The spirituall vvatch, or Christs generall watch-word A meditation on Mark. 13. 37. By Thomas Gataker B. of D. and pastor of Rotherhith.
Gataker, Thomas, 1574-1654.
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TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFVL AND RELIGIOVS HIS VERY kinde Cozen, Sr ROBERT COOKE Knight, eldest Sonne and Heire to that worthy Knight Sr WILLIAM COOKE late deceased: Long life and good dayes, with in∣crease of Grace here, and eter∣nall Glory hereafter.

HOPEFVLL SIR,

This weake worke was intended your worthy Father now deceased, vnto whom so many bonds of alliance, of de∣pendance, of ancient ac∣quaintance, and of con∣tinued beneficence so straitly tied, so deeply engaged me; and whom therefore next after mine Honourable Patron, and that Worshipfull Societie, wherein I spent so much time, and whereof I Page  [unnumbered] remaine yet an vnworthy and vnprofitable member' I could not in this kinde ouer-slip without some iust note of ingratitude. But since it hath pleased God vnex∣pectedly (to our great losse and griefe, though, no doubt, his a farre greater gaine) to remoue him hence, and to receiue him thither where he now resteth, as without* need, so beyond reach of these Offices, I know none that may better lay claime to it then your selfe, who are to rise vp in his roome, and to stand in his stead, as First-borne in that Familie, whereof he lately was Head. I shall not neede to adde, w•… inducements and incouragements▪ I might further receiue to ad∣dresse these my poore endeuours that way, from those pregnant prints as well of pietie as other good parts euidently discouering themselues in your owne person, obserued by others as well as my selfe, and the rather obserued, because so rare ordinarily in others of your yeares, and of your rancke. The consideration whereof, as * it ministred much comfort to your worthy Father before his decease, esteeming it no small Honour vnto him that God had graced him with a Sonne of such parts and hopes in the iudgement and by the testimonie of so many as well iudicious obseruers as vnpartiall re∣porters: so it helpeth not a little to mitigate the great griefe of all his and your friends, not without great cause conceiued for the losse (if they may be tearmed lost, that God findeth to their eternall weale and welfare) of one whom they so highly euer prized, and now so de∣seruedly desire; and ministreth good ground of hope, that you will further in due time, (as he said sometime of Constantines Sonnes) bwholly put on your worthy Parents, so c exactly resembling them in their Page  [unnumbered] vertuous parts, and treading so precisely in their reli∣gious steps, that both they may seeme to suruiue in you, and you be knowne thereby to haue come of them. And this the rather it standeth you vpon to contend and striue vnto, considering (as I doubt not but you doe) that as it is a double d grace for a good man to be well descen∣ded, while both his parentage is a grace to him, and he likewise a grace to it: So it is e a foule disgrace and a double staine for one so descended to degenerate from the good courses or come short of the good parts of those* he came of, and so to proue either a blot or a blemish to them that might otherwise haue beene a grace and an ho∣nour to him, but shall now helpe rather to condemne him then to acquite or excuse him. It was the speech of one for a naturall man notably qualified, though but meanely bred, to a dissolute person well borne, vpbraiding him with his birth, fI am a grace to my stocke, thou a blot to thy linage: as another not vnlike him in the like case, *My stocke is some staine to me, but thou art a staine to thy stocke. And indeed as it were g better for a man to come of a Thersites so he proue like Achilles, then to come of an Achilles if he proue like Thersites: So it had beene lesse euill for Manasses to haue descended immediatly from an Achaz or an Achab, then descen∣ding (as he did) immediatly from an Ezechias to proue in conditions and course of life a second Achaz or an other Achab. This consideration may well be a strong engagement to godlinesse, where but either parent onely hath beene religious. For if h either partie beleeuing, Page  [unnumbered] though the other be an infidell, be of force sufficient to bring the Children bred betweene them within compasse of Gods Couenant: surely the godlinesse of either, though the other were prophane, must needs be no small tiall to oblige their issue the more straitly to that course, which they stood bound to haue taken, though their parents had beene both of them vtterly irreligious. But in this kinde hath God to you beene more abundantly gratious, in bles∣sing and honouring you on both sides with two such wor∣thie Parents, whose memorie as it is and will euer be de∣seruedly honoured with all those that here knew them; so it is iustly expected that it be reviued in you especially, and the residue of their issue, as i in a liuely monument, and one better than of marble or brasse, not of their earthly and worldly, but of their spirituall and worthiest parts. Yea, as k Dauids Courtiers sometime wished, that his sonne Salomon might in state and honour not succeed onely, but exceed Dauid his father: so the like may well in some regards be expected at your hands, in well-doing and piety not to parallel onely, but to surpasse him you sprang from. For, to omit that God hath furni∣shed you with some abilities of learning that he had not, that he hath called you sooner and entred you earlier, you haue the more day before you: Your worthy Father hath broken the ice to you, he hath laid you to your hand a good foundation of religious courses in that Familie that you are to be Head vnto hereafter; he hath setled neere you and obliged vnto you * a man of singular parts, who as he was sometime your Tutor and Gouernour, so will not cease now to be a Counsellor and Coadiutor vnto you, by whose aduice and assistance you may haue plentifull meanes of furtherance in that godly course that by Gods Page  [unnumbered] gratious goodnesse you haue already made entrance into. Sir, you see what a taske is exacted of you, what a necessi∣tie of well-doing and of proceeding in good courses is euery way imposed vpon you. Let all laid together pre∣uaile with you to make you as the more carefull to affect and embrace all good meanes of helpe and furtherance therein; so the more forward and diligent from time to time instantly and incessantly to craue further grace at his hands, by whose strength we all stand; who as he hath begun this his gratious worke in you, so is alone able to finish it (and I doubt not but he will so doe) to his owne glory in you, and your eternall glory with him. And to this purpose may this loose discourse afford you any the least helpe, I shall esteeme it a sufficient recompence of my labour in the publishing of it, what euer the issue be otherwise: If any other beside shall reape benefit thereby, I desire but that God may haue the praise of it, and my selfe onely their prayers. Howsoeuer it proue, it shall re∣maine a testimonie of the sincere loue and respect that he beareth and oweth to you and the house you come of, who both is and shall by Gods grace alwayes continue

Your Worships hearty well-wisher and affectionate Kinsman, Thomas Gataker.