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Full text of "Life and death of the Rev. Joseph Alleine--"





Theological Seminary, 


BX 9339 .A6 L5 1840 

Life and death of the Rev. 
Joseph Alleine — 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2009 with funding from 

Princeton Theological Seminary Library 




OF THj: 



^VRITTE^r by /^ 














The followiug work consists of the Life and Letters of 
the Rev. Joseph Alleine, the author of the celebrated 
" Alarm to the Unconverted." 

In an age when high-sounding profession is so apt to be 
substituted for self-denying action, and an outward life of 
boisterous activity in defending the bulwarks of Zion is so 
apt to supercede the inward life of spiritual enjoyment and 
communion with the God of Zion, I know not a more sea- 
sonable or precious boon that can be conferred on the Church 
of Christ than the reprint of this rare and unique volume, 
— containing, as it does, the life and letters of one of the 
holiest and most devoted men that ever appeared as a leader 
in the army of the faithful. 

"N^VTiat a rich variety of gifts and graces did this eminent 
servant of God possess, and how harmoniously blended! 

What solidity of understanding and ripeness of judg- 
ment. What clear, sound, and comprehensive views of 
evangelical truth. What calm, yet fervent devotion — what 
all-pervading, yet enlivening seriousness. What transport- 
ing delight in secret meditation, prayer, and thanksgiving. 
^tWiat an almost intuitive acquaintance with the labyrinthine 
windings of a heart that is deceitful above all things and 


desperately wicked, and what a searching power in expos- 
ing its ingenious subterfuges. What penetrating spiritual 
sagacity in detecting Satan's manifold devices, and what 
experienced wisdom in directing to the appropriate weapons 
of defence in the armoury of heaven. What holy skill in 
expounding the word of God, and what undaunted faithful- 
ness in applying it to the endlessly diversified states of the 
human soul. What inextinguishable zeal — what ceaseless 
activities in his Master's service. What unquenchable 
thirstings after the conversion of lost sinners — what unslum- 
bering watchfulness in warning and edifying saints. What 
profound humility and self-abasement in the sight of God. 
What patience and forbearance — what meekness and gene- 
rosity — what affability and moderation — what a peace-mak- 
ing kindness of disposition — what a melting tenderness of 
address, in his intercourse with man. What noble self-de- 
nial — what heroic self-sacrifice. What cheerfulness of re- 
signation in the midst of cruel sufferings, bonds, and im- 
prisonment. What sublime majesty of spirit in the season 
of approaching dissolution. What triumphant faith — what 
tranquil, yet rapturous joy. What ardent longings to bask 
in the cloudless beamings of the Eternal Sun ! 

Christian Reader ! Are you tempted to doubt whether this 
be not an exaggerated portraiture of the intellectual and 
spiritual endowments of Joseph Alleine ? If so, I can on- 
ly beseech you with all earnestness, in the language of Phi- 
lip, to "come and see." I beseech you to come and prcryer- 
fully peruse the whole of this intensely interesting volume. And 
after having done so, you may be prepared to say whether 
the half has been told you. 


But, Christian Reader, bear in mind that it is not in or- 
der to extort from you a barren admiration of the character 
and attainments of a fellow-mortal, however lofty, that this 
language of urgent invitation is employed. Oh ! no. Such a 
result were worse than idle and unprofitable ; it were idola- 
trous, and therefore God-dishonouring. 

One grand object is to arouse and quicken, and humble 
you. Should the perusal of this Volume impress your mind, 
in any proportionable degree, as it has impressed the writer 
of these lines, it will convict you of an unexpected and 
almost incredible amount of shortcomings ; — it will probe 
to the quick many a festering wound, and bruise, and pu- 
trefying sore : — it will strip of its covering and lay bare 
many a lurking source of self-deception ; — it will sink you 
a thousand fathom down in your own estimation : — it will 
drive you with lowlier prostration of spirit than ever to the 
foot of the Cross. And if this be the effect produced on 
your mind, rest assured that the lowest depth of self-humili- 
ation before God, will prove but the threshold to the noblest 
height of exaltation in the Lord, your Righteousness. 

Another grand object, therefore, is to purify, and enlarge, 
and exalt you to " the stature of a perfect man in Christ 
Jesus." What ^' a burning and a shining light " was Alleine 
in the midst of a dark, crooked, and perverse generation ! 
And what divine grace made him, may not divine grace 
make you. Christian reader 1 And should the perusal of 
this volume prove the means, through God's blessing, of en- 
ticing you to strive and imitate the bright example of living 
Christianity which it portrays, in as far as it is in imitation 
of the divine original — Christ — the all-perfect exemplar of 



his people — the chief among ten thousand and altogethe r 
lovely, — yours will be a rich reward now, and an ample 
revenue of glory hereafter. 

Why is it that the Church of Christ has been for ages and 
generations studded with such poor, shrunken, sapless, life- 
less forms ? Because there is a foul and treasonable spirit 
abroad, that leads the vast majority of nominal professors to 
strive how far they can descend in mingling with the smoke 
and dust of perishable vanities, without wholly forfeiting 
the character of Christians ; — instead of striving how far 
they rise aloft to the altitude of a '^walk and conversation 
in heaven," without, at the same time, ceasing to discharge 
any of the best and noblest functions of humanity on earth. 
In this respect, what an almost unparalleled model is pre- 
sented in the life and labours of Joseph AUeine ! 

Again, why is it that, in our day, we hear men so seldom 
or so languidly discourse of the comforts of Christ, the con- 
solations of the Spirit, and the joys of the Gospel, so em- 
phatically pronounced by Heaven itself to be " glad tidings ?' 
Because the grace and gift of faith is in general so feeble 
and staggering, — because the dominant fashion is to specu- 
late ingeniously, and talk fluently, about faith and the things 
of faith, instead of vigorously acting faith and appropriating 
the things of faith, throughout the wide domain of Christian 
experience and practice. This, this must be the reason, 
why we so often find even the best of men in our day, lying 
half torpid in a freezing atmosphere, or creeping mournful- 
ly along, in the dark vale of sighs and groans, and tears and 
complainings, instead of boldly soaring on Faith's pinions 
to the warm and sunny regions that gladden the summits of 


the " delectable mountains." How strongly contrasted is 
all this with the SAveet, fervid, ecstatic utterances of faith, 
from the lips and pen of Joseph Alleine I 

His truly was that elevating, ennobling faith which is, in 
a divine sense, *Uhe substance of things hoped for, the evi- 
dence of things not seen." He listened to the voice of his 
Redeemer, saying, "Fear not : I am he that liveth, and was 
dead ; and behold I am alive for ever more : and I have the 
keys of hell and death,- — and because I live, ye shall live 
also." This gracious declaration of the compassionate Al- 
mighty, Redeemer, our Author strongly believed, and the 
object of its assurance he eagerly grasped as his own, — and 
therefore did he feel joyously and speak strongly. And why 
should he not? In the midst of the darkness and gloom, 
the fears and the doubtings, the shifting and the frenzies, of 
a world lying in wickedness, what infinite consolations are 
such words calculated to convey ? In exchange for life with 
its delusive hopes and shadowy enjoyments, and death with 
its convulsive struggles and ghastly terrors, — to be trans- 
ported to the realms of day, — to be enrolled as a citizen in 
the New Jerusalem, — to be endowed with the prerogatives 
of royalty, among thrones and dominions, principalities and 
powers, — to become as it were like the great I Am, an in- 
habitant of Eternity, — an immeasureable incomprehensible 
eternity of light and life, and love and joy ! — Oh, is not 
such a prospect the very consummation of blessedness ! 
And yet, this was the very prospect which our Author so 
constantly laboured to realize, through faith, as already his 
own ; — and therefore was he enabled to rejoice with a joy 
unspeakable and full of glory. 


And now, Christian reader, whatever ground or reason 
you have for believing that you are a Christian at all, in the 
proper sense of that term, have you not precisely the same 
ground and reason for believing with all your mind and 
strength, that heaven with its "purchased possession" is 
yours ? This was the faith of Joseph AUeine. And that 
the perusal of this volume may be instrumental, through the 
agency of the Divine Spirit, in leading you to the like un- 
wavering Faith, with its consequent inheritance of soul-rav- 
ishing joy, is the sincere prayer of your friend and brother 
in the Lord our Redeemer, 





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 required. The worthy 
subject of the following memoir, is embalmed in the mem- 
ory of the just ; and his name can receive no additional 
celebrity from the honourable 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 testi- 
mony to his exalted piety; and in his literary labours he 
was, according to the best acceptation of the word, uncom- 
monly 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 numer- 
ous. 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 attentio n, aud its author may be justly rank- 
ed among those men of genius whose pious exertions have 
procured them the title of benefactors : For, if we ex- 
cept 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 

His " Call to Archippus" is considered a master-piece 
of pathetic argumentation. On some of the most useful 
and pious Nonconformist ministers, it operated as an in- 
centive to continue their labours of love among the scatter- 
ed 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 enco- 
mium. They have always since their first publication 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 
support of this opinion : but 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 fervent zeal were ordinarily as well 
conjoined, as they were in this worthy man. 

" And many have much reading, and plentiful materials 
for learning, who yet were never truly learned, as being 


injudicious^ and never having well digested what they read 
into the habits of solid understanding. But so was it not 
with this our brother, as his very letters fully witness : How 
clearly and solidly doth he resolve the great 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 following character of 
them, which is the more to be relied upon, for disinterest- 
edness and impartiality, on account of the known difterence 
of sentiment between him and Mr. Alleine, in some pe- 
culiar 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, into whose 
hands they have fallen, for the vein of piety, trust in God, 
and holy zeal, which run through them. The same piety, 
zeal, and confidence in God, shine through all the letters of 
Mr. Alleine : so that in this respect he may well be styled 
The English Rutherford. But yet there is a very discern- 
ible difference between them : in piety and fervour of spirit 
they are the same : but the fervour of the one more resem- 
bles 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 excel in 
bowels of mercy, meekness, gentleness, in tenderness, mild- 
ness, and sweetness of spirit, even to his bitterest enemies. 
I do not therefore scruple to give these Letters the prefer- 
ence, even to Mr. Rutherford's : as expressing in a stil 
higher degree, the love that is long-suffering and kind, which 


is not provoked, which thinketh do 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 composition, and con- 
tains 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 display- 
ed. The third Chapter was written by his father- in law, 
Mr. Richard Alleine, and the fourtk by his worthy vicar, 
the Rev. George Newton. His widow, Mrs. Theodo- 
siA 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 correspondence which has been described above, 
and is entitled " Christian Letters." What Richard Bax- 
ter introduced and recommended, and Joseph Alleine 
wrote, will not appear despicable to those who are gifted 
with the pleasing skill of appreciating intellectual and spir- 
itual 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. The 
original edition of 1672 has been scrupulously followed 
throughout, except in the orthography of a few words, such 
as rejoyce, jlie, meer, onely, ^-c. which are changed into re- 
joice^Jly, mere, only, c^-c. — It was the custom of that age for 


the Past tense of verbs, which is sometimes called the Im- 
perfect, to usurp the place and function of^ the perfect parti- 
ciple : Thus it was generally said, " I am forgot," instead 
of forgotten. Such participles are here rectified, especially 
in the latter part of the volume. — The copulative word 
" and," when connecting words which were nearly synony- 
mous, was rarely suffered to possess any power in influenc 
ing the verb, to which such words were joint nominatives, 
in the plural number : Thus it was neither unusual nor ac- 
counted inelegant to say, " My truth and faithfulness hath 
never failed." Similar instances of this construction may 
be found in the authorised English translation of the Scrip- 
tures. Though apparent breaches of what we now call good 
grammar, such expressions remain in this edition, without 
the trifling amendment which would render them corrrect, 
according to modern ideas of grammatical propriety. A 
copious table of contents has been added. 

The editor has been thus explicit in mentioning the al- 
teration of a few letters, because he thinks a reasonable ac- 
count of the most minute change in an author's phraseology 
ought always to be given to the public. It cannot but have 
excited indignation in every honest breast to behold the 
liberties which are frequently taken, in these days, with au- 
thors whose works are thought worthy of republication. 

Every literary man would rather that, after his decease, 
his grave were broken open, and 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 igno- 
rant blockhead or a wretched pedant. These observations 


are not intended to apply to extracts, fairly made ; or to 
abridgements, announced as such. 

In addition to what is said in the following pages, respect- 
ing Mr. Alleine, it is proper to mention that he died in No- 
vember, 1668, and was buried in the Chancel of the church 
of St. Magdalen, Taunton. Over his grave was this epi- 
taph, engraven on stone : 

Hie jacet Dominus Josephus Alleine, 
Holocaustum Tauntonense et Deo et vobis. 
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 good of souls, 
made all his strength a whole burnt sacrifice, a sacrifice as 
truly devoted as if it had been offered up in the flames of 



Recommendatory Preface, 
Preface to Second Edinburgh Edition, 


Superiority of sacred biography over general 


The harmony and completeness of particular gifts in Mr. 

AUeine, .... 
His great diligence in private, . 
Praise and thanksgiving his natural strains 
The character of this history of him, . 
His writino-s, 


His birth, and early indications of piety, 

predilection for the Christian ministry, and removal from 

school to the university, 

studies there, ........ ^ 

early accomplishments, ... ... 

The pleasure he had in prayer, ..... 


An account of his father, 

What he was himself, as a man, a christian, and a minister, 


His delight in performing his secret devotions in the open air, 

moral character, and condescension to weak brethren, 

ministerial gifts, and desire for the conversion of souls, 

early rising and excessive labours, . , , . 


His ministerial course ,.....• 

Manner of going from house to house, , • 

An abridgement of his reasons for private family instruct 
His faithfulness in reproving, . , . . . • 
Useful questions which he drew up for daily examination, 

. 3 
. 9 












His great desire that his way might be plain to him in the 

matter of contbrmity, 

quitting the public situation which he held, 

The rage of the Justice against him, .... 
His resolnrion to go to China as a missionary, 

He is a|[)ivi ended by an officer, 

His appearance before the Justice at his house, 

behaviour during his confinement, .... 

preaching before his departure to prison, . 

The extraordinary respect shewn to him, by his people, on 

leaving Taunton, 

His lodgings in the prison of Ilchcster, and the company thei-e, 

consecration of the prison, 

indictment at the sessions and commitment again to 

prison, . . . 

indictment at the assizes, his trial and sentence, 

studies and ministerial labours in confinement, . 

conduct to visiters, and to his enemies, 

health in his imprisonment, 

release from prison, and earnestness in ministerial labours 

great weakness and affliction, .....' 

Warrants issued out airainst him, . . . . ; 

His determination to use the mineral waters near Devizes, 
A thanksgiving meeting with several ministers and friends 
prior to his departure, ...... 

They are interrupted by two justices, apprehended and com- 
mitted to the prison of Ilchester, 
Exhortation to his fellow-sufferers, .... 

The increase of his distempers, .... 

He goes to the mineral wells, 

Is seized with a fever, goes to Dorchester, and loses the use of 
his limbs, ........ 

His carriage under affliction, ..... 

The kindness of the people of Dorchester to him, 
His partial recovery, ...... 

aflfectionate addresses to his friends from Taunton, 

return to Taunton, ...... 

——convulsion fits, 

journey in a horse-litter to Bath, 

-charitable offices there, ..... 

-visit to Mr. Bernard's house near Bath, 

last illness, and death, ..... 

courtship and marriage, . . . . • 

His management of iiis I'amily, .... 
Difficulties in fulfilling his ministry, 
His temperance and care for the poor, 
The care and provision of God for him, . 

His inquiries into the estate of those around him, 

table talk, 

assistance to those who were in doubts, 

patience under affliction, . ... 





His personal character, stature, and constitution, 

judgment, memory, fancy, will, and affections, . 

gravity, affability, charity, and utterance, 

studies, moderation, and humility, .... 

practice as to church-communion, and Judgment as to 

obedience to authority, ...... 

loyalty, and respect to second table duties, 

labours in the ministry, 

heroic spirit, singular piety, and contempt of the world, 

universal and uniform obedience, .... 

care of his thoughts and ends, and delight in self-exami- 

generous designs, delight in meditation and praise, . 

time-redeeming thrift, ...... 


His consecration to God in Christ Jesus, 

divine love, 

spirit of charity and meekness, 

rich assurance of his saving interest in Christ, 



























To his Wife. On his accepting of the curacy of Taunton, 139 
To the people of Taunton, Preparation for suffering, 144 
To the same. Warning to professors, . , 146 
A call to the unconverted, . . . 150 

Trust in God and be sincere, . . . 154 

Look out of your graves upon the world, 157 

Christian marks and duties, . . . 160 

How to show love to ministers and to 

live joyfully, 163 

Easy sufferings, ..... 166 

The love of Christ, .... 168 

Remember Christ crucifiied, and crucify 

sin, 171 

Daily examination, .... 174 

Motives and marks of growth, . . 176 

Persuasion to sinners, and comfort to 

saints, 180 

How to live to God, .... 184 

Motives to set ourselves to please God, . 187 

The worth of holiness, . . . 189 

Try yourselves and rejoice, ... 193 

The felicity of believers, . . . 196 

What do you more than others "? . . 199 

Christian care, faith, and self-denial. . 202 

Right reason in suffering, . . ' . 305 















To the same. Counsel for salvation, 
■ ' ■' Examine whether you are in the 

faith, .... 

The characters and privileges of 

true believers, 

The second coming of Christ, 

The love of Christ, . 

Warning to professors of their 

danger, . : . . 
An admiration of the love of God 

Personal and family godliness, 

To the People of Huntingdon. He that en 

dureth to the end shall be saved, 
To the people of Luppit. On perseverance, 
To a Fellow-student. On backsliding, 
To his wife. Good counsel, 

Desires after heaven. 

To a Friend. God is a satisfying portion, 

To a person of quality. Be constant. 

To his Cousin. Have you a treasure in heaven ' 

The concernments of our souls 

to be especially regarded, 

Godly counsels, 

The virgin's care, . 

To a Friend. Do all in reference to God and 

his glory, . . 

To a Minister in prison. Prison comforts, 

Directions to the Ministers of Somersetshire and 

Wiltshire, for the instructing of families, by 

way of catechising, 























As history is both useful and delightful to mankind, so 

Church- Histovij above all hath the pre-eminence in both. 

For it treateth of the greatest and most necessary subjects. 

It is most eminently divine, as recording 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 conspicuous, and 

His honour most concerned in the world. The narratives 

of the great victories and large dominions of Alexander, 

Caesar, Tamberlain, or such others, are but the portraiture 

of phantasms, and the relation of the dieams of vagrant 

imaginations, or of the lifeless motions in a puppet-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 men's everlasting concernments are comprehended 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 conquereth the world, thefl esh, 

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 sreat robberies 
and murders, called conquests, as the diagnostics of health 
are than those of sickness ; or, as it is more pleasant to 
read of the building of cities, than of their rtmis ; or of the 
c^ires of a physician, than of the hui-ts 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 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 impudent lies in the Popish legends, as might 
render all such narratives afterwards contemptible and in- 
credible, and might destroy the ends :) Therefore is the sa- 
cred scripture so much historical ; and the Gospel itself is 
not a volume of well-composed orations, or a system, or en- 
cyclopedia 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 wonderous 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 happiness 
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 apt to affect the 
world more deeply, than in portraiture and precept only. 
Therefore, we find that Satan and his instrwments, are used 
to do that against the scriptures exemplified in the godly, 
which they have not done against the scriptures in them- 
selves : 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 persecution, when 


the sacred rule is not so boldly to be accused, till they are 
ripened in malignity and audacity. 

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 inclinations, 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 bless- 
edness, and in fervent love to God and man, and in an inno- 
cent life, and self-denying endeavours to do good to all, do 
so much convince and awe man's nature, and so powerfully 
command approbation and honour, that Satan and bad men 
could not resist them ; were it not that such excellent per- 
sons are too rare, and that the far greater number of good 
men are lamentably imperfect, and tainted with many un- 
lovely faults ; and were it not also for two great advantages 
that Satan layeth hold on, that is, men's strangeness and 
disacquaintance with those that are good, and the slanderous 
reports of them by others. And whoever noteth it shall 
find that most that ever hated and persecuted men of emi- 
nent holiness, were such as never intimately knew them, 
but only at a deceitful distance, and such as heard them odi- 
ously described by lying tongues. 

And it is not a small benefit of this kind of history, that 
the weak and lame christians may see such excellent exam- 
ples for their imitation ; and the sluggish and distempered 
christians may have so real and lively a reproof; and the 
discouraged christian may see that higher degrees of good- 
ness are indeed inattainable ; and that the dark and troub- 
led christian may see the methods in which God's Spirit 
doth work upon his servants, and see that a genuine chris- 
tian life is a life of the greatest joy on earth ; and that the 
slothful hypocrite may see that religion is a serious busi- 
ness : 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, for- 
malities, ceremonies, and pomp ; and the opinionative hy- 
pocrite 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 or cere- 
monies 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 
youn§ unexperienced persons : For before 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 not the 
way of drawing them to a pleasedness and love to good- 
ness : Omni tulit punctnm qui miscuit utile diilci,* 

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 easilier perceive when we re- 
member 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 
hundred 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 arge ; 
or as Scultetus, in his Curricidum vitce. s?/fe,f 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 useless 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 appear- 
ances of pride and ostentation, that few think meet to take 
this course. And the next desirable is, that their intimate 
friends would write their lives at large, who are best able ; 
as Camerarius hath done Melancthon's : and Beza, Calvin's ; 
and as the lives of Bocholtzer, Chytrseus, and many more 
are written. 

* He who has mixed the useful with the pleasant, has obtained the. 
suffrages (or approbation) of all. 
t The short course of his own life. 


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, who looked to have died long before him ; and 
because he lived in a time of trouble, and division, and sus- 
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 thing* 
differed from them. 

The special excellency of this worthy man lay chiefly in 
the harmony and completeness of such particular 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 Keckerman, one Pemble, in a country, is 
rarely to be found. Do you desire the preparatives of lan- 
guage and philosophy ? In these he was eximious, as his 
Treatise Be Providenfia, licenced 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 
providenee of God, and the principles of a godly life! And 
how much supernatural revelation presupposeth, and findeth 
ready to entertain it and befriend it in the light and raw 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 
fiill a sight of all those subsidiary natural verities, which are 
known propria luce* and are out of the reach of those ma- 
lignant suggestions, by which the temper is often question- 
ing supernatural truths. Few christians, and too fe\y di- 
vines do dig so deep, and proceed so wisely, as to take in all 
these natural helps ; but overpassing those presupposed 
verities, do oft leave themselves open to the subtile assaults 
of the tempter, who knoweth where the breach 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 he was 

♦ By their own light, 


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 
activiiy, as earthen nature's to cold and idleness ; uot 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 faith still 
saw the Lord : Not doing God's work with an unwilling or a 
sluggish heart, as if he did it not, nor as those that fear be- 
ing losers by God, or of giving him more than he deserveth, 
or getting salvation 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 passing 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,) except only the soul's resignation, 
ohedvience and love to God, and the seeking of the heavenly 
durable felicity, in the use of all 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 stu- 
dents in philosophy, and the doctrinals and methods of theo- 
logy, 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 ivill, as in the understanding ; and the heart had not 
the noblest work to do. Life, light, and love, are the insep- 
arable influences 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 pro- 
fitable 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 fri- 
gid knowledge that will save the soul. 

And on the other side, (alas !) how ordinary it is for zeal 
to make a busfle in the dark, and for those that are very 
earnest to be very blind ? And strong affections (not to God 
himself, but about the exercise of religious duties) to be 
guided by a weak understanding ; and so for such well-mean- 


iiig persons, to make most haste when they are out of the 
way, and to divide and trouble the church and neighbour- 
hood, by their fervency in error, till late experieivce hath 
ripened them to see what mischief their self-conceitedness 
hath done? ! how happy were the church of God, if great 
understanding and fervent zeal were ordinarily as well Con- 
joined, as they were in this worthy man ! 

And many have much reading, and plentiful materials 
for learning, who yet were never truly learned, as being in- 
judicious and never having well digested what they read, 
into the habits of solid nnder/tanding. But so was it not 
with this our brother, as his very letters fully w itness : how 
clearly and solidly doth he resolve that great question which 
he speaketh to, as one that had theology, not in his books 
only, but in his hand 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 dis- 
easedly, and unproportionably, upon those outward circum- 
stances, where the noise doth call off the minds of too many 
from the inward lile of communion with God. His sermons, 
his conference, his letters, were not about mint and cum- 
min, but about the knowledge of God in Ciuist, which is the 
ilfe eternal. 

Yet that he did not prostitute his conscience to the inte- 
rest 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 indiffev' 
ency or smallness 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 w-ell-meaning minis- 
ters, 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 func- 
tion is enough to oblige all to bow to them, and to be ruled 
by them, without any personal u'isdorn, holiness, or minis- 
terial 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 powerful his unafTected sacred oratory ; so 
wise and serious his private dealing with particular famalies 
and souls, that it is no w onder if God blessed him with that 


great success, which is yet visible among the people where 
he lived, and which many of his brethren wanted. For he 
did not by slovenly expressions, or immethodical extrava- 
gancies, or unsound injudicious erroneous passages, or by jo- 
cular levities, or by nauseous tautologies, make sermons or 
prayers become a scorn ; nor give advantage to carnal cap- 
tious hearers, who for every hair, not only abominate the 
wholesomest 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 ser- 
mons like stage-plays, and destroy 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 holi- 
ness of the matter. 

And his fervent zeal and thirst for the people's conver- 
sion and salvation, was a great advantage to his success. 
For, let men's parts be ever so great, I seldom have known 
any man to do much good, that was not earnestly desirous 
to do good ; if he long not for men's conversion, he is sel- 
dom the means of converting many. For there is a certain 
lively seriousness necessary in all our studies, to make our 
sermons 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 hiife, or as a bell that's cracked, or any 
other unmeet instruments, unable for their proper use. 
And though God can work miracles, 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 min- 
ister, 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 incredible : And truly, when I think of some men 
yet living, and some few (too few) places (great places) 
which by the great abilities and excellent preaching, the 
personal exhortations and catechising, the unwearied pains 
and the extraordinary charity to the poor, the holy exempla- 
ry lives of their pastors (I can scarce forbear naming four 
or five of my acquaintance) have been so generally season- 
ed with piety, that the great market towns have become as 
religious as the selected members, which some think only 


fit for churches ; it makes me conchide, that it is principal- 
ly for want of such a ministry, that the world is so bad, and 
that oreater things are not done among us : And that for 
another sort of men to cry out of the people's ignorance 
and profaneness, and obstinate wickedness, while their un- 
skilfulness, sloth, miscarriage, and negligence, is the cause, 
— is as little honour to them, as to the physician 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 suc- 
cesses ; 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.) I thought to promote thee to great honour, hut 
lo, the Lord hath kept thee back from honour. It is more 
honourable and comtbrtable to be kept from honour by God 
and a conscience, than to be honoured by men on sinful 

And the moderation and peaceableness of this holy man, 
was very exemplary and amiable ; which I the rather men- 
tion, because in these distempered times of temptation, too 
many think that the excellency of zeal lieth in going to the 
furthest from those they differ from and suffer by. And be- 
cause some will think, that knew no more of him, but only 
how oft and long he lay in the Common Gaol, 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 cove- 
nant and ministerial dedication, by giving over his work as 
long as he hath ability and opportunity, and the peopWs 
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 aggravated 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, and to the 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 praises of God, and 
THANKSGIVING for his mcrcies, especially 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 natural strains ; his frequentest, longest, and heart, 
iest services ; 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 
inquire, how his triumphant discourses of the hopes of glory, 
and his frequent and fervent thanksgiving and praise, were 
the language 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 
adopted 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 be- 
lieveth all this grace of Christ, this heavenhj glory, this love 
of God, and yet to be inclined to no part of religion, but 
fears and complainings, and scarce to have any words of 
praises or thanksgiving, but a few, on the bye, which are 
heartless, affected, and constrained ! did christians, yea 
ministers, but live with the joy, and gratitude, and praise of 
Jehovah, which beseemeth those that believe what they be- 
lieve, and those that are entering 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 soids have found ! But 
when we shew the world no religion, but sighing and com- 
plainincr, 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 believers ourselves, or before they will 
kave their fleshly pleasures for so sad and dreadful a life as 

And as this kind of heavenly, joyful life is an honour to 
Christ, and a wonderful help to the converting 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 continual content in God, so that the king- 
dom of God in him was righteousness, peace, and joy in the 
Holy Ghost ; which others think consisteth in meats, drinks, 
and days, in shadows and circumstances, in sidings and in 
singular conceits. (Rom. xiv. Col. ii. 16.) It was not a 
melancholy spirit that acted him, nor did he tempt his peo- 
ple into such an uncomfortable state and strain. But in 
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 de- 
lishted 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 a heaven at once 1 When he 
could, after the terrible torment of convulsions, have the 


foresight and taste of heavenly pleasures? JS'^ihil Cms sen- 
tit in JVervo, cum minimus est in Cielo, saith Tertullian.* 

And as he lived, so he died, in vigorous jouful jrraises 
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 health- 
ful 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 preach- 
er in the pulpit, pour out his soul in praises and thanksgiv- 
ing ; and speak of God, of Christ, of Heaven, as one that 
could never speak enough of them ; and that with a vivaci- 
ty and force, as if he had been in former health, and to tri- 
umph 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 use 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 
troublesome 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 was possess- 
ed deeply with this true sentiment. That the pleasing of 
GOD is the ultimate end of man, (not doubting but it inclu- 
deth the notion of glorifying him,) for thus his heart was 

* The cross feelcth nothing in the nerves, when the soul is in hea- 


rightly principled, and all his doctrine and duties rightly 

And as in all his ministry he was extraordinarily addict- 
ed to open to the hearers the covenant of grace, and to ex- 
plain 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 baptizing is truly christening, and tiiat 
Baptism and the Lord's Supper are our sacramental cove- 
nanting, and that we need no new descriptions nor charac- 
ters 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 faithtulness, 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 when his own resolution 
in the strength of grace to be true to God : I compare not 
his resolution to God's fidelity ; (for what comparison be- 
tween God and man ?) but only to his belief of God's fide- 
lity, and his comfort in the assurance of the conclusion. 
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 sufferings, 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 distinct- 
ly 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 judicious 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 
curious. For a man's life is like a war or battle : No dis- 



persed 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 ad- 
vantage him to see : But when intelligent men from each 
part of the army do every one bring in their several narra- 
iives. all set together may be a satisfactory history of the 
"vvhole war or fight : So when a man's course of life is tran- 
sient, and one is his familiar in youth and another at riper 
age ; one in the university, 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 
nay 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; another by that worthy pastor whom he as- 
sisted ; another 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 unquestionable 
verity, especially to all who 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 christian faith. The plainness and open breast ofagod- 
\y widow, and of so many holy and most credible friends, is 
another kind of evidence, than the contrived history of a 
learned man, which is fitted to the interests of a party to 
which the person's fame and honour seemeth requisite : I 
know not how a history of this nature could come to us 
with fairer human evidence of unquestionable credibility 
than this doth. 

And let posterity know, (for I need not tell it to this pre- 
sent age, who live in the light ;) that though this servant 
of Christ excelled very many of his brethren, yet it i^ not 
that such men are wonders in this age, tliathis life is singled 
out to be recorded to posterity : But because his affectionate 
friends and auditors are forwarder than many others, hereby 
to tell the world what effects his holy doctrine and example 
hath left upon their hearts ; it makes the writer's heart to 
bleed, to think how many thousand, of souls do perish by 


ignorance, and nno-odliness, even in England ; and how 
many vast kingdoms of the world are deprived of the gos- 

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 exemplar of a right minister 
of the gospel, which he hath left to the neighbouring minis- 
ters 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 ruA be convinced of the necessity 
and sweetness of holy diligence, in so good a work, and be- 
come laborious in the word and doctrine, who seriously read- 
eth such examples as this here set before him 1 And who 
that considereth it aright, can choose but see, how greatly 
such holy labourers do difl^er from those that preach the gos- 
pel in strife and envy, to add affliction to Paul's bonds. 
(Phil. 1. 15.) And those that use their ministry but as law- 
yers use the laws, to get preferment and worldly wealth by 
it ; that they may say, Soid, take thy ease, eat, drink, and 
be merry, thou hast goods enough laid up for many years : 
Till they hear at last. Thou fool, this night shall they require 
thy sold ; whose then shall the things be u'hich thou posses- 
sest ? So is every one that layeth up riches for himself, and 
is not rich towards God. 

Secondly, 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 exceed- 
ing 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 1 Yet the following his- 
tory tells us, he is the author of that Synopsis of the Cove- 
nant, in Mr. Richard Alleine's book. He printed an exposi- 
tion of the ^'lssembly''s Catechism, with an exhortation 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 JS^atural 
Theology, called Theologia Philosophica. 1 . De cognitione 
Dei. 2. De existentia Dei. 3. Denominibus et substantia 
Dei. 4. De attributis Dei in genere, et speciatim de ejus 
unitate. 5. De perfectione divina, (^-c. 6. De decretis di- 
vinis. 7. De providentia divina, 8. De cidtu divinOy de 


precibiis.* In all which he sHCcinctly delivereth, in a very 
good Latin Style, the Christian Doctrine : and then by way 
of annotations, addeth the testimony of" the ancient philoso- 
phers, so that you have together a sum of sound doctrine, and 
the fullest attestation of Elhnicks^ consent that ever 1 have 
seen ; being such a promptuary for any one that hath not 
leisure to peruse or to gather to such particular uses the phi- 
losophers themselves, that 1 know nowhere you can find the 
like. For every sheet or two of his doctrine on the subject 
there is about eight, ten, twelve, or more sheets of collected 
attestations. The re-st are all imperfectly written, only that 
jDe providentia, hath his ultimani manum-f and is licensed 
for the press ; but being Latin and Greek, and such books 
having too few buyers in England, none yet is found that 
will be at the charge of printing it, much less altogether ; 
though indeed (though imperfect) it is pity they should be 
separated. The title of this licensed piece is, Theologice Phi. 
losophicce, sive Philosophies, Theologicce, specimen : In quo 
Eterni Dei Providentia solius natural lumine comprohatur^ 
validissimis rationum momeniis demonstratur, quoad partes, 
species, ohjecta, ^-c. explicatur ; contra omnes denique adver- 
sarioriim objectiones Jirmatur : Ex Aristotele, Platone, Chal- 
cidio, Sallustio, Firmico, Empirico, Jamlio, Antonino, Epic- 
teto, Proclo, Simplicio, Cicerone, Seneca, Macrobio, Porphy- 
rio, Xenophonte, Galeno, Plutarcho, Plotino, Tyrio, Appu- 
leio, Alcino, aliisque Philosophis, Oraioribus, et Poetis, 
turn GrcBcis turn Latinis, ad Jltheorum convictionem, ct Or. 
fhodoxorum confirmationem ; e luciibratioiie J. A. Anno 
Dom. 166Lt 

* Pi vilosophical Theology. 1. On the knowledge of God. 2. His 
existcuce. 3. His names and substance. 4. His attributes in gene- 
ral, and especially his unity. 5. On the divine perfection, &c. 6. 
The divine decrees. 7. Divine Providence. 8. Divine worship and 

•f His final correction. 

t A Specimen of Philosophical Theology, or Theolo;^ical Philoso- 
phy, 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 exphiined, as to its divisions, species, objects, &c. 
And lastly it is confirmed, against all objections of adversaries, from 
Aristotle, Piato, &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 Alleine. 1661. 



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


Mr. Joseph Alleine, born in the Devizes, in Wiltshire, 
in the year 1633, during his childhood shewed forth a sin- 
gular sweetness of disposition, and a remarkable diligence in 
everything he was then employed about. The first observ- 
able zeal of religion 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 accidently 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 ministry, which good motion his fa- 
ther gladly hearkened unto, and speedily prepared to put it 
in execution. Such was his great diligence at school, that 
he redeemed 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 
schoolmaster adjuged fit for University studies. After which, 
he abode some time with his father in the country, where a 
worthy minister 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 College, he was 
chosen scholar of that house. The pregnancy of his parts 



assuring all that his own merits were the sole friends, 
the only mandamus which brought him in. 

Being entered and settled, he gave both early and con- 
stant proofs of his indefatigable industry ; signalizing there- 
by his love for learning, and evidently demonstrating 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 no- 
thing 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 unhappily 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 doing 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 un- 
derstood 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 vvorkhe was both day and night, think- 
ing all time too little, no pains too much, that he spent in 
her service. When but a schoolboy (as 1 have heard) he 
was observed to be so studious, that he was known as much 
by this periphrasis. The lad i that ivill not -play, as by his 
name. And sure I am, when in the University, he was so 
generously and ingeniously bookish, that he deserved to be 
called. The Scholar, who h\j his good will would do nothing 
else but praij and study. 

Courteous he was, and very civil to all acquaintance. 
But if they came to visit him at studying times, though they 
were sure enough to find him within, 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 oftended with him, he cared not. That 
notable principle ot" 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 
alarums in their chambers are wont to be to others ; seldom 
it was that he could be found in bed after four in the morn- 
ing, 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 to himself so much as one. 

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 devoured, 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. Porphyry's wish, " That he were able to live with- 
out eating and drinking at all, so that 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 God, for tying 
his soul to such a body, as could not subsist without (what 
he would often call no better than time-consuming things) 
meat, and drink, and sleep. 

That this his laborious studiousness was as delightful and 
pleasant to him, as the highest voluptuousness 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 subject, with no greater tyrannny, than the ne- 
cessity 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 condition, wrote to him, and 
in a jesting manner, desired of him an account of the incon- 
veniences of marriage ; to whom he returned this pleasant, 
but very significant answer ; '' Thou wouldst know the in- 


conveniences of a wife, and I will tell thee ; first of all, 
whereas thou risest constantly at four in the morning, or 
before, she will keep thee 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 
forbear 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 ex- 
ceedingly prospered in his studies, and quickly appeared a 
notable proficient. He would often say, " he chiefly 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 judgment." 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 excellent philosopher. When he performed any 
academical 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 spite of their teeth, com- 
mended him ; their being, to the ingenious, no surer sign 
almost of his having acquitted himself well, than that such 
as they could not endure it should be said so. 

Certain am I his pregnant parts and early accomplish- 
ments were so much taken notice of in the College, that so 
soon almost as he was but a bachelor of arts, he was 
even compelled to commence a tutor; and presently in- 
trusted (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. Ni- 
cholas Horseman, B. D. &c. Others of them, who left the 
University, have not gone without considerable pre- 
ferments in the church, as Mr. John Peachil, lately lecturer 
at St. Clements Danes, without Temple-Bar ; Mr. Chris- 
topher Coward, prebendary of Wells, &c. And I make 
no question but all of them (which are yet alive) honour 
his memory, and will at any time be ready to express the 
grateful sense which they retain of (he advantage they re- 
ceived from his prudent instructions and pious examples. 

It is true, indeed, he had no advancement proportionable 
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. For a 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 
certainly his- And this choice having been made by him 
at first deliberately, he never after in the least repented, but 
rather often reflected on it with a great deal of content and 
comfort. For he had always such a huge affection for pray- 
er, that he and his friend could hardly ever walk and dis- 
course together, but, before they parted, at his desire, they 
must also go and pray together. And what a pleasure then 
may we think it was to him, twice a-day to engage a w hole 
society, in so dear an exercise, with a Let us prmj ! Fre- 
quently indeed have I heard him say, He prized Ihe em- 
ployment above that which generally we reckoned much 
better preferment, and looked upon it as his honour and 

And it was well v/ith 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 nonsense, instead of 
prayer. His spirit was serious, his gesture reverent, his 
words few, but premiditated 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 
of holy 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 working, 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 agreeable 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 :) 

^aWovtrriov Ss 6 rponos irapdSolog iratriv avdpajirois, hre fxcv <pi\oco(()ovvTOi 
tf!i\ TO KaprepdiTcpov, to. 6e iroi^ovros £Tt to yeXoioTEpov, >^aliUSl S 


carriage was strange to all men ; for though when he read 
his philosophy lectures, he did it gravely and very solemn- 
ly ; yet at other times he played the child, and that most 
ridiculously." And there are too many, both chaplains and 
preachers, who justly merit as bad a censure : Whilst pray- 
ing and preaching, they appear demure, and mighty devout ; 
yet take them out of their desks and pulpits, and they are as 
light, as vain, and frothy, yea, extremely dissolute, as any 
others. But it was not so with this person : For he was 
always composed and serious, grave and reverend, above 
his age. He set God always before him : and wherever he 
was, laboured 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 exer- 
cise, to keep a conscience void of offence, both towards 
God and towards men. 

As for the pleasures and delights of sin, he highly nau- 
seated and abhorred them ; was so above them, that he 
could not endure them ; Quam suave istis suavitatibtcs 
carere ! "How 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 entertain 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 indeed he re- 
joiced not. He looked upon them, compared with others, 
as upon his righteousness, compared with Christ's, — as very 
vanity, yea, dross and dung. His conversation being in 
heaven, his sweetest comforts and most prized refreshments, 
were divine and heavenly. His soul took often a delightful 
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 lit- 
tle minded or cared for the poor and empty delights of sense. 

However, he was not morosely pious, nor did his affec- 
tion to God and goodness, and the things above, make him 
either a Timoa or a Cynic ; it had not then been so true 


and genuine, and of so right a kind as it was. Homiletical 
virtue he as much excelled in as any other, and the decried 
morality found ever with him very great respect, being re- 
cognised as an integral part of his religion. 

He was of a sweet disposition, and of as highly civil a 
conversation, as a man (subject to the common frailties of 
human nature) almost could be. He had scarce a gesture 
which did not seem to speak, and, by a powerful and charm- 
ing rhetoric, affect all whom he conversed with. Were it 
not that he had so many other moral perfections and excel- 
lencies besides that, it might as truly be said of him, as by 
the historian was of the Emperor, in respect of his clemen- 
cy, that he ivas — totns ex comitate, — made itp, as it ivere, of 
nothing' else but courtesy and a [lability. 

For a friend, I think I may safely say, he was one of the 
truest that ever person had interest in ; and withal, as plea- 
sant as a serious christian could well wish. He loved not 
rashly, but where he loved, he loved entirely ; 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. When Lelius in 
the presence of the Roman Consuls, (w^ho, after the con- 
demnation of Tiberius Gracchus, pursued all that had been 
formerly intimate with him,) came to inquire of Caius Blo- 
sius, his chiefest friend, " What he was willing to have done 
for 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 Blosius, " 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 fa?' as laufully 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 charity, yet not so covetous as 
to withhold it when he met with objects to whom was it due. 
He did not think the little he had so much his own as that 


his necessitous brethren might not claim a part in it ; and 
therefore gave them as if lie had been paying debts, and not 
bestowing alms. But of ail the most admirable was his af- 
fections to the souls of others, and his desire to do good to 
them. This indeed was most conspicuous, and seemed to 

Vehit inter Ignes 
Luna minores, 

JMuch like the JMoon appearing bigger, and shining brighter 
than the other stars. The sage Pythagoras, I remember, 
gave this very mystical but wise advice unto his scholars ; 
'EyK£(pa\ov /i>j eaOuiv, by no lueans to eat their own brains ; in- 
tending by it, as is conceived, that they should not keep 
their reason (of which the brain is an immediate instru- 
ment) unto themselves, but still employ it for the advan- 
tage of others. And sure this person did forbear to eat, but 
by his abstinence fed many others with his brains, that is, 
his enlightened, 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 jfirst (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, encoura- 
ging them to give attendance on his ministry, by a consider- 
able 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 re- 
lieving of their temporal wants) being to assist their souls, 
and help them forward in their way to heaven. And indeed, 
in all his converses, wherever he was, he was like fire (as 

Sallust was used to say of Athenodorus) Eldirrcjv iravra rawapa- 

KEiixEva; warmings refreshing, quickening all that were about 
him, and kindling in them the like zeal for God and good 
ness which he had iu himself. Whoever 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 compa- 
ny, and not to hear such things from him, as, if well 
weighed, might have been enough to make one out of con- 


ceit 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 prodest 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 carried him 
down into the country, where, how he demeaned and carried 
himself, let others speak. 


A brief character of him by that reverened 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 
recovery, and went about his house. On the morning be- 
fore he died, he rose 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 perceiving 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 : Concerning his son 
I shall speak. 

What he was, and what his temper and behaviour was, 
As a Man, 
As a Christian, 
As a Minister. 

I. ^s a J\Ian. 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. 

II. Jls a Christian. He was, for exemplary holiness, 
and heavenliness of mind and life, much elevated above the 
ordinary rank. He lived much in delightful communion 
with God ; his soul was greatly exercised in divine contem- 
plation ; and he would sometimes speak (to provoke others, 
whom he wished the same delights, to the same exercise) 
what ineffable pleasure, sweetness, and satisfaction his soul 
had found in his stated meditations on the Divine Attributes, 
distinctly one by one. In his discourses he would speak 
much and passionately to the commending and exalting of 
the divine goodness, and of the inexpressible dearness and 
tenderness of the divine love. In prayer he was not ordi- 
narily so much in confession or complaining of corruption 
and infirmities, though he expressed a due sense of these, as 
in the admiring and praising of God in his infinite glorious 
perfections, in the mention of his wonderful works, particu- 
larly of those wonders of his love revealed in Jesus Christ. 
In some of his letters to me, when he had been speaking of 
the grace and goodness of God to him, (of the sense whereof 
he would seem to be even quite swallowed up), he would 
break off in some such expressions as these, " I am full of 
the mercies of the Lord ; O love the Lord for me ; O praise the 
Lord for my sake ; O help me, help me to praise the Lord !" 

His whole life was adorned and beautified with the admi- 
rable lustre of his particular personal graces. 

1. He was a man of love. His sweet, .amicable, and court- 
eous converse was such as made him the delicicE* of his ac- 
quaintance, and made way for the entertainment both of 
his serious counsels and severer reproofs. He grew dear 
unto the saints that knew him, because 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 

* The delight. 


relations, to his friends, to strangers, to enemies, did evi- 
dently 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, where the 
people of his delight. His ardent longing for their souls, his 
rejoicing in their souls' prosperity, his bleedings and break- 
ings of soul under any of their falls or infirmities, his inces- 
sant labours among them, both publicly and from house to 
house, his frequent and affectionate letters to them when he 
was absent, his earnest desire 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 bu- 
ried there, that his bones might be laid with their bones, bis 
dust mingle with their dust") — these all declare how greatly 
they were in his heart. 

2. He was a man of courage. 1. He feared no dangers 
in the way of his duty, knowing that He that icalks vp' 
rightlij walks surely. In cases less clear, he was very in- 
quisitive to understand his way, and then he fixed without 
fear. 2. He feared not the faces of men ; but where occa- 
sion was, he was bold in admonishing, and faithful in re- 
proving ; which ungrateful 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 princi- 
ples 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 expres- 
sions, or mutinous and tumultuous actions against them. 

4. He teas 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 exem- 
plarily just in their dealings, and true in their words, to be 
wary in promising, and punctual in performing. Oh ! how 
often and passionately have I heard him bewailing the sins 
of promise-breaking and deceitful dealing, whereof such as 
he hath known to be guilty have understood, both by word 
and writing, how much his soul was grieved 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 beha- 
viour under sufferings of other kinds, his great weakness, and 
long languishing for some years together, and his constant se- 
renity, caUns, and quietness 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 luas 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, both 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 col- 
lection of the Fire in London, he gave publickly such a libe- 
ral proportion as he thought meet to be an example to 
others ; and, (as I came occasionally to understand,) lest it 
should be misjudged if he had been known to give more, he 
gave more than as much again secretly. He distributed 
much among his relations. His aged father and divers of 
his brethren, with their large families, being fallen into de- 
cay, he took great care for them all, and gave education to 
some, pensions to others, portions to 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 an- 
num, 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 considerably enlarged. He took great pains in 
journeyings abroad to many gentlemen, and other rich men 
in the country, to procure a standing supply for 'such JVon- 
conforming, ministers as were in want. 

7. He ivas of an active spirit. He went about doing 
good. As he was abundant and incessant in his labours in 
the congregation where he lived ; so wherever 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 tamilies into which he came, asking them questions, 
giving them counsel, and sometimes leaving them his counsel 
in writing. In his own family (which was great whilst his 
wife kept boarders) he was exceedingly industrious ; the 
gravity of his carriage, contempered with much sweetness 


and affability towards those young ones, begat in many of 
them the awe and love as of children 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 cheer- 
fully and frequently to him, being encouraged hereto by his 
familiar and winning carriage, his giving 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 not more practised among christians." 

8. He was of a liumble spirit. Though God had so ex- 
ceedingly 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 conde- 
scension 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 ten- 
derness of the least spark of that evil, than from any power 
it had upon him) replied to him (as I remember) 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 motions 
of that lust which he so much abhorred, 

HI. As a JMiiiister. He was settled in Taunton Mag- 
dalen, as an assistant to the Reverend Pastor there ; with 
whom, as a son with the father, he served in the gospel. I 
shall say nothing here, there being 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 firth frequently into seve- 
ral places about the country, amongst the poor ignorant 
people that live 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 


An account of his godly life and practice, and of the course of his Min- 
istry in Taunton, given by Mr. George Newton, the Reverend Pas- 
tor 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 singular ac- 
complishments, natural and acquired. His intellectuals 
solid, his memory strong, his affections lively, his learning 
much beyond the ordinary size. And above all, his holiness 
eminent, his conversation exemplary; in brief, he had a 
good head and a better heart. 

He spent a considerable part of his time in private con- 
verses with God and his own soul ; he delighted very much to 
perform his secret devotions 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 aflections led 
him, without such prudential considerations and restraints 
as would have been necessary in another place ; and 
that he might converse with God without any avocation or 

His conversation with others, was always mingled with 
heavenly and holy discourses ; he was ready to instruct, and 
to exhort, and to reprove ; which he never failed to do (when 
he thought it necessary) whatever the event might be : But 


he performed it usually with such respect, humility, tender- 
ness, 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 his 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 
than once constrain him to,) to call the people one by one 
into his chamber ; from whence, it was observed, that 
scarce any one returned with dry eyes. 

In matters of religion, and the first table, his strictness 
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 Monsieur de Renty (whose life he read often), 
and imitated some of his severities upon better grounds. 
How often I have 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 de- 
gree 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 behold 
and reap the fruit before he died. 

He had an eminently free and bountiful heart to his pow- 
er, and I may truly say, beyond his power ; yea, much be- 
yond 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 pro- 
clamation issued out, to put a stop upon their bounty, and 
it is added presently, so the people were restrained. Men 
universally 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 him- 
self from his own flesh, but was helpful to relations, as some 
of them have great reason to acknowledge. His charity be- 
gan at home, but it did not end there ; for he did good to all, 
(according to his opportunities) though especially to the 
household of faith. He considered the poor, he studied 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 irresis- 
tible vigour, and zeal, and activity, that they seldom proved 

He was a man of extraordinary condescension to the in- 
firmities of weaker brethren, as they that are most holy, and 
best acquainted with themselves, are wont to be : " In- 
structing those that were contrary minded in meekness ; if 
God perad venture would give them repentance to the ac- 
knowledging of the truth, restoring those who were over- 
taken with a fault, with the spirit of meekness." So deal- 
ing 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, captious, 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 
believed, 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 sufficiently mild in his judg- 
ment of others, he was severe enough in his judgment of 

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 determintions that they 
will hardly hold communion ; nay, scarce so much as a 
pleasing conversation 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 latitude that 
the apostle doth ; and so would freely and familiarly con- 
verse with those who were sound in the faith (as to the fun- 


damentals 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, strong, and faithful 
memory, a free expression (which was rather nervous and 
substantial, than soft *and delicate), and, which was best of 
all, a holy heart that boiled and bubbled up with good mat- 
ter. This furnished him on all occasions, not with warm 
atiections only, but with holy notions too. For his heart 
was an epistle, written, not v»'ith ink, but with the Spirit of 
the living God, and out of this epistle, he drew many ex- 
cellent 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 private. 

He was apt to preach and pray, most ready on all occa- 
sions to layout himself in such work, yea, spending himself 
in such work, when my sudden distemper 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 per- 
fectly to His assistance who had never failed him ; and so 
he readily and freely went about his work without distrac- 

He began upon a very considerable stock of learning, 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 diligent hand, so that he was behind 
in no good gift. He found that precious promise sensibly 
made good, to him that hath (for the use and good employ- 
ment) shall he given, and he shall have abtnidance. He 
had no talent for the napkin, but all for traffic, which he laid 
out so freely for his Master's use, that in 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 un- 
derstood whence he had them well enough, and so did f, 
even from above, whence every good and perfect gift pro- 
ceedeth : God blessed him in all spiritual blessirgs in hea- 
venly thing.s, 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 commandments ; he made histe and linger, 
ed not ; he did run, and was not weary : he did wall:, and 
was nat faint. He pressed hard towards the mark, till he 
attained it ; his race was short and swift, and his end glo- 

He was infinitely and insatiably greedy of the conversion 
of souls wherein he had no small success in the time of his 
ministry ; And to this end, he poured 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 vigour, 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 thereto deal par- 
ticularly (where he had a free reception) both with the gover- 
nors, and with the children, and with the servants of the 
household, instructing them especially in the great funda- 
mental necessary truths of the law, and of the gospel, where 
he observed them to be ignorant; gentle reproving them, 
where he found any thin^ amiss among them. Exhorting 
them to diligence, both in their general and particular call- 
ings, 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 ser- 
vants, if the governors were able ; by frequent 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 person, and so ac- 
cordingly 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, atlength came 
forth and called upon him to come to their families and 
help them. 

Thus he did wear himself away, and gave light and heat 
to others. He usually allowed himself too little sleep to re- 
cruit and to repair the spirits which he wasted with wak- 
ing. 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 watch- 
ings, constant cares, excessive labours in the work of his 
ministry, public and private, were generally apprehended to 
be the cause of those distempers and decays, and at last of 
that ill health 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 happiness to be acquaint- 
ed 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, both in public, and private by 
Mr. G. 

When he did catechise the greater sort in public, 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 Jlssembly^s Catechism to them, he was 
careful, not only to make them perfect in rehearsing the an- 
swers there set down, but also to bring them to a clear un- 
derstanding of the sense and meaning of the said answers- 
and of all the terms and phrases in which they are express- 
ed ; and to draw some practical useful inferences from those 
heads of divinity contained in them. Moreover, when any 
distinction was necessary for the clearing up of the matter 
in hand, he would also be instructing his Catechumens there- 
in. Now this he would do, by proposing several other col- 
lateral questions, besides those in the Catechism ; which 
questions, together with the answers to them, himself had 
before drawn up, and sent to them in writing. 

In the evening of the Lord's Day, his course was to repeat 


his sermon again, in the public place of worship, 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 

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 before, desiring that he 
might have admittance to their houses, to converse with 
them about their soul concerns, and that they would have 
their whole family together against he came. When he 
came, and the family were called together, he would be in- 
structing the younger sort in the principles of religion, by 
asking several questions in the Catechism, the answers to 
which, he would be opening and explaining to them. Also 
he would be inquiring 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 upon 
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 ex- 
plaining to their understandings, that they might have clear 
apprehensions about them, so he would be pressing the prac- 
tice of them upon their consciences, with the most cogent 
arguments and considerations, minding them of the great 
privileges they did enjoy, the many gospel sermons that they 
did or might hear, the many talents they were entrusted 
withal, and the great account 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 salvation. Besides, he would leave with them several 
counsels and directions to be carefully remembered and prac- 
tised 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 possibly he could, 
come to know the condition of each particular person in his 


flock, and address himself in his discourse as nnight be suit- 
able 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 be- 
fore 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 va- 
riation in his particular visits, as the various state and con- 
dition of the several families did require. If the family 
where he came where ignorant, he would insist the longer in 
instructing and catechising ; if loose, in reproving and con. 
vincing ; if godly, in encouraging and directing. 

He did use to spend five afternoons every week in such 
exercise, 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 preaching, if not more. When the ministers of 
this county of Somerset, at one of their Associations' which 
heretofore they held, were debating whether and how far it 
were incumbent upon them to set up private family instruc- 
tion in their particular charges, Mr. Alleiue was the man 
that they pitched upon for to draw up his reasons for that 
practice, together with a method for the more profitable man- 
agement of it. 

An Abridgement of what he drew itp, here follow eth : 

It being the unquestionable duty of all the ministers of 
the church of Christ, to take heed to all the flock over tchom 
the Holiest hath made them overseers ; and to teach and 
preach, not only publicly, but from house to house; not 



only takino: 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. Therefore 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 per- 
forming this duty, are either more general or more special ; 
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 ne- 
cessary, that we convince the people of the necessity 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 con- 
stant in observing 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 

1. The family being called together, we may if time and 
conveniency permit, begin with prayer. 2. The family con- 
sisting 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 ac- 
count of themselves before their superiors, though their su- 
periors would disdain to give an account before them ; and 
here it will be necessary to inquire into their knowledge, 
practice, states ; 

1. Their knowledge ; here we may examine what pro- 
gress they have rtiade in the principles of the doctrine of 
Christ, and try them in the Catechism. 2. What (hey do 
gain hy the public ministry, what they remember of the ser- 
mon last heard. 

2. Their jjractice ; in their duty towards God; where it 


may be useful to inquire, if they make couscience 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 *br the present help. 2. In the duties of their 
relations towards men; and if they be pressed to faithful- 
ness, diligence, uprightness, the duties they owe to those 
that were over them, it would be very convenient. 

3. Into their estates ; and here we may take an account 
of them, what they think of the state of their souls, shewing 
the paucity of them that are saved, the desperate deceitful, 
ness 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 inquiring 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 damnable estate. 2. 
The absolute necessity of conversion. 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 v/ord. 
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 carriage. 

Ill, The inferiors being thus dealt with, may be dismiss- 
ed to their several employments ; and then we may take oc- 
casion to discourse with the heads of the families, proceed- 
ing as prudence shall direct upon some of the foremeutioned 

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

2. VVe may press them to instruct and catechise their 

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 reformation. 

6. We should leave with them some few particulars 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 manner that 
may most prevail, and win upon their hearts. 

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

(2.) With prudence ; warning and teaching them in all 
wisdom, applying ourselves to the several cases and capaci- 
ties; — 1. To the rich in this world, shewing more respect 
as their places require, charging 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 v\ e must 
be more reverent, labouring to root out of them the love of 
the world, shewing them the dangerousness 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 meek- 
ness instructing those that oppose themselves ; bearing with 
their dulness, rudeness, and disrespectfulness ; waiting for 
their repentance. 

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

(5.) With zeal, as Apollos, fervent in spirit, teaching di- 
ligently 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 loose- 
ness, your ignorance, that I fear you are in an unconverted 

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

(8.) With humility ; "not lording it over God's heritage, 
but condescending to men of low estates." Nordisdaining 
to go into the houses of the meanest. 


IV. The sort of directions are more special, respecting 
the several sorts of our people, who may be ranked into four 
heads, the Ignorant, Profane, Formal, Godly. 

1. For the Ignorant. Our work with them will be. 

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

. (2.) To shew them the dangerous, yea, the damnable na- 
ture of ignorance. 

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

(4. ) To answer their carnal pleas for their ignorance, when 

2. For the profane ; it would be necessary to deal with 
them convincingly, shewing the certain damnation 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 godliness 
for the power. 

(2.) The undoing danger of resting in being almost a 

(3.) The most distinguishing differences between a hypo- 
crite 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 ful- 
ness of Christ; inquiring into their growth in grace ; quick- 
ening them to labour atler assurance ; to be steadfast in the 
faith; patient in suffering; diligent in doing the will of 
Chri.-it, zealous of good works, always abounding more and 

There is one thing more, in which his self-denial and other 
graces were very exemplary ; namely, his faithfulness in re- 
proving the miscarriages of professors, sparing none, whether 
high or low, whether ministers or private christians ; yea, 
although they had been never so dear in his affections, and 
never so obliging in their carriage to him, yet if he found in 
them any thing that was reproveable and blame- worthy, he 
would deal with them faithfully and plainly about it, what- 
soever 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 fa- 
miliar, " Well," says he, " I am going about that which is 




like to make a very dear and obliging friend to become an 
enemy. But, however, it cannot be omitted, it is better to 
lose man's 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 conscientious faithfulness to 
him, that he loved him the better ever after as long as he 

As to his judgment about the Arminian controversies, as 
far as I can perceive, who have discoursed with him about 
them, it was much what the same with Dr. Davenant's and 
Mr. Baxter's. 

He was a man of a very calm and peaceable spirit, one 
that loathed all tumultuous carriages and proceedings ; he 
was far from having any other design in his preaching, than 
the advancement of the kingdom of the Lord Jesus, by the 
conversion and salvation of souls. This was the mark that 
he had in his eye ; this was that for which he laboured, and 
ventured, and suffered, and for which he thought he could 
never lay out himself enough. 

Though he were but a young man, yet in his carriage he 
was exceeding serious and grave, and withal very humble, 
courteous and aflable, 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 differ- 
ing in judgment from him) but did highly approve of him. 
And for his brethren in the ministry here in these parts, 
such was his holy and discreet deportment amongst 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 effectually promote 
the honour of Christ, and the benefit of souls ; and whatso- 
ever 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 comfoi table and successful 


Of which projects, this is one which I shall here insert. 
Having considered how mnrh the conscientious 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 tiie 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 night, before they did take their rest, set about this 
duty ; and spend some time in secret, on purpose to call 
themselves to an account, how they had carried it that day, 
by proposing several questions to their own hearts, which 
questions he had referred to several heads, and drawn up for 
them in writing. 

And not a {ew 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. 


Psalm iv. 4. Commune with your Heaits upon your Beds, 

Every evening before you sleep (unless you find some 
Other time in the day more for your advantage in 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 interrogatories. 

For your Duties, 

Question 1. Did not God find 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. S. 9. 
Jer. xii. 2. 

3. Have not T neglected, or been very overly in the read- 
ing God's holy word? Deut. xvii. 19. Josh. i. 7. 8. 

4. Have I digested the sermon I heard lust? Have I 


repeated it over, and prayed it over? Luke ii. 19. 51. 
Psalm i. 2. and cxix. 6. 11. 97. 

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

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, unnecessary 
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. xi. 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, &c. Ephes. v. 22. to chap. vi. 9. Col. iii. 
18. to chap. iv. 2. 

For your Sins. 

Q. 1. 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 know or fear to be a sin ? 
Psalm cxix. 101. 104. 

For your Heart. 

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 thou<rhts ? 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. 

For my Tongue. 

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 
up ? Deut. vi. 6. 7. 

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. 

For your Table. 

Q. I. 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 ? Jude 12. 
2 Peter i. 6. 

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

4. Did not I mock with God when I pretended to crave 
a blessing, and return thanks ? Acts xxvii. 35. 39. Mat. 
XV. 36. Col. iii. 17. 23. 

For your Calling. 

Q. 1. Have I been diligent in the duties of my calling? 
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 trade ? 
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 questions 
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 repent- 
ance, and double your watch. 


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

4. Inquire whether yonr 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 grosv more 

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 Scuder's Daily Walk. 

6- Set your ends right for all the day. 

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


A full Narrative of his Life, (from his silencing till bis death,) by bis 
Widow, Mrs. Theodusia Alleine, in her own -words ; wherein 
is notably set forili with what patience he ran tlie race that was set 
befoie liiui, and fulfilled the Ministry that lie had received of the 

Before the Jlct 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 irom such 
advantages of saving souls, with any scruple upon his spirit 
in which, when he saw these clauses of assent and consent, 
and renouncing the covenant, he was fully 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 dubious matters : 
But seeing his way so plain for quitting the public station 
that he held, and being thoroughly |)ersuaded of this, that 
the ejection of the ministers out of their j)laces. did not dis- 
oblige 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 de- 
lay, he prosecuted ; for the Thursday after he appointed a 


solemn day of humiliation^ 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 professors to 
sutler, they seemed much aifrighted at the threatenings of 
adversaries ; so that there was not such an appearance at 
such opportunities as my husband 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 people 
waxed bold for the Lord and his gospel : And multudes 
flocked into the meeting, at whatsoever season they were, 
either by day or night ; which was a great encouragement 
to my husband, that he went on with much vigour and af- 
fection in his work, both of preaching, and visiting, and 
catechising, from house to house. 

He went also frequently into the villages and places 
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 w^ent, 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 justice's rage was much heightened 
against him, and he was often threatened and sougl:^t for ; 
but by the power of God, whose work he was delighted in, 
was preserved much longer out of their hands than he ex- 
pected. 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 favoured 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 banishment, where he was desirous I should attend him, 
as 1 was willing to do, it always having been more grievous 
to me to think of being absent from him, than to sufler with 

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 gospel there. 

It pleased the Lord to indulge him, that he went on in 
his work from Bartholomew-day till May the 26th after. 
Though oiten threatened, yet he was never interrupted, 
though the people of both town and country were grown so 


resokite, that they came in great multitudes, at whatever 
season the meeting was appointed, very seldom missing 
twice a Sabbath, and olten in the week. I know that he 
hath preached fourteen times in eij:ht days, and ten often, 
and six or seven ordinarily in these months, at home and 
abroad, besides his liequent converse with souls. He then 
laying aside all other studies which he formerly so much 
delighted in, because 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 gilts and grace, as did evidently appear, both in his 
doctrine and life ; he appearing to be more spiritual, and 
heavenly, and atiectionate than before, to all that heard him, 
or conversed with him. 

He was upon a Saturday in the evening, about six 
o'clock, seized on by an officer in our town, who would 
rather have been otherwise employed, as he hath often said, 
but that he was forced to a speedy execution of the warrant by 
a justice's clerk, who was sent on purpose to see it exe- 
cuted, 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 houses, which was 
about two miles from the town, but he desired liberty to stay 
and sup with his family first, supposing his entertainment 
there would be such as would require some refreshment : This 
would not be granted, till one of the chief of the tow^n was 
bound for his speedy appearance. His supper being prepared, 
he sat down, eating very heartily, and was very cheerful, but 
full of holy and 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, repair- 
ed to the justice's house, where they lay to his charge that he 
had broken the ^ct 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 August; and what he did was in his own 
family with those others 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 zeal, is such 
as would have justly advanced most of ^he ancient Fathers 
of the church to far greater renown, had they been but pos- 


sessed with the like ! Of whom indeed the world is not 
worthy. O ! how many of them am I constrained to re- 
member with joy for their great worth, and sorrow for their 
silence ! But though learning, holiness, wonderful ministe- 
rial skill, and industry, moderation, peaceableness, true Ca- 
tholicism, absolute dedication unto Christ, zeal, patience and 
perseverance, did not all seem sufficient to procure his min- 
isterial 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 enjoyeth ; 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 1 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, Jl call to ArchippuSy 
to persuade the silent Non- Conformists to pity souls, and to 
be faithful in the work to which they are devoted and con- 
secrated, 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 frequently declared himself in health and 
sickness, and most expressly in my hearing on his bed of 
languishing, when he was drawing near his long home. 
And that the people were not dislodged from attending upon 
their ministry, who were ejected out of their places, as his 
book entitled Jl call to Archippns 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 con- 
tented, but joyful to sufler for the name of Jesus and his 
gospel, which was so dear to him ; intimating, 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. 

Althouoh he was very suddenly surprised, yet none could 
discern him to be in the least moved. He pitied the condi- 
tion of his enemies, requesting for them, as the martyr Ste- 
phen did for those that stoned him. That God icotdd not lay 



this sin of theirs to their charge. The greatest harm that he 
did wish to any of them, was, That they might thoroughly he 
converted and sanctijied, and tliat their sotds might be saved 
in the day of the Lord Jesvs. 

He was very urgent with those that were unconverted, 
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 
miserable 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 year's 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 (.'ensuring 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 assembty^ 
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 threatenings, they were much enraged at him : 
they urged him much to accuse himself, which they seeing 
they could not bring him to, and having no evidence, as ap- 
peared after, yet did make his mittimus tor 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 re- 
member, 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 Uvo or three hours at the most, but he was up, spend- 
ing 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 da}^ in discoursing with the various companies that came 
flocking from the town and villages to visit him ; praying 
often with them, as he could be permitted. He was exceed- 
ing 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, notwithtsanding 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, and 
under that promise Christ makes to his, in the 5th of Mat- 
thew, 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, dil. 
igency, and courage, than before ; assuring them <' How 
sweet and cou)fortable 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 to 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 them, 
and theirs towards him, they took their larewell of each 
other ; a more affectionate 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 fol- 
lowed him a-loot 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 expres- 
sions, to encourage them. 

He carried his miitinms 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 ad- 
dition to his former crime. As soon as the gaoler came, he 
delivered his mitiimus, and was clapped up in the Bridewell 
chamber, which was over the common gaol. When he 
came to the prison, he found there Mr. John Norman, late 
minister 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, his constancy to his 
principles in the most wavering and shaking times, joined 
with an exemplary carriage 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 Quak- 
ers, which had all their lodgings in the same room, only 
parted with a mat, which they had done for a little more re- 
tirement. 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 ; 
which made it very irksome, the sun lying so hot on it all 
the day, and there being so many of them, and so much re- 
sort continually of t>iends, 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 bat a small gar- 
den, 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 ot" 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 die 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 Qua- 
kers, who would frequently 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 husband, 
than to most of them, because he always accustomed him- 
self, both in Oxford, and after, to spend his most secret 
hours abroad in bye-places, in the fields or woods. 

As soon as he came into the prison he preached and 
prayed : that he called the consecration of it. After he 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 com- 
pany 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 parti- 
tion, by some curtains, that so he might have some con- 
veniency for retirement. This was much comfort to him, 
and after a few weeks, but 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 bin-* 
der him. 

Their diet was very good and sufficient, and sometimes 
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 aliout the coun- 
try ; and multitudes came to visit them, it being a strange 
sight to see ministers laid in such a place. Their friends 
were exceedingly 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 vvas forced to take 
much of" the night for his studies and secret converse with 

Thus he with my brother Norman and his company, 
with their fellow prisoners, continued in that place lor four 
months, being tossed from Sessions to Assizes. On the 
14th of July following, he was 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 constant 
practice of the court, that if a prisoner be indicted and no 
bill found, he is freed by proclamation. But, however, my 
husband was sent to prison again until the assizes ; and to 
his friends that earnestly 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 : " That he, upon the 17th 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, rontons, and seditious assemblies, he did abhor 
them with his heart, and of these he was not guilty." At 
last he was found guilty by the Petty Jury ; and was sen- 
tenced by the judge to pay a hundred marks, and to lie in 
prison till payment should be made. Sentence being pro- 
nounced against him, he only made this brief reply : " That 
he was glad that it had appeared before his country, that 
whatsoever he was charged with, he was guilty of nothing 
but doing his duty; and that all did appear by the evidence, 
was only that he had sung a psalm, and instructed his fa- 
milyj others being there, and both in his own house : And 


that if nothing that had been urged would satisfy, he should, 
with all ch erfuliiess 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 continued 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 
summer, (there being no chimney in the whole chamber.) 
which with some dithculty they obtained ; and then had 
more comfortable accommodation in all respects. 

Here they had very great meetings, week-days, and Sab- 
bath-days, and many days of humiliation and thanksgiving. 
The Lord's day 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 further- 
ance 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, en- 
titled A call to Archippns, to stir his Non-conforming bre- 
thren to be diligent at their word, whatsoever dangers and 
sufferings they might meet withal : And because he could 
not go to his flock, he had prepared for them, The Synopsis 
of the Covenant, which was after placed into one of my 
father's books. 

And for the help of the governors of families, in their 
weekly catechising those nnder 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 gracious, 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 underweut for the sake of the gos- 
pel, could neither remit his zeal, nor abath his activity for 
God ; but he would gladly embrace all opportunities of do- 
ing Him service. The minister who was appointed to 


preach at certain times to the felons in the prison, being by- 
sick ness disabled lor that work, he freely performed that 
office among them, as long as he was permitted ; earnestly 
exhorting them by repentance towards God and faith to- 
wards onr Lord Jesns Christ, to secure the eternal welfare 
of their souls ; freely bestowing upon ihem, 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 in Ilchester and country adjacent: freely bestow- 
ing catechisms 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 es- 
pied any thing in any of them, that did not become the gos- 
pel, for which they suffered. 

H re, as elsewhere, 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 consider- 
able part of the morning in meditation and prayer, and then 
falling close to his study, in some corner or other of the pri- 
son, where he could be private. At times, he would spend 
near the whole night in these exercise, not putting off his 
clothes at all, only taking the repose of an hour or two in 
his nightgown 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 practices, which, 
by reason of their age, or temper, calling, 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 lal)our to encourage 
the timorous and faint-hearted, by his own and others' ex- 
perience of the mercy and goodness of God in prison, which 
was far beyond what they could have thought or expected. 
He was a careful observer of that rule of the Lord Jesus, 
(Mat. v. 44.) "Love your enemies, bless them that curse 
you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that 
despitefully use you and persecute you." It was none of his 


practice to exclaim against those that were the greatest in- 
struments of his sLifrerings. 

In all his imprisonment, at presant, I could not discern 
his he ilth to be the least impaired, notwithstanding his abun- 
dant lahours ; but cannot but suspect, as the physicians 
judged, that he had laid the foundation for that weakness 
which sundenly 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 preserve his liberty 
among his people, who had no minister that had the over- 
sight of them, though some carne 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 re- 
solved 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 minis- 
ters were withdrawn ; and to be much in the work of praises 
and thanksgiving to God, rejoicing and delighting them- 
selves in him; and with cheerfulness and readiness, denying 
themselves for him, and resigning themselves, and all they 
did enjoy, to him ; letting the world know, they could live 
comfortably on a God alone, on his attributes and promises, 
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 designs 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 ordi.iance, was 
so disabled, that he was not able to perform the great and 
chief work, though he did adventure to preach, but w ith 
much injury to himself, because he would not wholly dis- 
appoint the people, who came so far as many of them did ; 
"VVith much difficulty, 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 around 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 natural 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 could 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 lite 
seemed to draw to an end. But the Lord did so bless the 
means, t lat he recovered out of his distemper, after two 
months' time, but so lost the use of his arms from October 
till April, that he could not put off nor on his clothes, 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 prevailed with, but did go on once and some- 
times twice a Sabbath, and in his private visiting all that 
winter ; in the spring, the use of his arms returned, tor 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 Wilt- 
shire, 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 obtained, 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 utm.ost 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, w^hich 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 pre- 
vented in that, by his weakness increasing 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 of- 
ten out for him ; and he was so far from being disfuibed 
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 cheerfulness say, " They could not do him 
a greater kindness." But the Lord was yet pleased to pre- 
serve him from their rage, seeing him not then fit for the 
inconveniences of a prison. 

The Five JSlile ^5c/ coming in force, he removed to a 
place called Wellington, which is reckoned five miles from 
Tauuton, to a dyer's house, in a very obscure place, where 
he preached on the Lord's-days, as he was able. But the 
vigilant eyes of his old adversaries were so watchful over 
him, that they soon found him out, and resolved to take him 
theuce, and had put a warrant into the constable's hand to 
apprehend 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 mile from Taunton, who had 
long Solicited him 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 ear- 
nest, 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 unsettled,) 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 inti- 
mately 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, com- 
forts, or reproofs, as their conditions called for; dealing 
with all that were capable, both governors and others parti- 
cularly, acquainting them faithfully and most afiectionately, 
what he had seen amiss in any of them. 

fie went from no house that was willing to part with him ; 
nor had he opportunity to answer the requests of half that 
invited us to their houses. So that he would often bless 
God, and say with holy 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 ex- 
ceedingly taken with God's mercy to him, in Mr. Mallack's 
entertaining him and me so bountifully ; the house, and 
gardens, aud 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 he did as Dives, 
fare de'.iciously every day : But he hoped he should im- 
prove it better than he did, and that God had inclined him 
to take care for many poor, and for several of his brethren 
la the ministry ; and now God did reward him, by not suf- 
fering him to be at the least expense 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 

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 Taun- 
ton, met together to take their leave of him before his de- 
parture, at the house of Mr. Malhck, then living about a 
mile out of the town. Where, after they had been a while 
together, came two justices, and several other persons attend- 
ing them, brake open the doors by force, (though they might 
have unlatched them if they had pleased,) and with 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 at- 
tendance, were all convicted of a conventicle, and sentenced 
to pay three pounds a-piece, or to be committed to prison 
threescore days. Of the person thus convicted, but few 
either paid their fines, or suffered their friends to do it for 


them. My husband, with seven ministers more, and forty 
private persons, were committed to the prison of llchester. 
\Vhen 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 confine- 
ment. 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 oltener, though there were eight oi' them there together, 
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 opportu- 
nity of instructing, and watching over them, for their spi- 
ritual good : yet he was not forgetful of the rest that were 
left behind, but would frequently visit them also by his let- 
ters, full of serious 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 en- 
joyed 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 sufTerers) you 
may clearly see by those parting counsels that he gave them 
that morning, that they were delivered, 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 followeth : 

Mr. Joseph Alleine's Exliortaiion to his Fellow-sufferers, 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 to- 
gether. To you that are prisoners, I shall speak something 
by way of exhortation, and something by way of dehorta- 


By way of Exhortation. 

First. Rejoice with trembling in your prison-comfortg, 
and see that you keep them in a thankful remembrance. 
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 lor mercies so many and 
so great. Receive these choice mercies with a trembling 
hand, for fear lest you should be found guilty of misimprov- 
inij 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 shall now go 
home, as so many trumpets, to sound forth the praises of 
God, when you come among your friends. There is an ex- 
pression (Psal. Ixviii. IL) TAe Lord gave the word, great 
was the company of them that published it : So let it be said 
of the praises of God now. Great icas the company of tliem 
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 1 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 the 
cages, till they had learned sundry sweet and artificial tunes ; 
and vvhen 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 plea- 
sant 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 learn- 


ed 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 find 
Callis on her heart." 1 hope that men shall find by you 
hereafter, that the prison is upon your heart, Ilchester is 
upon y-our heart. 

Secondly. Feed and feast your faith upon prison-experi- 
ences. Do you 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 experience that your faith must live upon, 
till faith be turned into vision. Learn dependence upon God, 
and confidence in God, by all the experiences that you have 
had here. Because thou hast been my help, (saith the 
Psalmist,) therefore umlev the shadow of thy wing will [re. 
joice. Are you at a loss at any time 1 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 stripped ; and yet 
God hath provided for them. Thus hath the Lord been 
pleased to furnish us with arguments 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 ? Brethren, 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, have 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 purpose 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 sickness 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 mistaken 1 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 lov- 
ing-kindness ] W'hat, 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 1 Far be this irom 
you, brethren ; you must not only exceed the Publicans, but 
the Pharisees too ; therefore, surely you must love Him that 
loveth you. 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 unworthy 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 ex- 
periences 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 loveth our nation, say they, and hath 
built us a synago^-ne. So I may say here. He hath loved 
you, andpoured out his bounty upon you. How many friend- 
ly 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. 

Fourtlily, 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 some- 
thing of it be kept. Do not forget all the sermons that you 
have heard here : that you would labour to repeat them 
over, to live them over ! You have had such a stock that 
you may live upon, and your friends too, if you be commu- 
nicative, a great while together. If any thing have been 
wanting, time for the digesting hath been wanting. See 
that you well chew the cud ; and see that you especially re- 
member 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 remember 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 remembrance might be writ- 
ten upon your hearts, written as with the 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 the fabric, that his name was written in the 
midst, that if any went to take that out, the whole fabric 
was dissolved." So the name of Jesus should be written 
upon the substance of your souls, that they should pull asun- 
der, 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 ano- 
ther. Love is lovely, both in the sight of God and men, 
and if by your imprisonment you have profited in love, then 
you have made an acceptable proficiency. 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 conie 
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 Christians should be more dear to each 
other, than they were before. We have eaten and drunk 
together, and lived in our Father's love in one faujily to- 
gether ; 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 those unit- 
ing feasts, engage you to love one another. 

Sixthly. Let present indulgence tit you for future hard- 
ships, 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 1 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 

Affliction doth but now play and sport with you, rather 
than bite you ; but do you look that affliction should here- 
after fasten its teeth on you to purpose : And do you look 
that the hand that hath now gently 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 after- 
ward 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 ike he- 
ginning of sorrow ? I cannot say so ; for the Lord hath 
made it a place of rejoicing. This is but the entrance of 
our affliction ; but you must look, that when you are trained 
up to better perfection, God will put your faith to harder ex- 

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 in- 
sensible but some of you are here to very great disadvan- 
tage, as to your affairs in the world, having left your busi- 
ness 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 (ind at your return, that as 
much as your affairs are gone backward, and behindhand, 


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 i^ is in 
the prophet Isaiah Ix. 1, Arise, and shine. JS^ow let your 
light shine before men, that others may see your good icorks, 
and glorify your Father ichich is in heaven. It is said of 
those preachers beyond sea, — that have been sent into Kng- 
land, and here reaped the benefit of our English practical 
divinity, — at their return, they have preached so much bet- 
ter than they had wont to do, that it hath been said of them, 
Apparuit hunc fuisse in Anglici.* So do you my brethren : 
Live so much better than you had wont, that when men 
shall see the chan^fe in yoar lives, they may say of you, 
Jlpparuit hunc fuisse in Custodid.-f 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 husbands, better masters, better fa- 
thers, study to do more than you have done this way, and 
to approve yourselves better in your family-relations than 
you did before ; that the saviour of a prison may be upon 
you in all companies ; then will you praise and please the 

JSlnthly, and lastly. See that you walk accurately, as 
those that have the eyes of God, angels, and men, upon you. 
My brethren, you will be looked upon now with very curi- 
ous 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 ivay of Dehoviation 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 great mer- 

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


cies to you. Do not you so far forget the rule of Christ, as 
when you come home, to he setting your mouths to talk 
against those that have injured you. Remember the com- 
mand of your Lord, Bless them that curse you^ pray for them 
that despiiejully 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 (jrod for the good we have received by them. 

Secondly. Let not the humble acknowledgement of God's 
mercy deaenerate into proud, vain-glorious boasting, or car- 
nal triumph. I beseech you, see that you go home with a 
great deal of fear upon your spirits in this respect, lest pride 
should get advantage of you, lest instead of humble acknow- 
ledging 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 mercy, 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 once. 

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, nor declining 
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 dis- 
trust 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 judg- 
ment 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 circumstances 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 unmindful to your brethren ; but bless God that 
hath directed you into a better way. Your charity must 


grow higher than ever : God forbid that you should in- 
crease iu 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 us. 

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

You know how good God hath been to us in spirituals 
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 how 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 al- 
ready, but this is but the least ; we look for a kinadom. 

Secondlij 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 im- 
prisonment ; 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 sa- 
crament among them frequently. 

But going up to the waters in July 1667, they had a con- 
trary 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 decayed his strength exceedingly, so that 
he seemed very near death. But the Lord then again re- 
voked the sentence passed upon him, and enabled him in 
six weeks to return again to his people, where he much de- 
sired 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 Dr. Lose, a very 
worthy and reverened physician, from whom he had receiv- 
ed many medicines, but never conversed with him, nor had 
seen him, which he conceived might conduce more to his 
full cure. 

The doctor soon perceiving my husband's weakness, per- 
suaded 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 occasion ; which motion was readily yield- 
ed unto by us. 

But we had not been there above five days, before the use 
of all his limbs were 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 lie 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 16th, 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 com^plain- 
ing, but always praising and admiring God for his mercies ; 
but his spirits were so low, that he spake seldom, and very 
softly. He still told us he had no pain at all ; and when his 
friends admired his patience he would say, " God had not 
yet tried him in anything, 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 
his weakness," he would answer. " He had not those rav- 
ishing joys that he expected, and that some believers did par- 
take of; but he had a sweet serenity of heart, and confidence 
in God, grounded on the promises of the gospel, and did be- 
lieve it would be well with him to all eternity." 

Ill all this time, I never heard one impatient word from 


him ; nor could, upon the strictest observation, discern the 
least discontent with this state ; though he was a pitilul ob- 
ject 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 spirit, that he lay as if he had endured nothing ; 
breakiiig out often most affectionately in commending the 
kindiiess 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 uncomfortable; yet were fearful to 
impose ourselves on any private house. But necessity en- 
forcing, we did inquire for a chamber, but could not pro- 
cure 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, or 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 accepted of; where we were so accommodated, 
as we could not have been any where else in the town, es- 
pecially 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 servant nor friend 
near me ; we being so unsettled, I kept none, but had al- 
ways 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 visited 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 want- 
ed neither tbod nor physic, having not only for necessity, 
but for delight ; and he did much delight himself in 
consideration of the Lord's kindness to him in the love 
he received, and would often say, 1 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 strengthening me, that I was every 
night (all these weeks in the depth of winter) one that helped 
to turn him, never lying out ol" 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 sleeping at all in the night, in all 
these weeks. Though his tender affections were snch, as 
to have had me sometimes lain in another room, yet 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 receive ; by which I discerned it was most grateful 
to him, and therefore to me. And I never found any 
want of my rest, nor did I get so much as cold all that win- 
ter, 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 especially that win- 
ter ; 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 I8th. 
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 Feb- 
ruary he was able, with a litUc help, to walk in the streets ; 
but not to feed himself, nor to go up or down stairs without 
much help. 

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 cheerful countenance said : The Lord 
hath 'riveiiy and the Lord hath taken, and blessed be the 
name of the Lord. 

Being asked by a friend, how he could be so well con- 
tented 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 inheritance. Shall I not be contented 
without limbs arid health 1 Through grace I am fully satis- 
fied with my Father's pleasure " 

To another that asked him the same, he answers, "I have 
chosen God, and he is become mine, and 1 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 

His friends (some of Taunton) 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 rejoices my heart to see your 
faces, and to hear your voices, though I cannot speak as 
heretofore to you ! Methinks [ am now like old Jacob, 
with all his sons 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 answered for me in many 
ways ; the Lord return them into your own bosoms ! My friends, 
life is mine, death is mine ; in that covenant I was preach, 
ing of to you, is all my salvation and all my desire ; al- 
thouoh my body do not prosper, I hope through 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 whi^h are everlasting, that will stand by us : No- 
thing but God in them will stead us in a day of affliction. 

" My dear friends, I feel the power of those doctrines I 
preach to you on my heart : Now the doctrines of faith, of 
repentance, of self-denial, of the covenant of grace, of con- 



tentment and the rest : O that you would live them over, 
DOW I cannot preach to you ! 

" It is a shame tor a believer to be cast down under afflic- 
tions, that hath so many glorious privileges, — ^justification, 
adoption, sanctification, and 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 believers, trample 
this dirty world under your feet ; be not taken with its com- 
forts, 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, " '1 he 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, make you perfect in every 
good work to do his 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 beseech you and them if I 
never see your faces more, go home and live over what I 
have preached to you, and the Lord provide tor you when I 
am gone. O 1 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, the spake 
thus to them, '' ! my friends, let your whole conversation 
be as becotnes the gospel of Christ ; whether 1 am present 
or absent, live to what I have spoken to you in the name of 
the Lord. Now I cannot preach to you, let my wasted 
strength, my useless linjbs, be a sermon to you : Behold 
me, I cannot move a finger; all this is come upon me for 
your sakes, and the gosj)el ; it is for Christ and yon that I 
have thus spent out myself. I am afraid of you, lest some 
of you, after all that 1 have spoken to you, should be lost in 
the \» orld. There are many |)rofessors who can pray well, 
and talk well, whom we shall iind at the left hand of Christ 
another day. You have your trades, your estates, your re- 
lations ; be not taken with these, but with God. O live on 


him I for the Lord's sake go home, and take heed of the 
world, worldly cares, worldly comforts, worldly friends, &c." 
saying thus, 

" The Lord having given authority to his ministers 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 expressions of his love to them and the 

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, 

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

" 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 pre- 
judicial to him, persuaded him to remove to Mr. Mallack's 
house, which he was again invited to, and most courteously 

And thus he continued increasing in strength, till the be- 
ginning of April ; and then he began to decline again, and 
was taken after some days with convulsion fits, as he sat in 
his chamber one afternoon, and had three or four more fits 
that night. But in 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 importunity 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 seeing, 
did conclude (though it were grievous to me, that, under such 
weakn>ess, 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 lor 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, feared 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 
expecting death, saying often to me and his friends, '^ It is 
but a puff, and I am gone." And therefore would, every 
night, after he hnd been at prayer, bid all the family fare- 
well, telling them. He mi^ht 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 shall shortly be in another bed, therefore it is good to 
mind it, and provide for it apace ; lUrevvell, 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 expectation, so far 
recovered, that we had no fears of his relapsing again. His 
appetite and rest, and all repaired. 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 heretotbre at Dor- 
chester, 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 himself, myself and friends 
weeping by him ; at last he spake to us with a very audible 
voice, " Weep not 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 hold 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 i'ew 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 
vitjlent tits went off about twelve o'clock, and he revived ; 
but had no sense to converse with us till the next day, nor 
did he perfectly recover them four days after, 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; acquai: ting 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 ap- 
pear 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 forty 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 plasters before, 
he resolved, against their judgment, to adventure 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 not endure to look to-, 
wards 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, except his drinking of goat's milk, he that 
was not able to go nor s'and, nor move a finger, could in 
three weaks' time walk about his chamber and feed himself. 
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 inclina- 



tion to his fits, from tlie twelfth of May till his death drew 

Ill 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, discerned 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 before. Fori 
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, before he took him hence. 

He being now more cheerful than formerly, and more ex- 
ceecliugly 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. Fair- 
clough aad 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 converses, what- 
ever he was put upon, either by scholars, or those that were 
more inferior. He had many visiters 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 passages 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 vvould make a scoff at religion, or holy 
discourse from others, vvould hearken to him. Though he 
did often faithfully reprove many for their oaths, and excess 
in drinking, their lascivious carriages, which he observed in 
the Bath ; and there was none of them but did most thank- 
fully 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 God." The vilest of these 


persons, as T 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 dii^nity, 
that they said, " they could not but accept his reproofs, 
though very close and plain :" And his way was, some- 
time before he intended to reprove them, he would often in 
the Bath converse with them, of thi?igs that might be faking 
with them; and did so engage their affections, that they 
would willingly every day converse with him : He, being 
furnished from his former studies /or any company^ design- 
ing to use it still for holy ends, by such means hath caught 
many souls. 

While he was in this place, though he had many diver- 
sions, by his using the Bath constantly every day, and his 
frequent visits, besides his weakness, yet he kept his con- 
stant 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 be- 
fore 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 employed for his Lord 
and Master. His chairmen, that 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 necessities 
required ; engaging those that were teachers and governors, 
to teach the Assembltfs 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 fortnioht, 
what progress they had made. He also engaged several to 
send their children once a week to him to be catechised ; 
which ihey 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 instructions, till some took such 


offence at it, that he was forced to desist, and the school- 
master was threatciied to be cited to Wells before the Bishop, 
and many others aifrighted from it. 

lie also sent for all the godly poor he could find in that 
place, and entertained them at his chamber, 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. Fair- 
cloLigh, Mr. How, and himself, performing the duties of the 

Thus thouofh his sickness had been long, and his expenses 
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 com- 
fortable 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 children should have it." 

But he was yet again designing what he might do before 
he took his leave of the world : And his next work was, to 
send letters to all his relations and intimate 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 not, by reason of his weakness, write a 

At this time he had a great desire to go to Mr. Joseph 
Barnard's, vhich was about five miles from Bath, there to 
finish his last W( rk for God ihat ever he did on earth ; which 
was to promote the exercise of catechising in Somersetshire 
and Wiltshire. Mr. Barnard having had a great deliver- 
ance as well as himself, he proposed this to him as their 
thank-offering to God, which they would jointly tender to 
Him. 1 hey had engaged one another, to give so much for 
the printing of six thousand of the Assemhltfs Catechism, 
and among other friends, to raise some nioney, for to send 
to every miiister that would engage in the work, and to give 
to the children for their encouragement in learning : This 
work was finished by Mr. Barnard, after my husband was 
gone to rest. 


He finding himself to decline again, apprehended it was 
for want of using the Bath, and therefore desired to return, 
and I being fearful he should ride home, seeing some symp- 
toms of his fits, sent for the horse-litter, and ao 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, (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 hmself, but concealed it from me, as I 
heard after : For some friends coming to visit him, he de- 
sired 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 thechamher from him, 
except once while those friends were with him. After we 
had dined, he was, in more than ordinary manner, trans- 
ported with affection towards me; which he expressed, by 
his returning me thanks for all my pains and care for tiim 
and with him, and putting up many most atiectionate requests 
for me to God, belbre 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 — " VVell, now, my dear heart, 
my companion in all my tribulations and afflictions, I 
thank thee for all thy pains and labours for me, at home and 
abroad, in prison and liberty, in health and sickmess ;" 
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 for me, that " he would requite me, 
and never forget me, and fill 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 

After this he desired me to seek 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 JMeditations 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 replied. He knew not ; in a few days I icould see ; ai d 
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 vtry strong convulsion : Which I 
being mueh affrighted at, called for help, and sent for the 
doctors ; used all former and others means, but no success 
the Lord was pleased to give then to any : But they con- 
tinued 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 besought the Lord, that if it were his plea- 
sure he wo; Id 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 an- 
swered 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 sixteen hours 
together, those and such like words as you formerly had ac- 
count 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 departed. 

About three in the afternoon he had, as we perceived, 
some conflict with Satan ; for he uttered these words : 
" Avay, thou foul fiend, thou enemy of all mankind, thou 
subtle sophister ! Art thou come now to molest me, now I 
am just going? Now I am so weak, and death upon me? 
Trouble me not, for 1 am none of thine ! I am the Load's ; 
Christ is mine, and I am his ; his by covenant ; I have 
sworn myself to be the Lord's, and his I will be ; There- 
fore begone !" These last words he repeated often, which 
I took much notice of, " That his covenanting with God 
was the means he used to expel the devil and all his temp- 

The time we were in Bath, I had very few hours alone 
with him, by reason of his constant using the bath, and visits 


of friends from all parts thereabouts, and sometimes from 
Taunton ; and when they were gone, he would be either re- 
tiring to God, or to his rest: but what time 1 had with him, 
he always spent in heavenly and profitable discourse, speak- 
ing much of the place he was going to, and his desires to be 
gone. One morning as I was dressing him, he looked up 
to Heaven and smiled, and I urging hiin to know whv, he 
answered me thus, '• Ah, my love ! I was thinking of my 
marriage day ; it will be shortly. Oh what a joyful day 
will that be ! Will it not, thinkest 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 shall need 
no meat, nor drink, nor clothes." 

When he looked on his weak consumed hands, he 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 resurrection 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 ! come let us make 
haste ; our Lord will come shortly, let us prepare. If we 
long to be in Heaven, let 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 looking after? 
I care not to be in it longer than while my Master hath 
either doing or swffering-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, rusurrection, 
ascension, and his second coming ; the thoughts of which 
he seemed always to be much ravi.-hed with. 

He would be frequently reckoning the choice tokens 
Christ had sent him, which I remember he would frequent, 
ly reckon up, I. The pardon of sin. 2. A patent for Hea- 
ven. 3. The gift of the Spirit. 4. The robe of his righte- 
ousness. 5. The spoils of enemies. 6. The charter of all 
liberties and privileges. 7. The guard of his angels, '1 he 
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 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 for me 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 con- 
verses 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 con- 
versed with him, but would acknowledge it was to their ad- 

At my husband's first coming to Taunton, he was enter- 
tained by Mr, Newton as a sojourner, and after he was or- 
dained in Taunton in a public association meeting, he ad- 
ministered all ordinances jointly with him ; though he 
were but an assistant, Mr. Newton w^ould have it so, who 
dearly loved him, and highly esteemed of him ; and seeing 
him restless in his spirit, and putting himself to many te- 
dious journeys to visit me (as he did once a fortnight, 
twenty five miles), he persuaded him to marry, contrary to 
our purpose ; we resolving to have lived much longer sin- 
gle. The 4th of October, 1655, after a year and two 
months' acquaintance, our marriage was consummated. 

And we lived together with Mr. Newton near two years, 
where we were most courteously entertained ; and then, 
hoping to be 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 be- 
ing 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 cate- 
chised, which was constantly once, if not twice a week. Of 
every chapter that was read he expected an account, and of 
every sermon, either to hiuiself or me. He dealt with them 
and his servants 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, who knew uot 
so well what was to be preferred. 

His Lord's-days work was great, for though he preached 
but once in his 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 repeti- 
tions in public, as well as catechising, his own family came 
all in their turns, to answer in the congregation, both scho- 
lars 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 1 O 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 v\a3 
so taken up, that I could have but very little converse with 

His love was expressed to me, in his great care for me, 
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 employed for him ; and that 
often it was hard for him to deny himself to be so long ab- 
sent." It was irksome to him to make a meal without me, 
nor would he manage any affair almost without conversing 
with me, concealing 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 not 
endure to hear of, especially in good men. 



He was a faithful reprover of any thing he saw amiss in 
me, which I took as great evidence of his real good-will to 
my soul ; and if in any thing he gave me offence, which was 
but seldom, so tar 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 1 was ready to 
do to him, as there was far more reason ; by which course, 
if any ditierence did arise, it was soon over with us. 

lie was a very tender master to his servants, every way 
expressing it to their souls and bodies, giving them that en- 
couragement in their places they could desne ; expecting 
from his whole family that respect and obedience to his com- 
mands, which their rule required ; reproving them that were 
careless and negligent in observing them. 

He was frequent in keeping solemn days of humiliation, 
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 

All the time of his health, he did rise constantly at or be- 
fore four of the clock, and on the Sabbath sooner, if he did 
wake. He would be much troubled if he heard any smiths, 
or shoemakers, or such tradesmen, at work at their trades, 
betbre he was in his duties with God ; saying to me often, 
" O how this noise shames me! Doth not my Master deserve 
more than theirs V From four till eight he spent in prayer, 
holy contemplations, 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 lor every hour 
in the day. Having refreshed himself a while after dinner, 
he used to retire to his study to prayer, and go abroad among 
the families he was to visit, to whom he always sent the 
day before ; going out about two o'clock, and seldom return- 
ing till seven in the evening, sometimes later. He would 
often say, " Give me a christian that counts his time more 
precious than gold." His work in his public ministry in 
Taunton being to preach but once a Sabbath and catechise, 


he devoted himself much to private work, and also catechis- 
ed once a week in public besides, and repeated the sermon 
he preached on the Sabbath day, on Tuesday in the even- 

He found much difficulty in going from house to house, 
because it had not been practised a long time by any minis- 
ter 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 en- 
abled him to exercise. For after he had preached up in pub- 
lic the ministers' duty to their people, and theirs to receive 
them when they came to them for their spiritual advantage, 
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 mioht not 
be absent, and that he might understand who was willing to 
receive him. These that sent slight excuses, or did obsti- 
nately refuse his message, he would notwithstanding go to 
them, and if (as some would) they did shut their doors 
against him, he would speak some few affectionate 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 expressions 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 beiuiif of an 
exact and curious temper : Yet would he, with joy and 
freedom, 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 otherwise, to be 
too hard for him, fearing often he would bring himself to dis- 
tempers 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 1 "What is a candle for, 
but to be burnt?" And he would say, " I was like Peter, 
still crying, O 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 

He was exceeding temperate in his diet ; though he had 
a very sharp appetite ; yet he did at every meal deny him- 
self, being persuaded that it did much conduce to his health. 
His converse at his table was very profitable, and yet plea- 
sant, never rising, either at home or abroad, without drop- 
ping something of God, according to the rule he laid down 
to others. He was very much in commending and admir- 
ing the mercies of God in every meal, and still so pleased 
with his provision for him, that he would often say, " he 
fared deliciously 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 voluptuous life ; but, blessed be God, it is 
upon spiritual dainties, such as the world know not, and 
taste not of." 

He were 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 far 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 was but few, if any, poor families, especially of 
the godly, in Taunton, but he knew their necessities, 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 and 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 bre- 
thren were turned out, he gave four pounds a-year himself 
to a public stock for them, by which he excited many others 
to do the same and much more, which else would never have 
done it : And on any other occasions as did frequently fall 
in, he would eive 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 necessities of his own father, and many other 
relations, were still calling upon him, and he was open-hand- 
ed to them all : So that it hath been sometimes even incred- 
ible to ourselves to consider how much he did, out of a lit- 
tle estate, and therefore may seem strange to others. More- 
over, when he had received any more than ordinary mercy 
at the hand of God, his manner was to set apart some con- 
siderable 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 re- 
pay him ; that by liberal things he should stand, when 
others might fall that censured him ; that if he sowed spar- 
ingly, he should reap so ; if bountifully, he should reap 

And I must confess I did often see so much of God in 
his dealings with us, according to his promises, that I have 
been convinced and silenced ; God having often so strange- 
ly and unexpectedly provided for us : And notwithstand- 
ing all he had done, he had at least somewhat to dispose of 
to his relations and to his brethren, besides comfortable 
provision for me. 

Thus his whole life was a continual sermon, holding 
forth evidently the doctrines he preached ; humility, self-de- 
nial, patience, meekness, contentation, faith, and holy con- 
fidence shining in him, with most dear love to God, and 
his church, and people ; and where he longed and pant- 
ed 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 earth. 





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

The Narrative of his most constant, tender, compassionate dealing with 
ignorant and bad people, in the places vvliere 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, " Another week is now before us, let us spend 
this week for God." And in the morning he would say, 
*' Come now, let this day he spent tor God. JNow let us 
live this one day well : Could we resolve to be more than 
ordinary circumspect but for one day at a time, and so on, 
we might live at extraordinary rate." In the day time, he 
would (seasonably) ask people. " How did you set out to 
day 1 Hid 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 what ever did occur ; and still his lips 
did drop like the honeycomb 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 vaniiy of the world, he said, " It is as 
good to be without the world, and to bear that state as be- 
seemeth a christian, as to enjoy the world, though it were 
never so well employed. If a man hath riches, and 1 lyeth 
them out for God and for his servants, yet is it as happy a 
state, to receive alms of another, so wc 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 re- 

Another time he was saying, " How necessary a duty it 
is for a child of God placidly to suit with all God's dispen- 
sations ! And that a christian must not only quietly sub- 
mit to God in all his dealings, but ever to be best pleased 
with what God doth, as knowing that he is infinitely wise 
and good. And, ! how unbecoming a christian is it to do 
otherwise!" To which one answering, '* How short we 
ordinarily fall as to that temper !" he replied, " We have 
much ground to go yet, but so it must be ; but we shall 
never be well indeed till we come to heaven." 

Another time said he, " what an alteration will be 
shortly made upon us ! Now we are the sons 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 firma- 
ment, it were too low a conception for our blessedness here- 

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

Another time, " I bless the Lord, I delight in nothing 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 being 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 mor- 
tifying, and subcluing 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 it is irrevocably 
lost. (2.) Know the worth of things to come, before they 
.come, (or are present,) and the worth of things present, be- 
fore they are past. (3.) Value no mercy as it serveth to 
content 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 tor God's bounty, and used to eat his 


meat with much cheerfulness and comfort, as savouring of 
a sweeter oood. 

He took one that was watching with him by the hand, 
and said : " I hope to pass an eternity with thee, in the 
praises of our God : In the mean time, let us live a life of 
praise while we are here, for it is sweet to us, and delight- 
ful to God : It is harmony in his ears, our failings being 
pardoned, and we and our praise accepted through Christ." 
Such discourse is, 1 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 rare. 

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 unconverted persons, 
in that he hath wrought his image on your heart, and will 
bring you at last to his celestial glory. See now that you 
acknowledge the 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 charge you to walk 
cheerfully, and to follow me with your praises w hilst I am 

And for such in the family as lay under doubts of their 
condition, he took great care of them, endeavouring daily to 
satisfy their doubts and answer their scruples ; and still would 
be inquiring, whether they had yet any more settlement: 
And if they said, " They knew not how to try themselves ;" 
he would say, " Come, let me help you ;" and so would 
take them aside, and propound some three or four sound 
marks, by way of question, and would ask them «' Whether 
it were so with them or not V And if any doubt appeared 
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 fair means, would plainly labour to con- 
vince them of the sin of unbelief, &c. And for any in the 
family that seemed to stick under 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 

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 impatiency, nor so much 
as say, He had not slept, unless it were asked him : And 
still would justify and glorify God, and say, "Shall I re- 
ceive good at God's hand, and no evil 'i" 


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

As advice for profitable discourse, he said, " It is good 
for such christians as need it, to study beforehand what to 
speak, that they may always have something in readiness to 
bring forth for the benefit of others, which will prevent im- 

Of prayer with others he would say, "We have need to 
watch against confining our thouiihts and desires to the 
cases of our own souls, with the neglect 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 tVom 
the supposed case of those that are present, and Ineddle but 
little with their own sins and wants, unless in formality; 
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 universal consequence. 



An entire and exact delineation of this holy person, written by one of 
his familiar acquaintance; presented in the last place, as the por- 
traiture of a complete gospel-minister. 


As to his personal bodily character, he was of stature tall 
and erect ; of complexion clear and lovely, his countenance 
being the seat of cheerfulness, gravity, and love. It contra- 
dicted that usual saying, viz. " Fronti nulla fides ;*" for his 
sprightly and serene countenance was the index of an ac- 
tive and harmonious soul. Aiiorer, as it seldom beclouded, 
so it became not that face most incapable of sour impress, 
ions. It was forced and so not of long continuance, 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 Consiihiiion. 

He had not a more hale complexion than healthful con- 
stitution, hugely fitted for the employment in which he was 
so successful, viz. his ministerial labours and studies. In- 
somuch that he hath often been heard to confess, that he 
knew not what an hour's sickness or indisposition was for 
thirty years and upward, even until after his first imprison, 
meat, to which (as it is elsewhere intimated) it may well 
be thought that he owed ihe first and fatal impairs of his 
healthful vigour. Since which first decay, it may be af- 
firmed 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 la- 
hours, and hard durance, should have been prodigal of that 
strength which might perchance have been hitherto em- 
ployed to the most noble purposes. But alas, the innocent 

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


flames of divine love to God, and zeal for his glory, and 
the good of souls, made all his strength a whole burnt sa- 
orifice, and as well devoted, as if sacrificed to the flames of 

His judomeiit. 

And here some injury would be done to his worthy name, 
should his internal excellences, which are all of the greatest, 
be wholly forgotten. His judgment was as the pot of man- 
na, wherein were found and conserved all wholesome soul- 
feediug doctrines ; most solid and acute it was. For 
though With the 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 himself and 
others, the toil of his intellect herein being not so pleasant 
as successful. He was all judgment in his inquiries after 
truth, and all affection in pursuing 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 trea- 
sury, out of which he continually brought things new and 
old for the instruction 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 sup- 
plied. It knew not the slavery of an imposed task ; for 
what had once engaged his love, was without delay or diffi- 
culty possessed of his mind or memory. 

His Fancy. 

His fancy was as Aaron's rod budding, ever producing 
fresh blossoms of refined divine wit and invention. It was 
quick and happy, a fruitful storehouse of hallowed and sub- 
lime notions. Ever pregnant, 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 judg- 
ment and humility, lest it should ascend above its height. 


His JVill and Affections. 

His will he had so long lost in the Divine Will, as not to 
find it, or to he troubled with its reluctancies under so long 
and sad a series of trials and afflictions, as those which at- 
tended him constantly to his grave. His affections were 
strong and fervent, and, to use his words, *' They kept to 
their right objects and their due bounds, never enkindled 
but with a coal from the altar, and then they soared to mar- 
vellous heights." He was indeed, as it were, all affection 
in pursuing and promoting the grand interests of religion. 
The zeal of God's house had consumed him, and that not 
blind nor wild, buf well attempered with lii^ht ana heats. In 
sum, what holy Mr. Herbert said of himself, that may be 
said of him, "'that his active soul was a keen kniie 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 unwillingness, to 
press his wit to the service of vanity), resulting from a 
mind ever in awe of God ; because his presence and de- 
portment struck such an awe even on all with whom he 
conversed, and composed them to a true decorum. So that 
as Rev. Mr. Bolton, when walking in the streets, was so 
much clothed with majesty, as by the notice of his coming 
in these words. Here comes J\Ir. 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 pointing at his awful soul. What the 
ima'^e or statue of Sennacherib did speak, that much more 
did this lively image of the most high God speak, viz. He 
who lookelk to me, let him he religious. 

This his great gravity was not universally discerned by 
all, but also more particularly and especially acknowledged 
and loved by his brethren in the ministry ; for there being 
some matter of moment depending among them, the care of 
which was to be devolved 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 inexperienced as himself for so 
soletnii an undertaking. To whom the tbrenamed 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 affair than 

His Affability. 

Neither was he so immured in his study, as'to be a strang- 
er to, or averse from, that generous and innocent 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 
communicative, innocent, and obliging were all his con- 
verses, that he commanded the imitation and admiration of 
his friends, and forced this acknowledgment from his adver- 
saries, both profane, atheistical, and sectarian, viz. "that if 
there were ever a good man among them (meaning the Non- 
conformists), Mr. AUeine was he." 

His Charity. 

Communicative I say he was, both of spiritual and also 
temporal good things together, according to, even beyond 
his power (as it is elsewhere abundantly 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 of 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 ofh is 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 suc- 
cessful ; and by this conjunction also, he approved himself 
more perfect before God, the more thoroughly furnished to 
every good word and work. 

His Utterance. 

His prolation or manner of speech was free, eloquent, 
sublime, and weighty. Of him it may well be said, as of 



our blessed Saviour, " That all bare him witness, and won- 
dered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his 
mouth." It will be hard to tell what man ever spake with 
more holy eloquence, gravity, authority, meekness, compas- 
sion, and efficacy to souls, than he did to those to whom in 
instruction, 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, iiec in una sede locantur, 

Majestas et Amor.* 
True it is, that this young Timothy, with whom few were 
like minded in caring natural y 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 de- 
plored their rashness, resolving after for his sake no more to 
judge according to appearance, but to honour, for their work 
and intrinsic worth, those whom age hath not made vener- 


As respects his studies, he had a strong inclination 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, where- 
by to illustrate and fortify his discourse. And how well 
becoming a divine, and most laudable that 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 principles 
and hopes of the Ethnick religions, and by a sober compar- 
ing of that with these. He also much delighted in Anato- 
my, in which he acquired a considerable skill, which also he 

♦ Majesty and love agree not well together, and are never placed in 
ojf^e seaL 


not a little improved by frequent dissections. And in his 
public ministry, he often made use of this his insight, by 
composing, 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, depend- 
ance, and use of all, even the minutest parts, in the excel- 
lent fabric of man's body. As to his skill in the languages, 
it was not contemptible, especially in those three* which 
(as Ludovicus Vivus saith) Christ sanctified upon the 


He managed his dissents in judgment from others with 
great charity, humility, and moderation, most strictly ob- 
serving what he still exhorted his flock unto, viz. To speak 
evil of no man, much less of dignities. Insomuch that when 
his judgment was at any time desired concerning any ser- 
mon 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 entrench on the Divine Prero- 
gative, in judging of men's states before the time ; and in 
condemning men's actions at all adventures, without con- 
sidering their lessening or altering circumstances. And as 
he liked to judge no man beyond his sphere, and speak evil 
of no man ; so in his life did he reap as great and visible re- 
ward 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 oinmtent, by his death especially 
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. 

* Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, 



As respects his practice and moderate opinion in point of 
chureh-communiou, and his judgment in point of obedience 
to the supreme power, together with liis 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 incumbent. He did not account 
that none could worship God aright, unless in all instances 
and smaller circumstances of worship they wholly accorded 
with his apprehensions ; but with the divine Apostle he had 
learnt to say, Notwithstanding every way, whether in pre- 
tence or in truth, Christ is preached ; and 1 therein do re- 
joice, 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 administrations did not clearly approve them- 
selves unto him ; because upon the account of some imper- 
fections and pollutions in them, supposed or real, to with- 
draw 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 im- 
perfections, of worshippers and worship. He abandoned 
not all forms, but their formal use ; neither those in j)ar- 
ticular, publicly established (through a fond prejudice or par- 
tiality, as may be affirmed of too many), but hath been 
heard much to commend that form of thanksgiving, both 
excellent and ancient, viz. the Te JDevm,, and particularly 
that sentence in it. The noble army of martyrs praise thee ; 
Tvhich he was wont to mention with a certain exultation. 
So moderate and calm he was in his judgment, that when 
the two new forms in the liiurgy, viz on the horrid decol. 
laiion of Kino; Charles the First, and on the return oj King 
Charles the Second, were first printed, he was so lar from 
nauseating them, because forms, or because bearing the 
stamp of authority, that he had even resolved to read them 
(though then only as I remember, recommended), had not 
some occurrences, which I need not name, prevailed with 
him at present to forbear. 


His Loyalty, 

It appeared that he had a due sense of the grand import- 
ance of the obedience of subjects to the siiprenne magistrate, 
by some excellent sermons which he preached on that of the 
Apostle, Rom. xiii ver. 1. a little before his ejection ; where 
and when his judgment was so strict, as unjustly to offend 
some, whose weakness and ignorance, by reason of a long 
proscription of the regal power, had made over scrupulous or 
erroneous. His loyalty also to his prince he discovered in 
observing the injunction of the wise man, viz. J\^ot to curse 
the king, no not in his bed-chamber^ 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 withdrawing or less- 
ening our just honour and obedience; but rather of giving 
ourselves the more to prayer and humilicition. 


He was not only a man aspiring to the heights, but also 
respecting the due breadth and extent of religion, being well 
advised^ how much the vitals and honour of religion in the 
world are conserved by, and concerned in, aconscionable dis- 
charge 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-commandment, all 
bear him witness in, that he upon several texts for a long 
time together, most faithfully instructed his people in rela- 
tive 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 indignations, which he fre- 
quently conceived, and with great vehemency expressed in 
lamenting over, and reproving some professors of religion, 
for their wretched neglect and breach of some se<.'ond-table 
precepts ; the scandal and dishonour of vvhich to religion, 
and the religious, how he resented, none but God and his 
own soul did thoroughly know. He vehemently detested 
that impious and hellish design of putting asunder (in this 
matter) what God hath joined together, viz. those commands 



respecting God and our neighbour; both which he hath 
equally appointed to us, as rules of direction and judgment. 
He was neither Legalist or Solifidian ; neither Ritualist nor 
Enthusiast, not so much above in the mount with God as 
not also to come down to his neighbour, whom he did ac- 
cost, as Moses, with both tables in his hand, on which his 
lite and doctrine did constantly and excellently comment. 


As respects his great industry and happy labours in the 
ministry, together with his great prudence and conipassion 
in applying himself to the souls cf 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 iliem. 

His prudence then in apportioning as well as designing, 
the most suitable and seasonable instructions to his people, 
was most apparent, in that he was still, after he had finish- 
ed a foregoing text or discourse, 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 atro- 
vers, in his divine instructions and exhortations. And so 
loth he was to labour in vain, and to pass from one dis- 
course 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 express- 
ed his great unwillingness to leave that subject, till he could 
have some assurance that he had not fought in that spiritual 
warfare against sin, as one who beateth the air; when also 
he expressed his great fear, lest he should, after all his most 
importunate warnings, leave them as he found them. And 
here with how much holy-talking Rhetoric, did he frequently 
expostulate the case with impenitent sinners, in words too 
many to mention, and yet too weighty to be forgotten ; ve- 
hemently urging them to come to some good resolve betbre 
he and they parted, and to make their choice either of life 
or death. 


His compassion on Sonls. 

His compassion also towards all committed to his charge 
was most manifest, especially towards the ignorant, tho^ethat 
were out of the way, and ihose that did move heavily or in 
the way. 

(1.) On the Ignorant, in instructing and catechising 
them. — To be lonorant. And here, knowing that xvithoid 
knoii'ledge the heart is not, and cannot be good ; and con- 
sidering also how too successfully the evil one, by sowing 
evil seeds betimes in the hearts of youth, doth ever alter 
forestall and defeat the most laborious endeavours ibr their 
recovery and salvation: Ihus knowing and considering, 
he was in nothing more industrious, and in nothing more 
happy and successful in exerting his industry, than in an 
early sowing those blessed seeds of divine knowledge in 
the hearts of all the youth that he C( uld reach in person or 
otherwise; by which they were exceeding'y formed to re- 
ceive 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 apprentices of the 
town, some of whom, although 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 magistrates 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 Chri.^tian Theology, which he handled suc- 
cessfully, 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, lo those whom he designed to catechise on the 
ensuing Lord's-day, which, besides the short answers in the 
Catechism, and the annexed proofs, they committed to me- 
mory, and rendered on the afternoon of the day aforesaid. 
Througont 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 remember) he cate- 
chised in the church, street by street, whole families, ex. 
cepting the married or more aged, in order : which exercise 
(1 suppose) he designed 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 ^ssemhlii''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 even as successful as laborious ; for there 
are few but have gratefully acknowledged 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 na- 
tion, on the hearts and lives of men ; and how far less suc- 
cessful and probable all other means are, aiming at this end, 
without this initial work, it is left to all pious and consider- 
ing men to judge. 

(2.) On those that err, by reproving and reducing them. — 
He had not only compasssion over the ignorant, but also over 
those who were out of the way. Witness his faithtVd 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 bis ex- 
cellent discharge hereof speak forth his high praise, by how 
much the more difficult he ever apprehended it aright to ap- 
ply it. He had been heard often to say, thai it was Jar 
more difjicvlt, to him to give, than to take a reproof, con- 
sidering how great wisdom, courage, compassion, s< If -denial, 
(^•c, is required in order to is 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 ditficult than to receive it. But ever this work 
was to him not, only an act of the greatest self-denial, but 
also the result of a strong conflict vviihin, betwixt his indig. 
nation at the sin and compassion of the sinner. And yet 
the consideration of the difficulty was not to him an argu- 
ment to forbear, but rather a stronger motive to undertake 
it ; whoe\er delighted to converse in, and conquer the diffi- 
culties of Christianity, both in doing and sufiermg. Small 
dithculties here were not his match ; and there were no no- 
ble achievements in religion to which he attained not, or 
vigorously aspired. 

His trnly heroic spirit. As it is said of Themistocles, 
that famous Athenian captain, that the acts of Miliiudes 
broke his sleep ; so as truly may st be said of this blessed 
saint, " that the acts and monuments of the famous worthies, 
mentioned in the Hebrews, and of those of the same 
achievements 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, therelore, he hath 
been heard to excite christians so long to move in the sphere 
of difficulties, till the sweet severities of Christianity (as he 
often called them) were subdued, and even made familiar; 
encouraging them with this consideration, "that even they 
would highly approve their divine love and sHiCerity, aiiu 
conceive a pleasure in those difficult acts, which would 
equal, yea, exceed a 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 rectified desponding chris- 
tians, 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 despondings, 
assuring them in these words, " that under a sly pretence of 
humility, they did call in question God's veracity." 


As respects his sins^vlar piety. All who knew him can 
say much, and yet all but little, considering how much more 
hath escaped the most tenacious memory, observant eye, and 


attentive ear. Yet he must be wretchedly inobservant, 
who, amidst so many and great instances of it, can make no 

How much he conceived it as his own and others greatest 
interest, ornament, and felicity herein to excel, will be 
manifest by his exhortation, which he gave to a young scho- 
lar ready to depart to the university, in words to this pur- 
pose, " I know," saith he, " that you will labour to excel 
in learning, but be .sure to excel as in that, so also and espe- 
cially in holiness, which will render you one of the most 
useful and amiable creatures 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 apprehensions, will 
be evident by a pious letter which he sent to the person fore- 
named, some years after, wherein his words are these — 
" ! study God, and study yourself closely, and pursue 
holiness more than learning, though both these together 
make a happy constellation, and are 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 

-- ijr 


nd holiness in the general, but also in the par- 
ticular and chief instances of a holy life, he excellently pro- 
ceeds in the same letter, saying, " I much commend unto you 
those four beautifying lessons, so shortly comprehended in 
this distich, 

Spernere mundum, spernere nullum, 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 no external 
commotions will be able to disturb his tranquility ; neither 
will the comforts or crosses here below make any great acces- 

* These four things render a man happy, — to despise the world, to 
despise no one, to despise one's self, and to heed little about one's be- 
ing despised. 


sion to, or dimiimtion 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 was much a stranger on the 
earth, like the kingly prophet; not because with old Bar- 
zillai 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 thitik on his state of banishment from his heavenly coun- 
try whilst here militant upon earth, and to solace his thoughts 
under so great a grievance, by such divine considerations as 
those which he mentions in the following words of his fore- 
named letter : — " It was," saith he, "the divine argument 
that Epictetus used for comfort in banishment, ' Ubique 
habenda sunt coUoquia cum Deo.'* I met lately with a pas- 
sage out of one of the Fathers, which I engraved upon my 
heart cf ' Cui Patria solum placet, nimis delicatus est; cui 
omnis terra patria, is fortis est ; cui omnis terra exilium, is 
sanctus est.' That's worthy of a saint indeed to account him- 
self always in the state of banishment, whilst in the state of 
mortality, like the worthies that sojourned even in the land 
of promise, as in a strange country. Such a sojourner I 
wish both myself and you ; and may the moveableness of 
our present state fix 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 employ- 
ments ; witness his earnest and frequent exhortations, where- 
by 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 supposal that in so doing they had there put in suf- 

* Converse with God may be maintained every where. 

t Fie is toodeiicaLe who is delighted with his own country 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. 


ficient 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 deformed, loving only to move in the private path, and nar- 
row 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 tit rather to make religion their vassal, than 
undivided companion ; to command it, rather than it should 
comniand 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 \vhen it may serve the uses of a cloak and 
cover of hypocrisy and iniquity. 

His care of his Thoughts and Ends, especially morning and 

But enough of this digression. These his forementioned 
momentous exhortations, attended with most excellent mo- 
tives, 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 ends aright in the morning (then making their resolves, 
and piously forecasting 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 pre- 
scriptions unto themselves ; whether they obtained their de- 
signs and ends, and how they acquitted themselves in the 
day foregoing." 

His delight in Self-examination. 

Thus by pointing at the two extremes in each day, he 
happily secured the middle. He tacitly convinced them by 
his own example and great growth in piety hereby, and ex- 
pressly by many other eminet instances, how advantageous a 
course he had recommended to them. To this end he much 
applauded those two no less excellent than common books, 
the Practice of Pietij, and Scndder^s Daily Walk. By this 
course he had taught himself and others, as by constant, 
thouirh small gains, to arrive to great acquests in Christianity, 
by constant and short accounts, the more accurately to know 


the state of their souls, and the more easily to discern their 
progress 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-appointiug 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 heed- 
ful course, he assured the observer that he would hallow all 
his actions, and reap this treble advantage (to say no n.ore), 
both of espousing the divine direction and blessing, and of 
obtaining a surer testimoLy 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 Gods's glory, and the good of souls ; account- 
ing it a shame that the covetous should arise with such anx- 
ious projects of compassing his desired wealth, the ambi- 
tious his airy honours and granduer, 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 affirmed of him, 
that, according to his frequent and vehement exhortation 
thereunto, " he made religion his business." Which war- 
thy advice, in the same words, he did so often inculcate, 
that a gentleman meeting a plain honest country man, and 
discoursing of Mr. x\lleine, cavilled at this passage, which he 
often had heard from him, as appearing unto him absurd and 
unintelligible, " not knowing how anything (as he said) could 
be called ' a man's business,' unless that which is secular ;" 
so foolishly ignorant of the just interest and power of relig- 
ion is an unliallowed heart, and so apt to quarrel with that 
wholesome advice, and loth 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 performance of 


the two great difficulties of Christianity, reproof and self- 
examination (coiisistiiigof so many complicated self-denials), 
proclaim and iniprove his great piety, but also his so great 
acquaintance with the delightsome work of heavenly medi- 
tation. 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 discourses, both 
dropped from his mouth, and committed to wri(ing. And 
as was his delight, so were his converses with those authors 
who did increase his contemplative pleausure; but particu- 
larly he delighted in Mr. Baxter's platform of meditation on 
the heavenly felicity, in the close ot his Saiufs Everlasting 
Resi, great part whereol he so digested as often to cite it 
with great pleasure, prefacing its citations with these words, 
<' Most divinely saith that man of (iod, 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 con- 
templation and adoration ; so much did he delight to shrink 
within himself, and to abandon the view of the desperate ad- 
ventures, and antic motions of a mad world ; that so, be- 
ing shut to these, he might only open his soul to God and 
glory, displaying it to the glorious beams of the sun of right- 
eousness. 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 man. 

With streams and plants did he delight to walk, and all 
these did utter to his attentive ear the praise and know- 
ledge of his Creator, and in his unsettled sojourings from 
place to place he did often (to use his words) "look back 
with sweetness and great content on the places of his for- 
mer 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, i$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, hecause the more men adore and 
praise, the less they want; tor sad and constant complaints, 
and pensive thoughts, are the attendants of great wants, and 
the less men want the more is their perfection. His exhor- 
tations to christians did frequently design to raise them to 
that sublime life of praise and thanksgiving. Often hath 
he reproved christians, charging them with the greatest folly 
and ingratitude in so much neglecting this so pleasing and 
profitable duty, and in interesting* it so little in their reli- 
gious exercises. He much condemned them for that too 
general practice in thrusting so enlarging a part of their de- 
votions 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 divine a fes- 
tival ; shaming them with the excellent example of the prim- 
itive christians, who welcomed in the sun, that brought so 
glorious a day as the Christian Sabbath, with their heavenly 
hymns to their Creator and Redeemer, and reproving them 
for so little considering and observing the proper end ot its 
institution. But as it respects its own practice, a great, yea 
and sometimes the greatest, part of his prayer was thanks- 
giving ; and, indeed, he was never so much in his element, 
either in prayer or in preaching, as when he was extolling 
and adoring the love of Christ, and marvelling at God's in- 
finite goodness in the gift of his Son our Saviour. 

Neither did he so gaze upon and adore Christ his Re- 
deem* r 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 private 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 often 
he hath been heard to say, "that man was the tongue of 
the whole creation, appointed as the creatures' interpreter, 
to speak forth, and make articulate the praises which they 
but silently intimate." 

He much delighted in vocal music, and especially in 
singing psa/ms and hymns, particularly Mr. Barton's : wit- 
ness his constant practice after dinner elsewhere related. 

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


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 eternal repast to which he hath now arriv- 

His Time-redeeming Thrift, 

To conclude — that he might effect all the excellent pur- 
poses of a holy life, he seta high vahie on his most precious 
time ; and did, with so wise and holy forecast, each day re- 
deem and fill it up, that he did not only not do nothing, but 
also not little, though in a little and short time. All com- 
panies did hear him proclaim the price of time ; and how ex- 
cellently 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 prophetical of his short abode here on 

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 with- 
out his desired recompense. 


A few Additions to the former Character, by his 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 

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 prescrib- 
ed, as a pattern to others, in his father- in-laws's book. 

Tliere seemed no sinister end, or false affection, to move 
or sway him in his way ; bnt the good pleasure of the Lord, 
the edification of his church, and the salvation of sou's, 
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 flime of divine love that ever I observed 
in any. And that love arising from a clear vision of the 
beautv of divine perfections, 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 liitiag up of his eyes, and joined with the 
sweetest smile of his countenance, when (lam confident) he 
little thought of being seen by any. Thus have I oft heard 
him flow in prayer and discourse, with the clearest convic- 
tion, and dearest taste of divine excellencv and goodness ; 
and the fiillest, 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 perpetual greedy aid insatiable spending of his whole 
self for the glory of God, good of the church, and salvation 
of souls. His head was ever contriving, his tongue pres- 
sing, 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 perfect sk^;leton, and could move neither hand nor foot, 
when his physicians had forbidden him all preaching, 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 catechisms, teach them the meaning of 
them, and call them to an account, how they remembered 
and understood. And he died designing a way how every 



poor child in Somersetshire might have, learn, and be in- 
structed in the Assembly's catechism ; yea, and at the ex- 
pression of his affection, I cannot but mention, the fVequentest 
ecstacies or raptures of spirit, wherein he lay on his bed 
(when his body was even deprived of all power of its own 
motion, but with no great pain), in consideration of divine 
love to him in iJjeneral, 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 inHicting great pain upon 
him ; though he was other ways so sad a spectacle of weak- 
ness, 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 per- 
suasions, and great affection towards 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 discern- 
ing, substantial, and divine temper than to reject any (in 
whom charity could see anything of a new nature) for dif- 
fering from him in the modes or forms of discipline or wor- 
ship, or in disputable points. 

4. Suitably to his high degree of holiness and divine com- 
munion, he enjoyed the richest assurance of divine love to 
himself in particular, and his saving interest in Christ. I 
believe few men were ever born that attained to so clear, 
satisfied, and powerful evidence that his sins were pardoned, 
and his person accepted in Jesus, unto eternal life, and had 
more glorious foretastes of Heaven. 1 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 
satisfied 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, he 
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 disease 
had heated his head ; and in his raptures, he had expres- 
sions, which at another time his grace and reason would not 
have used ; yet, all the copies 1 have seen of those tran- 
sports, 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 uninterruptedly in the 
clearest and nearest divine communion, should enjoy such 
assurance of God's everlasting love, and be filled so with joy 
thereia, and making such returns of love and praise thereto. 












2u his Wife, to dispose her to his acceptance of Taunton on 
small maintenance. 

My Dear Heart, — By this time I hope thou hast re- 
ceived mine by Martiu, 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 maintenance are ; and methinks I find my heart 
much inclining that way. I will tell thee the priuciuciples 
upon which I go : 

First, I lay this for a foundation, That a man^s life con- 
sisieth not in the abundance of the things that he possesscth. 
It was accounted a wise prayer that Agur put up of old, that 
he might only be fed with food convenient 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 dependence 
upon God, casting their care and burden upon him. the 
sweet breathings of David's soul ! the strong actings of his 
faith and love, that we find come from him, when his con- 
dition 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 privilege to be brought to a neces- 
sity of living by faith, as, I think, I have formerly hinted to 
thee, out of Deut. xi. 10, 11, where Canaan is preferred be- 
fore Egypt, in regard to its dependence upon God for the 
former and latter rain, which in Egypt they could live with- 
out, 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 con- 
dition much before it. Doubtless, godliness, with content- 
ment, is great gain. " Seekest thou great things for thy- 
self?" (saith the prophet to Baruch) Seek them not. Cer- 
tainly a good conscience is a continual feast, and enough 
for a happy life : No man that warreth entangleth 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 en- 
cumbered with the things of this world, and withal free from 
a world of entanglements, 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 tiuth, " That a 
dram of grace is better than a talent of v\ea!th :" and there- 
fore 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 eternity, and had the advantage 
of abundance of means, and the daily opportunities of warm- 
ing 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 scripture would) without 
comparison before another place void of those spiritual helps 
and advantages. Let us think with ourselves, "What 
though our purses, our estates, may thrive better in a place 
of a larger maintenance I Yet where are our graces, our 
souls, like to thrive any way answerable to what they are 
in this I" 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, humility and hea- 
venly-mindedness, as above all places I know we are likely 
to do there, what matter is it though we do not raise our- 
selves in the world? The thing! it may well be accounted 
but mean ; but alas ! 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, look- 


ing 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? Is the maintenance certain and sure? What charges 
are there like to be?" These are the questions we com- 
monly ask tirst, when we speak of settling. Bat alas! 
though those things are duly to be considered too, yet 
"What good am I like to do ; ^Vhat good am I like to 
get ^" Both which questions, I think, might be as comfort- 
ably answered concerning this, as any place in England. 
These should be the main interrogatories, and the chief 
things we should judge of a place to settle in by. What if 
we have but a little in the world ! \N hy. 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 of 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 counte- 
nance, more grace, more comfort, who would change with 
them ? Surely if Paul were to choose 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 would cross a fro ward child 
of his slubborn 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 : Also, he did not ask rich- 
es, but wisdom and ability to discharge 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 

* Peevisti. 


righteousness in the first place, and leave other things to 
him, God will not stand with us for these outwards ; though 
we never ask them, ue shall have them as over-measure ; 
God will throw them in as the vantaae. 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 ihe 
storms that tall 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 straits, he 
hath gone and made his moan heaven-ward, with free sub- 
mission to the rightful disposer of all things, and he hath 
been so liberally supplied, as makes him very confident the 
best way to obtain any mercy or supply, is to be content to 
be without it: And he is persuaded nothing sets God's 
mercies farther off, than want of free submission "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 out- 
ward comforts we leave, whatsoever outward advantages we 
balk, that we may glorify him in our services, and enjoy 
him in his ordinances more than otherwise we could, we 
shall receive a hundredfold 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 out- 
ward 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 fi\ith, and stay omselves upon the 
promise, and see if ever we are ashamed of our hope. 

Fifihly, *' That what is wanting in the means, God will 
make: up in the blessing :" This I take for a certain truth, 
^vhile a man commits himself and his aflTairs 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 blessing of the Lord that 
maketh rich. Oh ! if men did but believe this, they would 
not L'^rasp 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 lam 
confident that is the way to be provided for. Let others 
toil to enlaroje 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." 1 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 whole- 
some to the body, yea, and far less hurtful, than a full and 
liberal is ; and persuade myself it would be no such hard 
matter for us contentedly 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 another place, and 
whether this be not a great deal less than the trouble we 
shall have for want of comfortable and christian society, for 
want of the frequent 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 contentions about their 
right to the sacraments, in our entanulement in the cares 
and troubles of this life, &c. all which we 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 weish 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 intimation of thy will to the contrary, shall overbalance 
all my thoughts of settling there, for I should account it 
the greatest unhappiness if 1 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. AYell, 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 to- 
gether and apart. Captain Luke desired me to entreat thee 
to meet him one or two hours in a day for the commemora- 
tion of mercies upon the twenty-third day of every month. 
Send word to me of their resolution at Taunton, in two let- 
ters, lest 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 ray 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 1 

1 am, as ever, 

Thine own heart, 

Joseph Alleine. 

OxoN, 21th May, 1659. 


[Prepare for suffering.] 

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

Most Dear Christians, — My extreme straits of time 
will now force me to bind my Ions: loves in a few short 
lines ; yet I could not tell how to leave you unsaluied, 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 not, are come unto you. 
]Vow, brethren, is the time when the Lord is like to put you 


upon the trial ; now is the hour of temptation come. Oh ! 
be taithful 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 resolution to follow him fully ; and two 
things be sure of, and lay wp as sure grounds of everlasting 
consolation ; 

1. If [ seek by prayer and study to know the mind of 
God, and do resolve to follow it in uprightness, 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 Hea- 
venly Father, which is so great that you may be sure that 
he will, with all readiness and love, accept of his poor chil- 
dren when they endeavour to approve themselves in sin- 
cerity to him, and would fain know his mind and do it, if 
they could but clearly see it, though they should unwillingly 

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 
brethren, let not the present tribulation, or those impending, 
move you. This is the way of the kingdom : Persecution 
is one of your land-marks: Self-denial and taking up the 
cross is your A B C of reli^iion ; 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 orlory ; the damage at- 
tending strict and holy diligence, your greatest advantage. 
Sensible you should be of what is coming, but not discour-? 
aged; humbled, but not dismayed; having your hearts 
broken, and yet your spirits unbroken ; humble yourselves 
mightily under the mighty hand of God ; l-ut fear not the 
face of man : may you even be low in humility, but high in 
courage ; little in your own apprehensions of yourselves, 
but great in holy fortitude, resolution, and holy magnanim- 
ity, lying in the dust before your God, yet triumphing in 
faith and hope, and boldness and confidence over all the 



power of the enemies. Approve yonrscives as good soldiers 
of Jesus Christ, with no armour but that of riohteousuess ; 
no iveapons 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 hardness 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 con- 
tend, 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, and continue your earnest prayers for 
me ; and be you assured that I am and shall be, through 
grace, a willing thankful servant of your soul's concern- 

Joseph Alleine. 
From the Common Gaol, 
May 28, 16G3. 


[Warning to Professors.) 

To my most dearly beloved, my Christian Friends in 
Tainiton, Salvation. 

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 for- 
get them, yet I could not, they are so continually renown- 
ed ; 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 thorn that give to a prophet though but a 
cup of cold water, shall receive a prophet's reward ; — he 
will recompense 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. 1 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 you, and to be the messenger of the Lord of 
Hoists to you, to proclaim his law, and to preach his excel, 
lences, to be his spokesman to you, and to woo for hirw, and 
to espouse you to one husband, and to present you as a 
chaste virgin unto Christ. Lord ! how unworthy am I, ever- 
lastingly unworthy of this glorious dignity, 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 cannot repent, notwithstanding all the difhculties 
and inconveniencies 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 
pic ugh ; 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, difficulties, tribulation, and inconve- 
niencies, 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) con- 
firm my choice and my resolution to serve him with much 
more than my labours. Verily, brethren, 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 splendour of the world. Alas ! you have no rea- 
son 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 eter- 
nal darkness ! They shall go to the generation of their 
fathers, they shall never see lii?ht, like sheep they shall he 
laid in their graves, and the upright shall have dominion 
over them in the morning. But for my brethren, I am 
jealous that none of you should come short of the glory of 
God. 1 am ambitious for you, that you should be all the 


heirs of an endless life, the living hopes of the saints, the 
inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fades not 

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 diligently, lest any man fail of the 
grace of God. Alas ! how it pities me to see this rest ne- 
glected ! 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 suffi- 
cient of ourselves) have done somewhat to recover and save 
them. Ah! dear brethren, I was in great 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, persude them, one quarter of them in like- 
lihood, to be saved ! How it moved me to see your dili- 
gence 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 for- 
bade my public preaching ; 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 dili<ient 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 
praise, with the multitude that kept holy-days. The remem- 
brance of which moves my soul ; but, O my flock, my most 
dear flock, how fain would I carry you farther than the ex- 
ternal and outward profession ! O ! how loih am I to leave 
you there! 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 unbridled tongue, or, which I 
fear most of all, a predominant love of the world in your 
hearts. Alas ! must it be so, and is there no remedy but I 
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 Christianity ! 
Hear, O my people, hear, nlthough 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 children, 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 thetVame and bent of your hearts ; for 
here is the main of religion in the hidden man of the heart. 
For C'hrist'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 disposal in all 
things. J^ee that you make no exceptions, 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 happiness. Wonder not that I so often inculcate 
this : if it be well here, it is \\ ell all ; if unsound he*-e, 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 1 vvouldfain have you look to your stand- 
ing, and to secure the main. And for yon whose souls are 
soundly wrought upon^ O make sure whatever you do ; get 
and keep your evidences clear ! How dreadful 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 commended 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 your estate yourselves, go 
to somebody that is able and faithful, and fully open your 
case, your evidences, and doubts, and be extraordinary strict 
and watchful 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 straits 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 gra- 


cious letter. Surely it shall be in store with me, and laid 
up among my treasures. That God is pleased so to unite 
your hearts to me. and to make use of nie for your edifica- 
tion, is matter of highest joy unto me ; as also to see your 
stedfastness in Christ, your unshaken resolutions notwith- 
standing all the tempter's wiles. G:> on, my dearly beloved, 
and the Lord strengthen your hands and your hearts, and 
lift you up above the fears of men. My most dear brother 
Norman salutes you with manifold loves and respects, ear- 
nestly wishing that you may wear the 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 

Your Ambassador in bonds, 

Joseph Alleine. 

From the Common Gaol at .Tuelchester, 
I'Stk June, 1GG3. 


[A call lo 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. 

Most endeared and beloved Friends, — I do most read- 
ily 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 in 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 
have 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 that 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 brin<T 
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 peo- 
ple, hear; he that hath an ear let him hear. The Lord of 
life and glory offers you all mercy, and peace, and blessed- 
ness. Oh, why should you diet Whosoever will, let him 
take of the waters of life freely. What ! miss of life when 
it is to be had for the taking 1 God forbid ! O my brethren, 
my soul yearns for you, and my bowels towards you. Ah ! 
that I did but know what arguments to use with you ; who 
shall choose my words for me that I may prevail with sin- 
ners not to reject their own mercy ? How shall I get with- 
in them ? How shall I reach them ? Oh ! that 1 did but 
know the words that would pierce them ! That I could but 
get between their sins and them. Beloved brethren, the 
Lord Jesus hath made me, most unworthy, his spokesman, 
to bespeak your hearts for him ; and oh, that 1 knew but 
how to woo for hirn. that I might prevail ! 1 hese eight 
years have I been calling, and yet how great a part do re- 
main visibly in their sins; and how few, alas ! how few 
souls have I gained to Christ by sound conversion I Once 
more I desire with all possible earnestness to apply myself 
to you. I have thought, it may be a sermon out of a prison 
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 ignorance. 
Ah ! how often have I told you the dangerous, yea, damua- 
ble estate that such are in. Never make excuses, nor flat- 
ter yourselves that you shall be saved though you go on in 
this : 1 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 Heaven, it must be by the key of 
knowledge ; you cannot be saved, except you be brouiiht 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 the 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 catechism; 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 answerable. 
Search the Scriptures daily, get them read to you if you can- 
not read them. Improve your Sabbaths diligently, and I 
doubt not but in the use of these means you will sooner ar- 
rive to the knowledge of Christ than of a trade. But for 
thee, 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 knowledge 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 such in a place of such means and mer- 
cies ! But it cannot be concealedr 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 
scoflcrs, so many liars and deceitful dealers, and unclean and 
wanton wretches. 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 
you from the Lord, to repent. Return, O sinners. What ! 
will you run into everlasting burnings with your eyes open 1 

Repent, drunkards, or else you shall be shut out of the 


kingdom of heaven. (1 Cor. vi 9, 10.) Repent, O swearers, 
else you shall tall into condemnation. (James v. 12.) Re- 
pent, O liars, put away lying, 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, 

company-keepers, forsake the foolish and live ; but a 
companion of the wicked shall be destroyed. (Prov. xiii. 
20. j Repent, you deceivers, of your unrighteous dealings, 
or else you shall have no inheritance in the kingdom of God. 
(1 Cor. vi. 9. lU.) The Lord that made us, knows my 
earnest desire for your conversion and salvation ; and that 

1 speak not this to you out of any evil will towards yuu, 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 righteousness and government of the Lord 
Christ. But if you go on and say, you shall yet have peace, 
I pronounce unto you that there is no escape, but the Lord 
will make his wrath to smoke 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 content 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 th >rough-work with you, and be jealous for your- 
selves ; get a rich understanding of the difference between 
a hypocrite 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 tor 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, com- 
forts, 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 iu that holy admiring, commending, 
adoring, praising of your gracious God, that becomes the 
people ot his praise. 1 have been long, yet methinks I have 
not emptied half my heart unto you. 1 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 deliver- 
ance for you ! 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, and thankful sufterer for you, 


From the Common Gaol in Juelchester, 
it/i July, 1663. 


[Trust in Gud, and be sincere.] 

To my most endeared friends , the servants of Christ in 
Taunton, grace and peace,. 

Most DE^RLY-BKLOVED 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 butt of 
men's rage and malice ; but you may satisfy yourselves as 
David in his patient sustaining of Shimei'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 
yoiu- crown. Let not any that have begun in the Spirit end 
in the flesh. Do not forsake God, till he forsake you. He 
that endureth to the end shall be saved. The promise is to 
him that overcometh ; therefore think not of looking back. 
Now you have set your hands to Christ's plough, though 
you labour hard and 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, 
something 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 beloved, to prove yourselves 
believers, when there is nothing visible but present hazard 
and expense, 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 re- 
ward now, when nothing appears but the displeasure of 
rulers, and bonds, and losses, and tribulation 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 prosperity, 
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 run 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 overboard 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 
comforts 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! ray 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, and fashions of this world, 
who are strangers in it? Be contented with travellers' lots ; 
know you not that you are in a strange land 1 All is well 
as long as it is well at home; I pray you, brethren, daily 
and frequently 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 accommo- 
dated ; though you tare hard, and lie hard ; — Is this a 
strange thing 1 What should travellers look for else ? Will 
you set Ibrth in a journey, and promise yourselves nothing 
but fair way and lair weather ? Shall a man put forth to 
sea and reckon upon nothinir 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 remember, 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 judgeth right- 
eously, and shew ourselves the children of the Most High, 
uho doth good to his enemies, and is kind to the unkind and 
unthankful. And what though they do hate 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 founda- 
tion, 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 
christians. 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 thorough and sound in the main work, I mean 
in conversion 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 \\ orld, because he takes 
up a profession, and yet rejected of G od 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 hread enough and room enough ; this is sufn- 
cieiit to comfort us under all the inconveniences of the way, 
that we have so happy a home, so worthy a portion, so ready 
a Father, so goodly a heritage, so sure a tenure. Oh, com- 
fort 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. I 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 watchmaa 
and keeper to the end ! Farewell. 
I am, 

A fervent well-wisher 

of your temporal and eternal happiness, 
Joseph Alleine. 

From the Common Gaol at Juelchester^ 
2it/i July, 1.633. 


[Look out of your Graves upon the World.] 

To my most dearly beloved Friends^ the chosen oj God in 
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, and 
vigorous proceeding, in the ways of God. Dear friends, and 
fellow soldiers under (>hrist 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 discouraged with no difficulties of your present 
warfare. As for human aflairs, 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 Apos- 
tle 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 
desire you to mind as one special duty of the times) ; but 
for these spiritual enemies, all your affections and all your 
prayers must be engaged against them ; yea, you must ad- 
mit no parley : It is dangerous to dispute with temptations. 
Kemember what Eve lost by parleying with Satan : You 
must fly from temptations, and put them off at first with a 
peremptory denial. If you will but hear the devil's ar- 
guments and the flesh's pleas and fair pretences, it is a 
hundred to one that you are ensnared 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 spiritual weapons dexterously and diligently, or else 
this world is like to undo you, and destroy you. I have of^ 
ten warned you not to build upon an external happiness, 
and that you should promise yourselves nothing but hard- 
ship here. Oh still remember your station : soldiers must 
not count upon rest and fulness, 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 wani 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 inquiring 
*' Whose is this ?" Tell me oi' what account will the world 
be then ; what good will it do you? Put yourselves often 
into your L-raves, and look out from thence upon the world, 
and see what judgment you have of if then. Must i-ot 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 seri- 
ous 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 great 
estates, their Iriends, 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 shortly ? Oh the 
happiness of deceived man ! How miserably he is bewitch- 
ed, and befooled, that he should expend himself ior that 
which he knows shall forever leave him ! Brethren, I be- 
seech you, lay no stress upon these perishing things, but 
labour to be at a holy indifference about them. It is 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 sleepings 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 
titles of honour and delights, if you will now disown relig- 
ion, or subscribe to iniquity ;" Do you think such a mo- 
tion would be embraced I 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 deceitfulness, and have 
been told where and how it would leave them, yet would take 
no warning, but only must serve themselves to be for warn- 
ings 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 vhole, when it 
comes to the pinch ; and not to be of the religion that will 
undo them in the world. Beware that none of you have 
your hearts where your feet should be, and love your Mam- 
mon 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 of 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 the Lord. I am, 

Yours to serve you in the gospel, 

whether by doing or suffering, 

Joseph Alleine. 
From the Common Gaol at Juklchester, 
^ist June ,1663. 


[First, Christian Marks : Second, Duties.] 

To the beloved, my most endearing and endeared Friends, 
the Flock of Christ in Taunton, Salvation. 

Most Dearly-beloved 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, though [ 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 strength- 
eneth 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 ha\e scorned and 
despised! But let not uny ofyou, my dear people, be wise 
too late : Look di!ii>ently lest any n'.an lail of the grace of 
God. Beware that none of you he cheated through the sub- 
tlety of Satan and deceitf"ulness of your hearts wiih counter- 
feit 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, your are undone 
for evermore if you should die in such a mistake. Not that 
I would shake the confidence of any sound believer, who up- 
on often and thorough search into the scripture 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 
certain and infallible marks of salvation ; and n ake sure, by 
great observing your own hearts, that these marks be inyou, 
and then you cannot be too confident. But, as you love 
your souls, take heed of a groundless confidence. Take heed 
of being confident before you have tried. Dear brethren, I 
would fain have you all secured against the day of judiiment ; 
I would that the states of your souls were all well settled. 
Oh how comfortably might you think of any troubles, if you 
were but sure of your pardons ! Were your salvation out of 
doubt, no matter though other things were in hazard. I be- 
seech you, whatever you neglect, look to this : I am afraid 
there are among you that have not n ade your peace with 
God yet ; that are not yet acquainted with that great work 
of conversion ; Such I would warn and charge before the 
livinor God to speed into Christ, and without any more dis- 
putes 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 profession, nor performing external 
duties, nor partaking 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 something for 
them. All this will not prove you sound Christians. Have 
your hearts been changed? Have you been soundly con- 
vinced of your sins ; of your damnable and undone condi- 
tion 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 abhor it, and utterly dis- 
allow 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 excuse 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 
God, as your greatest happiness, which you desire more 
than corn, and wine, and oil? Had you rather be the holi- 
est, than the richest and greatest in the world ? And is 
your greatest delight (ordinarily, and when you are your- 
selves) 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 con- 
sideration 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 dear, do you resolve, 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 un- 
sound. 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 towards the mark. Thankfully acknowledge 
the distinguishing grace of God to your souls ; and live re- 
joicingly 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 admiring God. and study 
the worthiness, excellency, and glory of his attributes. Let 
your souls be much taken up in conten)plating and com- 
mending his glorious perfection, and blessing yoiu'selves 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 yon, our 
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 quick'y come so to habituate your minds to holiness, 
that they may naturally run that way. But it is titne to shut 
up : Farewell, my dear brethren ! The Lord God Al- 
mighty be a protection to you, and your exceeding great re- 
ward ! Farewell in the Lord ! 

I am, 

Yours in the bowels of the Lord Jesus, 

Joseph Alleine. 

From the Prison at Juelchester, 
i]t/i iSepi. 1663. 

P S. Just now I received your melting letter, to which I 
am not able now to return an auswer, but shall with speed. 
Your very great atfections 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 ; 1 am sensible 1 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, 
desiriug that you may be blameless and harmless, the sons 
of God, without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and per- 
verse nation, among whom ye shall shine as lights in the 


[How to shew I we to Ministers, and live joyfully.] 

To the most loving and dearly beloved, my Christian Friends 
in Taunton, grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Fa- 
ther, 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 afi'ectioQs, without some com- 
motions in my own. 1 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 
uufeignedly confessing that all was but the duty which I did 
owe to your precious and immortal soliJs ; which, God knows, 
are very much short of my duty. The omissions, iniperfec- 
tions, defects, deadness, that accompanied my duties, I do 
own, I must and will own ; and the Lord humble 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 hum- 
bly ascribe both the will and the deed, to whom alone be 
glory for ever. 

My dear brethren, my business, as I have often told you, 
is not to gain your hearts, or turn your eyes towards me, 
but to Jesus Christ. His spokesman I am : Will you give 
your hearts to him ; will you give _>our hands, your names 
to him ; will you subscribe to his laws, and consent to his 
offices, and at thorough defiance with all his enemies? 
This do, and I have my errand. Who will follow Christ's 
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 un- 
sanctified; 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 outside of religion ; demur 
no longer, dispute not and waver no more, halt no further, 
but strike in throughly with Jesus Christ; except nothing, 
reserve nothing, 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, wi I you do nothing for a minister of Christ ? 
Nothing for a prisoner of Jesus Christ ? Melhinks I hear 
you answer, '' 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 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 Ho 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, served, glo- 
rified to the uttermost by you and every creature ; worthy for 
whom you should lay down all, leave all. Can any thing 
be too much for him ? Can any thiug 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 fol- 
lowed with an answerable practice when it is done ; see that 
you walk worthy of the Lord. " But how ]" In the Jear of 
the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost ; let these 
two go together. So shall you adorn the doctrine of God our 
Saviour ; and experience the heavenly felicity of a chris- 
tian's life. While holiues is made the butt of others' persecu- 
tion, do you make itthe white, the mark of your prosecution ; 
that you live it up, as much as others cry it down. watch, 
and keep your garments about you ; the plain, but comely clo- 
thing of humility, the seamless coat of christian unity, the 
strait and close garment of strictness, mortification, and self- 
denial, the warm winter-garment of love and charity : this 
garment will keep you warm in winter ; love will not be 
quenched by the waters, nor cooled by the nipping frost of 
persecution and opposition. Cleave fast to Christ ; never 
let go your hold ; cling the faster, because so many are la- 
bouring to knock ofi' your fingers, and loosen your hold. 
Hold fast your profession, hold last your integrity, hold fast 
the beginning of your confidence steadfast 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 conscien- 
ces, that the enemy do not get between you and home, be- 
tween 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 uot 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 ! "VVho would count him- 
self poor and miserable that hath all the fulness of the God- 
head 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 imtnensity, tell me the longitude or latitude of in- 
finite goodness and mercy, of the eternal Deity: Oh Chris- 
tians ! live like yourselves, live worthy of your portion, of 
your privlege, 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 answera- 
bly to the mercies you have received from above, is the great 
desire of 

Your souls' fervent well-wisher in the 

bonds of affliction and tribulation, 

Joseph Alleine. 

From the Prison at Juelchester, 
18^A September, 1663. 


[Easy sufferings.] 

To the most beloving and beloved, my Christian Friends, at 
Taunton, salvation : 

Dearly Peloved 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 re- 
solution, in owning the despised ways and hated servants of 


the Lord Jesus, in an evil day. The Lord is not unright- 
eous to forget this ; is not this upon record with him, and 
sealed up among his treasures? Surely the Lord will h^ve 
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 worihy, not only to 
preach the gospel to you, but also to confirm it by the part- 
ing with my much valued liberty, so dear a people, so sweet 
relations, comforts, conveniences, which 1 enjoyed in all 
abundance when I was with you. When I look back upon 
all the circumstances of the late providence, I must say as 
they of Christ upon his miracles, " He hath done all things 
well ;" it is all as I would have it ; I am fully satisfied in 
my Father's good pleasure. 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 satisfactoriness of the 
promises, of the peace, tranquillity, content, 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 gracious 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 received nothing but good at 
the hands of the Lord all my days ; and, now he doth begin 
to afflict, I see so niwch 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. Ju nothing be terrified 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 lor the testimony of the gospel, I shall 
embrace you with both arms. Fare you well, my most 
dearly beloved : be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one 
mind, live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be 


with you. My brethren in bonds snlute 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, 

Joseph Alleine. 

From the Common Gaol at Jdelchester, 
28t/i September, lb63. 


[The love of Christ.] 

To my beloved in the Lord, the flock of Christ at Taunton, 
grace and peace. 

Mo^T Loving and Best Beloved, — My heart is withyouj 
my affections are e^^poused to you. And methinks I could 
even say with the apostle, Yon are in my heart, to live and 
die with yon. 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 grent, (and if 
compared with his, but little) with His which is infinite : 
This is a love worthy of your ambition, worthy of your ado- 
ration and admiration. This is the womb that bore you 
from eternity, and out of which have burst forth all the 
mercies, spiritual and temporal, that you enjoy. T his was 
the love that chose you ; when less offenders, and those that 
being converted might have been a hundred-fold more ser- 
viceable to their Maker's glory, are left 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 ob- 
ject of electing love?" Lest an unbelieving thought should 
damp your joy, know, in short, that if you have chosen God, 
he hath certainly chosen you. Have you taken him for 
your blessedness ? And do you more highly prize, and more 
diligently seek after contbrmity 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 be- 
loved 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 though upon so long before thou 
wast ; that the contrivances of the Infinite Wisdom 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 
woiiderful. Lord what is man 1 Thou tellest us he is dust 
and vanity, a worm, nothins^, 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, he elders ; strike up, ye heavenly choirs, 
and sing yet again. Glory to God in the liighest : For all our 
strings would crack to reach the notes of love, praise, and 
admiration that this love doth call for. Oh that every empti- 
ness and vanity should be thus prized ! that Jeliovah 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 rottenness should be 
thus advanced ; a clod, a shadow, a potsherd, 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 
you for suffering : Forget not a love so memorable, under- 
value 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 Redemer ; 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 
th m the glowworm 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 
wereengiged for him ! Brethren, here is no excess. Oh 
love the Lord, ye his saints ! He is worthy for whom you 
shidi 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 re- 
prieved, and spared, and pardoned, when the law had con- 
demned you, and justice would have had you delivered 
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 dark- 
ness, from the eternal burnings, the devouring fire in Avhich 
you must otherwise have dwelt. Do you not remember how 
you were hungry, and it fed you, naked and it clothed you, 
strangers and it took you in, sick and it visited you, in pri- 
son and it came unto you? You 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 festival and as it were a holiday in heaven for you 
inviting angels to rejoice. And if the friends do rejoice, 
how much more doth 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 table, and the burden of the songs above. 
— " For this my son was dead, and is alive and well !'* 
What remains, but that you should be another manner of peo- 
ple 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 suf- 
fice you in answer to such a love? God forbid ! But neces- 
sity 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 melted and overcome 
with its warming beams, with its quickening, piercing, 
powerful rays I My most dear love to you all. See that 
you live not in a dull, fruitless, 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 befall us move you. Fare 
you well, my dear brethren ; farewell in the Lord. 

I am, 

Yours in the strongest bonds of 

affection and affliction, 

Joseph Alleine. 

From the Prison at Juelchester, 
26(k October^ 1GG3, 


[Remember Christ crucified, and crucify sin.] 

To the faithful and well-beloved people, the servants of Christ 
in Taunton, salvation. 

' Most Dear Christians, — I am by office a remem- 
brancer, the Lord's remembrancer for you, and your remem- 
brancer in the behalf of Christ. My business is, with the 
apostle, to stir up your pure minds hij waij of remembrance. 
And what or whom should I remember you of, but your 
most mindful Friend, your Litercessor with the Father, who 
hath you always in remembrance, appearing in the presence 
of God for you 1 May his memory ever live in our hearts, 
though mine should die ! Oh remember his love more than 
wine; remember in what a case he found vou, and yet no- 
thing could annihilate his heart, nor divert the purpose of 
his love from you : He loathed not your rags nor your 
rottenness. He found you in a loathsome vomit and filthi- 
ness, a nasty atid verminous tatters (think not these expres- 
sions too odious ; no pen can describe, no heart can ima- 
gine, 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, his bowels were moved, 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, mon. 
strous and polluted captives ! ah vile and putrid carcasses ! 


that ever the holy Jesus should take the hands of you, and 
should his own self wash you, and raise you, and rinse you ! 
Methinks I see him weeping over you ; and yet it was a 
more costly bath by which he cleansed you. Ah sinners ! 
look upon the streaming blood flowing out warm from his 
blessed body, to letch out the engrained tilthiness 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 could 
not wash nor purify us, would open every vein of his heart 
to do the work I 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 ! Alas, how that innocent back doth bleed with 
cruel scourings 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 wonderful heart and side twice pierced, first 
with love and pity, and then with soldiers' cruelty, do pour 
out their healthful and saving floods upon us I Lord, how 
do we make a shift to forget such a love as this ! Ah mir- 
rors, or rather monsters, of ingratitude, that can be unmind- 
ful of such a friend ! Do we thus requite him ? Is this 
our kindness to such an obliging friend ? Christians, 
where 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 ? Wherefore serves joy or desire, but to 
long for him and delightfully to embrace him? May your 
souls and all their powers be taken up with him ; may all 
the little 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 chafe your hearts well with the deep consideration 
or 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 con- 
strain 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 I Whatever iniquities you find there, out with them, 
put them far from your tabernacles ; if you crucify them 
not, you are not Jesus's 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 ser- 
vants the way of your trades and calling.-^, and neglect to 
instruct them in the way of life. Is weekly catechising up 
in every one of your families 1 The Lord convince any of 
you that may be guilty of this neglect 1 Oh ! set up God 
in vour 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 yourselves 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 du- 
ties. Fear nothing like a customary and careless perform- 
ance of God's service. Judge your own selves wheth- 
er lazy wishes, idle complaints, and yawning prayers, 
are like to carry you through the mighty difficulties that you 
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 heaven by violence; or can I 
hope to win it without ?" See that you 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 enjoy 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, 
1 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, 

Joseph Alleine. 

From thb Prison at Juelchester, 
Hth October, 1663. 

My dear brother Norm m salutes you tenderly, and desir- 
ing you to be patient, to establish your hearts, ior the com- 
ing of the Lord draweth nigh. 


[For daily self-examination.] 

To the most beloved people, the flock of Christ in Taunton^ 

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. Kow I am pinched ; 
however I could not leave my dear charge altogether un- 
visited, but must needs salute you in a i'ew lines. Brethren, 
how stands it with you 1 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 discouraged, my dear 
brethren, but bless the liord, who, of his abundant mercy, 
hath so remarkably preserved you, so long beyond all expec- 
tation. Let it not be a strange thing to you, if the Lord do 
now call you to some difliculty. Forsake not the assembling 
of yourselves together, as the manner of some is. I plainly 
see the coal of religion will soon go out, unless it have some 
better helps to cherish it, then 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 danger. Is 
the communion of saints worth the venturing for 1 Shut 
not up your doors against godly meetings. 1 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. VVhat ! shut out the word ! Suppose there be 
somewhat more danger to him that gives the minister enter- 
tainment ; is there not much more advantage accordingly? 
Did Jiot Obed Edom, and his house, get the blessing, by en- 
tertaining the ark there? Or do you thing God hath never 
a blessing for those that shall, with much self-denial, enter- 
tain his messengers, his saints, his worship? Are you be- 
lievers, and yet are atVaid 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 sha 1 receive 
the greatest reward? Away with that unbelief, that pre- 
fers the present safety before the future glory. 

I left you some helps for daily examination ; I am jealous 
lest 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 your- 
selves to an account, what your carriage hath been to God 
and men? 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 t And would you not be put to a blushj to give me an 
answer ? x\nd 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, 
yea, methinks, I cannot 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 practi<'e 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 uni- 
versally conscientious, more strict, more humble, and more 
sensible of your many and great detects, than you were be- 
fore ? 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 his duty ? 
If it abate, remember from whence you are fallen, and re- 
pent ; 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 provocations to your duty, and 
medicines lo any corruptions that they meet with. Oh that 
they might find out mea's sins, and excite their graces ? I 
have ran 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, 

Joseph Alleine. 

From the Common Gaol at Juelchester, 
20iA October, 1663. 


[Motives and marks of growth.] 

To the most lovino; and best beloved, the servants of Christ 
in Taunton, grace and peace. 

Most Dear and Tender Friends, — whose I am, and 
whom, under God, I desire to serve ; to build you up in ho- 
liness, and comtbrt, hath been, through grace, my great am- 
bition. This is that which 1 laboured for; this is that 
which I suffer for ; and, in short, the end of all my applica- 
tions to 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 iu 
these declining times ; and, therefore, I cannot but be ofteu 
calling upon you to look to your standing, and to watch and 
hold last, 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 not the things you have wrought; but 
as you have begun well, so go 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? 1. 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 dol Are 
you sure of heaven yet? Are you fit to die yet? Surely 
they that are in so much poverty, under so many great wants, 
had need to set upon some more thriving courses. 

Secondly, Consider ivhai others have gained, ichilst we, it 
may he. sit down by the loss. Have vve not met many ves- 
sels 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 sleep ? Have not many of our own 
standing in religion left us far behind them? 

Thirdly, Consider what a spending time there is coming : 
Affliction and tribulation seem to be not far frona you. Had 
you not need to be well stocked against such a day ? Go to 
the atit, thou sluggard ; 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 : Distress, 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 lor respite, till he had recovered a little more 

Fifthly, Consider how little it luill avail you to thrive in 
your estates, and not thrive in your souls. Poor Gehazi ! 
what did he get by it when he gained JS^aaman's talents, 
and came off with his leprosy ? 

Sixthly, Consider how short your time for gathering, in all 


probabilliij, is : The Israelities gathered twice so much man- 
na against the Sabbath as they did at other times, because 
at that tune there was no manna I'ell. Brethren, you know 
not how long you have to lay in for. 

Seventhy, Consider GoiVs expectations are great from 
yon He hath been lopping and pruning you, and now he 
looks tor move Jriiit. 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 tiud you now to mend. Times of af- 
flictioa use to be gaining times to God's people ; Godforbid 
that you alone should be losers ! 

Do yuu ask for marks how you may know your souls to 
be la a thriving case .' 

1st, If your appetites he more strong. Do you thirst af- 
ter God, and after grace more thau heretofore? Do your 
Cures for, and desires after, the world abate ; and do you hun- 
ger and thirst after righteousness 1 Whereas you were wont 
to come with an ill-wdl to holy duties, do you come to them 
as a hungry stomach to its meat? 

2dly, 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 oft*? 

3dly, //" your natural heat do grow more vigorons, 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 observa- 
tion ? Do you ponder upon, and pray over, his word aijdhis 
providences ? 

4thly, If you do look more to the compass and latitvde of 
religion, and mind more than ever the carrying on together 
the duties of both tables. Do you not only look to the keep- 
ing of your own vineyards ; but do you begin to look more 
abroad, and to lay out yourselves for the good of others, and 
are tilled with zealous desires for their conversion and saiva- 
tiori ? Do you manage your talk and your trade by the rules 
of religion ? 

Do you eat and sleep by rule ? Doth religion form, and 
mould, and direct your carriage towards husband, wife, pa- 
rents, children, masters, servants? Do you grow more uni- 
versally conscientious ? Is piety more diflusive than ever with 


you ; doth it come more abroad with you, out of your closets 
into your houses, your shops, your fields ? Doth it journey 
with you, and buy and sell for you ? Hath it the casting 
voice in all you do ? 

athly, //' the duties of relio-ion be more easy, sweet, and 
deliglitfid 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 t Cannot you be content with your or- 
dinary seasons, but are ever and anon making extraordinary 
visits to heaven ; and upon all occasions turning aside to 
talk with God in some short ejaculations? Are you olten 
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 readiness of mind] 

6thly, If you are more abundant in those duties icliich are 
most displeasi?ig to the flesh. Are you more earnest upon the 
duty of mortification 1 iVre you more strict and severe than 
ever in the duty of daily self-examination and holy medita- 
tion 1 Do you hold the reins harder upon the liesh 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 ? 

7thly, If you grow more vile in your own eyes. Pride 
is such a choking 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 not marvellous tender of being slighted ? 
Can you rejoice to see others preferred before you 1 Can you 
heartily value, and love them that think meanly of you ? 

Sthly, If you grow more quick of sense, more tender of 
sinning, more sensible of divine influences or ivithdrawings. 
Are you more afraid of sin than ever? Are| your sins a 
greater pain to you than heretofore? Are your very infirmi- 
ties your great afflictions ? And the daily workings of cor- 
ruption a continual grief of mind to you ? 

9thly, If you are acted mo^e by Jove 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 t 


Do you prize the promises more, and hug and embrace them 
with ijreater dearness, and live more upon them ] 

lothly, If you grow more of a public spirit. A selfish 
spirit is unworthy of a Christian ; are the common concern- 
ments of God's glory and the prosperity of the church much 
upon your hearts i 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 sorrows 7 

Tune, and room, and strength, fail to add means too, as I 
intended. I have trespassed in length, already, may these 
be helps to you to put you forward and to help you in dis- 
cerning your growth. I must conclude abruptly, and com- 
mend 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, 

Joseph Alleine. 

From the Prison at Juelchester, 
3l5^ October, JGG3. 


[Persuasion to sinners, and comfoit to saints.] 

To my dearly beloved., the inhabitants of the town of Taun- 
ton, 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 for 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 instrument to further your good. 
Surely, so much as I do value your love, which is not a 
little, yet had I rather (if I am not unacquainted with myself) 
be forgotten or 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 afiections tor myself! that I might win 
your hearts universally to Jesus Christ, though I had lost 
them tor ever? that I might be in^^trumental to convert 
you to Him, though you were diverted t'rom me! I am per- 
suaded that I should n.uch 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 mater- 
rial or considerable, as it is terminated in us : It matters not 
whether we are in riches or poverty, in sickness or health, 
in honor or disgrace, so Christ may be by us magnified in 
the condition we are in. Welcome prison and poverty, wel- 
come scorn and envy, welcome pains or contempt, if by these 
God's glory may be most promoted! \\ hat are we for but 
for God? What doth the creature signify separated from 
his God? Whv, just so much as the cypher separated from 
the figure, or the letter from the syllable ; we are nothing, 
or nothing worth, but in reference to God and his ends. 
Better were it that we had never been, than that we should 
not be to him. Better that we were dead, than that we 
should live, and not to him. Better that we had no under- 
standings, 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 reputation, 
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 pre- 
vail, to give up himself in strictness and self-denial to the 
Lord? Who will be entreated by me, to set upon neglect- 
ed duties, or reform accust< med sins ? O wherein may 
you rejoice 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 
continuing in, the ways of holiness. that I could but 
hear that the prayerless souls, the prayerless families among 
you, were now given to prayer ! that the profane sinners 
would be awakened, and be induced by the preaching of 



these bonds, who heretofore would not be prevailed with, to 
leave their drunkeniie?<s, their loose company, their lying and 
deceit, and wantonness, by all the thrccitenings of God that 
could not be pronounced against them, nor all bcseechings, 
wooings, and entreaties that I was able to use with 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 towards you ? 
O sinners, cast yourselves into his arms ! Why should you 
die? Why will you forsake your own mercy? Will you 
perish when mercy woos 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 tiner thread, and are not 
so far from the kingdom of God as the prayerless, ignorant, 
sabbath-breaking, intemperate sort are. But I must once 
again warn you of staying in the suburbs of the city of refuge. 
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 people of 
the Lord, and do love the ministers and ordinances, therefore 
all is well. 1 tell you, godliness is a heart-work, it goes 
deep and spreads far. Unless the frame of your hearts, and 
the drifts of your course be changed, unless you be univer- 
sally conscientious, and unreservedly delivered up to the Lord 
for all times and conditions, whatever be the cost, you are 
neue of C/hrist's, how far soever you go in common work- 
ings 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 tens of thousands that 


have been undone by one of these ! Oh ! how often have 
you been warned against them, lest you should split against 
these dangerous rocks. " O Jerusalem, Jerusalem^'' said 
Christ, and " O Taunton, Tavnion," may I say from him, 
" how often I" 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 mercy 
more. 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 respects to all God's com- 
mandments, who will have none but God for your happi- 
ness, none but Christ for your treasure, that must and will 
have him, come what will come, blessed are you of 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 in 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 harder 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 himself, and 
make all grace to abound in you, and toward you, and may 
he be a sun to comfort you, and a shield of protection to you, 
and shine with his happy beams of grace and glory on you 
all. Farewell in the Lord. I am, 

Yours in the bonds of the gospel, 

Joseph Alleine. 

28th August, 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 somewhat needless. I cannot doubt of 
your confidence that you have a deep share in my tenderest 
aflections : for this let my labours among you, and the haz- 
ards for you, speak, rather than I myself. Beloved, I am, 
withou 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 la- 
bour. 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. \b^. 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 expense of his 
own ! To him that bought you from destruction ; and not 
only so, but bought your names into the eternal inheritance, 
reserved in the heavens for you. Will a man be easily 
persuaded to lose his life 1 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, con^ 
sider, I beseech you, that life is lost that is not lived unto 
God ! If you would not lose your lives that you live, see 
to him who is the end of your lives. Oh remember this, 
and reckon that day lost which you have not lived unto 
God ! Brethren how great a part of our lives have we 
really, alas ! too really lost 1 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 yowv days and strength for 


him that made you. Would it not be dreadful for a man to 
fiijd at last when he comes to his account with God, that 
his whole life, or at least the main of it, had been but dam- 
nable self-seeking ; that a man should have so many years 
all(<wed hiu) by God, and he sliould at last be found to have 
been but a false and wicked servant that had set up ior him- 
self with his master's s-tocks, and alienated his goods, and 
turned them to his own use I Well, that you nmy thorough- 
ly learn the grand lesson of living unto God, take these 
counsels : 

First, S tile if vp mi your heart that it is the sum of all 
your business and blessedness to live iinto God. It is your 
busiiiess, for his pleasure you are and were created. \^ hat 
have you else to do but to serve your Maker in your general 
and particular callings? " What was the candle made ior," 
saith one, " but to be burnt ?" Beloved, what else have you 
strength for, but fur God ? Doth he maintain his servants, 
and shall not he look for their work] Would you endure 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 happi- 
ness 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 dfiuoerous, yea, damnable 
thing it is to live to yourselves : To make it our main care 
and business to please and gratify ourselves, or to have ap- 
plause from and reputation with others, or to grow rich in 
the world, and greaten ourselves 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 tor so much of their lives as is spent besides this end, 
(which is 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 your- 
selves what a righteous, what a reasonable thing it is, that 
you should, with all that you have, serve the Lord. Belov- 
ed, shall not the vessel be for the use of the potter that 
nnade it ? Shall not the servant trade for his master with 
whose goods he is entrusted I 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 pleasiire ? Is it not from him that you fetch 
every breath? Your interest obliges you to please him. 
Why should Belshazzar^s charge be against you? — that the 
God in whose baud your breath is, and whose are all your 
ways, you have not glorified. (Dan. v. 23.) 

Fourthly, JJo not only interid God as the general end of 
ijoiir course, hut in eveiy 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 (or need he) think at ej-ery bit that 
he puts into his mouth, " I will eat this for God :" yet he 
might, every time he sits down to his table, remember to 
eat and drink, not to gratify his flesh, but lo 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 he your first and firm re- 
solution, "/ ivill 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 ordinance of God, that a servant of his may 
be refreshed and fitted for his work." Whenever you rise 
up, think, "I will spend this day for God, and follow the 
business of my calling, because I am so appointed of God." 
(Zech. X, 12.) And they shall walk up and down in his 
name, saith the Lord. <^'C. 

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 sure 
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 commending you to God, I divide my 
loves among you, and so rest 

Yours in the bonds of the Lord Jesus, 

Joseph Alleine. 
Fbom the Prison at Juri Chester, 
Nov. 14, 1663. 



[Motives to set ourselves to please God.] 

To my most dearly beloved, ike servanis of Christ in Tauii' 
ion, Grace and Peace. 

Most Dear Christians. — Your prisoner in the Lord sa- 
luteth you with all dearuess ; you are the care of my heart, 
the desire of my eyes, the joy of my bonds, and the sweet 
of my liberty. I am much satisfied in the wise disposal of 
our Heavenly Father, whether he see it good for me to be 
a bondman, or a Ireeman, so I may but serve your souls 
to the greatest advantage. Methinks 1 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 upon me. 
1 hope the Lord will restore us one to another in his time, 
much better than when 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 business of your lives, and the very end of your beincrs, 
to walk worthy of the Lord uuto all well-pleasing. Set home 
on yourselves such considerations as these : 

First, It is the very business you u-ere made for, and sent 
into the world for, to please your J\laker. For his pleasure 
you are, and were created. Why should the Lord repent 
that he hath 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 service, we should, like false and wicked 
servants, set up for ourselves ? Why should your Creator 
say, he hath made you in vain 1 

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 favowrites ? 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 to be set to please him, 
he will accept you, though you come short. (2 Cor. viii. 
12.) Read that sweet passage, 2 ("hron. vi. 3, 6, 7. 

Thirdly, It will be a certain sign of your sincerity when 
the pleasing of the Lord is your greatest business. (Col. 
i. lo. ) 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 ivill 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 
iiiill reixulute your whole lives, and bring cdl 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-plea-^er ! — O how 
many hath he to please! What an endless work hath such 
an one to do ! 

Fifthly, Consider hut how careful the man-pleasing pa- 
rasite, and timeserving 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 migiity ? Oh that you 
were but as diligent, and unwearied, and punctual in your 
endeavours, to get and keep the favour of the \lmighty ! 

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 thev 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 par- 
don your sins, save your souls, secure your eternal con- 
cernments ? Where is all their favour or good will, when 
they or you come to die? It will not be worth a rush, 
when most needed. Therefore, beloved brethren, whatever 
you do, keep in with God. Resolve upon it. Hemust 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 vou 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, buildtng 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 command you 
all, and shall add nothing but to share my loves among 
you, and so rest, 

Your ambassador in bonds, 

Joseph Alleine. 

JuELC HESTER, Nov. 22, 1663. 


[The worth of holiness.] 

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

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 publicly, and from hotise 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 remember 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 
not been followed from the public, 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 consider it now in the latter days! (Jer. xxiii. 20.) 
Oh that they would remember, and repent, that there mijj,ht 



be yet an after-harvest ! That they would yet come in and 
live ! Are you yet willing to turn ? Hear how ^V i.-.dom 
calls after you. (Prov. xi.) How long, ye simple ones, will 
you love simplicity, and fools hate knoivledge ? Turn you 
at my reproof? But if they will not hear, good were it for 
thetn 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 tiiken upon you the profession of 
strict godliness, I shall only press you to follow 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 uill 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.) Jollow ajter holiness. 
t irst, Holiness is the choicest ornament : It is an 
adorning in the sight of God of great price. 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, O 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 that which was real ground of shame, to wit, their sin. 
(Phil lii. 19.) But we meet with others that, in a happy 
sen.-e, did glory in their shame ; that i.s, in the !=;hame of 
religion, which is indeed a crown of glory. So did Peter 
and John. (Acts v. 41.) 

Secondly, Holiness is the safest monument. Grace is 
not only for ornament, but tor use. Righteousness is a 
breast- plate that keeps the vitals, and is a sure defence from 
any mortal wounds. (Ephes. vi. 14 ) When the poli- 
ticians have done their best, with all their politic letches, it 
is to he that walketh uprightly, that walketh snrely. (Prov. 
X. 19.) Lei integrity and vprightness jireserve me, saith 
David. (Ps. 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 my sin ; and 
yet will never doubt but my integrity will save me harmless, 


and prevent 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 flee the danger 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 roaring cannon, rather than en- 
danger his beinir wetshot? ^Vhy, this is the best wisdom 
of the distracted world, who will 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 buck- 
ler. (Job. XV. 25, 26.) 

Thirdly, Holiness will be found to be your real happi- 
Dess. Eat of this tree, and you shall indeed be as God. 
Godliness is like 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 ihey 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 offend them. (Psalm cxix. 165.) Read Isa. xlviii. 18, 22, 
and XX vi. 3, andxxxii. 17. Holiness will be a treasure of riches 
(James ii. 5), and a crown of honour (x\cts xvii. 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 hea- 
ven, (Phil. iii. 2U.) 

Let me say now to every one of you, as our Saviour to 
Martha (John xi. 26,) "Believest thou this 1" If you do, 
live like believers ; and do you follow after holiness, as others 
follow their trades or studies. Let religion be your studies, 
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 your 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 

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 fol'ow me perpetually 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, 

Joseph Alleine. 

From the Prison at Juelchester, 
Dec. 3, 1663. 

Most Dearly Beloved, — This was intended for you a 
week sooner than it comes to be communicated. I purpose- 
ly write in the middle of the week, that if any opportunity 
be suddenly offered, I may have somewhat ready for you. 
But last week I failed of a conveyance. I shall not add any- 
thing further now, but that I shall follow my counsels with 
my prayers, and shall be a humble intercessor night and day 
before God for you. To him I commend you, and t<j the 
word of his grace, 

Bemainiug yours while I am, 

J. A. 



[I. Try. 2. Rejoice.] 

To the most lovins;, and best beloved, the Flock of Christ in 
Taunton, grace and peace. 

Most Endeared Friends, — My heart is solii^itous for 
you. Your spiritual and eternal welfare is the matter of my 
desires and designs. Let not my beloved think they were 
forgotten 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 deter the impart- 
ing 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 on the sou of her womb 1 Yea, they may 
forget ; but Christ will earnestly remember you still. Nat- 
ural 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 enrolled in the everlasting decrees of hea- 
ven, and a whole eternity hath not been able to wear them 

Do any of your 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 super- 
scription 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 written 
in heaven. Again, halh ('hrist recorded his name in your 
hearts ? Is the name of Jesus the beloved 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 anything be deeper in your hearts 
than He is, you are unsound. As ihe Father hath given 
him, so do your hearts give him a name above every name. 
Is Christ uppermost with you in your estimations aud affec- 
tions? 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 h^' dwell in your 
hearts? Then be sure you have a room in his hi^ art. 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 alter holiness? Do you prize it above all pros- 
perity 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, as far as you know them ? If it be 
thus with you Christ hath set his stamp upon your hearts, 
and so you may be sure he hath set you as a seal upon his 

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 Omnipo- 
tence secure you ? He is all treasures (Col. ii. 3). Can un- 
searchable 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 considering, for 
want of viev/ing our own privileges and blessedness. man, 
is Chrst 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 candi. 
dates 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 ; be-^ 
stir 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 earldom, glory 
in his riches and honour? And shall the grant of heaven 
signify little with thee ? Or Christ's patent for thy son. 
ship and partnership with himself be like a cypher? Shall 
Haman come hone from the banquet with a glad heart, and 
glorying in the greatness of his riches, the multitude ot his 
children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted 
him above the princes? And shall we turn over our Bibles 
and read the promises, and find it under God's ovn hand, 
that he intends the kiiigdom 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 
yourselves ; 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 dili. 
gence, 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 appears so wonder- 
fully in his fatherly protection, and his fatherly provision. 
See that you receive not the grace of God in vain. Remem- 
ber with trembling, that of our Lord, To lohoni much is given 
of him much shall he 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 

Joseph Alleine. 

From the Prison in Juelche-ter, 
Januai7/'20, 1663^ 



[The Felicity of Believers.] 

To the most beloved people, the servants of God in Taunton, 

Most Endearkd Christians, — I have longed and waited 
for a little breathing time, wherein I might write unlo 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 suffi- 
ciently reflect on you or myself. But ahhough so great a 
part of Taunton be translated to Juelchester with me, yet I 
may not, I cannot forget that you are behind. 

" Alas, poor Taunton, how should I bewail thee, did I 
look upon the only with the eye of sense ! Alas for thy 
wonted liberties, for thy former plenty and variety, where- 
with the Lord hath blessed thee ! He hath spread a table 
for thee in the midst of thine enemies ; bread hath been 
given thee, and thy waters have been sure. But now a 
famine seems to threaten 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, aiid 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 laniruage of sense, if that were suffered 
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 : 

Judo'e not of the present providences hy the conduct of 
sense, hut hy the eye of faith. Faith will see that we are then 
most honoured, when we are most vilified, and reproached, 
and set at nought tor 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 pre- 
sent 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 minis- 
ters, 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 l"or ? Are you for the present 
world, or for that to come ? Are you for your temporal en- 
joyments, or do you seek for glory, honour, and immortal- 
ity ? If you are for this world, you have made a very im- 
prudent choice in taking up the profession of godliness, 
and cleaving to and owning the hated ways 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 spken," 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 tribu- 
lation for his name ? Indeed, the sufferings are but little ; 
but verily 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 well 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 not 
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 nothing ? Can you 
forget your children ? Will you suffer your jewels to lie 
in the dirt, or make no reckoning 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! A vessel of 
mercy ! An heir of glory ! What ! and not yet swallowed 
up ia the sense of God's infinite love! Blush, oh my soul, 
and be confounded before the Most High, and cover thy 
face with shame. 

I remember what the heathen Seneca writes, observing 
the expressions of God's love to man in his common provi- 
dence, Verum est, usque in dllicias amcnnuvy 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 promises : 
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 assur- 
ed that he that walketh uprightly walketh surely : Forsake 
not the assembling of yourselves touether. 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 cannot. 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, 

Joseph Alleine. 

From the Prison op Juelchestbr, 
Jidij 28, 1065. 



[What do you more than others ?] 

To the most dearly beloved, the Servants of God in Taun- 
ton, 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 
fiuttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh 
them, beareth them on her wings ! For so halh the Lord 
your God dealt vvith 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 
Lord, 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 offend- 
ed ; 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 endeared charge, that the Lord doth look for singu- 
lar things from you, that there be not a barren tree, nor a 
dwarf christian among you ; where the Lord doth strew 
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 he will expect no small increase. Beloved, 
what can you do ? How much are you grown ? What 
spoil have you made upon your corruptions ! What progress 
in grace / 

Suppose ( hrist 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 hath bestowed more on them than on others: 
Now where much is given, much shall be required ; can you 
think of that without trembling ? He hath bestowed on them 
singular love more than on others : You only have I knoirn 
in a/I the families on earth. He hath a distinguishing love 
and favour for his people, and he looks that his love should 
be a constraining argument to obedience. Again, he hath 
laid out a singular care on his people, more than on others : 
He cares f')r no man, for nothing in all the world, in com- 
parison of them. He reproveth kings for their sakes. — He 
will give nations and kingdoms for their ransom. So pre- 
cious are they in his sight, and so dearly beloved- thai he 
will give men for them and people for their life. He with- 
draweth not his eyes from the righteous, he will not endure 
them out of his sight. The eyes of the Lord are upon the 
righteous. And /ir*/, the eye of his more accurate observa- 
tion : 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 actions, and pondereth all 
their goings. And should not they walk more cautiously, 
and charily, than any alive, that they are under so exact 
and curious an eye ? Secondlt/, 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 singular privileges more 
than on others. These are a peculiar treasure to him 
above all people, a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, a sin- 
gular 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 
justified 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 clothed with righteousness, and shall not 
princes live above the rate of peasants ? 

Secondly, He hath entrusted them v)iih 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 qnalijied them more than others : He 
hath put into them a principle of life, having quickened them 
together in 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 can- 
not stir. 

Fourthly, He hath provided for them other manner of 
ihino-s than for others : These are the little flock to whom it 
is his good pleasure to give the kingdom ; great are the pre- 
parations for them. The Father hath prepared the kingdom 
for them from the foundations 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, 

(i.) 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 yon. The barren tree in the vine- 
yard must down, whereas had he been in 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 ordinary, but when they bring forth wild grapes, 
he will lay hem waste in a worse manner than the forest 
When (Jhrist came to the fig-tree seeking fruit, and met with 
none, he crust it tVom the root ; whereas had it been a thora 
or brauible, 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 olT God with a common 
obedience, yet must expect to be put ofT with common mer- 



(3.) Except you do more than others, God will be dis- 
honoured more by you than others. 

1 have been too long with you, but I am earnestly desir- 
ous you should be sensible of God's extraordinary expecta- 
tions from you. And truly, as God looks for more trom his 
own than others, so he looks for more from you than others, 
even of his own, because that he hath done more : See that 
you be shining christians ; that you be strong in tt)e grace 
of God ; that you press toward the mark. But 1 must con- 
clude. I give my loves among you all, being able to add 
no more, but that 

I am 

Yours in fervent loves and longings, 

Joseph Alleine. 

From the Prison at Juelchester, 
Jaa. 2, 1663. 


[Christian Care, Faith, Self-denial.] 

To the most beloved people, the servants of God in Taunton 
Salvation : 

Most Endeared Christians, — The reason why my let- 
ters 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 be- 
cause I have been busily taken up in other labours of sundry 
kinds for you. I am yours, and love to be so; being am- 
bitious 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 servants for Jesus' sake. I 
have no greater felicity under 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 me should sound out 
the word of the Lord, and that in every place your faith to 
God-ward should be spread abroad ; that Taunton should be 
as a field that the Lord hath blessed ; that you should not 
only have the name, but the spirit, life, power, heat, growth, 
vigour of Christianity among you. Let not Taunton only 
have the name to live, and be noted for the profession of re- 
ligion ; but see to it, my brethren, that the kingdom of God 
be with you. 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 iniquity, secret as well 
as open, of the heart as well as of the life. Let no man think 
that to make an outcry 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 
may be 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 going. If a man be after a \'ew 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 tratfic much with heaven. 
Christ is our common factor ; O send over to him what pos- 
sibly you can. Give alms plentifully ; pray continually ; 
be much in meditation and consideration ; reckon with your- 
selves daily; walk with God in your callings; do all the 
duties of your relations as unto God ; live not one day to 
yourselves, but unto Christ ; set forth continually in his 
name, so shall you be continually transporting into another 
world, and laying up treasure in heaven. And O the bless- 
ed store that 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 marred for ever, as 
you speed in this one voyage. 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 I 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 abun- 
dantly. 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 g"ld, rai- 
ment, 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 yourselves. 

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-de- 
nial, self-annihilation. 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 thing to know o\irselves to be 
nothing, of no might, of no worth, of no understanding or 
reality ; to look upon ourselves as helpless, worthless, fool- 
ish, empty shadows. This holy littleness is a great matter; 
when we find that all our inventory amounts to nothing but 
folly, weakness, and beggary ; when we set down ourselves 
for cyphers, our gain for loss, our excellences for very van- 
ities, then we shall learn to live like believers. A true saint 
is like a glass without a foot, that, set him ^vhere you will, 
is ready to foil every 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 withered 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, 

Joseph Alleine. 

From the Prison at Juelciiester, 
April, 16. 1663. 



[Right Reasons in Suffering.] 

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

Most Loving and Dearly Beloved, — I know not what 
thanks to render to you, nor to God for you, for all the in- 
expressible 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 must say of Taunton, as the 
psalmist of Jerusalem, If I forget thee, let my right hand 
forget her cunning; If I do not remember thee, let my tongue 
cleave to the roof of my month. 

I would not, 'my dear brethren, that you should be dejected 
or discouraged at the late disappointments : For through 
tlie 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 contrary, nothing doth comfort me so much, as to 
see your cheer and courage. Therefore I beseech you, bre- 
thren, faint not because of my tribulation, nor of God's de- 
lays ; but strengthen the hands and the feeble knees. And 
the Lord bolster up your hands, as 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 God being 
angry with us doth send this farther trial upon us. 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 you 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 ourselves under the mighty hand of 
God, and he shall exalt us in due time. 

And for the enemies of God, you must know also that 
their foot shall slide in due time. Let the servants of God 



encourage themselves in their God ; For in the things where- 
in they deal proudly, he is above thein. Therefore fret not 
yourselves because of evil doers ; commit your cause to him 
that judgeth righteously. Remember that you are bid, if 
you see oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of 
judgment 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 devices to pass Take heed 
that 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 future judgment and 
perdition of the unirodly, 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 righteous, 
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 rectifv the present disorders, 
and reverse the unrighteous sentences that have passed 
against his servants. And this evidence is so clear, that 
many of the heathen philosophers have from this very argu- 
ment (I mean the unrighteous usage of the good) concluded 
that there must certainly be rewards and punishments ad- 
judged by God in another world. 

Nor yet lose your 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 chimneys, 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 atid 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 striv- 
ing to separate you from him. How many nre they that go 
to knock off your fingers ! O, methinks, I see what tusffing 
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 tnarriage-covenaiit ! Did you not take him " for richer 
for poorer, for better for worse V Now prove your love to 
Christ to have been a true conjugal love, in that you can 
love him when most slighted, despised, undervalued, blas- 
phemed among men : Now acquit yourselves, not to have 
followed Christ for the loaves. Now confute the accuser of 
the brethren, you may be ready to suggest of the best of you, 
as he did of Job, Doth he serve the Lord for nought 1 
And let it be seen that you loved Christ and holiness, 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 him. 

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 professors should miss of their reward for this ; — 
lest they should be accounted turn-coats and hypocrites ; 
therefore they will shew a stoutness of spirit in going on, 
since they have once begun, and cannot with honour retreat. 
Would you choose holiness and strictness, if it were to do 
again 1 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 passeth 
all understanding, keep your hearts. Christ's lesjacy of 
peace I leave with you ; and rest, with my dear affections 
to you all. 

Your ambassador in bonds, 

Joseph Alleine. 



[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 extraordinarly hindered. 
Your sincerity, steadfastness, 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 ap- 
proaching assizes, which I shall greatly rejoice in, notwith- 
standing our coming may be otherwise attended with many 
inconveniences. In the mean time I send you a fe\v prison 
counsels. As, 

1. To improve for eternity the advantages of your present 
state. Though you are at many disadvantages vvith respect 
to the public ordinances, yet you have many wondrous and 
most happy privileges, which spiritual wisdom would make 
no small improvement of. Oh, what a mercy have you, that 
you may serve God while you will in your fimilies ! That 
you may be as much as you will with God in secret prayer, 
and holy meditation, and self-examination ! I beseech you, 
consider what a blessing you 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, consider what a blessed seed- 
time you have for eternity ! Now be wise, and in) prove your 
happy season, your day of iirace. Prepare for death, make 
all sure. Press on towards the mark ; lay up in store for 
yourselves 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 heaven. What pro- 
fit 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 your work, and despatch your business, so as 
that you may have nothing to trouble you upon your death- 

2. To consider also the templations and disadvantai^es of 
your state fcjtudy to know your own weaknesses, and where 
your danger lies, that you may obviate Satan, and prevent 
your miscarrying : There is no condition but hath its 
Sf^'ares. See that you acquaint yourselves with his devices, 
lest you be beguiled by him, and caught in his trap through 
your own nnweariness. You that are well provided tor in 
the world, had need to watch yourselves, lest you fall in love 
with present things, lest you be lifted up, lest you trust in 
those carnal props, and put confidence in the creatures, lest 
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 temptations neither. 
Oh! take heed of envying others' prosperity, of murmuring 
and discontent, of diffidence and distrustfulness, of using in- 
direct means to help yourselves. Be sure you make not the 
world's pressures upon you, an excuse fVom your daily serv- 
ing of God in your families and in secret. Set this down 
as your rule and unchangeable resolution, that God, and 
your souls, and your families, shall be looked duly and con- 
tinually after, go the world which way it will. Consider what 
sins your tempers, relations, callings, do most expose } ou 
to. Be not strangers to yourselves. Prove yourselve up- 
right in keepinof 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. Re- 
member the days of darkness, which shall be many. Take 
every day some serious turns with death. Think where you 
shall be a few days and nights hence. Hapy 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 
yon are provided, how you should receive the sentence of 
death. Were you never within sight of death 1 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 generaiion with your might while you 
have time. You have but a very little time to bring God 
and 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 ! 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 eternity to you : How effec- 
tually 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 shake 
off his excuses, and be night and day at his work. Then 
the Laodicean would be recovered from his benumbed frame ; 
then he should have no halving in religion, no lazy wishing 
and complaining ; but men would ply the oars to purpose, 
and sweat at their work. 

But oh ! unhappy man, how powerfully hath the world be- 
witched thee ! How miserably hath sin unarmed thee, that 
thou shouldst look no farther than thou canst see, and to be 
taken up with present things, and forget so momentous con- 
cernments as are before thee ! 

But you my brethren, lift up yourselves above the objects 
of sense. May you be men for eternity ; and carry it like 
those that 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, 

1 ours in the bonds of the gospel 

of our Lord Jesus, 

Joseph Alleine. 

From the Prison of Juelchester, 
March, 5. 1GG5. 



To the loving and most beloved people, the servants of God 
in Taunton, 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 ignorant, 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 remem- 
brance, 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 a watchman of the Lord, I give you careful warn- 
ing, and exhort you all not to be high-minded, but fear. 
Blessed is the man that feareth always. Look diligently, 
lest any of you fail of the grace of God. You have made 
much and long profession of the name of Jesus Christ : Oh, 
look to your foundations, see upon what ground you stand. 
Look to your sincerity. 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 convic- 
tion and illumination for conversion, and a partial reforma- 
ticu and external obedience for true sanctification. There- 
fore I beseech you every one, to examine whether you are in 
the faith. Prove your own selves. Tell me not, you hope 
you are sincere, 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 know you have a building, not made with 
hands, eternal in the heavens. 

Suppose I should ask you, one by one, " Where are your 
evidences for heaven V^ 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 un- 
certainties? Brethren, it is an intolerable ignorance, for 
any of you in these days of glorious light, not to be able to 
tell the distinguishing 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 books, and your ears filled with 
sermons, that tell yon 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 a 
promise being left of entering into his rest, any of you fall 
short of it at last by unbelief. You are a professing 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. Kye, not 
only your actions, but your aims. Remember 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 affections. You 
are grown remiss in your watch, and your zeal is turned into 
a kind of indifferency, 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 wit!) you. Oh, remember 
whence you are fallen, and repent, and do your first works. 
Strengthen the things that remain, and are ready to die. 
Oh, rub and chafe your swooning souls, and ply them with 
warm applications, and rousing considerations, till they re- 
cover 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, seek- 
ing fruit, and ft'iding 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 custom- 
ary profession 1 Would you be the joy of our Lord ? W y, 
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, virtue ; and to virtue, know- 
ledge, &c. See that you grow extensively, in being abun- 
dant in all sorts of good works. Be pitiful, be courteous, 
gentle, easily to be entreated. Be slow to anger, soon re- 
conciled. 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, w^arn 
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 pro- 
fit, to examine yourselves more thoroughly, to mind heaven 
more frequently than heretofore. 

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 opinion of the godly, and are 
outwardly conformable to the ways of God, persuade your- 
selves 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 cannot dis- 
tinguish the tares from the wheat. Yet the Lord of the har- 
vest can. Christ will find you out, and condemn you for 
rotten and unsound, unless you be soundly renewed by re- 
pentance, and effectually changed by converting grace. 

Brethren, I fervently wish your salvation ; and to this, 
while I am able, I shall bend my ardent endeavours. I am 
now taking advice for my health, and hope in some few 
weeks to be restored to you. Li the mean time, I commend 
me to your prayers, and you to the grace of God, remaining. 

Yours in the Lord Jesus, 

Joseph Alleine, 

Dorchester, July 7, 1666, 




[Tlie Characters and Privileges of true Believers.] 

To the loving and beloved people, the servants of God in 
Taunton, Salvation. 

Most Dearly beloved, — 1 longed to hear of your wel- 
fare, but, by reason of the carrier's intermitting his journeys, 
could not till now obtain my desires ; neither had I an op- 
portunity, till the last week, of writing to you. I rejoiced 
to hear, by Mr. Ford, of God's continual goodness towards 
you ; He is your Shepherd, and therefore it is that you do 
not want. Me you have not always, but he is ever with 
you ; his rod and staff shall comfort you. Nay, more than 
all this, you may hence conclude comfortably for all times, 
yea, for the whole eternity to come. Surely goodness and 
mercy shall follow you all the days of your lives, and you 
shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. 

Li this, my dear brethren, in this rejoice, and again I say, 
rejoice that God is engaged in so near and so sweet rela- 
tion to you. Doubtless, your souls shall lodge in goodness, 
and be provided for carefully, and lie down in everlasting 
safety, that have the Almighty for your !^hepherd. Blessed 
are 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 1 Not all professors. I be- 
seech 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 deceived ; nor flatter your- 
selves that, because you bear the name of Christians, and 
do many things, and have escaped the open gross pollutions 
of the world, therefore you are surely among the number of 
Christ's true sheep. All this you may attain to, and yet be 
but washed swine ; there must be an inward, deep, and 
thorough, and universal change upon your natures, dispo- 
sitions, inclinations, or else you are not Christ's sheep. 

Li a word, if you will be put out of doubt whether 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 delibe- 
rately 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 1 Are you at peace with no sin, or do you 
not hide some iniquity, as a sweet morsel under your 
tongue? Is there not some practice that you are not will- 
ing to know is a sin, for fear you should be forced to leave 
it ? Do you love the commandment that forbids your sin : 
or do you not wish it out of the Bible, as that evil mau 
wished God had never made the seventh commandment ! 
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 vvay of God's precepts ; and had 
rather live holily than be allowed to live in your sins ? Do 
you, in your very hearts, prefer a godly strict life, in com- 
munion with and conformity to God, before the greatest 
prosperity of the world ? Do you choose holine^ss, not out 
of bare necessity, 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 his sheep. 

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 seal- 
ed ones, upon 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 foreheads. 

Hear, beloved flock, I may give you the salutation 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 mankind besides, put all their mercies to-* 


gether. Fear not, little flock, it is your Father^s good plea- 
sure 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, of 
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 writings 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 oj my 
Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you. 

Do you believe yet 1 Do you thoroughly believe ? If so, 
then my work is done, then I need not bid you rejoice, nor 
bid you be thankful, only believe. Do this, and do all. Be- 
lieve, 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 faith 
worketh by love. In a word, keep these things upon your 
hearts by daily and lively consideration ; and this will bring 
heaven into your souls, and engage you to all manner 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. W^hen Saul had gotten his kingdom, he left 
off taking care for the asses. O, remember yours is the king- 
dom. 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, 

Joseph Alleine. 
Devizes, June 29, 1666. 



[Of the Second Coming of Christ.] 

To the faithful and beloved^ the servants of God in Taunton, 
grace and p eace. 

Loving and Most Dearly Beloved, — Though I trust 
my bonds do preach to you, yet methinks that doth uot suffice 
me ; but the conscience 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 
loas raised from the dead according to the gospel, why should 
not I be often calling upon myself, and upon you, my dearly 
beloved, to remember and mediate 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 
you the plainest principles of ('hristianity, and the setting 
them home upon mine own heart and yours, than in dwell- 
ing upon any more obstruse speculations, in the clearest 
handling of which the preacher may seem to be too much 
like the winter 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 cometh in the clouds, and every 
eye shall see him; your eyes and mine eyes. And all the 
tribes of the earth shall mourn because of him : But we shall 
lift up our heads, because the day oi 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 my- 
self undone ; my preaching is vain, and my suffering is vain ; 
and the bottom in which I have entrusted 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 un- 
certainly, but the word of the Lord abideth for ever, upon 


which word do we hope. How fully doth this word assure 
us that this same Jesus that is gone up into heaven shall so 
return, and that he shall appear the second time unto salva- 
tion to them that look tor 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 appointed a 
day wherein he will judge the world by that man whom he 
hath ordained. The manner of it is revealed, — Behold the 
Lord Cometh with ten thousand of his saints. The attend- 
ants are appointed and nominated, — The Son of Man shall 
come in his glory, and cdl his holy angels with him. The 
thing, you see, is established, and every circumstance is de- 
termined. How sweet are the words that dropped from the 
precious lips of our departing Lord ! What generous cor- 
dials hath he left us in his parting sermons, and his last 
prayer I And yet of all the rest those are the sweetest, I 
will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am 
there you may be also. What need you any further witness ? 
You have heard him yourselves, assuring you of his return. 
Doubtless he cannot deceive you. You have not only 
known, but seen and felt the truth of his promises. 

And will he come 1 Tremble then, ye sinners ; triumph, 
ye saints ; clap your hands, all he that look for the consola- 
tion of Israel. O sinners, where will you then appear? 
How will you look upon Him whom you have pierced, whom 
you have persecuted, whose great salvation you have neglect- 
ed and despised ? Wo unto you that ever you were born, 
unless you should then be found to be new-horn ! 

But you, children of the Most High, how will you for- 
get 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 working (if I may so speak) 
with pangs unutterable, when you shall see him, and hear 
his sweet voice commending, applauding, approving of you, 
and owning you by name betbre all the world ! Brethren, 
thus it must be, the Lord hath spoken it. See that you 
stagger not at the promise, but give glory to God by be- 

Again, the time is near. Yd a little while, and he that 
shall come will come. Behold I come quickly, saith He. And 
again. The Lord is at hand. Sure you are, that death can- 
not be far otT. 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 appearing; when he 
will take us up altogether, and so we shall be ever with the 

Soul, believest thou this 1 If thou dost indeed, what re- 
mains but that thou shouldest live a life of love and praise ; 
studying to do all the good thou canst till thou come to hea- 
ven ; and waiting all the days of thine appointed time till 
thy change shall come ? my soul, look out and long. O 
my brethren, 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 affec- 
tions be answerable to your 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, 

Joseph Alleine. 

From the Prison at Juelcbester, 
August 5, 1666. 


[Of the LoveofChrst.] 

To his most endeared friends, the servants of God in Taun- 
ton, salvation. 

Most Dearly Beloved, — Methinks my breasts are not 
easy, unless I do let them forth unto you. Methinks there 
is something 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 behind. 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 im- 
paired 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 remember him. Let me be 
very little, so he be very lovely 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 al- 
ways 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 : Glo- 
rify thine own name by me ; and thou shalt have my hand 
to it, that 1 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 bridegroom, and my business is but to 
give you to understand 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 speaking 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 i^i the shining throne, and you in dirty 
flesh ; — and yet he loveth you. His heart is infinitely ten- 
der 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, Smil, 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 h 
in heaven. 

Brethren, Christ is real in all that he speaks unto you. 
He is not like a flourishing lover, who fills up his letters with 
rhetoric, 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 ad- 


vance 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 loves him ? 

Brethren, possess your very hearts with this, that Christ's 
love doth go out with infinite dearness towards you. Even 
now, while he is in all his glory, he earnestly remembers 
you still. This is the High Priest that now is entered into 
the holy of holies, doth bear your names particulary, remem- 
bering every poor believer by name. He bears your names, 
— but where ? " upon his breastplate, upon his heart," saith 
the text, Exod. xxviii. 29. Ah ! Christians, I may salute 
you as the angel did Mary, Hail you that are highly fa- 
VGured : Blessed are you among men. Sure your lot is fall- 
en 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, O Daniel^ thou 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. 

Oh, let his name be written then on your hearts. Do not 
write his name in the sand when he hath written yours 
upon his own breast! Do not forget him who hath taken 
such care, that where he is, he may never forget you, having 
recorded your names not only on his book, but on his flesh, 
and set you as a seal 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 far 
from forgetting you in all his greatness and glory, that he is 
gone into heaven on purpose, there to present you before the 
Lord, that you may be always in remembrance before him. 
beloved, glory, 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 intercession. 
His interest is potent. He is always present. Our advo- 
cate 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 undertake 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 inter* 
cession for us." His love is like his life, ever and ever ; 
knowing no remission in degree, nor intermission of time, 
no cessation 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 according to the di- 
mensions ot" this boundless field of divine love ? If the pens 
of all the world were employed to write volumes of love ; if 
the tongues of all the living were exercised in nothing else 
but talking of this love ; if all the hearts that be were made 
up of love : and all the powers and affections of the mind 
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 love. 

O my dearly beloved, may your souls be swallowed up in 
this love. Think, and think while you will, you can never 
think how much you are beloved. See that ye love again, 
by way of gratitude^ 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 em- 
braces of divine love I leave you, thinking it now not worth 
while to tell you of my love, remaining 

Yours in the bonds of your most 

dear Lord Jesus, 

Joseph Alleine. 
AugtLst 11, 16G5. 


[Warning to Professors of their Danger.] 

To the most beloved people, the servants of God in Taunton, 

Most 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 peact', my riches, and my righteousness: He is my 
hope and my strength, and mine inheritance, and my rejoic- 
ing. Li him will 1 please myself ibr ever, and in him will 
I glory. I esteem myself most happy, and rich, and safe in 
him, though of myself I am nothing. In him I may boast 


without pride, and glory without vanity. Here is no danger 
of being over much pleased ; neither can the Christian ex- 
ceed his bounds in over-vakiing his own riches and happi- 
ness in Christ. I am greatly pleased with the lot that is 
fallen to me ; The 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 difficulties 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 invalu- 
able mercy, that ever he called me to be an Ambassador of 
the Lord Jesus Christ to youwards. Li this station I desire 
to approve myself to him ; and that I am withdrawn from my 
work for a season, it is but that 1 may return to you re- 
freshed, 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 intentions, I 
shall be found to have been daily serving you in this retire- 
ment. 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 resolved not so much as once to broach 
the vessel till I draw forth to you. 

I bless the Lord, I am in great tranquillity 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 coming, by taking away my dear fa- 
ther, the day of whose glorious translation was the day after 
my arriving here. But I bless the Lord, I do believe and 
expect the return of the Redeemer with all his saints, and 
the most glorious resurrection of my own dead body with all 
believers. 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 busi- 
ness to be rendered serviceable to you ; and do, by this re- 
turn 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 
rigging, 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 la- 
bour, 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 1 beseech you carefully 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 idolator. 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, merchandise (all of them law- 
ful comforts,) did as effectually keep men from a sound and 
saving 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 yourselves, " This, 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 profession was as green and 
fresh as ever ; and yet their inordinate aflection to the things 
of this life, did secretly undo all at last. Little do most pro- 
fessors think of this, — while they please themselves in their 
estates, while they delight themselves so freely in their chil- 
dren, 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 wordly professors, Lnve not the icorld^ for if 
any man love the iiwrld, 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 1 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 repentance, 
than hereafter, when there shall be no place for repentance. 

Secondly, Lest while iniquity doth abound, your love to 
Christ doth tcax cold. Remember what an abomination, 
Laodicea was to Christ, because she grew so lukewarm ; 
and what a controversy he had with Ephesus, a sound church, 
because she did but slacken 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, ful- 
ly, now he is most rejected and opposed. 

Thirdly, Lest you keep up a barren and fruitless profes- 
sion, without progression. See to it, my brethren, 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 whedier they go forward or 
backward, they trade themselves out of all. Oh, look to it, 
my brethren, that none of you rest in the doing of duties, 
but examine what comes of them. Otherwise, as you may 
trade yourselves into poverty, so you may hear and pray 
yourselves into hardness of heart, and desperate security and 
formality. This was the very case of wretched Laodicea, 
who kept up the trade of religious duties, 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 h,er accounts were cast up at last, all comes to noth- 
ing, and ends in wretchedness, poverty, and nakedness. 
Most dear brethren, I wish and pray for the prosperity of 
.you all. But above all, I wish your souls' prosperity ; with 
which, after my most dear loves to you all, having already 
exceeded the bounds of an epistle, I commend you to the liv- 
ing God, remaining. Your tervent well-wisher, 

And Ambassador in Christ, 

Joseph Alleine. 
Dkvizes, Jinie 22, 1666. 




[An Admiration of the Love of God.] 

To the loving and most dearly beloved, the servants of God 
in Taunton, 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 1 How 
long shall I dwell in silence? How long shall my tongue 
cleave to the roof of my mouth 1 When will God open my 
lips, that I may stand up and praise him 1 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 1 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 I had but hands to write, that I 
might from my pen drop some heavenly counsels to my be- 
loved people." Methinks my feeble lingers do even itch to 
write unto you ; but it cannot be, alas ! my right hand 
seems to have forgotten her cunning, and hath much ado 
with trembling 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 you 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 
suSmit. 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 nothing, because I cannot utter all ? This 
must not be, neither. 

Come then, all ye that fear the Lord, come, and I will tell 
you what he hath done for my soul. 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 nie, and let us exalt his name together ! He 
hath remembered my low estate, because his mercy endur- 
eth for ever. O blessed be you of the Lord, my dearly be- 
loved ; O thrice blessed may you be, for all your remem- 
brances 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 ! Surely it is 
stronger than death. See that you even honour the power 
and prevalency 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 hath given a resurrection to this body of 
mine, when physicians and friends had given up their 

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 I have not forgotten, my dearly beloved, 
I have not forgotten your tender 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 
remember with much delight, how you refreshed and com- 
forted me in my tribulations, how open your hearts were; 
and your hands were not straitened, neither, — for I was in 
want of nothing. I may not, I must not forget what pain- 
ful journeys you took to visit me, when in places remote, 
the hand of the l.ord had touched me ; and though my long 
sickness was almost incredibly expensive to me, yet your 
supplies did not a little lighten my burden. 

And though 1 put it last, yet I do not mind it least, that 
you have 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 

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 lest, as the wise man saith of the begin- 


11 ing 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 overcarry 
the praise. I found myself in straits when I began to speak 
of the natural love between my dear people, and an unwor- 
thy minister of Christ to them ; and it seemed that all that 
I have said was much too little ; but, now I speak of the 
love of God. it seems to be by far too much. 

infinite Love never to be comprehended, but ever to be 
admired, magnified, and adored by every creature ! O let 
my heart be filled, let my mouth be filled, let my papers be 
filled, ever, ever filled with the thankful commemoration of 
this matchless love ! turn your eyes from other objects ! 
bury me in forgetful n ess, and let my love be no more 
mentioned nor had in remembrance among you, so that 
you may be thoroughly possessed and inflamed with the 
love of 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 souls with 
joy, and be ravished with rich contentment 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 excess. O that your souls may be drench- 
ed and drowned in the love of Christ, till you can every 
one say with the ravished spouse, I am sick of love. Mar- 
vel not that I wander here, and seem to forget the bounds 
of a letter; — this obligeth me, yea, rather constraineth me. 
Who in all the earth should admire and commend 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 
my 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 kuees, my bones quite naked of flesh, do yet 
again revive through the quickening, healing, and raising 
influence of divine grace aud love No^v my own hands 
can feed me, and my ovvn 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 youl 
My heart is enlarged ; but I 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, lest 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 pre- 
sence with you, and painfulness, and watchfulness over 
you, and zeal and courage for you in so dangerous a time, 
is a 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, 

Joseph Alleine. 


To the most endeared people, the inhabitants of Taunton, 

Most Dearly Beloved and Longed-for, my Joy 
AND Crown, — My heart's desire and prayer for you is, that 
you may be saved. This is that which I have been praying, 
and studying and preaching for these many years ; and this 
is the end of my venturing and suffering, and writing, at 
this present time. God that knoweth all things, — he know- 
eth that this is my wish, " Oh that 1 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 no 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 thankfully, so I may 
but save you. Do not wonder why I follow you so press- 
ingly, why I call upon you so frequently ; let not my im- 
portunity be grievous to you, all this is but to save you. 
Christ did not bethink 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, under 
the power of ignorance, or by a profane negligence, 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 thankfully acknow- 
ledge, that (considering the paucity of those that are saved) 
there are not a few of you who are the joy of" your minis- 
ters, and the glory of Christ. But it cannot be dissembled, 
that far the greater number give little ground to hope that 
they are in the state of salvation. And must not this be a 
pinching thought to a compassionate teacher, to think, that 
he cannot for his heart persuade men, but that the most of 
them will wilfully throw away themselves ? Is it not a wo- 
ful sight to behold the devils driving a great part of our mis- 
erable flocks (as they did once the herd of swine, the keep- 
ers themselves amazed looking on), 1 say, driving them 
violently down the hill, till they be choked in the water, 
and drowned irrecoverably in the gulf of endless perdition? 
Ah, miserable 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 unto me, 
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 vvooeth you ! How it waiteth 
to be gracious to you ? Hear, 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? Pie hath no need of you ; yet how 
do his companions 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 
to repentance ? Behold he standeth at the door and knocketh. 
man, wilt thou keep Jesus at the door, and lodge Barrab- 
bas in thy bosom, and prefer thy cruel lusts before thy com- 
passionate Lord? O his melting love to sinners! He call- 
eth after them Isa. Iv. I. He weepeih over them, Luke xix. 


41. 42. He crieth to them, Pro v. i. 21, 22, 23. How long 
ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? Will you not be 
made clean? When shall it once be? Why will you die? 
Turn at my reproof: Behold I will pour out my Spirit upon 
you. Sinner, are thou not yet melted ? Oh come in at his 
loving calls, come out from thy sins : touch the sceptre of 
grace and live: Why shouldst thou be dashed in pieces by 
his iron rod ? Kiss the Son. Why shouldst thou perish iu 
the way? v^et up Jesus as thy King, lest he count thee for 
his enemy, because thou wouldst not that he should reigii 
over thee, and so thou be called forth and slain before him. 
Oh how dreadful will this case be, to perish under the pititul 
eyes of his mercy, and to die by the hand of a Saviour ! Oh ! 
double hell, to have thy Redeemer become thine execution- 
er ! And the hand that was so long stretched forth to save 
thee, to be now stretched forth to slay thee ! And the mer- 
ciful heart of 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 Agag before the Lord. 

But I have been too long in prefacing to what I intended 
fothwith to have fallen upon : Indeed I am apt to run out 
in matters that do so nearly touch upon your greatest con- 

Beloved, I despair of ever bringing you to salvation, with- 
out sanctification : or possessing you with happiness, with- 
out 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 yourself unto 
godliness. This is that I drive at. 1 beseech you, study to 
further personal oodliness, 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 unreser- 
vedly devoted to 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 impress 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 orest business. It is the highest 
point of justice, to ^ive God his due. Beware that none of 
you be a prayerless person : for that is a most certain dis- 
covery of a Christiess and a graceless person, of one that is 
a very stranger to the fear of God. ISuffer nut your Bibles 
to gather dust. See that you converse daily with the word. 
That man can never lay claim to blessedness, whose delight 
is not in the law of the Lord. Let meditation and self-ex- 
amination be your daily exercise, else the papists, yea the 
pagans, will condemn us. That the short questions which 
I have given you as a helptx) 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 deceived. 
And therefore I would beseech, yea, even charge you, by 
the Lord, that you would daily examine yourselves by these 
questions, till you have found a better help to this duty. 

But piety without charity, is but the half of Christianity, 
or rather impious hypocrisy. We may not divide the ta- 
bles. 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 sobriety 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 
meekness and innocency, affableness, yieldingness, and 
courtesy, commend your conversations to all men. Let 
none of your relations want that love and loyalty, that rever- 
ence and duty, that tenderness, care, and vigilency, v/hich 
their several places and capacities call for. This is through- 
out 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 
in 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. 2U. James v. 12. Rev. xxi. 8. 1 Cor. vi. 9, lu. 
GaK vi, 19, 2U, 21. 

family godliness. He that hath set up Christ in his heart, 
will be sure to study to set hini up in his house. Let every 
family with you be a christian church ; every house, a house 
of prayer ; every household, a household of faith. Let every 
housholder say with Joshua, / and my house will serve the 
Lord; and resolve with David (Psalm cxxi. 2,) I icill 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 leasure, when the world will give 
you leave), but ihe standing business of the house. Let 
them have your prayers, as duly 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. 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 bestir thyself tor 
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 lor 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 family exercises, 
Psal. cxviii. 15. See Christ singing with his family, viz. 
his disciples, Mat. xxvi. 3U. Luke ix, 18. 

(2.) Let every person in your families be duly called to 
an account of their profitinp^ by the word heard or read, as 
they be about doing your own businesses, 'ihis 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. i 1. 13, 15. 

(3.) Often take an acccount of the souls under your care, 
concerning their spiritual estates. Herein you must be the 
followers of ( hrist ; Mat. xiii. 10, 36, 51 ; Mark iv. 10, 
II. Make inquiry into their conditions; insist much upon 
the sinfulness and misery of their natural estate, and upon 
the necessity of regeneration 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 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 man ?" 

(4. ) Look to the strict sanctifying of the Sabbath, by all 
of your households ; Exod. xx. 10; Lev. xxiii. 3. Many 
poor families have little time else. O improve but your 
Sabbath-days as diligently in labouring 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 

(5.) Let the morning and evening sacrifice of solemn 
prayer be daily offered vp in all your jamilies ; 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. miserable families, without God in 
the world, that are without family prayer ! What ! have you 
so many family sins, family wants, family mercies? What! 
and yet no family prayers'? How do you pray with all pray- 
er 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 t^oul ? And is 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, and 
the souls committed to thee. Besides a whet will be no let. 
Li a word, the blessing of all is to be got by prayer ; Jer. 
xxxix, 11,12. 2 Sam. vii. 29. And what is thy business with- 
out God's blessing? Say not, "I am notable." Use thy 


one talent, and God will increase it ; Mat. xxv. 24, &c. 
Helps are to be had till thou art better able. But if there be 
no other remedy, thou mayest 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. 1 1 ; and therefore you must 
improve family advantages for the performing of it. 

(6.) 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 \\ ithout. 
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 catechising in your families, at the least once 
every week. It was my partinor, dying request, that you 
would setup and maintain this duty in your families. Have 
you done it all accordingly? Cannot your consciences 
witness, caunotyou families witness, you have not? Well, 
I thought my parting words would have done something with 
you : I hoped the fervent request of a dying minister, would 
have prevailed for such a small matter with you. What ! 
to this day without a solemn catechising in your houses? 
Ah, what a discouragement to your teacher is this ? Bre- 
thren, shall I yet prevail with you? Will you reject me now 
also ? O let me persuade you, before you take off 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 
than 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 speak iug in the wind ? And all my 
pains but labouring in the fire? Beloved, you have no dread 
of the Almi<jhty's charge, — That you stiould teach these 
things diligenlly to your- children, and talk to them as you 
sit in your houses, i^-c. (Deut. vi. 6, 7, 8, 9, and iv. 9, U), 
and xi. 18, 19, 2U), and train them up in the way ihey shoidd 
go (Prov. XX ii. 6, in the margin). Hath God so commend, 
ed Abraham, that he would teach his children and household 
(Gen. xviii. 19.), and that he had so many instructed ser- 
vants (Gen. xiv. 14, in the margin), and given such promise 
to them thereupon, and will not you put in for a share, nei- 
ther in the praise nor the promise ? Hath Christ honoured 
catechising with his presence (Luke ii. 46), and will not 


you own it with your practice? Say not, " They are care- 
less and will not learn." What have you your authority for, 
if not to use it for God, and the good of their souls ? You 
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 
works ? Say not, "• They are dull and are not capable." 
If they be dull, God requires of you the more pains and pa- 
tience ; but so dull as they are you will make them learn 
how to work ; and can they not learn as well how to live 1 
Are they capable of the mysteries of your trade, and are 
they not capable of the plain principles of religion 1 Well ! 
as ever you would see the growth of religion, the cure of 
iornorance, the remedy of profaneness, the downfall of error, 
fulfil you my joy in going through with this duty. 

1 have been too long- already, and yet I am afraid my let- 
ter will be ended before my work be done. How loth am I 
to leave you, before I have prevailed 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 greater 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 extraor- 
dinary dispensations. My most dearly beloved, mine own 
bowels in the Lord, will you satisfy the longings of a tra- 
vailing minister? V\ ill you answer the calls of divine 
providence ? Would you remove the incumbent, or prevent 
the impending calamities? W^ould you plant nurseries for 
the church of God ? Would you that God should build your 
houses, and bless your substance? Would you that your 
children should bless 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 theforemeutioned direcctions) 
may be with constancy reverently performed. Pardon my 


prolixity and importunity in so earnest pursuing of you ; I 
am yet afraid I iiave done too soon, and shall end without 
my errand. The Lord God persuade you ! To Him I turu 
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 uufeignedly bless thee that any have believed my report. 
I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me, 
and they have received them. I have manifested thy name 
unt-^ them, and they have kept thy word. And now I am 
no more with them, but I come unto thee. Holy Father, 
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 ; sufler 
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 gathered ? 
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 persuasively 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 Ja- 
phet 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 upon 
their hearts by thy omnipotent grace. Do thou turn them, 
and they shall be turned. O bring back the miserable cap- 
tives, 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 no more with them, though he seek to ruin 
them, than all the beseechings, counsels, and charges of 
thy servants 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 ! God, find out every 



ignorant, every profane sinner, every prayerless soul, and 
every prayerless family, and convince them of their miser- 
able 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 slothfulness, keep them in ne- 
glect of the means of knowledge. Let thine eyes be over 
the place of my desires for good, from one end of the year 
to the other end thereof Let every house therein be a 
seminary of religion ; and let those that cast their eyes upon 
these lines, find thee sliding in, by the secret influence of 
thy grace, into their hearts, and irresistibly engaging them 
to do thy pleasure. Amen. Amen. 


I He that endureth to the end shall be saved.] 

To the loving and well-beloved, the servants of Christ in 
Huntingdon, grace and peace. 

Most Dear Christians, — I do thankfully acknowledge, 
both to you, that I am many ways obliged to love and serve 
you : And surely when the Lord shall turn our captivity 
I will (through his grace) endeavour to shew myself thank- 
ful, wherein I may, unto you. I am the more sensible of 
your great love, because I cannot be insensible how little I 
have deserved such a mercy, and how little I have beea 
able to do to oblige you. Jlhle, I say ; for I am sure, 
I have been willing to be much more serviceable to you. 
But now, letters and prayers are all that I have for you ; of 
these I shall be ready to be prodigal. Your love to me hath 
been very bountiful : I may not forget the liberal supplies 
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 thanklul respects unto you. I 
fervently pray, and do not doubt to speed, that you may reap 
in grace and glory what you have sworn to us in bounty. 
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 reward. 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 creditor 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 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 deceittul world count 
it doubtful and distant 1 And they are all for something in 
hand, and to take it up 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 plough 
and sow, and wait for the return of all 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 steadtast, unmoveable, 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 
undervalue all the glory that God hath promised, as not to 
count it sufficient to pay them for a little waiting ! 

Beloved, lift up your eyes and behold your inheritance, — 
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 considerately, 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 be^ 
think 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 before- 
hand 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 tor them that 
fear him? 

And will you miss of all, for want of patience ? God for- 
bid. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruits 
of the earth, and hath long patience, till he receive the early 
and latter rain. Be ye also paitent, stablish your hearts, 
for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. What ! shall the 
husbandman have more patience for the fruits of the earth, 
than you for the precious tVuits of your faith ? The husband- 
man hath no such certanty as you. He hath but a proba- 
bility 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 con- 
tent to wait for his reimbursement, till the corn be grown. 
But your harvest is most sure, as sure as the irrevocable de- 
cree, 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 believer'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, the husbandman hath long patience; and 
will not you have a littJe patience ? Is it not long patience 
that God doth expect of you. For, behold, the coming of 
the Lord draweth nigh. Will the garrison yield when relief 
is at hand? Or the merchant sit down and give up his 
hopes, when within sight of the harbour ? Or will the hus- 
bandman despond, 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. Therefore cast not away your confidence, 
which has great recompence 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 be- 
yond measure gracious to us here. He shines bright into 
our prison, blessed be his name ! He waters us from hea- 
ven and earth. As, we trust, you forget not the poor pri- 
soners 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 letter, yet 1 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 pro- 
mise, where my letter ends, my prayers shall begin. Fare- 
well, dear brethren ; fare you well in the Lord. I am, 

An unworthy Ambassador of Jesus in bonds, 

Joseph Alleine. 

From the Prison at Juelchester, 
29th Oct. 1663. 


[His perseverance.] 

To my dear friends, the servants of Christ in Luppit, 

Belovkd 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 
tliat were last upon my heart, before my taken up ; and had 
I not been made a prisoner, I think I had in a few hours 
after the time of my apprehension been with you. Now I 
can no way, but by prayers, letters, and coansels, 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 ; that Christ is a master 
worth suffering for ; that there is really enough in religion 
to defray all our charges, and to quit all the cost and expense 
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 better than the world's paradise ; that the divine 
attributes are alone an all-sufficient livelihood ; that the in- 
fluences 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 patience, and the assurance of the 
Divine favour with you to a prison, you will live comforta- 
bly in spite of earth and hell. These are truths that the pri- 
soners of Christ in a measure seal unto ; and I would 
have you to be more soundly assured of and established in 

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 holi- 
ness ; 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, (^ome 
on, beloved Christians, come on ; slack not your pace, but 
give diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end, and 
be ye followers of them who through faith and patience in- 
herit the promises. Strengthen the hands that hang down, 
and the feeble knees. If you faint in the day of adversity, 
your strength is small. 

Cheer up, my brethren ; look what a crown, what a king- 
dom here is : What say you ? Is not here a worthy por- 
tion, a goodly heritage ? Were it not pity to lose all this 
for want of diligence and patience ? Come, dear Christians, 
and fellow-travellers, I pray you, let us put on. Pluck up 
the weary limbs ; our house is within sight. Lift up your 
eyes trom the Pisgah of the promises. You may see the 
land of rest. Will any of you think of returning into Egypt? 
God forbid ! A little patience, and Christ will come. Be- 
hold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruits of the 


earth, and hath long patience till he receive the early and 
latter rain : Be ye also patient, stahlish your hearts, lor the 
coming of the Lord draweth 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 king, 
dom is not of this world ; that here you must have tribula- 
tions ; and that all is well, as long as we are secured for 
eternity. 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 come ! He will render 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 there- 
fore, and stand fast, quit you like men : Be zealous, and let 
your hearts be strong : God is your friend, and you may 
trust him. He is able to bear you out, and bear you up. 
Faint not therefore, but be steadfast, unmoveable, abounding 
in the works of the Lord. Speak often one to another, pro- 
voke to love, and to good works. Let the bay of 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 ex- 
cite you, encourage you, enflame you! May these poor 
lines be some quickeninsj 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 brethren, 
farewell in the Lord. I am, 

Yours in the bonds of the Lord Jesus, 

Joseph Alleine.. 

OU. 11, 1665. 



[To a Backsliding Fellow-Student.J 

Sir, — Whom this will find you, or u^hen, or where, I know 
not; but I have shot this arrow at a venture. Once you 
were an associate with me in Corpus Christi ; I remember 
your blameless conversation, and your zealous affection for, 
and adhesion to, the ways and people of God. May you be 
still found in the same paths of holiness, without which no 
man shall see God ? The vows of God are upon me (which, 
I confess, I have been too slack to pay) that I would put 
you in remembrance, and in all brotherly tenderness advise 
you to remember from whence you are fallen. I was inform- 
ed, before your leaving of England, of many unhappy miscar- 
riages, which, to the great reproach of your holy profession, 
you had been too manifestly 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 inducements, examples, 
and faithful, friendly, watchful observers, 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 con- 
science of my duty hath engaged me, now you have been 
so many years a stranger to me, and are at so many thou- 
sand miles distant from me, to write notwithstanding to 
you. And I beseech you, bear a little with me. Is it wis- 
dom, after you have begun in the Spirit, to end in the flesh 1 
You did run well, who hath hindered you ? I remember 
your strict walkings, your holy converse, your many tears : 
Will you lose the things that you have wrought? Have you 
found out another, a nearer way to heaven ? Do you hope 
to get in at the wide gate, in the broad way ? Need 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 leadeth unto life, and few there be 
that find it : And will you yet do as the most, and decline 
the way of strictness and holy self-denial, and ^ive the flesh 
the reins? What! when God that cannot lie hath said, If 
you live after the ^esh, 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 liberty 
and looseness, the way of evil company and fleshliness, is 
the way to eternal life? 

I am not for tying up salvation to this or that opinion : 
But certainly, let men be of what opinion they will, without 
strictness, self-denial, and holy diligence, they cannot be 
saved ;—( Mat. xvi. 42 ; Mat. ix. 12; 1 Pet."i. 15, 16.) 
Once you could say with David, I am a companion to all 
hem that fear thee : Is it so now ? O sir, let not the 
wicked entice you. Hath not God said, Ji companion of 
fools shall be destroyed (Prov. xiii. 2 *.) ; that you must 
forsake the foolish if you desire to live? (Prov. ix. 6.) 

Sir, I have no more hopes ever to meet you more on 
earth : that I might meet you in heaven ! Let us tread the 
same path of holiness, and then we shall doubtless meet there. 
But surely you must deeply and timely repent of, and return 
from, your grievous backslidings, or else I desire never to 
meet in your heaven. But why should not we, that h -ve 
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 toge- 
ther. 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 backslider 
in heart shall be filled with his own ways. God hath said it, 
and who shall reverse it? — If any man draw hack, my soul 
shall have no pleasure in him. And once again. When the 
righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and commiteth 
iniquity, shall he live ? In his trespass that he hath tres- 


passed, shall he not die ? I know prayers can reach you, 
though at so vast a distance ; I shall add them to tlieso 
counsels, and commit you to God, remaining 
Your real friend in Christ, 

Joseph Alleine. 

Jdelchester, May IS, 1664. 


[Good Counsel to his Wife.] 

My Most Dsar Theodosia, — Thou seemest to have 
been long from me: Let nothing any longer detain thee, 
but my sister's necessity, or father's authority. I am very 
sorry that thou shouldst lose two sacraments. lam in a com. 
fortable state of health, through divine goodness, to which 
be glory for ever! See that thou love and admire that Foun- 
tain 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: But this is all our business. V\ hat 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 glo- 
rity God, and enjoy him for ever. Learn well that lesson ; 
and know that it is the one thing necessary. Every morn- 
ing remember that thy serving and pleasing of God, is the 
whole business of that day, and therefore set out according- 
ly 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, [ 
have nothing in the world that doth concern thee, or me so 
much to write of to thee, as this is Oh, that thou mayst 
still be laying up in heaven ; still furthering thy account; 
still adding to the heap, and increasing thy glorious reward! 
Nothing is done f)r 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 spi. 
ritual 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 plough 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 precious, and I would not lose an 
inch of it. See thou to it, that my time in writing this let- 
ter be not lost time. Love God the more, and set thine 
heart the straighter towards him, and do but practice this one 


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 

Thine own, 

Joseph Alleine. 


[Desires after Heaven.] 
To his Wife. 

Mr Dear Heart, — My heart is now a little at rest to 
write to thee. £ have been these three days much disturb- 
ed, and set out of frame. Strong solicitations I have had 
from several hands, to accept very honourable preferment 
in several kinds ; some friends making a journey on pur- 
pose to propound it. But I have not found the invitations 
(though I contess very honourable, and such as are or will 
be suddenly embraced by men of tar greater worth and emi- 
nency) to suit with the inclinations of my own heart, as I 
was confident they would not with thine. I have sent away 
my friends satisfied with the reajions 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 desired rest. I would have 
my heart fixed upon God, so as no occurrences might dis- 


turb my tranquillity, 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 com- 
pass, that is restless till it be turned towards the pole. I 
can say through grace, with the church, " With my soul I 
have 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 seeking 1 How 
long shall I spend my days in wishing and desiring, when 
my glorified brethren spend theirs in rejoicing and enjoy- 
ing i Look, as the poor imprisoned captive sighs under the 
burdensome clog of his irons, and can only peer through 
the grate, and think of and long for the sweetness of that 
liberty which he sees others enjoy ; such methinks is my 
condition : I can only look through the grate of this prison, 
my flesh ; I see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, sitting 
down in the kingdom of God, but alas, I myself must stand 
without, longing, striving, fighting, running, praying, wait- 
ing, for what they are enjoying. 

Oh happy, thrice happy souls ! When shall these 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 clog- 
ged with the cumbersome burden of this dunghill body, that 
had it not a soul dwelling in it, like salt as it were to pre- 
serve it, it would soon turn to putrefaction and corruption, 
and be as odious and loathsome as the filthiest carrion, 
when you have put on incorruption and immortality. What 
continual molestation am I subject to by reason of this 
flesh ! What 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 here. But, oh, blessed 
souls, you are swallowed up of immortality and life; your 
race is run, and you have received your crown. How cau- 
tious must I be to keep me from dangers! How apt am I 
to be troubled with the cares and fears of this life, molesting 


myself with the thoughts of what I shall eat, and what I shall 
piit oil, 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 building 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 ecpial 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 har- 
vest of my labours, the end of my failh, 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 ? Wo is me that I sojourn 
in Mesech, and dwell in the tents of Kedar ! Oh that 1 had 
wings like a dove that I might fly away and be at rest ! 
The^^i would I hasten my escape from the windy storm and 
tempest, and be out of the reach of fears, disturbances, and 

How long shall I live at such a distance from my God, 
at such a distance from my country 1 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 remember 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 1 do not yet enjoy, and content myseli 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 penning ; 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 mayest get a thousand Ume3 
more. The Lord grant the recpiest 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 comtort be with ihee, 
my sweet love, Farewell. 

Thine beyond expression, 

Joseph Alleine. 


[God is a Satisfying Portion.] 

My Most DearPylades, — H^d not my right hand long 
since forgotteu 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 goodness 
that my soul had not before this time dsvt^lt in silence, and 
that death had not put the long period to all my writing and 

O my Pylades, what shall I say unto thee ? Now I be- 
gin to write, where shall I begin, when shall I end ? Me- 
thinks 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 constaiicy 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 hindered me from my much-desired 
comp uiy. I will assure thee, it hath been a pleasure to my 
heart a good pait of this 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 in- 
tend to see thee before my own home. I thank thee lor all 
the dear expressions of thy fervent 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, 
because 1 thoui;ht thou needest more than myself: But the 
love thereby expressed is most dearly welcome to me. \^ hat 


thou talkest of retribution and oi^ justice, doth not so well re- 
lish with me, because the phrases seem improper to the love 
protessed between us. 1 never looked for any return trom 
thee but love, which is the paying of all thy debts. 

My expenses have indeed been vast, and almost incredi- 
ble ; but surely goodness and mercy have followed me, and 
do follow me in every place, and in every chansje of my con- 
dition : 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 ret'reshed my soul. I have tbund God a satisfying por- 
tion to me, and have sat down under his shadow with full de- 
lights, 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, Me- 
thinks I am now in my element, since I have begun to make 
mention of him, I am rich in him, and happy in him, and my 
soul saith unto him with David, Thou hast made me most 
blessed for evermore, and happy is the hour that ever I was 
born to be made partaker of so blissful a treasure, so end- 
less a felicity, so angelical prerogatives as I have in him. 
! sweet are his converses ; 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 thy bosom? Did the poor woman call 
upon her friends and neighbors to rejoice together with her 
at the finding of a lost groat? And shall not I tell to thee, 
the keeper of the secrets of my soul, and the friend of my 
inmost bosom, what a friend is the Lord to me, though an 
unworthy sinner? Shall not I run and tell thee what a trea- 
sure I have found .' And here methinks the story of the 
lepers comes not unaptly to my min<l, who said one to an- 
other when they had eaten and drunk, and carried away, 
silver and gold, and raiment, and went and hid it. We do 
not well — this day is a day of good tidings, and ire hold our 
peace. It is fit that I should be clothed with shame ; I ac- 
knowledge before God, who trieth the hearts, I am unworthy, 
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, my soul, bless the Lord. my friend, 
let us exhalt his name together. He is my solace in my so- 
litude, he is my standing comforter, my tried friend, my sure 
refuge, my safe retreat; he is my paradi.se, he is my heaven ; 
and my heart is at rest in him. And I will sit and sing un- 
der his shadow, as a bird among the branches ; and whe- 
ther should I go but uato him ? Shall 1 leave the i'atness 
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 without va- 
nity, and I can praise him without end or measure. 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 with thee but 
Him ; give Him the glory. But thy love pleaseth me ; on- 
ly I have this exception, that thou art in love with thine own 
idol, as Austin somewhere speaks to a triend olhis that did 
too much magnify him, and inagniiest a creature of thine 
own fan cy, 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 beibre us. I often think of the com- 
plaint of the devout JMonsieur ;* "I feel myself very poor 
this week, and very defective in the love of God ; if you 
would know wherein you may pleasure me, love God more ; 
that what is wanting in me, may be made up in the abund- 
ance of your love." Li this, my Pylades, 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 thisto please 
myself in, that (^od is a little the better loved for me, and 
that I have blowed up, if it be but one flash, nay, but one spark 
of divine love in the bosom of my dearest friend towards 

But why, Pylades, why is thy style towards me chang- 
ed ? Why hast thou lost the old and wonted strain of our 
former pleasing familiarity? This I could not but observe 
with some disgust. Js it because thy heart is changed? 
But this is a question in which I cannot ask any resolution. 

* M. cle Renty. 


I am satistfied and at rest in thy love. But what this ahera- 
tioii 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 un- 
to 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 ivords come unto any competi- 
tion or comparison with thine experienced love ? I cannot 
entertain the thoughts of this without disdain. 

But thy needful cautions are acceptable to me. I desire 
to forsee and to provide for manifold changes and storms ; 
I know I am not yet in the harbour ; O pray with me that I 
enter not into temptation, for I am very weak in spirit, 
as well as in body, God knoweth. But there is no end 
with me, somewhere or other i must break off, and thou wilt 
say, " 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, I must have room to add my thankful acknowledgenieut 
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, loth Oct. leoa 


[To a Person of duality to be constant.] 

Most Honoured Sir, — Many changes have passed over 
both you and myself, 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 unfeign- 
ed desire to God is for your temporal and spiritual prosperi- 
ty ; 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 strange thing, if you meet witb dis- 
appointments. It is enouHh if you have the Lord ibr your 
portion, and heaven for your inheritance, though the world 
should not answer your expectations. 1 doubt not but you 



will be likely, as well as we, to meet with manifold tempta- 
tions. The Lord make you, when you have done all, to 
stand. Hold but 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 dif- 
ficult to discern the cincerity 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 forth 
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, 
1 should much commend to your reading and imitation. 
Court not the world nor its preferments. Moses, his self- 
denying choice, which the world would have branded for un- 
paralleled 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 yet be more vile. Re- 
member who accounted the reproaches of Christ greater 
riches than the treasures of Egypt. Yerily, 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 confer. 
And to be called Puritan, or Fanatic, for the bold and con- 
stant owning of the power of Christianity, than to have 
whole pages filled up with the honourable ofllices 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 net it. But he that can but use 
the pro."^pective of faith, and look as far as the approaching 
judfTrnent, 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 crown- 
ed Fix your eyes and meditations here, and that will set 
you above the world's temptations, ^hen by its oflTers or 
threatenings it would make you to warp, and 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 oi' 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 ior 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, 

Joseph Alleine. 
2Gtkrcb. 1661. 


Dear Cousin, — Though I have been in the valley of the 
shadow of death, though I 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 bor- 
rowed hands, as you see, rather than I would stay any 
longer from warning and admonishing 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 doth not satisfy me. Oh, that I 
could be sure that you were once safe settled in Christ? 
Though you are, I trust, comfortably furnished with earthly 
things, yet in this you are but half provided for. Have you 
a treasiure 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 fabric, and a great lord- 
ship, and should lay claim to all as your inheritance, and 
please yourself with the hopes of enjoying all this, when 
you had nothing to shew, no writing, no evidence to pro- 


duce, as a jijrouiid for any such hope, would not every one 
say, this were a piece of strange vaiiity 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 (lod, nor produce, from within ourselves, the sure 
and certain marks of the children of God. 

Ah, dear cousin, rouse up yourself, make conscience to 
deal plainly, and freely with your soul. Say within your- 
self, " I have hopes for heaven ; but where are my grounds 
and mv evidences 1 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 i)ray, 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 cozening, 
whoredom, and the like ; but what is this more than a pha- 
risee may have to say for himself? Can I prove by scrip- 
ture my claim to heaven ? Can 1 produce chapter and verse 
to justify myself?'* 

Oh cousin, fear, lest 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 workings for saving grace. Oh, there is 
a world of cviuiiterfeit 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, consider 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, lifeltiss, list- 
less, religion ! Bestir yourself to purpose for your soul, 
before it be too late. Search your conscience, as with can- 
dles ; 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, 

1 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 hinj to niake re- 
ligion his business, and to look heedfuUy to it, that the gain 
of the world prove not the loss of his soul I desire him 
that closet and family prayers, and weekly c.'itcchisinjr of his 
household, and strict sanctifying of the Sab-baih, and reading 
of the scriptures, singing of psalms, repeating of sermons, 
and diligent attendance upon powertui 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, fori have a zeal 
for your welfare, and that you and your household should 
serve the Lord, that you may enter into his rest, and carry 
childreu, and servants, and friends, and all, to heaven with 

As to my own estate, I have lost all my limbs ; and have 
been about twelve months uselesii. and again and again un- 
der the sentence of death ; but was brought in a horse-lit- 
ter to Bath, where God hath wonderiuliy restored me, so 
that I can feed myself, and go alone, and speak with a little 
more freeedom. Oh, love the Lord, praise the Lord for nie ; 
notwithstanding I continue weak, and have not strengih to 
write, yet I could not tell how to die in silence from you ; 
but have made use of-^a tViendly hand to send these couDsels 
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, 

Joseph Alleine. 
2lst Oct. 1668. 


[The Concernments of our Souls are especially to be regarded.] 

Dear Cousin, — You may think you are forgotten with 
me, ber-ause 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 
yoiu The welfare of your immortal soul is dear to me, and 
is the matter of my solicitous care and prayer. 

Dear cousin, metliinks I feel a godly jealousy of you 
within my heart, lest you should lose your soul amongst a 
crowd of worldly cares and business. O remember the 
story of him in the book of the Kings, who relates that he 
had a soldier committed to his keeping, upon condition that 
he should lose his life if he did let him go But while thy 
servant laent 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 enemy run 
not away with your soul. 

Oh beware that the %Aorld doth not secretly steal away 
your heart ! Consider that whatever your business be, you 
mu.^t and will have an eating time, and a sleeping time. 
Oh be as solicitous every day to keep your praying 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 per- 
fumed your closet with solemn and fervent prayer. And 
take heed, if you love your salvation, lest Satan beguile you 
Avith the bare outward performance of duties, and outward 
acts of religion. See to it, that you do not rest in a worldly 
relio-ion ; to g;ve God your knees while the world carries 
away your heart. You may pray, hear, and read, and all 
to no purpose, except your very soul be employed and en- 
gaged in those duties ; and the life, vigour, and strength of 
your affections 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 kingdom for my inheritance, give 
or deny me what thou wilt, poverty or riches, anything or 
nothing, I will be content with my lot," Say unto your 


soul, " So I may but have Christ, so I may but carry 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 
woula 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 perisn for ever." Dear cousin, if I 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 intinitely ten- 
der 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 1 While 
I live, 1 shall pray and care for you. Farewell in the Lord* 

I am 

Your truly loving and careful uncle, 

Joseph Alleine. 


[Godly Counsels.] 

Dear Cousin, — The welcome tidings of your safe arrival 
at Barbadoes, 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-beinor ; but do look upon myself as real- 
ly concerned in you. I have considered that God hath be- 
reft you of a careful father, and that your mother takes but 
little care of you ; so that you have none nearer than my- 
self to watch for your soul, and to charge and admonish you 
in the Lord, and to take care of you. 

But vet dear cousin, be not discouraged by these things, 
but look to heaven, fly unto Jesus, put away every known 
sin, set upon the conscientious performance of every known 
duty ; make Christ your choice, embrace him upon his own 
terms; deliver up yourself, 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 worldly 
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 laiJ, while 1 live, to have one 
friend on earth to care for you. You are gone far from me, 
even to the uttermost parts of the earth ; but 1 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 lodg- 
ed for ever? Amoni^st devils, or amongst angels? Upon a 
bed of flames, or in the joys of paradise f" 

Dear cousin, go aside by yourself in secret, retire from the 
noise of the world, and say to yourself, " Oh my soul I Whi- 
ther art thou going i Do not I know in my very heart that 
I must be converted or condemned ; that 1 must be sanctifi- 
ed or ran never be saved i Oh, my soul, what seekestthou? 
What designs do I drive at ? What is my chief care ? Which 
way do 1 bend my course ? Is it for this world, or for the 
world to come ? Do I first seek the kingdom of heaven, and 
the righteousness thereof? Do I 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 crown- 
ed, and yet never fight? To get the race, and never run? 
To enter at the strait gate, and never strive? To overcome 
principalities and powers, and never wrestle ?" No, no; say 
within yourself, " Oh my soul, either lay by the hopes of 
heaven for ever, or else rouse up thyself, put forth thy 
streni^th 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, to serve God and mammon; — it 
cannot be. If thou follow the world as thy chief desire and 
delight, if thou live after the flesh thou must die ; count upon 
it, the Lord hath spoken it ; and all the world can never re- 
verse it." Thus reason the case with your own soul, and 
give not rest to yourself night nor day, till you have got- 
ten off" from the world, broken off" from the wilful practice of 
every know.i sin, and gotten safe into (.'hrist 

Dear cousin, I charge you by the Lord, to observe these 
thintJ-s ; 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 thetn. 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 forbid 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 soul. 

2. Lest the snares of evil company withdraw you from 
God, and so prove your final ruin. 

3. Lest a lofty and worldly heart should thrust you out 
of the kingdom 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. U ! if you love 
me, or love your soul, look about you, consider your danger, 
fear lest you should miscarry tor 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 y^ou, to observe all your actions, and that 
he will surely bring all your practices into his judgment. 
Your aunt and myself, commends our dear love to you ; 
and I commend you to the Lord, and remain, 

Your loving and careful uncle, 

Joseph Alleine. 

VJtk August, 1GG8. 




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 and 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 nieces, my heart is careful for you; and there- 
fore I cannot cease, while I am in being in this world, to 
warn and admonish you, as my children, and to call upon 
you, in the name of the Eternal 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 trembling. Me- 
thinks 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 principalities and powers 1 Methinks I see 
temptations surrounding you, and beleaguering you, as the 
enemy about the walls of the treacherous party within you, 
I mean 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 these potent adversaries, without most pain- 
ful 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 1 look upon 


myself, who am now upon the matter your only monitor, to 
be the more concerned 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 where- 
with you are encompassed. I would not have you over- 
careful for the things of this lite, though I commend your 
laudable care and diligence, that you may not be burden- 
some to any man : but I commend you to a better and more 
necessary care, and that is that which the apostle speaks of 
the virgin's care ; The nnmarripd (saith he) careih for the 
things of the Lord. Ah, let this be your care ; seek first 
the kinordom of God and the righteousness thereof, and then 
all these things shall be added ; you have God's sure pro- 
mise 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 embrace the counsels of 
Godfrom ms. Oh make sure of heaven betimes, walk hum- 
bly with God, beware of a proud heart and a lofty spirit; 
abhor yourselves, else God will not accept you ; be displeas. 
ed with yourselves, else God will not be pleased with you ; 
condemn yourselves, that God may acquit you. The leaveu 
of pride will sour the whole lump, and mar all your profes- 
sion and religion, and render your persons, and prayers, and 
all, an abomination to the Lord, if it prevail in you. Oh, 
therefore, be not hiuh-minded, but fear ; and by prayer and 
watchfulness restrain and root up this wretched corruption 
of pride, which is a sin so 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 (lod 
hath blessed the use of the Both 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 
friendship hath filled my soul with comforts, and given a re- 
surrection to my body. I can now walk alone, and feed 
myself: but am altogether unable to write, which is the rea- 
son 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 wel- 
fare. And now I shall trespass no more ; but with my own 
and dear wife's love to you, I commend you to God, and 

Your loving and careful uncle, 

Joseph Alleine. 


[Do all in reference to God and his glory,] 

Dear Friend, — I have received yours of the 19th Sep. 
tember ; 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 I am not able to put off or on my own 
clothes. Your letter was exceedingly welcome to me, not 
only as reviving the remembrance 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 re- 
ceive : 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 generation in 
that short allowance of time that I have here, before I go 
hence, and be seen no more. Shall I commend to you the 
lesson that I am about to learn 1 But why should 1 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 
I may he able to say after the Jlpostle, '< 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 ambitious to come up towards that of 
our Lord and Master. To do always those things that please 
God. I plainly see that self-seeking is self-undoing; and 
that then we do promote ourselves i)est when we please 
God most, I find, that when 1 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 I do not live 
that time 1 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 dangerous as self; 
and O that others might take warning hy my hurt ! that 
I had lived wholly unto Uod ! 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 indeed, in treasure laid up there, whether I am apace 
removing; then I had been every day and hour adding 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 ever- 
lasting reward. Verily, if there be another world to come, 
and an eternal state after this short life, it is our only wis- 
dom to be removing, and as it were transplanting and trans- 
porting what we can from hence into that country to which 
we are shortly to be removed, that what we are now doing, 
we may be reaping the fruit 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 concerns of 
religion, and know no other interest but Jesus Christ's. I 
cannot say, I have already attained ; but this is that my 
heart is set to learn. That in all that I do, whether sacred 
or civil actions, till I may he doing but one work, and driv- 
ing one design, That God may be pleased by me, and be glo- 
rified in me ; that not only my praying, preaching, alms, 
&c. maybe found upon my account, but even eating, drink- 
ing, sleeping, visits, discourses, because they are all done 
as unto God. 

Too often do I take wrong aim, and miss my mark ; but 
I will tell you what be the rules I set myself, and do strict- 
ly impose upon myself from day to day, — .Vever 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 table, but resolving, "1 will not eat merely 
to please my appetite, but to strengthen myself for my Mas- 
ter'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 behind." 
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. 

I am not now in my former public 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 1 am unuseful, I cannot say ; but ra- 
ther think, that possibly I may be of more use than here- 
tofore. I thank the Lord, I have not known what it is to 
want a tongue to speak, but in miy 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 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 experence ; 
and that is, the visiting your whole flock from house to 
house, and inquiring into their spiritual estates particularly, 
and dealing plainly and truly with them about their conver- 
sion 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 curam animarnm.^ 

You see how free I am with you, but I know your can- 

I rejoice in your happy yoke-fellow ; salute her from 
your old friend ; and accept the unfeigned respects of him 
who is. Sir, 

Your real and faithful friend, 

Joseph Alleine. 

♦ It has been proved. t The care of souls. 



[Prison Comforts.] 
To a JVIinister in Prison. 

Worthy Sir, — I owe you a letter, aud more than a let- 
ter 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 I trust my soul aud others 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 who 
will shortly say : Inasmuch as thou didst it unto the least 
of these my brethren, thou didst it unto me ! 

It was but a little after my release from my own confine- 
ment 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, JWiil, domine, nisi pati ac contemni joro 
te ?j 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 comformable to his death. I 
doubt not but your consolations in Christ do much more 
than superabound in all your tribulations for him : Yet let 
me add this one cordial, That now you have a whole shoal of 
promises come into 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 suffer- 

* What wouldst thou that I should do for thee. 

t Nothing Lord, except that I may suffer and be despised for thee. 


ing state. And doubtless he hath gotten well, that hath got- 
ten such a number of exceeding great and precious promis- 
es. If the men of the world do so rejoice when such or such 
an estate is tallen to them ; should not you much more, that 
have such a treasure of promises tallen 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 imprisoned state. Oh the 
bottomless riches of the covenant of grace ! It shames me 
that I have let such a treasure lie by so long, and have made 
so little use of it. Never did my soul know the heaven of a 
believer's life, till I learnt to live a life of praise, and by 
more frequent consideration to set home the unspeakable 
riches of the divine promises, to which I trust, through 
grace, I am made an heir. I verily perceive, that all our 
work were done at once, if we could but prevail with our- 
selves and others to live like believers ; to tell all the world 
by our course and carriage, that there is such a pleasantness 
in Christ's ways, such beauty in holiness, such reward to 
obedience, as we profess to believe. May ours and our peo- 
ple's conversations but preach this aloud to the worW — That 
there is a reality in what God hath promised ; 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 ! 

Yerily, 8ir, it is but a very Uttle 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 iu: 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 oflTall together ; our 
Lord doth not long intend us for the lower region : Surely 
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 lookout for 
his coming, in which is all our hope ? It will be time enough 
for us to be preferred theu. We knov/ 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 blessed, kc. Surely, we shall stand in 
his judgment. He hath promised to stand our friend. Let 
us look for the joyful day : As sure as there is a God, this 


day will come ; and then it shall go well with us. What ! if 
bonds and banishments abide us for a season ? This is no- 
thing but what our Lord hath told us, The world shall rejoice, 
but ye shall lament : You shall be sorrowfuU 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 taketh from yon. 

If that miserable wretch leaped cheerfully off the ladder, 
saying, I shall be a queen in hell ; with what joy should we 
do and suffer for God, who have 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 was the high- 
est commendation that ever that worthy, R. Baxter, receiv- 
ed, which fell from the pen of his scoffing adversary Tilen- 
us, who saith of him. He breathes nothing but Puritanism. 
Oh that this may be true of us and ours ! 

Let your true yoke-tellow, and my christian friends with 
you in the bonds of the gospel, have my hearty commenda- 
tions. And these counsels, I pray you, give them from me, 
for the improving of their present state : 

1. To habituate themselves both as to their thoughts and 
discourses, more thoroughly than ever into holiness. Bre- 
thren, I would teach you the lessen that I resolve to U arn 
with you, — That your minds and tongues may as natu- 
rally 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 learned this 
lesson, and why should not vve 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 dis- 
course, 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 ho- 


liness they might grow up to, even in this life, with pains 
and diligence. Sirs, be you men of great designs : 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, favourites of the Most High, of tall growth, 
great experience, 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 holiness running through 
your whole course. 

It is the disgrace of profession that there is so litile differ- 
ence to be seen in the ordinary conversation of believers from 
other men. Is it not a shame, that when we are in compa- 
ny 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 yonr reliijion 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 management 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 pri- 
sons, 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 stream of edify- 
ing 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. Tn improve their present retirements from the world, 
for the se!tli7ig 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 ! 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 
nopes 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 ivell, God looks for extraordinary things 


from you under such great helps, such extraordiiiary dispen- 
sations. Be restless till you can say. that You know it is 
well ; that you know you are passed Ji om death io life. 

Think not that this is a privilege that only a few may 
expect. Observe but these three things : 

1. To acquaint yourselves thoroughly with the conditions 
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 work, 
ings of your own hearts. 

3. To be universally conscientious, and to be constant in 
even and close 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 abiliiy to give ; only I 
will tell you my wishes for you : I wish that your body may 
prosper, as your soul also prospereth. 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 conversa- 
tion 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 enlarge- 
ment in them ; that your prison may be but the lanthorn, 
through which your graces, experiences, communion, and 
prison-attainments, may shine most brightly to all beholders. 
I wish your prison may be a paradise of peace, and a Pat- 
mos of divine discoveries. Lord Jesus set to thy Amen ? 
I am Sir, 
Your unworthy brother and companion 
In the kingdom and patience of Jesus, 

Joseph Alleine. 
lOth January, 1664. 



[Directions to the Ministers of Somersetshire and Wiltshire, for the in- 
structing of families by of way catechising.] 

Sir, — 1 his letter cometh to you, like the men of Macedo- 
nia to Paul, crying to you. Come and help us; O how in- 
sufficient 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 f(jresee 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 
signal instances of his divine power and rich grace. You 
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. that the same God would make 
us the special instruments 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. help ! 
help ! Bless the Lord, O our souls ! Bless the Lord, our 
friends ! 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, ahd may bring in every one his sacri- 
fice, 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 up 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 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 V^ 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 tor our sakes ! Will you tell us wherein we may shew 
our love to him 1 Wherein we may best please and serve 
him ? O that you would ! Herein, assuredly, you would 
most highly gratify us. that we might do some singular 
thing lor God ; for certainly they are not common things 
that he hath done for us. 

We pray you call upon those that fear the Lord, to help 
us in celebrating his loving kindness. O how it pleaseth 
our very hearts to think that God should be loved and hon- 
oured 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 any thing so much as 
in this, to love and admire God, and spread his praise more 
and more ; that what is wanting through our weakness may 
be made up in your abundance. But we have need to crave 
your pardon for our length ; but the love of Christ constrain- 
eth 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 pro- 
voking such as you are to set up his great name with us. 
We love and honour you, not only as you are 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 snmll, 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 
precious name we dedicate it, and from whom (^although he 
be so much already beforehand with us, yet) we expect a 
recompense at the resurrection of the just. 

And being further desirous to promote the work of God 
iu our low and slender capacities, we have been bold to pro- 
voke yourself, with others our fathers and brethern 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, beseechingyou 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 humbly 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 have thought 
fit to propound. 

1. That the people be publicly and privately instructed 
about the high necessity and great usefulness 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 teachers 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 en- 
gage the master or mistress of every family, for the forward- 
ing of this work. 

5. That you will appoint set-times wherein to take an ac- 
count of the proficiency of all such as have promised to learn ; 
and that, if it may be, they may be engaged to learn week- 
ly 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 design, and that by our Lady-day 
next you will acquaint Mr. Bernard what progress is made. 

Sir, our souls will even travail in birth for the success 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 endeavours for God, which you can no way in the world 
do so well as by letting us see, that there is some bless- 
ed fruit of our cost and pains ; and that we have not run in 
vain, nor labourd in vain. Tf there be any of these cate- 


chisms remaining in your hands that 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 souls, we 
commend our poor sacrifices, together with yourself, to the 
eternal God, and remain, 

Christ's devoted servants, and your friends, 

Joseph Bernard, 
Joseph Alleine. 





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