TO THE RIGHT Honourable Sir Horatio Vere, Late Lord Generall of his Maiesties Forces in the Palatinate: And TO THE RIGHT WORTHY and Religious Ladie his Wife: True Ioy in Christ, and full Ioy with Christ.
RIGHT HONOVRABLE, anda truly Noble, (for that is the bestbNobilitie that Christian Grace giueth:) giue me leaue the meanest of many that Page [unnumbered] wish well to your Lordship, and re∣ioyce in your well-fare, with this so∣rie Present (though comming some∣what late) to welcome your returne home from your late imployment a∣broad: And therein to ioyne Her with you, whomca spirituall knot, as well as a ciuill band, hath made one with you in Christ. This the rather, because I assure my selfe, that you are both of you, of the Persons therein de∣cyphered, and haue ioynt share there∣fore in the Benefit therein propounded and promised. For the Worke it selfe; I doubt not, but many things will bee found in it, that to a meere Naturall Man will seeme to beed strange Paradoxes; which yet euery good Christian, hauing duly weighed, will easily acknowledge with me, to be agreeable to Truth. So it is indeed, thateGods works (as that bles∣sed fLight of God, Martin Luther, was wont to say) are effected vsually by Con∣traries. And a Christian Mans Life here (as Page [unnumbered]g the Heathen Man said of euery Mans) is a meere Mixture ofhContrarieties.i None encombred with more Crosses; but k none accompanied with more Com∣forts, and those such as may well not counteruaile only, but euen throughly weigh downe the other. In so much, that I see not why a Christian Man, though exposed to such a multitude of Crosses, (were it not for his owne, either want of wisdome, or weaknesse) might not well liue the comfortablest life of any Man in the world, whatsoeuer estate or con∣dition of life God hath pleased to assigne and confine him vnto. Nor haue any therefore cause to waiue the profession of Christianitie in regard of such Crosses, as a disconsolate and vncomfortable estate. Of Children we vse to say, that they are lCertaine Cares, vn••rtaine Comforts; and yet wee seem how desirous naturally Men and Women are to haue Issue: and Page [unnumbered] that,n euen those also that for outward things might well liue comfortably without. How much more haue all cause to desire Christian Grace, when the Comforts that attend it, are so sure and certaine, if men be not their owne Ene∣mies; yea when no sound Comfort (as is here shewed) can be attained without it? Vnworthy is he of Issue, thato estee∣meth not the Care hee taketh for his Children, especiallyp being toward, du∣tifull, and inclinable to good things. q abundantly ouer-counteruailed in the Comfort hee hath or may haue of them. Nor is he worthy of Christ, that accounteth not the Crosses that Christia∣nitie and the Profession of it may procure, (for of other Crosses that worldly men are alike subiect to with such, what Page [unnumbered] need I say ought? and yet let these goe also in the same reckoning with those;) all abundantly•r ouer-coun∣teruailed with those spirituall Comforts, that the assurance of Gods fauour towards him in Christ Iesus may afford him, if the Eye of his Soule bee throughly o∣pened duely to apprehend it. This mine endeuour is to shew in this weake Discourse; (the weaker,s because amids much weaknesse during my late re∣straint by sicknesse, out of broken notes, either reserued by my selfe, or taken by others from my mouth, as they are wont to bee, at the time of the deliuerie of it, with addition of such things as came then further to minde, and seemed not altogether imperti∣nent, it was by peece-meale put to∣gether:) and to encite all good Chri∣stians (notwithstanding such occur∣rents) to striue and straine themselues t by their cheerefull cariage in such cases, to seale, vp the truth of it (which they cannot but acknowledge;) to Page [unnumbered] those that may question it, or make doubt of it. This was I the rather enduced to take some paines in, sup∣posing that other weake ones like my selfe, (for of such am I bold to iudge, asu the manner is, by my selfe;) being ordinarily too too back∣ward herein, might haue neede of some quickning and stirring vp there∣unto. To which purpose if it shall be auaileable vnto any the meanest, I shall haue cause to blesse God for his blessing thereupon. If to your selues among others, Persons for Place and Pietie so eminent, (for euenx the wor∣thiest also haue their wants; nor doe the best ioy so much as they either ought or might in this their blessed estate; andy the very weakest may helpe on the worthiest:) much more. Let it howsoe∣uer testifie my deserued respect to you both, and my thankfull acknowledgement of your Lordships kindnesse shewed mee, in my friend and my selfe, at home and abroad. So with vnfained thankes to Page [unnumbered]Gods goodnesse for your Lordships Safe returne to vs, reserued, I hope, in mercie for further Seruice to God and his Church; and heartie Prayer for the continuance of health and well-fare, such especially as z Saint Iohn wisheth his beloued Gaius, to you both; I take leaue and rest readie
To be commanded by you in the Lord, THOMAS GATAKER.