TO THE WOR∣SHIPFVLL MY LO∣VING COSENS, Mr. IOHN SCVDAMORE of Kenchurch in He∣reford-shire, and Mrs ELIZABETH SCVDAMORE his Wife, many happy daies together, with all true Blessednes, both temporall and eternall.
RIght deere, and vnfeinedly belo∣ued in Christ Je∣sus, I haue a long time much desi∣red some good occasion of testi∣fying mine hearty affection to your selues in particular among others of Page [unnumbered] that Familie, which I acknowledge my selfe so deeply indebted vnto. And I seeme now at length to haue lighted on that, that I haue so long longed for. Being to publish a wedding Sermō of a worthy Friend deceased, (which * I wish, if Gods good will had so beene, he had liued to doe himselfe) contai∣ning matter concerning the holy dispo∣sition & Christian managing of Ma∣riage Feasts; I thought good to ad∣ioyne to it (being it selfe but short) some Meditations of mine owne, of somewhat a neere subiect, the occasion of such Feasts, to wit, A good Wife, by Salomon said to be Gods Gift. That which here I addresse vnto you, as to remaine a Monument of mine hearty wel-wishing vnto you, so to abide by you, as a Monitor to put you both in minde, what a blessing of God Page [unnumbered] you enjoy either in other, and what cause you haue to be thankefull to him either for other. Since it pleased God by his prouidence and your Friends a∣greement to bring you together, and to knit that sacred knot betweene you, I haue not yet bin so happy, as to be an eie-witnes of your Christian and religi∣ous cohabitation & conversation: but haue by many beene informed of it, to my great ioy, that you tread both in the steps of your pious Parents, and therein shew your selues to be their Children, a not according to the flesh onely, but (which would haue bin their greatest comfort, had they suruiued to haue seene it, and shall be your chiefest happines both here and hereafter) according to the pro∣mise, euen of eternall saluation, an∣nexed to the gratious Couenant of Page [unnumbered] Faith in Christ; which by your god∣ly practise you shew your selues to haue common interest in with them. And indeed to speake in the Holy Ghosts language, then b are we truly the Chil∣dren of our religious Parents and An∣cestors, when in goodnes and godlines we take after those that we come of. c They are Abrahams Children, that doe Abrahams workes; and d that tread in the steps of Abra∣hams Faith, who is the Father of all the Faithfull. Those that take other courses, and degenerate,) as e too many do,) from the Faith and Pietie of their Parents, are in Gods account, as our Sauiour termeth the Jewes, but fa bastardly brood; rather g Hit∣tites Page [unnumbered] and Canaanites, then hright Hebrews, or itrue Israelites, though they come of Abraham or Israel ei∣ther after the flesh. They are not kthe Israel of God, vnto whom the blessing is promised of mercy and peace; yea of lpeace, peace; that is, of mmuch peace,ntrue peace,oall manner of peace, such peace as pno wicked one euer had or can haue. Which qpeace far surpassing all humane conceipt, that you may constantly retaine in part here, and attaine finally vnto the full fruition of it hereafter; rhold on, I beseech you, in that good course, that by Gods goodnes you haue already entred into, and haue made some good progresse in. Hold on, I say: yea shold out: For t it is holding out to the end, that must bring you to uthe end of your Page [unnumbered] Faith, the saluation of your Soules. And that you may so doe; (be∣cause xstanding still is dangerous; and y vnlesse daily we win ground, we soone fall behinde hand and goe back∣ward;) let it be your continuall care, and constant endeuour, zto grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Sauiour Iesus Christ; to whom bee glory both now and for euer: And to whose holy protection committing you and yours now and for euer, I take leaue of you for the present, and rest in Him
Your affectionate Kinsman and hearty well-wisher, Thomas Gataker.