repent! To you in the Name of the Great and Living God I Speak, I Cry, "Come away, come away Ah! what do you do where? Why are you [...]? That's not [...]: It is polluted with the Sins and Vanities of a perishing World: Gird up your Loins; Eye your Light (One in all) Christ Jesus, the same yesterday, to day, and for ever; who hath Enlightned every one: Follow him, He will lead you to the City of God, that has [Page 182] Foundations, into which the Wicked cannot en­ter."††

§. 6. Mind not the Difficulties of your March; Great and Good Things were never enterpri [...]ed and accomplished without Difficulty; which does but render their Enjoyment more Pleasant and Glorious in the End. Let the Holy Men and Women of Old be your Examples; Remember good Old Abra­ham, the excellency of whose Faith is set out by his Obedience to the Voice of God, in forsaking his Fa­ther's House, Kindred, Country, &c.