A Dreame Prefixed,
imaginarie in manner;
reall in matter.
Printed by Edward Griffin for
Jacob Bloome, and are to be ſould at his Shop in
Pauls Church-yard at the ſigne of the Grayhound.
To the worshipfull and vertuous Gentlewoman, her moſt reſpected God- Mother Mrs Marie Moundford, wife unto the worſhipfull Doctour Moundford Phyſitian.
Amongſt diverſitie of motives to induce the divulging of that to publique view, which was devoted to private Contemplation, none is worthy to precede deſire of common benefit. Corne kept cloſe in a garner feeds not Mat. 5.15. the hungry; A candle put under a buſhell doth Mat. 25.30. not illuminate an houſe; None but unprofitable ſervants knit up Gods talent in a Napkin. Theſe premiſes have cauſed the Printing preſſe to expreſſe the ſubſequent Memorandum of Mortalitie, by which if oblivious perſons ſhall bee incited to premeditation off, and preparation againſt their laſt houre, when inevitable Death ſeazing on them, ſhall ceaſe their beeing upon A2 earth, iv A2v earth, I ſhall with Jacob ſay, I have enough: Gen. 45.28. I levell at no other marke, nor ayme at other end, but to have all ſorts to marke and provide for their latter end. I know theſe populous times affoord plentie of forward Writers, and criticall Readers; My ſelfe hath made the number of the one too many by one; and having bin toucht with the cenſures of the other, by occaſion of my mouzeling Melaſtomus, I am now, as by a ſtrong motive induced (for my rights ſake) to produce and divulge this of-ſpring of my indevour, to prove them further futurely who have formerly deprived me of my due, impoſing my abortive upon the father of me, but not of it. Their varietie of verdicts have verified the adagie quot homines, tot ſententiæ, and made my experience confirme that apothegme which doth affirme Cenſure to be inevitable to a publique act.
Unto your worthy ſelfe doe I dedicate the ſequel as a teſtimonie of my true thankefulneſſe for your fruitfull love, ever ſince my beeing, manifeſted toward me, your actions having beene the Character of your affection; and that hereby the world may witneſſe, that the promiſemiſe v A3r miſe you made for me, when I could make none for myſelfe, my carefull friends (amongſt whom I muſt repute your ever eſteemed ſelfe) have beene circumſpect to ſee performed. I would not have any one falſly to thinke that this Memorandum is preſented to your perſon to implie in you defect of thoſe duties which it requires; but ſincerely to denote you as a paradigma to others; for what it ſhews to be done, ſhewes but what you have done; yet ere I leave, give me leave to put you in minde of Paules precept, be not wearie of well-doing, for in due time you ſhall reape if you faint not. Gal. 6.9. Thus preſenting unto God my ſupplication, and unto you my operation, the former to him for your ſafetie, the latter to you for your ſervice, I ever remaine
¶ To the Reader.
Readers too common, and plentifull be;
For Readers they are that can read a, b, c.
And utter their verdict on what they doe view,
Though none of the Muſes they yet ever knew.
But helpe of ſuch Readers at no time I crave,
Their ſilence, than cenſure, I rather would have:
For ignorant Dunces doe ſoonest deprave.
But, courteous Reader, who ever thou art,
Which theſe my endevours do’ſt take in good part,
Correcting with judgement the faults thou do’ſt finde,
With favour approving what pleaſeth thy minde.
To thee for thy uſe, and behoofe, I extend
This poore Memorandum of our latter end.
Thus wiſhing thee wellfare, I reſt a true friend.
To thoſe which (Art affect, And learnings fruit) reſpect.
When ſplendent Sol, which riſeth in the Eaſt,
Returning thence tooke harbour in the Weſt;
When Phœbus layd her head in Titans lap,
And Creatures ſenſitive made haſt to reſt;
When skie which earſt look’t like to azure blew,
Left colour bright, and put on ſable hew.
Then did Morpheus cloſe my drowſie eyes,
And ſtood as Porter at my ſences dore,
Diurnall cares excluding from my minde;
Including reſt, (the ſalve for labours ſore.)
Nights greateſt part in quiet ſleepe I ſpent,
But nothing in this world is permanent.
For ere Aurora ſpread her glittering beames,
Or did with roabes of light her ſelfe inveſt,
My mentall quiet ſleepe did interdict,
By entertaining a nocturnall gueſt.
A Dreame which did my minde and ſenſe poſſeſſe,
With more then I by Penne can well expreſſe.
At the appoyntment of ſupernall power,
By inſtrumentall meanes me thought I came
Into a place moſt pleaſant to the eye,
Which for the beautie ſome did Coſmus name,
Where ſtranger-like on every thing I gaz’d,
But wanting wiſedome was as one amaz’d.
Upon a ſodeyne, as I gazing ſtood,
Thought came to me, and ask’t me of my ſtate,
Inquiring what I was, and what I would,
And why I ſeem’d as one diſconſolate:
To whoſe demand, I thus againe replide,
I, as a ſtranger in this place abide.
The Haven of my voyage is remote,
I have not yet attain’d my journeyes end;
Yet know I not, nor can I give a gueſſe,
How ſhort a time I in this place ſhall ſpend.
For that high power, which ſent me to this place,
Doth onely know the period of my race.
The reaſon of my ſadneſſe at this time,
Is, ’cauſe I feele my ſelfe not very well,
Unto you I ſhall much obliged bee,
If for my griefe a remedie you’le tell.
Quoth ſhee, if you your maladie will ſhow,
My beſt adviſe I’le willingly beſtow.
My griefe, quoth I, is called Ignorance,
Which makes me differ little from a brute:
For animals are led by natures lore,
Their ſeeming ſcience is but cuſtomes fruit;
When they are hurt they have a ſenſe of paine;
But want the ſenſe to cure themſelves againe.
Quoth ſhe, I wiſh I could preſcribe your helpe;
Your ſtate I pitie much, and doe bewaile;
But for my part, though I am much imploy’d,
Yet in my judgement I doe often faile.
And therefore I’le commend unto your triall
Experience, of whom take no deniall.
For ſhe can beſt direct you, what is meet
To worke your cure, and ſatisfie your minde;
I thank’t her for her love, and tooke my leave,
Demanding where I might Experience finde.
She told me if I did abroad enquire,
’Twas likely Age could anſwer my deſire.
I ſought, I found, She ask’t me what I would;
Quoth I, your beſt direction I implore:
For I am troubled with an irkeſome griefe,
Which when I nam’d, quoth ſhe declare no more:
For I can tell as much, as you can ſay,
And for your cure I’le helpe you what I may.
But ’tis the good, which muſt effect your cure,
I pray’d her then, that ſhe would further ſhow,
Where I might have it, that I will, quoth ſhee,
In Eruditions garden it doth grow:
And in compaſſion of your woefull caſe,
Induſtrie ſhall conduct you to the place.
Diſſwaſion hearing her aſſigne my helpe,
(And ſeeing that conſent I did detect)
Did many remoraes to me propoſe,
As dulneſſe, and my memories defect;
The difficultie of attaining lore,
My time, and ſex, with many others more.
Which when I heard, my minde was much perplext,
And as a horſe new come into the field,
Who with a Harquebuz at firſt doth ſtart,
So did this ſhot make me recoyle and yeeld.
But of my feare when ſome did notice take,
In my behalfe, they this reply did make.
Firſt quoth Deſire, Diſſwaſion, hold thy peace,
Theſe oppoſitions come not from above:
Quoth Truth, they cannot ſpring from reaſons roote,
And therefore now thou ſhalt no victor prove.
No, quoth Induſtrie, be aſſured this,
Her friends ſhall make thee of thy purpoſe miſſe.
For with my ſickle I will cut away
All obſtacles, that in her way can grow,
And by the iſſue of her owne attempt,
I’le make thee labor omnia vincet know.
Quoth Truth, and ſith her ſex thou do’ſt object,
Thy folly I by reaſon will detect.
And many others here I could produce,
Who were in Science counted excellent;
But theſe examples which I have rehearſt,
To shew thy error are ſufficient.
Thus having ſayd, ſhe turn’d her ſpeech to mee,
That in my purpoſe I might conſtant bee.
My friend, quoth ſhe, regard not vulgar talke;
For dung-hill Cocks at precious ſtones will ſpurne,
And ſwine-like natures prize not criſtall ſtreames,
Contemned mire, and mud will ſerve their turne.
Good purpoſe ſeldome oppoſitions want:
But conſtant mindes Diſſwaſion cannot daunt.
When Truth had ended what ſhee meant to ſay,
Deſire did move me to obey her will,
Whereto conſenting I did ſoone proceede,
Her counſell, and my purpoſe to fulfill;
And by the helpe of Induſtrie my friend,
I quickly did attaine my journeyes end.
Where being come, Inſtructions pleaſant ayre
Refreſht my ſenſes, which were almoſt dead,
And fragrant flowers of ſage and fruitfull plants,
Did ſend ſweete ſavours up into my head;
And taſte of ſcience appetite did move,
To augment Theorie of things above.
There did the harmonie of thoſe ſweete birds,
(Which higher ſoare with Contemplations wings,
Then barely with a ſuperficiall view,
Denote the value of created things.)
Yeeld ſuch delight as made me to implore,
That I might reape this pleaſure more and more.
And as I walked wandring with Deſire,
To gather that, for which I thither came;
(Which by the helpe of Induſtrie I found)
I met my old acquaintance, Truth by name;
Whom I requeſted briefely to declare,
The vertue of that plant I found ſo rare.
Col. 3.10. Quoth ſhee, by it Gods image man doth beare,
Without it he is but a humane ſhape,
Worſe then the Devill; for he knoweth much;
Without it who can any ill eſcape?
By vertue of it evils are withſtood;
The minde without it is not counted good. Prov. 19.2.
This true report put edge unto Deſire,
Who did incite me to increaſe my ſtore,
And told me ’twas a lawfull avarice,
To covet Knowledge daily more and more.
This counſell I did willingly obey,
Till ſome occurrence called me away.
And made me reſt content with that I had,
Which was but little, as effect doth ſhow;
And quenched hope for gaining any more,
For I my time must other-wayes beſtow.
I therefore to that place return’d againe,
From whence I came, and where I muſt remaine.
But by the way I ſaw a full fed Beaſt,
Which roared like ſome monster, or a Devill,
And on Eves sex he foamed filthie froth,
As if that he had had the falling evill;
To whom I went to free them from miſhaps,
And with a Mouzel ſought to binde his chaps.
But, as it ſeemes, my moode out-run my might,
Which when a ſelfe-conceited Creature ſaw,
Shee paſt her cenſure on my weake exployt,
And gave the beaſt a harder bone to gnaw;
Haman ſhee hangs, ’tis paſt he cannot ſhun it;
For Eſter in the Pretertenſe hath done it.
And yet her enterprize had ſome defect,
The monſter ſurely was not hanged quite:
For as the childe of Prudence did conceive,
His throat not ſtop’t he ſtill had power to bite.
She therefore gave to Cerberus a ſoppe,
Which is of force his beaſtly breath to ſtoppe.
But yet if he doe ſwallow downe that bit,
Shee other-wayes hath bound him to the peace;
And like an Artiſt takes away the cauſe,
That the effect by conſequence may ceaſe.
This franticke dogge, whoſe rage did women wrong,
Hath Conſtance worm’d to make him hold his tongue.
Thus leaving them I paſſed on my way,
But ere that I had little further gone,
I ſaw a fierce inſatiable foe,
Depopulating Countries, ſparing none;
Without reſpect of age, ſex, or degree,
It did devoure, and could not daunted be.
Some fear’d this foe, ſome lov’d it as a friend;
For though none could the force of it withstand,
Yet ſome by it were ſent to Tophets flames,
But others led to heavenly Canaan land.
On ſome it ſeazed with a gentle power,
And others furiouſly it did devoure.
The name of this impartiall foe was Death,
Whoſe rigour whil’ſt I furiouſly did view,
Upon a ſodeyne, ere I was aware;
Which when I ſaw it made me ſo to weepe,
That teares and ſobs did rouze me from my ſleepe.
But, when I wak’t, I found my dreame was true;
For Death had ta’ne my mothers breath away,
Though of her life it could not her bereave,
Sith ſhee in glorie lives with Chriſt for aye;
Which makes me glad, and thankefull for her bliſſe,
Though ſtill bewayle her abſence, whom I miſſe.
A ſodeine ſorrow peirceth to the quicke,
Speedie encounters fortitude doth try;
Unarmed men receive the deepeſt wound,
Expected perils time doth lenifie;
Her ſodeine loſſe hath cut my feeble heart,
So deepe, that daily I indure the ſmart.
The roote is kil’d, how can the boughs but fade?
But ſith that Death this cruell deed hath done,
I’le blaze the nature of this mortall foe,
And ſhew how it to tyranize begun.
The ſequell then with judgement view aright,
The profit may and will the paines requite.
Eſto Memor Mortis.
When Elohim had given time beginning,
In the beginning God began to make The heavens, and earth, Gen. I. I. with all that they containe,
Which were created for his Glories ſake; Prov. 16. 4.
And to be Lord of part of worke or’e-paſt,
He Adam made, and Eve of him at laſt.
In Eden garden God did place them both,
To whom Commaund of all the trees he gave,
The fruit of one tree onely to forbeare,
On paine of Death (his owne he did but crave,)
And Sathan thinking this their good too great,
Suggeſts the Woman, ſhee the man, they eate.
Thus eating both, they both did joyntly ſinne,
And Elohim diſhonoured by their act;
Doth ratifie, what he had earſt decreed,
Gen. 2. 17 That Death muſt be the wages of their fact;
Thus on them, and their of-ſpring thenceforth ſeaz’d
Mortalitie, becauſe they God diſpleas’d.
In Adam all men die, I. Cor. 15. 22. not one that’s free
From that condition we from him derive,
By ſinne Death entred, and began to raigne,
But yet in Chriſt ſhall all be made alive. Rom. 5. 12
Who did triumph o’re ſinne, o’re Death, and hell,
That all his choſen may in glorie dwell.
Conſidering then Jehovahs juſt decree,
That man ſhall surely taſte of Death through ſinne,
I much lament, when as I mete in minde,
The dying ſtate ſecurely men live in;
Excluding from their memories that day,
When they from hence by Death muſt paſſe away.
Epheſ.2. I The Scripture mentioneth three kindes of Death,
The firſt whereof is called Death in ſinne,
When as the bodie lives, and ſoule is Dead,
This ſort of Death did other Deaths beginne.
I. Tim. 5. 6 The Widowes, whom Saint Paul doth ſpecifie,
Their life in pleaſure caus’d their ſoules to die.
The unregenerated ſinnefull man,
That ſeemes to live, but is in ſpirit Dead,
Lives to the world, and daily dies to God,
Prepoſtrouſly his courſe of life is led;
He lives and dies, but cannot die and live,
The Childrens bread to Whelps God will not give. Mat. 15. 26
The ſecond kinde of Death is Death to ſinne, Rom. 6. II
Whereby the faithfull and regenerate man
Doth daily Mortifie his ill deſires,
That ſin doth neither raigne in him, nor can.
Thus dying in this life, in Death he lives,
And after Death to him God glorie gives.
The third and laſt of theſe, is Death by ſinne,
Which as a roote two braunches forth doth ſend,
The former bough whereof is Corp’rall Death,
The latter Death eternall without end.
Which end without end God doth deſtinate,
To be the ſtipend of the Reprobate.
This is that Death which ſacred Scripture calls
The ſecond Death, or ſeparation
Of ſoule, and bodie from the love of God;
The ſinners lot, juſt Condemnation.
Which cannot be to them, that are in Chriſt, Rom. 8. I.
Whoſe life is hid with him in God the hyeſt. Col. 3. 3.
A Corp’rall Death is common unto all,
To young, and old, to godly and unjuſt;
The Prince, that ſwayes the ſcepter of a Realme,
Muſt with his Subjects turne by Death to duſt.
This is the period of all Adams lyne,
Which Epilogue of life I thus define.
When ſoule and bodie by one ſpirit knit,
Unlooſed are, and duſt returnes to earth, Eccle. 12.7.
The ſpirit unto God that gave it man,
By which he lives in wombe before his birth;
The bodie voyd of ſoule, bereft of breath,
Is that condition called Corp’rall Death.
This is that Death, which leades the ſoule to life,
This is that friend, which frees us from our paine,
This is the Portall of true Paradiſe,
Through which we paſſe eternall life to gaine;
This is the leader unto joy or woe,
This is the dore, through which all men muſt goe.
Gen.3. 19. Death was at firſt inflicted as a curſe,
But Womans ſeede hath brooke the Serpents head, Gen. 3. 15.
His bitter Death for us hath gained life,
His agonie hath freed his owne from dread.
Death is that gueſt the godly wiſh to ſee;
For when it comes, their troubles ended be.
All things doe worke together for the beſt Rom. 8. 1.
To thoſe, that love and are beloved of God;
If all things, then muſt alſo ſinne and Death,
Sickneſſe, and ſorrowes, worlds owne ſcourging rod:
For in deſpight of fleſh, the world, and Devill,
God to his Children brings good out of evill.
Firſt, we by Death are freed from preſent woe,
And ſuch Gods ſpirit hath pronounced bleſt,
As in the Lord depart this irkeſome life;
For from their labours they for ever reſt. Reuel.14. 13.
’Tis Death Conducts us to the land of peace,
Then welcome Death, which doth all ſorrowes ceaſe.
If man were fettred in a loathſome goale,
Without one ſparke of hope to come from thence,
Till Priſon walls were levell with the ground,
He would be glad to ſee their fall Commence.
Thy bodies ruine then rejoyce to ſee,
That out of Goale thy ſoule may looſed be.
What worſe Bocardo for the ſoule of man,
Then is the bodie, which with filth is fraught;
Witneſſe the ſinkes thereof, through which doe paſſe
The excrements, appoynted for the draught.
Evacuations, loathſome in their ſmell,
Egeſted filth, unfit for tongue to tell.
From out of Priſon bring my ſoule O Lord, Pſal. 142. 7.
Was Davids earneſt and ſincere deſire,
I. King. 19. 4. Eliah in the anguiſh of his heart,
Did Death in ſtead of irkeſome life require.
Vile, Live, and Evil, have the ſelfe ſame letters,
He lives but vile whom evil houlds in fetters.
The Heathens make report, that Argia,
To yeeld requitall for the toyle and paine,
Which Biton and Cleobis for her tooke,
Deſir’d the goddeſſe Juno, they might gaine
The greateſt good, ſhe could to man bequeath,
Which graunted was, and paid with ſodeine Death.
The Thracians ſadly ſorrow and lament,
When as their Children firſt behold the light,
But with great exultation they rejoyce,
What time their friends doe bid the world Good-night.
2. Sam. 12. 20. When Davids Childe was ſicke he would not eate,
But being Dead, he roſe and call’d for meate.
By Death we ſecondly delivered are,
From future ſorrowes, and calamities,
The godly periſh and are ta’ne away Eſay.57. I.
From ill to come, as Eſay teſtifies.
I. King. 14. 13. And thus God cut off Jeroboams ſonne,
Becauſe he ſaw ſome good in him begun.
We thirdly are, by Death exempt from ſinne,
And freed from bondage of inthralled woe,
’Tis true, that life’s the bleſſing of the Lord,
But yet by it ſinne doth increaſe and grow.
And ſinne is but the of-ſpring of the Devill,
Then bleſt is he, whom Death frees from this evill.
To ſome the Lord in mercie graunteth ſpace,
For true repentance of committed ſinne,
And reformation of thoſe evill wayes,
Which through corruption they have walked in;
And other ſome, who ſinne as earſt before,
He takes away, that they may ſinne no more.
Death Corporall in fine is as a dore,
Through which our ſoules doe paſſe without delay
Into thoſe joyes, which cannot be conceiv’d;
This truth is proved plaine, where Chriſt doth ſay,
To day thou ſhalt be with mee Luke 23. 43. to that theefe,
Which at laſt gaſpe did beg his ſoules reliefe.
What is this world, if ballanced with heaven;
Earths glorie fades, but heavenly joyes indure,
This life is full of ſickneſſe, want, and woe;
But life through Chriſt hath no diſeaſe to cure.
In heaven there is no maladie or paine,
But melodie, true comfort to maintaine.
There Saints are Crown’d with matchleſſe majeſtie,
Inveſted with eternall roabes of glorie;
There Sunne doth ſhine, and ſuffers no eclips,
Earths chiefeſt joyes are vaine, and tranſitorie.
Unconſtant, fading, fickle, and unſure,
But heavens pleaſures permanent endure.
There is not penurie, or choaking care
For preſent time, or the ſucceeding morrow;
But there are riches without toyle attain’d;
Myrth without mourning, ſolace without ſorrow.
Peace without perill, plentie without want,
Where without asking, God doth all things grant.
I. Cor.2. 9. The eye of man hath never yet beheld,
Ne yet his heart conceiv’d, or underſtood
The joyes prepar’d, and purchas’d for the deare
And choſen Children of our heavenly Father,
Who doth his ſheepe into one ſheepe-fould gather.
And as our ſoules poſſeſſe true happineſſe,
So ſhall our mortall bodies vile and baſe,
Phil.3. 21. Be rais’d immortall by the power of Chriſt,
And with our ſoules enjoy a glorious place,
That re-united they may joyne in one,
Epheſ.2. 20. To ſing the praiſes of the Corner-Stone.
The day of Death, ſaith Salomon the Wiſe,
(Which paradox the Godly approbate)
Is better then the day that one is borne; Eccles.7. 3.
For Death conducts us to a bliſſe-full ſtate.
’Tis Lazars friend, though it ſeeme Dives foe,
But life inducts us to a world of woe.
The Mariner, which doth aſſay to paſſe
The raging ſeas into ſome forraine land,
Deſireth much to have his voyage ended,
And to arrive upon the ſolid ſand.
All creatures with deſire doe ſeeke for reſt,
After they have with labour beene oppreſt.
The Pilgrim, which a journey undertakes,
Feeding his fancie with exoticke ſights,
Deemes not his way much irkeſome to his foot;
Becauſe his paine is mixed with delights.
For ’tis his joy to thinke upon that day,
When he ſhall ſee the period of his way.
Men are as Saylors in this irkſome life,
Who at the haven alwayes caſt their eye,
As Pilgrims wandring in a uncouth land.
Then who is he, that will not wiſh to dye?
And he whom God by Death doth ſoonest call,
Is in my minde the happieſt wight of all.
When Simeon had embraced in his armes,
His Lord, whom he had waited long to ſee,
He of his Saviour inſtantly deſir’d
A nunc dimittis, Luke2. 29. that he might be free
From bitter bondage of unpleaſant life,
Where fleſh and ſpirit alwayes are at ſtrife.
By their Contraries things may beſt be ſeene,
Jet makes the Ivorie moſt white appeare,
’Tis darkneſſe which doth manifeſt the light,
And ſickneſſe makes us value health moſt deare.
Lifes miſerie doth beſt make knowne the gaine,
And freedome, which by Death we doe obtaine.
Conſider then the evils of this life,
Whoſe pleaſures are as honie mixt with gall,
Or bankes of flowers, which cover lurking ſnakes,
Snares to intrap, and blocks whereat ſome fall.
What wiſe-man then of them will reck’ning make,
Or wiſh to live for fading pleaſures ſake?
It were ſome motive to induce delight,
In living long, if life would certaine laſt,
But Infancie and Childhood ſcarce are ſeene,
Before that both of them are overpaſt.
Juventus ſodeinly doth flie away,
Adoloſcency makes but little ſtay.
Virilitie doth not continue long,
Old-age is ſhort and haſtens to an end,
Our longeſt life and pleaſure is but briefe,
Thus tedious griefes on every age attend.
Which like to ſable clouds eclips our ſunne,
And makes our glaſſe of life with ſorrow run.
Conſider man in his abridged time,
What pricking perill he therein doth beare;
Youth is incumbred with untimely harmes,
Continuall care doth Middle-age out-weare.
Old-age is teſtie, ſubject unto griefe,
Diſeaſes ſteale upon it as a theefe.
The bodie is in danger (every part)
Of hurt, diſeaſe, and loſſe of ſenſe, and lym,
Auditusunto deafeneſſe ſubject is,
Viſus of blindneſſe, or of being dym,
Gustus of ſavours, bitter, tart, and ſowre,
Olfactusunto loathſome ſtinks each houre.
Tactus is ſubject to benummedneſſe,
Our goods to ſpoyle by theeves, or ſodeyne fire,
Good name is lyable to falſe reports,
Invective obtrectations, fruites of ire;
Our kindred and acquaintance ſubject are
To like miſhap, which falleth to our ſhare.
Our ſoule in danger is of vice and errour,
Our bodie ſubject to impriſonment,
To hurt by beaſts, as horſes and the like,
Or elſe to ſpoyle by creatures virulent;
Which with their ſtings doe give untimely wound,
Or elſe to ſquatts and bruiſes on the ground.
Thoſe dewes, which Sol attracteth from the earth,
Prove moſt pernicious when they doe deſcend,
To number all the evills of this life,
May have beginning, but can finde no end.
For new enormities, new plagues procure,
’Tis juſt to ſcourge, where love cannot allure.
What courſe, or trade of life, is free from griefe?
Or what condition voyd of all annoy?
To live in office, trouble is our lot,
To live at home is uncouth without joy:
To worke in field is toyleſome, full of paine,
At ſea are feares, in traffique little gaine.
In journey jeopardie doth us attend,
In marriage griefe and care oppreſſe the minde,
The ſingle life is ſolitarie, vaine;
The rich can little joy in riches finde;
For having much, his care must watch his wealth,
From ſecret pilfring, and from open ſtealth.
If poverty be our appointed lot,
Our griefe is great, reliefe and comfort ſmall,
We muſt endure oppreſſion, ſuffer wrong,
The weake in wreſtling goeth to the wall:
If we be bit, we cannot bite againe,
If rich men ſtrike, we muſt their blow ſuſtaine.
If we be eminent in place of note,
Then ſtand we as a marke for envies dart,
Conjecture cenſures our defect of worth,
Inquirie doth anatomize each part,
And if our reputation be but ſmall,
Contempt and ſcorne doth us and ours befall.
The infant from the wombe into the world
Comes crying, by the which it doth preſage
The paines, and perils, it muſt undergoe,
In childe-hood, man-hood, and decreped age,
He that moſt knowes this life, leaſt doth it love,
Except affliction may affection move.
Mans life on earth is like a Ship at Sea,
Toſt on the waves of troubles to and fro,
Aſſayl’d by pirates, croſt by bluſtring windes,
Where rockes of ruine menace overthrow.
Where ſtormes moleſt, and hunger pincheth ſore,
Where Death doth lurke at every Cabbin dore.
Yet ſome afflictions in this irkeſome life,
God doth in mercie to his Children ſend,
Thereby to weane them from the love of that,
Which is but noyſome, and will ſoone have end.
That ſo their liking may be ſet above, Col. 3. 2.
Upon thoſe pleaſures which ſhall never move.
Phil.I. 23. Which made the Choſen veſſell of the Lord,
That he might be with Chriſt, deſire to die,
Iob.6. 8. 9. And Job to wiſh his dayes were at an end,
The godly man is tyred with his breath,
And findes no reſt, till he be free by Death.
What then is life that it ſhould be deſir’d?
Or what advantage by it doth man winne?
Is not this world a net to ſnare the ſoule?
Doe not long livers multiplie their ſinne?
Is not this life a mappe of miſerie,
The quite contrarie of tranquilitie.
For though the ſeeming pleaſures of this life
Doe cauſe us love it, yet the paines may move
Us to contemne the bait, which hides the hooke,
And rather loath, then either like or love,
A path of Ice, where footing is unſure,
Or bitter pills, though guilded to allure.
But ſome (who live as Dives did) may ſay,
That life is ſweet, and comfort doth afford,
That there are few whom ſicknesse doth arreſt,
But wiſh moſt earneſtly to be reſtor’d.
I. King. 20. 3. That Hezekiah wept when he heard tell,
That God would have him bid the world farewell.
As alſo David to the Lord did ſay,
Let my ſoule live, that it may praiſe thee ſtill; Pſal.119. 175.
Luke 22. 42. And Chriſt did pray, his Cup might from him paſſe,
If ſo it were his holy Fathers will:
But Hezekiah wept, becauſe that yet
He had no iſſue on his throne to ſit.
And Davids wiſh from reaſon did proceed;
For he was then perplexed with his foe,
Who would with exultation have affirm’d,
That God in wrath had wrought his overthrow.
Gal.3. 13. And of Chriſts prayer this was the reaſon why,
Becauſe he was a curſed Death to die.
When godly men doe dread the ſight of Death,
Their fearefulneſſe it is but natures errour,
The ſpirit’s readie, but the fleſh is weake, Mat.26. 41.
Aſſiſting grace will mitigate their terror.
Yet ſome mens feare doth iſſue from miſtruſt,
That they ſhall never ſhine among the juſt.
The conſcience of whoſe life in ſinne miſ-led,
At ſight of Death doth make them trembling ſtand,
Dan.5. 6. And like Belſhatſar change their wonted lookes,
Becauſe that their deſtruction is at hand.
For when that God o’re them gives Death full power,
Grave takes their bodies, hell their ſoules devoure.
They know that ſinne deſerves eternall Death;
And therefore feare when they depart from hence,
And that their Lampe of life is quite extinct,
Their pleaſures ſhall conclude, and paines commence.
The worme of Conſcience gnawes ſo in their breſt,
As makes their terrour not to be expreſt.
Num.23. 10. And then (too late) with Balam they deſire,
(When they perceive their latter end draw nie)
That they the righteous may aſſimilate
In their departure, and like them may die.
But holy life is that portendeth bliſſe,
He that lives well can never die amiſſe.
That man which lives a ſanctifyed life,
Yet doth not die with outward peace and reſt,
Through conflicts had with Sathan and his luſts;
Judge not amiſſe of him, whom God hath bleſt.
In leading by the gate of hell to joy,
Where he ſhall be exempt from all annoy.
For ſometimes ’tis the lot of wicked men,
Which in impietie their life have led,
To outward view to leave this world in peace,
Without ſo much as ſtrugling on their bed.
The Death of Nabal who ſo noteth well,
I. Sam.25. 37. Shall finde that many paſſe like ſtones to hell.
Death is the meſſenger of weale and woe,
Gen.40. 13. 19. Like Joſeph, which foretold of dignitie,
That Pharoah on his Butler would beſtow,
But to the Baker fatall miſerie.
He did predict ſhould ſodeinly enſue,
Which, as he ſaid, did quickly fall out true.
Unto the faithfull, Death doth tydings bring
Of life, of favour, and eternall reſt,
How they from out the priſon of this world,
In which with griefes they have beene ſore oppreſt,
Shall be receiv’d through Chriſts eternall love
To live for ever with their God above.
For though that Death conſidered in it ſelfe
Be fearefull, and doth many terrors bring,
Yet unto them there is no cauſe of dread;
For by Chriſts Death grim Mors hath loſt it ſting.
That as a toothleſſe Snake no hurt can doe,
No more can Death procure the godly woe.
I. Cor. 15. 56. The ſting of Death the Scripture ſayth is ſinne,
Chriſts powerfull Death hath tooke Deaths power away,
Hosea 13. 14. That by the merit of his Conquering word;
To Death and Hell we may with boldneſſe ſay,
I. Cor.15. 55. Death where’s thy ſting, Hell where’s thy victorie?
In Chriſt we live maugre thy tyrannie.
The godly onely comfort finde in Death,
They view the end, and not regard the way,
And with the eye of faith they ſee, that God
Intends more good to them, then earth can pay:
And though to die they dare not ſupplicate,
Yet for their diſſolution they doe waite.
So that if Death arreſt them unawares,
Yet can it not them unprepared finde,
And if with reſpite they depart this world,
Their wel-led-life doth conſolate their minde,
And makes them welcome Death with joy of heart;
’Tis happie newes that they from life muſt part.
But to the wicked Death brings word of Death;
For why to them it hath not loſt it ſting:
It is but the exordium of their woes,
And as a Goalor doth from Priſon bring
Their guiltie ſoules, to ſuffer for their ſinne
Thoſe paines which end not, though they doe begin.
Within them terror doth affright their mindes,
Above them they the face of juſtice ſee,
Beneath them horrour doth affront their ſight,
About them ugly Devils readie bee,
With watchfull eyes, moſt willing without grudge,
To execute the pleaſure of the Judge.
Death takes them as it findes them, and forthwith
It doth preſent them, as it doth them take,
Unto the Lord, who cenſures their deſerts,
As they are found, when they appearance make.
And as they are adjudged, ſo they muſt,
For ever under-goe their ſentence juſt.
Mortalitie is Gods exact decree,
Which as the deluge of his kindled ire,
Hath overwhelmed with a dying life
Decaying man, whoſe ſtate doth ſtill require,
And pregnantly induce to thinke on Death,
Ere it obſtruct the paſſage of his breath.
Three motives moving man to meditate
Pſal.89. 48. On Death, ere Death, I briefely will declare;
Deut.31. 14. Firſt the Neceſsitie that men muſt die,
By which they are forewarned to prepare,
Againſt that time, when they muſt goe from hence,
This ſtrict Oportet will with none diſpence.
Thoſe daily objects man doth ſpeculate,
Preſent unto his thought, that he muſt die;
For all things in this world declare and ſhew,
That man is ſubject to Mortalitie;
Thoſe vegetives, which bud and ſpring out moſt,
Doth Hyems kill, and cut away with froſt.
I. Pet.3. 10. The elements muſt be diſſolv’d with heate,
The Macrocoſmus it muſt paſſe away,
Luke21. 33. And man the Microcoſmus needs muſt die,
Both young and old must goe to Golgotha.
Faire buildings levell with the ground muſt lye,
And ſtrongest Citties come to nullitie.
Dan.6. 15. The Medes and Perſians did their lawes confirme
So ſtrongly, that they could not altred bee,
And this appointment all men once muſt die, Heb. 9. 27.
Is as infallible, as their decree.
We needs muſt die, 2. Sam.14. 14. to pay what God doth lend,
Life had beginning, and muſt have an end.
From earth man came, to duſt he must returne,
This is the deſcant of Deaths fatall dittie,
All men are mortall, therefore muſt they die,
And Paul ſayth, Here is no abiding Cittie. Heb. 13. 14.
Iob7. 6. Mans dayes conſume like wax againſt the Sunne,
And as a Weavers ſhittle ſwiftly runne.
That thing, which may bee, may be doubted off,
And as a thing uncertaine paſſe neglected;
But things that must be, greater heed require,
And of neceſſitie muſt bee expected.
Then thinke on Death, ere Death, for truth doth ſhow,
That Death muſt come, but when we may not know.
The ſecond motive mooving thought of Death,
Is the impartialitie of it,
Reſpecting neither perſons, age, or ſexe,
By bribes ſiniſter it doth none acquit;
Friends nor intreaties can no whit prevaile,
Where Death arreſts it will admit no Bayle.
What is become of Abſolom the faire?
David the Victor, Salomon the wiſe?
Creſſus the worldly rich, Dives the wretch?
Sampſon the ſtrong, that was bereft of eyes?
From theſe, and more then theſe, with whetted knife,
Death hath cut off the ſilver thread of life.
It is hereditarie unto all,
Lazarus dead, Dives muſt alſo die, Luke16. 22.
Paſſe from his downe-bed to his bed of duſt,
And untill doomes day in earths bowels lye.
Death ſcatters that, which life had carking got,
And caſts on youthfull yeares old ages lot.
Like Jehues ſhaft it ſpares not Jorams heart,
2. King9.24. But makes Kings ſubject to it aweleſſe power.
David muſt yeeld to tread the beaten path,
I. King2.2. When Death with open mouth meanes to devoure.
And having changed corps to duſt, who then
Can well diſtinguiſh Kings from other men?
The greateſt Monarch of earths Monarchie,
Whom God with worldly honours highly bleſt,
Deaths Beeſome from this life hath ſwept away,
Gen.5.5. Their ſtories Epilogue is Mortuus est.
For Death to all men diſſolution brings,
Yea, the Cataſtrophe it is of Kings.
Great Alexander Conquer’d many Lands,
And ſavage Creatures he bereft of breath;
But in the Records of his famous acts,
It is not writ, that he did Conquer Death.
The ſtouteſt ſouldiour fitted for the field,
Maugre his might to Death his life muſt yeeld.
Methuſhelah, one of the longeſt livers,
Could not eſcape the peircing dart of Death,
But when the ſand out of his glaſſe was runne,
Mors ſtopt the paſſage of his vitall breath.
Death from the ſtately throne to grave dejects,
No more the Prince then Peaſant it reſpects.
It doth diſſolve the knot by friendſhip knit,
From David it takes Jonathan away,
And Children of their Parents it bereaves,
Parents their Children muſt not have for aye.
Without reſpect of any or remorce,
It workes the husband’s, and his wifes divorce.
’Tis ſo impartiall, that it ſpareth none,
But doth ſurprize the rich as well as poore,
It was not Tullies learned eloquence,
That could perſwade Death to paſſe by his dore.
Nor is it wealth or proweſſe that can tame,
Gen.3. 19. Deaths vigour, for it ſends men whence they came.
The third and laſt is the uncertaintie
Of Deaths approach, as when or at what time,
It will arreſt us, whether in old age,
Or our Virilitie and youthfull prime.
The which muſt cauſe continuall thought of Death,
That unawares it may not ſtop our breath.
Time turnes the heavens in a certaine courſe,
The Storke and Crane appoynted ſeaſons know, Ier. 8.7.
The ſtarres their conſtant motions doe obſerve,
Tides have their times to ebbe and over-flow.
Mans fickle ſtate doth onely reſt unſure
Of certaine courſe, and ſeaſon to endure.
The Tenant thinkes upon that date of time,
Which will his leaſe of houſe or land expire;
But of the end or punctum of this life,
Whereof we have no leaſe, who doth inquire?
We in this life are Tenants but at will,
God onely knowes the time we muſt fulfill.
The Preter time, which is alreadie paſt,
Was ours, but never will be ſo againe;
The Future time perhaps ſhall not be ours,
To make account thereof is therefore vaine;
The inſtant time which preſent we injoy
Is onely ours to mannage and imploy.
I make no doubt but many men would mourne,
If they exactly knew their finall day
Should be within a yeare of preſent time,
Yet now with mirth they paſſe their time away;
When as perhaps they ſhall not live one houre,
Nay in a moment, Death may them devoure.
Some tender Infants in their Cradle die,
Like blooming bloſſomes blowne from off the tree;
2. Sam. 12. 18. Davids young ſonne muſt die, it is decreed
That length of dayes he ſhall not live to ſee.
Thus greedie Death plucks buds from off the tree,
When fruits mature grow and ungath’red bee.
There is no man on earth that can foretell,
WhereDeath, or in what place will us ſelect,
Abroad, at home, in cittie, or the field,
It is Uncertaine, that we may expect
Deaths comming alwayes, and in every place,
To make compleate the currant of our race.
The manner of Deaths comming, How ’twill be,
God hath conceal’d to make us vigilant.
Some die by ſickneſſe, others by miſhap,
Some die with ſurfeit, other ſome with want:
Some die by fire, ſome periſh by the Sword,
Some drown’d in Water ſwim unto the Lord.
Pope Adrian was ſtifeled with a Gnatt,
Old Anacreon ſtrangled with a Grape,
A little hayre did choake great Fabius,
Saphira could not ſodeine Death eſcape.
Into this life we all but one way came,
But divers wayes we goe out of the ſame.
If God from perill did not us protect,
Our daily food might ſtop our vitall breath,
The things we neither doubt, nor feare, may prove
The inſtruments of an untimely Death.
And in a moment worke our lives decay,
When we leaſt thinke upon our ending day.
’Tis God omniſcient which doth onely know
The time of life, that man on earth muſt live,
At his appoyntment Moſes muſt goe die, Deut. 32. 50.
Who bounds and limmit unto time doth give:
Man happen may to aske Where, When, and How,
Death will ſurprize, but God ſayth Thus, here, now.
Of lifes decay man information hath,
From certaine monitors, which Uſher Death;
The firſt whereof proclaimes th’uncertaintie
Of time determin’d for mans uſe of breath.
The ſecond doth diſcover miſerie.
The third inevitable certaintie.
The firſt of theſe is ſodeine caſualtie,
Which doth ſuggeſt that Death may doubtfull be,
The ſecond ſickneſſe, which with irkſome groanes
Declares, that Death may grievous be to thee.
Thirdly old-age this rule doth verifie,
Young men may faile, but aged men muſt die.
It therefore is moſt requiſite for thoſe,
That wiſh to be upright in judgement found,
Not by their workes, but for their Saviours meed,
To thinke they alwayes heare the laſt trump ſound,
That they their ſoules in readineſſe may make:
For when Death comes ’twill no excuſes take.
Deut.32. 29. Jehovah by his Utinam doth ſhew
His great deſire, that men ſhould have reſpect
To underſtand and thinke upon their end,
Which want of wiſedome cauſeth them neglect.
For ſurely where the Lord doth knowledge give,
Men live and learne to die, and die to live.
To entertaine a Legate from a King
In coſtly manner, many will prepare;
Yet Death that comes from him, that’s King of Kings,
Welcome to bid, there are but few that care;
But as the tree doth fall, ſo ſhall it lye, Eccl.II. 3.
And men muſt riſe to Judgement as they die.
That thing, which at all ſeaſons may be done,
When ever done, is not done out of ſeaſon;
A daily expectation of that gueſt,
Which any time may come proceeds from reaſon.
Jeruſalem her latter end forgot,
And therefore deſolation was her lot.
Invading Mors without remorſe devoures,
And if we be not arm’d ere it aſſault,
We ſhall be foyled ere we can be arm’d;
If we be taken tardie ’tis our fault.
For ſith ’tis certaine, Mors will ſurely ſtrike,
We muſt expect Deaths poyſon-pointed pyke.
That unawares we may not be ſurpriz’d,
But readie to receive that fatall blowe,
Which cannot be reſiſted when it comes,
No more then force of flouds which overflow.
Premeditation is the beſt defence
Againſt this foe, which will with none diſpence.
For from continuall thought of Deaths aſſault,
Doe ſundry ſpeciall benefits ariſe,
Careleſſe ſecuritie it firſt prevents,
Wherewith our ghoſtly foe doth blind our eyes;
And by the which he makes us quite forget,
That there’s a Centre in our Circle ſet.
By thought of Death (in ſecond place) we gaine
Acquaintance, with our foe afore our fight,
Expected dangers looſe their greateſt force.
Paulsdying daily put falſe feare to flight.
Thoſe faces, which at firſt have ugly hew,
Grow into liking through their often view.
Thirdly by thought of Death, ere life decay,
We ſhall contemne this world and hold it vaine,
Into the which we nothing brought at firſt,
I. Tim. 6. 7. Nor from it can we carrie ought againe.
As alſo know whil’ſt on this Sea we floate,
We are but ſtrangers, from our home remote.
Gen. 8. 9. The Dove, which Noah ſent from forth the Arke,
Could finde no reſt, till ſhee return’d againe;
Nor can the faithfull, till they goe to Chriſt,
True reſt and quiet without griefe obtaine:
Heaven is the haven of the faithfull wight,
Chriſt’s love the object of their ſoules delight.
Psal.42. I. The ſoule of David panted after God,
And thirſted oft his preſence to obtaine;
Heb.II. 9. The father of the faithfull liv’d in tents,
And ſtranger-like in Canaan did remaine.
That he might no where ſettle his abode,
But in the Cittie of the living God.
Fourthly, premeditation of our Death,
Doth cauſe us crucifie our ſinfull luſt,
Gal.5. 24. And by the ſpirit mortifie the fleſh,
That ſoule may live when bodie turnes to duſt;
And makes us know that coſtly roabes and meate,
Doe decke and nouriſh food for Wormes to eate.
Fifthly, the thought of our deceaſe by Death,
Doth move us ſeriouſly to waigh in minde,
How that our firſt materiall was but earth;
Iob.7. 7. That life is ſhort, unconſtant as the Winde:
Iob.9. 26. Like miſt and dew, which Sunne doth drive away,
Or ſwift as Eagles haſting to their pray.
I. Pet.I. 24. Man is in ſacred Writ compar’d to graſſe,
Which flouriſhing to day ſends forth it flowre,
With’ring at night, is caſt into the fire,
Of ſhort perſiſtance, like an --04Aprill ſhowre.
For who ſo now perceives the Sunne to ſhine,
His life is done before that it decline.
Pſal.102. 3. Our dayes conſume and paſſe away like ſmoake,
Like Bavens blaze ſoone kindled, ſoone extinct,
Iob.9. 26. Or like a Ship which ſwiftly ſlides the Sea,
Uncertaine, fickle, irkeſome, and ſuccinct.
Recite I all the fading types I can,
Yet none ſo momentanie as is man.
Iob.8. 9. Unto a ſhadow Job doth life compare,
Which when the bodie moves, doth vaniſh quite,
Iob.20. 8. To vanitie, and likewiſe to a dreame,
Whereof we have an hundred in one night.
Psal.39. 5. David’s reſembling life unto a ſpan,
Doth ſhew the ſhort continuance of man.
If happineſſe conſiſt in length of dayes,
An Oke more happie then a man appeares;
So doth the Elephant, and ſturdie Stagge,
Which commonly doe live two hundred yeares:
Pſal.90. 10. But mortall man, as Moſes doth unfould,
If he live foureſcore yeares is counted old.
When Xerxes with ten hundred thouſand men
Attempted warre, his eyes did ſhowre forth teares;
To thinke, not one of thoſe, whom he imploy’d,
Should be alive within one hundred yeares.
For Adams heyres ingaged doe remaine
To pay, what he receiv’d, and loſt againe.
The day wherein we firſt behold the light,
Begins our Death, for life doth daily fade,
Our day of Death begins our happie life,
We are in danger, till our debt is paid.
Life is but lent, we owe it to the Lord,
When ’tis demanded, it muſt be restor’d.
A falſe imagination of long life
Luke12. 19. Made Dives ſing a requiem to his ſoule,
Inlarge his Barnes, diſport, and make good cheare,
Till just Jehovah did his thoughts controwle.
Who calls him foole, and quells his fond delight,
By threat’ning judgement to befall that night.
Sixthly, the thought of Deaths moſt ſure approach,
Doth move contrition for our preter ſinne,
And workes reſtraint of preſent ill deſires,
Inſpiring conſtant purpoſe to begin,
A faithfull life by Gods aſſiſting grace,
That to his glory we may runne our race.
Laſtly, premeditation of our Death,
Induceth us to commendable care,
For ſetling and diſpoſing our eſtate
To thoſe, whom we intend ſhall have a ſhare,
That when we are departed from this life,
Our goods may prove no coales to kindle ſtrife.
When Hezekiah Judahs King was ſicke,
And at the entrie of Deaths dore did lye,
The Prophet Eſay came to him, and ſayd,
Put thou thy houſe in order, thou muſt die; Eſay38. I.
Which paradigma plainely doth ingrave
That ’tis a dutie God himſelfe doth crave.
Neglect of which diſturbs us at our end,
When we ſhould be exempt from worldly care,
When doubt of who ſhall reape what we have ſowne
Diſtracts our thoughts, and doth our peace impaire;
Withdrawing our affections from above,
Where we and no where els ſhould fixe our love.
Unto that place prepar’d for Gods elect
Afore the world, the Lord conduct us ſtill,
And grant that we the meaſure of our dayes,
To his good pleaſure may on earth fulfill;
That when wee to our period doe attaine,
We may with Chriſt in glory ever raigne.
Lord Jeſus come quickly.