Honi Soit Qvi Mal Y Pense
Genesis III chap
Lucke 1 Chap.
S. Mathewe XXV
Hir Lamps of Love Are Coles of Fire and a Verye Vehement Flame of the Lorde. Canti. VIII Chap. Canti VIII chap
conteining ſeven ſeverall Lamps
of Virginitie, or distinct treatiſes;
whereof the firſt five concerne praier
and meditation: the other two last, precepts
and examples, as the woorthie works
partlie of men, partlie of women; compiled for the
neceſſarie uſe of both ſexes out of the ſacred
Scriptures, and other approoved authors, by
Thomas Bentley of
Graies Inne Student.
Let your loines be girt about, and your lampes burne cleerelie.
Let everie one that calleth upon the name of the Lord depart from iniquitie.
Printed by H. Denham
Almightie God and moſt merciful Father, who in mercie haſt ordeined theſe lamps for damaged choſen virgins, and commanded that with our loines girt about, and our lamps burning bright, we ſhould take heed and be readie to execute the charge, which is committed unto us, and watch full warilie and continuallie in our ſeveral callings by fervent and inſtant praier for the comming of thy ſonne our ſpiritual Spouſe, ſovereigne Lord, and ſweet Saviour Jesus: giving us in the meane ſeaſon diverſe gifts and talents to occupie and imploie till he come; and ſetting dailie before our eies the juſt judgement, that he ſhall execute and give in that dreardull daie of his ſudden comming, both upon the quicke and dead; doo thou vouchſafe even thine owne ſelfe (we praie thee) to gird and compaſſe our loines about, that no iniquitie have power over us, nor we decline or bow to anie ſinne. Oh ſuffer us not to take that contentation or vaine delight and pleaſure of anie thing in this wretched world, that may lull or bring us faſt aſleepe in the curſed cradle of ſenſeleſſe ſecuritie: nor with the fooliſh virgins to neglect the houre and daie of our laſt viſitation, or to forget to wait and attend for thine appearing in the clouds. But ſo direct us (we beſeech thee) in this ſhort race of our perilous pilgrimage by thy holie ſpirit. our heavenlie loadeſman, that in the lawfull uſe of thy good gifts whatſoever beſtowed upon us, our cheefeſt care may alwaies be to depart from all iniquitie, and how with them wee may live ſoberlie to our ſelves, holilie to thee, and uprightlie to the world, and thereby gaine much profit and fruit to the better increaſe of thy kingdome.
Moreover, make thou our lampes to burne cleere and bright in the ſight of men and Angels; and keepe thou them light and ever burning: that our love towards thee wax never key cold, nor our charitie towards our neighbour be quite extinguiſhed, nor yet our faith, devotion, zeale, and gifts of the ſpirit be utterlie quenched in us. But being evermore both within and without kindled, inlightened, and inflamed by thee, which art a conſuming fire, and a purifieng flame of unſpeakable fervent heate: let all our thoughts, words, and works be alwaies directed to doo thy holie will and righteous judgements, that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may ever glorifie thy holie and reverent name.
Finallie, make us verie carefullie to keepe this caſtle of our ſoules and temple of the holie Ghoſt (our bodies I meane) pure, holie, and undefiled: and to watch continuallie in all maner of well dooing unto the end: that when thy Sonne our heavenlie bridegroome ſhall come to judge the world, to condemne the wicked, to reject the reprobate, to caſt awaie the unprofitable, and to ſhut the gates of heaven againſt all unbeleevers and retchleſſe virgins; he finding us heedfull, watchfull, praieng, well occupied and readie, as thoſe that have beene verie well content with our eſtates here for the time, and having our lamps filled brim full of the oile of his righteouſneſſe, grace, mercie, and merits, may (thereby onelie) eſcape the heavie judgement and direfull doome of the dreadfull daie: and not periſh in that common deſtruction and generall deſolation of the wicked worldlings, and unprofitable ſervants; but be received to himſelfe as thoſe that are made woorthie onelie by him, joifullie to enter with him and all the elect and choſen wiſe virgins, into the celeſtiall wedding chamber of thine eternall kingdome: there and then to poſſeſſe that manſion place, which before all worlds thou haſt prepared for thy choſen, and to receive (of his gift) that which here now with deepe ſighes and groanes we greatlie long for: that is, even the ſalvation of our ſoulse, and the coronation of thy gifts in us: that both with thee (o Father) and with him thy Sonne, in the unitie of the holie Ghoſt, we may live and reigne in the full perfection, holineſſe and puritie of his everlaſting virginitie, to bleſſe, praiſe, and glorifie thee, o glorious and bleſſed Trinitie, with all virgins, angels, and creatures, by all ages, throughout all eternitie, Amen: Amen, Amen.
To the moſt vertuous Ladie and Chriſtian Princeſſe, Elizabeth, grace and peace from God the Father through Chriſt Jeſus our Saviour.
The King of eternall glorie, who hath thus loved England in ſetting your Highneſſe on the throne of his majeſtie to execute juſtice and judgement, to inſtruct his people in Jacob, and to feed his inheritance in Iſrael, be bleſſed and magnified therefore for ever and ever, Amen.
This long and bleſſed peace wherin we your loiall ſubjects doo preſentlie live (moſt noble Queene) everie man ſitting under his vine and fig- tree throughout all your dominions, dooth give juſt occaſion to the godlie to bee no leſſe thankfull to God, and to your Majeſtie, than free harted and ſtudious to benefit his church and their countrie, by offering in the temple, ſome gold, ſome ſilver, ſome one thing, ſome another, according to the meaſure of thoſe graces, which god the giver of all good things hath beſtowed upon them, or by his ſpirit hath incouraged & made them willing to further the worke of the Lord. Which mooved me alſo among the reſt (although of all other the meaneſt, & in everie reſpect the unwoorthieſt) to offer ſome thing, wherin I might bring profit to that myſticall bodie, wherof I truſt I am a member. And perſuading my ſelfe, I could not better employ my labour to the good of the church, nor preſent your Highneſſe the mightie defender thereof, with anie thing of greater price and eſtimation in this world, than (after a ſort) with that wherewith God the King of kings acknowledgeth himſelfe to be ſo highlie pleaſed and glorified both of Prince and people (praiſe and invocation I meane) whereby in this life we obteine at his hand all things needfull for our bodies, and in the life to come everlaſting joie, reſt, and comfort both of bodie and ſoule: I have undertaken in the name and feare of God, love of his church, obedience of your Majeſtie, and hartie good iv A2v damaged good will of my countrie, oudamaged monuments of your owne Honourable works, and ſome odamaged, famous Ladies, and vertuous Gentlewomen of our timdamageds, to addreſſe and make readie theſe ſeven Lamps of your perpetuall virginitie, to remaine unto women as one entire and goodlie monument of praier, precepts, and examples meet for meditation, inſtruction, and imitation to all poſteritie. And now in moſt dutifull maner commending and appropriating ſo divine exerciſes of the church, unto your Majeſtie the moſt naturall mother and noble nurſſe thereof; the cauſe of a virgine to a Virgine, the works of Queenes to a Queene; your owne praiers to your ſelfe (to whom indeed the particular intereſt and due praiſe and honour therof juſtlie belongeth) I here proſtrate on my knees, in moſt humble maner meekelie beſeech your excellent Majeſtie, gratiouſlie of your woonted clemencie, to pardon and forgive this my too raſh and bold enterpriſe; attempted both with baſhfulneſſe, feare, and trembling: and favourablie (as in like caſes you are accuſtomed) to accept theſe your liege ſubject his great labors and painfull travels in good part, which he (not to inſtruct your Highneſſe (of whoſe notable learning I am not able to ſpeake) but onelie for a monument of the hartie love he beareth both to the church his deere mother, and to your Majeſtie his dread Sovereigne) hath in a godlie zeale and conſcience, beſtowed to the good and profit of his countrie. That (by your Graces good liking and princelie approbation) they may be both patronized againſt the wicked, and practiſed of the godlie. And ſo manie (by that means) with due reverence and great honour to ſo honourable works, may receive theſe lamps as from your bountifull hand to inlighten them by your good induſtrie in all vertue: and to prepare them by your holie example, like wiſe virgins to perſeverance in all good works of the ſpirit. And that therein manie may often looke and labour mightilie for your Highneſſe as they are bound, in fervent praier; and manie mo thanks, I ſaie, be given of manie faithfull harts on your Majeſties behalfe for the benefit of ſuch and ſo manie needfull and readie helps, miniſtred and afoorded by your painfull hand and princelie affabilitie to your everlaſting comfort and renowme, the praiſe of God, and glorie of his deereſt ſonne Jeſus Chriſt your ſweet ſpouſe. Whom now for a concluſion as I began, I moſt entirelie beſeech, that as of his owne good will he firſt loved his church my deere mother, and gave himſelfe freelie for hir to ſanctifie and clenſe hir in the moſt holie fountaine of water, through the word to make hir unto himſelfe a beautifull virgine, and glorious ſpouſe without ſpot or wrinkle, that ſhe ſhould be holie, pure, perfect, and without blame before him: ſo he will vouchſafe in like mercie, ſtill both to cheriſh, defend, and maintaine the ſame in his continuall grace, religion, and holineſſe, that ſhe may yet bring foorth more fruit in hir age, and members, to his glorie: and alſo as your ſpirituall ſpouſe to ſet your Majeſtie (a moſt woorthie and mightie governor of the ſame) ever as a ſeale upon his hart, to tie you faſt as a ſignet or bracelet upon his arme, to beare you ſtill in his owne boſome, to ſet his eie over you continuallie for your health, wealth, and proſperitie, to bend his deſires alwaies toward you, to doo you good; that ſo your Highneſſe may be kept in his continuall grace, peace, and favour long to reigne over us: and alſo defended and preſerved evermore from all bodilie and ghoſtlie perils and enimies, to your everlaſting comfort, and the rejoice of all chriſtian harts. Finallie, the Lord bleſſe your Majeſtie even out of Sion with all his heavenlie gifts and ſpirituall graces, that having the principall & heroicall ſpirit of your holie father good v A3r good king David, doubled (yeadamaged in your ndamaged may as in numbers of yeeres bedamaged nes far ſurmount & excell youdamaged progdamaged of you our good Joſias, may to all poſterities be likedamaged pretious perfume of the Apothecarie, and as ſweetdamaged oniedamaged as harmonicall muſicke at a banket of wine; that in you our zealous Hezechias, I ſaie, we may ſtill remaine in happie peace, and have an hiding place from the wind, and a refuge from ſtorms and tempeſts, and rivers of waters to quench our thirſt, and temperate ſhadowes to ſhrowd us from parching heate in a drie land: ſo ſhall the harts of manie thouſand virgins in England and elſe-where, be joifull and thankfull to God and your Majeſtie; ſo ſhall the daughters of Jeruſalem ſing joifullie the ſweet ſongs of Sion in their owne land, with great triumph to their celeſtial King, reigning on high over all; yea ſo ſhal all your faithfull and loving ſubjects, I ſaie, in all humble obedience and dutifull ſervice both towards God, your Majeſtie, and their countrie, reſound by all poſſible meanes to all poſterities your moſt excellent and woorthie praiſes, untill the comming of our Lord and Saviour Jeſus Chriſt: to whom with the Father and the holie Ghoſt be all empire, honor, dominion and praiſe, now and for ever, A men.
Your Majesties humble, faithfull and obedient ſubject,
damagedgreſſus dirigat illa tuos,
Siquæris librum cur lampada virginis iſtum
Inſcribam: cauſas dico fuiſſe duas.
Vna eſt, quòd talem præfert eccleſia lucem,
Expectans ſponſum virgo pudica ſuum.
Altera, quòod manibus virgo reginea librum
Sumit, cui veræ lampadis inſtar erit,
Dum Domino litat, & ſacris indicit honorem,
Nuncupat & Chriſto vota ſecunda ſuo.
Anna ſibi lucem, ſibi Debora prætulit iſtam:
Inq ſuis Princeps Elizabetha malis.
Sic didicit lenire ſuas, ſic fallere curas,
Præſentémq; ſui poſcere regis opem;
Quem non plena ſacris placant altaria donis,
Non oblatorum corpora cæſa boum:
Ille Deus, Deus ille humili libamine vocum
Iræ deponit iuſta flagella ſuæ.
Illecebras carnis vincunt mundíq; furores,
Et ſathanæ faciunt fulmen inane preces.
Afflictis illæ præſtant ſolatia rebus,
Illis cæleſtes effodiuntur opes.
Hoc oleo plenam Domino qui lampada præbet,
Ille ſacrificio nobiliore litat.
To the Chriſtian Reader, grace and truth in Chriſt.
Having my ſelfe taken no ſmall comfort (good Chriſtian Reader) by the reading and peruſing of divers verie godlie, learned, and divine treatiſes, of meditations and praier, made by ſunrie right famous Queenes, noble Ladies, vertuous Virgins, and godlie Gentlewomen of al ages (who to ſhew themſelves woorthie paternes of all pietie, godlineſſe, and religion to their ſex, and for the common benefit of their countrie, have not ceſed, and that with all carefull induſtrie and earneſt indevour, moſt painfullie and diligentlie in great fervencie of the ſpirit, and zeale of the truth, even from their tender & maidenlie yeeres, to ſpend their time, their wits, their ſubſtance, and alſo their bodies, in the ſtudies of noble and approoved ſciences, and in compiling and tranſlating of ſundrie moſt Chriſtian and godlie bookes: a taſt whereof you have here in the ſecond Lampe) as namelie among the reſt, the godlie and learned treatiſe called The lamentation of a ſinner, written long ſince by the vertuous Ladie Queene Katherin, which for the excellencie thereof was firſt publiſhed in print by Sir William Cicill, now the right honourable Lord Treaſurer of England, as by his verie godlie, learned, and eloquent Epiſtle thereunto prefixed, and here alſo in this edition now inſerted, to Gods glorie, and his high commendation doth and may appeere: but eſpeciallie and above all, the moſt divine, learned, and godlie treatiſe intituled The Queenes meditation, written firſt in French by the vertuous Ladie Margaret Queene of Navar, and after verie exactlie and faithfullie tranſlated by our moſt gratious ſovereigne, and learned Ladie Queene Elizabeth, who among manie Queens, virgins, and women, through the feare of the Lord hath doone verie vertuouſlie, and gotten thereby great renowme. And thereupon conſidering with my ſelfe what great profit, and ſingular pleaſure might thereby come alſo to other of like mind to my ſelfe, if the ſame their excellent and rare works (diſperſed into ſeverall pamphlets, and in part ſome thing obſcured and worne cleane out of print, and ſo out of practiſe) were by ſome painefull hand collected togither, and revived, or brought againe to their former good and godlie uſe in the church: mee thought I could not better ſpend my time, nor emploie my talent, either for the renowme of ſuch heroicall authors and woorthie women, or for the univerſall commoditie of all good chriſtians: than in, and by ſome apt treatiſe or collection, to reduce theſe their maniford works into one entire volume, and by that meanes, for to regiſter their ſo rare and excellent monuments, of good record, as perfect preſidents of true pietie and godlineſſe in woman kind to all poſteritie. Whereupon, God working in me both the will and conſent, I undertooke the ſame in his feare: which when after a ſort I had doone, and perceived that there wanted yet manie things to make the ſame an abſolute and perfect booke for the ſimpler ſort of women, according to my mind: to ſatiſfie my ſelfe further in this my purpoſed collection, I fell to the peruſing of the holie Bible, and manie other good bookes as well of praier, as of other divine matter, ſuch as from time to time have beene penned by divers godlie learned men: out of the which (that I might now particularlie applie that unto them, women I meane, which generallie heretofore was written of them, or by ſome other for them, as alſo to the intent that all godlie and devout women readers might have in ſome meaſure, wherewith to exerciſe their faith, to ſtir up their devotion, and to ſatiſfie their godlie deſires: and alſo verie readilie find without tediouſneſſe, or diſtraction of the mind vertuouſlie inclined, whatſoeverB.1. uer viii B1v ver damaged either by praier aſke, by meditation damaged, by precepts learne, or damagedunitare, or avoid to damaged edification) I indeavoured for their damagedall poſſible damagedto cull and bring out of the rich ſtore and treaſurie damagedprootted damagednie learned men, things both old and new concerning damaged for private and publike uſe, adding thereunto ſuch plentie of damagedand ſpirituall helpes, both for profit and pleaſure, as the diverſities of ſo divine matter, and varietie of ſo honourable inventions would affoord. Beſides, to avoid confuſion and diſorder (a thing verie prejudiciall to ſo holie an exerciſe) I have carefullie digeſted the ſame into ſuch a plaine, eaſie, familiar, and certeine method, order, and direction, both for matter and maner, as I could poſſiblie deviſe., or was requiſite for ſuch a worke, to make it profitable to the ſimple and unlearned reader. Laſtlie, bicauſe the diverſitie of matter forced a diſtinction of the treati7 illegible ſes, I fitly, as I could, have divided and contrived the whole booke into ſeven ſeverall parts or Lampes: all which for divers good and approoved conſiderations I terme or intitle by this generall name, The Monument of Matrones. And now make bold, yet under the deliberate view, and carefull correction of manie verie grave, wiſe, learned, and godlie Divines, thereunto appointed by authoritie: as alſo with the approbation and allowance of the right reverend father in God my Lord the biſhop of London, to publiſh the ſame abroad in print, as a booke, in the judgement of them that are learned, not unprofitable to the church: but verie neceſſarie, and in ſome reſpect, more proper and peculiar for the private uſe of women, than hertofore hath beene ſet out by anie. Which I have doone not for that there lacked praier bookes ſufficient for women to read, but onelie to increaſe the plentie of heavenlie comforts, wherewith this our church and realme of England (thanks be to God) floweth: as alſo to make this treatiſe heretofore (in part) private to my ſelfe, and a few of my freends, now publike and common alſo to you good chriſtian readers. For behold (I proteſt) I have not laboured for my ſelfe, but for you, and all them that ſeeke knowledge, feare God, be devout, and would (not by fits and ſtarts, as thoſe that can find ſcarſe anie leiſare to attend upon the Lord and his ſervice as they ought: but) daie and night continuallie and inceſſantlie, either ſilentlie in hart with Hanna, or openlie in mouth with Marie, as they are bound, ſpend their whole life, and make it their whole worke to praie, meditate, and read Gods word with other ſuch good bookes, or at the leaſt to allow to themſelves ſome little portion or part of the daie and night, to proſtrate themſelves apart from all companie in praier and meditation before the Lord of heaven and earth their creator, redeemer, and ſaviour, and that in all chriſtian perfection, and humble obedience to his word and commandements. So have you good reader, by the goodneſſe of God, who worketh all our works for us, here now at the length in this Monument or collection conteined (if you liſt ſo for diſtinction or names ſake to call or intitle them) not onelie a burning Lampe for virgins, but alſo a chriſtiall Mirrour for Matrones: as alſo a delectable Diall for to direct you to true devotion, with a perfect Preſident or regiſter of holie praier for all women generally to have recourſe unto as to their homelie or domeſtical librarie.
Firſt, a Lampe, readie repleniſhed and prepared of the wiſe virgins, with that fragrant oile, pretious perfume, and odoriferous incenſe of holie invocation, pure praier, divine ſacrifice, and heavenlie worſhip, wherewith God is ſo highlie pleaſed, and whereby at his holie hand the virgine or ſingle woman, through the interceſſion of Chriſt, obteineth the gift of puritie, modeſtie, ſhamefaſtneſſe, and chaſtitie: the deflowred woman findeth grace to repent, and to be reſtored to favour both with God and men: the naturall or ſtepdaughter to reverence and obeie hir parents in all childlike duties: the wooed woman not to be by anie meanes coſined or abuſed in marriage: the yoong married wife to conſecrate hir ſelfe to live holilie in that honourable eſtate: the elder married woman, to live lovinglie, faithfullie, and quietlie with hir huſband: the woman with child, to eſcape the pit of ſo great perils, and to be thankfull for hir mightie deliverance after childbirth: the midwife, and women aſſiſtants, dutifullie and diligentlie to aid, comfort, and cheriſh the travelling woman: the mother carefullie to bring up hir children: the daughter naturallie to cheriſh and obeie hir mother: the mother in lawe, to live charitablie and lovinglie with the daughter in lawe: againe, the daughter in lawe to behave hir ſelfe chriſtianlie and curteouſlie to the mother in lawe: ix B2r lawe: the dame or miſtreſſe, to intreate hir handmaids well: the handmaids to ſhew all dutifull and faithfull ſervice to their miſtreſſe: the widowe, to comfort hir ſelfe in all ſorrowes: the old woman to number hir daies, that ſhe may applie hir hart unto wiſedome: both yoong and old, one and other to conſider their creation, condition, vocation, and ſalvation, the better to live to learne, to learne to live, and to live to die. To conclude, a Lampe (I ſaie) for all eſtates and degrees of women generallie, to carrie ever in their hands and hart by the burning light and flaming fire of the reading whereof, their faith, knowledge, zeale, devotion, perſeverance in praier, almes deeds, faſting, with the love of God and their brethren, the deſire of verture, and all maner of godlineſſe ſhall be thoroughlie kindled and increaſed in them, ſo oft as they wax cold, heavie, drowſie, ſlouthfull, dull, negligent, and remiſſe, by too much bodilie eaſe, worldlie proſperitie, vaine pleaſures, pomps, and delights of this wretched life: and they at all times made readie, like wiſe and prudent virgins, to meet the bridegroome whenſoever he commeth, to be received of him, and to enter with him joifullie into the celeſtiall wedding chamber of his eternall happineſſe, there to glorifie and praiſe him for ever and ever.
Secondlie, a Mirrour for all ſorts of wicked women, as in a cleere glaſſe with Athalia, Jezabell, Herodias, and ſuch like, perfectlie to ſee their ſhameleſſe pride, crueltie, idolatrie, and contempt of religion, with Putiphers wife, to behold their incontinencie and infidelitie towards their huſbands: with Appam their ſhameleſſe impudencie: with Cozbi, their manifeſt whoordome and adulterie: with the witch of Endor, their abhominable ſorceries: with Queene Vaſhthy their diſobedience to their ſovereigne: with Bethſhemah and Judith their rebellious ſtubborneſſe to their loving parents in lawe: with Hagar their contempt of their miſtreſſe: with Miriam their murmuring againſt their onelie brother: with Heva their ſubtiltie and covetouſnes to beguile their huſbands: with Zipporah, Michol, Jobs wife, old Anna, Tobit, &c. their unſemelie upbraidings and bitter taunting, or chiding of their godlie huſbands, &c. leaſt that for their great impietie and ungodlineſſe with Queene Maacha, they be deſpoſed from their ſeate of majeſtie: or with Baara, and Q.Queen Vaſthy, they be divorced from their huſbands: or with Athalia, they be ſlaine without the temple: or with Cozbi, be thruſt through with a ſword, or with Jezabel, in all their braverie they be throwne headlong downe into the ſtreet out of their owne windowe, and be eaten and devoured of dogs, and ſo want the honour of chriſtian buriall: or with Saphyra be ſtricken with ſudden death at the Apoſtles feet: or with the Levites wife be ſhamefullie abuſed to death, and after chopt in peeces: or with Samſons wife be burnt to aſhes in the houſe where they dwell: to conclude, leaſt with the whoore of Babel they be caſt quicke into the bottomleſſe pit of perdition: or with the five fooliſh virgins they be ſhut cleane out of heaven, and go alive downe into hell, there to be damned for ever, if in time they call not for grace to beware and repent them of their former wickedneſſe. Againe, a Mirrour contratiwiſe for all godlie and vertuous women plainlie to behold the faith, religion, modeſtie, ſobrietie, ſinceritie of life and converſation of Sara, Ruth, Q.Queen Candaces, Bernice Suſanna, Elizabeth, the bleſſed virgine Marie, &c. The holineſſe, devotion, feare of God, juſtice, uprightneſſe, &c. of Hanna, Q.Queen Heſter, &c. The rare wiſedome, excellent knowledge, great learning, politike governement, courage, magnanimitie, with the memorable vertues of Deborah, Abigael, Bethſheba, Huldah, Jael, the women of Tekoah, Philips foure daughters, the Ladie commended by ſaint John, &c. The famous cities, and ſtatelie territories and towers built by Sherah that noble Gentlewoman to hir perpetuall renowme. The bountifull hoſpitalitie, great liberality, and often almes deeds of the Shunainiteſſe that vertuous Gentlewoman, of Dorcas, Lydia, Joanna, Judith, &c. The conſtant and faithfull love towards their huſbands of Sara, Michol, Suſanna, &c. The motherlie and carefull affection towards their children of Sara, Hannah, Bethſheba, the bleſſed virgine Marie, the widowe of Sarepta, Samſon’s mother, &c. The dutifull obedience towards their parents, of Q.Queen Heſter, Jepthas daughter, Orpha, Ruth, Sara, &c. The good intreatie and chiſtian behaviour towards their handmaids, of Sara, Lea, Judith, &c. The fidelitie and obedient ſervice towards their miſtreſſe of Hagar, Abia, Rhode, &c. The great kindneſſe and curteſie towards their freends, kindred, and aliance of Bethſheba, Elizabeth, Q.Queen Heſter, Jehoſheba, Rizpah, &c. The womanlie pitie & tender harted compaſſion B.2. and x B2v and affection toward the diſtreſſed and perſecuted members of Chriſt, of Puah, Shiphrah, Rachel, Pharaos daughter, Rizpah, Q.Queen Heſter, Jehoſheba, Pilates wife, Marie Magdalen, Martha, &c. The ſore labour and paines taking to get their owne living, of Anna Tobit, Lydia, Naomy, Ruth, Dorcas, &c. finallie, the admirable humilitie, and invincible patience and conſtancie in all adverſities and perſecution even to the death and martyrdome, of Jepthas daughter, Suſanna, the mother of the ſeven brethren, and women of the Machabites, and manie other: that looking in this glaſſe of the holie lives of their foremothers, they may chritianlie conforme and adorne themſelves after their good examples, and become for their rare vertues verie beautifull ſpouſes in the ſight of their ſpirituall bridegroome Jeſus Chriſt: to whom, as the kings daughters, they may appeere all glorious within, and of whom with the lambes wife they may be marked in the forehead with the teſtimonie of his name Jeſus, to the end that being clothed with the ſunne of righteouſneſſe, and crowned with the twelve ſtars of God and his word, and treading the moone of this worldlie affections under their feet, they may evermore be delivered by him their valiant Michael, and his angels from the power of the red dragon, which ſo greedilie gapeth to devoure them: and poſſeſſe their ſoules in patience, in the reſtfull place of the preſence of God, long ſince prepared for the elect, where they ſhall be nouriſhed and preſerved for time & times, and together with all holie virgins, matrones, martyrs, and elect people of God, joifullie triumph and be glad for the gift of their everlaſting happineſſe.
Thirdlie, a Diall of devotion to direct you by the glorious globe and ſhine of the bright ſunne of righteouſneſſe, which inlighteneth all things in the world, verie readilie and plainlie at all feaſts and ſeaſons of the yeere, and at all houres and times of the daie and night continuallie unto the holie mount of heavenlie contemplation and to the chriſtian meditation and conſideration of everlaſting felicitie in celeſtiall things, the better to contemne and forget all terrene, baſe, vile, momentanie, and earthlie vanities.
Fourthlie and laſtlie, a domeſticall librarie plentifullie ſtored and repleniſhed both of the beſt approoved preſidents of chriſtian praiers and divine meditations, made from time to time by manie right godlie authors, men and women of all ages: and alſo of the choſen ſentences or perfect precepts of holie ſcripture concerning the chriſtian duties of all degrees and eſtates of women in their ſeverall callings, together with the pleaſant hiſtories and memorable acts, lives, and death of all maner of women good and bad, by name or without name, mentioned in the old and new teſtaments of the bible, where among, for the better underſtanding of the text, I have inſerted ſome notes out of the Geneva bible with ſome difference by parentheſis, verie neceſſarie for the ſimple reader. All which treatiſes, though not ſo portable, yet ſo delectable, profitable, and readie prepared to lie in your ſecret chamber or oratorie to uſe: howſoever intituled or called, God grant they may as diligentlie be read and fruitfullie practiſed of you, good readers, as they and everie of them (I am ſure) were painfullie compiled and faithfullie purpoſed of the authors. And for theſe, and all other ſuch good helpes and furtherances to faith, devotion, and godlineſſe, God make both you and me alwaie thankfull unto his majeſtie, who by all meanes, at all times, and through all ages, moſt gratiouſlie uſeth both the miniſterie of men and angels, to doo us good continuallie, that through our unthankfulneſſe and wilfull contempt of his good gifts and graces dailie offered by ſo manie high, learned, and painfull hands, we may not looſe the ſame and the profit thereof, by loathing that, which we ought moſt to love and imbrace, but rather in good time by our grateful acceptation and approbation of that which deſerves good liking, gaine to our ſelves comfort and conſolation, and encourage others (which as yet of anie ſingular affection for their private uſe conceale or deteine the woorks of anie godlie authors men or women) to take good opportunitie by this occaſion offered even for the common benefit of Chriſts congregation, to publiſh the ſame abroad, for the perfection of this good worke, to the glorie of God, and the authors everlaſting praiſe and commendation both with God and men: that full deſervablie it may be ſaid of them, as moſt woorthilie it is of theſe my right chriſtian and heroicall authors. Etſi mors indies accelerat,Viuit tamen poſt funera virtus. Thus xi B3r Thus being awaked by laſt of adamaged as one that gathereth after them the vintage, I have laboured as you ſee (good readerdamageda poore gleanenr grape gatherer with reſtleſse Ruth to go after the maidens in damagede harveſt as to gleane and gather for my mother Naomi certeine handfuls of corn, damagedrter the reapers and painfull labourers among the ſheaves, let fall of devotion in the fruitfull feelds of charitable Boaz: and have aſſailed, as you well perceive, to repleniſh my wine preſſe with the grapes of the Lords plentifull vintage, and to fill my lampes brimfull with the oile of Gods good bleſſing and rich ſtore, left behind by the wiſe virgins in the holie veſſels of his increaſe. Here therefore if I might be ſo bold without offenſe, as in the name of the foreſaid bleſſed Boaz, I would gladlie exhort and perſuade Ruth, and in hir all other godlie women of the ſimple ſort, to followe this his good counſell (who ſaith: heare me, my daughter, and go to none other feeld to gather, neither depart from hence to gleane, but abide here by my maidens, let thine eies be on the feeld that they doo reape in, and go thou after the maidens: and when thou art athirſt go alſo to the veſſels, and drinke of that which the ſervants and handmaids have drawne, and when thou art hungrie, come hither and eate of the bread, and dip thy morſell in the vineger, and ſit by the reapers, and thou ſhalt be ſatiſfied to the full.) So now leaſt you ſhould gather by anie method, order, diviſion, title, direction, or application, that you ſhall find in this booke, or anie part therof that I go about nicelie, curiouſlie, or ſtrictlie to injoine you to obſerve hours, daies, feaſts, times, or ſeaſons, or to bind you unlawfullie to an impoſſibilitie, as of neceſſitie to uſe all or everie of theſe praiers and meditations, in place, maner, and forme as they are ſet downe (although it is to be wiſhed that for the moſt part they might, if it were poſſible, or the neceſſities of this turbulent life would permit) that you ſhould not miſtake me, I ſaie, and judge that my purpoſe is in anie reſpect to hinder common praier, or interrupt the miniſtration of the word and ſacraments in the church, where & at what time I knowe we ought all to glorifie God together with one hart, ſpirit, and mouth, and to be no otherwiſe occupied, either in reading or in praieng, than the publike miniſter is, unleſſe we would be deemed meere ſuperſtitious, and under the pretenſe of ſeverall devotion to commit manifeſt ungodlineſſe: I thinke it verie neceſſarie for me to let you underſtand (gentle reader) that my meaning herby was and is, ſimplie firſt to plaie the part of a faithfull collector, by following my copies trulie, and placing their works and praiers together as I found them referred by the authors for private or publike uſe: ſecondlie, for order and memorie ſake, after the good example of the learned fathers of our time, to intitle, reduce, and applie thoſe other godlie meditations and praiers, which for the matter I found woorthie the more often uſe in the church, or elſewhere, unto ſome more ſpeciall place, apt time, and peculiar purpoſe, than heretofore (to my knowledge) by anie others have beene intituled, referred, or applied. But thirdlie and principallie by the meanes of ſome plaine forme and eaſie method of praier and meditation, to prepare for the unlearned at all times, and in all places ſuch and ſo manie ſorts, as to avoid ignorance and tediouſeneſſe might convenientlie ſerve to further their godlie deſires, to the glorie of God, the confuſion of ſathan, and their owne eternall comfort in Chriſt Jeſus: referring them notwithſtanding, which you ſhall find proper for the church to be uſed there onelie at convenient times by the ordinances of the church lawfullie permitted: the reſt which are more private to be uſed elſewhere at your diſcretions, when and ſo often as opportunitie ſhall ſerve, and Gods ſpirit by his heavenlie motion give you anie occaſion. For as I would not have you thinke hereby, that I my ſelfe doo in all reſpects obſerve this order here preſcribed (although I aſſure you I ſtrive to doo it either within booke or without: and repent from the bottome of my hart the often omiſſion of it in times paſt) ſo I wiſh you good readers, which chriſtianlie have conſecrated and vowed to give your ſelves to this holie exerciſe (as the Lord, I ſaie, in mercie ſhall give you grace, leiſure, time, and occaſion, and not ſuffer you to be tired with anie worldlie neceſſitie) in the name and feare of God, to obſerve this or that order, method, forme, or direction, which he in his word dooth allow of, or you knowe beſt will keepe you in the continuall faith, feare, and favour of God.
For truſt me, if you will but a little together with me call theſe ten memorable things to your chriſtian remembrance in this ſo holie an exerciſe. Firſt, the 1 commandements of almightie God himſelfe, whom in conſideration of our owne B.3. great xii B3v comandment great miſerie an neceſſitie, and comdamagedacke of the chriſtian congregation, hath willed us to call upnupon him, ſaieng: Praiſe alwaies with all maner of praiers and ſupplicatipromiſes 2 ons in the ſpirit, and wake thereunto damagedwith all perſeverance. Secondlie, his moſt ſweet and comfortable promiſes made gratiouſlie both to heare and grant our godlie and lawfull requeſts, ſaieng: Aske, and ye ſhall have; ſeeke, and ye ſhall find; knocke, and it ſhall be opened unto you: for everie one that calleth upon the name of the Lord, and departeth from iniquitie, manifold ſinnes 3 ſhall be ſaved, &c. Thirdlie, our great and manifold ſinnes, whereof we are guiltie, which will not ſuffer us to ſit ſtill without care, but driveth us of neceſſitie to beg weake nature do any good 4 his moſt gratious pardon. Fourthlie, our feeble fleſh and weake nature unable in everie reſpect to doo anie good thing, which requireth continuall praier to aid and ſutheltie of ſathan 5 ſtrength it. Fiftlie, the wilie ſubtiltie of our ſpirituall enimie ſathan, who privilie lurketh in the inward parts, wating even in our beſt actions to trip and overillegible 6 us, againſt whom we muſt by fervent praier vehementlie ſtrive. Sixtlie, our owne greevous aſſalts and cruell temptations, which never give us truce, reſt, zeale of good glory 7 nor quietneſſe, but haſten us verie much unto God for helpe. Seventhlie, the zeale of the glorie of God, and advancement of his kingdome, which ought wholie to drawe and moove us continuallie to exerciſe our ſelves in the ſervice of God. illegible 8 Eightlie, the dailie dangers and continuall calamities that hourelie hang over our heads, which give us all cauſe enough, yea even the moſt holie, and that with ſighs and grones continuallie to flie unto God our heavenlie father, and call upon him illegiblegoodneſs 9 by fervent praiers. Ninthlie, the infinite benefits and greatr bleſſings of God ſo bountifullie and plentifullie everie waie powred continuallie upon us, which give us both ample matter, and juſt occaſion, hourelie by thankeſgiving, even from the illegible of praiſe 10 bottome of our harts to praiſe and magnifie him for the ſame. Tenthlie and laſtlie, the great excellencie, woorthineſſe, neceſſitie, vertue, fruit, and profit of true and chriſtian praier, conſiſting partlie in the dignitie of God the commander, and partlie in the effect of obteining of whatſoever we aſke according to his will. Theſe things I ſaie, good reader, well conſidered, I ſuppoſe you will ſaie here is nothing ſuperfluous: but all little enough to ſo needfull and profitable an exerciſe of our faith, praier I meane, as wherein the peace of conſcience, yea our whole ſalvation conſiſteth, and whereby God himſelfe is ſaid to be preſent with us, not onelie by his providence to watch over us, but alſo by his power to ſuſteine and ſuccour us, and by his goodneſſe and mercie to receive us into his fatherlie grace and favour.
Yea I doubt not, but you will willinglie confeſſe with me, I ſaie, that all ſorts of devout women have great cauſe, and that continuallie, to take theſe lamps into their hands, thereby either with baniſhed Hagar to acknowledge Gods graces towards them: or with deſolate Naomi to praie that God would bleſſe their children to be ſtaies and ſtaves of their age to their comfort: or with hevie Hanna to powre out their harts before the Lord in teares for a ſonne, and for his mercie and favour towards them: or with wiſe Abigael, by praier to prevent the miſcheefes that hang as well over their heads, as their families: yea or with hir often on their knees to praie for the good proſperitie and preſervation of their gratious governour Queene Elizabeth: or with the church and faithfull ſoule of all chriſtians, to long for the kiſſes of the peace of Chriſt their ſpirituall ſpouſe, and never to ceaſe daie nor night to ſeeke him, whom their ſoule loveth, till by praier and meditation they have found him: or with the wofull daughter of Sion, to lament and mourne pitiouſlie for their ſinnes, till their miſeries be mitigated, and they comforted; or with ſorrowfull Sara Tobit in faſting, and teares to be delivered from dailie reproches and ſlanderous toongs: or with vertuous Judith in ſackcloth and aſhes to obteine ſtrength and courage mightilie to deſtroie and ouuvercome proud Olophernes, with all the huge hoſt of his bloudie ruffians: or with noble Queene Heſter to proclaime a faſt, and call their virgins, families, and people together, to praie daie and night to the hazarding of their owne lives alſo, if need ſo require for their owne further preſervation, and their peoples and ſubjects ſafetie and deliverance out of the hands of cruell Haman, and all his ſeditious conſpirators: or with chaſt and innocent Suſanna to appeale to God the high judge of judges, to be acquitted from a violent death by falſe accuſation, and more unjuſt condemnation: or with the afflicted church in exile, to acknowledge their ſinnes, and call for mercie to be delivered from diſtreſſe: or with the woman of Canaan to flie unto Chriſt in all neceſſities, to be releeved both bodilie and ghoſtlie: or with our moſt xiii B4r moſt gratious Sovereigne Ladie Queene Elizabeth, to muſe damagedinelie of the inward love of the ſoule towards Chriſt their ſpouſe, their Lord and father, mother and brother: or with the vertnuous Ladie Queene Katherine, to bewaile the ignorance of their blind life led in ſuperſtition: and with hir alſo in all their troubles to ſtir up their godlie minds patientlie to ſuffer all afflictions for the love of everlaſting felicitie: or with the right godlie Ladie Jane Dudley to endure the croſſe to death moſt patientlie: or with good Ladie Tirwit to exerciſe themſelves morning and evening in fruitfull and godlie praiers, pſalmes, hymnes, and meditations: or with the honourable Ladie Aburgaivennie by the like, to tread the path to paradiſe for the health of their ſoule: or with holie Agunus and Eulalia the martyrs, to triumph in the victorie of Chriſts death: or with Anne Aſkew the martyr to praie hartilie for their enimies: or with maiſter Bradfords mother to be petitioners unto God for the conſtancie in faith to death of their children: or with miſtreſſe Dorcas Marten carefullie to inſtruct their whole familie in the principall points of chriſtian religion: or with other grave and godlie matrones unknowne, to exhort others to mortification and holineſſe of life, and to flie unto God in all troubles for releefe as he hath commanded.
That ſo with the five fooliſh virgins it be never too late for them to crie, Lord, Lord, open to us: but that to their comforts and the praiſe of God, with Miriam they may evermore upon their timbrels ſing the ſong of Moſes, for their mightie and miraculous deliverance from ſathan their ſpirituall Pharao: and with Debora give great thanks for the victorie got by our Jahel againſt Sicera: and with holie Hannah rejoiſe from the hart, and praiſe God in the temple for the birth of their children, and ſafe deliverance: and with the women of Iſrael triumph upon timbrels for the famous victories of Davids daughter our noble Queene Elizabeth had againſt all hir enimies: and with the ſpirituall ſpouſe at the marriage daie ſing the ſweet ſong of ſongs to the glorie of the bridegroome Chriſt Jeſus: and with Sara Tobit bleſſe the name of God for their deliverence from ſlanderous reproches, and the evill ſpirit Aſmodeus, that enimie of holie matrimonie: and with holie Judith highlie praiſe God for hir and hir peoples mightie preſervation out of the hands of their cruell enimies: and with the bleſſed virgine Marie continuallie magnifie the Lord their Saviour, for their high exaltation and favour with God, with men, and with angels: and with our moſt gratious Queene Elizabeth, inceſſantlie to yeeld all poſſible praiſe and hartie thanks for their ſo often, mightie, and marvellous preſervation and deliverance from ſo manie kinds of dangers, yea deaths and deſtruction pretended by ſathan and his bloudie miniſters dailie againſt them.
Finallie, that all godlie women (taking hereby good occaſion with theſe their holie foremothers continuallie to make their petitions for the preventing of evils: their ſupplications, for the obteining of all things needfull for ſoule and bodie: their interceſſions as well for others, as for themſelves: and their thankſgivings for corporall and ſpiritual benefits received) may ſhew themſelves daughters woorthie ſuch mothers: virgins woorthie ſuch lamps of perpetuall virginitie: and women woorthie ſuch ghoſtlie weapons of their right chriſtian miniſtration to helpe their weakeneſſe (praiers, precepts, and meditations I meane) by following their vertues wiſelie in the perfect feare of God: by bearing the ſame in the hand of their harts carefullie in the due obedience of their prince: and by fighting therewith in Golgatha the field of this ſpirituall warfare, the good fight of faith couragiouſlie in the pure love of their countrie, and chriſtian charitie towards their neighbours: and at the laſt in the world to come to the glorie of God, & their everlaſting comfort togither with the wiſe virgins, and all the elect people of God, joifullie triumph over all weakneſſe, infirmitie, and corruption: yea over ſinne, death, hell, and damnation, and ſaie: Oh death, where is thy ſting? Oh hell, where is thy victorie?
But now if in wading ſo far in this argument of praier, and in making this volume ſo big, anie ſhall thinke or ſaie, that I, by mine idleneſſe and time thus ſpent, am verie chargeable unto them: and conſidering the plentie of praier books more portable alreadie extant, ſhall judge me to have taken a verie needleſſe or bootleſſe travell, or to have laboured in vaine, and ſpent my ſtrength for nothing, as he that would adde ſtars to the ſkie, or light a lampe at noone daie, and thereforeB.4. fore xiv B4v fore ſhall deeme me woorthie in their opinions to looſe both Oleum & operam. Oh forgive me this wrong I praie you: and conſidering that I could not otherwiſe either ſatiſfie my ſelfe to go forward in my determined purpoſe, according to the preſcript order of this collection, or pleaſure the ſimple reader with ſuch plentie and varietie of profitable matter, eſpeciallie in ſo good paper and faire uſuall letter, a thing to the aged and feeble ſighted reader verie gratefull and much deſired. Let me intreate you whoſoever you be, to meaſure the ſame rather by the goodneſſe or deereneſſe of the volume, which to the willing and deſirous mind are ever beſt cheape. So no doubte ſhall the pleaſure and profit of the one at the leaſt countervaile, if not far ſurmount, the paine and charges of the other.
As for my ſelfe (good reader) who have rudelie as you ſee undertaken this great labour, I proteſt, I have doone it neither of preſumption, as he that would uſurpe the office of a Divine, and intrude himſelfe into the ſtudies of other profeſſions: nor of arrogancie, as he that would boaſt and make great brags of other mens labours: nor of envie, as he that went about to make fruſtrate and inſufficient the painfull and godlie works of better learned: neither yet of ambition or vaineglorie, as he that gaped after the praiſe and commendation of anie, or that would faine ſeeme to be approoved and regiſtred of anie Chronicler for an author, or one that knoweth ſomewhat, who in deed knowes nothing, much leſſe for all this deſerves to be thought of above that, which anie either of their owne knowledge, or by true report doo, or ſhall ſee in me, knowe me to be, or heare of me. Therefore I ſaie (good reader) my judgement, howſoever it pleaſe others to judge of me, and of mine intent herein, is, I knowe with the Lord that formed me from the wombe, to be his ſervant: for he is the eie witneſſe of mine integritie and ſimple meaning herein, I ſaie, in whom my life in hid, and to whom I am made manifeſt, doo live, and muſt die.
As for my worke (ſo honourable for the verie authors, ſo godlie for the matter, ſo neceſſarie for the time, ſo profitable for the perſons, ſo excellent for the uſe, and ſo convenient to increaſe pietie and chriſtianitie in the ſimpler ſort, howſoever otherwiſe with ſome carping heads, and evill diſpoſed readers, with Aeſops dog in the manger never given either to doo well themſelves, or to judge rightlie and ſpeake truth of others) it is I am right well aſſured with my God, who firſt put me in mind to take it in hand, and in, by, and through whom onelie I confeſſe with humble and hartie thankeſgiving after manie a yeeres ſore travell, in ſtudie much ſweet, long watching, and great expences, I have now at the length finiſhed the ſame I truſt to his glorie, your profit, and mine owne comfort.
Therefore leaning to all and everie of the woorthie works of other godlie men or women howſoever here or elſewhere extant, their particular uſe in the church of God, as they were publiſhed: and to the honourable authors themſelyes their due deſerved praiſe and perpetuall commendation to all poſteritie, with exhortation to all godlie chriſtians reverentlie, willinglie, and thankfullie to read, receive, and imprace the ſame, as wherein to the better fulfilling of ſo heavenlie an exerciſe of our faith moſt agreeable to Gods good will and word is perfectlie ſupplied and accompliſhed, by the rare gifts, ornaments, and graces of the holie Ghoſt in the compilers, whatſoever otherwiſe through ignorance, wanteth both in me, and perhaps in you alſo (good readers) if you be unlearned. (Give them therefore, O give them, I ſaie, and that woorthilie of the fruit of their owne hands, and let their owne works praiſe them in all the world.) I to conclude humbly ſubmit my ſelfe unto the grave judgements of the godlie learned, and mine heroicall authors living, of whom I meeklie crave pardon for this my bold enterpriſe attempted both with baſhful;neſſe, doubtfulneſſe, and feare to become a writer in this ſo learned an age, or to trouble your ſtudies with my rude labours. And here laſtlie I offer theſe my labours ſuch as they are unto the good liking and favourable correction as well in matter, as in maner of you my right chriſtian learned readers, of whom in full recompenſe and ſatiſfaction of anie fruit, that either you or the ſimpler ſort ſhall hereby reape, I onelie now make this requeſt, as dutifullie to reverence the divine works of ſo noble and learned authors, by whoſe holie travels you perceive your ſelves to enjoie moſt ineſtimable benefits: ſo freendlie to take in good part theſe firſt fruits of my poore ſtudies, proceeding from a well meaning mind, xv B5r mind, and built upon ſo good foundations, as from him that did that hee could though not that he ought to benefit all, and to hurt or offend none. That they being now as lamps well eſteemed of in the opinion of the rich in vertue and knowledge, and gratefullie accepted and approoved of the learneder ſort, as the monuments of ſo famous matrones, may yet at the leaſt for their ſakes become welcome and aprooved of all other ſimple chriſtians, and I by that meanes greatlie incouraged to go forward in vertuous ſtudies for the benefit of my countrie, with hartie thankeſgiving unto God both for his mercie, and your great curteſie and goodneſſe towards me, in whom I bid you farewell, and unto whoſe heavenlie defenſe, almightie protection, divine favour, and continuall bleſſing, I finallie commend and betake both theſe my labours, my ſelfe, and you deere and welbeloved readers, beſeeching you to love me, as I love yon unfainedlie, to ſpeake of me and my worke, no woorſe than I doo of you and yours chriſtianlie, and that for his ſake alone that loved us all moſt deerelie, & in that love for us all enured all maner of reproch and ſlanders that might be moſt patientlie, even to the effuſion of his moſt pretious bloud often and ſundrie times trulie, as well as fervent praier as in ſweat, and otherwiſe on the croſſe for our eternall glorie: to whom therefore, and for all the ineſtimable benefits of his bloudie praiers, dririe death, and bitter paſſion be evermore rendred and given as of writers and readers, ſo of angels, men, and all creatures in heaven, in earth, or in the deepe, all poſſible praiſe and perpetuall glorie that hart can thinke, hand can worke, or toong can ſpeake, Amen.
Yours as his owne in him that is all in all, and our owne for ever,
Facies militantis Eccleſiæ.
Iam propè ſexagies redijt centeſimus annus,
Quùum læſo æternum ſeruans ſub pectore vulnus,
Incenſis animis gerit implacabile bellum
Cum ſerpentino mulièris femine femen.
Nam pater omnipotens (neciam pater: improbus ex quo
Seduxit ſerpens primos errore parentes)
Nullus amor natis, dixit, nec fœdera ſunto.
Exoriare aliquis pura de virgine vindex,
Cuius dextra caput ſerpentis conterat, & cui
Iratus ſerpens leniter calcanea tundat.
Nunc olim ſtirpem pono, & genus omne futurum
Exercendum odijs vtrinq;: atq; impero tolli
Infeſtas aquilas aquilis, contraria pilis
Pila, alas alis, & ſigna minantia ſignis.
Hæc Deus ex illo ſtruere & malè nectere ſerpens
Arte dolos cœpit, bellíq; opponere molem.
Nulla quies: ætas, quæ tempore fluxit ab illo,
Militia eſt; hoſtis factum iam grande periclis
Ingenium, & longo creuit ſolertia bello.
Effrendétq; draco ruber immortalibus iris,
Crudelis, repar´tq; nouas in prælia vires,
Audet & à nobis ſumptis confligere telis.
Nam peccatorum, benè quæ numerantur ab illo,
Vel numero miſeras animas vel pondere terret.
Tunc aptè mortem peccati oſtendere ſtipem,
Tunc ſtygias turmas, totúmq; Acheronta ciere
Promptus, & hijs hominem petit exitialibus armis:
Non par lex huius, non ius æquabile pubnæ:
Nos ſumus in terris, eſt in cœleſtibus hoſtis.
Non pede congreditur pes, denſúſq; viro vir:
Sed micat in tenebris, & ſpiritualibus armis
Vtitur, & nocet, & non vult nocuiſſe videri
Improbus, infligit vulnus, neq; vulneris author
Extat: ſic pugnat, ſic eſt metuendus Abaddon.
Adde alios hoſtes, quos intùs habemus & extra.
Hinc caro nos blandis odijs, affabilis hoſtis
Enecat, & leni peccati imbuta veneno
Strangulat, incluſas animas & conficit intùs.
Extra alias ſcelerum faces, diráaſq; cohortes,
Et coniuratum cernas obſiſtere mundum.
Quacunq; aſpicimus, timor vndique & vndique terror,
Infernæq; ruunt acies prædámq; requirunt
Chriſticolas. Quem das finem, rex magne laborum?
Nos tua progenies cœli quibus annuis arcen
Perdimur, ac cœli longè diſiungimur oris.
Hæc eſt illa fides, potis eſt quæ vincere mundun,
Inferníq; fores? Sic nos in ſceptra reponis?
Ollis ſubridens Chriſtus, qui cuncta ſerenat,
Oſcula libauit natis, dein talia fatus:Nata xvii B6r
Nata Deo proles ex viui femine verbi,
O multum dilecta mihi, dilecta parenti,
Mœſtáne per tantos ſemper iactabere fluctus?
Nec quæ ſit tua ſpes, quæ ſit victoria, noris?
Tu ſathanam? Tu tela times ignita gehennæ?
Eſto: tuos quondam potuit ſuperare parentes,
Nec dum animo exciderint iræ ſæuóq; dolores,
Et veteres verſet fraudes, ac pectora tentet,
Atque omne ſecum Phlegetonta in prælia ducat,
Idcircóne tuo poteris diffidere Chriſto?
Nec venit in mentem, quam crux ferat alma ſalutem?
Ille, vides? Leo terribilis, quíque omnia ſæuus
Circuit, immanis rugit, prædámque futuram
Faucibus expectat ſiccis, quem peſſima ventris
Exigit impranſum rabies, exutus, inermis,
In cruce confoſſus iacet: en victor Leo Iudæ,
Inferni fregit portas, & contudit omnes
Peccati vires, & mortem morte peremit.
Hæc ſpolia æterna, has lauros ex hoſte reporto.
Ecce Deum ſummum medijs eſt cernere terris,
In cœlis hominem, tibi ſeſe æterna reſeruant
Gaudia, cum ſuperis homini benè conuenit, actum eſt,
Viciſti, pepigit cum terra fœdera cœlum.
Iam Cherubinorum vaginæ includitur enſis,
Atque iterum tibi ſe tradit para diſus habendum.
Námque ego, quem gremio tellus abſorpſit iniquo,
Vincula perrupi mortis, cœlúmque petitui.
Et cupis hijs mecum pariter conſidere regnis?
Regnum quod teneo veſtrum eſt: hîc meta laborum.
Iudáque, génſque mihi nullo diſcrimine agétur.
Pugnat adhuc ſathanas & confert agmina: pugnet,
Iuſti materiem præbet tibi pugna triumphi:
Per varios caſus, per multa pericula rerum
Tenditur in cœlum, ſedes vbi fata quietas
Oſtendunt, illic fas læta pace potiri,
Durato, & temet rebus ſeruato ſecundis,
Sic placitum: dum ín te pietas excocta periclis
Splendeat, & viua formetur imagine Chriſtus.
Tempus erit, quùm me, paucis labentibus annis.
Cernes in denſis venientem nubibus, & quùm
Regnabis mecum, & victo dominaberis hoſti.
To modò poſce Deum veniam, ſacrísque litatis,
Arma aſſume Dei, cauſáſq; innecte morandi.
I, bona, ſimplicitas animi tibi baltheus eſto,
Quo ſtes contra ictus omnes circundata lumbos;
Indue iuſtitiæ thoracem, & pectora muni,
Tum pro calceolis cœleſtis nuncia pacis,
Aptato pedibus certis: ſuper omnia viuæ
Sume manu ſcutum fidei, galeámque ſalutis
Spem capiti imponas, lateríque accingere ferrumSpirituale xviii B6v
Spirituale pares, & in hoſtem ſtringe rebellem:
Quicquid & aduerſum verbo eſt, interfice verbo.
Sic vbi iam mundi decurſa volubilis ætas,
Poſt exantlatæ diuerſa pericula pugnæ,
Non areſcentis folijs redimita coronæ,
Fœlix cœleſtem patriam Hieroſolyma cernes.
Dixerat: extemplo mœſtos attollere vultus
Cœpit, & afflictis lætari eccleſia rebus;
Infuſóq; oleo manibus ſua lumina portans,
Præſtolánſque ſuum patiens & læta maritum,
Vota Deo ſupplex animo ſolennia ſundit.
Rob. Marbeck ad lectorem.
Avſcultas noſtris diuina potentia votis;
Et prece, non pretio flecitur ira Dei.
Perlege ſcripturas, & ſancta volumina patrum;
Aſſiduis precibus nos vigilare iubent.
Si malè te morbus proſtratis viribus vrat;
Si te paupertas inuidioſa premat;
Per ſteriles ſaltus, per dura & inhoſpita ſaxa
Paſſibus ambiguis, ſi vel inermis eas,
Si mare te iactet, ſi tempeſtatibus actus,
Et cœlum, & terras, mox ruitura putes:
Si te circunſtet vel mille pericula mortis;
Inuoca, nil dubitans numina, ſaluus eris.
Ergo ſi precibus vis tanta putetur ineſſe,
Præponi precibus, nil (mihi crede) poteſt.
Hic labor, hic liber eſt, tibi quem Bentleius offert,
Nil aliud reſonans, quàm pietate preces;
Et pius eſt Author: pius & conatus: vtrunq;
Cur perames, cauſam candide lector, habes.
Vin; tibi quid portent hæc ſciere volumina ſeptem?
Occurunt animo lumina ſparſa tuo.
Nulla quidem fruſtra eſt prælata a virgine lampas:
Oſtendit varias illáq;, & illa preces.
1 Prima docet Myriam, quas olim & Debora fudit,
Quas Domino Judith fudit & Anna preces.
2 Altera reginis quas a noſtratibus vſquam
Legimus in medijs incaluiſſe malis.
Hîc Katherina ſuas, mulieribus æmula ſanctis,
Hîc cernit Princeps Elizabetha ſuas.
3 Tertia habet pſalmos, quos pro ſolamine noſtræ
Reginæ docti compoſuere viri.
Hîc modo de noſtri loquitur moderamine regni,
Excipit hîc votum principis ore Deus.Quarta xix B7r
4 Quarta alias fusè complectitur omnibus aptas
Perſonis, rebus, temporibúſq; preces.
5 Quinta precum formas narrat, quas fœmina quæuis
Seu virgo fuerit, five marita, legat.
6 Sexta locos recitat ſacris e fontibus hauſtos,
Poſſit us officium fœmina ſcire ſuum.
7 Continet hiſtorias illarum ſeptima, quarum
Vel bona vita fuit, vel mala vita fuit.
Hinc Saram propone tibi, caſtámq; Rebeccam;
Et ſubeat menti ſancta Maria tuæ.
Illinc ante oculos infamis Iezabel adſit,
Occurrátq; tibi labe notata Thamar.
Sic exempla pares illuſtria, turpia vites:
Hiſtoriæ fructus maximus ille ſacræ.
Interea Bentlee, tuo de lumine lumen,
Qui facis accenſum fratribus eſſe tuis:
H^c æterna pij cernis monumenta laboris,
Hî zeli laus eſt non peritura tui.
A breefe catalog of the memorable names of ſundrie right famous Queenes, godlie Ladies, and vertuous women of all ages, which in their kind and countries were notablie learned, and whereof ſome marked with this marke * were the authors of a great part of this booke, as ſhall appeere: ſet foorth in alphabeticall order.
- Abigael Queene.
- Agnes martyr.
- Anne Askew martyr.
- Anne Bacon.
- Anne Baſſet.
- Angelia virgine.
- Caſſandra virgine.
- Catherina Cellia.
- Catherina Senenſis virgine.
- Catherina Parre.
- Claudia Ruffina..
- Cleobula virgine.
- Cornelia Affrica.
- Danophila Pamphia.
- Deborah propheteſſe.
- Diodorus five daughters.
- Dorcas Marten.
- Edeſia Syria.
- Egitha Q.Queen of England.
- Elizabeth Queene of England.
- Elizabeth Queene of Syria.
- Elizabeth Tirwit Ladie.
- Elizabeth an Abbeſſe.
- Eudoxia Theodoſia.
- Eulalia martyr.
- Francis Aburgavennie LaLadie.
- Hannah Eleanah.
- Helena Flavia.
- Helizabeth Cenobia.
- Helpis Boetia.
- Heſter Queene.
- Hildizarda virgine.
- Huldah propheteſſe.
- Jane Dudley Ladie.
- Joan Philippa Queene.
- Iſota virgine.
- Iſabel Q.Queene her foure daughters.
- Judith Bethulia.
- Juno Chiſſa virgine.
- Katherine Q.Queene of England.
- Ladie commended by ſ. John with hir daughters.
- Marie the bleſſed virgine.
- Marie Queene of England. Marie xx B7v
- Marie Ladie Cicil.
- Margaret Q.Queene of Navar.
- Margaret Counteſſe of R.
- Martia Q.Queene of England.
- Maximilla propheteſſe.
- Myriam propheteſſe.
- Phemono virgine.
- Philips foure daughters.
- Proba Romana.
- Pythagoras daughter.
- Salina or Salma.
- Sappho poëeta.
- Sarra Tobit.
- Sibyls ten.
- Theaneo Metaponta.
- Theſſeles or Theleſtilla.
- Valeria proba.
- Zenobia Queene of Syria, &c.
Thus, good Readers, I have ſet downe the names of ſome notable learned women to your conſideration, referring ſuch as deſire to knowe further of their ſeverall works to this treatiſe following, and to Geſnerus, Bale, Ludovicus Vives, the Chronicles, and ſuch other writers of our time. Which I have doone, not like a Sycophant to currie favour by flatterie with women; but ſimplie, God is my witneſſe, & for good purpoſe: partlie, for that I well perceive theſe and manie other not here named, for their well deſerving and excellent works (a taſt wherof you have here in this booke) have heretofore beene had, and that right woorthilie, in great veneration of the godlie learned fathers and writers in all ages: and therfore are no leſſe of us alſo to be reverentlie regarded and had in honourable remembrance, to the perpetuall recordation and further continuance of their heroicall names and fames, as it were by ſome inrollment of their condigne praiſes and memorable dooings to all poſterities: but eſpeciallie for that I might hereby, as much as in me lieth, incourage, provoke, and allure all godlie women of our time, in ſome meaſure, according to their ſeveral gifts given them of God, to become even from their youth more ſtudious imitators, and diligent folowers of ſo godlie and rare examples in their vertuous mothers, that as they either in ſex, name, or eſtate are equall with them: ſo in learning, wiſedome, good induſtrie, and in all holie ſtudies and vertuous exerciſes commendable for women, they would dailie endevour themſelvesſelues xxi B8r ſelves to become like them, that ſo being lightened by their good examples both of life and doctrine, they may ſhine alſo together with them on earth, as burning lampes of verie virginitie; and in heaven, as bright ſtarres of eternall glorie: which God, for his owne name ſake, grant, Amen.
What ceremonie everie woman ought by Gods word to uſe in the time of praier, publike or private.1. Corinth. chapter 11, verſe. 4, &c.
Everie man praieng or propheſieng, having anie thing on his head, diſhonoureth (God) his head: but everie woman that praieth or propheſieth bare headed, diſhonoureth (hir husband) hir head. For it is even one verie thing as though ſhe were ſhaven.
Therefore if the woman be not covered, let hir alſo be ſhorne; and if it be a ſhame for a woman to be ſhorne or polled (as in deed it is) then (for ſhame) let hir be covered (and keepe hir haire truſſed up under a kercher.)
For a man ought not to cover his head (but ought to be polled and bare, forſomuch as he is the image and glorie of God, in whom his majestie and power dooth ſhine, concerning his authoritie over his wife, and other of Gods creatures ſubjected under his dominion and rule)
But the woman is the glorie of the man (or receiveth hir glorie in commendation of man, and therefore is ſubject:) for the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man: neither was the man created for the womans ſake; but the woman for the mans ſake.
Therefore ought the woman to have power on hir head (that is, ſome thing to cover hir head in ſigne of ſubjection, bicauſe of the angels, to whom alſo they ſhew their diſſolution and ſhame, and not onelie to Christ and his church, or congregation where they praie.)
Judge you in your ſelves alſo, is it comelie that a woman praie unto God bareheaded? Dooth not nature it ſelfe teach you, that if a man have long haire like a woman, it is a ſhame unto him: but if a woman have long haire, it is a praiſe unto hir: for hir haire is given unto hir for a covering (and to the end ſhe ſhould truſſe it up about hir head: to declare that ſhe muſt cover hir head.)But if anie man list to be contentious, we have no ſuch custome, neither the church of God. xxii B8v
Second Lampe of
Conteining divers godlie Meditations, and Chriſtian Praiers made
by ſundrie vertuous Queenes, and
other devout and godlie women
in our time:
Godlie Meditation of the inward love of the ſoule towards Chriſt
our Lord: compoſed firſt in French
by the vertuous Ladie Margaret Queene
of Navarre: aptlie, exactlie, and fruitfullie
tranſlated by our moſt gratious Sovereigne Ladie
Queene Elizabeth, in the tender and
maidenlie yeeres of hir youth and virginitie,
to the great benefit of
Gods church, and comfort
of the godlie.
Imprinted at London by Henrie Denham,
dwelling in Pater noſter Rowe,
at the ſigne of the Starre.
Cum priuilegio Regæ Maiestatis.
Certaine godlie Sentences out of the 13. Pſalme, written by the Queenes Majeſtie, in Latine, French, and Italian.
Stultus dixit in corde ſuo: Non eſt Deus. Illi corrupti ſunt, & abhominabiles in ſua impietate, nullus eſt qui alquid boni facit.
Le fol dit en ſon cœur: Il n’y a point de Dieu. Ils ſont corrompus & abhominables en leur impieté, il n’y a nul qui face aucun bien.
Lo ſtolto diffe ne’l ſuo cuore: Egli non vi è Dio. Eſsi ſon corrotti & abomineuoli ne la lor’impietà, non vi è neſſuno che faccia alcun bene.
A godlie meditation of the inward love of the Chriſtian ſoule towards Chriſt our Lord.
The firſt Chapter, Of the ſoules ſlaverie by ſinne: and redemption by Chriſt his paſſion.
Where is the hell, full of travel, paine, miſchiefe, and torment? Where is the pit of curſedneſſe, out of which doth ſpring all deſperation? Is there any hel ſo profound, that is ſufficient to puniſh the tenth part of my ſinnes, which in number are ſo manie, that the infinit ſwarme of them ſo ſhadoweth my darkened ſenſes, that I can not account them, neither yet well ſee them? And I ſo farre am entred among them, that I have no power to obteine the true knowledge of the deepe dangers of them. I perfectlie feele alſo, that the roote of ſinne is ſo graffed in me, that in my ſelfe I find none other effect, but all is, either branch, leafe, or fruit that it bringeth foorth in me.
And if I looke for better, a branch therof ſhadoweth mine eies: and in my mouth doth fall, when I would ſpeake, the bitter fruit of curſed ſinne. If my ſpirit be ſtirred to harken, then the noiſe of hir leaves ſtoppeth mine eares, and filleth my noſtrils with the ſmell of F.iij. hir 2 F3v 2 hir flowers. Behold now therefore how in paines my ſoule, a ſlave, and priſoner without light, or comfort, lieth crieng and weeping, having hir feete bound with the chaine of concupiſcence, and hir armes faſt tied thorough evill uſe. Who then hath power to helpe or remedie it? Not I: neither have I power to crie for ſuccour. And as I can perceive, there is no helpe of hope for me, but by the ſpeciall grace of God, which of my ſelfe I can not deſerve, but by Chriſt his onelie ſonne, whoſe brightneſſe giveth light to my darkneſſe: whoſe power examining my fault, breaketh the vaile of ignorance, and giveth mee cleare underſtanding what thing abideth in mee, where I am, and wherefore I labour.
He it is, whom I have offended: he it is, to whom I did obeie ſo ſeldome: wherefore it is convenient that my pride be ſuppreſſed. With weeping hart and ſorowfull ſighs, I humblie therefore confeſſe that I am much leſſe than nothing. Before my birth, mire; after a dunghill, having a bodie prompt to all evill, not willing other ſtudie: ſubject to care, ſorowe and paine, ſhort of life, the end uncertaine, and under ſin by Adam ſold, and by the lawe condemned. For of my ſelfe, I never had yet the power to obſerve one onelie commandement of God, the force of ſinne was ſuch in me, and therefore is my ſinne no whit the leſſe to be hidden: and the more I cloaked and diſſembled my ſinne outwardlie, the more it increaſed within my hart. For what God would, that could I not will: and what hee would not, I oft times deſired to performe: which thing doth conſtraine mee by importable ſorowe, in this wearie and raging life, to wiſh the end of this miſerable bodie, through a deſired death.Quis Liberabit
Who ſhall he then be, that ſhall deliver, or recover anie good for me? Alas, it can be no mortall man. For his power and ſtrength is not ſuch as can deliver me. Who 3 F4r 3 Who then? The onlie grace of the almightie God,graciaflawed-reproduction who never is ſlacke to helpe the penitent with his mercie. Oh what a maiſter is that, which without deſerving will ſhew his mercie on ſinners! I ſerved him ſlothfullie, and without ceaſing offended him everie daie: yet is he not ſlacke in helping me.
He doth ſee the evill that I have, what and how much it is, and that I of my ſelfe can doo nothing that is good: but with hart & bodie ſo inclined I am to the contrarie, that I feele no ſtrength in me, unleſſe it be to doo evill. Yet doth he not tarie till I humblie praie him, or that ſeeing my hell and danmmnation, I doo crie upon him: but his ſpirit whurling in my hart, greater than I can declare, aſketh for mee a gift, whereof the verture is unknowne to my little power.
And this the ſame unknowne gift or whurling in my hart, doth bring mee a new deſire, ſhewing the good that I have loſt by my ſinne, and given me againe thorough his grace and bountie, that which hath overcome all ſinne.
O my Lord, what grace and goodneſſe is this, which the mercy of god doth put out ſo manie ſinnes? Now may I ſee that thou art full of all godlie love, to make me of a ſinner, thy ſervant and child. Alas, my God, I did not ſeeke thee, but fled and ran awaie from thee: and here beneath, thou cameſt downe to mee, which am nothing but a woorme of the earth all naked. What doo I ſaie? A woorme? Naie, woorſe than a woorme, full of pride, deceit, malice, and treaſon. The promiſe which my friends made when I was baptiſed, is ſuch, that I alwaies, thorough faith in thy paſſion, ſhould feele the the promiſse made in Baptiſme. mortification of my fleſh, and dwell alwaies with thee in the croſſe, where thou waſt faſt nailed as I beleeve, and yeelded death dead, as I alſo ſhould yeeld all ſinne.
This have I oftentimes untied, taken downe, and ſet at large; I have broken, denied, and falſified my this promiſe nflawed-reproduction have broken. F.iiij. promiſe, 4 F4v 4 promiſe, and through pride I have lifted up my will in ſuch maner, that through ſloth, my dutie towards thee was forgotten, and that much more is, as well the profit, or value, which I had of thee in the daie of my baptiſme, as alſo thy ſaving love and promiſes folowing, I have all alike neglected? What ſhall I ſaie more? Albeit that oftentimes thou perceiving mee wretched, and unhappie, haſt given me ſo manie warnings in faith and ſacraments, admoniſhing mee by preachings, and comforted mee by the receiving of thy bleſſed bodie and ſacred bloud, promiſing by the ſame to put me in the number of them that now are adorned with perfect innocencie: yet have I all theſe high benefits throwne into forgetfulneſſe.
Oftentimes, O Lord, have I with thee broken covenant, & partlie for that my poore ſoule was too much fed with the evill bread or damnable doctrine of hypocrites, I deſpiſed ſuch ſuccour and ghoſtlie phyſicke in Gods word, as would have helped mee, if I had beene willing to looke for it: yet knew I at that time no teacher convenient. For there is neither man, Saint, nor Angel, that can without thy ſpirit change the hart of a ſinner. Alas, good Jeſus, thou beholding my blindneſſe, and that at my neede I could have no ſuccour of When we could have flawed-reproductionfurious, chriſt did flawed-reproductionen the way of ſalvation. men, didſt open the waie of my ſalvation. O how great is thy goodneſſe, and how ineſtimable the ſweeteneſſe which thou haſt ſhewed therein! Is there anie father ſo naturall to the daughter, or brother to the ſiſter, which would ever have done as thou haſt done? For thou cameſt downe into hel to ſuccour my ſoule, where againſt thy will ſhee was, intending to have periſhed, bicauſe ſhe did not love thee.
Alas, ſweet Lord, thou haſt loved hir, yea even to the verie outſhedding of thy moſt pretious bloud. O charitie fervent and incomparable! Nothing ſlacke art thou in love, that ſo lovedſt everie ſinner, yea and alſo thine 5 F5r 5 thine enimies, not onelie in forgiving their offences, christ his infinite love to ſynners his enemies. but alſo in giving thy ſelfe for their ſalvation, libertie, and deliverance to the death, croſſe, travell, paine, and ſufferance. When I caſt in mind what ſhould be the occaſion of thy love towards mee, I can ſee nothing elſe but a love woonderfull, which moveth thee to give me that, which I can not deſerve. Then as far foorth as I can ſee, I ought to give no thanks for my ſalvation, but onlie to thee my Lord Jeſu, to whom I owe the praiſe thereof, as to him which is my Savior and Creator.
The ſecond Chapter, Of the ſoules affinitie with Chriſt.
What thing is it, O God, that thou haſt done ſo much for me? Thou art not onelie chriſt not only forgyveth ſynnes, but gyveth unto us, and his graces alſo. contented to have forgiven me my ſinnes, but alſo haſt given unto mee the right fortunate gift of grace.
For it ſhould ſuffice mee, I comming out of ſuch a danger, to be like a ſtranger uſed. But thou doeſt handle my ſoule, if I durſt ſo ſay it, as a mother, daughter, how god intreted our ſoule, being flawed-reproduction offender. ſiſter, and wife: notwithſtanding, my Lord, I am the treſpaſſer, which am not woorthie to come neere the doore of thy right high place, to aſle bread, where thy dwelling is. Oh what grace is this, that ſo ſuddenlie thou vouchſafeſt to drawe my ſoule into ſuch highnes, that ſhe feeleth hir ſelfe ruler of my bodie! She poore, ignorant, and lame, doth find hir ſelfe with thee rich, wiſe, and ſtrong, bicauſe thou haſt written in hir hart, the roote of thy ſpirit and holie word, giving hir true faith to receive it, which thing made hir to conceive thy ſonne, in beleeving him to be man, God, Saviour, and alſo the true forgiver of ſinnes. Therefore doeſt thou aſſure hir, that ſhee is mother to thy Sonne, of whome thou art the onlie father.And 6 F5v 6
And furthermore, O my father, here is a great love of thy well dooing, that thy holie ſonne hath taken on him the bodie of a man, & hath mingled himſelfe with our aſhes, which thing we may not underſtand, without a moſt true faith. It hath pleaſed thee to put him ſo neere us, that he did joine himſelfe to our fleſh, and I ſeeing him to be called man, am bold to call him brother. Now ſith my ſoule may ſaie of hir ſelfe, that ſhee is the ſiſter of God, ought ſhe not to have hir ſelfe aſſured in him? Yes trulie. For thou doeſt declare with great love, that hir creation was onlie of thy good wil, which it pleaſeth thee alwaies to have towards hir, giving aſſurance, that before hir firſt daie, or time of being provided for hir, thou thorough love haſt made hir, as thou of power along canſt well doo it, and alſo didſt put hir within this bodie, not for to ſlacke with ſloth, but that both of them ſhould have none other exerciſe, but only to thinke how to doo ſome ſervice unto thee.
Then this truth maketh hir to feele that there is in thee true paternitie. O what honor, what ſweetneſſe, and what glorie hath the ſoule, which doeth alwaies remember that ſhe is thy daughter, and that in calling thee father, ſhee doth thy commandement! What is there more? Is that all? No, it doth pleaſe thee to Christ is the huſband of the ſowle give hir another name, to call hir thy wife, and that ſhe againe doo call thee huſband, declaring therby how thou haſt freelie manifeſted the mariage of hir. By baptiſme haſt thou made a promiſe, to give hir thy baptiſme, Ive put flawed-reproductiont us, all the goodes flawed-reproductionriches of chriſt, he taketh uppon hym all over formes goods and riches, and to take on thee hir ſinnes: for ſhe hath nothing by heritage but ſinne of hir firſt father Adam. All hir treaſures that ſhe hath of nature, are nothing elſe but ſinnes, which thou haſt tied upon the Croſſe, and paid all hir debts with thy goodes & lands.
Thou haſt made hir ſo rich, and with ſo great a jointure endued hir, that ſhe knowing hir ſelfe to be thy wedded 7 F6r 7 wedded wife, doth beleeve to be quit of all that ſhe oweth, eſteeming verie little that ſhee hath heere beneath. She forſaketh hir old father, and all the goods that he giveth hir, for hir huſbands ſake. For ſurelie, O my God, it hurteth my ſoule to be fed with ſuch good: and againe releeved in leaving the pleaſures of this world, for that which is eternal, and where peace is without warre. Father, alas, what ought I to thinke? Shall my ſpirit be ſo bold as to take upon him to call thee father? yea, and alſo our father, for ſo haſt thou taught in the Pater noſter. But to call me daughter, haſt thou ſo ſaid? I praie thee tell me. Alas, yea Lord, when with great ſweetnes thou ſaideſt: Daughter, lend me thy hart: and againe, thou ſaideſt, Daughter thy faith hath ſaved thee.
O my ſoule, in ſtead of lending, my Lord is readie to give himſelfe wholie unto thee: receive him then, and do not permit that anie creature put him from thee, ſo that for ever with faithfull ſtedfaſtneſſe he may love thee, with a daughterlie love. Now my Lord, if thou be my father, may I thinke that I may be thy mother? Indeede I can not well perceive, how I ſhould conceive thee that createdſt me: but in this matter, thou diddeſt ſatiſfie my doubt, when in preaching and in ſtretching forth thy hands, thou didſt ſaie, Thoſe that ſhall do the will of my father, they are my brethren, my ſiſter, and my mother. I beleve then, that hearing, and beleving ſovol is the mother of chriſt. reading the words that thou haſt taught, and uttered by thy holie Prophets and Apoſtles: the ſame alſo which through thy true Preachers thou doſt dailie declare unto men, in beleeving it, and ſtedfaſtlie deſiring to fulfill the ſame, I conceive thee, and beare thee by love.
Therfore without anie feare I wil take upon me the name of a mother. What? Mother of Chriſt? O ſweet virgine Marie, I beſeech thee be not angrie that I take 8 F6v 8 take up ſuch a title: I do neither ſteale, nor uſurpe anie thing upon thy priviledge, for thou onelie above all women, receivedſt of him ſo great honour, that no man can in himſelfe comprehend, how he hath beene willing to take in thee our fleſh: for thou art the mother and perfect virgine, before, and after, and in his holie birth. In thy bleſſed wombe thou didſt beare him and nouriſh him, thou didſt followe him in his tribulations, and alſo in his teachings. Now brieflie to conclude, thou hath with God found ſuch grace, as the enimie through malice and deceit had cauſed Adam and his poſteritie to loſe: by Eve, and him we have loſt it, and by thy Sonne hath it been yeelded unto us againe.
Therefore haſt thou bene rightfullie called full of grace, as one to whome the Lord hath ſhewed aboundant favour. Sith then that he, which is the beſt among them that be good, and alſo the ſpring of all goodneſſe and power, hath created in thee ſo pure innocencie, endued thee with ſuch grace, & exalted thee to ſuch dignitie, that he in thee, of all other the example of vertue, hath builded his dwelling and temple: he through love did confirme himſelfe with thee, and thou through grace art confirmed in him, therefore no man can give thee greater praiſe, then God himſelfe hath given thee, for there is no ſuch praiſe, as is the ſame, which commeth from God. Thou alſo hath had ſo firme and conſtant a faith, that thou by the holie Ghoſt waſt filled with all godlineſſe. I will not take upon me therefore to give to thee greater praiſe, than the honour which thy ſonne and ſoveraigne Lord hath given thee. faithfull ſoule is ſpirituall mother of christ And as thou art his corporall mother, ſo art thou thorough faith his ſpirituall mother: and I following the faith with all humbleneſſe, am his ſpirituall mother alſo.
Alas, my God, the brotherlineſſe that thou haſt towards me, thorough thy humbleneſſe, in calling me ſiſter,ſter, 9 F7r 9 ſter, is great, for thou haſt broken the kindred of mine old father, calling me daughter by adoption. Seeing then that we have both one father, I will not feare to call thee my brother. For thou haſt ſo reported it by the wiſe Salomon in his Canticle, ſaieng: My ſiſter and ſpuſe, thou haſt wounded my hart with the ſweete looke of one of thine eies, &c. Alas my brother, I wiſh for nothing elſe, but that in wounding thee, I might finde my ſelfe wounded with thy love, to that would I give over my ſelfe. And likewiſe, thou dideſt call mee wife, ſpeaking to me theſe amorous words: Ariſe my deere dove, and come hitherward my delectable ſpouſe. Wherefore I may ſaie with loving faith, Thou art mine and I am thine, bicauſe thou haſt called me thy love and faire ſpouſe. If I be ſo, ſuch haſt thou made me. Alas, doth it pleaſe thee to give me ſuch names? Trulie they are able to breake the hart, and cauſe it to burne through love unſpeakable, when it thinketh upon the honour that thou doeſt unto the ſoule, which is much greater than it hath deſerved. A mother, a mother? Alas, but of what child is it? My God, my ſonne? O Jeſus what ſpeech is this! Mother, daughter, ſiſter, and brother. O happie kindred! O what ſweetneſſe doth proceede out of that paternitie! But what daughterlie and reverent feare ought I to have towards him, my father, yea and my creator, my protector, and ſaviour, to be my brother? Alas, heere is a great love: I will therfore ſaie with Salomon, Now can my hart no longer refraine, but breake in ſunder, to make roome for the ſame ſo ſweete a brother, ſo that none other name be written in the ſame, but onlie the name of my brother Jeſus the ſonne of God. None other creature will I give place to, for all the ſcurging and beating that can be done unto me: keepe my hart then my deere brother and love, and let not thine enimie enter into it.
The third Chapter, Of the ſoules infidelitie or apoſtaſie from God.
Omy ſweete Father, my child, my brother, and ſpouſe, with hands joined, humblie upon my knees I yeeld thee thanks and praiſes, that it pleaſeth thee to turne thy face towards me, converting my hart, and covering me with ſuch grace, that thou doeſt ſee no more my evils and ſinnes. So well haſt thou hidden them, that it ſeemeth thou haſt put them in forgetfulneſſe: yea and alſo they ſeeme to be forgotten of me, which have done and committed them. For faith and love ſo working in me, cauſeth me to forget them, wholie putting my truſt in thee alone.
Then my Father, in whome lieth unfeigned love, whereof can I have feare in my hart? I confeſſe that I have done all the evill that one creature can doo, and that of my ſelfe I am naught. Alſo, I have offended thee, as did the prodigall child, following the fooliſh trade of the fleſh, wherewith I have prodigallie ſpent the ſubſtance and aboundance of goodes, which thou heere haſt given me to uſe to thy glorie: and for the miſpending of them, povertie hath taken me, and hath withered me awaie, even as haie, and yeelded my ſpirit dead for hunger, compelling me to eate the reliefe of ſwine: but in ſuch meates I found verie little ſavour. Then I ſeeing my life to be ſo miſerable, did returne to thee my father againe, ſaieng: Alas deere father, I have ſinned againſt heaven, and before thee, I am therefore no more worthie to be called thy child. But O bountifull and mercifull father, do thou no worſſe to me, than to one of thy houſhold ſervants. Alas, deere father, what love and zeale is this, that thou wouldeſt not tarie my comming and praier, but ſpeedilie ſtretching 11 F8r 11 ſtretching foorth thy hands, receivedſt me, when I did thinke thou wouldeſt not looke on me: and ſo receiving me, in ſtead to have puniſhed me, thou didſt aſſure me of my ſalvation? Where is he then that ſhall punish me, when my father ſhall denie him my ſinne? There is no Judge that can condemne me, unleſſe God himſelfe will damne me: the want of goodneſſe I feare not, for I have my God for my father: my enimie ſhall do me no harme, for my father will take all his ſtrength awaie from him. If I owe any thing, he ſhall paie it for me: if I have deſerved death, he as a king ſhall pardon me, and deliver me from priſon and death.
But heere is the woorſt, what maner of mother have I beene? For, after that I by faith had received the name of a true mother, I became verie rude unto thee my Sonne: becauſe that after I had conceived and brought thee foorth, I left reaſon, and being ſubject to my will, not taking heed unto thee, I fell aſleepe, and gave place to my great enimie, the which, in the night of ignorance, I being aſleepe, did ſteale thee from me craftilie, and in thy place ſhe did put hir child, which was dead, and ſo I did leeſe thee, which was a ſorowfull remorſe for me. Thus did I looſe thee my ſonne, by mine owne fault, becauſe I tooke no heed to keepe thee. Senſualitie my neighbour, I beeing in my beaſtlie ſleepe, did ſteale thee from me, and gave to me hir child, which had no life in him, named ſinne, whome I ſaid I would not have, but utterlie did forſake him.
She affirmed, that he was mine owne, but I knew him to be hirs. For as ſoone as I came to the light of grace, which thou hadſt given me, then I knewe my glorie to be changed, when I ſaw the dead child not to be mine. For the ſame which was alive, whom ſhe had taken awaie, was my child: ſo apparant was the change betweene Jeſus and ſinne. But now heere is a ſtrange thing, this old woman cauſeth me to keepe this 12 F8v 12 this dead child, whome ſhe reporteth to be mine, and ſo will ſhe mainteine. O Salomon, thou true and wiſe Judge, thou haſt heard this lamentable proceſſe, and ordeined to content the parties, that the child ſhould be divided in two parts. The falſe woman agreeth it ſhould be ſo, but I remembring him to be mine owne ſonne, which was alive, was rather content to leeſe him, than to ſee his bodie parted in twaine. For true and perfect love is never content with the one halfe of that it loveth: rather I had therefore to weepe for the whole, than to recover the one halfe without life. Alas noble Salomon, give her the child which is alive. For better it is for me to die, than to ſee my ſonne divided. But my Lord, thou didſt better looke to it, than I. For thou ſeeing the anguiſh that I did ſuffer, and how I rather did forſake my right, than to behold ſuch cruelneſſe, thou ſaiedſt, This is the true mother, and ſo cauſed them to give me my child againe, for whome before my hart was ſorowfull.
O ſweete Jeſus, thus haſt thou proved me, how much I loved thee: yea and when by ſinne I had loſt thee, yet didſt thou returne unto me. Alas, how gentlie doeſt thou vouchſafe to come againe to hir, which being let by ſinne, could not keepe thee my ſweete child, my ſweete ſonne, my helper, my nouriſher, of whome I am an humble creature? Do not permit that ever I do leave thee againe, for I do repent the time paſt.
Now come ſenſualitie with thy rablement of ſinnes, thou haſt no power to make me to receive thy dead child. For my ſonne is ſtrong and will defend me, he ſhall not permit that thou take him anie more awaie from me, his ſtrength is greater than anie others, therefore may I ſleepe and take reſt neere him. For all things well conſidered, he ſhall keepe me from thine aſſaults. O ſweete reſt of the mother, and the ſonne together, my ſweete child, my God, onlie unto thee be the honour 13 G1r 13 honour and praiſe, for that everie creature may ſee, how it hath pleaſed thee to call me (leſſe than nothing) a mother: and the more it is ſtrange and hard to be done, the more ought thy goodneſſe to have praiſe for it. And further, thou haſt retained me for thy ſiſter, wherefore I acknowledge my ſelfe more bound, than to anie other creature.
Now I am ſiſter unto thee, but ſo naughtie a ſiſter, that better it were for me that I were without the name, than I to forget the name of adoption in ſo noble a kindred, and alſo thy good and brotherlie behaviour towards me. I with pride did riſe againſt thee, and not remembring my faults, but going aſtraie from thee, did agree with Aaron my brother, being in will to give judgement againſt thy works; and folowing the example of Miriam, privilie I grudged againſt thee, which thing cauſed me to have remorſe in my conſcience. Alas right bountifull brother, and true Moſes, which doeſt all with goodneſſe and juſtice, I have eſteemed thy workes to be even ſinne, being ſo bold to ſpeake even raſhlie, ſaieng: Wherefore haſt thou maried a ſtrange woman? Thou giveſt us a law, and puniſhment, if we do not fulfill it, and then thou wouldeſt not be bound to it, forbidding us the thing which thou thy ſelfe doeſt.
For thou forbiddeſt us to kill anie man, and thou doeſt kill, and ſpareſt none, of three thouſand, which thou commandedſt to be ſlaine. Further, God gave us in commandement by thee, that we ſhould not marrie the daughter of a ſtranger, yet thou tookeſt thy wife from among them. Alas my deere brother Moſes, with a great name of theſe words, which I knowe to be fooliſh, with Aaron and Miriam, which is mine owne wit, I imbraided thee, wherof I repent. For the livelie voice of God, rebukinglie tooke me up before I went out of the place. What wouldeſt thou then of G.j. my 14 G1v 14 my ſinne? Thou wouldeſt not have me puniſhed, but rather wouldeſt my ſalvation and health, in aſking for me this great benefit, that it might pleaſe God to mitigate his judgement, the which thing thou couldeſt not obtaine. Wherefore I became a Lazar, ſo that all that looked on mee might well ſaie, I had not beene wiſe: and for mine uncleannes and leproſie, I was put out from the tents and tabernacles, from among the people, becauſe the ſicke ſhould not infect ſuch as were whole. Oh what ſoule can have a greater puniſhment, than to be baniſhed out of the companie of them which are holie in God! But what didſt thou my ſweet love and brother, ſeeing my repentance? Thou providedſt that my penance was ſoone at an end, and with true love madeſt meanes for me, whereupon I returned to thee. O what brother would, in ſtead to puniſh his fooliſh ſiſter, ſo naturallie cleave unto hir? For injurie, grudge, and great offence by hir committed, thou giveſt hir grace, and love in recompenſe. Alas my brother, how exceeding is this thy love? Much more is it than brotherhoode is bound to give, to ſo poore and wretched a woman as I am. I have done thee evill, and thou giveſt me good for it. I am thine, and thou ſaieſt, thou art mine: even ſo I am, and ever will. I feare no more the great fooliſhneſſe of Aaron and Miriam, for no man may ſeparate me from thee; and now that we are together, as brother and ſiſter, I care little for all other, for thy land is mine inheritance.
Let us then keepe, if it pleaſe thee, but one houſhold, ſith it hath pleaſed thee to humble thy ſelfe ſo much, as to joine thy hart with mine, in making thy ſelfe a livelie man. I do right hartilie thanke thee, and to thanke thee as I ought, lieth not in my power. Take my meaning then I praie thee, & excuſe mine ignorance, ſeeing I am of ſo great a kindred as to be thy ſiſter. O my God, 15 G2r 15 God, I have good cauſe to love, to praiſe, and to ſerve thee unfeignedlie, and not to feare, nor deſire anie thing ſave thee onlie. Keepe me well then I humblie praie thee, for I will aſke none other brother nor friend to helpe me. If anie father have had anie pitie upon his children; if anie mother have taken anie care for hir ſonne; if anie brother have hid the ſinne of his ſiſter, it is thou.
The fourth Chapter, Of the entier affection and love of God towards the ſinfull ſoule of man.
Inever ſawe, or elſe it was kept wondrous ſecret, that ever anie huſband would thoroughlie forgive his wife, after ſhe had him once offended, and did returne unto him.
There have been manie of them, which for to avenge their wrongs, have cauſed the Judges to put them to death. Other, beholding their ſinnes, did not ſpare their owne hands to kill them. Other alſo, ſeeing their faults to appeare, did ſend them home again to their owne friends. And ſome, perceiving their evill diſpoſitions, have ſhut them up in priſon. Now brieflie to conclude upon their divers complexions, the end of their pretence is puniſhment, and the leaſt harme that ever I could perceive in puniſhing them, is this, that they would never ſee them againe. But I do wiſh, that all of this mind ſhould rather helpe to turne them, than to forſake them. And therfore my God, I can find no man comparable unto thee: for of love thou art the perfect example. Now therefore I confeſſe with lowlie hart, that I have broken to thee mine oth & promiſe.
Alas, thou hadeſt choſen me for thy wife, and didſt ſet me up in great ſtate and honour. For what greater honour may one have, than to be in the place of thy G.ij. wife, 16 G2v 16 wife, which ſweetelie taketh hir reſt ſo neere to thee, and not onlie in ſuretie of ſoule and bodie, but alſo of all thy goodes, Queene, Miſtreſſe, and Ladie? O what great favour is it, that I ſo vile a creature, am ſo ennobliſhed by thee to ſo honourable an huſband! Now to ſpeake it brieflie, I have more by poſſeſſing of thee, than anie man mortall can deſire. Yet, when I remember mine unwoorthie deſerving, my hart doth ſob and ſigh, mine eies let fall abundance of teares, my mouth can not make too manie exclamations. For there is neither new nor ancient writings, that can ſhew ſo pitifull a caſe as the ſame is which I tell now. Shall, or dare I tell it? May I pronounce it without ſhame? Yea, for it is my confuſion, not to ſhew the great love of my huſband: and for his worſhip to declare my fault.
O my ſaviour, which waſt crucified on the croſſe for my ſinnes, this deede of thine is not ſuch, as a father to leave his ſonne, or as a child to offend his mother, or as a ſiſter to chide and grudge. But alas, my fault is ſuch, and far greater. For the more familiaritie I have with thee, and the more benefits I receive of thee, the greater is mine offence, when I with thee diſſemble; ſpeciallie that I ſhould ſo doo, which am called thy ſpouſe, and loved of thee as thy ſoule. Shall I now tell the truth? O my ſpouſe, I have left thee, forgotten thee, and am run awaie from thee; I did leave thee, for to go at my vaine pleaſure: I forſooke thee, and choſe me another: yea I refuſed thee the welſpring of all goodneſſe, and faithfull promiſe. I did leave thee. But whither went I? Into a place where nothing was but curſedneſſe.
I have left thee my truſtie friend and lover, worthie to be beloved above all others: I have put thee aſide, O welſpring of all healthſomnes, by mine owne wretched will: yea I have forſaken thee, full of beautie, goodneſſe, 17 G3r 17 goodneſſe, wiſedome, and power, and ſought to withdrawe me from thy love. I have accepted thy great enimies, that is, the divell, the world, and the fleſh, againſt whome for my ſake thou foughtedſt ſo ſore on the croſſe, to ſet me at libertie, which was by them of long time a priſoner and ſlave, and ſo bound, that no man could cauſe me to humble my ſelfe. And as for the love and charitie that I ſhould have had towards thee, they did quench it; ſo that the name of Jeſus my deare huſband, which before I had found ſo ſweet, was to me tedious and hatefull, ſo that oftentimes I did jeſt at it: and when I have heard the Goſpell preached or taught, the word which I have hard, hath not tarried with me, but as a feather doth in the winde.
I went never yet to heare thy word preached, but for a faſhion onlie, which was a worke of hypocriſie: I was alſo annoied, when I hard ſpeake of thee, becauſe I was more willing to go at my pleaſure. Now brieflie to conclude, all that thou didſt forbid me, I fulfilled: and all that thou commandedſt me to do, I did eſchue, and this was the cauſe why I loved not thee. But yet Lord, for all that I did thus hate thee, and forſake thee, ran awaie from thee, and betraied thee, ſhould I give place to anie other? Haſt thou ſuffered, that I ſhould be mocked, either yet beaten, or killed? Haſt thou put me in darke priſon, or baniſhed me for ever, ſetting naught by me? Haſt thou taken awaie thy gifts and pretious jewels againe from me, to puniſh me for my unfaithfull fruits? Have I loſt my jointure, which thou promiſedſt me, through mine owne offence done againſt thee? Am I accuſed by thee, afore the eternall father, for a naughtie woman? Haſt thou forbidden me thy preſence, as I have deſerved, and that I ſhould never appeare in thine houſe?
O moſt true huſband, pure and perfect friend, the moſt loving among all lovers! Alas, thou haſt done otherwiſeG.iij. therwiſe 18 G3v 18 therwiſe for me. For thou haſt diligentlie ſought for me, when I was going into the moſt deepe place of Hell, where all evils are done. When I was farther from thee, both in hart and mind, and directlie out of the waie, then didſt thou lovinglie call me backe, ſaiend, My deare daughter, hearken and ſee, and bow thine eare toward me: forget that ſtrange nation, with whome thou haſt run aſtraie, and alſo the houſe of thine owne father, where thou haſt dwelt ſo long, and then ſhall the King of all faithfulneſſe deſire thy beautie. But when thou Lord ſaweſt, that thy ſweete and gratious calling did not profit me, then beganneſt thou to crie to me with a lowd voice, ſaieng: Come unto me all you which are wearilie loden with labour, for I am he that ſhall plentiouſlie refreſh you, and feed you with the bread of life.
Alas, ſweet Lord, unto all theſe ſweet words would I not hearken, but rather doubted whether it were thou, that ſo ſpake unto me, or elſe a fabulous writing that ſo ſaid. I was ſo fooliſh, that without love I read thy word: I conſidered not the compariſon of the Vineyard, which brought foorth thornes and briers in ſtead of good fruit, and that it ſignified me, that ſo had done. I knew alſo, that when thou didſt call the barren wife, ſaieng, Returne Shulamite, that thou didſt ſpeake it, that I ſhould forſake my ſinnes. Yet for all theſe words did I, as though I had underſtood never a whit. But when I had peruſed the Prophet Jeremie, I confeſſe that I had in the reading thereof, feare in my hart, and baſhfulneſſe in my face. I will tell it, yea with teares in mine eies, and all Lord for thine honor, & to ſuppreſſe my pride. Thou haſt ſaid by that holie Prophet: If a woman have offended hir huſband, and is ſo left of him, for going aſtraie with other: if he thereupon refuſeth hir, is ſhe not to be eſteemed polluted, and of no value?The 19 G4r 19
The lawe doth conſent to put hir in the hands of juſtice, or to drive hir awaie, and ſo never to take hir againe. Thou haſt made a ſeparation betweene thy bed and mine, ſaith he unto me, and placed forren lovers in my roome, committing with them fornication: yet for all this, thou maiſt returne to me againe, for I will not alwaies be angrie againſt thee. Lift up therfore thine eies, and looke about thee on everie ſide, and then ſhalt thou well ſee, into what place thy ſinne hath lead thee, and how filthilie thou lieſt in the earth. O poore ſoule, looke where thy ſinne hath put thee, even upon the high waies, where thou didſt waite, and tarie to beguile them that came by, even as a theefe doth, which is hidden in the wilderneſſe. Therefore thou, in fulfilling thy wicked pleaſure, haſt with fornication infected all the earth, which was about thee: thine eies, thy forehead, and thy face, have loſt all their good maner, for they were ſuch as an harlot hath, and yet thou hadeſt no ſhame of thy ſinne.
And the ſurplus that Jeremie ſaith, conſtreineth me to knowe my wretched life, and to wiſh with ſorowfull ſighes, the houre, the moneth, the daie, the yeare, and time that my life might have an end, yeelding my ſelfe condemned, and worthie to lie for ever in the everlaſting fire. The ſame feare which proceedeth of thee, and not of my ſelfe, putteth me rather in hope, than in deſpaire, as often as I do remember my ſinne. For as ſoone as thou knoweſt my will, bowing under thine obedience, then putting in me a livelie faith, thou didſt uſe great clemencie, ſo that after I knewe thee to be that ſame Lord, Maiſter, and King, whome I ought to have feared, then found I my feare not quenched, but mixed with love, beleeving that thou art ſo gratious, gentle, and ſweete, and ſo pitifull an huſband, that I which ſhould rather have hid me, than to have ſhewed my ſelfe, was not then in feare to G.iiij. go 20 G4v 20 go foorth, and to looke for thee, & ſo ſeeking, I found thee.
But what didſt thou then? Didſt thou refuſe me? No Lord, but rather haſt excuſed me. Haſt thou turned thy face from me? No, for thine eie ſo ſweetlie penetrated my hart, that wounding it almoſt to the death, it did give to me remorſe of my ſinnes. Thou haſt not put me backe with thy hand: but with both thine armes, and with a ſweet and manlie hart, thou didſt meete with me by the waie, and not once reproving my faults, embracedſt me. I could not ſee in beholding thy countenance, that ever thou didſt once perceive mine offences: wherefore thou haſt done ſo much for me, as though I had never broken promiſe with thee. For thou didſt hide my fault from everie bodie, in giving me againe the part of thy bed, and alſo in ſhewing, that the multitude of my ſinnes are ſo hidden and overcome by thy great victorie, that thou wilt never remember them more: ſo that now thou ſeeſt nothing in me, but the graces, gifts, and vertues, which it hath pleaſed thy free goodneſſe to give me.
O charitie moſt pretious! I do ſee well, that thy goodneſſe doth conſume my lewdneſſe, and maketh me a new, godlie, and joifull creature. The evill that was mine, thou haſt deſtroied, and made me ſo perfect a creature, that all the good a huſband can do to his wife, thou haſt done it to me, in giving me a faithfull hope in thy promiſes. Now have I through thy good grace, recovered the place of thy wife. O happie, and deſired place! O gratious bed! O thou right honourable ſeate of peace, reſt from all warre, high ſleepe of honour, ſeparate from the earth! Doeſt thou receive this unworthie creature, giving hir the ſcepter and crowne of thine Empire and glorious Realme? Who did ever heare of ſuch a ſtorie, as to raiſe up one ſo high, which of hir ſelfe was nothing; and maketh of great valure, which of it ſelfe was naught?
The fift Chapter, Of the union of death and life in the faithfull ſoule by Chriſt.
Alas, what is this? For caſting mine eies on high, I ſee thy goodnes, thine unknowne grace, and thy love ſo incomprehenſible, that my ſight is woonderfull in beholding thee: but looking downeward, I might ſee what I am, and what I was willing to be. Alas, I do ſee in it the lewdeneſſe, darkeneſſe, and extreme deepenes of mine evils. My death, which by humblenes cloſeth mine eie: the admirable goodneſſe of thee, and the unſpeakable evill, which is in me: thy right highnes, & pure majeſtie, my right fragill and mortall nature: thy gifts, goods & beatitude, my malice & great unkindnes.
O how good art thou unto me! and how unkind have I bene unto thee? this that thou wilt, and this that I purſue? Which things conſidered, cauſeth me to marvell, how it pleaſeth thee to joine thy ſelfe to me, ſeeing there is no compariſon betweene us both. Thou art my God, and I am thy worke: thou my creator, and I thy creature. Now to ſpeake brieflie, though I cannot define, what it is to be of thee; yet know I my ſelfe to be the leaſt thing that may be compared unto thee. O moſt happie love! Thou madeſt this agreement, when thou didſt joine life & death together, but the union hath made alive death; life dieng, and lufe without end, have made our death a life. Death hath given unto life a quickening, that through death I being dead, may receive life; and by death, I am raviſhed with him which is alive. I live in him, otherwiſe of my ſelf I am dead. And as concerning bodelie death, to me it is nothing, but a comming out of priſon: death is to me life, for through death, I am alive. And as this mortall life filleth me full of care and ſorowe, ſo death yeeldeth me content.O 22 G5v 22
O what a godlie thing is it to die, that the ſoule may live! For in delivering hir from this mortall death, ſhe is delivered from the death miſerable, and matched with hir moſt mightie lover. Is not then the ſoule blameleſſe, which faine would dy to have life? Yes trulie, and ought to call death hir welbeloved friend. O ſweet death, pleaſant ſorowe, mightie king, delivering from all wickednes! O Lord, thoſe which truſt in thee, and in thy death, are mortified by the hope they have in thy paſſion.
Thus with a ſweet ſleepe doſt thou put them out of that death, which cauſeth manie to lament. O how happie is the ſame ſleepe unto him, which when he awaketh, doth find through thy death, life everlaſting! For death is none other thing to a Chriſtian man, but Mors quid? a libertie or deliverance from his mortall band: and the death which is fearefull to the wicked, is pleaſant and acceptable to them that are good, bicauſe that death through death is deſtroied.
Therefore my God, if I were rightlie taught, I ſhould call death life, the end of labour, and beginning of everlaſting joie. For I knowe that long life doth let me from the ſight of thee. O death come and doe thine office on me, that I may ſee my ſpouſe: or elſe ſweet love, tranſforme me in thee, and then ſhall I the better tarie the comming of death! O ſweet Lord, let me die, that I may live with thee! For there is none other that can deliver me, but thou onelie. O my Saviour, through faith I am planted and joined with thee. O what union is this, ſith that through faith I am aſſured to thee, and may call thee father, brother, ſonne, and huſband!
O my father! what paternitie? O my brother! what fraternitie? O my child! what delectation? O my ſpouſe! what conjunction is this? A father full of humilitie, a brother having our ſimilitude, a ſonne engendredgendred 23 G6r 23 gendred through faith and love, a huſband loving and releeving in all extremitie. But whom doſt thou love? Alas, it is ſhe whom thou haſt withdrawne from the ſnare, wherin through malice ſhe was bound, and haſt put hir in place, name and office of a daughter, ſiſter, mother, and wife. O my Saviour, it is a great favour of ſweetneſſe, right pleaſant, and delectable; when a ſoule after the hearing of thy word, ſhall cal thee without feare, his father, his brother, child and ſpouſe: ſuch a ſoule doubtleſſe may continuallie burne in love.
Is there anie love, unleſſe it be this maner of love, but it hath ſome evill condition? Is there anie pleaſure to be hereto compared? Is there anie honour to this, but may be accounted ſhame? Yea, is there anie profit equall to this? Moreover to conclude, is there anything, that I could more earneſtlie love? Alas no. For he that unfeinedlie loveth God, reputeth all theſe things worldlie, of leſſe value than the dunghill. Pleaſure, profit, and honour of this world, are all but vanitie and trifles unto him which hath found God. Such love is ſo profitable, honourable, & abundant in grace, that I dare ſaie, ſhe onlie ſufficeth the hart of a godlie ſoule, and yeeldeth hir ſo conſtant, that ſhe never deſireth, or would have other. For whoſoever hath God, as he ought to be had, accounteth all other things ſuperfluous or vaine.
Now thanked be my Lord, and my father; through faith I have gotten the ſame love: wherfore I ought to be ſatiſfied and content, Now have I thee my father, for defence of my wanton fooliſhnes, and my long youth. Now have I thee my brother, for to ſuccour my ſorowes, wherein I find no end. Now have I thee my ſonne, for my feeble age, as an onlie ſtaie. Now have I thee a true and faithfull huſband, for the ſatiſfieng of my whole hart. And now, ſith I have thee, I will, and doo forſake all them that are in the world, holding thee faſt, 24 G6v 24 faſt, that thou maieſt no more eſcape me. Seeing now that I have poſſeſſed thee, I will look upon none other thing, that might keepe me backe, from the beholding of thy divinitie. Seeing that I doo heare thee, I will heare nothing that letteth me from the fruition of thy voice. Seeing that I may freelie talke with thee, I will common with none other. Seeing it pleaſeth thee to put me ſo neere thee, I will rather die, than to touch anie other: and ſeeing I ſerve thee, I will ſerve none other. Seeing that thou haſt joined thy hart with mine, if it depart from thee, let it be puniſhed for ever. For the departing from thy love is harder than any damnation. I doo not feare the paine of ten thouſand hels, as I doo feare the once looſing of thee.
Alas my God, my Father, and Creator, doo not thou ſuffer that the enimie, inventer of all ſinne, have anie power to make mee to looſe thy preſence. For whoſoever ſhall feele the loſſe of thy love, ſhall ſaie, he would rather be bound for ever in hell, than to feele the paine thereof one moment of time. O my Saviour, doo thou not permit, that ever I depart from thee againe; but that it may pleaſe thee, to put me in ſuch a place, that my ſoule, through wantonneſſe of ſinne, be never ſeparated from thy love.
The ſixt Chapter, Of the longing of the ſoule, by death to feede with Chriſt.
In this world I can not perfectlie have this my deſire; which thing maketh mee ferventlie to deſire the departing from this bodie of ſinne, not fearing death, nor anie of hir inſtruments. For what feare ought I to have of my God, which through love offered himſelfe, and ſuffered death, not of debt, or dutie; but 25 G7r 25 but onlie bicauſe he would, for my ſake, under the power of mortall death? Now is Jeſus dead, in whom we are all dead, and through his death we all ſhall live: I meane thoſe, which through faith are partakers of his paſſion. For even as the death, before the great myſterie of the croſſe, was hard to everie man, & there was no man but was feared therewith, conſidering the copulation of the bodie, and the ſoule, their order, love, and agreement; ſo were their ſorowes extreme, in departing of the one from the other.
But ſince it hath pleaſed the ſweet Lambe to offer himſelfe upon the croſſe, his great love hath kindled a fire within the hart, ſo vehement, that everie true beleever eſteemeth the paſſage of death but a plaie, or paſtime, and ſo provoketh other conſtantlie to die. And even as the feare of death doth retrograde us: ſo ought love to give us a deſire to die. For if true love be unfainedlie within the hart of man, he can feele non other thing; bicauſe love is ſo ſtrong of it ſelfe, that ſhe keepeth all the room, and putteth out all other deſires, ſuffering nothing there but God onlie. For whereſoever true and perfect love is, there is remembred neiillegible feare, nor ſorowe: yet our owne pride to attaine honour, cauſeth us to ſeeke death by manie ſtrange waies. As if a man, to have his fooliſh pleaſure, putteth himſelfe in jeopardie of life: if a merchant, to obtaine riches, doth danger himſelfe ſomtime for a ſmall value: if the theefe, conceiving of roberie, or murther, crueltie, or deceit, doth ſo blind a man, that he doubteth nothing the danger of death, neither yet miſfortune, when he ſeeketh to advenge himſelfe, or doth any other evill: if the furie of ſickneſſe, or the rankeneſſe of melancholie, cauſeth a man fiercelie to wiſh for death, or oftentimes to drowne, hang, or kill themſelves. Such evils are ſometimes ſo great, that they cauſe their pained patient to chooſe death for libertie. If it ſo 26 G7v 26 ſo be then, that theſe paines full of evils and imperfections, cauſe them not to feare the hazard of death, but rather to thinke that death tarieth too long: alas, what ought true & laudable love to doo? What ought the love of the eternall creature to wiſh? Should ſhe ſtir a hart in ſuch wiſe, that ſhe being maiſtered with ſuch affections, ſhould feele none other thing in hir? Alas yea. For death is a pleaſant thing to the ſoule, which is in love with God, and eſteemeth the paſſage eaſie, thorough the which ſhe commeth out of priſon. For the hard waie, where through ſhe commeth, can be no let for hir to embrace hir huſband. O my Saviour, how good and pleaſant is the ſame death, through whom I ſhall have the end of all ſorowes: & by whom I ſhall enjoie thy ſight without impediment, and be tranſformed into the likeneſſe of thy majeſtie!
O death, through thy force I truſt to have ſuch honour, as upon my knees with crieng and weeping I dailie doo deſire. Therefore come quicklie, and make an end of my ſorowes. O happie daughters, right holie ſoules, joined to the citie Jeruſalem, open your eies, and with pitie looke upon my deſolation! I beſeech you, that for me, and in my name, ye doo ſhew unto my deere and beſt beloved, my God, my friend, & my King, how that everie houre of the daie I doo languiſh for his preſence. O ſweet death, come unto me, and lovinglie bring me unto my Lord God. O death, where is now thy ſting and dart? Alas, are they vaniſhed from mine eies? Is not rigour changed into ſweetneſſe, ſeeing that for my ſake, my friend did ſuffer upon the croſſe, whoſe death doth ſo encourage me, that death I wiſh to followe him?
The ſeventh Chapter, Of the truſt the ſoule hath in the merits of hir Redeemer, againſt the dread of hell and deſperation.
Sith then that death is ſo pleaſant to me, that it pleaſeth me more than it feareth me; then ought I to feare nothing, but onlie the right judgement of God. My ſinnes with his juſt ballance ſhall be weied, and all that I have done, openlie ſhall be ſhewed: my thoughts and words ſhall be better knowne, than they were written in a roll. Wherefore I may not thinke, that charitie would offend juſtice and truth. For certaine it is, whoſoever liveth unfaithfullie, ſhall be puniſhed in everlaſting paine. For God is juſt, and his judgement righteous, and all that he doth is perfect in all things. What am I then, conſidering mine owne righteouſneſſe? A wretch and poore creature.
I knowe that all the works of juſt men, are ſo full the workes of the just men, ar full of im perfection, oillegible than ar impertaillegible of imperfection, that afore God, they are more filthie than mire, or other vileneſſe. What will it be then concerning the ſins which I have committed, whereof I feele the burden importable? I can nothing elſe ſaie, but that I have woon by them damnation. Is this the end? Shall deſpaire then be the comfort of my great ignorance? Alas my God, no? For the inviſible faith cauſeth me to beleeve, that all things, which Faith doth cōonvert er ſynnes into good. are impoſſible to man, are poſſible unto thee; ſo that thou doo convert my worke, which is nothing, into ſome good worke of thine in me, which is ſpeciallie faith. Then my Lord, who ſhall condemne me? Or what Judge will damne me? Sith that thou, which If chriſt acquit who can cōondemdamaged art my Judge, art alſo my father, my ſpouſe, and my refuge. Alas, what father? Such as doth never condemne his child: but alwaies doth excuſe and defend him. 28 G8v 28 him.
Then I perceive to have none other excuſer, but Jeſus Chriſt, which is my ſpouſe, and my redeemer, whoſe death hath reſtored me my loſt inheritance. For he made himſelfe my man of lawe, ſhewing his ſo worthie merits afore his father, wherewith my great debt is ſo aboundantlie recompenſed, that in judgement it is nothing. O redeemer, here is a great love: I find but few ſuch men of lawe. O ſweete Jeſus, it is to thee that I am a debtor, yet doeſt thou both praie and ſpeake for me. And moreover, when thou doeſt ſee that I am poore, with the aboundance of thy goods thou doeſt paie my debts. O imcomprehenſible ſea of all goodneſſe! O my deare father, doeſt thou vouchſafe to be my Judge, not willing the death of a ſinner? O Jeſus Chriſt crucifier and ſaviour of the ſoule, friend above all friends: thou being my man of law, didſt excuſe and ſpeake for me, where thou couldſt juſtlie have accuſed mee.
I feare no more therefore the crueltie of mine enimie, for the lawe by thee is ſatiſfied for all: the paiment is ſo made by my ſweete ſpouſe, that the lawe can aſke nothing of me, but it is paid by him. For as I beleeve, that he hath taken all my ſinnes upon him, and hath given me in place of them his owne goodes in aboundance: ſo, O my Saviour, thou preſenting thy vertues, doeſt content the lawe. And when ſhe will rethe law cōondemming us of ſynne is ſatiſfied through chriſt proch me of my ſinnes, thou doeſt ſhew hir how willinglie, in thine owne fleſh, thou haſt taken the diſcharge of them, through the conjunction of our mariage. Alſo upon the Croſſe, through thy paſſion, thou haſt made ſatiſfaction for it. Morover, thine onlie charitie hath given me this, that thou haſt for me deſerved. Therefore, ſeeing thy merite to be mine, the lawe can aſke nothing of me. Now then will I feare no more the judgement, but with deſire, more than with perforce, 29 H1r 29 perforce, I will tarrie the time that I ſhall ſee my Judge, and heare a juſt judgement of him.
I knowe that thy judgement is juſt, and that there is no fault therein, though mine infidelitie is woorthie to ſuffer the cruelneſſe of hell. For if I do onlie conſider my deſerving, yet I can ſee nothing in it that can keepe me from the fire of hell. For true it is, that the hell prepared for the divell & his children. torment of hell was prepared for the Divell and his children. So if anie man have ſet his minde, to be like to the Divell, by ſenſuall appetite, then ought he, as the Divell, to be paid with a like reward. But if a man through contemplation of the ſoule, do hold of thee, his heven purchaſeddamaged christ for the elect Angell of counſell, vertue, and perfection, he is ſure to obtaine heaven, which is a place of thy deſerving for him: then ſhall the wicked be puniſhed, with the ſame puniſhment, which they ought to have, to whom they have joined themſelves. For ſith they folowed Satan, they muſt enjoie ſuch place as is for him, and his Angels prepared.
Now I, conſidering the diverſitie of both the ſorts, am little comforted in ſpirit by this. For I cannot denie, but that I am more like the Divell, than the Angell of light: wherefore I feare and tremble. For as the Angell is pure and perfect, ſo am I unpure and unperfect, and am nothing like unto him. But thus I confeſſe, that to the other I am ſo like in my dooings, and ſo accuſtomed in his waies, that of his paine and torment I ought to be partaker. For the cruell ſinne which hath bound me in hell, is ſo great, and his force ſo ſtrong, that it letteth nothing to come from it, neither feareth it the contrarie aſſault. But he, whoſe force lieth in this kind of ſtrength, knoweth not how his ſtrength goeth awaie, when a ſtronger than he commeth in place.
I could never yet ſee, that anie man by merite, or paines taking, could ever yet vanquiſh that hell, ſave H.j. onlie christ 30 H1v 30 onlie he, which did the great aſſault through his unſpeakable charitie, when he humbled himſelfe to the croſſe, whereby he hath vanquiſhed and overcome his enimie, and robbed hell of his power: ſo that now, it hath no more force and ſtrength to keepe that ſoule, which putteth hir truſt in God. Then beleeving in the great ſtrength that my ſaviour hath, I do not ſet by hell and ſinne. For ſinne can have no hold of me, unles it be to ſhew how my God is mercifull, ſtrong, mightie, and a puiſſant vanquiſher of all the evils within my hart. If by ſinnes forgiveneſſe, is the glorie of my moſt loving ſaviour: then ought I alſo to beleeve, that my glorie is increaſed by his love, and that I am planted and graffed in him.
His honour onlie doth honour all his, and his riches doo repleniſh everie one with his goods. Then death, hell, and ſinne are overcome by him. O gluttonous hell! where is thy defence? Thou cruell villaine ſinne, where is thy tyrannous power? O Death! where is Death in steade of death gyveth life, & ſynne though it worke to condemne us, reacheth flawed-reproduction ladder wherby we clime to heven. thy ſting, and victorie, which are ſo much ſpoken of? In ſtead of death, thou death giveſt me life, and ſo doeſt thou contrarie to thy will. Alſo, thou ſinne coveteſt to drawe each creature to damnation. Thou giveſt me a ladder, to reach thereby that godlie Citie Jeruſalem: yet wouldſt thou of thy curſed nature, that mine eternall maker ſhould looſe his creature: but through his love and grace, the ſorie remembrance of thine uncomlineſſe, doth cauſe hir by repentance againe to come, and ſubmit hir ſelfe unto God, whoſe ineſtimable goodneſſe cauſeth thee to looſe thy whole labour, which thou takeſt in hand. For the number that thou pretendeſt to have, thou ſhalt not have, becauſe that the comforſhaddow of christes paſsion is a mightie protection to the ſowle table ſhadowe of Chriſt his paſſion, is ſuch a mightie protection to the ſoule, that he needeth neither to doubt death, ſinne, nor hell. Is there anie thing then, that can pull me backe, if God be willing, through the gift 31 H2r 31 gift of faith to drawe me to him? I meane ſuch a faith, as we muſt needes have, to obtaine the high graces from above: and alſo ſuch a faith, as through charitie doth joine the humble ſervant to his maker. Now I being joined unto him, ought to have no feare of travell, paine, nor ſorowe. For whoſoever doth willinglie ſuffer anie maner of death, paine, or ſorowe, for the truth, as Chriſt did, he ſhall feele in ſuch torment, great comfort & conſolation for his ſoule: knowing all this, I my ſelf am weake, yet with God I am right ſtrong.
Through his comfort I may do all things, and his love is ſo conſtant, and permanent, that it varieth not for anie worldlie thing. Who can then withdrawe me from his grace? Surelie the great height of heaven, the depth of hell, the breadth of the whole earth, neither death, nor ſinne, which dailie doth warre againſt me, can ſeparate me one minute from the great love and charitie, that my heavenlie father, through Jeſus Chriſt, hath unto me. His goodneſſe is ſuch, that he loveth me, which hath not all times loved him; and if I now love him, then ſhall I feele his love increaſe in me. But becauſe my love is not a worthie love to him, I deſire his love to be mine, which I feele ſuch as it were mine owne: his deſire is to love, and his love inflameth my hart with a heavenlie love.
And through ſuch love, he findeth himſelfe, that his owne deede yeeldeth him well content, and not my love or ſtrength: thus contenting himſelfe, his love doth more increaſe in me, than I can of him deſire.
The eight Chapter, Of the incomprehenſible love of Chriſt to the ſinfull ſoule: and benefits that come of a true faith.
Otrue lover, the fountaine or welſpring of all charitie, and onlie purſe of the heavenlie treaſure! Ought I to thinke, or dare I ſaie what H.ij. thou 32 H2v 32 thou art? May I write, or can anie mortall man comprehend thy goodneſſe, or love? And if thou print in mans hart, can he expreſſe it? No ſurelie. For the capacitie of man cannot comprehend the unmeaſurable goodneſſes which are in thee. For naturall reaſon doth ſhew us, how there is no compariſon betweene an eternall and a mortall thing: but when through love the mortall is joined with the eternall, the mortall thing is ſo filled with the eternall, that it cannot find the end therof: for it hath more good thereby, than it can conteine or hold. Therfore doth man thinke, which hath one ſparke of the love of God, that he hath all the world therewith: even as we ſee the Sunne, with one onlie ſparke of his light, doth blinde the eie, and yet doth he withhold from it his great light. If then you ſhould aſke the eie, what it hath ſeene, he would ſaie, that it hath beholden the whole brightnes of the ſame. Nevertheleſſe, he is ſo content, that it ſeemeth unto him as though he had ſo much light as the Sunne conteineth, which if he had more than the ſaid ſparke, he were not able to ſuffer it. Even ſo the ſoule, which through faith doth feele one ſparke of the love of God, doth finde therewith the heate ſo great and marvellous, ſo ſweet and delicious, that it is impoſſible to hir to declare what thing the ſame love is. For the little thereof, that ſhe hath felt, doth yeeld hir mind ſatiſfied, and yet deſiring more, whereof ſhe hath ynough: thus doth the live, languiſhing and ſighing in hir ſelfe.
The hart that doth feele that he hath received too much, hath conceived ſuch a deſire in this too much, that he alwaies deſireth to receive the thing which he cannot have, neither is he worthie to receive it. He knoweth not the good that he hath alreadie to be unſpeakable, yet would he have more of that, whereof he cannot ſkill: trulie he cannot feele or thinke the good which is in him. Then lieth it not in my power, to tell what 33 H3r 33 what thing the love of God is, ſith I have no knowledge of the ferventneſſe thereof. He that thinketh to have all this love within his hart, can not truelie declare what thing it is: happie is he therefore which hath ſuch aboundance of this love, that he may ſaie, My God, I have ynough of it.
He which hath this love within him, dare not much boaſt thereof, leaſt in much ſpeaking he do looſe it, unleſſe he do it, to edifie his neighbour to ſalvation. The impoſſibilitie then of the declaration of this love, ſhall make me hold my peace. For there is no ſainct ſo perfect, if he will ſpeake of the love of the high God, of his goodnes, ſweetneſ, graces, and of all things elſe, which pertaine to him, but looking a lowe, ſhall find himſelfe unworthy, and ſo ſtop his mouth. I then, a worme of the earth, leſſe than nothing, ought to ceaſe, and not to ſpeake of the incomparable highneſſe of this love: yet were it too much unkindneſſe to be noted in me, if I had written nothing, having that done unto me, which would ſatiſfie a much better wit than mine is. For hee that would hide the goodneſſe of God, ſo good a maiſter, ſhould commit a ſin worthie to be puniſhed with everlaſting paine.
Therefore come O happie Paule, which haſt taſted ſo much of the ſame ſweet honnie, beeing blind for the ſpace of three daies, and rapt up into the third heaven, and ſatiſfie (I beſeech thee) mine ignorance, and tell me what in ſuch viſion thou haſt ſeene? Harken then what he ſaith. O the unſpeakable highnes of the aboundant riches or treaſure, both of the wiſdome and knowledge of God! How incomprehenſible are his judgements, and how unſearchable are his waies unto our weake wits? O holie Paule, thy words cauſe me much to marvell, that thou having knowledge, and ſo heavenlie ſecrets, wouldeſt ſpeake no further in them. At the leaſt yet tell thou me, what thing I may hope to H.iij. have, 34 H3v 34 have, throgh ſuch godlie love, as grace hath wrought in me; and I will give eare unto thy words: neither hath the eie ſeene, nor yet the eare heard, neither yet hath it ever entred into the hart of man, what God hath prepared for them that love him. O bleſſed Paul, all this yet that thou haſt ſaid, is for none other purpoſe, but to provoke me earneſtlie to love, willing me by thy words to thinke, that thou canſt none otherwiſe declare of it, and ſo give mine hart to patience, and hope of that thing, which never man yet could ſee, or yet deſerve, although manie through love have died.
O excellent gift of faith, whereof ſo much good commeth, that it cauſeth man to poſſeſſe the things which he can not comprehend! For faith, joined with truth, bringeth foorth hope, whereby perfect charitie is engendred: and charitie is God, as witneſſeth the Apoſtle. If we have charitie, then have we alſo God therewith, and then is God in us, and we in him; and all this commeth of the benefit of faith. For he dwelleth in all men, which have true faith. Thus have we a greater treaſure than we can tell of, nor yet anie man expreſſe unto us.
Now to conclude, ſith that ſo great an Apoſtle, as is S. Paule, will ſpeake no further of God, and his ineſtimable love; I will (according to his righteous example and doctrine) hold my peace and be ſtill, following nevertheleſſe his teachings. Notwithſtanding, though herein I acknowledge my ſelfe but earth and duſt, yet may I not faile to yeeld thanks to mine eternall, and living God, for ſuch great graces and benefits, as it hath pleaſed him to give me. Unto that everlaſting king of heaven, immortall, inviſible, incomprehenſible, mightie and wiſe, onlie to him be all honour, praiſe, glorie, magnificence and love, for ever and ever: Amen.
Theſe foure clauſes or texts of Scripture, are added to the worke by the Queenes Majeſtie.
The Christian praiers of our Sovereigne Ladie Queene Elizabeth, which hir grace made in the time of hir trouble, and impriſonment in the Tower, and af hir Coronation.
Helpe me now, O God, for I have none other friends but thee alone. And ſuffer mee not (I beſeech thee) to build my foundation upon the ſands: but upon the rocke, wherebyH.iiij. by 36 H4v 36 by all blaſts of bluſtering weather may have no power againſt mee, Amen.
Another praier made by hir Majeſtie, when ſhe was in great feare and doubt of death, by murther.
Grant, O God, that the wicked may have no power to hurt or beetraie me; neither ſuffer anie ſuch treaſon and wickedneſſe to proceed againſt me. For thou, O God, canſt mollifie all ſuch tyrannous harts, and diſappoint all ſuch cruell purpoſes. And I beſeech thee to heare me thy creature which am thy ſervant, and at thy commandement, truſting by thy grace ever ſo to remaine, Amen.
Another praier and thankeſgiving made by hir grace, as ſhe rode in hir Chariot from the Tower, to be crowned Queene at Weſtminſter.
O Lord almightie, and everlaſting God, I give thee moſt hartie thanks, that thou haſt beene ſo mercifull unto me, as to ſpare mee, to behold this joifull daie. And I acknowledge, that thou haſt dealt as woonderfully with me, as thou didſt with thy true and faithfull ſervant Daniel the Prophet, whom thou deliveredſt out of the den from the crueltie of the greedie raging lions: even ſo was I overwhelmed, and onelie by thee delivered. To thee therfore be onlie thanks, honour and praiſe for ever and ever, Amen.
The reſt of the praiers belonging to hir Majeſtie to use, are to be found in the beginning of the third Lampe.
The Lamentation or Complaint of a ſinner, made by the most vertuous and right gratious Ladie Queene Catherine, bewailing the ignorance of hir blind life, led in ſuperſtition: verie profitable to the amendment of our lives.
The firſt Chapter, Of an humble confeſsion of ſinnes to the glorie of God.
When I conſider, in the bethinking of mine evil and wretched former life, mine obſtinate, ſtonie, and untractable heart, to have ſo much exceeded in evilneſſe, that it hath not onelie neglected, yea contemned, & deſpiſed Gods holie precepts and commandements: but alſo imbraced, received, and eſteemed vaine, fooliſh, and feined trifles, I am partlie by the hate I owe to ſinne, who hath reigned in me, and partlie by the love I owe to all Chriſtians, whom I am content to edifie, even with the example of mine owne ſhame, forced and conſtrained with my hart and words, to confeſſe and declare to the world, how ingrate, negligent, unkind, and ſtubborne I have beene to God my Creator: and how beneficiall, mercifull, and gentle he hath been alwaies to me his creature, being ſuch a miſerable and wretched ſinner.
Trulie I have taken no little ſmall thing upon me, firſt to ſet foorth my whole ſtubborneſſe, and contempt in 38 H5v 38 in words, the which is incomprehenſible in thought (as it is in the 12. Pſalme) Who underſtandeth his faults? Next this, to declare the excellent benefiGods mercies, over all his workes, Pſal. 195. 9. cence, mercie and goodneſſe of God, which is infinite, and unmeaſurable. Neither can all the words of Angels, and men, make relation thereof, as apperteineth to his moſt high goodneſſe. Who is he that is not forced to confeſſe the ſame, if he conſider what he hath received of God, & doth dailie receive? Yea, if men would not acknowledge and confeſſe the ſame, the ſtones illegible would crie it out. Trulie I am conſtrained and forced to ſpeake and write thereof, to mine owne confuſion and ſhame; but to the glorie and praiſe of God. For he, as a loving father, of moſt abundant and high goodillegible hath heaped upon me innumerable benefits: and I contrarie, have heaped manifold ſinnes, deſpiſing that which was good, holie, pleaſant, and acceptable in his ſight; and chooſing that which was delicious, pleaſant, and acceptable in my ſight.
And no marvell it was that I ſo did. For I would not learne to knowe the Lord, and his waies; but loved darkneſſe better than light, yea darkneſſe ſeemed to me light. I embraced ignorance, as perfect knowledge; and knowledge ſeemed to me ſuperfluous and vaine. I regarded little Gods word, but gave my ſelfe to vanities, and ſhadowes of the world. I forſooke him in whom is all truth; and followed the vaine fooliſh imaginations of my hart. I would have covered my ſinnes with the pretence of holineſſe: I called ſuperſtition godlie meaning, and true holineſſe errour. The Lord did ſpeake manie pleaſant and ſweet words unto me, and I would not heare: he called me diverſlie, but through frowardneſſe I would not anſwere.
Mine evils and miſeries be ſo manie, and ſo great, that they can accuſe me even to my face. Oh how miſerablie and wretchedlie am I confounded, when for the 39 H6r 39 the multitude and greatneſſe of my ſinnes I am compelled to accuſe my ſelfe! Was it not a marvellous unkindneſſe, when God did ſpeake to me, and alſo call me, that I would not anſwere him? What man ſo called would not have heard? Or what man hearing, would not have anſwered? If an earthlie Prince had ſpoken, either called, I ſuppoſe there be none but would willinglie have done both. Now therfore, what a wretch and caitife am I, that when the Prince of princes, the King of kings, did ſpeake manie pleaſant and gentle words unto me, and alſo called me ſo manie and ſundrie times, that they can not be numbred: and yet, notwithſtanding theſe great ſignes and tokens of love, I would not come unto him, but hid my ſelfe out of his ſight, ſeeking manie crooked and biwaies, wherin I walked ſo long, that I had cleane loſt his ſight? And no marvell or woonder. For I had a blind guide called Ignorance, who dimmed ſo mine eies, that I could never perfectlie get anie ſight of the faire, goodlie, ſtreight, and right waies of his doctrine: but continuallie travelled uncomfortablie, in foule, wicked, crooked, and perverſe waies. Yea, and bicauſe they were ſo much haunted of manie, I could not thinke, but that I walked in the perfect and right waie, having more regard to the number of the walkers, than to the order of the walking: beleeving alſo moſt aſſuredly, with companie to have walked to heaven, wheras I am moſt ſure they would have brought me down to hell.
I forſooke the ſpirituall honouring of the true living God, and worſhipped viſible idols, and images made of mens hands, beleeving by them to have gotten heaven: yea, to ſaie the truth, I made a great idole of my ſelfe. For I loved my ſelfe better than God. And certainlie, looke how manie things are loved, or preferred in our harts before God, ſo manie are taken and eſteemedmed 40 H6v 40 med for idols, and falſe gods. Alas, how have I violated this holie, pure, and moſt high precept and commandment of the love of God? Which precept bindeth me to love him with my whole hart, mind, force, ſtrength and underſtanding. And I, like unto an evill, wicked, and diſobedient child, have given my will, power, and ſenſes to the contrarie: making almoſt of everie earthlie and carnall thing a god.
Furthermore, the bloud of Chriſt was not reputed ſanguis jeſu chriſt; illegiblepeccato illegibleJohn; 1. 7. by me, ſufficient for to waſh me from the filth of my ſinnes; neither ſuch waies as he had appointed by his word: but I ſought for ſuch riffraffe, as the Biſhop of Rome hath planted in his tyrannie and kingdome, truſting with great confidence, by the vertue and holineſſe of them, to receive full remiſſion of my ſinnes. And ſo I did, as much as was in me, obfuſcate and darken the great benefit of Chriſtes paſſion; than the which no thought can conceive anie thing of more value. There cannot be done ſo great an injurie and illegiblepeccatu diſpleaſure to almightie God our father, as to tread under foote Chriſte, his onlie begotten and welbeloved ſonne. All other ſinnes in the world, gathered together in one, be not ſo heinous, and deteſtable in the ſight of God. And no wonder. For in Chriſt crucified, God doth ſhewe himſelfe moſt noble and glorious, even an almightie God, and moſt loving father, in his onlie deare and choſen bleſſed ſonne.
And therefore I count my ſelfe one of the moſt wicked and miſerable ſinners in the world, bicauſe I have beene ſo much contrarie to Chriſt my ſaviour. Saint Paule deſired to knowe nothing but Chriſt crucified, after he had beene rapt into the third heaven, where he heard ſuch ſecrets as were not convenient & meete to utter to men: but counted all his works and doings as nothing, to win Chriſt. And I, moſt preſumptuouſlie thinking nothing of Chriſt crucified, went about to 41 H7r 41 to ſet foorth mine owne righteouſneſſe, ſaieng with the proud Phariſie: Good Lord I thanke thee, I am not like other men; I am none adulterer, nor fornicator: and ſo foorth, with ſuch like words of vaine glorie, extolling my ſelfe, and deſpiſiong others, working as an hired ſervant for wages, or elſe for reward: and not as a loving child, onlie for verie love, without reſpect of wages or reward, as I ought to have done. Neither did I conſider, how beneficiall a father I had, who did ſhew me his charitie and mercie of his owne meere grace and goodneſſe, that when I was moſt his enimie, he ſent his onlie begotten and welbeloved ſonne into this world of wretchedneſſe and miſerie, to ſuffer moſt cruell and ſharpe death for my redemption. But my hart was ſo ſtonie and hard, that this great benefit was never trulie and livelie printed in my hart, alNota though with my words it was oft rehearſed, thinking my ſelfe to be ſufficientlie inſtructed in the ſame, and being in deede in blinde ignorance: and yet I ſtoode ſo well in mine owne judgement and opinion, that I thought it vaine to ſeeke the increaſe of my knowledge therein.
Paule calleth Chriſt the wiſdome of God; and even the ſame Chriſt was to me fooliſhneſſe. My pride and blindneſſe deceived me, and the hardneſſe of my hart withſtoode the groning of truth within it. Such were the fruits of my carnall and humane reaſons, to have rotten ignorance in price for ripe & ſeaſonable knowledge: ſuch alſo is the malice and wickedneſſe that poſſeſſeth the harts of men: ſuch is the wiſdome and pleaſing of the fleſh. I profeſſed Chriſt in my baptiſme, when I began to live: but I ſwarved from him after baptiſme, in continuance of my living; even as the heathern which never had begun.
Chriſt was innocent and void of all ſinne; and I wallowed in filthie ſinne, and was free from no ſinne. Chriſt 42 H7v 42 compariſon betwixt Chriſt and man Chriſt was obedient unto his father, even to the death of the croſſe; and I diſobedient and moſt ſtubborne, even to the confuſion of truth. Chriſt was meeke and humble in hart, and I moſt proud and vaine glorious, Chriſt deſpiſed the world, with all the vanities therof; and I make it my God, becauſe of the vanities. Chriſt came to ſerve his brethren; and I coveted to rule over them. Chriſt deſpiſed worldlie honour; and I much delighted to attaine the ſame. Chriſt loved the baſe and ſimple things of the world; and I eſteemed the moſt faire and pleaſant things. Chriſt loved povertie; and I wealth. Chriſt was gentle and mercifull to the poore; and I hard-harted and ungentle. Chriſt praied for his enimies; and I hated mine. Chriſt rejoiced in the converſion of ſinners; and I was not greeved to ſee their reverſion to ſinne. By this declaration, all creatures may perceive, how far I was from Chriſt, and without Chriſt; yea how contrarie to Chriſt, although I bare the name of a Chriſtian. Inſomuch that if anie man had ſaid I had beene without Chriſt, I would have ſtiffelie denied and withſtoode the ſame: and yet in deede I neither knew Chriſt, nor wherefore he came.
As concerning the effect and purpoſe of his comming, I had a certaine vaine and blind knowledge, both cold and dead, which may be had with all ſinne: as doth plainlie appeare by this my confeſſion and open declaration.
The ſecond Chapter, A lamentation of a ſinner, with hartie repentance in faith to obtaine abſolution and remiſſion, through Nota the merits of Christ.
What cauſe now have I to lament, ſigh, and weepe for my life & time ſo evill ſpent? With how much humilitie and lowlineſſe ought I to come and knowledge my ſinnes to God, giuing 43 H8r 43 giving him thanks, that it hath pleaſed him of his aboundant goodneſſe, to give me time of repentance. For I knowe my ſinnes in the conſideration of them, to be ſo greevous, and in the number ſo exceeding, that I have deſerved verie often eternall damnation. And for the deferring of Gods wrath, ſo manifoldlie due, I muſt unceſſantlie give thanks to the mercie of God: beſeeching alſo, that the ſame delaie of puniſhment cauſe not his plague to be the ſorer, ſince mine owne conſcience condemneth my former doings. But his gods mercie doth exceede illegible ſynnes Pſal. 145. 9. mercie exceedeth all iniquitie. And if I ſhould not thus hope, alas, what ſhould I ſeeke for refuge and comfort? No mortall man is of power to help me; and for the multitude of my ſinnes, I dare not lift up mine eies to heaven, where the ſeate of judgement is, I have ſo much offended my God. What? Shall I fall in we muſt not deſpaire, but call uppon christ. deſperation? Naie, I will call upon Chriſt the light of the world, the fountaine of life, the reliefe of all carefull conſciences, the peacemaker betweene God and man, and the onlie health and comfort of all true repentant ſinners.
He can by his almightie power ſave me, and deliver god hath power & is wylling to ſave ſynners. me out of this miſerable ſtate, and hath will by his mercie to ſave even the whole ſin of the world. I have no hope nor confidence in anie creature, neither in heaven nor earth; but in Chriſt my whole & onlie Saviour. He came into the world to ſave ſinners, and to heale them that are ſicke. For he ſaid, The whole have god came into this world to ſave ſinners. no neede of the phyſician. Behold Lord, how I come to thee, a ſinner ſicke, and grievouſlie wounded: I aſke not bread; but the crums that fall from the childrens table. Caſt me not out of thy ſight, although I have deſerved to be caſt into hell fire.
If I ſhould looke upon my ſinne, and not upon thy mercie, I ſhould deſpaire. For in my ſelfe I find noIn us ther is nothing but a dongehill of wickednes to condemne us. thing to ſave me, but a dunghill of wickedneſſe to condemnedemne 44 H8v 44 demne me. If I ſhould hope by mine owne ſtrength and power to come out of this maze of iniquitie and wickedneſſe, wherein I have walked ſo long, I ſhould be deceived. For I am ſo ignorant, blind, weake, and feeble; that I can not bring my ſelfe out of this intangled and wayward maze: but the more I ſeeke means & waies to winde my ſelfe out, the more I am wrapped and tangled therein.
So that I perceive my ſtriving therein to be hinderance, my travell to be labour ſpent in going backe. It is the hand of the Lord that can and will bring me out of the endleſſe maze of death. For without I be prevented by the grace of the Lord, I can not aſke forgiveneſſe, nor be repentant or ſorie for them. There is no man can avow, that Chriſt is the onlie Saviour of the world, but by the holie Ghoſt: yea, as S. Paule ſaith, no man can ſaie, The Lord Jeſus, but by the holie Ghoſt. The ſpirit helpeth our infirmitie, and maketh continuall interceſſion for us, with ſuch ſorrowfull gronings as can not be expreſſed.
Therefore I will firſt require and praie the Lord, firſt pray to god to send us his holy ſpirite. to give me his holie ſpirit, to teach me to anow that Chriſt is the Saviour of the world, and to utter theſe words, The Lord Jeſus, and finallie to helpe mine infir mities, and to intercede or intreate for me. For I am moſt certaine and ſure, that no creature in heaven nor earth, is of power, or can by anie meane helpe me: damagedone can helpe, but god only. but God, who is omnipotent, almightie, beneficial, and mercifull, welwilling, and loving to all thoſe that call and put their whole confidence and truſt in him. And therefore I will ſeeke none other meanes nor advocate, but Chriſtes holie ſpirit, who is onlie the advocate and mediatour betweene God and man, to helpe and releeve mee.
The third Chapter, What true faith worketh in the ſoule of a ſinner.
But now, what maketh me ſo bold and hardie to preſume to come to the Lord with ſuch audacitie and boldneſſe, being ſo great a ſinchristes wordeflawed-reproduction illegible doth rage us to come unto christ. ner? Trulie nothing but his owne word. For he ſaith, Come to me all ye that labour, and are burdened, and I ſhall refreſh you. What gentle mercifull, and comfortable words are theſe to all ſinners? Were he not a frantike, madde, beaſtlie, and fooliſh man, that would runne for aide, helpe, or refuge to anie other creature? What a moſt gratious, comfortable, and gentle ſaieng was this, with ſuch pleaſant and ſweete words to allure his verie enimies to come unto him? Is there anie worldlie Prince or Magiſtrate, that would ſhew ſuch clemencie, and mercie, to their diſobedient & rebellious ſubjects, having offended them? I ſuppoſe they would not with ſuch words allure them, except it were to call them, whome they cannot take, and puniſh them being taken. But even as Chriſt is Prince of princes, and Lord of lords: ſo his chariNota. tie and mercie exceedeth and ſurmounteth all others. Chriſt ſaith, If carnall fathers do give good gifts to their children, when they aſke them, how much more ſhall your heavenlie father, being in ſubſtance all holie, and moſt highlie good, give good gifts to all them that aſke him?
It is no ſmall nor little gift that I now require, neither thinke I my ſelfe woorthie to receive ſuch a noble gift, being ſo ingrate, unkind, and wicked a child. But when I behold the benignitie, liberalitie, mercie, and goodneſſe of the Lord, I am encouraged, boldened, and ſtirred to aſke ſuch a noble gift. The Lord is ſo bountifull and liberall, that he will not have us ſatiſfiedI.j. fied 46 I1v 46 fied and contented with one gift; neither to aſke damagedd byndeth hymſelf damaged his word to give liberally to all thos damagedth aſke in faith. ſimple and ſmall gifts: and therefore he promiſeth, and bindeth himſelfe by his word, to give good and beneficiall gifts to all them that aſke him with true faith, without which nothing can be done acceptable or pleaſing to God. For faith is the foundation & ground fayth the foundation of all graces. of all other gifts, vertues, and graces: and therefore I will praie and ſaie: Lord increaſe my faith.
For this is the life everlaſting, Lord, that I muſt beleeve thee to be the true God, and whom thou didſt ſend Jeſus Chriſt. By this faith I am aſſured, and by damaged faith we ar aſsured damagedRemiſsion of our ſynnes. this aſſurance I feele the remiſſion of my ſins. This is it that maketh me bold, this is it that comforteth me; this is it that quencheth all deſpaire.
I knowe O my Lord, thine eies looke upon my faith. S. Paule ſaith, We be juſtified by faith in Chriſt, and damagedwe iustifatj ſine damagedpibus legit. not by the deeds of the lawe. For if righteouſnes flawed-reproduction by the lawe, then Chriſt died in vaine. S. Paule meaneth not here, a dead, humane, and hiſtoricall faith, gotten by humane induſtrie: but a ſupernall, and livelie faith, which worketh by charitie; as he himſelfe plainlie expreſſeth. This dignitie of faith is no derogation to good works. For out of this faith ſpring all damagedot of a lyvely faith damagedring good workes. good works: yet we may not impute to the woorthieneſſe of faith or works, our juſtification before God: but aſcribe and give the woorthineſſe of it, wholie to justification only to be attributed to Christ. the merits of Chriſts paſſion, and refer and attribute the knowledge and perceiving thereof, onlie to faith: whoſe verie, true, and onlie propertie it is, to take, apfaith the hand or in ſtrument wherby damagede take hold of Christ, & of all his damagedencfittes. prehend, and hold faſt the promiſes of Gods mercie, the which maketh us righteous: and to cauſe me continuallie to hope for the ſame mercie, and in love to worke all maner of waies allowed in the Scripture, that I may be thankfull for the ſame.
Thus I feele my ſelfe to come (as it were) in a new garment before God; and now by his mercie, to be takenken 47 I2r 47 ken juſt and righteous, which of late without his merflawed-reproductionwe obtain mercie, & ſo takdamaged for rightuous. cie was ſinfull and wicked: and by faith to obteine his mercie, the which the unfaithfull can not enjoie. And although S. John extolleth charitie in his Epiſtle, ſaieng that God is charitie, and he that dwelleth in charitie, dwelleth in God. Truelie charitie maketh men live like Angels; and of the moſt furious, unbrideled, and carnall men, maketh meeke lambes.
Yea, with how fervent a ſpirit ought I to call, crie, and praie to the Lord, to make his great charitie to burne and flame my hart, being ſtonie and evill affected, that it never would conceive nor regard the great ineſtimable charitie and love of God, in ſending his onlie begotten and deere beloved ſonne into this vale of miſerie, to ſuffer the moſt cruell and ſharpe death of the croſſe for my redemption? Yea I never had this unſpeakeable, and moſt high charitie, and abundant love of God printed and fixed in my hart duelie, till it pleased God, of his meere grace, mercie, and pittie, to open mine eies, making me to ſee and behold with the eie of livelie faith, Chriſt crucified, to be mine onelie Saviour and redeemer. For then I began (and not before) to perceive and ſee mine owne ignorance and blindneſſe: the cauſe thereof was, that I would not learne to knowe Chriſt my Saviour and redeemer.
But when God, of his meere goodneſſe, had thus opened mine eies, and made me ſee and behold Chriſt, the wiſedome of God, the light of the world, with a ſupernaturall ſight of faith; all pleaſures, vanities, honor, riches, wealth, and aids of the world, began to ware bitter unto me. Then I knew it was no illuſion of the divell, nor falſe, ne humane doctrine I had received. When ſuch ſucceſſe came thereof, that I had in deteſtation and horrour that which I erſt ſo much loved and eſteemed: being of God forbidden that we ſhould love the world, or the vaine pleaſures and ſhadowes I.ij. in 48 I2v 48 in the ſame: then began I to perceive that Chriſt was my onlie Savior and redeemer; and the ſame doctrine to be all divine, holie, heavenlie, and infuſed by grace into the harts of the faithfull, which never can be attained by huumane doctrine, wit, nor reaſon, although they ſhould travell and labour for the ſame, to the end of the world. Then began I to dwell in God by charitie, knowing by the loving charitie of God, in the remiſſion of my ſinnes, that God is charitie, as S. John ſaith. So that of my faith (whereby I came to knowe God, and whereby it pleaſed God, even bicauſe I truſted in him, to juſtifie me) ſprang this excellent charitie in my hart.
I thinke no leſſe, but manie will woonder and marvell at this my ſaieng, that I never knewe Chriſt for my Saviour and redeemer, untill this time. For many have this opinion, ſaieng: Who knoweth not there is a Chriſt? Who being a Chriſtian doth not confeſſe him his Saviour? And thus, beleeving their dead, humane, hiſtoricall faith and knowledge (which they have learned in their ſcholaſticall bookes) to be the true infuſed faith and knowledge of Chriſt, which may be had (as I ſaid before) with all ſinne, they uſe to ſaie, by their owne experience of themſelves, that their faith doth not juſtifie them. And true it is, except they have this faith, the which I have declared here before, they ſhall never be juſtified.
And yet it is not falſe, that by faith onlie I am ſure to be juſtified. Even this is the cauſe that ſo manie impugne this office and dutie of true faith, bicauſe ſo manie lacke the true faith. And even as the faithfull are forced to allow this true faith; ſo the unfaithfull can in no wiſe probablie intreate thereof: the one feeling in himſelfe that he ſaith, the other having not in him for to ſaie.
I have certeinlie no curious learning to defend this matter 49 I3r 49 matter withall, but a ſimple zeale, and earneſt love to the truth inſpired of God, who promiſeth to powre his ſpirit upon all fleſh, which I have by the grace of God (whom I moſt humblie honour) felt in my ſelfe to be true.
The fourth Chapter, Of the great love of God towards mankind, and of the inward beholding of Chriſt crucified.
Let us therfore now, I praie you, by faith behold and conſider the great charitie & goodneſſe of God, in ſending his ſonne to ſuffer death for our redemption, when we were his mortall enimies, and after what ſort and maner he ſent him.
Firſt it is to be conſidered, yea to be undoubtedlie, and with a perfect faith beleeved, that God ſent him to Nota hoc firmit eſse credendum. us freelie. For he did give him, and ſold him not. A more noble and rich gift he could not have given. He ſent not a ſervant or a friend, but his onlie ſonne ſo deerelie beloved: not in delights, riches, and honours; but in croſſes, poverties, and ſlanders: not as a Lord, but as a ſervant, yea and in moſt vile and painefull paſſions, to waſh us: not with water, but with his owne pretious bloud: not from mire, but from the puddle and filth of our iniquities. He hath given him, not to make us poore; but to enrich us with his divine vertues, merits, and graces: yea, and in him he hath given us all good things, and finallie himſelfe; and with ſuch great charitie, as can not be expreſſed.
Was it not a moſt high and abundant charitie of God, to ſend Chriſt to ſhed his bloud, to looſe honour, life, and all, for his enimies? Even in the time, when hwe had done him moſt injurie, he firſt ſhewed his charitie to us, with ſuch flames of love, that greater could not be ſhewed. God in Chriſt hath opened unto us, (althoughI.iij. though 50 I3v 50 though we be weake and blind of our ſelves) that we may behold in this miſerable eſtate, the great wiſedome, goodneſſe, and truth, with all the other godlie perfections, which be in Chriſt. Therefore inwardlie damagedbehold christ crucified the godliest damagededifacion. to behold Chriſt crucified upon the croſſe, is the beſt and godlieſt meditation that can be.
We may ſee alſo in Chriſt crucified, the beautie of beautie of the ſoule damagedpereth best, to behold chriſt crucified. the ſoule, better than in all the bookes of the world. For who that with a livelie faith, ſeeth and feeleth in ſpirit, that Chriſt the ſonne of God is dead for the ſatiſfieng and purifieng of the ſoule, ſhall ſee, that his ſoule is appointed for the verie tabernacle and manſion of the ineſtimable and incomprehenſible majeſtie and honour of God. We ſee alſo in Chriſt crucified, how vaine and fooliſh the world is, and how that Chriſt being moſt wiſe deſpiſed the ſame. We ſee alſo how blind it is, becauſe the ſame knoweth not Chriſt, but perſecuteth him. We ſee alſo how unkind the world is, by the killing of Chriſt, in the time he did ſhew it moſt favour. How hard, and obſtinate was it, that would not be mollified with ſo manie teares, ſuch ſweate, and ſo much bloudſhead of the ſonne of God, ſuffering with ſo great and high charitie?
Therefore he is now verie blind, that ſeeth not how vaine, fooliſh, falſe, ingrate, cruell, hard, wicked, and evill the world is. We may alſo in Chriſt crucified weigh our ſinnes, as in a divine ballance, how grevous and how weightie they be, ſeeing they have crucified Chriſt. For they would never have beene counOur ſynne could no damageday be counterpaiſed but by the bloud of Christ terpaiſed, but with the great and pretious weight of the bloud of the ſonne of God. And therefore God, of his high goodneſſe, determined that his bleſſed ſonne ſhould rather ſuffer bloudſhead, than our ſinnes ſhould have condemned us. We ſhall never knowe our owne miſerie and wretchedneſſe, but with the light of Chriſt crucified: Then we ſhall ſee our owne crueltie, when we 51 I4r 51 we feele his mercie; our owne unrighteouſneſſe and iniquitie, when we ſee his righteouſnes and holineſſe. Therefore, to learne to knowe trulie our owne ſinnes, is to ſtudie in the booke of the Crucifixe, by continuall the booke of the crudamaged is to behold illegible crucified. converſation in faith: and to have perfect and plentifull charitie, is to learne firſt by faith the charitie that is in God towards us.
We may ſee alſo in Chriſt upon the Croſſe, how great the paines of hell, and how bleſſed the joies of heaven be: and what a ſharpe and painefull thing it ſhall be to them, that of that ſweet, happie, and glorious joie Chriſt ſhall be deprived. Then this Crucifixe is the booke, wherein God hath included all things, and hath moſt compendiouſlie written therein all truth, profitable and neceſſarie for our ſalvation. Therefore let us endeavour our ſelves to ſtudie this booke, that we being lightened with the ſpirit of God, may give him thanks for ſo great a benefit.
The fift Chapter, Of the glorious victories of Chriſt over all enimies.
If we looke further in this booke, we ſhall ſee Chriſts great victorie upon the croſſe, which was ſo noble and mightie, that there never was, neither ſhall be ſuch. If the victorie and glorie of worldlie Princes were great, becauſe they did overcome great hoſtes of men: how much was Chriſtes greater, which vanquiſhed not onelie the Prince of this world, but all the enimies of God; triumphing over perſecution, inuries, villanies, ſlanders, yea death, the world, ſinne, and the divell; and brought to confuſion all carnall prudence?
The Princes of the world never did fight without the ſtrength of the world: Chriſt contrarilie went to warre, even againſt all the ſtrength of the world. He I.iiij. fought, 52 I4v 52 fought, as David did with Golias, unarmed of all huChrist did fight as David did with the power of the holy ſpirite mane wiſdome and policie, and without all worldlie power and ſtrength. Nevertheleſſe, he was fullie repleniſhed and armed with the whole armour of the ſpirit. And in this one battell, he overcame for ever all his enimies. There was never ſo glorious a ſpoile, neither a more rich and noble, than Chriſt was upon the Croſſe, which delivered all his elect from ſuch a ſharpe and miſerable captivitie. He had in his battell manie ſtripes, yea and loſt his life, but his victorie was ſo much the greater. Therfore, when I looke upon the ſonne of God with a ſupernaturall faith and light, ſo unarmed, naked, given up, and alone with humilitie, patience, liberalitie, modeſtie, gentleneſſe, and with all other his divine vertues beating downe to the ground all Gods enimies, and making the ſoule of man ſo faire and beautifull: I am forced to ſaie, that his victorie and triumph was marvellous. And therefore Chriſt well deſerved to have this noble title: Jesus of Nazareth, King of The Jewes.
But if we will particularlie unfold and ſee his great victories, let us firſt behold how he overcame ſinne, with his innocencie; & confounded pride, with his humilitie; quenched all worldlie love, with his charitie; appeaſed the wrath of his father, with his meekeneſſe; and turned hatred into love, with his ſo manie benefits and godlie zeale.
Chriſt hath not onlie overcome ſinne, but rather he illegibleing ſynne illegiblechrist hath vanquiſhed itt, hath killed the ſame; in aſmuch as he hath ſatiſfied for it himſelfe, with the moſt holie ſacrifice and oblation of his pretious bodie, in ſuffering moſt bitter and cruell death. Alſo, after another ſort, that is, he giveth all thoſe that love him, ſp much ſpirit, grace, vertue, and ſtrength, that they may reſiſt, impugne, and overcome ſinne; and not conſent, neither ſuffer it to reigne in them. He hath alſo vanquiſhed ſinne, becauſe he hath taken 53 I5r 53 taken awaie the force of the ſame; that is, he hath cancelled the lawe, which was in evill men the occaſion of ſinne. Therefore ſinne hath no power againſt them that are with the holie Ghoſt united to Chriſt: in them there is nothing worthie of damnation. And Ro. 5. although the dregs of Adam do remaine, that is, our concupiſcences, which in deede be ſinnes: nevertheleſſe, they be not imputed for ſinnes, if we be trulie planted in Chriſt. It is true, that Chriſt might have taken awaie all our immoderate affections: but hee hath left them for the great glorie of his father, and for his owne greater triumph. As for example. When a Prince fighteth with his enimies, which ſometime had the ſovereigntie over his people, and ſubduing them, may kill them if he will: yet he preſerveth and ſaveth them: and whereas they were Lords over his people, he maketh them after to ſerve, whome they before had ruled. Now in ſuch a caſe, the Prince doth ſhew himſelfe a greater conquerour, in that he hath made them, which were rulers, to obeie: and the ſubjects to be Lords over them, to whome they ſerved, than if he had utterlie deſtroied them upon the conqueſt. For now he leaveth continuall victorie to them whome he redeemed, whereas otherwiſe the occaſion of victorie was taken awaie, where none were left to be the ſubjects. Even ſo in like caſe, Chriſt hath left in us theſe concupiſcences, to the intent they ſhould ſerve us, to the exerciſe of our vertues; where firſt they did reigne over us, to the exerciſe of our ſinne. And it may be plainelie ſeene, that whereas firſt they were ſuch impediments to us, that we could not move our ſelves towards God: now by Chriſt we have ſo much ſtrength, that notwithſtanding the force of them, we may aſſuredlie walke to heaven. And although the children of God ſometime do fall by frailtie into ſome ſinne: yet that falling maketh them to humble themſelves,ſelues, 54 I5v 54 ſelves, and to reknowledge the goodneſſe of God, and to come to him for refuge and helpe.
Likewiſe Chriſt, by his death, hath overcome the damaged Dyvell Prince of divels with all his hoaſt, and hath deſtroied them all. For as Paule ſaith, it is verified, that Chriſt ſhould breake the Serpents head, propheſied by God. And although the divell tempt us, yet if by faith we be planted in Chriſt, we ſhall not periſh, but rather by his temptation take great force and might. So it is evident, that the triumph, victorie, and glorie of Chriſt is the greater, having in ſuch ſort ſubdued the divell; that whereas he was Prince and Lord of the world, holding all creatures in captivitie: now Chriſt uſeth him as an inſtrument to puniſh the wicked, and to exerciſe and make ſtrong the elect of God in Chriſtian warfare.
Chriſt likewiſe hath overcome death in a more glorious manner (if it be poſſible:) becauſe he hath not taken it awaie, but leaving univerſallie all ſubject to the ſame. He hath given ſo much vertue and ſpirit, that whereas afore we paſſed thereto with great illegibleing Death feare, now we be bold through the ſpirit, for the ſure hope of the reſurrection, that we receive it with joie. It is now no more bitter, but ſweete: no more feared, but deſired: it is no death, but life.
And alſo it hath pleaſed God, that the infirmities and adverſities do remaine to the ſight of the world: but the children of God are by Chriſt made ſo ſtrong, righteous, whole, and ſound, that the troubles of the damagedow the children of God ar by christ made stronge world, be comforts of the ſpirit: the paſſions of the fleſh, are medicines of the ſoule. For all maner things worke to their commoditie and profite. For they in ſpirit feele, that God their father doth governe them, damaged ſpirite they feele that god diſpoſeth all thing for their benefitt. and diſpoſeth all things for their benefit: therefore they feele themſelves ſure. In perſecution they are quiet and peacefull, in trouble they are without werrineſſe,rineſſe, 55 I6r 55 rineſſe, feares, anxieties, ſuſpicions, miſeries: and finallie all the good and evill of the world worketh to their commoditie.
Moreover, they ſee that the triumph of Chriſt hath beene ſo great, that not onelie he hath ſubdued and vanquiſhed all our enimies, and the power of them; but he hath overthrowne and vanquiſhed them after ſuch a ſort, that all things ſerve to our helth. He might and could have taken them all awaie, but where then ſhould have beene our victorie, palme, and crowne? For we dailie have fights in the fleſh, and by the ſuccour of grace have continuall victories over ſinne: whereby we have cauſe to glorifie God, that by his ſonne hath weakened our enimie the divell, and by his ſpirit giveth us ſtrength to vanquiſh his offſpring.
So doo we knowledge dailie the great triumph of our Saviour, & rejoice in our owne fights; the which we can no wiſe impute to anie wiſdome of this world; ſeeing ſinne to increaſe by it. And where worldlie wiſedome moſt governeth, there moſt ſinne ruleth. For as the world is enimie to God, ſo alſo the wiſdome therof is adverſe to God: and therefore Chriſt hath declared & diſcovered the ſame for fooliſhneſſe. And although he could have taken awaie all worldlie wiſedome: yet he hath left it for his greater glorie, and triumph of his choſen veſſels. For before, whereas it was our rnuler againſt God: now by Chriſt we are ſerved of it for God, as of a ſlave in worldlie things: albeit in ſupernaturall things the ſame is not to be underſtood. And further, if at anie time men would impugne, and gainſaie us, with the wiſedome of the world: yet we have by Chriſt ſo much ſupernaturall light of the truth, that we make a mocke of all thoſe that repugne the truth.
Chriſt alſo upon the croſſe hath triumphed over the the world world. Firſt, bicauſe he hath diſcovered the ſame to be naught: 56 I6v 56 naught: that whereas it was covered with the vaile of hypocriſie, and the veſture of morall vertues; Chriſt hath ſhewed, that in Gods ſight the righteouſneſſe of the world is wickedneſſe: and he hath yeelded witnes, that The works of men, not regenerated by him in faith, are evill: and ſo Chriſt hath judged and condemned the world for naught. Furthermore, he hath given to all his ſo much light and ſpirit, that they knowe it, and diſpraiſe the ſame: yea and tread it under their feet, with all vaine honours, dignities, & pleaſures, not taking the faire promiſes, neither the offers which it doth preſent: naie, they rather make a ſcorne of them. And as for the threatnings and force of the world, they nothing feare.
Now therefore we may ſee how great the victorie and triumph of Chriſt is, who hath delivered all thoſe the father gave him, from the power of the divell, cancelling upon the croſſe the writing of our debts. For he hath delivered us from the condemnation of ſinne, from the bondage of the lawe, from the feare of death, from the danger of the world, and from all evils in this life, and in the other to come. And he hath inriched us, made us noble, and moſt highlie happie, after ſuch a glorious and triumphant waie, as can not with tongue be expreſſed: and therefore we are forced to ſaie, his triumph is marvellous.
It is alſo ſeene and knowne, that Chriſt is the true Crist the true Meſsias. Meſſias. For he hath delivered man from all evils, and by him man hath all goodneſſe: ſo that he is the true Meſſias. Therefore all other helpers be but vaine, and conterfeited ſaviours, ſeeing that by this our Meſſias Chriſt, wholie and onlie we be delivered from all evils, and by him we have all goodneſſe. And that this is true, it is evident and cleare, bicauſe the verie true Chriſtian, is a Chriſtian by Chriſt. And the true Chriſtian feeleth inwardlie by Chriſt, ſo much good- 57 I7r 57 goodneſſe of God, that even troublous life and death be ſweet unto him, and miſeries happie. The true Chriſtian by Chriſt is diſburdened from the ſervitude of the lawe, having the lawe of grace (graven by the what the true christian doth enjoy by christ ſpirit) inhabiting his hart, and from ſinne that reigned in him, from the power of the infernall ſpirits, from damnation, and from everie evill: and is made a ſonne of God, a brother of Chriſt, heire of heaven, and Lord of the world: ſo that in Chriſt and by Chriſt, he poſſeſſeth all good things.
But let us knowe, that Chriſt yet fighteth in ſpirit christ fighteth in ſpirite, in his elect in his elect veſſels, and ſhall fight even to the daie of judgment: at which day ſhall that great enimie death be wholie deſtroied, and ſhall be no more. Then ſhall the children of God rejoice on him, ſaieng: O death where is thy victorie and ſting? There ſhall be then no more trouble nor ſinne; naie rather, none evill: but heaven for the good, and hell for the wicked. Then ſhall wholie be diſcovered the victorie & triumph of Chriſt, who (after Paule) ſhall preſent unto his father the kingdome, together with his choſen ſaved by him.
It was no little favour towards his children, that Chriſt was choſen of God, to ſave us his elect, ſo highlie by the waie of the croſſe. Paule calleth it a grace, and a moſt ſingular grace. We may well thinke, that he having beene to the world ſo valiant a captaine of God, was full of light, grace, vertue, and ſpirit: therefore he might juſtlie ſaie: Conſummatum eſt. Wee ſeeing then, that the triumph and victorie of our captaine Chriſt, is ſo marvellous, glorious, and noble, to the which war we be appointed: let us force our ſelves to folowe him, with bearing our croſſe, that we may have felowſhip with him in his kingdome.
The ſixt Chapter, That we ought to ſubmit our ſelves to the ſchoole of the Croſſes and ſtill looke and learne in the booke of the Crucifix.
Trulie it may be moſt juſtlie verified, that to behold christ crucified, in ſpirite is the godliest meditation behold Chriſt crucified, in ſpirit, is the beſt meditation that can be. I certeinlie never knew mine owne miſeries and wretchednes ſo well by booke, admonition, or learning; as I have done by looking into the ſpirituall booke of the Crucifix. I lament much I have paſſed ſo manie yeers, not regarding that divine booke: but I judged, & thought my ſelfe to be well inſtructed in the ſame: wheras now I am of this opinion, that if God would ſuffer me to live here a thouſand yeeres, and ſhould ſtudie continuallie in the ſame divine booke, I ſhould not be filled with the contemplation thereof. Neither hold I myſelfe contented, but alwaies have a great deſire, to learne and ſtudie more therein. I never knewe min owne wickednes, neither lamented for my ſinnes trulie, untill the time God inſpired me with his grace, that I looked in this booke: then I began to ſee perfectlie, that mine owne power and ſtrength could not helpe me; and that I was in the Lords hand, even as the claie is in the potters hand; then I began to crie and ſaie:
Alas Lord that ever I have ſo wickedlie offended thee, being to me from the beginning ſo gratious and ſo good a father, and moſt ſpeciallie now haſt declared and ſhewed thy goodneſſe unto me, when in the time I have done thee moſt injurie, to call me, and alſo to make me knowe & take thee for my Savior and redeemer. Such be the wonderfull works of God to call ſinners to repentance, & to make them to take Chriſt his welbeloved ſonne for their Savior: this is the gift of God, & of all Chriſtians to be required and deſired, for except, 59 I8r 59 except this great benefit of Chriſt crucified be felt and fixed ſurelie in mans hart, there can be no good worke done acceptable before God. For in Chriſt is all fulneſſe of the Godhead, and in him are hid all the treaſures of wiſdome and knowledge. Even he is the water of life, whereof whoſoever ſhall drinke, he ſhall never more thirſt; but it ſhall be in him a well of water, ſpringing up into everlaſting life. S. Paule ſaith, Ro. 5. There is no damnation to them that are in Chriſt, which walke not after the fleſh, but after the ſpirit. Moreover he ſaith: If when we were enimies, we were reconciled to God, by the death of his ſon: much more, ſeeing we are reconciled, we ſhall be preſerved by his death. It is no little or ſmall benefit we have received by Chriſt, if we conſider what he hath done for us, as I have perfectlie declared heretofore. Wherefore I praie the Lord, that this great benefit of Chriſt crucified, may be ſtedfaſtlie fixed & printed in all Chriſtian harts, that they may be true lovers of God, and worke as children for love: and not as ſervants, compelled with threatenings, or provoked with hire.
The ſincere and pure lovers of God doo embrace Chriſt, with ſuch fervencie of ſpirit, that they rejoice true lovers of god embrace christ, illegible great fervencie of ſpirite in hope, be bold in danger, ſuffer in adverſitie, continue in praier, bleſſe their perſecutors. Further, they be not wiſe in their owne opinion, neither high minded in their proſperitie, neither abaſhed in their adverſitie: but humble and gentle alwaies to all men. For they knowe by their faith they are members all of one bodie, and that they have poſſeſſed all one God, one faith, one baptiſme, one joie, and one ſalvation. If theſe pure and ſincere lovers of God were thicke ſowne, there ſhould not be ſo much contention and ſtrife growing on the fields of our religion, as there is. Well, I ſhall praie to the Lord to take all contention and ſtrife awaie, and that the ſowers of ſedition may have mind to 60 I8v 60 to ceaſe their labour, or to ſowe it among the ſtones, and to have grace to ſowe gratious vertues, where they may both take roote, and bring foorth fruit, with ſending alſo a godlie unitie and concord amongſt all Chriſtians, that we may ſerve the Lord in true holineſſe of life.
The ſeventh Chapter, A Christian bewailing of the miſerable ignorance and blindneſſe of men.
The example of good living is required of all Chriſtians, but ſpeciallie in the Eccleſiaſticall paſtors and ſhepheards. For they be called in ſcripture, Workemen with God, Diſburſers of Gods ſecrets, The light of the world, The ſalt of the earth: at whoſe hands all other ſhould take comfort in working, knowledge of Gods will, and ſight to become children of light, and taſte of ſeaſonable wiſdome. They have, or ſhould have the holie ſpirit, abundantlie to pronounce and ſet foorth the word of God, in veritie and truth. If ignorance and blindneſſe reigne amongſt us, they ſhould with the truth of Gods word inſtruct and ſet us in the truth, and direct us in the waie of the Lord.
But thanks be given unto the Lord, that hath now ſent us ſuch a godlie and learned King, in theſe latter daies to reigne over us, that with the vertue & force of Gods word, hath taken awaie the vailes and miſts of errours, and brought us to the knowledge of the truth, by the light of Gods word; which was ſo long hid, and kept under, that the people were nigh famiſhed, and hungred for lacke of ſpirituall food. (Such was the charitie of the ſpirituall curats, and ſhepheards.) But our Moſes, and moſt godlie wiſe Governour and King, hath delivered us out of the captivitie and bondage of Pharao. I meane by this Moſes King Henrie the 61 K1r 61 the eight, my moſt ſovereigne favourable Lord and huſband; one (if Moſes had figured anie mo than Chriſt) through the excellent grace of God, meete to be an other expreſſed veritie of Moſes conqueſt over Pharao. And I meane by this Pharao the biſhop of Rome, who hath beene, and is a greater perſecutor of all true Chriſtians, than ever was Pharao of the children of Iſrael. For he is a perſecutor of the Goſpell and grace, a ſetter foorth of all ſuperſtition and counterfeit holineſſe, bringing manie ſoules to hell with his alchimie and counterfeit monie, deceiving the poore ſoules under the pretence of holineſſe: but ſo much the greater ſhall be his damnation, bicauſe he deceiveth and robbeth under Christs mantell. The Lord keepe and defend all men from his juglings and ſleits, but ſpeciallie the poore, ſimple, and unlearned ſoules. And this leſſon I would all men had of him, that when they begin to miſlike his dooing, then onlie begin they to like God, and certeinlie not before.
As for the ſpirituall paſtors and ſhepherds, I thinke they will cleave and ſticke to the word of God, even to the death; to vanquiſh all Gods enimies, if neede ſhall require: all reſpects of honour, dignitie, riches, welth, and their private commodities laid apart: following alſo the examples of Chriſt, and his choſen Apoſtles, in preaching and teaching ſincere and holeſome doctrine, and ſuch things as make for peace, with godly leſſons, wherewith they may edifie others: that everie man may walke after his vocation, in holineſſe of life; in unitie and concord: which unitie is to be deſired of all true Chriſtians.
It is much to be lamented, the ſchiſmes, varieties, contentions and diſputations that have beene and are in the world, about Chriſtian religion, & no agreement nor concord of the ſame among the learned men. Trulie, the divell hath beene the ſower of the ſeede of K.j. ſedition, 62 K1v 62 ſedition, and ſhall be the mainteiner of it, even till Gods will be fulfilled. There is no war ſo cruell and evill as this. For the war with ſword killeth but the bodies, and this ſlaieth manie ſoules. For the poore unlearned perſons remaine confuſed, and almoſt everie one beleeveth and worketh after his owne waie: and yet there is but one truth of Gods word, by the which we ſhall be ſaved. Happie be they that receive it, and moſt unhappie are they which neglect and perſecute the ſame. For it ſhall be more eaſie for Sodom and Gomor at the daie of judgement, than for them. And not without juſt cauſe, if we conſider the benevolence, goodneſſe, and mercie of God, who hath declared his charitie towards us, greater, and more ineſtimable, than ever he did to the Hebrues. For they lived under ſhadowes and figures, and were bound to the lawe. And Chriſt (we being his greateſt enimies) hath delivered us from the bondage of the lawe, and hath fulfilled all that was figured in their lawe, and alſo in their propheſies, ſheading his owne pretius bloud, to make us the children of his father, and his brethren, and hath made us free, ſetting us in a godlie libertie: I meane not licence to ſinne, as manie be glad to interpret the ſame, when as Chriſtian libertie is godlie intreated of.
Trulie it is no good ſpirit that moveth men to find fault at everie thing, and when things may be well taken, to pervert them into an evill ſenſe and meaning. There be in the world manie ſpeakers of holines and good works, but verie rare and ſeldome is declared which be the good and holie works. The works of the ſpirit be never almoſt ſpoken of, and therefore verie few knowe what they be. I am able to juſtifie, the ignorance of the people to be great, not in this matter alone, but in manie other, the which were moſt neneſſarie for Chriſtians to knowe. Becauſe I have had iuſt 63 K2r 63 juſt proofe of the ſame, it maketh me thus much to ſaie, with no little ſorowe and greefe in my hart, for ſuch a miſerbale ignorance and blindneſſe amongeſt the people.
I doubt not but we can ſaie all, Lord, Lord. But I feare God may ſaie unto us; This people honoureth me with their lips, but their harts be far from me. God deſireth nothing but the hart, and ſaith, He will be worſhipped in ſpirit and truth. Chriſt condemned all hypocriſie and feigned holines, and taught ſincere, pure, and true godlineſſe: but we worſſe than frantike or blinde, will not followe Chriſts doctrine, but truſt to mens doctrines, judgements, and ſaiengs, which dimmeth our eies, and ſo the blind leadeth the blind, and both fall into the dich. Trulie, in my ſimple and unlearned judgement, no mans doctrine is to be eſteemed or preferred like unto Chriſts, and the Apoſtles; nor to be taught as a perfect and true doctrine of the Goſpell.
But yet thoſe that be called ſpirituall paſtours (although they be moſt carnall, as it doth verie evidentlie and plainelie appeare by their fruites,) are ſo blinded with the love of themſelves, and the world, that they extoll mens inventions and doctrines, before the doctrine of the Goſpell. And when they be not able to mainteine their owne inventions and doctrines, with anie jot of the ſcripture, then they moſt cruellie perſecute them that be contrarie to the ſame. Be ſuch the lovers of Chriſt? Naie, naie: they be the lovers of the wicked Mammon, neither regarding God nor his honour. For filthie lucre hath made them almoſt mad, but frantike they be doubtleſſe. Is not this miſerable ſtate of ſpirituall men in the world, much to be lamented of all good Chriſtians? But yet I cannot allowe, neither praiſe all kind of lamentation, but ſuch as may ſtand with Chriſtian charitie.K.ij.
The eight Chapter, Of the fruites and rules of true Christianitie for men to followe.
Charitie ſuffereth long, and is gentle, envieth illegibleorritatis bis. not, upbraideth no man, caſteth frowardlie no faults in mens teeth, but referreth all things to God: being angrie without ſinne, reforming others without ſlanders, carrieng ever a ſtore-houſe of mild words to pearce the ſtonie-harted men. I would all Chriſtians, that like as they have profeſſed Chriſt, would ſo endevour themſelves to folowe him in godlie living. For we have not put on Chriſt, to live anie more to our ſelves, in the vanities, They that have put damagedchrist muſt walk in the ſpirite. delightes, and pleaſures of the world, and the fleſh, ſuffering the concupiſcence and carnalitie of the fleſh to have his full ſwinge. For we muſt walke after the ſpirit, and not after the fleſh. For the ſpirit is ſpirituall, and coveteth ſpirituall things: and the fleſh carnall, and deſireth carnall things. The men regenerate by Chriſt, deſpiſe the world, and all the vanities and pleaRegenerate deſpiſe the world ſures thereof. They be no lovers of themſelves. For they feele how evill and infirme they be, not being able to do anie good thing, without the helpe of God, from whome they knowledge all goodneſſe to proceede.
They flatter not themſelves, with thinking everie thing which ſhineth to the world, to be good and holie. For they knowe all externe and outward works, be they never ſo glorious and faire to the world, may be done of the evill, as well as of the good. And therefore they have in verie little eſtimation the outward ſhew of holineſſe, becauſe they be all ſpirituall, caſting up their eies upon heavenlie things: neither looking nor regarding the earthlie things, for they be to them vile and abject. They have alſo the ſimplicite of the dove, and the policie of the ſerpent. For by ſimplicitie they haue 65 K3r 65 have a deſire to do good to all men, and to hurt no man, no though they have occaſion given: and by policie they give not nor miniſter anie juſt cauſe to anie man, whereby their doctrine might be reproved. They be not alſo as a reede ſhaken with everie winde: but when they be blaſted with the tempeſts and ſtormes of the world, then remaine they moſt firme, ſtable, and quiet, feeling in ſpirit, that God (as their beſt father) doth ſend and ſuffer all things for their benefit and commoditie. Chriſt is to them a rule, a line, an example of Chriſtian life. They be never offended at anie thing, although occaſion be miniſtred unto them. For like as Chriſt, when Peter would have withdrawne him from death, anſwered and ſaid, Go backe from me Sathan, for thou offendeſt me: that is, As much as lieth in thee, thou giveſt me occaſion with thy words, to make me withdrawe my ſelfe from death, although I yeelded not thereto. For this thy procurement can not extinguiſh the burning deſire I have, to ſhed my bloud for my choſen. Even ſo the perfect men are never offended at anie thing. For although the world were full of ſinne, they would not withdrawe themſelves from doing of good, nor waxe cold in the love of the Lord. And much leſſe they would be moved to do evill: yea rather, they be ſo much the more moved to do good.
The regenerated by Chriſt are never offended at the works of God, becauſe they knowe by faith, that God doth all things well: and that he can not erre, neither for want of power, nor by ignorance, nor malice. For they knowe him to be almightie, and that he ſeeth all things, and is moſt aboundantlie good. They ſee and feele in ſpirit, that of that will moſt highlie perfect, can not but proceede moſt perfecte works. Likewiſe, they be not offended at the works of men. For if they bee good, they are moved by them to take occaſion to K.iij. followe 66 K3v 66 folowe them, and to reknowledge the goodnes of God, with giving of thanks, and praiſing his name dailie the more. But if they be indifferent, and ſuch as may be done with good and evill intents, they judge the beſt part, thinking they may bee done to a good purpoſe, and ſo they bee edified. But if they bee ſo evill, that they can not bee taken in good part by anie meanes; yet they bee not offended, although occaſion bee given, naie rather they be edified, in aſmuch as they take occaſion to be better, though the contrarie bee miniſtred to them.
Then begin they to thinke and ſaie thus: If God had not preſerved me with his grace, I ſhould have committed this ſin, and worſſe. O how much am I bound to confeſſe and knowledge the goodneſſe of God! They go alſo thinking and ſaieng further: He that hath ſinned, may be one of Gods elect: peradventure the Lord hath ſuffered him to fall, to the intent he may the better knowe himſelfe. I knowe he is one of them that Chriſt hath ſhed his bloud for, and one of my Chriſtian brethren: trulie I will admoniſh and rebuke him; and charitatis hic. in caſe I find him deſperate, I will comfort him, and ſhewe him the great goodneſſe and mercie of God, in Chriſt: and with godlie conſolations I will ſee if I can lift him up. And thus ye may ſee, how the men regenerated by Chriſt, of everie thing win and receive fruit.
The ninth Chapter, Of the fruits of infidelitie, and offence of weakelings.
And contrariwiſe, the yonglings and unperfect are offended at ſmall trifles, taking everie thing in evill part, grudging and murmuring againſt their neighbor: and ſo much the more, as they ſhew themſelves fervent in their ſo doing, they are judged of the blind world, and of themſelves greate zeale-bearers to God. If this were the greateſt 67 K4r 67 greateſt evill of theſe yonglings, it were not the moſt evill. But I feare they be ſo blind and ignorant, that they are offended alſo at good things, & judge nothing good, but ſuch as they embrace and eſteeme to bee good, with murmuring againſt all ſuch as folowe not their waies. If there be anie of this ſort, the Lord give them the light of his truth, that they may increaſe and growe in godlie ſtrength. I ſuppoſe, if ſuch yonglings and unperfect, had ſeene Chriſt and his Diſciples eate meate with unwaſhen hands, or not to have faſted with the Phariſies, they would have beene offended, ſeeing him a breaker of mens traditions. Their affections diſpoſe their eies to ſee through other men, and they ſee nothing in themſelves: where charitie, although it be moſt ful of eies to ſee the faults of others, whome it coveteth to amend, thinketh none evill, but diſcreetlie and rightlie interpreteth all things, by the which more juſtlie and trulie everie thing is taken.
Now, theſe ſuperſtitious weaklings, if they had been converſant with Chriſt, and ſeene him leade his life ſometime with women, ſometime with Samaritanes, with Publicanes, ſinners, and with the Phariſies, they would have murmured at him. Alſo, if they had ſeene Marie powre upon Chriſt the pretious ointment, they would have ſaid with Judas: This ointment might have beene ſold, and given to the poore. If they alſo had ſeene Chriſt with whips drive out of the Temple thoſe that bought and ſold, they would foorthwith have judged Chriſt to have beene troubled and moved with anger, and not by zeale of charitie. How would they have beene offended, if they had ſeene him go to the Jewes feaſt, heale a ſicke man upon the ſabboth daie, practiſe with the woman of Samaria, yea & ſhew unto hir of his moſt divine doctrine & life? They would have taken occaſion to have hated & perſecuted him, as the Scribes and Phariſies did: and even ſo K.iiij. ſhould 68 K4v 68 ſhould Chriſt the Saviour of the world, have beene to them an offence and ruine.
There be an other kind of little ones unperfecte which are offended after this ſort and maner. As when they ſee one that is reputed and eſteemed holie to commit ſinne, forthwith they learne to do that, and woorſe, and waxe cold in dooing of good, and confirme themſelves in evill: and then they excuſe their wicked life, publiſhing the ſame with the ſlander of their neighbor. If anie man reproove them, they ſaie: Such a man did this, and woorſe. So it is evident, that ſuch perſons would denie Chriſt, if they ſawe other men doo the ſame. If they went to Rome, and ſawe the enormities of the Prelates, which is ſaid to reigne there among them, I doubt not, if they ſawe one of them ſinne, which were reputed and taken for holie, their faith ſhould be loſt; but not the faith of Chriſt, which they never poſſeſſed: but they ſhould looſe that humane opinion, which they had of the goodneſſe of the Prelates. For, if they had the faith of Chriſt, the holie Ghoſt ſhould be a witnes unto them, the which ſhould be mightie in them, that in caſe all the world would denie Chriſt, yet they would remaine firme and ſtable in the true faith.
The Phariſies alſo tooke occaſion of the evill of others, to waxe hautie and proud, taking themſelves to be men of greater perfection than anie other; bicauſe of their vertue, even as the Phariſie did, when he ſawe the Publicans ſubmiſſion. And ſo they be offended with everie little thing, judging evill, mmurmuring againſt their neighbour, and for the ſame, they are of manie reputed and taken for the more holie and good: whereas in deed they be the more wicked. The moſt wicked perſons are offended, even at themſelves. For at their little ſtabilitie in goodneſſe, and of their delectable and evill life, they take occaſion to deſpaire: where 69 K5r 69 where they ought the more to commit themſelves to God, aſking mercie for their offences: and foorthwith to give thanks, that it hath pleaſed him of his goodneſſe to ſuffer them ſo long a time.
But what needeth it anie more to ſaie? The evill men are offended even at the works of God, they ſee God ſuffer ſinners, therefore thinke they, ſinne diſpleaſeth him not. And bicauſe they ſee not the good rewarded with riches, oftentimes they imagine, that God loveth them not. It ſeemeth to them God is parciall, bicauſe he hath elected ſome, and ſome reprooved. And therefore they ſaie, that the elected be ſure of ſalvation, taking by that, occaſion to doo evill inough, ſaieng: Whatſoever God hath determined, ſhall be performed. If alſo they ſee the good men oppreſſed, and the evill men exalted, they judge God unjuſt, taking occaſion to live evillie, ſaieng: Inaſmuch as God favoureth the naughtie men, let us doo evill inough, to the intent he doo us good. If then the wicked be offended even at God, it is no woonder if they be offended at thoſe that followe and walke in his paths and waies.
The tenth Chapter, Of carnall goſpellers, by whoſe evill living Gods truth is ſhamefullie ſlandered.
Iwill now ſpeake with great dolor and heavineſſe in my hart, of a ſort of people, which be in the world, that be called profeſſors of the Goſpell; and by their words doo declare and ſhew, they be much affected to the ſame. But I am afraid, ſome of them doo build upon the ſand; as Simon Magus did, making a weake foundation: I meane, they make not Chriſt their chiefeſt foundation, profeſſing his doctrine, of a ſincere, pure, and zealous mind; but either for bicauſe they would be called goſpellers,pellers, 70 K5v 70 pellers, to procure ſome credit and good opinion of the true and verie favourers of Chriſts doctrine, either to find out ſome carnall libertie, either to be contentious diſputers, finders or rebukers of other mens faults, or elſe finallie to pleaſe and flatter the world. Such goſpellers are an offence, and a ſlander to the word of God, and make the wicked to rejoice & laugh at them, ſaieng: Behold I praie you their faire fruits. What charitie, what diſcretion, what godlineſſe, holineſſe, or puritie of life is among them? Be not they great avengers, foule gluttons, ſlanderers, backbiters, adulterers, fornicators, ſwearers, and blaſphemers; yea and wallowe & tumble in all ſinnes? Theſe be the fruits of their doctrine.
And thus it may be ſeene, how the word of God is evill ſpoken of, through licentious and evill living: and yet the word of God is all holie, pure, ſincere, and godlie, being the doctrine & occaſion of all holie and pure living. It is the wicked that pervert all good things, into evill. For an evill tree can not bring foorth good fruit. And when good ſeede is ſowne in a barren and evill ground, it yeeldeth no good corne: and ſo it fareth by the word of God. For when it is heard and knowne of wicked men, it bringeth no good fruit: but when it is ſowne in good ground, I meane the harts of good people, it bringeth foorth good fruit abundantlie: ſo that the want & fault is in men, and not in the word of God. I praie God all men and women may have grace to become meete tillage for the fruits of the Goſpell, and to leave onlie the jangling of it. For onlie ſpeaking of the Goſpell maketh not men good Chriſtians, but good talkers, except their facts and works agree with the ſame: ſo then their ſpeech is good, bicauſe their harts be good. And even as much talke of the word of God, without practiſing the ſame in our living, is evill & deteſtable in the ſight of God: ſo it is a lamentable thing to 71 K6r 71 to heare, how there bee manie in the world, that do not well digeſt the reading of ſcripture, and do commend Blaſphemie and praiſe ignorance, and ſaie, that much knowledge of Gods word is the originall of all diſſention, ſciſmes, and contention; and maketh men hautie, proud, and preſumptuous, by reading of the ſame.
This maner of ſaieng is no leſſe than a plaine blaſphemie againſt the holie Ghoſt. For the ſpirit of God is the author of his word, and ſo the holie Ghoſt is made the author of evill, which is a moſt great blaſphemie, and (as the ſcripture ſaith) a ſinne that ſhall not bee forgiven in this world, neither in the other to come. It were all our parts and duties, to procure and ſeeke all the waies and meanes poſſible, to have more knowledge of Gods word ſet foorth abroade in the world, & not allow ignorance, and diſcommend knowledge of Gods word, ſtopping the mouthes of the unlearned with ſubtile and craftie perſuaſions of Philoſophie, and Sophiſtrie, whereof commeth no fruite, but a great perturbation of the mind to the ſimple & ignorant, not knowing which waie to turne them. For how is it not extreame wickedneſſe, to charge the holie ſanctified word of God with the offences of man? To alledge the ſcriptures to be perillous learning, becauſe certaine readers thereof fall into hereſies?
Theſe men might be inforced by this kind of argument, to forſake the uſe of fire, becauſe fire burneth their neighbours houſe: or to abſteine from meate and drinke, becauſe they ſee manie ſurfet. O blind hate! They ſlander God for mans offence, & excuſe the man whome they ſee offend; and blame the ſcripture, which they can not improve. Yea I have heard of ſome, that have verie well underſtood the Latin tongue, that when they have heard learned men perſuade to the credite and beleefe of certaine unwritten verities (as they call them) which bee not in ſcripture expreſſed, and 72 K6v 72 and yet taught as doctrine apoſtolike, and neceſſarie to bee beleeved; they have been of this opinion, that the learned men have mo Epiſles written by the Apoſtles of Chriſt, than wee have abroad in the Canon of the old and new teſtament, or knowne of anie, but onlie to them of the Clergie. Which beleefe I did not a little lament in my hart to heare, that anie creature ſhould have ſuch a blind ignorant opinion.
Some kind of ſimplicitie is to bee praiſed, but this simplicitieout veritie not allowed. ſimplicitie, without the veritie, I can neither praiſe nor allow. And thus it may bee ſeene, how wee that bee unlettered remaine confuſed, without God of his grace lighten our harts and minds with a heavenlie light and knowledge of his will. For wee bee given of our ſelves to beleeve men better than God. I praie God ſend all learned men the ſpirit of God aboundantlie, that their doctrine may bring forth the fruits therof. I ſuppoſe there was never more neede of good doctrine to bee ſet foorth in the world than now in this age. For the carnall children of Adam, bee ſo wiſe in their generation, that if it were poſſible, they would deceive the children of light. The world loveth his owne, and therefore their facts and doings be highlie eſteemed of the world: but the children of God are hated, bicauſe they bee not of the world. For their habitation is in heaven, and they do deſpiſe the world as a moſt vile ſlave.
The fleſhlie children of Adam be ſo politike, ſubtile, craftie, and wiſe in their kind, that the elect ſhould bee illuded, if it were poſſible. For they are cloathed with Chriſts garment, in utter appearance, with a faire ſhewe of all godlines, and holines in their words: but they have ſo ſhorne, nopped, and turned Chriſts garment, and have ſo diſguiſed themſelves, that the children of light beholding them with a ſpirituall eie, do accompt and take them for men which have ſold their maiſters 73 K7r 73 maiſters garment, and have ſtolne a peece of everie mans garment. Yet by their ſubtile art, and craftie wits, they have ſo ſet thoſe patches and peeces togither, that they do make the blind world, and carnall men to beleeve, it is Chriſts verie mantell.
The eleventh Chapter, Of the vertuous properties of Gods children: of whome everie one attendeth his vocation.
But the children of light knowe the contrarie: for they are led by the ſpirit of God, to the knowledge of the truth, and therefore they diſcerne and judge all things right, and knowe from whence they come, even from the biſhop of Rome, and his members, the headſpring of all pride, vaineglorie, ambition, hypocriſie, and feigned holines.
The children of God be not abaſhed, although the world hate them; they beleeve they are in the grace and favour of God, and that he, as a beſt father, doth governe them in all things, putting awaie from them all vaine confidence and truſt in their owne doings. For they knowe they can doo nothing but ſin of themſelves. They bee not ſo fooliſh, and childiſh, not to give God thanks for their election, which was before the beginning of the world. For they beleeve moſt ſurelie they bee of the choſen. For the holie Ghoſt doth witnes to their ſpirit, that they bee the children of God, and therefore they beleeve God better than man. They ſaie with Saint Paule, Who ſhall ſeparate us from the love of God? Shall tribulation, anguiſh, perſecution, hunger, nakedneſſe, perill, or ſword? As it is written, For thy ſake are we killed all daie long; and are counted as ſheepe appointed to bee ſlaine: nevertheleſſe, in all theſe things wee overcome, through him that loveth us. For I am ſure, that neither death, nor Ro. 8. life, neither Angels, nor rule; neither power, neither things 74 K7v 74 things preſent, neither things to come, neither quantitie or qualitie, neither anie creature, ſhall bee able to depart us from the love of God, which is in Chriſt Jeſu our Lord.
They are not by this godlie faith preſumptuouſlie inflamed, nor by the ſame become they looſe, idle, or ſlowe in dooing of godlie works, as carnall men dreme of them: ſo much the more fervent they be in dooing moſt holie and pure works, which God hath commanded them to walke in. They wander not in mens traditions and inventions, leaving the moſt holie and pure precepts of God undone, which they knowe they be bound to obſerve and keepe. Alſo they worke not like hirelings, for meede, wages, or reward, but as loving children, without reſpect of lucre, gaine, or hire. They be in ſuch libertie of ſpirit, and joie ſo much in God, that their inward conſolation can not be expreſdamagedſure hope of the elect. ſed with tongue. All feare of damnation is gone from them; for they have put their whole hope of ſalvation in his hands, which will and can performe it; neither have they anie poſt or piller to leane to, but God, and his ſmooth and unwrinkled Church. For he is to them all in all things, and to him they leane, as a moſt ſure ſquare piller, in proſperitie and adverſitie, nothing doubting of his promiſes and covenants. For they beleeve moſt ſurelie they ſhall be fulfilled.
Alſo the children of God be not curious in ſearching the high myſteries of God, which be not meet for them to knowe: neither doo go about with humane and carnall reaſons to interpret Scripture, perſuading men by their ſubtile wits, and carnall doctrine, that much knowledge of Scripture maketh men heretikes, without they temper it with humane doctrine, Sophiſtrie, Philoſophie, and Logicke, wherewith to bee ſeduced, according to the traditions of men, after the ordinances of the world, and not after Chriſt. S. Paul doth 75 K8r 75 doth moſt diligentlie admoniſh us, which arts are not convenient & meet to be made checkmate with Scripture. For the Scriptures be ſo pure and holie, that no perfection can be added unto them. For even as fine gold doth excell all other mettals, ſo doth the word of God, all mens doctrines. I beſeech the Lord to ſend the learned and unlearned ſuch abundance of his holie ſpirit, that they may obeie and obſerve the moſt ſincere and holie word of God, and ſhew the fruits thereof, which conſiſteth chieflie in charitie and godlie unitie: that as we have profeſſed one God, one faith, and one baptiſme, ſo we may be all of one mind, and one accord, putting awaie all biting and gnawing. For in backbiting, ſlandering, and miſ-reporting our Chriſtian brethren, we ſhew not our ſelves the Diſciples of Chriſt, whom we profeſſe. In him was moſt high charitie, humilitie and patience, ſuffering moſt patientlie all ignominie, rebukes, and ſlanders, praieng to his eternall father for his enimies with moſt perfect charitie; and in all things did remit his will to his fathers, as the Scripture doth witneſſe, when he praied in the Mount. A godlie example and leſſon for us to followe at all times and ſeaſons, as well in proſperitie, as in adverſitie; to have no will but Gods will, committing and leaving to him all our cares and greefes, and to abandon all our policies and inventions. For they be moſt vaine, and fooliſh, and indeed verie ſhadowes and dreames.
But we be yet ſo carnall and fleſhlie, that we run headlong like unbrideled colts, without ſnaffle or bridle. If we had the love of God printed in our harts, it would keepe us backe from running aſtraie. And untill illegible ſuch time as it pleaſe God to ſend us this bit to hold us in, we ſhall never run the right waie, although wee ſpeake and talke never ſo much of God and his word. The true followers of Chriſts doctrine have alwaies a 76 K8v 76 a reſpect, and an eie to their vocation. If they be called to the miniſterie of Gods word, they preach and teach it ſincerelie, to the edifieng of others; and ſhew themſelves in their living, followers of the ſame. If they be maried men, having children and familie, they nouriſh and bring them up, without all bitterneſſe, and fierceneſſe, in the doctrine of the Lord, in all godlineſſe and vertue; committing the inſtruction of others, which apperteine not to their charge, to the reformation of God, and his miniſters, which chieflie be Kings and Princes, bearing the ſword even for that purpoſe, to puniſh evill dooers. If they be children, they honour their father and mother, knowing it to be Gods commandement, and that he hath thereto annexed a promiſe of long life. If they be ſervants, they obeie and ſerve their maiſters with all feare and reverence, even for the Lords ſake; neither with murmuring nor grudging, but with a free hart and mind.
If they be huſbands, they love their wives, as their owne bodies, after the example as Chriſt loved the congregation, and gave himſelfe for it, to make it to him a ſpouſe without ſpot or wrinkle. If they be women maried, they learne of S. Paule to be obedient to their huſbands, and to keepe ſilence in the congregation, and to learne of their huſbands at home. Alſo they weare ſuch apparell as becommeth holineſſe, & comlie uſage, with ſoberneſſe; not being accuſers or detractors, not given to much eating of delicate meats, and drinking of wine; but they teach honeſt things, to make the yong women ſober minded, to love their huſbands, to love their children, to be diſcreet, chaſte, houſwifelie, good, and obedient unto their huſbands: that the word of God be not evill ſpoken of. Verelie, if all ſorts of people would looke to their owne vocation, and ordeine the ſame according to Chriſts doctrine, we ſhould not have ſo many eies and eares to other mens faults 77 L1r 77 faults as we have. For we be ſo buſie and glad to find and esſpie out other mens dooings, that we forget, and can have no time to weigh & ponder our owne, which after the word of God we ought firſt to reforme: and then we ſhall the better helpe an other with the ſtraw out of his eies.
But alas, we be ſo much given to love and to flatter our ſelves, and ſo blinded with carnall affections, that we can ſee and perceive no fault in our ſelves. And therfore it is a thing verie requiſite and neceſſarie for us, to praie all with one hart and mind to God, to give us an heavenlie light and knowledge of our owne miſeries and calamities, that we may ſee them, and acknowledge them trulie before him.
The twelfe Chapter, The concluſion, with a Christian exhoration to the amendement of life.
If anie man ſhall be offended at this my lamenting the faults of men, which be in the world, fantaſing wih themſelves, that I doo it either of hatred or of malice, to anie ſort or kind of people; verelie in ſo dooing they ſhall doo me great wrong. For I thanke God by his grace, I hate no creature; yea I would ſaie more to give witneſſe of my conſcience, that neither life, honour, riches, neither whatſoever I poſſeſſe here, which appertaineth to mine owne private commoditie, be it never ſo deerlie beloved of mee, but moſt willinglie and gladlie I would leave it, to win anie man to Chriſt, of what degree or ſort ſoever he were. And yet is this nothing in compariſon to the charitie that God hath ſhewed me, in ſending Chriſt to die for me. No, if I had all the charitie of Angels, and Apoſtles, it ſhould be but like a ſparke of fire compared to a great heape of burning coales.L.j. God 78 L1v 78
God knoweth of what intent and mind I have lamented mine owne ſinnes and faults to the world. I truſt no bodie will judge that I have done it for praiſe or thanke of anie creature; ſince rather I might be aſhamed, than rejoice in rehearſall thereof. For if they knewe how little I eſteeme and weigh the praiſe of the world, that opinion were ſoone remooved and taken awaie. For I thanke God (by his grace) I knowe the world to be a blind judge, and the praiſes therof vaine, and of little moment: and therefore I ſeeke not the Mundus quid? praiſes of the ſame, neither to ſatiſfie it none otherwiſe than I am taught by Chriſt to doo, according to chriſtian charitie. I would to God we would all (when occaſion doth ſerve) confeſſe our faults to the world, all reſpects of our owne commoditie laid apart. But alas, ſelfe-love doth ſo much reigne among us, that as illegible I have ſaid before) we can not eſpie our owne faults. And although ſomtime we find our owne guilt, either we be favourable to interpret it no ſin: or elſe we be ſore offended and greeved, to heare our faults charitablie and godlie told us of other, putting no difference betweene charitable warning, & malicious accuſing.
Trulie, if we ſought Gods glorie, as we ſhould doo If we ſought glory of god we coould damagedofeſse of faltes & damagedmend in all things, we ſhould not be aſhamed to confeſſe our ſelves to digreſſe from Gods precepts and ordinances; when it is manifeſt we have done, and dailie doo. I praie God our owne faults and deeds condemne us not at the laſt daie, when everie man ſhall be rewarded according to his dooings. Trulie, if we doo not redreſſe and amend our living, according to the doctrine of the Goſpell; we ſhall receive a terrible ſentence of Chriſt the ſonne of God, when he ſhall come to judge and condemne all tranſgreſſours and breakers of his precepts and commandements; and to reward all his obedient and loving children. We ſhall have no man of 79 L2r 79 of lawe to make our plea for us, neither can we have the daie deferred, neither will the Judge be corrupted with affection, bribes, or reward; neither will he heare anie excuſe or delaie, neither ſhall this Saint or that Martyr helpe us, be they never ſo holie; neither ſhall our ignorance ſave us from damnation. But yet wilfull blindneſſe, and obſtinate ignorance ſhall receive obſtinate ignorance ſhall receave the greter puniſhment greater puniſhment, and not without juſt cauſe. Then ſhall it be knowne who hath walked in the darke. For all things ſhall appeere manifeſt before him. No mans deeds ſhall be hidden; no, neither words, nor thoughts. The poore and ſimple obſervers of Gods commandements ſhall be rewarded with everlaſting life, as obedient children to the heavenlie Father: and the tranſshy; greſſors, adders, and diminiſhers of the lawe of God, ſhall receive eternall damnation for their juſt reward. I beſeech God we may eſcape this fearefull ſentence, and be found ſuch faithfull ſervants, and loving children, that we may heare the happie, comfortable, and moſt joifull ſentence ordeined for the children of God, which is; Come hither ye bleſſed of my father, and receive the kingdome of heaven, prepared for you before the beginning of the world. Unto the Father, the Sonne, and the ho lie Ghoſt, be all honour and glorie world without end, Amen.the kingdome of heaven, prepared for you before the beginning of the world. Unto the Father, the Sonne, and the holie Ghoſt, be all honour and glorie world without end, Amen.
Alſo here followe godlie Praiers and Meditations, wherein the mind is ſtirred, patientlie to ſuffer all afflictions heere; to ſet at naught the vaine proſperitie of the world: and alwaie to long for everlaſting felicitie: collected out of holie works, by the most vertu and gratious Princeſſe Katherine, Queene of England, France, and Ireland.
The firſt Chapter, Of praiers to performe Gods will in patience.
Moſt benigne Lord Jeſu, grant me thy grace, that it may alwaie worke in mee, and perſevere with me unto the end.
Grant me, that I may ever deſire and will that, which is moſt pleaſant, and moſt acceptable to thee.
Thy will be my will, and my will be to followe alwaie thy will.
Let there be alwaie in me one will, and one deſire with thee, and that I have no deſire to will, or not to will, but as thou wilt.
Lord, thou knoweſt what thing is moſt profitable, and moſt expedient for me.Giue 81 L3r 81
Give me therefore what thou wilt, as much as thou wilt, and when thou wilt.
Doo with me what thou wilt, as it ſhall pleaſe thee, and as ſhall be moſt to thine honour.
Put me where thou wilt, and freelie doo with me in all things after thy will.
Thy creature I am, and in thy hands, leade and turne me where thou wilt.
Lo, I am thy ſervant, readie to all things that thou commandeſt. For I deſire not to live to my ſelfe, but to thee.
Lord Jeſu, I praie thee grant me grace, that I never ſet my hart on the things of this world: but that all worldlie and carnall affections may utterlie die and be mortified in me.
Grant me above all things, that I may reſt in thee, christ is the true peace of hart, & rest of the ſoule and fullie quiet and pacifie my hart in thee.
For thou Lord art the verie true peace of hart, and the perfect reſt of the ſoule: & without thee all things be greevous and unquiet.
My Lord Jeſu, I beſeech thee, be with me in everie place, and at all times; and let it be to me a ſpeciall ſolace, gladlie for thy love to lacke all worldlie ſolace.
And if thou withdrawe thy comfort from me at any time, keepe me, O Lord, from deſperation, and make me patientlie to abide thy will and ordinance.
O Lord Jeſu, thy judgments be righteous, and thy providence is much better for me, than all that I can imagine or deviſe.
Wherfore doo with me in all things as it ſhall pleaſe thee. For it may not be but well, all that thou dooeſt.
If thou wilt that I be in light, be thou bleſſed: if thou wilt that I be in darkneſſe, be thou alſo bleſſed.
If thou vouchſafe to comfort me, be thou highlie bleſſed: if thou wilt I live in trouble, and without comfort, be thou likewiſe ever bleſſed.L.iij. Lord 82 L3v 82
Lord give mee grace gladlie to ſuffer whatſoever thou wilt ſhall fall upon me, and patientlie to take it at thy hand: good and bad, bitter and ſweete, joie and ſorrow: and for all things that ſhall befalll unto me, hartilie to thanke thee.
Keepe me Lord from ſinne, and I ſhall then neither dread death, nor hell.
O what thanks ought I to give unto thee, which haſt ſuffered the greevous death of the croſſe, to deliver me from my ſinnes, and to obtaine everlaſting life for me!
Thou gaveſt us moſt perfect example of patience, fulfilling and obeieng the will of thy father, even unto the death.
Make me wretched ſinner, obedientlie to use my ſelfe after thy will in althings, and patientlie to beare the burden of this corruptible life.
For though this life be tedious, and as an heavie burden to my ſoule: yet nevertheleſſe thorough thy grace, and by example of thee, it is now made much more eaſie and comfortable, than it was before thine incarnation and paſſion.
Thy holie life is our waie to thee, and by following of thee we walke to thee, that art our head and Saviour: and yet, except thou hadſt gone before and ſhewed us the waie to everlaſting life; who would endevor himſelfe to followe thee? Seeing we be yet ſo ſlowe and dull, having the light of thy bleſſed example and holie doctrine to leade and direct us.
O Lord Jeſu, make that poſſible by grace, that is to me impoſſible by nature.
Thou knoweſt well that I may litle ſuffer, and that I am anon caſt downe and overthrowne with a little adverſitie: wherfore I beſeech thee O Lord, to ſtrengthen me with thy ſpirit, that I may willinglie ſuffer for thy ſake, all maner of trouble and affliction.
The ſecond Chapter, A confeſsion of our infirmities, with a deſire to reſt in God above all things.
Lord, I will knowledge unto thee all mine unrighteouſneſſe, and I will confeſſe to thee all the unſtableneſſe of my hart.
Oftentimes a verie little thing troubleth me ſore, and maketh mee dull and ſlowe to ſerve thee.
And ſometime I purpoſe to ſtand ſtronglie: but when a little trouble commeth, it is to mee great anguiſh and greefe, and of a right little thing riſeth a greevous temptation to mee.
Yea when I thinke my ſelfe to bee ſure and ſtrong, and that (as it ſeemeth) I have the upper hand: ſuddenlie I feele my ſelfe readie to fall with a little blaſt of temptation.
Behold therefore (good Lord) my weakeneſſe, and conſider my fraileneſſer beſt knowne to thee.
Have mercie on me, and deliver me from all iniquitie and ſinne, that I bee not intangled therewith.
Oft times it greeveth mee ſore, and in a maner confoundeth mee, that I am ſo unſtable, ſo weake, and ſo fraile, in reſiſting ſinfull motions.
Which although they drawe me not alwaie to conſent, yet nevertheleſſe their aſſaults bee verie greevous unto mee.
And it is tedious to mee to live in ſuch battell, albeit I perceive, that ſuch bettell is not unprofitable unto mee: for thereby I knowe the better my ſelfe, and mine owne infirmities, and that I muſt ſeeke helpe onlie at thy hands.
O Lord God of Iſrael, the lover of all faithfull ſouls, voucxhſafe to behold the labour and ſorowe of mee thy poore creature.
Aſſiſt mee in all things with thy grace, and ſo ſtrengthenL.iiij. then 84 L4v 84 then me with heavenlie ſtrength, that neither my cruell enimie the feend, neither my wretched fleſh (which is not yet ſubject to the ſpirit) have victorie or dominon over mee.
O what a life may this bee called, where no trouble nor miſerie lacketh! Where everie place is full of ſnares of mortall enimies!
Wherefore Lord Jeſu, I praie thee give me thy grace, to reſt in thee above all things, and to quiet mee in thee above all creatures, above all glorie and honour, above all dignitie and power, above all cunning and policie, above all health and beautie, above all riches and treaſure, above all joie and pleaſure, above all fame and praiſe, above all mirth and conſolation that mans hart may take or feele beſides thee.
For thou Lord God, art beſt, moſt wiſe, moſt high, moſt mightie, moſt ſufficient, and moſt full of all goodneſſe, moſt ſweet, and moſt comfortable, moſt faire, moſt loving, moſt noble, moſt glorious, in whom all goodnes moſt perfeclie is.
And therefore, whatſoever I have beſides thee, it is nothing to mee. For my hart may not reſt, ne fullie bee pacified, but onlie in thee.
O Lord Jeſu, moſt loving ſpouſe; who ſhall give mee wings of perfect love, that I may flie up from theſe worldlie miſeries, and reſt in thee?
O when ſhall I aſcend to thee, and feele how ſweet thou art?
When ſhall I wholie gather my ſelfe in thee ſo perfectlie, that I ſhall not for thy love feele my ſelfe, but thee onlie above my ſelfe, & above all worldlie things, that thou maiſt vouchſafe to viſit mee in ſuch wiſe, as thou dooeſt viſit thy moſt faithfull lovers?Now 85 L5r 85
Now I often mourne and complaine of the miſeries of this life, and with ſorowe and great heavineſſe ſuffer them.
For manie things happen dailie to mee, which oftentimes trouble mee, make mee heavie, and darken mine underſtanding.
They hinder mee greatlie, and put my mind from thee, and ſo encumber me manie waies, that I can not freelie and cleerelie deſire thee, ne have thy ſweet conſolations, which with thy bleſſed Saints be alwaie preſent.
I beſeech thee, Lord Jeſu, that the ſighings and inward deſires of my hart may move and incline thee to heare mee.
The third Chapter. A recounting of Gods benefits, with praier to obtaine a free and cleane mind, with hartie wiſdome and deliverance.
O Jeſu, King of everlaſting glorie, the joie and comfort fo all Chriſtian people, that are wandering as Pilgrims in the wildernes of this world: my hart crieth to thee by ſtill deſires, and my ſilence ſpeaketh unto thee, and ſaith: How long tarieth my Lord God to come to mee?
Come O Lord, and viſit mee: for without thee I have no true joie, without thee my ſoule is heavie and ſad.
I am in priſon, and bounden with fetters of ſorowe, till thou O Lord, with thy gratious preſence vouchſafe to viſit me, and to bring me againe to libertie and joie of ſpirit, and to ſhew thy favourable countenance unto me.
Open my hart (Lord) that I may behold thy lawes, and teach me to walke in thy commandements.
Make me to knowe and folowe thy will, and to have alwaies in my remembrance thy manifold benefits, that I may yeeld due thanks to thee for the ſame.But 86 L5v 86
But I knowledge and confeſſe for truth, that I am nodamaged to give thee condigne thanks, for the leaſt benefit that thou haſt given me.
O Lord, all gifts and vertues that anie man hath, in bodie or ſoule, naturall or ſupernaturall, be thy gifts, and come of thee, and not of our ſelyes; and they declare the great riches of thy mercie and goodneſſe unto us.
And though ſome have mo gifts than other; yet they all proceed from thee, and without thee the leaſt can not be had.
O Lord, I accompt it for a great benefit. not to have manie worldlie gifts, whereby the laud and praiſe of men might blind my ſoule, and deceive me.
Lord, I knowe that no man ought to be aſhamed or miſcontent, that he is in a lowe eſtate in this world, and lacketh the pleaſures of this life; but rather to be glad and rejoice thereat:
For ſo much as thou haſt choſen the poore and meeke perſons, and ſuch as are deſpiſed in the world, to be thy ſervants and familiar friends.
Witneſſe be thy bleſſed Apoſtles, whome thou madeſt chiefe paſtours and ſpirituall governours of thy flocke, which departed from the counſel of the Jews, rejoiſing that they were counted worthie to ſuffer rebuke for thy name.
Even ſo (O Lord) grant that I thy ſervant may be as well content to be taken as the leaſt, as other be to be greateſt; and that I be as well pleaſed to be in the loweſt place, as in the higheſt; and as glad to be of no reputation in the world for thy ſake, as other are to be noble and famous.
Lord, it is the worke of a perfect man, never to ſequeſter his mind from thee; and among manie worldlie cares to go without care: not after the maner of an idle or a diſſolute perſon, but by the prerogative of a free 87 L6r 87 free mind, alwaie minding heavenlie things, and not cleaving by inordinate affection to anie creature.
I beſeech thee therefore, my Lord Jeſu, keepe me from the ſuperfluous cares of this world, that I be not inquieted with bodilie neceſſities; ne that I be not taken with the voluptuous pleaſures of the world, ne of the fleſh.
Preſerve me from all things, which hinder my ſoule health, that I be not overthrowne with them.
O Lord God, which art ſweetneſſe unſpeakable, turne into bitterneſſe to me all worldlie and fleſhlie delights, which might drawe me from the love of eternall things, to the love of ſhort and vile pleaſures.
Let not fleſh and bloud overcome me, ne yet the world with his vaine glorie deceive me, nor the feend with his manifold crafts ſupplant me: but give me ghoſtlie ſtrength in reſiſting them, patience in ſuffering them, and conſtancie in perſevering to the end.
Give me for all worldlie delectations, the moſt ſweet conſolation of thy holie ſpirit, and for all fleſhlie love, indue my ſoule with fervent love of thee.
Make me ſtrong inwardlie in my ſoule, and caſt out therof all unprofitable cares of this world, that I be not led by unſtable deſires of earthlie things: but that I may repute all things in this world (as they be) tranſitorie and ſoone vaniſhing awaie, and my ſelfe alſo with them, drawing toward mine end.
For nothing under the ſunne may long abide; but all is vanitie, and affliction of ſpirit.
Give me (Lord) therefore heavenlie wiſdome, that I may learne to ſeeke and find thee, & above all things to love thee.
Give me grace to withdrawe me from them, that flatter me, and patientlie to ſuffer them that unjuſtlie greeve me.
Lord, when temptation or tribulation commeth, vouchſafe 88 L6v 88 vouchſafe to ſuccour me, that all may turne to my ghdamagedie comfort, and patientlie to ſuffer, and alwaie to ſaie, Thy name be bleſſed.
Lord, trouble is now at hand; I am not well, but I am greatlie vexed with this preſent affliction. O moſt glorious father, what ſhall I do? Anguiſh and trouble are on everie ſide, helpe now, I beſeech thee in this houre: thou ſhalt be lauded and praiſed, when I am perfectlie made meeke before thee, and when I am cleerlie delivered by thee.
May it therefore pleaſe thee to deliver me. For what may I moſt ſinfull wretch do? Or whether may I go for ſuccour, but to thee?
Give mee patience now at this time in all my troubles; helpe me, Lord God, and I ſhall not feare ne dread, what trouble ſo ever fall upon me.
And now, what ſhall I ſaie, but that thy will be done in me? I have deſerved to be troubled and greeved; and therefore it behooveth that I ſuffer, as long as it pleaſeth thee.
But would to God that I might ſuffer gladlie, till the furious tempeſts were overpaſſed, and that quietneſſe of hart might come againe.
Thy mightie hand, Lord, is ſtrong ynough to take this trouble from me, & to aſſwage the cruell aſſaults thereof with them, as thou haſt oftentimes done before this time; that when I am cleerlie delivered by thee, I may with gladneſſe ſaie, The right hand of him that is higheſt, hath made this change.
The fourth Chapter, To deſpiſe all things in the world, and yeeld our ſelves up to God, that he may be all in all for our redemption in time of neede.
Lord grant me thy ſingular grace, that I may come thither where no creature ſhall let me ne keepe me from the perfect beholding of thee.For 89 L7r 89
For as long as anie tranſitorie thing keepeth me backe, or hath rule in me, I may not freelie aſcend to thee.
O Lord, without thee nothing may long delight or pleaſe: for if anie thing ſhould be liking and favourie, it muſt be through helpe of thy grace, ſeaſoned with the ſpice of thy wiſedome.
O everlaſting light, far paſſing all things, ſend downe the beames of thy brightneſſe from above, and purifie and lighten the inward parts of my hart.
Quicken my ſoule, and all the powers thereof, that it may cleave faſt, and be joined to thee in joifull gladneſſe, and ghoſtlie raviſhings.
O when ſhall that bleſſed houre come, that thou cupio diſsoluj eſse tu chrisdamaged ſhalt viſit me, and glad me with thy bleſſed preſence; when thou ſhalt be to me all in all? Verelie untill that time come, there can be no perfect joi in me.
But alas, mine old man, that is, my carnall affections live ſtill in me, and are not crucified nor perfectlie dead.
For yet ſtriveth the fleſha againſt the ſpirit, and moveth great battell inwardlie againſt me, and ſuffereth not the kingdome of my ſoule to live in peace.
But thou good Lord, that haſt the Lordſhip over all, and power of the ſea, to aſſwage the rages and ſurges of the ſame, ariſe and helpe me; deſtroie the power of mine enimies, which alwaies make battell againſt me: ſhew foorth the greatneſſe of thy goodneſſe, and let the power of thy right hand be glorified in me. For there is to me none other helpe nor refuge, but in thee onlie my Lord, my God: to thee be honour and gflorie everlaſting.
O Lord grant me, that I may wholie reſigne my ſelfe to thee, and in all things to forſake my ſelfe, and patientlie to beare my croſſe, and to followe thee.
O Lord, what is man, that thou couchſafeſt to have mind 90 L7v 90 mind of him, and to viſit him?
Thou art alwaie one, alwaie good, alwaie righteous and holie, juſtlie and bleſſedlie diſpoſing all things after thy wiſdome.
But I am a wretch, and of my ſelfe alwaie readie and prone to evill, and do never abide in one ſtate, but manie times doo varie and change.
Nevertheleſſe, it ſhall be better with me, when it ſhall pleaſe thee. For thou O Lord onelie art he that maieſt helpe me; and thou maieſt to confirme and ſtabliſh me, that my hart ſhall not be changed from thee, but be ſurelie fixed, and finallie reſt and be quieted in thee.
I am nothing elſe of my ſelfe, but vanitie before thee, and unconſtant creature, and a feeble. And therefore, whereof may I rightrfullie glorie? Or why ſhould I looke to be magnified?
Who ſo pleaſeth himſelfe without thee, diſpleaſeth thee; and he that delighteth in mens praiſings, looſeth the true praiſe before thee.
The true praiſe is to be praiſed of thee: and the true joie is to rejoice in thee.
The true praiſe is to be praiſed of thee: and the true joie is to rejoice in thee.
Wherefore, thy name O Lord, be praiſed, and not mine; thy works be magnified, and not mine; and thy goodneſſe be alwaies lauded and bleſſed.
Thou art my glorie, and the joie of my hart, in thee ſhall I glorie and rejoice, and not in my ſelfe, nor in anie worldlie honor or dignitie, which to thine eternall glorie compared, is but a ſhadowe, and a verie vanitie.
O Lord, we live here in great darkneſſe, and are ſoone deceived with the vanities of this world, and are ſoone greeved with a little trouble: yet id I could behold my ſelfe well, I ſhould plainelie ſee, that what trouble ſoever I have ſuffered, it hath juſtlie come upon me, becauſe I have often ſinned, & greevouſlie offended thee.
To me therefore confuſion, and deſpite is due; but to 91 L8r 91 to thee laud, honour and glorie.
Lord ſend me helpe in my troubles; for mans helpe is little woorth.
Now often have I beene diſappointed, where I thought I ſhould have found friendſhip? And how often have I found it, where as I leaſt thought?
Wherefore it is a vaine thing to truſt in man. For Salus a Deo the true truſt and helth of man is onlie in thee.
Bleſſed be thou Lord therefore in all things, that happen unto us. For we be weake and unſtable, ſoone deceived, and ſoon changed from one thing to another.
O Lord God, moſt righteous Judge, ſtrong and patient, which knoweſt the frailtie and malice of man; be thou my whole ſtrength and comfort in all neceſſities. For mine owne conſcience Lord ſufficeth not.
Wherefore to thy mercie I doo appeale, ſeeing no man may be juſtified, ne appere righteous in thy ſight, if thou examine him after thy juſtice.
The fift Chapter, Of the everlasting daie, and anguish of this life.
Obleſſed manſion of thy heavenlie Citie! O moſt cleareſt daie of eternitie, whom the might may never darken!
This is the daie alwaie cleare and merrie, alwaie ſure, and never changing his eſtate.
Would to God this daie might ſhortlie appeare, and ſhine upon us, and that theſe worldlie fantaſies were at an end.
This daie ſhineth clearlie to thy Saints in heaven, with everlaſting brightneſſe: but to us pilgrims in earth it ſhineth obſcurelie, and as through a mirrour or glaſſe.
The heavenlie Citizens knowe how joious this day is; but we outlawes, the children of Eve, weepe and waile 92 L8v 92 waile the bitter tediouſnes of our daie, that is of this preſent life, ſhort and evill, full of ſorowe and anguiſh,
Where man is oftentimes defiled with ſinne, incumbred with affliction, inquieted with troubles, wrapped in cares, buſies with vanities, blinded with errors, overcharged with labours, vexed with temptation, overcome with vaine delights and pleaſures of the world, and grievouſlie tormented with penurie and neede.
O when ſhall the end come of all theſe miſeries?
When ſhall I be clearelie delivered from the bondage of ſinne?
When ſhall I Lord have onelie mind on thee, and fullie be glad and merrie in thee?
When ſhall I be free without letting, and be in perfect libertie of bodie and ſoule?
When ſhall I have peace without trouble: peace within and without, and on everie ſide ſtedfaſt & ſure?
O Lord Jeſu, when ſhall I ſtand and behold thee; and have full ſight and contemplation of thy glorie?
When ſhalt thou be to me all in all? And when ſhall I be with thee in thy kingdome, that thou haſt ordeined for thine elect people from the beginning?
I am left here poore, and as an outlawe, in the land of mine enimies; where dailie be battels, and great miſfortunes.
Comfort mine exile, aſſwage my ſorowe; for all my deſire is to be with thee.
It is to me an unpleaſant burden, what pleaſure ſoever the world offereth me here.
I deſire to have inward fruition in thee; but I can not attaine thereto.
I covet to cleave faſt to heavenlie things; but worldlie affections plucke my mind downeward.
I would ſubdue all evill affections; but they dallie rebell, and riſe againſt me, and will not be ſubject unto my 93 M1r 93 my ſpirit.
Thus I wretched creature ſigh in my ſelfe, and am grievous to my ſelfe, while my ſpirit deſireth to be upward and contrarie, my fleſh draweth me downward.
O what ſuffer I inwardlie! I go about to mind heavenly things, and ſtreight a great rable of worldlie things ruſh into my ſoule.
Therefore, Lord, be not long awaie; ne depart thou in thy wrath from me.
Send me the light of thy grace; deſtroie in me all carnall deſires.
Send foorth the hot flames of thy love to burne and conſume the cloudie fantaſies of my mind.
Gather, O Lord, my wits, and the powers of my ſoule togither in thee; & make me to deſpiſe all worldlie things, and by thy grace ſtrongly to reſiſt and overcome all motions and occasſions of ſinne.
Helpe me thou everlaſting truth, that no worldlie guile nor vanitie hereafter have power to deceive me.
Come alſo thou heavenlie ſweetneſſe, and let all bitterneſſe of ſinne flie far from me. Pardon me, and forgive me as oft as in my praier my mind is not ſurelie fixed on thee.
For manie times I am not there, where I ſtand or ſit; but rather there wither my thoughts carie me.
For there I am, where my thoughts be, and where as cuſtomablie is my thought, there is that that I love.
And that oftentimes commeth into my mind, that y cuſtome pleaſeth me beſt; and that delighteth me moſt to thinke upon.
Accordinglie as thou doſt ſay in the goſpell: Where as a mans treaſure is, there is his hart.
Wherefore, if I love heaven, I ſpeake gladlie therof, and of ſuch things as be of God, and of that that apperteineth to his honour, and to the glorie of his M.j. holie 94 M1v 94 holie name.
And if I love the world, I love to talke of worldlie things, and I joie anon in worldlie felicitie, and ſorowe and lament ſoone for worldlie adverſitie.
If I love the fleſh, I imagine oftentimes that, that pleaſeth the fleſh.
If I love my ſoule, I delight much to ſpeake and to heare of things that be for my ſoules health.
And whatſoever I love, of that I gladlie heare, and ſpeake, and beare the images of them ſtill in my mind.
Bleſſed is the man that for the love of the Lord, ſetteth not by the pleaſures of this world, and learneth trulie to overcome himſelfe, and with the fervour of ſpirit crucifieth his fleſh; ſo that in a cleane and a pure conſcience he may offer his praiers to thee, and be accepted to have companie of thy bleſſed Angels, all earthlie things excluded from his hart.
The ſixt Chapter, A ſweet praier, wherein being preſſed downe with troubles, we humblie yeeld our ſelves under the mightie hand of God our Creator.
Lord and holie Father, be thou bleſſed now and ever. For as thou wilt, ſo it is done; and that thou dooeſt is alwaie beſt.
Let me, thine humble and unwoorthie ſervant, joie onelie in thee, and not in my ſelfe, ne in anie thing elſe beſides thee.
For thou Lord art my gladnes, my hope, my crowne, and all mine honour.
What hath thy ſervant, but that ſhe hath of thee, and that without hir deſert.
All things be thine; thou haſt created and made them.
I am poore, and have beene in trouble and paine, ever from my youth, and my ſoule hath beene in great heavineſſeuineſſe 95 M2r 95 vineſſe through manifold paſſions, that come of the world, and of the fleſh.
Wherefore Lord, I deſire that I may have of thee the joie of inward peace.
I aſke of thee to come to that reſt, which is ordeined for thy choſen children, that be fed and nouriſhed with the light of heavenlie comforts. For without thy helpe I can not come to thee.
Lord give me peace, give me inward joie, and then my ſoule ſhall be full of heavenlie melodie, and be devout and fervent in thy lauds and praiſes.
But if thou withdrawe thy ſelfe from me (as thou haſt ſometime done) then may not thy ſervant runne the waie of thy commandements, as I did before.
For it is not with me, as it was when the Lampe of thy ghoſtlie preſence did ſhine upon my head; and I was defended under the ſhadowe of thy wings from all perils and dangers.
O mercifull Lord Jeſu, ever to be praiſed; the time is come, that thou wilt proove thy ſervant; and rightfull it is, that I ſhall now ſuffer ſomewhat for thee.
Now is the houre come, that thou haſt knowne from the beginning, that thy ſervant for a time ſhould outwardlie be ſet at naught, and inwardlie to leane unto thee.
And that ſhe ſhould be deſpiſed in the ſight of the world, and be broken with affliction, that ſhe may after ariſe with thee in a new light, and be clarified, and made glorious in the kingdome of heaven.
O holie father, thou haſt ordeined it ſo to be; and it is done as thou haſt commanded.
This is thy grace (O Lord) to thy freend, to ſuffer hir to be troubled in this world for thy love, how often ſo ever it be, and of what perſon ſo ever it be, and in what maner ſoever thou wilt ſuffer it to fall unto hir. For without thy will or ſufferance, what thing is done M.ij. upon 96 M2v 96 upon the earth?
It is good to me, O Lord, that thou haſt meekened damagedonū est mihj quod illegible me. me, that I may therby learne to knowe thy righteous judgements, & to put from me all maner of preſumption, and ſtatelineſſe of hart.
It is verie profitable for me, that confuſion hath covered my face; that I may learne thereby rather to ſeeke to thee for helpe and ſuccour, than to man.
I have thereby learned to dread thy ſecret and terrible judgements, which ſcourgeſt the righteous with the ſinner; but not without equitie and juſtice.
Lord, I yeeld thanks to thee, that thou haſt not ſpared my ſinnes, but haſt puniſhed me with ſcourges of love, and haſt ſent me affliction and anguiſh within and without.
No creature under heaven may comfort me, but thou Lord God, the heavenlie leach of mans ſoule, which ſtrikeſt and healeſt, which bringeſt a man nigh unto death, and after reſtoreſt him to life againe, that he may thereby learne to knowe his owne weakneſſe and imbecillitie, & the more fullie to truſt in the Lord.
Thy diſcipline is laid upon me, and thy rod of correction hath taught me, and under that rod I wholie ſubmit me.
Strike my backe and my bones as it ſhall pleaſe thee; and make me to bow my crooked will to thy will.
Make me a meeke and an humble diſciple, as thou haſt ſometime done with me, that I may walke after thy will.
To thee I commit my ſelfe to be corrected. For better it is to be corrected by thee heere, than in time to come.
Thou knoweſt all things, and nothing is hid from thee that is in mans conſcience.
Thou knoweſt all things to come before they fell, & it is not needfull that anie man teach thee, or warne thee 97 M3r 97 thee of anie thing that is done upon the earth.
Thou knoweſt what is profitable for me, and how much tribulations helpe to purge awaie the ruſt of ſinne in me.
Doo with me after thy pleaſure. I am a ſinfull wretch, to none ſo well knowne as to thee.
Grant me (Lord) that to knowe, that is neceſſarie to be knowne; that to love, that is to be loved; that to deſire, that pleaſeth thee; that to regard, that is pretious in thy ſight; and that to refuſe, that is vile before thee.
Suffer me not to judge thy myſteries after mine outward ſenſes, ne to give ſentence after the hearing of the ignorant, but by true judgement to diſcerne things ſpirituall; and above all things, alwaie to ſearch and followe thy will and pleaſure.
O Lord Jeſu, thou art all my riches, and all that I have, I have it of thee.
But what am I (Lord) that dare ſpeake to thee? I am thy poore creature, and a worme moſt abject.
Behold Lord, I have naught, and of my ſelfe I am naught worth. Thou art onlie God, righteous and holie; thou ordereſt all things, thou giveſt all things, and thou fulfilleſt all things with goodneſſe.
I am a ſinner, barren and void of godlie vertues.
Remember thy mercies, and fill my hart with plentie of thy grace. For thou wilt not that thy works in me ſhould be made in vaine.
How many I beare the miſerie of this life, except thy grace annd mercie do comfort me?
Tuurn not thy face from me, deferre not the viſiting of me; ne withdrawe not thy comforts, leaſt happilie my ſoule be made as drie earth, without the water of grace.
Teach me (Lord) to fulfill thy will, to live meeklie, and worthilie before thee. For thou art all my wiſdome M.iij. and 98 M3v 98 and cunning, thou art he that knoweſt me as I am, that kneweſt me before the world was made, & before I was borne or brought into this life. To thee (O Lord) be honour, glorie, and praiſe for ever and ever: Amen.
A certaine effectuall praier, made by the Ladie Jane Dudley, in the time of hir trouble, a little before hir death.
Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Penseillegible
O Lord, thou God and father of my life, heare mee poore and deſolate Woman, which flieth unto thee onelie in all my troubles and miſeries. Thou, O Lord, art the onlie defender and deliverer of thoſe that put their truſt in thee. And therefore I, being defiled with ſinne, incumbred with affliction, unquieted with troubles, wrapped in cares, overwhelmed with miſeries, vexed with temptations, and greevouſlie tormented with the long imprionment of this vile maſſe of claie, my ſinfull bodie and bloud, do come unto thee O merciefull Saviour, craving thy mercie and helpe; without the which, ſo little hope of deliverance is left, that I may utterlie deſpaire of anie libertie. Albeit, it is expedient, that ſeeing our life ſtandeth upon trieng, we ſhould be viſited ſometime with ſome adverſitie, wherby we might both be tried, whether we be of thy flocke or no, and alſo knowe thee, and our ſelves the better: yet thou that ſaidſt, that thou wouldſt not ſuffer us to be temptedted 99 M4r 99 ted above our power; be mercifull unto me now, a miPraier not to be tented above our power ſerable wretch, I beſeech thee: which with Salomon do crie unto thee, humblie deſiring thee, that I may neither be too much puffed up with proſperitie; neither too much preſſed downe with adverſitie, leaſt I being too full, ſhould denie my God; or being too lowe brought, ſhould deſpaire, and blaſpheme thee my Lord and Saviour.
O mercifull God, conſider my miſerie beſt knowne unto thee, and be thou now unto me a ſtrong tower of defence, I humblie require thee. Suffer me not to be tempted above my ſtrength and power, but either be 1. thou a deliverer unto me out of this great miſerie, either elſe give me grace patientlie to beare thy heavie 2. hand, and ſharpe corection. It was thy right hand, O God that delivered the people of Iſrael out of the hands god delivered the Iſraelites from pharao, who kept them 400 yeresdamaged bondage. of Pharao, which for the ſpace of four hundred yeares, did oppreſſe them, and keepe them in bondage. Let it therefore likewiſe ſeeme good to thy fatherlie goodnes, to deliver me, ſorowfull wretch (for whome thy ſonne Chriſt ſhed his pretious bloud on the Croſſe) out of this miſerable captivitie and bondage, wherein I am now.
How long wilt thou be abſent? For ever? Oh Lord, haſt thou forgotten to be gratious, and haſt thou ſhut up thy loving kindneſſe in diſpleaſure? Wilt thou be no more intreated? Is thy mercie cleane gone for ever, and thy promiſe come utterlie to an end for evermore? Why doeſt thou make ſo long tarieng? Shall I deſpaire of thy mercie oh God? Far be that from me. I Deſperate? am thy workemanſhip, created in Chriſt Jeſu; give Abſia me grace therefore to tarie thy leaſure, and patientlie to beare thy works: aſſuredlie knowing, that as thou god can & will helpe canſt, ſo thou wilt deliver me, when it ſhall pleaſe thee, nothing doubting nor miſtruſting thy goodneſſe towards me. For thou woteſt better what is good for me, M.iiij. than 100 M4v 100 than I doo.
Therefore doo with me in all things what thou wilt, and plague me what waie thou wilt; onelie in the meane time arme me, I beſeech thee, with thine armour, that I may ſtand faſt, my loines being girded about with veritie, having on the breſtplate of righteouſnes, and ſhod with the ſhooes prepared by the Goſpell of peace: above all things taking to me the ſhield of faith, where with I may be able to quench all the firie darts of the wicked; and taking the helmet of ſalvation, and the ſword of the ſpirit, which is thy moſt holie word, praieng alwaies with all maner of praier and ſupplication, that I may referre my ſelfe wholie unto thy will, abiding thy pleaſure, and comforting my ſelfe in thoſe troubles that it ſhall pleaſe thee to ſend me; ſeeing ſuch troubles be profitable for me, and ſeeing I am aſſuredlie perſuaded, that it cannot be but well all that thou doeſt. Heare me, oh mercifull father, for his ſake, whome thou wouldeſt ſhould be a ſlaine ſacrifice for my ſinnes, to whom with thee and the holie Ghoſt, be all honour and glorie for ever: Amen.
An exhortation written by the Ladie Jane, the night before ſhe ſuffered, in the end of the new Testament in Greeke, which ſhe ſent to hir ſiſter the Ladie Katherine.
Ihave here ſent you, good ſiſter Katherine, a Booke, which although it be not outwardlie trimmed with gold, yet inwardlie it is more worth than pretious ſtones. It is the booke (deere ſiſter) of the lawe of the Lord; it is his Teſtament and laſt will, which he bequeathed unto us wretches, which ſhall leade you to the path of eternall joie. And if you, with a good mind reade it, and with an earneſtneſt 101 M5r 101 neſt deſire folowe it, it ſhall bring you to an immortall and everlaſting life. It will teach you to live, and learne you to die. It ſhall win you more than you ſhould have gained by the poſſeſſions of your wofull fathers land. For as, if God had proſpered him, you ſhould have inherited all his lands; ſo if you applie diligentlie this booke, ſeeking to direct your life after it, you ſhall be an inheritour of ſuch riches, as neither the covetous ſhall withdrawe from you, neither the theefe ſhall ſteale, neither yet the moths corrupt. Deſire with David (good ſiſter) to underſtand the lawe of the Lord your God, live ſtill to die, that you by death may obtaine eternall life: or after your death enjoie the life purchaſed you by Chriſtes death. And truſt not that the tenderneſſe of your age ſhall lengthen your life. For as ſoone, if God call, goeth the yong as the old. And labour alwaie to learne to die, denie the world, defie the divell, diſpiſe the fleſh, and delight your ſelfe onlie in the Lord. Be penitent for your ſins, and yet deſpair not; be ſtrong in faith, and yet preſume not: and deſire with Saint Paule to be diſſolved, and to be with Chriſt, with whome in death there is life. Be like the good ſervant, and even at midnight be waking, leaſt when death commeth, and ſtealeth upon you like a theefe in the night, you be with the evill ſervant found ſeeping: and leaſt for lacke of oile in your lampe, ye be found like to the five fooliſh virgins, and like him that had not on the wedding garment; and then be caſt out from the mariage. Rejoice in Chriſt, as I truſt you do. And ſeeing you have the name of a Chriſtian, as neere as you can, folowe the ſteps of your maiſter Chriſt, and take up your croſſe; laie your ſinnes on his backe, and alwaies embrace him. And as touching my death, rejoice, as I doo (good ſiſter) that I ſhall be delivered of this corruption, and put on incorruption. For I am aſſured, that I ſhall for loſing of a mortall life, win an immor- 102 M5v 102 immortall life, the which I praie God grant you, and ſend you of his grace, to live in his feare, and to die in the true chriſtian faith, from the which in Gods name I exhort you that ye never ſwarve, neither for hope of life, nor feare of death. For if ye will denie his truth to lengthen your life, God will denie you, and yet ſhorten your daies, to your comfort, and his glorie. To the which glorie God bring me now, and you heereafter, when it ſhall pleaſe God to call you. Farewell good ſiſter, and put your onlie truſt in God, who onlie muſt helpe you.
Your loving ſiſter, Jane Dudley.
Certaine verſes written by the ſaid Ladie Jane with a pinne.
Non aliena putes homini que obtingere poſſunt,
Sors hodierna mihi, cras erit illa tibi.
Deo inuuante, nil nocet liuor malus:
Et non iuuante, nil iuuat labor grauis.
Poſt tenebras ſpero lucem.
Hir praier that ſhe ſaid at the time of hir death, was the 51. Pſalme of David hereafter following, intituled, Miſerere mei Deus, Have mercie upon me O God: which in moſt devout manner ſhe ſaid to the verie end: with theſe hir laſt words:
Lord, into thy hands I commend my ſpirit.
Morning and Evening praiers, with divers Pſalmes, Hymnes, and Meditations, made and ſet forth by the Ladie Elizabeth Tyrwhit.
A Confeſsion to be ſaid before Morning praier.
Idoo acknowledge, and confeſſe unto thee, O moſt mercifull and heavenlie father, mine often and grievous offences that I have committed againſt thy divine Majeſtie, from my youth hitherto, in thought, word and deed; leaving undone thoſe things, which I ought and ſhould have done; and dooing thoſe things which I ought not to have done: provoking thy wrath and indignation againſt me. And now lamenting this my wickednes, I appeale unto thy mercie, & ſaie with the Publicane, O Lord God be mercifull unto me a moſt wretched ſinner, forgive all that is paſt, ſave and defend me from evill, and confirme me in good life, to the glorie of thy name:
So be it.
A praier to be ſaid at our upriſing.
Idoo thanke thee, my moſt mercifull and heavenlie father, by thy deerelie beloved ſonne Jeſu Chriſt, that this night thou haſt given me ſleepe and reſt, preſerving me from hurt and 104 M6v 104 and perill. I crie thee mercie for mine offences, and moſt humblie beſeech thee, that thou wilt likewiſe this daie keepe me from ſinne and all evill, ſo that all my thoughts, words and works may pleaſe thee. I doo commit my ſelfe, both bodie and ſoule, and all things that I go about into thy hands; beſeeching thee that thine holie ſpirit may abide with me, leaſt my deadlie adverſarie the divell have power over me, Amen.
Another praier at our upriſing.Note
Obleſſed Jeſu, this daie I commend me and all my proceedings into thy hands: this daie I moſt humbly praie thee to helpe me, which haſt made me to thine owne image, and in thy bloud haſt clenſed me, which art my hope in heavineſſe, my comfort in care, and truſt in trouble. Although ſweete Lord, my conſcience accuſeth me, and the lawe condemneth me; yet thy pretious death and teſtament hath delivered me, with thee to reigne in glorie, after death hath arreſted me, & the earth conſumed me; yet good Lord, I truſt in the reſnurrection to dwell with thee eternallie, through thy promiſe made to me, and to all that doo beleeve in thee, and call upon thy holie name. Thy kingdome come this daie to me, from Sathan deliver me, with the bread of Angels feede me, from fleſhlie luſts purge me, from ſudden death and deadlie ſinne, O Lord take me. Give me an hart to beleeve in thee, and that all my ſenſes may obey thee, and of thy mercie accept my praiers this daie before thee, which art one God in Trinite, to whom be all honour and glorie, Amen.
The Hymne or praier to the ſonne of God.
The beamie ſun large light doth give, & chaſe away the night:
So bleſſe us with thy benefits, endue us with thy ſpirit.
Swéet dews frōom heven to earth God grant, of peace & quiet mind,
That we may ſerve the living God, as his ſtatutes doo bind.
O mightie Lord our helpe at néed, drive far awaie the féend:
That ſinne nor hell doo us moleſt, when as our life ſhall éend.
Thou art the everlaſting daie, which ſhinſt in everie place:
And féedeſt everie living wight, with plentious gifts of grace.
Into thy heavenlie hands déer God, my ſpirit I doo commend:
This day from ſin and Sathans power, thy ſervant me defend.
We laud thée Father for thy grace,
We praiſe the Sonne which made us frée:
We thanke the holie Spirit for our ſolace,
Which is one God and perſons thrée.
His deerlie beloved ſonne God did not ſpare; but for us all delivered him. How ſhall he not with him give us all things alſo?
A praier to God the father to be uſed before Morning praier.
Our mercifull father, which in teaching us to praie, by thy ſonne Chriſt, haſt commanded us to call thee father, and to beleeve that we are thy beloved children, who ſtirreſt up none of thine to praie, but to the intent that thou wouldeſt heare them, giving unto us alſo all things more effectuallie and plentiouſlie, than we can either aſke or thinke. We do beſeech thee, for thy ſonnes ſake, to give us grace to beleeve, and knowe aſſuredlie, that thy ſonne our Saviour Chriſt, is given of thee unto us to be our Saviour, our righteouſneſſe, our wiſdome, our holines, our redemption, and our ſatiſfaction. O Lord ſuffer us not to truſt in anie other ſalvation, but in thy ſonne our Saviour Jeſus Chriſt: So be it.
The Hymne of our redemption by Christ.
Praiſe we our father lovinglie, which gentlie us preſerved:
When we forſooke him wretchedlie, & death by ſinne deſerved.
His mercie was ſo bountious, that though we from him fell:
Fréelie in Chriſt he pardoned us, and us redéemd from hell.
Glorie be to the Trinitie, the Father, Sonne, and ſpirit living:
Which art one God & perſons thrée, to whom be praiſe without ending,
A forme of private Morning Praier.
O Lord open thou my lips, that my mouth may ſpeake and ſhew foorth that which is to thy glorie and praiſe. And ſhut my mouth from ſpeaking of anie thing, whereby I ſhould offend thy divine majeſtie, or be hurtfull to my neighbor.
O God make ſpeede to ſave us.
O Lord make haſte to helpe us.
Glorie be to the Father, and to the Sonne, and to the holie Ghoſt.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever ſhall be, world without end, Amen.
Praiſe ye the Lord. Thanks be given to God.
The firſt Pſalme at Morning Praier.
O Lord heare my woords, marke my crieng, O my King and my God, for unto thee onelie come I to praie: neither doo I looke for ſuccour anie where elſe than of theeO 107 M8r 107
O Lord, I beſeech thee, that thou wilt gratiouſlie hearken to my petitions, that thy grace may ſpring in my hart with the morowe light of thy comfort, the night of care and perturbation being overpaſſed: ſuffer me not to periſh with the ungodlie folke whome thou curſeſt.
I come running to thee, not truſting in mine owne righteouſnes; but to thy great and manifold mercies.
O Lord with the rule of thy juſtice will I be directed. For thy name ſake make plaine thy waie before me, and my waie before thee; leaſt the ſpirit of malice doo turne me thence.
Let them rejoice that repoſe themſelves and truſt alwaies in thy mercie; let them ſing Hymnes and Pſalmes, which doo glorie and rejoice in thee, let them triumph which love thy name.
Defend me, O Lord, with thy grace, as with a ſhield in time of perill; to the intent that when I am aſſaulted with them, I may yet with conſtant cheere growe up unto my full perfection.
Glorie be to the father, &c.
As it was in the, &c.
The ſecond Pſalme.
Oh Lord God and father, I beſeech thee by Chriſt our Lord, that of thine infinite mercie thou keepe me, ſo as at no time I followe the counſell of the ungodlie, which knowe thee not; or of Hypocrites, which with their harts ſeeke thee not.
O Lord, ſuffer me not to enter into the waie of ſinners, with a mind to fulfill the deſires and luſts of the fleſh.
But whenſoever through frailtie of my corupt nature I ſhall chance to run aſtraie, then O Lord,ſtaie me, and plucke my foote backe againe.
Keepe me, that I ſit not in the ſeate of peſtilent ſcorners,ners, 108 M8v 108 ners, which cloaking their Phariſaicall and diveliſh intents, condenme in other men thy veritie & Goſpell.
Oh Lord, bring to paſſe that I may burne in the deſire of thy lawe, that upon the advancement of thy word my mind may alwaies be occupied, that I may evermore chooſe that which is moſt pleaſant to thee, and hate that both in my ſelfe and others, which to thee is diſpleaſant.
Make I praie thee that I may be a tree planted by the ſweet rivers of thy ghoſtlie waters, to the intent I may bring foorth fruit to thy glorie, and to the profit of my neighbour, as often as thou ſhalt miniſter time and occaſion thereunto.
Leaſt my leaves, which are my words and works ſhould fade and fall awaie; but that all things may proſper, whatſoever I ſhall doo in thy name.
Aſſiſt me, I beſeech thee, and grant O moſt mercifull father that for Jeſu Chriſts ſake I may take roote in the ground of life; leaſt with the ungodlie, like chaffe and duſt I be blowne abrode with the moſt pernicious winds of this world.
And grant that I may ſtand in the aſſemblie of the righteous, and that I may enter into judgment without puniſhment; and eſcape everlaſting damnation.
The third Pſalme.
To thee, O Lord, I lift up my mind, in thee I truſt, O Lord God; let me not be confounded, leaſt mine enimies make me a jeſting ſtocke, and a matter to laugh at.
O Lord make thy waies knowne unto me, and trade me in thy paths.
Direct me in thy truth, and inſtruct me; for thou art God my Saviour, I looke after thee everie daie.
O Lord thou art ſweet and rightfull, and bringeſt againe 109 N1r 109 againe into the waie them which went out.
Thou leadeſt ſtrait into thy judgement, them that be mild and tractable, and teacheſt them that be meeke thy word and teſtimonies.
Thou healeſt them that be contrite in hart, and aſſwageſt their paines and griefe.
Thou holdeſt up all them which elſe ſhould fall, and all that are fallen thou lifteſt up againe.
Thou giveſt ſight to the blind, and looſeſt them that be bound.
Thou art nigh unto all them that call upon thee, ſo that they call upon thee faithfullie.
Thou fulfilleſt the deſire of them that doo feare thee, and heareſt their praier, and ſaveſt them.
Have mercie upon me, O God, have mercie upon me, for in thee my ſoule truſteth.
Verelie my ſoule hath a ſpeciall reſpect to thee. For my health, my glorie, and all my ſtrength cometh from thee.
For thine owne ſake, oh Lord God, laie not my ſins to my charge.
I underſtand not all mine errours, innumerable troubles doo cloſe me round about, my ſinnes have taken hold upon me, and I am not able to looke up.
Put to thy hand to helpe me, and leade me right in all my works.
Make me to walke perfectlie in thy waies, that no kind of ſinne overcome me.
Set a watch before my mouth; and keepe the doore of my lips.
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my hart be ever pleaſant and acceptable in thy ſight.
Let the word of truth never go awaie from my mouth, and ſuffer no malice to dwell in my hart.
O Lord deliver my ſoule from lieng lips, and ſave me from the deceitfull tongue.N.j. Put 110 N1v 110
Put into my mouth thy true and holie word, and take from me all idle and unfruitfull ſpeech.
Deliver me from falſe ſurmiſes and accuſations of men: rule me even as thou thinkeſt good, after thy will and pleaſure.
Turne awaie mine eies, that they behold no vaine things; faſten them in thy waie.
Take from me fornication and all uncleanneſſe, and let not the love of the fleſh beguile me.
Yea deliver my ſoule from pride, that it doo not reigne in me, and then ſhall I be cleane from the greateſt ſinne.
Staie and keepe my feete from everie evill waie, leaſt my ſteps ſwarve from thy paths.
Mine eies looke ever unto thee, O Lord, bicauſe thou art nigh at hand, and all thy waies be the truth.
Thy mercies be great and manie, O Lord, bleſſed is he whoſoever truſteth in thee.
For when I ſaid unto thee, My feete be ſlipped, thy mercie, O Lord, by and by did hold me up.
Teach me to doo thy will, and leade me by thy pathwaie, for thou art my God.
Oh Lord, ſave my ſoule, and deliver me from the power of darkneſſe.
Let the brightneſſe of thy face ſhine upon thy ſervant, for unto thee, O Lord God, I have fled ffor ſuccor.
Looke unto me, and have mercie upon me; for I am deſolate and poore.
Keepe my ſoule and deliver me, that I be not confounded. For I have truſted in thee.
O Lord God, forſake me not, although I have done no good in thy ſight.
For thy goodneſſe grant me, that at the leaſt-wiſe now I may begin to live well.
O Lord ſhew thy ſervants thy works, and their children thy glorie; and the gratious majeſtie of the Lord our 111 N2r 111 our God be upon us. Oh proſper thou the works of our hands, oh proſper thou our handie works.
A contemplation of Chriſtes paſsion.
Owhat love and mercie of man undeſerved from God the father, through his onlie ſonne Jeſu Chriſt, by whoſe fleſh and bloud we have cleane remiſſion of our offences; when we call to mind this myſterie of our redemption, and our ſufficient ſacrifice, whereby ſinne, death and hell be put to exile; and grace, mercie and peace be obteined! For this we have not onlie occaſion to lament our ſelves, which were the verie cauſes why Jeſus did lament in care, and became poore in bodie, ſweat water and bloud againſt his death, praied in affliction, and ſuffered for our redemption: but alſo to give gailie thanks, and to rejoice to God the father, for this his ſonne, by whom we have felowſhip with Angels, and are become Citizens of the ſaints, and of the houſhold of God, partakers of everlaſting life for ever. O happie be they which forget not this heavenlie Philoſophie, this giltleſſe paſſion of Jeſu Chriſt! To knowe & beleeve this, is life everlaſting, and the quietneſſe of conſcience. This paſſion is our riches in povertie, and helpe in adverſitie, and onlie life in death. By this his painefull affliction, were all the Patriarches, Prophets, Martyrs, and everie beleeving bodie ſaved, that ever was, or ſhall be; without which all fleſh is damned and accurſed. Now ſweet Chriſt, for this thy bleſſed oblation, have mercie on me now and in the houre of death; that in the dreadfull daie of judgment, ſinne, death and hell may not prevaile againſt me ſinfullN.ij. full 112 N2v 112 full creature, but have mercie upon me, according to thy greateſt mercie, which is this thy death and paſſion, for which be praiſe to the holie Trinitie for ever and ever, Amen.
The Hymne of the paſſion of Chriſt.
Jeſus which is the livelie well of wiſdome,
And the heavenlie truth of the father eternall,
Which from heaven to this world did come,
To deliver us thralles from paines infernall,
Of Judas was ſold, and of the Jewes taken,
And of his Diſciples at midnight was forſaken.
We laud thee father for thy grace,
We praiſe the ſonne which made us free,
We thanke the holie ſpirit for our ſolace,
Which is one God and perſons three.
In the dawning of the daie they did him faſt bind,
And before Pilate he was then convented,
Falſe witneſſe againſt Jeſus they did then find,
When the cruell Seniours in judgement him preſented,
Beaten was his bodie, defiled was his face,
And yet God and man, the verie well of grace.
We laud thee father, &c.
When thrée houres were paſt, before Pilates throne,
All the people cried, Kill Jeſus the Jewes king,
His crowne was thornes, in purple he made mone,
With a croſſe over Cedron they did him bring,
And prepared his deadlie place on Galgatha hill,
To ſuffer pains for Adamn gilt, ſo was his fathers will.
We laud thee father, &c.
The ſixt houre approched his painefull end,
When on the trée his bodie they nailed,
In heaven was his helpe, in earth he had no frend,
He died betwéene two théeves, on him the Elders raſledThen 113 N3r 113
Then he thirſted for his elect, which ſubject were to thrall,
Unthankefullie they offred him vinegre mingled with gall.
We laud thee father, &c.
This verie God, Gods onlie begotten child,
Said to his father, Why haſt thou me forſaken?
Yet receive this ſacrifice, and my ſpirit undefild:
The heavens were darkned, aſunder the ſtones were ſhaken.
Bloud and water then ſprang from this bleſſed lamb,
Then graves opened, the dead alive foorth came.
We laud thee father for thy grace, &c.
The ſecond Meditation or praier of our frailtie and miſrerie.
Omiſerable wretched woman that I am, how may I be compared to any of thy ſaints that ſhall dwell in thy Tabernacle or holie hill? For they love to be in holie contemplation: and I in the vaine multitude, forgetting thee: they be meeke, and I unpatient: they do not forget thee, but my good Lord, when do I remember thee, but when affliction enforceth me; or the lamentable fall of my breethren conſtraine me to thanke thee? Thou moſt mightie and fearefull God of hoſts, thy holie name be bleſſed for ever, Amen. What ſhall I ſaie my God? Thou art moſt good, and I evill; thou holie, and I miſerable; thou art light, and I am blind; thou art the bleſſed joie, and I am carefull and full of ſorowe. My Lord, thou art the Phyſician, and I the miſerable patient; I am nothing but vanitie and corrupt, as everie living man is. What ſhall I ſaie (O Creator) but this, that I am thy creature, and ſhall I periſh? Thy hands have made me, and were wounded for me; thy bloud was ſhed for me, and hath waſhed me; thy holie Ghoſt hath ſanctified me, and taught me: yet Lord, my daies are nothing. What ſhould I mortall creature N.iij. thus 114 N3v 114 thus talke with my ſelfe, Lord God, but that need hath no lawe? Sorowe hath compelled me to ſeeke comfort, ſickneſſe enforceth me to folowe the Phyſician, conſcience pricketh me to crie to thee my Lord for a heavenlie cordiall of comfort, which am in great diſcomfort, borne of a woman, full of miſerie and ſhortneſſe of time, and paſſe awaie like a ſhadowe, never content with one eſtate, but in earth remaine for ever.
The Hymne to God the Creator.
O Creator, to thée thy creature I call,
Who made of mould do live in paine,
And ſicke in ſoule, my fleſh is thrall,
O wo is me, my daies be vaine:
Yet unto God I call for grace,
My ſoule in heaven to have a place.
A praier to the bleſſed Trinitie.
Oholie, bleſſed, and glorious Trinitie, three equall, and coeternall perſons, but one God almightie, have mercie upon me vile, abject, abhominable, and ſinfull wretch, meekelie acknowledging before thy divine Majeſtie my long continued life in ſinne, even from my childhood hitherto. Then good gratious Lord, as thou giveſt me the grace to acknowledge them; ſo give me grace not in word onlie, but in hart alſo, with ſorowfull contrition to repent, and utterlie to forſake them. Forgive me alſo thoſe ſinnes, through which by mine owne fault, wicked affection, and evill cuſtome, my reaſon is with ſenſualitie ſo blinded, as I cannot diſcerne them for ſinne. Illuminate my hart (good Lord) and give me grace to acknow- 115 N4r 115 acknowledge them. Forgive me my ſinnes negligentlie forgotten, and bring them to my mind, with grace to be throughlie repentant for them.
O mercifull God, grant me thy grace ſo to deſpiſe ſinne, and all worldlie vanities, that I may ſaie with the bleſſed Apoſtle Saint Paule: The world is crucified to me, and I to the world; Chriſt is to me life, and to die is my gaine and advantage; I deſire to be looſed, and to be with Chriſt: Lord give me thy grace to amend my life, and to have an eie to mine end, without anie grudge, or feare of death, which to them that die in thee, is the gate of eternall life.
Almightie God, teach me to doo thy will; take my right hand, and leade me in the true waie from mine: drawe me after thee, bind my mouth with ſnaffle and bridle, when I will not drawe unto thee. Oh gratious God, all ſinfull feare, all ſinfull ſorowe and penſiveneſſe, all ſinfull hope, all ſinfull mirth and gladneſſe take awaie from me. On the other ſide, concerning ſuch feare, ſuch heavineſſe, ſuch comfort, conſolation, and gladneſſe, as ſhall be profitable for my ſoule, doo with me according to thy great goodneſſe.
O Lord give me grace, in all my feare and agonie, to have recourſe to that great feare and wonderfull agonie that thou my ſaviour hadſt at the Mount of Olivet, before thy moſt bitter paſſion; and in the meditation thereof to conceive ghoſtlie comfort and conſolation, profitable for my ſoule. Almightie God, take from me all vaine-glorious minds, all appetites of mine owne praiſe, all envie, covetiſe, gluttonie, ſloth and lecherie, all wrathfull affection, all appetite of revenging, all deſire of delight of other mens harmes, all pleaſure in provoking anie perſon to wrath and anger: all delight in taunting or mocking anie perſon in their affliction or trouble. And give unto me, O Lord, an humble, quiet, peaceable, patient, charitable, N.iiij. kind, 116 N4v 116 kind, tender, and pitifull mind, in all my words, my works, and thoughts, to have a taſt of thy holie and bleſſed ſpirit.
Give me good Lord a full faith, a firme hope, a fervent charitie, a love to thee, good Lord, incomparable, above the love of my ſelfe, that I may love nothing to thy diſpleaſure, but everie thing in a due order to thee. Give me good Lord, a longing to be with thee, not for the avoiding of the calamities of this wretched world, nor ſo much for the avoiding of the paines of hell, neither ſo much for the obteining of the kingdome of heaven, in reſpect of mine owne commoditie:as even for verie love of thee. And beare me good Lord, thy love & favour, which thing my love to thee-ward (were it never ſo gret) could not but of thy great goodnes deſerve. And pardon me good Lord, that am ſo bold to aſke thee ſo high petitions, being ſo vile and ſinfull a wretch, and ſo unworthie to attaine the loweſt: but good Lord ſuch they be, as I am bound to deſire and wiſh, and ſhould be much neerer the effectuall deſire of them, if my manifold ſinnes were not the let, from which O glorious Trinitie, vouchſafe of thy goodneſſe to waſh me, with that bleſſed bloud that thou my ſweet ſaviour Jeſus Chriſt diddeſt ſhed out of thy bodie, in the divers torments of thy moſt bitter paſſion, that by that ſame greevous paſſion, glorious reſurrection and aſcenſion, I may come to that unſpeakable joie, the which thou haſt prepared for thy choſen and elect, through the ſame Jeſu Chriſt our ſavour, to whome with the Father, and the holie Ghoſt, three perſons and one God, be all honour and glorie world without end:
So be it.
After praier, ſaie this concluſion, or Collect.
O God, that art the ſtrength of ſuch as truſt in thee, mercifullie aſſiſt us that call upon thy name; and for aſmuch as mans infirmitie can do 117 N5r 117 do nothing without thee, grant I moſt humblie beſeech thee, the help of thy ſpirit, that fulfilling thy comandements, both in will and deed, I may pleaſe thee, through Jeſus Chriſt our Lord:
So be it.
Oh Lord bleſſe me and defend me, O Lord lift up thy countenance over me, and be mercifull unto me: O Lord lift up thy countenance over me and give me thy peace, that in thy peace, O Lord, I may depart, to amend my life, and doo unto the poore as much as I can: give me grace to be at unitie, in quietneſſe, and in charitie with all thy choſen and elect people, and that thy feare, oh Lord, may ever reſt in my hart: So be it.
Praiſe unto God the Father, and peace unto the living:
As they that depart in thy faith, in thée doo reſt & have their being.
The end of Morning praier.
A Confeſsion to be ſaid before Evening praier.
O Father of heaven, O ſonne of God redeemer of the world: O holie Ghoſt three perſons and one God; have mercie upon me moſt wretched caitife, and miſerable ſinner. I have offended both heaven & earth, more than my tongue can expreſſe. My ſinnes (alas) are above all mens, both in number and greatneſſe, which I have committed. Wither then may I go? Or whither ſhould I flie? To heaven I may be aſhamed to lift up my face, and in earth I am not woorthie to find a place of refuge or ſuccour. To thee therefore, O Lord, doo I run; to thee doo I humble my ſelfe, ſaieng, O Lord my God, my ſinnes be great and innunumerable:numerable: 118 N5v 118 numerable: but yet have mercie upon me for thy great mercie. The great myſterie that God became man, was not wrought for little or few offences. Thou didſt not give thy ſonne, O heavenlie Father, unto death for ſmall ſinnes onlie, but for all the greateſt ſinnes in the world: ſo that the ſinner returne unto thee with his whole hart, as I doo here at this preſent. Wherefore have mercie upon me, O God, whoſe propertie is alwaie to have mercie: wherefore have mercie upon me O Lord, for thy great mercie. I crave nothing, O Lord, for mine owne merits, but for thy name ſake, that it may be halowed therby, and for thy deere ſonne Jeſus Chriſts ſake, and now therefore:
A praier to be ſaid in the Evening.
Moſt mercifull and heavenly father, I thanke thee by thy ſonne Jeſus Chriſt, that this day thou haſt given me all things needfull both for my ſoule and bodie, preſerving me from all hurt and perill. I aſke thee mercie for mine offences, and I moſt humblie beſeech thee, that thou wilt likewiſe this night keepe me from ſinne and all evill, ſo that all my thoughts, my words & works may pleaſe thee. I doo commit my ſelfe both bodie and ſoule, and all that I go about, into thy hands. I beſeech thee that thy holie ſpirit may be with me, leaſt my deadlie adverſarie have anie power over me, Amen.
Another Evening praier.
Osovereigne, dreadfull, and moſt loving Lord my God, who never ceaſeſt to ſhew thy mercie towards ſinners, yea when they offend and treſpaſſe againſt thee, ſuch is thine infinite clemencie and love. As then thou forbeareſt not to 119 N6r 119 to heape thy benefits upon them; I moſt ſinfull and wretched wretch, yeeld thee humble thanks, for thine ineſtimable goodneſſe ſhewed towards me, in creating me to thine owne likeneſſe, and making me capable of thine everlaſting glorie: for the creation of ſo manie other creatures for my behoofe and ſuſtenance, for that ineſtimable worke of my redemption, whereby thou delivereſt me from the ſlaverie of Sathan, and purchaſeſt mee free entrance into thy celeſtiall region: for having ſingled me amongſt ſo many millians that knowe thee not, and lie drowned in ignorance, ſuperſtition, and miſerable errours, to be thy ſervant and a true faithfull Chriſtian: for both thy bleſſed Sacraments, eſpeciallie for that Sacrament above all Sacraments, wherein thou thy ſelfe art ſpirituallie conteined. Finallie, for having preſerved me ſo manie times from hell, wherein I had beene long ſince plunged, hadſt not thou of thine unſpeakeable goodneſſe ſuſteined and delivered me from my foes. For theſe and all other thy benefits: namelie, for thoſe thou haſt this daie moſt bountifullie beſtowed upon me, O my ſovereigne Lord, I yeeld thee ſuch ſincere & dutifull thanks as my poore hart can poſſiblie affoord thee: beſeeching thee to have mercie upon me, & in ſupplie of my wants to accept the mediation and thankeſgivings of Jeſus Chriſt thy onelie ſonne, and mine onelie Saviour and interceſſour.
And now mine onlie redeemer and Saviour I humblie crave the light of thy grace, to knowe wherein I have this daie anie waies offended thee by nature; and that by ſound diſcuſſion, and through examination of my conſcience, I may ſee mine owne ſinnes with ſorrowe and deteſtation; and thine ineffable mercie with a zealous & firme purpoſe of amendment of life. Thou ſeeſt, O Lord, my lewdneſſe, and woteſt my miſerie, much better than I my ſelfe doo. Sorie I am with all my 120 N6v 120 my hart, that I ſhould ſtill offend ſo loving a Lord, and wiſh to God my ſorowes were greatlie multliplied. I purpoſed earſt, to doo better by thy grace, which wanted not, & yet have I tranſgreſſed in my former treſpaſſes: neither yet may I deſpaire, O Lord, but will continuallie truſt to thy mercies in all events, & purpoſe firmelie, as I now doo, everie daie to amend my life.
Deliver me, my gratious God, from all mortall ſinne for ever, and give me grace to perſecute my vices with ſorowe during life. And for the ſatiſfaction of theſe and all my former ſinnes, as alſo for all thine ineffable benefits beſtowed upon me and all mankind; I offer unto thee the merits of thy bitter paſſion, thoſe moſe pretious drops of bloud thou ſheddeſt for me; and that inflamed charitie, wherewith thou wholie reſignedſt thy ſelfe to all thy torments, for my ſake: and in the union of this thine oblation on the croſſe, I offer up my ſelfe, ſoule, bodie, and all I have of thine, within or without me, to thine honour and everlaſting glorie. I retaine nothing to my ſelfe: but give all to thee, whoſe it is, and make that thine by my will, which is thine of juſtice. Give me thy grace, O my God, to live better herafter, and to confeſſe my ſinnes in due time unto thee. Give me true humilitie, continuall repentance, and grace both to knowe thee, and alſo my ſelfe. Give me puritie of hart in all my dooings, patience, chaſtitie, and perfect charitie. Give me a good life, and a good death, and in the dangerous houre of my departure, the aſſiſtance of thy bleſſed Saints and Angels, with whom I may, through thy mercie, in another world praiſe and glorifie thee everlaſtinglie, Amen.
The Hymne or praier to God the Father.
Bleſſed be God father of heaven,
Which hath ſtrengthned his féeble flocke:With 121 N7r 121
With ſtedfaſt faith, and boldneſſe even,
To beare his croſſe, burden and yocke.
Theſe are the laſt daies perillous,
Fréelie Chriſts Goſpell to profeſſe:
Come downe Lord ſhortlie to judge us,
And take us from the heavineſſe.
Whoſoever ſhall call upon the name of the Lord ſhall be ſaved.
A praier to God the Father to be uſed before Evening praier.
Omercifull Lord and loving Father, without Pro Remiſsiondamaged peccatorum whoſe aid and motion, I am not able to ſtir one member toward heavenlie ſervice, the burden of this ſowe and ſinfull fleſh doth ſo overcharge my weake ſoule. According to thy fatherlie pitie looke upon me, O God, and quicken my dull ſpirit with thy grace, to riſe out of this mirie puddle, and to come before thy preſence in humble repentance, craving thy mercie for my miſerable ſinnes and wickedneſſe, that being releaſed in the bloud and righteouſneſſe of Jeſus Chriſt, I may joifullie ſerve, honour, and praiſe thine eternall Majeſtie, through thy deere ſonne my mercifull Lord and redeemer, to whom with thee and the holie Ghoſt, be all glorie and thanks for ever, Amen.
The Hymne of our redemption by Christ.
Praiſed be God for his excéeding favour,
Wich hath given us his ſonne to be our Saviour.
We are ſinners, unrighteous, fooliſh, and fleſhlie,
Chriſt is our mercie-ſtoole, righteouſneſſe, & wiſdome verelie.We 122 N7v 122
We are uncleane, holden under the danger of deth & ſins exaction,
Chriſt is our holines, our life, our redemption and ſatiſfaction.
Glorie be to thée, O Lord, borne of the undefiled virgin,
Glorie be to the Father, and to the holie Ghoſt, our ſoules ſurgin:
So be it.
A forme of Private Evening praier.
Convert us our Saviour, and turne awaie thy wrath from us.
O God make ſpeede to ſave us.
O Lord make haſte to helpe us.
The firſt Pſalme at Evening praier.
Bow downe thine eare, O Lord, to my reFor Remiſsion of ſynnes. queſts, and ſuffer me to exhibit my ſupplication up unto thee. For behold, night and daie I trace and hunt after thee by all meanes I can. To thee onelie earlie and late doo I ſtill call and crie for mercie, according as thou haſt given mee in commandement.
For when I call to memorie the time of my life evill diſpent, I quake to thinke upon thee, yea and my ſpirit Nota. faileth me, ſo ſore am I afraid of thy judgements.
Yet well pondering the proceſſe of thy grace & mercie promiſed me in Chriſt, I ceaſe to deſpaire, knowing that thou, O God, haſt not forgotten thy gifts of grace, and that thy power to have compaſſion is not waxen faint, but that both thou canſt and wilt put backe thy wrath moſt juſtlie conceived againſt me for my ſinne.In 123 N8r 123
In full truſt whereof O Lord I come unto thee, beſeeching thee to hide my life with Chriſt within thee, and under the ſhadowes of thy wings to defend me, that thy grace & covenant may be with me evermore.
Turne not thy mercie from me, O Lord, nor bring me downe to deſtruction as I have deſerved: but ſhew thy grace and favour unto me, that I may live, and (being exalted through thy righteouſneſſe) praiſe thy name moſt joifullie.
Remember my corrupt nature O Lord, how ſhort my life is, and that thou madeſt not man for nothing. No man can deliver himſelfe from death: no man can ſave his owne ſoule from hell: thou onelie O Lord muſt do it, namelie, to ſuch as beleeve in thee.
This life paſſeth as doth a dreame, or graſſe in the field, which to daie is greene, and to morrow drie. If thou be diſpleaſed, then we may be loſt: if thou chafe, then we shrinke for feare, for through ſinnes we be dead unto thee; with whome a thouſand yeares be but as one daie, yea as the leaſt minute of an houre.
Certeſſe Lord, if thou have reſpect to our ſins, who ſhall continue? Shew me therefore how manie be the daies of my life, that I may diſpend them wiſelie, to the praiſe of thy name, leaſt that I fooliſhlie truſting upon long life, ſuddenlie might periſh & come to death.
Come Lord now unto us, and comfort us. Come O God, and hide not thy face from me, that I be not like unto thoſe that be hurled into the pit of perdition. And after this night of calamitie overpaſſed, let the pleaſant morning of comfort luckilie ſhine upon me, that betimes I may heare and feele thy goodneſſe, for in thee is all my truſt.
Deliver me this night from the ſnare of Sathans gard, which hunt in the darke how to plucke me from thee.
Let me not ſtand in the feare of the night-evill of vnbeleefe, 124 N8v 124 unbeleefe, and of thy ſtrait judgement, neither let me be afraid of the fleeing arrowe in the daie time.
Let me not be in feare of that horrible peſtilence, creeping in through darkneſſe, I meane, let me not be ignorant how deteſtable my ſins be, that I diſſemble them not, nor qualifie them.
Let me not dread that middaie divell, which abuſeth thy Church under a title and pretence of holineſſe: neither let Sathan, though he change himſelfe into an Angel of light, ſtrike anie feare in me.
But both on the right ſide and on the left, as well in the night as in the daie, that is, as well in adverſitie as proſperitie, and as well in ſpirituall buſineſſe, as in corporall, let thy holie Angels diligentlie wait upon me, that I do not ſtumble: then ſhall I tread underfoot that hellie dragon.
Yea ſo ſhall I of dutie be bound alwaie with couragious ſpirit, to praiſe and hallowe thy name: not onlie in the morrowe, when all things ſhall chance to my harts deſire, to aſcribe all to thy goodneſſe, without anie deſerving on my behalfe: but alſo in the night of trouble and adverſitie, when I ſhall call unto mind thy moſt faithfull and truſtie promis;es, that I deſpaire not, thus to praiſe thy meere and ſpeciall grace, and bleſſe thee, ſaieng:
Bleſſed art thou O Lord God of our fathers, for thou art praiſe and hounour-worthie, and to be magnified for ever.
Bleſſed be the glorie of thy holie name, for it is worthie to be praiſed, & above all to be magnified for ever.
Bleſſed art thou, O Father, O Sonne, and O holie Ghoſt, for thou art worthie to be praiſed, and above all to be magnified for ever.
Bleſſed be thou in the firmament of heaven, for thou art praiſe-worthie for ever.
O give thanks unto the Lord all his creatures, for he 125 O1r 125 he is kind-harted and mercifull: yea his mercie endureth for ever.
Oh ſpeake good of the Lord all ye works of his in all places of his dominion: and let everie thing that hath breath praiſe the Lord, and give him thanks: for his mercie endureth for ever.
O that all men would therefore praiſe the Lord for his goodneſſe, and declare the wonders that he doth for the children of men!
Praiſe thou the Lord O my ſoule, and forget not all his benefits, yea and all that is within me praiſe his holie name, for his loving mercie and for his truth, which endureth for ever, & worlds without end, Amen.
The ſecond Pſalme.
My God, my God remember me, forſake me not, ſuffer me not to be loſt, ſith both night and daie I crie to thee, heare me my Lord.
Our fathers truſted in thee, and thonu helpedſt them, whenſoever they called upon thee, at no time thou failedſt them, but waſt alwaies at hand to aſſiſt them.
Come foorth father moſt deerelie beloved in my hart, reſtore me from Sathans kingdome.
Thou dreweſt me foorth of my mothers wombe, and haſt preſerved me unto this daie.
Of thy benignitie and mercie (which I beſeech thee denie me not at this my neede) go not awaie from me, for anguiſh and penſiveneſſe of hart drawe nigh unto me, and yet is there none that can helpe me, but thou onlie.
Let me eſcape from theſe dangers through thy Chriſt my ſaviour, who for my ſake hath ſuffered ſo ſpitefull and bitter paines, who for me was ſore vexed, cruellie O.j. ſcourged, 126 O1v 126 ſcourged, wounded, nailed, and hanged on the croſſe.
Let me eſcape I ſaie for his bloud ſake, which he ſo largelie ſhed for us, to cauſe us obteine forgiveneſſe of our ſinnes, and enjoie the new and everlaſting covenant made betwixt thee and us.
Stand not farre from me O Lord my refuge and ſtrength: come neere and helpe me, deliver my life from the ſword, and my ſoule from the wood dogs, from the Lions jawes reſtore me, betweene the hornes of the Unicornes heare thou me.
Then ſhall I blowe abroade thy name with all praſes unto my brethren, and in the aſſemblie of the holie perſons I ſhall commend thee.
Deſpiſe not the praiers of the poore, turne not awaie thy face, heare my crie, for I will record this thy goodneſſe among the miſerable, painefull, and troubleſome conſciences, that they thereof may take hart of comfort, growe in hope, cleave more ferventlie unto thee, blowe abroade thy moſt glorious name, and give thee everlaſting thanks for their ſalvation, Amen.
The third Pſalme.
Oout of the furtheſt angles of the earth on eurie ſide, thou ſhalt with a mightie voice call men to judgement Lord God omnipotent, to whome nothing is hid.
Open our eares that we may heare this thy promiſe: I ſhall be your God.
In thee conſtantlie beleeve we, with thy foiſon we be filled.
Prudentlie thou doſt declare and teſtifie, that of our goods and ſacrifices thou haſt no need, and doeſt not either regard or meaſure them: for all be thine, and in thee it lieth to make the things we now poſſeſſe to be ours, 127 O2r 127 ours, or not ours.
Thou onlie requireſt ſacrifices of thankeſgiving: let us therefore diſcloſe the bottome of our harts to thee: let us knowledge thee to be our God.
Let us halowe thy name in all things, flowe in thy word, render thanks both in weale and wo, require thy ſuccours in ſtraits and neceſſities, in which time thou haſt promiſed to helpe us: then ſhall we, ſo delivered, blaſe thy name.
Lord God moſt juſt, true of primuſe, and deereſt Father: thee beſeech I to ſend ſuccours unto me even of thine infinite goodneſſe.
Fot thy renowmes ſake, for Jeſus Chriſts ſake thy beloved ſonne, and for his pretious bloud largelie ſhed for us on the croſſe, have mercie upon me, ſo that once purged I may come againe in favour with thee.
Pitie me; heare me out of the ſtraits of this ſinfull fleſh, wherewith on everie ſide I am hampered in.
Set me at large againe, rid me from mine enimies, which ſeeke to drawe me awaie from thy true ſervice.
In thy comfort let me rejoice, and be full of ſpirituall joie: let me ever brute thy name, not unmindfull of thy benefits.
Releeve me moſt pitifull God, according to thy word, which is the truth.
Moſt tender father, ſhew me that thy joifull health.
The fourth Pſalme.
Thy clemencie and bleſſing moſt mightie God we crave, and require of thee full inſtantlie.
Let thy countenance ſhine upon us, have compaſſion upon us, that here in earth wee may find out the waie which leadeth unto thee, and may attaine thy ſalvation among the Gentils.
O that all people would confeſſe thee with loving O.ij. harts 128 O2v 128 harts for thy manifold benefits and pleaſures, which they have received at thy hands, who doſt with juſtice governe men, and art their leader upon earth!
Powre downe Lord thy goodneſſe, and continuall bleſſings upon us, and then ſhall the earth yeeld unto thee glorie and praiſe, and to us fruits for meate.
Thou God the father bleſſe us, thou God the ſonne bleſſe us, and thou God the holie Ghoſt bleſſe us: yea thou holie, bleſſed, and glorious Trinitie, grant us thy continuall bleſſing.
O that all the coaſts of the earth (Lord God) would feare and ſtand in awe of thee!
Would God that we alſo might ſtudie to worke no man either pleaſure or diſpleaſure that ſhould be againſt thy will; but that we may doo all things according to thy commandements!
A contemplation and praier exclaming of the carefull paſsions of the ſoule and bodie.
Wo is me carefull carcaſe and filthie defiled fleſh, conceived and borne in ſinne, deprived of originall juſtice, compared to a beaſt, in Adam fallen as a rotten apple from a living tree. What have I gotten by my fall? Darknes, care, miſerie, affliction, ſickneſſe, paine, anguiſh, and finallie dreadfull death. And alas, what ſhall I be hereafter? A ſtinking carion, woormes meate, foode for fire, duſt and claie, doong and forſaken, rotten & conſumed, blind, poore and naked, troden under the feete of my poſteritie, and forgotten of all men, not knowing where my bodie is, which ſhall vaniſh like a ſhadowe, and my life ſhall wither like a leafe, and fade as a flower.
O holie God, the more our bodies doo increaſe, the neerer death doth approch, the clocke of our conſcience doth 129 O3r 129 doth ring everie minute, the houre of death to be at hand. Death approacheth with his ſharpe dart and bloudie chariot: Awaie (ſaieth he) to evere living wight. For what is he that ſhall not ſee death, and come to nothing? Oh uncertaine life; but moſt aſſured death! His net is caſt over all fleſh: now I doo rejoice, then I lament: now am I whole, then ſickneſſe doth come: now have I friends, then am I forſaken: now at libertie, ſoone after in bondage: now yoong, then age drawes neere. And thus I never remaine in one ſtate: made light and proud in proſperitie, deſperate in adverſitie, withered and old with care, deſpiſed in povertie, flattered when I am in health; and finally uncertaine when or where I ſhall die. But yet I moſt humblie praie thee deere father, for Jeſu Chriſts ſake, which ſuffered a ſhamefull death for my ſins, to have mercie upon me, according to thy great mercie, and take not thy holie Ghoſt from me, and lead me not into temptation, but deliver me: for into thy hands I commend my ſoule, O thou God of truth, Amen.
An Hymne of the ſtate of all Adams posteritie.
Iam the fruit of Adams hands, through ſin lockt in ſatans bands,
Deſtined to deth, the child of ire, a flaming brand of infernall fire:
Borne I was naked & bare, and ſpend my time in ſorowe & care,
And ſhall returne unto the duſt, and be deprived of carnall luſt.
Yet thou father didſt Jeſus ſend, to pardon them that did offend:
We laud him in the work of might, that we be bleſſed in his ſight.
The ſecond meditation of the dreadfull daie of judgement.
Owhat feare and ſorowe ſhall happen to the reprobates, when they ſhall ſtand helpeleſſe before the terrible & dreadfull throne of God, to render accounts of all thoughts, words & works, I ſaie, the acts of the fleſh and bloud, in the extreameO.iij. treme 130 O3v 130 treame day, when he ſhall come with fire; and then all creatures in heaven, earth and hell, ſhall tremble at his preſence. Then ſhall all guiltie conſciences be opened, & evils endleſſe puniſhed, where that Judge will not be corrupted. That daie doth come; that daie is at hand, and where as pure harts ſhall be accepted, and no bribes of vaine gifts ſhall be preferred, but juſtice without mercie unto the ungodlie, infernall torments to the wicked, endleſſe care and affliction to the idolater, fornicator, extortioner, perſecutor, diſobedient, murtherer, blaſphemer, theefe, falſe witneſſe bearer, uſurer, heretikes, witches and malefactors, and to all the veſſels of reprobation. Where as ſhall be heard wailing, crieng, lamenting and gnaſhing of teeth: then they mourne that ſhall never die: hell fire never bee quenched, nor the Judge intreated; but the wicked ſtill moleſted with dolor, agonie, dread, and in his paine abſent from God, preſent with divels & monſters infernall. This is the ſecond death when both bodie and ſoule ſhall remaine in paine, as long as God is, which is everlaſting. This daie is at hand, when the relect and all the Saints, Patriarchs, Prophets, Martyrs and all the bleſſed ſhall receive their rewards, not of themſelves, but onlie of Jeſu, before whom all the bleſſed ſhall kneele and caſt off their crownes, and give honour to him that ſits on the ſeate, whoſe holie name is bleſſed of all tongues and kindreds: Amen, Amen. This is the daie, when all teares ſhall be wiped from the carefull eies of the ſervants of God, which ſhall never be moleſted, nor of worldlings be afflicted, but everlaſtinglie glorified, with the Father, the Sonne, and the holie Ghoſt, three perſons and one God, who of his mercie defend us from damnation, and that unſpeakeable paine, which wee through ſinne have deſerved, ever to be puniſhed withall: but yet are through Jeſus preſerved, by whome we are elected, redeemed, iuſtified, 131 O4r 131 juſtified, and brought from ſinne, death and hell: to whom be laud and praiſe, in the world of worlds, of Angels and men: Amen.
The Hymne of the daie of judgement.
Swéete Jeſus of thy mercie, our pitifull praiers heare:
That we may be on thy right hand, when thou ſhalt appeare.
For thou ſhalt come with heavenlie power, and ſit on the throne:
None ſhall judge the quicke and dead, but thou Chriſt alone.
O Chriſt caſt us not awaie, in that daie of ire:
When thou ſhalt ſend before thée, a hot comſuming fire.
To purge all creatures, defild with Adams ſinne:
Then a new heaven and earth, O Lord thou wilt beginne.
Then the elect ſhall be bleſſed, upon thy holie hill:
But the wicked ſhall be damned, that have withſtood thy will.
Thy ſhéepe ſhall be ſafe, and defended in the fold:
The goats ſhall wander, in hunger, ſtorme and cold.
Thy Saints ſhall behold thée, in thy throne of light:
The reprobates ſhall ever, have fearefull things in ſight.
Wailing in wretchedneſſe, with everlaſting paine:
Yet Lord be mercifull, our lives are but vaine.
Our fleſh ſhall fade, death hath digd our grave:
Yet of thy mercie Lord, thy ſinfull creature ſave.
And bleſſe us in the time of grace, before the daie of ire:
When the corrupt elements, ſhall be purgd with fire.
A generall praier, wherein we commend our ſelves, and the whole ſtate of Christs Church unto God.
O God thou Father and God of my life, ſuffer me neither to have a proud looke, nor a proud thought; turne awaie all voluptuouſneſſe from me: let not the intiſements of the world O.iiij. beguile 132 O4v 132 beguile me; let not the conupiſcience of the eie deceive me; let not the luſts of the fleſh take hold upon me; let not rancor and malice reigne in my hart. O Lord God, for thy ſonne our Saviour Jeſu Chriſts ſake, I beſeech thee, that thou wilt not give me over to an unſhamefaſt and obſtinate mind: So be it.
Unto thee Lord almightie, the King of mercie, bee now and ever eternall honour & glorie. Unto thee the ſame Lord of mercie I doo commit my ſoule and bodie, moſt humblie beſeeching thee, for thine abundant mercie ſake, to take the cure of me, and to have mercie on me. I doo commit alſo unto thy mercie my faithfull friends and well-willers living, beſeeching thee to forgive us all, and to have mercie upon us, and give us grace to live according to thy lawe, and to the glorie of thy name, that we may doo that, which thou requireſt of us, that it will pleaſe thee of thy mercie, to ſave and defend us from all perils, bodilie & ghoſtlie this night and ever, and eſpeciallie all things that ſhall turne to thy diſpleaſure. And with all my hart I thanke thee moſt mercifull Lord, for the great benefits that thou haſt beſtowed upon me largelie in this world, afore manie creatures, which are more woorthie a thouſand times than I: but my moſt gratious Lord, I wot and knowledge verelie, that all good gifts doo come freelie from thee, of thine abundant mercie. Wherefore with all my hart I thanke thee, and all worſhip, praiſes and thanks be to thee and none other. Therefore I ſaie with the Prophet David: Not unto us, Lord, not unto us: but unto thy name be given all honour & glorie.
Alſo I commit to thy mercie mine enimies, perſecutors and ſlanderers, beſeeching thee to turne their harts, and to give us grace one to forgive another from the verie botome of our harts, that from hencefoorth we may live in love and charitie, to thy glorie, and to the increaſe of thy kingdome.I 133 O5r 133
I doo commit to thy mercie our Queene Elizabeth, and this Realme, beſeeching thee to incline hir hart to all godlineſſe and vertue, that ſhe may long reigne over us in peace and tranquillitie, to live in thy feare, and call upon thy holie name, and to be readie at all times to ſet foorth thy bleſſed lawes and commandements: and that thou O omnipotent God, with thy mightie hand and ſtretched out arme, wilt confound all Idolatrie and ſuperſtition, and ſet up thy true and holie religion, that thy faithfull ſervants may triumph and rejoice in thee with merie harts, and ſing unto thy praiſe, that this the mightie hand of God hath brought to paſſe, and to thy name give the honour and glorie, to whome all honour and glorie is due.
I doo commit unto thy mercie, all thoſe that in this tranſitorie life be in ſorowe, ſickneſſe, neede, tripulation, or anie other adverſitie, and ſpeciallie all thoſe that for the profeſſion of thy Goſpell, and the defence of the ſame, doo put their lives unto the edge of the ſword. O Lord for thy mercies ſake, forgive them and us our offences paſt, comfort them in their greevous afflictio ns, ſtrengthen them in their weakeneſſe, ſend them patience in their tribulations, abate the pride of their and our enimies, aſſwage the malice of them, confound their wicked deviſes, that we and they being armed with thy mightie defence, may be preſerved evermore from perils, to glorifie thee, which art the onlie giver of all victorie, through the merits of Chriſt: So be it.
I commit to thy mercie all thoſe that doo faithfullie profeſſe thy holie Goſpell, beſeeching thee to give us grace to live according to thy lawes, that by well dooing, we may ſtop the mouthes of the ungodlie adverſaries of the Goſpell, and thereby win them to the right waie, that we may all with one hart, and one mouth, glorifie thee, O Lord God in the daie of viſitation, to whome all honour and glorie is due.And 134 O5v 134
And now O my moſt mercifull Lord, and loving father, I finallie commit unto thy mercie my wretched ſoule and bodie, humblie beſeeching thee to have mercie upon me, according to thy great bountifull mercie: and according to the multitude of thy tender compaſſions, doo awaie I beſeech thee my moſt greevous iniquities.
Unto God the father, the ſonne and the holie Ghoſt, be now and ever eternall honour and glorie, world without end, Amen.
A praier at night going to bed.
The God of Angels and men, the founder of all creatures viſible and inviſible, in whoſe hand is life and death, light and darkneſſe, and all the motions of ſoule and bodie, without whome there is no good gift, nor perfect quietneſſe of conſcience, but onlie vanitie and vexation of mind, and utter confuſion of ſoule and bodie, and finall toements in the horrible pit of darkeneſſe: now my Lord God, darkneſſe doth approch, this daie hath loſt his beautie, I as unworthie of thy benefits, moſt humblie praie thee this night to bleſſe me, and with thy holie Angels aſſiſt me, thy holy ſpirit this night lighten me, which haſt of earth made me, and by thy creatures doeſt nouriſh me, and with thy bloud haſt conſecrated me with thee to dwell eternallie in glorie, when death hath diſſolved me, which am but vanitie, &c. And baniſh Sathan from me, that neither mine owne conſcience now vexe me, nor mine old offences trouble me. I moſt humblie beſeech thee this night to pardon me, which have ſore offended thee, in thought, word and deede, againſt thy divine majeſtie, which ſore repenteth me. Save me good Lord this night ſleeping, from dread- 135 O6r 135 dreadfull dreames, and painefull ſlumber deliver me, that I may awake in Chriſt, and reſt in peace: So be it.
The Hymne or praier for night.
Praiſe ye the Lord his ſervants all, lift up to him your hands,
The night ſingers in Gods courts, in all Chriſtian lands.
Praiſe we the Lord our God & king, which made the earth & heven,
His bleſſing be on us this night, which made the planets ſeven.
Into thy hands O Lord our God, our ſoules we do commend,
This night from ſinne & Sathans power, thy mercie us defend.
We laud thee Father for thy grace,
We praiſe the Sonne which made us free:
We thanke the holie Spirit for our ſolace,
Which is one God and perſons three:
Another Hymne or praier to be ſaid when ye go to bed.
Igo to bed, I hope to ſléepe, God knoweth when I ſhall riſe,
My ſoule, O Lord, defend and keep, from it turne not thine eies.
This daie I have committed ſinne, a hundred times and more:
I was conceived and borne therein, forgive me Lord therefore.
To thée I will my ſoule betake, ſinfull it is to ſee,
For I do knowe thou canſt it make, as pure as neede to bée.
Forgive me mine offences all, my ſoule, Lord, do not kill,
To thée I will betake my ſoule, accept my zealous will.
Thy pardon Lord I truſt to have, as David had and mo,
My ſoule I truſt thou wilt now ſave, from death & damned wo.
In thée O God I put my truſt, to guide and aide me ſtill,
To keepe me alwaies true and juſt, according to thy will.
Thou God of might, & great renowme, I truſt thou wilt me kéepe,
Lord with thy leave I will lie downe, to take my reſt and ſleépe.
We looke for our ſaviour, ever the Lord Jeſus Chriſt, which ſhall change our vile bodie, that it may be like to his glorious bodie, according to the power whereby he is able to ſubdue all things unto himſelfe. Amen.
Viſit we beſeech thee O Lord, this our dwelling, and drive from it all the aſſaults of our enimie: let thy holie Angels dwel in it, which may keepe us all this night in thy peace, and ever let thy bleſſing be upon us. Grant this O moſt mercifull father, for thy ſonnes ſake, Jeſus Chriſt, who with thee, and the holie Ghoſt, liveth and reigneth one God world without end, Amen.
Save us O good Lord waking, and keepe us ſleeping, and be ſo mercifull to us, that with Chriſt we may wake, and quietlie to reſt in peace, So be it.
The concluſion after Evening praier.
O Lord Jeſu Chriſt- that art in heaven perfect God and man, heare my praiers, have mercie upon me, and praie unto thy father for me. Be thou my mercifull mediator unto thy father, that I might find mercie for my ſinnes at all times, and thy holie Angels to guide me this night, and all the time and daies of my life, and at the generall daie of judgement, that I may be partaker of that ioifull 137 O7r 137 joifull voice of thine, ſaieng, Come hither ye bleſſed, and poſſeſſe everlaſting life, Amen.
God, even our owne God bleſſe us: and graunt unto us, and all our faithfull and deere freends, his continuall benedictions and health.
Yea let thy mightie hand and outſtretched arme, O Lord, be ſtill my defence; thy mercie and loving kindneſſe in Jeſu Chriſt thy deere ſonne my ſalvation; thy true and holie word my inſtruction; thy grace and holie ſpirit my comfort and conſolation unto the end, and in the end: So be it.
Certaine godlie ſentences written by the Ladie E.T.
- Uſe invocation of Gods holie name.
- Thinke upon the needie once a daie.
- The life to come forget not.
- Further the juſt ſute of the poore.
- Prefer Chriſt his kingdome.
- Offend not in evill doing.
- Set little by the judgement of man: but feare the judgement of God.
- Be at peace with all men.
- Uſe to be acquainted with the godlie.
- Helpe to pacifie diſpleaſure.
- Haſtilie judge not anie bodie.
- Kill anger with patience.
- With pitie rebuke. Make 138 O7v 138
- Make much of modeſtie.
- Harbour a harmeleſſe hart.
- Let no good deed.
- Speake in ſeaſon.
- He that keepeth his mouth, keepeth his life.
- In being well occupied, thinke not long.
- Loſe as little time as ye may.
- Be alwaies one.
- Favour the friendleſſe.
- Be not unthankefull.
- Truſt not the world.
- Deceive none.
- Rather take hurt, than do anie.
- Avenge not.
- Let once be amended.
- Favour not flatterie.
- Looke cheeflie on your ſelfe.
- Do not forget your charge.
- Let your mind be occupied well.
- Uſe pleaſures after a meane.
- Once you were not heere.
- Awaie you muſt, and turne to duſt.
The Praiers made by the right Honourable Ladie Frances Aburgavennie, and committed at the houre of hir death, to the right Worſhipfull Ladie Marie Fane (hir onlie daughter) as a Jewell of health for the ſoule, and a perfect path to Paradiſe, verie profitable to be uſed of everie faithfull Chriſtian man and woman.
A fruitfull praier to be ſaid in the Morning.
Almightie God, and moſt mercifull father, the fountaine of all felicitie, from whom onelie proceedeth all good gifts, moſt humblie I beſeech thee of thine abundant mercie & exceeding kindneſſe, ſo to direct and govern me this daie and ever with thy good guiding Spirit, that all my thoughts, words and deeds, may onelie be occupied in thy ſervice, faith, feare and love, and ſo aſſiſt and ſtrengthen me with thy grace, O moſt mercifull and loving father, for thy ſonne Jeſus Chriſt his ſake, that neither ſinne, death, hell, nor Sathan have the domination and upper hand of me. Indue my hart with the true underſtanding of thy true and livelie word, that I may be readie and prone manfullie to fight under the ſtandard of my glorious captaine Jeſus Chriſt againſt 140 O8v 140 againſt the world, the fleſh, and that cruell Serpent the old Leviathan, which hunteth continuallie, like a roring Lion, ſeeking the utter deſtruction of my ſoule.
Make me conſtant in time of temptation, that flawed-reproduction or at what time my rebelling and ſinfull fleſh ſhall intiſe me, to luſt after the pompes and vanities of this wicked world, I may by a ſtrong, livelie, and unſpeakable faith, through the bitter torments that my ſaviour Chriſt Jeſus ſuffered for me, and all that faithfullie beleeve and call upon him ſo mortifie and ſubdue the old Adam, that I may be dead and buried from ſinne and all iniquitie; and the new man Chriſt Jeſus may continuallie dwell and reigne in me, by whoſe meanes I ſhall be garniſhed and decked, by the means of a fruitfull faith, with immortalitie, and heavenlie bleſſedneſſe.
Vouchſafe, O Lord, I beſeech thee, according to the multitude of thy mercies to looke upon me, and by thy celeſtial providence, ſo illuminate the eies of my ſoule, that I may continuallie watch for the glorious comming of thine annointed ſon Jeſus Chriſt. flawed-reproduction, O Lord, in and from me the vile and corrupt bflawed-reproductions of rapine, deciet, avarice, luxurie, concupiſcence, and all ungodlineſſe, let the motions of my mind alflawed-reproductionther depend upon thee, prepare my tongue to publiſh thy praiſe; let my lips be locked up from all ſcurflawed-reproduction and uncomlie talke: let mine eares loath and flawed-reproduction heare thy glorious and bleſſed name blaſphemed, and thy truth to be by anie Sectarian ill ſpoken of, & ſlan;dered: keepe and defend me under the wings of thy comfortable protection, from all errours, ſchiſmes and deteſtable hereſies. Make me without faining, flawed-reproductionlie and conſtantlie to build upon the truth, wherein is perfectlie ſet forth thy great mercie and divine juſtice. Let the zeale of thy promiſes in all diſtres be my chieffeſt joie and conſolation, & give me grace from above, that 141 P1r 141 that as I make my boaſt of thy mercies and loving kindneſſe, by vertue whereof I am by my Saviour Chriſt Jeſus quickened from death to life, and in his verieſt death and pretious bloud-ſhedding regenerated, and borne anew, not of water, but of the ſpirit by faith.
So Lord, I may with thine abundant love ſhewed to me ward, and the whole poſteritie of Adam, I may be afraid wilfullie, or of a ſet purpoſe to tranſgreſſe thy commandements, and ſo incur therby thy diſpleaſure, that the effects of thy juſtice in the day of thy comming to judgement, be pronounced againſt me to the utter deſtruction of bodie and ſoule. Make me alwaies willing, good Lord, to heare thy word, by the power wherof my faith is increaſed, and therewithall plant in me perfect love and obedience, and ſo direct my footeſteps in this vale of miſerie, that I may tread the path that leadeth to thee, with whom my ſoule thirſteth to reſt, even as vehementlie as the Hart longeth after the water brookes. Grant this, O mercifull God, for the honour and glorie of thy name ſake, Amen.
A fruitfull praier to be ſaid at the going to bed of everie Christian.grariarii actio, damaged rofeſsio peccatodamaged
Moſt mercifull Father, I moſt wretched and unwoorthie ſinner proſtrate my ſelfe before the throne of thy heavenlie grace, yeelding unto thee moſt humble and hartie thanks, that haſt of thine exceeding love and favour preſerved me this daie from all perill and danger, humblie beſeeching thy divine Majeſtie, this night to preſerve me, for the love of thine onlie ſonne, and my ſweet Saviour Jeſus Chriſt, mediatour and advocate: who continuallie pleadeth and maketh interceſſion to thee for me, and all the reſt of thy choſen children, preſenting his bloudie wounds, and his glorious bodie all to bee P.j. ſcourged 142 P1v 142 ſcourged in thy divine preſence, who thereby doth mitigate thy wrath and indignation, juſtlie conceived againſt me a miſerable and wretched creature, andflawed-reproduction mankind.
Make me Lord ſtill to confeſſe mine unwoorthflawed-reproduction and weakneſſe to be ſuch and ſo great, that of my ſelfe I am not worthie to lift up mine eies to heaven flawed-reproductionunleſſe to be called thy ſonne, or handmaiden, ſuch flawed-reproduction great is the burden of my ſinne & iniquitie, ſo flawed-reproduction the meanes of my corruption & filthineſſe, I acknowledge my ſelfe to be the child of death and deſtruction, yet build I ſtill on thy promiſes, good Lord, and flawed-reproduction great danger I come unto thee with teares, ſaieng:
O Father, I have ſinned againſt heaven, & againſt thee, and am no more woorthie to be called thy childe. Of my ſelfe I have nothing; but by thee I have alflawed-reproduction of my ſelfe I acknowledge I have juſtlie deſerved the heavie ſentence of thine ire; but by grace of thee, O mightie Emanuel, I am regenerate, and borne againe from death to life; from danger to joie; from peril to peace; from bondage to libertie, and ſo in fine, from hell and damnation, to bliſſe and ſalvation.
Such is the effect of thy mercie, ſo abundant is thy love towards me, & all thoſe that with contriteflawed-reproductions preſent themſelves unto thee. Increaſe my faithflawed-reproduction that it may abound in good and fruitfull works: ſo flawed-reproductiontifie me, that I never ſwarve from thy veritie: give me thy grace from above, O mercifull Jeſu, thus I may never ſhrinke from thy ſacred teſtimonies.
And moreover, I with all humilitie and remiſsion of hart and mind, beſeech thee this night, which thou haſt ordeined for man to reſt in, that thou wflawed-reproduction and protect me with thy good guiding ſpirit. flawed-reproduction it my ſinfull fleſh ſhall ſleepe and ſlumber, yet grant, good Lord, that my ſoule may continually kepe flawed-reproduction and ward: let not the enimie find me ſlumbering & ſleeping,ping, 143 P2r 143 ping, as careleſſe, in the cradle of ſinfull ſecuritie, leaſt that whileſt I am vnflawed-reproductionmed, that is, flawed-reproduction and deſtitute of thy grace and favour, he enter in and breake up the houſe of my ſinfull bodie, and make ſuch havocke and ſpoile, that mine infected and leporous ſoule, deformed by meanes of mine iniquitie, and wounded with the dangerous darts of tranſgreſſion, be thrown with the bodie of ſinne into the lake of deſtruction, wherein in continuall wailing, and gnaſhing of teeth.
Make me ſtill, O good Lord, to conſider, that the bed is a plaine patterne and ſimilitude of the grave, which continuallie calleth for me, & all other thy creatures. Make me to underſtand, that when I am laid, (of my ſelfe) without thy heavenlie providence I can not bee able to riſe againe. Make me to acknowledge that ſleepe is the verie figure of death, to whoſe ſtroke, at thine appointed pleaſure, I muſt ſubmit my ſelfe. Indue me with love and charitie to all men, let my lampe O Lord be garniſhed with oile, that whenſoever, or at what time ſoever thy meſſenger death ſhall drawe me, & knocke at the gates of my houſe, I may at his ſummons, in the daie of the reſurrection of the dead, be readie to attend on thee and thy bride, with my burning lampe, that is, with a ſtedfaſt faith, when as by thee I ſhall be cloathed anew. For my mortall bodie ſhall then be covered with innnortalitie; the corruption of my ſinfull and rebelling fleſh ſhall be changed to incorruption and perfect puritie: thy righteouſneſſe ſhall be mine; thy merits ſhall make me perfect and holie, by vertue whereof, hell ſhall looſe his victorie; death ſhall looſe his ſting; my faith and hope ſhall have flawed-reproduction reward, and I with thy Saints continuallie dwell in love & charitie with thee, the heavenlie bridegro ome, Chriſt Jeſus: to whom with the father, and the holie Ghoſt, bee aſcribed all laud, glorie, power, praiſe and dominion, for ever: Amen.P.ii.
A praier for the remiſſion of ſinne, and to obteine a vertuous life.
Foraſmuch as (O bountifull Lord) it is flawed-reproduction meet, right, and juſt, that all fleſh ſhuld praiſe, magnifie, and worſhip thee, and ſhould without ceaſing give thanks unto thee, who flawed-reproduction art the Creator and maker of all things, as well viſible as inviſible; who onlie art the treaſure of all goodneſſe, and well of life, onlie God and Lord, whome the heavens, and heaven of heavens, the ſunne, the moone, the ſtarres, the earth, the ſea, with all that move therin, yea the heavenlie companie of Martyrs, the flawed-reproductionks of the Prophets and Apoſtles, Angels, Archflawed-reproductions, togither with the ſoules of all juſt and righteous, perſons doo laud and glorifie.
It is moſt requiſite, that ech mortall creature living in this world, ſhould alſo acknowledge thy magnificence. Wherfore, moſt mercifull father, I wiſh my hart and mouth doo acknowledge thee to be my King and Lord, the giver of all goodneſſe: I confeſſe thee to be omnipotent, reverend, merciful, long ſuffering, and of all conſolation, comfort, mercie and pietie.
I knowe that of thine infinite goodneſſe onelie thou diddeſt make man after thy ſimilitude and likeneſſe, Repetitio beneficiood damagedej patris damaged in nos placing him in the moſt delectable place of Paradiſe. And although he did tranſgreſſe thy commandement, and thereby deſerved eternall death and damnation flawed-reproductionone character yet thou, like a moſt loving and pitifull father, dideſt not utterlie reject him, but gentlie correct him, and after that thou hadſt ſent him into the earth, comman fing him there to increaſe and multliplie, thou did inſtruct his poſteritie with thy lawe; thou didſt teach them by thy Prophets, and after that ſentſt downe thine onlie begotten ſonne to take upon him our nature, and to ſuffer death for our ſinnes, therby to make a 145 P3r 145 a recompenſe for the offence which man had committed againſt thee: and all this thou didſt of thine exceeding great mercie and kindneſſe, without anie deſert of mankind, not being ſo much as by anie our praier, or yet intreatie thereunto incited.
Therefore I being boldened with ſuch ineſtimable benefits, ſo freelie given and beſtowed, doo without any feare at this time, appere before thy devine Majeſtie, proſtrating my ſleelfe before the ſeate of thy mercie, and with all humbleneſſe of hart and mind doo make this my praier unto thee.
Deſpiſe me not (O Lord God) being defiled with ſin and iniquitie. For behold, I preſent my ſelfe before thee, not preſuming upon mine owne woorthineſſe, but flawed-reproduction3-4 charactersing in thy goodneſſe.
Be mercifull unto me a ſinner: light thou the dull ſighted eies of my mind, open thou the ſtopped eares of mine hart, that I may both ſee, heare, perceive and underſtand that, which thou teacheſt, and alwaies doo that, which thou commandeſt. Make me not onelie a hearer of thy heavenlie doctrine; but alſo a perfect folower of the ſame: direct, ſanctifie and governe my life: be thou alwaies preſent and readie, both to heare, and to helpe me. Save and defend me from all ſhame and reproch: be thou my ſhield & buckler againſt all temptations, clenſe my mind and thought from all uncleanneſſe; keepe and preſerve me from all danger both of bodie and ſoule. This fraile life is nothing elſe but a continuall warfare in this world: our ſinnes moſt like to cruell enimies, aſſault us on everie ſide: againe our daies are but few in number.
Guide me therefore with thy grace, ſo to ſpend my small, ſhort and tranſitorie time in this world, the verie fountaine, welſpring, and vale of all miſerie, that I may be made a member of Chriſt, & partaker of thine eternall felicitie. To the which, ſeeing that through P.iij. mine 146 P3v 146 mine owne deſert, I ſhall never be able to aſpire, (for ſinne trulie ſo aboundeth in me, that ech deed and act of mine, is not onelie infected, but altogither polluted therwith) none other remedie have I to eaſe my ſelfe: none other ſalve to heale my ſore, but onelie to take hold of that promiſe of thine wheras thou ſaieſt: Come unto me all ye that labour, and be overladen, and I damagednite ad me, & damagedgo reficia bos. will refreſh you.
This is my hold-faſt; this is mine anchor and ſure ſtaie. For verelie (ſweet Saviour) when I looke upon mine owne frailneſſe, and behold how readie I am to offend thee; then I quake for feare, then I am almoſt in utter deſpaire: but as ſoone as I call to mind thy great love and kindneſſe, and how that thou wilt not the death of a ſinner, but rather that he ſhould repent and live, and that in what daie ſoever he doth hartilie repent and call unto thee, thou wilt heare him: then I am releeved; then I am not a little comforted, knowing ſurelie that thou wilt performe that which thou haſt promiſed, in faithfull aſſurance whereof, I now ſaie unto thee: Turne thou me, O my God, and I ſhall be turned: from all my wickedneſſe deliver me. Heale my ſoule, which is wounded with ſinne: for I doo acknowledge mine iniquitie, and am hartilie ſorie for mine offences: correct me, O Lord, but yet not in thy furie, looke not upon my weakneſſe; but thinke upon thine owne worthineſſe: remember thy loving kindneſſe, and in the abundance and multitude of thy mercies, wipe cleane awaie, pardon and forget all my ſinnes, through which I have either in word, deede or thought, or anie other kind of way offended thee, blot them out of thy remembrance, and let the bloud of that immaculate lambe Jeſus Chriſt, waſh them awaie: let mine old offences ſo decaie and die in me, that I never commit them any more or by anie meanes renew them in thy ſight.And 147 P4r 147
And in the meane time doo not withdrawe thy grace from me, but cauſe me to doo all that which good is. O father, remove thy wrath awaie from me, and reſtore unto me thy favour: turne thou thy loving countenance unto me, and plentifullie powre foorth thy mercie upon me. Incline my hart to doo that onelie, which is acceptable in thy ſight: guide thou my footeſteps in thy paths, and ſuffer me not at any time to ſtraie from thy waies: let me alwaies have the feare of thee in my hart, and the remembrance of thy benefits freſh in my memorie: and if at anie time through weakeneſſe and frailtie, I doo tranſgreſſe thy commandments, yet doo not therefore reject and caſt me out of thy ſight; but be thou that good Samaritane, and powre the oile and wine of mercie and forgiveneſſe into thoſe wounds, which ſinne ſhall make in me. Diſdaine me not for my revolting; but have mercie upon me, according to thy great goodneſſe, and according to the multitude of thy mercies wipe awaie mine iniquitie. Hide me under the ſhadowe of thy wings and protection: lighten mee with thy holie ſpirit. Make me thy ſervant: ſo indue me with thy grace, that I may unfeinedlie, with hart and voice, ſerve, honour, and praiſe thee all the daies of my life: Amen.
Another praier for the obteining of grace and mercie.
Omoſt mercifull Lord God, whoſe Majeſtie is incomprehenſible, & power infinite, whoſe magnificence is exalted above the heavens: vouchſafe, I beſeech thee, frō thy high throne to behold the worke of thy hands: have pitie on the unhappie and deſolate condition of thy creature. I am cōonfeſsio- peccatorillegible1 character a ſinner, conceived in ſinne, and of my ſelfe I have no good thing: wherefore, O Lord, I cleave to the altar of thy mercie. Thou art my anchor, my hope, my refuge P.iiij. and 148 P4v 148 and ſtaie. Therefore O Lord, have mercie upon me, for no fleſh can be juſtified in thy ſight. Thou knoweſt the frailtie and weakeneſſe of men. We are taught by the fall of Peter, that we can doo nothing without thee. Graunt us therefore good Lord thy grace, without which in this world, we are like by the waves of temptations to be ſwallowed in the gulph and whirlepoole of ſinne: to be drowned as the ſhip without anchor and Pilote in everie tempeſt, to runne on the rocke and periſh. Guide us therefore by thy grace good Lord, through the flouds of this carefull world, that we may reſt for ever in the pleaſant port, and happie haven of everlaſting joie, with thine elected, through our bleſſed Saviour Jeſus Chriſt: to whome with thee and the holie Ghoſt, be all honour and glorie, in all worlds, Amen.
A Confeſſion to be ſaid of the penitent perſon.
Omoſt mercifull Lord God, I have offended againſt the throne of thy Majeſtie; my ſinnes are ever before mine eies: I am not worthie to live or enjoie the fruits wherewith thou haſt bleſſed the earth. Mine owne conſcience is my tormenter, bringing teſtimonie and witneſſe againſt me. The Sunne doth hide his light aginſt me, and the place is the woorſſe wherein I become. O Lord what ſhall I doo? Shall I deſpaire? No, thou art mercifull, and more readie to forgive, than we to aſke. I will confeſſe my ſinnes to thee. I am wearie of my ſinfull life. I am ſorie in my ſoule for mine offences. Wherefore good Lord, thou which dooeſt eaſe them that are laden, and refreſh them that travell: thou which haſt promiſed mercie to the penitent, looke on me thy ſervant with thy cheerefull countenance: behold me with thoſe pitifull eies, with which thou didſt Marie Magdalen, and the 149 P5r 149 the woman taken in adulterie. Thou which haſt ſhed the bloud oun the altar of the Croſſe, offering thy moſt pretious bodie an eternall ſacrifice for our ſinnes: deſpiſe not that which thou haſt redeemed. Thou which cammeſt into the world to call ſinners to repentance, and to ſave the loſt ſheepe of Iſrael, have mercie upon me, and leade me by thy grace to the fold, among thy ſheepe, for they go in ſweet paſture, and are not in danger of Wolves, for thou art their ſhepheard, and keepeſt good accompt of everie one of them. Though I have gone aſtraie, wandring from thy flocke, and borne the marks of the world: yet good Lord diſclaime not the right, I beſeech thee; but take me unto thee, that I may be ſafe under the ſhadowe of thy wings. He may ſleepe ſoundlie whome thou dooeſt keepe. Thou art the watchman of Iſrael. All honour and glorie be unto thee for ever, Amen.
Another godlie Confeſſion and meditation of the penitent.
Ialtogether unhappie and comfortleſſe, have jufœliy ego odamaged greevouſlie offended my Lord God. What ſhall I do? Whether ſhall I go? I can not hide me from his ſight. How oft have I treſpaſſed againſt him? How oft have I deſerved his diſpleaſure? And yet how ſeldome hath he puniſhed me? How oft have I promiſed and vowed amendment, and how little and ſeldome have I performed it? This is a wofull caſe. Who will have pitie on me, I dare not lift up mine eies towards heaven, becauſe I have ſinned againſt it: and in earth I can looke for no refuge, becauſe I have beene a ſlander and ſhame unto it. What then? Should I deſpaire? No, God is mercifull, and a good Saviour: he doth viſit them that live in darknes, and is a cheerfull light to them that ſit in the ſhadowe of 150 P5v 150 of death. He willeth us to forgive our brother, though he offend ſeventie times, yea infinitelie. And God is more mercifull than anie man can be, and he muſt be the onlie refuge and comfort: he will not deſpiſe his creature, the image of himſelfe.
Returne thee therefore O my ſoule unto thy Lord God, praie to him, humblie on thy knees for grace, and continue to bewaile thy ſinnes paſt, becauſe that he which loveth thee, provoketh thee dailie with his gratious gifts and bleſſings to love him, and will not leave thee, untill he have made perfect his worke begunne, and brought his mercie to full effect in thee. What naturall cauſe beginneth his worke, and leaveth it in the halfe waie inperfect? The vertue of ſeed ſowne, doth not ceaſe till the fruit be brought to perfection, yet that nature worketh not at once, but firſt prepareth the matter, and then diſpoſeth and makes it fit to receive the ſhape, which is the perfection and end thereof. And as by naturall order, and right courſe things do proceede and increaſe by little and little, from the leſſe to the more, even ſo doth God firſt diſpoſe us to his mercie, and then increaſing his goodneſſe dailie, deſtoweth on us in the end, the treaſure of his grace and inheritance of everlaſting joies. What bird forſaketh hir yong, till they be able to live of themſelves, and yet no availe for their paine commeth to them. Verie love worketh in naturall cauſes, to bring foorth their affects to perfection. If it be ſo in creatures, what will the Creator doo; which is love it ſelfe, and infinite goodneſſe? He will withdrawe thee from thy ſinnes, make thee cleane and pure, and finallie bleſſe thee with eternall life, which he hath prepared for thee. O Lord, I come to thee ſad and mourning, I ſit at thy feete, humblie waiting for thy mercie. Thou art my hope and helper, according to the great mercies, have mercie upon me, Amen.
A praier to be purged from ſinne and uncleanneſſe.
Take awaie from me, O Lord, the burden of my corruption, which by the continuall exerciſe of my ſinne and wickedneſſe, hath wounded my ſoule wofullie, with the dangerous darts of tranſgreſſion; ſo that I feele my putrifaction abounding, and my feſtered conſcience overladen with uncleanneſſe; ſo that I have no other meane nor remedie, but to proſtrate my ſelfe before the throne of thy glorious majeſtie beſeeching thee intirelie, of thy gatious goodneſſe, to ſalve my ſores with the comfortable oile of thy mercie.
Thou onlie (O Jeſu) art the ſweete Phyſician of my ſoule, ſprinkle upon me hyſope, and I ſhall be made whiter than ſnowe. If thou of thine exceeding bountie and favour good Lord, wilt vouchſafe to waſh awaie the ſpots of my ſinne and wickedneſſe, that heapeth thine indignation and furie againſt me, I ſhall then excell the gold that hath beene purified in the fornace ſeven fold.
Let it therefore good Lord and mercifull father, ſeeme pleaſant unto thy divine majeſtie, to touch my corrupted and uncleane hart, with the heavenlie finger of thy grace, that I may bring foorth the fruits of true repentance, which are more acceptable to thy glorious and divine preſence, than the offering of calves, bullockes, ſheepe, goates, or anie other burnt offerings, or ſacrifice of peace. A contrite and ſorowfull ſoule is the thing that thou doeſt moſt delight in. An humble and a lowlie ſpirit is the oblation that thou dooeſt deſire. A cleane and pure hart, O Lord my God, I knowe thou dooeſt love and favour.
Wherefore I beſeech thee, to purge me from my ſinne and iniquitie, of thy great mercie. Let the bitter deplora- 152 P6v 152 deploration of mine offences, and hartie contrition, through thy glorious merits and painefull paſſion, O Jeſu, be the onlie meane and waie to ſet me free from the powers of hell, death and damnation. And ſith I am by thy goodnes begotten and borne anew, ſtrengthen me good Lord, that I never ſlide nor fall from thee, but that I may continuallie beare in my remembrance, the ſtate whereunto I am called by thee. Through thine aboundant love and kindneſſe wipe awaie, good Lord, all my ſins out of thy remembrance. Cleanſe me in the bloud of thy ſpotleſſe Lambe Jeſus Chriſt, and I ſhall be made cleane, pure and ſafe. Graunt this moſt mercifull God, for the honour and glorie of thy name ſake, through the bitter death of thy ſonne Jeſus Chriſt my onlie mediatour and advocate, to whome with thee and the holie Ghoſt, be given all laud, glorie, power, and praiſe for ever and ever, Amen.
Another praier of the penitent for mercie.
O Lord I am a ſinner, my ſinnes are heavie upon me, the burden of them is intollerable, refreſh me with thy grace, waſh awaie mine offences, and I ſhall be whiter than the ſnowe. Let the cheerefull beames of thy countenance ſhine upon me, and give light to the darkeneſſe of my life. We can looke for nothing as deſerved, but puniſhment due to our offences. Wherefore good Lord, not according to thy juſtice, but in the multitude of thy mercies, deale with thy ſervant. Remember not the ſinnes of my forefathers: thinke not on the miſdemeanour of my youth paſſed: have pitie on thy creature, which according to the likeneſſe of thy ſelfe thou haſt made and ſhaped of earth. How long wilt thou turne thy face awaie from me? Forſake me not, O my God, but renew in me thy holie ſpirit. Plucke awaie from me 153 P7r 153 me all that withdraweth me from thee. Graffe in my hart thy grace, that I may love thee, and feare thee, and ſo finallie rejoice in thy goodneſſe with the elected, and praiſe thee in thy woonderous works for ever. Graunt this moſt mightie God, for our Saviour Jeſus Chriſt his ſake, to whome with thee and the holie Ghoſt, be all honor and glorie for ever and ever, Amen.
Another praier to be ſaid of the ſinfull ſoule.
My ſinfull life increaſing, and my ſinnes s;till abounding, good Lord, to whome ſhall I flee, or to whome ſhall I reſort for ſuccour? From offending thee I can not ceaſe, neither daie nor night; and my ſinnes are heavie upon me, preſſing me downe even to hell, ſuch is the weight thereof.
Moreover, when I prepare my ſelfe to amendment of life, and thinke ſtedfaſtlie to ſerve and pleaſe thee, even ſoone after doth my corrupt and infected nature offend and diſpleaſe thy divine Majeſtie: ſo that I am prone and readie to run headlong into all kind of wickedneſſe and ſin, ſuch is my ſtrength, ſuch is my force, (or rather weakeneſſe) in perfourming thoſe things, which thou requireſt at my hands. So that good Lord, I am readie utterlie to deſpaire, and forſake thee, unleſſe thou of thy great mercie and pitie, ſend thine aide from above, and powre into me thy moſt healthfull grace, that I may make haſt to flee unto thee with moſt bitter-teares, a ſorowfull hart, and bowing knees, lamenting my ſinfull life, and greevous offences commited againſt thee, truſting moſt aſſuredlie and faithfullie, in the merits of my Saviour Jeſus Chriſt, that by his moſt bitter death & bloud-ſhedding, which is of far greater force, vertue and effect in preſerving me, than all my ſinnes and offences are in condemning and caſting me awaie; for whoſe ſake I moſt aſſuredlielie 154 P7v 154 lie beleeve all my ſinnes and offences are cleerlie forgiven, and ſhall never be laid to my charge, but that I ſhall endor with flawed-reproductionone word in the laſt daie into thine everlaſting kingdome, thereflawed-reproductiontwo characters be with thee for evermore, to whome flawed-reproduction, praiſe and glorie, for ever and ever, Amen.
A praier to God the father.
Almightie God the father of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, whome no deſert, merit, or worthineſſe of ours; but thine owne great clemencie, mercie and pitie cauſed to ſend down thine onlie begotten ſonne into this world, to beatoflawed-reproduction burden of our ſinnes, with the which we moſt miſerable ſinners were overladen, and that he ſhould ſnuffer moſt cruell torments, yea and alſo moſt bitter and ſhamefull death, and ſanctifie the reprochfull name of the croſſe, with the renting of his bleſſed bodie, and ſhedding his moſt pretious bloud thereon; thereby to make attonement betweene thee and us, thereby to paie the raunſome for our ſoules, thereby to counſummate and finiſh the perfection of our redemption, and ſalvation. Which thing it was thy good will that he ſhould doo, not onelie to aſſwage thy wrath & indignadamageduorſum, illegiblethree characters crucifixus? tion, but alſo to bring us againe into thy grace and ſavour; and that we being delivered out of the bondage of ſinne and hell, might ſerve thee in righteouſneſſe and holineſſe, all the daies of our life, and by the free gift and benefite of his death and paſſion, be made partakers of his reſurrection, and of thine endleſſe and unſpeakable glorie.
Wherefore my God, my maker, my Lord, my King, ſeeing thou haſt ſo aboundantlie beſtowed thy heavenlie gifts upon me, and all mankind, and haſt ſo plentifullie powred out thy grace and favour on us, that for our ſakes thou wouldeſt not ſpare thine owne ſonne: how ſhall we eſcape thine indignation, which for this care 155 P8r 155 care and kindneſſe of thine, are moſt careleſſe and unkind? And among all other, which waie ſhall I poore creature turne me? How ſhall I, who have been moſt unthankefull for thy benefits, and moſt unmindfull of them, be ſo bold as to lift up my hart or hands unto the heavens, and to call upon thee? Thou of thy ſingular goodneſſe didſt ſo provide, that the wickedneſſe of old the wickednes of Adam is purged, illegible bloud of christ Adam ſhould be purged and waſhed awaie with the bloud of Jeſus Chriſt; but I have wilfullie fallen into ſinne againe. Thou madeſt me the child of light, but I have made my ſelfe an inheritour of darkeneſſe. Thou madeſt me thine by creation, I have made my ſelfe the child of perdition.
What ſhall I now therefore do? Shall I doubt of against distrdamaged in gods mercy anie further mercie and forgiveneſſe? No no, ſweete Lord, ſo great is thy mercie, which ſurmounteth all thy workes, ſo large are thy promiſes; ſo ſure is the Nota performance of them to all ſuch as take hold thereof; ſo deere in thy ſight are the merits of thy ſonne Jeſus; ſo flawed-reproduction5 characterstable unto thee is the hartie repentance of a ſinner, that with the remembrance thereof, I am provoked to crie unto thee, ſaieng: Father, I have ſinned againſt heaven, and againſt thee, I am no more worthie to be called thy child. Nevertheleſſe, behold thou me, not as I am, a greevous offender, but as thy creature. Have now no reſpect to mine offences, but behold my repentance: thinke not upon my wickedneſſe, but upon the wounds of my Saviour Jeſus. Looke not upon my falſe hart, which hath wavered from thy lawes, but behold the bleeding hart of thy ſonne Jeſus Chriſt, which was pierced to releaſe me, and ſet me free. My ſinnes I caſt upon thy backe, beſeeching thee that his merits may beare them, and thy mercie pardon them.
Heare me O Lord my God, heare me: for I knowe, the more earneſtlie that I ſeeke for, and deſire thine aide 156 P8v 156 aide, the readier thou art to flawed-reproductionch foorth thine hand to helpe me. Heare me therefore, O Lord; bow downe and incline thine eare unto my praier: inſpire my ſoule with thy holie ſpirit, that I may love thee above all things, and that I never faile to put my hope and truſt of ſalvation in him, whome thou wouldeſt to be my redeemer and ſaviour.
Make me, by the forſaking of all wickedneſſe, ſo to riſe from falling into ſinne, that I may obtaine the true ſerving of thee with innocencie, and pureneſſe of life. Graunt this O Lord, for Jeſus Chriſts ſake, to whome with thee and the holie Ghoſt be all honour and glorie, Amen.
A praier unto God the ſonne.
Omoſt ſweet ſaviour, O moſt merrifull redeemer; O bountifull Jeſu, the ſonne of God: who although thou art high, yet thou art high, yet humble potet yet meeke mighty, yet mercifull moſt humble; although thou art omnipotent, thou art alſo moſt meeke: and as thou art moſt mightie, ſo art thou moſt mercifull. To thee, O Chriſt, the guide of all felicitie, the father of heaven hath gien all power, both in heaven and in earth.
Thou art the true paſtor of our ſoules, thou art our Meſſias. Thou caſteſt off none that ſue unto thee, but as thou haſt taken awaie the hand-writing that was againſt us, and haſt faſtened it to thy croſſe, ſo art thou readie to impart the merits of thy paſſions unto all ſuch, as with true repentance of their ſins call upon thee faithfullie.
Wherefore my ſweet Jeſus, I moſt faithfullie and unfeinedlie acknowledge the benefits that thou haſt damagedtōfeſsio beſtowed upon me, and ſtedfaſtlie beleeve, that thou being an immaculate lambe, in whoſe mouth was never found guile, didſt ſuffer moſt cruell torments at the hands of ſinners, for the love of us moſt wretched ſinners.ners. 157 Q1r 157 ners. For the which cauſe, I moſt hartilie beſeech thee, and moſt humblie praie thee, to accept me into the number of them, whom thou wilt make coinheritours of thy bitter paines. And although I of my ſelfe, be though we be not worthy, yet mdamaged & merites of damaged tan make us wordamaged moſt unwoorthie thereof, yet thy merits can make me woorthie: to them do I flie, craving that I may be ſo armed and defended by them, that I may ſubdue the world, the fleſh and the divell, even as thou haſt gloriflawed-reproductionli liconquered ſinne, death and hell.
Thou ſeeſt, O my ſaviour, how I am dailie and hourlie beſet with theſe three enimies, and ſo hardilie beſeethe world, the fleſh, the dyvell ged of them, that without thy helpe, I can by no meanes eſcape, but that I muſt needs be a praie unto one of them. Strengthen me therefore O Lord, that neither the one with carnall luſts, neither the other with delectable pleaſures, nor Sathan himſelfe with all his craftie and ſubtile deviſes get the dominion over me.
Thou haſt bought me, thou haſt paid for me; take thou me, ſave, keepe and defend me, be alwaies readie at the flawed-reproductionone word of my crieng; powre into me thy grace, patiantly to abide thy divine will and pleaſure in all things. Make me both at this preſent, and all the daies of my life, to have in mind, and profoundlie to take in my hart, the myſteries of thy painefull paſſion, and ſo to be filled with the remembrance thereof, that ſin may no more enter into me, and that Sathan mine old enimie may well perceive, that he hath neither pact nor fellowſhip in me, but that I am both bodie and ſoule altogether thine, to whome be all praiſes world without end, Amen.
A praier unto God the holie Ghoſt.
Oholie Ghoſt, O bleſſed and holie ſpirit, comforter of them that be afflicted: thou proceeding from the Father and the Sonne, art the true Q.j. inſtructor 158 Q1v 158 inſtructor and teacher of the divine and heavenlie veritie. Wherefore, I with all humilitie praie thee to renew and make in me a cleane hart, to graffe a right ſpirit in me, to guide and governe me, that I may thinke nothing, ſpeake nothing, doo nothing, but that onlie which ſhall pleaſe thee.
And whereas I have not ceaſed to offend my Lord God and maker, and moſt greevouſlie to tranſgreſſe againſt Jeſus my redeemer and ſaviour; I praie thee that I may have inward ſorowe, repentance, and petitio ſhame thereof; and that ever hereafter I may performe my dutie, as I ought to doo, and ſo bring forth the fruits of repentance, that the paſſion of Jeſus Chriſt may defend me from all ſinne and wickedneſſe, and bring me to the joies of paradiſe: So be it.
A godlie praier for the true worſhipping of God, which may be uſed in the Church before common praier.
Stabliſh our harts and minds, O moſt gratious God, in the true woorſhipping of thy divine majeſtie; make us to beleeve thy holie and ſacred Goſpell, wherein we are dailie and hourelie inſtructed to love, feare, honour, and obeie thee: to hate ſinne and iniquitie, to renounce all ſuperſtitious ceremonies, whereby thy worſhip is defaced, thy glorie prophaned, and thine honour greatlie diminiſhed. Give us the grace to hate ſinne and iniquitie, to renounce and forſake the vanities and wanton pleaſures of this wicked and ſinfull world. Arme us, we beſeech thee, to mortifie and bring under the rebellious appetites and ſtraieng luſts of the fleſh. And finallie give us power from above, to withſtand Sathan the prince of darkneſſe, and all his damnable miniſters, who by divers temptations provoke and allure us from godlie puritie, and perfect integritie, which paſſeth onlie from Chriſt Jeſus unto us, who is 159 Q2r 159 is the fulneſſe of our perfection and holineſſe, to all kinds of evill, impietie and uncleanneſſe; by meanes whereof thy worſhip is greatlie prophaned, and of a ſet purpoſe contemned.
Make us conſtant to ſkirmiſh againſt the world, ſinne, death, and hell; and by the power of a fruitefull faith, give us grace to reſiſt and bridle the concupiſcence of our fleſh, in ſuch ſort, that our ſoules may triumph with victorie, and continue conſtant in woorſhipping thee; from whom paſſeth the fulneſſe of our joie. Prepare our harts and minds (good Lord) now and ever to ſpread foorth the glorie of thy name. Keepe our tongues from all filthie talke, and uncomelie geſture, leaſt by the exerciſe of ſuch ſinne, we contemne thy worſhip, and provoke thee to diſpleaſure and indignation. Set thou a watch before the gates of my mouth, that my lips by thy grace may be alwaies made open to ſound foorth thy praiſe and everlaſting glorie. Be mercifull to our offences, thinke thou not on our unrighteouſneſſe; but upon thy clemencie. Forgive them freelie, and pardon gratiouſlie our ſinnes, make us faithfull in Chriſt Jeſus. Shorten the dangerous daies of iniquitie, increaſe the number of thy choſen and peculiar Saincts. Haſten thy commming, O ſaviour Chriſt, that we with the felowſhip of the Saints, heavenlie Angels, and the bleſſed companie of Martyrs, may celebrate thy praiſe, and worſhip thee in thy glorious kingdome, before the father our God, and the holie Ghoſt, to whome be praiſe for ever, Amen.
Another praier that we may live ſo uprightlie in this life, that at the laſt we may dwell in the everlasting tabernacle.
O Lord, ſeeing that the rightoeus ſhall dwell in thy tabernacle, graunt me I beſeech thee, a poure and undefiled ſoule. O what is the ſhape of the earth, wherein Gods enimies Q.ij. haue 160 Q2v 160 have abiding; in compariſon of the woonderfull beautie of heaven, wherein righteouſneſſe doth dwell; in compariſon of that place, wherein Angels, Archangels, all good men, yea and God himſelfe is abiding! What are the pleaſures of the world, wealth, honour, companie of our parents and friends, wherein all our pleaſure and ſweeteneſſe is mixed with ſowreneſſe and ſorowe; wherein everie perfection hath his imperfecetion? What is all this to the unſpeakable joie in the kingdome of God? What is the companie of friends heere, in compariſon to the companie of Abraham, Iſaac and Jacob, the Patriarches and Prophets, and all the Saints of God?
Oh the felicitie of everlaſting life, which is without all diſcommodities; perpetuall, without all perill and moleſtation! Oh the glorious majeſtie, the ſingular mirth, and paſſing joies of the life to come! The eie hath not ſeene, nor the hart of man is able to conceive in anie part, the happie eſtate of the bleſſed ſoules in heaven. Oh how amiable are thy tabernacles! My ſoule hath a deſire to enter into the courts of the Lord. My hart and my ſoule rejoice in the living God; bleſſed be they that dwell in thy houſe, they may be alwaies praiſing thee. One daie in thy courts, is better than a thouſand elſewhere. I had rather be a dore-keeper in the houſe of my God, than to dwell in the tents of ungodlineſſe. The Lord God is a light and defence. My ſoule is athirſt for God, even for the living God. When ſhall I come before the preſence of my God? My fleſh longeth after thee in a barren and drie land, where no water is. Good Lord remember me, and graunt that I may weare the white garments of innocencie with thine elected, in thine everlaſting kingdome, Amen.
A praier againſt the felowſhip of the ungodlie.
Protect and defend me, O heavenlie Father, and moſt mercifull God, from the felowſhip of the ungodlie men, which dailie imagine miſchiefe in their harts to harme the innocent. Keepe me from the counſels of the fooliſh and ungodlie, which ſpeake proud things againſt the glorie of thy bleſſed name. Defend me from faithleſſe and deceiptfull ones, whoſe guiltie ſtomaches are gorged with grudge, envie, malice, hatred, diſdaine, and all uncharitableneſſe. For their throtes are like unto an open ſepulchre, or ſwallowing grave: their tongs are given to ſlander and backbite their neighbours: the poiſon of Adders lieth hidden under their lips; and in fine, they as thine enimies blaſpheme thy holie and blſſed name, and contemne thy teſtimonies.
O Lord give me thy grace, to be converſant with good and godlie men; ſuch as favour thy glorious Goſpell, and doo their indevour to practiſe thy precepts, to the glorie of thy holie and bleſſed name. Make me, by their example, to exerciſe my ſelfe in the heavenlie veritie; that thereby I may be inſtructed in the livelie knowledge of thy commandements, and obtaine ſuch wiſdome from above, that by faith I may cleave to thee, and the felowſhip of thoſe that feare thy holie name; and ſo avoide the companie of the wicked and ungodlie worldlings, which have laid ſnares to intrap mee. Graunt this, O moſt mercifull Father, for thy ſonne Jeſus Chriſts ſake, who ever liveth and reigneth with thee, and the holie Ghoſt, to whome be all laude, glorie, power and praiſe, for ever and ever, Amen.Q.iij.
A praier to be ſaid before or after the Sermon.
Moſt mightie God, which by thy word haſt made all things, whoſe voice the flouds and hils doo knowe, whoſe heaſt both quicke and dead, heaven and hell obey, at whoſe diſpleaſure the divels in hell doo tremble: let thy word ſo lighten our harts, that by our good works we may teſtifie our profeſſion, ſeeing that the tree which beareth not fruit ſhall be cut downe, & throwne into the fire. Grant that I may not onelie be a hearer, but alſo a dooer of thy holie word, that ſo finallie I may be partaker of thine everlaſting joie and bliſſe.
O Lord grant me wiſdome to knowe thee, and grace to followe thee in true humilitie: that as thou didſt ſuffer to be ſpitted at, and ſmitten of thine enimies; ſo we may beare the diſpleaſures of the world, and rage of our enimies with patience. Thou haſt bleſſed the little ones, and revealed unto them the things hidden from the wiſe. For thou wilt have mercie where it pleaſeth thee. O ſet thy feare alwaies before mine eies, make me to underſtand wiſdome ſecretlie; and graffe thy faith ſo in my hart, that I may both knowe thee, and love thee, and glorifie thy holie name for ever: Amen.
A praier for faith.
Obleſſed Saviour Jeſus, ſonne of the everliving God, the unſpeakable joie of thy ſervants, moſt preſent cōfort to ſinners, which cameſt into the world to ſave offenders, which ſo lovedſt the world, that thou ſparedſt not thy moſt pretious bloud to redeeme the loſſe of our firſt father Adam, and to make us coheires of the forfeited inheritance with thy ſelfe; that all which beleeve in thee might be ſaved. Good Lord, which haſt promiſed to 163 Q4r 163 to them that knocke, it ſhall be opened; and that they which ſeek ſhall find: grant I beſeech thee, that I may ſearch thy holie lawes, and find the truth of thy holie word; that I may alwaies conſtantlie confeſſe and ſhew thee and thy goodneſſe, as well in my words as living. Inſpire me with thy holie ſpirit, that I may knowe thee ſtedfaſtlie, truſt in thee, and ſerve thee in praiers and well-dooing, all the time of my life. O moſt mercifull Lord and Saviour of the world, for the glorie of thy name ſake, I beſeech thee to heare my praiers. My ſoule rejoice in God my ſaving health, for hee hath been good to thee, he hath kept thee from the ſnare of the hunter, and bleſſed thee. The Lord is a mercifull God, let all the earth feare him: let the mouths of all men ſound praiſes unto him. God is a good Lord, and dailie increaſeth his good gifts to his ſervants; the Lord will increaſe my faith in him, and I ſhall be ſaved: So be it.
A praier to be ſaid before the receiving of the Lords Supper.
Omnipotent God and father everlaſting, whoſe mercie is infinite, and whoſe kingdom hath none end; vouchſafe I beſeech thee, of thine exceeding goodnes, to increſe our faith, that as thy gheſts repaire to the table of thy ſonne Jeſus Chriſt, who hath left unto us, before he gave his bodie to be crucified, and his bloud to be ſhed largelie on the croſſe for our redemption, as a pledge of his great love and abundant kindneſſe, the celebration of his glorious ſupper, wherein as it were in a looking glaſſe, the death of our great maiſter, the high ſhepheard of our ſoules Jeſus Chriſt, is moſt livelie ſet foorth unto us. Give us grace therefore from above, rightlie to underſtand the divine myſteries offered unto us thereby, and not to wreſt or wring the ſame Q.iiij. con- 164 Q4v 164 contrarie to thy will.
Let it be far from our thoughts, good Lord, to leave thine eternall veritie; and to build on the doctrine of men, who following their owne imaginations, run headlong to the gaping gulph of danger and deſtruction. Plucke the ſcales of ignorance from our eies, that we may cleerlie deſcerne and behold, by the light of thy glorious Goſpell, how we may truelie communicate and participate the fruits of thy grace, repreſented unto us in this comfortable Sacrament. Indue us plentifullie with ſuch pure knowledge, that we may not once thinke or ſaie after anie groſſe forme or carnall maner, we feede upon, or eate thy fleſh reallie, or carnallie; but make us alwaies conſtantlie to beleeve, that thy glorious bodie is aſcended up into heaven, and ſitteth on the right hand of thy Father, concerning thy humanitie; and cannot be thence remooved, till the time that thou ſhalt come with legions of Angels, to judge the quicke and the dead, before whoſe preſence ſhall run a conſuming fire.
And moreover, wee doo moſt humblie beſeech thee ſo to confirme us in the truth of thy bleſſed teſtament, that we may confeſſe thy divine nature to be equall with the Father and the holie Ghoſt; and to beleeve that thy power is not a power particular, but a power generall; and ſuch as doth and ſhall governe in heaven and earth, in the deepe and lowe waters: yea and in the nethermoſt parts of hell. Strengthen us therefore good Lord, that ſtand; leaſt that in falling from the true knowledge of thee, we periſh everlaſtinglie.
And ſith thou haſt called us by thy word, as thy gheſts to this bleſſed banket, wherein the mouths of our carnall bodies are foſtered & fed with bread and wine: ſo Lord confirme our faith in thee, that the mouths of our ſoules may feed ſpirituallie upon thy ſweeteſt fleſh, and drinke thy deereſt blood, and ſo be nouriſhed to everlaſtinglaſting 165 Q5r 165 laſting life the heavenlie bleſſedneſſe: Which reward as a dowre due, thou haſt promiſed to all thoſe that faithfullie build upon thee, which art the rocke and ſtrong piller of our ſalvation.
And as theſe moſt holie myſteries muſt ſet foorth unto us moſt livelie thy death and paſſion; ſo make us thankefull to thee for the ſame: and thereby give us grace, to print in our harts thy great love and exceeding clemencie, that ſpearedſt not to give thy bodie to the moſt vile, ſhamefull and ſlanderous death of the Croſſe; and thy bloud to be ſhed for our offences.
Indue us with love and charitie to all men; make us readie to forgive, to love, and pardon our enimies, perſecutors and ſlanderers. Turne our harts & minds from all impietie, covetouſneſſe, blaſhphemie, pride, gluttonie, fornication, and all other deteſtable evils. And if at anie time we have defeated the fatherleſſe of his right, the widowe of hir dowrie, or gathered togither our goods wrongfullie, by violence, oppreſſion, fraud, colluſion, or deceit: give us grace to make reſtitution, and to aſke with ſorowfull plaints and fluds of teares, from the bottome of our harts, pardon and free forgiveneſſe of thee, for ſuch and all other our offences whatſoever wee have done, or committed in thought, word, will and deed, againſt thy divine Majeſtie, or anie other our brethren and ſiſters.
Take awaie from us all bitternes, curſed ſpeaking and backbiting. Give us grace to come woorthilie, by the vertue of a true and fruitfull faith, to this holie and bleſſed ſupper, that our ſoules feeding faithfullie on thy ſweeteſt fleſh, and drinking thy deereſt bloud, wee may both in bodie and ſoule be nouriſhed by thee to everlaſting and endleſſe glorie in heaven; where with thee and the felowſhip of thy choſen Saints, we ſhall enjoie the fruition of the everlaſting kingdome, which thou haſt ordeined for all thoſe that ounelie and alone, without 166 Q5v 166 without wavering doo build upon thdamaged
Sanctifie and make cleane our harts and minds, by the power of thy holie Ghoſt, the verie comforter of thy choſen. Purge thou our cankred conſciences, infected with ſinne, by the working of thy good grace, leaſt that by the preſuming to this thy table, O Lord, we incur thy diſpleaſure; and being unrepentant for our offences, we be found unmeet gheſts to come to thy holie banket, and ſo we eate and drinke to the utter confuſion of our ſoules and bodies. Give us grace therefore good Lord, to convert us wholie unto thee, and we ſhall be turned from all our ſinne and iniquitie. Give us grace to reſt onlie upon thee, and we ſhall be made ſafe. Give us thine aid from above, we beſeech thee, by faith to ſtrive with the man of ſinne, and ſo to vanquiſh him, that he may die to us, and we may live to thee, which art the giver of life. Grant this, O moſt gratious God, for Jeſus Chriſt his ſake, to whom with thee and the holie Ghoſt be given all praiſe, honour and glorie, for ever and ever: Amen.
A praier or thankeſgiving to be ſaid after the receiving of the Communion.
We give thee moſt hartie thanks, O heavenlie Father, that haſt at this preſent fed us, and refreſhed our hungrie ſoules with the fleſh and bloud of our Saviour Chriſt; not carnallie, but ſpirituallie. Give us grace therefore continuallie, by the meanes of an increaſing and fruitfull faith, to beleeve that thy fleſh is meate indeed, and thy bloud is drinke indeed: and that unneths we eate thy fleſh, and drinke thy bloud, we can not enter into thy kingdome, nor be ſaved in the daie of thy comming. Give us grace therefore, being unprofitable ſervants, and unwoorthilie called, by the reaſon of the multitude of our ſinnes, to banket at thy table, whereas the celebrationbration 167 Q6r 167 bration of thy damaged hath beene damaged, and thy death by the viſible elements of bread and wine repreſented unto us, to offer up unto thee continuallie the fruits of true, repentant, and ſorowfull harts, that thy name may be glorified, we by thy grace comforted, thy diſpleaſure turned to love, thy wrath to compaſſion, our ſinnes pardoned and forgotten, and our names written in the booke of life.
And as it hath pleaſed thee at this preſent to account us for thy gheſts, and not onlie to feede us with viſible creatures, namelie bread and wine: but alſo in ſoule, which is thine owne ſimilitude, to cheriſh us with thy fleſh and bloud, wheron by the vertue of a livelie faith we have to our great comforts moſt plentifullie fed: ſo now, O Lord, we beſeech thee of thine abundant goodneſſe, to increaſe our faith, that it may wax ſtrong in thee, and fruitfull to exerciſe the works of charitie and love to all men; that therby as we have now been at the celebration of thy glorious and bleſſed ſupper, ſo we may, whenſoever it ſhall pleaſe thee to call us to thine heavenly banket, be found furniſhed: not emptie, not naked, but armed and covered with fruitfull faith and truth, and ſo as thy gheſts or veſſels of honour enjoie the participation of thy heavenlie and rich palace, whereas joies never vade, but continuallie endure. Take from us the burden of our corruption; ſet us free from the curſed clog of ſinne; deliver us from the ſnares of death and deſtruction. Give us willing minds to obeie and heare thy commandements, clenſe thou our harts from all iniquitie, and give us grace henceforth to walke in newneſſe of life, and godlie converſation, that thy name may be glorified, and we ſaved in the daie of thy comming to judgement. Grant this for Jeſus Chriſt his ſake our mediatour and advo cate: Amen.
A godlie praierdamagedd of everie Chriſtian, eſpedamagedt burials.
Good Lord, which with thy hands doeſt ſtaie the damagedone word & damagedtwo or three lettersgin of the earth, and ruleſt the courſe of the ſwift heavens, diſpoſing and ordering all things by thy divine providence, which haſt apointed bounds to our life, which we can not pas: I beſech thee that by my living, I learning to die, mortifieng by thy ſpirit the affections of the fleſh, though not expelling them, yet ſubduing the rage of them, it may at the laſt, by the haven of death, land in the moſt glorious citie of everlaſting life; where our bodies which are now darke, miſerable and corruptible, ſhall be moſt bright, glorious and incorruptible, like to the immortall and ſhining bodie of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt. We ſhall be like to Chriſt our Saviour; even as he is, ſo ſhall we be. And as we have borne the image of the earthlie, ſo ſhall we beare the image of the heavenlie, and ſhine like to the ſunne, as the face of Chriſt did in his tranſfiguration.
Oh Lord Jeſus, bleſſed Saviour, which by thy death haſt triumphed over ſinne and death; thou haſt troden on the ſting of the monſter, our hidious enimie; the gates of hel have not prevailed againſt thee: grant to me a true and livelie faith, by which men paſſe from earth to heaven, from death to eternall life. This can we not doo without thee, thou muſt be our mediatour. For a child of a nights birth is not pure in thy ſight. In ſinne were we borne, and by nature we are the children of perdition, and firebrands of hell: but thou, O bleſſed Saviour, art the perfection of the lawe to them that beleeve. As death came by ſinnes; ſo by thy death and pretious bloudſhedding is death conquered and exiled; and we that beleeve waſhed and clenſed of our ſinnes. All the Prophets beare witneſſe, that they which 169 Q7r 169 which beleeve in thy name ſhall receive remiſſion of their ſinnes. If we confeſſe our ſinnes thou art righteous to forgive us our iniquities. Whoſoever calleth on thy name ſhall be ſaved. Thou haſt no pleaſure in the death of a ſinner, but rather deſireſt that they ſhould live, and be converted. Thou haſt ſo loved the world, that thou not onlie didſt become man, and tooke our nature upon thee, but wert content alſo to ſuffer moſt cruell death on the Croſſe, to purge our nature from mortall ſinne and corruption, and adorne it with immortalitie and eternall glorie; not onelie in thine owne perſon, but in us alſo, to ſatiſfie the juſtice of the father for our ſinnes.
Oh bleſſed ſhepheard, thou doubtedſt not to ſpend thy moſt pretious blood to ſave thy beloved ſheepe from ravine and ſpoile. Good Lord, ſo increaſe thy grace in me, that thy holie word may take roote, and flouriſh in me, that the good ſeed may not be choked with thornes. So order my living, that when by courſe of nature I ſhall be diſſolved from the priſon of my bodie, I may come to thee, that when thou more bright than the ſun ſhalt come in the midſt of the legions of Angels, in thy ſhining glorie and Majeſtie to judge the quicke & the dead, I may be in the number of the bleſſed ones, whom thou ſhalt call to poſſeſſe the kingdome prepared for them, by thy Father, ſaieng: Come ye bleſſed children of my Father, receive the kingdome prepared for you before the beginning of the world. Thou which didſt die and riſe againe, wilt raiſe and bring to life all thoſe that are dead beleeving in thy faith: So be it.
A praier to live well.
Good Lord ſo rule the eies of my hart, that they being kept ſimple and pure, my bodie may be a cleere and ſhining temple of thy holie ſpirit. So kindle in us the love of thy gloriousrious 170 Q7v 170 rious ſonne, that we following his ſteps, may doo that which is good, and decline from the evill; ſo that our light ſhining before men, we may glorifie thee by our good works, with thy bleſſed ſonne our Saviour, and the holie Ghoſt: to whoſe infinite Majeſtie, in trinitie and unitie be all honour and glorie for ever, Amen.
A praier for humilitie.
O Lord I am a ſinner, and ſorie for mine offences: I can not make ſatiſfaction for my defaults. If I have anie good thing, it commeth of thee. The moſtr acceptable ſacrifice to thee is a contrite and humble hart. O God let mee not be oppreſſed with the waves of ſinne, let mee not ſinke into the whirlepoole and gulph of deſpaire. Thou which lifteſt up the fallen, and raiſeſt the humble and meeke, clothing them with purple, and ſetteſt them up with princes in the ſeates of honour; thou which deſpiſeſt the imaginations of the proud, and reſiſteſt their enterpriſes; bleſſe me in all my dooings, ſend mee happie ſucceſſe in all mine affaires, that I may rejoice in thy goodneſſe, with thine elected for ever and ever. Accept my humble ſuite, good Lord, I beſeech thee, for the glorie of thy name ſake, Amen.
A praier for the obteining of Gods grace.
Oalmightie and mercifull God, ſhine we beſeech thee, through the power of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, and the comfortable working of thy ſacred ſpirit, the heavenlie comforter, upon our minds and harts, with the glorious beames of thy heavenlie grace. Give us ſuch plentie of wiſedome and underſtanding from above, that through the knowledge of thee, the man of ſinne, that is, our fraile and feeble fleſh, with the wicked luſts and deſire of concupiſcencecupiſ- 171 Q8r 171 cupiſcence may lie dead and buried in us. Give us, good Lord, the feeling of thy grace, that by the vertue and divine operation of thy word, the eies of our ſoules may be illumined, and made ſo light, that the Prince of darkeneſſe, with all his unrighteous miniſters, may be expulſed and baniſhed from our memories. So eſtabliſh us in thy truth, that our harts, minds, and thoughts, may continuallie be occupied in thy teſtimonies: that thereby thou good Lord effectuallie ſhining in our harts, by the vertue of thy good ſpirit, we may learne to knowe and underſtand, what is the fulneſſe of our calling, and how rich thou art in the glorie of thy celeſtiall and heavenlie heritage of thy Saincts, and that excellent greatneſſe of thy power and loving kindneſſe towards us, which beleeve without faining thy holie Goſpell, according to the might and force of thy ſtrength, which thou ſhewedſt in Chriſt Jeſus, when thou didſt raiſe him from the dead, and didſt ſet him on thy right hand, far above all empire, power, authoritie and dominion, and everie name that is named, not onlie in this world, but in the world to come. By whoſe pretious death, and deereſt bloud-ſhedding, we are aſſured, that ſinne, death and hell are vanquiſhed, overcome, and utterlie deſtroied. And if we beleeve without wavering, we ſhall in him be able to reſiſt all the power of hell, and in Chriſt as conquerors, to triumph with victorie over ſinne, death, and Sathan, and at the laſt to have and enjoie the fruition of his rich and glorious kingdome, which he by moſt painefull agonie, bloudie ſtripes, greevous and bloudie wounds, and laſtlie by his moſt painefull death, purchaſed for his choſen and elect. To whome for our ſanctification, juſtification, redemption, and our ſalvation be rendred, with his celeſtiall Father, and the holie Ghoſt, all laud, glorie, power, honour and dominion for ever and ever, Amen.
A praier againſt preſumptuous pride and vaine-glorie.
We heare, O heavenlie Father, and are dailie taught and inſtructed out of thine eternall word, how greatlie the greevous ſinne of preſumption, pride, and vaine-glorie diſpleaſeth thy divine majeſtie. We are learned, that for the practiſe of this peſtilent and heinous evill, thou haſt not ſpared the verie Angels, but haſt throwne them in thy diſpleaſure, for their pride, vaine-glorie, and preſumption, from beatitude, to miſerie: from joie without end, to perdurable paine: from brightneſſe of thy glorious preſence, to utter extreame and palpable darkeneſſe: from the glorious fruition, and participation of thine everlaſting kingdome, to the bottomleſſe pit of hell, death, damnation, and endleſſe flames of fire. Beſides this, we are taught that by the tranſgreſſion of Adam, whoſe haughtie preſuming, through the entiſement of the ſubtile and perilous allurement of the Serpent, thought to be as thy ſelfe, but in fine, thy juſtice condemned him, and all his poſteritie.
This peſtiferous ſinne of pride drowned him in the flouds of all dangerous evils, as gluttonie, luxurie, and ſuch other perils; that had not thy mercie taken effect, to keepe and hold plea for his and our ſafegard; and thy ſonne Chriſt embaſed the glorie and power of his divine eſſence, and taken upon him our fleſh and fraile nature, ſinne onlie except, who freelie offered his innocent bodie to the death of the croſſe, we had periſhed everlaſtinglie, and beene utterlie confounded. Print therefore good Lord, and write theſe examples in my memorie, that I fall not from thy favour, by the exerciſe of this deteſtable ſinne. Make me ſtill to conſider, that the proud and diſdainefull are alwaies abhored in thy ſight. And ſith it is thy good will, and gratioustious 173 R1r 173 tious pleaſure, to regard the humble and lowlie man, give me ſuch meekeneſſe from above, that I may continuallie preſent thee with the ſacrifice of a gentle, meeke, and contrite ſpirit: that I may avoide the plagues and puniſhments which thou haſt prepared for the proud and haughtie minded. Graunt this good Lord, for Jeſus Chriſt his ſake, mine onlie mediator & advocate, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the holie Ghoſt, in glorie permanent & everlaſting, Amen.
A praier againſt covetouſneſſe, or too much care of the world.
Good Lord, ſeeing that it is thy pleaſure, that we ſhall not be carefull for worldlie things: if a ſparowe falleth not on the ground without thy fore-ſight, how much more care doeſt thou take for us thy children? Good Lord, thou feedeſt the birds of the aire, and cloatheſt the lillies of the field, which take no care. Wherefore good Lord, ſo provide for our neceſſitie and ſickneſſe, we beſeech thee, that we caſting all our care upon thee, may cheeflie ſtudie to pleaſe thee, and ſerve thee, which liveſt and reigneſt king of all kings for ever, Amen.
A praier againſt lieng and evill imaginations.
O Lord cleanſe my hart, I beſeech thee, from all unpure & wicked cogitations and thoughts, and give me a cleere conſcience, ſhamefaſt eies, innocent hands, and a tongue to tell the truth; ſeeing that there is nothing hid, that ſhall not be diſcovered. Good Lord I beſeech thee to ſearch my thoughts, and renew in me thy holie ſpirit. Direct my feete in thy waies, that walking after thee, in the path of the righteous, I may paſſe through this vale of miſerie, bearing thy banner ſtoutelie in my warfare, and obtaine everlaſting joie; the promiſed hire to ſuch as R.j. here 174 R1v 174 here have patientlie borne thy croſſe, and valiantlie fought with the armour of faith, againſt temptations and all evils. Vouchſafe, O Lord, to graunt my petitions, I moſt humblie beſeech thee, for thy onlie begotten ſonne, our Saviour Jeſus Chriſt his ſake, Amen.
A neceſſarie praier in Meeter againſt vices.
O Lord my God, make thou my hart repentant for to be,
The ſpirit of contrition, do thou ingraffe in me.
Unto mine eies let there be given aboundant teares of wéeping,
And let my hands be occupied with often almes giving.
O thou my King quench out of me all foule fleſhlie deſire,
And with the love of thée alone ſet thou my hart on fire.
O my redéemer drive awaie the ſpirit of pride from me,
And graunt to me that great treaſure of méeke humilitie.
Take from me O my Saviour, the furious rage of ire,
The ſhield of patience give to me, the which I do deſire.
O Creator roote out of me all ſpitefulneſſe of mind,
And graunt in ſtead thereof againe méekenes that I may find.
O bountifull father give me a faith that ſhall endure,
With hope agréeing thereunto, and charitie moſt ſure.
O thou my guide kéepe from my lips all lieng vanitie,
And from my mind drive far awaie all vaine unconſtancie.
All wavering take thou from my hart, & from my mouth ſcoffing,
With all proud lookes and gluttonie, backbiting & ſlandering.
Covetouſnes wipe cleane awaie, with curiouſitie,
The fond deſire of vaine-glorie, with all hypocriſie.
Let me never the poore deſpiſe, nor yet the weake oppreſſe,
And let me not blaſpheme, for then I die remedileſſe.
O thou which didſt me forme & make, take all raſhneſſe from mée
And leave me not ſuch a mind as, will not with peace agrée.
Take from me ydleneſſe and ſloth, and heavie lumpiſhneſſe,
Take from me diſobedience, and eke all ſtubborneſſe.
O my God, for thy déere ſonnes ſake, I humblie beſéech thée,
To graunt me the works of mercie, with aboundance of pitie.That 175 R2r 175
That I may thée both love and feare, and eke pitie the poore,
Make me good men alwaies to love, and wicked to abhor.
Make me ſo little to eſtéeme thoſe things that worldlie bée,
With hart & voice that I may crave in heaven to be with thée:
A thankeſgiving for benefits received at Gods hand.
Omoſt mercifull Father, I yeeld thee moſt humble thanks, for thy great benefits beſtowed upon me a ſinner, of thy free mercie onlie. Thou haſt of thy fatherlie love brought me up tenderlie, and inſtructed me in thy holie lawe. Thou haſt given me knowledge and underſtanding. Thou haſt preſerved me from manie dangers and evils, which divers men have felt. Thou haſt bleſſed me with health, quietneſſe, joie, plentie and wealth, which a number doo want. Thou haſt taken care of me, and done all things for me. Lord, though I can deſerve nothing but puniſhment by thy juſt diſpleaſure, yet good petitio miſerdamaged vice nōon inſtitdamaged Lord, I truſt to thy goodneſſe, craving mercie, and not juſtice. And for thy mercie ſake, I beſeech thee to continue thy grace, and to increaſe thy good gifts towards me, and have me in thy protection till my lives end. Good Lord bleſſe me, that I may enjoie the fruits of the earth, and uſe them to thy honour and glorie. Good Lord be thou mine aid, and guide in all my dooings: my buckler and defence in all dangers, that I may freelie and joifullie ſing praiſes to thee, which liveſt and reigneſt one God almightie and incomprehenſible, worlds without end, Amen.
Another thankeſgiving for the goodneſſe of God to us.
Oalmightie God, and ever-ruling King, whoſe infinite power and majeſtie our wits can not comprehend, whoſe glorious brightneſſe with R.ij. our 176 R2v 176 our mortall eies, we can not behold; whoſe woonderous works and manifold mercies the tongs of men can not ſufficientlie declare. Good Lord I yeeld thee moſt humble thanks, for thy ſingular great gifts and benefits beſtowed upon me a ſinner. Good Lord thou haſt bleſſed me with knowledge, with increaſe and plentie of all things; thou haſt given mee friends, health, and reſt, that I ſhould eate my meate with joie, and praiſe thee in all thy gifts and works. I knowe that I have no good thing, but it commeth from thee, of my ſelf and onlie for thy mercies ſake, thou haſt ſo regarded me thy ſervant. Wherefore good Lord, I beſeech thee petitio, to graunt me thy grace withall, that I may uſe theſe thy gifts to thy honour and glorie, and the comfort of them that neede; that uſing the talent which thou haſt lent me, I may become a good ſervant, and obtaine eternall bliſſe, the promiſed hire to ſuch as doo well. Vouchſafe good Lord, for thy ſonne our Saviour Jeſus Chriſt his ſake, to heare my praiers.
Almightie God, refreſh me with thy grace, I beſeech thee; comfort me with thy mercie, and bleſſe me; that ſafe from all evils, free from feare of all dangers, in peace and quietneſſe, I may ſing praiſes to thy holie name, and rejoice in thee with thine elected for ever and ever, Amen.
A praier to be ſaid in time of quietneſſe and prosperitie.
Give us good Lord, the comfortable & healthfull ſpirit of thy grace and aboundant favour, that we may without ceaſing make our continuall boaſt of thy praiſe. We know, and from the bottome of our harts confeſſe, that thou haſt dealt more lovinglie with us, than thou haſt done with our next neighbours, whoſe painefull miſeries, and bloudie broiles may be a ſufficient warning unto vs, 177 R3r 177 us, to hate our ſin and iniquitie, leaſt the like calamitie or ever we be aware, do compaſſe and hedge us round a bout. Give us grace therefore in time of peace and happie proſperitie, ſo to walke, that thy fatherlie bleſſings be not withdrawne nor taken from us, and the rod of thy ſharpe correction laid upon our neckes, even in ſuch ſort as thou haſt viſited our brethren in other countries, whoſe bodies, by the meanes of civill diſſention, have beene made a praie to the ſword.
We heare and underſtand, that not far off, but even hard at the gates of our borders, the father is readie in armes to ſeeke the deſtruction of his ſonne: the ſonne is as greedie to gape for the bloud of his father. We heare how violentlie the brother thirſteth after the bloud of his brother, friend is againſt friend, neighbour againſt neighbour, yong men are murthered, old men are ſuddenlie ſlaine, manie a wife is huſbandleſſe, manie a child is deſolate and fatherleſſe. The cruell harted enimie ſpareth none, he maketh havocke, no teares can ſtaie him from his affectioned tyrannie. The tender infants are haled from the earnefull paps of their weeping mothers, and torne to peece-meale before the ſorowfull eies of their carefull parents. Old age is contemned, godlie matrones are abuſed, virgins are defloured and raviſhed by violence; a ſpectacle of extreame crueltie for us to behold, and a glaſſe of great carefulneſſe for us to looke upon, that have worthilie deſerved like or far greater puniſhments.
Yet with-holdeſt thou from us thy ſcourge, although our offences are ſo great and divers, that might heape up the ſentence of thine exceeding juſtice againſt us. In place of war and bloudie battel, thou haſt given unto us proſperitie, and perfect peace. In place of penurie, dearth and ſcarſitie, thou haſt given us increaſe, fulneſſe, and great plentie. In ſtead of diſcord and diſſention, thou haſt ſent us unitie and concord: and by thy R.iij. celeſtiall 178 R3v 178 celeſtiall providence we are defended from the cruell enimie, and from the domeſticall and civill war. And beſides theſe thy gratious gifts, to heape up our conſolation and joie, thou haſt given us thy true and livelie word, as a lanterne to direct us, and guide our footeſteps from vanitie to vertue; from wickednes to godlie wiſdome; from licentious libertie to newneſſe of life, and godlie converſation. Beſides all theſe thine ineſtimable graces, freelie beſtowed upon us, thou haſt given us godlie and zealous Preachers, which plentiouſlie breake unto us, out of thine eternall teſtament, the bread of life; whereon good Lord give our ſoules ſuch power to feede by faith, that they may be nouriſhed to eternall joie; and we by the diligent obſerving and obeieng of thy commandements, may be preſerved from all kind of diſſention; and peaceablie enjoie the fruits of pure peace & truſtie tranquilitie. Grant this, O mercifull Father, for thy ſon Chriſts ſake, our onelie Saviour and Redeemer Chriſt Jeſus, Amen.
A godlie and fruitfull praier to be ſaid in time of bloudie battell.
O Lord our heavenlie Father, and everliving God, we thy wretched and moſt miſerable creatures confeſſe and acknowledge, wee have woorthilie deſerved the rod of thy correction and puniſhment: and doo merit manie ſharpe and bitter ſtripes, that knowing thy bleſſed and glorious will, have of ſet purpoſe contemned thy divine and heavenlie precepts; for which cauſe the ſentence of thy wrath is ſharpelie kindled againſt us, even as it hath beene againſt thy choſen people Iſrael, in the daies of our forefathers, who glorieng in their wickedneſſe, were plagued in the fulneſſe of thine indignation. The ſword of their enimies beſet them round about, and hemmed them in on everie ſide. The Jebuſitesſites, 179 R4r 179 ſites, the Ammonites, the Philiſtines and the Amorites oppreſſed them diverſelie: their ſtrong holds were raſed, their cities were beſeiged, their houſes were ranſacked, their goods and their riches were caried awaie by force of the bloud-thirſtie enimie: their young men were led awaie captive, their virgins were wofullie defloured. But in fine, when thou Lord God didſt behold their hartie and earneſt contrition, thou didſt withdrawe thy frowning countenance, & ſenteſt them ſpeedie and ſafe deliverance.
One while thou Lord ſenteſt them Moſes, to bring them out of the ſervitude of Pharao, the ſtonie and ſtubborne-harted king of the Aegyptians: another while Jephthah ſet them free from the ſword of the Ammonites, wherewith they were greevouſlie afflicted: and to make thy power and excellent glorie fullie knowne, thou gaveſt Samſon much fortitude to bridle the proud Philiſtines. Over & beſides theſe, thou of thy love and miraculous goodnes haſt made feeble women mightie and victorious conquerors. Debora was a ſhield to thy people: Judith comforted the diſtreſſed Bethulians, & cut off the head of proud Holophernes: that thy ſelfe good Lord, when thou beholdeſt their teares, and hartie ſorowe for their offences, didſt prepare thy ſelfe to go foorth with their hoaſts. Thou thy ſelfe, I ſaie, with the breath of thy noſtrils, didſt confound and overthrowe their enimies.
So good Lord, be thou now preſent with us in the fulneſſe of thy divine power: looke upon us with the eies of thy favourable pitie. Forget our corrupt and moſt filthie offences: let our contrite and ſorowfull harts be a meane to vanquiſh thy diſpleaſure conceived againſt us: be thou preſent with us in this time of neceſſitie and trouble: ſet thy hand to helpe and aſſiſt us againſt the enimie: be thou preſent with us in this time of perill and danger: go thou foorth with our R.iiij. hoſts: 180 R4v 180 hoſts: then ſhall we be aſſured to prevaile: let not the multitudes of furious foes diſmaie us. For victorie we doo knowe conſiſteth not in the power nor ſtrength of manie men, horſes, armour nor weapons; but it is thou, O mercifull Father, that giveſt the conqueſt, where and to whom thou pleaſeſt. To thee therefore in this great extremitie we flie and appeale; beſeeching thee of thine ineſtimable love and kindneſſe, for the love of our Saviour Jeſus Chriſt, to looke upon our true repentant harts, and in the fulneſſe of thy miſerations and pities, to ſet us free from the power of the raging enimie, and to pardon our ſinnes and greevous offences, that hencefoorth we may vow and dedicate our harts and minds wholie to walke in integritie and newneſſe of life: which grant good Lord, to whom with thy ſonne Chriſt Jeſus, and the holie Ghoſt, be praiſe and glorie attributed for ever and ever, world without end, Amen.
A godlie praier to be ſaid in time of anie common plague, private affliction or trouble.
Oeternall and everliving God, the Father of all conſolation & comfort, vouchſafe of thine infinite love and kindeneſſe to ſtrengthen mee with thy heavenlie grace, patiently to beare and with meekeneſſe to ſuffer this croſſe of affliction and trouble, which thou haſt laid upon me for the uſe of ſinne and iniquitie. I knowe, O gratious and loving Father, that my deſerts are ſuch as woorthilie have provoked thee to diſpleaſure. The burden of my ſinnes are intollerable, for the which I muſt acknowledge, and earneſtlie from the bottome of my hart confeſſe, that juſtlie thou haſt corrected and viſited me; yet not in the fulneſſe of thy furie, but according to thy fatherlie love and kindneſſe. And albeit thy rod lie heavie upon my ſhoulders; yet in this time of thy correction I am 181 R5r 181 am comforted greatlie, knowing aſſuredlie that thou correcteſt and ſmiteſt where thou loveſt: thou woundeſt, and healeſt againe: thou throweſt downe to hell, and lifteſt up againe to heaven: ſuch and ſo great is thine omnipotencie, that thou ruleſt above the firmament, in earth, flouds, and the lowermoſt parts of hell.
In heaven the Angels, Archangels, the ſoules of thy Saints, the bleſſed companie of Martyrs give thee praiſe, glorie and veneration. The ſun, the moone, and glittering ſtars, ech one of them in their courſe and qualitie ſhew themſelves obedient unto thy will. In earth the beaſts of the field, and the ſeelie feathered ſoule of the aire in their order ſeeme to ſet foorth thy glorie and praiſe. In the deepe waters the fiſhes of the ſea are readie to obſerve thy will, and in their maner they as thy creatures give thee due honour and reverence. But among theſe, man, whom thou by thy divine will and pleaſure haſt indued with reaſon, and in his creation, concerning the inward man, hadſt faſhioned him to thy ſimilitude and likeneſſe, is now moſt prone and willing to be (by the miniſters of darkneſſe) ſeduced and carried awaie from vertue to vice; from godlineſſe to all impietie; from obedience to wilfull breach and contempt of thy precepts: ſo that diligence is baniſhed by negligence. And ſuch is the power of our fleſh, that our eies, which ſhould have their chiefeſt contemplation and delight in peruſing and reading thy glorious and ſacred Goſpel (wherein we may behold thee crucified and ſlaine, O ſweeteſt Saviour Chriſt Jeſus, perfect God and perfect man, by whoſe innocent death & bloudie paſſion, attonement is made betwixt thy Father and us) are ſo dazeled with the dimmie and darke miſts of Sathan, that they are occupied in the beholding of mundane and tranſitorie pleaſures; all which in effect vaniſh and weare awaie, even as the flower that either is parched by the force of 182 R5v 182 of Phoebus radiant beames, or by Winters ſtormes and horie froſts conſumed.
Our eares, which thou haſt given to us to heare, and underſtand the ſacred and divine myſeties conteined in thy holie lawe, are made deafe of purpoſe; ſo that they glorie more in fables and lothſome leaſings, than they conceive delight in the zealous predication of thine Evangelicall and heavenlie doctrine. Our harts are hardened like the Adamant; ſo that for the greateſt part they can not brooke thy teſtimonies: they continuallie luſt and deſire to be ſatiſfied with worldlie wealth, honour and dignitie. And who beholdeth not in theſe daies, what cruell conflict and bloudie fight there is betwixt good conſcience and filthie avarice, the roote of all miſchiefe and evill? Naie, who ſeeth not in this age, plaine dealing murthered by deceit and faithleſſe fraud? Who now beholdeth not true meaning ſtrangled by forged flatterie and loathſome leaſings? The bowels of compaſſion and pitie are ſhut up by violent oppreſſion and tyrannie.
Our feete are willing to tread the paths of pride, fornication and uncleanneſſe. Our hands are readie to offer wrong and injurie to the innocent: yea and in fine, whatſoever thou haſt given unto us to ſpread and ſet foorth thy glorie and honour, is by ſinne ſo corrupted, that we make the members of our bodies (which by grace and of pure love are ingraffed in the bodie of Chriſt, the rich and great ſhepheard of our ſoules) the verie members of Sathan. So that of ſet purpoſe our tranſgreſſion abounding, we flie from Chriſt the rocke and ſtrong piller of our ſalvation; and run headlong to death and utter deſtruction of bodie and ſoule. Yet like a loving God and mercifull Father, thou calleſt us home againe by thy word, wherin not onlie thy mercies, but alſo thy terrible threats are thundered foorth againſt us, for our impenitencie. But when neitherther 183 R6r 183 ther thy manifold mercies, freelie of thine abundant goodneſſe offered unto us in Jeſus Chriſt, can moove nor ſtir us to handfaſt contrition; neither yet thy terrible comminations and thretnings can reclame nor call us backe from the dangerous puddle of our ſins: then thou ſendeſt forth thy plagues and puniſhments; as peſtilence, famine & bloudie ſword, intending thereby to drive us to amendment of life, and to acknowledge thine omnipotencie.
But when thou beholdeſt our true repentant harts, our ſobs and ſighing teares powred foorth before the throne of thy divine Majeſtie; thou withdraweſt from us the terror of thine indignation and vengeance; the rod of thy correction is laid aſide; thy diſpleaſure juſtlie concerned againſt us for the continuall exerciſe of ſinne, is utterlie forgotten; and by the interceſſion of thy ſonne Jeſus Chriſt, that ſitteth on thy right hand, in glorie permanent and everlaſting, like a loving Father, and moſt mercifull God; the ſilvered ſcepter of peace is offered unto us, with all other thy gratious benefits; that thine anger is converted to clemencie; thy diſpleaſure is turned to loving kindneſſe; and in fine, thine indignation is ſo calmed by thine abundant grace and mercie; that like a loving and gentle Father, thine armes are ſtretched foorth, joifullie to embrace and receive us to thy favour againe. All this I knowe to be moſt certaine and true. For when, or at what time ſoeyer we ſhall appeare before the gates of mercie, and by the meanes and power of a conſtant and livelie faith knocke therat; thou art redie to open unto us; not for anie of our deſerts; but for the merits of Jeſus Chriſt, the fulneſſe of thy divine miſeration, compaſſion and pitie. And whenſoever we ſhall call upon thee, with lowlineſſe and meekeneſſe of our harts and minds, bewailing wofullie our heinous offences committed againſt thee; thine eares are moſt attentivetiue 184 R6v 184 tive to heare, & willinglie doeſt grant us our petitions.
Wherefore, O moſt gratious and loving father, we come unto thee with ſorowfull and contrite harts, beſeeching thee for the love of thine annointed ſonne Jeſus Chriſt our Meſſias, Saviour, and Redeemer, to behold and looke upon us with the eies of compaſſion and pitie. And albeit we have worthilie deſerved this thy plague and puniſhment, yet reſpect thou not our deſervings, leaſt in thy furie and indignation we be confounded & periſh. Have an eie rather to thy ſonne Jeſus Chriſt, behold his bloudie wounds, which yet are freſh and greene, and never ſtint bleeding. Thinke upon the bitter and painefull torments that he ſuffered for us upon the croſſe, in whoſe name we beſeech thee favourablie to looke upon our infirmities, mercifullie to heare our praiers and petitions offered unto thee, and gratiouſlie for the glorie of thy name ſake, to take and withdrawe from us this thy heavie rod of correction, which our ſinfull lives, and contempt of thy precepts have heaped heavilie on our neckes.
Give us patience to ſuffer whatſoever it ſhall pleaſe thee to laie upon us. Give us grace alwaie to call and crie upon thy holie and bleſſed name, and faithfullie with teares to ſaie unto thee continuallie: Spare us good Lord, ſpare thy people, whom thou haſt redeemed with thy pretious bloud, neither yet good Lord be thou angrie with us for ever. Graunt this O mercifull father, for the love of thy onlie ſonne Jeſus Chriſt, to whome with thee and the holie Ghoſt, be all honour, glorie and praiſe aſcribed for ever, Amen.
A praier for patience in trouble, and meekelie to ſuffer adverſitie.
Gratious Lord, and omnipotent God, whoſe mercie is everlaſting and infinite, bowe downe thine eare, and harken unto this my praier, which I make before thy divine Majeſtie,ieſtie, 185 R7r 185 jeſtie, moſt humblie beſeeching thee, of thine accuſtomed goodneſſe, to indue me with the works of mercie, and deedes of charitie; and above all things to give me patience in adverſitie, meekelie to ſuffer, and patientlie in adverſitie, meekelie to ſuffer, and patientlie to take, whatſoever it ſhall pleaſe thee to laie upon me, and never to murmer or to grudge thereat, but alwaies to thinke thy loving and gentle correction to be much leſſe, than the deſerts of my great and manifold offences.
Againe, if I be not under correction, then am I not thy child. For what father is he, who correcteth not his children, whome he moſt intirelie loveth? This then is an evident token that thou loveſt us, when as thou correcteſt us. For as the ſcripture ſaith, Whome God loveth, him he chaſteneth. Thou ſeeſt all things, thou underſtandeſt and knoweſt all things; ſo that not ſo much as one little ſparowe lighteth upon the ground, without thy knowledge: yea our verie thoughts are foreknowne unto thee. Thou diſpoſeth and ordereſt all things, as ſeemeth beſt to thy holie will and pleaſure. By thy helpe I may doo all things; without thee I can doo nothing. When thou powreſt upon us thy creatures, thy good gifts and benefits: when thou beſtoweſt upon us proſperitie, health, wealth, and ſuch like, thou dooeſt it to this intent, that we acknowledging the ſame, ſhould thereby be incouraged to ſerve, honour, and humblie obeie thee, and alwaies praiſe and magnifie thy glorious name. Contrariwiſe, when thou ſtrikeſt us with thy rod of correction, as plaging us with great mortalitie; ſuffering our enimies to invade us; robbers for to ſpoile us; povertie to oppreſſe us; or fire to conſume thoſe things which thou haſt lent us, for the maintenance of our bodies in this mortall life: thou doeſt it to put us in mind, that we have tranſgreſſed thy commandements, that we have not harkened unto thee, neither done that which is acceptabletable 186 R7v 186 table in thy ſight, but willinglie falling into the puddle of ſin, and following our owne appetites, have provoked thy juſt wrath and indignation againſt us.
Thus thou dealeſt with us, O Lord, to the intent that we ſuffering bodilie puniſhment, and feeling the ſmart of the ſame, may thereby be admoniſhed of our dutie, and with true compunction of hart, deſire to be releaſed from thy ſcourges, which we have deſerved, and worthilie receive: and then acknowledge our ſelves to be loſt children, and ſtraieng ſheepe, may both ſee and be aſhamed of our unbrideled affections and wilfulneſſe, which have brought us to calamitie and miſerie, and with the true penitent to ſaie:
We are not worthie (moſt mercifull Father) to lift up our eies or voice unto thee, for our manifold ſins and wickedneſſe. Nevertheleſſe, preſuming upon thine aboundant mercie (who refuſeſt none that doo call uppon thee) moſt lamentablie we doo crie, Have mercie upon us O Lord, have mercie upon us miſerable ſinners, being now greevouſlie afflicted with the burden of puniſhment and affliction, which thou haſt laid upon us. Put thou therefore awaie diſpleaſure conceived againſt us thy poore creatures, and grant us, that beeing warned by this, we may ever heereafter ſerve thee in newneſſe of life, and never commit anie thing which ſhall diſpleaſe or offend thee.
This O heavenlie father, I acknowledge to be our dutie. But though I, for my part, have not performed the ſame, as I ought to doo; yet I beſeech thine ineſtimable goodneſſe, not to execute the rigour of thy juſtice upon me: but to ſtaie thine hand, and before thou give me anie greater wound, to behold my humilitie and repentance, which being not able to recompenſe and ſatiſfie the treſpaſſes, which I againſt thee have committed; doo offer unto thee (according as the poore widowe did) all that which I am able to give, that is, 187 R8r 187 is, a ſorowfull contrition of hart for my former offences done and paſſed.
Thy juſtice, as it is right; ſo is it rigorous to ſinners. Thou art ſo gealous, and ſo much doeſt deteſt ſin, that thou ſpareſt not to puniſh thy verie elect and choſen ſervants, when as they fall into it. Who was more acceptable in thy ſight, than that holie Prophet King David, of whome thou thy ſelfe didſt ſaie, I have found a man according to mine owne hart, even David my ſervant: yet nevertheleſſe, divers and ſundrie waies didſt thou puniſh him, when that he had ſwarved from thy teſtimonies. Thou ſufferedſt him to be moleſted with the inſurrection of his owne ſonne; thou didſt ſend the prophet unto him, to offer him the choice of plagues which thou wouldeſt ſend upon him, for his wicked living: but when he with ſorowfull ſighes, and trickling teares turned unto thee, confeſſing his fault, craving pardon, and promiſing amendment of life, thou forgateſt thine anger, and forgaveſt his offence.
Other of thy choſen veſſels thou haſt permitted to be greevouſlie tormented, & vexed by ſundrie troubles and adverſities, onlie to trie their faith and ſtedfaſtneſſe towards thee. As thou didſt ſuffer that patient man Job, to be moſt cruellie intreated by that enimie of all mankind, to have his houſes burned and ſpoiled, his cattell taken awaie, his ſervants driven into bondage, his children to be ſlaine, his owne bodie to be afflicted with moſt loathſome diſeaſes, plagues and ſores. And all this thou didſt not for anie evill deede of his, but to ſhewe thine omnipotencie and power. For when thou hadſt tried him to the utmoſt, and found that his enimie the divell could not prevaile againſt him, or by anie paine and greefe cauſe him to blaſpheame and ſpeake evill of thee, thou diddeſt reduce him to health, thou diddeſt enrich him againe, thou diddeſt reſtore unto him againe his children, 188 R8v 188 children, friends, familie, and all his goods, with much more than ever he before poſſeſſed: ſhewing moſt manifeſtlie, that thou wilt reward them moſt plentiouſlie, which do love thee, folowe and obſerve thy commandements.
Wherefore I beſeech thee to give me grace, that whatſoever waie it ſhall pleaſe thee to viſit me with thy puniſhment, I may take it patientlie, and ſaie with patient Job; Naked came I into this world, and naked ſhall I returne to the earth againe: the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh awaie, even as it pleaſeth the Lord, ſo be it. Suffer me not to deſpaire, or to thinke that thou dealeſt unjuſtlie with me, but to ſaie; Shall I receive proſperitie at the Lords hand, and not to be content with adverſitie? And alwaie ſo thinke upon this, Happie are they whome thou flawed-reproductionone word puniſh. For though thou make a wound, thou alſo giveſt a plaiſter: though thou ſmiteſt, thy hand maketh whole againe. Mine iniquitie is great, but be thou merciful unto my wickednes. O deliver me from thine anger, and preſſe me not further than I ſhall be able to beare. But now that I acknowledge that whatſoever trouble thou haſt ſent me, or wilt laie upon me, is either for the puniſhment of mine iniquitie, or for the triall of my conſtancie, I may with repentant David find remiſſion of my ſins, and with patient Job, releafe of mine adverſitie, and obtaine ſuch favour in thy ſight, that thou never againe ſo greevouſlie puniſh me; but that I may ſo paſſe this life, that I may afterward live with thee, to whome be honour and glorie for ever and ever, Amen.
Another praier in trouble and adverſitie.
Have mercie upon me, O Lord, have mercie upon me moſt miſerable creature, which doo that which I ought not, & feare that which I have moſt juſtlie deſerved. If I weigh with 189 S1r 189 with my ſelfe the wickedneſſe that I have done; the puniſhment thereby deſerved is not halfe ſo great, as the ſinne that I have committed. But thou art a merci full God, and thy judgements are right, neither dooeſt thou at anie time puniſh us unjuſtly. Thou almightie God madeſt us, when as we were not; and when as we were loſt and damned, thou didſt miraculouſlie reſtore us. I knowe and I am ſure, that our life is not led by ſudden and uncertaine motions; but is diſpoſed and directed by thee; thou haſt a fatherlie care of us all, but eſpeciallie of ſuch as doo put their whole truſt and confidence in thy mercie.
Therefore I humblie praie and beſeech thee, that thou wouldeſt not deale with me after my deſervings; but according to thy great mercie, which doth exceede the ſinnes of the whole world. And as often as thou doeſt puniſh me outwardlie, give me grace inwardlie with patience to beare the ſame, and that thy praiſe never depart out of my mouth. Order my dooings, even as ſhall be moſt neceſſarie both for my bodie and ſoule. Thou onlie haſt power over all things, thou knoweſt all things, to thee be all honour for ever, Amen.
Another praier in trouble, for the obteining of mercie.
Behold, out from the bottome of my hart doo I crie unto thee, O Lord, beſeeching thee that thou wouldeſt ſave me from the bottomleſſe pit of hell. I knowe that there is mercie with thee; doo not therefore marke what I have done amiſſe. Enter not into judgment with thy ſervant, for then can I by no meanes be juſtified in thy ſight. The remembrance of mine offences is greevous unto mee, and therefore I right humblie crave pardon thereof. My hart is troubled, my ſoule is vexed, there is no health in my fleſh. Forſake me not mine onlie ſtaie and S.j. comfort: 190 S1v 190 comfort: deſpiſe not my contrite hart, open the beſflawed-reproduction of thy mercie: take cleane awaie mine iniquitie, flawed-reproductionone word my ſoule out of tribulation, turne the extrflawed-reproduction thy juſtice, into thy tender mercie. And when thou ſhalt come to judge the quicke and the dead, be not revenged on me by eternall damnation; but to take me amongſt thine elect, into the bleſſed ſtate of ſalvation. Grant this, O Father, for Chriſt his ſake, our mediator and advocate, Amen.
O Lord my God, although I have committed that, whereby I am an offender, can I make my ſelfe not to bee thy creature? Though through ſinne I have loſt my cleanneſſe and puritie; have I alſo taken awaie thy goodneſſe and mercie? Though I have committed that, wherefore thou maieſt condemne me; haſt thou not done that, whereby thou maieſt ſave me? True it is, O Lord, that my conſcience doth ſhew me, that I have deſerved damnation; by thy mercie exceedeth all offflawed-reproductionon. Spare me, O God, bicauſe it is not unpoſſible for thy power; it is not unmeete for thy mercie; it is not unaccuſtomed, or yet contrarie to thine infinite goodneſſe. Wherefore thou which haſt created me, doo not deſtroie me. Thou, O Jeſu, which haſt redeemed me, doo not condemne me. Thou which haſt made mee, let not thy worke be caſt awaie by my wickedneſſe. Wipe awaie all that is mine, and draweth me from thee, and knowledge all that is thine in me, and may bring me unto thee, which liveſt and reigneſt one God in perſons three, to whom be all honour, now and ever, Amen.
Another praier, wherein the penitent longeth for comfort.
How long, O Lord, wilt thou turne awaie thy face from me? How long wilt thou be angrie with thy ſervant? How long ſhall I abide mourning and ſolitarie, as the bird that 191 S2r 191 that hath loſt hir yong? O Lord thinke on me in thy mercies, and doo not correct me in thy wrath: for then ſhall I become as the duſt and ſmoke in the wind. O Lord forſake not thy ſervant Iſrael, whom thou haſt choſen. My hart being comforted in thy mercies ſhall rejoice, and I will ſing unto thee, and praiſe thee in thy good works and miracles, which thou haſt done in our fathers time: So be it.
Being tempted by the ghoſtlie enimie (as all that feare God are) to doubt in anie article of the Catholike faith, to deſpaire in Gods mercie, to yeeld to melancholie fanſies, to be vexed with unkindnes of friends, or the malice of enimies, to be troubled with ſickneſſe, or anie other waies oppreſſed with griefe of bodie and mind: ſaie devoutlie as followeth.
Ihumblie accept moſt mercifull Jeſus, this heavie temptation, which now I ſuffer at the hands of thy divine providence; and would a greater if thou pleaſe to laie it on me for thy ſake, who haſt ordeined this from the beginning, for the tender love thou beareſt to the health of my ſinfull ſoule: and I moſt hartilie thanke thee for it. I confeſſe I have deſerved woorſe for my ſinne and unkindneſſe towards thee, and am not woorthie to receive anie comfort or conſolation at thy hands. Therfore to the honour of the paſſion, and death, which thou willinglie ſufferedſt on the croſſe, I offer my ſelfe to ſuſtaine this, or anie other adverſitie, with all my hart, not ſeeking otherwiſe eaſe or reliefe, than in and by thee, O Lord, and as thy good will and pleaſure ſhall appoint. Yet this one thing I crave and beſeech thee, for the tender love thou beareſt to me, and all mankind, (for in me is no vertue, or ought that good is) to aſsistance of the holie ſpirite, not to be tēempted above his power. helpe and aſſiſt me with thy holie ſpirit, as my truſt is thou wilt, who promiſeſt that no man ſhall be tempted more than he ſhall be able to beare. And give me all S.ij. what 192 S2v 192 what ever ſhall be neceſſarie, to ſuſtaine with patience this croſſe and temptation, which thy divine wiſdome hath appointed for me; to the intent that, I bearing the ſame willinglie with thee here in this world, may conceive aſſured hope to be partaker of thy glorie in the world to come. Grant this my requeſt, moſt mercifull Saviour, not for my merit or deſerving, but onlie for the merits of thy death and bitter paſſion, I humblie beſeech thee, Amen.
A praier againſt the feare of worldlie caſualties.
Omoſt bountifull and loving Father, mine onlie guider and comforter, the well of mercie, the true light of the world, take awaie the darkneſſe of my mind, lighten my hart & ſenſes, indue me with thy grace, arme me ſo ſtronglie with ſure hope, confidence and truſt in thee, that I never be driven into feare, either by the ſubtile invaſions of our ghoſtlie enimie Sathan, or by the craftie wilineſſe of the world, neither yet by loſſe damage, hurt or hinderance of anie of thoſe vaine and tranſitorie things, which we in this world doo poſſeſſe: but alwaies whatſoever ſhall becom of them, to thinke that they are but things lent, and not our owne, and that we ſhall make a ſtreight account of the uſe or abuſe of them; whereby the more we poſſeſſe thereof, the greater ſhall be our paine, if we abuſe them.
Wherefore take from mee all inward heavineſſe, thought and care, for anie loſſe or diſcommoditie received by worldlie goods; and alwaies to thinke, that as well povertie as riches, needineſſe as abundance; ſickneſſe as health; adverſitie as proſperitie; come from thee: and that it is knowne to thine inſcrutable judgement onlie, why and wherefore thou ſendeſt either of theſe upon us. And therefore let not my mind be troubledbled 193 S3r 193 bled with anie feare of things to chance, (ſaving onlie to feare to diſpleaſe thee:) but alwaies to be merrie in thee with ſobernes, and to caſt all my care of worldlie affaires upon thee; foraſmuch as thou haſt commanded that we ſhould not be carefull what to eate, or what to drinke, or with what raiment we ſhall be cloſhed. For thou wilt not ſee the righteous forſaken, or their children begging their bread; and that thou turneſt all things to the beſt to them that ſerve thee, and flie unto thee for ſuccour, in the time of their diſtreſſe.
Let this, O Lord, be evermore freſh in my memorie, graven in my hart; and readie in my mouth: ſo that I leaving all needleſſe feare, may alwaies give thanks unto thee, and praiſe thy holie name, Amen.
A praier to be delivered from enimies and dangers.
Omoſt mightie Lord God of Abraham, Iſaac and Jacob, which didſt leade the children of Iſrael through the red ſea, and madeſt the ſtreames of Jordan runne backe into their ſprings againe, that thy people might paſſe through the midſt thereof. Good Lord, whoſe heaſts the flouds obeied; at whoſe voice the hils doo leape, and the earth doth tremble. O moſt mightie Lord, which canſt deſtroie the proudeſt kings with verie flies and ants: which madeſt little David to triumph on the giant Goliah, which deliveredſt his enimie king Saule into his hands: gaveſt Gedeon thy ſervant, with his few ſouldiours, victorie of ſo manie legions of ſtrong men. Thou which haſt ſubdued ſo manie mightie kings, and ſundrie nations, unto thy people Iſrael. O God, which flawed-reproductioneſt all in all things, which giveſt victorie alwaies as ſeemeth beſt to thine unſearchable wiſdome: defend me alwaies, I beſeech thee, againſt mine enimies, and all evils; that my ſhip toſſed and beaten in the waves S.iij. of 194 S3v 194 of this world, may rest in thy happie haven of everlaſting joie for ever.
My ſoule cleaveth unto thy mercie, as to an holie ſanctuarie. O God, if thou ſhouldeſt not be mercifull, who could abide the heat of thy diſpleaſure? But thou O Lord, art good to thy ſervants: and I hope to ſee thy goodneſſe in the land of the living. All glorie be to the moſt high and mercifull God, for ever and ever, Amen.
A praier for righteous judgement, in matters of controverſie.
O Lord God of all juſtice, which in equall ballance dooeſt weigh the cauſe of the Prince and of the pooreſt man, which deſpiſeſt not the ſuites of the ſimple, which delivereſt the captive, and comforteſt the deſolate and carefull. O Lord, which haſt bleſſed them that are poore in ſpirit: releeve thy ſervant oppreſſed with griefe, remove from me the clouds of my ſorowes. O Lord, ſtretch forth thy mightie hand, and helpe me. Let me not ſinke in the ſeas of ſlander and ſhame. Thou knoweſt the ſecrets of my hart: defend me in thine innocencie, pleade thou my cauſe againſt the ungodlie, which have laid their net for me. O God, thou which haſt delivered Joſeph, Daniel, Mardocheus & Suſanna, from captivitie and inſtant death; and didſt cloth them with honour: good Lord ſtrengthen me, and be my defender againſt all evils: and let not the poſoned arrowes of malicious tongues doo me anie harme. Grant theſe my praiers, good Lord, I beſeech thee, for our Saviour Jeſus Chriſt his ſake, Amen.
A Pſalme to be ſaid after trouble eſcaped.
My ſoule rejoice in God, for he is my light, and my defence, my helpe, the lanterne to my face. He hath heard my praier, when I called on him, he hath holpen me in my neede, he hath deliuered 195 S4r 195 delivered me in my dangers. The Lord is the keeper of my life, from whome ſhall I ſhrinke; whome ſhall I feare? Lieng proſtrate at the feete of my Lord, I bewa ſiled my caſe, and he heard my plaint; he forſaketh not his ſervants. Wherefore, if armies of men ſtood up againſt me, I ſhould not feare. For if God be on my ſide, who can prevaile againſt me? He is happie and ſafe, whome God, the mightie God of Iſrael keepeth. The Sun ſhall not burne him by daie, nor the Moone by night. Thriſe bleſſed is he that feareth the Lord, for he ſhall ſee happie daies. As the Hart thiſteth after the water-ſprings, ſo my ſoule hath longed for my Lord, the living God. When ſhall I come to appeare before thy preſence, to ſee thee in thy glorious majeſtie, face to face? O Lord let thy kingdome come. Come Lord Jeſus, that I may ſee the daie of my redemption. Good Lord make haſt to helpe me. All glorie, majeſtie, and empire, be unto God the Creator, God the Redeemer, and God the holie Comforter, for ever and ever, Amen.
Comfortable exhortations againſt the manifold aſſaults of Sathan.
If thou perceive that the ſtorme of temptation doth verie often and greevouſlie aſſault thee, diſmaie not therefore thy ſelfe, neither be diſpleaſed with thy ſelfe, as though almightie God nothing regarded thee; but rather thank him that he inſtructeth and teacheth thee, as one to be his heire; that he puniſheth and correcteth thee, as his moſt deere ſonne; that he prooveth and aſſaieth thee as his welbeloved freend. It is a manifeſt and great token, that man is reject from the mercie and favour of God, when he is troubled with no temptation.
In thy temptation remember the holie Apoſtle S. Paule, which being rapt to the myſteries of the third heaven, was vexed with the Angel of Sathan. S.iiij. Remem- 196 S4v 196 Remember the temptation of the holie man Job, and other which were greevouſlie troubled with their offences. O happie and fortunate man, in whome this earthlie Adam is ſo mortified and ſubdued, that it in no wiſe reſiſteth the ſpirit! But whether this perfect quietneſſe may be in anie, I will not affirme, peradventure it is not neceſſarie to be. For Paule in this life, notwithſtanding his high perfection and grace, had a motion of the fleſh to vexe and trouble him. And when he thriſe deſired God to be delivered from the ſaid motion, he onelie had this anſwere: Paule, my grace is ſufficient, for vertue is made perfect by vexation. Paule was vexed by pride, that he ſhould not be proud: to be perfect and ſtrong in God, he was cauſed to be weake and feeble. For he caried the treaſure of heavenlie revelation in a fraile and brittle veſſell, that the honour and victorie ſhould onlie be in God, not in himſefe. This one example of Paule, is erudition and learning in manie things, when that we be entiſed and moved to ſinne, that we diligentlie call to almightie God by praier.
Remember that David the Prophet, King Salomon, and Peter the Apoſtle, notwithſtanding they were great lights and examples of holineſſe, yet they fell into greevous and great ſinnes, whome almightie God peradventure ſuffered to fall for this cauſe, ſpeciallie that thou ſhouldſt not deſpaire. Lift up thy ſelfe therefore upon thy feete, and with high courage, and bold ſtomach returne againe into battell againſt thy enimies, not onlie more fierce and bold, but alſo more ware and diligent. And thinke with thy ſelfe what mintollerable and invincible temptations Chriſt ſuffered for thee; wherein there appeared no helpe, comfort, aide, nor defence anie where; wherein God and the whole world ſeemed to be his moſt cruell and malicious enimies, when that he cried alowd, My God, my 197 S5r 197 my God, why haſt thou forſaken me? Trulie this was a moſt greevous, painefull, and bitter temptation, which Chriſt ſuffered for us, that he might make the waie of the croſſe eaſie for us.
Therefore prepare thy ſelfe patientlie to drinke of that cup, which Chriſt Jeſu thy head hath ſo willinglie dronke on, for the ſalvation of all mankind. And ſeeing therefore that Chriſt ſo willinglie put himſelfe in ſubjection, and dipped himſelfe in thoſe ſo horrible and intollerable ſorowes and calamities (our moſt loving and heavenlie father willing the ſame out of doubt,) he alſo underſtandeth and knoweth our infirmitie: out of doubt he taking compaſſion on us, will not extremelie deale with us; but will rather beare with our imbecillitie and weakeneſſe. Doth not he himſelfe calling all men unto him ſaie? Come unto me all yee that labour and are heavie laden, and I will refreſh you. What greater comfort I praie you can be given us? How could Chriſt ſpeake more mercifullie unto us?
There be manie things that greevouſlie vexe and trouble man, but what thing can more cruellie vexe and torment his conſcience overwhelmed with ſinne, than when he doubteth of the mercie of God? When he dreadeth leaſt God be his adverſarie, and will reject him? When he is not able to conceive this faith of his mercie? and doth imagine himſelfe to be caſt awaie, as a drie member that is cut off?
Be preſent heere, O Jeſus Chriſt with thine aide and helpe; heere we have neede of thy comfort: let not this blacke, violent and horrible tempeſt of troubles overthrowe and drowne wretched man.
But there is no cauſe why we ſhould doubt. Chriſt is true, he will make his promiſe to appeare, he will helpe us and refreſh us. Therefore, whereas thy faith is not ſtrong ynough; whereas thou feeleſt thy ſelfe to doubt of Gods mercie; and haſt well neere no faith at 198 S5v 198 at all; ſteightwaies call upon God; bewaile thy miſerie and lacke of beleefe before him; ſeeke for his aide and ſuccour by fervent praier, and he will both helpe and refreſh thee; he hath taken upon him thus to doo, and he will bring it to paſſe.
But take heede thou ceaſe not to call upon God; beſeech thou, without ceaſing, the father of all conſolation and comfort, with ſighes from the bottome of thine heart, that he turne not his face from thee: laie thy weakeneſſe upon him, and powre out into his boſome all things which trouble and torment thee. Crie out with his diſciples; O Lord increaſe my faith. Likewiſe ſaie thou with the father of the lunatike childe; Lord, I beleeve, helpe thou mine unbeleefe, make haſte O Lord to helpe me, before that I oppreſſed with this weight be drowned. O moſt loving and moſt mercifull father; Lord God of my health, our onlie helpe and refuge: enter not into judgement with thy ſervants. Chriſt is my righteouſneſſe, redemption and innocencie, which ſuffered moſt bitter and cruell death for my ſake. Let thoſe things move thee O father of all compaſſion; have mercie upon me for thy ſonnes ſake; confirme and ſtrengthen my hart by faith in Chriſt; comfort me with the conſolations of the holie Ghoſt, that I may enjoie the true joies of everlaſting life, through the merits of my Lord and Saviour Jeſus Chriſt: to whom with the Father and the holie Ghoſt, be all praiſe and glorie for ever and ever, Amen.
A godlie meditation of the unſpeakable joies of heaven, and the intollerable paines of hell, verie often to be remembred.
O God, my Lord, my harts delight, with whom my ſoule longeth to dwell in that heavenlie Jeruſalem; wherein is continuall health, eternall felicite, happie libertie, and perfect bleſſedneſſe; 199 S6r 199 bleſſedneſſe; where men ſhall be like unto the Angels of God, and juſt men ſhall ſhine as the Sunne, in the everlaſting kingdome, wherein is no heavineſſe, no ſorrowe, no greefe, no feare, no labour, no death, no diſeaſe, no lacke, no hunger, no thirſt, no cold, nor heate; no wearineſſe of faſting, nor temptation of the enimie, no will to ſinne, nor power to doo evill, no old age, no lame or deformed perſon, no feare of povertie, or weakneſſe by diſeaſe, but a quiet harbour of all joie, and ever;aſting happineſſe, where men in the ſocietie of Angels, ſhall continuallie dwell without anie infirmitie of the fleſh. For there is infinite joie, and eternall bliſſe, from whence none ſhall be removed, that once by thy providence ſhall enter therein.
There is reſt from labours, peace from the enimie, a new kind of joie and delight, ſuch as no hart can conceive, ſave onlie by taking a marvellous delight, and exceeding pleaſure in the beholding of thee my Lord God, my glorious redeemer, and the heavenlie comforter, which proceedeth from the Father and the Sonnne. O heavenlie Jeruſalem, thou art ſweet and beautifull in all thy joies and delights! There are no ſuch miſeries in thee, as we feele and ſuffer in this poore and miſerable life. There is in thee no darkeneſſe, nor change of time: the ſhining of the Moone; the twinkling brightneſſe of the Stars giveth not light in thee: but onlie the God of all power, glorie & majeſtie, the light of lights. For in thee the Sun of juſtice giveth light to thoſe that are adopted in his bloud to ever-during bleſſedneſſe.
The bright and immaculate Lambe, a moſt beautifull light is thy light, that doth illuminate his choſen children. The King of kings is in the middeſt of thee, environed on ech ſide with his beloved Saints, and redie to crowne them with everlaſting glorie. In thee are legions of Angels, ſinging of ſweet Hymnes and ſongs, 200 S6v 200 ſongs, that ſet foorth the praiſe and honor of thy name: in thee are the felowſhip of heavenlie citizens: in thee reſteth the ſweete ſolemnitie of all ſuch as returne from this miſerable pilgrimage unto thy glorie, the companie of the Prophets, Apoſtles, and victorious armie of Martyrs; holie men and women, which have vanquiſhed the pleaſures of the world, have their abiding with thee. There are yoong children and maidens, which have paſſed over their daies in holineſſe of life, publiſhing thy praiſe in all puritie and pietie. Everie one rejoiceth in his degree, though not equall in glorie, yet like in joies and gladneſſe. For there reigneth perfect charitie, & God is all in all, whoſe Majeſtie without end they ſee continuallie, and ſtill in beholding him their love increaſeth.
Of this eternall bleſſedneſſe the holie Apoſtle Peter had as it were a ſhadowe, or a taſt, upon the mount Thabor, at the tranſfiguration of Chriſt, from whence he deſired he might not depart. Paule alſo had a proofe of it, when he was rapt or taken up into the third heaven, where he heard words, and ſawe things ſo marvellous and ſecret, as far paſſeth all mans underſtanding, and ſuch as were not to be told or revealed unto men. Moſes his face became ſo bright, through the converſation that he had with the divine glorie upon mount Sinai; that the Iſaelites could not abide it. What then ſhall become of us, when perpetuallie with thee (which art the Lord of all glorie) we ſhall be converſant, after the maner of thy children and familiar friends? Who is he then, that will not ſeeke and deſire by all meanes poſſible, to be a dweller there; both for the deſire of peace, joie and eternitie; and for the perfect ſight of God?
Contrariwiſe, who is able to expreſſe the torments appointed for the ungodlie and unrepentant livers; in that deadlie place called Hell, which Sathan himſelfeſelfe 201 S7r 201 ſelfe abhoreth? What other thing can be there, but continuall paines, eternall tribulation, and infinite calamitie, repleat with all evils? There dwell wicked and ouglie Angels, whoſe horrible lookes bring ſudden feare, greevous paines, and fearefull death, with continuall coulds of ever-during darknes. There is nothing but howling, wailing, lamentation and mourning without all end; fearfull ſcriches, & confuſed cries are there in all places ſuddenlie raiſed. There the woorme of conſcience never dieth: in that damnable dungeon, there is fire unquenchable, and perpetuall gnaſhing of teeth. The miſerabl;e ſoule findeth there no reſt, but is afflicted with all kind of torments, and ſuch as can never be expreſſed; all which endure for ever.
Alas, little availeth it thoſe that are ſubjected as firebrans of hell, to crie unto the Lord: for he will not heare them. Then ſhall they knowe, that all things which they had in this life are vaine; and ſuch things as they thought to be pleaſant, to be found more bitter than gall or poiſon. Then where is the pleaſure of the fleſh, ſo termed falſlie? For there is none other pleaſure, but to feare the Lord. Then ſhall they confeſſe and ſaie, that the judgement of God is true and righteous, ſaieng: Did we not heare of this, and yet would not be converted from our wicked deeds? But then ſhall nothing prevaile. No ſorowe can find comfort; no complaints, anie remorſe; no torments, eaſe; nor painfull paſſions an end: ſuch and ſo exceeding are the vexations of the ſecond death, wherewith all the bodies and ſoules of the unrighteous ſhall for ever be environed.
Sith therefore, O heavenlie Father, and moſt gratious God, it ſeemeth good to thine eternall wiſdome, by the knowledge of thine everlaſting truth, to give me knowledge of thine ineſtimable mercie offered freelielie 202 S7v 202 lie unto me in Jeſus Chriſt my mercifull Saviour, in whoſe bloudie death and painfull paſſion I am aſſured of eternall life and bleſſedneſſe. Give me grace to print in my remembrance thy manifold mercies, that feeding my ſoule by faith in thee, I may attaine unto thoſe endleſſe joies, that thou haſt prepared for thine adopted ſonnes and choſen children, in the kingdome of everlaſting righteouſneſſe: and ſo eſcape thoſe everlaſting torments, which thou haſt prepared for the divell and his Angels. From the which place of wofull vexation and endleſſe miſerie, deliver me O heavenlie Father, for the love of Jeſus Chriſt his ſake, to whom with thee and the holie Ghoſt, be all laud and praiſe for ever, Amen.
A praier to be ſaid of the ſicke, at the houre of death.
Moſt mightie art thou, O Lord, in all thy deeds, and moſt holie in all thy waies. Bleſſed be the name of my father, my God, and glorious Creator; who by his divine power, and celeſtiall providence, of nothing made all things, fiſh, fleſh, foules, fruites, trees, hearbes, and all other things, whatſoever are conteined both in heaven, earth, ſeas, and the nethermoſt parts thereof. Man, concerning the outward parts, thou by thy celeſtiall providence and fatherlie bountie, framedſt and createdſt of claie; but concerning the inward ſubſtance of thy creature man, thou didſt faſhion and make him even according to thine owne ſimilitude and likeneſſe. Moreover, ſuch and ſo great was thy love and good will towards him, that all the creatures, or works of thy creation ſerved to this uſe. In earth thou madeſt him lord and king over the fruits thereof: the beaſts of the field, the foules of the aire, and the fiſhes of the little flouds and great waters. In the firmament thou 203 S8r 203 thou haſt placed the gliſtering Sunne, with his orient beames to give him light by daie, and therewith thou haſt given him the Moone and the ſtarres to governe him by night. For the which cauſe, above all other the works of thy creation, man ſhould and ought of right to give thee that glorie, that to thee belongeth.
But alas, ſuch and ſo great is the corruption of our fraile and ſinfull fleſh, that for all theſe thy graces wee are carried awaie from thee, and enter into contempt of thy precepts. For which cauſe thou oftentimes dooſt correct and puniſh us, to the intent we might thereby (feeling thy rod of correction) be driven to imbrace hartie and true repentance. But when thy threats, and the ſtripes of thy diſpleaſure laid upon us, can not take place amongſt us: thou oftentimes giveſt us up to folowe our luſts and affections: but at laſt, when thou dooeſt behold our enormities, thou in a moment, by the power of thy divine juſtice, reſtraineſt the rope of our diſordered libertie, and cutteſt in ſunder the bridle of our voluptuouſnes, either by ſudden death, ſword, fire, famine, ſickneſſe, or other the divine ſentences of thy conceived ire; to the intent that other thy creatures might, by the terrour of thy juſtice, avoid ſinne, and learne to amend their lives; leaſt they fall into the like calamitie or danger.
True, and moſt true it is, good Lord, that by the exerciſe of ſinne we are the children of death and deſtruction: but by grace of the almightie and victorious conquerour ſweete Jeſus Chriſt, we are the adopted ſonnes of thy Father, and made fellowe-heires with thee our perfect Emanuel. In whoſe name with all humilitie and lowlineſſe of hart and mind, I come unto thee in this great extremitie of ſickneſſe and danger of death; beſeeching thee to be preſent with me, to forget mine offences, to thinke upon thy mercies. And although I have not deſerved ſo much as the leaſt drop of 204 S8v 204 of thy favour, by meanes of the great burden of my ſinnes, which are in the preſence of thy divine Majeſtie, moſt ouglie and loathſome to behold: yet reſpect thou not, O Father, mine iniquitie; but have an eie, I beſeech thee, to the merits of my Saviour Chriſt Jeſus, to whom as my Mediator, Saviour and Refeemer, I appeale: who hath promiſed comfort and ſweete conſolation to all thoſe, that in his name flie unto thee for releefe.
I confeſſe that woorthilie thou haſt viſited me with this ſickneſſe and diſeaſe, and yet not according to the multitude of my ſinnes, but in the fulneſſe of miſeration and fatherlie pitie. Give me grace therefore in theſe bitter brunts of death, who vehementlie at this preſent beginneth to combat with fainting and feeble life, conſtantlie to cleave unto thee. Let not the pleaſures of this wicked world be a let or impediment for me to come unto thee: let not my fraile and feeble fleſh ſubject to ſinne, which hath through my tranſgreſſion made me a bondman to death, moove me to deſpaire in thy great mercie: neither yet let the caveling adverſarie, the enimie of mankind, at my laſt end, triumph over me. Give me patience to ſuffer, and gladlie to beare and abide this thy ſcourge and viſitation; and ſo fortifie me in ſoule and bodie, that ſo long as life ſhall endure in me, I may never ceaſe to call upon thy holie and bleſſed name. Yea and when death is moſt buſieſt, make thou me moſt conſtant: yea when he ſeeketh moſt ſtronglie to aſſaile my feeble bodie; give me thy grace, good Lord, that I may in ſpirit, hart, mind, and all the powers of my ſoule, give praiſes unto thee, that of thy grace and ineſtimable kindneſſe, haſt ſent thy ſonne Chriſt Jeſus to ranſome me, by his bloudie death and paſſion, from the power of hell.
Give me grace therfore, now that thou haſt appointed thy meſſenger death to finiſh the daies of my pilgrimage,grimage, 205 T1r 205 grimage, and to call me by his ſummons from out of this vale of miſerie and wretchedneſſe, to build ſtedfaſtlie upon him, and faithfullie to hope for life and ſalvation, in & alone through him. Let the remembrance of my former wickedneſſe be no more thought upon: let mine offences be blotted out of thy glorious ſight. Behold my ſorowfull & true repentant hart, which come into thee with teares, not building on my merits; but upon thy mercies. Though I be ſinfull; thy ſonne my Saviour is righteous: though I be wicked; yet he is moſt holie: though I be full of impietie; yet he is full of all goodneſſe: though I have greevouſlie offended thee; yet he hath fullie contented thee: though I have tranſgreſſed thy lawe; yet he hath fulfilled the ſame, and hath promiſed in his bloud, to waſh awaie their ſinnes, that by faith continue in him conſtant to the end. I therefore, in this my great and painfull agonie, beholding death to be at the gates of my bodie, come unto thee, by the vertue of a fruitfull faith; beſeeching thee, when thou ſhalt ſee it meete and convenient, that he ſhall diſſolve the bands of this vading life, which endureth but a while (for a thouſand yeeres are as yeſterdaie in thy ſight) to take my ſoule into thy glorious and bleſſed hands; and ſo to confirme me in thy truth, that at the laſt, when it ſhall pleaſe thee, by the ſound of a trumpe, to raiſe my bodie from the grave, when and in which time bodie and ſoule ſhall unite and come before thy preſence, I may by faith in thee paſſe over the mount of my corruption, ſhake off the bands of ſinne, be ſet free from death and deſtruction; and being by the vertue of thy righteouſneſſe made holie, I may triumph with happie victorie over ſinne, death, and all the powers of hell, and enter with thee, and the felowſhip of thy choſen Saints, into everlaſting reſt. Grant this, moſt loving Father, for Chriſt Jeſus ſake, to whom with thee and the holie Ghoſt, be rendred all T.j. laud, 206 T1v 206 laud, glorie, honour and praiſe for ever, Amen.
The Lord God be mercifull to me, pardon and forgive me my ſinnes, looke upon me with his gratious and bleſſed countenance: preſerve me from the ſecond death, and everlaſting deſtruction of bodie and ſoule. The Lord God juſtifie me in his death and bloud; cloath me with his everlaſting righteouſneſſe, and regiſter my name in the booke of life. The Lord God comfort my guiltie conſcience with the everlaſting light of his bountifull favour; and lot my place among his Saints in his heavenlie kingdome. The Lord God for his mercies ſake, after this my bodilie death, give me the fruition of his preſence, in his rich palace of endleſſe glorie, to whoſe mercifull protection I commend with all humilitie and reverence my ſoule. Lord Jeſus preſerve me, Lord Jeſus comfort me, Lord Jeſus refreſh me, Lord Jeſus praie for me. For onlie into thy hands that haſt redeemed mee, O Lord God of truth, I commend my ſoule, Amen.
A devout meditation to be uſed after praier.
Remember not, O Lord God, thine anger againſt me an offender, but be mindfull of thy mercie towards me a true penitent. Forget that through pride I have provoked thee to ire; and favourablie harken unto my praier. What is Jeſus, but a Saviour? Therefore O bountifull Jeſu, be thou my Saviour, riſe up in thine owne ſtrength to helpe me. Saie unto my ſoule, I am thy ſafegard. In thy goodneſſe doo I truſt, in thee is my helpe. And foraſmuch as thou haſt willed, that we ſhould without ceaſing ſeeke and ſue unto thee; behold, I beeing counſelled and foretold by thy commandements, doo now both aſke, ſeeke, and knocke. But thou which commandeſt me to aſke; graunt that I may receive: thou biddeſt 207 T2r 207 biddeſt me ſeeke; make me to find: thou haſt taught me to knocke; open unto me that ſtand knocking: ſtrengthen me that am weake; reſtore me that am loſt; revive me that am dead by ſinne; make me to ſerve thee, to live to thee, to give my ſelfe wholie to thee. I knowe my God, that becauſe thou madeſt me, I owe my ſelfe unto thee: and for that thou haſt redeemed me, I ſhould owe thee more than my ſelfe. But behold, I have no more to give, neither can I give my ſelfe unto thee, unleſſe thou make me willing thereunto. Take thou me, draw me unto thee, that as I am thine by creation, ſo I may be thine by following of thee, which liveſt and reigneſt for ever and ever, Amen.
A Praier deciphering in Alphabet forme, the name of the right Woorſhipfull Ladie Mary Fane.
Moſt mightie art thou Lord in all thy deedes, and holie in all thy works. Have mercie upon me, and give me underſtanding therefore from above, to conſider the ſubſtance whereof thou haſt framed me; and by the knowledge thereof, make me to conſider mine owne weakeneſſe and infirmitie to be ſuch, that unleſſe thou ſet to thy hand ſpeedilie to helpe me that am oppreſſed with ſinne, I ſhall periſh in my wickedneſſe.
As my ſins are innumerable, and redder than ſcarlet, ſo give me grace to acknowledge thy greate mercies, which are ſurmounting the ſands of the ſeas; and that thou by thy grace, at thy good pleaſure canſt waſh awaie my deformitie, and make me to excell the ſnowe of Libanus. I beſeech thee, O mercifull father, let it be far from my thought, wilfullie, or of a ſet purpoſe,T.ij. poſe, 208 T2v 208 poſe, to fall into the danger of ſinne, or to commit anie heinous ſinne, or greevous wickednes againſt thine eternall majeſtie. For by the exerciſe of ſuch and ſo great evill, I by meanes of my preſumption provoke thee to diſpleaſure. Give me grace therefore to ſtand in awe of thy juſtice, leaſt that thy mercie be with-held and kept from me, and thou give me over, as thou didſt proud Pharao, to the luſt and affections of mine owne hart, and ſo I be drowned in the dangerous gulph of deſtruction.
Readie art thou Lord at all times to heare, and give eare unto the petitions of thy people: but more readier are we to run aſtraie from thy will, and to tranſgreſſe thy ſacred lawes and divine ſtatutes, than we are to leave the luſts of carnalitie, the pleaſures of this vaine and wicked world; ſo greatlie are we affected to licentious libertie, and all other kind of notorious evill. But yet O mercifull father, of thine abundant love, favour, and exceeding kindneſſe, give me grace to renounce ſinne, to hate this tranſitorie and vading world, to mortifie my fraile and feeble fleſh, which rebelleth againſt the ſpirit, and by faith in Chriſt, in this my dangerous pilgrimage, ſo give me ſtrength, that mine enimies may be overthrowne, and I being delivered from the ſnares of hell, may by thee, which art the author of mans felicitie, have the fruition of thy kingdome, and celeſtiall manſion of endleſſe and ſempiternall glorie.
Ydleneſſe is the nurſe and roote of all infectious evils. Give me thine aid therefore, O Lord, to loath and deteſt this deadlie and dangerous ſinne, leaſt therby I run headlong into thy heavie diſpleaſure. Make me alwaies and ever to be occupied (good Lord) in thy holie 209 T3r 209 holie lawe, that with all the powers of my ſoule, hart, mind and underſtanding, I may give thee continuall praiſe, honor and glorie. Yeeld plentiouſlie unto me alſo, good Lord, thy grace from above, that I may continuallie make my boaſt of thine everlaſting name, & by hartie contrition, and bitter deploration of my ſinnes and wickedneſſe, obtaine thy favourable pardon, and by thee being ſanctified, and made cleane from all mine uncleanneſſe and ungodlineſſe, I may enter with thee at the laſt daie into the celeſtiall and glorious kingdome, purchaſed in the bloudie death of my Saviour Jeſus Chriſt. Yea, illuminate mine eies (I ſaie) O good Lord, that I ſleepe not in darkenes, but give me grace good Lord, continuallie to keepe watch and ward, leaſt that the enimie find me ſlumbering in the cradle of careleſneſſe, the gates of my bodie be broken up, and in the daie of thy comming to judgement, the ſentence of thy diſpleaſure be pronounced againſt me, to the utter confuſion of my bodie and ſoule.
Faith is to be embraced of all thoſe that hope for felicitie and bleſſedneſſe in Jeſus Chriſt. Give me therefore ſuch wiſdome from above, that I may be dailie deſirous to learne thy ſacred precepts, and walke in the path-waie of thy glorious ſtatutes, that by the exerciſe of thy will, ſinfull vice and iniquitie may be vanquiſhed, and vertue may have the dominion and ſovereigntie in me.
Abſtinence coupled with conſtant and faithfull praier, is a thing that much pleaſeth thy majeſtie, and withdraweth from us the force of thy heavie indignation. Give me grace then with praier, to exerciſe ſuch faſting, as may hold downe the man of ſinne, that he ſwell not in pride, exceſſe, gluttonie, or ſuperfluous T.iij. eating, 210 T3v 210 eating or drinking. Make me alwaies to uſe thy gifts ſo moderatelie, that thy name may be glorified; and I faſting from ſinne with hartie praier faithfullie, may beate at the gates of thy grace, and ſo obtaine the full effects of thy fatherlie love and favourable kindneſſe. Finallie, abate I beſeech thee, the pride of the ungodlie that trouble me. Confound in thy juſtice the imaginations of the fooliſh, which ſticke not to ſaie in their harts, There is no God. Breake the jawe bones of thoſe in ſunder, that conſult and take counſell togither how they may harme the innocent and weake. From the bloud-thirſtie and deceiptfull man, deliver me O Lord my God. Looke favourablie upon me, glad thou my hart with the cheerefull lookes of thy gratious and loving countenance. Saie unto my ſoule, I am thy ſafegard. Be thou ever with me, then ſhall I not need to feare the power of my ſubtile and cruell enimies; but at thine appointed will and heavenlie pleaſure, I ſhall be made ſafe, and with the felowſhip of thy choſen Saints, enjoie the fruition of thine everlaſting kingdome.
Nothing O Lord I brought into this world, and nothing ſhall I carie hence with mee. Give mee grace and power therefore to conſider that all worldlie things are vaine, and ſhall vaniſh awaie like ſmoke. Make me to underſtand that I am a ſtranger heere, and far from my countrie, the new Citie of Jeruſalem, which thou haſt in the fulneſſe of thy great mercie ordeined for thoſe, that continue faithfull in thee to the end. And ſith that all earthlie things are ſubjected to conſuming, as meere vanities, endue me with ſuch underſtanding, that I may laie my treaſure plentifullie in heaven, with Jeſus Chriſt; to whome in the water of baptiſme by grace in ſpirit, I am coupled and knit. Withdrawe me therefore from the delight of worldlie pleaſures, 211 T4r 211 pleaſures, and give me ſtrength to offer my ſelfe up wholie into his bleſſed and heavenlie hands, that my hart, my mind, the powers of my ſoule, and all that I have, may depend on him, with whome my treaſure reſteth, that being under the comfortable gard of his defence, I may be delivered from all danger of bodie and ſoule. Naked was I borne, and naked to the grave ſhall I returne againe; the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh awaie, even as it pleaſeth his majeſtie, all things are brought to paſſe, whoſe glorious name be praiſed for ever. No man can eſcape the ſting of death, all fleſh muſt bow unto the grave. Give me a fervent faith therefore, O Lord, to continue faithfull in Jeſus Chriſt, that whenſoever it ſhall pleaſe thee to ſend thy meſſenger death to arreſt me, I may be readie at his ſummons, joifullie to beare his ſtroke, and by the power of a livelie faith, ſo to withſtand ſinne and Sathan, that death may with the enimies of mans felicitie, be vanquiſhed and ſubdued, and I by him may live in Jeſus Chriſt.
Expell and roote out in and from my remembrance, the deteſtable branches of wrath, pride, concupiſcence, vaine-glorie, and all other horrible vices and noiſome evils, that heape up thy greevous diſpleaſure againſt me. Take from me all abuſe, let me never blaſpheme thy bleſſed and glorious name, let my tong be purged by thee from all corrupt and uncomelie talke, let all my thoughts be occupied in thy ſervice, faith, feare and love. Make me good Lord alwaies obedient to doo thy will, and to walke in the waies of thy commandements, and to delight in thy bleſſed teſtimonies. And graunt me thy grace, that by the hearing of thy Evangelicall and heavenlie doctrine, my faith may be increaſed, made ſtrong and fruitfull, to exerciſe the works of charitie and love to all men; and chieflie to T.iiij. thoſe 212 T4v 212 thoſe that conſtantlie favour thy Goſpell, and continue faithfull in Chriſt Jeſus. Evermore (I ſaie) good Lord, give me thy bleſſings from above, and let my hart, my ſoule and tong, be ever readie, for thy gratious benefits received, to publiſh and ſet foorth thy glorie and praiſe in weale and wo, in povertie, and proſperitie, in time of peace and in time of danger. Stretch foorth thy hand to protect me; and I by thee delivered from all perils, ſhall make my boaſt of thy mercies freelie ſhowne unto me without my deſerts; and with the felowſhip of thy Saints, give ſuch honour, praiſe, and reverence unto thee, as of right and bounden dutie I ought to doo.
And foraſmuch as not everie one that ſaith Lord, Lord, ſhall enter into the kingdome of God and Chriſt, make me not then a profeſſor of thy word with my lips, but an earneſt lover of the ſame, & a faithfull folower of thy commandements, leaſt at the comming of the great and rich Bridegroome Jeſus Chriſt, I be refuſed, as were the five undiſcreet and fooliſh virgins, that wanted oyle to garniſh their Lamps. For if thou O Lord paſſe by, and finde me unprovided, the gates of thy grace being faſt ſhut up, and locked cloſe, I ſhall then ſtand knocking and calling the Lord all in vaine. For thou wilt give anſwere, thou knoweſt me not, and being forſaken of thee, I ſhall periſh everlaſtinglie. Give me grace therefore O good Lord, to be readie prepared with my wedding garment, and oyle in my Lampe, that I may continuallie watch thy comming, and ſo enter with thee as thy gheſt, to the rich banqueting houſe of everlaſting glorie, Amen.
FFrom ſinfulneſſe preſerve me Lord,
RRenew thy ſpirit in my hart,
AAnd let my tongue therewith accord,
VUttering all goodneſſe for his part.
NNo thought let there ariſe in me,
CContrarie to thy ſtatutes ten,
EEver let me moſt mindfull be,
SStill for to praiſe thy name: Amen.
AAs of my ſoule, ſo of my bodie,
BBe thou my guider, O my God:
VUnto thee onlie I do crie,
RRemove from me thy furious rod.
GGraunt that my head may ſtill deviſe,
AAll things that pleaſing be to thee,
Unto mine eares, and to mine eies,
EEver let there a watch ſet bee,
NNbone ill that they may heare and ſee,
NNo wicked deede let my hands do,
YYn thy good paths let my feete go.
Certaine praiers made by godlie women Martyrs.
The praier of Agnes the Martyr at hir death.
Oeternall Governour, vouchſafe to open the gates of heaven once ſut up againſt all the inhabitants of the earth: and receive my ſoule, oh Chriſt that ſeeketh thee.
The ſong of Eulalia the Martyr at hir death.
Behold, O Lord, I wil not forget thee. What a pleaſure is it for them, O Chriſt, that remember thy triumphant victories, to attaine unto thoſe high dignities?
The praier of Anne Askue the Martyr, before hir death.
O Lord, I have mo enimies now than there be heares on my head: yet Lord, let them never overcome me with vaine words, but fight thou Lord on my ſide. For on thee caſt I my care. With all the ſpite they can imagine they fall upon me, which am thy poore creature; yet ſweete Lord, let me not ſet by them, which are againſt me: for in thee is my whole delight. And Lord, I hartilie deſire of thee, that thou wilt of thy moſt mercifull goodneſſe forgive them that violence which they doo, and have done unto me. Open alſo thou their blind harts, that they may hereafter doo that thing in thy ſight, which is onlie acceptable before thee; and to ſet foorth thy veritie aright, without all vaine phantaſies of ſinfull man: So be it, O Lord, So be it.
The praier that maiſter Bradfords mother ſaid and offered unto God in his behalfe, a little before his martyrdome.
Ah good Father, which dooeſt vouchſafe that my ſonne John Bradford, being a greevous ſinner in thy ſight, ſhould find this favour with thee, to be one of thy ſonne Chriſt his captaines and men of war, to fight and ſuffer for his Goſpels ſake, I thanke thee: and praie thee in the ſame thy deere ſonne Chriſts name, that thou wouldeſt forgive him his ſinnes and unthankfulneſſe; and make perfect in him that good which thou haſt begun in him. Yea Lord, I praie thee make him worthie to ſuffer, not only impriſonment, but even verie death for thy truth, religion, and Goſpell ſake. As Hanna did applie, dedicate, and give hir firſt child and ſonne Samuel unto thee: even ſo doo I deere Father; beſeeching thee, for Chriſts ſake, to accept this my gift; and give my ſonne John Bradford grace alwaies trulie to ſerve thee, and thy people, as Samuel did; Amen: Amen.
Other godlie praiers taken out of the Pſalmes, written by a godlie harted Gentlewoman. tlewoman.
Poonder my words, O Lord, conſider my meditation: O harken thou unto the voice of my wofull mourning, my King and my God: for unto thee will I make my praier. Heare my voice, O Lord betimes: earlie in the morning will I direct my praier unto thee, for thou art the God that haſt no pleaſure in wickedneſſe: neither 216 T6v 2106 neither ſhall anie evill dwell with thee. Thou hateſt all them that worke vanitie: leade me therefore in thy righteouſneſſe, O Lord; for I am weake, and without thee I have no ſtrength at all: therfore, O Lord God, rebuke me not in thine indignation, neither chaſten me in thy heavie diſpleaſure. Have mercie upon me, O Lord, and deliver my ſoule. Oh ſave me, for thy mercie ſake. I am almoſt wearie of my groning. Everie night waſh I my bed, and water my couch with my teares. O Lord my God, in thee have I put my truſt: ſave me from all them that perſecute me, and deliver me. O Lord my God, if I have done anie ſuch thing, as is laid to my charge; or if there be anie ſuch wickedneſſe in me; then let mine enimie perſecute my ſoule, and take me captive. Haſt not thou, O Lord my God, defended me from ſuch ungodlineſſe? Oh how long wilt thou hide thy ſelfe from me thy poore afflicted ſervant? Oh how long ſhall I ſeeke comfort in my ſoule, and be ſo vexed in my hart? Yea how long ſhall mine enimies triumph over me? Conſider and heare me, O Lord my God, lighten mine eies that I ſleepe not in death: leaſt mine enimies ſaie, I have prevailed againſt him. For if I be caſt downe, then they that trouble me will rejoice at it. But my truſt is in thy mercie, O Lord, and my hart is joifull in thy ſalvation. For after a ſtorme thou makeſt the weather faire, and ſtill after weeping and heavineſſe thou giveſt great joie. Thy name, O moſt mightie God, be praiſed for ever and ever, Amen.
O Lord conſider my meditation, and complaining. Oh harken thou unto my praiers that go not out of fained lips. Let my ſentence come foorth from thy preſence, and let thine eies looke upon the thing that is equall. O hold thou up my goings in thy waies, that my footſeps ſlip not. I 217 T7r 217 I have called upon thee, O God, for thou ſhalt heare me: incline thine eare to me, and hearken unto my words. Shew thy marvellous loving kindneſſe, thou that art the Saviour of all them that put their truſt in thee. Keepe me as the apple of an eie: hide me under the ſhadowe of thy wings, from the ungodlie that trouble me. Mine enimies compaſſe me round about to take away my ſoule. Up Lord, let not man have the upper hand: let the heathen be judged in thy ſight, that they may knowe themſelves to be but men? Yet of thy mercie, O Lord, forgive all mine enimies, and turne the harts of ſuch as hate me. Who can tell how oft he offendeth? Oh clenſe thou me from all my ſecret offences. Keepe thy ſervant alſo from preſumptuous ſinnes, leaſt they get the dominion over me: ſo ſhall I be undefiled and innocent from the great offence. Let my mourning teares, and the ſorowfull ſighing of my hart, come before thy preſence, and be alwaies accepted in thy ſight.
O Lord my ſtrength and my redeemer, let it be thy good pleaſure to rid and deliver me out of all my troubles, I moſt humblie beſeech thee: and ſhew ſome token of thy favor to me poore wretched ſinner, which am as a bauniſhed woman. Looke upon me, O Lord, I beſeech thee, as thou didſt looke upon Suſanna, and Sarai the daughter of Raguel. Thoſe holie women truſted in thee, and thou didſt deliver them; they hoped in thee, and were not forſaken. I knowe Lord, thy ſtrength is not weakened, neither is thy power abated: ſo that if it be thy good pleaſure, O Lord, thou wilt helpe, and make thy power to be knowne. In the meane time, O mercifull and moſt gratious Lord God, give me grace thankfullie and patientlie to take all, whatſoever it ſhall be thy good will and pleaſure to laie upon me. O Lord grant me thoſe things, which I hartilie have praied for ever, for Jeſus Chriſts ſake my Lord and my redeemer. 218 T7v 218 redeemer. To whom with thee and the holie Ghoſt, be all honour, glorie and praiſe, Amen.
A thankeſgiving after trouble.
The Lord is my ſtrong rocke and my defence, my Saviour, my God, and my might, in whom I will truſt, the horne alſo of my ſalvation, and my refuge. Yea the Lord is my ſhepheard, therefore can I lacke nothing. He hath comforted my ſoule, and brought it out of trouble, even for his mercies ſake. Though I walke through the vale of the ſhadowe of death, I will feare none evill: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy ſtaffe comforteth me. For in thee, O Lord, have I put my truſt, and I feare not what fleſh and bloud can doo unto me. I have waited long, and with weeping teares have I taried the Lords leaſure, and now he hath of his great goodneſſe delivered me out of all my trouble. Moſt mightie God, of thine accuſtomed mercie, preſerve me from all ſinne and wickedneſſe. O Lord, I feele mine owne infirmitie and weakeneſſe. O moſt mercifull Lord, keepe me in (as it were) with a bit or bridle, that in this my joifulneſſe I doo not forget my dutie to thee, and my neighbours. For when we have althings at our owne pleaſure, and nothing to trouble us, then is our dailie enimie readie to puffe us up with pride and unthankfulneſſe: yea and with forgetfulneſſe of thy lawes. Wherefore moſt mightie Lord, looke downe from thy holie heavens, even with thy fatherlie eies of pitie, and ſtrengthen my trembling ſoule with thy holie ſpirit. Guide me that I ſwarve not frō thy truth taught in holie Scripture: but that all my thoughts, words and 219 T8r 219 and deeds may redound to the glorie, honour, and woorthie praiſe of thy moſt holie name. This with teares I moſt humblie beſeech thee to grant, even for Jeſus Chriſts ſake, in whoſe name I come to thee, and in none other, ſaieng: O our Father, &c.
Another thankeſgiving after trouble.
O Lord, I moſt humblie render lauds, thanks, and praiſes unto thee. For thou haſt ſet me up, and not made my foes to triumph over me. O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou haſt heard me: yea thou broughteſt my ſoule out of trouble, and girded me with joie and gladnes. Sing praiſes unto the Lord with me, O ye Saints of his, & let us all give thanks unto him, for a remembrance of his holineſſe. For his wrath indureth but the twinkling of an eie, and in his pleaſure is life everlaſting. Heavineſſe may endure for a night, but joie commeth in the morning. Thou didſt turne thy face from me, O Lord; and lo, I was ſore troubled: then cried I unto thee, O Lord, and praied unto my God right humblie, ſaieng: Heare, O Lord, and have mercie on me. Lord be thou my helpe in all my trouble: bow downe thine eare to me, and make haſte to deliver me: for thou art my ſtrong rocke and deliverer. Into thy hands, Lord, I commit my ſpirit, for thou haſt redeemed me, O Lord, thou God moſt high.
Oh what reward ſhould I give unto the Lord for all the marvellous benefits, that he hath done unto mee: which I can not woorthilie expreſſe? For in my trouble I called upon the Lord, and he heard me at large; and in my temptation, with his holie ſpirit he mightilie preſerved me. Therefore I knowe that the Lord is on my ſide, and I will not feare what man can doo unto me. For it is better to truſt in the Lord, than to put anie confidence in Princes; for with the Lord there is mercie, 220 T8v 220 mercie, and with him there is plentious redemption. The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercie, therefore will I talke of thy praiſe all the daie long, and ſing Pſalmes of thankeſgiving unto thee. It is good for me that I have beene in trouble, elſe ſhould I not have learned thy ſtatutes. If my delight had not beene in thy lawes, I ſhould ſurelie have periſhed in my trouble. The lawe of my God is more deerer unto me than thouſands of ſilver and gold, yea all the riches in the world is nothing woorth in compariſon of thy word. For it is more comfortable, than the moſt coſtlieſt and pretious reſtorative that anie Phyſician can make. For it comforteth, nouriſheth and preſerveth the ſoule, leading it unto life everlaſting. Oh Lord God of hoſts, who is like unto thee? Thy truth moſt mightie God endureth for evermore. I will alwaies give thanks unto thee for the great benefits that thou haſt beſtowed on me. The righteous ſhall heare thereof and rejoice with me; yea, and the unrighteous ſhall feare the Lord, and ſaie, Doubtleſſe there is a God that defendeth his ſervants; and he alſo doth puniſh the wrong dooers. Thou art the God that dooeſt woonderous things: O Lord, who may be compared unto thee? For thou delivereſt me thy poore oppreſſed ſervant from the hand of my ſtrong enimie; yea from ſuch a one as was too mightie for me to deale withall. Thou haſt (I ſaie) mightilie defended me, and now, O Lord, be mindfull of me: and command my ſpirit to be received in grace, when it is thy good pleaſure, Amen.
An inſtruction for Chriſtians, conteining a fruitfull and godlie exerciſe, as well in wholſome and fruitfull praiers, as in reverend diſcerning of Gods holie Commandements and Sa tranſlated out of French into English by a right vertuous and godlie Ma and Gentlewoman named Miſtreſſe Dorcas Martin.
From vaine deſires and worldlie luſts,
Turne backe mine eies and ſight:
Give me the ſpirit of life and power,
To walke thy waies aright.
Direct my footeſteps by thy word,
That I thy will may knowe:
And never let iniquitie,
Thy ſervant overthrowe.
The Lords praier.
Our Father which art in heaven, halowed be thy name. Thy kingdome come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this daie our dailie bread. And forgive us our treſpaſſes, as we forgive them that treſpaſſe againſt us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evill: for thine is the kingdome, the power, and the glorie for ever and ever, Amen.U.j.
The Articles of the Chriſtian faith.
Ibeleeve in God the father Almightie, maker of heaven and earth. And in Jeſus Chriſt, his onlie ſonne, our Lord, which was conceived by the holie Ghoſt. Borne of the virgin Marie. Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. He decended into hell. The third daie, he roſe againe from the dead. He aſcend into heaven, and ſitteth on the right hand of God the father almightie. From thence ſhall he come to judge the quicke and the dead. I beleeve in the holie Ghoſt. The holie Catholike Church. The communion of Saints. The forgiveneſſe of ſinnes. The reſurrection of the bodie. And the life everlaſting, Amen.
The ten Commandements of Almightie God, Exod. 20.
Hearken O Iſrael. I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the houſe of bondage.
The firſt Table.
1Thou ſhalt have none other gods before me.
2Thou ſhalt make thee no graven image, neither anie ſimilitude of things that are in heaven above, neither that are in the earth beneath, nor that are in the waters under the earth. Thou ſhalt not bow downe to them, nor woorſhip them. For I am the Lord thy God, a gealous God, viſiting the iniquitie of the fathers upon the children, upon the third generation, and upon the fourth of them that hate me: and ſhewing mercie unto thouſands in them that love me, and keepe my commandements.
3Thou ſhalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vaine; for the Lord will not hold him giltleſſe that taketh his name in vaine.
4Remember the Sabboth daie, to keepe it holie. Sixe daies ſhalt thou labour and doo all thy workes: but the ſeaventh daie is the Sabboth of the Lord thy God. In it thou ſhalt not doo anie worke, thou, nor thy ſonne, nor thy daughter, thy man-ſervant, nor thy maide-ſervant, nor the ſtranger that is within thy gates. For in ſixe daies the Lord made the heaven and the earth, the ſea, and all that in them is, and reſted the ſeventh daie: therfore the Lord bleſſed the Sabboth daie, and halowed it.
The ſecond Table.
5Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy daies may bee prolonged upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
6Thou ſhalt not kill.
7Thou ſhalt not commit adulterie.
8Thou ſhalt not ſteale.
9Thou ſhalt not beare falſe witneſſe againſt thy neighbour.
10Thou ſhalt not covet thy neighbours houſe, neither ſhalt thou covet thy neighbours wife, nor his ſervant, nor his maide, nor his oxe, nor his aſſe, neither anie thing that is thy neighbours.
Thou ſhalt love the Lord thy God with all thine hart, with all thy ſoule, and with all thy mind: This is the firſt and the greateſt commandement. And the ſecond is like unto this. Thou ſhalt love thy neighbour as thy ſelfe.
On theſe two commandements hangeth the whole Lawe and the Prophets.U.ij.
Whatſoever ye would that men ſhould doo to you, even ſo doo ye to them. For this is the Lawe and the Prophets.Iohn, 15. verſe, 12.
This is my commandement, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.Iohn, 13. verſe, 35.
Heereby ſhall all men knowe that you are my diſciples, if ye love one another.
A praier to be ſaid in the Morning when one awaketh.
Omy God and father, I moſt humblie praiſe and thanke thee for this, that of thine infinite goodneſſe and mercie, it hath pleaſed thee to watch for me this night whiles I ſlept, preſerving me from ſo manie kinds of dangers, whereunto this miſerable life is ſubject. O Lord I beſeech thee bring into my memorie thy other great and innumerable benefits alſo, according as I may be able to comprehend them, to the end that I may likewiſe render thanks for the ſame, leaſt I be ungratefull towards thy majeſtie, as thou haſt done me this good, not to forget that thou alone haſt preſerved me from all inconvenience. And herewithall I beſeech thee moſt gratious father, through thy mercie, to continue this thy fatherlie care, which thou haſt for me, untill ſuch time as I ſhall reſt in that happie ſleepe, whereof they rejoice which ſleepe in peace, through our Lord Jeſus Chriſt thy ſonne, who in the unitie of the holie Ghoſt, liveth and reigneth God with thee eternallie: So be it.
The exerciſe of an houſholder with his familie to praie in the Morning.
Oour God, Father & Saviour, ſeeing it hath pleaſed thee to give us grace to paſſe this night, to come unto this daie preſent; vouchſafe now alſo to beſtowe this goodneſſe upon us, that we may emploie our ſelves altogether to thy ſervice, in ſuch wiſe, that we neither thinke, ſaie, or doo anie thing, but onlie to pleaſe thee, and to obey thy good will: to the end that by this means, all our works may be to the praiſe of thy name, and to the edifieng of our neighbours. And as it hath pleaſed thee to cauſe thy Sunne to ſhine upon the earth, to lighten us corporallie; vouchſafe alſo by the cleereneſſe of thy ſpirit, to illuminate our underſtandings, and our hearts, to direct us unto the ſtreight waie of righteouſneſſe. Even ſo, to what thing ſoever we may applie our ſelves, let our chiefe end & purpoſe be alwaies to walke in thy feare, to ſerve and honour thee: looking for all our wealth and proſperitie, from out of thy holie bleſſing, to the end we enterpriſe nothing which ſhall not be agreeable unto thee. Moreover, let us ſo travell for our bodie, and for the life preſent, that we alwaie have a further regard; namelie, to the life of heaven, which thou haſt promiſed unto thy children. Nevertheleſſe, let it pleaſe thee to be our protector, both touching the bodie, and touching the ſoule, ſtrengthening us againſt all temptations of the divell, and delivering us from all the dangers that may come unto us. And becauſe there is nothing well begun, which doth not continue, vouchſafe to receive us into thy holie governance, not onlie for this preſent daie; but for our whole life, continuing and increaſing dailie thy grace in us, till thou haſt brought us unto the full conjunction of thy ſonne Jeſus Chriſt our Lord, who is the true Sun-light of our U.iij. ſoules, 226 U3v 226 ſoules, ſhining daie and night without end perpetuallie. And to the intent that we may obteine theſe graces of thee, O vouchſafe to forget all our faults paſt, pardoning us them through thine infinite mercie, as thou haſt promiſed unto all them that ſeeke thee with a good heart. Heare us O father of mercie, for thy ſonne our Lord Jeſus Chriſt his ſake: So be it.
Out of the 143 Pſalme.
Let us heare thy loving kindneſſe in the morning, for in thee is our truſt. O ſhew us the waie that we ſhould walke in, for we have lift up our hart unto thee.
Deliver us O Lord, from our enimies, for we have cried unto thee.
Teach us to doo thy will, for thou art our God.
A praier to ſaie before one begin his worke.
The Lord God and Father vouchſafe to aſſiſt us through his holie ſpirit, and by him to governe and guide us in ſuch ſort, as all that we ſhall doo, ſaie, or thinke, may be to his glorie, in the name of his ſonne Jeſus Chriſt our Lord: So be it.
Another praier to the ſame purpoſe.
Oour God, Father and Saviour, ſeeing it hath pleaſed thee to command us to travell for the ſuſtentation of our neceſſitie; vouchſafe through thy grace ſo to bleſſe our labour, that thy bleſſing may extend unto us, without the which alſo we are not able to continue. And let ſuch favour of thine ſerve us for a teſtimounie of thy bountifulneſſe and aſſiſtance: and that we by the ſame may knowe the fatherlie care, which thou haſt for us. Moreover, let it pleaſe thee, O Lord, to aſſiſt us by thy holie ſpirit, to the end that we may be faithfullie exerciſedciſed 227 U4r 227 ciſed in our eſtate and vocation, without anie guile or deceit: but that we rather regard to followe thine ordinance, than to ſatiſfie our owne deſire of gaine. And if it pleaſe thee to proſper our labor, give us alſo a willing mind to ſuccour thoſe that are in neceſſitie, according to the abilitie which thou haſt granted us: ſo yet that we mind not to lift up our ſelves above thoſe, which have not received of thee ſuch liberalitie. And when thou wilt handle us with greater povertie and neceſſitie than our fleſh ſhall deſire: let it pleaſe thee, O Lord, to ſhew us this grace, even to knowe that thou through thy bountifulnes wilt continuallie nouriſh us, leaſt we be tempted with miſtruſt: but that we patientlie abide, untill thou repleniſh us, not onelie with thy corporall gifts; but alſo with thy ſpirituall graces; that we may ſtill have more ample matter and occaſion to thanke thee, & ſincerelie to ſtaie our ſelves upon thine onlie goodneſſe. Heare us, O Father of all mercie, through thy ſonne Jeſus Chriſt our Lord: So be it.
A praier to ſaie afore one begin to ſtudie his leſſon. Out of the 199 Pſalme. verſes, 9, 18, 34.
Wherewithall ſhall a yoong man redreſſe his waie? Even in taking heede thereunto according to thy word.
Open thou mine eies, that I may ſee the marvellous works of thy lawe.
O give me underſtanding, and I ſhall keepe thy lawe; yea, I ſhall keepe it with my whole hart.
O Lord, which art the fountaine of all wiſdome and knowledge, ſeeing it hath pleaſed thee to give mee the meanes to be inſtructed in the age of mine infancie, to make mee knowe how to governe the whole courſe of my life holilie and honeſtlie: vouchſafe alſo to illuminate mine underſtanding, (which of it ſelfe is U.iiij. blind) 228 U4v 228 blind) that it may comprehend the learning which ſhall be taught me. O vouchſafe to confirme my memorie for to keepe it well. O let it be thy pleaſure to diſpoſe my hart to receive it willinglie, and with ſuch flawed-reproductionone to two characters deſire as is convenient, that through mine ingratitude the occaſion that thou offereſt me be not loſt. For to doo this, vouchſafe to powre upon me thy holie ſpirit, the ſpirit (I ſaie) of all underſtanding, veritie, judgment, prudence and learning, which may make me able to profit well, to the end that the travell, which ſhall be taken to teach me be not loſt. And to what ſtudie ſoever I applie my ſelfe, make me to reduce it unto the true end; namelie, to knowe thee in our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, to have full affiance of ſalvation and life in thy grace, and to ſerve thee uprightlie & purelie, according to thy good pleaſure: ſo as all that I ſhall learne, may be as an inſtrument to aid me unto the ſame.
And ſeeing thou promiſeſt to give wiſdome unto babes, and to the humble, and to confound the proud in the vanitie of their owne minds: likewiſe to ſhew thy ſelfe unto thoſe that are of a right hart; and contrarilie to blind the wicked & perverſe: vouchſafe to bring me unto true humilitie, whereby I may yeeld my ſelfe apt to learne; and obedient, firſt unto thee, ſecondlie to my ſuperiours, whom thou haſt ordeined to rule and to teach me. Furthermore, vouchſafe to diſpoſe my hart to ſeeke thee without feinedneſſe, renouncing all carnall and evil affections, and that in ſuch ſort I may prepare my ſelfe now to ſerve thee once, in that eſtate & vocation, to the which it ſhall pleaſe thee to ordeine me when I ſhall come to age. Heare me, O Father of mercie, through our Lord Jeſus Chriſt: So be it.
The Lord ſheweth his ſecrets unto them that feare him, and maketh them to knowe his covenant.
A praier or grace to ſaie afore meate.
All things wait upon thee, O Lord, and thou giveſt them meate in due ſeaſon: when thou giveſt it them, they gather it, and when thou openeſt thy hand, they are ſatiſfied with good things. O Lord, in whom conſiſteth the fulneſſe of all good things, vouchſafe to extend thy bleſſing upon us thy poore ſervants, & ſanctifie unto us thy gifts, which we receive of thy liberalitie, that we may uſe them ſoberlie and purelie, according to thy good will: and by this meanes to knowledge thee to be the Father and author of all goodneſſe, ſtill ſeeking principallie the ſpirituall bread of thy word, whereby our ſoules may bee nouriſhed eternallie, through Jeſus Chriſt thy ſonne our Lord: So be it.
Man liveth not by bread onlie: but by everie word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Grace after meate.
Let all nations praiſe the Lord, let all people ſing praiſe unto him.
For his mercie is multiplied upon us, and his truth endureth for ever.
We render thanks unto thee, O Lord God, for all the benefits that we receive continuallie at thy hand; for that it pleaſeth thee to ſuſtaine us in this corporall life, miniſtring unto us all our neceſſities: and ſpeciallie, for that it hath pleaſed thee to regenerate us into the hope of a better life, which thou haſt revealed unto us by thy holie Goſpell. We beſeech thee not to ſuffer our affections to be here rooted in theſe corruptible things, but that we alwaies have an higher reſpect, waiting for our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, untill he appeere in our redemption: So be it.
A praier to be ſaid before ſleepe.
Let us all fall downe, humbling our ſelves before the high and ſoevereigne Majeſtie of our good God and Father, acknowledging us to be as we are; namelie, poore and miſerable ſinners, praieng hartilie unto him, as followeth.
O Lord God, Father eternall, we beſeech thee, that it will pleaſe thee to caſt the eie of thy fatherlie mercie upon us thy poore ſervants, not laieng to our charge ſo manie faults and offences, whereby we are worthie to be brought unto thy judgement, and whereby wee ceaſe not to provoke thy wrath againſt us. And foraſmuch as we are too unwoorthie to appeare before thy holie Majeſtie; vouchſafe to receive us in the name of thy welbeloved ſonne our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, accepting the merits of his death and paſſion for a recompenſe of all our faults: regarding rather the obedience which he hath rendred unto thee, and not the manifold faults that we dailie commmit againſt thy Majeſtie. O Lord God, ſeeing it hath pleaſed thee to create the night for mans reſt, ſo as thou haſt ordeined him the daie to travell; grant us grace ſo to take our bodilie reſt this night, that our ſoules may alwaie watch unto thee, that our harts be lift up in thy love; and that we ſo renounce all earthlie cares, that we ſuccour our ſelves according as our infirmitie requireth. Let us never forget thee, but let the remembrance of thy goodneſſe and grace continue alwaie printed in our memorie; and by this meanes our conſciences alſo ſhall have their ſpirituall reſt, as our bodies take theirs.
Furthermore, let not our ſleepe be exceſſive; to accompliſh the eaſe of our fleſh beyond meaſure, but onelie to ſatiſfie the frailtie of our nature; that we may be diſpoſed to ſerve thee. Moreover, let it pleaſe thee to preſerue 231 U6r 231 preſerve us undefiled, both in our bodies, and in our ſpirits, and to keepe us againſt all dangers, that our verie ſleepe may be to the glorie of thy name. And ſeeing the daie is not ſo paſſed, but that we have offended thee manie waies (according as we are poore ſinners) ſo that all is now hid through the darkneſſe that thou ſendeſt upon earth; vouchſafe alſo to burie all our faults through thy mercie, leaſt we thereby bee taken from thy preſence. Let it pleaſe thee alſo, O Lord God, to illuminate us by thy holie ſpirit, in the true underſtanding of thy holie will: and bring to paſſe alſo, that we may yeeld unto thee the love and feare that true and faithfull ſervants doo owe unto their maſters, and children unto their parents, ſeeing it hath pleaſed thee to ſhew us ſuch grace, as to receive us into the number of thy ſervants and children, Amen.
The praier of the Church of the faithfull, to ſpeake the word of God with all boldneſſe. Acts, 4. verſe, 24, &c.
O Lord thou haſt made the heaven & the earth, the ſea, & all things that be in them. Which through thine holie ſpirit haſt ſaid by the mouth of David thy ſervāant: Wherfore have the nations raged, & the people have imagined vaine thoughts? The kings of the earth have aſſembled, and the princes are come togither againſt the Lord, and againſt his Chriſt. For trulie Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentils, and the people of Iſrael, have gathered themſelves together in this citie, againſt the holie child Jeſus, (whom thou haſt annointed) to doo thoſe things, which thy hand and thy counſell hath determined to be done. And now Lord, behold their threatnings, & give unto thy ſervants that they may ſpeake thy word with all boldneſſe: ſo that thou ſtretch foorth thine hand, that healing, & ſignes, and woonders be done by the name of thy holie child Jeſus, Amen.
The maner how to examine ſuch yong perſons as be willing to receive the Supper of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt.
In whome beleeve you?
In God the Father, and in Jeſus Chriſt, and in the holie Ghoſt.
The Father, the Sonne, and the holie Ghoſt, are they more than one God?
Muſt God be ſerved after his owne commandements, or after the traditions of men?
He muſt be ſerved according to his owne commandements, and not according to the commandements of men.
May you accompliſh Gods commandements of your ſelfe?
Who is it then that accompliſheth them in you?
The holie ſpirit.
And when God giveth you his holie ſpirit, can you perfectlie accompliſh them?
And yet notwithſtāanding God curſſeth & rejecteth all ſuch, as do not ſincerelie fulfill his cōommandements.
It is true.
By what meanes then ſhall you be ſaved and delivered from the curſſe of God?
By the death & paſſion of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt.
How is that?
Becauſe that by his death he hath reſtored life unto us, and reconciled us unto God his father.
And whome praie you unto?
In whoſe name praie you?
In the name of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, who is our advocate and interceſſor.
How manie Sacraments are in the Chriſtian Church?
Which be they?
Baptiſme, and the Lords Supper.
What is the ſignification of Baptiſme?
It hath two parts. For our Saviour doth therein repreſent unto us the remiſſion of our ſinnes, & then our regeneration or ſpirituall renovation.
And the Supper, what ſignifieth it unto us?
It ſignifieth unto us, that by the communion of the bodie and bloud of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, our ſoules are nouriſhed in hope of the life everlaſting.
What is it that the bread and wine (which are given us in the Supper) doo repreſent unto us?
They repreſent unto us, that the bodie and bloud of Jeſus Chriſt have ſuch vertue towards our ſoules, as the bread and wine have towards our bodies.
Underſtand you, that the bodie of Jeſus Chriſt may be incloſed in the bread, and his bloud in the wine?
Where then muſt we ſeeke Jeſus Chriſt to enjoie him?
In heaven, in the glorie of his father.
What is the meanes to come unto heaven, there as Jeſus Chriſt is?
It is faith.
It behooveth us then to have true faith, before we can well uſe this holie Sacrament.
It is ſo.
And how may we have this faith?
We have it by the holie ſpirit that dwelleth in our 234 U7v 234 our harts, and flawed-reproductioneth us of Gods promiſes, which are made unto us in the Goſpell.
Unto God the Father, of whom, and by whom, and in whome are all things. And unto Jeſus Chriſt our Lord and Redeemer of the world. And unto the holie Ghoſt be honour and glorie for ever, So be it.
The true ſumme of all Chriſtian Religion.
My child, art thou a Chriſtian?
Yea, by the grace of God, whereas of nature I was a child of wrath as well as others.
Art thou certaine that thou art a Chriſtian?
Yea, through faith, and the holie ſpirit, who giveth witneſſe unto my ſpirit, that I am the child and heire of God.
What is it to ſaie a Chriſtian?
It is the ſame which by faith in Jeſus Chriſt, hath received the holie ſpirit, as a child of God, dooing his dutie in time and place.
What is the dutie of a Chriſtian?
It is for to knowe God, for to ſerve him in ſpirit and truth, according to the doctrine of Jeſus Chriſt.
In how manie points conſiſteth the true Chriſtian adoration, and the true ſervice of God?
It is faith, which is the onelie foundation of Chriſtians.
The faith, commeth it of us?
No, for it is the gift of God.
Where lieth this faith?
In the hart, for with the hart we beleeve to righteouſneſſe, & with the mouth we confeſſe to ſalvation.
Be we then bound to render a reaſon of our faith and hope?
Yea, to all men that demand it of us, ſo that it be done with wiſedome, gentlenes, reverence, and gratiousous 235 U8r 1235 ous words.
And he that confeſſeth not Jeſus Chriſt in time and place, doth he not renounce him?
Yea: for he that is not with him, is againſt him: & he that gathereth not with him, ſcattereth abroade.
Give me then a reaſon of thy faith, and firſt what confeſſion makeſt thou of the Chriſtian faith?
The ſame that the Church holdeth, being founded upon the doctrine of the Prophets and Apoſtles, which is brieflie comprehended in our Creede.
Canſt thou make confeſſion in the common language?
Yea, I thanke God.
Saie it with an high voice, and pronounce it well.
I beleeve in God the Father almightie, &c.
Beleeveſt thou that thou art ſaved by this faith of the Church?
Yea well, if I have it in my ſelfe, as the firſt word ſheweth (I beleeve in God.) for the juſt ſhall live by his owne faith.
What is it to beleeve in God?
It is a full aſſurance and hope to truſt and commit all to him, according to his promiſes in Jeſus Chriſt.
Can we have this faith in perfection, whiles we be in this world?
No. For we have neede with the Apoſtles to require augmentation of faith. The Lord increaſe it in us, and make us perſevere in it unto the end.
What is the ſecond part of Chriſtian adoration, and ſervice of God?
It is invocation, whereby we have all our 236 U8v 236 our refuge unto flawed-reproduction father, through faith in the name of Jeſus Chriſt.
Why putteſt thou invocation after faith?
Becauſe it is one of the greateſt and principall fruite of the ſame. For whoſoever calleth upon the name of the Lord in faith, ſhall be ſaved.
Have we commandement to call upon God onlie, and not upon others?
Yea, even as we are commanded, neither to beleeve nor worſhip anie other, but him alone.
Should we not praie to the father in the name of other, but of Jeſus Chriſt?
No. For the father hath given us none other advocate but him, who onlie is verie God and verie man: and we have no promiſe to be heard in the name of anie other, but in his name onlie.
Yea, but we knowe not what we ought to praie as apperteineth.
Jeſus Chriſt teacheth us by his holie ſpirit, according to the forme that he hath given us.
Rehearſe it in the common language, to the end that we all may underſtand it, and be edified.
Our father which art in heaven, &c.
Wherefore will he that we call him father?
To declare the love that he beareth toward us in Jeſus Chriſt, to the end that in full aſſurance and boldneſſe we may come to him onlie, and not to be afraid of him, no more than a child is of his father.
What doth this word(our)ſhew?
The unitie and charitable brotherhood which ought to be heere well practiſed among us, according as the communion of Saints requireth.
Seeing that God is everie where, and filleth heaven and earth, ought not we to ſeeke and worſhip him in all his creatures?
No. For he is a ſpirit, and incomprehenſible: where- 237 X1r 237 wherfore he willeth that in Jeſus Chriſt we ſeeke and worſhip him in ſpirit and truth, lifting up our hearts above all corruptible things.
What conteine the ſixe petitions comprehended in this praier?
The three firſt, all that which makes for the advancement of the honor and glorie of God, which we ought to deſire with our whole hart, and before all things.
And the three laſt, what doo they conteine?
Our entertainement and ſalvation, which is alſo the glorie of God.
Why addeth he to the end: For thine is the kingdome, the power, and the glorie, for ever?
To ſhew that the dignitie & efficacie of our praiers conſiſteth not is us, but altogether in that good father by Jeſus Chriſt, working in us by the holie ſpirit.
Then is it to ſaie, that we all will live and die in his obedience, ſubjection and glorie?
Yea, acknowledging him to be the author of all goodneſſe; and unto whome onelie apperteineth the true majeſtie roiall, with all power and glorie for ever.
What is the concluſion of this praier?
It is, that all our deſires, requeſts, and actions of grace be addreſſed unto God alone, through Jeſus Chriſt, confirming us throughlie in ſubſtance unto that which it conteineth, as unto the perfect rule of all true godlineſſe.
Why is this word added to the end Amen, or So be it?
To aſſure us that our praier made thus in truth, and according to his will, is trulie heard.
What is the third point of Chriſtian adoration, and ſervice of God?
It is to obeie the lawe of God, in true charitie, X.j. out 238 X1v out of a pure hartflawed-reproductiond out of a pure conſcience, and of faith unfained.
What is this charitie here required?
It is to love God with all our hart, ſoule, underſtanding and power: and our neighbour as our ſelfe.
This true obedience and charitie, proceedeth it not of faith?
Yea, & all the good works here commanded, which God hath prepared that wee ſhould walke in them.
Faith then, it is not an opinion vaine and fleſhlie, to entiſe us to ſinne more boldlie, and to live in all carnall libertie.
No. For if we by faith be trulie graffed in Jeſus Chriſt, and call upon God to ſalvation, we will no more bring foorth the works of the fleſh, but the fruits of the ſpirit.
Which are the works of the fleſh?
Adulterie, fornication, filthineſſe, outragiouſnes, idolatrie, enimitie, ſtrife, emulation, anger, altercation, ſedition, ſects, envie, murther, dronkenneſſe, gluttonie, and things like unto the ſame.
And which are the fruits of the ſpirit?
Love, joie, peace, patience, benignitie, goodneſſe, faith, courteſie, temperance.
Seeing we are all carnall, evill, and ſervants of ſinne, have we power of our ſelves to doo good, and to keepe us from evill?
No, not ſo much as to thinke anie good thing. For it is God that worketh in us both the will and the deed, according to his good will.
We muſt not then doo everie one of us, what ſeemeth unto him good and right; what good nature, inclination, or free will ſoever he alledge.
No. For of us can come nothing but perdition, but all our goodnes, aid & ſalvation commeth of God onlie.
Our reaſon, wiſdome, and intent, can the ſame be the 239 X2r 239 the rule to knowe and diſcerne of our works, whether they be good or evill?
No. For we have all but one Lawe-giver, who hath given us the true and perfect rule out of the ten commandements of the lawe.
What conteine the foure commandements of the firſt table?
How God declareth himſelfe to be our God, and therefore by good right he requireth of us faith, homage, adoration, obedience and dutie.
And the ſix commandements in the ſecond table, what doo they conteine?
Our office and dutie towards our neighbour; which is to doo unto him, as we would be done unto our ſelves: and not to doo unto him that, which wee would not to be done unto our ſelves.
Go to, recite now this holie lawe.
Harken, O Israel; I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Aegypt, &c. as Exodus. 20.
And how is it, that Jeſus Chriſt accompliſhed in us this lawe ſo perfectlie?
In giving us his holie ſpirit, who ingendreth in us a continuall deſire and mind, to doo all that the lawe commandeth us, as neere as we can.
And this obedience ſo unperfect, doth it pleaſe God?
Yea, by this, that our imperfection is not imputed unto us, bicauſe of Jeſus Chriſt, whoſe juſtice and perfect obedience is ours through faith.
Alas, who ſhall give us the hart and the power to doo the will of God, which he here hath declared unto us by his holie ordinances?
It ſhall be even he himſelfe by his ſpirit, in the name of Jeſus Chriſt his ſonne, whom he hath given unto the death, to deliver us from the condemnation X.ij. of 240 X2v 240 of damaged his damaged the bondage of ſinne, that is to ſaie from eternall death.
What is the fourth point of Chriſtian adoration and ſervice of God?
It is the ſolemne confeſſion or acknowledging that we make in the Church, through the uſe of the Sacraments.
Of all good things, both generall and particular, which we receive in the Church, through the communion that we have with Jeſus, and togither among our ſelves one with another.
Doo we not dailie make ſuch a confeſſion unto God, in hearing his word, and calling upon him, ſeeking to obeie him, according to the benefits which hee hath given unto us?
Yea certainlie. But we make it alſo through the exerciſe of the Sacraments in greater force and edifieng.
Shew the reaſon.
Bicauſe they are annexed to the preaching and promiſes of the Goſpell, to moove our ſoules and bodies to praiſe God with greater confirmation of our faith and love.
Underſtandeſt thou not, that there is one like ſalvation by preaching, and by the Sacraments offered unto all, as well to the faithfull, as to the unfaithfull?
Yea: but the unfaithfull, in reſpecting this ſalvation, receive nothing but the word & outward ſignes to their condemnation.
Nevertheleſſe, the Sacraments doo not ſignifie and repreſent leſſe to one than to the other.
It is certaine. For God is alwadamagedeth not to teach lies.
The Lord then hath joined the Sacraments with the preaching and promiſes of the Goſpell, as the ſeales are joined with the letters and inſtruments which they confirme.
Yea, to print & ſeale them the more in our ſoules & bodies, & to moove all our ſenſes unto this confeſſion.
The Sacraments then are unto us great ſuccor and comfort.
Yea, in our infirmities, diſquietneſſe, and temptations, which come daile unto us, as well from the divell and the world, as from our owne fleſh.
Which are the Sacraments that the Lord Jeſus hath inſtituted in his Church?
Baptiſme and the Supper, putting end unto Circumciſion, and to the Paſchal Lambe.
How is it that he himſelfe hath authoriſed and ſanctified them?
In that he would receive Baptiſme in his owne bodie, and to be the firſt adminiſtrator of the Supper.
Where is it that the Lord commandeth Baptiſme?
In S. Matthew the laſt Chapter: And Jeſus came and ſpake unto them, ſaieng: All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptiſing them in the name of the father, and of the Sonne, and of the holie Ghoſt, teahing them to keepe all thoſe things that I have commanded you.
Is Baptiſme a waſhing of bodilie filthineſſe?
No. For ſo little water can doo nothing to us.
From what filthineſſe then are we there waſhed?
From ſpirituall filthineſſe, which are our ſinnes.
We come then into the world all filthie and corrupt.
If we were not conceived in ſinne, and borne in X.iij. iniqui- 242 X3v 242 iniquiflawed-reproductionnot have to doo with baptiſme.
In whoſe name be we baptiſed?
In the name of the Father, and of the Sonne, and of the holie Ghoſt, who is our onlie and verie true God in three perſons.
And with what water are we waſhed and regenerated?
With the water of life, which is the holie ſpirit, in the bloud of Jeſus Chriſt.
Baptiſme then repreſenteth unto us, & aſſureth us of the full remiſſion of our ſinnes, and exchanging of our wicked nature.
Yea, and by the ſame both we and our children are received into the Church, as partakers of the covenant of the Lord, as well as Abraham and his ſeed by circumciſion.
Seeing that by baptiſme we are borne, clothed, waſhed, and regenerated in the houſe of God, which is the Church: with what meat, and with what drinke are we nouriſhed and fed?
Even with himſelfe, who hath begotten us. For as he is our waſhing and clothing: ſo is he unto us meate and drinke.
Is this bicauſe he is the word of God, which is the true food of our ſoules?
Yea, and we muſt go further: ſeeing that his word became fleſh, whereof it commeth that we are nouriſhed with his fleſh, & with his bloud into life eternall.
And how is it that his bodie was made meate or heavenlie bread, and his bloud drinke unto us?
By his death and paſſion, as he declareth in his holie Supper.
Where ſhall we find the inſtitution of the holie Supper?
In three Evangeliſts, and verie largelie declared in the firſt to the Corinthians the xj. Chapter.
Reade the place.
I received of the Lord, that which I have given unto you; namelie, that the Lord Jeſus, in the ſame night that he was betraied, tooke bread; and when he had given thanks, hee brake it, and ſaid: Take, eate, this is my bodie, which is broken for you: doo this in remembrance of me. Likewiſe, after ſupper he tooke the cup, ſaieng: This cup is the new teſtament in my bloud: doo this as often as you ſhall drinke it in the remembrance of me. For as often as out ſhall eat of this bread, and drink of this cup, ye ſhall declare the Lords death untill he come. Wherefore, whoſoever ſhall eate of this bread, or drinke of this cup unwoorthilie, ſhall be guiltie of the bodie and bloud of the Lord. But let a man examine himſelfe, and ſo let him eat of this bread, and drinke of this cup. For whoſoever eateth and drinketh unwoorthilie, eateth and drinketh his owne damnation, making no difference of the Lords bodie, (or not diſcerning the bodie of the Lord.)
Did not the Lord then miniſter unto all equallie, one bread and one wine in his Supper?
Yea, as indifferentlie as he died for all, and commanded to take, eate, and drinke.
What ſignifieth then the bread of the Supper?
The pretious bodie of Jeſus, which he gave unto the death of the Croſſe for us.
And what ſignifieth the wine?
His pretious bloud, which he ſhed upon the Croſſe for us.
This bread and wine being called the bodie and bloud of the Lord, doo they change their ſubſtance and nature?
No: but as we corporallie eate the bread, & drinke the wine; ſo ſpirituallie we eate the bodie, and drinke the bloud of the Lord.
And how may we aſcend up to heaven (where he X.iiij. is) 244 X4v 244 is) to edamagedand to drinke his bloud?
By love, and livelie faith; ſeeing that alreadie we have there our converſation, and that the words of the Lord are ſpirit and life.
And he being in heaven, how is it that he communicateth unto us his bodie and his bloud; we being heere belowe upon the earth?
By the vertue of his holie ſpirit, by whome he joineth us unto himſelfe, and maketh us partakers of himſelfe in true holineſſe of ſoule and bodie.
The Infidels, may they eate the bodie, and drinke the bloude of the Lord?
Naie: for through their infidelitie, they receive it to their condemnation, as did Judas.
How much we prepare our ſelves, before we come to this holie Table?
Everie one muſt prove himſelfe, whether he come with true faith and repentance, and with Chriſtian charitie, as he witneſſeth.
The true preparation then, and worthineſſe conſiſteth not in this, that our faith & charitie be ſo great as it ought to be.
No: for though we ought continuallie to tend thereunto, yet ſhall we never be able to come at it.
How is it then, that our faith, ſo little and unperfect, ſaveth us, and maketh us worthie to receive that which is offered unto us by the Goſpell, and the Sacraments?
In that, that it ſoundeth us, and maketh us wholie to reſt in the righteouſneſſe, dignitie, and perfection of Jeſus, unto whome onlie the father hath regard.
Muſt all they be received, that preſent themſelves to the Supper?
Yea, all thoſe whom we knowe to be diſciples, and members of Jeſus, willing to live and die in this faith and doctrine thereof.
A collection of the principall points, whichdamagedight to knowe, that will communicate at the holie Supper of the Lord Jeſus Chriſt.
There is one onlie God, on whome all things depend.
The firſt point to honor God well, conſiſteth in this, that we have all our confidence in him, and that we perceive the meanes to knowe him, and that we perceive the meanes to knowe him; namelie, in Jeſus Chriſt. Heereunto ſerveth the confeſſion of faith before recited. The ſaid confeſſion conteineth foure parts.
The firſt is of God the father, who is the beginning and principall cauſe of all things.
The ſecond of his ſonne Jeſus Chriſt, who is the eternall wiſdome of God. And in this part is comprehended the whole hiſtorie of our redemption, to know, that by Jeſus Chriſt alone we obteine ſalvation, and the meanes whereby he hath purchaſed it for us.
The third of the holie ſpirit, who is the vertue and power of God, which he powreth upon his creatures, and nevertheleſſe is reſident ſtill in himſelfe.
The fourth of the Church, and of the graces of God towards the ſame.
The ſecond point to honour God aright, conſiſteth in this, that we obey his will. The rule to obey him, is given us in the ten commandements of the lawe.
The foure firſt commandements conteine the dutie that we owe unto God.
The ſixe following conteine the dutie that we owe unto our neighbours.
The third point to honor God aright, conſiſteth in this, that in all our neceſſities we call upon him alone.
The inſtruction to call rightlie upon God, is given us in the praier of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt.
The three firſt petitions of the ſame praier, concerne the glorie of God.The 246 X5v 246
The damagedone to three words concerne our owne welfare & profit.
The fourth point to honour God aright, lieth in this, that we looke for all good things at his hand, as it is he onlie from whom all good things proceede.
The promiſes of this free goodneſſe that God uſeth towards his owne, are conteined in the Goſpell.
The ſame promiſes are comprehended by faith.Fides quid?
Faith is an aſſured knowledge of the good will of God towards us, grounded upon the free promiſes, which is given unto us in Jeſus Chriſt, and confirmed in our hearts by his holie ſpirit.
Becauſe of the weakeneſſe of our faith, our Lord illegiblethree linesfaith. hath given us the Sacraments.
A Sacrament is an outward teſtimonie, which by a viſible ſigne repreſenteth unto us the promiſes of damagedarraweth, quid? God, ſpirituallie accompliſhed in us.
Baptiſme is unto us as an entrance into the Church baptiſme. of God, and repreſenteth unto us the remiſſon of our ſinnes, and our renovation of life.
The water, as the propertie thereof is to waſh, doth ſignifie the waſhing of our ſoules, which is done for us through the bloud of Jeſus Chriſt, in the forgivenes of our ſins.
The water alſo is put upon the head, in ſigne of death: nevertheleſſe, in that it is done but for a little time, it is a figure of our reſurrection.
The Supper was inſtituted of our Lord, to aſſure damaged ſupper. us, that by the communion of his bodie, & of his bloud, our ſoules are nouriſhed in hope of life everlaſting.
The bread and the wine ſignifie unto us the bodie & bloud of Jeſs Chriſt, which have the ſame propertie towards our ſoules, that the bread and wine have towards our bodies; namelie, to nouriſh & ſtrengthen.
The right uſe of cōommunicating at the ſupper, is chieflie, a man to prove himſelfe, whether he have true faith with repentance & charitie towards his neighbours.
A godlie exhortation to mortification oflawed-reproductionone character our sinfull affections, and to holineſſe of life: written by a vertuous Gentlewoman.
If yee live after the fleſh you ſhall die: but if ye through the ſpirit doo mortifie the deeds of the bodie, ye ſhall live. For as many as are led by the ſpirit of God they are the ſonnes of God. Rom. 8.
This alſo, we knowe the ſeaſon that we ſhould now awake out of ſleepe. For now is our ſalvation neere: the night is paſſed, the daie is come nie: let us put on the armor of light, let us walke honeſtlie, as it were in the day light, not in eating and drinking, neither in chambering and wantonneſſe, neither in ſtrife and envieng: but put yee on the Lord Jeſus Chriſt, and make no proviſion for the fleſh, to fulfill the luſts of it. Rom. 13.
The reward of ſinne is death: but eternall life is the gift of God through Jeſus Chriſt our Lord. Rom. 6.
Deerlie beloved, abſtaine from fleſhlie luſts, which fight againſt the ſoule: and ſee that ye have honeſt converſation among the Gentils, that wheras they backbite you as evill dooers, they may ſee your good works, and glorifie God in the daie of viſitation. 1. Peter. 2.
I ſaie walke in the ſpirit, and fulfill not the luſts of the fleſh. For the fleſh luſteth contrarie to the ſpirit, and the ſpirit contrarie to the fleſh. Theſe are contrarie one to the other, ſo that ye can not doo whatſoever ye would: but and if ye be led of the ſpirit, then are ye not under the lawe. The deeds of the fleſh are manifeſt, which are theſe: adulterie, fornication, uncleanneſſe, wantonnes, worſhipping of images, witchcraft, hatred, variance, zeale, wrath, ſtrife, ſeditions, ſects, envieng, murther, dronkenneſſe, gluttonie, & ſuch like. Of the which I tell yee before, as I have told you in times 248 X6v 248 timesdamagedhey which commit ſuch things, ſhall not be inheritours of the kingdome of God. They trulie that are Chriſts, have crucified the fleſh with the affections and luſts thereof. Galat. 5.
Let no filthie communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to edifie withall: as oft as neede is, that it may miniſter grace unto the hearers, and grieve not the holie ſpirit of God. Phil. 4.
Followe not thy luſts, but turne thee frōom thine owne will. For if thou giveſt thy ſoule hir deſires, it ſhall make thine enimies to laugh thee to ſcorne. Sirac. 18.
An adulterous woman ſhall be troden under foot as mire of everie one that goeth by the waie. Sirac. 9.
Ye adulterers, and women that breake matrimonie, knowe ye not how that the friendſhip of the world is enimitie to God-ward. Whoſoever will be a friend of the world, is made enimie of God. Submit your ſelves to God, and reſiſt the divell, and he will flie from you: drawe nie to God, and he will drawe nie to you. Clenſe your hands ye ſinners, and purge your harts ye wavering minded: ſuffer afflictions, ſorrowe ye, and weepe, let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joie to heavineſſe. Caſt downe your ſelves before the Lord, and he ſhall lift you up. Iames. 4.
For the children of adulterers, they ſhall come to an end, and the ſeed of an unrighteous bed ſhall be rooted out. And though they live long, yet ſhall they be nothing regarded, and their laſt age ſhall be without honour. If they die haſtilie they have no hope, neither ſhall they be ſpoken to in the daie of knowledge. For horrible is the death & end of the unrighteonus. Wiſd. 3.
The children of the ungodlie are abhominable children, and ſo are all they that accompanie with the ungodlie. The inheritance of ungodlie children ſhall come to naught, and their poſteritie ſhall have a perpetuall ſhame and confuſion. Wo be unto you ye ungodlie, which 249 X7r 249 which have forſaken the lawe of the higheſt. If ye doo live, ye ſhall be curſed: if ye die, the curſe ſhall be your portion. Labour to get thee a good name, for it ſhall continue ſurer by thee, than a thouſand great treaſures of gold. Sirac. 41.
The Lord alloweth the righteous, but the ungodlie and him that delighteth in wickedneſſe, doth his ſoule abhor. Upon the ungodlie he ſhall raine ſnares, fire and brimſtone, ſtorme and tempeſt, this ſhall be their portion to drinke. For the righteous Lord loveth righteouſneſſe. Pſal. 11.
As for ſinners, they ſhall be confounded out of the earth, and the ungodlie ſhall come to an end. Pſal. 103.
Another godlie exhortation to move us to praier, and to cauſe us to be in a continuall readineſſe to waite on our Maiſter Chriſt, when he ſhall come againe to judge both the quicke and dead: written by the ſame godlie Gentlewoman.
Rejoice in the Lord alwaies, and againe I ſaie rejoice: let your ſoftneſſe be knowne to all men. The Lord is even nie at hand, be carefull for nothing: but in all praier and ſupplication, let your petitions bee manifeſt unto God with giving of thanks. Be fervent in ſpirit: applie your ſelves to the time: rejoice in hope: be patient in tribulation: continue in praier. Rom. 22.
Take heed therefore how ye walke: circumſpectlie, not as unwiſe, but as wiſe men redeeming the time, bicauſe the daies are evil. Wherfore be ye not unwiſe, but underſtand what the will of the Lord is. And be not dronken with wine, wherin is exceſſe: but be filled with the ſpirit, ſpeaking unto your ſelves in Pſalmes and Hymnes, and in ſpirituall ſongs, ſinging and making melodie to the Lord in your harts: giving thanks alwaies for all things unto God the Father, in the name 250 X7v 250 name of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, ſubmitting your ſelves one to another in the feare of God. Epeſ. 5.
Praie alwaies with all maner of praiers and ſupplications in the ſpirit, and watch thereunto with all inſtance and ſupplication. Epheſ. 6.
Verelie verelie I ſaie unto you ſaith Chriſt, Whatſoever yee aſke the father in my name, he will give it you. Aſke, and yee ſhall receive, that your joie may be full. And when thou praieſt, thou ſhalt not be as the hypocrites are, for they love to praie ſtanding in the Synagogues, and in the corners of the ſtreetes, becauſe they would be ſeene of men: verelie I ſaie unto you, they have their reward. But when thou praieſt, enter into thy Chamber, and when thou haſt ſhut the dore, praie thou to thy father which is in ſecret, and thy father which ſeeth in ſecret, ſhall reward thee openlie. And when thou praieſt, babble not much as the heathen do, for they thinke, that they ſhall be heard for their much babbling ſake. Be yee not like them therefore, for your father knoweth whereof yee have neede, before yee aſke of him. After this maner therfore praie yee. Our father which art in heaven, halowed be thy name, &c. Matth. 6.
Watch and praie, for you knowe neither the daie, nor yet the houre when the ſonne of man commeth in his glorie, & all the holie Angels with him. Then ſhall he ſit upon the ſeate of his glorie, and before him ſhall be gathered all nations; and he ſhall ſeparate them one from another, as a ſhepheard divideth the ſheepe from the goates: and then he ſhall ſet the ſheepe on his right hand, and the goates on the left. Then ſhall the King ſaie to them on his right hand, Come yee bleſſed children of my father, inherit the kingdome prepared for you from the beginning of the world, for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meate. Then ſhall the King ſaie unto them that ſhall be on the left hand, Depart from 251 X8r 251 from me ye curſſed, into everlaſting fire, which is prepared for the divell and his Angels. For I was an hungred, and yee gave me no meate, I was thirſtie, and ye gave me no drinke. Then ſhall they anſwer him ſaieng: Lord; when ſawe we thee an hungred, or a thirſt, or naked, or ſicke, or in priſon, and did not miniſter unto thee. Then ſhall he anſwere them ſaieng: Verelie, I ſaie unto you, in aſmuch as you did it not to one of the leaſt of theſe, ye did it not unto me. And theſe ſhall go awaie into everlaſting paine, but the righteous to life eternall. Matth. 25.
As Jeſus ſate in mount Olivet, his diſciples came unto him ſecretlie, ſaieng: Tell us when theſe things ſhall be, and what ſigne ſhall be of thy comming, and of the end of the world. And Jeſus anſwered, and ſaid unto them: Take heed that no man deceive you, for manie ſhall come in my name, ſaieng, I am Chriſt, and ſhall deceive manie. Yee ſhall heare of warres, and of the fame of warres, but ſee that you be not troubled, for alil theſe things muſt come to paſſe, but the end is not yet. Matth. 24.
And there ſhall be ſignes in the Sunne, and in the Moone, and in the Stars, and in the Earth: the Sea, and the waters ſhall roare, and mens harts ſhall faile them for feare, and for looking for thoſe things which ſhall come on the earth. Behold the figge tree, and all other trees, when they ſhoote foorth their buds; ye ſee and knowe of your owne ſelves that Summer is then nigh at hand. So likewiſe yee, when ye ſee theſe things come to paſſe, underſtand that the kingdome of God is then nigh at hand. Luke. 21.
But of that daie and houre no man knoweth, no not the Angels of heaven, but my father onlie. As the time of Noah was, ſo ſhall likewiſe the comming of the ſonne of man be. For as in the daies before the floud, they did eate and drinke, marie and were maried, even vnto 252 X8v 252 unto the daie that Noah entered into the ſhip, and knew of nothing till the floud came, and tooke them all awaie, ſo ſhall alſo the comming of the ſonne of man be. Matth. 23.
Take heed to your ſelves, leaſt your hearts be overcome with ſurfeting and dronkenneſſe, and cares of this world, and that daie come on you unwares. For as a ſnare ſhall it come upon all them that ſit on the face of the earth. Watch therefore continuallie, and praie, that ye may obtaine grace, and flie all this that ſhall come, and that ye ſtand before the ſonne of God.Luke 21.
Take heed, watch and praie, for ye knowe not when the time is. As a man which is gone into a ſtrange Countrie, and hath left his houſe, and given authoritie to his ſervants, and to everie man his worke, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch therefore, for yee knowe not when the maiſter of the houſe will come, whether at even, or at midnight, whether at the cocke-crowing, or in the dawning, leaſt if he come ſuddenlie, he ſhould find you ſleeping, and that I ſaie unto you, I ſaie unto all men, Watch and praie. Matth. 13.
Be ſober and watch, for your adverſarie the divell, as a roring Lion, walketh about ſeeking whome hee may devoure, whome reſiſt yee ſtedfaſtlie in faith.
Finallie, let us in all our praiers remember to praie for the Queenes moſt excellent Majeſtie, that it will pleaſe the almightie God to proſper hir in all hir affaires, and ſend hir a long and triumphant reigne over us, that ſhe may overcome all hir enimies, and that after this painefull life ended, ſhe may reigne with Chriſt in his heavenlie king dome, there to receive a glorious crowne that never ſhall periſh: So be it.