The godly counſaile of a
Gentle-woman not long ſince deceaſed,
left behind her for her
Containing many good exhortations,
and godly admonitions, profitable for all Parents to leave as a Le
gacy to their Children, but eſpecially
for thoſe, who by reaſon of their
young yeeres ſtand moſt in
need of Inſtruction.
Printed at London for John Budge,
and are to be ſold at the great Southdore
of Paules, and at Brittaines
To the high and excellent Princeſſe, the Lady Elizabeth her Grace, daughter to the high and mightie King of great Brittaine, and Wife to the illuſtrious Prince, the Count Palatine of the Rhine: D.L.Dorothy Leigh Wiſheth all grace and proſperity here, and glory in the world to come.
Moſt worthy & renowned Princeſs, I beeing troubled and wearied with feare, A2leſt iv A2v leſt my children ſhould not find the right way to heaven, thought with my ſelfe that I could doe no leſſe for them, then everie man will doe for his friend, which was, to write them the right way, that I truely obſerved out of the written word of God, leſt for want of warning they might fall where I ſtumbled, and then I ſhould think my ſelfe in the fault, who knew there were ſuch downe-falls in the world, that they could hardly climbe the hill to heaven without helpe, and yet had vA3r had not told them thereof. Wherefore I writ them the right and ready way to Heaven wel waranted by the ſcriptures of the olde and new Teſtament, which is the true word of God, and tolde them how many falſe paths they ſhould finde, how they ſhould finde them, and what care they ſhould have to ſhunne them: if they tooke a falſe way, what a trouble they ſhould have in turning againe, what danger if they went on: and of many doubts which the world would make withoutA3 out viA3v out a cauſe, and how ſilent it would bee in danger. Thus when I had writte unto them of theſe things, I was at much peace, quiet and contentment.
But as no contentment in the world continueth long, ſo ſodainly there aroſe a new care in my minde, how this ſcroule ſhould bee kept for my children: for they were too young to receive it, my ſelfe too old to keepe it, men too wiſe to direct it to, the world too wicked to endure it. Then in great griefe I looked up to viiA4r to heaven, from whence I knew commeth al comfort, and looking up, I ſaw a moſt Angelicall throne of Princely Peeres and peerleſſe Princes prepared for heaven, and yet by the appointment of God were heere to comfort us on the earth: then I perceived that this Throne was the joy of England: then I conſidered that the higheſt blud had the loweſt mind: then I ſawe humility looking downe-ward, while the ſweet ſlips of her vertue grew upward: then, even then, Princely Lady, I beheldA4 held viiiA4v held your mild and courteous countenance, which ſhewed, your heart was bent to doe good to all: wherefore without feare, and with much faith, I adventured to make your Grace the protectreſſe of this my Booke, knowing that if you would but ſuffer your name to bee ſeene in it, Wiſedome would allow it, and all the wicked winde in the world could not blow it away. The Lord multiply his graces more and more on you, and vouchſafe unto you a numerous poſterity, in whom your Grace ixA5r Grace may receive much joy and comfort, and Gods Church, and true Religion continuall defence and propagation.
Your graces, in all humble and obſervant duty:
to my beloved ſonnes, George, John, and William Leigh, all things, pertaining to life and godlineſſe.
My Children, God having taken your Father out of this vale of tears, to his everlaſting mercy in Christ, my ſelfe not onely knowing what a care hee had in his life time, that you ſhould be brought xiiA6v brought up godlily, but alſo at his death being charged in his will by the love and duty which I bare him, to ſee you well inſtructed and brought up in knowledge, I could not chuſe but ſeeke (according as I was by duty bound) to fulfill his will in all things, deſiring no greater comfort in the World, then to ſee you grow in godlineſſe, that ſo you might meet your Father in heaven, where I am ſure hee is, my ſelfe being a witneſſe of his Faith in Chriſt. And ſeeing my ſelfe going out of the world, and you but comming in, I know not how xiiiA7r how to performe this duty ſo well, as to leave you theſe few lines, which will ſhew you as well the great deſire your Father had both of your ſpirituall and temporal good, as the care I had to fulfill his will in this, knowing it was the laſt duty I ſhould performe unto him. But when I had written theſe things unto you, and had (as I thought) ſomething fulfilled your Fathers requeſt, yet I could not ſee to what purpoſe it ſhould tend, unleſſe it were ſent abroad to you: for ſhould it be left with the eldeſt, it is likely the youngeſt ſhould have xivA7v have but little part in it. Wherefore ſetting aſide all feare, I have adventured to ſhew my imperfections to the view of the World, not regarding what cenſure ſhall for this bee laid upon mee, ſo that heerein I may ſhew my ſelfe a loving Mother, and a dutifull Wife: and thus I leave you to the protection of him that made you, And reſt till death,
Your fearefull, faithfull, and carefull Mother,
D. L.Dorothy Leigh
Counſell to my children.
My Sonnes, the readers of this book,
I doe you not intreate
To beare with each miſplaced word,
for why, my paine’s as great
To write this little booke to you
(the world may thinke indeed)
As it will be at any time
for you the ſame to read.
But this I much and oft deſire,
that you would doe for mee,
To gather hony of each flowre,
as doth the labourous Bee.
Shee lookes not who did place the Plant,
nor how the flowre did grow,
Whether ſo ſtately up aloft,
or neere the ground below.
But where ſhe findes it, there ſhe workes,
and gets the wholſome food,And xvi A8v
And beares it home, and layes it up,
to doe her Country good,
And for to ſerve her ſelfe at need
when winter doth begin:
When ſtorm and tempeſt is without,
then ſhe doth find within.
A ſweet and pleaſant wholſome food,
a houſe to keepe her warm,
A place where ſoftly ſhe may reſt,
and be kept from all harme.
Except the Bee that idle is,
and ſeekes too ſoone for reſt
Before ſhe filled hath her houſe,
Whereby her ſtate is bleſt.
And then as ſhe did reſt too ſoone,
too ſoone ſhe ſorrow knowes:
When ſtormes and tempeſts are without,
then ſhe her ſelfe beſhrowes.
She looketh out and ſeeth death,
ready her to devoure:
Then doth ſhe wiſh that ſhe had got
more of the wholſome flowre.
For why, within, her ſtore is ſpent,
before the winter’s paſt.
And ſhe by no meanes can endurethe xvii A9r
the ſtormy winters blaſt.
She looketh out, and ſeeth death,
and findes no leſſe within,
Then too too late for to repent,
you ſee ſhe doth begin.
Therefore ſee you not idle be,
this I would have you know,
Be ſure ſtill that the ground be good,
whereout the Plant doth grow:
Then gather well and loſe no time,
take heed now you doe ſee,
Leſt you be unprovided found,
as was the idle Bee.
The Mothers Bleſſing.
The occaſion of writing this Booke, was the conſideration of the care of Parents for their Children.
My Children, when I did truely weigh, rightly conſider, and perfectly ſee the great care, labour, travaile,vaile, 2A10v 2 vaile, and continuall ſtudy, which Parents take to inrich their children, ſome wearing their bodies with labour, ſome breaking their ſleepes with care, ſome ſparing from their owne bellies, and mnany hazarding their ſoules, ſome by bribery, ſome by ſimony, others by perjurie, and a multitude by uſurie, ſome ſtealing on the Sea, others begging by Land portions from every poore man, not caring if the whole Common-wealth be impoveriſhed, ſo their children be inriched: for themſelves they can bee content with meate, drinke, and cloth, ſo that their children by their meanes may bee made rich, alwaies abuſing this 3A11r 3 this portion of Scripture: Hee that provideth not for his owne family, is worſe then an Infidell: 1.Tim.5.8. ever ſeeking for the temporall thinges of this world, and forgetting thoſe things which bee eternall: when I conſidered theſe things, I ſay, I thought good (beeing not deſirous to inrich you with tranſitory goods) to exhort and deſire you to follow the counſell of Chriſt: Firſt ſeeke the kingdome of God and his righteouſneſſe, and then all theſe things ſhall be adminiſtred unto you. Mat.6.33.
The firſt cauſe of writing, is a Motherly affection.
But leſt you ſhould maruaile; my children, why 4 A11v4 why I doe not, according to the uſuall cuſtome of women, exhort you by word and admonitions, rather then by writing, a thing ſo unuſuall among us, and eſpecially in ſuch a time, when there bee ſo manie godly bookes in the world, that they mould in ſome mens ſtudies, while their Maſters are mard, becauſe they will not meditate upon them; as many mens garments motheate in their cheſts, while their Chriſtian bretheren quake with cold in the ſtreet for want of covering; know therfore, that it was the motherly affection that I bare unto you all, which made me now (as it often hath done heretofore) forget my ſelfe in 5A12r 5 in regard of you: neither care I what you or any ſhall thinke of mee, if among many words I may write but one ſentence, which may make you labour for the ſpirituall food of the ſoule, wchwhich muſt be gathered every day out of the word, as the children of Iſrael gathered Manna in the wilderneſſe. By the which you may ſee it is a labour: but what labour? a pleaſant labour, a profitable labour: a labour without the which the ſoule cannot live. For as the children of Iſrael muſt needs ſtarve, except they gath’red every day in the wilderneſſe and fed of it, ſo muſt your ſoules, except you gather the ſpiritual Manna out of the word everyry 6A12v 6 ry day, and feed of it continually: for as they by this Manna cōomforted their harts, ſtrengthened their bodies, and preſerved their lives; ſo by this heavenly Word of God, you ſhall comfort your ſoules, make them ſtrong in Faith, and grow in true godlineſſe, and finally preſerve them with great joy, to everlaſting life, through Faith in Christ; whereas if you deſire any food for your ſoules, that is not in the written Word of God, your ſoules die with it even in your harts and mouthes; even as they, Num.11.3 that deſired other food, dyed with it in their mouthes, were it never ſo dainty: ſo ſhall you, and there is no recovery for you.Chap.
The beſt labour is for the foode of the Soule.
Oh my children, is not this a comfortable labour? Our Saviour Chriſt ſaith, Labour not for the meate that periſheth, but for the meate that endureth to everlaſting life: Ioh.6.27. and yet I ſee and feare, you ſhall ſee how many there bee that croſſe Chriſt in theſe words: nay rather, croſſe thēemſelves: for, contrary to our bleſſed Saviours counſell, they labour for the meats that periſheth, and in the meane time they loſe the foode of everlaſting life. This (my beloved B ſonnes 8B1v8 ſonnes and deare children) this is the cauſe that maketh mee ſo much to feare you, and thoſe who hereafter ſhal come of you, becauſe I ſee ſo many that regard not the words of our Saviour Chriſt, who came from the high Throne of God, and preached to us, and prayed for Gal.4.4. us, and tooke our fleſh upon him, and kept it without ſinne, refuſing no company, healing every ſickneſſe and Math.4.23 diſeaſe, fed the hungry, gave pardon to every ſinner that would but aske it, dyed for Rom.4.25. us, indured the paines of hell for us, yea, more then this, even in our own fleſh hee overcame ſinne, death, and hel, yea, and more then that alſo, hee carried our fleſh intoto 9B2r 9 to Heaven in the ſight of many, and there keepes it, and is become a Mediatour for us in it; hee joyned himſelfe to us in our fleſh, as it is written, He tooke our fleſh upon him: Heb.2.14. he taught us to joyne our fleſh unto him by faith, that Where hee is, there wee might bee with him alſo: Ioh.17.24. and if wee will not follow him, that hath done all this for us, and much more then I can write or declare, how unthankefull ſhall wee ſhew our ſelves?
My deare Children, have I not cauſe to feare? the holy Ghoſt ſaith by the Prophet, Can a Mother forget the child of her wombe? Eſ.49.15. As if he ſhould ſay, Is it poſſible, that ſhee, which hath carried her child B2 within 10B2v 10 within her, ſo neere her hart, and brought it forth into this world with ſo much bitter paine, ſo many grones and cries, can forget it? nay rather, will ſhee not labour now till Chriſt be formed in it? will ſhee not bleſſe it every time it ſuckes on her breſts, when ſhee feeleth the bloud come from her heart to nouriſh it? Will ſhee not inſtruct it in the youth, and admoniſh it in the age, and pray for it continually? Will ſhee not be afraid, that the child which ſhee endured ſuch paine for, ſhould endure endleſſe paine in hell? Could Saint Paul ſay unto the Galathians, that were but ſtrangers to him concerning the fleſh, only 11B3r 11 only he had ſpent ſome time amōongſt them to bring them to the profeſſiōon of the truth, from which hee feared they would fall: and could hee, I ſay, write unto them, My little children, of whom I doe travaile againe in birth, untill Chriſt be formed in you? Gal.4.19. And can any man blame a mother (who indeed brought forth her childe with much paine) though ſhe labour againe till Chriſt bee formed in them? Could S.Saint Paul Rom.9.3. wiſh himſelf ſeparated from God for his brethrens ſake: and will not a mother venter to offend the world for her childrens ſake? Therefore let no man blame a mother, though ſhe ſomething exceede in writing to her B3 chil- 12B3v 12 children, ſince every man knowes, that the love of a mother to her children, is hardly contained within the bounds of reaſon. Neither muſt you, my ſonnes, when you come to bee of judgement, blame me for writing to you, ſince Nature telleth me, that I cannot long bee here to ſpeake unto you, and this my mind will continue long after mee in writing; and yet not my mind, but I ſeeke to put you in minde of the words of our Saviour Chriſt, which ſaith Labour not for the meate that periſheth, &c. Ioh.6.27 where you ſee, that the food of the ſoule is to bee gotten by labour. Mat.20.6. Why ſtand you here (ſayth Chriſt?) here is no time to be idle: 13B4r 13 idle: they that will reſt with Chriſt in heaven, muſt labour to follow him here on earth. Bleſſed are the dead, which dye in the Lord: for they reſt from their labour. Reu.14.13 Thus you ſee, if you will goe to the place, which Chriſt hath bought for you, you muſt labour to follow Chriſt: he labour’d to get it for you, or els all your labour would have been as nothing; and now you muſt labour to lay hold on him, or els all your labour will bee worth nothing. Many there bee that labour the cleane contrary way; for they leave Chriſt, and take hold of traditions: and a number loyter, and by that meanes never get holde on Chriſt. And this B4 is 14B4v 14 is the cauſe why I write unto you, that you might never fly from him with the one, nor yet loyter with the other, but that you might learne to follow him, and to take hold of him in the written Word of God, where you ſhall find him (as Chriſt himſelfe witneſſeth) and no where elſe. Search the Scriptures, Ioh. 5.35 ſayeth he, for they testifie of mee. Labour therefore, that you may come unto Chriſt.
The ſecond cauſe is, to stirre them up to write.
The ſecond cauſe, my ſonnes, why I write unto you (for you may 15B5r 15 may thinke that had I had but one cauſe, I would not have changed the uſuall order of women, is needfull to be knowne, and may doe much good. For where I ſaw the great mercy of God toward you, in making you men, and placing you amongſt the wiſe, where you may learne the true written Word of God, which is the path-way to all happineſſe, and which will bring you to the chiefe Citty, new Jeruſalem, and the seven liberall ſciences, whereby you ſhall have at leaſt a ſuperficiall ſight in all things: I thought it fit to give you good example, and by writing to intreate you, that when it ſhall pleaſe God to B5 give 16B5v 16 give both vertue and grace with your learning, he having made you men, that you may write and ſpeake the Word of God without offending any, that then you would remember to write a booke unto your children, of the right and true way to happineſſe, which may remaine with them and theirs for ever.
The third cauſe is to move women to bee carefull of their children.
The third is, to encourage women (who, I feare, will bluſh at my boldneſſe) not to bee aſhamedſhamed 17B6r 17 ſhamed to ſhew their infirmities, but to give men the firſt and chiefe place: yet let us labour to come in the ſecond; and becauſe wee muſt needs confeſſe, that ſin entred by us into our poſterity, let us ſhew how carefull we are to ſeeke to Chriſt to caſt it out of us, and our poſterity, and how fearefull we are that our ſinne ſhould ſinke any of them to the loweſt part of the earth; wherefore let us call upon them to follow Chriſt, who will carry them to the height of heaven.Chap.chapter
The fourth cauſe is, to arme them againſt poverty.
The fourth cauſe is, to deſire you, that you will never feare poverty, but alwaies know, it is the ſtate of the children of God to bee poore in the world. Chriſt ſayth, Ye ſhall have the poore with you alwaies. Ioh.12.8. It may be he hath appointed you or yours to bee of this poore number: doe not ſtrive againſt Chriſt. It is as hard Math.19. 24. (ſayth he) for a rich man to enter into heaven, as for a Camell to goe thorow the eye of a needle. SaintJames ſayth Woe bee to you that are rich. Iam.5.1. S.SaintPaul 19B7r 19 S.Saint Paul ſayth, The deſire of mony is the roote of all evill. 1.Tim.6.10. Which if it be true, as it is not to be doubted of, and you feare poverty, then doth it neceſſarily follow, that you will deſire the roote of all evil, which is money, and ſo become good for nothing. The feare of poverty maketh men run into a thouſand ſins, which nothing els could draw them to: for many fearing cold ſtormes of poverty, which never laſt long, run on to the hot fire of hell, which never hath an end. This matter requireth many words, for it is hard to perſwade the nature of man from the feare of poverty: wherefore I wil ſpeake more of that afterwards: onely I now 20B7v 20 now ſay, Feare not to bee poore with Lazarus, but feare a thouſand times to be rich with Dives.
The fift cauſe is, not to feare death.
The fift cauſe is, to deſire you never to feare death; for the feare of death hath made many to deny the knowne truth, and ſo have brought a heavy judgement of God upon themſelves. A great reaſon, why you ſhould not feare death is, becauſe you can by no meanes ſhun it: you muſt needes indure it, and therefore it is meet that you 21B8r 21 you ſhould be alwaies prepared for it, and never feare it. Hee that will ſave his life, ſayth Chriſt, ſhall loſe it, and he that will loſe his life for my ſake and not the Goſpels, ſhall finde it. Math.16. 26. Doe not feare the paines of death, in what ſhape ſoever hee come: for perhaps thou ſhalt have more paines upon thy bed, and be worſe provided to beare them, by reaſon of ſome grievous ſickneſſe, then thou art like to feele, when God ſhal call thee forth to witneſſe his truth. The only way not to feare death, is alwaies to be provided to dye. And that thou mayeſt alwaies be provided to dye, thou muſt be continually ſtrengthening thy faith with promiſes of 22B8v 22 of the Goſpell; as, Hee that liveth, and beleeveth, ſhall not dye: and though he were dead, yet ſhall he live. Ioh.11.25. 26. Meditate in the lawe of the Lord day and night Pſal.1.2. (as the Pſalmiſt ſaith) and then thou ſhalt be fit to bring forth fruit in due ſeaſon: then thou ſhalt bee fit to ſerve God, thy King and country, both in thy life and in thy death, and alwayes ſhalt ſhew thy ſelfe a good member of Jesus Chriſt, a faithfull ſubject to thy Prince, and alwaies fit to governe in the Chriſtian common-wealth: and then thou mayeſt faithfully and truely ſay: Whether I live or dye, I am the Lords. Rom.14.8. But without continuall meditation of the Word this cannot bee done. And 23B9r 23 And this was one of the chiefe cauſes why I write unto you, to tell you that you muſt meditate in the Word of God; for many reade it, and are never the better, for want of meditation. If yee heare the Word, and read it, without meditating theron, it doth the ſoule no more good then meate and drink doth the body, being ſeene and felt, and never fed upon: for as the body will dye although it ſee meate: even ſo will the ſoule, for all the hearing & reading of the word, if that ye doe not meditate upon it, and gather faith, and ſtrengthen it, and get hold of Chriſt; which if ye doe, Chriſt will bring you to the kingdome of his Father;ther; 24B9v 24 ther; to which you can come by no meanes but by faith in him.
The ſixt cauſe is, to perſwade them to teach their children.
The ſixt reaſon is, to entreate and deſire you, & in ſome ſort to commaund you, that all your children, be they Males or Females, may in their youth learne to read the Bible in their owne mother tongue; for I know, it is a great helpe to true godlineſſe. And let none of you plead poverty againſt this; for I know, that if you bee neither covetous, prodigall, nor 25B10r 25 nor idle, either of which ſins will let no vertue growe where they come, that you need not faile in this: but if you will follow the commaundement of the Lord, and labour ſixe dayes, and keepe the ſeventh holy to the Lord, and love him with all your heart, ſoule, and ſtrength, you will not onely be willing, but alſo able to see them all brought up to read the Bible. Salomon that was wiſe by the Spirit of God, ſayd: Remember thy Creatour in the dayes of thy youth. Eccl.12.1. And ye are alſo commanded, to write it upon the walls of your houſes, and to teach it your childern. Deut. 11. 19.20. I know Gen.18.19 (ſayth God) that Abraham will teach his children, and his chil- 26B10v 26 childrens children to walke in thy commandements. Alſo I further deſire you, becauſe I wiſh all well, and would be glad you ſhould do as much good as could be in the wilderneſſe of this world, that if any ſhal at any time deſire you to be a Witneſſe to the baptizing of their childe, that then you ſhal deſire the perſon ſo deſiring, to give you his faithfull word, that the child ſhall bee taught to read, ſo ſoone as it can conveniently learne, and that it ſhall ſo continue till it can read the Bible. If this will not be granted, you ſhall refuſe to anſwer for the child; otherwiſe doe not refuſe to be a witneſſe to any ; for it is a good Chriſtian duety. Moreo- 27B11r 27 Moreover, forget not, whether you anſwere for the child or no to pray, that the child baptized, may receive the holy Ghoſt, with all other children of the faithfull, eſpecially when you are where a chld is baptized; for it is your duty to pray for the increaſe of the Church of God. Pray for the peace of Jeruſalem( Pſal.122.6. saith the Pſalmiſt) let them prosper that love thee.
The ſeventh cauſe is, that they ſhould give their children good names.
The ſeaventh cauſe is, to entreate you, that though I do not live to be a witneſſe 28B11v28 witneſſe to the baptizing of any of your children, yet you would give me leave to give names to them all. For though I doe not thinke any holineſſe to be in the name, but know that God hath his in every place, and of every name; yet I ſee in the Bible, it was obſerved by God himſelfe, to give choyſe names to his children, which had ſome good ſignification. I thinke it good therefore, to name your children after the names of the Saints of God, which may bee a meanes to put them in mind of ſome vertues which thoſe Saints uſed; eſpecially, when they ſhal read of them in the Bible: and ſeeing many are deſirous to name both 29B12r 29 both their owne children and others after their owne names, this will be a meanes to increaſe the names of the Saints in the Church, and ſo none ſhall have occaſion to miſlike his name, ſince hee beareth the name of ſuch a Saint, as hath left a witneſſe to the world, that hee lived and dyed in the true faith of Jesus Chriſt. The names I have choſen you, are theſe; Philip, Elizabeth, James, Anna, John and Suſanna. The vertues of them that bore thoſe names, and the cauſes why I choſe them, I let paſſe, and only meane to write of the last name Suſan, The ſtory of Suſanna, though it be not canonicall, nor to be equalled to thoſe books that are, yet it may bee true, and of good uſe, as many other hiſtories written by men are. famouſed through the world for chaſtity; a vertue which alwaies hath been, and is of great 30B12v 30 great account, not onely amongsſt the Chriſtians and people of God, but even among the Heathen and Infidels: inſomuch that ſome of them have written, that a woman that is truly chaſte, is a great partaker of all other vertues; and contrariwiſe, that the woman that is not truely chaſte, hath no vertue in her. The which ſaying may well be warranted by the Scripture; for who ſo is truly chaſte, is free from idleneſſe and from all vaine delights, full of humility, and all good Chriſtian vertues: who ſo is chaſte, is not given to pride in apparell, nor any vanity, but is alwaies either reading, meditating, or practiſing ſome good 31C1r 31 good thing which ſhe hath learned in the Scripture. But ſhe which is unchaſte, is given to be idle; or if ſhe do any thing, it is for a vaine glory, and for the prayſe of men, more then for any humble, loving and obedient heart, that ſhee beareth unto God and his Word: who ſayd, Sixe dayes thou ſhalt labour; Exod.20. 9. and ſo left no time for idleneſſe, pride, or vanity; for in none of theſe is there any holineſſe. The unchaſte woman is proud, and alwayes decking her ſelfe with vanity, and delights to heare the vaine words of men, in which there is not only vanity, but alſo ſo much wickedneſſe, that the vain words of men, C and 32C1v 32 and womens vaineneſſe in hearing them, hath brought many women to much ſorrow and vexation; as wofull experience hath, and wil make many of them confeſſe. But ſome will ſay, Had they onely lent an eare to their words they had done well enough. To anſwere which, I would have every one know, that one ſinne begetteth another. The vaine words of the man, and the idle cares of the woman, beget unchaſte thoughts oftentimes in the one, which may bring forth much wickedneſſe in them both.
Man ſayd once, The woman which thou gavest mee, beguiled me, and I did eate. Gen.3.12. But wee 33C2r 33 wee women may now ſay that men lye in waite every where to deceive us, as the Elders did to deceive Suſanna. Wherefore let us bee, as ſhe was, chaeſt, watchfull, and wary, keeping company with maides. Once Judas betrayed his Maſter with a kisse, & repented it: but now men. like Judas, betray their Miſtreſſes with a kiſſe &, repent it not: but laugh and rejoyce, that they have brought ſinne and ſhame to her that truſted them. The only way to avoid al which, is to be chaſte with Susanna, and being women, to imbrace that vertue, which being placed in a woman, is moſt commendable.
An unchaſte woman deſtroyethC2ſtroy 34C2v 34 ſtroyeth both the body and the ſoule of him, ſhee ſeemeth moſt to love, and it is almoſt impoſſible to ſet down the miſchiefes, which have come through unchaſt women. Salomon ſayth, that her ſteppes lead to hell. Prou.2.18. Wherfore bring up your daughters, as Suſanna’s Parents brought up her: teach them the lawe of the Lord continually, and alwayes perſwade them to embrace this vertue of chaſtity.
It may be, that ſome of you will marvaile, ſince I ſet downe names for the imitation of their vertues, that bore them; why I placed not Mary in the firſt place, a woman vertuous above all other women. My reaſon 35C3r 35 reaſon was this, becauſe I preſumed that there was no woman ſo ſenſeleſſe, as not to looke what a bleſſing God hath ſent to us women through that gracious Virgin, by whom it pleaſed God to take away the ſhame, which Eve our Grandmother had brought us to: For before, men might ſay, The woman beguiled me, and I did eate the poyſoned fruit of diſobedience, and I dye. But now man may say, if he ſay truly, The woman brought me a Saviour, and I feede of him by faith and live. Here is this great and wofull ſhame taken from women by God, working in a woman: man can claime no part in it: the C3 ſhame 36 C3v 36 ſhame is taken from us, and from our poſterity for ever: The ſeede of the woman hath taken downe the Serpents head; Gen.3.15. and now whoſoever can take hold of the ſeed of the woman by faith, ſhall ſurely live for ever. And therefore all generations ſhal ſay, that ſhe was bleſſed, who broght us a Saviour, the fruit of obedience, that whoſoever feedeth of, ſhall live forever" and except they feed of the ſeed of the woman, they have no life. Will not therefore all women ſeek out this Ioh.6.53 great grace of God, that by Mary hath taken away the ſhame, which before was due unto us ever ſince the fall of man?
Mary was filled with the Holy37C4r37 Holy Ghoſt, and with all goodneſſe, and yet is called the bleſſed Virgin: as if our God ſhould (as he doth indeed) in briefe comprehend all other vertues under this one vertue of chaſtity: wherfore I deſire, that all women, what name ſo ever they beare, would learne of this bleſſed Virgin to bee chaſte: for though ſhee were more repleniſhed with grace then any other, and more freely beloved of the Lord, yet the greateſt title that ſhe had, was, that ſhee was a bleſſed and pure Virgin; which is a great cauſe to move all women, whether they be maids or wives (both which eſtates ſhee honoured) to live chaſtly, C4 to 38C4v 38 to whom for this cauſe God hath given a cold and temperate diſpoſition, & bound them with theſe words; Thy deſire ſhall be ſubject to they huſband. Gen.3.6. As if God in mercy to women ſhould ſay; You of your ſelves ſhal have no deſires, only they ſhall be ſubject to your husbands: wchwhich hath been verified in Heathen women, ſo as it is almoſt incredible to be beleeved: for many of them before they would be defiled, have been careleſſe of their lives, and ſo have endured all thoſe torments, that men would deviſe to inflict upon them, rather then they would loſe the name of a modeſt mayd, or a chaſte Matrone. Yea, and ſo farre they 39 C5r 39 they have beene from conſenting to any immodeſtie, that if at any time they have been raviſhed, they have either made away themſelves, or at leaſt have ſeparated themſelves from company, not thinking themſelves worthy of any ſociety, after they have once bin deflowred, though againſt their wils. Wherfore the woman that is infected with the ſin of uncleanneſſe, is worſe then a beaſt, becauſe it deſireth but for nature, and ſhee, to ſatisfie her corrupt luſts.
Some of the Fathers have written, that it is not enough for a woman to be chaſte, but even ſo to behave her ſelfe, that no man C5 may 40C5v 40 may thinke or deeme her to be unchaſte. Wee read, that in the Primitive Church, when there were warres betweene the Chriſtians and the Pagans, if at any time the Pagans had gotten the victory, that then they would ſeeke to deflowre the Virgins: to the which ſinne before the Chriſtians would yeeld, they would continually laye violent hands upon themſelves; in ſo much that the Doctours of the Church were oftentimes conſtrained to make divers Sermons and Orations to them, to diſſwade them from that crueltie, which they inflicted upon themſelves, rather then they would ſuffer themſelvesſelves 41C6r 41 ſelves to be deflowred: ſuch a diſgrace did they think it, to have but one ſpot of uncleanneſſe, and yet none of theſe were ſo holy as this Mary, this pure and undefiled Virgin.
Some godly and reverend men of the Church have gathered this, that there were five women of great vertue in the time of the Lawe, the firſt letters of whose names doe make her whole name to ſhewe, that ſhee had all their vertues wholly combined in her, as namely;
She was as faithfull to 1.Sam.19. 12. her husband, as Michal, who ſaved her husband David from the fury of Saul, although hee were her father and her King, not preferring her owne life before the ſafety of her husband. She 1.Sam.25. 3. was as wiſe as Abigail,who is highly commended for her wiſedome: amiable in the ſight of her husband, Gen.29.17 as Rachel: ſtout and magnanimous in the time of trouble, as Judith: patient and 1.Sam.1. 10.11. zealous in prayer, as Anna. Seeing then, that by this one name, ſo many vertues are called to remembrance, I thinke it meete, that good names be given to all women, that they might call to minde the vertues of thoſe women 43C7r43 women whoſe names they beare: but eſpecially above all other morall Vertues, let women be perſwaded by this diſcourſe, to imbrace chaſtity, without which we are meere beaſts, and no women.
Reaſons of giving good names to Children.
If ye ſhall thinke me too teadious about the naming your children, I tel you, that I have ſome reaſon 1 for it; and the firſt is this, to make them reade in the Bible the things which are written of thoſe Saints, and learne to imitate their vertues.tues. 44C7v 44 2 tues. Secondly, becauſe many have made a God of the virgin Marie, the Scripture warranting no ſuch thing, and have prayed to her, (though there they ſhal find that ſhe was a woman, yea, and a comfort to all women, for ſhe hath taken away the reproch,wchwhich of right belonged unto us, and by the ſeed of the womāan we are al ſaved) it was therefore fit I ſhould ſpeake largely of that name. 3 Thirdly, ſeeing many have heretofore, and now doe make Images of Saints, to put them in minde of the Saints, and ſo by little and little have at laſt worſhipped the workes of their own hands, and for fear of forgetting the Saints, have forgottengotten 45C8r45 gotten the ſecond Commandements; I thought it better to have you remember them by bearing their names, and by reading what they taught us in the Scripture, and how they led their lives, then by looking upon a painted piece of Paper, or a carved ſtone. And this by the way may bee marvelled at, that they which love to worſhip Images, never love to name ther Children after the names of the Saints; for if they had ſo done, by this time wee ſhould have had no other names but Mathew, Marke, Luke, John, Timothy, and ſuch as followed Chriſt faithfully. Then Moyſes and his mildneſſe would bee more talked of: Samuel46C8v46 Samuel and his obedience would bee more ſought after: Abraham and his faithf nulneſſe, would be more followed. 4 Laſtly, this I will tell you, that there is no man but wil be aſhamed to do any thing, wchwhich; ſhal diſgrace the good name, after which is called; as if one ſhould ſay, Is this a Moyſes? Is this an Elias, and have ſuch qualities as theſe?
Children to bee taught betimes, and brought up gently.
I am further alſo to entreate you, that all your Children may be taught to 47C9r47 to reade, beginning at foure yeares old or before, and let them learne till ten, in which time they are not able to do any good in the Commonwealth, but to learne how to ſerve God, their King & Country by reading. And I deſire, intreat, and earnesſtly beſeech you, and every one of you, that you will have your Children brought up with much gentleneſſe and patience. What diſpoſition ſo ever they be of, gentlenes will ſooneſt bring them to vertue; for frowardnes and curſtneſſe doth harden the heart of a child, and maketh him weary of vertue. Among the froward thou ſhalt learne frowardneſſe: let them therefore be gently uſed 48C9v 48 used, and alwaies kept from idleneſſe, and bring them up in the Schooles of learning, if you bee able, and they fit for it. If they will not bee Schollers, yet I hope they will be able by Gods grace to read the Bible, the lawe of God, and to bee brought to ſome good vocation or calling of life. Salomon ſaith, Teach a childe in his youth the trade of his life, and he will not forget it, nor depart from it when hee is olde. Pro.22.6.
Choyſe of Wives.
Now for your wives the Lord direct you; for I cannot tel you, what is beſt to be done. Our Lord ſaith; Firſt ſeek the Kingdome of God, and his righteouſneſſe, and all things elſe ſhall be miniſtred unto you. Gen.2.18. Firſt, you muſt ſeek a godly wife, that ſhe may be a helpe to you in godlineſſe: for God ſayd, It is not good for man to bee alone, let him have a helper meet for him; and ſhee cannot bee meete for him, except ſhe be truly godly; for God counteth that the man is alone ſtill, if his wife bee not godly. 50C10v 50 godly. If I ſhould write unto you how many the Scripture maketh mentiōon of, that have beene drawne to ſinne, becauſe they married ungodly wives, it would bee tedious for you to read.
The world was drowned, Gen.6.2.3 becauſe men married ungodly 1.King.11. 4. wives. Salomon, who was not only the wiſeſt man that ever was, but was alſo mightily indued with the Spirit of God, by marrying idolatrous women, fell for the time to idolatrie. Never thinke to ſtand, where Salomon fell. I pray God that neither you, nor any of yours may at any time marry with any of thoſe, which hold ſuch ſuperſtitions, as they did, or as ſome doe now; 51C11r 51 now; as namely, to pray to Saints, to pray in Latine, to pray to go to purgatory, &c. Let no riches or mony bring your poſterity to this kinde of tradition. The beloved Apoſtle of Christ ſaith: Love not the world, nor the things that are in the world. 1.Ioh.2.15 for he knew well that a little that a man loveth not, would ſuffice him: a little with a godly woman is better then great riches with the wicked. Rebecca ſaith, I ſhall be weary of my life, if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth; as if ſhe ſhould ſay, If my Sonne marry an ungodly wife, then all my comfort of him and his is gone, and it will bee a continuall griefe to mee, to ſee him in league and 52C11v 52 and friendſhip amongſt the wicked. If ſuch a ſhame and ſin commeth upon my Son, as can by no meanes be helped, nor I by no meanes comforted, what availeth me then to live?
Bee not unequally yoked( 2.Cor.6. 14. (ſaith the holy Ghoſt.) It is indeed very unequall, for the godly and ungodly to bee united together, that their hearts muſt be both as one which can never bee joined in the feare of God & faith of Chriſt. Love not the ungodly: marry with none except you love her, and be not changeable, in your love; let nothing, after you have made your choiſe, remove your love from her; for it is an ungodly and very fooliſh 53C12r53 fooliſh thing of a man to miſlike his owne choiſe, eſpecially ſince God hath given a man much choyſe among the godly; and it was a great cauſe that mooved God to commaund his to Marry with the godly, that there might be a continuall agreement between them.
It is great folly for a man to miſlike his owne choyſe.
Mee thinkes I never ſaw a man ſhew a more ſenſeles ſimplicity, then in miſliking his owne choyſe, when God hath given a man almoſt a world 54C12v 54 world of women to chooſe him a wife in. If a man hath not witte enough to chooſe him one, whom hee can love to the end, yet me thinkes hee ſhould have diſcretion to cover his owne folly; but if he want diſcretion, mee thinkes hee ſhould have policy, which never failes a man to diſſemble his owne ſimplicitie in this caſe. If he want wit, diſcretion and policy, hee is unfit to marry any woman. Doe not a woman that wrong, as to take her frōomher friends that love her, and after a while to begin to hate her. If ſhe have no friends, yet thou knoweſt not, but that ſhee may have a huſband, that may love her. If thou55D1r55 thou canſt not love her to the end, leave her to him that can. Mee thinkes, my ſonne could not offend me in any thing, if he ſerved God, except he choſe a wife that he could not love to the end: I need not ſay, if hee ſerved God; for if he ſerved God, he would obey God, and then hee would chuſe a godly wife, and live lovingly and godlily with her, and not doe as ſome man, who taketh a woman to make her a companion and fellow, and after hee hath her, he makes her a ſervant and drudge. If ſhee bee thy wife, ſhe is always too good to be thy ſervant, and worthy to be thy fellow. If thou wilt have a good wife, thou D muſt 56D1v 56 muſt goe before her in all goodneſſe, and ſhew her a patterne of all good vertues by thy godly and diſcreete life: and eſpecially in patience, according to the counſell of the holy Ghost: Beare with the woman, as with the weaker veſſell. 1.Pet.3.7. Heere God ſheweth that it is her imperfection that honoureth thee, and that it is thy perfection that maketh thee to beare with her; follow the counſell of God therefore, and beare with her. God willed a man to leave Father & Mther for his wife. Gen.2.24. This ſheweth what an excellent love God did appoynt to be betweene man and wife. In truth I cannot by any means ſet downe the excellency of that 57 D2r57 that love: but this I aſſure you, that if you get wives that be godly and you love them, you ſhall not need to forſake me; whereas if you have wives that you love not, I am ſure I will forſake you. Do not your ſelves that wrong, as to marry a woman that you cannot love: ſhew not ſo much childiſhneſſe in your ſexe, as to ſay, you loved her once, and now your mind is changed: if thou canſt not love her for the goodneſſe that is in her, yet let the grace that is in thy ſelfe move thee to do it; and ſo I leave thee to the Lord, whom I pray to guide both thee and her with his grace, and graunt that you may chuſe godlily, and live D2 happily 58D2v 58 happily, and dye comfortably, through faith in Jesus Chriſt.
How to deale with ſervants.
Yet one thing I am to deſire you to doe at my requeſt, and for my ſake: and though it bee ſome trouble to you to performe it, yet I aſſure my ſelfe you will doe it. If God ſhall at any time give you or any of you a ſervant or ſervants, you ſhall aske them, if they can reade. If they cannot, you ſhall at my requeſt teach them, or cauſe them to be taught, till they can reade the tenne Commaundements of almightie God: 59D3r 59 God: And then you ſhall perſwade them to practiſe by themſelves, and to ſpend al their idle time in reading, that ſo they may come the better to know the will of God written in his Word. Remember, your ſervants are Gods ſervants as well as yours: if they be not, ſay as David ſayd: There ſhall not an ungodly perſon dwell in my houſe, he that loveth or maketh lyes, ſhal depart out of my ſight. Pſa.101.7.
It is not for you, by any meanes, to keep any ungodly, profane, or wicked perſon in your houſe; for they bring a curſe upon the place wherein they are, and not a bleſſing, neither will they bee taught any goodneſſe: but you muſt keepe thoſe D3 that 60D3v 60 that bee tractable and willing to ſerve God, that hee may bleſſe you and your houſhold. For, God doth not delight in that Maſter, that will ſuffer his ſervant to blaſpheme his name, or to miſ—ſpend his Sabbaoths: for God commaunded the Ex.20.10. maſter, that he ſhould ſee his ſervants to keepe holy the Sabboath day; and if hee keepe that day holy, he will learne to ſpend all the other dayes in the weeke well, in following the duties of his calling. I pray you keep the ſervants of God, and then remember they are your brethren: uſe them wel, and bee as ready to doe them good, as to have their ſervice. Be not chiding for everyvery 61D4r 61 very trifle; for that wil hinder good living, and nothing enrich you. Be carefull that they be godly; for Godlineſſe hath the promiſe of this preſent life and of the life to come: 1.Tim.4.8 godlineſſe is great riches, if a man be contented with that hee hath: for wee brought nothing with us into this world, neither ſhall we carry any thing out of the world, if wee have food and rayment, let us therewith be contented. 1.Tſim.6. 6.7.8.D4 Chap.
Patience is neceſſary for Governours of families.
Live godlily and patiently in your houſe: if you cannot bee patient, never think to live godlily; for if Sathan ſee you of a froward mind, he wil ſoon finde matter enough to ſet you on worke. Pray faithfully with your ſervants twice a day, and live ſo godlily, that you may be an example to them to follow you. Pray often privately, faithfully, and zealouſly unto God, in the name of Chriſt, ſo as may bee well warranted by his Word; for that 63D5r 63 that is a true marke of the Mat.22.14 childe of God. Many heare the Word, as our Saviour witneſſeth, but few follow it. Many pray openly as the Mat.6.16. Phariſes did, to bee ſeene of men; but Chriſt ſayth, they have their reward. This was not becauſe Chriſt miſliked publike prayer, but becauſe he ſawe their hearts, and ſo knew that they praied more to be ſeene of men, then for any true faith they had in him. Chriſt ſayth, When two or three be gathered together in my name, I will be with them. Mat.18.20 And this mercifull promiſe is enough to make any man pray: for though hee doe it very weakely and coldly; yet he ſheweth his humility and obedience to God, and D5 con- 64D5v 64 confeſſeth his owne weakeneſſe, and calleth to God for his aſſiſtance and grace to ſerve him. One is alſo helped by the prayer of another; and the weaker is made partaker of the praiers of the ſtronger; for Chriſt Mat.6.12. taught us to pray one for another, Forgive us our treſpaſſes. When Chriſt ſayth, If two or three be gath’red together in my name, I will be with them; he doth not ſay, With ſome of them, but I will be with them, that is, with all of them that are joined together in my name. Though ſome bee weaker, and ſome bee ſtronger, yet they all ſhew their obedient hearts, and God will accept them in Chriſt. And this is a great means 65D6r 65 means to ſtir up their hearts to praier; for it is the hardeſt thing that is, for any man to performe rightly, truely, and faithfully.
Meanes to further private prayer.
NOw all things are to bee uſed, that are meanes to ſtirre us up to private prayer, and all things are to bee ſhunned, that hinder us from it. Thoſe things that may further us to it, are hearing the Word, reading it, praying publikely, and being in company with others when they pray for all theſe help to increaſe and 66D6v 66 and ſtrengthen faith, and without faith it is impoſſble to pray aright, either publikely or privately, or to take hold of the promiſes of God in Chriſt, beleeving that our prayers ſhall be accepted and granted, ſo far forth as ſhall bee to Gods glory and our good: and the true ſervant of God will never deſire more, then hee knoweth by faith in Chriſt (which hee hath learned by the promiſes of the Goſpell) that he ſhall have.
There bee many things that will hinder both man and woman from this duetie. The divell will doe what hee can to hinder us: the world is our hindrance continually: and a mans owne friends are oftentimes hindrances too: yea, a mans owne nature will never bee willing to talke with God; for by nature wee run away from him with Adam, and rather hide our ſelves with figge—leaves, and excuſes, then come to God and fall downe before him on our faces, confeſſe our ſinnes, acknow- 68D7v 68 acknowledge our unworthineſſe, crave pardon for Chriſts ſake of God, for all of our tranſgreſſions. Yet Adam had more cauſe to runne away, then we have, and wee have more cauſe a great deale to come to God, then hee had; for hee knew not then that God would call him backe againe, and give him his pardon in Chriſt, who ſhould tread downe the head of the Serpent, which beguiled him: but we know that God hath called Adam and all his poſterity, & given them pardon in Chriſt, if they wil come and ask it in faith and repentance. Hee therefore that doth not often and privately fall downe and humbleble 69D8r 69 ble himſelfe before God, and confeſſe his owne ſinnes, craving pardon in Chriſt, & by faith applying the promiſes of God to himſelfe, hath great cauſe to feare, that his heart is not true and right before God. And therfore if thou canſt not pray privately, or feeleſt thy ſelfe cold in prayer, for to helpe thy ſelfe, thus thou ſhalt do.
Helpes againſt the former lets.
Every morning, ſo 1 ſoone as thou canſt, (for the ſooner, the better) before the world get hold on thee, either with profit 70D8v 70 profit or pleaſure (for theſe are the divels baytes) or before thou feedeſt thy bodie (for the body is a great deal more ſubject to the Spirit, when it is not pampered nor fed at it owne will) then I ſay, goe into ſome private place, and fall downe on thy face, as the Publican did, and ſee thy ſelfe a farre off, and ſay, God bee mercifull to mee a ſinner. Luke.18. 13. O Lord, I acknowledge that I cannot pray: pardon mee, deare Father, for Jeſus Chriſt ſake and quicken mee with thy holy Spirit; give me faith to call upon thee; and I beſeech thee graciouſly to remēember thy promiſe, which ſayeſt, Come unto me, all yee that labour, and be heavy laden, and I will 71D9r 71 will eaſe you. Mat.11.28. Oh Lord, I am loaden with my ſinnes, and againſt all reaſon they keep me from ſeeking pardon for them, and grace to ſhunne them. Good Father, for Chriſts ſake, remoove my ſins far from mee, and give me faith in thy Sonne, which may aſſure mee, that thou doeſt accept of me, as of thy ſervant in him. And though I bee moſt unworthy in my ſelfe, yet by thy promiſes in Chriſt, which ſhall never faile, I pray thee accept mee.
2 Furthermore, for the better ſtirring thee up to pray, reade ſome Chapter of the Teſtament, as namely, the 6. of Mathew, or ſome other, wherein thou mayeſt heare the 72D9v 72 the promiſes of God in Chriſt, to ſtrengthen thy 3 faith. Take heede of idleneſſe and ſlothfulnes, which is a great hinderance. I know that all ſinnes are hinderances to prayer, but idleneſſe, and following the world, either for profite or pleaſure, are wonderfull mighty ones.
To pray often.
Never make account of thy ſelfe as a dilig ēent ſervant of God, if thou doeſt not twiſe a day (at the leaſt) come privately to God and acknowledge thy infimitiesinfirmities, and confeſſe that 73D10r73 that thou canſt not pray, and deſire God to give thee grace to doe it faithfully. When thou feeleſt a motion to pray, doe not over—ſlip it for any cauſe in the world; for thou knoweſt not what graces or bleſſings God meanes to beſtow upon thee at that time; for it is the Spirit of God calling thee; and therefore finde no delayes, but goe; for the nature of man, of it ſelfe will never be ſtirred to private prayer: But howſoever thou doeſt, be thou Maſter, or bee thou ſervant, bee thou at home, abroad, or in what condition or place ſoever thou bee, doe not ſleepe at night, till thou haſt humbled thy ſelfe before God on thy knees in prayer; 74D10v 74 prayer; for night is a time when the world leaves a man (as it were) for a while, and when the world leaves him, the divell hath not ſo much power over him; for the world is a great Inſtrument for the divell to worke by. Therefore when the world is aſleepe (as it were) the divels power is weakened, and then bee ſure thou prayeſt to God to deliver thee from the divell, and from the world. The world is like Pharaoh, which by no meanes would ſuffer the children of Iſrael to goe to ſerve the Lord; ſo doth the world, if it know that thou goeſt to ſerve God, it will bring thee backe againe, if it bee poſſible: and thereforefore 75D11r75 fore it is beſt to pray privatly, though thou doe it but weakely; for within a while this weake prayer wil ſtrēengthen greatly thy faith. Pray when the world is aſleepe, for aſſoone as it is awake, it will cry and call on thee (as Pharaoh did on the Iſraelites) to attend it: it will bring thee more worke ſtill, as hee did to them. And as that Tyrant told the Iſraelites, that they ſhould goe and ſerve their God; but when the time came, hee would not let them, but ſtil found imploimēent for them; even ſo will the world doe by any that will beleeve it; it will promiſe, At ſuch a time thou ſhalt goe ſerve God; and, When ſuch a thing 76D11v 76 thing is done, thou ſhalt go pray; but when the time commeth, it will finde more worke for him ſtill, and will not let him goe. Pharaoh is the very figure of the divell, and the divell calleth himſelfe the god of this world. And if the divell hath to do with this world, then it is certaine, that the world will never give us leave to ſerve God. Our owne nature is as the nature of the Iſraelites; for they had rather Num.11.5 have tarried with Pharaoh, who was the very image of the divell, and have been his ſlaves ſtil, then to have gone thorow the red—ſea, and the wildernes, to the promiſed land of Canaan, which was the 77D12r77 the figure of heaven: and even ſo had wee rather bee ſlaves and drudges to the world, which will take all from us, and caſt us to the Divell (as Pharaoh would have done by the children of Iſrael) then we will leave the world and all his baites, and goe to our God every day, and humble our ſelves at his foote, and confeſſe our ſelves to bee weake in faith, and acknowledge our frailtie, and call earneſtly for the helpe of God to overcome the world for us, and to ſtrengthen us by his power againſt the divell, the world, and our owne frailty, and wicked fleſhly luſts; and yet, except we doe call continually to God for his grace 78D12v 78 grace and helpe, we can no more overcome theſe, then the children of Iſrael could overcome Pharaoh, or goe thorow the red ſea without drowning: for it was God that overcame Pharaoh for them, and alſo all their enemies & delivered them out of the red ſea: and ſo it muſt be God that muſt overcome the Divell and all thy enemies in the world, and deliver thee, that thou ſinke not in the ſea of thy owne ſinnes.
Not to neglect private Prayer.
Wherefore I deſire you, and every one of yours to the worlds end, that whatſoever ſervice of God you omit, you doe not neglect private prayer; for many may heare the Word of God, as Adam did, and diſobey it preſently after: & ſome heare the Word of of God, as Adam did after his fall, and had rather bee further off as hee had then. But private prayer is, to offer thy ſelf and thy ſervice to God, confeſſing thy own imperfections, and to call E to 80E1v 80 to God for his aſſiſtance. Now when a ſinner by himſelfe calleth his owne wayes to remembrannce, and confeſſeth his particular ſinnes, then he ſeeth what ſinne his owne nature is moſt ſubject unto, and prayeth earneſtly againſt that ſinne, wherwith he is moſt infected, and confeſſeth his owne weakneſſe and wondreth at himſelfe that hee is not able to overcome that one ſinne, as well as ſome other ſinnes of as great force. The reaſon is this, the nature of man is wholly corrupted with ſin, and is good for nothing; as the earth is fit to bring forth nothing but weeds, except it bee digged and dreſſed, and continually laboured and 81E2r 81 and weeded: yet one weed or other will grow in ſome part of the earth by nature, which will not grow in another part, though it beſowne there; but ſome other weed will grow there, that is as ill, and one weed overgrowing the ground, is able to make it unprofitable for any thing: ſo one ſinne will rule where another will not, and that one overrunning thee, is able to make thee an unprofitable member of the Church: therfore thou muſt labour by private prayer to overcome it.
Men become worſe for want of uſing good meanes.
Moreover, as a garden, if it be twentie yeeres kept with digging, watering, and weeding, and then bee let but two yeeres alone, it will become unprofitable, ſavage, and of no reſpect; even ſoo, if thou doſt in thy youth, or many yeeres uſe private prayer, and hearing of the Word preached, and publike prayer and faſting, & all good means to keepe thy earthly body in ſubiection; yet if thou becommeſt negligent and careleſſe but a while, it will ſoone becomecome 83E3r83 come ſavage and wilde, and conſequently an unprofitable member of Chriſt his Church, or rather manifeſt thy ſelfe to bee no member, as the earth will bee no garden; and therfore you muſt have a cōontinual care of your ſelves. It is not for a ſmal matter that you muſt have this care, but for a great & a moſt glorious kingdome, which laſteth for ever, where thou ſhalt enjoy the ſweete and loving preſence of almightie God, and bee a a member of Jeſus Chriſt in the Kingdome of heaven for ever, world without end. Then neither Satan, nor the world, nor thy owne fleſh ſhall bee able one minute to trouble thee, if through E3faith 84E3v 84 faith in Chriſt, by continuall prayer, thou once getteſt thither. Neither is it to ſhunne a little danger, that you muſt bee thus watchfull and wary of your ſelves, as was drowning in the red ſea, which was a figure of hell: but it is to avoid burning in hells torments for ever and ever, and being joyned to the divell and all his wicked ſpirits for ever, there to bee tormented, and never have reſt. And this will be more then a thouſand millions of paines, to thoſe that ſhall enter into theſe torments, to thinke that God hath offered ſo mercifull a meanes, as to ſend his owne Sonne to indure thoſe paines for them, that they might neverver 85E4r85 ver have felt them and ſent them his Word, and willed them to follow that; and that ſhould teach them to follow Chriſt, and Chriſt ſhould bring them to heaven: and if that the divell the world and the fleſh, did lay blockes in their wayes more then they could remove, that then they ſhould call upon him, & he ſhould helpe them over, and make the way in time more plaine and eaſie for them; and yet they would not take a little paines heere, to keepe them from endleſſe paines of helfire. Oh, how will they bee tormented, whēen they know that there never will bee an end of their perpetuall miſery? What would they not E4give 86E4v 86 give? (nay, they have nothing to give; for the world hath deceived them, and hath taken all things from them) but what paines would they not take to follow our Savior now, if they might? paines? nay they would thinke it a great pleaſure, and wonder greatly at themſelves, that they ever could thinke it paines; when indeede it is the moſt pleaſant, and moſt comfortable, the moſt profitable, and moſt delightfull, yea, and the moſt contenting thing in the world.
To lay holde on Chriſt, is the beſt thing in the world.
It is the moſt pleaſing thing, becauſe it brings ſo ſweete contentment to the ſoule, minde, and conſcience of man, that nothing can offend it. It is the moſt comfortable thing, in regard it ſo comforteth and ſtrentheneth the hart, that nothing can grieve it. It is moſt profitable, for it getteth an everlaſting kingdome to thoſe that uſe it. It is moſt delightfull, for it bringeth joy to the whole man. It is moſt contenting, for no croſſe in the world E5can 88E5v 88 can diſcontent it; when as the world on the contrary ſide are never content, never quiet, never feele joy in their hearts. Though they laugh, their hearts are not quiet; for there is no peace to the ungodly. Eſ.48.22. And this is the cauſe that they ſeek ſo much for paſtime, and ſit up in the night ſwilling and drinking, untill they feele ſleepe call them to bed, and then they lie downe like bruite beaſts, never regarding the miſpending of their time, nor calling for grace to ſpend the reſt of their daies better. And yet for all this, in the darke they often feele diſcontent in their mindes, becauſe they doe follow the divell that wicked ſerpent, which 89E6r89 which will torment them, and hee begins to torment here, and yet they will ſerve him. On the contrary, thoſe that ſerve God, and follow Chriſt, and every night reconcile themſelves unto him, and confeſſe their own weakneſſe, and pray Chriſt their Savior to defend them that night and evermore, they feele much comfort in their hearts; for Chriſt begins the comfort heere. I laid mee downe in peace and roſe againe Pſa.3.5. (ſaith David)and the Lord ſuſtained mee. So they which ſerve God, and follow Chriſt, are in peace; for the Lord ſuſtaineth them.
What need there is to ſpeake much of Chriſt.
It may bee you marvell my Sonnes why I write ſo much of Chriſt. Marvell not why I write, for I wonder, that every one which hath heard of him, doeth not write what Chriſt hath done for us. For was it not a great wonder, that the onely begotten Sonne of God ſhould come downe from heaven, and take our fleſh upon him, and keepe it without ſin, and ſuffer himſelfe to be buffetted, and alſo to have his face ſpit in, and to bee moſt ſpitefully crowned 91E7r91 crowned with a crowne of thornes? And being with out ſinne, hee bare all our ſins upon him, and having never offennded God, hee bare all the wrath of God, and indured the paines, of hell for us, which was due unto us for our ſinnes, and hee hath overcome ſinne, death and hell for us, and aſcended into heaven to prepare us a place there; & yet hee left us not thus, but hee left his Wil and Teſtament, to direct us the right way how to come unto him; and yet hee did more for us then this; for he taught us in his Word, how wee ſhould know when we were out of the way, and how we ſhould returne into the right way againe 92E7v 92 againe. And yet he did more for us then this, hee promiſed Mat.28.26 that hee would bee with us unto the worlds end, and whenſoever wee wanted his helpe, do but call upon him, and he would helpe us. And yet hee did more for us, hee ſent preachers to call upon us, and put us in remembrance of theſe benefits, and to direct us the right way to heaven to himſelfe. And what promiſes hee hath made to us to intiſe and draw us to come unto him, and what threatnings and warnings hee hath given us to ſhun hell, it is impoſſible for mee and all the Writers in the world to write to write. Saint John ſaith, If all things which Christ did were written, the world 93E8r93 world would not containe the Bookes. Iohn 21. 25. But I am ſure if all the Writers in the world, had written what Chriſt hath done for us, they could not ſufficiently declare it. If all the ſea were inke, and all the iron in the world were pennes, and all the creatures writers, they could never declare the great benefits, the great bleſſings, and the great mercies given unto us in Chriſt Jeſus our Lord & Saviour. What is man without Chriſt, more then a firebrand of hell? and what an excellent creature a man is in Chriſt, can hardly bee expreſſed; and yet there are many that are angry, becauſe there are ſo many bookes. Reading good bookes 94E8v 94 bookes worketh a man heart to godlines; for even as the fire warmeth the wax and maketh it fit to receive a good faſhion; even ſo good bookes, written of the mercies of God in Chriſt, are the way to Chriſt, and teach us how to ſhun the way that leads from Chriſt. But becauſe I would have you writers of the mercies of God in Chriſt, I will tell you what good writing of bookes doth. It maketh the the way to Chriſt eaſie to thoſe that deſire to goe in it. And I will tell you who are they that are angry with writing of bookes: they are ſuch as are ignorant, and the more ignorant they are the more angry: they are thoſe 95E9r95 thoſe that love the world ſo well, that they cannot finde leaſure to read bookes. Saint John ſaith, Love not the world nor the things that are in the world: for the love of the world is an enmity to God. And here you ſee that they are enemies to God; for they love not to have him ſo much written of. And they that love not many bookes, love not many Sermons, neyther doe they care ſo much to know what Chriſt hath done for them, and how they ſhould follow Chriſt: they are ſtalled with it: they love the earth, they can talke of it yeere after yeere, and they are never weary. In truth, it would weary a heavenly—minded Chriſtian, to heare 96E9v 96 heare an earthly—minded man how continually hee will talke of the earth and earthly things; the very time that hee is in the Church, hee can hardly hold his peace from talking of ſome earthly thing or other, and the whole Sabbath which God ſanctified, and reſted himſelfe, and in mercie to him commanded him to reſt, that will never reſt from theſe earthly and tranſitorie things, for heavenly reſt hee never reſpecteth. Truely I thinke he meaneth to make himſelfe ſure of hell heereafter: for Chriſt ſaith, Hee that loveth the world, is an enemy to God, And he that is an enemy to God, can never come to bee an 97E10r6797 an inheritour of the kingdome of heaven, except hee returne, and reconcile himſelf to God through Chriſt: and hee cannot bee thus reconciled, except he leave his earthly affections and attend upon Chriſt: for God loveth none but thoſe, whom he ſeeth waiting and attending upon his Sonne; & then the Almightie God accepteth him as his ſonne, and bids him call him Father, and whatſoever hee needs, he is ready to furniſh and relieve him withall: but if hee be obſtinate, and will not attend upon Chriſt, but attends his owne buſineſſe and worldly affaires, God never reſpecteth him, how many friends ſoever hee hath 98E10v 98 hath in the world, nor how mightie ſoever they are, and then are his riches and his friends, nothing worth, neither can they doe him the leaſt good as can be thought of. Now hee that loves not writing of bookes, nor hearing of Sermons, hee hath little leaſure, and leſſe deſire to pray this I aſſure you is true, and his owne conſcience will tell him ſo much, let him examine it when he will; for Sermons, and reading good bookes, are the only means to bring a man to praier, and praier is the only meanes to helpe us to the mercies of God in Chriſt; for if we heare Sermons, and do not pray earneſtly to God, for Jeſus Chriſts 99E11r99 Chriſts ſake, to ſend the holy Ghoſt to inlighten our underſtanding, and to ſanctifie our hearts, and follow that which wee heare, we are never the better; for many heare and underſtand not, and many underſtand and follow it not: but there is none that praieth faithfully to underſtand, and for grace to follow it, and obtaineth not, if hee continue in true praier. The holy Ghoſt ſaith, Pray alwaies, and in all things be thankefull, 1 Theſ.5. 17.18. and the promiſe is made, Aske and ye ſhal have: Mat.7.7. that is, whatſoever you goe about, pray to God to bleſſe it, and thanke God in proſperitie and adverſitie, or howſoever it pleaſeth God to deale with 100E11v 100 with you; for it commeth by his providence, & therefore bee thankefull to God, what croſſe ſoever it pleaſeth him to lay upon thee. Doe not as they which rage and ſweare at the loſſe of a few earthly things; but thanke God againe and againe, that it is no worſe. If it bee but for the loſſe of ſome earthly thing, it cannot bee ill for the childe of God; for Job never honoured God ſo much, nor did ſo much good in the Church of God, while hee was rich, as when hee was poore; for when hee was rich, the divell himſelfe told God, that Job ſerved him not for nothing. Iob 1.9. As if hee ſhould ſay, Thou haſt given him ma- 101E12r101 many bleſſings, if he ſhould not bee thankefull, it were a marvell.
The unthankefulneſſe of rich men, a great ſinne.
Oh, this will bee a witneſſe againſt many rich men, which receive many great bleſſings, and yet they bee unthankefull: for the divell thought, that he which received gifts and bleſſings, could not chuſe but bee thankefull: and yet when Job was rich, he never did God ſo much honour nor ſervice in his Church, as when his goods were gone: for 102E12v 102 for before, hee was a rich man, and lived well, and gave ſomthing to the poor: what ſhould hee have done wthwith his goods elſe? & ſo did many more beſides him. But when all his goods were taken away, hee did not as worldly men do, he did not ſay, I am bewitched; or, it is the negligence of my ſervants; but he ſaid, The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh, and as it pleaſeth the Lord, ſo it commeth to paſſe; bleſſed be the name of the Lord, Iob 1.9. And thus hee became thankefull for his loſſes. This is a thing that every one cannot doe: and hee was ſo patient and thankefull, what croſſes ſoever it pleaſed God to lay upon him, that he glorified God 103F1r103 God in his obedience, and ſhewed that he loved God, and that his love was not ſet on this worldy wealth. So he might have God without the world, he cared not, hee was none of thoſe that muſt needes have God and the world together, or elſe they will none; but hee was one that left an example to the whole Church of God to be thankefull and patient.
How to reade with profit.
Ipray reade the ſtory of Job, and not onely reade, but gather ſome fruite out of it, and ever when you begin F to 104F1v 104 to read any part of the ſcripture, lift up your harts, ſoules and mindes unto God, and pray privately or publikely; but of private prayer never faile, and deſire God for Chriſts ſake to inlighten your underſtandings, to ſanctifie your hearts, and to make them fit to receive the good ſeede of his word, and to give you grace to bring forth fruite to Gods glory for Chriſt ſaith, In this is my father glorified, that you bring forth much fruite, and be made my Diſciples. Ioh.15.8. And againe he ſayeth, Let your light ſo ſhine before men, that they may ſee your good workes, and glorifie your father which is in heaven: Mat.5.16 Here you may ſee you muſt glorifie God, and you muſt leave 105F2r105 leave an example to the Church, that you ſerve and love God: this did Job, and I pray God, for Chriſts ſake that you may doe the like; and that you may doe it, you muſt pray to God continually, yea and in private for his grace and aſſiſtance.
The preheminence of private prayer.
This is the moſt excellent vertue and happineſſe, that belongeth to private prayer, no man by any meanes can deprive a man of it. Some have had their Bibles taken away, that they F2could 106F2v 106 could not reade: Preachers have beene baniſhed, that could not heare: they have beene ſeparated from company, that they could not have publike prayer, yet private prayer went with them: thereby they talked with God, and made all their miſeries knowne unto him, and craved his aſſiſtance in all their troubles. And this is the greateſt comfort that all good Chriſtians have, that no man can bar them from private conferēence with God. Then take heede you doe not barre your ſelves from it, ſince none elſe can doe it, and you know not what need you ſhal have of it, nor what accident may happen to you in your lives, nor what need you 107F3r107 you ſhall have of it in the houre of death. Therefore if you would alwaies have it, you muſt alwaies uſe it, and then you ſhall ſee what profit will come by it, and then you will bee humbly, faithfully, & familiarly acquainted with God.
The benefit of acquaintance with God.
Oh heavenly and happy acquaintance! for the longer thou uſeſt it, the ſtronger will be thy faith, the humbler thy heart, the earneſter thy zeale, & the holier thy life; and this makes F3God 108F3v 108 God accept you in Chriſt, and then thou art hee that Chriſt ſpeaketh unto; when he ſaith, Aske what you will, and it ſhall bee done unto you. Ioh.16.23 Thy faith will be the ſtronger, becauſe thou ſhalt ſee, that God heareth thy prayers, and granteth thy requeſt The more humble will thy heart be, becauſe thou ſeeſt thine owne miſerie and corruption, and that all grace and goodnes comes to thee from God: and this will make thee more earneſt and zealous in prayer; and they earneſt and faithfull prayer will move God, according to his promiſe, to give thee grace and faith; for the Apoſtles prayed and ſaid, Lord increaſe our faith. Luk.6.25. And this grace and faith 109F4r109 faith will worke in thee holineſſe of life, and then ſhalt thou be able to fulfill Chriſts ſaying, Let your light ſo ſhine before men that they may ſee your good workes, and glorifie your father which is in heaven. Mat.5.16.
How long wee have neede of private prayer.
Now that you and everie one of you ſhall have neede of private praier, from the very beginning of your life, to the verie laſt houre of your daies, my owne experience teacheth mee: and the word of God a true witneſſe,F4neſſe 110F4v 110 neſſe, affirmeth that we are wholly corrupted by the fall of Adam with ſin, and therefore continually wee ought to ſuſpect our ſelves, and to call upon God without ceaſing, for his helpe, grace, and aſſiſtance in all our actions: for wee know that our owne fleſh is our owne enemie, and that it is made of the earth, and is ſo heavie and earthlyminded, that it can never ſeeke for heavenly things, without the eſpeciall grace of God; and the divell hath made an entrance into this earthly bodie, by reaſon that our owne parents Adam and Eve, did take of the fruite of diſobedience at his hands, and did eate at his appointment: ſo that now he claimethmeth 111F5r111 meth ſuch an intereſt in us, that none but Chriſt can keepe him out: and therefore we have no way, but to call continually on the name of God in Chriſt; to aſſiſt us with his gracious ſpirit, which will keepe away the divell, overcome the world, and conquer our owne fleſh for us.
Who pray privately.
This is certain, that there are none godly, but thoſe that pray privately and truely to God according to his word; and there is no ungodly perſon, no ſwearer, no prophaner 112F5v 112 prophaner of the ſabbaoth, no drunkard, no adulterer, no covetous perſon, no prophane perſon, nor none that is of a falſe religion, not warranted by the word of God, that doth pray privately, truely, and faithfully. By theſe conſiderations you ſhal find out the true markes of the children of God; for the wicked can heare the word, reade, come into publike aſſemblies of praier: the hypocrite wil talke of faith, as if he had come preſently from heaven; but to goe into a private place, and lay open his heart before God, confeſſe his own imperfections, and pray that hee may not be an hypocrite, hee is farre inough from it. The ſwea- 113F6r113 ſwearer, the adulterer, the covetous, the idolater, nor no uncleane perſon dare come to God in the name of Chriſt except they leave their wicked waies; and without they bring Chriſt with them they cannot come to God; and Chriſt delighteth not to goe with thoſe that are continually breakers of his fathers commandements: for Chriſt himſelfe telleth them, that hee that keepeth the commandements, and teacheth men ſo to doe, hee ſhall bee great in the kingdome of heaven: Math.5.19 and to him that ordereth his converſation aright, will I ſhew the ſalvation of God, Pſa.50.23 ſaith God by the Pſalmiſt. Moreover Chriſt ſaith, Hee that will follow mee, let him forſake himſelfe, and take 114F6v 114 take up his croſſe, and follow me. Mat.16 24 As if he ſhould ſay, I am gone to heaven, and if you meane to follow mee thither, you muſt forſake your ſelves. I know this will bee a croſſe unto you, but you muſt take it up and follow me, or elſe you may not come there.
The way to rule our corruptions.
Againe, when the children of God, who would faine be with their father, ſee that they cannot rule their owne fleſh, then with humble hearts they goe to 115F7r115 to God, and crie and call to him for helpe, that he would helpe to bridle their unruly affections, even but for that day, and at night they will wait upon his majeſtie a gaine; and thus they will never leave him till they feele the ſpirit of God working in their hearts; and that will ſtirre them to continuall praier. But the wicked want faith to goe in the name of Chriſt, and this is the cauſe there are ſo many wicked praiers in the world; for they that make them, have no faith in Chriſt: and without him, they have no promiſe to be heard; and therefore wanting faith to come to Chriſt, they goe to the Saints to pray for them; and yet the 116F7v 116 the Saints did never promiſe them ſo to doe, neither doe they know whether the Saints heare them or no. Againe, ſome pray in latine when they doe not underderſtand what they ſay, nor what they pray for; but the holy Ghoſt ſaith, Pray with the ſpirit, and pray with the underſtanding alſo. 1 Cor.1.4. 15. Why ſay they, God knowes our harts; we pray with the heart. God knowes indeede that their hearts are vaine and fooliſh, becauſe they doe not pray with underſtanding, and therefore they have no promiſe to be heard, & yet they will have a paire of beades, and tell how many prayers they ſay, though they cannot tell what they ſay. I dare vnder- 117F8r117 undertake, a parret might pray as well they doe, if it could ſpeake all the words. They pray while they live, that they may goe to purgatory; and when they die, they give much goods to others, to pray that they may come out of purgatorie againe: theſe are moſt vaine praiers never warranted by the word of God. They pray alſo to our Ladie to helpe them, much as the Iſraelites praied to the Queene of heaven: and as the Iſraelites praiers were accepted, ſo are theirs. But I pray God, for Chriſts ſake, that you, nor none of yours may make ſuch praiers. And I pray God to bleſſe his whole Church, that their praiers may bee right and faith- 118F8v 118 faithfull, for prayer is the key which openeth unto vertue. Oh Lord, let not our praiers be turned into ſinne; for then the gates of thy mercy ſhall bee ſhut againſt us. Wherefore wee humbly beſeech thee, give us the ſpirit of truth, that we may pray rightly, which if we doe, wee muſt needs ſearch the ſcriptures & ſee there how Chriſt teacheth his Diſciples to pray. When ye pray, pray on this manner. Our Father which art in heaven, &c. Mat.6.9 And whatſoever praier is not on this manner is wicked and ungodly. And yet here you ſee, there is neither praying to Saints nor Angels, neither praying for the dead, nor to the dead: and therefore all ſuch 119F9r119 ſuch praiers are wicked, and are the overthrow of thoſe that uſe them. But Chriſt Mat.6.6.7 ſaith, When thou prayeſt enter into thy chamber, and when thou haſt ſhut thy doore, pray unto thy father in ſecret, and thy father which ſeeth in ſecret, will reward thee openly: uſe no vaine repetitions, as the heathen doe: for they thinke to bee Ioh.16.23 heard for their much babling, but whatſoever yee aske the father in my name, that will hee Mat.7.7. give you. Aske and you ſhall have, ſeeke, and you ſhall finde, knocke, and it ſhal be opened unto Mat.7.9. 10.11. you. If your children aske you bread, will ye give them a ſtone, or if they aske you fiſh, will you give them a ſerpent? If ye which are evill, can give your children good gifts, how much more ſhall your 120F9v 120 your heavenly father give the holy Ghoſt unto them that aske it? And this was a great mercy in Chriſt, not onely to bid us pray, but alſo to promiſe, that whatſoever we aske the Father in his name, wee ſhould have it, and hee appealeth to our conſciences, how wee would deale with our children, if they aske us any thing, and giveth us warning wee ſhould uſe no vaine babbling, and telleth us wee ſhould aske in one word the holie Ghoſt, without the which wee are miſerable wretches: which if we have, we injoy all happines and peace; for hee muſt bee our Comforter and bring us unto Chriſt, and hee will bring us unto his Father. Chriſt 121F10r121 Iohn 16. 13. Chriſt alſo willeth us to aske the Spirit of truth, becauſe hee will inlighten us, and ſhew us the way of all happineſſe: and becauſe our faith ſhould be ſtrengthened to aske the holy Ghoſt, hee alſo promiſed us to ſend him, to teach us all things, and bring all things to our Iohn 15. 26. remēembrance, without which we are like a houſe which is built faire on the outſide: but there are no windowes to ſhew any light at all into it, and then the houſe is good for nothing, becauſe there remaines nothing but darknes in it: even ſo darke is the earth of Adam, which we are made of, that though wee ſeeme never ſo faire on the outſide, yet if wee have not122 F10v 122 not the holy Ghoſt within us, we can never ſee to finde the way to Chriſt: and then it is unpoſſible to come unto the Father; and ſo conſequently wee muſt needs periſh; for Chriſt ſaith, No man commeth to the Father, but by mee. Mat.11.27 And heere you ſee, that thoſe that put their truſt in Saints to pray for them, have no promiſe to be heard, and it ſhewes that they are not inlightned by the holie Ghoſt, to ſee the way to Chriſt, and they themſelves will confeſſe, theat they dare not goe to Chriſt: which ſheweth that they have no faith to beleeve his promiſes, nor will to obey his Word. For Chriſt ſaith, Come unto mee all 123F11r123 all yee that labour, and are lad ēen, & I wil eaſe you. Mat.11.28 Here you ſee, that he leaves out none, but cal’s all ſinners unto him, and promiſeth that he will eaſe them. I humbly beſeech God to give you and everie of you, to the worlds end, grace to pray to God for the holy Ghoſt. And I pray you, let me requeſt you to pray to God continually, to inlighten you with the holie Spirit, that the holie Ghoſt may bring you to Chriſt, ſo Chriſt to bring you to his Father; and then ſhall you raigne with them for ever and ever, world without end. Which God grant for Chriſts ſake, our only Mediatour and advocate.
The benefit of the holy Ghoſt.
Seeing ſome pray not at all, and others pray falſely, doe yee often and earneſtlie pary for the holie Ghoſt; for I will tell you what hee will doe, hee will inlighten you, and unite you to Chriſt, and give you grace to rule over all your affections, and make you able to bee maſters of your ſelves: where on the contrarie ſide, they which have not the holie Ghoſt written within them, are maſtered and ruled by their owne filthy affections, and ſo become ſervants to them; but if 125F12r125 if yee have the holie Spirit, yee ſhall bee able to ſay to your ſelves, as the maſter ſaith to his ſervants, Thou ſhalt doe this, and, Thou ſhalt doe that: Thou ſhalt not ſweare, nor blaſpheme thy God; Thou ſhalt not drinke and ſwill like a beaſt, neither ſhalt thou come in companie among ſuch, &c. Reaſon thus, I will overcome thee by Gods grace, thou earthen potſheard, which broughteſt mee nothing, and wouldſt thou now confound all theſe excellent graces, which it hath pleaſed the almightie God to beſtow upon mee in Chriſt? no, by the grace of God, I will rule over thee, or elſe I will pine thee. I may 126F12v 126 may ſay with Saint Paul, Theſe are the meſſengers of Sathan to buffet mee, 2.co.12.7 I will pay to my God to aſſiſt me, and his grace is ſufficient for mee. 2.co.12.9 I knowe thy nature, thou art like an unrulie colt, that if he be pampered, fed, and well kept, hee will throw his maſter under his feete, and cares not what become of him, ſo hee may be rid of him, and then hee runnes whither hee liſt himſelfe, although hee fare much worſe then he did before: even ſo is it with thoſe that become ſubject to their affections, they are as hard to be overcome, as a wilde cold, which manie times is like to be, and ſometimes is, the utter deſtruction of his ma- 127G1r127 maſter: therefore your reſolution muſt bee, to deale with your ſtubborne and rebellious affections, as you will deale with a pampered wilde colt, and ſay unto them, By Gods grace, I will not bee overmaſtered by you, I ſcorne to ſerve ſo beggerly and ſo baſe a ſlave as thou art, I will bridle thee, and thy headſtrong, ſtout, proud, ſcornefull, and diſobedient, untemperate, unholy, high—minded, froward, covetous, and idle diſpoſition; for there is no goodnes in you by nature, but by Gods grace I will temper you, I wil make you humble, patient, chaſte, quiet, and diligently to fall to ſome labour, you ſhall Gnever 128G1v 128 never be idle, for that will bring you to nought. And this muſt be the victory betwixt your ſelves and your affections, and then the holy Ghoſt will teach you to maſter your ſelves, and not ſuffer you to bee ſubject to every filthy motion of the fleſh. Further, hee will teach thee all things, and bring all things to thy remembrance; Iohn 14. 26. as, God reſiſteth the proud, and Iam.4.6. giveth grace to the humble. 1.Cor.6. 18.19. He that committeth adultery, ſinneth againſt his owne body, 2.Theſ.3. 10 and maketh the Temple of God, the temple of an harlot. Eph.6.16. He that wil not worke, let him not eat. He will give thee faith to quench all the fiery darts of the divel. Therefore pray for the holie Ghoſt in all temptations,ta- 129G2r129 tations, he will be with thee in them, & ſtrengthen thee to overcome them, hee will be with thee in the houre of death, when all thy friends, thy pleaſures, and profits will forſake thee, and then he will bring thee to Chriſt; and therefore pray for him, and acknowledge his great mercy in Chriſt, who hath taught thee thus to pray, and whatſoever thou neglecteſt, neglect not private praier, and howſoever thou doeſt, ſeeke for continuall knowledge, that your praiers may be according to the Word of God; for if they bee not ſuch, then are they turned into ſinne, and then thou haſt nothing to relieve, comfort, or reconcile G2thy 130G2v 130 thy ſelfe to God againe: for as concerning all the ſinnes, that a man hath fallen into, through the frailtie of nature, he hath beene reconciled to God by faithfull prayer; but if your praiers be not at all, or not as they ought to bee, then all your helpe is in vaine.
God accepts weake Prayers.
It is a very weake Prayer that God will not accept it if be rightly made. I ſpeake thus much, becauſe I would not have you diſcouraged, and thinke you had as good not pray at al, as pray weakly for the almighty God acceptethcepteth 131G3r131 teth your obedience and wel meaning, that you will prepare your ſelves to pray as wel as your can. But if thou ſee thy ſelfe neglect private prayer, be ſure that ſatan hath ſomthing to worke againſt thee; and by this you may underſtand, that there are none that ever did or ſhall periſh, but it was, becauſe either they did not pray at all, or elſe becauſe they did not pray as God hath warranted them in his word. Me thinks if I were a man and a preacher of Gods word, as (I hope) ſome of your ſhall be, and I pray God for Chriſts ſake, you may, I ſurely perſwade my ſelfe, that through Gods grace I ſhould bring many to pray rightly, which now G3pray 132G3v 132 pray unadviſedly or not at all. But thoſe that have gotten a cuſtome to pray after the invention of men, and contrary to the word of God, as to pray to Saints, to pray to Angels, to pray to our lady, to pray in a tongue they underſtand not, to pray to the dead, to pray for the dead, to pray to goe to purgatory; theſe, I ſay, you may pray for, that they may not uſe ſuch prayers any longer, but to perſwade them, is almoſt as vain as their praiers. Yet once againe I ſay unto you, Pray: for you have no promiſe except you Pray. Aske, and you ſhall have Mat.7.7. (ſaith Chriſt) he doth not ſay, you ſhall have, whether you aske or no: but he ſaith, Aske, and you 133G4r133 you ſhall have. Was not this a great mercy of our Saviour Jeſus Chriſt to proffer us, if we would but aske, we ſhould have. Surely, I thinke hee were a very unworthy perſon, that would thinke much to aske a thing, for which he might be the better forever. If a maſter ſhould ſay to his ſervant, when ſuch a leaſe comes out, aske mee for it, and I will let thee have a verie good peniworth in it: becauſe thou haſt ſpent thy time in my ſervice and in attending upon me, therefore I would have you get ſomething to live upon hereafter to defend the world withall, that thou maieſt not begge when thou art old: and this were a very reaſonable thing. G4Now 134G4v 134 Now the Maſter being a worthy man, and fully reſolved to do his ſervant good, when the time comes, he conſiders with himſelfe, at how eaſie rate hee may ſet the rent of his farme for him to live upon, and yet give ſome attendance upon him ſtill. The time being come, he expecteth when he ſhould aske; but if the ſervant thinkes much to aske, it is tenne to one but his Maſters minde will bee cleane altered, although he were never ſo fully bent to deale liberally with him, and ſaith to himſelfe, If it be not worth the asking, it ſhall bee worth the keeping; or, If it be not worth the asking, it is not worth thanks: and very likely hee will thinke worſe of 135G5r135 of his ſervant, then ever hee did before, becauſe he would not aske it, and think he is growne proud, and ſcorned his gentle offer. Now if the Maſter will not give his ſervant the thing ſo promiſed, becauſe he wil not aske him, although indeede he ought in conſcience to give him ſomething; for God ſaith, Let not thy ſervant goe away a poore man; how doſt thou thinke thou ſhalt receive the thing which our Saviour hath promiſed, upon the ſame condition that thou ſhouldeſt aske, when thou haſt deſerved nothing at his hands, but he of his own free mercy hath bought thee, and paid a deere price for thee, and thou haſt done nothing G5for 136G5v 136 for him, but for thy beggerlineſſe he biddeth thee aske and thou ſhalt have? What canſt thou looke to obtaine, when our Saviour Chriſt hath preciſely told thee, thou muſt aske, & yet thou refuſeſt to doe it? Enter into thy chamber, Mat.6.6. ſaith he, and ſhut thy doore. Although everie place will ſerve, yet it pleaſeth Chriſt to name thy chamber, becauſe he would have a man without accumberances. Every man findeth one place, or other to lodge in; let them then finde the ſame place, or ſome place elſe to pray privately in. Shut the doore (ſaith Chriſt) as if he ſhould ſay, ſhut thy ſelfe from the world, and ſhut the world from thee; it may bee thou 137G6r137 thou haſt ſome thing to ſay to mee, that thou wouldeſt not have the world to heare. Oh the mercy, the wonderfull mercie of Chriſt to man how hee became man for man. And hee knew the nature of man, that hee would bee loath that everie one ſhould know the corruption which was in him, and therefore ſaid, come to me alone, & ſhut the doore, no body ſhall know, what is betwixt thee and me. I know thy ſinnes alreadie, but I would know whether thou knoweſt them or no; for manie a man ſinneth and knoweth it not, becauſe hee knoweth not my word: but if thou knoweſt them, confeſſe them to mee and I will give thee par- 138G6v 138 pardon for them: and if thou wilt leave them, & canſt aske helpe of me, I will give thee grace to overcome thēem; for I have overcome them all for thee, even in thine own fleſh, and thou through mine help ſhalt doe a greater worke; for thou being a ſinner, ſhalt overcome in thy ſelf, which is a greater worke then for me, which am God, and without ſin to overcome ſin: and yet not you, but I your Saviour, who dwell in all thoſe, that lay hold of me by true faith, for without me yee can doe nothing; & therefore come to me, follow my counſell, come ſecretly, let no body know of it for hindring you or for feare vaine glorie ſhould follow you, no man ſhall 139G7r139 ſhall neede to know of it, for I wil reward youu openly. Oh the wonderfull mercies of Chriſt to man, never able to be ſet out! he knew that man would be deſirous to have it known that he ſerved ſuch a worthy maſter as none could ſerve a better, that every one ſhold ſay he ſerved Chriſt, he ſerved the ſon of God, who will bring him to prefermēent. Everieone deſireth to have it knowne, that hee ſerveth a noble maſter, and therefore he will weare his cogniſance upon his ſleeve; that it may be knowne what an excellent man hee ſerves; for it is a great credit to ſerve a worthie maſter, and a man ſhall bee verie well accounted of for his ſake: but he that ſervethueth140G7v 140 veth a wicked and ungodly man, ſhall never bee ſo well thought of, becauſe his maſter is wicked, & he is oftentimes aſhamed of his maſters doings ſo that he will never bee a credit unto him; and therefore never ſerve a wicked man, although hee bee never ſo rich; for the deſire of man is to ſerve a maſter of credit, and that Chriſt knew: he knew alſo that man was loath to have his ſinnes openly knowne; and therefore out of his great mercie and wonderfull wiſdome, he appointed man to confeſſe his ſinnes privately, without The rewards of Chriſts ſervice are heavenly. which there can be no good praier. He told man, that he ſhould not neede to make ſhew of it unto the world; for he 140G8r141 he would reward him openly, and make it knowne, that he ſerved a good maſter indeede; for hee would give him ſuch graces and bleſſings, as all that knew him, ſhould perceive that he had them neither of the world, the fleſh, nor the diuell, nor of his owne nature: but it ſhould appeare, they were onely the gifts of the almightie God. Hee did not promiſe earth and earthly things, you may ſee; for every venemous earthworm, is full of theſe: the uſurer that is as farre from heaven as it is to hell, where if hee take not heede, in time hee may finde his part, he (I ſay) may bragge of his gold: the extortioner, whom God hatteth,teth, 142G8v 142 teth, may bragge of his ſilver: the covetous perſon, whom God abhorreth, hee may bragge what a deale of earth and earthly durt hee hath purchaſed, as the Prophet ſaith they loade themſelves with clay: Hab.2.6. he doth not ſay, God giveth it them; but they loade themſelves. Among theſe fooliſh and abominable people, whom the ſcripture ſpeaketh ſo much againſt, as againſt no man more, nor ſo much, I thinke ſtrumpets and whores, who for covetouſneſſe ſake ſell their ſoules and bodies, and make themſelves ſuch filthie veſſels in this earth, that it is moſt loathſome to thinke of, may bragge as well of their jewels and coſtly apparellrell 143G9r143 rell that the world beſtoweth upon them as anie other of theſe covetous wretches, whom God abhorreth, and giveth warning that no man ſhall ſpeake well of them, for the holy Ghoſt ſaith, Speake not good of the covetous whom God abhorreth. And that thou maieſt know it is no worldly traſh that God beſtoweth on thee: know, that the divell calleth himſelf the prince of this world: and ſo one would think he were; for theſe out ward things are moſt commonly beſtowed upon the wicked; but that which God will beſtow on thee, is a treaſure which the wicked ones have not, nor are never like to enjoy, except they leave their wicked waies, and goe private- 144G9v 144 privately to the Lord Jeſus Chriſt, and lay open their miſerable eſtate to him, and crave his pardon and grace to live a new life, and then he will give thee the greateſt treaſure that man can imagine, even a moſt heavenly treaſure: hee will give thee faith, which will bring thee to the everlaſting kingdome of heaven: he will give thee patience, to beare al the croſſes & troubles in the world: hee will give thee humilitie, which will fill thee full of grace, and make thee in favour with God and man: he will give thee his grace ſo plenteouſly, that thou wilt ſpeake alwaies the truth, and keepe thy promiſes, though it bee never ſo much to thy hinde- 145G10r145 hinderance in the ſight of the world. Nay, in the ſight of the world it muſt needs be a praiſe to thee, for the world ſeeth that every earth—worm can breake their promiſe or turne it ſo, that it is worſe then a promiſe breaking for it ſheweth that they are full of hyprocriſie, diſſemblers, and would ſerve the world, and would not have the Diuell know it: but the divell will not bee ſo deceived, hee maketh account the world is his, and hee hampereth all thoſe that love it, in chaines, and hee will have the world know it, that it may bee a witneſſe on his ſide at the The danger of breaking promiſe. day of Judgement. Nay, his owne conſcience will bee a witneſſe againſt him at 146G10v 146 at the day of judgement, that breaketh his word, even at that dreadfull day, when the traſh, for which hee ſo lightly regarded his promiſe, ſhall bee conſumed with fire & brimſtone, then will hee wonder, hee could thinke it would bee ſo long before that day would come, and now ſeeing it is come, hee fully perſwadeth himſelfe, that his paine will never have an end. If thou thinkeſt, that breakers of their word have a roome in heaven, reade the fifteenth Pſalme. But what ſhould I ſpeake of a roome in heaven, when indeede they ought to have no roome amongſt civill men on the earth: nay, nor yet among the heathen? for 147G11r147 for it hath beene accounted ſo great a ſhame for a man to breake his promiſe, that hee would rather die, then it ſhould be ſayd that he were one of thoſe. But pray thou privately and faithfully, and God will not onely give thee power to keepe thy promiſe with men; but thou ſhalt alſo have grace to keepe thy word and promiſe thou haſt made to Almighty God, to forſake the divell, the world, and thine owne filthy affections: Which will ſhew openly that thou art the ſervant of God, and that God hath beſtowed his manifold graces and bleſſings upon thee, as Chriſt ſayd unto Peter, Fleſh and bloud hath not taught thee theſe things, but my Father 148G11v 148 Father which is in heaven. Matth.16. 17. So every one that beholdeth thee, will know, that neither the divell, the world, nor thine owne fleſh hath beſtowed theſe gifts on thee, but the Father which is in heaven. Bleſſed be the name of Chriſt for his bountifull goodneſſe beſtowed upon mankinde; he did not onely bid men pray, and promiſed they ſhould bee heard, but alſo told them to whom to pray; and becauſe men durſt not goe to God alone, hee bad them goe in his name, and promiſed that he would be there with them, and hee would be a Mediator, which none elſe could doe, and hee would make peace betweene God and them, and therfore any 149G12r149 any might boldly come to him; hee teacheth them where to aske: privately: and what to aske: the Holy Ghoſt, without the which, we are fire bands of hell: but if we have him, we are Saints in heaven, even joyned to Chriſt and as his members; and yet hee fearing all this would not ſerve, it was his greateſt mercy to ſhew us more concerning two men, which were praying, and Luk.18.10 made us acquainted how they prayed, and how they ſped. Chriſt ſaith, There was Phariſie and a Publicane went into the Temple to pray. The Phariſie was one that thoght himſelfe a juſt man, and deſpiſed others. The Publican accounted himſelfe a ſinner openly 150G12v 150 openly knowen. The Phariſie ſtood up and prayd, and ſayd, I thanke thee, oh Father, I am not as other men are, nor like this Publican: I faſt twice in a weeke: and give tithe of all that I have. Now you may ſee who they bee, that ſay I faſt, or we faſt: as if they ſhould ſay, I feare it ſhall never bee known that it is I, or we that faſt and pray, and pay tithe of all that we have, and that we deale juſtly and keep the commandements. But the Publican ſtood afarre off, and durſt not look up to heaven, but ſmote on his breaſt, and ſayd, Lord, be mercifull to mee a ſinner. Heere you ſee wee muſt humble ourſelves, and confeſſe our ſinnes; for Chriſt ſaith, Hee went away juſtified rather 151H1r151 rather then the other: for hee that humbleth himſelfe ſhall be exalted; and hee that exalteth himſelfe, ſhall bee brought low. Alſo hee willeth alwayes to pray, and not to waxe faint, ſaying: There was a certaine Judge in a city, which neither feared God, nor reverenced man, and there was a widdow in the city, which ſayd, Doe me juſtice againſt mine adverſarie; but he would not for a time; yet afterwards hee ſayd, Although I feare not God, nor reverence man, yet will I doe her juſtice, leſt at the laſt ſhee chance to weary me, And the Lord ſayd, Here what the unrighteous Judge ſaith, And ſhall not God avenge the cauſe of his Elect, which cry and call day & night upon him? Luk.18.20 And therfore pray Hcon- 152H1v 152 continually. And doe not thinke (my ſonnes) that I have ſpoken too much of prayer; for as I ſayd before, without it wee have no promiſe to obtaine any favor of God, nor yet to be kept frōom any evill by God, and therefore doe it. You muſt needes alſo bee thankefull to God for his mercies in Chriſt, & moſt humbly thank Chriſt, who hath thus mercifully taught you to pray, and give God thankes who hath brought you into the world in ſuch a time, when as you may bee taught to pray according to his word; and I beſeech him, that you may pray according to his counſell.
No certaine rule for private prayer.
Now I would have you know, that privat praier is for every mans privat uſe; and therfore there is no certaine rule, neither can words be ſet downe what ye ſhould ſay: for though we be all ſinners, yet ſome are more troubled with one ſinne, ſome with another, and ſome are troubled becauſe they cannot bee troubled ſo much with their ſinnes as they deſire, which ſort Chriſt calleth unto him, ſaying, Come unto me, all yee that labour and are laden, and I will eaſe you. Matth.11. 28. H2But 154H2v 154 But although all ſinnes dwel in us, and wee are ſubject to them (wherfore Chriſt ſaith, Yee had neede watch and pray) Matth.26. 41. Yet there is in every one of us, ſome one ſinne, that will draw to a head & beare ſom rule in us, and will not bee ſubject nor ſubdued to the Spirit, as the childe of God would have it: but then hee goeth to Chriſt, and craveth his aſſiſtance, and yet ſometime the ſinne wil overcome him, and then he goeth and confeſſeth his ſinne againe, and craveth pardon, confeſſing withall his owne weakeneſſe, that he ſhould bee overcome of ſo vile and baſe an affection. And thus every one ought to ſeek by praier to God, to get victory of that 155H3r155 that ſinne, which otherwiſe would overcome, and deſtroy him body and ſoule for ever and ever.
Divers men troubled with divers ſinnes.
Some are troubled moſt with envie, ſome with pride, ſome with anger, ſome with covetouſneſſe, and ſome with ſloth, &c. All theſe with a companie that attend on them, ſet upon everie man, but one muſt be captaine; then overcome the captaine, and all the army will be diſcomfited. In warres, if the Captaine prevaile,H3uaile, 156H3v 156 vaile, the ſouldiers will ruinate the Cittie: even ſo it is with ſinne, if the chiefe ſin getteth the victorie, it will let in a great number of enemies that wil never leave, untill they have utterlie ruinated and brought to confuſion the whole bodie and ſoule of a man; and therefore everie one ought to pray to God, for helpe and aſſiſtance againſt his greateſt temptation; for if we overcome that, the reſt will flie, as S. James ſaith, Resſiſt the divell, and he will fly from thee. Iam.4.7. And this will be a great comfort to any man, when hee ſeeth his enemy cannot triumph over him: then the divell ſhall have no cauſe to laugh in his face, nor the world 157H4r157 world to jeſt behinde his backe, neither can his owne affections brave nor upbraid him: but hee ſhall have a greater comfort then this; for by obtaining this victorie, he ſhall be ſure to bee ſervant and ſouldier to the moſt worthy Captaine that ever was. Yet hee muſt acknowledge that hee got the victorie by the helpe of his Captaine; and ſo long as hee is a ſouldier under him, hee ſhall alwaies have the victorie: for the divell himſelfe is afraide of this Captaine, the world will flie at his preſence, and thine owne affections will fall downe before thee, if hee come.
Be not hurt by a little temptation.
There is another thing, which I muſt admoniſh you of, that ye be not overcome of a little temptation; for that is the baſeſt thing in the world: even as if a great Captaine ſhould bee overcome of a meane ſouldier, that had neither might nor policy, which muſt needes returne with ſhame to the Captaine. But it is much more ſhame for a Chriſtian, that hath vowed to forſake the divell, the world, and his owne affections, to bee overcome by the weakeſt of 159H5r159 of them all. There be many that thinke if the divell overcome them not in a great ſin, all is well, though that indeede he ſet them on work continually on trifles, and by this meanes keepe men in ſome device or other. Hee cares not what they doe, ſo they ſerve not God, and ſo he may blindfold them that they cannot ſee their owne ſinnes. And thus they are in a very dangerous and evill caſe, and know not what they doe; yet they ſhadow their folly, that the world may not perceive it, & then they thinke it is well enough. Thus the divell leads them quietly to hell, and they never know whither they are going, til H5they 160H5v 160 they come there; even as a winde carrieth a ſhip, and they that are in it, know not where they ſhall bee ſet on ſhore For the divell is a cunning fowler, he will never lay a great baite, where hee knowes, a little one wil ſerve the turne; and hee is ſo full of policy, that hee ſeeth a great baite would make the partie afraide to come neere it: but thus doth the divell, firſt hee giveth a little baite, and ſaith to him whom hee meaneth to catch, I warrant thee, thou maieſt take this, goe neere it, taſte of it, it will not hurt thee, many ſwallow a greater baite then this, and thou ſeeſt no hurt come of it: as hee ſaid to Eve, It is but an apple, it may 161H6r161 may doe thee much good, to bring thee to knowledge, and make thee like a God. And therefore now wee ſee, wee had neede ſet a ſpeciall watch over our ſelves, that we may ſpy the divel, when hee goeth about thus to intrap us in his engines, with his alluring baits againe, and when hee offereth us any of them, may ſay: I defie thee, Sathan, and by Gods grace have knowledge that thou art a wicked ſerpent, and diddeſt deceive our firſt Parents with an apple. I will not play with thy baits, bee they never ſo ſweete, pleaſant, or beautifull. I know thy ſubtiltie, and I know that I serve a Captaine, Chriſt 162H6v 162 Chriſt, that thou art afraide of, and he will bring us to a happier Paradice, then thou didſt put us out of, and hee will make mee like a God, and renue the image that thou didſt decay in us. Thou didſt ſcoffe at mee, and ſaidſt, I ſhould have knowledg, when thou wouldeſt have utterlie overthrowne mee; yet I have this knowledge (I thanke the almightie God for it) that now I ſee thy policy, and how thou cameſt to our Parents, when they were alone; thou thoughteſt they could not ſtand by themſelves: but thou ſhalt never finde mee alone; I know I cannot ſtand by my ſelfe, and therefore I draw neere 163H7r163 neere unto my Lord and Saviour Jeſus Chriſt by faith, and I will attend upon him, and will not leave his Commaundement undone, for all thy baits and alluremēents thou canſt ſhew mee in the world, where thou calleſt thy ſelfe Prince but thou getteſt it by wicked policy, and thou ruleſt it by a wicked tyranny, deſtroying the good, and maintaining the wicked, & beſtoweſt thy traſh on them not for any love thou beareſt to them, but to make them thy wicked inſtruments, that thou maieſt doe the more hurt by them And as ſoone as they have ſerved thy turne a while, thou wilt bring them to ſhame 164H7v 164 ſhame in this world, and everlaſting deſtruction in hell fire. And therefore now I would have thee know, that I have knowledge, and perceive that all theſe uſurping tyrants have learned all their miſchievous policies of thee, uſing all meanes they can poſſibly, to deſtroy the good, and with their paltrie traſh, which they call their wealth, they winne the wicked to their wils; and when they have their purpoſe a while, they will picke ſome quarrell againſt them, although they have no reaſon for it, and although they follow their wicked wils never ſo much, yet in the ende they will overcome them. And ſo, Sa- 165H8r165 Sathan, doſt thou deale with all that ſerve thee; and therefore thou art an uſurping tyrant: for the earth is my Lords, who hath made it, and all that is therein; and that which belongeth unto thee, is nothing but that traſh, that he careth not for: it is like tares, and the worſer ſort of graine, more fit to feede ſwine, then for the children of ſo mightie a King as my Lord is, who hath ſuch treaſure for thoſe that belong unto him, as thou ſhalt never come neere. Yet this is thy deſpight and envie, becauſe thou canſt get none of it thy ſelfe, thou wouldeſt have mee have none of it neither. But thou ſhalt not de- 166H8v 166 deceive me with theſe earththen baits, which one day my almightie God ſhall ſet on fire about their eares that love them ſo well, when themſelves ſhall be ſuddenly ſtrangled with the ſmoak thereof: and it makes mee marvell, how thou ſhouldeſt deceive ſo many as thou doſt with them; for once my gracious Lorde drowned them & all that loved them, & many times he ſinketh very much traſh in the ſea, that Pirats might ſee they ſhall ſinke one day, and all thoſe that ſell their ſoules for ſuch traſh, except they turne ſpeedily unto my Lord and Saviour Jeſus Chriſt, who is a Saviour, and will ſave all ſinners that turne 167H9r167 turne unto him. But thou art a deſtroyer, and wilt deſtroy all thoſe that follow thee: thou knoweſt my Lord burnt Sodome and Gomorrha, with other Cities, which were full of the gliſtering droſſe, to ſhew that hee cared no more for it, then Kings do for counters: for if he had reſpected it, he would never have burnt it, and conſumed it with fire: Yet thou, Sathan, doeſt deceive worldly wiſe—men, giving them droſſe for gold, which is no better then copper counters, and in the mean time thou makeſt thēem deceive themſelves of an everlaſting treaſure. Earthly treaſure may bee compared to glaſſe, which is ſo brittle 168H9v 168 brittle a metall, it can never continue long; for as it might bee, now a man hath it to doe him good, and in the turning of a hand it is broken and worth nothing. even ſo it is with the traſh and pelfe of this world, and the life of a man which is but a breath, and what can be of leſſe power then a breath. The Scripture ſaith it is like a vapour, which appeareth ſuddenly, and is as ſuddenly gone again; Jam.4.14. Chriſt ſaith, Thou foole, this night ſhall they take away thy ſoule from thee, and whoſe things ſhall theſe bee that thou haſt gathered together? flawed-reproductionapproximately 3 letters12.20. If our Saviour Chriſt calleth him a foole, that careth for earthly things, I know he is a foole, and therforefore 169H10r169 fore thou ſhalt not make me ſo ſimple, but thou ſhalt make mee wiſe; for I will ever be watchfull, and wary in all my waies, continually attending upon the Sonne of God, Chriſt Jeſus, my Lord and Saviour, that thou maieſt not finde mee alone. I will alſo keepe company with the godly, by which meanes the way of my Saviour will bee made more eaſie for me; for when many godly men are together, they incourage one another to that which is good.
Idleneſſe and covetouſneſſe to be avoided.
Now though every ſinne bee a great hinderance to praier, yet idleneſſe and covetouſneſſe are two of the greateſt; and therefore wee ought moſt earneſtly to pray againſt theſe ſins, and to take heed of ſuch ſports and recreations, which have no warrant in the Word of God for many are ſo carried away with idleneſſe and paſtimes, that they can find no time to pray; and therefore we had need to be very circumſpect, and watchfull over our ſelves, leſt wee bee ſnared 171H11r171 ſnared with this part of the divels policy: for if a man take not heed, Sathan will fill his heart ſo full of theſe vaine and idle paſtimes, that hee ſhall never have any regard of preparing himſelfe to pray. God ſaith, Six dayes thou ſhalt labour, and doe all that thou haſt to doe; Exo.20.9 and therfore be ſure there is no time appointed in theſe ſix dayes to follow your idle pleaſures and ſports; and the ſeventh day, we muſt keepe holy. The holy Ghoſt ſaith, Whatſoever is not of faith is ſinne; Ro.14.23 and thou canſt do nothing of faith, except thou haſt good warrant for it in the Word of God: and the Word of God ſaith, Redeeme the time, for the dayes are evill.vill. 172H11v 172 vill. Ephe.5 16 And thou canſt not redeeme the time with vain recreations. I ſpeake not to bar anie from lawfull recreation, but to warn you to take heed that for a little fooliſh and idle pleaſure, which preſently commeth to an end, you loſe not a glorious kingdom which endureth for ever. And this Kingdome can never bee gotten without private, true and faithfull praier; for although Chriſt hath alreadie obtained it for us, yet we have no promiſe of it, except wee lay hold of him by faith, which faith wee can never have, except wee pray for the holie Ghoſt to enlighten us, and teach us to laie hold on Chriſt. You muſt continually call for mercie 173H12r173 mercie and grace; mercie for thy ſinne, and grace to ſerve God. And this I am well aſſured of, that hearing of the Word preached, is the verie meanes that God hath appointed for obtaining of faith, and by no means may wee neglect that, except you will contemne the counſell of the Holy Ghoſt, which I pray God for Chriſts ſake you may never doe. The holie Ghoſt telleth you, that Paul planteth, and Apollo watereth, but God giveth the encreaſe. 1.Cor.3.6 So you muſt alwaies have your praiers aſcending to the Almightie God to deſire him to ſend the ſhowers of his grace into your hearts, that the ſeede of his Word may grow, and bring foorth fruit 174H12v 174 fruit to everlaſting life.
A dangerous let of prayer.
Iwill let you underſtand in my judgement, what is one of the greateſt hinderances unto ptrayer that can be, but it is ſo cloſe and ſubtil an enemy unto mankind, that I can by no meanes diſcover it ſo well as I would; for it is ſo cunning, and ſo forcible an allurance of the Divell, that it draweth many more from true & faithful prayer, then any net that ever hee layd: but I cannot well tell, which way to deſcribe it unto you. I cannot ſay, 175I1r175 ſay, that it is altogether covetouſneſſe: for as David ſaith, If it had beene an open enemie, that had done mee this diſhonour, I could have borne it; Pſal.56. 12. So I may ſay, If it were an open ſinne, which would deprive you of this benefit of prayer, peradvēenture I ſhould finde ſome way to diſgrace it unto you; but it is a thing that carrieth ſome colour of goodneſſe, even amongſt them that thinke themſelves good, and yet indeede it is ſtarke naught, and deceiveth a multitude, & it frequenteth every place, city and towne, and among all ſorts of people, husband—men, tradeſmen, and all kindes of arts and profeſſions in the world: ſo that I cannot, as I would Itell 176I1v 176 tell you which way to ſhun it: I would to God it were not amongſt Preachers. Now as well as I can I will explaine it unto you: it is an over—much care of thoſe things which a man may lawfully uſe. For man being earth, thoſe earthly things beare much ſway in his mind, and eſpecially becauſe they carry the name of a lawfull: and ſo they make a man forget the Law of God, and neglect the duty of Prayer; the which two things being overſlipped, hee loſeth the promiſe of the goſpel, which is an everlaſting kinngdome. And that it is thus, I will make it more plaine unto you, becauſe I hope God wil give you grace to ſhunne it, whtich 177I2r177 which I deſire you may for Chriſts ſake. Man beeing earth, and Sathan being the Prince of this earth, hee labours to ſet mens earthen mindes altogether on this earthen world, which he may eaſily doe: for man beeing earth by nature, & naturally enclined to love earthlie things, he is the more eaſilie drawen unto this earthlie affection. It is even as if a man ſhould runne downe a ſteep hill, hee can more eaſilie run downe, then goe up ſoftlie: even ſo man can eaſier run after theſe earthlie thinges, then ſtay himſelfe in a mean. He hath nothing to help his earthly nature, but grace; which hee muſt needes pray for, or els he can never have I2it; 178I2v 178 it; yet doth hee follow the things of the earth ſo much, that hee hath no leaſure to pray for it. In the night, when he ſhould meditate on the Law of God by the appointment of the H. Ghoſt, he is thinking of ſome earthlie thing or other, either of this bargaine, or that purchaſe, or ſuch like; when oftentimes he might be much more happie to bee without it. And mee thinkes, hee that can think of heaven & have it, is well enough: but theſe kinde of people would have heaven and earth too. It is ſayd, It is as hard a matter for a rich man to be ſaved, as for a Camell to creepe thorow the eye of a needle. Matth.19. 24. And this is the cauſe of it, his head is ſo buſiedſied 179I3r179 ſied about earthlie thinges that be lawfull, that hee forgets to meditate of the Law of God in the night. And in the morning when he ſhould pray, before hee can ſettle himſelfe to it, his earthly buſines is ſo much, & requires ſo great haſte, that then hee cannot ſtay to pray; but if hee doe, they are ſuch prayers as ſome offer to their Saints: they ſpeake of God, but their hearts are on the world: ſome are troubled with their marchandize, ſom with buying & ſelling, ſome coveting to grow rich, ſome caſting to maintain their families, but their riches are ſo unlawfully uſed, and ſo hard a matter it is for them to uſe them lawfully, that it cannot I3by 180I3v 180 by any meanes be expreſſed. But the moſt mercifull and mighty God hath taught man what to doe in ſuch a caſe, which is to meditate in his lawes day and night, & then he ſhall bring forth his fruit in due ſeaſon, and ſhall know when to ſerve God, and when to deale in the world. Take heed therfore: you ſee what danger you are in, whileſt you are heere on earth; for this is a dangerous diſeaſe, and many die of it; and therfore cleave to the mercies of god in Jeſus Chriſt, which hath given you ſuch warning of this deſperate diſeaſe, ſaying, Labor not for the meat that periſheth, but for the foode of everlaſting life. Ioh.6.27. Thus you ſee, what Chriſt ſaith 181I4r181 ſaith, hee biddes you not labour for earthly things, he tels you, they perish; he bids you labour for the food of the ſoule, which ſhal never have end. The holy Ghoſt ſaith, Bodily labour profiteth little; but godlineſſe is profitable to all things, which hath the promiſe of the life preſent, and of that which is to come. 1.Tim.4. 8. Heere you ſee godlineſſe hath the promiſe of the life preſent, and therefore I marvell men ſhould refuſe to be godly: it hath the promiſe of the life preſent, and of the life to come; whereas worldlineſſe hath not ſo much promiſe, as of the life preſent. Godlineſſe is great gaine. 1.Tim.6.6. Would you have gaine? then embrace godlineſſe; ſo ſhall you have I4your 182I4v 182 your deſire: for that purchaſeth a Kingdome, and it is profitable for all things. Seeke firſt the Kingdome of God, and all things elſe ſhall be miniſtred unto you. Mat.6.33 Heere Chriſt promiſeth, that if you will ſerve God, all worldly things ſhall bee given you. Chriſt ſaith, Care not for tomorrow; let to morrow care for it ſelfe, the day hath enough with his owne griefe. Mat.6.34 Heere you ſee, Chriſt would not have you care ſo much for theſe earthly things, as you doe. Caſt all your care upon God; for hee careth for you. Pſal.37.5. Heere you ſee, that God diſchargeth you of all your earthlie cares, and telleth you, that he taketh care for you, as if he ſhould ſay, Your care 183I5r183 care can doe you no good, and therefore take none: ſerve mee, and I will take care for you: as if a father ſhould ſay to his ſonne, Goe to the ſchoole of learning, ſtudy to ſerve God, your King and Countrie, and I wil provide you all things neceſſarie, and you ſhall want nothing. Labour for learning, or elſe you can never get it; that is a thing, which I cannot buy for you; you muſt get it by your owne induſtrie and diligent ſtudie, if you will have it, it is more worth then all I can leave you beſides. It will be a wiſe maſter to teach you, a diligent ſervant to attend you, a diſcreet Counſellour to admoniſh I5you, 184I5v 184 you, a witneſſe of the well ſpending of your time, a faithfull friend, and of great account, able to credit thee even with Princes: and theſe things cannot by anie means be gotten without thine own diligent ſtudy. Even ſo our loving father in Chriſt tels us by the mouth of his Son our Saviour, that we ſhould not care for theſe earthlie things, for they ſhall bee given unto us: but wee muſt care for the Kingdome of heaven; for that cannot bee gotten without care and labouring for; and this is a thing worth our labour, this is a kingdome, and laſteth for ever; it will bring comfort to your hearts, even in this life, and bring you in favouruour 185I6r185 vour with God and all good men, and everlaſting happineſſe without woe, want, or end. Furthermore I will tell you, what cauſe you have to take care for this kingdom: if you loſe it, you fal into a pit of everlaſting deſtructiōon, where you ſhall be tormented with fire and brimſtone for ever and ever, where no man ſhal ever come out againe; for there is no redemption: and therefore by all meanes poſſible I adviſe you to take heede. Chriſt endured the pains of hell for you, becauſe he pittied you, & knew you were not able to overcome them. Therefore you may beleeve mee, if you could beare al the pains of hel one houre, and then could bee deli- 186I6v 186 delivered, you would never come there againe for all the world, nay you would never love the world, nor anie thing that is in it, becauſe they are nothing but baits to draw men to deſtruction. But if the Divell get you once there, you can never come back agtaine & Chriſt will never fetch you from him; for the Divell and hee are enemies, and he is able to live without anie of his ſervants: for thoſe that will ſerve him, ſhall have an everlaſting Kingdome, and live in joy and happineſſe: and thoſe that will ſerve the divell, he will torment them in fire and brimſtone for ever. Now if Sathan can get anie to ſerve him, hee is worthiethie 187I7r187 thie to have them; for Chriſt will none of them: and therfore I tell them now, if they come once in hell with the divel, they ſhall never come in heaven with Chriſt; for he is juſt, and will not meddle with the ſervants of anoter. But if anie ſee his filthie and baſe waies, and conſider the miſerable and wretched eſtate it will bring him unto, and then turne to me (ſaith Chriſt) and defie the Divell and all his workes; and ſerve me, I will ſave him; for I am a Saviour, and that is my name, and my glorie: for there is no Saviour but my ſelfe, I came into the world to save ſinners, but not ſuch ſinners as will ſerve the Divell; for though there be none inthe 188I7v 188 the world but ſinners, yet thoſe that love me, and keep my commandements, them will I ſave; but them that ſerve the Divell, I will deſtroy and torment them. Although all are ſinners, yet thoſe ſinners that plucke up their ſinnes, as a Gardiner pulleth up his weedes, and caſt them behinde them, and follow me; although they be weake, and feare that they cannot overtake mee, yet I will put forth my hand, and take hold of them, they ſhall not need to feare. The bruiſed reede will I not breake, and ſmoking flaxe will I not quench: I came to binde up the broken— hearted, to preach liberty to the captives, & to cōomfort them that mourne: let all that labour and are 189I8r189 are heavy laden, come to mee and I will eaſe them; Matth.12. 20. but thoſe that follow their ſinnes, and are merrie and joyfull, and carrie them lightlie, and never feele any waight in them, they never call for helpe to beare them, they carrie them well enough, they dance after the Divels pipe, they follow the divell more ſwiftlie, then my ſervants follow mee: for they follow nature, and the Divell helpeth them forward, and the world is a friend to them both, and they like laden aſſes follow the Divell with his treaſure, and make him their Lord and Maſter; and yet ſome of them will not ſticke to ſay, they hope, I will ſave them, though I have often told 190I8v 190 told them, I will not ſave none but my ſervants, and I will not meddle with them; for if they will ſerve mee, they muſt cleane forſake mine enemy the divell: for hee is an enemy to me & all mine, and doth all the deſpight againſt us, that hee can; and I will not ſave him that will ſerve mine enemy; & therefore let them never preſume upon my mercy: For I have told them, that the hope of the ungodly shall periſh. Hee that is an ungodly perſon, a ſwearer, a drunkard, a prophaner of the Sabbaoth, falſe in religion, careleſſe in religion, careleſſe in life, and yet hopes to be ſaved by me, his hope is in vaine, and grounded upon no foundation; for I neveruer 191I9r191 ver made promiſe to ſave any ſuch: and therefore they have no reaſon to ſay, they hope I will ſave them, except they ſpeedily returne from the divell, and his wayes, and follow mee and my waies; for I have plainely told them, He that will be my Diſciple, muſt forſake himſelfe, take up his croſſe and follow mee, and aſſuredly I will ſave him. Mat.16.24 Now tell mee, how would a man like one that ſhould ſerve his utter enemy, and doe what his enemy could deviſe to hurt and grieve him, and then when hee had done all the hurt, that hee could againſt him, when he could do no more then hee would come to him, and thinke to have a great 192I9v 192 great bleſſing and a great benefit of him? hee ſhould ſurely bee deceived. Then with what face can a ſinner goe to Chriſt to ſave him when hee dieth, who would never ſerve Chriſt while he lived? Though God had commanded him to caſt all his care upon him, for hee would care for him, yet hee hath ſpent almoſt all his time in ſerving the world, the fleſh, and the divell.
Reaſons of caſting our care upon God.
Iwil tell you great reaſon, 1 why you ought to caſt all your care upon God, and none 193I10r193 none upon the world; for God is our Father, our Maker, and governour, and our feeder: Chriſt is our Saviour. Now the father and governour knoweth, what is fit for the childe, better then the childe; for the then the childe would ſurfet, if hee might have his owne will; therefore let him be content with that which his governour 2 will give him. Another great reaſon why wee ſhould caſt all our care upon God, is, becauſe when the divell maketh all his poyſonous baits, wherewith hee draweth an innumerable company of ſoules to hell, hee covereth them all with ſome worldly thing or other, that they may not ſee the 194I10v 194 the hooke; ſome hee covereth with gold, ſome with ſilver, ſome with earth, ſome with clay, ſome with honour, ſome with beautie, ſome with one thing, and ſome with another. Hee will not lay all his baits alike; for hee is cunninger then a fiſher: hee knoweth a little bait, will ſerve for a little fiſh, nor a little bait will not ſerve to catch a great fiſh. And beſides this, hee muſt have the alteration of baits, as the cunning fiſher well knoweth; but with theſe baits hee muſt have a ſharpe hooke to take them, and a long line to draw them to him- 195I11r195 himſelfe. So ſoone as hee ſeeth they have ſwallowed the ſweet bait, hee lets them play a while with it, but before it be long, hee draweth them out of the ſweeete ſtreame, the water of life, and throweth them into a panne of boyling liquor: and as ſometime the fiſher is faine to intangle the fiſhes with his nets, and ſo take them: even ſo Sathan findeth the humour of every man, and then he ſearcheth in the world to finde a bait fit for him, & having found the bait he preſently poyſoneth it: then hee puts in a hooke and a line, to draw him from the pure ſweete ſtreame, the water of Life, the Word of God: and then he 196I11v 196 hee lets them play a while with the poyſoned baits of the world, and ſo drawes them to him, and throwes them into a furnace of boyling brimſtone, whoſe boyling ſhall never end. Now there is none that can keepe us from the baits of the diuell, but onely God our Father, our governour, our Saviour, our ſanctifier; and had wee not neede then caſt all our care upon God, ſince we are in ſo great a danger, and none can keepe us from the divell but hee? We cannot keepe our ſelves from the baits of the divell, no more then children can guide themſelves in all their wayes, to feed, learne, governe, & clothe themſelves, vvith- 197I12r197 without the helpe of their father and governour. Shall the children depend onely uppon their father and governour, and ſhall not wee depend only upon our God, that is our Maker, our Father, and our governour? and who? when wee fell from him, and followed the counſel of the divel, ſent his onely Sonne to die for us, and to indure the paines of hell for us? the holy Ghoſt ſaith, If hee hath given his ſonne for us, will hee not with him give us all things alſo? Ro.8.32. And yet ſhal we not dare to depend upon him? Is he not able to dry up the waters of the red Sea, that thou mighteſt goe on foot dry-ſhodde thorow? Cannot hee raine thee 198I12v 198 thee Manna, that thou needſt not ſtarve? Cannot our God give thee water out of the rocke? He giveth thee water out of the rocke Chriſt every day: Oh that thou wouldeſt receive it! But I know what thou wouldeſt have; thou wouldeſt have Quailles to fulfill thy luſts: for luſt when it conceiveth, bringeth forth ſinne, and ſinne when it is finiſhed, bringeth forth death.. Iam.1.15. Then maiſt thou cry, Oh wretched man that I am, who ſhall deliver me from the body of this death? I thanke God through Jeſus Chriſt our Lord, it is hee that muſt deliver me from this body of death. Ro.7.24. And yet thou wilt not follow him, nor depend upon him. Another rea- 199K1r199 reaſon why thou ſhouldeſt follow Chriſt and depend upon him, is, becauſe if the divell finde thee at any time alone, thou canſt not eſcape his hands: and therfore my greateſt deſire is, that I might perſwade you to caſt all your care uppon God, and none upon the world: nay, I pray God, that Chriſt 4. may prevaile with you, for hee hath gone about to perſwade you already, and told you a reaſon, for hee careth for you: and if hee careth for you, you need no more care, for you ſhall bee well provided for: therefore obey him, caſt all your care upon him, and care not for this world; live as hee hath appointed you, labour in Kyour 200K1v 200 your vocation ſixe dayes, and keepe the ſeventh holy to the Lord, and in all your labour uſe no kinde of deceit, nor deſire to bee rich. Doe you labour in your vocation, and be ſure you pray morning and evening, and at noone, and at all times, & heare and read the Word of God, & meditate on that day and night, and follow Chriſt and take holde on him by faith; let that be all your care, and for your bodily goods take no care. If you dare not truſt God with your bodies, who feedeth them as you ſee every day, how dare you truſt him with your ſoules, which you cannot well diſcerne by reaſon of your earthly nature? You 201K2r201 You have a promiſe for your bodies, if you wil ſerve God and keepe his Commandements; and yet many dare not truſt him, they would ſerve him with all their hearts, if they durſt truſt his Word. If they ſhould looſe their mortall bodies, it were but a ſmall matter, for they muſt have an end. And for your ſoules you have but his Word and promiſe, upon condition that you follow Chriſt, and take hold of him by faith: now if your neglect the condition, the promiſe is void: and yet you ſay, you durſt truſt God with your ſoules, when you never goe about to keepe his Commaunndements: you never follow K2Chriſt 202K2v 202 Chriſt, nor take holde of him by faith, nor have you any experience by your bodies, for you never durſt truſt Chriſt. David ſaith, I have killed a Lion & a Beare, and therefore I dare venture on this uncircumciſed Philiſtine. 1.Sam.17 34.35 If he had ſuffered the Lion and the Beare to have overcome him, hee had never overcome the Giant, & then had he never bin made the Kings ſonne. So if thou wilt overcome that great Goliah, thou muſt firſt kill the Lion and the Beare: thou muſt firſt overcom the temptations of the world, if thou meaneſt to overcome the divell, and ſo bee made the Kings ſonne of heaven.
Againſt immoderate care.
Ovr Saviour ſaith, Care not for to morrow, let to morrow care for it ſelfe; the day hath enough with his owne griefe. Heere you ſee, that our Saviour pitties you, that you will take ſuch care, and willeth you that you ſhould not take care for the next morrow, becauſe you do not know, whether you ſhall live till then or no; for Chriſt ſainth. Thou foole, this night will take away thy ſoule from thee. Lu.12.20. As if Chriſt ſhould ſay, If thou dyeſt with taking care for this world, thou loſeſt the kingdomeK3dome 204 K3v 204 dome of heaven, and thou ſhalt lye burning in hel fire. Then doeſt thou not ſhew thy ſelfe a foole, to take ſo much care for this world, ſince thou knoweſt that hell fire is before thee, and thy goods are behinde thee, and thou knoweſt not who ſhall injoy them? If thou thinkeſt Pſal.39.6. thy children ſhall, thou knoweſt not whether they ſhall live or no, or ſpend and waſte them wickedly, as thou perhaps haſt gotten them, or whether they ſhall bee other waies deprived of them or no. A thouſand wayes may ſeparate thy ſonnes and their goods aſunder: thou knoweſt not but that the world may end: thou knoweſt not what ſhall become of thy 205K4r205 thy goods, or whether any body ſhal injoy them or not: and to ſay the truth, ſome of you make ſure worke that none ſhall injoy them; for whoſoever getteth thēem, were better bee without them, if they bee not gotten in the feare of God, and then they cannot bee enjoyed in the faith of Chriſt; for it is unlawfull to have ſtolne goods in thy houſe, and thy goods may bring a puniſhment upon thy children, and therefore thou art a foole, to take any care at all for or about theſe things, and thou art a foole becauſe thou doeſt care, yea and ſpend all thy care about theſe things. Thou knoweſt, if thou doeſt not ſpend K4thy 206K4v 206 thy time in the feare of God which is but the beginning of wiſedome, Prou.1.7. and in the faith of Chriſt, which is the end and finiſhing of wiſedom; thou thy ſelfe, thy body, and thy ſoule ſhal lye burning in hel fire for ever and ever, and there is no meanes for thee to be delivered. Thou maiſt turne thee and tumble thee in the fire of hell, and canſt never get out, & wonder at thy ſelfe, that thou wert ſuch a foole to take care for thoſe things which thou ſhouldeſt never know what became of them, and take little or no care for thy ſelf, when thou kneweſt, thou ſhouldeſt come to this miſerable and wretched ende, that ſhould never ende. Here 207K5r207 Here in the world none dare call a rich—man foole: but Chriſt ſaith, he is a foole that ſetteth his heart on theſe worldly things. But if by taking care for worldly things, he miſſe heaven, & fall into hell; hee will call himſelfe a thouſand millions of fooles, that omitting better things, he would take care for this world, which is worth nothing: nay, it is worſe then nothing; for his own conſcience wil tel him, if he had had nothing, hee ſhould have cared for nothing, and ſo hee might have ſerved God and gone to heaven: and having ſomething, his care was ſo much to compaſſe more, K5that 208K5v 208 that indeede he had gotten nothing but everlaſting torment. And now he knoweth not what to doe: ſometimes he thinkes, I would I might creepe thorow tenne thouſand hells, and bee ten thouſand millions of yeares in crawling thorow them, to go to Chriſt, and then get faith, & take hold on Chriſt: for he knoweth now, that none can come to God, but by faith in his ſonne, for the which hee would now take all the paines that could ever bee deviſed, to obtaine that faith in the end, and yet he thought, whileſt he was in this world, that one Sermon in a moneth would have ſerved him to have gotten that faith; but hee ſeeth 209K6r209 ſeeth he would not beleeve the word of God, for Gods owne word willed him, that he ſhould not labour for the meate that periſheth, Matth.6. 28.29. but for the foode of everlaſting life; And leaſt hee ſhould doubt of theſe things which God ſaith, Chriſt ſaith, Conſider the Lillies of the field, they labour not, neither ſpinne they: I ſay unto you, that Salomon in all his glory was not cloathed like one of theſe. If God ſo cloath the graſſse, which is here to day, and to morrow is caſt into the furnace, will hee not do much more for you, Oh yee of little faith? Heere Chriſt tels them that will not beleeve his promiſe, and follow his counſell, they are of little faith. And the holy Ghoſt telleth 210K6v 210 telleth us that faith commeth by hearing Ro.10.17 of the word preached: and, Without faith it is impoſſible to pleaſe God: Heb.11.6. and there were never any ſaved but by faith, nor there were never any damned, but for want of faith. For the holy Ghoſt ſaith, Hee that commeth to God, muſt beleeve that God is, and that he is a rewarder of them that ſeeke him. He did not beleeve that God would provide for him in this world, and ſave him in the next, becauſe he wanted faith. And he wanted faith, becauſe his delight was not as Maries was, to leave his worldly affaires, & to heare the Word preached. Hee could not pray, that hee might profit by the Word prea- 211K7r211 preached, becauſe hee had no knowledge by the word to ſee his wants. He had no knowledge, becauſe hee did not continually heare and read the word, which would have taught him to have knowne God and himſelfe. If hee prayed ſometime without knowledge and faith, his prayers were vaine and frivoulous. And thus he ſeeth, it was his owne negligence that brought him to hell, becauſe hee would not labour for the meat that periſheth not, and now hee is ſo vexed at himſelfe becauſe he did not follow the counſell of our bleſſed Saviour Chriſt, that took ſuch paines for him, and gave him ſo many warnings, and told him 212K7v 212 him how hee ſhould finde it, if he would follow his counſell, that hee would now, if it were poſſible, bee revenged Mat.27.5. on himſelfe, as Judas, whēen he had done that which Chriſt had warned him of, and ſaw that now it could not be undone, hee laid violent hands on himſelfe to be revenged upon himſelfe. But when they ſee they cannot bee revenged on themſelves, nor no way can mitigate their torment, then they are ten thouſand times more tormented with torments, which cannot bee expreſſed; then they will defie Sathan, & crie out againſt the world they loved ſo well, and ſay, Sathan laid all his baites by the things which are in the world, 213K8r213 world, yea manie baits hee laid, and tooke maine even with things that were lawfull to bee uſed in the world, by the appointment of God, as you ſhall ſee. Meat is ordained of God for the nouriſhment of man; and yet how manie doth Sathan take with the ſinne of gluttonie; and therefore take heede that thou eateſt temperatelie. Meat is ordained for the belly, and the belly for meat, but God will deſtroy both them and it. 1.Cor.6. 13. Drine is verie lawfull; yet how manie doth Satan take with the ſinne of drunkenneſſse? and therefore Chriſt ſaith, Take heede, leſt at anie time your hearts bee overcome with drunkenneſſe and ſurfeting, and cares of this world. Luk.21.34 Mark 214K8v 214 Mark this counſel of Chriſt, Leſt at anie time. As if hee ſhould ſay, bee continuallie carefull, left thou art overcome with ſurfetting and drunkenneſſe, and cares of this world; for thou mayeſt ſurfet and bee drunken with anie thing thou takeſt care for in this world. And therfore Chriſt ſaith, Take no care and doe not ſay; What ſhall wee eat, and what ſhall we drinke? and wherewith ſhall we bee clothed? for after theſe things ſeek the Gentiles. And your heavenly father knoweth, you have neede of theſe things. But firſt ſeeke the Kingdome of God and his righteouſneſſe, and all theſe things ſhall bee miniſtred unto you. Mat.6.31. 32. Oh the mercie of God, which would tell you, that your 215K9r215 your heavenly Father knew, that you had neede of theſe things, and hee would give you that he knew ſufficient? Seeke ye the Kingdome of heaven, and theſe things ſhall bee miniſtred unto you. Seeke yee the heavenly treaſure, and a little of this earthly traſh wil ſerve the turne. And if you knew all, and how Sathan hath poyſoned moſt of it, you would be afraid to take anie of it. But if you take nothing but at my hands (ſaith Chriſt) Sathans poiſon ſhall never hurt you: but if you beginne to bee your owne carvers, Sathan will ſo ſawec it with ſweet poiſon, that hee will deceive the wiſeſt worldling in the world. And therfore ſee you take nothing but 216K9v 216 but at the hands of the Lord; for Sathan hath ſpred his net, as the ſpider doth her webbe. Now the ſpider liveth cloſe hidden in a darke hole, untill the ſillie flie bee entangled, and then hee comes and taketh her as his owne: and even ſo Sathan lieth cloſe, untill hee ſee you entangled within the things of this world, and then hee claimeth the world, and you and all, for his owne.
The poyſon of outward things.
See how Sathan hath poyſoned all things in this world, as apparel with pride, honour 217K10r217 honour with haughtineſſe, beauty with vanity, recreations with ſwearing, riches with covetouſneſſe: a thing clean againſt reaſon: for the naturall man would thinke, that hee which is rich, neede not be covetous; and yet it is commonly ſeen, the more rich, the more covetous. Yea, and even our vertues, how doth Sathan ſeeke to poyſon them? as for liberality, how doth hee ſeeke to poyſon it with prodigalitie, and honeſt labour with carefulneſſe? And therefore S. John ſaith, Love not the world, nor the things that are in the world: for the love of the world is the enmity to God. 1.Ioh.2. 15. Then ſome worldly man will ſay, What? ſhall we doe nothing? Yes: but 218K10v 218 but ſee how ſoone the Divel will lay a ſnare to entangle the withal, that thou maiſt be idle; the verie bait with the which hee catcheth all: for many deſire goods, that they may bee idle, and the Divell hath, moſt leiſure to talke with a man, when he is idle and idleneſſe bringeth a man to manie vaine recreations, and ſo to much eating and drinking, and to manie wicked ſinnes. The holy Ghoſt ſaith, that we ſhall give account for every idle word that wee ſpeake: Matth.12. 36. and therefore thou maieſt not bee idle by anie meanes. Thou muſt labour ſixe daies, for God hath commanded thee ſo to doe; and thou muſt doe it, not for anie care thou haſt of the world, 219K11r219 world, but becauſe God commanded thee: and thou muſt ſhew thy ſelfe obedient to him, and all thy care in thy labour muſt bee how to pleaſe him, and leave the ſucceſſe of thy labour to him, and thou muſt be carefull in thy labour, that thou takeſt no care for thine owne pleaſure, but how to pleaſe God, and then let it pleaſe thee: but be ſure it pleaſe not thee and offend God. And thus thou muſt labour ſixe daies; and follow the commandement of God, and his example, after whoſe image thou wert made, and whom thou art to imitate: hee laboured and made in ſixe daies theſe things for thee, labour thou to 220K11v 220 to obey him: hee laboured and looked over his worke, and ſaw it was good. So thou muſt abour, and looke over thy worke, and ſee that it bee good before God. Though there are manie imperfections in thee, yet becauſe thou art reconciled to God in Chirſt, and now ſheweſt thy humble obedience to his commandement, that thou wilt neither bee idle, nor yet labour for thine owne profit nor pleaſure, nor doe thy owne wayes, but ſee that thou doſt thoſe things that hee hath appointed thee, taking hold of Chriſt by faith; hee accepteth them for good through Chriſt, who hath fulfilled all for thee: for obedience is better then ſacrifice. 1.Sam.15. 22. Then 221K12r221 Then alſo thou muſt reſt the ſeventh day, for ſo for thy enſample he reſted, & commanded thee to reſt that day, and to keepe it holy to the Lord. Now he commandeth thee to leave all earthly buſineſſe, and attend upon him, and heare what further inſtructions hee hath for thee, how to ſtrengthen thy faith, how to take hold on Chriſt, and how to come to his kingdome. Now thy care muſt be, how to learne at his mouth to keepe his commandements. Now hee will ſhew thee the figure of that everlaſting reſt, which hee will bring thee to through Chriſt. Now if thou beeſt not very ready and diligent to attend upon 222K12v 222 upon him the ſeventh day, thou ſheweſt, that all thy labour on the ſix daies was for thine own pleaſure or profit, more then for thy obedience toward the Lord thy God: for if thou wouldeſt have obeyed him in thy labour in the ſix daies, thou wouldeſt have obeyed him in thy reſt the ſeventh day alſo. This ſhal be a witnes to thine own conſcience, leaſt that thou bee deceived, as many bee, who thinke that they labour all the weeke to pleaſe God, when indeede they labour to pleaſe themſelves, becauſe that commandement pleaſeth their humour better, then to keepe holy the Sabbath: and they will bee willing to take one 223L1r223 one houre from the Lord in the morning, and another in the afternoone, or two it may be, which ſheweth that their mindes and affections are more on the world, then on the true ſervice and obedience they owe to God.
Prodigality ſet out.
Some think, that the prodigal man taketh too little care for the world: but I ſay, he is a wicked man, and taketh too muuch care for the world, and too little care to pleaſe God. Hee is an idle man, and will not labour 6. dayes. Hee is a diſobedient man, and wil not keepe holy the ſeventh day. He is a waſtfull man, he wil ſpend waſtfullyLfully 224L1v 224 fully for the vaine—glory of the world, which ſome ſay they care not for, he leaveth thoſe things wchwhich God hath given him and his family without care. Yea, he is a covetous man, for he will borrow of others, and ſpend it waſtfully, and never pay it againe. He breaketh the cōommandement, which ſaith, Owe nothing to any man, but this, that you love one another, Ro.13.8 for the holy Ghoſt ſaith, The ungodly borroweth, and paieth not againe, but the mercifull man is liberall and lendeth. Pſa.37.21 Some will ſay, they would pay if they had it: but indeede they will not have it, becauſe they will not obey God, and live as hee hath appointed them. They are proud, 225L2r225 proud, and will ſpend ſo far beyond their calling, that they have nothing to lend to the poore children of God, becauſe they ſpend either upon the wicked, or in exceſſe when there is no neede, or uppon thoſe that have as little, or leſsſe neede then thēemſelves. Such a perſon is worſe then an Infidel, becauſe he provideth not for his owne houſhold. 1.Ti.5.8. God doth not ſay, Becauſe hee taketh not care for his owne houſhold; for all his care ſhould bee to pleaſe God: but hee careth not to pleaſe God, neither doth he obey God, to labor 6. daies, and to ſee his houſhold labour; for whileſt he is idle, or uſing ſome vaine paſtime out of his calling, L2his 226L2v 226 his children & ſervants diſſobey God, and miſpend their time, and weaken his eſtate, and all through his owne careleſneſſe to pleaſe God. Hee ſheweth himſelfe no good Chriſtian: for a good Chriſtian life is a carefull life, not carefull of the world, but carefull leaſt the world ſhould hinder him any way frōom ſerving of God, either in being too negligent in his calling, and ſo provide not for his houſhold, & become worſe then an Infidel; or left hee ſhould bee covetous, and become the man whom God abhorreth. And yet there bee ſome ſo ignorant, that they will ſay, The prodigall man beareth a noble mind, But hee beares a wic- 227L3r227 wicked mind, & they know not what a noble minde is, that ſay ſo. Our Peeres and Princes are called Noble men, becauſe they beare noble mindes, that is, they are vertuous and temperate, & diſcreet, governing the Cōommon—wealth according to their calling, regarding the vertuous, & keeping under the vicious, holding in the prodigall, who would run away with a whole kingdom, if they might have it: nay, no kingdome is able to ſatiſfie prodigal perſons; for their diſobedient humour wil never be ſatiſfied, becauſe they doe not labour to keepe the commandement of God. Some are the more infected wth this ſin, then others, but all L3are 228L3v 228 that are infected with prodigalitie, have a diſobedient humour, they are undiſcreet becauſe they cannot ſpend whēen they ſhould, and ſpare with diſcretion when the time is. They are unthankful becauſe they do not heartily thank God for his bleſſings, but wiſh they were more. Neither wil they bee thankefull to the King, nor a worthy noble Prince or Peere; for if they ſpend a little prodigally in their ſervice, they will thinke they are indebted to thēem, though all of it were by the Prince liberally beſtowed on them: but indeede ſuch are not to be about Princes or Peeres, no more then the covetous. Some wiſe and learned men have 229L4r229 have diſputed, whether the covetous or the prodigal be the worſt member in the Common—wealth; but I pray God you nor yours be none of both: but here what the holy Ghoſt ſaith, The covetous is the man whom God abhorreth: The prodigall is worſe then an infidell. And thus I leave them, and pray to God for Chriſts ſake, they and wee may leave both thoſe and al other ſins, and take hold of Chriſt by faith, and live through him with God for ever and ever.
Difference betweene an act & habite of ſinning.
Now you muſt know this, that the deare L4chil- 230L4v 230 children of God, for want of diſcretion, doe ſometime an act, wchwhich may be called covetous, & yet not upon a covetous humor; and an act, that may be called prodigall, and yet not upon a prodigall humour, but for want of diſcretion at that time: for there is none ſo diſcreet at all times, that is not ſomewhat infectedd with either of theſe ſins; for wee are infected with all ſins; and therefore God, in great mercy to man, made the Sabbath, or Lords day, ſo that if a man did in ſixe dayes overſlip himſelfe, as indeed we all do, and did not reconcile himſelfe to God every night, as we ought to do; yet on the Sabbath day, the Lord calleth him to him, and 231L5r231 and ſheweth him his faults, and wiſheth him to bee reconciled unto him through Chriſt, and breatheth into his face the breath of life again, and renueth in him the image of God again, that was decayed by his ſin, and ſo he goeth home a renued man. And therfore I ſay, & ſay truly, that all the writers in the world cannot expreſſe, what hurt that man, woman or childe doeth himſelfe, that doth not attend on the Lord on the Sabbath day, neither can any man or woman doe their ſervants more hurt, thēen to keepe them frōom the Lords houſe that day. The Lord hath charged thee, that thou (if thou haſt any under thee) ſhalt see thēem come, L5and 232L5v 232 and come thy ſelfe, as thou wilt anſwere it: for the Lord himſelfe is now there prepared to teach thee and thine; and therfore go to him, and go prepared, clenſe thy heart of all earthly things, Iam.4.8. & know that hee is there to ſee thine heart, and all thine affection and behaviour. Some wil ſay, I would goe to the Church, but there will be little: but I ſay unto thee, I feare that thou wilt not learne that little. If God, for thy diſobedience, wil ſpeak but a little to thee that day, yet thou haſt a great deale to ſay to him; confeſſe thy ſins, ſhew thine obedience, be an example to them, which would ſtray frōom the preſence of God, pray for his grace upon thee and them, 233L6r233 them, & the whole Church, & appeale to the promiſe of God; When two or three be gathered together in his name, he will be with them: Mat.18.20 pray that God may ſend his word plentifully for Chriſts ſake, although our ſinnes deſerve to have it taken away altogether; ſeek to doe ſome good to the poor, although there be but a poore company of you gathered together. Move the people to provide themſelves a Preacher, tell them of their wants, ſpeake to the Magiſtrates, mourne to ſee the Alehouſes full, and the Church of God emptie.
The ſervice of the Sabbath ought to be be publike.
Some will goe to the Church of God in the fore-234L6v234 forenoone, and in the afternoone they will ſerve God at home; but thou canſt not doe God ſo great ſervice at home: ſerve him ſix daies at home, and the ſeventh go to the Church of the Lord, if God bee truely worſhipped there, as I pray God he ever may bee in our Churches to the worlds end; and I pray God you may bee true worſhippers of God. And alwaies in the Church of God, both forenoone and afternoone, let there be one the more for thee. But of this I warn you, for the love I beare to your ſoules & bodies; if you cannot get the people to provide a Preacher, wchwhich may diſpēence the Word truly & ſincerely, remove you, where you may have 235L7r235 have and heare the Word ſo preached; for where the Word of the Lord is not truly preached, the people periſh for want of knowledge. Prou.29. 18. But if you can get a Preacher where you dwell, and doe good both to your ſelfe and others, I think it better ſo; for the harveſt is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harveſt to ſend forth labourers into his harveſt: Matth.9. 37.38 for the true laborers indeed are not few, but verie few: for as the holy Ghoſt ſaith, All ſeeke their own, and not that which is Jeſus Chriſts. Phil.2.21. All is taken heere, as it is in many other places, for the moſt part; for the moſt ſeek their own: nay, it would ſeeme well, if ſome would be contented with their owne; but 236L7v 236 but they ſeeke more then their owne: if they examine themſelves well, they ſhall find it ſo; whereas the true Preachers of Gods word will be contented with leſſe then their owne; ſo they may win ſoules unto Chriſt they care not. They count al the world dung, as indeede it is, ſo they may bee Chriſts, and draw many to him. I hope in God, that through his grace ſom of you wil be preachers. I pray God, for Chriſts ſake to enlighten you with his Spirit, and give you grace, that you may be truly godly, and very zealous for the glorie of God, labouring by all meanes poſſible to encreaſe the glorious kingdom of Chriſt. And of this bee ſure, 237F8r237 ſure, if you will loſe nothing of your own, you will never winne manie to Chriſt: and marke how the holie Ghoſt ſaith, They ſeeke their owne. He doth not ſay, They ſeeke more then their owne: but, They ſeeke their owne. As if he ſhould ſay, as indeede hee meaneth; They buſie themſelves about ſeeking their owne, but in the meanetime they neglect the great worke and the great buſineſſe that I have ſet thēem about, to gather together the ſouls that Jeſus Chriſt the Son of God ſhed his heart bloud for; & contrarie to all reaſon, they look for their wages, before they have done their work. S. Paul which was called to be a Preacher of the Word of God, ſaith 238F8v 238 ſaith, Woe be to me, if I preach not the Goſpel. But hee doth not ſay, Woe bee to mee, if I ſeek not goods. He ſaith, Neceſſitie is laid upōon me to preach the Goſpell. 1.Cor.9 16. But he doth not ſay, Neceſſities is laid upon me to get goods. Yet ſome of them will ſay, they muſt not loſe their goods & right: rather they muſt go to law for them: but contrary to the Law of God, they neglect their duty in his Church, they doe not ſtudie how to divide the word of God aright, & to give to every one that which is fit for him. What doth the holie Ghoſt call negligent Preachers, but dumb dogs that will not barke? Eſay 56. 10.11. The dog will barke and give warning to the whole houſeholdhold 239L9r239 hold within, if anie danger be neere: but thoſe that ſhold deliver my meſſage unto the people, they buſie themſelves about their owne affaires, they ſlumber and delight in ſleeping: they will not call out to the people, and give them warning of the danger that is neere them. I pray tell me, or let any man tell me, if he be a good ſervant, which will goe about his owne buſines, and neglect his maſters or no? no man will account of ſuch a ſervant, but will caſt him off for naught: even ſo God will caſt them off for naught, that ſeek their owne, & neglect the diligent ſeeking of that which is Jeſus Chriſts.
The honourable calling of Miniſters ſtained by worldlines.
Imuſt needs ſay, I have bin verie deſirous, and have often begged of God, that ſome of you might be Preachers, yea and all of you and yours, if it might pleaſe his divine Majeſtie to beſtow ſuch graces upōon you, as were meet for ſo high a calling. But God knowes, I never deſired it, becauſe you ſhould get any thing in the world, but becauſe you ſhould get ſervants to God, and ſoules to Chriſt, and becauſe you might be ſo enlightened with the Word through the holy Ghoſt working within you, that you might make no accountcount 241L10r241 count of the world, as indeede it is nothing, nay, it is worſe then nothing; for nothing doth no hurt, and the world doth much hurt. I pray not for the world, ſaith Chriſtbut for thoſe thou haſt given mee out of the world: Ioh.17.9. thoſe, that though their bodies be in the world, yet their hearts, their minds and their affections are as high as heauun n. If you be riſen with Chriſt ſeeke thoſe things which are above; where Chriſt ſitteth at the right hand of God: ſet not your affections on things which are on the earth, but on things which are in heaven. Col.3.5. I pray God for Chriſt his ſake you may bee of thoſe which Chriſt prayed for, thoſe which have their mindes 242L10v 242 mindes and hearts buſied about heavenly things, & never taking care for the things of the world. Woe is mee, which feare, leſt anie of you or yours ſhould love this world: but if it pleaſe God that anie of you heereafter ſhould bee a Preacher, and love the world, I cannot expreſſe the greefe it would be to me, even ſo long as I were in the world. If anie of you ſhould aske me, if it were not as evill in another man, as in a Preacher? I anſwer, no; for it is a very dangerous and indeede a damnable eſtate to love the world. I know what I ſay; I doe not ſay, to be covetous, or deſire to bee rich, wherby one is moved to uſe unlawfull meanes to get goods 243L11r243 goods: but I ſay, to love lawfull goods which God hath given thee, and to neglect the ſervice of God about them, if it be but in thinking of them, and to bee at anie time more loth to loſe thy lawfull goods, then to go to law to the hurt of thy brother whom Chriſt died for, it is a wicked ſin in anie man. To ſet a rent or price of any of thy lawful goods or lands, more then thou in ſuch a caſe wouldeſt bee willing to give, it is a wicked ſin. To let The danger of dealing with wicked men. or ſell any thing to any man, for ſiniſter reſpects, that thou doeſt not thinke to be the true and faithfull ſervant of God, if thou maiſt let it well to thoſe that are, is a ſin. But to let a Farme to anie that 244L11v 244 that thou doeſt not think to bee the true ſervant of God, but becauſe he is richer, or is better able to pay thee, or wil give thee more for it, is a great ſin: For the earth is the Lords, and all that is therein, & he hath ſet thee as a ſteward over ſome part of it, and thou art by his appointment to let it to his children & ſervants that love him; and becauſe many things have many prices, he bids thee deale in all his buſineſſe, as thou wouldeſt bee dealt withall in ſuch a caſe. Hee biddes thee deale liberally with thy brother, that his ſoule may bleſſe thee: Iob 31.29 yet thou wilt neglect thy brother, whōom thou ſeeſt carefull to ſerve God in Chriſt, & let it to one that hath little or 245L12r245 or no Religion in him, becauſe thou ſeeſt that hee can deale more warily in the world, or more wiſely, as the world cals it, though indeed it bee more wickedly before God: yet becauſe thou ſeeſt he is more able to pay thee thy rent, thou wilt let it to him, who is indeed Gods enemy, and for whōom God never made it: for God made theſe things for his children and ſervants, & he doth neither love God as his Father, nor obey him as a ſervāant: neither will he more becom obedient to God, & ſerviceable to his Church, if thou let him a good peniworth; whereas if he thrive not of it, he will raile on thee, and on thy religion, which is indeede aagainſtgainſt 246L12v 246 againſt God; for he knoweth not, that it is God that giveth power to get goods, and that it is God again, that keepeth men ſhort: althogh ſometimes with his mouth he ſpeaketh it, yet the true knowledge of it dwels not in his heart; and if he grow rich upon it, he will not bee liberal to the poore children of God, conſidering their wants as if they were his owne: for he hath no naturall affection towards them, becauſe they are not his brethren. Loe, heere thou ſeeſt what to do with thine own, or, as ſome ſay, Gods and thine owne; or, as the truth is Gods, and not thine own; and therfore thou maiſt offend God in it: for thou art but 247M1r247 but a tenant at the wil of the Lord, and art to depart at an inſtant; yet thou haſt a great title under God for thy time and thy title is good, & lawfully thou maiſt injoy them, yet the love that thou beareſt unto them is utterly unlawfull; for it is the love that thou beareſt to theſe worldly goods, that maketh thee to let them to ſuch a tenant, as wil neither ſerve God, nor doe good to the poore ſervants of God. The man to whome thou letteſt it, may be a civill honeſt man in the world: for among the heathen, yea, among the Jewes that would kil Chriſt again, if they had him, & hate the children of God; there are ſuch as in the world wil deale LMciuilly, 248M1v 248 civilly, and pay at their day, perhaps, better then ſome Chriſtian. But if thou beeſt the true childe of God, thou muſt have a diſcerning eye of faith, wchwhich every one hath not, and know the childe of God from a civill man: neither maiſt thou judge the other for all that, but pray for him, and hope that though he be not the true ſervant of God now, yet in good time, by Gods grace he may bee. Thou maieſt not impart the benefits of God, as neere as thou canſt, but to thoſe whōom thou knoweſt to be the lords true ſervants, and thou muſt do it for the love thou beareſt to God. Why ſhouldeſt thou not love Gods childrēen much more then any goods thou 249M2r249 thou haſt? There is great reaſon to doe it, able to perſwade any man, if his heart be not of ſtone. For God made us moſt excellēent creatures, according to his owne image. Satan came by ſtelth and ſubtiltie, & through envy ſtole away that excellent image from us, and made us moſt ougly perſons, deformed divels, ſo that we were aſhamed of our ſelves, ran away and hid our ſelves, and wee were good for nothing, but evil for all things, fit for nothing but firebrands of hell, into the which we were ready every houre to fall, & God had ſaid, that if we ſuffered the divel to deceive us, hell ſhould bee our portion, the divel ſtood gaping to receiveM2ceiue 250M2v 250 ceive us: wert thou not in a miſerable caſe then? I tell thee, we were all in this miſerable caſe. And I tell thee true, I am ſorry at the heart, when I ſee any that doth not conſider the caſe wherin he was, and I am afraide, leſt any of you ſhould forget the ſtate wherein ye were, and ſo become unthankefull, and fall into it againe. Oh, the danger is great! But tell me, wouldeſt thou not love him, that would come and make thee like a God againe, and waſh away al thy filthy poyſon, and deliver thee frōom the ſlavery of the divell, & from the fire of hel, and ſet thee in Paradice againe, yea in ſuch a Paradice as the divell can never have power to deceive thee 251M3r251 thee? and for thy better aſſurance bids thee hold thee by him, and thou ſhalt never need to feare? If thou ſhouldeſt not love him and al his, thou wert greatly to blame. But I know now in thy diſtreſſe thou doſt not make ſo much queſtion, whether thou ſhouldeſt love him or no; for thou thinkeſt it unpoſſible but that thou ſhouldeſt love him and all his, & do whatſoever he would bid thee. If thou wert once in Gods favour againe, thou wouldeſt not diſobey him for all the divels and worlds that ever were. But oh the miſery! heere is the thing: how is it poſſible that thou ſhouldeſt be helped? God is thine enemy, the divell is M3thine 252M3v 252 thine enemy, the world can doe thee no good, nor make thee cleane: for al the bloud within thy veines is corrupted, thy hart bloud is becom moſt filthy poyſon, & thou art become moſt ugly deformed like the divell, and thou art a ſhame to thy ſelf, although no body ſee thee but thy ſelfe, and hell fire is ſo bigge, that all the water in the world cannot quench it. Thus beginning to deſpaire, thy torments beginne to increaſe, whēen thou couldſt ſee no way to eſcape it: but ôh the love of God, the wonderful love of God toward thee never to be expreſſed, not for any goodneſſe that is in thee; for behold here what a filthy creature thou art; but for 253M4r253 for the everlaſting goodnes, that was in himſelf, his great mercy and wonderfull wiſedome he found a way, even for his own ſake; or elſe man and his poſterity had beene burning in hell fire for ever and ever. How did he find a way? he ſent his only Son to waſh this filthy creature māan, his only Son, I ſay, the Son of God. And how did hee waſh him? No water would make him cleane: hee waſhed him with his owne bloud, & he ſweat water and bloud with waſhing of him, yea, he ſhed his hart bloud, & gave it Mat.26.27 man to drinke, that it might enter into his heart, and ſo run through all his veines, & ſo cleanſe him indeed. Mans fleſh was corrupted. The Sonne M4of 254M4v 254 of God brake his body, & gave them his fleſh to eat, Gen.6.12 that it Mat.26.26 might renue their fleſh, and that their leproſie might be healed: and the Son of God did this indeed; he brake his body, and gave it us to feed on; hee ſhed his bloud, and gave it us to drink, or elſe we could never have bin clenſed. But woe is me, God wold not accept him, he ſaid that man for his diſobedience to him, and obeying the divell, muſt goe to hell and burne there. Oh the mercies of the Sonne of God, how is it poſſible they ſhould be ſhadowed out! for no body can expreſſe Eph.3.18. 19. the depth of it, that he would indure the paines Gal.3.13. of hel for us: he being man, indured them; and being God 255M5r255 God, overcame them: hee ſtopped the mouth of the divell, ſhut the gates of hel, tooke man by the hand, hee Iohn 14.7 having waſhed him and indured the paines of hell for him: hee takes him by the hand I ſay, and leads him Iohn 8.36 to his father, hee accepts him in Chriſt. Oh the mercies of God in Chriſt, that are never able to bee ſet out Eccl.7.29 by man! Man throgh his fal wrought his utter ruine alone by himſelf; Chriſt the Son of God, hath wrought his recovery alone by himſelfe, Iohn 3.16 without the helpe of any, and ſet man in a far better eſtate, then he was before; Ioh.11.25 for now hee hath given him the hand of faith to hold on him, that he may never fall M5before, 256M5v 256 before, man was alone, but now hee is joyned faſt unto Mat.16.16 Chriſt by faith. Now what hath man to do, To follow Chriſt, & take hold of him by faith. Not that man deſerveth heaven by following Chriſt, no nor by his faith; but he taketh hold of him, which hath deſerved heavēen for him, and bringeth him thither, and ſetteth him in a glorious place by God his Father, and God accepteth him in Chriſt, & taketh him at his hands. No man cōommeth to the Father, but by me Mat.11.27 (ſaith Chriſt.) Now oughteſt not thou in conſcience to love, obey, and follow his counſell, that hath done all this for thee? & to love his children & ſervants, better then the 257M6r257 the children and ſervants of thy utter enemy the divell? who was not only enemy to thee, then when he firſt corrupted thee & thy ſeed, but hee is utter enemy to thee ſtill, & not only an utter enemy to thee, but alſo to chriſt thy Saviour, and will by all meanes hinder him, and impoveriſh his kingdome, & if he can poſſible he wil bring thee frōom Chriſt to hel again? And wilt thou inrich his kingdome for a little goods (wchwhich Chriſt never bid thee get) who is an utter enemy to thy Saviour, and ſeeketh by all meanes to impoveriſh his kingdome, to ſpeake againſt his Word, to ſcoffe at them that follow him, yea, oftēen ſtoppeth their mouthes that 258M6v258 that would gladly ſpeake on Chriſts ſide, ſaying, If thou Ioh.19 12 art altogether on Chriſts ſide thou art not Cæſars friend, & wilt not inrich his kingdom? Thou knoweſt when thou inricheſt Satans kingdome, thou weakneſt the kingdōome of Chriſt, in that thou weakneſt thy faith; for thou canſt not in faith part with any of thy goods, to one whōom thou doſt not think the ſervant of God in Chriſt; and whatſoever is not of faith, is ſin. Ro.14.23. And I proove this unto thee thus. When thou loſeſt the favor of God, and becommeſt a bondſlave of the divel, thou loſeſt all the bleſſings, which God in mercy hath made for thee, and beſtowed on thee. But they did not then fall to the 259M7r259 the divell, but did fall to the Lord, whoſe they were; for they were not thine before, but the Lords, and therefore thou couldeſt not loſe them, nor forfet them to the divel: yet thou haſt loſt thēem frōom thy ſelfe, & they fell to the Lord, who lent thee them ſo long as thou didſt ſerve him: but the Divell finding thee poſſeſt of them, claimeth them now, not that hee hath any right to them, but like an uſurping Tyrant, and it it was thy fault in yeelding thy oobedience to him, which maketh him to claim thee as his bond—ſlave, & all thy goods to be at his commandement; but thou hadſt nothing to loſe but thy ſelfe, and that thou loſeſt, but Chriſt redeemedmed 260M7v260 med thee. Take heed therefore, for as an uſurping Tyrant, who having gottēen once poſſeſſion of a kingdom, will ever after lay claim to it, and will uſe all the means he can to get it again; and the firſt poſſeſſion is not only a great light to make him get it the eaſier, but alſo it maketh him if he get it againe, to keep it more ſtrongly, and fortifie it with a mighty power, & keep watch and ward in it, that he will never loſe it againe: So will the Divell, & therefore take heed thou deal not with any of the ſervants of the diuell, nor by no means inrich his kingdome. If a noble and worthy—minded man, who hath great poſſeſſions, paſſe by ſome puddle, where hee ſhould 261M8r261 ſhould ſee a harlot caſting away her own ſon, if he ſhould inquire for the father, & find that contrary to nature, hee were run away from his own child, leaving it to utter ruine & deſtruction; if this noble— minded Gentleman ſhould take up the childe, and cauſe it to be waſhed, clothed & fed, and cauſe it to be inſtructed, & taught thoſe things which it were fit it ſhould learned & when he came to be a man, hee ſhould ſay, I found thee thus and thus, and ſeeing no body had care of thee, I took thee up, and ever ſince maintained thee in good eſtate; & now I would have thee acquainted with my affaires & buſines; for I meane to truſt thee with thoſe things that I have: 262M8v262 have: for ſo it is, my King calleth for me, & the affaires of my Country require that I ſhould neglect mine owne buſines & attend upon them; wherefore I leave my Lands, Lordſhips and Tenements with you in truſt, till I come again: let thēem to my friends, & let thēem ſuch pennyworths, that they may well live upon them: let your owne friends ſome part of them; deale ſo in it, as at my cōomming home I may finde you faithfull. Now if this ſervant ſhould neglect his charge, neglect his owne friends and his maſters, and go for a little more rent, which his maſter cared not a whit for, & let his lands and tenements to his utter enemies, who growing rich vvith 263M9r263 with the Lands and goods of this noble Lord, would bee ready to bidde him battle at his returne home, & to ſtrike at him with his owne ſword; judge you, would not this Lord think, he had dealt very evill with him? nay, would not every honeſt man that ſhould but heare of it, thinke & ſay that he had dealt moſt vildely with ſo good a Lord and Maſter, and that he were never meete to come in the company of an honeſt man againe? Thus hath Chriſt dealt with us; When our wicked father and ungodly mother, Adam and Eve, caſt us into the puddle of ſin, & ran away, & left us there, where we ſhould never have beene able to have gotten out, Jeſus Chriſt, 264M9v264 Chriſt, the onely Son of the high and mighty God, our mercifull Lord and Saviour, came by, and waſhed us and brought us up at his own coſt & charges, and we have nothing but frōom him; he taught us himſelfe in all good doctrine; and being gone to overcome the enemy of his King and Country, he hath left his goods with thee, bids thee to deale well with his ſervants, and let them good penny—worths, and deale not with his enemies, neither 2.Cor.6. 14. make any mariage with thēem: yet thou for a little money wilt buy and ſell, marry and give iun marriage with them, yea & thinkeſt, becauſe thou findeſt thēem more rich in the world, they are better for thee 265M10r265 thee to deale withall; & yet they are the utter enemies of thy Lord, and will bee ready at his comming to bid him battle, and ſtrike at him with his owne ſword.
The right uſe of goods.
Heere thou ſeeſt, what cauſe thou haſt to love Chriſt and his ſervants, and how thou oughteſt not to love thine own; but to uſe it, as the Lord hath appointed thee, whoſe indeede it is. If thou dealeſt not with thy Lords goods and lands, as he hath appointed thee, art thou not in a great fault? Surely thou haſt nothing to ſay for thy ſelfe, ſave to appeale to his mercy, confeſſe thy ſinnes, & amend thy life. But 266M10v266 But if a Preacher, whōom God hath enlightned to ſee, what he was out of Chriſt, & what he is in Chriſt, and hath willed him to tell the people from his mouth, how he and they ſhould now behave Tit.2.1. themſelves inwardly in their hearts, & outwardly in their goods and ſubſtance; if he, I Mat.5.14. ſay, Whom God hath ſet upon a hill to give light to many; if he I ſay, whom God Luk.12.48. hath given much unto, and of whom much ſhall bee re required; if he, I ſay, whom the ſunne of underſtanding ſhould ariſe upon; nay, if he, I ſay, in whoſe heart the glorious Sonne of god ſhould ſhine, will darken his glorie with the thicke clouds, or rather thicke clods of this earthenthen 267M11r267 then world, his ſin is great; but what did I ſay, darken their light? nay, they darken the light of the Goſpell, that all ſhould ſee to goe by: nay, they darken the glorious light of the Son of God, & ecclipſe his glory: wheras they ſhould draw many unto Chriſt 1.Tim.4 16. by their liberalitie and true preaching, they drive many from Chriſt by love of their owne (as they ſay) & by their idlenes & negligence in preaching (as I ſay) & I ſay, this love of their own, as they call it, is a thouſand times worſe in them, & doth a multitude more of hurt, then in other ordinarie men, who love the world as well as they; but there are not ſo manie that looke on them, and 268M11v 268 and God hath not ſet them for a light, as hee hath done the Preachers. And the reaſon why the Preachers are many times overcom, is this, becauſe the enemie doth bend all his forces againſt them, not unlike the enemy to the Iſraelites, who ſayd, Fight neither againſt more nor leſſe, but againſt the King of Iſrael. 1.King.22. 31. So doth our enemy the Divell, hee fighteth neither againſt more nor leſſe, but againſt the Captaines of the Church, namely the Preachers; for he knoweth, that if they bee once overcome, then the whole armie will ſoone bee confounded and brought to nought. Bee you all upholders of them, which by no meanes can bee done but 269M12r269 but by prayer; for as our preachers ſhould pray for al, ſo all ſhould ſend up their praiers to Almightie God, in the name of his Sonne, to ſend his holie Spirit into the hearts of the Preachers, to ſanctifie them throughout, that they maybe holy in bodie & minde, following the exāample of our Saviour Chriſt, Luk.22.31 who ſaid to Peter his Apoſtle, whom he had appointed to be chiefe Preacher to the Church of the Jewes, Peter, Peter, Sathan hath ſought to winnow thee like wheat, but I have praied that they faith faile not. Again, S. Paul appointed by the Son of God to bee cheefe Preacher to the Church of the Gentils, witneſſeth of himſelfe, ſaying, The 270M12v270 The meſſenger of Sathan was ſent to buffet me, but I beſought the Lord Jeſus, that hee might depart from mee. 2.Cor.12 7.8. Now in theſe two great combates made between the divell & the deare children of God, ye ſee, that praier is the weapon whereby the Tempter is overcome. Wherefore I earneſtlie entreat you, let your praiers alwaies be ſent up to God, through Chriſt for the Preachers, & all ſuch as are in high places, that ſo they continuing firme and ſtedfaſt, your faith may by thēem be more confirmed. And the bleſſing of God Almightie, the Father, the Sonne, and the holy Ghoſt be with you all from this time, even to the worlds end. Amen.