A Way to True
wife of John Sutcliffe Eſquire,
Groome of his Majeſties
moſt Honourable Privie
Printed by B.A. and T.F. for
Henry Seyle at the
in St. Pauls Church-yard. 16341634.
To the Most Illustrious and Gracious Princesse, Katherine Dutchesse of Buckingham: A3 and vi A3v and the Right Honourable and Vertuous Lady, Susanna, Countesse of Denbeigh her Siſter.Graci- vii A4r
When I read how the Gods ſooner accepted of a Handfull of Frankenſence offered by pure Devotion, then whole Hecatombes of Arabian Spices in Oſtentation: I am incouraged, having duely conſideredA4 red viii A4v red Your unlimited Goodneſſe, to preſent this my Mite unto your Grace, and your Honourable Siſter; For as you are Twinnes in Virtues, ſo I have joyned You in my Devotions: Where firſt, I moſt humbly crave of You to paſſe a favourable Cenſure of my proceedings, it beeing, I know not uſuall for a Woman to doe ſuch things: Yet Eliha ſayth, There is a Spirit in Man, and the inſpiration of the Almightie giveth them Vnder- ix A5r Underſtanding. And it is ſayd againe: Out of the mouthes of Babes and Sucklings, thou ſhalt perfect Praiſe. I am aſſured, I ſhall meet with mocking Iſhmaels, that will carpe at Goodneſſe; wherefore, I runne to Your ſelves for refuge; humbly craving to bee aſſiſted by your Graciouſneſſe, which will appeare as the Splendant Sunne to diſperſe thoſe Miſts. I have choſen a ſubject not altogether Pleaſing; but my ayme is, x A5v is, that it may prove Profitable, having obſerved in this ſhort courſe of my Pilgrimage, how apt Man is, not to thinke of his Mortalitie, which ſtealeth upon him as a Thiefe in the night: Experience teacheth mee, that there is no Action wiſely undertaken, whereof the End is not fore-caſted, in the firſt place, howſoever it bee laſt put in execution; I have ever accompted Ingratitude, to be like a xi A6r a Beast, who having received benefites, thinkes not of any acknowledgements. Owing therefore, a due Debt of Thankefulneſſe for Your unexpreſſable undeſerved Favours, and being no wayes able to cauſe the deſires of my Heart to appeare worthy- your Acceptances, I have made choyſe of this, as being perſwaded thereto, by that truely Noble vertuouſnes which hath evidently appeared in You, to the ſtrengtheningning xii A6v ning of Goodneſſe, that heere it may find admittance, which otherwiſe might want Entertainement; and for that you have beene more then a Mother to mee, I having onely from her received life, but next under God from your Grace, & your honorable Siſter the being both of mee and mine. By which as there is none greater then your Selfe to whom in duty I am bound, ſo there is not any to whom I wiſh greater Proſperity both for xiii A7r for Temporall and Spirituall bleſſings, then to your Grace; beſeeching God to preſerve you and your Honorable Off-ſpring here upon Earth, with my no leſſe vertuous Lady your Siſter, to whom I am tyed by the ſame bonds of Thankfulneſſe, that as God hath made your Renownes great upon earth, ſo I beſeech him to adde to your Lives length of dayes, and after life, Eternall happineſſe in the Heavens,vens, xiv A7v vens, whither Christ is gone to prepare a place for You, I alwayes remayning,
Your Graces, and your Honors truely devoted Servant,
Upon the Renowned Name of the moſt vertuous Princeſſe, Katherine Dutcheſſe of Buckingham.Know xvi A8v
Know you this Princeſſe, Buckingham’s Chaſt Dutcheſſe?
Aske aged Time with his worm- eaten Crutches,
To find amongſt the numbers of his Role
Her Paralell of ſuch a Heavenly moule,
Excelling ſo i’th’ beauties of the Soule:
Rich in all Treaſures, that to Virtue tend:
In Faith, Hope, Charity; the bleſſed’s end.
Nor is there ought, that lives in Woman kinde:
Exceeding the rare proweſse of her Minde.
Borne of High blood, from Rutland s Family:
United to a Duke of Royall ſtate.
CUrs’d bee the time, more curs’d his cruelty
Kill’d him; and reav’d this Turtle of her mate,
In peerleſſe woe, we ſtill lament that fate:
Nor ſhall his memorie e’re out of date,
Goe on then Gracious Princeſſe, grac’t by Fame,
Honour ſhall ſtill, attend your noble Name:
And as your Goodneſſe hath abounded, ſo
May Heaven the greateſt good on You beſtow.
Upon the Name of the Right Honourable, and truely vertuous Lady, Susanna, Counteſſe of Denbeigh.
See heere a Lady, bleſſed in her birth
Unto whoſe Greatneſſe, Goodnes joyn’d is ſtill
Susanna ne’re ſo famous was on Earth
As is this Lady, lead by vertuous will
Nothing ſo ſweete to her, as heavenly mirth
No Muſike ſounds like Haleluia ſtill
Ahappy Soule, which thoſe delights doth fill
Daigne then to view theſe lines, where truely I
Expreſſe but truth, not uſing Flattery:
No Fallaces within my mouth once lurkes,
But hates all thoſe, that uſe diſſembling workes.
Even as your Goodneſſe merits, ſo ſpeake I
Iam your Servant, bound untill I dye:
Give leave, then gracious Lady, for I finde,
Heaven hath indu’d you, with a vertuous minde.
Upon the name and Titles of the Right honourable and my ever honored Lord, Philip Earle of Pembrooke and Montgomery, Lord Chamberlaine of his Majeſties Houſhold, &c.
Pembrooke’s great Peere, your Princely favour I
Heere humbly crave, to guerdon my weake pen,
If this doth ſhow my imbecilitie,
Like a good Patron, ſhroud it from bad men
Iby your favours mov’d doe this preſent
Pray then my Lord, accept my good intent.
Poore are my weake endeavours, yet if you,
Encourage my Minervaes infant Muſe
My cheriſht thoughts, by that, may frame anew
Booke of true thanks, unto your Lordſhips uſe:
Right Noble then, view but the vertuous tract,
Of this ſmall Volume, and if you ſhall finde,
Ovght good expreſſed, by our Sexes act,
Know honor’d Lord, my ſtarres are very kinde.
Mountgomery, my Cælique Muſe doth mount
On Cherubs wing, from this low Orbe to heaven,
Uertue is here expreſt, vices account;
Nor is’t a Tale, or Fable that is given
Truth never is aſham’d to ſhew it’s face:
Great man and good, but alwayes loves the light.
Omay it then, find an accepted Grace
More cauſe a woman, did the ſame indite,
Even then as Deborah’s ſweet tuned ſong,――Rung xxiii a4r
RUng out her ſacred Peale, in holy Writ:
Oso, I pray my heart, my pen, my tongue,
Yea all my faculties, may follow it:
Your Lordſhips Devoted Servant,
To Mrs. Alice Sutcliffe, on her divine Meditations.
When I had read your holy Meditatiōons,
And in them view’d th’ uncertainty of Life,
The motives, and true Spurres to all good Nations.
The Peace of Conſcience, and the Godly’s ſtrife,
The Danger of delaying to Repent,
And the deceipt of pleaſures, by Conſent.
The cōomfort of weake Chriſtiāans, with their warning,
From fearefull back-ſlides; And the debt we’ are in,
To follow Goodneſſe, by our owne diſcerning
Our great reward, th’ æternall Crown to win.
I ſayd, who’ had ſupp’d ſo deepe of this ſweet Chalice,
Muſt Celia bee, the Anagram of Alice.
Upon the Religious Meditations of Mrs. Alice Sutcliffe.
To the Reader.
Would’ſt thou (fraile Reader) thy true Nature ſee?
Behold this Glaſſe of thy Mortality.
Digeſt the precepts of this pious Booke,
Thou canſt not in a nobler Mirrour looke.
Though ſad it ſeeme, and may looſe mirth deſtroy,That xxvii a6r
That is not ſad which leades to perfect joy.
Thanke her faire Soule whoſe meditation makes
Thee ſee thy frailtie; nor diſdaine to take
That knowledge, which a Womans skill can bring.
All are not Syren-notes that women ſing.
How true that Sexe can write, how grave, how well,
Let all the Muſes, and the Graces tell.
ThoThomas : Ma
To Mr. John Sutcliffe Eſq. upon the receipt of this Booke written by his Wife.
Sir, I receiv’d your Booke with acceptation,
And, thus returne a due congratulation,
For that good Fortune, which hath bleſt your life
By making you The Spouſe of ſuch a Wife.
Although I never ſaw her, yet I ſee,
The Fruit, and by the Fruit I judge the Tree.
My Praiſe addes nothing to it: That which is
Well done, can praiſe it ſelfe; and ſo may this.
To be a woman, ’tis enough with me,
To merit praiſe; For I can never beSo xxix a7r
So much their Friend, as they have heretofore
Deſerv’d; although they merited no more.
When, therefore to their Woman-hood I finde
The love of ſacred Piety conjoyn’d,
Me thinks I have my duty much forgot,
Unleſſe I praiſe (although I know them not)
But, when to Woman-hood and good Affections,
Thoſe rare Abilities, and thoſe Perfections,
United are, to which our Sexe aſpire,
Then, forc’d I am to Love, and to admire.
I am not of their mind, who if they ſee,Some xxx a7v
Some Female-Studies fairely ripened be,
(With Maſculine ſucceſſe) doe peeviſhly,
Their worths due honour unto them deny,
By overſtrictly cenſuring the ſame;
Or doubting whether from themſelves it came,
For, well I know. Dame Pallas and the Muſes,
Into that Sexe, their faculties infuſes,
As freely as to Men; and they that know,
How to improve their Guift, ſhallfi find it ſo.
Then joy in your good Lot, and praiſes due
To Him aſcribe, that thus hath honor’d you.
Upon the Meditations of Mrs. Alice Sutcliffe.
Ihave no Muſe my owne, but what I ſee,
Worthy of praiſe, that is a Muſe to me.
Divinity (the higheſt theame) will find
No fitter ſubject then an humble mind,
And as in ſcorne of them that are more fit
By inſtruments leſſe notable expreſseth it.
Almes and Devotion, Zeale and Charity.
Might for thy Sexe beſeeming Scripture be,
But when thou ſpeak’ſt of death, and that juſt doomeWhich xxxii a8v
Which ſhall on all conditions, ages, come,
And thence deſcending to Philoſophie,
Teacheſt weake Nature how to learne to dye:
It ſeemes to me above thy Sex and State,
Some heavenly ſparke doth thee Illuminate.
Live ſtill a praiſe, but no example to
Others, to hope, as thou haſt done, to doe.
Live ſtill thy ſexes honour, and when Death
(With whōom thou art acquainted) ſtoppes thy breath
Fame to Poſteritie ſhall make thee ſhine
And adde thy Name unto the Muſes nine.
PetPeter : Heywood.
An Encomium upon the Authoreſſe and Booke.
Great Ladies that to vertue are inclin’d,
See here the pious practice of a wife,
Expreſſed by the beauties of the Mind,
And now ſet forth in Pictures of the life,Wherein xxxiv a9v
Wherein matter and forme are both at ſtrife
Who ſhall be Maſter: but i’th end hands ſhooke,
For that they have a Miſtreſſe to theyr Booke.
Whoſe Language I muſt needs (in truth) admire,
And how ſuch Elegance ſhould from her ſpring:
Untill I thinke of Zeale (that Cælique fire)
Which might tranſport her ſoule, by Cherubs wing
In Proſe or Numbers, piouſly to ſing
Precepts of Praiſe, worthy your approbation;For xxxv a10r
For ſhe is Rara Avis in our Nation.
And though her youth, gives her no Sybils name
Nor doth ſhe Prophecie, as they of old:
Yet ſhe’s indu’d with the moſt ſacred flame
Of Poeſie Divine; and doth unfold
Nought but the truth, and therefore may be bold.
Whoſe holy paines, and ſtudy here expreſt,
Shall Regiſter her name amongſt the bleſt.
Urania, is her moſt heavenly Muſe.Which xxxvi a10v
Which flyeth upwards, where her minde is placed.
She ſings ſuch Songs, as Deborah did uſe.
When ſhe, and Baruch had their foes abaſed;
For which, with Lawrell ſhee may well be graced.
And ſtil’d the Paragon, of theſe our Times,
In her ſweet Proſe, and true compoſed Rimes.
But thinke not Ladies that I doe contrive,
Numbers to mend ought that is done amiſſe;
Or that I meane, to keepe her name aliveVVhen xxxvii a11r
When ſhe is gone: and paſs’d to greater bliſſe,
For I ne’re knew her, when I framed this.
Onely I read her lines, which forc’t me praiſe
The Picture of her minde, with this courſe bayes.
Meditations of Mans Mortality.
Wherein the uncertainty of Mans life is expreſſed, and of the fearefull end of the Wicked.
When I behold the Heavens & the earth, the workemanſhip of the Almighty, and ſee in it all Creatures both for P.B36. com- A.2 B1v 2 commodity and pleaſure, which as a ſtore-houſe, preſerve all things for the behoofe and benefit of Man: I cannot but uſe to my ſelfe, the ſaying of the Pſalm. 8. Prophet David; Lord! what is Man, that thou ſhouldeſt thinke on him; or the Sonne of man, that thou ſhouldeſt be mindfull of him, thou haſt made him but a little lower then the Angels; thou haſt crowned him with honour and worſhip; by reaſon, of which, I thinke him to be onely happy and a God upon earth; and that there is no bleſſednes beyond this: but looking into him with more deliberation, I find his 3 B2r 3 his breath is in his noſtrils, Eccleſ. 3. and that hee is as the Beaſt that periſheth; I find his life to be but a ſpan, and the perpetuity of his Happineſſe, no better then a flower, which flouriſheth to day, and to morrow is out downe and withereth; and that his habitation is but a Pilgrimage, hee hath no certaine abiding, I perceive there is no building of Tabernacles heere, this is no place of reſt. I remember the foole, that ſayd to his Luke, 12. ſoule, There was much laid up for many yeares, but that night his ſoule was taken from him, and how that after Death hee muſt B2 giue 4 B2v 4 give an account of his Stewardſhip, for they are not his, but lent him of the Lord; neyther to abuſe through exceſſe, nor niggerdice, but to put them foorth to the beſt uſe, and to the glory of him who is the giver of all good things.
For it is true, that a Philoſopher ſayth; Hee that ſeeketh for true Happines in this world, followeth a ſhaddow, which when hee thinketh hee is ſureſt of, vaniſheth and is nothing; and the Apoſtle Paul ſayth; If in this life wee were onely happie, wee were of all men moſt miſerable.Seeing 5 B3r 5 Iob. 14.
Seeing then it is ſo, That man which is borne of a woman hath but a ſhort time to live, and that few and evill are the dayes of this Pilgrimage, pointed out but to Threeſcore and tenne, and if Nature befriend him ſo farre, as to affoord him life till Foureſcore, yet is it ſo full of infirmities, that it becomes a burthen to him, Life being a briitle and miſerable fetter, which chaineth the pure and everlaſting ſoule, to the vile, ſinfull, and corruptible body.
Yet where is hee, that takes the Wiſe mans Eccleſ. 12. counſell, To remember his Creator in the dayes of B3 his 6 B3v 6 his Youth, before the evill day comes, and the time approach, in the which, he ſhall ſay; I have no pleaſure in them; for if a man live many yeares and rejoyce in them all, yet let him remember the dayes of Darknes, for they are many; the Sun ſets and riſeth againe; but thou alas, when thy glaſſe is run, and the ſhort gleame of thy Summers Sun is ſpent, ſhall never returne againe. How ſoone alas, is thy ſpan graſped, thy minute waſted, thy flower dead, thy vapor of life gone; without thought, without dread, eyther of ſinnes paſt, or accompts to come: Where 7 B4r 7 Where is there one, that lookes into the eſtate of his Soule, with a ſerious eye, that examines his conſcience, unvayleth his heart, and conſidereth his wayes, and how that he is every day of his life, a dayes journey nearer his end, and nothing is wanting for the expiration thereof, but the ſtroke of death, which commeth in a moment; and then thou art gone, eyther to unexpreſſable endleſſe Joyes, or eaſeleſſe and endleſſe miſeries. For no ſooner art thou borne to poſſeſſe this World, but death iſſueth forth incontinently out of his Sepulcher, to finde thy life; neytherB4 ther 8 B4v 8 ther doth he alwayes ſend his harbinger before to acquaint thee with his comming, but many times entreth unexpected, unlooked for; and yet dareſt thou reſt in ſecurity, me thinkes it ſhould make thee tremble, were not thy conſcience ſeared; to think of the divineneſſe of that Juſtice, before whom, thou art to ſtand, being in the day of his Wrath, and at the barre of his Judgment: canſt thou thinke then, to bee able to indure his angry eye, whoſe ſight will pierce to the very centure of thy heart and ſoule, and rip up every feſtred corner of thy conſcience?ence? 9 B5r 9 ence? O then! bethinke thy ſelfe in time, before that gloomy day comes, that day of Cloudes and thicke darkneſſe, that day of deſolation and confuſion approach; when all the Inhabitants of the Earth ſhall mourne and lament, and all faces ſhall gather blackneſſe. Joel. 2. Becauſe, the time of their Judgment is come; alas! with what a fearefull hart and weeping eyes, and ſorrowfull countenance, & trēembling loynes, wilt thou at that laſt and great aſſize looke upon Christ Jesus, when he ſhall moſt gloriouſly appeare, with innumberable Angels in flaming fire, to B5 render 10 B5v 10 render vengeance on them that know him not? What a cold dampe will ſeaze upon thy ſoule, when thou ſhalt behold him, whom thou haſt all thy life long, rejected in his ordinances, deſpiſed in his members, and neglected in his love: what horror and terror of ſpirit will poſſeſſe thee; how wilt thou cry to the Rockes and Mountaines to fall upon thee, and cover thee from the fiercenes of his Wrath; when thou ſhalt behold, the Heavens burning, the Elements melting, the Earth trembling, the Sea roaring, the Sunne turne into darknes, and the Moone into bloud: how 11 B6r 11 how will thy numberleſſe ſinnes in hideous formes appeare before thee, every one of them bearing the Enſignes of Gods heavie diſpleaſure, dipped in a bloudy coloured dye; and crying out, for vengeance againſt thee: alas! if thy faultring tongue ſhould go about to faine ſome ſeeming ſhew of a colourable excuſe, how ſoone would it be ſtopped, all thy actions both for thoughts, words, and deeds, being regiſtred in a booke, and kept within the Court of Heaven. Oh remember! how terrible his voyce was when he gave his Law to his choſen people, and thinkeſtkeſt 12 B6v 12 keſt thou it will bee leſſe terrible, when he ſhall demand an account of that Law, which thou haſt ſo many times careleſly broken. Oh then, whether will his wrath carry thee, where will the blaſt of his breath hurry thee, it was thy ſins that inflamed his wrath, & his wrath will inflame that fi re which will never goe out: Oh then alas, whil’ſt thou haſt time, become thy own friend, looke into thy ſelfe, and by a ſerious examination, prove the Pilot of thy owne Ship, which now lyeth floating on the Seas of this troubleſome World, ballanc’d onely with cares, and diſquieting pleaſures of this life, and how 13 B7r 13 how thou ſayl’ſt with a full courſe, towards the haven of endleſſe Happines; yet one blaſt of unprepared death will turne thy ſayles, and plunge thee irrecoverably into that bottomleſſe Gulfe, where one houres torment, will infinitely exceed all the pleaſures thy whole life contained: and wilt thou now ſtanding upon the very brim of Hell, melt in thy delights: Alas, ſlippery is thy footing, and thy hold but by the thread of life, which ſtretched to the length, ſoone crackes: yet how triflingly ſpendeſt thou thy pretious time, tyring out thy ſpirits, and robbing thine eyes of their beloved 14 B7v 14 beloved ſleepe, for thoſe things, to the which, the time will come, that the very remembrance of them will be bitter, and to the which, thou muſt bid an everlaſting farewell.
Yet not conſidering theſe things? how many are there, that only ſpend their time in jollity, and ſodainly goe downe to the Grave; they cry to themſelves; Peace, peace, when ſodaine Deſtruction overtakes them, not once thinking of Jeremia’s lamentation for Jeruſalem; wherein hee complaines, Lamen. 1. That ſhee remembred not her laſt end.
Would they but conſider,der, 15 B8r 15 der, that as the Tree falleth ſo it lyeth; and as Death leaves them, ſo ſhall Judgement finde them; they would not draw iniquity with cords of vanity, nor ſinne as with cartropes; did they thinke upon the reward of Sinne; did they conſider how full of griefe and miſery, how ſhort and tranſitorious this preſent life is, and the vaine Pleaſures thereof: how on every ſide, theyr enemies compaſſe them, and that Death lyeth in wayte againſt them, every where catching them ſodainly and unawares. Did that ſaying often ſound in theyr eares, Ariſe and come 16 B8v 16 come to Judgement, they would not deferre theyr Repentance to theyr laſt end, or their old-age; when it cannot be ſayd, that they leave Sin, but ſinne them. Shall they offer to the Divell, the World, and their owne fleſh, the flower and ſtrength of theyr yeares, and ſerve God with the Mal. 1. lees and dregs: when the Prophet Malachy complayned of the peoples evill Offerings, hee ſayd; Offer it now unto thy Governour, will hee be pleaſed with thee or accept thy perſon: and can they thinke, this great God will be pleaſed King. 18 with them. If Rabshechacha 17 B9r 17 Iudith. 5. cha and Holofernes, but Meſſengers for theyr Lords, tooke it ſo ill; that the Jewes came not forth to make theyr peace with them, that they threatned nothing ſhould pacifie their furie but theyr Deſtruction: How much more, ſhall this King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, whoſe wrath is ſo kindled for theyr wickedneſſe, condemne them into utter Darkneſſe, where ſhall bee wayling and gnaſhing of teeth, (for no dead carrion ſo lothſomly ſtinketh in the noſtrils of an earthly man, as doth the wicked, abhominable unrepentant man, in the preſenceſence 18 B9v 18 ſence of God;) yet not conſidering this, they goe on in a careleſſe ſecurity, heaping one ſinne upon another, till the burthen become unſupportable, and the vials of Gods wrath ready to bee powred on them, not once calling them, to theyr remembrance; or if they doe, it is ſo farre from Contrition, that it is rather a delight to them, often glorying in the often cōommittings therof; they neyther thinking of theyr account, nor their end, wherein yet they might have ſome happines; if death were the diſſolving both of their body & ſoule.
For being rid of their bodies, 19 B10r 19 bodies, they ſhould alſo be rid of theyr Soules and Sinnes: But foraſmuch, as it is evident, that the Soule is immortall, there is left no comfort for the wicked to truſt in. Therfore, let ſuch remember Esav, Who having Gen. 27. once rejected the Bleſſing, could not after obtayne it, though he ſought it with teares; when it is too late, with the five Fooliſh Virgins, Math. 25 they may cry; Lord, Lord, open to us; but the gates of Mercy will bee ſhut; and it will be anſwered, I know you not.
Then woe bee to the ſinfull wicked men, that have not power to turne from 20 B10v 20 from the filthy workes of this ſinfull and wretched World, that hindereth them from the bliſsfull ſtate, and keepeth backe theyr Soules from the preſence of God: For when Gods Serjeant Death, ſhall arreſt them, and they ſhall bee ſummon’d to appeare before the Tribunall of the Almighty, with what terrible feare will that Soule be ſhaken and ſmitten, and with how many ſpeares of a piercing Conſcience, is hee gored and thruſt through; he will thēen begin to thinke of the time paſt, preſent, and that to come; the time paſt, he may behold with aſtoniſhment,niſhment 21 B11r 21 niſhment, to perceive how faſt it fleeted, and the multitude, of ſinnes therein committed, the which were accounted pleaſures, but are now terrors, for every one of which, he muſt anſwere; for as ſaith a Philoſopher: An accuſing Conſcience is the ſecret, & moſt terrible thing that can bee, at the approaching and cōomming of Death, and infinit & unſpeakable are the feares and griefes it will bring with it; for then hee will grieve, that the time of Repentance hath beene ſo ill & lewdly paſt, he ſeeth the divine Cōommandements which he hath contemned; he is aflicted, becauſe 22 B11v 22 becauſe he ſeeth the inevitable houre approach, of rendring an account, & of the divine juſt vengance; he would tarry ſtill, but he is conſtrained to depart; he would recover that is paſt, but time is not granted: if he looke behind him, he ſeeth the courſe and race of his whole life led, as a moment of time; if he looke before, he beholdeth the infinit ſpace of Eternity which expecteth him, he ſorroweth and ſobbeth, becauſe he hath loſt the joy of everlaſting Eternity, which hee might have obtained in ſo ſhort a time; hee tormenteth himſelfe, becauſe he hath 23 B12r 23 hath loſt the ineffable ſweetneſſe of perpetuall delight, for one ſenſuall, carnall, and momentanry pleaſure; he bluſheth, conſidering, that for that ſubſtance which is Wormes- meat, he hath diſpiſed that which Angels prize ſo highly; and weighing the glory of thoſe immortall riches, hee is confounded, that he hath changed them for the baſeneſſe and wildeneſſe of Temporall things; but when he caſteth his eyes upon things below, and ſeeth the darke and obſcure valley of this world, and beholdeth above it, the ſhining brightneſſe of eternall Light, then 24 B12v 24 then he confeſſeth, that all that he loved in this world, was blacke night and ugly darkneſſe.
To behold the time preſent, is as ill; for there hee can finde nothing but weakeneſſe and paines; his friends eyther mourning by him, or elſe not able to ſtay with him, to ſee his torments, which in this life, God hath begun to let him taſte; having painefull Limbes, darke Eyes, a faultering Tongue, hard browes, ſhort breath, and a panting heart, haſting to appeare before God, whōom he muſt behold; not| as his Father, but a moſt feirce Judge, whoſe pure eyes beheld 25 C1r 25 beheld all his actions, and that through all his life ſaw nothing but wickedneſſe, no ſorrowing teares to waſh away thoſe pollutions; and therefore that leporous life muſt receive a heavie condemnation: there will not be any to ſpeake for him, neyther will he be able to anſwere one word for a thouſand; all thoſe pleaſures now ſtand up to accuſe him, and his owne Conſcience gives in evidence againſt him, ſaying to himſelfe the Pro. 5. words of Salomon; How have I hated inſtruction, and my heart deſpiſed reproofe, and I have not obeyed the voyce of my teachers,C chers, 26 C1v 26 chers, nor enclined mine eare to them that inſtructed me; woe is me poore wretch, into what a laborinth have my ſinnes led me, how ſuddenly, and thinking nothing leſſe, hath this houre intrapped me, how hath it ruſhed upon me, I never dreamed of it; what doe now my Honours profit me, what doe now all my Dignities helpe me, what doe all my friends for me, what profit doe now my ſervants bring mee, what fruit doe I now reape of all my riches and goods which I was wont to poſſeſſe; for now a ſmall piece of ground of ſeaven foot will containe me, 27 C2r 27 me, and I muſt be content with a dwelling in a narrow Coffin, and with a lodging in a poore Winding ſheet; my riches, ſhall remaine here behind mee, which I ſcraped together with ſo great toyle, and ſweating, others ſhall enjoy them, and ſhall ſpend them on theyr pleaſures, onely my ſinnes, which I have committed in gathering them, wayte upon me, that I may ſuffer deſerved puniſhment for them; what can I make now of all my Pleaſures and Delights, ſeeing they are all over-paſt, onely theyr dregges are my Potion, which are ſcruples and C2 bytings 28 C2v 28 bytings of Conſcience, which like Thornes doe pierce me, and runne thorough my miſerable heart.
In what taking is this poore Soule; if time were now againe, with what an auſtere kinde of life would hee paſſe it, how would hee ſhun all thoſe alluring Syrens, ſower ſauce findes he for his ſweetes, and for a minute of Pleaſures, muſt poſſeſſe a world of Woes; nay, woes without end; ſooune ended thoſe delights, endleſſe are thoſe miſeries.
O thou wretched man! thou that didſt choſe, rather to ſit by the Fleſhpotspots 29 C3r 29 pots of Ægypt, then by induring a little weariſome travailes, to enter into the promiſed Land, which floweth with Milk and Honey; See! O ſee now, what a long chayne of Miſeries, thoſe thy ſhort Pleaſures have wrought thee. O thou fooliſh and ſenceleſſe! hadſt thou no reſpect to the death of Christ, who dyed to redeeme thee, but that by thy ſinnes, thou muſt anew Crucifie him, and make his Wounds to bleed afreſh? Thou haſt againe, nayled him to the Croſſe by thy pollutions! thou haſt againe, pierc’d his ſide, not with one, but many C3 ſpeares 30 C3v 30 ſpeares of Blaſphemy, and as it were piece-meale, tearing him from Heaven! thou haſt grinded him, by thy oppreſſions, which thou didſt to maintaine thy ſuperfluous delights.
It was his love, that cauſed him to undergoe his Fathers wrath, for thy ſake; but what one ſinne, haſt thou left for his? Canſt thou ſay, and that truly, that thou haſt ſpared one diſh from thy Belly, to feed his hungry Members; or one Garment from thy exceſſive apparell, to cloth the naked; or one houres ſleepe, to meditate on his miſeries: a poore requitall of ſuch infinite Love! Was 31 C4r 31 Was Christ ſtretched on the Croſſe, and couldeſt thou recount it nothing to ſtretch thy ſelfe upon thy downy Beds of ſinne? Did Christ ſuck downe Vineger and Gall for thee, and couldeſt thou without pricke of Conſcience, ſurfeit with overflowne Boles? Was Christ crowned with Thornes, and couldeſt thou crowne thy ſelfe with eaſe and pleaſure? Then now behold, (O thou rich Glutton!) thou, who wouldeſt never caſt up thine eyes to behold the true happines, till it was too late, and conſider what the allurements of the Fleſh now C4 profit 32 C4v 32 profit you, which you then ſo much delighted in? What is become of your Riches? where are your Honours? where are your Treaſures? where are your Delights? where are your Joyes; the ſeaven yeares of Plenty are paſt, and other ſeaven yeares of Dearth and ſcarcity are come, which have devoured up all your Plenty, no memory or footſteps being Iob. 24. left of it. As it is in Job, Drought and heate, conſume the Snow waters; ſo doth the Grave, thoſe that have Sinned; your Glory is now periſhed, and your Felicity is drowned in the ſea of Sorrowes; not onelyly 33 C5r 33 ly your delights have not profited you, which you injoyed in this World; but they ſhall bee the cauſes of greater Torments: witneſſe the Glutton in the Goſpell, who fared deliciouſly every day, being in Hell; was not that member his Tongue, moſt tormented, which gave him the greateſt delight in Sin.
Nay, ſpeedily and unexpected, this horror ruſheth upon them; for, as everlaſting Felicity, doth quickly follow the Godly, in the ſhort race of theyr Miſery; ſo everlaſting Miſery, quickly followeth the ungodly, in the ſhort race of theyr worldly Felicity.C5 It 34 C5v 34
It were better therefore, for a man to live poorely, being aſſured of the bliſſe of Heaven, then to be deprived thereof, though during life hee poſſeſſe all worldly riches; for intollerable, are the burthens they bring with them, ſeeing that the Scripture ſayth; Where much is given, much is againe required: beſides, the memory of the ungodly ſhall periſh, as ſaith Job; The Iob, 24: pitifull man, ſhall forget him, the Worme ſhall feele his ſweetneſse, he ſhall bee no more remembred, and the Wicked ſhall bee broken like a Tree.
Motives and Inducements to true Godlineſſe.
Having already ſpoken of the unſtability of Mans life, & the wretched eſtate the Wicked is in, at the houre of his Death; I will now alſo ſet downe, ſome Motives for incouragements to true Godlineſse, wherin it ſhall eaſily bee diſcerned, that Godlineſse excelleth Wickedneſse, as farre as Light excelleth Darkneſse; It is a thing, both uſuall and lamentable,menta- 36 C6v 36 mentable, to ſee how men goe on in wickedneſse, and can neyther bee drawne, to thinke of theyr end by the dayly examples of Mortality; nor wonne to remember, the infinitneſse of Gods Love by their dayly preſervations; they call not once to theyr remembrance, the ſaying of the Apoſtle Paul, wherein hee admoniſheth them, to worke out theyr Salvation with feare and trembling; by which, hee depriveth them of all kind of ſecurity; and the Prophet Jeremiah Ierem. 22. cryeth unto them and ſayth; O earth! earth! earth! heare the Word of the Lord.Shew- 37 C7r 37
Shewing thereby, that howſoever they eſteeme of themſelves, yet, they are but duſt; whoſe glory is but for a moment, and all theyr Pleaſures, but Deceptio viſus; For that there is Eſa. 48. no Peace (ſaith the Lord) of the Wicked.
Wherefore, conſider this yee that forget God, leaſt he teare you in pieces, and there bee none to deliver Pſal. 14. you; feare this God, for he is juſt; love this God, for hee is Mercifull; ſtand in awe and Sinne not, commune with your hearts, conſider your wayes, make your Peace with him, Pſal. 2. ſeeke the Lord, whileſt he may bee found; If his wrath 38 C7v 38 wrath be kindled, yea but a little, bleſſed are all thoſe that puts theylr truſt in him.
O taſte, and ſee! how good God is, he is a God of Mercies, and delights not in the Death of a Sinner, Ezech. 18. as hee ſayth; Have I any pleaſure at all, that the Wicked ſhould dye, ſayth the Lord; and not that hee ſhould returne from his wayes and live: hee will bee found of them that ſeeke him, hee hath ingaged his word for it and againe he ſaith; Thoſe that come to mee, I will not caſt away; nay, hee calleth with aboundance of love: Math. 11. Come unto mee, all yee that 39 C8r 39 that are wearie and heavie laden with the burthen of your ſinnes, and I will eaſe you; hee is that good Samaritaine, he may powre in Wine to make thoſe wounds of your Sinnes to ſmart, but hee will againe refreſh you with the oyle of his Mercies: O then! proſtrate thy ſelfe at his feete, creepe under the wing of his compaſſion; Ioel. 2. for he is ſlow to wrath, and of much mercy, and repenteth him of the evill: alas! it was thy weakeneſſe that made thee ſinfull, and thy ſins have made the miſerable, & thy miſerie muſt now ſue to his mercie; if thy miſery were without ſinne, 40 C8v 40 ſinne, then thou mighteſt pleade before his Juſtice, and his Juſtice would releeve thee; but for that it proceedeth from ſinne, approach the barre of his mercy, and thou ſhalt finde the luſtre thereof to ſhine through all his workes; remember Chriſts Math. 15. owne words were: I am not ſent, but to the loſt ſheepe of the houſe of Jſrael; what, though with the woman in the Goſpell, he call thee dogge, wilt thou therefore leave off thy ſute; conſider, that the tender mother many times for faults committed by her childe, hideth her loving countenance and as it were alto- 41 C9r 41 altogether rejecteth it, not for any hatred ſhe beareth to the childe, but thereby to indere the obtaining of his favour, and to cauſe the greater feare of offending; if then, thou ſeaſing thy ſute goeth without mercy, whome wilt thou accuſe: Chriſt ſayd to Jeruſalem, Thy deſtruction is of thy ſelfe, O Jeruſalem! but in me, is thy ſalvation. Chriſt came not, to call the righteous, but ſinners to repentance.
Hee is infinitely good, and hurteth no man, unleſſe the blame be in himſelfe, through his owne default; for, as the Sunne beame, is cleare and comfortable in it 42 C9v 42 it ſelf, and ſo is it to the eye that is ſound, yet to a ſore eye, it is very grievous, not through any default in the ſunne, but by the diſeaſed diſpoſition of the eye; ſo albeit, he in himſelfe, be perfectly good, and doth nothing but good; yet to an unrepentant ſinner he is grievous and terrible, but if he returne to him by unfained repentance, he ſoone inclineth to mercy; as is evident in that woman, whom Chriſt ſo called; upon her humiliation and acknowledging herſelfe to be no better, ſhe receiveth this gracious anſwer; Be it unto the even as thou wilt; and againe, in the Nenivitesnivites; 43 C10r 43 nivites; though his decree was gone out againſt them, that yet forty dayes, and Ionah. 3 Ninivie ſhould be deſtroyed, upon their unfained repentance, he alſo repented of that evill, and with aboundance of mercy revoked that ſentence; For the 2 Chro. 16 eyes of the Lord, beholds all the earth, to ſtrengthen them, that with a perfect heart beleeve, and hope in him; and againe, it is ſayd; Lament. 3 O how good is the Lord unto them, that put theyr truſt in him, and to the Soule that ſeeketh after him; never was there any forſaken, that put theyr truſt in him: and though the hand of your Faith, be not 44 C10v 44 not ſtrong enough to lay faſt hold on him, as Jacob did, who ſayd; I will not let thee goe, unleſſe Gen. 32. thou bleſſe mee; yet , if hee perceive thee creeping after him, hee will imbrace thee, for he hath ſayd; Math. 12. The bruiſed Reede, I will not breake, and the ſmoaking Flaxe, I will not quench; that is, hee will not reject the deſires of the heart, though in weake meaſure, if unfeyned, and what he hath promiſed, is Truth.
Hee loveth not, as man loveth; for they in proſperity wil regard us, but if Afflictions or wants come, they regard us not; but ſo 45 C11r 45 ſo farre is our good God from this, that his beloved Sonne Christ Jesus, tooke our ſhape upon him, ſuffering Hunger, Cold, Nakedneſſe, Contempt, and Scornings; for his owne mouth teſtified, That the Foxes had Holes, and the Birds of the Ayre had Neſts, but the Sonne of Man, had not whereon to lay his head; ſhowing thereby to us, how farre hee was from contemning our Povertie, or refuſing us for our wants; let us therefore, flie to this God, who will not fayle us nor forſake us: let us caſt our care upon him, for hee careth for us, and let us firſt ſeeke 46 C11v 46 ſeek the Kingdome of heaven, and the righteouſneſse thereof, and all things elſe ſhall bee miniſtred unto us.
How many have beene knowne, which have gayned to themſelves, Riches, or Honours, by unlawfull meanes, that have proſpered, but if for a time they have ſeemed to doe well, their Poſteritie have come to ruine, and theyr owne ill-gathered treaſure, like a dilating Gangrene, hath rotted theyr owne memory, and conſumed every part of theyr heyres poſſeſſion; ſeeming as it were, a Curſe and doome, intayled with the land upon the ſuc- 47 C12r 47 ſucceſsour, and ſo proveth, not a Bleſſing, but the bane of him that Injoyed it.
They may for a time, flouriſh like a Bay Tree, but ſuddainely they fade and their place is no where to bee found. Oh therefore! that they would conſider, what great evils, and how many inconveniences, this ſmall proſperity bringeth with it, they ſhould find this love of Riches, more to afflict, by deſire, then to delight, by uſe: for it inwrappeth the Soule, in divers temptatiōons, & bindeth it in infinit cares, it allureth it with ſundry delights, C512 pro- 48 C12v 48 provoketh it to ſinne, and diſturbeth the quiet, no leſſe of the body then of the Soule, and that which is greater; Riches are never gotten, without troubles, nor poſſeſsed, without care, nor loſt, without griefe; but that which is worſt, they are ſeldome gathered, without ſinne and offence to God? Why then, ſhould man bee ſo greedy of this Worlds pelfe, life beeing ſo ſhort, and death following at our heeles? What neede is there of ſo great Proviſion, for ſo ſhort a Journey? What would man doe with ſo great Riches; eſpecially, ſeeing that the leſſe 49 D1r 49 leſſe he hath, the more lightly and freely hee may walke, and when hee ſhall come to the end of his Pilgrimage, if he be poore, his eſtate ſhall not be worſer then rich mens, who are loden with much gold; the Grave ſhall both alike containe them, as ſayth Iob. 3: Job; The ſmall and great are there, and the Servant is free from his Maſter.
Nay, it is better with the poore, then with the rich; for they ſhall feele leſſe griefe in parting with this traſh and pelfe of the World, and a ſmaller accompt is to be rendred before God; whereas on the other ſide, Rich men D leaves 50 D1v 50 leaves theyr Mountaines of Gold, with great griefe of heart, which they adored as God; neyther are they, without exceeding gerreat hazard and danger, in rendring an accompt for them: Beſides, as hee Eccleſ. 5. came forth of his Mothers Wombe, ſo naked ſhall he returne, to goe as hee came; and ſhall take nothing of his labour which he may carry away in his Pſalm. 7. hand. Therefore a little that a Righteous man hath, is better then the Riches of many wicked. I have ſeen ſayth David, in the ſame Pſalme; The wicked in great power, and ſpreading himſelfe like a greene Bay 51 D2r 51 Bay tree, yet hee paſſed away, and loe hee was not; I ſought him but hee could not bee found, the tranſgreſſours ſhall be deſtroyed together, the end of the Wicked ſhall be cut off; but marke the upright man, and behlod the Juſt, for the end of that man is Peace.
Thrice bleſſed then is that man, that feareth God, and they whoſe God the Lord is, and he that ſets his feare alwayes before Iob. 5. his eyes; For they ſhall bee delivered out of ſixe troubles, and in the ſeaventh, no evils ſhall touch them, in Famine, he ſhall redeeme them from D2 Death, 52 D2v 52 Death, and in Warre, from the power of the ſword, they ſhall come to the Grave in a full age, like as a ſhocke of Corne commeth in, in his ſeaſon: They may for a time bee hungry, but they ſhall be filld, for God himſelfe will feed them with bleſſings from above and from beneath. Even naturall reaſon will not ſuffer them to doubt, for he that giveth meate in due ſeaſon, to Ants and Wormes of the Earth, will he ſuffer Man to famiſh, who night and day, ſerve and obey him, Math. 6. as Christ himſelfe ſaith in Matthew; Behold the Fowles of the heaven, for 53 D3r 53 for they ſow not, neyther reape nor cary into Barnes, yet your heavenly Father feedeth them, are yee not much better then they; This happines moved David to invite us to ſerve the Lord, ſaying; O feare the Lord! yee that be his Pſalm 34 Saints, for they that feare the Lord lack nothing, the Lyons doe lacke and ſuffer hunger, but they that ſeeke the Lord, ſhall want no manner of thing that is good.
The ungodly man, when he is full of wealth dyeth for hunger, and when they ſit even up to the lips in water, yet they are ſlaine with thirſt, as the Poets D3 in 54 D3v 54 in times paſt, fabled of Tantalus. But though many and great be the troubles of the Righteous, yet the Lord delivereth them out of all. For the eyes of the Lord is over the Righteous, and his Eare is open to theyr cry, Pſalm. 34 but the Face of the Lord is againſt them that do evill, to cut off theyr Remembrance from the Eatrth.
Who would be unwilling then, to ſuffer ignominies and ſcornings, rather then with the wicked, to Revel. 28. injoy the pleaſures of Sin for a ſeaſon; God himſelfe will wipe all teares from theyr eyes, hee will give them Joyes for theyr Sorrowes,rowes, 55 D4r 55 rowes, as he ſayth; Bleſſed are yee that now Weepe, for yee ſhall Rejoyce, troubles in this life, are badges of Gods Children, Prov. 3. Whom the Lord loveth, hee chaſtiſeth, and correcteth every Sonne Luke, 21. that he chuſeth with Patience; Therefore, poſſeſſe Iohn, 15. your Soules, and remember who it is, that ſayd; You are not of the World, as I am not of the World, the world hateth you, becauſe it hated mee firſt, if you were of the world, the world would love you.
Oh, bleſſed Sufferings! that makes us like to God himſelfe, if wee had the Wiſedome of Salomon, D4 the 56 D4v 56 the Treaſure of Crœsus, and the long life of Methusalem, and out of the favour and love of God, our Wiſedome were Fooliſhneſſe, for to know him, is perfect wiſedome, our Riches were droſſe; for riches will not avayle in the day of Wrath, and that life, ſo long and wickedly led, no better, then a man that dreames hee is a King, honoured of all and wanting nothing, when waking, hee findes himſelfe hated of all, and wanting all things.
Of the Peace of a good Conſcience, and the Joyfull end of the Godly.
Salomon, having ſet himſelfe to behold all things that were under the Sun, & having taken to himſelfe, all that could bee delightfull, for what can he doe more than commeth after the King, at laſt concludeth; Eccleſ. 2. That all the dayes of Man, are ſorrowes, and his travailes, griefe; therefore ſayth he; I hated life, for all is Vanity and vexation D5 of 58 D5v 58 of Spirit; and perceiving how apt men were, to follow what delights this world could affoord them, ſcoffes at theyr folly, and by way of deriſion ſayth: Eccleſ. 11 Rejoyce O young man in thy Youth, & let thy heart cheare thee in the dayes of thy youth, and walke in the wayes of thine heart, and in the ſight of thine eyes, yet would hee not let them goe on thus, but gives them an Jtem, ſaying; But know, that for all theſe things, God will bring thee to Judgement, for though, ſayth hee: A Sinner doe evill an hundred times, and his dayes bee prolonged; yet ſurely I 59 D6r 59 I know, that it ſhal be well with them, that feare God.
Theſe Caveats, the godly man placeth before his remembrance, leaſt hee ſhould fall into errors, and making his life of no value to him, hee deſpiſeth all things, onely ayming at that, may make him happy, which is, a good Conſcience, for that will bring him peace at the laſt; death being to a godly man, the ending of Sorrowes, and the beginning of Joyes; he doth then begin to live with God, when hee dyes to the World, as it is ſayd Eccleſ. 16 in Eccleſiaſtes; Who ſo feareth the Lord, it ſhall goe well with him at the laſt, 60 D6v 60 laſt, and in the day of his Death, hee ſhall be bleſſed.
And St.John, was commanded to Write: Bleſſed are the Dead, that dye in Revel. 14. the Lord, even ſo ſayth the Spirit; that they may reſt from theyr labours, & their works follow them. How can that man bee diſcouraged, that heareth this of the Lord, in the houre of his Death, when he findeth himſelfe haſting thither, where hee ſhall receive that, which he hath all his life-time deſired.
And Saint Augustine, ſpeaking of the Death of a Good man, ſayth; He that deſireth to bee diſſolved, & be with Chriſt, dyeth not Patiently, but liveth Patiently,ently, 61 D7r 61 ently, and dyeth delightſomely, and it may be ſayd; That like a Swan, he dyeth ſinging, yeilding the glory to God which calleth him. With what joy, doth that Soule behold his end, who hath all his Life-time poſſeſſed a good Conſcience, nothing fearefull can preſent it ſelfe before him, he ſees all his ſinnes, not of a Crimſon die, but White as wooll, waſhed by the blood of Chriſt; he beholds him, not as his Judge, but his Saviour and Mediatour, his Judge is his Brother, God in Chriſt is become his Father, hee hath no debts to pay, Christ Jeſus on the Croſſe hath Cancelledcelled 62 D7v 62 celled the hand writing that was againſt him, and hath not onely made him free, but alſo an heyre of the Kingdome of Heaven. The preſence of Death, is not terrible to him, for he feareth not Death, becauſe hee feared God, and hee that feareth him need feare none other; hee feareth not Death, becauſe he feared Life, but feare of Death, are the effects of an evill Life; hee feareth not Death, becauſe through all his life hee learned to dye, and prepared himſelfe to dye; but a man prepared and provident, need not feare his Enemy; he feareth not Death, becauſe ſo long 63 D8r 63 long as he lived, he ſought for thoſe things that might helpe him, that is, for Vertues and good Workes; hee feareth not Death, becauſe to a Righteous man, Death is not death, but a ſleepe, it is not Death, but an end of all labours, it is not Death but a way unto life, and a Ladder unto Paradice; for hee knoweth, that Death hath loſt all the bitterneſſe of Death, after it hath paſſed through the veynes of Life, and that it hath received the ſweetneſſe of life: hee feareth not the preſence of Divels, becauſe he hath Christ his defender and Captaine: he fearethreth 64 D8v 64 reth not the horror of the grave, becauſe he knoweth that his body is ſowne a corruptible body, but ſhall riſe againe, in incorruptible body, often boaſting in the ſtrength hee hath gained by Christ, ſaying with cheerefulneſſe of ſpirit; O Death, where 2. Cor. 15. is thy ſting? O Grave, where is thy victory? The ſtrong man, death comes not upon him unawares; for hee hath layd up in ſtore for himſelfe a good foundation againſt 1, Tim. 6. this time, which was to come, that hee might lay hold on Eternall life.
Even the breſt-plate of Epheſ. 5. righteouſneſſe, the ſhield of 65 D9r 65 of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit, having his loynes girt about with verity, and his feete ſhod with the preparation of the Goſpell of Peace, what hope now hath his enemy of any advantage, though helped by the weakeneſſe of his owne fleſh: Death was ever expected, and therefore provided for: he alwayes lived as in the preſence of God, having a ſtrict eye over all his actions, and though now Satan bend all his Forces againſt him, becauſe hee hath but a ſmall time, before his ſiege muſt bee rayſed, and therefore preſents that 66 D9v 66 that before him which he deareſt loved, his Wife, Children, Father, and Friends, with his whole Eſtate, Honour, Riches, Youth, Health, Strength, and Life it ſelfe, thereby thinking to ſhake his hold; for this ſubtill enimy knoweth, they are not loſt without griefe, which are poſſeſsed with Love; yet fayles he of his purpoſe, for it is certaine, hee that in this life knoweth of feweſt delights, leaſt of all other, feareth Death, ſo he having never prized them otherwayes then they were in themſelves, parteth from them with the leſſe trouble, yet weake nature 67 D10r 67 nature ſtrugling with him, may a little dazle him, but calling to minde the Words of his Saviour, who ſayth: He that forſaketh Mark. 10. Father, Mother, Wife, Children, houſe and lands, for my ſake, ſhall receive an hundred fold, hee gaines ſtrength, and with the greater joy his Soule anſwers? Oh ſweet Jesus! ſhall I not willingly forgoe all theſe, who for my ſake, ſuffered the Viols of thy Fathers wrath due to me for ſinne, to be powred out upon thee, and in thy body indured that, which I deſerved? It was for my ſake, thou waſt borne in a Stable, and layd in 68 D10v 68 in a Cratch; for me, thou flying into Egypt, livedſt ſeaven yeares in baniſhment; for me, thou didſt faſt, thou didſt watch, thou didſt run hither & thither, thou didſt ſweate Water and Bloud, thou didſt Weepe, and thou didſt prove by experience, thoſe miſeries, which my ſinnes deſerved; and yet thou waſt without ſinne, neyther was there guile found in thy mouth, neyther hadſt thou offended, but waſt offended; for me, thou waſt taken, forſaken of thine, denyed, ſold, beaten with fiſts, ſpot upon, mocked, whipped, crowned with Thornes, reviled with 69 D11r 69 with blaſphemies, hanged upon the Croſſe, Dead, and Buried, thou wert not onely forſaken of all externall things, but alſo of the Divine comfort, as thy owne Mouth teſtified, when thou cryedſt out, My God, my God, why Math. 27. haſt thou forſaken mee; Oh the height of Love! Oh the depth of unmeaſurable humility! Oh the greatneſſe of Mercy! Oh the bottomleſſe Pit of incomprehenſible Goodnes: Oh Lord! if I be ſo greatly indebted to thee, becauſe thou haſt redeemed mee, what doe I not owe thee, for the manner by which thou haſt redeemed mee: thou 70 D11v 70 thou haſt redeemed mee with moſt great dolours! with contumelies, and ignominies, not to be borne; inſomuch, that thou waſt made a reproach of men, and the ſcorne of the whole world; through thy reproaches, thou haſt honoured me; through thy accuſations, thou haſt defended me; through thy bloud, thou haſt waſhed me; through thy death, thou haſt rayſed me; and through thy teares, thou haſt freed me, from everlaſting weeping and gnaſhing of teeth: thine were the Wounds, that healed my ſores: thine was the backe, that bare my 71 D12r 71 my ſorrowes; thine was the prize, that quit my ſcores: thou aſſumedſt my fleſh, to redeeme me here, and thou raigneſt as King, to crowne me hereafter. Thus by thoſe miſerable Torments, thou didſt free me from all evill; and ſhall I be unwilling to ſuffer the deprivation of a little happineſſe, and the induring of a few paines to come unto thee, who haſt thus dearely purchaſed me for thy ſelfe: theſe Meditations ſo raviſhed his ſoule, that with Saint Paul he thinkes himſelfe in the third Heaven, hee hath drunke ſo freely of the River of Paradice, one drop of 72 D12v 72 of which is greater then the Ocean, which alone is able to quench the thirſt of the whole World, that he loatheth theſe puddell Waters, accounting all things but droſſe and dung in reſpect of Chriſt, all is to him in compariſon, no more then the light of a Candle, is to the glorious beames of the Sunne, he is now ſo farre from eſteeming eyther them, or life, that he deſires to be diſſolved and be with Chriſt, he longs for the day of his diſſolution, life being to him a Priſon, and with often groanes and ſighes, cryeth, Come Lord Jeſus, come quickly; and with Da- 73 E1r 73 David he ſayth: O how I long to appeare before God. If life were offered him, with all the pleaſures thereof, hee would deſpiſe it, for hee is fitted for God, he is no man for the World, his Soule hath too exactly looked into the worth of it, to be deceived with all the glittering ſhews thereof, the which hee findes to bee vayne and fleeting, and nothing permanent in this Life.
Of the deferring of Repentance, how dangerous it is, and of the deceiveableneſſe of worldly Pleaſures.
Having now ſeen the quiet Happineſſe, and happie Bleſſedneſse of the Godly, at the houre of his Death, mee thinkes it ſhould incourage every man to prepare himſelfe for his end in the time of Proſperity, leaſt when the time of changing ſhall come, they bee found naked and bare, and ſo lye open 75 E2r 75 open to all the aſſaults and batteries of Sathan, many there, bee to whom the Day of Judgement ſeemes terrible, not remembring the day of theyr Death, which is the firſt Judgement, the which whoſoever paſſeth, on ſuch the ſecond ſhall have no power; as SaintJohn ſayth in the Revelation: The deferring of Repentance proves dangerous. Yet ſome inreligious man will ſay; When I am come to old Age, I will runne to the remedy of Repentance: Dare mans frailtie preſume thus much of himſelfe, ſeeing hee hath not one day of all his Life, in his E2 owne 76 E2v 76 owne power, for though God hath promiſed Pardon to the Penitent; yet he hath not promiſed to morrow to a ſinner: therefore, whilſt it is called to Hebr. 5. day, heare his voyce and hearden not your hearts, leaſt you enter into temptation. Follow the counſell of that Kingly Preacher, make no tarrying to Eccleſ. 5. turne unto the Lord; and put not off from day to day, for ſodainly ſhall his wrath come, and in the time of vengeance, he ſhall deſtroy thee: beſides, there is another evill; ſinne having no reſtraint, but free liberty, to runne on in his owne current; how dange- 77 E3r 77 dangerous doth it proove, and how hard is it to ſtop the courſe thereof, being once growne to a cuſtome: Is it not uſually knowne, that hee that driveth a Nayle into a Poſt, faſteneth it at the firſt ſtroke that he giveth it, but more firmely at the ſecond ſtroke, but ſo faſt at the third, that it can hardly bee pulled out againe; and the oftner he ſtriketh it, the faſter it ſticketh, and is pulled out againe, with the greater difficulty: So in every one of mans wicked actions, vice is driven deepely into their ſoules, as if it were with a Mallet, and there it ſticketh ſo E3 faſt, 78 E3v 78 faſt, that it can by no meanes be pulled foorth, but by the bitter teares of Repentance, which are ſeldome and very hardly found; this ſame thing our Saviour ſhewed in the rayſing of Lazarus, being foure dayes dead; Iob. 1. whom he called foorth, with groaning of ſpirit: whereas he rayſed others that were dead, with farre eaſier tokens of difficulty; ſignifying to us thereby, how great a myracle it is, that God ſhould convert one buried in the cuſtome of ſinning; yet, not conſidering theſe things, how doth time paſſe on, and what numberleſſe ſinnes are 79 E4r 79 are committed without feare to offend, or care to provoke him to anger; through whoſe Gates thou muſt enter, before whoſe feet thou muſt lye proſtrate, will thou nill thou; whoſe mercy thou muſt ſue and deplore; Thou art pilunged in the Gulfe of ſinne, he onely muſt rayſe theee? thou art wounded, he onely can heale thee? thou art ſicke to the death, hee onely can give thee life? Oh then, feare to offend him! of whoſe helpe thou ſtandeſt in need every Iſa. 30. moment, tremble to provoke him to anger, who hath for unrepentant ſinners prepared a deepe and E4 large 80 E4v 80 large pit, the Piller thereof is fire and much wood, the breath of the Lord, like a ſtreame of brimſtone doth kindle it; beware of going on in delights, without remembering your end, leſt you be like the Fiſhes, that ſports themſelves ſo long in the delightſome ſtreames of the River Jordan; that unawares they plunge themſelves in Mare mortuum, from whence there is no Redemption; many are the baytes and ſnares, which are layed for man in this life, covered over with glittering wealth, and delightſome Pleaſures, but bare theſe deceits, and cauſe them to appeare 81 E5r 81 appeare in their own likeneſſe, and thou ſhalt finde this World to bee a Caſket of ſorrowes and grievances, a Schoole of Vanity, a laborinth of Errors, a dungeon of Darkneſſe, a Market-place of Couſonages, a way beſet with Theeves, a ditch full of mud, and a Sea continually toſt and troubled with ſtormes and Tempeſts: what other thing is the world, but a barren Land, a field full of Thiſtles and Weeds, a Wood full of Thornes, a flouriſhing Garden, but bringing forth no fruit, a River of Teares, a Fountaine of Cares, a ſweet poyſon; A Tragedy E5 plea- 82 E5v 82 pleaſantly framed, a delightfull Phrenzie; the Worlds reſt hath labour, the Security of it without ground, the feare of it is without cauſe, the Labour of it without fruit, the Teares without purpoſe, and the purpoſes without ſucceſſe, the Hope of it is vayne, the joy feyned, and the Sorrow true, the Glory of this World, is but the ſinging of Syrens, ſweet, but a deadly Potion, a Viper, artificially painted without, but within full of venemous poyſon: If the World fawne upon thee, it doth it that it may deceive thee; if it Exalt thee, it doth it that thy fall may 83 E6r 83 may bee the greater; if it make thee merry, it doth it that it afterwards with ſorrow may breake thy heart; it giveth all her goods with a mixture of incomparable heavineſſe and griefes, and that with the greateſt uſurie: if a Sonne bee borne to thee and ſoone after dye, thy ſorrow will be ſeaven fold greater then was thy Joy, the thing loſt, more afflicteth, then found joyeth; Sickneſſe more excruciateth, then Health gladdeth; Injury more tormenteth, then Honour contenteth; to conclude, what good things are found in the World, which are not coun- 84 E6v 84 counterfeit, and what evill which are not ſo indeed; If theſe things be ſo indeed as they are, wherefore ſhould man deſire to ſtay any longer in this land of Ægypt to gather ſtubble, who would not flye out of this Babilon, who would not deſire to be delivered from this fire of Sodome and Gomorrah: ſeeing therefore, that the World is beſet with ſo many ſnares, and that ſo many downfals and breakneckes are in the way, and the flame of Vices doe ſo burne us, who at any time can bee ſecure and ſafe, as Prov. 6. the Wiſe man ſayeth; Can a man take fire in his boſome,ſome 85 E7r 85 ſome, and his cloathes not be burnt, or can a man goe upon Coales, and his feet Eccleſ. 13. not burnt; he that toucheth Pitch, ſhall be defiled with the ſame; eſtrange then thy minde from theſe ycie Vanities; liſten and thou ſhalt heare Christ, who ſeeth the danger thou art falling into, calling unto thee, that hee may teach thee a way to prevent thy hurt, and ſaying; Behold, I ſtand at the doore and knocke, runne and open to this Phyſitian of thy Soule. O refuſe him not, neyther delay his entrance, for thou art ſicke, and he will give thee to drinke of the water of Life, neyther for 86 E7v 86 for money, nor by meaſure, but freely, and taking thy fill, without limitation, and freely too, being of his owne Grace and Mercy.
Can you then, knowing to whom you are to open, ſtand with delayes; as I cannot yet, I will anon, but this I cannot yet, I will anon; is deterred ſo long, that this heavenly gheſt goeth away without a Lodging, by reaſon of which, he will hardly bee brought againe, without many teares: Oh then! be ready at the firſt knock to open; I meane the firſt good motion, ſo ſhall you receive a gheſt, whoſe compa- 87 E8r 87 company is ſweeter, then the honey and the honey Combe; Oh, heart! more hard then ſtone, that can refuſe him; if conſidered who it is, it is Christ, the well-beloved Sonne of his Father, it is hee, in whom, God the Father is ſo well pleaſed, that all thy ſinnes are forgiven, being covered with the robe of his Righteouſneſſe; it is he, that ſuffered Rebukes, Buffetings, Scornings, Spittings on, and at the laſt, death; I, and that, the moſt curſedſt death, even the death of the Croſſe, as it is written: Curſed are every one that hang on a Tree. Galat. 3.
Theſe things being ſo, have 88 E8v 88 have you not hearts harder then an Adamant, thus to oppoſe his entrance: Oh doe not deferre this purchaſe to the time to come, for one minute of this time (which now vainely ſlydeth from thee) is more precious, then the Treaſure of the whole world.
Math. 13. Be like unto a wiſe Marchant, that having found a precious Pearle, goes and ſels all he hath to purchaſe it; what thing more precious then the Sonne of God, which heere offereth himſelfe unto thee? why art thou ſo ſlacke in giving him entertainement, thinkeſt thou him not worthy, becauſe thou beholdeſt him 89 E9r 89 him in his Humility, poore and deſpiſed, or doth thy fleſh puffe thee up with a conceit beyond thy merites, if it doe, caſt thy eyes upon thy ſelfe, and conſider what thou waſt before thou waſt borne, what thou art now, being borne, and what thou ſhalt bee after Death: before thou waſt borne, thou waſt filthy and obſceane matter, not worthy to be named; now thou art dung, covered over with ſnow, and a while after thou ſhalt be meat for Wormes: why then, ſhouldeſt thou bee proud, ſeeing thy Nativity is ſinne, thy Life miſery, and thy End putrifactiontion 90 E9v 90 tion and corruption.
Having conſidered thus with thy ſelfe, tell mee if thou haſt not the greater reaſon to open with the Semel. more celerity, hee of himſelfe, being willing to paſſe by theſe thy Infirmities, wouldeſt thou not account that man moſt heatheniſh, who having a Friend, that had indured ſeaven yeares impriſonment to keepe him from that bondage, & at the laſt payed his Ranſome, at ſo deare a rate, as thereby his eſtate were for ever ruined, otherwiſe hee himſelfe to indure perpetuall Slavery: if this man, I ſay, ſhould come and knocke at 91 E10r 91 at the doore of his Friend deſiring admittance, and acquainting him, with who it was, and hee for this his love, ſhould ſeeme not to know him, but bid him be gone and barre the doore againſt him; I know thou wonuldeſt account him moſt inhumane and Iſa. 53. ungratefull, and yet how farre ſhort comes this of Christ’s love and bounty to thee, for the chaſtiſement of thy Peace, was layd upon him, and with his ſtripes thou waſt healed.
O wretched Soule! to looſe ſuch a Friend, Oh unhappie man! by this oppoſition, to deprive thy ſelfe 92 E10v 92 ſelfe of all Happines: for what greater Happineſſe canſt thou have, then to injoy that Fatherly providence by which God preſerveth his, what ſweeter Delights, then the Divine Grace, the Light of wiſedome, the conſolations of the holy Ghoſt, the Joy and Peace of a good Conſcience, the good event of Hope, the true liberty of the Soule, the inward peace of the Heart, to bee heard in Prayer, to be helped in tribulations, to be provided for Temporall neceſſities, and to bee ayded and to taſte of Heavenly Comforts in death? whilſt I ſeriouſly meditateditate 93 E11r 93 ditate upon theſe things, my Soule is as in a Rapture, me thinkes I ſee Christ Jesus comming in the Clouds, with thouſand of Angels about him, the Heavens and Earth flying away at his preſence, millions of damned Soules, yelling and crying to the Rocks and Mountaines, to fall upon them, and to cover them, from the fierceneſſe of his ſight; The Divels quaking and trembling expecting the denouncing of their Torments; and the Joyes the Godly have at that houre: For as it is a day of horror and terror to the Wicked, ſo is it a day of joy and gladneſſe to the godly; 94 E11v 94 godly; for as the body of the one reſts in the earth, without taſte of thoſe miſeries it hath deſerved, even ſo the Righteous, by this ſleepe of Death, is deprived of this bleſſedneſſe in their body, untill corruption hath put on incorruption, and mortality hath put on immortality; and that they are wakened by the ſound of the Trumpet; which ſūummoneth them to appeare before Christ; when then their ſoules become againe reunited to their bodyes; and both with Joy, beholds the face of God, not as their Judge, for he is their Brother; and therefore can 95 E12r 95 can expect from him, nothing but mercy; he hath purchaſed them for himſelfe, with no meaner a lo price, then his owne precious bloud, and there fore, muſt needs bee to him acceptable, this is theyr yeare of Jubilee, this is the Marriage of the Lambe, with him they enter, and Revel. 21. he is theyr God, and they are his Sonnes; they now behold his face, and his Name is in theyr foreheads; They now, receive the fulneſſe of theyr Joy, Revel. 22. they now, poſſeſſe that happineſſe theyr Soules thirſted for; they now, injoy the reward of all theyr labo urs: this bleſſedneſſe truly 96 E12v 96 truly conſidered on, affoordeth more pleaſures then the tongue of Man can utter, or his Soule remayning in the Priſon of his fleſh, is able to receive, without crying out with Cant. 2. the Spouſe in the Canticles: I am ſicke of Love. It is no marvell, that the Church cryeth; Come Lord Jesus, come quickly: for in this his comming, conſiſteth all happineſſe. Here is the finall end of all miſeries and ſinnes; it onely, prooveth the waters of Mara to the ungodly; it is terrible to none, but the unrepentant, even they who had their eyes ſealed from beholding any other happi- 97 F1r 97 Happines, then what tended to their pleaſures; They which tooke to them the Timbrell and the Harp, and rejoyced in the ſound of the Organs, they ſpend theyr dayes in wealth, and were of them that ſayd: Speake no more to us in the name of the Lord; they ſayd to God, depart from us, for wee deſire not the knowledge of thy wayes. What is the Almighty, that we ſhould ſerve him? and what profit ſhall wee have, if we pray unto him? Now alas! but too late, they ſee theyr owne follyes; now without hope of redreſſe, they behold theyr owne miſeries; no marvell, F though 98 F1v 98 though the mentioning of the day of Judgement, be terrible to ſuch a man; who by his wickedneſſe, deprives himſelfe of all thoſe Bleſſedneſſes; for ill will it prove, if the day of Death, be not alwayes in his remembrance; which is the firſt judgement, and wherein he muſt ſtand eyther convicted, or acquitted; eyther condemned for his bad workes, or juſtified for his good, whereof he can have little hope, unleſſe hee meet his Judge in the way, and make his peace with him, whilſt he may be found; yet, there is time to furniſh thy lamp with Oyle, yet the Gates of 99 F2r 99 of Mercy are not ſhut, yet thou mayeſt ſo cry, as thou mayeſt bee ſatisfied with this gracious anſwer; Come ye o bleſſed of my Father; Whereas, if thou deferre thy Repentance from time to time, putting farre from thee the evill day, if thou doe not expect the comming of thy Lord, but become drunken, and fall to ſmiting thy fellow Servants, if thou hide thy Talent in the Earth, which God in his goodneſſe hath beſtowed on thee to better uſes: Thy Lord will come Math. 28. when he is not looked for, and in a time when thou art not aware of, and caſt thee into utter Darkneſse, F2 where 100 F2v 100 where ſhall bee wayling and gnaſhing of Teeth, giving thee a juſt hyre for thy careleſſe ſecurity: It is not thy pleaſures, that can deferre thy calamities; it is not the inlarging thy Barnes, that can reſiſt thy miſery; the greatneſse of Friends will not availe; thy Judge is blinde to Bribery, and deafe to all but Juſtice, if his wrath be not appeaſed before he come to give ſentence, it will then be too late to expect mercy.
Comforts for the weake Chriſtian; and to beware of Backeſliding.
Our moſt ſubtle malicious Enemy retayning ſtill the hatred hee bare our firſt Parents at the beginning, ſeeketh to bring us into everlaſting Perdition, and ſo to gaine us to himſelfe by one meanes or other; to a man nouzeled in Sinne, hee uſeth no other wayes, theun the lulling him ſtill the faſter F3 aſleepe 102 F3v 102 aſleepe in worldly pleaſures; the Miſer he perſwadeth ſtill to covet Riches, thereby making his Gold his God; by which meanes hee filleth up the meaſure of Wrath againſt the day of Judgement: the Adulterer hee draweth on more eaſily, by the delightſomneſſe of the ſinne, telling Prov. 3. him that ſtolne bread is ſweet, and hid waters pleaſant: the Proud man, hee hath hud-wincked, not to thinke of time, but to account all loſt, but what is ſpent in decking and ſetting himſelfe foorth in the Divels Feathers: Thus all ſinnes he leſſens, that ſo he may cauſe man to defer his 103 F4r 103 his repentance till the laſt, then the which, there is nothing more dangerous: but when he meets a child in religion, who is glad to ſuck milke from the ſweet paps of Gods word, him he ſo toſseth & ſhaketh, with telling him of his owne unworthines, and the ſeverity of Gods Juſtice, that the poore Soule is ready to leave his hold and to fall into deſperation, not daring ſcarce to looke up to Gods Mercy; but if his weaknes become ſtrength and he be rayſed by Faith, then hee ſtrives to cauſe him to become weary and backward in well doing,.
Therefore, thou O man! F4 that 104 F4v 104 that wouldeſt doe the good thou doeſt not, but through the deceivableneſſe of thy fleſh ſtandeth loytering, and with Salomons ſluggard cryeth, Yet a little ſleepe, a little ſlumber; awake and behold Christ comming in the Clouds. Stand up and gird thy ſelfe like a man, lift up thy eye of Faith and behold thy Saviour, whoſe merits plead for thee? See him dying for thee, and thereby paying thy debts? See thy Judge a juſt one, and therefore will not require that againe, which Chriſt hath already ſatisfied, hee hath beheld the thoughts of thine heart, and found thy deſires, 105 F5r 105 deſires, are to ſerve him concerning the inward Man, and though thou didſt fall into ſinnes moſt offenſive to the eyes of his Divine Majeſty, yet hee knowes, that the evill thou didſt hate, that thou didſt: But it was a Law in thy Rom. 7. Members that ledde thee captive to the Law of ſin: then if as a Captive forc’t, it was no longer thou, but ſinne that dwelled in thee.
Let the remembrances of theſe Mercies, waken thy Soule from the drowſineſſe of Sinne, and remember who hath ſayd: Awake, thou that ſleepeſt Epheſ. 5. and ariſe from the Dead, and Christ ſhall give F5 thee 106 F5v 106 thee light? Hee calleth thee? Hee biddeth thee awake, let not theſe ſweet calles, ſtrike thee dead, as Math. 20. his preſence did the Keepers, who became aſtoniſhed, and were as dead men; but rather let that voyce bee of as great power to thee, as it was to Lazarus Iohn. 11. ; not onely to rayſe thee from the ſleepe, but alſo from the death of Sin. And bee as ready to entertaine this love as Thomas was, who no ſooner touched his Saviour, but cryed Iohn. 20. out: My Lord, and my God: Neyther deceive thy ſelfe, with a ſoothing conceit of what is not in Math. 7. thee; For, the Tree is knowne 107 F6r 107 knowne by the fruit; for men cannot gather Grapes of Thornes, nor Figs of Thiſtles: A good man, out of the good Treaſure of Math. 7 his Heart, bringeth forth good things, and an evill man, out of the evill Treaſure of his heart, bringeth forth evill things; ſo that howſoever thou mayſt ſeeme to the World, yet as a ſhadow doth alwayes follow the body, ſo feare and deſperation will at all times, and in all places, wayte upon an evill Conſcience.
Let not thy Faith be as a Houſe built upon the Sands, which will ſhake with every blaſt of Temptations,tations, 108 F6v 108 tations, or Afflictions, but found it upon the Rocke Christ Jesus; againſt which, whatſoever beateth ſhall returne with a greater repulſe to itſelfe, as not being able to move it; and having once attayned this perfection, take heed of recoyling, for Christ ſayth; He that layeth hand upon the Plough and looketh backe, is not meet for the Luke. 9 Kingdome of Heaven.
What though the way to Heaven be narrow, and full of Difficulties? Wilt thou not therefore, beeing entred, perſevere? Who would wiſh or deſire to walke in a way ſtrowed 109 F7r 109 ſtrowed with Roſes, and planted with divers fragrant Flowers, if the aſſured end of it be death; and who would refuſe a rough and difficult path, that leadeth unto life; is it not commonly ſeene, that many men to attaine to Preferment, run into moſt apparent dangers, and hazard the loſſe of theyr life; (nay I know thou wouldeſt doe it thy ſelfe) and ſhall it bee troubleſome and grievous to thee, to doe that for thy Soule, which thou refuſeth not to doe for thy Body? Shall it ſeeme a great thing unto thee, to ſuffer a little trouble heere, that hereafterafter 110 F7v 110 after thou mayſt eſcape eternall torment? What would not the rich covetous man buryed in Hell, willingly doe, if he might have licence to come into the World againe, that he might amend his errors? Is it meet that thou ſhouldeſt doe leſſe now, then he would doe; ſeeing, that if thou doſt perſever in thy wickedneſſe, the ſame torments remaine for thee.
He that runneth a Race leaveth not till hee come to the Gole; So run as you may obtaine: Remember Lots Wife, who looking backe became a Piller of Salt; ſo take heed, leſt thou by looking backe upon the vani- 111 F8r 111 vanities of this life, forget the care of thy Soule, commanded thee by God; & ſo of his child, become not a Piller of Salt, but a child of Perdition; a man having much riches, is ſtill covetous of more, and what wealth to be compared to the Soule? A thing ſo great in it ſelfe; that what gayneth hee, that getteth the whole world, and looſeth his Soule; even as great a purchaſe, as hee, who having with much Labour and great charge, obtayned a precious Jewell, ſtraight giveth it for a trifle.
Nay, were it ſo, it were the leſſe, for that were but the 112 F8v 112 the undoing of the body, this the loſſe of the Soule; that friends againe may rayſe, this is a loſſe irrecoverable: Wherefore, thinke no paynes weariſome, no labours irkſome, nor any troubles grievous, to attaine true happineſſe; 2. Cor. 4. For our light afflictions, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a farre more exceeding & eternall weight of Glory, while we looke not at the things which are ſeene, but at the things which are not ſeene; for the things which are ſeene, are Temporall, but the things which are not ſeene, are Eternall: wherefore, ſettingting 113 F9r 113 ting all hinderances apart, with cheerefulneſſe of ſpirit, take up the Croſſe of Christ, and incourage thy feeble ſpirit, with the ſaying of the Apostle Paul: The troubles of this Life, are not comparable to the joyes that ſhall bee hereafter: 2. Cor. 6. having therefore theſe promiſes, cleanſe your ſelves from all filthineſſe of the fleſh and ſpirit, perfecting Holineſſe in the feare of God.
That man ought to bee wonne to follow Godlineſſe, in reſpect of the Eternall Hapineſſe.
Having now ſet before thee, Life and good, Death and evill: I deſire thee, to chooſe Life, that both thou and thy ſeed mayeſt live, for having beheld, the deceiveablenes of worldly pleaſures, and how this momentany felicity is attended on, by ſorrow and her Confederates, me thinks thou ſhouldeſt be 115 F10r 115 be weary of this houſe of Clay, ſcituated in a Wildernes of miſeries, which hourely produceth Monſters, that ravenouſly ſeeketh to prey on thy deſtruction: and withdrawing thy mind from theſe fleeting delights, elevate thy thoughts to Heaven, and contemplate with thy ſelfe, of thoſe Cœleſtiall pleaſures; note the beauty of the place, the gloriouſneſſe of the company, and the durableneſſe of that Happineſſe, which is Eternity; for the beautie of this place, this Heavenly Jeruſalem, looke into the Revelation, and thou Revel. 21. ſhalt finde; It hath the glory 116 F10v 116 glory of God, the light thereof to be like a Jaſper ſtone, cleere as Chryſtall; glorious muſt it needs bee, when the Wall is of Jaſper, and the City of pure gold, cleare like glaſſe, and the Foundations of the Wall garniſhed with all manner of precious ſtones; the twelve Gates were twelve Pearles; every ſeverall gate, was of one Revel. 15 pearle; for the company, there are Angels, and Martyrs, with the foure and twenty Elders, that offer up golden Vials full of odours, which are the Prayers of Saints; but, which is chiefe of all delights, there will be God himſelfe, 117 F11r 117 himſelfe who will bee a Looking-Glaſſe to the eyes of his Elect, Muſicke to theyr eares, Nectar and Ambroſia to their Palates, odoriferous Balſamum to theyr Smelling; There thou ſhalt ſee, the variety and beauty of the ſeaſons, the pleaſantneſſe of the Spring, the brightneſſe of Summer, the fruitfulneſſe of Autumne, and the quiet of Winter, and there ſhall bee whatſoever may delight thy ſences, and every faculty of thy Soule; there will be, the fulneſſe of light to thy underſtanding, the aboundance of Peace to thy will, and the contitinuance of Eternity to thy 118 F11v 118 thy memory; there, the Wiſedome of Salomon, ſhall ſeeme ignorance; there, the beauty of Absa slom ſhall ſeeme deformity; there, the ſtrength of Sampson, ſhall ſeeme weakeneſſe; there, the long life of Methvsalem, ſhall ſeeme a ſpan; there the Riches of Crœsus, ſhall ſeeme droſſe: for there, thou mayſt worthily call the treaſures of all Emperors and Kings, ſtarke poverty and beggery.
Theſe things beeing thus? Why ſhouldeſt thou O man! delight to begge, and live of Almes, when thou ſhalt finde ſuch aboundanceboundance 119 F12r 119 boundance in Heaven, looke upon thy ſelfe and conſider, how the Lord hath beſtowed upon thee a countenance of Majeſty, with thy face erected towards Heaven, and thy eye-lids to move upwards, thereby to teach thee, that thou wert not formed, to ſpend thy dayes in the moiling cares of this troubleſome world, but to aſpire to that true Happines, that maketh all the other Miſery.
Marke the Sea-mans Needle, whoſe nature of that Iron is, that in what part it hath touched the Loadſtone, that part alwayes looketh towards the 120 F12v 120 the North, and remaineth unſetled, till it hath found the Pole: even ſo hath God created Man, and hath infuſed into him a naturall inclination and readineſſe, that hee ſhould alwayes looke to his Maker, as to the Pole and onely true happines.
When the Children of Iſrael in the Wilderneſſe, were ſtung by fiery Serpents, none could live, but thoſe, that looked up to that brazen Serpent, which Moses erected; ſo no man beeing ſtung by thoſe fiery Serpents of ſin, can live; but thoſe, that by the eye of Faith looke up to Christ Jesus, behol- 121 G1r 121 beholding him, dying upon the Croſſe, and applying his death and merits, to their otherwiſe deadly- wounded Soule, whereby that Ulcer is cured and they aſſured of life.
After Adam had ſinned Gen. 3. in eating the forbidden fruit, God ſent him to Till the Earth, out of which he was taken; but the ſoule of man was infuſed into him by the Gen. 2. breath of God; let therefore the cogitations of thy heart and Soule bee turned towards him, from whence it had the beeing, ſeeing, as ſayth Saint Augustine: There is nothing more bleſſed, than G this 122 G1v 122 this life, where there is no feare of Poverty, no infirmity of Sickneſſe, no deceipts of the Divell, neyther Death of body or Soule; but a pleaſant life through the guift of Immortality, then there ſhall be no miſchiefes, no diſcords, but all agreement; becauſe there ſhall be one concord of all the Saints, peace and joy imbrace all things.
What is it, that thou canſt deſire heere upon Earth, that thou ſhalt not there freely poſſeſſe? If thou deſireſt pleaſures, lift up thy heart and ſee how delightfull that Good is, that contayneth in it, the delight 123 G2r 123 delight and pleaſure of all good things? If this life created doth pleaſe thee, how much more ſhall that life pleaſe thee, which hath created all things? If health given make thee merry, how much more ſhall he make thee merry, that giveth all health? If the knowledge of the Creatures bee ſweet, how much more ſweeter ſhall the Creator himſelfe be? If beauty bee acceptable unto thee, it is he, at whoſe beauty, the Sunne and Moone admire; the glory of which, was ſo great, that when Moses went up to the Mount, though he ſaw but the hinder part G2 there- 124 G2v 124 thereof, his Face became ſo bright and ſhining, that the Iſraelites could not behold him; what ſhould I ſtand longer to ſet forth the beauty of that, which if I had the tongue of Men and Angels, I could not doe; for as the Apoſtle 1. Cor. 2. ſayth; Eye hath not ſeene, Eare hath not heard, neyther hath it entred into the heart of Man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
Wilt thou then chooſe with the Prodigall Sonne, to eate Huskes with the Swine, rather than to returne home to thy Heavenly Father, will not all theſe 125 G3r 125 theſe delights move thee, nor cauſe thee to deſire it; it may bee thou art timerous, knowing thy owne unworthineſſe; but bee incouraged by the words of thy Saviour, who ſeeing thy faint heartedneſſe, ſayth, Feare not little flocke, for it is your fathers Luke. 15. pleaſure to give you a Kingdome. Thou art one of the flocke, and this Kingdome is prepared for thee; why doſt thou not long to take poſſeſſion of thy owne, purchaſed for thee by Christ, who though hee be thy Elder brother; yet thou ſhalt bee co-heyre with him, whoſe love, thou mayſt G3 ſee 126 G3v 126 ſee expreſſed, by his infinite care; for in his Prayer to his Father for his Diſciples, he remembred thee, when he ſayd, I pray not for theſe alone, but John. 17. for thoſe that ſhall beleeve on me, that they may all be one as thou Father art in me, and I in thee, and the glory which thou haſt given mee, I have given them, that they may bee one even as wee are one, I will alſo, that thoſe thou haſt given mee, bee with me.
Canſt thou now have any doubts or waverings in thy Mind? Repayre unto him, and in true humility of Soule confeſſe thy 127 G4r 127 thy ſelfe unto him, and ſay; Father I have ſinned againſt Heaven and againſt thee, and I am no more worthy to bee called thy Sonne: This done, doubt not but hee will imbrace thee in the Armes of his Mercy, the Ring and Robe ſhall be brought, and the fatted Calfe ſhall be kild: for there is more joy in Heaven, over one ſinner that repenteth, than of ninety and nine juſt perſons: It is a place prepared for thee, before the Foundations of the World were layd. O happy Soule! that art made poſſeſſor of this bleſſedneſſe! How art thou able to behold any G4 thing 128 G4v 128 thing in this life, with true contentment, having ſeriouſly beheld this; though thou didſt dayly ſuffer torments, if for a long time thou didſt indure Hell it ſelfe, ſo that at the length thou mighteſt ſee Christ in his glory, and injoy this bleſſedneſſe, and have ſociety with the Saints; were it not worthy all Sufferings? All Bitternes? and all Croſſes, that thou mighteſt be partaker of all this good. At laſt, what though the world account not of thee, but deride thee for thy vertuous living? Remember Elizeus the Prophet of the Lord, who was 129 G5r 129 was mocked and called Bald-head, in contempt; Reſolve with thy ſelfe, no ſooner to enter into the path of Godlineſse, but ſuch is the malitiouſneſse of thy Mortall Enemie, that hee will ſet his members in the way againſt thee; that if it bee poſſible, they may hinder thy proceedings, and turne thee backe againe into the broad way of Errors, that leadeth to deſtruction.
No ſooner did Saul Propheſie, but the wicked and the men of Belial, had him in deriſion, who better affected, then Paul the Apoſtle, whilſt he remayned a Perſecutor of G5 Christ 130 G5v 130 Christ in his members, and carried with him the authority of the High Prieſts, to ſtrengthen his proceedings; but no ſooner was he converted, but how many enimies had he, which ſtreight ſought his deſtruction, hayling him to Priſons, to Scourging, and to Stonings to death. Yet ſo farre were they from being diſheartned by this, as that they rejoyced that they were counted worthy to ſuffer for the name of Christ.
When we enter into Baptiſme, we profeſſe to become Christs ſouldiers, and to fight under his banner; and is it the part of a Souldier 131 G6r 131 Souldier, to flye at the firſt onſet, he that indureth to the end, gaineth not onely the honour, but the reward; nay, the fiercer the aſſault is, the more we ought to oppoſe our ſelves againſt it, and though through the roughnes of the incounter, we may thinke we have the worſt, yet if with patience wee strive to perſever, our Captaine Christ Jesus will be at hand to helpe us, for carefull is he of his owne, as his owne mouth teſtifieth; when he ſaith, to his Father, All thou haſt given me, I have kept, and none of them is loſt. Let all theſe proofes arme thy minde 132 G6v 132 minde, to be reſolute in going on in goodnes, till thou attaine the end where thou ſhalt gaine the reward of thy labours, and take with theel, the Counſell of the Philoſopher Hermes, who ſayth, It is better, to ſuffer ſhame for vertuous dealing, then to win honour by vicious living.
When Salomon had builded the Temple and ſanctified it, none might enter into Sanctum Sanctorum, the holieſt of all, but the Prieſt onely. So none can enter into this Kingdome, which is the true Sanctum Sanctorum; but thoſe who have by a Religious courſe of life, put 133 G7r 133 put off the vanities of this world, and cloathed themſelves with the Robe of Christs Righteouſneſſe, whereby they are Conſecrated & made fit to enter.
When the Children of Jſrael were in the Wildernes, they were commanded every day to gather Manna, but on the Sabboth they that went to gather, found none, for that they were on the Even to provide for that day: ſo fayle not thou every day of thy life, to gather this Manna, the food of thy ſoule, and to lay up in ſhore againſt this day of thy reſt, leaſt when thou hopeſt to find, thou become fruſtrate 134 G7v 134 fruſtrate, and ſo thy ſoule ſtarve with want thereof, feede not thy ſelfe with hopes of entertainement, unleſſe thou have furniſhed thy ſelfe with the wedding garment, neither thinke to paſse with one that is counterfeit, though never ſo neare the colour; for if it be not found the right one, thou ſhalt be taken and bound hand and foot, and caſt into utter darkeneſse; therefore it is that the Apoſtle ſayth, 2. Cor. 13. Examine your ſelves whither yee be in the Faith, prove your ſelves.
There are many, nay moſt that underſtanding the infinitneſse of the happinesnes 135 G8r 135 nes of this place, that with Balaam will deſire to Numb. 33 dye the death of the Righteous, but they will not live the life of the Righteous: becauſe they exempt themſelves from many things, in the which the wicked place theyr whole felicity, they accounting this world theyr Heaven, ſhall therefore finde none other hereafter, as in the parable, Abraham ſayd to the rich man in Hell; Son remember that thou in thy life-time, received thy good things; they were his, becauſe in them conſiſted all his happines: therefore poſſeſſing of them here, he could not expect a 136 G8v 136 a future: For as the Apoſtle ſaith, Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for what a man ſoweth, that ſhall he reape; for he that ſoweth to the fleſh, ſhall of the fleſh reape corruption: but he that ſoweth to the ſpirit, ſhall of the ſpirit, reape life everlaſting. For true bleſſednes, conſiſteth not in meat or drink, or in richneſse of apparell, but in Righteouſnes and Peace, and Joy in the Holy Ghoſt.
A man who hath beene long kept from his father and mother, wife or children, by impriſonment, being once at liberty, and entred on his Iourney toward them 137 G9r 137 thēem, regardeth not neither the length of the way, the weariſomnes of his owne ſteps, nor the dangerouſnes of the places he is to paſſe, but goeth on with chearefulneſse and longings, till he attaine the end, and as a ſpurre to whet on his ſpeed, placeth before the eye of his remembrance the ſweete content hee ſhall finde at meeting, can theſe earthly delights cauſe a man to undergoe ſo many difficulties, and ſhall not the delights which God hath prepared for his and whereof I have given thee a glimpſe, cauſe thee with much more fervencie, to long to attaine to this 138 G9v 138 this place of happineſse, and ſetting a part all hinderances whatſoever, fix thy eye of Faith upon thoſe unſpeakeable pleaſures which thy ſoule ſhall then gayne, & in Joy when thou ſhalt meete with God thy Father, Chriſt Jeſus thy Brother and Saviour, who hath by the infinitenes of his love eſpouſed thee unto himſelfe; and made the poſſeſſor of Heaven, where thou ſhalt as ſayth SaintAugust.Augustine imbrace a certaine imbracing above all imbracings.
Thou ſhalt find a ſweetnes above all ſweetneſse, thou ſhalt ſee a light above all lights, thou ſhalt ſmell a ſavor 139 G10r 139 a ſavour above all ſavours, moſt delectable, thou ſhalt heare a voyce above all voyces for rarenes, for that voyce doth ſound where no ayre doth move it, this light doth ſhine, where no place doth receive it, this ſavour doth ſmell where no blaſt doth carry it, and this imbrace is there touched, where it is not ſundred; to conclude if thou deſireſt to injoy all bleſſedneſse, and to eſcape all kinde of puniſhments, tribulations, and miſeries, there thou ſhalt find libertie & freedome from them all. The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, give untoto 140 G10v 140 to us, the ſpirit of wiſdome & knowledge of him, that the eyes of our underſtanding being inlightned, we may know, what is the hope of his calling, and what the Riches of the Glory of the inheritance of his Saints, Amen.
Of our loſſe by Adam, and our gayne by Christ; the firſt Adam was made a living Soule, the ſecond Adam a quickning Spirit; For as in Adam wee all dye, ſo in Christ, ſhall all be made alive. 1. Corinth. 15.
God by his Wiſedome, and all-ſeeing Pow’r
Ordained Man unto Eternitie,
Sathan through malice turnes that ſweet to ſowre,
Man eating the forbidden Fruit muſt Die:No 142 G11v 142
No remedy was left to ſcape this Curſe,
The ſore ſtill looked on became the worſe.
He out of that delightſome place is throwne
To travell in the Warld with woe diſtreſt,
Through all his life A Pilgrim he is knowne,
With Cares and Sorrowes, and with griefes oppreſt
The more he lookes into his wretched ſtate,
The more he rues his fact but all too late.
Whereas he was created King of all
The Creatures God on Earth created had,
His Glory bated is by this his Fall,
No creature now on Earth remaines ſo bad:
The ſenceleſſe Beaſt the ſence of this hath found,
And having Man poſſeſt with death doth wound.
The Earth diſdaines to yeeld to him her ſtrength
But pricking Thornes and Brambles forth doth ſend,
Till with his ſweat and labours ſhe at lengthOnely 144 G12v 144
Onely for ſuſtenance ſome food doth lend:
Thus he that was a heavenly Creature form’d,
By diſobedience to a wretch is turn’d.
Of all the Trees that in the Garden grew,
He onely was forbidden that alone,
His Wife from that obedience ſoone him drew,
And taſte thereof he did although but one:
O wretched man! what haſt thou loſt hereby
Wicked woman to cauſe thy husband dye.
T’’Tis not ſaying, the Serpent thee deceiv’d
That can excuſe the fault thou didſt commit;
For of all Joyes thou haſt thy ſelfe bereav’d,
And by thy Conſcience thou doſt ſtand convict.
Thy husband not alone the fault muſt rue,
A puniſhment for ſinne to thee is due.
For as thou now conceives thy ſeed in ſinne,
So in great ſorrow thou muſt bring it foorth,
The gaine which thou by that ſame fruit didſt winne,H Thou 146 H1v 146
Thou now doſt find to bee but little worth:
Obedience to thy Husband yeeld thou muſt,
And both muſt Dye and turned be to Duſt.
The Truth ſometimes is uſed by the Divell
When as he ſayd, Your eyes, should opened bee,
And that you ſhould diſcerne the good from evill,
When you the Fruit had taſted of that tree:
But hee told not your actions, ſhould be ſinne,
And Death ſhould be the good which you ſhould winne.
For now your ſtrength to weakeneſſe turned is,
You know the Good but have no powre to chuſe’t,
Your eyes is ope, to ſee your owne amiſſe,
And to behold the bliſſe you have refus’d:
You ſee your nakedneſſe made vilde by Sinne,
And now ſeekes for a place to hide you in.
But O alas! your deeds diſcover’d are,
You naked lye to thoſe all-ſeeing eyes,
He viewes your actions and doth ſee you bare,H2 Bare 148 H2v 148
Bare of all Goodneſſe, vilde deformities:
And in your ſelves you have no power to mend,
For all your ſtrength, is ſinne Sathan doth lend.
Now ſeizes on your ſickneſſe Griefes and Feares,
Which night and day with trouble will torment;
Your ſweet Delights, are turned all to teares,
And now what you have done, with woe repent!
Nothing but Griefes and Feares and ſad annoyes;
You now poſſeſſe inſtead of endleſſe Joyes.
You were immortall, but are mortall made;
You were created pure, but now are vilde;
Your ſplendant Glories turned all to ſhade,
Your Innocence The Devill hath beguilde:
You were created Children of the Lord,
But now are loathſome Dung, to be abhorr’d.
Which way, can you recover this your loſſe?
What friend have you, that will this great debt pay?
Can you gaine, pure gold from filthy droſſe?H3 Or 150 H3v 150
Or have you power to call againe that Day;
No, you are in a laborinth of woe,
And endleſſe is the maze in which you goe.
Yet courage Woman, whoſe weake ſpirit’s dead,
God in his love a helpe for thee hath found,
Bee ſure thy Seed ſhall bruiſe the Serpents head,
Christ by his Death shall Sathan deadly wound:
This Lyon of Judea reſiſt who can,
In him is bleſt the whole Off-ſpring of man.
This Promiſe in due time fulfill’d hath God,
Unto the comfort of each mortall weight;
Christ payes our Debt hee’s beaten with that rod
That doth belong unto our Soules of right:
His Fathers wrath was powred upon him,
Which doth belong as due to us for Sinne.
Hee dy’d upon the Croſſe and conquered Death.
That though wee dye yet live againe wee muſt,
He buried was and riſen is from Earth,H4 And 152 H4v 152
And raignes with God in Heaven amongſt the Juſt:
With him, our Soules and Bodies rais’d hath hee,
And from deaths thraldome now, hath ſet us free:
This cauſeth Sathan ſtir himſelfe amaine,
To ſee, if he can winne what he hath loſt:
He ſtrives to make our overthrow his gaine.
He ſtormeth now, that he, by Christ is crost:
And to his ayde, he all his forces drawes,
That he may cauſe us to obey his Lawes.
Whole Armies of his Furies forth he ſends,
In ſhape transformed, to delude our mindes;
And unto them his greateſt force he lends,
To ſeize, where fitteſt for his turne he findes:
He marks, to what men are by nature given,
And unto that, he turnes his Compaſſe even.
Sathan’s deceipts are covered, all with ſmiles.
That ſinne ſeemes pleaſing, which our Soules deſtroyes,
With quaint allurements, hee man ſtill beguiles.H5 With 154 H5v 154
With ſweet delights he breeds Mans ſad annoyes,
He imitates a Poyſon rarely framed,
But once being taken all the life blood’s ſtained.
Old and craftie is our Enemy growne,
He knowes all Fiſh at one baite will not bite,
Hee’l try a thouſand wayes to gaine his owne,
He will not leave till he the marke hits right:
Some with Drunkenneſſe, Murders, Luſt beſide,
Others with Idleneſſe, exeſsive Pride.
Bacchus that drunken God from Hell comes forth,
And reeling here and there few ſcapes his knockes,
Who ſhunnes his blowes eſteem’d are of no worth,
One Drunkard at anothers weakneſſe mockes:
What Isaiah ſaith, thereon they never thinke;
Woe bee to them! are ſtrong to pw’r in drinke.
God, in his love form’d all things for mans uſe,
That for his Comfort they might daily be,
But they prove poyſon through mans vilde abuſe,Sinne 156 H6v 156
Sinne changeth all into deformity:
Paul for mans health, to drinke Wine doth adviſe.
But through exceſſe, both Soule and Body dyes.
Man, by this Sinne more vile is, than a Beaſt;
Far but ſufficient, they will never take,
Mans ſences fayles him ſinnes are ſtill increaſt,
He tracing vices, doth all good forſake:
In Drunkenneſſe, Lot doth to Inceſt fall,
Noah in his Wine, his ſecrets ſhewes to all
Then Luſt, and Murther hands together take,
Like full fed Beaſts, they neigh at neighbours wife,
Stolne bread is ſweet, hid water theyr thirſts ſlake,
They fall to Murther, through diſcord and ſtrife.
For when mans reaſon fayles, to guide his will;
He into miſchiefe, runneth headlong ſtill.
Moſt people takes Idleneſſe, for no ſinne:
Thus in Simplicitie, Sathan deludes,
That precious time is loſt, that Grace might winne.And 158 H7v 158
And want of action, many ſinnes includes:
That minde, which unto Idleneſſe gives way,
Doth open lye to bee the Devils prey.
When David unto eaſe himſelfe had given,
His eyes extravagantly looke about,
Uriah’s wife he ſpyeth in the Even,
He muſt, and did enjoy her without doubt:
Sathan by this his fall more ſtrength doth gaine,
For David bids Uriah ſhould be ſlaine.
Thus by one meanes or other Sathan ſnares
Mans ſoule in Sinne, and hudwinck’d tills him on;
His cup of Gold is filled up with teares
A bitter pittance to theyr ſweetes belong:
Pride, in it ſelfe doth beare a poyſon’d breath,
No Sinne ſo ſmall but puniſht is with Death.
That ſinn’s thought leaſt that’s ſpent in trimming fine
That Carkaſſe vilde, on which the Wormes muſt prey,
They thinke not how theyr hungry Soule doth pine,They 160 H8v 160
They count not of theyr reckoning at last day.
But time of Grace, once loſt, is without call,
So headlong to deſtruction they doe fall.
Pride, of all other ſembleth moſt the Divell?
’Twas Pride, threw Sathan downe from Heaven to Hell:
’Twas Pride, that Author was of all mans evill:
’Twas Pride, made Eve deſire ſtill to excell;
When Sathan ſaid, as Gods, you then ſhall be;
Incontinent, ſhe taſted of that Tree.
This Lep’rous ſinne, infected ſo the bloud,
That through her off-ſpring, it hath wholly runne;
Before the child can know, the bad from good;
It ſtraight is proud, Nature, this hure hath done.
A female ſinne, it counted was to be,
But now Hermaphrodite, proved is ſhee.
Like Iudas, Sathan with each mortall deales,
His haile, is Hate, his flattering hiſſe, is death,
He everywhere ſtill watching, creeping ſteales,With 162 H9v 162
With armed troupes to ſtifle his ſoules breath:
His Syrens ſongs, mans mortall Death intends,
And hee muſt Dye that thereto his eare lends.
As a Phyſition with his Patient ſtill
Applyes his potion as he findes it fit;
Giving to ſome, more ſtrong becauſe theyr ill
Diſpoſed body, oft requireth it:
Even ſo, doth Sathan with each Creature deale,
But his is meant for death and not to heale.
Nature and Sathan, are ſworne Brothers ſtill,
For neyther of them moveth man to good;
By Nature, we incline to all that’s ill,
Which runneth through our body with our blood:
And by our Nature oft he us aſſailes,
And through our weakneſſe he oft times prevailes.
He, by our Nature ſees to what we bend,
Whether to goodneſſe or to miſchiefes run;
And if he find man ayme at the beſt end,Then 164 H10v 164
Then ſtrives he for to marre all he hath done,
And by a pride of Goodnes makes him be,
Towards his God, like the proud Phariſie.
The bleſſings, God to man doth often give,
As beautie, health, riches, honours and fame,
That he, in thankefulnes for them ſhouldſt live,
Still uſing them to glorifie his Name:
Sathan tranſeformeth all this unto ſinne,
Through vilde abuſe, of confidence therein.
This thing, the Scripture evidently ſhowes,
By Davids numbering of Iſraell,
Whereby he thought more truſt for to repoſe
In his great army, this to ſinne befell:
And drawing on Gods Judgement for the ſame,
A heavy plague he on his Realme did gaine.
There is a ſinne, on which ſmall count is made,
And that is Diſobedience; for which ſinne,
Samvel the Prophet unto Saul once ſayd;From 166 H11v 166
From being King God had rejected him:
When as he Ameleck all ſhould have ſlaine,
Sathan mov’d him to let the beſt remaine.
This ſinne, ſo great in Gods pure ſight doth ſeeme,
As that the Prophet plainly doth him tell:
The Lord, no better of it doth eſteeme;
Then, of vild Witchcraft which in Iſrael,
The Lord commanded baniſh’d quite to be;
This, like to that and to Idolatrie.
This onely ſinne on all Mankinde did draw,
Gods heavy wrath, for this, we ſuffer ſtill.
By Adams breaking Gods commanded Law;
Sinne with a poyſoned dart our ſoules did kill:
For through the breach thereof there entred death,
For ſo ’twas ſentenced by Gods owne breath.
O this ſame ſinne, as an accuſing one
On all occaſions ſtill it guilty ſayth:
Fulfill Gods Law, who did nere yet, was knowne,But 168 H12v 168
But Christ who came for to appeaſe Gods wrath:
Then by his Law we all convicted ſtand,
And howerly may looke for Gods wrath at hand.
Deferring off Repentance is a bayte
So cloſely layd by that old Enemy,
That few doth dive the depth of his deceit,
But unprovided many men doe die:
He bids them on the good theefe their eyes caſt,
Who never did repent him till the laſt.
O ſlye, deceitfull cruell enemy,
How deadly, is thy hatred to us all
Thou Ehud like hides that will cauſe us dye,
And ſith thou fell’ſt thou aym’ſt ſtill at our fall:
In Paradice the Tree death did us give,
But by the Tree in Golgotha, we live.
From a decline in goodneſſe let each Soule,
With heedfull care ſtill ſtudy to beware;
Leaſt in the end for it he doth condole,I When 170 I1v 170
When as his foote is fettered in the ſnare:
Who once his hand upon the Plough doth lay,
Muſt by no meanes looke backe another way.
Eaſie it is, to plunge our ſelves in ſinne,
But, O alas! hard to get forth againe;
If by our faults our Soules be black with in,
We then ſhall finde all his deluſions vaine;
His voyce of peace all peace doth from us take,
Then ſhun that hearbe where under lyes the Snake.
Man ought at all times have a carefull eye;
For many are the Snares which Sathan layes:
When leaſt he thinketh on to cauſe him dye,
He hides the bayte the which mans ſoule betrayes:
Of eaſe and pleaſures he will alwayes tell,
But his smooth path the brode way is to Hell.
Who on this Panthers skinne doth gazing ſtand,
Had need beware who lyes in wayte to catch,
Who holdes a Woolfe by th’eares but with one hand,Muſt 172 I2v 172
Muſt with the other muzzell up his chaps:
If better thou doſt get leave not off ſo,
But of all meanes to hurt, deprive thy Foe.
That man, the which his Enemy foyl’d hath,
Muſt ſtraight unarme him leaſt he gather ſtrength;
Benhadads ſervants after Ahabs wrath,
With feyned words did come to him at length
And from his kindneſſe they advantage draw,
For he, that fear’d to dye now made a Law.
By his Example let us warned bee,
Gods Prophet unto Ahab ſtraight doth come,
And ſayd, Becauſe from death thou didſt him free,
Be ſure thy life ſhall ſtand in his lifes roome.
Leave thou not Sathan, till thou ſeeſt him dead,
And Jael like, kill Sisera in the head.
He aymes not at thy ſlips, but overthrow;
Small hurts content him not, he life would ſpill:
With ſlight advantages, he will not goe:I3 When 174 I3v 174
When thou ſecureſt art, he waites to kill:
And Joas like of thy health he’ll inquire,
But ’tis not life, but death he doth deſire.
Can this old Serpent, this deceiving Divell,
Get in his head, then follow ſhall his tayle,
If man but yeeld a little, unto evill,
Sinne will increaſe, though creeping like a Snaile.
And if unto a Cuſtome, it doth come,
He feeles it not, his ſoule is now growne num.
All Sathan baites, are glittering to the eye,
He leades man on, in a delight ſome traine:
Till death arreſts them, ſaying thou muſt dye,
And then he lets them ſee all was but vaine:
Then in the ugli’ſt forme hee ſhewes them all,
That into Deſperation man may fall.
Now having ſuch a ſtrong and powerfull foe,
What need hath Man with heedfull care to watch,
Leaſt on a ſuddaine he from hence doe goe,I4 For 176 I4v 176
For Death as well doth lye in wayt to catch:
Who proves a welcome gueſt to a good man,
For unprovided, come he never can.
Deaths ghaſtly lookes to a gtood man ſeemes ſweet,
Who ſtill prepared hath for that his end,
As Esay Jacob, did embracing meet,
So doth he death accounting him his friend:
If teares doe fall they are not ſhed through feares
For joy he’s come forceth from him thoſe teares.
Can he expect Death Enemie to be,
Who by his Preſent hath his force alayd:
He ſent before good workes, much Charity,
Bleſſings of Orphants which for him have pray’d:
His ſighs and teares, appeaſed hath his King,
And this ſuppoſed Foe glad newes doth bring.
Death is our guide unto Eternall bliſſe,
Portall of Heaven, by which we enter muſt,
The Ladder reaching to true happineſſe,I5 Which 178 I5v 178
Which bringeth man to live amongſt the Juſt:
By him we come Gods glorious face to ſee,
From which by life depriv’d we ſtill ſhall bee.
Our fleſh a priſon is unto our ſoule,
Which doth deprive it of that heavenly light;
With ſpirituall groanes & ſighs it doth condole,
Till it attaine unto that wiſhed ſight:
Death is the key unlocks our miſery,
Looſeth our bonds and gives us liberty.
Death’s fangs are par’d his bitter potions ſweet,
His edge abaited all his hurt is done,
A godly man moſt kindly he doth meete,
And of a Foe he is a Friend become:
His ſtrooke is like the ſtriking of a veine,
By which ſmall ſmart ſick men theyr health doe gaine:
Death is the ending of our dayes, not life,
For having clos’d theſe eyes we wake to live,
Death having finiſht once this mortall ſtrife,Our 180 I6v 180
Our Faith in Christ new life to us doth give:
Our Night is paſt our Day ſtar doth appeare,
Our Cloud is vaniſh’d and our Morne ſhines cleare.
Now ends all ſorrowes, now all griefes are done,
Sinne takes his leave and weakneſſe hath his end;
And now behold our Jubilee is come,
The Harveſt of our labors we attend:
Death’s potion onely bitter is in ſhow,
The taſte once paſt no operation ſo.
Mans Glaſſe once run his flower of Life once dead,
That vapor vaniſh’d and that ſpan once graſp’d,
His breath once failing all his body’s Lead,
In ſenceleſſe, coldneſſe all his parts are claſp’d:
He came from earth, earth houſe-roome now him gives
His ſpirit from God with God for ever lives.
The carnall wicked worldly minded men,
Who in this life their whole content have plac’d
Doth tremble, when Death mention’d is to them,Becauſe 182 I7v 182
Becauſe by him all Joyes from them are chaſed:
Their eaſe and pleaſures changed quite will be,
All mirth is daſh’d by preſent miſerie.
The ſight of him unto their minds doe bring
Remembrance of their ſinnes they ſlightly paſt,
The which with woe their ſoules doe ſorely ſting:
For that they ſee the count call’d on at laſt:
Which ſure on earth a hell may deemed be,
When without mercy man his ſinnes doth ſee.
Thoſe men which onely to delights are given,
At the approach of death doth feare and quake,
What earth afforded they accounted heaven,
And now perforce they muſt thoſe joyes forſake,
Gods bleſsings they moſt vildly have abus’d,
And proffered time of Grace, they have refus’d.
And now thoſe words which Abraham did ſay,
To Dives, when for water he did call;
He findes too true whoſe ſmarts without alay,His 184 I8v 184
His Sorrowes farre more bitter are then gall:
His good things onely were upon this Earth,
But life and them, are parted quite by death.
Terrors and feares muſt needs their ſoules affright,
When guilty Conſcience ſhowes Gods angry eye,
O how they tremble! to approach that ſight,
To whom their ſinne will out for vengeance cry;
He who on earth to grieve, they did not feare,
Will give a ſentence which their Soules will teare.
O how mans ſinnes that mild aſpect doth change,
He, which for man did bleed doth man condemne,
If by their ſinnes from the right path they range,
Wanting their guide dangers approacheth them:
The Woolfe once ſeazing ’tis in vaine to flye,
Theyr Shepheard heares not bootleſſe ’tis to cry.
Alas, who would this world as ought eſteeme,
If truely he conſider every thing,
Thoſe pleaſures which to man moſt happy ſeeme,Doth 186 I9v 186
Doth ſooneſt fade and gone they leave a ſting:
Man upon Earth no ſure abiding hath,
Then feare betime before thou feele Gods wrath.
Belshazar when hee was carrouſing ſet,
Amongſt his Princes in his royall Throne;
A writing turnes thoſe faire delights to Jet,
A hand then ſhew’d makes bone incounter bone,
He fearefull ſits whilſt thus it doth indite,
Thou’rt weigh’d in ballance and art found too light,
Mans life’s a ſceane and tragicke wo’s ſucceed,
A Comet alwayes future harmes foretell,
The happieſt life by death is made to bleed,
If unprepar’d he dye he goes to hell:
The gate is ſhut, and they muſt take their lot,
For ’twill be anſwered; loe, I know you not.
Unto a thorney field and barren land,
How fitly may mans life compared be,
What cares, what feares, what griefes, are ſtill at hand,And 188 I10v 188
And for one Joy ten diſcontents we ſee:
We alwayes walke as on a bridge of glaſſe,
And oft it crakes as over it we paſſe.
Still barren is this world of true content,
Fruitfull enough in procreating woes,
Thorny afflictions towards us are bent,
But certaine Joyes ſtill backwards from us goes:
Who thinkes to catch them doth a ſhadow chaſe,
And like Ixion doth a cloud embrace
Then why ſhould man thus waſte his precious time
And triflingly let ſlip his golden dayes;
O! turne to God, whilſt thou art in thy prime
And put not off repentance with delayes:
For when death comes it then will be too late,
By teares or vowes for to prorogue thy ſtate.
Boaſt not of youth, or honours wealth, or ſtrength,
Who truſts to them upon a reede doth leane,
The which be ſure deceive thee will at lengthThen 190 I11v 190
Then ſtrive from theſe vaine thoughts thy ſelfe to weane,
And fill thy Lampe with oyle whil’ſt thou haſt ſpace,
Leaſt afterward too late thou call for grace.
Breake off thy ſinnes by true repentant teares,
And turne to God whilſt it is call’d to day,
And reſt aſſured he their prayers heares,
That unto him unceſſantly doe pray;
For to incourage thee, he this did ſay,
Who comes to me I will not caſt away.
Is not mans life compared unto a flower,
And, O how ſoone! alas, the ſame doth fade and dye,
Then let man live prepar’d (each day and houre)
Leaſt unawares the force of death he try:
And beare this ſaying alwayes in thy minde;
As death, thee leaves ſo Judgement will thee find.
And as the Flower in the chiefeſt prime,
Doth fade and dye when Sun his face doth hide,
For ’tis not in the earth’s vaſt ſlippery clime,An 192 I12v 192
An ever fading beeing to provide:
No more can ſtrength or ſkill prevaile at all,
To lengthen life when God by death doth call.
And as the ſpring the water forth doth put,
And by the earth drunke up no more is ſeene,
So when by death our thrid of life is cut,
On earth we are as we had never beene:
Then whil’ſt we live let’s ſtrive to purchaſe Grace,
That after Death in Heaven we may have place.
Alas! how many are the ſnares and bayts,
Which Sathan layes, our poore ſoules to betray,
Hiena like, he murthers by deceites,
Through falſe delights to cauſe us miſſe our way,
His Mermaides Songs are onely ſweet in ſound,
Approach them not, leſt Death thy life doth wound.
Therefore the ſafeſt way unto our bliſſe,
Is meditation of our certaine Death
And though we tread the ſteps of carefulneſſe,K And 194 K1v 1964
And all our life in ſorrow draw our breath,
The guerdon of our paines our Christ will give
In cauſing us eternally to live.
Thus by a godly and an upright life,
Man of a deadly foe may make a friend
And by a wiſe proviſion ſtint that ſtrife,
Which Sathan laid to bring us to our end:
And though our fleſh prove falſe, our God is Juſt,
By death our ſoule gaines heaven, our body duſt.
Be ever vigilant in all thy wayes,
And alwayes live as in the ſight of God,
Performe good actions and uſe no delayes,
Then feare not Death it brings with it no rod:
With care attend that ſure uncertainety,
And live, as every howre thou ſhouldeſt dye.
This watchfull care wounds Sathan in the head,
For hee that thinkes of Death doth ſhun all Sinne,
By thought of this man to the world proves dead,K2 Hee 196 K2v 196
He counts all droſſe and only Christ would win:
No earthly Joyes can cauſe him life to love,
His Soule is fixt and nothing can him move.
Thus each weake Chriſtian may this tyrant foyle,
For by Christ’s Death man armed is with ſtrength,
Though in this Combate he a while may toyle,
But Faith in Christ, gives victory at length;
And with a courage bold, man now may cry
Death where’s thy ſting? Grave where’s thy victory?
What though we dye, as dye we ſurely muſt,
Yet by this death, we now are gainers made.
For when our bodyes are conſum’d to duſt,
We ſhall be rais’d, from that Eternall ſhade:
Our mortall bodyes; ſhall immortall be,
And with our Soules, injoy Eternitie.
Our troubles in this life, now changed are;
From tokens of his wrath, unto his love.
For though a while upon the Earth we ſhare;Of 198 K3v 198
Of griefes and troubles, yet when God above:
Shall by death call us from the vaile of ſinne,
We ſhall injoy Eternall bliſſe with him.
Where all teares ſhall be wiped from our eyes,
All griefes and ſorrowes then ſhall ended be,
We ſhall be freed from all clamarous cries,
No diſcontents nor troubles ſhall wee ſee:
But Peace, and Joyes and comforts ſhall be found,
And alwayes in our eares a heavenly ſound.
Our Sences ſhall partake all of this Bliſſe,
Our Eyes ſhall evermore behold our King,
Our Hearing heavenly muſicke ſhall poſſeſſe,
Our Tongues ſhall evermore his Praiſes ſing:
Thus Smell, and Taſte, thus hands, and eares, and ſight,
Shall evermore injoy a full delight.
Unto this Happineſſe and place of Joy,
In thy good time ſweet Saviour Chriſt us bring,
Where being freed from Sorrowes and annoy,VVee 200 K4v 200
Wee evermore thy bleſſed Praiſe may ſing:
Where we ſhall never ceaſe but Night and Day,
Sing Praiſe and Glory, unto Thee alway.