TO THE RIGHT WORTHY AND HIS MVCH HONOVRED LADY, the Lady DOROTHY HOBART, Wife to the Right Honorable and his singular good Lord, Sr HENRY HOBART, Knight and Baronet, Lord Cheife Iustice of the Common Pleas, True Contentment in the Gaine of Godlines, with its Self-Sufficiencie.
It is a point by all gene∣rally agreed vpon, that aHappinesse is the maine end and aime of all mens Actions. And it is a Truth no lesse generally con∣fessed and acknowledged, that bWithout Con∣tentmentPage [unnumbered]of Minde there can be no true Happines. It is c Happines then that all men without exception desire, and Contentment that all consequently striue to attaine. But here in the most faile, that they are mistaken in the meanes, that they take wrong courses for the compassing of this their end and aime & so vai•rely weary & tire out them∣selues in * seeking Happines and Content∣ment there, where neither of them is to be had. To reforme this error, the Spirit of God in the Word hath directed vs the right way to either, to wit, d by conjun∣ction with God, the author and fountaine of all good, e by adhering vnto him, in whō only the soule of man can find su•e & sound contentment. Now this is done f by louing him g by fearing him, h by tru∣sting in him, i by obeying him▪ k by con∣formitie vnto him, or more breiefely in a word, by l Holines, by m Godlines: for these two are in substance one and the same. So that there is n no compassing of Page [unnumbered] Contentment or Happines without God, and there is no way vnto God but by God∣linesse. For o God alone being the chiefest good, and the chiefest good each ones vt∣most aime; our desires cannot be stayed till we come home vnto him, beyond whom we can not possibly go. He being onely pAll-sufficient; (and there can be no Contentment where any want is, nor free∣dome from want where Sufficiencie is not;) we can haue no true Contentment, till we haue once gained Him; we can haue no full Contentment, till we come wholy to enjoy Him, that he may be q all in all vnto vs. And this being r by Holil¦nes, by Godlines onely effected, it must needs follow, that the holier men are, the happier they are; and the more godly they are, the more true and sound Contentment they are sure of. s We shall neuer be truly Happy, till we be sincerely Holy, nor ful∣ly Happy, till we be perfectly Holy. We shall neuer attaine true Cōtentment till we be truly Religious, nor full Contentment till we be consummate in Godlines. The Page [unnumbered] consideration whereof should encite all, that desire Happines and Contentment, (and t who is he, be he neuer so brutish, that doth not?) to bend their maine stu∣die and endeuor this way, for the compas∣sing of this Grace and profiting in it; as the onely meanes availeable to bring them to that end; u which, howsoeuer they may wander from, mistaking the way, their whole desire is to attaine vnto. To pro∣uoke all sorts hereunto, is the maine pro∣ject propounded in this present discourse. Which (what euer it be; and I wish it were much better;) I humbly present to your Ladiship, desiring that it may helpe to sup∣ply some part of that dutie and seruice, which partly mine owne infirmitie and imbecillitie of bodie, and partly also other necessarie and vnauoidable imployments, will not suffer me to performe answerably to mine owne desire, and mine Honorable Lords and your Ladiships desert. And so wishing againe and againe vnto your Ladiship, (for what other, or what better thing can I wish?) that which the worke Page [unnumbered] it selfe importeth, true Contentment from God in this life, and full Contentment with God af∣ter this life; I take my leaue for the present, but cease not to continue
Your Ladiships euer to be com∣manded in the Lord, THO: GATAKER.