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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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.
Cushman, Robert, 1579?-1625.
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,

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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 24, 2024.


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A SERMON PREACHED at Plimmoth, in New-England.

1. Cor. 10. 24.
Let no man seeke his owne,* 1.1 But euery man ano∣thers wealth.

THE occasion of these words of the Apostle Paul,* 1.2 was because of the abuses which were in the Church of Corinth. Which abuses arose cheifly thorow swelling pride, selfe-loue and conceitednes, for although this Church were planted by Paul, and watred by Apollo, and much increased by the Lord; yet the sower of tares was not wanting to stirre vp euill workers and fleshly minded hypocrites,* 1.3 vnder a shew of godlines, and with Angellike holinesse in appearance to creepe in amongst them to disturbe their peace,* 1.4 trie their soundnesse, and proue their constancie.* 1.5 And this the Apostle complaines of very often: as first, in their carnall deuisions, Chap. 1. then in their extolling their eloquent teachers, and despising Paul, Chap. 4. Then in their offensiue going to Law, before the heathen Iudges Chap. 6. Then in eating things offered to Idols, to the destroying of the tender consciences of their Brethren, Chap. 8. Then in their in∣satiable loue-feastes, in the time and place of their Church mee∣tings, the rich which could together feede to fulnes, despising and contemning the poore, that had not to lay it on as they had, Chap 11.* 1.6 Finally in both the Epistles, hee very often nippeth them for their pride, and selfe-loue, straitnesse and censorioushes, so that in the last Chapter hee willeth them againe and againe to proue,* 1.7 trie and examine themselues, to see whether Christ were

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in them or not, for howsoeuer many of them seemed as thousands doe at this day, to soare aloft, and goe with full sayle to heauen: yet as men that row in Boats,* 1.8 set their faces earnestly one way, when yet their whole body goeth apace another way: so there are many which set such a face vppon Religion,* 1.9 and haue their mouthes full of great swelling words: as if they would euen blow open the doores of heaven, despising all humble minded and bro∣ken hearted people,* 1.10 as weake, simple, sottish &c. when yet not∣withstanding, these Blusterers, which seeme to goe so fast, and leaue all others behind them, if like these glosing Corinthians they carry affectedly their owne glory with them,* 1.11 and seeme thus to stand for the glory of God, What doe they else but ioyne flesh to spirit,* 1.12 seruing not God for nought, but for wages, and so seruing their bellies,* 1.13 whose end will be damnation, except a speedi and sound remedie be thought of, which remedie is euen that which our Sauiour teacheth the rich young gallant, and which Paul heere prescribeth,* 1.14 in willing them not to seeke their owne, but e∣uerie man anothers wealth, which Physicke is as terrible to car∣nall professors, as abstinence from drinke is to a man that hath the dropsie: and it is a sure note, that a man is sicke of this disease of selfe-loue, if this be grieuous to him, as appeareth in the man whom Christ bid sell that hee had,* 1.15 and hee went away very sor∣rowfull, yet surely this veine must bee pricked, and this humor let out, els it will spoyle all, it will infect both soule and body, yea and the contagion of it is such (as wee shall see anone) as will euen hazard the welfare of that societie, where selfe seekers and selfe louers are.

As God then did direct this Apostle to lay downe this briefe direction as a remedy for that euill in Corinth, so you may thinke it is by Gods speciall providence,* 1.16 that I am now to speake vnto you from this text: and say in your hearts surely some thing is amisse this way: let vs know it and amend it.

The parts of this text are two.* 1.17 1. a Dehortation, 2. an Exhortati∣on. The Dehortation. Let no man seeke his owne. The Exhortation But euery man anothers wealth.

In handling of which,* 1.18 I will first, open the wordes. Secondly, gather the Doctrine. Thirdly, illustrate the Doctrine by Scrip∣tures, experience and Reasons. Fourthly, apply the same, to euery one his portion.

The proper drift of the Apostle heere is not to taxe the Corinthi∣ans, for seeking their owne euill endes in euill actions,* 1.19 but for aiming at themselues, and their owne benefits in actions lawfull, and that appeareth in the former verse, where he sayth. All things are lawfull &c. viz. all such thinges as now wee speake of, to eate any of Gods creatures, offered to Idols or not, to feast and bee

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merrie together, to shew loue and kindnesse to this or that per∣son, &c. but when by such meanes wee seeke our selues, and haue not a charitable louing and reuerent regard of others, then they are vnexpedient, vnprofitable, yea vnlawfull, and must bee for∣borne, and hee that hath not learned to denie himselfe euen the very vse of lawfull things, when it tendeth to the contempt, re∣proch, greife offence, and shame of his other Brethren and Asso∣ciats, hath learned nothing aright, but is apparantly a man that seekes himselfe, and against whom the Apostle heere dealeth most properly.

The maner of the speech may seeme as counsell left at libertie:* 1.20 as Mat. 27. 49. and in our ordinary speech, wee thinke they be but weake charges, which are thus deliuered, let a man doe this, or let him doe that. But wee must learne the Apostles modestie, and know that whatsoeuer the termes seeme to imply, yet euen this and other the like in this Epistle, are most absolute charges: as Let a man esteeme of vs,* 1.21 as the ministers of Christ, that is, a man ought so to esteeme of vs.* 1.22 Let a man examine himselfe, that is, as if he sayd a man must examine himselfe,* 1.23 Let your women keepe silence in the Churches. that is, they ought so to doe.

The meaning then summarily is, as if hee sayd, the bane of all these mischeifes which arise amongst you is, that men are to cleauing to themselues, and their owne matters, and disregarde and contemne all others: and therefore I charge you, let this selfe-seeking be left off, and turne the streame another way, namely, seeke the good of your Brethren, please them, honor them, rue∣rence them, for otherwise it will neuer goe well amongst you.

But doth not the Apostle else wheresay?* 1.24 That hee, which careth not for his owne,* 1.25 is worse then an Infidell.

True but by (owne) there, he meaneth properly,* 1.26 a mans kin∣dred, and heere by (owne) hee meaneth properly a mans selfe.

Secondly, Hee there especially taxeth such as were negligent in their labours and callings, and so made themselues vnable to giue releife and entertainement to such poore Widowes and Orphans as were of their owne flesh and bloud.

Thirdly, Be it so that some man should euen neglect his owne selfe, his owne wife, children, friends, &c. and giue that hee had to strangers, that were but some rare vice, in some one vnnaturall man, and if this vice stay a thousand, selfe-loue slayeth ten thou∣sand.

And this the wisedome of God did well forsee, and hath set no caueats in the Scriptures either to taxe men, or forewarne them from louing others, neither sayth God any wher, let no man seeke the good of another, but let no man seeke his owne, and euerie where in the Scriptures he hath set watch words against selfe-good,

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selfe-profit, selfe-seeking, &c. And thus the sence beeing cleared, I come to the doctrine.

All men are to to apt and readie to seeke themselues to much,* 1.27 and to preferre their owne matters and causes beyond the due and lawfull measure,* 1.28 euen to excesse and offence against God, yea danger of their owne soules, and this is true not onely in wicked men which are giuen ouer of God to vile lusts, as Absolon in get∣ting fauour in his Fathers Court:* 1.29 Ieroboam, in setling his kingdome fast in Samaria,* 1.30 Ahab in vehement seeking Nabths vineyard, but men,* 1.31 otherwise godly, haue through frailtie beene foyled heere∣in, and many thousands which haue a shew of godlinesse,* 1.32 are lo∣uers of themselues:* 1.33 Dauid was about to seeke himselfe when he was going to kill Naball;* 1.34 Asa in putting Hanani in prison; Iosiah when hee would goe warre with Necho,* 1.35 against the counsell of God and reason;* 1.36 Peter when hee dissembled about the Ceremonies of the Law,* 1.37 yea and Paul complaines of all his followers (Timothie ex∣cepted that they sought their owne to inordinately.

And why else are these caueats in the Scriptures, but to warne the godly that they bee not tainted herewith?* 1.38 as looke not euery man on his owne things,* 1.39 but on the things of another: Loue seeketh not her owne things.* 1.40 Be not desirous of vaine glory. &c.

Yea and doth not experience teach,* 1.41 that euen amongst profes∣sors of Religion, almost all the loue and fauour that is shewed vnto others is with a secret ayme at themselues, they will take paines to doe a man good, prouided that he will take twise so much for them they will giue a penny so as it may aduantage them a pound, la∣bor hard so as all the profite may come to themselues, else they are hartlesse and feeble.* 1.42 The vaine and corrupt heart of man cannot better be resembled then by a belly-god, Host, or Inkeeper, which welcommeth his guests with smilings, and salutations, and a thou∣sand welcomes, and reioyceth greatly to haue their companie to dice, card, eate, drinke, and bee merrie, but should not the box be paid, the pot be filling, and the money telling, all this while the Epicures ioy would soone be turned into sorrow, and his smiles turned into frownes, and the doore set open, and their absence cra∣ued: euen so men blow the bellowes hard, when they haue an I∣ron of their owne a heating, worke hard whilest their owne house is in building, dig hard whilest their owne garden is in planting, but is it so as the profit must goe wholy or partly to others, their handes waxe feeble, their hearts waxe faint, they grow churlish and giue crosse answers like Naball, they are sowre, discontent, and nothing will please them.* 1.43 And where is that man to be found, that will sparse abroad,* 1.44 and cast his bread vpon the waters, that will lend look∣ing for nothing againe,* 1.45 that will doe all duties to others freely and cheerefully in conscience of God,* 1.46 and loue vnto men without his

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close and secret ends, or ayming at himself? such a man, out of doubt, is a blacke Swanne, a white Crowe almost, and yet such shall stand before God with boldnesse at the last day, when others which haue sought themselues, though for loue of themselues they haue sought heauen, yea and through selfe loue perswaded themselues they shoulde finde it, yet wanting loue vnto others, they will be found as sounding brasse,* 1.47 and as a tinkling Cimbale, and whilst they haue neglected others, and not cared how others liue, so as themselues may fare well,* 1.48 they will be found amongst them, that the Lord will say vnto, I know you not, depart ye cursed into euerlasting fie.

But that I may not walke in generalities,* 1.49 the particular wayes by which men seeke their owne are these, First such as are couetous, seeke their owne by seeking riches, wealth, money, as Foelix preten∣ding loue vnto Paul, sent for him often, but it was in hope of mony, [ 1] Many there are who say,* 1.50 who will shew vs any good, and pretend Religion,* 1.51 as some of the Iewes did the keeping of the Sabboth, which yet cryed out when will the Sabboth bee done, that wee may sell corne and gaine,* 1.52 if a man can tell them how to get gold out of a flint, and siluer out of the Adamant, no paines shalbe spared, no time shall bee neglected, for gold is their hope, and the wedge of gold is their confidence,* 1.53 their hearts are set vpon the pelfe of this world, and for loue of it, all thinges are let slipp, euen all duties to God or men, they care not how basely they serue, how wretchedly they neglect all others, so as they may get wealth: pinch who will? and wring who will, all times are alike with them, and they runne for the bribe like Gehazie,* 1.54 and this is the first way that men seeke their owne.

Now the contrary is seene in Nehemiah,* 1.55 who when the people were hard put to it, and the land raw, he tooke not the dueties which were due to him being a Magistrate, he bought no land, nor grewe not rich, for it was no time: but he maintained at his table many of his brethren the Iewes,* 1.56 and so spent euen his owne proper goods. And Paul sought not mans gold nor siluer,* 1.57 but though hee had au∣thoritie, yet he tooke not bread of the Churches, but laboured with his hands: And why? It was no time to take, some Churches were poore and stood in want,* 1.58 as Thessalonica, others were in danger to be preyed vpon by couetous belly-gods,* 1.59 as Corinth: and therefore hee saw it no fit time now to take any thing of them.

And indeede heere is the difference betweene a couetous world∣ling, and an honest thriftie Christian, it is lawfull sometimes for men to gather wealth, and grow rich, euen as there was a time for Ioseph to store vp corne,* 1.60 but a godly and sincere Christian will see when this time is, and will not hord vp when he seeth others of his brethren and associates to want, but then is a time, if hee haue any thing to fetch it out and disperse it, but the couetous gather good, he

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like Achan couets all that he seeth,* 1.61 and neglects no time, but ga∣thers still and holds all fast, and if it were to saue the life of his bro∣ther, his baggs must not be minished, nor his chestes lighted, nor his field set to sale, gather as much as he can, but its death to diminish the least part of it.

[ 2] The second way by which men seeke their owne, is when they seeke ease,* 1.62 or pleasure, as the Scribes and Pharisies, who would not touch the burthen with one of their fingers; so, there is a generati∣on, which thinke to haue more in this world then Adams felicitie in Innocencie,* 1.63 being borne (as they thinke) to take their pleasures, and their ease,* 1.64 let the roofe of the house drop thorow, they stirre not;* 1.65 let the field be ouer-growne with weeds, they care not, they must not soile their hand, nor wet their foote, its enough for them to say, Goe you, not let vs goe, though neuer so much need; such idle Droanes are intollerable in a setled Common-wealth, much more in a Common-wealth which is but as it were in the bud; of what earth I pray thee art thou made, of any better then other of the sonnes of Adam? And canst thou see other of thy brethren toile their hearts out, and thou sit idle at home, or takest thy pleasure a∣broad? Remember the example of Vriah,* 1.66 who would not take his ease, nor his pleasure, though the King required him, and why? Because his brethren, his associates, better men then himselfe (as he esteemed them) were vnder hard labours and conditions, lay in the fields in tents, caues, &c.

[ 3] The third way is when men seeke their owne bellies, as some did in the Apostles times, which went about with new doctrines and deuices,* 1.67 knowing that the people had itching eares, and would ea∣sily entertaine, and willingly feede such nouelists, which brought in dissensions, schismes, and contentions, and such were rocks, or pil∣lars in their loue-feasts,* 1.68 as Iude speaketh, they were shaddowes in Gods seruice, but when feasting came, then they were substances, then they were in their element. And certainely there are some men which shape euen their Religion, humaine state, and all, euen as the belly cheare is best, and that they must haue, els all heart and life is gone, let all conscience, care of others goe, let Lazarus starue at the gate, let Iosephs affliction be increased, they must haue their dishes, their dainties,* 1.69 or no content. The contrary was seene in Nehemiah, who would not take his large portion alotted to the gouernour, because he knew it went short with others of his brethren; and Vriah would not receiue the Kings present and goe banquet with his wife, because he knew the whole Hoast his brethren were faine to snap short in the fields.

And the difference betweene a temperate good man, and a belly-God is this:* 1.70 A good man will not eate his morsels alone, especi∣ally if he haue better then other, but if by Gods prouidence, he haue

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gotten some meate which is better then ordinary, and better then his other brethrens, he can haue no rest in himselfe, except he make other partaker with him. But a belly-God will slop all in his owne throat, yea, though his neighbour come in and behold him eate, yet his griple gut shameth not to swallow all. And this may be done sometimes, as well in meane fare as in greater dainties, for all coun∣tries afford not alike.

The fourth way by which men seeke their owne, is by seeking [ 4] outward honour,* 1.71 fame, and respect with men, as King Saul when he had lost all respect and fauour with God, then thought to giue con∣tent to his heart by being honoured before the Elders of the peo∣ple; and it is wonderfull to see how some men are desirous of vaine glory,* 1.72 and how earnestly they seeke prayse, fauour, and respect with men, and can haue no quiet longer then their worldly fauour la∣steth, and that they will haue what dishonour soeuer come to God, or disgrace vnto men, yea, they will disgrace, reproch, and disdaine others, to gaine honour and aduancement to themselues, yea, they will make bold with the Scriptures and word of God, to wrest and wring, and slight it ouer for their credits sake. And let a man marke some mens talke, stories, discourses, &c. and he shall see their whole drift is to extoll and set out themselues, and get praise and commen∣dations of men.

Now the contrary was seene in Paul,* 1.73 he sayth, He needed no letters of commendations.* 1.74 And againe, He is not affected with mens prayse; and here is indeed the difference betweene an humble minded Christian, and a proud selfe-louer; an humble man often hath prayse,* 1.75 as Dauid, Hezekiah, and Iosiah, but he seekes it not, he desires it not,* 1.76 he is content to goe without it, he loues not the prayse of men, for he knowes it is but froth and vanitie: But a proud selfe-lo∣uer, he seekes it still, get it or not get it, and if he get it he is fully satisfied, if he get it not he hangs the head like a Bull-rush, and hath no comfort.

The fift way by which men seeke their owne, is by seeking to haue [ 5] their wils,* 1.77 as the wrong doers in Corinth, who thought it not enough to doe wrong and harme to their brethren, but to haue their wills enough of them, drew them before the Heathen Magistrates.

And truely, some men are so Prince-like, or rather Papall, that their very will and word is become a law, and if they haue said it, it must be so, els there is no rest nor quietnesse to be had, let neuer so many reasons be brought to the contrary, its but fighting with the winde. They are like the obstinate Iewes, who, when against Gods law & reason,* 1.78 they had asked a King, though Samuel shewed them that it would turne in the end to their owne smart, yet still held the conclusion, and sayd, nay, But we will haue a King. Thus men are caught by their owne words, and insnared by the

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straitnes of their owne hearts, and it is death to them not to haue their wils,* 1.79 and howsoeuer sometimes (like Iezabell) they are cut short of their purposes, yet selfe-willed men will strout and swell like Absolon,* 1.80 saying neither good nor bad, but hope for the day, and threaten like prophane Esall:* 1.81 Now the contrary is seene in Dauid, though a Prince, a Captaine, a Warriour, who hauing sayd, yea, sworne, that he would kill Naball, and all his family that day, yet vp∣on reasonable counsell giuen,* 1.82 and that but by a weake woman, he changed his minde, altered his purpose, and returned, without striking one stroake, an example rare, and worthy imitation; and when men are sicke of will, let them thinke of Dauid, it was his grace and honour to goe backe from his word and practise, when reason came;* 1.83 So was it Herods disgrace and shame to hold his word and will against reason and conscience.

But some man happily will say vnto me,* 1.84 It is true, that men seeke their owne by all these wayes, But what should be the reason and cause of this? that men seeke so earnestly themselues, in seeking ri∣ches, honour, ease, belly-cheare, will, &c. something there is that carrieth them.

True, and the reasons and causes are specially these three;

First,* 1.85 pride and high conceitednes, when men ouer-value them∣selues: And this made Absolon to seeke his Fathers kingdome,* 1.86 be∣cause he thought himselfe worthy of it.:* 1.87 This made Haman so sore vexed,* 1.88 because Mordecai bowed not to him, because he highly va∣lued himselfe.

And surely, that which a man valueth at much, he giueth much re∣spect to, and so it is a sure signe that a man loues himselfe most when he giueth most to himselfe, and some intollerable proud per∣sons euen thinke all the world is for them, and all their purposes and endeuours shew what a large conceit they haue of themselues.

Secondly,* 1.89 want of due consideration and valuation of other mens endowments, abilities, and deserts, when men passe those things by,* 1.90 though they haue both seene, heard, and felt them, as Pharaohs Butler forgat Iosephs eminency when he was restored to his place, so men vse to write their owne good actions in Brasse, but o∣ther mens in Ashes, neuer remembring nor considering the paynes, labour, good properties, &c. which others haue, and so they haue no loue to them, but onely to themselues; as if God had made all other men vnreasonable Beasts, and them onely reasonable men.

Thirdly,* 1.91 want of a heauenly conuersation, and spirituall eye to behold the glory, greatnesse, and maiestie, and goodnesse of God, as the Queene of Sheba thought highly of her own glory, wisedome, and happinesse,* 1.92 till she saw Salomons wisedome and glory, and then she cryed out, not of the happinesse of her owne seruants, but of his seruants that stood before him; and verily, if men were conuersant

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Courtiers in heauen,* 1.93 they would cry out with Paul, Oh the deepnesse of the riches, wisedome, and knowledge of God, &c. and would be asha∣med of their owne sinfulnesse,* 1.94 nakednesse, and misery; for, as coun∣try men which neuer saw the state of Cities, nor the glory of courts, admire euen their owne countrey orders: And as the Sauages here which are clad in skinnes, and creepe in woods and holes, thinke their owne brutish and inhumane life the best, which if they saw and did rightly apprehend the benefit of comely humanity, the sweetnes of Religion, and the seruice of God, they would euen shamefully hide themselues from the eye of all noble Christians.

Euen so, if men in serious contemplation, by the eye of faith, would behold the glory of God, and what great riches, beautie, fulnesse, perfection, power, dignitie, and greatnesse is in God, they would leaue admiring of themselues, and seeking of themselues, and would say with Dauid,* 1.95 What am I? And what is my Fathers house? that thou shouldest thus blesse me?* 1.96 Yea, What is man? or the sonne of man that thou so regardest him?

But it is time that we now come to apply these things more par∣ticularly to our selues, and see what vse is to be made of them.

Is it so that God seeth a proannes in all the sonnes of Adam,* 1.97 to seeke themselues too much, and hath giuen them warnings and watch words thereof, as we haue heard, and doth experience con∣firme it? Then hence are reproued a number of men, who thinke they can neuer shew loue enough to themselues, nor seeke their own enough, but thinke all cost, charges, cheerishing, prayse, honour, &c. too little for them,* 1.98 and no man needeth say to them, as Peter did to Christ, fauour thy selfe, but if they doe a little for another man, they account it a great matter, though it be but a morsell of bread, or a single penny; but no varieties of dainties is too good for them, no silke, purple, cloth, or stuffe is too good to cloth them, the poore mans idlenesse and ill husbandry is oft throwne in his dish, but their owne carnall delights and fleshly wantonnesse is neuer thought vp∣on: and why? Because they thinke euen God and man owes all to them, but they owe nothing to none. Why, thou foolish and besot∣ted man, hath not the holy Ghost read it in the face of euery sonne of Adam, that he is too apt to seeke his owne, and art thou wiser then God, to thinke thou neuer seekest thine owne enough? or dreamest thou that thou art made of other, and better mettall then other men are? Surely, I know no way to escape, hauing of corrup∣tion to thy Father, and the worme to thy sister and brother. And if God had any where in all the Scriptures sayd, loue thy selfe, make much of thy selfe, prouide for one, &c. there were some reason for thee to take vp the Nigards Prouerbs, Euery man for himselfe, and

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God for vs all; Charitie beginneth at home, &c. But God neuer taught thee these things; No, they are Sathans positions: Doth God euer commend a man for carnall loue of himselfe?* 1.99 Nay, he brands it, and disgraceth it,* 1.100 as selfe-loue; taking thought for the flesh; louing of plea∣sure, &c.

It is a point of good naturall policie,* 1.101 for a man to care and pro∣uide for himselfe.

Then the most fooles haue most naturall policie,* 1.102 for see you not the greatest droanes and nouices, either in Church, or Common-wealth, to be the greatest scratchers,* 1.103 and scrapers, and gatherers of riches? Are they not also, for the most part, best fed and clad? and liue they not most easily? What shall I say? Euen hoggs, doggs, and bruit Beasts know their own ease, and can seeke that which is good for themselues; And what doth this shifting, progging, and fat feed∣ing which some vse, more resemble any thing then the fashion of hoggs? and so let it be what naturall policie it will.

If God see this disease of selfe-loue so dangerous in vs,* 1.104 then it standeth vs all in hand to suspect our selues, and so to seeke out the roote of this disease, that it may be cured. If a learned Physitian, shall see by our countenance and eye,* 1.105 that we haue some dangerous disease growing on vs, our hearts will smite vs, and we will bethinke our selues, where the most griefe lieth, and how it should come, whether with cold, heate, surfeit, ouer-flowing of bloud, or thorow griefe, melancholy, or any such way, and euery man will bestirre himselfe to get rid of it, and will preuent all wayes that feed the dis∣ease, and cherish all courses that would destroy it.

Now, how much more ought we to bestirre our selues, for this matter of selfe-loue, since God himselfe hath cast all our waters, and felt all our pulses, and pronounced vs all dangerously sicke of this disease? beleeue it, God cannot lie, nor be deceiued; He that made the heart, doth not he know it? Let euery mans heart smite him, and let him fall to examination of himselfe, and see first, whe∣ther he loue not riches and worldly wealth too much, whether his heart be not too iocand at the comming of it in, and too heauie at the going of it out, for if you find it so, there is great danger; if thou canst not buy as if thou possessedst not,* 1.106 and vse this world as thou vsedst it not, thou art sicke and haddest need to looke to it. So, if thou louest thine ease and pleasure,* 1.107 see whether thou canst be con∣tent to receiue at Gods hands euill as well as good; whether thou haue learned as well to abound as to want,* 1.108 as well to endure hard labour, as to liue at ease; and art as willing to goe to the house of mourning as to the house of mirth;* 1.109 for, els, out of doubt, thou louest thy carnall pleasure and ease too much.

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Againe,* 1.110 see whether thine heart cannot be as merry, and thy mind as ioyfull, and thy countenance as cheerefull, with course fare, with poulse, with bread and water (if God offer thee no better, nor the times afford other) as if thou hadst great dainties: So also whether thou canst be content as well with the scornes of men, when thou hast done well, as with their prayses, so if thou canst with comfort and good conscience say,* 1.111 I passe little for mans iudgement, whether thou canst doe thy duety that God requireth,* 1.112 and despise the shame, referring thy selfe vnto God, for if thou be dishartned, discouraged, and weakened in any duety because of mens disprayses, its a signe thou louest thy selfe too much.

So for the will,* 1.113 if thou canst be content to giue way euen from that which thou hast sayd shalbe, yea vowed shalbe, when better rea∣son commeth, and hast that reuerence of other men, as that when it standeth but vpon a matter of will, thou art as willing their wils shall stand as thine, and art not sad, churlish, or discontent, but cheerefull in thine heart,* 1.114 though thy will be crossed, it is a good signe, but if not, thou art sicke of a selfe will, and must purge it out. I the rather presse these things, because I see many men both wise and re∣ligious, which yet are so tainted with this pestilent selfe-loue,* 1.115 as that it is in them euen as a dead slie to the Apothecaries ointment, spoy∣ling the fficacie of all their graces, making their liues vncomfor∣table to themselues, and vnprofitable to others, being neither fit for Church nor common wealth, but haue euen their very soules in ha∣zard thereby, and therefore who can say too much against it?

It is reported,* 1.116 that there are many men gone to that other Plan∣tation in Virginia, which, whilest they liued in England, seemed very religious, zealous, and conscionable; and haue now lost euen the sap of grace, and edge to all goodnesse; and are become meere worldlings: This testimonie I beleeue to be partly true, and amongst many causes of it, this selfe-loue is not the least; It is indeede a mat∣ter of some commendations for a man to remoue himselfe out of a thronged place into a wide wildernesse; to take in hand so long and dangerous a iourney, to be an instrument to carry the Gospell and humanitie among the bruitish heathen; but there may be many goodly shewes and gloses and yet a pad in the strawe,* 1.117 men may make a great appearance of respect vnto God, and yet but dis∣semble with him, hauing their owne lusts carying them: and, out of doubt, men that haue taken in hand hither to come, out of discōtent∣ment, in regard of their estates in England; and ayming at great mat∣ters heere, affecting it to be Gentlemen, landed men, or hoping for office, place, dignitie, or fleshly liberty; let the shew be what it will, he substance is nought, and that bird of selfe-loue which was hat∣ched at home, if it be not looked to, will eate out the life of all grace

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and goodnesse: and though men haue escaped the danger of the sea, and that cruell mortalitie, which swept away so many of our lo∣uing friends and brethren; yet except they purge out this selfe-loue, a worse mischeife is prepared for them: And who knoweth whe∣ther God in mercy haue deliuered those iust men which heere depar∣ted,* 1.118 from the euils to come; and from vnreasonable men, in whom there neither was, nor is, any comfort but greife, sorrow, affliction, and miserie, till they cast out this spaune of selfe-loue.

But I haue dwelt too long vpon this first part; I come now to the second, which concernes an Exhortation, as I shewed you, in the Diuision.

But euery man anothers wealth.* 1.119

IN direct opposition, he should say,* 1.120 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,* 1.121 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,* 1.122 for euery benefit that is first craued, commeth too late. And thus the auncient Patriarkes did practise,* 1.123 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,* 1.124 but sat at the gates to watch for such, and looked in the streets to find them,* 1.125 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,* 1.126 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,* 1.127 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,* 1.128 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,* 1.129 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,* 1.130 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,* 1.131 as it did in the dayes of the Iewes,* 1.132 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,* 1.133 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

Page 15

more may goe after them quickly, if care be not taken. Is this then a time for men to begin to seeke themselues?* 1.134 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,* 1.135 whom we should follow in all things within our power and capacitie,* 1.136 may teach vs this les∣son, for (with reuerence to his Maiestie be it spoken) he might haue kept all grace,* 1.137 goodnesse, and glory to himselfe, but he hath communicated it to vs,* 1.138 euen as farre as we are capable of it in this life,* 1.139 and will communicate his glory in all fulnesse with his Elect in that life to come;* 1.140 euen so his Sonne Christ Iesus left his glo∣ry eclipsed for a time,* 1.141 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,* 1.142 our selues and others shall be dealt withall,* 1.143 carest thou not how others fare, how they toile, are grieued, sicke,* 1.144 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;* 1.145 and the memory of the Iust shall be blessed euen in his seede;* 1.146 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,* 1.147 is thorow Gods iust iudgement recompenced vpon the chil∣dren with neglect and crueltie.

Lastly,* 1.148 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,* 1.149 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,* 1.150 which signifieth fooles and decayed men, which haue lost both the sap of grace and nature; and such merciles men are called Goats,* 1.151 and shall be set at Christs left hand at the last day; Oh therefore seeke the wealth one of another.

But some will say,* 1.152 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,* 1.153 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,* 1.154 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,* 1.155 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?* 1.156 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.* 1.157

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,* 1.158 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,* 1.159 Giue me the portion of lands and goods that appertineth to me,* 1.160 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?* 1.161 Did not Sathan, who was not content to keepe that equall state with his fellowes,* 1.162 but would set his throne aboue the Starres?* 1.163 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,* 1.164 then for men to liue as one, being of one heart,* 1.165 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,* 1.166 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,* 1.167 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,* 1.168 nor perpetuall,* 1.169 but indeede if wee take this course, to change ordi∣nances and practises, because of inconueniences, wee shall haue, euery day, new lawes.

Secondly,* 1.170 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,* 1.171 Construe things in the best part, be not too hastie to say,* 1.172 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,* 1.173 to keepe backe their bread, and let them not eate, goe not therefore whisperingly,* 1.174 to charge men with idlenesse; but goe to the Gouernour and proue them idle; and thou shalt see them haue their deserts.* 1.175

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,* 1.176 and sorrow for his euill, let his ioy bee thy ioy, and his sorrow thy sorrow:* 1.177 let his sicknesse be thy sicknesse: his hunger thy hunger: his pouertie thy pouertie: And if you professe friend∣ship,* 1.178 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,* 1.179 and thinke vpon the things that are,* 1.180 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,* 1.181 when Iob was brought to the dunghill, he sate downe vpon it. And when the Almightie had beene bitter to Naomie,* 1.182 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,* 1.183 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:* 1.184 Beareye therefore one ano∣thers burthen,* 1.185 and be not a burthen one to another, auoide all factions,* 1.186 frowardnes, singularitie, and withdrawings, and cleaue fast to the Lord,* 1.187 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:* 1.188 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:* 1.189 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,* 1.190 and peace, may bee translated from this wandring wildernesse, vnto that ioyfull and hea∣uenly Canaan.* 1.191 (∵)



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