Tvvo funeral sermons much of one and the same subiect; to wit, the benefit of death. The former on Philip. 1. 23. The latter on Eccles. 7. 1. By Thomas Gataker B. of D. and pastor of Rotherhith.
Gataker, Thomas, 1574-1654.
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THE TESTIMONIE Giuen to Mrs REBEKKA CRISP at her Buriall.

THE Bodies of Gods Sants as well as their Soules areamem∣bers of Christs bodie, andbTem∣ples of Gods Spirit: and are there∣fore in decent and honest man∣ner to be laid vp in the wombe of our common Mother the Earth. The performance of this last office to our right deare and deseruedly respected Christian Si∣ster, Mrs Rebekka Crisp, hath occasioned this As∣sembly. Concerning whose religious course of life and conuersation, togither with the Conclusion thereof sutable and correspondent to the same, much might be said, and much be spoken, yea so much, that it might to strangers seeme either meere formalitie or plaine flatterie, yet by those that throughly knew her, would not onely be ac∣knowledge Page  [unnumbered] for truth, but to come far short of that that 〈…〉 But neither 〈…〉 my wont, 〈…〉 I, 〈…〉 long in this kinde: 〈◊〉 rather, for that many take therin too much libertie, and this exercise being intendedc more for the in∣struction of the liuing then for the commendation of the dead.

That which I shall speake of her, to the glory of Gods grace in her, and the prouoking of o∣thers to the imitation of her, shall be in few words, and referred to two heads, her Piety, and her Patience.

For the former: it had pleased God to grace her with a measure more then ordinarie of spirituall grace, and of such graces as are not so ordinarily incident to that 〈…〉 of 〈◊〉, and soundnes of judgement. Which 〈◊〉 accordingly applied and imployed, (party by constant frequen∣ting of the publike Ministerie, while God gaue leaue and libertie, and p••tly: 〈◊〉 both then and during the times of 〈…〉 me∣ditation and priuate conference with such as refor∣ted vnto her,d and might that way further her, * to the searching out of the good and holy and acce∣ptable will of God. In this hinde shee was a great Questionist▪ and (as those religious Romanee Ladies were sometime to 〈◊〉) a whestone to my selfe, and I doubt not but the like also to others,f by her studious enquirie occasioning the moe diligent search, and the more exact discouery of many par∣ticulars: In regards whereof I may well, and doe freely and sincerely confesse, that, so oft as I resor∣ted Page  [unnumbered] vnto her, I did tam proficere quàm prodesse, as well benefit by her, as benefit her.

Neither were these her Questions, as with many, g tending to idle speculation; meere curiosities, or vaine niceties, like a game at Chesse; rather quirks of wit, fit for disputation in schooles, then rules of vse for direction of life; but of such points as bent and aymed at the practise of piety, the tryall of faith, and sound sanctification: That wherein shee principally desired and endeuoured to profit; and so profited, that I may truly say of her, that shee had noth an outward shew and semblance of god∣linesse, or a verball discourse of it, (the common fault of too many professors among vs) but the very power and efficacie of it in extraordinary man∣ner and measure both imprinted in her heart, and expressed in her life: She had learned,idicta in facta vertere, to turne words into works; and as k to treasure vp with Mary what shee heard and learned in her heart, so to worke it into the affection, and to bring it forth into action, to affect it with her heart, and to effect it in her life.

This, among other things, her sincere piety, ap∣peared in her singular Patience. And it is Patience indeede, that putteth Piety to the proofe. God had trained her vp a long time in the schoole of afflicti∣on; and shee was therein a good proficient: her afflictions being vnto her, asl the waters to Noahs Arke, a meanes to carry vp her thoughts and de∣sires higher to heauen-ward. It pleased God to bruise her with paines and weaknes, and euen to Page  [unnumbered]m grinde to po••der her vigor with continuance of affliction. Which yet she euer sustained with great willingnes ofminde,* hauing oft in her mouth that worthy speech of Dauid,nBehold, here I am, let him do with me what he will; ando desiring euer, as she protested oft in the middest of her paines, not so much the remouall of the crosse, which shee estee∣med but light, as patience to beare it, and grace to make vse of it: complaining of nothing so much in her afflictions, as that by meanes of them she was disabled to the performance of such duties as shee desired with her Familie, and restrained in the inten∣tion of her spirituall meditation; if in any thing impatient, impatient of ought that hindred that way.

Neither was this her patience such as proceeded either from some senselesnes and stupiditie, or from some kinde of immanitie and inhumanitie,p as in some; (for she was a woman made of meekenes and lowlines, of minde, as of a tender constitution her selfe naturally, and therefore soone sensible of paine and griefe, so full of bowels of mercy and tender compassion towards others, and free from all austeritie and harshnes of spira) butq from an apprehension of Gods hand in those things that be∣fell her and a concoience of submitting her will to his pleasure whose wholly she acknowledged her∣selfe to be, and was content therefore wholly to be disposed of by him.

Page  [unnumbered] But becauserperseuerance, as Bernard saith, is all in all; and is that that carieth away the crowne or the garland from all:s As the rest of her life had bin, so her latter end was not vnlike; full of piety and patience, of alacritie and cheerefulnes, wholy taken vp with holy and heauenly meditation, and longing exceedingly for the time of her dissolution. God shewed in her to all that were about her, that it is not in vaine sincerely to serue him; and that a con∣stant course of a religious life will minister aboun∣dance of sweet comfort in death.

About the beginning of her last sicknes, she sent for me to her, whom (though the meanest of many that resorted vnto her) in regard of some bond of alliance she desired to be, and made account shee might be boldest withall; and before some few of her familiar frends, made a worthy and pithy con∣fession and profession of her Faith, too long to re∣late; laid open the grounds and notes of her assu∣rance fetched forth of Gods word, of Gods loue vnto her, and of her owne vnto God; requesting ei∣ther to be better informed, if in ought she were mistaken, or to haue further confirmed by pregnant proofes out of Gods booke, what she rightly appre∣hended. And this was the worke that by her good will shee then desired to be continually taken vp with; forgetting her paines and weaknes when she was about it, and neglecting her naturall rest to at∣tend it. So that she might well say to God with Da∣uid,sOh how loue I thy law? it is my continuall medi∣tation. And with Iob,tI haue preferred the words of thy mouth, not onely before my most desired foode, but Page  [unnumbered] before my most needfull and naturall rest. Yea so ea∣ger was she vpon these things, that I was enforced oft to perswade her to forbeare, considering her great weaknes, and to intermit the intention of her meditation, by giuing some way to rest and repose. And here I cannot passe by one speech vsed by her vpou such an occasion, which the rather I relate, to prouoke others by her example not to neglect the meanes of mercy and grace that God vouchsafeth them now, while they may follow them. After long discourse to and fro, perceiuing, as I thought, her eyes to wax heauy, and her spirits fainty, and well knowing what need she had of some refreshing, I aduised her to compose her self vnto rest, which her long want of it required, and her eyes seemed to in∣cline vnto, that it was best to take it while she might, lest she should after, want it when she would. Her answer was that this was her best rest, & that which she found best refreshing & sweetest repose in; and that, said she, which you say of the one, may I much better say of the other: if to giue way to rest I for∣beare those meanes of comfort that God by your presence now affordeth me, I may hereafter want them when I would, and shall neede them.

Some conflicts she had the day before her depar∣ture; but such, through Gods goodnes, as lasted not long, and ended in that comfort, that continued with her to her end: which was so quiet and peace∣able. that her departure was scarce sensible to those that were neerest about her.

I will add but a word, and that I speake vnfained∣ly: I know Gods hand is not straitned, neither is his Page  [unnumbered] grace scanted: yet, considering mine owne obserua∣tion & experience, but small, I confess; as I haue not hitherto in all points met with her match, so I wish rather than hope to light oft on her like.

But let vs leaue her with the Lord in happines, in heauen: and apply our selues vnto that, that more principally concerneth vs, attending to such instru∣ctions as shall (by Gods assistance) be deliuered, not altogither vnagreable to the present occasion, out of that portion of Scripture, which I haue cho∣sen to intreat of, concerning