The penitent death of a woefull sinner, or, The penitent death of John Atherton, late Bishop of Waterford in Ireland who was executed at Dublin the 5. of December, 1640 : with some annotations upon severall passages in it : as also the sermon, with some further enlargements, preached at his burial
Bernard, Nicholas, d. 1661.
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Quis in seculo peccavit enormiùs Pau∣lo? Quis in religione graviùs Pe∣tro? illi tamen per poenitentiam as∣sequuti sunt non solum Ministerium, sed Magisterium sanctitatis. Noli∣te ergo ante tempus judicare, quia fortasse quos vos laudatis, Deus reprehendit, & quos vos repre∣henditis, ille laudabit, Primi no∣vissimi, & novissimi Primi.

Petr. Chrysolog.
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THE PENITENT DEATH OF A WOEFVLL SINNER. OR, The Penitent DEATH of JOHN ATHERTON, Late Bishop of Waterford in Ireland.

Who was Executed at DUBLIN the 5. of December, 1640. With some Annotations upon seve∣rall passages in it.

As also the SERMON, with some further Enlargements, prea∣ched at his Buriall.

The second Edition.

By Nicolas Barnard Deane of ARDAGH in IRELAND.

London, Printed by G M. for W. Bladen, and are to be sold by R. Royston in Ivy-lane, M.DC.XLII.

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May it please your Grace,

THese little Tract∣ates, as they de∣rive their being from your Graces command; so (like rivolets to the Sea) doe they returne to you againe. Accept them as the first fruits of your owne Industry upon the Au∣thour; who must ever acknow∣ledge he owes himselfe also. Page  [unnumbered] What aPaulinus writes to St. Augustine, Os tuam fistulam aquae vivae, & venam fontis ae∣terni merito dixerim, cujus de∣siderio sitivit in te anima mea, & ubertate tui fluminis inebriari terra mea concupivit, was indeed the cause of my thirsting also, and the Load-Stone that gave mee a happy draught in your service, many yeeres agon out of my native soyle into this Kingdome, which, me thinks, this yeer by your absence hath suffered a great Ecclipse, and yet wee cannot grudge the Church in this floting age, such a Steeres man, nor so pious a Prince, so pretious an Eare∣ring. That which is related of the fore-named Father, bMensam habebat hospitibus expositam, sed frugiferis sermo∣nibus, magis quam exquisitis e∣dulijs Page  [unnumbered] opipuram, semper de re quadam frugifera commentaba∣tur, ut non minus animi convi∣varum reficerentur quam corpo∣ra, is so well knowne to bee your Graces daily practice, that it needes no further appli∣cation, the offals of whose Discourse carefully gathered up, were able to perfect a Di∣vine to every good worke. In a word, cErasmus his descrip∣tion of him, by what S. Paul requires in a Bishop, mee thought in the reading (muta∣to nomine) it was your owne Picture, by which if others in this age had beene drawne, I beleeve the office had never beene so much as questio∣ned.

The very subjects of both these Discourses were they wrote by whomsoever, could Page  [unnumbered] not but claime an Interest in your Grace. The Conversion of Sinners, by a Constant Prea∣ching, who (unlesse a Stranger in Israel) but must acknow∣ledge to bee your Character. Nay, this and much more, is no newes to dStrangers, whose large Relation from abroad may prevent any further from home, onely 'tis no flattery to attest it. Your continued Mot∣to Page  [unnumbered] of eVaemihi si non evangeli∣zavero, both in your Episco∣pall and Archiepiscopall seals, is as worthy of memory, as i∣mitation, where that Woe may light I know not, but surely S. Paulsfreposita est mihi corona, will bee your portion. How little your Grace affects these kinde of expressions, I am not now to learne, And for my selfe, let this be my plea against any mis-judgings in others, gRare examples ought to bee set up likehlights, where they may be seene; and in the words of S. Paul, I wish it might bee a i meanes to provoke to emulati∣on those which are my flesh, and might save some of them,kFac¦tu similiter, is the onely inten∣ded morall: Be still the Honor of your Nation, the sacred first fruites of this Colledge, the Page  [unnumbered] Prime light of this our Israel, where (according to Ioshua's wish) you may like the Sunne stand still in the Firmament of our Church, till all the ene∣mies of it, be made its foote∣stoole. So prayes many thou∣sands, and among them, as ha∣ving most cause,

Your Graces most humble and affectionate Servant N. BARNARD

DroghedaAprill. 28. 1641.

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To the READER.

ACcording to my directi∣ons in some circumstan∣ces thou hast here presen∣ted this pensive Relatio finished indeed long agone, but delayed the Presse hitherto, by some unusuall miscarriage. Howsoever it falls out to be as seasonable now. A scan∣dalous ryming Pamphlet lately Printed in the abuse of him, di∣vers scattered written papers full of mistakes (some pretended to have their Original from my self) may likely have come to thy view as mine. Let this vindicate him, and give thee full satisfaction in both. Had I bin commanded this service sooner, thou mightest possi∣bly have had some other usefull passages remembred. And had it not bin in so busie a time, it may be t might have appeared more refi∣ned. Page  [unnumbered] As it is, for the Matter, be∣leeve it to be wholy true, as com∣ming from one, whom no relation whatsoever can suspect him parti∣all. For the Style, the plainer it is, the more fitting a Narration, and I have the rather affected it, that the profit intended might b of a further extent. Reade it with shunning these two rockes, Pre∣sumption and Despair. The for∣mer by the difficulty and hazar thou shalt find him labouring in a the first, the latter, by that Mercy he obtain'd at last, where thou see Gods special work, magnifie it, any blessed change in a sinner, rejoyc at it, any thing exemplary for th felf, be not thy own enemy so much as to slight it. Let God have the Glory, thou the benefit, the Church clear'd of scandall, and h hath his desire, who is

Thine in him, by whom are all thi••s, N. B.

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A Relation of the penitent Death of the said IOHN ATHERTON, Late Bishop of Waterford: Executed at DUBLIN the fifth day of December, 1640. Written by Nicolas Barnard Deane of Ardagh in IRELAND.

FOr his Arraignement, though it held long, I heard it not, onely his carriage then is by all condemned, and it is not my intent in the least mea∣sure to excuse it. The subject of this Discourse is only to declare, how afterwards hee judged, andacondemned himselfe, and so we trust is not condemned of God. How hee Page  2 deepely repented and bcryed to Heaven for pardon, whereof he re∣ceived a rare memorable Testimony, as we shall heare afterward.

On Saturday in the afternoone being the 28. of November, and the next day after his Condemnation, I went to see him first, when having had some speech with him of the Scandall of the Fact, Justice of the Sentence, Misery of his Condi∣tion without Repentance, (of each of which he heard me long with silence) at length he asked me, if I were sent by any to him, when he understood I was not, but that I came of my selfe, he tooke me by the hand, and replyed, I was very welcome to him, beleeved I had no other end but his good, that indeed he had been moved to send for me, but being thus come of my selfe, he tooke me as sent of God. He acknow∣ledged his stupidity and sensles∣nesse, desired me to take a further liberty of Speech unto mee, to preach the Law to him, to ag∣gravate his sinnes by the highest Page  3 circumstances, that he might grow but sensible of the flames of Hell: In subjects of this nature we spent neere two houres, when I left him plyable, onely with this assurance, that in cChrist his sinnes were pardonable. His request then was, that I would not leave the Towne, till I left him in better case, that as he had begunne, so he would continue to open himselfe unto me, and would in all things be or∣dered by me, and prayed me to see the end of him; to which I yeel∣ded.

As a Preparative to the maine, I advised him to Lay aside all richdcloathing, and to put on the mea∣nest he had. To let the Chamber be kept edarke: To deprive him∣selfe of the solace of any fcompany,Page  4 but such as came to give him spiri∣tuall counsell, and so to commit himselfe close prisoner to his owne thoughts, that if upon necessity any meat was brought unto him, he should eate it in a solitary way alone; And chiefly to give him∣selfe to fasting,g even to the affli∣cting of his body, which he had so pampered, as a meanes to effect the sorrow of the Soule. To have his hCoffin made, and brought in∣to his Chamber, which howso∣ever they were but small things in themselves, yet altogether were very conducible to a further end, as he acknowledged afterwards. I went to him usually three times a day. To relate what discourse we had, and what most affected him would be tedious; In summe, he Page  5 first entred into a serious and spe∣ciall consideration of all his sinnes, In thought, word and deed, of Omission, or Commission, against God, or man, which he drew out according to the severall Com∣mandements, of which they were breaches, and for his memory by his pen put all into one mIndite∣ment, wherein he might at once, as in a glasse, view the face of his soule. After this rough draught, that he might be the more asto∣nished, he went over them againe with marginall aggravations, whereby they became exceeding sinfull, by the circumstances of time when, place where, and person against whom, done a∣gainst the light of knowledge, of∣ten checks of conscience, many seasonable Admonitions in publike and private, notwithstanding the pparent hand of God in severall crosses, speciall mercies, unex∣pected preservation. Then hee considered with what presumptione had sinned, even before Gods Page  6 face, though he knew he was by him, and looked on all the while, Hamans aggravation for Esther, The Theeves condemnation to steale before the Judges eyes. What hard∣nesse of heart after it, though he could not but know God was an∣gry with him, yet n continued carelesse whether he were pleased or no: (such an answer of a ser∣vant in a small matter, would much incense his Master.) oHis repro∣ving, and sharpe censuring others for the same faults (which must needs leave him altogether pinex∣cusable, and further bind him over to condemnation.) His often re∣lapses after vowes in sicknesse, af∣ter receiving the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, each of which sins so often qreiterated, added to the heape, as multiplying of the same figures doe in numbers, (a great Plea against a Rebell being often pardoned.) Upon this in the next place did he make a stand, in thin∣king what a miserable condition he must needs be in, if he should Page  7 now dye in his sinnes: viz. A lost and undone man for ever. He ima∣gined with himselfe, as if he now saw the day of Judgement set, heard the Trumpet sounding, the voyce crying, Arise ye dead; as if he rbeheld the graves opening, the earth and sea, like Gods Goale, giving up the prisoners, our Sa∣viour upon the Throne, in flaming fire, both judge, and witnesse, Every mans life, and his among the rest, reading before men and Angels, and in conclusion a finall sentence pronouncing upon his body and soule, Hell according∣ly with his wide mouth enlarged to receive him, those spirits of darknesse ready to seize on him, &c.

These thoughts, and the like had their worke upon him in some frights and astonishments, but a spirit of Contrition and Compun∣ction, he complained, was farre from him: How often did I heare him yet crying out, Oh! can you give me any receipt that will worke Page  8 my heart into teares and sorrow, The eye of his understanding, he con∣fessed, was sufficiently enlight∣ned, his conscience smitten, but still his heart, and affections were hardned. All my friends, saith he, as ashamed of me, have forsaken me, But if God withdraw his Grace from me, what shall I doe? And so desi∣red me to speake to any in the Towne, whom I thought would be compassionate of his Condi∣tion, tospray for him, for which he thought there was more cause than for any bodily sicknesse. And here by his owne experience (whatsoever he had before ut∣tered) he utterly condemned that doctrine of Free-will naturally in man to any saving good, that tthough it be in his own power, thus to kill himselfe, yet it is not to make himselfe alive againe. How firmely did he now beleeve Repen∣tance to be theugift of God, that it Page  9 is he that worketh the will*and the deed? How happy did he appre∣hend those that had broken hearts, though not bound up againe with comfort, And how unhappy such, whose hardened hearts could not repent, though swimming in all earthly contents? And yet here∣in he had a doore of hope, that his dry soule in time should be watred with this dew of Heaven, in that God did not give him over with Cain unto despaire, but still hee stuck to his first Principle, that mercy was attaineable, his sinnes pardonable. The thing he only wanted was Gods act in xpow∣ring upon him that spirit of Grace, and supplication, whereby hee might mourne, and be in bitter∣nesse of weeping for them: That there was ayfountaine of salva∣tion opened to him for sinne and for uncleannesse, He saw; but his case was like the poore impotent man at the zpoole of Bethesda, wanted one to put him in; his first supporter in this case was that Page  10 of Nehemiah, who desiresato feare thy Name, that of our Saviour, Youbthat are heavy laden,c and whosoever will, whosoever is a thirst, come; And indeed this was some change in him, before hee was wont to fling the thoughts of griefe out of his mind, did his ut∣most to put them from him; Now he bewayled their absence, hee grieved that he could not grieve, To be altogether insensible, is ve∣ry opposite to the State of Grace, but to be sensible of an Insensible∣nesse proceeds from some already. The fight and sence of sinne was somedpledge of a further perfe∣ction, at least that God had not given him over unto death, as Ma∣naohs wife said to her husband, ifethe Lord were pleased to kill us, he would not have shewn us thus much, nor told us such things as these.

In this wrestling with God for repentance, and such a measure of godly sorrow, that might be fpro∣portionable for so great a sinner, Page  11 was Munday, and part of Tuesday spent by him: When in the after∣noone upon some further dis∣course, the sore of his soule being now ripened, burst forth, and his mind being ga burthen to him∣selfe, he unloaded his Conscience to me in some particulars, but with such a flood of hteares, ca∣sting himselfe downe to the ground, taking me by the hand, and desiring me to kneele downe by him, and pray for him, that I have never seene the like, whereas before hee could swallow grosse acts without trouble, now only the thoughts of his heart, put him to a most grievous Agony, that a∣stonished me, & wrung many tears from my selfe. A good foundation to begin at the heart.ievill thoughts and affections howsoever common, yet ought to be of no small reckoning with us, the first sinne of the Divell (being a spirit) could be no other.

And here 'tis observable that, as they say, a Pine Apple or a Flint are sooner broken upon a soft bed, Page  12 then on a hard floore;* so the re∣presenting unto him, the most compassionate, kmercifull Na∣ture of God, willing yet to be friends with him, so apt to for∣give, and forget all injuries, I say, the opening unto him the infinite, lsweet disposition of him, whom he had offended, raysed up in him this holy indignation against him∣selfe, and was a means to melt him into an entrance of this happy condition: Many that never could bemmoved with threatnings, have been overcome with kindnesse; It is the Argument of the Apostle, Rom. 12.1. as elsewhere.

And after this by some interrup∣tion of other Company, I was compeld to leave him till late at night, when I found him getting further ground of himselfe, and that time was the first I heard him pray, the maine subject being a sorrowfull, large confession of his vileneffe, with deepe aggrava∣tions, prevalent arguments for mercy •••earty thankfulnesse for Page  13 any beginnings of breakings in him, and sending a Brother wil∣ling to beare the burthen with him, which with divers others were so aptly and fully exprest, and in that latitude, that as it was beyond my imagination, so it wrought much upon my affe∣ction, and this was the first time he said, he ever felt indeed what belong'd to prayer: He had said one over often as others usually do, but he found a great difference between that and the nspirit of pray∣er, and so we parted for that night.

The next day, he desired we might keep together in the Na∣ture of a solemne Fast, when no body came to him but my selfe from nine of the Clock, till be∣tween three and foure in the af∣ternoon, which he set apart for the finishing what he had begun before. Such a countenance of oa perplexed soxle did I never see, as his seemed to me that morning at our first meeting, so sore had the weight of his sins pressed his Page  14 feeble Conscience, that night in a private Audit between God and Himselfe.

At our entrance, he desired me again to stirr up in him a further apprehension of his wretched Condition, how odious his sins had made him in his sight, with whom he had now to do, that the nearer he drew to God, the more he might, like pJob, ab∣horre himselfe, to use his owne words, J pray (saith he) deale truly, freely and impartially with me. Looke not upon me, as one that hath had some honour in the Church (from which J am worthily fallen) but as upon the most abiect, base person in the world; He was re∣solved to set himself as before Gods Tribunall, and to powre forth his heart fully unto me, the thing he only desired, was a further spirit of Compunction, that his eyes, might be like Jeremiahs,qa foun∣taine of teares, to weepe day and night: After some such instructi∣ons as he had desired, he fell up∣on Page  15 his knees with a most affecti∣onate prayer, in the acknowled∣ging of Gods Omnipresence and Omniscience, infinite Wisdome and Justice, &c. praying for a fur∣ther sense and sorrow for those sins which he was now about to rip up without any extenuation or concealing, and so set open his heart indeed in a plenary particu∣lar Confession of all his sinnes he could remember from his youth till now, [The heads of which he had for his memory penned,] but with such rbittersTeares, such sorrowfull sighes, The whole time either upon his knees, t or pro∣strating himself upon the ground, as cannot be expressed: Which took so with me, uas I never Page  16 wept more at the losse of my dearest friend: And in Conclusion after he had thus unlocked [to use his own words] the Magazin of his sinfull soule, [for which his shame was as evident as his grief] he intreated me if I could discern a∣ny true penitency in him, and judged him to be in the state of Pardon, xTo pronounce it to him in Christs stead, that it would be some comfort to his Conscience for me to declare so much unto him: But what tears fell on both sides, how he prayed both before and after, that God would ratifie it in Heaven, and seale it inward∣ly to his Soul, can scarce be imagi∣ned.

Now howsoever he found some present ease in this yemptying him∣selfe of himself, yet still he grew very jealous, that he was not yet come to that depth of sorrow re∣quisite for so great a sinner. The fears and troubles of Francis Spi∣ra he wished for, whose life and death he had a great desire to read, Page  17 but I thought it not fitting. One thing that troubled him long, was my weeping with him, gathering from thence, that if an ear-wit∣nesse were so mooved, what should the party himself be plun∣ged into; He began to find al∣ready such z sweetnesse in tears for sin, as he was praying like those in the Gospell, aLord evermore give us this bread,b desired there were a Well of such living water in him, that might stream down his cheeks continually, cwished that he might be in them wafted over into ano∣ther world, and till then not to be wiped from his eyes. After this, many conflicts and doubts assaul∣ted him, which would be too ma∣ny to relate; Perplexed he was at the Consideration of some pas∣sages of Humiliation in dAhab,eFelix,fJudas, finding that wic∣ked men may cry earnestly for mercy and yet have little love to God, lesse to Grace. A passage he read casually of Francis Spira disturbed him more, viz. That he Page  18 begged for grace it selfe, as a bridge to get to Heaven by. Sometimes he doubted if the time and cause of his return, being so late, and out of necessity, would be accep∣ted, (according to such threat∣nings in Prov. 1.26, 27. and the like.) Seldome did he think of any passionate fit of mourning, such as Davids for gAbsalom, but he thought presently it checked him for his sins, to be as nothing, which being so great, and the issue so miserable, even the losse of his Soule, he judged should have exceeded them much, both in measure and continuance. When in these and divers others he was satisfied, then fears of a∣nother nature rose, viz. That if he were truly getting out of the Divels snare it could not be, but he should be pursued with further horrours and terrours, tending to h despair, which he had not felt: In this he was thus satisfied, that expectation of temptations was a preparation for them, and such Page  19 the Divell did not usually set up∣on: And that if ever he did ap∣peare it would be in some wiles, and at such times as he should least suspect he had a hand in them, which I verily believe did so fall out in some distractions after∣wards. The many Objections, which he not only found, but studied against himself, as it was a taske to clear; so a Schoole to learn much experience in, so cau∣telous was he of any Rocks, which in this mist might split him, so suspitious of any Sands, that might swallow him, so accurate in searching out any secret Leake within himself, that might sinke him; so fearfull and full of doubts was he, till he found himself An∣chored upon safe and firm ground, iA blessed feare, a happy trembling. The Story of kManasses he read often, who beginning to repent in Fetters, as he had now in prison, was a comfort to him. That of S. Paul to the Corinthians, the 1. Epist. 6. Chap. vers. 9, 10, 11. Page  20And such were some of you, but yee are washed, but yee are sanctifi∣ed, But yee are justified, &c. was the like.

On Thursday the next Mor∣ning he desired to receive the Communion, when I provided my self with such matter as I con∣ceived fit for him, by way of preparation, and so with l some others appointed to Communicate with him, he received it with penitentiall expressions, and after that was somewhat comforted. He desired me to stay Dinner with him, as the last set meale he in∣tended in this World. The mag∣nanimity of the Man I did much admire, his cheerfulnesse in coun∣ting how many hours he had to live, his solid Counsell to his wife, who [upon his discourse of death and thankfulnesse to God for this punishment] fell into a passion, his comforting of Her that he was upon an advancement; and why should she be against it? that his sins were not the grea∣ter Page  21 for the shame he was to suf∣fer, that the only thing to be fea∣red in death, is the guilt of sin, mThe sting of it, which he ho∣ped was now taken out, that he trusted God, who had forgiven the sin, would also in time abate the scandall and provide for Her also, if she could by nFaith rely upon him.

That afternoon [the storm in his Conscience being somewhat allayed] we had many ocalme and comfortable discourses of the priviledges of Christians, admit∣ted to be not only pservants, friends, butqsonnes of God, Heirs and Co-heirs with Christ, called his Love, his Spouse, said to be rmarried to him, to have a sfel∣lowship with him, &c. which he desired to have largely declared unto him. Then was his Coffin brought into his Chamber, [though he was displeased he had it not long before] it came seasonably, he now looked on it with little consternation of mind, as on his Page  22 bed he must sleep in: And yet even then another thing troubled him, which he feared, was a stu∣pidity, viz. that hee should be no more afraid of death, having also slept quietly the night before; in which after he was satisfied, yet it fell so out that the next night he was disquieted, which he took as a punishment for his former de∣sire of troubles and fears, and so gave it over.

One passage he took speciall notice of, that the same friend of his, who not many daies before had bin very harsh with him, fea∣ring the party to whom he had gi∣ven up himselfe was tootmilde, and would not deale roughly enough with him, &c. now visiting him again, and finding that change in him, wished his soul in his case, and applied all comforts to him, which comming from the same mouth that had used him so sharp∣ly before, drew many tears of joy from him, and confirmed him; divers Divines, with others that Page  23 came to visit him, did the like, and rejoyced much at the sight of him.*

That night his prayers were to my admiration [with which his desire was, we might every time we parted conclude:] 'Tis known what an excellent faculty he had naturally, in a ready present ex∣pression of what he understood, either in Ecclesiasticall or Civill affairs. Now God had given him another heart, he did as much Page  24 excell in spirituall. How desirous he was still to be put upon the Tryall for saving grace, by any signes or discoveries [with which we run through many] would be impertinent to spend time in.

Naturally he was not apt for tears, but now he was a man of tears; before given to pride and vain-glory, now so vhumble, so thankfull for the Counsell of the meanest person, so attentive to a∣ny advise, so open in the abasing and condemning himselfe to whomsoever came at him; his very countenance was altered. When he heard of my Lord De∣puties death [who had no long sicknesse] with others who died suddenly, being in health at his Condemnation, his Application to me was, what cause he had to blesse God it was not so with him, who must undoubtedly then have x sunke down to hell. What thankfullnesse did he confesse, he owed to God and man for this weeks preparation. Apprehended Page  25 it as no small token of Gods love to him, in giving him his porti∣on of yshame in this world, as a means to shun it in the world to come, which he once expressed with such a height of affection, as I wondred at it, believing that nothing but z this, or the like, would have wrought upon his masterlesse disposition, which un∣der any other troubles he feared should still have lingred, like aLot in Sodom, [ready to be fired] till he was hailed out, or like Cattle within a house and fire about them, yet stirre not, till they are drawn out. It was so with the Israelites, Isa. 42.25. The like he judged of himself. And herein he was so farre from bearing any hatred to such as had prosecuted him, that he accounted them his best friends, applying the case of bPheraeus Ja∣son to himself, whom his ene∣my running through with a sword, Page  26opened an impostume, which the Phy∣sitians could not cure. That how∣soever his enemies, as Joseph said of his brethren, might intend his hurt, yet God had turned it to his good; by this death, they had saved his life; and so he owed them thankes, acknowledged Gods goodnesse to him in his sudden surprizall and strict impri∣sonment, that as no Councell would come unto him, so he was not permitted to goe into the Town to them, by which liber∣ty, it may be some evasions might have bin contrived for his escape, which would have prooved his everlasting undoing. That speech of his, Perijssem, si non perijssem▪ Or that of anothers [whom a shipwrack occasioned the being a Phylosopher] Tum▪ secundis veli navigavi, quando naufragium feci, was in substance his often appli∣cation to himselfe. After the L. Deputies death, when the rumour of some hope of a reprivall came to his ears [by such who thought Page  27 they did him a good office] till another governour succeeded, it moved him not, as rather chusing a present deserved death, than the prolonging of an ignominious life, wherby the scandall [which he was now most troubled for] would but increase. He did so cabhorre himselfe, that once a thought rising within him to have petitioned to have been be∣headed [for which some Presi∣dents hee could have produced] he told me he answered himself, by himself, with indignation, that a doggs death was too good for him, and so judged himself to the last; which appeared by this particu∣lar, that he was casting with himselfe, where he might be bu∣ried, so as to be out of remem∣brance, wished his grave were in the bottome of the Sea, where he had deserv'd to be cast with admilstone about his necke, for that offence and scandall he had given, The Church-yard he thought was too much honour for him. And Page  28 in conclusion, least his friends being left to themselves, should have procured some better place, he sent for the Clarke of S. Johns, and the verger of Christs-Church [of which he was once Prebend] to whom I was a witnesse of his charge, that they should not suf∣fer him to be buried in that Church or in any ordinary place in the Church-yard, but appointed it in the furthest corner, where some rubbish was used to be cast, and where none could be remembred ever to have been buried before, when with many tears to them he condemned himselfe, as un∣worthy of the Communion of the dead, as now of the living. Af∣ter this he related unto me in se∣verall discourses, divers observa∣ble passages in his former life, and since he came into the Castle, ten∣ding to the magnifying of Gods Justice and Mercy to him, some of which he left to my Judge∣ment, if the knowledge of them might be usefull to others. ThePage  29edis-respect and neglect of his mo∣ther since he came to ability, he acknowledged, according to the fifth Commandement, to be just that his daies should be shortened. (As his owne f Father once solemnly passing such a sentence on him and fore-telling long agone, this would be his end, hath bin assu∣red me also by one who had it from an ear-witnesse:) His often,gwishing would he were hanged, if his, or that be so, &c. (which n some protestations fell out to e false,) went not in the same ustice unobserved. His once in Page  30 anger, and by way of revenge sca∣ring his mother, that he would go hang himself on a common Gallows they rode by, with his horses bridle. This, howsoever done in his youth, and not mea∣ning, yet he observed Gods ju∣stice in bringing him to it in earnest. Let these be warnings to the living in the like, His reading of naughty books, [of which he named some, and wished they were burned] hviewing of immo∣dest pictures, frequenting of Playes,iDrunkennesse, &c. were causes and inticements to these foule facts▪ Let men by this example forbeare them. About three weeks [as I take it] before the complaint was put in against him in Par∣liament, the man who had be∣fore bin the corrupter of him in his youth, whom he had not seen in twenty years before, came casually out of England into this Kingdome, and visited him; the sight of whom did so affrigh him, as if some Ghost had appea∣red Page  31 to him, he said, his very heart mis-gave him, and his Con∣science apprehended him, as some presage, or messenger of a present vengeance drawing nigh him. His too much zeale and forward∣nesse, both in introducing and pres∣sing some Church observations, and in dividing himself from the house of Convocation, Anno 1634. in opposition to the Ar∣ticles of Ireland then voted to be received, of purpose tokplease some mens persons, who had not∣withstanding [with just cause] now forsaken him, passed not without taking notice of a just hand in it also, and from which hee gave good Counsell to o∣thers.

Acknowledged he had at di∣vers times many sore gripings and checks oflConscience, which som∣times Page  32 held him two or three days together; but he had [as S. Ste∣phen said to the Jewes] mresisted alwaies the holy Spirit till now. In times of sicknesse or in any frights or fears of death, his Conscience would be na very Hell within him, so that once he had gone so farre, as to resolve upon amend∣ment, had composed in Latin a large Prayer in the confession of his sins, which he repeated to me, and had at severall times u∣sed it [he put it into that lan∣guage, least any of his servants over-hearing him should under∣stand] and for a fit made some Reformation, but returned again oLike the Dogge to his vomite, and like the Hogge washed to the myre. Some discourses from a pLay-man, since he came into the Castle, had some worke up∣on him for the present, but he had still endeavoured to put farr from him all thoughts that might disquiet him, all which he took notice of, as somewhat comfor∣table Page  33 to himselfe, thatqGod ever followes such as belong to him with all sorts of means, till he brings them to Repentance; when milde purges will not worke, he r pre∣scribes stronger, when the secret voyce of the Conscience within, nor the Admonitions of the word without will move, then he useth louder cryes to awaken them, Po∣verty, Disgrace, nay sDestru∣ction of the body, that the soule may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

There were many more evident signes of a true change in him, be∣sides what I have related. His gi∣ving satisfaction to any he had wronged even in small matters. His sending for some that were meane persons, and asking them forgivenesse. Those whom he had prosecuted too bitterly in the high Commission Court, endeavouring to his uttermost to take off their fines. His care for the satisfying his smallest debts. His admo∣monishing many that came unto Page  34 him, not to presume by his example totdifferre Repentance, who with much hazard, and difficulty had obtained it. His good and savou∣ry counsell to my selfe, I shall not forget, according to that com∣mand given to S. Peter,xWhen thou art converted, strengthen thy Brethren. For his family, his re∣solutions, [if he had lived to have reformed it] that they should have beene Gods servants, or none of his: For himselfe, his inten∣tions to have given over all Law businesses, and have wholly imploy∣ed his time in Preaching, and the studies of the Scriptures, which he had neglected, I doubt not, but would have beene stedfast, but (saith he) now I hope God will give me the knowledge of these mysteries by some quicker way. His giving some almes to the poore with a charge to the party, that it might not be knowne from whence it came, were good things in him. But more especially it appeared in his pious Letters to his wife and chil∣dren,Page  35 hereunto annexed; the lat∣ter of which is most worthy of memory, as wrote the night be∣fore his Execution; in the dif∣ference of them somewhat will appeare of his growth in that time. It is scarce to be beleeved in this little space, how much he had read in some practicall bookes of our late Divines, [the being not acquainted with whom before, he much bewayled] in speciall that of Doctor Prestons of Gods all-sufficiency, and Bishop Downhams of the Covenant of Grace [which had been call'd in] did him much good, his conversing with M. Fox his booke of Martyrs, in viewing the manner of some godly mens deaths, did much animate him a∣gainst his own.

The night before it was a won∣der to see his resolution in taking leave of his children, and giving them good counsell, and to one of them the said Letter, and some houres after his taking his last farwell of his wife, who was the Page  36 more passionate, his affectionate and heavenly counsell to her, com∣forting her, and instructing her was to my admiration, and in conclusion told her he had wrote a Letter 2. or. 3. dayes agon, which she should receive about the time of his Execution, which if shee observed, their next meeting would be in Heaven. Then late at night he sent for all the servants of the house, gave them each se∣verall admonitions with teares, who all wept, as if they had been his owne. His speech to me, not long before his leaving the Castle is not to be omitted, viz. It may be, (saith he) if they doe not bury me till Sunday, you will be desired to preach then, but J pray,zspeake no good of me, onely what may a∣bate the scandall, and be an usefull warning to others, he was wil∣ling to. That which he chiefly then requested of me, as his last, was; As soone as J had seene the end of him, to continue my endea∣vours for the good of his, in a pre∣sent Page  37comforting and counselling his wife and children, whom he pray∣ed might with contentednesse make the same sanctified use, he had done himselfe.

And now we are drawing nigh the saddest part of the story for his body, but yet the most com∣fortable for his soule. His sowing time in teares ye have heard; now followes hisareaping in joy, of which some sheaves he carried with him hence, which is the most memorable thing in the whole Relation.

After he had with great indu∣stry and watchfulnesse obtained some testimony unto himselfe of his repentance, and so hope of mercy, all his earnest desire was, that God would but give him bsome token for good, in fealing it now to him, by the comforts, and Love-tokens of his Spirit. Hee had read much of that joycun∣speakeable and glorious, of thedLight of Gods countenance, which David valued above all the world, Page  38 heard much of the eConsolations, and refreshments of the soule by the inward witnesse of the Spirit, but, Oh! how hee thirsted the day before his Execution, to have some taste of them, which would fully arme him against the feare of Death. He said, he could remem∣ber in hisfyouth, before his soule was stained with sinne, when he lived for a time in some conscio∣nable way, in a certaine religious family, he had some short flashes of such sweetnesse, that was of more worth then all the joy he had since: He acknowledged he was not worthy of it, and that if God did deny it him, yet the course he would hold he had be∣gan, that he would never give over begging, till he had some degree, [to use his own words] were it but as imperfect a sight, as the blind mans in the Gospell, whogsaw men walking like trees, and he had a promise, God would not deny his holy Spirit to those thathaske him. And that if he might Page  39 expect the fullnesse of joy not ma∣ny houres after, why might he not hope to get some first fruits or earnest for the assurance of it here, and he conceiv'd of all men living he had most need; both consi∣dering what hee had been, and what he was to suffer; with this his thoughts were filled wholly, and for which he desired me to pray with him often, and to help him with the prayers of others also. And after eleven of the clock that night, I was witnesse of a most affectionate prayer of his owne, which a hearer would have thought could not but arise from some apprehension already, and which made me so confident as to assure him of it.

The next morning [which was the day of his Execution] his first salutation to me was, Oh! God hath heard me about foure or five of the clock this morning, for the space of an houre and a halfe, I have had that sweetnesse in my soule, those refreshments in my Page  40 heart, that I am not able k to ex∣presse, which he now beleeved might be well signified by that hiddenlManna, and white stone, which no man knowes, but he that receiveth it, to use his own words, I had such a weaning from this world, might I have enjoyed all the contents of it, such a trust and relying upon God, in committing my wife and Children to his care, such confi∣dence of Gods love, and assurance of pardon, such a longing to be dis∣solved, and to be with Christ, such ioy and inward consolation, as if he had been in the suburbs of Hea∣ven already, that (saith he) J felt where my heart lay, that J arose out of my bed, and gave God thanks and prayse upon my knees in the place where J had begged it; and so fell into abundance of teares, adding, whereas before J wept for sorrow, now I weepe for ioy, [of all which divers others there were witnes∣ses besides my selfe] and so desi∣red me, who had been a Petitioner with him, to kneele downe with Page  41 others present, and solemnely give God thanks with him for it, and pray for a continuance of it to his last; which teares of his, com∣ming from so mcheerefull a coun∣tenance [when we expected the most sadnesse] moved us more than all before. For confirmation of his said rising out of his bed, his mans testimony is evident, who comming that morning by breake of the day to the Chamber doore, and before he knocked, loo∣king through the key-hole, saw him in his shirt by his bed side up∣on his knees for a quarter of an houre, and as soone as he came in, with a smiling countenance brake out to him into the like fore-na∣med expressions, what a sweet nnight he had enjoy'd, &c. and adding, if I had beene in a slum∣ber, it might have been a deceit, but I was full waking as now, he seemed to be in such a rapture, that his servant, as he told mee, was astonished at it, expecting then to have found him most Page  42 disconsolate, &c.

To another of his friends, [who had told him the night before of that o knowne story in the booke of Martyrs, of one who after much prayer, wanted comfort till he saw the stake, who had al∣so desired him [as that Martyrs friend had done him] whenso∣ever he should finde any to declare it, were it at the place of Execu∣tion it selfe.] As soone as he saw him this morning, his first salute with great exultation was, in the said Martyrs words to his friend, Oh, he is come! he is come! telling him also what God had done for his soule.

After this wee fell into many heavenly discourses concerning the state of the soule separated from the body, the translation of it out of this world, the happinesse of Heaven, by what we shall be rid of, by what we shall be perfected in, the company we shall be admitted into, not only to the spirits of iust men, but to the society of glorious Page  43 Angels, concerning the beatificall vision in the fruition of Gods pre∣sence, the sight of the blessed bo∣dy of our Saviour, &c. in the thought of which he was much ravished, and fell into a long con∣tinued weepingpfrom this ground, that he should have offended one that had prepared such inestima∣ble things for him, which he now thirsted to enjoy.

Then he desired the Prisoners of the Castle might be called to∣gether to take his last leave of them, to whom (as he had done formerly) he would once more read the qMorning Service, which I was the more willing to, were it but to professe the Faith and Page  44 Religion he dyed in before many witnesses, against the expected ca∣lumny of the adversaries, if any extraordinary good should appear in him at his last. The Psalms he chose were such as are usually read at Burials, the lesson the 15. of the first Epistle to the Corin∣thians, some prayers he selected out of the Visitation of the sick, the two last prayers at the Buri∣all, with other passages in it and els where; which with some al∣terations and additions, he turned very apt for himself, and so with the like advice he had given to others, took leave of them. And now, saith he, as God hath refreshed my soule, I will a lit∣tle rrefresh my body, the better to enable me to speak at the place of Execution, which was to be about three hours after, and so called for a little salt-butter and brown-bread, and the smallest beer, a very little of which he eat, as his last, chearfully hoping at night to be invited to the Sup∣per Page  45 of the Lambe in another world, when he should need none of these things.

When the time drew nigh, and he heard the noyse of the people gathering; for a quarter of an hour, he told me, his heart began to quiver, and his naturall affecti∣onswith teares to yern upon his children, which he was pleased still to find within him, conside∣ring that Grace, though it be su∣pernaturall, yet doth not dry up nature. St. Peter, even going to Martyrdome, was led whither naturally he twould not. He com∣plained that his former comfort did abate in the strength of it, but he trusted, that God in whose custody was the u key of the Spi∣rit, whose act it is only to open and shut, had reserved it for him for that place and time, where he should have most need. Yet not long after he recovered a great degree of cheerfulnesse a∣gain, repeating the x last verse in the 42. Psalme (which he had Page  46 used to reade often) and saying now the Sheriffe should be a wel∣come messenger, and so continu∣ed. Some few things he had a∣bout him, hee then disposed of, as tokens of remem∣brance to his friends; his gloves, staffe, girdle, books, about seven or eight of some pious De∣votions, he gave and sent to di∣vers with his name inscribed: and his last act after he was pini∣oned, was the giving me his seale∣ring off his finger, with such af∣fectionate expressions, as it draws tears from me in the now remem∣bring it. More I might adde, but thus much may suffice to de∣clare his Repentance, and the fruit of it in the Castle before his Execution.

Now the Sheriffe of the Coun∣ty [a Papist] was come to receive him, the two Sheriffs of the City with a great company of Halberts to assist him. At Christ-church [according to his desire] told his passing-bell, the Page  47 whole Town and Castle so thron∣ged, as was never the like seen, that if there had not bin a Coach allowed him, it would have bin impossible to have gone through. And here I must not forget the hard usage of the said Sheriffe of the County in some crosse passa∣ges, which after all this his pre∣paration, might have prooved a distraction to him, though it did not; his intentions I will not judge, yet whose instrument he was I may conceive. The night before he had desired the favour he might not be pinioned till he came to the place of Ex∣ecution, for which I went my self betimes that morning to the Lord chiefe Iustice of the Kings Bench, and Iustice Cressey, both of them upon my relation of the change found in him readily gran∣ted it, and sent that command by me to the Sheriffe, but he re∣fused and notwithstanding would have him pinioned in his lodging. Again, I sent one to the Innes, Page  48 who presently brought a com∣mand to him under the Lord Chiefe Justice his hand, with the consent of all the Judges, then being at Dinner, this also he disobeyed; for his pretence in the security of his person, one of the Sheriffes of the City offe∣red body for body, and assured him that with such a guard, and by fitting himselfe in the Coach with him, there could be no dan∣ger of an escape. For himselfe (howsoever his friends thus stir∣red for him) he was contented, and long before the Sheriffe came, told me he was very sorry he had mooved me in any such businesse, using this speech, Our Saviour carried his Crosse in the way, and why should I desire to be freed? When he had pulled of his mourning gown, he presen∣ted a strong black Ribband, which he had provided of purpose for the more decency, and in case it should not be thought strong e∣nough, a black girdle was offered Page  49 or any other, the Sheriffe refused all, and had him bound with a three penny cord, as a common Rogue, and would have had the hang-man, or some other base fellow come in and done it. Nay he would have had one to sit in the Coach be∣hind him, to have held him by the cord also, but that the Con∣stable of the Castle would not suffer him. These things being very suspitious, if not apparent, out of malice [either in regard of his Religion, Profession, or some private cause] I feared might have disturbed his charity (as it enraged most of the standers by) but as soon as I put him in mind of some *former discourses, that this might be the Divels interrup∣ion, and prosecution of him, in a way unexpected, he apprehended it fully, and so told the Sheriff, that it mooved him not, and that he looked further than him in it, prayed God to forgive him, and that for his part he did it hear∣tily, and would pray for him be∣fore Page  50 he left the Chamber. The Sheriff with-drawing, he desired us that were there to joyn with him once more in prayer to God, for his speciall assistance against all sorts of enemies, that he ex∣pected now would beset him at once. We all kneeled down, but such a powerfull, excellent pray∣er did I scarce ever heare, so that all both wept and sobb'd with him. And so after some comfortable speeches to us, and hope that once more before he dyed, he should have a return of the same measure of comfort, he had en∣joyed the last night. The She∣riffe came in again, and received him.

In the Coach rode with him one of the Sheriffs of the City, the sub-Sheriffe of the County, his own man, and my self. At his entrance he said, This puts me in mind of EliahsaChariot, he was carried to Heaven in. When he saw the throng, saith he, J am made abspectacle to men, but J Page  51 hope to Angels also, who are atten∣ding to receive my soule. The time he spent there in singing some consolatory parts of Psalms (one of which was the 23) pri∣vate ejaculations; now and then speeches to us concerning the parting of the soul from the bo∣dy, the carriage of it by the An∣gels, the vanity of this world, that his care was neer at an end, &c. And to feed his thoughts with such things as were seaso∣nable, I read now and then some speciall comfortable passages, which I had picked out of the Psalms, which he would glosse upon to his own application. When he came upon the bridge, and through the curtains of the Coach [for it was closed] he discerned the Gallows with the people gathered, he said unto me, There is my Mount Calvary, from which I hope to as:cend to Heaven. When he came to the place of Execution, there were two things, which might have disturbed him, Page  52 the one was a fellow got upon one end of the gallows, deriding him and interrupting him when he began to speak, whom he an∣swered not, but patiently bore it, and proceeded. The other, the breaking of his foot-mans head [whom he loved▪ who had run by the Coach side, and diligent∣ly pressed nigh to attend] by one of the Sheriffs of the City, un∣known, by laying about him to make room, who when he saw him with the bloud running down his face, He bemoaned him onely, and desired me that he might be re∣mooved out of his sight. To which I might adde a third, happening in the conclusion of all, as he was ready to go up, viz. one calling to him about some papers or leases, whom the very standers by cryed down, as very unseasonable. All which I could easily think the common e∣nemy might have a hand in to distract him. When there was a silence made, he stood up, and Page  53 made a large and an elegant Speech, substantiall and senten∣tious, and I know, it was not fram'd before, for the matter he had indeed resolved upon, but the forme he put to his present ex∣pressions there; I had indeed ad∣vised him to pen it, least the sight of death might then distract him, but his answer was, He would put his trust in God, who, he hoped, would not faile him in that last act, and was confident, death would not disturbe him.

To relate the speech it selfe, un∣lesse I could remember exactly his own expressions, would be but a wrong to him, for the matter, it was thus, [which being so publikely knowne, I may be the briefer in.] His entrance was somewhat to this purpose, Gentle∣men, my first salutation to you is, God blesse you, and God save you, and I desire you to pray the same for me, J am I thinke the first of my pro∣fession, that ever came hither to this shamefull end, and I pray God I Page  54 may be the last: you are come hi∣ther to see a Comedy turned into a Tragedy, a miserable Catastrophe of the life and actions of Man in this world, &c.

Jn summe. He acknowledged the Justice of the Law of Man, as Gods in condemning him, who, as he had not deserved, so he de∣sired not to live. He observed the speciall hand of God throughout the whole businesse, both in the Witnesses, in the Jurie, in the Judges, and in Himselfe.

[ 1] In the Witnesses, and Informers, they were such as eate of his bread, came daily as friends to his Table, some of them were at dinner with him the day before the complaint was put in against him in Parlia∣ment.

[ 2] The Jury, howsoever he be∣leeved they were honest Gentle∣men, and went according to their consciences, yet the Evidence was not so cleare, but they might have stucke at it, but he said it was Digitus Dei, [the Justice Page  55 of which he fully, and solemnely acknowledged to a friend of his at that instant, he heard the Jury had returned him guilty, though he denyed then [as he did now] the maine thing in the Indite∣ment, which the Law layd hold of, and which hath beene since confirmed by the Confession of his chiefe accuser at his Execu∣tion also, yet in his owne Con∣science applauded and magnified Gods Justice in it, and so burnt a volume of papers, which with a great deale of paines he had wrote out of Law books in his own de∣fence.

[ 3] In the Judges, of whom hee said, though some were hot against him, hee imputed it on∣ly to their zeale against vice, which did deserve it, yet it could not sinke into him, that in Law he could have beene denied his Councell, that which he had plea∣ded in some errors in the Indite∣ment, he conceived was reason, but Gods hand was in it, and he Page  56 most willingly submitted to it, all things in the end had turned to his good.

[ 4] In the infatuating of Himselfe; for his chiefe Accuser, he said he could have sent into England, and have had him indited for a hand he had in a stealth there, easily in this time have out-law'd him, and so his testimony had beene void. For the Jury, he could have ex∣cepted against 20. at least, and so howsoever have put it off till the next Term, before which he might have had other thoughts: the fore-man of the Jury he knew was outlaw'd also, and these things he conceived, he might have done lawfully in the plea∣ding what he could for his life, yet omitted them; the cause (he said) was both the height of his spirit in scorning to stoope to such poore shifts, and protractions, and the confidence he had there would be no neede, he had trusted ever too much to his own wit and ex∣pressions, with which till now Page  57 in any thing that ever he had at∣tempted, he had not mis-carried, and that he should be so infatua∣ted in this businesse, that so neerly concerned him, he tooke it to be Gods hand evidently, which he now not onely patiently yeelded to, but with thankfulnesse embra∣ced.

And thus much he thought fit to speake concerning those things he was justly condemned for, he confessed there were divers other hainous sinnes he had committed, the declaring of which publikely would rather increase the scandall he had given, than repaire it: And therefore he thought it not requi∣site; for those, he said, he had re∣collected them betweene God and himselfe, and had heartily repented of them, that he had re∣vealed them with a sorrowfull spi∣rit to me there present, to whom he had opened his whole life, from his youth till now, as to his Ghostly father, without any ex∣tenuation, or concealing, and had Page  58 received comfort, and for which as God had given repentance, so he trusted forgivenesse. He ac∣knowledged his neglect of publike Preaching, and Catechizing in the Church, private prayers in his fa∣mily, for which sinnes of Omi∣ssion, he was justly given over to the sinnes of Commission, for the neglect of the Commandements of the first Table, let fall into the breach of the second. That hee had come to the Sacrament, and administred it with his sinnes up∣on him. His roving thoughts at divine Service and Sermon, with divers others, &c. And here he declared a very observable passage, not many yeeres agone, he had a dangerous long sicknesse, when be∣ing sensible of the former neglect of his Pastorall charge, made a so∣lemnecvow to God, that if he should recover againe, he would be di∣ligent both in Preaching and Ca∣techizing every Sunday. After his recovery, it so fell out, that the first time he went to Church with Page  59 an intent to have begunne, the Judges of Assize were at Water∣ford, and then a thought arose within him, that if he should now enter upon that practice which he had not used before, it would be imagined, he did it for feare of them, and so deferring it that day, never did it afterwards. Nowdsoone after this, he observed, hee grew worse than before, and so fell into those vices, which had brought him to this shamefull end, I, saith he, ebroke with God, and God withdrew his grace from me, I forsooke him, and he left me to my selfe, which he applyed to others of his Profession, in being war∣ned by his example. Againe, he had then also prayed, that if when he came to health, he should start backe from his vow, God would send some heavier Judgement up∣on him, than ever he had yet felt, that might subdue his stubborne disposition: Little did he then thinke of this particular, but now he verily beleeved, it was the Page  60 fruit of that wish, and breach, and so gave God thanks for it, as the onely meanes to bring him home.

He confessed he had been guilty of much over-reaching of men, and that if his estate might be con∣tinued to his wife, he had given charge for satisfaction to be made to a penny: tooke notice of the Justice of God upon him, who had formerly so thirsted after a Name and Fame; it was now gi∣ven him, but a Name of Infamie, which he desired might rest onely upon himselfe, and not be impu∣ted to his Profession. He decla∣red that he did heartily forgive all those that had a hand in his pro∣secution, and that they should heare him presently pray for them. And in conclusion, asked me, if I could remember any thing else was fit for him to declare, and he would doe it, who at that in∣stant, not calling to mind any more, he desired the people to pray for him and with him, that God would magnifie his mercy in Page  61 forgiving so great a sinner. Then reading three Psalmes very apt for himselfe, the 38.42.51. he then desired them againe to joyne with him in prayer, that God would give him a further assurance of the forgivenesse of his sinnes, by the inward comforts of his Spirit, and assist him still against the feare of death in this his last act. We all kneeled downe with him, but such a moving prayer did I never heare, never was I compassed a∣bout so with teares, and sobs in my life, not bare weeping, but gush∣ing out of teares, which flowed from all that heard him: So that the very Papists, and some Priests I saw, who kneeled downe, and wept also; the summe of it was a Confession, and Aggravation of his sinnes, a begging of mercy, that his soule might be bathed in the blood of Christ, a sealing of it to his Consci∣ence by the comforts of his Spirit, to forgive all that were his enemies in this businesse, and to give them re∣pentance that had sinned with him, Page  62 that his Penitencie might be a meanes to abate the scandall, that he might be assisted against the assaults of Sa∣tan, weaknesse of his corrupt nature, now in this last act of Death, prayed for a blessing upon his Majestie, and his Dominions, for his wife and Chil∣dren, and so commended his soule to God, with a confidence of a happy change presently, &c. After this he desired me to sing the 116. Psalme throughout, which for the peo∣ples better joyning with him, I read. Not long after it was be∣gun, hee whispered one of his friends that stood by him, Oh! pray for me, that God doe not with∣draw his Spirit at this instant, and presently the teares trickled down his cheeks, with the continuance of which, I observed him after∣wards to sing the Psalme through∣out, the subject of which being matter of prayse and joy, it might possibly arise from such spirituall comforts, as hee had tasted the night before, and in his prayers had craved againe, which appea∣red Page  63 in his undauntednes of spirit, now entring into the jawes of death; when the Psalm was done, he rose up and said, I think I saw the Town-clark of Waterford here, if he be, or any other of that Town, I shall desire them to com∣mend me to my Neighbours there, that I have taken notice that none of the Romish Church, though dif∣fering from me in points of Reli∣gion, had a hand in this complaint against me, though they had as much cause as others, for which I conceive I owe them thanks.

Another thing is concerning my Buriall; It is usuall indeed for them of my Profession to be buried in the Church, but I have given charge to the fcontrary, if they will bury me in the Church∣yard, it is more then I have de∣served, for my part I would be contented it were in the bottom of the Sea, where I might ne∣ver be remembred. And now (saith he) I have done, only give me leave to be at some private Page  64 prayers with my self, wherin I shall desire you in your thoughts to joyn with me, in praying God to assist me at this instant, and so kneeled down for a little space, as did the company neare him also; when he arose, he sayd chearfully, Now I am ready, and took leave of them all that were neare him [whom he knew] man by man, taking them all by the hands, with such speeches as these, I dread not death, God send us a happy meeting in Heaven, I am but going before you, the whole company wept aboundantly, and my self had most cause at his last most affectionate expressions. Then he put off his mourning gown, hat and black cap, and called to his man for his other cap and Handker-chief. When he was setting foot on the Ladder, he turned with a smiling countenance towards the Sheriff of the Coun∣ty [who all this time of his pray∣ers and singing of Psalms had sat by on hors-back with his hat on Page  65 his head, giving no reverence at all] and said, Mast. Sheriff, Will you not take leave of your friends, when you shall never see them again? What? not one word from you all this while, God forgive you, and J doe from my heart, that usage of yours, which might have distracted me, but did not, I have prayed for you even now; and so went up the Ladder, who when he saw so many weeping, said again to them, I thanke God I dread not death, and that it proceeded not from a presumption, but from a present sensible apprehension of Gods-mercy, and an inward peace of Conscience, and so with a chearfull countenance, looking a∣bout him, and seeing some he knew, whom he had not seen before, bowed to them and bade them farewell, desired them still to pray for him as long as he had life. I had him last by the hand, when he was upon the Ladder, and to my admiration, his hand shook no more then mine. When he Page  66 was gone as high, as was thought fitting, and the rope put about his neck, he pinned the handker∣chief about his face with his own hands (the cords with mo∣ving his hands being again loo∣sed) and said to the Hang-man, honest friend, when thou art rea∣dy, tell me, and I will tell thee, when I am ready (to whom he than gave some little mony he had about him) prayed the She∣riff he might not be turned off till he spake again, and when he had pulled the cap over his face, he said, Lord now let thy servant depart in peace according to thy word, for mine eyes have seene thy salvation, which thou hast prepared for me; commended his soule to God, with divers the like expres∣sions, and not long after sayd, Now I am ready, and from that continued crying, Have mercy, have mercy, &c. till he was tur∣ned off. When he felt the Lad∣der stirring he put down his hands and laid hold on the sides of his Page  67 Cassock, and so stirred them not to the last, though some of his friends catched him by the hands, least he should have lifted them up, but I believe it was needles. By this his penitentiall, Christi∣an carriage, the hearts of his e∣nemies were mooved, such as ha∣ted him in his life, now loved him at his death, and I believe these many years there hath not bin any that left the world with so many tears and cryes of the beholders. When he had hung some 3. quarters of an hour, he was cut down and put into the same Coach he came in, into which I went my self, and rode with him to the house, where he was received; which I did both to feed my thoughts with mortality, in viewing the same body lying dead in the same place, where some two or three hours before I had seen it with a soul, in health, and full strength. As also least some lyes should have bin raised of him, by such as have us;ed to do the like.

Page  68That night about ten of the clock they buried him at S. Iohns in an outward part of the Church∣yard, according to his charge, where I did him that last office also.

About seven or eight of the clock, the Verger of Christs-Church came to my lodging and told me there was a rumour of a Sermon, and an expectation of my saying somwhat of him, so much that the Church was filled already to the doors, with aboun∣dance of Papists also, upon this suddain warning I was earnestly intreated to some short declara∣tion, which according to the time given me (howsoever I never liked funerall commendations, as usually doing more hurt than good) I did observe. And now in obe∣dience to such, who may com∣mand me, have further inlarged it, as also the Sermon, with some o∣ther seasonable additions, which the shortnes of the warning and latenes of the night would not Page  69 then permit. Many Papists [I am informed] were much affected both at what they heard before from him, and now of him. (One who came casually thither fell into teares in the very Church, and was converted. And the next morning being Sunday went to S. Owens Church, heard the ser∣vice and Sermon, and so conti∣nued.)

And thus you have heard at once, a dolefull and a joyfull relation, hard it is to iudge, which his friends have most cause of. To conclude.

Let not the Papists obiect this scandall to our Church, least wee returne them such foule stories from that Holy Sea, which wee have no mind to raise. 'Tis true, he did ill,g but doe we teach men so to doe. A Church ought not to be iudged by the lives of a few Professours, but by the Doctrine professed. And it is a Rule most advantagious to them∣selves. There was a Judas amongst the Apostles, that hanged himselfe, yet no disparagement to the Apostle∣ship, Page  70 when he was excluded,hand into his office another chosen. The incestuous person was no more a scandall to the Church of Corinth, when he was once put away from them. Nay, their zeale in his Ex∣communication, tended much to theirihonour, let his Execution perfectly approve our Church also, to be cleare in this matter.

kAnd least of all, should those that are of his own Communion be such hatefull birds, as to defile their owne¦nests, by imputing it as an asper∣sion to the whole profession; let him have his last request granted, that the dishonour may be buried with him, let not the l sinne of this one man, make you wrath with the whole Congregation. m I have sinned, saith David, and done wickedly; but these sheepe what have they done? [And indeed the former sort in n their generation are wiser in this usually, then the children of Light] When the Sunne is ecclipsed every man's eye is upon it, but little doe they observe it in Page  71 his glory. Let there be one grosse offender in the Ministery, he shall be ever gazed at; but they remember not the many glorious Martyrs, and unblemish'd Preachers, who have shined in that Firmament also. That the miscarriage of one, should like a crosse line be drawne over all the rest, I see little Reason, lesse Justice, and least Religion at all in it.

In a word. Object not his life to justifie your owne, remember our Sa∣viours distinction for some.o what they bid you doe, that observe, but doe not after their works; or that of S. Paul, p Be followers of me, as I am of Christ. Jf you remember his life, forget not his death; (in the former indeed the rod of Aaron was turned into a Serpent; but now the Serpent is turned into a rod againe) as the one was offensive, so let the other be usefull, as the one made the breach, so let the other repaire it.

'Tis true,qthe Dignity of his Person must needs sinke his offence the deeper, The Scandall of both hath increased the Ignominy of his death, Page  72 the shame of his death hath occasioned his spirituall life: And if God hath for given, and forgotten it in Heaven, why should we upbraid him with it here? The cleerest Moones have some spots. The best Churches have had some such staynes. Oh! let the blot of his life be washed out of your memories by the many eares at his death, for which,r Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercy, and the God of all comfort, to whom be honour and glory for ever.


O Poenitentia! quid de te novi re∣feram? omnia ligata tu solvis, omnia clausa tu reseras, omnia adversa tu mitigas, omnia contrita tu sanas, omnia confusa tu lucidas, omnia desperata tu animas,

Cy∣prian de Laud. Poenitent.
Page  73

The Letter to his Wife.

My deare Wife,

MArke well these last wordes of him, who these twenty yeares, and upwards hath been your Husband, and might have so continued much longer by the course of nature, had not his continued and crying sinnes, de∣servedly drawn this punishment upon him, to be cut off from the living, as unworthy of their so∣ciety in this life. I suffer for my wickednesse, which I beseech God in his mercy through Iesus Christ to forgive me. In my suffering, you suffer both in your credit and estate, and what else soever con∣cernes this world. This advantage you have of me, I have only left Page  75 unto mee a small time of Repen∣tance, but you, by Gods grace may have a large time of amendment, which I would have you improve to the full, and not lose a minute. Turne unto the Lord your God, with all your heart. Cloath your selfe with patience & thanks∣giving. I doubt not but God will have mercy on you, and prove a Husband to you, and a Father to my Children, yea, I doubt not but you shall live with the same hap∣pinesse, and greater content, then if I were with you.

Serve him, he will not faile you.

Bring up your Children in the feare of God, that Houshold which you keep, let it be the servants of God.

Above all things be diligent in private prayer, make all your needs known unto the Lord. Vn∣dertake nothing which you cannot Page  74 finde in your heart to begge a bles∣sing for.

Misconster not these my dy∣ing advertisements, which pro∣ceed (as in the presence of God) from true affection, that at length I might really give some supply to my former defaults, and put you in a right way for everlasting comfort. That though we part in this world, yet we may enjoy a more happy meeting in Heaven. And after all our afflictions be there partakers of endlesse blisse. So prayes, and ever shall pray as long as he lives,

Your Husband John Atherton.

Decemb. 1. 1641.

Cast not away this paper when you have read it, but keepe it as a Jewell, and peruse it often, as the Legacie of him who can now give no other.

Page  76

The Letter to his Children.

My deare Children,

IT was ever my desire to have seene you well preferr'd, but God thought other∣wise, and my sinnes would not suffer it, which have not onely, sentenced me to death, but berea∣ved me of that small worldly blessing, which I purposed unto you, as a patrimony, and evidence of my fatherly affection. And how now it will be disposed of, or what share will come to your lot, I leave to God, who, as he hath gi∣ven you body and soule; so I doubt not but will of his great goodnesse provide for your estate. What is left unto me, and cannot be taken Page  77 from me, I freely impart and give unto you, not dividing it amongst you by shares and proportions, but giving each of you the whole, wherein though you communicate one with another in my blessing and last councell, yet each without wrong to the other, may take and challenge the whole to her selfe.

First, the blessing of God the Father, the Sonne, and the Ho∣ly Ghost, light upon you, give you a true knowledge of his Word, a true feare of his Will, and a true Faith in his Promises.

Let no day passe over you, wher∣in you do not call your selves to a reckoning before you sleepe, and make your peace with God for the offences of that day.

Be constant in private Prayer twice every day at the least, upon your knees, and God will be a Fa∣ther unto you.

Page  78Do nothing great or small with∣out first craving a blessing from God and forbeare that, upon which you cannot find in your hearts to crave such a blessing.

Be content with whatsoever God shall afford you, poverty, or riches, take heed, repine not at his pleasure [who in the end, though it be sometimes contrary to our sense] works all things for the good of his children.

If you marry, preferre an honest man that feares God, before all other respects in the world.

Be obedient to your mother; love one another, and live in hope to enjoy againe in Heaven the com∣pany of your Father,

Now ready to dye, John Atherton.

Decemb. 4 1640.

Cast not away this loose paper, but each of you take a Copy of it, and preserve it by you as a Jewell all the dayes of your life.

Page  [unnumbered]

A SERMON PREACHED AT THE Buriall of the said IOHN ATHERTON, The next night after his Exe∣cution, December the fifth, 1640. In St. IOHNS Church in Dublin With some other Additions and Enlargements, which the shortnesse of the warning, and latenesse of the night, would not then permit, throughout Applicatory to divers speciall passages in the Relation, wherin there are also some other added, which were before omitted.

By Nicolas Barnard, Deane of Ardagh in IRELAND.

Chrysost. in Laud. Pauli Homil. 1.

Paulus terram & mare circumivit, peccarorum spi∣nas evellens grana{que} pietatis ubi{que} semmans, ve∣ritatem reducens, ex hominibus Angelos faciens, &c.

ACTS 2.19.

Repent ye therefore and be converted, that your sinnes may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

London Printed by G. M. 1641.

Page  [unnumbered]

The Summe of the Doctrines here handled.

  • The Dignity of Preachers C•••sts Messengers. whence
    • for themselves, a necessity
      • of ordination to it.
      • of continuance in••r.
    • for the people, a necessity
      • of entertainement of them.
      • of Audience, Obedience to them.
  • The duty of Preachers in the Generall; from whence observed. That Preaching of all the Acts of the Ministry is the most Apo∣stolicall, and if so, the most Episcopall. And here in (according to a speciall Confession of a Vow, made, and broken by this Person) An Exhortation both to Preaching and Catechizing. For the latter of which
  • Foure things advised
    • Shunning
      • Diversities of Catechismes.
      • Vnnecessary Controversies.
    • Handling these Principles
      • Briefly.
      • Often.
  • In both condemned Inconstancy, either in the
    • Doctrines delivered.
    • time giving it over.
  • The Duties of Preachers in Speciall
    • Ability to Preach.
    • Perspicuity in their Preaching.
    • Their lives to be according.
  • The state of a man Vnconverted resembled by a
    • Blindnesse.
    • Darknesse.
    • Slavey.
  • The state of Conversion resembled by giving
    • Sight.
    • Light.
    • Liberty.
  • That the greatest Sinner once converted is capeable of forgivenesse.
  • The joyfull happy estate of him who hath an assurance of it, in three things, he hath Peace
    • with God.
    • of Conscience.
    • with Death.
And therein of spirituall refreshings.
Throughout Applicatory to the Party.
Page  81

The Text.

ACT. XXVI. vers. 17.

I send thee—

Vers. 18.

To open their eyes, to turne them from darknesse to light, from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive for∣givenesse of sins, &c.

THat there is an emi∣nent aMan this day falne in Israel by a scandalous and ignominious death, ye al know, of whom this unwonted conflu∣ence of people speaks an expect∣ation of saying somwhat; For his life, to give the least commen∣dation, would be a scandall to the Speaker, and yet wholly to Page  82 conceale his penitency at his death, would be a wrong both to him, and you the hearers. It was in∣deed his own desire, there might be no good spoke of him at all, but (me thinks) that it self (if there were no more) b is cause suffici∣ent to speak somwhat, in that short expression being much in∣cluded. And commendation if e∣ver is then most seasonable, when it can neither impute flattery to the one, nor cause a pride in the other.c Then may be thought d the lesse affected, when a dispraise would be the least offensive. And for that we have done with in the Relation.

This Text fits this present oc∣casion thus: Saint Paul is here sent to preach the Gospell, such was the end of this our Brothers ordination, but neglected. Such had bin his solemne vow of latter years, but broken. The persons to whom he was sent, were such as lived in darknesse, under the po∣wer of Satan, such to have bin his Page  83 life formerly to the Churches scandall is confessed. The effect of Saint Pauls message is to open their eyes, to turne them unto God, such a blessed change to have bin lately found in him, hath bin made apparant. And if with these he hath obtained the efficacy of the meanes, why should we barre him, from at∣taining the like happinesse in the end also, viz. forgivenesse of sinnes. 'Tis true he was sent, and like that eSon, that said he would go into the vineyard, but went not. Instead of converting others, he had corrup∣ted them, instead of opening their eyes, he had shut his owne, instead of gayning others out of dark∣nesse, he had lived in the works of darknesse himselfe, instead of turning men from the power of Satan, he had drawn more sub∣jects to him. Notwithstanding what he was ordained to have bin an instrument of in others, was by Gods grace in a great measure wrought in himselfe; Page  84 and if conversion, why should not we beleeve forgivenesse, and if forgivenesse blessednesse, for fblessed is the man whose iniqui∣ties are forgiven, and whose sins are covered, &c. The Ocean of Gods mercy is able to swal∣low Mountaines, as well as Mole-hils, great sinnes as lesse, according to the proportion of Repentance. Saint Paulga blasphemer yet obtained pardon. The crucifiers of the Lord of life are bad to be hconverted, and their sinnes should bee blot∣ted out. 'Tis true hee was at first mooved to it with Feare; so was iNoah to the saving himselfe by the Arke. kGre∣gorie▪ Nazianzen was at first converted to Christianity in a Storme. Our Saviour in the same breath calls his Disci∣ples Friendes,l and yet bidds them feare him, for the feare of Hell it selfe. m Hee came late, so did they that went into the Vineyard at the ele∣venth Page  85nhoure.oManasses began in fetters. The pProdigall Son staid till he was starved and for∣ced. Oh let not your eyes be evill when Gods is good. Where we find his hand, why should wee doubt of his Seale? if he were turned from the power of Satan in repentance to God, no doubt but God hath turned to him in granting forgivenesse.

In the Text you may observe these three parts.

  • 1. St. Pauls mission, J send thee.
  • 2. His Commission in three branches.
    • 1. To open their eyes.
    • 2. To turn them from darknes to light.
    • 3. From the power of Satan unto God.
  • 3. The happy fruit of both, That they may receive forgivenesse of sins.

The first implies our Dignity. The second our Duty. The third our hearers benefit. By this our Page  86 Brother, the first at his arraigne∣ment hath hin much disgraced. The second in his life more negle∣cted. And the third at his death, Gods mercy in him infinitely mag∣nified. From the first, he judged himselfe worthy to be degraded. For the second, he had strongly resolved if he had lived, to have repayred. And the third was in an extraordinary manner to his conscience sealed. So that the three things which are now to be handled from the words are these.

1. First, the dignity of Mi∣nisters, to be Christs Messengers, I send thee.

2. Secondly, the chief part of their message, to be Preachers (the sole end of which, is the conver∣ting of men) to open their eyes, to turn, &c.

3. Thirdly, the latitude of Gods mercy even to the worst of men, who by their preaching shall be converted, though living under the power of Satan, yet shall re∣ceive Page  87 forgivenesse of their sins. In the handling of which ye shall find some things as seasonable as profitable, and throughout I would be understood to be equally ap∣plicatatory to Bishops, as other inferiour Ministers.

1. First, the dignity of Prea∣chers, sent by Christ; their mis∣sion is like q St. Johns Baptisme, not of men, but from Heaven, they may say to their hearers as Moses to the Israelites, rI am hath sent me unto you. And tis observable their Commission is sealed by the blessed Trinity, First, severally, by the Father, (Matth. 19. ult.) Pray the Fa∣ther that he will send labourers, &c. By the Son (Ephes. 4.1.) He gave some Apostles, some Pa∣stours, some Teachers, &c. By the Holy Ghost (Act. 20.28.) Over whom the Holy Ghost hath made you Over-seers. Secondly, ioyntly (Math. 28.18.) Go, teach all Na∣tions, and baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Sonne, Page  88 and of the Holy Ghost; and accor∣dingly as Saint Johns begins his Revelation with a Salutation from them; So Saint Pault con∣cludes his second Epistle to the Corinthians with a Benediction. Hence those honourable titles by each of which we deny not, is implyed a severall duty also, (ho∣nos & onus) to imply there ho∣linesse, uMen of God; Their vigilancy, xWatchmen, their cou∣rage ySouldiers, their painfull∣nesse, zharvest labourers, the care of their flock, aShepheards, their wisedome, bOver-seers, their industry, cHusbandmen, their patience, dFishermen, their tendernesse of affection, eNurses, their love, fFathers, nay gMothers, their faithfulnesse hStewards, their necessary use in preserving and informing of men, iSalt of the Earth, * Light of the world, their dignity, kRulers,lEmbassa∣dours, their eminency mAngels,nfellow-fervants with them, oCo∣workers with God, Christs pWit∣nesses,Page  89qMinisters, nay r*Christs glory. To the Ministers of the Law indeed pertained sthe glory (viz.) of the Arke and Temple, but these are termed the Glory of Christ himselfe, typified by them, whose presence made tthe glory of the latter Temple, though meaner in building, to exceed the former. The dignity done to the Priests and Prophets under the Law was much, uJehojada the Priest marries Jehorams daughter the King. See the honourable termes given by xObadiah, (the chief of Ahabs Courtiers) to the Prophet Elijah; and to omit what we reade from good Kings. See yJoash (a bad one) visiteth E∣lisha in his sicknesse, calling him Page  90 my Father, &c. Now by how much the z Gospell excels the Law, so ought the Ministers to be preferr'd, as being of a better Testament, and of a farre a more glorious Ministration. Embassa∣dours are usually respected accor∣ding to the Princes they repre∣sent. Saint Paul was so recei∣ved by the Galatians,bAs an An∣gell of God, nay, as Christ Iesus, in whose stead he moved. And thinke not this to be any pride in magnifying our calling, Saint Paul surely was no more ambiti∣ous of honour, then he was cove∣tous of a gift, but yet that he might have some fruit that might abound to their account, for their own sakes no doubt, he beseech∣eth the cdThessalonians, To know those that were over them in the Lord, and to esteeme them very highly, &c. A high calling in∣deed, the Son of God himselfe despised it not, and let not the greatest then thinke his sonne of too high a birth for it. 'Tis no Page  91 argument, that now they should be made the eOf scouring of the world, because the Apostles were so, that now they should be dri∣ven to worke with their owne hands (as some it may be would be contented with) because f St. Paul was once put to it by ne∣cessity: that now they should have no respect, because there was so little heretofore given them by infidels. No; yee have not so learned Christ, and do not ye fill up the measure of your Fa∣thers. And yet how many are there, who seem to reverence Christ, but like the Jews mock him in his word and servants, like cursed Cham deriding their Fathers, till the curse rebound up∣on their own heads; If like Ie∣remiah, a Minister deale truly and impartially, presently gdevices are laid for him, a conspiracy to smite him with the tongue, if he indeavour to dispossesse a man of his evill spirit, than like Saul to David, a dart is throwne at him, Page  92 nay, Spears and Arrows of re∣proaches, even bitter words. If a reproof, then you take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi.

Obiect. We grant the Apostles to be sent of Christ, but what is that to such as are ordained in these days?

Ans. The difference is only Vo∣cationis modo, Christ cals Paul immediately by himself, and he cals Timothy, per media ordinario, as S. Paul speaking to the Elders of the Church of Ephesus, whom himself had ordained, yet (Act 20.28.) he tels them, the Holy Ghost had made them Over-se∣ers, as his Epistles may be truly cal'd his writings, as being the Pen-man, and yet Gods too, who was the Inditer, and in them guided his hand: So the Mes∣sengers of the Church are also Christs, who in his name ordain no other, then testifie they find themselvs hinwardly mooved to 〈◊〉 by his Spirit. See both together in that fore-named (2 Cor. 8.23. Page  93We are the Messengers of the chur∣ches, and the glory of Christ, as the man is called the glory of God (1 Cor. 11.7.) and the woman the glory of the man. Because as the Moon from the Sun, they each derive their light and au∣thority from them; so are these so called here, as receiving their dignity and commission from Christ by the Churches hand, who in this sense confirmeth the word of his servants, and is with them to the end of the world, of which there can be no i surer Seale, than the assistance of Gods Spirit in converting their hearers.

Hence a two-fold instruction for the Preacher and people.

For the Preacher. 1. A ne∣cessity of Ordination. Mark. 3.14. None mayktake this upon him (be he as wise as Salomon or Daniel) before he be cal'd of God as Aaron. lHow can they preach, i. e. de jure, unlesse they be sent. God complains of some mI have Page  94 not sent them, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they pro∣phecied. The n Labourers though able and willing yet went not in∣to the Vineyard till they were bidden by the Husband-man. They who climeo into this Office through the window of their own pride and self-conceit, and enter not by this door, are rather theeves than shepheards. 'Tis an observation some have made of pOrigen, why he fell into such dangerous errours, though he had an excellent wit, because he so long neglected orders.

2. A necessity of continuance, if their Mission be from Christ, none can then give them a Dis∣misse, but Christ. Have you set your hand to this Plough, there is no looking back; whatever o∣ther imployment by man is laid upon you, of this you cannot be unloaden. There may be indeed some good cause of a remoovall from a place, even for the same the Colt our Saviour sent for was Page  95 loosened, viz. when the Lord hath elswhere need of you: but I find no writ of ease in any place to dispense with the of∣fice.

For the People. 1. First, then give them entertainment, the A∣postle argues this case largely. (Cor. 9.) What amendment so∣ever hath bin here of late in some places, yet still in most, the meanes of the Levite is like the garments of Davids Servants by Hanun King of Ammon cut off y the halfs But let such con∣••der the admonition of Moses, Deut. 12.19. Take heed to your ••lves, they that thus r rob God, o but in conclusion rob them∣elvs, as there are in Story di∣ers such observations. Mosesrayer for Levi is still effectuall Chap. 33.11.) Blesse Lord his ••bstance, and smite through the ynes of them that rise against him, nd of them that hate him, that ••ey rise not again. That distin∣tion of three sorts of Sacriledge Page  96 by Peter Lumbard,s is common∣ly knowne, Sacrum de sacro, non sacrum de sacro, sacrum de non sa∣cro, as that of ThomastAqui∣nas, that it may be committed against three, in Personam, in Lo∣cum, in rem. The last of each are alike, in a robbery upon the Chur∣ches possessions; where (in other Countries it hath bin consented to, it is now as much repented of, though too late. Justinianu makes it a greater sinne than treason. Howsoever thou whi•• worthily xabhorrest Idols, doe not thou commit Sacriledge. You that stand for Christs word, doe not you cast lots for his coat. y The fish Saint Peter catched, it came up with mony in the mouth, and certainly such as are truly taken by the net of Gods word, will not grudge to supply the Mini∣ster in Temporals, who commu∣nicates to him in Spirituals, and what ye yeeld let it be willing∣ly, not wrung out by Suits: such as strive with the Priest are ac∣counted Page  97 the worst of men by the Prophet (Hosea 4, 4.) How able and active this our Brother was in the recoveries of such dues, ye all know, But what a griefe now, his spending so much time in them was, whereby he lost himselfe, I know. The regaining of the Churches Rights he thought might be done, but the gaining of soules, the Rights of Christ purchased by his blood, by no meanes should be left undone. Often did he ap∣ply to himselfe that Speech of a z great man at his last. Had hee been as diligent to have done God service, as he had done the King, he had kept the Kings favour still. So had he been as conversant in the study of the Gospell, for the instruction of Men, as he had been in the Law, for the setling of Lands, he had not by the Law so deservedly lost Lands, Body and Estate, and all at once. we are called Fishers, not Hunters, Fishers of men, not of money, we are prest for a Spirituall warfare, and such Page  98aentangle not themselves with the affaires of this life.b S. Augustines spirit is very worthy of imitation, who was hardly drawne to answer any Letters, for himselfe, or others that concern'd these worldly matters, onely ready for such whose subject was spi∣rituall. And if at any time he were necessitated to it, he thought so much loft, and returned from it, as a pri∣soner set at liberty. Nay sometimes cGave up his right, rather than runne himselfe into a Labyrinth of Law contentions, according to that of our Saviour, (Math. 5.40.) The onely way the Divell is some∣times put to, for the stopping of the mouthes of able Divines. If he can but get their hearts to cleave to the world in suites, soon cleave their tongues to the roofes of their mouthes for preaching, and so by a Page  99 disuse in time, according to that threatning in the Prophet to the Idoll shepheard, dTheir armes are dried up, their right eyes utterly darkened, And their right hands with the Psalmist, forgets their cun∣ning: Their abilities and gifts pe∣rish also. And 'tis certain (how∣soever others have thought the contrary) that as the interposition of the Earth eclypseth the Moone: So these earthly imployments instead of spirituall, hath rather clouded, than added to the glory of our fun∣ction.

Secondly, then give them Au∣dience, Obedience: I put them to∣gether, as indeed they should ne∣ver be severed. First, audience, the denying of which to the Embas∣sadour of the meanest Prince on Earth is accompted the highest indignitie. eOh, see then ye refuse not him who speaks from Heaven. Say ever in this sence with Samuell,fspeake Lord, thy servant heareth. And when ye do, let it be with Attention, not to have your mind Page  100 roving about some other matter, your tongues whispering in ano∣thers eare. (A fault this our Brother publikely acknowledged in himselfe.) And let it be also withgReverence. Remember 'tis the voice of God, and not of Man, as one observes of that speech of John the Baptist, Ego sum vox in deserto. John was the voyce, but God the speaker, as holy men were the pen-men of the Scripture, but God the Inditer,hBalaam bids Balak arise.iEg∣lon of himselfe, rose up from his Throne, when Ehud said he had a message from God to him. If these gave this outward reverence let us adde k an inward reverence and feare also. Secondly, give them lObedience, the former is but the shell, the shaddow, this is the Sub∣stance. Many indeed give us the hearing, but very few in that sence 'tis usually taken in the Prophets, viz. mObeying, Remember we are Gods Messengers. Great mens in∣treaties are commands: Our com∣mands from God are but intreaties. Page  101nGod doth beseech you by us, wee pray you in Christs stead; unheard of, that a King should Petition to his Subjects; and yet who of you yeelds? who obeyes? Historians say, that mens lives were never worse, than when the seven wise men lived. It would be ill newes if it should be so with us, since the long continuance of the wisdome of the word among us. However, as our Saviour, so may we say un∣to you also, oWe have not spoken of our selves, but the Father which hath sent us, he gave us a Comman∣dement, what we should say, and what we should speake, and the word which wee have in Gods Name spoken, and not obeyed, shall rise in judgement against you at the last day. Obiect not the dis∣obedience of this particular Person to palliate your owne. Let his selfe condemnation, prevent yours, his exhortation to others, be yours. He was a prodigall, but returned, once lost, but now found, and if the Fa∣ther have remitted it, let not his Page  102 Bretheren be offended at it. And so much for the first part of the Text, S. Pauls Mission—I send thee.

Now the second part of this Text concernes S. Pauls Commis∣sion, in a word of Information, To open their eyes, in a word of Appli∣cation, To turne them, &c. (the two necessary parts of a Sermon.) Be∣fore you heard our Dignitie, now we will confesse out Duty, and 'tis this latter that must support the former. And for this, we shall consider it two wayes, as it may concerne this our Brother.

First, Actively, as being his duty towards others.

Secondly, Passively, as having been effectuall in himselfe.

In the first, I shall but performe the will of the dead, who had in∣tended at the place of Execution to have made a large Exhortative Speech, to the diligent performance of his function in PREACHING, and CATECHIZING: but that he thought few of his Profession would be there, and the PapistPage  103 (who might be the most) would but deride him, and so omitted it. Only he declared how the neglect of it, was his greatest griefe, and for the breach of his vow, in which he was perswaded, (as a iust punish∣ment) God left him to himselfe, whereby he came to this shamefull end, for this sinne of Omission, he obser∣ved Gods Justice in giving him over to sinnes of Commission, according to that of the Apostle. (Rom. 1.21, 24, 26.) And as this Subject is sea∣sonable in regard of his particular, so is it necessary in regard of the times neglect in generall. When Preaching is so undervalued, so flighted, as if it were too meane for the Dignitaries, and Fathers of our Church, and only left as the refuse of our Office for the inferiour Ministers. And let me not be mis∣understood, as if in the words of S. Paul,pI had ought to accuse my Nation, or Profession of: or with Cham had a desire to discover my Fathers nakednesse. No; only let me magnifie their Office, and in this Page  104 our Brothers stead, incite them un∣to that, whereby their Dignity with man here, and their comfort with God hereafter may be con∣tinued.

The Summe of the Apostles Com∣mission, you see here is Preaching, which we shall according to the Text; consider, First in it selfe. And then its severall parts.

First, in the Generall, from the Summe of the Apostles Message, observe this, (viz,) That Prea∣ching and converting the soules of men, of all the Acts of the Ministry is the most* APOSTOLICALL. For further proofe see (1 Tim. 2.7.) both put together. I am ordained a Preacher, and an Apostle, Teacher of the Gentiles, &c. The very same words againe (2 Tim. 1.11.) in both, see how the Apo∣stleship is supported on each side with this imployment. 'Tis pre∣ferr'd before the Administration of Sacraments (1 Cor. 1.17.) Christ sent mee not (i. e. not so much) to baptize, but to preach the Page  105 Gospell. Nay above Miracles, gifts of tongues, government, &c. See 1 Cor. 12.28, 29. God hath set in the Church first Apostles, secondly Prophets, thirdly Teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, Government, Diversities of Toungs, &c, Now wherin hath it so of∣fended, that lately it should be compelled to take the lowest roome.

'Tis a speech of Gregory,tWe ac∣count those to beare the Image of the Apostles, who are Preachers. And if so, why heare we no more of it from him, who boasts his Sea to be only Apostolicall, who hath not bin known so farre to disparage himselfe these many hundred years. The more we draw back in it, the nearer we shall draw to him. There were some in the * Church of E∣phesus that said they were Apostles and were not. Let this one thing be their tryall, which if admitted, the former would bee found a lyar.

Now if preaching be the most Page  106 Apostolicall, certainly this conclusi∣on following must be undeniable, viz. Then the most Episcopall,u whose Successours they are. For which, who knows not that (in the 1 Tim. 3. which S. Hierome well cals Speculum Sacerdotij) the prime quality of a Bishop is to be x〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, i. e. not only a∣ble and fit, but apt and ready to it. The like Tit. 1.9. yThomas Aquinas could say, that preaching was the most principall and proper act of a Bishop, and accordingly ap∣plies zeight Titles to them that im∣ply that labour. Nay so proper to a Bishop, that before S. Augustine time it was not ausuall for a Presbiter to preach in the presence of a Bishop; at least it was against the custome of the Africk Church. We reade Ʋalerius than Bishop of Hippo was much censured by other neighbouring Bishops, that Page  107 he should permit S. Austine, be∣ing then but a Presbiter, to preach so often before him, and not to do it himself, and yet there was some reason for it: Ʋalerius be∣ing a Graecian was not so perfect in the language, as S. Austine was. Andbfrom his example it began first that Presbiters got the honour to preach the word of God in the Bishops presence. Which former custome howsoever S. Hierome from another ground pleads much against, as inferring that thecBi∣shop should delight to heare such of his own Election to perform their office. Yet he acknowledgeth it to have dbeen the custome then also. But to return to S. Augu∣stine; when he was made a Bi∣shop, did he then give it over? No; then 'tis said ehe preached Page  108 much more then he did before, wher∣soever he came, whensoever asked. The like of S. Ambrose (by whose f frequent Preaching St. Austin himself was converted) the gin∣troduction into whose first Sermon after his Election was the affir∣ming this to be his proper and ne∣cessary function. St. Chrysostome cals preaching, Omnium bonorum summa, and according to his own practice would have a Bishop preach every day, h with whom ye have often cras & heri, as if he were rather a daily Preacher, than a weekly. S. Hieroms speech a Bishop should be for the Church, as tis said ofi Moses and Aaron for the Tabernacle, they departed not from it, always either preaching or stu∣dying for it, either with kPeterPage  109 and Andrew fishing, or with James and John amending their nets. Well me thinks, when I reade of Saint Pauls charge for this particular to Timothy, the first Bishop of Ephe∣sus, and not Parochiall neither, 1 Tim. 4.1. and a sickly man too, and in what high terms he gives it. J charge thee before God and the LORD JESUS CHRIST, who shall iudge the quicke and the dead at his appearing, and in his Kingdome, Preach the Word, be in∣stant, &c. It should make many a mans eare to tingle that hath wholly neglected it, the like you have again (Tim. 6.13.)

For Excuses, if a not being bound to any particular charge be preten∣ded, let them consider S. Pauls free preaching, which he so much glories in (1 Cor. 9.19) though he were free from all, yet had voluntarily made himselfe servicea∣ble to some. 'Tis possible for some urgent cause, the maintenance out of one place may be imployed for the upholding Gods service in ano∣ther. Page  110 Like S. Paul (2. Cor. 11.8.) who saith, he had robbed other Chur∣ches taking wages of them, to do the Corinthians service for it. but to be wholy idle in all places is l rob∣bery indeed. If imployment in government be alleadged for an exemption, let them again think of what S. Paul saith of himself (mƲpon whom came daily the care of all the Churches) 1 Corinth. 9.16. Yet necessity is laid upon me, and wee unto me if I preach not the Gospell, and Paul aged too. If disputing and writing, &c. be produced (as the best) for a dis∣pensation, let them still remember it was S. Pauls work also, as wri∣ting not a little. So ndisputing daily with the Jews and Greeks, Apollo's and Barnabas did the like with the false Apostles. S. Peter with the false teachers. S. Iohn confutes An∣tichristian Doctrine, and for con∣vincing gain-sayers none are freed from. See but what is recorded of Saint Augustine, how many Here∣ticks he had a daily contention Page  111 with Arrians, Manichees, Pelagi∣ans, Donatists, (one of which was converted onely by a digression in his Sermon) against whom, and of divers other subjects he wrote so much, that if all were extant, he that writes his life saith, oThe greatest student would have his fill in reading of them only. Yet not∣withstanding how did he labour in a constant preaching to his last; and the like might be related of divers others.

So that no pretence whatsoever can excuse them from the perfor∣mance of this function, to what dignity soever advanc'd, what bur∣then soever travelling under. I have often wondred at that in Io∣thams Parable, that when some of the Trees were desired to rule over the rest, saith pthe Olive, why should I leave my fatnesse, wherwith by me they honour God and Man, &c. saith the Fig-tree, Why should I leave my sweetnesse and my good fruit, &c. and goe to be promoted over the Trees? Why should pro∣motion Page  112 over Others, make men barren in themselvs? Could they not beare rule, and beare Fruit toge∣ther? 'Twas but a Parable, and let it be so still without any further ap∣plication; Only let none of us ha∣ving a talent, be like the unprofita∣ble servant in hiding it.

And in Conclusion, let me be but your remembrancer, of what hath beene so solemnely and publikely vowed at Ordination and Conse∣cration, and such a Profession be∣fore many witnesses ought to be of no light esteeme. The qExhorta∣tion to preaching before the re∣ceiving the Order of Priest-hood, the Obligatory promises upon de∣mand for it, the rwords of Or∣dination it self, The solemn delivery of the Bible with a charge to preach, this being the sum of the Office, why retaine we the name without executing it? And are not the same with other additions renew∣ed at the Consecration of a Bi∣shop? as the Epistle, so the choise of the Gospell, for that occasion, Page  113viz.* S. Peter charg'd three times by our Saviour, If he loved him feed his Sheepe, his Lambs, had its mea∣ning. The s speciall prayer at the Consecration tends the same way. The redelivery of the Bible as before, and opened with a charge again to be diligent in teaching, in giving heed to Exhortation, and to doctrine, therby to save himselfe, and those that heare him; to be a Shepheard, and not a woolfe; to seek the lost, &c. And in conclu∣sion, a Prayer that the Spirit may descend upon him for the preaching of the word; and being earnest in reprooving, beseeching, rebuking, &c. these surely are too serious to be thus sleighted tbe not deceived, God is not mocked. Now if any persons thus Ordained and Conse∣crated have beene negligent in per∣forming, let not the scandall be cast upon our Church, who you see is very carefull in enjoyning, and the bonds it takes for keeping Cove∣nant are the greatest that can be gi∣ven, the forfeiture of which will Page  114 not faile to be cald upon at the iudg∣ment of the great day. And so much for the first thing, the neglect of which this our Brother so much lamented, viz. The fore-noons worke in preaching.

There is a second, which he had expressely vowed also and broken, and for which equally with the former he acknowledged Gods Ju∣stice in this punishment, and that was the neglect of publike Cate∣chizing, in a plain and familiar ex∣position of the Credenda and agen∣da, conteyned in our Church Ca∣techisme, enjoyned to be the af∣ternoons work, and it were well, if every Sunday had its Morning and Evening Sacrifice; its former and latter Raine, uIn the Morning son thy seed; in the Evening with-hold not thy hand: Of which duty give me leave to speake a word also, as being a thing of all others the most necessary, in this ignorant Island; these are the Foundation of Christ∣ian Religion, which as it was St. Pauls glory to have laid it with the Page  115Corinthians, so would it be the glo∣ry of this age, to compasse the like with this people, untill which be done it must needes be in vaine, to proceed to a building of higher points. And I beleeve, without a∣ny disparagement I may say of the maior part of any of our Congre∣gations, as the Apostle of that fa∣mous Church of the x Hebrewes, They have more need of milke, than of strong meat. In which if it were fit for me to direct others of greater experience than my selfe, I would advise of these Foure things.

First, to shun diversities of Ca∣techismes; for every one to bee teaching a severall, as best likes his fancy, is but to distract and confound the people, if they shall remoove from one Parish to another. What are they, but severall Methods of the same thing in substance? Let us all pitch upon one, and why not that appointed by Autho∣rity?

Secondly, shun intricate and un∣necessary Page  116 Controversies, which as at all times in common Congre∣gations are unprofitable: So in this exercise the most unseasona∣ble. That Clause in the Apostles letter from their first generall Councell is very imitable in this, zWe thinke it fit to lay upon you no other burthen, than necessary mat∣ters,avaine bablings, foolish quest∣ions, andbstriving about words, and such kinde of needlesse conten∣tions, St. Paul bids cTimothy and Titus avoide, as being to no profit, among which may be reckoned the filling ignorant peoples cares with questions of Church Disci∣pline, which doth not concerne them, and neglect the main. Tis a good rule, every thing is so farre commendable as it may be profitable.

Thirdly, handle these things briefly, without affecting too much latitude.d S. Paul had taught his hearers in the compasse of three yeares, the whole counsell of God both in publike and private, and Page  117 such as shall dwell so long upon one subject, observe not the cu∣stome of the ancient Church. How briefe is S. Augustines Symbolum, S. Ieromes Explanatio fidei ad Da∣masum & Cyrillum? S. Cyprians Exposition of the whole Lords pray∣er, is not neare the length of an ordinary Sermon. Tis true it may be said of each Petition and Com∣mandement, as the Philosopher saith of the Soule, 'tis 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a great thing in a little com∣passe, like a starre, little in your eye, but in it selfe of a large mag∣nitude: Like a Fountaine, narrow at the head, but mighty streams may be drawne from it, to that Petition, Thy Kingdome come, or thy will be done may be referr'd a great part of the body of Divi∣nity (as some de Deo & de regno Dei, others de Fide & Obedientiâ make to consist the whole,) but would it not bee very imperti∣nent to draw all thither? And let me adde, that length of time, (howsoever some glory in it) doth Page  118 not alwayes argue the better buil∣ding, or the more cost. Salomons Temple was built in seven yeares, Herods was forty six yeares in buil∣ding, yet we cannot imagine it to have exceeded Salomons. Nay in this spirituall building, it may be want of paines that causeth a long tractate, the better things are stu∣died and digested, the more able shall he be to prune off unnecessary discourses, and to contract his mat∣ter into the narrower roome.

Fourthly, handle them often. In the French and some of the Germane Churches, as the Sunne runnes his course in the Heaven once a yeare, so do they runne through those heavenly Principles in the same compasse: For which our Canons have well provided also. An errour in some, who think it sufficient to go through them once in their lives, or a few of them once a yeare in Lent. No, people have not such strong me∣mories for spirituall matters, but that we had need with S. Peter,Page  119eTo put them in remembrance of these things often, nay alwayes; For some kinde of meates it sufficeth they are had sometimes of the yeare in thèir seasons, but for Bread there must be a daily pro∣vision. 'Tis so for the soule, for some points it matters not if they be seldome handled, but for the Principles of the Catechisme they are your necessary food, without which your soules cannot be nourished unto everlasting life, therefore it is fit that some of them should be ever sounding in your eares. And for this it selfe, let it not be thought too meane, for the Cbiefe of us. You see 'tis the Office of f a Ma∣ster-builder; And among the Fa∣thers have we not many introdu∣ctions to the Vulgar. Lactantius his Institutions, Cyrill his Cate∣chismes, Clemens Alexandrinus Pae∣dgogus, S. Augustines Enchyri∣dion, and his Booke de Catechi∣zandis rudibus and the like, Saint Paul was all things to all, gTo the weak he became as weak, that by all Page  120 means he might save some.

Let me for Conclusion of this, exhort all without exception, unto diligence in both these particulars, viz. Preaching and Catechizing, which by this our Brother were so neglected and lamented. Be not slothfull in the Lords businesse and in the Lords Vineyard, were it no more than the sight of those of the Romish Clergie in every cor∣ner, who travell Sea and Land to make their Proselites, it should me thinkes, be enough to whet our resolutions to be more indu∣strious: Ye have heard, respect is your due, but those are only hwor∣thy of double honour who are 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉labourers in the word and doctrine, Maintenance is your due, but 'tis the ilabourer is worthy of his hire. High esteem is your due, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, but kfor your works sake. What is the cause of late, the Calling hath fallen into such Contempt? is it not for not shew∣ing your selveslwork-men, rightly dividing the word of truth. Why Page  121 are many of the people like those *dry places in regard of any good∣nesse, which the uncleane spirit walkes through, is it not because you for preaching have passed over like *clouds and wind without raine? What is the cause so few subiect themselves to Christs Scep∣ter? Is it not because the sword of his Spirit (the word) is not thus drawne out by you? This and the like were the sole Apostolike wea∣pons, whereby the world was at first subdued. By these armes the Fathers purg'd it of Heresies and Schismes, afterwards, m not by Pillaring, Imprisoning, Obtayning Imperiall Edicts, (as 'tis said of S. Augustine) but by preaching. And let no man neither, ndespise the day of small things. S. Ambrose his first Sermon de grano Sinapis (as appears by the beginning) was preached to a othin auditory. Our Saviour was content with one Woman at Samaria. Noahs eight persons in the Arke were the better auditory, though the whole Page  122 old world were the greater, Pre∣tend neyther the undecencie of the Church, our Saviour preached out of a Fisher-boate, S. Paul up∣on the Sands. Where you find dead Carkasses thither should yee like the Eagles resort. Nay, there is a way whereby all this enjoy∣ned may not seeme a burthen to us neyther. There is a labour of lov (the Apostle speaks of) that wil make us love the labour. Jacob because he loved Rachell though his seven yeares service nothing▪ What pains do we see some ptak in hunting, fowling, &c. accompte but a sport, because they love it▪ How do some toyle for the love o Money, things momentanie! And shall not our love to Christ con∣straine us rather? The compassion to the Soules that are Christs, the gaine of an immortall crown with Christ, much more inflame us?

And yet there is one thing more behinde, which if we will fulfi our Ministery, must not be omit∣ted; which we have also solemn∣ly Page  123 promised, and that is, Private admonitions. S. Paul had some∣what to do qfrom house to house, as well as in the Pulpit. Embassa∣dours have not done all in deli∣vering their Embassage publikely upon the day of audience, but there is much imployment also in private Treaties. The Husbandman visits his ground often after it is sowne. 'Tis the ignorance of some people to be all for the publike, and the neglect of some Ministers to make that their stent. No, you will finde it otherwise in S. Pauls Epistles to Timothy and Titus, and 'tis a thing most usefull in this Kingdome, where there are so many that hate the light in publike. This was S. Augustines practice too, r hee had usually a Chapter read at his Table, upon which he would be Commenting to his Guests, tooke all opportunities in private to inculcate what he had delivered be∣fore, and chiefly endeavouring to instruct those, who might be able to teach others. And this part of our Page  124 function, the Apostle gives a spe∣ciall caveat, that it be done with smeekenesse of wisdome, or else he may offend as much in admoni∣shing, as the party who is to be admonished. tA word fitly spo∣ken, saith Salomon, is like Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver, as an Earing of Gold, so is a wise repro∣ver, &c. The word in the Ori∣ginall is spoken upon its wheeler, which alwayes hath the best suc∣cesse, when it runnes upon these foure in a right observation of the Manner, Time, Place and Person.

There was another thing you shall find often lamented by thi our Brother also, which wee must not omit, and that was his Inconstancy in what we have al∣ready spoken of. He had runn well formerly, but of late yeare had slackt his pace, upon which I was an eare witnesse of his sa∣voury counsell to others, by hiexample, to continue constantly well doing, and not to measure the•• course according to the pleasure of 〈◊〉Page  125 times. Let me also commend this to you from him, as the crowne of all the former, viz. Constancie.uContinue in the things thou hast been assured of, &c. x These things I will that thou affirme constantly,ytake heed to thy selfe, and to the doctrine, and continue in them, were the admonition of S. Paul to his Sonnes Timothy and Titus. Let us intend these things, and intend them zwholly. An over active Spi∣rit that admits as inmates a mul∣titude of other Offices, to have one foot in the Church, another in the City, and as if he were a Tripos, a third in the Campe, usually mis∣caries in all, Qui in omnibus ali∣quid, in toto nihil, let every one abide in that whereunto he is cal'd. aIf in the Ministery, let us waite on our Ministry, he that teacheth, on teaching, he that exhorteth on Ex∣hortation, and then may he expect a blessing.bZacharias received that joyfull newes of a Sonne by the Angell, while he was executing his Priestly office in the Temple.Page  126 The cShepheards theirs, while they were attending their flocks by night; the dDisciples were called by our Saviour to be Apostles, while they were in their callings. What work you are set unto, Blessed is that Servant, whom his Lord when he comes shall find so doing.

Some have been inconstant in the doctrine delivered: 'twas Reubens blot (who lost his dignity) to e be unstable as water, to be like a wave of the Sea, (to which S. James compares some) turning accor∣ding to the winde and tyde, is not becomming Gods Messengers, who rather are compared to frivers, which hold their course, let the wind blow which way it will, gto be double minded, or as the Psalmist hdouble hearted is bad, but to be 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉double tongu'd is worse, much condemned in Dea∣cons, (1 Tim. 3.8.) and in this sense, it must needs be the more, when 'tis in matter of doctrine, to deliver it sometimes one way, some∣times another. No, as S. Jude v. 3. Page  127 that doctrine yee have once deli∣vered to the Saints contend for; IfiI build the things which I destroyed (saith S. Paul) J make my selfe a transgressor.kOur word was not yea, and nay, that with me there should be, yea, yea, and nay, nay, &c. As the Lord who sends us chan∣geth not, so his Messengers must not be changlings neither. The Septuagint translation howsoever highly to be esteemed, yet by this appeares that they were not 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, but led by a private spi∣rit, in that they changed some things of purpose to please Pto∣lemy and his Queene, like the Oracle when King Philip came to enquire of it, the Priests made it answer according to his humour; But it must not be so with us. The Rab∣bins fabulize the Manna had a se∣verall taste according to every mans palat. I know people would faine have it so, in the delivery of this heavenly Manna of the Word. But if we shall so studie to please men, we shall not be the servants of Christ.

Page  128Others are inconstant for the time; have borne fruit, but now are barren; and yet such as are of Gods planting in his houselbring forth fruit in their old age.mOld men must praise God as well as Children,n and so accordingly was the Spirit powr'd out. The twoofaithfull witnesses, their lives and preaching ended together. Thus was it with S. Augustine.pHee preached till his last sicknesse, being then 76. yeares old. Indeed there is no doubt a decrepit old age and decay of narurall faculties, must have a dispensation. God in that case hath mercy and not sacrifice, like the qLevites in the Law dis∣charged from the heaviest burthen of their Office at fiftie yeares. But let us not pretend more weaknesse then is. Our bodies (make the most of them we can) must at length fall to dust. Now can they be spent in a more honourable ser∣vice then the Ministry? the next degree (I hold) to Martyrdome? The usuall plea is indisposition of Page  129 body, rTimothy was such a one indeed, had many infirmities; S. Paul lov'd him dearely. Yet (though he allowed him a little wine) does not prescribe him little Preaching. His charge is still the same (2 Epist. 4.1.) and me thinkes strange counsell for a weak man. The Oringe tree, they write, is bearing fruit all the yeare long, as some are ripe, so others are still budding. A good Emble of a Preacher, as he should be weekly sending forth his labours, so pro∣viding a new againe; in this sence, like the sHousholder, bringing out of his treasure things new and old.

Oh! this constancie in Preaching, and in some constant Method (though it be the meaner) doth more good, then now and then on∣ly an elaborate Sermon; like a constant diet (though it be course fare) nourisheth more, then now and then a feast, when they must fast a long time betweene. Object not as a discouragement that thou seest no good come of it. Consider Page  128〈1 page duplicate〉Page  129〈1 page duplicate〉Page  130t the Physition gives not alwayes his patient over, because he mends not at first. The Souldier doth not raise the Seige, because the City is not taken the first day. 'Tis possible, it may be with some of us for many yeares, as it was with S. Peter for one night, he had been casting in, but vtaken nothing; yet with him, at our Saviours command we must cast in againe. Nay; the x Kingdome of God (saith Christ) is like one sowing, and the seed springs and grows up, but he knows not how. Thou seest no fruit; no more did Elias (though quick sighted) the seven thousand in Israell: much is lost; 'twas our Saviours own case, few converted by him, yet never man spake like him.* Abundance of diseased peo∣ple compassed ythe poole of Bethes∣da, but there was but one healed at once, and that at a certaine season too, when an Angel descended. Tis so in these waters of the San∣ctuary, 'tis well if in a great Con∣gregation one may be converted Page  131 by the Sermon. S. Paul knew he should never gaine all, and there∣fore was content, if he could win but some. Hast thou sowne, 'tis not lost neither, if another reape the fruit after thee, as our Saviour to the Disciples, zothers have la∣boured, and you have entred into their labours: be thou ever with a S. Paul and Apollo, planting or watring, and commit the increase to God that must give it. b Pray for the descent of this dew of Hea∣ven whereby it may spring, but if it be with-held, for thy selfe, re∣member the speech of the Pro∣phet, Isa. 49.4. J have laboured in vaine, J have spent my strength for nought, yet my judgement is with the Lord, and my reward with my God; thy reward shall be secun∣dum laborem, non secundum proven∣tum. If mocks and reproaches be∣fall you, be not troubled, Vipers will leape upon Pauls hands. Shake them off as he did, no hurt shall come unto you. cBe faithfull unto death, and ye shall receive the Page  132 Crowne of life.

And thus having supplied that which this our Brother had desired to have done himself (though much larger then I had at first intended) concerning the Commission of prea∣ching in the generall, I am now fur∣ther invited by the Text to a consi∣deration of the severall parts of it also, which are these two, an Information, to open their eyes; An Exhortation, to turn them from dark∣nesse, &c.

First observe, It is our duty to open the eyes of men, (i. e.) their understandings for matter of know∣ledge, as Mal. 2.7. The Priests lips should preserve knowledge. The Po∣pish Priests do what they can to close the peoples eyes, 'tis our pro∣fession to cleare them. How often to this purpose have ye the prayer of the Apostle, That thedeyes of their understandings may be enlight∣ned, that they mayeincrease in knowledge, and in all Judgment.

From hence then must follow these two requisites in a Preacher.

    Page  133
  • 1. Ability in themselves to o∣pen.
  • 2. Perspicuity in a plaine o∣pen expression to the people.

First, Ability for matter of lear∣ning; how can they open the eyes of others, when they are blinde themselves? Shall we in this sense expect night unto night to shew knowledge. They are called Lights. Now as f S. Jerom, if the light which be in the Minister the head be dark∣nesse, how great must the darknesse be in the body of the people? They are Leaders, should not they then know the way themselves? It was an ill case with the Israelites, g when their Watchmen were all blinde and dumbe, Shepheards that did not understand, &c. and surely those who lay hands on such hare partakers of other mens sinnes, and ought to beare their iudgement. St. Chrysostomei thought it just, they should be both punished alike, notwithstanding any excuse or mi∣stake in them. The Prophet spea∣king of such saith, k Woe to the Page  134 Idoll Shepheard. and the Psalmists description agrees to them, Whomhave eyes and see not, neither speake they through their throate, and they that make them are like unto them. Some reade it, Ʋae Pastori nihili, and an Idoll is no∣thing in the world. (1 Cor. 8.) The Complaint of a Father in his time may be taken up for some Dio∣ceses now. Curritur in Ecclesiae curas passim ab omni aetate & or∣dine doctis pariter & indoctis, tan∣quam sine cura iam quis{que} victurus sit, quum ad curas pervenerit. The calling of the Ministry is Myste∣rious; Now if for nArts and ordinary trades, men do not take the profession on them till they have bin some years practised in them. How much more cause have we to be many years at the schooles of the Prophets, to gain othe tongue of the learned, before we assume this pMinistration of the Spirit. That of our Saviour is observable, that though he was able enough at twelve yeares, yet Page  135 he preached not till he was qthir∣ty,rby that perfect age (saith Gre∣gory) implying the perfection of parts requisite to that function, being as S. Chrysostome, Onus angelicis hu∣meris formidandum. What presump∣tion is it thē (saith the same Father) s for men to be ambitious of be∣ing Shepheards, when they are scarce sheep? to be Captaines, when they are hardly Christs soul∣diers, to guide the Sterne before they know how to handle the Ore? The Apostles were first Disciples before Doctors, Lear∣ners before Leaders. And as our Saviour bade them tarry at Hie∣rusalem, till they should be endowed with power from on high: So 'tis good counsell for many to re∣turne to the University, till they are better furnisht; and like the wise Virgins, to be sparing in the storing of others with oyle, least they have not enough for themselves, 'tis good in this as in other matters, To be swift to hear, but slow to speake, till they be fit Page  136 for it. Ahimaaz that was so ea∣ger to be sent, and out-ran Cushi, when he came spake little to the purpose. And so it is with some hasty spirits for the Ministry, they that come in after them, like Cu∣shi doe their Message more fully. tThe Bees in tempestious weather (tis S. Ambrose his similitude) use to ballance themselves with little stones, least in their flight they should be overborne by it, It is good coun∣sell for us in this Kingdome, where we shall meet, with so many stor∣ming Adversaries to gain-say us, we had need to be well poysed with sound and solid knowledge, least we be carryed away with every winde of Doctrine. For want of this it comes to passe that some feed their people indeed, but it is with an empty spoone, little or no matter, Ʋox & praeterea nihil, like the foolish Ʋirgins lamps, but little Oyle. Instead of polishing the corner stones of the Temple, their doctrine is but daubing with untempered morter. A formall out-side of prea∣ching, Page  137 but if it were weiged in the ballance of the Sanctuary, would be found very light, little substance in it.

2. Perspicuity and plainnesse in their Sermons; what hope is there of opening mens understan∣dings, when the matter delive∣red is closed up from them. Twas S. Pauls aime u to speake words easie to be understood, and so it should be ours also. There is lit∣tle difference in speaking in an unknowne tongue, and speaking of things in an unknowne stile. These strong lines and forced eloquence in so high a language, doth little suite with Gods Oracles, lesse fit that word that must save the soule. (A fault which this our Brother much condemned himselfe for.) The Idolatrous Calfe was of Gold, but the Serpent that gave life, was made of plaine brasse. The Altar was to be but of Earth, or unpolisht stone. Types-indeede they were of the meane hue of Christ himselfe. But they may Page  138 resemble the plainnesse of his word too, which was usually illustrated by earthly similitudes, rather solid in the matter, then guilded in the stile. Our Saviour preached not as he himselfe was able, but as the people were able to heare.x Saint Paul professes he came not in the inticing words of mans wisdome or excellency of speech.y We are not as many (saith hee) who corrupt the word of God, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a Metaphor from Hucksters. That in the Law zThou shalt not sow thy vineyards with divers kinds of seeds, is of force still in this par∣ticular: We must not blend the pure seed of the word, with the Chaffe and Darnell of our owne conceits. Tis a good rule, that seeing we are Christs Messengers, we should so preach as in our con∣sciences wee are perswaded hee would have us, or as we thinke the Apostles would, if they were pre∣sent themselves, whom wee doe succeed; This were to doe it in sincerity, when with S. Paul, As Page  139 of God in the sight of God, so speak we in Christ. I wonder with what face, some can pray before him who is the searcher of the hearts, for the conversiō of their hearers by their Sermon, when res ipsa loquitur, there can be no such meaning in them, but rather their owne aap∣plause. Painted glasse is the more costly, but plainer is the more per∣spicuous, and so the more usefull: Men may spend much time to paint and set out their Sermons, but the plainer the more profitable. The Childe thrives more with the meer milke of the brest, than all other sweet meats whatsoever. And tis sure the bsincere milke of the word (as S. Peter cals it) drawne out of the two Brests of the Church, the Old and New Testament, nourish∣eth more to everlasting life, then all other Placentia, men-pleasing Oratory whatsoever. c The word in the Parable is compared to a Net, the world to the Sea, Men to Fishes. If we will have the Fish catched, the Net must be spreadPage  140 and unfolded, and so must the word be explained if we will be Fishers of men. And from this, let none on the other side collect, as if a rudenesse of speech were justified, the apparrelling this heavenly wisdome in some tattered stile. No Eccles. 12.9. Because the Preacher was wise, He gave good heed, and sought out words, and set them in order, he sought out fit words, &c. Apta non alta, and certainely tis the upshot of all learning to distin∣guish aptly and clearly of that which is confused, and to illu∣strate plainely that which is ob∣scure. Some have a faculty to speake obscurely of a plain subiect, as if according to that threatning in the Prophet, dThey would cause, the Sun to goe downe at noone. To doe Gods worke negligently, ye know is cursed; Wee must doe herein, as David, (1 Chron. 29.2.) who prepared with all his might for the house of God, the Oyle in the Lamps of the Tabernacle must be beaten (Exod. 27.29.) to Page  141 signifie we must beat our braines in the preparing for the light of the word, not in this sense, to offer ex tempore unto God that which cost us nothing: No, it ought to be with some labour and paines. Yet as S. Augustine saith well, there is quaedam diligens neg∣ligentia, commendable in a Prea∣cher, neither to have his Phrase too curious, nor too carelesse, quae sic ornatum detrahit, ut sordes non contrahit. While the Temple was in framing in mount Libanus, there was doubtlesse the use of all tooles, but when it was set up, tis said e there was not then either Ham∣mer or Axe or any toole of Iron heard in it. It may be applyed to this spirituall building, while the Sermon is in framing in the study, make use of all Authours, but in the very delivery of it in the Tem∣ple to the people, what needes there the noyse of so many names of Fathers and other Writers, which often drownes the matter it selfe, and the producing of Hea∣then Page  142 Poets. Me thinkes tis like the bringing of the uncircumci∣sed into Gods house, of all the most unfitting. If thou shalt lift up such tooles upon it, (as tis said of the *Altar) thou hast polluted it. In a word, so preach, that the hearer may be convicted, his heart discovered, his tongue confesse not that learning, wit, or eloquence, but fThat God is in you indeed, that your tongues are touch'd with a Coale from Gods Altar. Prea∣ching consists not in flashes and Rhetoricall descants, and such like gpleasing vanities, but in the po∣wer and demonstration of the spirit, in enlightning the mind, in woun∣ding the Conscience, and healing it againe. hThe teares of the people are a Preachers praise, saith St. Hierome. The words of the wise saith Salomon are as goades and nailes. Dicuntur pungere, non palpare, saith the same Father, not to stroake but to pierce, not to flatter, but to fright men out of their evill courses, and so much Page  143 for the first part of the Commissi∣on, To open their eyes.

2. The second part of the Com∣mission, to turn them from dark∣nesse to light, from the power of Sa∣tan unto God, no great difference betweene them: For as sinne is of∣ten set out by darkenesse, so is Satan called the power and the Prince of darknesse. As Grace is often resembled by light, so is God also called light it selfe, the Father of light, &c. Howsoever if this be a Preachers Office to turne others, this conclusion must necessarily follow also, viz. hee must be first turned himselfe: They must not then be such as live in the works of darknesse, and under the power of Sa∣tan themselves.i What effect can that Embassadour expect, when his actions shall contradict his treaties? Can he hope to draw others to take the Oath of Alle∣giance when he refuseth it him∣selfe? when our lives do not se∣cond our doctrine, we shall but pull downe with one hand, what Page  144 we build up with the other. He that would have a Sermon effe∣ctuall (saith a Father) kMust first reade it in himselfe, He can on∣ly speake as he ought, who lives as he should. What sweetnesse can there be in that speech to the hearers, when 'tis contradicted within the Conscience of the Speaker. They can care but little for his Counsell who is himselfe carelesse of his life. How shall he blesse the people, when he is in a cursed estate himselfe? How shall he give the body of Christ to others, who is not a member himselfe? As neither the blinde nor lame Sacrifice were accep∣ted with God (Hab. 1.) So are they as unprofitable with man, the blinde in knowledge, the halt in conversation. Praedicat viv voce, qui vitâ & voce. S. Pau bids Timothy be l an example to the Beleevers in his Conversati∣on. Titus in all things to shew himselfe a Patterne of good works gravity, &c. S. Peter exhort the Elders to be examples to thPage  145 flocke, 'tis the same word in all three, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a Metaphor from a Seale or stampe, to which the people are like the Waxe or Pa∣per, who accordingly receive their Print. St. Ambrose well cals the Ministers life, the m peo∣ples looking-glasse according to which they usually dresse them∣selves, as taking whatsoever hee doth to be Gospell; now if the glasse be false,n the eye be e∣vill, how can the whole body but be disordered and full of darke∣nesse? Nay, hee ought to flye the very suspition*of his fame, that he be not so much as accu∣sed or ill reported.

His life should be like the land of Gosheno light, though all the Page  146 rest of Aegypt be darke. Like Gideons fleece wet with the dew of Heaven, though all the ground about be dry. Gregory well com∣pares the Preacher to the cocke, as in his Message, which is to cry p with Saint Paul, Nox praecessit, &c. The night is past, the day is at hand: So in his prepa∣tion, Qui prius alis insonat, quam cantus emittat; First, wakes himselfe before hee wakes others,qSo (saith he) should a Preacher, first shake off the dust of his owne feete, and then take care to cleane others; First moove himselfe in good workes, and then draw and drive on others; First repent himselfe, and then denounce a iudgement on them that doe not: And for this exemplary innocent life, both in your selves and fami∣lies, hath it not beene seri∣ously charged and solemnely vowed, both at your Ordina∣tion and Consecration, many prayers then made for you in Page  147 it, if so be it be yet in vaine. And certainely it is a thing most necessary in this King∣dome, where there are so many that will not heare our words, there our workes must be the Preacher, where they shut their eyes against the light of the word, there the light of our lives must shine before them. And examples are the stronger Cords of the two. What wee say proverbially of the Plough, That it thrives best when the Husbandman saith not, Ite, but Ʋenite: Soe 'tis with the seede of the word, when the Sower can say with Saint Paul,rBe fol∣lowers of me, as you see mee doe, doe likewise. The life and doctrine are like that signe of Castor and Pollux, when they are seene together, are a pre∣sage of a prosperous voyage, when asunder, they portend a dangerous storme. sif thou livest well (saith Saint Hierome) Page  148 thou art as the spirituall man, judge of all; If thou teachest well and livest ill, a Judge on∣ly of thy selfe, and iudged of all. By thy teaching thou tels the people how to live, by thy life thou shewest God how to condemne thy selfe. There are some like Nebuchadnezzars Image, the Head was of Gold, but the Feete of Clay. They have gol∣den wits, but their conversa∣tion is earthly and sensuall, Whether that be true or no that is proverbially said of Tusser, that he wrote excellently well of Husbandry, but himselfe was the worst Husband that e∣ver water wet; 'Tis true of many in this sense, who can preach very well to save others, but tcast away themselves. In a word, let us so teach and so doe, that wee may uboth save our selves, and them that heare us. And Thomas Aqui∣nas makes it a greater difficul∣ty for a Prelate to bee saved, Page  149 than another man, for this rea∣son, xBecause hee hath other mens sinnes lying upon him, be∣sides his owne; and for the same cause y Saint Chrysostome saith the like of Ministers al∣so, and that seriously, That he thought few of them would be saved, both because more is ex∣pected from them than from others, and their sinnes greater than the sinnes of others. The hazard of which z Saint Augu∣stine saith was the cause hee so wept at his Consecration. The like saith a Saint Ambrose, No Office more excellent, and if they fall none more dangerous. bA great honour, saith Saint Hierom, but▪ if they sinne, a great fall, the one is not such a ioy, as the Page  150 other a sadnesse. The nearer wee approach to GOD in our service, the greater is the offence, if wee shall runne into rebellion. See the Apo∣stles Argument, Rom. 2.21, 22, 23, 24. Thou that teachest another, teachest thou not thy selfe? Thou that Preachest, &c. In the Law 'tis observed the mea∣sures and weights of the San∣ctuary were double to the Com∣mon, and so are the sinnes of the Officers of GODS San∣ctuary that draw nigh to him, double and treble to the same sinnes in the Common-people. If the c Priest annoynted did sinne, his Offering for expiation, was to be as much as for the sinne of the whole Congrega∣tion; So the sinnes of such as are consecrated and set apart for GODS service require a dee∣per measure of repentance; a greater portion of sorrow, than might suffice for many others, by how much they are the Page  151 more scandalous. And hath not this of late beene the cause of the contempt of our calling? that the Vulgar (though erroneously) have argued from the persons to the Offices, ac∣cording to that of Malac. 7.8. Because yee have departed out of the way, and corrupted the Covenant of Levi, therefore have I made you base and contempti∣ble before all the people, according as you have not kept my wayes. A good strict life, needs no o∣ther helpe to gaine respect. Vice usually stands in awe of vertue. See but that instance in d Herod who feared John, and observed him, because he was a iust man and a holy, &c. Tis the prescription of Saint Paul to eTimothy and Titus for it: I speake the more of it in re∣gard the contrary hath been pretended, as the Originall of all these stirres. A present la∣mentable example wee have in this person, the fruit of whose Page  152 life hath beene this ignomini∣ous death, both scandalous, both lamented. Yet in this differing, his life a continuall spirituall death, his death a be∣ginning, and a great progresse of a spirituall life. Let him die in your thoughts for his life, But let him live in your me∣mories by his penitent death, forget the former, and imitate the latter. And thus we have considered the second part of the Text, applicatory to this our Brother, as it was to have beene his employment towards others.

A word of it only as it was effectually found in himselfe; and so wee shall have done with it:

Yee have heere a threefold Metaphoricall description of the sinfull state of nature before Con∣version, and the state of Grace after it.

Page  153

The former by a

  • 1. Blindnesse.
  • 2. Darknesse.
  • 3. Slavery.
The latter by a
  • 1. Sight.
  • 2. Light.
  • 3. Liberty.

The Division of the former is somewhat like Saint Johns Tri∣cotomize, &c. referring fall in the world to the Eye, the Flesh, and Life, according to the usu∣all distinction of sinnes, into those of the Heart, Fact, and Custome. The first ex Ignoran∣tiâ, the second ex Infirmitate, the third ex Studio. As this sinfull condition by nature is a dead estate, you may g perceive three degrees of it, according to a distinction of Saint Augu∣stines. The first (Blindnesse) is like the man dead in his Bed. The second (Darknesse) put into his Coffin. The third (Ʋn∣der the power of Satan) layd in his Grave. Three such our Sa∣viourPage  154 raysed to life. hJairus his daughter in her bed within doors.i The Widdow of Naims Sonne in his Coffin carrying out. k And Lazarus putrifying in his Grave; all were miracles, but the last the greatest. Such severall De∣grees of sinners is Saint Paul here sent to rayse from the death of sinne, to the life of Grace, to the last degree of which (to magnifie GODS mercy the more) was this our Brother fal∣len, and raysed againe by repen∣tance.

1. The first Degree of our wretched estate before Conver∣sion is set out by a Blindnesse (to open their eyes, therfore blind be∣fore) which indeed is like his, John 9.1. from our very birth. And yet in many things, this of the Soule is worse than that of the Body. He that is blind in body is glad of a guide, these often scorne instruction, the for∣mer thinkes them happy that see and desires it, These despise such, Page  155 and will not see though they might. The one beleeves he is blind and laments it. The other thinkes hee sees well enough, like the Pharisees, (John 9.41.) The Corporally blind sometimes ex∣cell in parts of the minde, as Memory, &c. But a man spiri∣tually blind, hath no good thing in him at all.

2. The second by a darkenesse, as the world the first day of the Creation was empty and voyde wrapt up in a confused darknesse, such is our estate, as we are borne at first, voyd of all good (Rom. 7.18.) Darkenesse in the Ʋnderstanding, Confusion in the Affections, and Conscience. And there is some similitude between them. First a man in Darkenesse is subject to errour, so are such to go astray, resembled in the lost*Groate and Sheepe. Se∣condly, subject to *stumbling, so are these to dangerous fals and scandals in their lives, till they slip at last into that Pit of dark∣nesse. Page  156 Thirdly, insensible of any evill before them. So are these of Hell and damnation, let them be never so often warned. Fourth∣ly, subject to mistakes, to thinke they are right when they are wrong. So are such often strong∣ly conceited, they are in the way to Heaven, and yet Posting the contrary. Lastly, subject to feares and frights, such is the Case of those, who live in the works of darkenesse, they have many horrours and scarres within their Consciences, especially if they fall into any danger of death, by sicknesse, or any other accident, The same which this our Brother often acknowledged to have beene his condition before his Conversi∣on.

3. Thirdly, by a slavery, and the worst of any (omni malo & exitio peior) under the power or thraldome of Satan (2 Tim. 2.26.) An Emblem of it ye have in Sampson, who had his eyes first pul'd out by the Philistines,Page  157 and then bound in fetters, and made to grinde in the Prison, tis so expressed, Esay 42.7▪ To open the blinde eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison-house. Signified somewhat by the Jsra∣elites miserable estate in the Ae∣gyptian bondage. They were in a strange Countrey, and so the more helpelesse, hopelesse. Such is this, where we are Pilgrims and strangers: the taske-mast∣ers may resemble the buffetings and cruell exactions of our spiri∣tuall enemies. Pharoah com∣mands to have their children kil∣led in the birth, and so doth Sa∣tan endeavour daily to crush the very first motions and beginnings of any spirituall birth in us, like the Dragon in the Revelation,l when he could not murther the Mother, attempted the Child as soone as it was borne. Sinne is in us as in the streame; in Adam as in the Spring; in the Divell as in the Sea, from whom as all comes, so to whom all Page  158 that dye in them must return, And yet heerin as Anselme ob∣serves by some Circumstances the Schollar exceeds the Master, the sinnes of men may be grea∣ter than Satans m (saith he) He sinnes against GOD reprobating him, Man against GOD recal∣ling him. He is hardened against the punisher of him, Man against the allurer. Hee against one not seeking him, Man against one dying for him.

For the state of grace by Con∣version. Tis

1. Set forth here by sight (to open) Corporall miracles are cea∣sed, but behold a spirituall, the greater remains. If any should question us, whether the word we preach be CHRISTS, we may reply as our Saviour to the like from John by his Dis∣ciples, * Goe, tell him the blinde see, the lame walke, &c. My workes testifie of me. And indeed it is CHRISTS worke O∣riginally, though instrumentallyPage  159 ours. Elisha may send his servant, and his staffe, but no life to the nShunamites Childe till he come himselfe. The Cocke may crow twice or thrice, but Peter re∣members not himself otill Christ lookes on him. As tis not all the outward light in the Sunne will make a man see if there be wan∣ting the light in the eye within.p So all outward admonitions a∣vaile not, without the seconding of them by his Spirit. The first thing made in the Creation was light, and so it is in the regene∣ration, the lightning of the Con∣science, which Salomon cals the qCandle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the heart, (and this was it that gave the first token of spirituall life in this our Brother.)

2. By Light, as Matth. 4.16. The people that sate in darkenesse saw great light, and by it (to o∣mit divers others) is especially signified *Comfort, as the contrary is usually meant by darknesse.

Page  160Observe hence; That Conver∣sion puts a man into a lightsome and cheerfull condition. See Psal. 97.11. Luk. 1.79. Matth. 9.2. be of good cheere, &c.

Obiect. It doth not seeme so, but rather that wicked men have the merriest lives.

Answ. First, you must not al∣wayes judge of Mirth by out∣ward laughter, men sometimes laugh more at a jest than at the news of a Pardon: But they are said to joy in the latter not in the former.

Secondly, It may be the fault of some Christians like rSamp∣sons wife to weepe all the dayes of the Feast, like Mary Magda∣len lamenting the losse of Christ, and yet shee was talking with him. Men may be in the estate of joy, and yet not apprehend it. Like sHagar, though there was a Fountaine of Wa∣ter neere her, yet till GOD opened her eyes to see it cryes out for thirst.

Page  161Thirdly, if wee shall take a survey of this Carnall mirth, wee shall finde it not worth the naming. For the brevitie, Job saith enough, tIt lasteth but for a moment. If like Jonas his Gourd it come up in one night, it withers the next, u∣sually like that creature the Na∣turalist speakes off, which dies the same day it is brought forth. If like the Marygold their hearts open in mirth at Sunne-rising, they shut againe in sad∣nesse before it be down. If it hath any light in it, 'tis like that of a Candle* (as Salomon compares it to) that gives a faire light in a roome for the present, but the least puffe of winde puts all out. In the midst of their jollitie the least frowne of a Superiour, a thwart of an equall, any affront of an inferiour imbitters all. Onely Mordecai's stiffe knee, so turnes the edge u of Hamans proud heart, that all his honour avayld Page  162 him nothing.xNabal can bee merry enough at his drunken feast ore night, but a little ill newes told him in the Mor∣ning makes his heart to sinke within him like a stone. While the play lasts the sensualist laughs, when t'is done hee is in his dumps againe. Whil'st the Game∣ster winnes, hee is well plea∣sed, but when the game once turnes, and hee hath made all away, hee is ready to make away himselfe. For the fruite of it, tell mee you that give your selves to pleasure all the day, doth not a heavie hear∣tednesse conclude it in the Eve∣ning? Doth not usually such sensuall mirth goe out like a Candle? leaves the stinke of a snuffe behinde it, damps and sore griefes within your Con∣sciences. I am sure it was that which this our Brother often ac∣knowledged, and it had beene said by Solamon before him, Prover. 14.13. In their laughter their Page  163 heart is sorrowfull. (See the shortnesse) and the end of their mirth is heavinesse, (See the issue:) One sitly compares it to lightning, which as it is but a Flash and away, so the fruit of it is but a blast upon the heart, and as after a lightning often followes a Thunder. So after this flashy mirth, loud cryes and tempests in the Con∣science, take one with the o∣ther, and in reason 'tis not worth the having. But this spirituall joy yadds no such sor∣row with it, and even though zsorrowing, yet alwayes rejoycing, The poore condition of the for∣mer, see Isaiah 24.7, 8. and the magnanimitie of the latter, Hab. 3.17. of both which, ha∣ving so lately tasted, how savoury have I heard this our Brother thus to distinguish.

3. Thirdly by a setting at libertie (from the power of Sa∣tan) so 'tis expressed (Luke 4.18.) to preach deliverance,Page  164 and setting at libertie them that were bruised. Before every Lust was a Commander, the Divell Generall, but now hee is de∣livered from them all, and out of the heaviest yoake of thral∣dome, to the most glorious li∣bertie, even of the sonnes of God. To ransome, or rescue a Chri∣stian from the slavery of the Turkes was ever accompted an honourable act, but the con∣verting of a sinner from the errour of his way, must needs exceed it. I neede not tell you, 'tis Gods act thus to aen∣large the heart, 'tis plaine it must be so, if you consider but the strength of him under whom wee are bound, and see how especially it is given to the blessed Trinitie. God thebFa∣ther drawes, 'Tis thecSonne which makes you free indeed. Where thedSpirit of the Lord is, there is a libertie. What lit∣tle freedome of will wee have naturally to any saving good, Page  165 this our Brother would suffi∣ciently testifie in himselfe, * Who for a long time, (though he wanted no apprehension of his miserie) continued stupid and senselesse, heavily complai∣ning for the want of a spirit of Compunction. Well he was once eheld with the Cords of his owne sinnes,fin the snare of the Divell, taken captive of him at his will, but gBlessed be the Lord that hath not given him as a prey unto his teeth, his soule is escaped as a Bird out of the snare of the Fouler, the snare is broken, and he is deli∣vered.

And now having seene the enlargement of him: Let us in Conclusion take a short view of the Latitude of Gods mercy to him (which stands alwayes wide open to penitent sinners,) in the Third and last part of the Text, The happy fruit of all, in his re∣ceiving forgivenesse.

For the doctrine hence ob∣serveable, that wheresoever there Page  166 is true repentance given, there ishforgivenesse attained. I shall not neede to enter into any fur∣ther declaration, so many wor∣thy late Divines have so fully opened it, that I should but light a Candle to the Sunne in it. Onely let mee▪ say thus much, that if Saint Paul were the ifirst upon whom Jesus Christ did shew forth all long suffering and mercy for a Patterne for them that should be hereafter, this our Brother might be a second in whom GODS mercy hath beene infinitely magnified. In his owne judgement hee cen∣sured himselfe above all former presidents whatsoever, even of Manasses himselfe, who hee thought had not that know∣ledge, was not trusted with that function, and incurred not that scandall. And yet, for this particular, hee had it not onely by evident arguments made ap∣parent to him, but also by a rare measure of spirituall refreshings Page  167 sealed within him. A high sinner, a deepe repentance. And loe, a large dole of comfort.

And let it not seeme so im∣probable, that so great a sinner upon so humble a Contrition, should have such an enlight∣ning. Our Saviour appeared first tokMary Magdalene be∣fore all others, who had seven Divels cast out of her. Saint Peter had fowly denyed his Ma∣ster with Oathes and curses, yet after his bitter weeping our Sa∣viour appeared l to him, before hee did to the rest; and the Angels gave a moremspeciall charge to tell the blessed newes of his Resurrection to him than to the others. 'Tis true he was but an Infant for his time, ('twas his owne speech, hee reckoned himselfe but a weeke old,) now for Infants the Father some∣times smile more upon them, take them oftner in their Armes, then when they come to fur∣ther yeares. And such is found Page  168 by experience to be n GODS dealing with some of his at their first conversion; when the oIsraelites were newly delivered out of Egypt, God was more carefull at that instant for their peaceable travell, than afterwards. (Exod. 13.17.) More mirth was made at the very returne of the Prodigall, than had beene for the other brother, that had never so offended. More joy for the returne of one lost sheepe, than for the ninety-nine, not gone astray. And if wee can be perswaded, hee might reape a full Crop of joy in Heaven, afterwards; Why may it not be beleeved, he might receive some first fruits, as an earnest, some few houres before here.

Concerning these spirituall refreshings, some of our pra∣cticall Divines observe these par∣ticulars. That eyther they fol∣low some pdeepe humiliationPage  169 (Esay 66.2.) I will looke to him that is of a contrite spirit, &c. Or as a reward after a Conflict with victory. (Revel. 2.17.) To him that overcommeth will I give of the hidden Manna, &c. Sometimes it is accompanied with Satans malice, like Saint Paul after his revelations, had the messenger Satan buffeting him, (2 Cor. 12.7.) The effects are some extraordinary spirit of pray∣er. (Romans 8.15, 26.) A fur∣ther abasement of the party himselfe, As Job after he had seene GOD, (Chap. 42.5, 6.) an undervaluing all the things of this world in respect of it, as David (Psalm. 4.7.) A long∣ing to have that joy in i'ts ful∣nesse, like Saint Paul, after his aptures, wishing to be dissolved (Philip. 1.23.) And for the ime 'tis observed usually to be against some heavy tryall, a vi∣ticum against the approach of death, or the like. Now all hese were evidently found in Page  170 him: His sorrow was deepe, his conflicts many, the effects were to my admiration, and the time very seasonable, being deferred till that very Morning before his execution, (the cause I beleeve of his so undaunted a spirit at the sight of it.) Well, you see how fitly repentance may be tearmed a 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉rthe roote is bitter, but the fruite sweete, 'tis a stormy voyage, but a rich returne, a sharpe medicine, but very sove∣raigne. At the entrance 'tis like our Saviours draught of Gall, and vinegar, but the conclusion is like the end of Jonathons rod dipped in a Hony-combe, the end of that man is in peace and joy. Poure out as many teares upon thy selfe offering to God, asElijah did water the second and third time upon his sacrifice at Mount Carmel, The fire o GODS Spirit shall descend, and licke up those drops into spirituall joyes, and dry up all teares from thine eyes. The Spirit of the LordPage  171 may bee well said tto moove up∣on the face of such waters. These Rivers as they have their head in Paradise, their spring in Hea∣ven; so they returne to Heaven againe. This holy water drawne at this spirituall marriage, will Christ turne into Wine indeed, give such the ugarments of gladnesse for the spirit of heavinesse.

To conclude, how can it be, but a joyfull estate, when a Man is assured his sinnes are forgiven. If wee consider it, in these three things. Hee hath peace with God. Peace of Conscience. Peace with Death. The two latter, are conse∣quences of the first.

1. First, hee hath peace with God, Rom. 5.1. They report some Fires nothing will quench them but Blood. 'Tis true of the wrath of GOD for sinne, nothing but the blood of Christ can appease. It was Rehoboams speech to the Israelites, My lit∣tle finger shall be heavier than my Fathers Ioines. 'Tis true in this Page  172 sence, for sinne, the least degree of GODS displeasure, is more than all the worlds. A Man without this peace, be he deckt with Jewels, is but like a faire Roome richly hung, but wants a Roofe, who would make choice of it for his lodging. Such is the man be he never so gorge∣ously appareld, if hee lyes yet open to the revenge of Heaven, whose iniquities are not covered. Let it be the prayse of Italy to be the Garden of the world: It is a Christians happinesse, to be the Garden of God, that the Tree of life is in the midst of him, that God is at peace with him.

2. Hee hath peace of Con∣science. The Earth no outward weight can moove, yet the stir∣ring of a few unruly vapours within, will make some parts to quake: There are some men, no outward Crosses can trouble, but the guilt of some secret sinnes within hath made them y trem∣ble. The soule of a wicked man Page  174 is often like a*troubled Sea, or like the Ship in a storme the Disciples were tossed in, but as soone as CHRIST en∣tred, there was a calme. So as soone as the Conscience is possest of CHRIST, there is peace. Some when they are disquieted in their minds, do as David wished hee could doe (Psalm. 55.7.) When feareful∣nesse and horrour overwhelmed him, Oh, that J had wings like a Dove, then would J flie away and be at rest, Goe travell, as if they would out-ride the cry of Con∣science which they carry with them. Some send for Musicke, as Saul for a Harper when his evill spirit came upon him. O∣thers deale with their Consci∣ences, that thus arrest them in GODS Name, as some have done with the Serjeant, make him Drunke, and so z escape him. These wayes and the like had this our Brother tryed for∣merly, but found no sound peace, Page  174 till he thus turned to CHRIST, the Prince of it. The Marriners in that mighty tempest, rowed hard to get the Ship to land, but no meanes would do, till *Jonas was cast out, and then presently the Sea ceased from her raging, I have beene a witnesse of strong tempests raysed with∣in his Conscience, when he first grew sensible, but after he had adisburdn'd it, and out with those pressing sinnes, in such salt and overflowing teares, in Con∣fession and Repentance, he soone found the fruit of that call of our Saviour. *Come unto mee you that are weary and heavy la∣den, and J will give you rest. Having like Noahs Dove stray∣ed from the Arke of CHRIST, he found no rest for the feete of his Soule, till he returned to CHRIST againe. 'Tis a u∣suall division of those foure sorts of Consciences, a quiet but not 〈◊〉 good, neyther good nor quiet, 〈◊〉 good, but not a quiet, both good Page  175 and quiet. The two former he had experience of in his life, the two latter neere his death, the misery of the one, and the hap∣pinesse of the other (which he had so lately exchanged) how sensibly have I heard him ex∣presse, apprehending in the dee∣pest degree of his humiliation, more true content, than in the height of all his sinnefull plea∣sures: Chrysostome cals the Con∣science bGods Coine, wherein as the Kings Image is in his, so is Gods instamped in this. And therefore as we give that which is Cesars to Cesar, so he exhorts, to give this which is Gods to GOD: and a cgood Conscience before GOD and man, 'tis the richest pearle, the most invaluable treasure under Heaven, Saint Pauls glory and joy (1 Corinth. 1.12. Acts 23.1.)

3. Thirdly, he hath peace with Death:d a Bee without her sting is more feared then hurt∣full: Page  177 'Tis so with this, once freed from the guilt of sinne, thedsting of it. He that knowes he owes nothing, flies not the approach of the Bayliffe. He that is assured of the blotting out of the hand-writing that was against him needs not to shunne the arrest of death. Be it sudden, yet 'tis not untimely to him. What a measure of this Chri∣stian valour was found in this our Brother after this spirituall sealing, hath been * manifested before many witnesses, and needs not any repeti∣tion here. Only observe what this blessed change in him, had wrought in others, of him. He once wept much by himself in private, when the tongues of men with good cause were open against him in publike; Now teares of all sorts are shed for him publikely, when he had Comforts within himself se∣cretly. He that was hated at his Condemnation, is lov'd at his Exe∣cution. Such as were grieved at his life, are comforted at his Death▪ He began with his owne teares, he Page  179departs with the sobs of others. And I doubt not, but what he sowed in teares, he reapes in joy, what was seal'd here on Earth, is ratified in Heaven. From a Death temporall he is passed to a life eternall: Unto which God of his mercy bring us all, for the merits of his deare Sonne. To whom with the Father and the holy Spirit, be all honour and glory new and ever∣more, Amen.


Errata in the Relation.

Pag. 4. marg. l 16. r de via. p. 7. l. 19. r. their prisoners. l. 10. r. hs Throne p. 11. l 8 m. r. lenic p. 23 l. 8 m. r. admisceat p. 29. l. 28. m Nam r. Now.