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Full text of "An account of the life and death of that excellent minister of Christ, the Rev. Joseph Alleine. Written by Richard Baxter, Theodosia Alleine, and other persons, to which are added his Christian lelters"






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Author of " An Alarm to the Unconverted; $c. 

And late Minister of the Gospel, at Taunton, in Somersetshire. 



And other Persons. 



Full of Spiritual Instructions, 


Second Edition, corrected* 


No. 36, Briggate, Leeds; 





And other Booksellers. 







IN a new edition of " the Life and Christian 
Letters of the Rev. Joseph Alleine," no apology from 
the person who respectfully presents it, can be re 
quired. The worthy subject of the following me 
moir, is embalmed in the memory of the just; and his 
name can receive no additional celebrity from the hon 
ourable mention of it by the writer of this preface. 
As an eminent Christian and a powerful and eloquent 
writer, his praise* has long been in all the churches. 
His unbiassed biographers bear abundant testimony 
to his exalted piety; and in his literary labours he 
was, according to the best acceptation of the word, 
uncommonly successful. 

The] perusal of his " Alarm to the unconverted" 
has been blessed to thousands of persons; and 
the editions through which it has passed have been 
exceedingly numerous. If a favourable judgment 
may be pronounced on a work from the popularity 
which it obtains, and if utility be the proper test of 
merit, then may the " Alarm" claim a high degree 
of attention, and its author may be justly ranked 
among those men of genius whose pious exertions 
have procured them the title of BENEFACTORS: 
For, if we except the " Pilgrim s Progress" and 
" Robinson Crusoe," scarcely has any treatise in 
the English Tongue, whether allegorical or in the 
form of history, had a circulation more extensive and 
beneficial than this serious and sensible production.* 


His " Call to Archippus"t is considered a master 
piece of pathetic argumentation. On some of the 
most useful and pious Nonconformist ministers, it 
operated as an incentive to continue their labours of 
love among the scattered sheep of their respective 
flocks, and patiently to take the consequence of it 
the suffering for righteousness sake. 

Nor have his " Christian Letters" come down to the 
present times without receiving some due portion of 
encomium. They have always since their first pub 
lication been regarded, by the pious, as models of 
ministerial faithfulness and Christian eloquence. In 
that heavenly unction and moving tenderness which 
breathe from his letters, he has not been equalled by 
any of the Christian Fathers: Only by the sacred 
penmen themselves is he excelled in these qualities. 
Many weighty authorities might be adduced in sup 
port of this opinion; l?ut two may now suffice. 
That admirable man and great divine, the Rev. 
Richard Baxter, says of him, Oh ! how happy were 
" the church of God, if great understanding and fer- 
" vent zeal were ordinarily as well conjoined, as 
" they were in this worthy man ! 

" And many have much reading, and plentiful ma* 
<c terials for learning, who yet were never truly 
tc learned, as being injudicious, and never having well 
" digested what they read into the habits of solid 

* It has sometimes been published under the more imposing 

title of" The Sure Guide to Heaven." 
t A new edition of this work will shortly be published, 


" understanding. But so was it not with this our 
" brother, as his very letters fully witness: How 
" clearly and solidly doth he resolve that great 
<f question which he speaketh to, as one that had 
" theology, not in his books only, but in his head 
" and heart!" 

The late Rev. John Wesley, a man every way 
qualified to judge in this matter, has given the fol 
lowing character of them, which is the more to be 
relied upon, for disinterestedness and impartiality, 
on account of the known difference of sentiment 
between him and Mr. Alleine, in some peculiar points 
of doctrine, traces of which will be perceived in a 
few phrases adopted in this his correspondence : 

" The Letters of Mr. Samuel Rutherford have 
" been generally admired by all the children of God, 
te into whose hands they have fallen, for the vein of 
<c piety, trust in God, and holy zeal, which run 
" through them. The same piety, zeal, and con- 
" fidence in God, shine through all the letters of Mr. 
" Alleine: so that in this respect he may well be stiled, 
" The English Rutherford. But yet there is a very 
(t discernible difference between them: in piety and 
" fervour of spirit they are the same : but the fer- 
" vour of the one more resembles that of St. Paul; 
" of the other, that of St. John. They were both 
" men of the most intrepid courage: but in love Mr. 
" Alleine has the pre-eminence. He seems to ex- 
" eel in bowels of mercy, meekness, gentleness, 
* in tenderness, mildness, and sweetness of spirit, 
" even to his bitterest enemies. I do not therefore 
a 2 


" scruple to give these Letters the preference, even 
" to Mr. Rutherford s: as expressing, in a still higher 
" degree, the love that is long-suffering and kind, 
" which is not provoked, which thinketh no evil, and 
" -which hopeth, believeth, and endureth all things." 

The Introductory Chapter to this " Account of his 
Life and Death" was the performance of the Rev. 
Richard Baxter. It is a piece of exquisite composi 
tion, and contains a fine eulogy on Mr. Alleine, and 
a disquisition on biography and sacred history, in 
which the acumen of his wit and the soundness of 
his judgment are happily displayed. The third 
Chapter was written by his father-in-law, Mr. 
Richard Alleine, and the fourth by his worthy vicar, 
the Rev. George Newton. His widow, Mrs. Theo- 
dosia Alleine, wrote the sixth, which is a remarkably 
simple and interesting narrative; and his intimate 
acquaintance, the Rev. Richard Fairclough, the ninth. 
The other chapters were the productions of several 
of his most familiar friends. The remaining portion, 
which is the largest part of the volume, is occupied 
by that excellent collection of his pastoral corre 
spondence which has been described above, and is 
entitled " Christian Letters." What Richard Baxter 
introduced and recommended, and Joseph Alleine 
wrote, will not appear despicable to those who are 
gifted with the pleasing skill of appreciating intellec 
tual and spiritual excellence. 

In this impression it has been the care of the 
editor to translate all the Latin and Greek quotations, 
and to place them at the bottom of each page where 


they occur. When any obsolete or uncommon word 
presents itself, its modern synonyme, or one almost 
equivalent to it in signification, is inserted in the 
margin; thus, peep, warily, peevish, giving a share in, &c. 
are in the notes explanatory of pear, charily, froppish, 
interessing, &c. in the text. The original edition of 
1672 has "been scrupulously followed throughout, 
except in the orthography of > few words, such as 
rejoyce,JHe } meer, otiely, &c. which are changed into 
rejoice, j\y> mere, only, t^r. It was the custom of that 
age for the Past tense of verbs, which is sometimes 
called the Imperfect, to usurp the place and function 
of the perfect participle: Thus it was generally said, 
" I am forgot," instead of forgotten. Such parti 
ciples are here rectified, especially in the latter part 
of the volume. The copulative word " and," when 
connecting words which were nearly synonymous, 
was rarely suffered to possess any power in influ 
encing the verb, to which such words were joint nomi 
natives, in the plural number: /Thus it was neither 
unusual nor accounted inelegant to say, " My truth 
and faithfulness hath never failed." Similar instances 
of this construction may be found in the authorized 
English translation of the scriptures. Though appa 
rent breaches of what we now call good grammar, such 
expressions remain in this edition, without the trifling 
amendment which would render them correct accord 
ing to modern ideas of grammatical propriety. A 
copious table of contents has been added. 

The editor has been thus explicit in mentioning 
the alteration of a few letters, because he thinks a rea- 


sonable account of the most minute change in an 
author s phraseology on^hf always to be Driven to the 
public It cannot but h?ve ation in 

every honest breast to behold the ifl ... 
frequently taken, in these days, with authors \vuose 
works are thought worthy of repu olication. 

Every literary man would rather that, after his de 
cease, his grave were broken open, avid his bones left 
to bleach in the sun, than that his works, the finest 
and most sensitive parts of him, should be subjected 
to the tortures of an ignorant blockhead or a wretched 
pedant. These observations are not intended to ap 
ply to extracts, fairly made; or to abridgments, 
announced as such. 

In addition to what is said in the following pages, 
respecting Mr. Alleine, it is proper to mention that 
he died in November, 1668, and was buried in the 
Chancel of the church of St. Magdalen, Taunton. 
Over his grave was this epitaph, engraven on a stone: 
Hicjacet Dominus Jose^thus Alleine, 
Holocaust um Tauntonense el Deo el vouis. 
Of which A. Wood gives the following translation: 
" Here Mr. Joseph Alleine lies, 
" To God and you a sacrifice." 
In allusion to which one of his friends says of him, 
"But, alas! his zeal for the glory of God and the 
(t good of souls, made all his strength a whole burnt 
<e sacrifice, a sacrifice as truly devoted as if it had 
< been offered up in the flames of martyrdom," 


Chapter Page 


1. Introduction. Superiority of sacred bio 

graphy over general history, 1 

The harmony and completeness of parti 
cular gifts in Mr. Allein e, 7 

His great diligence in private, 12 

Praise and thanksgiving his natural 

strains, 15 

The character of this history of him, 20 

His writings, 23 

2. - birth, and early indications of piety, 25 

predilection for the Christian ministry, 
and removal from school to the univer 
sity, 26 

studies there, 27 

early accomplishments, 30 

The pleasure he had in prayer, 31 

3. An account of his father, 37 

What he was himself as a man, a Chris 
tian, and a minister, 38 

4. His delight in performing his secret de 

votions in the open air, 45 

moral character, and condescension to 

weak brethren, , 46 

ministerial gifts, and desire for the 

conversion of souls, 49 

- early rising and excessive labours,,,, 5% 


Chapter p ag e 

5. His ministerial course, 53 

-i manner of going from house to house, 54 
An abridgment of his reasons for private 

family instruction, 56 

His faithfulness in reproving, 62 

Useful questions which he drew up for 

daily self-examination, 64 

6*. His great desire that his way might be 

plain to him in the matter of conformity, 68 

quitting the public situation which he 
held, 69 

The rage of the justices against him, 70 

His resolution to go to China as a mis 
sionary, 70 

He is apprehended by an officer, 71 

His appearance before the Justice at his 

house, , 

behaviour during his confinement, ... 73 

preaching before his departure to pri 
son, 76 

The extraordinary respect shewn to him, 

by his people, on leaving Taunton, 77 

His lodgings in the prison of Ilchester, 

a*nd the company there, 78 

consecration of the prison, 79 

- indictment at the sessions and com 
mitment again to prison, 80 

indictment at the assizes, his trial 

and sentence, 81 

studies and ministerial labours in 
confinement,.. 82 


Viapter Pa e* 

His conduct to visitor 3, .in 1 to Ms enemies, 84 
heaki. : n.pri ..... 85 

release fruii; ; .ss 

in ministerial labours, 85 

great weakness and affliction, 86 

Warrants issued out against him, 88 

His determination to use the mineral wa 
ters near Devizes, 90 

A thanksgiving meeting with several mi 
nisters and friends prior to his departure, 90 
They are interrupted by two justices, ap 
prehended, and committed to the pri 
son of Ilchester, 91 

Exhortation to his fellow- sufferers 92 

The increase of his distempers, 104 

He goes to the mineral wells, 1 04 

Is seized with a fever, goes to Dorchester, 

and loses the use of his limbs, 1 05 

His carriage under affliction, 106 

The kindness of the people of Dorchester 

to him, 107 

His partial recovery, 110 

- affectionate addresses to his friends 

from Taunton, Ill 

return to Taunton, 113 

convulsion fits, 114 

journey in a horse-litter to Bath,.*.... 117 

charitable offices there,... 119 

visit to Mr. Bernard s house near Bath, 121 

last illness, and death, 123 

- courtship and marriage, 127 


Chapter Pdge 

His management of his family, 128 

Difficulties in fulfilling his ministry, 1 31 

His temperance, and care for the poor,... 133 

The care and provision of God for him,... 135 

7. His inquiries into the estate of those 

around him, 136 

table talk, * 139 

assistance to those who were in 
doubts, .-. 140 

patience under affliction, 141 

8. His personal character, stature, and con 

stitution, 142 

judgment, memory, fancy, will, and 

affections, 1 44 

- gravity, affability;, charity, and utter 
ance, > 146 

- studies, moderation, and humility,... 148 
practice as to church- communion, 
and judgment as to obedience to au 
thority, 150 

loyalty, and respect to second- table m 
duties, . 152 

labours in the ministry, J 53 

heroic spirit, singular piety, and con 
tempt of the world,.* . 158 

- universal and uniform obedience,.... 162 
care of his thoughts and ends, and 

delight in self-examination, 1 63 

* generous designs, delight in medita 
tion and praise, 1 64 

time-redeeming thrift 1 69 


9. His consecration to God in Christ Jesus, 169 

divine love, ................................ 170 

- spirit of charity and meekness, ......... 172 

rich assurance of his saving interest 

in Christ, .................................... 172 


Letter Page 

I. To his wife. On his accepting of the curacy 

of Taunton, 177 

II. To the people of Taunton. Preparation 

for suffering, 185 

III. To the same. Warning to Professors,.... 188 

IV A call to the unconverted, 194 

V Trust in God and be sincere, 200 

VI. Look out of your graves upon 

the world, 205 

VII Christian marks and duties, 209 

VIII How to shew love to minis 
ters, and to live joyfully, 214 

IX Easy sufferings, 219 

X The love of Christ, 221 

XI Remember Christ crucified, 

and crucify sin, ... 225 

XII Daily self-examination,.... 230 

XIII. Motives and marks of 

growth^- , 23$ 

XIV. Persuasion to sinners, and 

comfort to saints, 239 

XV... How to live to Cod,.... *, 



Letter page 

XVI. To the people of Taunton. Motives to 

set ourselves to please God, 249 

XVII The worth of holiness, 252 

XVIII Try yourselves and rejoice, 257 

XIX. The felicity of believers,... 262 

XX What do you more than 

others? 266 

XXI Christian care, faith, and 

self-denial, 271 

XXII Right reason in suffering, 275 

XXIII Counsel for salvation.... 279 

XXIV Examine whether you are 

in the faith, 283 

XXV The characters and privi 
leges of true believers, 288 

XXVI The second coming of 

Christ, 293 

XXVII The love of Christ, 297 

XXVIII Warning to professors 

of their danger, 301 

XXIX. An admiration of the 

love of God, 306 

XXX , Personal and family god 
liness, 311 

XXXI. To the people of Huntingdon. H 

that endureth to the end shall be 
saved,... 325 

XXXII. To the people of Luppit. On perse 

verance, 330 

XXXII I To a fellow- student. On backslid- 

ing, 33S 


Letter Paffe 

XXXIX. To his wife. Good counsel, 337 

XXXV Desires after heaven, 338 

XXXVI. To a friend. God is a satisfying 
portion, 343 

XXXVII. To a person of quality. Be con 
stant, 348 

XXXVIII. To his cousin. Have you a trea 
sure in heaven ? 350 

XXXIX The concernments 

of our souls to be especially regarded, 354 

XL Godly counsels, 357 

XLI The virgin s care, 36l 

XLII. To a friend. Do all in reference to 

God and his glory, 364 

XLIII. To a minister in prise-. Prison-com 
forts, 368 

XLI V. Directions to the ministers of Somer 
setshire and Wiltshire, for the instruct 
ing of families, by way of catechising, 375 


Sift anir 


That excellent Minister of Christ, 


AS history is both useful and delightful to mankind 
so Church- History above all hath the pre-eminence in 
both: For it treateth of the greatest and most neces 
sary subjects: It is most eminently divine, as record 
ing those works of God, in which he most graciously 
condescendeth unto man; and those actions of men, 
in which they have most nearly to do with God; 
and treating of those holy societies, events, and 
businesses, in which God s holiness is most conspi 
cuous, and his honour most concerned in the world. 
The narratives of the great victories and large domi 
nions of Alexander, Caesar, Tamberlam, or such others, 
are but the portraiture of phantasms, and the relati 
on of the dreams of vagrant imaginations, or of the 
lifeless motions in a poppit-play, where there is 
much stir to little purpose, till the play be ended; 
further than the matters of God, and of the church, 
and menYeverlasting concernments are comprehend-. 


ed in them. The report of one soul s conversion to 
God and of the reformation of one family, city, or 
church, and of the noble operations of the Blessed 
Spirit, by which he brings up souls to God, and con- 
quereth the world, the flesh, and the devil; the 
heavenly communications of God unto sinners, for 
their vivification, illumination, and holy love to 
God and to his image, are so far better than the 
stories of these grand murderers and tyrants, and 
their great robberies and murders called conquests, 
as the diagnosticks of health are than those of sick 
ness; or, as it is more pleasant to read of the building 
of cities, than of their ruins; or of the cures of a phy 
sician,, than of the hurts done by robberies and frays; 
yea, of the healing of immortal souls, than of the 
over-hasty destroying of men s bodies, which would 
quickly turn to dust of themselves, if these valiant 
murderers had but the patience to stay the time. 

And among all parts of church-history, the lives 
of wise and holy men do seem to be not least useful 
and delightful: (Which is the reason why Satan hath 
so marvellously and successfully bestirred himself, 
to corrupt this part of history with so many impu 
dent lies in the Popish legends, as might render all 
such narratives afterwards contemptible and incre 
dible, and might destroy the ends:) Therefore is 
the sacred scripture so much historical; and the 
gospel itself is not a volume of well-composed ora 
tions, or a system, or encyclopaedia of the sciences 
and arts; nor yet a great volume of unnecessary 
laws; but the history of the life and death of Christ, 
and the wondrous works of Himself and his Spirit 


in his servants, and a record of those brief laws and 
doctrines, which are needful to the holiness and hap 
piness of man. 

In the lives of holy men we see God s image, and 
the beauties of holiness, not only in precept, but in, 
reality and practice; not pictured, but in substance: 
and though the precepts and rules be more perfect 
in their kind, as wanting no degree or part, yet the 
real impress and holiness in the soul, is that living 
image of God, which is the end of the former, and 
of which the scripture is but the instrumental cause. 
And holiness in visible realities is r.pt to affect the 
world more deeply, than in portraiture and precept 
only. Therefore, we find that Satan and his instru 
ments, are used to do that against the scriptures ex 
emplified in the godly, which they have not done 
against the scriptures in themselves : They can bear 
the bare precepts of a perfect rule, who cannot bear 
the very imperfect practice of them in a holy life. 
Many have burnt martyrs, that could endure good 
books. Living holiness most exciteth malice ! Be 
sides, that the best of men have imperfections, which 
may be a pretence for detraction, slander, and per 
secution, when the sacred rule is not so boldly to 
be accused, till they are ripened in malignity and 

Many a one can read with reverence the life of a 
dead saint, who will neither imitate nor endure the 
living. And I doubt not but many can bear the 
narrative of this holy person s life, who could not 
have endured to see themselves condemned in the 
exercises of his present holy zeal. 


And yet it is not to be denied, but that human 
nature yet containeth such principles and inclina 
tions, as give an honourable testimony to goodness: 
For the exercises of prudent, impartial, equal virtue, 
and eminent holiness in a heavenly life, and in the 
joyful hopes of the invisible blessedness, and in fer 
vent love to God and man, and in an innocent life, 
and self-denying endeavours to do good to all, do so 
much convince and awe man s nature, and so power 
fully command approbation and honour, that Satan 
and bad men could not resist them; were it not that 
such excellent persons are too rare, and that the far 
greater number of good men are lamentably imper 
fect, and tainted with many unlovely faults; and 
were it not also for two great advantages that Satan 
layeth hold on, that is, men s strangeness and disac- 
quaintance with those that are good, and the slander 
ous reports of them by others. And whoever noteth 
it shall find, that most that ever hated and persecuted 
men of eminent holiness, were such as never inti 
mately knew them, but only at a deceitful distance, 
and such as heard them odiously described by lying 

And it is not a small benefit of this kind of history, 
that the weak and lame Christians may see such ex 
cellent examples for their imitation; and the slug 
gish and distempered Christian may have so real and 
lively a reproof; and the discouraged Christian may 
see that higher degrees of goodness are indeed attain 
able ; and that the dark and troubled Christian may 
see the methods in which God s Spirit doth work 
upon his servants, and see that a genuine Christian 


life is a life of the greatest joy on earth; and that 
the slothful hypocrite may see that religion is a seri 
ous business; and that the factious Christian may 
see that a man may be eminently holy that is not of 
his opinion, side, or party ; and that both the proud 
domineering Pharisee may see,, that eminent piety is 
separated from his traditions, formalities, ceremo 
nies, and pomp ; and the opinionative hypocrite may 
see that holiness consisteth of something else, than 
in circumstantial and siding singularities, and in a 
condemning of other men s outward expressions or 
modes of worship, or a boisterous zeal against the 
opinions and ceremonies of others. 

And it is a notable benefit of this kind of history, 
that it is fitted to insinuate the reverence and love 
of piety into young unexperienced persons: For be 
fore they can read much of theological treatises with 
understanding or delight, nature inclineth them to 
a pleasure in history, and so their food is sugared to 
their appetites, and profit is entertained by delight. 
And nothing taketh well with the soul that is not 
pleasant to it; nor did he ever know the true way of 
educating youth, or doing good to any, that knew riot 
the way of drawing them to a pleasedness and love 
to goodness: Omne tulit punchun qui miscuit ulile dulci* 

On such accounts, we may conclude that such 
men as Melchior Adamus, Mr. Samuel Clark, &c. 
that have served the church with this sort of history., 
have done no small or useless service; which we the 

* He who has mixed the useful with the pleasant, lias 
obtained the suffrages (or approbation) of all, 


easilier perceive when we remember at what rates 
now the church would purchase a full history of the 
lives of all the apostles,, and all the eminent pastors of 
the churches for the first two hundred, or three hun 
dred years; yea, or but of some few of them. And 
how much of the history of the times they lived in, 
is contained in a just history of such men s lives. 

It were to be wished that more did as Thuanus, 
at large; or as Scultetus, in his Curriculum vitce suce* 
at least; or yet as Junius, and many others, that 
give us a breviate of the most considerable passages 
of their own lives: Because no man knoweth usually 
those intimate transactions of God upon men s souls, 
which are the life of such history, or at least no use 
less part. But men are commonly supposed to be 
so selfishly partial, and apt to over- value all their 
own, and to fish for applause; and it is so meet to 
avoid appearances of pride and ostentation, that few 
think meet to take this course. And the next desi 
rable is, that their intimate friends would write their 
lives at large, who are best able; as Camerarius hath 
doae Melancthon s; and Beza, Calvin s; and as the 
lives of Bocholtzer, Chytrseas, and many more are 

But none of all this must be expected concerning 
this our brother; because he was young, and taken 
away before any had thoughts of gathering up his 
words or actions for any such use; those that have 
done this little being his fathers and seniors, wha 
looked to have died long before him; and because 
he lived in a time of trouble, and division, and sus- 

* The short course of his own life. 


picion, in which every man had great concernments 
of his own to mind; and in which men are afraid of 
praising the holy servants of God, lest it offend those 
that in some things differed from them. 

The special excellency of this worthy man lay 
chiefly in the harmony and completeness of such par 
ticular gifts, and all of them in a high degree, as use 
to exalt the fame of others, in whom some one or few 
of them is found. And all these in a man so young, 
as unless in one Joh. Picus Mirandula, one Keeker- 
man, one Pemble, in a country, is rarely to be found. 
Do you desire the preparatives of language and phi 
losophy? In these he was eximious, as his Treatise 
De Providentia, licensed for the press (of which more 
anon) doth shew, with several other manuscripts 
of like nature. How thoroughly had he searched 
the writings of philosophers! How fully had he 
found out how much natural reason doth attest, and 
speak for the attributes and providence of God, and 
the principles of a godly life ! And how much super-, 
natural revelation presupposeth, and findeth ready 
to entertain it and befriend it in the light and law 
of nature ! How excellently able was he to deal with 
the naturalist at his own weapons, and to shame 
them that call religion an unproved or unreasonable 
thing! No doubt it was an excellent help to his 
own faith, to have so clear and full a sight of all 
those subsidiary natural verities, which are known 
propria luce* and are out of the reach of those 
malignant suggestions, by which the tempter is often 

* By theiv own light. 


questioning supernatural truths. Few Christians, 
and too few divines do dig so deep, and proceed so 
wisely, as to take in all these natural helps; but 
overpassing those presupposed verities, do oft leave 
then - selves open to the subtile assaults of the temp 
ter, who knoweth where the bleach is, and will 
sometimes urge such objections on them, as need a 
solution by those helps which they are ignorant of. 

Do you look for a high degree of zeal? In this 
lie was marvellous, being a living fire, continually 
burning in the love of God and man; still mounting 
upward, and kindling all that were capable about 
him; as prone to fervour and activity, as earthen na 
tures to cold and idleness; not weary of well-doing; 
not speaking slightly, and with indifferent affection 
of the great Jehovah and of holy things; but with 
reverence and seriousness, as became one that by 
faitri still saw the Lord: Not doing God s work with 
an umvilling or a sluggish heart, as if he did it not, 
nor as those that fear being losers by God, or of giv- 
ing him more than he deserveth, or getting salva 
tion at too dear a rate: But as a soul that was kin to 
angels, which are active spirits, and a flame of fire 
that came from God, the Lord of life, and Father 
of spirits, and liveth in God, and is working and pas 
sing up to God. As one that knew that none other 
work was worthy of a man. (and approvable by any 
reason, save that which is made a salve to sense,) ex 
cept only the soul s resignation, obedience and love to 
God, and the seeking of the heavenly durable felicity, 
in the use of ai) those means which God in nature 
and scripture hath appointed for the obtaining of it, 


It is too common to find men that are long and 
deep students in philosophy, and the doctrinals and 
methods of theology,, to be found none of the most 
zealous or serious divines; and for the learnedest 
doctors to be but of the coarsest and weakest sort of 
Christians. Because they exercise the head almost 
alone, and take little pains to work what truths they 
know upon their hearts : As if the head were more 
diseased with sin, than the heart is, and the heart 
had not as much need of a cure: Or as if God s grace 
did not as much dwell in the will, as in the under 
standing-, and the heart had not the noblest work to 
do. Life, light, and love, are the inseparable influen 
ces and effects of the Sanctifying Spirit: But yet 
sometimes the indisposition of the receiver may keep 
out one of them, more than the rest. Light alone 
may be profitable to the church, by breeding light in 
others: But life and love also, are as suitable means 
to produce their like as light is. And without them, 
it is not a flashy light and frigid knowledge that will 
save the souL 

And on the other side, (alas !) how ordinary is it 
for zeal to make a bustle in the dark, and for those 
that are very earnest to be very blind? And strong 
affections (not to God himself, but about the exer 
cise of religious duties) to be guided by a weak un 
derstanding; and so for such well-meaning persons, 
to make most haste when they are out of the way, 
and to divide and trouble the church and neighbour- 
hoed, by their fervency in error, till late experience 
hath ripened them to see what mischief their self- 
conceitedness hath done? O! how happy were the 


church of God, if great understanding and fervent 
zeal were ordinarily as well conjoined, as they were 
in this worthy man! 

And many have much reading, and plentiful mate 
rials for learning, who yet were never truly learned, 
as being injudicious and never having well digested 
what they read, into t lie habits of solid understand 
ing. But so was it not Vvith this our brother, as his 
very letters fully witness: How cleerly and solidly 
doth he resolve that great question which he speak- 
eth to, as one that had theology, not in his books 
only, but in his head and heart ! 

And I account it no small part of his excellency, 
that his judgment led him to dwell so much on the 
great essentials of godliness and Christianity; the 
love of God, and a holy, just, and sober life: And 
that he laid not out his zeal diseasedly, and unpropor- 
tionably, upon those outward circumstances, where 
the noise doth call off the minds of too many from 
the inward life of communion with God. His ser 
mons, his conference, his letters, were not about 
Mint and Cummin, but about the knowledge of God 
in Christ, which is the life eternal. 

Yet that he did not [prostitute his conscience to 
the interest of the flesh, nor subject God to the 
world, nor deny self-denial and the cross of Christ; 
nor hypocritically resolve to shift off the costly part 
of religion, on pretence of indifferency or smallncss 
of any thing which he thought God forbad him;- 
you need no other proof than the following history. 

And he was not one of those weak well-meaning- 
ministers, who think that their mere honesty is 


enough to deserve the esteem of worthy pastors; nor 
was he one of those proud and empty persons, who 
think that the dignity of their function is enough 
to oblige all to bow to them, and to be ruled by 
them, without any personal wisdom, holiness, or mini 
sterial abilities, suitable to their Sacred office: But, 
so great was his ministerial skilfulness in the public 
explication and application of the holy scriptures; 
so melting and winning, convincing and power 
ful his unaffected sacred oratory; so wise and seri 
ous his private dealing with particular families and 
souls, that it is no wonder if God blessed him with 
that great success, which is yet visible among the 
people where he lived, and which many of his bre 
thren wanted. For he did not by slovenly expres 
sions, or immethodical extravagancies, or unsound 
injudicious erroneous passages, or by jocular levi 
ties, or by nauseous tautologies, make sermons or 
prayers become a scorn; nor give advantage to car* 
nal captious hearers, who for every hair, not only 
abominate the wholsomest food, but also write books 
to breed their own disease in others: Nor yet did 
he, by an affected unnatural curiosity of jingling 
words and starched phrases, make sermons like stage- 
plays, and destroyed the people s edification, or their 
reverence of holy things: But he spake as one that 
spake from God, in the name of Christ, for men s 
renovation and salvation, in a manner suitable to 
the weight and holiness of the matter. 

And his fervent zeal and thirst for the people s 
conversion and salvation, was a great advantage to 
his success. For, let men s parts be ever so great. 


I seldom have known any man do much good, that 
was not earnestly desirous to do good ; if he long not 
for men s conversion, he is seldom the means of con 
verting many. For there is a certain lively serious- 
yiess necessary in all our studies, to make our ser 
mons suitable to their ends, and in all our preaching, 
to make them fit to reach men s hearts; without 
which they are as a blunted knife, or as a bell that s 
cracked, or any other unmeet instruments, unable for 
their proper use. And though God can work mira 
cles, and therefore can work without means, or 
without their fitness, yet that is not his ordinary 
way, and therefore is not to be expected. 

And his great diligence from house to house in 
private, was a great promoter of his successes. I 
never knew a minister, who prudently and diligently 
took that course, to be unprosperous in his work; 
but by them that have wisely and faithfully used it, 
I have known that done that before seemed incredi 
ble: And truly, when I think of some men yet liv 
ing, and some few, (too few) places (great places) 
which by the great abilities and excellent preaching, 
the personal exhortations and catechizing, the un 
wearied pains and the extraordinary charity to the 
poor, the holy exemplary lives of their pastors (I can 
scarce forbear naming four or five of my acquain 
tance) have been so generally seasoned with piety, 
that the great market towns have become as religi 
ous as the selected members, which some think only 
fit for churches; it makes me conclude, that it is 
principally for want of such a ministry, that the 
world is so bad, and that greater things are not 


done among us: And that for another sort of men 
to cry out of the people s ignorance and profane- 
ness, and obstinate wickedness, while their unskil- 
fulness, sloth, miscarriage, and negligence, is the 
cause, is as little honour to them, as to the physi 
cian or surgeon, that when he can cure but few, 
doth cast the blame upon the patient, when skilfuller 
men do cure the like. 

And his great humility in stooping to the meanest, 
and conversing with the poorest of the flock, and 
not affecting things above him, nor insinuating by 
flatteries into men of worldly wealth and power, no 
doubt helped on his great successes; though it was 
not the way to preferments, honours, no, nor safety 
and quietness to the flesh. Had Balaam dealt 
throughout sincerely, it had been a very honourable 
and comfortable word to him from king Balak, 
(Num. xxiv. 11.) / thought to promote thee to great 
honour, but lo, the Lord hath kept thee back from ho" 
nour. It is more honourable and comfortable to be 
kept from honour by God and a good conscience, 
than to be honoured by men on sinful terms. 

And the moderation and peaceableness of this 
holy man, was very exemplary and amiable; which 
I the rather mention, because in these distempered 
times of temptation, too many think that the excel 
lency of zeal lieth in going to the furthest from those 
they differ from and suffer by. And because s/>me 
will think, that knew no more of him, but only how 
oft and long he lay in the Common Goal, that sure 
he was some violent unpeaceable zealot. No, his 
zeal was for peace and quietness, for love and for 


good works: He was not used to inflame men 
against dissenters, nor to back-bite others, nor 
to make those odious that were willing enough to 
have made him so : He fled from one extreme with 
fear and suspicion of the other. He was indeed 
himself a silenced minister, in a place and among a 
people who had his heart, and who had been blessed 
with his fruitful labours; and his judgment was, 
That it is sacrilege for a minister) consecrated to God, 
to alienate himself, and violate that covenant and mini 
sterial dedication, by giving over his work as long as he 
hath ability and opportunity, and the people s souls have 
a true necessity. And therefore he chose that long 
imprisonment, rather than voluntarily to surcease. 
But whilst he had liberty, he went oft to the public 
assemblies, and was a hearer where he was wont to 
be a teacher, and encouraged the people to do the 
like. He spake not evil of dignities, nor kindled 
seditious principles or passions in the people s minds, 
nor disaffected them against authority, nor aggrava 
ted his own sufferings to exasperate their minds 
against such as he suffered by; though how great 
they were as to the effect, the sequel will acquaint 
you. In all, he did in patience possess his soul, and 
learned still more patience by the things which he 
suffered, and taught others what he learned himself. 
But above all, it is his highest excellency in my 
eyes, that he attained to the right temperament of 
the Christian religion, and to a truly evangelical 
frame of spirit, suitable to the glorious hopes of faith, 
anditothe wonderful love of our Redeemer. And when 
most Christians think that they have done much, if 


they can but weep and groan over their corruptions, 
and can abstain from the lustful pollutions of the 
world, in the midst of many doubts and fears; LOVE 
and JOY, and a HEAVENLY MIND, were the internal 
part of his religion; and the large and fervent PRAI 
SES of God, and THANKSGIVING for his mercies, espe 
cially for CHRIST, and the SPIRIT, and HEAVEN, were 
the external exercises of it. He was not negligent 
in confessing sin, nor tainted with any Antinomian 
errors; but PRAISE and THANKSGIVING were his natu 
ral strains; his frequeniest, longest, and heartiest servi 
ces: He was no despiser of a broken heart; but he 
had attained the blessing of a healed joyful heart. 
The following narratives, the strain of his letters,, 
but above all the admirations of his nearest friends, 
will tell him that will enquire, how his triumphant 
discourses of the hopes of glory, and his freouent 
and fervent thanksgiving and praise, were the lan 
guage which he familiarly spake, and the very busi 
ness of his heart and life. And, O how amiable is it to 
hear the tongue employed seriously and frequently in 
that which it was made for; even in the praise of 
him that made it! And to see a man passing with 
joyful hopes towards immortality ! And to live as 
one that seriously believeth, that he must quickly be 
in -the heavenly church, and live with God and 
Christ for ever ! O how comely is it to see a man that 
saith, he believeth that Christ hath redeemed him from 
hell, and reconciled him to God, and made him an adopt- 
ed heir of glory, to live like one that was so strangely 
saved from so great a misery, and with the most 
affectionate gratitude to honour the Purchaser of all 


this grace ! And how uncomely a thing is it to hear 
a man say, That he believeth all this grace of Christ, 
this heavenly glory, this love of God, and yet to be in 
clined to no part of religion, but fears and complain 
ings, and scarce to have any words of praises or 
thanksgiving, but a few, on the bye, which are heart 
less, affected, and constrained! O did Christians, 
yea ministers, but live with the joy, and gratitude, 
and praise of Jehovah, which beseemeth those that 
believe what they believe, and those that are enter 
ing into the celestial choir, they would then be an 
honour to God and their Redeemer, and would win 
the world to a love of faith and holiness, and make 
them throw away their worldly fool-games, and come 
and see what it is that these joyous souls have found ! 
But when we shew the world no religion, but sigh 
ing and complaining, and live a sadder life than they, 
and yet talk of the glad tidings of Christ, and pardon, 
and salvation, we may talk so long enough before 
they will believe us that seem no more to be be 
lievers ourselves, or before they will leave their fleshly 
pleasures for so sad and dreadful a life as this. 

And as this kind of heavenly, joyful life is an ho 
nour to Christ, and a wonderful help to the convert 
ing of the world, so is it a reward to him that hath 
it; which made this holy person live in such a vigour 
of duty, such fervour of holy love, and such conti 
nual content in God, so that the kingdom of God in 
him was righteousness^, peace, and joy in the Holy 
Ghost; which others think consisteth itijneats, drinks, 
and days, in shadows and circumstances, in sidings 
and in singular conceits. (Ronu xiv. Col. ii, 16.) It 


was not a melancholy spirit that acted him, nor did 
he tempt his people into such an uncomfortable state 
and strain. But ia the multitude of his thoughts 
within him, the comforts of God did delight his 
soul: His meditation of God and his Redeemer was 
sweet, and he rejoiced in the Lord. He delighted 
in the law of the Lord; and when delight invited 
him, no wonder if it were his meditation day and 
night. (Psalm i. 2. civ. 34. cxix. 103. xciv. 19-) 

And how great a solace was this in his sufferings, 
when he could be in a gaol and in Heaven at once? 
When he could, after the terrible torment of con 
vulsions, have the foresight and taste of heavenly 
pleasures? Nihil Cms sentit in Ncrvo, cum Animus 
est in Ccelo, saith Tertidlian* 

And as he lived, so he died, in vigorous., joyful 
praises and thanksgivings: Reviving out of his long 
speechless convulsion, into those fervent raptures, as 
if he had never been so impatient of being absent 
from the Lord, as when he was just passing into his 
presence; or rather as if, with Stephen, he had seen 
Heaven opened and Christ in his glory, and could 
not but speak of the unutterable things which he had 
seen. I deny not but his vigorous active temper 
might be a great help to all his holy alacrity and 
joy, in his healthful state: But when that frame of 
nature was broken by such torments, and was then 
dissolving, to hear a dying man about sixteen hours 
together, like the ferventest preacher in the pulpit, 
pour out his soul in praises and thanksgiving; and 
speak of God, of Christ, of Heaven, as one that 

* The cross feeleth nothing in the nerves, when the soul 
is in heaven. 


could never speak enough of them; and that with a 
vivacity and force, as if he had been in former health, 
and to triumph in joy as one that was just laying 
hold upon the crown; surely in this there was 
something that was the reward of all his former 
praise and thankfulness; and that which must needs 
tell the auditors the difference, not only between 
the death of a righteous believer and the wicked 
unbeliever, but the weak and distempered believer; 
also the difference between a sound and a diseased 
Christian, and between the triumphant faith and 
hopes of one that saw the God and world invisible, 
and the staggering faith and trembling hopes of 
a feeble and distrustful soul; and between the death 
of one that had been used to converse in heaven 
and to make thanksgiving and praise his work, 
and of one that had been used to cleave to earth 
and make a great matter of the concernments of the 
flesh, and to rise but little higher in religion than 
a course of outward duty animated most with trou 
blesome fears: Though he died not in the pulpit, yet 
he died in pulpit- work. 

And I must also note, how great an advantage it 
was to himself, and to his ministerial works, that he 
waspossessed deeply with this true sentiment, That the 
PLEASING of GOD is the proper ultimate end of man, (not 
doubting but it includeth the notion of glorifying 
him,) for thus his heart was rightly principled, and 
all his doctrine and duties rightly animated. 

And as in all his ministry he was extraordinarily ad 
dicted to open to the hearers the covenant of grace, and 
to explain religion in the true notion of covenanting 


with God and covenant-keeping, and greatly to urge 
men to deliberate well-grounded resolutions in this 
holy covenant: (As one that understood that bapti 
zing is truly christening, and that Baptism and the 
Lord s Supper are our sacramental covenanting, and 
that we need no new descriptions nor characters of 
grace and church-titles, if we understand^what these 
sacraments truly mean:) So God was pleased to 
give him a certainty and sense of his divine faithful 
ness, in fulfilling the promises of his covenant, and 
a lively sense of all the benefits of it; and his faith 
in God for the performance of his part, was as strong 
and fixed, as was his own resolution in the strength 
of grace to be true to God: I compare not his reso 
lution to God s fidelity ; (for what comparison be 
tween God and man?) but only to his belief of God s 
fidelity, and his comfort in the assurance of the con 
clusion. And as he was resolved through grace 
never to forsake Christ, so Christ did never fail him 
nor forsake him. And in his ministry, in his suffer 
ings, and his death, this faith, this hope, this heavenly 
joy, was his support and strength; and in the valley 
of the shadow of death, he feared no evil. But when 
his flesh and heart failed, as to natural strength, the 
Lord was the rock or strength of his heart, and never 
failed him. (Psalm Ixxiii. 25.) Let me die the death 
of the righteous, and let my last end be like his. 

I have premised this general skeleton, as limners 
and builders first draw the pillars and stamina of 
their work, which the following narratives will fill 
up: And I have given you this general index or 
contents of what is distinctly contained in the sequel. 


For the history is not drawn up by one hand, nor as 
by one that intended rather to shew what he could 
say, than what the person was and did: But it is 
the brief account of the several parts of his life, 
drawn up by several of his most worthy and judici 
ous friends, that were present, or most intimate and 
familiar with him. And I take this to be the 
best advantage to a history, as to the truth, which 
should satisfy the incredulous, though not as to 
uniformity, and a fluid style, which might please 
the curions. For a man s life is like a war or battle: 
No dispersed war, no, nor any one particular 
battle, can fully be described by the observations of 
any one man alone: But one man is but in one 
place, and seeth only that which is within his own 
prospect, which his proper station did advantage 
him to see: But when intelligent men from each 
part of the army do every one bring in their several 
narratives, all set together may be a satisfactrry his 
tory of the whole war or fight: So when a man s 
course of life is transient, and one is his familiar in 
youth, and another at riper age; one in the univer 
sity, and another in the ministry; one in prison, and 
one at home; one in health, and another at death; it 
is no one of himself that can credibly report the 
whole. And therefore though, by variety of style, . 
it may seem a ceuto, or incongruously composed; 
yet truth being the soul of history, that s best which 
is best fitted to the lovers of truth. And though 
one part be written by a woman, his widow ; and 
another part by his Reverend Father-in-law; ano 
ther by that worthy pastor whom he assisted; ano 


ther by a fellow minister, and another by a scholar 
of his intimate acquaintance., &c. Yet is there such 
agreement in them all, and such evidence of unques 
tionable verity, especially to all that know these 
worthy and faithful persons, that for my part I take 
it as coming to me with greater advantage, than if it 
had been an evener thread, drawn out by one skilful 
hand alone; as the writing of the history of Christ 
by the four evangelists, is advantageous to the Chris 
tian faith. The plainness and open breast of a godly 
widow, and of so many holy and most credible 
friends, is another kind of evidence, than the con 
trived history of a learned man, which is fitted to 
the interest of a party, to which the person s fame 
and honour seemeth requisite: I know not how ft 
history of this nature could come to the world with 
fairer human evidence of unquestionable credibility 
than this doth. 

And let posterity know, (for I need not tell it to 
this present age, who live in the light;) that though 
this servant of Christ excelled very many of his breth 
ren, yet it is not that such men are wonders in this 
age, that his life is singled out to be recorded to pos 
terity: But because his affectionate friends and 
auditors are forwarder than many others, hereby to 
tell the world what effects his holy doctrine and ex 
ample hath left upon their hearts : It makes the 
writer s heart to bleed, to think how many thou 
sands of souls do perish by ignorance, and ungodliness* 
even in England; and how many vast kingdoms of 
the world are deprived of the gospel. 


If you ask, "What labours hath he left behind him?" 
I answer; first, the great numbers of holy souls 
converted, confirmed, and edified by his doctrine, 
and the example of his holy life; the specimen , or exem 
plar of a right minister of the gospel, which he hath 
left to the neighbouring ministers that knew him, 
and to those that now possess their places, and to all 
the ministers of the land, and to the ages that are yet 
to come : For who will not be convinced of the ne 
cessity and sweetness of holy diligence, in so good a 
work, and become laborious in the word and doc 
trine, who seriously readeth such examples as this 
here set before him? And who that considereth 
it aright, can choose but see, how greatly such 
holy labourers do differ from those that preach the 
gospel in strife and envy, to add affliction to Paul s 
bonds: (Phil. i. 15.) And those that use their minis 
try but as lawyers use the laws, to get preferment 
and worldly wealth by it; that they may say, Soul, 
take thy ease, eat, drmk, and be merry, thou hast goods 
enough laid up for many years : Till they hear at last, 
Thou fool, this night sJmll they require thy soul; ivliose 
then shall the things be which thou possessest? So is 
every one that layeth up riches for himself, and is 
not rich towards God. 

Seeondly, And for writings, who can expect that 
a man that entered upon the sacred ministry at 
twenty-one years of age, and died about thirty-five, 
and lived in such exceeding ministerial labours, should 
leave many books behind him of his writing, in an 
age wherein we have had too many books, and too 
few such ministers? Yet the following history tells 


us, he is the author of that Synopsis of the Covenant) 
In Mr. Richard Alleine s book. He printed an expo* 
sition of the Assembly s Catechism, with an exhorta 
tion to use it; as also prayers for his people s use: 
And left a book to work on the unconverted, not 
yet printed. And he hath left (alas! imperfect;) a 
good part of a body of Natural Theology, called 
Theologia Philosophica. 1. De cognitione Dei. 2. De 
existentia Dei. 3. De nominibus et substantia Dei. 
4. De attribntis Dei in genere, el speciatim de ejus uni* 
tate. 5. De perfectione divina, fyc. 6. De decretis 
divinis. ? De providentia divina. 8. De cultu divino, 
deprecibus.* In all which he succinctly delivereth, in a 
very good Latin style, the Christian Doctrine; and then 
by way of annotations, addeth the testimony of the 
ancient philosophers: So that you have together a 
swm of sound doctrine, and the fullest attestation of 
Ethnicks consent that ever I have seen; being such 
a promptuary for any one that hath not leisure to 
peruse or to gather to such particular-uses the philo 
sophers themselves, that I know no where you can 
find the like. For every sheet or two of his doc 
trine on the subject there is about eight, ten, twelve, 
or more sheets of collected attestations. The rest 
are all imperfectly written, only that De providentia, 
hath his ultimam manum,^and is licensed for the press; 
but being Latin and Greek, and such books having 

* Philosophical Theology. 1. On the knowledge of God. 
2". His existence. 3. His names and substance. 4. His attri 
butes in general, and especially his unity. 5. On the divine 
perfection, &c. 6. The divine decrees. 7. Divine Provi 
dence. 8. Divine worship and prayer. 

t His final correction, 



too few buyers in England, none yet is found that 
will be at the charge of printing it, much less alto 
gether; though indeed (though imperfect) it is pity 
they should be separated. The title of this licensed 
piece is, Theologies Philosophies, sive Philosophies 
Theologicce specimen : In quo Eterni Dei Providentia 
solius natures lumine comprobatur, validissimis rationum 
momentis demonstratur, quoad partes, species, objecta, 
SfC. explicatur; contra omnes denique adversariorum ob- 
jecliones ftrmatur : Ex Aristotele, Platone, Chalcidio, 
Sallustio, Firmico, Empirico, Jamlico, Antonino, 
Epicteto, Proclo, Simplicio, Cicerone, Seneca, Macro- 
bio, Porphyrio, Xenophonte, Galeno, Plutarcho, 
Plotino, Tyrio, Appuleio, Alcinoo, aliisque Philoso* 
phis, Oratoribus, et Poetis, turn Greeds turn Latinis, 
ad A theorum convictionem, et Orthodoxorum confirma- 
tionem; e lucubratione J. A. Anno Dom. l66l.* 

* A Specimen of Philosophical Theology, or Theological 
Philosophy : In which the Providence of the Everlasting 
God is proved by the light of nature alone, demonstrated by 
the most powerful force of reasoning, and explained, as to 
its divisions, species, objects, &c. And lastly it is confirm 
ed against all objections of adversaries : From Aristotle, 
Plato, &c. c. and other Philosophers, Orators, Poets, 
both Greek and Latin, for the conviction of Atheists, and the 
confirmation of the Orthodox. By the labour and study of 
Joseph A Heine. 1661. 



A brief relation of his early setting forth in the Christian race, 
from his childhood: Also some memorials of his industrious 
and prosperous pursuit of learning, and of his singular piety 
during his abode in the University. 


MR. JOSEPH ALLEINE, bom in the Devizes, 
in Wiltshire, in the year 1633, during his childhoods 
shewed forth a singular sweetness of disposition, and 
a remarkable diligence in every thing he was then 
employed about. The first observable zeal of reli 
gion that appeared in him, was in the eleventh year 
of his age, about which time he was noted to be very 
diligent in private prayer, and so fixed in that duty, 
that he would not be disturbed or moved by the 
coming of any person accidentally into the places of 
his retirement. This and other fruits of a serious 
and gracious spirit, were the common observation 
of the family. From this time forward, the whole 
course of his youth was an even-spun thread of godly 
conversation, which was rendered more amiable by 
his sweet and pleasant deportment towards all he 
conversed with. While he thus openly began to run. 
his Christian race, his brother Mr. Edward Alleine, 
a worthy minister of the gospel, departed this life: 
Whereupon he earnestly desired to be brought up in 
preparation, to succeed him in the work of the minis 
try. Which good motion his father gladly hearken 
ed unto, and speedily prepared to put it in execution, 


Such was his great diligence at school, that he Ire- 
deemed for his book the time allotted for recreation. 
In the space of about four years he attained to very 
good knowledge in the Latin and Greek tongues, 
and was by his school-master adjudged fit for Uni 
versity-studies. After which, he abode some time 
with his father in the country, where a worthy minis 
ter of the place read Logic to him: And when he 
was about sixteen years old, he was placed in Lincoln 
College, in Oxford. 

He had not been long in the University, but a 
Wiltshire place becoming void in Corpus Christi Col 
lege, he was chosen SCHOLAR of that house: The 
pregnancy of his parts assuring all that his own 
which brought him in. 

Being entered and settled, he gave both early and 
constant proofs of his indefatigable industry; signali 
zing thereby his love for learning, and evidently de 
monstrating how much he abhorred to be found a 
drone in such a hive. He esteemed a college an other- 
guess place than a VICTUALLING HOUSE, and coming 
into this with a nobler design than only to TAKE 
COMMONS: He thought himself happy in nothing so 
much, as the advantage he had gained for the best 

I have known too many, who in the very places 
which they have got by their parts, have lost the 
parts which got them their places; and peradventure 
had been excellent scholars, had they never had 
those encouragements to be so, which they un 
happily won from their competitors. For idleness 


enervates the strength of nature, and makes those 
logs that might have been Mercuries; but this person 
was none of those. He quitting himself so well at 
the election, was but a pledge and earnest of his do 
ing better afterwards. He made it appear to all 
observing him, that when he stood, he stood not so 
much for a place, as for the accomplishments by his 
future studiousness attainable in it, demeaning him 
self like one, who even in the days of his vanity, 
well understood how profane a thing it was to live 
in a school of learning no otherwise than as if it 
were a sanctuary for laziness, or a place privileged 
with nothing else but leave and opportunity to eat 
the founder s bread, with no other sweat of the brow, 
than what s provoked in a ball-court. 

Never had learning a truer drudge since she kept 
house in Oxford. At her work he was both day and 
night, thinking all time too little, 110 pains too much 
that he spent in her service: When but a school 
boy (as I have heard) he was observed to be so stu 
dious, that he was known as much by this periphra 
sis, The lad that will not play., as by his name: And 
sure I am, when in the University, he was so gene 
rously and ingeniously bookish, that he deserved to 
to be called, The Scholar, who by his good-will would 
do nothing else but vray and study. 

O / J tj 

Courteous he was, and very civil to all acquain 
tance: But if they came to visit him at studying 
times, though they were sure enough to find him with 
in, yet withal so busy generally with better company, 
as to have no leisure to let them in. And if at this 
they were moved, and murmured, and went away 


offended with him, he cared not. That notable 
principle of Joachim Fortius, which shut him up, 
bearing him out, and being his relief in all such 
cases, viz. Better it is that they should wonder at thy 
rudeness, than thou shouldst lose thy time; for only one 
or two will take notice of that, but all posterity would 
be sensible of this. 

His appetite to his business being that to him 
which alarms in their chambers are wont to be to 
others ; seldom it was that he could be found in bed 
after four in the morning, though he had stayed up on ] 
the same occasion on which he then rose, till almost 
one over-night. 

For though, whilst junior scholar, he obtained 
many weekly SLEEPING DAYS for others, yet in many 
years he could hardly vouchsafe himself so much as 

And as thus he begrudged himself his rest, so thus 
also his very food; it being as familiar with him to 
give away his commons (at least) once, as with any 
others to eat theirs twice a day. As if he, who was 
never satisfied how many volumes soever he devour 
ed, had looked upon it as a kind of gluttony to eat that 
meal, the time of eating which might without prejudice 
to health have been better spent upon a book. Por- 
phyrys wish, That he were able to live without eating 
and drinking at all, that so he might be wholly taken up 
about nobler things, is sure the wish of thousands in 
the learned world. Certain I am it was his, and that 
if piety would have suffered him, and they had not 
been such dear friends, he would have fallen out 
with Gqd, for tying his soul to such a body, as could 


not subsist without (what he would often call no let 
ter than time- consuming things) meat, and drink, and 

That this his laborious studiousness was as delight 
ful and pleasant to him, as the highest voluptuous 
ness can be to the most sensual sot, I conclude, not 
only from the constancy of it, but from his charging 
matrimony, to which afterwards he became a sub 
ject, with no greater tyranny, than the necessity 
which it laid upon him of being kinder sometimes 
unto himself than he was wont to be in Oxford. 
For, being married, an intimate friend of his of the 
same college, who had thoughts of changing his con 
dition, wrote to him, and in a jesting manner, desi 
red of him an account of the inconveniences of marri 
age; to whom he returned this pleasant, but very sig 
nificant, answer; Thou wouldest know the inconveniences 
of a wife, and I will tell thee; Jlrst of all, whereas thou 
risest constantly at four in the morning, or before, she will 
keep thec till about six. Secondly, whereas thou usest 
to study fourteen hours in the day, she will bring thee to 
eight or nine. Thirdly, whereas thou art wont to for 
bear one meal a day at least for thy studies, she will 
bring thee to thy meat : If these be not mischiefs enough 
to affright thee, I know not what thou art. 

Through his industry, with God s blessing on it, 
he exceedingly prospered in his studies, and quickly 
appeared a notable proficient. He would often say, 
he chiejly affected rational learning, valuing skill in 
languages only for the sake of things, and those things 
most which were of all most likely to improve his judg 
ment. And the truth of his words was sufficiently 


evident: For all that knew him, knew him to be as 
good a linguist, so as smart a disputant, and an ex 
cellent philosopher. When he performed any aca 
demical exercises, either in the hall or in the schools, 
he seldom or ever came off without the applause, or at 
least the approbation of all but the envious; who also 
themselves, even by their very detractions, in spight 
of their teeth, commended him; there being, to the 
ingenuous, no surer sign almost of his having acquit 
ted himself well, than that such as they could not 
endure it should be said so. 

Certain I am his pregnant parts and early accom 
plishments were so much taken notice of in the Col 
lege, that so soon almost as he was but bachelor of 
arts, he was even compelled to commence a tutor; 
and presently intrusted (to speak within compass) 
with as great a number of pupils as any in the house. 
Some of his scholars are now Graduates in Divinity, 
and singular ornaments of that flourishing society, 
as Mr. John Rosewell, B. D. Mr. Nicholas Horse 
man, B. D. &c. Others of them, who left the Uni 
versity, have not gone without considerable prefer 
ments in the church, as Mr. John Peachil, lately 
lecturer at St. Clements Danes, without Temple-Bar; 
Mr. Christopher Coward, prebendary of Wells, &c. 
And I make no question but all of them (which a^ 
yet alive) honour his memory, and will at any time 
be ready to express the grateful sense which they 
retain of the advantage they received from his pru 
dent instructions and pious examples. 

It is true, indeed, he had no advancement propor 
tionable to his merits whilst he staid amongst us; 


But if there were any thing to be blamed for that, it 
was nothing else but his own self-denial. Fora 
chaplain s place becoming void, he chose that before 
a fellowship, which he knew well enough, in a little 
time, would, of course, and by right, have been cer 
tainly his. And this choice having been made by 
him at first deliberately, he never after in the least 
repented, but rather often reflected on with a great 
deal of content and comfort. For he had always 
such a huge affection for prayer, that he and his 
friend could hardly ever walk and discourse together, 
but, before they parted, at his desire, they must also 
go and pray together. Arid what a pleasure then 
may we think it was to him, twice a day to engage 
a whole society, in so dear an exercise, with a Let 
us pray! Frequently indeed have I heard him say, 
He prized the employment above that which generally 
we reckoned much better preferment, and looked 
upon it as his honour and happiness. 

And it was well Vfl ,us that so he did, it being 
hardly possible that the duty of the place should 
have been by any discharged better than it was by 
him. We were not used to a great deal of noise, 
vain tautologies, crude effusions, unintelligible sense, 
or mysterious iiui,^ , , . ntead of prayer. His spi- 
vic was serious, his gesture reverent, his words few, 
but premeditated and well weighed, pithy, solid, 
and to the full expressive of his as truly humble as 
earnest desire. He loathed the sauciness which went 
by the name ofkoly boldness; and drew near to God, 
not as if he had been going to play with his mate, 
but as became a creature overawed with the majesty 


of his great Creator. He prayed with the spirit and 
the understanding also; confessed sin with real 
grief, inward hatred, and detestation; and begged 
the mercies he came to beg, like one that felt the 
want and worth of what he begged, with faith and 
fervency, and true importunity; his affections work 
ing, but working rationally as well as strongly. 

And this, as I doubt not it prevailed above, so it 
had on us the more powerful influence, because we 
found it to be no mere religious fit, but exactly agree 
able to the habitual frame and disposition of the 
man. It is a shrewd reflection which Suidas makes 
on the philosopher Sallust: (How truly I know not, 
he is neither civil nor just to some:) SaXXown ov 
os o rpoTfos TdapccSo^Qs TZaffiv a.vQpu ftois, OTE //,ev (piXo- 
STH TO xaplspcflcfov, Ta s TToifyvros ITTI TO 
v. Sallust s carriage was strange to all men; 
for though when lie read his philosophy lectures, lie did 
it gravely and very solemnly; tyet at other times heplay-* 
ed the child, and that rnort DJiailously. And there 
are too many, both chaplains and preachers, who 
justly merit as bad a censure: Whilst praying and 
preaching, they appear demure, and mighty devout; 
yet take them out of their desks and pulpits, and 
they are as light, as vain, nr^ 4WiLy, yea, extremely 
dissolute, as any others. But it was not so with 
this person: For he was always composed and se 
rious, grave and reverend, above his age. He set 
God always before him; and wherever he was, la 
boured to live as in his presence. It was his solemn 
business to be religious; his great endeavour to walk 
by rule; his main design, in all his ways, to approve 


himself unto his Father, which saw in secret; and his 
daily exercise, to keep a conscience void of offence, 
both towards God and towards men. 

As for the pleasures and delights of sin, he highly 
nauseated and abhorred them; was so above them, 
that he could not endure them : Quam suave istis 
suavitatibus carere! Horv sweet was it to him (as said 
once St. Austin) to want those sweets! And as for 
lawful delights and pleasures, although he did divert 
unto, and now and then solace a while, and enter 
tain himself with them, yet how little was his heart 
unto them, or was he (generally) taken with them ! 
He was as formal in using them, as some Christians 
are in God s service; as they sometimes do pray, as 
if indeed they prayed not; and hear, as if they heard 
not; so he rejoiced in such things as these, as if in 
deed he rejoiced not. He looked upon them, com 
pared with others, as upon his righteousness, com 
pared with Christ s, as very vanity, yea, dross and 
dung. His conversation being in heaven, his sweet 
est comforts and most prized refreshments, were 
divine and heavenly. His soul took often a delight 
ful prospect of eternity, viewing the regions of bliss 
and glory, looking wistly at her father s seat, the 
mount of joy, aspiring after a nobler mansion, and 
hugging herself in a comfortable persuasion, that it 
would not be long ere she should be in it. And 
hereupon, as he little minded any earthly glory, so 
he little minded or cared for the poor and empty de 
lights of sense. 

However, he was not morosely pious, nor did his 
affection to God and goodness, and the things above., 


make him either a Timon or a Cynic; it had not then 
been so true and genuine, and of so right a kind as 
it was. Homilitical virtue he as much excelled in as 
any other, and the decried morality found ever with 
him very great respect, being recognized as an inte 
gral part of his religion. 

He was of as sweet a disposition, and of as highly 
civil a conversation, as a man (subject to the common 
frsilties of human nature) almost could be. He had 
scarce a gesture which did not seem to speak, and, 
by a powerful and charming rhetorick, affect all 
whom he conversed with. Were it not that he had so 
many other moral perfections and excellencies besides 
that, it might as truly be said of him, as by the histo 
rian was of the Emperor, in respect of his clemency, 
that he was totus ex comitate, made up, as it were, of 
nothing dse but courtesy and affability. 

For a friend, I think I may safely say, he was 
one of the truest that ever person had interest in; and 
withal, as pleasant as a serious Christian could well 
wish. He loved not rashly, but where he loved, he 
loved intirely ; and whoever came to be entertained 
in his affections, were sure to find a warm lodging. 
There was no more but only one thing, which he 
thought too much for any, for whom he thought not 
his love too good: He could not sin, knowingly, and 
willingly, for any friend he had on earth. WhenLelius 
in the presence of the Roman Consuls, (who, after 
the condemnation of Tiberius Gracchus, pursued all 
that had been formerly intimate with him,) came to 
enquire of Caius Blosius, his chiefest friend, what he 
was willing to have done far Gracchus : He answered, 


"All things." What! all things? replied Lelius. 
Suppose he had willed you to burn our temples, would 
you have done it at his request? " I know," said Blo- 
sius, " he could never command it ; but if he had, I 
" had obeyed him." I confess this friend did never 
dare to be such a friend, or any thing like him: But 
usque ad aras, so far as lawfully and conscientiously he 
might do any thing, he stuck at nothing wherein he 
might serve, pleasure, or gratify them he loved. 

And yet his love was not ingrossed by his friends 
only; for whilst to them he shewed himself friendly, 
good nature as well as Christianity obliged him to be 
kind to all, and (according to his ability) to the poor 
bountiful. He was too frugal to throw away his cha 
rity, yet not so covetous as to withhold it when he met 
with objects to whom it was due. He did not think 
the little ne had so much his own, as that his necessi 
tous brethren might not claim a part in it; and 
therefore gave them as if he had been paying debts, 
and not bestowing alms. But of all most admirable 
was his affection to the souls of others, and his desire 
to do good to them. This indeed was most conspicu 
ous, and seemed to shew, 

Velut inter Ignes 

Luna minorcSy 

Much like the Moon appearing bigger, and shining 
brighter than the other stars. The sage Pythagoras, I 
remember, gave this very mystical but wise advice un 
to his scholars, Eyxt spaXov /xyj !<r0<iv,6y no means to eat 
their own brains; intending by it, as it is conceived, 
that they should not keep their reason (of which the 
brain is an immediate instrument) unto themselves.. 


but still employ it for the advantage of others. And. 
sure this person did forbear to eat, but by his absti 
nence fed many others with his brains, that is, his en 
lightened, improved reason. Some there are, to my 
knowledge, who at this day do verily think, they 
should never have found the way to live, or to live 
forever, if he had lived unto himself. Eminent was 
his charity to the poor prisoners in Oxford gaol; 
among whom first (as the Rev. Mr. Perkins did at 
Cambridge,) of his own accord he began to preach, 
and held on constantly (while he remained in town) 
once a fortnight, for a year and upwards, encourag 
ing them to give attendance on his ministry, by a con 
siderable allowance of bread that week he preached, 
at his proper cost and charges. Frequent visits also 
was he used to make, at other times, to other persons 
in the world that were but mean and low; his main 
design (together with the relieving of their temporal 
wants) being to assist their souls, and help them for 
ward in their way to heaven. And indeed, in all his 
converses, wherever he was, he was like fire, (as Sal- 
lust was used to say of Athenodorus) e|*^o;v vavra 
TOL OTapax/xev; TV finning, refreshing, quickening alt 
that were about him, and kindling in them the like zeal 
for God and goodness which he had in himself. Who 
ever they were that came to visit or be acquainted with 
him, it was their own fault if they got not by him so 
much good, as to be for ever the better for him. It 
was hardly possible to be in his company, and not to 
hear such things from him, as, if well weighed, might 
have been enough to make one out of conceit with sin, 
and in love with virtue, as long as one lived. Though 


he did not say, (as Titus once) yet by his actions we 
may judge he thought that he had even quite lost a day, 
when none had gained somewhat by him. He lived 
as if he had been quickened with that saying, (which 
I have somewhere met with in Tertullian) Quid pro* 
desi esse, quod esse non prodest ? To what purpose is 
it to live, and not to live to some good purpose? 

But this was that (this ardent love to the souls of 
men) that quickly deprived us of his company; it car 
ried him down into the country, where, how he de 
meaned and carried himself, let others speak. 


,4 brief character of him by that reverend person Mr. R. A. who 
was nearly related to him, shewing how eminently he was 
qualified for the Ministerial service and warfare, unto which 
he was called. 

OF his extract I shall say little; he was the son of 
a godly father, Mr. Tobie Alleine, sometime of the 
Devizes, an understanding, affectionate, prudent, and 
signally humble and experienced Christian, who died 
suddenly but sweetly, his son surviving him not 
above a year or two. He having been languishing 
for some time, at length seemed to be upon re 
covery, and went about his house. On the morning 
before he died, he arose about four; about ten or 
eleven he came down out of his closet, and called for 
something to eat, which being prepared, he gave 
thanks, but could not eat any thing: His wife per 
ceiving a sudden change in him, persuaded him to go 
to his bed; he answered, "No; but I will die in my 
" chair, and I am not afraid to die." He sat down 


and only said, "My life is hid with Christ in God;" 
and then he closed his eyes with his own hands, and 
died immediately. No more of the father : Concern 
ing his son I shall speak, 

What he was, and what his temper and behaviour 

As a Man. 

As a Christian, 

As a Minister. 

1. Asa Man* He was, 1. of quick natural parts> 
and great acquired abilities, concerning which I shall 
need say no more, there being a fuller account given 
by another. 2. Of a composed, grave, and serious 
temper and behaviour, not at all morose, but full of 
candour, free, affable, cheerful, and courteous. 

2. As a Christian. He was, for exemplary holi 
ness, and heavenliness of mind and life, much ele 
vated above the ordinary rank. He lived much in 
delightful communion with God; his soul was greatly 
exercised in divine contemplation; and he would 
sometimes speak (to provoke others, whom he wished 
the same delights, to the same exercise) what ineffa-* 
ble pleasure, sweetness, and satisfaction his soul had 
found in his stated meditations on the Divine Attri 
butes, distinctly one by one. In his discourses he 
woidd speak much and passionately to the commend 
ing and exalting of the divine goodness, and of the 
inexpressible dearness and tenderness of the divine 
love. In prayer he was not ordinarily so much in 
confession or complaining of corruption and infirmi 
ties, though he expressed a due sense of these, as in 
the admiring and praising of God in his infinite glo* 


rious perfections, in the mention of his wonderful 
works, particularly of those wonders of his love re 
vealed in Jesus Christ. In some of his letters to me, 
when he had been speaking of the grace and good 
ness of God to him, (of the sense whereof he would 
seem to be even quite swallowed up) he would break 
off with some such expressions as these, / am full of 
the mercies of the Lord; love the Lord for me; O 
praise the Lord for my sake; help me, help me to 
praise the Lord! 

His whole life was adorned and beautified with 
the admirable lustre of his particular personal graces. 
1. He was a man of love. His sweet, amicable, and 
courteous converse was such as made him the delicias* 
of his acquaintance, and made way for the entertain 
ment both of his serious counsels and severer reproofs: 
He grew dear unto the saints that knew him, be 
cause they saw in his very face and all his carriages, 
how very dear they were to him. His compassion 
to those in distress, his bounty to those in want, 
(wherein he abounded beyond his ability) his for 
bearance in case of offences, his affectionate language 
and carriage, his readiness to all obliging offices of 
love to his relations, to his friends, to strangers, to 
enemies, did evidently declare how he loved them. 
Especially his love was let forth in fuller streams upon 
the congregation where he exercised his ministry. 
The people of his care, were the people of his de 
light. His ardent longing for their souls, his rejoicing 
in their souls prosperity, his bleedings and break^ 

b * The delight. 


ings of soul under any of their falls or infirmities, his 
incessant labours among them, both publicly and 
from house to house, his frequent and affectionate 
letters to them when he was absent, his earnest de 
sire to live and die and be buried amongst them, 
(declaring to them, That if he died within fifty miles 
of Taunton, his will was to be brought and buried there, 
that his bones might be laid with their bones, his dust 
mingled with their dust) these all declare how great 
ly they were in his heart. 

2. He was a man of courage. 1. He feared no dan 
gers in the way of his duty, knowing that He that 
walks uprightly, walks surely, In cases less clear, he 
was very inquisitive to understand his way, and then 
he fixed without fear. 2. He feared not the faces of 
men; but where occasion was, he was bold in admo 
nishing, and faithful in reproving; which ungrate 
ful duty he yet managed with such prudence and 
such expressions of love and compassion to souls, as 
made his way into hearts more easy, and his work 
more successful. 

3. He was a son of peace; Both a zealous peace 
maker among differing brethren, in case of personal 
quarrels and contentions ; and he was also of sober 
and peaceful principles and a healing spirit, as to 
parties or factions upon the account of religion. 
He had an awful and reverend regard to magistrates, 
abhorring all provoking and insolent expressions, or 
mutinous and tumultuous actions against them. 

4. He was a man of truth and righteousness; both 
as to his own personal practice ; and also was much 
in pressing it upon others, especially professors of 


religion, to be exemplarily just in their dealings, and 
true in their words, to be wary in promising, and 
punctual in performing. O! Low often and passi 
onately have I heard him bewailing the sins of pro 
mise-breaking and deceitful dealing, whereof such 
as he hath known to beguilty have understood, botk 
by word and writing, how much his soul was griev 
ed at them, for the wrong they did hereby to their 
own souls especially, and the reproach they brought 
upon the gospel of our Lord. 

5. He was of great patience. To say nothing of 
his behaviour under sufferings of other kinds, his 
great weakness, and long languishing for some years 
together, and his constant serenity, calms, and quiet 
ness of spirit, in all that time, so far from the least 
touch of murmuring, that he was still blessing the 
Lord for his tender dealings with him, have given 
the world a full proof that he was of a patient spirit. 

6. He iv as eminent in liberality; He not only did, 
but devised liberal things, and by liberal things did he 
stand; he studied and considered how he might both 
give himself, and procure from others, relief for 
those in want: He gave much alms daily, botli in 
the place where he lived, and wherever he came. 
When there were collections at any time for pious 
and charitable uses, he stirred up others to bountiful 
giving, both by word, and also by his example. In 
the collection for the Fire in London, he gave pub 
licly such a liberal proportion as he thought meet to 
be an example to others; and (as I came occasionally 
to understand) lest it should be misjudged ii he had 
been known to give more, he gave more than as 


much again secretly. He distributed much amongst 
his relations. His aged father and divers of his bre 
thren, with their large families, being fallen into de 
cay, he took great care for them all, and gave educa 
tion to some, pensions to others, portionsjto others of 
them; and notwithstanding all this, he had but a very 
small matter of stock to begin upon, and never above 
eighty pounds per annum, that I know of; and near 
the one half of his time, not above half so much; only 
by the industry of his wife, who for divers years kept 
a boarding-school, his income was for that time con 
siderably enlarged. He took great pains in journey- 
ings abroad to many gentlemen, and other rich men 
in the country, to procure a standing supply for such 
Non-conforming ministers as were in want. 

7. He was of an active spirit. He went about doing 
good. As he was abundant and uncessant in his 
labours in the^congregatioii where he lived; so where- 
ever he came, he would be scattering some good seed, 
not only among the adult, but he would be dealing 
much with the children in those families into which 
he came, asking them questions, giving them coun 
sel, and sometimes leaving them his counsel in wri 
ting. In his own family (which was great whilst his 
wife kept boarders) he was exceedingly industrious ; 
the gravity of his carriage, contempered with muclj 
sweetness and affability towards those young ones, 
begat in many of them the awe and love as of chil 
dren to their father, and made way for the success of 
his endeavours with them, which was considerable 
upon divers of them. At Bath, while he lay sick 

there, he sent for many of the poor,, both old and 


children, and gave them catechisms, engaging them 
to learn them, and give him an account; who came 
cheerfully and frequently to him, being encouraged 
hereto by his familiar and winning carriage, his giv 
ing them money, his feeding and feasting them. He 
would sometimes say, It is a pity that counsel of our 
Lord (Luke iv. 13.) of feasting the poor, was no more 
practised among christians. 

8. He was of a humble spirit. Though God had so 
exceedingly lifted him up in the hearts of others, 
yet he was not puffed up in his own: He was low 
in his own eyes, and despised the praise of men. His 
whole carriage was without the least ostentation, 
and he was of great condescension to the weakest or 
meanest. Once or twice he was complaining to me 
of the pride of his heart; I (judging it to proceed 
rather from a holy jealousy of himself, and a tender 
ness of the least spark of that evil, than from any 
power it had upon him) replied to him (as I remem 
ber) to this purpose; If he had a proud heart, he had 
it to himself, for none else could perceive it. But he 
answered, " Some men that are proud enough, have 
" more wit than to let every one know it." Another 
time making the same complaint in a letter to me, 
he added this: But my naughty heart, whilst I am 
writing this, is in hope you will not believe me. So 
watchful was he, as to espy and check the least mo 
tions of that lust which he so much abhorred. 

III. As a minister* He was settled in Taunton 
Magcjalen, as an assistant to the Reverend Pastor 
there ; with whom, as a son with the father, he ser 
ved in the gospel. I shall say nothing here, there be* 


ing a large account given under the hand of that 
worthy person. 

But besides his labours in that great congregation 
in which alone he was fixed, the care for many other 
congregations was daily upon him. He went forth 
frequently into several places about the country, 
amongst the poor ignorant people that lived in dark 
corners and had none to take care of them, and both 
preached to them himself, and stirred up many of 
his brethren; whose forward minds readily joined 
with him, to set up standing lectures amongst them: 
He had an eye to poor Wales, and had an influence 
upon the sending over some ministers to them : He 
resolved also to have gone and spent some time 
amongst them himself, and by all the dissuasions of 
his friends, from his great weakness and unfitness for 
travel, he was hardly withheld from his purpose. 


An account of his godly life and practice, and of the course of his 
Ministry in Taunton, given by Mr. George Netcton, the 
Reverend Pastor there, whose assistant he was. 

MR. JOSEPH ALLEINE came to my assistance, 
in the year 1655, being then in the one and twentieth 
year of his age; and we continued together with 
much mutual satisfaction. 

I soon observed Him to be a young man of singu 
lar accomplishments, natural andjacquired. His in 
tellectuals solid, his memory strong, his affections 
lively, bis learning much beyond the ordinary size: 


And above all, his holiness eminent, his conversa 
tion exemplary; in brief, he had a good head, and a 
better heart. 

He spent a considerable part of his time in pri 
vate converses with God and his own soul; he de 
lighted very much to perform his secret devotion* 
in the view of heaven, and the open air, when he 
could find advantages fit for his purpose. He used 
to keep many days alone, and then a private room 
would not content him, but (if he could) he would 
withdraw himself to a solitary house, that had no 
inhabitant in it: And herein he was gratified often 
by some private friends of his, to whom he did not 
impart his design: Perhaps it was, that he might 
freely use his voice as his affections led him, with 
out such prudential considerations and restraints as 
would have been necessary in another place; and 
that he might converse with God without any avoca 
tion or distraction. 

His conversation with others, was always mingled 
with heavenly and holy discourses; he was re;.cly to 
instruct, and to exhort, and to reprove; which he. ne 
ver failed to do (when he thought it necessary ) what 
ever the event might be: But he performed It usu 
ally with such respect, humility, tenderness, self- 
condemnation, and compassion, that a reproof from 
him did seldom, if at all, miscarry. 

In the houses where he sojourned, their hands fed 
one, but his lips fed many; God freely poured grace 
into his lips, and he freely poured it out. None 
could live quietly in any visible and open sin, under 
bis inspection : When he came to any house to take 


up his abode there, he brought salvation with him; 
when he departed, he left salvation behind him. 
His manner was, when he was ready to depart, and 
to transplant himself into some other family, (as that 
the exigence of his condition and the time, did more 
han once constrain him to,) to call the people one 
by one into his chamber; from whence, it was obser 
ved, that scarce any once returned with dry eyes. 

In matters of religion, and the first table, his strict 
ness was so exemplary, (which was near to rigour) 
that I have scarce known any of his years keep pace 
with him. Surely he did more than others; his 
righteousness exceeded not the Publican only, but 
the Pharisees too. He was much taken with Mon 
sieur de Renty, (whose life he read often) and imi 
tated some of his severities upon better grounds : 
How often have I heard him to admire (among 
many other things) especially his self-annihilation, 
striving continually to be nothing, that God might 
be all. 

But here he stayeth not, he was a second-table man, 
a man of morals; I never knew him spotted in the 
least degree with any unjust or uncharitable act. 
And I am sure, the many failings of professors in 
this kind, touched him to the very quick, and 
brought him low; drew prayers, tears, complaints, 
and lamentations, both by word and letter from him, 
though yet the Lord would not permit him to be 
hold and reap the fruit before he died. 

He had an eminently free and bountiful heart to 
his power, and I may truly say, beyond his power; 
yea, much beyond it, he was willing of himself. It 


is but seldom that the best do need restraint in these 
matters; and yet we read of some who brought more 
than enough, yea, much more than enough. (Exod. 
xxxvi. 5.) So that there was a proclamation issued 
out, to put a stop upon their bounty, and it is added 
presently, so the people were restrained. Men univer 
sally almost do need a spur, but he did rather need 
a bridle. When other men gave little out of much, 
he gave much out of little; and while they heaped 
and gathered up, he dispersed and scattered abroad. 
He did not hide himself from his own flesh, but was 
helpful to relations, as some of them have great rea 
son to acknowledge. His charity began at home, 
but it did not end there ; for he did good to all, (ac 
cording to his opportunities) though especially to the 
household of faith. He considered the poor, he stu 
died their condition; he devised liberal things; he 
was full of holy projects, for the advancement of the 
good of others, both spiritual and temporal; which 
he pursued with such irresistible vigor, and zeal, and 
activity, that they seldom proved abortive. 

He was a man of extraordinary condescension to 
the infirmities of weaker brethren, as they that are 
most holy, and best acquainted with themselves, are 
wont to be: Instructing those that were contrary 
minded in meekness; if God peradventure would give 
them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth: 
Restoring those who were overtaken with a faulty with 
the spirit of meekness. So dealing with them in such 
a loving, sweet, and humble way, as considering 
himself, lest he also might be tempted. In their 
confessed failings, he was no way supercilious, cap- 


tious, and censorious; he would maintain a good 
opinion of another, upon a narrower footing than 
many others, who (to say no more) were nothing 
stricter, holier, humbler, than himself would be. 
His charity believed all things that were to be believ 
ed, and hoped all things that were to be hoped. And 
when he deeply condemned the action, he would not 
judge of the estate: Indeed he had more charity 
for others than himself; and though he were suffici 
ently mild in his judgment of others, he was severe 
enough in his judgment of himself. 

He was not peremptory in matters that belong to 
doubtful disputations: He laid no more weight and 
stress on notions and opinions in religion, that wholly 
depend upon topical arguments, than belongs to 
them. He was not like many who are so over-confident 
in their determinations that they will hardly hold 
communion ; nay, scarce so much as a pleasing con 
versation with any man, how gracious soever, who 
cannot think, and say, and act in every thing as they 
do. He would allow his fellow-members the lati 
tude that the apostle doth; and so would freely and 
familiarly converse with those who are sound in the 
faith, (as to the fundamentals of religion) and who 
were strict and holy in their lives, of all persuasions. 

His ministerial studies were more than usually 
easy to him, being of a quick conceit, a ready, 
stroi:p; . a \ fal* -fulmemory, a free expression, (which 
was rathe nervous and substantial, than soft and de 
licate,) and, whic^ was best of all, a holy heart that 
boiled and bubbled up with good matter. This fur 
nished him on all cccasioiis, not with warm afFec* 


tions only, but with holy notions too. For his heart 
was an epistle, written, not with ink, but with tha 
Spirit of the Living God: And out of this epistle., 
he drew many excellent things. In the course of 
his ministry, he was a good man, and in his heart 
a good treasure ; whence he was wont continually to 
bring forth good things, both in public and in 

He was apt to preach and pray, most ready on all 
occasions to lay out himself in such work, yea, spend 
ing himself in such work : When my sudden dis 
temper seized upon me, put him at any time (as 
many times they did) upon very short and sudden 
preparations, he never refused; no, nor so much as 
fluctuated in the undertaking; but being called, he 
confidently cast himself upon the Lord, and trusted 
perfectly to his assistance who had never failed him; 
and so he readily and freely went about his work 
without distraction. 

He began upon a very considerable stock of learn 
ing, and gifts ministerial and personal, much beyond 
the proportion of his years, and grew exceedingly in 
his abilities and graces, in a little time. So that his 
profiting appeared to all men; he waxed very rich in 
heavenly treasure, by the blessing of God on a dili 
gent hand, so that he was behind in no good gift. 
He found that precious promise sensibly made good, 
to him that hath (for use and good employment) shall 
be given, and he ?kait \ave abundance. He had no ta 
lent ?or ;ii- i apfcin, but all for traffic, which he laid 
out so freely fc.c h? . tc> use, thatin a little time 


they multiplied so fast, that the napkin could not 
hold them. I heard a worthy minister say of him 
once, (not without much admiration) Whence hath 
this man these things? He understood whence he 
had them well enough, and so did I, even from 
above, whence every good and perfect gift proceed- 
eth: God blessed him in all spiritual blessings 
in heavenly things, and he returned all to heaven 
again; he served God with all his might and all his 
strength; he was abundant in the work of the Lord ; 
he did not go, but run the ways of his command 
ments : He made haste and lingered not; he did run> 
and mas not weary; he did walk, and was not faint. 
He pressed hard towards the mark, till he attained 
it; his race was short and swift, and his end glorious. 

He was infinitely and insatiably greedy of the con 
version of souls, wherein he had no small success in 
the time of his ministry: And to this end, he pour 
ed out his very heart in prayer and preaching; he 
imparted not the gospel only, but his own soul. His 
.supplications, and his exhortations, many times were 
so affectionate, so full of holy zeal, life, and vigor, 
that they quite overcame his hearers: He melted 
over them, so that he thawed and mollified, and 
sometimes dissolved the hardest hearts. But while he 
melted thus, he wasted, and at last consumed himself. 

He was not satisfied to spend himself in public, 
but used constantly to go from house to house, and 
there to deal particularly (where he had a free recep 
tion) both with the governors, and with the chil 
dren, and with the servants of the houshold, instruct- 


ing them especially in the great fundamental neces* 
sary truths of the law, and of the gospel, where he 
observed them to be ignorant: Gently reproving 
them, where he found any thing amiss among them. 
Exhorting them to diligence, both in their general 
and particular callings: Entreating them who were 
defective, by any means to set up the worship of 
God in their houses, and to make them little churches, 
by constant reading of the scripture, so that the 
word of Christ might deeply dwell among and in 
them richly, by careful catechising of the children, 
and the servants, if the governors were able; by fre 
quent meditations, conferences, repetitions of that 
which they had heard in public, especially by daily 
prayer, morning and evening, that so they might 
avoid that dreadful indignation which hangs over, 
and is ready to be poured out upon the families that 
call not upon God. He made the best inspection 
that he could, into the state of every particular per 
son, and so accordingly applied himself to check, to 
comfort, to encourage, as he found occasion. All 
which he did with so much tenderness, humility, 
and self-denial, that they gained very much on the 
affections and respects of all that received him, and 
wrought them at least to outward conformity; so 
that they who were not visited in the beginning, at 
length came forth and called upon him to come to 
their families and help them. 

Thus he did wear himself away, aad gave light 
and heat to others: He usually allowed himself too 
little sleep to recruit and to repair the spirits which 


he wasted with waking. His manner was to rise at 
four o clock at the utmost, many times before, and 
that in the cold winter mornings, that he might be 
with God betime, and so get room for other studies 
and employments. His extraordinary watchings, 
constant cares, excessive labours in the work of his 
ministry, public and private, were generally appre 
hended to be the cause of those distempers and de 
cays, and at last of that ill habit of body, whereof in 
the end he died. 

He was the gravest, strictest, most serious, and 
composed young man that I had ever yet the happi 
ness to be acquainted with. And yet he was not 
rigid in his principles, his moderation was known 
to all men that knew him. 


A Further account of his Catechising, loth in public and 
private, by Mr. G. 

WHEN he did catechise the greater sort in pub 
lic, before he was silenced, his manner was to begin 
with prayer for a blessing upon that exercise: And 
having proposed some questions out of the Assem 
bly s Catechism to item, he was careful, not only 
to make them perfect in rehearsing the answers 
there set down,. but also to bring them to a clear un 
derstanding of the sense and meaning of the said an 
swers, and of all the terms and phrases in which 
they are expressed; and to draw some practical, useful 


inferences from those heads of divinity contained in 
them. Moreover when any distinction was neces 
sary for the clearing up of the matter in hand, he 
would also be instructing his Catechumens therein: 
Now this he would do, by proposing several other 
collateral questions, besides those in the Catechism ; 
which questions, together with the answers to them, 
himself had before drawn up, and sent to them in 

In the even of the Lord s Day, his course was to 
repeat his sermon again, in the public place of wor 
ship, where abundance of people constantly resorted 
to hear him; which when he had done, several youths 
were called forth, which did give him an account of 
the heads of all his sermon by memory. 

As for his method in going from house to house, 
for the instructing of private families, it was this; 
he^ would give them notice of his coming the day be 
fore, desiring that he might have admittance to their 
houses, to converse with them about their soul con 
cerns, and that they would have their whole family 
together against he came. When he came, and the 
family were called together, he would be instructing 
the younger sort in the principles of religion, by ask- 
ing several questions in the Catechism; the answers 
to which he would be opening and explaining to 
them. Also he would be enquiring of them about 
their spiritual estate and condition, labouring to 
make them sensible of the evil and danger of sin, the 
corruption and wickedness of our natures, the misery 
of an unconverted state; stirring them up to look 


after the true remedy proposed in the gospel, to turn 
from all their sins unto God, to close with Christ up 
on his own terms; to follow after holiness, to watch 
over their hearts and lives, to mortify their lusts, to 
redeem their time, to prepare for eternity. These 
things as he would be explaining to their understand 
ings, that they might have clear apprehensions about 
them, so he would be pressing the practice of them 
upon their consciences, with the most cogent argu 
ments and considerations, minding them of the 
great privileges they did enjoy, the many gospel- 
sermons that they did or might hear, the many ta 
lents they were intrusted withal, and the great ac 
count that they had to give to the God of Heaven; 
telling them how sad it would be with them another 
day, if after all this they should come short of salva 
tion. Besides, he would leave with them several 
counsels and directions to be carefully remembered 
and practised for the good of their souls. Those 
that were serious and religious, he would labour to 
help forward in holiness, by answering their doubts, 
resolving their cases, encouraging them under their 
difficulties. And before he did go from any family, 
he would deal with the heads of that family, and 
such others as were grown to years of discretion, 
singly and apart; that so he might, as much as pos 
sibly he could come to know the condition of each 
particular person in his flock, and address himself in 
his discourse as might be suitable to every of them. 
If he perceived that they did live in the neglect of 
family duties, he would exhort and press them to 


set up the worship of God in their families, as read 
ing, prayer; and directing them how to set about it, 
and to take time for secret duties too. Such as were 
masters of families, he would earnestly persuade and 
desire, as they did tender the honour of Christ and 
the welfare of their children and servants souls, to 
let them have some time every day for such private 
duties, and to encourage them in the performance 
of them; neither would he leave them before he had 
a promise of them so to do. Sometimes also he 
would himself go to prayer before his departure. 
This was his method in the general; although with 
such necessary variation in his particular visits, as 
the various state and condition of the several fami 
lies did require. If the family where he came were 
ignorant, he would insist the longer in instructing 
and catechising; if loose, in reproving and convin 
cing; if godly, in encouraging and directing. 

He did use to spend five afternoons every week 
in such exercises, from one or two o clock, until 
seven in the evening: In which space of time he 
would visit sometimes three or four families in an 
afternoon, and sometimes more, according as they 
were greater or less. This course he would take 
throughout the town; and when he had gone 
through, he would presently begin again, that he 
might visit every family as often as he could. He 
often did bless God for the great success that he 
had in these exercises, saying that God had made 
him as instrumental of good to souls this way, as by 
his public preacjtxing, if not more. When the minis- 


ters of this county of Somerset, at one of their Asso 
ciations, which heretofore they held, were debating 
whether and how far it were incumbent upon them 
to set up private family instruction in their particu 
lar charges, Mr. Alleine was the man that they pitch 
ed upon for to draw up his reasons for that practice, 
together with a method for the more profitable ma 
nagement of it. 

An, Abridgment of what he drew up, herefolloweth: 

IT being the unquestionable duty of all the minis 
ters of the church of Christ, to take heed to all the flock 
over whom the Holiest hath made them overseers; and 
to teach and preach, not only publicly, but from 
house to house; not only taking a general care of the 
whole, or calling out the chiefest of the sheep for 
our particular care and inspection, as the manner of 
some is, and leaving the rest to sink or swim; but 
as good shepherds inquiring into their estates, ob 
serving the particular marks, diseases, strayings of 
our sheep, and applying ourselves suitably to their 
cases; in a word, warning every man, that we may 
present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. There 
fore it behoveth us to study to do this great duty in 
such a manner, as may be acceptable to God and 
profitable to our flocks. The directions for perform 
ing this duty, are either more general or more spe-* 
cial; for the more general directions, they are either 
such as concern the entrance on this duty, or the 
performance of it. 

I. For those that concern the entrance, it will be 
necessary, that we con.vin.ee the people pf the #eces 


sity of this duty. 2. That we study to manage this 
great work to our people s best advantage. 3. That 
we set apart such set times for this great work as, 
upon consideration, we shall find most convenient 
for them and us, resolving to be constant in observ 
ing them. 4. That we pray for wisdom from above, 
what and how to speak. 5. That we send word to 
the people when we intend to visit them, that they 
dispose of their business to receive us. 

II. For those that concern us, in the managing of 
the duty, 

1. The family being called together, we may, if 
time and conveniency permit, begin with prayer. 
2. The family consisting of superiors and inferiors, 
it would not be amiss to begin with the inferiors; for 
many can hear their children and servants examined 
contentedly, that cannot bear it themselves: For 
that they will not disdain to give an account of them 
selves before theiy superiors, though their superiors 
would disdain to give an account before them; and 
here it will be necessary to enquire into their know 
ledge, practice, states ; 

1. TJieir knowledge; here we may examine what 
progress they have made in the principles of the 
doctrine of Christ, and try them in the Catechism. 
2. What they do gain by the public ministry, what 
they remember of the sermon last heard. 

2. Their practice; in their duty towards God; 
where it may be useful to inquire, if they make con 
science of secret prayer. The necessity of it may be 
expressed, the nature of it opened, and some heads 


of prayer explained; and if they be such as need it, 
it would be useful to commend to them some form, 
for the present help. 2. In the duties of their rela 
tions towards men ; and if they be pressed to faith 
fulness, diligence, and uprightness, the duties they 
owe to those that were over them, it would be very 

3. Into their estates; and here we may take an ac 
count of them, what they think of the state of their 
souls, shewing the paucity of them that are saved, 
the desperate deceitfulness of the heart, the infinite 
danger of being deceived, the wiles and devices of 
Satan to beguile them; from whence, and such like 
arguments, we may press them to be diligent in in 
quiring what the case of their souls is, to be jealous 
of themselves; where we may take occasion to shew 
them, 1. That every man, by nature, is in a dam 
nable estate. 2. The absolute necessity of conversi 
on. 3. By what signs they may know whether they 
remain in, or are delivered from, this estate : Which 
signs should be few, plain, certain, and infallible, 
founded upon the clear evidence of the word. And 
because the searching work is so displeasing to the 
flesh, that it might disengage them to come too close 
at first, it may not be amiss to defer this till we had 
got some interest in their hearts, by a loving tender 

III. The inferiors being thus dealt with, may be 
dismissed to their several employments; and then we 
may take occasion to discourse with the heads of the 
families, proceeding as prudence shall direct upon 
some of the forementioned particulai-s. 


1. We may enquire whether they perform this 
great duty of prayer in the family, offering them 
helps if they need. 

2. W& may press them to instruct and catechise 
their families. 

3. We may exhort them to the strict sanctifying 
the Lord s Day. 

4. If they are poor, we may draw forth the hand 
of our bounty towards them. 

5. If we know any evil by them, we may take 
them aside privately, shewing them the sinfulness 
of their practice, and engaging them to promise re 

6. We should leave with them some few particu 
lars of greatest weight, often repeating them till they 
remember them, engaging them to mind them till 
we shall converse with them again. 

7. Our dealing with them must be in that man 
ner that may most prevail, and win upon their 

(1.) With compassion; being kindly affectioned 
to them, charging, exhorting, comforting every one 
of them, as a father his children. 

(2.) With prudence; warning and teaching them 
in all wisdom, applying ourselves to the several ca 
ses and capacities; 1. To the rich in this world, 
shewing more respect as their places require, charg 
ing upon them those duties that are required of them 
in special. 2. To the poor, you may be more plain 
and free, pressing upon them those duties that are 
most proper to their condition. 3. To the aged, we 


must be more reverent, labouring to root out of them 
the love of the world, shewing them the dangerous- 
ness of covetousness, and the necessity of making 
speedy preparations for eternity. 4 The men are to 
be exhorted to temperance and sobriety; diligence in 
their callings, &c. 5. Women to meekness, humility, 
subjection to their husbands, and constant infusing 
good principles into their children. 

(3.) With patience; being gentle to all men; in 
meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; 
bearing with their dulness, rudeness, and disre- 
epectfulness ; waiting for their repentance. 

(4.) With all faithfulness, giving no occasion of of 
fence, that our ministry be not blamed. 

(5) With zeal, as Apollos, fervent in spirit, teach 
ing diligently the things of the Lord, &c. 

(6.) With plainness, not betraying their souls to 
hell, and ours with them, for want of faithfulness 
and closeness in our dealing with them. It being 
not sufficient in general, that no drunkard, &c. shall 
inherit the kingdom of Heaven; but telling them 
plainly, and particularly, " Such is your looseness, 
" your ignorance, that I fear you are in an uncon- 
" verted state." 

(7.) With authority; dealing with them in the 
power and demonstration of the Spirit. 

(8.) With humility; not lording it over God s heri 
tage, but condescending to men of low estates: Nor 
disdaining to go into the houses of the meanest. 

IV. The sort of directions are , more special, re 
specting the several sorts ot our people, who may 


be ranked into four heads, the Ignorant, Profane, 
Formal, Godly. 

1. For the Ignorant; Our work with them will 

(1 .) To convince them that they are ignorant, which 
may be done by shewing their inability to answer 
some plain familiar questions. 

(2.) To shew them the dangerous, yea, the dam 
nable nature of ignorance. 

(3.) To press them, with all possible earnestness, 
to labour after knowledge. 

(4.) To answer their carnal pleas for their igno 
rance, when wilful. 

2. For the Profane; it would be necessary to deal 
with them convincingly, shewing the certain damna 
tion they are running upon. 

3. For the Formal; With these we must deal 
searchingly, and shew them, 

(1.) How easily men may mistake the form of god 
liness for the power. 

(2.) The undoing danger of resting in being al 
most a Christian. 

(3.) The most distinguishing differences between a 
hypocrite and a sincere Christian. 

4. For the godly ; To these we must draw forth the 
breasts of the promises, opening to them the riches 
and fulness of Christ ; inquiring into their growth in 
grace; quickening them to labour after assurance; to 
be stedfastin the faith; patient in suffering; diligent 
in doing the will of Christ, zealous of good works, 
always abounding more and more. 


There is one thing more, in which his self-denial 
and other graces, were very exemplary; namely, his 
faithfulness in reproving the miscarriages of profes 
sors, sparing none, whether high or low, whether 
ministers or private Christians; yea, although they 
had been never so dear in his affections, and never o 
obliging in their carriage to him, yet if he found in 
them any thing that was improvable, and blame-wor 
thy, he would deal with them faithfully and plainly 
about it, whatsoever the issue and event were. 

One time when he was going about such a work, 
he told a Christian friend with whom he was very 
intimate and familiar, Well (says he) / am going 
about that which is like to make a very dear and obli- 
ging friend to become an enemy: But, however, it can- 
not be omitted, it is better to lose mans favour than 
God s. But God was pleased (then, as well as divers 
other times besides, when he went about business of 
this nature) to order things for him better than he 
could have expected, and so to dispose of the heart 
of the person with whom he had to deal, that he was 
so far from becoming his enemy for his conscienti 
ous faithfulness to him, that he loved him the better 
ever after as long as he lived. 

As to his judgment about the Arminian controver- 
eies, as far as I can perceive, who have discoursed 
with him about them, it was much- what the same 
with Doctor Dav*enant s and Mr. Baxter s. 

He was a man of a very calm and peaceable spirit,) 
oiie that loathed all tumultuous carriages and pro 
ceedings; he was far from having any other design 


in his preaching, than the advancement of the king 
dom of the Lord Jesus, by the conversion and salva 
tion of souls: This was the mark that he had in his 
eye; this was that for which he laboured, and ven 
tured, and suffered, and for which he thought he 
could never lay but himself enough. 

Though he were but a young man, yet in his car 
riage he was exceeding serious and grave, and withal 
very humble, courteous, and affable, condescending 
to discourse with the poorest and meanest persons,, 
for their spiritual good, as soon as with the greatest 
and richest. 

And,indeed so unblameable and convincing was he 
in the whole of his conversation, that there were very 
religious and sober persons that knew him, either in 
town or country, either ministers or people, (yea, 
though some of them differing in judgment from him,) 
but did highly approve of him. And for his breth 
ren in the ministry here in these parts, such was his 
holy and discreet deportment amo igst them, that he 
had as great an. influence upon them, as few others 
had the like. 

He was full of holy projects, often bethinking 
himself by what ways and means he might more ef 
fectually promote the honour of Christ, and the be 
nefit of souls ; and whatsoever he apprehended to be 
conducing to these highest ends, he would prosecute 
with that wisdom and vigour, that he seldom failed 
of bringing it to a comfortable and successful issue. 

Of which projects, this is one which I shall here 
insert: Having considered how much the eonscieiN 


tious and frequent performance of the duty of self- 
examination,, might tend to the bringing down of sin 
and furtherance of holiness, both in heart and life, 
he did earnestly press the said duty on his hearers 
in his preaching,, directing them in the performance; 
and not only so, but dealt with them also in private 
about it, and got a promise from the most of them, 
that they would every irVht, before they did take 
their rest, set about this duty; and spend some time 
in secret, on purpose to call them J 35 to an account, 
how they had carried it that cky, by proposing seve 
ral questions to their own hearts, which questions he 
had referred to several heads, and drawn up for them 
in writing. 

And not a few of them have acknowledged, that 
they have cause to bless God, who stirred him up to 
put them upon this practice, which they have found 
very helpful to them in their daily Christian walk. 


Christian may every day examine himself. 

Commune with your Hearts upon your Beds, 

EVERY evening before you sleep (unless you find 
some other time in the day more for your advantage 
ia this work) sequester yourself from the world ; and 


having set your heart in the presence of the Lord, 
charge it before God to answer to these interroga 


Question 1. Did not God Jind me on my bed, when he 
looked for me on my knees? Job i. 5. Psalm v. 3. 

2. Have not I prayed to no purpose, or suffered wan* 
dering thoughts to eat out my duties ? Mat. xviii. 8. 9- 
Jer. xii. 2. 

3. Have not I neglected, or been very overly in the 
reading God s holy word? Deut. xvii. 19. Josh. i. 7. 8. 

4. Have I digested the sermon I heard last? Have 
I repeated it over, and prayed it over? Luke ii. 19. 
51. Psalm i. 2. and cxix. 5. 11. 97. 

5. Was there not more of custom and fashion in my 
family duties, than of conscience? Psalm ci. 2. Jer. 

xxx. 22. 

6. Wherein have I denied myself this day for God? 
Luke ix. 23. 

7. Have I redeemed my time from too long or needless 
visits, idle imaginations, fruitless discourse, unneces 
sary sleep, more than needs of the world? Ephes. v. 16. 
Col. iv. 5. 

8. Have I done any thing more than ordinary for the 
church of God, in this time extraordinary ? 2 Cor. XL 
28. Isaiah Ixii. 6. 

9. Have I took care of my company ? Prov. xiii. 20. 
Psalm cxix. 63. 

10. Have not I neglected, or done something against 
the duties of my relations, as a master, servant, husband, 


wife, parent, child, fyc. Ephes. v. 22. to chap. vi. 9. 
Col. iii. 18. to chap iv. 2. 


Q. \. Doth not sin sit light? Psalm xxxviii. 4. Rom, 
vii. 24. 

2. Am I a mourner for the sins of the land ? Ezek, 
ix. 4. Jer. ix. 1. 2, 3. 

3. Do I live in nothing that I hiow or fear to be 
xjn? Psalm cxix. 101, 104. 


Q. 1. Have I been much in holy ejaculations? Neh. 
ii. 4. 5. 

2. Hath not God been out of mind, heaven out of sight? 
Psalm xvi. 8. Jer. ii. 32. Phil. iii. 23. 

3. Have I been often looking into my own heart, and 
made conscience of vain thoughts? Prov. iii. 23. Psalm 

cxix. 113. 

4, Have not I given way to the workings of pride or 

passion? 2 Chron. xxxii. 26. James iv. 5. 6. 7. 


Q. 1 . Have I bridled my tongue, and forced it in ? 
James i. 26. and iii. 2. 3. 4. Psalm xxxix. 1. 

2. Have I spoke evil of no man? Titus iii. 2. James 
iv. 11. 

3. Hath the law of the Lord been in my mouth as I 
sat in my house, went by the way, was lying down, and 
rising wp?*Deut. vi. 6. 7. 

4. Have I come into no company where I have not 
dropped something of God, and left some good savour 
behind? Col. iv. 6. Ephes. iv. 29. 


Q. l. Did I not sit down with a higher end than a 
beast, merely to please my appetite? Did I eat and 
drink for the glory of God? 1 Cor. x. 31. 

2. Was not mine appetite too hard for me? Jade xii. 
2 Peter i. 6. 

3. Did not I arise from tlie table without dropping 
any thing of God there? Luke vii. 36, &c. and xiv. 1, 
&e. John vi. 

4. Did nofl mock with God when 1 pretended t+ 
crave a blessing, and return thanks? Acts xxvii. 35. 
39. Mat. xv. 36. Cohiii. 17- 23. 


Q. 1. Have I been diligent in the duties of my cat 
ling? Eccles. ix. 1 Cor. vii. 17, 20, 24. 

2. Have I defrauded no man ? 1 Thes. iv. 6. 1 Cor. 
vi. 3. 

3. Have I dropped never a lie in my shop or traded 
Prov. xxi. 6. Ephes. iv. 25. 

4. Did not I rashly make, or falsely break some pro 
mise? Psalm cvi. 33. Jos. ix. 14,, &c. Psalm xv. 4. 




DIRECT. 1. If through necessity or carelessness .you 
have omitted the reading and weighing of these ques^ 
tions in the evening, be sure to do it now. 

2. Ask yourself, " What sin have I committed,, what 
" duty have I omitted? Against which of these rules 
" have I offended, in the day foregoing?" And renew 
your repentance, and double your 


S. Examine whether God were last in your thoughts 
when you went to sleep, and first when you awake. 

4. Enquire whether your care of your heart and ways 
doth increase upon your constant using of this course for 
self-examination, or whether it doth abate, and you grow 
more remiss. 

5. Impose a task of some good meditations upon your 
selves while you are making ready, either to go over these 
rules in your thoughts, or the heads of some sermon you 
heard last, or the holy meditations for this purpose in 
the Practice of Piety, or Sender s Daily Walk. 

6. Set your ends right for all that day. 

7- Set your watch, especially against those sins and 
temptations that you are like to be most incident to that 


A full Narrative of his Life, (from his silencing till his. death,) 
by his Widoiv Mrs. Theodosia Alleine, in her own words; 
wherein is notably set forth with what patience he ran the race 
that teas set before him, andfulfilkd the Ministry tluit he had, 
received of the Lord, 

BEFORE the Act for Uniformity came forth, my 
husband was very earnest day and night with God, 
that his way might be plain to him, that he might 
not desist from such advantages of saving souls, with 
any scruple upon his spirit; in which, when he saw 
those clauses of assent and consent, and renouncing 
the covenant, he wasfiitti/ satisfied: But he seemed 
so moderate before, that both myself and others 
thought he would have conformed; He often saying 


He would not leave his work for small and dtibious mat 
ters: But seeing his way so plain for quitting the 
public station that he held, and being thoroughly 
persuaded of this, that the ejection of the ministers 
out of their places, did not disoblige them from 
preaching the gospel, he presently took up a firm 
resolution to go on with his work in private, both of 
preaching and visiting from house to house, till he 
should be carried to prison or banishment, which 
he counted upon, the Lord assisting him. And 
this resolution, without delay, he prosecuted; for 
the Thursday after he appointed a solemn day of hu~ 
miliaiion, when he preached to as many as would 
adventure themselves with him at our own house. 
But it being then a strange thing to the most profes 
sors to suffer, they seemed much affrighted at the 
threateriings of adversaries; so that there was not 
such an appearance at such opportunities as my hus 
band expected; whereupon he made it his work to 
converse much with those he perceived to be most 
timorous, and to satisfy the scruples that were on 
many amongst us; so that the Lord was pleased in a 
short time to give him such success that his own peo 
ple waxed bold for the Lord and his gospel: And 
multitudes flocked into the meetings^ at whatsoever 
season they were, either by day or night; which was 
a reat encouragement to my husband, that he went 
on with much vigour and affection in his work, both 
of preaching, and visiting, and catechizing, irora 
house to house, 


He went also frequently into the villages and pla 
ces about the towns where their ministers were gone, 
as most of them did fly, or at the least desist for a 
considerable time after Bartholomew- day. Wherever 
he went, the Lord was pleased to give him great 
success; many converted, and the generality of 
those animated to cleave to the Lord and his ways. 

But by this the justices rage was much heightened 
against him, and he was often threatened and sought 
for; but by the power of God, whose work he was 
delighted in, was preserved much longer out of their 
hands than he expected. For he would often say, 
If it pleased the Lord to grant him three months liberty 
before he went to prison, he should account himself fa* 
voured by him, and should with more cheerfulness go, 
when he had done some work. At which time we sold 
off all our goods, preparing for a gaol or banish 
ment, where he was desirous I should attend him, 
as I was willing to do, it always having been more 
grievous to me to think of being absent from him, 
than to suffer with him. 

He also resolved, when they would suffer him no 
longer to stay in England, he would go to China, or 
some remote part of the world, and publish the gos 
pel there. 

It pleased the Lord to indulge him, that he w r ent 
on in his work from Bartholomew-day till May the 
tw r enty-sixth after. Though often threatened, yet 
he was never interrupted, though the people both of 
the town and country were grown so resolute, that 
they came in great multitudes, at whatever season 


the meeting was appointed,, very seldom missing 
twice a sabbath, and often in the week. I know 
that lie hath preached fourteen times in eight days, 
and ten often, and six or seven ordinarily in these 
months, at home and abroad, besides his frequent 
converse with souls. He then laying aside all other 
studies which he formerly so much delighted in, be 
cause he accounted his time would be short. And 
the Lord (as he often told me) made his work in his 
ministry far more easy to him, by the supplies of his 
Spirit both in gifts and grace, as did evidently ap 
pear, both in his doctrine and life; he appearing to 
be more spiritual, and heavenly, and affectionate than 
before, to all that heard him, or con versed with him. 

He was upon a Saturday in the evening, about six 
o clock, seized on by an officer in our to\vn, who would 
rather have been otherwise emploj-ed, as he hath 
often said, but that he was forced to a speedy execu 
tion of the warrant by a Justice s clerk, who was 
sent on purpose with it to see it executed, because 
he feared that none of the town would have done it. 

The warrant was in the name of three Justices, to 
summon him to appear forthwith at one of their hou 
ses, which was about two miles from the town, but 
he desired liberty to stay and sup with his family 
iirst, supposing his entertainment there would be 
such as would require some refreshment: This 
would not be granted, till one of the chief of the 
town was bound for his speedy appearance: His 
supper being prepared, he sat down, eating very 
heartily, and was very cheerful, but full of holy anil 


gracious expressions, suitable to his and our present 
state. After supper, having prayed with us, he with 
the officer, and two or three friends accompanying 
him, repaired to the justice s house, where they lay 
to his charge that he had broken the Act of Uniformity 
by his preaching; which he denied, saying, That he 
had preached neither in any church, nor chapel, nor 
place of public worship since the twenty-fourth of Au 
gust; and what he did was in his own family with those 
ethers that came there to hear him. 

-Here behold how many ministers have these eight 
or nine years been silenced in England, Scotland, and 
Ireland, whose holy skill and conscience, fidelity and 
jzeal, is such,, as would have justly advanced most of 
tlie ancient Fathers of the church to far greater re 
nown, had they been but possessed with the like ! 
Of whom indeed the world is not worthy. O! how 
many of them am I constrained to remember, with joy 
for their great worth, and sorrow for their silence! 
But though learning, holiness, wonderful ministerial 
skill, and industry, moderation, peaceableness, true 
Catholicism, absolute dedication unto Christ, zeal, pa 
tience and perseverance, did not all seem sufficient 
to procure his ministerial or corporal liberty in his 
latter years; yet they did much more for him than 
that, in qualifying him for the crown which he now 
enjoy eth; and to hear, Well done, good and faithful 
servant, enter into thy Master s joy. 

But, alas, Lord! what is the terrible future evil, 
from which thou takest such men away? And why 
is this world so much forsaken, as if it were not a 


prayer of hope which thou hast taught us. Thy will 
be done on earth, as it is in Heaven? 

He hath printed a small book, called, A call to 
Archippus, to persuade the silent Non-conformists to 
pity souls, and to be faithful in the work to which 
they are devoted and consecrated, how dear soever 
it may cost them. 

He held that separation in a church was necessary 
many times, from the known corruptions of it; but 
allowed not separation from a church where active 
compliance with some sinful evil was not made the 
condition of communion. And in this way he fre 
quently declared himself in health and sickness, and 
most expressly in my hearing on his bed of languish 
ing, when he was drawing near his long home. And 
that the people were not disobliged from attending 
upon their ministry, who were ejected out of their 
places, as his book entitled A call to Archippus 
sheweth; after that black and mournful sabbath, in 
which he took his farewell with much affection of 
his beloved people. 

When he was taken up for prison, he was not only 
contented, but joyful to suffer for the name of Jesus 
and his gospel, which was so dear to him; intima 
ting, that God had given him much more time than 
he expected or asked of Him, and that he accounted it 
cause of rejoicing, and his honour, that he was one 
of the first called forth to suffer for His name. 

Although he was very suddenly surprised, yet 
none could discern him to be in the least moved. 
He pitied the condition of his enemies, requesting 


for them, as the Martyr Stephen did for tl .t 

stoned him., That God would not lay this sin LJ thtirs 
to their charge. The greatest harm that he did wish 
to any of them, was, That they might throughly be 
converted and sanctified, and that their souls might be 
saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 

He was very urgent with those that were uncon 
verted, to look with more care after their salvation, 
now they were removed from them that longed for 
it, and had watched for their souls; using this as an 
argument often, That now they were fallen into the 
hands of such, many of which, if not most of them, had 
neither skill nor will to save souls . And setting home 
upon them with most tender affections, What misera 
ble creatures they were while unregenerate ; telling them 
how his heart did yearn for them, and his bowels turned 
within him for them; how he did pray and weep for 
them, while they were asleep, and how willingly he had 
suffered a years imprisonment : Nay, how readily he 
could shed his blood to procure their salvation. His 
counsels and directions were many, and suited to the 
several states of those he thus conversed with, both 
as to their degree and place, and their sins and 
wants, and would be too long to recite, though I can 
remember many of them. 

To his fellow prisoners he said, The eyes of God 
and Angels are upon you, and the eyes of men are upon 
you ; now you will be critically observed. Every one 
will be looking that you should be more holy than others, 
that are called forth to this his glorious dignity, to be the 
witnesses of Christ Jesus, with the loss of your liberties. 


He was eminently free from harsh censuring and 
judging of others,, and was ready to embrace all in 
heart, arms, and communion, civil and religious, any 
that professed saving faith in Jesus Christ, and did not 
overthrow that profession by some fundamental error 
in doctrine or wickedness of life and conversation. 

And yet they accused him of being at a riotous as~ 
sembly, though there were no threats nor dangerous 
words ; no staves, nor weapons, no fear so much as 
pretended to be struck into any man, nor any other 
business met about than preaching and prayer. 
Here he was much abused, receiving many scorns 
and scoffs from the justices and their associates, who 
were met to hear his examination; also from the 
ladies and other gentlemen, who called him often, 
" rogue;" and told him, He deserved to be hanged; 
and if he were not, they would be hanged for him; 
with many such like scurrilous passages, which my 
husband received with much patience; and seeming, 
as they apprehended by his countenance, to slight 
their threatening^ they were more enraged at him : 
They urged him much to accuse himself, which they 
seeing they could not bring him to, and having no 
evidence, as appeared after, yet did make his mittimus 
for to go to the gaol on Monday morning, after they 
had detained him till twelve at night, abusing him 
beyond what I do now distinctly remember, or were 
fit to express. 

As soon as he returned, it being so late, about two 
o clock, he lay down on the bed in his clothes, where 
he had not slept above two or three hours at the 
most, but he was up, spending his time in converse 


with God, till about eight o clock ; by which hour, 
several of his friends were come to visit him: But 
he was so watched, and the officer had such a charge, 
that he was not suffered to preach all that sabbath, 
but spent the day in discoursing with the various 
companies that came flocking from the town and vil 
lages to visit him; praying often with them, as he 
could be permitted. He was exceeding cheerful in his 
spirit, full of admirations of the mercies of God; and 
encouraging all that came, to be bold and venture 
for the gospel and their souls, notwithstanding what 
was come upon him for their sakes. For, as he told 
them, He was not at all moved at, nor did in the least 
repent of, any thing he had done, but accounted himself 
happy i and under that promise Christ makes to his, in 
the 5th of Matthew, That he should be doubly and trebly 
blessed, now he was to suffer for His sake: And was 
very earnest with his brethren in the ministry, that 
came to see him, that they would not in the least desist 
when he was gone, that there might not be one sermon, 
the less in Taunton; and with the people to attend 
the ministry with greater ardency, diligency, and 
courage, than before; assuring them How sweet and 
comfortable it was to him to consider what he had done 
for God in the months past: And that he was going to 
prison full of joy, being confident that all these things 
would turn lo the furtherance of the gospel and the 
glory of God. 

But he not being satisfied to go away, and not 
leave some exhortations with his people, he appointed 
them to meet him about one or two o clock in the 


night, to which they shewed their readiness, though 
at so unseasonable a time : There was of young and 
old, many hundreds; he preached and prayed with 
them about three hours. 

And so with many yearnings of his bowels towards 
tliem, and theirs towards him; they took their fare 
well of each oilier; a more affectioncte parting could 
not well be. 

About nine o clock, he, with two or three friends 
that were willing to accompany him, set out for 
Ilchester: The streets were lined on both sides 
with people, and many followed him a foot some 
miles out of the town, with such lamentations (that 
he told me after) did so affect him, that he could 
scarce bear them ; but the Lord so strengthened him, 
that he passed through them all with great courage 
and joy, labouring, both by his cheerful countenance 
and expressions, to encourage them. 

He carried his mittimus himself, and had no officer 
with him; but when he came there, he found the 
gaoler absent, and took that opportunity to preach 
before he went into the prison ; which was accounted 
by his adversaries a great addition to his former crime. 
As soon as the gaoler came, he delivered his mittimus, 
and was clapped up in the Bridewell chamber, whicli 
was over the common gaol. When he came to the 
prison, he found there Mr. John Norman, late minis 
ter of Bridgwater, who for the like cause was appre 
hended and committed a few days before him; a 
man, who for his singular abilities in preaching, his 
fervent zeal, and holy boldness in the cause of Christ, 
H 2 


his constancy to his principles in the most wavering 
and shaking times, joined with an exemplary carri 
age and conversation, was deservedly had in great 
repute among the people of God in these Western 
parts; and indeed there were very few that knew 
him, either among the sober gentry or commonalty, 
but, for his eminent parts and spotless life, had great 
respects for him. There were also five more ministers, 
with fifty Quakers, which had all their lodgings in 
the same room, only parted with a mat, which they 
had done for a little more retirement. It was not long 
after before Mr. Coven, and Mr. Powel, with eight 
more, were brought into the same place, being taken 
at meetings; which made their rooms very straight, 
and it was so nigh to the upper part of the prison, that 
they could touch the tiles as they lay in their beds; 
w r hich made it very irksome, the sun lying so hot on 
it all the day, and there being so many of them, and 
so much resort continually of friends, they had very 
little air, till they were forced to take down the 
glass and some of the tiles, to let in some refreshment. 
But here they were confined to lie and eat their 
meals, and had no place but a small garden, joined 
to the place where all the common prisoners were; 
which was no retirement for them, they having there, 
and in their chamber, the constant noise of those 
wretches, except when they slept; who lay just 
under them, their chains rattling, their tongues often 
blaspheming, or else roaring and singing by night 
as well as in the day: And if they went into the 
courts of the prison, there was the sight of their 


clothes hanging full of vermin, and themselves in 
their rags and chains: But that which was most 
grievous to them, they had no place to retire to God 
in, neither alone, nor together. They were also 
much molested by the Quakers, who would frequent 
ly disturb them by their cavils, in the times of their 
preaching, praying, and singing ; and would come 
and work in their callings just by them, while they 
were in duties, which was no small disturbance to 
them: And the want of the air was more to my hus 
band, than to most of them, because he always ac 
customed himself, both in Oxford, and after, to spend 
his most secret hours abroad in bye-places, in thft 
fields or woods. 

As soon as he came into the prison he preached and 
prayed,: that he called the consecration of it. After 
lie had spent a day or two in the prison, being willing 
to have me either in the town or there, to attend 
him and to keep company with his friends, who 
came frequently to visit him, he then began to fit up 
his lodging; having prevailed with the keeper for 
one corner, which was more private than the rest, to 
set his bed in, about which he made a little partition 
by some curtains, that so he might have some con- 
veniency for retirement. This was much comfort 
to him, and after a few weeks, he got leave of the 
keeper to go out on mornings and evenings a mile 
or more, which he did constantly, unless the weather 
or his keeper s fury did hinder him. 

Their diet was very good and sufficient, and some 
times abundant, by their friends kindness. Here 


they preached once a day constantly, sometimes 
twice, and many came daily to hear them, eight or 
ten miles round about the country; and multitudes 
came to visit them, it being a strange sight to see mi 
nisters laid in such a p" ! - ce. Their friends were ex 
ceedingly kind to them, endeavouring by their fre 
quent visits, and provisions for diet, and supplies of 
money, to make their prison sweet to them. 

But my husband s labours were much increased 
by this, spending all the day in converse, he was 
forced to take much of the night for his studies and 
secret converse with God. 

Thus he with my brother Norman and his compa 
ny, with their fellow prisoners, continued in that 
place for four months, being tossed from Sessions to 
Assizes. On the 14th of July following, he w r as 
brought to the sessions held at Taunton, and was 
there indicted for preaching on May the 17th; but 
the evidence against him was so slender, that the 
Grand Jury could not find the bill, so that he was 
not brought to his answer there at all: And his 
friends hoped he should have been dismissed, it being 
the constantxpractice of the court, that if a prisoner be 
indicted and no bill found, he is freed by proclama 
tion. But, however, my husband was sent to prison 
again until the assizes ; and to his friends that earnest 
ly expected his enlargement, he said, Let us bless God 
that his will is done, and not the will of such worms 
as we. 

August the 24th, he was again indicted at the 
assizes, and though the evidence was the very same 


that, at the sessions, was by the Grand Jury judged 
insufficient, yet now at the assizes, the bill was by 
them found against him. So was he had to the bar, 
and his indictment read, which was to this purpose: 
Thai he, upon the \7tli day of May, 1663, with twenty 
others to the jurors unknown, did riotously, routously, 
and seditiously assemble themselves together) contrary to 
the peace of our Sovereign Lord the King, and to the 
great terror of his subjects, and to the evil example of 
others. Unto which, his answer was, That as to 
preaching and praying, which was the truth of the 
case, of these things he was guilty, and did own them as 
his duty ; but as for riotous, routous, and seditious assem 
blies, he did abhor them with his heart, and of these 
he fvas not guilty. At last he was found guilty by 
the Petty Jury; and was sentenced by the judge to 
pay a hundred marks, and to lie in prison till payment 
should be made. Sentence being pronounced against 
him, he only made this brief reply: That he was 
glad that it had appeared before his country, that what 
soever he was charged with, he was guilty of nothing but 
doing his duty; aud that all did appear by the evidence, 
was only that he had sung a psalm, and instructed his 
family, others being there, and both in his own house: 
And that if nothing that had been urged would satisfy, he 
should, with all cheerfulness and thankfulness, accept 
whatsoever sentence his lordship should pronounce upon 
him for so good and righteous a cause. Thus from the- 
assizes he was sent to prison again, where he conti* 
imed a whole year, wanting but three days. 


But the winter coming on, they were willing to try 
if they could have the favour to be removed to the 
Ward, this place being like to be as cold in the winter, 
as it had been hot in the summer, (there being no 
chimney in the whole chamber,) which with some 
difficulty they obtained ; and then had more comfor 
table accommodations in all respects. 

Here they had very great meetings, week-days, 
and sabbath-days, and many days of humiliation and 
thanksgiving. The Lord s-days many hundreds 
came. And though my husband and brother Norman 
had many threats from the justices and judges, That 
they should be sent beyond sea, or carried to some island, 
where they should be kept close prisoners; yet the Lord 
preserved them by his power, and thus -ordered it, 
that their imprisonment was a great furtherance to 
the gospel, and brought much glory to Him, both by 
their preaching and conversing with souls : In which 
they had great success through his blessing on their 
labours. My husband having here more freedom, 
made a little book, entitled A call to Archippus, to 
stir up his Non-conforming brethren to be diligent 
at their work, whatsoever dangers and sufferings 
they might meet withal : And because he could not 
go to his flock, he. had prepared for them, The Synop 
sis of the Covenant, which w r as after placed into one 
of my father s books. 

And for the help of the governors of families, in 
their weekly catechizing those under their charge, 
he explained all the Assembly s shorter catechism; to 
which he annexed an affectionate letter, with rules 


for their daily examination; which were printed and 
dispersed into all their houses by his order, while he 
was a prisoner. He also writ many holy, and graci 
ous,, and affectionate letters to all his relations, and 
many other friends, to many churches of Christ in 
other parts and places, both far and near. 

His sufferings that he underwent for the sake of 
the gospel, could neither remit his zeal, nor abate 
his activity for God; but he would gladly embrace all 
opportunities of doing Him service. The minister 
who was appointed to preach at certain times to the 
felons in the prison, being by sickness disabled for 
that work, he freely performed that office among 
them, as long as he was permitted; earnestly ex 
horting them by repentance towards God and faith 
towards our Lord Jesus Christ, to secure the eternal 
welfare of their souls; freely bestowing upon them, 
according to his ability, for their relief; that by doing 
good to their bodies, he might win upon them to 
receive good for their souls. He Was very forward 
to promote the education of youth, in the town of 
Ilchester and country adjacent; freely bestowing ca 
techisms on those that were of poor families, to in 
struct them in the principles of religion ; stirring up 
the elder to teach, and encouraging the younger to 
learn. He was a serious and faithful monitor to his 
fellow-sufferers, if he espied any thing in any of 

them, that did not become the gospel, for which 
they suffered. 

Here, as else- where, he was a careful redeemer 
of his time; his constant practice was, early to begin 


the day with God, rising about four of the clock, 
and spending a considerable part of the morning in 
meditation and prayer, and then falling close to his 
study, in some corner or other of the prison, where 
he could be private. At times, he would spend 
near the whole night in these exercises, not putting 
off* his cloaths at all, only taking the repose of an 
hour or two in his night-gown upon the bed, and so 
up again. When any came to visit him, he did not 
entertain them with needless impertinent discourse, 
but that which was serious, profitable, and edifying; 
in which he was careful to apply himself to them, 
according to their several capacities, whether elder 
or younger; exhorting them to those gracious prac 
tices, which by reason of their age, or temper, call 
ing, or condition, he apprehended they might be 
most defective in, and exhorting them from those 
evils they might be most prone and liable unto. He 
rejoiced that he was accounted worthy to suffer for 
the work of Christ; and he would labour to encou 
rage the timorous and faint-hearted, by his own and 
others experience of the mercy and goodness of God 
in prison, which was far beyond what they could 
have thought or expected. He was a careful ob 
server of that rule of the Lord Jesus, (Mat. v. 44.) 
Love your enimies, bless them that curse you, do good 
to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefutly 
use you and persecute you. It was none of his prac 
tice to exclaim against those that were the greatest 
instruments of his sufferings. 


In all his imprisonment, at present, I could not 
discern his health to be the least impaired, notwith 
standing his abundant labours; but cannot but sus 
pect, as the physicians judged, that he had laid the 
foundation for that weakness which suddenly after 
surprised him, and was his death. 

At his return from the prison, he was far more 
earnest in his work than before; yet willing to pre 
serve his liberty among his people, who had no mi 
nister that had the oversight of them, though some 
came and preached while he was absent. And the 
people flocked so greatly after him, that he judged 
it best to divide the company into four, and resolved 
to preach four times each sabbath to them: But 
finding sensibly that would be too hard for him, his 
strength much decaying, he did forbear that course, 
and preached only twice a sabbath as formerly, and 
often on week-days at home and in the country; 
and spent what time he had else from his studying, 
in private converse with God, as formerly he had 
done: Pressing all that feared the Lord, especially 
those that were of a more weak and timorous spirit, 
to a life of courage and activity for God, and to be 
much in helping one another, by their converses, now 
ministers were withdrawn; and to be much in the 
work of praises and thanksgiving to God, rejoicing 
and delighting themselves in him; and with cheer 
fulness and readiness, denying themselves for him, 
and resigning themselves, and all they did enjoy, to 
him; letting the world know, they could live com* 
fortably on a God alone, on his attributes and pro* 
mises, though they should have nothing else left. 


But it pleased the All- wise God to take him off 
from the eager pursuit of his work, and design : for 
Him, by visiting him in the latter end of August 
with much weakness, so that he had not above three 
months time after he came out of prison: For he, 
going about sixteen miles, at the request of a society, 
whose pastor was not able to come among them to 
preach and to administer a more solemn ordinance, 
was so disabled, that he was not able to perform the 
great and chief work, though he did adventure to 
preach, but with much injury to himself, because 
he would not wholly disappoint the people, who 
came so far as many of them did: With much diffi 
culty, after three or four days, I made way to get 
him home to Taunton, where we then sojourned, 
and presently had the best advice the most able 
physicians, both in and round the town, could give; 
who advised together, and all judged it to be from 
his abundant labours, and the preaching too soon 
after his meals; as he did, when he preached four, 
times a sabbath, whereby he had so abated the na 
tural heat of his stomach, that no food would digest, 
nor oftentimes keep within him. He would assure 
us, he was in no pain, but a constant discomposure 
in his stomach, and a failing of his appetite, that he 
oould not for many weeks bear the scent of any flesh- 
meat, nor retain any liquors or broths, so that he 
consumed so fast, that his life seemed to draw to an 
end. But the Lord did so bless the means, that he 
recovered/out of this distemper, after two months 
but so lost the use of his arms from October 


till April, that he could not put off nor on his cloaths, 
nor often write either his notes or any letters, but as I 
wrote for him, as he dictated to me. He was by 
all physicians, and by my earnest beseechings, often 
dissuaded from preaching, but would not be pre 
vailed with, but did go on once and sometimes twice 
a sabbath, and in his private visiting all that winter; 
in the spring, the use of his arms returned, for which 
he was exceeding thankful to the Lord; and we had 
great hopes of his recovering; and making use of 
further remedies, he was able to go on with more 
freedom in his work; and the summer following, by 
the use of mineral-waters in Wiltshire, near the 
Devises, where he was born, his strength was much 
increased, he finding great and sensible good by 

But he venturing too much on what he had ob 
tained, his weakness returned frequently upon him 
the next winter, and more in the spring following, 
being seized as he was at the first. But it continued 
not long at a time, so that he did preach often to his 
utmost strength (nay, I may say, much beyond the 
strength he had) both at home and abroad; going 
into some remote parts of the country, where had 
been no meetings kept all that time the ministers 
had been out, which was two years. And there he 
engaged several of his brethren to go and take their 
turns, which they did with great success. 

He had also agreed with two of his brethren to 
go into Wales with them, to spread the gospel there; 
but was prevented in that, by his weakness increas- 


ing upon him : It was much that he did, but much 
more that he desired to do. 

He was in this time much threatened/ and warrants 
often out for him ; and he was so far from being dis 
turbed at it, that he rejoiced; that when he could do 
but little for God, because of his distempers, God 
would so far honour him that he should go and suffer 
for him in a prison. He would often with cheerful 
ness say, They could not do him a greater kindness: 
But the Lord was yet pleased to preserve him from 
their rage, seeing him not then fit for the inconve* 
niencies of a prison. 

The Five Mile Act coming in force, he removed to 
a place called Wellington, which is reckoned five 
miles from Taunton, to a dyer s house, in a very ob 
scure place, where he preached on the Lord s-days, 
as he was able. But the vigilant eyes of his old ad 
versaries were so watchful over him, that they soon 
found him out, and resolved to take him thence, and 
had put a warrant into the constable s hand to ap 
prehend him, and sent for our friend, and threatened 
to send him to gaol for entertaining such persons in 
his house. So my husband returned to the house of 
Mr. John Mallack, a merchant, who lived about a 
mik from Taunton, who had long solicited him to 
to take his house for his home. We being in such 
an unsettled state, my husband thought it best to 
accept of his courteous offer: But many of his 
friends were willing to enjoy him in the town, and 
so earnest, that he did, to satisfy them, go from one 
to another, staying a fortnight, or three weeks, or a 


month at each house; but still took Mr. Mallack s 
for his home: This motion of his friends, he told 
me, (though it was troublesome for us to be so un 
settled,) he was willing to embrace, because he knew 
not how soon he might be carried again from them 
to prison, and he should have opportunity to be 
more intimately acquainted with them, and the state 
of their souls, and of their children and servants, 
and how they performed their duties each to other 
in their families. 

He went from no house without serious counsels, 
comforts, or reproofs, as their conditions called for; 
dealing with all that were capable, both governors 
and others particularly, acquainting them faithfully 
and most affectionately, what he had seen amiss in 
any of them, 

He went from no house that was willing to part 
with him; nor had he opportunity to answer the re 
quests of half that invited us to their houses. So 
that he would often bless God, and say with holj 
Mr. Dod, That he had a hundred houses for one that 
he had parted with; and though he had no goods, he 
wanted for nothing, his Father cared for him in 
every thing, that he lived a far more pleasant life 
than his enemies, who had turned him out of all. 
He was exceedingly taken with God s mercy to him, 
in Mr. Mallack s entertaining him and me so boun 
tifully ; the house, and gardens, and walks, being 
a very great delight to him, being so pleasant and 
curious; and all accommodations within suitable, so 
that he would often say, that lie did as DIVES, fare 
1 2 


deliriously every day: But he hoped he should im 
prove it better than he did, and that God had in 
clined him to take care for many poor, and for seve 
ral of his brethren in the ministry; and now God 
did reward him, by not suffering him to be at the 
least expence for himself or me. 

He was a very strict observer of all providences 
of every day, and did usually reckon them up to me 
before we went to sleep, each night after he came 
into his chamber and bed, to raise his own heart and 
mine, to praise the Lord, and to trust Him, whom 
we had such experience of, from time to time. 

The time of the year being come for his going to 
the waters, he was desirous to set one day apart for 
thanksgiving to God, for all his mercies to him and 
them, and so to take his leave of them. 

Accordingly, on the 10th of July, 1665, divers of 
his brethren in the ministry, and many of his friends 
of Taunton, met together to take their leave of him 
before his departure, at the house of Mr. Mallack, 
then living about a mile out of the town. Where 
after they had been a while together, came two jus 
tices, and several other persons attending them, brake 
open the doors by force, (though they might have 
unlatched them if they had pleased,) and witli swords 
came in among them. After much deriding and 
menacing language, which I shall not here relate, 
having taken their names, committed them to the 
custody of some constables, whom they charged 
to bring them forth the next day, at the Castle 
Tavern in> Taunton, before the justices of the peace 


there. The next day the prisoners appeared, and 
answered to their names; and after two days tedious 
attendance, were all convicted of a conventicle, and 
sentenced to pay three pounds a piece, or to be com 
mitted to prison threescore days. Of the persons 
thus convicted but few either paid their fines, or 
suffered their friends to do it for them. My hus 
band, with seven ministers more, and forty private 
persons, were committed to the prison of Ilchester. 
When he, together with the rest of his brethren and 
Christian friends, came to the prison, his carriage and 
conversation there was every way as exemplary as 
in his former confinement. Notwithstanding his 
weakness of body, yet he would constantly take his 
turn with the rest of the ministers, in preaching the 
gospel in the prison; which turns came about the 
oftener, though there were eight of them there to 
gether, because they had preaching and praying 
twice a day, almost every day they were in prison; 
besides other exercises of religion, in which he would 
take his part. 

And although he had many of his flock confined 
to the prison with him, by which means he had the 
fairer opportunity of instructing, and watching over 
them, for their spiritual good; yet lie was not for 
getful of the rest that were left behind, but would 
frequently visit them also, by his letters, full of seri 
ous profitable matter, from which they might reap 
no small benefit, while they were debarred of his 
bodily presence. And how greatly solicitous he was 
for those that were with him, (that they might be 


the better for their bonds, walking worthy of the 
many and great mercies they had enjoyed during their 
imprisonment; that when they came home to their 
houses, they might speak forth, and live forth the 
praises of God, carrying themselves in every respect 
as becomes the gospel, for which they had been suf 
ferers) you may clearly see by those parting counsels 
that he gave them that morning that they were de 
livered, which I shall recite in his own words, as 
they were taken from his mouth in short-hand, by 
an intimate friend and fellow-prisoner, which you 
may take as folio weth ; 

JUr. Joseph Alleine s Exhortation to his FeUoW SuJferas, when 
they were to -be discharged from their Imprisonment. 

Dearly beloved brethren, my time is little, and my 
strength but small, yet I could not consent that you 
should pass without receiving some parting counsel; 
and what I have to say at parting, shall be chiefly to 
you that are prisoners, and partly also to you our 
friends, that are here met together. To you that are 
prisoners, I shall speak something by way of exhor 
tation, and something by way of dehortation. 
By way of Exhortation. 

First. Rejoice with trembling in your prison-com 
forts, and see that you keep them in a thankful re 
membrance. Who can tell the mercies that you have 
received here? My time, or strength, will not suffice 
me to recapitulate them. See that you rejoice in God; 
but rejoice with trembling. Do not think the account 
will be little for mercies so many and so great 


Receive these choice mercies with a trembling hand, 
for fear lest you should be found guilty of misim- 
proving such precious benefits, and so wrath should 
be upon you from the Lord. Remember Hezekiah s 
case; great mercies did he receive, some praises he 
did return, but not according to the benefit done 
unto him; therefore was wrath upon him from the 
Lord, and upon all Judah for his sake. (2 Chron. 
xxxii. 25.) Therefore go away with a holy fear 
upon your hearts, lest you should forget the loving- 
kindness of the Lord, and should not render to Him 
according to what you have received. 

Oh, my brethren! stir up yourselves to render 
praises to the Lord ! You are the people that God hath 
formed for his praise, and sent hither for his praise ; 
and you should now go home, as so many trumpets, 
to sound forth the praises of God, when you come 
among your friends. There is an expression (Psal. 
Ixviii. 11.) The Lord gave the word, great was the com* 
pany of them that published it: So let it be said of the 
praises of God now, Great was the company of them 
that published them. God hath sent a whole troop of 
you here together, let all these go home and sound 
the praises of God wherever you come ; and this is 
the way to make his praise glorious indeed. Shall 
I tell you a story that I have read? There was a 
certain King that had a pleasant grove, and that he 
might make it every way delightful to him, he caused 
some birds to be caught, and to be kept up in cages, 
till they had learned sundry sweet and artificial tunes; 
and when they were perfect in their lessons, he let 


them abroad out of their cages into his grove, that 
while he was walking in this grove, he might hear 
them singing those pleasant tunes, and teaching 
them to other birds that were of a wilder note. 
Brethren, this King is God, this grove is his church, 
these birds are yourselves, this cage is the prison; 
God hath sent you hither, that you should learn the 
sweet and pleasant notes of his praise. And I trust 
that you have learned something all this while; God 
forbid else. Now God opens the cage, and lets you 
forth into the grove of his church, that you may 
sing forth his praises, and that others may learn of 
you too. Forget not therefore the songs of the house 
of your pilgrimage; do not return to your wild notes 
again ; keep the mercy of God for ever in a thankful 
remembrance, and make mention of them humbly 
as long as you live; then shall you answer the end 
for which he sent you hither : I trust you will not 
forget this place. When Queen Mary died, she said, 
That if they did rip her up, they should Jind Callis on 
her heart. I hope that men shall find by you here 
after, that the prison is upon your heart, ILCHESTER 
is upon your heart. 

Secondly. Feed and feast your faith upon prison- 
experiences. Do not think that God hath done this 
only for your present supply. Brethren, God hath 
provided for you, not only for your present supply 
in prison, but to lay up, for all your lives, that ex 
perience that your faith must live upon, till faith be 
turned into vision. Learn dependence upon God, 
confidence in God, by all the experiences that 


you have had here. Because thou hast been my help, 
fsaith the Psalmist,) therefore under the sliadow of 
thy wing mil 1 rejoice. Are you at a loss at any 
time? Then remember your bonds. We read in 
scripture of a time when there was no smith in all 
Israel, and the Israelites were fain to carry their 
goads and other instruments, to be sharpened, down 
to the Philistines: So when your spirits are low, and 
when your faith is dull, carry them to the prison to 
be sharpened and quickened. Oh, how hath the Lord 
confuted all our fears! Cared for all our necessities! 
The faith of some of you was sorely put to it for 
corporal necessities. You came hither, not having 
any thing considerable to pay for your charges here; 
but God took care for that. And you left poor mi 
serable families at home, and no doubt but many 
troublesome thoughts were in your minds what your 
families should do for bread ; but God hath provided 
for them. 

We that are ministers, left poor starvling flocks, 
and we thought that the country had been now strip 
ped; and yet God hath provided for them. Thus 
hath the Lord been pleased to furnish us with argu 
ments for our faith, against we come to the next 
distress: Though you should be called forth to leave 
your flocks destitute, you that are my brethren in 
the ministry, and others their families destitute, yet 
doubt not but God will provide; remember your 
bonds, upon all occasions. Whensoever you are in 
distress, remember your Old Friend, remember your 
tried Friend. 


Thirdly. Let divine mercy be as oil to the flame 
of your love: O love the Lord, all ye his saints! Bre 
thren, this is the language of all^God s dealings with 
you, they all call upon you to love the Lord your 
God, with all your hearts, with all your souls, with 
all your strength. What hath God been doing ever 
since you came to this prison? All that he hath been 
doing since you came hither, hath been to pour oil 
into the flames of your love, thereby to increase and 
heighten them. God hath lost all these mercies 
upon you, if you do not love Him better than you 
did before. You have had supplies; to what pur 
pose is it, unless you love God the more ? If they 
that be in want, love Him better than you, it were 
better you had been in their case. You have had 
health here, but if they that be in sickness love God 
better than you, it were better you had been in sick 
ness too: See that you love your Father, that hath been 
so tender of you. What hath God been doing, but 
pouring out his love upon you? How were we mis 
taken? For my part, I thought that God took us upon 
his knee to whip us; but he took us upon his knee to 
dandle us. We thought to have felt the strokes of 
his anger, but he hath stroked us, as a Father his 
children, with most dear affection. Who can utter 
his loving-kindness? Whatj my brethren, shall we 
be worse than Publicans? The Publicans will love 
those that love them. Will not you return love for 
so much love? Far be this from you, brethren $ you 
must not only exceed the Publicans, but the Phari 
sees too ; therefore, surely you must love Him that 


loveth yoii This is my business now to bespeak your 
love to God, to unite your hearts to Him: Blessed 
be God for this occasion! For my part, I am un 
worthy of it. Now if I can get your hearts nearer 
to God than they were, then happy am I, and 
blessed are you. Fain I would, that all these expe* 
riencies should knit our hearts to God more, and 
endear us for ever to Him. What! So much bounty 
and kindness, and no returns of love? At least no 
further returns? I may plead in the behalf of the 
Lord with you, as they did for the centurion: He lov* 
tih our nation, say they, and hath built us a synagogue. 
So I may say here, He hath loved you, and poured 
out his bounty upon you. How many friendly visits 
from those that you could but little expect of ? 
Whence do you think this came? It is God that 
hath the key of all these hearts. He secretly turned 
the cock, and caused them to pour forth kindness upon 
you. There is not a motion of love in the heart of 
a friend towards you, but it was God that put it in. 
Fourthly. Keep your manna in a golden pot, and 
forget not him that hath said so often, Remember me. 
You have had manna rained plentifully about you ; 
be sure that something of it be kept. Do not forget 
all the sermons that you have heard here: O that 
you would labour to repeat them over, to live theni 
over! You have had such a stock that you may 
live upon, and your friends too, if you be communi 
cative, a great while together. If any thing have 
been wanting, time for the digesting hath been want 
ing. : eH chew the cud ; and see that you 


especially remember the feasts of love. Do not you 
know who hath said to you so often, Remember me? 
How often have you heard that sweet word since you 
came hither? What! Do you think it is enough to re* 
member him for an hour? No, but let it be a living and 
lasting remembrance. Do not you write that name 
of his in the dust, that hath written your names 
upon his heart. Your High Priest hath your names 
upon his heart, and therewith is entered into the 
holy place, and keeps them there for a memorial 
before the Lord continually. O that his remem 
brance might be ever written upon your hearts, 
written as with a pen of a diamond, upon tables of 
marble, that might never be worn out! That as 
Aristotle saith of the curious fabric of Minerva, 
that he had so ordered thefabrick, that his name was 
written in the midst, that if any went to take that out, 
the whole fabrick was dissolved. So the name of 
Jesus should be written upon the substance of your 
souls, that they should pull all asunder, before they 
-should be able to pull it out. 

Fifthly. Let the bonds of your affliction strengthen 
the bonds of your affection. Brethren, God hath 
sent us hither to teach us, among other things, the 
better to love one another. Love is lovely, both in 
the sight of God and men, and if by your imprison 
ment you have profited in love, then you have made 
an acceptable proficiency. O brethren, look within; 
are you not more endeared one to another? I bless 
the Lord for that union and peace that hath been 
ever among you; but you must be sensible that we 


come very far short of that love that we owe one to 
another; we have not that love, that endearedness, 
that tenderness, that complacency, that compassion 
towards each other that we ought to have. Ministers 
should be more endeared one to another, and Christ 
ians should be more dear to each other, than they 
were before. We have eaten and drunk together, 
and lived on our Father s love in one family together; 
we have been joined together in one common cause, 
and all put into one bottom: O let the remembrance 
of a prison, and of what hath passed here, especially 
tjiose uniting feasts, engage you to love one another ! 

Sixthly. Let present indulgence fit you for future 
hardships, and do not look that your Father should 
be always dandling you on his knee. Beloved, God 
hath used you like fondlings now, rather than like 
sufferers. What shall I say? I am at a loss, when I 
think of the tender indulgence, and the yearnings 
of the bowels of our Heavenly Father upon us. But, 
my brethren, do not look for such prisons again. 

Affliction doth but now play and sport with you, 
rather than bite you; but do you look that affliction 
should hereafter fasten its teeth on you to purpose: 
And do you look that the hand that hath now gent 
ly stroked you, may possibly buffet you, and put 
your faith hard to it, when you come to the next 
trial. This fondness of your Heavenly Father is to 
be expected only while you are young and tender; 
but afterward you must look to follow your business, 
and to keep your distance, and to have rebukes and 
frowns too when you need them. Bless God for what 


you have found here; but prepare you, this is but the 
beginning, shall I say the beginning of sorrow? I can- 
iiot say so; for the Lord hath made it a place of rejoic 
ing. This is but the entrance of our affliction; but you 
must look, that when you are trained up to a better 
perfection, God will put your faith to harder exercise. 

Seventhly. Cast up your accounts at your return, 
and see whether you have gone as much forward in 
your souls as you have gone backward in your 
estates. I cannot be insensible but some of you 
are here to very great disadvantage, as to your affairs 
in the world, "having left your business so rawly at 
home in your shops, trades, and callings, that it is 
like to be no little detriment to you upon this ac 
count. But happy are ye, if you find at your return, 
that as much as your affairs are gone backward, and 
behind-hand, so much your souls have gone forward. 
If your souls go forward in grace by your sufferings, 
blessed be God that hath brought you to such a 
place as a prison is ! 

Eighthly. Let the snuffers of this prison make your 
light burn the brighter, and see that your course and 
discourse be the more savoury, serious, and spiritual 
for this present trial. O brethren ! Now the voice 
of the Lord is to you, as it is in the prophet Isaiah 
Ix. 1, Arise, and shine. Now let your light shine 
before men, that others may see your good works, and 
glorify your Father which is in heaven. It is said of 
those preachers beyond sea, that have been sent 
into England, and here reaped the benefit of our 
English practical divinity, at their return, they 


have preached so much better than they had wont 
tp do, that it hath been said of them, Apparuit hunc 
fuisse in Anglid.* So do you my brethren : Live so 
much better than you had .wont, that when men 
shall see the change in your lives, they may say of 
you, Apparuit hunc fuisse in Custodial See that 
your whole course and discourse be more spiritual 
and heavenly than ever. See that you shine in your 
families when you come home; be you better hus 
bands, better masters, better fathers, study to do more 
than you have done this way, and to approve your 
selves better in your family-relations than you did 
before; that the savour of a prison may be upon you 
in all companies; then will you praise and please the 

Ninthly, and lastly. See that you walk accurately, 
a* those that have the eyes of God, angels, and men, 
upon you. My brethren, you will be looked upon 
now with very curious eyes. God doth expect more 
of you than ever; for he hath done more for you, 
and he looketh what fruit there will be of all this. 
Oh ! may there be a sensible change upon your souls, 
by the* showers that have fallen in prison, as there is 
in the greenness of the earth, by the showers that 
have fallen lately abroad. 
By way of Dekortation also, I have these four things 

to leave with you. 

First. Revile not your persecutors; but bless them, 
and pray for them, as the instruments of conveying 

* It appears that this person has been in England, 
t It appears that this man has been in prison. 
2 K 


great mercies to you. Do not you so far forget the 
rule of Christ, as when you come home, to be setting 
your mouths to talk against those that have injured 
you. Remember the command of your Lord, Bless 
them that curse you, pray for them tliat despitcfully use 
you and persecute you. Whatsoever they intended, yet 
they have been instruments of a great deal of mercy 
to us; and so we should pray for them, and bless 
God for the good we have received by them. 

Secondly. Let not the humble acknowledgment of 
God s mercy degenerate into proud, vain-glorious 
boasting, or carnal triumph. I beseech you, see that 
you go home with a great deal of fear upon your spi 
rits in this respect, lest pride should get advantage of 
you, lest instead of humble acknowledging of God s 
mercy, there should be carnal boasting. Beware of 
this, I earnestly beg of you ; for this will very much 
spoil your sufferings, and be very displeasing in the 
sight of God. But let your acknowledging of his mer 
cy, be ever with humble self-abasing thankfulness, 
and be careful that you do not make his mercies to 
be the fuel of your pride, which were to lose all at 

Thirdly. Be not prodigal of your liberty upon a 
conceit that the prisons will be easy, nor fearful of 
adventuring yourselves in the way of your duty. 
Alas! I am afraid of both these extremes: On the 
one hand, lest some among us, having found a great 
deal of mercy here, will now think there is no need 
of any Christian prudence, which is always necessary, 
and is a great duty. It is not cowardice to make use 


of the best means to preserve our liberty, not decli 
ning our duty. On the other side, there is fear lest 
some may be fearful, and ready to decline their duty; 
because they have newly tasted of a prison for it. Far 
be it from you to distrust God, of whom you have 
had so great experience; but be sure you hold on in 
your duty, whatsoever it cost you! 

Fourthly. Do not load others with censures, whose 
judgment or practice differs from yours; but humbly 
bless God that hath so happily directed you. You 
know, all are not of the same mind as to the circum 
stances of suffering, and all have not gone the same 
way. Far be it from any of you, my brethren, that 
you should so far forget yourselves, as to be unmer 
ciful to your brethren; but bless God that hath di 
rected you into a better way. Your charity must 
grow higher than ever: God forbid that you should 
increase in censures, instead of increasing in charity ! 

Having spoken to my fellow-prisoners, I have two 
words to speak to you, our friends and brethren with 


First. Let our experience be your encouragement. 
O love the Lord, ye our friends, love the Lord; fear 
Jiim for ever, believe in him, trust in him for ever, 
for our sakes ; we have tasted of the kindness of 

You know how good God hath been to us in spi 
rituals and in temporals. Encourage your hearts in 
the Lord your God, serve him the more freely and 
gladly for our sakes. You see we have tried, we 
have tasted Jiow good the Lord is : Do you trust him 



the more, because we have tried him so much, and 
found him a friend so faithful, so gracious, that we are 
utterly unable to speak his praise. Go on and fear not 
in the way of your duty: Verily there is a reward 
for the righteous. God hath given us a great reward 
already, but this is but the least; we look for a king 

Secondly, and lastly. My desire is to our friends, 
that they will all help us in our praises. Our tongues 
are too little to speak forth the goodness and the 
grace of God ; do you help us in our praises. Love 
the Lord the better, praise him the more; and what 
is wanting in us, let it be made good by you. O 
that the praises of God may sound abroad in the 
country by our means, and for our sakes! 

He was prevented of going to the waters, by his 
last imprisonment; for want of which, his distempers 
increased much upon him all the winter after, and 
the next spring more; yet not so as to take him fully 
off from his work, but he preached, and kept many 
days, and administered the sacrament among them 

But going up to the waters in July, 1667, they 
had a contrary effect upon him from what they had 
at first : For after three days taking them, he fell 
into a fever, which seized on his spirits, and decay 
ed his strength exceedingly, so that he seemed very 
near death. But the Lord then again revoked the 
sentence passed upon him, and enabled him in six 
weeks to return again to his people, where he much 


desired to be: But finding, at his return, great decay 
of his strength, and a weakness in all his limbs, he 
was willing to go to Dorchester, to advise further 
with Doctor Lose, a very worthy and reverend phy 
sician, from whom he had received many medicines, 
but never conversed with him, nor had seen him, 
which he conceived might conduce more to his full 

The doctor soon perceiving my husband s weak 
ness, persuaded him to continue for a fortnight or 
three weeks there, that he might the better advise 
him, and alter his remedies, as he should see occasi 
on; which motion was readily yielded unto by us. 

But we had not been there above five days, before 
the use of all his limbs was taken away on a sudden ; 
one day his arms wholly failing, the next his legs; 
so that he could not go, nor stand, nor move a finger, 
nor turn in his bed, but as myself and another did 
turn him night and day in a sheet: All means failing, 
he was given over by physicians and friends, that 
saw him \ie some weeks in cold sweats night and 
day, and many times for some hours together, half 
his body cold, in our apprehension dying ; receiving 
nothing but the best cordials that art could invent, 
and almond milk, or a little thin broth once in three 
or four days. Thus he lay from September 28th, to 
November l6th, before he began to revive, or it could 
be discerned that remedies did at all prevail against 
his diseases. In all this time he was still cheerful ; 
and when he did speak, it was not at all complaining, 
but always praising arid admiring God for his mer- 


cies, 4 but his spirits were so low, that he spake sel 
dom, and very softly. He still told us he had no 
pain at all; and when his friends admired his pati 
ence, he would say, God had not yet tried him in any 
thing, but laying him aside out of his work, and keeping 
him out of heaven; but through grace he could submit to 
his pleasure, waiting for him: It was pain he ever 
feared, and that he had not yet felt; so tender was his 
Father of him; and he wanted strength (as he often 
told us) [to speak more of his love, and to speak for 
God who had been, and was still so gracious to him, 
Being often asked by myself and others, How it was 
with his spirit in all this weakness, he would answer, 
He had not those ravishing joys that he expected, and 
that some believers did partake of; but he had a sweet 
serenity of heart, and confidence in God, grounded on 
the promises of the gospel, and did believe it would be 
well with him to all eternity. 

In all this time, I never heard one impatient word 
from him > nor could, upon my strictest observation, 
discern the least discontent with this state; though 
he was a pitiful object to all others that beheld him, 
being so consumed, beside the loss of the use of his 
limbs. Yet the Lord did support and quiet his spi 
rit, that he lay as if he had endured nothing ; break 
ing out often most affectionately in commending the 
kindness of the Lord to him, saying, Goodness and 
mercy had followed him all his days* 

And indeed the loving-kindness and care of God 
was singular to us in that place, which I cannot but 
mention to his praise. We came strangers thither, 


and being in our inn, we found it very uncomfort 
able; yet were fearful to impose ourselves on any 
private house. But necessity enforcing, we did en 
quire for a chamber, but could not procure one; 
the small pox being very hot in most families, and 
those that had them not, daily expecting them, and 
so could not spare rooms, as else they might. But 
the Lord who saw our affliction, inclined the heart 
of a very good woman, a minister s widow, one 
Mrs. Bartlet, to come and invite us to a lodging in 
her house; which we readily and thankfully accept 
ed of; where we were so accommodated, as we could 
not have been any where else in the town, especially 
in regard of the assistance I had from four young 
women who lived under the same roof, and so were 
ready, night and day, to help me, I having no ser 
vant nor friend near me; we being so unsettled, I 
kept none, but had always tended him myself to that 
time. And the ministers and Christians of that place 
were very compassionate towards us, visiting and 
praying with and for us often: And Dr. Lose vi 
sited him twice a day for twelve or fourteen weeks, 
except when he was called out of town, refusing 
any fees tendered to him The gentry in and about 
the town, and others, sending to us whatever they 
imagined might be pleasing to him; furnishing him 
with all delicates that might be grateful to one so 
weak; so that he wanted neither food nor physic, 
having not only for necessity, but for delight; and 
he did much delight himself in the consideration of 
the Lord s kindness to him in the love he received, 


and would often say, I was a stranger, and mercy took 
me in; in prison, and it came to me; sick and weak, 
and it visited me. There was also ten young women, 
besides the four in the house, that took their turns 
to watch with him constantly; for twelve weeks 
space I never wanted one to help me. And the 
Lord was pleased to shew his power so in streng 
thening me, that I was every night (all these weeks 
in the depth of winter) one that helped to turn 
him, never lying out of the bed one night from 
him, but every time he called or wanted any thing, 
was waking to assist her in the chamber, though, as 
some of them have said, they did tell, that we did turn 
him more than forty times a night, he seldom sleep 
ing at all in the night, in all these weeks. Though 
his tender affections were such, as to have had me 
sometimes lain in another room, )^et mine were such 
to him, that I could not bear it, the thoughts of it 
being worse to me than the trouble or disturbance 
he accounted I had with him, for I feared none 
would do any thing about him with such ease; 
neither would he suffer any one all the day to touch 
him but me, or to give him any thing that he did re 
ceive; by which I discerned it was most grate 
ful to him, and therefore so to me. And I never 
found any want of my rest, nor did get so much as 
a cold all that winter, though I do not remember 
that for fourteen or fifteen years before, I could ever 
say I was one month free of a most violent cough, 
which if I had been molested with then, would 
have been a great addition to his and my affliction; 


and he was not a little taken with the goodness of 
God to me in the time of all his sickness, but espe* 
cially that winter; for he being not able to help 
himself in the least, I could not be from him night 
nor day, with any comfort to him or myself. 

In this condition he kept his bed till December 
the 18th. And then, beyond all expectation, though 
in the depth of winter, began to revive and go out 
of his bed ; but he could neither stand nor go, nor 
yet move a finger, having sense in all his limbs, but 
not the least motion: As his strength did increase, 
he learnt to go, (as he would say) first by being led 
by two of us, then by one; and when he could go 
one turn in his chamber, though more weakly, and 
with more fear than the weakest child that ever I 
saw, he was wonderfully taken with the Lord s 
mercy to him. By February he was able, with a 
little help, to walk in the streets; but not to feed 
himself, nor to go up or down stairs without much 

When he was deprived of the use of his limbs, 
looking down on his arms, as I held him up by all 
the strength I had, he again lifted up his eyes 
from his useless arms to heaven, and with a chearful 
countenance said: The Lord hath given, and the 
Lord hath taken, and blessed be the name of the Lond. 

Being asked by a friend, how he could be so well 
contented to lie so long under such weakness? He 
answered, " What ! is God my Father, Jesus Christ 
" my Saviour, and the Spirit my sweet friend, my 
* ( Comforter, and Sanctifier, and heaven my injieri. 


" tance. Shall I not be content without limbs and 
"health? Through grace I am fully satisfied with 
"my Father s pleasure." 

To another that asked him the same, he answers, 
<c I have chosen God, and he is become mine, and I 
"know with whom I have trusted myself; which 
"is enough. He is an unreasonable wretch that 
" cannot be content with a God, though he had 
"nothing else: My interest in God is all my joy." 

His friends (some of Tauntoii) coming to Dorchester 
to see him, he was much revived, and would be 
set up in his bed, and have all the curtains drawn, 
and desired them to stand round about the bed, 
and would have me take out his hand, and hold it 
out to them, that they might shake him, though 
he could not them, as he used formerly to do 
when he had been absent from them. And, as he 
was able, thus he spake to them" O how it re- 
" joices my heart to see your faces, and to hear your 
" voices, though I cannot speak as heretofore to you ! 
" Methinks I am now like old Jacob, with all his sons 
<f about him. Now you see my weak estate; thus 
" have I been for many weeks, since I parted with 
" Taunton, but God hath been with me, and I hope 
" with you; your prayers have been heard and an- 
" swered for me many ways ; the Lord return them 
" into your own bosoms ! My friends, life is mine, 
" death is mine; in that covenant I was preaching of 
"to you, is all my salvation and all my desire; al- 
" though my body do not prosper, I hope through 
f < grace my soul doth. 


" I have lived a sweet life by the promises, and 
" I hope through grace] can die by a promise: 
" It is the promises of God which are everlasting, 
"that will stand by us: Nothing but God in them 
" will stead us in a day of affliction. 

" My dear friends, I feel the power of those doc- 
"trines I preached to you on my heart: Now the 
" doctrines of faith, of repentance, of self-denial, of 
" the covenant of grace, of contentment, and the 
"rest: O that you would live them over, now I 
" cannot preach to you ! 

" It is a shame for a believer to be cast down 
" under afflictions, that hath so many glorious pri- 
" vileges, justification, adoption, sanctification, and 
c eternal glory. We shall be as the angels of God 
" in a little while : Nay, to say the truth, believers 
"are, as it were, little angels already, that live in 
"the power of faith. O, my friends! live like be- 
" lievers, trample this dirty world under your feet; 
"be not taken with its comforts, nor disquieted 
"with its crosses: You will be gone out of it 
" shortly." 

When they came to take their leaves of him, he 
would pray with them as his weak state would 
suffer him; and in the words of Moses and of the 
Apostles blessed them. The same he always used 
after a sacrament, " The Lord bless you and keep 
" you, the Lord cause his face to shine upon you, 
" and give you peace ! And the God of peace, that 
" brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, 
"through the blood of the everlasting covenant. 


(e make you perfect in every good work to do his 
<c will, working in you that which is well-pleasing 
"in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be 
"glory for ever and ever. Amen." 

And then spake thus, "Farewell, farewell, my 
" dear friends ! remember me to all Taunton ; I be- 
" seech you and them, if I never see your faces 
" more, go home and live over wfcat I have preached 
" to you, and the Lord provide for you when I am 
gone. O ! let not all my labours and sufferings, 
"let not my wasted strength, my useless limbs, rise 
"up in judgment against you at the great day of 
"the Lord." 

Another time, some coming to visit him there, he 
spake thus to them, " O ! my friends, let your whole 
<{ conversation be as becomes the gospel of Christ ; 
( whether I am present or absent, live to what I 
" have spoken to you iri the name of the Lord. Now 
" I cannot preach to you, let my wasted strength, 
<c my useless limbs, be a sermon to you: Behold me, 
" I cannot move a finger; all this is come upon me 
" for your sakes, and the gospel; it is for Christ and 
"you that I have thus spent out myself. I am 
afraid of you, lest some of you, after all that I 
" have spoken to you, should be lost in the world. 
" There are many professors who can pray well, and 
" talk well, whom we shall find at the left hand of 
" Christ another day. You have your trades, your 
"estates, your relations; be not taken with these, 
" but with God. O live on him ! for the Lord s 
<: sake go home, and take heed of the world, worldly 


" cares, worldly comforts, worldly friends, c." say 
ing thus, 

" The Lord having given authority to his minis- 
" ters to bless his people, accordingly I bless you in 
" his name," using the same words as before, and 
so parted with them ; with many other dear expres 
sions of his love to them and the town. 

And thus he was used to converse with all that 
came to visit him, as he was able, looking always 
cheerfully upon them, and never complaining of any 
affliction he was under, except it were to excite his 
Taunton friends to their duties. 

In February, he being very desirous to return 
among his people, he moved it to his doctor, who 
consented to it, fearing that the air might be too keen 
for him in March, and hoping that it might much 
add to his cure to satisfy his mind. 

In a horse-litter I removed him. He was much 
pleased at the sight of the place and his people, who 
came flocking about him; and he seemed to increase 
in strength, so that he was able to feed himself the 
week after he came home. But I fearing the frequent 
visits of his friends might be prejudicial to him, per 
suaded him to remove to Mr. Mallack s house, which 
he was again invited to, and most courteously enter 

And thus he continued increasing in strength, till 
the beginning of April; and then he began to de 
cline again, and was taken after some days with con 
vulsion fits, as he sat in his chamber one afternoon, 
and had three or four more fits that night: But in 
2 L 


the use of means/ through God s blessing, he had no 
more in three weeks. One evening, being in his 
chamber, he desired me to leave him a while alone; 
which I was very unwilling to do, but his importu 
nity made me to go down from him. But in less 
than half a quarter of an hour, he was fallen to the 
ground in one of his former fits, and had hurt his 
face; and from his nose came much blood, which 
was very clotted and corrupt, which physicians see 
ing, did conclude (though it were grievous to me, 
that, under such weakness, he should have so sad an 
accident) that the fall saved his life: For had not 
that blood come from his head, he had, so far as 
they could rationally judge, died in that fit, which 
took away his senses for the present; but he went 
to bed, and slept so well that night, as he had not in 
many weeks before; so that myself, and friends, fear 
ed that he had been in an apoplexy : But he awaked 
about six in the morning, much refreshed, and full 
of the praises of God for his mercies to him, being 
very sensible how suddenly he was surprised the 
evening before. After this, he lived always expect 
ing death, saying often to me and his friends, " It 
is but a puff, and I am gone :" And therefore would, 
every night, after he had been at prayer, bid all the 
family farewell, telling them, He might be dead before 
the morning; and dropping some holy counsels to 
them, would depart to his chamber. All the while 
I was undressing him, he would be discoursing of 
spiritual things, it being all his delight; and when we 
lay down to rest, his last words were usually, " We 


t{ shall shortly be in another bed, therefore it is good 
" to mind it, and provide for it apace; farewell, my 
" dear heart, the Lord bless thee!" and so he would 
go to his rest. In his health and sickness, his first 
speeches in the mornings would be, " Now we have 
" one day more; here is one more for God; now let us 
" live well this day ; work hard for our souls ; lay up 
" much treasure in Heaven this day, for we have 
" but a few to live." 

After this, the strength of his limbs, which were 
decayed, returned again, and he was, beyond all ex 
pectation, so far recovered, that we had no fears of 
his relapsing again: His appetite and rest, and all re 
paired. But about the sixth of May, he began again 
to find weakness in his stomach, which in a few days 
so grew upon him, that he lost his limbs again; and 
on the 12th of May, in the morning, having lain 
some days and nights in cold sweats, as heretofore 
at Dorchester, he was again seized with convulsions, 
first lying four hours with his eyes fixed to heaven, 
not speaking one word, nor in the least moving him 
self, myself and friends weeping by him, at last he 
spake to us with a very audible voice, " Weep not 
c f for me, my work is done;" and seemed to be full 
of matter to utter to us, but was immediately seized 
with a terrible convulsion, which was sad to behold; 
it so altered his countenance, and put him into such 
sweats, that it was strange to see how the drops lay 
and ran down his face, and hands, and body. This 
held him two hours or more, and ceased, but he was 
left by it without any sense; and in a quarter of an 


hour, or little more, fell into another, in which he 
rattled, and was cold, so that we apprehended every 
breath would be his last. The physician, who was 
then by him, accounted his pulse to be gone, and 
that he would be dead in a few minutes: But the 
Lord shewed his power here once again in raising 
him. So that many that came and saw him, that 
heard the next day he was alive, would not believe 
till they came and saw him again. These violent 
fits went off about twelve o clock, ,ancl he revived; 
but had no sense to converse with us till the next 
day, nor did he perfectly recover them four days af 
ter, and then was as before, and so continued very 
weak till July, no strength coming into his hands or 
legs; for the most part confined to his bed, but still 
cheerful in his spirit, and free to discourse with any 
that came to visit him, as long as he was able. 

But the Lord had yet more work for him to do: 
I seeing him lie so hopeless, as to his life or limbs, 
and considering the winter was growing on apace, I 
proposed it to the doctors to have him to the Bath; 
some were for it, others against it; acquainting my 
husband with it, he was much pleased with it, and so 
earnest in it, that I sent immediately to Bath for a 
horse-litter, and the Lord was pleased strangely to 
appear in strengthening him for his journey; so that 
he, that had not in many weeks been out of his bed 
and chamber, was able in two days to reach near for 
ty miles. But when he came to Bath, the doctors 
there seemed to be much amazed to behold such an 
object, professing they never saw the like, much 


wondering how he was come alive such a journey, 
and doubted much to put him in: But he having 
tried all artificial baths, and ointments, and plaisters 
before, he resolved, against their judgment, to adven- 
ture himself. 

At his first appearing in the Bath, being wasted 
to skin and bone, some of the ladies were affrighted, 
as if death had been come in among them, and could 
iTot endure to look towards him. 

The first time he went in, he was able to stay but 
a little while, but was much refreshed, and had no 
symptom of his fits, which he feared the Bath might 
have caused again. Through the blessing of the 
Lord upon this means, without any thing else, ex 
cept his drinking of goat s milk, he that was not able 
to go nor, stand, nor move a finger, could in three 
weeks time walk about his chamber and feed him 
self: His impaired appetite was again restored, and 
his strength so increased, that there seemed no doubt 
to the physicians of his full recovery, he having not 
the least sign of any inclination to his fits, from thfc 
twelfth of May till his death drew nigh. 

In this time of his being in Bath, his soul was far 
more strengthened with grace; so that myself, and 
all that beheld him and conversed with him, discern* 
ed sensibly his growth; and he was in the nights 
and days, so frequently with God, and often in such 
ravishments of spirit, from the joys and consolations 
that he received from the Spirit of God, that it was 
oftentimes more than he could express, or his bodily 
strength could bear; so that for my own part, I had 


less hopes of his continuance on earth than ever be 
fore. For I perceived plainly, the Lord had spared 
him but to recover strength of grace, and to make 
him a more evident instance of his singular love, be 
fore he took him hence. 

He being now more cheerful than formerly, and 
more exceedingly affectionate in his carriage to me 
and to all his friends, especially with those that were 
most heavenly, the Lord was pleased to order it in 
his providence there were many such then who came 
to use the Bath, as Mr. Fairclough and his wife, 
Mr. How, of Torrington, Mr. Joseph Barnard and 
his wife, and several of our Taunton friends, and of 
Bristol Ministers and others, which was a great com 
fort to us. 

His parts seemed to be more quick in his conver 
ses, whatever he was put upon, either by scholars, 
or those that were more inferior. He had many visi 
tors there, both of strangers and friends, who were 
willing to see him and discourse with him, having 
heard what a monument of mercy he was; and he 
would to all of them, so amplify upon all the passa 
ges of God s dealings with him, as was very pleasant 
to all that heard him; and did affect many that were 
strangers to God and to religion, as well as to him. 

He found much favour, even among the worst ; 
both gentry and others, such as would make a scoff 
at religion, or holy discourse from others, would 
hearken to him. Though he did often faithfully re 
prove many for their oaths, and excess iu drinking, 
their lascivious carriages, which he observed in the 


Bath; and there was none of them but did most 
thankfully accept it from him, and shewed him more 
respect after, than they had done before : In which 
he observed much of God s goodness to him, and 
would often say to me : " O ! how good it is to be 
" faithful to Cod." The vilest of these persons, as I 
was by several informed, said of him, That he never 
spake with such a man in his life. 

His reproofs were managed with so much respect 
to their persons, and the honourable esteem he had 
of their dignity, that they said, They could not but ac 
cept his reproofs, though very close and plain: And 
his way was, sometime before he intended to reprove 
them, he would often in the Bath converse with them, 
of things that might be taking with them; and did so en 
gage their affections, that they would willingly every 
day converse with him: He, being furnished from 
his former studies /or any compamj, designing to use 
it still for holy ends, by such means hath caught 
many souls. 

While he was in this place, though he had many 
diversions, by his using the Bath constantly -every 
day, and his frequent visits, besides his weakness, 
yet he kept his constant seasons, four times a day, 
for his holy retirements; waking in the morning 
constantly at or before five o clock, and would not 
be disturbed till about seven, when he was carried 
to the Bath. Having the curtains drawn close, he 
spent his time in holy meditation, and prayer, and 
singing ; and once again before dinner, but then he 
spent less time; and about half an hour before two 
in the afternoon, just before he went abroad. 


For though he never attained to so much strength, 
as to be able to walk abroad in the streets without 
my leading him, or some other, yet he would be em 
ployed for his Lord and Master. His chairmen, 
that r used to carry him to the Bath, he appointed to 
fetch him about three o clock, who carried him to 
visit all the schools, alms-houses, and the godly poor, 
especially the widows; to whom he would give money, 
and with whom he would pray and converse con 
cerning their spiritual states, according as their ne 
cessities required; engaging those that were teachers 
and governors, to teach the Assembly s Catechism^ 
buying many dozens, and giving them to distribute 
to their scholars ; and many other small books which 
he thought might be useful for them; and then would 
come and see, in a week or fortnight, what progress 
they had made. He also engaged several to send 
their children once a week to him to be catechised ; 
which they did hearken to him in : And we had 
about sixty or seventy children every Lord s-day to 
our lodging, and they profited much by his* instruc 
tions, till some took such offence at it, that he was 
forced to desist, and the schoolmaster was threaten 
ed to be cited to Wells before the Bishop, and many 
others affrighted from it. 

He also sent for all the godly poor he could find 
in that place, and entertained them at his cham 
ber, and gave to them every one as he was able, as a 
thank-offering to the Lord for his mercy to him, and 
desired them, with several others, to keep a day of 
thanksgiving for him; Mr. Fairclough, Mr. How, 
And himself, performing the duties of the day. 


Thus though his sickness had been long, and his 
cxpences great, he thought he could never spend 
enough for Him from whom he had received all. He 
constantly gave money or apples to all the children 
that came to be catechised by him, to engage them, 
besides all he gave to the teachers and poor, which 
indeed was beyond his ability, considering his estate. 
But I am persuaded, he did foresee that his time 
would be but short; and having made a competent 
and comfortable provision for me, he resolved to lay 
up the rest in heaven; he did often say to me, if he 
lived never so long, he would never increase his estate, 
now I was provided for^ he having no children, God s 
-eliildren should have it. 

But he was yet again designing what he might da 
before he took his leave of the world : And his next 
work was, to send letters to all his relations and in 
timate friends, in most of which he urges them to 
observe his counsels, for they were like to be his last 
to them. I always wrote for him, for he could notj, 
by reason of his weakness, write a line. 

At this time he had a great desire to go to Mr. 
Joseph Barnard s, which was about five miles from 
Bath, there to finish his last work for God that ever 
he did on earth; which was to promote the exer-* 
cise of catechising in Somersetshire and Wiltshire. 
Mr. Barnard having had a great deliverance as well 
as himself, he proposed this to him as their thank- 
offering to God, which they would jointly tender to 
Him. They had engaged one another, to give so 
much for the printing of six thousand oftheAss&nbly t 


Catechism, and among other friends, to raise some 
money, for to send to every minister that would en 
gage in the work, and to give to the children for their 
encouragement in learning: This work was finish 
ed by Mr. Barnard, after my husband was gone to 
his rest. 

He finding himself to decline again, apprehended 
it was for want of using the Bath, and therefore desi 
red to return; and I being fearful he should ride 
home, seeing some symptoms of his fits, sent for the 
horse-litter, and so carried him again to Bath: 
Where by the doctor s advice, after he had taken 
some things to prepare his body, he made use of the 
hot Bath;l(the Cross Bath being then too cold;) and 
so he did for four days, and seemed to be refreshed, 
and the strength that he had in his limbs to recover, 
rather than abate; and two of his Taunton friends 
coming to see him, he was cheerful with them. But 
on the third of November I discerned a great change 
in his countenance, and he found a great alteration 
in himself, but concealed it from me, as I heard after: 
For some friends coming to visit him, he desired 
them to pray for him, for his time was very short; 
but desired them not to tell me of it : All that day 
he would not permit me to move out of the chamber 
from him, except once while those friends were with 
him. After we had dined, he was, in more than or*- 
dinary manner, transported with affection towards 
me; which he expressed, by his returning me thanks 
for all my pains and care for him and with him, and 
putting up many most affectionate requests for me 


to God, before he would suffer me to rise as we sat 
together: At night again, at supper, before I could 
rise from him, he spake thus to me " Well, now, 
" my dear heart, my companion in all my tribulati- 
" ons and afflictions, I thank thee for all thy pains 
(t and labours for me, at home and abroad, in prison 
" and liberty, in health and sickness;" reckoning up 
many of the places we had been in, in the days of 
our affliction. And with many other most endear 
ing and affectionate expressions, he concluded with 
many holy breathings to God forme, that he would* 
requite me, and never forget me, and Jill me with all 
manner of grace and consolations, and that his face 
might still shine upon me, and that I might be supported 
and carried through all difficulties. 

After this he desired me to see for a Practice of 
Piety; and I procuring one for him, he turned his 
chair from me, that I might not see, and read the 
Meditations about Death in the latter end of that 
book; which I discerning, asked of him, whether he 
did apprehend his end was near. To which he re 
plied, He knew not; in a few days I would see ; and 
so fell into discourse, to divert me; desiring me to- 
read two chapters to him, as I used to do every 
night; and so he hasted to bed, not being able to go 
to prayer; and with his own hands did very hastily 
undo his coat and doublet, which he had not done 
in many months before. As soon as he was in bed 
he told me, He felt some more than ordinary stoppage 
in his head; and I brought him something to prevent 
the fits, which I feared. But in a quarter of an hour 


after he fell into a very strong" convulsion: Which I 
being much affrighted at, called for help, and sent 
for the doctors; used all former and other means, but 
no success the Lord was pleased to give then to 
Any : But they continued for two days and nights, 
not ceasing one hour. 

This was most grievous to me, that I saw him so 
like to depart, and that I should hear him speak no 
more to me; fearing it would harden the wicked to 
see him removed by such a stroke. For his fits 
were most terrible to behold: And I earnestly be 
sought the Lord, that if it were his pleasure, he 
would so far mitigate the heavy stroke I saw was 
Coming upon me, by causing him to utter something 
of his heart before he took him from me; which he 
graciously answered me in; for he, that had not 
spoke from Tuesday night, did on Friday morning, 
about three o clock, call for me to come to him, 
Speaking very understandingly between times, all 
that day. But that night about nine o clock he 
brake out with an audible voice, speaking, for six 
teen hours together, those and such like words as 
you formerly had account of; and did cease but a 
very little space, now and then, all the afternoon, 
till about six on Saturday in the evening, when he 

About three in the afternoon he had, as we per 
ceived, some conflict with satan ; for he uttered these 
words, " Away ! thou foul fiend, thou enemy of all 
<e mankind, thou subtle sophister ! Art thou come 
(< HOW to molest me, now I am just going? Now J 


"am so weak, land death upon me? Trouble me 
"not, for I am none of thine! I am the Lord s; 
if Christ is mine, and I am his; his by covenant; I 
" have sworn myself to be the Lord s, and his I will 
" be ; Therefore be gone !" These last words he 
repeated often, which I took much notice of, That 
his covenanting with God was the: means lie used to ex 
pel llit devil and all his temptations. 

The time we were in Bath, I had very few hours 
alone with him, by reason of his constant using the 
Bath, anc^visits of friends from all parts thereabouts, 
and sometimes from Tatmton; and when they were 
gone, he would be either retiring to God, or to his 
rest: But what time I had with him, he always spent 
in heavenly and profitable discourse, speaking much 
of the place he was going to, and his desires to be 
gone. One morning as I was dressing him, he look 
ed up to Heaven and smiled, and I urging him to 
know why, he answered me thus, " Ah, my love! 1 
" was thinking of my marriage-day; it will be shortly. 
" O what a joyful day will that be ! Will it not, think- 
" est thou, my dear heart?" 

Another time, bringing him some broth, he said, 
" Blessed be the Lord for these refreshments in the 
" way home ! But O, how sweet will heaven be !" 

Another time, " I hope to be shortly where I 
ft shall need no meat, nor drink, nor clothes." 

When he looked on his weak consumed hands, lie 

would say* " these shall be changed; this vile body 

" shall be made like to Christ s glorious body. O 

" what a glorious day will the day of the resurree- 

2 M 


" tion be ! Methinks I see it by faith. How will 
" the saints lift up their heads and rejoice; and how 
" sadly will the wicked world look then ! O come 
" let us make haste; our Lord will come shortly, 
" let us prepare. If we long to be in Heaven, let 
if us hasten with our work ; for when that is done, 
" away we shall be fetched. O this vain, foolish, 
" dirty world ! I wonder how reasonable creatures 
" can so dote upon it ! What is in it worth the look- 
" ing after? I care not to be in it longer than while 
" my Master hath either doing or suffering- work for 
" me; were that done, farewell to earth!" 

He was much in commending the love of Christ, 
and from that exciting himself and me to obedience to 
him, often speaking of his sufferings and of his glory; 
of his love-letters, as he called the holy history of 
his life, death, resurrection, ascension, and his 
second coming; the thoughts of which he seemed 
always to be much ravished with. 

He would be frequently reckoning the choice 
tokens Christ had sent him, which I remember he 
would frequently reckon up, 1. The pardon of sin. 
2. A patent for heaven. 3. The gift of the Spirit. 4. 
The robe of his righteousness. 5. The spoils of ene* 
mies. 6. The charter of all liberties and privileges. 
7. The guard of his angels. The consideration of 
this last he did frequently solace himself in, saying 
to me often, when we lived alone in the prison, and 
divers other places, " Well, my dear, though we have 
" not our attendants and servants as the great ones 
" and rich of the world have., we have the blessed 


(f angels of God still to wait upon us, to minister to 
" us, and to watch over us while we are sleeping; 
" to be with us when journeying, and still to preserve 
" us from the rage of men and devils." 

He was exceedingly affected with the three last 
chapters of Saint John s Gospel, especially Christ s 
parting words and prayer for his disciples. But it 
is time forme to set a stop to my pen; God did pour 
into him ; and he did pour out so much, that it was 
scarce possible to retain the converses of one day, 
without a constant register. His heart, his lips, his 
life was filled up with grace; in which he did shine 
both in health and sickness, prosperity and adversity, 
in prison and at liberty, in his own house and in the 
churches of Christ, wherever he came. I never 
heard any that conversed with him, but would ac 
knowledge it was to their advantage. 

At my husband s first coming to Taunton, he was 
entertained by Mr. Newton as asojourner, and after 
he was ordained in Taunton in a public association 
meeting, he administered all ordinances jointly with 
him; though he were but an assistant, Mr. Newton 
would have it so, who dearly loved him, and highly 
esteemed of him; and seeing him restless in his spirit, 
and putting himself to many tedious journeys to visit 
me, (as he did once a fortnight, twenty-five miles,) 
he persuaded him to marry, contrary to our pur 
pose, we resolving to have lived much longer single. 
The 4th of October, 1655, after a year and two 
months acquaintance, our marriage was consumma 


And we lived together with Mr. Newton near two 
years, where we were most courteously entertained; 
and then, hoping to he more useful in our station, 
we took a house, and I having been always bred to 
work, undertook to teach a school, and had many 
tablers and scholars, our family being seldom less 
than twenty, and many times thirty; my school 
usually fifty or sixty of the town and other places. 
And the Lord was pleased to bless us exceedingly in 
our endeavours: So that many were converted in a 
few years, that were before strangers to God. All 
our scholars called him " Father :" And indeed he 
had far more care of them than most of their natural 
parents, and was most tenderly affectionate to them, 
but especially to their souls. 

His course in his family was prayer, and reading 
the scriptures, and singing twice a day, except when 
he catechised, which was constantly once, if not twice 
a week. Of every chapter that was read he ex 
pected an account, and of every sermon, either to 
himself or me. He dealt with them and his ser 
vants frequently, together and apart, about their 
spiritual states; pressing them to all their duties, 
both of first and second- table, and calling them 
strictly to account, Whether they did not omit them. 
He also gave them books suitable to their capacities 
and condition, which they gave a weekly account 
of to him or me; but too often by public work was 
he diverted, as I am apt to think, why knew not so 
well what was to be piefcrred. 

His Lord s-days* w r ork was great, for though he 
preached but once in bis own place, yet he was 


either desired by some of his brethren to supply 
theirs on any exigency, or would go where was no 
minister; and so was forced often to leave his family 
to me, to my great grief and loss. In his repetitions 
in public, as well as catechising, his own family 
came all in their turns, to answer in the congrega* 
tion, both scholars and servants. 

When I have pleaded with him for more of his 
time with myself and family, he would answer me, 
His ministerial work would not permit him to be so 
constant as he would; for if he had ten bodies and 
souls, he could employ them all in and about Taunton. 
And would say, " Ah, my dear! I know thy soul is 
safe; but how many that are perishing have I to look 
after? that I could do more for them! 

He was a holy, heavenly, tenderly-affectionate 
husband, and I know nothing I could complain of, 
but that he was so taken up, that I could have but 
very little converse with him. 

His love was expressed to me, in his great care 
forme, sick and well; in his provision for me; in 
his delight in my company; saying often, He could 
not bear to be from me, but when he was with God, or em* 
ployed for him; and that often it was hard for him to 
deny himself to be so long absent. It was irksome to him 
to make a meal without me, nor would he manage 
any affair almost without conversing with me, con 
cealing nothing from me that was fit for me to know ; 
being far from the temper of those husbands who 
hide all their concerns from their wives, which he 
could ijot eudure to hear o especially in good men. 


He was a faithful reprover of any thing he saw 
amiss in me, which I took as a great evidence of 
his real good-will to my soul; and if in any thing 
he gave me offence, which was but seldom, so far 
would he deny himself, as to acknowledge it, and 
desire me to pass it by, professing to me he could 
never rest till he had done so; and the like I was 
ready to do to him, as there was far more reason;, 
by which course, if any difference did arise, it was 
soon over with us. 

He was a very tender master to his servants, 
every way expressing it to their souls and bodies, 
giving them that encouragement in their places they 
could desire; expecting from his whole family that 
respect and obedience to his commands, which their 
rule required; reproving them that were careless 
and negligent in observing them. 

He was frequent in keeping solemn days of hu 
miliation, especially against a sacrament. 

He was a very strict observer of the sabbath, the 
duties of which he did perform with such joy and 
alacrity of spirit, as was most pleasant to join with 
him, both in public and in the family, when we 
could enjoy him: And this he did much press 
upon Christians, to spend their sabbaths more in 
praises and thanksgivings, as days of holy rejoicing 
in our Redeemer. 

All the time of his health, he did rise constantly at 
or before four of the clock, and on the sabbath sooner, 
if he did wake. He would be much troubled if he 
anv smiths, or shoemakers, or such tradesmen 


at work at their trades, before he was in his duties 
with God; saying to me often, ff O how this noise 
" shames me ! Doth not my master deserve more than 
theirs?" From four till eight he spent in prayer, holy 
contemplation, and singing of psalms, which he much 
delighted in, and did daily practise alone, as well 
as in his family. Having refreshed himself about 
half an hour, he would call to family duties, and 
after that to his studies, till eleven or twelve o clock, 
cutting out his work for every hour in the day. 
Having refreshed himself a while after dinner, he 
used to retire to his study to prayer, and so abroad 
.among the families he was to visit, to whom he al 
ways sent the day before; going out about two 
o clock, and seldom returning till seven in the even 
ing, sometimes later. He would often say, " Give 
" me a Christian that counts his time more precious than 
* f gold." His work in his publick ministry in 
Taunton being to preach but once a sabbath and 
catechise, he devoted himself much to private work, 
and also catechised once a week in public besides, 
and repeated the sermon he preached on the sabbath 
day, on Tuesday in the evening. 

He found much difficulty in going from house to 
house, because it had not been practised a long time 
by any minister in Taunton, nor by any others of his 
brethren; and he being but a young man, to be looked 
upon as singular, was that which called for much 
self-denial, which the Lord enabled him to exercise. 
For after he had preached up in public the ministers 
duty to their people, and theirs to receive them 


when they came to them for their spiritual advan 
tage, he set speedily upon the work. 

In this work, his course was to draw a catalogue 
of the names of the families in each street, and so 
to send a day or two before he intended to visit 
them, that they might not be absent, and that he 
might understand who was willing to receive him. 
Those that sent slight excuses, or did obstinately 
refuse his message, he would notwithstanding go to 
them, and if (as some would) they did shut then* 
doors against him, he would speak some few affec 
tionate words to them; or if he saw cause, denounce 
the threatenings of God against them that despise 
his ministers, and so departed; and after would send 
affectionate letters to them, so full of love and ex 
pressions of his great desires to do their souls good, 
as did overcome their hearts; and they did many of 
them afterwards readily receive him into their 
houses. Herein was his compassion shewed to all 
sorts, both poor and rich, not disdaining to go into 
such houses amongst the poor as were often very 
offensive to him to sit in, he being of an exact and 
curious temper: Yet would he, with joy and free 
dom, deny himself for the good of their souls, and 
that he might fulfil his ministry among those the 
Lord had given him the oversight of. 

I perceiving this work, with what he did other 
wise, to be too hard for him, fearing often he would 
bring himself to distempers and diseases, as he did 
soon after, besought him not to go so frequently : 
His answer would be, " What have I strength for, 


"but to spend for God? What is a candle for, but to be 
" burnt?" And he would say, " / was like Peter, still 
" crying, spare thyself! But I must not hearken to 
" thee, no more than my Master did to him:" Though 
his labours were so abundant, I never knew him, 
for nine years together, under the least distemper 
one quarter of an hour. 

He was exceeding temperate in his diet, though 
he had a very sharp appetite; yet he did at every 
meal deny himself, being persuaded that it did much 
conduce to his health. His converse at his table was 
very profitable, and yet pleasant, never rising, either 
at home or abroad, without dropping something of 
God, according to the rule he laid down to others. 
He was very much in commending and admiring the 
mercies of God in every meal, and still so pleased 
with his provision for him, that he would often say, 
He fared deliriously every day, and lived far better than, 
the great ones of the world, who had their tables far 
better furnished. For he enjoyed God in all, and saw 
his love and bounty in what he received at every 
meal: So that he would say, " O wife! I live a vo- 
" luptuous life; but, blessed be God, it is upon spi 
* ritual dainties, such as the world know not, and 
" taste not of." 

He was much in minding the poor, that were in 
Want of all things, often wondering that God should 
make such a difference between him and them, both 
for this world and that to come; and his charity was 
ever beyond his estate, as myself and many other 
friends did conceive, but he would not be dissuaded, 



- always saying, If he were prodigal, it was for God, 
and not for himself, nor sin. 

There were but few, if any, poor families, especi 
ally of the godly in Taunton, but he knew their ne 
cessities, and did by himself or friends relieve them: 
So that our homes were seldom free of such as came 
to make complaints to him. After the times grew 
dead for trade, many of our godly men decaying, he 
would give much beyond his ability to recover them: 
He would buy pease and flitches of bacon, and dis 
tribute twice a year, in the cold arid hard seasons. 
He kept several children at school at his own cost ; 
bought many books and catechisms; and had many 
thousands of prayers printed, and distributed among 
them ! And after his brethren were turned out, he 
gave four pounds a year himself to a public stock 
for them, by which he excited many others to dp the 
same and much more, which else would never have 
done it: And on any other occasions as did frequent 
ly fall in, he would give even to the offence of his 
friends: So that many would grudge in the town to 
give him what they had agreed for; because he 
would give so much. Besides all this, the necessi 
ties of his own father, and many other relations, were 
still calling upon him, and he was open-handed to 
them all: So that it hath been sometimes even in 
credible to ourselves to consider how much he did, 
out of a little estate, and therefore may seem strange 
to others. Moreover, when he had received any 
more than ordinary mercy at the hand of God, his 
manner was to set apart some considerable portion out 


of his estate, and dedicate it to the Lord, as a thank* 
offering, to be laid out for his glory in pious and 
charitable uses. 

When I have begged him to consider himself and 
me, he would answer me, He was laying up, and God 
would repay him; that bij liberal things he should stand, 
when others might fall that censured him; that if he 
sowed sparingly, he should reap so; if bountifully, he 
should reap bountifully, 

And I must confess I did often see so much of 
God ;n his dealings with us, according to his pro 
mises, that I have been convinced and silenced; 
God having often so strangely and unexpectedly 
provided for us: And notwithstanding all he had 
done, he had at last somewhat to dispose of to his 
relations and to his brethren, besides comfortable 
provision for me. 

Thus his whole life was a continual sermon, hold 
ing forth evidently the doctrines he preached; hu 
mility, self-denial, patience, meekness, contentation, 
faith, and holy confidence shining in him, with most 
de^ar lov^e to God, and his church, and people; and 
where he longed and panted to be he is now shining, 
in heaven, singing praises to God, and to the Lamb; 
which work he much delighted in, whilst here on 




Whose House he lodged in. (Mr. F.) 

The Narratii e of his most constant, tender, compassionate dealing 
with ignorant and bad people, in the places where he came, 
(frequently giving them money, with his exhortations} is 
mentioned before. 

AS for such as feared God already, he was still 
seeking their edification, and stirring them up to a 
holy life; very much pressing them, to intend God 
as their end, and to do whatever they did for God. 
When the week began, he would say, <c Another 
" week is now before us, let us spend this week for 
< God." And in the morning he would say, " Come 
te now, let this day be spent for God. Now let us 
" live this one day well: Could we resolve to be 
* e more than ordinary circumspect but for one day 
<( at a time, and so on, we might live at extraordi- 
" nary rate." In the day time, he would (season 
ably) ask people, " How did you set out to-day? 
" Did you set out for God to-day? What were your 
" morning thoughts?" 

In the week time, he would often ask the servants 
for the heads of the sermon, which they had heard 
on the Lord s-day before. As he walked about the 
house, he would make some spiritual use of whatever 
did occur; and still his lips. did drop like the honey 
comb to all that were about him, to do any offices 
for him in his weakness; they were all well requited, 
To give a few instances of his savoury words: 


To one that had done well, "There are two things," 
said he, " that we must specially look to after well- 
" doing, and the special taste of the love of God. 
" (1.) That we grow not proud of it, and so lose all. 
" (2.) That we grow not secure, and so give the 
" tempter new advantages." 

Speaking of the vanity of the world, he said, It 
" is as good to be without the world, and to bear that 
" state as beseemeth a Christian, as to enjoy the world, 
" though it were never so well employed. If a man 
" hath riches, and layeth them out for God and for 
<c his servants, yet is it as happy a state to receive 
" alms of another, so we bear our poverty aright, 
" and are cheerful and thankful in our low estate. 
" Though yet it is true, that riches may be used to 
" the good of others ; and it is more honourable to 
" give than to receive." 

Another time he was saying, " How necessary a 
ie duty it is for a child of God placidly to suit with 
" all God s dispensations ! And that a Christian must 
" not only quietly submit to God in all his dealings, 
" but ever to be best pleased with what God doth, 
tc as knowing that he is infinitely Wise and good. 
" And, O ! how unbecoming a Christian is it to do 
" otherwise !" To which one answering, How short 
we ordinarily fall as to that temper! He replied, 
"\Ve have much ground to go yet, but so it must 
" be; but we shall never be well indeed till we come 
(C to heaven." 

Another time said he, " O what an alteration will 
* be shortly made upon us! Now we are the sons 
2 N 


sc of God, but yet it doth not appear (to sight) what 
" we shall be. Did we imagine only that we shall 
" shine as the sun in the firmament, it were too low 
" a conception of our blessedness hereafter." 

Another morning as he was dressing, he said, " O 
" what a shout will there be, when Christ shall come 
" in his glory ! I hope all here present shall contri* 
" bute to that shout." 

Another time, " I bless the Lord, I delight in no- 
* thing in this world, further than I see God in it." 

Another time (in his weakness) saith he, " There 
" are three things which must be unlearned, as be- 
" ing mistakes among men. (1.) Men think that 
" their happiness lieth in having the world, when 
" it is much more in contemning the world. (2.) 
" Men think that the greatest contentment lieth in 
" having their wills, when indeed it lieth in crossing, 
" mortifying, and subduing their wills to the will of 
God. (3.) Men think it their business and benefit 
" to seek themselves, when indeed it is the denying 
* ( of themselves." 

Another time this was his advice, " (1.) Value 
" precious time, while time doth last ; and not when 
A it is irrevocably lost. (2.; Know the worth of 
things to come, before they come, (or are present,) 
" and the worth of things present, before they are 
" past. (3.) Value no mercy as it serveth to con- 
" tent the flesh, but as it is serviceable for God, and 
" to things eternal." 

Such was his talk at the table, where he would 
be still raised in gratitude for God s bounty, and 


used to eat his meat with much cheerfulness and 
comfort, as savouring of a sweeter good. 

He took one that was watching with him by the 
hand, and said: " I hope to pass an eternity with 
<e thee, in the praises of our God: In the mean time, 
" let us live a life of praise while we are here, for it 
" it sweet to us, and delightful to God : It is har- 
tc mony in his ears, our failings being pardoned, and 
" we and our praise accepted through Christ." Such 
discourse is, I hope, no great rarity with good men, 
in the cheerfulness of prosperity in health ; but for 
a man on the bed of tedious languishing it is more 

The night before he went to Bath, where he died,, 
he said to the same person: " O how much more hath 
" God done for you, than for all the world of uncon- 
" verted persons, in that he hath wrought his image 
" on your heart, and will bring you at last to his celes- 
" tial glory. See now that you acknowledge the 
(t Grace of God, and give him the praise of it. For 
" my part, I bless the Lord, I am full of his mercy ; 
" goodness and mercy have followed me all my 
" days; I am full and running over: And now I 
(C charge you to walk cheerfully, and to follow me 
" with your praises whilst I am alive." 

And for such in the family as lay under doubts 
of their condition, he took great care of them, en 
deavouring daily to satisfy their doubts and answer 
their scruples; and still would be enquiring, whether 
they had yet any more settlement: And if they 
said, They knew not how to try themselves; jtie would 


say, Come, let me help you; and so would take them 
aside, and propound some three or four sound- n 
by way of question, and would ask them Whether it 
were so^ with them or not. And if any doubt ap 
peared to remain about it, he would not easily leave 
them, till they were somewhat satisfied at that time, 
and would bring all down to the meanest capacity, 
by putting his questions several ways. And if yet 
doubts remained, he would use all the compassion 
and pitifulness that might be, and open to them the 
goodness of God s nature., the sufficiency of Christ, 
and his readiness to accept returning sinners; and 
after long trial by fairer means, would plainly la 
bour to convince them of the sin of unbelief, &c. 
And for any in the family that seemed tp stick un 
der bare convictions, he much urged them to go 
on, and make a thorough, and sound, and sure work 
of it. 

In family duties, he seemed more excellent than 
at other times. 

He was a man of singular patience in affliction. 
Though he lay under such weakness for certain 
years, as rendered him almost wholly unable for his 
public work, and many times not able to move a 
hand or finger,, or hardly any other part; yet some 
that have been much with him, never heard him 
once complain, of one pain or other, unless any 
asked him, and then would always make the least of 
it. And when he lay many nights and never took the 
least rest by sleep, he would never shew the least im- 
Datiency, nor so much as say, Pie had not slept, unless 


it were asked him: And still would justify and 
glorify God, and say, Shall I receive good at God s 
hand } and no evil ? 


Speaking of exhortations and reproof, he said, " Tis 
f< the safest course (where it may be done) to take 
" the opportunity, and not to suffer our backward 
" hearts to cheat us of the present, on pretence of 
" staying for a fitter time." 

As advice for profitable discourse, he said, " It is 
" good for such Christians as need it, to study before- 
" hand what to speak, that they may always have 
" something in readiness to bring forth for the be- 
" nefit of others, which will prevent impertinen- 
" cies." 

Of prayer with others he would say, <c We have 
" need to watch against confining our thoughts and 
" desires to the cases of our own souls, with the neg- 
<c lect of those that join with us; but above all, with the 
" neglect of the miserable world, and of the church 
" of Christ." For though indeed hypocrites use to 
indite almost all their public prayers from the sup 
posed case of those that are present, and meddle but 
little with their own sins and wants, unless in for 
mality; yet sincere Christians are at first too apt to 
dwell upon their own cases almost alone, insomuch 
that they have need to be called outward; and as 
they grow in love, they will grow enlarged in the case 
of their brethren, but especially of public and uni 
versal consequence. 



An intire and exact delineation of this holy person, written by 
one of his familial acquaintance ; presented in the last place, 
as the portraiture of a complete gospel-minister. 

Fiist, His personal character } his stature ) and complexion. 

AS to his personal bodily character, he was of 
stature tall and erect; of complexion clear and love 
ly, his countenance being the seat of cheerfulness, 
gravity, and love. It contradicted that usual say 
ing, viz. Fronti nulla /ides;* for his sprightly and 
serene countenance was the index of an active and 
harmonious soul. Anger, as it seldom beclouded, so 
it became not that face most uncapable of sour im 
pressions. It was forced, and so not of long conti 
nuance, for it never appeared but upon summons, 
when commanded to interpose itself; the glory of 
God and honour of Religion, being concerned. 
Neither did his reason and virtue sooner raise than 
lay it when the cause was ceased. He was angry, 
and sinned not, by being angry chiefly or only for 

~His Constitution. 

He had not a more hale complexion than healthful 
constitution, hugely fitted for the employment in 
which he was so successful, viz, his ministerial la 
bours and studies. Insomuch that he hath often been 
heard to confess, that he knew not what an hour s 

* The forehead (or countenance) is not to be trusted. 


sickness or indisposition was for thirty years and up 
ward, even until after his first imprisonment, to 
which (as it is else-where intimated) it may well be 
thought that he owed the first and fatal impairs of 
his healthful vigour. Since which first decay, it may 
be affirmed that contrariwise for some years together, 
till the period of his life, he scarce knew what was 
an hour s health. Most deplorable it is, that his great 
and even excessive labours, and hard durance, should 
have been prodigal of that strength which might 
perchance have been hitherto employed to the most 
noble purposes. But, alas, the innocent flames of 
divine love to God, and zeal for his glory, and the 
good of souls, made all his strength a whole burnt 
sacrifice, and as well devoted, as if sacrificed to the 
flames of martyrdom! 

His judgment. 

And here some injury would be done to his worthy 
name, should his internal excellences, which are of 
all the greatest, be wholly foi gotten. His judgment 
was as the pot of Manna, wherein were found and 
conserved all wholesome soul-feeding doctrines; most 
solid and acute it was. For though with tbe eye 
of his body he could not see far off, yet with the 
eye of his mind or understanding, he penetrated far 
into the recesses of difficult truths, and out of mental 
perplexities he was wont happily to extricate him 
self and others, the toil of his intellect herein being 
not so pleasant as successful. He was all judgment 
in his enquiries after truth, and all affection in pur 
suing and promoting that which is good, 


His Memory. 

His memory was as the tables of the covenant, 
God s law being his meditation day and night, and 
as the sacred records there kept. It was a most 
faithful and refined treasury, out of which he conti 
nually brought things new and old for the instruc 
tion and consolation of his hearers. So tenacious it 
was that it needed not, and wholly refused, those 
helps by which it is usually fortified, and its defects 
supplied. It knew not the slavery of an imposed 
task; for what had once engaged his love, was with 
out delay or difficulty possessed of his mind or me 

His Fancy. 

Mis fancy was as Aaron s rod budding, ever pro 
ducing fresh blossoms of refined divine wit and in 
vention. It was quick and happy, a fruitful store 
house of hallowed and sublime notions. Ever preg 
nant, yet never bringing forth any other than the 
offsprings of judgment and discretion. Though it 
soared high, yet like a bird in a string, when it had 
gone to its utmost length, it was checked by his 
judgment and humility, lest it should ascend above 
its height. 

His Will and Affections. 

His will he had so long lost in the Divine Will, 
as not to find it, or to be troubled with its reluctan- 
cies under so long and sad a series of trials and af 
flictions, as those which attended him constantly to 
his grave. His affections were strong and fervent, 
and, to use his words, They kept to their right objects 


find their due bounds, never enkindled but with a coal 
from the altar, and then they soared to marvellous 
heights. He was indeed, as it were, all affection in 
pursuing and promoting the grand interests of reli 
gion. The zeal of God s house had consumed him, 
and that not blind nor wild, but well attempered 
with light and heats. In sum, what holy Mr. Her 
bert said of himself, that may be said of him, that 
his active soul was as a keen knife in a thin sheath, 
ever about to cut through, and take its flight into the 
region of souls. 

His great Gravity. 

But to proceed to some of his excellent properties. 
His gravity appeared to be true and genuine, (as not 
affected or morose, not through any inability, but un 
willingness, to press his wit to the service of vanity,) 
resulting from a mind ever in the awe of God; be 
cause his presence and deportment struck such an 
awe even on all with whom he conversed, and com 
posed them to a true decorum. So that as Rev. Mr. 
Bolten, when walking in the streets, was so much 
cloathed with majesty, as by the notice of his coming 
in these words, Here comes Mr. Bolton, as it were to 
charm them into order, when vain or doing amiss; 
so this most grave divine, wheresoever he came, was 
as a walking ghost by his presence, conjuring them 
into a grave deportment, his countenance ever point 
ing at his awful soul. What the image or statue of 
Sennacherib did speak, that much more did this 
lively image of the most high God speak, viz. He wh* 
looketh to me, let him be religious, 


This his great gravity was not universally discern 
ed by all, but also more particularly and especially 
acknowledged and loved by his brethren in the minis 
try; for there being some matter of moment depend 
ing among them,, the care of which was to be de 
volved on some one man, a worthy divine, far 
exceeding him in years, solicited him to take it on 
him, who modestly waved it, wondering that they 
should pitch on one so young and unexperienced as 
himself for so solemn an undertaking. To whom the 
forenamed divine replied, that of all the ministers, 
his brethren, whereof many for age were his fathers, 
he knew none of greater gravity, industry, and fitness 
for the management of that aifair than himself. 
His Affability. 

Neither was he so immured in his study, as to be 
a stranger to, or averse from, that generous and in 
nocent freedom and obligingness of converse; for 
love and affability were accurately attempered with 
his great gravity. He became all things to all 
men, that he might gain the more; and so commu 
nicative, innocent, and obliging were all his con 
verses, that he commanded the imitation and admi 
ration of his friends, and forced this acknowledgment 
from his adversaries, both profane, atheistical, and 
sectarian, viz. that if there were ever a good man 
among them, (meaning the Nonconformists,) Mr. 
Alleine was he. 

His Charity. 

Communicative I say he was, both of spiritual and 
also temporal good things together, according to, 


and even beyond his power, (as it is else- where abun 
dantly ascertained,) both when he heard the loud 
complaints of some, and when he listened to the 
silent suits of others, viz. some modest and indigent 
housekeepers, who only spake by their real needs, 
and entered their suits at the eyes of an inquisitive 
almoner, more than at his ears. Of the good things 
pertaining to this life, he was often liberal beyond 
his measure; and of those pertaining to another life, 
often beyond his strength; and by this constellation 
of his charity and alms-deeds, he made the one more 
profitable, and the other more acceptable; the one 
the greater, and the other the happier and more 
successful; and by this conjunction also, he approved 
himself more perfect before God, the more thorough 
ly furnished to every good word and work. 

His utterance. 

His prolation or manner of speech was free, elo 
quent, sublime, and weighty. Of him it may be 
well said, as of our Blessed Saviour, That all bare 
him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which 
proceeded out of his mouth. It will be hard to tell what 
man ever spake with more holy eloquence, gravi 
ty, authority, meekness, compassion and efficacy to 
souls, than he did to those to whom in instruc 
tion, exhortation, "consolation, reprehension, he most 
wisely, frequently, and successfully applied himself. 
Few could resist, or stand before the powerful 
charms and united force of his love and authority, 
being equally attracted by the one and awed by the 
other. In him, if in any, that common observation 
did evidently fall, viz. 


Non bene conveniunt, nee in und sede locantur, 

Majestas et Amor.* 

True it is, that this young Timothy, with whom 
few were like minded in caring naturally for the state 
of his flock, was, at his first entrance on his ministry, 
despised for his youth, by those who after with shame 
confessed their error, and deplored their rashness, 
resolving after for his sake no more to judge accord 
ing to appearance, but to honour, for their work and 
intrinsic worth, those whom age hath not made ve* 

Secondly, His Studies and Learning. 

As respects his studies, he had a strong inclina* 
tion to, and delight in, the study of the natural and 
Ethnick Theology ; in which he proceeded to a great 
acquaintance with the chief sects of the philosophers, 
especially the Academics and Stoics, of his insight 
into whom he made singular use, by gathering their 
choicest flowers to adorn Christianity withal. And, 
indeed, scarce did he preach a sermon, wherein he 
did not select some excellent passage or other out of 
these, whereby to illustrate and fortify his discourse. 
And how well becoming a divine, and most laudable 
this his inclination and choice was, is most manifest 
to considering men; for hereby he more confirmed 
himself in the Christian religion, (which he had 
espoused with so much judgment and zeal,) by a 
distinct and certain knowledge of the highest prin- 

* Majesty and love agree not well together, and are neve? 
placed in one seat 


ciples and hopes of the Ethnick religions, and by a 
sober comparing of that with these. He also much 
delighted in Anatomy, in which he acquired a con 
siderable skill, which also he not a little improved 
by frequent dissections. And in his public minis 
try, he often made use of this his insight, by com 
posing, with Galen, ^hymns to the Creator, whose 
infinite wisdom he was often heard to admire, in the ! 
contrivance of man s outward frame, and in the rare 
contexture, dependance, and use of all, even the 
the minutest parts, in the excellent fabric of man s 
body. As to his skill in the languages, it was not 
contemptible, especially in those three* which (as 
Ludovicus Vives saith) Christ sanctified upon the 

Thirdly, His Moderation and Humility. 
He managed his dissents in judgment from others 
with greftt charity, humility, and moderation, most 
strictly observing what he still exhorted his flock 
unto, viz. To speak evil of no matt, much less of 
dignities. Insomuch that when his judgment was 
at any time desired concerning any sermon which 
he had heard, and any minister, conformist or non 
conformist, though weak and mean, he would yet 
ever find matter of commendation, none of dispraise, 
judging the minister and his discourse, at least, to 
be honest and of good intent. He abhorred to in 
trench on the] Divine Prerogative, in judging of 
men s states before the time; and in condemning 

* Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. 
2 o 


men s actions at all adventures, without considering 
their lessening or altering circumstances. And as 
he liked to judge no man beyond his sphere, and 
speak evil*pf no man; so in his life did he reap as 
great and visible reward as any for this most Christian 
practice; for the tongues even of all did pay tribute 
to his good name; which was a thing so entire and 
sacred, that scarce a Rabsheka or Shimei could find 
a passage by which to invade it. His good name 
was as a precious box of ointment, by his death espe 
cially broken and poured forth, the delicious scent 
whereof all those hearts with great delight retain, 
which, like Lydia s, were opened to his heavenly 
doctrine; and not only so, but they will perpetuate 
it, whilst they have children s children by whom to 
eternize his memory. 
Fourthly, His practice as to church-communion. His 

judgment as to obedience to authority. 
As respects his practice and moderate opinion in 
point of church-communion, and his judgment in 
point of obedience to the supreme power, together 
with his great regard to, and earnest insisting on, 
second- table duties, much may be said to his worthy 
praise. He as frequently attended on the public 
worship as his opportunities and strength permitted, 
and often declared his very good liking of some 
sermons, which he heard from the present incum 
bent. He did not account that none could worship 
God aright, unless in all instances and smaller ch> 
cumstances of worship they wholly accorded with 
his apprehensions; but with the divine Apostle he 


had learnt to say, Notwithstanding every way, whether 
in pretence or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein 
do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. He knew of how 
great moment it was that the public worship of God 
should be maintained, and that its assemblies should 
not be relinquished, though some of its administra 
tions did not clearly approve themselves unto him; 
because upon the account of some imperfections and 
pollutions in them, supposed or real, to withdraw 
communion is evidently to suppose ourselves joined 
before our time to the heavenly assembly; or to have 
found such a one here on earth, exempt from all 
mixtures and imperfections of worshippers and wor 
ship. He abandoned not all forms, but their formal 
use; neither those in particular, publicly established, 
(through a fond prejudice or partiality, as may be af 
firmed of too many,) but hath been heard much to 
commend that form of thanksgiving, both excellent 
and ancient viz. the Te Deum, and particularly that 
sentence in it, The noble army of martyrs praise thee; 
which he was wont to mention with a certain exal 
tation. So moderate and calm he was in his judg 
ment, that when the two new forms in the liturgy, 
viz. on the horrid decollation of King Charles the First, 
and on the return of King Charles the Second, were 
first printed, he was so far from nauseating them, 
because forms, or because bearing the stamp of au 
thority, that he had ever resolved to read them, 
(though then only as I remember, recommended,) 
had not some occurrences, which I need not 
prevailed with him at present to forbear, 


His Loyally. 

It appeared that he had a due sense of the grand 
importance of the obedience of subjects to the su 
preme magistrate, by some excellent sermons which 
he preached on that of the apostle, Horn. xiii. ver. 1 . 
a little before his election; where and when his judg 
ment was so strict, as unjustly to offend some, whose 
weakness and ignorance, by reason of a long pro 
scription of the regal power, had made over- scrupu 
lous or erroneous. His loyalty also to his prince he 
discovered in observing the injunction of the wise 
man, viz. Not to curse the king, no not in his bed 
chamber 3 or retiring-rooms: For he hath often been 
seen with indignation to turn from, and hush into 
silence, all reports or surmises, true or false, which 
directly or indirectly, did tend to detract from, and 
defame dignities; accounting them no cause of with 
drawing or lessening our just honour and obedience; 
but rather of giving ourselves the more to prayer 
and humiliation. 

Fifthly, His respect to Second-Table Duties. 

He was not only a man aspiring to the heights, but 
also respecting the due breadth and extent of reli 
gion, being well-advised how much the vitals and 
honour of religion in the world are conserved by, 
and concerned in, a conscionable discharge of second- 
table duties. That he had a deep sense of the great 
advantage or disadvantage accruing to religion, by 
the strict or remiss performance of the duties of the 
second-table, and particularly those of the fifth com 
mandment, all bear him witness in, that he upon 


several texts for a long time together, most faithful 
ly instructed his people in relative duties, (than 
which, none indeed are more momentous and less 
observed,) and most sharply reproved the guilty 
for their failures therein; on all which relations, their 
duties, and defects, he particularly and with much 
zeal insisted. Witness also his great grief and in 
dignations, which he frequently conceived, and with 
great vehemency expressed in lamenting over, and 
reproving some professors of religion, for their 
wretched neglect and breach of some second-table 
precepts; the scandal and dishonour of which to re 
ligion, and the religious, how he resented none 
but God and his own soul did throughly know. 
He vehemently detested that impious and hellish 
design of putting asunder (in this matter) what God 
hath joined together, viz. those commands inspecting 
God and our neighbour; both which he hath equally 
appointed to us, as rules of direction and judgment. 
He was neither Legalist nor Solifidian; neither Ritu 
alist nor Enthusiast, not so much above in the mount 
with God as not also to come down to his neighbour, 
whom he did accost, as Moses, with both tables in 
his hand, on which his life and doctrine did con 
stantly and excellently comment. 

Sixthly, His Labours in the Ministry. 
As respects his great industry and happy labours 
in the ministry, together with his great prudence and 
compassion in applying himself to the souls of his 
flock, according to their most pressing needs; none 
who knew the former, but must also confess and 
admire the latter. 


1. His Prudence in them. 

His prudence then in apportioning, as well as de 
signing, the most suitable and seasonable instructions 
to his people, was most apparent, in that he was 
still, after he had finished a foregoing text or dis 
course, even at a loss, as he hath often expressed 
himself to some of his friends, what subject most 
advantageous and seasonable to his auditory he 
should next insist on; so far he was from aiming or 
shooting at rovers, in his divine instructions and ex 
hortations. And so loath he was to labour in vain, 
and to pass from one discourse to another, as one 
unconcerned whether he had sown any good seeds 
or not on the hearts of his hearers; that in the close 
of his applicatory part on any text, (which some 
times he handled for a considerable while,) he ever 
expressed his great unwillingness to leave that sub 
ject, till he could have some assurance that he had 
not fought in that spiritual warfare against sin, as 
one who beateth the air; when alsojie expressed his 
great fear, least he should, after all his most impor 
tunate warnings, leave them as he found them. 
And here with how much holy- taking Rhetoric, did 
he frequently expostulate the case with impenitent 
sinners, in words too many to mention, and yet too 
weighty to be forgotten; vehemently urging them to 
come to some good resolve before he and they parted, 
and to make their choice either of life or death. 
2, His compassion" on souls. 

His compassion also towards all committed to his 
charge was most manifest, especially towards the 


ignorant, those that were out of the way, and those 
that did move heavily on in the way. 
(1.) On the ignorant, in instructing and catechising 


To the ignorant. And here, knowing that without 
knowledge the heart is not, and cannot be, good; and 
considering also how too successfully the evil one, 
by sowing evil seeds betimes in the hearts of youth, 
doth ever after forestal and defeat the most laborious 
endeavours for their recovery and salvation: Thus 
knowing and considering, he was in nothing more 
industrious, and in nothing more happy and suc 
cessful in exerting his industry, than in an early 
sowing those blessed seeds of divine knowledge in 
the hearts of all the youth that he could reach in 
person or otherwise; by which they were exceeding 
ly formed to receive all good impressions. During 
the time of his public ministry on every Lord s- 
day in the afternoon he constantly catechised, before 
a great congregation, the youth of each sex by turns, 
amongst whom were several both young men and 
women, sometimes five or six of the chief scholars 
of the free-school, sometimes five or six of the ap 
prentices of the town, some of whom, though 
of man s estate, accounted it not a disgrace to 
learn (according to the guise of this mad world,) 
but to be ignorant. Sometimes, of the other sex, 
five or six young gentlewomen, who were under his 
wife s tuition, (and so his domestic over-sight,) kept 
their turns, of whom she had not a few, and those 
the daughters of gentlemen of good rank far and 


near, whose laudable emulation, and love to their 
father, (as they styled him,) and to the work, was the 
cause why they were not so over-bashful as to decline 
so advantageous a course; by which, together with 
domestic instructions and example, even all received 
a tincture of piety and religion, and many a thorough 
impression: Besides these, several virgins also, and 
among these the daughters of some of the chief ma 
gistrates in the town did keep their turns. In this 
his course he drew out, on the short answers in the 
Assembly s Catechism, an excellent discourse on all 
the points of the Christian Theology, which he hand 
led successfully, reducing his discourse to several 
heads, which he also proved by pertinent places of 
scripture; which done, he gave both the heads and 
proofs written at length, on a week day, to those 
whom he designed to catechize on the ensuing Lord s- 
day, which, besides the short answers in the Cate 
chism, and the annexed proofs they committed to 
memory, and rendered on the afternoon of the day 
aforesaid. Throughout all which course he approved 
himself to be a most substantial divine. 

Neither did his catechistical labours rest here, 
but also on Thursdays in the afternoon (as I re 
member) he catechised in the church, street by 
street, whole families, excepting the married or more 
aged, in order: Which exercise (I suppose) he de 
signed as preparatory to his Lord s day s work. 
Besides this, on Saturdays in the morning, he cate 
chised the free-school of that place, instructing them 
in the points of Christian doctrine, and excellently 


explaining the answers in the Assembly s catechism, 
discovering a mine of knowledge in them, and in 
himself. How excellent was his design, and great 
his labour, besides all this, in going from house to 
house, and instructing both old and young, is else* 
where abundantly declared. Neither was this his 
labour in vain, but became evn as successful as la 
borious; for there are few but have gratefully ac 
knowledged that by this means they were either led 
into the knowledge, or induced to the belief, choice, 
and practice of that which was and is of sovereign 
advantage to this day. And how happy and likely 
a course he took herein to advance religion in the 
nation, on the hearts and lives of men; and how far 
less successful and probable all other means are, aim 
ing at this end, without this initial work, it is left 
to all pious and considering men to judge. 

(2.) On those that err, ly reproving and reducing 

He had not only compassion over the ignorant, 
but also over those who were out of the way. Wit 
ness his faithful and effectual discharge of that great 
duty of giving seasonable reproofs, of which his great 
faithfulness there is abundant mention elsewhere. 
And by so much the more did his excellent dis 
charge hereof speak forth his high praise, by how 
much the more difficult he ever apprehended it aright 
to apply it. He had been heard often to say, that 
it was far more difficult to him to give, than to take a 
reproof, considering how great wisdom, courage, 


passion, self-denial, fyc. is required in order to its right 
discharge. And though he was so rarely passive, 
and often active in this work,, yet the frequency of 
his giving a reproof, never made it so easy as to be 
less difficult than to receive it. But ever this work 
was to him, not only an act of the greatest self-de 
nial, but also the result of a strong conflict within, 
betwixt his indignation at the sin and compassion 
on the sinner. And yet the consideration of the 
difficulty was not to him an argument to forbear, 
but rather a stronger motive to undertake it; who 
ever delighted to converse in, and conquer the diffi 
culties of Christianity, both in doing and suffering. 
Small difficulties here were not his match ; and there 
were no noble atchievements in religion to which he 
attained not, or vigorously aspired. 

His truly Heroic Spirit. 

As it is said of Themistocles, that famous Athe 
nian captain, that the acts ofMiltiades broke his sleep; 
so as truly may it be said of this blessed saint, that 
the acts and monuments of the famous worthies, men 
tioned in the Hebrews, and of those of the same achiev- 
ments with them in all ages of the world, even broke 
his sleep, by impregnating his soul with high designs 
of aspiring after their perfections. Oft therefore 
he hath been heard to excite Christians so long to 
move in the sphere of difficulties, till the sweet se 
verities of Christianity (as he often called them) 
were subdued, and even made familiar; encouraging 
them with this consideration, that then they would 
highly approve their divine love and sincerity, and con" 


ceive a pleasure in those difficult acts, which would 
equal, yea, exceed the pleasure of their natural actions. 

(3) On the doubting, by resolving and releasing them. 

Neither had he only compassion on those that were 
out of the way, but also on those who moved heavily 
on in the way. How often hath he raised and recti 
fied desponding Christians, those who are too prone 
to account doubting, which is their sin, to be their 
duty and virtue! At once he hath often unloosened 
them from the straitness of their needless fears and 
disquiets, and undeceived them by discovering the 
latent unbelief that did lie lurking in such despond- 
ings, assuring them in these words, that under a sly 
pretence of humility, they did call in question God s 

Seventhly, His singular Piety. 

As respects his singular piety, all who knew him 
can say much, and yet all but little, considering how 
much more hath escaped the most tenacious memo 
ry, observant eye, and attentive ear. Yet he must 
be wretchedly inobservant, who, amidst so many 
and great instances of it, can make no reflections. 

How much he conceived it as his own and others 
greatest interest, ornament, and felicity herein to 
excel, will be manifest fey his exhortation, which 
he gave to a young scholar ready to depart to the 
university, in words to this purpose: / know, saith he, 
that you will labour to excel in learning, but be sure to 
excel as in that, so also and especially in holiness, which 
will render you one of the most useful and amiable crca- 


lures in the world. Learning will render you, perchance, 
acceptable to men ; but piety both to God and men. By 
that you will shine only on earth to the clods thereof,, 
and perhaps in some obscure corner of it; but this is 
an orient pearl, which will shine in you on earth and 
in heaven, both to God, angels } and men. How much 
he dwelt on this exhortation, and these apprehensi 
ons, will be evident by a pious letter which he sent 
to the person forenamed, some years after, v . ein 
his words are these: " O study God, and study 
<{ yourself closely, and pursue holiness more than 
(( learning, though both these together make a happy 
f< constellation, andar^ like Castor and Pollux, which, 
" when they appear together, do ever presage good 
" to the mariners." And that it might appear that 
he did not only commend holiness in the general, 
but also in the particular and chief instances of a 
holy life, he excellently proceeds in the same letter^ 
saying, " I much commend unto you those four 
" beautifying lessons, so shortly comprehended in 
< < this distich, 

" Spernere mundum, spernere nuttum, spernere sese, 
" Spernere se sperni, quatuor ista beant.*" 

His contempt of the world. 

Happy is the man that can but learn this! When once 
a man is arrived hereto, he is above the world s reach, 
and hath attained to the true heroic mind, so as that 

* These four things render a man happy, to despise the 
world, to despise no one, to despise one s self, and to heed 
Uttle about one s being despised. 


no external commotions will be able to disturb his tran- 
quility; neither mil the comforts or crosses here below 
make any great accession to, or diminution from, the 
serenity of his spirit. And indeed, nothing was more 
conspicuous in this blessed saint, than that generous 
contempt of the world, that true loftiness, and yet 
profound humility of spirit (of which the lessons 
aforementioned are but as so many instances) which 
he recommended unto others. He w r as much a stran 
ger on the earth, like the kingly prophet; not be- 
cause with old Barzillai he could not, but would not, 
taste or comply with its pleasures and delights; but 
he was chiefly induced by a forced exilement from 
his desired and delectable habitation, to think on 
his state of banishment from his heavenly country 
whilst here militant upon earth, and to solace his 
thoughts under so great a greivance, by such divine 
considerations as those which he mentions in the 
following words of his forenamed letter: It was, 
saith he, the divine argument that Epictetus used for 
comfort in banishment, " Fbique habenda sunt colloquia 
cum Deo"* I met lately with a passage out of one of the 
Fathers, which I engraved upon my heart: Cui Patria 
solum placet, nimis dilicatus est; cui omriis terra 
patria, is fortis est; cui omnis terra exilium, is sanc- 

* Converse with God may be maintained every where. 

He is too delicate who is delighted with his own coun 
try only : He is a courageous man whose own country is 
the world : But he to whom the whole world is a place of 
banishment, is a saint. 

P 2 


tus est. That s worthy of a saint indeed to account him 
self always in the state of banishment t whilst in the state 
of mortality } like the worthies that sojourned even in the 
land of promise, as in a strange country. Such a so* 
Journer I wish both my self and you ; and may the move- 
ableness of our present state jix our desires upon that 
kingdom which shall never be shaken! So far he. 

His universal and uniform Obedience. 
But to proceed; he declared that his piety was 
.genuine and excellent by its universal regard and 
extent, as to all God s commands, so to all man s 
converses and employments; witness his earnest and 
frequent exhortations, whereby he did daily call 
upon his people to a constant uniform care over 
their hearts and ways. Nothing did he more pas 
sionately dehort them from, than from that undoing 
fraud unto their souls, viz. confining their religion 
to their closets, upon the supposalthat in so doing they 
had there put in sufficient security for their after 
conversation, and had bid fair for the divine favour, 
as if religion had taught men only to kneel, and not 
how to work; and walk, as if it were solitary or de 
formed, loving only to move in the private path, and 
narrow circle of our morning or evening devotions, 
and so ever before and after to appear least in sight; 
or as if it were a fury, and so to be limited, and not to 
be entrusted with the universal conduct of our lives 
and actions. For many there are who think fit ra 
ther to make religion their vassal, than undivided 
companion; to command it, rather than it should 
command them, and therefore they make it to keep 


its times and places, its postures and due distance, 
and think not good that it retain to their company, 
or appear in their words or actions, unless when it 
may serve the uses of a cloak and cover of hypocrisy 
and iniquity. 

His Care of his Thoughts and Ends, especially, 
morning and evening. 

But enough of this digression. These his fore- 
mentioned momentous exhortations, attended with 
most excellent motives, designed chiefly to direct 
them how well to begin and end the day in the fear, 
and as in the presence of God, by hallowing their 
thoughts, and (as his words were) "setting their 
" end* aright in the morning, (then making their re- 
** solves, and piously fore-casting the work of the 
" day following) and by an impartial survey and 
" examination, in the evening, of their compliance or 
" non-compliance with their foregoing prescriptions 
" unto themselves ; whether they obtained their de- 
" signs and ends, and how they acquitted themselves 
" in the day foregoing." 

Hi." Delight in Self-examination. 

Thus by pointing at the two extremes in each day, 
he happily secured the middle. He tacitly convinc 
ed them by his own example and great growth in pi 
ety hereby, and expressly by many other eminent 
instances, how advantageous a course he had recom 
mended to them. To this end he much applauded 
those two no less excellent than common books, the 
Practice of Piety, and Sen adder s daily walk. By this 
course he had taught himself and others, as by 


constant though small gains, to arrive to great ac 
quests in Christianity, by constant and short ac 
counts, the more accurately to know the state of 
their souls, and the more easily to discern their pro 
gress or declinings; so, as the more to rejoice in and 
promote the one., and the sooner to put limits to and 
redress the other. Also he much inculcated on each 
Christian that important duty of fore-appointing and 
fixing his ends, not only in the general, but as much 
as might be particularly and explicitly before each 
action of the day, but especially each solemn action, 
revolving and conceiving such a thought and resolve 
as this in his mind, 

His frequent and generous Designs. 
" This, or this will I do for God, c." By 
which heedful course, he assured the observer that 
he would hallow all his actions, and reap this treble 
advantage (to say no more) both of espousing the 
divine direction and blessing, and of obtaining a 
surer testimony of his sincerity, and also a stronger 
motive to diligence, and an awful circumspectness 
in the right discharge of what he undertook. In 
compliance with this his excellent exhortation unto 
others, he knew not a day wherein he arose without 
some heavenly design of promoting God s glory, and 
the good of souls; accounting it a shame that the 
covetous should arise with such anxious projects of 
compassing his desired wealth, the ambitious his 
airy honours and grandeur, the voluptuous his vain 
pleasures ; and that the religious, who have so glorious 
a prize and trophies before their eyes, should be men 


of no projects or designs. If of any, it may be a 
firmed of him, that, according to his frequent and 
vehement exhortation thereunto, he made religion his. 
business. Which worthy advice, in the same words, 
he did so often inculcate, that a gentleman meeting 
a plain honest country man, and discoursing of Mr. 
Alkine cavilled at this passage which he had often 
heard from him, as appearing unto him absurd and 
unintelligible, not knowing how any thing (as he said) 
could be called " a mans business" unless that which 
is secular; so foolishly ignorant of the just interest 
and power of religion is an unhallowed heart, and 
so apt to quarrel with that wholesome advice, and 
loath to be in earnest in any thing, unless in the 
pursuit of vanity or vice. 

His Delight in Meditation. 

Neither did only the frequent and faithful per 
formance of the two great difficulties of Christianity, 
reproof and self-examination, (consisting of so many 
complicated self-denials,) proclaim and improve his 
great piety, but also his so great acquaintance with 
the delightsome work of heavenly meditation. A 
specimen of his profitable managery of this work, and 
his great heights herein, he often gave in some of 
his most excellent devotional and contemplative dis 
courses, both dropped from his mouth, and commit 
ted to writing. And as was his delight, so were his 
converses with those authors who did increase his 
contemplative pleasure; but particularly he delighted 
in Mr. Baxter s platform of meditation on the hea 
venly felicity, in the close of his Saint s Everlasting 


Rest; great part whereof he so digested as often to 
cite it with great pleasure, prefacing his citations 
with these words, " Most divinely saith that man of 
" God, holy Mr. Baxter, &c." And indeed had not 
his zeal for God s glory, and the salvation of souls, 
engaged him so much to an active life, he could have 
even lived and died wholly in divine contemplation 
and adoration; so much did he delight to shrink 
within himself, and to abandon the view of the des 
perate adventures, and antic motions of a mad world; 
that so, being shut to these, he might only open his 
soul to God and glory, displaying it to the glorious 
beams of the sun of righteousness. Therefore did he 
often delight in his devotions to converse with the 
fowls of the air, and the beasts of the field, since 
these were more innocent, and less degenerate than 

With streams and plants did he delight to walk, 
and all these did utter to his attentive, ear the praise 
and knowledge of his Creator, and in his unsettled 
sojournings from place to place he did often (to use 
his words; look back with sweetness and great content on 
the places of his former pleasant retirements, setting, as 
it were, a mark upon those which had marvellously 
pleased him in his solitudes, by administering to his 
contemplative delight. 

His Delight in Praising, $c. 

In the close, his great perfection in holiness was 
manifest in that he loved so much, and lived a life 
of praise and thanksgiving. Being arrived to some 
perfection, he desired and designed to antedate the 


work and songs of spirits made perfect. Thus David 
much proclaimed his perfection in piety, by his so 
great heights in this heavenly employment. And it 
is evident that saints most devoted to this heavenly 
repast, are most perfect; because the more men 
adore and praise, the less they want. For, sad and 
constant complaints, and pensive thoughts, are the at 
tendants of great wants; and the less men want, the 
more is their perfection. His exhortations to chris- 
tians did frequently design to raise them to that sub 
lime life of praise and thanksgiving. Often hath 
he reproved Christians, charging them with the great 
est folly and ingratitude in so much neglecting this 
so pleasing and profitable duty, and in interessing* 
it so little in their religious exercises. He much 
condemned them for that too general practice in 
thrusting so enlarging a part of their devotions into 
so narrow a room, as only the close of their prayers. 
Especially did he excite Christians to this duty on 
the Lord s day, as the most proper work for so di 
vine a festival; shaming them with the excellent ex 
ample of the primitive Christians, who welcomed in 
the sun, that brought so glorious a day as the Chris 
tian sabbath, with their heavenly hymns to their 
Creator and Redeemer; and reproving them for so 
little considering and observing the proper end of its 
institution. But as it respects his own practice, a 
great, yea and sometimes the greatest part of his 
prayer was thanksgiving; and indeed he was never 

* In giving it so little a share in their religious exercises. 


so much in his element either in prayer, or in preach 
ing, as when he was extolling and adoring the love 
of Christ, and marvelling at God s infinite goodness 
in the gift of his Son our Saviour. 

Neither did he so gaze upon and adore Christ his 
Redeemer, and his redemption, as to forget to sound 
forth the praises of God, the Creator. For often he 
hath been heard, with admiration and praise, to take 
notice of the divine power and wisdom in the works of 
creation; and therefore in the open air, in the pri 
vate retirement of some field or wood, he delighted to 
address himself to God in praise, that his eyes might 
affect his heart, and awake his glory. And here of 
ten he hath been heard to say, that man was the tongue 
of the whole creation, appointed as the creatures inter 
preter, to speak forth, and make articulate the praises 
which they but silently intimate. 

He much delighted in vocal musick, and especi 
ally in singing psalms and htjmns, particularly Mr, 
Barton s: witness his constant practice after dinner 
else- where related. In him it may be said, in as high 
a degree as of most saints on earth, That each thought 
was to him a prayer, each prayer a song, each day a 
sabbath, each meal a sacrament, a foretaste of that eter- 
ternal repast to which he hath now arrived. 

His Time-redeeming Thrift. 

To conclude; that he might effect all the excellent 
purposes of a holy life, he set a high value on his 
most precious time; and did, with so wise and holy 
fore-cast, each day redeem and fill it up, that he did, 
not only not do nothing, but also not little,, though 


In a little and short time. All companies did hear 
him proclaim the price of time; and how excellent 
ly and advantageously he did it in public before his 
ejection, in several most useful sermons on Ephes. 
v. 16, many that heard him, do to this day, to their 
great comfort and profit, remember. And the more 
remarkable was this his holy thrift, because prophe 
tical of his short abode here on earth. 

His diligence and holiness in this his sphere of 
action, was a presage of his speedy translation, as 
with Enoch, to the sphere of vision and fruition, for 
a reward of his singular piety; it being not probable 
that he who made so great a haste to dispatch his 
heavenly work, should be long without his desired 


A few Additions to the former Character, by liw 
Reverend and intimate Friend Mr. R. F. 

HE was a person, with whom for many years I 
was well acquainted, and the more I knew him, the 
more I loved and admired the rich and exceeding 
grace of God in him: I looked on him as one of the 
most elevated, refined, choice saints, that ever I knew 
or expect (while I live) to know; and that because 
(among others) I observed these things of him; 

1 . A most sincere, pure, and absolute consecration 
of himself to God in Christ Jesus: his soul had first 
practised the covenant-dedication, which his hand 



afterward prescribed, as a pattern to others, in his 
father-in-law s book. 

There seemed no sinister end, or false affection, 
to move or sway him in his way; but the good plea 
sure of the Lord, the edification of his church, and 
the salvation of souls, were the only marks his eye 
seemed at all to regard, in his designs and acts: I 
know no other man s heart ; but thus he appeared to 
my most attentive observation ; and so I fully believe 
concerning him, as much as of any person I ever saw. 

2. In this his dedication to God, he was carried 
with the highest and purest flame of divine love 
that ever I observed in any : And that love arising 
from a clear vision of the beauty of divine perfec 
tions, especially his gospel love ; the sight of which 
beauty and excellency seemed perpetually to possess 
and ravish his soul: This love seemed wholly un 
mixed from all that carnal heat that would carry him 
into fantastic or indecent expressions; but his mind 
seemed to be always ascending with its might in the 
greatest calmness and satisfaction. Thus have I oft 
observed him in frequent and silent elevation of 
heart, manifested by the most genuine and private 
lifting up of his eyes, and joined with the sweetest 
smile of his countenance, when (I am confident) he 
little thought of being seen by any: Thus have I 
oft heard him flow in prayer and discourse, with the 
clearest conviction, and dearest taste of divine ex 
cellency and goodness; and the fullest, highest, and 
most pleased expression of his being overcome by it, 
and giving up his all in esteem to it. But this love, 


in the greatest demonstration, appeared by his per* 
petual greedy and unsatiable spending of his whole 
self for the glory of God, good of the church, and 
salvation of souls. Jlis head was ever contriving, 
his tongue pressing, and his whole man acting some 
design for these; so he lived, and so he died: He 
laboured and suffered himself into the maladies which 
ended him : And when he was at Bath, like a per 
fect skeleton, and could move neither hand nor foot, 
when his physicians had forbidden him all preach 
ing, and dissuaded him from vocal praying, (as 
being above his strength,) yet then would he almost 
daily be carried in his Bath chair to the alms-houses, 
and little children s schools, and there give them ca 
techisms, teach them the meaning of them, and rail 
them to an account, how they remembered and un 
derstood. And he died designing a way how every 
poor child in Somersetshire might have, learn, and be 
instructed in the Assembly s catechism; yea, and at 
the expression of his affection, I cannot but mention, 
the frequentest extacies or raptures of spirit, wherein 
he lay on his bed, (when his body was even de 
prived of all power of its own motion, but with 
no great pain,) in Consideration of divine love to 
him in general, and in particular that he felt no great 
pain: Never heard I God so loved, and thanked, 
in the highest confluences of pleasing providences 
by others, as he was by him in his affliction for not 
inflicting great pain upon him; though he was other 
ways so sad a spectacle of weakness, and looked so 
like death, that some great ladies oft hindered his 


coming into the Bath, the ghastliness of his look did 
so affright them. 

3. His pure and sacred love wrought in him a 
great spirit of charity and meekness to men of other 
judgments and persuasions, and great affection to- 
ards all such in whom he found any spiritual good. 
His zeal was all of a building, and no destroying 
nature; he had too much wisdom to esteem his own 
thoughts to be the standard of all other men s : His 
clear light and pure heat made him of a more dis 
cerning, substantial, and divine temper than to re 
ject any, (in whom charity could see any thing of a 
new nature,) for differing from him in the modes or 
forms of discipline or worship, or in disputable points. 

4. Suitably to his high degree of holiness and di 
vine communion, he enjoyed the richest assurance 
of divine love to himself in particular, and his sav 
ing interest in Christ. I believe few men were ever 
born that attained to so clear, satisfied, and power 
ful evidence that his sins were pardoned, and his 
person accepted in Jesus, into eternal life, and had 
more glorious foretastes of Heaven. I remember 
once, coming in when he was kneeling down to 
family prayer, his heart was in that duty carried 
forth into such expressions of love and praise for 
the sealings of everlasting love and life, as I never 
heard before or since; and such as I am fully satis 
fied none could express, but who had received the 
white stone with the new name in it. 

But this was not accidental to him, or unusual; 
for (whatever clouds he might possibly have, though 


I know of none,) yet I am sure for a good time before 
his death lie lived in the very dawning to glory, both 
in the full assurance of it as his portion, and a spirit 
of sanctity, love, and praise, like unto it. 

And though, in the very hour of his dying, his dis 
ease had heated his head; and in his raptures, he 
had expressions, which at another tune his grace and 
reason would not have used; yet, all the copies I 
have seen of those transports, in the substance of 
them, speak only fuller assurance of God s love to 
him, and his highest returns of love to Christ again. 

And I do not at all wonder that a person shining 
so much with the divine image, and living so unin 
terruptedly in the clearest and nearest divine commu 
nion, should enjoy such assurance of God s everlast 
ing love, and be filled so with joy therein, and mak 
ing such returns of love and praise thereto. 





Promoting of the Power of Godliness, 



Author of "A CaU to the Unconverted," $c. 


Printed ly and for James Nichols; 





Full of Spiritual Instructions, tending to the promoting of 
the Power of Godliness, both in persons and families. 


To his Wife, to dispose her to his acceptance of Taunton, on 
small maintenance. 

MY DEAR HEART, By this time I hope thou 
hast received mine by Martin, and also an answer 
touching their resolution at Taunton. My thoughts 
have been much upon that business of late, so small 
as the outward encouragements in point of mainte 
nance are; and methinks I find my heart much in 
clining that way. I will tell thee the principles upon 
which I go: 

First, I lay this for a foundation, That a man s 
life consisteth not in the abundance of the things that he 
possesseth. It was accounted a wise prayer that Agur 
put up of old, that he might only be fed with food conve 
nient for him. And certain it is, that where men 
have least of the world, they esteem it least, and 
live more by faith and in dependance upon God, 
casting their care and burden upon him. O the 
sweet breathings of David s soul ! the strong actings 
of his faith and love, that we find come from him, 
when his condition was low and mean in the world ! 


How closely doth he cling ! How fully doth he rely 
upon God ! The Holy Ghost seems to make it a pri 
vilege to be brought to a necessity of living by faith, 
as, I think, I have formerly hinted to thee, out of 
Deut. xi. 10, 11, where Canaan is preferred before 
Egypt, in regard of its dependance upon God for 
the former and latter rain, which in Egypt they could 
live without, and have supplies from the river. And 
certainly could we, that are unexperienced, but feel 
the thorns of those cares and troubles that there are 
in gathering and keeping much, and the danger 
when riches increase of setting our hearts upon them, 
we should prize the happiness of a middle condition 
much before it. Doubtless, godliness, with content 
ment, is great gain. Seekest thou great things for 
thyself? (saith the prophet to Baruch) Seek them not. 
Certainly a good conscience is a continual feast, and 
enough for a happy life: No man that warreth en- 
tangleth himself with the affairs of this life, that he 
may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 
We should be but little incumbered with the things 
of this world, and withal free from a world of entan 
glements, which, in a great place committed wholly 
to our charge, would be upon our consciences as no 
small burden. 

Secondly, I take this for an undoubted truth, That 
a dram of grace is better than a talent of wealth; and 
therefore such a place where our consciences would 
be free, and we had little to do in the world to take 
off our hearts and thoughts from the things of eter 
nity, and had the advantage of abundance of means, 


and the daily opportunities of warming our hearts 
with the blessed society and conference of heavenly 
Christians, and no temptations to carry us away, nor 
discouragements in our walking with God, and the 
due performance of our duty, is (if we pass a true 
and spiritual judgment, as the Holy Ghost in scrip 
ture would,) without comparison before another 
place void of those spiritual helps and advantages. 
Let us think with ourselves, What though dur purses, 
our estates, may thrive better in a place of a larger 
maintenance ! Yet where are our graces, our souls, like 
to thrive any way answer able to what they arc in this? 
We should have but little in the world, and we could 
live hereafter; but alas! what is this if it be made 
up to us, as it will surely be in communion with God 
and his people? If we thrive in faith and love, hu 
mility and heavenly-mindedness, as above all places 
I know we are likely to do there, what matter is it 
though we do not raise ourselves in the world? The 
thing! it may well be accounted but mean; but alas I 
let us look upon it with a spiritual eye, and then we 
shall pass another judgment of it. Oh! who would 
leave so much grace, and so much comfort in com 
munion with Christ and his saints, as we may gain 
there, for the probabilities of living/with a little more 
gentility and handsomeness in the world? It is a 
strange thing to see how Christians generally do 
judge so carnally of things, looking to the things that 
are seen and temporal, and not the things that will 
stick by us to eternity.- "What is it worth a year? 
" I* the maintenance certain and sure? What charges 


" are there like to be?" These are the questions we 
Commonly ask first, when we speak of settling. But 
alas! though those things are duly to be considered 
too, yet "What good am I like to do; What good am 
"I like to get?" Both which questions, I think, might 
be as comfortably answered concerning this, as any 
place in England. These should be the main inter 
rogatories, and the chief things we should judge of 
a place to settle in by. What if we have but a little 
in the world ! Why then we must keep but a short 
table, and shall make but a little noise in the world, 
and must give the meaner entertainments to our 
friends. O ! but will not this be abundantly made 
up, if we have more outward and inward peace, as 
we may well count we shall have? One dram pf 
saving grace will weigh down all this. Let others 
hug themselves in their corn, and wine, and oil, in 
their fat livings, and their large tables, and their great 
resort; if we have more of the light of God s coun 
tenance, more grace, more comfort, who would 
change with them? Surely if Paul were to chuse a 
place,;he would not look so much what it was a year, 
but would wish us to take that where we might be 
most likely to save our own and others souls. 

Thirdly, That the best and surest way to have any 
outward mercy, is to be content to want it. When men s 
desires are over eager after the world, they must have 
thus much a year, and a house well furnished, and 
wife, and children thus and thus qualified, or else 
they will not be content; God doth usually, if not 
constantly^ break their wills by denying them, as one 


trould cross a forward child of his stubborn humour; 
or else puts a sting into them, that a man had been 
as good had he been without them; as a man would 
give a thing to a froppish* child, but it may be with 
a knock on his fingers, and a frown to boot. The 
best way to get riches, is out of doubt to set them 
lowest in one s desires. Solomon found it so: Alas, 
he did not ask riches, but wisdom and ability to dis 
charge his great trust; but God was so pleased with 
his prayer, that he threw in them into the bargain, 
If we seek the kingdom of God and his righteous 
ness in the first place, and leave other things to hinr, 
God will not stand with us for these outwards; 
though we never ask them, we shall have them as 
over-measure; God will throw them in as the van 
tage. And to this suits the experience of our dear 
Honoratius: "And indeed" (saith he speaking of 
God,) " Honoratius finds that his only hiding-place 
and refuge, and a place of succour, from the storms 
" that fall upon him, and hath had such helps at 
dead-lift there, that he is engaged for ever to trust 
" there. For when he hath been lowest, and in the 
( greatest straights, he hath gone and made his moan 
(< heaven- ward, with free submission to the rightful 
" disposer of all things, and he hath been so liberally 
" supplied, as makes him very confident the best 
n way to obtain any mercy or supply is to be content 
"to be without it: And he is persuaded nothing sets 
r God s mercies farther off, than want of free submit 

* Peevish., 


sion e( to want them." Certainly God will never be 
behindhand with us. Let our care be to build his 
house, and let him alone to build ours. 

Fourthly, That none ever was, or ever shall be, a 
loser by Jesus Christ. Many have lost much for 
him, but never did, never shall any lose by him. 

Take this for a certainty, whatsoever probabilities 
of outward comforts we leave, whatsoever outward 
advantages we balk, that we may glorify him in our 
services, and enjoy him in his ordinances more than 
otherwhere we could, we shall receive a hundred 
fold in this life. It is a sad thing to see how little 
Christ is trusted or believed in the world. Men 
will trust him no farther than they can see him, and 
will leave no work for faith. Alas ! hath he not a 
thousand ways, both outward and inward, to make 
up a little outward disadvantage to us? What doth 
our faith serve for? Have any ventured themselves 
upon him in his way, but he made good every word 
of the promise to them? Let us therefore exercise 
our faith, and stay ourselves upon the promise, and 
see if ever we are ashamed of our hope. 

Fifthly, That what is wanting in the means, God 
will make up in the blessing : This I take for a cer 
tain truth, while a man commits himself and his 
affairs to God, and is in a way that God put him 
into. Now if a man have but a little income, if he 
have a great blessing, that s enough to make it up. 
Alas! we must not account mercies by the bulk. 
What if another have a pound to my ounce, if mine 
be gold for his silver, I will never change with him. 


As it is not bread that keeps men alive., but the word 
of blessing that proceedeth out of the mouth of God; 
so it is not the largeness of the means, but the bless 
ing of the Lord that maketh rich. Oh! if men did 
but believe this, they would not grasp so much of 
the world as they do. Well, let others take their 
course, and we will take ours, to wait upon God by 
faith and prayer, and rest in his promise; and I am 
confident that is the way to be provided for. Let 
others toil to enlarge their income, (but alas, they 
will find they go not the right way to work,) we 
will bless God to enlarge our blessing, and I doubt 
not but we shall prove the gainers. 

Sixthly, That every condition hath its snares, crosses, 
and troubles, and therefore we may not expect to be 
without them wherever we be; only that condition is 
most eligible that hath fewest and least. ^ I cannot 
object any thing against the proposal of Taunton, 
but the meanness of the maintenance; but if our 
income be but short, we can, I hope, be content to 
live answerably; we must fare the meaner that will 
be all the inconvenience that I know ; and truly I 
hope we are not of the nature of that animal that 
hath his heart in his belly. I know how Daniel 
thrived by his water and pulse, and think a mean 
diet is as wholesome to the body, yea, and far less 
hurtful than a full and liberal is; and persuade my 
self it would be no such hard matter for us content 
edly to deny our flesh in this respect. But let us 
consider how little and utterly inconsiderable this 
inconvenience is, in comparison of those we must 


reckon upon meeting with, if God cast us into an 
other place, and whether this be not a great deal 
less than the trouble we shall have for want of com 
fortable and Christian society, for want of the fre 
quent and quickening means we shall here have, in 
wrangling and contending with the covetous, or else 
losing our dues, in the railings, and scandalous and 
malicious reports, that are, we see, raised upon the 
best by the wicked in most places, in their con 
tentions about their right to the sacraments, in our 
intanglement in the cares and troubles of this life, 
&c. all which w r e should be here exempted from. 
Upon these and the like considerations, I find my 
heart very much inclined to accept of their offer at 
Taunton. I beseech thee to weigh, and thoroughly 
consider the matter, and tell me impartially thy 
thoughts, and which way thy spirit inclines, for I 
have always resolved the place I settled in should 
be thy choice, and to thy content. The least inti 
mation of thy will to the contrary,, shall overbalance 
all my thoughts of settling there, for I should ac 
count it the greatest unhappiness if I should thus 
settle, and thou shouldst afterwards be discontented 
at the straitness of our condition. But I need not to 
have written this; hadst thou not fully signified thy 
mind already to me, I had never gone so far as I 
have. Well, the Lord, whose we are, and whom 
we serve, do with us as it shall seem good unto him ! 
We are always as mindful as is possible of thee here, 
both together and apart. Captain Luke desired me 
to entreat thee to meet him one or two hours in a 


day, for the commemoration of mercies upon the 
twenty-third day of every month. Send word to 
me of their resolution at Taunton, in two letters, 
least possibly one should miscarry, though never a 
one did yet. I dare not think of settling under 
sixty pounds at Taunton, and surely it cannot be 
less. I have written as well as I could on a sudden 
my mind to thee. I have been so large in delivering 
my judgment, that I must thrust up my affections 
into a corner. Well, though they have but a corner 
in my letter, I am sure they have room enough in 
my heart: But I must conclude; the Lord keep thee^ 
my dear, for ever in his bosom. Farewell, mine 
own soul! 

I am, as ever, 

Thine own heart, 

Oxon. May 27th. 1659. 


[Prepare for suffering.] 

To my dearly beloved, the flock of Christ, in Taunton, grace 
/ and peace. 

MOST DEAR CHRISTIANS, My extreme straits 
f time will now force me to bind my long loves in 
a few short lines; yet I could not tell how to leave 
you unsaluted, nor choose but write to you in a few 
words, that you should not be dismayed either at 
our present sufferings, or at the evil tidings that by 
this time I doubt pot are come unto you. Now., 
B 2 


brethren, is the time when the Lord is like to put 
you upon the trial; now is the hour of temptation 
come. Oh! be faithful to Christ to the death, and 
he shall give you a crown of life: Faithful is he that 
hath called you, and he will not suffer you upon his 
faithfulness to be tempted above what you are able. 
Give up yourselves and your all to the Lord, with re 
solution to follow him fully; and two things be sure of, 
and lay up as sure grounds of everlasting consolation: 

1. If you seek by prayer and study to know the 
xnind of God, and do resolve to follow it in upright 
ness, you shall not fail either of direction or pardon; 
either God will shew you what his pleasure is, or 
will certainly forgive you if you miss your way. 
Brethren, fix upon your souls the deep and lively 
affecting apprehensions of the most gracious, loving, 
merciful, sweet, compassionate, tender nature of 
your Heavenly Father, which is so great that you 
may be sure that he will with all readiness and love 
accept of his poor children when they endeavour to 
approve themselves in sincerity to him, and would 
fain know his mind and do it, if they could but clear 
ly see it, though they should unwillingly mistake. 

2. That as sure as God is faithful, if he do see 
that such or such a temptation (with the forethought 
of which you may be apt to disquiet yourselves, 
lest you should fall away when thus or thus tried) 
will be too hard for your graces, he will never suffer 
it to come upon you. Let not, my dear bre 
thren, let not the present tribulation, or those 
impending, move you. This is the way of the king 
dom: Persecution is one pf your land-marks; Self- 


denial and taking up the cross is your A B C of re 
ligion; you have learnt nothing that have not begun 
at Christ s cross. Brethren, the cross of Christ is 
your crown; the reproach of Christ is your riches^ 
the shame of Christ is your glory ; the damage at 
tending strict and holy diligence, your greatest ad 
vantage. Sensible you should be of what is com 
ing, but not discouraged ; humbled, but not dis 
mayed ; having your hearts broken, and yet your 
spirits unbroken ; humble yourselves mightily under 
the mighty hand of God ; but fear not the face of 
man : may you even be low in humility, but high in 
courage ; little in your own apprehensions of your 
selves, but great in holy fortitude, resolution, and 
holy magnanimity, lying in the dust before your God, 
yet triumphing in faith and hope, and boldness ami 
confidence over all the power of the enemies. Ap 
prove yourselves as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, 
with no armour but that of righteousness ; no weapons 
but strong crying and tears ; looking for no victory 
but that of faith ; nor hope to overcome but by pa 
tience. Now for the faith and patience of the saints ! 
Now for the harness of your suffering graces ! 
O gird up the loins of your minds, and be sober, 
and hope to the end ! Fight not but the good fight 
of faith : here you must contend and that earnestly. 
Strive not but against sin,, and here you may resist 
even unto blood : now see that you choose life, and 
embrace affliction rather than sin. Strive together 
mightily and frequently by prayer : I know you do, 
but I would you should abound more and more. 
Share my loves, among you, ad continue your^ earnest 


prayers for me ; and be you assured that I am and 
shall be, through grace, a willing thankful servant 
of your souls concernments. 

From the common gaol, 
May 28, 1663. 


[Warning to Professors.] 

To my most dearly beloved, my Christian Friends in Tauntott, 

MOST LOVING BRETHREN, I shall never forget 
your old kindnesses, and the entire affections that 
you have shed upon me, not by drops, but by floods; 
would I never so fain forget them, yet I could not, 
they are so continually renowned ; for there is never 
a day but I hear of them ; nay, more than hear of 
them, I feel and taste them. The God that hath 
promised to them that give to a prophet though but 
a cup of cold water, shall receive a prophet s re 
ward; he will recompence your labour of love, 
your fervent prayers, and constant cries, your care 
for my welfare, your bountiful supplies, who have 
given me, not a cup of cold water, but the wine of 
your loves, with the sense and tidings whereof I am 
continually refreshed. I must, I do, and will bless 
the Lord as long as I live, that he hath cast my lot 
in so fair a place, to dwell in your communion ; and 
especially to go in and out before yqu, and to be the 


messenger of the Lord of Hosts to you, to proclaim 
his law, and to preach his excellencies, to be his 
spokesman to you, and to woo for him, and to 
espouse you to one husband, and to present you as 
a chaste virgin unto Christ. Lord ! how unworthy 
am I. everlastingly unworthy of this glorious dig 
nity, which I do verily believe the brightest angels 
in heaven would be glad of, if the Lord saw it fit to 
employ them in this work ! Well, I do not, I can 
not repent, notwithstanding all the difficulties and 
inconveniences that do attend his despised servants, 
and hated ways, and that are like to attend them ; 
for we have but sipped yet of the cup ; but I have 
set my hand to his plough ; my ministry I took up 
with you, and my testimony I finished with you, 
though I thought I had espoused you till death : and 
when I was entered into that sacred office, which 
through rich grace I was employed in, I told you, 
in the close of what I spake before the laying of the 
holy hands upon me, " Most gladly do I take up this 
" office with all the persecution, affliction, difficul- 
" ties, tribulation, and inconveniencies, that do and 
" may attend it." And, blessed be God, I am, 
through his goodness, of the same mind still, and 
my tribulations for Christ do (to him be glory ! for 
to me belongs nothing but shame and confusion of 
face) confirm my choice and my resolution to serve 
him with much more than my labours. Verily, bre 
thren, it is a good choice that I have commended to 
you : Oh ! that there might not be one found among 
you that hath not made Mary s choice, I mean of that 


good part which shall never be taken away from 
you. Brethren, let them take up with the world 
that have no better portion : be content that they 
should carry the bell, and bear away the riches and 
preferments, and glory and splendor of the world. 
Alas ! you have no reason to envy them : verily they 
have a lie in their right hand. Ah ! how soon will 
their hopes fail them ! How soon will the crackling 
blast be out, and leave them in eternal darkness ! 
They shall go to the generation of their fathers, 
they shall never see light, like sheep they shall be 
laid in their graves, and the upright shall have do 
minion over them in the morning. But for my bre 
thren, I am jealous that none of you should come 
short of the glory of God. I ambitious for you, 
that you should be all the heirs of an endless life, 
the living hopes of the saints, the inheritance incor 
ruptible, undefiled, and that fades not away. 

Ah ! my brethren, why should not you be all 
happy ? I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy, 
lest a promise being left you of entering into his rest, 
any of you should come short of it. O look dili 
gently, lest any man fail of the grace of God. Alas 1 
how it pities me to see this rest neglected ! How it 
grieves me that any of you should fall short of mercy 
at last ! That any of that flock over which the Holy 
Ghost hath made me in part overseer, should perish; 
when Christ hath done so much for you, and when 
his under-officers (through his grace, for we are not 
sufficient of ourselves,) have done somewhat to re 
cover and save them. Ah ! dear brethren, I was in 


gt at earnest with you when I besought you out of 
the pulpit, many a time, to give a bill of divorce to 
your sins, and to accept of the match and the mercy 
that in the name of God Almighty I did there offer 
to you. Alas ! how it pitied me to look over so great 
a congregation, and to think that I could not, for 
my life I could not, persuade them, one quarter of 
them in likelihood, to be saved ! How it moved me 
to see your diligence in flocking, not only to the 
stated exercises, but to the repetitions, and to most 
hazardous opportunities, for which you are greatly to 
be commended, since the law forbad my public preach 
ing ; and yet to think that many of you that went so 
far, were like to perish for ever for want of going 
further! I must praise your diligent attendance on all 
opportunities. Blessed be God that made a willing 
ministry and a willing people ! For I remember how 
I have gone furnished with a train ! How I went 
with the multitude to the House of God, with 
the voice of joy and praises, with the multitude that 
kept holy-days. The remembrance of which moves 
my soul ; but, O my flock, my most dear flock, how 
fain would I carry you farther than the external and 
outward profession ! O ! how loath am I to leave you 
there I How troubled to think that any of you 
should go far and hazard much for religion, and yet 
miscarry for ever by the hand of some unmortified 
lust ; as secret pride, or untamed passion, or an un 
bridled tongue, or, which I fear most of all, a pre 
dominate love of the world in your hearts. Alas ! must 
it be so, and is there no remedy but J must carry 


you to heaven s gate and leave you there ? Oh ! that 
I should leave the work of your souls but half done; 
and bring you no farther than the almost of christi* 
anity ! Hear, O my people, hear, although I may 
command you, upon your utmost peril, in the name 
of the Lord Jesus, that shall shortly judge you, I 
beseech you, I warn you as a father doth his chil 
dren, to look to the settling and securing of your 
everlasting condition, and for life take heed of your- 
resting in the outer-part of religion; but to be restless 
till you find the thorough change of regeneration 
within, that you are quite new in the frame and 
bent of your hearts: for here is the main of religion 
in the hidden man of the heart. For Christ s sake, 
for your souls sake look to it, that you build upon 
the rock, that you be sure in the foundation work^ 
that you do unfeignedly deliver yourselves over 
to the Lord to be under his command and at his dis 
pose in all things. See that you make no excep 
tions, no reserve, that you cast over-board all your 
worldly hopes, and count upon parting with all for 
Christ : that you take him alone for your whole hap 
piness. Wonder not that I so often inculcate this * 
if it be well here, it is well all ; if unsound here, 
the error is in the foundation, and you are undone. 
Brethren, I see great trials coming on, when we 
shall see professors fall like leaves in the autumn, 
unless they be well settled : therefore it is that I 
would fain have you look to your standing, and to 
secure the main. And for you whose souls are 
soundly wrought upon, O make sure whatever you 


do; get and keep your evidences clear ! How dread* 
ful would your temptations be, if you should be called 
to part with all for Christ, and not be sure of him 
neither. Get a right and clear understanding of 
the terms of life, which I have set before you in that 
form of covenanting with God in Christ, that I com 
mended to you : I would that none of you should 
be without a copy of it. Be much in observing your 
own hearts, both in duties and out-crying mightily 
to God for assurance. If you cannot discern yt mi- 
estate yourselves, go to somebody that is able and 
faithful, and fully open your case, your evidences, 
and doubts, and be extraordinary strict and watch 
ful in your whole course, and I doubt not but you 
will quickly grow up to assurance. 

I cannot tell how to make an end, methinks I 
could write all the day to you, but my straights of 
time are great, and my letter already too long, yet 
I cannot conclude till I have given you my unfeigned 
thanks for your most kind and gracious letter. 
Surely it shall be in store with me, and laid up 
among my treasures. That God is pleased so t 
unite your hearts to me, and to make use of me for 
your edification, is matter of highest joy unto me ; 
as also to see your stedfastness in Christ, your un 
shaken resolutions notwithstanding all the tempter s 
wiles. Go on, my dearly beloved, and the Lord 
strengthen your hands and your hearts, and lift yow 
up above the fears of men. My most dear brother 
Norman salutes you with manifold loves and re 
spects, earnestly wishing that you majr ^ear th? 


crown of perseverance; as also brother Turner. 
The Lord strengthen, establish, settle you, and after 
you have suffered a while, make you perfect. I 
leave my brethren in the everlasting arms; and rest,. 
Your Ambassador in bonds, 

from the common gaol at Juelchester, 
June 13th, 1663. 


[A Call to the Unconverted.] 

{To the beloved people, the inhabitants of the town of Taunton, 
grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father, and from 
the Lord Jesus Christ. 

ftiost readily acknowledge myself a debtor to you 

all, and a servant of all, and therefore I have sent 

these few lines to salute you all. My lines did fall 

an a fair place when the Lord did cast my lot among 

you ; for which I desire to be thankful. God hath 

been pleased to work a mutual affection between me 

and you. I remember the tears and prayers that you 

liave sent me hither with, and how I saw your hearts 

in your eyes. How can I forget how you poured 

out your souls upon me ? And, truly, you are a 

people much upon my heart, whose welfare is the 

matter of my continual prayers, care, and study. 

And Oh! that I knew how to do you good: Ah! how 

certainly should never a son of you miscarry if I knew 

taht to save you. Ah! how it pities me to think 


how so many of you should remain in your sins, 
after so many and so long endeavours to convert and 
bring them in. Once more, Oh ! my beloved, once 
more hear the call of the Most High God unto you. 
The prison preaches to you the same doctrine that 
the pulpit did. Hear, O people, hear ; he that hath 
an ear let him hear. The Lord of life and glory 
offers you all mercy, and peace, and blessedness : Oh, 
why should you die ? Whosoever will, let him take of 
the waters of life freely. What ! miss of life when it 
is to be had for the taking ? God forbid ! O my bre 
thren, my soul yearns for you, and my bowels to 
wards you. Ah ! that I did but know what argu 
ments to use with you : who shall chuse my words 
for me that I may prevail with sinners not to reject 
their own mercy ? How shall I get within them ? 
How shall I reach them ? Oh ! that I did but know 
the words that would pierce them ! That I could but 
get between then- sins and them. Beloved brethren, 
the Lord Jesus hath made me, most unworthy, his 
spokesman, to bespeak your hearts for him : and oh, 
that I knew but how to woo for him, that I might 
prevail ! These eight years have I been calling, and 
yet how great a part do remain visibly in their sins ; 
and how few, alas J how few souls have I gained to 
Christ by sound conversion ! Once more I desire 
with all possible earnestness to apply myself to you. j 
I have thought, it may be a sermon out of a prison V 
might do that which I could not do after my long 
striving with you, but have left undone : come then, 
O friends, and let us reason together. 


Many among you remain under the power of igno 
rance : Ah ! how often have I told you the danger 
ous, yea, damnable estate that such are in. Never 
make excuses, nor flatter yourselves that you shall 
be saved though you go on in this ; I have told you 
often, and now tell you again, God must be false of his 
word, if ever you be saved without being brought out of 
the state of ignorance: If ever you enter in at the door 
of Heave^ it must be by the key of knowledge ; you can 
not be saved, except you be brought to the knowledge of 
the truth. A people that remain in gross ignorance, 
that are without understanding, the Lord that made 
them will not have mercy on them. O why will you 
flatter yourselves, and wilfully deceive your own 
selves, when the God of truth hath said you shall 
surely die if you go on in this estate ? Oh, for the 
love of God and of your souls, I beseech you awake 
and bestir yourselves to get tire saving knowledge of 
God : you that are capable of learning a trade to live 
by, are you not capable of learning the way to be 
saved ? Yea, I doubt not but you are capable if you 
would but beat your heads about it, and take pains 
to get it. And is it not pity that you should perish 
for ever for want of a little pains, and study, and 
care to get the knowledge of God ? Study the cate 
chism ; if possible, get it by heart ; if not, read it 
often, or get it read to you ; cry unto God for know 
ledge ; improve the little you have by living answer 
able. Search the scriptures daily, get them read to 
you if you cannot read them. Improve your sab- 
baths diligently, and I doubt not but in the use of 


these means you will sooner arrive to the knowledge 
of Christ than of a trade. But for thee, O hardened 
sinner, that wilt make thy excuses that thou hast not 
time nor abilities to get knowledge ; and to sit still 
without it, I pronounce unto thee that thou shalt 
surely perish. And I challenge thee to tell me, if 
thou canst, how thou wilt answer it before the Most 
High God, when he shall sit in judgment upon thee, 
that thou wouldst be contented to undergo a seven 
years apprenticeship to learn how to get thy living, 
and that thou mightest have got the knewledge of 
the principles of religion in half the time, but thou 
wouldst not beat thy head about it. 

Many are swallowed up in mere profaneness: 
Alas! that there should be any sucli in a place of 
such mejms and mercies ! But it cannot be concealed. 
Many of them proclaim their sin like Sodom, and 
carry their deadly leprosy in their foreheads. I am 
ashamed to think that in Taunton there should be so 
many alehouse-haunters and tipplers, so many lewd 
gamesters, and rioters, and debauched livers ; so 
many black-mouthed swearers, who have oaths and 
curses for their common language, so many railers 
at godliness, and profane scoffers, so many liars and 
deceitful dealers, and unclean and wanton wretches. 
O what a long list will these and such like make up, 
if put together : it saddens me to mention such as 
these. O how crimson is their guilt ! How often 
have you been warned, and yet are still unreformed, 
yea loose and profane. Yet one warning more have I 
sent after youfrom the Lord, to repent. Return, O 
S 2 


sinners. What! will you run into everlasting burn 
ings with your eyes open? 

Repent, O drunkards, or else you shall be shut 
out of the kingdom of heaven. (1 Cor. vi. 9, 10.) Re 
pent, O swearers, else you shall fall into condemna 
tion. (James v. 12.) Repent, O liars, put away ly 
ing, and speak every one truth to his neighbour ; 
else you shall have your part in the lake that burneth 
with fire and brimstone. (Rev. xx. 8.) Repent, O 
company-keepers, forsake the foolish and live; but 
a. companion of the wicked shall be destroyed. (Prov. 
xiii. 20.) Repent, you deceivers, of your unrighte 
ous dealings, or else you shall have no inheritance 
in the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. vi. 9, 10.) The 
Lord, that made us, knows my earnest desire for 
your conversion and salvation; and that I speak not 
this to you out of any evil will toward you, for I 
would lie at your feet to do you good, but out of a 
sense of your deplorable estate while you remain in 
your sins. I know there is mercy for you if you do 
soundly repent and reform, and bow to the righte 
ousness and government of the Lord Christ: But if 
you go on, and say, you shall yet have peace, I pro 
nounce unto you, that there is no escape, but the 
Lord will make his wrath to smoak against you, he 
will wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy 
scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses. 

Others have escaped the gross pollutions of the 
world, but stick in the form of godliness, and con 
tent themselves with a negative righteousness, that 
they are no drunkards, nor swearers, &c. or at best 


with an outward conformity to the duties of religion, 
or some common workings, instead of a saving. O 
I am jealous for you that you should not lose the 
things that you have wrought, and miss your reward 
for want of sincerity: for the Lord s sake put on, 
and beware of perishing in the suburbs of the city 
of refuge. Beg of God to make through-work with 
you, and be jealous for yourselves; get a right un 
derstanding of the difference between a hypocritt 
and a sincere Christian, and try-^ your estates much, 
but only with those marks that you are sure from 
the scripture will abide God s trial. 

But for you that fear the Lord in sincerity, I have 
nothing but good and comfortable words : I have 
proclaimed your happiness in the last token I sent 
to the town: I mean the abstract of the covenant of 
grace, upon the privileges, comforts, mercies there 
summed up, and set before you. May your souls 
ever live ! What condition can you devise wherein 
there will not be abundance of comfort, and matter 
of joy unspeakable, to you? O beloved, know your 
own happiness, and live in that holy admiring, com 
mending, adoring, praising of your gracious God 
that becomes the people of his praise. I have been 
long, yet methinks I have not emptied half my heart 
unto you: I trespass much, I fear, upon the bearer, 
therefore in haste I commend you to God. The 
good- will of Him that dwelt in the bush be with you 
all! The Lord create a defence upon you, and deli 
verance for you I The Lord cover you all the day. 


and make you to dwell between his shoulders! I 
desire your constant, instant, earnest prayers for me; 
and rest, 

A willing labourer, & thankful sufferer for you, 


from the common gaol in Juelchcster, 
July Uh, 1663. 

[Trust in God, and be sincere.] 

To my most endeared friends, the servants of Christ in Tann-> 
ton, grace and peace. 

$Ios>t dearly beloved and longed-for, 
my joy and crown, 

MY heart s desire and prayer to God for you is, 
that you may be saved. I know that you are the 
but of men s rage and malice : but you may satisfy 
yourselves as David in his patient sustaining of Shi- 
mei s fury and curses : It may be the Lord will look 
upon our affliction, and requite good for their cursing 
this day. But however it be for that, be sure to hold 
on your way: your name indeed is cast forth as 
evil , and you are hated of all men for Christ s sake, 
for your profession of his gospel, and cleaving to his 
ways and servants. But let not this discourage you, 
for you are now more than ever blessed; only hold 
fast, that no man take your crown. Let not any 


that have begun in the Spirit, end in the flesh. Do 
not forsake God, till he forsake you. He that en- 
dureth to the end shall be saved. The promise is to 
him that overcometh; therefore think not of look 
ing back. Now you have set your hnnds to Christ s 
Plough, though you labour hard ard suffer long, the 
crop will pay for all : Now the Lord is trying what 
credit he hath in the world, and who they be that 
will trust him. The unbelieving world are all for 
present pay; they must have ready money, some 
thing in hand, and will not follow the Lord when 
there is like to be any great hazard and hardship in 
his service. But now is the time for you, my be 
loved, to prove yourselves believers, when there is 
nothing visible but present hazard and expence, and 
difficulty in your maker s service. Now it will be 
seen who can trust the Lord, and who trusts him not: 
Now, my brethren, bear you up, stand fast in the 
faith, quit you like men, be strong : Now give glory 
to God by believing. If you can trust in his promises 
for your reward now, when nothing appears but the 
displeasure of rulers, and bonds, and losses, and tri 
bulation on every side, this will be somewhat like 
believers. Brethren, I beseech you to reckon upon 
no other but crosses here. Let none of you dream 
of an earthly paradise, or flatter yourselves with 
dreams of sleeping in your ease, and temporal pros 
perity, and carrying heaven too. Think not to keep 
your estates, and liberties, and consciences too: 
Count not upon rest till you come to the land of 
promise. Not that I would have any of you to nm 


upon hazards uncalled: No, we shall meet them soon 
enough in the way of our duty, without we will 
balk it, and shamefully turn aside. But I would 
have you cast over-board your worldly hopes, and 
count not upon an earthly felicity, but be content 
to wait till you come on the other side of the 
grave. Is it not enough to have a whole eternity of 
happiness yet behind ? If God do throw in the com 
forts of this life too in the bargain, I would not have 
you throw them back again, or despise the goodness 
of the Lord: But I would, my brethren, that you 
should use this world, as not abusing it; that you 
should be crucified to the world, and the world to 
you; that you should declare plainly that you seek 
a country, a better country, which is a heavenly. 
Ah! my dear brethren, I beseech you carry it like 
pilgrims and strangers; I beseech you abstain from 
fleshly lusts, which war against your souls. For what 
have we to do with the customs and courses andia- 
shions of this world, who are strangers in it? Be 
contented with travellers lots: know you not that 
you are in a strange land? All is well as long as it 
is well at home; I pray you, brethren, daily and fre 
quently to consider your condition and station. Do 
you not remember that you are in an inn? And 
what, though you be but poorly attended, and meanly 
accommodated; though you fare hard, and lie hard; 
Is this a strange thing? What should travellers 
look for else? Will you set forth in a journey, and 
promise yourselves nothing but fair way and fair 
weather? Shall a man put forth to sea and reckon 


upon nothing but the calm? If you were of the 
world, the world would love his own. But now 
God hath chosen you, and called you out of the 
world., therefore the world hateth you: But remem 
ber, my brethren, it is your duty to love them, even 
while they hate you; and to pray for mercy for them 
that will shew no mercy, nor do any justice for us. 
This I desire you to observe as a great duty of the 
present times: And let not any so far forget their 
duty and pattern, as to wish evil to them that do 
evil to us, or to please themselves with the thoughts 
of being even with them. Let us commit ourselves 
to Him that judge th righteously, and shew ourselves 
the children of the Most High, who doth good to 
his enemies, and is kind to the unkind and unthank 
ful: And what though they doshate us? Their love 
and good-will were much more to be feared than 
their hatred, and a far worse sign. Brethren, keep 
yourselves in the love of God ; here is wisdom. O 
happy souls, that are his favourites! For the Lord s 
sake look to this, make sure of something: look to 
your sincerity above all things in the world: let not 
any of you conclude, that because you are of the 
suffering party, therefore all is well: Look to the 
foundation, that your hearts be soundly taken off 
from every sin, and : set upon God above as your 
blessedness: Beware that none of you have only a 
name to live, and be no more than almost chris- 
tians. For the love of your souls, make a diligent 
search, and try upon what ground you stand; for it 
heartily pities me to think that any of you should be 


in so deep, and hazard so much, as these must do 
that will not cleave to the hated ways of the people of 
God, and yet lose all at last for want of being 
thorow and sound in the main work, I mean in con 
version and regeneration. None so miserable in all 
the world as an unsound professor of religion now 
is; for he shall be hated and persecuted of the world, 
because he takes up a profession, and yet rejected of 
God too, because he sticks in a profession. But 
when once you bear the marks of God s favour, you 
need not fear the world s frowns: Cheer up therefore, 
brethren, be strong in the Lord, and of good courage 
under the world s usage: Fear not, in our Father s 
house there is bread enough and room enough; this is 
sufficient to comfort us m&der all the inconveniences 
of the way, that we have so happy a home, so worthy 
a portipn, so ready a Father, so goodly a heritage, so 
sure a tenure. Oh, comfort one another with these 
words. Let God see that you can trust in his word: 
let the world see that you can live upon a God. J 
shall share my prayers and loves among you all, and 
commit you to the Almighty God. The Keeper of 
Israel that never slumbereth nor sleepeth, be your 
watchman and keeper to the end ! Farewell. 

I am 

A fervent well-wisher 

of your temporal eternal happiness, 


From the common gaol at Juelchester, 
July 2ik, 1603, 



[Look out of your Graves upon the World.] 

To my most dearly beloved Friends, the chosen of God i, 
Taunton, grace and peace. 

Most endeared Christians, 

MY heart is with you, though I am absent as to 
my bodily presence from you, and therefore as I 
have often already, so I have now written to you to 
stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance, 
and to call upon you for your stedfast continuing 1 , 
and vigorous proceeding, in the ways of God. Dear 
friends, and fellow soldiers under Christ the Captain 
of our salvation, consider your calling and station, 
and approve yourselves as good soldiers of Jesus 
Christ, as men of resolution and courage, be discour 
aged with no difficulties of your present warfare. 
As for human affairs, I would have you to be, as 
you are, men of peace: I would have you armed, 
not for resisting, (God forbid!) but for suffering 
only, as the Apostle hints: You should resist, even 
to the uttermost, striving against sin. Here you 
must give no quarter, for if you spare but one 
Agag, the life of your souls must go for the life of 
your sins. You must make no peace, for God will 
not smile on that soul that smiles on sin, nor have 
any peace with him that is at peace with his enemy. 
Other enemies you must forgive, and love, and pray 
for; (which I again desire you to mind as one spe-* 
cial duty of the times;) but for these spiritual ene 
mies, all your affections and all your prayers must 
be engaged against them ; yea, you must admit n* 


parley: It is dangerous to dispute with temptations. 
Remember what Eve lost by parleying with saUn: 
You must fly from temptations,, and put them t ,-r at 
first with a peremptory denial. If you will bin hear 
the devil s arguments, and the flesh s pleas and fair 
pretences, it is a hundred to one but you are en 
snared by his sophistry. And for this present evil 
world, the Lord deliver you from its snares. Surely 
you had need watch and be sober, and use your spi 
ritual weapons dexterously and diligently, or else 
this world is like to undo you, and destroy you. I 
have often warned you not to build upon an external 
happiness, and that you should promise yourselves 
nothing but hardship here. Oh still remember your 
station: Soldiers must not count upon rest and ful 
ness, but hunger and hardness. Labour to get right 
apprehensions of the world. Do not think these 
things necessary; one thing is needful: You may 
be happy in the want of all outward comforts. Do 
not think yourselves undone, if brought to want 
or poverty: Study eternity, and you will see it to be 
little material to you, whether you are poor or rich; 
and that you may never have such an opportunity 
for your advantage in all your lives, as when you 
put all to hazard, and seem to run the vessel upon 
the rocks. Set your enemies one against the other; 
death against the world; no such way to get above 
the world, as to put yourselves into the possession 
of death. Look often upon your dust that you shall 
be reduced to, and imagine you saw your bones 
tumbled out of your graves, as they are like shortly 


to be, and men handling your skulls, and enquir 
ing " Whose is this?" Tell me of what account will 
the world be then, what good will it do you. Put 
yourselves often into your graves, and look out from 
thence upon the world, and see what judgment you 
have of it then. Must not you be shortly forgot 
among the dead? Your places will know you no 
more, and your memory will be no more among men, 
and then what will it profit you to have lived in 
fashion and repute, and to have been men of esteem? 
" One serious walk over a church-yard," as one 
speaks, " might make a man mortified to the world." 
Think upon how many you tread, but you know 
them not. No doubt they had their estates, their 
friends, their trades, their businesses, and kept as 
much stir in the world as others do now. But alas, 
what are they the better for any, for all this? Know 
you not that this must be your own case very short 
ly ? Oh the happiness of deceived man ! How mi 
serably is he bewitched, and befooled, that he should 
expend himself for that which he knows shall 
for ever leave him! Brethren, I beseech you, lay 
no stress upon these perishing things, but labour to 
be at a holy indifference about them. Is it for one 
that is in his wits to sell his God, his conscience, his 
soul, for things that he is not sure to keep a week, 
nor a day; and which he is sure, after a few sleep- 
ings and wakings more, to leave behind him for 
ever? Go and talk with dying men, and see what 
apprehensions they have of the world : If any should 
come to such as these, and tell them " Here is such 


" and such preferments for you, you shall have such 
c< titles of honour and delights, if you will now dis- 
ef own religion, or subscribe to iniquity :" Do you 
think such a motion would be embraced? Brethren, 
why should we not be wise in time? Why should we 
not now be of the mind of which we know we shall 
be all shortly? Woe to them that will not be wise till 
it be to no purpose! Woe to them whose eyes nothing 
but death and judgment will open! Woe to them 
that, though they have been warned by others, and 
have heard the world s greatest darlings in death to 
cry out of its vanity, worthlessness, and deceitfumess, 
and have been told where and how it would leave 
them, yet would take no warning, but only must 
serve themselves to be for warnings to others! Ah, 
my beloved, beware there be no worldly professors 
among you, that will part rather with their part in 
Paradise than their part in Paris ; that will rather 
part with their consciences than with their estates; 
that have secret reserves in heart to save themselves 
whole, when it comes to the pinch; and not to be of 
the religion that will undo them in the world. Be 
ware that none of you have your hearts where your 
feet should be, and love your Mammon before your 
Maker. It is time for you to learn, with Paul, to be 
crucified to the world. 

But it is time for me to remember that tis a letter, 
and to contain myself within my limits. The God of 
all grace stablish, strengthen, and settle you in these 
shaking times, and raise your hearts above the fears 
f the world s threats, and above the ambition of its 


favours. My dearest loves to you all, with my 
fervent desire of your prayers. May the Lord of 
Hosts be with you, and the God of Jacob your re 
fuge ! Farewell, my dear brethren, farewell, and 
be strong in theXord. I am, 

Yours to serve you in the gospel, 

whether by doing or suffering, 


From the common gaol at Juelchester, 
June 21st, 1663. 


[First, Christian Marks: Second, Duties.] 

To the beloved, my most endearing- and endeared Friends, the 

Flock of Christ in Taunton, Salvation. 
Most dearly Moved and longed-for, 
my joy and crown, 

I MUST say of you as David did of Jonathan, 
" Very pleasant have you been unto me, and your 
" love to me is wonderful." And as I have formerly 
taken great content in that my lot was cast among 
you, so through grace I rejoice in my present lot, that 
I am called to approve my love to you by suffering 
for you; for you, I say. For you know that I have 
not sought yours but you; and that for doing my 
duty to your souls, I am here in these bonds, which 
I do cheerfully accept through the grace of God that 
strengtheneth me. Oh ! that your souls might- be 
quickened and enlarged by these my bonds! That 


your hands might be strengthened, and your hearts 
encouraged in the Lord your God by our sufferings ! 
See to it, my dearly beloved, that you stand fast in 
the power of the holy doctrine which we have 
preached from the pulpit; preached at the bar; 
preached from the prison to you. It is a gospel 
worth the suffering for: See that you follow after 
holiness without which no man shall see God. Oh ! 
the madness of the blind world, that they should put 
from them the only plank upon which they can 
escape to heaven. Surely the enemies of holiness 
are their own enemies. Alas for them ! They know 
not what they do. What would not these foolish 
virgins do at last, when it is too late for a little of 
the oil of the wise? Oh, for one dram of that grace 
which they have scorned and despised! But let not 
any of you, my dear people, be wise too late : Look 
diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God. 
Beware that none of you be cheated through the 
subtlety of satan and deceitfulness of your hearts 
with counterfeit grace. There is never a grace but 
hath its counterfeit: And there is nothing in all the 
world that is more common or more easy, than to 
mistake common and counterfeit grace for true and 
saving; and remember, you are undone for ever 
more if you should die in such a mistake. Not that 
I would shake the confidence of any sound believer, 
who upon often and thorough search into the scrip 
ture and his own heart, and putting himself upon 
God s trial, hath gotten good evidence that his 
graces are of the right kind: Build your confidence 


sure. See that you get the knowledge of the cer 
tain and infallible marks of salvation; and make sure, 
by great observing your own hearts, that these marks 
be in you, <and then you cannot be too confident. 
But, as you love your souls, take heed of a ground 
less confidence. Take heed of being confident before 
you have tried. Dear brethren, I would fain have 
you all secured against the day of judgment; I would 
that the states of your souls were all well settled. 
Oh how comfortably might you think of any trou 
bles, if you were but sure of your pardons ! Were 
your salvation out of doubt, no matter though other 
things were in hazard. I beseech you, whatever 
you neglect, look to this: I am afraid there are 
among you that have not made your peace with God 
yet; that are not yet acquainted with that great work 
of conversion: Such I would warn and charge before 
the living God to speed into Christ, and without any 
more disputes or delays, to put away their iniquities, 
and to come in and deliver up themselves to Jesus 
Christ, that they may be saved. It is not your pro 
fession, nor performing external duties, nor partak 
ing of external privileges, that will save you. No, 
no; you must be converted or condemned. It is not 
enough that you have some love and liking to God s 
ways and people, and are willing to venture some 
thing for them. All this will not prove you sound 
Christians. Have your hearts been changed ? Have 
you been soundly convinced of your sins; of your 
damnable and undone condition in yourselves; and 
your utter inability to lick yourselves whole again 


by your own duties? Have you been brought at 
least to such a sight and sense of sin, as that there 
is no sin, though agreeable to your constitution, 
though a support to your gain, but you do heartily 
abbor it, and utterly disallow of it? Are you brought 
to such a sense of the beauty of holiness, and of the 
laws and ways of God, as that you do desire to 
know the whole mind of God, and would not ex 
cuse yourselves by ignorance from any duty, and that 
you do not allow yourselves in the ordinary neglect of 
any thing that conscience charges upon you as a duty? 
Are your very hearts set upon the glorifying and 
enjoying of Gocl, as your greatest happiness, which 
you desire more than corn, and wine, and oil? Had 
you rather be the holiest, than the richest and great 
est in the world? And is your greatest delight (or 
dinarily, and when you are yourselves) in the 
thoughts of God, and in your conversings with God 
in holy exercises? Is Christ more precious than all 
the world to you? And are you willing, upon the 
thorough consideration of the strictness, and holiness, 
and self-denying nature of his laws, yet to take them 
all for the rule of your thoughts, words, and actions? 
And though religion may cost you deai, do you re 
solve, if God will assist you by his grace, to go 
through with it, let the cost be what it will? Happy 
the man that is in such a case ! This is a Christian 
indeed; and whatever you be and do short of this, 
all is unsound. But you, that bear in your souls 
the marks of the Lord Jesus above-mentioned, upon 
you I should lay no other burden, but to hold fast, 


and make good your ground, and press forward to 
wards the mark. Thankfully acknowledge the dis 
tinguishing grace of God to your souls; and live 
rejoicingly in the hopes of the glory of God, the 
hopes that shall never make you ashamed. Live 
daily in the praises of your Redeemer: Be much in 
acquiring God, and study the worthiness, excellency, 
and glory of iiis> Attributes. Let your souls be much 
taken up in contemplating and commending his glo 
rious perfection, and blessing yourselves in the 
goodly portion you have in him: Live like those that 
have a God, and then be disconsolate if you can. If 
there be not more in an infinite God to comfort you, 
than in a prison, or poverty, or other affliction 
to deject you, owr preaching is vain, and your 
faith is vain. Let the thoughts of God be your 
daily repast; and never be satisfied, till your hearts 
run out as freely, naturally, constantly, unweariedly 
after God, as others do after the world. A little 
force upon your heart for a while to turn them 
into this holy channel, may quickly come so to ha 
bituate your minds to holiness that they may natu 
rally run that way. But it is time to shut up: 
Farewell, my dear brethren! The Lord God Al 
mighty be a protection to you, and your exceeding 
great reward! Farewell in the Lord! 

I am, 
Yours in the bowels of the Lord Jesus> 

From the prison at Juelchester, 

Sept, llth, l66S, 


P. S. Just now I received your melting letter, to 
which I am not able now to return an answer, but 
shall with speed. Your very great affections for me 
cannot but move me, and make me ready to repeat 
again the first words of my letter above. The Lord 
enable me to return something to you for your great 
loves: I am sensible I have come very short of my 
duty to you; but I must needs tell you, my bowels 
are moved with your loves, which I hope I shall 
greatly prize. Once more farewell ! 

My dear brother Norman remembers you with 
much love, desiring that you may be blameless and 
harmless, the sons of God without rebuke in the midst 
of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye 
should shine as lights in the world. 


[How to shew love to Ministers, and live joyfully.] 

To the most loving and dearly beloved, my Christian Friends 
in Taunton, grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father, 
and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Most endeared Brethren, 

I HAVE received your moving melting letter, 
and could not look over such tender expressions of 
your working affections, without some commotions 
in my own. I may confidently say, I spent more 
tears upon those lines, than ever you did ink. Your 
deep sense of my labours in the ministry I cannot 
but thankfully acknowledge, and take notice of; yet 



withal, heartily and unfeignedly confessing that all 
was but the duty which I did owe to your precious 
and immortal souls; which, God knows, are very 
much short of my duty. The omissions, imperfec 
tions, defects, deadness, that accompanied my duties, 
I do own, I must and will own; and the Lord hum 
ble me for them ! But all that was of God (and that 
was all that was good) be sure that you give to God 
alone. To him I humbly ascribe both the will, and 
the deed, to whom alone be glory for ever. 

My clear brethren, my business, as I have often told 
you, is not to gain your hearts, or turn your eye* 
towards me, but to Jesus Christ. His spokesman 
I am: Will you give your hearts to him; will you 
give your hands, your names to him ; will you sub 
scribe to his laws, and consent to his offices, and be 
at thorough defiance with all his enemies? This do, 
and I have my errand. Who will follow Christ i 
colours; who will come under his banner? This shall 
be the man that shall be my friend ; this is he that 
will oblige me for ever. Do these letters come to 
none that are yet unsanctifled; to no loose sinner; 
to no ignorant sinner ; to no unsound professor? Oh 
that there were none such indeed ! Oh that I had 
left no such behind me! But would they do me a 
kindness, as I believe they would? Oh then, let 
them come away to Jesus Christ at this call! Lie no 
longer, O sinner, in thy swill; be no more in love 
with darkness; stick no longer in the skirts and out 
side of religion; demur no longer, dispute not and 
waver no more, halt no further, but strike in through- 


Iy with Jesus Christ; except nothing, reserve no 
thing, but come off throughly to the Lord, and fol 
low him fully. And then happy man that thou 
shalt be, for thou wilt be made for ever; and joyful 
man that I shall be, for I shall save a soul from 
death. The earnest and pitiful beggings of a poor 
prisoner do use to move some bowels: Hear, O 
friends, will you do nothing for a minister of Christ? 
Nothing for a prisoner of Jesus Christ? Methinks 
I hear you answer, ee Yea, rather what will we not 
"do? He shall never want while we have it; he 
*< shall need no office of love, but we will run and 
" ride to do it." Yea, but this is not that I beg of 
you; will you gratify me indeed? Then come in, kiss 
the Son, bow to the name of Jesus; not in a compli 
ment, with cap and knee, but let your souls bow, 
let all your powers bend sail, and do him homage. 
Let that sacred name be graven into the substance of 
your hearts, and lie as a bundle of myrrh between 
your breasts. Let me freely speak for him; for he is 
worthy for whom you shall do this thing; worthy 
to be beloved of you; worthy to have your very 
hearts ; worthy to be admired, adored, praised, serv 
ed, glorified to the uttermost by you and every crea 
ture; worthy for whom you should lay down all, 
leave all. Can any thing be too much for him? Can 
any thing be too good for him, or too great for him? 
Come, give up all, resign all, lay it at the feet of 
Christ Jesus, offer all as a sacrifice to him, see that 
you be universally the Lord s ; keep nothing from 
him. I know, through the goodness of God, that 


with many of you this work is not yet to do: but 
this set solemn resignation to the Lord is to be done 
more than once; and to be followed with an an 
swerable practice when it is done: see that you walk 
worthy of the Lord. "But how?" In the fear of 
the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost; let 
these two go together. So shall you adorn the doc 
trine of God our Saviour; and experience the heaven 
ly felicity of a Christian s life. While holiness is made 
the butt of others persecution, do you make it the 
white, the mark of your prosecution ; that you live it 
up, as much as others cry it down. O watch, and keep 
your garments about you ; the plain, but comely 
clothing of humility, the seamless coat of Christian 
unity, the strait snd close garment of strictness, mor 
tification, and self-denial, the warm winter-garment 
of love and charity: this garment will keep you warm 
in the winter; love will not be quenched by the 
waters, nor cooled by the nipping frosts of perse 
cution and opposition. Cleave fast to Christ; never 
let go your hold; cling the faster, because so many 
are labouring to knock off your fingers, and loosen 
your hold. Hold fast your profession, hold fast your 
integrity, hold fast the beginning of your confidence 
stedfast to the end. If you do but keep your hold, 
and make good your ground, and keep your way, 
all that the world can do, and all that the powers of 
darkness can do, can never do you harm. Keep your 
own vineyard with constant care and watchfulness, 
and be sure that there be no inroad made upon your 
consciences, that the enemy do not get between you 



and home, between your souls and God; and then 
let who or what will assail you without, you need not 
fear. Let this be your daily exercise, to keep your 
consciences void of offence: Keep fair weather at 
home, however it be abroad. But I would not only 
that you should walk holily, but that you should walk 
comfortably : But I need say the less to this, because 
the fear of the Lord, and the comfort of the Holy 
Ghost, do lie together. Oh the provision God 
hath made for your continual joy and comfort! Dear 
brethren, do but understand your own blessedness, 
happy men that you are, if you did but know and 
consider it ! Who would count himself poor and mise 
rable that hath all the fulness of the Godhe,ad for his 
soul? Sound in this deep; can you find any bottom ? 
Take the height of the divine perfections if you can ; 
till then you cannot tell your own felicity. Take a 
survey of immensity, tell me the longitude or latitude 
of infinite goodness and mercy, of the eternal Deity: 
if you can do this, you may guess at your own hap 
piness. Oh Christians! live like yourselves, live 
worthy of your portion, of your privilege, and your 
glorious prerogatives. I am in haste, and it is time 
for me to end; however, that you may walk worthy 
of your glorious hopes, and may live answerably to 
the mercies you have received from above, is the 
great desire of 

Your souls fervent wellrwisher in the 

bonds of affliction and tribulation, 


From the prison at Juelckester, 
September 18M, 1663. 


[Easy Sufferings.] 

To the most beloi/ing and beloved, my Christian Friends, at 
Taunton, salvation : 

DEARLY beloved and longed for, my joy and 
crown, for whom I am an Ambassador in bonds, what 
thanks to render to God in your behalf I know not, for 
your fervent charity towards me, and all the servants 
of my Lord, for all your labours of love, for all your 
diligence, and boldness, and resolution, in owning the 
the despised ways and hated servants of the Lord 
Jesus, in an evil day. The Lord is not unrighteous 
to forget this: is not this upon record with him, and 
and sealed up among his treasures? Surely the Lord 
will have mercy upon Taunton. I have no doubt 
but that the God of your mercies hath yet a choice 
blessing in store for you: Be not weakened by my 
bonds. Glory be to God in the highest, that he hath 
accounted me worthy, not only to preach the gospel 
to you, but also to confirm it by the parting with my 
much valued liberty, so dear a people, so sweet 
relations, comforts, conveniences, which I enjoyed 
in all abundance when I was with you. When I 
look back upon all the circumstances of the late pro 
vidence, I must say as they of Christ upon his mi 
racles, He hath done all things well; it is all as 1 would 
have it; I am fully satisfied in my Father s good plea 
sure. Verily there is no little honour and happiness, 
no little peace and privilege in these bonds. Verily 
all is true that I have told you of the all-sufficiency 


of God, of the fulness of Christ, of the satisfactory 
ness of the promises, of the peace, tranquility, con 
tent, and security, that is to be had in a life of faith. 
Surely, methinks, I should be content to seal to these 
things at a much dearer rate than this; but my gra 
cious Father will not put me to the hardest lesson 
at first. Oh what reason have I to speak good of his 
name ! What else should I do all my days, but love, 
and fear, and preach, and praise so good a God? 
When I look back upon the gentle dealings of God 
with me, I often think he hath brought me up as 
indulgently as David did Adonijah, of whom it is 
said, His father had not displeased him. I have re 
ceived nothing but good at the hands of the Lord 
all my days; and, now he doth begin to afflict, I see 
so much mercy in this very gaol, that I must be more 
thankful for this than for my prosperity. Surely 
the name of the place is, The Lord is here: Surely 
it may be called Peniel. Be strong in the Lord, my 
brethren, be patient, stablish your hearts, for the 
coming of the Lord draws nigh. In nothing be ter 
rified by your adversaries. Now let those that fear 
the Lord be often speaking one to another. I hear 
that satan is practising to send more of you after me: 
I desire and pray for your liberty: but if any of you 
be forced hither for the testimony of the gospel, I 
shall embrace you with both arms. Fare you well, 
my most dearly beloved: be perfect, be of good com 
fort, be of one mind, live in peace, and the God of 
love and peace shall be with you. My brethren in 
in bonds salute you with much affection, rejoicing 


to behold your order and the steadfastness of your 
faith in Christ. Share my heart among you, and 
know that I am 

The willing servant of your faith and joy, 

From the common gaol at Judchestw, 

September 28fA, 1663. 


[The love of Christ.] 

To my beloved in the Lord, The flock of Christ in 
Taunt on, grace and peace. 

Most loving and best beloved, 

MY heart is with you, my affections are espous 
ed to you. And methinks I could even say with 
the apostle, You arc in my heart, to live and die with 
you. And who can but love where they have re 
ceived so much love (and continually do) as I have 
from you? The Lord requite your love which is 
great (and if compared with his, but little) with his 
which is infinite: This is a love worthy of your am 
bition, worthy of your adoration and admiration. 
This is the womb that bore you from eternity, and 
out of which have burst forth all the mercies, spiri 
tual and temporal, that you enjoy. This was the 
love that chose you j when less offenders, and those 
that being converted might have been a hundred 
fold more serviceable to their Maker s glory, are left* 

* Left, through their own peryerseness, in rejecting the offers of salvation: 
Not left on account of any horrible pretended decree of reprobation l>v the 
Merciful Father of all mankind. ED. 

U 2 


to perish in their sins : May your souls be filled 
with the sense of this love ! But it may be you will 
say, "How shall I know if I am an object of elec- 
ef ting love?" Least an unbelieving thought should 
damp your joy, know, in short, that if you have cho 
sen God, he hath certainly chosen you. Have you 
taken him for your blessedness? And do you 
more highly prize, and more diligently seek after 
conformity to him, and the fruition of him than any, 
than all the goods of this world. If so, then away 
with doubts ; for you could not have loved, and have 
chosen him, unless he had loved you first. Now 
may my beloved dwell continually in the thoughts, 
the views, the tastes of this love. Get you down 
under its shadows, and taste its pleasant fruits. Oh 
the provisions that love hath made for you, before 
the foundation of the world ! Ah, silly dust, that 
ever thou shouldest be thought upon so long before 
thou wast; that the contrivances of the Infinite Wis 
dom should be taken up about thee; that such a 
crawling thing, such a mite, a flea, should have the 
consultations of the Eternal Deity exercised about 
thee ! Verily his love to thee is wonderful. Lord, 
what is man ? Thou tellest us he is dust and vanity, 
a worm, nothing, less than nothing ; how then dost 
thou love him ? Oh wonderful! be astonished, ye 
heavens, at this ! Be moved, ye strong foundations 
of the earth! Fall down, ye elders; strike up, ye hea 
venly choirs, and sing yet again, Glory to God in the 
highest : For all our strings would crack to reach the 
notes of love, praise, and admiration that this love doth 
call for. Oh that ever emptiness and vanity should 


be thus prized! that Jehovah should make account 
of so worthless, so useless a thing as man! that 
ever baseness should be thus preferred ! that ever 
nothing should be thus dignified! that ever rotten 
ness should be thus advanced; a clod, a shadow, a 
potsheard, should be thus glorified! Oh brethren, 
study, I beseech you, not to requite or retaliate 
(there s impossibility and blasphemy in such a 
thought) but to admire and imitate his love. Let 
love constrain you, let love put you upon doing, and 
prepare for your suffering: Forget not a love so 
memorable, undervalue not a love so invaluable. 
I would have you all the captives of love: May the 
cords of love draw you towards, and knit you to, 
your Redeemer; may the divided streams be united 
in him. Alas, that our souls are so narrow, that the 
waters are so shallow with us ! How little, how very 
little would our love be, if he had it all! Infinitely 
less than the glow-worm to the sun, or the atom to 
the universe. And have we any of this little to spare 
for him? Oh that we might love him with our 
little all ! that all our little powers were engaged for 
him! Brethren, here is no excess. Oh love the 
Lord, ye his saints ! He is worthy for whom you 
shall do this. Do but think, what love hath done 
for you, and think, if you can, what it means to do 
for you. This is the love that yearned upon you, 
when in your blood, no eye pitying you. This is the 
love that took you up, when you were robbed, and 
wounded, and left for dead, and poured in wine and 
oil into your wounds. This is that love that reprie- 


ved, and spared, and pardoned, when the law had 
condemned you, and justice would have had you de 
livered up; and your self-condemning consciences 
gave up all for lost, concluding-there was no hope. 
This is the love, the expensive love that bought you 
from the power of darkness, from the eternal burn 
ings, the devouring fire in which you must otherwise 
have dwelt. Do you not remember how you were 
hungry, and it fed you, naked and it cloathed you, 
strangers and it took you in, sick and it visited you, 
in prison and it came unto you? Yon were dead 
and are alive, you were lost and are found. And 
methinks I see how love runs to meet you, and falls 
upon your necks, and kisseth the lips that deserve to 
be loathed, and rejoices over you, and makes a festi 
val and as it were a holiday in heaven for you, inviting 
angels to rejoice. And if the friends do rejoice, how 
much more dotli the Father? For saith he, These my 
sons were dead and are alive, were lost and are found. 
Oh melting love! Ah brethren, how strange is this, 
that our recovery should be heaven s triumph, the joy 
of God and angels ! that this love should feast us, and 
feast over us, and our birth-day should be kept in 
heaven; that this should be the round at heaven s ta 
ble, and the burden of the songs above " For this 
" my son was dead, and is alive and well i" What 
remains, but that you should be another manner of 
people than ever yet you have been, more holy, more 
humble, more even, more resolved, more lively, 
more active? Where is your zeal for the Lord of 
Hosts? Will slender returns suffice you in answer 


to such a love? God forbid! But necessity calls me 
off from going any further. May the love that chose 
you, and redeemed you, for ever dwell in you, and 
overshadow you and bear you safe to the Kingdom! 
In the holy arms of Divine love I desire to leave you. 
May you live under its daily influences, and be melt 
ed and overcome with its warming beams, with its 
quickening, piercing, powerful rays ! My most dear 
love to you all. See that you live not in a dull, fruit 
less, lifeless course. Be patient, be watchful, instant 
in prayer, fervent in spirit,, serving the Lord. I am 
very healthful and cheerful, through grace. See that 
none of these things that befal us move you. Fare 
you well, my dear brethren; farewell in the Lord. 
I am 

Yours in the strongest bonds of 

affection and affliction, 


From the prison at Juelchester, 
Octob. 25th 1663. 


[^Remember Christ crucified, and crucify sin.] 

To the faithful and well-beloved people, the tenants of Christ 

in Taunion, Salvation. 
Dlost dear Christians, 

I am by office a remembrancer, the Lord s remem 
brancer for you, and your remembrancer in the behalf 
of Christ. My business is, with the apostle, to stir 
up your pure minds by way of remembrance. 


what or whom should I remember you of, but your 
most mindful Friend, your Intercessor with the Fa 
ther, who hath you always in remembrance, appear 
ing in the presence of God for you? May his memo 
ry ever live in our hearts, though mine should die! 
Oh remember his love more than wine; remember in 
what a case he found you, and yet nothing could an 
nihilate his heart, nor divert the purpose of his love 
from you: He loathed not your rags, nor your rotten 
ness. He found you in a loathsome vomit and filthi- 
ness, a nasty and verminous tatters; (think not these 
expressions too odious; no pen can describe, no heart 
can imagine, the odiousness of sin in his sight, in 
which you lay and rolled yourselves as the filthy swine 
in the mire;) yet he pitied you, h is bowels were move- 
ed, and his compassions were kindled, when one 
would have thought his wrath should have boiled and 
his indignation have burned down to hell against you: 
He loathed not, but loved you, and washed you from 
your sins in his own blood: Ah monstrous and pol 
luted captives ! ah vile and putrid carcases ! that ever 
the holy Jesus should take the hands of you, and 
should his own self wash you, and rinse you ! Me- 
thinks I see him weeping over you; and yet it w r as 
a more costly bath by which he cleansed you. Ah 
sinners ! look upon the streaming blood flowing out 
warm from his blessed body, to fetch out the ingrain 
ed filthiness that you by sin had contracted. Alas ! 
what a horrid filthiness in sin, that nothing but the 
blood of the covenant could wash away ! And what 
a love is Christ s} that, when no soap or nitre could 


suffice to cleanse us, when a whole ocean eould not 
wash nor purify us, would open every vein of his 
heart to do the work! Look upon your crucified 
Lord: Do you not see a sacred stream flowing out 
of every member? Ah, how those holy hands, those 
unerring feet do run a Stream to purge us ! ; Vlas, how 
that innocent back doth bleed with cruel scourgings 
to save ours ! How the great drops of blood fall to 
,the ground from his sacred face in his miraculous 
sweat, in his bitter and bloody agony, to wash and 
beautify ours! How his wounded heart and side twice 
pierced, first with love and pity, and then with sol 
diers cruelty, do pour out their healthful and saving 
floods upon us! Lord, how do we make a shift to 
forget such a love as this ! Ah mirrors, or rather 
monsters, of ingratitude, that can be unmindful of 
such a friend! Do we thus requite him? Is this 
our kindness to such an obliging friend? Christi- 
ans, W T here are your affections? To what use do you 
put your faculties ? What have you memories for, 
but to remember him ? What have you the power 
of loving for, but that you should love him? Where 
fore serves joy or desire, but to long for him and de 
lightfully to embrace him? May your souls and all 
their powers be taken up with him; may all the lit 
tle doors of your souls be set open to him! Here 
fix your thoughts, here terminate your desires; here 
you may light your candle and kindle your fire when 
almost out. Rub and chase your hearts well with 
the deep consideration of the love of Christ, and 
it is a wonder if they do not get some warmth. 


The Lord shed abroad his love in your hearts by the 
Holy Ghost: Oh! that this love might constrain 
you ! Brethren, what will you do now for Jesus Christ? 
Have you never a sacrifice to lay upon his altar? 
Come, and I will shew you what you shall do,, 
let your hands be in the blood of your sins, fall 
foul with them, search them out with diligence, 
search your hearts and your houses? Whatever 
iniquities you find there, out with them, put 
them far from your tabernacles; if you crucify them 
not, you are not Jesus his friends. God forbid that 
there should be a lying tongue, or any way of deceit 
in your shops! That his service should give place to 
the world in your families ! Far be it from any of 
you, my brethren, that you should be careful to teach 
your children and servants the way of your trades 
and callings, and neglect to instruct them in the way 
of life. Is weekly catechising up in every one of 
your families? The Lord convince any of you that 
may be guilty of this neglect! Oh! set up God in 
your houses; and see that you be not slovenly in 
closet performances: Beware of serving the Lord 
negligently; serve not the Lord with that which costs 
you nothing: Look to it that you content not your 
selves with a cheap and easy religion. Put your flesh 
to it. Be well assured that the religion that costs you 
nothing, will yield you nothing: Keep up the life of 
religion in your family and closet duties. Fear no 
thing like a customary and careless performance of 
Gocl s service. Judge your own selves whether lazy 
wishes, idle complaints, and yawning prayers, are like 


to carry you through the mighty difficulties that yoii v 
must get through if ever you come to heaven. When 
you find yourselves going on in a listless, lifeless, 
heartless course, and have no mind to your work, 
ask yourselves, "Is this to take the kingdom of hea- 
" ven by violence; or can I hope to win it without?" 
See that yon sacrifice yourselves to the Lord, that 
you deliver up yourselves to him, that now you live 
to Christ himself. As Christ hath made over his 
life and death to you, so let it be your care to live 
and die to him: Labour to forget yourselves and 
look upon all your enjoyments as Christ s goods; 
upon your time, parts, strength, as his talents: Look 
upon yourselves only in the quality of servants and 
stewards, that are to husband all these for your Lord s 
advantage, and as those that must give an account. 
And pray for me that I may take the counsel that I 
give. I bless the Lord, I want nothing but the op 
portunity of being serviceable unto you, and to en 
joy you: But I hope the Lord will make my bonds 
for you to be useful to your edification; that is the 
white I aim at, if I may glorify God, and serve your 
souls best by being here, I shall never wish to come 
out, though I confess liberty of itself is very precious. 
Finally, brethren, farewell: Be perfect, be of good 
comfort, be of one mind, live in peace, and the God 
of love and peace shall be with you. I am 

The ready servant of your faith and joy, 


From the prison at Juelchester, 
October 14f A, 1663. 



My dear brother Norman salutes you tenderly, 
desiring you to be patient, to stablish your hearts, for 
the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. 

[For daily self-examination.] 

To the most beloved people, the flock of Christ inTaunton, 

Most dear brethren, 

I would my time were as long as my heart, that I 
might open myself to you; but I was not without 
some discontent diverted, when I was setting myself 
to have written at large to you. Now I am pinched; 
however I could not leave my dear charge altogether 
unvisited, but must needs salute you in a few lines. 
Brethren, how stands it with you? Doth the main 
work go on? Do your souls prosper? This is my care: 
beware that you flag not, that you faint not now, in 
the evil day. I understand that your dangers grow 
upon you; may your faith and courage and resolution 
grow accordingly, and much more abundantly to 
overtop them. 

Some of your enemies I hear are in great hopes to 
satisfy their lusts upon you: Well, be not discou 
raged, my dear brethren, but bless the -Lord, who, 
of his abundant mercy, hath so remarkably preserv 
ed you so long beyond all expectation. Let it not 
be a strange thing to you, if the Lord do now call you 
to some difficulty: Forsake not the assembling of 
yourselves together, as the manner of some is. T 


plainly see the coal of religion will soon go out, un 
less it have some better helps to cherish it, than a 
carnal ministry, and lifeless administration. Dear 
brethren, now is the time for you that fear the Lord, 
to speak often one to another: Manage your duties 
with what prudence you can, but away with that 
carnal prudence that will decline duty to avoid dan 
ger. Is the communion of saints worth the ventu 
ring for? Shut not up your doors against godly meet 
ings. I am told that it is become a hard matter, when 
a minister is willing to take pains with you, to get 
a place : Far be this from you, my brethren. What ! 
shut out the word! Suppose there be somewhat more 
danger to him that gives the minister entertainment; 
is there not much more advantage accordingly ? Did 
not OhedEdom, and his house, get the blessing, by en 
tertaining the ark there? Or do you think God hath 
never a blessing for those that shall, with much self- 
denial, entertain his messengers, his stunts, his Wf?r- 
ship ? Are you believers, and yet are afraid you shall 
be losers by Christ? Do you indeed not know that 
he that runs most hazard for Christ, doth express most 
love to Christ, and shall receive the greatest reward? 
Away with that unbelief, that prefers the present 
safety before the future glory. 

I left you some helps for daily examination ; I am 
jealous least you should grow slack, and slight, and 
careless in that duty. Let me ask you, in the name 
of the Lord, doth never a day pass you, but you do 
solemnly and seriously call yourselves to an account, 
Vr-jiat your carriage hath been to God and menr 


Speak, conscience, is there never an one, within the 
hearing of this letter, that is a neglecter of this duty? 
.Doth every one of your consciences acquit you? 
Oh that they did ! Oh that they could! Tell me, 
would not some of you be put shrewdly to it, if I 
should ask you when you read or thought over the 
questions that were given you for your help? And 
would you not be put to a blush, to give me an an 
swer? And will you not be much more ashamed, 
that God and conscience should find you tardy ? 
Not that I would necessarily bind you up to that 
very method, only till you have found a way more 
profitable, I would desire you, y ea, methinks, I can 
not but deeply charge you, to make daily use of that. 
Awake, conscience, and do thou fall upon that soul 
that thou findest careless in this work, and never 
let him be at rest till thou canst witness for him, 
that he is a daily and strict observer of himself, and 
doth live in the constant practice of this duty. 
What shall neither God s charge, nor your promise, 
nor profit, hold you to your work? Yet I may not 
doubt, but some of you do daily perform this duty. 
The Lord encourage you in it: yet give me leave 
to ask you what you have gained. Are you grown 
more universally conscientious, more strict, more 
humble, and more sensible of your many and great 
defects, than you were before? If so, blessed are 
you of the Lord; if otherwise, this duty hath been 
performed but slightly by you. What can you say 
to this question? Doth your care of your ways 
abate, or doth it increase, by the constant use of 


this duty? If it abate, remember from whence you 

are fallen, and repent; as good not do it at all, as 

not to the purpose. 

My pen is apt to run, when I am writing unto 

you. I beseech you, that my letters may not be as 
so much waste paper to you ; may they be provo 
cations to your duty, and medicines to any corrup 
tions that they meet with: Oh that they might fiud 
out men s sins, and excite their graces ! I have run 
much farther than I thought I should have done, 
but now I am called upon, and must shut up. The 
Lord God be a sun and a shield to you. My most 
dear love to you all; fare you well in the Lord. 
I am 

Your Ambassador in bonds, 


From the common gaol at Juelchester, 
October 20tk f 1663. 


[Motives and marks of growth.] 

To the most loving, and lest beloved, the servants of Christ 

in Taunt on, grace and peace : 
Most dear and tender friends, 

WHOSE I am, and whom, under God, I desire to 
serve; to build you up in holiness, and comfort, hath 
been, through grace, my great ambition. This is- 
that which I laboured for; this is that which I suffer 
for; and, in short, the end of all my applications to 
x 2 


you, and to God for you. How do your souls pros 
per; are they in a thriving case? What progress 
do you make in sanctification? Doth the house of 
Saul grow weaker and weaker, and the house of 
David stronger and stronger? Beloved, I desire to 
be jealous of you with a godly jealousy, lest any of 
you should lose your ground in these declining times: 
and therefore IJcannot but be often calling upon you 
to look to your standing, and to watch and hold fast, 
that no man take your crown. Ah ! how surely shall 
you reap in the end, if you faint not ! Take heed 
therefore that you lose hot the things you have 
wrought; but as you have begun well, so go on in 
the strength of Christ, and give diligence to the full 
assurance of hope to the end. It is your thriving, 
I tell you, I drive at. 

Do you need motives? \.How much are you behind 
hand? Oh, the fair advantages that we have lost? 
What time, what sabbaths, sermons, sacraments are 
upon the matter lost? How much work have we 
yet to do? Are you sure of heaven yet? Are you 
fit to die yet? Surely they that are in so much po 
verty, under so many great wants, had need to set 
upon some more thriving courses. 

Secondly, Consider what others have gained, whilst 
we, it may be, sit down by the loss: Have we not 
met many vessels richly laden, while our souls are 
empty? Oh, the rich booties, the golden prizes that 
some have won, while we have folded the hands to 
aleep ! Have not many of our own standing in reli 
gion left us far behind them ? 


Thirdly, Consider what a spending time there z> 
comin<r: Affliction and tribulation seem to be not 


far from you: Had you not need to be well stock 
ed against such a day? Go to the ant,, thou slug 
gard; she layeth up her meat in summer. Happy 
man that can say to his soul on good grounds, what 
he vainly spake, Thou hast much goods laid up for 
many years: Who will not victual the castle against 
the siege, and the ship against the voyage? 

Fourthly, Consider you will find all little enough when 
you come to die: The wise among the virgins have 
no oil to spare at the coming of the bridegroom : Dis 
tress, and temptations, and death, will put all your 
graces to it. How much ado have many poor saints 
had at last to put into this harbour ? David cries for 
respite, till he had recovered a little more strength. 

Fifthly, Consider how little it will avail you to thrive 
in your estates, and not thrive in your souls: Poor 
Gehazi! what did he get by it when he gained Na- 
aman s talents, and came off with his leprosy? 

Sixthly, Consider how short your time for gathering, 
in all probability, is: The Israelites gathered twice so 
much manna against the sabbath as they did at other 
times, because at that time there was no manna fell. 
Brethren, you know not how long you have to lay 
in for. 

Seventhly, Consider God s expectations are great 
from you : He hath been lopping and pruning you, 
and now he looks for more fruit : He hath had you 
for some time under his more severe discipline, and 
therefore expects you should be better proficients. 


He hath tried new means with you, and is come to 
you with a rod ; and he will be angry with a witness 
if he do not find you now to mend. Times of afflic 
tion use to be gaining times to God s people; God 
forbid that you alone should be losers! 

Do you ask for marks how you may know your 
souls to be in a thriving case? 

First, If your appetites be more strong. Do you 
thirst after God, and after grace more than- hereto 
fore? Do your cares for, and desires after, the world 
abate; and do you hunger and thirst after righteous 
ness? Whereas you were wont to come with an ill- 
will to holy duties, do you come to them as a hungry 
stomach to its meat? 

Secondly, If your pulses beat more even. Are you 
still off and on, hot and cold? Or is there a more 
even-spun thread of holiness through your whole 
course? Do you make good the ground from which 
you were formerly often beaten off? 

Thirdly, If your natural heat do grow more vigorous, 
and your digestion more quick. Do you take more 
notice of God in every thing, than heretofore; and 
let none of his works or words pass without some 
careful attention, and observation? Do you ponder 
upon, and pray over, his word and his providences? 
Fourthly, If you do look more to the compass and 
latitude of religion, and mind more than ever the car- 
rying on together the duties of both tables. Do you 
not only look to the keeping of your own vineyards; 
but do you begin to look more abroad, and to lay 
out yourselves for the good of others, and are filled 


with zealous desires for their conversion and salva 
tion? Do you manage your talk and your trade, by 
the rules of religion? 

Do you eat and sleep by rule? Doth religion 
form, and mold, and direct your carriage towards 
husband, wife, parents, children, masters, servants? 
Do you grow more universally conscientious? Is 
piety more diffusive than ever with you; doth it 
come more abroad with you, out of your closets into 
your houses, your shops, your fields? Doth it jour 
ney with you, and buy and sell for you ? Hath it 
the casting voice in all you do? 

F[ftMy, If the duties of religion be more easy^ sweet, 
and delightful to you. Do you take more delight in 
the word than ever? Are you more in love with 
secret prayer, and more abundant in it? Cannot 
you be content with your ordinary seasons, but are 
ever and anon making extraordinary visits to hea 
ven; and upon all occasions turning aside to talk 
with God in some short ejaculations? Are you often 
darting up your souls heavenwards? Is it meat and 
drink for you, to do the will of God ? Do you 
come off more freely with God, and answer his calls 
and open at his knocks, with more alacrity and rea 
diness of mind? 

Sixthly, If you are more abundant in those duties 
which are most displeasing to the flesh. Are you more 
earnest upon the duty of mortification ? Are you 
more strict and severe than ever in the duty of daily 
self-examination and holy meditation? Do you hold 
the reins harder upon the flesh than ever? Do you 


keep a stricter watch upon your appetites ? Do you 
set a stronger guard upon your tongues? Have you 
a more jealous eye upon your hearts? 

Seventhly, If you grow more vile in your own eyes. 
Pride is such a choaking weed, that nothing will 
prosper near it. Do you grow more out of love with 
men s esteem, and set less by it? Are you 1 not mar 
vellous tender of being slighted? Can you rejoice 
to see others preferred before you ? Can you hear 
tily value, and love them that think meanly of you? 

Eighthly, If you grow more quick of sense, more 
tender of sinning, more sensible of divine influences, 
or withdrawings. Are you more afraid of sin than 
ever? Are your sins a greater pain to you than 
heretofore? Are your very infirmities your great 
afflictions ? And the daily workings of corruption, 
a continual grief of mind to you? 

Ninthly, If you are acted more by love to God and 
faith in these promises. Fear is a slavish principle: 
do you find that you are acted less by fear, and more 
by love? Do you look more frequently than ever 
to the things not seen; and doth the world abate in 
your esteem? Do you go more out of yourselves? 
Do you live upon Christ as the spring of your life, 
and make more use of him upon all occasions than 
ever? Do you prize the promises more, and hug 
and embrace them with greater clearness, and live 
more upon them? 

Tenthly, If you grow of a more public!: spirit. A 
selfish spirit is unworthy of a Christian : are the com 
mon concernments of God s glory, and the prospe- 


rity of the church, much upon your hearts? Will 
it no way content you to dwell in plenty, peace, and 
safety, yourselves, except you may see peace upon 
Israel? Do the wounds in God s name and glory 
go deep into you? Are the sins of others your sor 

Time, and room, and strength, fail to add means 
too, as I intended. 1 have trespassed in length al 
ready, may these be helps to you to put you forward 
and to help you in discerning your growth. I must 
conclude abruptly, and commend you to God. With 
my dear loves to you all, I take leave, and can only 
tell you, that. I am, 

Yours in the Lord Jesus, 


From the prison at Judchcster, " 

October 31st, 1663. 

[Persuasion to sinners, and comfort to saints.] 

To my dearly beloved, the inhabitants of the town of Tauntoii, 
grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

Most dearly beloved, 

I HAVE been through mercy many years with you, 
and should be willingly so many years a prisoner for 
you, so. I might eminently and effectually further 
your salvation. I must again, yea again and again, 
thank you for your abundant and entire affections 
to me, which I value as a great mercy, not in order 


to myself, if I know my own heart, but in order to 
your benefit, as I may thereby be a more likely in 
strument to further your good. Surely, so much as 
I do value your love, which is not a little, yet had 
I rather (if lam not unacquainted with myself) be for 
gotten and forsaken of you all, and buried in oblivion, 
so that your eyes and hearts might be hereby fixed 
on Christ, and sincerely engaged to him. Brethren, 
I have not bespoken your affections for myself: O 
that I might win your hearts universally to Jesus 
Christ, though I had lost them for ever! O that I 
might be instrumental to convert you to Him, 
though you were diverted from me ! I am per 
suaded that I %hould much rather choose to be hated 
of all, so this might be the means to have Christ 
honoured, and set up savingly in the hearts of you 
all. And indeed there is nothing great but in order 
to God ; nothing is much material or considerable, 
as it is terminated in us: It matters not whether we 
are in riches or poverty, in sickness or health, in 
honour or disgrace, so Christ may be by us magnifi 
ed in the condition we are in. Welcome prison and 
poverty, welcome scorn and envy, welcome pains 
or contempt, if by these God s glory may be most 
promoted! What are we for but for God? What 
<loth the creature signify separated from his God? 
Why just so much as the cypher separated from the 
figure, or the letter from the syllable; we are no 
thing, or nothing worth, but in reference to God 
and his ends. Better werfc it that we had never been, 
than that we should not be to him. Better that we 


We were dead, than that we should live, and not to 
him. Better that we had no understandings, than that 
we should not know him. Better that we were blocks 
and brutes, than that we should not use our reason 
for him. What are our interests, unless as they may 
be subservient to his interest; or our esteem or re 
putation, unless we may hereby glorify him? Do 
you love me? I know you do. But who is there that 
will leave his sins for me? I mean, at my requests. 
With whom shall I prevail, to give up himself in 
strictness and self-denial to the Lord? Who will 
be intreated by me, to set upon neglected duties, or 
reform accustomed sins? O wherein may you re 
joice me? In this, in this, my brethren, in this you 
shall befriend me, if you obey the voice of God by 
me, if you be prevailed with to give yourselves up 
thoroughly to the Lord! Would you lighten my 
burden? Would you loosen my bonds? Would you 
make my heart glad? Let me hear of your owning 
the ways and servants of the Lord in adversity, of 
your coming in> of your abiding and patient conti 
nuing in, the ways of holiness. O that I could but 
hear that the prayerless souls, the prayerless families 
among you, were now given to prayer! that the pro 
fane sinners would be awakened, and be induced by 
the preaching of these bonds, who heretofore would 
not be prevailed with, to leave their drunkenness, 
their loose company, their lying and deceit, and wan 
tonness, by all the threatenings of God that could 
be pronounced against them, nor all beseechings, 
wooings, and entreaties that I was able to use witk 


them ! Will you not be made clean ? When shall 
it once be? How long shall the patience of God 
wait for you? How long shall the Lord Jesus stretch 
out his hands toward you? O sinners, cast your 
selves into his arms ! Why should you die ? Why 
will you forsake your own mercy ? Will you per 
ish when mercy wooes you? Confess and forsake 
your sins, and you shall find mercy. Will you part 
with Christ, and sell your souls to perdition,, for a 
little ease and delight to your flesh ; or a little of the 
gain of unrighteousness; or a little ale or vain mirth; 
or loose company? Why, these are the things that 
part between sinners and Christ. 

I know many are spun with a finer thread, and 
are not so far from the kingdom of God as the pray- 
erless, ignorant, sabbath-breaking, intemperate s.ort 
are. But I must once again warn you of staying in 
the suburbs of the city of refuge. O what pity is 
it that any should perish at the gates ! that any should 
escape the pollutions of the world and do many 
things, yea, and suffer, it may be too, and yet should 
fall short of the glory of God, for want of a thorough 
work of grace! Oh, you halting Christians, that halt 
between Christ and the world, that are as Ephraim, 
like a cake not turned, dough-baked, professors that 
have lamps without oil, that cry, " Lord, Lord," but 
do not the will of Our Father which is in heaven! 
How long will you stay in the place of the breaking 
forth of children, and stick between the womb and the 
world ? Your religion will carry you among the pro 
fane despisers of godliness; but you do own the peo- 


pie of the Lord, and do love the ministers and ordi 
nances, therefore all is well. I tell you, godliness 
is a heart- work, it goes deep and spreads far. Un 
less the frame of your hearts, and the drifts of your 
course be changed, unless you be universally con 
scientious, and unreservedly delivered up to the 
Lord for all times and conditions, whatever be the 
cost, you are none of Christ s, how far soever you go 
in common workings and external performances. 
Hear then, O people, and let not profaneness swallow 
you up: let not an almost Christianity deceive you, 
or ignorance carry you blindfold to perdition. Oh 
the thousands, and ten thousands that have been 
undone by one of these! Ah! how often have you 
been warned against them, lest you should split 
against these dangerous rocks. " Jerusalem, 
Jerusalem" said Christ, and " Taunton, Taunton" 
may I say from him, "how often?" Who can tell how 
often would God s servants have gathered you, and 
you would not? Many, very many of you would 
not. But will you now? Will you yet come in? I 
cannot forbear once more, even out of the prison, to 
call after poor sinners, and make one tender of mer 
cy more. O come to the waters of life, wash you, 
make you clean; read with diligent observation the 
melting passages, Prov. i. 22, to the end, Isa. i. 16, 
21. Isa. Iv. 6, 10. Oh obdurate sinners, if none of 
these things move you ! 

But for you whose very hearts are set against 
every sin, and are deliberately resolved for God and 
holiness before all the world s delight; you that have 


experience of a thorough change, and are brought 
to have respect to all God s commandments, who 
will have none but God for your happiness, none 
but Christ for your treasure, that must and will have 
him, come what will come, blessed are you f the 
Lord. O happy souls, rejoice in the Lord, and again 
I say, rejoice: let your souls magnify the Lord, and 
your spirits rejoice in God your Saviour. Live you 
a life of praise, you are highly favoured of the Lord ; 
your lines are fallen in a pleasant place; only stick you 
fast to your present choice. Beware lest any man 
beguile you of your reward: watch and keep your 
garments about you, lest you walk naked, and men 
see your shame. Many will be plucking, to pull 
you out of Christ s hands; but the haicler they pluck, 
the harder, do you cling and cleave to him, and the 
better hold-fast do you take of him; Blessed is he 
that overcometh. 

And now the God of heaven fill you all with him 
self, and make all grace to abound in you, and to 
ward you, and may he be a sun to comfort you, and 
a shield of protection to you, and shine with his hap 
py beams of grace and glory on you all: Farewell 
in the Lord. I am 

Yours in the bonds of the gospel, 

August 28th, 1663. 



[How to live to God.] 

To the beloved people, the inhabitants of the town of Taunton, 
Grace and Peace. 

Most endeared Christians, 

TO tell you I love and long for you, seems some 
what needless. I cannot doubt of your confidence 
that you have a deep share in my tenderest affections : 
for this let my labours among you,, and the hazards 
for you speak, rather than I myself. Beloved, I am, 
without a compliment, the devoted servant of your 
souls prosperity, and the interest of Christ in you. 
May the Lord Jesus "be set up higher in your hearts ! 
May his name ever live in you, and be magnified by 
you, and I have what I ask. If this work be not 
promoted among you, I shall account all my letters 
but waste paper, and all my pains but lost labour. 
Brethren, I beseech you, that none of you live to 
yourselves, for this were directly to cross the very end 
of Christ s death. For therefore he died that you should 
not live to yourselves. (2 Cor. v. 15.) Oh live to him 
that died for you ! Live to him that is the God of your 
life ! Live to him that bought your lives with the ex 
pense of his own ! To him that bought you from de 
struction ; and not only so, but bought your names in to 
the eternal inheritance, reserved in the heavens for 
you. Will a man be easily persuaded to lose his life? 
How infinitely tender are men here! And yet, in 
the worst sense, the most of men do lose their lives, 
yea, lose them for nothing. Beloved, consider, 1 
beseech you, that life is lost that is not lived unto 

y 2 


God. If you would not lose your lives that you live, 
see to him who is the end of .your lives. Oh re 
member this, and reckon that day lost which you 
have not lived unto Odd I Brethren, how great a 
part of our lives have we really, alas! too really lost? 
I beseech you take heed: here you are careful about 
many things, but beware that other things do not 
put out this which should be the main of your cares, 
to wit, the spending your days and strength for him 
that made you. Would it not be dreadful for a man 
to find at last when he comes to his account with 
God, that his whole life, or at least the main of it, 
had been but damnable self-seeking; that a man 
should have so many years allowed him by God, and 
he should at last be found to have been but a false 
and wicked servant that had set up for himself with 
his master s stock, and alienated his goods, and turn 
ed them to his own use? Well, that you may 
thoroughly learn the grand lesson of living unto God, 
take these counsels: v 

First, Settle it upon your heart that it is the sum of 
all your business and blessedness to live unto God: It 
is your business; for his pleasure you are and were 
created. W hat have you else to do but to serve your 
Maker in your general and particular callings? 
(( What was the candle made for," saith one, " but 
to be burnt?" Beloved, what else have you strength 
for, but for God ? Doth he maintain servants, and 
shall not he look for their work? Would you en 
dure it that the servants that you find with meat 
and wages, should set up for themselves ; that they 


should eat your bread, and all the while do their own 
work ? Beloved, God s service is your business, and 
he made you and keeps you for no other end ; and it 
is your blessedness too. Labour to be under the 
rooted conviction of this principle, that your very 
happiness lies in pleasing and honouring of God. 
Let the sense of this live fresh upon your hearts, and 
it will regulate your whole course. 

Secondly, Remember what a dangerous, yea, damna 
ble thing it is to live to yourselves: To make it our 
main care and business to please and gratify our 
selves, or to have applause from and reputation with 
others, or to grow rich in the world, and greaten our 
selves and posterity, is the certain evidence of a 
graceless heart. And though the godly do make God 
their principal end in general, yet they must know, 
that for so much of their lives as is spent besides this 
end, (which is too too much) they shall suffer loss. 

Thirdly, Labour to keep alive upon yourselves a deep 
sense of your strong obligations to God. Often think 
with yourselves what a righteous, what a reasonable 
thing it is, that you should, with all that you have, 
serve the Lord. Beloved, shall not the vessel be for 
the use of the potter that made it? Shall not the 
servant trade for his master with whose goods he is 
entrusted? Do you not fetch all your bread from 
God s door? Is not he the Rock that begat you; 
the author of your being and well-being? Is not 
this he that can crucify you or release you; can save 
you or damn you at his pleasure ? Is it not from him 
that you fetch every breath ? Your interest obliges you 


to please him. Why should Belskazzar s charge be 
against you? that the God in whose hand your 
breath is, and whose are all your ways, you have not 
glorified. (Dan. v. 23.) 

Fourthly, Do not only intend God as the general 
end of your course, but in every solemn action actually 
mind your end. Though a man need not, cannot 
think of his journey s end at every step, yet with 
care he might come to this, in every "solemn action 
particularly and expressly to mind his end. A man 
cannot (nor need he) think at every bit that he puts 
into bis mouth, " I will eat this for God:" yet he 
might, every time he sits down to his table., remem 
ber to eat and drink, not to gratify his flesh, but to 
glorify God, by getting strength for his work. You 
cannot think of it in every step in your journey, but 
without intending some glory to God by serving his 
will in your place and station; and so in your visits 
and labours. 

Fifthly, Every morning let this be your first and 
firm resolution, " I will set forth this day in the Name 
of God." Your first and last thoughts are of greatest 
consequence; and therefore I advise you to begin 
and end with this: whenever you lie down, say in 
yourselves, " I will make use of my bed as an ordi- 
tl nance of God, that a servant of his may be refresh- 
< f ed and fitted for his work." Whenever you rise 
up, think " I will spend this day for God, and fol- 
" low the business of my calling, because I am so 
" appointed by God." (Zech. x. 12.) And they shall 
walk up and down in his name, saith the Lord, 8$c t 


Beloved, I design the sweetness and comfort, as 
well as strictness of your lives. Live to God as you 
are directed, and you shall marvellously prosper in 
both. I am not su^e yet, whether or not I shall see 
you at the assizes, which I earnestly desire to do. I 
leave all things to our Father s wise disposal, and com 
mending you to God, I divide my loves among you, 
and so rest 

Yours in the bonds of the Lord Jesus, 


From the prison at Juelchester, 
Nov. 14, 1663. 

[Motives to set ourselves to please God.] 

To my most dearly beloved, the servants of Christ in Taunton, 
Grace and Peace. 

Most dear Christians, 

YOUR prisoner in the Lord saluteth you with 
all clearness: you are the care of my heart, the de 
sire of my eyes, the joy of my bonds, and the sweet 
of my liberty. I am much satisfied in the wise dis 
posal of our Heavenly Father, whether he see it good 
for me to be a bond-man, or a freeman, so I may but 
serve your souls to the greatest advantage. Me- 
thinks I begin to feel in myself, more than ever, the 
benefit of your prayers; the influences of heaven, 
through the riches of free-grace, (to which alone be 
the praise; being more fully sensible, and sweet up 
on me. I hope the Lord will restore us one to ano- 


ther in his time, much better than we parted ; in the 
mean time, see that you stand fast in the hope of the 
gospel. The Lord taketh infinite care for you ; see 
that it be your care, the care of your very hearts, 
to please the Lord. Set your hearts to it as the bu 
siness of your lives, and the very end of your beings, 
to walk worthy of the Lord unto all well-pleasing. 
Set home on yourselves such considerations as these: 

First, It is the very business you were made for, and 
sent into the world for, to please your Maker. For his 
pleasure you are, and were created. Why should 
the Lord repent that he had made you? (Gen. vi. 6.) 
What treacherous and damnable falsehood is this, 
that when the Lord hath given us breath and being, 
and sent us into the world on purpose on his ser 
vice, we should, like false and wicked servants, set 
up for ourselves ? Why should your Creator say, he 
hath made you in vain? 

Secondly, If you set your hearts to please the Lord, 
you are sure you shall please him. It is not so with 
men, all the care in the world will not suffice to 
please some men. How often do princes forsake 
their greatest favourites ? So that if you set to 
please men, you are not sure to attain your end at 
last; yea, rather you are sure not to attain it. But 
if the Lord doth see your very hearts be set to 
please him, he will accept you, though you come, 
short. (2 Cor. viii. 12.) Read that sweet passage, 
2 Chron. vi. 30, 36, 37. 

Thirdly, It will be a certain sign of your sincerity 
when the pleasing of the Lord is uour greatest business. 


(Col. i. 10.) To such the promise runs, Isa. Ivi. 4, 5. 
It is a distinguishing evidence, truly to seek and 
prize God*s favour, more than corn and wine. (Psal. 
iv. 6, 7.) 

Fourthly, This will set all in order, and bring all 
your business to a head, when you have set down this as 
the one thing necessary, that you are resolved to please 
the Lord, this will regulate your whole lives, and bring 
all your business into a little compass. A Christian hath 
but one thing to do in all conditions, and that is to 
carry it so in his present state, as that he may please 
God. A man-pleaser ! O how many hath he to please! 
What an endless work hath such an one to do? 

Fifthly, Comsider but how careful the man-pleasing 
parasite, and time-serving hypocrite, is to please men: 
And shall not we take as much care to please our 
God? Oh how doth the flattering courtier study 
the humour of his prince! Be you as careful to 
study, and to be acquainted with, the mind of God. 
What will not men do to screw themselves into the 
favour of the mighty ? Oh that you were but as di 
ligent, and unwearied, and punctual in your endea 
vours, to get and keep the favour of the Almighty! 

Sixthly, Consider whose favour or displeasure is of 
that consequence to you, as the Lord s is of. What, if 
men should be angry with you, have they the keys 
of hell and of death ? No., no; fear them not. Can they 
undo your souls? Can they send you to hell? Alas! 
they cannot. See that you dread his displeasure that 
can. Alas ! what will their favour avail you? If they 
be pleased, can they stand between the wrath of God 


and you? Can they pardon your sins, save your 
souls, secure your eternal concernments? Where is 
all their favour or good- will, when they or you come 
to die? It will not be worth a rush, when most need 
ed. Therefore, beloved brethren, whatever you do, 
keep in with God. Resolve upon it. He must be 
pleased, though all the world be displeased. Let it 
be enough to you to have his good- will: Let this be 
the one thing that you bend yourselves to seek; and 
if you set to seek it, you may be sure to find it. 
The messenger stays for me, and so I must here shut 
up my letter, as Jude doth his-^-Fe, beloved, building 
up yourselves in your most holy faith, praying in the 
Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking 
for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal 
life. Unto his grace I commend you all, and shall 
add nothing but to share my loves among you, and 
.so rest, 

Your ambassador in bonds, 

Juelchester, Nov.22d, 1663. 


[The worth of holiness]. 

To the beloved people, the flock of God in Taunton, grace and 

Most dear friends, and brethren, 

I AM now a prisoner of the Lord for you Gentiles, 
and therefore have sent these few lines, to beseech 
you by these bonds, which I gladly endure for your 


sakes, to hold forth and hold fast the profession of 
your faith without wavering. The Lord make you 
stedfast in the holy doctrine wherein you have been 
taught. I have not shunned to declare unto you 
the whole counsel of God. O remember that, by the 
space of eight years, I ceased not to warn you every 
one; and kept back nothing that was profitable unto 
you, but have taught you publickly, and from house 
to house, warning every man, and teaching every 
man, that I might present every man perfect in Christ 
Jesus. Oh that impenitent sinners would yet re 
member the invitations, and the obsecrations, and the 
obtestations, that they have had! Have they not been 
sought unto? Have they not been entreated? Have 
they they not been followed from the publick, to 
their own houses? Hath not the word been brought 
to their doors? Hath not mercy wooed them? Have 
they not been called under the wings of mercy? 
And yet they would not. Oh that they would con 
sider it now in the latter days! (Jer. xxiii. 20.) Oh 
that they would remember, and repent, that there 
might be yet an after-harvest! That they would yet 
come in and live! Are you yet willing to turn? Hear 
how wisdom calls after you, (Prov. xi.) How long, 
ye simple ones, mill you love simplicity, and fools hate 
knowledge? Turn you at my reproof. But if they 
will not hear, good were it for them that they had 
never been born : It shall be more tolerable and 
better for Sodom and Gomorrah, than for them. 

But for you that have taken upon you the profes 
sion of strict godliness, I shall only press you to fol- 


low on, and press towards, the mark. You have 
much work yet to do, and God hath given you no 
time to loiter in. I beseech you to put on. That 
person that sits down when he hath gotten to that 
pitch that he thinks will bring him to heaven, is never 
like to come thither. Grace is one of those things 
that saith, it never hath enough. Let me urge upon 
you the Apostle s counsel, (Heb. xii. 14.) follow after 

First, Holiness is the choicest ornament: It is an 
adorning, in the sight of God, of great prize. It is 
the glory of God, and will you count it your shame? 
(Exodus, xv.) God is glorious in holiness, and grace is 
called glory. (2 Cor. iii. 18.) But we may now cry out 
as the Psalmist, in his complaint, ye sons of men, 
how long will ye turn my glory into shame? (Ps. iv. 2.) 
But be of good comfort, the shame of holiness is real 
glory. How confidently doth Paul shake his chain ! 
(Acts xxviii. 20.) We read of some that did glory 
in their shame, in a sad sense, that is, in tnat which 
was real ground of shame, to wit, their sin. (Phil. 
iii. 19.) But we meet with others that, in a happy 
sense, did glory in their shame; that is, in the shame 
of religion, which is indeed a crown of glory. So 
did Peter and John. (Acts v. 41.) 

Secondly, Holiness is the safest muniment. Grace is 
not only for ornament, but for use. Righteousness is a 
breastplate that keeps the vitals, and is sure defence 
from any mortal wounds. (Ephes. vi. 14.) When 
the politicians have done their best, with all their po 
litic fetches, it is he that walketh uprightly, that wtdketh 


surely. (Prov. x. 10.) Let integrity and uprightness 
preserve me, saith David. (Psa. xxv. 21.) I desire 
no other protection than innocency. I desire to be 
no longer safe than these can preserve me. When I 
must let go my integrity or my safety, I will choose the 
danger rather than the sin; and yet will never doubt 
but my integrity will save me harmless/ and pre 
vent me for ever coming off a loser. Never persuade 
me that that man doth choose wisely, or will consult 
his own safety, that runs upon the displeasure of the 
infinite God, who is a devouring fire, to fly the dan 
ger of man s displeasure. Did you ever read or hear 
of a man so mad as to run upon the sword s point, to 
avoid the scratch of a pin? Or to run upon a roar 
ing cannon, rather than endanger his being wet- 
shot? Why, this is the best wisdom of the distracted 
world, who wilj. sin rather than suffer, and to save 
themselves harmless in the world, will run upon 
God, even upon his neck, and the thick bosses of 
his buckler. (Job xv. 25, 26.) 

TJtinUy. Holiness will be found to be your real hap 
piness : Eat of this tree, and you shall indeed be as 
God. Godliness is God s likeness. The beauty of 
holiness is this very image; sin is the disease of which 
holiness is the cure. Pride is the tympany, passion the 
fever of the mind; how restlessly raging is the mind 
where they reign? Holiness, humility, meekness, 
are a present ease, a present cure, if the patient can 
take but enough. O what peace and tranquility 
doth holiness work in the mind ! Great peace have 
they that love thy commandments, and nothing shall of* 


fend them. (Psalm cxix. 165.) Read Isa. xlviii. 18,22, 
and xxvi. 3, and xxxii. 17. Holiness will be a trea 
sure of riches, (James ii. 5.) and a crown of honour, 
(Actsxvii. 11.) a paradise of pleasure to you. (Prov. 
iii. 17.) In a word, holiness is the perfection of 
man s nature, (Heb. xii. 21.) the communication of 
the divine nature, (2 Peter i. 4.) the earnest of glory, 
(Mat. v. 8,) and the very entrance of heaven. (Phil, 
iii. 20.) 

Let me say now to every one of you, as our 
Saviour to Martha, (John xi. 26.) " Believest thou 
this?" If you do, live like believers; and do you fol 
low after holiness, as others follow their trades or 
studies. Let religion be your business, and not a 
thing by the by with you. Follow as hard upon the 
pursuit of grace, as if you did indeed believe riches 
and honour were in it. Count yourselves well, as 
long as you keep within the line of your duty. Let 
holiness sit in your lips, and season all your speech 
with grace. Profess it, own it, plead stoutly and 
resolve for it; be you advocates for holiness, in an 
adulterous and wicked generation. Wear it as a 
robe of honour, when the spiteful world cast the 
dung of their reproaches at you for it: Let it dwell 
in your hearts: Let it adorn your houses: Let it 
be your companion in your closets : Let it travel with 
you in your journies: Let it lie down and rise up with 
you: Let it close your eyes in the evening, and call 
you out of your beds in the morning. Be you the 
votaries of holiness: Keep her, and she shall keep you. 
I shall close with my loves to you all, only because 
I know you love to hear of my welfare: I must tell 


you that goodness and mercy do follow me perpetu 
ally every day,, and every night Glory to God in 
the highest ! Dear brethren, fare you well in the 
Lord. I am 

Your devoted servant in the gospel., 

whether a bond-man or a free, 


From the prison at Juelchester, 
Dec. 3rd, l66s . 

Most dearly beloved, 

This was intended for you a week sooner than it 
comes to be communicated. I purposely write in the 
middle of the week, that if any opportunity be sud 
denly offered, I may have somewhat ready for you: 
JBut last week I failed of a conveyance. I shall not 
add any tiling further now, but that I shall follow 
my counsels with my prayers, and shall be a hum 
ble intercessor night and day before God for you: 
To Him I commend you, and to the word of his 

Remaining yours while I am, 

J. A, 


[1. Try. 2. Rejoice.] 

To the most loving, and best Moved, the Flock of Christ i,t 

Taunlon, Grace and Peace. 
Most endeared Friends, 

MY heart is solicitous for you. Your spiritual and 
eternal welfare is the matter of my desires and de 
z 2 


signs. Let not my beloved think they were forgot 
ten by me, because you heard not from me the last 
week: Sleep departed from my eyes to write to you at 
large; but, in the morning, I concluded it best to de 
fer the imparting of it to you for a season, that you 
might have it a better way. Can a woman forget 
her child, that she should not have compassion ori the 
son of her womb? Yea, they may forget; but Christ 
will earnestly remember you still. Natural parents 
may be so far unnatural; spiritual parents may be 
so far carnal, as to forget their own children. I 
would have you count nothing as certain but 
Christ s love and care. This you may build upon : 
You need not fear lest time and distance should wear 
out the remembrance of you with him : Your names 
are inrolled in the everlasting decrees of heaven, and 
a whole eternity hath not been able to wear them 

Do any of you question whether you are so happy 
as to have your names recorded above? I shall bring 
it to a speedy issue: Do you question whether Christ 
hath taken your names? Whether you are upon his 
heart? Let me ask you ; Is heaven upon your hearts? 
Is the name of Jesus deeply engraven upon your souls? 
Is his image and superscription there? If you can 
find that heaven is the main of your cares, that your 
hearts are set upon it as your home and your country, 
and that it is your great business to seek it and to 
secure it, then never doubt, if your hearts be chiefly 
upon heaven, your names are unquestionably writ 
ten in heaven. Again, hath Christ recorded his 


name in your hearts? Is the name of Jesus the be 
loved name with you; precious above all; next to 
your hearts? Is there no other name under heaven 
so dear and sweet to you? What room hath Christ in 
you? If any thing be deeper in your hearts than He 
is, you are unsound. As the Father hath given him, 
so do your hearts give him a name above every name. 
Is Christ uppermost with you in your estimations and 
affections? Then rejoice and leap for joy, for your 
names are most precious with Christ, if his name be 
above all dear to you. Once more, hath Christ drawn 
out his own similitude upon you? Is Christ within 
you? Doth he dwell in your hearts? Then be sure you 
have a room in his heart. The image of Christ is in 
holiness. Is this that which your very hearts are set 
upon? Do you thirst for holiness? Do you follow 
after holiness? Do you prize it above all prosperity 
and worldly greatness? Do you hate every sin, and 
long to be rid of it as your most irksome burden, and 
use all God s means against it, asj- far as you know 
them? If it be thus with you, Christ hath set his 
tamp upon your hearts, and so you may be sure he 
hath set you as a seal upon his heart. 

Rejoice then, O Christians, and bless yourselves in 
the happy privilege that you have, in being under 
Christ s care. Fear not, little flock; stronger is He 
that is with you, than he that is against you. What ! 
though satan should raise all his militia against you, 
adhere to Christ in a patient doing and suffering his 
pleasure, and he shall secure you. The Lord will 
not forsake you, because it hath pleased the Lord to 


make you his people : God hath entrusted you with 
his Son : You are his Care* and his charge. Many 
will be lifting at you, many will be plucking at you; 
but fear, not,, you shall not be moved, none shall 
pluck you out of Christ s hand; He hath all power. 
(Mat. xxviii.: 8.) Can Omnipotence secure you? 
He is all treasures. (Col. ii. 3.) Can unsearchable 
riches suffice you? In a word, he is all fulness. 
(Col. i. 21.) Can all content you? Can fulness fill 
you? If so, you are blessed and shall be blessed. 

Beloved, we lose unutterably for want of consider 
ing, for want of viewing our own privileges and 
blessedness. O man, is Christ thine, and yet dost 
thou live at a low rate and comfort? Is thy name 
written in heaven, and yet dost thou not rejoice? 
Shall the children of the kingdom, the candidates of 
glory, the chosen generation, the royal priesthood, 
be like other men? O Christians, remember who and 
whence you are, consider your obligations, put on a 
better pace; bestir yourselves, run and wrestle, and 
be strong for the Lord of hosts; and earnestly, yet 
peaceably, contend for the faith once delivered to 
his saints. What ! shall we make nothing of all God 
hath said and done for us? Christians, shall he that 
hath gotten an enriching office, boast of his booty? 
Or he that hath obtained the king s patent for an 
earidom, glory in his riches and honour? And shall 
the grant of heaven signify little with thee? Or 
Christ s patent for thy sonship and partnership with 
himself be like a cypher? Shall Ham&n come home 
from the banquet with a glad heart, and glorying in 


the greatness of his riches, the multitude of his chil 
dren,, and all the things wherein the king had prqmo- 
ted him above the princes? And shall we turn 
over our bibles and read the promises, and find it 
under God s own hand, that he intends the kingdom 
for us, that he will be a Father to us, that he gives 
and grants all his infinite perfections to us, and yet 
not be moved? Beloved Christians, live like your 
selves; let the world see that the promises of God, and 
privileges of the gospel, are not empty sounds, or a 
mere crack. Let the heavenly cheerfulness and the 
restless diligence, and the holy raisedness of your 
conversations, prove the reality, excellency, and 
beauty of your religion to the world. Forget not 
your prisoner. Labour earnestly for me in your 
prayers, who am night and day labouring and suf 
fering for you. I can never bless God enough for his 
most tender and indulgent care for you, which ap 
pears so wonderfully in his fatherly protection, and 
his fatherly provision. See that you receive not the 
grace of God in vain. Remember with trembling., 
that of our Lord, to whom much is given of him much 
shall be required. With my most dear loves to you 
all, I commend you to your Father and my Father, 
your God and my God, remaining 

Yours in all manner of obligations, 


From the prison of Juelchester, 
January 20th, 1663. 



[The Felicity of Believers.] 

To the most beloved people, the servants of God in Taunton, 

Most endeared Christians, 

I HAVE longed and waited for a little breathing 
time, wherein I might write unto you,, but I have been 
oppressed hitherto with so many cares, and such a 
throng of business, that till now (and scarcely now) 
I have had no time for respiration /wherein I might 
sufficiently reflect 011 you or myself. But al 
though so great a part of Taunton be translated to 
Juelchester with me, yet I may .not, I cannot forget 
you that are behind. 

"Alas, poor Taunton! how should I bewail thee, 
did I look upon thee only with the eye of sense! Alas 
for thy wonted liberties, for thy former plenty and 
variety, wherewith the Lord hath blessed thee ! He 
had spread a table for thee in the midst of thine ene 
mies; bread hath been given thee, and thy waters 
have been sure. But now a famine seems to threa 
ten thee; and the comforters that should relieve thy 
soul, are far from thee. Thy shepherds are removed. 
Thou seest not thy signs, nor thy prophets, and thy 
wonted helpers- are now disabled from giving thee 
supplies. Alas, how do thine enemies triumph, and 
thy teachers and thine inhabitants are become their 
captives ! And how great is the city of thy poor, and 
thine oppressed!" 

Such would be the language of sense, if that were 
Buffered to be the speaker. But faith will speak in 


another dialect. And therefore amongst my other 
counsels, that I shall send you, this shall be the first: 

Judge not of the present providences, by the conduct of 
sense, but by the eye of faith. Faith will see that we 
are then most honoured, when we are most vili 
fied, and reproached, and set at nought for the sake 
of Christ ; and that we are then most happy, when the 
world hath done its worst to make us miserable. 
Faith will tell you, that God is a very present help, 
when you seem quite to fail of help ; and will shew 
you the well of water that is near, when the water 
in the bottle is spent. What! though you seem to 
have lost ministers, husbands, friends for a season^ 
faith will tell you, that they are well bestowed, and 
that it will be both your and their advantage, in the 
day of retribution. 

Brethren, what are you for? Are you for the pre 
sent world, or for that to come? Are you for your 
temporal enjoyments, or do you seek for glory,honour, 
and immortality? If you are for this world, you 
have made a very imprudent choice in taking up the 
profession of godliness, and cleaving to and owning 
the hated w.ys of the Lord. But if you are for glory, 
and for eternity, then be of good cheer ; all these 
things do make for us. You are witnesses, how often 
I have told you of these things, and I can say, with 
the apostle, " I believed, therefore have I spoken," 
and therefore I am nothing moved with all these 
things, nor with the things that do yet further abide 
me. I believed, and therefore I told you, that you 
should never be losers by Jesus Christ. Nay, do 


I say, I told it you? You know the Lord Jesus Christ 
hath shewed you, that the persecuted are doubly 
blessed; that such should rejoice, and leap for joy, 
because great is their reward in heaven. Hath not 
God said, that if we suffer with him we shall also 
reign with him; and that these light afflictions work 
for us a weight of glory? And if this be true, I pray 
you, tell me whether God hath not dealt well with us 
in counting us worthy of this little tribulation for his 
name? Indeed the sufferings are but little; but ve 
rily the reward will not be little. I know whom I 
have trusted: I am well assured the glass is turned 
up, and every hour reckoned of our imprisonment, 
and every scorn and reproach of our enemies is kept 
in black and white. I believe, therefore do I speak ; 
God is infinitely tender of us, my brethren, though a 
poor and despicable generation. I value not the pop 
gun threats of a frowning world; it is wel} with us> 
we are God s favourites. Come, my beloved, let us 
sit down under his shadow: Here is safety and rest; 
if God be for us, who can be against us ? Verily He 
bottles all our tears, and tells all our wanderings: 
He numbers all our hairs; whosoever toucheth us 
shall riot be innocent. Know you not that we are 
the apple of his eye? Hath not he reproved the 
greatest for his people s sakes, saying, " Reproach 
not mine anointed?" And so we forget how he 
loved us. Are not we his jewels? Doth He not 
own us for his members, for his children? 

Ah, what a block doth unbelief make of man ! 
What! do you think that all this doth signify no- 


thing? Can you forget your children? Will you 
suffer your jewels to lie in the dirt, or make no reck- 
oning of them whether they are lost ? 

Verily I write not this without shaming reflections 
upon my own stupidity. What! beloved of God, 
adopted by God ! What! a member of Christ Jesus 1 
A vessel of mercy ! An heir of glory ! What! and not 
yet swallowed up in the sense of God s infinite love! 
Blush, oh my soul, and be confounded before the 
Most High, and covet thy face with shame. 

I remember what the heathen Seneca writes, ob 
serving the expressions of God s love to man in his 
common providence, Verum est, usque in delicias ama~ 
mur t that is, It is a very truth that we are beloved of 
God, even as his darlings. 

My brethren, have faith in God. Believe his pro 
mises : Walk in the sense of his love. Comfort 
yourselves in God s love towards you, under all the 
hatred and envy of men, and the contradiction of 
sinners that you meet with. Be strong and of a good 
courage; God is for you. Be assured that he that 
walketh uprightly, walketh surely: Forsake not the 
assembling of yourselves together. Now see that you 
speak often to one another, and build up each other in 
the holy faith, God knows I cannot do for you as I 
-would; I would have been larger to you, but I can 
not. My most dear loves I desire you to share among 
you. I am greatly yours. The peace that passeth 
all understanding keep your hearts and minds ! I am 
Yours to serve you and for you, 

with all readiness of mind, 

From the prison at Juekhester, JOSEPH ALLEINE. 
July Mth, 1665. 




[What do you more than Others ?] 

To the most dearly beloved, the Servants of God in Taunton, 

Grace and Peace. 
Most loving and entirely beloved, 

YOU are a great joy to me. I know not what thanks 
to render to the Lord for you, when I hear of your 
constancy, and fidelity, and zeal, in adhering to him 
and his ways, even in such a time as this. You 
are highly favoured. Blessed be the Lord God of 
Israel, that he hath regarded the low estates of his 
servants; that he should ever indulge you as he hath, 
and hover over you, even as the eagle stirreth up 
her nest, and fluttereth over her young, spreadeth 
abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her 
wings ! For so hath the Lord your God dealt with 
you. He hath kept you as the apple of his eye ; and 
since the streams of Cherith were dried up, yet to 
this day he hath not suffered the handful of meal to 
waste, nor the oil in the cruse to fail, but (though 
you have no certainty to trust to) hath continually 
provided for you to the full. How should I love and 
bless the Lord, for this his great grace towards you, 
while I live ! Now I beseech you, my brethren, that 
you consider the kindness of the Lotd^ for the Lord 
your God is He that careth for you : and that you 
love the Lord your God, and fear him for ever, for 
he is your life, and the length of your days. And as 
Job had a holy fear of his children, lest they should 
have offended ; so, my most dearly beloved, I am 
jealous of you with a godly jealousy, lest any of you 
should receive this grace of God in vain, I must not 


cease to put you in mind, that God doth .look for no 
small matters from you. Remember, my most endear 
ed charge, that the Lord doth look for singular 
things from you, that there be not a barren tree, nor 
a dwarf Christian among you; where the Lord doth 
strow much, he looks to gather much; and where 
he soweth much, he expects to reap accordingly. 
Whose account, my beloved, is like to be so great as 
yours ? O look about you, and think of the Master 
coming to reckon with you for his talents; when lie 
will expect no small increase. Beloved, what can 
vou do? How much are you grown? What spoil 
have you made upon your corruptions? What pro 
gress in grace? 

Suppose Christ should put that awakening question 
to you, (< What do you more than others?" Beloved, 
God doth expect more of his people, than of any others 
in the world besides : And well he may. For 

First, He hatlt bestowed more on them than on others : 
Now where much is given, much shall be requited: 
can you think of that without trembling? He hath 
bestow r ed on them singular love more than on others: 
You only have I known in all the families on earth. 
He hath a distinguishing love and favour for his peo 
ple, and he looks that his love should be a constrain- 
ing argument to obedience. Again, he hath laid out 
a singular care on his people, more than on others: 
He cares for no man, for nothing in all the world, in 
comparison of them. He reproveth kings for their 
sakes. He will give nations and kingdoms for their 
ransom. So precious are they in his sight, and so 


dearly beloved, that he will give men for them, and 
people for their life. He withdraw eth not his eyes 
from the righteous, he will not endure them out of 
his sight. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righte 
ous. And first the eye of his more accurate obser 
vation : God can wink at others, as it were, and 
overlook what they do with little notice; but he hath 
a most curious eye upon his people, he marketh their 
steps, and booketh their words, he weigheth their ac 
tions, and pondereth all their goings. And should 
not they walk more cautiously, and charily,* than 
any alive, that are under so exact and curious an 
eye ? Secondly, the eye of special care and protection. 
Behold the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear 
him. I will guide thee with mine eye. And should 
not they be infinitely tender and careful how to please 
the Lord, who have his singular care laid out on 
them? In short, God hath bestowed on them sin 
gular privileges more than others. These are a pe 
culiar treasure to him above all people, a kingdom of 
priests, a holy nation, a singular separated people; 
they dwell alone, they are diverse from all people. 
When the whole world lies in wickedness, these are 
called, and chosen, and faithful; washed, and justi 
fied and sanctified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and 
by the Spirit of our God. The rest are the refuse: 
These the jewels. These are taken, and they are 
left. Shall not God s priests be cloathed with righ 
teousness, and shall not princes live above the rate 
*>f peasants? 

* Warily. 


Secondly, He hath entrusted them with more than 
others: Not only with the talents of his grace (for 
the increase whereof they must give a strict account) 
but also with the jewel of his glory. How tenderly 
should they walk that are entrusted with such a 
jewel! Remember, your Maker s glory is bound 
up in your fruitful walking. 

Thirdly, He hath qualified them more than others. 
He hath put into them a principle of life, having 
quickened them together with Christ. He hath set 
up a light in their minds, when others lie in darkness. 
He hath given them other aids than others have, even 
his Spirit to help their infirmities, when others lie 
like vessels that are wind-bound, and cannot stir. 

Fourthly, He hath provided for them other manner 
of things than for others. These are the little flock 
to whom it is his good pleasure to give the kingdom; 
great are the preparations for them. The Father 
hath prepared the kingdom for them from the foun 
dations of the world. The Son is gone to heaven, on 
purpose to prepare a place for them. The Spirit is 
preparing them, and making them meet to be parta* 
kers of the inheritance of the saints in light: And 
should these be like other people? 

Brethren beloved, God and men do expect you 
should do more than others, see that you be indeed 
singular. For 

(1.) If you do no more for God than others, he 

will do more against you than others : You only have 

I known, therefore will I punish you. The barren tree 

in the vineyard must down, whereas had he been in 

Aa 2 


the common, he might have stood much longer. God 
looked for grapes from his vineyard, on which he 
had bestowed such care and cost more than ordina 
ry, but when they bring forth wild grapes, he will 
lay them waste in a worse manner than the forest. 
When Christ came to the fig-tree, seeking fruit, and 
met with none, he curst it from the root; whereas 
had it been a thorn or bramble, it might have stood 
as before. 

(2.) If you do no more than others, you must look 
for no more than others: If you should put off God 
with a corv.mon obedience, you must expect to be 
put off with common mercies. 

(3.) Except you do more than others, God will be 
dishonoured more by you than others. 

I have been too long with you, but I am earnest 
ly desirous you should be sensible of God s extraor 
dinary expectations frm you. And truly, as God 
looks for more from his own than others, so he looks 
for more from you than others, even of his own, be 
cause that he hath done more : See that you be ; lim 
ing Christians; that you be strong in the gnce of 
God ; that you press toward the mark. But I must 
conclude. I give my loves among you all, being 
able to add no more, but that 
I am 

Yours in fervant loves 

and longings, 


From the prison at Juelchetster, 
Jan. 2nd, 166S. 




[Christian care, faith, self-denial.] 

fo the most beloved people, the servants of God in Taunton, 
salvation : 

Most endeared Christians, 

THE reason why my letters have not of late come 
so thick as formerly to you., is not because I forget 
to love you, and to care for you; but because I have 
been busily taken up in other labors of sundry kinds 
for you. I am yours, and love to be so; being am- 
bious not to have dominion over your faith, but to 
be a helper of your joy. Christ s officers are so your 
rulers in the Lord, as yet to preach not themselves, 
but the Lord Jesus Christ, and themselves your ser 
vants for Jesus sake. I have no greater felicity un 
der God, than to serve the good of souls. Brethren 
beloved, how fares it with your souls? Are they in 
health? Do they prosper? I wish your temporal 
prosperity. It is a joy to me to hear when your 
trade doth flourish. But these are very little things, 
if we look into eternity. Brethren, my ambition for 
you is, that you should be cedars among the shrubs, 
that from you should sound out the word of the Lord, 
And that in every place your faith to God-ward 
should be spread abroad; that Taimton should be as 
a field that the Lord hath blessed ; that, you should nofe 
only have the name, but the spirit, life, power, heat, 
growth, vigour of Christianity among you. Let not 
Taimtoi- . -v ha , e the name to live, and be noted 
for the proieysiou of reunion; but see to it, my 


brethren, that the kingdom of God be with yo\ir 
Oh that every one of your souls might be a temple 
of God! Oh that every one of your families might 
be a church of God! 

Beloved, look to it, that every one that nameth 
the name of Christ among you do depart from iniqui 
ty, secret as well as open, of the heart as well as of 
the life. Let no man think that to make an out-cry 
upon the wickedness of the times, and to be of the 
professing party, will serve his turn; many go to 
hell in the company of the wise virgins. That no 
man maybe a self-deceiver, let every man be a self- 
searcher. He that keeps no day-book in his shop, 
and no account, no record in his conscience, his 
estate and his soul will thrive both alike. 

Beloved, I would that you should remember 
whither you are a going. If a man be after a few 
months to be transported into another country, 
never to return more, he will send over whatever he 
can, and make the best provision that he may, against 
he comes into another country. Dear brethren^ you 
are strangers and pilgrims here, and have but a few 
months abode in this country ; see that you traffick 
much with heaven. Christ is our common factor; O 
send over to him what possibly you can. Give alms 
plentifully; pray continually; be much in meditation 
and consideration; reckon with yourselves daily; 
walk with God in your callings; do all the duties of 
your relations as unto God; live not one day to your 
selves, but unto Christ; set forth continually in his 
name, so shall you l/e continually transporting into 


another world, and laying up treasure in heaven. 
And O the blessed store tnat you shall find there, 
after a few years diligence in such a holy course! 
Beloved, while you are here in this world, you are 
but like a merchant s ship in a strange port, the day 
for your return is set, and you are to stay no longer 
than till your freight is ready. Be wise, know your 
season, improve your time. You are made or mar 
red for ever, as you speed in this one voynge. There 
is no returning again to this country to mend a bad 
market. God will call in all his talents. Time shall 
be no longer. Oh! come in, come and buy now, 
while the market is open; that you that want, may 
have grace; and you that have, may have it more 
abundantly. Go and plead with the Lord Jesus, 
that he hath bid you come, buy, and eat without 
money, and without price; that he hath counselled 
you to come buy of him gold, raiment, and eye-salve. 
Tell him you are come according to his call, and wait 
upon him for grace, for righteousness, for light, and 
instruction. Lay hold on his word, plead it, live 
upon it. He is worthy to be believed, worthy to be 
trusted; go out of yourselves to him, unlearn your 

There is a threefold foot that carnal self stands 
upon, our own wisdom, our own righteousness, our 
own strength; these three feet must be cut off, and 
we must learn. to have no subsistence in ourselves, 
but only in Christ, and to stand only on his bottom. 
Study the excellent lesson of self-denial, self-annihi 
lation. A true Christian is like a vine that cannot 


stand of itself, but is wholly supported by the prop 
it leans on. It is no small thin- to know ourselves 
to be nothing, of no mi^ht, of no. worth, of no un 
derstanding or reality; to look upon ourselves as 
helpless, worthless, foolish, empty shade rr s. This 
holy littleness is a great matter; whei> \\ w e find that 
all our inventory amounts to nothing but folly, weak 
ness, and beggary; when we set *!own ourselves for 
cyphers, our gain for loss, our excellences for very 
vanities, then we shall learn to live like believers. A 
true saint is like a glass without a foot, that, set him 
where you will, is ready to fall r- ery way till you set 
him to a prop: Let Christ be the only support you 
lean unto. When you are thoroughly emptied and 
nullified, and see all comeliness to be but as a with 
ered flower, dead, dried, and past recovery; then you 
will be put upon the happy necessity of going out to 
Christ for all. 

The messenger s haste forceth me abruptly to end 
here. I can add no more, but my prayers to my 
counsels; and so, commending you to God and the 
word of his grace, I rest 

The fervent well-wilier of your souls, 


From the prison of Juelchestcr> 
April 16th, 1663, 



[Right reasons in suffering.] 

To my dearly beloved, the flock of Christ in Tawiton, gttiu 

and peace. 
Most loving and dearly beloved, 

I KNOW not what thanks to render to you, nor to 
God for you, for all the unexpressible love which I 
have found in you toward me; and not terminatively 
to me, but to Christ in me. For I believe it is for 
his sake, as I am a messenger and ambassador of his 
to you, that you have loved me and done so much 
every way for me; and I think I may say of Taun- 
ton, as the psalmist of Jerusalem, If I forget thce, lei 
my right hand forget her cunning; If I do not remem 
ber thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth. 

I would not, my dear brethren, that you should 
be dejected or discouraged at the late disappoint 
ments: For through the goodness of God I am not; 
but am rather more satisfied than before: and this I 
can truly say, nothing doth sadden me more than to 
see so much sadness in your faces. As on the con 
trary, nothing doth comfort me so much, as to see 
your cheer and courage. Therefore I beseech you, 
brethren, faint not because of mj tribulation, nor of 
God s delays; but strengthen the hands and the fee 
ble knees. And the Lord bolster up your hands, a 
they did the hands of Moses, that they may not fall 
down till Israel do prevail. Let us fear lest -there be 
some evil among us, that < Jod being angry w?th us 
doth send this farther trial uponu? Pray earnestly 
for me, lest the eye of the most jealous God should 


discern that in me which should render me unfit for 
the mercy you desire. And let every one of yon 
search his heart, and search his house, to see if there 
be not cause there: Let not these disappointments 
make you to be never the, less in love with prayers, 
but the more out of love with sin. Let us humble 
jourselves under the mighty hand of God, and he 
shall exalt us in due time. 

And for the enemies of God, you must know alse 
that their foot shall slide in due time. Let the ser 
vants of God encourage themselves in their God: For 
in the things wherein they deal proudly, he is above 
them. Therefore fret not yourselves because of evil 
doers; commit your cause to him that judgeth righ 
teously. Remember that you are bid,if you see op 
pression of the poor, and violent perverting of judg 
ment and justice in a province, not to marvel at the 
matter: Verily, there is^a God that judgeth in the 
earth. And you have the liberty of appeals : Rest in 
the Lord, and wait patiently for him, and fret not 
yourselves because of the men that bring wicked de 
vices to pass. Take heed th&t none of you do, 
with Peter, begin to sink, now you see the waters 
rough, and the winds boisterous. These things 
must not weaken your faith, nor cool your zeal; for 
they are great arguments for the strengthening of 
it. What clearer evidence can there be for the fu 
ture judgment and perdition of the ungodly, and 
coronation of the just in another life, than the most 
unjust proceedings that are here upon earth? Shall 
not the Judge of all the earth see right to be done? 


We see here nothing but confusion and disorder, the 
wicked receiveth according to the work of the righ 
teous, and the innocent according to the work of the 
wicked-. The godly perish and the wicked flourish; 
these do prosper, and those do suffer. What! can it 
be ever thus? No; doubtless, there must be a day 
when God will judge the world in righteousness, 
and rectify the present disorders, and reverse the un* 
righteous sentences that have been passed against 
his servants. And this evidence is so clear, that ma< 
ny of the heathen philosophers have from this very 
argument (I mean the unrighteous usage of the good) 
concluded that there must certainly be rewards and 
punishments adjudged by God in another world. 

Nor yet lose youv zeal: Now is the time that the 
love of many doth wax cold. But I bless God it is 
not so with you: I am sure your love to me is, as 
true friends should be, like the chimney s, warmest in 
the winter of adversity; and I hope your love to God 
is much more, and I would that you should abound 
yet more and more. Where else should you bestow 
your loves? Love ye the Lord, ye his saints, and 
cling about him the faster, now ye see the world is 
striving to separate you from him. How many are 
they that go to knock off your fingers ! O, methinks, 
I see what tugging there is. The world is plucking, 
and the devil is plucking. Oh! hold fast, I beseech 
you; hold fast, that no man take your crown. Let 
the water that is sprinkled, yea, rather poured upon 
your love, make it to flame up the more. Are you 
not betrothed unto Christ? Oh remember, remember 


your marriage-covenant! Did you not take him "for 
richer for poorer, for better for worse?" Now prove 
your love to Christ to have been a true conjugal love, 
in that you can love him when most slighted, despi 
sed, undervalued, blasphemed among men: Now 
acquit yourselves, not to have followed Christ for 
the loaves. Now confute the accuser of the breth 
ren, who may be ready to suggest of the best of you, 
as he did of Job, Doth he serve the Lord for nought ? 
And let it be seen that you loved Christ and holi 
ness, purely for their own sakes; that you can love 
a naked Christ when there is no hopes of worldly- 
advantage, or promoting of self-interest in following 

Yet beware that none of you do stick to the ways 
of Christ and religion upon so carnal an account as 
this, because this is the way that you have already 
taken up, and you count it a shame to recede from 
your principles. I am very jealous lest some profes 
sors should miss of their reward for this, least 
they should be accounted turn- coats and hypocrites; 
therefore they will shew a stoutness of spirit in go 
ing on, since they have once begun, and cannot 
with honour retreat. Would you choose holiness 
and" strictness, if it were to do again? Would you 
enter yourselves among God s poor people, if it 
were now first to do? Would you have taken up 
the profession of Christ, though you had foreseen 
all this that is come and coming? This will do 
much to evidence your sincerity. But I forget that 
I am writing a letter, being prone to pass all bounds 


when I have thus to do with you. The Lord God 
remember and reward you and your labours of love. 
The Eternal God be your refuge, and put under you 
his everlasting arms. The peace of God that pas- 
seth all understanding, keep your hearts. Christ s 
legacy of peace I leave with you; and rest,, with my 
dear affections to you all, 

Your ambassador in bonds, 



[Counsel for salvation.] 

To the most beloved, the servants of Christ in Taunton, 

Most endeared Christians, 

MY continual solicitude for your state, will not 
suffer me to pass in quiet one week without writing 
to you, unless I am extraordinarily hindered. Your 
sincerity, stedfastness, and proficiency in the grace 
of God, is the matter of my earnest desire, and that 
which I should account myself happy in. I have a 
longing desire to see the faces of you all, and 
(besides mine expectation) shall (I trust) speedily 
have the opportunity to see you at the approaching 
assizes, which I shall greatly rejoice in, not withstand 
ing our coming may be otherwise attended with 
many inconveniencies. In the mean time I send 
you a few prison counsels. As, 

1. To improve for eternity the advantages of your 
present state, Though you are at many disadvan- 


tages with respect to the publiek ordinances, yet yon 
have many wondrous and most h?.pp;y privileges, 
which spiritual wisdom would make no small im 
provement of. Oh, what a mercy have you, that 
you may serve God while you will in your far ilies! 
That you may be as much as you will with God iu 
secret prayer, and holy meditation, and self-exami 
nation! I beseech you, consider what a blessing vou 
have above others, that have your health, and 
a competency of the comforts of this life, and are 
free from these continual pains, or heart-eating 
cares, that others are disabled by, from looking 
after God and their souls, as you may do. Oh, con 
sider what a blessed seed-time you have for eternity I 
Now be wise, and improve your happy season, your 
day of grace. Prepare for death, make all sure. 
Press on towards the mark; lay up in store for your 
selves a good foundation against the time to come. 
In the morning sow your seed; and in the evening 
^withdraw not your hand. Treasure up much in hea 
ven. What profit is it, that you have more than 
others, more liberty, more comfort, more health, 
more wealth, than others, except you love God more, 
and serve him better than others? Now ply yout 
work, and despatch your business, so as that you 
may have nothing to trouble you upon your death 

2. To consider also the temptations and disadvan 
tages of your state. Study to know your own weak 
nesses, and where your danger lies, that you maj 
obviate satan, and prevent your miscarrying: Then 


is no condition but hath its snares. See that you 
acquaint yourselves with his devices, least you be 
beguiled by him, and caught in his trap through 
your own un wariness. You that are well provided 
for in the world, had need to watch yourselves, least 
you fall in love with present things, least you be 
lifted up, least you trust in those carnal props, and 
put confidence in the creatures, least you warp, and 
decline, and balk your duties through carnal fear, 
and the desire of preserving your estates. You that 
have little in the world, are not without your temp 
tations neither. Oh! take heed of envying others 
prosperity, of murmuring and discontent, of diffi 
dence and distrustfulness, of using indirect means 
to help yourselves. Be sure you make not the 
world s pressures upon you, an excuse from your 
daily serving of God in your families and in secret. 
Set this down as your rule and unchangeable reso 
lution, that God, and your souls, and your families 
shall be looked duly and continually after, go the 
world which way it will. Consider what sins your 
tempers, relations, callings, do most expose you to. 
Be not strangers to yourselves. Prove yourselves 
upright in keeping from your iniquities. 

3. To converse often with your dust. Brethren, we 
are going, we are going, the grave waiteth for us. 
Oh! forget not that corruption is your father, and 
the worm your mother, and your sister. These are 
your poor kindred that you must shortly dwell with, 
when you come to your long home. Remember the 
days of darkness, which shall be many. Take every 
Bb 2 


day some serious turns with death. Think where 
you shall be a few days and nights hence. Happy 
he that knew what to-morrow meant for twenty 
years together! Believe it, you will find it no little 
thing to die. Think often how you are provided, 
how you should receive the sentence of death. 
Were you never within sight of death? How did 
it look? What did you wish for most, at that time? 
What did then trouble you most? Oh! mark these 
things, and live accordingly. Often ask your hearts, 
" What! if God should this night require my soul?" 

4. To serve your generation with your might while 
you have time. You have but a very little time to 
bring God any glory here, or to do your friends any 
good; now up and be doing. Now or never live in 
the deep and constant sense of the very little time 
that you have for this world, and the great work you 
have to do. You are going whence you shall not 
return. There s no after-game to be played. What J 
but one cast for eternity, and will you not be careful 
to throw that well? 

Most dearly beloved, I covet after your furtherance 
in mortification, and growth in grace. And oh, that I 
could but represent death to you, as shortly it will 
shew itself; or could but open a window into eter 
nity to you: How effectually, would this do the 
work! Then the cripple would fling away his 
crutches, and betake himself to his legs. Then the 
slothful would pluck his hand out of his bosom, and 
shal^e off his excuses, and be night and day at his 
work. Then the Laodicean would be recovered 


from his benumbed frame ; then we should have no 
halving in religion, no lazy wishing and complain 
ing; but men would ply the oars to purpose, and 
sweat at their work. 

But oh ! unhappy man, how powerfully hath the 
world bewitched thee ! How miserably hath sin un 
armed thee, that thou shouldest look no farther than 
thou canst see, and to be taken up with present 
things, and forget so momentous concernments as 
are before thee ! 

But you, my brethren, lift up yourselves above 
the objects of sense. May you be men i or eternity; 
and carry it like those ihat seek for glory, honour, 
and immortality. I am apt to be too long with you: 
I commend you to divine grace. My dearest loves 
among you. I am 

Yours in the bonds of the gospel 

of our Lord Jesus, 


From the prison of Jitelchestr 3 
March 5lh, i665. 


To the loving and most beloved people, the servants cf God v/. 

TaunioH, grace and peace. 
Most dearly beloved, 

ALTHOUGH I am forced at the present, to be at 
a distance from you; yet I would not have you igno 
rant, that the dear remembrance of you is always 


fresh with me, and the care of your eternal welfare 
is always living upon my heart. Therefore as my 
beloved friends I warn you, and cease not to stir 
you up by way of remembrance, being jealous for 
you with a godly jealousy, that no man take your 
crown. My dearly beloved, I know you have many 
enemies, and above all, I fear your bosom enemies; 
and, as the watchman of the Lord, I give you care 
ful warning, and exhort you all not to be high-min 
ded, but fear. Blessed is the man that feareth al 
ways. Look diligently, lest any of you fail of the 
grace of God. You have made much and long pro 
fession of the name of Jesus Christ: Oh, look to your 
foundations, see upon what ground you stand. Look 
to your sincerity. t You must every one of you stand 
shortly before the judgment-seat of Christ, and be tried 
for your lives: Oh, try yourselves thoroughly first. 
It is easy to mistake education for regeneration, and 
common conviction and illumination for conversion, 
and a partial reformation and external obedience for 
true sanctification. Therefore I beseech you every 
one, to examine whether you are in the faith. Prove 
your own selves. Tell me not, you hope you are sin 
cere, you hope you shall go to heaven. Never put it off 
with hopes , but pray, and try, and search, till you are 
able to say, yea, and know you are passed from death 
to life, and that yon know you, have a building t not made 
with hands, eternal in the heavens. 

Suppose I should ask you, one by one, "Where 
are your evidences for heaven?" Could you make 
out your claim? Can you bring me scripture-proof? 


Can you shew me the marks of the Lord Jesus? 
What mean you, to live at uncertainties? Brethren, 
it is an intolerable ignorance,, for any of you in these 
days of glorious light, not to be able to tell the dis 
tinguishing marks of a sound believer. And it is 
intolerable carelessness of your everlasting -welfare, 
if you do not bring yourselves to the trial by these 
Marks. What ! are your hands filled with oooks, and 
your ears filled with sermons, that tell you so plainly, 
from the word of God, how you shall know whether 
you are in Christ, and are you still to seek? Oh, stir 
up your own selves. Take heed, lest si promise be 
ing left of entering into his rest, any of you fall 
short of it at last by unbelief. You are a pro 
fessing people; you pray, and you hear, and you run 
upon some adventures for Jesus Christ. But, O! 
look to your sincerity. Look to your principles, 
look to your ends; else you may lose all at last. 
Examine, not only what is done, but whence it is 
done; look to the root, as well as to the fruit. Eye, 
not only your actions, but your aims. Remem 
ber what a strict and severe eye you are under. 
The Lord Jesus makes strict observation upon all 
your works and ways. He observes who of you be 
fruitful, and who be barren and unprofitable. He 
knows who of you be thriving, and who be declining. 
He observes who be warm, and who lukewarm; 
who be sound Christians, and who of you have only 
a name to live. 

Return, O backsliding Christians. You have lost 
your former convictions, and lost your former affec- 


tions. You are grown remiss in your watch, and. 
your zeal is turned into a kind of indifrerency, 
and your diligence into negligence. Your care is 
turned into security, and your tenderness into 
senselessness. Oh! your case is dangerous. The 
Lord Jesus hath a great controversy with you. Oh, 
remember whence you are fallen, and repent, and 
do your first works. Strengthen the things that re. 
main, and are ready to die.^ Oh, rub and chafe 
your swooning souls, and ply them with warm ap 
plications, and rousing considerations, till they reco 
ver their former heat. And know ye from the Lord, 
that the backslider in heart shall be filled with his 
own ways. 

O, ye barren and fruitless trees, behold the axe is 
lifted up to fell you to the ground, except you bring 
forth fruits, and those worthy of repentance. May 
not Christ say to some among you, Behold these three 
years have I come, seeking fruit, and finding none? 
How is it then that you read not the sentence passed 
on the fruitless tree? O, sleepy professors, how 
long will you drive on in this heavy course? How 
long will you continue in an unprofitable and custo 
mary profession? Would you be the joy of our Lord? 
Why, know ye, that the thriving plant is the master s 
praise, and his heart s delight. Christians, put on, 
press towards the mark, be adding to your faith, vir 
tue ; and to virtue, knowledge, &c. See that you grow 
extensively, in being abundant in all sorts of good 
works. Be pitiful, be courteous, gentle, easily to be 
entreated, Be slow to anger, soon reconciled. Be 


patient, be ye temperate, be ye cheerful. Study not 
every one only his own things, but the good of his 
neighbour. Think it not enough to look to your 
own souls, but watch for others souls. Pray for 
them, warn them, be kind to them, study to oblige 
them, that by any means you may win them, and 
gain their souls. 

Labour to grow intensively, to do better the things 
that you did before, to be more fervent in prayer> 
more free and willing in all the ways. of the Lord, to 
hear with more profit, to examine yourselves more 
thoroughly, to mind heaven more frequently than 

And you, O carnal and unsound professors, 
that reckon yourselves to be in Christ, but are not 
new creatures; that,, because you have the good opin 
ion of the godly, and are outwardly conformable to 
the ways of God, persuade yourselves you are in a 
good condition, although your hearts have not yet 
to this day been renewed. O, repent speedily. 
Repent, and be converted. What ! though we can 
not distinguish the tares from the wheat: Yet the 
Lord of the harvest can. Christ will find you out, 
and condemn you for rotten and unsound, unless 
you be soundly renewed by repentance, and effectu 
ally changed by converting grace. 

Brethren, I fervently wish your salvation; and to 
this, while I am able, I shall bend my ardent endea 
vours. I am now taking ad vice for my health, and 
hope in some few weeks to be restored to you. In 


the mean time,, I commend me to your prayers, and 
you to the grace of God, remaining 

Yours in the Lord .Jesus, 


Dorchester j July 7th, 1666. 


[The characters and privileges of true believers.] 

To Ike loving and beloved people, the servants of God in Taitnton f 

Most dettrly beloved, 

I LONGED to hear of your welfare, but, by rea 
son of the carrier s intermitting his journeys, could not 
till now obtain my desires; neither had I an oppor 
tunity, till the last week, of writing to you. I rejoiced 
to hear, by Mr. Ford, of God s continual goodness to 
wards you; He is your shepherd, and therefore it is 
you that you do not want. Me you have not always, 
but he is ever with you; his rod and staff shall com 
fort you. Nay more than all this, you may hence 
conclude comfortably for all times, yea, for the whole 
eternity to come. Surely goodness and merry shall 
folio w you all the days of your lives, and you shall 
dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. 

In this, my dear brethren, in this rejoire, and 
again I say, rejoice, that God is engaged! ir, so re.ir 
and so sweet relation to you. DC ubtless, yo r 
souls shall lodge in goodness, and be provided for 


carefully, and lie down in everlasting safety, that 
have the Almighty for your Shepherd. Blessed arc 
the flock of his hands, and the sheep of his pasture! 
Happy is the people that is in such a case. 

But who are Christ s sheep? Not all professors. I 
beseech you, take heed how you rest in profession. 
It is not profession, but conversion, that turns a man 
from a swine to a sheep. Let none of you be deceiv 
ed: nor flatter yourselves that, because you bear the 
name of Christians, and do many things, and have 
escaped the open gross pollutions of the world, there 
fore you are surely among the number of Christ s 
true sheep. All this you may attain to, and yet be 
but washed swine ; here must be an inward, deep, 
and thorough, and universal change upon your na 
tures, dispositions, inclinations, or else you are not 
Christ s sheep. 

In a word, if you will be put out of doubt whe 
ther you are his sheep or not, you must try it by this 
certain mark that Christ sets upon all his sheep, even 
your sanctification. You that will stand to the trial, 
answer me truly and deliberately to these questions: 
Do you hate every sin, as the sheep doth the mire? 
Do you regard no iniquity in your hearts? Do you 
strive against, and oppose all sin, though it may 
seem ever so necessary, ever so natural to you, or 
have you not your secret haunts of evil? For every 
swine will have his swill. Do you abstain from sin 
out of fear, or out of dislike? , Are you at peace 
with no sin, or do you not hide some iniquity, as a 
sv uet moi sel under your tongue? Is there not some 


practice that you are not willing to know is a sin, 
for fear you should be forced to leave it? Do you 
love the commandment th&t forbids your sin; or do 
you not wish it out of the bible, as that evil man 
wished God had never made the seventh command 
ment? Again, How do you stand affected towards 
holiness? Do you love it? Do you choose it? Do you 
hunger and thirst after it, and desire it more than any 
temporal good? Have you chosen the way of God s 
precepts; and had rather live holily than be allowed 
to live in your sins? Do you, in your very hearts, pre 
fer a godly strict life, in communion with and con 
formity to God, before the greatest prosperity of the 
world? Do you choose holiness, not out of bare ne 
cessity, because you cannot go to heaven without it, 
but out of love to it, and from a deep sense that you 
have of the surpassing excellency, and loveliness, and 
beauty of it? If it be thus with you, you are the 
persons that the Lord Jesus hath marked for hi* 

And now, come, ye blessed; all that have this 
mark upon you, come and understand your happiness* 
You are marked out for preservation; and let it go 
how it will with the rest, this I know, it shall go well 
with you that fear the Lord, that fear before him. 
You are the separated ones, the sealed ones, uponi 
whom the angel hath set the seal of the living God: 
and so you are redeemed unto God from among men 
being the first-fruits unto God, and unto the Lamb, 
and have your Father s name written in your fore 


Hear, O beloved flock, I may give you the saluta 
tion of the angels, Hail, you are highly favoured of the 
Lord. Blessed are you among men; though you are but 
poor and despised, and like little Benjamin among the 
thousands of Judah, you carry away the blessing and 
the privilege from all the rest. God hath done more 
for the least of you than for the whole world of man 
kind besides, put all their mercies together. Fear not, 
little flock, it is your Father s good pleasure to give you 
the kingdom. Blessed are you of the Lord; for yours 
is the kingdom of heaven. All that the scripture speaks 
of that kingdom of glory, that kingdom of peace, f 
righteousness, that everlasting kingdom, it speaks it 
all to you. Behold your inheritance. See that you 
believe. What! know you not your own selves? 
You are the sons of God, inheritors of the kingdom 
of heaven, joint heirs with Christ the Lord of Glory. 
Do you believe this? Take heed you make not God 
a liar. His word is nigh you ; have you not the writ 
ings in your hands? Do I speak any thing but 
what God hath spoken? Shall I tell you of the thing 
which shall be hereafter? Why thus it shall be: 
The Son of man shall come in his glory, and all his 
holy angels with him: Then shall he sit upon the 
throne of his glory, and he shall separate you as a 
shepherd divideth the sheep from the goats, and he 
shall set you at his own right hand: Then shall the 
King say, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the 
kingdom prepared for you. 

Do you believe yet? Do you thoroughly believe? 
If so, then my work is done, then I need not bid 


you rejoice, nor bid you be thankful, only 
Do this, and do all. Relieve, and you will rejoice 
with joy unspeakable, and full of glory. Believe, and 
you will be fruitful, and shew your faith by your 
works. Believe, and you will love, for Hh vorketh 
by love. In a word, keep these things upon your hearts 
by daily and lively consideration ; rjid this will bring 
heaven into your souls, and engage you to all man 
ner of holy conversation and godliness. This will 
mortify you to the world, the grand enemy of which 
I advise, nay, I charge you to beware. When 
Saul had gotten his kingdom, he left off taking care 
for the asses. O, remember yours is the kingdom. 
What are you the better, that you have all this in 
your bibles, if you do not weigh it by frequent and 
serious consideration, and ponder these sayings in 
your hearts? Beloved, I have written these things 
to you that your joy may be full. And now, peace 
I leave with you. I am Christ s Ambassador to you, 
an Ambassador of peace; his peace I pronounce unto 
you. In his name I bless you. Farewell in the 
Lord. I am 

The fervent well- wilier of your souls, 

Devises, June Zth, 1666, 



[Of the second coining of Christ.] 

To the faithful, and beloved, the servants of God in Taunton, 
grace and peace. 

Loving and most dearly beloved, 

THOUGH I trust my bonds do preach to you, 
yet methinks that doth not suffice me ; but the con 
science of my duty, and the workings of my heart 
towards you, are still calling upon me to stir you 
up by way of remembrance, notwithstanding you 
know and be established in the present truth. And if 
Paul do call upon so great an evangelist as Timothy, 
to remember that Jesus was raised from the dead accor 
ding to the gospel; why should not I be often calling 
upon myself, and upon you, my dearly beloved, to 
remember and meditate upon, and closely apply the 
great and weighty truths of the gospel, which you 
have already received? And in truth, I perceive in 
myself and you another manner of heat and warmth 
in the insisting upon the plainest principles of Chris 
tianity, and the setting them home upon mine own 
heart and yours, than in dwelling upon any more 
abstruse speculations, in the clearest handling of which 
the preacher may seem to be too much like the win 
ter nights, very bright, but very cold. 

But now, my brethren, I shall not with Paul call 

upon you so much to remember the resurrection of 

Christ, as the return of Christ: Behold he cornel h in 

the clouds, and every eye shall see him ; your eyes and 

cc 2 


mine eyes. And all the tribes of the earth shall 
mourn because of him: But we shall lift up our 
heads, because the day of our redemption draweth 
nigh. This is the day I look for, and wait for, and 
have laid up all my hopes in. If the Lord return 
not, I profess myself undone ; my preaching is vain, 
and my suffering is vain; and the bottom in which 
I have intrusted all my hopes, is for ever miscarried. 
But I know whom I have trusted: We are built upon 
the foundations of that sure word, we are not built 
upon the sand of mortality. Nor do we run so as 
uncertainly, but the word of the Lord abidethfor ever 
upon which word do we hope. Plow fully doth 
this word assure us that this same Jesus that is gone 
up into heaven shall so return; and that he shall ap 
pear the second time unto salvation, to them that 
look for him. Oh, how sure is the thing ! How near 
is the time ! How glorious will his appearing be ! 

The thing is sure; the day is set; God hath ap 
pointed a day wherein he will judge the world by 
that man whom he hath ordained. The manner of 
it is revealed, Behold Ike Lord comet h with ten tliou~ 
sands of his saints. The attendants are appointed 
and nominated, The Son of man shall come in his 
glorify and all his holy angels with him. The thing, 
you see, is established, and every circumstance is 
determined. How sweet are the words that drop 
ped from the precious lips of our deporting Lord! 
What generous cordials hath he left us in his part 
ing sermons, and his last prayer ! And yet of all 
the rest those are the sweetest, I will come again and 


receive you to myself, that where 1 am, there you may 
be ako. What need you any further witness? You 
have heard him yourselves, assuring you of his re 
turn. Doubtless he cannot deceive you. You have 
not only known, but seen and felt the truth of his 

And will he come? Tremble then, ye sinners; tri 
umph, ye saints; clap your hands, all ye that look 
for the consolation of Israel. O sinners, where will 
you then appear? How will you look upon him 
whom you tuwe pierced, whom you have persecu 
ted, whose great salvation you have neglected and 
despised? Wo unto you that ever you were born, 
unless you should then be found to be new-born! 

But you, O children ot the Most High, how will 
you forget your travail, and be melted into joy ! This 
is He in whom you have believed; whom having not 
seen ye loved. But how will love and joy be work 
ing (if I may so speak) with pangs unutterable, when 
you shall see him, and hear his sweet voice commen 
ding, applauding, approving of you, and owning 
you bv name before all the world 1 Brethren, thus it 
must be, the Lord hath spoken it. See that you 
stagger not at the promise, but give glory to Cod 
by believing. 

Again, the time is near, Yet a little white, and he 
that shall come will come. Behold I come quickly, si< ith 
he. And again, The Lord is at hand. Sure you 
are, that death cannot be far off, O Christian, thou 
dost not know but the next year, nay possibly the 
next week, thou mayest be in heaven. Christ will 


not long endure thine absence, but will have thee 
up to him till the time of his general ?ppearing; 
when he will take us up altogether, and so we shall 
be ever with the Lord. 

Soul, believest thou this? If thou dost indeed, 
what remains but thnt thou shouldest live a life of 
love and praise; studying to do all the good thou 
canst till thou come to heaven; and waiting all the 
days of thine appointed time till thy change shall 
come? O my soul, look out and long. O my breth 
ren, be you as the mother of Sisera, looking out at 
the windows, and watching at the lattices, saying, 
<( Why are his chariot- wheels so long a coming?" 
Though the time till you shall see him be but very 
short, yet love and longing make it seem tedious. 

My beloved, comfort your hearts with these words. 
Look upon these things as the greatest realities, and 
let your affections be answerable to yoiir expectations. 
I would not have told you these things, unless I had 
believed them : For it is for this hope that I am 
bound with this chain. The blessing of the Holy 
Trinity be upon you! I am yours, and will be. The 
God of peace be with you. 
I rest, 

Your Ambassador in bonds, 

From the prison at Jmlchcsier, 
August 5th, 1666. 



[Of the love of Christ.] 

To his most endeared friends, the servants of God in Taunton t 

Most dearly beloved, 

METHINKS my breasts are not easy, unless I do 
let them forth unto you. Methinks there is some 
thing still to do, and my week s work is not ended, 
unless I have given my soul vent, and imparted 
something to the beloved flock that I have left be 
hind. And Oh, that my letters in my absence might 
be useful to you! Assuredly it is my joy to serve 
you, and my love for you is without dissimulation: 
Witness my twice lost liberties, and my impaired 
health, all which I might have preserved, had it not 
been for my readiness to minister to you. 

But what do I speak of my love? It is the sense 
of the infinite love of God your Father that I would 
have to dwell upon you. Forget me, so you remem-. 
ber him. Let me be very little, so he be very love 
ly in your eyes. Let him be as the bucket that goes 
up, though I be as the bucket that goes down. Bury 
me, so that you do but set the Lord always before 
you. Let my name be written in the dust, so his 
name be written deep upon all your souls. 

O Lord, I am thy servant, truly I am thy servant: 
Glorify thine own name by me ; and thou shalt have 
my hand to it, that I will be content to be hid in 
obscurity, and to disappear through the overcoming 
lustre and brightness of thy glory. 


Brethren, understand mine office; I preach not 
myself, but the Lord Jesus Christ, and myself your 
servant for Jesus sake. Give him your hearts, and 
I have my errand. I am but the friend of the bride 
groom, and my business is but to give you to under 
stand his love, and to gain your hearts unto him. 
He is an object worthy of my commendations and 
of your affections. His love is worth the writing 
of, and worth the thinking of, and worth the speak 
ing of. O my brethren, never forget, I beseech you, 
how he loveth you. He is in heaven, and you are 
on earth; he is in glory, and you in rags; he is in 
the shining throne, and you in dirty flesh; and 
yet he loveth you. His heart is infinitely tender 
over you, even now while he is at the right hand 
of the Majesty on high. How feelingly doth he cry 
out at the hurt of his poor members on earth, Send, 
Said, why persecutest thou me ? Oh, of what quick 
sense is the sense of our dear Lord unto us! When 
we are touched on earth he feels it in heaven. 

Brethren, Christ is real in ail that he speaks unto 
you. He is not like a flourishing lover, who fills up 
his letters with rhetorick, and hath more care of 
the dress of his speech, than of the truth. Who 
ever gave demonstration of the reality* of his love at 
so dear a rate as Christ hath done? Men do not use 
to die in jest. Who will impoverish himself, to en 
rich his friend? And divest himself of his honour 
to a-lvance him? And debase himself to admiration 
below his own degree to contract affinity with him? 
And all this but to make him believe that he love* 


Brethren, possess your very hearts with this,, 
that Christ s love doth go out with infinite clearness 
towards you. Even now> while he is in all his glo 
ry, he earnestly remembers you still. This is the 
High Priest that now is filtered into the holy of 
holies, doth bear your names particularly, remem 
bering every poor believer by name. He bears your 
names, but where? "Upon his breast-plate, upon 
his heart," saith the text, Exod. xxviii. 20. Ah! 
Christians, 1 may salute y;>u as the angel did Mary, 
Hs.il you that a > high 1 ; favoured : Blessed are you 
among men. Sure your lot is fallen in a happy place. 
What! in the bosom of Christ? Yea, and verily you 
may believe, and doubt not. I may apply that of 
Gabriel, jD&ttW, thoii art greatly beloved, unto you; 
you are beloved indeed, to have your names written 
upon the very heart of Christ, now he is in glory. 

O!i, let his name be written then on .your hearts. 
Do not write his name in the sand, when he hath 
wri J.eT> yours upon his own breast! Do not forget 
him \\~ns nsth taken .such care, that while he is, he 
miij nevrr forget you, having recorded your names 
not onlv -j.\ his book, but on his fash, and set you 
as a sea 1 upon his heart. He hath you upon his 
heart: but why? "for a memorial before the Lord 
Continually," so saith the text. Beloved, your Lord 
is so *:ir froni forgetting you in all his greatness and 
gl>vy, tii;t he is ^ one into heaven, on purpose, there 
to pre.se t you i>c:,re the Lord, that you may be al 
ways ;.- re<ni ! j.-iJ K t before him. O beloved, glo 
ry > yea, and triumph in his love. Doubtless it must 


go well with us. Who shall condemn? It is Christ 
that died, and rose again, and is now making inter 
cession. His Interest is potent. He is always pre 
sent. Our advocate is never out of court. Never 
did cause miscarry in his hand. Trust you safely 
in him. Happy is that man for whom he shall un 
dertake to speak. 

Oh, the riches of Christ s love! He did not think 
it enough to die for you. His love and care doth 
not end with his natural life on earth> but " he 
ever liveth to make intercession for us/ His love 
is like his life, ever, and ever; knowing no remis 
sion in degree, nor intermission of time, no cessa 
tion of working, but is ever, ever in motion to 
wards us. 

But when shall I end, if I suffer my soul to run 
out its length, and my running pen to enlarge accor 
ding 4o the dimensions of this boundless field of di 
vine love? If the pens of all the world were em 
ployed to write volumes of love; if the tongues of 
all the living were exercised in nothing else but talk 
ing of this love; if all the hearts that be were made 
up of love; and all the powers and affections of the 
miid were turned into one, to wit the power of love; 
yet this were no less than infinitely too little, either 
to conceive, or to express the greatness of Christ s 

O my dearly beloved, may your souls be swallow 
ed up i;i thr love. Think, and think while you 
will; v "u can never think how much you are be 
loved. See that ye love again, by \vay of gratitude f 


though not of requital. What, though your souls be 
but narrow, and your powers but little, yet love him 
with all you have. Love him with all your hearts, 
and all your strength. To the meditations, and to 
the embraces of divine love I leave you, thinking it 
now not worth while to tell you of my love, re 

Yours in the bonds of your most 

dear Lord Jesus, 


August nth, 1665. 


[Warning to professors of their danger.] 

To the most beloved people the servants of God in Tauntoit. 

ftfost dear friends, 

MY top joy is, that my Beloved is mine and I am 

his : But next to that I have no joy so great as that 

you are mine and I am yours, and you are Christ s. 
My relation to Christ is above all; He is my life and 
my peace, my riches, and my righteouness: He i 

my hope and my strength, and mine inheritance, and 
my rejoicing. In him will I please myself for ever, 
and in him will I glory. I esteem myself most happy, 
and rich, and safe in him, though of myself I am no 
thing. In him I may boast without pride, and glory 
without vanity. Here is no danger of being over much 
pleased; neither can the Christian exceed his bounds 
in overvaluing his own riches and happiness in 


Christ. I am greatly pleased with the lot that is fal 
len to me: TI e Lord hath dealt bountifully with me, 
and none shall stop this my confidence of boasting 
in Christ. But as my lot in him is above all, so, I 
will assure you, it is no small content to me, that 
my lot is fallen with you. And though many dif 
ficulties have fallen to my lot among you (for I have 
broken my health and lost my liberty once and 
again, for your sakes) yet none of these things move 
me. I wish nothing more than to spend and to be 
spent upon the service of your faith. I bless the Lord 
for it, as an invaluable mercy, that ever he called me 
to be an Ambassadour of the Lord JesusChrist to yoii- 
wards. In this station I desire to approve myself 
to him; and that I am withdrawn from my work for 
a season, it is but that I may return to you refreshed, 
and enabled for my work among you. You may not 
think that I have forgotten you, and consulted my 
own ease and pleasure: But if God prosper my inten 
tions, I shall be found to have been daily serving 
you in this retirement. I will assure you, I am very 
tender of preserving all that little strength, that God 
doth add to me, entirely for your sakes; being resolv 
ed not so much as once to broach the vessel till I 
draw forth to you. 

I bless the Lord, I am in great tranquil ity here in 
this town, and walk up and down the corporation 
without any questioning me Only it hath pleased 
the Lord to add to my affliction since my 
taking away my dear fath "r : tl i e day of v-- . 
translation was the twy after my arri \ i u, he* c. 1: ut 


I bless the Lord, I do believe and expect the return 
of the Redeemer with all his saints, and the most glo 
rious resurrection of my own dead body with all be 
lievers: And this makes me to rest in hope, and fills 
me with unspeakably more joy than the death of 
myself or any other saint can with grief. And now 
I make it my business to be rendered serviceable to 
you; and do, by this, return you my hearty thanks 
for your earnest prayers and intercessions to God in 
my behalf. For it is he that must do the cure: I seem 
to myself to be retired to this place, as a vessel rent 
and shattered and torn in the service, that is come to 
recruit in the harbour. And here I am as it were rig 
ging, and repairing, and victualling, to put forth 
again in the service; which I shall do with the first 
wind, as soon as I am ready. What is my life, unless 
I am serviceable? And though I must for the present 
forbear my wonted labour, yet I shall not cease to 
exhort you, and call upon you while I am absent from 
you, to stand fast, and to grow up in your holy faith. 

Be warned, my dearly beloved, that you fall not 
upon those dangerous rocks upon which so many 
professors have been split. 

There are three things which I beseech you care 
fully to beware of: 

First, Lest while Christ is in your mouths, the world 
run away with your hearts: There is many a seeming 
professor that will be found a mere idolater. Many 
a soul goes down to hell in this sin, in the midst of 
his profession, and never discerns it till it be too late. 
Remember, I beseech you, that the oxen, the farm, 


wife, merchandize, (all of them lawful comforts,) 
did as effectually keep men from a sound and savir-g 
closing with Christ, as the vilest lusts of the worst 
of men. Whatever you find your hearts very much 
pleased in, and in love with, among these earthly 
comforts, set a mark upon that thing, and remember 
that there lies your greatest danger What you love 
most, you must fear most: and think often with your 
selves, "Tuis, if any thing, is like to be my ruin." 
Oh, the multitudes of professors that perish for ever, 
by the secret hand of this mortal enemy, I mean the 
overvaluing of earthly things. The hearers compared 
to the thorny ground, did not openly fall away and 
cast off their profession, as the stony ground did; 
but while others withered away, the blade of profes 
sion was as green and fresh as ever; and yet their in 
ordinate affection to the things of this life, did secretly 
undo all at last. Little do most professors think of this, 
while they please themselves in their estates, while 
they delight themselves so freely in their children, in 
their wives, in their habitations and possessions; 
that these be the things that are like to undo them for 
ever. How little is that scripture thought of, which 
speaks so dreadfully to worldly professors, Love not 
the world, for if any man love the world, the love of the 
Father is not in him. Are there not many among us, 
who though they do keep up prayer, and other holy 
duties; yet the strength and vigour of their hearts 
goeth out after earthly things? And these are their 
chief care and their chief joy. Such must know that 
they are none of Christ s; and they were better, to. 


understand it now and seek to be renewed by re 
pentance, than hereafter when there shall be no 
place for repentance, 

Secondly, Lest while iniquity doth abound, your love 
to Christ dnh wax cold. Remember what an abo 
mination Laodicea was to Christ, because she grew 
so lukewarm; and what a controversy he had with 
Ephesus, a sound church, because she did but slack 
en and grow more remiss in her love. A friend is 
born for adversity; and now is the time, if you will 
prove the sincerity of your love and, friendship to 
Jesus Christ, by following him zealously, resolvedly, 
fully, now he is most rejected and opposed. 

Thirdly, Lest you keep up a barren and fruitless 
profession, without progression : See to it, my breth 
ren, that you be not only professors, but proficients. 
Many professors think all is well, because they keep 
on in the exercises of religion; but alas! you may 
keep on praying and hearing all the week long, and 
yet be not one jot the further. Many there are that 
keep going; but it is like the horse in the mill, that 
is going all day, but yet is no further than when he 
first began. Nay, it oft times happens in the trade 
of religion, as it doth in trading in the world, where 
many keep on in trading still, till for want of care and 
caution, and examining their accounts whether they 
go forward or backward, they trade themselves out 
of all. O^, look to Jt, my brethren, that none of 
you rest in the doing of duties, but examine what 
comes of them. Otherwise, as you may trade your 
selves into poverty, so you may hear and pray your- 
DD 2 


selves into hardness of heart, and desperate secu 
rity and formality. This was the very case of wretch 
ed Laodicea, who kept up the trade of religious du 
ties, and verily thought that all was well, because 
the trade still went on, and that she was increased 
in spiritual goods, and in a gaining way: But when 
her accounts were cast up at last, all comes to nothing, 
and ends in wretchedness, poverty, and nakedness. 
Most dear brethren, I wish and pray for the prosperi 
ty of you all: But above all, I wish your souls pros 
perity; with which, after my most dear loves to you 
all, having already exceeded the bounds of an epis 
tle, I commend you to the living God, remaining 
Your fervent well-wisher 

and Ambassa dor in Christ, 


"Devises, June 22, 1666. 


[An admiration of the love of God.} 

To the loving and most dearly beloved, the servants of God 

in Taunt on, salvation. 
My most dear friends, 

I LOVE you, and long for you in the Lord; and I 
am weary with forbearing that good and blessed 
work that the Lord hath committed to me, for the 
furtherance of your salvation. How long, Lord? How 
long shall I dwell in silence? How long shall my 
tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth? When will 


God open my lips,, that I may stand up and praise 
him? But it is my Father s good pleasure yet to keep 
me in a total disability of publishing his name among 
you ; unto him my soul shall patiently subscribe. I 
may not, I cannot complain that he is hard to me, or 
useth me with rigour: I am full of the mercies of the 
Lord, yea, brimful and running over: And shall I 
complain? Far be it from me. 

But though I may not murmur, methinks I may 
mourn a little, and sit down and wish, " O if I may 
" not have a tongue to speak, would 1 had but hands 
" to write, that 1 might from my pen drop some hea- 
" venly counsels to my beloved people." Methinks 
my feeble fingers do even itch to write unto you ; but 
it cannot be, alas! my right hand seems to have for 
gotten her cunning, and hath much ado with trem 
bling to lift the bread unto my mouth. Do you 
think you should have had so little to shew under 
my hand, to bear witness of my care for von and 
love to you, if God had not shaken my pen as it were 
out of my hand? But all that he doth is done well 
and wisely, and therefore I submit. I have purposed 
to borrow hands wherewith to write unto my beloved^ 
rather than to be silent any longer. 

But where shall I begin, or when should I end? If 
I think to speak of the mercies of God towards me 
or mine enlarged affections towards you, methinks I 
,feel already how strait this paper is like to be, and 
how insignificant my expressions will be found, and 
how insufficient all that I can say, will prove at last 
to utter what I have to tell you. But shall I say nc^ 


thin<r, because I cannot utter all? This must not be, 

Come then, all ye that fear the Lord, come, and I 
will tell you what lie hath done for my soul. O help 
me to love that precious name of his, which is above 
all my praises. O love the Lord, all ye saints, and 
fear before him ! Magnify the Lord with me, and let 
us exalt his name together! He hath remembered 
mv low estate, because his mercy endureth for ever. 
O blessed be you of the Lord, my dearly beloved; O 
thrice blessed may you be, for all your remembrances 
of me before the Lord. You have wrestled with the 
Lord for me, you have wrestled me out of the very 
jaws of death itself: O the strength of prayer! Sure 
ly it is .stronger than death. See that you even ho 
nour thepovver andprevalency of prayer . Oh be in love 
with prayer, and have high and venerable thoughts 
of it. What distresses, diseases, deaths, can stand 
before it? Surely I live by prayer. Prayer h.ith 
given a resurrection to this body of mine, when phy 
sicians and friends had given up their hopes. 

Ah! my dearly beloved, methinks it delights me 
to tell the story of your love : How much more of 
the love of God towards me! I have not forgotten, 
O my dearly beloved, I have not forgotten your ten 
der love in all my distresses. I remember your 
kindness to me in my bonds, when once and again I 
was delivered up to a prison for your sakes. I re 
member with much delight, how you refreshed and 
comforted me in my tribulations, how open your 
hearts were; and your hands were not straitened, 



either, for I was in want of nothing. I may not, 
I must not forget what painful jburnies you took to 
visit me, when in places remote the hand of the Lord 
had touched me; and though my long sicki-ess was 
almost incredibly expensive to me, yet your supplies 
did not a little lighten my burthen. 

A vi. 1 though I put it last, yet I do not mind it least, 
that you h .-.ve been so ready in returning praises to 
God in my behalf. Your thanksgiving to God, 
my dear brethren, does administer abundant cause 
to me of my giving thanks unto you. 

And now my heart, methinks, is big to tell you a 
little of my love to you: Surely you are dear unto 
me; but though it be sweet to tell the story of love, 
yet in this I will restrain myself. For I fear least, 
as the wise man saith of the beginning of strife, so I 
should find of the beginning of love, that " it is like 
the letting forth of the water;" and the rather I do 
forbear, because I hope you have better testimonies 
than words, to bear witness herein unto you. 

But if I sing the song of love, O let divine love 
vercarry the praise. I found myself in straits w r hen 
I began to speak of the natural love between my 
dear people, and an unworthy minister of Christ to 
them; and it seemed that all that I have said was 
much too little; but, now I have to speak of the love 
of God, it seems to be by far too much. 

O Infinite Love never to be comprehended, but 
ever to be admired, magnified, and adored by every 
creature! O let ray heart be filled, let my mouth b<? 
filled, let my papers be filled, ever ever filled with; 


the thankful commemoration of this matchless love! 
O tnrn your eyes from other objects ! O bury me in 
forgetfulness, and let my love be no more mentioned 
nor had in remembrance among you, so that you may 
be throughly possessed and inflamed with the love 
ef God. 

This, my beloved, this is that love which is ever to 
be commended and extolled by you. See that you 
study this love; fill your souls with wonder, and feast 
your souly with joy, and be ravished with rich con 
tentment in this divine love. Take your daily walk, 
and lose yourselves in the field of love. Drink, O 
friends, yea drink abundantly, O beloved, fear no ex 
cess. O that your souls may be drenched and drown 
ed in the love of Christ, till you can every one say 
with the ravished spouse, / am sick, of love. Marvel 
not that I wander here, and seem to forget the bounds 
of a letter; this obligethme, yea, rather constrained! 
me. Who in all the earth should admire and com- 
niend this love, if I should not? I feel it, I taste it; 
the sweet savour thereof reviveth my soul, it is light 
to mine eyes, and life to niy heart. The warm beams of 
this blessed sun, O how they have comforted me, 
ravished, and refreshed me, both in body and soul! 
My benumbed limbs, my withered hands, my feeble 
knees, my bones quite naked of flesh, do yet again 
revive through the quickening, healing, and raising 
influence of divine grace and love. Now my own 
hands can feed me, and my own feet can bear me, my 
appetite is quick, my sleep comfortable, and God is 
pleased to give some increase continually, though by 


insensible degrees: And shall not I praise that love 
and grace that hath done all this for me? Yea, what 
is this to all I have to tell yoli? My heart is enlarg 
ed; but 1 told you, paper could not hold what I have 
to speak of the goodness of the All-Gracious God in 
which I live. I am forced to end, least you should 
not bear my length. My dearly beloved, I send my 
heart unto you, divide my love among you all, and 
particularly tender it to your reverend and faithful 
pastor, whose presence with you, and painful ness, 
and watchfulness over you, and zeal and courage for 
you in so dangerous a time, is matter of my great joy 
and thanksgivings unto God. The grace of our Lord 
Jesus be with you all. Fare you well in the Lord. 
I remain 

Your unworthy minister and fervent 

well-wisher in the Lord, 



lo the most endeared people, the inhabitants of Tauntov, 

Most dearly beloved and longed-for, 
my j^ij and crown, 

MY heart s desire and prayer for you is, that you 
niuy be saved. This i? that which I have been pray 
ing, and studying, and preaching for, these many years; 
and i ! . is is t> -" "- tu ring, and suffering, and 

writing, at Vil present ti e. Cod that knowelh all 


things, he knoweth that this is my wish, " Oh that 
I could but come at their souls!" And that this is 
the prize and the gain that I run for,, that I might 
win souls. I seek not other gifts, give me your 
hearts, let me but part between your sins and you; 
suffer me but to save you; give me leave to carry you 
over to Jesus Christ, and I will not ask you any more. 
I will serve you gladly, I will suffer for you thank 
fully, so I may but save you. Do not wonder why 
I follow you so pressingly, why I call upon you s 
frequently; let not my importunity be grievous to 
you, all this is but to save you. Christ did not be 
think his blood, and shall I bethink my breath, or 
ink, too dear in order to your salvation? What a 
pity is it, that any of you should miscarry at last, un 
der the power of ignorance, or by a profane negli 
gence, or a formal and lifeless profession of strict 
godliness ! 

Beloved, I am afraid of you lest (as to many of 
you) I have run in vain. I cannot but most thank 
fully acknowledge, that (considering the paucity of 
those that are saved) there are not a few of you who 
are the joy of your ministers, and the glory of Christ. 
But it cannot be dissembled, that far the greater num 
ber give little ground to hope, that they are in th e 
state of salvation. And must not this be a pinching 
thought to a co-npassionate teacher, to think, that he 
earmot for hivS heart persuade men, but that the most 
of them will wilfully throw away themselves? Is it 
not a wofal .sight, to b o| io! 1 t^e devils driving a great 
part of our miserable iioc^b, ^as they did once the 


herd of swine, the keepers themselves amazed look 
ing on,) I say, driving them violently down the hill, 
till they be choaked in the water, and drowned irre 
coverably in the gulf of endless perdition? Ah, miser 
able spectacle ! What through the wilful blindness 
of some, what through the looseness and sensuality 
of others, what through the halving, and cold and 
customary religion of others, how great a number of 
our poor flocks is satan like to carry utterly away 
from us, after all that hath been done to save them. 

Yet I cannot but call after them " Hearken unt 
me, O ye children. How long will ye love vanity> 
and follow after leasing, and trust in lying words? 
As the Lord liveth, you are lost, except you turn. 
Wherefore turn yourselves and live ye. Ah how 
mercy wooeth you! How it waiteth to be gracious 
to you? Hear, O sinners, hear. See you not how 
the merciful Saviour of the world stretcheth forth his 
hands all the day long, and spreadeth forth his wings;, 
and calleth you as a hen doth her chickens ! Hear 
you not the soundings of his bowels? He hath n 
need of you; yet how do his compassions melt over 
perishing sinners? His heart is turned within him; 
and shall not this turn your hearts? His repentings 
are kindled together; and shall not this lead you t* 
repentance? Behold, he standeth at the door and 
knocketh. O man, wilt thou keep Jesus at the door, 
and lodge Barabbas in thy bosom, and prefer thy 
cruel lusts before thy compassionate Lord? O his 
melting love to sinners ! H6 calleth after them, Isa, 
Iv. 1. He weepeth over them, Luke xix. 41, 48. 



He crieth to them, Prov. I 21, 22, 23. How long 
ye simple ones, will you love simplicity? Will you 
not be made clean ? When shall it once be? Why 
will you die? Turn you at my reproof: Behold, I 
will pour out my Spirit upon you. Sinner, art thou 
not yet melted? Oh come in at his loving calls, 
come out frond thy sins: touch the sceptre of grace, 
and live: Why shouldest thou be dashed in pieces 
by his iron rod? Kiss the Son. Why shouklst thou 
perish in the way? Setup Jesus as thy King, lest 
he count thee for his enemy, because thou wouldst 
not that he should reign over thee, and so thou be 
called forth and slain before him. Oh how dreadful 
will this case be, to perish under the pitiful eyes of 
his mercy, and to die by the hand of a Saviour! Oh ! 
double hell, to have thy Redeemer become thine ex 
ecutioner! And the hand that was so long stretch 
ed forth to save thee, to be now stretched forth to 
slay thee ! And the merciful heart ot Christ himself 
hardened against thee, so as that he should call thee 
forth, and with his own hand hew thee in pieces, as 
Samuel did A gag before the Lord. 

But I have been too long in prefacing to what I 
intended forthwith to have fallen upon: Indeed I 
am apt to run out in matters that do so nearly touch 
upon your greatest concernments. 

Beloved, I despair of ever bringing you to salva 
tion, without sanctification; or possessing you with 
happiness, without persuading you to holiness. God 
knows, I have not the least hope ever to see one of 
your faces in heaven, except you be converted and 


sanctified, and exercise yourselves unto godliness. 
This is that I drive at, I beseech you, study to fur- 
ther personal godliness, and family godliness. 

1. Personal godliness. Let it/ be your first care to 
set up Christ in your hearts. See that you make all 
your worldly interests to stoop to him, that you be 
entirely and unreservedly devoted unto him. If you 
wilfully, and deliberately, and ordinarily harbour 
any sin, you are undone. See that you unfeignedly 
take the laws of Christ, as the rule of your words, 
thoughts, and actions; and subject your whole man, 
members and mind, faithfully to him. If you have 
a true respect to all God s commandments, you are 
sound at heart. Oh study to get the image and im 
press of Christ upon you within ! Begin with your 
hearts, else you build without a foundation. Labour 
to get a saving change^ within, or else all external 
performances will be to no purpose. And then study 
to shew forth the power of godliness in the life. Let 
piety be your first and great business. It is the 
highest point of justice, to give God his due. Be 
ware that none of you be a pray erless person: for 
that is a most certain discovery of a Christless and a 
graceless person, of one that is a very stranger to the 
fear of God. Suffer not your bibles to gather dust. 
See that you converse daily with the word. That 
man can never lay claim to blessedness, whose de- 
, light is not in the law of the Lord. Let meditation 
and self-examination be your daily exercise, else the 
papists, yea the pagans, will condemn us. That the* 
short questions which I have given you as a help tQ 


self-examination, may be daily perused by you, is 
the matter of my passionate request unto you. If 
ever you come to any growth in holiness, without 
the constant use of this practice, I am grossly deceiv 
ed. And therefore I would beseech, yea, even 
charge you, by the Lord, that you would daily exa 
mine yourselves by these questions, till you have 
found a better help to this duty. 

But piety without charity, is but the half of Chris 
tianity, or rather impious hypocrisy. We may not 
divide the tables. See therefore that you do justly, 
and love mercy, and let equity and charity run, like 
an even thread, throughout all your dealings. Be 
you temperate in all things, and let charity and sobri 
ety be your undivided companions. Let truth and 
purity, seriousness and modesty, heavenliness and 
gravity be the constant ornaments of your speech. Let 
patience and humility, simplicity and sincerity, shine 
out in all the parts of your conversations. See that 
you forget and forgive wrongs, and requite them with 
kindness, as you would be found children of the Most 
High. Be merciful in your censures, and put the 
most favourable construction upon your brethren s 
carriage that their actions will reasonably bear. Be 
slow in promising, punctual in fulfilling. Let meek 
ness and innocency, affableness, yieldingness, and 
courtesy, commend your conversations to all men. 
Let none of your relations want that love and loyalty, 
that reverence and duty, that tenderness, care, and 
vigilancy, which their several places and capacities 
all for. This is throughout godliness. I charge 


you before the Most High God, that none of you be 
found a swearer, or a liar, a lover of evil company, 
or a scoffer, or malicious, or covetous, or a drunkard, 
or a glutton,, unrighteous in his dealing, unclean ill 
his living, or a quarreller, or a thief, or a backbiter, 
or a railer: for I denounce unto you from the living 
God, that destruction and damnation is the end of 
all such. Prov. xiii. 20. James v. 12. Rev. xxi. 8. 
1 Cor. vi. 9, 10. Gal. v. If), 20, 21. 

2. Family godliness. He that hath set up Christ in 
h. s heart. \v\A \n ,- IK lo study to set him up in his 
house. Let evvr/ family with you be a Christian 
church; every house, a house of prayer; every hous- 
hold, a houshold of faith. Let every housh older say 
with Joshua, / and my house will serve the Lord; and 
resolve with David, (Psalm cxxi. 2.) Twill walk within 
my house, with a perfect heart. Let me press upon you 
a few duties, which I have been long harping upon, 
but alas (I speak it to your shame; with many (too 
too many) of you, to little purpose in general. 

First, Let religion be in your families, not as a 
matter by the by, (to be minded at leisure, when the 
world will give you leave,) but the standing business 
of ihe house. Let them have your prayers, as c\uly 
as their meals. Is there any of your families, but 
have time for their taking food? Wretched man! 
canst thou find time to eat in, and not time to pray in? 
Secondly, Settle it upon your hearts, that your 
souls are bound up in the souls of your family. 
They are committed unto you, and (if they be lost 
through your neglect) will be required at your hands. 

EE 2 


Sirs, if you do not, you shall know that the charge 
of souls is a heavy charge, and that the blood of souls 
is a heavy guilt. O man, hast thou a charge of souls 
to answer for, and dost thou not yet bestir thyself 
for them, that their blood be not found in thy skirts? 
Wilt thou do no more for immortal souls, than thou 
wilt do for thy beasts that perish? What dost thou 
do for thy children and servants? Thou providest 
meat and drink for them agreeable to their natures; 
and dost thou not the same for thy beasts? Thou 
givest them medicines, and cherishest them when 
they be sick; and dost thou not so much for thy 
swine? More particularly, 

(1.) Let the solemn reading of the word, Isa.xxxiv 
16. Job. v. 31 and singing of psalms, be your fami 
ly exercises, Psal. cxviii. 15. See Christ singing 
with his family, viz. his Disciples, Mat. xxvi. 30, 
Lukeix. 18. 

(2.) Let every person in your families be duly called 
to an account of their profiting by the word heard or 
ready as they be about doing your own businesses. This 
is a duty of consequence unspeakable, and would 
be a means to bring those under your charge to 
remember and profit by what they receive. See 
Christ s example in calling his family to an account, 
Mat. xvi. 11, 13, 15. 

(3.) Often take an account of the souls under your 
care, concerning their spiritual estates. Herein you 
must be followers of Christ. Mat. xiii. 10, 36, 51. 
Mark iv. 10,11. Make enquiry into their condi 
tions; insist much upon the sinfulness and misery of 


their natural estate, and upon the necessity of rege 
neration and conversion in order to their salvation. 
Admonish them gravely of their sins, encourage 
beginnings. Follow them earnestly; and let them 
have no quiet for you, till you see them in a saving 1 
change. This is a duty of high consequence, but 
(I am afraid) fearfully neglected by some that are 
godly. Doth not conscience say "Thou art the 

(4.) Look to the strict sanctifying of the sabbath, by 
all of your honsholds. Exod. xx. 10. Lev. xxiii. 3. 
Many poor Families have little time else. O im 
prove but your sabbath-days as diligently in labour 
ing for knowledge, and doing your Maker s work, 
as you do the other days in doing your own work, 
and I doubt not but you may come to some profici 

(5.) Let the morning and evening sacrifice of solemn 
prayer, be daily offered up in all your families. Psal. 
xcii. 1, 2. Exod. xxx. 7, 8. Luke i. 9, 10. Beware they 
be not found among the families that call not upon 
God s name; for why should there be wrath from the 
Lord upon your families? Jer. x. 25. O miserable fa 
milies, without God in the world, that are without fa 
mily prayer ! What ! have you so many family sins, 
family wants, family mercies ? What ! and yet no fami 
ly prayers? How do you pray with all prayer and 
supplication, if you do not with family prayer? Say 
not, " I have no time." What ! hast thou all thy time 
on purpose to serve God, and save thy soul? And 
i this that for which thou canst find no time? Find 


but a heart, and I will find time. Pinch out of 


your meals and sleep, rather than want for prayer. 
Say not " My business will not give leave." This is 
thy greatest business, to save thyself s .and the souls 
committed to thee. Besides a whet will be no let. 
In a word, the blessing of all is to be got by prayer, 
Jer. xixx. 11, 12. 2 Sam. vii. 29. And what is thy 
business without God s blessing? Say not, " I am not 
able." Use thy one talent, and God will increase 
it, Mat. xxv. 24, &c. Helps are to be had till thru 
art better able. But if there be no other remedy, 
thou may est join with thine abler neighbour. God 
hath special regard to joint prayer, James v. 14, to 
19. Acts xii. 5, to 12. 2 Cor. i. 11, and therefore 
you must improve family advantages for the perfor 
ming of it. 

(f>.) Put every one in your families upon private 
prayer. Observe whether they do perform it. Get 
them the help of a form, if they need it, till they 
are able to go without. Direct them how to pray, 
by minding them of their sins, wants, and mercies, 
the materials of prayer. This was the practice of 
John, and of Jesus, Luke xi. 1, 2. 

(7.) Set up catechizing in your families, at the 
least once every week. It was my parting, dying 
request, that you would set up and maintain this 
duty in your families. Have yod done it all ac 
cordingly? Cannot your consciences witness, cannot 
your families witness, you have not? Well, I 
thought my parting words would have done some 
thing with you: I hoped tae fervent request of a 


dying minister, would have prevailed for such a 
small matter with you. What, to this day without 
solemn catechizing in your houses? Ah, what a dis 
couragement to your teacher is this ? Brethren, shall 
I yet prevail with you? Will you reject me now al 
so? O let me persuade you, before you takeoff 
your eyes from these lines, to resolve to set upon the 
constant exercise of this duty. Surely I have done 
and suffered more for you titan this comes to. Will 
you deny me? I beseech you, let me find, if ever 
God do bring me again to visit your houses, that the 
words of a suffering minister have some power with 
you. I have sent you a help on purpose. What! 
shall all my persuasions be but speaking in the wind? 
And all my pains but labouring in the fire? Beloved, 
you have no dread of the Almighty s charge, That 
you should teach these things diligently to your chil 
dren, and talk of them as you sit in your houses, $c. 
(Deut. vi. 6, 7, 8, 9. and iv. 9, 10. and xi. 18, 19, 20.) 
and train them up in the way they should go. (Prov. 
xxii. 6, in the margin.) Hath God so commended 
Abraham, that he would teach his children and hous- 
hold, (Gen. xviii. 19.) and that he had so many in 
structed servants, (Gen. xiv. 14. in the margin,) and 
given such a promise to him thereupon, and will not 
you put in for a share, neither in the praise nor the 
promise? Hath Christ honoured catechizing with 
his presence, (Luke ii. 46.) and will not you own it 
with your practice? Say not, " They are careless, 
and will not learn." W T hat have you your authority 
for, if not to use it for God, and the good of they? 


souls? You will call them up, and force them to do 
your work; and should you not at least be as zealous 
in putting them upon God s work? Say not, "They 
are dull and are not capable." If they be dull, God 
requires of you the more pains and patience; but so 
dull as they are, you will make them learn how to 
work ; and can they not learn as well how to live ? 
Are they capable of the mysteries of your trade, and 
are they not capableof the plain principlest>f religion? 
Well ! as ever you would see the growth of religion, 
the cure of ignorance, the remedy of profaneness, the 
downfal of error, fulfil you my joy in going through 
with this duty. 

I have been too long already, and yet I am afraid 
my letter will be ended before my work be done. 
How loath am I to leave you, before I have prevail 
ed with you to set to the work to which you are 
here directed! Will you pass your promise, will 
you give me your hands? Oh that you would! You 
cannot do me a greater pleasure. Ask what you will 
of me; see if I will not do as much for you. Oh 
that your families might be a joy to me, as that twice 
noble lady s to John ; who professes he had no great 
er joy, than to find her children walking in the 
truth! Beloved, why should you not give the hand 
one to another, and mutually engage each to other, 
for more vigorous and diligent endeavours, in pro 
moting family godliness? I must tell you, God 
looks for more than ordinary from you, in such a 
day as this. He expects that you should do, both in 
your hearts and in your houses, somewhat more 


than ever, under these his extraordinary dispensa 
tions. My most dearly beloved, mine own bowels 
in the Lord, will you satisfy the longings of a travail 
ing minister? Wi 1 ! you answer the calls of divine pro 
vidence? Would you remove the incumbent, or pre 
vent the impending calamities? Would you plant 
nurseries for the church of God? Would you that 
God should build your houses, and bless your sub 
stance? Would you that your children should bless 
v you; that your Father should bless you? Oh, then 
set up piety in your Families, as ever you would be 
blessed, or be a blessing! Let your hearts and your 
Houses be the temples of the living God, in which 
his worship (according to all the forementioned di 
rections) may be with constancy reverently perform 
ed. Pardon my prolixity and importunity in so 
earnest pursuing of you; I am yet afraid I have done 
too soon, and shall end without my errand. The 
Lord God persuade you ! To Him I turn me; for I 
am well assured, he can prevail with you: 

O FATHER of Spirits, that hath set me over thy 
flock to watch for their souls, as one that must give 
an account. I have long studied thy will, and 
taught in thy name, and do unfeignedly bless thee 
that any have believed my report. I have given 
unto them the words which thou get vest me, and they 
have received them. I have manifested thy name unto 
them, and they have kept thy word. And now I am 
no more with them, but I come unto thee: Holy Fa 
ther, keep them through thine own name ; for they are 
thine. As they have kept the word of thy patience, 


so keep thou them in the hour of temptation. They 
are but a flock, a little and a helpless flock ; but thou 
art their Shepherd ; suffer them not to want. Do 
thou feed them, and fold them. Let thy rod and thy 
staff comfort them ; and let not the beasts of prey 
fall upon them, to the spoiling of their souls. 

But what shall I do for them that will not be ga- 


thered? I have called after them, but they would 
.not answer; I have charged them in thy name, but 
they would not hear; I have studied to speak per 
suasively to them, but I cannot prevail. Then I said 
" I have laboured in vain; I have spent my strength 
for nought, and in vain;" yet I cannot give them 
over, much less may I give thee over. Lord, 
persuade Japhet to dwell in the tents of Shem. 
Lord, compel them to come in, and lay the hands of 
mercy upon them, as thou didst on lingering Lot, 
and bring them forth, that they may escape for their 
lives and not be consumed; Lord, I pray thee, 
open their eyes that they may see, and lay hold up 
on their hearts by thy omnipotent grace. Do thou 
turn them, and they shall be turned: O bring back 
the miserable captives^ and suffer not the enemy of 
mankind to drive away the most of the flock before 
mine eyes, and to deride the fruitless endeavours of 
thy labourers, and boast over them that he can do 
more with them, though he seek to ruin them, than 
all the beseechings, counsels, and charges of thy ser 
vants that seek to save them. Lord, if I could find 
out any thing that would pierce them, that would 
make its way into their hearts, thou knowest I would 


use it. But I have been many years pleading thy 
cause in vain. O let not these endeavours also be 
lost! O God, find out every ignorant, every pro 
fane sinner, every prayerless soul, and every pray- 
erless family, and convince them of their miserable 
condition, while without thee in the world. Set 
thy image upon their souls, set up thy worship in 
their families. Let not pride, ignorance, or sloth- 
fulness, keep them in neglect of the means of know 
ledge. Let thine eyes be over the place of my de 
sires for good, from one end of the year to the other 
end thereof. Let every house therein be a semina 
ry of religion ; and let those that cast their eyes upon 
these lines, find thee sliding in, by the secret influ 
ence of thy grace, into their hearts, and irresistibly 
engaging them to do thy pleasure. Amen. Amen. 


[He that endureth to the end shall be saved.] 

To the loving and well-beloved, the servants of Christ in Hun 
tingdon, grace and peace. 
Most dear Christians, 

I DO thankfully acknowledge, both to God and 
you, that I am many ways obliged to love and serve 
you: And surely when the Lord shall turn our cap 
tivity, I will (through his grace; endeavour to shew 
myself thankful, wherein I may, unto you. I am 
the .iiorc? sensible of your great love, because I cannot 
be insensible how little I have deserved such a mer 
cy, and how little I have been able to do to oblige you, 


Able, I say; for I am sure, I have been < to be 
much more serviceable to you. Put i . ! 

prayers are all that I have for yen; D/ tJ .<> \^1 

be ready to be prodigal. Your love to me hath been 
very bountiful: I may not forget the liber -1 sup 
plies that you have sent,, many of you even out of 
your poverty, to me; and not to me only, but to the 
whole family of my brethren, and fellow-prisoners, 
who do all bless you, and send by these with me 
their thankful respects unto you. I fervently pray, 
and do not doubt to speed, that you may reap in 
grace and glory what you have sown to us in boun 
ty. Verily, there is a reward for the righteous. Ah, 
how sure is it! And how great and how near is it! 
Come on, my dear brethren, and fellow-travellers. 
Stir up yourselves, and set to your race. See that 
you loiter not, but speed apace in your holy course. 
What! tire by the way, or think of looking back, 
when heaven is the prize? God forbid. To him 
that soweth righteousness there shall be a sure re 
ward. What ! though it should seem slow : As long 
as it is so sure, and so great, never be discouraged. 
In the end you shall reap, if you faint not. Wait 
but a while, and you shall have a blessed harvest. 
The Lord speaks to the Christian, as he to his cre 
ditor in another case, " Have patience with me, and 
I will pay thee all." Oh, now for faith and patience! 
How safely, how sweetly would these carry us to 
our home and harbour, through all difficulties! 
Brethren beloved, be ye followers of them who 
through faith and patience inherit the promises. It 


is want of patience that undoes the world. Patience, 
I mean, not so much in the bearing " the inflicted 
evil, as in waiting for the deferred good. If the 
reward of religion would be presently in hand, who 
would not be religious? Who but the deceitful 
world count it doubtful and distant? And they 
are all for something in hand, and so take iip with a 
present felicity. The Lord deals all upon trust; and 
upon that account is but little dealt with. You must 
have patience, and be content to plow and sow, and 
wait for the return of all at the harvest, when this 
life is ended. They that like not religion upon these 
terms, may see where they can mend their markets. 
But you,, my brethren, be stedfast, unnioveable, 
abounding in the work of the Lord; for as much as 
you know your labour shall not be in vain in the 
Lord. Wait a little, there is but a short life between 
you and the blessed inheritance of the endless glory. 
Ah, wretched unbelievers! How worthy are you to 
be shut for ever out of the kingdom, that did so un 
dervalue all the glory that God had promised, as not 
to count it sufficient to pay them for a little waiting! 

Beloved, lift up your eyes and behold your inhe 
ritance, the good land that is beyond the Jordan, 
and that goodly mountain. The promises are a map 
of heaven. Do but view it believingly and consi 
derately, as it is darkly drawn there, and tell me, 
what think you of that worthy portion, that goodly 
heritage ? Will not all this make you amends for 
your stay ? Why, then, act like believers. Never 
bethink the pains, nor expenses of religion. Let 


no man fear he shall come off a loser. What! though 
you are much upon the spending hand: I might 
tell you, God is beforehand with you, however. But 
I would have you principally to look forward. It is 
much that God hath laid out upon you; but who can 
tell what he hath laid up for them that fear him ? 

And will you miss of all, for want of patience? 
God forbid. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for 
the precious fruits of the earth, and hath long pati 
ence, till he receive the early and latter rain. Be 
ye also patient, stablish your hearts, for the coming 
of the Lord draweth nigh. What ! v shall the husband 
man have more patience for the fruits of the earth, 
than you for the precious fruits of your faith ? The 
husbandman hath no such certainty as you: He 
hath but a probability of a harvest; and yet he hath 
patience; he is content to venture. He is at great 
pains,and much cost, he is still laying out, and 
hath nothing coming in ; and yet he is content to 
wait for his reimbursement, till the corn be grown. 
But your harvest is most sure, as sure as the irrevo 
cable decree, the infallible promise, the immutable 
oath of a God, a God that cannot lie, that knows no 
place for repentance, can make it. 

Again, the husbandman hath no such increase to 
look for as you. Oh, if he were but sure, that every 
corn would bear a crown, with what exultation and 
joy, rather than patience, would he go through all 
his cost and labour ! Why, brethren, such is a be 
liever s increase. Every grain shall produce a crown ; 
and every tear shall bring forth a pearl; and every 


minute in pains or prayers, an age of joy and glory. 
Besides, t ] ie husbandman hath long patience; and 
\v : >,ot you have a ///M? patience? It is not long 
pane cc /.., t Cod doth expect of you: For, behold, 
the corning of the Lord draweth nigh. Will the 
garris -.ii yield when relief is at hand? Or the mer 
chant sit dovM , nd give up his hopes, when within 
sight of the rubour? Or will the husbandman de- 
spjncl, and give up all for lost, when he sees the 
fields even white for the harvest? Or shall he do 
more for a crop of corn, than you will do for a crop 
of glory? Far be it. Behold the judge is even at the 
door. The Lord is at hand. He cometh quickly, and 
his reward is with him. He comes with the crown in 
his hand, to set upon the head of patience. There 
fore cast not away your confidence, which has great 
recoropence of reward. 

The prisoners of the Lord, your brethren in the 
patience of Jesus, can tell you, it is good suffering for 
such a Master. We must tell you, as they said to 
our Lord in another case, " he is worthy for whom 
you should do this." God is beyond measure graci 
ous to us here. He shines bright into our prison, 
blessed be his name ! He waters us from heaven and 
earth. As, we trust, you forget not the poor priso 
ners, when you pray; so we would that many thanks 
givings should abound in our behalf. And prayer 
being the only key that can open our prisons, we 
trust that you will not slack, nor let your hands be 
heavy, but pray and not faint: and doubtless prayer 
will do it. But I am apt to pass the bounds of a let- 

FF 2 


ter, yet I promise myself now an easy pardon for so 
loving a trespass. With my dear loves to you all, I 
commend you to God, and the word of his grace. 
Though I have done writing, yet not praying. I will 
promise, where my letter ends, my prayers shall be 
gin. Farewell, dear brethren: fare you well in the 
Lord. lam 

An unworthy Ambassador of Jesus 

in bonds, 


From the prison at Juelchester, 
Oct.29th, 1663 


[For perseverance.] 
To my dear friends, the servants of Christ in Luppit, salvation. 

Beloved Christians, 

HAVING taken up a resolution to write to, and 
to endeavour to confirm, all the places where I have 
gone up and down preaching the kingdom of God, 
you were by no means to be omitted. You were the 
people that were last upon my heart, before my tak 
ing up; and had I not been made a prisoner, I think 
I had in a few hours after the time of my apprehen 
sion been with you. Now I can no way, but by pray 
ers, letters, and counsels, visit you; and so have sent 
these, to let you know that you are upon my heart, 
and that your welfare is dear unto me. I bless the 


Lord to hear that his work doth not cease among you. 
It is the joy of our bonds, beloved, to hear that the 
word is not bound, and that satan hath not his design 
upon the people of God, who doubtless intended by 
these sufferings to have struck terror into them, and 
to have made their hands weak. 

Know, dear Christians, that the bonds of the gospel 
are not tedious through grace unto us;^hat Christ 
is a master worth a suffering for; that there is really 
enough in religion to defray all our charges, and to 
quit all the cost and expence you can be at in or upon 
it; that you may build upon it that you can never 
be losers by Jesus Christ; that Christ s prison is bet^ 
ter than the world s paradise; that the divine attri 
butes are alone an all-sufficient livelihood; that the 
influences of heaven, and shines of God s countenance, 
are sufficient to lighten the darksomest dungeon, and 
to perfume and sweeten the noisomest prison to a 
poor believer; that if you can bring faith and pati 
ence, and the assurance of the divine favour with 
you to a prison, you will live comfortably, in spite 
of earth and hell. These are truths that the prisoners 
of Christ can in a measure seal unto; and I would 
have you to be more soundly assured of and estab 
lished in them. 

Brethren, we are of the same mind in a prison that 
we were of in the pulpit; that there is no life to a 
life of holiness; that Christ, and his yoke, and his 
cross, are worthy of all acceptation ; that it is the best, 
and wisest, and safest, and gainfulest course in 
the world, to stick close to Christ and his ways, and 


to adhere to them in all hazards. Come on, beloved 
Christians, come on ; slack not your pace, but give di 
ligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end, and 
be ye followers of them who through faith and patience 
inherit the promises. Strengthen the hands that hang 
down, and the feeble knees. If yon faint in the day 
of adversity, your strength is small. 

Cheer up, my brethren ; look what a crown, what 
a kingdom here is ! What say you ? Is not here a 
worthy portion, a goodly heritage? Were it not pity 
to lose all this for want 0f diligence and patience? 
Come, dear Christians, and fellow-travellers, I pray 
you, let us put on. Pluck up the weary limbs; our 
home is within sight. Lift up your eyes from the 
Pisgah of the promises ; You may see the land of rest. 
Will any of you think of returning into Eg\ pt ? God 
forbid! A little patience, and Christ will come. 
Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious 
fruits of the earth, and hath long patience till he re 
ceive the early and latter rain: Be ye also pr.tient, 
stablish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord draw- 
eth nigh. He is not a Christian indeed, that cannot be 
content to tarry for his preferment in another world. 
Cast upon it, my brethren, that your kingdom is not 
of this world; that here you must have tribulations; 
and that all is well, as long as we are secured for eter 
nity. Exhort one another daily: Strive together 
in prayer, unite your strength therein, and pull amain: 
Mercy will come sooner or later; however, we will 
be content to wait till the coming of our Lord Jesus 
Christ. Ah, how surely will he coiae ! He will ren- 


der tribulation to them that trouble us; and to us that 
are troubled, rest with him. Only believe and wait. 
What! not watch with him one hour? Why the 
Judge is even at the door! And how blessed will you 
be, if you do but continue and hold fast till he come! 
Watch therefore, and stand fast, quit you like men: 
Be zealous, and let your hearts be strong: God is 
your friend and you may trust him. lie is able to 
bear you out, and bear you up. Faint not therefore, 
but be stedfast, unmov cable, abounding in the works 
of the Lord. Speak often one to another, provoke to 
love, and to good works. Let the bay ot opposition 
against godliness, make the torrent of your zeal 
break over with the more violence. But it is time 
to end. I have been bold to call upon you, you see, 
and to stir you up by way of remembrance. May 
the Spirit of the Most High God excite you, encou 
rage you, enflame you! May these poor "lines be some 
quickening to you ! May the good- will of Him that 
dwelt in the bush, dwell -with you! My dear loves to 
you all. Pray for the prisoners. Farewell, dear bre 
thren, farewell in the Lord. I am 

Yours in the bonds of the Lord Jesus, 

Oct. lllk, 1665, 


[ To a backsliding fellow-student.] 

SIR, Whom this will find you, or when, or where, 
I know not; but I have shot this arrow at a venture. 
Once you were an associate with me in Corpus Christ! : 


J remember yonr blameless conversation, and your 
zealous affection for, and adhesion to., the way s and 
people of God. May you be still found in the s?me 
paths of holiness, without which no man shall sec 
God! The vows of God are upon me (which, I con 
fess, I have been too slack topay)that I would put you 
in remembrance, and in all brotherly tenderness ad 
vise you, to remember from whence you are fallen. 
I was informed, before your leaving of England, of 
many unhappy miscarriages, which to the great re 
proach of your holy profession, you had been too ma 
nifestly guilty of. I am not without some hope, that 
the Lord may have since recalled you, and brought 
you back to himself: And yet not without more fear, 
lest, if the power of corruption were so strong as to 
precipitate you with such violence, at such a time as 
that was, and in such a place as England, or Oxon., 
where you had so many encouragements and induce 
ments, examples, and faithful, friendly, watchful ob 
servers, you may now much more be carried away, 
in such a place and among such company, as now 
you may be likely to be in. 

Sir, I beseech you to be assured, that nothing but 
the conscience of my duty hath engaged me, now 
you have been so -many years a stranger to me, and 
are at so many thousand miles distance from me, to 
write notwithstanding to you. And I beseech you, 
bear a little with me. Is it wisdom, after you have be 
gun in the Spirit, to end in the flesh? You did run 
well, who hath hindered you? I remember your 
Strict walkings, your holy converse, your many tears; 


Will you lose the- t . npfs that you have wrought > 
Hi. \ 3 von mother, a nearer way to heaven? 

D< o o^t hi ai the wide gate, in the broad 

way? ivee;i I to mind you, that it had been better 
for you never to have known the way of life, than, 
after you have known it, to turn aside from the holy 
commandment? Can you ever enter into God s hill, 
without you be of clean hands and pure heart? 

I know,you are not ignorant that strait is the gate, 
and narrow is the way that kadeth unto life, and few 
there be that find it : And w ill you yet do as the most, 
and decline the way of strictness and holy self-denial, 
and give the flesh the reins? What! when God that 
cannot lie, hath said, If yon live after the jlesh, you 
shall die? Do you not know, that you do in vain, 
name the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, except you 
depart from iniquity? I am sure you know it: Oh 
sir, consider it, improve it. Oh! have you so learnt 
Christ, as to think that the way of carnal libeity and 
looseness, the way of evil company and fleshliness, is 
the way to eternal life? 

1 am not for tying up salvation to this or that opi 
nion: But certainly, let men be of what opinion they 
will, without strictness, self-denial, and holy dili 
gence, they cannot be saved. (Mat. Xvi. 42. Mat. xi. 
12. 1 Pet. i. 15. 16.) Once you could say with Da 
vid, / am a companion to all them that fear thee: Is 
it so now? O sir, let not the wicked entice you. 
Hath not God said, A companion of fools shall be des 
troyed; (Prov. xiii. 20.) that ycu must forsake the 
foolish, if you desire to live? (Prov. ix. 6.) 


Sir, I have no more hopes etfer to meet you more on 
earth: O that I might meet you in heaven! Let us 
tread the same path of holiness, and then we shall 
doubless meet there. But surely you must deeply 
and timely repent of, and return from, your grievous 
back-slidings; or else I desire never to meet in your 
heaven. But why should not we, that have so often 
met in serious and holy prayer together, we that 
have so often met at the Lord s table together, we 
that have so often eaten together, and fasted together, 
meet in glory together? I beseech you, dear sir, if 
the Lord hath not already smitten you to the dust, 
and broken you, and reduced to the ways of holiness, 
now consider your ways, and turn your feet to his 
testimonies. Oh! remember that the back-slider in 
heart shall be Jilted ivilh his own ways. God hath said 
it, and who shall reverse it? If any man draw back, 
my soul shall have no pleasure in him. And once again, 
When the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, 
and committelh iniquity, shall he live? In his trespass 
that he hath trespassed, shall he not die? I know prayers 
can reach you, though at so vast a distance; I shall 
add them to these counsels, and commit you to N God, 

Your real friend in Christ, 


Juekhester, May 18/7?, 1664, 



[Good counsel to his wife.] 
My most dear Theodosia, 

Thou seemest to have been long from me: Let 
nothing any longer detain thee, but my sister s ne- 

ssity, or father s authority. I am very sorry that 

ou sh ouldst lose two sacraments. I am in a corn* 
fortable state of health, through divine goodness, 
to which be glory for ever! See that thou love and 
admire that Fountain of our life and peace; and be 
ever mindful that it is all thy business to love, and 
serve, and praise thy Creator and Redeemer. I have 
no other business but this, to write to thee about t 
But this is all our business. What we use to call 
business is but vanity and pastime, and some bye 
matter, in comparison of this. 

Remember and forget not, that it is thy chief end 
to glorify God, and enjoy him for ever. Learn well 
that lesson; and know that it is the one thing neces 
sary. Every morning remember that thy serving 
and pleasing of God, is the whole business of that 
day, and therefore set out accordingly with an express 
design and intention to please God in thy eating, 
drinking, visiting, conversing, calling, and duties 
of thy relations throughout the day. My most dear 
heart, I have nothing in the world that doth concern 
thee, or me so much to write of to the, as this is. 
Oh, that thou mayst still be laying up in heaven; 
still furthering thy account; still adding to the heap,, 
and encreasing thy glorious reward] Nothing is 


is done for God, but thou shalt hear of it again. 
Whatever is not done for God, is but so much lost. 
Those things which others do, being led by their 
natural affections and desires, those things do thou do 
-with holy aims for spiritual ends; and then God will 
put it on the account, as so much done for him. So 
it is, my dearest ; God keeps a true account. See 
that thou believe it, and so plow in hope, and sow 
in hope; pray and hear, with an eye to the sure 
reward. Let thy hopes be strong and lively; and 
then thy hands will be strong, and thy resolutions 
and affections will be strong. My time is very pre 
cious, and I would not lose an inch of it. See thou 
to it, that my time in writing this letter be not lost 
time. Love God the more, and set thine heart the 
straighter towards him, and do but practise this one 


ENDS; and then I have got well, and thou better, by 
these counsels. 

My dearest, I love thee in truth and tenderness; 
but my love signifies little, unless it serve thine 
eternal good. I rest 

Thine own, 


[Desires after heaven.] 

To his wife. 
My dear heart, 

MY heart is now a little at rest to write to thee. 
I have been these three days much disturbed, and 


get out of frame. Strong solicitations I have had 
from several hands, to accept very honourable pre 
ferment in several kinds; some friends making a 
journey on purpose to propound it. But I have 
not found the invitations ( though I confess very 
honourable, and such as are or will be suddenly 
embraced by men of far greater worth and eminen- 
cy) to suit with the inclinations of my own heart, 
as I was confident they would not with thine. I 

ive sent away my friends satisfied with the reasons 
of my refusal, and am now ready with joy to say 
with David, Soul, return unto thy rest! 

But, alas, that such things should disturb me! I 
would live above this lower region, that no passages 
or providence whatsoever might put me out of frame, 
nor disquiet my soul, and unsettle me from my de 
sired rest. I would have my heart fixed upon God, 
so as no occurrences might disturb my tranquility, 
but I might be still in the same quiet and even frame. 
Well, though I am apt to be unsettled, and quickly 
set off the hinges; yet methinks I am like a bird 
out of the nest, I am never quiet till I am in my 
old way of communion with God, like the needle 
in the compass, that is restless till it be turned tow 
ards the pole. I can say through grace, with the 
church, " With my soul have I desired thee in the 
night, and with my spirit within me have I sought 
thee early." My heart is early and late with God, 
and it is the business and delight of my life to seek 
him. But alas, how long shall I be a seeking? How 
long shall I spend my days in wishing and desiring. 


when my glorified brethren spend theirs in rejoicing 
and enjoying? Look, as the poor imprisoned cap 
tive sighs under the burdensome clog of his irons, 
and can only pear* through the grate, and think of 
and long for the sweetness of that liberty which he 
sees others enjoy ; such methinks is rny condition : 
I can only look through the grate of this prison, my 
flesh j I see Al i aham, and Isaac, and Jacob, s tting 
down in the kL lorn of God, but alas, I HIV self 
must stand without, longing, striving, fighting, run 
ning, praying, waiting, for what they are en jo ing. 
Oh happy, thrice happy souls! When shalJ ;1 esc 
fetters of mine be knocked off ? When shall I be 
set at liberty from this prison of my body ? You 
are clothed with glory, when I am clothed with dust. 
I dwell in flesh, in a house of clay, when you dwell 
with God in a house not made with hands, eternal 
in the heavens. I must be continually clogged with 
the cumbersome burden of this dung-hill body, that 
had it not a soul dwelling in it, like salt as it were 
to preserve it, it would soon turn to putrefaction 
and corruption, and be as odious and loathsome as 
the filthiest carrion, when you have put on incorrup- 
tion and immortality. What continual molestation 
am I subject^to by reason of this flesh ! W T hat pains 
doth it cost me to keep this earthen vessel from 
breaking! It must be fed, it must be clothed, it 
must be exercised, recreated, and, which is worst of 
all, cherished with time-devouring sleep; so that I 
live but little of the short time I have allotted me 

* Peep. 


here. But oh, blessed souls, you are swallowed up 
of immortality and life; your race is run, and you 
have received your crown. How cautious must I 
be to keep me from dangers ! How apt am I to be 
troubled with tie cares and fears of this life, molest 
ing myself with the thoughts of what I shall eat, 
and what I shall put on, and wherewithal I shall 
provide for myself and mine; when your souls are 
taken with nothing but God and Christ, and it is 
your work to be still contemplating and admiring 
that love that redeemed you from all this. Alas, how 
am I encompassed with infirmities, and still carry 
about me death in my. bosom! What pains and cost 
must I be at to repair the rotten and ruinous build 
ing of this earthly tabernacle, which, when I have 
done, I am sure will shortly fall about my ears; when 
you are got far above mortality, and are made equal 
with the angels. 

Oh ! I groan earnestly to be clothed upon with my 
house which is from heaven, being willing rather to 
be absent from the body, and present with the Lord. 
Oh, when shall I come and appear before him? 
When shall I receive the purchase of my Saviour, 
the fruit of my prayers, the harvest of my labours, 
the end of my faith, the salvation of my soul ? Alas ! 
what do I here? This is not my resting place. My 
treasure is in heaven, and my heart is in heaven. Oh ! 
when shall I be where my heart is? Woe is me that 
I sojourn in Mesech, and dwell in the tents of Kedar ! 
Oh that I had wings like a dove, that 1 might fly 
away and be at rest! Then would I hasten my 
GG 2 


escape from the windy storm and tempest, and be out 
of the reach of fears, disturbances, and distractions. 
How long shall I live at such a distance from my 
God, at such a distance from my country? Alas, 
how can I be merry, how can I sing the Lord s song 
in a strange land! No, I will hang my harp upon 
the willows, and sit down and weep when I remem 
ber Sion. But yet my flesh shall rest in hope, and 
I will daily bathe my soul in the sweet thoughts of 
my blessed home. I will rejoice in hopes of what 
I do not yet enjoy, and content myself with the taste 
of what I shall shortly have my fill of. But stay, 
this pen; run not beyond thy commission. Alas, now 
I receive what I have gotten, I perceive I have set 
down what I would be, rather than what I am ; and 
wrote more of my dear s heart, than my own pen 
ning; rather a copy for myself, than a copy of myself. 
Well, I thank God I have got some heat by it for 
all; the Lord grant thou mayst get a thousand times 
more. The Lord grant the request I daily pour out 
before him, and make us helps and furtherances to 
each other s soul, that we may quicken and promote 
and forward one another in his ways. Help me by 
thy prayers, as thou dost always. The God of all 
peace and comfort be with thee, my sweet love. 

Thine beyond expression, 




[God is a satisfying portion.] 
My most dear Pylades^ 

HAD not my right hand long since forgotten her 
cunning, and the Almighty shaken the pen out of my 
hand, I should long ere this have been writing to 
thee: But it is a wonder of divine power and good 
ness that my soul had not before this time dwelt in 
silence, and that death had not put the long period 
to all my writing and converse. 

Omy Py lades, what shall I say unto thee? Now I 
begin to write, where shall I begin, when shall I end? 
Methinks I am as a full bottle quite inverted, where 
the forward pressing of the over-hasty liquor makes 
the evacuation more slow, and my thoughts are like 
a thronging crowd sticking in the door. 

Long is the song of love that I have to tell thee ; 
I rejoice in the constancy of thy love, that the waters 
of so long a silence, and so great a distance, have not 
yet quenched it, but thy desires are towards me, and 
thy heart is with me, though providence hath hin 
dered me from thy much-desired compan)^ I will 
assure thee, it hath been a pleasure to my heart a 
good part of thip summer to hope that I should come 
one half of the way to give thee a meeting; but such is 
my weakness hitherto, that I am forced to put off those 
hopes till the spring, when, if God give me strength 
to ride, I intend to see thee before mine own home. 
I thank thee for all the dear expressions of thy fer 
vent love: Methinks I see it, .and feel how it runs 
through all the veins of every letter, nay, every line. 


I needed not so chargeable a testimony as thy golden 
token, with which I was something displeased, be 
cause I thought thou neeclest more than myself: But 
the love thereby expressed is most dearly welcome 
to me. What thou talkest of retribution and of jus 
tice, doth not so well relish with me, because the 
phrases seem improper to the love profest between 
us. I never looked for any return from thee but 
love, which is the paying of all thy debts. 

My expences have indeed been vast, and almost 
incredible; but surely goodness and mercy have fol 
lowed me, and do follow me in every place, and in 
every change of my condition: So that as to temporals,, 
_I have lack of nothing; and as for spirituals, I abound 
and superabound, and the streams of my comforts 
have been full and running over. The joy of the 
Lord hath been my strength at the weakest; and in 
the multitude of my thoughts within me, his comforts 
have refreshed my soul. I have found God a satis 
fying portion to me, and have sat down under his 
shadow with full delights, and his fruit is most sweet 
to my taste. He is my strength and my song, for I 
will talk of him and write of him with perpetual 
pleasure. Through grace I can say, Methinks I am 
now in my element, since I have begun to make men 
tion of him, I am rich in him, and happy in him, and 
my soul saith unto him with David, Thou, haul made 
me most blessed for evermore, and happy is the hour 
that ever I was born to be made partaker of so bliss 
ful a treasure, so endless a felicity, so angelical pre 
rogatives, as I have in him* O! sweet are his con 
verses; how delightful it is to triumph in his love! 


Suffer me to be free with thee: Where should I 
pour out my soul, if not into -Uiy bosom ? Did the 
poor woman call upon her friends and neighbours to 
rejoice together with her E the finding of a lost 
groat? And shall not I tell h< thee, the keeper of the 
secrets of my soul md the friend of my inmost bosom, 
what a friend is the Lord to me, though an unworthy 
sinner? Shall not 1 run and tell thee what a treasure 
I have found? And here methinks the story of the 
le "rs comes not unaptly to my mind, who said one 
to anothef when they had eu. d drunk, and car- 
ri<- aw^y silver and geld, and raiment, and went 
and hid it, We do not well; this day is a day of good 
tidings, and we hold our peace. It is fit that I should 
be eloathed with shame ; I acknowledge before God, 
who trieth the hearts, I am unw r orthy, everlastingly 
unworthy: But it is not fit that He should lose his 
praise, nay rather, let Him be the more adored, and 
magnified, and admired for ever and ever, and let my 
secrets say, " Amen." 

Bless the Lord, O my soul, bless the Lord. O my 
friend, let us exalt his name together. He is my 
solace in my solitude, he is my standing comforter, 
my tried friend, my sure refuge, my safe retreat; he 
is my paradise, he is my heaven; and my heart is at 
rest in him. And I will sit and sing under his 
shadow, as a bird among the branches; and whither 
should I go but unto him? Shall I leave the fatness 
of the olive, and sweetness of the fig-tree, and of the 
vine, and go and put my trust under the shadow of 
the bramble? No, I have made my everlasting 


choice: This is my rest for ever, he is my Well- 
beloved in whom I am well-pleased. 

Suffer me to boast a little here. I may glory with 
out vanity, and I can praise him without end or mea 
sure: But I have nothing to say of myself. I find 
thou dost overvalue me, and magnify me above my 
measure. Set the crown upon the head of Christ; 
let nothing be great w r ith thee but Him; give Him 
the glory. But thy love pleaseth me; only I have 
this exception, that thou art in love with thine own 
idol, as Austin somewhere speaks to a friend of his 
that did too much magnify him, and magnifiest a 
creature of thine own fancy, and not thy poor Orestes: 
God that knoweth all things, knoweth my poverty, 
how little, how low, and how mean I am, and how 
short I come of the attainments of the saints, who 
yet do themselves come so exceedingly short of the 
rule that God hath set before us. I often think of 
the complaint of the devout Monsieur:* "1 feel my self 
" very poor this week, and very defective in the love 
" of God; if you would know wherein you may plea- 
" sure me, love God more; that what is wanting in 
" me, maybe made up in the abundance of your love." 
In this, my Py lades, in this thou mayest most highly 
pleasure me; love God a little the better, praise him 
a little the more for my sake; let me have this to 
please myself in, that God is a little the better loved 
forme, and that I have bio wed up, if it be but one 
flash, nay, but one spark of divine love in the bosom 
of my dearest friend towards Him. 

* M. de Rentv. 


But why. my Pylades, why is thy style towards me 
changed? Why hast thou lost the old and wonted 
strain of our former pleasing familiarity? This I 
could not but observe with some disgust. Is it be 
cause thy heart is changed? But this is a question 
in which I cannot ask any resolution. I am satisfied 
and at rest in thy love: But what this alteration 
means, I know not. Art thou willing by degrees to 
grow strange? It cannot be; thou seest however that 
I cannot change my voice. 

Besides, I find some jealous passages in thy last 
lines unto us; but canst thou think that T, B. can be 
put into the balance against my old friend, my own, 
my covenant Py lades? Or can a friend of words 
come into any competition or comparison with thine 
experienced love? I cannot entertain the thoughts of 
this without some disdain. 

But thy needful cautions are acceptable to me. I 
desire to foresee and provide for manifold changes 
and storms; I know I am not yet in the harbour; 

pray with me that I enter not into temptation, for 
lam very weak in spirit, as well as in body,God know- 
eth. But there is no end with me, somewhere or 
other I must break off, and thou wilt say * c It is time 
to shut up." For once only know, that I am thy daily 
orator, and will be whilst I am. And yet once more, 

1 must have room to add my thankful acknowledg 
ment of thine, and thy costly kindness; and so, with 
our most dear affections to you both, I commend you 
to the God of love, still abiding 

Thy fast and sure 
Bath, Oct. 1 3th, 1668. ORESTES. 



[To a person of Quality to be constant.] 
Most Honoured Sir, 

. MAN Y changes have passed over both you and my 
self, since my last writing to you; but I am glad to hear 
that in that great change of your condition,, you have 
made so wise and happy a choice. Mine unfeigned 
desire to God is for your temporal and spiritual pros* 
perity; and that the blessings of both worlds may 
be heaped up upon you. Yet I should desire you 
not to expect too much here; nor to count it a strangfe 
thing, if you meet with disappointments. It is 
enough if you have the Lord for your portion, and 
heaven for your inheritance, though the world should 
not answer your expectations. I doubt npt but you 
will be likely, as well as we, to meet with manifold 
temptations: The Lord make you, when you have done 
all, to stand. Hold out a while in faith, patience, 
and self-denial, and you shall be as sure as God can 
make you of the crown. 

Now arise and shine, and hold forth the power of 
holiness in all your converse. We have lived in 
times when religion was the way to credit and esteem, 
and then it was more difficult to discern the sinceri 
ty of one s profession, because men might be drawn 
to it upon worldly ends. But now is the time when 
God will prove us, if we will appear for him, and 
own his ways, when they are the common scorn of 
the world. Oh Sir, think it not hard if God do call 
you fortli to own him in such a time as this, when 


few of your rank and quality will bear you company: 
But look upon it as a special advantage to prove your 
sincerity, and your fidelity to the Lord your Maker. 
The holy and blessed life of that noble Marquis 
Galeacius, I should much commend to your reading 
and imitation. Court not the world nor its pre 
ferments. Moses his self-denying choice, which 
the world would have branded for unparalleled 
folly, when he voluntarily left all the court-prefer 
ments and pleasures, the Wisest Judge commends 
for the greatest wisdom. If religion will make you 
vile, resolve with that royal worthy, that you 
will be yet more vile. Remember who account 
ed the reproaches of Christ greater riches than the 
treasures of Egypt. Verily it is a greater honour to 
you to be vilified for Christ, than to be dignified with 
the highest titles that the greatest on earth can con 
fer: And to be called Pujitan, or Fanatic, for the 
bold and constant owning of the power of Christianity, 
than to have whole pages filled up with the honour 
able offices and marks of dignity that earthly princes 
can bestow. Now then is your time to get the true 
honour. Few of your places and dignity will take 
this way to get it: But he that can but use the 
prospective of faith, and look as far as the approaching 
judgment, will easily see the vanity of the world s 
riches and flattering preferments, and the everlasting 
glory and honour wherewith the despised saints shall 
surely be crowned. Fix your eyes and meditations 
hre, and that will set you above the world s tempta 
tions, when by its offers or threatenings it would make 




you to warp, and to let go your hold-fast of eternal life* 
NoW is the time for you to make heaven sure; and 
When that is done, you are prepared for the worst 
that can come. I desire you to accept of my service 
and respects, and my wife s, which I do hereby 
present unto you, and to your most deserving yoke 
fellow, whom I unfeignedly honour, though I never 
saw her, not so much for her noble blood, which 
yet calls for great respects, as for her far more noble 
qualifications, and privileges of her second birth. 
Pardon my boldness with you in troubling you so 
long. I am, Sir, 

Your most obliged friend and servant^ 


Feb. 26th, 1661. 


Dear Cousin, 

THOUGH I have been in the valley of the shadow 
of death, thoug hi have had more than one foot in the 
grave, and have been in deaths often, yet the love 
and remembrance of you ever liveth on my heart. 
I have long had neither feet to walk, nor hands to 
write, yet I have borrowed hands, as you see, rather 
than I would stay any longer from warning and ad 
monishing of you. Dear cousin, that soul of yours, 
that precious immortal soul, is of no light value with 
me! I pray hard for its salvation. I have a godly fear 
for you, lest your soul should miscarry in a crowd of 
worldly business, and of earthly cares. Ah, my 


dear niece, it comforts me that you are so settled for 
this world and are in want of nothing: I bless the 
Lord for this, but methinks this cloth not satisfy me. 
Oh, that I could be sure that you were once safe 
settled in Christ ! Though you are, I trust, comforta 
bly furnished with earthly things, yet in this you are 
but half provided for: Have you a treasure in heaven? 
Have you laid hold on eternal life? Have you made 
sure work for everlasting? Have you past the straits 
of the new-birth? Do you bear upon you the marks 
of the Lord Jesus? 

If you shall pass by a sumptuous fabrick, and a 
great lordship,;and should lay claim to all as your in 
heritance, and please yourself with the hopes of en 
joying all this, when you had nothing to shew, no 
writing, no evidence to produce, as a ground for 
any such hope, would not every one say, this were a 
piece of strange vanity and imprudence? Much 
greater folly is it to promise ourselves a part in para 
dise, and rest satisfied in a mere persuasion that we 
are the heirs of heaven, when we cannot prove our 
title from the book of God, nor produce, from within 
ourselves, the sure and certain marks of the children 
of God. 

Ah, dear cousin, rouse up yourself, make consci 
ence to deal plainly and freely with your soul. 
Say within yourself, " I have hopes for heaven; but 
" where are my grounds and my evidences? Do I not 
" build without a foundation? Do I venture my 
" salvation upon mere uncertainties? What have I, 
" what do I more than others? I pray, I hear, I read; 


" but may not a mere hypocrite do all this? I run 
" not with others into the wretched practice of lying, 
" and couzening, whoredom, and the like; but what 
" is this more than a pharisee may have to say for 
" himself? Can I prove by scripture my claim to 
" heaven? Can I produce chapter and verse to jus- 
" tify myself?" 

Oh cousin, fear, least a promise being left of 
entering into rest, you should, by any mistakes or 
self-deceits, fall short through unbelief; fear lest you 
should take counters for gold, or some common work- 
Ings for saving grace. Oh, there is a world of coun 
terfeit coin going! Multitudes perish by mistake, 
and wake in hell, whilst they dreamt they were in 
heaven. The tempter is very subtle, and will surely 
deceive, if he can: Your heart is deceitful above 
all things, and is willing to cheat you, if it can. 
Therefore am I engaged so earnestly to call upon 
you, as one that watcheth for your soul, to arise 
speedily and to set roundly to your work. Oh, con 
sider your danger, and work out your salvation with 
fear and trembling! Away with these lazy prayers, 
away with these cold and heartless professions, away 
with this drowsy, lifeless, listless religion! Bestir 
yourself to purpose for your soul, before it be too 
late. Search your conscience, as with candles; be 
jealous of yourself. Consider, now is your time; 
what you do, you must do quickly. The patience 
of God is waiting, Christ is knocking, the Spirit of 
God is striving, and death is at the door. Oh, now 
take your opportunity, and take heed lest a slothful 


heart, and the cares of this world, or a presumptuous 
confidence that all is well and safe already, should at 
last shut you out of the kingdom of God. 

I cannot write distinctly to your husband, but I 
beseech you to call upon him to set his heart to these 
counsels which I have written to you; I earnestly 
entreat him to make religion his business, and to 
look needfully to it, thai the gain of the world prove 
not the loss of his soul. I desire him that closet and 
family prayers, and weekly catechising of his house 
hold, and strict sanctifying of the sabbath, and 
reading of the scriptures, singing of psalms, repeat 
ing of sermons, and diligent attendance upon power 
ful preaching, may be his continual exercises; that 
so his house may be a little church, and God may 
delight to dwell in his family. Pray give me to 
understand what is done of these things, for I have 
a zeal for your welfare, and that you and your house 
hold should serve the Lord, that you may enter into 
his rest, and carry children, and servants, and friends, 
and all, to heaven with you. 

As to my own estate, I have lost all my limbs; 
and have been about these twelve months useless, and 
again and again under the sentence of death; but 
was brought in a horse-litter to Bath, where God 
hath wonderfully restored me, so that I can feed 
myself, and go alone, and speak with a little more 
freedom. Oh, love the Lord, praise the Lord for 
me; notwithstanding I continue weak, and have not 
strength to write, yet I could not tell how to^die in 
silence from you; but have made use of a friendly 
HH 2 


hand to send these counsels and calls after you, 
which I beseech you to accept in the fear of God; 
for it is not unlike that they may be my last to you 
that ever you may receive. I now commend you 
to the Lord; and, with mine own and my dear wife s 
love to you both, rest, 

Your loving and careful uncle, 


Oct. 21st, 1668. 


The concernments of our souls are especially to be 

Dear Cousin, 

YOU may think you are forgotten with me, be 
cause you have not heard so long a time from me; 
but this may let you know, that though God hath 
taken away your father, and suffered your mother to 
be helpless to you; yet you have one friend on earth 
that careth for you. The welfare of your immortal 
soul is dear to me, and is the matter of my solicitous 
eare and prayer. 

Dear cousin, methinks I feel a godly jealousy of 
you within my heart, lest you should lose your soul 
amongst a crowd of worldly cares and business. Oh 
remember the story of him in the book of the Kings, 
who relates tnat he had a soldier committed to his 
keeping, upon condition that he should lose his life 
if he did let him go; But whik^ thy servant went hither 


and thither, the man escaped. But the king replies 
presently, Even so shall thy judgment be; thy life shall 
go for his life*. Ah cousin, take earnest heed, lest 
while you are going hither and thither, minding many 
things, tossed in a hurry of worldly affairs, the ene 
my run not away with your soul. 

Oh beware that the world doth not secretly steal 
away your heart! Consider, that, whatever your 
business be, you must and will have an eating time, 
and a sleeping time. Oh be as solicitous every day to 
keep your pray ing times, which are a thousand times 
more necessary than a time to eat in or sleep. Be 
sure that there doth not a morning or evening pass 
over your head, in which you have not perfumed 
your closet with solemn and fervent prayer. And 
take heed, if you love your salvation, lest satan be 
guile you with the bare outward performance of du 
ties, and outward acts of religion. See to it, that you 
do not rest in a worldly religion; to give God your 
knees while the world carries away your heart. You 
may pray, hear, and read, and all to no purpose, ex 
cept your very soul be employed and engaged in these 
duties; and the life, vigour, and strength of your af 
fections be found to go after God in them. If there 
fore you will have Christ and heaven, see that you 
renounce the world. You must cast overboard your 
worldly hopes, and take up with God, with a naked 
Christ, as your whole happiness, both for this life 
and that which is to come. 

There is no hopes of your salvation, without a sound 
mortification to the world; you must be mortified to 


your worldly expectations. Look not for much from 
the world; promise not yourself much from the world; 
seek not great things for yourself: Say unto God, 
" So I may have thee for my portion, and thy king- 
" dom for my inheritance, give or deny me what 
" thou wilt, poverty or riches, any thing or nothing, 
* I will be contented with my lot." Say unto your 
soul, " So I may but have Christ, so I may but car- 
" ry it for the other world, let this world go which 
" way it will: I must be converted or condemned; I 
" must be born again, or else would I had never been 
" born ! But of this present world there is no such 
" necessity; I may be poor, and yet happy: But wo 
" to me if I remain unsanctified! I must have grace, 
" or perish for ever." Dear cousin, if J live, you 
shall find me a friend to your worldly prosperity; 
but whether 1 live or die, I charge you by the Lord, 
that you be infinitely tender of your immortal soul s 
everlasting concernments. Will you not spin a fair 
thread of it, if while you are pursuing after earthly 
things, you lose your soul in the throng? While I 
live, I shall pray and care for you. Farewell in the 
Lord. I am 

Your truly loving and careful uncle, 




[Godly counsels.] 
Dear Cousin, 

THE welcome tidings of your safe arrival at Bar- 
badoes, is come to my ears; as also the news of your 
escape from a perilous sickness, for which I bless the 
Lord, and desire to be thankful with you. For I am 
not without a care for your well-being; but do look 
upon myself as really concerned in you. I have con 
sidered, that God hath bereft you of a careful 
father, and that your mother takes but little care for 
you; so that you have none nearer than myself to 
watch for your soul, and to charge and admonish you 
in the Lord, and to take care of you. 

But yet, dear cousin, be not discouraged by these 
things, but look to heaven, fly unto Jesus, put away 
every known sin, set upon the conscientious perform 
ance of every known duty; make Christ your choice, 
embrace him upon his own terms; deliver up your 
self, body and soul, to him. See that you have no 
reserves, no limitations in your choice of him; give 
him your very heart; cast away your wordly hopes 
and expectations; make religion your very business. 
O cousin, these things do, and you shall be sure of a 
friend in heaven to take the care of you; and, if I may 
be any comfort to you, you shall not fail, while I live, 
to have one friend on earth to take care for you. 
You are gone far from me, even to the uttermost parts 
of the earth ; but I have sent these letters to call even 
thither after you * yea, not only to call, but to cry in. 


your ears, " O what is like to become of your soul? 
" Where is that immortal soul of yours like to be 
"lodged for ever? Amongst devils, or amongst an- 
ie gels? Upon a bed of flames, or in the joys of pa- 

Dear cousin, go aside by yourself in secret, retire 
from the noise of the world, and say to yourself, " Oh 
* my soul! Whither art thou going? Do not I know, 
in my very heart, that I must be converted or con- 
" demned; that I must be sanctified, or can never be 
.saved? Oh, my soul, what seekest thou? Whatde- 
" signs do I drive at? What is my chief care? Which 
" way do I bend my course? Is it for this world, or 
ic for the world to come? Do I first seek the kingdom 
i( of heaven, and the righteousness thereof? Do I 
(t think heaven will drop into my mouth; that glory 
" and immortality will be gotten with a wet finger, 
<{ with cold prayers, and heartless wishes, while the 
" world carries the main of my heart? Do I think 
" to be crowned, and yet never fight? To get the 
" race, and never run ? To enter at the strait gate, and 
" never strive? To overcome principalities and pow- 
" ers, and never wrestle ? " No, no; say within your 
self, " Oh my soul, either lay by the hopes of heaven 
" for ever, or else rouse up thyself, put forth thy 
" strength in seeking after God and glory; either lay 
" by thy worldly hopes, or thy hopes of immortality ; 
" away with thy sins, or thou must let Christ go for 
* ever; think not to have Christ and the world too, 
(e to serve God and mammon ; it cannot be. If thou 
ft follow the world as thy chief desire and delight, if 


<f thou live after the flesh, them must die ; count upon 
" it, the Lord hath spoken it, and all the world can 
" never reverse it." Thus reason the case with your 
own soul, and give not rest to yourself night nor 
day, till you are gotten off from the world, broken 
off from the wilful practice of every known sin, and 
gotten safe into Christ. 

Dear cousin, I charge you by the Lord, to observe 
these things; pray over them, weep over them, read 
them again and again; do not pass them over as 
slight and ordinary things: Your soul is at stake, 
it is your salvation which is Concerned in them. 
Think not I am in jest with you. Ah cousin, I travail 
in birth with you, till Christ be formed in you;, Why 
should you die? Oh repent and live; lay hold on 
eternal life; win Christ, and you win all. O be thank 
ful to the Lord, that though now you are fatherless 
and friendless, yet you have one remembrancer to 
warn you to fly from the wrath to come. God for 
bid that I should find you at last in the place 
of torments, for yoUr not embracing these godly 
counsels ! 

To conclude, in short, I charge you as a minister, 
as a friend, as a father to you, take heed of these three 
things : 

1* Lest the gain of the world prove the loss of your 

2. Lest the snare of evil company withdraw you from 
God, and so prove your Jinal ruin. 

S. Lest a I fly and worldly heart should thrust you 
out of the kingdojn of heaven. 


God abhors that the proud should come near him. 
Oh labour, whatever you do, for a humble heart; 
be little, be vile in your own eyes; seek not after 
great things; be poor in spirit; without this, heaven 
will be no place for you, God will be no friend to you. 
Dear cousin, your lot is fallen,, as I fear, in a place 
of great wickedness, where your soul is in much 
danger, where your temptations are many, and your 
helps for heaven but few; where godly examples 
are rare, and many will entice you to sin and vanity. 
O ! if you love me, or love your soul, look about 
you, consider your danger, fear lest you should mis 
carry for ever by worldly loss and vain company, 
which proves to so many the fearful cause of their 
eternal perdition. 

I can but warn you, and pray for you: But though 
you have none to oversee you, remember the strict 
and severe eye of God is upon you, to observe all 
your actions, and that he will surely bring all your 
practices into his judgment. Your aunt, with 
myself, commends our dear love to you; and I 
commend you to the Lord, and remain, 

Your loving and careful uncle, 

August 19th, 166S 


Dear Cousin, 

THOUGH you are removed far from me, out of 
my sight, and the seas as a great gulf are fixed be* 


twixt you cand me; yet my prayers follow you, and 
my good wishes for your present and everlasting 
welfare, like the wings of a dove, take speedy flight. 
I look upon myself, now God hath removed my 
brother, to be as in the room of a father to you, yea 
and of a mother too; for I know you have but little 
help from her. 

My dear neices, my heart is careful for you; and 
therefore I cannot cease, while I am in being in this 
World, to warn and admonish you, as my chil 
dren, and to call upon you, in the name of the Eter 
nal God, to awaken yourselves with all godly fear 
and holy diligence, lest by any means yOu should 
come short of the glory of God. 

Let me mind you, dear cousins, of the dangerous 
place you stand in; and look about you With tremb 
ling. Methinks I see satan watching for your souls, 
as the dragon did for the seed of the woman, waiting 
to devour it as soon as she should be delivered. 
Know you not, that you must wrestle with principa 
lities and powers? Methinks I see temptations sur 
rounding you, and beleaguering you, as the enemy 
about the walls of the treacherous party within you, 
I meaii carnal affections and corruptions, complotting 
how to deliver up the castle. Know you not, that your 
fleshly lusts do war against your souls? And that 
your own hearts are not true to you, but deceitful 
above all things? 

Lord! what need have you to bestir yourselves, 
and to fly unto Jesus! to distrust yourselves, and 
to trust only in him and his righteousness! Oh 


work out your salvation with fear and trembling! 
Do you ever think to escape these mighty enemies, 
to conquer the power, and avoid the plots and snares, 
of those potent adversaries, without most painful 
diligence O cry to heaven for help; watch and pray; 
fear, lest a promise being left of entering into rest, 
either of you should come short of it. 

My dear nieces, you have many who do watch 
for your souls, to devour them; but I doubt too few, 
except myself, do watch for your souls, to save them. 
Therefore I look upon myself, who am now upon 
the matter your only monitor, to be the more con 
cerned to awaken myself to your help, and to look 
after you, and to watch for you, lest by any means 
you should miscarry, by the deceits and temptations 
wherewith you are encompassed. I would not have 
you over careful for the things of this life, though I 
commend your laudable care and diligence, that you 
may not be burdensome to any man; but I commend 
to you a better and more necessary care, and that is 
that which the apostle speaks of, the virgin s care; 
The unmarried (saith he) carethfor the things of the 
Lord. Ah, let this be your care ; seek first the king 
dom of God and the righteousness thereof, and then 
all these things shall be added; you have God s sure 
promise for it. 

If the Lord give me to live and prosper, you shall 
see and know, that I am not a friend only in words 
to you; but however that shall be, see that you em 
brace the counsels of God from me. Oh make sure 
f heaven betimes, walk humbly with God, beware 


of a proud heart and a lofty spirit; abhor yourselves, 
else God will not accept you; be displeased with 
yourselves, else God will not be pleased with you; 
condemn yourselves, that God may acquit you. 
The leaven of pride will sour the whole lump, 
and mar all your profession and religion, and render 
your persons, and prayers, and all, an abomination 
to the Lord, if it prevail in you. Oh, therefore, be 
not high-minded, but fear; and by prayer and 
watchfulness restrain and root up this wretched cor 
ruption of pride, which is a sin : o natural to you, 
that you had need to use an infinite care and caution 
to keep it under. 

As to myself these may acquaint you, that I have 
been often at the very gates of death: I have lost 
all my limbs; but prayer hath redeemed me from my 
extremities, and God hath blessed the use of the Bath 
to me. Oh praise the Lord ; praise him for my sake, 
and give glory to the God of my life. Love him, 
honour and glorify him, whose favour and friend 
ship hath filled my soul with comforts, and given a 
resurrection to my body. I can now walk alone, and 
feed myself: but am altogether unable to write, which 
is the reason why these come to you in another hand. 

Dear cousins, you may think me too tedious; but 
you must pardon me, if I err in my love and zeal 
for your welfare. And now I shall trespass no more ; 
but with my own and dear wife s love to you, 1 com 
mend you to God, and rest, 

Your loving and careful uncle, 




[Do all in reference to God and his glory.] 
Dear Friend, 

I HAVE received yours of the l$th of September; 
but it came to me in the time of my sickness, in which 
I was much a stranger to writing; it continued upon 
me five months, and to this day so much weakness 
remains in my arms, that 1 am not able to put off or 
on my o^vn clothes. Your letter was exceeding 
welcome to me, not on*y as reviving the remem 
brance of our old friendship; but also as bringing* 
me news of some spiritual good that you received by 
me, which is the best tidings that I can receive: For 
what do I live for, but to be useful to souls in my 
generation? I desire to know no other business than 
to please and honour my God, and serve my genera 
tion in that short allowance pf time that I have 
Jhere, before I go hence, and be seen no more. Shall 
I commend to you the lesson that I am about to learn? 
But why should I doubt of your acceptance, who 
have so readily embraced me in all our converses ? 

The lesson is, To be entirely devoted unto the 
Lord, that 7 may be able to say after the apostle, " To 
me to live is Christ." I would not be serving God 
only for a day in the week, or an hour or two in the 
day; but every day, and all the day: I am ambiti 
ous to come up towards that of our Lord and Master, 
Todoalnfays those things that please God. I plainly 
see ; that self-seeking is self-undoing; and that then 
we do promote ourselves best,, when we please God 


most. I find, that when I have done all, if God be 
not pleased, I have done nothing; and if I can but 
approve myself to God, my work is done. I reckon 
J do not live that time I do not live unto God. 

I am fain to cut off so many hours from my days, 
and so many years from my life (so short as it is,) as 
I have lived unto myself. I find no enemy so dan 
gerous as self; and O that others might take warning 
by my hurt! O that I had lived wholly unto God! 
then had every day and every hour that I have spent, 
been found upon my account at that great day of 
our appearing before God; then I had been rich in 
deed, in treasure laid up there, whither I am apace 
removing; then I had been every day and hour ad 
ding to the heap, and increasing the reward which 
God of his mere grace hath promised, even to the 
meanest work that is done to him. (Col. iv. 24.) 

I verily perceive I am an eternal loser by acting 
no more as for God ; for what is done to myself, is 
lost; but what is done for God, is done for ever, and 
shall receive an everlasting reward. Verily, if there 
be another world to come, and an eternal state after 
this short life, it is our only wisdom to be removing, 
and, as it were, transplanting and transporting what 
we can from hence into that country to which we are 
shortly to to be removed, that what we are now do 
ing, we may be reaping the fruit of for evermore. 
The world think themselves wise; but I will pawn 
my soul upon it, that this is the true wisdom 

.Well, let us be wholly swallowed up in the con- 
of religion, and know no other interest but 
ii 2 


Jesus Christ s. I cannot say, I have already attained; 
but this is that my heart is set to learn, That in alt 
that I do, whether sacred or civil actions, still I 
may be doing but one work, and driving one design, 
Thai God may be pleased by me, and be glorified in me; 
that not only my praying, preaching, alms, c. may 
be found upon my account, but even my eating, 
drinking, sleeping, visits, discourses, because they 
are all done as unto God. 

Too often do I take a wrong aim, and miss my 
mark; but I will tell you what be the rules I set my 
self, and do strictly impose upon myself from day to 
day, Never to lie down, but in the name of God, not 
barely for natural refreshment, but that a wearied 
servant of Christ may be recruited, and fitted to serve 
him better the next day: Never to rise up but with 
this resolution, "Well, I will go forth this day in the 
* name of God, and will make religion my business, 
" and spend the day for eternity :" Never to enter 
upon my calling, but first thinking, " I will do these 
" things as unto God," because he requireth these 
things at my hands in the place and station he hath 
put me into: Never to sit down to the table, but re 
solving, " I will not eat merely to please my appetite, 
" but to strengthen myself for my master s work: 
" Never to make a visit, but upon some holy design, 
* resolving to leave something of God where I go; 
" and in every company to leave some good savour be- 
<( hind." This is that which I have been for some time 
a learning, and am pressing hard after ; and if I strive 
not to walk by these rules, let this paper be a witness 
against me. 


1 am not now in my former publick capacity, such 
things being required of me to say and subscribe, as 
I could by no means yield to, without open lying 
and dissembling with God and men. Yet,, that I 
am unuseful, I cannot say; but rather think., that 
possibly I may be of more use than heretofore. I 
thank the Lord, I have not known what it is to want 
a tongue to speak, but in my sickness; nor a people 
to hear; but so, as that we both follow the things 
that make for peace. 

I perceive you are otherwise persuaded in some 
things, than I am : But, however, I trust we meet 
in our end. Since you are in. may it be your whole 
study to gain souls, and to build them up in holiness, 
which is with too many the least of their cares! 
One duty (miserably neglected!) I shall be bold to 
commend to you, from my own experience; and that 
is, the visiting your whole flock from house to house, 
and enquiring into their spiritual estates particularly, 
and dealing plainly and truly with them about their 
conversion to God. To the usefulness of this great 
work, I can set my Probatum est* 

I hear you have two parsonages. O tremble to 
think how many precious souls you have to look to! 
And let it be seen, however others aim at the fleece, 
you aim at the flock; and that you have indeed cur am 

You see how free I am with you; but I know 
your candour. 

* It has been proved, t The care of souls, 


I rejoice in your happy yoke-fellow: salute her 
from your old friend; and accept the unfeigned re 
spects of him who is, Sir, 

Your real and faithful friend, 



[ Prison-Comforts.] 

To a minister in prison. 
Worthy Sir, 

I OWE you a letter, and more than a letter, for 
your particular respects to me, your brotherly sym 
pathy, your multiplied and earnest prayers, your 
tenderness of my health, your welcome jewel in Mr. 
Ruth s letters, from which t trust my soul and ethers 
may reap no small benefit. Much more do I owe 
you for your common respects to the people of my 
desires; and not only to them, but to the whole 
church of God; in all whose concernments, I see, 
you are concerned. Your indefatigable labours 
-with us we do with all thankfulness accept, as the 
undoubted evidence of your great love: For all 
which, may He requite you wh will shortly say, 
Inasmuch as tkou didst it unto the least of these my bre 
thren, thoit didst it unto me! 

It was but a little after my release from my own 
confinement, that I heard of yours; and now write 
to you, as one that hath taken a higher degree than: 
ever, and more truly honourable,, being commenced 


prisoner of Christ. I was once affected with the 
picture of a devout man, to whom a voice came down 
from heaven, saying, Quid vis fieri pro te?* To which 
he answered, Nikil, domine, nisi pati ac contemni 
pro fcft Undoubtedly, Sir, it is our real glory to be 
throughout conformed to Jesus Christ, not only in 
his sanctity, but in his sufferings. Paul counted all 
things but dung for this, that he might win Christ, c. 
and know the fellowship of his sufferings, and be 
made conformable to his death. I doubt not but 
your consolations in Christ do much more than super- 
abound iii all yjur tribulations for him: Yet let me 
add ths one cordial, That now you have a whole shoal 
of promises come in to you, which you had not before; 
I mean all the promises to suffering saints, in which 
they have not so immediate, but only a remoter right, 
unless in a suffering state. And doubtless he hatli 
gotten well, that hath gotten such a number of ex 
ceeding great and precious promises. If the men of 
the world do so rejoice when such or such an estate 
is fallen to them; should not you much more, that 
have such a treasure of promises fallen to you ? 

I can tell you little good of myself; but this I can 
tell you, That the promises of God were never so 
sweet in this world to me, as in and since my impri 
soned state. Oh the bottomless riches of the cove 
nant of grace! It shames me that I have let such a 

* What wouldst thou that I should do for thcc? 

t Nothing, Lord, except that J may suffer and be despised foy 


treasure lie by so long, and "Lave made so little use 
of it. Never did my soul know u L ^eaven of a be 
liever s life, till I learnt to live a life of praise, and 
by more frequent consideration to set home the un* 
speakable riches of the divine promises, to which I 
trust, through grace, I am made an heir. I verily 
perceive, that all our work were dono at once, if we 
could but prevail with ourselves and others to live 
like believers; to tell all the world by our course and 
carriage, that there is such pleasantness in Christ s 
ways, such beauty in holiness, such reward toj obe 
dience, as we profess to believe. May ours and our 
people s conversations but preach this aloud to the 
world That there is a reality in what God hath pro 
mised; that heaven is worth the venturing for; that 
the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to 
be compared with the glory which shall be revealed 
in us! 

Verily, Sir, it is but a very little while that prisons 
shall hold us, or that we shall dwell in dirty flesh. 
Porphyry tells us of Photinus, that he was ashamed 
to see himself in the body; to see a divine and im 
mortal soul in a prison of flesh, (for so they held the 
body to be;) but the worst shackles are those of sin. 
Well, they must shortly off all together; our Lord 
doth not long intend us for this lower region: Sure 
ly he is gone to prepare a place for us. Doubtless 
it is so; yea, and he will come again, and receive us 
to himself, that where he is, we may be also. And 
what have we to do, but to believe, and wait, and 
love, and long, and look out for his coming, in which 


is all our hope? It will be time enough for us to be 
preferred then. We know beforehand who shall 
then be uppermost. Our Lord hath shewed us where 
our place shall be, even at his own right hand; and 
what he will say to us, Come, ye lles& d) c. Sure 
ly we shall stand in his judgment. He hath pro 
mised to stand our friend. Let us look for the joy 
ful day: As sure as there is a God, this day will come; 
and then it shall gc well with us. What ! if bonds 
and banishments abide UF for a season? This is no 
thing but what our Lord hath told us, The world 
shall rejoice, but ye shall weep and lament: You shall 
be. sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. 
Oh how reviving are his words! I will see you again, 
and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketk 
from you. 

If that miserable wretch leaped cheerfully off the 
ladder, saying, / shall be a queen in hell; with what 
joy should we do and suffer for God, who JiaVe his 
truth in pawn, that we shall be crowned in heaven? 
Verily, they are wonderful preparations that are 
making for us: The Lord prepare us apace, and make 
us meet to be partakers ! It w r as the highest com 
mendation that ever that worthy, R, Baxter, received, 
which fell from the pen of his scoffing adversary 
Tilenus, who saith of him, Totum Puritanismum to- 
tus spiral.^ Oh that this may be true of us and ours! 
Let your true yoke-fellow, and n-.y Christian friends 
with you in the bonds of the gospel, have my hearty 

t If e breathes nothing but Puritanism, 


commendations. And these counsels, I pray you, 
give them from me, for the improving of their pre 
sent state: 

1. To habituate themselves, both as to their thoughts 
and discourses } more throughly than ever unto holiness, 
Brethren, I would teach you the lesson that I resolve 
to learn with you, That your minds and tongues 
may as naturally run on the things of heaven, as 
others on the things of this world. Why should it 
not be thus? I am sure, God and heaven do as well 
deserve to be thought on, and talked of, by us, as 
froth and vanity can deserve of the world. There 
are many that have in a great measure learnt this 
lesson, and why should not we be some of them? 
What! if it be hard at first? Every thing is so to a 
beginner. Besides, is not ours a religion of self- 
denial? Further, if we do but force ourselves awhile 
to holy thoughts and heavenly discourse, it will grow 
habitual to us, and then it will be .most natural, 
familiar, and heavenly sweet. Oh what gainers will 
you be, if you do but learn this lesson! 

Verily, it is the shame of religion, that Christians 
are so unlike themselves, unless upon their knees. 
Sirs* our lives and language should tell the world 
what we are, and whither we are going. Christians, 
let little things content you in the world, but aspire 
after great things in the grace of God. Many real 
Christians do little think what high frames of holi 
ness they might grow up to, even in this life, with 
pains and diligence. Sirs, be you men of great de 
signs: Think it not enough if you have wherewith 


to bear your charges to heaven ; but aspire with a 
holy ambition to be great in the court of heaven, fa 
vourites of the Most High, of tall growth, great ex* 
perience, singular communion, that you may burn 
and shine in your places, and convince the world; 
that you may savour of heaven wherever you come; 
and that there may be an even-spun thread of holi 
ness running through your whole course. 

It is the disgrace of profession, that there is s 
little difference to be seen in the ordinary conversa 
tion of believers from other men. Is it not a shame, 
that when we are in company with others, this should 
be all the difference that is to be seen, only that we 
will not curse and swear as do the worst of men? 
Christians, if you will honour the gospel, bring forth 
your religion out of your closets (the world cannot see 
what you do there,) into your shops, trades, visits, c. 
and exemplify the rules of religion in the manage 
ment of all your relations, and in your ordinary 
converse. Let there be no place or company that 
you come into, in which you do not drop something 
of God: This will be the glory of religion; and we 
shall never convince the world till we come to this. 
May you come, my brethren, out of your prisons, 
with your faces shining, having your minds seasoned, 
and your tongues tipt with holiness! May your 
mouths be as a well of life, from whence may flow 
the holy streams of edifying discourse! May you 
ever remember, as you are sitting in your houses, 
going by the way, lying down, rising up, what the 
Lord doth then require of you! (Deut. vi. 7.; 


2. To improve their present retirements from the 
world, for the settling of their spiritual estates. It is a 
common complaint amongst Christians, That they 
want assurance. Oh, if any of you that wanted 
assurance when you came to prison, may carry that 
blessing out, what happy gainers would you be I 
Now you are called, more than ever, to self- searching. 
Now bring your graces to the touchstone. Be much 
in self-observation. See what your hearts do with 
most love and delight go out unto; what are your 
greatest hopes and your chief designs. See whether 
God s interest be uppermost in you : Prove this, and 
prove all. Rest not in probable hopes. Think not 
that it is enough that you can say, You hope it is well. 
God looks for extraordinary things from you under 
Such great helps, such extraordinary dispensations. 
Be restless till you can say, that Yon know it is well; 
IK wu know you are passed from death to life. 

Think not that this is a privilege that only a few 
*nay expect. Observe but these three things: 

1. To acquaint yourselves throughly with the condi 
tions of life, and take heed of laying the marks of 
salvation either too high or too low. 

2. To be much in observing the frame, and bent, and 
Workings oft/our own hearts. 

3. To be universally conscientious., and to be constant 
in even and dose walkings; and then I doubt not but 
you will grow up speedily to a settled assurance, 
and know and feel that peace of God that passeth all 
understanding: And this will be somewhat worth 
your carrying out of prison, 


But I return to yourself. But what shall I say? 
I have more need to receive from you, than ability to 
give; only I will tell you my wishes for you: I wish, 
that your body may prosper, as your soul also pros- 
pereth. I wish that you may see the travail of your 
soul; that you may find your people thriving under 
your hands in all manner of holy conversation and 
godliness, that whosoever converses with them, may 
see and hear by them That God is in them, of a truth. 
I wish your enlargement from your bonds, and your 
enlargement in them; that your prison may be but 
the lanthorn, through which your graces, experien 
ces, communion, and prison-attainments, may shine 
most brightly to all beholders. I wish your prison 
may be a paradise of peace, and a Patmos of divine 
discoveries. Lord Jems set to thy Amen ! 

I am, Sir, 

Your unworthy brother arid companion 

in the kingdom and patience of Jesus, 


Jan. 10th f 1664. 


[Directions to the ministers of Somersetshire and Wiltshire, 
for the instructing of families by way of catechising.] 

SIR, This letter cometh to you, like the men of 
Macedonia to Paul, crying to you, Come and help us. 
O how insufficient do we find ourselves for the praises 
of God! What reason have we to call upon ourselves, 
and to call upon all our friends ! And yet we foresee 


that all will be too little a sacrifice at last, and too 
slender a return to the Most High God, who hath 
made us such wonders of mercy, and such 1 signal in 
stances of his divine power and rich grace. JL ou are 
not ignorant of our estate, how the sentence of death 
had passed upon us; how our flesh and our hearts 
failed, and friends and physicians gave up their 
hopes. But God, that raised the dead, was pleased 
to make us the monuments of his wondrous mercy. 
O that the same God would make us the special in 
struments of his praise and glory ! 

Of a truth, Sir, we perceive our hearts are too- 
little, our tongues are too short, our expressions are 
too low ^ either to conceive or to utter what we owe 
to the Great God. O help! help! Bless the Lord, 
O our souls ! Bless the Lord, O our friends ! O that 
all that have wrestled with God for us, might join 
hand in hand, to make some suitable returns to the 
God of our lives, and may bring in every one his 
sacrifice, and all contribute to make one common 
stock of praises, that many thanksgivings may 
abound to God on our behalfs. O what hath prayer 
done for us ! While we live we must honour prayer, 
and admire the power of prayer: We owe our limbs 
and our lives to prayer. O that a goodly crop of 
praise may grow vip unto God, as a return for his 
mercies; that the seed of prayers, and showers of tears, 
may procure sheaves of joy, and songs of deliverance. 

But O what shall we render? Wherewithal shall 
we come before the Lord, or bow ourselves to the 
Most High God? Oh, where shall we find a fitting 


sacrifice? Verily we will give ourselves and our 
all to him. But, alas, what are we, and what is this 
little that we call " our all?" Therefore have we 
found in our hearts to write to you and others, 
that we might excite you to the divine praises with 
us. And O that the Lord might be loved the better, 
and glorified the more for our sakes ! Will you tell 
us wherein. we may shew our love to him? Wherein 
we may best please and serve him? O that you 
would! Herein, assuredly, you would most highly 
gratify us. O that we might do some singular thing 
for God; for certainly they are not common things 
that he ha.h done for us. 

We pray you call upon those that fear the Lord., 
to help us in celebrating his lovingkindness. O how 
it pluaseth our very hearts to think that God should 
be loved and honoured the better for us; that we 
may be instruments, if it be but for the blowing up 
of one flash, nay, the kindling of one spark, of divine 
love in the hearts of his children towards him ! Sir, 
you cannot pleasure us in anything so much as in this, 
to love and admire God, and spread his praise more 
and more; that what is wanting through our weak 
ness, may be made up in your abundance. But we 
have need to crave your pardon for our length ; but 
the love of Christ canstraineth us, and we hope you 
will pass by an error of love. 

While we have been devising what to do for our 
God, we thought we could no way better serve him, 
than by provoking such as you are to set up his great 
name with us. W r e love and honour you, riot only 


as you care a member,, but a minister of Christ Jesus 
our Lord, and therefore deserve to be doubly dear 
unto us : And because we could think of no more 
pleasing a sacrifice of thanksgiving,, we have stirred 
up ourselves and friends with us, to send to you a 
prophet in the name of a prophet, this poor token of 
love, which, though but small, yet we trust will be 
a sweet savour unto God, and will be accepted with 
you, being our two mites cast into God s treasury. 
But look not upon yourself as obliged to us hereby : 
But put it upon the account of Christ, to whose pre 
cious name we dedicate it, and from whom (although 
he be so much already beforehand with us, yet) we 
expect a recompence at the resurrection of the just. 

And being further desirous to promote the work 
of God in our low and slender capacities, we have 
been bold to provoke yourself, with others our fa 
thers and brethren in the ministry, to set about that 
necessary and much neglected work of catechising; 
not a little pleasing ourselves in the sweet hope, 
that by your means we may be instrumental to 
spread the sweet savour of the knowledge of our 
God in every place : And being well persuaded 
of your readiness to forward so blessed a work, we 
have stirred up ourselves and our friends to expend 
a considerable sum of money, to furnish ministers 
with catechisms, a hundred whereof we have sent 
unto you, beseeching you to use your best prudence 
and utmost diligence for the spreading of them, and 
for others improvement by them, that our labour and 
charge in so good a work prove not at last of no effect. 


Sir, we shall humbty propose unto you, but not 
impose upon you. But let us be bold -with you in 
Christ, to lay our requests before you as touching 
this concernment, they being indeed what judicious 
friends and brethren ha % e thought fit to propound. 

1 . That the people be publickly and privately in 
structed about the high necessity and great useful 
ness of this duty. 

2. That these catechisms be freely given to all that 
will promise to use them. 

3. That you would be pleased to acquaint yourself 
with all the schools that are within your verge; and 
that you would do your utmost to engage the teach 
ers thereof to teach their scholars this catechism; 
and that you would furnish all their scholars that are 
capable and willing to learn. 

4. That you will endeavour, from house to house, 
to engage the master or mistress of every fa^J^y, for 
tile forwarding of this work, 

5. That you will appoint set-times wherein to take 
an account of the proficiency of all such as have 
promised to learn; and that, if it may be, they may 
be engaged to learn weekly a proportion, according 
to their capacities. 

6. That you would favour us so far, as to let us 
know as speedily as you may, of the receipt of these 
lines; and if we may presume so far upon you, we 
pray you to indulge us some assurance under your 
hand, that you will to your power promote this 
happy de-i; a, and that by our Lady-day next you 
will acquaint - .? tvhut progress is made. 



Sir, our souls will even travail in birth for the suc 
cess of this undertaking; and therefore we request 
you, for the love of God, and by the respect which 
we are persuaded you bear to us, that you will labour 
to comfort and encourage us in our en leavours for 
God, which you can no way in the w :r lu do so well 
as by letting us see, that there is some blessed fruit 
of our cost and pains; and that we 1 ive not run in 
vain, nor laboured in vain. If there be any of these 
catechisms remaining in your hands the-: you cannot 
dispose of by our Lady-day, be pleased to send them 
to Mr. Bernard, or to Mr. Rositer in Taunton. If 
you should need any more, give us speedy notice, 
and you shall not fail to be furnished with what 
number you desire. 

Thus upon the bended knees of our thankful ouls> 
we commend our poor sacrifices, together with your 
self, to the eternal God, and remain> 

Christ s devoted servants, and your friends, 





Nickels, Printer, Brig-gate, Leeds* 


BX Baxter, Richard 
5199 ^n account of the life anc 

A55B38 death of that excellent 

1815 minister of Christ