Tvvo mariage sermons the former on Prov. 19. 14. By Thomas Gataker B. of D. and pastor of Rotherhith. The latter on Iohn 2. 1--12. By that learned and judicious divine Mr William Bradshaw some time fellow of Sidney Colledge in Cambridge.
Gataker, Thomas, 1574-1654., Bradshaw, William, 1571-1618. aut
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TO THE WOR∣SHIPFVLL AND RE∣LIGIOVS, Mr GEORGE WILMER Esquire, and Mrs MARGERET WILMER his Wife, increase of spirituall grace, and mutuall comfort in CHRIST IESVS.

WORSHIPFVLL AND beloued in Christ; At the solemne knitting of you togither, was this Sermon preached by that worthy Seruant of God, and our common frend, now with God, then first (as I haue heard him say) performing that office that then he did. Which of late lighting vpon, among other his loose papers, I thought it would not be amisse rather to send it abroad, then to suffer it (as it might soone perhaps other∣wise) to miscary and so perish▪ The piety Page  [unnumbered] and pithines of the discourse it selfe seemed to require no lesse of me: that which any indicious & religious, I assure my self, will with me easily acknowledge. The rarity likewise of the subiect the rather encited me thereunto. He treadeth a tracke not so vsually beaten. Of Mariage Sermons, that entreat of Mariage duties, there are extant not a few. Such as handle the religious ma∣naging of Mariage Feasts, I suppose not many; I remember not to haue seene any. It is that, that this holy Man of God doth here principally insist vpon: and it is a point very necessarie, and of no small vse. For to let passe that grosse abuse, too too frequent among the prophaner sort, that esteeme such meetings neuer well seasoned, or aright celebrated, vnlesse filthy discourse anda obscene songs be as common as any ordinarie seruice; as if they were not dea∣ling with a sacred ordinance of God, but were about the sacrilegious rites of some impure Idoll; and so, like the idolatrous Iewes, that turned b Bethel into c Beth-aven, making a Brothel-house of a Bride-house: As also to passe by the brutish and swinish Page  [unnumbered] disposition of those that thinke there is no true welcome, nor good fellowship, as they tearme it, vnlesse there be deepe carousing and drinking of healths to Bride and Bride∣groome, and euery idle fellowes Mistris, till the whole companies wits be sod drownd in drinke, that not religion onely, but* rea∣son it selfe is vtterly exiled, and the meeting may well seeme to be rather a drunken match then a Mariage Feast. To let passe, I say, the palpable loosenes and lewdnes of such: euen the best at such meetings are too prone by ouer-sight, and forgetfulnes of their dutie to ouer-shoot themselues, and to exceed that Christian decorum that in such solemnities ought to be obserued. It was not without cause thateIob was so iea∣lous of his Children, what time they held their mutuall meetings of somewhat the like nature.f Youth, andg wine, and mirth, and other delights, are pleasing and enti∣cing obiects, andh cary the wisest oft vna∣wares further then Religion well warran∣teth. i Which yet is not spoken simply to Page  [unnumbered] condemne such solemnities: (It was wise∣ly and wittily said of the Heathen Man, thatkAmans life without festiuities, 〈◊〉 like a∣long and wearisome w•• without Innes:) but to shew what neede there is o direction and admonition for Christian cariage in that kinde.lLycurgus did not well nor wisely, when he cut downe all the vines in his countrey, because the wine that came of them was too much abused by many. Neither ought Mariage Feasts to be vtter∣ly abandoned, nor Musicke, or other ho∣nest mirth be exiled and banished from them, because too many ordinarily exceed in the one, and not a few wretchedly abuse the other. Yea, if mirth and festiuitie be euer seasonable, it is at such times:m Christ himselfe and the Spirit of God yeeld and approue it. Onely ChristiannSobriety ought then to be both ouroFeast-Master, and our Mirth-Master, our Lord of Rule, not of Misrule, to moderate both our diet and our mirth at such meetings. And the ra∣ther should Sobriety and Modestie be at Page  [unnumbered] such times obserued, not onely in regard of p the holinesse and honourablenes of that blessed Ordinance of God that then we deale with, that we mayq not pollute that, that God hath purified, nor dishonor that, that he hath honoured; but for that also we are then laying as it were the first foun∣dation of a new Familie: andr the building proueth commonly as the foundation is well or euill laid.s It is euill building on a quagmire; and laying a foundation in wet weather. A sober and a modest en∣trance giueth good hope of the like pro∣gresse; ast the contrary is a foule presage of euill after-demeanure. This how to preuent is breifely, but effectually here shewed. That which I haue therefore thought fit to present You rather with, then any other of the Authors frends; that vnder your names that might come a∣broad to the vse of others, that was prin∣cipally at the first intended for your good; and partly also thereby to renew with you the remembrance of him, by whose holy hand you were publikely at first ioyned togither. Which coniunction God in mercy Page  [unnumbered] of his good pleasure long continue, and so blesse and sanctifie vnto you, that you may haue mutuall comfort either in other by sincere holinesse here, and eternall con∣iunction either with other in perfect hap∣pinesse els-where.

Yours in Christ, Thomas Gataker.