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     God, who hath made no new covenant with dying persons distinct from the covenant of the living, hath also appointed no distinct sacraments for them, no other manner of usages but such as are common to all the spiritual necessities of living and healthful persons. In all the days of our religion, from our baptism to the resignation and delivery of our soul, God hath appointed his servants to minister to the necessities, and eternally to bless, and prudently to guide, and wisely to judge, concerning souls; and the Holy Ghost, that anointing from above, descends upon us in several effluxes, but ever by the ministries of the church. Our heads are anointed with that sacred unction, baptism, (not in ceremony, but in real and proper effect,) our foreheads in confirmation, our hands in ordinations, all our senses in the visitation of the sick; and all by the ministry of especially deputed and instructed persons: and we, who all our life-time derive blessings from the fountains of grace by the channels of ecclesiastical ministries, must do it then especially, when our needs are most pungent and actual. 1. We cannot give up our names to Christ, but the holy man that ministers in religion must enrol them, and present the persons and consign the grace: when we beg for God's Spirit the minister can best present our prayers, and by his advocation hallow our private desires and turn them into public and potent offices. 2. If we desire to be established and confirmed in the grace and religion of our baptism, the holy man whose hands are anointed by a special ordination to that and its symbolical purposes, lays his hands upon the catechumen, and the anointing from above descends by that ministry. 3. If we would eat the body and drink the blood of our Lord, we must address ourselves to the Lord's table, and he that stands there to bless and to minister can reach it forth and feed thy soul; and without his ministry thou canst not be nourished with that heavenly feast, nor thy body consigned to immortality, nor thy soul refreshed with the sacramental bread from heaven, except by spiritual suppletories in cases of necessity and an impossible communion. 4. If we have committed sins, the spiritual man is appointed to restore us, and to pray for us, and to receive our confessions, and to inquire into our wounds, and to infuse oil and remedy, and to pronounce pardon. 5. If we be cut off from the communion of the faithful by our own demerits, their holy hands must reconcile us and give us peace; they are our appointed comforters, our instructors, our ordinary judges; and, in the whole, what the children of Israel begged of Moses,[148] - that God would no more speak to them alone, but by his servant Moses, lest they should be consumed - God, in compliance with our infirmities, hath of his own goodness established as a perpetual law in all ages of Christianity, that God will speak to us by his ministers, and our solemn prayers shall be made to him by their advocation, and his blessings descend from heaven by their hands, and our offices return thither by their presidencies, and our repentance shall be managed by them, and our pardon in many degrees ministered by them: God comforts us by their sermons, and reproves us by their discipline, and cuts off some by their severity, and reconciles others by their gentleness, and relieves us by their prayers, and instructs us by their discourses, and heals our sicknesses by their intercession presented to God, and united to Christ's advocation: and in all this they are no causes but servants of the will of God, instruments of the divine grace and order, stewards and dispensers of the mysteries, and appointed to our souls to serve and lead, and to help in all accidents, dangers, and necessities.
     And they who received us in our baptism are also to carry us to our grave, and to take care that our end be as our life was or should have been; and therefore it is established as an apostolical rule, `Is any man sick among you? let him send for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him,[149] etc.
     The sum of the duties and offices respectively implied in these words is in the following rules.



Rules for the Manner of Visitation of Sick Persons.

     1. Let the minister of religion be sent to, not only against the agony or death, but be advised with in the whole conduct of the sickness; for in sickness indefinitely, and therefore in every sickness, and therefore in such which are not mortal, which end in health, which have no agony or final temptations, St. James gives the advice; and the sick man, being bound to require them, is also tied to do it, when he can know them and his own necessity. It is a very great evil both in the matter of prudence and piety that they fear the priest as they fear the embalmer or the sexton's spade; and love not to converse with him unless they can converse with no man else; and think his office so much to relate to the other world that he is not to be treated with while we hope to live in this; and, indeed, that our religion be taken care of only when we die: and the event is this, (of which I have seen some sad experience,) that the man is deadly sick, and his reason is useless, and he is laid to sleep, and his life is in the confines of the grave, so that he can do nothing towards the trimming of his lamp; and the curate shall say a few prayers by him, and talk to a dead man, and the man is not in a condition to be helped but in a condition to need it hugely. He cannot be called upon to confess his sins, and he is not able to remember them, and he cannot understand an advice, nor hear a free discourse, nor be altered from a passion, nor cured of his fear, nor comforted upon any grounds of reason or religion, and no man can tell what is likely to be his fate; or, if he does, he cannot prophesy good things concerning him, but evil. Let the spiritual man come when the sick man can be conversed withal and instructed, when he can take medicine and amend, when he understands or can be taught to understand the case of his soul, and the rules of his conscience; and then his advice may turn into advantage; it cannot otherwise be useful.
     2.The intercourses of the minister with the sick man have so much variety in them that they are not to be transacted at once; and therefore they do not well that send once to see the good man with sorrow, and hear him pray and thank him, and dismiss him civilly, and desire to see his face no more. To dress a soul for funeral is not a work to be dispatched at one meeting: at first he needs a comfort, and anon something to make him willing to die; and by and by he is tempted to impatience, and that needs a special cure; and it is a great work to make his confessions well and with advantages; and it may be the man is careless and indifferent, and then he needs to understand the evil of his sin, and the danger of his person; and his cases of conscience may be so many and so intricate that he is not quickly to be reduced to peace, and one time the holy man must pray, and another time he must exhort, a third time administer the holy sacrament; and he that ought to watch all the periods and little portions of his life, lest he should be surprised and overcome, had need be watched when he is sick, and assisted and called upon and reminded of the several parts of his duty in every instant of his temptation. This article was well provided for among the easterlings; for the priests in their visitations, of a sick person did abide in their attendance and ministry for seven days together. The want of this makes the visitations fruitless, and the calling of the clergy contemptible, while it is not suffered to imprint its proper effects upon them that need it in a lasting ministry.
     3. St. James advises that when a man is sick he should send for the elders;[150] one sick man for many presbyters; and so did the eastern churches,[151] they sent for seven; and like a college of physicians they ministered spiritual remedies, and sent up prayers like a choir of singing clerks. In cities they might do so while the Christians were few and the priests many. But when they that dwelt in the pagi, or villages, ceased to be Pagans, and were baptized, it grew to be an impossible felicity, unless in few cases, and to some more eminent persons: but because they need it most God hath taken care that they may best have it; and they that can are not very prudent if they neglect it.
     4. Whether they be many or few that are sent to the sick person, let the curate of his parish, or his own confessor, be amongst them; that is, let him not be wholly advised by strangers who know not his particular necessities; but he that is the ordinary judge cannot safely be passed by in his extraordinary necessity, which in so great portions depends upon his whole life past: and it is a matter of suspicion, when we decline his judgment that knows us best, and with whom we formerly did converse either by choice or by law, by private election or public constitution. It concerns us then to make severe and profitable judgments, and not to conspire against ourselves, or procure such assistances which may handle us softly, or comply with our weaknesses more than relieve our necessities.
     5. When the ministers of religion are come, first let them do their ordinary offices, that is, pray for grace to the sick man for patience, for resignation, for health, (if it seems good to God in order to his great ends.) For that is one of the ends of the advice of the apostle. And therefore the minister is to be sent for not while the case is desperate, but before the sickness is come to its crisis or period. Let him discourse concerning the causes of sickness, and by a general instrument move him to consider concerning his condition. Let him call upon him to set his soul in order; to trim his lamp; to dress his soul; to renew acts of grace by way of prayer; to make amends in all the evils he hath done; and to supply all the defects of duty as much as his past condition requires, and his present can admit.
     6. According as the condition of the sickness or the weakness of the man is observed, so the exhortation is to be less, and the prayers more, because the life of the man was his main preparatory; and, therefore, if his condition be full of pain and infirmity, the shortness and small number of his own acts is to be supplied by the acts of the ministers and standers-by, who are in such case to speak more to God for him than to talk to him. For the prayer of the righteous,[152] when it is fervent, hath a promise to prevail much in behalf the sick person. But exhortations must prevail with their own proper weight, not by the passion of the speaker. But yet this assistance by way of prayers is not to be done by long offices, but by frequent and fervent and holy; in which offices, if the sick man joins, let them be short and apt to comply with his little strength and great infirmities: if they be said in his behalf without his conjunction, they that pray may prudently use their liberty, and take no measures but their own devotions and opportunities, and the sick man's necessities.
     When he hath made this general address and preparatory entrance to the work of many days and periods, he may descend to particulars by the following instruments and discourses.



Of ministering in the Sick Mans Confession of Sins and Repentance.

     The first necessity that is to be served is that of repentance, in which the ministers can in no way serve him but by first exhorting him to confession of his sins, and declaration of the state of his soul. For unless they know the manner of his life, and the degrees of his restitution, either they can do nothing at all, or nothing of advantage and certainty. His discourses, like Jonathan's arrows, may shoot short or shoot over, but not wound where they should, nor open those humours that need a lancet or a cautery. To this purpose the sick man may be reminded:--
Arguments and Exhortations to move the Sick Man to Confession of Sins.
     1. That God hath made a special promise to confession of sins. `He that confesseth his sins, and forsaketh them, shall have mercy;' and `If we confess our sins, God is righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.'[153] 2. That confession of sins is a proper act and introduction to repentance. 3. That when the Jews, being warned by the sermons of the Baptist, repented of their sins, they confessed their sins to John in the susception of baptism.[154] 4. That the converts in the days of the apostles, returning to Christianity, instantly declared their faith and their repentance by confession and declaration of their deeds,[155] which they then renounced, abjured, and confessed to the apostles. 5. That confession is an act of many virtues together. 6. It is the gate of repentance. 7. An instrument of shame and condemnation of our sins. 8. A glorification of God, so called by Joshua, particularly in the case of Achan. 9. An acknowledgment that God is just in punishing; for by confessing of our sins we also confess his justice, and are assessors with God in this condemnation of ourselves. 10. That by such an act of judging ourselves, we escape the more angry judgment of God; St. Paul expressly exhorting us to it upon that very inducement.[156] 11. That confession of sins is so necessary a duty, that, in all Scriptures, it is the immediate preface to pardon, and the certain consequence of godly sorrow, and an integral or constituent part of that grace which, together with faith, makes up the whole duty of the gospel. 12. That in all ages of the gospel it hath been taught and practised respectively, that all the penitents made confessions proportionable to their repentance, that is, public or private, general or particular. 13. That God, by testimonies from heaven, that is by his word, and by a consequent rare peace of conscience, hath given approbation to this holy duty. 14. That by this instrument those whose office it is to apply remedies to every spiritual sickness can best perform their offices. 15. That it is by all churches esteemed a duty necessary to be done in cases of a troubled conscience. 16. That what is necessary to be done in one case, and convenient in all cases, is fit to be done by all persons. 17. That without confession it cannot easily be judged concerning the sick person whether his conscience ought to be troubled or no, and therefore it cannot be certain that it is not necessary. 18. That there can be no reason against it, but such as consults with flesh and blood, with infirmity and sin, to all which confession of sins is a direct enemy. 19. That now is that time when all the imperfections of his repentance and all the breaches of his duty are to be made up, and that if he omits this opportunity he can never be admitted to a salutary and medicinal confession. 20. That St. James gives an express precept that we Christians should confess our sins to each other,[157] that is, Christian to Christian, brother to brother, the people to their minister; and then he makes a specification of that duty which a sick man is to do when he hath sent for the elders of the church. 21. That in all this there is no more lies upon him; but `if he hides his sins he shall not be directed,' so said the wise man; but ere long he must appear before the great Judge of men and angels; and his spirit will be more amazed and confounded to be seen among the angels of light with the shadows of the works of darkness upon him, than he can suffer by confessing to God in the presence of him whom God hath sent to heal him. However, it is better to be ashames here than to be confounded hereafter. "Polpudere praestat quam pigere, totidem literis."[158] 22. That confession being in order to pardon of sins, it is very proper and analogical to the nature of the thing that it be made there where the pardon of sins is to be administered; and that of pardon of sins God hath made the minister the publisher and dispenser; and all this is besides the accidental advantages which accrue to the conscience, which is made ashamed and timorous, and restrained by the mortifications and blushings of discovering to a man the faults committed in secret. 23. That the ministers of the gospel are the ministers of reconciliation, are commanded to restore such persons as are overtaken in a fault; and to that purpose they come to offer their ministry, if they may have cognizance of the fault and person. 24. That in the matter of prudence it is not safe to trust a man's self in the final condition and last security of a man's soul, a man being no good judge of his own case. And when a duty is so useful to all cases, so necessary in some, and encouraged by promises evangelical, by Scripture precedents, by the example of both Testaments, and prescribed by injunctions apostolical, and by the canon of all churches, and the example of all ages, and taught us even by the proportions of duty, and the analogy to the power of ministerial, and the very necessities of every man; he that for stubbornness or sinful shamefacedness, or prejudice, or any other criminal weakness, shall decline to do it in the days of his danger, when the vanities of the world are worn off, and all affections to sin are wearied, and the sin itself is pungent and grievous, and that we are certain we shall not escape shame for them hereinafter, unless we be ashamed of them here,[159] and use all the proper instruments of their pardon; this man, I say, is very near death, but very far off from the kingdom of heaven.
     2. The spiritual man will find in the conduct of this duty many cases and varieties of accidents which will alter his course and forms of proceedings. Most men are of a rude indifferency, apt to excuse themselves, ignorant of their condition abused by evil principles, content with a general and indefinite confession; and, if you provoke them to it by the forgoing considerations, lest their spirits should be a little uneasy, or not secured in their own opinions, will be apt to say they are sinners, as every man hath his infirmity, and he as well as any man: but, God be thanked, they bear no ill-will to any man, or are no adulterers, or no rebels, or they have fought on the right side; and God be merciful to them, for they are sinners. But you shall hardly open their breasts further; and to inquire beyond this would be to do the office of an accuser.
     3. But which is yet worse, there are very many persons who have been so used to an habitual course of a constant intemperance, or dissolution in any other instance, that the crime is made natural and necessary, and the conscience hath digested all the trouble, and the man thinks himself to a good estate, and never reckons any sins but those which are the egressions and passings beyond his ordinary and daily drunkenness. This happens in the case of drunkenness and intemperate eating and idleness and uncharitableness, and in lying and vain jestings, and particularly in such evils which the laws do not punish, and public customs do not shame, but which are countenanced by potent sinners, or evil customs, or good nature and mistaken civilities.
Instruments by way of Consideration, to awaken a careless Person, and a stupid Conscience.
     In these and the like cases the spiritual man must awaken the lethargy, and prick the conscience, by representing to him, 1. That Christianity is a holy and a strict religion. 2. That many are called, but few are chosen. That the number of them that are to be saved is but a very few in respect of those that are to descent into sorrow and everlasting darkness. That we have covenanted with God in baptism to live a holy life. That the measures of holiness in the Christian religion are not to be taken by the evil proportions of the multitude and common fame of looser and less severe persons; because the multitude is that which does not enter into heaven, but the few, the elect, the holy servants of Jesus. That every habitual sin does amount to a very great guilt in the whole, though it be but in a small instance. That if the righteous scarcely be saved, then there will be no place for the unrighteous and the sinner to appear in but places of horrow and amazement. That confidence hath destroyed many souls, and many have had a sad portion who have reckoned themselves in the calendar of saints. That the promises of heaven are so great that it is not reasonable to think that every man and every life and an easy religion shall possess such infinite glories. That although heaven is a gift, yet there is a great severity and strict exacting of the conditions on our part to receive that gift. That some persons who have lived strictly for forty years together, yet have misearned by some one crime at last, or some secret hypocrisy, or a latent pride, or a creeping ambition, or a fantastic spirit; and therefore much less can they hope to receive so great portions of felicities, when their life hath been a continual declination from those severities which might have created confidence of pardon and acceptation through the mercies of God and the merits of Jesus. That every good man ought to be suspicious of himself, and in his judgment concerning his own condition to fear the worst that he may provide for the better. That we are commanded to work our out salvation with fear and trembling. That this precept was given with great reason, considering the thousand thousand ways of miscarrying. That St. Paul himself, and St. Arenius and St. Elzearius and divers other remarkable saints, had at some times great apprehensions of the dangers of failing of the mighty price of their high calling. That the stake that is to be secured is of so great an interest that all our industry and all the violatences we can suffer in the prosecution of it are not considerable. That this affair is to be done but once, and then never any more unto eternal ages. That they who profess themselves servants of the institution, and servants of the law and discipline of Jesus, will find that they must judge themselves by the proportions of that law by which they were to rule themselves. That the laws of society and civility, and the voices of my company are as ill judges as they are guides; but we are to stand or fall by his sentence who will not consider or value the talk of idle men or the persuasion of wilfully-abused consciences, but of him who hath felt our infirmity in all things but sin, and knows where our failings are unavoidable, and where, and in what degree they are excusable; but never will endure a sin should seize upon any part of our love and deliberate choice or careless cohabitation. That if our conscience accuse us not, yet are we not hereby justified; for God is greater than our consciences. That they who are most innocent have their consciences most tender and sensible. That scrupulous persons are always most religious; and that to feel nothing is not a sign of life, but of death. That nothing can be hid from the eyes of the Lord, to whom the day and the night, public and private, words and thoughts, actions and desires, are equally discernible. That a lukewarm person is only secured in his own thoughts, but very unsafe in the event, and despised by God. That we live in an age in which that which is called and esteemed a holy life, in the days of the apostles and holy primitives would have been esteemed indifferent, sometimes scandalous, and always cold. That what was a truth of God then is so now; and to what severities they were tied, for the same also we are to be accountable; and heaven is not now an easier purchase than it was then. That if he will cast up his accounts, even with a superficial eye, let him consider how few good works he hath done; how inconsiderable is the relief which he gave to the poor; how little are the extraordinaries of his religion; and how inactive and lame, how polluted and disordered, how unchosen and unpleasant were the ordinary parts and periods of it; and how many and great sins have stained his course of life; and till he enters into a particular scrutiny, let him only revolve in his mind what his general course hath been; and, in the way of prudence, let him say whether it was landable and holy or only indifferent and excusable; and if he can think it only excusable, and so as to hope for pardon by such suppletories of faith and arts of persuasion which he and others used to take in for auxiliaries to their unreasonable confidence, then he cannot but think it very fit that he search into his own state, and take a guide,and erect a tribunal, or appear before that which Christ hath erected for him on earth, that he may make his access fairer when he shall be called before the dreadful tribunal of Christ in the clouds.[160] For if he can be confident upon the stock of an unpraised or a looser life, and should dare to venture upon wild accounts, without order, without abatements, without consideration, without conduct, without fear, without scrutinies and confessions and instruments of amends or pardon, he either knows not his danger or cares not for it, and little understands how great a horror that is that a man should rest his head for ever upon a cradle of flames, and lie in a bed of sorrows, and never sleep, and never end his groans or the gnashing of his teeth.
     This is that which some spiritual persons call a wakening of the sinner by the terrors of the law, which is a good analogy or tropical expression to represent the threatenings of the Gospel, and the dangers of an incurious and a sinning person; but we have nothing else to do with the terrors of the law, for, blessed be God, they concern us not. The terrors of the law were the intermination of curses upon all those that ever broke any of the least commandments once or in any instance; and to it the righteousness of faith is opposed. The terrors of the law admitted no repentance, no pardon, no abatement, and were so severe that God never inflicted them at all according to the letter, because he admitted all to repentance that desired it with a timely prayer, unless in very few cases, as of Achan, or Korah the gatherer of sticks upon the Sabbath day, or the like; but the state of threatenings in the Gospel is very fearful, because the conditions of avoiding them are easy and ready, and they happen to evil persons after many warnings, second thoughts, frequent invitations to pardon and repentance, and after one entire pardon consigned in baptism. And in this sense it is necessary that such persons as we now deal withal should be instructed concerning their danger.
     4. When the sick man is, either of himself or by these considerations, set forward with purposes of repentance and confession of his sins, in order to all its holy purposes and effects then the minister is to assist him in the understanding the number of his sins, that is, the several kinds of them, and the various manners of prevaricating the divine commandments: for, as for the number of the particulars in every kind, he will need less help; and if he did he can have it nowhere but in his own conscience and from the witnesses of his conversation. Let this be done by prudent insinuation, by arts of remembrance, and secret notices, and propounding occasions and instruments of recalling such things to his mind, which either by public fame he is accused of, or by the temptations of his condition it is likely he might have contracted.
     5. If the person be truly penitent, and forward to confess all that are set before him, or offered to his sight at a half face, then he may be complied withal in all his innocent circumstances, and his conscience made placid and willing, and he be drawn forward by good-nature and civility, that his repentance in all the parts of it, and in every step of its progress and emanation, may be as voluntary and chosen as it can. For by that means, if the sick person can be invited to do the work of religion, it enters by the door of his will and choice, and will pass on toward consummation by the instrument of delight.
     6. If the sick man be backward and without apprehension of the good-natured and civil way, let the minister take care that by some way or other the work of God be secured; and if he will not understand when he is secretly prompted, he must be hallowed to, and asked in plain interrogatives concerning the crime of his life. He must be told of the evil things that are spoken of him in markets and exchanges, the proper temptations and accustomed evils of his calling and condition, of the actions of scandal; and in all those actions which are public, or of which any notice is come abroad, let care be taken that the right side of the case of conscience be turned toward him, and the error truly represented to him by which he was abused, as the injustice of his contracts, his oppressive bargains, his rapine and violence; and if he hath persuaded himself to think well of a scandalous action, let him be instructed and advertised of his folly and his danger.
     7. And this advice concerns the minister of religion to follow without partiality, or fear, or interest, in much simplicity, and prudence, and hearty sincerity; having no other consideration but that the interest of the man's soul be preserved, and no caution used but that the matter be represented with just circumstances and civilities, fitted to the person with prefaces of honour and regard; but so that nothing of the duty be diminished by it, that the introduction do not spoil the sermon, and both together ruin two souls, of the speaker and the hearer. For it may soon be considered, if the sick man be a poor or an indifferent person in secular account, yet his soul is equally dear to God, and was redeemed with the same highest price, and therefore to be highly regarded; and there is no temptation but that the spiritual man may speak freely without the allays of interest, or fear, or mistaken civilities. But if the sick man be a prince, or a person of eminence or wealth, let it be remembered it is an ill expression of reverence to his authority, or of regard to his person, to let him perish for the want of an honest, and just, and free homily.
     8. Let the sick man, in the scrutiny of his conscience and confession of his sins, be carefully reminded to consider those sins which are only condemned in the court of conscience, and nowhere else. For there are certain secresies and retirements, places of darkness and artificial veils, with which the devil uses to hide our sins from us, and to incorporate them into our affections by a constant uninterrupted practice before they be prejudiced or discovered. 1. There are many sins which have reputation and are accounted honour; as fighting a duel, answering a blow with a blow, carrying armies into a neighbour-country, robbing with a navy, violently seizing upon a kingdom. 2. Others are permitted by law, as usury in all countries; and because every excuse of it is a certain sin, the permission of so suspected a matter makes it ready for us, and instructs the temptation. 3. Some things are not forbidden by laws, as lying in ordinary discourse, jeering, scoffing, intemperate eating, ingratitude, selling too high, circumventing another in contracts, importunate entreaties, and temptation of persons to many instances of sin, pride, and ambition. 4. Some others do not reckon they sin against God if the laws have seized upon the person; and many that are imprisoned for debt think themselves disobliged from payment, and when they pay the penalty think they owe nothing for the scandal and disobedience. 5. Some sins are thought not considerable, but go under the title of sins of infirmity, or inseparable accidents of mortality; such as idle thoughts, foolish talking, looser revellings, impatience, anger, and all the events of evil company. 6. Lastly, many things are thought to be no sins; such as mispending of their time, whole days or months of useless and impertinent employment, long gaming, winning men's money in greater portions, censuring men's actions, curiosity, equivocating in the prices and secrets of buying and selling, rudeness, speaking truths enviously, doing good to evil purposes, and the like. Under the dark shadow of these unhappy and fruitless yew-trees the enemy of mankind makes very many to lie hid from themselves, sewing before their nakedness the fig-leaves of popular and idol reputation and impunity, public permission, a temporal penalty, infirmity, prejudice, and direct error in judgment and ignorance. Now in all these cases the ministers are to be inquisitive and observant, lest the fallacy prevail upon the penitent to evil purposes of death or diminution of his good; and that those things, which in his life passed without observation, may now be brought forth, and pass under saws and harrows, that is, the severity and censure of sorrow and condemnation.
     9. To which I add, for the likeness of the thing, that the matters of omission be considered, for in them lies the bigger half of our failings; and yet, in many instances, they are undiscerned, because they very often sit down by the conscience but never upon it; and they are usually looked upon as poor men's do upon their not having coach and horses, or as that knowledge is missed by boys and hinds which they never had; it will be hard to make them understand their ignorance - it requires knowledge to perceive it, and therefore he that can perceive it hath it not. But by this pressing the conscience with omissions, I do not mean recessions or distances from states of eminency or perfection; for although they may be used by the ministers as an instrument of humility, and a chastiser of too big a confidence, yet that which is to be confessed and repented of is omission of duty in direct instances and matters of commandment, or collateral and personal obligations, and is especially to be considered by kings and prelates, by governors and rich persons, by guides of souls and presidents of learning in public charge, and by all other in their proportions.
     10. The ministers of religion must take care that the sick man's confession be as minute and particular as it can, and that as few sins as may be, be entrusted to the general prayer of pardon for all sins; for by being particular and enumerative of the variety of evils which have disordered his life, his repentance is disposed to be more pungent and afflictive, and therefore more salutary and medicinal; it hath in it more sincerity, and makes a better judgment of the final condition of the man; and from thence it is certain the hopes of the sick man can be more confident and reasonable.
     11. The spiritual man that assists at the repentance of the sick must not be inquisitive into all the circumstances of the particular sins, but be content with those that are direct parts of the crime and aggravations of the sorrow; such as frequency, long abode, and earnest choice in acting them; violent desires, great expense, scandal of others, dishonour to the religion, days of devotion, religious solemnities, and holy places; and the degrees of boldness and impudence, perfect resolution, and the habit. If the sick person be reminded or inquired into concerning these, it may prove a good instrument to increase his contrition, and perfect his penitential sorrows, and facilitate his absolution and the means of his amendment. But the other circumstances, as of the relative person in the participation of the crime, the measures or circumstances of the impure action, the name of the injured man or woman, the quality or accidental condition; these and all the like are but questions springing from curiosity, and producing scruple, and apt to turn into many inconveniences.
     12. The minister in this duty of repentance must be diligent to observe concerning the person that repents, that he be not imposed upon by some one excellent thing that was remarkable in the sick man's former life.[161] For there are some people of one good thing. Some are charitable to the poor out of kind-heartedness; and the same good nature makes them easy and compliant with drinking persons; and they die with drink but cannot live with charity; and their alms, it may be, shall deck their monument, or give them the reward of loving persons, and the poor man's thanks for alms, and procure many temporal blessings; but it is very sad that the reward should be soon spent in this world. Some are rarely just persons and punctual observers of their word with men, but break their promises with God, and make no scruple of that. In these and all the like cases, the spiritual man must be careful to remark, that good proceeds from an entire and integral cause, and evil from every part; that one sickness can make a man die, but he cannot live and be called a sound man without an entire health; and therefore, if any confidence arises upon that stock, so as that it hinders the strictness of the repentance, it must be allayed with the representment of this sad truth "that he who reserves one evil in his choice hath chosen an evil portion," and coloquintida and death is in the pot; and he that worships the God of Israel with a frequent sacrifice, and yet upon the anniversary will bow in the house of Venus, and loves to see the follies and the nakedness of Rimmon, may eat part of the flesh of the sacrifice and fill his belly, but shall not be refreshed by the holy cloud arising from the alter, or the dew of heaven descending upon the mysteries.
     13. And yet the minister is to estimate, that one or more good things is to be an ingredient into his judgment concerning the state of his soul, and the capacities of his restitution, and admission to the peace of the church; and according as the excellency and usefulness of the grace hath been, and according to the degrees and the reasons of its prosecution, so abatements are to be made in the injunctions and impositions upon the penitent. For every virtue is one degree of approach to God; and though in respect of the acceptation it is equally none at all, that is, it is as certain a death if a man dies with one mortal wound as if he had twenty: yet in such persons who have some one or more excellences, though not an entire piety, there is naturally a nearer approach to the estate of grace than in persons who have done evils and are eminent for nothing that is good. But in making judgment of such persons, it is to be inquired into and noted accordingly, why the sick person was so eminent in that one good thing; whether by choice and apprehension of his duty, or whether it was a virtue from which his state of life ministered nothing to dehort or discourse him, or whether it was only a consequent of his natural temper and constitution. If the first, then, it supposes him in the neighbourhood of the state of grace, and that in other things he was strongly tempted. The second is a felicity of his education, and an effect of Providence. The third is felicity of his nature, and a gift of God in order to spiritual purposes. But yet of every one of these advantages is to be made. If the conscience of his duty was the principle, then he is ready formed to entertain all other graces upon the same reason, and his repentance must be made more sharp and penal; because he is convinced to have done against his conscience in all the other parts of his life; but the judgment concerning his final state ought to be more gentle, because it was a huge temptation that hindered the man and abused his infirmity. But if either his calling or his nature were the parents of the grace, he is in the state of a moral man, (in the just and proper meaning of the word,) and to be handled accordingly; that virtue disposed him rarely well to many other good things, but was no part of the grace of sanctification; and therefore the man's repentance is to begin anew, for all that, and is to be finished in the returns of health, if God grants it; but if he denies it, it is much, very much, the worse for all that sweet-natured virtue.
     14. When the confession is made, the spiritual man is to execute the office of a restorer and a judge in the following particulars and manner.



Of the ministering to the Restitution and Pardon, or Reconciliation of the Sick Person, by Administering the Holy Sacrament.

     `If any man be overtaken in a fault ye which are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of meekness,'[162] that is the commission: and, `Let the elders of the church pray over the sick man; and if he have committed sins they shall be forgiven him;'[163] that is the effect of his power and his ministry. But concerning this some few things are to be considered.
     1. It is the office of the presbyters and ministers of religion to declare public criminals and scandalous persons to be such, that, when the leprosy is declared, the flock may avoid the infection; and then the man is excommunicate, when the people are warned to avoid the danger of the man or the reproach of the crime, to withdraw from his society, and not to bid him God speed, not to eat and celebrate syntaxes and church-meetings with such who are declared criminal and dangerous. And therefore excommunication is, in a very great part, the act of the congregation and communities of the faithful: and St. Paul said to the church of the Corinthians,[164] that they had inflicted the evil upon the incestuous person, that is, by excommunicating him: all the acts of which are, as they are subjected in the people, acts of caution and liberty; but no more acts of direct proper power or jurisdiction than it was when the scholars of Simon Magus left his chair and went to hear St. Peter; but as they are actions of the rulers of the church, so they are declarative, ministerial, and effective too by moral causality; that is, by persuasion and discourse, by argument and prayer, by homily and material representment, by reasonableness of order and the superinduced necessities of men; though not by any real change of state as to the person, nor by diminution of his right, or violence to his condition.
     2. He that baptizes, and he that ministers the holy sacrament, and he that prays, does holy offices of great advantage; but in these also, just as in the former, he exercises no jurisdiction or pre-eminence after the manner of secular authority;[165] and the same is also true if he should deny them. He that refuseth to baptize an indisposed person hath, by the consent of all men, no power or jurisdiction over the unbaptized man; and he that, for the like reason, refuseth to give him the communion, preserves the sacredness of the mysteries, and does charity to the undisposed man, to deny that to him which will do him mischief: and this is an act of separation, just as it is for a friend or physician to deny water to an hydropic person, or Italian wines to a hectic fever, or as if Cato should deny to salute Bibulus, or the censor of manners to do countenance to a wanton and a vicious person. And though this thing was expressed by words of power, such as separation, abstention, excommunication, deposition; yet these words we understand by the thing itself, which was notorious and evident to be matter of prudence, security, and a free, unconstrained discipline; and they passed into power by consent and voluntary submission, having the same effect of constraint, fear, and authority, which we see in secular jurisdiction: not because ecclesiastical discipline hath a natural proper coercion as lay tribunals have, but because men have submitted to it, and are bound to do so upon the interest of two or three Christian graces.
     In pursuance of this caution and provision, the church superinduced times and manners of abstention, and expressions of sorrow, and canonical punishments, which they tied the delinquent people to suffer before they would admit them to the holy table of the Lord. For the criminal having obliged himself by his sin, and the church having declared it, when she should take notice of it, be is bound to repent, to make him capable of pardon with God; and to prove that he is penitent he is to do such actions which the church, in the virtue and pursuance of repentance, shall accept as a testimony of it sufficient to inform her; for as she could not bind at all (in this sense) till the crime was public, though the man had bound himself in secret; so neither can she set him free till the repentance be as public as the sin, or so as she can note it and approve it. Though the man be free, as to God, by his internal act, yet, as the publication of the sin was accidental to it, and the church-censure consequent to it, so is the publication of repentance and consequent absolution extrinsieal to the pardon, but accidentally and in the present circumstances necessary. This was the same that the Jews did, (though in other instances and expressions,) and do to this day to their prevaricating people; and the Essences in their assemblies, and private colleges of scholars, and public universities. For all these being assemblies of voluntary persons, and such as seek for advantage, are bound to make an artificial authority in their superiors, and so to secure order and government by their own obedience and voluntary subordination in the superior; and the band of it is not any coercitive power, but the deny to communicate such benefits which they seek in that communion and fellowship.
     4. These, I say, were introduced in the special manners and instances by positive authority, and have not a divine authority commanding them; but there is a divine power that verifies them and makes these separations effectual and formidable; for because they are declarative and ministerial in the spiritual man, and suppose a delinquency and demerit in the other, and a sin against God, our blessed Saviour hath declared that `what they bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;' that is in plain signification, the same sins and sinners which the clergy condemn in the face of their assemblies, the same are condemned in heaven before the face of God, and for the same reason too. God's law hath sentenced it, and these are the preachers and publishers of his law by which they stand condemned; and these laws are they that condemn the sin or acquit the penitent there and here; whatsoever they bind here shall be bound there, that is, the sentence of God at the day of judgment shall sentence the same men[166] whom the church does rightly sentence here. It is spoken in the future, it shall be bound in heaven; not but that the sinner is first bound there or first absolved there; but because all binding and loosing in the interval is imperfect and relative to the day of judgment, the day of the great sentence, therefore it is set down in the time to come; and says this only, the clergy are tied by the word and laws of God to condemn such sins and sinners; and that you may not think it ineffective, because after such sentence the man lives and grows rich, or remains in health and power, therefore be sure it shall be verified in the day of judgment. This is hugely agreeable with the words of our Lord and certain in reason; for that the minister does nothing to the final alteration of the state of the man's soul by way of sentence, is demonstratively certain, because he cannot bind a man but such as hath bound himself and who is bound in heaven by his sin before his sentence in the church; as also because the binding of the church is merely accidental and upon publication only; and when the man repents he is absolved before God, before the sentence of the church, upon his contrition and dereliction only; and if he were not the church could not absolve him. The consequent of which evident truth is this, that, whatsoever impositions the church-officers impose upon the criminal, they are to avoid scandal, to testify repentance and to exercise it, to instruct the people, to make them fear, to represent the act of God and the secret and the true state of the sinner: and although they are not essentially necessary to our pardon, yet they are become necessary when the church hath seized upon the sinner by public notice of the crime; necessary (I say) for the removing the scandal and giving testimony of our contrition, and for the receiving all that comfort which he needs and can derive from the promises of pardon as they are published by him that is commanded to preach them to all them that repent. And therefore, although it cannot be necessary as to the obtaining pardon that the priest should in private absolve a sick man from his private sins, and there is no loosing where there was no precedent binding, and he that was only bound before God, can before him only be loosed - yet as to confess sins to any Christian in private may have many good ends, and to confess them to a clergyman may have many more, so to hear God's sentence at the mouth of the minister, pardon pronounced by God's ambassador, is of huge comfort to them that cannot otherwise be comforted, and whose infirmity needs it; and therefore it were very fit it were not neglected in the days of our fear and danger, of our infirmities and sorrow.
     5. The execution of this ministry being an act of prudence and charity, and therefore relative to changing circumstances, it hath been, and in many cases may, and in some must, be rescinded and altered. The time of separation may be lengthened and shortened, the condition made lighter or heavier, and for the same offence the clergyman is deposed, but yet admitted to the communion for which one of the people who hath no office to lose is denied the benefit of communicating; and this sometimes when he might lawfully receive it: and a private man is separate when a multitude or a prince is not, cannot, ought not; and at last, when the case of sickness and danger of death did occur, they admitted all men that desired it; sometimes without scruple or difficulty, sometimes with some little restraint in great or insolent cases, (as in the case of apostasy, in which the council of Arles denied absolution unless they received and gave public satisfaction by acts of repentance; and some other councils denied at any time to do it to such persons,) according as seemed fitting to the present necessities of the church. All which particulars declare it to be no part of a divine commandment that any man should be denied to receive the communion if he desires it, and if he be in any probable capacity of receiving it.
     6. Since the separation was an act of liberty and a direct negative, it follows that the restitution was a mere doing that which they refused formerly, and to give the holy communion was the formality of absolution, and all the instrument and the whole matter of reconcilement; the taking off the punishment is the pardoning of the sin; for this without the other is but a word; and if this be done, I care not whether any thing is said or no Vinum Dominicum ministratoris gratia est is also true in this sense; to give the chalice and cup is the grace and indulgence of the minister; and when that is done, the man hath obtained the peace of the church; and to do that is all the absolution the church can give. And they were vain disputes which were commenced some few ages since, concerning the forms of absolution, whether they were indicative or optative, by way of declaration or by way of sentence, for at first they had no forms at all, but they said a prayer, and, after the manner of the Jews, laid hands upon the penitent when they prayed over him, and so admitted him to the holy communion; for since the church had no power over her children but of excommunicating and denying them to attend upon holy offices and ministries respectively, neither could they have any absolution but to admit them thither from whence formerly they were forbidden; whatsoever ceremony or forms did signify, this was superinduced and arbitrary, alterable and accidental; it had variety but no necessity.
     7. The practice consequent to this is, that if the penitent be bound by the positive censures of the church, he is to be reconciled upon those conditions which the laws of the church tie him to in case he can perform them: if he cannot, he can no longer be prejudiced by the censure of the church,[167] which had no relation but the people, with whom the dying man is no longer to converse: for whatsoever relates to God is to be transacted in spiritual ways by contrition and internal graces; and the mercy of the church is such as to give him her peace and her blessing upon his undertaking to obey her injunctions, if he shall be able: which injunctions, if they be declared by public sentence, the minister hath nothing to do in the affairs but to remind him of his obligation and reconcile him, that is, give him the holy sacrament.
     8. If the penitent be not bound by public sentence, the minister is to make his repentance as great, and his heart as contrite, as he can; to dispose him by the repetition of acts of grace in the way of prayer, and in real and exterior instances where he can; and then to give him the holy communion in all the same cases in which he ought not to have denied it to him in his health; that is, even in the beginnings of such a repentance which by human signs he believes to be real and holy; and after this the event must be left to God. The reason of the rule depends upon this, because there is no divine commandment directly forbidding the rulers of the church to give the communion to any Christian that desires it and professes repentance of his sins. And all church-discipline in every instance, and to every single person, was imposed upon him by men who did it according to the necessities of this state and constitution of our affairs below: but we, who are but ministers and delegates of pardon and condemnation, must resign and give up our judgment when the man is no more to be judged by the sentences of man, and by the proportions of this world, but of the other: to which, if our reconciliation does advantage, we ought in charity to send him forth with all the advantages he can receive; for he will need them all. And therefore the Niceen council commands[168] that no man be deprived of this necessary passport in the article of his death, and calls this the ancient and canonical law of the church; and to minister it only supposes the man in the communion of the church, not always in the state, but ever in the possibilities, of sanctification. They who in the article and danger of death were admitted to the communion, and tied to penance if they recovered, (which was ever the custom of the ancient church, unless in very few cases,) were but in the threshold of repentance in the commencement and first introductions to a devout life; and, indeed, then it is a fit ministry that it be given in all the periods of time in which the pardons of sins is working, since it is the sacrament of that great mystery, and the exhibition of that blood which is shed for the remission of sins.
     9. The minister of religion ought not to give the communion to a sick person if he retains the affection to any sin, and refuses to disavow it, or profess repentance of all sins whatsoever, if he be required to do it. The reason is, because it is a certain death to him, and an increase of his misery, if he shall so profane the body and blood of Christ as to take it into so unholy a breast, where Satan reigns, and sin is principal, and the Spirit is extinguished, and Christ loves not to enter, because he is not suffered to inhabit. But when he professes repentance,[169] and does such acts of it as his present condition permits, he is to be presumed to intend heartily what he professes solemnly; and the minister is only the judge of outward act, and by that only he is to take information concerning the inward. But whether he be so or no, or if he be, whether that be timely, and effectual, and sufficient toward the pardon of sins before God, is another consideration of which we may conjecture here, but we shall know it at dooms-day. The spiritual man is to do his ministry by the rules of Christ, and as the customs of the church appoint him, and after the manner of men: the event is in the hands of God, and is to be expected, not directly and wholly according to his ministry, but to the former life, or the timely internal repentance and amendment, of which I have already given accounts. These ministries are acts of order and great assistances, but the sum of affairs does not rely upon them. And if any man puts his whole repentance upon this time, or all his hopes upon these ministries, he will find them and himself to fail.
     10. It is the minister's office to invite sick and dying persons to the holy sacrament; such whose lives were fair and laudable, and yet their sickness sad and violent, making them listless and of slow desires, and slower apprehensions; that such persons who are in the state of grace may lose no accidental advantages of spiritual improvement, but may receive into their dying bodies the symbols and great consignations of the resurrection, and into their souls the pledges of immortality, and may appear before God their father in the union and with the impresses and likeness of their elder brother. But if the persons be of ill report, and have lived wickedly, they are not to be invited; because their case is hugely suspicious, though they then repent and call for mercy: but if they demand it, they are not to be denied; only let the minister in general represent the evil consequence of an unworthy participation; and if the penitent will judge himself unworthy, let him stand candidate for pardon at the hands of God, and stand or fall by that unerring and merciful sentence, to which his severity of condemning himself before men will make the easier and more hopeful address. And the strictest among the Christians who denied to reconcile lapsed persons after baptism, yet acknowledged that there were hopes reserved in the court of heaven for them, though not here; since we, who are easily deceived by the pretenses of a real return, are tied to dispense God's graces, as he hath given us commission, with fear and trembling, and without too forward confidences; and God hath mercies which we know not of; and therefore, because we know them not, such persons were referred to God's tribunal, where he would find them if they were to be had at all.
     11. When the holy sacrament is to be administered, let the exhortation be made proper to the mystery, but fitted to the man; that is, that it be used for the advantages of faith, or love, or contrition: let all the circumstances and parts of the divine love be represented, all the mysterious advantages of the blessed sacrament be declared, that it is the bread which came from heaven; that it is the representation of Christ's death to all the purposes and capacities of faith, and the real exhibition of Christ's body and blood to all the purposes of the Spirit; that it is the earnest of the resurrection, and the seed of a glorious immortality; that as by our cognation to the body of the first Adam we took in death, so, by our union with the body of the second Adam, we shall have the inheritance of life; (for as by Adam came death, so by Christ cometh the resurrection of the dead;[170]) that if we, being worthy communicants of these sacred pledges, being presented to God with Christ within us, our being accepted of God is certain, even for the sake of his well-beloved that dwells within us; that this is the sacrament of that body which was broken for our sins, of that blood which purifies our souls, by which we are presented to God pure and holy in the beloved; that now we may ascertain our hopes and make our faith confident; `for he that hath given us his Son, how should not he with him give us all things else?'[171] Upon these or the like considerations the sick man may be assisted in his address, and his faith strengthened, and his hope confirmed, and his charity be enlarged.
     12. The manner of the sick man's reception of the holy sacrament hath in it nothing differing from the ordinary solemnities of the sacrament,[172] save only that abatement is to be made of such accidental circumstances as by the laws and customs of the church healthful persons are obliged to, such as fasting, kneeling, etc. Though I remember that it was noted for great devotion in the legate that died at Trent, that he caused himself to be sustained upon his knees when he received the viaticum, or the holy sacrament, before, his death; and it was greater in Huniades that he caused himself to be carried to the church, that there he might receive his Lord in his Lord's house; and it was recorded for honour, that William, the pious archbishop of Bourges, a small time before his last agony, sprang out of his bed at the presence of the holy sacrament, and, upon his knees and his face, recommended his soul to his Saviour. But in these things no man is to be prejudiced or censured.
     13. Let not the holy sacrament be administered to dying persons, when they have no use of reason to make that duty acceptable, and the mysteries effective to the purposes of the soul. For the sacraments and ceremonies of the gospel operate not without the concurrent actions and moral influences of the suscipient. To infuse the chalice into the cold lips of the clinic may disturb his agony, but cannot relieve the soul which only receives improvement by acts of grace and choice, to which the external rites are apt and appointed to minister in a capable person. All other persons, as fools, children, distracted persons, lethargieal, apoplectical, or any ways senseless and incapable of human and reasonable acts, are to be assisted only by prayers; for they may prevail even for the absent, and for enemies, and for all those who join not in the office.



Of Ministering to the Sick Person by the Spiritual Man, as he is the Physician of Souls.

     1. In all cases of receiving confessions of sick men, and the assisting to the advancement of repentance, the minister is to apportion to every kind of sin such spiritual remedies which are apt to mortify and cure the sin; such as abstinence from their occasions and opportunities, to avoid temptations, to resist their beginnings, to punish the crime by acts of indignation against the person, fastings and prayer, alms and all the instances of charity, asking forgiveness, restitution of wrongs, satisfaction of injuries, acts of virtue contrary to the crimes. And although, in great and dangerous sicknesses, they are not directly to be imposed unless they are not directly to be imposed unless they are direct matters of duty; yet, where they are medicinal, they are to be insinuated, and in general signification remarked to him, and undertaken accordingly; concerning which, when he returns to health, he is to receive particular advices. And this advice was inserted into the penitential of England, in the time of Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury, and afterwards adopted into the canon of the western churches.[173]
     2. The proper temptations of sick men, for which a remedy is not yet provided, are unreasonable fears and unreasonable confidences, which the minister is to cure by the following considerations:
Considerations against Unreasonable Fears of not having our Sins pardoned.
     Many good men, especially such who have tender consciences, impatient of the least sin, to which they are arrived by a long grace, and a continual observation of their actions, and the parts of a lasting repentance, many times overact their tenderness, and turn their caution into scruple, and care of their duty into inquiries after the event, and askings after the counsels of God and the sentences of doomsday.
     He that asks of the standers-by, or of the minister, whether they think he shall be saved or damned, is to be answered with the words of pity and reproof. Seek not after new light for the searching into the private records of God: look as much as you list into the pages of revelation, for they concern your duty; but the event is registered in heaven, and we can expect no other certain notices of it, but that it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared by the Father of mercies. We have light enough to tell our duty; and if we do that, we need not fear what the issue will be; and if we do not, let us never look for more light, or inquire after God's pleasure concerning our souls, since we so little serve his ends in those things where he hath given us light. But yet this I add, that as pardon of sins in the Old Testament[174] was nothing but removing the punishment, which then was temporal, and therefore many times they could tell if their sins were pardoned; and concerning pardon of sins, they then had no fears of conscience but while the punishment was on them, for so long indeed it was unpardoned, and how long it would so remain it was matter of fear and of present sorrow; besides this, in the Gospel pardon of sins is another thing; pardon for sins is a sanctification; Christ came to take away our sins, by turning every one of us from our iniquities;[175] and there is not in the nature of the thing any expectation of pardon, or sign or signification of it, but so far as the thing itself discovers itself. As we hate sin, and grow in grace, and arrive at the state of holiness, which is also a state of repentance and imperfection, but yet of sincerity of heart and diligent endeavour; in the same degree we are to judge concerning the forgiveness of sins: for indeed that is the evangelical forgiveness, and it signifies our pardon, because it effects it, or rather it is in the nature of the thing; so that we are to inquire into no hidden records: forgiveness of sins is not a secret sentence, a word, or a record; but it is a state of change, and effected upon us; and upon ourselves we look for it, to read it, and understand it. We are only to be curious of our duty, and confident of the article of the remission of sins;[176] and the conclusion of these premises will be, that we shall be full of hopes of a prosperous resurrection; and our fear and trembling are no instances of our calamity, but parts of duty; we shall sure enough be wafted to the shore, although we be tossed with the winds of our sighs, and the unevenness of our fears, and the ebbings and flowings of our passions, if we sail in a right channel, and steer by a perfect compass, and look up to God, and call for his help, and do our own endeavour. There are very many reasons why men ought not to despair; and there are not very many men that ever go beyond a hope till they pass into possession. If our fears have any mixture of hope, that is enough to enable and to excite our duty; and if we have a strong hope, when we cast about we shall find reason enough to have many fears. Let not this fear weaken our hands; and if it allay our gaieties and our confidences, it is no harm. In this uncertainty we must abide if we have committed sins after baptism; and those confidences which some men glory in are not real supports or good foundations. The fearing man is the safest; and if he fears on his death-bed, it is but what happens to most considering men, and what was to be looked for all his life time: he talked of the terrors of death, and death is the king of terrors; and therefore it is no strange thing if then he be hugely afraid; if he be not, it is either a great felicity or a great presumption. But if he want some degree of comfort, or a greater degree of hope, let him be refreshed by considering,
     1. That Christ came into the world to save sinners.[177] 2. That God delights not in the confusion and death of sinners. 3. That in heaven there is great joy at the conversion of a sinner. 4. That Christ is a perpetual advocate, daily interceding with his Father for our pardon. 5. That God uses infinite arts, instruments, and devices, to reconcile us to himself. 6. That he prays us to be in charity with him, and to be forgiven. 7. That he sends angels to keep us from violence and evil company, from temptations and surprises, and his Holy Spirit to guide us in holy ways, and his servants to warn us and remind us perpetually: and therefore since certainly he is so desirous of save us, as appears by his word, by his oaths, by his very nature, and his daily artifices of mercy, it is not likely that he will condemn us without great provocations of his majesty, and perserverance in them. 8. That the covenant of the Gospel is a covenant of grace and of repentance, and being established with so many great solemnities and miracles from heaven, must signify a huge favour and a mighty change of things; and therefore that repentance, which is the great condition of it is a grace that does not expire in little accents and minutes, but hath a great latitude of signification, and large extension of parts, under the protection of all which persons are safe even when they fear exceedingly. 9. That there are great degrees and differences of glory in heaven; and therefore, if we estimate our piety by proportions to the more eminent persons and devouter people, we are not to conclude we s hall not enter into the same state of glory, but that we shall not go into the same degree. 10. That although forgiveness of sins is consigned to us in baptism, and that this baptism is but once, and cannot be repeated; yet forgiveness of sins is the grace of the Gospel, which is perpetually remanent upon us, and secured unto us so long as we have not renounced our baptism: for then we enter into the condition of repentance; and repentance is not an indivisible grace, or a thing performed at once, but it is working all our lives: and therefore so is our pardon, which ebbs and flows according as we discompose or renew the decency of our baptismal promises; and therefore it ought to be certain that no man despair of pardon but he that hath voluntarily renounced his baptism, or willingly estranged himself from that covenant. He that sticks to it, and still professes the religion, and approves the faith, and endeavours to obey and to do his duty, this man hath all the veracity of God to assure him and give him confidence that he is not in an impossible state of salvation unless God cuts him off before he can work, or that he begins to work when he can no longer choose. 11. And then let him consider, the more he fears the more he hates his sin that is the cause of it, and the less he can be tempted to it, and the more desirous he is of heaven; and therefore such fears are good instruments of grace, and good signs of a future pardon. 12. That God in the old law although he made a covenant of perfect obedience and did not promise pardon at all after great sins, yet he did give pardon, and declared it so to them for their own and for our sakes too. So he did to David, to Manasses, to the whole nation of the Israelites, ten times in the wilderness, even after their apostacies and idolatries. And in the prophets the mercies of God and his remissions of sins were largely preached, though in the law God put on the robes of an angry judge and a severe lord. But therefore in the Gospel, where he hath established the whole sum of affairs upon faith and repentance, if God should not pardon great sinners that repent after baptism with a free dispensation, the Gospel were far harder than the intolerable covenant of the law. 13. That if a proselyte went into the Jewish communion, and were circumcised and baptized, he entered into all the hopes of good things which God had promised or would give to his people; and yet that was but the covenant of works. If, then, the Gentile proselytes, by their circumcision and legal baptism, were admitted to a state of pardon, to last so long as they were in the covenant, even after their admission, for sins committed against Moses's law, which they then undertook to observe exactly; in the Gospel, which is the covenant of faith, it must needs be certain that there is a greater grace given, and an easier condition entered into, than was that of the Jewish law; and that is nothing else but that abatement is made for our infirmities, and our single evils, and our timely-repented and forsaken habits of sin, and our violent passions, when they are contested withal, and fought with, and under discipline, and in the beginnings and progresses of mortification. 14. That God hath erected in his church a whole order of men, the main part and dignity of whose work it is to remit and retain sins by a perpetual and daily ministry; and this they do, not only in baptism, but in all their offices to be administered afterwards, in the holy sacrament of the eucharist, which exhibits the symbols of that blood which was shed for pardon of our sins, and therefore, by its continued mystery and repetition declares that all that while we are within the ordinary powers and usual dispensations of pardon, even so long as we are in any probable dispositions to receive that holy sacrament. And the same effect is also signified and exhibited in the whole power of the keys, which, if it extends to private sins, sins done in secret, it is certain it does also to public. But this is a greater testimony of the certainty of the remissibility of our greatest sins; for public sins, as they always have a sting and a superadded formality of scandal and ill example, so they are most commonly the greatest; such as murder, sacrilege, and others of unconcealed nature, and unprivate action; and if God, for these worst of evils, hath appointed an office of ease and pardon, which is and may daily be administered, that will be an uneasy pusillanimity and fond suspicion of God's goodness to fear that our repentance shall be rejected, even although we have committed the greatest or the most of evils. 15. And it was concerning baptized Christians that St. John said, `If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, and he is the propitiation for our sins;' and concerning lapsed Christians St. Paul gave instruction, that `if any man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such a man in the spirit of meekness; considering lest ye also be tempted.' The Corinthian Christian committed incest, and was pardoned; and Simon Magus after he was baptized, offered to commit his own sin of simony, and yet St. Peter bid him pray for pardon; and St. James tells, that `if the sick man sends for the elders of the church, and they pray over him, and he confess his sins, they shall be forgiven him.' 16. That only one sin is declared to be irremissible, `the sin against the Holy Ghost, the sin unto death,' as St. John calls it, for which we are not bound to pray - for all others we are; and certain it is no man commits a sin against the Holy Ghost, if he be afraid he hath, and desires that he had not; for such penitential passions are against the definition of that sin. 17. That all the sermons in the Scripture written to Christians and disciples of Jesus, exhorting men to repentance, to be afflicted, to mourn and to weep, to confession of sins, are sure testimonies of God's purpose and desire to forgive us, even when we fall after baptism; and if our fall after baptism were irrecoverable, than all preaching were in vain, and our faith were also vain, and we could not with comfort rehearse the creed, in which, as soon as ever we profess Jesus to have died for our sins, we also are condemned by our own conscience of a sin that shall not be forgiven; and then all exhortations and comforts and fasts and disciplines were useless and too late, if they were not given us before we can understand them; for, most commonly, as soon as we can, we enter into the regions of sin, for we commit evil actions before we understand, and together with our understanding they begin to be imputed. 18. That if it could be otherwise, infants were very ill provided for in the church who were baptized, when they have no stain upon their brows but the misery they contracted from Adam; and they are left to be angels for ever after, and live innocently in the midst of their ignorances and weaknesses and temptations and the heat and follies of youth, or else to perish in an eternal ruin. We cannot think of speak good things of God if we entertain such evil suspicions of the mercies of the Father of our Lord Jesus. 19. That the long-sufferance and patience of God is indeed wonderful; but therefore it leaves us in certainties of pardon, so long as there is the possibility to return, if we reduce the power to act. 20. That God calls upon us to forgive our brother seventy times seven times, and yet all that is but like the forgiving a hundred pence for his sake who forgives us ten thousand talents; for so the Lord professed that he had done to him that was his servant and his domestic. 21. That if we can forgive a hundred thousand times, it is certain God will do so to us, our blessed Lord having commanded us to pray for pardon as we pardon our offending and penitent brother. 22. That even in the case of very great sins, and great judgments inflicted upon the sinners, wise and good men and presidents of religion have declared their sense to be, that God spent all his anger, and made it expire in that temporal misery; and so it was supposed to have been done in the case of Ananias: but that the hopes of any penitent man may not rely upon any uncertainty, we find in holy Scripture that those Christians who had for their scandalous crimes deserved to be given over to Satan to be buffeted, yet had hopes to be saved in the day of the Lord. 23. That God glories in the titles of mercy and forgiveness, and will not have his appellatives so finite and limited as to expire in one act, or in a seldom pardon. 24. That man's condition were desperate, and like that of the fallen angels, equally desperate, but unequally oppressed, considering our infinite weaknesses and ignorances, (in respect of their excellent understanding and perfect choice,) if he could be admitted to no repentance after his infant baptism; and if he may be admitted to one, there is nothing in the covenant of the Gospel but he may also to a second, and so for ever, as long as he can repent and return and live to God in a timely religion. 25. That every man is a sinner - `in many things we offend all;'[178] and `if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves;'[179] and therefore either all must perish, or else there is mercy for all; and so there is, upon this very stock, because `Christ died for sinners,'[180] and `God hath comprehended all under sin, that he might have mercy upon all.'[181] 26. That if ever God sends temporal punishments into the world with purposes of amendment, and if they be not all of them certain consignations to hell, and unless every man that breaks his leg, or in punishment loses a child or wife, be certainly damned, it is certain that God in these cases is angry and loving, chastises the sin to amend the person, and smites that he may cure, and judge that he may absolve. 27. That he that will not quench the smoking flax, nor break the bruised reed - will not tie us to perfection and the laws and measures of heaven upon earth; and if, in every period of our repentance, he is pleased with our duty, and the voice of our heart, and the hand of our desires, he hath told us plainly that he will not only pardon all the sins of the days of our folly, but the returns and surprises of sins in the days of repentance, if we give no way, and allow no affection, and give no place to anything that is God's enemy; all the past sins, and all the seldom-returning and ever-repented evils put upon the accounts of the cross.
An Exercise against Despair in the Day of our Death.
     To which may be added this short exercise, to be used for the curing the temptation to direct despair, in case that the hope and faith of good men be assaulted in the day of their calamity.
     I consider that the ground of my trouble is my sin; and if it were not for that, I should not need to be troubled; but the help that all the world looks for is such as supposes a man to be a sinner. Indeed, if from myself I were to derive my title to heaven, then my sins were a just argument of despair; but now that they bring me to Christ, that they drive me to an appeal to God's mercies, and to take sanctuary in the cross, they ought not, they cannot, infer a just cause of despair. I am sure it is a stranger thing that God should take upon him hands and feet, and those hands and feet should be nailed upon a cross, than that a man should be partaker of the felicities of pardon and life eternal; and it were stranger yet that God should do so much for man, and that a man that desires it, that labours for it, that is in life and possibilities of working his salvation, should inevitably miss that end for which that God suffered so much. For what is the meaning, and what is the extent, and what are the significations, of the divine mercy in pardoning sinners? If it be thought a great matter that I am charged with original sin, I confess I feel the weight of it in loads of temporal infelicities and proclivities to sin; but I fear not the guilt of it, since I am baptized, and it cannot do honour to the reputation of God's mercy that it should be all spent in remissions of what I never chose, never acted, never knew of, could not help, concerning which I received no commandment, no prohibition. But, blessed be God, it is ordered in just measures that that original evil which I contracted without my knowledge; and what I suffered before I had a being was cleansed before I had an useful understanding. But I am taught to believe God's mercies to be infinite, not only in himself but to us; for mercy is a relative term, and we are its correspondent: of all the creatures which God made, we only, in a proper sense, are the subjects of mercy and remission. Angels have more of God's bounty than we have, but not so much of his mercy; and beasts have little rays of his kindness, and effects of his wisdom and graciousness in petty donatives, but nothing of mercy; for they have no laws, and therefore no sins, and need no mercy, nor are capable of any. Since, therefore, man alone is the correlative, or proper object and vessel of reception of an infinite mercy, and that mercy is in giving and forgiving, I have reason to hope that he will so forgive me that my sins shall not hinder me of heaven; or because it is a gift, I may also, upon the stock of the same infinite mercy, hope he will give heaven to me; and if I have it either upon the title of giving or forgiving, it is alike to me, and will alike magnify the glories of the divine mercy. And because eternal life is the gift of God,[182] I have less reason to despair; for if my sins were fewer, and my disproportions towards such a glory were less, and my evenness more, yet it is still a gift, and I could not receive it but as a free and a gracious donative, and so I may still: God can still give it me; and it is not an impossible expectation to wait and look for such a gift at the hands of the God of mercy; the best men deserve it not, and I, who am the worst, may have it given me. And I consider that God hath set no measures of his mercy, but that we be within the covenant, that is, repenting persons, endeavouring to serve him with an honest, single heart; and that within this covenant there is a very great latitude and variety of persons and degrees and capacities; and therefore that it cannot stand with the proportions of so infinite a mercy that obedience be exacted to such a point, which he never expressed, unless it should be the least, and that to which all capacities, though otherwise unequal, are fitted and sufficiently enabled. But, however, I find that the Spirit of God taught the writers of the New Testament to apply to us all in general, and to every single person in particular, some gracious words which God in the Old Testament spake to one man upon a special occasion in a single and temporal instance. Such are the words which God spake to Joshua; `I will never fail thee, nor forsake thee:' and upon the stock of that promise St. Paul forbids covetousness and persuades contentedness,[183] because those words were spoken by God to Joshua in another case. If the gracious words of God have so great an extension of parts, and intention of kind purposes, then how many comforts have we upon the stock of all the excellent words which are spoken in the prophets and in the Psalms? and I will never more question whether they be spoken concerning me, having such an authentic precedent so to expound the excellent words of God; all the treasures of God which are in the Psalms are my own riches, and the wealth of my hope; there will I look, and whatsoever I can need, that I will depend upon. For certainly, if we could understand it, that which is infinite (as God is) must needs be some such kind of thing: it must go whither it was never sent, and signify what was not first intended, and it must warm with its light, and shine with its heat, and refresh when it strikes, and heal when it wounds, and ascertain where it makes afraid, and intend all when it warns one, and mean a great deal in a small word. And as the sun, passing to its southern tropic, looks with an open eye upon his sun-burnt Ethiopians, but at the same time sends light from its posterns, and collateral influences from the back side of his beams, and sees the corners of the east when his face tends towards the west, because he is a round body of fire, and hath some little images and resemblances of the Infinite; so is God's mercy when it looked upon Moses: it relieved St. Paul, and it pardoned David, and gave hope to Manasses, and might have restored Judas if he would have had hope, and used himself accordingly. But as to my own case, I have sinned grievously and frequently;[184] but I have repented it; but I have begged pardon; I have confessed it and forsaken it. I cannot undo what was done, and I perish if God hath appointed no remedy, if there be no remission; but then my religion falls together with my hope, and God's word fails as well as I. But I believe the article of forgiveness of sins; and if there be any such thing I may do well, for I have and do and will do that which all good men call repentance, that is, I will be humbled before God, and mourn for my sin, and for ever ask forgiveness, and judge myself, and leave it with haste, and mortify it with diligence, and watch against it carefully. And this I can do but in the manner of man; I can but mourn for my sins, as I apprehend grief in other instances, but I will rather choose to suffer all evils than to do one deliberate act of sin. I know my sins are greater than my sorrow, and too many for my memory, and too insinuating to be prevented by all my are; but I know also that God knows and pities my infirmities, and how far that will extend I know not, but that it will reach so far as to satisfy my needs is the matter of my hope. But this I am sure of, that I have in my great necessity prayed humbly and with great desire, and sometimes I have been heard in kind, and sometimes have had a bigger mercy instead of it; and I have the hope of prayers, and the hope of my confession, and the hope of my endeavour, and the hope of many promises, and of God's essential goodness; and I am sure that God hath heard my prayers, and verified his promises in temporal instances, for he ever gave me sufficient for my life; and although he promised such supplies, and grounded the confidences of them upon our last seeking the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness, yet he hath verified it to me who have not sought it as I ought; but therefore I hope he accepted my endeavour, or will give his great gifts and our great expectation even to the weakest endeavour, to the least, so it be a hearty piety. And sometimes I have had some cheerful visitations of God's Spirit, and my cup hath been crowned with comfort, and the wine that made my heart glad danced in the chalice, and I was glad that God would have me so; and therefore I hope this cloud may pass; for that which was then a real cause of comfort is so still if I could discern it, and I shall discern it when the veil is taken from mine eyes. And, blessed be God, I can still remember that there are temptations to despair; and they could not be temptations if they were not apt to persuade, and had seeming probability on their side; and they that despair think they do it with the greatest reason; for if they were not confident of the reason, but that it were such an argument as might be opposed or suspected, then they could not despair. Despair assents as firmly and strongly as faith itself; but because it is a temptation, and despair is a horrid sin, there it is certain those persons are unreasonably abused, and they have no reason to despair, for all their confidence; and, therefore, although I have strong reasons to condemn my despair, which therefore is unreasonable, because it is a sin, and a dishonour to God, and a ruin to my condition, and verifies itself if I do not look to it. For as the hypochondriac person that thought himself dead made his dream true when he starved himself because dead people eat not; so do despairing sinners lose God's mercies by refusing to use and to believe them. And I hope it is a disease of judgment, not an intolerable condition, that I am falling into; because I have been afflicted, because they see not their pardon sealed after the manner of this world; and the affairs of the Spirit are transacted by immaterial notices, by propositions and spiritual discourses, by promises which are to be verified hereafter: and here we must live in a cloud, in darkness under a veil, in fear and uncertainties; and our very living by faith and hope is a life of mystery and secrecy, the only part of the manner of that life in which we shall live in the state of separation. And when a distemper of body or an infirmity of mind happens in the instances of such secret and reserved affairs, we may easily mistake the manner of our notices for the uncertainty of the thing; and therefore it is but reason I should stay till the state and manner of my abode be changed before I despair: there it can be no sin nor error, here it may be both; and if it be that, it is also this, and then a man may perish for being miserable, and be undone for being a fool. In conclusion, my hope is in God, and I will trust him with the event, which I am sure will be just, and I hope full of mercy. However now I will use all the spiritual arts of reason and religion to make me more and more to love God, that if I miscarry, charity also shall fail, and something that loves God shall perish and be damned, which if it be possible than I may do well.
     These considerations may be useful to men of little hearts and of great piety; or if they be persons who have lived without infamy, or begun their repentance so late that it is very imperfect, and yet so early that it was before the arrest of death. But if the man be a vicious person, and hath persevered in a vicious life till his death-bed, these considerations are not proper. Let him inquire, in the words of the first disciples after Pentecost, `Men and brethren, what shall we do to be saved?' and if they can but entertain so much hope as to enable them to do so much of their duty as they can for the present, it is all that can be provided for them: an inquiry, in their case, can have no other purposes of religion or prudence. And the minister must be infinitely careful that he do not go about to comfort vicious persons with the comforts belonging to God's elect, lest he prostitute holy things, and make them common, and his sermons deceitful, and vices be encouraged in others, and the man himself find that he was deceived, when he descends into his house of sorrow.
     But because very few men are tempted with too great fears of failing, but very many are tempted by confidence and presumption, the ministers of religion had need be instructed with spiritual armour to resist this firey dart of the devil, when it operates to evil purposes.



Considerations against Presumption.

     I have already enumerated many particulars to provoke drowsy conscience to a scrutiny and to a suspection of himself, that by seeing cause to suspect his condition he might more freely accuse himself, and attend to the necessities and duties of repentance; but if either before or in his repentance he grow too big in his spirit, so as either he does some little violences to the modesties of humility, or abates his care and zeal to his repentance, the spiritual man must allay his forwardness by representing to him, 1. That the growths in grace are long, difficult, uncertain, hindered, of many parts and great variety. 2. That an infant grace is soon dashed and discountenanced, often running into an inconvenience and the evils of an imprudent conduct, being zealous and forward, and therefore confident, but always with the least reason and the greatest danger; like children and young fellows, whose confidence hath no other reason but that they understand not their danger and their follies. 3. That he that puts on his armour ought not to boast as he that puts it off; and the apostle chides the Galatians for ending in the flesh after they had begun in the spirit. 4. That a man cannot think too meanly of himself, but very easily he may thing too high. 5. That a wise man will always, in a matter of great concernment, think the worst, and a good man will condemn himself with hearty sentence. 6. That humility and modesty of judgment and of hope are very good instruments to procure a mercy and a fair reception at the day of our death; but presumption or bold opinions serve no end of God or man, and is always imprudent, ever fatal, and of all things in the world is its own greatest enemy; for the more any man presumes, the greater reason he hath to fear. 7. That a man's heart is infinitely deceitful, unknown to itself, not certain in his own acts, praying one way and desiring another, wandering and imperfect loose and various, worshipping God and entertaining sin, following what it hates, and running from what it flatters, loving to be tempted and betrayed; petulant, like a wanton girl running from, that it might invite the fondness and enrage the appetite of the foolish young man, or the evil temptation that follows it; cold and indifferent one while, and presently zealous and passionate, furious and indiscreet; not understood of itself, or any one else, and deceitful beyond all the arts and numbers of observation. 8. That it is certain we have highly sinned against God, but we are not so certain that our repentane is real and effective, integral and sufficient. 9. That it is not revealed to us whether or no the time of our repentance be not past; or, if it be not, yet how far God will give us pardon, and upon what condition, or after what sufferings or duties, is still under a cloud. 10. That virtue and vice are oftentimes so near neighbours that we pass into each other's borders without observation, and think we do justice when we are cruel; or call ourselves liberal when we are loose and foolish in expenses; and are amorous when we commend our own civilities and good nature. 11. That we allow to ourselves so many little irregularities, that insensibly they swell to so great a heap that from thence we have reason to fear an evil; for an army of frogs and flies may destroy all the hopes of our harvest. 12. That when we do that which is lawful, and do all that we can in those bounds, we commonly and easily run out of our proportions. 13. That it is not easy to distinguish the virtues of our nature from the virtues of our choice: and we may expect the reward of temperance, when it is against our nature to be drunk; or we hope to have the coronet of virgins for our morose disposition, or our abstinence from marriage upon secular ends. 14. That it may be we call every little sigh or the keeping a first-day the duty of repentance, or have entertained false principles in the estimate and measures of virtues; and, contrary to the steward in that gospel, we write down fourscore when we should be set down but fifty. 15. That it is better to trust the goodness and justice of God with our accounts than to offer him large bills. 16. That we are commanded by Christ to sit down bids us sit up higher. 17. That `when we have done all that we can, we are unprofitable servants;' and yet no man does all that he can do, and therefore is more to be despised and undervalued. 18. That the self-accusing publican was justified rather than the thanksgiving and confident Pharisee. 19. That if Adam in paradise, and David in his house, and Solomon in the temple, and Peter in Christ's family, and Judas in the college of apostles, and Nicholas among the deacons, and the angels in heaven itself, did fall so foully and dishonestly, then it is prudent advice that we be not high-minded, but fear; and when we stand most confidently take heed lest we fall: and yet there is nothing so likely to make us fall as pride and great opinions, which ruined the angels, which God resists, which all men despise, and which betrays us into artlessness, and a reckless, undiscerning and an unwary spirit.
     4. Now the main parts of the ecclesiastical ministry are done; and that which remains is, that the minister pray over him and remind him to do good actions as he is capable; to call upon God for pardon; to put his whole trust in him; to resign himself to God's disposing; to be patient and even; to renounce every ill word or thought, or indecent action, which the violence of his sickness may cause in him; to beg of God to give him his Holy Spirit to guide him in his agony, and his holy angels to guard him in his passage.
     5. Whatsoever is besides this concerns the standers by; that they do all their ministers diligently and temperately; that they join with much charity and devotion in the prayer of the minister; that they make no outcries or exclamations in the departure of the soul; and that they make no judgment concerning the dying person, by his dying quietly or violently, with comfort or without, with great fears or a cheerful confidence, with sense or without, like a lamb or like a lion, with convulsions or semblances of great pain, or like an expiring and a spent candle; for these happen to all men without rule; without any known reason, but according as God pleases to dispense the grace or the punishment, for reasons only known to himself. Let us lay our hands upon our mouth, and adore the mysteries of the divine wisdom and providence, and pray to God to give the dying man rest and pardon, and to ourselves grace to live well, and the blessing of a holy and a happy death.



Offices to be said by the Minister in his Visitation of the Sick.

     In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. "Our Father, which art in heaven," etc.
Let the Priest say this Prayer secretly
     O eternal Jesus, thou great lover of souls, who hast constituted a ministry in the church to glorify thy name, and to serve in the assistance of those that come to thee, prefessing thy discipline and service, give grace to me the unwrothiest of thy servants that I, in this my ministry, may purely and zealously intend thy glory, and effectually may minister comfort and advantages to this sick person; (whom God assoil from all his offences;) and grant that nothing of thy grace may perish to him by the unworthiness of the minister; but let thy Spirit speak to me, and give me prudence and charity, wisdom and diligence, good observation and apt discourses a certain judgment and merciful dispensation, that the soul of thy servant may pass from this state of imperfection to the perfections of the state of glory, through thy mercies, O eternal Jesus. Amen.
The Psalm.
     Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice; let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. Psalm cxxx.
     If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who should stand.
     But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayst be feared.
     I wait for the Lord; my soul doth wait; and in his word do I hope.
     My soul waiteth for the Lord, more than they that watch for the morning.
     Let Israel hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.
     And he shall redeem his servants from all their iniquities. Psalm cxxx.
     Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the wickedness of my heels shall compass me about? Psalm xlix.5.
     No man can be any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him. Ver. 7.
     For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceasern for ever. Ver. 8.
     That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption. Ver. 9.
     But wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others. Ver. 10.
     But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Ver. 15.
     As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied when I awake in thy likeness. Psalm xvii.15.
     Thou shalt show me the path of life: in thy presence is the fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psalm xvi. 11.
     Glory be to the Father, etc.
     As it was in the beginning, etc.
Let us Pray.
     Almighty God, Father of mercies, the God of peace and comfort, of rest and pardon, we thy servants, though unworthy to pray for thee, yet, in duty to thee and charity to our brother, humbly beg mercy of thee for him, to descend upon his body and his soul; one sinner, O Lord, for another, the miserable for the afflicted, the poor for him that is in need; but thou givest thy graces and thy favours by the measures of thy own mercies, and in proportion to our necessities. We humbly come to thee in the name of Jesus, for the merit of our Saviour, and the mercies of our God, praying thee to pardon the sins of this thy servant, and to put them all upon the accounts of the cross, and to bury them in the grave of Jesus; that they may never rise up in judgment against thy servant, nor bring him to shame and confusion of face in the day of final inquiry and sentence. Amen.

     Give thy servant patience in his sorrows, comfort in this his sickness, and restore him to health, if it seems good to thee, in order to thy great ends and his greatest interest. And however thou shalt determine concerning him in this affair, yet make his repentance perfect, and his passage safe, and his faith strong, and his hope modest and confident; that when thou shalt call his soul from the prison of the body, it may enter into the securities and rest of the sons of God in the bosom of blessedness and the custodies of Jesus. Amen.

     Thou, O Lord, knowest all the necessities and all the infirmities of thy servant; fortify his spirit with spiritual joys and perfect resignation, and take from him all degrees of inordinate or insecure affections to this world, and enlarge his heart with desires of being with thee, and of freedom from sins, and fruition of God.

     Lord, let not any pain or passion discompose the order and decency of his thoughts and duty; and lay no more upon thy servant than thou wilt make him able to bear; and together with the temptation do thou provide a way to escape, even by the mercies of a longer and a more holy life, or by the mercies of a blessed death; even as it pleaseth thee, O Lord, so let it be.

     Let the tenderness of his conscience and the Spirit of God call to mind his sins, that they may be confessed and repented of; because thou hast promised that if we confess our sins we shall have mercy. Let thy mighty grace draw out from his soul every root of bitterness, lest the remains of the old man be accursed with the reserves of thy wrath; but in the union of the holy Jesus, and in the charities of God and of the world, and the communion of all the saints, let this soul be presented to thee blameless and entirely pardoned, and thoroughly washed, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Here also may be inserted the Prayers set down after the holy Communion is administered.
     The prayer of St. Eustatius the Martyr, to be used by the sick of dying man, or by the priests or assistants in his behalf, which he said when he was going to martyrdom.
     I will praise thee, O Lord, that thou hast considered my low estate, and hast not shut me up in the hands of mine enemies, nor made my foes to rejoice over me; and now let thy right hand protect me, and let thy mercy come upon me; for my soul is in trouble and anguish because of its departure from the body. O let not the assemblies of its wicked and cruel enemies meet it in the passing forth, nor hinder me by reason of the sins of my past life. O Lord, be favourable unto me, that my soul may not behold the hellish countenance of the spirits of darkness, but let thy bright and joyful angels entertain it. Give glory to thy holy name and thou thy majesty; place me by thy merciful arm before thy seat of judgment, and let not the hand of the prince of this world snatch me from thy presence, or beat me into hell. Mercy, sweet Jesus. Amen.
     A prayer taken out of the Euchologion of the Greek church to be said by, or in behalf of, people in their danger, or at their death.
     beborborwnenos taiz anartiaiz, etc.

     Bemired with sins and naked of good deeds, I that am the meat of worms cry vehemently in spirit; cast not me a wretch away from thy face; place me not on the left hand, who with thy hands didst fashion me; but give me rest unto my soul, for thy great mercy's sake, O Lord.

     Supplicate with tears unto Christ, who is to judge my poor soul, that he will deliver me from the fire that is unquenchable. I pray you all, my friends and acquaintance, make mention of my in your prayers, that in the day of judgment I may find mercy at that dreadful tribunal.

Then may the Standers-by pray.
     When in unspeakable glory thou dost come dreadfully to judge the whole world, vouchsafe, O gracious Redeemer, that this thy faithful servant may in the clouds meet thee cheerfully. They who have been dead from the beginning, with terrible and fearful trembling stand at thy tribunal, waiting thy just sentence. O blessed Saviour Jesus! None shall there avoid thy formidable and most righteous judgment. All kings and princes with servants stand together, and hear the dreadful voice of the judge condemning the people which have sinned into hell; from which sad sentence, O Christ, deliver thy servant. Amen.
     Then let the sick man be called to rehearse the articles of his faith; or, if he be so weak he cannot, let him (if he have not before done it) be called to say Amen when they are recited, or to give some testimony of his faith and confident assent to them.
     After which it is proper (if the person be in capacity) that the minister examine him, and invite him to confession, and all the parts of repentance, according to the foregoing rules; after which he may pray the prayer of absolution.
     O Lord Jesus Christ, who hath given commission to his church, in his name to pronounce pardon to all that are truly penitent, he of his mercy pardon and forgive thee all thy sins, deliver thee from all evils past, present, and future, preserve thee in the faith and fear of his holy name to thy life's end, and bring thee to his everlasting kingdom, to live with him for ever and ever. Amen.
     Then let the sick man renounce all heresies, and whatsoever is against the truth of God or the peace of the church, and pray for pardon for all his ignorances and errors, known and unknown.
     After which let him (if all other circumstances be fitted) be disposed to receive the blessed sacrament, in which the curate is to minister according to the form prescribed by the church.
     When the rites are finished, let the sick man, in the days of his sickness, be employed with the former offices and exercises before described; and when the time draws near of his dissolution, the minister may assist by the following order of recommendation of the soul.

     O holy and most gracious Saviour Jesus, we humbly recommend the soul of thy servant into thy hands, thy most merciful hands; let thy blessed angels stand in ministry about thy servant, and defend him from the violence and malice of all his ghostly enemies; and drive far from hence all the spirits of darkness. Amen.

     Lord, receive the soul of this thy servant; enter not into judgment with thy servant, spare him whom thou hast redeemed with thy most precious blood; deliver him from all evil, for whose sake thou didst suffer evil and mischief; from the crafts and assaults of the devil, from the fear of death, and from everlasting death, good Lord, deliver him. Amen.

     Impute not unto him the follies of his youth, nor any of the errors and miscarriages of his life; but strengthen his in his agony; let not his faith waver, nor his hope fail, nor his charity be disordered; let none of his enemies imprint upon him any afflictive or evil phantasm; let him die in peace, and rest in hope, and rise in glory. Amen.

     Lord, we know, and believe assuredly, that whatsoever is under thy custody cannot be taken out of thy hands, nor by all the violences of hell robbed of thy protection: preserve the work of thy hands; rescue him from evil; take into the participation of thy glories him to whom thou hast given the seal of adoption, the earnest of the inheritance of the saints. Amen.

     Let his portion be with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; with Job and David, with the prophets and apostles, with martyrs and all thy holy saints, in the arms of Christ, in the bosom of felicity, in the kingdom of God, to eternal ages. Amen.
     These following prayers are fit also to be added to the foregoing offices in as there be no communion or intercourse but prayer.
Let us Pray.
     O almighty and eternal God, there is no number of thy days, or of thy mercies; thou hast sent us into this world to serve thee, and to live according to thy laws; but we by our sins have provoked thee to wrath, and we have planted thorns and sorrows round about our dwellings; and our life is but a span long and yet very tedious, because of the calamities that enclose us in on every side; the days of our pilgrimage are few and evil; we have frail and sickly bodies, violent and distempered passions, long designs and but a short stay, weak understandings and strong enemies, abused fancies, perverse wills. O dear God, look upon us in mercy and pity; let not our weaknesses make us to sin against thee, nor our fear cause us to betray our duty, nor our former follies provoke thy eternal anger, nor the calamities of this world vex us into tediousness of spirit and impatience; but let thy Holy Spirit lead us through this valley of misery with safety and peace, with holiness and religion, with spiritual comforts and joy in the Holy Ghost; that, when we have served thee in our generations, we may be gathered unto our fathers, having the testimony of a holy conscience in the communion of the catholic church, in the confidence of a certain faith, and the comforts of a reasonable, religious, and holy hope, and perfect charity with thee our God and all the world; that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, may be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

     O holy and most gracious Saviour Jesus, in whose hands the souls of all faithful people are laid up till the day of recompence, have mercy upon the body and soul of this thy servant, and upon all thy elect people who love the Lord Jesus and long for his coming, Lord, refresh the imperfection of their condition with the aids of the Spirit or grace and comfort, and with the visitation and guard of angels, and supply to them all their necessities known only unto thee; let them dwell in peace, and feel thy mercies pitying their infirmities, and the follies of their flesh, and speedily satisfying the desires of their spirits; and when thou shalt bring us all forth in the day of judgment, O then show thyself to be our Saviour Jesus, our advocate, and our judge. Lord, then remember that thou hast for so many ages prayed for the pardon of those sins which thou art then to sentence. Let not the accusations of our consciences, nor the calumnies and aggravation of devils, nor the effects of thy wrath, press those souls which thou lovest, which thou didst redeem, which thou dost pray for; but enable us all, by the supporting hand of thy mercy, to stand upright in judgment. O Lord, have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us; O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us, as our trust is in thee. O Lord, in thee have we trusted; let us never be confounded. Let us meet with joy, and for ever dwell with thee, feeling thy pardon, supported with thy graciousness, absolved by thy sentence, saved by thy mercy, that we may sing to the glory of thy name eternal hallelujahs. Amen. Amen. Amen.
     Then may be added in the behalf of all that are present those ejaculations.
     O spare us a little, that we may recover our strength before we go hence and be no more seen. Amen.
     Cast us not away in the time of age; O forsake us not when strength faileth. Amen.
     Grant that we may never sleep in sin or death eternal, but that we may have our part of the first resurrection, and that the second death may not prevail over us. Amen.
     Grant that our souls may be bound up in the bundle of life; and in the day when thou bindest up thy jewels remember thy servants for good, and not for evil, that our souls may be numbered amongst the righteous. Amen.
     Grant unto all sick and dying Christians mercy and aids from heaven; and receive the souls returning unto thee, whom thou hast redeemed with thy most precious blood. Amen.
     Grant unto thy servants to have faith in the Lord Jesus, a daily meditation of death, a contempt of the world, a longing desire after heaven, patience in our sorrows, comfort in our sicknesses, joy in God, a holy life, and a blessed death; that our souls may rest in hope, and my body may rise in glory, and both may be beatified in the communion of saints, in the kingdom of God, and the glories of the Lord Jesus. Amen.
The Blessing.
     Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work, to do his will, working in you that which is pleasing in his sight; to whom be glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Doxology.
     To the blessed and only potentate, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen, nor can see, be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
     After the sick man is departed, the minister, if he be present, or the major-domo, or any other fit person, may use the following prayers in behalf of themselves: -

     Almighty God, with whom do live the spirits of them that depart hence in the Lord, we adore thy majesty, and submit to thy providence, and revere thy justice, and magnify thy mercies, thy infinite mercies, that it hath pleased thee to deliver this our brother out of the miseries of this sinful world. Thy counsels are secret, and thy wisdom is infinite; with the same hand thou hast crowned him, and smitten us; thou hast taken him into regions of felicity, and placed him among saints and angels, and left us to mourn for our sins; and thy displeasure, which thou hast signified to us by removing him from us to a better, a far better place. Lord, turn thy anger into mercy, thy chastisements into virtues, thy rod into comforts; and do thou give to all his nearest relatives comforts from heaven, and a restitution of blessings equal to those which thou hast taken from them. And we humbly beseech thee of thy gracious goodness shortly to satisfy the longing desires of those holy souls who pray, and wait, and long for thy second coming. Accomplish thou the number of thine elect, and fill up the mansions in heaven which are prepared for all them that love the coming of the Lord Jesus; that we, with this our brother, and all others departed this life in the obedience and faith of the Lord Jesus, may have our perfect consummation and bliss in thy eternal glory, which never shall have ending. Grant this for Jesus Christ's sake, our Lord and only Saviour. Amen.

     O merciful God, father of our Lord Jesus, who art the first fruits of the resurrection, and by entering into glory hath opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers, we humbly beseech thee to raise us up from the death of sin to the life of righteousness; that being partakers of the death of Christ, and followers of his holy life, we may be partakers of his Spirit and of his promises; that when we shall depart this life we may rest in his arms, and lie in his bosom, as our hope is this our brother doth. O suffer us not, for any temptation of the world, or any snares of the devil, or any pains of death, to fall from thee. Lord, let thy Holy Spirit enable us with his grace to fight a good fight with perseverance, to finish our course with holiness, and to keep the faith with constancy unto the end, that at the day of judgment we may stand at the right hand of the throne of God, and hear the blessed sentence of `Come, ye blessed children of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world.' O blessed Jesus, thou art our judge, and thou art our advocate; even because thou art good and gracious, never suffer us to fall into the intolerable pains of hell, never to lie down in sin, and never to have our portion in the everlasting burning. Mercy, sweet Jesus, mercy. Amen.
A Prayer to be said in the Case of sudden Surprise by Death, as by a mortal Wound, or evil Accidents in Childbirth, when the Forms and Solemnities of Preparation cannot be used.
     O most gracious Father, Lord of heaven and earth, Judge of the living and the dead, behold thy servants running to thee for pity and mercy in behalf of ourselves and this thy servant, whom thou hast smitten with thy hasty rod and a swift angel; if it be thy will, preserve his life, that there may be place for his repentance and restitution; O spare him a little, that he may recover his strength before he go hence and be no more seen. But if thou hast otherwise decreed, let the miracles of thy compassion and thy wonderful mercy supply to him the want of the usual measures of time, and the periods of repentance, and the trimming of his lamp; and let the greatness of the calamity be accepted by thee as an instrument to procure pardon for those defects and degrees of unreadiness which may have caused this accident upon thy servant. Lord, stir up in him a great and effectual contrition, that the greatness of the sorrow, and hatred against sin, and the zeal of his love to thee, may in a short time do the work of many days. And thou, who regardest the heart and the measures of the mind more than the delay and the measures of time, let it be thy pleasure to rescue the soul of thy servant from all the evils he hath deserved, and all the evils that he fears: that in the glorifications of eternity, and the songs which to eternal ages thy saints and holy angels shall sing to the honour of thy mighty name and invaluable mercies, it may be reckoned among thy glories that thou hast redeemed this soul from the dangers of the eternal death, and made him partaker of the gift of God, eternal life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
     If there be time, the prayers in the foregoing offices may be added, according as they can be fitted to the present circumstances.



Peroration concerning the Contingencies and Treatings of our departed Friends after Death, in order to their Burial, etc.

     When we have received the last breath of our friend, and closed his eyes, and composed his body for the grave, then seasonable is the counsel of the Son of Sirach: `Weep bitterly, and make great moan, and use lamentation, as he is worthy, and that a day or two, lest thou be evil spoken of; and then comfort thyself for thy heaviness. But take no grief to heart; for there is no turning again: thou shalt not do him good, but hurt thyself.[185] Solemn and appointed mournings are good expressions of our dearness to the departed soul, and of his worth, and our value of him; and it hath its praise in nature, and in manners, and in public customs; but the praise of it is not in the Gospel, that is, it hath no direct and proper uses in religion. For if the dead did die in the Lord, then there is joy to him; and it is an ill expression of our affection and our charity to weep uncomfortably at a change that hath carried my friend to the state of a huge felicity. But if the man did perish in his folly and his sins, there is indeed cause to mourn, but no hopes of being comforted; for he shall never return to light, or to hopes of restitution; therefore, beware lest thou also come into the same place of torment; and let thy grief sit down, and rest upon thy own turf, and weep till a shower springs from thy eyes to heal the wounds of thy spirit; turn thy sorrow into caution, thy grief for him that is dead to thy care for thyself who art alive, lest thou die and fall like one of the fools whose life is worse than death, and their death is the consummation of all felicities. The church in her funerals of the dead used to sing psalms, and to give thanks for the redemption and delivery of the soul from the evils and dangers of mortality; and therefore we have no reason to be angry when God hears our prayers, who call upon him to hasten his coming, and to fill up his numbers, and to do that which we pretend to give him thanks for. And St. Chrysostom asks, "To what purpose is it that thou singest, `Return unto thy rest, O my soul,' etc., if thou dost not believe thy friend to be in rest? and if thou dost, why dost thou weep impertinently and unreasonable?" Nothing but our own loss can justly be deplored; and him that is passionate for the loss of his money or his advantages we esteem foolish and imperfect; and therefore have no reason to love the immoderate sorrows of those who too earnestly mourn for their dead, when, in the last resolution of the inquiry, it is their own evil and present or feared inconveniences they deplore; the best that can be said of such a grief is, that those mourners love themselves too well. Something is to be given to custom, something to fame, to nature, and to civilities, and to the honour of the deceased friends; for that man is esteemed to die miserable for whom no friend or relative sheds a tear[186] or pays a solemn sigh. I desire to die a dry death, but am not very desirous to have a dry funeral: some flowers sprinkled upon my grave would do well and comely; and a soft shower to turn those flowers into a springing memory, or a fair rehearsal, that I may not go forth of my doors as my servants carry the entrails of beasts.
     But that which is to be faulted in this particular is when the grief is immoderate and unreasonable; and Paula Romana deserved to have felt the weight of St. Jerome's severe reproof, when at the death of every of her children she almost wept herself into her grave. But it is worse yet, when people by an ambitious and a pompous sorrow, and by ceremonies invented for the ostentation of their grief, fill heaven and earth with exclamations, and grow troublesome because their friend is happy, or themselves want his company. It is certainly a sad thing in nature to see a friend trembling with a palsy, or scorched with fevers, or dried up like a potsherd with immoderate heats, and rolling upon his uneasy bed without sleep, which he cannot be invited with music, or pleasant murmurs, or a decent stillness; nothing but the servants of cold death, poppy and weariness, can tempt the eyes to let their curtains down; and then they sleep only to taste of death, and make an essay of the shades below: and yet we weep not here; the period and opportunity for tears we choose when our friend is fallen asleep, when he hath laid his neck upon the lap of his mother, and let his head down to be raised up to heaven. This grief is ill-placed and indecent. But many times it is worse; and it hath been observed, that those greater and stormy passions do so spend the whole stock of grief that they presently admit a comfort and contrary affection, while a sorrow that is even and temperate goes on to its period with expectation and the distances of a just time. The Ephesian woman that the soldier told of in Petronius was the talk of all the town, and the rarest example of a dear affection to her husband. She descended with the corpse into the vault, and there, being attended with her maiden, resolved to weep to death, or die with famine, or a distempered sorrow: from which resolution nor his, not her friends, nor the reverence of the principal citizens, who used the entreaties of their charity and their power, could persuade her. But a soldier that watched seven dead bodies hanging upon trees just over against this monument crept in, and awhile stared upon the silent and comely disorders of the sorrow; and having let the wonder awhile breathe out at each other's eyes, at last he fetched his supper and a bottle of wine with purpose to eat and drink, and still to feed himself with that sad prettiness. His pity and first-draught of wine made him bold and curious to try if the maid would drink; who, having many hours since felt her resolution faint as her wearied body, took his kindness, and the light returned into her eyes, and danced like boys in a festival: and fearing lest the pertinaciousness of her mistress's sorrows should cause her evil to revert, or her shame of approach, essayed whether she would endure to hear an argument to persuade her to drink and live. The violent passion had laid all her spirits in wildness and dissolution, and the maid found them willing to be gathered into order at the arrest of any new object, being weary of the first, of which, like leeches, they had sucked their fill, till they fell down and burst. The weeping woman took her cordial, and was not angry with her maid, and heard the soldier talk; and he was so pleased with the change, that he who first loved the silence of the sorrow was more in love with the music of her returning voice, especially which himself had strung and put in tune: and the man began to talk amorously, and the woman's weak head and heart were soon possessed with a little wine, and grew gay, and talked, and fell in love; and that very night, in the morning of her passion, in the grave of her husband, in the pomps of mourning, and in her funeral garments, married her new and stranger-guest. For so the wild foragers of Lybia, being spent with heat, and dissolved by the too fond kissses of the sun, do melt with their common fires, and die with faintness, and descend with motions slow and unable to the little brooks that descent from heaven in the wilderness; and when they drink they return into the vigour of a new life, and contract strange marriages; and the lioness is courted by a panther, and she listens to his love, and conceives a monster that all men call unnatural, and the daughter of an equivocal passion and of a sudden refreshment. And so also was it in the cave at Ephesus: for by this time the soldier began to think it was fit he should return to his watch and observe the dead bodies he had in charge: but when he ascended from his mourning bridal-chamber, he found that one of the bodies was stolen by the friends of the dead, and that he was fallen into an evil condition, because, by the laws of Ephesus, his body was to be fixed in the place of it. The poor man returns to his woman, cries out bitterly, and in her presence resolves to die to prevent his death, and in secret to prevent his shame: but now the woman's love was raging like her former sadness, and grew witty, and she comforted her soldier, and persuaded him to live, lest by losing him who had brought her from death and a more grievous sorrow, she should return to her old solemnities of dying, and lose her honour for a dream, or the reputation of her constancy without the change and satisfaction of an enjoyed love. The man would fain have lived if it had been possible, and she found out this way for him; that he should take the body of her first husband, whose funeral she had so strangely mourned, and put it upon the gallows in the place of the stolen thief; he did so, and escaped the present danger to possess a love which might change as violently as her grief had done. But so have I seen a crowd of disordered people rush violently and in heaps, till their utmost border was restrained by a wall, or had spent the fury of the first fluctuation and watery progress, and by and by it returned to the contrary with the same earnestness, only because it was violent and ungoverned. A raging passion is this crowd, which, when it is not under discipline and the conduct of reason, and the proportions of temperate humanity, runs passionately the way it happens, and by and by as greedily to another side, being swayed by its own weight, and driven any whither by chance in all its pursuits, having no rule but to do all it can, and spend itself in haste, and expire with some shame and much indecency.
     When thou hast wept awhile, compose the body to burial; which that it be done gravely, decently, and charitably, we have the example of all nations to engage us and of all ages of the world to warrant: so that it is against common honesty and public fame and reputation not to do this office.
     It is good that the body be kept veiled and secret, and not exposed to curious eyes, or the dishonours wrought by the changes of death discerned and stared upon by impertinent persons. When Cyrus was dying, he called his sons and friends to take their leave, to touch his hand, to see him the last time, and gave in charge, that when he had put his veil over his face no man should uncover it: and Epiphanius's body was rescued from inquisitive eyes by a miracle. Let it be interred after the manner of the country, and the laws of the place, and the dignity of the person. For so Jacob was buried with great solemnity, and Joseph's bones were carried into Canaan after they had been embalmed and kept four hundred years; and devout men carried St. Stephen to his burial, making great lamentation over him. And Elian tells that those who were the most excellent persons were buried in purple; and men of an ordinary courage and fortune had their graves only trimmed with branches of olive and mourning flowers. But when Marc Anthony gave the body of Brutus to his freed-man to be buried honestly, he gave also his own mantle to be thrown into his funeral pile: and the magnificence of the old funeral we may see largely described by Virgil in the obsequies of Misenus, and by Homer in the funeral of Patroclus, It was noted for piety in the men of Jabesh-Gilead, that they showed kindness to their lord, Saul, and buried him; and they did it honourably. And our blessed Saviour, who was temperate in his expense, and grave in all the parts of his life and death, as age and sobriety itself, yet was pleased to admit the cost of Mary's ointment upon his head and feet, because she did it against his burial; and though she little thought it had been so nigh, yet because he accepted it for that end he knew he had made her apology sufficient: by which he remarked it to be a great act of piety, and honourable, to inter our friends and relatives according to the proportions of their condition, and so to give a testimony of our hope of their resurrection.[187] So far is piety; beyond it may be the ostentation and bragging of a grief, or a design to serve worse ends. Such was that of Herod, when he made too studied and elaborate a funeral for Aristobulus whom he had murdered; and of Regulus for his boy,[188] at whose pile he killed dogs, nightingales, parrots, and little horses; and such also was the expense of some of the Romans, who, hating their left wealth, gave order by their testament to have huge portions of it thrown into their fires, bathing their locks, which were presently to pass through the fire, with Arabian and Egyptian liquors and balsam of Judea. In this, as in every thing else, as our piety must not pass into superstition or vain expense, so neither must the excess be turned into parsimony, and chastised by negligence and impiety to the memory of their dead.
     But nothing of this concerns the dead in real and effective purposes; nor is it with care to be provided for by themselves: but it is the duty of the living.[189] For to them it is all one[190] whether they be carried forth upon a chariot or a wooden hier; whether they rot in the air or in the earth; whether they be devoured by fishes or by worms, by birds or by sepulchral dogs, by water or by fire, or by delay. When Criton asked Socrates how he would be buried, he told him, I think I shall escape from you, and that you cannot catch me; but so much of me as you can apprehend, use it as you see cause for and bury it; but, however, do it according to the laws. There is nothing in this but opinion and the decency of fame to be served. When it is esteemed an honour and the manner of blessed people to descend into the graves of their fathers, there also it is reckoned as a curse to be buried in a strange land, or that the birds of the air devour them.[191] Some nations used to eat the bodies of their friends, and esteemed that the most honoured sepulture; but they were barbarous. The magi never buried any but such as were torn of beasts. The Persians besmeared their dead with wax, and the Egyptians with gums and with great art did condite the bodies and laid them in charnel-houses. But Cyrus the elder would none of all this, but gave command that his body should be interred, not laid in a coffin of gold or silver, but just into the earth from whence all living creatures receive birth and nourishment, and whither they must return. Among Christians the honour which is valued in the behalf of the dead is, that they be buried in holy ground; that is, in appointed cemeteries in places of religion, there were the field of God is sown with the seeds of the resurrection.[192] that their bodies also may be among the Christians, with whom their hope and their portion is and shall be for ever. "Quicquid feceris, omnia haec eodem ventura sunt." That we are sure of: our bodies shall all be restored to our souls hereafter, and in the interval they shall all be turned into dust, by what way soever you or your chance shall dress them. Licinus the freed-man slept in a marble tomb,[193] but Cato in a little one, Pompey in none; and yet they had the best fate among the Romans, and a memory of the biggest honour. And it may happen that to want a monument may best preserve their memories, while the succeeding ages shall, by their instances, remember the changes of the world, and the dishonours of death, and the equality of the dead: and James the Fourth,[194] king of the Scots, obtained an epitaph for wanting of a tomb; and King Stephen is remembered with a sad story, because four hundred years after his death his bones were thrown into a river that evil men might sell the leaden coffin. It is all one in the final event of things.[195] Ninus the Assyrian had a monument erected, whose height was nine furlongs, and the breadth ten, saith Diodorus: but John the Baptist had more honour when he was humbly laid in the earth between the bodies of Abdias and Elizeus. And St. Ignatius, who was buried in the bodies of lions, and St. Polycarp, who was burned to ashes, shall have their bones and their flesh again with greater comfort than those violent persons who slept among kings, having usurped their thrones when they were alive, and their sepulchres when they were dead.
     Concerning doing honour to the dead, the consideration is not long. Anciently the friends of the dead used to make their funeral orations,[196] and what they spake of greater commendation was pardoned upon the accounts of friendship; but when Christianity seized upon the possession of the world, this charge was devolved upon priests and bishops, and they first kept the custom of the world, and adorned it with the piety of truth and of religion; but they also so ordered it, that it should not be cheap; for they made funeral sermons only at the death of princes or of such holy persons, who shall judge the angels. The custom descended, and in the channels mingled with the veins of earth through which it passed; and now-a-days men that die are commended at a price, and the measures of their legacy is the degree of their virtue. But these things ought not so to be: the reward of the greatest virtue ought not to be prostitute to the doles of common persons, but preserved like laurels and coronets, to remark and encourage the noblest things. Persons of an ordinary life should neither be praised publicly nor reproached in private; for it is an office and charge of humanity to speak no evil of the dead (which, I suppose, is meant concerning things not public and evident;) but then neither should our charity to them teach us to tell a lie, or to make a great flame from a heap of rushes and mushrooms, and make orations crammed with the narrative of little observances, and acts of civil, and necessary, and eternal religion.
     But that which is most considerable is, that we should do something for the dead, something that is real and of proper advantage. That we perform their will, the laws oblige us, and will see to it; but that we do all those parts of personal duty which our dead left unperformed, and to which the laws do not oblige us, is an act of great charity and perfect kindness: and it may redound to the advantage of our friends also, that their debts be paid even beyond the inventory of their movables.
     Besides this, let us right their causes and assert their honour. When Marcus Regulus had injured the memory of Herennius Senecio, Metius Carus asked him what he had to do with his dead? and became his advocate after death, of whose cause he was parton when he was alive. And David added this also, that he did kindnesses to Mephibosheth for Jonathan's sake; and Solomon pleaded his father's cause by the sword against Joab and Shimel. And certainly it is the noblest thing in the world to do, an act of kindness to him whom we shall never see, but yet hath deserved it of us, and to whom we would do it if he were present; and unless we do so our charity is mercenary, and our friendships are direct merchandise, and our gifts are brocage: but what we do to the dead or to the living for their sakes is gratitude, and virtue for virtue's sake, and the noblest portion of humanity.
     And yet I remember, that the most excellent prince Cyrus, in his last exhortation to his sons upon his death-bed, charms them into peace and union of hearts and designs, by telling them that his soul would be still alive, and therefore fit to be revered and accounted as awful and venerable as when he was alive: and what we do to our dead friends is not done to persons undiscerning as a fallen tree, but to such who better attend to their relatives, and to greater purposes, though in other manner, than they did here below. And therefore those wise persons, who in their funeral orations made their doubt with an ei tis aisfnsiz toiz teteleutnkosi teri twn enfase gegnomenwn, "If the dead have any perception of what is done below," which are the words of Isocrates, in the funeral encomium of Evagoras, did it upon the uncertain opinion of the soul's immortality; but made no question if they were living they did also understand what could concern them. The same words Nazianzen uses at the exequies of his sister Gorgonia, and in the former invective against Julian: but this was upon another reason; even because it was uncertain what the state of separation was, and whether our dead perceive anything of us, till we shall meet in the day of judgment. If it was uncertain then, it is certain since that time we have had no new revelation concerning it; but it is ten to one but when we die we shall find the state of affairs wholly differing from all our opinions here, and that no man or sect hath guessed anything at all of it as it is. here I intend not to dispute, but to persuade; and therefore, in the general, if it be probable that they know or feel the benefits done to them, though but by a reflex revelation from God, or some under-communication from an angel, or the stock of acquired notices here below, it may the rather endear us to our charities or duties to them respectively; since our virtues use not to live upon abstractions, or inducements, but then thrive when they have material arguments, such which are not too far from sense. However, it be, it is certain they are not dead; and though we no more see the souls of our dead friends than we did when they were alive, yet we have reason to believe them to know more things and better; and if our sleep be an image of death, we may also observe concerning it, that it is a state of life so separate from communications with the body, that it is one of the ways of oracle and prophecy[197] by which the soul best declares her immortality, and the nobleness of her actions and powers, if she could get free from the body, (as in the state of separation, or a clear dominion over it,) as in the resurrection. To which also this consideration may be added, that men a long time live the life of sense before they use their reason; and till they have furnished their head with experiments and notices of many things, they cannot at all discourse of anything: but when they come to use their reason, all their knowledge is nothing but remembrance; and we know by proportions, by similitudes and dissimilitueds, by relations and oppositions, by causes and effects, by comparing things with things; all which are nothing but operations of understanding upon the stock of former notices, of something we knew before, nothing but remembrances: all the heads of topics, which are the stock of all arguments and sciences in the world, are a certain demonstration of this; and he is the wisest man that remembers most, and joins those remembrances together to the best purposes of discourses. From whence it may not be improbably gathered, that in the state of separation, if there be any act of understanding, that is, if the understanding be alive, it must be relative to the notices it had in this world; and therefore the acts of it must be discourses upon all the parts and persons of their conversation and relation, excepting only such new revelation which may be communicated to it; concerning which we know nothing. But if by seeing Socrates I think upon Plato, and by seeing a picture I remember a man, and by beholding two friends I remember my own and my friend's need; (and he is wisest that draws lines from the same centre, and most discourses from the same notices;) it cannot be very probable to believe, since the separate souls understand better if they understand at all, that from the notices they carried from hence, and what they find there equal or unequal to those notices, they can better discover the things of their friends, than we can here by our conjectures and craftiest imaginations and yet many men here can guess shrewdly at the thoughts and designs of such men with whom they discourse, or of whom they have heard, or whose characters they prudently have perceived. I have no other end in this discourse, but that we may be witnesses of our transient affections and forgetfulness. Dead persons have religion passed upon them, and a solemn reverence; and if we think a ghost beholds us, it may be we have upon us the impressions likely to be made by love, and fear, and religion. However, we are sure that God sees us, and the world sees us; and if it be matter of duty towards our dead, God will exact it; if it be matter of kindness, the world will: and as religion is the band of that, so fame and reputation are the endearment of this.
     It remains, that we who are alive should so live, and by the actions of religion attend the coming of the day of the Lord, that we neither be surprised nor leave our duties imperfect, nor our sins uncancelled, nor our persons unreconciled, nor God unappeased; but that, when we descend to our graves, we may rest in the bosom of the Lord, till the mansions be prepared where we shall sing and feast eternally. Amen.

To Deum laudamus.


[148] Exod. xx. 19.

[149] James, v. 14.

[150] James, v.14.

[151] Gabriel in 4. sent. dist. 23.

[152] James, v.16.

[153] John i.9.

[154] Matt. iii.6.

[155] Acts, xix. 18.

[156] 1 Cor. xi. 31.

[157] Si tacuerit qui percussus est, et non egerit paenitentiam, nec vulnus suum fratri et magistro voluerit confiteri, magister qui linguam habet ad curandum, facile ci prodesse non poterit. Si enim erubeseat aegrotus vulnus medico coniteri, quod ignorat medicina non curat. St. Hierom. ad caput 10. Ecces. Si enim hoc fecerimus, et revelaverimus peccata nostra non sol im Deo, sed et his qui possunt mederi vulneribus nostris atque peccatis, delebuntur peccata nostra. - Orig. Hom. 17 in Lucam.

[158] Plaut. Trinum.

[159] Qui homo culpam admisit in se, nullus est tam parvi pretis quin pudent, quin purget sese.-Plaut. Aulul, act. iv. sc. 10. 60.

[160] Illi mers gravis incubat, qui notus nimis omuibus, igortus moritur sihi.-Thyest. 401.

[161] Nune si depositum non inficiatur amicus, So reddat veterem cum tota aerugine follem, Prodigicsa fides et Thuscis digna libellis. Juven. Sat. xiii. 62.

[162] Gal. vi.1.

[163] James, v. 14,15.

[164] 1 Cor v.5,12,13; 2 Cor. ii.6.

[165] Homines in remissione peccatorum ministerium suum exhibent, non just alicujus potestatis exercent: Neque enim in suo, sed in nomine Patris, Filii, et Spiritus Sancti, peccata dimittuntur: Isti rogant, Divinitas donat.-St. Amb. de Spir. 8. 1. iii. c. 10.

[166] Summum futuri judieli praejudicium est, si quis ita deliquert ut a communicatione orationis et conventus et oranis sancti commercii relegetur.-Tertul. Apol cap. 39. Atque hoc idem innuitur per summam Apostoli censuram in reos maxini criminis: sit anafera nsranafa, id est, excommunicatus majori Excommunicatione; Dominus veniet, scil. ad jusicandum eum: ad quod judicium haec censura Ecclesiae est relativa et in ordine. Tum demum paenas dabit: ad quas, nise resipiscat, hic consignatur.

[167] Caus. 26. Q. 6 et q.7.

[168] Can.13. Vide etiam Con. Ancyr. cap. 6. Aurel. 2 cap. 12.

[169] Saevi quoque et implacabiles domini crudelitatem suam impediunt, si, quando paenitentia fugitivos reduxit, dedititiis hostibus parcinaus.

[170] 1 Cor. xv. 22.

[171] Rom. viii. 32.

[172] Vide Rule of Holy Loving, chap. iv. sect. 10; and Hist. of the Life of Jesus, part iii. Disc. 18.

[173] Caus. 26. Q. 7. ab infirmis.

[174] Matt. ix. 6.

[175] Acts. iii. 26.

[176] Est modus gloriandi in conscientia, ut noveris, fidem tuam cease sinceram, soem tuarm esse certam.-August. Psalm cxlix.

[177] Ezek. xxxiii.11.

[178] James, iii.2.

[179] 1 John, i. 8.

[180] Rom. v. 8.

[181] 1 Rom. xi. 32.

[182] Rom. vi.23.

[183] Heb. xiii.5.

[184] Vixi, peccavi, paenitui, natuae cessi.

[185] Ecclus. xxxviii. 17,20.

[186] Expectavimus lacrymas ad ostentationem doloris paratas: et ergo ambitiosus detonuit, texit superhum pallio caput, et nanibus inter se usque ad articulorum strepitum contritis, etc. Petron. 17.3.

[187] Nam quid sibi saxa cavata, Quid pulchra volunt momumenta, Nisi quod res creditur illis Non mortua, sed data somno? Prud. Hymn in Eceq. Defunct

[188] Cupit omnia ferre Produgus et totos Melior succendere census, Desertas exosus opes.-Statius, lib. ii. Sylner.

[189] Totus hic locus contemneudus est in nobis, non negligendus in nostris.-Cicero.

[190] Id cinerem aut manes credis curare sepultos?

[191] Fugientibus Trojanis minatus est Hector.

[192] Nam quod requiescere corpus Vacuum sine mente videmus, Spatium breve restat, ut alti Repetat collgia senus Hinc maxima cura sepulchris Impenditur.-Prud. Hymn, in exeq. Defunct.

[193] Marmoreo Licinus tumulo jacet, at Cato parvo, Pompeius nullo: credimus esse Deos?-Varro Atacinus

[194] Fama orbem replet, mortem sors occulit, at tu Desine scrutari quod tegit ossa solum. Si mihi dent animo non impar fata speulcrum, Angusta est tumulo terra Britanna meo.

[195] Cernit ibi moestos et mortis honore carentes Leucaspim, et Lyciae ductorem classis Orontem.-Eneid. vi.

[196] Lustravitque viros, dixitque novissima verba.-Eceid.

[197] Hue tou anfrwpou yuch tote shpou feiotath katafainetai, kai tote ti twn nellontwn prooora tote gur ws eoike naliota eleuferutai.-Cyrus apud Xenoph. lib. viii. Instit.

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