The markes of the children of God,
comforts in afflictions.
To the faithfull of the
Overſeene againe and augmented by the
Author, and tranſlated out of French
The ſpirit beareth witness to our ſpirit that we are the ſonnes of God. If we be ſonnes, then are we alſo heires, the heires of God and joynt heires with Chriſt: ſo that we ſuffer together that we alſo may be glorified together.
Printed by Thomas Orwin,
for Thomas Man.
To the right Honorable and vertuous Ladie, The Counteſſe of Warwicke..
Foraſmuch as it hath pleaſed almightie God of his infinite goodneſſe, to give unto the glorious Goſpell of his eternall ſonne, ſo long & proſperous ſucceſſe in this our Countrie; it is now time (right Honorable and my verie good Ladie) for everie one that is a true profeſſor of the ſame, all carnall perſwaſions of humane reaſon deluding the ſoule being ſet aſide, to prepare our ſelves to the day of trial. For although it pleaſeth God ſometimes, for the gathering of his Church, to give unto it as it were Halcyon daies: yet common it is not, that it ſhould any long time continue in reſt and pleaſure. Nay, by the word of God wee A2 know iv A2v know, & by experience ſometimes of our ſelves (her Majeſties royall perſon not excepted) and now of our neighbours round about us we ſee, that the Church of God in this world, as it ever hath bin, ſo muſt it ever be under the croſſe. And therefore if wee will bee compted of the Church indeede, and glorie in that excellent name of a Chriſtian, let us knowe aſſuredlie, that unto us, even unto us (that have ſo long lived in reſt and pleaſure, if wee be the children of God) in ſome ſort and meaſure a triall muſt come. For, if God chaſtiſe everie ſonne whom he receiveth, and every member of Chriſtes body muſt be faſhioned like unto the head, if the afflictions of this world are manifeſt tokens to the children of God, of his favour and love towards them, and ſure pledges of their adoptiōon: how can we looke, or how can we deſire to bee exemp tedted v A3r ted from this common condition of God his owne children and houſehold? To this end therefore (right Honorable Ladie) I have tranſlated this little booke, firſt to admoniſh ſome (who for lacke of experience, never feeling other daies than theſe full of peace and quietnes) that they learne to applie unto themſelves whatſoever they heare or reade of the triall of God his children, leaſt falſelie imagining it to appertaine either to the times that are paſt, or to other Nations, it fall ſodainlie upon them as a theefe in the night, & they be deſtitute of all hope and comfort. Secondlie, to awake others abounding both in knowledge and other graces, whom notwithſtanding, ſatan (by the deceaveable luſts & vaine pleaſures of this wicked world) hath ſo rockt a ſleepe, that they ſeeme almoſt, as they that are diſeaſed with the Lethargie, to have forgottēen both A3 them- vi A3v themſelves, their holie calling and profeſsion. Laſt of all, to comfort an other ſort, whome it hath pleaſed God ſo to preſſe downe with ſorrowes, and to exerciſe with the continuall afflictions and calamities of this mortall life, as no times ſeeming favourable unto thēem, they can ſcarſe receive the words of any comfort. And becauſe your Honor hath been of long time, not onlie a profeſſour, but alſo a lover of the trueth, whom the Lord (exalting to an higher place of dignitie than many other) hath ſet up, as it were a light upōon an high candleſticke, to give light unto manie, I have eſpeciallie dedicated unto your Honour this my poore travaile, humblie beſeeching the Lord to make it no leſſe comfortable to your Honour, and to thoſe that ſhall reade it, than it hath been unto me who have tranſlated it. Everie one in his calling is bound to doo ſome whatwhat viiA4r what to the furtherance of the holie building; but becauſe great things by reaſon of my ſex, I may not doo, and that which I may, I ought to doo, I have according to my duetie, brought my poore basket of ſtones to the ſtrengthning of the walles of that Jeruſalem, whereof (by grace) wee are all both Citizens and members. And now to returne to thoſe whōom experience hath not yet taught, and whom proſperitie will not ſuffer to awake: I earneſtlie beſeech them both in the Lord, no longer to deceive themſelves with vaine imaginations, neither to ſuffer their hearts ſo to be tied to earthlie vanities, that they ſhould deſpiſe or neglect thoſe things that cāan truely make them happie indeed. When it ſhall pleaſe God to open their eyes to diſcerne betweene heavenlie and earthly, betweene things tranſitorie, and things everlaſting, I know they A4 will viiiA4v will of themſelves bee aſhamed of this their negligence. For what are all the pleaſant things of this world, which moſt bewitch the minds of men, if they be compared with heavenlie and eternall things? If ſtatelie & ſumptuous buildings do delight; what building is ſo ſtatelie and glorious as newe Jeruſalem? If riches; what ſo rich as that, whoſe pavemēent is of pure gold, whoſe foundations and walls of precious ſtones, & gates of orient pearles? If friends, kinſfolke and neighbours; what Citie ſo repleniſhed as this, where God himſelfe in his Majeſtie, Jeſus Chriſt the head of the Church in his glorie, & all the holie Angels, Patriarchs, Prophets, Apoſtles and Martirs do dwel together in happineſſe for ever? If honor; what honor comparable to this, to be the ſervant and child of ſo mightie a King, and heire of ſo glorious a kingdome; where neither time ix A5r time doth conſume, nor envie deprive of honour, nor power of adverſarie ſpoyle of glorie, that is endles & incōomprehenſible? If then there be no compariſon betweene things heavenlie and things that are earthlie, and no man can attaine to the things that are heavenlie, but by the ſame way that Chriſt himſelfe attained unto them; which was by the croſſe: why (caſting off all impediments that preſſeth downe) doo we not runne on our courſe with cherefulnes and hope, having Chriſt ſo mightie a King, for our Captaine & guide, who (as the Apoſtle ſaith) for the glorie that was ſet before him, indured the croſſe, and deſpiſing the ſhame, ſitteth now at the right hand of the throne of God? How ſlowe and dull of heart are wee, if as Eſau, (who for a meſſe of pottage ſold his birthright) wee are contented for a ſmall and ſhort pleaſure in this wic kedked x A5v ked world, to leeſe that incomparable and everlaſting glorie, which Chriſt the ſonne of God with ſo great a price hath purchaſed for us. The Lord give us wiſedome to underſtand, & grace to heare his voice while it is ſaide to day, that when daies and nights & times ſhall ceaſe, wee may (without time) enter into his joye and reſt which never ſhall have end. The Lord ever preſerve your Honor; and adde unto a multitude of happie yeares ſpent in his feare, a continuall increaſe of al ſpiritual graces to his glorie, and your endles comfort.
Your Honors in the Lord
moſt humble A.P.