A sermon preached at Plimmoth in Nevv-England December 9. 1621 In an assemblie of his Maiesties faithfull subiects, there inhabiting. VVherein is shevved the danger of selfe-loue, and the sweetnesse of true friendship. Together vvith a preface, shewing the state of the country, and condition of the sauages. Written in the yeare 1621.

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Title
A sermon preached at Plimmoth in Nevv-England December 9. 1621 In an assemblie of his Maiesties faithfull subiects, there inhabiting. VVherein is shevved the danger of selfe-loue, and the sweetnesse of true friendship. Together vvith a preface, shewing the state of the country, and condition of the sauages. Written in the yeare 1621.
Author
Cushman, Robert, 1579?-1625.
Publication
London :: Printed by I[ohn] D[awson] for Iohn Bellamie, and are to be sold at his shop at the two Grey-hounds in Corne-hill, neere the Royall Exchange,
1622.
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"A sermon preached at Plimmoth in Nevv-England December 9. 1621 In an assemblie of his Maiesties faithfull subiects, there inhabiting. VVherein is shevved the danger of selfe-loue, and the sweetnesse of true friendship. Together vvith a preface, shewing the state of the country, and condition of the sauages. Written in the yeare 1621." In the digital collection Early English Books Online. https://name.umdl.umich.edu/A19729.0001.001. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed June 18, 2024.

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But euery man anothers wealth.* 1.1

IN direct opposition, he should say,* 1.2 Let euery man seeke anothers, but the first part being compared with the latter, and (seeke) being ta∣ken out of the former and put to the latter, and (wealth) taken out or rather implied, in the former, the whole sentence is thus resolued, Let no man seeke his owne wealth, but let euery man seeke anothers wealth.

And the word here trnslated wealth, is the same with that in Rom. 13. 4. and may not be taken onely for riches, as English-men com∣monly vnderstand it, but for all kind of benefits, fauours, comforts, either for soule or body; and so here againe, as before, you must vn∣derstand an Affirmatiue Commandement, as the Negatiue was be∣fore: and least any should say, If I may not seeke my owne good, I may doe nothing; Yes, sayth Paul, Ile tell thee, thou shalt seeke the good of another, whereas now all thy seeking helps but one, by this meanes thou shalt helpe many: and this is further enforced by these two circumstances, (no man) may seeke his owne, be he rich, lear∣ned, wise, &c. But euery man must seeke the good of another.

The point of instruction is taken from the very letter and phrase,* 1.3 viz. A man must seeke the good, the wealth, the profit of others, I say, he must seeke it, he must seeke the comfort, profit, and bene∣fit of his neighbour, brother, associate, &c. His owne good he need not seeke, it will offer it selfe to him euery houre, but the good of others must be sought, a man must not stay from doing good to o∣thers till he is sought vnto, pulled and haled (as it were) like the vn∣iust Iudge,* 1.4 for euery benefit that is first craued, commeth too late. And thus the auncient Patriarkes did practise,* 1.5 when the trauayler

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and way-faring man came by, they did not tarry till they came and asked reliefe and refreshing,* 1.6 but sat at the gates to watch for such, and looked in the streets to find them,* 1.7 yea, set open their doores that they might freely and boldly enter in. And howsoeuer, some may thinke this too large a practise, since, now the world is so full of peo∣ple, yet I see not but the more people there is, the larger charitie ought to be.

But be it so as a man may neglect, in some sort the generall world, yet those to whom he is bound, either in naturall, ciuill, or religious bands, them he must seeke how to doe them good: A notable exam∣ple you haue in Dauid, who, because there was twixt him & Ionathan a band and couenant,* 1.8 therefore he enquired, Whether there was any left of the house of Saul, to whom he might shew mercy for Ionathans sake; So, this people of Corinth, to whom Paul writeth, they were in a spirituall league and couenant in the Gospell, and so were a body; Now for one member in the body to seeke himselfe, and neglect all other,* 1.9 were, as if a man should cloth one arme or one leg of his body with gold and purple, and let all the rest of the members goe naked.

Now brethren, I pray you, remember your selues, and know, that you are not in a retired Monasticall course, but haue giuen your names and promises one to another, and couenanted here to cleaue together in the seruice of God, and the King; What then must you doe? May you liue as retired Hermites? and looke after no body? Nay, you must seeke still the wealth of one another; And enquire as Dauid, how liueth such a man? How is he clad? How is he fed? He is my brother, my associate; we ventered our liues together here, and had a hard brunt of it, and we are in league together, is his la∣bour harder then mine? surely, I will ease him; hath he no bed to lie on? why, I haue two, Ile lend him one; hath he no apparel? why, I haue two suits, Ile giue him one of them; eates he course fare, bread and water, and I haue better? why, surely we will part stakes: He is as good a man as I, and we are bound each to other, so that his wnts must be my wants, his sorrowes my sorrowes, his sicknes my sicknes, and his welfare my welfare, for I am as he is. And such a sweet sympathie were excellent, comfortable, yea, heauenly, and is the onely maker and conseruer of Churches and common-wealths, and where this is wanting, ruine comes on quickly, as it did here in Corinth.

But besides these motiues,* 1.10 there are other reasons to prouoke vs not onely to doe good one to another; but euen to seeke and search how to doe it.

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As first, to maintaine modestie in all our associates, that of hun∣grie wanters they become not bold beggers and impudent crauers, for as one sayth of women, that, when they haue lost their shamefast∣nes, they haue lost halfe their honestie, so may it truely be sayd of a man, that when he hath lost his modestie, and puts on a begging face, he hath lost his maiestie, and the Image of that noble creature, and man should not begge and craue of man but onely of God; true it is,* 1.11 that as Christ was faine to craue water of the Samaritan wo∣man, so men are forced to aske sometimes rather then starue, but indeede in all societies it should be offered them, men often com∣plaine of mens boldnes in asking, but how commeth this to passe, but because the world hath beene so full of selfe-louers, as no man would offer their money, meate, garmentes, though they saw men hungrie, harborlesse, poore, and naked in the streetes; and what is it that makes men brazen faced, bold, bruitish, tumul∣tuous, mutinous, but because they are pinched with want, and see others of their Companions (which it may be haue lesse deserued) to liue in prosperitie and pleasure?

It wonderfully encourageth men in their dueties,* 1.12 when they see the burthen equally borne; but when some withdraw themselues and retire to their owne particular ease, pleasure, or profit; what heart can men haue to goe on in their businesse? when men are come together, to lift some weighty peece of tymber or vessell; if one stand still and doe not lift, shall not the rest be weakned and dishart∣ned? will not a few idle droanes spoyle the whole stocke of labo∣rious Bees: so one idle belly, one murmurer, one complainer, one selfe-louer will weaken and disharten a whole Colonie. Great mat∣ters haue beene brought to passe, where men haue cheerefully as with one heart, hand, and shoulder, gone about it both in warres, buildings, and plantations, but where euery man seekes himselfe, all commeth to nothing.

The present necessitie requireth it,* 1.13 as it did in the dayes of the Iewes,* 1.14 returning from captiuitie, and as it was here in Corinth. The Countrey is yet raw, the land vntilled, the Cities not builded, the Cattell not setled, we are compassed about with a helplesse and idle people, the natiues of the Countrey, which cannot in any comely or comfortable manner helpe themselues, much lesse vs. Wee also haue beene very chargeable to many of our louing friends, which helped vs hither, and now againe supplyed vs, so that before we thinke of gathering riches,* 1.15 we must euen in Conscience thinke of requiting their charge, loue, and labour, and cursed be that profit and gaine which aymeth not at this. Besides, how many of our deare friends, did here die at our first entrance, many of them no doubt for want of good lodging, shelter, and comfortable things, and ma∣ny

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more may goe after them quickly, if care be not taken. Is this then a time for men to begin to seeke themselues?* 1.16 Paul sayth, that men in the last dayes shall be louers of themselues, but it is here yet but the first dayes, and (as it were) the dawning of this new world, it is now therefore no time for men to looke to get riches, braue clothes, daintie fare, but to looke to present necessities; it is now no time to pamper the flesh, liue at ease, snatch, catch, scrape, and pill, and hoord vp, but rather to open the doores, the chests, and vessels, and say, brother, neighbour, friend, what want yee, any thing that I haue? make bold with it, it is yours to command, to doe you good, to comfort and cheerish you, and glad I am that I haue it for you.

And euen the example of God himselfe,* 1.17 whom we should follow in all things within our power and capacitie,* 1.18 may teach vs this les∣son, for (with reuerence to his Maiestie be it spoken) he might haue kept all grace,* 1.19 goodnesse, and glory to himselfe, but he hath communicated it to vs,* 1.20 euen as farre as we are capable of it in this life,* 1.21 and will communicate his glory in all fulnesse with his Elect in that life to come;* 1.22 euen so his Sonne Christ Iesus left his glo∣ry eclipsed for a time,* 1.23 and abased himselfe to a poore and distres∣sed life in this world, that he might, by it, bring vs to happinesse in the world to come. If God then haue delighted in this doing good and relieuing frayle and miserable man, so farre inferior to himselfe, what delight ought man to haue to relieue and comfort man, which is equall to himselfe?

Euen as we deale with others,* 1.24 our selues and others shall be dealt withall,* 1.25 carest thou not how others fare, how they toile, are grieued, sicke,* 1.26 pinched, cold, harborlesle, so as thou be in health, liuest at ease, warme in thy nest, farest well? The dayes will come when thou shalt labour and none shall pittie thee, be poore and none relieue thee, be sicke, and lie and die and none visit thee, yea, and thy chil∣dren shall lie and statue in the streets, and none shall relieue them, for it is the mercifull that shall obtaine mercy;* 1.27 and the memory of the Iust shall be blessed euen in his seede;* 1.28 and a mercifull and louing man when he dies, though he leaue his children small and desolate, yet euery one is mercifully stirred vp for the Fathers sake to shew compassion, but the vnkindnesse, currishnesse, and selfe-loue of a Fa∣ther,* 1.29 is thorow Gods iust iudgement recompenced vpon the chil∣dren with neglect and crueltie.

Lastly,* 1.30 that we may draw to an end; A mercilesse man, and a man without naturall affection or loue, is reckoned among such as are giuen ouer of God to a reprobate minde,* 1.31 and (as it were) transformed into a beast-like humor; for, what is a man if he be not

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sociable, kinde, affable, free hearted, liberall; He is a beast in the shape of a man; or rather an infernall Spirit, walking amongst men which makes the world a hell what in him lieth; for, it is e∣uen a hell to liue where there are many such men: such the Scrip∣ture calleth Nabals,* 1.32 which signifieth fooles and decayed men, which haue lost both the sap of grace and nature; and such merciles men are called Goats,* 1.33 and shall be set at Christs left hand at the last day; Oh therefore seeke the wealth one of another.

But some will say,* 1.34 it is true, and it were well, if men would so doe, but we see euery man is so for himselfe, as that if I should not doe so, I should doe full ill, for if I haue it not of my owne, I may snap short sometimes, for I see no body sheweth me any kindnesse, nor giueth me any thing; if I haue gold and siluer, that goeth for pay∣ment, and if I want it, I may lie in the streete, therefore I were best keepe that I haue, and not be so liberall as you would haue me, except I saw others would be so towards me.

This Obiection seemeth but equall and reasonable, as did the Answere of Naball to Dauids men,* 1.35 but it is most foolish and car∣nall, as his also was; for, if we should measure our courses by most mens practises, a man should neuer doe any godly dutie; for,* 1.36 doe not the most, yea, almost all, goe the broad way that lea∣deth to death and damnation? who then will follow a multitude? It is the word of God, and the examples of the best men that we must follow. And what if others will doe nothing for thee, but are vnkinde, and vnmercifull to thee? Knowest thou not that they which will be the children of God must be kinde to the vnkinde,* 1.37 louing to their enemies, and blesse those that curse them? If all men were kinde to thee, it were but Publicans right eousnesse to be kinde to them; If all men be euill, wilt thou be so too? When Dauid cryed out; Helpe Lord, for not a godly man is left. Did he him∣selfe turne vngodly also?* 1.38 Nay, he was rather the more strict: So, if loue and charitie be departed out of this world, be thou one of them that shall first bring it in againe.* 1.39

And let this be the first rule, which I will with two others con∣clude for this time.

Neuer measure thy course by the most,* 1.40 but by the best, yea, and principally by Gods word; Looke not what others doe to thee, but consider what thou art to doe to them; seeke to please God, not thy selfe: did they in Mathew 25. 44. plead, that others did no∣thing for them? No such matter, no such plea will stand before God, his word is plaine to the contrary, therefore, though all the world should neglect thee, disregard thee, and contemne

Page 17

thee, yet remember thou hast not to doe with men, but with the highest God, and so thou must doe thy dutie to them notwithstan∣ding.

And let there be no Prodigall person to come forth and say,* 1.41 Giue me the portion of lands and goods that appertineth to me,* 1.42 and let me shift for my selfe; It is you too soone to put men to their shits; Israel was seauen yoares in Canaan, before the land was de∣uided vnto Tribes, much longer, before it was deuided vnto Fa∣milies: And why wouldest thou haue thy particular portion, but because thou thinkest to liue better then thy neighbour, and scor∣nest to liue so meanely as he? but who, I pray thee, brought this particularizing first into the world?* 1.43 Did not Sathan, who was not content to keepe that equall state with his fellowes,* 1.44 but would set his throne aboue the Starres?* 1.45 Did not he also entise man to de∣spise his generall felicitie and happinesse, and goe trie particular knowledge of good and euill? And nothing in this world doth more resemble heauenly happinesse,* 1.46 then for men to liue as one, being of one heart,* 1.47 and one soule; neither any thing more resembles hel∣lish horror, then for euery man to shift for himselfe; for if it be a good minde and practise, thus to affect particulars, mine and thine, then it should be best also for God to prouide one heauen for thee, and another for thy neighbour.

But some will say,* 1.48 if all men would doe their endeuour as I doe, I could be content with this generalitie, but many are idle and sloathful, and eate vp others labours, and therefore it is best to part, and then euery man may doe his pleasure.

First,* 1.49 This, indeed, is the common plea of such as will endure no inconueniences, and so for the hardnesse of mens hearts, God and man doth often giue way to that which is not best,* 1.50 nor perpetuall,* 1.51 but indeede if wee take this course, to change ordi∣nances and practises, because of inconueniences, wee shall haue, euery day, new lawes.

Secondly,* 1.52 If others be idle, and thou diligent, thy fellowship, prouocation, and example may well helpe to cure that maladie in them, being together, but being asunder, shall they not be more idle, and shall not Gentrie and Beggerie be quickly the glorious En∣signes of your Common-wealth?

Thirdly,* 1.53 Construe things in the best part, be not too hastie to say,* 1.54 men are idle and slouthfull, all men haue not strength, skill, fa∣cultie, spirit, and courage to worke alike; it is thy glory and cre∣dit,

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that canst doe so well, and his shame and reproach, that can doe no better; and are not these sufficient rewards to you both?

Fourthly, if any be idle apparantly, you haue a Law and Go∣uernours to execute the same, and to follow that rule of the A∣postle,* 1.55 to keepe backe their bread, and let them not eate, goe not therefore whisperingly,* 1.56 to charge men with idlenesse; but goe to the Gouernour and proue them idle; and thou shalt see them haue their deserts.* 1.57

And as you are a body together, so hang not together by skins and gymocks, but labour to be ioynted together and knit by flesh and synewes; away with enuie at the good of others, and reioyce in his good,* 1.58 and sorrow for his euill, let his ioy bee thy ioy, and his sorrow thy sorrow:* 1.59 let his sicknesse be thy sicknesse: his hunger thy hunger: his pouertie thy pouertie: And if you professe friend∣ship,* 1.60 be friends in aduersities: for then a friend is knowne, and try∣ed, and not before.

Lay away all thought of former thinges and forget them,* 1.61 and thinke vpon the things that are,* 1.62 looke not gapingly one vpon o∣ther, pleading your goodnesse, your birth, your life you haue li∣ued, your meanes you had and might haue had, heere you are by Gods prouidence, vnder difficulties, be thankfull to God, it is no worse, and take it in good part that which is, and lift not vp your selues because of former priuiledges,* 1.63 when Iob was brought to the dunghill, he sate downe vpon it. And when the Almightie had beene bitter to Naomie,* 1.64 shee would bee called Marah, consider therefore what you are now, and where you are, say not I could haue liued thus and thus; but say, thus and thus I must liue: for God, and na∣turall necessitie requireth, if your difficulties be great, you had neede to cleaue the faster together,* 1.65 and comfort and cheere vp one ano∣ther, laboring to make each others burden lighter, there is no griefe so tedious as a churlish companion, and nothing makes sorrowes easie more then cheerefull associates:* 1.66 Beareye therefore one ano∣thers burthen,* 1.67 and be not a burthen one to another, auoide all factions,* 1.68 frowardnes, singularitie, and withdrawings, and cleaue fast to the Lord,* 1.69 and one to another continually; so shall you bee a notable preside it to these poore Heathens, whose eyes are vpon you, and who very bruitishly and cruelly doe dayly eate and con∣sume one another, through their emulations, warres, and con∣tentions; bee you therefore ashamed of it, and winne them to peace both with your selues, and one another, by your peaceable examples, which will preach louder to them, then if you could crie in their Barbarous language:* 1.70 So also shall you bee an en∣couragement

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to many of your Christian friendes in your natiue Countrey, to come to you, when they heare of your peace, loue, and kindnesse that is amongst you:* 1.71 But aboue all, it shall goe well with your soules, when that GOD of peace and vnity shall come to visite you with death, as hee hath done many of your associates, you being found of him, not in murmu∣rings, discontent and iarres, but in brotherly loue,* 1.72 and peace, may bee translated from this wandring wildernesse, vnto that ioyfull and hea∣uenly Canaan.* 1.73 (∵)

FINIS.

Notes

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