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Full text of "The plain man's pathway to Heaven, wherein every man may clearly see whether he shall be saved or damned, with a table of all the principal matters, and three prayers necessary to be used in private families, hereunto added"





SET ^-OliTII I3I^XiOG-T7E -"W I S E , 



Preacher <tf the Word of 6od at South- Shooberi/ in Ettez, 1590. \ ^ 



^BvcTf monung the Lord bringeth Ms jodgment to light, be fkUeth not; bat 
the wicked will not leau-n to be ashamed.'' — Zepbjlxiah iii. 5. 









It sheweth Man's Misery in Nature, with the means of 
recovery. v 

It sharply inveigheth against the Iniquity of the Time, and 
common Corruption of the World. 

It sheweth the marks of the Children of God, and of the 
Reprobates, with the apparent signs of Salvation and 

It declareth how hard a thing it is to enter into life, and 
how few shall enter. 

It layeth open the ignorance of the World, with the ob- 
jections of the same. 


It publisheth and proclaimeth the sweet promises of the 
Gospel, with the abundant mercies of God to all that 
repent, believe, and truly turn unto liim. 



Protidential leadings are often pleasing to 
observe. The re- appearing of " The Plaik 
Mak's Pathway to Heaten" came about ou 
this wise. 

A man in Christ, reading " Bunyan's Grace 
Abounding to the Chief of Sinners," came upon 
the following: — 

"Presently after this, I changed my condition into a 
married state, and my mercy was to light upon a ynfe 
whose father was counted godly. This woman and I, 
though we came together as poor as might be (not having 
s(i much household stniF as a dish or spoon betwixt us 
both), yet this she had for her part, ' The . Plain Man's 
Pathway to Heaven,' and ' The Practice of Piety,' which 
her father had left her when he died. In these two books 
I would sometimes read with her; wherein I also found 
some things that were somewhat pleasing to me; but all 
this while I met with no conviction. She, also, would be 
often telling me what a godly man her father was, and how 
he would reprove and correct vice, both in his house and 
among Ms neighbours; and what a strict and holy life he 
lived in his days, both in word and deeds. . . . Wherefore, 
these books, with the relation, though they did not reach 
my heart, to awaken it about my sad and sinful state, yet 
they did beget within me some desires to reform my vicious 
life, and fall in very eagerly with the religion of the time-s, 
to ^"it, to go to church twice-a-day, and that too with the 
foremost; and there would very devoutly both say and sing 
as others did, yet retaining my wicked life." 

To see this book, " The Plain Man's Pathway 
to Heaven," the reader felt a great desire. 


When tlie desire was forgotten, unexpectedly he 
ahghted upon an old copy, in black letter, 
without the title-page, and a leaf. The desire 
came to remembrance, and the book was eagerly 

Years rolled away, and the book had been to 
the uttermost parts of the earth, and back again. 

That God had directed John Bunyan to write 
the " Pilgrim's Progress," in allegory, through 
the means of this book, appeared not at all 
improbable; and as savoury meat was in it 
which is agreeable to the taste of many, a re- 
publication, for the good of the " household," 
was fondly entertained. It was not so favourable 
to do this abroad; but, returning home again, 
Mr. Wilson kindly undertook to bring it forth 
in a new dress. Efforts not a few were made to 
find another copy, but in vain; and the Prospectus 
informed subscribers that, " although it is minus 
the title-page, and one leaf, yet all the gold is 
preserved." A friend in England wrote that he 
had an incomplete copy, in plain type, and sent 
the same, containing the dedication by the author, 
and the leaf awanting. Another servant of 
Christ also wrote that he had the book, and 
sent a copy of the title-page. 

Thus, from three copies, it now appears entire. 
The Lord, the God of Israel add his blessing — 
"To feed the Church of God, which he hath 
purchased with his own blood," Amen, 

In an edition of the " Plain Man's Pathwa^y," 
published in 1704, it is stated to be the fortieth 
edition, and that, upon a computation, one 
hundred thousand copies of this work had been 
sold. At a more recent date, we learn that it 
was again reprinted as the forty-Srst edition; 


and from what we have heard concerning other 
editions, we think it probable that this will be the 
fiftieth edition. In the old editions, there is no 
division in the work: though embracing a great 
variety of topics, the heading of all the chapters 
were the same. We trust the liberty taken in 
giving the title to each new subject will prove 
helpful to the reader, as it wiU enable him more 
easily to refer to any particular in the book. The 
only other liberty taken has been to modernise 
the spelling: in all other respects it is bona Jide 
as first issued in 1601. 


The Author, Aethtjb Db^tt, was minister of 
South Shooberry, a village near to Southend, in 
Essex, but persecuted by Bishop Aylraer for 
nonconformity. About the year 1584 he endured 
many troubles from this prelate, for refusing to 
wear the surplice, and omitting the sign of the 
cross in baptism. With several of his persecuted 
brethren, many of whom were suspended and in 
prison, he thus petitions the lords of the Queen's 
Council: — 

" We cheerfdlly and boldly offer this oar humble suit 
unto your honours, being our only sanctuary upon earth, 
next to her Majesty,* to which we repair in our present 

* Queen Qixabeth. 


necessity; and, most of all, we are encouraged when we 
consider how richly God hath adorned your honours with 
knowledge, wisdom, and zeal for the gospel, and with godly 
care and tender love to those who profess the same. Most 
humbly, therefore, we beseech your honours, with your 
accustomed favour in all godly and just causes, to hear and 
to judge of our matters. We have received the charge, as 
loyal and faithful men, to instruct and teach our people in 
the way of life; and every one of us hearing this sounded 
from the God of heaven, ' Woe be unto me, if I preach not 
the gospel!' we have all endeavoured to discharge our 
duties, and to approve ourselves both to God and man. 
Notwithstanding this, yfe are in great heaviness, and some 
of us already put to silence, and the rest living in fear; not 
that we have been, or can be charged, we hope, with false 
doctrine, or slanderous life; but because we refuse to sub- 
scribe ' that there is nothing contained in the book of 
Common Prayer contrary to the word of God.' We do 
protest, in the sight of God, who searcheth all hearts, that 
we do not refuse from a desire to dissent, or from any sinister 
affection, but in the fear of God, and from the necessity of 
conscience. Tlie apostle teacheth, that a person who 
doubteth is condemned if he eat: if a man, then, be con- 
demned for doing a lawful action, because he doubts whether 
it be lawful; how much more should we incur the displeasure 
of the Lord, and justly deserve his wrath, if we should 
subscribe, being fully persuaded that there are some things 
in the book contrary to his word! If our reasons might 
be so answered by the doctrine of the Bible, and we could 
be persuaded that we might subscribe lawfully, and in the 
fear of God, we would willingly consent. In these and 
other respects, we humbly crave your honoiirable protection, 
as those who from the heart do entirely love, honour, and 
obey her excellent Majesty, and your honours, in the Lord. 
Giving most hearty thanks to God for all the blessings we 
have received from him, by your government; constantly 
praying, night and day, that he will bless and preserve her 


Ms^estf and your honours to eternal salvation, your honours' 
poor and hiuuble supplicants."* 

In a work of ABTHrE Dkbtt's, called " The 
Ruin of Rome, or an Exposition of Revelations," 
his friend Ezekiel Cultekwell, gives the 
following account of him: — 

" To give some public testimony of my love towards him, 
and reverence of the rare grace which we all who enjoyed 
his sweet society did continually behold in him, whose 
learning his labours do shew; and whose diligence, yea, 
extreme and unwearied pains in his ministry, publicly, 
privately, at home, and abroad, for at least four-and-twenty 
years, all our country can testify: all which being adorned 
with such special humility, do make his name the greater, 
and (5ur loss the more grievous. I may not leave out this — 
which I avow to be as certain as it is suignlar — that, besides 
all others his great labours, he had a special care of all the 
chxtrches night and day, by study and fervent prayer, 
procuring the prosperity of Zion and the ruin of Rome. 
And, to end with his blessed end, his life was not more 
profitable to others, than his death was peaceable to himself: 
scarcely a groan was heard, though his fever must have 

* Thispetitioii is signed by 




The first in this honoorable list, Mr. Gyferd, was vicar of Maldon, a 
most eminent man, and a very noted preacher of God's word. He 
eudnred hearv persecutions and grierous tronbles. The lord high 
treasurer, Burleigh, wished to favour him, but the bishops were too 
many for the minister of state. He was a voluminous writer. His 
works are recommended by Dent, page 256. See " Brook's lives of 
of the Puritans," VoL U. 273-8. 


been violent, which despatched him in three days. Having 
inade a pithy confession of his faith, ' This faith,' said he., 
'have I preached; this faith have I believed in; this faith I 
do die in; and this faith woidd I have sealed with my blood, 
if God had so thought good; and tell my brethren so.' He 
afterwards said, ' I have fought a good fight, I have finished 
my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid 
np for me the crown of righteousness:' and, with his last 
breath, added, ' I have seen an end of all perfection, but 
thy law is exceeding broad.'" 



■1? of the Masters of the 'Requests to the King's Majesty, Judge of the 

High Court of Admiralty, and Master of St. Catherine's, 

wisketh all good tUngt ta Christ Jesus. 

Hating finished, Right Worshipful, and made 
ready for the press this little Dialogue, I be- 
thought me, since the common manner of all that 
write any books in this age, is to dedicate the 
same to one or to other of gi'eat place, to whom 
. I might dedicate these ray poor labours. At 
last 1 did resolve with myself, none to be more 
fit than your Worship; both in regard of some 
aflfinity in the flesh, as also because of those 
manifold good parts wherewith the Almighty 
hath endued you. Having therefore none other 
thing to present your Worship withal, in token 
of a thankful heart for your courtesies shewed 
towards me, behold, I do here send unto you this 
third fruit of my labours now published. Most 
humbly beseeching you to take it in good worth; 
not weighing the value of the thing, which is of 
no value, but the simple and good meaning of the 
giver. This work doth sharply reprove and evict 
the world of sin, and therefore is likely to find 
many deadly enemies, which with cruel hatred 
will most eagerly pursue it unto death. Zoilus 
also, and his fellows, I know will bitterly carp at 
it. Therefore, it flieth unto your Worship for 


protection, and humbly desireth to take sanctuary 
under your wings. Wherefore, I humbly intreat 
you, to take upon you the patronage and defence 
of it; that by your means it may be delivered 
both from the calumnious obloquies of evil-dis- 
posed persons, and also from the world's malignity; 
so as it may take no injury. And concerning this 
little volume, the sum of the matter of it, you 
shall find in the Epistle to the Reader. As con- 
cerning the manner, here is no great matter in 
learning, wit, art, eloquence, or ingenious inven- 
tion; (for I have herein specially respected the 
ignorant and vulgar sort, whose edification I do 
chiefly aim at) yet somewhat there is, which may 
concern the learned, and give them some content- 
ment. Whatsoever it be, I leave it with your 
Worship, beseeching you to give it entertainment. 
And so T do most humbly take my leave, com- 
mending both yourself, your good wife, and your 
whole family to the merciful protection of the 
ever living Grod. 

Your Worship's, to command in the Lord, 


South Shooherry, Essex, 
AprU 10, 1601. 


Geittlb Reader, seeing my little Sermon of 
repentance, some few years since published, hath 
been so well accepted of, I have, for thy further 
good, published this Dialogue, being the third 
fruit of my labour, wishing to it the like success, 
that God thereby may have the glory, and thou 
who art the reader comfort. I have, in one part 
of this Dialogue, produced some of the ancient 
writers, and some of the wise heathen also, to 
testify upon their oath in their own language, and 
to bear witness of the ugliness of some vices, 
which we in this age make hght of, which I wish 
may not be oflPensive to any. In other parts of 
this work, I do in a manner relinquish them. 
But in this case I have, in my weak judgment, 
thought them to be of some good use, to shew 
forth thus much, that if we do not in time repent, 
forsake our sins, and seek after God, both the 
ancient Christian fathers, whose eyes saw not that 
we see, nor their ears heard that we hear, yea, the 
very heathen also, shall rise up in judgment 
against us. Let none, therefore, stumble at it ; but 
if any do, let them remember I am in a Dialogue, 
not in a sermon. I write to all of all sorts; I 
speak not to some few of one sort. But that 
which is done herein, is not much more than that 
of the Apostle, "as some of your own poets have 
said," Acts xvii. which is warrantable. One thing, 
dear Christian, I pray thee let me beg of thee; to 
wit, that thou wouldest not read two or three 
leaves of this book, and so cast it from thee; but 
that thou wouldest read it throughout even to the 
end ; for I do assure thee, if there be anything in 
it worth the reading, it is bestowed in the latter 


part thereof, and most of all towards the conclu- 
sion. Be not discouraged therefore at the harsh- 
ness of the beginning, but look for smoother matter 
in the midst, and most smooth in the perclose and 
wind-up of all; for this Dialogue liath in it, not 
the nature of a tragedy, which is began with joy, 
and ended with sorrow ; but of a comedy, which 
is began with sorrow, and ended with joy. This 
book meddleth not at all with any controversies 
in the Church, or anything in the state Ecclesi- 
astical, but only entereth into a controversy with 
Satan and sin. It is contrived into six principal 
heads; first, it sheweth man's misery in nature, 
with the means of recovery ; secondly, it sharply 
inveigheth against the iniquity of the time, and 
common corruptions of the world; thirdly, it 
sheweth the marks of the children of God, and of 
the reprobates, together with the apparent signs 
of salvation and damnation; fourthly, it declareth 
how hard a thing it is to enter into life, and how 
few shall enter; fifthly, it layeth open the igno- 
rance of the world, with the objections of the 
same; last of all, it publisheth and proclaimeth 
the sweet promises of the gospel, with the abun- 
dant mercy of God, to all that repent, believe, and 
truly turn unto him. The Author of all blessing 
give a blessing unto it. The God of peace, which 
brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that 
great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of 
the everlasting covenant, make us perfect in all 
good works, sanctify us throughout, amend all 
our imperfections, and keep us blameless until the 
day of his most glorious appearing. Amen. 

Thine, in the Lord, 




Ox Mans Cobkuptios and Misery, 1 to 9 

Man's natural corruption, 4 

Man's misery in nature, 5 

Man's nature corrupted, but not destroyed, by 

Adam's fall, 6 

Some sparks of Grod's image still remain after the 

fall, 6 

Man, in the state of nature, cannot do any thing 

that pleaseth God, «> 

Man naturally neither seeth nor feeleth his misery, 7 
Man, in nature, is under the tyranny of Satan and 

curse of the law, 7 

Man, grown to years, living and lying in the state 

of nature, perisheth forever, 7 

Ox Regexeratiox, : 9to 26 

Man continueth cursed till he be bom again, 9 

None can be saved, but only the regenerate, 10 

Regeneration, what 10 

The quality of r^eneration, 11 

Remnants of sin after the regeneration, 12 

Regeneration, a mystery, 13 

Means of regeneration, 18 

Eight infallible signs of salvation, 24 

Eight signs of damnation, 25 

Nine manifest tokens of damnation, 25 


On Pride, 27 to 4:5 

Pride described, 27 

Pride of gifts condemned, 29 

Pride in apparel condemned, 33 

Rules of the word for apparel, 40 

On Whoredom and Adultery, 44 to 53 

Whoredom, and the dangers thereof, 44 

Excuses of whoredom, 46 

The fearful effects of whoredom, 47 

The punishment of whoredom, 48 

The causes of whoredom, 51 

Remedies against whoredom, 54 

On CtovETOUSNESS, 54 to 78 

Covetousness, wherein it doth consist, 54 

Four notes to discern the inward covetousness of 

the heart by, 5H 

The evil effects of covetousness, 57 

The vanity of this world, and all worldly things, ... til 

Excuses of covetousness, 74 

Remedies against Covetousness, God's Special 
Care of his Children, and their Great 

Privileges, 79 to 96 

God's providence for his children in the things of 

this life, 79 

For the things of this life, God's blessing is all in 

all, 84 

Outward means alone do not uphold us, 85 

God's children sometimes are brought to great 

distress, 87 

God's children always sure to be delivered out of 

trouble, 91 

The great privileges of God's children, 93 

On Contempt of the Gospel, 97 to 111 

Contempt of the gospel a grievous sin, 97 


Contempt of the gospel punished, 98 

Contempt of the gospel the sin of this age, 99 

Contempt of the gospel a sure sign of wrath to the 
land, 105 

On Sweakino, 112 to 120 

Swearing, and the punishments thereof, 112 

Excuses forswearing, 115 

Causes of swearing, 121 

Remedies against swearing, 121 

On Lying, 121 to 131 

Lying, flattering, and dissembling, 121 

Punishments for lying, 129 

Excuses for lying, 130 

Causes of lying, 131 

Remedies against lying, 131 

On Drcnkesness, 131 to 136 

Drunkenness, and all the evil effects thereof, 131 

Excuses of drunkenness, 134 

Causes and remedies for drunkenness, 136 

On Idleness, 136 to 145 

Idleness, and the woeful effects thereof, 136 

Causes and remedies against idleness, 145 

On Oppbkssion, 145 to 159 

Oppression a most horrible sin, 145 

Many woes denounced against oppressors, 146 

Sundry kinds of oppression, 147 

Causes and remedies of oppression, 158 

The Dbeabful Effects op Sin on Individuals, 

AND UPON Nations, 159 to 185 

Sin hurteth men in their bodies, goods, and name, 160 
Sin bringeth great danger to the whole land, 164 


Nine predictions of wrath to the land, 169 

The prayers and tears of the faithful keep back the 

wrath of God from the land, : 171 

Prayers of the elect of great force, 174 

The wicked fare the better for God's children, 176 

The best course to prevent God's judgments, and to 

keep back his wrath from our land, 179 

Ten special things concerning the continuance of 

our peace, 184 

Marks and Evidences of Salvation, 185 to 220 

Nine signs of a sound soul, 185 

Saint Peter's eight marks of salvation, 185 

Seven infallible tokens of salvation, 186 

Assurance of salvation in this life proved, 187 

Objections against the assurance of salvation 

answered, v 188 

The ground-work of our salvation, 192 

Some doubts may stand with the assurance of faith, 193 
It is no presumption to be persuaded of our sal- 
vation, 195 

The wicked cannot be assured of their salvation, . . . 195 
Tlie security of salvation which the wicked brag of 

is vain, 196 

Nino things required of all that shall be saved by 

Christ, 199 

Many say they hope to be saved by Christ, but few 
can give a reason why Christ died for them 

particularly, and by name, 201 

Few shall be saved: proved by scriptures, reasons, 

and examples, 204 

But few even in the visible church shall be saved,.-. 207 
Objections against the small number of the elect 

answered, 209 

Objections of atheists and unbelievers answered,... 209 

Reading of the scriptures much commended, 21 4 

Deferring of repentance dangerous, 219 


i>x Peedestixatios asd Elkctios, 221 to 233 

God no author of man's condemnation, but himself, ^1 

Objections against predestination answered, 222 

God's decree no cause of Adam's fall, 224 

The decree of reprobation proved, 225 

Prescience in God, what, 226 

The decree of election proved, 227 

The first motive of election is in God himself, 227 

Foreseen faith, and foreseen works, no motives of 

salvation, ^9 

Faith dependeth njwn election, not election npon 

faith, 229 

A reason yielded, why there is no end of cavilling 

and objecting against the truth, 232 


Nine bars out of heaven, and nine gates into heU,.. 233 

The Six and Dangke of Ignorance— Importance 

OF THE Gospel Ministbt, 246 to 277 

The ignorance of the world, 247 

The answers of ignorant men to the grounds of ^f) 


religion, ^^JL, 

The means to get out of ignorance, 256"* 

Ignorance a most dangerous thing, 257 fj'^ 

The charge of ministers exceeding weighty, and c^/"^ 

most carefully to be looked unto, 261 

What is the best course for ministers to take, to ^^ 

bring the"people out of ignorance, 262 

What is the best course for the people to take, tiiat 
they may be brought out of the bondage of sin 

and captivity of Satan, 265 

Preaching a matter of absolute necessity unto 

eternal life, 266 

Without preaching, the people are in great danger 

of losing their souls, 267 

Satan's cunning in frustrating the hearing of the 
word, and making all preaching utterly unpro- 
fitable, 269 



The preacher's counsel to the ignorant man, 271 

Six great dangers in sin, 271 

Six fearful events of sin, 272 

God, in all ages, hath severely punished the trans- 
gressors of his law, 273 

Every sin, though never so little in our eyes, is 
heinous and capital, because it is against a person 
of infinite Majesty, 274 

/Nine profitable considerations, 274 
If men would leave words, and fall to doing, great 
good would come of it, 275 

Christ's Coming to Judgment, 277 to 293 

Nine things to be thought upon, 277 

The description of Christ's coming to judgment,.... 277 
The terror, the suddenness, the end, the manner, 

and the use of Christ's second coming described, 278 
The torments of hell, with the extremity, per- 
petuity, and remedilessness thereof described, ... 287 

Conviction and Conversion— Gospel Consola- 
tions AND Conclusion, 293 to 312 

The ignorant man, upon the hearing of the day of 

judgment, and hell-fire laid open, is pricked in 

his conscience, bewaileth his former life, repenteth 

H earnestly for his sin and ignorance, and desireth 

' spiritual physic and comfort of the preacher, 293 

The preacher ministereth unto him much spiritual 
comfort, and doth in ample maimer lay open unto 
him all the sweet promises of the gospel, and 
the infinite mercy of God in Christ, to all true, 
penitent, and broken-hearted sinners, 296 

The ignorant man, being afflicted in his conscienccj 
is exceedingly comforted with the hearing of 
God's abundant mercy preached imto him, and 
thereupon doth gather great inward peace, con- 
verteth unto God with all his heart, and doth 
exceedingly bless God for the preacher's counsel, 310 


A MoRXiNO Pratkb fob a Godlt FAlIILT,...313to 320 

Famiubs, 321 to 827 

A Pbateb fob AST Timb, to be Used by aitt 

Belieteb Pbtvateit, 2SSito 332 




THEOLOGUS, a Dtstsi. 

PHILAGATHUS, _A!C Hosest Mas. 

ASUNETUS, AK Igsokast Mak. 

ANTILEGON, a Cayilleb. 


Phil. Well met, good master, Theologus. 

Theol. What my old friend, Philagathus ! I 
am glad to see you in good health. 

Phil. Are you walking, sir, here all alone in 
this pleasant meadow ? 

Theol. Yea; for I take some pleasure at this 
time of the year to walk abroad in the fields for 
my recreation, both to take the fresh air, and to 
hear the sweet singing of birds. 

Phil. Indeed, sir, it is very comfortable, espe- 
cially now in this pleasant month of May: and 
thanks be to God, hitherto we have had a very 
forward spring, and as kindly a season as came 
this seven years. 

Theol. God doth abound towards us in mer- 
cies; Oh that we could abound towards him in 

Phil. I pray you, sir, what a clock hold you it? 


2 man's COEBUPTIOS" 

Theol. I take it to be a little past one ; for I 
came but even now from dinner, 

Phil. But, behold, yonder eometh two men 
towards us : what be they 1 pray you ? 

Theol. They be a couple of neighbours of the J 
next parish : the one of them is called Asunetus, | 
who in very deed is a very ignorant man in (rod's 1 
matters: and the other is called Antilegon, a i 
notable atheist, and caviller against all goodness. 

Phil. If they be such, it were good for us to 
take some occasion to speak of matters of reli- 
gion; it may be we shall do them some good. 

Theol. You have made a good motion : I hke 
it well. If therefore you will minister some 
matter, and move some questions, I will be ready 
to answer in the best sort I can. 

Phil. But stay, sir, lo here they come upon us. 

Theol. Welcome, neighbours, welcome. How 
do you Asunetus, and you Antilegon? 

Asun. Well, God be thanked ; and we are glad 
to see your mastership in good health. 

Theol. What makes both of you here at this 
time of the day? There is some occasion I am 
sure draweth you this way. 

Asun. Indeed, sir, we have some little busi- 
ness ; for we came to talk with one of your parish, 
about a cow we should buy of him. 

Theol. Hath my neighbour a cow to sell? i 

Antil. We are told he hath a very good one to 
sell; but I am afraid at this time of the year, we 
shall find dear ware of her. 

Theol. How dear? what do you think a very | 
good cow may be worth?  

Antil. A good cow indeed, at this time of the 
year, is worth very near four pounds, which is a 
great price. 


Theol. It is a very great price indeed. 

Phil. I pray you, Mr. Theologus, leave off this 
talking of kine, and worldly matters ; and let us 
enter into some speech of matters of religion, 
whereby we may do good, and take good one of 

Theol. You say well : but it may be these men's 
business requireth haste, so as they cannot stay. 

Asun. No, sir, we are in no great haste, we can 
stay two or three hours, for the days are long; if 
we dispatch our business by night it will serve our 
turn well enough. 

Theol. Then if it will please you to walk to 
yonder oak tree, there is a goodly arbour, and 
handsome seats, where we may sill sit in the 
shadow, and confer of heavenly matters. 

Asun. With a good will, sir. 

JPhil. Come, then, let us go. 

Asun. This is a goodly aibour indeed, and here 
be handsome seats. 

Theol. Sit you all down, I pray you. Now 
friend Philagathus, if you have any questions to 
move of matters of rehgion, we are all ready to 
hear you. 

Phil. It may be these men are somewhat igno- 
rant of the very principles of religion ; and there- 
fore I think it not amiss to begin there, and so to 
make way for further matters. 

Theol. I pray you do so then. 

Phil. First, then, I demand of you, in what 
state all men are born by nature? 

Theol. In the state of condemnation, as ap- 
peareth, Eph. ii. 3. We are by nature the 
children of wrath as well as others. And again it 
is written, "Behold I was born in iniquity, and in 
sin hath my mother conceived me," Psal. ii. 5. 

4 man's coeeuption 

Pliil. Is it every man's case? Are not dukes 
and nobles, lords and ladies, and the great poten- 
tates of the earth exempted from it ? 

Theol. No, surely, it is the common case of all, 
both high and low, rich and poor, as it is written, 
" What is man that he should be clean, and he 
that is born of a woman, that he should be just ? " 
Job XV. 14. 

I^hil. From whence cometh it, that all men 
are born in so woful a case? 

Theol. From the fall of Adam, who thereby 
had not only wrapt himself, but all his posterity, 
in extreme and unspeakable misery ; as the apos- 
tle saith, "By one man's disobedience, many 
were made sinners: and by the offence of one, 
the fault came on all men to condemnation." 

Fhil. What reason is there that we all should 
thus be punished for another man's offence? 

Theol. Because we were then all in him, and 
are now all of him : that is we are so descended 
out of his loins, that of him we have not only re- 
ceived our natural and corrupt bodies, but also by 
propagation have inherited his foul corruptions, 
as it were by hereditary right. 

Phil. But forasmuch as some have dreamed 
that Adam by his fall hurt himself only, and not 
his posterity, and that we have his corruption 
derived unto us by imitation, and not by pro- 
pagation ; therefore I pray you shew this more 

Theol. Even as great personages, by commit- 
ting treason, do not only hurt themselves, but 
also stain their blood, and disgrace their poste- 
rity, for the children of such nobles are disin- 
herited, whose blood is attainted, till they be re- 
stored again by act of parliament; even so our 


blood being attainted by Adam's transgression, 
we can inherit nothing of right, till we be restored 
by Christ. 

PAt7. Doth this hereditary infection and con- 
tagion overspread our whole nature? 

Theol. Yes, truly, it is universal, extending 
itself throughout the whole man, both soul and 
body, both reason, understanding, will and affec- 
tions; for the scriptures avouch that we are dead 
in sins and trespasses, Eph. ii. 1; Col. i. 21, ii. 13. 

Phil. How understand you that? 

Theol. Not of the deadness of the body, or the 
natural faculties of the soul, but of the spiritual 

Phil. Did Adam then lose his nature and 
destroy it by his fall ? or is our nature taken away 
by his fall? 

Theol. Not so. Our nature was corrupted 
thereby, but not destroyed: for still there remain- 
eth in our nature, reason, understanding, will, 
and affections, and we are not as a block, or a 
stock; but by Adam's disobedience we are ble- 
mished, maimed, and spoiled of all ability to 
understand aright, or to will and do aright. As 
it is written, "We are not sufficient of ourselves, 
to think any thing as of ourselves: but our suffi- 
ciency is of God," 2 Cor. iii. 5. And again, 
"It is God which worketh in you both the will 
and the deed; even of his good pleasure," Phil, 
ii. 13. And, as concerning the other point, St. 
James saith, "That all men are made after the 
similitude of God," James iii. 9, meaning thereby 
that there remain some relics and parts of God's 
image, even in the most wicked men; as reason, 
understanding, &c. so that our nature was not 
wholly destroyed. 

G man's coreuption 

I'hil. Then you think there be some sparks 
and remnants left in us still of that excellent 
image of God, which was in our first creation. 

Theol. 1 think so indeed: and it may plainly 
appear imto us in the wise speeches and, writings 
of heathen poets and philosophers; in all which 
we may, as by certain ruins, perceive what was 
the excellent frame and building of man's crea- 

Phil. Can a man please God in any thing 
which he doth, so long as he continueth in the 
state of nature? 

Theol. No, not in any thing: for till we be in 
the state of grace, even our best actions are sinful; 
as preaching, prayer, alms deeds, &c. As it is 
written, "Who can bring a clean thing out of 
that which is unclean?" Job xiv. 4. The apos-, 
tie also saith, "They which are in the flesh 
cannot please God," Bom. viii. 8; that is, such 
as are still in their natural corruption. And our 
Lord Jesus himself saith, "Do men gather grapes 
of thorns, or figs of thistles?" Matt, vii. 16; 
meaning thereby, that mere natural men can 
bring forth no fruits acceptable to God. 

Phil. This is a very harsh and hard saying; 
I pray you, for my further instruction, make it 
more plain. 

Theol. Men in the state of nature may do those 
things which of themselves are good, but they do 
utterly fail in the manner of doing them: they 
do them not as they should be done; that is, in 
faith, love, zeal, conscience of obedience, &c. 
neither yet with any cheerfulness, delight or feel- 
ing, but even as it were, forcing themselves to do 
the outward actions. Thus did Cain sacrifice, 
the pharisees pray, Ananias and Sapphira give 


alms, and the Jews offer up their oblations and 

Phil. Have men any true sight, or lively and 
sound feeling of this misery and woful estate, so 
long as they be merely natural? 

Theol. No, surely, but are altogether blinded 
and hardened in it, being nothing desirous to 
come out of it, but do greatly please themselves 
in it, and can hardly be persuaded that they are 
in any such woful case; as appeareth plainly in 
the example of that ruler, who being commanded 
or rather required of our Saviour Christ to keep 
the commandments, answered, "All these have 
I kept from my youth," Luke xviii. 21. And 
again, although the church of Laodicea was 
wretched, miserable, poor, bhnd, and naked, yet 
she thought herself rich, increased with goods, and 
wanting nothing. It foUoweth then, that so long 
as men are in the state of nature, they have no 
true sight and feehng of their misery. 

Phil. Do you not think that all men being 
merely natural, are under the ciirse of the law ? 

Theol. Yes, certainly; and not only so, but 
also under the very tyranny and dominion of 
Satan, though they know it not, see it not, feel it 
not, or perceive it not; for all that are not in 
Christ, are under the curse of the law, and the 
power of darkness and the devil, as appeareth, 
Eph, ii. 2, where the devil is called the prince 
that ruleth in the air, even the spirit that now 
worketh in the children of disobedience, 2 Cor. 
iv. 4. In another place, he is called the god of 
this world, who blindeth the eyes of all unbe- 
lievers. And again, it is said, that all men 
naturally are in his snare, being taken captive of 
him at his will, 2 Tim. ii. 2G. 


Phil. Few will be persuaded of that; they will 
say they defy the devil, and thank Grod they 
were never troubled with him. 

Theol. Their hot words do nothing amend the 
matter; for the devil is no more driven- away 
with words, than with holy water, but he sitteth 
in the tongues and mouths ; nay, possesseth the 
very heart and entrails of thousands which say 
they defy him, and are not troubled with him, as 
appeareth manifestly by their particular actions, 
and the whole course of their life. 

Phil. Methinks, if the devil do so inwardly 
possess the hearts and consciences of men, they 
should have some sight and feeling of it. 

Theol. The working of the devil in men's souls 
(being an invisible spirit) is with such incon- 
ceivable sleight and crafty conveyance, that men , J 
in the estate of nature cannot possibl}' feel it, or 1 
perceive it: for how can a blind man see, or a 
dead man feel? 

PMl. Shew this more plainly. 

Theol. Even as a crafty juggler doth deceive, 
and blind men's outward senses by the delusions 
of Satan, that they think they see that which they 
see not, and feel that which they feel not: even 
so the devil doth so delude and bewitch our in- 
ward senses, and the natural faculties of our souls, 
that we having a mist cast before our eyes, think 
we are that which we are not, see that which we 
see not, and feel that which we feel not. For the 
deep cunning of Satan lieth in this, that he can 
give us our death's wound, and we shall never 
know who hurt us. 

Phil. Few will believe this to be true. 

Theol, True indeed: for few will believe the 
scriptures : few will believe this, because few feel 


it: where it is not felt, it can hardly he helieved: 
onlr the elect do feel it, and therefore only the 
elect do believe it. As for all others, they are 
the very apprentices and bond-slaves of the devil, 
which is a thousand times worse than to be a 


Phil. How long do men continue in this wo- 
ful state of nature, being under the curse of the 
law, and the very slavery of Satan and sin? 

Theol. Till they be regenerate and bom again, 
and so brought into the state of g^ee: as our 
Lord Jesus saith, " Except a man be bom again, 
he cannot see the kingdom of God," John iii. 3. 

Phil. Do not many die and depart this life, 
before they be bom again, and consequently be- 
fore they be brought into the state of grace? 

Theol. Yes, no doubt, thousands: for many 
live forty or threescore years in this world, and in 
the end die, and go out of this life before they 
know wherefore they come into it: as it is "writ- 
ten, " My people perish for want of knowledge." 

Phil. What may we think of such ? 

Theol. I quake to speak what I think; for 
surely I do not see how such can be saved. I 
speak not now of infants and children, whereof 
some no doubt are saved by virtue of the promise 
and covenant, through the election of grace. 

Phil. It seemeth then that you think none can 
be saved, but those only which are bom again. 

Theol. I think so indeed. 


Phil. I pray you tell me what the same rege- 
neration and new birth is, whereof you speak. 

Theol. It is a renewing and repairing of the 
corrupted and decayed estate of our souls. As it 
is written, " Be ye changed by the renewing of 
your mind," Eom. xii. 2. And again, " Be re- 
newed in the spirit of your mind," Eph. iv. 2, 3. 

Phil. Explain this more fully. 

Theol. Even as the wild olive retaineth his old 
nature, till it be grafted into the sweet olive, but 
afterward is partaker of a new nature ; so we, till 
we be grafted into Christ, retain our old nature, 
but afterward are turned into a new nature, as it 
is written, " If any man be in Christ, he is a new 
creature," 2 Cor. v. 17. 

Phil. I understand not what you say. 

Theol. You must know this, that as there is a 
natiu-al birth of the whole man, so there is also a 
spiritual birth of the whole man. 

Phil. How is that? 

Theol. When as the natural faculties of the 
soul, as reason, understanding, will and affections, 
and the members of the body also, are so sancti- 
fied, purged, and rectified by grace, that we un- 
derstand, will, and desire that which is good. 

Phil. Cannot a man will and desire that which 
is good before he be born again ? 

Theol. No more than a dead man can desire 
the good things of this life. For man's will is 
not free to consent unto good till it be enlarged 
by grace; and an unregenerate man doth sin ne- 
necessarily, though not by constraint: for man's 
will is free from constraint (for it sinneth of itself) 
but not from thraldom unto sin. 

Phil. You speak as if a man could do no other 
thing but sin, till the new work be wrought in him. 

EEGE»EEATI05^. 11 

Theol. That is my opinion indeed: for a man 
and his flesh are all one, till he be regenerate; 
they agree together like man and wife, they join 
together in all evil, they live and die together: 
for when the flesh perisheth, the man perisheth. 

Fhil. Is not this regeneration a changing or 
rather a destroying of human nature? 

Theol. Nothing less: it is neither an abolish- 
ing, nor changing of the substance of body or 
soul, or any of the faculties thereof; but only a 
rectifying and repairing of them by removing* 
the corruption. 

PMl. Is then our natural corruption so purged 
and quite removed by the power of grace, as that 
it remaineth not at all in us, but that we are 
?• wholly freed of it? 

Theol. Not so. For the relics and remnants 
of our old nature, which the scripture calleth the 
old man, do hang about us, and dwell in us, even 
until our dying day: as it is plainly proved in 
the last ten verses of the seventh to the Eo- 

Phil. Then you affirm that this new man, or 
new work of grace and regeneration, is imperfect 
in this life. 

Theol. Tea. For the new creature, or new 
work of grace, can never be fully fashioned in 
this life, but is always in fashioning. And as 
our faith and knowledge in this life are imperfect, 
so is our regeneration and sanctification. 

Phil. You said before that the regeneration or 
new birth is of the whole man, which speech 

• The word subdniog is more scriptmaL See Mic. vii. 19. BonuV't 
vi. 14. 

t The scriptiires not only speak of a remnant of evil, but of the body 
of sin and death; this is called, eren in believers, the old man, there 
being no member lackii^. 


seemeth to imply, that the new work of grace ia 
entire and perfect. 

Theol. You mistake the matter. For although 
the new birth is universal, and of the whole man, 
yet it is not entire, perfect, pure, and withoiit 
mixture of corruption. For it is written, "The 
flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit 
against the flesh," Gal. v. 17. The apostle also 
prayeth, that the Thessalonians may be sanctified 
throughout, in spirit, soul, and body. 

Phil. This seemeth very obscure — I pray you 
make it more plain. 

Theol. You must note this, that the new works 
and the old, flesh and spirit, grace and corruption, 
are so intermingledly joined together in all the 
faculties of the soul and body, as that the one doth 
ever fight against the other. 

Phil. But tell me, I pray you, how you under- 
stand this intermingling of grace and corruption 
in the soul ? Do you mean that grace is placed 
in one part of the soul, and corruption in another, 
so as they be sundred in place? 

Theol. No, that is not my meaning, but this, 
that they be joined and mingled together (as I 
said) in and throughout the whole man. For the 
mind, or understanding part, is not one part flesh 
and another part spirit; but the whole mind is 
flesh, and the whole mind is spirit, partly one, 
and partly another. The same is to be said of 
the will and affections. 

Phil. I pray you express it more plainly. 

Theol. Even as the air in the dawning of the 
day is not wholly light, or wholly dark, as at 
midnight, or at noon day, neither is it in one 
part light, in another part dark; but the whole 
air is partly light, and partly dark throughout: 


and as in a vessel of luke-warm water, the water 
itself is not only hot, nor only cold, but heat 
and cold are mixed together in every part of the 
water: so is the flesh and the spirit niingled 
together in the soul of man. And this is the 
cause why these two contrary qualities fight to- 

Fhil. Out of doubt this doctrine of regenera- 
tion is a very great mystery. 

Theol. Yes, certainly: it is a secret of secrets, 
which the wise of this world cannot comprehend. 

FTiil. Some think that courtesy, kindness, good 
nurtm'e, good nature, and good education, are 
regeneration, and that courteous and good-natured 
men must be saved. 

Theol. They are greatly deceived; for these 
things do not necessarily accompany salvation, 
but are to be found in such as are altogether 
profane and irreligious: yet we are to love such 
good outward qualities, and the men in whom we 
find them. 

Phil. What say you then to learning, wit and 
policy; are not these things of the essence of 
religion, and prove a regeneration? 

Theol. No, no; for they be external gifts, 
which may be in the most wicked men, as in 
papists, heathen poets, and philosophers: yet we 
are greatly to reverence learned and wise men, 
although the new and inward work be not as yet 
wrought; for that is only of God, that is from 

Phil. The common people do attribute much 
to learning and policy: for they will say, such a 
man is learned and wise, and knoweth the scrip- 
ture as weU as any of them all, and yet he doth 
not thus and thus. 


Theol. It is one thing to know the history and 
letter of the scriptures, and another thing to be- 
lieve and feel the power thereof in the hearty 
which is only from the sanctifying Spirit, which 
none of the wise of the world can have. 

Phil. It is a common opinion, that if a man 
hold the truth in judgment, be no papist, or 
heretic, but leadeth an honest civil life, then he 
must of necessity be saved. 

Theol. That followeth not: for many come so 
for, which yet notwithstanding have not the in- 
ward touch. 

Phil. That seemeth strange. For many will 
say, as long as they be neither whore nor thief, 
nor spotted with such like gross sins, they trust 
in Grod they shall be saved. 

Theol. They err not knowing the scriptures. 
For many thousands are in great danger of losing 
their souls for ever, which are free from such 
notorious and horrible vices: nay, many which 
in the world are counted good honest men, good 
true dealers, good neighbours, and good towns- 

Asun. I pray you, sir, give me leave a little. 
I have heard all your speech hitherto, and I like 
reasonably well of it; but now I can forbear no 
longer, my conscience urgeth me to speak. For 
methinks you go too far, you go beyond your 
learning in this, that you condemn good neigh- 
bours, and good townsmen. You say, many 
such men are in danger of losing their souls; 
but I will never believe it while I live. For if 
snch men be not saved, I cannot tell who shall. 

Theol. But you must learn to know out of the 
scriptures that all outward honesty and right- 
eousness, without the true knowledge and inward 


feeling of God, availeth not to eternal life. As 
our Saviour Christ saith, "except your righteous- 
ness exceed the righteousness of the scribes and 
pharisees, ye cannot enter into the kingdom of 
heaven," Matt. v. 20. It is also written that 
when Paiil preached at Berea, many honest men 
and honest women did believe. Acts xvii. 12; 
that is, such as were outwardly honest, or honest 
to the worid only; for they could not be truly 
and inwardly honest before they did believe. 
Therefore you see that this outward honesty and 
civility, without the inward regeneration of the 
Spirit, availeth not to eternal life; and then con- 
sequently, all your honest worldly men are in 
great danger of losing their souls for ever. 

Asun. What sound reason can you yield why 
such honest men should be condemned ? 

Theol. Because many such are utterly void of 
all true knowledge of God, and of his word. 
Nay, which is more, many of them despise the 
word of God, and hate all the zealous professors 
of it. They esteem preachers but as prattlers, 
and sermons as good tales ; they esteem a preacher 
no more than a shoe-maker: they regard the 
scriptures no more than their old shoes. What 
hope is there then, I pray you, that such men 
should be saved: doth not the Holy Ghost say, 
"how shall we escape if we neglect so great sjd- 
vation?" Heb. ii. 3. 

Asun. You go too far — you judge too hardly 
of them. 

Theol. Not a whit. For all experience show- 
eth, that they mind, dream, and dote of nothing 
else day and night, but this world, this world's 
lands and leases, grounds and livings, kine and 
sheep, and how to wax rich. All their thoughts, 


words, and works, are of these and such like 
things; and their actions do most manifestly de- 
clare that they are of the earth, and speak of the 
earth ; and that there is nothing in them but 
earth, earth. As for sermons, they care not how 
few they hear. And for the scriptures they re- 
gard them not, they read them not, they esteem 
them not worth the while: there is nothing more 
irksome unto them ; they had rather pick straws, 
or do any thing, than hear, read, or confer of the 
scriptures. And as the prophet saith, "The 
word of the Lord is as a reproach unto them, that 
have no delight in it," Jer. vi. 10. 

Phil. 1 marvel much that such men should 
live so honestly to the world-ward. 

Theol. No marvel at all; for many bad men 
whose hearts are worm-eaten within, yet for some 
outward and carnal respects, do abstain from the 
gross act of sin; as some for credit, some for 
shame, some for fear of law, some for fear of 
punishment; but none for love of God, for zeal, 
or conscience of obedience. For it is a sure thing, 
that the wicked may have that spirit which doth 
repress ; but not that which doth renew. 

Phil. It seemeth then by your speeches that 
some which are not regenerate do in some things 
excel the children of God. 

Theol. Most certain it is that some of them in 
outward gifts, and the outward carriage of them- 
selves, do go beyond some of the elect. 

Phil. Shew me I pray you in what gifts. 

Theol. In learning, discretion, justice, temper- 
ance, prudence, patience, liberality, affability, 
kindness, courtesy, good nature, and such like. 

Phil. Methinketh it should not be possible. 

Theol. Yes, truly. For some of God's dear 


children, in whom no doubt the inward work is 
truly and soundly wrought, yet are so troubled 
and encumbered with a crabbed and crooked na- 
ture, and so clogged with some master sin ; as 
some with anger, some with pride, some with 
covetousness, some with lusts, some one way, 
some another ; all which breaking out in them, 
do so blemish them and their profession that they 
cannot so shine forth unto men as otherwise no 
doubt they would ; and this is their wound, their 
grief, and their heart smart, and that which 
costeth them many a tear, and many a prayer : 
and yet can they not get the full victory over 
them, but still they are left in them, as the prick 
in the flesh, to humble them. 

Phil. Yet love should cover a multitude of 
such infirmities in God's children. 

Theol. It should do so indeed: but there is 
great want of love, even in the best; and the 
worst sort espying these infirmities in the godly, 
run upon them with open mouth and take upon 
them to condemn them utterly, and to judge their 
hearts, saying they be hypocrites, dissemblers, 
and there is none worse than they. 

Phil. But do you not think that there be some 
counterfeits, even amongst the greatest profes- 

Theol. Yes, no doubt there be, and always 
have been some very hypocrites in the church: 
but we must take heed of judging and condenm- 
ing all for some. For it were very much to con- 
demn Christ and his eleven disciples, because of 
one Judas; or the whole primitive church, for 
Ananias and Sapphira. 

Phil. But I hope you are of this mind, that 
some regenerate men, even in outward gifts, and 


their outward carriage, are comparable with any 

Theol. Questionless, very many. For they 
being guided by God's Spirit, and upheld by his 
grace, do walk very uprightly and unblameably 
towards men. 

Phil. Yet there resteth one scruple: for it . 
seemeth very strange unto me, that men of so 
discreet carriage as you speak of, and of so many 
good parts, should not be saved. It is a great 
pity such men should be damned. 

Theol. It seemeth so unto us indeed; but God 
is only wise; and you must note that as there be 
some infirmities in God's children, which he cor- 
recteth with temporal chastisements, and yet re- 
wardeth their faith, love, and inward service and 
obedience, with eternal life; so there be some 
good things in the wicked, and them that are 
without Christ, which God rewardeth with tem- 
poral blessings, and yet punisheth them eternally 
for their unbelief and hardness of heart. 

Phil. Now you have reasonably well satisfied 
me touching the doctrine of regeneration, and the 
manifold errors and deceits that are in it, and of 
it — I pray you let us now proceed: and first of 
all tell me, by what means the new birth is 
wrought ? 

Theol. By the preaching of the word, as the 
outward means; and the secret work of the Spirit, 
as the inward means, 1 Peter, i. 23; John xv. 3; 
Acts X. 44. 

Phil. Many hear the word preached and are 
nothing the better, but rather the worse; what I 
pray you is the cause of that? 

Theol. Men's own incredulity, and hardness of 
heart; because God in his wrath leaveth them to 


themselves, and depriveth them of his Spirit, 
without the which, all preaching is in vain : for 
except the Spirit do follow the word into our 
hearts, we can find no joy, taste, nor comfort 
therein, Acts xvi. 14. 

Phil. Cannot a man attain unto regeneration 
and the new birth without the word and the 

Theol. No, verily: for they are the instruments 
and means* whereby Grod doth work it. 

Asun. Why may not a man have as good a 
faith to God-ward, that heareth no sermons, as 
he that heareth all the sermons in the world ? 

Theol. Why may not he, which eateth no 
meat, be as fat and as well liking, as he that 
eateth all the meat in the world? For is not the 
preaching of the word, the food of our soul? 

Asun. I like not so much hearing of sermons, 
and reading of the scriptures, except men could 
keep them better. 

Theol. Faithful and honest hearers do there- 
fore hear, that they may be more able to observe 
and do. For a man cannot do the will of God 
before he know it ; and he cannot know it without 
hearing and reading. 

Antil. I marvel what good men do get by 
gadding to sermons, and poring so much in the 
scriptures; or what are they better than others? 
there are none more full of envy and malice than 
they. They will do their neighbour a shrewd 
turn as soon as any body; and therefore, in my 
opinion, they be but a company of hypocrites and 
precise fools. 

Theol. You judge uncharitably. Full little do 

* Is it not more correct to say the Spirit is the effideot, the word 
the instrumental canse? 


you know what they feel, or what good God's 
people get by hearing of his word. For the work 
of the Spirit in the heart of the elect is very secret 
and altogether hid from the world, as it is written, 
"The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou 
hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell 
whither it goeth, or whence it cometh ; so is every 
man that is born of the Spirit," John iii. 8. And 
again, " The things of God knoweth no man, but 
the Spirit of God." 

Asun. Tush, tush; what needs all this ado? 
If a man say his Lord's prayer, his ten command- 
ments, and his belief, and keep them, and say no- 
body no harm, nor do nobody no harm, and do as 
he would be done to, have a good faith to God- 
ward, and be a man of God's belief, no doubt he 
shall be saved, without all this running to ser- 
mons, and prattling of the scriptures. 

Theol. Now you pour it out indeed. You 
think you have spoken wisely. But, alas, you 
have bewrayed your great ignorance. For you 
imagine a man may be saved without the word, 
which is a gross error. 

Asim. It is no matter, say you what you will, 
and all the preachers in the world besides : as long 
as I serve God, and and say my prayers duly and 
truly, morning and evening, and have a good 
faith in God, and put my whole trust in him, and 
do my true intent, and have a good mind to God- 
ward, and a good meaning, although I am not 
learned, yet I hope it will serve the turn for 
my soul's health. For that God which made 
me must save me. It is not you that can 
save me, for all your learning, and all your 

Theol. You may very fitly be compared to a 


sick man, who having his brain distempered with 
heat, raveth, and speaketh idly, he cannot tell 
what. For the Holy Ghost saith, "He that turn- 
eth away his ear from hearing the law, even 
his prayer shall be abominable," Prov. xxviii. 9. 
And again, "He that despiseth the word, he 
shall be destroyed," Prov. xiii. 13. So long 
therefore as you despise God's word, and torn 
away yom* ear from hearing his gospel preached, 
all your prayers, your fantastical serving God, 
your good meanings, and your good intents, are 
to no purpose; but most loathsome and odious 
in the sight of God: as it is written, " My soul 
hateth your new moons, and your appoints 
feasts, they are a burthen unto me, I am weary 
to bear them. When you stretch out vour hands, 
I will hide mine eyes from you: and though you 
make many prayers, I will not hear; for your 
hands are full of blood," Isa. i. 14, 15. And 
again the Lord saith by the same prophet, "He 
that killeth an ox, is as if he slew a man: he that 
sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck: 
he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered 
swine's blood: and he that bumeth incense, as if 
he blessed an idol," Isa. Ixvi. 3; where you see, 
the Lord teUeth you his mind touching these 
matters, to wit, that all your prayers, services, 
good meanings, &c. are abominable unto him, so 
long as you walk in ignorance, profaneness, diso- 
bedience, and contempt of the gospel. For he 
saith in the words immediately going before, " To 
him will I look, even to him that is poor and of 
a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my words," 
v. 2. 

Asun. I grant indeed for them that are idle 
and have little to do, it is not amiss now and 


then to hear a sermon, and read the scriptures : 
but we have no leisure, we must follow our busi- 
ness, we cannot live b}' the scriptures; they are 
not for plain folks, they are too high for us, we 
will not meddle with them. They belong to 
preachers and ministers. 

Theol. Christ saith, "My sheep hear my voice, 
and I give unto them them eternal life," John x. 
27, 28. If therefore you refuse to hear the voice 
of Christ, you are none of his sheep, neither can 
you have eternal life. And in another place our 
Lord Jesus saith, "He that is of God, heareth 
God's word. Ye therefore hear it not, because 
ye are not of God," John viii. 47. Paul writing 
to all sorts of men, both rich and poor, high and 
low, men and women, young and old, exhorteth 
that "the word of Christ may dwell plenteously 
in them all, in all wisdom," Col. iii. 16. You 
see therefore that the apostle would have all sorts 
of people, that have souls to save, to be well ac- 
quainted with the scriptures. Therefore you may 
as well say you will not meddle with God, with 
Christ, nor with everlasting life, as to say you 
will not meddle with the scriptures. 

Asun. Well, I cannot read, and therefore I can- 
not tell, what Christ or what Paul may say; but 
this I am sure of, that God is a good man, (wor- 
shipped might he be) he is merciful, and that we 
must be saved by our good prayers, and good 
serving of God. 

Theol. You speak foolishly and ignorantly in 
all that you say, having no ground for any thing 
you speak but your own fancy, and your own 
conceit: and yet you will believe your own fancy 
against all preachers, and against all that can be 
spoken out of the word. But I pray you give m© 


leave a little. If a man dream that he shall be a 
king, and in the morning when he is awake per- 
suadeth himself it shall be so, may he not be 
justly laughed at, as having no ground for it? 
even so may all they which believe their own 
dreams and phantasies touching salvation; but it 
is true which Solomon saith, "A fool believeth 
every thing," Prov. xiv. 15, that copper is gold, 
and a counter* an angel. f And assuredly, great 
reason there is that he which will not believe 
God should be given over to beheve the devil, 
his dream, and his fancy. 

Asun. I pray you instruct me better then. 

Theol. You had need indeed to be better in- 
structed: for the devil hath slily deluded your 
soul, and cast a mist before your eyes, making 
you believe the crow is white, and that your 
estate is good before God, whereas indeed it is 
most woful and miserable. 

Asun. Nay, I defy the devil, with all my 
heart. But I pray you tell me how it cometh to 
pass that I am thus deceived. 

Theol. This it is that deceiveth you, and many 
others, that you measure yourselves by yourselves, 
and by others, which is a false mete-wand. For 
you seem to lie straight so long as you are mea- 
sured by yourselves, and by others; but lay the 
rule of God's word unto you, and then you lie 
altogether crooked. 

Asun. What other thing is there that deceiveth 

Theol. Another thing that deceiveth you, is 
your own heart; for you know not your own 
heart, but are altogether deceived therein, " For 

* Counter, a small piece of false money. 
t Angel, a gold coin worth ten shillings. 


the heart is deceitful above all things," Jer. xvii. 
9. He is a wise man, and greatly enlightened, 
that knoweth his own heart. But you are blind, 
and know not what is within you; but dimly 
imagine you shall be saved, and hope you know 
not what of eternal life. And because blindness 
maketh you bold, you will seem to be resolute in 
words, and say it is a pity he should live, which 
doth any whit doubt of his salvation. And as- 
suredly you speak as you think, and as you 
know. For ought that you know to the con- 
trary it seemeth so; though indeed, and in truth 
it is not so; for you are deluded with a false 
light. And sometimes, no doubt, you have 
pricks, gripes, terrors, and inward accusations 
of conscience, for all your bold and resolute 

Asun. Truly I never heard so much before. 

Theol. That is, because you shut your eyes, 
and stop your ears against God, and all good- 
ness. You are " like the deaf adder, which hear- 
eth not the voice of the charmer, though he be 
most expert in charming," Psal. Iviii. 45. 

Asun. Well then, if it be so, I would be glad 
now to learn, if you would teach me. And as 
you have shewed me the means whereby the 
new birth is wrought, so now shew me the cer- 
tain signs and tokens thereof, whereby all men 
may certainly know that they are sanctified, re- 
generate, and shall be saved ? 

Theol. There be eight infallible notes and 
tokens of a regenerate mind, which may well be 
termed the eight figures of salvation; and they 
are these: — • 

A love to the children of Grod — a delight in 
his word — often and fervent prayer — zeal of 


God's glory — denial of ourselves — patient 
bearing of the cross, with profit and comfort — 
faithfulness in our calling — honest, just, and 
conscionable dealings in our actions amongst 
men. 1 John iii. 14, ii. 5; Psalm cxix; cxlv. 
18; Rom. xii. 11; Eev. iii. 19; Matt. xvi. 24; 
Job i. 21; Eph. iv. 21. 32; Phil. iv. 8. 

Phil. Now that you have shewed us the evi- 
dent signs of man's salvation: shew us also the 
signs of condemnation. 

Theol. The contraries unto these are manifest 
signs of damnation: no love to the children 
of God — no dehght in his word — seldom and 
cold prayers — coldness in God's matters — 
trusting to our selves — impatience under the 
cross — unfaithfulness in our calling — dishonest 
and unconscionable dealing. 

JPhil. No doubt, if a man be infected with 
these, they may be shrewd signs that a man is ex- 
tremely soul-sick and in a very dangerous case. 
But are there not yet more evident and apparent 
signs of condemnation than these? 

Theol. Yes, verily. There be nine very clear 
and manifest signs of a man's condemnation. 

Phil. I pray you let me hear what they be. 

Theol. Pride, w^horedom, covetousness, con- 
tempt of the gospel, swearing, lying, drunken- 
ness, idleness, oppression. 

Phil. These be gross things indeed. 

Theol. They may not be unfitly termed the 
nine Beelzebubs of the world: and he that hath 
these signs upon him is ill a most woful case. 

Phil. What if a man be infected with some 
two or three of these? 

Theol. Whoever is infected with three of 
them, is in great danger of losing his soul. For 


all these are deadly venom, and rank poison to 
the soul: and either the three first, or the three 
last, or the middle three, are enough to poison 
the soul, and sting it to death. Nay, to say 
the truth, a man had as good gripe a toad, 
and handle a snake, as meddle with any one 
of these. 

I^hil. Ts every one of them so dangerous? 

Theol. Questionless. For they be the very 
plague sores of the soul. If any man have a 
plague sore upon his body, we used to say God'a 
tokens are upon him. Lord, have mercy upon 
him. So we may truly say, if any man be 
thoroughly and totally infected at the heart with 
any one of these, Grod's tokens are upon his 
soul. Lord, have mercy on him. 

Phil. Many do not think these to be so 
dangerous matters as you make them, and many 
there be which make light of them. 

Theol. True indeed: for the most part of men 
are altogether shut up in blindness, and hardness 
of heart, having neither sight nor feeling of their 
sins; and therefore make light of them, thinking 
there is no such danger. 

I*hil. It is most certain that men are given 
to lessen and extenuate their sins; or else, to 
hide them, and daub them over with many cun- 
ning shifts and vain excuses. For men are ever 
ready to take covert, and will writhe and wreath 
(like snakes) to hide their sins: yea, if it were 
possible, to make sin no sin, to make virtue vice, 
and vice virtue. Therefore I pi-ay you lay open 
unto me, out of the scriptures, the grievousness 
and ugliness of their sins? 

Theol. The stinking filthiness of these sins is 
so great and horrible that no tongue or pen of 


man is suflScient fully to manifest and lay open 
the same, according to the proper nature and 
being thereof: yet notwithstanding I will do my 
endeavour to lay them open in some measure, 
that all men may the more loathe them. 


Phil. I pray you then, first of all begin with 


Theol. You say well: for that indeed may well 
stand in the fore-front, since it is a master-devil, 
and the master-pock of the soul. 

Phil. Shew me out of the scriptures that pride 
is so grievous and loathsome. 

Theol. Solomon saith, "Every one that i« 
proud in heart, is an abomination to the Lord," 
Prov. xvi. 5; which plainly sheweth that God 
doth detest and abhor proud men. And is it not 
a fearful thing, think you, to be abhorred of God? 
And in the same chapter, verse 18, he saith, 
"Pride goeth before destruction, and an high 
mind before the fall;" wherein he sheweth that 
pride is the forerunner of some deadly downfall, 
either by disgracing or displacing; for it is an 
old and true proverb, "pride will have a fall." 
And oftentimes when men are most lifted up, then 
are they nearest unto it: as the examples of 
Haraan, Nebuchadnezzar, and Herod, do plainly 
declare. When the milt swelleth, the rest of the 
body pineth away: even so, when the heart is 
puft up with pride, the whole man is in danger 
of destruction. Moreover, the Holy Ghost saith. 


" The Lord will destroy the house of the proud," 
Prov. XV. 25, Job saith of such kind of men, 
"The spark of his fire shall not shine; fear shall 
dwell in his house, and brimstone shall be scat- 
tered upon his habitation," xviii. 5. 15. And 
in another place, he saith, " The fire which is not 
blown shall devour him," xx. 26. Methinketh, 
therefore, if there were any spark of grace in us, 
these terrible speeches of the Holy Grhost might 
serve to humble us, and pull down our pride; 
especially as the scriptures do affirm that God 
resisteth the proud, and setteth himself, ex pro- 
fesso* against them; and therefore woe unto 
them : for if God take against a man, who can 
reclaim him? f6r he doth whatsoever he will," 
Job xxiii. 13. 

Phil. But tell me, I pray you, when you speak 
against pride, what pride it is that you mean ? 

Theol. I mean all pride, both that which is in- 
ward in the heart, and that also which breaketh 
out in men's foreheads : I mean that which appa- 
rently sheweth itself in men's words and works. 

Phil. Do you mean also pride of men's 

Theol. Yes, surely ; for there is no pride worse 
or more dangerous than that. Beware, saith one, 
of spiritual pride, as to be proud of our learning, 
wit, knowledge, reading, writings, sermons, 
prayers, godliness, policy, valour, strength, riches, 
honour, birth, beauty, authority; for God hath 
not given such gifts unto men, to the end they 
should make sale-ware of them, and set them a 
sunshining, to behold, seeking only themselves 
with their gifts, the vain praise of the multitude, 

* Professedly, avowedly. 

PBiDE or GirTs. 29 

and applause of the people, so robbing God of 
his honour, and proudly arrogating to themselves 
that which is due unto God, which is the praise 
of his gifts ; but he hath given his gifts to ano- 
ther end, namely, that we should use them to 
his glory, and the good of others (either in church 
or common-wealth) especially of those which do 
most concern us. 

Phil. Yet we see commonly men of greatest 
gifts are most proud. 

Theol. True indeed: for the finest cloth is 
soonest stained. And as worms engender sooner 
in soft and tender wood than in that which is 
more hard and knotty, and as moths do breed 
sooner in fine wool than in course flocks, even so 
pride and vain-glory do sooner assault an excel- 
lent and rare man in all kind of knowledge and 
virtue, than another of meaner gifts. And there- 
fore pride is said to spring out of the ashes of aU 
virtues : for men will be proud, because they are 
wise, learned, godly, patient, humble, <fec. Pride, 
therefore, may very fitly be compared to the crab- 
stock speins, which grow out of the root of the 
very best apple-tree. Therefore to say the truth, 
this is one of the last engines and weapons which 
the devil useth for the overthrowing of God's 
own children; even to blow them up with pride 
as it were with gunpowder. For as we see it 
come to pass in the siege of strong-holds, when 
no battery or force of shot will prevail, the last 
remedy and policy is to undermine it, and blow 
it up with trains of gunpowder; so when Satan 
can no way prevail against some excellent ser- 
vants of God, his last device is, to blow them up 
with pride, as it were with gunpowder. 

Phil. I see it is a special grace of God for men 


of great gifts to be humble-minded; and he is an 
old man of a thousand, which excelling in gifts 
doth excel in humility; and the more gifts he 
hath, the more humbly he walketh; not con- 
temning others, but esteeming them better than 
himself: for commonly, we are the worse of God's 
gifts, because we have not the right use of them; 
and again, because they engender so much proud 
flesh in us, that we had need daily to be corized.* 
Therefore God sheweth great favour and mercy 
to that man whom he humbleth and taketh down 
by any afflictions or infirmities whatsoever; for 
otherwise, it is sure proud flesh would altogether 
overgrow us. 

Theol. You have spoken the truth; for the 
apostle himself eonfesseth that he was tempted 
and troubled this way, (2 Cor. xii.) I had like to 
have been puffed up out of measure with the 
abundance of his revelations; but that God, in 
great mercy sent him a cooler, and a rebater; to 
wit, a prick in the flesh, (which he calleth the 
messenger of Satan) whereby the Lord cured him 
of his pride. And even so doth he cure many of 
us of our pride, by throwing us to Satan, leaving 
us to ourselves, and giving us over to commit 
some gross evil, even to fall down and break our 
necks; and all to the end he may humble us, 
tame us, and pull down our pride, which he seeth 
we are heart-sick of It is good for us, therefore, 
to be humble in the abundance of graces, that we 
be not proud of that which we have, or that 
which we have done. For humility in sinf is 
better than pride in well-doing. 

* Cauterized. 

f It is better to lie humbled for our sins, than proud of well-doing, 

2 Ckron. xxxii. 31. 


Phil. Herein surely appeareth the great wis- 
dom and mercy of God, that he so graciously 
bringeth good out of evil, and tumeth our afllic- 
tions, infirmities, falls and downfalls to his glory 
and our good. 

Theol. It is most true. For even as of the 
flesh of a viper is made a sovereign medicine, to 
cure those which are stung of a viper;* and as 
physicians expel poison with poison; so God, 
according to his marvellous wisdom, doth, of the 
infirmities which remain in us after regeneration, 
cure other more dangerous diseases; as pride, 
vain-glory, and presumption. Oh, blessed there- 
fore, be his name for ever, who thus mercifully 
causeth all things to work together for the good 
of his own people: of whom these things are 
specially to be understood! 

Phil. Is there no cause why men of great gifts 
should glory in their g^fts? 

Theol. No, surely, none at all. For the apos- 
tle saith, "Who separateth thee? and what hast 
thou, that thou hast not received? If thou hast 
received it, why boasteth thou, as though thou 
hadst not received it?" 1 Cor. iv. 7. Where the 
apostle plainly sheweth, that no man is to be 
proud of his gifts, because they are none of his 
own; he hath but receive them to use. We 
count him worthy to be laughed at as a fool, who 
having borrowed brave apparel of others, (as a 
silk gown, a satin doublet, a chain of gold, vel- 
vet breeches, &c.) should proudly jet in the 
streebs in them, as if they were his own; even 
BO they are worthy to be chronicled for fools, 
which are proud of good gifts, which are none of 

* Flesh of the viper, anciently reckoned a sorereign remedy for the 
viper's bite. 


their own. Therefore the prophet Jeremiah 
saith, ix. 23, "Thus saith the Lord: let not the 
wise man glory in his wisdom, nor the strong 
man in his strength, neither the rich man in his 
riches; but let him that glorieth glory in this, 
that he understandeth, and knoweth me.' To 
this point also, well saith the heathen poet, Theo- 
critus, "No man can escape the punishment of 
pride, therefore, in greatest prosperity be not 
puffed up." 

Phil. Yet it is a world to see how proud, surly, 
haughty, stately, insolent, and thrasonical some 
be, because of their gifts; they think they touch 
the clouds with their heads, and that the earth 
doth not bear them; they take themselves to be 
petty angels, or some wonderful wights.* They 
contemn and disdain all others which have not 
the like gifts. They do contemptuously overlook . 
them, as a lion would overlook a mouse, a king 
a beggar; or, as we say in a proverb, "as the 
devil overlooked Lincoln." 

Theol. Oh proud dust! Oh haughty worm's 
meat! If they would bring their hearts before 
God, and their consciences, thoughts, and affec- 
tions to be judged by this law, it would soon cool 
them, andtake them down well enough; they should 
see their wants and imperfections to be so great, 
that they indeed should have no more cause to 
boast of their gifts, than the black Moor hath of 
his whiteness, because his teeth are white. The 
Holy Grhost cuts all our combs, and pulleth down 
all pride of flesh, when he saith, "How small a 
thing doth man understand of God!" 

JBMl. I pray you, let us proceed to speak of 

• Creatures, beings. 

PB£D£ Of S££SS. 33 

the outward and gross pride of the world : and first 
of all, tell me what you think of pride in apparel. 

Theol. I think it to he a vanity of all vanities, 
and a folly of all follies; for to he proud of ap- 
parel, is, as if a thief should be proud of his halter, 
a heggar of his clouts, a child of his gay toys, or 
a fool of his bauble. 

JPhil. Yet we see how proud many (especially 
women) be of such baubles. For when they 
have spent a good part of the day in tricking and 
trimming, pricking and pinning, pranking* and 
pouncing,t girding and lacing, and braving up 
themselves in most exquisite manner, then out 
they come into the streets, with their pedlar's 
shop upon their back, and carry their crests very 
high, taking themselves to be little angels, or at 
least somewhat more than other women. Where- 
upon they do so exceedingly swell with pride, 
that it is to be feared they will burst with it, as 
they walk in the streets. And truly we maj- think 
the very stones in the street, and the beams in 
the houses do quake, and wonder at their mon- 
strous, intolerable, and excessive pride. For it 
seemeth that they are altogether a lump of pride, 
a mass of pride, even altogether made of pride, 
and nothing else but pride, pride. 

Theol. You seem to be very hot in the matter. 

Asun. Marry, sir, I like him the better: for 
the world was never so full of pride as it is now- 

Theol. Alas! alas! indeed, who can hold his 
peace at the pride of this age! What a thing is 
it, that flesh and blood, worms' meat, dust and 
ashes, dirt and dung, should so brave it out with 

* Dressiiig op smartly, t CnttiiigiB andont injags oractdlops. 


their trim clouts, and that in the sight of God, 
angels and men! For the time will come, when 
both they, and all their gay clouts shall be buried 
in a grave: yea, as Job saith, xvii. 13, 14, " The 
grave shall be their house, and they shall make 
their bed in the dark. And then shall they say 
to corruption, thou art my father; and to the 
worm, thou art my mother and my sister." 
What then shall it avail them thus to have ruf- 
fled it out in all their bravery, when as suddenly 
they shall go down to destruction ? What did it 
profit the rich man to be sumptuously clothed, 
and fare deliciously every day, when his body 
was buried in the dust and his soul in hell fire? 

Asun. I pray you, sir, what say you to these 
great ruffs, which are borne up with supporters 
and rebatoes,* as it were with post and rail? 

Theol. What should I say ? but God be mer- 
ciful unto us. For such things do draw down 
the wrath and vengeance of God upon us all: and 
as the apostle saith, Col, iii. 6, "For such things' 
sake, the wrath of God cometh upon the children 
of disobedience," And truly, truly, we may well 
fear that God wiU plague us for our abominable 

Asun. What say you then to these doubled 
and redoubled ruffs which are now in common 
use, strouting fardingales,t long locks, fore tufts, 
shag hair, and all these new fashions which are 
devised and taken up every day? 

Theol. I say, they are far from that plain- 
ness, simplicity, and modesty which hath been 
in former ages: our forefathers knew no such 
things. It is recorded of William Rufus, some- 

* Head dresses. t Hoops. 


time king of this land, that when his chamber- 
lain on a time brought him a new pair of hose, 
he demanded of him what they cost: who an- 
swered, three shillings. Whereat the king, being 
somewhat moved, commanded him to prepare 
him a pair of a mark. If kings were then 
thought to exceed that bestowed more than a 
mark upon a pair of hose, what is to be thought 
of many mean men in these our days (yea, such 
as have n& li\Tng, and are scarce of any good 
calling) which bestow as much upon one pair as 
the king did upon two, when he was thought 
most of all to exceed? But, alas! alas! we have 
passed all bounds of modesty and measure : there 
is no hoe* with us. Our land is too heavy of 
this sin. For the pride of all nations, and the 
follies of all countries are upon us: how shall 
we bear them? And as for these new fashions, 
the more new they be the more foolish and ridi- 
culous are they: for with our new fashions we 
are growing clean out of fashion. If we had as 
many fashions of our bodies as we have of our 
attire, we should have as many fashions as fingers 
and toes. But vain men and women do appa- 
rently shew their vain minds by following so 
greedily such vain toys and fashions. 

Asun. It was never good world since starch- 
ing and steeling, busks and whalebones, support- 
ers and rebatoes, full moons and hobby-horses, 
painting and dying, with selling of favour and 
complexion, came to be in use; for since these 
came in covetousness, oppression, and deceit have 
increased. For how else should pride be main- 
tained ? And sure it is, within these thirty years 

* fixt measure. 


these things were not known, nor heard of. And 
what say you then to painting of faces, laying 
open of naifed breasts, dying of hair, wearing of 
perriwigs, and other hair coronets and top-gal- 
lants? And what say you to our artificial women, 
which will be better than God hath made them? 
They like not his handy-work : they will mend it, 
and have other complexion, other faces, other 
hair, other bones, other breasts, and other bellies 
than God made them. 

Theol. This I say, that you and I, and all the 
Lord's people, have great and just cause of 
mourning, weeping, and lamentation, because 
such abomination is committed in Israel, Psalm 
cxix. 119. David's eyes gushed out with rivers 
of tears because men kept not God's laws; and 
an horrible fear came upon him because men for- 
sook the law of God. Jeremiah (ix. 1) did sigh 
in secret, wishing that his head were full of water, 
and his eyes a fountain of tears, because of the 
sins of the people. Nehemiah mourned for the 
transgression of God's people. Lot's just soul 
was vexed with the unclean conversation of the 
Sodomites ; and shall we mourn nothing at all for 
these things? shall we be no whit grieved for the 
pride of our land ? shall we shed no tears for such 
horrible and intolerable abomination ? They are 
odious in the sight of God and men: the air 
stinketh of them. It is God's marvellous pa- 
tience that the devil doth not carry them away 
quick, and rid the earth of them; or that fire 
and brimstone doth not come down from heaven 
and consume them. 

Antil. You are too hot in these matters of 
attire: you make more of them than there is 


A^un. 1 con* him thanks. God's blessing on 
his heart: I shall love him the better while I 
know him, because he is so earnest against such 
shameful and detestable pride. Is it not a shame 
that women, professing true religion, should make 
themselves such pictures, puppets, and peacocks, 
as they do ? and yet I hear few preachers in the 
pulpit speak against it. 

Antil. I marvel you should be so earnest in 
matters of apparel. You know well enough that 
apparel is an indifferent thing; and that religion 
and the kingdom of God do not consist in these 

Theol. I know right well that apparel in its 
own nature is a thing indifferent; but lewd, wan- 
ton, immodest, and offensive apparel is not indif- 
ferent; for aU such abuse taketh away the indif- 
ferency of them, and maketh them sinful and 
evil by circumstance ; for, otherwise, why should 
the Lord threaten by his prophet that he would 
visit the princes, and the king's children, and all 
such as were clothed with strange apparel, that 
is the fashions of other countries, Zeph. i. 8. 
Again; why should the Lord so plague the proud 
dames and mincing minions of Jerusalem for their 
pride and vanity in attire, if there were no evil 
in such kind of abuse ? The Lord saith thus, in 
the third of Isaiah, against those brave and gal- 
lant dames, " Because the daughters of Zion are 
haughty, and walk with stretched-out necks, and 
with wandering eyes, walking and mincing as they 
go, and make a tinkling with their feet: therefore 
shall the Lord make the heads of the daughters 
of Zion bald, and the Lord shall discover their 

* I give. 


secret parts. In that day shall the Lord take 
away the ornament of the slippers, and the calls, 
and the round tires, the sweet balls, and the 
bracelets, and the bonnets, the tiers of the head, 
and the stops, the head-bands, and the tablets, 
the ear-rings, the rings, and the mufflers, the 
costly apparel, and the veils, and the wimples, and 
the crisping pins, and the glasses, and the fine 
linen, and the hoods, and the lawns. And in- 
stead of sweet savour, there shall be stink; and 
instead of a girdle, a rent; and instead of dress- 
ing of the hair, baldness; and instead of a sto- 
macher, a girding of sackcloth, and burning in- 
stead of beauty. Then shall her gates mourn 
and lament: and she, being desolate, shall sit 
upon the ground." Thus we see how terribly 
the Lord threateneth the gallant dames of Jeru- 
salem for their excessive and abominable pride. 
And this may well be a mirror for the proud 
minions of our age, which assuredly may well 
fear the Lord will bring some such judgment 
upon them as he did upon the daughters of Jeru- 
salem : for their sin is as great in this kind as 
was the daughters' of Zion; and God is the same 
God now that he was then to punish it. 

Antil. Tush: never speak so much of these 
matters of apparel; for we must do as others do, 
and follow the fashion, or else we shall not be 

Theol. If you follow them not you shall be 
more esteemed of God, of his angels, saints, and 
all good men. As for all others, if you esteem 
them more than these you shew what you are. 

Antil. Well, for all that, say you what you 
will, pride is in the heart, and not in the apparel ; 
for one may be proud of plain apparel, as well as 


of costly; and some are as proud of their falling 
bands, and little sets, as others are of their great 

Theol. You speak foolishly. For how know 
you that you can judge men's hearts and inward 
affections? Can you say, when men's and wo- 
men's apparel is sober, modest, and Christianlike, 
that they have proud hearts, and are proud of 
that attire? You go very far, indeed, to judge 
the heart. You ought to judge charitably of 
such as go soberly and modestly attired; even 
that their heart is according to their attire. As 
for you, we may rather think your heart is vain, 
light, and foolish; because your attire doth 
strongly argue it; and as the prophet saith, "The 
shew of your countenance testifieth against you; 
you declare your sins as Sodom, and hide them 
not," Isa. iii. 9. 

Antil. I pray you then set down some rules for 
apparel out of the scriptures. 

Theol. I may well set down what I will; but 
surely most men and women will do what they 
list. For verily it may be thought that many of 
this age have forsworn God, and his word, and 
all goodness; for they are come to this point, 
let God say what he will, they will do what they 
list. For as the prophet saith, "They have made 
a covenant with hell, and with death, and are 
grown to an agreement," Isa. xxviii. 15. And I 
do verily think, if God himself should come down 
from heaven in his own person, and dissuade men 
and women from this vanity of apparel yet would 
they still use it, as it were in despite of God and 
as it were to anger him the more. For they are 
so extraordinarily enamoured, and so immoder- 
ately delighted with it, and do so continually, and 


altogether dote on it, and are so wood mad* of it, 
that they will have it, though men and angels, 
and all the world say nay; nay, which is more, 
though they should go to the devil quick with 
it. And therefore it is but lost labour to speak 
against it, preach against it, or write against it. 
It is but even to plough the sea, or knock at a 
deaf man's door; for there is no hope of any re- 
formation. Only this we gain, that the world is 
reproved and convicted of sin; and these things 
shall stand in record against them in the last day: 
so that they may say, they had a fair warning, 
and that there was a prophet amongst them. 

Fhil. Yet for all this, I pray you set us down 
some directions and rules, out of God's holy book, 
concerning attire. For albeit some be very bad 
and outrageous in these things, yet there be some 
others which are well-disposed, and will (no doubt) 
make some conscience to frame themselves accord- 
ing to the rules of Grod's word. 

TJieol. Well, then, for their sakes which are 
well-disposed, I will set down some few directions. 
St. Paul, in 1 Tim. ii. 9, willeth that "women 
should array themselves in comely apparel, with 
shamefacedness and modesty, as becometh women 
that profess the fear of Grod: and not with braided 
hair, or gold or pearls, or costly apparel." The 
apostle Peter giveth like rules also: for he saith, 
1 Pet. iii. 3-6, speaking of Christian matrons, 
and professors of holy religion, that their apparel 
must not be outward, that is, not consist so much 
in outward bravery, (as braided hair, gold put 
about, &c.) as it must be inward, that the hidden 
man of the heart may be clothed with a meek and 

* Furiously mad. 


quiet spirit, which is a thing before God much 
set by. " For after this manner," saith he, " in 
times past, the holy women, which trusted in God, 
did attire themselves:" as Sarah, Rebecca, Eachel, 
and such like ancient and grave matrons. 

Phil. Wherein doth this inward clothing spe- 
cially consist? 

Theol. In four things, which are set down in 
the forenamed places: to wit, shamefacedness, 
modesty, a quiet spirit, and a meek spirit. 

Fhil. These be fine suits of apparel, indeed. 
I would all women would put them on, and never 
put them off, but wear them continually. For 
they are the better for wearing, though all other 
apparel be the worse. 

Theol. If women would deck themselves in- 
wardly with these aforesaid virtues, they would 
be unto them as ornaments of gold, and jewels of 
pearl. "For the women that feareth the Lord 
shall be praised," Prov. xxxi. 30. 

Phil. But now I pray you, sir, set down your 
judgment for outward attire. 

Theol. This is all that I can say, touching the 
point, that it must be as the apostle saith: comely, 
decent, handsome, neat and seemly: not hght, 
not wanton, not lascivious, not immodest, not 

Phil. But who shall judge what is comely, 
sober, handsome, modest, &e.? For every man 
and women will say, their apparel is but decent 
and cleanly, how gallant, brave, and flaunting 
soever they be. 

Theol. Herein the examples of the most godly, 
wise, grave, and modest men and women are to 
be followed: for who can better judge what is 
comely, sober, and modest, than they ? 


JPhil. But we see some, even of the better sort, 
in this matter are a little infected, run out, and 
go beyond their bounds. 

Theol. The more is the pity. But alas! we 
see the sway of the time, and the rage of the 
stream is so violent, that it carrieth before it 
whatsoever is not settled, and very deep-rooted. 
And some godly and well-disposed persons, whose 
hearts are not with these things, but with God, 
are, notwithstanding, perforce, carried away with 
the violence of the wind and tide; whose case, 
though it cannot be well defended, or excused, 
yet it is much to be pitied and lamented. 

Phil. Have you any further directions touch- 
ing this point. 

Theol. There is one thing yet more to be 
added, to wit, that attire be according to men's 
places, callings, and degrees. For that is not 
seemly for one that is seemly for another: that 
becomes not one man's place that becometh an- 
other's : for that is not meet for poor men which 
is meet for rich men: nor that meet for mean 
men which is meet for men of note and great 

Phil. Then you think it lawful for kings, 
princes, and great personages, to wear pearl, 
gold, silver, velvet, &c. ? 

Theol. Questionless; it is lawful for such in 
sober manner and measure, to wear the most 
costly and precious things which the earth can 
afford: and that, to set out the magnificence, 
pomp and glory of their places. And therefore 
such things are in them most comely and 

Phil. But now-a-days few will keep within 
compass, few will know their places: but the 


most part run beyond their bounds, and leap 
quite out of their sockets. 

Theol. True indeed, for now-a-days, mean 
gentlewomen, yea, some gentlewomen of their 
own making, will ruffle it, and brave it out in 
their attire, like countesses and ladies of honour. 
Plain folks also, in the country, wUl flaunt it like 
courtiers, and like good gentlemen and gentle- 
women: and they seem to say in their he^s, fie 
of this plainness, we will no more of it, we will 
not take it as we have done. So that now the 
old proverb is verified " every Jack will be a 
gentleman, and Joan is as good as my lady." 
For now we cannot, by their apparel, discern the 
maid from the mistress; nor the waiting gentle- 
woman from her lady. And thus we see, in this 
matter of apparel, how all is out of joint. 

Phil. Is there any more -to be said in this 
case ? 

Theol. There is yet another thiiig to be re- 
spected in this matter of attire. 

Phil. What is that? 

Theol. That it be according to men's abilities. 
For it is lamentable to consider, how poor men 
and women, poor hired servants, milk-maids, and 
such like, go quite beyond their abilities. And 
more lamentable, to see what wretched and ill- 
favoured shifts they make to compass these 
things, so sharp and so eagerly are they set upon 


Phil. Well sir, now you have sufficiently rolled 
the stone, and at large satisfied us touching the 
matter of pride, which is the first sign of con- 
demnation ; now proceed to the second, which is 
whoredom, and unfold unto us out of the scrip- 
tures the dangers thereof. 

Theol. Solomon in his Proverbs, xxii. 14, saith, 
"That the mouth of a strange woman, or an 
harlot, is as a deep pit: he, that is a detestation to 
the Lord, shall fall therein ;" wherein he plainly 
sheweth, that those whom God detesteth, and 
is exceeding angry with, are given over to this 
vice. A.nd, in another place, xxiii. 27, he saith, 
"A whore is as a deep ditch, and as a narrow pit;" 
noting thereby, that if a man be once fallen in 
with an harlot, he shall as hardly get out again, 
as a man that is plunged into a very deep and 
narrow pit, where he can scarce stir himself. The 
same Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes, vii. 26, 
yieldeth us the reason hereof; namely, because 
she is as nets, snares, and bands; wherein if a 
man be once taken he is fast enough for getting 
out. " I find," saith he, " more bitter than death, 
the woman, whose heart is as nets and snares, 
and her hands as bands. He that is good before 
God shall be delivered from her ; but the sinner 
shall be taken by her." We do therefore plainly 
see, in what a labyrinth and a dangerous case 
they be, that are left of God, and given over to 
whoredom and harlots. And therefore it is said, 
Prov. vi. 25, 26, " Desire not her beauty in thine 
heart; neither let her eyelids catch thee. For, 


by a whorisli woman a man is brought to a 
morsel of bread : and the adulteress hunteth for 
life, which is precious." Again he saith, v. 3, 4, 
" Albeit the lips of an harlot drop as an honey- 
comb, and the roof of her mouth is softer than 
oil; yet her latter end is bitter as wormwood, 
and as sharp as a two-edged sword." AU these 
prudent speeches of the Holy Ghost do most 
evidently shew unto us, what a fearful thing it 
is to commit whoredom, and so to fall into the 
hands of whores and harlots. Therefore Job 
saith of the wicked, xxxvi. 14, " Their soul dieth 
in youth, and their life among the whoremongers." 

Phil. You have very well shewed, out of God's 
book, the great danger of whoredom and adultery ; 
and it is greatly to be lamented that men in 
this age make so light of it as they do, and that 
it is so common a vice: nay, that soQne (alas, with 
grief I speak it) do profess it, live by it, and 
prostitute themselves wholly unto it. 

TTieol. Such men and women may justly fear 
the plaguing hand of God: for the Lord saith, 
by his prophet, " Though I fed them to the full, 
yet they committed adultery, and assembled 
themselves by companies in harlots' houses. 
They rose up in the morning like fed horses; 
every man neigheth after his neighbour's wife. 
Shall I not visit for these things? (saith the 
Lord) Shall not my soul be avenged on such a 
nation as this?" Jer. v. 7-9. 

Phil. Methinketh, if men were not altogether 
hardened in this sin, and even past feeling, and 
past grace, this threatening and thundering of 
God himself from heaven should terrify them. 

Theol. A man would think so indeed: but 
now we may take up the old complaint of the 


prophet, Jer. viii. 6, "I hearkened and heard, 
and lo, no man spake aright: no man repented 
of his evil, saying, What have I done? Every 
one turned to their race, as the horse rusheth 
into the battle." 

Antil. Tush, whoredom is but a trick of youth; 
and vre see all men have their imperfections, 

Theol. You speak profanely and wickedly ; for, 
shall we count that but a trick of youth for the 
which the Lord smote three and twenty thousand 
of his own people in one day ? 1 Cor. x. 8. Shall 
we count that but a trick of youth for the which 
the Lord threatened David, his own servant, that 
the sword should never depart from his house? 
2 Sam. xii. 10. Shall we count that but a trick 
of youth, for the which Hamor and Shechem, 
Gren. xxxiv. 25, the father and the son, and many 
other, both men, women, and children, were 
cruelly murdered by Simeon and Levi, the sons 
of Jacob ? Shall we count that but a trick of 
youth, for which the Lord slew Hophni and 
Phineas, the two sons of Eli the priest, in the 
battle of the Philistines ? 1 Sam. ii. 22, iv. 11. 
Shall we thus set all at six and seven, and make 
light of such horrible villanies? Doth not the 
severity of the punishment shew the greatness of 
the sin ? Doth not the apostle say, " These 
things came upon them for our examples, upon 
whom the ends of the world are come," 1 Cor. 
X. 11, and yet you pass it over with a tush, and 
a trick of youth, as if God were to be dallied 
with? No, no, "be not deceived; God is not 
mocked." They which will not be moved now 
in hearing, shall one day be crushed in pieces in 
feeling. And they which now call whoredom, a 
trick of youth, shall one day howl and cry, yell 


and yelp, for such tricks, with woe and alas that 
ever they were bom. 

Antil. Oh! Sir, you must bear with youth: 
youth you know is frail; and youth will be 
youthfvd, when you have said all that you can. 

Theol. Yes, but God doth allow no more li- 
berty unto youth, than unto age; but bindeth 
all, upon pain of death, to the obedience of his 
commandments. The apostle saith, " Let the 
young men be sober minded," Tit. ii. 6. David 
saith, " Wherewith shall a young man cleanse 
his way ? In taking heed thereto according to 
thy word," Ps. cxis. 9. The wise man saith, 
" Remember thy Creator in the days of thy 
youth, Eccl. xii. 1. And further addeth, that 
if they will needs follow their lusts, their plea- 
sures, and their own swing, yet in the end he 
will bring them to judgment, arraign them, con- 
demn them, and tame them in hell-fire well 

Phil. Yet we see, men are so violently carried 
after their lust, and so desperately bent, that they 
will have the present sweet and pleasure of sin, 
come of it what will. Come sickness, come death, 
come hell, come damnation, they are at a point: 
they will pay the highest price for their lusts. 
They will purchase theii* pleasures with the loss 
of their souls. Oh, wofid purchase! Oh, dam- 
nable pleasures! 

Theol. Sweet meat will have sour sauce, and a 
dram of pleasure a pound of sorrow. Such cursed 
catiffs* shall at last pay a dear shot for their plea- 
sures. Such desperate wretches shall one day 
know (to their everlasting woe) what it is to pro- 

* Mean rillaiiis. 


voke God, and to sin with so high an hand against 
him. They shall well know, in spite of their 
hearts, that vengeance is prepared for the wicked, 
and that there is a God that judgeth the earth. 
Let all men therefore take heed in time, "For 
whoremongers and adulterers God will judge," 
Heb. xiii. 4. And the apostle saith flatly, "That 
whoremongers and adulterers shall not inherit 
the kingdom of God," 1 Cor. vi. 9. "Let there- 
fore no fornicator, or unclean person, be found 
amongst us, as was Esau," Heb. xii. 16. "But 
let us abstain from fleshly lusts, which fight 
against the soul," 1 Pet. ii. 11. "And let every 
one know how to possess his vessel in holiness 
and honour, and not in the lust of concupiscence, 
as the Gentiles, which know not God," 1 Thess. 
iv. 5. Herein let us consider the wise speech of 
an ancient father (Chrysostom), "Sin, while it is 
in doing, ministereth some pleasure; but when it 
is committed, the short pleasure thereof vanisheth 
away, and long sorrow cometh instead of it." 
Neither let us here reject the saying of a wise 
heathen, "Shun pleasure, for fear of smart." 
Sour things follow sweet, and joy heaviness. 

Antil. Yet for all this, you shall not make me 
believe, that whoredom is so heinous a matter. 
You make more of it than it is. 

Theol. True indeed. For you, and such as 
you are, will believe nothing against your lusts, 
and fleshly delights: and that is the cause why 
you are deaf on this ear. I will therefore add a 
word or two more (out of the oracles of God) to 
that which hath been spoken. The wise king 
saith, "He that committeth adultery with wo- 
men, destroy eth his own soul," Prov. vi. 32, 
and so is accessory to his own death, which is no 


small matter. For we used to saj, if a man hung 
himself, drown himself, or any manner of way 
make away with himself, that he was cursed of 
God, that God's hand was heavy against him, that 
the devil owed him a shame, and now he hath 
paid it him. And all the country rings of such 
a strange accident, when, and where it falleth 
out: and the crowner* of the country doth sit upon 
it.f How much more may all the world wonder 
at this, that a man should destroy his own soul, 
and wittingly and willingly cast away himself for 
ever! Xow the Holy Ghost saith, the adulterer 
doth such an act, giveth such a venture, and 
willingly murdereth himself. Oh, therefore woe 
unto him, that ever he was horn! For sure it is 
that great crowner of heaven, that crowns whom 
he will crown, shall one day sit upon it, and give 
judgment. Moreover, as the adulterer sinneth 
against his soul, so also he sinneth against his 
hody after a special manner, as witnesseth the 
apostle, 1 Cor. vi. 18. Also, he sinneth against 
his goods and outward estate, as the holy man 
Job testifieth, saying, " Adultery is a fire, that 
devoureth to destruction, and it will root out all 
our increase," Job xxxi. 12. Furthermore, he 
sinneth against his name, " For the adulterer shall 
find a wound and dishonour: and his reproach 
shall never be put away," Prov. vi. 33. — Item, 
he sinneth against his wife ; who is his companion 
and the wife of his covenant. And God saith, in 
the same place, " Let none trespass against the 
wife of his youth ; keep yourselves in your spirit, 
and transgress not." Last of all, he sinneth 

* Coroner. 

■> It appears that goicides were rare occurrences in those days. 

How lamentably frequent are they in these last days! 



against his children and posterity: as the Lord 
said to David, " Because thou hast despised me, 
and done this, therefore the sword shall never de- 
part from thy house. Behold I will raise up evil 
against thee, out of thine own house," 2 Sam. xii. 
10. Now therefore, to conclude this point, we 
may see how many deadly wounds men make in 
themselves, hy committing of adultery. They 
wound themselves in their souls — they wound 
themselves in their bodies — they wound them- 
selves in their goods — they wound themselves in 
their names — they wound themselves in their 
wives and in their children. What man, except 
he were stark mad, would thrust himself, in so 
many places, at once ? The adulterer, with his own 
sin of adultery, maketh all these deadly wounds 
in himself; and it is a hundred to one he will 
never get them cured, but will die, and bleed to 
death of them. Lo, thus you see the dangerous 
quality and condition of this sin. Shall we now 
therefore make light of it ? Shall we say it is but 
a trick of youth ? Shall we smooth over the mat- 
ter with sweet words, when the Holy Ghost 
makes it so heinous and capital? Shall we make 
nothing of that which draweth down Grod's wrath 
upon the soul, body, goods, name, wife, and chil- 
dren? That were an intolerable blindness, and 
most extreme hardness of heart. An ancient 
writer hath long ago passed sentence upon us, who 
make so light of this sin : for, saith he, " Adul- 
tery is the very book of the devil; whereby he 
draweth us to destruction." And another godly 
father saith: that "Adultery is like a furnace, 
whose mouth is gluttony, the flame pride, the 
sparks filthy words, the smoke an evil name, the 
ashes poverty, and the end shame." And so we 


plainly see, that howsoever we regard not this sin, 
bat flatter ourselves in it, yet those, whose eyes 
the Lord hath opened, have in all ages condemned 
it as most flagitious and horrible: yea, the very 
heathen will rise up in judgment against us, who 
have spoken and written many things against this 
filthy and beastly vice. 

Phil. Now indeed you have sufficiently branded 
the vice of adultery, and laid out the ugliness 
thereof, that all men may behold it stark naked 
and abhor it. If any man, notwithstanding all 
this, will venture upon it, he may be said to be a 
most desperate monster. For what doth he else, 
but, as it were, put his finger into the lion's 
mouth, and, as it were, take the bear by the 
tooth ? and they may "well know what will follow, 
and what they may look for. Let all men there- 
fore in time take heed to themselves, and to their 
own souls, as they will answer it at their utter- 
most peril, at the dreadful day of judgment, when 
the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed. But 
now one thing resteth ; to wit, that you should 
shew us the special roots and causes of adultery. 

Theol. There be five special causes of it. The 
first is our natural corruption: for the very spawn 
and seed of all sin is in our corrupt nature; and 
this, of all others, is a most inherent sin, as wit- 
nesseth the apostle James, saying, "When lust 
hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, 
when it is perfected, bringeth forth death," i. 15. 
— The second is gluttony and fulness of bread: for 
when men have filled their bellies, and crammed 
their paunches, as full of good cheer, wine, and 
strong drink, as their skins can hold, what are 
they meet for, or what mind they else, but adul- 
tery and uncleanness ? And therefore well saith 


one, "Great nourishment, and gross food, it is the 
shop of lust." The heathen poet could skill to 
say, "Sine Cicere et Baccho friget Venus,^' with- 
out meat and drink, lust waxeth cold; and to 
this effect the wise king saith, "That their eyes 
shall behold strange women, whose hearts are set 
upon wine or belly cheer," Prov. xxiii. 3, 33; 
and therefore he adviseth all men, not to look 
upon the wine when it appeareth red, when it 
sheweth his colour in the cup, or stirreth very 
kindly; and that for fear of this after-clap. An 
ancient writer saith to the same purpose, "He 
that delicately pampereth his belly, and yet would 
overcome the spirit of fornication, is like him that 
will quench a flame of fire with oil." Therefore 
to close up this point, sure it is though men pray 
much, hear and read much, and be otherwise well- 
disposed; yet except they be abstemious in diet, 
they will be much troubled with lust. — The third 
cause of adultery is idleness; for when men are 
lazy, lurkish, and idle, having nothing to do, they 
lie wide open to adultery, and lust creepeth into 
them. Some historiographers write, the crab fish 
is very desirous to eat oysters ; but because she 
cannot by force open them, she watcheth her 
time when they open themselves unto the sun 
after the tide, and then she putteth in her claw, 
and pulleth out the oyster. Even so Satan 
watcheth his opportunity against us, that he may 
infect and breathe into us all filthy lusts, and 
adulterous desires, when we lie open unto him by 
idleness. Wisely therefore, to this point, said the 
Greek poet, "Much rest nourisheth lust;" and 
another poet saith, "Qucvritur cegistus quare 
sit f actus adulter ? In promt u causa est : de- 
sidiosus erat," Slothful laziness is the cause of 


adultery; and therefore another saith, "Eschew 
idleness, and cut the sinews of lust." — The fourth 
cause of adultery, is wanton apparel; which is a 
minstrelsy, that pipes up a dance into whoredom. 
But of this enough before. — The fifth and last of 
adultery, is the hope of impunity, or escaping of 
punishment. For many being blinded and har- 
dened by Satan, think they shidl never be called 
to an account for it, and because they can blear 
the eyes of men, and carry this sin so closely 
imder a cloud, that it shall never come to light, 
they think all is safe, and that God seeth them 
not; and therefore Job saith. Job xxiv. 15, "The 
eye of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, and 
saith, no eye shall see me;" and in another place, 
Job xxii. 13, "How shall God know? can he 
judge through the dark clouds?" But verily, 
verily, though theadalterer do never so closely and 
cunningly convey his sin under a canopy, yet the 
time will come when it shall be disclosed, to his 
eternal shame. "For God will bring every work 
to judgment, with every secret thought, whither it 
be good or evil," Eccles. xii. 14. For he hath 
set our most secret sins in the light of his coun- 
tenance," Psalm xc. 8. "And he will lighten 
the things that are hid in darkness, and make the 
counsels of the heart manifest," 1 Cor. iv. 5. For 
this cause Job saith. Job x. 14, "When I sin 
thou watchest me, and wilt not purge me from 
my sin." 

Phil. Now you have shewed us the causes of 
adultery, I pray you shew us the remedies. 

Theol. There be six remedies for adultery; 
which no doubt will greatly prevail, if they be 
well practised. 

PUl. Which be thev? 


Theol. Labour, abstinence, temperance, prayer, 
restraint of senses, shunning of women's com- 
pany, and all occasions whatsoever. 


Phil. Well, sir, now you have waded deep 
enough in the second sign of damnation : I pray 
you let us proceed to the third, which is covetous- 
ness. And, as you havelaid naked the two former, 
so I pray you, strip this stark naked also, that all 
men may see what an ugly monster it is, and there- 
fore hate it and abhor it. 

Theol. I would willingly satisfy your mind; 
but on this point I shall never do it sufficiently. 
For no heart can conceive, or tongue sufficiently 
utter the loathsomeness of this vice. For covet- 
ousness is the foulest fiend, and blackest devil of 
all the rest. It is even great Beelzebub himself. 
Therefore I shall never be able fully to describe 
it unto you ; but yet I will do what I can to strip 
it, and whip it stark naked. And howsoever that 
men of this earth, and blind worldlings, take it, 
to be most sweet, beautiful, and sfeiiable, andthere- 
fore do embrace it, entertain it; and welcome it, 
as though there were some haqb'^iness in it; yet I 
hope, when I have shewed them the face thereof 
in a glass (even the true glass of God's word) they 
will be no more in such love, but quite out of 
conceit with it. I will therefore hold out this 
glass to them. Paul to Timothy brandeth this 
sin in the forehead, and boreth it in the ear, that 


all men may know it, and avoid it, when he saith , 
" Covetousness is the root of all evil," 1 Tim. vi. 
10. Our Lord Jesus also giveth us a watch-word 
to take heed of it, saying, "Take heed and 
beware of covetousness," Luke xii. 15; as if 
he should say, touch it not, come not near it, it 
is the very breath of the devil: it is present death, 
and the very ratsbane of the soul. The apostle 
layeth out the great danger of this sin, and doth 
exceedingly grime the face of it, when he saith, 
*' That the end of all such as mind earthly things, 
is damnation," Phil. iii. 19. Let all carnal world- 
lings, and muckish-minded men lay this to heart, 
and consider well of it, lest they say one day, 
had I wist.* 

Phil. Good, sir, lay open to us the true nature 
of covetousness, and what it is, thab we may more 
perfectly discern it. 

Theol. Covetousness is an immoderate desire 
of having. 

Phil. I hope you do not think frugality, thrif- 
tiness, and good husbandry to be covetousness. 

Theol. Nothing less ;t for they be things com- 
manded ; being done in the fear of God, and with 
a good conscience. 

Phil. Do you not think it lawful also for men 
to do their worldly business, and to use faithful- 
ness and diligence in their callings, that they may 
provide for themselves and their families? 

Theol. Yes, no doubt. And the rather, if they 
do these things with calling on God for a bless- 
ing upon the works of their hands; and use prayer 
and thanksgiving before and after their labour, 
taking heed all the day long of the common cor- 

* O had I known the conseipiences. t Certainly not. 


ruptions of the world, as swearing, cursing, lying, 
dissembling, deceiving, greedy getting, &c. 

Phil. Wherein I pray you doth covetousness 
especially consist? 

Theol. In the greedy desire of the mind. For 
we may lawfully do the works of our calling, and 
play the good husbands and good housewives ; but 
we must take heed that distrustfulness, and in- 
ward greediness of the world do not catch our 
heart : for then are we set on fire, and utterly 

PMl. Since covetouness is especially of the 
heart, how may we know certainly when the heart 
is infected? 

Theol. There be four special signs of the heart's 

Fhil. Which be they? 

Theol. The first is an eager and sharp set de- 
sire of getting. Therefore the Holy Ghost saith, 
"He that hasteth to be rich, shall not be un- 
punished," Prov. xxviii. 20, 22. And again, 
''An heritage is hastily gotten at the beginning; 
but the end thereof shall not be blessed," Prov. 
XX. 21. The heathen man also saith, " No man 
can be both justly and hastily rich." — The 
second is a pinching and niggardly keeping of 
our own, that is, when men, being able to give, 
will hardly part with any thing, though it be 
to never so holy and good use. And when at 
last with much ado, for shame they give some- 
thing, it Cometh heavily from them, God wot,* 
and scantily. — The third is, the neglect of holy 
duties: that is, when men's minds are so taken 
up with the love of earthly things, that they begin 

* God kiiowetli. 


to slack and cool in matters of God's worship. — 
The fourth and last is, a trusting in riches, and 
staying upon them, as though our lives were 
maintained by them, or did consist only in them ; 
which thing our Lord Jesus flatly denies, saying, 
" Though a man have abundance, yet his life 
consisteth not in the things that he hath," Luke 
xii. 15. — These then are four evident signs and 
tokens, whereby we may certainly discern that 
men's hearts and entrails are infected with covet- 

Phil. You have very well satisfied us in this 
point. Now let us understand the original causes 
of covetousness. 

Theol. There be two special causes of covet- 
ousness. The one is the ignorance and distrust 
of God's providence; the other is the want of 
tasting and feeUng of heavenly things: for till 
men taste better things they will make much 
of these, till they feel heaven they wUl love 
earth, till they be religious they will be covetous. 
Therefore the cause is soon espied why men 
are so sharp set upon these outwai-d things, and, 
do so admire riches, worldly pomp, pleasures, 
and treasures; because they know no better, they 
never had taste of feeling of those things which 
ai'e eternal. 

Fkil. Now as you have shewed us the causes 
of covetousness, so let us also hear of the effects. 

Theol. If I once enter into this, I shall be en- 
tangled and woimd up in a maze, where I know 
not how to get out again. For the evil effects of 
this vice are so many, and so great, that I know 
not almost where to begin, or where to end. Not- 
withstanding, I will enter into it, get out how I 


Phil. If you do but give us some taste of them 
it shall suffice. 

Theol. Then will I briefly dispatch things in 
order. And first of all, I reason from the words 
of the apostle before alleged, that if covetous- 
ness, and the love of money, be the root of all 
evil, then it is the root of idolatry, the root of 
murder, the root of theft, the root of lying, the 
root of swearing, the root of simony, the root of 
bribery, the root of usury, the root of lawing, the 
root of all contentions in the church, and the root 
of all brabbling and brawling in the common- 
wealth. Moreover, it spreadeth far and near; it 
dwelleth in every house, in every town, in every 
city; it pryeth into every corner, it creepeth into 
every heart, it annoyeth our physicians, it in- 
fecteth our divines, it choke th our lawyers, it 
woundeth our farmers, it baneth our gentlemen, it 
raurdereth our tradesmen, it bewitcheth our mer- 
chants, it stingeth our mariners. Oh! covetous- 
ness, covetousness! it is the poison of all things, 
the wound of Christianity, the bane of all good- 
ness! For covetousness mars all; it marreth all, 
everywhere, in all places, in all degrees, amongst 
all persons. It marreth marriages ; for it coupleth 
young to old, and old to young. It marreth 
hospitality, it marreth all good housekeeping, it 
marreth alms-deeds, it marreth religion, it marreth 
professors, it marreth ministers, it marreth magis- 
trates, it marreth all things. And therefore what 
sin so grievous, what evil so odious, what vice so 
enormous as this? For this cause it was prettily 
said of one, that all other vices are but factors to 
covetousness, and serve for porters to fetch and 
bring in her living. She maketh simony her 
drudge, bribery her drudge, usury her drudge. 


deceit her drudge, swearing her drudge, lying her 
drudge. Oh! what a devil incarnate is this, that 
setteth so many vices at work, and hath so many 
factors and underlings to serve her turn! Are 
they not in a pretty case, think you, that are in- 
fected with this sin ? Oh! they are in a most 
miserable case. It had been good they had 
never been bom. For being alive they are dead, 
dead I mean in their souls; for covetousness is 
soul's poison, and soul's bane. Covetousness is 
the strongest poison to the soul that is. It is a 
confection of all the spiders, toads, snakes, adders, 
scorpions, basihsks, and all other the most venom- 
ous vermin of the whole world. If the devil can 
get us to take down but one pennyweight of it, 
it is enough, he desires no more; for presently we 
fall down stark dead. Therefore the apostle saith, 
"They that will be rich (he meaneth in all haste, 
by hook or by crook) fall into temptations and 
snares, and into many foohsh and noisome lusts, 
which drown men in destruction and perdition," 
1 Tim. vi. 9. For as covetousness is rank poison 
to the soul, so the apostle compareth it to the deep 
gulf, wherein thousands are drowned ; and 
therefore he addeth, in the same place, v. 11, 
"But thou, O man of God, -flee these things;" 
in which words he doth most gravely advise all the 
ministers of the word of God to take heed of it. 
For as it is dangerous to all men, so it is most 
dangerous and offensive in the preachers of the 

Phil. Indeed it must needs be granted that 
covetousness is a very grievous sin; yea even a 
monster with seven heads. Yet for all that, we 
see in this our iron age, how many of all sorts 
are infected with it; and how few will give any 


thing to any holy use. Most men now-a-days 
have nothing to spare for Christ, nothing for his 
gospel, nothing for his church, nothing for the 
poor children of God, and needy members of 
Christ. Christ is a little beholden unto them, 
for they will do nothing for him, no not so much 
as speak a good word in his cause, or the cause 
of his poor saints. Every little thing with them 
is too much for God, and good men. For when 
they come to giving unto holy and necessary uses 
then they will stick at a penny, and scotch at a 
groat, and every thing is too much. But to 
bestow upon themselves, nothing is too much. 
Nothing is too much for lust, for pleasure, for 
back, belly, and building; for cards and dice, for 
whores and harlots, for rioting and revelling, for 
taverns and brothel-houses; hundreds and thou- 
sands are little enough, and too little for their ex- 
penses this way. It is lamentable to consider, 
what masses of money are spent and bestowed 
upon these things. But, alas, alas! how heavy 
an account are they to make in the day of the  
Lord, which so spend their lands, livings, and 
revenues! I quake to think what shall become 
of them at last. It were well for them, if they 
might be in no worse case than a crocodile, or a ] 
cur dog. 

TJieol. It is most certain that you say, and we 
all have great cause to lament it, and to take up 
the old complaint of the prophet, Jer. vi. 13, 
saying, " From the least of them even unto the 
greatest of them, every one is given unto covetous- 
ness; and from the prophet even unto the priest, 
they all deal falsely." And another prophet 
saith, "They buildup Zion with blood, and Jeru- 
salem with iniquity. The heads thereof judge for 


rewards, and the priests thereof teach for hire, 
and the prophets thereof prophesy for money; yet 
will they lean upon the Lord and say, is not the 
Lord amongst us? no evil can come unto us," 
Micah iii. 10, 11. But these holy prophets, and 
men of God, do fully describe unto us the state 
of our time; wherein, though all be corrupted, 
yet we bear ourselves stoutly upon God, we pre- 
sume of his favour, because of our outward pro- 
fession, and say in our hearts, no evil can come 
unto us. 

Asun. You say very true, sir. The world was 
never so set upon covetousness, and men were never 
sogreedily given to the world as now-a-days. And 
yet, in truth, there is no cause why men should 
be so sharp set upon this world. For this world 
is but vanity, and all is but pelf and trash. Fie 
on this muck! 

Fliil. Many such men as you are, can skill to 
give good words, and say, fie on this world; all 
is but vanity: and yet for all that, in your daily 
practice you are nevertheless set upon the world, 
nor never the more seek after God. You hear 
the word of God no whit the more, you read no 
whit the more, pray never the more; which evi- 
dently sheweth, that all your fair speeches and 
protestations, are naught else but hypocrisy and 
leasing. Your heart is not with God, for all this. 
All is but words: there is no such feeling in the 
heart. And, therefore, I may justly say to you, 
as God himself said unto his people, "This people 
have weU said all that they have spoken. Oh ! that 
there were such an heart in them, that they would 
fear me, and keep all my commandments!" 
Deut. V. 28, 29. 

Theol. His. words, indeed, are good, if his 


heart were according. For, all things consi- 
dered, there is no cause why men should be so 
given to this world; for they must leave it, when 
they have done all that they can. As we say, 
"To-day a man, to-morrow none." And as the 
apostle saith, " We brought nothing into this 
world, and, it is certain, we can carry nothing 
out," 1 Tim. vi. 7. We must all die, we know 
not how soon: why therefore should men set 
their hearts upon such uncertain and deceivable 
things ? for all things in this world are more 
light than a feather, more brittle than glass, 
more fleeting than a shadow, more vanishing 
than smoke, more inconsistent than the wind. 
"Doubtless," saith the prophet David, "man 
walketh in a shadow, and disquieteth himself 
in vain: he heapeth up riches, and cannot tell 
who shall gather them," Ps. xxxix. 6. I won- 
der, therefore, that these moles and muckworms 
of this earth, should so mind these shadowy 
things, and so dote on them as they do. If they 
were not altogether hardened and blinded by the 
devil, they would not be so nearly knit to the 
clod and the penny as they are: thinking, and 
always imagining, that there is no happiness but 
in these things, which are but dung and dross: 
and at last they will give us the slip, when we 
think ourselves most sure of them. The wise 
king, who had the greatest experience of these 
things that ever man had, for he enjoyed whatso- 
ever this world could afford, upward and down- 
ward, backward and forward, yet could find no- 
thing in them but vanity and vexation of spirit. 
Moreover, he flatly avoucheth, that all these 
things, riches, wealth, honour, pleasures, and 
treasures, will most notably deceive us in the 


end, give us the slip and be gone. For he com- 
pareth riches, and all the glory of this world, to 
an e^le or hawk, which a man holdeth upon his 
fist, stroketh her, maketh much of her, taketh 
great delight and pleasure in her, and saith he 
will not take ten pounds for her: yet all on the 
sudden she taketh her flight, and flieth up ipto 
the air, and he never seeth her more, nor she 
him. The words of the Holy Ghost are these, 
" Wilt thou cause thine eyes to fly after them? 
(meaning riches). Thou may est but they will 
not be found. For they will make themselves 
wings like to the eagle, which flieth up to 
heaven," Prov, xxiii. 5. From thence we may 
learn, that though we set our hearts never so 
much on any thing here below, yet at the last it 
shall be taken from us, or we from it. There- 
fore, all worldly men do but weave the spider's 
web, and may fitly be compared to the silly spi- 
der, who toileth herself, and laboureth all the 
week long to finish up her web, that she may 
lodge herself in it, as in her own house and free- 
hold. But alas, at the week's end, a maid in a 
moment, with one brush of her broom, dispos- 
sesseth her of her inheritance which she had 
purchased with great labour and much ado. 
Even so, when the men of this world have, 
with much care and trouble, purchased great 
lands and revenues, and gathered all that they 
can; yet on the sudden, death (with one stroke 
of his direful dart) will make them give up the 
ghost; and then where are they? It was pret- 
tily, therefore, said of a man in the light of na- 
ture, " No man hath ever lived so happily in this 
life, but in his life-time many things have be- 
fallen him, for the which he had wished rather 


to die than to live." And assuredly I think there 
was never any man lived any one day upon the 
face of this earth, but some grief or other either 
did, or justly might invade his mind ere night; 
either in the temptations of the world, the flesh 
or the devil : or in regard of soul, body, goods, 
or name; in regard of wife, children, friends, oj- 
neighbours; in regard of dangers to prince, es- 
tate, church, or commonwealth; in regard of 
casualties and losses by water, by fire, by sea, 
or by land. What a life therefore is this, that 
hath not one good day in it ? Who would desire 
to dwell long in it ? For it lieth open every day 
to manifold miseries, dangers, losses, casualties, 
reproaches, shame, infamy, poverty, sickness, 
diseases, colics, agues, tooth-ache, head-ache, 
back-ache, bone-ache, and a thousand calamities. 

Phil. You have very well described unto us the 
vanity of this life, and that no day is free from 
one sorrow or other, one grief or other; which 
thing our Lord Jesus ratifieth, in the reason 
which he bringeth, why men should not distrust- 
fully care for to-morrow. "For (saith he) suffi- 
cient unto the day is the evil thereof," Matt. vi. 
34 ; or, as some read it, " The day hath enough 
with his grief;" wherein he doth plainly shew, 
that every day hath his sorrow, his evil, his grief, 
and his thwart. But I pray you proceed further 
in this point. 

Theol. This I say further; that when men have 
swinked* and sweat, carked and cared, moiled and 
turmoiled, drudged and droiled,t by night and by 
day, by sea and by land, with much care and sor- 
row, much labour and grief, to rake together the 

* Laboured. t Slaved. 


things of this life: yet at last, all will away again, 
and we must end where we began. For, as Job 
said, i. 21, " Naked we came into the world, and 
naked we must go out." For even as a wind-mill 
beateth itself, maketh a great noise, whistleth and 
whisketh about from day to day, all the year long; 
yet at the year's end standeth still where it be- 
gan, being not moved one foot backward or for- 
ward; so when men have blustered and blown aU 
that they can, and have even run themselves out 
of breath, to scrape up the commodities of the 
earth, yet at last they must, spite of their beards, 
end where they be^an; end with nothing, as 
they began with nothing; end vdth a winding 
sheet and began with swaddling clouts. For 
what is become of the greatest monarchs, kings, 
princes, potentates, and magmficoes, that ever 
the world had? Where is Cyrus, Darius, 
Xerxes, Alexander, Caesar, Pompey, Scipio, and 
Hannibal? Where are the valiant Henrys, 
and noble Edwards of England? Are they not 
all gone down to the house of oblivion? 
Are they not all returned to their dust, and all 
their thoughts perished? Though they were as 
gods, yet have they died as a man, are fallen like 
others. Who now careth for them ? who talketh 
of them? who feareththem ? who regardeth them ? 
Do not beggars tread upon them? Yet, while they 
hved, they were the lori of the world; they were as 
terrible as lions ; fearful to all men ; full of pomp and 
glory, dignity and majesty. They plowed up all 
things, they bare all before them, and who but 
they? But now they have given up the ghost, 
and are, as Job saith, xxx. 23, " Gone down to 
the house appointed for all the living." Their 
pomp is descended with them, and all their glory 


is buried in the ashes. They are now covered 
under a clod, cast out into a vault, made compan- 
ions to toads, and the worms do eat them ; and 
what is become of their souls, is most of all to be 
feared. Thiis we see how all flesh doth but make 
a vain show for a while upon this theatre of misery, 
fetcheth a compass about, and is presently gone. 
For as the poet saith, " Serins aut citius sedem 
proper amus ad unam:^^ first, or last, we must all 
to the grave. 

Asun. You have made a very good speech. It 
doth me good to hear it. I wonder, all these 
things considered, that men should be so "wholly 
given to this world as they are. I think the devil 
hath bewitched them. For they shall carry noth- 
ing with them when they die, but their good 
deeds and their ill. 

Theol. The grudges and snudges* of this world, 
may very fitly be compared to a king's sumpter- 
horse, which goeth laden all the day long, with 
as much gold and treasure, as he can bear; but 
at night his treasure is taken from him, he is 
turned into a sorry dirty stable, and hath nothing 
left him, but his galled back. Even so the rich cor- 
morants and caterpillars of the earth, which here 
have treasured and horded up great heaps of gold 
and silver, with the which they travel laden 
through this world, shall in the end be stript out 
of all, let down into their grave, and have nothing 
left them but their galled conscience, with the 
which they shall be tumbled down into the dun- 
geon of eternal darkness. 

Pliil. Wherein doth the sting and strength of 
the world especially consist ? 

* Misers. 


Theol. Even as the great strength of Sampson 
lay in his hair, so the great strength of the world 
lieth in her two breasts: the one of pleasure, the 
other of profit. For she, like a notable strumpet, 
bv laying out these her breasts, doth bewitch the 
sons of men, and allureth thousands to her lust. 
For if she cannot wiu them with the one breast, 
yet she gaineth them with the other: if not with 
pleasure, then with profit ; if not with profit, then 
with pleasure. He is an odd man of a thousand 
that sucketh not of the one breast or the other. 
But sure it is, whichsoever he sucketh, he shall 
be poisoned. For she giveth none other milk, but 
rank poison. The world therefore, is like to an 
alluring Jael, which sitteth at her door, to entice 
us to come in and eat of the milk of her plea- 
sures: butwhenshehath oncegotusin,she is ready, 
even while we afe eating, with her hammer and 
nail, to pierce through our brains, Judges iv. 21. 

JPhil. I see plainly, this world is a very strum- 
pet, a strong bait, and a snarling net, wherein 
thousands are taken. It is very bird lime, which 
doth so belime our affections that they cannot 
ascend upward. It is like the weights of a clock, 
hanged upon our souls, which draweth them down 
to the earth: it naileth us fast down to the 
ground. It mortifieth us into clay: it maketh 
us abominable unto God. For I remember God 
made a law, that whatsoever goeth with his breast 
upon the ground, should be abominable unto us, 
Levit. xi. How much more these carnal world- 
Ungs, which are fast soldered to the earth! 

Theol. The apostle James, seeing into the deep 
wickedness of this world, and knowinor right well 
how odious it maketh us in the sight of God, 
crieth out against it, terming it adultery, and 


all worldlings adulterers; because they forsake 
Christ, their true husband, and whorishly give 
their hearts to this world, iv. 4, " ye adulterers 
and adulteresses, saith he, know ye not that the 
amity of this world, is the enmity of God ? Who- 
soever therefore, will be a friend of this world, 
maketh himself the enemy of God." And who 
dare stand forth and say, I will be the enemy of 
God? Who therefore dare be a worldling? for 
every worlding is the enemy of God. What 
then will become of you, O ye wicked worldlings? 

FJiil. It appeareth then plainly by the scrip- 
tures, that the excessive love of this world, and 
unsatiable desire of having, is a most dangerous 
thing; and men do not know what, in seeking 
so greedily after it. 

Theol. The heathen man, Sophocles, will rise 
up in judgment against us: for he saith, "Unsa- 
tiableness is the foulest evil amongst mortal men ; 
but many of our seagulfs and whirlpools make no 
conscience of it." They think it is no sin: they 
devour and swallow up all; and yet are never 
satisfied. They will have all, and more than all, 
and the devil and all. The whole world cannot 
satisfy their mind: but God must create new 
worlds to content them. These men are sick of 
the golden dropsy : the more they have, the more 
they desire. The love of money increaseth, as 
money itself increaseth. But the scripture saith, 
" He that loveth silver, shall not be satisfied with 
silver," Eccles. v. 10. Oh, therefore, that we 
would strive earnestly to get out of this gulf of 
hell, and tread the moon, that is, all worldly 
things, under our feet, as it is spoken of the 
church, and that we would set our affections on 
the things that are above, and not on the things 


that are beneath: that we would fly an high pitch, 
and soar aloft as the eagles, looking down at this 
world, and all things in it, as at oui- feet, con- 
temning it, and treading the very glory of it un- 
der our feet, that it may never have more power 
over us! Rev. iii. 1. 

Phil. O happy and twice happy are they that 
can do so! And I beseech the Almighty God, 
give us his Holy Spirit, whereby we may be car- 
ried above this world, into the mountains of 
m\TTh, and the mountains of spices. Cant. iv. 6. 
For how happy a thing is it to have our conversa- 
tion in heaven, that is, to have an inward con- 
versation with God, by much prayer, reading, 
meditation, and heavenly affections! This, in- 
deed, is to climb up above the world, and to con- 
verse in the chambers of peace. Oh, therefore, 
that we could seriously and thoroughly conceive 
and consider of this world as it is, that we would 
well weigh the vanity of it, and the excellency of 
that which is to come, that we might loathe the 
one and, and love the other; despise the one, and 
embrace the other: love God more than ever we 
did, and this world less. For what is this world 
but vanity of vanities ? 

Asun. You do exceedingly abase that which 
some make their god. You speak contemptuously 
of that which most men have in greatest price 
and admiration. You disgrace that which multi- 
tudes would grace. You make light of that which 
numbers make greatest account of. Let us there- 
fore hear your reasons: shew us more fully what 
it is ; describe it unto us. 

Theol. The world is a sea of glass, a pageant 
of fond delights, a theatre of vanity, a labyrinth 
of error, a gulf of grief, a sty of filthiness, a vale 


of misery, a spectacle of woe, a river of tears, a 
stage of deceit, a cage full of owls, a den of 
scorpions, a wilderness of wolves, a cabin of 
bears, a whirlwind of passions, a feigned comedy, 
a delectable phrenzy; where is false delight, as- 
sured grief, certain sorrow, uncertain pleasure, 
lasting woe, fickle wealth, long heaviness, short 


Phil. Now, you have indeed described it to 
the full, and laid it out, as it were, in orient 
colours. And a man would think, he were be- 
witched, or stark mad, which hereafter should 
set his mind on it. But yet I am desirous to 
hear a little more of that, which I asked yon be- 
fore, wherein the strength and poison of the 
world doth especially consist. 

Theol. In this lieth a great strength of the 
world, that it draweth down the stars of heaven 
and maketh them fall to the earth, as it is said of 
the dragon's tail, (Eev. xii. 4.) which is ambi- 
tion, covetousness, and the love of this world. 
For we may wonder and lament, to see how the 
love of these things hath wounded and overborn 
many excellent servants of God, both preachers 
and professors of the gospel: which thing doth 
plainly argue the strength of it. For it is the 
strongest and the very last engine, that Satan 
useth to im.pugn us withal, when none other will 
prevail. For when no temptation could fasten 
upon Christ, he bringeth forth this last weapon 
which never faileth; " All these things will I give 
thee," Matt. iv. 9, shewing him the glory of the 
whole world. So then he, having the experience 
of this, that it never faileth, thought to have 
overcome Christ himself with it. Here, therefore, 
lieth the very sting and strength of the world and 


the devil. For whom hath he not taken with 
" all these things will I give thee?" whom hath 
he not wounded? whom hath he not deceived? 
whom hath he not overthrown? With this he 
enticed Balaam; with this he beguiled Achau; 
with this he overthrew Judas; with this he be- 
witched Demas; with this, in these our days, he 
deceived many of excellent gifts. For assuredly, 
he is a phoenix* amongst men, which is not 
overcome with this. He is a wonderment in the 
world, that is not moved with money. 

Phil. I am now fully satisfied with this matter. 
But one thing cometh often into my mind; to 
wit, that these miserable wordlings can have no 
sound comfort in their pleasures and profits: be- 
cause they have no comfort in God, nor peace in 
their own consciences. 

Theol. You say very true. It is impossible, 
that men, loving this world, should have any 
sound comfort in God. For no man can serve 
two masters, both God and riches. Their case 
therefore, is very dangerous and fearful, though 
they never see it, nor feel it: as I will shew you 
by a plain example. Put a case: one of these 
great rich wordlings should be clothed in vel- 
vet and cloth of gold, in most stately manner, 
and also should be set at his table, furnished with 
all the dainties of the world; should be attended 
and waited upon by many, in most lordly and 
pompous manner; should sit in his goodly 
dining-chamber, all glittering like gold; should 
have his first, second, and third service served 
in, with minstrels and instruments of music, in 
most royal sort; he sitteth in his chair, like a 

* A very rare bird, of which the ancients used to say there was but 
one at a time in beiusc. 


king in his throne: yet for all this, if a dagger 
should be held to his heart all this while, ready 
to stab him, what pleasure, what joy, what com- 
fort can he have in all the rest ? Even so, what- 
soever pomp or pleasures wicked wordlings have 
here below, yet tlieir guilty and hellish conscience 
is, as it were, a dagger, held always hard to their 
heart, so as they can have no sound comfort in 
any thing. Or let me give it you thus : put this 
case, a man hath committed high treason, and 
were therefore apprehended, arraigned, and con- 
demned to be hanged, drawn, and quartered: what 
then can comfort him in such a case? can mirth, 
can music, can gold, can silver, can lands, can 
livings? No, no: none of all these can help him, 
or give him any comfort. For the continual 
thoughts of death do so gripe him at the heart, 
that none of all these can do him any good or any 
Avhit mitigate his grief. What then is the thing 
that may comfort him in this case ? Only a 
pardon, sealed with the king's broad seal, and 
subscribed with his own hand. For as soon as 
he hath got this, his heavy heart reviveth, and 
he leaps for joy. This then assuredly is the very 
ease of all profane atheists and worldlings, who 
are not assured of the king of heaven his pardon 
for their sin: and then, what joy can they have 
either in their meat, drink, goods, cattle, wines, 
children, lands, revenues, or any thing whatsoever ? 
For the dreadful thoughts of hell, do eftsoones* 
cross them inwardly, and quite damp and dash all 
their mirth. Their own consciences will not be 
stilled; but in most terrible manner, rise up and 
give evidence against them, telling them flatly 

* Speedily. 

C0TET0XrS5E88. 73 

they shall be damned, how merry and jocund 
soever they seem to be in this world ; setting a 
good face on the matter. For sure it is, that 
inwardly they have many a cold pull, and many 
heart gripes. And all their mirth and jollity, is 
but a giggling from the teeth outward: they can 
have no sound comfort within. And therefore 
the wise king saith, " Even in laughter the heart 
is sorrowful: and the end of that mirth is heavi- 
ness," Prov. xiv. 13. Likewise saith the holy 
man Job, xxvii. 20, " Terrors of conscience come 
upon the wicked man like waters: in the night 
a whirlwind carriethhim away secretly." Eliphaz, 
the Temanite, avoucheth the same point, saying, 
" The wicked man is continually as one that 
travaileth of child ; a sound of fear is in his ears," 
&c. Job XV. 20, 21. Thus then we see, that how- 
soever many carnal atheists, and ungodly persons, 
seem outwardly to float aloft in all mirth and 
jollity, bearing it out, as we say, at the breast : 
yet inwardly they are pinched with terrors, and 
most horrible convulsions of conscience. 

Antil. You have spoken many things very 
sharply against covetousness: but in my mind, 
so long as a man covets nothing but his own, he 
cannot be said to be covetous. 

TJieol. Yes, that he may. For not only is he 
covetous which greedily desireth other men's 
goods; but even he also which over-niggardly 
and pinchingly holdeth fast his own, and is such 
a miser, that he will part with nothing. We see 
the world is full of such pinch-pennys, that will 
let nothing go, except it be wrung from them 
perforce, as a key out of Hercules'* hand. These 

* A hero of heathen fiable of prodigious strength. 


gripple* muck-i-akers had as leave part with their 
blood as their goods. They will pinch their own 
backs and bellies, to get their god into their 
chests. And when they had once got him in 
there, will they easily part with him, trow ye? 
No, no ; a man will not part with his god, for no 
man's pleasure. He will eat pease-bread, and 
drink small drink, rather than he will diminish 
his god. Therefore the scripture saith, " Eat not 
the meat of him that hath an evil eye; and de- 
sireth not his dainty dishes. For as he grudgeth 
his own soul, so he will say unto thee; eat and 
drink, when his heart is not with thee. Thou 
shalt vomit thy morsels which thou hast eaten 
and loose thy pleasant speeches," Prov. xxiii. 6-8. 
The old saying is, the covetous man wanteth as 
well that which he hath, as that which he hath 
not; because he hath no use of that which he hath. 
So then you see, there is a great strength of covet- 
ousness, in the niggardly keeping of our own. 

Antil. Yet, for all this, men must follow their 
worldly business, and lay up to live. For it is 
an hard world, and goods are not easy to come by. 
Therefore men must ply their business, or else 
they may go to beg or starve. 

Theol. I deny not, but that you may follow 
the works of your calling dilligently: so it be in 
the fear of God, and with a good conscience, as I 
told you before ; but this greediness and griple- 
ness God doth condemn, and also, his excessive 
love of money. 

Phil. Believe me, I know nobody that hateth 
it; I cannot see but that all men love gold and 

* Eager getters. 


Theol. It is one thing to use these things, and 
another thing to love them and set our hearts 
upon them. For the scripture saith, "If riches 
increase, set not your heart upon them," Psahn 
Ixii. 10. Saint John also saith, ii. 15, "Love not 
this world, nor the things that are in this world." 
He saith not, use not this world; but love not 
this world. For use it we may; love it we may 
not. Therefore the apostle saith, "That they 
which use this world, should be as though they 
used it not," 1 Cor. vii. 31, where he aUoweth 
a sober and moderate use of the things of this life 
in the fear of God. We must use this world for 
necessities' sake, as we use meat and drink. For, 
no more of this world then needs must, for fear 
of surfeiting. The Holy Ghost saith, "Let your 
conversation be without covetousness, and be 
content with things present," Heb, xiii. 5. 
Happy is that man therefore, that is well con- 
tent with his present estate whatsoever it may be, 
and carrieth himself moderately and comfortably 
therein. For the Spirit saith, "There is no pro- 
fit to a man under the sun: but that he eat and 
drink, and delight his soul with the profit of his 
labours. I saw also this, that this is of the hand 
of God," Eccles. ii. 24. In which words, the 
prudent king saith thus much, in efiect, "That 
this is all the good we can attain unto in this 
world, even to take sober and comfortable use of 
the things of this life, which God bestoweth upon 
us. And further he avoueheth, "That thus to 
use them aright, and with sound comfort, is a very 
rare gift of God." For as one saith, Gregorius 
Nazi, "He is a wise man, that is not grieved for 
the things which he hath not; but doth re- 
joice in the things that he hath; using them to 


God's glory, and his own comfort." So then, I 
conclude this point, and return you an answer 
thus: that we may in sober and godly manner, 
use gold, silver, and the things of this life ; but at 
no hand to overlove them, or give our hearts unto 

Antil. Well, yet for all this, I cannot see but 
that these preachers and professors, these learned 
men, and precise fellows, are even as eager of the 
world, and as covetous as any other. 

Theol. Now you show your venomous spirit, 
against better men than yourself: And I have a 
fourfold answer for you. — First, I answer, that 
although godly men may be somewhat overtaken 
this way, and over-spirt* a little, yet they break 
not so grossly as others. — Secondly, if God leave 
them sometimes to be overcome of the world, yet 
he, in his great wisdom and mercy, turneth it to 
their good. For thereby he first humbleth them 
and afterward raiseth them up again. "And so all 
things work together for good, to them that love 
God," Rom. viii. 28. — Thirdly, I answer, that we 
live by rules, and not by examples. For even the 
best of God's people have had their wants and 
weakness. Therefore we may not frame rules to 
live by out of the infirmities of the most excel- 
lent servants of God. Wicked, therefore, and 
impious is their allegation, which allege David's 
adultery. Lot's drunkenness, Peter's fall Abraham's 
slips, Solomon's sins, &c. for a shelter and defence 
of themselves in the like sins. — Lastly, I answer 
that you do greatly wound yourself, in your own 
speech: so far oif are you from mending your 
market any whit thereby. For if preachers and 

* Overtaken. 


other godly men, after many prayers and tears, 
and much means used, cannot escape scot-free, 
but sometimes are wounded, and aLuost over- 
thrown, by the world and the devil; what then 
shall become of you, which use no means at all, 
nor any gain striving, but willingly give place to 
the devil? If the devil did over-master David, 
Lot, Sampson, Solomon, and other such excellent 
worthies, alas ! what shall become of mere world- 
lings and atheists? If the most valiant men, 
and chief captains iu a battle go down, what shall 
become of the faint-hearted soldiers? and, as St. 
Peter saith, 1 Epis. iv. 18, "If the righteous 
scarce be saved, where shall the wicked and un- 
godly appear?" So then I take you at the re- 
bound, and return your own weapon upon your- 
self, that since godly men cannot escape through 
this world, without blows, what shall become of 
them which know not what godhness meaneth? 

Antil. Yet, I say once again, that men must 
live, men must lay up for this world: we cannot 
live by the scriptures. And as for that which 
you call covetousness, it is but good husbandry. 

Theol. I thought, we should have it at last. 
Now you have paid it home: you are come to 
the old bias, and as an hare to her old form, and 
her old covert. For this is the very covert and 
thicket of the world, wherein they woiild hide 
covetousness: but I will do what I can to himt 
you out of it, by the scriptures. First, Solomon 
saith, " He that spareth more than is right, shall 
surely come to poverty," Prov. xi. 24. So then 
you see, that covetousness bringeth poverty. 
Thus, therefore I reason: that which bringeth 
poverty is no good husbandry: but covetousness, 
and too much sparing, bringeth poverty; there- 


fore it is no good husbandry. The same Solomon 
saith, " He that is given to gain, troubleth his 
own house." That is, the covetous man is an 
occasion of many evils, in his estate and family. 
From this scripture I do thus reason : that which 
troubleth a man's house, is no good husbandry; 
but covetousness troubleth a man's house: there- 
fore it is no good husbandry. Last of all, the 
old proverb saith, " Covetousness bringeth nothing 
home;" and therefore it is no good husbandry. 
For oftentimes we do see, that men, for covetous- 
ness of more, lose that which otherwise they 
might have had. One of the wise heathens saith, 
(Hesiodus), " Evil gain is as bad as loss." But 
the covetous man doth seek after wicked gain, 
and therefore seeketh loss: and consequently is 
no good husband. Another saith, (Phocillides), 
" Unjust gain bringeth both loss and misery." 
And therefore it is far enough off from virtue, 
and all good husbandry. Thus then, I hope, you 
are so hunted both by God and men, that this 
covert cannot hide you. And therefore you must 
out of it, and seek some other shelter; for this 
will not serve your turn. 

Phil. Now I must needs say, j'-ou have fully 
stopt his mouth, and thoroughly ferreted him out 
of his deep burrow. And it is most certain that 
you say, that the wise heathen have condemned 
covetousness, and all unjust gains, which we both 
practice and defend; and therefore will rise up in 
judgment against us. But now let us leave the 
caviller for the present. 


god's special care of his children; and their 
great privileges. 

Fhil. I must confess, Theologus, that you have 
fully entered into the matter of covetousness, yet 
there is one thing remaining wherein 1 desire to 
be satisfied. 

Theol. What is that? 

Phil. I woidd gladly know which be the spe- 
cial remedies against covetousness. 

Theol. There be two special remedies against 
covetousness ; to wit, contentment, and the medi- 
tation of God's providence. 

Phil. Let us hear somewhat of contentment 
out of the scriptures. 

Theol. The apostle saith, 1 Tim. vi. 7, 8, 
"Having food and raiment, we must therewith be 
content; for we brought nothing into this world, 
and it is certain we shall carry nothing out." 
The Spirit also saith, "Let your conversation be 
without covetousness, and be content with your 
present estate," Heb. xiii. 5. Again, the apostle 
saith, "He had learned in what estate soever he 
was, therewith to be content," Phil. iv. 11. Note 
that he saith, he had learned; for he had it not of 
himself. For contentment is the singular gift of 
God: as it is written; "The righteous eateth to 
the contentment of his soul, but the belly of the 
wicked shall want," Prov. xiii. 25. An ancient 
father saith, (Cyril in Joan iv.) "We ought to ac- 
custom ourselves to live of a little, and to be con- 
tent; that we may do no wicked or filthy thing 


for lucres' sake." Another saith, (Chrysost. 
iiomil. li.) "He is not poor that hath nothing; but 
he that desireth much. Neither is he rich that 
hath much but he that wanteth nothing; for con- 
tentment never wanteth. There is no grief in 
lacking, but where there is immoderate desire in 
having. If we will live after nature, we shall 
never be poor; if after our own appetite, we shall 
never be rich." Well therefore, said the poet, 
(Euripedes,) "Wax not rich unjustly, but justly; 
be content with thine own things; abstain from 
other men's," Thus then we see, that both God 
himself, the fountain of all wisdom, and men also, 
both in the state of nature and grace, do all 
jointly advise us to strive for contentment; and 
then shall we have a sovereign remedy against 

Phil. Let us hear somewhat of the second re- 
medy against covetousness. 

Theol. An earnest thinking Upon the provi- 
dence of God, is a present remedy against the 
most foolish and pining carefulness of men for 
this life. For if we would seriously weigh and 
deeply consider the provident care that God hath 
had for his children in all ages, touching food and 
raiment; and how strangely he hath provided for 
them, it might suffice to correct this evil in us, 
and minister unto us a notable preservative against 
covetousness. — We read how wonderfully theLord 
did provide for his prophet Elijah, in the time of 
the great dearth and drought, that was in Israel. 
Did not the Lord command the ravens to feed 
him, by the river Cherith? did not the ravens 
bring him bread and flesh in the morning, and 
bread and flesh in the evening, and he drank of 
the river? 1 Kings xvii. What should I speak 


how miraculously God provided for Hagar and 
her infant, when they were both cast out of 
Abraham's house, and brought to great extremity! 
even both of them ready to give up the ghost for 
want of food, Gen. xxi. 15-21. Did not God 
help at a pinch, as his manner hath always been ? 
did not he send his angel unto them, and both 
comfort them, and provide for them? What 
should I speak how strangely God provided for 
his church in the wilderness? Exod. xvi. 4. Did 
he not feed them with manna from heaven, and 
gave them water to drink out of the rock ? Exod. 
xvii. 6. Hath not our heavenly father made many 
royal and large promises, that he will provide 
necessaries for his children ? Psalm Ixxviii. Shall 
we not think that he will be as good as his word? 
Doth he not say. Psalm xxxiv. 10, " The hons 
lack, and suffer hunger; but they which seek him, 
shall want nothing that is good?" Doth he not 
say, V. 9, " Fear him all ye saints ; for nothing 
is wanting to them that fear him?" Doth he not 
say, Psalm 1 xxxiv. 11, " No good thing shall be 
withheld from them that walk uprightly? Doth 
he not say. Matt. vi. 23, " Our heavenly Father 
knoweth that we have need of these things; and 
that all these things shall be cast upon us, if we 
earnestly seek his kingdom?" Doth he not bid 
us cast all our care upon him? 1 Pet. v. 7, 
"for he careth for all." Doth he not bid us, 
" Take no thought what we shall eat, or what we 
shall drink, or wherewithal we shaU be clothed?" 
Luke xii. 29, meaning thereby, no distracting 
or distrustful thought. Doth he not say, he 
will not leave us, nor forsake us? Heb. xii. 5. 
Doth he not say, "The Lord is at hand: in 
nothing be careful?" Phil. iv. 5, 6. Are not these 


large promises sufficient to stay up our faith in ; 
Grod's providence? shall we think God jesteth 
with us ? shall we think he meaneth no such mat- 
ter? shall we imagine he will not keep truth? 
Oh, it were blasphemy once to think it? for God 
is true, and all men liars. He is faithful that 
hath promised. His word is more than the faith 
of a prince: more than ten thousand obligations. 
Why then do we not rest upon it? why go we 
any further ? why do we not take his word ? why 
do we not depend wholly upon him ? why are we 
stiU covetous? why are we still distrustful? why 
do we dissemble and deceive? Oh we of little 
faith! Om' Lord Jesus, knowing right well the 
distrustfulness of our nature, and the deep root it 
hath in us, is not only content to make these 
large and royal promises unto us which were 
enough; but also strengtheneth and backeth us 
with many strong reasons, to support our weak- 
ness in this behalf. He therefore bringeth us 
back, to a due consideration of things. " Consider 
(saith he) the ravens ; consider the fowls of the 
heavens : for they neither sow nor reap, nor carry 
into barns; and yet God feedeth them ; they want 
nothing. Consider the lilies how they grow; 
they neither labour, nor spin ; yet Solomon in all 
his royalty, was not clothed like one of these," 
Luke xii. 22-30. Oh, therefore, that we would ; 
consider these considers! Oh that we would con- 
sider that our life is more worth than meatj and 
our bodies than raiment! Oh that we would con- 
sider, that with all our carking and caring, we 
can do no good at all; no, not so much as add ; 
one cubit to our stature!* Truly, truly, if we = 

* "Stature." The original Greek signifies "age." See John ix. 23, ; 
as well as stature. All our distrustful care cannot prolong our life one '■ 


would deeply ponder these reasons of our Saviour, 
and apply them to ourselves, they might serve 
for a bulwark and sure defence against covetous- 
ness. If men would consider how that great 
King of heaven, who hath his way in the whirl- 
wind, and the clouds are the dust of his feet, 
careth for the little wren, and silly spprrow; how 
he looketh to them, how he tendereth them, how 
he provideth for them every day, both breakfast, 
dinner, and supper: it might serve to correct our 
distrustfulness. For who ever saw these, or any 
other soul starve for hunger? so good a father, 
and so good a nurse have they. And are not we 
much better than they? hath not God more care 
of us, than of them? yes, verily, a thousand times. 
For he loveth them, but for our sakes : how much 
more then doth he love ourselves? Therefore I 
say again and again, if we would consider these 
things, and lay them to heart, they would nip co- 
vetousness on the head, and drive it quite out of 
our hearts. Let us consider, therefore, that God 
provided for man before man was: then how 
much more will he provide for man, now that he 
is? Is he our Father, and will he not provide 
for us? Is he our King, and will he not regard 
us? Is he our Shepherd, and will he not look to 
us? Hath he provided heaven for us, and will 
he not give us earth ? Hath he given us his Son 
Christ, and shall he not with' him give us all 
things? Doth he provide for his enemies, and 
will he not provide for his friends? Doth he 
provide for whoremongers, and wiU he neglect his 
chosen? Doth he send his rain, and cause his 

hour. Job vii. 1. Why heap up treasure for uncertain lifer Trust 
God in well-doing — cast all anxious care upon tiim — and be ever wait- 
ing for his coming. 


sun to shine upon the unjust, and shall he not 
upon the just ? Doth he provide for them which 
are not of the family, and will he not provide for 
his own family ? Will a man feed his hogs, and 
not care for his servants? or will he care for 
his servants, and not regard his own children? 
Oh, then, le^ us consider these reasons: let us re-, 
member, that our heavenly Father hath as great 
care for the preservation of his creatures, as once 
he had for their creation. Let us therefore re- 
member that our life consisteth not in these 
things; but in the providence of God. Let us 
remember that he which giveth the day, will 
provide for the things of the day. Let us remem- 
ber that God always giveth for sustenance, though 
not for satiety. Let us remember that God will 
not famish the souls of the righteous, Prov. x. 3. 
Let us remember how God never failed his. For 
who ever trusted in the Lord and was confound- 

Pldl. What then is the cause that many do 
want outward things? 

Theol. The cause is in themselves, because 
they want faith. For if we had faith, we could 
want nothing. " For faith feareth no famine," as 
saith an ancient father. And another saith, for 
as much as all things are God's, he that hath 
God can want nothing : if he himself be not 
wanting unto God. Therefore to have God is to 
have all things. For if we have him our friend 
we have enough, we need go no further. For he 
will make men our friends: yea, he will make 
angels, and all creatures to be serviceable unto 
us : he will give them a special charge to look to 
us, to guard us, and to do continual homage unto 
us. Therefore, let us make God our friend, and 


then have we done all at once that may concern 
our good, both for this life and a better. But if 
he stand not our friend; if we have not him on 
our side; if he back us not, then all other things 
whatsoever can do us no good: all is not worth a 
button. For quid prodest, si omnia hahes, eum 
tamen, qui omnia dedit, non habere? WTiat is a 
man the better though he have all things, and be 
without him which is the author of all things ? 

PhU. Herein you speak very truly, no doubt. 
For we see, many have great plenty of outward 
things ; but because they have not God, they can 
have no true comfort in them, or blessing with 

Theol. True, indeed; "For man liveth not by 
bread only, (saith our Lord Jesus} but by every 
word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God," 
Matt. iv. 4. And again he saith, " Though a man 
have abundance, yet his life consisteth not in the 
things that he hath," Luke xii. 15. For without 
God's blessing there can be no sound comfort in 
any thing. We see, by daily experience, how 
the Lord curseth the wicked, though they have 
abundance. For some, having abundance, yet 
are visited with continual sicknesses. Some, 
having abundance, pine away with consumptions. 
Others, having abundance, die of surfeiting. 
Others are snatched away by untimely death, in 
the midst of their jolUty. Others are visited 
with gi-eat losses, both by sea and by land. 
Others are vexed with cursed wives and disobe- 
dient children. Some, again, commit murders, 
and treasons, and so lose all at once. Others 
are wasted and consumed by the secret curse of 
God; no man knoweth how. Some having great 
riches are given over to the murderer, some to 


the thief, some to the poisoner. Therefore the 
wise king saith, " There is an evil sickness under 
the sun; riches reserved to the owners thereof, 
for their evil," Eccles. v. 13. Zophar, also, the 
Naamathite, saith, " When the wicked shall 
have sufficient and enough, he shall be brought 
into straits," Job xx. 22, 23: the hand of every 
troublesome man shall be upon him. When he 
should fill his belly, God will send upon him 
his fierce wrath, which he shall rain upon him 
instead of his meat. Thus, then, it is clear that 
man's life and good estate dependeth not upon 
the abundance of outward things, but only upon 
the blessing and providence of God. For, " His 
blessing only maketh rich, and it doth bring no 
sorrow with it," Prov. x. 4. For, " Better is a 
little unto the just, than great abundance to 
many of the wicked," Psalm xxxvii. 16. " Better 
is a little with righteousness, than great revenues 
without equity," Prov. v. 16, and xvi. 18. Thus, 
then, I conclude this point: man liveth not by 
bread, but by a blessing upon bread; not by ; 
outward means, but by a blessing upon means. 
For how can bread, being a dead thing, and > 
having no life in itself, give life to others ? ; 

Phil. I do not well understand the meaning ' 
of these words: " By every word that proceedeth \ 
out of the mouth of God." 

Theol. Thereby is meant, the decree, ordinance, 
and providence of God, which upholdeth all 
things, even the whole order of nature; for the 
scriptures saith, "He spake and it was done: he 
commanded and they were created. Psalm xxxiii. 
9. In words which we plainly see, that God doth 
but speak, and it is done; he doth command, and 
all creatures are preserved. For God doth all 


things with a word. He created all with his 
word; he preserveth all with his word; he speak- 
eth, and it is done. His words are words of power 
and authority. Whatsoever he saith, whatsoever 
he calleth for, it must be done presently, without 
any delay, there is no withstanding of him. He 
calleth for famine, and behold famine. He call- 
eth for plenty, and behold plenty. He calleth for 
pestilence, and behold pestilence. He calleth for 
the sword, and behold the sword. All angels, all 
men, aU beasts, all fishes, all fowls, all creatures 
whatsoever must obey him, and be at his beck. 
He is the greatest commander ; his word com- 
mandeth heaven and earth and the sea. AU 
creatures must be obedient to his will, and 
subject to his ordinance. This is the cause why 
aU things, both in heaven, earth, and the sea, do 
keep their immutable and invariable courses, 
times and seasons, even because he hath charged 
them so to do. And they must of necessity 
always, at all times and for ever, obey ; for the 
creatures must obey the Creator. This act of 
parliament was made the first week of the world, 
and never since was or can be repealed. 

Phil. But, to call you back again to the point 
we had in hand, resolve me, I pray you, of this : 
whether many of the dear children of God do not 
in this life sometimes want outward things, and 
are brought into great distress ? 

Theol. Yes, certainly. For Elijah did want, 
and was in distress. Paul did want, and was in 
many distresses. The holy Christians, mentioned 
in the Hebrews, did want, and were in marvellous 
distresses. Many of God's dear ones have in aU 
ages wanted, and at this day also do want, and 
are greatly distressed. But this is a most infaUi- 


ble truth, that howsoever God's children may 
want, and be low brought, yet they are never 
utterly forsaken, but are holpen even in greatest 
extremities; yea, when all things are desperate, 
and brought even to the last cast. — To this point, 
most notably speaketh the apostle, saying, "We 
are afflicted on every side, but yet we despair not; 
we are persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, 
but we perish not," 2 Cor. iv. 7, 8. The pro- 
phet Jeremiah also saith, "The Lord will not for- 
sake for ever : but though he send affliction, yet 
will he have compassion, according to the multi- 
tude of his mercies. For he doth not punish 
willingly, or from his heart, nor afflict the chil- 
dren of men," Lam. iii. The kingly prophet 
saith, "Surely the Lord will not fail his people, 
neither will he forsake his inheritance," Psalm 
xciv, 14. The Lord himself saith, "For a mo- 
ment in mine anger, I hid my face from thee; 
but with everlasting mercy have I had compassion 
on thee," Isa. liv. 7, 8. So then we may fully 
assure ourselves, and even write of it, as a most 
undoubted and sealed truth, that God's children 
shall never be utterly forsaken in their troubles. 

Phil. Since the care and providence of God is 
so great for his children, as you have largely de- 
clared, what then I pray you is the cause, why 
God suflFereth his to be brought into so many 
troubles and necessities ? 

Theol. Their profit and benefit is the cause, 
and not their hurt. For he loveth them, when 
he smiteth them. He favoureth them, when he 
seemeth to be most against them. He aimeth at 
their good, when he seemeth to be most angry 
with them. He woundeth them, that he may heal 
them. He presseth them, that he may ease them. 


He maketh them cry, that afterward they may 
laugh. He always meaneth well mito them, he 
never meaneth hurt. He is most constant in his 
love towards them. If he hring them into neces- 
sities, it is hut for the trial of their faith, love, 
patience, and diligence in prayer. — If he cast 
them into the fire, it is not to consume them, hut 
to purge and refine them. If he bring them into 
great dangers, it is but to make them call upon 
him more earnestly, for help and deUverance. — 
He presseth us, that we might cry; we cry, that 
we may be heard; we are heard, that we might be 
delivered. So that there is no hurt done; we are 
worse scared than hurt. Even as a mother, when 
her child is wayward, threateneth to throw it to 
the wolf, or scareth it with some poker or bull- 
beggar, to make it cling more unto her and be 
quiet; so the Lord oftentimes sheweth us the 
terrible faces of troubles and dangers to make us 
cleave and cling faster unto him; and also to 
teach us to esteem better of his gifts when we 
enjoy them, and to be more thankful for them ; 
as health, wealth, peace, hberty, safety, «fcc. So 
then, still we see, here is nothing meant on God's 
part, but good; as it is written, "All things 
work together for good, to them that love God." 
For even the affictions of God's children are so 
sanctified unto them by the Spirit, that thereby 
they are made partakers of God's holiness. There- 
by they enjoy the quiet fruit of righteousness. 
Thereby they attain unto a greater measure of 
joy in the Holy Ghost. Thereby the world is 
crucified to them, and they to the world. There- 
by they are made conformable to Christ's death. 
Thereby they are kept from the condemnation of 
the world. Thereby they learn experience, pa- 


tience, hope, &e. So that, all things considered, 
God's children are no losers by their afflictions, 
but gainers. It is better for them to have them, 
than to be without them ; they are very good for 
them. For when God's children are chastised, 
it is as it should be. For to them, the cross is 
mercy, and loss is gain. Afflictions are their 
schooling, and adversity their best university. 
"It is good for me, saith the holy man of God, 
that 1 have been afflicted, that I might learn thy 
statutes." By his afflictions thereby, he learned 
much, and became a good scholar in God's 
book, and well seen in his statutes and laws. 
He grew to great wisdom and judgment by his 
chastisements. All things turned about, in God's 
merciful providence, to his everlasting comfort. 
For I say again, and again, that all things tend 
to the good of God's chosen people. And there- 
fore, that estate, which God will have his chil- 
dren to be in, is always best for them. Because 
he, who can best discern what is best, seeth it to 
be best for them: whether be it sickness or 
health, poverty or plenty, prison or liberty, pros- 
perity or adversity. For sometimes sickness is 
better for us than health, and poverty than 
plenty. Are therefore the children of God sick ? 
it is best for them. Are they poor? it is best 
for them. Are they in any trouble? it is best 
for them; because their good Father will turn it 
to the best. He will oftentimes cut us short of 
our lusts and desires; because he seeth we will 
bane ourselves with them. He, in fatherly care, 
will take the knife from us ; because he seeth we 
will hurt ourselves with it. He will keep us 
short of health and wealth, because he knoweth 
we will be the worse for them. He will not 

roB god's feople. 91 

give us too much ease and prosperity in this 
world; for he knoweth it will poison us. He 
wiU not allow us continual rest, like standing 
ponds ; for then he knoweth we wUl gather scum 
and filth. He dealeth fatherly and mercifully 
with us in all things, even then seeking our 
greatest good, when we think he doth us most 
harm. Ajid, to speak all in a word, he bringeth 
us into troubles and straits, to this end especially, 
that he may hear of us. For he right well 
knoweth our nature ; he is well acquainted with 
our disposition. He knoweth we will not come 
at him, but when we stand in need of him : we 
care not for him so long as all goeth well with 
us. But if we come into distress, or want any 
thing that we would fain have, then he is sure to 
hear of us. As he saith by the prophet, " In 
their affliction, they will seek me early," Hosea 
V. 15. And another prophet saith, "Lord, in 
trouble have they visited thee. They poured 
out a prayer, when thy chastisement was upon 
them," Isa. xxvi. 16. So then now, I hope, 
you do plainly see the cause why the Lord 
bringeth his children into so many troubles and 

Phil. I do see it indeed; and I am very well 
satisfied in it. But let me ask you one thing 
further. Are God's children always sure to be 
delivered out of their troubles ? 

Theol. Yes, verily; and, out of doubt, so far 
forth, as God seeth it good for them. For it is 
written, "Great are the trouble of the righteous; 
but the Lord delivereth them out of all," Psalm 
xxxiv. 19. St. Peter saith, 2 Epis. ii. 9, " The 
Lord knoweth how to deUver the godly out of 
temptation." As if he should say, he is beaten 


in it, and well seen and experienced in it: so as lie 
can do it easily, and without any trouble at all. 
It is said of Joseph, being in prison, Psalm cv. 
19, 20, that, "When his appointed time was 
come, and the counsel of the Lord had tried him, 
the king sent and loosed him, the ruler of the people 
delivered him ; " and again the scripture saith, 
"The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth them, 
and delivereth them out of all their troubles. 
The angel of the Lord tarrieth round about them 
that fear him, and delivereth them," Psalm xxxiv. 
7, 17. And, in another place, the Lord himself 
saith, concerning the righteous man. Psalm 
xci. 14, 15, "Because he hath loved me, there- 
fore I will deliver him. I will exalt him, Isecause 
he hath known my name. He shall call upon me 
in trouble, and I will hear him; I will be with 
him in trouble; I will deliver him, and glorify 
him." So also saith Eliphaz the Temanite, Job 
V. 19, " He shall deliver thee in six troubles ; and in 
the seventh, the evil shall not touch thee." "Come 
my people, saith the Lord, enter thou into thy 
chambers, and shut thy doors after thee; hide 
thyself for a very little while, until the indigna- 
tion pass over," Isa. xxvi. 20, And the prophet 
saith, Obad. 17, "Upon Mount Zion shall be de- 
liverance, and it shall be holy; and the house of 
Jacob shall possess their hereditary possessions." 
Almost innumerable places of the scriptm'es might 
be alleged, to this purpose ; but these may suffice. 
Therefore let us know for a certainty, that so 
sure as trouble and affliction are to the children 
of God, so sure also is deliverance out of the same. 
As we may write of the one, and make reckoning 
of it as sure as the coat of our back: so may we 
also, in God's good time, write of the other, and 

FOE gob's people. 93 

make full account of it, as sure as the Lord is true. 
Abraham was in trouble, but delivered. Job in 
trouble, but delivered. David in great troubles, 
but delivered. The three children in the furnace, 
but delivered. Daniel in the lion's den, but de- 
livered. Jonah in the whale's belly, but delivered. 
Paul in innumerable troubles, but delivered out 

of an. 

Phil. All this being true, that you say, it fol- 
loweth that God's children are chastised only for 
their good, and evermore sure of deliverance in 
his appointed time. Which thing being so, me- 
thinketh there is no cause at all why they should 
be over heavy, or too much cast down in their 

Theol. Assuredly there is no cause at all ; but 
rather cause why they should rejoice, clap their 
hands, and sing care away. For can a father for- 
sake his children? a king his subjects? a master 
his servants? or a shepherd his sheep? Doth 
not Jehovah say, " I will not leave thee nor forsake 
thee?" Heb. xiii. 5. Doth not our heavenly 
Father know, we have need of these things? 
Hath not God given us his word, that we shall 
not want outward things. Hath he not said, 
they shall be cast upon us? Why then should 
we be dismayed? Why should we hang down 
our heads? Why do we not pluck up our hearts, 
and be of good cheer? God is our dear Father; 
he is our best friend: he is our daily bene- 
factor: he keepeth us at his own costs and 
charges: he grudgeth us nothing: he think eth 
nothing too much for us. He loveth us most 
dearly: he is most chary and tender over us: he 
cannot endure the wind should blow upon us: he 
will have us want nothing that is good for us. If 


we will eat gold, we shall have it. He hath 
given us his faithful promise that, as long as we 
live, we shall never want. Let us therefore re- 
joice and be merry: for heaven is ours, earth is 
ours, God is ours, Christ is ours, all is ours: 
as the apostle saith, "All is your's, and you are 
Christ's, and Christ is God's." The world clap 
their hands, and crow long before it be day, say- 
ing, all is theirs: but the children of God may 
say, and say truly, all is ours. For they have a 
true title and proper interest, through Christ, in 
all the creatures. Many are their privileges; 
great are their prerogatives. They are free of 
of heaven, and free of earth. They are the only 
free denizens of the world, Christ hath pur- 
chased for them their freedom. Christ hath 
made them free, and therefore they are free in- 
deed. They are free from sin, free from hell, free 
from damnation. They are at peace with God, 
men, and angels. They are peace with them- 
selves. They are at peace with all creatures. 
They are young princes, angels' fellows, descended 
of the highest house, of the blood royal of heaven, 
states of paradise, and heirs apparent to the im- 
mortal crown. Therefore God hath commanded 
his angels to guard them, being such young 
princes as they are: yea, he hath given a very 
straight charge to all his creatures, to look to 
them, to see to them, that they want nothing, 
that they take no hurt; so zealous, so chary, so 
tender is he of them. The angels must comfort 
Jacob. The whale must rescue Jonah. The 
ravens must feed Elias. The sun and moon 
must stay for Joshua. The sea must divide 
itself, that Moses and his people may pass 
through. The fire must not burn the three 

FOR god's people. 95 

children. The lions may not devour Daniel. All 
the creatures must change their nature, rather 
than God's children should not be holpen and de- 
livered. Oh, therefore, how great is the happiness 
of God's chosen! Who can express it? who can 
utter it? They know not their own happiness: 
it is hid from them. Afflictions do cloud it, 
troubles do overshadow it, crosses do dim it; and 
there is an interposition of the earth, between 
their sight and it. But this is most certain and 
sure, that the best is behind with the children of 
God: all the sweet is to come. Their happiness 
doth not appear in this world, "Their life is hid 
with Christ in God. When Christ shall ap- 
pear, then shall they also appear, with him in 
glory," Col. iii. 3, 4. "It doth not yet appear, 
what they shall be: but when he cometh, they 
shall be made like unto him," 1 John iii. 2. Their 
names are already taken, and entered into the book 
of life: and one day, they shall be crowned. One 
day it shall be said unto them, "Come ye bless- 
ed," &c. One day they shall enjoy "his pres- 
ence, where is fulness of joy; and at whose 
right hand, there is pleasure for evermore," Psalm 
xvi. Therefore let all God's secret ones rejoice, 
sing and be merry. For howsoever in this world 
they be contemned, trodden under the foot, made 
nobodies, and walk as shadows; being counted 
as the very rags of the earth, and the abjects of 
the world: yet the time will come, when their 
happiness and fehcity shall be such, as never en- 
tered into the heart of man: it is endless, unspeak- 
able, and inconceivable. 

Phil. I do now plainly see, that there is no 
cause why God's people should be too heavy and 
dumpish in their afflictions. I see, that though 


they be not free from all afflictions, yet they are 
free from all hurtful afflictions. For no rod, no 
cross, no chastisement is hurtful unto them: hut 
all, in the conclusion, cometh to a blessed issue. 

Theol. You have uttered a great, and a most 
certain truth. For there is no affliction or trial, 
which God imposeth upon his children, but if 
they endure it quieth% trust in his mercy firmly, 
and tarry his good pleasure obediently, it hath a 
blessed and comfortable end. Therefore the peo- 
ple of God may well be merry in the midst of 
their sorrows. They may, with patience and 
comfort, submit themselves to their Father's cor- 
rections ; taking them patiently, and even kissing 
his holy rod, and saying in themselves, since my 
Father will have it so, I am content ; seeing it is 
his mind, I am willing withal. As old Eli said, 
"It is the Lord, let him do what he wiU," 1 Sam. 
iii. 1§. And as David, in like submission, said 
in a certain case, "Behold, here am I; let him do 
to me, as it seemeth good in his own eyes," 2 
Sam. XV. 26. And in another place he saith, "I 
was dumb, and opened not my mouth: because 
thou. Lord, hast done it," Psalm xxxix. 9. Be- 
hold, here, then the patience of God's saints, and 
their humble submission unto his most holy will. 
They know all shall end well; and that maketh 
them glad to think of it. — I conclude then, that 
the children of God are happy, in what state so- 
ever they are: happy in trouble, happy out of 
trouble, happy in poverty, happy in plenty, bless- 
ed in sickness, blessed in health, blessed at home 
likewise, and abroad, and every way blessed. But 
on the contrary, the wicked are cursed, in what 
state soever they are: cursed in sickness, cursed 
in health, cursed in plenty, cursed in poverty. 


cursed in prosperity, cursed in adversity, cursed 
in honour, cursed in dishonour. For all things 
work together for their destruction. Nothing 
doth them any good. They are not anything the 
better, either for God's mercies or judgments. 
All weathers are alike unto them. They are al- 
ways the same, in prosperity and adversity: they 
are no changeHngs. And, as we say, "a good 
year doth not mend them ; nor an ill year pare 


Phil. You have long insisted upon the point 
of covetousness'. Now proceed to the fourth sign 
of a man's damnation; which is the contempt of 
the gospel; and lay open both the greatness of 
the sin, and the danger of it. 

Theol. This sin is of another nature than the 
former. Ifc is a sin against the first table. It 
toucheth the person of God himself. For to 
contemn the gospel is to contemn God himself; 
whose gospel it is. If to contemn the ministers 
of the gospel be to contemn God and Christ, as 
our Lord Jesus avoucheth, Luke x. 16, how 
much more, then, to contemn the gospel itself? 
Therefore, it is dangerous meddhng in this sin. 
It is to meddle with edged tools, to meddle with 
princes' matters — to touch the ark, to come near 
the holy mountain : which all were things full of 
great peril and danger. Yea, it is to spill the 
sacrament. It is noli me tangere.* It is to rail 

* A. sin too horiible to be touched. 


at a king. It is to spit God in the face. It is 
high treason against the King of Glory. There- 
fore this sin, of all other, can never be endured; 
and may, at no hand, be borne withal. For can 
a mortal king endure the contempt of his laws ? 
can he put up with the contempt of his own 
person ? Can he abide any to spit at his sceptre, 
or to throw a stone at it ? No, surely, he will 
not: therefore, the Holy Ghost saith, "He that 
despiseth Moses' laws, dieth without mercy, 
under two or three witnesses. Of how much 
sorer punish, suppose ye, shall he be worthy 
which treadeth under foot the Son of God, and 
counteth the blood of the Testament as an 
unholy thing (wherewith he was sanctified), and 
doth despite unto the Spirit of grace," Heb. 
X. 28, 29. And, again, " If they were punished 
which obeyed not the word spoken by angels, 
how shall we escape if we neglect so great 
salvation?" Heb. ii. 2, 3. " If they escaped not 
which refused him that spake on earth, how 
shall we escape if we turn away from him that 
speaketh from heaven?" Heb. xii. 25. Therefore, 
our Saviour Christ saith, " That it shall be easier 
for Sodom in the day of judgment, than for the 
contemners of the gospel," Luke x. 12. More- 
over, he saith, "The queen of the south shall 
rise up in judgment against all froward despisers 
of his word," Matt. xii. 42. For she came from 
the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the 
wisdom of Solomon; and behold a greater than 
Solomon is here." For Christ is greater than 
Solomon — his doctrine- and wisdom far more 
excellent; and therefore their sin is the greater 
which contemn it. They shall never be able to 
answer it; for the Spirit saith, "He that 


despiseth the word shall be destroyed," Prov. 
xiii. 13. St. Peter also telleth us that the old 
world, and men of the first age, are now in 
hell-fire, because they both despised and were 
disobedient to the doctrine of Christ, which — 
though not personally, yet in his divine Spirit — 
he spake by ISToah," 1 Pet. iii. 19; 2 Pet. ii. 5. 
So, then, we see clearly God will never take it at 
our hands that his glorious gospel should be so 
universally and openly contemned as it is. 

Phil. You have spoken most truly, and also 
shewed it out of the scriptures, that the contempt 
of the gospel is a most heinous sin ; yet for all 
that, it is most lamentable to consider how little 
men esteem it, and how light they make of it. 
Many regard it no more than an egg-shell; they 
think it is not worth a gaily* halfpenny; they 
will not go to the door to hear it ; they take it 
to be but a breath from us, and a sound to them ; 
and so the matter is ended. They esteem it but 
as a noise, or empty sound, in the air; or as a 
voice afar off, which a man understandeth not : 
they never felt the power of it in their hearts. 
Therefore they prefer their sheep, their farms, 
their oxen, their profits, their pleasure, yea, 
everything, before it; they know it not to be 
any such a precious jewel as it is. Although our 
Lord Jesus himself compare it to a hid treasure, 
and a most precious pearl ; yet these filthy swine 
of the world tread it under foot: for they know 
not the price of it, though Solomon the wise 
saith, Prov. iii. " All the merchandize of gold and 
silver, pearls and precious stones, are not to be 
compared imto it;" yet these beasts, these dogs 

* A bad or French hal^nny, not passable. 


and hogs of tlie world contemn it. They esteem 
a cow more than Christ's most glorious gospel. 
They are like ^sop's cock, which made more 
account of a barley-corn than all the precious 
stones in the world ; they are like little children, 
that esteem their rattles more than a bag of 
gold; they are like the Gadarenes, which esteemed 
their hogs more than Christ and his gospel; 
they make nothing of it. They think it not 
worth the while. Many of them sit idle in the 
streets even upon the Sabbaths. While the 
gospel is preached in their ch^irches, many are at 
cards, and tables, in ale-houses. Many, upon the 
Sabbaths, sleep upon their beds, all the sermon 
while, in the afternoon. Many will hear a sermon 
in the forenoon ; and they take that to be as 
much as God can require at their hand, and that 
he is somewhat beholden unto them for it; but 
as for the afternoon, they will hear none ; then 
they will to bowls or tables. These men serve 
God in the forenoon, and the devil in the after- 
noon; some run after whores and harlots on 
the Sabbaths ; some run to dancing and bear- 
baitings ; some sit upon their stalls ; some sit 
in their shops; some by the fire-side; some sit 
idly in the streets ; some go to the stool-ball, 
and others look on, miserable wretches ! 
cursed caitiffs ! monstrous hell-hounds, which 
so grossly and openly contemn the gospel of 
Christ ! What will become of them in the end ? 
Assuredly their damnation sleepeth not. A 
thousand deaths wait for them : they lie open 
on all sides to the wrath of God. And we may 
wonder at his marvellous patience, that he doth 
not throw down balls of fire from heaven, to 
consume and burn up, both them, their shops, 


and houses, and even make them spectacles of 
his vengeance, for so notorious contempt of such 
sacred, holy, and high things. 

Theol. You have spoken very truly, zealously, 
and religiously; and I do greatly commend you 
for it. And I must needs affirm the same things. 
For they cannot be denied. And for mine own 
part, I think the gospel was never so openly 
contemned in any age — of a people living under 
the profession of it, and under a godly and 
Christian prince — as it is in this age. For how- 
soever some make a shew of religion, yet thev 
have denied the power thereof. " They turn the 
the grace of God into wantonness," as St. Jude 
saith, ver. 4. They make the gospel a cloak for 
their sins. They receive it and embrace it, as it 
will best stand with their profits and pleasures, 
their lusts and likings, their credit and poUcies, 
and not a jot further. They will practise it at 
their leisure. " These men profess they know 
God; but by their works they deny him, and are 
abominable, disobedient, and to every good work 
reprobate," Tit. i. 16. This age is full of such 
carnal Protestants. 

Phil. This age, indeed, aboundeth with many 
hollow-hearted hypocrites, dissemblers, and time- 
servers; which howsoever they make a face, and 
bear a countenance as though they loved the gos- 
pel, yet their heart is not with it. Their heart is 
with atheism; their heart is with popery. Thev 
have a pope in their belly ; they be church pa- 
pists. Howsoever, now and then, they come to 
the church, and hear a sermon, and shew a good 
countenance to the preacher; yet their heart 
goeth after covetousness. The Lord complaineth 
of this, by his prophet Ezekiel, saying, Ezekiel 


xxxiii. 31-32, " This people will sit before thee 
and hear thy words; but they will not do them. 
For, with their mouths they make jests ; and 
their heart goeth after covetousness." God com- 
plaineth of this also, by his prophet Jeremiah, 
.Ter. vii. 9-11, "Will you steal, murder, and 
commit adultery, and swear falsely, and stand 
before me in this house, whereupon my name is 
called, and say we are delivered, though we have 
done all these abominations? Is this house be- 
come a den of thieves, whereupon my name is 
called? " Where we see how the Lord doth chide 
his people, and sharply reprove them for abusing 
of his temple, woi'ship, and sacrifices; making 
them a cloak for their sins, and making his house 
a den of thieves, which should be an assembly of 
saints. Now all this is a livel}'^ description of our 
time; wherein many use the exercises of the word, 
prayer, and sacraments, not to kill and mortify 
sin, but to nourish and shelter their sins. For 
they blindly imagine, that if they come to the 
church and pray, and hear the sermon, they are 
discharged of their sins, though they leave them 
not. They imagine they have given God his full 
due; and that, therefore, they may be the more 
bold to sin afterward. These kind of hypocrites 
ai'e like rogues, which use medicines, not to cure 
sores, but to make sores. These are like the pa- 
pists, which think if they hear mass in the morn- 
ing, they may do what they list all the day after. 
Theol. I see now, you have very well profited 
in the knowledge of God, and true religion. You 
have spoken soundly, and like a man of know- 
ledge in God's matters. For the common sort of 
people think indeed, that all religion consisteth 
in the outward service of God, though their hearts 


be far from him: to whom God may justly say, 
"This people draweth near me with their lips, 
but their hearts are far from me," Matt. xv. 8. 
Of whom also God may justly take up all his just 
complaints of his people Israel and Judah ; which 
are so frequent in all the prophets: to wit, that 
he did abhor their sacrifices, loathe their oblations, 
detest their incense, despise their new moons, 
disdain their rams, lambs, and goats; accounting 
them all but as man's blood, dog's blood, swines 
blood; and all, because their hands were full of 
blood; because they executed not justice and 
judgment in the gate; because they were not 
obedient to his wUl; because their hearts were 
not with him: because they used or rather 
abused all these things, as shelters for their sins, 
Isa. Ixvi. 3. 

JPhil. The great contempt of the ministers of 
the gospel in this age, doth strongly argue the 
contempt of the gospel itself. For a man cannot 
love the gospel, and hate the faithful ministers 
thereof. But we see, by lamentable experience, 
that the most grave, go^y, and learned ministers 
are had in derision of very base and \i\e persons. 
And as Job saith, ch. xxx. 1, "They whose fathers 
I have refused to set with the dogs of my flock;" 
they were the children of fools, and the children 
of villains, which were more vile than the earth, 
for now every rascal dares scoff and scorn at the 
grave and ancient fathers and pastors of the 
church, dares flout them as they walk in the 
streets, and as they ride by the highways. And 
though the Holy Ghost giveth them glorious 
and lofty titles, as the stewards of God's own 
house, disposers of his secrets, disbursers of his 
treasure, keepers of the broad seal, keepers of 


the keys of heaven, Grod's secretaries, God's am- 
bassadors, angels; yea, the very glory of Christ," 
Tit. i. 7; 1 Cor. iv. 1 ; Matt. xvi. 19; 2 Cor. v. 20; 
Eev. iii. 7; 2 Cor. viii. 23; and all this, to ex- 
press the excellency of their calling, yet these 
vile varlets and venomous vermin of the earth, 
dare call them proud prelates, pild* parsons, pelt- 
ingt priests. O monstrous and intolerable im- 
piety! Now it is come to pass, that this most 
sacred function, which is glorious in the sight of 
God, and his angels, and in itself most honourable 
is had in greatest contempt of all callings. For 
now the earth is full of rank atheists, and mock 
gods, which scoff at the gospel, and blare out 
their tongues at all religion. These kind of fel- 
lows never dissemble for the matter. They make 
no shew at all, they are no hypocrites, they hide 
not their sins, but declare them openly,like Sodom. 
They care not if they never come to the church: 
they are too full of it. They live like brute beasts. 
They think the scriptures are but fables. They 
rail at the ministers and preachers. They make 
flat opposition against them, and are notorious 
mockers and past-graces. 

Theol. Of such the apostle St. Peter foretold 
"that in the last days should come mockers, and 
such as would live after their own lusts," &c. 
2 Pet. iii. 3. — Of such a godly writer, Calvin 
saith, Verhum Dei secure contemnitur, promis- 
siones inanes esse creduntur, mince pro fabulis 
habentur; that is, the word of God is carelessly 
contemned, his promises are counted vain, and 

• Bald, alluding to the shaven crowns of the Catholic priests. 

+ From pelt, a sheep's skin. Shepherds loving to shear or skin their 
iiocks, rather than to feed them. 


his threatenings fables. Of such the poet smth, 

"Heu vivutit hamines, tanquam mors null* sequatur.- 
Aut velut infemus fabula tanafcn-et." 

"Alas, men live, as they should never die: 
Or as though all speech of hell were a stark Ue." 

Now is also the time wherein the world swanneth 
with papists and atheists; and most men live as 
if there were no God. For now religion is hated, 
true godliness despised, zeal abhorred, sincerity 
scoffed at, uprightness loathed, preachers con- 
temned, professors disdained, and almost all good 
men had in derision. For now we may justly 
complain with the prophet, Tsa. lis. 14, "Judg- 
ment is turned backward, and justice standeth far 
off. Truth is fallen in the streets, and equity can- 
not enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that re- 
fiaineth from evil, maketh himself a prey." The 
prophet Micah bewaileth the times, saying, Micah 
vii. 2, "The good man is perished out of the earth, 
and there is none righteous among men. They 
aU lie in wait for blood: every man hunteth his 
neighbour with a net." The prophet Jeremiah 
complaineth of the same evil in his time; namely, 
that the people were come to be past shame in 
sinning, Jer. viii. 12, "Were they ashamed, 
saith he, when they had committed abomination? 
Nay, they were not ashamed, neither could they 
blush." This is a lively picture, and a very coim- 
terpane of our time. For now we have put on 
a brow of brass: we are become impudent in sin. 
"We cannot blush: we cannot be ashamed. We 
are almost past shame, and past grace. Lord, 
what will this gear grow to in the end! 

Phil. We may justly fear some great judgment 
of God to be near us; yea, even to hang over our 


heads. For the Lord will never leave the con- 
tempt of his gospel and his ministry unpunished. 
Theol. You 'have spoken a truth. And we 
have heard before how the old world was plagued 
for it. And we read how grievously the Jews 
were afflicted by the Romans for this sin: as our 
Lord Jesus did plainly foretell. We read also, 
that after the Lord had broached the gospel him- 
self, and spread it abroad by his apostles, con- 
quering the world thereby (which thing was 
signified by the white horse, his rider, his bow, 
and his crown, Rev. vi. 2), and yet shortly after 
saw that the same began to be contemned in the 
world and made light of; then he did in most 
fearful manner plague the earth with wars, blood- 
sheddings, tumults, dearth, famine, and pestilence: 
which all are signified by the red horse, the black 
horse, and the pale horse, which did appear at the 
opening of the second, third, and fourth seal. So 
likewise undoubtedly, God will severely punish 
all injuries, wrongs, and contempts, done to his 
faithful ambassadors, as appeareth. Rev. xi. 5; 
where it is set down, that if any would hurt the 
two witnesses with their two olives, and two can- 
dlesticks, (whereby is signified the faithful preach- 
ers of the gospel, with all their spiritual treasures 
and heavenly light) fire should proceed out of 
their mouths, and devour their adversaries. That 
is, that the fire of God's wrath should consume 
all that had oppressed them, either by mocks, 
flouts, railings, slanders, imprisonment, or any 
other kind of indignity. Of this we have a plain 
example or two in the scripture. First, we read 
how fire came down from heaven, and consumed 
the contemptuous captain and his fifty, at the 
threatening and calling for of Elijah," 2 Kings 


i. 10. Secondly, how two bears came from out of 
the forest, and tore in pieces forty-two younkers 
which mocked Elisha the prophet of God; calling 
him bald-head, bald-pate, 2 Kings ii. 23. So 
then, by these examples, it is manifest that how- 
soever the Lord may wink at these things for a 
time, and make as though he saw them not; yet 
the time will come, when he will rain fire and 
brimstone upon all the scoffers of his faithful 
ministers, and contemners of his gospel. All 
this is plainly declared in the first chapter of the 
Proverbs: where is shewed how the wisdom of 
God, even Jesus Christ the highest wisdom, doth 
cry aloud aU abroad in the world, and manifest 
himself in the open streets; but yet is contemned 
of wicked worldlings and scoffing fools. There- 
fore, saith Christ, verse 24-28, "Because I have 
called, and ye refused, I have stretched out my 
hand, but none would regard: ye have hated 
knowledge, and despised all my counsel ; therefore 
will I laugh at your destruction, and mock when 
your fear cometh upon you hke sudden desolation, 
and your destruction hke a whirlwind. Then 
shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; 
they shall seek me early, but they shall not find 
me." Here, then, we see is terrible wrath and 
vengeance threatened from heaven, against all 
profane contemners of Christ, and his everlasting 
gospel, or any of the faithful publishers and pro- 
claimers thereof. Behold therefore, ye despisers, 
and wonder: consider well what will become of 
you in the end. Do not think, that the most 
just God will always put it up at your hands, that 
ye should so manifestly contemn both his word 
and the most zealous preachers and professors 
thereof. Xo, no; assure yourselves he will be 


even with you at last. He will smite you both 
sidelings and overthwart: he will dog you and 
pursue you with his judgments, and never leave 
following the chase with you till he have de- 
stroyed you, and consumed you from off the face 
of the earth. For remember, I pray you, what 
he saith in Deut. xxxii, "If I whet my glitter- 
ing sword, and my hand take hold of judgment, I 
will execute vengeance on mine enemies, and I 
will reward them that hate me ; I will make mine 
arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall eat 
the flesh of mine adversaries." 

Phil. Truly, sir, you may justly fear, that for 
our great contempt for the gospel, and general 
coldness both in the possession and practice 
thereof, Grod will take it from us, and give it to a 
people that will bring forth the fruit thereof. 

Theol. We may well fear indeed, lest for our 
sins, especially our loathing of the heavenly 
manna, the Lord will remove our candlestick, 
take away our silver trumpets, let us no more hear 
the sweet bells of Aaron, cause all vision to fail, . 
and our Sabbaths to cease, and bring upon us 
that most grievous and sore famine of not hearing 
the word of the Lord, spoken of by Amos the 
prophet, viii. 8. Then, shall all our halcyon 
days, and golden years, be turned into weeping, 
mourning, and lamentation. God, for his infinite 
mercy's sake, turn it away from us! 

Pliil. Amen, amen; and let us all pray ear- 
nestly, night and day, that those fearful judg- 
ments may, according to Grod's infinite mercies, be 
held back, which our sins do continually cry for; 
and that his most glorious gospel may be con- 
tinued to us and our posterity, even yet with 
greater success. 


Asun. Xo doubt, it is a verj great sin to de- 
spise the word of God ; and I think there is none 
so bad that will do it : for we ought to love 
God's word; God forbid else. He that loveth 
not God's word, it is a pity he liveth. 

Theol. These are but words of course. It is 
an easy matter to speak good words: and very 
many will say as you say; but both you, and 
they, in your practice, do plainly shew that you 
make no reckoning of it: you esteem it no more 
than a dish-clout. I think, if the matter were 
well tried, you have scarce a bible in your house. 
But though you have one, it is manifest that you 
seldom read therein, with any care or conscience; 
and as seldom hear the word preached. How 
else could you be so ignorant as you are? 

Asun. I grant that I and some others are 
somewhat negligent in the hearing and reading 
of the word of God; but you cannot say there- 
fore we do contemn it. 

Theol. Yes, verily. Your continual negligence, 
and carelessness, doth argue a plain contempt. 
Sure it is, you have no appetite nor stomach to 
the holy word of God. You had rath^* do any 
thing, than either read or meditate in it. It is 
irksome unto you. Y'ou read not two chapters 
in a week. All holy exercises of religion are 
most bitter and tedious unto you. They are 
as vinegar to your teeth, and smoke in your 
eyes. The immoderate love of this world, and 
of vanity, hath, taken away your appetite from 
all heavenly things. And, whereas you shift it 
off with negligence, as though that would excuse 
you, the apostle hits you home when he saith,"How 
shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation? " 
Heb. ii. 3. Mark that he saith, "if we neglect." 


Antil. Belike you think men have nothing else 
to do but read the scriptures, and hear sermons? 

Theol. I do not say so. I do not say ye should 
do nothing else. For Grod doth allow you, with 
a good conscience, and in his fear, to follow the 
works of your calling: as hath been said before. 
But this I condemn in you, and many others, 
that you will give no time to private prayers, 
reading, and meditation in God's word; neither 
morning nor evening, neither before your busi- 
ness nor after. And, although you have often 
vacant time enough, yet you will rather bestow 
it in vanity, and idle prattling, and gossipping, 
than in any good exercise of religion. Which 
doth plainly shew, that you neither delight in 
holy things ; neither is there any true fear of God 
before your eyes. 

Antil. I tell you plainly, we must attend our 
business; we may go beg else; we cannot live by 
the scriptures. If we follow sermons we shall 
never thrive. What, do you think every man is 
bound to read the scriptures ? Have we not our 
five wits? Do we not know what we have to 
do? You would make fools of us belike. But 
we are neither drunk nor mad. 

Theol. That every man, of what condition 
soever, is bound in conscience to hear and read 
the word of God, hath been shewed, and proved 
in the beginning of our conference. But as for 
your five wits, they will not serve your turn in 
these matters ; though you had fifteen wits. For 
all the wit, reason, and understanding of natural 
men, in God's matters, is but blindness, and 
mere foolishness. The apostle saith, " That the 
wisdom of the most wise in this world, is not 
only foolishness with God; but indeed very en- 


mity against God," 1 Cor. iii. 19; Eom, viii. 7. 
And again, he saith, that "The natural man (with 
all his five wits.) understandeth not the things of 
the Spirit of God; because they are spiritually 
discerned," 1 Cor, ii. 14. Most prudently to this 
point speaketh EUhu, saying, " There is a spirit 
ia man; but the inspiration of the Almighty 
giveth understanding," Job xxxii. 8. 

Antil. I understand not these scriptures which 
you do allege; they do not sink into my head. 

Tkeol. I think so, indeed. For the Holy Ghost 
saith, "Wisdom is too high for a fool," Prov. 
xxiv. 7. 

Antil. What, do you call me a fool? I am no 
more a fool than yourself. 

Theol. I call you not a fool; but tell you what 
the scripture saith; which calleth all men, though 
otherwise never so wise, polite, and learned, very 
fools, till they be truly lightened, and inwardly 
sanctified by the Spirit of God; as appeareth, 
Titus iii. 3, where the apostle affirmeth that both 
Titus and himself, before they received the 
illuminating Spirit of God's grace, were very 
fools, without wit, and without aU sense in God's 

Phil. I pray you, good Mr. Theologus, let 
him alone ; for he will never have done cavilling. 
I see he is a notable caviller. Let us therefore 
proceed to speak of the fifth sign of condemna- 
tion, which is swearing. 


Theol. Swearing may well, indeed, be called a 
sign of condemnation. For 1 think it more than 
a sign ; it is indeed an evident demonstration of 
a reprobate. For I never wist any man, truly 
fearing Grod in his heart, that was an usual and a 
common swearer. 

Fhil. I am flat of your mind for that. For it 
cannot be that the true fear of God, and ordinary 
swearing should dwell together in one man, since 
swearing is a thing forbidden by flat statute. And 
God addeth a sore threat to his law, that "he 
will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name 
in vain;" but will most sharply and severely 
punish that man, 

Theol. You say true. And God saith, more- 
over, that if we do not fear and dread his glorious 
and fearful name Jehovah, he will make our 
plagues wonderful. He sayeth also by his pro- 
phet, Malachi iii. 5, that he will "be a swift 
witness against swearers." The prophet Zecha- 
riah saith, v. 3, 4, that the flying book of God's 
curse and vengeance shall enter into the house of 
the swearer, and he shall be cut off. Therefore 
let all swearers take heed and look to themselves 
in time; for we see there is a rod in pickle laid up 
in store for them. 

Phil. These threatenings being so great and 
grievous, and that from the God of heaven him- 
self, one would think should cause men's hearts 
to quake and tremble, and make them afraid to 
rap out such oaths as they do ; if they were not 
altogether hardened, past feeling, and past grace. 

SWEABIK6. 113 

Tkeol. True, indeed: but yet we see, bv la- 
mentable experience, how men are given over both 
to swear, and forswear. For at this day there is 
no sin more common amongst us than swearing. 
For many there be which cannot speak ten words, 
but one shall be an oath. And numbers have got 
such a wicked custom of swearing that they can 
by no means leave it: no more than a black can 
change his skin, or a leopard his spots. For it is 
made natural unto them, through custom; and 
they have got the habit of it. I do verily think, 
if it were high treason to swear, yet some could 
not leave swearing. And sure I am, as light as 
we make of it, that it is high treason against the 
crown of heaven. Tea, it is a sin immediately 
against God: even against his own person; and 
therefore he hath forbidden it, in the first table 
of his law. 

Phil. Questionless, this vice of swearing is of 
all other sins most rife in this land. For you 
shall hear little boys and children in the streets 
rap out oaths in most fearful manner. It 
would make a man's heart quake to hear them. 
We may think, they have sucked them out of 
their mother's breasts ; but sure we are, they have 
learned them from the evil example of their 
parents. And now-a-days we cannot almost talk 
with a man, but, in ordinary speech, he will belch 
out one oath or another. 

Tkeol. I will tell you a strange thing, and 
with great grief I speak it : I do verily think 
there are sworn in this land an hundred thousand 
oaths every day in the year. 

Phil. No doubt, sir, you are within compass. 
For now almost so many men, so many oaths; ex- 
cepting some few in comparison. Nay, I know 


divers of mine own experience, which, if they may 
be kept in talk, will swear every day in the year 
an hundred oaths for their parts. 

Theol. Oh, what a lamentable thing is it! We 
may well take up the old complaint of the prophet 
Jeremiah, who saith, that in his time, "The land 
did mourn because of oaths." And we may well 
wonder, that the land sinketh not because of oaths: 
For, if God were not a God of infinite patience, 
how could he endure his most sacred and glorious 
name to be so many thousand times blasphemed 
in one day, and, that, by such miserable wretches 
as we be? 

Phil. We may indeed admire and wonder at 
the patience and long-suffering of God, that he 
spareth us so long, and giveth us so large a time 
of repentance; but sure it is that the prophet 
saith, that howsoever "the Lord is slow to anger, 
yet he is great in power, and will not clear the 
wicked," Nab. i. 3. Though he may wink at 
their monstrous oaths for a time, yet he forget- 
eth them never a whit, but scoreth them up, 
and registereth them in his book of accounts, so 
as they stand in record against them ; and, 
when the great day of reckoning shall come, he 
will set them all in order before them, and lay 
them to their charge. Let not wicked swearers 
and blasphemers therefore think that they shall 
always escape scot-free, because God letteth them 
alone for a while, and deferreth their punishment. 
For the longer God deferreth, the more terrible 
will his strokes be when they come. The longer 
an arrow is held in the bow, the stronger will be 
the shot when it cometh forth. Though God have 
leaden feet, and cometh slowly to execute wrath, 
yet hath he an iron hand, and will strike deadly 

sw£A.Bn<rG. 115 

when he cometh. " Though God giveth the 
wicked security for a time (saith Job, xxiv, 23) 
yet his eyes are fixed upoa all their ways." 
And in another place he saith, xxi. 30, " The 
wicked is reserved unto the day of destruction, 
and they shall be brought forth unto the day of 
wrath." So then the holy man, Job, plainly 
afiirmeth, that the state and condition of all the 
rich and wealthy worldlings is, as the condition of 
an ox that is fatted up against the day of slaugh- 
ter; for, in the same chapter, he saith, ver. 13, 
" They spend their days in wealth, and suddenly 
go down to hell." But now I pray you no- 
minate the oaths which are so rife and conmion 
amongst us. 

Theol. There be six oaths, which are, of all 
other, most rife and common in every man's 
mouth; and they be these: — by my faith— by 
my troth — by our Lady — by St. Mary — by God 
— as God shdl judge me. For you cannot lightly 
talk with a man, but he will flush out some of 
these in his ordinary speech. 

Asun. Do you count it so great a matter for a 
man to swear by his faith or his troth ? * 

Theol, Yes, indeed do I; for our faith and our 
troth are the most precious jewels we have. 
Shall we then lay them to gage, for every word 
we speak? It sheweth we are of small credit; 
nay, very bankrupts. For who but a bankrupt 
will lay the best jewel in his house to pledge for 
every small trifle? 

Asun. I know a man that will never swear 
but by cock, or pie, or mouse-foot.f 1 hope you 

* Truth. 
+ Beliques of the superstition of the dark ages, when birds and 
herbs were often thought sacred to some saint. See Matt. v. 34-3". 


will not say they be oaths; for he is as honest 
a man as ever brake bread. You shall not hear 
an oath come out of his mouth. 

Theol. I do not think he is so honest a man 
as you make him; for it is no small sin to swear 
by creatures. The Lord saith by his prophet, 
Jeremiah v. 7, "They have forsaken me, and 
sworn by them that are no gods." So then, to 
swear by creatures, is to forsake God; and I 
trow you will not say he is an honest man which 
forsaketh God. 

Asun. I do not believe that to swear by small 
things is a forsaking of God. 

Theol. You, and such as you are, will believe 
no more of the word of God than will stand with 
your fancy. But whatsoever you believe, or be- 
lieve not, the word of God standeth sure; and no 
jot of it shall ever be proved false. But this I 
will say unto you, because you think it so small 
a matter to swear by creatures, that the more 
base and vile the thing is which you swear by, 
the greater is the oath; because you ascribe that 
unto a base creature, which is only proper to 
God: namely, to know our hearts, and to be a 
discerner of secret things. For whatsoever a 
man svveareth by, he calleth it as a witness unto 
his conscience that he speaketh the truth, and 
lieth not; which thing only belongeth unto 
God. And, theiefore, in swearing by crea- 
tures, we do rob God of his honour. There- 
fore, to swear by the cross of the money, or 
by bread, or a mouse-foot, or the fire which 
they call God's angel, or any such like, is a rob- 
bing of God of his honour, and an ascribing of 
that to the creature which is proper only to the 


Asun. What say you then to them which 
swear hy the mass* and by the roodpf 

Theol. Their sin is as great as the other; for 
it is an heinous thing to swear hy idols: as St. 
Mary, our Lady, by the mass, by the rood, &c. 
The prophet Amos saith, viii. 14, "They that 
swear by the sin of Samaria, and that say, thy 
God, O Dan, liveth; even they shall fall, and 
never rise up again." To swear by the sin of 
Samaria is to swear by idols; for Samaria was 
full of idols. Moreover, the Lord threateneth by 
the prophet Zephaniah, i, 5, that he "will cut off 
them that swear by the Lord, and by Malchom," 
or by their king. For the idolators called their 
idol Moloch, their king. 

Asun. Seeing you condemn both swearing by 
creatures, and swearing by idols, what then must 
we swear by^ ? You would have us swear by no- 
thing belike. 

Theol. In our ordinary communication we 
must not swear at all, either by one thing or ano- 
ther; but, as our Lord teacheth us, "our com- 
munications must be yea, yea; nay, nay. For 
whatsoever is more than these, cometh of evil," 
Matt. V. 37. And St. James saith, v. 12, " Be- 
fore all things, my brethren, swear not: neither 
by heaven, nor by earth, nor by any other oath; 
but let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay ; least 
you fall into condemnation." 

Antil. It seemeth you are an anabaptist. You 
condemn all swearing; vou will have no swearing 
at all. 

Theol. Not SO; for though I condemn swear- 
ing by creatures, swearing by idols, and all other 

* The chief ordinance of the Romish worship, 
f The image of Christ oo the cross. 


swearing, yet do I allow swearing before a ma- 
gistrate, and privately also, in matters of weight 
and importance, for the further bolting out of the 
truth. This is warranted from God's own mouth, 
where he saith, "Thou shalt swear, the Lord 
living, in truth, in judgment, and in righteous- 
ness," Jer. iv. 2. And in these cases only, the 
name of God is to be sworn by ; as it is written, 
Deut. X. 20, "Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, 
and thou shalt serve him, and shalt cleave unto 
him, and shalt swear by his name." 

Asun. May we not swear by God in our com- 
mon talk? 

Theol. At no hand; for that is to take the 
name of God in vain, which you know is for- 
bidden. And one of the wise heathens could say 
thus, "When an oath is laid upon thee, under- 
take it for two causes; either to deliver thyself 
from some grievous crime and accusation, or else 
to preserve thy friends from danger." So then, 
that heathen man in common talk will not allow 
any oath, much less to swear by God. Another 
saith, "Avoid an oath, though thou swear truly." 
So then we see vain swearing condemned even by 

Asun. Yea, but for all that we must swear; 
men will not believe us else. 

Theol. Neither yet will they believe you any 
whit the more for your swearing. For it doth 
manifestly appear, that thousands make no con- 
science at all of it. They make no more con- 
science of it than of cracking nuts; and there- 
fore what wise man will believe them, though 
they swear never so much? But if you would 
make conscience always to speak the truth, from 
your heart, vvdthout any oaths at all, you should 

SWEABEfG. 110 

be better believed of all honest and wise men, 
than otherwise with a thousand oaths. 

Antil. It is the custom to swear. 

Theol. But a wicked and devilish custom. 

Antil. I hope, sir, we may swear as long as we 
swear truly, and swear by nothing but that 
which is good. 

Theol. It hath been answered before, that in 
vain matters you may not swear at all. 

Antil. As long as we do no worse than that, I 
hope God will hold us excused. 

Theol. God will not hold you excused when 
you break his commandments, and continue so 

Antil. What say you then, to them, that 
swear wounds and blood,* and such like, in a 
bravery, thinking that it setteth out their speech 
very well? 

Theol. Hell gapeth for them. And they shall 
know one day what it is to blaspheme God. 

Antil. What may we think of such as swear 
by God's life, God's soul, God's body, God's 

Theol. That their cause is most woful and dan- 
gerous : and I quake at the naming of them. They 
are most horrible, monstrous, and outrageous bias* 
phemies : enough to make the stones in the street 
to crack, and the clouds to fall upon our heads. 
And we may think, that all the devils in hell are 
in a readiness to carry such blasphemous villains 
headlong into that late which burneth with fire 
and brimstone for ever. 

Antil. Do you find in the scriptvires that God 
will so severely punish swearers ? 

* That is, by duist's wounds and bkod. 


Tkeol. Yes, verily. For Lesides that which 
hath bcbn spoken before, we have divers other 
examples: first, of Senacherib, the king of Ashur,* 
who, for his outrageous blasphemies against the 
God of heaven, was in most fearful and tragical 
manner slain by his own sons, Adramelech and 
Sharezer, 2 Kings xix. 35 ; and that in the temple, 
when he was worshipping his idol god, Nisroch. 
And yet, behold a more fearful example of God's 
wrath, against blasphemers, in 1 Kings xx. 29, 30, 
where we read that an hundred thousand of the 
Aramitest were slain by the Israelites, in one day, 
for blaspheming of God ; and seven and twenty 
thousand being left, and flying into the city of 
Aphek for refuge, were all slain, by the fall of an 
huge great wall. What should I here speak how 
the seven sons of Saul, the king of Israel, were 
hanged up before the Lord in Mount Gibeah, for 
the breach of the oath made to the Gibeonites 
long before? 2 Sam. xxi. In these examples we 
may plainly see that the just God, even in this 
life, sometimes will be revenged of blasphemers, 
and oath - breakers ; and, therefore, the very 
heathen in all ages have been very careful for the 
performing of oaths; as Pharaoh, king of Egypt, 
willed Joseph to go up into the land of Canaan, 
to bury his father, according to his oath made to 
his father. 

Phil. Methinketh these so terrible and fearful 
examples of God's vengeance, against swearers 
and blasphemers, should strike some terror into 
the hearts of our blasphemers. 

Theol. One would think so indeed, if any thing 
could do it. But, alas! they are so hardened in it, 

* Assyria. + Syrians. 

LYING. 121 

and in all other sin, that nothing can move them ; 
except, peradventure, there were a law made that 
every swearer and blasphemer should hold his 
hand a quarter of an hour in boiling lead. This, 
or some such Hke severe law, might peradventure 
curb them a httle, and make them bite in their 
oaths. But otherwise, they will never fear any 
•thing till they be in hell-fire, when it will be too 
late to repent. 

Phil. What may be the cause of this so often 
and great swearing? for surely it is no inherent 
and inbred sin in our nature, as some of the other 
sins be. 

Theol. No, verily. But these three I judge to 
be the cause of it: custom, want of admonition, 
want of punishment. 

Phil. What then are the remedies for it? 

Theol. The remedies are these : disuse, prayer, 
friendly admonition, some sharp law. 


Phil. Well, sir, we have heard enough of swear- 
ing, I pray you proceed to the next sign of damnar 
tion, which is lying. 

Theol. Swearing and lying be of very near 
kindred; for he that is a common swearer is for 
the most part a common liar ako. For he that 
maketh no conscience of swearing, will make no 
conscience of lying. And as the Lord hateth the 
one, so also he hateth the other. And as he 
punisheth the one, so he will punish the other. 
Therefore Solomon saith, " Lying lips are an 

122 LYING. 

abomination unto the Lord," Prov. xii. 22. St. 
John saith, "Without shall he dogs, enchanters, 
whoremongers, murderers, and whosoever loveth 
or maketh lies," Rev. xxii. 15. Again, the same 
holy man of God saith, "That liars shall have 
their part and portion in the lake which burneth 
with fire and brimstone: which is the second 
death," Rev. xxi. 8. 

Phil. These scriptures, which you allege, do 
manifestly declare that Grod abhorreth liars, and 
hath reserved great torments for them. There- 
for, the princely prophet David saith that he 
would banish all liars out of his house. "He that 
telleth lies (saith he) shall not remain in my 
sight," Psalm ci. 7. A lying tongue is one of 
the six things which God doth hate and his soul 
abhor, Prov. vi. 17. Yet for all this we see the 
lamentable experience, how many have even 
taught their tongues to lie, (as the prophet saith, 
Jer. ix.) and there is no truth in their lips. This 
vice is almost as common as swearing. For it is 
hard to find a man that will speak the truth, the 
whole truth, and nothing but the truth from his 
heart, in simplicity and plainness, at all times, in 
all places, and amongst all persons, without all 
glossing or dissembling, either for fear, gain, flat- 
tery, men-pleasing, hiding of faults, or any sinister 
respect whatsoever. Where, I say, is this man 
to be found? I would fain see him. I would 
fain look upon such a man. It would do my 
heart good to behold him. I would rejoice to set 
mine eyes upon such a man. 

Theol. Such a man as you speak of is hardly 
to be found among the sons of men. They be 
black swans in the earth; they be white crows; 
they be rare birds. For there be very few that 

LTIWG. 123 

will speak the truth from their heart: yet some 
such I hope there he. But, for the most part, 
and amongst the greater sort, lying, dissembling, 
and fraud, do bear all the sway. There is no 
truth, no honesty, no conscience, no simplicity, 
no plain dealing, amongst men in these most cor- 
rupt times. Faith and trtith are parted clean 
away. And as the kingly prophet saith, "The 
faithful are failed from among the children of men. 
They speak deceitfully every one with his neigh- 
bour; flattering with their lips, and speak with a 
double heart," Psalm xii. Men now-a-days study 
the art of lying, flattering, fawning, glossing, and 
dissembling: they have a heart and a heart.* 
They have honey in their mouth, and gaU in their 
heart. Their tongues are as soft as butter and 
oil; but their hearts are full of bitterness, poison, 
and wormwood. They are full of outward cour- 
tesy and civility, full of court holy water, when 
there is no truth nor plainness in their inward 
afiection. They will speak you fair when they 
would cut your throats. They wiU shew you a 
good countenance, when they would eat your 
heart with g^rhc. In outward show, they will 
carry themselves plausibly, when their hearts are 
full of venom and malice. This viperous brood 
do but watch their times and opportimities till 
they can get a man upon the hip; and then they 
will sting him, and work their malice upon him. 
These fawning curs will not bark till they bite. 
They will lurk and lie close till they spy their 
vantage, and then they will shew themselves in 
their kind: then they will hoist a man, and turn 

* A. Hebrew speech for a deceitM heart. See the margin of oar 

124 LYING. 

him over the perk* if they can. These men are 
like the waters, which are most deep, when they 
are most calm; like a dangerous rock, hid under- 
a calm sea; or, as the heathen say, "like the 
Syren's song, which is the sailor's wreck;" like 
the fowler's whistle, which is the hird's death; 
like the hid bait, which is the fishes' bane; like 
the harpies,t which have virgin's faces, and vul- 
ture's talons; or like the hyena, which speaketh 
like a friend, and devoureth like a foe; or, as the 
scripture saith, like Joab, (2 Sam. xx. 10,) the 
captain of the host, which spake kindly to Amasa, 
another captain, and kissed him, when presently 
he stabbed him; or like unto the Herodians, and 
Pharisees' servants, which came to our Lord 
Jesus with many fawning insinuations, calling 
him good master, and telling him that he was the 
plain truth, that he taught the way of God truh', 
he regarded no man's person, and many " good 
morrows," and all this gear, when as, in very deed, 
their purpose was to entangle him in his words, 
and to entrap him, that they might catch advan- 
tage against him, and so cut his throat, and give 
him pap with a hatchet.]; This itr is which the 
wise man saith, Prov. xxix. 5, " A man that flat- 
tereth his neighbour, spreadeth a net for his feet." 
And again, "As silver dross, overlaid upon an 
earthen pot: so are fawning lips, and an evil 
heart." And in another place he saith, "He 
that beareth hatred, will counterfeit with his lips: 
but he layeth up deceit in his heart. When he 
speaks fair, trust him not. For there are seven 
abominations in his heart. He will cover hatred 

* Probably off the perch, a treacherous and dangerous fall. 

+ Fabulous beasts. 
J Pretend to feed him tenderly, and knock him on the head. 

LTIKG. . 125 

by deceit: but his malice shall be discovered in 
the congregation," Prov. xxvi. 23-26. In ano- 
ther place he pronounceth a curse on all these 
hollow-hearted hypocrites, and meally-mouthed 
flatterers; for saith he, "unto him that blesseth 
his friend, with a loud voice, betimes in the morn- 
ing, rising up early, a curse shall be imputed," 
Prov. xxvii. 14. 

Phil. You have veiy well described the condi- 
tions of the men of this age, which have faces, 
countenances, and tongues, but no hearts; which 
profess lying and dissembling: which say, he can- 
not live that cannot dissemble; which have fair 
faces, and false hearts ; which have forgotten that 
plain honesty is the best policy. 

Theol. The Holy Ghost, often in the Proverl» 
rif Solomon, calleth all unregenerate men fools; 
ir, as it is in the Hebrew, men without hearts; 
' lecause they have no heart to God, no heart to 
lis word, no heart to his children, no heart to 
godliness, no heart to any thing that is good. 
They are without an honest heart, an upright 
heart, a plain heart. They are all in words; no- 
thing in deeds. They promise mountains, and 
perform mole-hills. They \vill speak well of re- 
ligion, and practise nothing. They will give fair 
words to their friends, and do just nothing for 

Phil. The world is full of these masked coun- 
terfeits; and lying and dissembling did never 
more abound. 

Theol. It is too true that lying and dissembling 
are most rife, and over-common vices amongst all 
sorts of men; but, especially , it doth overflow and 
superabound in shopkeepers and servants. For 
both these make a trade and occupation of it; they 

126 LYING. 

can do no other but lie. It cleaveth unto them 
as the nail to the door. 

Phil. I do certainly know some shopkeepers 
which (to utter their bad wares, and to blind the 
eyes of the simple) do trade in lying, all the day 
long, from sun to sun; from the opening of the 
shop and windows, to the shutting of the same. 
And what is their life, if customers come in apace, 
but swearing, lying, dissembling, and deceiving? 
They will lie as fast as a dog will trot, as we say. 
It is a wonder, that their shops and all their wares 
do not fire over their heads, for their so common, 
so lewd, and so abominable lying ; and that against 
their own knowledge, against their conscience, 
against God, against their neighbour, against 
heaven and earth, men and angels. 

Theol. True it is, we may marvel at the long- 
suffering of God in this behalf. But this is to be 
noted, that God doth not immediately punish all 
notorious sinners in this life; but reserveth thou- 
sands to the judgment of the great day. In this 
life he only culleth out some few, whom he smiteth 
for the example of others, that they might fear 
and tremble, and learn by other men's harms to 
beware. Therefore, even in this life, we see before 
our eyes, some liars, some drunkards, some whore- 
mongers, some swearers, some misers of the world, 
some ruffians, and cut-throats, striken down by 
the revenging hand of God. But whereas God 
smiteth one of these, in this life he letteth an 
hundred escape. For if he should punish all 
offenders in this life, to what purpose should the 
judgment to come serve? If he should punish 
none, then we should think there were no God, or 
that he were shut up idle in heaven, and would 
do neither good nor evil, nor once meddle in the 

LTixa, 127 

matters of the earth, as some epicures have dream- 
ed. Therefore, to avoid both these extremities, 
God in his heavenly wisdom hath thought good 
to mete with some even in this world. 

Phil. I am of this mind, that the goods which 
men get by swearing, lying and deceit, will never 
prosper long. 

Theol. You are not therein deceived; for God 
will blow upon all such kind of evil-gotten goods, 
and they shall put it in a bottomless purse, as the 
prophet saith, Hag. i. 6. The Holy Ghost, in the 
Book of Proverbs, hath many excellent sayings 
to this effect: as chap. xiii. 11, "The riches of 
vanity shall be diminished, but he which labour- 
eth with the hand shall increase them." Again, 
"He that dealeth with a deceitful hand shall be- 
come poor: but the hand of the diligent maketh 
rich." Prov. x. 4. In another place he saith, 
"The deceitful man roasteth not that which he 
hath caught in huntmg," Prov. xii. 27. That 
is, he shall not long enjoy or taste the prey which 
he hath gotten by fraud ; for either one trouble 
or other will come upon him, that he shall not be 
able to possess, or take delight in the spoil. 
Therefore it is said, '"The bread of deceit is 
sweet to a man ; but afterwards his mouth shall 
be filled with gravel," Prov. xx. 17. That is, in 
the end the crafty person shall meet with many 
troubles; for either his conscience will upbraid 
him and check him, or vengeance will plague 
him for his deceit. The fears, cares, and sorrows, 
which he shall have, shall be as it were so many 
sharp stones, to set his teeth on edge, and to vex 
him. Wherefore, instead of meat, he shall feed 
on gravel; and instead of wheat, on pebble- 
stones. Small pleasure is taken in the end in 

128 tTING. 

goods ill-gotten, or livings unlawfully come by. 
For the Holy Ghost hath passed sentence upon 
theni that they shall never prosper. 

Phil. It sometimes falleth out that they pros- 
per for a time; but as we say, the third heir shall 
never enjoy them. For God will curse them in 
our posterity; and our children's children shall 
feel the smart of our sins. Therefore, the holy 
man Job saith, xxviii. 14, " The offspring of the 
wicked shall not be satisfied with bread." For out 
of doubt, God will bless that only which is got 
with a good conscience in the works of our call- 
ing; and it shall remain blessed to us and our 
posterity. Therefore, the Spirit saith, "The just 
man that walketh in his uprightness is blessed, 
and blessed shall his children be after him," 
Prov. XX. 7. But God will not bless, but curse 
that which is got with an evil conscience; as 
swearing, lying, dissembling, deceiving, &c. 

TTieol. Some ancient writers have spoken very 
prudently to this point; for one saith, (Jerom.) 
" Injusta lucra breves hahent voluptates : longos 
autem dolores." That is, unjust gain hath long 
sorrow and short joy. Another saith, (August.) 
'^Eligas damnum, potiiis quam turpe lucrum illud: 
enim semel tantum te dolere afficiet; hoc verb 
semper.'''' That is, choose loss rather than filthy 
lucre. For the one will grieve thee but once; 
the other, for ever. A third saith, (Bernard.) 
" Melius est honeste pauperem esse, quam turpiter 
divitem. Hoc enim commiserationem, illud verb 
reprehensionemadfert.'" It is better to be honestly 
poor, than wickedly rich. For the one moveth 
pity, the other reproof. One of the wise heathen 
also saith, "We may not wax rich unjustly;" but 
live of just things; which he calleth hoi}' things. 

LTEKG. 129 

Phil. Have we not examples in the scriptures 
of such as have been punished for lying? 

Theol. Yes. For we read how the Gibeonites, 
for their lying and dissembling, were made drudges 
and slaves to the Israelites. Josh. is. 23. Gehazi, 
also, the servant of Elisha the prophet, for his 
lying and covetousness together, was smitten with 
a most grievous leprosy, 2 Kings, v. Ananias 
and Sapphira his wife, for their lying and dissem- 
bhng, were stricken down stark dead, by the im- 
mediate hand of God, at the rebuke of Peter, Acts 
V. 5, Zophar, one of Job's friends, speaking of 
these kind of men, saith, "They shaU suck the 
gall of asps, and the viper's tongue shall slay 
them. They shall flee from the iron weapons, 
and a bow of steel shall strike them through," 
Job XX. 16, 24. Xow then, by all these examples, 
we may plainly see how greatly God abhorreth 
lying and dissembling. 

Phil. Oh, therefore, that we could follow the 
counsel of the apostle, who saith. Col. iii. 9, "Lie 
not one to another: seeing that ye have put off 
the old man, with his works." And again, Eph. 
iv. 25, "Cast away lying, and speak every one the 
truth to his neighbour." The manner of speech 
which the apostle useth is very forcible, implying 
this much, that we should in a kind of disdain 
or detestation, cast it away, and throw it from us, 
as a filthy, stinking and bewrayed clout, hanging 
about a man's neck; which he doth suddenly 
snatch away, and hurleth into the fire, as being 
ashamed that ever it should be seen or known. 
Would to God, therefore, that we were come to 
such a detestation and loathing of lying, that we 
would even spattle at it, and cry fie upon it, and 
all that use it ! Oh that we could hate it as the 

130 ITIKG. 

devil, which is the father of it; and as hell-fire, 
which is the reward of it! Oh that we were come 
but so far as the heathen man who saith, (Homer, 
Iliad iii.) "I hate him as the gates of hell who 
hath one thing in his tongue, and another in his 

Antil. Yet for all this we find in the scrip- 
tures that even some of the godly have been 
taken tardy in lying, and yet have not sinned in 
so doing; as Abraham, Jacob, Kahab, the mid- 
wives of Egypt; and, therefore, why may we not 
do so too ? 

Theol. I told you before that you may not 
make the infirmities of God's people rules for you 
to live by; and further, I answer that all these 
did offend in their lying. Some of them, indeed, 
I grant, are commended for their love to the 
church, and charitable affections to God's people, 
but none of them simply for lying; which is a 
thing condemned even of the heathen; for saith 
one of them, " Lying doth corrupt the life of 
many;" and every wise and godly man doth hate 

Antil. But may we not live now and then for 
advantage ? 

Theol. No, verily: neither is there any good 
advantage to be got that way; for when you have 
made up your accounts, all charges deducted, and 
all expenses defrayed, your clear gains will be 
very small. For by your wilful and customary 
lying you gain inward grief, and lose true joy; 
you gain short pleasure, and lose perpetual glory; 
you gain hell, and lose heaven; you make the 
devil your friend, and God your enemy. Now 
then, reckon your gain. 

Phil. I pray you, let us grow towards a con- 

DBUITKEinirESS. 131 

elusion of this point, and show us briefly the 
chief causes of lying. 

Theol. The chief causes of lying are these : 
custom, fear, covetousness, the devil. 

Phil. What be the remedies ? 

Theol. The remedies be these: disuse, godly 
boldness, contentment, earnest prayer. 


Phil. You have spoken enough of the vice of 
lying to cause aU such to abhor it and forsake it, 
as have any drop of grace, or spark of God's fear 
in them ; but as for them that are filthy, let them 
be more filthy. Now, I pray you, speak your 
judgment of the seventh sign of condemnation, 
which is drunkenness. 

Theol. It is so brutish and beastly a sin that a 
man would think it should not need to be spoken 
against; but that all reasonable men should even 
abhor it, and quake to think of it ; for it is a 
most swinish thing: it maketh of a man a beast ; 
it taketh away the heart of man from all good- 
ness, as witnesseth the prophet Hosea, iv. 11, 
"Whoredom, wine, and new wine, take away 
their heart." For what heart, what stomach, 
what appetite can whoremongers and drunkards 
have to any thing that is good? either to hear or 
read the word of God, or to pray or to meditate 
in the same? Alas! they are far from it; far from 
God ; and far from all grace and goodness. There- 
fore the prophet Joel saith, i. 5, "Awake ye 
drunkards; weep and howl ye drinkers of wine." 


Yea, the mighty Grod of heaven doth pronounce 
a woe against them, saying, Isa. v. 11, " Woe 
unto them that rise up early to follow drunkenness ; 
and to them that continue until night, till the 
wine do inflame them." Our Lord Jesus himself 
giveth us a caveat to take heed of it, Luke xxi. 
34, " Take heed, saith he, that your hearts he 
not overcome with surfeiting and drunkenness, 
and the cares of this life ; and so that day come 
upon you unawares." Thus you hear how hoth 
Christ himself, and sundry of the prophets, do 
thunder down from heaven against this gross 
beastliness which now aboundeth and reigneth 
amongst the sons of men. 

PJiil. True indeed; but yet nothing will make 
men leave it, for it is a most rife and over-com- 
mon vice. We see many that think themselves 
somebodies, and as we say no small fools, which 
yet will be overtaken with it; and thereby lose 
all their credit and reputation with all wise men : 
yea, do prove themselves to be but swine and 
brute beasts, as the Holy Ghost avoucheth, say- 
ing, "Wine is a mocker, and strong drink is 
raging; whosoever is deceived therein is not 
wise," Prov. xx. 1. 

Theol. The wise king, in the same book, doth 
most notably and fully describe unto us the in- 
conveniences and mischiefs which do accom- 
pany drunkenness, and follow drunkards at the 
heels, "To whom is woe? to whom is sorrow? 
to whom is strife? to whom is babbling? to whom 
are wounds without cause? to whom is the red- 
ness of the eyes ? Even to them that tarry long 
at the wine: to them that go and seek out mixed 
wine," Prov. xxiii. 29. In the same chapter he 
saith, ver. 20, 21, " Be not of the number of 


them which are bibbers of wine, nor of them 
which glut themselves with flesh; for the drinker 
and the feaster shall become poor: and the sleeper 
shall be clothed with rags." Moreover he saith, 
ver. 33, "Their eyes shall behold strange women :" 
and that "they shall be like him that lieth in the 
midst of the sea, and sleepeth on the top of the 
mast." In all these speeches, the Holy Ghost 
doth, in most Hvely manner, describe imto us the 
properties of drunkards; even their staggering, 
their reeling, their snorting, their senseless sensu- 
ality. Behold, then, what be the cursed fruits 
and events of drunkenness, even these which 
follow: woe, alas! grief, misery, beggary, poverty, 
shame, lusts, strife, babbling, brawling, fighting, 
quarrelling, surfeiting, sickness, diseases, swinish 
sleeping, security, and sensuality. So then, I 
conclude that drunkenness is a vice more beseem- 
ing a hog than any reasonable man; and, as one 
saith, "It is the metropolitan city of all the pro- 
vince of vices." Well, therefore, saith the 
heathen writer (Demosthenes), "When the wine 
is in, a man is as a running coach without a 

Phil. Let us hear what executions have been 
done upon drunkards in former ages, that now 
men may learn to take heed by their examples. 

Theol. Ammon, one of David's ungracious 
children, being drunk, was slain by his brother 
Absalom. Benhadad, king of Syria, being drunk, 
was discomfitted by Ahab, king of Israel. Elah, 
king of Israel, being drunk, was slain by 
Zimri his servant, and captain of his chariots; 
who also succeeded him in the kingdom. Lot, 
being drunk, committed incest with his own 
daughters; and therefore was punished in his 


posterity. Thus we see, what executions have 
been done, even upon kings, for this kind of sin. 
Therefore, let man learn, once at last, to shun 
vice, and embrace virtue; and as the apostle saith, 
to make an end of their salvation in fear and 
trembling. For all our shifts and starting holes 
will serve us to no purpose in the end: but when 
we have fisked* hither and thither, never so much, 
yet at the last we must be fain to be shut up in 
God's wrath. 

Antil. What I pray you, do you make it so 
great a matter if a man be a little overtaken with 
drink, now and then? There is no man but he 
hath his faults : and the best of us all may be 
amended. If neighbours meet together, now and 
then, at the ale-house, and play a game at maw, 
for a pot of ale, meaning no hurt, I take it to be 
good fellowship, and a good means to increase 
love amongst neighbours, and not so heinous a 
thing as you make it. 

Tkeol. I see you would fain make fair weather 
of it, and smooth over the matter with sweet 
words, as though there were no such great evil 
in it ; but howsoever you mince it, and blanch 
it over, yet the apostle saith flatly, "That drunk- 
ards shall not inherit the kingdom of God," 
1 Cor. vi. 10. I think this one sentence is enough 
to amaze and strike through the hearts of all 
drunkards in the world: for it is as much in effect, 
as if the apostle had said, all drunkards are noto- 
rious reprobates, and hell-hounds branded of 
Satan, and devoted to perpetual destruction and 
damnation ; but you say you mean no hurt. I 
answer, whatsoever you mean, yoiu' actions are 

* Run about carelessly, here and there. 


naught, and your fellowship as had ; for what 
good meaning can yon have? or what good fel- 
lowship call you it, for poor labouring men, arti- 
ficers, and such like, to sit idly aU the day long in 
taverns and ale-houses, mis-spending their time 
and their money in gaming, rioting, swearing, 
staring, swiUing, embezzling, bibbing, brawling, 
and brabbling? There is no true fellowship in it : 
it is mere impiety ; if we may call it impiety, for 
poor men to five idly, dissolutely, neglecting their 
callings, while their poor wives and children sit 
crying at home for bread, being ready to starve, 
to beg, or to steal. I pray you speak your con- 
science, what good fellowship is there in this? 

Antil. Yet, for all that, there be some which 
abstain from ale-houses, and yet are as bad as any 
other; for they will backbite and slander their 
neighbours: they will do them a shrewd turn as 
soon as any other: they are envious, they censure 
los, and disdain our company: yet we think our- 
selves as good as they, for all their shews of 

Theol. You speak more than you know, or can 
justify, against some better than yourself; but, if 
it were so, you should but justify one sin by ano- 
ther — a lesser by a greater; which is to no pur- 

Antil. Wm you then condemn all good fel- 

Theol. No, no; I do greatly allow godly and 
Christian fellowship; and acknowledge it to be 
one of the chiefest comforts we have in the world. 
I know we are commanded to love brotherly fel- 
lowship; but as for your pot-companionslup, I 
hate it, and abhor it; for it is written, " He 
that foUoweth the idle shall he filled with pover- 


ty." And again, " He that keepeth company 
with banqueters shameth his father." And in 
another place, "He that loveth pastime shall be 
a poor man: and he that loveth wine and oil 
shall not be rich." 

Phil. Grood Mr. Theologus, talk no more with 
him: but let us draw near unto the wind-up of 
this matter; and tell us, in a word, which be the 
chief causes of drunkenness. 

Theol. The causes are these: ill company, ale- 
houses, idleness, a wicked humour. 

Phil. Which be the true remedies? 

Theol. The remedies are these: avoiding of ill 
company, shunning of ale-houses, labour in our 
callings, a good course of life, 

Phil. Well sir, you have waded far enough in 
this point: let us now come to the eighth sign of 
condemnation, which is idleness. 


Theol. Concerning idleness, this I say briefly, 
that it is the mother of all vice, and the stepdame 
of all virtue: yea, it is the very beldame* of all 
enormities: it is the mother of whoredom, the 
mother of pride, the mother of theft, the mother 
of drunkenness, the mother of ignorance, the 
mother of error, the mother of poverty, the mother 
of slandering and backbiting, prattlingand gossip- 
ping, brawling, scolding, quarreling, and what 
not? Idleness was one of the principle sins of 

* Chief mother. 


Sodom, as the prophet Ezekiel testifieth, xvi. 49, 
" Pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idle- 
ness was in her, and in her daughters." Solomon 
is very plentiful in this matter; for, saith he, 
"The sluggard lusteth and hath not," Prov. 
xiii. 4. And again, "The sluggard is wiser in his 
own conceit, than seven men that can give a 
sensible reason," xxvi. 16. That is, he taketh 
himself the wisest of many, because he spareth 
his body, when others take pains, he saith, "Yet 
a little sleep, yet a little slumber, yet a folding of 
the hands: and his poverty cometh like a traveller 
(that is unawares), and his necessity like- an 
armed man" (that is strongly). Then he foldeth 
his hands together, and eateth his own flesh, 
Eccles. iv. 5. For, he hidethhishandin his bosom : 
and it wearieth him to put it to his mouth again, 
Prov. xxvi. 15. In another place the Holy Ghost 
Sjuth, "The slothful man wiQnot plough, because 
of winter: therefore he shall beg in summer, and 
have nothing," xx. 4. Again, "The slothful man 
is brother to him that is a great waster," xviii. 9. 
Moreover, it is said, that "The sluggard tttmeth 
himself upon his bed, as the door doth upon the 
hinges," xxvi. 14; that is, he keepeth his bed, as 
if he were fastened to it. And, because the spirit 
will abound in this point, it is further written of 
the slothful man that he saith, v. 13, "An huge 
lion is in the way: I shall be slain in the streets." 
That is, when any good matter is in hand, as 
preaching, praying, reading, giving to the poor, 
&c. then he draweth back, he shrinketh into the 
shell, he fmdeth one let* or other, one excuse or 
other. Then profit and pleasure, business and 

* Hindrance. 


idleness, matters at home and matters abroad, 
company, and a thousand occasions will He in his 
way, as so many lions, to let and hinder him. So 
then, we see how lively and plentifully the holy 
scriptures do paint out the lazy lubbers of this 
world, and sons of idleness, which are as hardly 
drawn to any good thing as a bear to the stake. 
As for the duties of religion, they go as lively and 
as cheerful about them as a thief goeth up the 
ladder, to be executed for his theft. 

Phil. I do plainly see that this sin of idleness 
is a very gross evil, and the root of many vices: 
yet, for all that, there be a great number which 
think they were born to live idly, as many young 
gentlemen, and such like, which imagine they 
came into the world for no other purpose but to 
hunt and hawk, card and dice, riot and revel, 
and to spend their days in pleasure and vanity. 
Again, there be many lazy lozels,* and luskishf 
youths, both in towns and villages, which do 
nothing all the day long but walk in the streets, 
sit upon the stalls, and frequent taverns and ale- 
houses. Many rich citizens, especially women, 
do ordinarily lie in bed till nine of the o'clock, 
and then, forsooth, rise and make themselves 
ready to go to dinner ; and, after they have well 
dined, they spend the rest of the day, and a good 
part of the night also, in playing, prattling, 
babbling, cackling, prating, and gossipping. Fie 
of this idle life! Many profane serving men also 
do falsely suppose that they were born only to 
game, riot, swear, whore, ruffle it, and roist it 
out, and to spend their time in mere idleness. 
But of all these, well said the heathen philosopher 

* Idle lubbers, or clowns. t Lazy. 


(Aristotle), " HU pariter indignamtur et dis et 
homines qukquU otiossus" — both Grod and man 
do hate the idle person. 

Theol. It is a lamentable thing to see so many 
men and women live so idly and so unprofitably 
as they do. For, alas! there be too many which 
foUow no honest calling, hve to no use, nobody 
is the better for them. They do no good, neither 
to the church or commonwealth. They are like 
drone bees : they are unprofitable burthens of the 
earth. God hath no use of them; the church no 
good, the commonwealth no benefit, their neigh- 
bours no profit, the poor no relief. They imagine 
they came iato the world to do nothing but eat 
and drink, and sleep, and rise up to play. They 
think they shovdd spend their time in dicing and 
dancing, in whoredom and bravery, in gluttony 
and belly -cheer; in masting themselves, like hogs 
of Epicurus* herd; in pampering their paunches, 
and cramming their bellies ; in fatting themselves 
like boars in a frank,t till they be well brawned ; 
and, as Job saith, till their bones nm fiill of 
marrow, their faces strout with fatness, and they 
have collops in their flank. Oh, what a beastly 
life is this ! Fie upon it'; fie upon it. It is more 
meet for epicures than Christians ; for swine, 
than for men ; for Sardanapalvis,J and Helioga- 
balus,§ and such like beUy-gods, than for the 
professors of the gospel. But of all such. Job 
saith enough, " They spend their days in plea- 
sure, and suddenly go down to hell." 

Phil, But may it not be allowed unto lords 

* An ancient philosopher, who taught that ease and pleasure were 
the chief good, 
t A swine stye. 

X A luxurious king of ABSjria, burned to death in his palace. 
S A gluttonous Boman Empczor. 


and ladies, gentlemen and gentlewomen, and 
other great ones, to live idly, since they have 
wherewithal to maintain it. 

Theol. God doth allow none to live idly, but 
all, great and small, are to be employed one way 
or other, either for the benefit of the church or 
commonwealth, or for the good government of 
their own households, or for the good of towns 
and parishes, and those amongst whom they do 
converse, or for the succour and relief of the 
poor, or for the furtherance of the gospel, and 
the maintaining of the ministry, or for one good 
use or other. To these ends, our wits, our learn- 
ing, our reading, our skill, our policy, our wealth, 
our health, our wisdom, and authority, are to be 
referred; knowing this, that one day, we shall 
come to give an account of our bail-wick,* and 
to be reckoned with, for the employment of our 
talents. For this cause, Job saith, v. 7, " That 
man is born to travail as the sparks fly upward." 
And Grod hath laid this upon Adam, and all his 
posterity, "In the sweat of thy brow, thou shalt 
eat thy bread." Some do set down four causes, 
why every man should labour diligently in his 
calling: — First, to bear the yoke laid upon all 
mankind; by the Lord; secondly, to get the 
necessaries of this life ; thirdly, to live unto the 
profit of human society ; lastly, to avoid evil 
thoughts and actions. St. Paul findeth great 
fault with some in the church of Thessalonica,^ 
2. Epis, iii. because they walked inordinately, 
that is, idly, and out of lawful calling: and 
therefore concluded, that such as would not la- 
bour should not eat. So then, we do plainly see 

* stewardship. 

rOLEKESS. 141 

that God alloweth idleness in none. For when 
we are idle, as hath been shewed before, we lie 
open to the devil and his temptations; and he 
getteth within us and prevaileth against us. 
While David tarried idlj at home in the begin- 
ning of the year, when kings used to go forth to 
the battle, he was soon overtaken with those two 
foul sins of adultery and man-slaughter. So 
long as Sampson warred with the Philistines he 
could never be taken or overcome: but after he 
gave himself to idleness and pleasure, he not 
only committed fornication with the strumpet 
Delilah, but also was taken of his enemies, and 
his eyes miserably put out. These examples 
do shew what a dangerous sin idleness is ; there- 
fore, the Holy Ghost sends us to school, to the 
little creature, the ant, to learn of her both to 
avoid idleness, and also to use wisdom and pru- 
dence in our actions, "Go to the ant, O slug- 
gard, behold her ways, and be wise: for she 
having no guide, task-master, nor ruler, pre- 
pareth her meat in the summer, and gathereth 
her food in harvest," Prov. vi. 6. And in good 
sooth it is wonderful to observe, what infinite pains 
and imwearied labour, that silly creature taketh 
in summer that she may be well provided for 
against winter. Let us, therefore, learn wisdom 
from her example; and let us set before our eyes 
the looking-glass of all creatures. Let us con- 
sider how the birds fly, the fishes swim, the 
worms creep, the heavens turn, the element-s 
move, the sea ebbeth and floweth incessantly: 
yea, the earth itself, which is the most heavy and 
unwieldy creature of all other, yet never ceaseth 
his working, bringing forth his burden in sum- 
mer, and laboming inwardly all the winter, in 


concocting and digesting his nourishment for the 
next spring. Thus we see how all creatures are 
diligently and painfully exercised in their kinds ; 
and therefore it is a great shame for us to live 
idly, carelessly, and dissolutely. Let us there- 
fore learn, once at last, to fly sloth, and every 
one to live faithfully, diligently, and industriously 
in our several callings. So shall ,we both keep 
Satan at the staves' end, and also much sin out 
of our souls which, otherwise, idleness will force 
in upon us. 

Phil. I must needs confess that idleness is a 
gross vice in whomsoever it is found. But spe- 
cially, in my judgment, it is most odious in 
magistrates and ministers. 

Theol. That is so in truth; for they ought 
to be the guides, governors, shepherds, and 
watchmen over the people of God. And there- 
fore, for them to neglect their duties and charges 
is a most horrible thing, since it concerneth the 
hurt of many. Therefore, well saith the heathen 
poet (Homer, Iliad ii.), " A magistrate or a 
minister may not be lazy and slothful, to whom 
the nursing of the people is given in charge, and 
of whom many things are to be cared for," What 
a lamentable thing, therefore, is it when magis- 
trates are profane, irreligious, popish, vicious, 
and negligent in the duties of their calling? 
And how much more lamentable is it when 
ministers neglect their studies, slack preaching 
and prayer, and give up themselves, some to 
covetousness, some to pride, some to husbandry, 
some to other worldly affairs, and some to spend 
their time idly in taverns, ale-houses, gaming, 
rioting, and lewd company? Would to God, 
therefore, that both these kinds of pubhc persons 

IBLEirESS. 143 

would cast off idleness and sloth; and with 
diligence, faithfulness, care, and conscience, per- 
form the duties of their places. For it is an 
excellent thing for anv to be a good man in his 
place: as a good magistrate that nileth well, 
that govemeth wisely, which favoureth good men 
and good causes, and defendeth them; which 
also setteth himself against bad men and bad 
causes, and punisheth them sharply and severely ; 
which, moreover, maintaineth virtue, even of 
a very love he beareth unto it in his heart; 
and punisheth vice of a very zeal and hatred 
against it; and not for his credit only, or to 
please some, or because he must needs do it, and 
can do no less, or for any such sinister respect ; 
but even of a love to God, a care of his glory, 
a conscience of duty, and a fervent zeal against 
sin. So, likewise, it is a notable thing for a 
minister to be a good man in his place; to be 
studious in the law of God; diligent and pain- 
ful in preaching; and that of a love to God, a 
zeal of his glory, deep pity and compassion to- 
wards the souls of the people, seeking by all 
means possible to win them imto God; carrying 
himself in all his actions amongst them wisely, 
religiously, unblameably, and inoffensively. So 
again, it is a worthy thing to be a good rich 
man, which doth much good with his riches, 
which keepeth a good house, relieveth the poor, 
ministereth to the necessity of the saints, and 
giveth cheerfully, and with discretion, where 
need is. So also, it is a commendable thing to 
be a good neighbour, or a good townsman; by 
whom a man may live quietly, peaceably, joyfully 
and comfortably. And lastly, to be a good poor 
man: that is, humble, lowly, dutiful, painful, 


ready to help, and ready to please. Oh, I say this 
is a most excellent and glorious thing, when every 
man keepeth his standing, his range, and his 
rank; when all men, with care and conscience, 
perform the duties of their places ; when the hus- 
band does the duty of an husband, and -the wife 
of a wife; when the father doth the duty of a 
father, and the child of a child; when the master 
doth the duty of a master, and the servant of a 
servant; when every man setteth God before his 
eyes in doing those things which especially be- 
long unto him. For herein consisteth the honour 
of God, the glory of the prince, the crown of the 
church, the fortress of the commonwealth, the 
safety of cities, the strength of kingdoms, and the 
very preservation of all things. 

Antil. You have said well in some things. But 
yet I do not see, but that rich men and women 
may live idly, since they have enough where- 
withal to maintain it ; for may not a man do 
with his own what he list ? 

Theol. No, verily. For you may not take your 
own knife, and cut your own throat with it: 
neither may you take your own axe, and kill your 
own child with it. Therefore, that reason is 
naught. Albeit therefore wealthy men and women 
have great plenty of all things, so as they need 
not to labour; yet let them be profitably employ- 
ed some other way. Let them exercise themselves 
in one good thing or other. If they can find 
nothing to do, let them give themselves much to 
private prayers and reading of the scriptures, 
that they maybe able to instruct and exhort others. 
Or else let ladies and gentlewomen do as that 
good woman Dorcas did: that is, buy cloth, cut 
it out, work it, make shirts, shifts, coats, and gar- 


ments, and give them to the poor, when they 
have so done. For it is said of Dorcas, that she 
was a woman fall of good works and alms-deeds, 
which she did. She was a merciful and tender- 
hearted woman; she was the poor man's fiiend; 
she clothed the poor and naked; she knew it was 
a sacrifice acceptable to God. Oh that the wealthy 
women of our land would follow the example of 
Dorcas! But, alas! these days bring forth few 
Dorcasses, Acts ix. 36-39. 

Phil. As you have shewed us the causes of 
the former evils; so now, I pray you, shew the 
causes of this also. 

Theol. The causes of idleness are: evil exam- 
ples, bad education, hving out of calling. 

Phil. Shew us also the remedies. 

Theol. The remedies are: good education, 
labour in youth, good examples, diligence in a 
lawful calhng. 


Phil. Ifow, then, let us come to the last sign 
of condemnation, which is oppression; and I be- 
seech yoii, good sir, speak your mind of it out of 
the scriptures. 

Theol. It is so infinite a matter that I know 
not where to begin, or where to make an end of 
it; it is a bottomless sink of most grievous enor- 
mities. I shall enter into a labyrinth where I 
shall not know how to get out agaia; but since 
you are desirous to hear something of it, tliis I 
say, that it is a most cruel monster, a bloody vice, 



a most ugly and hideous fiend of hell. The 
scriptures, in very many places, do cry out upon 
it, arraigning it, adjudging it, and condemning it 
down to hell. They do also thunder and hghten 
upon all those which are stained and corrupted 
with this vice, calling them by such names and 
giving them such titles as are taken from the 
eifects of this sin, and most fit for oppressors ; 
as namely, " That they grind the faces of the 
poor ; that they pluck off their skin from them, 
and their flesh from their bones ; that they eat 
them up as they eat bread," Isa. iii. 15 ; Amos 
viii. 6 ; Micah iii. 2 ; Psalm xiv. 4. These are 
they which strive to devour all, like savage 
beasts, and to get the whole earth into their 
hands either by hook or by crook, by right or 
by wrong, by oppression, fraud, and violence. 
These caterpillars and cormorants of the earth 
are like unto the whale fish, which swalloweth up 
quick other little fishes ; they are like the lion, 
that devoureth other beasts ; they are like the 
falcon, which seizeth, plumeth, and preyeth upon 
other fowls. These greedy wolves devour all, 
and swallow up the poor of the land ; therefore, 
the prophets of God do thunder out many great 
woes against them. First, the prophet Isaiah 
saith, V. 8, " Woe unto them that join house to 
house, and field to field, till there be no place 
for the poor to dwell in ; that they may be placed 
by themselves in the midst of the earth." Se- 
condly, the prophet Jeremiah saith, xxii. 13, 
" Woe unto him that buildeth his house by un- 
righteousness, and his chambers without equity," 
&c. Thirdly, the prophet Micah saith, ii. 2, 
" Woe unto them that covet fields, and take 
them by violence ; and so oppress a mau and his 

0PPBE8SI0N. 147 

house, even a man and his heritage." Fourthly, 
the prophet Habbakuk, ii. 12, crieth out, saying, 
" Woe unto him that buildeth a town with blood, 
and erecteth a city by iniquity." St. James also 
most terribly threateneth these kind of men, say- 
ing, V. 1-3, " Go to now, you rich men, weep 
and howl for your miseries that shall come upon 
you. Your gold and silver is cankered, and the 
rust of them shall be a witness against you ; 
and shall eat your flesh as it were fire." Lastly; 
St. Paul saith flatly, 1 Cor. vi. 10, " That ex- 
tortioners shall not inherit the kingdom of God." 
Thus we see how many fearful woes and threats 
are denounced from heaven against these pestilent 
cut-throats of the earth. 

Phil. And all little enough ; for they are 
steeped in their sin, and the stain of it is so 
soaked into them, as it will hardly ever be washed 
out. True it is, that you said, that these cruel 
oppressing blood-suckers are the most pernicious 
and pestilent vermin that creepeth upon the 
face of the earth ; and yet, I think, there were 
never more of them than in these days. For 
now the wicked world is full of such as do sun- 
dry ways bite, pinch, and nip the poor, as we 
see by every day's lamentable experience ; but 
you can speak more of it than I ; therefore, I 
pray you, lay open the sundry kinds of oppression 
used in these days. 

Theol. There is oppression by usury, by brib- 
ery, by racking of rents, by taking excessive 
fines; oppression in bargaining, in letting of 
leases, in letting of houses, in letting of grounds, 
in binding poor men to unreasonable covenants, 
in thrusting poor men out of their houses, in hir- 
ing poor men's houses over their heads, in taking 


of fees ; oppression by lawyers, by church oflBeers, 
by engrossers, by forestallers ; oppression of the 
church, of the ministry, of the poor; oppression of 
widows, oppression of orphans ; and thus we see 
how all swarm with oppressions, and nothing but 
oppressions, oppressions.* 

Fhil, In truth, this is a most cruel and op- 
pressing age wherein we live; yea, a very iron age. 
It seemeth that the great ones mind nothing else: 
they are altogether set upon oppression ; they dote 
and dream of it, they find sweet in it, and there- 
fore they are mad of it; as Solomon saith, Eccles. 
vii. 7, " Oppression maketh a wise man mad." 
It seemeth therefore, that this vice is of such mar- 
vellous force, that it can bereave men of their 
wits, and make men stark mad of getting goods 
by hook or by crook, they care not how, nor 
from whom ; so they have it. Yet, no doubt, 
the wise God hath enacted many good laws for 
the suppressing of this evil, and doth threaten the 
execution of them in his own person ; and espe- 
cially his law doth provide for the safety of the 
poor, the fathei'less, the widow, and the stranger. 
But you, Mr. Theologus, can repeat the statutes 
better than I, because you are a professed divine ; 
therefore, I pray you, let us hear them from you. 

Theol. In the twenty-second chapter of Exodus, 
Grod made this law following : " You shall not 
trouble an widow or fatherless child ; if thou 
vex or trouble such, and so he call and cry unto 
me, I will surely hear his cry. Then shall my 
wrath be kindled, and I will kill you with the 
swoi'd, and your wives shall be widows, and your 
children fatherless," Exodus xxii. Again, he 

* The word oppression occurs twenty-three times in the old Editions. 

oppBESsioir. 149 

saith, Deut. ixiv. 14, 15, " Thou shalt not 
oppress an hired servant that is needy and poor, 
but thou shalt give him his hire for his day ; 
neither shall the sun go down upon it, for he is 
poor, and therewith sustaineth his life, lest he 
cry against thee unto the Lord, and it be sin unto 
thee." Moreover, the Lord saith, " Thou shalt 
do no injury to a stranger, for ye were strangers 
in the land of Egypt." And God himself threat- 
eneth that he will be " a swift witness against 
those which keep back the hireling's wages, and 
vex the widow and the fatherless," Mai. iii. 5. 
The apostle saith, "Let no man oppress or defraud 
his brother in any matters ; for the Lord is an 
avenger of all such things," 1 Thes. iv. 6. So- 
lomon also saith, " If in a country thou seest the 
oppression of the poor, and the de&auding of 
justice and judgment, be not astonished at the 
matter, for he that is higher than the highest 
regardeth; and there be higher than they," 
Eecles. v. 8. All these holy statutes and laws, 
enacted and provided against oppressors, do 
plainly shew what care the Lord hath for his 
poor, distressed, and desolate people. 

Phil. But these oppressing hell-hounds are such 
as care for nothing. No law of the Almighty 
can bridle them; nothing can fear them ; nothing 
C2L\\ restrain them. They have made a covenant 
with hell and death. They are frozen in the 
dregs; they are past feeling; and, as Job saith, 
" These are they that abhor the light, they know 
not the ways thereof, neither continue in the paths 
thereof.' ' Their hearts are as hard as the adamant. 
Nothing can move them ; nothing can work upon 
them. There is a great crying out everywhere of 
tiie stone in the reins, which indeed is a great 


torment to the body (but their is no complaining 
of the stone in the heart; I mean, a stony heart; 
which is the sorest disease that possibly can fall 
into the soul of man) and yet in these times it 
groweth very rife. For men's hearts are as hard 
as brass, and as the nether millstone, as the scrip- 
ture speakcth. For many, especially of these un- 
merciful and oppressing tyrants, say in their 
hearts, " God will do neither good nor evil," Zeph, 
i. 12. Therefore they put the evil day far from 
them, and approach unto the seat of iniquity. 
Thej/ are at ease in Zion ; they lie upon beds of 
ivory, and stretch themselves upon their beds; 
and eat the lambs of the flock, and the calves out 
of the stall. They sing to the sound of the viol; 
they invent instruments of music, like David. 
They drink wine in bowls, and no man is sorry 
for the affliction of Joseph" (Amos vi. 3-6); that 
is, the troubles of God's people. The prophet 
Isaiah, v. 12, also complaineth of these kind of 
men, saying, " They regard not the work of the 
Lord, neither consider the work of his hands." 
And another prophet saith, " They say in their 
hearts God hath forgotten; he hideth away his 
face, and will never see. They are so proud, that 
they seek not for God. They think always, there 
is no God; his judgments are far out of their 
sight. Their ways always prosper; and therefore 
they say in their hearts, tush, we shall never be 
moved, nor come in danger." 

Theol. You have spoken very well, touching 
the steeliness and hardness of these men's hearts, 
who are so unmerciful to their poor neighbom'S, 
that almost none can live by them. They do so 
disturb and disquiet all things, that poor men can 
dwell in no rest by them. Therefore truly saith 


the wise king, " A mighty man molesteth all, 
and both hireth the fool, and hireth those that 
pass by." But the poor man speaketh with 
prayers; that is, by the way of entreaty and sup- 
plications. For the poor are afraid of them. 
They quake when they see them; as the beasts 
quake at the roaring of the Hon. Many poor 
farmers, poor husbandmen, poor herdsmen, poor 
labourers, poor widows, and hirelings, do quake 
and tremble, when these greedy wolves come 
abroad. And, as Job speaketh, xsiv. 4, "The 
poor of the earth hide themselves together." For , 
alas! in their hearts they cannot abide the sight 
of them; they had as leave meet the devil as 
meet them, for fear of one displeasure or another. 
For either they fear that they will warn them 
out of their houses, or parley about more rent and 
and straighter covenants, or beg away their best 
kine, or borrow their horses, or command their 
carts, or require a week's work of them, and never 
pay them for it, or a twelve months! pasture for 
a couple of geldings, or that they will make one 
quarrel or another unto them, or one mischief or 
another. So that these poor souls cannot tell 
what to do, nor which way to turn them, for fear 
of these cruel termagants. They are even weary 
of their lives ; for they have no remedy for these 
things, but even to bear it off with head and 
shoulders. Therefore, they often wish they were 
out of the world, and that they were buried quick . 
They say, if any will knock them on the head, 
they will forgive him. Oh most piteous case ! Oh 
lamentable hearing! These poor silly creatures 
are fain to drudge and moil sill the year long, in 
winter and summer, in frost and snow, in heat and 
cold, to provide their rents that they may be able 


to pay their cruel landlord at his day : for else, 
how shall they be able to look him in the face? 
Yet, their rent is so racked, that all that they can 
do, is little enough to pay it. And when that is 
paid, alas ! the poor man, and his wife, and his 
children, have little left to take to, or to maintain 
themselves withal; they are fain to gnaw of a 
crust, to fare hardly, and to go thinly clad. 
Sometimes they have victuals, and sometimes 
none. The poor children cry for bread. Poor 
widows, also, and poor fatherless children, are 
found weeping and mourning in their houses, and 
in their streets. So that now we may with 
Solomon, "Turn and consider all the oppressions 
that are wrought under the sun," Eccles. iv. 1, 
We may behold the tears of the oppressed, and 
none comforteth them. For the mighty ones do 
wrong the weaker; even as the stronger beasts 
do push and harm the feebler. These griping 
oppressors do pinch the poor even to the quick. 
They pluck away from the fatherless and widows 
that little which they have. If there be but a 
cow, or a few sheep left, they will have them. 
If there be a little commodity of house or land, 
oh what devices they have to wind it in, and to 
wring it away! These tyrants will go as nigh 
as the bed thej lie upon. Tliey know well enough 
the poor men are not able to wage law with them: 
and therefore they may do what wrong they will, 
and shew what cruelty they list. Hence cometh 
the tears of the oppressed; hence cometh the 
weeping and wailing of the poor. But, alas ! poor 
souls, they may well weep to ease their hearts a 
Uttle; but there is none to comfort them: remedy 
they can have none. But yet assuredly the ever- 
lasting God doth look upon them, and wiU be re- 

OPPBE38IOK. 153 

venged. For the cries of the poor, the fatherless, 
and the widows, have entered into the ears of the 
Lord of Hosts, who is an avenger of all such 
things, yea, a strong revenger, as Solomon saith, 
"Enter not into the field of the fatherless; for 
their revenger is strong. He himself will plead 
their cause against thee," Prov. xxiii. 10, 11. 
And again he saith, "Eob not the poor, because 
he is poor ; neither tread down the afilicted in the 
gate : for the Lord pleadeth their cause, and will 
spoil their soul that spoil them," Prov. xxii. 22. 
We see then, that the most just God will be re- 
venged on these immerciful tyrants. He will 
not always put up these wrongs and injuries done 
to the poor. In the eighth chapter of the prophet 
Amos, he sweareth by the excellency of Jacob, 
that he will never forget any of their works. 
And again, he saith, by his prophet Jeremiah, 
"Shall I not be avenged on such a nation as this? " 
Surely he will set his face against them, to root 
them out of the earth. For indeed they are not 
worthy to crawl upon the face of the earth, or to 
draw breath amongst the sons of men. It is 
written in the book of Psalms, xxi. 12, that God 
will set their fellows opposite against him, as a 
butt to shoot at — that he will put them apart — 
and the strings of his bow shall he make ready 
against their faces. Be astonished at this, ye 
heavens; and tremble, thou earth. Hear this, 
O ye cruel landlords, unmerciful oppressors, and 
blood-suckers of the earth. You may well be 
called blood-suckers: for you suck the blood of 
many poor men, women, and children : you eat it, 
you drink it, you have it served in at your simap- 
tuous tables every day, you swallow it up, and 
live by it ; and, as Job saith, xxiv. 5, "The wil- 


demess giveth you and your children food;" that 
is, you live by robbing and murdering. But woe, 
woe! unto you that ever you were born. For the 
blood of the oppressed, which you have eaten 
and drnnken, shall one day cry for speedy ven- 
geance against you; as the blood of Abel cried 
against Cain. Their blood shall witness against 
you in the day of judgment; and the tears of 
many poor starved children, orphans, and wi- 
dows shall cry out against you. Was the Lord 
revenged of Ahab, for his cruel and unjust deal- 
ing with poor Naboth, and shall he not be re- 
venged of you ? Did the dogs lap the blood of 
Ahab, and shall you escape? No, no; you 
shall not escape. "The Lord will be a swift wit- 
ness against you:" as he saith in Malachi. Was 
the Lord angry with the rich of his people, for 
oppressing the poor (so as the cry of the people 
and of their wives, against their oppressors, was 
heard of the Almighty) and do you think, you 
shall escape scot-free ? Doth not the like cause 
bring forth the like effect ? the like sin, the like 
punishment? Know therefore for a certainty, 
that the Lord hath coffers full of vengeance 
against you, and one day he will unlock them, 
and bring them forth in the sight of all men. 
Know also, that the timber of your houses, and 
the stones of your walls, which you have built 
by oppression and blood, shall cry against you in 
the day of the Lord's wrath, as the prophet 
Habakkuk, ii. 11, telleth you, " The stone (saith 
he) shall cry out of the wall; and the beam out 
of the timber shall answer it." Where the pro- 
phet telleth you, that the walls of your houses 
built in blood shall cry out loud and shrill, and 
play the choristers in that behalf; so as they shall 


answer one another on either side. The one side 
singeth, behold blood: the other, behold miu-der. 
The one side behold deceit: the other, behold 
cruelty. The one behold piling and poling: the 
other, behold covetousness. The one, behold 
robbery: the other, behold penury. And thus 
you see how the stones and timber of your houses 
shall descant upon you. And howsoever you put 
on your brazen brows, and harden yoiu* hearts 
against these threatenings of the most terrible 
God and Lord of Hosts; yet one day, you shall 
(spite of your hearts) will ye, niU ye, be brought 
forth unto judgment; you shall once come to 
your reckoning, you shall at last be apprehended, 
convented, and arraigned at the bar of God's 
tribunal-seat before the great Judge of all the 
world. Then sentence shall pass against you; 
even that most dreadful sentence, " Go ye cursed 
into hell-fire, there to be tormented with the devil 
and his angels for ever." Oh then, woe, woe unto 
you! "For what shall it profit a man to win the 
whole world, and lose his own soul?" saith our 
Lord Jesus. Surely even as much, as if one 
should win a farthing, and lose an hundred thou- 
sand pounds: For, if he shall be cast into hell- 
fire, which hath not given of his own goods 
righteously gotten, as our Saviour avoucheth; 
where then shall he be cast that hath stolen other 
men's goods? And if he shall be damned that 
hath not clothed the naked, what shall become 
of him that hath made naked them that were 
clothed? Oh, therefore, repent in time, O ye 
cruel oppressors; seek the Lord whilst he may be 
found; call upon him while he is near; lay aside 
yoxur savage cruelty; visit the fatherless and widow 
in their distress; deal your bread to the hungry; 


help them to their right which suffer wrong; deal 
mercifully with your tenants ; rack not your rents 
any more: pinch not the poor souls, for whom 
Christ died ; pity them 1 say, but pinch them not ; 
deal kindly and friendly with them; remember 
your great accounts; consider the shortness of 
your days, and the vanity of your life: rend your 
hearts, and not your clothes. Turn unto the Lord 
with all your heart, with weeping, fasting, and 
mourning: prevent God's wrath with a sacrifice 
of tears ; pacify his anger with the calves of your 
lips and with a contrite spirit ; be grieved for 
that which is past, and amend that which is to 
come. Stand it out no more at the sword's point 
against God; for it will not boot you to strive: 
he is too strong for you. Your only wisdom is to 
come in. Come in, therefore, come in ye rebel- 
lious generation; submit yourselves to the great 
King, humble yourselves under his mighty hand ; 
cast down your swords and targets; yield unto 
your God. So shall you escape the vengeance to 
come; so shall God accept you, have mercy upon 
you, receive you to favour, grant you a general 
pardon for all your rebellions, and admit you into 
the number of his faithful and loyal subjects, 

Pliil. I do conceive, by divers speeches which 
you have alleged, that goods gotten by oppression 
and cruelty, will never prosper long. For oppres- 
sors coin their money upon their neighbour's skins. 
How then can it be blessed? 

Theol. You have spoken a truth. For, as it 
hath been shewed before, that those goods which 
are gotten by swearing and lying are cursed: so 
all these that are gotten by oppression and 
violence are more cursed. Therefore the Lord 
saith by his prophet Jeremiah, xvii. 11, " As the 


partridge gathereth the young which she hath not 
brought forth, so he that gathereth riches, and 
not bj right, shall leave them in the midst of his 
days: and at his end shall be a fool, and his name 
shall be written in the earth." 

Phil. Would to God our magistrates and 
governors would take speedy order for the remedy- 
ing of these things; and for the redressing of such 
grievous enormities as are amongst us; or that 
they themselves would step in, and deliver the 
oppressed from the hand of the oppressor. 

Theol. Job was an excellent man for such 
matters. For it is saiS of him, xxix. 17, " That 
he brake the jaws of the unrighteous man, and 
plucked the prey out of his teeth ; " where we 
see, how Job was the means to deliver the innocent, 
and to pull the lamb out of the lion's claws. 
Moreover, it is written of him in the same chapter, 
that " The blessing of him that was ready to perish 
came upon him, and that he caused the widow's 
heart to rejoice: that he was eyes to the blind, 
feet to the lame, and the father to the poor; and 
when he knew not the cause, he sought it out 
diligently." Oh, what a notable man was this! 
Oh, that we had many Jobs in these days! Wise 
Solomon doth most gravely advise us aU to follow 
Job's example in this behalf. " Deliver (saith he) 
them that are oppressed and drawn to death. 
For shouldest thou withdraw thyself from them 
which go down to the slaughter r" Prov. xxiv. 11, 
12. Would to God that this holy coimsel were 
well weighed and practised amongst us! 

Phil. I marvel much, with what face these 
cruel oppressors can come before God in his 
holy temple, to pray, and offer up their sacri- 
fices unto him. For we see, many of them 


though they have such foul hands and foul 
hearts, as we have heard ; yet for all that, will 
most impudently presume to come to the Church 
and pray ; or at least, when they are laid in their 
beds at nights, and half asleep, then will they 
tumble over their prayers, or be pattering some 

TJieol. Alas, alas! poor souls; all that they 
do in matters of God's worship is but hypocrisy, 
and dissimulation ; for in truth, they care not for 
God, they love him but from the teeth outward ; 
their mouths are with him, but their heart goeth 
after eovetousness, and their hands are full of 
blood. And therefore God doth both abhor them 
and their prayers ; for he saith, " Though they 
stretch out their hands, yet will I hide mine eyes 
from them; and though they make many prayers, 
yet will I not hear them. For their hands are 
full of blood," Isa. i. 15. Moreover the Holy 
Ghost saith, " He thatturneth away his ear from 
hearing the law, even his prayer is abominable," 
Prov. xxviii. 9. David saith, " If I regard wick- 
edness in my heart, God will not hear my prayer," 
Psalm Ixvi. 18. It is also affirmed, John ix. 31, 
that, " God heareth not sinners:" that is, stub- 
born and careless sinners. So then, we may 
clearly see, by all these testimonies of holy writ, 
what account God maketh of the prayers of 
oppressors, and all other profane and ungodly 
men; namely, that he doth hate them, and abhor 
them, as most loathsome and odious in his sight. 

Phil. Now in conclusion, shew us the causes 
of oppression. 

Theol. The causes are these: cruelty, covet- 

* " Our Father," a name for the Lord's Prayer. 


ousness, hard-heartedness, an evil conscience, the 

Thil. Let us hear ako the remedies. 

Theol. The remedies are these: pity, con- 
tentment, tender affections, a good conscience, 
much prayer. 


Phil. Now, sir, as you have at large uttered 
your mind, concerning these gross corruptions of 
the world, and have plainly and evidently proved 
them to be the deadly poison of the soul, so also, 
I pray you, satisfy us in this, whether they be 
not hurtful also to the body, goods, and name. 

Theol. I have dwelt the longer in these com- 
mon vices of the world, because almost all sorts 
of men are stained with one or other of them; 
and therefore they can never be enough spoken 
against. " For the whole world lieth in them," 
as St. John testifieth, 1 Epis. v. 19. If men 
therefore, could be recovered of these diseases, 
no doubt there would be a ready passage made 
for the abundance of grace; and we should have 
a most flourishing church and commonwealth; 
but as long as these do he in the way, there is 
small hope of greater mercies and blessings to 
be poured upon us; or that ever we shall come 
to have an inward conversation with God. For 
these vices bhnd our eyes, burden our hearts, 
and as the prophet Jeremiah saith, v. 25, 
" hinder many things from us." But touching 


your petition, I must needs grant, that as these 
vices are the very bane of the soul, and most 
certain signs of condemnation, so are they very 
dangerous to the body, goods, and name ; yea, 
and to the whole land, both church and common- 

Phil. Shew us out of the scriptures what 
danger thev bring to the body? 

Theol. The Lord our God saith, " That if we 
will not obey him nor keep his commandments, 
but break his covenant, he will appoint over us 
hasty plagues, consumptions, and the burning 
ague, to consume the eyes, and to make the 
heart heavy," Lev. xxvi. So also he saith, 
" That if we will not obey his voice, to observe 
all his commandments and ordinances, that then 
he will make the pestilence cleave to us, until 
he have consumed us ; that he will smite us with 
fever, with the botch of Egypt, with the eme- 
rods, with the scab, and with the itch, that also 
he will smite us with madness, and with bhnd- 
ness, and with astonishment of heart," Deut. 
xxviii. So then, you see what great evils the 
Lord threateneth to inflict upon our bodies in 
this life, for these and such like sins. But on the 
contrary the Holy Ghost saith, " Fear God, and 
depart from evil: so health shall be unto thy 
navel, and moisture unto thy bones," Prov. iii. 
7, 8. 

Phil. What evil do these fore-named sins brmg 
upon us in our goods and outward estate? 

Theol. They cause God to curse us all in that 
we set our hand unto, as plentifully appeareth in 
the fore-named chapters, where the Lord saith 
thus, " If thou wilt not obey the commandments 
of the Lord thy God, cursed shalt thou be in the 


town, cursed also in the field, cursed shall be thy 
basket and thy store, cursed shall be the fruit of 
thy body, and the fruit of thy land, and the in- 
crease of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep; 
cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and 
cursed also when thou goest out. The Lord shall 
send upon thee cursing, trouble, and shame, in all 
that thou settest thy hand unto; and further he 
saith, "That he will break the staff of their 
bread; that ten women shall bake their bread in 
one oven, and they shall deliver their bread 
again by weight; and shall eat and not be satis- 
fied." You do, therefore, apparently see that 
these sins will draw down G-od's wrath upon us 
and all that we have. 

Phil. What hurt do these sins to our good 
name ? 

Theol. They bring reproach, shame, and in- 
famy upon us, and cause us to be abhorred and 
contemned of all good men; they do utterly blot 
out our good name. For as virtue maketh men 
honourable and reverend, so iace maketh men vile 
and contemptible. This is set down where the 
Lord threateneth Israel, that for their sins and 
disobedience he will make them a proverb and. 
common talk; yea, a reproach and astonishment 
amongst all people. In sundry other places of 
the prophets, he threateneth for their sins to 
make them a reproach, a shame, an hissing, and 
nodding of the head to all nations. 

Phil. I do verily thus think, that as sin gene- 
rally doth stain every man's good name, which 
all are chary and tender of, so especially it doth 
blot those which are in high places, and of 
special note, for learning, wisdom, and godliness. 

Theol. You have spoken most truly, and 



agreeable to the scriptures ; for the scriptures 
saith, "As a dead fly causeth the apothecary's 
ointment to stink, so doth a Httle folly him that 
is in reputation for wisdom and honour." Whei'e 
Solomon sheweth, that if a fly get into the 
apothecary's box of ointment, and die, and pu- 
trify in it, she marreth it, though it be never so 
precious ; even so, if a Httle sin get into the 
heart, and break out in the forehead of a man of 
great fame for some singular gifts, it will blear 
him, though he be never so excellent. 

Phil. Shew this, I pray you, more plainly, 
Theol. We observe this in all experience, that 
if a nobleman be a good man, and have many 
excellent parts in him of courtesy, patience, 
humility, and love of religion ; yet if he be 
covetous, the common people will have their eye 
altogether upon that; and they will say, such a 
nobleman is a very good man, but for one thing: 
he is exceedingly covetous, oppresseth the poor 
men, and dealeth hardly with his tenants, keep- 
eth no house, doth little good in the country 
where he dwelleth ; and this is it that marreth 
all. Moreover, let a judge, a justice, or a ma- 
gistrate, be endued with excellent gifts of pru- 
dence, policy, temperance, liberality, and know- 
ledge in the law, yet if they be given to anger, 
or taking of bribes, oh, how it will grieve them 
amongst the people! for they will say, he is a 
worthy man indeed, but there is one thing in 
him that marreth all: he is an exceedingly angry 
and furious man; he is as angry as a wasp; he 
will be in a pelting chafe* for every trifle ; he 
will fret and fume if you do but blow upon him; 

* A raging passion, so as to puisue and pelt you. 


and beside this, he is a very corrupt man : lie 
is a great taker of bribes; he loveth well to be 
bribed; he will do any thing for bribes. Fur- 
thermore, if any preacher be a man of great gifts, 
the common people will say of him, oh! he is a 
worthy man indeed, an excellent scholar, a pro- 
found divine, a singular man in a pulpit ; but 
yet for all that he hath a shrewd touch whieii 
marreth all; he is an exceedingly proud man; he 
is as proud as Lucifer; he hath very great gifts 
indeed, but I warrant you he knoweth it well 
enough ; for he carrieth his crest very high, and 
looketh very sternly and disdainfully upon all 
other men. He is unmeasurably puffed up with 
overweening,* and thinketh that he toucheth the 
clouds with his head. Thus, therefore, we see 
how the dead flies mar all, and how some one 
sin doth disgrace a man that otherwise doth 

Phil. What is the cause why some one sin 
doth so blot and smite the most excellent men? 

Theol. The reason hereof is, because such men 
are a candle, set upon a candlestick, or rather 
upon a scaffold or mountain, for all men to be- 
hold and look upon ; and sure it is, they have a 
thousand eyes upon them every day ; and that not 
only gazing upon them, but also prying very 
narrowly into them, to spy out the least mote 
that they may make a mountain of it. For, as 
in a clean white paper, one little spot is soon es- 
pied, but in a piece of brown paper twenty great 
blurs scarce discerned ; even so in noblemen, 
judges, magistrates, justices, preachers, and pro- 
fessors, the least spot or speck is soon seen into ; 

* High conceits of himself. 


but amongst the baser sort, and most gross livers, 
almost nothing is espied or regarded. 

Phil. Since the eyes of all men are bent and 
ffxed upon men as are of some note, therefore, they 
had need very heedfully to look to their steps, 
that they may take avray all advantage from them 
that secth advantage. 

TheoJ. Yes, verily. And furthermore, they 
had need to pray with David always, " Direct my 
steps, O Lord, in thy word; and let none iniquity 
l.ave dominion over me;" and again, "Order my 
doings, that my footsteps slip not: uphold me in 
mine integrity;" for if such be never so little 
given to swearing, to lying, to drink, or to women, 
it is espied by and by ; and therewith their credit 
is cracked, their fame overcast, their glory eclips- 
ed, and the date of their good name presently 

FMl. Now as you have shewed what great 
hurt these sins do bring upon our souls, bodies, 
goods, and names; so also, I pray you, shew what 
danger they do bring upon the whole land. 

Theol. Questionless they do pull down the 
wrath of God upon us all, and give him just cause 
to break all in pieces, and utterly to subvert and 
overthrow the good estate both of church and 
commonwealth; yea, to make a final consump- 
tion and desolation of all; for they be the very 
firebrands of God's wrath, and as it were touch- 
w^ood, to kindle his anger and indignation upon 
us. For the apostle saith, " For such things 
Cometh the wrath of God upon the children of 
disobedience," Col. ili. 6. 

Pliil. Declare unto us, out of the scriptures, 
how the Lord in former times hath punished whole 
nations and kinsjdoms for these and such like sins. 


Theol. In the fourth of Hosea, the Lord t^Ueth 
his people, that he hath a controversy with the 
inhabitants of the land, and the reason is added, 
because there was no truth, nor mercy, nor know- 
ledge of God in the land. By swearing, lying, 
killing, stealing, and whoring, they break out, and 
blood toucheth blood. Therefore shall the land 
mourn ; and every one that dwelleth therein shall 
be cut oflf". Here then we see what it is will in- 
cense God against us, and cause us all to mourn. 
So likewise the Lord threateneth, by his prophet 
Amos, viii. 4-8, " That for cruelty and oppression 
of the poor, he would plague the whole land. 
Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one 
mourn that dwelleth therein?" Again, the Lord 
saith by his prophet Jeremiah, vii. 19, 20, '"Do 
they provoke me to anger, and not themselves, to 
the confusion of their own faces? Therefore thus 
saith the Lord, behold mine anger and my wrath 
shall be poured upon this place, upon man, and 
beast, upon the tree of the field, and upon the 
fruit of the ground; and it shall bum, and not be 
quenched." Again the Lord saith, " If ye will 
not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the 
Lord, that this house shall be waste, and I will 
prepare destroyers against thee, every one with 
his weapons, and they shall cut down thy chief 
cedar trees, and cast them in the fire." Likewise 
the Lord threateneth, by his prophet Ezekiel, v. 
7, " Because ye have not walked in my statutes, 
nor kept my judgments; therefore behold, I, 
even I, come against thee, and will execute judg- 
ment in the midst of thee, even in the sight of 
nations; and I will do in thee that I never did 
before, neither will I do any more the like because 
of all thine abominations. For, in the midst of 


thee, the fathers shall eat their sons, and the sons 
shall eat then" fathers." Again, by the same 
prophet, the Lord saith, vii. 23-27, " The land is 
full of the.judgment of blood, and the city full of 
cruelty. Wherefore, I will bring the most wicked 
of the heathen, and they will possess their houses. 
I will also make the pomp of the mighty to cease, 
and the holy places shall be defiled. When de- 
struction Cometh, they shall seek peace, and not 
have it. Calamity shall come upon calamity, and 
rumour upon rumour. Then shall they seek a 
vision of the prophet, but the law shall perish 
from the priests, and counsel from the ancient. 
The king shall mourn, and the prince shall be 
clothed with desolation, and the hands of the 
people in the land shall be troubled. I will do 
unto them according to their ways, and according 
to their judgments will I judge them ; and they 
shall know that I am the Lord." Last of all, 
the Lord saith by his prophet, "Hear, earth! 
behold, I will cause a plague to come upon this 
people, even the fruit of their own imaginations, 
because they have not taken heed to my words, 
n or to my law ; but cast it off. ' ' Almost innumer- 
able places to this purpose are to be found in the 
writings of the prophets ; but these may suffice to 
prove the main point: to wit, that the just God 
doth punish whole nations and kingdoms for the 
sins and rebellions thereof. 

Phil. Since all these sins (for the which the 
Lord did execute such universal punishments upon 
his own people) do abound and overflow in this 
land, may we not justly fear some great plague 
to fall upon us? and the rather, because our 
transgressions do increase daily, and grow to a 
full height and ripeness; so as it seemeth the 


harvest of God's vengeance draweth near, and 

Theol. We may indeed justly fear and tremble. 
For if Grod spared not the angels that sinned, how 
shall he spare us? If he spared not his own 
people, what can we look for? If he spared not 
the natural branches, how shall he spare us which 
are wild by nature? Are we better than they? 
Can we look to be spared, when they were pun- 
ished? Are not our sins as many and as great 
as theirs? Doth not the same cause bring forth 
the same effect? Is the arm of the Lord short- 
ened ? or is not God the same just God, to punish 
sin now, that he was then? Yes, yes, assuredly. 
And therefore we have great cause to mourn and 
lament, to quake and tremble; because there is a 
naked sword of vengeance hanging over our heads. 
Thus did Jeremiah, iv. 19, thus did Amos, v. 6, 
thus did Habakkuk, rii. 16, when they plainly 
saw the imminent wrath of God approaching upon 
the people of Israel and Judah. 

Phil. I think we may the rather doubt and fear 
because the punishment of these forenamed vices 
is neglected by the magistate. For commonly, 
when they that bear the sword of justice, do not 
draw it out to punish notorious offenders and 
malefactors, the Lord himself will take the mat- 
ter into his own hands, and be revenged in his 
own person, which is most dreadful and danger- 
ous; "for it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands 
of the living God," Heb. x. 31. 

Theol. You have spoken a truth: for if those 
which are God's deputies and vicegerents in the 
earth, do their duties faithfully in punishiug vice 
and maintaining virtue, in smiting the wicked 
and favouring the godly, then assuredly evil shall 


be taken out of Israel, God's wrath prevented, 
and his judgments intei'cepted; as it is written, 
Ps. cvi. 30, " Phineas stood up and executed judg- 
ment, and the plague was stayed." But if they 
(for fear, favour, affection, gain, flattery, bribery, 
or any other sinister respect) will be too sparing 
and remiss in punishing of gross offenders, and be 
rather ready to smite the righteous ; then do they 
exceedingly provoke God's wrath against the land, 
and against themselves. 

Phil. One thing I do greatly lament, that there 
be either none at all, or very slender censures, 
either by the civil or ecclesiastical authority, for 
divers of these forenamed vices: as pride, eove- 
tousness, oppression, lying, idleness, swearing, &c. 

Theol. It is a thing to be lamented indeed. 
For where do we see a proud man punished, a 
covetous man punished, an oppressor punished, 
a swearer punished, a liar punished, an idle person 
punished? Now, because they know they cannot 
or shall not be punished, therefore they are alto- 
gether hardened, and emboldened in their sins; 
as the wise man saith, Eccl. viii. 11, "Because 
sentence against an evil work is not executed 
speedily, therefore the hearts of the children of 
men are fully set in them to do evil." 

Phil. One thing I do much muse at, wherein 
also I desire to be further satisfied, to wit what is 
the cause that under so godly a prince, so many 
good laws, and so much good preaching and teach- 
ing, there should notwithstanding be such an ex- 
cess and overflowing of sin, in all estates. 

Theol. The causes hereof are divers and mani- 
fold. But I will nominate four especial ones in 
my judgment: — The first is man's natural corrup- 
tion, which is so strong as almost nothing can 


bridle it; the second is ill-precedents and exter- 
nal provocations to evil ; the third is the want 
of teaching in many congregations of the land, by 
reason whereof many know not sin to be sin; 
the last reason is the corruption and negligence 
of some such as are in authority. 

Phil. Doth not this inundation and overflow- 
ing of sin, with the impunity of the same, prog- 
nosticate great wrath against us? 

Theol. Yes, undoubtedly, as hath in part been 
shewed before. And there be divers other presages 
of wrath, though not of the same kind, which are 
these: — Unthankfulness for the gospel — the abuse 
of our long peace — our general security — our 
secret idolatries — our ripeness in all sin — our 
abuse of all God's mercies — our abuse of his long 
patience — the coldness of professors— our not 
profiting by former judgments; as pestilence, 
famine, death, and the shaking of the sword. 

Phil. This last I take to be a special token of 
approaching vengeance, that we have not profited 
by former waniings. 

Theol. True indeed: for it is an ordinary thing 
with God, when men will not profit by mild cor- 
rections, and common punishments, then to lay 
greater upon them; and when a former trouble 
doth us no good, we are to fear a final consuming 
trouble. For so we read in the prophecy of 
Hosea, v. 12, 14; that at the first, God was to 
Ephraim as a moth, and to Judah as rottenness, 
but afterwards, when as they profited not by it, 
he was to Ephraim as a lion, and to Judah as a 
lion's whelp. So the Lord saith, in another place, 
that if they will not come in and yield obedience 
at the first call of his wrath, then he will punish 
them seven times more. Lev. xxvi. 18. But if 


they continue in their stubbornness, then he 
threateneth to bring seven times more plagues 
upon them, according to their sins. If by all 
these they would not be reformed, but walk stub- 
bornly against him, then he threateneth yet seven 
times more for their sins; and the fourth time, 
yet seven times more, ver. 21, 24, 28. The proof 
hereof we have in the book of the Judges, where 
we read, how the people of Israel, for their sins, 
were in subjection to the king of Aram, Naharim, 
eight years ; afterward, because they profited no- 
thing by it, but returned to their old sins, there- 
fore they served Eglon, king of Moab, eighteen 
years. After that again, for their new sins and 
provocations, the Lord gave them up into the 
hands of Midian seven years. After all this, for 
the renewing of their sins, the Lord sold them 
into the hands of the Philistines and the Ammon- 
ites, which did grievously vex and oppress them, 
for the space of eighteen years. Last of all, we 
read that when neither famine nor pestilence 
could cause them to return unto him, then he de- 
livered them up to the sword of their enemies, 
and held them in bondage and captivity three- 
score and ten years. After all this, when they 
were delivered out of captivity and returned home 
safely to their own nation, and enjoyed some good 
time of peace and rest, yet at last they fell to re- 
newingof their sins,and therefore the Lord plagued 
them most grievously by the divided Greek em- 
pire, even by Magog, and Egypt, Seleucidae, and 
Lagidse,* and that by the space almost of three 
hundred years. And this is it that the prophet 
Hosea did foretell, iii. 4, "That the children of 

* Names of the enemies of Israel. See 1st Maccabees. 


Israel should remain many days without a king, 
and without a prince, without an offering, and 
without an image, without an ephod, and without 

Phil. You have very largely laid open this last 
token of vengeance ; to wit, that God at the first 
doth but heat us upon the coat, but if we continue 
in sin he will whip us on the bare skin, and if men 
will not yield at the first gentle stroke, then he will 
strike harder and harder, till he have broken our 
stout stomachs and made our great hearts come 
down. Therefore it is good yielding at the first, 
for we shall get nothing by our sturdiness against 
him. We do but cause him to double his strokes, 
and strike us both sidehngs and overthwart: for 
he cannot endure that we should gruntle* against 
him with stubborn suUenness. But now to the 
point: since there are so many presages and fore- 
signs of God's wTath, I pray you show what it 
is that stayeth the execution and very downfall 
of the same. 

Theol. The prayers and tears of the faithful 
are the special mean that stay the hand of God 
from striking of us ; for the prayers of the right- 
eous are of great force with him, even able 
to do all things. St. James saith, v. 16, " The 
prayer of a righteous man availeth much, if it be 
fervent," and bringeth the example of Elias to 
prove it; for, saith he, " Though Elias was a man 
subject to the like passions that we be, yet was 
he able by his prayers both to open and shut the 
heavens." Abraham, likewise, prevails so far 
with God, by his prayers for Sodom, tliat if there 
had been but ten just men found in it, it had been 

* Murmur and grudge. 


spared. The Almighty God saith, in the 15th 
chap, of Jeremiah, " Though Moses and Samuel 
stood before me, yet mine affection could not be 
towards this people;" which doth plainly show- 
that Moses and Samuel might have done much 
with him, had he not been so fully bent against 
his people for their sins, as he was. So likewise 
he saith in the prophecy of Ezekiel, xiv. 14, 
" Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and 
Job were amongst them, they should deliver but 
their own souls by their righteousness;" which 
also sheweth, that if there had been any possible 
entreating of him for the land, these three men 
might have done it; but now he was resolutely 
determined to the contrary. In respect there- 
fore, that the zealous preachers, and true profes- 
sors of the gospel do so much prevail with God 
by their prayers, they are said to be the defence 
and strength of kingdoms and countries, of 
churches and commonwealths; as it is said of 
Elijah, that he was the chariot of Israel and the 
horseman thereof. Elisha also was environed 
with a mountain full of horses and chariots of fire. 
And sure it is that Elijah and Elisha are not only 
the chariots and horsemen of Israel, but also by 
their prayers they do cause God himself to be a 
wall of fire round about it ; as the prophet saith, 
Ezekiel xx. 30, " The Lord God saith, I sought 
for a man among them, that should make up the 
hedge and stand in the gap before me for the 
land; that I might not destroy it, but I found 
none." Which sheweth that if there had been 
but some few to have stood in the breach, he 
would have spared the whole land. This also 
appeareth more plainly in the prophecy of Jere- 
miah, V. 1, where the Lord saith, " Run to and 


Iro by the streets of Jerusalem, behold and en- 
quire in the open places thereof, if ye can find a 
man, or if there be any that executeth judgment 
and seeketh the tiuth, and I will spare it." Oh 
then, mark and consider what a man may do; yea, 
what one man may do, what an Abraham may do, 
what a Moses may do, what an EHjah may do, 
what a Daniel, what a Samuel, what a Job, what 
a Noah may do. Some one man, by reason of 
his high favour with the Eternal, is able some- 
times to do more for a land, by his prayers and 
tears, than many prudent men by their counsel, 
or valiant men by their swords. Tea, it doth 
evidently appear, in the sacred volume of the Holv 
Ghost, that some one poor preacher, being full of 
the spirit and power of Elijah, doth more in his 
study (either for oifence or defence; either for 
the turning away of wrath, or the procuring for 
mercy) than a camp-royal, even forty thousand 
strong; or as the Spirit speaketh. Cant. iii. 7, 
" Though they all have their swords girded to 
their thighs, and be of the most vahant men in 
Israel." All this is clearly proved in one verse of 
the book of the Psalms, cvi. 23, where the prophet, 
having reckoned up the sins of the people, addeth, 
" Therefore the Lord minded to destroy them, 
had not Moses (his chosen) stood in the breach 
to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy 
them." See, therefore, what one man may do 
with God. Some one man doth so bind the 
hands of God, that when he should strike, he hath 
uo power to do it, as it is said of Lot, Gen. xix. 
22, " I can do nothing till thou be come out." 
See how the Lord saith he can do nothing, be- 
cause he will do nothing. He doth wittingly and 
wUlingly suffer his hands to be manacled and 


bound behind him, for some few's sake, which he 
doth make more account of than all the world 
besides; so precious and dear are they in his 
sight. Likewise it is written, that the Lord was 
exceedingly incensed against the Israelites for 
their idolatrous calf, which they made in Horeb; 
yet he could do nothing because Moses would 
not let him ; and therefore he falleth to entreat- 
ing of Moses, Esod. xxvii. that Moses would let 
him alone, and entreat no more for them. Oh, 
(saith the Lord to Moses) " Let me alone that 
my wrath may wax hot against this people, and 
that I may consume them." Thus Ave see that 
except Lot go out of the city, and Moses let hun 
alone, he can do nothing. Oh the profoundness 
and altitude of Grod's mercy towards mankind! 
Oh the heighth and depth, length and breadth of 
his love towards some! Oh that the most glorious 
and invisible Grod should so greatly respect the 
sons of men! " For what is man, that he should 
be mindful of him ? Or the son of man that he 
should regard him?" Let us, therefore, that are 
the Lord's remembrancers, give him no rest, nor 
let him alone until we have some security, and 
good assurance from him, that he will turn away 
from us the wrath which we most justly have 
deserved; that he will spare us and be merciful 
unto us. Yea, and as the prophet saith, Isa. Ixii. 
7, "Let us never leave him, nor give him over, 
till he repair and set up Jerusalem, the praise of 
the world:" lest for default hereof, that be charged 
upon us, which was charged upon the head of 
some of the prophets in Israel, that they were 
like the foxes in the waste places, that they had 
not risen up in the gaps, neither made up the 
hedge for the house of Israel. For novv-a-days, 


alas! we have many hedge-breakers — few hedge- 
makers ; many openers of gaps — few stoppers ; 
many breakei*s of breaches to let in the floods of 
God's wrath upon us; but very few that, by true 
repentance, go about to make up the breach, and 
to let down the sluices, that the gushing streams 
of God's vengeance may be stopped and stayed. 

Phil. I do now plainly see that there be some 
in high favour with God, and, as we say, greatly 
in his books; since his love is so great unto them, 
that for their sakes he spareth thousands. 

Theol. It is written in the Proverbs of Solo- 
mon, that the righteous in a land are the estab- 
lishment of the king's throne; and the wicked the 
overthrowing of the same. The words are these, 
XXV. 4, " Take away the dross from the silver, 
and there will proceed a vessel for the finer. 
Take away the wicked from the king, and his 
throne shall be established in righteousness." 
Likewise, in another place the wise man affirmeth, 
that the righteous are the strength and bulwark 
of cities, towns, and corporations, but the wicked 
are the weakening and undoing of all, xxix. 8, 
" Scornful men," saith he, " set a city on fire, 
but the wise turn away wrath." To this purpose, 
most excellent is that saying of Eliphaz, in Job 
xxii. 30, " The innocent shall deliver the land, 
and it shall be preserved by the pureness of their 
hands." We read in the book of Chronicles, that 
when the Levites and the priests were cast out 
by Jeroboam, they came to Jerusalem, and all 
such as set their hearts to seek the Lord God of 
Israel came with them. And then, afterward, it 
is said, they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, 
and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon mighty. 
By all these testimonies, it is evident that princes, 


kingdoms, cities, towns, and villages, are fortified 
by the righteous therein; and for their sakes also 
great plagues are kept back. Which thing one 
of the heathen did well see into, as appeareth by 
his words, which are these: "When God mean- 
eth well unto a city, and will do good unto it, 
then he raiseth up good men; but when he 
meaneth to punish a city or country, and do ill 
unto it, then he taketh away the good men from 

Theol. It is very manifest by all that you have 
alleged, that the wicked fare the better every 
day in the year, for the righteous that dwell 
amongst them. 

Theol. All experience doth teach it, and the 
scriptures do plentifully avouch it ; for did not 
churlish Laban fare the better for Jacob his kins- 
man ? Doth he not acknowledge that the Lord 
had blessed him for his sake? Did not Potiphar 
fare the better for godly Joseph ? Doth not the 
scripture say, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian's 
house for Joseph his sake ? And that the Lord 
made all that he did to prosper in his hands? 
Did not Obededom fare the better for the ark ? 
Did not the seventy-and-six souls that were in the 
ship with Paul, speed all the better for his sake? 
Did not the angel of God tell him in the night 
that God had given unto him all that sailed with 
him ? for, otherwise, a thousand to one, they 
had been all drowned. Therefore, the children 
of God may very fitly be compared to a great 
piece of cork, which, though it be cast into the 
sea, having many nails fastened in it, yet it bear- 
eth them all vip from sinking, which otherwise, 
would sink of themselves. What shall we say 
then, or what shall we conclude, but that the 


ungodly are more beholden to the righteous than 
they are aware of? 

Phil. 1 do thmk if it were not for God's chil- 
dren, it would go hard with the wicked. For, if 
they were sorted and shoaled out from amongst 
them, and placed by themselves, what could thej' 
look for, but wrath upon wrath, and plague upon 
plague — till the Lord had made a final consump- 
tion of them, and swept them like dung from the 
face of the earth. 

Theol. Sure it is, all creatures would frown 
upon them. The sun would unwillingly shine 
upon them, or the moon give them any light. 
The stars would not be seen of them, and the 
planets would hide themselves. The beasts would 
devour them, the fowls would pick out their eyes. 
The fishes would make war against them, and all 
creatures in heaven and earth would rise up in arms 
against them. Yea, the Lord himself from heaven 
would rain down fire and brimstone upon them. 

Phil. Tet for all this, it is a wonder to con- 
sider how deadly the wicked hate the righteous, 
and almost iu every thing oppose themselves 
against them, and that in most virulent and spite- 
ful manner. They rail and slander, scoff and 
scorn, mock and mow at them, as though they 
were not worthy to hve upon the earth. They 
esteem every pelting rascal, and prefer every vile 
varlet before them. And though they have their 
lives and hberty, their breath and safety, and all 
that they have else by them, yet, for all that, 
they could be content to eat their hearts with 
garlic ; so great, so fiery, so burning and hissing 
hot is their fury and mahce against them. 

Theol. They may very fitly be compared to 
a moth that fretteth in pieces the same cloth 


wherein she is bred; or to a certain worm or can- 
ker, that corrodeth and eateth through the heart 
of the tree that nourisheth her; or unto a man 
that standeth upon a bough in the top of a tree 
where there is no more, and yet, with an axe 
choppeth it off, and there withal falieth down 
with it and breaketh his neck. Even so the fools 
of this world do what they can to chop asunder 
the bough that upholds them, but they may 
easily know what will follow. 

Phil. I see plainly they be much their own foes, 
and stand in their own light, and indeed know 
not what they do. For the benefit which they 
receive by such is exceeding great, and therefore 
by their mangling of them, they do but hold the 
stirrup to their own destruction. 

TTieol. Now to apply these things to ourselves, 
and to return to the first question of this argu- 
ment, may we not marvel that our nation is so 
long spared, considering that the sins thereof are 
so horrible and outrageous as they be? 

Phil. We may justly marvel at the wonderful 
patience of Grod. And we may well think that 
there be some in the land which stand in the 
breach, being in no small favour with his High- 
ness, since they do so much prevail. 

Theol. The merciful preservation of our most 
gracious king, who is the breath of our nostrils — 
the long continuance of our peace, and of the gos- 
pel — the keeping back of the sword out of the land, 
which our sins pull upon us — the frustrating of 
many plots and subtle devices which have been 
often intended against our state — yea, and the life 
of his Majesty's most royal person — make me to 
think that there be some strong pleaders with God, 
for the public good of us all. 


Fhil. You may well think so, indeed; for, by 
our sins, we have forfeited, and daily do forfeit, 
into God's hands, both our king, our country, our 
peace, our gospel, our lives, our goods, our lands, 
our livings, our wives, our children, and all that 
we have: but only the righteous (which are so 
near about the king, and in so high favour) do 
step in, and earnestly entreat for us, that the for- 
feitures may be released, and that we may have 
a lease, in parley, of them all again; or at least 
a grant of further time. But I pray you, sir, are 
not we to attribute something, concerning our 
good estate, to the policy of the land, the laws 
established, and the wisdom and counsel of our 
prudent governors ? 

Theol. Yes, assuredly, very much; as the ordi- 
nary and outward means, which God useth for our 
safety. For though the apostle Paul had a grant 
from God for the safety of his own life, and all 
that were with him in the ship, yet he said, Acts 
xxvii. 31, "Except the mariners abide in the ship, 
we cannot be safe;" shewing thereby, that unto 
faith, and prayers, the best and wisest means must 
be joined. We are therefore, upon our knees every 
day, to give thanks unto God for such good means 
of our safety, as he hath given us. 

Phil. Well then, as the prayers of the right- 
eous have been hitherto great means, both for the 
averting and turning away of wrath and the con- 
tinuance of favour; so shew, I pray you, what is 
the best course to be taken, and what in sound 
wisdom is to be done, both to prevent future 
dangers, and to continue God's favours and mer- 
cies still upon us. 

Theol. The best and surest course, that I can 
consider or conceive of, is, to repent heartily for 


sins past, and to reform our lives in time to come, 
to seek tlie Lord while he may be found, and to 
call upon him while he is near: to forsake our 
own ways, and our own imaginations, and to turn 
unto him with all our hearts, with weeping, with 
fasting, and with mourning; as the prophet Joel 
adviseth, "For our God is gracious and merciful, 
slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repent- 
eth him of the evil." All the prophets do counsel 
us to follow this course, and do plainly teach, 
that if we all (from the highest to the lowest) do 
meet the Lord with unfeigned repentance, and 
offer him the sacrifice of a contrite spirit, un- 
doubtedly he will be pacified towards us, and be 
merciful to our transgressions. This is most 
plainly set down in the 7th of Jeremiah, where 
the Lord saith thus to his people, "If you amend 
and redress your ways, and your works: if you 
execute judgment betwixt a man and his neigh- 
bour, and oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, 
and the widow, and shed no innocent blood in 
this place, neither walk after other gods to your 
destruction; then will I let you dwell in this 
place ; even in the land which I gave unto your 
fathers, for ever and ever." So likewise he saith 
by the same prophet, xxii. 3, "Execute ye judg- 
ment and righteousness, and deliver the oppress- 
ed from the hand of the oppressor, and vex not 
the fatherless, the widow or the strangers; do no 
violence, nor shed innocent blood in this place: 
for if you do this thing, then shall the kings 
sitting upon the tin-one of David, enter in by the 
gates of this house, and ride upon chariots and 
upon horses, both he, and his servants, and his 
people;" and again, iii. 22, "O ye disobedient 
children, return, and I will heal your rebellion." 

god's JUDGilESTS. 181 

The Lord also saith by his prophet, Isaiah i. 19, 
" If ye consent and obey ye shall eat the good 
things of the land; but if ye refuse and be rebel- 
lious, ye shall be devoured with the sword; for 
the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." The 
prophet Hosea, vi. 1, saith, " Come, let us return 
to the Lord, for he hath spoiled, and he will heal 
us; he hath wounded us, and he will bind us 
up ; and again, xiv. 1, " O Israel, return unto the 
Lord, for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity, and 
I will heal thy rebellion, and will love thee 
freely ; for mine anger is turned away from thee : 
I will be as the dew unto Israel, he shall grow 
as the Hly, and fasten his root as the tree of 
Lebanon ; his branches shall spread, and his 
beauty shall be as the olive tree ; and his smell 
as Lebanon." The prophet Mieah, vi. 8, telleth 
us what is good for us, and what is our best course, 
and what the Lord requireth at our hands ; name- 
ly, these four things: to do justly, to love mercy, 
to humble ourselves, and to walk with our God. 
The prophet Amos, v. 14, giveth the same coun- 
sel, saying, " Seek the Lord, and ye shall live ; 
seek good, and not evil ; hate the evil, and love 
the good, and establish judgment in the gate ; 
it may be, that the Lord of Hosts will be merciful 
unto the remnant of Joseph ;" also, the Lord 
himself saith, " If this nation, against whom I 
have pronounced, turn from their wickedness, I 
will repent of the plague I thought to bring upon 
them," Jeremiah xviii. 8. Thus we do plainly 
see what advice and counsel the prophets and holy 
men of God do give unto us. The sum of all 
is this, that if we do truly repent and turn unto 
him with all our hearts, studying to obey him, 
and walk in his ways,^en he wiU grant us any 


favour that we will require at his hands; for, 
even as woolpacks, and other soft matter beateth 
back, and dampeth the force of all shot; so peni- 
tent, melting, and soft hearts, do beat back the 
shot of Grod's wrath, and turn away his vengeance 
from us. Moreover, we may observe in all expe- 
rience, that when potentates are offended, or any 
great man hath conceived a displeasure against a 
poor man, that then he must run and ride, send 
presents, use his friends, break his sleeps, and 
never be quiet till he have pacified him. Even 
so must we deal with our God, seeing he hath 
taken a displeasure against us. Oh, therefore, 
that we would speedily use all possible means to 
pacify his wrath! Oh that we would, with one 
heart and voice, every one of us, from the highest 
to the lowest, humble ourselves before our God, 
forsake our former evil ways, be grieved for that 
we have done, and purpose never to do the like 
again ! Oh that it might go to the hearts of us, 
that we have so often and so grievously offended 
so loving a God, and so merciful a Father ! Oh 
that we would awake once at last, and rouse up 
our drowsy hearts, and ransack our sleepy con- 
sciences, crying out against our sins, that our sins 
might never cry out against us ! Oh that we 
would judge ourselves, accuse ourselves, indict 
oiu-selves, and condemn ourselves ; so should we 
never be adjudged, accused, indicted, or condemn- 
ed of the Lord! Oh that all hearts might sob, 
all souls might sigh, all loins might be smitten 
with sorrow, all faces gather blackness, and every 
man smite himself on the thigh, saying, what 
have I done ? Oh that both magistracy, minis- 
tery, and commonalty, \^uld purpose and vow, 
and even take a bond olkhemselves, that from 

god's JrDGMElfTS. 183 

henceforth, and from this day forward, thev would 
set their hearts to seek the Lord ; and that they 
would wholly give up themselves to his obedience! 
Oh that all men, women, and children, would fear 
God and keep his commandments ; would eschew 
evil, and do good ; would study to please God in 
all things, and to be fruitful in all good works ; 
making conscience to perform the duties of their 
general callings, and duties of their special call- 
ings; duties of the first table, and duties of the 
second table; that so God might be sincerely 
worshipped, his name truly reverenced, his Sab- 
baths religiously observed ; and that every man 
would deal kindly, mercifully, justly, and up- 
rightly with his neighbour ; that there might be 
no complaining, no crying in our streets ! Oh ! I 
say again and again, that if all of us, of what 
estate, degree, or condition soever, would walk in 
the paths of' our God, then doubtless we should 
live and see good days; all future dangers should 
be prevented, our peace prolonged, our state 
estabhshed, our king preserved, and the gospel 
continued. Then should we still enjoy our lives, 
our goods, our lands, our livings, our wives, our 
children, our houses and tenements, our orchards 
and gardens; yea, as the prophet saith, we should 
eat the good things of the land, spending our 
days in much comfort, peace, and tranquility; 
and leave great blessings unto our children and 
posterity, from age to age, from generation to 

Phil. You have fully answered my question, 
and well satisfied me therein, out of the scriptures : 
yet I pray you give me leave to add one thing 
unto that, which you have at large set down. 
The Lord saith by the prophet Amos, iv. 6-11, 


that for their sins and rebellions, he hath given 
them cleanness of teeth: that is, dearth and scar- 
city; and yet they did not turn unto him. Also he 
withheld the rain from them, and punished them 
with drought, and yet they did not turn unto him. 
Moreover he smote their corn, their great gardens, 
their orchards, vineyards, fig-trees, and olive-trees, 
with blasting and mildew, and the palmer-worm 
did devour them; and yet they did not return 
unto him. Last of all, he smote them with 
pestilence, and with the sword, and overthrew 
them, as he overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and 
they were as a firebrand plucked out of the burn- 
ing: yet, for all this, they did not turn unto him. 
" Ye have not turned unto me, saith the Lord." 
But now to come to the point. Out of this I 
gather, that if we multiply our transgressions, 
God will multiply his plagues upon us; but on 
the contrary, if we would unfeignedly turn unto 
the Lord our God with all our hearts, all plagues 
should be stayed, all dangers prevented: and no 
evil should fall upon us. For because they would 
not turn, therefore he smote them. If therefore 
they had turned, he would not have smote them, 
But now I pray you briefly conclude this point, 
and declare in few words, what it is that doth 
most materially concern our peace, and public 

Theol. These few then briefly 1 take to be 
things which belong to our peace: Let Solomon 
execute Joab and Shimei. Let John and Elijah 
slay the priests and prophets of Baal. Let Aaron 
and Eleazar minister before the Lord faithfully. 
Let Jonas be cast out of the ship. Let Moses 
stand fast in the gap, and not let down his hands. 
Let Joshua succeed him. Let Cornelius fear 


God, and all his household. Let Tahitha be full 
of good works, and alms-deeds. Let Deborah 
judge long in Israel, prosper, and be victorious. 
Let us all pray that the light of Israel may not 
be quenched. And this I take to be the sum of 
all that belongeth to our peace. 


PMl. The sum of all our conferences hitherto, 
as I remember, may be reduced unto these few 
heads: — first, man's natural corruption hath been 
laid open ; secondly, the horrible firuits thereof; 
thirdly, their eyil effects and workings, both 
against our souls and bodies, goods, name, and 
the whole land : lastly, the remedies of all. Now 
therefore I would grow to some conclusion of that 
which you touched by the way, and made some 
mention of; namely, the signs of salvation and 
damnation ; and declare unto us plainly, whether 
the state of a man's soul, before God, may not bv 
certain signs and tokens, be certainly diseem»i 
even in this life ? 

TTieol. Besides those which before have been 
mentioned, we may add these nine following: — 
reverence of God's name — keeping of his Sab- 
baths — truth — sobriety — industry — compassion 
— humility — chastity — contentment. 

Phil. These indeed, I grant, are very good 
signs: but yet all of them are not certain. For 
some of them be in the reprobates. 

Theol. What say you then to St. Peter's signs, 
which are set down in the first chapter of his 


Second Epistle? which axe these eight:— faith — 
virtue — knowledge — temperance — patience — 
godliness — brotherly-kindness — love. St. Peter 
saith, " If these be in us, and abound, they will 
make us neither idle nor unfruitful in the know- 
ledge of our Lord Jesus;" which is as much as 
if he had said. They will make us sound and 
sincere professors of the gospel. 

Phil. All these, I grant, are exceeding good- 
signs and evidences of a man's salvation; but yet 
some of them may deceive; and an hole may be 
picked in some of these evidences. I would, 
therefore, hear of some such demonstrative and 
infallible evidences as no lawyer can find fault 
with; for I hold that good divines can as 
perfectly judge of the assurances and evidences 
of men's salvation, as the best lawyer can judge 
of the assurances and evidences whereby men 
hold their lands and livings. 

Theol. You have spoken truly in that; and 
would to God all the Lord's people would bring 
forth the evidences of their salvation, that we 
might discern of them. 

FMl. Set down, then, which be the most cer- 
tain and infallible evidences of a man's salvation, 
against the which no exception can be taken. 

Theol. I judge these to be most sound and 
infallible: — assured faith in the promises — sin- 
cerity of heart — the spirit of adoption — sound 
regeneration and sanctification — inward peacB — 
groundedness in the truth — continuance to the 

Phil. Now you come near the quick, indeed; 
for, in my judgment, none of these can be found 
truly in any reprobate. Therefore, I think no 
divine can take exception against any of these. 

or SALTATIOK. 187 

Theol. No, I assure you; no more than a 
lawyer can find fault with the tenure of men's 
lands and fee-simples, when as both the title is 
good and strong by the law, and the evidences 
thereof are sealed, subscribed, delivered, conveyed, 
and sufficient witness upon the same, and all 
other signs and ceremonies — in the delivering 
and taking possession thereof — according to 
strict law observed. For if a man have these 
forenamed evidences of his salvation, sure it is, 
his title and interest to heaven is good, by the 
law of Moses and the prophets — 1 mean the 
word of God. God himself subscribeth to them; 
Jesus Christ dehvereth them as his own deed; 
the Holy Ghost sealeth unto them; yea, the 
three great witnesses which bear record in the 
earth — that is, water, blood, and the Spirit — do 
all witness the same. 

Thil. Now, you have very fully satisfied me 
touching this point; and one thing more I do 
gather out of all your speech, to wit, that you 
do think a man may be assured of his salvation, 
even in this life. 

Theol. I, do think so, indeed. For he that 
knoweth not in this life that he shall be saved, 
shall never be saved after this life ; for St. John 
saith. 1 Epis. iii. 2, " Now are we made the sons 
of God." 

Phil. But because many doubt of this, and 
the papists do altogether deny it, therefore I 
pray you to confirm it unto us out of the 

Theol. The apostle saith, 2 Cor. v. 1, " We 
know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle 
be destroyed, we have a building given us of 
God: that is, an house not made with hands, but 


eternal in the heavens." Mark that he saith, 
both he and the rest of God's people, did certainly 
know, that heaven was provided for them. "For 
the Spirit of adoption beareth witness with our 
spirits, that we are the children of God." And 
again, the same apostle saith, 2 Tim. iv. 8, "From 
henceforth is laid up for me the crown of right- 
eousness, which the Lord the righteous judge shall 
give me at that day; and not to me only, but to 
all them that love his appearing." Here we see 
that he knew there was a crown prepared for him, 
and for all the elect. And the same Spirit which 
did assure it unto Paul, doth assure it also to all 
the children of God. For they all have the same 
Spirit, though not in the same measure. St. John 
saith also, 1 Epis. ii. 2-3, "Hereby we are sure 
we know him; if we keep his commandments." 
In which words, he telleth us thus much ; that 
if we do unfeignedly endeavour to obey God, there 
is in us the true knowledge and fear of God; and 
consequently, we are sure we shall be saved. St. 
Peter saith, "Give all diligence to make your 
calling and election sure.' ' Wherefore should the 
apostle exhort us to make our election sure, if 
none could be sure of it? In the second of the 
Ephesians, the apostle saith flatly, "that in Christ 
Jesus we do already sit together in the heavenly 
places." His meaning is not, that we are there 
already in possession; but we are as sure of it, as 
if we were there already. The reasons hereof are 
these: Christ our head is in possession ; therefore 
he will draw all his members unto him, as he him- 
self saith. Secondly, we are as sure of the thing 
which we hope for, as of that which we have. But 
we are sure of that which we have, which is the 
work of grace; therefore we are sure of that we 


U)ok. for, which is the crown of glory. Many- 
other places of the holy scriptures might he alleged 
to this purpose: but I suppose, these may suffice. 

Phil. As you have shewed this by the scrip- 
tures, so also shew it yet more plainly, by evident 
reason out of the same. 

Theol. How can a man in truth call Grod his 
Father (when he saith, "Our Father, which art 
in heaven,") and yet doubt, whether he be his 
Father or no ? For if God iudeed be our Father, 
and we his children, how can we perish ? how can 
we be damned ? Will a father condemn his own 
children? or shall the children of God be con- 
demned? No, no; "There is no condemnation to 
them that are in Christ Jesus. And, who can lay 
any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God 
that justifieth, who can condemn?" Eom. viii. 1, 
33-34. It is therefore most certain and sure, 
that aU such as do in truth call God their Father, 
and have God for their Father, shall be saved. 
Again, how can a man say, in truth and feeling, 
that he beheveth the forgiveness of sin, and yet 
doubt whether he shall be saved? For if he be 
fully persuaded that his sins are foi^ven, what 
letteth why he should not be saved? Moreover, 
as certainly as we know that we are called, justi- 
fied, and sanctified; so certainly we know we shall 
be glorified. But we know the one certainly, and 
therefore the other. 

Jjsun. I wUl never believe, that any man can 
certainly know in this world, whether he shall be 
saved, or damned; but all men must hope well, 
and be of a good belief. 

Theol. Nay, we must go fiirther than hope well. 
We may not venture our salvation upon uncertain 
hopes ; as, Ef a man should hope it would be a 


fair day to-morrow : but he cannot certainly tell. 
No, no. We must in this case, being of such in- 
finite importance as it is, grow to some certainty, 
and full resolution. We see worldly men will be 
loath to hold their lands and leases uncertainly, 
having nothing to shew for them. They will not 
stand to the courtesy of their landlords, nor rest 
upon their good wills. They will not stay upon 
uncertain hope. No; they are wiser than so. "For 
the cliildren of this world are wiser in their gen- 
eration, than the children of light." They will 
be sure to have something to shew. They will 
have it under seal. They will not stay upon the 
words and promises of the most honest men, and 
best landlords. They cannot be quiet till they 
have it in white and black, with sound counsel 
upon their title ; and every way made as sure unto 
them, as any law of the land can make it. Are 
then the children of this world so wise in these 
inferior things, and shall not we be as wise in 
matters of ten thousand times more importance? 
Are they so wise for earth, and shall not we as 
wise for heaven? Are they so wise for their 
bodies, and shall not we be as wise for our souls? 
Shall we hold the state of our immortal inherit- 
ance by hope well; and have no writings, nor 
evidences, no seal, no witnesses, nor any thing to 
shew for it? Alas, this is a weak tenure, a broken 
title, a simple hold indeed. 

Asun. Yet for all that a man cannot be certain. 

Theol. Yes, St. John telleth us, we may be 
certain ; for he saith, " Hereby we know we 
dwell in him, and he in us; because he ha.th 
given us of his Spirit," 1 Epis. iv. 13. He saith 
not, we hope; but we know certainly. For he 
that hath the Spu-it of God, knoweth certainly he 


hath it; and he that hath faith, knoweth that he 
hath faith ; and he that shall be saved, knoweth 
he shall be saved. For God doth not work so 
darkly in men's hearts by his Spirit, but that 
they may easily know whether it be of him or no, 
if they would make a due trial. Again, the 
same apostle saith, v. 10, " He that beSeveth in 
the Son of God, hath the witness in himself;" 
that is, he hath certain testimonies in his own 
conscience that he shall be saved ; for we must 
fetch the warrant of our salvation from within 
ourselves, even from the work of God within us. 
For look, how much a man feeleth in himself the 
increase of knowledge, obedience, and godliness, 
so much the more sure he is that he shall be 
saved. A man's own conscience is of great force 
this way, and wUl not lie or deceive; for so 
saith the wise man, Prov. xxvii. 19, "As water 
sheweth face to face, so doth the heart man unto 
man; that is, the mind and conscience of every 
man telleth him justly, though not perfectly, 
what he is. For the conscience will not lie, but 
accuse or excuse a man — being instead of a 
thousand witnesses. The apostle also saith, 1 
Cor. ii. 11, " No man knoweth the things of 
man, but the spirit of a man that is in him." 
And again, the scripture saith, Prov. xx. 27, 
" Man's soul is, as it were, the candle of the 
Lord; whereby he searcheth all the bowels of the 
beUy." So then, it is a clear case that a man 
must have recourse to the work of God's grace 
within him, even in his own soul; for thereby 
he shall be certainly resolved one way or another ; 
for even as Rebecca knew certainly, by the 
striving and stirring of the twins in her womb, 
that she was conceived and quick of child; so 


God's children know certainly, by the motions 
and stirrings of the Holy Ghost within them, 
that they have conceived Christ, and shall mi- 
doubtedly he saved. 

PJiil. I pray you, let us come to the ground- 
work of this certainty of salvation, and speak 
somewhat of that. 

Tlieol. The ground-work of our salvation is 
laid in God's eternal election, and in respect there- 
of it standeth fast and unmoveahle; as it is 
written, 2 Tim. ii. 19, " The foundation of God 
standeth fast;" and again, ver. 13, " He is faithful 
that hath promised, though we cannot believe, 
yet he abideth faithful." So then, as we know 
it certainly in ourselves, by the consequents of 
election ; so it standeth most firm in respect of 
God, and his eternal and immutable decree. And 
a thousand infirmities, nay, all the sins in the 
world, nor all the devils in hell, cannot overthrow 
God's election ; for our Lord Jesus saith, John 
vi. 37, " All that the Father hath given me, shall 
come unto me;" and again, ver. 39, "This is 
the Father's will that hath sent me: that of all 
which he hath given me, I should lose nothing; 
but should raise it up again at the last day;" 
and in another place, our Saviour Christ saith, 
John X. 27, " My sheep hear my voice, and I 
know them, and they follow me; and I give unto 
them eternal life, and they shall never perish; 
neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. 
My Father which gave them me, is greater than 
all ; and none is able to take them out of my 
Father's hand." We ought, therefore, to be as 
sure of our salvation as of any other thing which 
God hath promised, or which we are bound to 
believe ; for to doubt thereof, in respect of God's 

OF SALVATI02<r. 193 

truth, is blasphemous against the immutability 
of his truth. 

Phil. But are there not some doubts, at some 
times, even in the very elect, and in those which 
are grown to the greatest persuasion ? 

Theol. Yes, venly ; for he that never doubted, 
never believed ; for whosoever believeth in truth, 
feeleth sometimes doubtings and waverings. Even 
as the sound body feeleth many grudgings of dis- 
eases, which if he hath not health, he could not 
feel; so the soimd soul feeleth some doubtings, 
which if it were not sound, it could not so easily 
feel; for we feel not corruption by corruption, 
but we feel corruption by grace ; and the more 
grace we have, the more quick are we in the feel- 
ing of corruption. Some men of tender skins, 
and quick feeling, will easily feel the slightest 
feather, in softer manner laid upon the ball of 
their hands; which others, of more slow feeling 
and hard flesh, cannot so easily discern. So 
then it is certaio, that although the children of 
God feel some doubtings at sometimes, yet the 
same do no whit impeach the certainty of their 
salvation; but rather argue a perfect soundness 
and health of their souls; for when such little 
grudgings are felt in the soul, the children of 
God oppose against thera the certainty of God's 
truth and promises, and so do easily overcome 
them. For the Lord's people need no more to 
fear them, than he that rideth through the 
streets upon a lusty gelding, with his sword by 
his side, needs to fear the barking and bawling 
of a few little curs and whappets.* 

Phil. Show yet more plainly how, or in what 

* little dogs. 



respects, the child of God may both have doubt- 
ings, and yet be fully assured. 

Theol. Even as a man set in the top of the 
highest steeple in the world, and so fast bound 
unto it that he cannot fall though he would — 
yet, when he looketh downward, he feareth, 
because man's nature is not acquainted nor 
accustomed to mount so high in the air, and to 
behold the earth so far beneath — but when he 
looketh upward and perceiveth himself fast bound 
and out of all danger, then he casteth away all 
fear: even so, when we look downward to our- 
selves, we have doubts and fears ; but when we 
look upward to Christ, and the truth of his 
promises, we feel ourselves quite sure, and cease 
to doubt any more. 

Phil. Declare unto us what is the original of 
these doubts and fears, and from whence they 
spring in the children of God. 

Theol. They spring from the imperfection 
of our sanctification, and from that strife 
which is in the very mind of the elect between 
faith and infidelity; for these two do mightily 
fight together in the regenerate, and strive to 
over-master and over-shadow one another ; by 
reason whereof sometimes it eometh to pass, 
through the prevailing of unbelief, that the most 
excellent servants of God may fall into fits and 
pangs of despair, as Job and David, in their 
temptations, did. And even in these days, also, 
some of God's children at sometimes are shrewdly 
handled this way, and brought very low, even 
unto death's door; but yet the Lord in great 
mercy doth recover them, both from total and 
final despair. Only they are humbled and tried 
by these sharp fits for a time, and that for their 


great good. For as we use to say, that an ague 
in a young man is a sign of health ; so these burn- 
ing fits of temptations in the elect, for the most 
part, are signs of God's grace and favour ; for, if 
they were not of God, the devil would never be so 
busy with them. 

Phil. Is it not mere presumption, and an over- 
much trusting to ourselves, to be persuaded of 
our salvation? 

Theol. Nothing less. For the g^und of this 
persuasion is not laid in ourselves, or any thing 
within us, or without us; but only in the right- 
eousness of Christ, and the merciful promises of 
God. For is it any presumption for us to beHeve 
that which God hath promised, Christ hath pur- 
chased, and the Holy Ghost hath sealed? No 
▼eiily, it is not any presumption; but a thing 
which we all stand bound unto, as we will answer 
it at the dreadful day of judgment. As for our- 
selves we do freely confess that in God's sight we 
are but lumps of sin and masses of all misery ; and 
cannot of ourselves move hand or foot to the 
furtherance of our salvation; "But being justified 
by faith, we are at peace with God," and fully 
persuaded of his love and favour toward us, in ' 

Phil. Caimot the reprobates and ungodly be 
assured of their salvation? 

Theol. No; for the prophet saith, ''There is 
no peace to the wicked," Isa. Ivii. 21. Then I 
reason thus: they which have not the inward 
peace cannot be assvu-ed; but the wicked have 
not the inward peace ; therefore they cannot be 
assured. Stedfast faith in the promises doth as- 
sure; but the wicked have not stedfast faith in 
the promises; therefore they cannot be assured. 


The Spirit of adoption doth assure; but the 
wicked have not the spirit of adoption ; therefore 
they cannot be assured. To conclude, when a 
man feeleth in himself an evil conscience, blind- 
ness, profaneness, and disobedience, he shall, in 
despite of his heart, — sing this doleful song, I 
know not whether I shall be saved or damned. 

Fhil. Is not the doctrine of the assurance of 
salvation a most comfortable doctrine? 

Theol. Yes, doubtless. For except a man be 
persuaded of the favour of God, and the forgive- 
ness of sins, and consequently of his salvation, 
what comfort can he have in any thing? Besides 
this, the persuasion of God's love towards us, is 
the root of all our love and cheerful obedience 
towards him; for, therefore, we love him and 
obey him, because we know he hath loved us first, 
and written our names in the book of life. But, 
on the contrary, the doctrine of the papists, which 
would have men always doubt and fear in a servile 
sort, is most hellish and uncomfortable. For so 
long as a man holds that, what encouragement 
can he have to serve God? what love to his 
Majesty? what hope in the promises? what 
comfort in trouble? what patience in adversity? 

Antil. Touching this point, I am flat of your 
mind. For I think verily a man ought to be 
persuaded of his salvation. And for mine own 
part, I make no question of it. I hope to be 
saved, as well as the best of them all. I am 
out of fear for that; for I have such a sted- 
fast faith in God, that if there should be but 
two in the world saved, I hope I should be one 
of them. 

Theol. You are very, confident, indeed. You 
are persuaded before you know, I would your 


ground were as good as your vain confidence. 
But who so bold as blind Bayard r Your hope is 
but a fancy, and as a sick man's dream. You 
hope you cannot tell what. You have no ground 
for what you say; for, what hope can you have 
to be saved, when you walk in no path of salva- 
tion? What hope can a man have to come to 
London speedily, that travelleth nothing that 
way, but quite contrary ? What hope can a man 
have to reap a good crop of com, that useth no 
means — neither ploweth, soweth, nor harroweth ? 
WTiat hope can a man have to be fat and well- 
liking of his body, that seldom or never eateth 
any meat? What hope can a man have to escape 
drowning, which leapeth into the sea? Even so, 
what hope can yon have to be saved, when you 
walk nothing that way, when you use no means, 
when you do all things contrary unto the same? 
For, alas! there is nothing in you of those things 
which the scriptures do affirm must be in all 
those that shall be saved. There be none of the 
forenamed signs and tokens in you. You are 
ignorant, profane, and careless. Grod is not wor- 
shipped under your roof. There is no true fear 
of God in yourself nor in your household. You 
seldom hear the word preached. You content 
yourself with an ignorant minister. You have no 
prayers in your family, no reading, no singing of 
psalms, no instructions, exhortations, admonitions, 
or any other Christian exercises. You make no 
conscience of the observation of the Sabbaths; 
you use not the name of God with any reverence; 
you break out sometimes into horrible oaths and 
cursings; you make an ordinary matter of swear- 
ing by your faith, and your troth. Your wife is 
irreligious ; your children dissolute and ungracious ; 


your servants profane and careless. You are an 
example in your own house of all atheism and 
conscienceless behaviour. You are a great game- 
ster, a rioter, a spendthrift, a drinker, a common 
ale-house hunter, an vphore hunter; and, to con- 
clude, given to all vice and naughtiness. Now 
then, I pray you tell me, or rather let your con- 
science tell me, vrhat hope you can have to be 
saved, so long as you walk and continue in this 
course ? Doth not St. John say, 1 Epis. i. 6, " If 
we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in 
darkness, we are liars?" Doth not the same 
apostle avouch, that such as say "They know 
God, and keep not his commandments, are liars?" 
ii. 4. Again, doth he not say, iii. 8, 10, " He 
that committeth sin is of the devil;" and " Who- 
soever doeth not righteousness, is not of God?" 
Doth not our Lord Jesus flatly tell the Jews, 
which bragged that Abraham was their father, 
that they were of their father the devil, because 
they did his works? Doth not the apostle Paul 
say, " His servants we are to whom we obey; 
whether it be of sin unto death, or of obedience 
unto righteousness?" Eom. vi. 16. Doth not 
the scriptures say, " He that doeth righteousness, 
is righteous?" 1 John iii. 7. Doth not oru* Lord 
Jesus affirm, that " Not everyone that saith, Lord, 
Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; 
but he that doeth the will of my Father which is 
in heaven ?" Matt. vii. 21. Therefore, I conclude, 
that forasmuch as 3'our whole course is carnal, 
careless, and dissolute, you can have no warran- 
table hope to be saved. 

Phil. I do verily think that this man's case, 
which now you have laid open, is the case of 


Theol. Yea, doubtless of thousand thousands — 
the more is the pity. 

Asun. Soft and fair, sir; you are very round 
indeed: soft fire maketh sweet malt. I hope 
you know we must be saved by mercy, and 
not by merit. If I should do all myself, where- 
fore serveth Christ? I hope that which I 
cannot do, he will do for me ; and I hope to be 
saved by Jesus Christ as well as the best of you 

Theol. Oh, now I see which way the game 
goeth. You would fain make Christ a cloak for 
your sins. You will sin that grace may abound. 
You will sin frankly, and set all upon Christ's 
score. Truly there be many thousands of your 
mind, which, hearing of God's abundant mercy 
in Christ, are thereby made more bold to sin; 
but they shall know one day, to their cost, what 
it is so to abuse the mercy of God. The apostle 
saith, "The mercy and loving-kindness of God 
should lead us to repentance," Rom. ii. 4; but 
we see it leadeth man to further hardness of 
heart. The prophet saith, "With him is mercy, 
that he may be feared;" but many thereby are 
made more secure and careless. But to come 
nearer the mark: you say you hope to be saved 
by Jesus Christ; and I answer, that if those 
things be foimd in you, which the scriptures 
do avouch to be in aU that shall be saved by 
him, then you may have good confidence and 
assured hope; otherwise not. Now the scrip- 
tures do thus determine it, and set it down, that 
if a man be in Christ, and look to be saved by 
him, he must be endued with these quaUties fol- 
lowing: — first, he must be "a new creature," 
2 Cor. V. 17; secondly, he must live, "not after 


the lusts of men, but after the will of God," 
1 Peter iv. 2; thirdly, he must be "zealous of 
good works," Tit. ii. 14; fourthly, he must "die 
to sin, and live to righteousness," Eom. vi. 11; 
fifthly, he must be "holy and unblameable," Col. 
i. 12; sixthly, he must "so walk as Christ hath 
walked," John ii. 6; seventhly, he must "crucify 
the flesh with the affections and lusts," Gal. v. 
24; eighthly, he must "walk not after the flesh, 
but after the Spirit," Rom. viii. 1; last of all, 
he must "serve God in righteousness and true 
holiness all the days of his life," Luke i. 75. 
Lo, then, what things are required of all that 
shall be saved by Christ. Now, therefore, if 
these things be in you in some measure of truth, 
then your hope is current, sound, and good; 
otherwise, it is nothing worth: for in vain do 
men say they hope to be saved by Christ, when 
as they walk dissolutely. The reason hereof is, 
because the members must be suitable to the 
head; but Christ our head is holy; therefore, 
we his members, must be holy also; as it is 
written, " Be ye holy, for I am holy." Other- 
wise, if we will join profane and unholy mem- 
bers to our holy head Christ, then we make 
Christ a monster. As if a man should join unto 
the head of a lion, the neck of a bear, the body 
of a wolf, and the legs of a fox; were it not a 
monstrous thing? would it not be a monstrous 
creature? Even such a thing do they go about, 
which would have swearers, drunkards, whore- 
mongers, and such like, to be the members of 
Christ, and to have life and salvation by him. 
But since you do so much presume of Christ, I 
J) ray you, let me ask you a question. 
Aniil. What is that ? 


Theol. How do you know that Christ died for 
you particularly, and by name ? 

JMU. Christ died for all men, and therefore 
for me. 

Theol. But aU men shall not be saved by 
Christ: how, therefore, do you know that you 
are one of them that have special interest in 
Christ, and shall be saved by his death? 

A^itil. This I know, that we are all sinners, 
and cannot be saved by any other than by 

Theol. Answer directly to my question. How 
do you know in yourself, and for yourself, that 
you are one of the elect, and one of those for 
whom Christ died? 

Antil. I know it by my good faith in God; 
because I put my whole trust in him, and in 
none other. 

Theol. But how know you that you have 
faith? or how shall a man know his faith? 

Antil. I know it by this, that I have always 
had as good a meaning, and as good a faith to 
Godward as any man of my calling, and that is 
not book learned. I have always feared God 
with all my heart, and served him with my 

Theol. Tush! now you go about the bush, 
and hover in the air. Answer me to the point: 
how do you know, certainly and assuredly, that 
Christ died for yon particularly, and by name? 

Antil. You would make a man mad. You 
put me out of my faith; you drive me from 
Christ. But if you go about to drive me from 
Christ, I will never believe you; for I know we 
must be saved only by him. 

Theol. I go not about to drive you from 


Christ, but to drive you to Christ: for how can 
I drive you from Christ, seeing you never came 
near him? how can I drive you out of Christ, 
seeing you were never in him ? But this is it 
that deceiveth you and many others, that you 
think you believe in Christ, because you say 
you believe in Christ; as though faith consisted 
in words, or as though a man had faith because 
he saith so. If every one that saith he hath 
faith, therefore hath faith ; and every one that 
saith he believeth in Christ, doth therefore 
believe; then who will not have faith? who 
will not believe? But, in very deed, your faith, 
and the faith of many others, is nothing else but 
a mere imagination. But all this while you 
have not answered my question touching your 
particular knowledge of Christ. 

Antil. I can answer you no otherwise than I 
have answered you; and I think I have answered 
you sufficiently. 

Theol. No, no; you faulter in your speech: 
your answer is not worth a button; you speak 
you know not what; you are altogether befogged 
and benighted in this question. But if there 
were in your heart the true knowledge and lively 
feeling of God, then I am sure you would have 
yielded another and a better answer — then you 
would have spoken something from the sense 
and feeling of your own heart, and from the 
work of Grod's grace within you; but, because 
you can yield no sound reason that Christ died 
for you particularly, and by name, therefore I 
suspect you are none of them which have proper 
interest in him, and in whom his death taketh 
effect indeed. 

Phil. I think this question would gravel a 

or 8AXTATIOF. 203 

great namber; and few there be that can answer 
it aright. 

Theol. It is most certain. I do know it by 
lamentable experience that not one of an hundred 
can soundlv and sufficiently answer this question; 
none, indeed, but onlj those in whom the new 
work is wrought, and do, by the inward work 
of the Spirit, feel Christ to be theirs. I have 
talked with some which are both witty, sen- 
sible, and learned, who, notwithstanding, when 
they have been brought to this very point and 
issue, have stuck sore at it, and staggered very 
much: and howsoever they might by wit and 
learning shuffle it over, and, in a plxmdered sort 
speak reason; yet had they no feeling of that 
which they said, and therefore no assurance : and 
oofnsequently as good never a whit, as never the 
better. It is the sanctifying Spirit that giveth 
feeling in this point; and therefore, without the 
feeling of the operation of the same Spirit, it 
can never be soundly answered. Thus then, I 
do close up this whole matter: as the vine- 
branch cannot hve and bring forth fruit, except 
it abide in the vine: no more can we, except we 
abide in Christ, and be truly grafted into him bj 
a lively faith. None can have any benefit by 
him, but they only which dwell in him. None 
can live by Christ, but they which are changed 
into Christ. None are partakers of his body, 
but they which are in Im body. None can be 
saved by Christ crucified, but they which are 
crucified with Christ. None can live with him 
being dead, but those which die with him being 
alive. Therefore, let us root downward in morti- 
fication, that we may shoot upward in sanctifica- 
tion. Let us die to sin, that we may live to 


righteousness. Let us die while we are alive, 
that we may live when we are dead. 

Asun. If none can he saved by Christ, but 
only those which are so qualified as you speak 
of, then Lord have mercy upon us; then the 
way to heaven is very strait indeed, and few at 
all shall be saved; for there be few such in the 

TJieol. You are no whit therein deceived; for, 
when all comes to all, it is most certain that few 
shall be saved; which thing I will shew unto 
you, both by scripture, reason, and examples. 

Asun. First, then, let us hear it proved by 
the scriptures. 

TJieol. Our Lord Jesus saith, "Enter in at the 
strait gate : for, it is the wide gate and broad way 
that leadeth to destruction; and many there be 
which go in thereat; because the gate is strait, 
and the way narrow, that leadeth unto life, and 
few there be that find it," Matt. vii. 13. Again 
he saith, "Many are called, but few are chosen," 
XX. 16. In another place, we read of a certain 
man which came to our Saviour Christ, and asked 
him of purpose whether few should be saved. 
To whom our Lord Jesus answered thus, "Strive 
to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say 
unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be 
able," Luke xiii. 24. In which answer, albeit, 
our Saviour doth not answer directly to his ques- 
tion, either negatively or affirmatively ; yet doth 
he plainly insinuate by his speeches that few shall 
be saved. For, first, he bids us to strive earnestly; 
noting thereby, that it is a matter of great strife 
against the world, the flesh, and the devil. Se- 
condly, he affirmeth, that the gate is very strait; 
noting, that, none can enter in, vdthout vehement 


crowding, and almost breaking their shoulder- 
bones. Lastly, he saith, that many which seek 
to enter in, shall not be able; noting thereby, that 
even of them that seek, many shall step short; 
because they seek him not aright. Isaiah also 
saith, "Except the Lord of Hosts had left us a 
seed, we had been as Sodom, and had been like to 
Gomorrah." The apostle also allegeth, out of 
the prophet, "That the Lord will make a short 
account in the earth, and gather it into a short 
sum, with righteousness." These scriptures, I 
think, are sufficient to prove that few shall be 

Asun. Now let us hear your reasons. 

Theol. If we come to reason, we may rather 
wonder that any should be saved, than so few 
shall be saved. For we have all the lets and 
hindrances that may be, both within us and with- 
out us. We have, as they say, the sxm, moon, 
and seven stars against us. We have all the 
devils in hell against us, with all their horns, heads, 
marvellous strength, infinite wiles, cunning de- 
vices, deep sleights, and methodical temptations. 
Here runs a sore stream against us. Then have 
we this present evil world against us, with her in- 
numerable baits, snares, nets, gins, and grins to 
catch us, fetter us, and entangle us. Here have we 
profits and pleasures, riches and honour, wealth 
and preferment, ambition and covetousness. Here 
comes in a camp royal of spiritual and invisible 
enemies. Lastly, we have our flesh, that is, our 
corrupted nature against us; we have ourselves 
against ourselves. For we ourselves are as great 
enemies to our salvation, as either the world or 
the devil. For, our understanding, reason, will, 
and afiections, are altogether against us. Our 


natural wisdom is an enemy unto us. Our concu- 
piscences and lusts do minister strength to Satan's 
temptations. They are all in league with Satan 
against us. They take part with him in every 
thing against us and our salvation. They fight 
all under his standard, and receive their pay of 
him. This then goeth hard on our side, that the 
devil hath an inward party against us ; and we 
carry always within us our greatest enemy, which 
is ever ready, night and day, to betray us into the 
hands of Satan; yea, to unbolt the door, and let 
him in to cut our throats. Here then we see an 
huge army of dreadful enemies, and a very legion 
of devils, lying in ambush against our souls. Are 
not we therefore poor wretches in a most pitiful 
case, which are thus betrayed and besieged on 
on every side ? All things then considered, may 
we not justly marvel that any shall be saved? 
For who seeth not, who knoweth not, that thou- 
sand thousands are carried headlong to destruc- 
tion, either with the temptations of the world, 
the flesh, or the devil? But yet, further, I will 
shew, by another very manifest and apparent 
reason, that the number of God's elect upon the 
face of the earth are very few in comparison; 
which may thus be considered; first, let there 
be taken away from amongst us all papists, 
atheists, and heretics ; secondly, let there be 
shoaled out all vicious and notorious evil livers, 
as swearers, drunkards, whoremongers, worldings, 
deceivers, cozeners, proud men, rioters, gamesters, 
and all the profane multitude; thirdly, let there 
be refused and sorted out, all hypocrites, carnal 
protestants, vain professors, backsliders, decUners, 
and cold Christians; let all these I say, be sepa- 
rated, and then tell me how many sound, sincere, 


faithful and zealous worshippers of God wiH be 
found among us. I suppose we should not 
need the art of arithmetic to number them: 
for I think there would be very few in every 
village, town, and city: I doubt they would walk 
very thinly in the streets, so as a man might 
easily teU them as they go. Our Lord Jesus 
asketh a question in the gospel of St.Xuke xviii. 8, 
saying, " Do you think, when the Son of man 
Cometh, that he shall find faith on the earth?" 
to the which we may answer, surelv very little. 

Ajsun. Now, according to your promise, shew 
this thing also by examples! 

Theol. In the first age of the world, all flesh 
had so corrupted their ways that God could no 
longer bear them, but even vowed their destruc- 
tion by the overflowing of waters. When the 
flood came, bow few were found faithful ? Eight 
persons only were saved by the ark. How few 
righteous were found in Sodom, and the cities 
adjoining; but one poor Lot and his family ? How 
few believers were found in Jericho, but one 
Rahab? How few of the old Israelites entered 
into the land of promise, but two, Caleb and 
Joshua? The rest could not enter in, because 
of unbelief. The true and invisible church 
was small, during the government of the Judges; 
as appeareth plentifully in that book. In Elms's 
time, the church was so small that it did not ap- 
pear. In the reign of the kings of Israel and 
Judah, the sincere worshippers were very few; 
as appeareth by all the prophets. During the 
captivity, the church was as the moon under a 
cloud, she was driven into the wUdemess where 
she hid herself. During the persecutions of the 
Greek empire, by Gog, Magog, and Egypt, they 


were fewest of all. In Christ's time, what a silly 
company did he begin withal! How were all 
things corrupted by the priests, scribes, and pha- 
risees! In the beginning of the apostle's preach- 
ing there were few believers. After the first six 
hundred years, what an eclipse was in the church 
during the height of antichrist's reign! How 
few true worshippers of Grod were in the world, 
for the space of almost seven hundred years! 
Since the gospel was broached and spread abroad, 
how few do believe! and as the prophet saith, 
"Lord, who hath believed our report?" Thus 
then you see it is apparent, both by scripture, 
reason, and examples of all ages, that the num- 
ber of the elect is very small ; and, when all comes 
to all, few shall be saved. 

Phil. I pray you tell us how few, and to what 
scantling they may be reduced: whether one of a 
hundred, or one of a thousand, shall be saved ? 

Theol. No man knoweth that, neither can I 
give you any direct and certain answer unto it; 
but I say that, in comparison of the reprobate, 
there shall be but a few saved; for all that pro- 
fess the gospel are not the true church before 
God: there be many in the church which are 
not of the church. 

Phil. How do you prove that? 

Theol. Out of the ninth to the Romans, where 
the apostle saith, ver. 6, " All are not Israel, that 
are of Israel;" and again, Isaiah crieth concern- 
ing Israel, " Though the number of the children 
of Israel were as the sand of the sea, yet but a 
remnant shall be saved," v. 27. 

Phil. How do you balance it in the visible 
church? or in what comparison do you take it? 
Let us hear some estimate of it. Some think one 


of a hundred; some but one of a thousand shall 
be saved. 

Theol. Indeed, I have heard some learned and 
godly divines give such conjectures; but for that 
matter 1 can say nothing to it; but only let us 
observe the comparison of the Holy Ghost be- 
twixt a remnant and the sand of the sea, and it 
will give some light into the matter. 

Phil. Doth not the knowledge of this doctrine 
discourage men from seeking after God? 

Theol. Xothing less. But rather it ought to 
awake us, and stir up in us a greater care of our 
salvation, that we may be of the number of 
Christ's httle flock, which make an end of their 
salvation in fear and trembling. 

Phil. Some make light of all these matters; 
others say, as for the life to come, that is the least 
matter of an hundred to be cared for. As for 
that matter, they will leave it xmto God, even as 
pleaseth him, they wiU not meddle with it ; for 
they say, Gt)d that made them must save them. 
They hope they will do as well as others, and 
make as good shift as their neighbours, 

Theol. It is lamentable that men should be so 
careless, and make so light of that which, of all 
other things, is most weighty and important; 
for it shall not profit a man to win the whole 
world, and lose his own soul, as the author of all 
wisdom testifieth. 

Asun. I pray you, sir, under correction, give 
me leave to speak my mind in this point: I am 
an ignorant man; pardon me if I speak amiss, 
for a fool's bolt is soon shot. 

Theol. Say on. 

Asun. I do verily think that God is stronger 
than the devil; therefore I cannot believe that 


he will suffer the devil to have more than him- 
self; he will not take it at his hands; he loveth 
mankind better than so. 

Theol. You do carnally imagine that God will 
wrestle and strive with the devil about the matter. 
As for God's power it doth never cross his will; 
for God can do nothing against his will and de- 
cree, because he will not. 

Asun. Yea, but the scripture saith, " God vrill 
have all men saved." 

Theol. That is not meant of every particular 
man, but of all sorts some. Some Jews, some 
Gentiles, some rich, some poor, some high, some 
low, &c. 

Asun. Christ died for all; therefore, all shall 
be saved. 

Theol. Christ died for all, in the sufficiency of 
his death, but not in efficacy unto life; for only 
the elect shall be saved by his death; as it is 
written, " This is my blood in the new testament, 
which is given for you," meaning his disciples 
and chosen children. And, again, Christ, being 
consecrated, is made " the author of salvation to 
all that obey him." 

Asun. God is merciful; and, therefore, I hope 
he will save the greatest part, for his mercy's sake. 

Theol. The greatest part shall perish; but all 
that shall be saved shall be saved by his mercy; 
as it is written, " He will have mercy on whom 
he will have mercy, and whom he will he 
hardeneth." And, again, "It is not in him that 
"willeth, or in him that runneth, but in God that 
sheweth mercy," Rom. ix. 16. Therefore, though 
God be infinite in mercy, and Christ infinite in 
merit, yet none shall have mercy but only the 
vessels of mercy. 


Antil. Can you tell who shall he saved, and 
who shall be damned? Do you know Goti's 
secrets? When were you in heaven? When 
spake you with God? I am of the mind that 
all men shall be saved; for God's mercy is above 
all his works. Say you what you will, and what 
you can, God did not make us to condemn us. 

Theol. You are very peremptory indeed: you 
are more bold than wise; for Christ saith few 
shall be saved; you say all shall be saved. 
Whether, then, shall we believe Christ or you ? 

Antil. If there should come two souk, one 
from heaven and another from hell, and bring 
us certain news how the case stood, then 1 would 
beheve it indeed. 

Theol. Put case: two souls of the dead should 
come — the one from heaven, the other fix>m hell 
— I can teU you aforehand, certainly, what they 
would say, and what news they would bring. 

Antil. What, I pray you? 

Theol. They wordd say there be few in heaven 
and many in hell — heaven is empty and hell is 

Antil. How know you that? how know vou 
they would say so? 

Theol. I am sure, if they speak the truth, 
they must needs say so. 

Antil. Must they needs? Why, I pray you, 
must they needs r 

Theol. Because the word of God saith so; 
because Moses and the prophet-s saith so: "If 
you win not believe Moses and the prophets, 
neither will you believe though one, though two, 
though an hundred should rise from the dead." 

Antil. Yes, but I would. 

Theol. I pray you, let me ask you a question: 


whether do you think that God and his word, or 
the souls of dead men, are more to he credited? 

Antil. If I were sure that God said so then I 
would believe it. 

Theol. If his word say so, doth not he say so ? 
Is not he and his word all one? 

Antil. Yet, for all that, if I might hear God 
himself speak it, it would move me much. 

Theol. You shew yourself to be a notable 
infidel. You will not believe God's word with- 
out signs and miracles, and wonders from the 

Antil. Y'^ou speak as though you knew certainly 
that hell is full. You do but speak at random; 
you cannot tell: you were never there to see. 
But for mine own part, I believe there is no hell 
at all, but only the hell of a man's conscience. 

Theol. Now you shew yourself in kind what 
you are. You say you believe no hell at all; 
and I think, if you were well examined, you be- 
lieve no heaven at all, neither God nor devil. 

Antil. Yes; I believe there is an heaven, be- 
cause I see it with mine eyes. 

Theol. You will believe no more belike than 
you see; "but blessed is he that believeth and 
seeth not," John xx. 29. You are one of the 
rankest atheists that ever I talked withal. 

Antil. You ought not to judge; you know not 
men's hearts. 

Theol. Out of the abundance of the heart the 
mouth speaketh. You have sufficiently bewrayed 
your heart by your words; for the tongue is 
the key of the mind. As forejudging I judge 
you only by your fruits, which is lawful; for we 
may justly say it is a bad tree which bringeth 
forth bad fruit, and he that doth wickedly is a 

OF S.\XTATIOy. 213 

wicked man ; but it is rou, and such as you are, 
that will take upon you to judge men's hearts ; for 
though a man's outward actions be religious :md 
honest, yet you ^vill condemn him; and, if a 
man g^ve himself to the word and prayer, reform- 
eth his femUy, and abstaineth from the gross sins 
of the world, you wiU by and by say he is an 
hypocrite. And thus you take upon you to judge 
men's hearts, as though you knew with what af- 
fection these things are done. 

Antil. 1 confess I am a sinner; and so are all 
others for aught I know. There is no man but 
he may be amended. I pray Grod send us aU of 
his grace, that we may please him, and get to 
heaven at last. 

Theol. Xow you would shuffle up altogether, 
as though you were as good as the best, and as 
though there were no difference of sinners; but 
you must learn to know that there is great dif- 
ference of sinners; for there is the penitent, and 
the unpenitent sinner; the careful, and the care- 
less sinner; the sinner whose sins are not imputed, 
and the sinner whose sins are imputed; the sin- 
ner that shall be saved, and the sinner that shall 
be damned. For it is one thing to sin of frailty, 
another thing to live in it, dwell in it, and trade 
in it, (as the Holy Ghost speaketh) to suck it in, 
as the fish sucketh water, and to draw it unto us 
with cart ropes and and cords of vanity, Isa. v. 18. 
To conclude, therefore, there is as great difference 
betwixt a sinner and a sinner, as betwixt light and 
darkness; for, though God's children be sinners, 
in respect of the remnants of sin within them, yet 
the scriptures call them just and righteous, be- 
cause they are justified by Christ, and sanctified 
by his grace and Holy Spirit. And for this cause 


it is, that St. John saith, "He that is bom of God 
sinneth not," iii. 6-9. 

Antil. What, I pray you, did you never sin ? 

Theol. Yes, and what then? what are you the 

Antil. You preachers cannot agree amongst 
yourselves; one saith one thing, and another 
saith another thing; so that you bring the igno- 
rant people into a mammering;* and they know 
not on which hand to take. 

Theol. The preachers, God be thanked, agree 
very well together in all the main grounds of re- 
ligion, and principal points of salvation; but if 
they dissent in some other matters, you are to try 
the spirits whether they be of God or no ; you 
must try all things, and keep that which is good. 

Antil. How can plain and simple men try the 
spirits and doctrines of the preachers ? 

Theol. Yes; for the apostle saith, 1 Cor. ii. 
15, "The spiritual man discerneth all things;" 
and St. John saith to the holy Christians, ii, 27, 
"You have received an ointment from that Holy 
One, and know all things," that is, all things 
necessary to salvation ; those, therefore, which 
have the Spirit of God, can judge and discern of 
doctrines, whether tliey be of God or no. 

Antil. I am not book-learned, and therefore I 
cannot judge of such matters; as for hearing of 
sermons, I have no leisure to go to them; I have 
somewhat else to do; let them that are bookish, 
and hear so many sermons, judge of such matters; 
for I will not meddle with them, they belong not 
unto me. 

Theol. Yet for all that, you ought to read the 



scriptures, and hear the word of God preached, 
that you may he able to discern betwixt truth 
and falsehood in matters of rehgion. 

Antil. Belike you think none can be saved 
without preaching; and that all men stand bound 
to frequent sermons ; but I am not of your mind 
in that. 

Theol. Our Lord Jesus saith, " My sheep hear 
my voice;" and again, he saith, "He that is of 
God, heareth God's words; ye therefore hear 
it not, because you are not of God;" you see 
therefore how Christ Jesus maketh it a special 
note of God's child, to hear his word preached. 

Anfil. But I think we may serve God well 
enough without a preacher; for preachers are but 
men, and what can they do? A preacher is a 
good man, so long as he is in the pulpit; but 
if he is out of the pulpit, he is but as another 

Theol. You speak contemptuously of Gt>d's 
messengers, and of God's sacred ordinance; but 
the apostle doth fully answer your objection, say- 
ing, Eom. X. "Faith cometh by hearing, and 
tearing by the word of God; and how can they 
hear without a preacher." In which words, the 
apostle telleth us flatly, that you can neither have 
faith, nor serve God aright, without preaching. 

Antil. When you have preached all that you 
can, you can make the word of God no better 
than it is; and some put in and put out what they 
list; the scriptures are but men's inventions, and 
they made the scriptures. 

Theol. We preach not to make the word better, 
but to make you better; as for putting in and 
putting out, it is a mere untruth; and whereas 
you say the scriptures were made by men, it is 


blasphemy once to think it; and you are worthy 
to receive your answer at Tyburn. 

Antil. Now I see you are hot: 1 perceive, for 
all yoiu' godliness, you will be angry. 

Theol. I take it to be no sin to be angry against 
sin; for your sin is very great, and who can 
bear it? 

Antil. All this while you speak much for preach- 
ing, but you say nothing for prayer. I think 
there is as much need of prayer as preaching; 
for I find in the scriptures, "Pray continually," 
but I find not preach continually. 

Theol. No man denieth but that prayer is 
most needful, always to be joined unto preaching 
and all other holy exercises, for it is the hand- 
maid to all; but yet we prefer preaching above 
it, because preaching is both the director and 
whetstone of prayer; yea, it stirreth us aright in 
all spiritual actions and services whatsoever, 
without the which we can keep no certain course, 
but are ever ready to err on this hand, or that. 
Now, whereas you say you find "Pray continu- 
ally," but not preach continually, you might, if 
you were not wilfully blind, find also preach con- 
tinually; for the apostle saith, 2 Tim. iv. 2, "Be 
instant: preach the word in season, and out of 
season :" that is always, as time and occasion 
shall serve. 

Antil. You extol preaching, but you say 
nothing for reading. I beheve you condemn 

Theol. Doth he that highly commendeth gold 
condemn silver? 1 do ingenuously confess that 
both public and private reading of the scriptures 
are very necessary and profitable, and would to 
God it were more used than it is; for it is of 


singvilar use, both to increase knowledge and 
judgment, and also to make us more fit to hear 
the word preached. For such men as are alto- 
gether ignorant of the history of the bible can 
hear the word with small profit or comfort. 

Phil. It seemeth that this man neither regard- 
eth the one nor the other; because, for ought that 
I can see, he careth not greatly if the scriptures 
were burnt. 

Antil. Oh sirrah, you speak very malapartly; 
you may speak when you are bidden. Who made 
you a judge? You are one of his disciples, and 
that makes you to speak on his side. 

JPhil. No sir, I hope I am Christ's disciple, and 
no man's; but assuredly, I cannot hold my peace 
at your vile cavilling, and most blasphemous 

Antil. I cry your mercy, sir; you seem to be 
one of these scripture-men ; you are all of the 
Spirit: you are so full of it, that it nmneth out at 
your nostrils. 

PMl. You do plainly shew yourself to be a 
scoffing Ishmaelite. 

Antil. And you do plainly shew yourself to be 
one of these folk of Crod which know their seats 
in heaven. 

Phil. I pray God be merciful unto you, and 
give you a better heart. For I see you are in the 
gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. 

Antil. You think there is none good but such 
as yourself, and such as can please your humour. 
You will, forsooth, be aU p\ire; but, by God, 
there be a company of pure knaves of you, 

Theol. Nay, now you do manifestly shew of 
what spirit you are ; for you both swear and rail 
with one breath. 


Antil. God forgive me! why did he anger me, 
then? There be a company of such controllers 
as he in the world, that nobody can be quiet for 

Theol. I perceive a little thing will anger you, 
since you will be angry with him for speaking 
the truth. 

Antil. What hath he to do with me? He is 
more busy than needs. Why doth he say I am 
in a bad case ? I will not come to him to learn 
my duty. If I have faults he shall not answer 
for them; I shall answer for mine own faults, 
and every tub shall stand on his ow^n bottom: 
let him meddle with that he hath to do withal. 

Theol. You are too impatient; you take matters 
at the worst. We ought friendly, and in loye, to 
admonish one another; for we must have a care 
one of another's salvation. I dare say for him 
that he speaketh both of love and compassion 
towards you. 

Antil. I care not for such love; let him keep 
it to himself What doth he think of me ? doth 
he suppose that I have not a soul to save as well 
as he, or that I have no care of my salvation ? 
I would he should know that I have as great 
care for my salvation as he, though I make no 
such outward shew; for all is not gold that 
glistereth. I have as good a meaning as he, 
though I cannot utter it. 

Theol. These words might well be spared. I 
hope you will be pacified, and amend your life, 
and draw nearer to God hereafter. 

Antil. Truly, sir, you may think of me what 
you please; but, I assure you, I have more care 
that way than all the world wonders at, I thank 
God for it. I say my prayers every night when 

or SALTATIOJf. 219 

I am in my bed; and if good prayers will do us 
no good, God help us. I have always served 
Grod duly and truly, and had him in my mind. 
I do as I would be done to; I keep my church, 
and tend my prayers while I am there; and, I 
hope, I am not so bad as this fellow would make 
me. I am sure, if 1 be bad, I am not the worst 
in the world: there be as bad as I. If I go to 
hell, I shall have fellows, and make as good shift 
as others, 

Theol. You think you have spoken wisely, but 
I like not your answer; for your words smell 
strongly both of ignorance, pride, and unbelief. 
For, first, you justify yourself in your faithless 
and ignorant worshipping of God; and. secondly, 
you justify yourself by comparison with others, 
because others are as bad as you, and you are 
not the worst in the world. 

Antil. Now I know you speak of ill-will; for 
you never had any good opinion of me. 

Theol. 1 would I could have as good an opinion 
of you as I desire, and that I might see that 
wrought in Tou which might draw my love and 
liking towards you; and as for ill- will, the Lord 
knoweth I bear you none. I desire your conver- 
sion and salvation with my whole heart; and 
I would think myself happy if I might save 
your soul with the loss of my right arm. 

Antil. I hope I may repent; for the scriptTire 
saith, at what time soever a sinner doth repent, 
God will have mercy on him; therefore, if I may 
have space and grace, and time to repent before 
death, and to ask God foi^veness, and say my 
prayers, and cry Grod mercy, I hope I shall do 
well enough. 

Theol. You speak as though repentance were 


in your power, and at your commandment, and 
that you can put it into your own heart when you 
list ; and that makes you, and many others, pre- 
sume of it three hours before death. But you 
must know that repentance is the rare gift of God; 
and it is given but to a few. For God will know 
him well that he bestoweth repentance upon, since 
it is proper only to the elect. It is no word 
matter. It is not attained without many and fer- 
vent prayers, and much hearing, reading, and 
meditating in the word of God. It is not so easy 
a matter to come by, as the world judgeth. It is 
not found but of them that seek it diligently, and 
beg it earnestly. It is no ordinary three hours' 
matter. Cry God mercy a little, for fashion, will 
not do it. Cursory saying of a few prayers a little 
before death availeth not; for, though true re- 
pentance be never too late, yet late repentance is 
seldom true. Herein delays are dangerous; for 
the longer we defer it the worse is our case. The 
further a nail is driven in with a hammer, the 
harder it is to get out again. The longer a disease 
is let run, the harder it is to cure. The deeper a 
tree is rooted, the harder it is to pluck up again. 
The longer we defer the time of our repentance, 
the harder it will be to repent ; and therefore it is 
dangerous driving it off to the last cast. For an 
ancient father saith, (Augustine) "we read but 
of one that repented at the last, that no man 
should presume : and yet of one, that none might 
despair." Well then, to conclude this point, I 
would have you to know, that the present time is 
always the time of repentance ; for, time past 
cannot be recovered, and time to come is uncertain. 


Antil. Sir, in mine opinion, you have uttered 
some very dangerous things, and such as were 
enough to drive a man to despair. 
Theol. What be they, I pray you ? 
Antil. There be divers things; but one thing 
doth most of all stick in my stomach, and that 
is, the small number that shall be saved, as you 
I say: but I can hardly be persuaded that God 
made so many thousands to cast them away when 
he hath done. Do you think that God hath 
t made us to condemn us? will you make him to 
I be the author of condemnation ? 

Theol. Xothing less; for God is not the cause 
of men's condemnation, but themselves; for every 
man's destruction cometh of himself; as it is 
written, Hosea xiii. 9, "O Israel, thy destruction 
is of thyself." As for God, he doth, in great 
^ mercy, use all possible means to save souls; as he 

Isaith by the prophet, Isaiah v. 4, "What could I 
have done more to my vineyard, that I have not 
done unto it?" but to come nearer to your 
question : I deny that God hath created the most 
part of men only and solely unto perdition, as the 
proper end which he did aim at in creating them ; 
but he hath created all things for the praise of 
his glory, as it is written, Prov. xvi. 4, "He hath 
I created all things for himself, and the wicked also 
for the evil day." Then it foUoweth, that the 
cause and end why the wicked were created, 
neither was nor is only the destruction of his 
creature, but his own praise and glory; that that 
only might appear and shine forth in all his works. 


Yet certain it is, that God, for just causes, albeit 
unknown and hid to us, hath rejected a great part 
of men. The causes, I say, of reprobation are 
hid in the eternal counsel of God, and known to 
his godly wisdom only. They are secret and 
hid from us ; reserved in his eternal wisdom to be 
revealed at the glorious appearing of our Lord 
Jesus. His judgments, saith the scriptures, are 
as a great deep, and his ways past finding out. It 
is as possible for us to comprehend the ocean sea 
in a little dish, as to comprehend the reason of 
God's counsel in this behalf. 

Antil. What reason, justice, or equity is there 
that sentence of death should be passed upon men 
before they be born, and before they have done 
good or evil? 

Theol. I told you before that we can never 
comprehend the reason of God's proceeding in 
this behalf, yet we must know that his will is the 
rule of righteousness, and must be unto us instead 
of a thousand reasons; for whatsoever God will- 
eth, inasmuch as he willeth it, is to be holden 
just. We cannot conceive the reason of many 
natural things, and things subject to sense, as the 
motion of the celestial bodies, their inconceiv- 
able swiftness, their matter and substance, their 
magnitude, altitude, and latitude. We cannot 
thoroughly find out the cause of the thunder, 
lightning, winds, earthquakes, ebbing and flowing 
of the sea, and many other things under the sun. 
How then can we possibly ascend up into the privy 
chamber and council-house of God, to sift and 
search out the bottom of God's secrets, which no 
wit or reach of man can any way attain unto? 
Let us therefore learn in God's fear to reverence 
that which we cannot in this life comprehend. 


This one thing I must say unto you, that what- 
soever God decreeth, yet doth he execute no man 
till he have ten thousand times deserved it. Foi* 
betwixt the decree and the execution thereof, 
Cometh sin in us, and most just causes of con- 

Antil. If God have decreed men's destruction, 
what can they do withal? who can resist his will? 
why then is he angry with us? For aU things 
must needs come to pass according to his decree 
Mid determination. 

Theol. First, I answer you with the apostle. 
Bom. ix. 20, " man, who art thou which plead- 
est against God! Shall the thing formed say to 
him that formed it, why hast thou made me thus ? 
Hath not the potter power of the clay, to make of 
the same lump one vessel to honour, and another 
to dishonour?" Moreover, I answer, that God's 
decree doth not enforce the will of man, but it 
worketh and moveth of itself. It hath in itself 
the beginning of evil motion, and sinneth will- 
ingly. Therefore, though the decree of God im- 
poseth a necessity upon all secondary causes, so 
as they must needs be framed and disposed accord- 
ing to the same, yet no co-action or constraint, 
for they are all cairied with their voluntary motion. 
Even as we see the pliunb of a clock, being the 
first mover, doth cause all the other wheels to 
move, but not to move this way or that way, for 
in that they move some one way and some another, 
it is of themselves — I mean of their own frame. 
So God's decree doth move all secondary causes, 
but not take away their own proper motion; 
for God is the author of every action, but not of 
any evil in any action. As the soul of man is 
the original cause of all motion in man, as the 


philosophers dispute, but yet not of lame and im- 
potent motion, for that is from another cause, to 
wit, some defect in the body; so I say, God's 
decree is the root and first cause of motion, but 
not of defective motion, that is from ourselves. 
Likewise that a bell soundeth, the cause is in him 
that ringeth it, but that it jarreth, the cause is in 
itself. Again, that a instrument soundeth, is in 
him that playeth upon it, but that it jarreth is in 
itself, that is in its own want of tuning. So then, 
to shut up this point, all instruments and middle 
causes are so moved of Grod, being the first mover, 
that he always doth well, holily, and justly in his 
moving. But the instruments moved are carried 
in contrary motions, according to their own na- 
ture and frame. If they be good they are carried 
unto that which is good, but if they be evil, they 
are carried unto evil. So that, according to the 
double beginning of motion and will, there is a 
double and divers work and effect. 

Antil. But from whence cometh it that man 
of himself, that is of his own free motion, doth 
will that which is evil? 

Theol. From the fall of Adam, whereby his will 
was corrupted. 

Antil. Who was the cause of Adam's fall? 

Theol. The devil, and the deprivation of his 
own will. 

Antil. How could his will incline unto evil, it 
being made good, and he being made good? 

Theol. He and his will were made good, yet 
mutably good ; for to be immutably good is 
proper only to God; and Adam did so stand 
that he might fall, as the event declared. 

Antil. Was not the decree of God the cause of 
Adam's fall? 


Theol. No, but the voluntary inclmation of his 
will unto evil. For Adam's will was neither 
forced, nor by any violence of God's purpose, com- 
pelled to consent; but he, of free wiU and ready 
mind, left God and joined with the devil. Thus 
then I do determine that Adam sinned necessarily, 
if you respect the decree or event, but if you re- 
spect the first mover and inherent cause, which 
was his own will, then he sinned voluntarily and 
contingently; for the decree of God did not 
take away his will or the contingency thereof, but 
only order and dispose it; therefore, as a learned 
writer (Beza) says, " Volens peccavit et motu. He 
sinned willingly, and of his own motion." And 
therefore no evil is to be attributed imto God, or 
his decree. 

Antil. How then do you conceive and consider 
of the purpose of God in all these things? 

Theol. Thus, that God decreed with himself, 
uno actu, at once, that there should be a world. 
— that Adam should be created perfect — that he 
should fall of himself — that all should fall with 
him — that he would save some of the lost race — 
that he would do it of mercy through his Son — 
that he would condemn others for sin. 

Antil. But how do you prove the decree of re- 
probation? to wit, that God hath determined 
the destruction of thousands before the world was. 

Theol. The scriptures calleth the reprobates, 
Eom. ix. 22, "The vessels of wrath prepared to 
destruction." The scriptures saith, 1 Thes. v. 9, 
"God hath not appointed us unto wrath;" there- 
fore it foUoweth ; that some are appointed unto 
wrath. The scriptures saith, 1 Pet. ii. 8, of the 
reprobates, "That they were even ordained to 
stumble at the word." The scriptures saith, 


"They were of old ordained to this condemnation, 
Jude 4. 

Antil. But how do you answer this? "Grod 
willeth not the death of a sinner," Ezek, xviii; 
therefore he hath predestinated none to destruc- 

Theol. God willeth not the death of a sinner 
simply and absolutely, as it is the destruction of 
his creature, but as it is a means to declare his 
justice and to set forth his glory. 

Antil. Grod did foresee and foreknow that the 
wicked would perish through their own sin, but 
yet he did not predestinate them unto it. 

Theol. God's prescience and foreknowledge 
cannot be separated from his decree; for what- 
soever God hath foreseen and foreknown in his 
eternal counsel, he hath determined the same shall 
come to pass; for as it appertaineth to his wis- 
dom to foreknow and foresee all things, so doth 
it appertain to his power to moderate and rule 
all things according to his wiU. 

Antil. What do you call prescience in God? 

Theol. Prescience in God is that whereby all 
things abide present before his eyes, so that to his 
eternal knowledge nothing is past, nothing to 
come, but all things are always present. And so 
are they present, that they are not as conceived 
imaginations, forms, and motions, but all things 
are always so present before God that he doth 
behold them in their verity and perfection. 

Antil. How can God justly determine of men's 
destruction before they have sinned? 

Theol. This objection hath been answered in 
part before ; for I told you that God condemneth 
none but for sin, either originally only, or else 
both original and actual; for howsoever he doth 


in himself, before all time, determine the reproba- 
tion of many, yet he proceedeth to no execution, 
till there be found in us both just deserts and 
apparent cause. Therefore they deal unsoundly 
and foolishly which confound the decree of repro- 
bation with damnation itself, since sin is the 
cause of the one, and only the will of Grod of the 

I*hil. Well, sir, since we are so far proceeded 
in this question, by the occasion of this man's 
objections and cavils, I pray you now, as you have 
spoken much of reprobation and the causes thereof, 
so let us hear somewhat of election and the causes 
thereof; and sbow us out of the scriptures that 
God hath before all worlds chosen some to eter- 
nal Ufe. 

Theol. Touching the decree of election there 
are almost none that make any doubt thereof, 
therefore small proof shall serve for this point. 
Only I will confirm it by one or two testimonies 
out of the holy scriptures. First, the apostle 
saith, Ephes. i. 3, 4, "Blessed be God, even the 
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath bless- 
ed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly 
things in Christ, as he hath chosen us in him be- 
fore the foundation of the world, that we should 
be holy and without blame before him in love." 
You see the words are very plain and pregnant 
for this purpose. Another confirmation is taken 
out of the 8th chap, to the Romans, in the 29th 
verse, "Those whom he knew before did he also 
predestinate to be like to the image of his own 
Son, that he might be the first-bom of many 

Phil. Which be the causes of election? 

Theol. The causes of election are to be found 


only in God himself. For liis eternal election 
dependeth neither upon man, neither yet upon 
anything that is in man,' but is purposed in 
himself, and established in Christ, in whom we 
are elected. This is fully proved in these words, 
Eph. i. 5, 6, "Who hath predestinated us to be 
adopted through Jesus Christ in himself, accord- 
ing to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise 
of his glory, wherewith he hath made us freely 
accepted in his Beloved." Where we see the 
apostle telleth us, that his free grace and the good 
pleasvire of his will, are the first motives or mov- 
ing causes of our election. 

Phil. But the papists fetch the first motive of 
election out of man's merits and foreseen works; 
for, say they, God did forsee who would repent, 
believe, and do well, and therefore he made choice 
of them. 

Theol. But they are greatly deceived. For I 
S2ij, again and again, that there was nothing in us 
which did ever move God to set his love upon us 
and choose us unto life, but he ever found the 
original cause in himself; as it is written, Eom. ix. 
18, "He will have mercy upon whom he will have 
mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth;" and 
again, ver. 16, " It is neither in him that willeth, 
nor in him that runneth, but in God that sheweth 
mercy." The Lord himself, in Deut. vii. 7, also 
testifieth that he did choose his people, not for any 
respect in them, but only because he loved them; 
and bore a special favour unto them. So, then, it 
is a certain truth that God's eternal predestination 
excludeth all merits of man, and all power of his 
will, thereby to attain eternal life; and that his 
free mercy and undeserved favour is both the 
beginning, the middle, and the end of our salva- 


tion: that is to say, all is of him, and nothing 
of ourselves. 

Phil. Whether then doth faith depend upon 
election, or election upon faith? that is, whe- 
ther did God choose us because we do believe? 
or whether do we believe, because we are chosen ? 

Theol. Out of all doubt, both faith and all 
finiits of faith do depend upon election. For, 
therefore we believe, because we are elected, and 
not therefore elected, because we believe; as it 
is written, " So many as were ordained to ever- 
lasting life believed," Acts xiii. 48. 

Antil. If men be predestinate before they be 
bom, to what purpose serve all precepts, admo- 
nitions, laws, &c.? It forceth not how we live; 
for neither our godly or ungodly life can alter 
the purpose of God. 

Theol. This Ls a very wicked and carnal objec- 
tion, and sheweth a vile and dissolute mind in 
them that use it. But I would wish such men 
to consider the end of our election, which is that 
we should lead a godly life; as it is plainly set 
down in the first to the Ephesians, where the 
apostle saith, ver, 3, 4, " God hath chosen us be- 
fore the foundation of the world." But to what 
end? that we should live as we list? Xo, no, 
saith he, " But that we should be holy and un- 
blameable before him in love." Again, he saith, 
Rom. viii. 29, " We are predestinate to be made 
like the image of his Son;" that is, to be holy and 
righteous; for most certain it is that we can 
judge nothing of predestination but by the con- 
sequents, that is, by our calling, justification, 
and sanctification ; for when once we feel the 
work of grace within us, that is, that we are 
washed by the new birth, and renewed by the 


Holy Ghost, finding in ourselves an unfeigned 
hatred of sin, and love of righteousness, then are 
we sure, and out of all doubt, that we are predes- 
tinated to life; and it is even as much as if Grod 
had personally appeared unto us, and whispered 
us in the ear, and told us that our names are 
taken and written in the book of life: "For, 
whom he hath predestinated, them hath he called; 
and whom he hath called, them he hath justified; 
and whom he hath justified, them he hath glori- 
fied," verse 30, Now, therefore, till we feel these 
marks of election wrought in us, we can be at no 
certainty in this point ; neither are we to take any 
notice of it, or middle in it ; but we must strive, 
according to that power and faculty we have, to 
live honestly and civilly, waiting upon God till 
he have mercy on us, and give us the true touch. 
As for them that are careless and dissolute, set- 
ting all at six and seven, there is small hope that 
they are elected, or ever shall be called. 

Antil. I think the preaching and publishing of 
this doctrine of predestination hath done much 
hurt; and it had been good it had never been 
known to the people, but utterly concealed ; for 
some it driveth to despair, and others it maketh 
more secure and cai'eless. 

Theol. You are in a great error, for this doc- 
trine is a part of God's revealed truth, which he 
would have known to his people; and, in good 
sooth*, it is of very great and comfortable use ta 
the children of God against all the assaults of 
the devil, and temptations of desperation whatso- 
ever; for, when a man hath once in truth felt, 
by the effects, that God hath chosen him to life, 

• Truth 

jlstd election. 231 

then though the devil lie sore at him, and the 
conscience of sin and his own frailties most vehe- 
mently assault him, yet he knoweth certainly 
that the eternal purpose and counsel of God is 
immutable; and that because his salvation is not 
grounded upon himself, nor his own strength, but 
upon the unchangeable decree of Grod, which is a 
foundation unmoveable, and always standing sure 
and firm; therefore, do the devil and sin what 
they can, yet he shall be upheld in righteousness 
and truth, and, as it were, bom up in the 
arms of God, even to the end; for whom God 
loveth, to the end God loveth them. Moreover, 
when once the Lord's people perceive, by their 
sanctrfication and new birth, both that the Lord 
hath rejected and reprobated so many thousand 
thousands, and made choice of them to be heirs 
of his most glorious kingdom, being in themselves 
of the same mould and making that others are, 
and that he hath done all this of his free grace 
and undeserved mercy towards them, oh how 
doth it ravish their hearts with the love of him ! 
Again, how frankly and cheerfully do they serve 
him! how willingly and faithfully do they obey 
him! yea, how are they wholly en wrapt and in- 
flamed with the desire of him ! for it is the per- 
suasion and feeling of God's love toward us that 
draweth up our love to him again, as St. John 
saith, iv. 19, " We love him, because he hath loved 
us first." Moreover, it is said of Mary Magdalene 
" That she loved much, because much was for- 
given;" for, after she felt her many and great sins 
finely pardoned, her affections were kindled with 
the love and obedience of Christ. So likewise the 
church in the Canticles, after she had been in 
the banqueting house of aU spiritual grace, and 


felt the banner of Christ's love displayed upon 
her, forthwith she was enwrapt therewith, and 
cried out, as it were in a swoon, " That she was 
sick of love." So again, when Christ put in his 
hand by the hole of the door, that is, touched 
the very inward parts of her heart, by his 
Spirit, then her heart yearned, and her bowels 
were affectioned towards him. This is it which St. 
Paul prayeth for upon his knees, that it may be 
granted to the Ephesians, " That they may be 
able to comprehend with all the saints, what is 
the breadth and length, heighth and depth of 
God's love towards us, and to know the love of 
Christ, which passeth knowledge, and to be filled 
with all the fulness of the Grod." Thus you then 
see the great and comfortable use of this doctrine 
of election, both in that it ministereth strength 
and comfort against all temptations; as also 
because it constraineth us to love God, and of 
very love to fear him and obey him. 

PJiil. Well, sir, I think now you have spent 
time enough in answering the objections and 
cavils of Antilegon; in all which I do observe 
one thing, that there is no end of cavilling and 
objecting against the truth ; and that a man may 
object more in an hour than a learned man can 
well answer in a day. 

TJieol. You say truth; and the reason hereof 
is because men have sin in them out of measure, 
and the Spirit of God but in measure ; therefore 
they can by the one object, and conceive more 
against the truth, than by the other they shall 
be able to answer and say for it. 

PMl. It appcareth, indeed, that errors be infi- 
nite, and objections innumerable, and that there 
is no end of men's cavilling against God's sacred 


truth. It is good for us, therefore, to be thoroughly 
settled in the truth, that we be not entangled or 
snarled with any cavils, or sophistications what- 
soever; but I do verily think, notwithstanding 
all his objections and exceptions, that he doth in 
his conscience desire, with Balaam, to die the 
death of the righteous, and to be as one of them 
whom he seemeth to despise. 

TTieol. I am so persuaded too; for this is the 
triumph that virtue hath over vice, that, where 
she is most hated, there she is often desired and 
wished for. And this is the great pvmishment 
that Grodbringeth upon the wicked, "Virtutem ut 
tnd^antjintabegcantque relicta," as saith the poet, 
" That they shall see virtue and pine away, having 
no power to follow it." 


Phil. Now let us return to the point we were 
in hand with before we feU into these objections 
and cavils, which was concerning the small 
number of them which shall be saved; and as 
you have shewed us many reasons thereof, so pro- 
ceed to speak yet more unto that point. 

Theol. As I have shewed you of sundry lets, 
both within us and without us, which do keep us 
back from God, and hold us fast in our sins; so 
now, imto all that hath been said before, I 
will add nine great hindrances unto eternal Hfe, 
which may not unfitly be termed nine bars out 
of heaven, and nine gates into heU. 

Phil. Which be they? 


Theol. They be these: — infidelity — ^presump- 
tion of God's mercy — example of the multitude 
— long custom of sin — long escaping of punish- 
ment — hope of long life — conceitedness — ill- 
company — evil example of ministers. 

Phil. These, indeed, be strong bars out of 
heaven, and vfide gates into hell. I pray you, 
therefore, prove them out of the scriptures, and 
lay them forth somewhat more largely. 

Theol. The first, which is infidehty, is proved 
out of the fourth chapter to the Hebrews, where 
it is written, " Unto us was the gospel preached, 
as unto them ; but the word which they heard 
profited them not, because it was not mixed with 
faith in those that heard it;" and again, " They 
could not enter in, because of unbelief." Here 
we see that unbelief did bar out the old people 
from entering into the land of promise, which 
was a figure of God's eternal kingdom; and sure 
it is that the same unbelief doth bar out thousands 
of us; for many will believe nothing but their 
own fancies; they will not believe the word of 
God, especially when it is contrary to their lusts 
and likings, profits and pleasures. Though things 
be manifestly proved to their faces, and both the 
chapter and the verse shewed them, yet they will 
not believe; or though they say they beheve, yet 
will they never go about the practice of anything, 
but reply against God in all their actions; and, 
for the most part, when God saith one thing 
they will say another; when God saith yea, they 
will say nay; and so give God the lie. Some 
again will say, if all be true that the preachers 
say, then God help us. Thus you see how infi- 
delity doth bar men out of heaven, and cast them 
into hell. 


Phil. Let U8 hear of the second gate, which 
is presumption of God's mercy. 

Theol. This is set dowTi in the twenty-ninth 
chapter of Deuteronomy, where the Lord saith 
thus, "When a man heareth the words of this 
curse, and yet flattereth himself in his heart, say- 
ing, I shall have peace, although I walk accord- 
ing to the stubbornness of mine own heart (thus 
adding drunkenness to thirst, that is, one sin to 
another,) the Lord will not be merciful unto him, 
but the wrath of the Lord and his jealousy shall 
smoke against that man; and every curse that is 
written in this book shall light upon him, and 
the Lord shall put out his name from under 
heaven." Here we see how the mighty God doth 
thunder down upon such as go on in their sins, 
presuming of his mercy, and saying in their hearts, 
if I may have but a "Lord have mercy upon me," 
three hours before death I care not. But it is 
just with God, when those three hours come, to 
shut them up in blindness and hardness of heart, 
as a just plague for their presumption; there- 
fore the prophet David, seeing the grievousness 
of this sin, prayeth to be delivered from it, 
" Keep me, Lord, (saith he) from presumptuous 
sins; let them not reign over me," Psalm lix. 
Let all men, therefore, take heed of presumptuous 
sins : for though God be full of mercy, yet will he 
shew no mercy to them that presume of his 
mercy; but they shall once know, to their cost, 
that justice goeth from him as well as mercy. 

Phil. Let us come to the third gate, which is 
the example of the multitude. 

Theol. This is proved in the twenty-third 
chapter of Exodus, ver. 2, where the Lord saith 
flatly, "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do 


evil." In another place, the Lord saith, Levit. 
xviii. 3, "After the doings of the land of Egypt, 
wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do ; and after the 
manner of the land of Canaan, whither I will 
bring you, shall ye not do, neither walk in their 
ordinances." Against this law did the children 
of Israel offend when they said, in the stubborn- 
ness of their heart, to the prophet Jeremiah, xliv. 
16, 17, "The word that thou hast spoken unto us 
in the name of the Lord we shall not hear. But 
we will do whatsoever goeth out of our own 
mouth; and we will do as we have done, both we 
and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the 
cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem." 
Note here how they do altogether refuse the word 
of the Lord, and how to follow the example of the 
multitude. We see, in these our days, by lamen- 
table experience, how thousands are violently car- 
ried down this stream, and for defence of it some 
will say, "Do as the most men do, and the fewest 
will speak of you;" which is a very wicked speech, 
for if we will follow the course of the most we 
shall have the reward of the most, which is eter- 
nal perdition. Let us, therefore, take heed of 
bending with the sway ; for the sway of the world 
doth weigh down all things that can be spoken 
out of the word of God, and openeth a very wide 
passage into hell. 

Pliil. Proceed to the fourth gate into hell, which 
is the long custom of sin. 

Theol. This is noted by the prophet Jeremiali 
to be a very dangerous thing; for he saith, xiii. 
23, " Can the black Moor change his skin, or the 
leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, 
which are accustomed to do evil:" noting there- 
by that it is as hard a matter to leave an old 

or MA2f's SALTATION. 237 

custom of sin as to wash a black Moor white, or 
to change the spots of a leopard, which, because 
they are natural, are most impossible: so, when 
men through custom have made swearing, lying, 
adultery, and drunkenness, as it were natural 
unto them, oh how hard it is to leave them! for 
custom maketh another nature, and taketh away 
all sense and feehng of sin. 

Phil. Let us hear of the fifth gate, which is 
the long escaping of punishment. 

Theol. This is avouched by the wise man in 
these words, Eccles, viii. 11, "Because sentence 
against an evil work is not executed speedily, 
therefore the hearts of the children of men are set 
in them to do evil;" where he sheweth that one 
cause why men are so hardened in their sins is 
because God winketh at them, and letteth them 
alone, not punishing them immediately after they 
have sinned; for if God should forthwith strike 
down one, and rain fire and brimstone upon ano- 
ther, and cause the earth to swallow up the third, 
then men would fear indeed. But it hath been 
shewed before that God taketh not that course ; 
but though he meet with some in this life, yet he 
lets thousands escape; and that makes them more 
bold, thinking they shall never come to their 
answer ; even as an old thief, which hath a 
long time escaped both prison and gallows, thinks 
he shall always so escape, and therefore goeth 
boldly on in Ms thefts. But let men take heed; 
for, as the proverb saith, "Though the pitcher 
goeth long to the well, yet at last it cometh broken 
home;" so, though men escape long, yet they 
shall not escape always; for there will come a 
day of reckoning, a day that will pay it home for 
all. Thus you see how impunity leadeth num- 


bers to destruction; that is, when men are let 
alone, and neither smitten by the hand of God 
nor punished by the law of the magistrate. 

Phil. Let us come to the sixth gate, which is 
the hope of long life. 

Theol. This is affirmed by our Lord Jesus con- 
cerning that rich worldling who, when he felt 
the world come in upon him with full stream, said 
he would pull down his barns and build greater, 
and say to his soul, "Soul, thou hast much goods 
laid up for many years. Live at ease, eat, drink, 
and take thy pastime," Luke xii. 19. But our 
Saviour calleth him fool, for flattering himself in 
security, and promising unto himself long life. 
Moreover, he plainly told him that the same night 
he should make a miserable end in helL Note, 
I pray you, how Jesus Christ, the fountain of all 
wisdom, calleth this man a fool, and yieldeth a 
reason thereof, to wit because he gathered riches 
to himself, and was not rich in God: he had great 
care of this life, and none at all for that which is 
to come. So then, it followeth that all such are 
right fools indeed, and may be chronicled for fools, 
how wise soever they may be taken and reputed 
in the world, which have much care for their 
bodies, and none for their souls: great care for 
this life, and little for that which is to come. 
Well, let all such profane worldlings as dream 
and dote of long life, and therefore defer the 
day of their repentance and conversion unto 
God, take heed by this man's example that they 
reckon not without their host, and be sud- 
denly snatched away in the midst of all their 
pleasures and gaities: as Job saith, xxi. 23, 24, 
"Some die in their full strength, being in all 
ease and prosperity ; their breasts run full of milk, 

or man's SAiTATioir. 239 

and their bones run full of marrow;" we see, 
therefore, how dangerous a thing it is for men to 
flatter and sooth up themselves with hope of long 

I*hil. Proceed to the seventh gate, which is 

Theol. This is, indeed, a very broad gate into 
hell ; for the scripture saith, " Seest thou a man 
wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of 
a fool than of such a one." And again, " The 
fool is wiser in his own eyes, than seven men 
that can give a sensible reason," Prov. xxvi. 
12, 16. The Holy Ghost, we see, affirmeth that 
such as are puffed up with an overweening* of 
their own gifts are farthest of all others from the 
kingdom of heaven; for they despise the wis- 
dom of God to their own destruction. They 
hold scorn to be taught; they will say they 
know as much as all the preachers can tell them; 
for, what can all the preachers say more than 
this? we are all sinners — we must be saved by 
Christ — we must do as we would be done to. 
There is no more but do well, and have well, &c. 
Alas! poor souls, they look aloft; they are des- 
perately hoven up with conceitedness, not know- 
ing that they are poor, naked, blind, and miser- 
able, Eev. iii. 17. These men trust altogether to 
their own wit, learning, policy, riches, and great 
reputation in the world ; and because all men 
crouch to them, and clap their hands at them, 
therefore they swell like turkey cocks, set up 
their feathers, and draw their wings upon the 
ground, with a kind of snuff and disdain of all 
men, as if they were the only wightsf of the 

* High canceit. f Feisons. 


world. Moreover, when men do praise them for 
their gifts, sooth them, and applauded unto them, 
then is it a wonder to see how they streak* them- 
selves, as though they would forthwith take their 
flight and mount up into the clouds. But let all 
insolent and conceited men hearken unto the 
woe that is pronounced against them, by the 
eternal King of glory, saying, " "Woe unto them 
that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in 
their own sight," Isa. v. 21. Again, let them 
hearken to the counsel of God, which saith, 
"Trust unto the Lord with all thy heart, but lean 
not unto thine own wisdom. Be not wise in 
thine own eyes; but fear God and depart from 
evO," Prov. iii. 5. These silly conceited fools 
think that because they have the cast of this life, 
and can cunningly compass the things of this 
world, and go through stitch with them, there- 
fore they can compass heaven also by their fine 
wits and deep devices ; but, alas ! poor wretches, 
they are greatly and grossly deceived; " For 
the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God; 
and he catcheth the wise in their own craftiness," 
1 Cor. iii. 19. And again the Lord saith, "I will 
destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will cast 
away the understanding of the prudent," 1 Cor. 
i. 19. Let not these men, therefore, stand too 
much in their own light: let them not trust to 
their own policies; for they are all but as an 
ice of one night's freezing, which will deceive them 
that trust unto it. Let them, therefore, become 
fools themselves, that God may make them wise. 
Let them deny themselves, that God may ac- 
knowledge them ; let them be humbled in them- 

* stretch themselves up. 

OF man's salvation. 241 

selves, that God may exalt them. For assuredly, 
there is no use after this life, of the exquisite wis- 
dom of the flesh; it aU endeth when we end. 
For how dieth the wise man ? even as dieth the 
fool, saith the Holy Ghost, Eccles. ii. 16; and 
where all worldly wisdom endeth, there all heavenlv 
Ansdom beginneth. Thus, therefore, we see what 
a wide gate into hell conceitedness is, and how 
many enter in thereat, 

Phil. Now, let us xmderstand of the eighth gate 
into hell, which is ill company. 

Theol. The Spirit of God, forseeing the great 
danger of this, and knowing how ready we are 
to be carried away with iU company, doth give 
us most earnest warning to take heed of it as a 
most dangerous thing. " Enter not (saith he) 
in the way of the wicked; and walk not in the 
way of evil men. Avoid it, go not by it, turn 
from it, and pass by," Prov. iv. 14, 15. The 
reason hereof is yielded in another place, where 
it is said, " A companion of fools shall be de- 
stroyed," xiii. 20. Let men, therefore, take 
heed of ill company; for many thereby have 
been brought to the gallows, and have confessed 
upon the ladder that Ul company hath brought 
them unto it, and therefore have admonished all 
by their example to take heed, and beware of, 
lewd company. Moreover, the scriptures saith, 
"He that foUoweth vain companions shall be fiUed 
with poverty," Prov. xxviii. 19; and again, in 
the same chapter, "He that keepeth company with 
banqueters, shameth his father." Let us, there- 
fore, with David say, "I am a companion of all 
them that fear God and keep his commandments," 
Psalm cxix. 63. And, on the contrary, let us say 
with him, "I have not haunted with vain persons. 


neither kept company with the dissemblers. I 
hate the assembly of the evil, and have not com- 
panied with the wicked," Psalm xxvi, 4. Let us, 
therefore, by David's example, shun the company 
of the wicked; for as a man is so is his company. 
It is the surest note to discern a man by ; for, as 
all unlike things are unsociable, so all like things 
are sociable. Herein let us beware we deceive 
not ourselves with vain words, and an opinion of 
our own strength ; as if we were as strong as Christ, 
and could not be drawn away with any company. 
No, no; we are more apt to be drawn than to 
draw : to be drawn to evil by others, than to draw 
others to good; therefore, God saith by his pro- 
phet, Jeremiah, xv. 19, "Let them return unto 
thee, but return not thou unto them." Un- 
doubtedly, he is an odd man that is not made 
worse with ill company, For can a man touch 
pitch and not be defiled therewith? Can a man 
carry coals in his bosom and not be bvirnt? 
Daily and lamentable experience sheweth that 
many of them which think themselves strong, are 
this way most grievously smutted.* Let a man 
think, therefore, he never abandoneth evil, till he 
abandon ill company; for no good is concluded 
in this parliament; for ill company is the suburbs 
of hell. Furthermore, it is to be observed that 
some, upon admonitions and some inward com- 
punctions of their own conscience, do leave their 
sins until they have new provocations, and until 
they come amongst their old copesmatesf and 
sin companions; and then are they carried back 
again to their old bias, and return to their folly 
as a dog returneth to liis vomit. For we see 

* Corrupted, disgraced. + Wild companions. 

OF man's saltation. 243 

some, which otherwise are of good natures and 
dispositions, most pitifully and violently carried 
away with ill company; for even as green wood 
of itself is unapt to burn, yet being laid on the 
fire with a great deal of sear* wood, it burneth 
as fast as the rest; so many toward youths, 
which of themselves are not so prone unto evil as 
others, yet with this violent stream and blustering 
tempest of 01 company, are carried clean away. 

Phil. Let us come to the last gate, which is 
the evil example of ministers. 

Theol. It grieveth me, and I am almost 
ashamed to speak of this point; for is it not a 
woful and lamentable thing that any such should 
be found amongst the sons of Levi? Is it not a 
corsey,t that the ministers of Christ should be of 
a scandalous conversation? for if the eye be 
dark, how great is the darkness? If they be ex- 
amples of all evil to the flock, which should be 
patterns, lights, and examples of all goodness, 
must it not needs strengthen the hands of the 
wicked, so as they cannot return from their 
wickedness? But this is an old disease and evil 
sickness which hath always been in the church. 
The prophet Jeremiah doth most grievously com- 
plain of it in his time, and saith, xxiii. l4, that 
"from the prophets of Jerusalem is wickedness 
gone forth into all the land; for both the prophet 
and the priest do wickedly. I have seen, (saith 
he) in the prophets of Jerusalem, filthiness ; they 
commit adiiltery, and walk in lies; they strengthen 
also the hands of the wicked, that none can re- 
turn from his wickedness; they are all unto me 
as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gromor- 

* Dry wood. 
f A fretting burning plaster to a sore — a painful grievance. 


rah." And in the ninth verse of the same chap- 
ter, he shevveth that it was no pleasure or joy 
unto him so pubHcly to reprove them; but that 
he did it with exceeding grief, as being forced 
thereunto, both in regard of God's glory, and the 
good of his church. His words are these, "Mine 
heart breaketh within me, because of the prophets; 
and all my bones shake." Moreover, in the same 
chapter is set down how the Lord would feed 
them with wormwood, and make them drink the 
water of gall, and sundry other ways plague them 
for their flatteries, seducements, corrupt doctrine, 
and evil example of life. 

I'hil. Most certain it is that the evil example 
of ministers, and especiallj'^ of preachers, is yer}^ 
dangerous and offensive: for thereby thousands 
are hardened in their sins. For men will say, 
such a minister and such a preacher doth thus 
and thus, and therefore, why may not we do so 
too? They are learned, and know the word of 
God; therefore, if it were evil, I hope they 
would not do it; for they should be lights to 
us, and give us good examples ; therefore, since 
they do such things, we cannot tell what to think, 
or what to say to the matter: the}'' bring such 
simple folks as we are into a mammering.* 

Theol. Oh that I could, with the prophet 
Jeremiah, quake and shake to think of these 
matters! Oh that I could mourn as a dove, in 
penning of it! Oh that I had in the wilderness 
a cottage, and could with Job be a brother to the 
dragons, and a companion to the ostriches, 
whilst I have any thoughts of those things! Oh 
that I could weep and mourn without sin, before 

* Perplexity. 

OF man's saltation. 245 

I yield you an answer. For weep indeed I 
may, but answer 1 cannot. Alas, with much 
grief 1 speak it, all is too true that you say: 
and herein the people have a vantage against us, 
if I may call it vantage. But let this be mine 
answer, " If the blind lead the blind, both shall 
fall into the dit<»h," Matt. xv. 14. Blind guide? 
and blind people, shall perish together. If 
because we are wicked they \vill be more wicked, 
then both they and we shall bum in hell-fire 
together. Then, let them reckon their gains and 
see what they have got. They have small cause 
so to triumph over us; for thereby their market 
is never a whit amended: let them take this for 
answer. And let us that are the ministers of 
Christ, and preachers of the gospel, look narrow;ly 
to ourselves, and make straight steps to our feet; 
for, if we tread never so little awry, we may see 
how many eyes are upon us. Let us, therefore, 
with David pray continually, " Order my goings, 
O Lord, that my footsteps slip not. For when 
my foot slipped, they rejoiced against me." And 
as for the people, let them follow the example 
of those which walk unblameably, as God be 
thanked, some such there be, and let them fly the 
examples of such as are offensive. So shall God 
have more glory, and they more peace in their 
own hearts. Thus have we heard what a wide 
gate is opened into heU by the evil example of 
ministers, and especially of preachers. 



Phil. Well, since there be so many bars out of 
heaven and so many gates into hell, it is a very 
hard matter to break through all these bars, and 
so to enter into life; and as hard a matter to miss 
all these gates and escape hell. He quits him 
well that can do it. 

Theol. True indeed; and as hard a thing as 
this is, so hard a thing is it for flesh and blood 
to enter into the kingdom of heaven; and yet 
most men make light of it, and think it is the 
easiest matter of an hundred. 

Asun. As hard as it is, yet I hope by the grace 
of God I shall be one of them that shall enter 
in; for, so long as 1 do as I would be done to, 
and say nobody no harm, nor do nobody no harm, 
God will have mercy on my soul. And I doubt 
not but my good deeds shall weigh against my 
evU deeds, and that I shall make even with God 
at my latter end ; for, I thank God for it, I have 
alwaj'^s lived in his fear, and served him with a 
true intent; therefore I know that so long as I 
keep his commandments, and live as my neigh- 
dours do, and as a Christian man ought to do, he 
will not damn my soul. 

Theol. Can you then keep God's command- 
ments ? 

Asun. As near as God will give me grace. 

Theol. Nay, but I ask you whether you keep 
them or no? 


Asun. I do say, to keep them as near as I can, 
I do my true intent. Though I keep them not 
all, yet I am sure I keep some of them. 

Theol. Because you say you keep some of 
them, I pray you let me be so bold with you as 
to examine you in the particulars. You know 
the first commandment is this, " Thou shalt have 
none other gods in my sight." How say you, do 
vou keep this ? 

Asun. I am out of all fear of it; for I never 
worshipped any God but one. I am fully per- 
suaded there is but one God. 

Theol. What say you to the second command- 
ment? "Thou shadt make to thyself no graven 
image," &c. 

Asun. I never worshipped any images in my 
life: I defy them. I know they cannot help me, 
for they be but stocks and stones. 

Theol. What say you to the third command- 
ment ? which is this, " Thou shalt not take the 
name of the Lord thy God in vain," &c. 

Asun. Nay certainly, I was never counted a 
swearer in my life, but I have feared God always 
of a child, and have had a good faith in him ever 
since I could remember. I would be sorry else. 

Theol. What say you then to the fourth com- 
mandment ? " Remember that thou keep holy the 
Sabbath-day," &c. 

Asun. Nay, for that matter, I keep my church 
as well as any man in the parish where I dwell, 
and mind my prayers as well when I am there. 
I thank God for it, though I say it myself, I have 
been always well given, and have loved Gt)d's 
word with all my heart; and it doth me good to 
hear the epistles and gospels read every Sunday 
by our vicar. 


Theol. Tell me, what say you to the fifth com- 
mandment? which is, "Honour thy father and 
thy mother," &c. do you keep this? 

Asun. I have always loved and oheyed my 
father and mother from my heart; I hope there is 
nobody can accuse me for that, and I am sure if 
I keep any commandment it is this; for when I 
was a boy every body said that I was well given, 
and a toward child; therefore, if I should not 
keep this commandment, it would be a great grief 
to me, and go as near my heart as any thing that 
came to me this seven years. 

Theol. What say you to the sixth command- 
ment? "Thou shalt not kill." 

Asun. It were strange if I should not keep 

Theol. What say you to the seventh? "Thou 
shalt not commit adultery." 

Asun. I thank God for it, I was never given 
to women; Grod hath always kept me from that, 
and I hope will so still. 

Theol. What say you to the eighth? "Thou 
shalt not steal." 

Asun. I am neither whorem aster nor thief. 

Theol. What say you to the ninth? "Thou 
shalt not bear false witness," &c. 

Asv/n. 1 defy all false witness-bearing from my 

Theol. What say you to the last? "Thou shalt 
not covet," &c. 

Asun. I thank Grod for it, I never coveted any 
man's goods but mine own. 

Theol. Now, I perceive you are a wonderful 
man; you can keep all the commandments. You 
are like that blind ruler which said unto Christ, 
Matt. xix. 20, "All these things have I kept from 


my youth." I perceive now, indeed, that it is no 
marvel though you make so light of preaching, 
for you have no need of it : you are whole, you 
need not the physician; you feel no misery, and 
therefore you care not for mercy; for where 
misery is not felt, there mercy is not regarded; 
but I see you need no Saviour. 

Asun. You say not well in that: I need a 
Saviour, and it is my Lord Jesus that must save 
me, for he made me. 

Theol. What! need you a Saviour since you are 
no sinner? 

Asun. Yes, believe me, I am a sinner; we are 
all sinners; there is no man but he sinneth. 

Theol. How can you be a sinner since you keep 
all the commandments? 

Asun. Yes, I am a sinner for all that. 

Theol. Can you both be a sinner and be with- 
out sin too? for he that keepeth the command- 
ments is without sin! which thing you say you 
do. But I see how the case standeth, that a great 
number of such ignorant and sottish men as you 
are will in general say you are sinners, because 
your conscience telleth you so; but when it cometh 
to particulars, you know not how you sin, nor 
wherein. I pray you, therefore, let me lead you 
through the commandments again, and deal with 
you in particulars, that I may bring you to the 
sight of your sin. How say you, therefore, do you 
upon your knees, every morning and evening, give 
God thanks for his particular mercies, and mani- 
fold favours towards you? And do you call much 
upon him privately, and much also with yoiu- 
family? Answer me, plainly and simply. 

Asun. I cannot say so. 

Theol. Then you have broken the first com- 


mandment, which ehargeth us to give God his 
due worship, whereof prayer and thanksgiving 
are a part; so then, here, at the very entrance, 
you are found guilty. Further, I demand of you 
whether you never had any by-thoughts in your 
prayers, and your heart hath not been upon 
other matters, even then while you were in 

Asun. I cannot deny that: for it is a very hard 
matter to pray without by-thoughts. 

Theol. Then, by your own confession, you have 
broken the second commandment, which doth com- 
mand the right manner of Grod's worship; that is, 
that as we must worship God, so we must do it 
in faith, love, zeal, and pure aifections. So that 
here you are guilty also, because when you pray 
your mind is of other matters, and you do it not 
in sincerity and truth. Further, I demand of you 
whether you did never swear by your faith, or 
truth, or by our lady, St. Mary, and such other 
oaths ? 

Asun. Yes, by St. Mary have I — I must needs 
confess it. 

Theol. We need no further witness. Your 
very answer proveth it, for your answer is an oath ; 
therefore, here also you are guilty, because you 
swear by idols. Further, I demand of you 
whether you did never travel to fairs on the Sab- 
bath-day, or make bargains on that day, or take 
journeys, or talk of worldly matters, neglecting 
holy duties? 

Asun. Yes, God forgive me, I have. 

Theol. Then you are guilty of the breach of 
the fourth commandment, which ehargeth us, on 
pain of death, to spend the Sabbath-day in holy 
and religious duties, both publicly and privately. 


Further, I demand whether you instract your 
wife, children, and servants in the true knowledge 
of God, and pray with them or no? 

Asun. I am sure you would have me speak 
the truth ; I must needs confess I do not, neither 
am I able to do it. 

. Theol. Then you are guilty of the breach of 
the fifth commandment, which commandeth all 
duties of superiors to inferiors, and of inferiors 
towards their superiors, whereof prayer and in- 
structions are apart. Moreover, I demand whether 
you were never angry or no? 

Asun. Yes, an hundred times in my days. 
And I think there is nobody but will be angry at 
one time or other, especially when they have 

Theol. Then you have broken the sixth com- 
mandment, which chargeth us to avoid wrath, 
anger, mahce, desire of revenge, and all such like 
forerunners unto murder. Further, I ask you 
whether you did never look upon a woman with 
a lust in your heart? 

Asnn. Yes, for I think there is no man free 
from thoughts that way. I had thought thoughts 
had been free. 

Theol. No, thoughts are not free before Crod; 
for God knoweth our thoughts, and will punish 
us, arraign us, and condemn us for thoughts. 
Men know not thoughts, and therefore can make 
no laws against thoughts; but because God is 
privy to all our most secret thoughts, therefore 
he hath made laws against them, and will con- 
demn them. Therefore, I conclude that if you 
have nourished adulterous thoughts in your heart 
you are guilty of the breach of the seventh com- 
mandment, which forbiddeth all secret thoughts 


and provocations whatsoever to adultery. But 
further, I demand whether you did never pilfer, 
purloin, and steal some small things from your 
neighbour: as pasture, poultry, conies, apples, 
and such like? 

Asuii. I cannot clear myself in these things, 
for I had thought they had been no sin. 

TJieol. Then have you broken the eighth com- 
mandment, and stand guilty of eternal death; 
for God in his commandment chargeth us to 
liave as great care of our neighbour's goods as of 
our own ; and not to injure him in any manner of 
way, in thought, word, or deed; therefore, all 
deceit, pilfering, oppressing, and all unjust dealing 
with our neighbour's goods, is here condemned. 
Moreover, let me ask you whether you did never 
lie, or dissemble? 

Asun. Yes, assuredly. 

Theol. Then you have broken the ninth com- 
mandment, wherein Grod chargeth us, both in 
witness-bearing and all other matters, to speak 
the plain truth from our heart, without lying or 
dissembling. Last of all, I demand whether you 
did never in your heart desire something that was 
not your own: as your neighbour's house, or 
ground, kine, or sheep, &e. therein bewraying 
the discontentment of yom* heart? 

Asun. 1 am as guilty in this as in any thing, 
for, God forgive me, I have often desired and 
lusted after this and that, which was none of mine 
own, and so have bewrayed my discontentment. 

Theol. Then I perceive, by your own confes- 
sion, that you are guilty of the breach of all the 

Asun. I must needs confess it; for I see now 
more into that matter than ever I did. I never 


heard so much before in my life, nor was ever 
asked any such questions as you ask me. I had 
thought many of those things which you asked 
me had been no sins at all. 

Theol. I could have convicted you in a thou- 
sand other particulars, wherein you do daily and 
hourly break the law of God. But my purpose 
was only to give you a taste of some particular 
transgressions, and therewithal some little hght 
by the way into the meaning of the law, that 
thereby you might be brought to some better sight 
of yourself, and might a Httle perceive in what 
case you stand before God ; and by that httle con- 
ceive a great deal more. 

Asun. Well, now I do plainly see that I have 
been deceived, and am not in so good estate 
before God as I thought I had been. Moreover, 
I see that thousands are out of the way which 
think they are in a good case before God; 
whereas, indeed, they are in blindness and in their 
sins. But, Lord have mercy upon us, I do now 
plainly see that I am far from keeping the com- 
mandments; and I think no man doth keep 

Theol. You may take your oath of that, I war- 
rant you; for neither Saint Paul, David, or the 
Virgin Mary, could ever keep any one of the 
commandments. I am glad you begin to see into 
the law of God, and to have some taste that way ; 
for, as a man's knowledge and insight is into the 
law, so is the knowledge and insight into himself. 
He that hath a deep insight into the law of God, 
hath also a deep insight into himself. He that 
hath no sight into the law, can have no insight 
into himself; for the law is that glass wherein 
we do behold the face of our souls before God. 


The apostle saith, Rom. iii. 20, "By the law 
Cometh the knowledge of sin;" therefore, those 
which are altogether ignorant of the law, and 
never behold themselves in this glass, do commit 
an hundred sins a day, which they know not of; 
and therefore are not grieved for them; for how 
can a man be grieved for that which he knoweth 
not ? but now further, I pray you, give me leave 
to ask you some more questions of the principles 
of religion, to the end that you, knowing and 
feeling yom- ignorance, may be humbled therewith, 
bewail it in time, and seek after the true know- 
ledge of God. But yet, by the way, I will ask 
Antilegon a question or two; because I desire 
to understand what knowledge he hath in the 
grounds of religion. Tell me, therefore, Anti- 
legon, what was the reason why Christ was con- 
ceived by the Holy Grhost? 

Antil. I could answer you, but I will not; 
what authority have you to examine me? shew 
your commission; when I see your warrant 1 will 
answer you; in the meantime you have nothing 
to do to examine me; meddle with that you have 
to do withal. 

Theol. I perceive you are not only ignorant, 
but wilful and obstinate, and refuse all instruc- 
tions ; therefore I will leave you to God, and to 
your galled conscience ; but, I pray you, Asunetus, 
answer that question: what think you, what is 
the reason that Christ was conceived by the' 
Holy Ghost? 

Asun. Believe me, sir, that is an hard question ; 
you may ask a wise man that question, for I can- 
not ansv/er it. 

Theol. What say you then to this, who was 
Christ's mother? 


Asun. Mary, sir ; that was our blessed ladv. 

Theol. What was Pontius Pilate? 

Asun. I am somewhat ignorant, I am not 
book-learned; but if you will have my simple 
opinion, I think it was the devil; for none but 
the devil would put our sweet Saviour to death. 

Theol. What is the holy catholic church, 
which you say j'ou do believe ? 

Asun. The communion of saints, the forgive- 
ness of sins. 

Theol. What do you pray for when you say 
"thy kingdom come?" 

Asun. I do pray that God would send us all of 
his grace, that we may serve him, and do as we 
ought to do, and keep us in a good mind to Grod- 
ward, and to have him much in our mind; for 
some, Grod bless us, have nothing but the devil 
in their mind: they do nothing in God's name. 

Theol. What is a Sacrament? 

Asun. The Lord's Supper. 

Theol. How many sacraments be there? 

Asun. Two. 

Theol. Which be they? 

Asun. Bread and wine, 

Theol. What is the principle end of your com- 
ing to receive the sacrament ? 

Asun. To receive my Maker. 

Theol. What is the principal use of a sacra- 

Asun. The body and blood of Christ. 

Theol. What profit and comfort have you by a 
sacrament ? 

Asun. In token that Christ died for us, 

Theol. I can but pity you for your ignorance; 
for it is exceeding gross and palpable. Your 
answers are to no purpose, and bewray a wonder- 


ful blindness and senselessness in matters of reli- 
gion. I am sorry that now I have not time and 
leisure to let you see your folly and extreme igno- 
rance, as also to lay open unto you the sense and 
meaning of the articles of the faith, the Lord's 
prayer, and the sacraments, and all the other 
grounds of Christian religion. 

Asun. What course would you wish me to take, 
that I may come out of ignorance, and attain unto 
the true knowledge of God? 

Theol. Surely I would wish you to be diligent 
in hearing of sermons, and reading the scriptures, 
with prayer and humility. Also, that you would 
peruse catechisms, and other good books; and 
especially Virel's Grounds of E-eligion, and works 
of the two worthy servants of God, Master Gyffard 
and Master Perkins, and other men's that have 
done great service to the church, and for whom 
thousands are bound to give God thanks. If you 
take this course, you shall by God's grace, within 
a short time, grow to some good measure of know- 
ledge, in all the main grounds of Christian religion. 

Phil. I had not thought any man had been so 
ignorant as I now perceive this man is. 

Theol. Yes, verily ; there be thousands in his 
case; and I do know by experience that many 
^■^'ill use the very same answers, or at least very 
little differing. 

Phil. I warrant you if you had questioned 
with him of kine, or sheep, purchasing of lands, 
taking of leases, or any other matter under the 
sun, you should have found him very ripe and 
ready in his answers. • 

Theol. I am so persuaded too ; for let a man 
taEi with worldly men of worldly matters, and 
their answer is never to seek. They will talk 


very fireshly with you of such matters, if it be all 
the day long; for they have a deep insight into 
earthly things, and do wholly delight to talk of 
them, being never weary; for it is their joy 
their, meat, and their drink. But come once to 
talk with them of Grod's matters, as of faith, re- 
pentance, regeneration, &c., you shall find them 
the veriest dullards and dunces in the world; 
for, when speech is had of these things, they are 
so befogged* that they cannot tell where they 
sue, nor what they say. 

PhU. In my judgment, such men's case is very 
pitiful and dangerous. And so is this man's case 
also, if Grod do not very speedily pull him out of it. 

Theol. Questionless; for (xod saith, Hosea 
iv. 6, " My people perish for want of knowledge." 
Our Lord Jesus saith that ignorance is the cause 
of all errors: " Ye do err, saith he, not knowing 
the scripture, nor the power of God," Matt. xxii. 
29. The apostle saith that ignorance doth alien- 
ate us from the life of God; for, saith he, "The 
Gentiles were darkened in the cogitation, being 
strangers from the life of God, through the igno- 
rance that is in them," Eph. iv. 18. So then, it 
is clear that ignorance is not the mother of devo- 
tion, as the papists do avouch; but it is the mother 
of error, death, and destruction, as the scriptures 
afBrmeth. Our Lord, forseeing the great danger 
of ignorance, how thereby thousands are carried 
headlong into hell, doth admonish all men to 
search the scriptures, John v. 39, which do tes- 
tify of him; that so they might get out of the 
most dangerous gulf of ignorance, wherein multi- 
tudes are implunged. "flierefore, the noble men 

* Lost,set&st. 



of Berea are commended by the Holy Ghost, 
Acts xvii. 11, because they received the word with 
all readiness; and searched the scriptures daily, 
whether those things were so. Oh therefore, 
that men would earnestly seek after the know- 
ledge of G-od in time, and, as the prophet saith, 
" Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon 
him whilst he is near," Isa. Iv. 6. 

Phil. I do see that all ignorance in matters of 
faith is dangerous; but I think wilful ignorance 
is of all others most dangerous. 

TTieol. Wilful ignorance, no doubt, is a plain 
prognostication, and demonstrative argument of 
eternal death; for it is a most horrible and fear- 
ful thing for men to refuse instructions, despise 
counsels, harden their hearts, stop their ears, and 
close up their eyes against God. This is the very 
upshot of our decay. 

Phil. I pray you, what call you hardness of 

Theol. An hard heart is that which is neither 
moved with God's mercies, nor scared with his 
judgments; neither feareth the law, nor regardeth 
the gospel; neither is holpen by threatenings, nor 
softened by chastenings; which is unthankful for 
God's benefits, and disobedient to his counsels; 
made cniel by his rods, and dissolute by his 
favours; unshameful to filthiness, and fearless to 
perils; uncourteous to men and retchless* to God; 
forgetful of things past, negligent in things pres- 
ent, and improvident in things to come. 

Phil. Lay forth yet more plainly the state of 
ignorant and hard-hearted men; and shew how 
lamentable it is. 

* Careless, hardened. 

OF leKOBAKCE. 259 

Theol. If a man be outwardly blind we do pit j 
him, and say, there goeth a poor blind man; but 
if he be both blind and deaf, do we not more pity 
him? and say, oh, in how miserable a case is that 
man! but if he be both blind, deaf, and dumb, do 
we not most of all pity him? and say, oh, that 
man is in a most woful taking, and in a most 
pitifiil plight! How much more then are they 
to be pitied, which, as concerning their souls, are 
both blind, deaf, and dumb? for the diseases of 
the soul are far more dangerous, and more to be 
pitied than those of the body. Would it not 
pity a man's heart to see a poor sheep in a lion's 
mouth, whilst he teareth him, renteth him, and 
puUeth him in pieces? Even such is the case of 
ignorant men in the claws of the devil; for the 
devil hath them under him, rideth them at his 
pleasure, and teareth their souls in pieces! Oh, 
that we had eyes to see these things, hearts to 
feel them, and affections to be thoroughly moved 
with them, even unto mourning and tears. 

Phil. Few do think that ignorant men are in 
so woful case as you speak of; for they think that 
ignorance will excuse them ; and some will say 
they are glad they have so little knowledge; for 
if they should have much knowledge of their 
master's will, and do it not, they shall be beaten 
with many stripes; but now, being ignorant, they 
think all is safe. 

Theol. God willed his people to offer sacrifice 
for their sins of ignorance, Levit. iv; therefore, 
ignorance is a sin, and excuseth no man: and 
as for the state of their souls before God, it is 
most miserable; if we could see into their souls 
as we see their bodies; for, assuredly, there be 
multitudes which ruffle it out in velvets and silks, 


and most brave and glittering outsides, but in- 
wardly are full of filthiness and sin; they bave 
fine and delicate bodies, but most ugly, black, and 
filthy souls. If a man could see into their souls 
as he doth into their bodies, he would stop his 
nose at the stink of them ; for they smell rank of 
sin in the nostrils of God, his angels, and all 
good men. 

Phil. Then I perceive by your speech that the 
case of all ignorant and profane men is fearful in 
the sight of God, and that all good men are to 
pity them, and pray for them. 

Tlieol. If two blind and deaf men should walk 
in a beaten path that leadeth to a great deep 
pond wherein they are like to be drowned, if they 
go forward, and two men afar off should whoop 
unto them, and will then not go forward least they 
be drowned; yet they jieither seeing any man, nor 
hearing any man, go forward and are drowned: 
were not this a lamentable spectacle to behold? 
Even so it is with all the ignorant, blind, and deaf 
souls of the world: for they cast no perils, but 
walk on boldly to destruction; and though the 
preachers of the gospel whoop never so loud unto 
them, or give them never so many warnings and 
caveats to take heed; yet they, being inwardly 
blind, see nothing ; and spiritually deaf, hear no- 
thing; and therefore go on forward in their sins 
and ignorance, till they suddenly fall into the pit 
of hell. Put case also, two great armies should' 
pitch in a field, and fight a main battle upon a 
plain, and that some man should stand upon the 
top of a mountain hard by, and behold all, and 
should see with his own eyes how thousands and 
ten thousands went to wreck, and fell down on 
every side as thick as hail, the whole plain swim- 


ming in blood; and should also hear the groanings 
of soldiers wounded, and the doleful sighs and 
groanings of many captains and colonels giving 
up the ghost ; were not this a most wofui spec- 
tacle? Even so, when we do clearly see Satan 
wound and murder thousand thousands souls, is 
it not a far more tragical and lamentable sight ? 
and ought it not even to kill our hearts to behold 
it? but, alas! men have no eyes to see into these 
things; and yet certain it is, that Satan doth 
continually, and in most fearful manner, massacre 
innumerable souls. Thus have I shewed you the 
woful estate of profane and ignorant men. 

Phil. If it be so, you that be ministers and 
preachers of the gospel, and have taken upon you 
the cure and charge of souls, have need to look 
about you, and to do what in you heth to save 
souls ; and, as good shepherds, in great pity and 
compassion, to labour to pull them out of the paws 
of this roaring lion, which goeth about continually 
seeking whom he may devour. 

Theol. It standeth upon us, indeed, very seri- 
ously and carefully to look to it, as we will answer 
it at the dreadful day of judgment; for it is no 
small matter that we have taken in hand, which 
is, to care for the flock which Christ hath bought 
with his blood. Would to God therefore that we 
would leave striving about other matters, and 
strive together all about this — who can pull most 
out of the kingdom of Satan, sin, and ignorance — 
who can win most souls — and who can perform 
best service to the church. This were a good 
strife indeed, — and would to Grod that we might 
once at last with joined forces go about it, and 
with one heart and hand, join together to build 
up Grod's house. If through our own follies the 


work hath been hindered, or any breach made, let 
us in wisdom and love labour to make it up again. 
If there hath been any declining and coldness, let 
us now at last revive: let us stir up ourselves, 
that we may stir up others. Let us be zealous 
and fervent in spirit, that we may through God's 
grace put life into others, and rouse up this dead, 
declining, and cold age wherein we live: so shall 
God be glorified, his church edified, his saints 
comforted, his people saved, his throne erected, 
and the kingdom of the devil overthrown. 

Phil. What think you w^ere the best course to 
effect this which you speak of? 

Theol. This is a thing that must be exceed- 
ingly laboured in of us which are the ministers 
and preachers of the gospel. And here is required 
diligence and, as we say, double dihgence; for 
the people are every where ignorant. Some are 
stones, altogether incapable of instruction: others 
are froward and wilful. Some will receive the 
doctrine, but not the practice: some again are 
altogether set upon peevishness and cavilling. So 
that a man were better take upon him the charge 
of keeping wolves and bears than the charge of 
souls ; for it is the hardest thing in the world, 
to reform men's disorders, and to bring them into 
order; to pull men's souls out of the kingdom of 
Satan, and to bring them to God. It is as we say, 
an endless piece of work, an infinite toil, a labour 
of all labours: I quake to think of it. Tor, 
men are so obstinate and irrefragable that they 
will be brought into no order : they will come under 
no yoke. They will not ruled by God, nor bridled 
by his word. They will follow their own swing. 
They will run after their own lusts and pleasures. 
They will kick and spurn if they be reproved. 


They will rage and storm if you go about to curb 
them, and restrain them of their wills, likings, 
and liberties. They will have their wills, and 
follow their old fasluons, say what you will, and 
do what you can. Is it not, think you, a busy 
piece of work, to smooth and square such timber 
logs, so full of knots and knobs? Is it not a 
tedious and irksome thing to think upon? and 
would it not kill a man's heart to go about it? 
for, how hard a thing is it to bring such into 
frame as are so far out of frame ! 

Phil. Well sir, you can but do your endeavour, 
and commit the success to Grod. You can but 
plant and water: let God give the increase. You 
are ministers of the letter, but not of the Spirit. 
You baptize with water, but not with the Holy 
Ghost. If you therefore preach diligently, exhort, 
admonish, and reprove, publicly and privately: 
studying by all good example of life, and seeking 
with all good zeal, care, and conscience, to do the 
uttermost that in you lieth, to reduce them from 
their evil ways; I take it, you are dischai^ed, 
though they remain stubborn and incorrigible; 
for you know, what the Lord saith by his prophet, 
"K you do admonish them and give them warn- 
ing, then you shall be discharged, and their blood 
shall be required at their own hands," Ezek. 

Tlieol. You have spoken the truth ; and, there- 
fore, since some must needs take upon them this 
so great a charge, it will be our best course to 
labour much with them in catechising and private 
instructions, and that in most familiar and plain 
manner, for much good hath been done, and is 
done this way. The ignorant sort must be much 
laboured upon this way: and so, no doubt, much 


good may be done; "For, in all labour there is 
profit," Prov. xiv. 23. Herein, we that are the 
ministers of Christ must be content to be abased, 
and to teach the poor ignorant people in most 
plain manner, asking them many easy questions, 
and often questioning with them in most plain 
and loving manner, till we have brought them to 
some taste and smack of the principles of the 
Christian religion. We must not be ashamed to 
use repetitions and tautologies, and tell them one 
thing twenty times over and over again ; here a 
line, and there a line; here a little, and there a 
little; precept upon precept, as the prophet speak- 
eth, Isa. xxviii. 10. I know right well nothing 
goeth more against the stomach of a scholar, and 
him that is learned indeed, than to do thus. It is 
as irksome and tedious as to teach ABC: some 
can, at no hand, endure it. But truly, truly, I 
find now, after long experience, that if we wUl do 
any good to these simple and ignorant souls, we 
must enter into this course, and we may not be 
ashamed of it; for, it wiU be our crown and our 
glory to win souls, howsoever we be abased. Let 
us, therefore, be well content to stoop down, that 
Christ may be exalted. Let us be abased, that 
God may be honoured. Let us do all things in 
great love to Christ, who hath said, "If thou 
lovest me, feed, feed, feed my flock," John xxi. 
15-17. Let us, therefore, testify our love to him 
by feeding his flock. Let us do all things in great 
love and deep compassion towards the poor souls 
that go astray. As it is said that our Lord 
Jesus was moved to pity, and his bowels did yearn, 
to see the people as slxeep without a shepherd; 
let it likewise move us thoroughly, and make 
our hearts to bleed, to see so many poor sheep of 


Christ wandering and straying in the mountains, 
and wilderness of this world, caught in every 
bramble, and hanged in every bush, ready to be 
devoured of the wolf. Thus have I shewed you, 
what course, in my judgment, is best to be 
taken, for the delivering of poor ignorant souls 
out of the captivity of Satan and sin. 

FhU. Now, as you have declared what course 
is best to be followed of your part, which are the 
ministers and preachers of the gospel; so I pray 
you shew what is best to be done of us, which 
are the people of God. 

Theol. The best counsel that I can give you, if 
it were for my hfe, is to be much exercised in the 
word of God, both in the hearing, reading, and 
meditation thereof; and also to purchase unto 
yourself the sincere ministry of the gospel, and to 
make conscience to live under it, esteeming your- 
self happy if you have it, though you want other 
things ; and unhappy if you have it not, though 
you have all other things. For it is a peerless 
pearl, an incomparable jewel; for the purchasing 
whereof, we are advised by our Lord Jesus to sell 
aU that we have, rather than to go without it, 
Mat. xiii. 44. Again, our Saviour Christ giveth the 
same counsel to the church of Laodicea, in these 
words, " I counsel thee, to buy of me gold tried 
by the fire, that thou may est be rich: and white 
raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that 
thy filthy nakedness do not appear; and anoint 
thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see," 
Rev. iii. 18; where you see the word of God is 
compared to most precious gold, whereby we are 
made spiritually rich; and to glittering attire, 
wherewithal our naked souls are clothed; and to 
an eye-salve, wherewith our spiritual blindness is 


cured. We are advertised also by Jesus Christ, 
whose counsel is ever the best, that we should 
buy these things, whatsoever they cost us. The 
same counsel also giveth wise Solomon, saying, 
" Buy the truth, but sell it not," Prov. xxiii. 23. 
So then you see, the counsel wliich herein I give 
you is not mine own, but the counsel of Jesus 
himself, and Solomon the wise; and who can, or 
who dare, except against their counsel? 

Asun. Is your meaning that men must of ne- 
cessity frequent preaching of the word? will not 
bare reading serve the turn ? 

Theol. I told you before that reading is good, 
profitable, and necessary, but yet it is not sufficient. 
We must not content ourselves with that only; 
but we must go further, and get unto ourselves 
the sound preaching of the gospel, as the chiefest 
and most principal means which God hath or- 
dained and sanctified for the saving of men; as 
it is plainly set down, 1 Cor. i. 21, " When as 
the world, by wisdom, knew not God, in the wis- 
dom of God, it pleased God, by the foolishness of 
preaching, to save them that believe." The mean- 
ing of it is that — when as men, neither by natural 
wisdom, nor the contemplation of the creatures, 
could sufficiently attain to the true knowledge of 
God — the Lord, according to his heavenly and in- 
finite wisdom, thought of another course; which 
is to save men by preaching, which the world 
counteth foolishness. And by the way, note that' 
the preaching of the word is not a thing of human 
invention; but it is God's own device, and came 
first out of his wisdom as the best and nearest way 
to save men's souls. Wise Solomon, also, in the 
book of the Proverbs, xxix. 18, telleth us that the 
preaching of God's word, which is called vision, 


using the word of the prophets, which called their 
sermons visions, is not a thing that may be spared, 
or that we may be at choice whether we have it 
or no; but he maketh it to be of absolute necessity 
unto eternal life; for he saith, "Where vision 
faileth, the people are left naked." So indeed, it 
is in the original; but the old translation giveth 
us the sense, thus, "Where the word of God is not 
preached there the people perish." Then you see 
that Solomon striketh it dead, in telling us that 
all they which are without preaching of the word 
are in exceeding danger of losing their souls. Oh 
that men could be persuaded of this! Saint Paul 
also saith that faith cometh by hearing the word 
preached; for he saith, Rom. x. 14, "How can they 
hear, without a preacher?" If faith come by 
hearing the word preached, then I reason thus — no 
preaching, no faith; no faith, no Christ; no Christ, 
no eternal life, for eternal hfe is only iu him. 
Let us then put them together, thus: take away 
the word, take away faith; take away faith, take 
away Christ; take away Christ, and take away 
eternal life. So then it followeth, take away the 
word and take away eternal life. Or we may read 
them backward, thus : if we will have heaven, we 
must have Christ ; if we wUl have Christ, we must 
have faith; if we will have faith, we must have 
the word preached. Then it followeth thus : if we 
will have heaven, we must have the word preached. 
Then I conclude, that preaching generally, and 
for the most part, is of absolute necessity unto 
eternal life; as meat is of absolute necessity for 
the preservation of our bodies; as grass and fodder 
are of absolute necessity for the upholding of the 
life of beasts; and water of absolute necessity for 
the life of fishes. Then, this being so, men are 


with great care and conscience to hear the gospel 
preached, to frequent sermons, to resort much to 
Grod's house and habitation, where his honour 
dwelleth; with David to say, Psalm xxvii. 4, 
"One thing have I desired of the Lord, that 1 will 
require: even that I may dwell in the house of 
the Lord, all the days of my life; to behold the 
beauty of the Lord, and to visit his holy temple." 
"With godly Mary to say, Luke x. 42, "One thing 
is necessary; and so choose the better part." 
With the poor cripple of Bethesda, John v. 7, 
to wait for the moving of the waters by the angel, 
that his impotency may be cured: 1 mean that 
we should tie ourselves to the first moving of the 
spiritual waters of life, by the preachers of the 
gospel, that our spiritual impotency may be 
holpen and relieved. For the ministry of the 
gospel is that golden pipe whereby and where, 
through the goodness of God, all the sweetness 
of Christ, and all heavenly graces whatsoever are 
derived unto us. Which thing was shadowed 
in the law by the pomegranates in the skirts of 
Aaron's garments, and the golden bells between 
them round about: that is "a golden bell and 
a pomegranate; a golden bell and a pomegra- 
nate," Exod. xxviii. 34. The golden bells did 
signify the preaching of the gospel, and the pome- 
granates the sweet savour of Christ's death ; not- 
ing thereby, that the sweet savour of Christ's 
death, and all the benefits of his passion, should 
be spread abroad by the preaching of the gospel. 
Thus you see, that if ever men purpose to be saved, 
they must make more account of the preaching of 
the gospel than they have done; and not think, 
as most men do, that they may be without it, 
and yet do well enough. And some had as leave 


be without it as have it; for it doth but disqtiiet 
them, and trouble their consciences ; but woe be 
unto such. 

Phil. Tet we see, where tfie word is soundly 
preached there be many bad people; and the 
reasons thereof, in mine opinion, are two; the 
one, that God taketh his Holy Spirit from many 
in hearing the word, so that their hearing is made 
unfruitful; the other, that the devil hath an hun- 
dred devices to hinder the effectual working of the 
word, so as it shall do no good at all, nor take 
any effect in multitudes of men. But you, master 
Theologus, can better lay open this matter than I. 
I pray you therefore speak something of it. 

Theol. The sleights of Satan, in this behalf, are 
more and more sly than I. or any man else, can 
possibly discover. For wJio is able to descry, or 
in sufficient manner, to lay open the deep subtU- 
ties, and most secret and sinful suggestions of the 
devil in the hearts of men: he is so cunning a 
craftmaster this way that none can perfectly 
trace him. His workings, in the hearts of men, 
are with such close and hid deceits, and most 
methodical and crafty conveyances, that none can 
sufficiently find them out; but yet, notwithstand- 
ing, I will bewray so much as I know, or can 
conceive of his dealings with men that hear the 
word, that he may steal it out of their hearts, and 
make it fruitless and unprofitable. First of aU, 
he bestirreth him and laboureth hard to keep men 
fest asleep in their sins, that they may have no 
care at all of their salvation; and therefore dis- 
suadeth them from hearing, or reading the word 
at all, lest they should be awaked. If this will 
not prevail, but that they must needs hear, then 
his craft is to make their hearing unprofitable, 


by sleepiness, dulness, by thoughts, conceited- 
ness, and a thousand such like. If this will not 
serve the turn, but that the word doth get within 
them, and work upon them, so as thereby they 
grow to some knowledge and understanding of the 
truth, then he practiseth another way, which is, 
to make them rest themselves upon their bare 
knowledge, and so become altogether conscience- 
less. If this will not suffice, but that men faU to 
doing, and leave some sins, especially the gross 
sins of the world, and do some good, then he 
persuadeth them to trust to those doings without 
Christ, and to think themselves well enough, 
because they do some good, and leave some evil. 
If this be not enough, but that men attain unto 
the true justifj'ing faith which apprehendeth 
Christ, and resteth upon his merits, then he de- 
viseth how to blemish the beauty of their faith, 
and weaken their comfort, through many frailties 
and wants, yea, gross downfalls, and rank evils: 
so as they shall be but spotted and leprous Chris- 
tians. If this weapon will not work, but that 
Christians do join all good virtues with their faith, 
and abundantly shine forth in all fruits of right- 
eousness,then he casteth about another way: which 
is, to daunt and damp them with discouragements: 
as poverty, necessity, sickness, reproaches, con- 
tempts, persecutions, &c. If none of all these will 
do the deed, but that men constantly believe in 
Christ, and patiently and joyfully endure all afflic-' 
tions, then his last refuge is to blow them up 
with gunpowder: that is to puff them up with a 
pride of their gifts, graces, and strength, and so 
to give them an utter overthrow whilst they do 
not walk humbly, and give God the praise of his 
gifts. Thus have you a little taste of Satan's 


cunning, in making the word iinfruitfol amongst 

Asun. I pray you, good sir, seeing I am igno- 
rant and unlearned, give me some particular 
directions out of the word of God, for the good 
guiding and ordering of my particular actions, in 
such sorts as that I may glorify Grod in the earth, 
and after this life be glonfied of him for ever. 

Theol. It were an infinite thing to enter into 
all particulars; but briefly do this: first, seek Grod 
earnestly in his word; pray much; in all things 
give thanks; eschew evU, and do good; fear Grod, 
and keep his commandments; reform yoinself, 
and your household; love virtue, and virtuous 
men; keep company with the godly, and avoid 
the society of the wicked. Live soberly, justly, 
and holUy, in the present evil world. Speak al- 
ways graciously, and beware of filthy communi- 
cations. Recompense to no man evil for evil; 
but recompense evil with good. Be courteous and 
pitiful towards all men. Take heed of swearing, 
cursing, and banning.* Beware of anger, wrath, 
and bitterness. Praise your friend openly; re- 
prove him secretly. Speak no evil of them that 
are absent, nor of the dead. Speak evil of no 
man; speak always the best, or at least, not the 
worst. B^verence God's name, and keep his Sab- 
baths. Avoid all the signs of condemnation, and 
labour after all the signs of salvation. Above all 
things, take heed of sin, for that is the very cut- 
throat of the soul, and bane of all goodness. 
Tremble therefore, and sin not. For if you sin, 
mark what followeth — God seeth — his angels 
bear witness — the conscience pricketh — death 

* CnrsiBg, biaating. 


threateneth — the devil accuseth — hell devour- 
eth. You see then that sin is no scarecrow, or 
jesting matter. Every sin that a man committeth 
is as a thorn thrust deep into the soul, which will 
not be got out again but with many a sigh, and 
many a sorrowful — oh, oh! " Every sin is written 
with a pen of iron: and the point of a diamond 
upon the conscience," Jer. xvii. 1; and shall in 
the last day, when the books shall be opened, ac- 
cuse us, and give in evidence against us. If a man 
commit sin with pleasure, the pleasure passeth 
away, but the conscience and sting of the sin 
abideth, and tormenteth deadly ; but if a man do 
well, though with labour and painfulness, the pain 
passeth away, yet the conscience of weU-doing re- 
maineth with much comfort; but the best end of 
sin is always repentance, if not in this life, then 
with woe, and alas! when it is too late: therefore 
take heed in time; take heed, I say, of sin. Sin 
hardeneth the heart, Heb. iii. 13; sin gnaweth 
the conscience, 1 Sam. xxv. 31; sin fighteth 
against the soul, 1 Peter ii. 11; sin bringeth 
forth death, James i. 15; sin maketh ashamed, 
Eom. vi. 21; sin procureth all plagues of body 
and soul, Deut. xxviii. Behold, therefore, the 
evil effects of sin: for this cause, Zophar, the 
Naamathite, speaketh very wisely to Job, saying, 
xi. 15, " When thou shalt lift thy face out of thy 
sin, thou shalt be strong, and shall not fear; thou 
shalt forget all sorrow; thou shalt remember it 
as the waters that are past;" where Zophar 
plainly sheweth that the avoiding of sin is our 
strength, and the committing of it our weakening; 
according to that of Solomon, Prov. x. 29, "The 
way of the Lord is the strength of the upright 
man." Therefore, walk in the way of God, and 


take heed of the ways of sin; for God punisheth 
every sin his way; some one way, and some 
another; and no sin can escape unpmiished; for 
because God is just, therefore he must needs 
punish sin in all men, though in divers manners: 
as the wicked, in their own persons ; the godly, 
in Christ. Beware of it, therefore, and flatter not 
yourself in your sins. Remember how every dis- 
obedience and every transgression hath had a just 
recompence of reward. God hath, in all ages, 
matched the causes with the effect; that is, sin 
with the punishment of sin. The Israelites, for 
breaking the first commandment, in making other 
gods, were often smitten by the hand of God. 
Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, for the 
breach of the second commandment, in offering 
strange fire upon God's altar, were consumed with 
fire. He that blasphemed and transgressed the 
third commandment, was stoned to death. He 
that brake the fourth commandment, in gathering 
sticks upon the Sabbath, was likewise stoned. 
Absalom, transgressing the fifth commandment, 
was hanged in his own hair. Cain, transgressing 
the sixth, in slaying his brother Abel, was branded 
with the mark of God's wrath. Shechem, the 
son of Hamor, transgressing the seventh, in de- 
filing Dinah the daughter of Jacob, was slain by 
Simeon and Levi, the sons of Jacob. Achan, sin- 
ning against the eighth commandment, in steal- 
ing the wedge of gold, and the Babylonish gar- 
ment, was stoned to death. Ananias and Sapphira, 
sinning against the ninth commandment, in lying 
and dissembling, were suddenly smitten with 
death. Ahab, transgressing the tenth command- 
ment, in coveting and discontentment, was de- 
voured of dogs. Or if you will have original sin 



therein only forbidden, then infants are therefore 
punished with death, Rom. v. 14. Thus we see 
there is no dallying with Grod ; but if we sin, we 
are as sure to be jerked* for it, as the coat is on 
our back. Therefore Itt us not deceive ourselves 
nor make light of sin ; for sin is no scarecrow, and 
we shall one day find it so. And howsoever we 
make light of some sins, yet, in every deed, all 
sin is odious in the sight of Grod, yea all sin is 
heinous and capital, in this respect, that it is 
against a person of infinite being; it is against 
God himself; it is against the highest majesty. 
For the greatness of the person offended doth 
enhance and increase the greatness of the sin: as 
for example, if a man rail at a justice of peace, 
he shall be stocked; if he rail at one of his ma- 
jesty's privy council, he shall be imprisoned; but 
if he rail at his own majesty, he shall be hanged. 
So then, you see how a sin is increased by the 
dignity of the person offended. Now then, since 
all mortal princes are but dust in the sight of 
Grod, and he is a person of infinite and incom- 
parable majesty, how heinous and how flagitious 
a thing is it, in any wise, or after any sort to sin 
against his most roj'al and sacred person! Well 
then, to grow to some conclusion, this I do advise 
you; as to shun all vice, so to embrace all virtue; 
as to put of the old man, so to put on the new 
man. Remember, often and always, what shall 
become of you after this life, and where you shall 
be forty years hence — in hell or in heaven. Look 
well to that in time; and therefore so live that 
you may live always. Consider often in your 
secret cogitations what you have been; what you 

* Lashed, or sharply cliccked. + Set in the stocks. 


are; what you shall be; what God hath done for 
you; what he doth; what he will do; Gx)d's 
judgments past; God's judgments present; Grod's 
judgments to come. Awake at last; and take 
care for your salvation. Sleep no longer in sin, 
lest ye perish eternally ; for, verily, there is a re- 
ward for the righteous; doubtless, there is a God 
that judgeth the earth. And this is the best 
counsel that I can give you. 

Asun. Your counsel is very good. I pray 
God give me grace to follow it; and so to 
live that I may please God, and go to heaven 
in the end. 

Theol. You must take heed you speak not these 
words of course, and for fashion's sake, having 
no settled purpose in your heart to follow these 
directions. For there be numbers that can skill 
to give good words, but they wiU do nothing. 
They think they highly please God with their 
good words, and that Grod will take them for pay- 
ment; as though God regarded words. They 
would fain go to heaven, but they wiU take no 
pains, they will leave no sins, they will not for^o 
their lusts and pleasures: they would have the 
reward of God's children, but they will not do 
the works of God's children; they would have the 
sweet, but none of the sour; they would have the 
crown, but they will fight never a stroke; they 
would fain come to Canaan, but they are loth to 
travel that long and dangerous way, which leadeth 
unto it. Therefore, these men, being the sons of 
idleness, will stop short in the end, of that they 
looked for; for the Spirit saith, Prov. xiii. 4, 
" The sluggard lusteth, but his soul hath nought." 
We must therefore leave bare words, and come to 
deeds; for our Lord Jesus saith, Matt. vii. 21, 


"Not every one that saith Lord, Lord, shall enter 
into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the 
will of my Father which is in heaven;" where 
we see Christ, in plain terms, doth exclude out of 
his kingdom all those whose religion consisteth 
only in good words and smooth speeches, but make 
no conscience to practise the commandments of 
God. David, having made some good prepara- 
tion for tlie building of the temple, and perceiving 
liis son Solomon to have stuff and provision enough 
to perfect and finish it, doth most wisely encourage 
him to the work, in these words: "Up, and be 
doing, and the Lord shall be with thee," 1 Chron. 
xxii. 16. Oh that men would follow this counsel 
of David! that they would up, and be doing ; and 
not sit still, and do nothing: that they would 
leave words and countenances, and set upon the 
practice of God's law; and study, with all care and 
conscience, to be obedient to his will. Then, as- 
suredly, God would be with them, and bless them ; 
and much good would come of it; for the scrip- 
tures saith, Prov. xiv. 23, "In all labour there is 
profit, or increase, but the talk of the lips only 
bringeth want." 

Phil. Most men's minds are so wholly drowned 
in the love of this world, that they have no heart 
to obey God, nor any delight in his command- 

Theol. The greatest part of men are like unto 
the Gadarenes, which esteemed their swine more 
than Christ. As we see in these our days, how 
many make more account of their kine and sheep 
than of the most glorious gospel of Christ ! They 
highly esteem dung, and contemn pearls. They 
are careful for trifles, and regard not the things 
of greatest moment ; and, therefore, may very 


fitly be compared to a man who, having his wife 
and children very sick, doth utterly neglect them, 
and is alt(^ther careful for the curing of his 


Phil. We have somewhat digressed from the 
matter we had in hand: I pray you, therefore, if 
you have any more matter of good counsel to 
give unto Asunetus, that you would presently 
dehver it. 

Theol. I have little more to say, save only I 
would advise him often to remember, and much 
to muse, of these nine things: — The evil he hath 
committed — the good he hath omitted — the 
time he hath mis-spent — the shortness of this 
life — the vanity of this world — the excellency 
of the world to come — death, than which nothing 
is more terrible — the day of judgment, than 
which nothing is more fearful — heU-fire, than 
which nothing is more intolerable. 

Phil. This is short and sweet indeed: you have 
touched some of these points before in these our 
conferences ; but I am very desirous to hear some- 
what more of the two last, which yet have not 
been touched. 

Theol. Since you are desirous, I will briefly 
deliver unto you that which I have  received 
from the Lord. First, concerning the day of 
judgment, I find in the volume of God's book 
that it shall be very terrible and dreadful, for 
" The Son of Man shall come in the clouds of 
heaven, with power and great glory," Matt. xxiv. 


30. St. Peter saith, 2 Epis. iii. 10, " Tlie day 
of the Lord shall come as a thief in the night, 
in the which the heavens shall pass away with a 
noise, the elements shall melt with heat, and the 
earth, with the works that are therein, shall be 
burnt up." The apostle telleth us that at the 
coming- of Christ all the whole world shall be 
of a light fire; and that all castles, towers, goodly 
buildings, gold, silver, velvet, silks, and all the 
glittering hue, glory, and beauty of this world 
shall be consumed to powder and ashes; for he 
saith plainly, " The heavens and the earth which 
are now, are reserved unto fire, against the day 
of judgment, and of the destruction of ungodly 
men," ver. 7. Moreover, he doth strongly prove, 
that as the world was once destroyed by water, 
so the second time, in the end thereof, it shall be 
destroyed by fire. The apostle Paul doth witness 
the same thing; for he saith, 2 Thess. i. 7, 
" Christ shall come from heaven, with all his 
mighty angels, in flaming fire." And in another 
place, 1 Thess. iv. 16, he noteth the terror of his 
coming to judgment, saying, " He shall come 
with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, 
and the trumpet of God." We see, by exper- 
ience, that the coming of mortal princes to 
any place, is with great pomp and glory, They 
have great trains and troops behind them and 
before them. They are accompanied with 
many nobles; gallant lords and goodly ladies 
do attend upon them. The sword-bearer, trum- 
peters, and harbingers go before; many flaunting 
and stately personages follow after. Now then, 
if the coming of mortal princes be so pompous 
and glorious, how much more glorious shall the 
coming of the Son of Man be, in whose sight all 

CHBIST's coming to JUDOiLEKT. 279 

mortal princes are but dust ? The scriptures do 
affirm that his second coming unto judgment, 
shall be with such resplendent and unspeakable 
glory, that even the most excellent creatures shall 
blush at it; for " The sun shall be darkened; the 
moon shall not give her light ; and the stars shall 
fall from heaven," Matt. xxiv. 29; meaning 
thereby, that the most glorious and bright-shin- 
ing creatures sball be clouded and obscured by 
the unconceivable brightness of Christ's coming. 
Moreover, is noted imto us the error of Christ's 
coming in this, that immediately before it the 
very sea shall quake and tremble, and in his kind 
cry out; for it is said, Luke xxi. 25, 26, "That 
the sea shall roar, and make a noise in most dole- 
ful and lugubrious manner, and men's hearts shall 
fail them for fear, and for looking after those 
things which shall come on the world; for the 
powers of heaven shall be shaken." Oh what 
shall becom e of swearers, dnmkards, whoremongers, 
and such like, in that day ! they shall seek to creep 
into an auger-hole, to hide their heads; they shall 
then cry woe and alas, that ever they were bom ! 
they shall wish that they never had been bom, or 
that their mother had bom them toads. And, 
as it is said in the Apocalypse, " They shall say 
to the mountains and rocks fall on us, and hide 
us from the presence of him that sitteth on the 
throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb ; for the 
great day of his wrath is come, and who can 
stand?" Rev. vi. 16, 17. We see, therefore, that 
the coming of Christ shall not be base and con- 
temptible, as in his first visitation; but it shall 
be most terrible, princely, and glorious. And as 
the scriptures do affirm that his coming shall be 
with great terror and dread, so also they do shew 

280 cheist's coming to judgment. 

that it shall be very sudden and unlock ed for; for 
" The day of the Lord shall come as a thief in the 
night," 1 Pet. iii. 10; "As the travail that cometh 
upon a w^oman," 1 Thess. v. 2, 3 ; " As a snare shall 
it come on all them that dwell on the face of the 
earth," Luke xxi. 35: that is, it shall suddenly 
catch and entangle all men, wheresoever they be 
in the world. As the earthquake, which was some 
twenty years ago, did suddenly take the world 
tardy, they not thinking of any such matter; so 
shall the coming of the Son of Man to judgment 
take the world tardy and unprepared; for few 
there be that think of any such matter. Since, 
therefore, the second appearance of Christ shall be 
with such suddenness, let us fear and tremble; for 
all sudden things are to be feared. 

Phil. Well, sir, as you have shewed us the 
terror and suddenness of Christ's coming, so shew 
us the purpose and end of his coming. 

Theol. The principal end of his coming shall 
be to keep a general audit, to call all men 
to an account, to have a reckoning of every 
man's particular actions, and to reward them ac- 
cording to their deeds; as it is written, Matt, 
xvi. 27, " The Son of Man shall come in the 
glory of his Father, with his angels: and then 
shall he give to every man according to his 
deeds." Again, the apostle saith, 2 Cor. v. 10, 
" We must all appear before the judgment-seat of 
Christ, that every man may receive the things 
which are done in his body, according to that 
which he hath done, whether it be good or evil." 
Here we do plainly see that the end of Christ's 
coming shall be to judge every man according to 
his works; that is, as his works shall declare him, 
and testify of Jihn and of Ms faith. In another 

Christ's comikg to judgment. 281 

place, the apostle saith, 2 Thess. i. 7-9, " That 
the end of his coming shall be to render ven- 
geance unto them which know not God, and 
which obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus 
Christ; which shall be punished with everlasting 
perdition from the presence of the Lord, and 
from the glory of his power," Woe, then, unto 
two sorts of men! — the ignorant and the disobe- 
dient; for, the apostle saith flatly, they both 
shall be damned. Methinketh both the ignorant 
and disobedient, and all other profane men, 
should tremble to think of this — that Christ 
shall come to render vengeance unto them. If 
we did certainly know that the Spaniard should 
invade our nation, overrun it, and make a con- 
quest of it — that he should shed our blood, 
destroy us, and make a massacre amongst us — 
yea, that we should see our wives, our children, 
our kindred, and dear friends slain before our 
faces, so as their blood should stream in the 
streets, what a wonderful fear and terror would 
it strike into us! We would quake to think of 
it. Shall we not, then, be much more afraid of 
the damnation of our souls ? shall we not quake 
to think that Christ shall come to take ven- 
geance? If the lion roar, all the beasts of the 
field tremble; and shall not we be afraid of the 
roaring Lion of the tribe of Judah ? But, alas, 
we are so hard-hearted, and so rocked asleep in 
the cradle of security, that nothing can move us, 
nothing can awake us. 

Phil, j^ow, as you have shewed us the terror 
and end of Christ's coming, so also declare the 
manner of it. 

Theol. The manner of it is this, that the 
whole world shall be cited to appear personally 

282 cheist's comikg to judgment. 

at the general assizes, before the great Judge. 
No man shall be admitted to appear by his 
attorney, but all must appear personally. None 
shall be suffered to put in sureties, but all must 
come in their own persons, Without bail or main 
prize; as it is written, 2 Cor. v. 10, " We must 
all appear," high and low, rich and poor, king 
and beggar, one and other; as it is plainly set 
down in the 20th chapter of the Eevelation, 
where the Spirit saith, " I saw the dead, both 
great and small, stand before God; and the sea 
gave up the dead which were in her, and death 
and hell delivered up the dead which were in 
them." So, then, it is clear that all, without ex- 
ception, shall make their appearance at the great 
and dreadful assizes. Oh what a great day will 
that be when as the whole world shall appear 
together at once!  If a king marry his son, and 
hid other kings, emperors, dukes, and nobles, to 
the marriage, with all their pomp and train, we 
use to say — oh what a marriage! what a meeting! 
what a do! what a great day will there be! but 
when the universal world shall be assembled 
together, not only all monarchs, kings, and prin- 
ces, but all others that ever have been from the 
beginning of the world, all that are and shall be, 
what a day will that be! No marvel, therefore, 
that the scriptures call it the day of God, and 
the great day of the Lord! Now then, when all 
flesh is come together, to make their personal ap- 
pearance, then shall the Son of God ascend unto 
his tribunal seat, with great majesty and glory ; 
for a "fiery stream shall issue, and come forth 
before him; thousand thousand angels shall ac- 
company him, and minister unto him; and ten 
thousand thousand shall stand before him; the 

Christ's comikg to judomekt. 2S3 

judgment shall be set, and the books opened," 
Dan. vii. 10. All the saints also, and true wor- 
shippers of God, shall attend him, and accompany 
him unto his judgment seat; and not only so 
but they shall sit upon the bench and throne with 
him, as it is written, 1 Cor, vi. 2, 3, "The saints 
shall j udge the world ; they shall judge the angels;' ' 
that is the devils, the angels of darkness. Our 
Lord Jesus himself doth avouch the same thing, 
when he said to his disciples, and in them to all 
true Christians, "Verily, I say unto you, that when 
the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of his ma- 
jesty, ye which followed me in the regeneration, 
shall sit upon twelve thrones, and judge the twelve 
tribes of Israel," Matt. xix. 28; that is, the 
saints of God shall bear witness that the judgment 
of Christ, and sentence of condemnation which 
he passeth against all unbelievers, is according to 
justice and equity. Thus then, we see how 
Christ shall be accompanied to his throne; and 
with what glory and majesty he shall ascend unto 
it. Experience teacheth, that when mortal 
judges hold their sessions and general assizes, 
they are brought unto the bench and judgment 
seat with pomp and terror; for the sheriff of the 
shire, and holbard-men, with many justices of 
peace, and ti-ains of others, do accompany them 
unto the bench. Then, with how much more 
glory and majesty shall the Son of God be 
brought mito his royal throne ! Thus, then, 
Christ being set upon his judgment seat, all the 
ungodly shall be convent^ before him, and he 
shall stand over them with a naked sword in his 
hand. The devil shall stand by them on the one 
side, to acciise them; and their own conscience, 
on the other side; and the gaping gulf of hell, 

284 Christ's coming to judgment, 

underneath them, re&dy to devour them. Then 
shall the books be opened; not any books of 
paper and parchment, but the books of men's 
consciences. For every man's sins are written 
and recorded in his conscience, as it were in a 
register book. Then will God bring every work 
to judgment, with every secret thought, and set 
them in order before all the reprobates. Then 
" will God lighten the things that are hid in dark- 
ness, and make the counsels of the heart mani- 
fest," 1 Cor. iv. 5. Then shall all the ungodly 
be arraigned, convicted, and hold, up their hands 
at the bar of Christ's tribunal seat, and shall cry^ 
guilty. Then shall that most dreadful sentence of 
death and condemnation be pronounced against 
them by the most righteous Judge, Matt. xxv. 
41, "Go, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, which 
is prepared for the devil and his angels." Oh 
doleful sentence! oh heavy hearing! Whose 
heart doth not tremble at these things? whose 
hair doth not stand upon his head? for then 
shall thousands, which in this world have flou- 
rished as the cedars of Libanus, be cast down for 
evermore; and shall drink, as a just recompense 
for their iniquity, of the bitter cup of God's 
eternal wrath and indignation, in the kingdom of 
darkness, and in the fearful presence of Satan, 
and all the cursed enemies of God's grace. 

Phil. Well, now, as you have declared unto 
us the terror, the suddenness, the end, and the 
manner of Christ's coming to judgment; so lastly, 
shew unto us the right use of all these things. 

TJieol. St. Peter telleth and teacheth us the 
right use of all; for, saith he, 2 Peter iii. 11, 
"Seeing all these things must be dissolved, what 
manner of persons ought we to be, in all holy 

cheist's coming to judgment. 285 

I onversation and godliness?" as if he should 
tsay, since the heavens shall pass away with a 
noise, the elements shall melt with heat, and the 
earth, with the works that are therein, shall be 
burnt up; since also the coming of Christ shall 
be with great terror, to a fearful end, and in 
fearful manner, oh how ought we to excel in 
goodness! So then, St. Peter telleth us, that the 
true use of all is this, that hereby we be brought 
nearer unto God, even to be more obedient to 
his will, and to walk in all his commandments, 
making conscience of all our ways, and studying 
to please God in all things, and to be fruitful in 
all good works, Uving soberly, justly, and holily 
in this present evil world, and shewing forth the 
virtues of him which hath called us out of dark- 
ness to this marvellous light; so that we may be 
prepared against the day of his appearing, that 
it may not take us tardy ; for our life ought to 
be a continual meditation of death; we should 
always Hve as if we should die, or that our bed 
should be our grave; we must live continually 
as if Christ should come to judgment presently; 
as it is reported of a godly man in the primi- 
tive church, that whether he ate or drank, or 
whatsoever he did, he thought always he heard 
the trumpet of the Lord, with these words, 
"Arise, ye dead, and come unto judgment." 
Put case — it were certainly known that Christ 
would come to judgment the next midsummer- 
day ; oh what an alteration would it make in the 
world! how men would change their minds and 
affections! who would care for this world ? who 
would set his heart unto riches ? who would re- 
gard brave apparel ? who durst deceive or oppress ? 
who durst be drunk? who durst swear, lie, 

286 Christ's coming to judgment. 

and commit adultery ? Nay, would not all men 
give up themselves to the obedience of God? 
would not all serve him diligently? would not all 
men and women flock to hear sermons? would 
they not give themselves to prayer and reading? 
would they not repent them of their sins ? would 
they not cry for mercy and forgiveness? See 
then, what the knowledge of a certain day ap- 
proaching would effect; and ought we not to 
do all these things with as great a care and zeal 
seeing the day is uncertain? for who knoweth 
whether Christ will come this month or the next, 
this year or next? He himself saith. Matt. xxiv. 
44, '■ Be ready; watch; for in the hour that ye 
think not of, will the Son of man come." We 
think he will not come this year, nor next year, 
nor this hundred years. It may be, therefore, 
that he will come suddenly upon us; we knoio 
not how soon. For in an hour that we little think 
of, will he come. Therefore, our Saviour saith, 
in the 13th chapter of Mark, ver. 33, " Take heed, 
watch and pray; for you know not when the time 
is;" and in the gospel of St. Luke, xxi. 34, he 
saith, " Take heed that your hearts be not over- 
come with surfeiting and drunkenness, and the 
cares of this life, and so that day come upon you 
unawares; for as a snare shall it come upon all 
them that dwell upon the face of the earth." 
We hear, therefore, how many watch-words and 
caveats our Saviour giveth us, when he saith, Be 
in readiness, awake, take heed, watch and pray, 
and look about you, lest that day come suddenly 
upon you, and take you napping. It standeth us 
all therefore upon, to be at an hour's warning, 
upon pain of death, and as we will answer it at 
our uttermost peril. 

cheist's coming to judgment. 287 

Fhil. Proceed to speak of the torments of hell. 

Theol. Concerning the torments of hell, I do 
iiote three things, which I will briefly speak of, 
and they be these: the extremity, perpetuity, and 
remedUessness thereof. First, touching the ex- 
tremity thereof, it standeth specially in these 
three things: first, that it is a separation from 
all joy and comfort of the presence of God; se- 
condly, that it is an eternal fellowship with the 
devil and his angels; thirdly, it is a feeling of 
the horrible wrath of God, which shall seize 
upon body and soul, and shall feed on them, as 
fire doth upon pitch and brimstone, for ever. 
The scriptirres do note the extremity of it, in 
calling it " a lake, that bumeth with fire and 
brimstone for ever;" in saying "there shall be 
weeping and gnashing of teeth;" in affirming that 
"their worm dieth not," meaning the worm that 
gnaweth their conscience, or their torment of 
conscience; "and the fire never goeth out," in 
terming it " Tophet, which is deep and large, 
and the burning thereof is fire and much wood," 
and that " the breath of the Lord, as a river of 
brimstone, doth kindle it." All these things be 
terrible to our senses, and yet can they not fully 
express the thing as it is indeed. For no heart 
can conceive, or tongue express, the greatness and 
extremity of the torments of hell. As the joys of 
heaven never entered into the heart of man, no 
more did the torments of hell. All the torments 
and troubles that fall upon men in this life are 
but as sparkles of the furnace of God's total wrath. 
All fires are but, as it were, pictures of fire in 
comparison of hell-fire; for, as one writeth, " hell- 
fire is so extremely hot that it will bum up a 
man seven mile before he come at it;" yet the 

288 chbist's coming to judgment. 

reprobates, being always in it, shall never be con- 
sumed of it. As the salamander is always in the 
fire, and never consumeth ; so the wicked shall be 
always in the fire of hell, and never consume; 
for hell is a death always living, and an end 
always beginning. It is a grievous thing to a 
man that is very sick to lie upon a feather-bed — 
how much more upon a hot gridiron! but how, 
most of all, to burn always in hell-fire, and never 
be consumed r Another extremity of it consisteth 
in this, that the torments of hell are universal, 
that is, in every member at once; head, eyes, 
tongue, teeth, throat, stomach, back, belly, heart, 
sides, &c. All punishments of this life are par- 
ticular: for some are pained in their head, some 
in their back, some in their stomachs, &c.; yet 
some particular pains are such as a man would 
not suffer to gain all the world; but for a man 
to be tormented in all parts at once, what sight 
more lamentable! who could but take pity of a 
dog in the street in that case! Thus, then, we 
see that the extremity of hell-torments is greater 
than can be conceived or uttered ; for who can 
utter that which is incomprehensible? we can 
go no further in comprehending that which is in- 
comprehensible than to know it to be incompre- 

PMl. As you have shewn us the extremity of 
hell-torments, so now proceed to the perpetuity. 

Theol. The scriptures do set forth the per- 
petuity of hell torments in saying they are for 
ever: the wicked shall be cast into the lake 
that burneth with fire and brimstone for ever. 
The fire never goeth out. When as many 
hundred thousand years are expired as there be 
stones by the sea-side, yet still there be so many 

Christ's coutsq to judgment. 289 

more to come; for that which hath no end can 
never come to an end. If all the arithmeticians 
in the world were set to work to do nothing but 
number all the days of their life, even the great- 
est numbers that they could possibly set down, 
and should in the end add all their numbers 
together; yet could they never come anything 
near to that length of time wherein the wicked 
shall be tormented. If the whole circumference 
of the heavens were written about with figures of 
arithmetic, from the east to the west, and from 
the west to the east again; yet could it not con- 
tain that infinite time and innumerable years, 
wherein all unbelievers shall suffer eternal torture; 
for, in things infinite, time hath no place; for time 
is the measure of those things which are subject 
to measure. Therefore, because hell torments are 
infinite, they cannot be measured by any time, 
neither can that which is infinite be diminished; 
for if you subtract from that which is infinite, 
ten thousand thousand millions of millions, yet it 
is hereby nothing diminished or made less. Put 
this case — a man should once in an hundred thou- 
sand years, take a spoonful of water out of the 
great ocean sea, how long would it be ere he had 
so emptied it? Yet shall a man sooner empty 
the sea, by taking out a spoonful once in a hun- 
dred thousand years, than the damned soul shall 
have any ease; therefore, a certain writer saith, 
"If a damned soul might be tormented in hell 
but a thousand years, and then have ease, there 
were some comfort in it, for then there would be 
hope it would come to an; end;" but, saith he, 
this word "ever" killeth the heart. Oh consider 
this ye that forget God ! Oh ye carnal worldlings, 
think on this in time! For if you will not now 

290 cheist's coming to judgment. 

be moved in hearing, you shall be then crushed in 
pieces in feeling. What availeth it to live in 
all possible pleasures, and carnal delights here, 
for some sixty years, and then to suffer this eternal 
torment? What shall it profit a man to win the 
whole world, and lose his own soul? They be 
more than mad which will hazard their souls for 
a little profit and a few stinking pleasures. But 
this is the nature of men: they will have the 
present sweet, come of it what will, though they 
pay never so dear it, though they go to the 
highest price, though they lose their souls for it. 
Oh the unspeakable blindness and madness of 
the men of this world ! The devil hath put out 
their eyes, and therefore leadeth them whither 
he list ; for who cannot lead a blind man whither 
he list? Nahash, the Ammonite, would make 
no covenant with the Israelites, but upon con- 
dition that he might put out all their right eyes, 
1 Sam. xi. 2; so the devil doth covenant with 
all the wicked to put out both their eyes, that he 
may lead them directly into hell. 

Phil. Now sir, a word or two more of the re- 
medilessness of hell-fire. 

TJieol. The scriptures do affirm that as the tor- 
ments of hell are extreme, so they are without all 
hope of remedy; as it is written, Ps. xlix. 8, " A 
man can by no means redeem his brother; he 
cannot give his ransom unto God; so precious is 
the redemption of the soul and the continuance 
for ever." To this purpose Abraham said to the 
rich man, being in hell torments, Luke xvi, 26, 
" Betwixt you and us there is a great gulf set, 
so that they which would go from hence to you 
cannot, neither can they come from thence to us." 
Our Lord Jesus also saith, " What shall a man 

Christ's coHiKa to judgment. 291 

give for the recompense of his soul?" where 
our Saviour doth plainly aflBrm that there is no 
ransom or recompense, though never so great, to 
be given for a damned soul. For the soul being 
in hell can never be released: it is past remedy. 
No means whatsoever can do any good. No gold, 
no silver, no firiends, no riches, no power, no policy, 
no flattery, no bribery, no reach, no fetch or device 
whatsoever can prevail one jot. For a man being 
once in hell hath no remedy. He is in close 
prison, he is shut up under the hatches for ever; 
there is no getting out again: he must suffer 
perpetual imprisonment. He cannot bring a writ 
of false imprisonment, because he is laid in by 
the most righteous and just Judge, who cannot 
possibly do any wrong but he must he by it. 
For being there once he is there for ever. If all 
the angels in heaven should entreat for a damned 
soul; if Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob should make 
great suit; if all the prophets, apostles, and mar- 
tyrs should be continual solicitors of Christ for 
release; if the father should make request for his 
son, or the mother for her daughter; yet can none 
of these be heard, they must all have the repulse. 
For the sentence of Christ cannot be reserved; 
his decree is unrepealable. The due consideration 
of these things may make all hearts to quake, 
and aU knees to tremble. In the troubles and 
afflictions of this life, though a man come in never 
so great dangers, yet he may wind out again, by 
one means or another, by money or friendship, 
or rewards, or such Uke means: but in hell-fire 
this is it that gripes, and maketh the heart d^pair, 
that there is no remedy at all to be used. If we 
should ask of a damned soul, or an ajBBicted con- 
science, what they would give for the ease and 

292 chbist's coming to judgment. 

redemption of their souls, they would answer, 
the whole world: howsoever, secure worldlings 
and wicked atheists (which see nothing, nor feel 
nothing) make nothing of it. Here, by the way, 
let us consider the greatness of the loss of a man's 
soul, which we shall the better perceive and see 
into if we can aright value and prize the soul. 
If therefore it be demanded what is the price of 
the soul? or what is it worth? our Lord Jesus 
answereth, that it is more worth than all the 
world; for, saith he. Matt. xvi. 26, " What shall 
it profit a man to win all the world and lose his 
soul?" Therefore the soul of the poorest beggar 
is worth more than all the world. Then I reason 
thus, if the soul be more worth than all the world, 
than the loss of it is greater than the loss of the 
whole world; for indeed it is a loss of all losses, 
an unrecoverable loss. If a man should have his 
house burnt over his head, and all that he hath 
consumed in one night, it were a great loss — if 
a merchant-venturer should lose twenty thou- 
sand pounds in one venture, in one ship, or as 
they say, in one bottom, it were a very great loss 
— if a king should lose his crown and kingdom, it 
were an exceeding great loss — but the loss of the 
soul is a thousand times more than all these; it 
is a matter of infinite importance. If a tenant 
be cast out of the favour of his landlord, it is a 
matter of grief — if a nobleman's secretary be 
cast out of favour with his lord, so that he taketh 
a pitch* against him, it is a matter of great sor- 
row — if a nobleman himself be discountenanced, 
and cast out of all favour with his prince, that 
was in great favour, it is a corsey.t a heart smart, 

* An offence. t A burning plaster of painful grievance. 


and a matter of exceeding grievance — but to be 
eternally separated firom God, to be shut out of 
his favour, and to be cast away from his presence, 
and the presence of his angels, is a matter of 
infinite more dolor and torment. Mark then, and 
behold, what a thing it is for a man to lose his 
soul! Oh therefore that men would be wise in 
God's fear, that they would look out in time, and 
make provision for their souls. Now then, to 
close up this whole point, the sum of all that hath 
been said is this: that the torments of hell are 
endless, easeless, and remediless. 


Asun. The laying open of these doctrines of 
heU-fire, and the judgment to come, maketh me 
quake and tremble; I am thereby much perplexed 
— I feel great terror in my conscience — I am 
afraid 1 shall be damned. 

Antil. Damned, man! what, speak you of 
damning? I am ashamed to hear you say so; 
for it is well known that you are an honest man, 
a quiet liver, a good neighbour, and as good a 
townsman as any is in the parish where you 
dwell, and you have always been so reputed and 
taken. K you should be damned, I know not who 
should be saved. 

Asun. I regard not your flatteries ; I believe 
God; I believe his word; I believe those things 
which Mr. Theologus hath alleged out of the 

294 C05TICTI0K \yB cokyersiox. 

holy scriptures, pointing me both to the chapter 
and the verse, and whether it he more meet that 
I should believe the scriptures or your soothings, 
judge you. No, no! now I do clearly see, by the 
glass of God's law, that my state is wretched and 
miserable; for I have lived in sin and ignorance 
all the days of my life, being utterly void of all 
religion and true knowledge of God. I am not 
the man indeed that you and others take me for; 
for, though outwardly 1 have lived honestly to 
the worldward, yet inwardly I have not lived re- 
ligiously to Godward. 

Antil. Tush, tush! now I see you are in a 
melancholy humour; if you will go home with 
me 1 can give you a speedy remedy, for I have 
many pleasant and merry books, which if you 
should hear them read, would soon remedy you 
of this melancholy passion : 1 have the Court of 
Venus, the Palace of Pleasure, Beuas of South- 
ampton, Ellen of Rummin, the merry Jest of 
the Friar and the Boy, the pleasant Story of 
Clem of the Clough, Adam Bell, and William of 
Cloudesley, the odd tale of William, Richard, and 
Humfry, the pretty conceit of John Splinter's 
last Will and Testament; which are all excellent 
and singular books against heart-qualms, and to 
remove such dumpishness as I see you are now 
fallen into. 

Asun. Your vain and frivolous books of tales, 
jests, and lies, would more increase my grief, and 
strike the print of sorrow deeper into my heart. 

Antil. Nay, if you be of that mind, 1 have 
done with you. 

Phil. I pray you, if a man may be so bold 
with you, how came you by all these good books? 
I should have said so much trash and rubbish. 


Antil. What mattereth it to you? what have 
you to do to inquire? But I pray you, sir, what 
mean you to call them trash and rubbish ? 

Phil. Because they be no better. They be 
goodly gear, trim stuff: they are good to kindle 
a fire, or to scour a hot oven withal; and shall 
I tell you my opinion of them ? I do thus think 
that they were devised by the devil, seen and 
allowed by the pope, printed in hell, bound up by 
hobgoblin, and first published and dispersed in 
Rome, Italy, and Spmn ; and all to this end, that 
thereby men might be kept from the reading of 
the scriptures; for even as a lapwing with her 
busy cry draweth men away from her nest, so 
the popish generation, by these fabulous devices, 
draw men from the scriptures. 

Antil. Ah, sir, I see now, a fool's bolt is soon 
shot — you are more precise than wise — the vicar 
of St. Fool's shall be your ghostly father. What! 
tell you me of your opinion ? I would you should 
well know I neither regard you nor your 
opinion: there be wiser men than you which 
do both read, allow, and take pleasure in these 

Theol. Let him alone, good Philagathus, for 
you see what he is; there is no end of his cross- 
ing and cavilling; but he that is ignorant, let him 
be ignorant; and he that is filthy, let him be more 
filthy. Let us now turn our speech to Asunetus, 
for I see he is heavy-hearted, and troubled in his 
mind. How do you, Asunetus? how do you feel 
yourself ? methinketh you are very sad. 

Asun. I am the better for you, sir, thank God: 
I never knew what sin meant till this day. It 
hath pleased God now to give me some sight and 
feeling thereof: I am greatly distressed in my 


conscience to think what I have been. The re- 
membrance of mj former sins doth strike an 
horror into me. When I consider how ignorantly 
and profanely, and how far off from God I have 
lived all my life, it stings and gripes me to the 
heart. I do now see that which I never saw, and 
feel that which I never felt: I do plainly see, 
that if I had died in that state wherein I have 
lived all my life, I should certainly have been 
condemned, and should have perished for ever in 
my sin and ignorance. 

Theol. I am very glad that God hath opened 
your eyes, and given you the sight and feeling of 
your misery, which indeed, is the very first step 
to eternal life. It is a great favour and special 
mercy of God towards you, that he hath so 
touched your heart; you can never be thankful 
enough for it. It is more than if you had a mil- 
lion of gold given you. It is the only rare privi- 
lege of God's elect, to have the eyes of their souls 
opened, that they may see into heavenh' and 
spiritual things : as for the world, it is just with 
God to leave them in their blindness. 

Asun. I do feel the burden of my sins, I am 
greatly grieved for them, I am weary of them, I 
am sorry that ever I sinned against God, or that 
I should be such a wretch as to incur his dis- 
pleasure, and provoke his Majesty against me; 
but I pray you, good Mr. Theologus, since you 
are a spiritual physician, and I am sick of sin, 
that you would minister unto me out of God's 
word, some spiritual physic and comfort. 

Theol. Truly, I must needs think that the pro- 
mises of mercy and forgiveness of sin made in the 
gospel, do belong unto you, and that Jesus Christ 
is yours : you are truly interested in him, and have 


a proper right unto him ; for he came not to call 
the righteous, but sinners to repentance. You do 
now feel yourself to be a sinner, you are grieved 
for your sins, you are weary of them; therefore 
Jesus Christ is for you, all the benefits of his pas- 
sion belong to you. Again, he saith, Matt. xix. 12, 
'The whole need not the physician, but they that 
are sick." But you do acknowledge yourself to 
be sick of sin, therefore Christ Jesus will be your 
physician — he will swaddle you, and lap you — he 
wUl bind up all your sores — he will heal all your 
woimds — he will anoint them with the oil of his 
mercy — he will smile upon you and shew you a 
joyful countenance — he will say unto you, your 
sins are forgiven. In him you shall have rest and 
peace to your soul; through him you shall have 
ease and comfort ; for he taketh pity of aU such 
as mourn for their sins, as you do. He biddeth 
you, and all that are in your case, to come unto 
him, and he will help you. "Come unto me," 
saith he. Matt. xi. 28, "all ye that are weary and 
heavy laden, and I will ease you." You are one of 
them that are bid to come, for you are weary of 
your sins, you feel the burden of them. Christ is 
altogether for such as you are. He regardeth not 
the world, that is, the profane and unregenerate 
men ; he bids not them come, he pray eth not for 
them; "I pray not for the world," saith he, John 
xvii. 9 ; they have no part nor interest in him ; 
they have nothing to do with him, nor with his 
merits and righteousness. He is only for the 
penitent sinner, and such as mourn for their sins ; 
he is a pillow of down to all aching heads, and 
aching consciences. Be of good comfort, there- 
fore, fear nothing; for assuredly Christ and all 
his righteousness is yours; he will clothe you 


with it; he will never impute your sins unto 
you, or lay any of them to your charge, though 
they be never so many or so great — he will forget 
them and forgive them; as he saith by his pro- 
phet, Isa. i. 18, "Though your sins were as 
crimson, they shall be made as white as snow; 
though they were red like scarlet, they shall be as 
wool." And again, he saith by the same prophet, 
xliv. 22, " I have put away thy transgressions 
as thick clouds, and thy sins as a mist." By 
another prophet he saith, Mic. vii. 19, "He will 
lay aside our iniquities, and cast all our sins into 
the bottom of the sea." Again, he saith by the 
pBSphet Isaiah, xliii. 25, "I, even I, am he that 
putteth away thine iniquities for mine own sake, 
and will not remember thy sins;" and yet more 
sweetly he speak eth unto us by the prophet Jere- 
miah, iii. 12, saying, "Turn again unto me, and 
I will not let my wrath fall upon you, for I am 
merciful, and will not always keep mine anger;" 
and again, by the prophet Hosea, xi. 9, he saith, 
"I will not execute the fierceness of my wrath; I 
will not return to destroy Ephraim ; for I am God, 
and not man." Be of good cheer, therefore; 
comfort yourself with these promises; you have 
cause to rejoice, seeing God hath wrought in you 
a dislike and a grief for your sins, which is a 
certain token that your sins shall never hurt you; 
for sins past cannot hurt us, if sins present do not 
like us. You are grown to a hatred and dis- 
like of your sins; you mourn under the burden of 
them; therefore you are blessed; for "blessed are 
they that mourn.' ' Why therefore should you be 
so heavy and sad? Eemember what St. John 
saith, 1 John ii. 1, " If any man sin, we have an 
advocate, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the 


reconciliation for our sins." St. Paul saith, 
Rom. iii. 2-5, "That Jesus Christ is set forth to 
be a reconciliation through faith in his blood." 
Again, the Holy Ghost saith, Heb. vii. 25, " He 
is perfectly able to save all those that come unto 
God by him, seeing he ever hveth to make in- 
tercession for us." The apostle saith, 1 Cor. i. 
30, "He is made of God for us, wisdom, right- 
eousness, sanctification, and redemption:" mark 
that he saith all is for us, all is for his church, 
and for every member of his church, and therefore 
for you. Christ is made of God righteousness, 
sanctification, and redemption for you. Christ is 
your Mediator and your High Priest, and hath 
offered up the everlasting sacrifice, even for you, 
that he might pay your ransom, and redeem you 
from all iniquity: "By his own blood hath he 
entered once into the holy place, and obtained 
eternal redemption for you," Heb. vs. 12. 
Christ is not entered into the holy places which 
are made with hands, which are similitudes of the 
true sanctuary; but is entered into the very 
heaven, to appear now in the sight of God for 
you. The apostle saith, 2 Cor. v. 21, "He hath 
made him to be sin for you, that knew no sin, 
that you might be made the righteousness of God 
in him;" Gal. iii. 13, "Christ was made a curse 
for you, that he might redeem you from the 
curse of the law." Oh, therefore, how happy 
are you that have such a Mediator and High Priest. 
Rest therefore wholly upon him, and upon that 
perfect, eternal, and propitiatory sacrifice which he 
hath once offered. Apply Christ, apply his merits, 
apply the promises to yourself, and to your own 
conscience, so shall they do you good and bring 
gi-eat comfort to youi soul. For put case — ^you 


had a most excellent and sovereign salve, which 
would cure any wound it were laid unto, yet if 
you should lock it up in your chest, and never 
apply it to your wound, what good could it do 
you? even sothe righteousness andmerits of Christ 
are a spiritual salve, which will cure any wound 
of the soul: but if we do not apply them to our- 
selves by faith they can do us no good. You 
must therefore apply Christ, and all the promises 
of the gospel to yourself by faith, and stand fully 
persuaded that whatsoever he hath done upon the 
cross, he hath done for you particularly : for what 
is justifying faith but a full persuasion of God's 
particular love to us in Christ? A general and 
confused knowledge of Christ and of his gospel 
availeth not to eternal life. Labour therefore to 
have the true use of all these great and precious 
promises ; stick fast to Christ, for through him 
only we have remission of sins and eternal life. 
"To him all the prophets give witness," saith St. 
Peter, "that through his name, all that believe 
shall receive remission of their sins," Acts x. 43 j 
where the apostle telleth us, that if a grand jury 
of prophets were pannelled to testify of the way 
and means to eternal life, they would all with one 
consent bring in a verdict, that remission of sins 
and eternal life are only in Christ. Let us hear 
the foreman speak, and one or two of the rest, 
"for in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall 
every word stand." The prophet Isaiah saith, 
" He was wounded for our transgressions; he was 
broken for our iniquities; the chastisement of our 
peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are 
healed." This great prophet, we see, doth plainly 
affirm that Christ suffered for our sins, and by 
his suffering we are saved. The prophet Jere- 

or THI G08PBI.. 301 

miah testifieth the same thing, saying, xxiii. 5, 
"Behold, the days come," saith the Lord, " that 
I will raise unto David a righteous branch; and a 
king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute 
judgment and justice in the earth. In his days 
Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: 
and this is the name whereby they shall call him, 
the Lord our righteousness." This prophet 
trumpeth with the other, for he saith, that Christ 
is the righteous branch, and that he is our right- 
eousness, which is all one as if he had said our 
sins are pardoned only through him, and through 
him we are made righteous. Moreover, he afSrm- 
eth that Judah and Israel, that is, the church, 
shall be saved by him. The prophet Zechariah, 
that I may speak it with reverence, telleth the 
same tale, word for word. He announceth the 
same thing with the other two prophets, for he 
saith, xiii. 1, "In that day a fountain shall be 
opened to the house of David, and to the inhabi- 
tants of Jerusalem, for sin and for imcleanness:" 
the meaning of the prophet is, that in the days 
of Christ's kingdom, the fountaiu of God's mercy 
in Christ should be opened, and let out to wash 
away the sins and uncleanness of the church. So 
then, we see that these three great witnesses do 
all agree in this — that through Christ only we 
are washed from our sins, and through him only 
we are made righteous. Seeing then that eternal 
life is only in the Son, therefore, " He that hath 
the Son hath life." Be of good courage therefore, 
Asunetus, for no doubt you have the Son, and 
therefore eternal life: fear not your sins, for they 
cannot hurt you; for as all the righteousness of 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the most right- 
eous men that ever lived upon the face of the ^rth 


if it were yours, could do you no good without 
Christ; so all the sins in the world can do you no 
hurt, being in Christ; " For there is no condemna- 
tion to them which are in Christ Jesus," Rom. 
viii. 4. Pluck up a good heart, therefore ; be no 
more heavy and sad ; for if you be found in Christ, 
clothed with his perfect righteousness, being made 
yours through faith — what can the devil say to 
you ? what can the law do ? They may well hiss at 
you, but they cannot sting you; they may grin at 
you, but they cannot hurt you; for "Who shall 
lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is 
God that justifieth; who shall condemn? It is 
Christ which is dead, or rather which is risen 
again, who is also at the right hand of God, and 
maketh request for us," Rom. viii. 33. "Rejoice 
in the Lord, therefore, and again I say, rejoice," 
Phil. iv. 4. For greater is he that is in you than 
he that is in the world: our Lord Jesus is stronger 
than all. None can pluck you out of his hands: 
he is a strong Mediator; he hath conquered all our 
spiritual enemies ; he hath overcome hell, death, 
and damnation; "He hath led captivity captive; 
he hath spoiled principalities and powers, and hath 
made an open show of them, and triumphed over 
them in his cross," Col. ii. 15; he hath most 
triumphantly said, "0 death, I will be thy death; 
grave, I will be thy destruction," Hos. xiii. 14 ; 
"0 death, where is thy sting? hell, where is thy 
victory?" 1 Cor. xv. 52. Seeing then you have 
such a Mediator and High Priest, as hath conquer- 
ed the hellish army and subdued all infernal 
power, what need you to doubt? what need you 
to fear any more? Moreover, you are to under- 
stand, and to be persuaded, that God's mere}-- is 
exceeding great towards penitent sinners, and all 


such as mourn for their transgressions, according 
as he saith, "At what time soever a sinner doth 
repent him of his sins from the bottom of his 
heart, he will put them all out of his remem- 
brance." The prophet David doth most lively 
and fully describe unto us the merciful nature of 
God in the 103rd Psalm, where he saith, "The 
Lord is full of compassion and mercy, slow to 
anger, and of great kindness; he will not always 
chide, neither keep his anger for ever; he hath 
not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded us 
according to our iniquities. For as high as the 
heaven is above the earth, so great is his mercy 
towards those that fear him. As far as the east 
is from the west, so far hath he removed our sins 
from us. As a father hath compassion on his 
. children, so hath the Lord compassion on them 
that fear him. For he knoweth whereof we be 
made; he remembereth that we are but dust." 
The history of the lost son doth most notably set 
forth the wonderful mercy of God towards penitent 
sinners. There is shewed how the Lord doth 
embrace, tender, and make much of such poor 
sinners as have broken and contrite hearts for 
their sins; for it is said, Luke xv. that when the 
father saw his repenting son a great way off, he 
had compassion on him, and ran and fell on his 
neck, and kissed him, and clothed him with the 
best robe, put it on him, put a ring on his hand, 
and shoes on his feet, and caused the fat calf to 
be killed for him. Even so, the everlasting Father 
doth rejoice at the conversion of any of his lost 
sons. Yea, there is joy in the presence of the 
angels of God for one sinner that converteth. 
Moreover, the Lord doth most hvely express his 
merciful nature and disposition, in this, that he 


is very loth we should perish and willingly east 
away ourselves. Therefore, often in the holy 
scriptures, he doth mourn for us, bewail our 
wretchedness, and taketh up many pitiful com- 
plaints, and lamentations for us, saying, "Oh that 
my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had 
walked in my ways," Ps. Ixxxi. 13; and again, 
"Oh that thou hadst hearkened unto my com- 
mandments; then had thy prosperity been as 
the flood, and thy righteousness as the waves of 
the sea," Isa. xhii. 18; again, he mourningly 
complaineth by his prophet Hosea, saying, vi. 4, 
" Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee ? 
Judah, how shall I entreat thee?" And in another 
place, "What could I do more unto my vineyard 
that I have not done? Mark here, how com- 
passionately the Almighty God doth yearn overus, 
and even as it were bleed upon our wounds. 
The apostle also doth note the rich mercy, and 
marvellous love of God to mankind in this, that 
he doth beseech us, and pray us by the ministers 
of the gospel, that we would be reconciled unto 
him : the words are these, 2 Cor. v. " Now then, 
we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God 
did beseech you through us, we pray you in 
Christ's stead, that you be reconciled unto God." 
Is it not a strange thing that the omnipotent God 
should fall to entreating of us poor wretches? It 
is all one as if a king should entreat a beggar, 
whom he may w^ill and command; but the 
abundant mercy of God towards mankind doth 
most of all consist in this, that he hath given his 
only Son for us, when we were his enemies; as 
it is written, John iii. 16, "God so loved the 
world, that he hath given his only begotten Son, 
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, 

or THE GOSPEL. 305 

but have eternal life." Again, Eom. v. 8, "God 
setteth out his love towards us, seeing that while 
we were yet sinners, Christ died for us; much 
more then, being now justified by his blood, we 
shall be saved from wrath through him; for if 
when we were enemies we were reconciled, to God 
by the death of his Son, much more being re- 
conciled, we shall be saved by his life." In all 
this then we may clearly behold the infinite mercy 
of G^d towards us poor sinners; for is it not 
a great matter that the Son of God should take 
our nature upon him, should be so abased as 
he was, and should humble himself to death, even 
to the death of the cross ? Phil. ii. 8 ; for as 
the shadow of the dial went back ten degrees 
that Hezekiah might receive length of days, and 
much happiness; so Christ, the sun of righteous- 
ness hath gone back many degrees, that we might 
have eternal life. His humiliation, therefore, is 
our exaltation; his sufferings our joy; his death 
our life; for we have no other remedy or refuge 
but only his merits and righteousness — ^he is our 
city of refuge, whither we must fly, and where we 
must take sanctuary — he is the balm of Gilead, 
whereby our souls are cured — he is that pool of 
Bethesda, where every man may be cured of what 
disease soever he hath — he is the river of Jordan, 
where Naaman may wash away all his leprosy 
— he is that pelican, who, by picking a hole in 
his own breast, doth restore his young to life again 
by his blood. Yet one thing we must note by 
the way, which hath been partly touched before, 
that all the mercy of God, and merits of Christ, 
are to be restrained only to the elect — only to the 
true members of the church — as plainly appeareth 
in the 103rd Psalm, where the mercies of God, 



whicli there are largely described, are restrained 
only to them that fear him, keep his covenant, and 
think upon his commandments to do them. And 
touching Christ, it is said that he is a Prince and 
a Saviour unto Israel; and that he shall redeem 
Israel from all his iniquities. Again, it is written, 
that Christ being consecrate, was made "the au- 
thor of eternal salvation to them that obey him." 
None do or can obey him, but only the elect; 
therefore, he is the author of salvation only to the 
elect; and, consequently, the profane world, what- 
soever they say, whatsoever they brag and boast, 
have no true title or interest in him. This thing 
was figured in the law, in this, that the mercy 
seat, which was a type of God's mercy in Christ, 
and the ark, which was a figure of the church, 
were, by the express commandment of God, fitted 
each to other, both in length and breadth; for 
as the ark was two cubits and a half long, and a 
cubit and a half broad, just so was the mercy 
seat, Exod. xxv. 10, 17 ; noting thereby that 
the mercy of God in Christ should only be fitted 
to his church, and belong only to the church, so 
as not one without the church should be saved; 
for he that hath not the church for his mother 
cannot have God for his father. Lastly, we are 
to observe, that as God is infinite in mercy, and 
of great compassion towards penitent sinners, so 
also is he most constant in the course of his mer- 
cies towards his children; and, therefore, one of 
the Psalms, cxxxvi. carrieth this foot, "His 
mercy endureth for ever; his mercy endur- 
eth for ever; his mercy endureth for ever;" not- 
ing thereby both the constancy and eternity of 
God's mercy. To the same purpose, it is thus 
written, Lamen. iii. 22, "It is of the Lord's mer- 


cies that we are uot consumed; it is because his 
compassions Ml not." Let us know, therefore, 
that God, as touching his mercy to his children, 
is of a most constant and unchangeable nature; 
as he saith, "I am the Lord, I change not;" for 
if God were of a changeable nature, as we are, and 
subject to passions, then were we in a most mise- 
rable case. Then must he needs smite us down, 
Mid take vengeance of us every day, and every 
hour in the day; because we provoke him every 
day, and every hour in the day. But the God of 
heaven is not as a man, that he should be subject 
to passions and affections; he is of a most constant 
and inmiutable nature; for though we provoke 
him every day with new sins, yet he is so far off 
firom taking revenge, that the next day he reward- 
eth us with new mercies, and breaketh through 
all our unkindness, to shew kindness unto us, and 
through all our naughtiness to do us good. All 
our infirmities cannot make him break off with us, 
or cease to love us — he is content to take us with 
all faults; and to love us dearly, though we have 
great faults — he regardeth not our infirmities, 
though we be oftentimes wayward and elvish,* yet, 
for aU that, he loveth us nevertheless. Even as a 
loving mother, though her young suckling cry all 
night, and be exceeding treafef and wayward, so 
as she cannot rest an hour in the night; yea, 
though she endure much loathsomeness and 
trouble with it, yet in the morning, when she 
ariseth, she loveth it nevertheless, and dandles it, 
playeth with it, smileth and laugheth upon it; 
so the God of all mercies, whose love towards us 
far passeth the love of mothers, though we grieve 

• Rowaid, widkcd. t Peevish, pettish. 


him with our iafirmities continually, yet loveth 
us nevertheless, and is content to put up all, to 
forget and forgive all; for he is a most constant 
lover. Where he once sets and settles his love, 
he loveth most constantly ; nothing can alter him ; 
nothing can remove him. Even as a father, 
when his little child catcheth a fall, breaketh his 
shins, and hurteth his face, is so far from being 
offended or displeased with him therefore, that 
he doth pity him, and bemoan him, seeking re- 
medies for his hurt ; so our merciful Father is so 
far from being angry and displeased with us for 
some slips and falls, that he doth the more pity 
us, and lament our case. Even as a loving and 
wise husband, though his wife have many infir- 
mities, yet knowing that she loveth him dearly, 
and that her heart is with him, he is well content 
to wink at all her faults, to hide them, to bear 
with them, yea, and to make nothing of them, 
loving her nevertheless for them; so our dear 
husband and spouse, Jesus Christ, because he 
knoweth we love him, and that he hath our 
hearts, is content to bear with all our infirmities, 
and to make light of them. For this cause it is 
that he saith to his spouse in the Canticles, iv. 
1, 7, though she was black and full of infirmities, 
" Behold, thou art fair, my love ; behold, thou 
art fair; thou art all fair, my love; there is no 
spot in thee." Mark that he calleth his church 
fair, all fair, and without spot; not because she 
was so in herself, but because she was made so in 
him ; and, assuredly, the eternal God, beholding 
her in his Son, doth so esteem and account of 
her; for as he that beholdeth any thing through 
a red glass doth take it to be red, as is the colour 
of the glass; so God the Father, beholding us 


ill his Son, doth take us to be of the same nature 
and quality that he is: that is, perfectly right- 
eous; for this cause it is that he loveth us, 
and setteth his heart upon us, and will not be 
removed from us; for his love to his children is 
always one and the same, although we have not 
always the hke sight and feeling of it; as the 
moon is always the same in substance and quality, 
though sometime it seemeth unto us to be 
wasted, into a very small scantling. Let us 
know then, to our great comfort, that the love of 
God towards us, in his dear Son, is constant and 
always alike, and that he will not discountenance 
us, or shake us off for some infirmities, no, nor 
yet for many infirmities ; for the merciful God doth 
accept of his children because their general care 
is good, and the universal tenor of their life 
tendeth unto righteousness, howsoever they may 
greatly fail in many particular actions. Two 
or three fits of an ague do not prove a diseased 
body ; nor two or three good days a sound body ; 
even so, some few infinnities do not argue a 
wicked man; nor two or three good, actions a 
good man ; but we must have an eye to the cer- 
tain and settled course of a man's fife. Even as 
men ai*e truly said to walk in a way when they 
go in it, although sometimes they trip and 
stumble; so God's children do walk in the way of 
righteousness, although sometimes they stumble, 
and step out of it; or sometimes be violently 
haled out of it by thieves; for Satan and the 
violence of our lusts, do often hail us out of the 
way, but we must get into it again as soon as we 
are escaped. Now then, to conclude, and draw 
to an end, since God is so infinitely merciful and 
constant in his mercy — since such great and pre- 


cious promises are made to us in Christ — since the 
Lord doth not regard our infirmities when our 
hearts are with him — therefore, Asunetus, be of 
good cheer; let nothing trouble you; fear not the 
assaults of the devil; regard not his temptations; 
for assuredly your sins are forgiven. Christ is 
yours, heaven is yours, and all the promises of 
life and salvation belong unto you; so as you 
need not to doubt. You cannot miscarry, your 
name is written in the book of Hfe. 

Asun. I am greatly comforted and cheered up 
with your words: your preaching of the gospel, 
and laying open of God's abundant mercy in 
Christ, and of the promises, do exceedingly revive 
me, and even as it were put new life into me : 
they are as sack and sugar unto my soul, and 
more sweet than the honey and the honey-comb; 
they are as physic to my sick soul, and as oint- 
ment to my spiritual wounds. I do now begin 
to see what misery is in man, and what mercy is 
in God. And I know, by woful experience, that 
where misery is not felt there mercy is not 
regarded; but now it hath pleased God to give 
me some feeling of mine own wretchedness and 
misery, and yet with good comfort in his mercy. 
For, I thank God for it, I begin now to grow to 
some persxiasion, that the promises do belong unto 
me, my sins are forgiven, and that I am one of 
them that shall be saved. 

Theol. I do greatly rejoice that God hath ac- 
cording to his rich mercy wrought this good work 
in you. 1 do, from the bottom of my heart, give 
him the praise and glory of it. Happy are you that 
ever you were born, in whom God hath wrought 
so gracious a work. It is of his high favour and 
special mercy towards you, for it is only the 

cojrcLiisioK. 311 

privilege and prerogative royal of God's own 
children, truly to repent and believe. I beseech 
God, therefore, to increase your faith, and to fill 
you full of joy and peace in beheving, that you 
may abound in hope, through the power of the 
Holy Ghost. 

Antil. The sun draweth low, Asunetus, it is 
time for you and me to be going. 

Phil. Indeed the night will approach by and 
by; and therefore we must of necessity break 

Theol. Since it is so, we will here surcease, and 
go no further. 

Asun. Sir, I will now take my leave of you. 
I can never be thankful enough for all the good 
instructions and comforts which I have heard from 
you this day ; I hope I shall remember some of 
them whilst I live : I do therefore praise God for 
you, and for your counsel, and for this day which 
I hope shaU be the first day of my repentance, 
and true conversion unto Gt)d. 

Theol. The Lord for his infinite mercies' sake 
grant it. And I most himibly beseech the Al- 
mighty God to establish you with his free Spirit, 
that you may proceed and go forward in a Chris- 
tian course unto the end. 

Phil. I pray you, good Mr. Theologus, pardon 
my boldness; for you see I have been very bold to 
propound many questions unto you, wherein you 
have fully satisfied me, to the great joy and com- 
fort of my soul. I do therefore praise Gt)d for 
you, and I hope I shall never forget some things 
which you have uttered. But I will now com- 
mend you to God, and to the word of his grace, 
which is able to build further. 

Theol. Farewell, good Philagathus, The Lord 



bless you, aaid keep you in all your ways; and 
the Grod of Heaven preserve us all, and continue 
us in his fear unto the end. All glory be given 
to God! 



O LoED our God, and heavenly Father ! we, thy 
unworthy children, do here come unto thy most 
holy and heavenly presence, to give thee praise 
and glory for all thy great mercies and manifold 
blessings towards us; especially for that thou 
hast preserved us this night past from all the 
dangers and fears thereof — hast given us quiet 
rest to our bodies, and brought us now safely to 
the beginning of this day — and dost now afresh 
renew all thy mercies upon us, as the eagle 
reneweth her bill, giving us all things abundantly 
to enjoy — as food, raiment, health, peace, hberty, 
and freedom from many miseries, diseases, casu^- 
ties, and calamities which we are subject unto in 
this life every minute of an hour: and not only 
so, but also for vouchsafing unto us many good 
things, not only for necessity, but even for 
delight also. But, above all, dear Father, we 
praise thy name for the blessings of a better life; 
especially for thy most holy word and sacra- 
ments, and aU the good we enjoy thereby — for 
the continuance of the gospel amongst us — for 
the death of thy Son, and all that happiness 
which we have thereby ; also, because thou hast 
chosen us to life before we were, and that of thy 
mere goodness and undeserved &vour towards us; 
and hast called us in thine appointed time, justi- 
fied us by thy grace, sanctified us by thy Spirit, 
and adopted us to be thine own children, and 


heirs apparent to the great crown. Lord, open 
our eyes every day more and more to see and 
consider of thy great and marvellous love to us 
in all these things ; that, by the due consideration 
thereof, our hearts may be drawn yet nearer xmto 
thee — even more to love thee, fear thee, and 
obey thee ; that, as thou art enlarged towards us in 
mercy, so we may be enlarged towards thee in 
thanksgiving; and as thou dost abound towards 
us in goodness, so we may abound towards thee 
in obedience and love. And since, dear Father, 
thou art never weary of doing us good, notwith- 
standing all our unworthiness and naughtiness, 
therefore let the consideration of thy great mercy 
and fatherly kindness towards us, even, as it were, 
force our hearts, and compel us to come into thy 
most glorious presence with new songs of thanks- 
giving in our mouths. We pray thee, most 
merciful God, to forgive us all our unthankfulness, 
unkindness, profaneness, and great abusing of all 
thy mercies, and specially our abuse and contempt 
of thy gospel, together with all other the sins of 
our life, which, we confess, are innumerable, and 
more than can be reckoned up, both in omission 
of good things and commission of evil. We most 
humbly entreat thee to set them all over to the 
reckoning which thy Son Christ hath made up 
for them upon his cross, and never to lay any of 
them to our charge, but freely forget all' and for- 
give all; nail down all our sins and iniquities to- 
the cross of Christ, bury them in his death, bathe 
them in his blood, hide them in his wounds, let 
them never rise up in judgment against us. Set 
us free of the miseries that are upon us for sin, 
and keep back the judgments to come, both of 
soul, body, goods, and good name. Be recon- 


filed unto us in thy dear Son, concerning all 
matters past, not once remembering or repeating 
unto us our old and abominable iniquities; but 
accept us as righteous in him, imputing his 
righteousness to us, and our sins to him. Let 
his righteousness satisfy thy justice for aU our un- 
righteousness, his obeience for our disobedience, 
his perfection for our imperfection. Moreover, 
we humbly beseech thy good Majesty to give us 
the trae sight and feeling of our manifold sins, 
that we may not be blinded in them through de- 
light, or hardened in them through custom as the 
reprobates are; but that we may be even weary 
of them, and much grieved for them, labouring 
and striving by all possible means to get out of 
them. Good Father, touch our hearts with true 
repentance for all sin. Let us not take any de- 
light or pleasure in any sin, but howsoever we 
fjdl through frailty, as we fall often, yet let us 
never fall finally, let us never lie down in sin, 
nor continue in sin; but let us get upon our feet 
again, and turn to thee with all our hearts; and 
seek thee whilst thou mayest be found, and 
whilst thou dost extend grace and mercy unto 
us. Lord, increase in us that true and lively 
faith whereby we may lay sure hold on thy Son 
Christ, and rest upon his merits altogether. Give 
us faith assiu-edly to believe all the great and 
precious promises made in the gospel, and 
strengthen us from above, to walk and abound 
in all the true and sound fruits of faith. Let us 
walk, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 
Let us feel the power of thy Son's death killing 
sin in our mortal bodies, and the power of his 
resurrection raising us up to newness of Hfe. 
Let us grow daily in the sanctification of the 


Spirit, and the mortification of the flesh. Let 
us live holily, justly, and soberly, in this present 
evil world, shewing forth the virtues of thee in 
all our particular actions; that we may adorn 
our most holy profession, and shine as lights in 
the midst of a crooked and froward generation 
amongst whom we live, being gainful to all by 
our lives and conversations, and offensive to 
none. To this end, we pray thee fill us with thy 
Spirit and all spiritual grace: as love, wisdom, 
patience, contentment, meekness, humility, tem- 
perance, charity, kindness, and affability; and 
stir us up to use prayer and watchfulness, read- 
ing and meditation in thy law, and all other good 
means whereby we may grow and abound in all 
heavenly virtues. Bless us in the use of the 
means from day to day; make us such as thou 
wouldest have us to be, and such as we desire to 
be, working in us both will and deed, purpose 
and power; for thou, Lord, art all in all, thou 
wilt have mercy upon whom thou wilt have 
mercy, and whom thou wilt thou hardenest. 
Have mercy upon us, therefore, dear Father, and 
never leave us to ourselves, nor to our own wills, 
lusts, and desires, but assist us with thy good 
Spirit, that we may continue to the end in a 
righteous course; that so at length ^we may be 
received into glory, and be partakers of that im- 
mortal crown which thou hast laid up for all that 
love thee, and truly call upon thee. 

Turther, we entreat thee, heavenly Father, 
to give us all things necessary for this life: as food, 
raiment, health, peace, liberty, and such freedom 
from those manifold miseries which we lie open 
unto every day, as thou seest meet. Bless unto 
us all the means which thou hast put into our 

MOBirme pbayeb. 317 

hands for the sustenance of this frail life. Bless 
our stock and store, com and cattle, trades and 
occupations, and all the works of our hands; for 
thy blessing only maketh rich, and it bringeth 
no sorrows with it. Give us, therefore, such a 
competency and sufficiency of these outward 
blessings, as thou in thy heavenly wisdom seest 
most needful for us. Moreover, we humbly beseech 
thee, most loving Father, in great mercy to look 
down from heaven upon thy whole church, and 
every member of it. Be favourable unto Zion, 
and build up the walls of Jerusalem. Behold, 
with the eye of pity, the great ruins and desol- 
ations of thy church. Heal up the wounds, and 
make up the breaches thereof in all nations. 
R^ard it as thine own flock, tender it as thine 
family, dress it as thine own vineyard, love it as 
thine own spouse. Think thoughts of peace to 
it, and always look upon it in deep compassion. 
Bless it with thy grace, guide it with thy Spirit, 
anddefendit alwayswiththy mighty power: scatter 
the devices, confound the counsels, and overthrow 
the forces of aU that fight against it. Specially, we 
entreat thee, dear Father, to set thyself against 
that antichrist of Kome, that man of perdition, 
which setteth himself against thee, and against all 
thy people. In thine appointed time we pray thee 
give him a deadly downfall. Beat down aU his 
power and authority daily more and more: g^ve 
free passage to thy gospel in all kingdoms, that 
Babylon may fall and never rise up again. The 
more the favourites and adherents of Home labour 
to uphold their idolatrous kingdom, the more let it 
fell down, even as Dagon before the presence of 
thine ark. Pour down the vials of the fulness of 
thy wrath upon the kingdom of the beast, and let 


their riches, wealth, credit, and authority dry up 
every day more and more, as the river Euphrates. 
Let it pity thee, Father, to see thine own spouse 
sit as a deformed and forlorn woman here below, 
weepmg and mourning with her hair about her 
neck; having lost all her beauty and comeliness: 
cheer her up dear Father, glad her with the joy 
of thy countenance, and so deck her and trim her 
up, that thou mayest delight in her, as a bride- 
groom in his bride. Specially we entreat thee to 
have mercy upon thy chm*ch in this land; intend 
good unto us and not evil ; give us not over into 
the hands of the cruel Spaniard, as our sins have 
deserved. Scatter, we pray thee, Lord, the 
devices, and break the plots of all such as have 
plotted the overthrow and utter subversion of this 
church and commonwealth. Bless this church 
more and more, with the continuance of true re- 
ligion amongst us. For thy great name's sake, 
and infinite mercies' sake, deal graciously and 
favourably with us, and our posterity. Turn from 
us that vengeance which is due to us for our sins. 
For thou seest how iniquity prevaileth, and the 
wicked go away with the goal. Atheism over- 
spreadeth everywhere, and popery seemeth to get 
ahead again. Now, therefore, dgar Father, we 
most humbly beseech thee to take order speedily 
for the remedying and repressing of these mani- 
fold disorders and grievous enormities that are 
amongst us. Be entreated of thy poor children to 
be good to this English nation. Hear the cries 
of thine elect: hear the mourning of them that 
mourn in Sion. Let the cries of thy children cry 
down all the cries of the sins of the land, and be 
reconciled unto us in the multitude of thy com- 
passions, so that thou mayest still continue a most 


merciful protector of this thine English vineyard. 
We pray thee, good Father, shew special mercy 
to our most noble and gracious King James, thine 
anointed servant: bless him, and keep him in all 
his ways. Bless his government mito us. Let 
thine angels encamp about him, and let thy holy 
hand be always over him; keep him from treasons, 
and deliver him from the treacheries of his ene- 
mies: give him to see what belongeth to his 
peace, and give him a heart earnestly bent to set 
upon the practice of the same: give him aU graces 
necessary for his peace, and necessary for his 
salvation: continue his government peaceable and 
prosperous amongst us: and as thou hast made 
him the breath of our nostrils, and a gracious in- 
strument for the saving of many thousand souls, 
so let his own soul be saved in the day of thy Son 
Christ. Bless his majesty's most honourable 
privy counsellors, and give such good success 
unto aU their counsels and policies in matters of 
state, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life 
in all godliness and honesty. Bless all the nobi- 
Uty; work in them a care to glorify thy name in 
their places; make them faithful to thee, and 
faithful to the land. Direct with thy good Spirit 
all such as bear the sword of justice, that they 
may draw it out to punish the wicked, and to de- 
fend the godly, and that they may, with all good 
care and conscience, discharge the duties of their 
places. Increase the number of faithful and zea- 
lous ministers in thy church. Send thy gospel 
to those places where it is not, and bless it where 
it is. Eemember them in thy mercy, Lord, 
that are under any cross or atfliction whatsoever: 
be comfortable unto them, heal up their wounds, 
bind up their sores, put all their tears into thy 


bottle, and make their bed in all tbeir sorrows; 
and put such a good end to all their troubles 
that they may redound to thy glory and the 
furtherance of their own salvation. In the mean- 
time, give them patience and constancy to bear 
whatsoever it shall please thy merciful hand to 
lay upon them. Last of all, in a word, we pray 
thee, bless magistracy, ministry, and commonalty. 
Bless all thy people; do good to all that are true 
and upright in their hearts. And so, dear Father, 
we do commit and commend ourselves, our souls, 
and bodies into thy hands, for this day, and the 
rest of our life, praying thee to take care and 
charge of us; keep us from all evil; watch over us 
for our good; let thine angels encamp about us; 
let thy holy hand be over us, and keep us in all 
our ways, that we may live to thy praise and 
glory here on earth, keeping faith and a good con- 
science in all our actions; that after this life we 
may be crowixed of thee, for ever in thy kingdom. 
Grant these things, good Father, to us here pre- 
sent, and to all thine absent; praying thee in 
special favour to remember our friends and kins- 
folks in the flesh, all our good neighbours and 
well-wishers, and all those for whom we are bound 
to pray by nature, by deserts, or any duty what- 
soever, for Jesus Christ's sake, our only Mediator; 
to whom with thee, and the Holy Ghost, be given 
all praise and glory, both now, and for evermore. 



O Eternal God, and our most loving and dear 
Father! we, thy unworthy children, do here fall 
dowTi at the foot of thy great Majesty, acknow- 
ledging from our hearts, that we are altogether 
imworthy to come near thee, or to look towards 
thee: because thou art a Grod of infinite glory, 
and we are most vile and abominable sinners, 
such as were conceived and bom in sin and 
corruption, such as have inherited our father's 
corruptions, and also have actually transgressed 
all thy holy statutes and laws, both in thoughts, 
words, and deeds, before we knew thee; and 
since, secretly and openly, with ourselves and 
with others. Our particular sins are more than can 
be numbered; for who knoweth how often he 
offendeth ? But this we must needs confess against 
ourselves, that our hearts are fbU of pride, covet- 
ousness, and the love of this world ; full of wrath, 
anger, and impatience ; full of lying, dissembling, 
and deceiving; full of vanity, hardness, and pro- 
faneness; full of infidelity, distrust, and self-love; 
full of lust, tmcleanness, and all abominable de- 
sires; yea, our hearts are the very sinks of sin, 
and dunghiUs of aU filthiness. And besides all 
this, we do omit the good things we should do; 
for there are in us great wants of faith, of love of 
zeal, of patience, of contentment, and of every 
good grace; so as thou hast just cause to proceed 
to sentence of judgment against us. as most 


damnable transgressors of all thy holy command- 
ments: yea, such as are sunk in our rebellions 
and have many times and often committed high 
treason against thy Majesty; and therefore, thou 
mayest justly cast us all down into hell-fire, there 
to be tormented with Satan and his angels for 
ever. And we have nothing to except against 
thy Majesty for so doing: since therein thou 
shouldest deal with us but according to equity 
and our just deserts. Wherefore, dear Father, 
we do appeal from thy justice to thy mercy; most 
humbly entreating thee to have mercy upon us, 
and freely to forgive us all our sins past whatsoever, 
both new and old, secret and open, known and 
unknown, and that for Jesus Christ's sake, our 
only Mediator. And we pray thee, touch our 
hearts with true grief and unfeigned repentance 
for them, that they may be a matter of continual 
sorrow and heart-smart unto us, so as nothing 
may grieve us more than this, that we have 
offended thee, being our special friend and Father. 
Give us, therefore, dear Father, every day more 
and more sight and feeling of our sins, with true 
humiliation under the same. Grive us also that 
true and lively faith whereby we may lay sure 
hold on thy Son Christ, and all his merits, 
applying the same to our own souls ; so as we 
may stand fully persuaded that whatsoever he 
hath done upon the cross, he hath done for us 
particularly, as well as for others. Give us faith, 
good Father, constantly to believe all the sweet 
promises of the gospel, touching remission of 
sin and eternal life, made in thy Son Christ. O 
Lord, increase our faith, that we may altogether 
rest upon thj promises, which are all yea and 
amen. Yea, that we may settle ourselves, and 


all that we have wholly upon them: hoth our 
souls, bodies, goods, name, wives, children, and 
our whole estate, knowing that all things depend 
upon thy promises, power, and providence; and 
that thy word doth support and bear up the whole 
order of nature. Moreover, we entreat thee, O 
Lord, to strengthen us from above to walk in 
every good way, and to bring forth the finiits of 
true faith in all our particular actions, studying to 
please thee in all things and to be fruitful in good 
works, that we may shew forth unto all men, by 
our good conversation, whose children we are; 
and that we may adorn and beautify our most holy 
profession by walking in a Christian course, and 
in £J1 the sound fruits and practice of godliness, 
and true religion. To this end, we pray thee, 
sanctify our hearis by thy Spirit, yet more and 
more: sanctify our souls and bodies, and all our 
corrupt natural faculties, as reason, understanding, 
vrill, and affections, so as they may be fitted for 
thy worship and service, taking a delight and 
pleasure therein. Stir us up to use prayer, watch- 
fulness, reading, and meditation in thy law, and 
all other good means whereby we may profit in 
grace and goodness from day to day. Bless us in 
the use of the means, that we may daily die to 
sin, and live to righteousness: draw us yet nearer 
unto thee: help us against our manifold wants. 
Amend our great imperfections, renew us inwardly 
more and more, repair the ruins of our hearts, 
aid us gainst the remnants of sin. Enlar^ our 
hearts to run the way of thy commandments, di- 
rect all our steps in thy word, let no inquity 
have dominion over us. Assist us against our 
special infirmities and master sins, that we may 
get the victory over them all, to thy glory, and 


the great peace and comfort of our own con- 
sciences. Strengthen us, good Father, by thy 
grace and Holy Spirit, against the common cor- 
ruptions of the world, as pride, whoredom, cove- 
tousness, contempt of thy gospel, swearing, lying, 
dissembling, and deceiving. dear Father, let 
us not be overcome of these filthy vices, nor any 
other sinful pleasures and fond delights, where- 
with thousands are carried headlong to destruction. 
Arm our souls against all the temptations of this 
world, the flesh, and the devil; that -we may 
overcome them all through thy help, and keep on 
the right way to life, that we may live in thy fear, 
and die in thy favour, that our last daj-^s may be 
our best days, and that we may end in great peace 
of conscience. Furthermore, dear Father, we en- 
treat thee not only for ourselves, but for all our 
good brethren, thy dear children scattered over the 
face of the whole earth, most humbly beseeching 
thee to bless them all, to cheer them up, and glad 
them with the joy of thy countenance, both now 
and always. Guide them all in thy fear, and 
keep them from evil, that \hey may praise thy 
name. In these dangerous days, and declining 
times, we pray thee, Lord, raise up nursing 
fathers, and nursing mothers unto thy church. 
Eaise up also faithful pastors, that thy cause may 
be carried forward, truth may prevail, religion 
may prosper, thy name only may be set up in the 
earth, thy Son's kingdom advanced, and thy will 
accomplished. Set thyself against all adversary 
power, especially that of Rome, antichrist, idola- 
tr}'^, and atheism: curse and cross all their coun- 
sels, frustrate their devices, scatter their forces, 
overthrow their armies. When they are most 
wise, let them be most foolish; when they are 


most strong, let them be most weak. Let them 
know, that there is no wisdom nor counsel, power 
nor policy, against thee, the Lord of Hosts. Let 
them know that Israel hath a God, and that thou 
which art called Jehovah, art the only ruler over 
all the world. Arise, therefore, O most mighty 
God, and maintain thine own cause against all 
thine enemies; smite through all their loins, and 
bow down their backs; yea, let them aU be con- 
founded, and turned backward that bear ill-will 
vmto Sion. Let the patient abiding of the right- 
eous be joy; and let the wicked be disappointed 
of their hope. But of all favour, we entreat thee, 
O Lord, to shew special mercy to thy church in 
this land wherein we hve. Continue thy gospel 
amongst us yet with greater success, purge thy 
house daily more and more, take away all things 
that offend. Let this nation be a place where 
thy name may be called upon, and an harbour 
for thy saints. Shew mercy to our posterity, 
dear Father, and have care of them, that thy gos- 
pel may be left unto them as a most holy inheri- 
tance. Defend us against foreign invasion, keep 
out idolatry and popery from amongst us. Turn 
from us those plagues which our sins cry for; for 
the sins of this land are exceeding great, horrible, 
and outrageous, and give thee just cause to make 
us spectacles of thy vengeance to all nations: that 
by how much the more thou hast lifted us up in 
great mercy and long peace, by so much the 
more thou shouldest press us down in great wrath 
and long war. Therefore, dear Father, we most 
humbly entreat thee, for thy great name's sake, 
and for thy infinite mercies' sake, that thou 
wouldest be reconciled to this land, and discharge 
it of all the horrible sins thereof. Drown them, 


Lord, in thy infinite mercy througli Christ, as it 
were in a bottomless gulf, that they may never 
rise up in judgment against us. For although 
our sins be exceeding many and fearful, yet thy 
mercy is far greater. For thou art infinite in 
mercy: but we cannot be infinite in sinning. 
Give us not over into the hands of the idolaters, 
lest they should blaspheme thy name and say, 
where is their God in whom they trusted? But 
rather, dear Father, take us into thine own hands, 
and correct us according to thy wisdom: for with 
thee is mercy, and deep compassion. Moreover, 
we most humbly beseech thy good Majesty, to 
bless our most gracious king James, and to shew 
much mercy to him in all things. Guide him in 
thy fear, and keep him in all his ways, working 
in his soul unfeigned sorrow for sin, true faith in 
the promises, and a great care to please thee in all 
things, and to discharge the duties of his high 
place, in all zeal of thy glory, and faithfulness 
towards thy Majesty : that as thou hast crowned 
him here in earth, so he (spending his days here 
below in thy fear) may after this life, be crowned 
of thee for ever in the heavens. We beseech 
thee also, to bless his majesty's most honourable 
privy counsellors. Counsel them from above, 
let them take advice of thee in all things; that 
they may both consult, and resolve of such courses 
as may be most for thy glory, the good of the 
church, and the peace of this our commonwealth. 
Bless the nobility, and all the magistrates in the 
land, giving them all grace to execute judgment 
and justice, and to maintain truth aiid equity. 
Bless all the faithful ministers of the gospel, in- 
crease the number of them, increase thy gifts in 
them: and so bless all their labours in their seve- 


ral places and congregations, that they all may 
be instruments of thy hand to enlarge thy Son's 
kingdom, and to win many souls unto thee. Com- 
fortthe comfortless with all needful comforts. For- 
get none of thine that are in trouble; but as their 
afflictions are, so let the joys and comforts of thy 
Spirit be unto them; and so sanctify unto all 
"thine, their afflictions and troubles, that they may 
tend to thy glory, and their own good. Give us 
thankful hearts for all thy mercies, both spiritual 
and corporeal : for thou art mercy merciful unto us 
in the things of this life, and infinitely more mer- 
ciful in the things of a better life. Let us deeply 
j>onder and weigh all thy particular favours to- 
wards US; that by the due consideration thereof, 
our hearts may be gained yet nearer unto thee, 
and that therefore we may both love and obey 
thee, because thou art so kind and loving unto 
us; that even thy love towards us may draw our 
love towards thee, and that becaiise mercy is with 
thee, thou mayest be feared. Grant th^e things 
good Father, and all other needful graces for our 
souls or bodies, or any of thine throughout the 
whole world, for Jesus Christ's sake. In whose 
name, we further call upon thee, as he hath taught 
us in his gospel, saying, " Our Father which ark 
in heaven," &c. 



Lord, my God, and heavenly Father! I, thy 
most unworthy child, do here in thy sight freely 
confess that I am a most sinful creature, and 
damnable transgressor of all thy holy laws and 
commandments: that as I was born and bred in 
sin, and stained in the womb, so have I conti- 
nually brought forth the corrupt and ugly fruits 
of that infection and contagion, wherein I was 
first conceived, both in thoughts, words, and 
works. If I should go about to reckon up my 
particular offences, I know not where to begin, 
or where to make an end; for they are more 
than the hairs of my head, yea, far more than I 
can possibly feel or know; for who knoweth 
the height and depth of his corruption? who 
knoweth how oft he offendeth? Thou only, O 
Lord, knowest my sins, who knowest my heart: 
nothing is hid from thee, thou knowest what I 
have been, and what I am; yea, my conscience 
doth accuse me of many and grievous evils, and I 
do daily feel by woful experience how frail I am, 
how prone to evil, and how untoward to all good- 
ness. My mind is full of vanity, my heart full of 
profaneness, mine affections full of deadness, dul- 
ness and drowsiness in matters of thy worship 
and service ; yea, my whole soul is fuU of spiritual 
blindness, hardness, unprofitableness, coldness, 
and security; and in very deed I am altogether 
a lump of sin, and a mass of all misery; and 


therefore I have forfeited thy favour, and incurred 
thy high displeasure, and have given thee just 
cause to frown upon me, to give me over, and 
leave me to mine own corrupt will and affections.. 
But, O my dear Father, I have learned from thy 
mouth, that thou art a Grod of mercy, slow t» 
wrath, and of great compassion and kindness 
towards all such as groan under the hurden of 
 their sins. Therefore, extend thy great mercy 
towards me a poor sinner, and give me a general 
pardon for all mine offences whatsoever; seal it 
in the hlood of thy Son, and seal it to my con- 
science hy thy Spirit, assuring me more and more 
of thy love and favour towards me, and that thou 
art a reconciled Father unto me. Grant that I 
may, in all time to come, love thee much because 
much is given, and of very love fear thee and 
obey thee. O Lord, increase my faith, that I may 
steadfastly believe all the promises of the gospel 
made in thy Son Christ, and rest upon them alto- 
gether. Enable me to bring forth the sound 
ftxdts of faith and repentance in all my particular 
actions. Fill my soul full of joy and peace in 
beUeving. Fill me full of inward comfort and 
spiritual strength against all temptations; give 
me yet a greater feeling of thy love and manifold 
mercies toward me; work in my soul a love of 
thy Majesty, a zeal of thy glory, an hatred of evil, 
and a desire of all good things. Grive me victory 
over those sins which thou Imowest are strongest 
in me. Let me once at last make a conquest of 
the world and the flesh. Mortify in me whatso- 
ever is carnal: sanctify me throughout by thy 
Spirit; knit my heart to thee for ever, that I may 
fear thy name. Renew in me the image of thy 
Son Christ daily more and more. Give me a 


delight in the reading and meditation of thy 
word. Let me rejoice in the public ministry 
thereof. Cause me to love and reverence all the 
faithful ministers of thy gospel. Sanctify their 
doctrines to my conscience; seal them in my 
soul ; write them in my heart ; give me a soft and 
melting heart, that I may tremble at thy words, 
and be always much affected with godly ser- 
mons. Let not my sins hold back thy mercies 
from me, nor mine unworthiness stop the pas- 
sage of thy grace. Open mine eyes to see the 
great wonders of thy law. Reveal thy secrets 
unto me; be open-hearted towards me thy un- 
worthy servant. Hide nothing from me that 
may make for thy glory, and the good of my 
soul. Bless all means unto me which thou usest 
for my good. Bless all holy instructions unto 
my soul. Bless me at all times, both in hearing 
and reading thy word. Give me the right use of 
all thy mercies a»d corrections, that I may be the 
better for them. Let me abound in love to all 
thy children. Let my heart be very nearly knit 
unto them, that where thou lovest most there I 
may love most also. Enable me to watch and 
pray, that I enter not into temptation; give me 
patience and contentment in all things. Cause 
me to love thee more and more, and the world 
less and less. So draw my mind upward, that I 
may despise all transitory things. Let me be so 
enwrapt and ravished with the sight and feeling of 
heavenly things, that I may make a base reckon- 
ing of all earthly things. Let me use this world 
as though I used it not. Let me use it but for 
necessity, as meat and drink. Let me not be 
carried away with the vain pleasures and fond 
delights thereof. Good Father, work thy good 


work in me, and never leave me, nor forsake me, 
till thou hast brought me to true happiness. O, 
dear Father, make me faithful in my calling, 
that I may serve thee in it, and be always careful 
to do what good I may in any thing. Bless me 
in my outward estate. Bless my soul, body, 
goods, and name. Bless all that belongeth unto 
me. Bless my goings out and comings in. Let 
thy countenance be hfbed up upon me, now and 
always: cheer me up with the joys and comforts 
of thy Spirit; make me thankful for all thy mer- 
cies. For 1 must needs confess that thou art 
very kind unto me in all things. For in thee I 
live, move, and have my being ; of thee I have 
my welfare and good being; thou art a daily 
friend, and special good benefactor unto me. 
I hve at thy cost and charges. I hold all of thee 
in chief, and I find that thou art never weary of 
doing me good: thy goodness towards me is un- 
stanchable. Oh, I can never be thankful enough 
imto thee for all thy mercies, both spiritual and 
corporeal. But in such measure as I am able, I 
praise thy name for all, beseeching thee to ac- 
cept of my thanksgiving, in thy Son Christ, and 
to give me a profitable use of all thy favours, that 
thereby my heart may be fully drawn unto thee. 
Give me, O Father, to be of such a good nature 
and disposition, that I may be won by gentleness 
and fair means, as much as if thou gavest me 
many lashes. Pardon all mine unthankfulness, 
unkindness, and great abusing of thy mercies, 
and give me grace to use them more to thy 
glory in all time to come. Strengthen me, dear 
Father, thus to continue praising and glorifying 
thy name here upon earth; that after this life, 
I may be crowned of thee for ever in thy king- 



dom. Grant these petitions, most merciful God, 
not only to me, but to all thy dear children 
throughout the whole world, for Jesus Christ's 
sake ; in whose name I do further call upon thee, 
saying, as he hath taught me, " Our Father, 
which art in heaven," &c. 




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Relig Dent, Arthur 

D Plain man*s pathway to