WOE TO DRVNKARDS.
A Sermon by SAMVEL WARD Preacher of Ipswich.
LONDON Printed by A. Math for Iohn Marriott, and Iohn Grismand, and are to be sold at their Shops in St. Dunstons Church-yard, and in Pauls Alley at the Signe of the Gunne. 1622.
PROV. 23. vers. 29.32.
To whom is Woe? to whom is Sorrow? to whom is Strife? &c.
In the end it will bite like a Serpent, and sting like a Cockatrice.
SEer, art thou also blind? Watch-man art thou also drunk,* or asleep? Or hath a Spirit of slumber put out thine eyes? Vp to thy Watch-Tower, what descriest thou▪ Ah Lord! what end or number is there of the va∣nities Page 2 which mine eyes are weary of beholding▪ But what feest thou? I see men walking like the topps of trees shaken with the Winde; like Masts of Ships ree∣ling on the tempestuous Seas. Drunkennesse, I meane, that hate∣full Night-bird, which was wont to waite for the twilight, to seeke nookes and corners, to auoide the houting and wonderment of Boyes and Girles: Now as if it were some Eglet to dare the Sun∣light, to flie abroad at high noone in euery streete, in open Markets and Faires without feare or shame, without controule, or punishment, to the disgrace of the Nation, the outfacing of Magistracy and Mini∣stry, the vtter vndoing (without timely preuention) of health and wealth, Piety and Vertue, Towne and Country, Church and Com∣monwealth. And doest thou like a Page 3 dumbe dogge hold thy peace at these things, doest thou with Salo∣mons sluggard fould thine hands in thy bosome, and giue thy selfe to ease and drousinesse, while the en∣uious man causeth the noysomest and basest of weeds to ouer-runne the choysest Eden of God? Vp and Arise, lift vp thy voyce, spare not, and cry aloud? What shall I crie? Crie woe and woe againe vnto the Crowne of pride, the Drunkards of Ephraim.* Take vp a parable, and tell them how it stingeth like the Cockatrice, declare vnto them the deadly poyson of this odious sinne. Shew them al∣so the soueraigne Antidote and Cure of it, in the cup that was drunke off by him, that was a∣ble to ouercome it: Cause them to behold the brasen Serpent and bee healed. And what though some of these deafe Adders will Page 4 not bee charmed not cured; yea, though few or none of this swi∣nish heard of habituall drunkards, accustomed to wallow in their mire, yea, deepely and irrecoue∣rably plunged by legions of Di∣uels into the dead sea of their fil∣thinesse; what if not one of them will be washed and made cleane, but turne againe to their vomit, and trample the pearles of all ad∣monition vnder feete; yea, turne a∣gaine, and rend their reprouers with scoffes and scornes, making iests and songs on their Alebench: Yet may some young ones bee de∣terred, and some nouices reclai∣med, some parents and Magistrates awakened to preuent and suppresse the spreading of this gangrene: and God haue his worke in such as belong to his grace. And what is impossible to the worke of his grace?
Page 5Goe to them now ye Drunkards, listen not what I, or any ordinary hedge-priest (as you stile vs, but that most Wise and experienced royall Preacher) hath to say vnto you. And because you are a dull and thick-eared generation, hee first deales with you by way of question, a figure of force and impression. To whom is woe, &c.* You vse to say, Woe be to hypo∣crites. It's true, woe be to such and all other witting & willing sinners, but there are no kind of offenders on whom woe doth so palpably ineuitably attend as to you drun∣kards. You promise your selues mirth, pleasure, and iollity in your Cups, but for one drop of your mad mirth bee sure of gallons and tunnes of woe, gall, wormewood and bitternesse here and hereafter. Other sinners shall tast of the Cup, but you shall drinke of the dregs of Page 6 Gods wrath and displeasure. To whom is strife. You talke of good fellowship & friendship, but wine is a rager and tumultuous make∣bate, and serts you a quarrelling, & medling. When wit's out of the head and strength out of the body, it thrustes euen Cowards and da∣stards vnfenced and vnarmed into needles frayes and combats. And then to whom are wounds, broken heads, blue eyes, maymed limmes▪ You haue a drunken by-word: Drunkards take no harme, but how many are the mishaps and vntime∣ly misfortunes that betyde such, which though they feele not in drinke, they carrie as markes and brands to their graue. You pre∣tend you drinke healthes and for health, but to whom are all kind of diseases, infirmities, deformities, pearled faces, palsies, dropsies, headaches? If not to drunkards.
Page 7Vpon these premises he forcibly inferrs his sober & serious aduice. Looke vpon these woefull effects and euils of drunkennes, and looke not vpon the Wine, looke vpon the blew wounds, vpon the red eyes it causeth, and looke not on the red colour when it sparkleth in the cup. If there were no worse then these, yet would no wise man be ouerta∣ken with Wine: as if he should say, What see you in the Cup or drink, that counteruaileth these dregges that lie in the bottome. Behold, this is the Sugar you are to looke for, and the tang it leaues behind. Woe and alas, sorrow and strife, shame, pouertie and diseases; these are enough to make it odious, but that which followeth withall, will make it hideous and fearefull. For Salomon duely considering that he speakes to men past shame and grace, senselesse of blowes, and Page 8 therefore much more of reasons and words insisteth not vpon these petty woes;* which they, bewitch∣ed and besotted with the loue of Wine, will easily ouer-see and o∣uerleape: but sets before their eies the direfull end and fruite, the blacke and poysonfull taile of this sin. In the end it stingeth like the Ser∣pent, it biteth like the Cockatrice (or Adder) saith our new Translation.
All Interpretors agree, that hee meanes some most virulent Ser∣pent, whose poyson is present and deadly. All the Woes hee hath mentioned before, were but as the sting of some Emmet, Waspe or Nettle, in comparison of this Cockatrice, which is euen vnto death; death speedy, death paine∣full, and wofull death, and that as naturally and ineuitably, as Opium procureth sleepe, as Ellebore pur∣geth, or any Poyson killeth.
Page 9Three forked is this sting, and threefold is the death it procureth to all that are stung therewith.* The first is the death of grace, the second is of the body, the third is of soule and body eternall. All sin is the poyson wherewithall the old Serpent and Red Dragon enue∣noms the soule of man, but no sin (except it bee that which is vnto death) so mortall as this, which though not euer vnpardonably, yet for the most part is also irreco∣uerably, and ineuitably vnto death. Seest thou one bittē with any other Snake, there is hope & help. As the Father said of his son, when he had information of his gaming, of his prodigalitie, yea, of his whoring: but when hee heard that hee was poysoned with drunkennesse, hee gaue him for dead, his case for des∣perate and forlorne. Age and ex∣perience often cures the other; but Page 10 this encrcaseth with yeares, and parteth not till death. Whoring is a deepe Ditch, yet some few shall a man see returne & lay hold on the wayes of life, one of a thousād, but scarse one Drunkard of ten thou∣sand. One, Ambrose mentions, and one haue I knowne, and but one of all that euer I knew or heard of. Often haue I been asked, and often haue I enquired, but neuer could meete with an instance, saue one or two at the most. I speake of Drun∣kards, not of one drunken; of such who rarely & casually haue Noah-like been surprised,* ouer-taken at vnawares. But if once a Custome, euer necessity. Wine takes away the heart,* and spoyles the braine, ouerthrowes the faculties and Or∣ganes of repentance and resoluti∣on. And is it not iust with God, that hee who will put out his natu∣rall light, should haue his spirituall Page 11 extinguished? He that will depriue himselfe of reason, should loose al∣so the Guide and Pilot of reason, Gods Spirit and Grace: hee that will wittingly and willingly make himselfe an habitation of vncleane spirits, should not dispossesse them at his owne pleasure? Most aptly therefore is it translated by Tre∣melius, Haemorrhois, which Gesner confounds with the Dipsas, or thir∣stie Serpent, whose poyson bree∣deth such thirst, drought, and in∣flamation, like that of Rats-bane, that they neuer leaue drinking, till they burst and die withall. Would it not grieue and pitie any Christi∣an soule, to see a towardly hope∣full young man well natured, well nurtured, stung with this Cocka∣trice, bewailing his owne case, cry∣ing out against the basenesse of the sinne, inueighing against company, melting vnder the perswasions of Page 12 friends; yea, protesting against all entisements, vow, couenant, and se∣riously indent with himselfe and his friends for the relinquishing of it: and yet if he meete with a com∣panion that holds but vp his fin∣ger, he followes him as a foole to the stocks, and as an Oxe to the slaughter-house, hauing no power to withstand the temptation, but in hee goes with him to the tipling house, not considering that the Chambers are the Chambers of death; and the guesse, the guests of death; and there hee continues as one bewitched or coniured in a spell out of which hee returnes not til he hath emptied his purse of mo∣ney, his head of reason, & his heart of all his former seeming grace. There his eyes behold the strange woman, his heart speaketh peruerse things, becomming heartles as one (saith Salomon) in the heart of the Page 13 sea, resoluing to continue, and re∣turne to his vomit what euer it cost him, to make it his daily worke. I was sicke, and knewe it not.*I was strucke and felt it not, when I awake I will seeke it yet still. And why indeed (without a miracle) should any expect that one stung with this viper should shake it off, and euer recouer of it againe. Yea, so farre are they from recouering them∣selues, that they infect and become contagious and pestilent to all they come neare. The Dragon infusing his venom, & assimulating his elses to himselfe in no sin so much as in this, that it becomes as good as meate and drinke to them, to spend their wit & mony to compasse ale∣house after alehouse, yea towne af∣ter towne to transforme others with their Circean Cups, till they haue made them bruits and swine, worse then themselues. The A∣dulterer Page 14 and Vsurer desire to enjoy their sinne alone, but the chiefest pastime of a drunkard is to heat and ouercome others with wine that hee may discouer their nakednesse and glory in their foyle and folly▪ In a word, excesse of wine, and the spirit of Grace are opposites, the former expelles the latter out of the heart, as smoke doth Bees out the Hiue: and makes the man a mere slaue and prey to Satan and his snares, when by this poyson he hath put out his eyes and spoyled him of his strength, he vseth him as the Philistims did Sampson, leads him on a string whither hee plea∣seth, like a very drudge, scorne and makesport to himselfe and his Impes; makes him grinde in the mill of all kind of sinnes and vices. And that I take to bee the reason why Drunkennesse is not specially prohibited in any one of the tenne Page 15 Commandements because it is not the single breach of any one, but in effect the violation of all and e∣uery one, it is no one sinne,* but all sinnes, because it is the Inlet and sluce to all other sinnes. The Di∣uell hauing moystened, and stee∣ped him in his liquor, shapes him like soft clay into what mould hee pleaseth: hauing shaken off his rudder and Pilot, dashes his soule vpon what rocks, sands, and Syrts he listeth, and that with as much ease as a man may push downe his body with the least thrust of his hand or finger. Hee that in his right wits and sober moode seemes religious, modest, chast, courteous, secret, in his drunken fitts sweares, blasphemes, rages, strikes, talkes,* talkes fil∣thily, blab s all secrets, commits fol∣ly, knowes no difference of persons or sexes, becomes wholly at Sa∣tans command as a dead organ to Page 16 be enacted at his will and pleasure. Oh that God would be pleased to open the eyes of some drunkard, to see what a dunghill and carrion his soule becoms, & how loathsom effects follow vpon this spirituall death and sting of this Cockatrise which is the fountaine of the other two following, temporal and eter∣nall death?
And well may it bee that some such as are altogether fearelesse and carelesse of the former death will yet tremble and bee moued with that which I shall in the se∣cond place tell them. Among all other sinnes that are, none brings forth bodily death so frequently as this, none so ordinarily slaies in the Act of sinne as this. And what can bee more horrible then to dye in the acte of a sinne without the acte of repentance? I pronounce no definitiue sentence of damnation Page 17 vpon any particular so dying; but what dore of hope or comfort is left to their friends behind of their saluation? The whoremaster hee hopes to haue a space and time to repent in age, though sometimes it pleaseth God that death strikes Cosby and Zimry napping, as the deuill is sayd to slay one of the Popes in the instant of his adulte∣ry and carry him quicke to hell. The swearer and blasphemer hath commonly space, though seldome grace, to repent and amend: and some rare examples stories afford, of some taken with oathes and blasphemies in their mouthes. The theefe and oppressor may liue and repent and make restriction as Za∣cheus: though I haue seene one slayne right out with the timber he stole halfe an houre before; and heard of one that hauing stolne a sheepe and laying it downe vpon a Page 18 stone to rest him, was gran'd and hang'd with the strugling of it a∣bout his neck. But these are extra∣ordinary & rare cases. God some∣times practising Marshall law and doing present execution, lest fooles shall say in their heart, there were no God or Iudgement: but con∣niuing and deferring the most, that men might expect a Iudge com∣ming, and a solemne day of Iudge∣ment to come. But this sinne of Drunkennesse is so odious to him, that he makes it selfe, Iustice, Iudge and Executioner, slaying the vn∣godly with misfortune, bringing them to vntimely shamefull ends in bruitish and bestiall manner of∣ten in their own vomit and ordure; sending them sottish, sleeping, and senselesse to hell, not leauing them either time, or reason, or grace to repent, and crie so much as Lord haue mercy on vs. Were there (as Page 19 in some Cities of Italy) an Office kept, or a Record and Register by euery Crowner in Shires & Coun∣ties, of such dismall euents which God hath auenged this sinne with∣all, what a Volume would it haue made within these fewe yeares in this our Nation? How terrible a Theater of Gods Iudgements a∣gainst Drunkards, such as might make their hearts to bleed and re∣lent, if not their eares to tingle, to heare of a tast of some few such noted and remarkeable examples of Gods Iustice, as haue come within the compasse of mine owne notice and certaine knowledge, I thinke I should offend to conceale them from the world, whom they may happily keepe from being the like to others, themselues.
An Ale-wife in Kesgraue neere to Ipswich, who would needs force three Seruingmen (that had beene Page 20 drinking in her house, and were ta∣king their leaues) to stay and drink the three Outs first (that is, Wit out of the head, Money out of the purse, Ale out of the pot) as shee was comming towards them with the pot in her hand, was suddenly taken speechlesse and sicke, her tongue swolne in her mouth, neuer recouered speech, the third day af∣ter dyed. This Sir Anthony Felton the next Gentleman and Iustice, with diuers others eye-witnesses of her in sicknesse related to mee; whereupon I went to the house with two or three witnesses, inqui∣red the truth of it.
Two seruants of a Brewer in Ipswich, drinking for a rumpe of a Turkie, strugling in their drinke for it, fell into a scalding Caldron backwards: whereof the one dyed presently, the other lingringly, and painefully since my comming to Ipswich.
Page 21Anno 1619. A Miller in Bromes∣well, comming home drunke from Woodbridge (as he oft did) would needs goe and swimme in the Mil∣pond: his wife and seruants know∣ing hee could not swimme, diswa∣ded him, once by intreaty got him out of the water, but in hee would needs goe againe, and there was drowned. I was at the house to inquire of this, and found it to bee true.
In Barnewel neere to Cambridge one at the Signe of the Plough, a lusty young man, with two of his Neighbours, and one Woman in their company, agreed to drinke a barrell of strong Beare; they drunk vp the vessell, three of them dyed within 24 houres, the fourth hard∣ly escaped after great sicknes. This I haue vnder a Iustice of Peace his hand neare dwelling, besides the common fame.
Page 22A Butcher in Haslingfeild hea∣ring the Minister inueigh against Drunkennesse, being at his Cups in the Alehouse fell a iesting and scof∣fing at the Minister and his Ser∣mons. As hee was drinking, the drinke or something in the Cup quackled him, stuck so in his throat that he could neither get it vp nor down, but strangled him presently.
At Tillingham in Dengy hun∣dred in Essex, three young men meeting to drinke strong waters fell by degrees to halfe pints: one fell dead in the roome, & the other preuented by company comming in, escaped not without much sick∣nesse.
At Bungey in Norfolke three comming out of an Ale-house in a very darke euening, swore, they thought it was not darker in Hell it selfe: one of them fel off the Bridge into the water, and was drowned; Page 23 the second fell off his Horse, the third sleeping on the ground by the Riuers side, was frozen to death. This haue I often heard, but haue no certaine ground for the truth of it.
A Bayliffe of Hadly vpon the Lords day being drunk at Melford, would needs get vpon his mare to ride through the street, affirming (as the report goes) that his Mare would carry him to the diuell; his Mare casts him off, and broke his necke instantly. Reported by sun∣drie sufficient witnesses.
Company drinking in an Ale-house at Harwich in the night, ouer against one Master Russels, and by him out of his Window once or twice willed to depart, at length he came down and took one of them, and made as if he would carry him to prison, who drawing his Knife fled from him, and was three daies Page 24 after taken out of the sea with the Knife in his hand. Related to mee by Master Russell himselfe, Maior of the Towne.
At Tenby in Pembrokeshire a Drunkard being exceeding drunke, broke himselfe all to pieces of an high and steepe rocke in a most fearefull manner, and yet the occa∣sion and circumstances of his fall so ridiculous, as I thinke not fit to re¦late, lest in so serious a iudgement, I should moue laughter to the Rea∣der.
A Glasier in Chauncery Lane in London, noted formerly for pro¦fession, fell to a common course of drinking, whereof being oft by his wife and many Christian friends admonished, yet presuming much of Gods mercy to himselfe, conti∣nued therein, till vpon a time ha∣uing surcharged his stomacke with drinke, hee fell a vommiting, broke Page 25 A Veyne, lay two dayes in extreme paine of body & distresse of mind, till in the end recouering a little comfort, he died: both these exam∣ples related to me by a Gentleman of worth vpon his owne know∣ledge.
Foure sundry instances of drun∣kards wallowing and tumbling in their drinke, slaine by Carts, I forbeare to mention, because such examples are so common and or∣dinarie.
A Yeomans Sonne in North∣hamptonshire being drunk at Wel∣lingborough on a Market day, would needs ride his Horse in a brauery ouer the plowed lands, fell from his Horse, and brake his neck: reported to me by a Kinsman of his owne.
A Knight notoriously giuen to Drunkennesse, carrying sometime payles of drinke into the open feild Page 26 to make people drunke withall, be∣ing vpon a time drinking with company, a woman comes in, deli¦uers him a Ring, with this posie, Drinke and Dye, saying to him, This is for you; which hee tooke and wore, and within a weeke after came to his end by drinking: re∣ported by sundry, and iustified by a Minister dwelling within a mile of the place.
Two examples haue I knowne of children that murdered their owne Mothers in drinke, and one notorious drunkard that attempted to kill his Father; of which beeing hindred, he fired his Barne, and was afterward executed one of these formerly in print.
At a Tauerne in Breadstreet in London certaine Gentlemen drin∣king healthes to their Lords, on whom, they had dependence, one desperate wretch stepps to the Ta∣bles Page 27 end, layes hold one a pottle∣pot full of Canarie Sack, sweares a deepe oath; What will none heere drinke an health to my noble Lord and Master: and so setting the Pot∣tle pot to his mouth, drinkes it of to the bottome, was not able to rise vp, or to speake when hee had done, but fell into a deepe snoaring sleepe, and being remoued, layde a∣side, and couered by one of the ser∣uants of the house, attending the time of the drinking, was within the space of two howers irrecoue∣rably dead: witnessed at the time of the printing hereof by the same seruant that stood by him in the Act, and helpt to remoue him.
In Dengy Hundred, neare to Maldon, about the beginning of his Maiesties reigne, there fell out an extraordinary iudgement vpon fiue or sixe that plotted a solemne drin∣king at one of their houses, laid in Page 28 Beare for the once, drunke healths in a strange manner, and died ther∣of within a few weekes, some soo∣ner, and some later: witnessed to mee by one that was with one of them on his death-bed to demaund a debt, and often spoken of by Ma∣ster Heydon, late Preacher of Maul∣don, in the hearing of many: the particular circumstances were exceeding remarkeable; but ha∣uing not sufficient proofe for the particulars I will not report them.
One of Aylesham in Norfolke, a notorious Drunkard drowned in a shallow Brooke of water with his horse by him.
Whilest this was at the Presse, a man 85 yeares old, or thereabout, in Suffolke, ouertaken with Wine (though neuer in all his life before, as hee himselfe said a little before his fall, seeming to bewaile his pre∣sent condition▪ and others that Page 29 knew him so say of him) yet going downe a paire of staires, (against the perswasion of a woman sitting by him in his chamber) fell, and was so dangerously hurt, as hee dyed soone after, not being able to speake from the time of his fall to his death.
The names of the parties thus punished, I forbeare for the kinreds sake yet liuing.
If conscionable Ministers of all places of the land would giue no∣tice of such Iudgements, as come within the compasse of their cer∣taine knowledge, it might bee a great meane to suppresse this sinne, which raignes euery where to the scandall of our Nation, and high displeasure of Almightie God.
These may suffice for a taste of Gods Iudgements. Easie were it to abound in sundry particular ca∣sualties and fearefull examples of Page 30 this nature. Drunkard, that which hath befallen any one of these, may befall thee, if thou wilt dally▪ with this Cockatrice, what euer leagues thou makest with Death, and dispensations thou giuest thy selfe from the like. Some of these were young, some were rich, some thought themselues as wife as thou; none of them euer looked for such ignominious ends, more then thou who euer thou art: if thou hatest such ends, God giue thee grace to decline such cour∣ses.
If thou beest yet insensate with wine, voyde of wit and feare, I know not what further to minde thee of, but of that third, & worst sting of all the rest, which will euer bee gnawing, and neuer dying which if thou wilt not feare here, sure thou art to feele there, when the Red Dragon hath gotten thee Page 31 into his denne, and shall fill thy soule with the gall of Scorpions, where thou shalt yell and howle for a drop of water to coole thy tongue withall, and shalt be denied so small a refreshing, and haue no other liquor to allay thy thirst, but that which the lake of Brimstone shall affoord thee. And that wor∣thily, for that thou wouldest in∣curre the wrath of the Lambe for so base and sordid a sinne as drun∣kennesse, of which thou mayest thinke as venially and sleightly as thou wilt. But Paul that knew the danger of it,* giues thee faire war∣ning, and bids thee not deceiue thy selfe, expressely and by name men∣tioning it among the mortall sinns, excluding from the Kingdome of heauen.* And the Prophet Esay tels thee, that for it Hell hath enlarged it selfe, opened it mouth wide, and without measure; and therefore Page 32 shal the multitude and their pomp and the iollyest among them de¦scend into it. Consider this you that are strong to powre in drinke, that loue to drinke sorrowe and care away: And bee you well as∣sured, that there you shall drinke enough for all, hauing for euery drop of your former bousings, vi∣als, yea whole seas of Gods wrath neuer to be exhaust.
Now then, I appeale from your selues in drinke, to your selues in your sober fits. Reason a little the case, and tell mee calmely, would you for your owne, or any man pleasure to gratifie friend or com¦panion, if thou knewe there had beene a Toad in the Wine-pot (as twise I haue knowne happened 〈◊〉 the death of drinkers) or did you thinke that some Caesar Borgia, or Brasutus had tempered the cup; 〈◊〉 did you see but a Spider in the Page 33 glasse, would you, or durst you ca∣rouse it off? And are you so simple to feare the poison that can kill the body, and not that which killeth the soule and body euer, yea for euer and euer, and if it were possible for more then for euer, for euermore? Oh thou vaine fellow, what tellest thou mee of friendship, or good-fellowship, wilt thou account him thy friend, or good fellow, that drawes thee into his company, that hee may poyson thee? and neuer thinkes hee hath giuen thee right enter∣tainement, or shewed thee kind∣nesse enough, till hee hath killed thy soule with his kindnesse, and with Beere made thy body a car∣kase fit for the Beere, a laughing and lothing-stocke, not to Boyes and Girles alone, but to men and Angels. Why rather sayest thou not to such, What haue I to doe Page 34 with you, yee sonnes of Beliall, yee poysonfull generation of Vipers, that hunt for the precious life of a man? Oh but there are few good Wits, or great Spirits now a dayes, but will Pot it a little for compa∣ny. What heare I? Oh base and low spirited times, if that were true! If wee were fallen into such Lees of Time foretold of by Se∣neca,* in which all were so drowned in the dregs of vices, that it should bee vertue and honour to beare most drinke. But thankes bee to God, who hath reserued many thousands of men, and without all comparison more wittie and va∣lorous, then such Pot-wits, and Spirits of the Buttery, who neuer bared their knees to drinke health, nor euen needed to whet their wits with wine, or arme their courage with Pot-〈◊〉. And if it were so, yet if no such wits Page 35 or Spirits shall euer enter into hea∣uen without repentance, let my Spirit neuer come and enter into their Paradise; euer abhorre to par∣take of their brutish pleasures, lest I partake of their endlesse woes. If young Cyrus could refuse to drinke wine, and tell A stiages he thought it to bee poyson, for hee saw it metamorphose men into beastes and carkases: what would hee haue said, if hee had knowne that which we may know, that the wine of Drunkards is the wine of Sodom and Gomorrah, their grapes,* the grapes of gall, their clusters, the clusters of bitternesse, the iuice of Dragons, and the venome of Aspes. In which wordes, Moses is a full Commentary vpon Salo∣mon, largely expressing that hee speakes here more briefly, It stings like the Serpent, and bites like the Cockatrice: To the which I may Page 36 not vnfitly adde that of Pauls, and think I ought to write of such with more passion and compassion, then he did of the Christians in his time, which sure were not such mon∣sters as ours in the shapes of christi∣ans, Whose God is their belly (whom they serue with drinke offerings) whose glory is their shame, and whose end is damnation.
What then, take wee pleasure in thundring out Hell against Drun∣kards? is there nothing but death and damnation to Drunkards? No∣thing else to them, so continuing, so dying. But what is there no helpe nor hope, no Amulet, Antidote or Triacle, are there no presidents found of recouery. *Ambrose I re∣member, tels of one, that hauing been aspectacle of Drunkennesse, prooued after his conuersion a pat∣terne of sobriety. And I my selfe must confesse, that one haue I Page 37 knowne yet liuing, who hauing drunke out his bodily eyes, had his spirituall eyes opened, prooued di∣ligent in hearing and practising. Though the pit bee deepe, mierie and narrow, like that Dungeon in∣to which Ieremy was put, yet if it please God to let down the Cords of his diuine mercy, and cause the party to lay hold thereon, its possi∣ble they may escape the snares of death. There is euē for the most de∣bauched Drunkard that euer was,* a soueraigne medicine, a rich treacle of force enough to cure and reco∣uer his disease, to obtaine his par∣don, and to furnish him with strength to ouercome this deadly poyson, fatall to the most. And though wee may well say of it as men out of experience doe of quar∣tane agues, that it is the disgrace of all mortall Physick, of all re∣proofes, counsels and admoniti∣ons Page 38 Yet is there a salue for this sore, there came one from heauen that trode, the Winepresse of his Fathers fiercenesse, drunke of a cup tempered with all the bitternesse of Gods wrath and the diuels malice, that hee might heale euen such as haue drunke deepest of the sweete cup of sinne. And let all such know, that in all the former discouerie of this poyson, I haue onely aimed to cause them feele their sting, and that they might with earnest eyes behold the Brasen Serpent, and se∣riously repaire to him for mercie and grace, who is perfectly able to eiect euen this kind, which so rare∣ly and hardly is thrown out where once he gets possession. This seed of the Woman is able to bruise this Serpents head. Oh that they would listen to the gratious offers of Christ! If once there be wrought in thy soule a spirituall thirst after Page 39 mercy, as the thirstie land hath af∣ter raine, a longing appetite after the water that comes out of the Rocke, after the bloud that was shed for thee; then let him that is a thirst come, let him drinke of the water of life without any money; of which if thou hast tooke but one true and thorow draught, thou wilt neuer long after thy old puddle wa∣ters of sinne any more. Easie will it be for thee after thou hast tasted of the Bread and VVine in thy Fa∣thers house euer to loath the husks and swill thou wert wont to fol∣low after with greedinesse. The Lord Christ will bring thee into his mothers house, cause thee to drinke of his spiced wine,* of the new wine of the Pomegramate: Yea, he will bring thee into his cel∣lar, spread his Banner of loue ouer thee, stay thee with flagons,* fill thee with his loue, till thou beest ficke Page 40 and ouercome with the sweetnesse of his consolations. In other drink there is excesse, but here can be no danger. The diuell hath his inuita∣tion,*Come, let vs drinke; and Christ hath his inebriamini, Be ye filled with the spirit. Here is a fountaine set o∣pen, and proclamation made. And if it were possible for the brutish∣est Drunkard in the world to know, who it is that offereth, and what kind of water hee offereth, hee would aske, and God would giue it frankely without money, he should drinke liberally, be satisfied, and out of his belly should sally springs of the water of life, quenching and extinguishing all his inordinate lon∣gings after stolne waters of sin and death.
All this while, little hope haue I to worke vpon many Drunkards, especially by a Sermon read (on lesse life and force in Gods ordi∣nance, Page 41 and in it owne nature, then preached), my first drift is, to stirre-vp the spirits of Parents and Ma¦sters, who in all places complaine of this euill, robbing them of good seruants, and dutifull children, by all care and industrie to preuent it in their domesticall education, by carrying a watchfull and restrai∣ning hand ouer them. Parents, if you loue either soule or body, thrift or pietie, looke to keep them from this infection. Lay all the barres of your authoritie, cautions, threats and charges for the auoy∣ding of this epidemicall pestilence. If any of them bee bitten of this Cockatrice, sleepe not, rest not, till you haue cured them of it, if you loue their health, husbandry, grace, their present or future liues. Dead are they while they liue, if they liue in this sinne. Mothers, lay a∣bout you as Bathsheba, with all en∣treaties; Page 42 What my sonne, my sonne of my loues and delights, Wine is not for you, &c.
My next hope is, to arouse and awaken the vigilancy of all faithfull Pastors and Teachers. I speake not to such Starres as this Dragon hath swept downe from heauen with it tayle: for of such the Prophets, the Fathers of the Primitiue, yea, all ages complaine of. I hate and abhorre to mention this abomina∣tion: to alter the Prouerbe, As drunke as a Beggar, to a Gentleman, is odious; but to a Man of God, to an Angell, how harsh and hellish a sound is it in a Christians eares. I speake therefore to sober Watch∣men, Watch, and be sober, and labour to keepe your Charges sober and watchful, that they may be so found of him that comes like a thiefe in the night. Two meanes haue you of great vertue for the quelling of Page 43 this Serpent,* zealous preaching and praying against it. Its an old receiued Antidote, that mans spit∣tle, especially fasting spittle, is mor∣tall to Serpents. Saint Donatus is famous in storie for spitting vpon a Dragon that kept an high way, and deuoured many passengers. This haue I made good obseruation of, that where God hath raised vp zealous Preachers, in such townes this Serpent hath no nestling, no stabling or denning. If this will not doe, Augustine enforceth ano∣ther, which I conceiue Gods and Mans lawes allow vs vpon the rea∣son he giues: If Paul (saith he) for∣bid to eate with such our common bread in our owne priuate houses, how much more the Lords body in Church assemblies: if in our times this were strictly obserued, the Serpent would soone languish and vanish. In the time of an Epi∣demicall Page 44 disease, such as the Swea∣ting or Neezing sicknesse, a wise Physitian would leaue the study of all other diseases to find out the cure of the present raging euill. If Chrysostome were now aliue, the bent of all his Homilies, or at least one part of them should be spent to cry downe drunkennesse, as he did swearing in Antioch: neuer desist∣ing to reproue it, till (if not the feare of God, yet his importunitie, made them weary of the sinne.
Such Anakims and Zanzum∣mims, as the spirituall sword will not worke vpon, I turne them ouer to the Secular Arme, with a signi∣fication of the dangerous and con∣tagious spreading of this poyson in the veynes and bowels of the Com∣mon-wealth. In the Church and Christ his name also, intreating them to carry a more vigilant eye ouer the dens and burrowes of this Page 45 Cockatrice, Superfluous, Blinde, and Clandestine Ale-houses, I meane the very pest-houses of the Nation; which I could wish had all for their signe, a picture of some hideous serpent, or a paire of them, as the best hieroglyphick of the Genius of the place,* to warne pas∣sengers to shunne and auoyde the danger of them. Who sees and knowes not that some one needles Alehouse in a Country Towne, vn∣does all the rest of the houses in it, eating vp the thrift and fruit of their labours; the ill manner of sun∣dry places being, there to meet in some one night of the weeke, and spend what they haue gathered, and spared all the dayes of the same before, to the preiudice of their poore wiues and children at home; and vpon the Lords day (after eue∣ning Prayers) there to quench and drowne all the good lessons they Page 46 haue heard that day at Church. If this goe on, what shall become of vs in time? If woe bee to single drunkards, is not a Nationall woe to be feared & expected of a Nati∣on ouerrun with drunkennes? Had we no other sinne reigning but this (which cannot reigne alone) will not God iustly spue vs out of his mouth for this alone? We reade of whole Countries wasted, dispeo∣pled by Serpents. Pliny tells vs of the Amyclae, Lycophron, of Salamis, Herodotus of the Neuri, vtterly de∣populate and made inhabitable by them. Verely if this Cockatrise multiply and get head amongst vs a while longer, as they haue of late begun, where shall the people haue sober seruants to till their lands, or children to hold and enioy them. They speake of drayning Fens, but if this euill be not stopped, we shall all shortly be drowned with it. I Page 47 wish the Magistracy, Gentry, and Yeomanry would take it to serious consideration,* how to deale with this Serpent, before he grow too strong and fierce for them. It is past the egge already, and much at that passe, of which Augustine complaines of in his time, that hee scarce knew what remedy to ad∣uise, but thought, it required the meeting of a generall Councell. The best course I thinke of, is, if the great persons would first begin through reformation in their owne families, banish the spirits of their Buttries, abandon that foolish and vitious custome,* as Ambrose and Basil cals it, of drinking healths, and making that a sacrifice to God for the health of others, which is ra∣ther a sacrifice to the diuell, and a Bane of their owne, I remember well Sigismund the Emperours graue answere, wherein there con∣curred Page 48 excellent wisdom & wit sel∣dom meeting in one saying) which hee gaue before the Councell of Constance, to such as proposed a re∣formation of the Church to begin with the Franciscans, & Minorites. You will neuer do any good (saith he) vnles you begin with the Moio∣rites first. Sure til it be out of fashió & grace in gentlemens tables, but∣teries, and cellars, hardly shall you perswade the countriman to lay it down, who as in fashions so in vices wil euer be the Ape of the Gentry.
If this helpe not, I shall then con∣clude it to be such an euil as is only by Soueraigne power, & the Kings hand curable. And verily next vn∣der the word of God which is om∣nipotent,* how potent and wonder∣working is the word of a King? when both meet as the Sun, & some good star in a benigne coniunction, what enemy shall stand before the Page 49 sword of God & Gideon? what vice so predomināt which these subdue not. If the Lyon roare, what beast of the forrest shall not tremble and hide their head? Haue wee not a noble experiment hereof, yet fresh in our memory, and worthy neuer to dye in the timely & speedy sup∣pression of that impudent abhomi∣nation of womens Mannish habit, threatning the confusion of sexes, and ruine of modesty? The same Royall hand, and care the Church and Commonwealth implores for the vanquishing of this poyson, no lesse pernicious, more spreading, and preuailing. Take vs these little Foxes was wont to bee the suit of the Church, for they gnabble our Grapes, and hurt our tender bran∣ches: but now it is become more serious: Take vs these Serpents, lest they destroy our Vines, Vine∣dressers, Vineyards and all. This Page 50 hath euer been Royall game. How famous in the story of Diodorus Si∣culus, is the Royall munificence of Ptolomey King of Egypt, for proui∣sion of Nets, and maintenance of Huntsmen, for the taking and de∣stroying of Serpents, noxious and noysome to his countrey. The like of Philip in Aristotle, and of Attilius Regulus in Aulus Gellius. The Em∣bleme mentioned at large by Plu∣tarch, engrauen on Hercules shield, what is it but a Symbole of the di∣uine honor due to Princes follow∣ing their Herculean labours, in sub∣duing the like Hydraes, too mighty for any inferiour person to take in hand. It is their honor to tread vp∣on Basiliskes, and trample Dragons vnder their feet. Salomon thinkes it not vnworthy his Pen to discouer their danger.
A royall and eloquent Oration is happily and worthily preserued Page 51 in the large volume of ancient wri∣tings, with this title,*Oratio magni∣fici et pacifici Edgari Regis habita ad Dunstanum Archiep. Episcopos &c. The maine scope whereof is, to ex∣cite the Clergies care & deuotion for the suppressing of this vice for the common good. Vndertakers of difficult plots promise them∣selues speed and effect, if once they interest the King, and make him a party. And what more generally beneficiall can bee deuised or pro∣posed then this, with more honour and lesse charge to be effected, if it shal please his Maiesty but to make trial of the strēgth of his temporal & spiritual armes. For the effecting of it, if this help not, what haue we els remaining, but wishes & praiers to cast out this kind withall. God helpe vs. To him I commend the successe of these labors, & the van∣quishing of this Cockatrice.