Holy Dying

Typed by Kathy Sewell, [email protected], March 17, 1997.

This etext is in the Public Domain.
























My Lord,
     I am treating your Lordship as a Roman gentleman did St. Augustine and his mother: I shall entertain you in a charnel-house, and carry your meditations awhile into the chambers of death, where you shall find the rooms dressed up with melancholic arts, and fit to converse with your most retired thoughts, which begin with a sigh, and proceed in deep consideration, and end in a holy resolution. The sight that St. Augustine most noted in that house of sorrow, was the body of Caesar, clothed with all the dishonours of corruption that you can suppose in a six months' burial. But I know, that, without pointing, your first thoughts will remember the change of a greater beauty, which is now dressing for the brightest immortality, and from herbed of darkness calls to you to dress your soul for that change which shall mingle your bones with that beloved dust, and carry your soul to the same quire, where you may both sit and sing for ever. My Lord, it is your dear Lady's anniversary, and she deserved the biggest honour, and the longest memory, and the fairest monument, and the most solemn mourning: and in order to it, give me leave, my Lord, to cover her hearse with these following sheets. This book was intended first to minister to her piety; and she desired all good people should partake of the advantages which are here recorded; she knew how to live rarely well, and she desired to know how to die; and God taught her by an experiment. But since her work is done, and God supplied her with provisions of his own, before I could minister to her, and perfect what she desired, it is necessary to present to your Lordship those bundles of cypress which were intended to dress her closet, but come now to dress her hearse. My Lord, both your Lordship, and myself have lately seen and felt such sorrows of death, and such sad departure of dearest friends, that it is more than high time we should thing ourselves nearly concerned in the accidents. Death hath come so near to you, as to fetch a portion from your very heart; and now you cannot choose but dig your own grave, and place your coffin in your eye, when the angel hath dressed your scene of sorrow and mediation with so particular and so near an object: and, therefore, as it is my duty, I am come to minister to your pious thoughts, and to direct your sorrows, that they may turn into virtues and advantages.
     And since I know your Lordship to be so constant and regular in your devotions, and so tender in the matter of justice, so ready in the expressions of charity, and so apprehensive of religion; that you are a person whose work of grace is apt and must every day grow toward those degrees where, when you arrive, you shall triumph over imperfection, and choose nothing but what may please God; I could not by any compendium conduct and assist your pious purposes so well as by that which is the great argument and the great instrument of Holy Living, the consideration and exercises of death.
     My Lord, it is a great art to die well, and to be learnt by men in health, by them that can discourse and consider, by those whose understanding and act of reason are not abated with fear or pains; and as the greatest part of death is passed by the preceeding years of our life, so also in those years are the greatest preparations to it; and he that prepares not for death before his last sickness, is like him that begins to study philosophy when he is going to dispute publicly in the faculty. All that a sick and dying man can do, is but to exercise those virtues which he before acquired, and to perfect that repentance, which was begun more early. And of this, my Lord, my book, I think, is a good testimony; not only because it represents the vanity of a late and sick-bed repentance, but because it contains in it so many precepts and meditations, so many propositions and various duties, such forms of exercise, and the degrees and difficulties of so many graces, which are necessary preparatives to a holy death, that the very learning the duties requires study and skill, time and understanding, in the ways of godliness; and it were very vain to say so much is necessary, and not to suppose more time to learn them, more skill to practise them, more opportunities to desire them, more abilities both of body and mind, that can be supposed in a sick, amazed, timorous, and weak person; whose senses are weak, whose discerning facilities are lessened, whose principles are mane intricate and entangles, upon whose eye sits a cloud, and the heart is broken with sickness, and the liver pierced through with sorrows and the strokes of death. And, therefore, my Lord, it is intended by the necessity of affairs that the pre-health, and the days of discourse and understanding which, in this case hath another degree of necessity superadded; because in other notices, an imperfect study may be supplied by a frequent exercise and renewed experience; her, if we practise imperfectly once, we shall never recover the error, for we die but once; and therefore it will be necessary that our skill be more exact, since it is not to be mended by trial, but the actions must be for ever left imperfect, unless the habit be contracted with study and contemplation beforehand.
     And indeed I were vain if I should intend this book to be read and studied by dying persons; and they were vainer that should need to be instructed in those graces, which they are then to exercise and to finish. For a sick bed is only a school of severe exercise, in which the spirit of a man is tried and his graces are rehearsed; and the assistances which I have, in the following pages, given to those virtues, which are proper to the state of sickness, are such as suppose a man in the state of grace; or they confirm a good man, or they support the weak, or add degrees, or minister comfort, or prevent an evil, or cure the little mischiefs which are incident to tempted persons in their weakness. That is the sum of the present design, as it relates to dying persons. And therefore I have not inserted any advices proper to old age, but such as are common to it and the state of sickness, for I suppose very old age to be a longer sickness; it is a labour and sorrow when it goes beyond the common period of nature; but if it be on this side that period, and be healthful, in the same degree it is so I reckon it in the accounts of life, and therefore it can have no distinct consideration. But I do not think it is a station of advantage to begin the change of an evil life in; it is a middle state between life and death-bed; and, therefore, although it hath more of hopes than this, and less than that, yet as it partakes of either state, so it is to be regulated by the advices of that state, and judged by its sentences.
     Only this; I desire that all old persons would sadly consider that their advantages in that state are very few; their bodies are without strength, their prejudices long and mighty, their vices (if they have lived wicked) are habitual, the occasions of the virtues not many, the possibilities of some (in the matter of which they stand very guilty) are past, and shall never return again (such are chastity and many parts of self-denial;) that they have some temptations proper to their age, as peevishness and pride, covetousness and talking, wilfulness and unwillingness to learn: and they think they are protected by age from learning anew, or repenting the old, and do not leave but change their vices; and after all this, either the day of their repentance is past, as we see it true in very many, or it is expiring and towards the sunset, as it is in all; and, therefore, although in in these to recover is very possible, yet we may also remember that, in the matter of virtue and repentance, possibility is a great way off from performance; and how few do repent of whom it is only possible that they may! and that many things more are required to reduce their possibility to act; a great grace, an assiduous ministry, an effective calling, mighty assistances, excellent counsel, great industry, a watchful diligence, a well-disposed mind, passionate desires, deep apprehensions of danger, quick perceptions of duty, and time, and God's good blessing, and effectual impression, and seconding all this, that to will and do may, by him, be wrought to great purposes and with great speed.
     And, therefore, it will not be amiss, but it is hugely necessary, that these persons who have lost their time and their blessed opportunities should have the diligence of youth, and the zeal of new converts, and take account of every hour that is left them, and pray perpetually, and be advised prudently, and study the interest of their souls carefully, with diligence, and with fear; and their old age, which, in effect, is nothing but a continual death-bed, dressed with some more order and advantages, may be a state of hope, and labour, and acceptance; through the infinite mercies of God, in Jesus Christ.
     But concerning sinners really under the arrest of death, God hath made no death-bed covenant, the Scriptures hath recorded no promises, given no instructions; and therefore I had none to give, but only the same which are to be given to all men that are alive, because they are so, and because it is uncertain when they shall be otherwise. But then this advice I also am to insert, that they are the smallest number of Christian men who can be divided by the characters of a certain holiness or an open villainy; and between these there are many degrees of latitude, and most are of a middle sort, concerning which we are tied to make the judgments of charity, and possibly God may do too. But, however, all they are such to whom the rules of Holy Dying are useful and applicable, and therefore no separation is to be made in this world. But where the case is not evident, men are to be permitted to the unerring judgment of God; where it is evident we can rejoice or mourn for them that die.
     In the church of Rome they reckon otherwise concerning sick and dying Christians than I have done. For they make profession, that from death to life, from sin to grace, a man may very certainly be changed, though the operation begin not before his last hour; and half this they do upon his death-bed, and the other half when he is in his grave; and they take away the eternal punishment in an instant, by a school-distinction, or the hand of the priest; and the temporal punishment shall stick longer, even then, when the man is no more measured with time, having nothing to do with any thing of or under the sun; but that they pretend to take away too, when the man is dead; and, God knows, the poor man for all this pays them both in hell. The distinction of temporal and eternal is a just measure of pain when it refers to this life and another; but to dream of a punishment temporal, when all his time is done, and to think of repentance when the time of grace is past, are great errors, the one in philosophy and both in divinity, and are a huge folly in their pretence, and infinite danger if they are believed being a certain destruction of the necessity of holy living, when men dare trust them, and live at the rate of such doctrines. The secret of these is soon discovered; for by such means, though holy life be not necessary, yet a priest is; as if God did not appoint the priest to minister to holy living, but to excuse it; so making the holy calling not only to live upon the sins of the people, but upon their ruin, and the advantages of their function to spring from their eternal dangers. It is an evil craft to serve a temporal end upon the death of souls; that is an interest not to be handled but with nobleness and ingenuity, fear and caution, diligence and prudence, with great skill and great honesty, with reverence, and trembling, and severity; a soul is worth all that, and the need we have requires all that; and therefore those doctrines that go less than all this are not friendly, because they are not safe.
     I know no other difference in the visitation and treating of sick persons than what depends upon the article of late repentance; for all churches agree in the same essential propositions, and assist the sick by the same internal ministries. As for external, I mean unction, used in the church of Rome, since it is used when the man is above half dead, when he can exercise no act of understanding, it must needs be nothing; for no rational man can think that any ceremony can make a spiritual change, without a spiritual act of him that is to be changed; nor work by way of nature, or by charm, but morally, and after the manner of reasonable creatures; and therefore I do not think that ministry at all fit to be reckoned among the advantages of sick persons. The fathers of the Council of Trent first disputed, and after this manner at last agreed, that extreme unction was instituted by Christ. But afterwards, being admonished by one of their theologues, that the apostles ministered unction to inform people before they were priests, (the priestly order, according to their doctrine being collated in the institution of the Last Supper,) for fear that it should be taught that this unction might be administered by him that was no priest, they blotted out the word instituted, and put in its stead insinuated, this sacrament, and that it was published by St. James. So it is in their doctrine; and yet in their anathomatisms, they curse all them that shall deny it to have been instituted by Christ. I shall lay no more prejudice against it, or the weak arts of them that maintain it, but add this only, that there being but two places of Scripture pretended for this ceremony, some chief men of their own side have proclaimed these two invalid as to the institution of it; for Suarez says, that the unction used by the apostles, in St. mark, vi.13, is not the same with what is used in the church of Rome; and that it cannot be plainly gathered from the Epistle of St. James, Cajetan affirms, and that it did belong to the miraculous gift of healing, not to a sacrament. The sick man's exercise of grace formerly acquired, his perfecting repentance began in the days of health, the prayers and counsels of the holy man that ministers, the giving the holy sacrament, the ministry and assistance of angels, and the more mercies of God, the peace of conscience, and the peace of the church, are all the assistances and preparatives that can help to dress his lamp. But if a man shall go to buy oil when the bridegroom comes, if his lamp be not first furnished and then trimmed, that in this life, this upon his death-bed, his station will be without doors, his portion with unbelievers; and the unction of the dying man shall no more strengthen his soul than it cures his body; and the prayers for him after his death shall be of the same force, as if they should pray that he should return to life again the next day, and live as long as Lazarus in his return. But I consider that it is not well that men should pretend any thing will do a man good when he dies; and yet the same ministries, and ten times more assistances, are found for forty or fifty years together to be ineffectual. Can extreme unction at last cure what the holy sacrament of the eucharist, all his life-time, could not do? Can prayers for a dead man do him more good than when he was alive? If all his days the man belonged to death and the dominion of sin, and from thence could not be recovered by sermons, and counsels, and perpetual precepts, and frequent sacraments, by confessions and absolutions, by prayers and advocations, by external ministries and internal acts, it is but too certain that his lamp cannot then be furnished: his extreme unction is only then of use when it is made by the oil that burned in his lamp in all the days of his expectation and waiting for the coming of the bridegroom.
     Neither can any supply be made in this case by their practice of praying for the dead; though they pretend for this the fairest precedents of the church and of the whole world. The heathens, they say, did it, and the Jews did it, and the Christians did it; some were baptized for the dead in the days of the apostles, and very many were communicated for the dead for so many ages after. It is true they were so, and did so; the heathens prayed for any easy grave, and a perpetual spring, that saffron would rise from their beds of grass. The Jews prayed that the souls of their dead might be in the garden of Eden, that they might have their part in Paradise, and in the world to come; and that they might hear the peace of the fathers of their generation, sleeping in Hebron. And the Christians prayed for a joyful resurrection, for mercy at the day of judgment, for hastening of the coming of Christ, and the kingdom of God; and they named all sorts of persons in their prayers, all, I mean, but wicked persons, all but them that lived evil lives; they named apostles, saints and martyrs. And all this is so nothing to their purpose, or so much against it, that the prayers for the dead used in the church of Rome are most plainly condemned, because they are against the doctrine and practices of all the world, in other forms, to other purposes, relying upon distinct doctrines, until new opinions began to arise, about St. Augustine's time, and changed the face of the proposition. Concernment from the Lord; and therefore concerning it we can have no rules nor proportions, but from those imperfect revelations of the state of departed souls, and the measures of charity, which can relate only to the imperfection of their present condition, and the terrors of the day of judgment; but to think that any suppletory to an evil life can be taken from such devotions, after the sinners are dead, may encourage a bad man to sin, but cannot relieve him when he hath.
     But, of all things in the world, methinks, men should be most careful not to abuse dying people; not only because their condition is pitiable, but because they shall soon be discovered, and, in the secret regions of souls, there shall be an evil report concerning those men who have deceive them: and if we believe we shall go to that place where such reports are made, we may fear the shame and the amazement of being accounted impostors in the presence of angels, and all the wise holy men of the world. To be erring and innocent, is hugely pitiable, and incident to mortality; that we cannot help; but to deceive or to destroy so great an interest as is that of a soul, or to lessen its advantages, by giving it trifling and false confidences, is injurious and intolerable. And therefore it were very well if all the churches of the world would be extremely curious concerning their offices and ministries of the visitation of the sick: that their ministers they send be holy and prudent; that their instructions be severe and safe; that their sentences be merciful and reasonable, that their offices be sufficient and devout; that their attendances be frequent and long; that their deputations be special and peculiar; that the doctrines upon which they ground their offices be true, material and holy; that their ceremonies be few, and their advices wary; that their separation be full of caution, their judgments not remiss, their remissions not loose and dissolute; and that all the whole ministration be made by persons of experience and charity. For it is a sad thing to see our dead go out of our hands: they live incuriously, and die without regard; and the last scene of their life, which should be dressed with all spiritual advantages, is abused by flattery and easy propositions, and let go with carelessness and folly.
     My Lord, I have endeavoured to cure some part of the evil as well as I could, being willing to relieve the needs of indigent people in such ways as I can; and, therefore, have described the duties which every sick man may do alone, with such in which he can be assisted by the minister; and am the more confident that these my endeavours will be the better entertained because they are the first entire body of directions for sick and dying people that I remember to have been published in the church of England. In the church of Rome there have been many; but they are dressed with such doctrines, which are sometimes useless, sometimes hurtful, and their whole design of assistance, which they commonly yield, is at the best imperfect, and the representment is too careless and loose for so severe an employment. So that, in this affair, I was almost forced to walk alone; only that I drew the rules and advices from the fountains of Scripture, and the purest channcla of the primitive church, and was helped by some experience in the cure of souls. I shall measure the success of my labours, not by popular noises or the sentences of curious persons, but by the advantage which good people may receive. My work here is not to please the speculative part of men, but to minister, to practice, to preach to the weary, to comfort the sick, to assist the penitent, to reprove the confident, to strengthen weak hands and feeble knees, having scarce any other possibilities left me of doing alms, or exercising that charity by which we shall be judged at doomsday. It is enough for me to be an under-builder in the house of God, and I glory in the employment; I labour in the foundations; and therefore the work needs no apology for being plain, so it be strong and well laid. But, my Lord, as mean as it is, I must give God thanks for the desires and the strength; and, next to him, to you, for that opportunity and little portion of leisure which I had to do it in: for I must acknowledge it publicly (and, besides my prayers, it is all the recompense I can make you,) my being quiet I owe to your interest, much of my support to your bounty, and many other collateral comforts I derive from your favour and nobleness. My Lord, because I much honour you, and because I would do honour to myself, I have written your name in the entrance of my book: I am sure you will entertain it because the design related to your dear Lady, and because it may minister to your spirit in the day of visitation; when God shall call for you to receive your reward for your charity and your noble piety, by which you have not only endeared very many persons, but in great degrees have obliged me to be.
     My noblest Lord,
          Your Lordship's most thankful
               and most humble servant,
                    Jer. Taylor.






Consideration of the Vanity and Shortness of Mans Life.

     A man is a bubble, (said the Greek proverb,)[1] which Lucian represents with advantages and its proper circumstances, to this purpose; saying, that all the world is a storm, and men rise up in their several generations, like bubbles descending a Jove pluvio, from God and the dew of heaven, from a tear and drop of rain, from nature and Providence; and some of these instantly sink into the deluge of their first parent, and are hidden in a sheet of water, having had no other business in the world, but to be born, that they might be able to die: others float up and down two or three turns, and suddenly disappear, and give their place to others: and they that live longest upon the face of the waters are in perpetual motion, restless and uneasy; and, being crushed with a great drop of a cloud, sink into flatness and a froth; the change not being great, it being hardly possible it should be more a nothing that it was before. So is every man: he is born in vanity and sin; he comes into the world like morning mushrooms, soon thrusting up their heads into the air, and conversing with their kindred of the same production, and as soon they turn into dust and forgetfulness - some of them without any other interest in the affairs of the world, but that they made their parents a little glad and very sorrowful: others ride longer in the storm; it may be until seven years of vanity be expired, and then peradventure the sun shines hot upon their heads, and they fall into the shades below, into the cover of death and darkness of the grave to hide them. But if the bubble stands the shock of a bigger drop, and outlives the chances of a child, of a careless nurse, of drowning in a pail of water, of being overlaid by a sleepy servant, or such little accidents, then the young man dances like a bubble, empty and gay, and shines like a dove's neck, or the image of a rainbow, which hath no substance, and whose very imagery and colours are fantastical; and so he dances out the gaiety of his youth, and is all the while in a storm, and endures only because he is not knocked on the head by a drop of bigger rain, or crushed by the pressure of a load of indigested meat, or quenched by the disorder of an ill-placed humour: and to preserve a man alive in the midst of so many chances and hostilities is as great a miracle as to create him; to preserve him from rushing into nothing, and at first to draw him up from nothing were equally the issues of an almighty power. And therefore the wise men of the world have contended who shall best fit man's condition with words signifying his vanity and short abode. Honour calls a man "a leaf," the smallest, the weakest piece of a short-lived, unsteady plant. Pindar calls him "the dream of a shadow:" another "the dream of the shadow of smoke." But St. James spake by a more excellent spirit, saying, `Our life is but a vapour,'[2] viz, drawn from the earth by a celestial influence; made of smoke, or the lighter parts of water tossed with every wind, moved by the motion of a superior body, without virtue in itself, lifted up on high, or left below, according as it pleased the sun, its foster-father. But it is lighter yet. It is but appearing;[3] a fantastic vapour, an apparition, nothing real; it is not so much as a mist, not the matter of a shower, nor substantial enough to make a cloud; but it is like Cassiopeia's chair, or Pelop's shoulder, or the circles of heaven, fainorena, for which you cannot have a word that can signify a vernier nothing. And yet the expression is one degree more made diminutive; a vapour, and fantastical, or a mere appearance, and this but for a little while neither,[4] the very dream, the phantasm, disappears in a small time, "like the shadow that departed; or like a tale that is told, or as a dream when one waketh." A man is so vain, so unfixed, so perishing a creature, that he cannot long last in the scene of fancy: a man goes off, and is forgotten, like the dream of a distracted person. The sum of all is this: that thou art a man, than whom there is not in the world any greater instance of heights and declinations, of lights and shadows, of misery and folly, of laughter and tears, of groans and death.
     And because this consideration is of great usefulness and great necessity to many purposes of wisdom and the spirit, all the succession of time, all the changes in nature, all the varieties of light and darkness, the thousand thousands of accidents in the world, and every contingency to every man and to every creature, doth preach our funeral sermon, and calls us to look and see how the old sexton, Time, throws up the earth, and digs a grave, where we must lay our sins or our sorrows, and sow our bodies, till they rise again in a fair or an intolerable eternity. Every revolution which the sun makes about the world divides between life and death; and death possesses both those portions by the next morrow; and we are dead to all those months of which we have already lived, and we shall never live them over again: and still God makes little periods of our age.[5] First we change our world, when we come from the womb to feel the warmth of the sun. Then we sleep and enter into the image of death, in which state we are unconcerned in all the changes of the world: and if our mothers or our nurses die, or a wild boar destroy our vine-yards, or our king be sick, we regard it not, but, during that state, are as disinterested as if our eyes were closed with the clay that weeps in the bowels of the earth. At the end of seven years our teeth fall and die before us, representing a formal prologue to the tragedy; and still, every seven years it is odds but we shall finish the last scene: and when nature, or chance, or vice, takes our body in pieces, weakening some parts and loosing others, we taste the grave and the solemnities of our own funerals, first, in those parts that ministered to vice; and next, in them that served for ornament; and, in a short time, even they that served for necessity become useless and entangled like the wheels of a broken clock. Baldness is but a dressing to our funerals,[6] the proper ornament of mourning, and of a person entered very far into the regions and possession of death; and we have many more of the same signification - gray hairs, rotten teeth, dim eyes, trembling joints, short breath, stiff limbs, wrinkled skin, short memory, decayed appetite. Every day's necessity calls for a reparation of that portion which death fed on all night, when we lay in his lap, and slept in his outer chambers. The very spirits of a man prey upon the daily portion portion of bread and flesh, and every meal is a rescue from one death, and lays up for another; and while we think a thought, we die; and the clock strikes, and reckons on our portion of eternity: we form our words with the breath of our nostrils - we have the less to live upon for every word we speak.
     Thus nature calls us to meditate of death by those things which are the instruments of acting it; and God, by all the variety of his providence, makes us see death everywhere, in all variety of circumstances, and dressed up for all the fancies, and the expectation of every single person. Nature hath given us one harvest every year, but death hath two; and the spring and the autumn send throngs of men and women to charnel-houses; and the summer long men are recovering from their evils of the spring, till the dog-days come, and the Sirian star makes the summer deadly; and the fruits of autumn are laid up for all the year's provision, and the man that gathers them eats and surfeits, and dies and needs them not, and himself is laid up for eternity; and he that escapes till winter only stays for another opportunity, which the distempers of that quarter minister to him with great variety. Thus death reigns in all the portions of our time. The autumn with its fruit provides disorders for us, and the winter's cold turns them into sharp diseases, and the spring brings flowers to strew our hearse, and the summer gives green turf and brambles to bind upon our graves. Calentures and surfeit, cold and agues, are the four quarters of the year, and all minister to death; and you can no whither, but you tread upon a dead man's bones.
     The wild fellow, in Petronius, that escaped upon a broken table from the furies of a shipwreck, as he was sunning himself upon the rocky shore, espied a man, rolled upon his floating bed of waves, ballasted with sand in the folds of his garment, and carried by his civil enemy, the sea, towards the shore to find a grave: and it cast him into some sad thoughts;[7] that peradventure this man's wife, in some part of the continent, safe and warm, looks next month for the good man's return; or it many be, his son knows nothing of the tempest; or his father things of that affectionate kiss, which still is warm upon the good man's cheek, ever since he took a kind of farewell; and he weeps with joy to think how blessed he shall be when his beloved boy returns into the circle of his father's arms. These are the thoughts of mortals, this is the end and sum of all their designs: a dark night and an ill guide, a boisterous sea and a broken cable, a hard rock and a rough wind, dashed in pieces the fortune of a whole family; and they that shall weep loudest for the accident are not yet entered into the storm, and yet have suffered shipwreck. Then looking upon the carcass, he knew it, and found it to be the master of the ship, who, the day before, cast up the accounts of his patrimony and his trade, and named the day when he thought to be at home: see how the man swims who was so angry two days since; his passions are becalmed with the storm, his accounts cast up, his cares at an end, his voyage done, and his gains are the strange events of death, which, whether they be good or evil, the men that are alive seldom trouble themselves concerning the interest of the dead.
     But seas alone do not break our vessel in pieces: everywhere we may be shipwrecked. A valiant general, when he is to reap the harvest of his crowns and triumphs, fights unprosperously, or falls into a fever with joy and wine, and changes his laurel into cypress, his triumphal chariot to a hearse; dying the night before he was appointed to perish in the drunkenness of his festival joys. It was a sad arrest of the loosenesses and wilder feasts of the French court, when their king (Henry II.) was killed really by the sportive image of a fight. And many brides have died under the hands of paranymphs and maidens, dressing them for uneasy joy, the new and undiscerned chains of marriage, according to the saying of Bensirah, the wise Jew, "The bride went into her chamber, and knew not what should befall her there." Some have been paying their vows, and giving thanks for a prosperous return to their own house, and the roof hath descended upon their heads, and turned their loud religion into the deeper silence of a grave. And how many teeming mothers have rejoiced over their swelling wombs, and pleased themselves in becoming the channels of blessing to a family; and the midwife hath quickly bound their heads and feet, and carried them forth to burial! Or else the birth-day of an heir hath seen the coffin of the father brought into the house, and the divided mother hath been forced to travail twice, with a painful birth and a sudden death.[8]
     There is no state, no accident, no circumstance of our life, but it hath soured by some sad instance of a dying friend; a friendly meeting often ends in some mischance, and makes an eternal parting; and when the poet Eschylus was sitting under the walls of his house, an eagle hovering over his bald head mistook it for a stone, and let fall his oyster, hoping there to break the shell, but pierced the poor man's skull.
     Death meets us everywhere, and is procured by every instrument, and in all chances and enters in at many doors; by violence and secret influence; by the aspect of a star and the stink of a mist; by the emissions of a cloud and the meeting of a vapour; by the fall of a chariot and the stumbling at a stone; by a full meal or an empty stomach; by watching at the wine or by watching at prayers; by the sun or the moon; by a heat or a cold; by sleepless nights or sleeping days; by water frozen into the hardness and sharpness of a dagger,[9] or water thawed into the floods of a river; by a hair or a raisin; by violent motion or sitting still; by severity or dissolution; by God's mercy or God's anger; by everything in providence and everything in manners; by everything in nature and everything in chance.[10] Eripitur persona, manetres; we take pains to heap up things useful to our life, and get our death in the purchase; and the person is snatched away, and the goods remain. And all this is the law and constitution of nature; it is a punishment to our sins, the unalterable event of Providence, and the decree of Heaven. The chains that confine us to this condition are strong as destiny, and immutable as the eternal laws of God.
     I have conversed with some men who rejoiced in the death or calamity of others, and accounted it as a judgment upon them for being on the other side, and against them in the contention; but within the revolution of a few months the same man met with a more uneasy and unhandsome death; which when I saw, I wept, and was afraid; for I knew that it must be so with all men; for we also shall die,[11] and end our quarrels and contentions by passing to a final sentence.



The Consideration reduced to Practice.

     It will be very material to our best and noblest purposes, if we represent this scene of change and sorrow a little more dressed up in circumstances; for so we shall be more apt to practice those rules, the doctrine of which is consequent to this consideration. It is a mighty change that is made by the death of every person, and it is visible to us who are alive. Reckon but from the sprightfulness of youth, and the fair cheeks and full eyes of childhood, from the vigorousness and strong flexure of the joints of five-and-twenty, to the hollowness and dead paleness, to the loathsomeness and horror, of a three days' burial, and we shall perceive the distance to be very great and very strange. But so have I seen a rose newly springing from the clefts of its hood, and, at first, it was fair as the morning, and full with the dew of heaven, as a lamb's fleece; but when a ruder breath had forced open its virgin modesty, and dismantled its too youthful and unripe retirements, it began to put on darkness, and to decline to softness and the symptoms of a sickly age; it bowed the head, and broke its stalk; and at night, having lost some of its leaves and all its beauty, it fell into the portion of weeds and outworn faces. The same is the portion of every man and every woman; the heritage of worms and serpents, rottenness and cold dishonour, and our beauty so changed that our acquaintance quickly knew us not; and that change mingled with so much horror, or else meets so with our fears and weak discoursings, that they who, six hours ago, tended upon us, either with charitable or ambitious services, cannot, without some regret, stay in the room alone where the body lies stripped of its life and honour. I have read of a fair young German gentleman, who, living, often refused to be pictured, but put off the importunity of his friends' desire by giving way, that, after a few days' burial, they might send a painter to his vault, and, if they saw cause for it, draw the image of his death unto the life. They did so, and found his face half eaten, and his midriff and backbone full of serpents; and so he stands pictured among his armed ancestors. So does the fairest beauty change,[12] and it will be as bad with you and me; and then what servants shall we have to wait upon us in the grave? what friends to visit us? what officious people to cleanse away the moist and unwholesome cloud reflected upon our faces from the sides of the weeping vaults, which are the longest weepers for our funeral?
     This discourse will be useful, if we consider and practise the following rules and considerations respectively:
     1. All the rich and all the covetous men in the world will perceive, and all the world will perceive for them, that it is but an ill recompense for all their cares, that, by this time all that shall be left will be this,[13] that the neighbours shall say, "He died a rich man;" and yet his wealth will not profit him in the grave, but hugely swell the sad accounts of doomsday. And he that kills the Lord's people with unjust or ambitious wars, for an unrewarding interest, shall have this character;[14] that he threw away all the days of his life, that one year might be reckoned with his name, and computed by his reign or consulship: and many men, by great labours and affronts, many indignities and crimes, labour only for a pompous epitaph, and a loud title upon their marble; whilst those into whose possessions their heirs or kindred are entered are forgotten, and lie unregarded as their ashes, and without concernment or relation, as the turf upon the face of their grave.[15] A man may read a sermon, the best and most passionate that ever man preached, if he shall but enter into the sepulchres of kings. In the same Escurial where the Spanish princes live in greatness and power, and decree war or peace, they have wisely placed a cemetery, where their ashes and their glory shall sleep till time shall be no more; and where our kings have been crowned their ancestors lie interred, and they must walk over their grandsire's head to take his crown. There is an acre sown with royal seed, the copy of the greatest change, from rich to naked, from ceiled roofs to arched coffins, from living like gods to die like men. There is enough to cool the flames of lust, to abate the heights of pride, to appease the itch of covetous desires, to sully and dash out the dissembling colours of a lustful, artificial, and imaginary beauty. There the warlike and the peaceful, the fortunate and the miserable, the beloved and the despised princes mingle their dust, and pay down their symbol of mortality, and tell all the world that when we die our ashes shall be equal to kings', and our accounts easier, and our pains for our crowns shall be less. To my apprehension, it is a sad record which is left by Atheneus concerning Ninus, the great Assyrian monarch, whose life and death are summed up in these words: "Ninus, the Assyrian, had an ocean of gold, and other riches, more than the sand in the Caspian Sea; he never say the stars, and perhaps he never desired it; he never stirred up the holy fire among the Magi, nor touched his god with the sacred rod according to the laws; he never offered sacrifice, nor worshipped the deity, nor administered justice, nor spake to his people, nor numbered them; but he was most valiant to eat and drink, and having mingled his wines, he threw the rest upon the stores. This man is dead; behold his sepulchre; and now hear where Ninus is. Some time I was Ninus, and drew the breath of a living man; but now am nothing but clay. I have nothing but what I did eat, and what I served to myself in lust; that was and is all my portion. The wealth with which I was esteemed blessed, my enemies meeting together shall bear away, as the mad Thyades carry a new goat. I am gone to hell; and when I went thither I neither carried gold, nor horse, nor silver chariot. I that wore a mitre am now a little heap of dust." I know not anything that can better represent the evil condition of a wicked man, or a changing greatness.[16] From the greatest secular dignity to dust and ashes his nature bears him; and from thence to hell his sins carry him, and there he shall be for ever under the dominion of chains and devils, wrath and an intolerable calamity. This is the reward of an unsanctified condition, and a greatness ill-gotten or ill-administered.
     2. Let no man extend his thoughts, or let his hopes wander towards future and far-distant events and accidental contingencies. This day is mine and yours, but ye know not what shall be on the morrow and every morning creeps out of a dark cloud, leaving behind it an ignorance and silence deep as midnight, and undiscerned as are the phantasms that make a chrisom-child to smile; so that we cannot discern what comes hereafter,[17] unless we had a light from heaven brighter than the vision of an angel, even the spirit of prophecy. Without revelation we cannot tell whether we shall eat to-morrow, or whether a squinancy shall choke us: and it is written in the unrevealed folds of Divine predestination, that many who are this day alive shall to-morrow be laid upon the cold earth, and the women shall weep over their shroud, and dress them for their funeral. St. James, in his Epistle, notes the folly of some men, his contemporaries, who were so impatient of the event of to-morrow, or the accidents of next year, or the good or evils of old age, that they would consult astrologers and witches, oracles and devils, what should befall them the next calends-what should be the event of such a voyage-what God had written in his book concerning the success of battles, the election of emperors, the heirs of families, the price of merchandise, the return of the Tyrian fleet, the rate of Sidonian carpets: and as they were taught by the crafty and lying demons, so they would expect the issue; and oftentimes, by disposing their affairs in order towards such events, really did produce some little accidents according to their expectation; and that made them trust the oracles in greater things, and in all. Against this he opposes his counsel, that we should not search after forbidden records,[18] much less by uncertain significations: for whatsoever is disposed to happen by the order of natural causes or civil counsels, may be rescinded by a perculiar decree of Providence, or be prevented by the death of the interested persons; who, while their hopes are full, and their causes conjoined, and the work brought forward, and the sickle put into the harvest, and the first-fruits offered and ready to be eaten, even then, if they put forth their hand to an event that stands but at the door, at that door their body may be carried forth to burial before the expectation shall enter into fruition. When Richilda, the widow of Albert earl of Ebersberg, had feasted the emperor Henry III. and petitioned, in behalf of her nephew Welpho, for some lands formerly possessed by the earl her husband, just as the emperor held out his hand to signify his consent, the chamber-floor suddenly fell under them, and Richilda, falling upon the edge of a bathing-vessel, was bruised to death, and staid not to see her nephew sleep in those lands which the emperor was reaching forth to her, and placed at the door of restitution.
     3. As our hopes must be confined, so must our designs;[19] let us not project long designs, crafty plots, and diggings so deep that the intrigues of a design shall never be unfolded till our grandchildren have forgotten our virtues or our vices. The work of our soul is cut short, facile, sweet, and plain, and fitted to the small portions of our shorter life; and as we must not trouble our iniquity, so neither must we intricate our labour and purposes with what we shall never enjoy. This rule does not forbid us to plant orchards, which shall feed our nephews with their fruit; for by such provisions they do something towards an imaginary immortality, and do charity to their relatives: but such projects are reproved which discompose our present duty by long and future designs;[20] such which, by casting our labours to events at distance, make us less to remember our death standing at the door. It is fit for a man to work for his day's wages, or to contrive for the hire of a week, or to lay a train to make provisions for such a time as it is within our eye, and in our duty, and within the usual periods of man's life; for whatsoever is made necessary is also made prudent; but while we plot and busy ourselves in the toils of an ambitious war, or the levies of a great estate, night enters in upon us, and tells all the world how like fools we lived, and how deceived and miserably we died. Seneca tells of Senecio Cornelius, a man crafty in getting, and tenacious in holding, a great estate, and one who was as diligent in the care of his body as of his money, curious of his health as of his possessions, that he all day long attended upon his sick and dying friend; but when he went away, was quickly comforted, supped merrily, went to bed cheerfully, and on a sudden being surprised by a squinancy, scarce drew his breath until the morning, but by that time died, being snatched from the torrent of his fortune, and the swelling tide of wealth, and a likely hope bigger than the necessities of ten men. This accident was much noted then in Rome, because it happened in so great a fortune, and in the midst of wealthy designs; and presently it made wise men to consider how imprudent a person he is who disposes of ten years to come, when he is not lord of tomorrow.
     4. Though we must not look so far off, and pry abroad, yet we must be busy near at hand; we must, with all arts of the spirit, seize upon the present,[21] because it passes from us while we speak, and because in it all our certainty does consist. We must take our waters as out of a torrent and sudden shower, which will quickly cease dropping from above, and quickly cease running in our channels here below: this instant will never return again, and yet it may be, this instant will declare or secure the fortune of a whole eternity. The old Greeks and Romans taught us the prudence of this rule; but Christianity teaches us the religion of it. They so seized upon the present, that they would lose nothing of the day's pleasure.[22] "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we shall die;" that was their philosophy; and at their solemn feasts they would talk of death to heighten the present drinking, and that they might warm their veins with a fuller chalice, as knowing the drink that was poured upon their graves would be cold and without relish. "Break the beds, drink your wine, crown your heads with roses, and besmear your curled locks with nard; for God bids you to remember death:" so the epigrammatist speaks the sense of their drunken principles.[23] Something towards this signification is that of Solomon, "There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour; for that is his portion; for who shall bring him to see that which shall be after him?[24] But although he concludes all this to be vanity, yet because it was the best thing that was then commonly known, that they should seize upon the present with a temperate use of permitted pleasures, I had reason to say[25] that Christianity taught us to turn this into religion. For he that by a present and constant holiness secures the present, and makes it useful to his noblest purposes, he turns his condition into his best advantage, by making his unavoidable fate become his necessary religion.
     To the purpose of this rule is that collect of Tuscan hieroglyphies which we have from Gabriel Simeon: "Our life is very short; beauty is a cozenage; money is false and fugitive; empire is adious, and hated by them that have it not, and uneasy to them that have; victory is always uncertain, and peace, most commonly, is but a fraudulent bargain; old age is miserable, death is the period, and is a happy one, if it be not sorrowed by the sins of our life: but nothing continues but the effects of that wisdom which employs the present time in the acts of a holy religion and a peaceable conscience." For they make us to live even beyond our funerals, embalmed in the spices and odours of a good name, and entombed in the grave of the holy Jesus, where we shall be dressed for a blessed resurrection to the state of angels and beatified spirits.
     5. Since we stay not here, being people but of a day's abode, and our age is like that of a fly and contemporary with a gourd, we must look somewhere else for an abiding city, a place in another country to fix our house in, whose walls and foundation is God, where we must find rest, or else be restless for ever. For whatsoever ease we can have or fancy here, is shortly to be changed into sadness or tediousness;[26] it goes away too soon, like the periods of our life, or stays too long, like the sorrows of a sinner; its own weariness, or a contrary disturbance, is its load; or it is eased by its revolution into vanity and forgetfulness; and where either there is sorrow, or an end of joy, there can be no true felicity; which, because it must be had by some instrument, and in some period of our duration, we must carry up our affections to the mansions prepared for us above, where eternity is the measure, felicity is the state, angels are the company, the Lamb is the light, and God is the portion and inheritance.



Rules and Spiritual Arts of lengthening our Days, and to take off the objection of a Short Life.

     In the accounts of a man's life, we do not reckon that portion of days in which we are shut up in the prison of the womb; we tell our years from the day of our birth; and the same reason that makes our reckoning to stay so long, says also, that then it begins too soon. For then we are beholden to others to make the account for us; for we know not of a long time whether we be alive or no, having but some little approaches and symptoms of a life. To feed, and sleep, and move a little, and imperfectly, is the state of an unborn child: and when he is born he does no more for a good while; and what is it that shall make him to be esteemed to live the life of a man? and when shall that account begin? For we should be loath to have the accounts of our age taken by the measures of a beast; and fools and distracted persons are reckoned as civilly dead; they are no parts of the commonwealth, not subject to laws, but secured by them in charity, and kept from violence as a man keeps his ox; and a third part of our life is spent before we enter into a higher order, into the state of man.
     2. Neither must we thing that the life of a man begins when he can feed himself, or walk alone, when he can fight, or beget his like; for so he is contemporary with a camel or a cow; but he is first a man when he comes to a certain, steady use of reason, according to his proportion; and when that is, all the world of men cannot tell precisely. Some men are called at age at fourteen; some at one-and-twenty; some never; but all men late enough; for the life of a man comes upon him slowly and insensibly. But as, when the sun approaches towards the gates of the morning, he first opens a little eye of heaven, and sends away the spirits of darkness, and gives light to a cock, and calls up the lark to matins, and by and by gilds the fringes of a cloud, and peeps over the eastern hills, thrusting out his golden horns, like those which decked the brows of Moses when he was forced to wear a veil because himself had seen the face of God; and still, while a man tells the story, the sun gets up higher, till he shows a fair face and a full light, and then he shines one whole day, under a cloud often, and sometimes weeping great and little showers, and sets quickly; so is a man's reason and his life. He first begins to perceive himself to see or taste, making little reflections upon his actions of sense, and can discourse of hies and dogs, shells and play, horses and liberty; but when he is strong enough to enter into arts and little institutions, he is at first entertained with trifles and impertinent things, not because he needs them, but because his understanding is no bigger, and little images of things are laid before him, like a cock-boat to a whale, only to play withal; but before a man comes to be wise, he is half dead with gouts and consumptions, with catarrhs and aches, with sore eyes and a wornout body. So that if we must not reckon the life of a man but by the accounts of his reason, he is long before his soul be dressed; and he is not to be called a man without a wise and an adorned soul, a soul at least furnished with what is necessary toward his well-being; but by that time his soul is thus furnished his body is decayed; and then you can hardly reckon him to be alive, when his body is possessed by so many degrees of death.
     3. But there is yet another arrest. At first he wants strength of body, and then he wants the use of reason; and when that is come, it is ten to one but he stops by the impediments of vice, and wants the strength of the spirit; and we know that body and soul and spirit are the constituent parts of every Christian man. And now let us consider what that thing is which we call years of discretion. The young man is past his tutors, and arrived at the bondage of a caitiff spirit; he is run from discipline, and is let loose to passion; the man by this time hath wit enough to choose his vice, to act his lust, to court his mistress, to talk confidently and ignorantly and perpetually, to despise his betters, to deny nothing to his appetite, to do things that, when he is indeed a man, he must for ever be ashamed of; for this is all the discretion that most men show in the first stage of their manhood; they can discern good from evil; and they prove their skill by leaving all that is good, and wallowing in the evils of folly and an unbridled appetite. And, by this time, the young man hath contracted vicious habits, and is a beast in manners, and therefore it will not be fitting to reckon the beginning of his life; he is a fool in his understanding, and that is a sad death; and he is dead in trespasses and sins, and that is a sadder; so that he hath no life but a natural, the life of a beast or a tree; in all other capacities he is dead; he neither hath the intellectual nor the spiritual life, neither the life of a man nor of a Christian; and this sad truth lasts too long. For old age seizes upon most men while they still retain the minds of boys and vicious youth, doing actions from principles of great folly, and a mighty ignorance, admiring things useless and hurtful, and filling up all the dimensions of their abode with businesses of empty affairs, being at leisure to attend no virtue; they cannot pray because they are busy, and because they are passionate; they cannot communicate because they have quarrels and intrigues of perplexed causes, complicated hostilities, and things of the world, and therefore they cannot attend to the things of God; little considering that they must find a time to die in; when death comes they must be at leisure for that. Such men are like sailors loosing from a port, and tossed immediately with a perpetual tempest, lasting till their cordage crack, and either they sink or return back again to the same place; they did not make a voyage, though they were long at sea. The business and impertinent affairs of most men steal all their time, and they are restless in a foolish motion: but this is not the progress of a man; he is no further advanced in the course of a life, though he reckon many years;[27] for still his soul is childish and trifling like an untaught boy.
     If the parts of this sad complaint find their remedy, we have by the same instruments also cured the evils and the vanity of a short life. Therefore,
     1. Be infinitely curious you do not set back your life in the accounts of God by the intermingling of criminal actions, or the contracting of vicious habits. There are some vices which carry a sword in their hand, and cut a man off before his time. There is a sword of the Lord, and there is a sword of a man, and there is a sword of the devil. Every vice of our own managing in the matter of carnality, of lust or rage, ambition or revenge, is a sword of Satan put into the hands of a man: these are the destroying angels; sin is the Apollyon, the destroyer that is gone out, not from the Lord, but from the tempter; and we hug the poison, and twist willingly with the vipers, till they bring us into the regions of an irrecoverable sorrow. We use to reckon persons as good as dead if they have lost their limbs and their teeth, and are confined to a hospital, and converse with none but surgeons and physicians, mourners and divines, those paltinctores, the dressers of bodies and souls to funeral; but it is worse when the soul, the principle of life, is employed wholly in the offices of death, and that man was worse than dead of whom Seneca tells, that being a rich fool, when he was lifted up from the baths and set into a soft couch, asked his slaves, As ego jam sedeo? Do I now sit? The beast was so drowned in sensuality and the death of his soul, that, whether he did sit or no, he was to believe another. Idleness and every vice are as much of death as a long disease is, or the expense of ten years; and `she that lives in pleasures if dead while she liveth' (saith the apostle;) and it is the style of the Spirit concerning wicked persons, `they are dead in trespasses and sins.' For as every sensual pleasure and every day of idleness and useless living lops off a little branch from our short life, so every deadly sin, and every habitual vice does quite destroy us; but innocence leaves us in our natural portions and perfect period; we lose nothing of our life if we lose nothing of our soul's health; and therefore, he that would live a full age must avoid a sin as he would decline the regions of death and the dishonours of the grave.
     2. If we would have our life lengthened,[28] let us begin betimes to live in the accounts of reason and sober counsels, of religion and the spirit, and then we shall have no reason to complain that our abode on earth is so short; many men find it long enough, and indeed it is so to all senses. But when we spend in waste what God hath given us in plenty, when we sacrifice our youth to folly, our manhood to lust and rage, our old age to covetousness and irreligion, not beginning to live till we are to die, designing that time to virtue which indeed is infirm to everything and profitable to nothing; then we make our lives short, and lust runs away with all the vigorous and healthful part of it, and pride and animosity steal the manly portion, and craftiness and interest possess old age; velut ex pleno et abundanti perdimus, we spend as if we had too much time, and knew not what to do with it: we fear everything, like weak and silly mortals, and desire strangely and greedily, as if we were immortal; we complain our life is short, and yet we throw away much of it, and are weary of many of its parts: we complain that day is long, and the night is long, and we want company, and seek out arts to drive the time away, and then weep because it is gone too soon. But so the treasure of the capitol is but a small estate when Caesar comes to finger it, and to pay with it all his legions; and the revenue of all Egypt and the eastern provinces was but a little sum when they were to support the luxury of Mark Antony, and feed the riot of Cleopatra; but a thousand crowns is a vast proportion to be spent in the cottage of a frugal person, or to feed a hermit. Just so is our life: it is too short to serve the ambition of a haughty prince, or an usurping rebel; too little time to purchase great wealth, to satisfy the pride of a vain-glorious fool, to trample upon all the enemies of our just or unjust interest; but for the obtaining virtue, for the purchase of sobriety and modesty, for the actions of religion, God gave us time sufficient, if we make the `outgoings of the morning and evening,' that is, our infancy and old age, to be taken into the computations of a man. Which we may see in the following particulars:
     1. If our childhood, being first consecrated, by a forward baptism, be seconded by a holy education and a complying obedience; if our youth be chaste and temperate, modest and industrious, proceeding through a prudent and sober manhood to a religious old age, then we have lived our whole duration,[29] and shall never die, but be changed, in a just time, to the preparations of a better and an immortal life.
     2. If, besides the ordinary returns of our prayer and periodical and festival solemnities, and on seldom communions, we would allow to religion and the studies of wisdom those great shares that are trifled away upon vain sorrow, foolish mirth, lust, and impertinent amours, and balls and reveling and banquets, all that which was spent viciously, and all that time that lay fallow and without employment, our life would quickly amount to a great sum. Tostatus Abulensis was a very painful person, and a great clerk, and in the days of his manhood he wrote so many books, and they not ill ones, that the world computed a sheet for every day of his life; I suppose they meant after he came to the use of reason and the state of a man: and John Scotus died about the two-and-thirtieth year of his age; and yet, besides his public disputations, his daily lectures of divinity in public and private, the books that he wrote, being lately collected and printed at Lyons, do equal the number of volumes of any two the most voluminous fathers of the Latin church. Every man is not enabled to such employments, but every man is called and enabled to the works of a sober and a religious life; and there are many saints of God that can reckon as many volumes of religion and mountains of piety as those others did of good books. St. Ambrose (and I think, from his example, St. Augustine) divided every day into three tertias of employment: eight hours he spent in charity and doing assistance to others, dispatching their business, reconciling their enmities, reproving their vices, correcting their errors, instructing their ignorances, transacting the affairs of his diocese; and the other eight hours he spent in study and prayer. If we were thus minute and curious in the spending of our time, it is impossible but our life would seem very long. For so have I seen an amorous person tell the minutes of his absence from his fancied joy, and while he told the sands of his hour-glass, or the throbs and little beatings of his watch, by dividing an hour into so many members, he spun out its length by number, and so translated a day into the tediousness of a month. And if we tell our days by canonical hours of prayer, our weeks by a constant revolution of fasting-days or days of special devotion, and over all these draw a black cypress, a veil of penitential sorrow and severe mortification, we shall soon answer the calumny and objection of a short life. He that governs the day and divides the hours hastens from the eyes and observation of a merry sinner; but loves to stand still, and behold, and tell the sighs, and number the groans and sadly-delicious accents of a grieved penitent. It is a vast work that any man may do if he never be idle: and it is a huge way that a man may go in virtue if he never goes out of his way by a vicious habit or a great crime: and he that perpetually reads good books, if his parts be answerable, will have a huge stock of knowledge. It is so in all things else. Strive not to forget your time, and suffer none of it to pass undiscerned; and then measure your life, and tell me how you find the measure of its abode. However, the time we live is worth the money we pay for it; and therefore it is not to be thrown away.
     3. When vicious men are dying, and scared with the affrighting truths of an evil conscience, they would give all the world for a year, for a month: nay, we read of some that called out with amazement, inducias usque ad mane - truce but till the morning: and if that year or some few months were given, those men think they could do miracles in it. And let us awhile suppose what Dives would have done if he had been loosed from the pains of hell, and permitted to live on earth one year. Would all the pleasures of the world have kept him one hour from the temple? would he not perpetually have been under the hands of priests, or at the feet of the doctors, or by Moses' chair, or attending as near the altar as he could get, or reviving poor Lazarus, or praying to God, and crucifying all sin? I have read of a melancholy person, who saw hell but in a dream or a vision, and the amazement was such, that he would have chosen ten times to die rather than feel again so much of that horror: and such a person cannot be fancied but that he would spend a year in such holiness that the religion of a few months would equal the devotion of many years, even of a good man. Let us but compute the proportions. If we should spend all our years of reason so as such a person would spend that one, can it be thought that life would be short and trifling in which he had performed such a religion, served God with so much holiness, mortified sin with so great a labour, purchased virtue at such a rate and so rare an industry? It must needs be that such a man must die when he ought to die, and be like ripe and pleasant fruit falling from a fair tree, and gathered into baskets for the planter's use. He that hath done all his business, and is begotten to a glorious hope by the seed of an immortal spirit, can never die too soon, nor live too long!
     Xerxes wept sadly when he say his army of 1,300,000 men, because he considered that within a hundred years all the youth of that army should be dust and ashes; and yet, as Seneca well observes of him, he was the man that should bring them to their graves; and he consumed all that army in two years for whom he feared and wept the death after a hundred. Just so we do all. We complain that within thirty or forty years, a little more, or a great deal less, we shall descend again into the bowels of our mother, and that our life is too short for any great employment; and yet we throw away five-and thirty years of our forty, and the remaining five we divide between art and nature, civility and customs, necessity and convenience, prudent counsels and religion; but the portion of the last is little and contemptible, and yet that little is all that we can prudently account of our lives. We bring that fate and that death near us of whose approach we are so sadly apprehensive.
     4. In taking the accounts of your life, do not reckon by great distances, and by the periods of pleasure, or the satisfaction of your hopes, or the sating your desires; but let every intermedial day and hour pass with observation. He that reckons he hath lived but so many harvests, thinks they come not often enough, and that they go away too soon;[30] some lose the day with longing for the night, and the night in waiting for the day. Hope and fantastic expectations spend much of our lives; and while with passion we look for a coronation, or the death of an enemy, or a day of joy, passing from fancy to possession without any intermedial notices, we throw away a precious year, and use it but as the burden of our time, fit to be pared off and thrown away, that we may come at those little pleasures which first steal our hearts, and then steal our life.
     5. A strict course of piety is the way to prolong our lives in the natural sense, and to add good portions to the number of our years; and sin is sometimes by natural casualty, very often by the anger of God and the Divine judgment, a cause of sudden and untimely death. Concerning which I shall add nothing (to what I have somewhere else said of this article,[31] ) but only the observation of Epiphanius; that for three thousand three hundred and thirty-two years, even to the twentieth age, there was not one example of a son that died before his father; but the course of nature was kept, that he who was first born in the descending line did first die, (I speak of natural death, and therefore Abel cannot be opposed to this observation,) till that Terah, the father of Abraham, taught the people a new religion, to make images of clay and worship them; and concerning him it was first remarked, that `Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity:' God, by an unheard of judgment and a rare accident punishing his newly-invented crime by the untimely death of his son.
     6. But if I shall describe a living man, a man that hath that life that distinguishes him from a fool or a bird, that which gives him a capacity next to angels, we shall find that even a good man lives not long, because it is long before he is born to this life, and longer yet before he hath a man's growth. "He that can look upon death, and see its face with the same countenance with which he hears its story;[32] that can endure all the labours of his life with his soul supporting his body; that can equally despise riches when he hath them and when he hath them not; that is not sadder if they lie in his neighbour's trunks, nor more brag if they shine round about his own walls: he that is neither moved with good fortune coming to him nor going from him; that can look upon another man's lands evenly and pleasedly, as if they were his own, and yet look upon his own, and use them too, just as if they were another man's; that neither spends his goods prodigally and life a fool, nor yet keeps them avariciously and like a wretch; that weighs not benefits by weight and number, but by the mind and circumstances of him that gives them; that never thinks his charity expensive if a worthy person be the receiver; he that does nothing for opinion sake, but everything for conscience, being as curious of his thoughts as of his actings in markets and theatres, and is as much in awe of himself as a whole assembly: he that knows God looks on, and contrives his secret affairs as in the presence of God and his holy angels; that eats and drinks because he needs it, not that he may serve a lust or load his belly; he that is bountiful and cheerful to his friends, and charitable and apt to forgive his enemies; that loves his country, and obeys his prince, and desires and endeavours nothing more than that he may do honour to God:" this person may reckon his life to be the life of a man, and compute his months, not by the course of the sun, but the zodiac and circle of his virtues; because these are such things which fools and children, and birds and beasts, cannot have; these are therefore the actions of life, because they are the seeds of immortality. That day in which we have done some excellent thing we may as truly reckon to be added to our life as were the fifteen years to the days of Hezekiah.



Considerations of the miseries of Mans Life.

     As our life is very short, so it is very miserable; and therefore it is well it is short. God, in pity to mankind, lest his burden should be insupportable, and his nature an intolerable load, hath reduced our state of misery to an abbreviator; and the greater our misery is, the less while it is like to last: the sorrows of a man's spirit being like ponderous weights, which by the greatness of their burden make a swifter motion, and descend into the grave to rest and ease our wearied limbs; for then only we shall sleep quietly, when those fetters are knocked off, which not only bound our souls in prison, but also ate the flesh, till the very bones opened the secret garments of their cartilages, discovering their nakedness and sorrow.
     1. Here is no place to sit down in, but you must rise as soon as you are set, for we have gnats in our chambers, and worms in our gardens,[33] and spiders and flies in the palaces of the greatest kings. How few men in the world are prosperous! What an infinite number of slaves and beggars, of persecuted and oppressed people, fill all corners of the earth and groans, and heaven itself with weeping, prayers, and sad remembrances! How many provinces and kingdoms are afflicted by a violent war, or made desolate by popular diseases! Some whole countries are remarked with fatal evils or periodical sicknesses. Grand Cairo, in Egypt, feels the plague every three years returning like a quartan ague, and destroying many thousands of persons. All the inhabitants of Arabia, the desert, are in a continual fear of being buried in huge heaps of sand, and therefore dwell in tents and ambulatory houses, or retire to unfruitful mountains, to prolong an uneasy and wilder life. And all the countries round about the Adriatic Sea feel such violent convulsions by tempests and intolerable earthquakes, that sometimes whole cities find a tomb, and every man sinks with his own house made ready to become his monument, and his bed is crushed into the disorders of a grave. Was not all the world drowned at one deluge and breach of the divine agner? And shall not all the world again be destroyed by fire? Are there not many thousands that die every night, and that groan and weep sadly every day? But what shall we think of the great evil which for the sins of men God hath suffered to posses the greatest part of mankind? Most of the men that are now alive, or that have been living for many ages, are Jews, heathens, or Turks; and God was pleased to suffer a base epileptic person, a villain and a vicious, to set up a religion which hath filled all the nearer parts of Asia, and much of Africa, and some part of Europe; so that the greatest number of men and women born in so many kingdoms and provinces are infallibly made Mahometan, strangers and enemies to Christ, by whom alone we can be saved. This consideration is extremely sad, when we remember how universal and how great an evil it is, that so many millions of sons and daughters are born to enter into the possession of devils to eternal ages. These evils are the miseries of great parts of mankind, and we cannot easily consider more particularly the evils which happen to us, being the inseparable affections or incidents to the whole nature of man.
     2. We find that all the women in the world are either born for barrenness or the pains of childbirth, and yet this is one of our greatest blessings; but such indeed are the blessings of this world, we cannot be well with nor without many things. Perfumes make our heads ache, roses prick our fingers, and in our very blood, where our life dwells, is the scene under which nature acts many sharp fevers and heavy sicknesses. It were too sad if I should tell how many persons are afflicted with evil spirits, with spectres and illusions of the night; and that huge multitudes of men and women live upon man's flesh, nay, worse yet, upon the sins of men, upon the sins of their sons and of their daughters, and they pay their souls down for the bread they eat, buying this day's meal with the price of the last night's sin.
     3. Or if you please in charity to visit a hospital, which is indeed a map of the whole world, there you shall see the effects of Adam's sin, and the ruins of human nature; bodies laid up in heaps, like the bones of a destroyed town, homines precartt spiritus et male haerentis - men whose souls seem to be borrowed, and are kept there by art and the force of medicine - whose miseries are so great, that few people have charity or humanity enough to visit them, fewer have the heart to dress them, and we pity them in civility or with a transient prayer, but we do not feel their sorrows by the mercies of a religious pity; and, therefore, as we leave their sorrows in many degrees unrelieved and uneased, so we contract by our unmercifulness a guilt by which ourselves become liable to the same calamities. Those many that need pity, and those infinities of people that refuse to pity, are miserable upon a several charge, but yet they almost make up all mankind.
     4. All wicked men are in love with that which entangles them in huge varieties of troubles; they are slaves to the worst of masters, to sin and to the devil, to a passion and to an imperious woman. Good men are for ever persecuted, and God chastises every son whom he receives; and whatsoever is easy is trifling and worth nothing; and whatsoever is excellent is not to be obtained without labour and sorrow; and the conditions and states of men that are free from great cares are such as have in them nothing rich and orderly, and those that have are stuck full of thorns and trouble. Kings are full of care, and learned men in all ages have been observed to be very poor,[34] honestas miserias accusant - they complain of their honest miseries.
     5. But these evils are notorious and confessed; even they also whose felicity men stare at and admire, besides their splendour and the sharpness of their light, will, with their appendant sorrows, wring a tear from the most resolved eye; for not only the winter is full of storms and cold and darkness, but the beauteous spring hath blasts and sharp frosts; the fruitful teeming summer is melted with heat, and burnt with the kisses of the sun, her friend, and choked with dust; and the rich autumn is full of sickness; and we are weary of that which we enjoy, because sorrow is its biggest portion; and when we remember, that upon the fairest face is placed one of the worst sinks of the body, the nose, we may use it not only as a mortification to the pride of beauty, but as an allay to the fairest outside of condition which any of the sons and daughters of Adam do posses. For look upon kings and conquerors: I will not tell that many of them fall into the condition of servants,[35] and their subjects rule over them, and stand upon the ruins of their families, and that to such persons the sorrow is bigger than usually happens in smaller fortunes; but let us suppose them still conquerors, and see what a goodly purchase they get by all their bounds of the river Rhine: I speak in the style of the Roman greatness; for now-adays the biggest fortune swells not beyond the limits of a petty province or two, and a hill confines the progress of their prosperity, or a river checks it: but whatsoever tempts the pride and vanity of ambitious persons is not so big as the smallest star which we see scattered in disorder and unregarded upon the pavement and floor of heaven. And if we would suppose the pismires had but our understandings, they also would have the method of a man's greatness, and divide their little mole-hills into provinces and exharchates; and if they also grew as vicious and as miserable, one of their princes would lead an army out, and kill his neighbour ants, that he might reign over the next handful of a turf. But then, if we consider at what price and with what felicity all this is purchased, the sting of the painted snake will quickly appear, and the fairest of their fortunes will properly enter into this account of human infelicities.
     We may guess at it by the constitution of Augustus's fortune, who struggled for his power, first, with the Roman citizens, then with Brutus and Cassius, and all the fortune of the republic; then with his colleague, Mary Antony; then with his kindred and nearest relatives; and, after he was wearied with slaughter of the Romans, before he could sit down and rest in his imperial chair, he was forced to carry armies into Macedonia, Galatia, beyond Euphrates, Rhine, and Danubius; and when he dwelt at home in greatness, and within the circles of a mighty power, he hardly escaped the sword of the Egnatii, of Lepidus, Caepio, and Muraena: and after he had entirely reduced the felicity and grandeur into his own family, his daughter, his only child, conspired with many of the young nobility, and, being joined with adulterous complications, as with an impious sacrament,[36] they affrighted and destroyed the fortune of the old man, and wrought him more sorrow than all the troubles that were hatched in the baths and beds of Egypt between Antony and Cleopatra.[37] This was the greatest fortune that the world had then or ever since, and therefore we cannot expect it to be better in a less prosperity.
     6. The prosperity of this world is so infinitely soured with the overflowing of evils, that he is counted the most happy that hath the fewest; all conditions being evil and miserable, they are only distinguished by the number of calamities. The collector of the Roman and foreign examples, when he had reckoned two-and-twenty instances of great fortunes, every one of which had been allayed with great variety of evils; in all his reading or experience, he could tell but of two who had been famed for an entire prosperity. Quintus Metellus, and Gyges the king Lydia: and yet concerning the one of them he tells, that his felicity was so considerable (and yet it was the bigger of the two) that the oracle said that Aglaus the Sophidius, the poor Arcadian shepherd, was more happy than he-that is, he had fewer troubles; for so indeed we are to reckon the pleasures of this life; the limit of our joy is the absence of some degree of sorrow, and he that hath the least of this is the most prosperous person. But then we must look for prosperity, not in palaces or courts of princes, not in the tents of conquerors, or in the gaieties of fortunate and prevailing sinners; but rather in the cottages of honest, innocent, and contented persons, whose mind is no bigger than their fortune, nor their virtue less than their security. As for others, whose fortune looks bigger, and allures fools to follow it, like the wandering fires of the night, till they run into rivers, or are broken upon rocks with staring and running after them, they are all in the condition of Marius, than whose condition nothing was more constant, and nothing more mutable: if we reckon them amongst the miserable, they are the most miserable.[38] For just as is a man's condition, great or little, so is the state of his misery: all have their share; but kings and princes, great generals and consuls, rich men and mighty, as they have the biggest business and the biggest charge, and are answerable to God for the greatest accounts, so they have the biggest trouble, that the uneasiness of their appendage may divide the good and evil of the world, making the poor man's fortune as eligible as the greatest; and also restraining the vanity of man's spirit, which a great fortune is apt to swell from a vapour to a bubble; but God in mercy hath mingles wormwood with their wine, and so restrained the drunkenness and follies of prosperity.
     7. Man never hath one day to himself of entire peace from the things of the world, but either something troubles him, or nothing satisfies him, or his very fulness swells him and makes him breathe short upon his bed. Men's joys are troublesome; and besides that the fear of losing them takes away the present pleasure, (and a man hath need of another felicity to preserve this,) they are also wavering and full of trepidation, not only from their inconstant nature, but from their weak foundation: they arise from vanity, and they dwell upon ice, and they converse with the wind, and they have the wings of a bird, and are serious but as the resolutions of a child, commenced by chance, and managed by folly, and proceeded by inadvertency, and end in vanity and forgetfulness. So that, as Livius Drusus said of himself, he never had any play-days or days of quiet when he was a boy;[39] for he was troublesome and busy, a restless and unquiet man - the same may every man observe to be true of himself; he is always restless and uneasy, he dwells upon the waters, and leans upon thorns, and lays his head upon a sharp stone.



The Consideration reduced to Practice.

     1. The effect of this consideration is this, that the sadnesses of this life help to sweeten the bitter cup of death. For let our life be never so long, if our strength were great as that of oxen and camels, if our sinews were strong as the cordage at the foot of an oak, if we were as fighting and prosperous people as Siccius Dentatus, who was on the prevailing side in a hundred and twenty battles, who had three hundred and twelve public rewards assigned him by his generals and princes for his valour and conduct in sieges and sharp in nine triumphs; yet still the period shall be that all this shall end in death, and the people shall talk of us awhile, good or bad, according as we deserve, or as they please; and once it shall come to pass that concerning every one of us it shall be told in the neighbourhood that we are dead. This we are apt to think a sad story, but therefore let us help it with a sadder; for we therefore need not be much troubled that we shall die, because we are not here in ease, nor do we dwell in a fair condition; but our days are full of sorrow and anguish, dishonoured and made unhappy with many sins, with a frail and a foolish spirit, entangled with difficult cases of conscience, ensnared with passions, amazed with fears, full of cares, divided with curiosities and contradictory interests, made airy and impertinent with vanities, abused with ignorance and prodigious errors, made ridiculour with a thousand weaknesses, worn away with labours, loaden with diseases, daily vexed with dangers and temptations, and in love with misery: we are weakened with delights, afflicted with want, with the evils of myself and of all my family, and with the sadnesses of all my friends, and of all good men, even of the whole church; and therefore methinks we need not be troubled that God is pleased to put an end to all these troubles, and to let them sit down in a natural period, which, if we please, may be to us the beginning of a better life. When the Prince of Persia wept because his army should all die in the revolution of an age, Artabanus told him that they should all meet with evils so many and so great that every man of them should wish himself dead long before that. Indeed it were a sad thing to be cut of the stone, and we that are in health tremble to think of it; but the man that is wearied with the disease looks upon that sharpness as upon his cure and remedy; and as none need to have a tooth drawn, so none could well endure it but he that felt the pain of it in his head: so is our life so full of evils, that therefore death is no evil to them that have felt the smart of this, or hope for the joys of a better.
     2. But as it helps to ease a certain sorrow, as a fire draws out fire, and a nail drives forth a nail, so it instructs us in a present duty, that is, that we should not be so fond of a perpetual storm, nor dote upon the transient guads and gilded thorns of this world. They are not worth a passion, nor worth a sigh or a groan, not of the price of one night's watching; and therefore they are mistaken and miserable persons who, since Adam planted thorns round about paradise, are more in love with the hedge than with the fruits of the garden, sottish admirers of things that hurt them, of sweet poisons, gilded daggers, and silken halters. Tell them they have lost a bounteous friend, a rich purchase, a fair farm, a wealthy donative, and you dissolve their patience; it is an evil bigger than their spirit can bear; it brings sickness and death; they can neither eat nor sleep with such a sorrow. But if you represent to them the evils of a vicious habit, and the dangers of a state of sin, if you tell them they have displeased God, and interrupted their hopes of heaven, it may be they will be so civil as to hear it patiently, and to treat you kindly, and first to commend, and then forget your story, because they prefer this world with all its sorrows before the pure unmingled felicities of heaven. But it is strange that any man should be so passionately in love with the thorns which grow on his own ground that he should wear them for armlets, and knit them in his shirt, and prefer them before a kingdom and immortality. No man loves this world the better for his being poor; but men that love it because they have great possessions, love it because it is troublesome and chargeable, full of noise and temptation, because it is unsafe and ungoverned, flattered and abused; and he that considers the troubles of an over-long garment and of a crammed stomach, a trailing gown and a loaden table, may justly understand that all that for which men are so passionate is their hurt and their objection - that which a temperate man would avoid and a wise man cannot love.
     He that is no fool, but can consider wisely, if he be in love with this world, we need not despair but that a witty man might reconcile him with tortures, and make him think charitably of the rack, and be brought to dwell with vipers and dragons, and entertain his guests with the shrieks of mandrakes, cats, and screech-owls, with the fling of iron, and the harshness of rending of silk, or to admire the harmony that is made by a herd of evening wolves, when they miss their draught of blood in their midnight revels. The groans of a man in a fit of the stone are worse than these, and the distractions of a troubled conscience are worse than those groans; and yet a careless merry sinner is worse than all that. But if we could from one of the battlements of heaven espy how many men and women at this time lie fainting and dying for want of bread, how many young men are hewn down by the sword of war, how many poor orphans are now weeping over the graves of their father, by whose life they were enabled to eat; if we could but hear how many mariners and passengers are at this present in a storm, and shriek out because their keel dashes against a rock, or bulges under them; how many people there are that weep with want, and are mad with oppression, or are desperate by too quick a sense of a constant infelicity; in all reason we should be glad to be out of the noise and participation of so many evils. This is a place of sorrows and tears, of great evils and a constant calamity; let us remove from hence, at least in affections and preparation of mind.






Three Precepts preparatory to a Holy Death, to be practised in our whole Life.

     1. He that would die well must always look for death, every day knocking at the gates of the grave; and then the gates of the grave shall never prevail upon him to do him mischief.[40] This was the advice of all the wise and good men of the world, who, especially in the days and periods of their joy and festival egressions, chose to throw some ashes into their chalices, some sober remembrances of their fatal period.[41] Such was the black shirt of Saladine; the tombstone presented to the Emperor of Constantinople on his coronation-day; the Bishop of Rome's two reeds with flax and a fax-taper; the Egyptian skeleton served up at feasts; and Trimalcion's banquet in Petronius, in which was brought in the image of a dead man's bones of silver, with spondyles exactly returning to every of the guests,[42] and saying to every one, that you and you must die, and look not one upon another, for every one is equally concerned in this sad representment. These in fantastic semblances declare a severe counsel and useful meditation; and it is not easy for a man to be gay in his imagination, or to be drunk with joy or wine, pride or revenge, who considers sadly, that he must, ere long, dwell in a house of darkness and dishonour, and his body must be the inheritance of worms, and his soul must be what he pleases, even as a man makes it here by his living good or bad. I have read of a young hermit, who, being passionately in love with a young lady, could not, by all the arts of religion and mortification, suppress the trouble of that fancy, till at last, being told that she was dead, and had been buried about fourteen days, he went secretly to her vault, and, with the skirt of his mantle, wiped the moisture from the carcass, and still at the return of his temptation laid it before him, saying, Behold this is the beauty of the woman thou didst so much desire: and so the man found his cure. And if we make death as present to us, our own death, dwelling and dressed in all its pomp of fancy and proper circumstances - if anything will quench the heats of lust, or the desires of money, or the greedy passionate affections of this world, this must do it. But withal, the frequent use of this meditation, by curing our present inordinations, will make death safe and friendly, and by its very custom will make, that the king of terrors shall come to us without his affrighting dresses; and that we shall sit down in the grave as we compose ourselves to sleep and do the duties of nature and choice. The old people that lived near the Riphaean mountains[43] were taught to converse with death, and to handle it on all sides, and to discourse of it as of a thing that will certainly come, and ought so to do. Thence their minds and resolutions became capable of death, and they thought it a dishonourable thing with greediness to keep a life that must go from us, to lay aside its thorns, and to return again circled with a glory and a diadem.
     2. "He that would die well must, all the days of his life, lay up against the day of death,"[44] not only by the general provisions of holiness and a pious life indefinitely, but provisions proper to the necessities of that great day of expense, in which a man is to throw his last cast for an eternity of joys or sorrows, ever remembering, that this alone well performed is not enough to pass us into paradise, but that alone, done foolishly, is enough to send us to hell, and the want of either a holy life or death makes a man to fall short of the mighty price of our high calling. In order to this rule we are to consider what special graces we shall then need to exercise, and by the proper arts of the spirit, by a heap of proportioned arguments, by prayers and a great treasure of devotion laid up in heaven, provide beforehand a reserve of strength and mercy.[45] Men in the course of their lives walk lazily and incuriously, as if they had both their feet in one shoe; and when they are passably revolved to the time of their dissolution, they have no mercies in store, no patience, no faith, no charity to God or despite of the world, being without gust or appetite for the land of their inheritance, which Christ with so much pain and blood had purchased for them. When we come to die indeed, we shall be very much put to it to stand firm upon the two feet of a Christian, faith and patience. When we ourselves are to use the articles, to turn our former discourses into present practice, and to feel what we never felt before, we shall find it to be quite another thing to be willing presently to quit this life and all our present possessions for the hopes of a thing which we were never suffered to see, and such a thing of which we may fail so many ways, and of which, if we fail any, we are miserable for ever. Then we shall find how much we have need to have secured the Spirit of God and the grace of faith, by an habitual, perfect, unmovable resolution. The same also is the case of patience, which will be assaulted with sharp pains, disturbed fancies, great fears, want of a present mind, natural weaknesses, frauds of the devil, and a thousand accidents and imperfections. It concerns us therefore highly, in the whole course of our lives, not only to accustom ourselves to a patient suffering of injuries and affronts, of persecutions and loses, of cross accidents and unnecessary circumstances; but also by representing death as present to us, to consider with what arguments then to fortify our patience, and by assiduous and fervent prayer to God all our life long to call upon him to give us patience, and great assistances, a strong faith, and a confirmed hope, the Spirit of God and his holy angels assistants at that time, to resist and to subdue the devil's temptations and assaults; and so to fortify our heart, that it break not into intolerable sorrows and impatience, and end in wretchedness and infidelity. But this is to be the work of our life, and not to be done at once; but, as God gives us time, by succession, by parts and little periods. For it is very remarkable, that God who giveth plenteously to all creatures, he hath scattered the firmament with stars, as a man sows corn in his fields, in a multitude bigger than the capacities of human order; he hath made so much variety of creatures, and gives us great choice of meats and drinks, although any one of both kinds would have served our needs, and so in all instances of nature; yet in the distribution of our time God seems to be straighthanded, and gives it to us, not as nature gives us rivers, enough to drown us, but drop by drop, minute after minute, so that we never can have two minutes together, but he takes away one when he gives us another. This should teach us to value our time, since God so values it. and, by his so small distribution of it, tells us it is the most precious thing we have. Since, therefore, in the day of our death we can have still but the same little portion of this precious time, let us in every minute of our life, I mean in every discernible portion, lay up such a stock of reason and good works, that they may convey a value to the imperfect and shorter actions of our death-bed, while God rewards the piety of our lives by his gracious acceptation and benediction upon the actions preparatory to our death-bed.
     3. He that desires to die well and happily, above all things, must be careful that he do not live a soft, a delicate, and voluptuous life; but a life severe, holy, and under the discipline of the cross, under the conduct of prudence and observation, a life of warfare and sober counsels, labour and watchfulness. No man wants cause of tears and a daily sorrow. Let every man consider what he feels, and acknowledge his misery; let him confess his sin, and chastise it; let him bear his cross patiently, and his persecutions nobly, and his repentances willingly and constantly; let him pity the evils of all the world, and bear his share of the calamities of his brother; let him long and sigh for the joys of heaven; let him tremble and fear, because he hath deserved the pains of hell; let him commute his eternal fear with a temporal suffering, preventing God's judgment by passing one of his own; let him groan for the labours of his pilgrimage and the dangers of his warfare; and by that time he hath summed up all these labours and duties and contingencies, all the proper causes, instruments, and acts of sorrow, he will find that for a secular joy and wantonness of spirit there are not left many void spaces of his life. It was St. James's advice,[46] "Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into weeping;" and Bonaventure, in the life of Christ, reports that the holy virgin-mother said to St. Elizabeth, that grace does not descend into the soul of a man but by prayer and affliction.[47] Certain it is, that a mourning spirit and an afflicted body are great instruments of reconciling God to a sinner, and they always dwell at the gates of atonement and restitution. But besides this, a delicate and prosperous life is hugely contrary to the hopes of a blessed eternity. `Woe be to them that are at ease in Sion,'[48] so it was said of old; and our blessed Lord said, `Woe be to you that laugh, for ye shall weep;'[49] Here or hereafter we must have our portion of sorrows. `He that now goeth on his way weeping, and beareth forth good seed with him, shall doubtless come again with joy, and bring his sheaves with him.'[50] And certainly he that sadly considers the portion of Dives, and remembers that the account which Abraham gave him for the unavoidableness of his torment was, because he had his good things in this life, must, in all reason, with trembling run from a course of banquets and faring deliciously every day, as being a dangerous estate, and a consignation to an evil greater than all danger, the pains and torments of unhappy souls. If, either by patience or repentance, by compassion or persecution, by choice or by conformity, by severity or discipline, we allay the festival follies of a soft life, and profess under the cross of Christ, we shall more willingly and more safely enter into our grave; but the death-bed of a voluptuous man upbraids his little and cozening prosperities, and exacts pains made sharper by the passing from soft beds and a sober mind. He that would die holily and happily, must in this world love tears, humility, solitude, and repentance.



Of daily Examination of our Actions in the whole course of our Health, preparatory to our Deathbed.

     He that will die well and happily must dress his soul by a diligent and frequent scrutiny; he must perfectly understand and watch the state of his soul; he must set his house in order, before he be fit to die. And for this there is great reason and great necessity.
Reasons for a Daily Examination.
     1. For if we consider the disorders of every day, the multitude of impertinent words, the great portions of time spent in vanity, the daily omissions of duty, the coldness of our prayers, the indifference of our spirit in holy things, the uncertainty of our secret purposes, our infinite deceptions and hypocrisies, sometimes not known, very often not observed by ourselves, our want of charity, our not knowing in how many degrees of action and purpose every virtue is to be exercised, the secret adherences of pride, and too forward complacency in our best actions, our failings in all our relations, the niceties of difference between some virtues and some vices, the secret, indiscernible passages from lawful to unlawful in the first instances of change, the perpetual mistakings of permissions for duty, and licentious practices for permissions, our daily abusing the liberty that God gives us, our unsuspected sins in the managing a course of life certainly lawful, our little greedinesses in eating, our surprises in the proportions of our drinking, our too great freedoms and fondnesses in lawful loves, our aptness for things sensual, and our deadness and tediousness of spirit in spiritual employments; besides infinite variety of cases of conscience that do occur in the life of every man, and in all intercourses of every life, and that the productions of sin are numerous and increasing, like the families of the northern people, or the genealogies of the first patriarchs of the world; from all this we shall find that the computations of a man's life are busy as the tables of sines and tangents, and intricate as the accounts of eastern merchants; and therefore it were but reason we should sum up our accounts at the foot of every page, I mean that we call ourselves to scrutiny every night, when we compose ourselves to the little images of death.
     2. For if we make but one general account, and never reckon till we die, either we shall only reckon by great sums, and remember nothing but clamorous and crying sins, and never consider concerning particulars, or forget very many; or if we could consider all that we ought, we must needs be confounded with the multitude and variety. But if we observe all the little passages of our life, and reduce into the order of accounts and accusations, we shall find them multiply so fast, that it will not only appear to be an ease to the accounts of our death-bed, but by the instrument of shame will restrain the inundation of evils; it being a thing intolerable to human modesty to see sins increase so fast, and virtues grow up so slow; to see every day stained with the spots of leprosy, or sprinkled with the marks of a lesser evil.
     3. It is not intended we should take accounts of our lives only to be thought religious, but that we may see our evil and amend it, that we dash our sins against the stones, that we may go to God, and to a spiritual guide, and search for remedies, and apply them. And indeed no man can well observe his own growth in grace, but by accounting seldomer returns of sin, and a more frequent victory over temptations; concerning which every man makes his inquires and search after himself. In order to this it was that St. Paul wrote, before receiving the holy sacrament, `Let a man examine himself and so let him eat.' This precept was given in those days when they communicated every day; and therefore a daily examination also was intended.
     4. And it will appear highly fitting, if we remember that, at the day of judgment, not only the greatest lines of life, but every branch and circumstance of every action, every word and thought, shall be called to scrutiny and severe judgment; insomuch that it was a great truth which one said, Woe be to the most innocent life, if God should search into it without mixtures of mercy. And therefore we are here to follow St. Paul's advice, `Judge yourselves, and you shall not be judged of the Lord.' The way to prevent God's anger is to be angry with ourselves; and by examining our actions, and condemning the criminal, by being assessors in God's tribunal, at least we shall obtain the favour of the court. As therefore every night we must make our bed the memorial of our grave, so let our evening thoughts be an image of the day of judgment.
     5. This advice was so reasonable and proper an instrument of virtue, that it was taught even to the scholars of Pythagoras by their master;[51] Let not sleep seize upon the regions of your senses before you have three times recalled the conversation and accidents of the day." Examine what you have committed against the Divine law, what you have ommitted of your duty, and in what you have made use of the divine grace to the purposes of virtue and religion; joining the judge, reason, to the legislative mind or conscience, that God may reign there as a lawgiver and a judge. Then Christ's kingdom is set up in our hearts: then we always live in the eye of our Judge, and live by the measures of reason, religion, and sober counsels.
     The benefits we shall receive by practising this advice, in order to a blessed death, will also add to the account of reason and fair inducements.
The Benefits of this Exercise.
     1. By a daily examination of our actions we shall the easier cure a great sin, and prevent its arrival to become habitual. For to examine we suppose to be a relative duty, and instrumental to something else. We examine ourselves, that we may find out our failings and cure them; and therefore if we use our remedy when the wound is fresh and bleeding, we shall find the cure more certain and less painful. For so a taper, when its crown of flame is newly blown off, retains a nature so symbolical to light, that it will with greediness rekindle bolical to light, that it will with greediness rekindle and snatch a ray from the neighbour fire. So is the soul of man when it is newly fallen into sin; although God be angry with it, and the state of God's favour and its own graciousness is interrupted, yet the habit is not naturally changed; and still God leaves some roots of virtue standing, and the man is modest or apt to be made ashamed, and he is not grown a bold sinner; but if he sleeps on it, and returns again to the same sin, and by degrees grows in love with it, and gets the custom, and the strangeness of it is taken away, then it is his master, and is swelled into a heap, and is abetted by use, and corroborated by newly-entertained principles, and is insinuated into his nature, and hath possessed his affections, and tainted the will and the understanding; and by this time a man is in the state of a decaying merchant, his accounts are so great and so intricate, and so much in arrear, that to examine it will be but to represent the particulars of his calamity; therefore they think it better to pull the napkin before their eyes than to state upon the circumstances of their death.
     2. A daily or frequent examination of the parts of our life will interrupt the proceeding and hinder the journey of little sins into a heap. For many days do not pass the best person in which they have not many idle words or vainer thoughts to sully the fair whiteness of their souls; some indiscreet passions of trifling purposes, some impertinent discontents or unhandsome useages of their dearest relatives. And though God is not extreme to mark what is done amiss, and therefore puts these upon the accounts of his mercy, and the title of the cross; yet in two cases these little sins combine and cluster; and we know that grapes were once in so great a bunch, that one cluster was the load of two men; that is, 1. When either we are in love with small sins; or, 2. When they proceed from a careless and incurious spirit into frequency and continuance. For so the smallest atoms that dance in all the little cells of the world are so trifling and immaterial, that they cannot trouble an eye, nor vex the tenderest part of a wound where a barbed arrow dwelt; yet when, by their infinite numbers, (as Melissa and Parmenides affirm,) they danced first into order, then into little bodies, at last they made the matter of the world; so are the little indiscretions of our life; they are always inconsiderable if they be not despised, and God does not regard them if we do. We may easily keep them asunder by our daily or nightly thoughts and prayers and severe sentences; but even the least sand can check the tumultuous pride, and become a limit to the sea, when it is in a heap and in united multitudes; but if the wind scatter and divide them, the little drops and the vainer froth of the water begin to invade the strand. Our sighs can scatter such little offences; but then be sure to breathe such accents frequently, lest they knot and combine, and grow big as the shore, and we perish in sand, in trifling instances. `He that despiseth little things, shall perish by little and little:' so said the son of Sirach.[52]
     3. A frequent examination of our actions will intenerate and soften our consciences, so that they shall be impatient of any rudeness or heavier load; and he that is used to shrink, when he is pressed with a branch of twining osier,[53] will not willingly stand in the ruins of a house when the beam dashes upon the pavement. And provided that our nice and tender spirit be not vexed into scruple, nor the scruple turn into unreasonable fears, nor the fears into superstition; he that, by any arts, can make his spirit tender and apt for religious impressions, hath made the fairest seat for religion, and the unaptest and uneasiest entertainment for sin and eternal death, in the whole world.
     4. A frequent examination of the smallest parts of our lives is the best instrument to make our repentance particular, and a fit remedy to all the members of the whole body of sin. For our examination, put off to our death-bed, of necessity brings us into this condition, that very many thousands of our sins must be (or not be at all) washed off with a general repentance, which the more general and indefinite it is, it is ever so much the worse. And if he that repents the longest and the oftenest, and upon the most instances, is still, during his whole life, but an imperfect penitent, and there are very many reserves left to be wiped off by God's mercies, and to be eased by collateral assistances, or to be groaned for at the terrible day of judgment; it will be but a sad story to consider that the sins of a whole life, or of very great portions of it, shall be put upon the remedy of one examination, and the advices of one discourse, and the activities of a decayed body, and a weak and an amazed spirit. Let us do the best we can, we shall find that the mere sins of ignorance and unavoidable forgetfulness will be enough to be entrusted to such a bank; and if that a general repentance will serve towards their expiation, it will be an infinite mercy; but we have nothing to warrant our confidence, if we shall think it to be enough on our death-bed to confess the notorious actions of our lives, and to say, "The Lord be merciful unto me for the infinite transgressions of my life, which I have wilfully or carelessly forgot;" for very many of which the repentance, the distinct, particular, circumstantiate repentance of a whole life have been too little if we could have done more.
     5. After the enumeration of these advantages, I shall not need to add, that if we decline or refuse to call ourselves frequently to account, and to use daily advices concerning the state of our souls, it is a very ill sign that our souls are not right with God, or that they do not dwell in religion. But this I shall say, that they who do use this exercise frequently will make their conscience much at ease, by casting out a daily load of humour and surfeit, the matter of diseases and the instruments of death. "He that does not frequently search his conscience, is a house without a window," and like a wild untutored son of a fond and undiscerning widow.
     But if this exercise seem too great a trouble, and that by such advices religion will seem a burden, I have two things to oppose against it:
     1. One is, that we had better bear the burden of the Lord than the burden of a base and polluted conscience. Religion cannot be so great a trouble as a guilty soul; and whatsoever trouble can be fancied in this or any other action of religion, it is only to inexperienced persons. It may be a trouble at first, just as is every change and every new accident; but if you do it frequently, and accustom your spirit to it, as the custom will make it easy,[54] so the advantages will make it delectable; that will make it facile as nature, these will make it as pleasant and eligible as reward.
     2. The other thing I have to say is this, that to examine our lives will be no trouble, if we do not intricate it with the businesses of the world and the labyrinths of care and impertinent affairs.[55] A man needs a quiet and disentangled life who comes to search into all his actions, and to make judgment concerning his errors and his needs, his remedies and his hopes. They that have great intrigues of the world have a yoke upon their necks and cannot look back; and he that covets many things greedily, and snatches at high things ambitiously, that despises his neighbour proudly, and bears this crosses peevishly, or his prosperity impotently and passionately; he that is prodigal of his precious time, and is tenacious and retentive of evil purposes, is not a man disposed to this exercise; he hath reason to be afraid of his own memory, and to dash his glass in pieces, because it must needs represent to his own eyes an intolerable deformity. He therefore that resolves to live well, whatsoever it costs him; he that will go to heaven at any rate, shall best tend this duty by neglecting the affairs of the world in all things where prudently he may. But of our death-bed and the examination made by a disturbed understanding will be very empty of comfort and full of inconveniences.
     6. For hence it comes that men die so timorously and uncomfortably, as if they were forced out of their lives by the violence of an executioner. Then, without much examination, they remember how wickedly they have lived, without religion, against the laws of the covenant of grace, without God in the world; then they see sin goes off like an amazed, wounded, affrighted person from a lost battle, without honour, without a veil, with nothing but shame and sad remembrances; then they can consider, that if they had lived virtuously all the trouble and objection of that would now be past, and all that had remained should be peace and joy, and all that good which dwells within the house of God and eternal life. But now they find they have done amiss and dealt wickedly, they have no bank of good works, but a huge treasure of wrath, and they are going to a strange place, and what shall be their lot is uncertain: (so they say, when they would comfort and flatter themselves:) but in truth of religion their portion is sad and intolerable, without hope and without refreshment, and they must use little silly arts to make them go off from their stage of sins with some handsome circumstances of opinion: they will in civility be abused, that they may die quietly, and go decently to their execution, and leave their friends indifferently contented, and apt to be comforted; and by that time they are gone awhile they see that they deceived themselves all their days, and were by others deceived at last.
     Let us make it our own case: we shall come to that state and period of condition in which we shall be infinitely comforted if we have lived well; or else be amazed and go off trembling, because we are guilty of heaps of unrepented and unforsaken sins. It may happen, we shall not then understand it so, because most men of late ages have been abused with false principles, and they are taught (or they are willing to believe) that a little thing is enough to save them, and that heaven is so cheap a purchase that it will fall upon them whether they will or no. The misery of it is, they will not suffer themselves to be confuted till it be too late to recant their error. In the interim, they are impatient to be examined, as a leper is of a comb, and are greedy of the world, as children of raw fruit; and they hate a severe reproof as they do thorns in their bed; and they love to lay aside religion as a drunken person does to forget his sorrow; and all the way they dream of fine things and their dreams prove contrary, and become the hieroglyphics of an eternal sorrow. The daughter of Polycrates dreamed that her father was lifted up, and that Jupiter washed him, and the sun annointed him; but it proved to him but a sad prosperity; for after a long life of constant prosperous success he was surprised by his enemies, and hanged up till the dew of heaven wet his cheeks, and the sun melted his grease. Such is the condition of those persons who, living either in the despite or in the neglect of religion, lie wallowing in the drunkenness of prosperity or worldly cares; they think themselves to be exalted, till the evil day overtakes them; and then they can expound their dream of life to end in a sad and hopeless death. I remember that Cleomenes was called a god by the Egyptians, because when he was hanged a serpent grew out of his body, and wrapped itself about his head, till the philosophers of Egypt said it was natural that from the marrow of some bodies such productions should arise. And indeed it represents the condition of some men, who being dead are esteemed saints and beatified persons, when their head is encircled with dragons and is entered into the possession of devils, that old serpent and deceiver. For indeed their life was secretly so corrupted, that such serpents fed upon the ruins of the spirit, and the decays of grace and reason. To be cozened in making judgments concerning our final condition is extremely easy; but if we be cozened we are infinitely miserable.



Of exercising Charity during our whole Life.

     He that would die well and happily must in his lifetime, according to all his capacities, exercise charity;[56] and because religion is the life of the soul, and charity is the life of religion, the same which gives life to the better part of man, which never dies, may obtain of God a mercy to the inferior part of man in the day of its dissolution.
     1. Charity is the great channel through which God passes all his mercy upon mankind. For we receive absolution of our sins in proportion to our forgiving our brother. This is the rule of our hopes, and the measure of our desire in this world; and in the day of death and judgment the great sentence upon mankind shall to transacted according to our alms, which is the other part of charity. Certain it is, that God cannot, will not, never did, reject a charitable man in his greatest needs and in his most passionate prayers;[57] for God himself is love, and every degree of charity that dwells in us is the participation of the divine nature; and therefore, when upon our death-bed a cloud covers our head, and we are enwrapped with sorrow; when we feel the weight of a sickness, and do not feel the refreshing visitations of God's loving-kindness; when we have many things to trouble us, and looking round about us we see no comforter; then call to mind what injuries you have forgiven, how apt you were to pardon all affronts and real persecutions, how you embraced peace when it was offered you, how you followed after peace when it ran from you; and when you are weary of one side, turn upon the other, and remember the alms that, by the grace of God and his assistances, you have done, and look up to God, and with the eye of faith behold him coming in the cloud, and pronouncing the sentence of doom's day according to his mercies and they charity.
     2. Charity with his twin-daughters, alms and forgiveness, is especially effectual for the procuring God's mercies in the day and manner of our death. `Alms deliver from death,' said old Tobias;[58] and `alms make an atonement for sins,[59] and the son of Sirach:[60] and so said Daniel, and so say all the wise men of the world. And in this sense, also, is that of St. Peter, `Love covers a multitude of sins; and St. Clement in his Constitutions gives this counsel, "If you have anything in your hands, give it, that it may work to the remission of thy sins; for by faith and alms sins are purged. The same also is the counsel of Salvian, who wonders that men, who are guilty of great and many sins, will not work out their pardon by alms and mercy. But this also must be added out of the words of Lactanius, who makes this rule complete and useful; "But think not, because sins are taken away by alms, that by thy money thou mayest purchase a license to sin; for sins are abolished if because thou hast sinned thou givest to God," that is, to God's poor servants, and his indigent necessitous creatures; but if thou sinnest upon confidence of giving, thy sins are not abolished. For God desires infinitely that men should be purged from their sins, and therefore commands us to repent; but to repent is nothing else but to profess and affirm (that is, to purpose, and to make good that purpose) that they will sin no more.[61]
     Now alms are therefore effective to the abolition and pardon of our sins, because they are preparatory to, and impetratory of, the grace of repentance, and are fruits of repentance; and therefore St. Chrysostom affirms, that repentance without alms is dead, and without wings, and can never soar upwards to the element of love. But because they are a part of repentance, and hugely pleasing to Almighty God, therefore they deliver us from the evils of an unhappy and accursed death; for so Christ delivered his disciples from the sea when he appeased the storm, though they still sailed in the channel: and this St. Jerome verifies with all his reading and experience, saying, "I do not remember to have read that ever any charitable person died an evil death." And although a long experience hath observed God's mercies to descend upon charitable people, like the dew upon Gideon's fleece, when all the world was dry; yet for this also we have a promise, which is not only an argument of a certain number of years (as experience is,) but a security for eternal ages. `Make ye friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, that when ye fail they may receive you into everlasting habitations. When faith fails, and chastity is useless, and temperance shall be no more, then charity shall bear you upon wings of cherubim to the eternal mountain of the Lord. "I have been a lover of mankind, and a friend, and merciful' and now I expect to communicate in that great kindness which he shows that is the great God and Father of men and mercies," said Cyrus the Persian on his death-bed.
     I do not mean this should only be a death-bed charity, any more than a death-bed repentance; but it ought to be the charity of our life and healthful years, a parting with portions of our goods then, when we can keep them: we must not first kindle our lights when we are to descend into our houses of darkness, or bring a glaring torch suddenly to a dark room that will amaze the eye, and not delight it or instruct the body; but if our tapers have, in their constant course, descended into their grave, crowned all the way with light, then let the death-bed charity be doubled, and the light burn brightest when it is to deck our hearse. But concerning this I shall afterwards give account.



General Considerations to enforce the former Practices.

     These are the general instruments of preparation in order to a holy death: it will concern us all to use them diligently and speedily; for we must be long in doing that which must be done but once: and therefore we must begin betimes, and lose no time; especially since it is so great a venture, and upon it depends so great a stake. Seneca said well, "There is no science or art in the world so hard as to live and die well: the professors of other arts are vulgar and many;" but he that knows how to do this business is certainly instructed to eternity. But then let me remember this, that a wise person will also put most upon the greatest interest. Common prudence will teach us this. No man will hire a general to cut wood, or shake hay with a sceptre, or spend his soul and all his faculties upon the purchase of a cockleshell; but he will fit instruments to the dignity and exigence of the design: and, therefore, since heaven is so glorious a state, and so certainly designed for us if we please, let us spend all that we have, all our passions and affections, all our study and industry, all our desires and stratagems, all our witty and ingenious faculties, towards the arriving thither; whither if we do come, every minute will infinitely pay for all the troubles of our whole life; if we do not, we shall have the reward of fools, an unpitied and an upbraided misery.
     To this purpose I shall represent the state of dying and dead men in the devout words of some of the fathers of the church, whose sense I shall exactly keep, but change their order; that by placing some of their dispersed meditations into a chain or sequel of discourse, I may with their precious stones make a union, and compose them into a jewel; for though the meditation is plain and easy, yet it is affectionate and material, and true and necessary.
The Circumstances of a Dying Man's Sorrow and Danger.
     When the sentence of death is decreed and begins to be put in execution, it is sorrow enough to see or feel respectively the sad accents of the agony and last contentions of the soul, and the reluctances and unwillingnesses of the body: the forehead washed with a new and stranger baptism, besmeared with a cold sweat, tenacious and clammy, apt to make it cleave to the roof of his coffin; the nose cold and undiscerning, not pleased with perfumes, nor suffering violence with a cloud of unwholesome smoke; the eyes dim as a sullied mirror, or the face of heaven when God shows his anger in a prodigious storm; the feet cold, the hands stiff, the physicians despairing, our friends weeping, the rooms dressed with darkness and sorrow, and the exterior parts betraying what are the violences which the soul and spirit suffer; the nobler part, like the lord of the house, being assaulted by exterior rudenesses, and driven from all the outworks, at last, faint and weary with short and frequent breathings, interrupted with the longer accents of sighs, without moisture but the excrescences of a split humour- when the pitcher is broken at the cistern, it retires to its last fort, the heart, whither it is pursued, and stormed, and beaten out, as when the barbarous Thracian sacked the glory of the Grecian empire. Then calamity is great, and sorrow rules in all the capacities of man; then the mourners weep, because it is civil, or because they need thee, or because they fear: but who suffers for thee with a compassion sharp as is thy pain? Then the noise is like the faint echo of a distant valley, and few hear, and they will not regard thee, who seemest like a person void of understanding and of a departing interest. Vere tremendum est mortis sacramentum. But these accidents are common to all that die; and when a special Providence shall distinguish them, they shall die with easy circumstances; but as no piety can secure it, so must no confidence expect it, but wait for the time, and accept the manner of the dissolution. But that which distinguishes them is this:
     He that hath lives a wicked life, if his conscience be alarmed, and that he does not die like a wolf or a tiger, without sense or remorse of all his wildness and his injury, his beastly nature and desert and untilled manners - if he have but sense of what he is going to suffer, or what he may expect to be his portion - then we may expect to be his portion - then we may imagine the terror of their abused fancies, how they see affrighting shapes, and, because they fear them, they feel the gripes of devils, urging the unwilling souls from the kinder and fast embraces of the body, calling to the grave and hastening to judgment, exhibiting great bills of uncancelled crimes, awaking and amazing the conscience, breaking all their hope in pieces, and making faith useless and terrible, because the malice was great, and the charity was none at all. Then they look for some to have pity on them, but there is no man.[62] No man dares be their pledge: no man can redeem their soul, which now feels what it never feared. Then the tremblings and the sorrow, the memory of the past sin, and the fear of future pains, and the sense of an angry God, and the presence of some devils, consign him to the eternal company of all the damned and accursed spirits.[63] Then they want an angel for their guide, and the Holy Spirit for their comforter, and a good conscience for their testimony, and Christ for their advocate; and they die and are left in prisons of earth or air, in secret and undiscerned regions, to weep and tremble, and infinitely to fear the coming of the day of Christ; at which time they shall be brought froth to change their condition into a worse, where they shall for ever feel more than we can believe and understand.
     But when a good man dies, one that hath lived innocently, or made joy in heaven at his timely and effective repentance, and in whose behalf the holy Jesus hath interceded prosperously, and for whose interest the Spirit makes interpellations with groans and sighs unutterable, and in whose defence the angels drive away the devils on his death-bed, because his sins are pardoned, and because he resisted the devil in his life-time, and fought successfully, and persevered unto the end; then the joys break forth through the clouds of sickness, and the conscience stands upright, and confesses the glories of God, and owns so much integrity, that it can hope for pardon, and obtain it too; then the sorrows of the sickness, and the flames of the fever, or the faintness of the consumption, do but untie the soul from its chain, and let it go forth, first into liberty, and then to glory; for it is but for a little while that the face of the sky was black, like the preparations of the night, but quickly the cloud was torn and rent, the violence of thunder parted it into little portions, that the sun might look forth with a watery eye, and then shine without a tear. But it is an infinite refreshment to remember all the comforts of his prayers, the frequent victory over his temptations, the mortification of his lust, the noblest sacrifice to God in which he most delights, that we have given him our wills and killed our appetites for the interests of his services; then all the trouble of that is gone; and what remains is a portion in the inheritance of Jesus, of which he now talks no more as a thing at distance, but is entering into the possession. When the veil is rent, and the prison-doors are open at the presence of God's angel, the soul goes forth full of hope, sometimes with evidence, but always with certainty in the thing, and instantly it passes into the throngs of spirits, where angels meet it singing, and the devils flock with malicious and vile purposes, desiring to lead it away with them into their houses of sorrow: there they see things which they never saw, and hear voices which they never heard. There the devils charge them with many sins, and the angels remember that themselves rejoiced when they were repented of. Then the devils aggravate and describe all the circumstances of the sin, and add calumnies; and the angels bear the sword forward still, because their Lord doth answer for them. Then the devils rage and gnash their teeth; they see the soul chaste and pure, and they are ashamed; they see it penitent, and they despair; they perceive that the tongue was refrained and sanctified, and then hold their peace. Then the soul passes forth and rejoices, passing by the devils in scorn and triumph, being securely carried into the bosom of the Lord, where they shall rest till their crowns are finished, and their mansions are prepared; and then they shall feast and sing, rejoice and worship, for ever and ever. Fearful and formidable to unholy persons is the first meeting with spirits in their separation. But the victory which holy souls receive by the mercies of Jesus Christ, and the conduct of angels, is a joy that we must not understand till we feel it; and yet such which by an early and a persevering piety we may secure; but let us inquire after it no further, because it is secret.






Of the State of Sickness.

     Adam's sin brought death into the world, and man did die the same day in which he sinned, according as God had threatened. He did not die as death is taken for a separation of soul and body; that is not death properly, but the ending of the last act of death; just as a man is said to be borne in his mother's womb; but whereas to man was intended a life long and happy, without sickness, sorrow, or infelicity, and this life should be lived here or in a better place, and the passage from one to the other should have been easy, safe, and pleasant, now that man sinned he fell from that state to a contrary.
     If Adam had stood, he should not always have lived in this world; for this world was not a place capable of giving a dwelling to all those myriads of men and women which should have been born in all the generations of infinite and eternal ages; for so it must have been if man had not died at all, nor yet have removed hence at all. Neither is it likely that man's innocence should have lost to him all possibility of going thither, where the duration is better, measured by a better time, subject to fewer changes, and which is now the reward of a returning virtue which in all natural senses is less than innocence, save that it is heightened by Christ to an equality of acceptation with the state of innocence; but so it must have been that his innocence should have been punished with an eternal confinement to this state, which in all reason is the less perfect, the state of a traveler, not of one possessed of his inheritance. It is therefore certain man should have changed his abode; for so did Enoch, and so did Elias, and so shall all the world that shall be alive at the day of judgment; they shall not die, but they shall change their place and their abode, their duration and their state, and all this without death.
     That death, therefore, which God threatened to Adam, and which passed upon his posterity, is not the going out of this world, but the manner of going. If he had stayed in innocence, he should not have died by sickness, misfortune, defect, or unwillingness; but when he fell, then he began to die - the same day; (so said God;) and that must needs be true: and therefore it must mean that upon that very day he fell into an evil and dangerous condition, a state of change and affliction; then death began, that is, the man began to die by a natural diminution and aptness to disease and misery. His first state was and should have been (so long as it lasted) a happy duration; his second was a daily and miserable change; and this was the dying properly.
     This appears in the great instance of damnation, which, in the style of Scripture, is called eternal death; not because it kills or ends duration - it hath not so much good in it - but because it is a perpetual infelicity. Change or separation of soul and body is but accidental to death; death may be with or without either; but the formality, the curse, and the sting of death, that is, misery, sorrow, fear, diminution, defect, anguish, dishonour, and whatsoever is miserable and afflictive in nature, that is death. Death is not an action, but a whole state and condition; and this was first brought in upon us by the offence of one man.
     But this went no further than thus to subject us to temporal infelicity. If it had proceeded so far as was supposed, man had been much more miserable, for man had more than one original sin in this sense; and though this death entered first upon us by Adam's fault, yet it came nearer unto us, and increased upon us by the sins of more of our forefathers; for Adam's sin left us in strength enough to contend with human calamities for almost a thousand years together. But the sins of his children, our forefathers, took off from us half the strength about the time of the flood; and then from five hundred to two hundred and fifty, and from thence to one hundred and twenty, and from thence to threescore and ten; so often halving it till it is almost come to nothing. But by the sins of men in the several generations of the world, death, that is, misery and disease, is hastened so upon us that we are of a contemptible age; and because we are to die by suffering evils, and by the daily lessening of our strength and health, this death is so long a doing, that it makes so great a part of our short life useless and unserviceable, that we have not time enough to get the perfection of a single manufacture; but ten or twelve generations of the world must go to the making up of one wise man, or one excellent art; and in the succession of those ages there happen so many changes and interruptions, so many wars and violences, that seven years' fighting sets a whole kingdom back in learning and virtue to which they were creeping, it may be a whole age.
     And thus also we do evil to our posterity as Adam did to his, and Cham did to his, and Eli to his, and all they to theirs who by sins caused God to shorten the life and multiply the evils of mankind; and for this reason it is the world grows worse and worse, because so many original sins are multiplied, and so many evils from parents descend upon the succeeding generations of men, that they derive nothing from us but original misery.
     But he who restored the law of nature did also restore us to the condition of nature, which, being violated by the introduction of death, Christ then repaired when he suffered and overcame death for us; that is, he hath taken away the unhappiness of sickness and the sting of death, and the dishonurs of the grave, of dissolution and weakness, of decay and change, and hath turned them into acts of favour, into instances of comfort, into opportunities of virtue; Christ hath now knit them into rosaries and coronets; he hath put them into promises and rewards; he hath made them part of the portion of his elect: they are instruments and earnests, and securities and passage to the greatest perfection of human nature and the divine promises. So that it is possible for us now to be reconciled to sickness; it came in by sin, and therefore is cured when it is turned into virtue; and although it may have in it the uneasiness of labour, yet it will not be uneasy as sin, or the restlessness of a discomposed conscience. If therefore, we can well manage our state of sickness, that we may not fall by pain, as we usually do by pleasure, we need not fear; for no evil shall happen to us.



Of the First Temptation proper to the State of Sickness - Impatience.

     Men that are in health are severe exactors of patience at the hands of them that are sick; and they usually judge it not by terms of relation between God and the suffering man, but between him and the friends that stand by the bed-side. It will be, therefore, necessary that we truly understand to what duties and actions the patience of a sick man ought to extend.
     1. Sighs and groans, sorrow and prayers, humble complaints and dolorous[64] expressions, are the sad accents of a sick man's language; for it is not to be expected that a sick man should act a part of patience with a countenance like an orator, or grave like a dramatic person; it were well if all men could bear an exterior decency in their sickness, and regulate their voice, their face, their discourse, and all their circumstances, by the measures and proportions of comeliness and satisfaction to all the standers by. But this would better please them than assist him; the sick man would do more good to others than he would receive to himself.
     2.Therefore silence and still composures, and not complaining, are no parts of a sick man's duty; they are not necessary parts of patience.[65] We find that David roared the the very disquietness of his sickness; and he lay chattering like a swallow, and his throat was dry with calling for help upon his God. That is the proper voice of sickness; and certain it is that the proper voices of sickness are expressly vocal and petitory in the ears of God, and call for pity in the same accent as the cries and oppressions of widows and orphans do for vengeance upon their persecutors, though they say no collect against them. For there is the voice of man, and there is the voice of the disease, and God hears both; and the louder the disease speaks, there is the greater need of mercy and pity, and therefore God will the sooner hear it. Abel's blood had a voice, and cried to God; and humility hath a voice, and cries so loud to God that it pierces the clouds; and so hath every sorrow and every sickness; and when a man cries out and complains but according to the sorrows of his pain, it cannot be any part of a culpable impatience, but an argument for pity.
     3. Some men's senses are so subtile, and their perceptions so quick and full of relish, and their spirits so active, that the same load is double upon them to what it is to another person; and therefore comparing the expressions of the one to the silence of the other, a different judgment cannot be made concerning their patience. Some natures are querulous and melancholy and soft and nice and tender and weeping and expressive; others are sullen, dull, without apprehension, apt to tolerate and carry burdens; and the crucifixion of our blessed Saviour falling upon a delicate and virgin body, of curious temper, and strict, equal composition, was naturally more full of torment than that of the ruder thieves, whose proportions were courser and uneven.
     4. In this case it was no imprudent advice which Cicero gave;[66] nothing in the world is more amiable than an even temper in our whole life, and in every action; but this evenness cannot be kept unless every man follows his own nature, without striving to imitate the circumstances of another. And what is so in the thing itself ought to be so in our judgments concerning the things. We must not call any one impatient if he be not silent in a fever, as if he were asleep, or as if he were dull as Herod's son of Athens.
     5. Nature in some cases hath made cryings out and exclamations to be an entertainment of the spirit, and an abatement or diversion of the pain. For so did the old champions when they threw their fatal nets that they might load their enemy with the snares and weights of death; they groaned aloud, and sent forth the anguish of their spirit into the eyes and heart of the man that stood against them; so it is in the endurance of some sharp pains, the complaints and shriekings, the sharp groans and the tender accents, send forth the afflicted spirits, and force a way that may ease their oppression and their load; that, when they have spent some of their sorrows by a sally forth, they may return better able to fortify the heart. Nothing of this is a certain sign, much less an action or part of impatience; and when our blessed Saviour suffered his last and sharpest pang of sorrow, he cried out with a loud voice, and resolved to die, and did so.



Constituent or Integral Parts of Patience.

     1. That we may secure our patience we must take care that our complaints be without despair. Despair sins against the reputation of God's goodness, and the efficacy of all our old experience. By despair we destroy the greatest comfort of our sorrow's, and turn our sickness into the state of devils and perishing souls. No affliction is greater than despair; for that is it which makes hell-fire, and turn's a natural evil into an intolerable; it hinders prayers, and fills up the intervals of sickness with a worse torture; it makes all spiritual arts useless, and the office of spiritual comforters and guides to be impertinent.
     Against this; hope is to be opposed; and its proper acts, as it relates to the virtue and exercises of patient are, 1. Praying to God for help and remedy; 2. Sending for the guides of souls; 3. Using all holy exercises and acts of grace proper to that state, which whoso does hath not the impatience of despair; every man that is patient hath hope in God in the day of his sorrows.
     2. Our complaints in sickness must be without murmur. Murmur sins against God's providence and government; by it we grow rude, and, like the falling angels, displeased at God's supremacy; and nothing is more unreasonable - to talks against God, for whose glory all speech was made; it is proud and fantastic, hath better opinions of a sinner than of the Divine justice, and would rather accuse God than himself.
     Against this is opposed that part of patience which resigns the man into the hands of God, saying with old Eli, `It is the Lord, let him do what he will;' and, `Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven;' and so by admiring God's justice and wisdom does also dispose the sick person for receiving God's mercy, and secures him the rather in the grace of God. The proper acts of this part of patience are, 1. To confess our sins and our own demerits; 2. It increases and exercises humility; 3. It loves to sing praises to God, even from the lowest abyss of human misery.
     3. Our complaints in sickness must be without peevishness. This sins against civility and that necessary decency which must be used towards the ministers and assistants. By peevishness we increase our own sorrows, and are troublesome to them that stand there to ease ours. It hath in it harshness of nature and ungentleness, wilfulness and fantastic opinions, morosity and incivility.
     Against it are opposed obedience, tractability, easiness of persuasion, aptness to take counsel. The acts of this part of patience are, 1. To obey our physicians; 2. To treat our persons with respect to our present necessities; 3. Not to be ungentle and uneasy to the ministers and nurses that attend us, but to take their diligent and kind offices as sweetly as we can, and to bear their indiscretions or unhandsome accidents contentedly and without disquietness within, or evil language or angry words without; 4. Not to use unlawful means for our recovery.
     If we secure these particulars, we are not lightly to be judged of by noises and postures, by colours and images of things, by paleness, or tossing from side to side. For it were a hard thing that those persons who are loaden with the greatest of human calamities should be strictly tied to ceremonies and forms of things. He is patient that calls upon God; that hopes for health or heaven; that believes God is wise and just in sending him afflictions; that confesses his sins, and accuses himself and justifies God; that expects God will turn this into good; that is civil to his physicians and his servants; that converses with the guides of souls, the ministers of religion; and in all things submits to God's will, and would use no indirect means for his recovery; but had rather be sick and die than enter at all into God's displeasure.



Remedies against Impatience, by way of Consideration.

     As it happens concerning death, so it is in sickness, which is death's handmaid. It hath the fate to suffer calumny and reproach, and hath a name worse than its nature.
     1. For there is no sickness so great but children endure it, and have natural strengths to bear them out quite through the calamity, what period soever nature hath allotted it. Indeed they make no reflections upon their sufferings, and complain of sickness with an uneasy sigh or a natural groan, but consider not what the sorrows of sickness mean; and so bear it by a direct sufferance, and as a piller bears the weight of a roof. But, then, why cannot we bear it so too? For this which we all a reflection upon, or a considering of our sickness, is nothing but a perfect instrument of trouble, and consequently a temptation to impatience. It serves no end of nature; it may be avoided, and we may consider it only as an expression of God's anger, and an emissary or procurator of repentance. But all other considering it,[67] except where it serves the purposes of medicine and art, is nothing but, under the colour of reason, and unreasonable device to heighten the sickness and increase the torment. But, then, as children want this act of reflex perception or reasonable sense whereby they should be able to support it. For certain it is, reason was as well given us to harden our spirits, and stiffen them in passions and sad accidents, as to make us bending and apt for action; and if in men God hath heightened the faculties of apprehension, he hath increased the auxiliaries of reasonable strengths; that God's rod and God's staff might go together, and the beam of God's countenance may as well refresh us with its light as scorch us with its heat. For poor children that endure so much have not inward supports and refreshments to bear them through it; they never heard the sayings of old men, nor have been taught the principles of severe philosophy, nor are assisted with the results of a long experience, nor know they how to turn a sickness into virtue, and a fever into a reward; nor have they any sense of favours, the remembrance of which may alleviate their burden; and yet nature hath in them teeth and nails enough to scratch and fight against the sickness, and by such aids as God is pleased to give them they wade through the storm and murmur not. And besides this, yet, although infants have not such brisk perceptions upon the stock of reason, they have a more tender feelings upon the accounts of sense, and their flesh is as uneasy by their natural softness and weak shoulders as ours by too forward apprehensions. Therefore bear up; either you, or I, or some man wiser, and many a woman weaker than us both, or the very children, have endured worse evil than this that is upon thee now.
     That sorrow is hugely tolerable which gives its smart but by instants and smallest proportions of time. No man at once feels the sickness of a week or of a whole day, but the smart of an instant; and still every portion of a minute feels but its proper share; and the last groan ended all the sorrow of its peculiar burden. And what minute can that be which can pretend to be intolerable? and the next minute is but the same as the last, and the pain flows like the drops of a river, or the little shreds of time; and if we do but take care of the present minute, it cannot seem a great charge or a great burden; but that care will secure our duty, if we still but secure the present minute.
     3. If we consider how much men can suffer if they list, and how much they do suffer for greater and little causes, and that no causes are greater than the proper causes of patience in sickness, (that is necessity and religion,) we cannot, without huge shame to our nature, to our persons, and to our manners, complain of this tax and impost of nature. This experience added something to the old philosophy. When the gladiators were exposed naked to each other's short swords, and were to cut each other's souls away in portions of flesh, as it their forms had been as divisible as the life of worms, they did not sigh or groan - it was a shame to decline the blow but according to the just measures of art. The women that saw the wound shriek out; and he that receives it holds his peace. he did not only stand bravely, but would also fall so; and, when he was down, scorned to shirk his head when the insolent conqueror came to lift it from his shoulders; and yet this man, in his first design, only aimed at liberty, and the reputation of a good fencer; and when he sunk down he saw he could only receive the honour of a bold man, the noise of which he shall never hear when his ashes are crammed in his narrow urn. And what can we complain of the weakness of our strengths or the pressures of diseases, when we see a poor soldier stand in a breach almost starved with cold and hunger, and his cold apt to be relieved only by the heats of anger, a fever, or a fired musket, and his hunger slackened by a greater pain and a huge fear? This man shall stand in his arms and wounds, patiens luminis alque solis, pale and faint, weary and watchful; and at night shall have a bullet pulled out of his flesh, and shivers from his bones, and endure his mouth to be sewed up from a violent rent to its own demension; and all this for a man whom he never saw, or, if he did, was not noted by him; but one that shall condemn him to the gallows if he runs from all this misery. It is seldom that God sends such calamities upon men as men bring upon themselves and suffer willingly. But that which is most considerable is, that any passion and violence upon the spirit of man makes him able to suffer huge calamities with a certain constancy and an unwearied patience. Scipio Africanus was wont to commend that saying in Xenophon, That the same labours of warfare were easier far to a general than to a common soldier; because he was supported by the huge appetites of honour, which made his hard marches nothing but stepping forward and reaching at a triumph. Did not the lady of Sabinus, for others' interest, bear twins privately and without groaning? Are not the labours and cares, the spare diet and the waking nights, of covetous and adulterous, of ambitious and revengeful persons, greater sorrows and of more smart than a fever, or the short pains of child-birth? What will not tender women suffer to hide their shame? And if vice and passion, lust and inferior appetites, can supply to the tenderest persons strengths more than enough for the sufferance of the greatest natural violences, can we suppose that honesty and religion and the grace of God are more nice, tender, and effeminate?
     4. Sickness is the more tolerable, because it cures very many evils, and takes away the sense of all the cross fortunes which amaze the spirits of some men, and transports them certainly beyond all the limits of patience. Here all losses and disgraces, domestic cares and public evils, the apprehensions of pity and a sociable calamity, the fears of want and the troubles of ambition, lie down and rest upon the sick man's pillow. One fit of the stone takes away from the fancies of men all relations to the world and secular interests: at least they are made dull and flat, without sharpness and edge.
     And he that shall observe the infinite variety of troubles which afflict some busy persons and almost all men in very busy times, will think it not much amiss, that those huge numbers were reduced to certainty, to method and an order; and there is no better compendium for this than that they be reduced to one. And a sick man seem so unconcerned in the things of the world, that although this separation be done with violence, yet it is no otherwise than all noble contentions are, and all honours are purchased, and all virtues are acquired, and all vices mortified, and all appetites chastised, and all rewards obtained; there is infallibly to all these a difficulty and a sharpness annexed, without which there could be no proportion between a work and a reward. To this add that sickness does not take off the sense of secular troubles and worldly cares from us, by employing all the perceptions and apprehensions of men; by filling all faculties with sorrow, and leaving no room for the lesser instances of troubles, as little rivers are swallowed up in the sea; but sickness is a messenger of God, sent with purposes of abstraction and separation, with a secret power and a proper efficacy to draw us off from unprofitable and useless sorrows: and this is effected partly by reason that it represents the uselessness of the things of this world, and that there is a portion of this life in which honours and things of the world cannot serve us to many purposes; partly by preparing us to death, and telling us that a man shall descend thither, whence this world cannot redeem us, and where the goods of this world cannot serve us.
     5. And yet, after all this, sickness leaves in us appetites so strong, and apprehensions so sensible, and delights so many, and good things in so great a degree that a healthless body and a sad disease do seldom make men weary of this world, but still they would fain find an excuse to live.[68] The gout, the stone, and the tooth-ache, the sciatica, sore eyes, and an aching head, are evils indeed; but such which, rather than die, most men are willing to suffer; and Mecaenas added also a wish rather to be crucified than to die, and though his wish was low, timorous, and base, yet we find the same desires in most men, dressed up with better circumstances. It was a cruel mercy in Tamerland, who commanded all the leprous persons to be put to death, as we knock some beasts quickly on their head to put them out of pain, and lest they should live miserably; the poor men would rather have endured another leprosy, and have more willingly taken two diseases than one death. Therefore Caesar wondered that the old crazed soldier begged leave he might kill himself, and asked him, "Dost thou thing then to be more alive than now thou art?" We do not die suddenly, but we descend to death by steps and slow passages; and therefore men (so long as they are sick) are unwilling to proceed and go forward in the finishing of that sad employment. Between a disease and death there are many degrees, and all those are like the reserves of evil things, the declining of every one of which is justly reckoned amongst those good things which alleviate the sickness and make it tolerable. Never account that sickness intolerable in which thou hadst rather remain than die: and yet if thou hadst rather die than suffer it, the worst of it that can be said is this, that this sickness is worse than death; that is, it is worse than that which is the best of all evils, and the end of all troubles; and then you have said no great harm against it.
     6. Remember that thou art under a supervening necessity. Nothing is intolerable that is necessary; and therefore when men are to suffer a sharp incission, or what they are pleased to call intolerable, tie the man down to it, and he endures it.[69] Now God hath bound this sickness upon thee by the condition of nature; for every flower must wither and droop; it is also bound upon thee by special providence, and with a design to try thee, and with purposes to reward and to crown thee. These cords thou canst not break; and therefore lie thou down gently, and suffer the hand of God to do what he please, that at least thou mayst swallow an advantage which the care and severe mercies of God force down thy throat.
     7. Remember that all men have passed this way; the bravest, the wisest, and the best men have been subject to sickness and sad diseases; and it is esteemed a prodigy that a man should live to a long age and not be sick; and it is recorded for a wonder concerning Xenophilus the musician, that he lived to one hundred and six years of age in a perfect and continual health. No story tells the like of a prince, or a great or a wise person;[70] unless we have a mind to believe the tales concerning Nestor and the Euhoean Sybil, or reckon Cyrus of Persia, or Masinissa the Mauritanian, to be rivals of old age, or that Argantonius the Tartesian king did really outstrip that age, according as his story tells, reporting him to have reigned eighty years,[71] and to have lived one hundred and twenty. Old age and healthful bodies are seldom made the appendages to great fortunes; and under so great and so universal precedents,[72] so common fate of men, he that will not suffer his portion deserves to be something else than a man, but nothing that is better.
     8. We find in story that many Gentiles, who walked by no light but that of reason, opinion, and human examples, did bear their sickness nobly, and with great contempt of pain, and with huge interests of virtue. When Pompey came from Syria, and called at Rhodes, to see Posidonins the philosopher, he found him hugely afflicted with the gout, and expressed his sorrow that he could not hear his lectures, from which by this pain he must needs be hindered. Posidonius told him, "But you may hear me for all this;" and he discoursed excellently in the midst of his tortures, even then when the torches were put to his feet,[73] "That nothing was good but what was honest," and therefore "nothing could be an evil if it were not criminal;" and summed up his lectures with this saying, "O pain, in vain dost thou attempt me,for I will never confess thee to be an evil, as long as I can honestly bear thee." And when Pompey himself was desperately sick at Naples, the Neapolitans wore crowns and triumphed, and the men of Puteoli came to congratulate his sickness, not because they loved him not, but because it was the custom of their country to have better opinions of sickness than we have. The boys of Sparta would, at their alters, endure whipping till their very entrails saw the light through their torn flesh; and some of them to death, without crying or complaint. Caesar would drink his portions of rhubarb rudely mixed, and unfitly allayed, with little sippings, and taking the horrow of the medicine, spreading the loathsomeness of his physic so, that all the parts of his tongue and palate might have an entire share; and when C. Marius suffered the veins of his leg to be cut out for the curing his gout, and yet shrunk not, he declared not only the rudeness of their physic, but the strength of a man's spirit, if it be contracted and united by the aids of reason or religion, by resolution or any accidental harshness, against a violent disease.
     9. All impatience, howsoever expressed, is perfectly useless to all purposes of ease, but hugely effective to the multiplying the trouble; and the impatience and vexation is another, but the sharper disease of the two: it does mischief by itself, and mischief by the disease. For men grieve themselves as much as they please;[74] and when, by impatience, they put themselves into the retune of sorrows, they become solemn mourners. For so I have seen the rays of the sun or moon dash upon a brazen vessel, whose lips kissed the face of those waters that lodged within its bosom; but being turned back, and sent off with its smooth pretences or rougher waftings, it wandered about the room, and beat upon the roof, and still doubled its heat and motion. So is a sickness and a sorrow, entertained by an unquiet and a discontented man, turned back either with anger or with excuses; but then the pain passes from the stomach to the liver, and from the liver to the heart, and from the heart to the head, and from feeling to consideration, from thence to sorrow, and at last ends in impatience and useless murmur; and all the way the man was impotent and weak, but the sickness was doubled, and grew imperious and tyrannical over the soul and body. Masuriun Sabinus tells that the image of the goddess Angerona was, with a muffler upon her mouth, placed upon the altar of Volupia, to represent that those persons who bear their sicknesses and sorrows without murmurs shall certainly pass from sorrow to pleasure, and the ease and honours of felicity; but they that with spite and indignation bite the burning coal, or shake the yoke upon their necks, gall their spirits, and fret the skin, and hurt nothing but themselves.
     10. Remember that this sickness is but for a short time: if it be sharp, it will not last long; if it be long, it will be easy and very tolerable. And although St. Eadsine, archbishop of Canterbury, had twelve years of sickness, yet all that while he ruled his church prudently, gave example of many virtues, and, after his death, was enrolled in the calendar of saints who had finished their course prosperously. Nothing is more unreasonable than to entangle our spirits in wildness and amazement, like a partridge fluttering in a net which she breaks not, though she breaks her wings.



Remedies against Impatience, by way of Exercise.

     1. The fittest instrument of esteeming sickness easily tolerable is, to remember that which indeed makes it so; and that is, that God doth minister proper aids and supports to every of his servants whom he visits with his rod. He knows our needs, he pities our sorrows, he relieves our miseries, he supports our weakness, he bids us ask for help, and he promises to give us all that, and he usually give us more; and indeed it is observable, that no story tells of any godly man who, living in the fear of God fell into a violent and unpardoned impatience in his natural sickness, if he used those means which God and his holy church have appointed. We see almost all men bear their last sickness with sorrows indeed, but without violent passions; and unless they fear death violently, they suffer the sickness with some indifferency: and it is a rare thing to see a man who enjoys his reason in his sickness to express the proper signs of a direct and solemn impatience. For when God lays a sickness upon us, he seizes commonly on a man's spirits, which are the instruments of action and business; and when they are secured from being tumultuous, the sufferance is much the easier: and therefore sickness secures all that which can do the man mischief; it makes him tame and passive, apt for suffering, and confines him to an inactive condition. To which, if we add, that God then commonly produces fear, and all those passions which naturally tend to humility and poverty of spirit, we shall soon perceive by what instruments God verifies his promise to us, (which is the great security for our patience, and the easiness of our condition,) that God will lay no more upon us than he will make us able to bear it, but together with the affliction, he will find a way to escape.[75] Nay, if anything can be more than this, we have two or three promises in which we may safely lodge ourselves, and roll from off our thorns, and find ease and rest; God hath promised to be with us in our trouble, and to be with us in our prayers, and to be with us in our hope and confidence.[76]
     2. Prevent the violence and trouble of thy spirit by an act of thanksgiving; for which in the worst of sickness thou canst not want cause, especially if thou rememberest that this pain is not an eternal pain. Bless God for that: but take heed, also, lest you so order your affairs that you pass from hence to an eternal sorrow. If that be hard, this will be intolerable: but as for the present evil, a few day will end it.
     3. Remember that thou art a man and a Christian: as the covenant of nature hath made it necessary, so the covenant of grace hath made it to be chosen by thee, to be a suffering person: either you must renounce your religion or submit to the impositions of God and thy portion of sufferings. So there here we see our advantages, and let us use them accordingly. The barbarous and warlike nations of old could fight well and willingly, but could not bear sickness manfully. The Greeks were cowardly in their fights, as most wise men are; but because they were learned and well taught, they bore their sickness with patience and severity. The Cim rians and Celtiberians rejoice in battle, like giants; but in their diseases they weep like women. These according to their institution and designs had unequal courages and accidental fortitude. But since our religion hath made a covenant of sufferings, and the great business of our lives is sufferings, and most of the virtues of a Christian are passive graces, and all the promises of the gospel are passed upon us through Christ's cross, we have a necessity upon us to have an equal courage in all the variety of our sufferings; for without an universal fortitude we can do nothing of our duty.
     4. Resolve to do as much as you can; for certain it is, we can suffer much if we list; and many men have afflicted themselves unreasonably by not being skilful to consider how much their strength and state could permit; and our flesh is nice and imperious, crafty to persuade reason that she hath more necessities than indeed belong to her, and that she demands nothing superfluous. Suffer as much in obedience to God as you can suffer for necessity or passion, fear or desire. And if you can for one thing, you can for another; and there is nothing wanting but the mind. Never say, I can do no more; I cannot endure this; for God would not have sent it if he had not known thee strong enough to abide it; only he that knows thee well already would also take this occasion to make thee know thyself; but it will be fit that you pray to God to give you a discerning spirit, that you may rightly distinguish just necessity from the flattery and fondness of flesh and blood.
     5. Propound to your eyes and heart the example of the holy Jesus upon the cross; he endured more for thee than thou canst either for thyself or him: and remember, that if we be put to suffer, and do suffer in a good cause, or in a good manner, so that in any sense your sufferings be conformable to his sufferings, or can be capable of being united to his, we shall reign together with him. The highway of the cross, which the King of sufferings hath trodden before us, is the way to ease, to a kingdom, and to felicity.
     6. The very suffering is a title to an excellent inheritance; for God chastens every son whom he receives; and if we be not chastised, we are bastards, and not sons. And be confident, that although God often sends pardon without correction, yet he never sends correction without pardon, unless it be thy fault: and therefore take every or any affliction as an earnest-penny of thy pardon; and upon condition there may be peace with God, let anything be welcome that he can send as its instrument or condition. Suffer, therefore, God to choose his own circumstances of adopting thee, and be content to be under discipline, when the reward of that is to become the son of God: and by such inflictions he hews and breaks thy body, first dressing it to funeral, and then preparing it for immortality. And if this be effect of the design of God's love to thee, let it be occasion of thy love to him; and remember, that the truth of love is hardly known but by somewhat that puts us to pain.
     7. Use this as a punishment for thy sins; and so God intends it most commonly; that is certain: if therefore thou submittest to it, thou approvest of the Divine judgment; and no man can have cause to complain of anything but himself, if either he believes God to be just or himself to be a sinner. If he either thinks he hath deserved hell, or that this little may be a means to prevent the greater and bring him to heaven.
     8. It may be, that this may be the last instance and the last opportunity that ever God will give thee to exercise any virtue, to do him any service, or thyself any advantage: be careful that thou losest not this; for to eternal ages this never shall return again.
     9. Or if thou, peradventure, shalt be restored to health, be careful that in the day of thy thanksgiving thou mayst not be ashamed of thyself for having behaved thyself poorly and weakly upon thy bed. It will be a sensible and excellent comfort to thee, and double upon thy spirit, if, when thou shalt worship God for restoring thee, thou shalt also remember that thou didst do him service in thy suffering, and tell that God was hugely gracious to thee in giving thee the opportunity of a virtue at so easy a rate as a sickness from which thou didst recover.
     10. Few men are so sick but they believe that they may recover; and we shall seldom see a man lie down with a perfect persuasion that it is his last hour; for many men have been sicker, and yet have recovered; but whether thou dost or no, thou hast a virtue to exercise which may be a handmaid to thy patience. Epaphroditus was sick, sick, unto death; and yet God had mercy upon him: and he hath done so to thousands to whom he found it useful in the great order of things and the events of universal providence. If, therefore, thou desirest to recover, here is cause enough of hope; and hope is designed in the arts of God and of the Spirit to support patience. But if thou recoverest not, yet there is something that is matter of joy naturally, and very much spiritually, of thou belongest to God; and joy is as certain a support to patience as hope: and it is no small cause of being pleased, when we remember that, if we recover not, our sickness shall the sooner sit down in rest and joy. For recovery by death, as it is easier and better than the recovery by a sickly health, so it is not so long in doing: it suffers not the tediousness of a creeping restitution, nor the inconvenience of surgeons and physicians, watchfulness and care, keepings in and suffering trouble, fears of relapse, and the little relics of a storm.
     11. While we hear, or use, or think of these remedies, part of the sickness is gone away, and all of it is passing. And if by such instruments we stand armed and ready dressed beforehand, we shall avoid the mischiefs of amazements and surprise;[77] while the accidents of sickness are such as were expected, and against which, we stood in readiness, with our spirits contracted, instructed, and put upon the defensive.
     12. But our patience will be the better secured if we consider that it is not violently tempted by the usual arrests of sickness; for patience is with reason demanded while the sickness is tolerable, that is, so long as the evil is not too great; but if it be also eligible, and have in it some degrees of good, our patience will have in it the less difficulty and the greater necessity. This therefore will be a new stock of consideration: sickness is in many degrees eligible to many men and to many purposes.



Advantages of Sickness.

     1. I consider one of the greatest felicities of heaven consists in an immunity from sin: then we shall love God without mixtures of malice; then we shall enjoy without envy; then we shall see fuller vessels running over with glory, and crowned with bigger circles; and this we shall behold without spilling from our eyes (those vessels of joy and grief) any sign of anger, trouble, or a repining spirit: our passions shall be pure, our charity without fear, our desire without lust, our possessions all our own; and all in the inheritance of Jesus, in the richest soil of God's eternal kingdom. Now half of this reason, which makes heaven so happy by being innocent, is also in the state of sickness, making the sorrows of old age smooth, and the groans of a sick heart apt to be joined to the music of angels: and, though they sound harsh to our untuned ears and discomposed organs, yet those accents must needs be in themselves excellent which God loves to hear, and esteems them as prayers, and arguments of pity, instruments of mercy and grace, and preparatives to glory.
     In sickness the soul begins to dress herself for immortality. And, first, she unties the strings of vanity that made her upper garment cleave to the world and sit uneasy; first, she puts off the light and fantastic summer robe of lust and wanton appetite; and as soon as that cestus, that lascivious girdle is thrown away, then the reins chasten us, and give us warning in the night; then that which called us formerly to serve the manliness of the body, and the childishness of the soul, keeps us waking, to divide the hours with the intervals of prayer, and to number the minutes with our penitential groans; then the flesh sets uneasily and dwells in sorrow; and then the spirit feels itself at ease, freed from the petulant solicitations of those passions which in health were as busy and restless as atoms in the sun, always dancing, and always busy, and never sitting down, till a sad night of grief and uneasiness draws the veil, and lets them die alone in secret dishonour.
     2. Next to this, the soul, by the help of sickness, knocks off the fetters of pride and vainer complacencies. Then she draws the curtains, and stops the light from coming in, and takes the pictures down, those fantastic images of self-love[78] and gay remembrances of vain opinion and popular noises. Then the spirit stoops into the sobrieties of humble thoughts, and feels corruption chiding the forwardness of fancy, and allaying the vapours of conceit and factious opinions. For humility is the soul's grave, into which she enters, not to die, but to meditate and inter some of its troublesome appendages. There she sees the dust, and feels the dishonours of the body, and reads the register of all its sad adherences; and then she lays by all her vain reflections, beating upon her crystal and pure mirror from the fancies of strength and beauty, and little decayed prettinesses of the body. And when, in sickness, we forget all our knotty discourses of philosophy, and a syllogism makes our head ache, and we feel our many and loud talkings served no lasting end of the soul, no purpose that now we must abide by, and that the body is like to descend to the land where all things are forgotten; then she lays aside all her remembrances of applauses, all her ignorant confidences, and ares only to know "Christ Jesus and him crucified," to know him plainly, and with much heartiness and simplicity. And I cannot think this to be a contemptible advantage. For ever since man tempted himself by his impatient desires of knowing and being as God, man thinks it the finest thing in the world to know much, and therefore is hugely apt to esteem himself better than his brethren if he knows some little impertinences, and them imperfectly, and that with infinite uncertainty; but God hath been pleased, with a rare art, to prevent the inconveniences apt to arise by this passionate longing after knowledge, even by giving to every man a sufficient opinion of his own understanding: and who is there in the world that thinks himself to be a fool, or indeed not fit to govern his brother? There are but few men but they think they are wise enough, and every man believes his own opinion the soundest; and, if it were otherwise, men would burst themselves with envy, or else become irrecoverable slaves to the talking and disputing man. But when God intended this permission to be an antidote of envy, and a satisfaction and allay to the troublesome appetites of knowing, and made that this universal opinion, by making men in some proportions equal, should be a keeper-out or a great restraint to slavery and tyranny respectively; man (for so he uses to do) hath turned this into bitterness; for when nature had made so just a distribution of understanding that every man might think he had enough, he is not content with that, but will think he hath more than his brother; and whereas it might well be employed in restraining slavery, he hath used it to break off the bands of all obedience, and it ends in pride and schisms, in heresies and tyrannies; and it being a spiritual evil, it grows upon the soul with old age and flattery, with health and the supports of a prosperous fortune. Now, besides the direct operations of the Spirit, and a powerful grace, there is in nature left to us no remedy for this evil but a sharp sickness, or an equal sorrow, and allay of fortune; and then we are humble enough to ask counsel of a despised priest, and to think that even a common sentence, from the mouth of an appointed comforter streams forth more refreshment than all our own wiser and more reputed discourses; then our understandings and our bodies, peeping through their own breaches, see their shame and their dishonour, their dangerous follies and their huge deceptions; and they go into the clefts of the rock, and every little hand may cover them.
     3. Next to these, as the soul is still undressing, she takes off the roughness of her great and little angers and animosities, and receives the oil of mercies and smooth forgiveness, fair interpretations and gentle answers, designs of reconcilement and Christian atonement in their places. For so did the wrestlers in Olympus; they stripped themselves of all their garments, and then anointed their naked bodies with oil, smooth and vigorous; with contracted nerves and enlarged voice they contended vehemently, till they obtained their victory or their ease; and a crown of olive, or a huge pity, was the reward of their fierce contentions. Some wise men have said, than anger sticks to a man's nature as inseparable as other vices do to the manner of fools, and that anger is never quite cured: but God, that hath found out remedies for all diseases, hath so ordered the circumstances of man, that in the worser sort of men anger and great indignation consume and shrivel into little peevishnesses and uneasy accents of sickness, and spend themselves in trifling instances; and in the better and more sanctified it goes off in prayers and alms and solemn reconcilement. And, however the temptations of this state, such, I mean, which are proper to it, are little and considerable, the man is apt to chide a servant too bitterly, and to be discontented with his nurse, or not satisfied with his physician, and he rests uneasily, and (poor man!) nothing can please him: and indeed these little indecencies must be cured and stopped, lest they run into an inconvenience. But sickness is, in this particular, a little image of the state of blessed souls, or of Adam's early morning in paradise, free from the troubles of lust, and violences of anger, and the intricacies of ambition, or the restlessness of covetousness. For though a man may carry all these along with him into his sickness, yet there he will not find them; and in despite of all his own malice, his soul shall find some rest from labouring in the galleys and baser captivity of sin: and if e value those moments of being in the love of God and in the kingdom of grace, which certainly are the beginnings of felicity, we may also remember that the not sinning actually is one step of innocence; and therefore that state is not intolerable which, by a sensible trouble, makes it in most instances impossible to commit those great sins which make death, hell, and horrid damnations. And then let us but add this to it, that God sends sicknesses, but he never causes sin; that God is angry with a sinning person, but never with a man for being sick; that sin causes God to hate us, and sickness causes him to pity us; that all wise men in the world choose trouble rather than dishonour, affliction rather than baseness; and that sickness stops the torrent of sin, and interrupts its violence, and even to the worst men makes it to retreat many degrees. We may reckon sickness amongst good things, as we reckon rhubarb and aloes and childbirth and labour and obedience and discipline; these are unpleasant, and yet safe; they are troubles in order to blessings, or they are securities from danger, or the hard choices of a less and a more tolerable evil.
     4. Sickness, is in some sense elegible, because it is the opportunity and the proper scene of exercising some virtues.[79] It is that agony in which men are tried for a crown. And if we remember what glorious things are spoken of the grace of faith, that it is the life of just men, the restitution of the dead in trespasses and sins, the justification of a sinner, the support of the weak, the confidence of the strong, the magazine of promises, and the title to very glorious rewards: we may easily imagine that it must have in it a work and a difficulty in some proportion answerable to so great effects. But when we are bidden to believe strange propositions, we are put upon it when we cannot judge, and those propositions have possessed our discerning faculties, and have made a party there, and are become domestic before they come to be disputed; and then the articles of faith are so few, and are made so credible, and in their event and in their object are so useful and gaining upon the affections, that he were a prodigy of man, and would be so esteemed, that should, in all our present circumstances, disbelieve any point of faith: and all is well as long as the sun shines, and the fair breath of heaven gently wafts us to our own purposes. But if you will try the excellency, and feel the work of faith, place the man in a persecution, let him ride in a storm, let his bones be broken with sorrow,and his eyelids loosened with sickness, let his bread be dipped in tears, and all the daughters of music be brought low; let God commence a quarrel against him, and be bitter in the accents of his anger or his discipline; then God tries your faith. Can you, then, trust his goodness, and believe him to be a father, when you groan under his rod? Can you rely upon all the strange propositions of Scripture, and be content to perish if they be not true? Can you receive comfort in the discourses of death and heaven, of immortality and the resurrection, of the death of Christ and conforming to his sufferings? Truth is, there are but two great periods in which faith demonstrates itself to be a powerful and mighty grace; and they are persecution and the approaches of death, for the passive part, and a temptation for the active. In the days of pleasure and the night of pain faith is to fight her agonistiun, to contend for mastery: and faith overcomes all alluring and fond temptations to sin, and faith overcomes all our weaknesses and faintings in our troubles. By the faith of the promises we learn to despise the world, choosing those objects which faith discovers; and by expectation of the same promises, we are comforted in all our sorrows, and enabled to look through and see beyond the cloud: but the vigour of it is pressed and called forth when all our fine discourses come to be reduced to practice. For in our health and clearer days it is easy to talk of putting trust in God;[80] we readily trust him for life when we are in health; for provisions when we have fair revenues; and for deliverance when we are newly escaped: but let us come to sit upon the margent of our grave, and let a tyrant lean hard upon our fortunes and dwell upon our wrong, let the strom arise, and the keels toss till the cordage crack, or that all our hopes bulge under us and descend into the hollowness of sad misfortunes; then can you believe, when you neither hear, nor see, nor feel anything but objections? This is the proper work of sickness: faith is then brought into the theatre, and so exercised, that if it abides but to the end of the contention we may see the work of faith which God will hugely crown. The same I say of hope and of charity, of the love of God and of patience, which is a grace produced from the mixtures of all these: they are virtues which are greedy of danger; and no man was ever honoured by any wise or discerning person for dining upon Persian carpets, nor rewarded with a crown for being at ease.[81] It was the fire that did honour to Mutius Scaevola; poverty made Fabricius famous; Rutilius was made excellent by banishment; Regulus by torments; Socrates by prison; Cato by his death; and God hath crowned the memory of Job with a wreath of glory because he sat upon his dunghill wisely and temperately; and his potsherd and his groans, mingled with praises and justifications of God, pleased him like an anthem sung by angels in the morning of the resurrection. God could not choose but be pleased with the delicious accents of martyrs, when in their tortures they cried out nothing but `Holy Jesus' and `Blessed be God;' and they also themselves who, with a hearty designation to the divine pleasure, can delight in God's severe dispensation, will have the transportations of cherubim when they enter into the joys of God. If God be delicious to his servants when he smites them, he will be nothing but ravishments and ecstasies to their spirits when he refreshes them with the overflowings of joy in the day of recompenses. No man is more miserable than he that hath no adversity; that man is not tried,[82] whether he be good or bad: and God never crowns those virtues which are only faculties and dispositions; but every act of virtue is an ingredient into reward. And we see many children fairly planted, whose parts of nature were never dressed by art, nor called from the furrows of their first possibilities by discipline and institution; and they dwell for ever in ignorance, and converse with beasts; and yet, if they had been dressed and exercised, might have stood at the chairs of princes, or spoken parables amongst the rulers of cities. Our virtues are but in the seed when the grace of God comes upon us first; but this grace must be thrown into broken furrows, and must twice feel the cold, and twice feel the heat, and be softened with storms and showers; and then it will arise into fruitfulness and harvests. And what is there in the world to distinguish virtues from dishonours, or the valour of Caesar from the softness of the Egyptian eunuchs, or that can make anything rewardable, but the labour and the danger, the pain and the difficulty? Virtue could not be anything but sensuality if it were the entertainment of our senses and fond desires; and Apicius had been the noblest of all the Romans if feeding a great appetite and despising the severities of temperance had been the work and proper employment of a wise man. But otherwise do fathers and otherwise do mothers handle their children. These soften them with kisses and imperfect noises, with the pap and breast-milk of soft endearments; they rescue them from tutors and snatch them from discipline; they desire to keep them fat and warm, and their feet dry, and their bellies full; and then the children govern and cry and prove fools and troublesome, so long as the feminine republic does endure. But fathers, because they design to have their children wise and valiant, apt for counsel or tie them to study, to hard labour, and affective contingencies. They rejoice when the bold boy strikes a lion with his hunting spear, and shrinks not when the beast comes to affright his early courage. Softness is for slaves and beasts,[83] for minstrels and useless persons, for such who cannot ascend higher that the state of a fair ox, or a servant entertained for vainer offices: but the man that designs his son for noble employments, to honours and to triumphs, to consular dignities and presidencies of councils, loves to see him pale with study, or panting with labour, burdened with sufferance, or eminent by dangers. And so God dresses us for heaven. He loves us struggling with a disease, and resisting the devil, and contesting against the weaknesses of nature, and against hope to believe in hope, resigning ourselves to God's will, praying him to choose for us, and dying in all things but faith and its blessed consequences; ut ad officium cum pericule simus prompti: and the danger and the resistance shall endear the office. For so have I known the boisterous north wind pass through the yielding air,[84] which opened its bosom and appeased its violence by entertaining it with easy compliance in all the regions of its reception: but when the same breath of heaven hath been checked with the stiffness of a tower, or the united strength of wood, it grew mighty, and dwelt there, and made the highest branches stoop and make a smooth path for it on the top of all its glories. So is sickness, and so is the grace of God: when sickness hath made the difficulty, then God's grace hath made a triumph, and by doubling its power hath created new proportions of a reward; and then shows its biggest glory,[85] when it hath the greatest difficulty to master, the greatest weaknesses to support, the most busy temptations to contest with; for so God loves that his strength should be seen in our weakness and our danger. Happy is that state of life in which our services to God are the dearest and the most expensive.[86]
     5. Sickness hath some degrees of eligibility, at least by an after-choice; because to all persons which are within the possibilities and state of pardon it becomes a great instrument of pardon of sins. For as God seldom rewards here and hereafter too, so it is not very often that he punishes in both states. In great and final sins he doth so; but we find it expressed only in the case of the sin against the Holy Ghost. `which shall never be forgiven in this world, nor in the world to come,' that is, it shall be punished in both worlds, and the infelicities of this world shall but usher in the intolerable calamities of the next. But this is in a case of extremity, and in sins of an unpardonable malice: in those lesser stages of death, which are deviations from the rule, and not a destruction and perfect antinomy to the whole institution, God very often smites with his rod of sickness that he may not for ever be slaying the soul with eternal death. `I will visit their offences with the rod, and their sin with scourges; nevertheless my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my truth to fail.' And there is in the New Testament a delivering over to Satan,[87] and a consequent buffetting, for the mortification of the flesh indeed, but that the soul may be saved in the day of the Lord. And to some persons the utmost process of God's anger reaches but to a sharp sickness, or at most but to a temporal death; and then the little momentary anger is spent, and expires in rest and a quiet grave. Origen, St. Augustine, and Cassian say, concerning Ananias and Sapphira that they were slain with a sudden death, that by such a judgment their sin might be punished, and their guilt expiated, and their persons reserved for mercy in the day of judgment. And God cuts off many of his children from the land of the living; and yet, when they are numbered amongst the dead, he finds them in the book of life, written amongst those that shall live to him for ever. And thus it happened to many new Christians, in the church of Corinth, for their little indecencies and disorders in the circumstances of receiving the holy sacrament. St. Paul says, that `many amongst them were sick, many were weak, and some were fallen asleep.' He expresses the divine anger against those persons in no louder accents; which is according to the style of the New Testament, where all the great transactions of duty and reproof are generally made upon the stock of heaven, and hell is plainly a reserve, and a period set to the declaration of God's wrath. For God knows that the torments of hell are so horrid, so insupportable a calamity, that he is not easy and apt to cast those souls which he hath taken so much care, and hath been at so much expense to save, into the eternal never-dying flames of hell lightly, for smaller sins, or after a fairly-begun repentance, and in the midst of holy desires to finish it; but God takes such penalties and exacts such fines of us which we may pay salvo contenemento, saving the main stake of all, even our precious souls. And therefore St. Augustine prayed to God in his penitential sorrows, "Here, O Lord, burn and cut my flesh, that thou mayest spare me for ever." For so said our blessed Saviour, `every sacrifice must be burnt with fire;' that is, we must abide in the state of grace; and if we have committed sins we must expect to be put into the state of affliction; and yet the sacrifice will send up a right and untroubled cloud, and a sweet smell to join with the incense of the altar, where the eternal Priest offers a never-ceasing sacrifice. And now I have said a thing against which there can be no exceptions, and of which no just reason can make abatement. For when sickness, which is the condition of our nature, is called for with purposes of redemption; when we are sent to death to secure eternal life; when God strikes us that he may spare us - it shows that we have done things which he essentially hates; and therefore we must be smitten with the rod of God: but in the midst of judgment God remembers mercy, and makes the rod to be medicinal, and, like the rod of God in the hand of Aaron, to shoot forth buds and leaves and almonds, hopes and mercies and eternal recompenses, in the day of restitution. This is so great a good to us, if it be well conducted in all the channels of its intention and design, that if we had put off the objections of the flesh with abstractions, contempts,and separations, so as we ought to do, it were as earnestly to be prayed for as any gay blessing that crowns our cups with joy and our heads with garlands and forgetfulness. But this was it which I said, that this may, nay, that it ought to be chosen, at least by an after-election; for so said St. Paul, `If we judge ourselves, we shall not be condemned of the Lord;' that is, if we judge ourselves worthy of the sickness, if we acknowledge and confess God's justice in smiting us, if we take the rod of God in the infliction; and then the sickness, beginning and being managed in the virtue of repentance and patience and resignation and charity, will end in peace and pardon and justification and consignation to glory. That I have spoken truth, I have brought God's Spirit speaking in Scripture for a witness. But, if this be true, there are not many states of life that have advantages which can outweigh this great instrument of security to our final condition. Moses died at the mouth of the Lord, said the story; he died with the kisses of the Lord's mouth:[88] (so the Chaldee paraphrase:) it was the greatest he kissed him and he died. But I have some things to observe for the better finishing this consideration.
     1. All these advantages and lessenings of evils in the state of sickness are only upon the stock of virtue and religion. There is nothing can make sickness in any sense eligible, or in many senses tolerable, but only the grace of God;[89] that only turns sickness into easiness and felicity which also turns it into virtue. For whosoever goes about to comfort a vicious person, when he lies sick upon his bed, can only discourse of the necessities of nature, of the unavoidableness of the suffering, of the accidental vexations and increase of torments by impatience, of the fellowship of all the sons of Adam, and such other little considerations; which indeed, if sadly reflected upon, and found to stand alone, teach him nothing but the degree of his calamity, and the evil of his condition, and teach him such a patience, and minister to him such a comfort, which an only make him to observe decent gestures in his sickness, and to converse with his friends and standers-by so as may do them comfort, and ease their funeral and civil complaints, but do him no true advantage; for all that may be spoken to a beast when he is crowned with hair-laces, and bound with fillets to the altar, to bleed to death to appease the anger of the Deity, and to ease the burden of his relatives. And indeed what comfort can he receive whose sickness as it looks back, is an effect of God's indignation and fierce vengeance, and if it goes forward and enters into the gates of the grave is the beginning of a sorrow that shall never have an ending? But when the sickness is a messenger sent from a chastising father; when it first turns into degrees of innocence, and then into virtues, and thence into pardon, this is no misery, but such a method of the divine economy and dispensation as resolves to bring us to heaven without any new impositions, but merely upon the stock and charges of nature.
     2. Let it be observed, that these advantages which spring from sickness are not in all instances of virtue, nor to all persons. Sickness is the proper scene for patience and resignation, for all the passive graces of a Christian, for faith and hope, and for some single acts of the love of God. But sickness is not a fit station for a penitent; and it can serve the ends of the grace of repentance but accidentally. Sickness may begin a repentance,[90] if God continues life, and if we co-operate with the divine grace; or sickness may help to alleviate the wrath of God, and to facilitate the pardon, if all the other parts of this duty be performed in our healthful state, so that it may serve at the entrance in or at the going out. But sickness, at no hand, is a good stage to represent all the substantial parts of this duty; 1. it invites to it; 2. it makes it appear necessary; 3. it takes off the fancies of vanity; 4. it attempters the spirit; 5. it cures hypocrisy; 6. it tames the fumes of pride; 7. it is the school of patience; 8. and by taking us from off the brisker relishes of the world, it makes us with more gust to taste the things of the Spirit: and all this only when God fits the circumstances of the sickness so as to consist with acts of reason, consideration, choice, and a present and reflecting mind which then God sends, when he means that the sickness of the body should be the cure of the soul. But let no man so rely upon it as, by design to trust the beginning, the progress, and the consummation of our piety to such an estate, which for ever leaves it imperfect; and though to some persons it adds degrees, and ministers opportunities, and exercises single acts with great advantage, in passive graces; yet it is never an entire or sufficient instrument for the change of our condition from the state of death to the liberty and life of the sons of God.
     3. It were good, if we would transact the affairs of our souls with nobleness and ingenuity, and that we would, by an early and forward religion, prevent the necessary arts of the divine providence. It is true that God cures some by incision, by fire, and torments; but these are ever the more obstinate and more unrelentint natures. God's providence is not so afflictive and full of trouble,[91] as that it hath placed sickness and infirmity amongst things simply necessary; and, in most persons, it is but a sickly and an effeminate virtue, which is imprinted upon our spirits with fears, and the sorrows of a fever, or a peevish consumption. It is but a miserable remedy to be beholden to a sickness for our health; and though it be better to suffer the loss of a finger than that the arm and the whole body should putrefy, yet even then also it is a trouble and an evil to lose a finger. He that mends with sickness pares the nails of the beast when they have already torn off part of the flesh: but he that would have a sickness become a clear and an entire blessing, a thing indeed to be reckoned among the good things of God and the evil things of the world, must lead a holy life, and judge himself with an early sentence; and so order the affairs of his soul, that, in the usual method of God's saving us, there may be nothing left to be done, but that such virtues should be exercised which God intends to crown; and then, as when the Athenians upon a day of battle, with longing and uncertain souls sitting in their common-hall, expecting what would be the sentence of the day, at last received a messenger who only had breath enough left him to say, "We are conquerors," and so died, - so shall the sick person, who hath `fought a good fight and kept the faith,' and only waits for his dissolution and his sentence, breathe forth his spirit with the accents of a conquer, and his sickness and his death shall only make the mercy and the virtue more illustrious.
     But for the sickness itself: if all the calumnies were true concerning it with which it is aspersed, yet it is far to be preferred before the most pleasant sin, and before a great secular business and a temporal care; and some men wake as much in the foldings of the softest beds, as others on the cross; and sometimes the very weight of sorrow and the weariness of a sickness press the spirit into slumbers and the images of rest, when the intemperate or the lustful person rolls upon his uneasy thorns, and sleep is departed from his eyes. Certain it is some sickness is a blessing. Indeed blindness were a most accursed thing,[92] if no man were ever blind but he whose eyes were pulled out with tortures or burning basins: and if sickness were always a testimony of God's anger, and a violence to a man's whose condition, then it were a huge calamity; but because God sends it to his servants, to his children, to little infants, to apostles and saints, with designs of mercy to preserve their innocence, to overcome temptation, to try their virtue, to fit them for rewards: it is certain that sickness never is an evil but by our own faults, and if we will do our duty, we shall be sure to turn it into a blessing. If the sickness be great, it may end in death, and the greater it is[93] the sooner; and if it be very little, it hath great intervals of rest; if it be between both, we may be masters of it, and by serving the ends of Providence serve also the perfective end of human nature, and enter into the possession of everlasting mercies.
     The sum is this: He that is afraid of pain is afraid of his own nature; and if his fear be violent it is a sign his patience is none at all, and an impatient person is not ready-dressed for heaven. None but suffering, humble, and patient persons can go to heaven; and when God hath given us the whole stage of our life to exercise all the active virtues of religion, it is necessary in the state of virtues, that some portion and period of our lives be assigned to passive graces; for patience, for Christian fortitude, for resignation or conformity to the Divine will. But as the violent fear of sickness makes us impatient, so it will make our death without comfort and without religion; and we shall go off from our stage of actions and sufferings with an unhandsome exit, because we were willing to receive the kindness of God, when he expressed it as we listed; but we would not suffer him to be king and gracious to us in his own method, nor were willing to exercise and improve our virtues at the charge of a sharp fever, or a lingering consumption. `Woe be to the man that hath lost patience; for what will he do when the Lord shall visit him?'[94]



The second Temptation proper to the state of Sickness, Fear of Death, with its Remedies.

     There is nothing which can make sickness unsanctified, but the same also will give us cause to fear death. if, therefore, we so order our affairs and spirits that we do not fear death, our sickness may easily become our advantage; and we can then receive counsel, and consider, and do those acts of virtue, which are, in that state, the proper services of God, and such which men in bondage and fear are not capable of doing, or of advices how they should, when they come to the appointed days of mourning. And, indeed, if men would but place their design of being happy in the nobleness, courage, and perfect resolutions of doing handsome things, and passing through our unavoidable necessities, in the contempt and despite of the things of this world, and in holy living and the perfective desires of our natures, the longings and pursuances after heaven; it is certain they could not be made miserable by chance and change, by sickness and death. But we are so softened and made effeminate with delicate thoughts, and meditations of ease, and brutish satisfactions that if our death come before we have seized upon a great fortune, or enjoy the promises of the fortune-tellers, we esteem ourselves to be robbed of our goods, to be mocked, and miserable. Hence it comes that men are impatient of the thoughts of death; hence come those arts of protraction and delaying the significations of old age: thinking to deceive the world, men cozen themselves,[95] and by representing themselves youthful, they certainly continue their vanity, till Proserpina pull the peruke from their heads. We cannot deceive God and nature; for a coffin is a coffin, though it be covered with a pompous veil; and the minutes of our time strike on, and are counted by angels, till the period comes which must cause the passing-bell to give warning to all the neighbours that thou art dead, and they must be so; and nothing can excuse or retard this. And if our death could be put off a little longer, what advantage can it be, in thy accounts of nature or felicity? They that three hundred years agone died unwillingly, and stopped death two days, or stayed it a week, what is their gain? Where is that week? And poor-spirited men use arts of protraction, and make their persons pitiable, but their condition contemptible, being like the poor sinners at Noah's flood; the waters drove them out of their lower rooms; then they crept up to the roof, having lasted half a day longer, and then they knew not how to get down; some crept upon the top-branch of a tree, and some climbed up to a mountain, and stayed, it may be, three days longer; but all that while they entered a worse torment than death: they lived with amazement, and were distracted with the ruins of mankind, and the horror of a universal deluge.
Remedies against the Fear of Death, by way of Consideration.
     1. God having in this world placed us in a sea, and troubled the sea with a continual storm, hath appointed the church for a ship, and religion to be the stern; but there is no haven or port but death. Death is that harbour, whither God hath designed every one, that there he may find rest from the troubles of the world. How many of the noblest Romans have taken death for sanctuary, and have esteemed it less than shame or a mean dishonour? and Caesar was cruel to Domitius, captain of Corfinium, when he had taken the town from him, that he refused to sign his petition of death. Death would have hid his head with honour, but that cruel mercy reserved him to the shame of surviving his disgrace.[96] The holy Scripture, giving an account of the reason of the Divine providence taking godly men from this world, and shutting them up in a hasty grave, says, `that they are taken away from the evils to come:' and concerning ourselves it is certain, if we had ten years agone taken seizure of our portion of dust, death had not taken us from good things, but from infinite evils, such which the sun hath seldom seen. Did not Priamus weep oftener that Troilus?[97] and happy had he been, if he had died when his sons were living, and his kingdom safe, and houses full, and his city unburnt. It was a long life that made him miserable, and an early death only could have secured his fortune. And it hath happened many times, that persons of a fair life and a clear reputation, of a good fortune, and an honourable name, have been tempted in their age to folly and vanity,[98] have fallen under the disgrace of dotage, or into an unfortunate marriage, or have besotted themselves with drinking, or outlived their fortunes, or become tedious to their friends, or are afflicted with lingering and vexatious diseases, or lived to see their excellent parts buried, and cannot understand the wise discourses and productions of their younger years. In all these cases, and infinite more, do not all the world say, that it had been better this man had died sooner?[99] But so have I known passionate women to shriek aloud when their nearest relatives were dying, and that horrid shriek hath stayed the spirit of the man awhile to wonder at the folly, and represent the inconvenience; and the dying person hath lived one day longer full of pain, amazed with an indeterminate spirit, distorted with convulsions, and only come again to act one scene more of a new calamity, and to die with less decency. So also do very many men; with passion and a troubled interest they strive to continue their life longer; and it may be, they escape this sickness, and live to fall into a disgrace; they escape the storm, and fall into the hands of pirates; and instead of dying with liberty, they live like slaves, miserable and despised servants to a little time, and sottish admirers of the breath of their own lungs. Paulus Emilius did handsomely reprove the cowardice of the king of humanity, that having conquered him and taken his kingdom from him, he would be content with that, and not lead him in triumph a prisoner to Rome. Emilius told him he need not be beholden to him for that; himself might prevent that in despite of him. But the timorous king durst not die. But certainly every wise man will easily believe, that it had been better the Macedonian kings should have died in battle than protract their life so long, till some of them came to be scriveners and joiners at Rome: or that the tyrant of Sicily better had perished in the Adriatic than to be wafted to Corinth safely, and there turn schoolmaster. It is a sad calamity, that the fear of death shall so imbecile man's courage and understanding, that he dares not suffer the remedy of all his calamities; but that he lives to say as Laberius did, "I have lived this one day longer than I should." Either, therefore, let us be willing to die, when God calls, or let us never more complain of the calamities of our life, which we feel so sharp and numerous. And when God sends his angel to us with the scroll of death, let us look on it as an act of mercy, to prevent many sins and many calamities of a longer life, and lay our heads down softly, and go to sleep without wrangling like babies and forward children. For a man (at least) get this by death, that his calamities are not immortal.[100]
     But I do not only consider death by the advantages of comparison; but if we look on it in itself, it is no such formidable thing, if we view it on both sides and handle it, and consider all its appendages.
     2. It is necessary, and therefore not intolerable: and nothing is to be esteemed evil which God and nature have fixed with eternal sanctions.[101] It is a law of God, it is a punishment of our sins, and it is the constitution of our nature. Two differing substances were joined together with the breath of God, and when that breath is taken away, they part asunder, and return to their several principles; the soul to God our Father, the body to the earth our mother: and what in all this is evil? Surely nothing, but that we are men; nothing, but that we are not born immortal: but by declining this change with great passion, or receiving it with a huge natural fear, we accuse the Divine Providence of tyranny, and exclaim against our natural constitution, and are discontent that we are men.
     3. It is a thing that is no great matter in itself; if we consider, that we die daily, that it meets us in every accident, that every creature carries a dart along with it and can kill us. And therefore when Lysimachus threatened Theodorus to kill him, he told him, that was so great matter to do, and he could do no more than the cantharides could: a little fly could do as much.
     4. It is a thing that every one suffers, even persons of the lowest resolution, of the meanest virtue, of no breeding, of no discourse. Take away but the pomps of death, the disguises and solemn bugbears, the tinsel, and the actings by candlelight, and proper and fantastic ceremonies, the minstrels and the noise makers, the women and the weepers, the swoonings and the shriekings, the nurses and the physicians, the dark room and the ministers, the kindred and the watchers; and then to die is easy, ready, and quitted from its troublesome circumstances. It is the same harmless thing that a poor shepherd suffered yesterday, or a maid-servant to-day; and at the same time in which you die, in that very night a thousand creatures die with you, some wise men, and many fools; and the wisdom of the first will not quit him, and the folly of the latter does not make him unable to die.
     5. Of all the evils of the world which are reproached with an evil character, death is the most innocent of its accusation. For when it is present, it hurts nobody, and when it is absent, it is indeed troublesome, but the trouble is owning to our fears, not to the affrighting and mistaken object: and besides this, if it were an evil, it is so transient that it passes like the instant or undiscerned portion of the present time; and either it is past, or it is not yet; for just when it is, no man hath reason to complain of so insensible, so sudden, so undiscerned a change.
     6. It is so harmless a thing that no good man was ever thought the more miserable for dying but much the happier. When men saw the graves of Calatinus, of the Servilii, the Scipios, the Metlli, did ever any man among the wisest Romans think them unhappy? And when St. Paul fell under the sword of Nero, and St. Peter died upon the cross, and St. Stephen from a heap of stones was carried into an easier grave, they that made great lamentation over them, wept for their own interest, and after the manner of men; but the martyrs were accounted happy, and their days kept solemnly, and their memories preserved in never-dying honours. When St. Hilary, bishop of Poictiers, in France, went into the East to reprove the Arian heresy, he heard that a young noble gentleman treated with his daughter Abra for marriage. The bishop wrote to his daughter, that she should not engage her promise, nor do countenance to that request, because he had provided for her a husband fair, rich, wise, and noble, far beyond her present offer. The event of which was this: she obeyed; and when her father returned from his eastern triumph to his western charge, he prayed to God that his daughter might die quickly: and God heard his prayers, and Christ took her into his bosom, entertaining with antepasts and caresses of holy love, till the day of the marriage-supper of the Lamb shall come. But when the bishop's wife observed this event, and understood of the good man her husband what was done, and why, she never let him alone, till he obtained the same favour for her; and she also, at the prayers of St. Hilary, went into a more early grave and a bed of joys.
     7. I is a sottish and an unlearned thing to reckon the time of our life, as it is short or long, to be good or evil fortune; life in itself being neither good nor bad, but just as we make it; and therefore so is death.
     8. But when we consider death is not only better than a miserable life, not only an easy and innocent thing in itself, but also that it is a state of advantage, we shall have reason not to double the sharpnesses of our sickness by our fear of death. Certain it is, death hath some good upon its proper stock; praise, and a fair memory, a reverence and religion towards them so great, that it is counted dishonest to speak evil of the dead; then they rest in peace and are quiet from their labours, and are designed to immortality. Cleobis and Biton, Trophonius and Agamedes, had an early death sent them as a reward; to the former, for their piety to their mother; to the latter, for building of a temple. To this all those arguments will minister, which relate the advantages of the state of separation and resurrection.


Remedies against fear of Death, by way of Exercise.

     1. He that would willingly be fearless of death, must learn to despise the world: he must neither love any thing passionately, nor be proud of any circumstance of his life. `O death, how bitter is the remembrance of thee to a man that liveth at rest in his possessions, to a man that hath nothing to vex him, and that hath prosperity in all things; yea, unto him that is yet able to receive meat,' said the son of Sirach. But the parts of this exercise help each other. If a man be not incorporated in all his passions to the things of this world he will less fear to be divorced from them by a supervening death; and yet because he must part with them all in death; it is but reasonable he should not be passionate for so fugitive and transient interest. But if any man things well of himself for being a handsome person, or if he be stronger and wiser than his neighbours, he must remember that what he boasts of will decline into weakness and dishonour; but that very boasting and complacency will make death keener and more unwelcome, because it comes to take him from his confidence and pleasures, making his beauty equal to those ladies that have slept some years in charnel-houses, and their strength not so stubborn as the breath of an infant, and their wisdom such which can be looked for in the land where all things are forgotten.
     2. He that would not fear death must strengthen his spirits with the proper instruments of Christian fortitude. All men are resolved upon this, that to bear grief honestly and temperately, and to die willingly and nobly, is the duty of a good and valiant man; and they that are not so are vicious and fools and cowards. All men praise the valiant and honest; and that which the very heathen admired in their noblest examples is especially patience and contempt of death. Zeno Eleates endured torments rather than discover his friends, or betray them to the danger of the tyrant; and Calanus, the barbarous and unlearned Indian, willingly suffered himself to be burnt alive; and all the women did so, to do honour to their husbands funeral, and to represent and prove their affections great to their lords. The religion of a Christian does more command fortitude than ever did any institution; for we are commanded to be willing to die for Christ, to die for the brethren, to die rather than to give offence or scandal: the effect of which is this, that he that is instructed to do the necessary parts of his duty, is, by the same instrument, fortified against death; as he that does his duty need not fear death, so neither shall he; the parts of his duty are parts of his security. It is certainly a great baseness and pusillanimity of spirit that makes death terrible, and extremely to be avoided.
     3. Christian prudence is a great security against the fear of death. For if we be afraid of death, it is but reasonable to use all spiritual arts to take off the apprehension of the evil; but therefore we ought to remove our fear, because fear gives to death wings and spurs and darts. Death hastens to a fearful man; if therefore you would make death harmless and slow, to throw off fear is the way to do it; and prayer is the way to do that. If therefore you be afraid of death, consider you will have less need to fear it by how much the less you do fear it: and so cure your direct fear by a reflex act of prudence and consideration. Fannius had not died so soon[102] if he had not feared death; and when Cneius Carbo begged the respite of a little time, for a base employment, of the soldiers of Pompey, he got nothing, but that the baseness of his fear dishonoured the dignity of his third consulship; and he chose to die in a place where none but his meanest servants should have seen him. I remember a story of the wrestler Polydamus, that, running into a cave to avoid the storm, the water at last swelled so high that it began to press that hollowness to a ruin; which when his fellows espied, they chose to enter into the common fate of all men, and went abroad; but Polydamus thought by his strength to support the earth, till its intolerable weight crushed him into flatness and a grave. Many men run for shelter to a place, and they only find a remedy for their fears by feeling the worst of evils; fear itself finds no sanctuary but the worst of sufferance; and they that fly from a battle are exposed to the mercy and fury of the pursuers, who, if they faced about, were as well disposed to give laws of life and death as to take them, and at worst can but die nobly; but now, even at the very best, they live shamefully, or die timorously. Courage is the greatest security; for it does most commonly safeguard the man, but always rescues the condition from an intolerable evil.
     4. If thou wilt be fearless of death endeavour to be in love with the felicities of saints and angels, and be once persuaded to believe that there is a condition of living better than this; that there are creatures more noble than we; that above there is a country better than ours; that the inhabitants know more and know better, and are in places of rest and desire; and first learn to value it, and then learn to purchase it, and death cannot be a formidable thing, which lets us into so much joy and so much felicity. And, indeed, who would not thing his condition mended if he passed from conversing with dull tyrants and enemies of learning, to converse with Homer and Plato, with Socrates and Cicero, with Plutarch and Fabricius? So the heathens speculated, but we consider higher. `The dead that die in the Lord' shall converse with St. Paul, and all the college of the apostles, and all the saints and martyrs, with all the good men whose memory we preserve in honour, with excellent kings and holy bishops, and with the great Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, Jesus Christ, and with God himself. For Christ died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we might live together with him. Then we shall be free from lust and envy,[103] from fear and rage, from covetousness and sorrow, from tears and cowardice; and these, indeed, properly, are the only evils that are contrary to felicity and wisdom. Then we shall see strange things, and know new propositions, and all things in another manner and to higher purposes. Cleombrotus was so taken with this speculation, that, having learned from Plato's Phaedon the soul's abode, he had not patience to stay nature's dull leisure, but leaped from a wall to his portion of immortality. And when Pomponius Atticus resolved to die by famine, to ease the great pains of his gout, in the alistnence of two days be found his foot at ease; but when he began to feel the pleasures of an approaching death, and the delicacies of that ease he was to inherit below, he would not withdraw his foot, but went on and finished his death; and so did Cleapthes. And every wise man will despise the little evils of that state, which indeed is the daughter of fear, but the mother of rest and peace and felicity.
     5. If God should say to us, Cast thyself into the sea, (as Christ did to St. Peter, or as God concerning Jonas,) I have provided for thee a dolphin or a whale, or a port, a safety or a deliverance, security or a reward, were we not incredulour and pusillanimous persons if we should tremble to put such a felicity into act, and ourselves into possession? The very duty of resignation and the love of our own interest are good antidotes against fear. In forty or fifty years we find evils enough, and arguments enough, to make us weary of this life; and to a good man there are very many more reasons to be afraid of life than death, this having in it less of evil and more of advantage. And it was a rare wish of that Roman,[104] that death might come only to wise and excellent persons, and not to fools and cowards; that it might not be a sanctuary for the timorous, but the reward of the virtuous: and indeed they only can make advantage of it.
     6. Make no excuses to make thy desires of life seem reasonable; neither cover thy fear with pretences, but suppose it rather with arts of severity and ingenuity. Some are not willing to submit to God's sentence and arrest of death till they have finished such a design,[105] or made an end of the last paragraph of their book, or raised such portions for their children, or preached so many sermons, or built their house, or planted their orchard, or ordered their estate with such advantages. It is well for the modesty of these men that the excuse is ready; but if it were not, it is certain they would search one out: for an idle man is never ready to die, and is glad of any excuse; and a busied man hath always something unfinished, and he is ready for every thing but death. And I remember that Petronius brings in Eumolpus composing verses in a desperate storm, and being called upon to shift for himself when the ship dashed upon the rock, cried out to let him alone till he had trimmed and finished his verse, which was lame in the hinder led: the man either had too strong a desire to end his verse, or too great a desire not to end his life. But we must know, God's times are not to be measured by our circumstances; and what I value, God regards not; or if it be valuable in the accounts of men, yet God will supply it with other contingencies of his providence; and if Epaphroditus had died when he had his great sickness St. Paul speaks of, God would have secured the work of the gospel without him: and he could have spared Epaphroditus as well as St. Stephen, and St. Peter as well as St. James. Say no more; but when God calls, lay aside thy papers; and first dress thy soul, and then dress thy hearse.
     Blindness is odious, and widowhood is sad, and destitution is without comfort, and persecution is full of trouble, and famine is intolerable, and tears are the sad ease of a sadder heart; but these are evils of our life, not of our death. For the dead that die in the Lord are so far from wanting the commodities of this life, that they do not want life itself.
     After all this, I do not say it is a sin to be afraid of death: we find the boldest spirit that discourses of it with confidence, and dares undertake a danger as big as death, yet doth shrink at the horror of it when it comes dressed in its proper circumstances. And Brutus, who was as bold a Roman to undertake a noble action as any was since they first reckoned by consuls, yet when Furius came to cut his throat, after his defeat by Anthony, he ran from it like a girl, and being admonished to die constantly, he swore by his life that he would shortly endure death. But what do I speak of such imperfect persons? Our blessed Lord was pleased to legitimate fear to us by his agony and prayers in the garden. It is not a sin to be afraid, but it is a great felicity to be with fear; which felicity our dearest Saviour refused to have, because it was agreeable to his purposes to suffer anything that was contrary to felicity, every thing but sin. But when men will by all means avoid death, they are like those who at any hand resolve to be rich. The case may happen in which they will blaspheme and dishonour Providence, or do a base action, or curse God and die; but, in all cases, they die miserable and ensnared, and in no case do they die the less for it. Nature hath left us the key of the churchyard, and custom hath brought cemeteries and charnel-houses into cities and churches, places most frequented, that we might not carry ourselves strangely in so certain, so expected, so ordinary, so unavoidable an accident. All reluctancy or unwillingness to obey the divine decree is but a snare to ourselves, and a load to our spirits, and is either an entire cause or a great aggravation of the calamity. Who did not scorn to look upon Xerxes when he caused three hundred stripes to be given to the sea, and sent a chartel of defiance against the mountain of Athos? We did not scorn the proud vanity of Cyrus, when he took so goodly a revenge upon the river Cyndus for his hard passage over it? or did not deride or pity the Thracians for shooting arrows against heaven when it thunders? To be angry with God, to quarrel with the divine providence, by repining against an unalterable, a natural, an easy sentence, is an argument of a huge folly, and the parent of a great trouble; a man is base and foolish to no purpose; he throws away a vice to his own misery, and to no advantages of ease and pleasure. Fear keeps men in bondage all their life, saith St. Paul; and patience makes him his own man, and lord of his own interest and person. Therefore posses yourselves in patience with reason and religion, and you shall die with ease. [106]
     If all the parts of this discourse be true, if they be better than dreams, and unless virtue be nothing but words, as a grove is a heap of trees; if they be not the phantasms of hypochondriacal persons, and designs upon the interest of men, and their persuasions to evil purposes; then there is no reason but that we should really desire death, and account it among the good things of God, and the sour and laborious felicities of man. St. Paul understood it well when he desired to be dissolved: he well enough knew his own advantages and pursued them accordingly. But it is certain that he that is afraid of death, I mean with a violent and transporting fear, with a fear apt to discompose his duty or his patience, that man either loves this world too much or dares not trust God for the next.



General Rules and Exercises whereby our Sickness may become safe and sanctified.

     1. Take care that the cause of thy sickness be such as may not sour it in the principal causes of it. It is a sad calamity to pass into the house of mourning through the gates of intemperance, by a drunken meeting, or the surfeits of a loathed and luxurious table; for then a man suffers the pain of his own folly, and he is like a fool smarting under the whip which his own viciousness twisted for his back: then a man pays the price of his sin, and hath a pure and an unmingled sorrow in his suffering; and it cannot be alleviated by any circumstances, for the whole affair is mere process of death and sorrow. Sin is in the head, sickness is in the body, and death and eternity of pains in the tail; and nothing can make this condition tolerable unless the miracles of the divine mercy will be pleased to exchange the eternal anger for the temporal. True it is, that in all sufferings the cause of it makes it noble or ignoble, honour or shame, tolerable or intolerable. For when patience is assaulted by a ruder violence, by a blow from heaven or earth, from a gracious God or an unjust man, patience looks forth to the doors, which way she may escape. And if innocence or a cause of religion keep the first entrance, then, whether she escapes at the gates of life or death, there is a good to be received greater than the evils of a sickness; but if sin thrust in that sickness, and that hell stands at the door, then patience turns into fury, and, seeing it impossible to go forth with safety, rolls up and down with a circular and infinite revolution, makes its motion not from but upon its own centre; it doubles the pain, and increases the sorrow, till by its weight it breaks the spirit and bursts into the agonies of infinite and eternal ages. If we had seen St. Polycarp burning to death, or St. Laurence roasted upon his gridiron, or St. Ignatius exposed to lions, or St. Sebastian pierced with arrows, or St. Attalus carried about the theatre with scorn unto his death, for the cause of Jesus, for religion, for God, and a holy conscience - we should have been in love with flames, and have thought the gridiron fairer than the spondae, the ribs of a martial bed; and we should have chosen to converse with those beasts, rather than those men that brought those beasts forth; and estimated the arrows to be rays of light brighter than the moon; and that disgrace and mistaken pageantry were a solemnity richer and more magnificent than Mordecia's procession upon the king's horse, and in the robes of majesty: for so did these holy men account them; they kissed their stakes, and hugged their deaths, and ran violently to torments, and counted whippings and secular disgraces to be the enamel of their persons, and the ointment of their heads, and the embalming their names, and securing them for immortality. But to see Sejanus torn in pieces by the people, or Nero crying or creeping timorously to his death, when he was condemned to die more majorum; to see Judas pale and trembling, full of anguish, sorrow, and despair; to observe the groanings and intolerable agonies of Herod and Antiochus - will tell and demonstrate the causes of patience and impatience to proceed from the causes of the suffering; and it is sin only that makes the cup bitter and deadly. When men, by vomiting, measure up the drink they took in, and sick and sad do again taste their meat turned into choler by intemperance, the sin and its punishment are mingled so that shame covers the face and sorrow puts a veil of darkness upon the heart; and we scarce pity a vile person that is haled to execution for murder or for treason, but we say he deserves it, and that every man is concerned in it that he should die. If lust brought the sickness or the shame, if we truly suffer the rewards of our evil deeds, we must thank ourselves; that is, we are fallen into an evil condition, and are the sacrifice of the divine justice. But if we live holy lives, and if we enter well in, we are sure to pass on safe, and to go forth with advantage if we list ourselves.
     2. To this relates that we should not counterfeit sickness; for he that is to be careful of his passage into a sickness will think himself concerned that he fall not into it through a trap-door: for so it hath sometimes happened that such counterfeiting to light and evil purposes hath ended in a real sufferance. Appian tells of a Roman gentleman who, to escape the proscription of the trinmvirate, fled, and to secure his privacy, counterfeited himself blind on one eye, and wore a plaister upon it; till, beginning to be free from the malice of the three prevailing princes, he opened his hood, but could not open his eye, but for ever lost the use of it, and with his eye paid for his liberty and hypocrisy. And Caelius counterfeited the gout, and all its circumstances and pains, its dressings and arts of remedy and complaint, till at last the gout really entered and spoiled the pageantry. His arts of dissimulation were so witty, that they put life and motion into the very image of the disease: he made the very picture to sigh and groan.
     It is easy to tell upon the interest of what virtue such counterfeiting is to be reproved. But it will be harder to snatch the politics of the world from following that which they call a canonised and authentic precedent; and David's counterfeiting himself mad before the king of Gath, to save his life and liberty, will be sufficient to entice men to serve an end upon the stock and charges of so small an irregularity, not in the matter of manners, but in the rules and decencies of natural or civil deportment: I cannot certainly tell what degrees of excuse David's action might put on. This only; besides his present necessity, the laws whose coercive and directive power David lived under had less of severity, and more of liberty, and towards enemies had so little of restraint and so great a power, that what amongst them was a direct sin, if used to their brethren the sons of Jacob, was lawful and permitted to be acted against enemies. To which also I add this general caution, that the actions of holy persons in Scripture are not always good precedents to us Christians, who are to walk by a rule and a greater strictness, with more simplicity and heartiness of pursuit. And amongst them sanctity and holy living did, in very many of its instances, increase in new particulars of duty; and the prophets reproved many things which the law forbad not, and taught many duties which Moses prescribed not; and as the time of Christ's approach came, so the sermons and revelations too were more evangelical and like the patterns which were fully to be exhibited by the Son of God. Amongst which it is certain that Christian simplicity and godly sincerity are to be accounted; and counterfeiting of sickness is a huge enemy to this: it is an upbraiding the Divine Providence, a jesting with fire, a playing with a thunderbolt, a making the decrees of God to serve the vicious or secular ends of men; it is a tempting of a judgment, a false accusation of God, a forestalling and antedating his anger; it is a cozening of men by making God a party in the fraud; and, therefore, if the cozenage returns upon the man's own head, he enters like a fox into his sickness, and perceives himself catched in a trap, or earthed in the intolerable dangers of the grave.
     3. Although we must be infinitely careful to prevent it, that sin does not thrust us into a sickness; yet, when we are in the house of sorrow, we should do well to take physic against sin, and suppose that it is the cause of the evil; if not by way of natural causality and proper effect, yet by amoral influence, and by a just demerit. We can easily see when a man hath got a surfeit; intemperance is as plain as the handwriting upon the wall, and easier to be read; but covetousness may cause a fever as well as drunkenness, and pride can produce a falling-sickness as well as long washings and dilutions of the brain, and intemperate lust; and we find it recorded in Scripture that the contemptuous and unprepared manner of receiving the holy sacraments caused sickness and death; and sacrilege and vow-breach in Ananias and Sapphira made them to descend quick into their graves. Therefore, when sickness is upon us, let us cast about; and, if we can, let us find out the cause of God's displeasure; that, it being removed, we may return into the health and securities of God's loving-kindness. Thus, in the three years' famine, David inquired of the Lord what was the matter: and God answered, `It is for Saul and his bloody house;' and then David expiated the guilt, and the people were full again of food and blessing. And when Israel was smitten by the Amorites, Joshua cast about, and found out the accursed thing, and cast it out; and the people after that fought prosperously. And what God in that case said to Joshua he will also verify to us: `I will not be with you any more, unless you destroy the accursed thing from among you.'[107] But in pursuant of this we are to observe, that although in case of loud and clamorous sins the discovery is easy, and the remedy not difficult; yet, because Christianity is a nice thing, and religion is as pure as the sun, and the soul of man is apt to be troubled from more principles than the intricate and curiously-composed body in its innumerable parts, it will often happen that iffy go to inquire into the particular we shall never find it out; and we may suspect drunkenness when it may be also a morose delectation in unclean thoughts, or covetousness, or oppression, or a crafty invasion of my neighbour's rights, or my want of charity, or my judging unjustly in my own cause, or my censuring my neighbours, or a secret pride, or a base hypocrisy, or the pursuance of little ends with violence and passion, that may have procured the present messenger of death. Therefore, ask no more after any one, but heartily endeavour to reform all: `Sin no more, lest a worst thing happen;' for a single search or accusation may be the design of an imperfect repentance; but no man does heartily return to God but he that decrees against every irregularity; and then only we can be restored to health or life, when we have taken away the causes of sickness and a cursed death.
     4. He that means to have his sickness turn into safety and life, into health and virtue, must make religion the employment of his sickness, and prayer the employment of his religion. For there are certain compendiums or abbreviatures and shortenings of religion fitted to several states. They that first gave up their names to Christ, and that turned from Paganism to Christianity, had an abbreviature fitted for them; they were to renounce their false worshippings, and give up their belief, and vow their obedience unto Christ; and in the very profession of this they were forgiven in baptism. For God hastens to snatch them from the power of the devil, and therefore shortens the passage and secures the estate. In the case of poverty, God hath reduced this duty of man to an abbreviature of those few graces which they can exercise; such as are patience, contentedness, truth, and diligence; and the rest he accepts in good will, and the charities of the soul, in prayers, and the actions of a cheap religion. And to most men charity is also an abbreviature. And as the love of God shortens the way to the purchase of all virtues; so the expression of this to the poor goes a huge way in the requisites and towards the consummation of an excellent religion. And martyrdom is another abbreviature; and so is every act of an excellent and heroical virtue. But when we are fallen into the state of sickness, and that our understanding is weak and troubled, our bodies sick and useless, our passions turned into fear, and the whole state into suffering, God, in compliance with man's infirmity, hath also turned our religion into such a duty which a sick man can do most passionately, and a sad man and a timorous can perform effectually, and a dying man can do to many purposes of pardon and mercy; and that is prayer. For although a sick man is bound to do many acts of virtue of several kinds, yet the most of them are to be done in the way of prayer. Prayer is not only the religion that is proper to a sick man's condition, but it is the manner of doing other graces, which is then left and in his power. For thus the sick man is to do his repentance and his mortifications, his temperance and his chastity, by a fiction of imagination, bringing the offers of the virtue to the spirit, and making an action of election: and so our prayers are a direct act of chastity, when they are made in the matter of that grace; just as repentance for our cruelty is an act of the grace of mercy; and repentance for uncleanness is an act of chastity, is a means of its purchase, an act in order to the habit. And though such acts of virtue, which are only in the way of prayer, are ineffective to the entire purchase, and of themselves cannot change the vice into virtue, yet they are good renewings of the grace, and proper exercise of a habit already gotten.
     The purpose of this discourse is, to represent the excellency of prayer, and its proper advantages which it hath in the time of sickness. For besides that it moves God to pity, piercing the clouds, and making the heavens, like a pricked eye, to weep over us and refresh us with showers of pity; it also doth the work of the soul, and expresses the virtue of his whole life in effigy, in pictures and lively representments, so preparing it for a never-ceasing crown, by renewing the actions in the continuation of a never-ceasing, a never-hindered affection. Prayer speaks to God when the tongue is stiffened with the approachings of death: prayer can dwell in the heart, and be signified by the hand or eye, by a thought or a groan; prayer of all the actions of religion is the last alive, and it serves God without circumstances, and exercises material graces by abstraction from matter, and separation, and makes them to be spiritual; and therefore best dresses our bodies for funeral or recovery, for the mercies of restitution or the mercies of the grave.
     5. In every sickness, whether it will or will not be so in nature and in the event, yet in thy spirit and preparations resolve upon it, and treat thyself accordingly, as if it were a sickness unto death. For many men support their unequal courages by flattery and false hopes; and because sicker men have recovered, believe that they shall do so; but therefore they neglect to adorn their souls, or set their house in order: besides the temporal inconveniences that often happen by such persuasions and putting off the evil day, such as are dying intestate, leaving estates entangled and some relatives unprovided for, they suffer infinitely in the interest and affairs of their soul, they die carelessly and surprised, their burdens on and their scruples unremoved, and their cases of conscience not determined, and, like a sheep without any care taken concerning their precious souls. Some men will never believe that a villain will betray them, though they receive often advices from suspicious persons and likely accidents, till they are entered into the snare; and then they cannot return; but so the treason entered, and the man was betrayed by his own folly, placing the snare in the regions and advantages of opportunity. This evil looks like boldness and a confident spirit, but it is the greatest timorousness and cowardice in the world. They are so fearful to die, that they dare not look upon it as possible; and think that the making of a will is a mortal sign, and sending for a spiritual man an irrecoverable disease: and they are so afraid lest they should think and believe now they must die, that they will not take care that it may not be evil in case they should. So did the eastern slaves drink wine, and wrapped their heads in a veil, that they might die without sense or sorrow, and wink hard that they might sleep the easier. In pursuance of this rune, let a man consider that whatsoever must be done in sickness ought to be done in health; only let him observe, that his sickness, as a good monitor, chastises his neglect of duty, and forces him to live as he always should; and then all these solemnities and dressings for death are nothing else but the part of a religious life, which he ought to have exercised all his days; and if those circumstances can affright him, let him please his fancy by this truth, that then he does but begin to live. But it will be a huge folly if he shall think that confession of his sins will kill him; or receiving the holy sacrament will hasten his agony, or the priest shall undo all the hopeful language and promises of his physician. Assure thyself thou canst not die the sooner; but by such addresses thou mayest die much the better.
     6. Let the sick person be infinitely careful that he do not fall into a state of death upon a new account: that is, at no hand commit a deliberate sin, or retain any affection to the old; for in both cases he falls into the evils of a surprise, and the horrors of a sudden death; for a sudden death is but a sudden joy, if it takes a man in the state and exercises of virtue; and it is only then an evil when it finds a man unready. They were sad departures when Tigillinus, Cornellius Gallus the pretor, Lewis the son of Gonzaga duke of Mantua, Ladislaus king of Naples, Speusippus, Giachetius of Geneva, and one of the popes, died in the forbidden embraces of abused women; or if Job had cursed God, and so died; or when a man sits down in despair, and in the accusation and calumny of the Divine mercy: they make their night sad, and stormy, and eternal. When Herod began to sink with the shameful torment of his bowels, and felt the grave open under him, he imprisoned the nobles of his kingdom, and commanded his sister that they should be a sacrifice to his departing ghost. This was an egress fit only for such persons who meant to dwell with devils to eternal ages; and that man is hugely in love with sin who cannot forbear in the week of the assizes, and when himself stood at the bar of scrutiny, and prepared for his final, never-to-be-reversed sentence. He dies suddenly to the worse sense and event of sudden death who so manages his sickness that even that state shall not be innocent, but that he is surprised in the guilt of a new account. It is a sign of a reprobate spirit, and an habitual prevailing ruling sin, which exacts obedience when the judgment looks him in the face. At least go to God with the innocence and fair deportment of thy person in the last scene of thy life, that when thy soul breaks into the state of separation, it may carry the relishes of religion and sobriety to the places of its abode and sentence.[108]
     7. When these things are taken care for, let the sick man so order his affairs that he have but very little conversation with the world, but wholly (as he can) attend to religion, and antedate his conversation, in heaven, always having intercourse with God, and still conversing with the holy Jesus, kissing his wounds, admiring his goodness, begging his mercy, feeding on him with faith, and drinking his blood: to which purpose it were very fit (if all circumstances be answerable) that the narrative of the passion of Christ be read or discoursed to him at length, or in brief, according to the style of the four gospels. But in all things let his care and society be as little secular as is possible.





Of the Practice of Patience.

     Now we suppose the man entering upon his scene of sorrows and passive graces. It may be he went yesterday to a wedding, merry and brisk, and there he felt his sentence that he must return home and die; (for men very commonly enter into the snare singing, and consider not whither their fate leads them;) nor feared that then the angel was to strike his stroke, till his knees kissed the earth and his head trembled with the weight of the rod which God put into the hand of an exter minating angel. But whatsoever the ingress was, when the man feels his blood boil, or his bones weary, or his flesh diseased with a load of dispersed and disordered humour, or his head to ache, or his faculties discomposed, then he must consider that all those discoursed he hath heard concerning patience and resignation, and conformity to Christ's sufferings, and the melancholy lectures of the cross, must all of them now be reduced to practice, and pass from an ineffective contemplation to such an exercise as will really try whether we were true disciples of the cross, or only believed the doctrines of religion when we were at ease, and that they never passed through the ear to the heart, and dwelt not in our spirits. But every man should consider God does nothing in vain; that he would not to no purpose send us preachers and give us rules, and furnish us with discourse, and lend us books, and provide sermons, and make examples, and promise his Spirit, and describe the blessedness of holy sufferings, and prepare us with daily alarms, if he did not really purpose to order our affairs so that we should need all this, and use it all. There were no such thing as the grace of patience if we were not to feel a sickness or enter into a state of sufferings; whither, when we are entered, we are to practise by the following rules:
The Practice and Acts of Patience by way of Rule.
     1. At the first address and presence of sickness stand still and arrest thy spirit, that it may, without amazement or affright, consider that this was that thou lookedst for and wert always certain should happen; and that now thou art to enter into the actions of a new religion, the agony of a strange constitution; but at no hand suffer thy spirits to be dispersed with fear, or wildness of thought, but stay their looseness and dispersion by a serious consideration of the present and future employment. For so doth the Libyan lion, spying the fierce huntsman, first beats himself with the strokes of his tail, and curls up his spirits, making them strong with union and recollection, till being struck with a Mauitanian spear, he rushed forth into his defence and noblest contention; and either `scapes into the secrets of his own dwelling, or else dies the bravest of the forest. Every man, when shot with an arrow from God's quiver, must then draw in all the auxiliaries of reason, and know that then is the time to try his strength, and to reduce the words of his religion into action, and consider that, if he behaves himself weakly and timorously, he suffers nevertheless of sickness; but if he returns to health, he carries along with him the mark of a coward and a fool; and if he descends into his grave, he enters into the state of the faithless and unbelievers. Let him set his heart firm upon this resolution: "I must bear it inevitably, and I will, by God's grace, do it nobly."
     2. Bear in thy sickness all along the same thoughts, propositions, and discourses, concerning thy person, thy life and death, thy soul and religion, which thou hadst in the best days of thy health, and when thou didst discourse wisely concerning things spiritual. For it is to be supposed (and if it be not yet done, let this rule remind thee of it, and direct thee) that thou hast cast about in thy health, and considered concerning thy change and the evil day, that thou must be sick and die, that thou must need a comforter, and that it was certain thou shouldst fall into a state in which all the cords of thy anchor should be stretched, and the very rock and foundation of faith should be attempted; and whatsoever fancies may disturb you, or whatsoever weaknesses may invade you, yet consider when you were better able to judge and govern the accidents of your life you concluded it necessary to trust in God and posses your souls with patience. Think of things as they think that stand by you, and as you did when you stood by others; that it is a blessed thing to be patient; that a quietness of spirit hath a certain reward; that still there is infinite truth and reality in the promises of the gospel; that still thou art in the care of God, in the condition of a son, and working out thy salvation with labour and pain, with fear and trembling; that now the sun is under a cloud, but it still sends forth the same influence: and be sure to make no new principles upon the stock of a quick and an impatient sense or too busy an apprehension: keep your old principles, and upon their stock discourse and practise on towards your conclusion.
     3. Resolve to bear your sickness like a child, that is, without considering the evils and the pains, the sorrows and the danger; but go straight forward, and let thy thoughts cast about for nothing but how to make advantages of it by the instrument of religion. He that from a high tower looks down upon the precipice, and measures the space through which he must descend, and considers what a huge fall he shall have, shall feel more by the horrow of it than by the last dash on the pavement: and he that tells his groans and numbers his sighs, and reckons one for every gripe of his belly or throb of his distempered pulse, will make an artificial sickness greater than the natural. And if thou beest ashamed that a child should bear an evil better than thou, then take his instrument and allay thy spirit with it; reflect not upon thy evil, but contrive as much as you can for duty, and in all the rest inconsideration will ease your pain.
     4. If thou fearest thou shalt need, observe and draw together all such things as are apt to charm thy spirit and ease thy fancy in the sufferance. It is the counsel of Socrates: "It is (said he) a great danger, and you must, by discourse and arts of reasoning, enchant it into slumber and some rest."[109] It may be, thou wert moved much to see a person of honour to die untimely; or thou didst love the religion of that death-bed, and it was dressed up in circumstances fitted to thy needs, and hit thee on that part where thou wert most sensible; or some little saying in a sermon or passage of a book was chosen and singled out by a peculiar apprehension, and made consent lodge awhile in thy spirit, even then when thou didst place death in thy meditation, and didst view it in all its dress of fancy. Whatsoever that was which at any time did please thee in thy most passionate and fantastic part, let not that go, but bring it home at that time especially; because, when thou art in thy weakness, such little things will easier move thee than a more severe discourse and a better reason. For a sick man is like a scrupulous: his case is gone beyond the cure of arguments, and it is a trouble that can only be helped by chance, or a lucky saying: and Ludovico Corbinelli was moved at the death of Henry the Second more than if he had read the saddest elegy of all the unfortunate princes in Christendom, or all the sad sayings of Scripture, or the thrones of the funeral prophets. I deny not but this course is most proper to weak persons; but it is a state of weakness for which we are now providing remedies and instruction; a strong man will not need it; but when our sickness hath rendered us weak in all senses, it is not good to refuse a remedy because it supposes us to be sick. But then, if to the catalogue of weak persons we add all those who are ruled by fancy, we shall find that many persons in their health, and more in their sickness, are under the dominion of fancy, and apt to be helped by those little things which themselves have found fitted to their apprehension, and which no other man can minister to their needs, unless by chance, or in a heap of other things. But therefore every man should remember by what instruments he was at any time much moved, and try them upon his spirit in the day of his calamity.
     5. Do not choose the kind of thy sickness, or the manner of thy death, but let it be what God please, so it be no greater than thy spirit or thy patience; and for that you are to rely upon the promise of God, and to secure thyself by prayer and industry; but in all things else let God be thy chooser, and let it be thy work to submit indifferently and attend thy duty. It is lawful to beg of God that thy sickness may not be sharp or noisome, infectious or unusual, because these are circumstances of evil which are also proper instruments of temptation: and though it may well concern the prudence of thy religion to fear thyself, and keep thee from violent temptations, who hast so often fallen in little ones, yet, even in these things, be sure to keep some degrees of indifferency; that is, if God will not be entreated to ease thee, or to change thy trial, then be importunate that thy spirit and its interest be secured, and let him do what seemeth good in his eyes. But as in the degrees of sickness thou art to submit to God, so in the kind of it (supposing equal degrees) thou art to be altogether incurious whether God call thee by a consumption or an asthma, by a dropsy or a palsy, by a fever in thy humours, or a fever in thy spirits; because all such nicety of choice is nothing but a colour to a legitimate impatience, and to make an excuse to murmur privately, and for circumstances, when in the sum of affairs we durst not own impatience. I have known some persons vehemently wish that they might die of a consumption, and some of these had a plot upon heaven, and hoped by that means to secure it after a careless life; as thinking a lingering sickness would certainly infer a lingering and a protracted repentance; and by that means they thought they should be safest: others of them dreamed it would be an easier death, and have found themselves deceived, and their patience hath been tired with a weary spirit and a useless body, by often conversing with healthful persons and vigorous neighbours, by uneasiness of the flesh and the sharpness of their bones, by want of spirits and a dying life; and, in conclusion, have been directly debauched by peevishness and a fretful sickness: and these men had better have left it to the wisdom and goodness of God; for they both are infinite.
     6. Be patient in the desires of religion; and take care that the forwardness of exterior actions do not discompose thy spirit, while thou fearest, that by less serving God in thy disability thou runnest backward in the accounts of pardon and the favour of God. Be content that the time which was formerly spent in prayer be now spent in vomiting and carefulness and attendances; since God hath pleased it should be so, it does not become us to think hard thoughts concerning it. Do not think that God is only to be found in a great prayer, or a solemn office: he is moved by a sigh, by a groan, by an act of love; and therefore, when your pain is great and pungent, lay all your strength upon it, to bear it patiently: when the evil is something more tolerable, let your mind think some pious, though short, meditation; let it not be very busy, and full of attention; for that will be but a new temptation to your patience, and render your religion tedious and hateful. But record your desires, and present yourself to God by general acts of will and understanding, and by habitual remembrances of your former vigorousness, and by verification of the same grace, rather than proper exercises. If you can do more, do it; but if you cannot, let it not become a scruple to thee. We must not think man is tied to the forms of health, or that he who swoons and faints is obliged to his usual forms and hours of prayer: if we cannot labour, yet let us love. Nothing can hinder us from that but our own uncharitableness.
     7. Be obedient to thy physician in those things that concern him, if he be a person fit to minister unto thee. God is he only that needs no help, and God hath created the physician for thine: therefore use him temperately without violent confidences, and sweetly without uncivil distrustings, or refusing his prescriptions upon humours or impotent fear. A man may refuse to have his arm or leg cut off, or to suffer the pains of Marius's incision; and if he believes that to die is the less evil, he may compose himself to it without hazarding his patience, or introducing that which he thinks a worse evil; but that which in this article is to be reproved and avoided is, that some men will choose to die out of fear of death, and send for physicians, and do what themselves list, and call for counsel and follow none. When there is reason they should decline him, it is not to be accounted to the stock of a sin; but where there is no just case there is a direct impatience.
     Hither is to be reduced, that we be not too confident of the physician, or drain our hopes of recovery from the fountain through so imperfect channels, laying the wells of God dry, and digging to ourselves broken cisterns. Physicians are the ministers of God's mercies and providence in the matter of health and ease, of restitution or death; and when God shall enable their judgments, and direct their counsels, and prosper their medicines, they shall do thee good, for which you must give God thanks, and to the physician the honour of a blessed instrument. But this cannot always be done: and Lucius Cornelius,[110] the lieutenant in Portugal under Fabius the consul, boasted in the inscription of his monument, that he had lived a healthful and vegete age till his last sickness, but then complained he was forsaken by his physician and railed upon Esculapius for not accepting his vow and passionate desire of preserving his life longer; and all the effect of that impatience and folly was, that it is recorded to folling ages that he died without reason and without religion. But it was a sad sight to see the favour of all France confined to a physician and a barber, and the king (Louis XI.) to be so much their servant, that he should acknowledge and own his life from them, and all his ease to their gentle dressing of his gout and friendly ministries; for the king thought himself undone and robbed if he should die; his portion here was fair; and he was loath to exchange his possession for the interest of a bigger hope.
     8. Treat thy nurses and servants sweetly, and as it becomes an obliged and a necessitous person. Remember that thou art very troublesome to them; that they trouble not thee willingly; that they strive to do thee ease and benefit, that they wish it, and sigh and pray for it, and are glad if thou likest their attendance; that whatsoever is amiss is thy disease, and the uneasiness of thy head or thy side, thy distemper or thy disaffections; and it will be an unhandsome injustice to be troublesome to them because thou art so to thyself; to make them feel a part of thy sorrows, that thou mayest not bear them alone; evilly to requite their care by thy too curious and impatient wrangling and fretful spirit. That tenderness is vicious and unnatural that shieks out under the weight of a gentle cataplasm; and he will ill comply with God's rod that cannot endure his friends; greatest kindness; and he will be very angry (if he durst) with God's smiting him that is peevish with his servants that go about to ease him.
     9. Let not the smart of your sickness make you to call violently for death; you are not patient unless you be content to live;[111] God hath wisely ordered that we may be the better reconciled with death, because it is the period of many calamities; but wherever the general hath placed thee, stir not from thy station until thou beest called off, but abide so, that death may come to thee by the design of him who intends it to be thy work, and do not impatiently long for evening, lest at night thou findest the reward of him that was weary of his work; for he that is weary before his time is an unprofitable servant, and is either idle or diseased.
     10. That which remains in the practice of this grace is, that the sick man should do acts of patience by way of prayer and ejaculations; in which he may serve himself of the following collection.



Acts of Patience by way of Prayer and Ejaculation.

     I will seek unto God, unto God will I committ my cause, which doth great things and unsearchable, marvellous things without number. Job. v. 8,9,11,16-19,26.
     To set up on high those that be low, that those which mourn may be exalted to safety.
     So the poor have hope, and iniquity stoppeth her mouth.
     Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty.
     For he maketh sore, and bindeth up; he woundeth, and his hands make a whole.
     He shall deliver thee in six troubles; yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.
     Thou shalt come to thy grave in a just age, like as a shock of corn cometh in his season.
     I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate upon thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore under the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after thee; for thy right hand hath upholden me. Psalm lxiii. 6-8.
     God restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the path of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalm xxiii.3,4.
     In the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavillion; in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. Psalm xxvii.5.
     The Lord hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from the heaven did the Lord behold the earth; to hear the groaning of his prisoners; to loose those that are appointed to death. Psalm cii.19,20.
     I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice, and he gave ear unto me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; my sore ran in the night and ceased not; my soul refused to be comforted; I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Thou holdest mine eyes waking; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. Will the Lord cast me off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his promise clean gone for ever? Doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? And I said, This is my infirmity; but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High. Psalm lxxvii. 1-4,7-10.
     No temptation hath taken me but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer me to be tempted above what I am able; but will, with the temptation, also make a way to escape, that I may be able to bear it. 1 Cor. x.13.
     Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning; that we, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope. Now the God of peace and consolation grant me to be so minded. Rom. xv.4,5.
     It is the Lord; let him do what seemeth good in his eyes. 1 Sam. iii. 18.
     Surely the word that the Lord hath spoken is very good, but thy servant is weak: O remember mine infirmities; and lift thy servant up that leaneth upon thy right hand.
     There is given unto me a thorn in the flesh to buffet me. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, I will glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For when I am weak, then am I strong. 2 Cor. xii. 7-10.
     O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life. And I said, My strength and my hope is in the Lord; remembering my affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.
     It is the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, said my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
     The Lord is good to them that wait for him; to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. For the Lord will not cast off for ever. But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men. Lain. iii. 58, 18-26, 31-33, 39.
     Wherefore doth a living man complain - a man for the punishment of his sins? O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave (of Jesus), that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past; that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! Job, xiv. 13.
     Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? Job. ii.20.
     The sick man may recite, or hear recited, the following Psalms in the intervals of his agony.

     O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Psalm vi.
     Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are vexed.
     My soul is also vexed; but thou, O Lord, how long?
     Return, O Lord, deliver my soul; O save me for thy mercy sake.
     For in death no man groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim: I water my couch with my tears.
     Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all my (sorrows).
     Depart from me all ye workers of iniquity; for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping.
     The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer.
     Blessed by the Lord, who hath heard my prayer, and hath not turned his mercy from me.

     In the Lord put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? Psalm xi.
     The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven; his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.
     Preserve me, O God; for in thee do I put my trust. Psalm xvi.
     O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord; my goodness extendeth not to thee.
     The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup; thou maintainest my lot.
     I will bless the Lord who hath given me counsel; my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
     I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
     Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth; my flesh also shall rest in hope.
     Thou wilt show me the path of life; in thy presence is the fulness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
     As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness. Psalm xvii.

     Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief; yea, my soul and my belly. Psalm xxxi.
     For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
     I am like a broken vessel.
     But I trusted in thee, O Lord; I said, Thou art my God.
     My times are in thy hand; make thy face to shine upon thy servant; save me for thy mercy's sake.
     When thou saidst, Seek ye my face, my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. Psalm xxvii.
     Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man; thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavillion from the strife of tongues, (from the calumnies and aggravation of sins by devils).
     I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes; nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplication when I cried unto thee.
     O love the Lord, all ye his saints; for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plenteously rewardeth the proud doer.
     Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.
The Prayer to be said at the beginning of Sickness.
     O Almighty God, merciful and gracious, who in thy justice didst send sorrow and tears, sickness and death, into the world, as a punishment for man's sins, and hast comprehended all under sin, and this sad covenant of sufferings, not to destroy us, but that thou mightest have mercy upon all, making thy justice to minister to mercy, short afflictions to an eternal weight of glory; as thou hast turned my sins into sickness, so turn my sickness to the advantages of holiness and religion, of mercy and pardon, of faith, and hope, of grace and glory. Thou hast now called me to the fellowship of sufferings: Lord, by the instrument of religion let my present condition be so sanctified that my sufferings may be united to the sufferings of my Lord, that so thou mayst pity me and assist me. Relieve my sorrow and support my spirit; direct my thoughts, and sanctify the accidents of my sickness; and that the punishment of my sin may be the school of virtue, in which, since thou hast now entered me, Lord, make me a holy proficient, that I may behave myself as a son under discipline, humbly and obediently, evenly and penitently; that I may come by this means nearer unto thee; that, if I shall go forth of this sickness by the gate of life and health, I may return to the world with great strengths of spirit, to run a new race of a stricter holiness and a more severe religion; or, if I pass from hence with the outlet of death, I may enter into the bosom of my Lord, and may feel the present joys of a certain hope of that sea of pleasures, in which all thy saints and servants shall be comprehended to eternal ages. Grant this for Jesus Christ's sake, our dearest Lord and Saviour. Amen.
An Act of Resignation to be said by a Sick Person in all the evil Accidents of his Sickness.
     O eternal God, thou hast made me and sustained me; thou hast blessed me in all the days of my life, and hast taken care of me in all variety of accidents; and nothing happens to me in vain, nothing without thy providence; and I know thou smitest thy servants in mercy, and with designs of the greatest pity in the world; Lord, I humbly lie down under thy rod: do with me as thou pleaseth; do thou choose for me not only the whole state and condition of being, but every little and great accident of it. Keep me safe by thy grace, and then use what instrument thou pleaseth of bringing me to thee. Lord, I am not solicitous of the passage, so I may get to thee. Only, O Lord, remember my infirmities, and let thy servant rejoice in thee always, and feel and confess and glory in thy goodness. O, be thou as delightful to me in this my medicinal sickness as ever thou wert in any of the danger of my prosperity; let me not peevishly refuse thy pardon at the rate of a severe discipling. I am thy servant and thy creature, thy purchased possession, and thy son; I am all thine; and because thou hast mercy in store for all that trust in thee, I cover mine eyes, and in silence wait for the time of my redemption. Amen.
A Prayer for the Grace of Patience.

     Most merciful and gracious Father, who, in the redemption of lost mankind by the passion of thy most holy Son, hast established a covenant of sufferings, I bless and magnify thy name that thou hast adopted me into the inheritance of sons, and hast given me a portion of my elder brother. Lord, the cross falls heavy and sits uneasy upon my shoulders; my spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak: I humbly beg of thee that I may now rejoice in this thy dispensation and effect of Providence. I know and am persuaded that thou art then as gracious when thou smitest us for amendment or trial, as when thou relievest our wearied bodies in compliance with our infirmity. I rejoice, O Lord, in thy rare and mysterious mercy, who by sufferings hast turned our misery into advantages unspeakable: for so thou makest us like to thy Son, and givest us a gift that the angels never did receive; for they cannot die in conformity to, and imitation of, their Lord and ours; but, blessed by thy name, we can: and, dearest Lord, let it be so. Amen.


     Thou, who art the God of patience and consolation, strengthen me in the inner man, that I may bear the yoke and burden of the Lord without any uneasy and useless murmurs and ineffective unwillingness. Lord, I am unable to stand under the cross, unable of myself; but thou, O holy Jesus, who didst feel the burden of it, who didst sink under it, and wert pleased to admit a man to bear part of the load, when thou under wentest all for him, be thou pleased to ease this load by fortifying my spirit, that I may be strongest when I am weakest, and may be able to do and suffer every thing thou pleased through Christ, who strengthens me. Lord, if thou wilt support me, I will for ever praise thee; if thou wilt suffer the load to press me yet more heavily, I will cry unto thee, and complain unto my God; and at last I will lie down and die, and by the mercies and intercession of the holy Jesus, and the conduct of thy blessed Spirit, and the ministry of angels, pass into those mansions where holy souls rest and weep no more. Lord, pity me; Lord, sanctify this my sickness; Lord, strengthen me; holy Jesus, save me and deliver me. Thou knowest how shamefully I have fallen with pleasure; in thy mercy and very pity, let me not fall with pain too. O let me never charge God foolishly, nor offend thee by my impatience and uneasy spirit, nor weaken the hands and hearts of those that charitably minister to my needs: but let me pass through the valley of tears and the valley of the shadow of death with safety and peace, with a meek spirit and a sense of the divine mercies; and though thou breakest me in pieces, my hope is thou wilt gather me up in the gatherings of eternity. Grant this, eternal God, gracious Father, for the merits and intercession of our merciful High-priest, who once suffered for me, and for ever intercedes for me, our most gracious and ever-blessed Saviour Jesus.
A Prayer to be said when the Sick Man takes Physic.
     O most blessed and eternal Jesus, thou who art the great physician of our souls, and the Sun of Righteousness arising with healing in thy wings, to thee is given by thy heavenly Father the government of all the world, and thou disposest every great and little accident to thy Father's honour, and to the good and comfort of them that love and serve thee; be pleased to bless the ministry of thy servant in order to ease and health, direct his judgment, prosper the medicines, and dispose the chances of my sickness fortunately, that I may feel the blessing and loving-kindness of the Lord in the ease of my pain and the restitution of my health; that I, being restored to the society of the living, and to thy solemn assemblies, may praise thee and thy goodness secretly among the faithful, and in the congregation of thy redeemed ones here in the outer-courts of the Lord,and hereafter in thy eternal temple for ever and ever. Amen.



Of the Practice of the Grace of Faith in the Time of Sickness.

     Now is the time in which the faith appears most necessary and most difficult. It is the foundation of a good life, and the foundation of all our hopes; it is that without which we cannot live well, and without which we cannot die well; it is a grace that then we shall need to support our spirits, to sustain our hopes, to alleviate our sickness, to resist temptation, to prevent despair; upon the belief of the articles of our religion we can do the works of a holy life; but upon belief of the promises we can bear our sickness patiently, and die cheerfully. The sick man may practise it in the following instances.
     1. Let the sick man be careful that he do not admit of any doubt concerning that which he believed and received from a common consent in his best health and days of election and religion. For if the devil can but prevail so far as to unfix and unrivet the resolution and confidence or fulness of assent, it is easy for him so to unwind the spirit, that from why to whether or no, from whether or no to scarcely not, from scarcely to absolutely not at all, are steps of a descending and falling spirit; and whatsoever a man is made to doubt of by the weakness of his understanding in a sickness, it will be hard to get an instrument strong or subtle enough to reinforce and insure: for when the strengths are gone by which faith held, and it does not stand firm by the weight of its own bulk and great constitution, nor yet by the cordage of a tenacious root, then it is prepared for a ruin, which it cannot escape in the tempests of a sickness and the assaults of a devil. Discourse and argument, the line of tradition and a never-failing experience, the Spirit of God and the truth of miracles, the word of prophecy and the blood of martyrs, the excellency of the doctrine and the necessity of men, the riches of the promises and the wisdom of the revelations, the reasonableness and sublimity, the concordance and the usefulness of the articles, and their compliance with all the needs of man, and the government of commonwealths, are like the strings and branches of the roots by which faith stands firm and unmovable in the spirit and understanding of a man. But in sickness the understanding is shaken, and the ground is removed in which the root did grapple and support its trunk;[112] and therefore there is no way now but that it be left to stand upon the old confidences, and by the firmament of its own weight; it must be left to stand, because it always stood there before; and as it stood all his life-time in the ground of understanding, so it must now he supported with will and a fixed resolution.[113] But the disputation tempts it, and shakes it with trying, and overthrows it with shaking. Above all things in the world let the sick man fear a proposition which his sickness hath put into him contrary to the discourses of health and a sober untroubled reason.
     2. Let the sick man mingle the recital of his creed together with his devotions, and in that let him account his faith; not in curiosity and factions, in the confessions of parties and interests:[114] for some over-forward zeals are so earnest to profess their little and uncertain articles, and glory so to die in a particular and divided communion, that in the profession of their faith they lose or discompose their charity. Let it be enough that we secure our interest of heaven, though we do not go about to appropriate the mansions to our sect; for every good man hopes to be saved, as he is a Christian, and not as he is a Lutheran, or of another division. However, those articles upon which he can build the exercise of any virtue in his sickness, or upon the stock of which he can improve his present condition, are such as consist in the greatness and goodness, the veracity and mercy of God through Jesus Christ; nothing of which can be concerned in the fond disputations which faction and interest hath too long maintained in Christendom.
     3. Let the sick man's faith especially be active about the promises of grace, and the excellent things of the gospel; those which can comfort his sorrows and enable his patience; those upon the hopes of which he did the duties of his life, and for which he is not unwilling to die; such as the intercession and advocation of Christ, remission of sins, the resurrection, the mysterious arts and mercies of man's redemption, Christ's triumph over death and all the powers of hell, the covenant of grace, or the blessed issues of repentance; and, above all, the article of eternal life, upon the strength of which eleven thousand virgins went cheerfully together to their martyrdom, and twenty thousand Christians were burned by Diocesian on a Christman-day, and whole armies of Asian Christians offered themselves to the tribunals of Arius Antonius, and whole colleges of severe persons were instituted, who lived upon religion, whose dinner was the eucharist, whose supper was praise, and their nights were watches, and their days were labour; for the hopes of which then men counted it gain to lose their estates, and gloried in their sufferings, and rejoiced in their persecutions, and were glad at their disgraces. This is the article that hath made all the martyrs of Christ confident and glorious; and if it does not more than sufficiently strengthen our spirits to the present suffering, it is because we understand it not, but have the appetites of beasts and fools. But if the sick man fixes his thoughts, and sets his habitation to dwell here, he swells his hope, and masters his fears, and eases his sorrows, and overcomes his temptations.
     4. Let the sick man endeavour to turn his faith of the articles into the love of them; and that will be an excellent instrument, not only to refresh his sorrows, but to confirm his faith in defiance of all temptations. For a sick man and a disturbed understanding are not competent and fit instruments to judge concerning the reasonableness of a proposition. But therefore let him consider and love it, because it is useful and necessary, profitable and gracious; and when he is once in love with it, and then also renews his love to it, when he feels the need of it, he is an interested person, and for his own sake will never let it go, and pass into the shadows of doubting, or the utter darkness of infidelity. And act of love will make him have a mind to it; and we easily believe what we love, but very uneasily part with our belief, which we for so great an interest have chosen and entertained with a great affection.
     5. Let the sick person be infinitely careful that his faith be not tempted by any man, or any thing; and when it is in any degree weakened, let him lay fast hold upon the conclusion, upon the article itself, and by earnest prayer beg of God to guide him in certainty and safety. For let him consider that the article is better than all its contrary or contradictory, and he is concerned that it be true, and concerned also that he do believe it: but he can receive no good at all if Christ did not die, if there be no resurrection, if his creed hath deceiven him; therefore all that he is to do is to secure his hold, which he can do no way but by prayer and by his interest. And by this argument or instrument it was that Socrates refreshed the evil of his condition, when he was to drink his aconite.[115] "If the soul be immortal, and perpetual rewards be laid up for wise souls, then I lose nothing by my death: but if there be not, then I lose nothing by my opinion; for it supports my spirit in my passage, and the evil of being deceived cannot overtake me when I have no being." So it is with all that are tempted in their faith. If those articles be not true, then the men are nothing; if they be true, then they are happy: and if the articles fail, there can be no punishment for believing; but if they be true, my not believing destroys all my portion in them and possibility to receive the excellent things which they contain. By faith we quench the fiery darts of the devil; but if our faith be quenched, wherewithal shall we be able to endure the assault? Therefore seize upon the article, and secure the great object, and the great instrument, that is, the hopes of pardon and eternal life through Jesus Christ; and do this by all means, and by any instrument, artificial or in artificial, by argument or by stratagem, by perfect resolution or by discourse, by the hand and ears of premises or the foot of conclusion, by right or by wrong; because we understand it; or because we love it, super totam materiam; because I will, and because I ought; because it is safe to do so, and because it is not safe to do otherwise; because if I do I may receive a good; and because if I do not I am miserable; either for that I shall have a portion of good things without it.



Acts of Faith, by way of Prayer and Ejaculation to be said by Sick Men, in the Days of their Temptation.

     Lord, whither shall I go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. John, vi. 68.
     I believe in God the Father Almighty, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, etc.
     And I believe in the Holy Ghost, etc.
     Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. Mark, ix. 24.
     I know and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself: for whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we live therefore or die, we are the lord's. Rom. xiv.14,7,8.
     If God be for us, who can be against us? Rom.viii.31-34.
     He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him give us all things?
     Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died; yea, rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God; who also maketh intercession for us.
     If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins. 1 John, ii.1,2.
     This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. 1 Tim. i.15.
     O grant that I may obtain mercy, that in me Jesus Christ may show forth all long-suffering, that I may believe in him to life everlasting.
     I am bound to give thanks unto God alway, because God hath from the beginning chosen me to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth, whereunto he called me by the gospel, to the obtaining of thy glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thess. ii. 13,14,16,17.
     Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God even our Father which hath loves us, and hath given us everlasting consolation, and good hope through grace, comfort my heart, and stablish me in every good word and work.
     The Lord direct my heart into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ. 2 Thess. iii. 5.
     O that our God would count me worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power; that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in me, and I in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thess. i. 11,12.
     Let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and for an helmet the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another. 1 Thess. v.8-10,12.
     There is no name under heaven whereby we can be saved, but only the name of the Lord Jesus. Acts, iv. 12. And every soul which will not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people. Acts, iii.23.
     God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of Jesus Christ. Gal. vi. 14. I desire to know nothing but Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Cor. ii.2. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Phil. i. 21.
     Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils; for wherein is he to be accounted of? Isa. ii.22. But the just shall live by faith. Hab. ii.4.
     Lord, I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, John, xi. 27; the Saviour of the world, John iv. 42; the resurrection and the life; and he that believeth in thee, though he were dead, yet shall he live. John, xi. 25-40.
     Jesus said unto her, Said I not to thee, that if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
     O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the Law. But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Lord, make me steadfast and unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord: for I know that my labour is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Cor. xv. 55-58.
The Prayer for the Grace and Strengths of Faith.
     O holy and eternal Jesus, who didst die for me and all mankind, abolishing our sin, reconciling us to God, adopting us into the portion of thine heritage, and establishing with us a covenant of faith and obedience, making our souls to rely upon spiritual strengths, by the supports of a holy belief, and the expectation of rare promises, and the infallible truths of God: O let me for ever dwell upon the rock, leaning upon thy arm, believing thy word, trusting in thy promises, waiting for thy mercies, and doing thy commandments; that the devil may not prevail upon me, and my own weaknesses may not abuse or unsettle my persuasions, nor my sins discompose my just confidence in thee and thy eternal mercies. let me always be thy servant and thy disciple, and die in the communion of thy church, of all faithful people. Lord, I renounce whatsoever is against thy truth; and if secretly I have or do believe any false proposition, I do it in the simplicity of my heart and great weakness; and, if I could discover it, would dash it in pieces by a solemn disclaiming it; for thou art the way, the truth, and the life. And I know that whatsoever thou hast declared, that is the truth of God; and I do firmly adhere to the religion thou hast taught, and glory in nothing so much as that I am a Christian, that thy name is called upon me. O my God, though I die, yet will I put my trust in thee. In thee, O Lord, have I trusted; let me never be confounded. Amen.



Of the Practice of the Grace of Repentance in the Time of Sickness.

     Men generally do very much dread sudden death, and pray against it passionately; and certainly it hath in it great inconveniences accidentally to men's estates, to the settlement of families, to the culture and trimming of souls; and it robs a man of the blessing which may be consequent to sickness, and to the passive graces and holy contentions of a Christian, while he descends to his grave without an adversary or a trial;[116] and a good man may be taken at such a disadvantage, that a sudden death would be a great evil even to the most excellent person if it strikes him in an unlucky circumstance. But these considerations are not the only ingredients into those men's discourse who pray violently against sudden deaths; for possibly if this were all, there may be in the condition of sudden death something to make recompence for the evils of the over-hasty accident. For certainly it is a less temporal evil to fall by the rudeness of a sword than the violence of a fever, and the axe is much a less affliction than a strangury; and though a sickness tries our virtues, yet a sudden death is free from temptation; a sickness may be more glorious, and a sudden death more safe. The deadest deaths are best, the shortest and least premeditate,[117] so Caesar said; and Pliny called a short death the greatest fortune of a man's life. For even good men have been forced to an indecency of deportment by the violences of pain:[118] and Cicero observes concerning Hercules, that he was broken in pieces with pain even then when he sought for immortality by his death, being tortured with a plague knit up in the lappet of his shirt.[119] And therefore as a sudden death certainly loses the rewards of a holy sickness, so it makes that a man shall not so much hazard and lose the rewards of a holy life.
     But the secret of this affair is a worse matter; men live t that rate either of an habitual wickedness, or else a frequent repetition of single acts of killing and deadly sins, that a sudden death is the ruin of all their hopes, and a perfect consignation to an eternal sorrow. But in this case also so is a lingering sickness: for our sickness may change us from life to health, from health to strength, from strength to the firmness and confirmation of habitual graces; but it cannot change a man from death to life, and begin and finish that process which sits not down but in the bosom of blessedness. He that washes in the morning when his bath is seasonable and healthful,[120] is not only made clean, but sprightly, and the blood is brisk and coloured like the first springing of the morning; but they that wash their dead cleanse the skin, and leave paleness upon the cheek, and stiffness in all the joints. A repentance upon our deathbed is like washing the corpse: it is cleanly and civil; but makes no change deeper than the skin. But God knows it is a custom so to wash them that are going to dwell with dust, and to be buried in the lap of their kindred earth, but all their lives time wallow in pollutions without any washing at all; or if they do, it is like that of the Dardani, who washed but thrice all their lifetime, when they were born, and when they marry, and when they die; when they are baptized, or against a solemnity, or for the day of their funeral; but these are but ceremonious washings, and never purify the soul if it be stained and hath sullied the whiteness of its baptismal robes.
     God intended we should live a holy life; he contracted with us in Jesus Christ for a holy life; he made no abatements of the strictest sense of it, but such as did necessarily comply with human infirmities or possibilities; that is, he understood it in the sense of repentance, which still is so to renew our duty, that it may be a holy life in the second sense; that is, some great portion of our life to be spent in living as Christians should. A resolving to repent upon our death-bed is the greatest mockery of God in the world, and the most perfect contradictory to all his excellent designs of mercy and holiness: for therefore he threatened us with hell if we did not, and he promised heaven if we did live a holy life; and a late repentance promises heaven to us upon other conditions, even when we have lived wickedly. It renders a man useless and intolerable to the world; taking off the great curb of religion, of fear and hope, and permitting all impiety with the greatest impunity and encouragement in the world. By this means we see so many patuax polucronious, as Philo calls them, or as the prophets, pueros centum annorum, children of almost a hundred years old, upon whose grave we may write the inscription which was upon the tomb of Similis in Xiphilin. "Here he lies who was so many years, but lived but seven." And the course of nature runs counter to the perfect designs of piety; and God, who gave us a life to live to him, is only served at our death when we die to all the world; and we undervalue the great promises made by the holy Jesus,[121] for which the piety, the strictest unerring piety often thousand ages is not a proportionable exchange: yet we think it a hard bargain to get to heaven if we be forced to part with one lust, or live soberly twenty years; but, like Demetrius Afer, (who having lived a slave all his life-time, yet desiring to descend to his grave in freedom,[122] begged manumission of his lord,) we lived in the bondage of our sin all our days, and hope to die the Lord's freed-men. But above all, this course of a delayed repentance must of necessity therefore be ineffective and certainly mortal, because it is an entire destruction of the very formality and essential constituent reason of religion: which I thus demonstrate.
     When God made man and propounded to him an immortal and a blessed state as the end of his hopes and the perfection of his condition, he did not give it him for nothing, but upon certain conditions; which, although they could add nothing to God, yet they were such things which man could value, and they were his best: and God had made appetites of pleasure in man, that in them the scene of his obedience should lie. For when God made instances of man's obedience, he, 1. Either commanded such things to be done which man did naturally desire; or, 2. Such things which contradict his natural desires; or, 3. Such which were indifferent. Not the first and the last: for it could be no effect of love or duty towards God for a man to eat when he was impatiently hungry and could not stay from eating; neither was it any contention of obedience or labour of love for a man to look eastward once a day, or turn his back when the north wind blew fierce and loud. Therefore for the trial and in stance of obedience, God made his laws so that they should lay restraint upon man's appetites, so that man might part with something of his own, that he may give to God his will, and deny it to himself for the interest of his service: and chastity is the denial of a violent desire; and justice is parting with money that might help to enrich me; and meekness is a huge contradiction to pride and revenge; and the wandering of our eyes, and the greatness of our fancy, and our imaginative opinions, are to be lessened that we may serve God. There is no other way of serving God; we have nothing else to present unto him: we do not else give him anything or part of ourselves, but when we for his sake part with what we naturally desire; and difficulty is essential to virtue, and without choice there can be no reward, and in the satisfaction of our natural desires there is no election; we run to them as beasts to the river or the crib. If, religion that satisfied all our natural desires in the days of desires and passion, of lust and appetites, and only turns to God when his appetites are gone and his desires cease, this man hath overthrown the very being of virtues, and the essential constitution of religion: religion is no religion, and virtue is no act of choice, and reward comes by chance and without condition, if we only are religious when we cannot choose; if we part with our money when we cannot keep it; with our lust when we cannot act it; with our desires when they have left us. Death is a certain mortifier; but that mortification is deadly, not useful to the purposes of a spiritual life. When we are compelled to depart from our evil customs, and leave to live, that we may begin to live, then we die to die; that life is the prologue to death, and thenceforth we die eternally.
     St. Cyril speaks of certain people that chose to worship the sun because he was a day-god; for believing that he was quenched every night in the sea, or that he had no influence upon them that light up candles, and lived by the light of fire, they were confident they might be Atheists all night, and live as they list. Men who divide their little portion of time between religion and pleasures, between God and God's enemy, think that God is to rule but in hiscertai period of time, and that our life is the stage for passion and folly, and the day of death for the work of our life. But as to God both the day and the night are alike, so are the first and last of our days: all are his due, and he will account severely with us for the follies of the first, and the evil of the last. The evils and the pains are great which are reserved for those who defer their restitution to God's favour till their death. And therefore Antisthenes said well, "It is not the happy death, but the happy life, that makes man happy." It is in piety, as in fame and reputation: he secures a good name but loosely that trusts his fame and celebrity only to his ashes; and it is more a civility than the basis of a firm reputation that men speak honour of their departed relatives; but if their life be virtuous, it forces honour from contempt, and snatches it from the hand of envy, and it shines through the crevices of detraction; and as it anointed the head of the living, so it embalms the body of the dead.[123] From these premises it follows, that when we discourse of a sick man's repentance it is intended to be not a beginning, but the prosecution and consummation of the covenant of repentance which Christ stipulated with us in baptism, and which we needed all our life, and which we began long before this last arrest, and in which we are now to make further progress, that we may arrive to that integrity and fulness of duty, `that our sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.'[124]



Rules for the Practice of Repentance in Sickness.

     1. Let the sick man consider at what gate this sickness entered; and if he can discover the particular, let him instantly, passionately, and with great contrition, dash the crime in pieces, lest he descends into his grave in the midst of a sin, and thence remove into an ocean of eternal sorrow. But if he only suffers the common fate of man, and knows not the particular inlet, he is to be governed by the following measures.
     2. Inquire into the repentance of thy former life particularly; whether it were of a great and perfect grief, and productive of fixed resolutions of holy living, and reductive of these to act; how many days and nights we have spent in sorrow or care, in habitual and actual pursuances of virtue; what instrument we have chosen and used for the eradication of sin; how we have judged ourselves, and how punished; and, in sum, whether we have by the grace of repentance changed our life from criminal to virtuous, from one habit to another; and whether we have paid for the pleasure of our sin by smart or sorrow, by the effusion of alms, or pernctations or abodes in prayers, so as the spirit hath been served in our repentance s earnestly and as greatly as our appetites have been provided for in the days of our shame and folly.
     3. Supply the imperfections of thy repentance by a general or universal sorrow for thy sins, not only since the last communion or absolution, but of thy whole life; for all sins, known and unknown, repented and unrepented, of ignorance or infirmity, which thou knowest, or which others have accused thee of; thy clamorous and thy whispering sins, the sins of scandal and the sins of a secret conscience, of the flesh and of the spirit: for it would be but a sad arrest to thy soul wandering in strange and unusual regions, to see a scroll of uncancelled sins represented and charged upon thee for want of care and notices, and that thy repentane shall become invalid because of its imperfections.
     4. To this purpose it is usually advised by spiritual persons, that the sick man make an universal confession, or a renovation and repetition of all the particular confessions and accusations of his whole life; that now, at the foot of his account, he may represent the sum total to God and his conscience, and make provisions for their remedy and pardon according to his present possibilities.
     5. Now is the time to make reflex acts of repentance: that as by a general repentance we supply the want of the just extension of parts, so by this we may supply the proper measures of the intention of degrees. In our health we can consider concerning our own acts, whether they be real or hypocritical, essential or imaginary, sincere or upon interest, integral or imperfect, commensurate or defective. And although it is a good caution of securities after all our care and diligence still to suspect ourselves and our own deceptions, and for ever to beg of God pardon and acceptance in the union of Christ's passion and intercession: yet, in proper speaking, reflex acts of repentance, being a suppletory after the imperfection of the direct, and then most fit to be used when we cannot proceed in and prosecute the direct actions. To repent because we cannot repent, and to grieve because we cannot grieve, was a device invented to serve the turn of the mother of Peter Gratian; but it was used by her, and so advised to be, in her sickness and last actions of repentance: for in our perfect health and understanding, if we do not understand our first act we cannot discern our second; and if we be not sorry for our sins we cannot be sorry for want of sorrows: it is a contradiction to say we can; because want of sorrow, to which we are obliged, is certainly a great sin; and if we can grieve for that, then also for the rest; if not for all, then not for this. But in the days of weakness the case is otherwise; for then our actions are imperfect, our discourse weak, our internal actions not discernible, our fears great, our work to be abbreviated, and our defects to be supplied by spiritual arts: and therefore it is proper and proportionate to our state, and to our necessity, to beg of God pardon for the imperfections of our repentance, acceptance of our weaker sorrows, supplies out of the treasures of grace and mercy. And thus repenting of the evil and unhandsome adherences of our repentance, in the whole integrity of the duty it will become a repentance not to be repented of.
     6. Now is the time beyond which the sick man must at no hand defer to make restitution of all his unjust possessions,[125] or other men's rights, and satisfactions for all injuries and violences, according to his obligation and possibilities: for although many circumstances might impede the acting it in our life-time, and it was permitted to be deferred in many cases because by it justice was not hindered, and oftentimes piety and equity were provided for; yet, because this is the last scene of our life, he that does not act it so far as he can, or put it into certain conditions and order of effecting, can never do it again, and therefore then to defer it is to omit, and leaves the repentance defective in an integral and constituent part.
     7. Let the sick man be diligent and watchful that the principle of his repentance be contrition, or sorrow for sins, commenced upon the love of God. For although sorrow for sins upon any motive may lead us to God by many intermedial passages, and is the threshold of returning sinners; yet it is not good nor effective upon our death-bed; because repentance is not then to begin, but must then be finished and completed; and it is to be a supply and preparation of all the imperfections of that duty, and therefore it must by that time be arrived to contrition; that is, is must have grown from fear to love, from the passions of a servant to the affections of a son. The reason of which (besides the precedent) is this, because when our repentance is in this state it supposes the man also in a state of grace, a well-grown Christian; for to hate sin out of the love of God is not the felicity of a new convert, or an infant grace; (or if it be that love also is in its infancy;) but it supposes a good progress, and the man habitually virtuous, and tending to perfection: and therefore contrition or repentance so qualified is useful to great degrees of pardon, because the man is a gracious person, and that virtue is of good degree, and consequently a fit employment for his that shall work no more, but is to appear before his Judge to receive the hire of his day. And if his repentance be contrition even before this state of sickness, let it be increased by spiritual arts and the proper exercises of charity.
Means of exciting Contrition, or Repentance of Sins, proceeding from the Love of God.
     To which purpose the sick man may consider, and is to be reminded (if he does not) that there are in God all the motives and causes of amiability in the world: that God is so infinitely good, that there are some of the greatest and most excellent spirits of heaven, whose work, and whose felicity and whose perfections, and whose nature it is, to flame and burn in the brightest and most excellent love: that to love God is the greatest glory of heaven: that in him there are such excellences, that the smallest rays of them, communicated to our weaker understandings, are yet sufficient to cause ravishments, and transportations, and satisfactions, and joys unspeakable and full of glory: that all the wise Christians of the world know and feel such causes to love God, that they all profess themselves ready to die for the love of God, and the apostles and millions of the martyrs did die for him: and although it be harder to live in his love than to die for it, yet all the good people that ever gave their names to Christ did, for his love, endure the crucifying their lusts, the mortification of their appetites, the contradictions and death of their most passionate natural desires: that kings and queens have quitted their diadems, and many married saints have turned their mutual vows into the love of Jesus,and married him only, keeping a virgin chastity in a married life, that they may more tenderly express their love to God: that all the good we have derives from God's love to us, and all the good we can hope for is the effect of his love, and can descend only upon them that love him: that by his love we feel peace and joy within our spirits, and by his love we receive the mysterious sacrament. And what can be greater than that from the goodness and love of God we receive Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, and adoption, and the inheritance of sons, and to be coheirs with Jesus, and to have pardon of our sins, and a Divine nature, and restraining grace and the grace of sanctification, and rest and peace within us, and a certain expectation of glory? Who can choose but love him who, when we had provoked him exceedingly, sent his Son to die for us, that we might live with him? who does so desire to pardon us and save us, that he hath appointed his holy Son continually to intercede for us? that his love is so great, that he offers us great kindness, and entreats us to be happy, and makes many decrees in heaven concerning the interest of our soul, and the very provision and support of our persons, that he sends an angel to attend upon every of his servants, and to be their guard and their guide in all their dangers and hostilities: that for our sakes he restrains the devil, and put his mightiness in fetters and restraints, and chastises his malice with decrees of grace and safety: that he it is who makes all the creatures serve us, and takes care of our sleeps and preserves all plants and elements, all minerals and vegetables, all beasts and birds, all fishes and insects, for food to us and for ornament, for physic and instruction, for variety and wonder, for delight, and for religion: that as God is all good in himself, and all good to us, so sin is directly contrary to God, to reason, to religion, to safety, and pleasure, and felicity: that it is a great dishonour to a man's spirit to have been made a fool by a weak temptation and an empty lust; and to have rejected God who is so rich, so wise, so good, and so excellent, so delicious, and so profitable to us: that all the repentance in the world of excellent men does end in contrition, or a sorrow for sins preceeding from the love of God; because they that are in the state of grace do not fear hell violently, and so long as they remain in God's favour, although they suffer the infirmities of men, yet they are God's portion; and therefore all the repentance of just and holy men, which is certainly the best, is a repentance not for lower ends, but because they are the friends of God, and they are full of indignation that they have done an act against the honour of their pardon, and their dearest Lord and Father: that it is a huge imperfection and a state of weakness to need to be moved with fear or temporal respects; and they that are so, as yet are either immerged in the affections of the world or of themselves; and those men that bear such a character, are not et esteemed laudable persons, or men of good natures, or the sons of virtue: that no repentance can be lasting that relies upon any thing but the love of God; for temporal motives may cease, and contrary contingencies may arise, and fear of hell may be expelled by natural or acquired hardnesses, and is always the least when we have most need of it, and most cause for it; for the more habitual our sins are, the more cauterized our conscience is, the less is the fear of hell, and yet our danger is much the greater: that although fear of hell or other temporal motives may be the first inlet to a repentance, yet repentance , in that constitution and under those circumstances, cannot obtain pardon, because there is in that no union with God, no adhesion to Christ, no endearment of passion or of spirit, no similitude or conformity to the great instrument of our peace, our glorious Mediator: for as yet a man is turned from his sin, but not converted to God; the first and last of our returns to God being love, and nothing but love: for obedience is the first part of love, and fruition is the last; and because he that does not love God cannot obey him, therefore he that does not love him cannot enjoy him.
     Now that this may be reduced to practice, the sick man may be advertised, that in the actions of repentance, he separate low, temporal, sensual, and self-ends from his thoughts, and so do his repentance that he may still reflect honour upon God, that he confess his justice in punishing, that he acknowledge himself to have deserved the worst of evils; that he heartily believe and profess that if he perish finally, yet that God ought to be glorified by that sad event, and that he hath truly merited so intolerable a calamity: that he also be put to make acts of election and preference, professing that he would willingly endure all temporal evils, rather than be in the disfacour of God or in the state of sin; for, by this last instance, he will be quitted from the suspicion of leaving sin for temporal respects, because he, by an act of imagination or feigned presence of the object to him, entertains the temporal evil that he may leave the sin; and therefore, unless he be a hypocrite, does not leave the sin to be quit of the temporal evil. And as for the other motive of leaving sin out of the fear of hell, because that is an evangelical motive conveyed to us by the Spirit of God, and is immediate to the love of God, if the schoolmen had pleased, they might have reckoned it as the handmaid, and of the retinue of contrition; but the more the considerations are sublimed above this, of the greater effect and the more immediate to pardon will be the repentance.
     5. Let the sick persons do frequent actions of repentance, by way of prayer for all those sins which are spiritual, and in which no restitution or satisfaction material can be made, and whose contrary acts cannot in kind be exercised. For penitential prayers in some cases are the only instances of repentance that can be. An envious man, if he gives God hearty thanks for the advancement of his brother, hath done an act of mortification of his envy, as directly as corporal austerities are an act of chastity, and an enemy to uncleanness: and if I have seduced a person that is dead or absent, if I cannot restore him to sober counsels by my discourse and undeceiving him, I can only repent of that by way of prayer: and intemperance is no way to be rescinded or punished by a dying man but by hearty prayers. Prayers are a great help in all cases; in some they are proper acts of virtue, and direct enemies to sin: but although alone and in long continuance they alone can cure some one or some few little habits, yet they can never alone change the state of a man: and therefore are intended to be a suppletory to the imperfections of other acts: and by that reason are the proper and most pertinent employment of a clinic or death-bed penitent.
     6. In those sins whose proper cure is mortification corporal, the sick man is to supply that part of his repentance by a patient submission to the rod of sickness: for sickness does the work of penances, or sharp afflictions and dry diet, perfectly well: to which if we also put our wills, and make it our act by an after-election, by confessing the justice of God, by bearing it sweetly, by begging it may be medicinal, there is nothing wanting to the perfection of this part, but that God confirm our patience and hear our prayers. When the guilty man runs to punishment[126] the injured person is prevented, and hath no whither to go but to forgiveness.
     7.I have learned but of one suppletory more for the perfection and proper exercise of a sick man's repentance; but it is such an one as will go a great way in the abolition of our past sins and making our peace with God, even after a less severe life; and that is, that the sick man do some heroical actions in the matter of charity or religion, of justice or severity. There is a story of an infamous thief who, having begged his pardon of the emperior Mauricius, was yet put into the hospital of St. Sampson, where he so plentifully bewailed his sins in the last agonies of his death, that the physician who attended found him unexpectedly dead, and over his face a handkerchief bathed in tears; and soon after, somebody or other pretended to a revelation of this man's beatitude. It was a rare grief that was noted in this man, which begot in that age a confidence of his being saved: and that confidence (as things then went) was quickly called a revelation. But it was a stranger severity which is related by Thomas Cantipratanus, concerning a young gentleman condemned for robbery and violence, who had so deep a sense of his sin, that he was not content with a single death, but begged to be tormented, and cut in pieces joint by joint, with intermedial senses, that he might, by such a smart, signify a great sorrow. Some have given great estates to the poor and to religion; some have built colleges for holy persons; many have suffered martyrdom: and though those that died under the conduct of the Maccabees, in defence of their country and religion, had pendants on their breasts consecrated to the idols of the Mamnenses; yet that they gave their lives in such a cause with so great a duty, (the biggest things they could do or give,) it was esteemed to prevail hugely towards the pardon and acceptation of their persons. An heroic action of virtue in a huge compendium of religion: for if it be attained to by the usual measures and progress of a Christian from inclination to act, from act to habit, from habit to abode, from abode to reigning, from reigning to perfect possession, from possession to extraordinary emanations, that is, to heroic actions, then it must needs do the work of man, by being so great towards the work of God: but if a man comes thither per saltum, or on a sudden, (which is seldom seen,) then it supposes the man always well inclined, but abused by accident or hope, by confidence or ignorance; then it supposes the man for the present in a great fear of evil, and a passionate desire of pardon; it supposes his apprehensions great and his time little; and what the event of that will be no man can tell; but it is certain that to some purposes God will account for our religion on our death-bed, not by the measures of our time, but the eminency of affection; (as said Celestine the First;[127]) that is, supposing the man in the state of grace, or in the revealed possibility of salvation, then an heroical act hath the reward of a longer series of good actions in an even and ordinary course of virtue.
     8. In what can remain for the perfecting of a sick man's repentance, he is to be helped by the ministries of a spiritual guide.



Acts of Repentance, by way of Prayer and Ejaculation, to be used especially by Old Men in their Age, and by all Men in their Sickness.

     Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord. Let us lift up our hearts with our hands unto God in the heavens. We have transgressed and rebelled; and thou hast not pardoned. Thou hast covered with anger and persecuted us; thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied. O cover not thyself with a cloud, but let our prayer pass through. Lam. iii. 40-44.
     I have sinned: what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? Why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself? And why dost not thou pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust, and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be. Job. vii.20,21.
     The Lord is righteous; for I have rebelled against his commandments. Hear, I pray, all ye people, behold my sorrow. Behold, O Lord, I am in distress; my bowels are troubled; my heart is turned within me; for I have grievously rebelled. Lam. i. 18,40.
     Thou, O Lord, remainest for ever; thy throne from generation to generation. Wherefore dost thou forget us for ever, and forsake us so long time? Turn thou us into thee, O Lord, and so shall we be turned; renew our days as of old. O reject me not utterly, and be not exceeding wroth against thy servant. Lam. v. 19-22.
     O remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; but according to thy mercies remember thou me, for thy goodness sake, O Lord. Psalm. xxv.7. Do thou for me, O God the Lord, for thy name's sake; because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me. For I am poor and needy, and my heart, is wounded within me. I am gone like the shadow that declineth; I am tossed up and down as the locust. Psalm cix.21-23.
     Then Zeccheus stood forth, and said, Behold, Lord, half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have wronged any man, I restore him fourfold. Luke, xix. 8.
     Hear my prayer, O Lord, and consider my desire. Psalm exliii.1. Let my prayer be set forth in thy sight as the incense, and let the lifting up of my hands be an evening sacrifice. Psalm cxli.3. And enter not into judgment with thy servant; for in thy sight shall no man be justified. Teach me to do the thing that pleaseth thee, for thou art my God: let thy loving Spirit lead me forth into the land of righteousness. Psalm cxliii.2,10.
     I will speak of mercy and judgment; unto thee, O Lord, will I make my prayer. I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk in my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. Psalm ci. 1-3.
     Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, from malice, envy, the follies of lust and violence, of passion, etc., thou God of my salvation; and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. Psalm li. 9,10,14.
     The sacrifice of God is a broken heart: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. ver. 17.
     Lord, I have done amiss; I have been deceived; let so great a wrong as this be removed, and let it be so no more.
The Prayer for the Grace and Perfection of Repentance.
     O Almighty God, thou art the great judge of all the world, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of mercies, the father of men and angels; thou lovest not that a sinner should perish, but delightest in our conversion and salvation, and hast, in our Lord Jesus Christ, established the covenant of repentance, and promised pardon to all them that confess their sins and forsake them; O my God, be thou pleased to work in my what thou hast commanded should be in me. Lord, I am a dry tree, who neither have brought forth fruit unto thee and unto holiness, nor have wept out salutary tears, the instrument of life and restitution, but have behaved myself like an unconcerned person in the ruins and breaches of my soul: but, O God, thou art my God, early will I seek thee; my soul thirsteth for thee in a barren and thirsty land where no water is.[128] Lord, give me the grace of tears and pungent sorrow; let my heart be as a land of rivers of waters, and my head a fountain of tears; turn my sin into repentance, and let my repentance proceed to pardon and refreshment.

     Support me with thy graces, strengthen me with thy Spirit, soften my heart with the fire of thy love and the dew of heaven, with penitential showers; make my care prudent, and the remaining portion of my days like the perpetual watches of the night, full of caution and observance, strong and resolute, patient and severe. I remember, O Lord, that I did sin with greediness and passion, with great desires and an unabated choice; O let me be as great in my repentance as ever I have been in my calamity and shame; let my hatred of sin be as great as my love to thee, and both as near to infinite as my proportion can receive.

     O Lord, I renounce all affection to sin, and would not buy my health nor redeem my life with doing any thing against the laws of my God, but would rather die than offend thee. O dearest Saviour, have pity upon thy servant; let me, by thy sentence, be doomed to perpetual penance during the abode of this life; let every sigh be the expression of a repentance and every groan an accent of spiritual life, and every stroke of my disease a punishment of my sin and an instrument of pardon; that, at my return to the land of innocence and pleasure, I may eat of the votive sacrifice of the supper of the Lamb, that was, from the beginning of the world, slain for the sins of every sorrowful and returning sinner. O grant the sorrow here and joy hereafter, through Jesus Christ, who is our hope, the resurrection of the dead, the justifier of a sinner, and the glory of all faithful souls. Amen.
A Prayer for Pardon of Sins, to be said frequently in time of Sickness, and in all the portions of Old Age.
     O eternal and most gracious Father, I humbly throw myself down at the foot of thy mercy-seat upon the confidence of thy essential mercy, and thy commandment that we should come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may find mercy in time of need. O my God, hear the prayers and cries of a sinner who calls earnestly for mercy. Lord, my needs are greater than all the degrees of my desire can be; unless thou hast pity upon me, I perish infinitely and intolerably; and then there will be one voice fewer in the choir of singers who shall recite thy praises to eternal ages. But, O Lord, in mercy deliver my soul. O save me for thy mercy's sake.[129] For in the second death there is no remembrance of thee: in that grave, who shall give thee thanks?

     O just and dear God, my sins are innumerable; they are upon my soul in multitudes; they are a burden too heavy for me to bear; they already bring sorrow and sickness, shame and displeasure, guilt and decaying spirit, a sense of thy present displeasure, and fear of worse, of infinitely worse. But it is to thee so essential, so delightful, so usual, so desired by thee to show mercy, that although my sin be very great, and my fear proportionable, yet thy mercy is infinitely greater than all the world, and my hope and my comfort rise up in proportions towards it, that I trust the devils shall never be able to reprove it, nor my own weakness discompose it. Lord, thou hast sent thy Son to die for the pardon of my sins; thou hast given me thy Holy Spirit as a seal of adoption to consign the article of remission of sins; thou hast, for all my sins, still continued to invite my to conditions of life by thy ministers the prophets; and thou hast, with variety of holy acts, softened my spirit, and possessed my fancy, and instructed my understanding, and bended and inclined my will, and directed or overruled my passions, in order to repentance and pardon: and why should not thy servant beg passionately, and humbly hope for, the effects of all these thy strange and miraculous acts of loving-kindness? Lord, I deserve it not, but I hope thou wilt pardon all my sins; and I beg it of thee for Jesus Christ's sake, whom thou hast made the great endearment of thy promises, and the foundation of our hopes, and the mighty instrument whereby we can obtain of thee whatsoever we need and can receive.

     O my God, how shall thy servant be disposed to receive such a favour which is so great that the ever-blessed Jesus did die to purchase it for us; so great that the falling angels never could give all that have sinned against me; O forgive me my sins, as I forgive them that have sinned against me. Lord, I confess my sins unto thee daily by the accusations and secret acts of conscience; and if we confess us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Lord, I put my trust in thee; and thou art ever gracious to them that put their trust in thee. I call upon my God for mercy; and thou art always more ready to hear than we to pray. But all that I can do, and all that I am, and all that I know of myself, is nothing but sin, and infirmity, and misery: therefore I go forth of myself, and throw myself wholly into the arms of thy mercy through Jesus Christ, and beg of thee, for his death and passion's sake, by his resurrection and ascension, by all the parts of our redemption, and thy infinite mercy, in which thou pleaseth thyself above all the works of the creation, to be pitiful and compassionate to thy servant in the abolition of all my sins; so shall I praise thy glories with a tongue not defiled with evil language, and a heart purged by thy grace, quitted by thy mercy, and absolved by thy sentence, from generation to generation. Amen.
An Act of holy Resolution of Amendment of Life, in case of Recovery.
     O most just and merciful Lord God, who hast sent evil diseases, sorrow and fear, trouble and uneasiness, briers and thorns, into the world, and planted them in our houses, and round about our dwellings, to keep sin from our souls, or to drive it thence; I humbly beg of thee that this my sickness may serve the ends of the spirit, and be a messenger of spiritual life, an instrument of reducing me to more religious and sober courses. I say, O Lord, that I am unready and unprepared in my accounts, having thrown away great portions of my time in vanity, and set myself hugely back in the accounts of eternity, and I had need live my life over gain, and live it better; but thy counsels are in the great deep, and thy footsteps in the water; and I know not what thou wilt determine of me. If I die I throw myself into the arms of the holy Jesus, whom I love above all things, and if I perish I know I have deserved it; but thou wilt not reject him that loves thee. But if I recover, I will live, by thy grace and help, to do the work of God, and passionately pursue my interest of heaven, and serve thee in the labour of love with the charities of a holy zeal, and the diligence of a firm and humble obedience. Lord, I will dwell in thy temple and in thy service; religion shall be my employment, and alms shall be my recreation, and patience shall be my rest, and to do thy will shall be my meat and drink, and to live shall be Christ, and then to die shall be gain.
     `O spare me a little, that I may recover my strength, before I go hence, and be no more seen.' `Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.' Amen.



An Analysis or Resolution of the Decalogue, and the special Precepts of the Gospel, describing the Duties enjoined, and the Sins forbidden respectively; for the Assistance of sick Men in making their Confessions to God and his Ministers, and the rendering their Repentance more particular and perfect.

     1. Thou shalt have none other gods but me.
     Duties commanded are, 1. To love God above all things. 2. To obey him and fear him. 3. To worship him with prayers, vows, thanksgiving, presenting to him our souls and bodies, and all such actions and expressions, which the consent of nations, or the laws and customs of the place where we live, have appropriated to God. 4. To design all to God's glory. 5. To inquire after his will. 6. To believe all his word. 7. To submit to his providence. 8. To proceed towards all our lawful ends by such means as himself hath appointed. 9. To speak and think honourably of God, and recite his praises, and confess his attributes and perfections.
     They sin against this commandment, 1. Who love themselves or any of the creatures inordinately and intemperately. 2. They that despise or neglect any of the Divine precepts. 3. They that pray to unknown or false gods. 4. They that disbelieve or deny there is a God. 5. They that make vows to creatures. 6. Or say prayers to the honour of men, or women, or angels; as paternosters to the honour of the Virgin Mary, or St. Peter, which is a taking a part of that honour which is due to God and giving it to the creature; it is a religion paid to men and women our of God's proper portion, out of prayers directed to God immediately; and it is an act contrary to that religion, which makes God that last end of all things; for this, through our addresses to God, passes something to the creatures as if they stood beyond him; for by the intermedial worship paid to God, they ultimately do honour to the man or angel. 7. They that make consumptive oblations to the creatures; as the Collyridians who offered cakes, and those that burnt incense or candles to the Virgin Mary. 8. They that give themselves to the devil, or make contracts with him, and use fantastic conversation with him. 9. They that consult witches and fortune-tellers. 10. They that rely upon dreams and superstitions observeanes. 11. That use charms, spells, superstitious words and characters, verses of psalms, the consecrated elements, to cure diseases, to be shot-free, to recover stolen goods, or inquire into secrets. 12.That are wilfully ignorant of the laws of God, or love to be deceived in their persuasions that they may sin with confidence. 13. They that neglect to pray to God. 14. They that arrogate to themselves the glory of any action or power, and do not give the glory to God, as Herod. 15. They that doubt of or disbelieve any article of the Creed, or any proposition of Scripture, or put false glosses to serve secular or vicious ends, against their conscience, or with violence any way done to their reason. 16. They that violently or passionately pursue any temporal end with an eagerness greater than the thing is in prudent account. 17. They that make religion to serve ill ends, or do good to evil purposes, or evil to good purposes. 18. They that accuse God of injustice or unmercifulness, remissness of cruelty; such as are the presumptuous and the desperate. 19. All hypocrites and pretenders to religion, walking in forms and shadows, but denying the power of godliness. 20. All impatient persons; all that repine or murmur against the prosperities of the wicked, or the calamities of the godly, or their own afflictions. 21. All that blaspheme God, or speak dishonourable things of so sacred a Majesty. 22. They that tempt God, or rely upon his protection against his rules, and without his promise and besides reason, entering into danger, from which, without a miracle, they cannot be rescued. 23. They that are bold in the midst of judgment, and fearless in the midst of the Divine vengeance, and the accents of his anger.
II. Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image, nor worship it.
     The moral duties of this commandment are, 1. To worship God with all bodily worship and external forms of address, according to the custom of the church we live in. 2. To believe God to be a spiritual and pure substance, without any visible form or shape. 3. To worship God in ways of his own appointing, or by his proportions, or measures of nature, and right reason, or public and holy customs.
     They sin against this commandment, 1. That make any image or pictures of the Godhead, or fancy any likeness to him. 2. They that use images in their religion, designing or addressing any religious worship to them; for if this thing could be naturally tolerable, yet it is too near an intolerable for a jealous God to suffer. 3. They that deny to worship God with lowly reverence of their bodies, according as the church expresses her reverence to God externally. 4. They that invent or practice superstitious worshippings, invented by man against God's word, or without reason, or besides the public customs or forms of worshipping, either foolishly or ridiculously, without the purpose of order, decency, proportion to a wise or a religious end, in prosecution of some virtue or duty.
III. Thou shalt not take God's name in vain.
     The duties of this commandment are. 1. To honour and revere the most holy name of God. 2. To invocate his name directly, or by consequence, in all solemn and permitted adjurations or public oaths. 3. To use all things and persons, upon whom his name is called, or any ways imprinted, with a regardful and separate manner of usage, different from common, and far from contempt and scorn. 4. To swear in truth and judgment.
     They sin against this commandment, 1. Who swear vainly and customarily, without just cause, without competent authority. 2. They that blaspheme or curse God. 3. They that speak of God without grave cause or solemn occasion. 4. They that forswear themselves, that is, they that do not perform their vows to God, or that swear, or call God to witness to a lie. 5. They that swear rashly or maliciously to commit a sin or an act of revenge. 6. They that swear by any creature falsely, or any way but as it relates to God, and consequently invokes his testimony. 7. All curious inquirers into the secrets, and intruders into the mysteries and hidden things of God. 8. They that curse God, or curse a creature by God. 9. They that profane churches, holy utensils, holy persons, holy customs, holy sacraments. 10. They that provoke others to swear voluntarily and by design, or incuriously, or negligently, when they might avoid it. 11. They that swear to things uncertain and unknown.
IV. Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.
     The duties of this commandment are, 1. To set apart some portions of our time for the immediate offices of religion and glorification of God. 2. This is to be done according as God or his holy church hath appointed. 3. One day in seven is to be set apart. 4. The Christian day is to be subrogated into the place of the Jews' day; the resurrection of Christ and the redemption of man was a greater blessing than to create him. 5. God on that day to be worshipped and acknowledged as our Creator and as our Saviour. 6. The day to be spent in holy offices, in hearing divine service, public prayers, frequenting the congregations, hearing the word of God read or expounded, reading good books, meditations, alms, reconciling enumities, remission of burdens and of offences, of debts and of work; friendly offices, neighbourhood, and provoking one another to good works; and to this end all servile works must be omitted, excepting necessary and charitable offices to men or beasts, to ourselves or others.
     They sin against this commandment. 1. That do, or compel, or entice others to do, servile works without the cases of necessity or charity, to be estimated according to common and prudent accounts. 2. They that refuse or neglect to come to the public assemblies of the church, to hear and assist at the Divine offices entirely. 3. They that spend the day in idleness, forbidden or vain recreations, or the actions of sin and folly. 4. They that buy and sell without the cases of permission. 5. They that travel unnecessary journeys. 6. They that act or assist in contentions or lawsuits, markets, fairs, etc. 7. They that on that day omit their private devotions, unless the whole day be spent in public. 8. They that by any cross or contradictory actions against the customs of the church, do purposely desecrate or unhollow and make the day common; as they that, in despite and contempt, fast upon the Lord's day, lest they may celebrate the festival after the manner of the Christians.
V. Honour thy father and thy mother.
     The duties are, 1. To do honour and reverence to, and to love our natural parents. 2. To obey all their domestic commands, for in them the scene of their authority lies. 3. To give them maintenance and support in their needs. 4. To obey kings and all that are in authority. 5. To pay tribute and honours, custom and reverence. 6. To do reverence to the aged and all our betters. 7. To obey our masters, spiritual governors and guides, in those things which concern their several respective interest and authority.
     They sin against this commandment, 1. That despise their parents' age or infirmity. 2. That are ashamed of their poverty and extraction. 3. That publish their vices, errors, and infirmities, to shame them. 4. That refuse and reject all or any of their lawful commands. 5. Children that marry without or against their consent, when it may be reasonable obtained. 6. That curse them from whom they receive so many blessings. 7. That grieve the souls of their parents by not complying in their desires, and observing their circumstances. 8. That hate their persons, that mock them or use uncomely jestings. 9. That discover their nakedness voluntarily. 10. That murmur against their injunctions, and obey them involuntarily. 11. All rebels against their kings, or the supreme power, where it is legally and justly invested. 12. That refuse to pay tributes and impositions imposed legally. 13. They that disobey their masters, murmur or repine against their commands, abuse or deride their persons, talk rudely, etc. 14. They that curse the king in their heart, or speak evil of the ruler of their of their people. 15. All that are uncivil and rude towards aged persons, mockers and scorners of them.[130]
VI.Thou shalt do no murder.
     The duties are, 1. To preserve our own lives, the lives of our relatives, and all with whom we converse, (or who can need us, and we assist,) by prudent, reasonable, and wary defences, advocations, discoveries of snares, etc. 2. To preserve our health, and the integrity of our bodies and minds, and of others. 3. To preserve and follow peace with all men.
     They sin against this commandment, 1. That destroy the life of a man or woman, himself or any other. 2. That do violence to, or dismember or hurt any part of the body with evil intent. 3. That fight duels, or commerce unjust wars. 4. They that willingly hasten their own or others death. 5. That by oppression or violence embitter the spirits of any, so as to make their life sad and their death hasty. 6. They that conceal the dangers of their neighbour, which they can safely discover. 7. They that sow strife and contention among neighbours. 8. They that refuse to rescue or preserve those whom they can and are obliged to preserve. 9. They that procure abortion. 10. They that threaten, or keep men in fears, or hate them.
VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
     The duties are 1. To preserve our bodies in the chastity of a single life, or of marriage. 2. To keep all the parts of our bodies in the care and severities of chastity, so that we be restrained in our eyes as well as in our feet.
     They sin against this commandment, 1. Who are adulterous, incestuous, sodomitical, or commit fornication. 2. They that commit folly alone, dishonouring their own bodies with softness and wantonness. 3. They that immoderately let loose the reins of their bodley appetite, though within the protection of marriage. 4. They that by wanton gestures, wandering eyes, lascivious dressings, discovery of the nakedness of themselves or others, filthy discourse, high diet, amorous songs, balls and revellings, tempt and betray themselves or others to folly. 5. They that marry a woman divorced for adultery. 6. They that divorce their wives, except for adultery, and marry another.
VIII. Thou shalt not steal.
     The duties are, 1. To give every man his due. 2. To permit every man to enjoy his own goods and estate quietly.
     They sin against this commandment, 1. That injure any man's estate by open violence or by secret robbery, by stealth or cozenage, by arts of bargaining or vexatious lawsuits. 2. That refuse or neglect to pay their debts when they are able. 3. That are forward to run into debt knowingly beyond their power, without hopes or purposes of repayment. 4. Oppressors of the poor. 5. That exact usury of necessitous persons, or of any beyond the permissions of equity, as determined by the laws. 6. All sacrilegious persons, people that rob God of his dues or of his possessions. 7. All that game, viz. at cards and dice, etc., to the prejudice and detriment of other men's estates. 8. They that embase coin and metals, and obtrude them for perfect and natural. 9. That break their promises to the detriment of a third person. 10. They that refuse to stand to their bargains. 11. They that by negligence imbecile other men's estates, spoiling or letting any thing perish which is entrusted to them. 12. That refuse to restore the pledge.
IX. Thou shalt not bear false witness.
     The duties are, 1. To give testimony to truth, when we are called to it by competent authority. 2. To preserve the good name of our neighbours. 3. To speak well of them that deserve it.
     They sin against this commandment, 1. That speak false things in judgment, accusing their neighbour unjustly, or denying his crime publicly when they are asked, and can be commanded lawfully to tell it. 2. Flatterers; and 3. Slanderers; 4. Backbiters; and 5. Detractors. 6. They that secretly raise jealousies and suspicion of their neighbours causelessly.
X. Thou shalt not covet.
     The duties are, 1. To be content with the portion God hath given us. 2. Not to be covetous of other men's goods.
     They sin against this commandment, 1. That envy the prosperity of other men. 2. They that desire passionately to be possessed of what is their neighbour's. 3. They that with greediness pursue riches, honours, pleasures, and curiosities. 4. They that are too careful, troubled, distracted, or amazed, affrighted and afflicted with being solicitous in the conduct of temporal blessings.
     These are the general lines of duty by which we may discover our failings and be humbled, and confess accordingly: only the penitent person is to remember, that although these are the kinds of sins described after the sense of the Jewish church, which consisted principally in the external action or the deed done, and had no restraints upon the thoughts of men, save only in the tenth commandment which was mixed, and did relate as much to action as to thought; (as appears in the instances;) yet upon us Christians there are many circumstances and degrees of obligation, which endear our duty with greater severity and observation: and the penitent is to account of himself and enumerate his sins, not only by external actions or the deed done, but by words and by thoughts; and so to reckon if we have done it directly or indirectly, if he have caused others to do it, by tempting or encouraging, by assisting or counselling, by not dissuading when he could and ought, by fortifying their hands or hearts, or not weakening their evil purposes; if we have designed or contrived its action, desired it or love it, delighted in the thought, remembered the past sin with pleasure or without sorrow: these are the by-ways of sin, and the crooked lanes, in which a man may wander and be lost, as certainly as in the broad highways of iniquity.
     But besides this our blessed Lord and his apostles have added divers other precepts; some of which have been with some violence reduced to the decalogue, and others have not been noted at all in the catalogues of confession. I shall therefore describe them entirely, that the sick man may discover his failings, that, by the mercies of God in Jesus Christ, and by the instrument of repentance, he may be presented pure and spotless before the throne of God.
The Special Precepts of the Gospel.
     1. Prayer, frequent, fervent, holy, and persevering.[131] 2. Faith.[132] 3. Repentance.[133] 4. Poverty of spirit, as opposed to ambition and high designs.[134] 5. And in it is humility, or sitting down in the lowest place, and in giving honour to go before another.[135] 6. Meekness, as it is opposed to waywardness, fretfulness, immoderate grieving, disdain and scorn.[136] 7. Contempt of the world. 8. Prudence, or the advantageous conduct of religion.[137] 9. Simplicity, or sincerity in words and actions, pretences and substances. 10. Hope.[138] 11. Hearing the word.[139] 12. Reading.[140] 14. Obeying them that have the rule over us in spiritual affairs.[141] 15. Refusing to communicate with persons excommunicate: whither also may be reduced, to reject heretics.[142] 16. Charity:[143] viz. Love to God above all things; brotherly kindness, or profitable love to our neighbours as ourselves, to be expressed in alms. forgiveness, and to die for our brethren. 17. To pluck out the right eye, or violently to rescind all occasions of sins, though dear to us as an eye.[144] 18. To reprove our erring brother. 19. To be patient in afflictions; and long animity is referred hither or long-sufferance; which is the perfection and perseverance of patience, and is opposed to hastiness and weariness of spirit. 20. To be thankful to our benefactors; but above all, in all things to give thanks to God. 21. To rejoice in the Lord always. 22. Not to quench, not to grieve, not to resist the Spirit. 23. To love our wives as Christ loved his church, and to reverence our husbands. 24. To provide for our families. 25. Not to be bitter to our children. 26. To bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 27. Not to despise prophesying. 28. To be gentle, and easy to be entreated. 29. To give no scandal or offence. 30. To follow after peace with all men, and to make peace. 31. Not to go to law before the unbelievers. 32. To do all things that are of good report, or the actions of public honesty, abstaining from all appearances of evil. 33. To convert souls, or turn sinners from the error of their ways. 34. To confess Christ before all the world. 35. To resist unto blood, if God call us to it. 36. To rejoice in tribulation for Christ's sake. 37. To remember and show forth the Lord's death till his second coming, by celebrating the Lord's supper. 38. To believe all the New Testament. 39. To add nothing to St. John's last book, that is, to pretend to no new revelations. 40. To keep the customs of the church, her festivals and solemnities; lest we be reproved, as the Corinthians were by St. Paul, `We have no such customs, nor the churches of God.' 41. To contend earnestly for the faith. Not to be contentious in matters not concerning the eternal interest of our souls; but in matters indifferent to have faith to ourselves. 42. Not to make schisms or divisions in the body of the church. 43. To call no man master upon earth; but to acknowledge Christ our master and lawgiver. 44. Not to domineer over the Lord's heritage. 45. To try all things and keep that which is best. 46. To be temperate in all things. 47. To deny ourselves. 48. To mortify our lusts and their instruments. 49. To lend, looking for nothing again, nothing by way of increase, nothing by way of recompence. 50. To watch and stand in readiness against the coming of the Lord. 51. Not to be angry without cause. 52. Not at all to revile. 53. Not to swear. 54. Not to respect persons. 55. To lay hands suddenly on no man. (This especially pertains to bishops; to whom also, and to all the ecclesiastical order, it is enjoined that they preach the word, that they be instant in season and out of season, that they rebuke, reprove, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.) 56. To keep the Lord's day, (derived into an obligation from a practice apostolical.) 57. To do all things to the glory of God. 58. To hunger and thirst after righteousness and its rewards. 59. To avoid foolish questions. 60. To pray for persecutors, and to do good to them that persecute us, and despitefully use us. 61. To pray for all men. 63. To work with our own hands, that we be not burdensome to others, avoiding idleness. 64. To be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. 65. To be liberal and frugal; for he that will call us to an account for our time, will also for the spending our money. 66. Not to use uncomely jestings. 67. Modesty; as opposed to boldness, to curiosity, to indecency. 68. To be swift to hear, slow to speak. 69. To worship the holy Jesus as the mention of his holy name; as of old God was at the mention of Jehovah.
     These are the straight lines of Scripture by which we may also measure our obliquities, and discover crooked walking. If the sick man hath not done these things, or if he have done contrary to any of them in any particular, he hath cause enough for his sorrow and matter for his confession; of which he needs no other forms, but that he heartily deplore and plainly enumerate his follies, as a man tells the sad stories of his own calamity.



Of the Sick Mans Practice of Charity and Justice, by way of Rule

     1. Let the sick man set his house in order before he die; state his cases of conscience, reconcile the fractures of his family, reunite brethren, cause right understandings, and remove jealousies; give good counsels for the future conduct of their persons and estates, charm them into religion by the authority and advantages of a dying person; because the last words of a dying man are like the tooth of a wounded lion, making a deeper impression in the agony than in the most vigorous strength.[145]
     2. Let the sick man discover every secret of art or profit, physic or advantage to mankind, if he may do it without the prejudice of a third person.[146] Some persons are so uncharitably envious, that they are willing that a secret receipt should die with them, and be buried in their grave, like treasure in the sepulchre of David. But this, which is a design of charity, must therefore not be done to any man's prejudice; and the mason of Herodotus, the king of Egypt, who kept secret his notice of the king's treasure, and when he was a dying told his son, betrayed his trust then, when he should have kept it most sacredly for his own interest. In all other cases let thy charity outlive thee, that thou mayst rejoice in the mansion of rest, because, by thy means, many living persons are eased or advantaged.
     3. Let him make his will with great justice and piety, that is, that the right heirs be no defrauded for collareral respects, fancies, or indirect fondnesses; but the inheritances descend in their legal and due channel; and in those things where we have a liberty, that we take the opportunity of doing virtuously, that is, of considering how God may be best served by our donatives, or how the interest of any virtue may be promoted; in which we are principally to regard the necessities of our nearest kindred and relatives, servants and friends.
     4. Let the will or testament be made with ingenuity, openness, and plain expression, that he may not entail a lawsuit upon his posterity and relatives, and make them lose their charity, or entangle their estates, or make them poorer by the gift. He hath done me no charity, but dies in my debt that makes me sue for a legacy.
     5. It is proper for the state of sickness, and an excellent annealing us to burial, that we give alms in this state, so burying treasure in our graves that will not perish, but rise again in the resurrection of the just. Let the dispensation of our alms be as little intrusted to our executors as may be, excepting the lasting and successive portions; but with our own present care, let us exercise the charity and secure the stewardship. It was a custom amongst the old Greeks to bury horses, clothes, arms, and whatsoever was dear to the deceased person, supposing they might need them, and that without clothes they should be found naked by their judges; and all the friends did use to bring gifts, by such liberality thinking to promote the interest of their dead. But we may offer our entsfta ourselves best of all: our doles and funeral meals, if they be our own early provisions, will then spend the better; and it is good so to carry our passing penny in our hand, and, by reaching that hand to the poor make a friend in the everlasting habitations. He that gives with his own hand shall be sure to find it, and the poor shall find it; but he that trusts executors with his charity, and the economy and issues of his virtue, by which he must enter into his hopes of heaven and pardon, shall find but an ill account when his executors complain he died poor. Think on this. To this purpose, wise and pious was the counsel of Salvian:[147] "Let a dying man, who hath nothing else of which he may make an effective oblation, offer up to God of his substance; let him offer it with compunction and tears, with grief and mourning, as knowing that all our oblations have their value not by the price, but by the affection; and it is our faith that commendeth the money, since God receives the money by the hands of the poor, but at the same time gives and does not take the blessing, because he receives nothing but his own; and man gives that which is none of his own, that of which he is only a steward, and shall be accountable for every shilling. Let it, therefore, be offered humbly, as a creditor pays his debts; not magnifically, as a prince gives a donative; and let him remember that such doles do not pay for the sin, but they ease the punishment; that are not proper instruments of redemption, but instances of supplication and advantages of prayer; and when we have done well, remember that we have not paid our debt, but shown our willingness to give a little of the vast sum we owe; and he that gives plentifully according to the measure of his estate, is still behindhand according to the measure of his sins. Let him pray to God that this late oblation may be accepted; and so it will, if it sails to him in a sea of penitential tears or sorrows that it is so little, and that is is so late.
     6. Let the sick man's charity be so ordered that it may not come only to deck the funeral and make up the pomp; charity waiting like one of the solemn mourners; but let it be continued, that, besides the alms of health and sickness, there may be a rejoicing in God for his charity long after his funeral, so as to become more beneficial and less public; that the poor may pray in private, and give God thanks many days together. This is matter of prudence, and yet in this we are to observe the same regards which we had in the charity and alms of our lives; with this only difference, that, in the funeral alms also of rich and able persons, the public customs of the church are to be observed, and decency and solemnity, and the expectations of the poor, and matter of public opinion, and the reputation of religion; in all other cases let thy charity consult with humility and prudence, that it never minister at all to vanity, but be as full of advantage and usefulness as it may.
     7. Every man will forgive a dying person; and therefore let the sick man be ready and sure, if he can, to send to such persons whom he hath injured, and beg their pardon, and do them right; for in this case he cannot stay for an opportunity of convenient and advantageous reconcilement; he cannot then spin out a treaty, nor beat down the price of composition, nor lay a snare to be quit from the obligation and coercion of laws; but he must ask forgiveness downright, and make him amends as he can, being greedy of making use of this opportunity of doing a duty that must be done, but cannot any more, if not now, until time returns again and tells the minutes backwards, so that yesterday shall be reckoned in the portions of the future.
     8. In the intervals of sharper pains, when the sick man amasses together all the arguments of comfort and testimonies of God's love to him and care of him, he must needs find infinite matter of thanksgiving and glorification of God; and it is a proper act of charity and love to God, and justice too, that he do honour to God on his death-bed for all the blessings of his life, not only in general communications, but those by which he hath been separate and discerned from others, or supported and blessed in his own person; such as are, "In all my life-time I never broke a home; I never fell into the hands of robbers, never into public shame, nor into moisome diseases; I have not begged my bread, nor been tempted by great and unequal fortunes: God gave me a good understanding, good friends, or delivered me in such a danger, and heard my prayers in such particular pressures of my spirit." This or like enumeration and consequent acts of thanksgiving are apt to produce love to God, and confidence in the day of trial; for he that gave me blessings in proportion to the state and capacities of my life, I hope also will do so in proportion to the needs of my sickness and my death-bed. This we find practised, as a most reasonable piece of piety, by the wisest of the heathens. So Antipater Tarsensis gave God thanks for his prosperous voyage into Greece; and Cyrus made a handsome prayer upon the tops of the mountains when, by a phantasm, he was warned of his approaching death. "Receive, O God my Father, these holy rites, by which I put an end to many and great affairs; and I give thee thanks for thy celestial signs and prophetic notices, whereby thou hast signified to me what I ought to do, and what I ought not. I present also very great thanks that I have perceived and acknowledged your care of me, and have never exalted myself above my condition, for any prosperour accident. And I pray that you will grant felicity to my wife, my children, and friends, and to me a death such as my life hath been." But that of Philagrius, in Gregory Nazianzen, is eucharistical, but it relates more especially to the blessings and advantages which are accidentally consequent to sickness. "I thank thee, O Father and maker of all my children, that thou art pleased to bless and to sanctify us even against our wills, and by the outward man purgest the inward, and leadest us through cross-ways to a blessed ending, for reasons best known unto thee." However, when we go from our hospital and place of little intermedial rest in our journey to heaven, it is fit that we give thanks to the major-domo for our entertainment. When these parts of religion are finished according to each man's necessity, there is nothing remaining of personal duty to be done alone, but that the sick man act over these virtues by the renewings of devotion and in the way of prayer; and that is to be continued as long as life, and voice, and reason dwell with us.



Acts of Charity, by way of Prayer and Ejaculation; which may also be used for Thanksgiving in case of Recovery.

     O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord; my goodness extendeth not to thee, but to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight. The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup; thou maintainest my lot. Psalm xvi. 2,3,5.
     As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried; he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God, except the Lord? or who is a rock, save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. Psalm xviii.30-32.
     Be not thou far from me, O Lord; O my strength, haste thee to help me. Psalm xxii. 19.
     Deliver my soul from the sword, my darling from the power of the dog. Save me from the lion's mouth; and thou hast heard me also from among the horns of the unicorns. Ver. 20,21.
     I will declare thy name unto my brethren; in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. Ver. 22.
     Ye that fear the Lord, praise the Lord; ye sons of God, glorify him, and fear before him, all ye sons of men. For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard. Ver. 23,24.
     As the hart panteth after the water-brooks, so longeth my soul after thee, O God. Psalm xlii.1.
     My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before the Lord? Ver. 2.
     O my God, my soul is cast down within me. All thy waves and billows are gone over me. As with a sword in my bones, I am reproached. Yet the Lord will command his loving-kindness in the day-time; and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. Ver. 6-8, 10.
     Bless ye the Lord in the congregations; even the Lord from the fountains of Israel. Psalm lxviii. 26.
     My mouth shall show forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof. Psalm lxxxi.15.
     I will go in the strength of the Lord God; I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only. O God, thou hast taught me from my youth; and hitherto have I declared thy wonderous works. But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more. Ver. 16,17,14.
     Thy righteousness, O God, is very high, who hast done great things. O God, who is like unto thee? Thou which hast showed me great and sore troubles shall quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. Ver. 19,20.
     Thou shalt increase thy goodness towards me, and comfort me on every side. Ver. 21.
     My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul which thou hast redeemed. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever; and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, Amen. Ver. 23, Psalm lxxii. 18,19.
     I love the Lord because he hath heard my voice and my supplication. The sorrows of death compassed me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the Lord and righteous; yea our God is merciful. Psalm cxvi. 1,3-5.
     The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low and he helped me. Return to thy rest, O my soul: the Lord hath dealt bountifully with me. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. Ver. 6-8.
     Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. O Lord, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant and the son of thine handmaid: thou shalt loose my bonds. Ver. 15,16.
     He that loveth not the Lord Jesus, let him be accursed. 1 Cor. xvi. 22.
     O that I might love thee as well as ever any creature loved thee! He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God. There is no fear in love. 1 John, iv. 16,18.
The Prayer.

     O most gracious and eternal God and loving Father, who hast poured out thy bowels upon us, and sent the Son of thy love unto us to die for love, and to make us dwell in love, and the eternal comprehensions of thy Divine mercies, O be pleased to inflame my heart with a holy charity towards thee and all the world. Lord, I forgive all that ever have offended me, and beg that both they and I may enter into the possession of thy mercies, and feel a gracious pardon from the same fountain of grace: and do thou forgive me all the acts of scandal whereby I have provoked, or tempted, or lessened, or disturbed any person. Lord, let me never have my portion amongst those that divide the union, and disturb the peace, and break the charities of the church and Christian communion. And though I am fallen into evil times, in which Christendom is divided by the names of an evil division, yet I am in charity with all Christians, with all that love the Lord Jesus and long for his coming; and I would give my life to save the soul of any of my brethren; and I humbly beg of thee that the public calamity of the several societies of the church may not be imputed to my soul to any evil purposes.


     Lord, preserve me in the unity of thy holy church, in the love of God and of my neighbours. Let thy grace enlarge my heart to remember, deeply to resent, faithfully to use, wisely to improve, and humbly to give thanks to thee for all thy favours with which thou hast enriched my soul, and supported my estate, and preserved my person, and rescued me from danger, and invited me to goodness in all the days and periods of my life. Thou hast led me through it with an excellent conduct; and I have gone astray after the manner of men; but my heart is towards thee. O, do unto thy servant as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name; let thy truth comfort me; thy mercy deliver me; thy staff support me; thy grace sanctify my sorrow; and thy goodness pardon all my sins: thy angels guide me with safety in this shadow of death, and thy most Holy Spirit lead me into the land of righteousness, for thy name's sake, which is so comfortable, and for Jesus Christ's sake, our dearest Lord and most gracious Saviour. Amen.







     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.


[1] Pomfolne o anzrwpos.

[2] James, iv. 14,

[3] fainminm.

[4] Hroz oigon.

[5] Nihil sibi quisquame de futuro debet promittere. Id quo-que, quod tenetur, per manus exit, et ipsam quam premimus, horam casus incidit. Volvitur tempus rata quidem lege, sed per obscurum.-Seneca.

[6] Ut mortem eitius venire credas, Scito jam capitis perisae partem.

[7] Navigationes longas, et, pererratis litoribus alienis, seros in partriam reditus proponimus, militiam, et castrensium laborum tarda manu pretia, procurationes, officiorumque per officia processus, cum interim ad latus mors est; quae quoniam nunquam cogitatur nisi aliena, subinde nobis ingerantur morialitatis exempla, non diutius quam miramur hasura.-Senec.

[8] Quia lex cadem manet omnes, Gemitum dare sorte sub una, Cognataque funera nobis Aliena in morte dolere. Prud. Hymn. Exequiis Defunctor.

[9] Aut ubi mors non est, si jugulatis, aque?-Martial.

[10] Currit mortalibus evum, Nec nasci bis posse datur; fugit hera, rapitque Tartareus torrens, as sacum ferre sub umbras. Si qua animo placuere, negat.-Sil Ital 1.xv.

[11] Tefnafi khoa o eyw tote oexomai ottote ken oh Zeus efzg telesa.-It x.365.

[12] Anceps forma bonum mortalibus, Exigui donum breve temproris; Ut fulgor, teneris qui radiat genis, Momento rapitur, nullaque non dies Formosi spolium corporis abstulit.-Sence. Hipp. 770.

[13] Rape, congere, aufer, posside; relinquendum est. Martial

[14] Annos omnes prodegit, ut ex eo annus unus numeretur, et per mille indignitates laboravit in titulum sepulchri.--Sen.

[15] Jam eorum prabendas alii possident, et nescio utrum de its cogitant.-Gerson.

Me veterum frequens - Memphis Pyramidum docet, Me pressae tumulo lacryma glorie, Me projecta jacentium Passim per polulos busta Quiritium, Et vilis Zephyro jocus Jactati cineres et procerum rogi, Fumantumque cadvarea Regnorum tacito, Fufe silentio Mestum multa monent.-Cas.1.ii.Od. 27.

[16] Afanasias o ouk estin, ouo an sunayayxs Ta Tantalou talant ekeina leyohena. All an apofanxs, tauta kataleiyees tisin. Menand. Clcrc.p.214.

[17] Quid sit futurum cras, fuge querere, et Quem fors dierum cunque debit, lucro Appone.-Horat. 1.ix.15.

[18] Tentaris numeros, ut melius, quicquid erit, pati, Seu plures hyemes, seu tribuit Jupiter ultimam. Horat.1.ii.2.

[19] Certa amittimus, dum incerta petimus; atque hoe evenit in labore atque in dolore, ut mors obrepat interim-Plaut. Pseud. Act ii. Seen.3.

[20] Quid brevi fortes jaculamur evo Multa? 2. 16. Jam te premet nox, fabuleque Manes, Et domus exillis Plutonia. I.4.-Horat.

[21] Ille enim ex futuro suspenditur, cui irritum est praens. Seneca.

[22] Etate fruere; mobili cursu fugit.-Seneca.

[23] Martial. 1.ii.Epig.59.

[24] Eccles. iii. 22; ii. 24.

[25] Amici, dum vivimus, vivamus. pine, legei to glumrra, kai esfie, kai perikeiso Anfea totontot gignomef ezapinms. Hoc etiam faciunt, ubi discubuere, tenentque Pocula sape homines, et inumbrant ora coronis, Ex animo ut dicant, brevis est hic fructus homullis; Jam fuerit, neque post unquam revocare licebit. Lucret. lib. iii. 925.

[26] Quis sapiens bono Confidat fragili? dum licet, utere:

[27] Bis jam consul trigesimus instat, Et numerat paucos vix tua vita dies.-Mart. i. 16.

[28] Edepol, proinde ut bene vivitur, diu vivitur.-Plaut. Trinum. Non acccpimus brevem vitam, sed fecimus; nec inopes ejus sed prodigi sumus.-Seneca.

[29] Sed potes, Publi, geminare magna Sccula fama. Quem sui raptum gemuere cives, Hie diu vixit. Sibi quisque famam Scribat haeredem: rapiunt avarae aetera Lunae.-Casim. ii.2.

[30] In spe viventibus proximum quodque tempus clabitur, subitque aviditas temporis, et miserrimus, atque miserrima omnia efficiens, metus mortis - Ex hac autem indigentia timor nascitur, et cupiditas fururi exedens animum.-Seneca.

[31] Life of Christ, part iii. Disc.14.

[32] Seneca e Vita beata cap. 20.

[33] Nula requies in terris; surgite, postquam sederitis; hie est locus pulicum et culicum.

[34] Villis adulator pieto jacet ebrius ostro, Et qui solicitat numtas, ad praemia peccat. Sola pruinoisis horret facundia pannis, Atque inopi lingua desertas invocat artes. Petron. c. 83. p. 249.ed. Ant. Hine et jocus apud Aristophaneon in Avibus-934.

[35] Vilis servus habet regni bona, cellaque capti Derides festam Romulcamque casam.-Petron. Frag. 21. Omnia, crede mihi, etiam felicibus dubia sunt.-Seneca.

[36] Et adulterio velut sacramento adacti.-Tacit.

[37] Plusque et iterum timenda cum Antonio mulier.

[38] Quem si inter miseros posueris, miserrimus; inter felices, felicissimus reperiebatur.

[39] Uni sibi nec puero unquam ferias contigisse. Seditious et foro gravis.

[40] Propera vivere, et singulos die singulas vitas puta. Nihil interest inter diem et seculum.

[41] Si sapis, utaris totis, Colme, diebus; Extremumque tibi semper adese putes.-Martial.

[42] Heu, heu, nos miseros! quam totus homuncio nil est! Sic erimus cunci. postquam nos auferet Orcus: Ergo vivamus, dum licet esse, bene.

[43] Certe populi quos despicit Arctos Felices errore suo, quos ille timorum Maximus haud urget, lethi metus Inde ruendi In ferrum mens prona viris, animaque capaces Mortis, et ignavum rediture parcere vitae.-Lucan. i. 458.

[44] Qui quotidie vit suae manum imposuit, non indiget tempore.-Seneca.

[45] insere nunc, Melibae, pyros, pone ordine vites.

[46] Chap. iv. 9.

[47] Neque enim Deus ulla re perinde atque corporis arumna concilliatur.-Naz. Orat. 18.

[48] Amos, vi.1.

[49] Luke, vi.25.

[50] Matt. v.4.

[51] Hierocl.

[52] Ecclus. xix.1.

[53] Qui levi comminatione pellitur, non opus est, ut fortitudin et armis invadatur.-Seneca.

[54] Elige vitam optimam, consuetudo faciet jucundissimam.-Seneca.

[55] Securae et quietae mentis est in omnes vitue partes discurrere; occupatorum animi velut sub jugo sunt, respicere non possunt.-Seneca.

[56] Respice quid prodest praesentis temporis aevum; Omne quod est, nihil est, praeter amare Deum.

[57] Quod expendi habui, Quod donavi habeo: Quod negavi punior, Quod servavi perdidi.

[58] Tob. iv. 10; xii 9.

[59] Ecclus. iii. 30.

[60] Dan. iv. 27.

[61] Agere autem paeniterntiam nihil aliud est quam profiteri et affirmare se non ulterius peccaturum.

[62] St. Chrysostomus.

[63] Ephraim Syrus.

[64] Ejulatu, questu, gemitu, fremitibus, Resonando multum febiles voces refert.-Cic. Tues. ii. 13.

[65] concedendum est gementi.

[66] Omnino si quicquan est decorum, mibil est profecto magis quam acquabilitas univerae vitae, turn singularum actionem; quam autem conservare non possis, si aliorum naturam imitans omittas tuam.-1 Offic. 88.

[67] Praetulerim - delirus inersque videri, Dum mea delectent mala me, vel denique fallant, Quani sapere et ringi.-Horat. lib. ii. ep. 2.

[68] Debilem facito manu, debilem pede, coxa, lubricos quate dentes; vita dum superest, bene est. Hanc milhi, vel acutam, si das, sustineo crueem.-Sen. Ep. x.1.

[69] cerno equidem gemina constratos morte Phillippos, Thessaliaeque rogos, et fun eta gentis Iberae.

[70] Rara est in nobilitate senectus.

[71] Cicero de Senect.

[72] Ferre quam sortem patiuntur omnes, nemo recusat.

[73] Tusc. 1l ii. Cum faces doloris admoverentur.

[74] Tantum doluerunt, quantum doloribus se inserueruent.-St. August. Virg. 1. viii. v. 4. Ceu rore seges viret, Sic crescunt riguis tristia fletibus; Urget lacryma lacrymam, Faecundusque sui se numerat dolor

[75] 1 Cor. x. 13.

[76] Psalm ix.9; Matt. vii.7; James, v. 13; Psalm xxxi. 19,24; xxxiv. 22.

[77] Nulla mihi nova nune facies inopinave surgit: Omnia praecepi atque animo mecum ante peregi. Virgil. lib. vi.

[78] Nunc festinatos nimium sibi sentit honores, Actaque lauriferae damnat Syllana juventae.-Lucan. lib. viii.

[79] Nola quad cupio statim senere, Nec victoria mi placet parata.-Petrom.

[80] Mors ipsa beatior inde est, Quod per cruciamina lethi Via panditur ardua justis, Es ad astreadoloribus itur. Prud. Hymn. in Exeq. Defunct.

[81] Virtutes avidae periculi monstrant, quam non paeniteat tanto pretio aestimasse virtutem.-Senec. Non enim hilaritate, nec lascivia, nec risu, aut joco comite levitatis, sed saepe etiam tristes firmitate et constantia sunt beati.-Cic. de Fin. 1. xxii.

[82] Nihil infelicius eo eui nihil unquam contigit adversi. Non licuit illi se experii.-Seneca.

[83] Modestia filiorum delectantur; vernularum licentia et ca num, non puerorum.

[84] Ventus ut amittit vires nisi robore densae Occurrunt sylvae, spatio diffusus inani.-Lucan.

[85] Marcet sine adversario virtus.

[86] Psalm lxxxix. 32,33.

[87] 1 Cor. v.5; 1 Tim. i.20.

[88] Deut. xxxiv.5.

[89] Haec clementia non paratur arte: sed norunt cui serviunt ieones. Si iatus aut renes morbo tententur acuto, Quaere fugaim morbi. Vis recite vivere? quis non? Si virtus hoc una potest dare, fortis omissis Hoc age delicis - Horat. 1.i.ep.6.

[90] Nec tamen putaverant ad rem pertinere, ubi inciperent, quod placuerat ut fieret

[91] Neque tam aversa unquam videbitur ab opere suo providentia, ut debilitas inter optima inventa sit.

[92] Detestabilis erit caecitae, si nemo oculos perdiderit nisi cui eruendi sunt.

[93] Memineris ergo maximos dolores morte finiri, parvos habere multa intervalla requietis, mediocrium nos esse dominos. Cicero.

[94] Ecclus ii.15.

[95] mentiris juvenem tinietis Lentine, capillis, Tam subito corvus, qui modo cygnus eras. Non omnes fallis, scit te Proserpina canum; Personam capiti detrahet illa tuo.-Mart. 1.iii ep. 42.

[96] Heu, quanto melius vel caede peracta Parccre Romano potuit fortina pudori!-Lucanus.

[97] Haec omnia vidit inflammari, Jovis aram sanguine turpari

[98] Sic longius aevum Destruit ingentes animos, et vita superstes Imperio; nisi summa dies cum fine bonorum Adfuit, et celeri praevertit trista leto, Dedecori est fortuna prior.-Lucan. lib. viii

[99] Mors illi medius quam tu consuluit quidem.-Quisquam ne secundis tradere se fatis audet nisi morte parata?-Luc. lib. viii

[100] Hoc homo morte lucratur, ne malum esset immortale.-Naz.

[101] Nihil in malis ducamus, quod si a Diis immortalibus vel a Natura parente omnium, constitutum.

[102] Hostem cum fugeret, se Fannius ipse peremit.-Mart.

[103] Beati erimus, cum, corporibus relictis, et cupiditatum et amulationum erimus expertes, quodque nunc facimus, cum laxati curis sumus, ut speciare aliquid velimus et visere.-Tuscal. Q.

[104] Mors utinam pavidos wita subducere nolles, Sed virtus te sola daret.-Lucan.

[105] Pendent spera interrupta, minaeque murorum ingentes.

[106] Non levat miseros dolor.

[107] Josh. vii. 12.

[108] Whoso him bethoft Inwardly oft how hard it were to flit From heaven to pit, From pit unto pain That nere shall cease again, It would not be one sin All the world to win. Inscript. marmori in eccles. paroch. de Feversham in agro Cantiano.

[109] Kalos gar o kinsu[omegahat]os cai xrm ta toianta wsper ixasuein eautw.

[110] L. Cornel. Legatus sub Fabio Consule vividam naturam et virilem animum servavi, quoad animam effiavi; et tandem desertus ope medicorum et Escalapii Dei ingrati, cui me voveram sodalem perpetuo futurum, si fila aliquantulum optata prorulisset.-Vetus Inscripton in Lusitania.

[111] Apokarterein Gtpesi vocant, cum mors propter impatientiam petitur.

[112] Non jam validis radicubus haerens, pondere fixa suo.

[113] Sanctiusque ae reverentius visum de actis Deorum credere quam scire.-Tacit.

[114] Fides tua te salvum faciet: non exercitatio Scripturarum, Fides in regula posita est; (scil. in Symbolo quod jam recitaverat) habet legem, et saluterm de observatione legis; Exercitatio autem in curiositate consistit, habens gloriam solam de pertitia studio. Cedat curiositas Fidel; cedat Gloria Saluti-Tert. de pagescript St. Augustinus vocat Symbolum comprehensionem Fidei vestra atque perfectionem; Cordis signaculum, et nostrae militiae sacramentum. Amb. lib iii. de Vcland. Virgin. Aug. Serm. 115 Non per diddiciles nos Deus ad beatam vitam quaesuscitatum a mortuis per Deum credere, et ipsum esse Dominum confiteri.-St. Hilar. lib. 10 de Trinit. Haec est fides Catholica, de Symbolo suo dixit Athanasius, vel quicunque author est St. Athanas. de fide ni cena.

[115] In Phaedon.

[116] Descendisti ad Olympia, sed nemo praeter te: coronam tabes, vistoriam non habes.

[117] Mitius ille perit subith qui mergitur unda, Quam sua qui liquidis brachia lassat aquis.-Ovid.

[118] Etiam innocentes mentiri cogit dolor.

[119] Ipse illigatus peste interimor textili.

[120] Lavor honesta hora et salubri, quae mihi et calorem et sanguinem servet: rigere et pallere post lavacrum mortuus possum. Tertul. Apol. c.42.

[121] Vide the Life of Christ, Disc. of Repentance; Rule of Holy Living, chap. iv. Sect. of Repentance; and volume of Serm. Serm. v. vi.

[122] Ne tamen ad Stygias famulus descenderet umbras, Ureret implicitum cum scelerata lues, Cavimus

[123] Tu milhi, quod rarum est, vivo sublime dedisti Nomen, ab exsequiis quod dare fama solet.

[124] Acts, iii. 19.

[125] Ou pendre, ou rendre, ou les peines d'enfers attendra.

[126] Quid debent laesi facere, ubi rei ad paenam confugiunt?

[127] Vera ad Deum conversio in ultimis positorum mente potius est aestimanda quam tempore. Cel. P. ep ii. c. 9. Vera conversio scil. ab infidelitate ad finem Christi per bapts

[128] Psalm lxiii.1.

[129] Psalm vi. 4,5.

[130] Credebant hoc grande nefus et morte piandum, Si juvenis vetulo non assurrexerat, et si Barbato cuicunque puer.-Juven. Sat. 13.

[131] 1 Thess.v.17; Luke, xviii. 1.

[132] Mark, xvi. 16.

[133] Luke xiii. 3; Acts, iii.19.

[134] Matt. v.3.

[135] Luke, xiv.10; John, xiii.14.

[136] Matt. v.5; Col. iii.12.

[137] Matt. x.16; 1 Thess.v.8.

[138] Rom. viii.24.

[139] Luke, xvi.29; Mark, iv.24.

[140] 1 Tim. iv.13.

[141] Heb.xiii.17; Matt. xviii.17.

[142] Titus, iii.10.

[143] Coloss.iii 14; 1 Tim. i.v.; 2 Tim. ii 22.

[144] Matt. xviii.9.

[145] Magnifica verba mors prope admota excutit.

[146] Nam verae voces tum demum pectore ab imo Ejiciuntur - Lucret. iii. 57.

[147] Contra avaritiam.

[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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