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Title: No Cross, No Crown - a discourse, shewing the nature and discipline of the Holy - Cross of Christ
Author: Penn, William, 1644-1718
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: title page]







  The Living and Dying Testimonies






  "And Jesus said unto them all; If any man will come after me,
  let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow
  me."-- LUKE, ix. 23.

  "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the
  faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness," &c.--2
  TIM. iv. 7, 8.










The great business of man's life, is to answer the end for which
he lives; and that is to glorify God and save his own soul: this
is the decree of Heaven, as old as the world. But so it is, that
man mindeth nothing less than what he should most mind; and
despiseth to inquire into his own being, its original duty and end;
choosing rather to dedicate his days (the steps he should make to
blessedness) to gratify the pride, avarice, and luxury of his heart:
as if he had been born for himself, or rather given himself being,
and so not subject to the reckoning and judgment of a superior
power. To this wild and lamentable pass hath poor man brought
himself by his disobedience to the law of God in his heart, by doing
that which he knows he should not do, and leaving undone what he
knows he should do. And as long as this disease continueth upon man
he will make his God his enemy, and himself incapable of the love
and salvation that He hath manifested, by his Son Jesus Christ, to
the world.

If, Reader, thou art such an one, my counsel to thee is, to retire
into thyself, and take a view of the condition of thy soul; for
Christ hath given thee light with which to do it; search carefully
and thoroughly; thy life is in it; thy soul is at stake. It is
but once to be done; if thou abuse thyself in it, the loss is
irreparable; the world is not price enough to ransom thee: wilt thou
then, for such a world, belate thyself, overstay the time of thy
salvation, and lose thy soul? Thou hast to do, I grant thee, with
great patience; but that also must have an end: therefore provoke
not that God that made thee, to reject thee. Dost thou know what
it is? It is Tophet; it is hell, the eternal anguish of the damned.
Oh! Reader, as one knowing the terrors of the Lord, I persuade thee
to be serious, diligent, and fervent about thy own salvation. Aye,
and as one knowing the comfort, peace, joy, and pleasure of the
ways of righteousness too, I exhort and invite thee to embrace the
reproofs and convictions of Christ's light and spirit in thine own
conscience, and bear the judgment, who hast wrought the sin. The
fire burns but the stubble: the wind blows but the chaff: yield up
the body, soul, and spirit to Him that maketh all things new: new
heavens, and new earth, new love, new joy, new peace, new works,
a new life and conversation. Men are grown corrupt and drossy by
sin, and they must be saved through fire, which purgeth it away:
therefore the word of God is compared to a fire, and the day of
salvation to an oven; and Christ himself to a refiner and purifier
of silver.

Come, Reader, hearken to me awhile; I seek thy salvation; that is
my plot; thou wilt forgive me. A refiner is come near thee, his
grace hath appeared unto thee: it shows thee the world's lusts, and
teaches thee to deny them. Receive his leaven, and it will change
thee: his medicine, and it will cure thee: he is as infallible as
free; without money, and with certainty. A touch of his garment did
it of old: it will do it still: his virtue is the same, it cannot
be exhausted: for in him the fulness dwells; blessed be God for
his sufficiency. He laid help upon him, that he might be mighty
to save all that come to God through him: do thou so, and he will
change thee: aye, thy vile body like unto his glorious body. He is
the great philosopher indeed; the wisdom of God, that turns lead
into gold, vile things into things precious: for he maketh saints
out of sinners, and almost gods of men. What rests to us, then,
that we must do, to be thus witnesses of his power and love? This
is the Crown: but where is the Cross? Where is the bitter cup and
bloody baptism? Come, Reader, be like him; for this transcendant joy
lift up thy head above the world; then thy salvation will draw nigh

Christ's Cross is Christ's way to Christ's Crown. This is the
subject of the following Discourse; first written during my
confinement in the Tower of London, in the year 1668, now reprinted
with great enlargements of matter and testimonies, that thou,
Reader, mayest be won to Christ; and if won already, brought nearer
to Him. It is a path, God, in his everlasting kindness, guided my
feet into, in the flower of my youth, when about twenty-two years of
age: then He took me by the hand, and led me out of the pleasures,
vanities, and hopes of the world. I have tasted of Christ's
judgments and mercies, and of the world's frowns and reproaches: I
rejoice in my experience, and dedicate it to thy service in Christ.
It is a debt I have long owed, and has been long expected: I have
now paid it, and delivered my soul. To my country, and to the world
of Christians, I leave it: my God, if He please, make it effectual
to them all, and turn their hearts from that envy, hatred, and
bitterness, they have one against another, about worldly things;
sacrificing humanity and charity to ambition and covetousness,
for which they fill the earth with trouble and oppression; that
receiving the Spirit of Christ into their hearts, the fruits of
which are love, peace, joy, temperance, and patience, brotherly
kindness and charity, they may in body, soul, and spirit, make a
triple league against the world, the flesh, and the devil, the
common enemies of mankind; and having conquered them through a life
of self-denial, by the power of the Cross of Jesus, they may at last
attain to the eternal rest and kingdom of God.

    So desireth, so prayeth,
    Friendly Reader,
    Thy fervent Christian Friend,



  CHAPTERS I. AND II.--Page 1-23.

  Of the Necessity of the daily bearing of the Cross of Christ.

  CHAPTER III.--Page 24-28.

  What the Cross of Christ is.

  CHAPTER IV.--Page 29-42.

  What the great Work of the Cross is.

  CHAPTERS V. AND VI.--Page 43-74.

  Of unlawful Self in Religion and Morality.

  CHAPTERS VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. AND XII.--Page 75-149.

  Of Pride, the first capital Lust, its Rise, Definition, and

  CHAPTER XIII.--Page 150-167.

  Of Avarice, the second capital Lust, its Definition and Distinction.


  Of Luxury, what it is, and the Mischief of it to Mankind.

  CHAPTER XIX.--Page 233-294.

  The Testimonies of several great, learned, and virtuous Personages
  among the Gentiles, urged against the excesses of the Age.

  CHAPTER XX.--Page 295-324.

  The Doctrine and Practice of the blessed Lord Jesus and his Apostles,
  the primitive Christians, and those of more modern Times in
  favour of the Discourse.

  CHAPTER XXI.--Page 325-355.

  The serious Apprehensions and Expressions of several aged and
  dying Men of Fame and Learning.

  CHAPTER XXII.--Page 356-365.

  An Exhortation to all professing Christianity, to embrace the
  foregoing Reasons and Examples.




     I. Of the necessity of the Cross of Christ in general; yet the
     little regard Christians have to it.--2. The degeneracy of
     Christendom from purity to lust, and moderation to excess.--3.
     That worldly lusts and pleasures are become the care and study
     of Christians, so that they have advanced upon the impiety
     of infidels.--4. This defection a second part to the Jewish
     tragedy, and worse than the first: the scorn Christians have
     cast on their Saviour.--5. Sin is of one nature all the world
     over; sinners are of the same church, the devil's children:
     profession of religion in wicked men makes them but the
     worse.--6. A wolf is not a lamb; a sinner cannot be, whilst
     such, a saint.--7. The wicked will persecute the good; this,
     false Christians have done to the true, for non-compliance
     with their superstitions; the strange carnal measures false
     Christians have taken of Christianity; the danger of that
     self-seduction.--8. The sense of that has obliged me to make
     this discourse for a dissuasive against the world's lusts, and
     an invitation to take up the daily cross of Christ as the way
     left us by him to blessedness.--9. Of the self-condemnation of
     the wicked; that religion and worship are comprised in doing the
     will of God. The advantage good men have over bad men in the
     last judgment.--10. A supplication for Christendom, that she
     may not be rejected in that great assize of the world. She is
     exhorted to consider what relation she bears to Christ; if her
     Saviour, how saved, and from what: what her experience is of
     that great work. That Christ came to save from sin and wrath by
     consequence; not to save men in sin, but from it, and so from
     the wages of it.

I. Though the knowledge and obedience of the doctrine of the cross
of Christ be of infinite moment to the souls of men, for that is
the only door to true Christianity, and that path the ancients ever
trod to blessedness; yet, with extreme affliction let me say, it
is so little understood, so much neglected, and what is worse, so
bitterly contradicted by the vanity, superstition, and intemperance
of professed Christians, that we must either renounce to believe
what the Lord Jesus hath told us, that whosoever doth not bear his
cross, and come after him, cannot be his disciple; (Luke, xiv. 27;)
or, admitting that for truth, conclude, that the generality of
Christendom do miserably deceive and disappoint themselves in the
great business of Christianity, and their own salvation.

II. For, let us be never so tender and charitable in the survey
of those nations that entitle themselves to any interest in the
holy name of Christ, if we will but be just too, we must needs
acknowledge, that after all the gracious advantages of light, and
obligations to fidelity, which these latter ages of the world
have received by the coming, life, doctrine, miracles, death,
resurrection, and ascension of Christ, with the gifts of his
Holy Spirit; to which add the writings, labours, and martyrdom
of his dear followers in all times, there seems very little
left of Christianity but the name; which being now usurped by
the old heathen nature and life, makes the professors of it but
true heathens in disguise. For though they worship not the same
idols, they worship Christ with the same heart: and they can never
do otherwise, whilst they live in the same lusts. So that the
unmortified Christian and the heathen are of the same religion. For
though they have different objects to which they do direct their
prayers, that adoration in both is but forced and ceremonious, and
the deity they truly worship is the god of the world, the great
lord of lusts: to him they bow with the whole powers of soul and
sense. What shall we eat? What shall we drink? What shall we wear?
And how shall we pass away our time? Which way may we gather
wealth, increase our power, enlarge our territories, and dignify
and perpetuate our names and families in the earth? Which base
sensuality is most pathetically expressed and comprised by the
beloved Apostle John, in these words: "The lust of the flesh, the
lust of the eyes, and the pride of life," which, says he, "are not
of the Father, but of the world, that lieth in wickedness." (1 John,
ii. 16.)

III. It is a mournful reflection, but a truth no confidence can
be great enough to deny, that these worldly lusts fill up the
study, care, and conversation of wretched Christendom! and, which
aggravates the misery, they have grown with time. For as the world
is older, it is worse; and the examples of former lewd ages, and
their miserable conclusions, have not deterred, but excited ours; so
that the people of this seem improvers of the old stock of impiety,
and have carried it so much further than example, that instead of
advancing in virtue upon better times, they are scandalously fallen
below the life of heathens. Their high-mindedness, lasciviousness,
uncleanness, drunkenness, swearing, lying, envy, backbiting,
cruelty, treachery, covetousness, injustice, and oppression, are
so common, and committed with such invention and excess, that they
have stumbled and embittered infidels to a degree of scorning that
holy religion, to which their good example should have won their

IV. This miserable defection from primitive times, when the glory
of Christianity was the purity of its professors, I cannot but call
the second and worst part of the Jewish tragedy upon the blessed
Saviour of mankind. For the Jews, from the power of ignorance, and
the extreme prejudice they were under to the unworldly way of his
appearance, would not acknowledge him when he came, but for two or
three years persecuted, and finally crucified him in one day. But
the false Christians' cruelty lasts longer: they have first, with
Judas, professed him, and then, for these many ages, most basely
betrayed, persecuted, and crucified him, by a perpetual apostasy in
manners, from the self-denial and holiness of his doctrine; their
lives giving the lie to their faith. These are they that the author
of the epistle to the Hebrews tells us, "Crucify to themselves
the Son of God afresh, and put him to open shame:" (Heb. vi. 6:)
whose defiled hearts John in his Revelation styles, "The streets
of Sodom and Egypt, spiritually so called, where also our Lord
was crucified." (Rev. xi. 8.) And as Christ said of old, a man's
enemies are those of his own house, so Christ's enemies now are
chiefly those of his own profession; they spit upon him, they nail
and pierce him, they crown him with thorns, and give him gall and
vinegar to drink. (Matt. xxvii. 34.) Nor is it hard to apprehend;
for they that live in the same evil nature and principle the Jews
did, that crucified him outwardly, must needs crucify him inwardly;
since they that reject the grace now in their own hearts, are one in
stock and generation with the hard-hearted Jews, that resisted the
grace that then appeared in and by Christ.

V. Sin is of one nature all the world over; for though a liar is
not a drunkard, nor a swearer a whoremonger, nor either properly
a murderer, yet they are all of a church; all branches of the one
wicked root; all of kin. They have but one father, the devil, as
Christ said to the professing Jews, the visible church of that age:
he slighted their claims to Abraham and Moses, and plainly told them
"That he that committed sin, was the servant of sin." (John, viii.
34, 35.) They did the devil's works, and therefore were the devil's
children. The argument will always hold upon the same reasons, and
therefore good still: "His servants ye are," saith Paul, "whom ye
obey:" (Rom. vi. 16:) and saith John to the church of old, "Let no
man deceive you; he that committeth sin is of the devil." (1 John,
iii. 7, 8.) Was Judas ever the better Christian for crying, Hail,
Master, and kissing Christ? By no means; they were the signal of
his treachery; the tokens given by which the bloody Jews should
know and take him. He called him Master, but betrayed him; he
kissed, but sold him to be killed; this is the upshot of the false
Christians' religion. If a man ask them, Is Christ your Lord? they
will cry, God forbid else: yes, he is our Lord. Very well; but do
you keep his commandments? No, how should we? How then are you his
disciples? It is impossible, say they. What! would you have us keep
his commandments? No man can. What! impossible to do that without
which Christ hath made it impossible to be a Christian? Is Christ
unreasonable? Does he reap where he has not sown? Require where he
has not enabled? Thus it is, that with Judas they call him Master,
but take part with the evil of the world to betray him; and kiss
and embrace him as far as a specious profession goes; and then sell
him, to gratify the passion that they most indulge. Thus as God said
of old, they make him serve with their sins and for their sins too.
(Isa. xliii. 24.)

VI. Let no man deceive his own soul; "grapes are not gathered of
thorns, nor figs of thistles:" (Matt. vii. 16:) a wolf is not a
sheep, nor is a vulture a dove. What form, people, or church soever
thou art of, it is the truth of God to mankind, that they which have
even the form of godliness, but by their unmortified lives, deny the
power thereof, make not the true, but false church: which, though
she entitle herself the Lamb's bride, or church of Christ, (Rev.
xvii. 5,) she is that mystery, or mysterious Babylon, fitly called
by the Holy Ghost, the mother of harlots and all abominations:
because degenerated from Christian chastity and purity, into all
the enormities of heathen Babylon; a sumptuous city of old time,
much noted for the seat of the kings of Babylon, and at that time
the place in the world of the greatest pride and luxury. As she was
then, so mystical Babylon is now the great enemy of God's people.

VII. True it is, They that are born of the flesh, hate and persecute
them that are born of the spirit, who are the circumcision in heart.
It seems they cannot own nor worship God after her inventions,
methods, and prescriptions, nor receive for doctrine her vain
traditions, any more than they can comply with her corrupt fashions
and customs in their conversation. The case being thus, from an
apostate she becomes a persecutor. It is not enough that she herself
declines from ancient purity, others must do so too. She will give
them no rest that will not partake with her in that degeneracy,
or receive her mark. Are any wiser than she, than mother church?
No, no: nor can any make war with the beast she rides upon,
those worldly powers that protect her, and vow their maintenance
against the cries of her dissenters. Apostasy and superstition are
ever proud and impatient of dissent: all must conform or perish.
Therefore the slain witnesses, and blood of the souls under the
altar, (Rev. vi. 9,) are found within the walls of this mystical
Babylon, this great city of false Christians, and are charged upon
her, by the Holy Ghost in the Revelation. Nor is it strange that she
should slay the servants who first crucified the Lord: but strange
and barbarous too, that she should kill her husband and murder
her Saviour; titles she seems so fond of, and that have been so
profitable to her; and that she would recommend herself by, though
without all justice. But her children are reduced so entirely under
the dominion of darkness, by means of their continued disobedience
to the manifestation of the divine light in their souls, that they
forget what man once was, or they should now be; and know not
true and pure Christianity when they meet it; yet pride themselves
upon professing it. Their measures are so carnal and false about
salvation, they call good evil, and evil good; they make a devil
a Christian, and a saint a devil. So that though the unrighteous
latitude of their lives be matter of lamentation, as to themselves
it is of destruction; yet that common apprehension, that they may
be children of God, while in a state of disobedience to his holy
commandments; and disciples of Jesus, though they revolt from his
cross, and members of his true church, which is without spot or
wrinkle, notwithstanding their lives are full of spots and wrinkles;
is, of all other deceptions upon themselves, the most pernicious to
their eternal condition. For they are at peace in sin, and under
a security in their transgression. Their vain hope silences their
convictions, and overlays all tender motions to repentance; so that
their mistake about their duty to God is as mischievous as their
rebellion against him.

Thus they walk on precipices, and flatter themselves, till the grave
swallows them up, and the judgments of the great God break their
lethargy, and undeceive their poor wretched souls with the anguish
of the wicked, as the reward of their work.

VIII. This has been, is, and will be the doom of all worldly
Christians: an end so dreadful, that if there were nothing of duty
to God, or obligation to men, being a man, and one acquainted with
the terrors of the Lord in the way and work of my own salvation,
compassion alone were sufficient to excite me to this dissuasive
against the world's superstitions and lusts, and to invite the
professors of Christianity to the knowledge and obedience of the
daily cross of Christ, as the alone way, left by him, and appointed
us to blessedness; that they who now do but usurp the name may
have the thing; and by the power of the cross, to which they are
now dead, instead of being dead to the world by it, may be made
partakers of the resurrection that is in Christ Jesus, unto newness
of life. For they that are truly in Christ, that is, redeemed by,
and interested in him, are new creatures. (Gal. vi. 15.) They have
received a new will; such as does the will of God, not their own.
They pray in truth, and do not mock God, when they say, Thy will be
done on earth as it is in heaven. They have new affections; such
as are set on things above, (Col. iii. 1, 2, 3,) and make Christ
their eternal treasure. New faith; (1 John, 4, 5;) such as overcomes
the snares and temptations of the world's spirit in themselves,
or as it appears through others: and lastly, new works; not of a
superstitious contrivance, or of human invention, but the pure
fruits of the Spirit of Christ working in them, as love, joy, peace,
meekness, long-suffering, temperance, brotherly-kindness, faith,
patience, gentleness, and goodness, against which there is no law;
and they that have not the Spirit of Christ, and walk not in it, the
apostle Paul has told us, are none of his; (Rom. viii. 9;) but the
wrath of God, and condemnation of the law, will lie upon them. For
if there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ; who walk not
after the flesh, but after the Spirit, which is Paul's doctrine;
they that walk not according to that Holy Spirit, by his doctrine,
are not in Christ: that is, have no interest in him, nor just claim
to salvation by him: and consequently there is condemnation to such.

IX. And the truth is, the religion of the wicked is a lie: "there
is no peace, saith the prophet, to the wicked." (Isaiah, xlviii.
22.) Indeed there can be none; they are reproved in their own
consciences, and condemned in their own hearts, in all their
disobedience. Go where they will, rebukes go with them, and
oftentimes terrors too: for it is an offended God that pricks
them, and who, by his light, sets their sins in order before them.
Sometimes they strive to appease him by their corporeal framed
devotion and worship, but in vain; for true worshipping of God
is doing his will, which they transgress. The rest is a false
compliment, like him that said he would go, and did not. (Matt.
xxi. 30.) Sometimes they fly to sports and company, to drown the
reprover's voice, and blunt his arrows, to chase away troubled
thoughts, and secure themselves out of the reach of the disquieter
of their pleasures; but the Almighty, first or last, is sure to
overtake them. There is no flying his final justice, for those
that reject the terms of his mercy. Impenitent rebels to his law
may then call to the mountains, and run to the caves of the earth
for protection, but in vain. His all-searching eye will penetrate
their thickest coverings, and strike up a light in that obscurity,
which shall terrify their guilty souls; and which they shall never
be able to extinguish. Indeed, their accuser is with them, they
can no more be rid of him than of themselves; he is in the midst
of them, and will stick close to them. That spirit which bears
witness with the spirits of the just will bear witness against
theirs. Nay, their own hearts will abundantly come in against them;
and, "if our hearts condemn us," saith the apostle John, "God is
greater, and knows all things;" (1 John iii. 20;) that is, there
is no escaping the judgments of God, whose power is infinite, if
a man is not able to escape the condemnation of himself. It is at
that day proud and luxurious Christians shall learn that God is no
respecter of persons; that all sects and names shall be swallowed up
in these two kinds, sheep and goats, just and unjust: and the very
righteous must have a trial for it; which made that holy man cry
out, "If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly
and the sinner appear?" (1 Pet. iv. 18.) If their thoughts, words,
and works must stand the test, and come under scrutiny before the
impartial Judge of heaven and earth, how then should the ungodly be
exempted? No; we are told by him that cannot lie, many shall then
even cry, Lord, Lord! set forth their profession, and recount the
works that they have done in his name, to make him propitious, and
yet be rejected with this direful sentence, "Depart from me, ye
workers of iniquity; I know you not." (Matt. vii. 23.) As if he had
said, Get you gone, you evil doers; though you have professed me,
I will not know you; your vain and evil lives have made you unfit
for my holy kingdom: get you hence, and go to the gods whom you
have served; your beloved lusts which you have worshipped, and the
evil world that you have so much coveted and adored: let them save
you now, if they can, from the wrath to come upon you, which is the
wages of the deeds you have done. Here is the end of their work that
build upon the sand; the breath of the Judge will blow it down, and
woful will the fall thereof be. Oh, it is now that the righteous
have the better of the wicked! which made an apostate cry, in old
time, "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end
be like unto his." (Numb. xxiii. 10.) For the sentence is changed,
and the Judge smiles; he casts the eye of love upon his own sheep,
and invites them with "Come, ye blessed of my Father," (Matt. xxv.
34,) that through patient continuance in well-doing have long waited
for immortality; you have been the true companions of my tribulation
and cross, and, with unwearied faithfulness, in obedience to my
holy will, valiantly endured to the end, looking to me, the Author
of your precious faith, for the recompense of reward that I have
promised to them that love me, and faint not: O, enter ye into the
joy of your Lord, and inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the
foundation of the world.

X. O Christendom! my soul most fervently prays, that after all thy
lofty profession of Christ, and his meek and holy religion, thy
unsuitable and un-Christ-like life may not cast thee at that great
assize of the world, and lose thee so great salvation at last. Hear
me once, I beseech thee: can Christ be thy Lord, and thou not obey
him? or, canst thou be his servant, and never serve him? "Be not
deceived, such as thou sowest shalt thou reap." (Gal. vi. 7.) He is
none of thy Saviour whilst thou rejectest his grace in thy heart, by
which he should save thee. Come, what has he saved thee from? Has
he saved thee from thy sinful lusts, thy worldly affections, and
vain conversations? If not, then he is none of thy Saviour. For,
though he be offered a Saviour to all, yet he is actually a Saviour
to those only that are saved by him; and none are saved by him that
live in those evils by which they are lost from God, and which he
came to save them from.

It is sin that Christ is come to save man from, and death and wrath,
as the wages of it; but those that are not saved, that is delivered,
by the power of Christ in their souls, from the power that sin has
had over them, can never be saved from the death and wrath, that are
the assured wages of the sin they live in.

So that look how far people obtain victory over those evil
dispositions and fleshly lusts, they have been addicted to, so far
they are truly saved, and are witnesses of the redemption that comes
by Jesus Christ. His name shows his work: "And thou shalt call his
name JESUS, for he shall save his people from their sin." (Matt. i.
21.) "Behold," said John, of Christ, "the Lamb of God that takes
away the sins of the world." (John, i. 29.) That is, behold him whom
God hath given to enlighten people, and for salvation to as many as
receive him, and his light and grace in their hearts, and take up
their daily cross and follow him; such as rather deny themselves the
pleasure of fulfilling their lusts than sin against the knowledge he
has given them of his will, or do that they know they ought not to


     1. By this Christendom may see her lapse, how foul it is, and
     next, the worse for her pretence to Christianity.--2. But there
     is mercy with God upon repentance, and propitiation in the
     blood of Jesus.--3. He is the light of the world that reproves
     the darkness, that is, the evil of the world; and he is to be
     known within.--4. Christendom, like the inn of old, is full of
     other guests: she is advised to believe in, receive, and apply
     to Christ.--5. Of the nature of true faith; it brings power
     to overcome every appearance of evil: this leads to consider
     the Cross of Christ, which has been so much wanted.--6. The
     apostolic ministry, and end of it; its blessed effect; the
     character of apostolic times.--7. The glory of the cross, and
     its triumph over the heathen world. A measure to Christendom,
     what she is not, and should be.--8. Her declension, and cause
     of it.--9. The miserable effects that followed.--10. From the
     consideration of the cause the cure may be more easily known,
     viz., Not faithfully taking up the daily cross; then, faithfully
     taking it daily up must be the remedy.

I. By all which has been said, O Christendom! and by that better
help, if thou wouldst use it, the lamp the Lord has lighted in thee,
not utterly extinct, it may evidently appear, first, how great and
full thy backsliding has been, who, from the temple of the Lord,
art become a cage of unclean birds; and of a house of prayer, a
den of thieves, a synagogue of Satan, and the receptacle of every
defiled spirit. Next, that under all this manifest defection, thou
hast nevertheless valued thy corrupt self upon thy profession of
Christianity, and fearfully deluded thyself with the hopes of
salvation. The first makes thy disease dangerous, but the last
almost incurable.

II. Yet, because there is mercy with God that he may be feared,
and that he takes no delight in the eternal death of poor sinners,
no, though backsliders themselves, (Ezek. xviii. 20, 23, 24,) but
is willing all should come to the knowledge and obedience of the
Truth, and be saved, he hath set forth his Son a propitiation, and
given him as a Saviour to take away the sins of the whole world,
that those that believe and follow him may feel the righteousness
of God in the remission of their sins, and blotting out their
transgressions for ever. (Matt. i. 21; Luke i. 77; Rom. iii. 25;
Heb. ix. 24 to 28; 1 John ii. 1, 2.) Now, behold the remedy! an
infallible cure, one of God's appointing; a precious elixir, indeed,
that never fails; and that universal medicine which no malady could
ever escape.

III. But thou wilt say, What is Christ? and where is he to be
found? and how received and applied, in order to this mighty cure?
I tell thee then, first, he is the great spiritual light of the
world that enlightens every one that comes into the world; by which
he manifests to them their deeds of darkness and wickedness, and
reproves them for committing them. Secondly, he is not far away
from thee, (Acts, xvii. 27.) as the apostle Paul said of God to the
Athenians. "Behold," says Christ himself, "I stand at the door and
knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in
to him, and sup with him, and he with me." (Rev. iii. 20.) What door
can this be but that of the heart of man?

IV. Thou, like the inn of old, hast been full of guests; thy
affections have entertained other lovers; there has been no room for
thy Saviour in thy soul. Wherefore salvation is not yet come into
thy house, though it is come to thy door, and thou hast been often
proffered it, and hast professed it long. But if he calls, if he
knocks still, that is, if his light yet shines, if it reproves thee
still, there is hope thy day is not over, and that repentance is
not yet hid from thine eyes; but his love is after thee still, and
his holy invitation continues to save thee.

Wherefore, O Christendom! believe, receive, and apply him rightly;
this is of absolute necessity, that thy soul may live for ever with
him. He told the Jews, "If you believe not that I am he, ye shall
die in your sins; and whither I go ye cannot come." (John, viii.
21, 24.) And because they believed him not, they did not receive
him, nor any benefit by him. But they that believed him received
him; and as many as received him, his own beloved disciple tells us,
"to them gave he power to become the sons of God, which are born
not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man,
but of God." (John, i. 12, 13.) That is, who are not children of
God after the fashions, prescriptions, and traditions of men, that
call themselves his church and people, which is not after the will
of flesh and blood, and the invention of carnal man, unacquainted
with the regeneration and power of the Holy Ghost, but of God; that
is, according to his will and the working and sanctification of his
Spirit and word of life in them. And such were ever well versed in
the right application of Christ, for he was made to them indeed
propitiation, reconciliation, salvation, righteousness, redemption,
and justification.

So I say to thee, unless thou believest that he that stands at the
door of thy heart and knocks, and sets thy sins in order before
thee, and calls thee to repentance, be the Saviour of the world,
thou wilt die in thy sins, and where he is gone thou wilt never
come. For, if thou believest not in him, it is impossible that he
should do thee good, or effect thy salvation: Christ works not
against faith, but by it. It is said of old, "He did not many mighty
works in some places, because the people believed not in him."
(John, i. 12, 13.) So that, if thou truly believest in him, thine
ear will be attentive to his voice in thee, and the door of thine
heart open to his knocks. Thou wilt yield to the discoveries of his
light, and the teachings of his grace will be very dear to thee.

V. It is the nature of true faith to beget a holy fear of offending
God, a deep reverence to his precepts, and a most tender regard to
the inward testimony of his Spirit, as that by which his children
in all ages have been safely led to glory. For, as they that truly
believe receive Christ in all his tenders to the soul, so as true
it is that those who receive him thus, with him receive power to
become the sons of God: that is, an inward force and ability to do
whatever he requires; strength to mortify their lusts, controul
their affections, resist evil motions, deny themselves, and overcome
the world in its most enticing appearances. This is the life of
the blessed Cross of Christ, which is the subject of the following
discourse, and what thou, O man, must take up, if thou intendest
to be the disciple of Jesus. Nor canst thou be said to receive
Christ, or to believe in him, whilst thou rejectest his cross. For,
as receiving of Christ is the means appointed of God to salvation,
so bearing the daily cross after him is the only true testimony of
receiving him, and therefore it is enjoined by him as the great
token of discipleship, "If any man will come after me, let him deny
himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." (Matt. xvi. 24.)

This, Christendom, is that thou hast so much wanted, and the want
of which has proved the only cause of thy miserable declension from
pure Christianity. To consider which well, as it is thy duty, so it
is of great use to thy restoration.

For as the knowledge of the cause of any distemper guides the
physician to make a right and safe judgment in the application of
his medicine, so it will much enlighten thee in the way of thy
recovery, to know and weigh the first cause of this spiritual lapse
and malady that has befallen thee. To do which, a general view of
thy primitive estate, and consequently of their work that first
laboured in the Christian vineyard, will be needful; and if therein
something be repeated, the weight and dignity of the subject will
bear it, without the need of an apology.

VI. The work of apostleship, we are told by a prime labourer in
it, was to turn people "from darkness to light, and from the power
of Satan unto God." (Acts, xxvi. 18.) That is, instead of yielding
to the temptations and motions of Satan, who is the prince of
darkness or wickedness, the one being a metaphor to the other, by
whose power their understandings were obscured, and their souls
held in the service of sin, they should turn their minds to the
appearance of Christ, the Light and Saviour of the world; who by
his light shines in their souls, and thereby gives them a sight
of their sins, and discovers every temptation and motion in them
unto evil, and reproves them when they give way thereunto; that so
they might become the children of light, and walk in the path of
righteousness. And for this blessed work of reformation did Christ
endue his apostles with his spirit and power, that so men might not
longer sleep in a security of sin and ignorance of God, but awake
to righteousness, that the Lord Jesus might give them life; that
is, that they might leave off sinning, deny themselves the pleasure
of wickedness, and, by true repentance, turn their hearts to God
in well doing, in which is peace. And truly God so blessed the
faithful labours of these poor mechanics, yet his great ambassadors
to mankind, that in a few years many thousands that had lived
without God in the world, without a sense or fear of him, lawlessly,
very strangers to the work of his Spirit in their hearts, being
captivated by fleshly lusts, were inwardly struck and quickened by
the word of life, and made sensible of the coming and power of the
Lord Jesus Christ as a judge and lawgiver in their souls, by whose
holy light and spirit the hidden things of darkness were brought
to light and condemned, and pure repentance from those dead works
begotten in them, that they might serve the living God in newness of
spirit. So that thenceforward they lived not to themselves, neither
were they carried away of those former divers lusts, by which they
had been seduced from the true fear of God; but "the law of the
spirit of life," (Rom. viii. 2,) by which they overcame the law of
sin and death, was their delight, and therein did they meditate day
and night. Their regard towards God was not taught by the precepts
of men any longer, (Isaiah, xxix. 13,) but from the knowledge they
had received by his own work and impressions in their souls. They
had quitted their old masters, the world, the flesh, and the devil,
and delivered up themselves to the holy guidance of the grace of
Christ, that taught them to "deny ungodliness and the world's lusts,
and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present life:"
(Tit. ii. 11, 12:) this is the cross of Christ indeed, and here is
the victory it gives to them that take it up; by this cross they
died daily to the old life they had lived, and by holy watchfulness
against the secret motions of evil in their hearts they crushed
sin in its conceptions, yea in its temptations. So that they, as
the apostle John advised them, "kept themselves, that the evil one
touched them not." (1 John, v. 18.)

For the light, which Satan cannot endure, and with which Christ had
enlightened them, discovered him in all his approaches and assaults
upon the mind; and the power they received through their inward
obedience to the manifestations of that blessed light, enabled them
to resist and vanquish him in all his stratagems. And thus it was
that, where once nothing was examined, nothing went unexamined;
every thought must come to judgment, and the rise and tendency of
it be also well approved, before they allowed it any room in their
minds. There was no fear of entertaining enemies for friends, whilst
this strict guard was kept upon the very wicket of the soul. Now the
old heavens and earth, that is, the old earthly conversation, and
old carnal, that is Jewish or shadowy worship, passed away apace,
and every day all things became new. He was no more a Jew that was
one outwardly, nor that circumcision that was in the flesh; but he
was the Jew that was one inwardly, and that circumcision which was
of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter, whose praise is
not of man, but of God. (Rom. ii. 28, 29.)

VII. Indeed, the glory of the cross shined so conspicuously through
the self-denial of their lives who daily bore it, that it struck
the heathen with astonishment; and in a small time so shook their
altars, discredited their oracles, struck the multitude, invaded the
court, and overcame their armies, that it led priests, magistrates,
and generals in triumph after it, as the trophies of its power and

And, while this integrity dwelt with Christians, mighty was
the presence, and invincible that power that attended them; it
quenched fire, daunted lions, turned the edge of the sword,
outfaced instruments of cruelty, convicted judges, and converted
executioners. (Heb. xi. 32, to the end; Isaiah, xliii. 2; Daniel,
iii. 12, to the end.) In fine, the way their enemies took to
destroy, increased them; and, by the deep wisdom of God, they who
in all their designs endeavoured to extinguish the truth were made
great promoters of it. (Dan. vi. 16, to the end.) Now, not a vain
thought, not an idle word, not an unseemly action was permitted; no,
not an immodest look, no courtly dress, gay apparel, complimental
respects, or personal honours: much less those lewd immoralities
and scandalous vices, now in vogue with Christians, could find
either example or connivance among them. Their care was not how to
sport away their precious time, but how to redeem it, (Eph. v. 15,
16,) that they might have enough to work out their great salvation,
which they carefully did, with fear and trembling: not with balls
and masks, with playhouses, dancing, feasting, and gaming; no,
no; to make sure of their heavenly calling and election was much
dearer to them than the poor and trifling joys of mortality. For
they having, with Moses, seen him that is invisible, and found
that his loving-kindness was better than life, the peace of his
Spirit than the favour of princes,--as they feared not Cæsar's
wrath,--so they chose rather to sustain the afflictions of Christ's
true pilgrims than enjoy the pleasures of sin that were but for a
season; esteeming his reproaches of more value than the perishing
treasures of the earth. And if the tribulations of Christianity were
more eligible than the comforts of the world, and the reproaches
of one than all the honour of the other, there was then surely no
temptations in it that could shake the integrity of Christendom.

VIII. By this short draught of what Christendom was, thou mayest
see, O Christendom, what thou are not, and consequently what thou
oughtest to be. But how comes it that from a Christendom that was
thus meek, merciful, self-denying, suffering, temperate, holy,
just, and good, so like to Christ, whose name she bore, we find a
Christendom now that is superstitious, idolatrous, persecuting,
proud, passionate, envious, malicious, selfish, drunken, lascivious,
unclean, lying, swearing, cursing, covetous, oppressing, defrauding,
with all other abominations known in the earth?

I lay this down as the undoubted reason of this degeneracy, to wit,
the inward disregard of thy mind to the light of Christ shining
in thee, that first showed thee thy sins and reproved them, and
that taught and enabled thee to deny and resist them. For as thy
fear towards God, and holy abstinence from unrighteousness, was,
at first, not taught by the precepts of men, but by that light
and grace which revealed the most secret thoughts and purposes of
thine heart, and searched the most inward parts, setting thy sins
in order before thee, and reproving thee for them, not suffering
one unfruitful thought, word, or work of darkness to go unjudged;
so when thou didst begin to disregard that light and grace, to be
careless of that holy watch that was once set up in thine heart, and
didst not keep sentinel there, as formerly, for God's glory and thy
own peace, the restless enemy of man's good quickly took advantage
of this slackness, and often surprised thee with temptations, whose
suitableness to thy inclinations made his conquest over thee not

In short, thou didst omit to take up Christ's holy yoke, to bear
thy daily cross; thou wast careless of thy affections, and kept
no journal or check upon thy actions; but didst decline to audit
accounts in thy own conscience, with Christ thy light, the great
Bishop of thy soul and Judge of thy works, whereby the holy fear
decayed and love waxed cold, vanity abounded, and duty became
burdensome. Then up came formality, instead of the power of
godliness; superstition, in place of Christ's institution: and
whereas Christ's business was to draw on the minds of his disciples
from an outward temple, and carnal rites and services, to the inward
and spiritual worship of God, suitable to the nature of divinity, a
worldly, human, pompous worship is brought in again, and a worldly
priesthood, temple, and altar, are re-established. Now it was that
the sons of God once more saw the daughters of men were fair, (Gen.
vi. 2,) that is, the pure eye grew dim, which repentance had opened,
that saw no comeliness out of Christ, and the eye of lust became
unclosed again by the god of the world; and those worldly pleasures
that make such as love them forget God, though once despised for the
sake of Christ, began now to recover their old beauty and interest
in thy affections, and from liking them, to be the study, care, and
pleasure of thy life.

True, there still remained the exterior forms of worship and a
nominal and oral reverence to God and Christ, but that was all; for
the offence of the holy cross ceased, the power of godliness was
denied, self-denial lost, and, though fruitful in the invention
of ceremonious ornaments, yet barren in the blessed fruits of the
Spirit. And a thousand shells cannot make one kernel, or many dead
corpses one living man.

IX. Thus religion fell from experience to tradition, and worship
from power to form, from life to letter; and, instead of putting up
lively and powerful requests, animated by a deep sense of want and
the assistance of the Holy Spirit,--by which the ancients prayed,
wrestled, and prevailed with God,--behold a by-rote _mumpsimus_,
a dull and insipid formality, made up of corporeal bowings and
cringings, garments and furnitures, perfumes, voices, and music,
fitter for the reception of some earthly prince than the heavenly
worship of the one true and immortal God, who is an eternal,
invisible Spirit.

But thy heart growing carnal, thy religion did so too; and, not
liking it as it was, thou fashionedst it to thy liking: forgetting
what the holy prophet said, "The sacrifice of the wicked is an
abomination to the Lord," (Prov. xv. 8,) and what St. James saith,
"Ye ask, and receive not." (James, iv. 3.) Why? "Because ye ask
amiss;" that is, with a heart that is not right, but insincere,
unmortified, not in the faith that purifies the soul, and therefore
can never receive what is asked: so that a man may say with truth,
thy condition is worse by thy religion, because thou art tempted to
think thyself better for it, and art not.

X. Well; by this prospect that is given thee of thy foul fall from
primitive Christianity, and the true cause of it,--to wit, a neglect
of the daily cross of Christ,--it may be easy for thee to inform
thyself of the way of thy recovery.

For, look, at what door thou wentest out, at that door thou must
come in; and, as letting fall and forbearing the daily cross lost
thee, so taking up and enduring the daily cross must recover thee.
It is the same way by which the sinners and apostates become the
disciples of Jesus. "Whosoever," says Christ, "will come after me
and be my disciple, let him deny himself, and take up his daily
cross and follow me." (Matthew, xvi. 24; Mark, viii. 34; Luke,
xiv. 27.) Nothing short of this will do; mark that! for, as it is
sufficient, so it is indispensable; no crown but by the cross, no
life eternal but through death; and it is but just that those evil
and barbarous affections that crucified Christ afresh, should, by
his holy cross, be crucified.


     1. What the cross of Christ is. A figurative speech, but truly
     the Divine power that mortifies the world.--2. It is so called
     by the apostle Paul to the Corinthians.--3. Where it is the
     cross appears, and must be borne? Within; where the lusts are,
     there they must be crucified.--4. Experience teaches every
     one this; to be sure Christ asserts it, from within comes
     murder, &c., and that is the house where the strong man must be
     bound.--5. How is the cross to be borne? The way is spiritual, a
     denial of self, of the pleasure of sin; to please God, and obey
     his will as manifested to the soul by the light He gives it.--6.
     This shows the difficulty, yet the necessity of the cross.

The daily cross being then, and still, O Christendom! the way to
glory, that the succeeding matter, which wholly relates to the
doctrine of it, may come with most evidence and advantage upon thy
conscience it is most seriously to be considered by thee,--

First, What the cross of Christ is?

Secondly, Where the cross of Christ is to be taken up?

Thirdly, How, and after what manner it is to be borne?

Fourthly, What is the great work and business of the cross? In
which, the sins it crucifies, with the mischiefs that attend them,
will be at large expressed.

Fifthly and lastly, I shall add many testimonies from living and
dying persons of great reputation, either for their quality,
learning, or piety, as a general confirmation of the whole tract.

To the first, What is the cross of Christ?

I. The cross of Christ is a figurative speech, borrowed from the
outward tree, or wooden cross, on which Christ submitted to the will
of God, suffering death at the hands of evil men. So that the cross
mystical is that Divine grace and power which crosseth the carnal
wills of men, and gives a contradiction to their corrupt affections,
and that constantly opposeth itself to the inordinate and fleshly
appetite of their minds, and so may be justly termed the instrument
of man's wholly dying to the world, and being made conformable
to the will of God. For nothing else can mortify sin, or make it
easy for us to submit to the Divine will in things otherwise very
contrary to their own.

II. The preaching of the cross, therefore, in primitive times was
fitly called by Paul, that famous and skilful apostle in spiritual
things, "the power of God," though to them that perish, then, as
now, "foolishness." That is, to those that were truly weary and
heavy laden, and needed a deliverer, to whom sin was burdensome
and odious, the preaching of the cross, by which sin was to be
mortified, was, as to them, the power of God, or a preaching of
the Divine power by which they were made disciples of Christ and
children of God; and it wrought so powerfully upon them that no
proud nor licentious mockers could put them out of love with it.
But to those that walked in the broad way, in the full latitude of
their lusts, and dedicated their time and care to the pleasure of
their corrupt appetites, to whom all yoke and bridle were and are
intolerable, the preaching of the cross was and is foolishness.

III. Well: but then where does this cross appear, and where must it
be taken up?

I answer, within: that is, in the heart and soul; for where the
sin is, the cross must be. Now all evil comes from within: this
Christ taught: "From within," saith Christ, "out of the heart of man
proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts,
covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye,
blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evils come from within, and
defile the man." (Mark, vii. 21, 22, 23.)

The heart of man is the seat of sin, and where he is defiled he must
be sanctified; and where sin lives, there it must die: it must be
crucified. Custom in evil hath made it natural to men to do evil;
and as the soul rules the body, so the corrupt nature sways the
whole man: but still, it is all from within.

IV. Experience teaches every son and daughter of Adam to assent to
this; for the enemy's temptations are ever directed to the mind,
which is within: if they take not, the soul sins not; if they are
embraced, lust is presently conceived, that is, inordinate desires;
lust conceived, brings forth sin; and sin finished, that is, acted,
brings forth death. (James, v. 15.) Here is both the cause and the
effect, the very genealogy of sin, its rise and end.

In all this, the heart of evil man is the devil's mint, his
work-house, the place of his residence, where he exercises his
power and art. And therefore the redemption of the soul is aptly
called the destruction of the works of the devil, and bringing in of
everlasting righteousness. (1 John, iii. 8.; Dan. ix. 24.) When the
Jews would have defamed Christ's miracle of casting out devils, by a
blasphemous imputation of it to the power of Beelzebub, he says that
"no man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods,
till he first bind the strong man." (Matt. xii. 29.) Which, as it
shows the contrariety that was between Beelzebub and the power by
which he dispossessed him, so it teaches us to know that the souls
of the wicked are the devil's house, and that his goods, his evil
works, can never be destroyed till first he that wrought them, and
keeps the house, be bound. All which makes it easy to know where the
cross must be taken up, by which alone the strong man must be bound,
his goods spoiled, and his temptations resisted, that is, within, in
the heart of man.

V. But in the next place, how and in what manner is the cross to be
daily borne?

The way, like the cross, is spiritual: that is an inward submission
of the soul to the will of God, as it is manifested by the light of
Christ in the consciences of men, though it be contrary to their own
inclinations. For example: when evil presents, that which shows the
evil does also tell them they should not yield to it; and if they
close with its counsel, it gives them power to escape it. But they
that look and gaze upon the temptation, at last fall in with it, and
are overcome by it; the consequence of which is guilt and judgment.
Therefore, as the cross of Christ is that spirit and power in men,
though not of men, but of God, which crosseth and reproveth their
fleshly lusts and affections; so the way of taking up the cross is
an entire resignation of soul to the discoveries and requirings
of it: not to consult their worldly pleasure, or carnal ease, or
interest, for such are captivated in a moment, but continually to
watch against the very appearances of evil, and by the obedience of
faith, that is, of true love to, and confidence in God, cheerfully
to offer up to the death of the cross, that evil part, that Judas
in themselves, which, not enduring the heat of the siege, and being
impatient in the hour of temptation, would, by its near relation to
the tempter, more easily betray their souls into his hands.

VI. O this shows to every one's experience how hard it is to be a
true disciple of Jesus! the way is narrow indeed, and the gate very
strait, where not a word, no not a thought must slip the watch, or
escape judgment; such circumspection, such caution, such patience,
such constancy, such holy fear and trembling. This gives an easy
interpretation to that hard saying, "Flesh and blood cannot inherit
the kingdom of God;" (Matt. xxiv. 42; xxv. 13; xxvi. 38, 42;) those
that are captivated with fleshly lusts and affections: for they
cannot bear the cross; and they that cannot endure the cross must
never have the crown. To reign, it is necessary first to suffer.
(Phil. ii. 12; 1 Cor. xv. 50.)


     1. What is the great work of the cross? The answer to this is
     of great moment.--2. The work of the cross is self-denial.--3.
     What was the cup and cross of Christ?--4. What is our cup and
     cross?--5. Our duty is to follow Christ as our captain.--6.
     Of the distinction in self, a lawful and unlawful self.--7.
     What the lawful self is.--8. That it is to be denied in some
     cases by Christ's doctrine and example.--9. By the Apostle's
     pattern.--10. The danger of preferring lawful self above our
     duty to God.--11. The reward of self-denial an excitement to
     it.--12. This doctrine as old as Abraham.--13. His obedience
     of faith memorable.--14. Job a great instance of self-denial,
     his contentment.--15. Moses also a mighty example, his neglect
     of Pharaoh's court.--16. His choice.--17. The reason of it,
     viz. the recompense of reward.--18. Isaiah no inconsiderable
     instance, who of a courtier, became a holy prophet.--19. These
     instances concluded with that of holy Daniel, his patience and
     integrity, and the success they had upon the king.--20. There
     might be many mentioned to confirm this blessed doctrine.--21.
     All must be left for Christ, as men would be saved.--22. The
     way of God is a way of faith and self-denial.--23. An earnest
     supplication and exhortation to all, to attend upon these things.

But fourthly, What is the great work and business of the cross
respecting man?

Answ. I. This indeed is of that mighty moment to be truly, plainly,
and thoroughly answered, that all that went before seems only to
serve for preface to it; and miscarrying in it to be no less than
a misguidance of the soul about its way to blessedness. I shall
therefore pursue the question, with God's help, and the best
knowledge He hath given me in the experience of several years'

II. The great work and business of the cross of Christ in man
is self-denial; a word of as much depth in itself as of sore
contradiction to the world, little understood but less embraced by
it, yet it must be borne for all that. The Son of God is gone before
us, and, by the bitter cup He drank and the baptism He suffered, has
left us an example that we should follow in his steps; which made
him put that hard question to the wife of Zebedee and her two sons,
upon her soliciting that one might sit at his right and the other at
his left hand in his kingdom, "Are ye able to drink of the cup that
I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism I am baptized
with?" It seems their faith was strong; they answered, "We are
able." Upon which he replied, "Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and
be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with;" but their reward
he left to his Father. (Matt. xx. 21, 22, 23.)

III. What was his cup he drank, and baptism he suffered? I answer,
they were the denial and offering up of himself by the eternal
Spirit to the will of God, undergoing the tribulations of his life
and agonies of his death upon the cross for man's salvation.

IV. What is our cup and cross that we should drink and suffer? They
are the denial and offering up of ourselves, by the same Spirit, to
do or suffer the will of God for his service and glory, which is
the true life and obedience of the cross of Jesus; narrow still,
but before an unbeaten way. For when there was none to help, not
one to open the seals, to give knowledge, to direct the course
of poor man's recovery, He came in the greatness of his love and
strength; and though clothed with the infirmities of a mortal man,
being within fortified with the almightiness of an immortal God, He
travelled through all the straits and difficulties of humanity, and
first, of all others, trod the untrodden path to blessedness.

V. O come! let us follow Him, the most unwearied, the most
victorious captain of our salvation; to whom all the great
Alexanders and mighty Cæsars of the world are less than the poorest
soldier of their camps could be to them. True, they were all great
princes of their kind, and conquerors too, but on very different
principles. For Christ made himself of no reputation, to save
mankind; but these plentifully ruined people to augment theirs. They
vanquished others, not themselves; Christ conquered self, that ever
vanquished them; of merit therefore the most excellent Prince and
Conqueror. Besides, they advanced their empire by rapine and blood,
but He by suffering and persuasion; He never by compulsion, they
always by force prevailed. Misery and slavery followed all their
victories, his brought greater freedom and felicity to those he
overcame. In all they did they sought to please themselves; in all
He did he aimed to please his Father, who is King of kings and Lord
of lords.

It is this most perfect pattern of self-denial we must follow, if
ever we will come to glory; to do which let us consider self-denial
in its true distinction and extent.

VI. There is a lawful and unlawful self: and both must be denied
for the sake of him, who in submission to the will of God counted
nothing dear that he might save us. And, though the world be
scarcely in any part of it at that pass as yet to need that
lesson of the denial of lawful self, that every day most greedily
sacrifices to the pleasure of unlawful self; yet to take the whole
thing before me, and for that it may possibly meet with some that
are so far advanced in this spiritual warfare as to receive some
service from it, I shall at least touch upon it.

VII. The lawful self which we are to deny, is that conveniency,
ease, enjoyment, and plenty, which in themselves are so far from
being evil, that they are the bounty and blessings of God to us, as
husband, wife, child, house, land, reputation, liberty, and life
itself; these are God's favours, which we may enjoy with lawful
pleasure and justly improve as our honest interest. But when God
requires them, at what time soever the lender calls for them or
is pleased to try our affections by our parting with them; I say,
when they are brought in competition with him, they must not be
preferred, they must be denied. Christ himself descended from the
glory of his Father, and willingly made himself of no reputation
among men, that he might make us of some with God; and, from the
quality of thinking it no robbery to be equal with God, he humbled
himself to the poor form of a servant; yea, the ignominious death of
the cross. (Phil. ii. 5, 6, 7, 8.)

VIII. It is the doctrine he teaches us in these words, "He that
loveth father or mother, son or daughter, more than me, is not
worthy of me." (Matt. x. 37.) Again, "Whoever he be of you that
forsaketh not all that he hath, cannot be my disciple." (Luke, xiv.
33.) And he plainly told the young rich man that if he would have
eternal life, he should sell all and follow him; (Mark, x. 21, 22;)
a doctrine sad to him as it is to those that, like him, for all
their high pretences to religion, in truth love their possessions
more than Christ. This doctrine of self-denial is the condition
to eternal happiness, "He that will come after me, let him deny
himself, and take up his cross and follow me." (Matt. xvi. 24.)

IX. This made those honest fishermen quit their lawful trades and
follow him, when he called them to it, and others that waited for
the consolation of Israel to offer up their estates, reputations,
liberties, and also lives, to the displeasure and fury of their
kindred and the government they lived under for the spiritual
advantage that accrued to them by their faithful adherence to his
holy doctrine. True, many would have excused their following him in
the parable of the feast: some had bought land, some had married
wives, and others had bought yokes of oxen, and could not come;
(Luke, xiv. 18, 19, 20;) that is, an immoderate love of the world
hindered them: their lawful enjoyments, from servants became their
idols; they worshipped them more than God, and would not quit them
to come to God. But this is recorded to their reproach; and we may
herein see the power of self upon the worldly man, and the danger
that comes to him by the abuse of lawful things. What, thy wife
dearer to thee than thy Saviour! and thy land and oxen preferred
before thy soul's salvation! O beware, that thy comforts prove not
snares first, and then curses: to overrate them, is to provoke him
that gave them to take them away again: come, and follow him that
giveth life eternal to the soul.

X. Woe to them that have their hearts in their earthly possessions!
for when they are gone, their heaven is gone with them. It is too
much the sin of the greatest part of the world, that they stick
in the comforts of it. And it is lamentable to behold how their
affections are bemired and entangled with their conveniencies and
accommodations in it. The true self-denying man is a pilgrim; but
the selfish man is an inhabitant of the world: the one uses it, as
men do ships, to transport themselves or tackle in a journey, that
is, to get home; the other looks no further, whatever he prates,
than to be fixed in fulness and ease here, and likes it so well,
that if he could, he would not exchange. However, he will not
trouble himself to think of the other world, till he is sure he must
live no longer in this: but then, alas! it may prove too late; not
to Abraham, but to Dives he may go; the story is as true as sad.

XI. But on the other hand, it is not for nought that the disciples
of Jesus deny themselves; and indeed, Christ himself had the eternal
joy in his eye: "For the joy that was set before him," says the
author to the Hebrews, "he endured the cross;" (Heb. xii. 2;) that
is, he denied himself, and bore the reproaches and death of the
wicked; and despised the shame, to wit, the dishonour and derision
of the world. It made him not afraid nor shrink, he contemned it;
and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. And to their
encouragement, and great consolation, when Peter asked him, what
they should have that had forsaken all to follow him, he answered
them, "Verily I say unto you, that ye, which have followed me in
the regeneration, when the Son of Man shall sit on the throne of
his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the
twelve tribes of Israel," (Matt. xix. 27-29,) that were then in an
apostacy from the life and power of godliness. This was the lot of
his disciples; the more immediate companions of his tribulations,
and first messengers of his kingdom. But the next that follows is
to all: and "every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or
sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for
my name's sake, shall receive an hundred fold, and shall inherit
everlasting life." It was this recompense of reward, this eternal
crown of righteousness, that in every age has raised, in the souls
of the just, a holy neglect, yea, contempt of the world. To this is
owing the constancy of the martyrs, as to their blood, the triumph
of the Truth.

XII. Nor is this a new doctrine; it is as old as Abraham. (Gen.
xii.) In several most remarkable instances, his life was made up
of self-denial. First, in quitting his own land, where we may well
suppose him settled in the midst of plenty, at least sufficiency:
and why? Because God called him. Indeed this should be reason
enough, but such is the world's degeneracy that in fact it is not:
and the same act, upon the same inducement, in any now, though
praised in Abraham, would be derided. So apt are people not to
understand what they commend; nay, to despise those actions, when
they meet them in the people of their own times, which they pretend
to admire in their ancestors.

XIII. But he obeyed: the consequence was, that God gave him a mighty
land. This was the first reward of his obedience. The next was, a
son in his old age; and which greatened the blessing, after it had
been, in nature, past the time of his wife's bearing of children.
(Gen. xxii. 2.) Yet God called for his darling, their only child,
the joy of their age, the son of a miracle, and he upon whom the
fulfilling of the promise made to Abraham did depend. For this
son, I say, God called: a mighty trial: that which, one would have
thought, might very well have overturned his faith, and stumbled
his integrity; at least have put him upon this dispute in himself.
This command is unreasonable and cruel; it is the tempter's, it
cannot be God's. For, is it to be thought that God gave me a son to
make a sacrifice of him? that the father should be butcher of his
only child? Again, that he should require me to offer up the son of
his own promise, by whom his covenant is to be performed; this is
incredible. I say, thus Abraham might naturally enough have argued,
to withstand the voice of God, and indulge his great affections
to his beloved Isaac. But good old Abraham, that knew the voice
that had promised him a son, had not forgotten to know it, when it
required him back again; he disputes not, though it looked strange,
and perhaps with some surprise and horror, as a man. He had learned
to believe that God, that gave him a child by a miracle, could work
another to preserve or restore him. His affections could not balance
his duty, much less overcome his faith; for he received him in a way
that would let him doubt of nothing that God had promised to him.

To the voice of this Almightiness he bows, builds an altar, binds
his only son upon it, kindles the fire, and stretches forth his hand
to take the knife: but the angel stopped the stroke: Hold, Abraham,
thy integrity is proved. What followed? a ram served, and Isaac was
his again. This shows how little serves, where all is resigned,
and how mean a sacrifice contents the Almighty, where the heart is
approved. So that it is not the sacrifice that recommends the heart,
but the heart that gives the sacrifice acceptance.

God often touches our best comforts, and calls for that which we
most love, and are least willing to part with. Not that he always
takes it utterly away, but to prove the soul's integrity, to caution
us from excesses, and that we may remember God, the author of those
blessings we possess, and live loose to them. I speak my experience;
the way to keep our enjoyments is to resign them; and though that
be hard, it is sweet to see them returned, as Isaac was to his
father Abraham, with more love and blessing than before. O stupid
world! O worldly Christians; not only strangers, but enemies to this
excellent faith! and whilst so, the rewards of it you can never know.

XIV. But Job presses hard upon Abraham: his self-denial also was
very signal. For when the messengers of his afflictions came thick
upon him, one doleful story after another, till he was left almost
as naked as when he was born; the first thing he did, he fell to
the ground, and worshipped that power, and kissed that hand that
stripped him; so far from murmuring, that he concludes his losses
of estate and children with these words: "Naked came I out of my
mother's womb, and naked shall I return: the Lord gave and the Lord
hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job, i. 21.) O
the deep faith, patience, and contentment of this excellent man!
one would have thought this repeated news of ruin had been enough
to have overset his confidence in God; but it did not; that stayed
him. But indeed he tells us why; his Redeemer lived; "I know," says
he, "that my Redeemer lives." (Job, xix. 25, 26.) And it appeared
he did; for he had redeemed him from the world: his heart was not
in his worldly comforts: his hope lived above the joys of time and
troubles of mortality; not tempted by the one, nor shaken by the
other; but firmly believed, that when after his skin worms should
have consumed his body, yet with his eyes he should see his God.
Thus was the heart of Job both submitted to and comforted in the
will of God.

XV. Moses is the next great example in sacred story for remarkable
self-denial, before the times of Christ's appearance in the
flesh. He had been saved when an infant, by an extraordinary
providence, and it seems, by what followed, for an extraordinary
service: Pharaoh's daughter, whose compassion was the means of his
preservation, when the king decreed the slaughter of the Hebrew
males, (Exod. ii. 1, 10,) took him for her son, and gave him the
education of her father's court. His own graceful presence and
extraordinary abilities, joined with her love for him, and interest
in her father to promote him, must have rendered him, if not capable
of succession, at least of being chief minister of affairs under
that wealthy and powerful prince. For Egypt was then what Athens and
Rome were after, the most famous for learning, art, and glory.

XVI. But Moses, ordained for other work and guided by a higher
principle, no sooner came to years of discretion, than the impiety
of Egypt, and the oppressions of his brethren there, grew a burden
too heavy for him to bear. And though so wise and good a man could
not want those generous and grateful acknowledgments, that became
the kindness of the king's daughter to him; yet he had also seen
that God that was invisible; (Heb. xi. 24-27;) and did not dare to
live in the ease and plenty of Pharaoh's house, whilst his poor
brethren were required to make brick without straw. (Exod. v. 7, 16.)

Thus the fear of the Almighty taking deep hold of his heart, he
nobly refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, and
chose rather a life of affliction, with the most despised and
oppressed Israelites, and to be the companion of their tribulations
and jeopardies, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
esteeming the reproaches of Christ, which he suffered for making
that unworldly choice, greater riches than all the treasures of that

XVII. Nor was he so foolish as they thought him; he had reason on
his side; for it is said, he had an eye to the recompense of reward,
he did but refuse a lesser benefit for a greater. In this his wisdom
transcended that of the Egyptians; for they made the present world
their choice, as uncertain as the weather, and so lost that which
has no end. Moses looked deeper, and weighed the enjoyments of this
life in the scales of eternity, and found they made no weight there.
He governed himself not by the immediate possession, but the nature
and duration of the reward. His faith corrected his affections, and
taught him to sacrifice the pleasure of self, to the hope he had of
a future more excellent recompense.

XVIII. Isaiah[1] was no inconsiderable instance of this blessed
self-denial; who of a courtier became a prophet, and left the
worldly interests of the one, for the faith, patience, and
sufferings of the other. For his choice did not only lose him the
favour of men, but their wickedness, enraged at his integrity to
God, in his fervent and bold reproofs of them, made a martyr of him
in the end, for they barbarously sawed him asunder in the reign of
king Manasseh. Thus died that excellent man, and commonly called the
Evangelical Prophet.

  [1] Dorotheus in his Lives of the Prophets.

XIX. I shall add, of many, one example more, and that is from
the fidelity of Daniel; a holy and wise young man, who when his
external advantages came in competition with his duty to Almighty
God, relinquished them all; and instead of being solicitous how to
secure himself, as one minding nothing less, he was, to the utmost
hazard of himself, most careful how to preserve the honour of God,
by his fidelity to his will. And though at the first it exposed him
to ruin, yet, as an instance of great encouragement to all that like
him will choose to keep a good conscience in an evil time, at last
it advanced him greatly in the world; and the God of Daniel was made
famous and terrible through his perseverance even in the eyes of
heathen kings.

XX. What shall I say of all the rest, who counted nothing dear that
they might do the will of God, abandoned their worldly comforts,
and exposed their ease and safety, as often as the heavenly vision
called them,[2] to the wrath and malice of degenerate princes and an
apostate church? More especially Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Micah, who
after they had denied themselves, in obedience to the divine voice,
sealed their testimony with their blood.

  [2] Dorotheus in his Lives of the Prophets.

Thus was self-denial the practice and glory of the ancients, that
were predecessors to the coming of Christ in the flesh: and shall
we hope to go to heaven without it now, when our Saviour himself is
become the most excellent example of it? and that not as some would
fain have it, viz. for us, that we need not; (1 Peter, ii. 21;) but
for us, that we might deny ourselves, and so be the true followers
of his blessed example.

XXI. Whoever therefore thou art that wouldst do the will of
God, but faintest in thy desires, from the opposition of worldly
considerations, remember I tell thee, in the name of Christ, that
he that prefers father or mother, sister or brother, wife or child,
house or land, reputation, honour, office, liberty, or life, before
the testimony of the light of Jesus, in his own conscience, shall be
rejected of him in the solemn and general inquest upon the world,
when all shall be judged, and receive according to the deeds done,
not the profession made, in this life. It was the doctrine of Jesus,
that if thy right hand offend thee, thou must cut it off; and if thy
right eye offend thee, thou must pluck it out: (Matt. v. 29, 30:)
that is, if the most dear, the most useful and tender comforts thou
enjoyest, stand in thy soul's way, and interrupt thy obedience to
the voice of God, and thy conformity to his holy will revealed in
thy soul, thou art engaged, under the penalty of damnation, to part
with them.

XXII. The way of God is a way of faith, as dark to sense, as mortal
to self. It is the children of obedience, who count, with holy Paul,
all things dross and dung, that they may win Christ, and know and
walk in this narrow way. Speculation will not do, nor can refined
notions enter; the obedient only eat the good of this land. (Isaiah,
i. 19.) They that do his will, says the blessed Jesus, shall know
of my doctrine; (John, vii. 17;) them He will instruct. There is no
room for instruction, where lawful self is lord, and not servant.
For self cannot receive it; that which should is oppressed by self,
fearful, and dare not. O! what will my father or mother say? How
will my husband use me? or finally, what will the magistrate do
with me? For though I have a most powerful persuasion, and clear
conviction upon my soul, of this or that thing, yet considering how
unmodish it is, what enemies it has, and how strange and singular I
shall seem to them, I hope God will pity my weakness: if I sink, I
am but flesh and blood; it may be hereafter He may better enable me;
and there is time enough. Thus selfish, fearful man.

But deliberating is ever worst; for the soul loses in parley: the
manifestation brings power with it. Never did God convince people,
but, upon submission, he empowered them. He requires nothing without
giving ability to perform it: that were mocking, not saving men.
It is enough for thee to do thy duty, that God shows thee thy
duty; provided thou closest with that light and spirit by which he
gives thee that knowledge. They that want power, are such as do
not receive Christ in his convictions upon the soul, and such will
always want it; but such as do, they receive power, like those of
old, to become the children of God, through the pure obedience of

XXIII. Wherefore, let me beseech you, by the love and mercy of God,
by the life and death of Christ, by the power of his Spirit, and
the hope of immortality, that you, whose hearts are established in
your temporal comforts, and so lovers of self, more than of these
heavenly things, would let the time past suffice: that you would
not think it enough to be clear of such impieties, as too many are
found in, whilst your inordinate love of lawful things has defiled
your enjoyment of them, and drawn your hearts from the fear, love,
obedience, and self-denial of a true disciple of Jesus. Turn about
then, and hearken to the still voice in thy conscience; it tells
thee thy sins, and thy misery in them; it gives a lively discovery
of the very vanity of the world, and opens to the soul some prospect
of eternity, and the comforts of the just that are at rest. If thou
adhere to this, it will divorce thee from sin and self: thou wilt
soon find, that the power of its charms exceeds that of wealth,
honour, and beauty of the world, and finally will give thee that
tranquillity which the storms of time can never shipwreck nor
disorder. Here all thy enjoyments are blest, though small, yet
great by that presence that is within them.

Even in this world the righteous have the better of it, for they use
the world without rebuke, because they do not abuse it. They see and
bless the hand that feeds, and clothes, and preserves them. And as
by beholding him in all his works, they do not adore them, but him;
so the sweetness of his blessings that gives them, is an advantage
such have upon those that see him not. Besides, in their increase,
they are not lifted up, nor in their adversities are they cast down:
and why? Because they are moderated in the one, and comforted in the
other, by his divine presence.

In short, heaven is the throne, and the earth but the footstool of
that man that hath self under foot. And those that know that station
will not easily be moved; such learn to number their days, that they
may not be surprised with their dissolution; and to redeem their
time, because their days are evil; (Ephes. v. 16;) remembering they
are stewards, and must deliver up their accounts to an impartial
judge. Therefore not to self but to him they live, and in him die,
and are blessed with them that die in the Lord. And thus I conclude
my discourse on the right use of lawful self.


     1. Of unlawful self; it is two-fold: 1st, in religion;
     2nd, in morality.--2. Of those that are most formal,
     superstitious, and pompous in worship.--3. God's rebuke of
     carnal apprehensions.--4. Christ drew off his disciples from
     the Jewish exterior worship, and instituted a more spiritual
     one.--5. Stephen is full and plain in this matter.--6. Paul
     refers the temple of God twice to man.--7. Of the cross of
     these worldly worshippers.--8. Flesh and blood make their
     cross, therefore cannot be crucified by it.--9. They are yokes
     without restraint.--10. Of the gaudiness of their cross,
     and their respect to it.--11. A recluse life no true gospel
     abnegation.--12. Comparison between Christ's self-denial and
     theirs: his leads to purity in the world, theirs to voluntary
     imprisonment, that they might not be tempted of the world.
     The mischief which that example, if followed, would do to the
     world. It destroys useful society and honest labour. A lazy life
     the usual refuge of idleness, poverty, and guilty age.--13.
     Of Christ's cross in this case. The impossibility that such
     an external application can remove an internal cause.--14. An
     exhortation to the men of this belief, not to deceive themselves.

I. I am now come to unlawful self, which, more or less, is the
immediate concern of much the greater part of mankind. This unlawful
self is two-fold. First, that which relates to religious worship:
secondly, that which concerns moral and civil conversation in the
world. And they are both of infinite consequence to be considered
by us. In which I shall be as brief as I may, with ease to my
conscience, and no injury to the matter.

II. That unlawful self in religion that ought to be mortified by
the cross of Christ, is man's invention and performance of worship
to God as divine, which is not so, either in its institution or
performance. In this great error those people have the van of all
that attribute to themselves the name of Christians, that are
most exterior, pompous, and superstitious in their worship; for
they do not only miss exceedingly by a spiritual unpreparedness,
in the way of their performing worship to God Almighty, who is
an Eternal Spirit; but the worship itself is composed of what is
utterly inconsistent with the very form and practice of Christ's
doctrine, and the apostolical example. For whereas that was plain
and spiritual, this is gaudy and worldly: Christ's most inward
and mental, theirs most outward and corporeal: that suited to the
nature of God, who is a Spirit, this accommodated to the most
carnal part. So that instead of excluding flesh and blood, behold
a worship calculated to gratify them: as if the business were not
to present God with a worship to please Him, but to make one to
please themselves. A worship dressed with such stately buildings
and imagery, rich furnitures and garments, rare voices and music,
costly lamps, wax candles, and perfumes; and all acted with that
most pleasing variety to the external senses that art can invent or
cost procure; as if the world were to turn Jew or Egyptian again;
or that God was an old man indeed, and Christ a little boy, to be
treated with a kind of religious mask: for so they picture him in
their temples, and too many in their minds. And the truth is, such
a worship may very well suit such an idea of God: for when men can
think Him such a one as themselves, it is not to be wondered if they
address Him in a way that would be the most pleasing from others to

III. But what said the Almighty to such a sensual people of old,
much upon the like occasion? "Thou thoughtest I was such an one as
thyself, but I will reprove thee, and set thy sins in order before
thee. Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in
pieces and there be none to deliver." But, "to him that ordereth
his conversation aright, will I show the salvation of God." (Psalm
l. 21, 22, 23.) This is the worship acceptable to him, "to do
justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God." (Mic. vi. 8.)
For He that searcheth the heart, and tries the reins of man, and
sets his sins in order before him, who is the God of the spirits
of all flesh, looks not to the external fabric, but internal frame
of the soul, and inclination of the heart. Nor is it to be soberly
thought, that He who is clothed with divine honour and majesty;
who covers himself with light as with a garment; who stretches out
the heavens like a curtain; who layeth the beams of his chambers
in the deep; who maketh the clouds his chariot, and walks upon the
wings of the wind: who maketh his angels spirits, his ministers a
flaming fire: who laid the foundation of the earth, that it should
not be moved for ever; can be adequately worshipped by those human
inventions, the refuge of an apostate people from the primitive
power of religion and spirituality of Christian worship.

IV. Christ drew off his disciples from the glory and worship of
the outward temple, and instituted a more inward and spiritual
worship, in which He instructed his followers, "Ye shall neither in
this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem," says Christ to the Samaritan
woman, "worship the Father; God is a Spirit, and they that worship
Him, must worship Him in spirit and in truth." (John, iv. 21.) As
if he had said, for the sake of the weakness of the people, God
condescended in old time to limit himself to an outward time, place,
temple, and service, in and by which he would be worshipped; but
this was during men's ignorance of his omnipresence, and that they
considered not what God is, nor where he is; but I am come to reveal
him to as many as receive me; and I tell you that God is a spirit,
and will be worshipped in Spirit and in truth. People must be
acquainted with him as a spirit, consider and worship him as such.
It is not that bodily worship, or these ceremonial services, in use
among you now, will serve, or give acceptance with this God that
is a Spirit: no, you must obey his Spirit that strives with you,
to gather you out of the evil of the world, that by bowing to the
instructions and commands of his Spirit in your own souls, you may
know what it is to worship him as a Spirit; then you will understand
that it is not going to this mountain, nor to Jerusalem, but to do
the will of God, to keep his commandments, and commune with thine
own heart, and sin not; take up thy cross, meditate in his holy law,
and follow the example of Him whom the Father hath sent.

V. Wherefore Stephen, that bold and constant martyr of Jesus, told
the Jews, when a prisoner at the bar for disputing about the end
of their beloved temple, and its services, but falsely accused of
blasphemy; "Solomon," said Stephen, "built God an house; howbeit
God dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,
Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: what house will
ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath
not my hand made all these things?" (Acts, vii. 47-50.) Behold
a total overthrow to all worldly temples, and their ceremonial
appendages. The martyr follows his blow upon those apostate
Jews, who were of those times, the pompous, ceremonious, worldly
worshippers: "Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears,
ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as did your fathers, so do
ye." (Acts, vii. 51.) As if He had told them, no matter for your
outward temples, rites, and shadowy services, your pretensions to
succession in nature from Abraham; and by religion from Moses. You
are resisters of the Spirit, gainsayers of its instructions: you
will not bow to his counsel, nor are your hearts right towards God:
you are the successors of your fathers' iniquity; and though verbal
admirers, yet none of the successors of the prophets in faith and

But the prophet Isaiah carries it a little further than is cited
by Stephen. For after having declared what is not God's house, the
place where his honour dwells, immediately follow these words: "But
to this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite
spirit, and trembleth at my word." (Isaiah, lxvi. 2.) Behold, O
carnal and superstitious man, the true worshipper, and the place of
God's rest! This is the house and temple of Him whom the heaven of
heavens cannot contain; a house self cannot build, nor the art or
power of man prepare or consecrate.

VI. Paul, that great apostle of the Gentiles, twice expressly
refers the word temple to man: once in his epistle to the church of
Corinth; "Know ye not," says he, "that your body is the temple of
the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God?" &c. (1 Cor.
vi. 19,) and not the building of man's hand and heart. Again, he
tells the same people, in his second epistle, "For ye are the temple
of the living God, as God hath said;" (2 Cor. vi. 16;) and then
cites God's words by the prophet, "I will dwell in them, and walk in
them; I will be their God, and they shall be my people." This is the
evangelical temple, the Christian church, whose ornaments are not
the embroideries and furnitures of worldly art and wealth, but the
graces of the Spirit; meekness, love, faith, patience, self-denial,
and charity. Here it is, that the eternal wisdom, that was with
God from everlasting, before the hills were brought forth, or the
mountains laid, chooses to dwell; "rejoicing," says Wisdom, "in the
habitable part of the earth, and my delights were with the sons of
men:" (Prov. viii. 22, 23, 25, 31;) not in houses built of wood
and stone. This living house is more glorious than Solomon's dead
house; and of which his was but a figure, as he, the Builder, was of
Christ, who builds up a holy temple to God. It was promised of old,
that the glory of the latter house should transcend the glory of the
former; (Hag. ii. 9;) which may be applied to this: not one outward
temple or house to excel another in outward lustre; for where is
the benefit of that? But the divine glory, the beauty of holiness
in the gospel house or church, made up of renewed believers, should
exceed the outward glory of Solomon's temple, which in comparison of
the latter days, was but flesh to spirit, fading resemblance to the
eternal substance.

But for all this, Christians have meeting-places, yet not in Jewish
or Heathen state, but plain, void of pomp or ceremony, suiting the
simplicity of their blessed life and doctrine. For God's presence
is not with the house, but with them that are in it, who are the
gospel church, and not the house. O! that such as call themselves
Christians, knew but a real sanctity in themselves, by the washing
of God's regenerating grace, instead of that imaginary sanctity
ascribed to places; they would then know what the church is, and
where, in these evangelical days, is the place of God's appearance.
This made the prophet David say, "The king's daughter is all
glorious within; her clothing is of wrought gold." What is the
glory that is within the true church, and that gold that makes up
that inward glory? Tell me, O superstitious man! is it thy stately
temples, altars, tables, carpets, tapestries; thy vestments, organs,
voices, candles, lamps, censers, plate, and jewels, with the
like furniture of thy worldly temples? No such matter; they bear
no proportion with the divine adornment of the King of Heaven's
daughter, the blessed and redeemed church of Christ. Miserable
apostacy that it is! and a wretched supplement in the loss and
absence of the apostolic life, the spiritual glory of the primitive

VII. But yet some of these admirers of external pomp and glory
in worship would be thought lovers of the cross, and to that end
have made to themselves many. But alas! what hopes can there be
of reconciling that to Christianity, that the nearer it comes to
its resemblance, the further off it is in reality? for their very
cross and self-denial are most unlawful self: and whilst they fancy
to worship God thereby, they most dangerously err from the true
cross of Christ, and that holy abnegation that was of his blessed
appointment. It is true, they have got a cross, but it seems to be
in the room of the true one: and so mannerly, that it will do as
they will have it that wear it; for instead of mortifying their
wills by it, they made it, and use it according to them. So that the
cross is become their ensign, that do nothing but what they list.
Yet by that they would be thought his disciples, who never did his
own will, but the will of his heavenly Father.

VIII. This is such a cross as flesh and blood can carry, for flesh
and blood invented it; therefore not the cross of Christ, that is
to crucify flesh and blood. Thousands of them have no more virtue
than a chip: poor empty shadows, not so much as images of the true
one. Some carry them for charms about them, but never repel one evil
with them. They sin with them upon their backs; and though they put
them in their bosoms, their beloved lusts lie there too, without the
least disquiet. They are as dumb as Elijah's mock gods; (1 Kings,
xviii. 27;) no life nor power in them: and how should they, whose
matter is earthly, and whose figure and workmanship are but the
invention and labour of worldly artists? Is it possible that such
crosses should mend their makers? surely not.

IX. These are yokes without restraint, and crosses that never
contradict: a whole cart-load of them would leave a man as
unmortified as they find him. Men may sooner knock their brains out
with them than their sins; and that, I fear, too many of them know
in their very consciences that use them, indeed adore them: and,
which can only happen to the false cross, are proud of them too,
since the true one leaves no pride, where it is truly borne.

X. For as their religion, so their cross is very gaudy and
triumphant: but in what? In precious metals and gems, the spoil of
superstition upon the people's pockets. These crosses are made of
earthly treasure, instead of teaching their hearts that wear them to
deny it: and like men, they are respected by their finery. A rich
cross shall have many gazers and admirers: the mean in this, as
other things, are more neglected. I could appeal to themselves of
this great vanity and superstition. O! how very short is this of the
blessed cross of Jesus, that takes away the sins of the world!

XI. Nor is a recluse life, the boasted righteousness of some,
much more commendable, or one whit nearer to the nature of the
true cross: for if it be not unlawful as other things are, it is
unnatural, which true religion teaches not. The Christian convent
and monastery are within, where the soul is encloistered from sin.
And this religious house the true followers of Christ carry about
with them, who exempt not themselves from the conversation of the
world, though they keep themselves from the evil of the world in
their conversation. That is a lazy, rusty, unprofitable self-denial,
burdensome to others to feed their idleness; religious bedlams,
where people are kept lest they should do mischief abroad; patience
per force; self-denial against their will, rather ignorant than
virtuous: and out of the way of temptation, than content in it. No
thanks if they commit not what they are not tempted to commit. What
the eye views not, the heart craves not, as well as rues not.

XII. The cross of Christ is of another nature; it truly overcomes
the world, and leads a life of purity in the face of its
allurements; they that bear it are not thus chained up, for fear
they should bite; nor locked up, lest they should be stolen away:
no, they receive power from Christ their captain, to resist the
evil, and do that which is good in the sight of God; to despise the
world, and love its reproach above its praise; and not only not
to offend others, but love those that offend them: though not for
offending them. What a world should we have if every body, for fear
of transgressing, should mew himself up within four walls! No such
matter; the perfection of the Christian life extends to every honest
labour or traffic used among men. This severity is not the effect
of Christ's free spirit, but a voluntary, fleshly humility: mere
trammels of their own making and putting on, without prescription
or reason. In all which it is plain they are their own lawgivers,
and set their own rule, mulct, and ransom: a constrained harshness,
out of joint to the rest of the creation; for society is one great
end of it, and not to be destroyed for fear of evil; but sin that
spoils it, banished by a steady reproof, and a conspicuous example
of tried virtue. True godliness does not turn men out of the world,
but enables them to live better in it, and excites their endeavours
to mend it; not to hide their candle under a bushel, but to set it
upon a table in a candlestick. Besides, it is a selfish invention;
and that can never be the way of taking up the cross, which the true
cross is therefore taken up to subject. But again, this humour runs
away by itself, and leaves the world behind to be lost; Christians
should keep the helm, and guide the vessel to its port; not meanly
steal out at the stern of the world, and leave those that are in it
without a pilot, to be driven by the fury of evil times, upon the
rock or sand of ruin. In fine, this sort of life, if taken up by
young people, is commonly to cover idleness, or to pay portions,
to save the lazy from the pain of punishment, or quality from the
disgrace of poverty; one will not work, and the other scorns it;
if aged, a long life of guilt sometimes flies to superstition for
a refuge, and after having had its own will in other things, would
finish it in a wilful religion to make God amends.

XIII. But taking up the cross of Jesus is a more interior exercise:
it is the circumspection and discipline of the soul in conformity
to the divine mind therein revealed. Does not the body follow the
soul, not the soul the body? Do not such consider, that no outward
cell can shut up the soul from lust, the mind from an infinity of
unrighteous imaginations? The thoughts of man's heart are evil, and
that continually. Evil comes from within, and not from without: how
then can an external application remove an internal cause; or a
restraint upon the body, work a confinement of the mind? which is
much less than without doors, for where there is least of action,
there is most time to think; and if those thoughts are not guided
by a higher principle, convents are more mischievous to the world
than exchanges. And yet retirement is both an excellent and needful
thing; crowds and throngs were not much frequented by the ancient
holy pilgrims.

XIV. But then examine, O man, thy foundation, what it is, and who
placed thee there; lest in the end it should appear thou hast put
an eternal cheat upon thy own soul. I must confess I am jealous of
the salvation of my own kind, having found mercy with my heavenly
Father. I would have none to deceive themselves to perdition,
especially about religion, where people are most apt to take all
for granted, and lose infinitely by their own flatteries and
neglect. The inward, steady righteousness of Jesus is another thing
than all the contrived devotion of poor superstitious man; and to
stand approved in the sight of God, excels that bodily exercise in
religion, resulting from the invention of men. And the soul that is
awakened and preserved by his holy power and spirit, lives to Him in
the way of his own institution, and worships Him in his own spirit,
that is, in the holy sense, life, and leadings of it: which indeed
is the evangelical worship. Not that I would be thought to slight a
true retirement: for I do not only acknowledge but admire solitude.
Christ himself was an example of it: He loved and chose to frequent
mountains, gardens, and sea-sides. It is requisite to the growth of
piety, and I reverence the virtue that seeks and uses it; wishing
there were more of it in the world: but then it should be free, not
constrained. What benefit to the mind, to have it for a punishment,
and not for a pleasure? Nay, I have long thought it an error among
all sorts, that use not monastic lives, that they have no retreats
for the afflicted, the tempted, the solitary, and the devout, where
they might undisturbedly wait upon God, pass through their religious
exercises, and, being thereby strengthened, may, with more power
over their own spirits, enter into the business of the world again:
though the less the better, to be sure. For divine pleasures are
found in a free solitude.


     1. But men of more refined belief and practice are yet concerned
     in this unlawful self about religion.--2. It is the rise of
     the performance of worship God regards.--3. True worship is
     only from a heart prepared by God's Spirit.--4. The soul of man
     is dead without the divine breath of life, and so not capable
     of worshipping the living God.--5. We are not to study what
     to pray for. How Christians should pray. The aid they have
     from God.--6. The way of obtaining this preparation: it is by
     waiting, as David and others did of old, in holy silence, that
     their wants and supplies are best seen.--7. The whole and the
     full think they need not this waiting, and so use it not; but
     the poor in spirit are of another mind, wherefore the Lord
     hears, and fills them with his good things.--8. If there were
     not this preparation, the Jewish times would have been more holy
     and spiritual than the gospel; for even then it was required;
     much more now.--9. As sin, so formality, cannot worship God:
     thus David, Isaiah, &c.--10. God's own forms and institutions
     hateful to Him, unless his own Spirit use them; much more those
     of man's contriving.--11. God's children ever met God in his
     way, not their own; and in his way they always found help and
     comfort. In Jeremiah's time it was the same; his goodness was
     manifested to his children that waited truly upon him: it was an
     inward sense and enjoyment of him they thirsted after. Christ
     charged his disciples also to wait for the Spirit.--12. This
     doctrine of waiting further opened, and ended with an allusion
     to the pool of Bethesda; a lively figure of inward waiting and
     its blessed effects.--13. Four things necessary to worship;
     the sanctification of the worshipper, and the consecration
     of the offering, and the thing to be prayed for, and lastly,
     faith to pray in: and all must be right, that is, of God's
     giving.--14. The great power of faith in prayer; witness the
     importunate woman. The wicked and formal ask, and receive not;
     the reason why. But Jacob and his true offspring, the followers
     of his faith, prevail.--15. This shows why Christ upbraided
     his disciples with their little faith. The necessity of faith.
     Christ works no good on men without it.--16. This faith is
     not only possible now but necessary.--17. What it is, further
     unfolded.--18. Who the heirs of this faith are; and what were
     the noble works of it in the former ages of the just.

I. But there be others of a more refined speculation, and reformed
practice, who dare not use, and less adore, a piece of wood or
stone, an image of silver and gold; nor yet allow of that Jewish, or
rather Pagan pomp in worship, practised by others, as if Christ's
worship were of this world, though his kingdom be of the other,
but are doctrinally averse to such superstition, and yet refrain
not to bow to their own religious duties, and esteem their formal
performance of several parts of worship that go against the grain of
their fleshly ease, and a preciseness therein, no small cross unto
them; and that if they abstain from gross and scandalous sins, or if
the act be not committed, though the thoughts of it are embraced,
and that it has a full career in the mind, they hold themselves safe
enough within the pale of discipleship and walls of Christianity.
But this also is too mean a character of the discipline of Christ's
cross: and those that flatter themselves with such a sort of taking
it up, will in the end be deceived with a sandy foundation, and a
midnight cry. For said Christ, "But I say unto you, that every idle
word that men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the
day of judgment." (Matt. xii. 36.)

II. For first, it is not performing duties of religion, but the
rise of the performance that God looks at. Men may, and some do,
cross their own wills in their own wills: voluntary omission and
commission: "Who has required this at your hands?" (Isa. i. 12,)
said the Lord of old to the Jews, when they seemed industrious to
have served him; but it was in a way of their own contriving or
inventing, and in their own time and will; not with the soul truly
touched and prepared by the divine power of God, but bodily worship
only: that, the apostle tells us, profits little. Not keeping to the
manner of taking up the cross in worship as well as other things,
has been a great cause of the troublesome superstition that is yet
in the world. For men have no more brought their worship to the
test, than their sins: nay less; for they have ignorantly thought
the one a sort of excuse for the other; and not that their religious
performances should need a cross, or an apology.

III. But true worship can only come from a heart prepared by the
Lord. (Prov. xvi. 1; Rom viii. 14.) This preparation is by the
sanctification of the Spirit; by which, if God's children are led
in the general course of their lives, as Paul teaches, much more in
their worship to their Creator and Redeemer. And whatever prayer be
made, or doctrine be uttered, and not from the preparation of the
Holy Spirit, it is not acceptable with God: nor can it be the true
evangelical worship, which is in spirit and truth; that is, by the
preparation and aid of the Spirit. For what is a heap of the most
pathetical words to God Almighty; or the dedication of any place
or time to him? He is a Spirit, to whom words, places, and times,
strictly considered, are improper or inadequate. And though they be
the instruments of public worship, they are but bodily and visible,
and cannot carry our requests any further, much less recommend them
to the invisible God; by no means; they are for the sake of the
congregation: it is the language of the soul God hears, nor can that
speak but by the Spirit, or groan aright to Almighty God without the
assistance of it.

IV. The soul of man, however lively in other things, is dead to God,
till He breathe the spirit of life into it: it cannot live to Him,
much less worship Him, without it. Thus God tells us, by Ezekiel,
when in a vision of the restoration of mankind, in the person of
Israel, an usual way of speaking among the prophets, and as often
mistaken, "I will open your graves," saith the Lord, "and put my
Spirit in you, and you shall live." (Ezek. xxxvii. 12-14.) So,
though Christ taught his disciples to pray, they were, in some sort,
disciples before he taught them; not worldly men, whose prayers are
an abomination to God. And his teaching them is not an argument that
every body must say that prayer, whether he can say it with the same
heart, and under the same qualifications, as his poor disciples
or followers did, or not; as is now too superstitiously and
presumptuously practised; but rather as they then, so we now, are
not to pray our own prayers, but his: that is, such as He enables us
to make, as He enabled them then.

V. For if we are not to take thought what we shall say when we come
before worldly princes, because it shall then be given us; and that
"it is not we that speak, but the Spirit of our heavenly Father
that speaketh in us;" (Matt. x. 19, 20;) much less can our ability
be needed, or ought we to study to ourselves forms of speech in our
approaches to the great Prince of princes, King of kings, and Lord
of lords. For be it his greatness, we ought not by Christ's command;
be it our relation to him as children, we need not; he will help us,
he is our Father; that is, if he be so indeed. Thus not only the
mouth of the body but of the soul is shut, till God opens it; and
then he loves to hear the language of it. In which the body ought
never to go before the soul: his ear is open to such requests, and
his Spirit strongly intercedes for those that offer them.

VI. But it may be asked, how shall this preparation be obtained?

I answer: By waiting patiently, yet watchfully and intently upon
God: "Lord," says the Psalmist, "thou hast heard the desire of the
humble; thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear
to hear:" (Psalm x. 17:) and, says wisdom, "The preparation of the
heart in man is from the Lord." (Prov. xvi. 1.) Here it is thou
must not think thy own thoughts, nor speak thy own words, which
indeed is the silence of the holy cross, but be sequestered from
all the confused imaginations that are apt to throng and press upon
the mind in those holy retirements. It is not for thee to think to
overcome the Almighty by the most composed matter, cast into the
aptest phrase; no, no; one groan, one sigh, from a wounded soul, a
heart touched with true remorse, a sincere and godly sorrow, which
is the work of God's Spirit, excels and prevails with God. Wherefore
stand still in thy mind, wait to feel something that is divine, to
prepare and dispose thee to worship God truly and acceptably. And
thus taking up the cross, and shutting the doors and windows of the
soul against everything that would interrupt this attendance upon
God, how pleasant soever the object be in itself, how lawful or
needful at another season, the power of the Almighty will break in,
his Spirit will work and prepare the heart, that it may offer up
an acceptable sacrifice. It is he that discovers and presses wants
upon the soul; and when it cries, it is he alone that supplies them.
Petitions, not springing from such a sense and preparation, are
formal and fictitious: they are not true; for men pray in their own
blind desires, and not in the will of God; and his ear is stopped to
them: "but for the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the
needy," God hath said, "I will arise;" (Psalm xii. 5;) that is, the
poor in spirit, the needy soul, those that want his assistance, who
are ready to be overwhelmed, that feel a need, and cry aloud for a
deliverer, and that have none on earth to help: none in heaven but
Him, nor in the earth in comparison of Him: "He will deliver," said
David, "the needy when he cries, and the poor, and him that has
no helper." (Psalm lxxii. 12, 14.) He shall redeem their soul from
deceit and violence, and precious shall their blood be in His sight.
"This poor man," says he, "cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved
him out of all his troubles." (Psalm xxxiv. 6-8.) "The angel of the
Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivers them,"
and then invites all to come and taste how good the Lord is; "yea,
He will bless them that fear the Lord, both small and great." (Psalm
cxv. 13.)

VII. But what is that to them that are not hungry? "They that be
whole need not a physician:" (Matt. ix. 12;) the full have no need
to sigh, nor the rich to cry for help. Those that are not sensible
of their inward wants, that have not fears and terrors upon them,
who feel no need of God's power to help them, nor of the light of
his countenance to comfort them, what have such to do with prayer?
their devotion is but at best, a serious mockery of the Almighty.
They know not, they want not, they desire not what they pray for.
They pray the will of God may be done, and do constantly their own:
for though it be soon said, it is a most terrible thing to them.
They ask for grace, and abuse that they have: they pray for the
Spirit, but resist it in themselves, and scorn at it in others: they
request mercies and goodness of God, and feel no real want of them.
And in this inward insensibility, they are as unable to praise God
for what they have, as to pray for what they have not. "They shall
praise the Lord," says David, "that seek him: for he satisfieth
the longing soul, and filleth the hungry with good things." (Psalm
xxii. 26; cvii. 8.) This also he reserves for the poor and needy,
and those that fear God. Let the spiritually poor and the needy
praise thy name: ye that fear the Lord, praise him; and ye the seed
of Jacob, glorify him. Jacob was a plain man, of an upright heart:
and they that are so, are his seed. And though (with him) they may
be as poor as worms in their own eyes, yet they receive power to
wrestle with God, and prevail as he did.

VIII. But without the preparation and consecration of this power, no
man is fit to come before God; else it were matter of less holiness
and reverence to worship God under the gospel, than it was in the
times of the law, when all sacrifices were sprinkled before offered;
the people consecrated that offered them, before they presented
themselves before the Lord. (Numb. viii., xix.; 2 Chron. xxix. 36;
xxx. 16, 17.) If the touching of a dead or unclean beast then made
people unfit for temple or sacrifice, yea, society with the clean,
till first sprinkled and sanctified, how can we think so meanly of
the worship that is instituted by Christ in gospel times, as that
it should admit of unprepared and unsanctified offerings? Or, allow
that those, who either in thoughts, words, or deeds, do daily touch
that which is morally unclean, can, without coming to the blood of
Jesus, that sprinkles the conscience from dead works, acceptably
worship the pure God: it is a downright contradiction to good sense:
the unclean cannot acceptably worship that which is holy; the impure
that which is perfect. There is a holy intercourse and communion
betwixt Christ and his followers; but none at all betwixt Christ and
Belial; between him and those that disobey his commandments, and
live not the life of his blessed cross and self-denial. (2 Cor. vi.
15, 16.)

IX. But as sin, so formality cannot worship God; no, though
the manner were of his own ordination. Which made the prophet,
personating one in a great strait, cry out, "Wherewith shall I come
before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come
before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? will
the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands
of rivers of oil? shall I give my first-born for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath showed, thee,
O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but
to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"
(Micah, vi. 6-8.) The royal prophet, sensible of this, calls thus
also upon God; "O Lord, open thou my lips, and my mouth shall show
forth thy praise." (Psalm li. 15-17.) He did not dare open his own
lips, he knew that could not praise God; and why? "for thou desirest
not sacrifice, else would I give it:" if my formal offerings
would serve, thou shouldst not want them; thou delightest not in
burnt-offerings. "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a
broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise:" and why?
because this is God's work, the effect of his power; and his own
works praise him. To the same purpose doth God himself speak by the
mouth of Isaiah, in opposition to the formalities and lip-worship
of the degenerate Jews: "Thus saith the Lord, the heaven is my
throne, and the earth is my footstool, where is the house that
ye build to me? and where is the place of my rest? For all these
things hath my hand made. But to this man will I look, even to him
that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word."
(Isaiah, lxvi. 1, 2.) O behold the true worshipper! one of God's
preparing, circumcised in heart and ear, that resists not the Holy
Spirit, as those lofty professing Jews did. Was this so then, even
in the time of the law, which was the dispensation of external and
shadowy performances: and can we now expect acceptance without the
preparation of the Spirit of the Lord in these gospel times, which
are the proper times for the effusion of the Spirit? By no means:
God is what he was; and none else are his true worshippers, but such
as worship him in his own spirit: these he tenders as the apple
of his eye; the rest do but mock him, and he despises them. Hear
what follows to that people, for it is the state and portion of
Christendom at this day; "He that killeth an ox, is as if he slew a
man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he
that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that
burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen
their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations."
(Isaiah, lxvi. 3.) Let none say, we offer not these kinds of
oblations, for that is not the matter; God was not offended with the
offerings, but offerers. These were the legal forms of sacrifice
by God appointed; but they not presenting them in that frame of
spirit, and under that right disposition of soul that was required,
God declares his abhorrence, and that with great aggravation; and
elsewhere, by the same prophet, forbids them to bring any more vain
oblations before him; "incense," saith God, "is an abomination to
me: your sabbaths and calling of assemblies I cannot away with; it
is iniquity, even the solemn meeting." And "when you spread forth
your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you; when you make many
prayers, I will not hear you." (Isaiah, i. 13-18.) A most terrible
renunciation of their worship; and why? Because their hearts were
polluted; they loved not the Lord with their whole hearts, but
broke his law, and rebelled against his Spirit, and did not that
which was right in his sight. The cause is plain, by the amendment
He requires; "Wash ye," says the Lord, "make you clean, put away
the evil of your doings from before mine eyes: cease to do evil,
learn to do well: seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the
fatherless, plead for the widow." Upon these terms, and nothing
short, He bids them come to Him, and tells them, that "though their
sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; and though they be
as crimson, they shall be white as wool."

So true is that notable passage of the Psalmist, "Come and hear, all
ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul:
I cried to him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue. If
I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. But verily
God hath heard me: he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God, who hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy
from me." (Psalm lxvi. 16, 20.)

X. Much of this kind might be cited, to show the displeasure of God
against even his own forms of worship, when performed without his
own Spirit, and that necessary preparation of the heart in man,
that nothing else can work or give: which above all other penmen of
sacred writ, is most frequently and emphatically recommended to us
by the example of the Psalmist, who ever and anon calling to mind
his own great slips, and the cause of them, and the way by which
he came to be accepted of God, and to obtain strength and comfort
from him, reminds himself to wait upon God. "Lead me in thy truth,
and teach me, for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I
wait all the day long." (Psalm xxv. 5.) His soul looked to God for
salvation, to be delivered from the snares and evils of the world.
This shows an inward exercise, and a spiritual attendance, that
stood not in external forms, but in inward divine aid.

And truly, David had great encouragement so to do; the goodness of
God invited him to it and strengthened him in it. For says he, "I
waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard
my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the
miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock." (Psalm xl. 1, 2.) That is,
the Lord appeared inwardly to console David's soul, that waited for
his help, and to deliver it from the temptations and afflictions
that were ready to overwhelm it, and gave him security and peace.
Therefore, he says, "The Lord hath established my goings;" that is,
fixed his mind in righteousness. Before, every step he took bemired
him, and he was scarcely able to go without falling: temptation
on all hands; but he waited patiently upon God: his mind retired,
watchful, and intent to his law and Spirit; and he felt the Lord
to incline to him. His needy and sensible cry entered heaven, and
prevailed; then came deliverance and rescue to David, in God's time,
not David's strength to go through his exercises, and surmount all
his troubles. For which he tells us, a new song was put into his
mouth, even praises to his God. (Psalm xl. 3.) But it was of God's
making and putting, and not his own.

Another time, we have him crying thus: "As the hart panteth after
the water-brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul
thirsteth for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear
before God?" This goes beyond formality, and can be tied to no
lesson. But we may by this see, that true worship is an inward work;
that the soul must be touched and raised in its heavenly desires by
the heavenly Spirit, and that the true worship is in God's presence.
When shall I come and appear? Not in the temple, nor with outward
sacrifices, but before God in his presence. So that souls of true
worshippers see God, make their appearance before him; and this
they wait, they pant, they thirst for. O how is the greater part of
Christendom degenerated from David's example! No wonder therefore
that this good man tells us, "Truly my soul waiteth upon God;" and
that he gives it in charge to his soul so to do; "O my soul, wait
thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him." As if he had
said, None else can prepare my heart, or supply my wants; so that my
expectation is not from my own voluntary performance, or the bodily
worship I can give him; they are of no value; they can neither help
me, nor please him. But I wait upon him for strength and power to
present myself so before him, as may be most pleasing to him; for
he that prepares the sacrifice will certainly accept it. Wherefore
in two verses he repeats it thrice; "I wait for the Lord--My soul
doth wait--My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch
for the morning." Yea, so intently, and with that unweariedness
of soul, that he says in one place, "Mine eyes fail while I wait
for my God." (Psalm lxix. 3.) He was not contented with so many
prayers, such a set worship, or limited repetition: no; he leaves
not till he finds the Lord, that is, the comforts of his presence:
which brings the answer of love and peace to his soul. Nor was this
his practice only, as a man more than ordinarily inspired; for he
speaks of it as the way of worship, then amongst the true people
of God, the spiritual Israel, and circumcision in heart, of that
day: "Behold," says he, "as the eyes of servants look unto the hand
of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her
mistress, so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God until he have mercy
on us." (Psalm cxxiii. 2.) In another place, "Our soul waiteth for
the Lord; he is our help and our shield." (Psalm xxxiii. 20.) "I
will wait on thy name, for it is good before thy saints." (Psalm
lii. 9.) It was in request with the truly godly in that day, and the
way they came to enjoy God, and worship him acceptably. And from his
own experience of the benefit of waiting upon God, and the saints'
practice of those times, he recommends it to others: "Wait upon the
Lord: be of good courage, and he will strengthen thy heart: wait,
I say, on the Lord." (Psalm xxvii. 14.) That is, wait in faith and
patience, and he will come to save thee. Again, "Rest in the Lord,
and wait patiently upon him." That is, cast thyself upon him; be
contented, and wait for him to help thee in thy wants; thou canst
not think how near he is to help those that wait upon him: O try
and have faith. Yet again, he bids us, "Wait upon the Lord, and keep
his way." (Psalm xxxvii. 34.) Behold the reason why so few profit!
they are out of his way; and such can never wait rightly upon him.
Great reason had David for what he said, who had with so much
comfort and advantage met the Lord in his blessed way.

XI. The prophet Isaiah tells us, that though the chastisements of
the Lord were sore upon the people for their backslidings, yet in
the way of his judgments, in the way of his rebukes and displeasure,
they waited for him, and the desire of their soul, that is the great
point, was to his name, and the remembrance of him. (Isaiah, xxvi.
8.) They were contented to be chid and chastised, for they had
sinned; and the knowledge of him so was very desirable to them. But
what! did he not come at last, and that in mercy too? Yes, he did,
and they knew him when he came, a doctrine the brutish world knows
not, "This is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us."
(Isaiah, xxv. 9.) O blessed enjoyment! O precious confidence! here
is a waiting in faith which prevailed. All worship not in faith is
fruitless to the worshipper, as well as displeasing to God: and
this faith is the gift of God, and the nature of it is to purify
the heart, and give such as truly believe victory over the world.
Well, but they go on: "We have waited for him; we will be glad,
and rejoice in his salvation." The prophet adds, "Blessed are all
they that wait upon God:" and why? for "they that wait upon the
Lord shall renew their strength;" they shall never faint, never be
weary: (Isaiah, xxx. 18; xl. 31:) the encouragement is great. O hear
him once more: "For since the beginning of the world, men have not
heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God!
besides thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him."
(Isaiah, lxiv. 4.) Behold the inward life and joy of the righteous,
the true worshippers; those whose spirits bowed to the appearance
of God's Spirit in them, leaving and forsaking all it appeared
against, and embracing whatever it led them to. In Jeremiah's time,
the true worshippers also waited upon God: (Jer. xiv. 22:) and he
assures us, that "The Lord is good to them that wait for them to
the soul that seeketh him." (Lam. iii. 25.) Hence it is, that the
prophet Hosea exhorts the church then to turn and wait upon God.
"Therefore turn thou to thy God; keep mercy and judgment, and wait
on thy God continually." (Hos. xii. 6.) And Micah is very zealous
and resolute in this good exercise: "I will look unto the Lord, I
will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me." (Mic.
vii. 7.) Thus did the children of the Spirit, that thirsted after an
inward sense of him. The wicked cannot say so; nor they that pray,
unless they wait. It is charged upon Israel in the wilderness, as
the cause of their disobedience and ingratitude to God, that they
waited not for his counsels. We may be sure it is our duty, and
expected from us; for God requires it in Zephaniah: "Therefore wait
upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I arise," &c. (Zeph.
iii. 8.) O that all who profess the name of God, would wait so, and
not offer to arise to worship without him. And they would feel his
stirrings and arisings in them to help and prepare, and sanctify
them. Christ expressly charged his disciples, "They should not stir
from Jerusalem, but wait till they had received the promise of the
Father, the baptism of the Holy Ghost," (Acts, i. 4, 8,) in order
to their preparation for the preaching of the glorious gospel of
Christ to the world. And though that were an extraordinary effusion
for an extraordinary work, yet the degree does not change the kind;
on the contrary, if so much waiting and preparation by the Spirit
was requisite to fit them to preach to man; some, at least, may be
needful to fit us to speak to God.

XII. I will close this great Scripture doctrine of waiting,
with that passage in John about the pool of Bethesda: "There is
at Jerusalem, by the sheep-market, a pool, which is called in
the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches; in these lay a
great multitude of impotent folks, of blind, halt, and withered,
waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a
certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever
then first after the troubling of the water, stepped in, was made
whole of whatsoever disease he had." (John, v. 2-4.) A most exact
representation of what is intended by all that has been said upon
the subject of waiting. For as there was then an outward and legal,
so there is now a gospel and spiritual Jerusalem, the church of God;
consisting of the faithful. The pool in that old Jerusalem, in some
sort, represented that fountain, which is now set open in this new
Jerusalem. That pool was for those that were under infirmities of
body; this fountain for all that are impotent in soul. There was
an angel then that moved the water, to render it beneficial; it is
God's angel now, the great angel of his presence, that blesseth this
fountain with success. They that then went in before, and did not
watch the angel, and take advantage of his motion, found no benefit
of their stepping in: those that now wait not the moving of God's
angel, but by the devotion of their own forming and timing, rush
before God, as the horse into the battle, and hope for success,
are sure to miscarry in their expectation. Therefore, as then they
waited with all patience and attention upon the angel's motion,
that wanted and desired to be cured; so do the true worshippers of
God now, that need and pray for his presence, which is the life of
their souls, as the sun is to the plants of the field. They have
often tried the unprofitableness of their own work, and are now
come to the sabbath indeed. They dare not put up a device of their
own, or offer an unsanctified request, much less obtrude bodily
worship, where the soul is really insensible or unprepared by the
Lord. In the light of Jesus they ever wait to be prepared, retired,
and recluse from all thoughts that cause the least distraction and
discomposure in the mind, till they see the angel move, and till
their beloved please to awake: nor dare they call him before his
time. And they fear to make a devotion in his absence; for they
know it is not only unprofitable, but reprovable: "Who has required
this at your hands?" "He that believes, makes not haste." (Isaiah,
i. 12; xxviii. 16.) They that worship with their own, can only do
as the Israelites, turn their earrings into a molten image, and
be cursed for their pains. Nor fared they better, "that gathered
sticks of old, and kindled a fire, and compassed themselves about
with the sparks that they had kindled;" (Isaiah, l. 11) for God told
them, "they should lie down in sorrow." It should not only be of
no advantage, and do them no good, but incur a judgment from him:
sorrow and anguish of soul should be their portion. Alas! flesh
and blood would fain pray, though it cannot wait; and be a saint,
though it cannot abide to do or suffer the will of God; with the
tongue it blesses God, and with the tongue it curses men, made in
his similitude. It calls Jesus LORD, but not by the Holy Ghost; and
often names the name of Jesus, yea, bows the knee to it too; but
departs not from iniquity: this is abominable to God.

XIII. In short, there are four things so necessary to worshipping
God aright, and which put its performance beyond man's power, that
there seems little more needed than the naming of them. The first
is, the sanctification of the worshipper. Secondly, the consecration
of the offering; which has been spoken to before somewhat largely.
Thirdly, what to pray for; which no man knows that prays not by
the aid of God's Spirit; and therefore without that Spirit no man
can truly pray. This the apostle puts beyond dispute; "We know
not," says he, "what we would pray for, as we ought, but the Spirit
helpeth our infirmities." (Rom. viii. 26.) Men unacquainted with
the work and power of the Holy Spirit, are ignorant of the mind of
God; and those, certainly, can never please him with their prayers.
It is not enough to know we want; but we should learn whether it be
not sent as a blessing, disappointments to the proud, losses to the
covetous, and to the negligent stripes; to remove these, were to
secure the destruction, not help the salvation of the soul.

The vile world knows nothing but carnally, after a fleshly manner
and interpretation; and too many that would be thought enlightened
are apt to call providences by wrong names, for instance,
afflictions they style judgments, and trials, more precious than
the beloved gold, they call miseries. On the other hand, they call
the preferments of the world by the name of honour, and its wealth
happiness; when for once that they are so, it is much to be feared
they are sent of God a hundred times for judgments, at least trials,
upon their possessors. Therefore, what to keep, what to reject, what
to want, is a difficulty God only can resolve the soul. And since
God knows better than we what we need, he can better tell us what
to ask than we can him: which made Christ exhort his disciples to
avoid long and repetitious prayers; (Matt. vi. 7, 8;) telling them
that their heavenly Father knew what they needed before they asked:
and therefore gave them a pattern to pray by; not as some fancy,
to be a text for human liturgies, which of all services are most
justly noted and taxed for length and repetition; but expressly to
reprove and avoid them. But if those wants that are the subject of
prayer were once agreed upon, though that might be a weighty point,
yet how to pray is of still greater moment than to pray; it is not
the request, but the frame of the petitioner's spirit. The what
may be proper, but the how defective. As I said, God needs not to
be told of our wants by us, who must tell them to us; yet he will
be told them from us, that both we may seek him, and he may come
down to us. But when this is done, "To this man will I look, saith
the Lord, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and
that trembleth at my word:" (Isaiah, lxvi. 2.) to the sick heart,
the wounded soul, the hungry and thirsty, the weary and heavy laden
ones: such sincerely want a helper.

XIV. Nor is this sufficient to complete gospel-worship; the fourth
requisite must be had, and that is faith; true faith, precious
faith, the faith of God's chosen, that purifies their hearts, that
overcomes the world, and is the victory of the saints. (1 Tim. i.
5; Acts, xv. 9; Tit. i. 1; 2 Pet. i. 1; 1 John, v. 4.) This is that
which animates prayer and presses it home, like the importunate
woman, that would not be denied; to whom Christ, seeming to admire,
said, "O woman, great is thy faith!" (Matt. xv. 28.) This is of the
highest moment on our part, to give our addresses success with God;
and yet not in our power neither, for it is the gift of God: from
him we must have it; and with one grain of it more work is done,
more deliverance is wrought, and more goodness and mercy received,
than by all the runnings, willings, and toilings of man, with his
inventions and bodily exercises: which, duly weighed, will easily
spell out the meaning, why so much worship should bring so little
profit to the world, as we see it does, viz. true faith is lost.
"They ask, and receive not; they seek, and find not: they knock, and
it is not opened unto them:" (James, iv. 3:) the case is plain;
their requests are not mixed with purifying faith, by which they
should prevail, as good Jacob's were, when he wrestled with God and
prevailed. And the truth is, the generality are yet in their sins,
following hearts' lusts, and living in worldly pleasure, being
strangers to this precious faith. It is the reason rendered by the
deep author to the Hebrews, of the unprofitableness of the word
preached to some in those days; "Not being," says he, "mixed with
faith in them that heard it." Can the minister then preach without
faith? No: and much less can any man pray to purpose without faith,
especially when we are told, that "the just live by faith." For
worship is the supreme act of man's life; and whatever is necessary
to inferior acts of religion must not be wanting there.

XV. This may moderate the wonder in any, why Christ so often
upbraided his disciples with, O ye of little faith! yet tells us,
that one grain of it, though as little as that of mustard, one of
the least of seeds, if true and right, is able to remove mountains.
As if he had said, There is no temptation so powerful that it cannot
overcome: wherefore those that are captivated by temptations, and
remain unsupplied in their spiritual wants, have not this powerful
faith: that is the true cause. So necessary was it of old, that
Christ did not many mighty works where the people believed not;
and though his power wrought wonders in other places, faith opened
the way: so that it is hard to say, whether that power by faith,
or faith by that power, wrought the cure. Let us call to mind what
famous things a little clay and spittle, one touch of the hem of
Christ's garment, and a few words out of his mouth, (John, ix. 6;
Luke, viii. 47, 48,) did by the force of faith in the patients:
"Believe ye that I am able to open your eyes?" (Matt. ix. 28;)
"Yea, Lord," say the blind, and see. To the ruler, "only believe;"
(Matt. ix. 23;) he did, and his dead daughter recovered life.
Again, "If thou canst believe:" I do believe; says the father, help
my unbelief: and the evil spirit was chased away, and the child
recovered. He said to one, "Go, thy faith hath made thee whole;"
(Mark, x. 52; Luke, vii. 48, 50;) and to another, "Thy faith hath
saved thee; thy sins are forgiven thee." (Matt. xxi. 21, 22.) And
to encourage his disciples to believe, that were admiring how soon
his sentence was executed upon the fruitless fig-tree, he tells
them, "Verily, if ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do
this, which is done to the fig-tree; but also, if ye shall say unto
this mountain, Be thou removed, and cast into the sea, it shall be
done: and all things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing,
ye shall receive," (Matt. xviii. 19; Luke, xviii. 27.) This one
passage convicts Christendom of gross infidelity; for she prays, and
receives not.

XVI. But some may say, It is impossible to receive all that a man
may ask. It is not impossible to receive all that a man, that so
believes, can ask. (Mark, ix. 23.) The fruits of faith are not
impossible to those that truly believe in the God that makes them
possible. When Jesus said to the ruler, "If thou canst believe," he
adds, "all things are possible to him that believeth." (Matt. xix.
26.) Well, but then some will say, It is impossible to have such
faith: for this very faithless generation would excuse their want
of faith, by making it impossible to have the faith they want. But
Christ's answer to the infidelity of that age, will best confute
the disbelief of this. "The things that are impossible with men,
are possible with God." (Heb. xi. 6.) It will follow then, that it
is not impossible with God to give that faith; though it is certain
that without it it is impossible to please God: (1 Tim. i. 5; iii.
9:) for so the author to the Hebrews teaches. And if it be else
impossible to please God, it must be so to pray to God without this
precious faith.

XVII. But some may say, What is this faith that is so necessary
to worship, and gives it such acceptance with God and returns
that benefit to men? I say, It is a holy resignation to God, and
confidence in him, testified by a religious obedience to his holy
requirings, which gives sure evidence to the soul of the things
not yet seen, and a general sense and taste of the substance of
those things that are hoped for; that is, the glory which is to be
revealed hereafter. As this faith is the gift of God, so it purifies
the hearts of those that receive it. The apostle Paul is witness,
that it will not dwell but in a pure conscience: he therefore in one
place couples a pure heart and faith unfeigned together: in another,
faith and a good conscience. James joins faith with righteousness,
(James, ii.) and John with victory over the world; (1 John, v. 4;)
"This," says be, "is the victory which overcomes the world, even our
faith." (Rom. iv. 1, 2.)

XVIII. The heirs of this faith are the true children of Abraham,
(John, xvi. 9, 10,) in that they walk in the steps of Abraham,
according to the obedience of faith, which only entitles people to
be the children of Abraham. This lives above the world, not only in
its sin, but righteousness: to this no man comes, but through death
to self by the cross of Jesus, and an entire dependence by him, upon

Famous are the exploits of this divine gift; time would fail to
recount them: all sacred story is filled with them. But let it
suffice, that by it the holy ancients endured all trials, overcame
all enemies, prevailed with God, renowned his truth, finished their
testimony, and obtained the reward of the faithful, a crown of
righteousness, which is the eternal blessedness of the just.


     1. Of pride, the first capital lust; its rise.--2. Its
     definition and distinction.--3. That an inordinate desire of
     knowledge in Adam, introduced man's misery.--4. He thereby lost
     his integrity.--5. Knowledge puffs up.--6. The evil effects of
     false, and the benefit of true knowledge.--7. Cain's example
     a proof in the case.--8. The Jews' pride in pretending to be
     wiser than Moses, God's servant, in setting their post by God's
     post.--9. The effect of which was the persecution of the true
     prophets.--10. The divine knowledge of Christ brought peace on
     earth.--11. Of the blind guides, the priests, and the mischief
     they have done.--12. The fall of Christians, and the pride they
     have taken in it, hath exceeded the Jews; under the profession
     of their new-moulded Christianity, they have murdered the
     witness of the Lord Jesus.--13. The angels sang peace on earth
     at the birth of the Lord of meekness and humility: but the pride
     of the Pharisees withstood and calumniated him.--14. As Adam and
     the Jews lost themselves by their ambition, so the Christians
     losing the fear of God, grew creed and worship-makers, with this
     injunction, Conform or burn.--15. The evil effects of this in
     Christendom, so called.--16. The way of recovery out of such
     miserable defection.

I. Having thus discharged my conscience against that part of
unlawful self, that fain would be a Christian, a believer, a
saint, whilst a plain stranger to the cross of Christ, and the
holy exercises of it; and in that briefly discovered what is true
worship, and the use and business of the holy cross therein, to
render its performance pleasing to Almighty God; I shall now, the
same Lord assisting me, more largely prosecute that other part of
unlawful self, which fills the study, care, and conversation of
the world, presented to us in these three capital lusts, that is
to say, pride, avarice, and luxury; from whence all other mischiefs
daily flow, as streams from their proper fountains: the mortifying
of which makes up the other; and indeed a very great part of the
work of the true cross; and though last in place, yet first in
experience and duty: which done, it introduces in the room of those
evil habits, the blessed effects of that so much needed reformation,
to wit, mortification, humility, temperance, love, patience, and
heavenly-mindedness, with all other graces of the Spirit, becoming
followers of the perfect Jesus, that most heavenly man.

The care and love of all mankind are either directed to God or
themselves. Those that love God above all, are ever humbling self
to his commands, and only love self in subserviency to him that is
Lord of all. But those who are declined from that love to God, are
lovers of themselves more than God: for supreme love must centre in
one of these two. To that inordinate self-love, the apostle rightly
joins proud and high-minded. (2 Tim. iii. 2, 4.) For no sooner had
the angels declined their love, duty and reverence to God, than they
inordinately loved and valued themselves; which made them exceed
their station, and aspire above the order of their creation. This
was their pride, and this sad defection their dismal fall; who are
reserved in chains of darkness unto the judgment of the great day of

II. Pride, that pernicious evil, which begins this chapter, did
also begin the misery of mankind: a most mischievous quality;
and so commonly known by its motions and sad effects, that every
unmortified breast carries its definition in it. However, I will
say, in short, that pride is an excess of self-love, joined with an
undervaluing of others, and a desire of dominion over them: the most
troublesome thing in the world. There are four things by which it
hath made itself best known to mankind, the consequences of which
have brought a misery equal to its evil. The first is, an inordinate
pursuit of knowledge; the second, an ambitious craving and seeking
after power; the third, an extreme desire of personal respect
and deference: the last excess is that of worldly furniture and
ornaments. To the just and true witness of the eternal God, placed
in the souls of all people, I appeal as to the truth of these things.

III. To the first, it is plain, that an inordinate desire of
knowledge introduced man's misery, and brought an universal lapse
from the glory of his primitive state. Adam would needs be wiser
than God had made him. It did not serve his turn to know his
Creator, and give him that holy homage his being and innocency
naturally engaged and excited him too; nor to have an understanding
above all the beasts of the field, the fowls of the air, and
the fishes of the sea, joined with a power to rule over all the
visible creation of God; but he must be as wise as God too. This
unwarrantable search, and as foolish as unjust ambition, made him
unworthy of the blessings he received from God. This drives him out
of paradise; and instead of being lord of the whole world, Adam
becomes the wretchedest vagabond of the earth.

IV. The lamentable consequence of this great defection, has been an
exchange of innocency for guilt, and a paradise for a wilderness.
But, which is yet worse, in this state Adam and Eve had got another
god than the only true and living God: and he that enticed them
to all this mischief, furnished them with a vain knowledge, and
pernicious wisdom: the skill of lies and equivocations, shifts,
evasions, and excuses. They had lost their plainness and sincerity,
and from an upright heart, the image in which God had made man,
he became a crooked, twining, twisting serpent; the image of that
unrighteous spirit, to whose temptations he yielded up, with his
obedience, his paradisaical happiness.

V. So that fallen Adam's knowledge of God stood no more in a daily
experience of the love and work of God in his soul, but in a notion
of what he once did know and experience: which being not the true
and living wisdom that is from above, but a mere picture, it
cannot preserve man in purity; but puffs up, makes people proud,
high-minded, and impatient of contradiction. This was the state of
the apostate Jews before Christ came; and has been the condition of
apostate Christians ever since he came: their religion standing,
some bodily performances excepted, either in what they once knew of
the work of God in themselves, and which they have revolted from; or
in an historical belief, and an imaginary conception and paraphrase
upon the experiences and prophecies of such holy men and women of
God, as in all ages have deserved the style and character of his
true children.

VI. As such a knowledge of God cannot be true, so by experience we
find, that it ever brings forth the quite contrary fruits to the
true wisdom. For as this "is first pure, then peaceable, gentle,
and easy to be entreated;" (James, iii. 17;) so the knowledge of
degenerated and unmortified men is first impure: for it came by the
commission of evil, and is held in an evil and impure conscience
in them that disobey God's laws, and that daily do those things
which they ought not to do; and for which they stand condemned
before God's judgment-seat in the souls of men: the light of whose
presence searches the most hidden things of darkness, the most
secret thoughts, and concealed inclinations of ungodly men. This
is the science, falsely so called: and as it is impure, so it is
unpeaceable, cross, and hard to be entreated; froward, perverse, and
persecuting; jealous that any should be better than they, and hating
and abusing those that are.

VII. It was this pride made Cain a murderer: (Gen. iv. 8:) it is
a spiteful quality; full of envy and revenge. What! was not his
religion and worship as good as his brother's? He had all the
exterior parts of worship; he offered as well as Abel; and the
offering of itself might be as good: but it seems the heart that
offered it was not. So long ago did God regard the interior worship
of the soul. Well, what was the consequence of this difference?
Cain's pride stomached it: he could not bear to be outdone by his
brother. He grew wrathful, and resolved to vindicate his offering
by revenging the refusal of it upon his brother's life: and without
any regard to natural affection, or the low and early condition of
mankind, he barbarously dyed his hands in his brother's blood.

VIII. The religion of the apostatized Jews did no better; for,
having lost the inward life, power, and spirit of the law, they
were puffed up with that knowledge they had: and their pretences to
Abraham, Moses, and the promises of God, in that frame, served only
to blow them up into an insufferable pride, arrogancy, and cruelty.
For they could not bear true vision when it came to visit them; and
entertained the messengers of their peace as if they had been wolves
and tigers.

IX. Yea, it is remarkable, the false prophets, the great engineers
against the true ones, were ever sure to persecute them as false;
and, by their interest with earthly princes, or the poor seduced
multitude, made them the instruments of their malice. Thus it was,
that one holy prophet was sawn asunder, another stoned to death,
&c. So proud and obstinate is false knowledge, and the aspirers
after it; which made holy Stephen cry out, "Ye stiff-necked and
uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost:
as did your fathers, so do ye." (Acts, vii. 51.)

X. The true knowledge came with the joy of angels, singing, "Peace
on earth, and good-will towards men;" (Luke, ii. 14;) the false
knowledge entertained the message with calumnies: Christ must needs
be an impostor; and that must prove him so, _to wit_, his power
of working miracles; which was that which proved the contrary.
They frequently sought to kill him: which at last they wickedly
accomplished. But what was the chief motive to it? Why, he cried out
against their hypocrisy, the broad phylacteries, the honour they
sought of men. To be short, they give the reason themselves in these
words: If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: that
is, he will take away our credit with the people; they will adhere
to him, and desert us; and so we shall lose our power and reputation
with the multitude.

XI. And the truth is, he came to level their honour, to overthrow
their Rabbiship, and by his grace to bring the people to that inward
knowledge of God, which they, by transgression, were departed from;
that so they might see the deceitfulness of their blind guides, who
by their vain traditions had made void the righteousness of the
law: and who were so far from being the true doctors and lively
expounders of it, that in reality they were the children of the
devil, who was a proud liar and cruel murderer from the beginning.

XII. Their pride in false knowledge having made them incapable of
receiving the simplicity of the gospel, Christ thanks his Father,
that he had hid the mysteries of it from the wise and prudent, and
revealed them to babes. (Matt. xi. 25.) It was this false wisdom
swelled the minds of the Athenians to that degree, that they
despised the preaching of the apostle Paul as a vain and foolish
thing. But that apostle who, of all the rest, had an education in
the learning of those times, bitterly reflects on that wisdom, so
much valued by Jews and Greeks; "Where," says he, "is the wise?
Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not
God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" (1 Cor. i. 20.) And
he gives a good reason for it, "That no flesh should glory in his
presence." (Verse 29.) Which is to say, God will stain the pride
of man in false knowledge, that he should have nothing on this
occasion to be proud of: it should be owing only to the revelation
of the Spirit of God. The apostle goes further, and affirms, "That
the world by wisdom knew not God:" (verse 21:) that is, it was so
far from a help, that as men use it, it was a hindrance to the true
knowledge of God. And in his first epistle to his beloved Timothy,
he concludes thus: "O Timothy! keep that which is committed to thy
trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of
science, falsely so called." (Tim. vi. 20.) This was the sense of
apostolical times, when the divine grace gave the true knowledge of
God, and was the guide of Christians.

XIII. Well, but what has been the success of those ages that
followed the apostolical? Any whit better than that of the Jewish
times? Not one jot. They have exceeded them; as with their pretences
to greater knowledge, so in their degeneracy from the true Christian
life: for though they had a more excellent pattern than the Jews,
to whom God spoke by Moses his servant, he speaking to them by his
beloved Son, the express image of his substance, the perfection
of all meekness and humility; and though they seemed addicted to
nothing more than an adoration of his name, and a veneration for
the memory of his blessed disciples and apostles, yet so great was
their defection from the inward power and life of Christianity
in the soul, that their respect was little more than formal and
ceremonious. For notwithstanding they, like the Jews, were mighty
zealous in garnishing their sepulchres, and curious in carving their
images; not only keeping with pretence what might be the relics of
their persons, but recommending a thousand things as relics, which
are purely fabulous, and very often ridiculous, and to be sure
altogether unchristian; yet as to the great and weighty things of
the Christian law, viz. love, meekness, and self-denial, they were
degenerated. They grew high-minded, proud, boasters, without natural
affection, curious, and controversial, ever perplexing the church
with doubtful questions; filling the people with disputations,
strife, and wrangling, drawing them into parties, till at last
they fell into blood: as if they had been the worse for being once

O the miserable state of these pretended Christians! that instead of
Christ's and his apostles' doctrine, of loving enemies, and blessing
them that curse them, they should teach the people, under the notion
of Christian zeal, most inhumanly to butcher one another; and
instead of suffering their own blood to be shed for the testimony
of Jesus, they should shed the blood of the witnesses of Jesus for
heretics. Thus that subtle serpent, or crafty evil spirit, that
tempted Adam out of innocency, and the Jews from the law of God,
has beguiled the Christians, by lying vanities, to depart from the
Christian law of holiness, and so they are become slaves to him; for
he rules in the hearts of the children of disobedience.

XIV. And it is observable, that as pride, which is ever followed by
superstition and obstinacy, put Adam upon seeking a higher station
than God placed him in; and as the Jews, out of the same pride, to
outdo their pattern, given them of God by Moses upon the mount,
taught for doctrines their own traditions, insomuch that those that
refused conformity to them, ran the hazard of Crucify, crucify:
so the nominal Christians, from the same sin of pride, with great
superstition and arrogance, have introduced, instead of a spiritual
worship and discipline, that which is evidently ceremonious and
worldly; with such innovations and traditions of men as are the
fruit of the wisdom that is from below; witness their numerous and
perplexed councils and creeds, with Conform or burn, at the end of

XV. And as this unwarrantable pride set them first at work, to
pervert the spirituality of the Christian worship, making it rather
to resemble the shadowy religion of the Jews, and the gaudy worship
of the Egyptians, than the great plainness and simplicity of the
Christian institution, which is neither to resemble that of the
mountain, nor the other of Jerusalem; so has the same pride and
arrogancy spurred them on, by all imaginable cruelties to maintain
this great Diana of theirs. No meek supplications, nor humble
remonstrances, of those that kept close to primitive purity in
worship and doctrine, could prevail with these nominal Christians
to dispense with the imposition of their unapostolical traditions;
but as the ministers and bishops of these degenerate Christians
left their painful visitation and care over Christ's flock, and
grew ambitious, covetous, and luxurious, resembling rather worldly
potentates, than the humble-spirited and mortified followers of the
blessed Jesus; so almost every history tells us, with what pride and
cruelty, blood and butchery, and that with unusual and exquisite
tortures, they have persecuted the holy members of Christ out of
the world; and that upon such anathemas, as far as they could,
they have disappointed them of the blessing of heaven too. These,
true Christians call martyrs; but the clergy, like the persecuting
Jews, have styled them blasphemers and heretics; in which they
have fulfilled the prophecy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who did
not say, that they should think they do the gods good service to
kill the Christians, his dear followers, which might refer to the
persecutions of the idolatrous Gentiles; (John, xvi. 2;) but that
they should think they do God good service to kill them: which
shows, that they should be such as professedly owned the true God,
as the apostate Christians have all along pretended to do. So that
they must be those wolves, that the apostle foretold, should arise
out of themselves, and worry the flock of Christ, (Acts, xx. 29,)
after the great falling away should commence, that was foretold by
him, and made necessary, in order to the proving of the faithful,
and the revelation of the great mystery of iniquity.

I shall conclude this head with this assertion, that it is too
undeniable a truth, where the clergy have been most in power and
authority, and have had the greatest influence upon princes and
states, there have been most confusions, wrangles, bloodshed,
sequestrations, imprisonments, and exiles: to the justifying of
which I call the testimony of the records of all times. How it is in
our age I leave to the experience of the living; yet there is one
demonstration that can hardly fail us; the people are not converted,
but debauched, to a degree that time will not allow us an example.
The worship of Christendom is visible, ceremonious, and gaudy; the
clergy, ambitious of worldly preferments, under the pretence of
spiritual promotion; making the earthly revenues of churchmen much
the reason of their function; being almost ever sure to leave the
present smaller livings, to solicit and obtain benefices of larger
title and income. So that with their pride and avarice, which good
old Peter foresaw would be their snares, they have drawn after them
ignorance, misery, and irreligion upon Christendom.

XVI. The way of recovery from this miserable defection is to come
to a saving knowledge of religion; that is, an experience of the
divine work of God in the soul: to obtain which be diligent to obey
the grace that appears in thy soul, O man! that brings salvation;
(Tit. ii. 2, 11, 12, 14;) it turns thee out of the broad way into
the narrow way; from thy lusts to thy duty; from sin to holiness;
from Satan to God. Thou must see and abhor self: thou must watch,
and thou must pray, and thou must fast; thou must not look at thy
tempter, but at thy preserver; avoid ill company, retire to thy
solitudes, and be a chaste pilgrim in this evil world: and thus thou
wilt arrive at the knowledge of God and Christ, that brings eternal
life to the soul: a well-grounded assurance from what a man feels
and knows within himself: such shall not be moved with evil tidings.


     1. Pride craves power as well as knowledge.--2. The case of
     Korah, &c. a proof.--3. Absalom's ambition confirms it.--4.
     Nebuchadnezzar's does the like.--5. The history of Pisistratus,
     Alexander, Cæsar, &c. shows the same thing.--6. The Turks are
     a lively proof, who have shed much blood to gratify pride for
     power.--7. The last ten years in Christendom exceed in proof of
     this.--8. Ambition rests not in courts, it finds room in private
     breasts too, and spoils families and societies.--9. Their peace
     is great that limit their desires by God's grace, and having
     power, use it to the good of others.

I. But let us see the next most common, eminent, and mischievous
effect of this evil. Pride does extremely crave power, than which
not one thing has proved more troublesome and destructive to
mankind. I need not labour myself much in evidence of this, since
most of the wars of nations, depopulation of kingdoms, ruins of
cities, with the slavery and misery that have followed, both our own
experience and unquestionable histories, acquaint us to have been
the effect of ambition, which is the lust of pride after power.

II. How specious soever might be the pretences of Korah, Dathan,
and Abiram, against Moses, it was their emulation of his mighty
power in the camp of Israel that put them upon conspiracies and
mutinies. They longed for his authority, and their not having it was
his crime: for they had a mind to be the heads and leaders of the
people. The consequence of which was a remarkable destruction to
themselves and all their unhappy accomplices.

III. Absalom, too, was for the people's rights against the tyranny
of his father and his king; (2 Sam. xv.;) at least with this
pretence he palliated his ambition; but his rebellion showed he was
impatient for power, and that he resolved to sacrifice his duty as
a son and subject to the importunities of his restless pride; which
brought a miserable death to himself and an extraordinary slaughter
upon his army.

IV. Nebuchadnezzar is a lively instance of the excessive lust of
pride for power. His successes and empire were too heady for him:
so much too strong for his understanding, that he forgot he did not
make himself, or that his power had a superior. He makes an image,
and all must bow to it, or be burnt. And when Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abednego refused to comply, "Who," says he, "is that God that shall
deliver you out of my hands?" (Dan. iii.) And notwithstanding the
convictions he had upon him, at the constancy of those excellent
men, and Daniel's interpretation of his dreams, it was not long
before the pride of his power had filled his heart, and then his
mouth, with this haughty question, "Is not this great Babylon, that
I have built for the house of the kingdom, by the might of my power,
and for the honour of my majesty?" (Dan. iv. 30.) But we are told,
that while the words were in his mouth, a voice from heaven rebuked
the pride of his spirit, and he was driven from the society of men,
to graze among the beasts of the field.

V. If we look into the histories of the world, we shall find many
instances to prove the mischief of this lust of pride. I will
mention a few of them for their sakes who have either not read or
considered them.

Solon made Athens free by his excellent constitution of laws; but
the ambition of Pisistratus began the ruin of it before his eyes.
Alexander, not contented with his own kingdom, invaded others, and
filled with spoil and slaughter those countries he subdued: and it
was not ill said by the man, who, when Alexander accused him of
piracy, told him to his face that Alexander was the greatest pirate
in the world. It was the same ambition that made Cæsar turn traitor
to his masters, and with their own army, put into his hand for
their service, subdue them to his yoke, and usurp the government;
which ended in the expulsion of freedom and virtue together in that
commonwealth; for goodness quickly grew to be faction in Rome; and
that sobriety and wisdom which ever rendered her senators venerable,
became dangerous to their safety: insomuch that his successors
hardly left one they did not kill or banish; unless such as turned
to be flatterers of their unjust acquisition, and the imitators of
their debauched manners.

VI. The Turks are a great proof to the point in hand, who to extend
their dominion, have been the cause of shedding much blood, and
laying many stately countries waste.

And yet they are to be outdone by apostate Christians; whose
practice is therefore more condemnable, because they have been
better taught: they have had a master of another doctrine and
example. It is true, they call him Lord still, but they let their
ambition reign: they love power more than one another; and to get it
kill one another; though charged by him not to strike, but to love
and serve one another. And, which adds to the tragedy, all natural
affection is sacrificed to the fury of this lust: and therefore
are stories so often stained with the murder of parents, children,
uncles, nephews, masters, &c.

VII. If we look abroad into remoter parts of the world, we shall
rarely hear of wars; but in Christendom rarely of peace. A very
trifle is too often made a ground of quarrel here: nor can any
league be so sacred or inviolable that arts shall not be used to
evade and dissolve it to increase dominion. No matter who, nor how
many are slain, made widows and orphans, or lose their estates
and livelihoods; what countries are ruined; what towns and cities
spoiled: if by all these things the ambitious can but arrive at
their ends! To go no further back than sixty years, that little
period of time will furnish us with many wars begun upon ill
grounds, and ended in great desolation. Nay, the last twelve years
of our time make as pregnant a demonstration as we can furnish
ourselves with from the records of any age. It is too tedious, nor
is it my business, to be particular: it has been often well observed
by others, and is almost known to all, I mean the French, Spanish,
German, English, and Dutch wars.

VIII. But ambition does not only dwell in courts and senates: it
is too natural to every private breast to strain for power. We
daily see how much men labour their utmost wit and interest to be
great, to get higher places, or greater titles than they have,
that they may look bigger and be more acknowledged; take place
of their former equals, and so equal those that were once their
superiors: compel friends, and be revenged on enemies. This makes
Christianity so little loved of worldly men; its kingdom is not
of this world; and though they may speak it fair, it is the world
they love: that without uncharitableness we may truly say, People
profess Christianity, but they follow the world. They are not for
seeking the kingdom of heaven first, and the righteousness thereof,
(Matt. vi. 33,) and to trust God with the rest; but for securing to
themselves the wealth and glory of this world, and adjourning the
care of salvation to a sick bed, and the extreme moments of life; if
yet they believe a life to come.

IX. To conclude this head; great is their peace, who know a limit
to their ambitious minds; that have learned to be contented with
the appointments and bounds of Providence: that are not careful
to be great; but, being great, are humble and do good. Such keep
their wits with their consciences, and, with an even mind, can at
all times measure the uneven world, rest fixed in the midst of all
its uncertainties, and as becomes those who have an interest in a
better, in the good time and will of God, cheerfully leave this;
when the ambitious, conscious of their evil practices, and weighed
down to their graves with guilt, must go to a tribunal that they can
neither awe nor bribe.


     1. The third evil effect of pride is love of honour and respect.
     Too many are guilty of it.--2. It had like to have cost Mordecai
     dear. Great mischief has befallen nations on this account.--3.
     The world is out in the business of true honour, as well as in
     that of true science.--4. Reasons why the author, and the rest
     of the people he walks with, use not these fashions.--5. The
     first is, the sense they had in the hour of their conviction,
     of the unsuitableness of them to the Christian spirit and
     practice, and that the root they came from was pride and
     self-love.--6. Reproach could not move them from that sense and
     practice accordingly.--7. They do it not to make sects, or for
     distinction.--8. Nor yet to countenance formality, but passively
     let drop vain customs, and so are negative to forms.--9. Their
     behaviour is a test upon the world.--10. And this cross to the
     world a test upon them.--11. The second reason against them is
     their emptiness.--12. Honour in Scripture is not so taken as
     it is in the world. It is used for obedience.--13. It is used
     for preferments.--14. A digression about folly in a Scripture
     sense.--15. Honour is used for reputation.--16. Honour is also
     attributed to functions and capacities, by way of esteem.--17.
     Honour is taken for help and countenance of inferiors.--18.
     Honour is used for service and esteem to all states and
     capacities: honour all men.--19. Yet there is a limitation, in a
     sense, to the righteous, by the Psalmist; to honour the godly,
     and contemn the wicked.--20. Little of this honour found in the
     world's fashions.--21. The third reason against them is, they
     mock and cheat people of the honour due to them.--22. The author
     and his friends are for true honour.--23. The fourth reason is,
     that if the fashions carried true honour in them, the debauched
     could honour men, which cannot be.--24. The fifth reason is,
     that then men of spite, hypocrisy, and revenge, could pay
     honour, which is impossible.--25. The sixth reason is drawn from
     the antiquity of true honour.--26. The seventh reason is from
     the rise of the vain honour, and the teachers of it, wherein
     the clown, upon a comparison, excels the courtier for a man of
     breeding.--27. The eighth reason against these honours is, that
     they may be had for money, which true honour cannot be.--28.
     The ninth and last reason is, because the holy Scripture
     expressly forbids them to true Christians.--29. As in the case
     of Mordecai.--30. A passage between a bishop and the author
     in this matter.--31. Likewise the case of Elihu in Job.--32.
     Also the doctrine of CHRIST to his disciples.--33. Paul
     against conforming to the world's fashions.--34. Peter against
     fashioning ourselves according to the world's lusts.--35. James
     against respect to persons.--36. Yet Christians are civil and
     mannerly in a right way.--37. But unlike the world in the nature
     of it, and motives to it.--38. Testimonies in favour of our
     dissent and practice.

I. The third evil effect of pride, is an excessive desire of
personal honour and respect.

Pride, therefore loves power, that she might have homage, and that
every one may give her honour, and such as are wanting in that,
expose themselves to her anger and revenge. And as pride, so this
evil effect is more or less diffused through corrupt mankind; and
has been the occasion of great animosity, and mischief in the world.

II. We have a pregnant instance in holy writ, what malice and
revenge proud man is capable of, when not gratified in this
particular. It had almost cost Mordecai his neck, and the whole
people of the Jews their lives, because he would not bow himself to
Haman, who was a great favourite to king Ahasuerus. And the practice
of the world, even in our own age, will tell us, that not striking
a flag or sail, and not saluting certain ports or garrisons, yea,
less things have given rise to mighty wars between states and
kingdoms, to the expense of much treasure, but more blood. The like
has followed about the precedency of princes and their ambassadors.
Also the envy, quarrels, and mischiefs that have happened among
private persons, upon conceit that they have not been respected to
their degree or quality among men, without hat, knee, or title: to
be sure, duels and murders not a few. I was once myself in France[3]
set upon about eleven at night, as I was walking to my lodging, by
a person that waylaid me, with his naked sword in his hand, who
demanded satisfaction of me for taking no notice of him, at a time
when he civilly saluted me with his hat; though the truth was, I saw
him not when he did it. I will suppose he had killed me, for he made
several passes at me, or I, in my defence, had killed him, when I
disarmed him, as the earl of Crawford's servant saw, that was by; I
ask any man of understanding or conscience, if the whole ceremony
was worth the life of a man, considering the dignity of the nature,
and the importance of the life of man, both with respect to God his
Creator, himself, and the benefit of civil society.

  [3] Which was before I professed the communion I am now of.

III. But the truth is, the world, under its degeneracy from God, is
as much out of the way as to true honour and respect, as in other
things; for mere shows, and those vain ones, too, are much of the
honour and respect that are expressed in the world; that a man may
say concerning them, as the apostle speaks of science, that is, they
are honours and respects falsely so called; having nothing of the
nature of true honour and respect in them: but as degenerate men,
loving to be honoured, first devised them, so pride only loves and
seeks them, and is affronted and angry for want of them. Did men
know a true Christian state, and the honour that comes from above,
which JESUS teaches, they would not covet these very vanities, much
less insist upon them.

IV. And here give me leave to set down the reasons more
particularly, why I, and the people with whom I walk in religious
society, have declined, as vain and foolish, several worldly customs
and fashions of respect, much in request at this time of day:
and I beseech thee, reader, to lay aside all prejudice and scorn,
and with the meekness and inquiry of a sober and discreet mind,
read and weigh what may be here alleged in our defence: and if we
are mistaken, rather pity and inform, than despise and abuse our

V. The first and most pressing motive upon our spirits, to decline
the practice of these present customs, pulling off the hat, bowing
the body or knee, and giving people gaudy titles and epithets in
our salutations and addresses, was that savour, sight and sense of
God, by his light and Spirit given us, of the Christian world's
apostacy from God, and the cause and effects of that great and
lamentable defection. In the discovery of which the sense of our
state came first before us, and we were made to see him whom we
pierced, and to mourn for it. A day of humiliation overtook us,
and we fainted to that pleasure and delight we once loved. Now our
works went beforehand to judgment, and a thorough search was made,
and the words of the prophet became well understood by us; "Who can
abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appears?"
"He is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap." (Mal. iii.
2.) And as the apostle said, "If the righteous scarcely be saved,
where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" (1 Peter, iv. 18.)
"Wherefore," says the apostle Paul, "knowing the terror of the Lord,
we persuade men:" (2 Cor. v. 11:) what to do? To come out of the
nature, spirit, lusts, and customs of this wicked world: remembering
that, as Jesus has said, "For every idle word that man shall speak,
he shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." (Matt. xii.

This concern of mind and dejection of spirit was visible to our
neighbours; and we are not ashamed to own, that the terrors of
the Lord took such hold upon us, because we had long, under a
profession of religion, grieved God's Holy Spirit, that reproved
us in secret for our disobedience; that as we abhorred to think of
continuing in our old sins, so we feared to use lawful things, lest
we should use them unlawfully. Our heaven seemed to melt away, and
our earth to be removed out of its place; and we were like men, as
the apostle said, upon whom the ends of the world were come. God
knows it was so in this day; the brightness of his coming to our
souls discovered, and the breath of his mouth destroyed every plant
he had not planted in us. He was a swift witness against every evil
thought and every unfruitful work; and, blessed be his name, we were
not offended in him, or at his righteous judgments. Now it was that
a grand inquest came upon our whole life: every word, thought, and
deed was brought to judgment, the root examined, and its tendency
considered. "The lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the
pride of life," (1 John, ii. 16,) were opened to our view; the
mystery of iniquity in us. And by knowing the evil leaven, and its
divers evil effects in ourselves, how it had wrought, and what
it had done, we came to have a sense and knowledge of the states
of others: and what we could not, nay, we dare not let live and
continue in ourselves, as being manifested to us to proceed from an
evil principle in the time of man's degeneracy, we could not comply
with in others. Now this I say, and that in the fear and presence
of the all-seeing, just God, the present honours and respect of the
world, among other things, became burdensome to us: we saw they had
no being in paradise, that they grew in the night-time, and came
from an ill root; and that they only delighted a vain and ill mind,
and that much pride and folly were in them.

VI. And though we easily foresaw the storms of reproach that would
fall upon us for our refusing to practise them; yet we were so far
from being shaken in our judgment, that it abundantly confirmed
our sense of them. For so exalted a thing is man, and so loving of
honour and respect, even from his fellow-creatures, that so soon as
in tenderness of conscience towards God we could not perform them
as formerly, he became more concerned than for all the rest of our
differences, however material to salvation. So that let the honour
of God and our own salvation do as it will, it was greater heresy
and blasphemy to refuse him the homage of the hat, and his usual
titles of honour; to deny to pledge his healths, or play with him at
cards and dice, than any other principle we maintained: for being
less in his view, it seemed not so much in his way.

VII. And though it be frequently objected that we seek to set up
outward forms of preciseness, and that is but as a green riband,
the badge of the party, the better to be known: I do declare, in
the fear of Almighty God, that these are but the imaginations and
vain constructions of insensible men, that have not had that sense
which the Lord hath given us, of what arises from the right and the
wrong root in man: and when such censurers of our simplicity shall
be inwardly touched and awakened by the mighty power of God, and see
things as they are in their proper natures and seeds, they will then
know their own burden, and easily acquit us, without the imputation
of folly or hypocrisy herein.

VIII. To say that we strain at small things, which becomes not
people of so fair pretensions to liberty and freedom of spirit: I
answer with meekness, truth, and sobriety; first, nothing is small
that God makes matter of conscience to do, or leave undone. Next as
inconsiderable as they are made, by those that object upon us, they
are much set by; so greatly as for our not giving them to be beaten,
imprisoned, refused justice, &c. To say nothing of the derision and
reproach that hath been frequently flung at us on this account.
So that if we had wanted a proof of the truth of our inward belief
and judgment, the very practice of them that opposed it would have
abundantly confirmed us. But let it suffice to us, that "Wisdom
is justified of her children:" (Matt. xi. 19:) we only passively
let fall the practice of what we are taught to believe is vain and
unchristian: in which we are negative to forms: for we leave off, we
do not set up forms.

IX. The world is so set upon the ceremonious parts and outside of
things, that it has well beseemed the wisdom of God in all ages to
bring forth his dispensations with very different appearances to
their settled customs; thereby contradicting human inventions, and
proving the integrity of his confessors. Nay, it is a test upon the
world: it tries what patience, kindness, sobriety, and moderation
they have: if the rough and homely outside of truth stumble not
their minds from the reception of it, whose beauty is within: it
makes a great discovery upon them. For he who refuses a precious
jewel, because it is presented in a plain box, will never esteem
it to its value, nor set his heart upon keeping it; therefore I
call it a test, because it shows where the hearts and affections of
the people stick, after all their great pretence to more excellent

X. It is also a mighty trial upon God's people, in that they are
put upon the discovery of their contradiction to the customs
generally received and esteemed in the world; which exposes them
to the wonder, scorn, and abuse of the multitude. But there is a
hidden treasure in it: it inures us to reproach, it teaches us
to despise the false reputation of the world, and silently to
undergo the contradiction and scorn of its votaries; and finally
with a Christian meekness and patience to overcome their injuries
and reproaches. Add to this; it weans thee of thy familiars; for
being slighted of them as a ninny, a fool, a frantic, &c. thou
art delivered from a greater temptation; and that is the power and
influence of their vain conversation. And last of all, it lists thee
of the company of the blessed, mocked, persecuted JESUS: to fight
under his banner against the world, the flesh, and the devil: that
after having faithfully suffered with him in a state of humiliation,
thou mayst reign with him in a state of glorification: who glorifies
his poor, despised, constant followers with the glory he had with
the Father before the world began. (John, xvii. 5.) This was the
first reason of our declining to practise the before-mentioned
honours, respect, &c.

XI. The second reason why we decline and refuse the present use
of these customs in our addresses and salutations, is from the
consideration of their very emptiness and vanity: that there is
nothing of true honour and respect in them, supposing them not to
be evil. And, as religion and worship are degenerated into form and
ceremony, and they not according to primitive practice neither, so
is honour and respect too; there being little of that in the world
as well as of the other; and to be sure, in these customs, none that
is justifiable by Scripture or reason.

XII. In Scripture we find the word honour often and diversely
used. First for obedience: as when God saith, "They that honour
me;" (1 Sam. ii. 30:) that is, that keep my commandments. "Honour
the king;" (1 Pet. ii. 17;) that is, obey the king. "Honour thy
father and mother;" (Exod. xx. 12;) that is, saith the apostle to
the Ephesians, "Obey thy father and thy mother in the Lord, for
that is right:" (Eph. vi. 1, 2:) take heed to their precepts and
advice: presupposing always, that rulers and parents command lawful
things, else they dishonour themselves to enjoin unlawful things;
and subjects and children dishonour their superiors and parents, in
complying with their unrighteous commands. Also Christ uses this
word so, when he says, "I have not a devil, but I honour my Father,
and ye dishonour me;" (John, viii. 49;) that is, I do my Father's
will in what I do, but you will not hear me; you reject my counsel,
and will not obey my voice. It was not refusing hat and knee, nor
empty trifles: no, it was disobedience; resisting him that God had
sent, and not believing in him. This was the dishonour he taxed
them with; using him as an impostor, that God had ordained for the
salvation of the world. And of these dishonourers there are but too
many at this day. Christ has a saying to the same effect; "That all
men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father; and he
that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father, which hath
sent him:" (John, v. 23:) that is, they that hearken not to Christ,
and do not worship and obey him, they do not hear, worship, nor
obey God. As they pretended to believe in God, so they were to have
believed in him; he told them so. This is pregnantly manifested in
the case of the centurion, whose faith was so much commended by
Christ; where, giving Jesus an account of his honourable station, he
tells him, "He had soldiers under his authority, and when he said
to one, Go, he went; to another, Come, he came; and to a third,
Do this, he did it." (Luke, vii. 8.) In this it was he placed the
honour of his capacity, and the respect of his soldiers, and not in
hats and legs: nor are such customs yet in use amongst soldiers,
being effeminate, and unworthy of masculine gravity.

XIII. In the next place, honour is used for preferment to trust
and eminent employments. So the Psalmist, speaking to God: "For
thou hast crowned him with glory and honour:" again, "Honour and
majesty hast thou laid on him;" (Psalm viii. 5; xxi. 5;) that is,
God hath given Christ power over all his enemies, and exalted him
to great dominion. Thus the wise man intimates, when he says, "The
fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honour is
humility." (Prov. xv. 33.) That is, before advancement or preferment
is humility. Further, he has this saying, "As snow in summer, and
as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool:" (Prov.
xxvi. 10:) that is, a fool is not capable of the dignity of trust,
employment, or preferment: they require virtue, wisdom, integrity,
diligence, with which fools are unfurnished. And yet if the respects
and titles in use amongst us are to go for marks of honour,
Solomon's proverb will take place, and doubtless doth, upon the
practice of this age, that yields so much of that honour to a great
many of Solomon's fools; who are not only silly men, but wicked too;
such as refuse instruction, and hate the fear of the Lord; (Prov.
xiii. 18;) which only maketh one of his wise men.

XIV. And as virtue and wisdom are the same, so folly and wickedness.
Thus Shechem's lying with Dinah, Jacob's daughter, is called: (Gen.
xxxiv. 7:) so is the rebellion and wickedness of the Israelites in
Joshua. (Josh. vii. 15.) The Psalmist expresses thus: "My wounds
stink, because of my foolishness:" (Psalm xxxviii. 5:) that is, his
sin. And, "The Lord will speak peace to his saints, but let them
not turn again to folly:" (Psalm lxxxv. 8:) that is, to evil. "His
own iniquities," says Solomon, "shall take the wicked himself, and
he shall be holden with the cords of his sins: he shall die without
instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray."
(Prov. v. 22, 23.) Christ puts foolishness with blasphemy, pride,
theft, murders, adulteries, wickedness, &c. (Mark, vii. 10-12.) I
was the more willing to add these passages, to show the difference
that there is between the mind of the Holy Ghost, and the notion
that those ages had of fools, that deserve not honour, and that
which is generally meant by fools and folly in our time; that we may
the better understand the disproportion there is between honour, as
then understood by the Holy Ghost, and those that were led thereby;
and the apprehension of it, and the practice of those latter ages of
professed Christians.

XV. But honour is also taken for reputation, and it is so understood
with us: "A gracious woman," says Solomon, "retaineth honour;"
(Prov. xi. 16;) that is, she keeps her credit: and by her virtue,
maintains her reputation, of sobriety and chastity. In another
place, "It is an honour for a man to cease from strife:" (Prov.
xx. 3:) that is, it makes for his reputation, as a wise and good
man. Christ uses the word thus, where he says, "A prophet is not
without honour, save in his own country;" (Matt. xiii. 57;) that
is, he has credit, and is valued, save at home. The apostle to the
Thessalonians has a saying to this effect: "That every one of you
should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour:"
(1 Thes. iv. 4:) that is, in chastity and sobriety. In all which
nothing of the fashions by us declined is otherwise concerned than
to be totally excluded.

XVI. There is yet another use of the word honour in Scripture, and
that is to functions and capacities: as, "An elder is worthy of
double honour:" (1 Tim. v. 17:) that is, he deserves double esteem,
love, and respect; being holy, merciful, temperate, peaceable,
humble, &c., especially one that labours in word and doctrine.
So Paul recommends Epaphroditus to the Philippians; "Receive
him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such in
reputation:" (Phil. ii. 29:) as if he had said, Let them be valued
and regarded by you in what they say and teach. Which is the truest,
and most natural and convincing way of testifying respect to a man
of God; as Christ said to his disciples, "If ye love me ye will keep
my sayings." Further, the apostle bids us, To honour widows indeed:
that is, such women who are of chaste lives and exemplary virtue are

XVII. The word honour, in the Scripture, is also used from superiors
to inferiors. Which is plain in the instance of Ahasuerus to
Haman; "What shall be done to the man whom the king delighteth
to honour?" (Esther, vi. 6.) Why, he mightily advanced him, as
Mordecai afterwards. And more particularly it is said, that "the
Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour:" (Esther, viii.
16:) that is, they escaped the persecution that was like to fall
upon them, and by the means of Esther and Mordecai, they enjoyed
not only peace, but favour and countenance too. In this sense the
apostle Peter advised Christian men "To honour their wives:" (1 Pet.
iii. 7:) that is, to love, value, cherish, countenance, and esteem
them, for their fidelity and affection to their husbands, for their
tenderness and care over their children, and for their diligence and
circumspection in their families. There is no ceremonious behaviour,
or gaudy titles requisite to express this honour. Thus God honours
holy men: "Them that honour me," says the Lord, "I will honour; and
they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed:" (1 Sam. ii. 30:)
that is, I will do good to them, I will love, bless, countenance,
and prosper them that honour me, that obey me: but they that despise
me, that resist my Spirit, and break my law, they shall be lightly
esteemed, little set by or accounted of; they shall not find favour
with God, nor righteous men. And so we see it daily among men: if
the great visit or concern themselves to aid the poor; we say, that
such a great man did me the honour to come and see, or help me in my

XVIII. I shall conclude this with one passage more, and that is a
very large, plain, and pertinent one: "Honour all men, and love
the brotherhood:" (1 Pet. ii. 17:) that is, love is above honour,
and that is reserved for the brotherhood. But honour, which is
esteem and regard, that thou owest to all men; and if all, then thy
inferiors. But why for all men? Because they are the creation of
God, and the most noble part of his creation too: they are also thy
own kind: be natural, and assist them with what thou canst; be ready
to perform any real respect, and yield them any good or countenance
thou canst.

XIX. And yet there seems a limitation to the command, Honour all
men, in that passage of godly David, "Who shall abide in thy
tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? he in whose eyes a
vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord."
(Psalm xv. 1, 4.) Here honour is confined and affixed to godly
persons; and dishonour made the duty of the righteous to the wicked,
and a mark of their being righteous, that they dishonour, that is,
slight or disregard them. To conclude this Scripture inquiry after
honour, I shall contract the subject of it under three capacities,
superiors, equals, and inferiors: honour, to superiors is obedience;
to equals, love; to inferiors, countenance and help: that is honour
after God's mind, and the holy people's fashion of old.

XX. But how little of all this is to be seen or had in a poor empty
hat, bow, cringe, or gaudy, flattering title, let the truth-speaking
witness of God in all mankind judge. For I must not appeal to
corrupt, proud, and self-speaking man, of the good or evil of those
customs; that as little as he would render them, are loved and
sought by him, and he is out of humour and angry if he has them not.

This is our second reason why we refuse to practise the accustomed
ceremonies of honour and respect; because we find no such notion
or expression of honour and respect, recommended to us by the Holy
Ghost in the Scriptures of truth.

XXI. Our third reason for not using them as testimonies of honour
and respect is, because there is no discovery of honour or respect
to be made by them: it is rather eluding and equivocating it;
cheating people of the honour and respect that is due to them;
giving them nothing in the show of something. There is in them no
obedience to superiors, no love to equals, no help or countenance to

XXII. We are, we declare to the whole world, for true honour
and respect; we honour the king, our parents, our masters, our
magistrates, our landlords, one another; yea, all men, after God's
way, used by holy men and women of old time: but we refuse these
customs as vain and deceitful; not answering the end they are used

XXIII. But, fourthly, there is yet more to be said: we find that
vain, loose, and worldly people are the great lovers and practisers
of them, and most deride our simplicity of behaviour. Now we
assuredly know, from the sacred testimonies, that those people
cannot give true honour that live in a dishonourable spirit; they
understand it not; but they can give the hat and knee, and that they
are very liberal of, nor are any more expert at it. This is to us a
proof that no true honour can be testified by those customs, which
vanity and looseness love and use.

XXIV. Next to them I will add hypocrisy, and revenge too. For
how little do many care for each other! Nay, what spite, envy,
animosity, secret backbiting, and plotting one against another,
under the use of these idle respects; till passion, too strong for
cunning, breaks through hypocrisy into open affront and revenge!
It cannot be so with the Scripture honour: to obey, or prefer a
man, out of spite, is not usually done: and to love, help, serve,
and countenance a person, in order to deceive and be revenged of
him, is a thing never heard of: these admit of no hypocrisy nor
revenge. Men do not these things to palliate ill-will, which are
the testimonies of quite the contrary. It is absurd to imagine it,
because impossible to be done.

XXV. Our sixth reason is, that honour was from the beginning: but
hat-respects and most titles are of late: therefore there was true
honour before hats or titles; and consequently true honour stands
not in them. And that which ever was the way to express true honour
is the best way still; and this the Scripture teaches better than
dancing-masters can do.

XXVI. Seventhly, if honour consists in such-like ceremonies, then
will it follow, that they are most capable of showing honour who
perform it most exactly, according to the mode or fashion of the
times; consequently, that man hath not the measure of true honour,
from a just and reasonable principle in himself, but by the means
and skill of the fantastic dancing-masters of the times: and for
this cause it is we see that many give much money to have their
children learn their honours, falsely so called. And what doth
this but totally exclude the poor country people; who, though they
plough, till, sow, reap, go to market, and in all things obey
their justices, landlords, fathers, and masters, with sincerity
and sobriety, rarely use those ceremonies; but if they do it is so
awkwardly and meanly, that they are esteemed by a court critic so
ill favoured as only fit to make a jest of and be laughed at: but
what sober man will not deem their obedience beyond the others'
vanity and hypocrisy? This base notion of honour turns out of
doors the true, and sets the false in its place. Let it be further
considered, that the way or fashion of doing it is much more in
the design of its performers, as well as view of its spectators,
than the respect itself. Whence it is commonly said, He is a man of
good mien; or, She is a woman of exact behaviour. And what is this
behaviour but fantastic, cramped postures and cringings, unnatural
to their shape; and, if it were not fashionable, ridiculous to the
view of all people; and is therefore to the Eastern countries a

XXVII. But yet, eighthly, real honour consists not in a hat, bow,
or title, because all these things may be had for money, for which
reason, how many dancing-schools, plays, &c. are there in the land,
to which youth is generally sent to be educated in these vain
fashions! Whilst they are ignorant of the honour that is of God, and
their minds are allured to visible things that perish; and instead
of remembering their Creator, are taken up with toys and fopperies;
and sometimes so much worse, as to cost themselves a disinheriting,
and their indiscreet parents grief and misery all their days. (Prov.
iii. 9.) If parents would honour God in the help of his poor with
the substance they bestow on such an education, they would find a
far better account in the end.

XXVIII. But lastly, we cannot esteem bows, titles, and pulling off
of hats, to be real honour, because such-like customs have been
prohibited by God, his Son, and servants in days past. This I shall
endeavour to show by three or four express authorities.

XXIX. My first example and authority is taken from the story of
Mordecai and Haman; so close to this point, that methinks it should
at least command silence to the objections frequently advanced
against us. Haman was first minister of state, and favourite to king
Ahasuerus. The text says, That the king set his seat above all the
princes that were with him; and all the king's servants bowed and
reverenced Haman; for the king had so commanded concerning him; but
Mordecai, it seems, bowed not, nor did him reverence. (Esther, iii.
1, 2.) This at first made ill for Mordecai; a gallows was prepared
for him at Haman's command. But the sequel of the story shows that
Haman proved his own invention, and ended his pride with his life
upon it. Well now, speaking as the world speaks, and looking upon
Mordecai without the knowledge of the success; was not Mordecai a
very clown, at least a silly, morose, and humorous man, to run such
a hazard for a trifle? What hurt had it done him to have bowed to
and honoured one the king honoured? Did he not despise the king, in
disregarding Haman? Nay, had not the king commanded that respect;
and are not we to honour and obey the king? One would have thought
he might have bowed for the king's sake, whatever he had in his
heart, and yet have come off well enough; for that he bowed not
merely to Haman, but to the king's authority; besides, it was but an
innocent ceremony. But it seems Mordecai was too plain and stout,
and not fine and subtle enough to avoid the displeasure of Haman.

Howbeit, he was an excellent man: he feared God, and wrought
righteousness. And in this very thing also he pleased God, and
even the king too, at last, that had most cause to be angry with
him: for he advanced him to Haman's dignity; and if it could be
to greater honour. It is true, sad news first came; no less than
destruction to Mordecai, and the whole people of the Jews besides,
for his sake: but Mordecai's integrity and humiliation, his fasting,
and strong cries to God prevailed, and the people were saved, and
poor condemned Mordecai comes, after all, to be exalted above the
princes, whether in this or any other respect. They that endure
faithful in that which they are convinced God requires of them,
though against the grain and humour of the world and themselves
too, they shall find a blessed recompense in the end. My brethren,
remember the cup of cold water: "We shall reap if we faint not." And
call to mind, that our Captain bowed not to him that told him, "If
thou wilt fall down and worship me, I will give thee all the glory
of the world:" shall we bow then? O no! Let us follow our blessed

XXX. But before I leave this section, it is fit I add, that in
conference with a late bishop, and none of the least eminent, upon
this subject and instance, I remember he sought to evade it thus:
"Mordecai," says he, "did not refuse to bow, as it was a testimony
of respect to the king's favourite; but he, being a figure and
type of Christ, refused, because Haman was of the uncircumcision,
and ought to bow to him rather." To which I replied, That allowing
Mordecai to be a figure of Christ, and the Jews of God's people or
church; and that as the Jews were saved by Mordecai, so the church
is saved by Christ; this makes for me; for then, by that reason, the
spiritual circumcision, or people of Christ, are not to receive and
bow to the fashions and customs of the spiritual uncircumcision, who
are the children of the world; of which such as were condemnable
so long ago in the time of the type and figure, can by no means be
justifiably received or practised in the time of the antitype or
substance itself. On the contrary, this shows expressly, we are
faithfully to decline such worldly customs, and not to fashion
ourselves according to the conversation of earthly-minded people;
but be renewed and changed in our ways, and keep close to our
Mordecai; who having not bowed, we must not bow, that are his people
and followers. And whatever be our sufferings or reproaches, they
will have an end: Mordecai, our captain, that appears for his people
throughout all the provinces, in the king's gate, will deliver us at
last; and, for his sake, we shall be favoured and loved of the king
himself too. So powerful is faithful Mordecai at last. Therefore let
us all look to Jesus, our Mordecai, the Israel indeed; He that has
power with God, and would not bow in the hour of temptation, but has
mightily prevailed; and therefore is a Prince for ever, and "of his
government there shall be no end." (Isa. ix. 7.)

XXXI. The next Scripture instance I urge against these customs, is a
passage in Job, thus expressed: "Let me not, I pray you, accept any
man's person; neither let me give flattering titles unto man, for I
know not to give flattering titles; in so doing, my Maker would soon
take me away." (Job, xxxii. 21, 22.) The question that will arise
upon the allegation of this Scripture is this, viz. What titles are
flattering? The answer is as obvious, namely, Such as are empty and
fictitious, and make him more than he is: as to call a man what he
is not, to please him; or to exalt him beyond his true name, office,
or desert, to gain upon his affections; who, it may be, lusteth to
honour and respect: such as these,--most excellent, most sacred,
your grace, your lordship, most dread majesty, right honourable,
right worshipful, may it please your majesty, your grace, your
lordship, your honour, your worship, and the like unnecessary titles
and attributes, calculated only to please and tickle poor, proud,
vain, yet mortal man. Likewise to call man what he is not, as my
lord, my master, &c., and wise, just, or good, when he is neither,
only to please him, or show him respect.

It was familiar thus to do among the Jews, under their degeneracy;
wherefore one came to Christ, and said, "Good master, what shall I
do to have eternal life?" (Luke, xviii. 18.) It was a salutation or
address of respect in those times. It is familiar now: good my lord,
good sir, good master, do this, or do that. But what was Christ's
answer? how did he take it? "Why callest thou me good?" says Christ;
"there is none good, save one, that is God." (Verse 19.) He rejected
it that had more right to keep it than all mankind: and why? Because
there was one greater than he; and that he saw the man addressed it
to his manhood, after the way of the times, and not to his divinity
which dwelt within it: therefore Christ refuses it, showing and
instructing us that we should not give such epithets and titles
commonly to men; for good being due alone to God and godliness, it
can only be said in flattery to fallen man, and therefore sinful to
be so said.

This plain and exact life well became Him, that was on purpose
manifested to return and restore man from his lamentable degeneracy,
to the innocency and purity of his first creation; who has taught
us to be careful how we use and give attributes unto man by that
most severe saying, "That every idle word that man shall speak, he
shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment." (Matt. xii.
3, 6.) And that which should warn all men of the latitude they take
herein, and sufficiently justifies our tenderness is this, That man
can scarcely commit greater injury and offence against Almighty God,
than to ascribe any of his attributes unto man, the creature of his
word, and the work of his hands. He is a jealous God of his honour,
and will not give his glory unto another. Besides, it is so near
the sin of the aspiring fallen angels, that affected to be greater
and better than they were made and stated by the great Lord of all,
and to entitle man to a station above his make and orb, looks so
like idolatry (the unpardonable sin under the law) that it is hard
to think how men and women professing Christianity, and seriously
reflecting upon their vanity and evil in these things, can continue
in them, much less plead for them; and least of all reproach and
deride those that through tenderness of conscience cannot use and
give them. It seems that Elihu did not dare to do it; but put such
weight upon the matter as to give this for one reason for his
forbearance, to wit, lest my Maker should soon take me away: that
is, for fear God should strike me dead, I dare not give man titles
that are above him, or titles merely to please him. I may not, by
any means, gratify that spirit which lusteth after such things. God
is to be exalted, and man abased. God is jealous of man's being
set higher than his station: he will have him keep his place, know
his original, and remember the rock from whence he came: that what
he has is borrowed; not his own but his Maker's, who brought him
forth and sustained him; which man is very apt to forget: and lest I
should be accessory to it by flattering titles, instead of telling
him truly and plainly what he is, and using them as he ought to be
treated, and thereby provoke my Maker to displeasure, and he in his
anger and jealousy should take me soon away, or bring sudden death
and an untimely end upon me, I dare not use, I dare not give such
titles unto men.

XXXII. But if we had not this to allege from the Old Testament
writings, it should and ought to suffice with Christians, that
these customs are severely censured by the great Lord and Master
of their religion; who is so far from putting people upon giving
honour one to another, that he will not indulge them in it, whatever
be the customs of the country they live in: for he charges it upon
the Jews as a mark of their apostasy; "How can ye believe which
receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh
from God only?" where their infidelity concerning Christ is made
the effect of seeking worldly, and not heavenly honour only. And
the thing is not hard to apprehend, if we consider that self-love
and desire of honour from men is inconsistent with the love and
humility of Christ. They sought the good opinion and respect of the
world; how then was it possible they should leave all and follow
him, whose kingdom is not of this world; and that came in a way so
cross to the mind and humour of it? And that this was the meaning
of our Lord Jesus is plain: for he tells us what that honour was
they gave and received, which he condemned them for, and of which
he bid the disciples of his humility and cross beware. His words
are these, and he speaks them not of the rabble but of the doctors,
the great men, the men of honour among the Jews: "They love," says
he, "the uppermost rooms at feasts," (Matt. xxiii. 6,) "that is,
places of greatest rank and respect; and greetings," (Mark, xii.
38,) that is, salutations of respect, such as pulling off the hat,
and bowing the body are in our age, in the market-places, viz. in
the places of note and concourse, the public walks and exchanges of
the country. And lastly, "they love," says Christ, "to be called of
men, Rabbi, Rabbi:" one of the most eminent titles among the Jews. A
word comprehending an excellency equal to many titles: it may stand
for your grace, your lordship, right reverend father, &c. It is
upon these men of breeding and quality that he pronounces his woes,
making these practices some of the evil marks by which to know them,
as well as some of the motives of his threatenings against them. But
he leaves it not here: he pursues this very point of honour above
all the rest in his caution to his disciples; to whom he gave in
charge thus: "But be not ye called Rabbi; for one is your Master,
even Christ, and all ye are brethren." (Matt. xviii. 8, 10-12.)
"Neither be ye called Masters; but he that is greatest amongst you
shall be your servant: and whoever shall exalt himself shall be
abased." Plain it is that these passages carry a severe rebuke, both
to worldly honour in general, and to those members and expressions
of it in particular, which, as near as the language of Scripture and
customs of that age will permit, do distinctly reach and allude to
those of our own time; for the declining of which we have suffered
so much scorn and abuse, both in our persons and estates; God
forgive the unreasonable authors of it!

XXXIII. The apostle Paul has a saying of great weight and fervency,
in his epistle to the Romans, very agreeable to this doctrine of
Christ; it is this: "I beseech you therefore brethren, by the
mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service; and be
not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing
of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, that acceptable,
and perfect will of God." (Rom. xii. 1, 2.) He wrote to a people,
in the midst of the ensnaring pomp and glory of the world. Rome was
the seat of Cæsar, and the empire; the mistress of invention. Her
fashions, as those of France now, were as laws to the world, at
least at Rome: whence it is proverbial, _Cum fueris Romæ, Romano
vivito more_. "When thou art at Rome, thou must do as Rome does."
But the apostle is of another mind; he warns the Christians of
that city, that they be not conformed; that is, that they do not
follow the vain fashions and customs of this world, but leave them.
The emphasis lies upon this, as well as upon conformed; and it
imports, that this world, which they were not to conform to, was the
corrupt and degenerate condition of mankind in that age. Wherefore
the apostle proceeds to exhort those believers, and that by the
mercies of God, the most powerful and winning of all arguments, that
they would be transformed; that is, changed from the way of life
customary among the Romans; and prove what is that acceptable will
of God. As if he had said, Examine what you do and practise; see if
it be right, and that it please God; call every thought, word, and
action to judgment; (John, iii. 21;) try whether they are wrought in
God or not; that so you may prove or know, what is that good, and
acceptable, and perfect will of God.

XXXIV. The next scripture authority we appeal to, in our
vindication, is a passage of the apostle Peter, in his first
epistle written to the believing strangers throughout the countries
of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia; which were the
churches of Christ Jesus in those parts of the world, gathered by
his power and spirit: it is this; "Gird up the loins of your minds;
be sober and hope to the end, for the grace that is to be brought
unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children,
not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your
ignorance." (1 Pet. i. 13, 14.) That is, be not found in the vain
fashions and customs of the world, unto which you conformed in
your former ignorance; but as you have believed in a more plain
and excellent way, so be sober and fervent, and hope to the end:
do not give out; let them mock on; bear ye the contradiction of
sinners constantly, as obedient children, that you may receive the
kindness of God, at the revelation of Jesus Christ. And therefore
does the apostle call them strangers, a figurative speech, people
estranged from the customs of the world, of new faith and manners;
and so unknown of the world: and if such strangers, then not to be
fashioned or conformed to their pleasing respects and honours, whom
they were estranged from: because the strangeness lay in leaving
that which was customary and familiar to them before. The following
words, verse 17, prove he used the word strangers in a spiritual
sense; "Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear;" that is,
pass the time of your being as strangers on earth in fear; not after
the fashions of the world. A word in the next chapter, further
explains his sense, where he tells the believers, that they are a
peculiar people; to wit, a distinct, a singular and separate people
from the rest of the world: not any longer to fashion themselves
according to their customs. But I do not know how that could be, if
they were to live in communion with the world, in its respects and
honours; for that is not to be a peculiar or separate people from
them, but to be like them, because conformable to them.

XXXV. I shall conclude my scripture testimonies against the
foregoing respects, with that memorable and close passage of the
apostle James against respect of persons in general after the
world's fashion: "My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus
Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons: for if there
come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel:
and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment, and ye have
respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him,
Sit thou here in a good place, (or well and seemly, as the word
is;) and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my
footstool; are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become
judges of evil thoughts?" (James, ii. 1-4.) That is, they knew they
did amiss: "If ye fulfil the royal law, according to the scripture,
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well; but if ye
have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the
law as transgressors." (James, ii. 8, 9.) This is so full there
seems nothing left for me to add, or others to object. We are not
to respect persons, that is the first thing: and the next thing
is, if we do we commit sin, and break the law; At our own peril be
it. And yet perhaps some will say, that by this we overthrow all
distinction amongst men, under their divers qualities, and introduce
a reciprocal and relational respect in the room of it: but if it be
so, I cannot help it, the apostle James must answer for it, who has
given us this doctrine for Christian and apostolical. And yet one
greater than he told his disciples, of whom James was one, "Ye know
that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, &c.
But it shall not be so among you; but whosoever will be chief among
you, let him be your servant." (Mat. xx. 25-27.) That is, he that
affects rule, and seeks to be uppermost, shall be esteemed least
among you. And to say true on the whole matter, whether we regard
those early times of the world, that were antecedent to the coming
of Christ or soon after, there was yet a greater simplicity than
in the times in which we are fallen. For those early times of the
world, as bad as they were in other things, were great strangers to
the frequency of these follies: nay, they hardly used some of them,
at least very rarely. For if we read the Scriptures, such a thing
as my lord Adam, though lord of the world, is not to be found: nor
my lord Noah neither, the second lord of the earth: nor yet my lord
Abraham, the father of the faithful; nor my lord Isaac; nor my lord
Jacob; but much less is my lord Paul, &c. to be found in the Bible:
and less your holiness, or your grace. Nay, among the Gentiles, the
people wore their own names with more simplicity, and used not the
ceremony of speech that is now practised among Christians, nor yet
anything like it. My lord Solon, my lord Phocion, my lord Plato,
my lord Aristotle, my lord Scipio, my lord Fabius, my lord Cato,
my lord Cicero, are not to be read in any of the Greek or Latin
stories, and yet they were some of the sages and heroes of those
great empires. No, their own names were enough to distinguish them
from other men, and their virtue and employments in the public
service were their titles of honour. Nor has this vanity yet crept
far into the Latin writers, where it is familiar for authors to cite
the most learned and the most noble, without any addition to their
names, unless worthy or learned: and if their works give it them, we
make no conscience to deny it them. For instance; the Fathers they
only cite thus: Polycarpus, Ignatius, Irenæus, Cyprian, Tertullian,
Origen, Arnobius, Lactantius, Chrysostom, Jerom, &c. More modern
writers; Damascen, Rabanus, Paschasius, Theophylact, Bernard, &c.
And of the last age, Luther, Melancthon, Calvin, Beza, Zuinglius,
Marlorat, Vossius, Grotius, Dalleus, Amyralldus, &c. And of our own
country, Gildas, Beda, Alcuinus, Horn, Bracton, Grosteed, Littleton,
Cranmer, Ridley, Jewel, Whitaker, Seldon, &c. And yet I presume this
will not be thought uncivil or rude. Why then is our simplicity (and
so honestly grounded too, as conscience against pride in man, that
so evilly and perniciously loves and seeks worship and greatness) so
much despised and abused, and that by professed Christians too, who
take themselves to be the followers of Him, that has forbidden these
foolish customs, as plainly as any other impiety condemned in his
doctrine? I earnestly beg the lovers, users, and expecters of these
ceremonies, to let this I have written have some consideration and
weight with them.

XXXVI. However, Christians are not so ill-bred as the world think;
for they show respect too: but the difference between them lies in
the nature of the respect they perform, and the reasons of it. The
world's respect is an empty ceremony, no soul nor substance in it:
the Christian's is a solid thing, whether by obedience to superiors,
love to equals, or help and countenance to inferiors. Next, their
reasons and motives to honour and respect, are as wide one from
the other: for fine apparel, empty titles, or large revenues are
the world's motives, being things her children worship: but the
Christian's motives are the sense of his duty in God's sight; first
to parents and magistrates; and then to inferior relations: and
lastly to all people, according to their virtue, wisdom, and piety;
which is far from respect to the mere persons of men, or having
their persons in admiration for reward: much less on such mean and
base motives as wealth and sumptuous raiment.

XXXVII. We shall easily grant, our honour, as our religion, is more
hidden; and that neither are so discernible by worldly men, nor
grateful to them. Our plainness is odd, uncouth, and goes mightily
against the grain; but so does Christianity too, and that for the
same reasons. But had not the Heathen spirit prevailed too long
under a Christian profession, it would not be so hard to discern the
right from the wrong. O that Christians would look upon themselves
with the glass of righteousness; that which tells true, and gives
them an exact knowledge of themselves! And then let them examine,
what in them, and about them, agrees with Christ's doctrine and
life; and they may soon resolve, whether they are real Christians,
or but Heathens christened with the name of Christians.


XXXVIII. Marlorat, out of Luther and Calvin, upon that remarkable
passage I just now urged from the apostle James, gives us the sense
those primitive reformers had of respect to persons in these words,
viz. 'To respect persons here, is to have regard to the habit and
garb: the apostle signifies, that such respecting of persons is so
contrary to true faith, that they are altogether inconsistent: but
if the pomp, and other worldly regards prevail, and weaken what is
of Christ, it is a sign of a decaying faith. Yea, so great is the
glory and splendour of Christ in a pious soul, that all the glories
of the world have no charms, no beauty, in comparison of that, unto
one so righteously inclined. The apostle maketh such respecting of
persons, to be repugnant to the light within them, insomuch as they
who follow these practices, are condemned from within themselves.
So that sanctity ought to be the reason or motive of all outward
respect; and that none is to be honoured, upon any account but
holiness.' Thus much Marlorat. But if this be true doctrine, we are
much in the right in refusing conformity to the vain respects of
worldly men.

XXXIX. But I shall add to these, the admonition of a learned ancient
writer, who lived about 1200 years since, of great esteem, namely
Jerom, who writing to a noble matron, Celantia, directing her how to
live in the midst of her prosperity and honours, amongst many other
religious instructions, speaks thus: 'Heed not thy nobility, nor let
that be a reason for thee to take place of any; esteem not those of
a meaner extraction to be thy inferiors; for our religion admits of
no respect of persons, nor doth it induce us to repute men, from
any external condition, but from their inward frame and disposition
of mind: it is hereby that we pronounce men noble or base. With
God, not to serve sin is to be free; and to excel in virtue is to
be noble. God has chosen the mean and contemptible of this world,
whereby to humble the great ones. Besides, it is a folly for any
to boast his gentility, since all are equally esteemed by God. The
ransom of the poor and rich cost Christ an equal expense of blood.
Nor is it material in what state a man is born; the new creature
hath no distinction. But if we will forget how we all descended from
one Father; we ought at least perpetually to remember that we have
but one Saviour.'

XL. But since I am engaged against these fond and fruitless customs,
the proper effects and delights of vain and proud minds, let me
yet add one memorable passage more, as it is related by the famous
Casaubon, in his discourse of Use and Custom, where he briefly
reports, what passed between Sulpitius Severus and Paulinus, bishop
of Nola, (but such an one as gave all to redeem captives; whilst
others of that function, that they may show who is their master, are
making many both beggars and captives, by countenancing the plunder
and imprisonment of Christians, for pure conscience to God); he
brings it in thus: 'He is not counted a civil man now, of late years
amongst us, who thinks it much, or refuseth to subscribe himself
servant, though it be to his equal or inferior.' Yet Sulpitius
Severus was once sharply chid by Paulinus for subscribing himself
his servant, in a letter of his, saying, 'Take heed hereafter,
how thou being from a servant called into liberty, dost subscribe
thyself servant unto one who is thy brother and fellow-servant; for
it is a sinful flattery, not a testimony of humility, to pay those
honours to a man, and a sinner, which are due to the one Lord, and
one Master, and one God.' By this we may see the sense of some of
the more apostolical bishops, about the civilities and fashions
so much reputed with people that call themselves Christians and
bishops, and who would be thought their successors. It was then a
sin, it is now an accomplishment: it was then a flattery, it is now
respect: it was then fit to be severely reproved; and now, alas!
it is to deserve severe reproof not to use it. O monstrous vanity!
How much, how deeply, have those who are called Christians revolted
from the plainness of the primitive days, and practice of holy men
and women in former ages! How are they become degenerated into the
loose, proud, and wanton customs of the world, which knows not God;
to whom use hath made these things, condemned by scripture, reason,
and example, almost natural! And so insensible are they of both
their cause and bad effects, that they not only continue to practise
them, but plead for them, and unchristianly make a very mock of
those who cannot imitate them. But I shall proceed to what remains
yet further to be said in our defence, for declining another custom,
which helps to make us so much the stumbling-block of this light,
vain, and inconsiderate age.


     1. Another piece of nonconformity to the world, which is our
     simple and plain speech, thou for you.--2. Justified from the
     use of words and numbers, singular and plural.--3. It was,
     and is the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin speech, in schools and
     universities.--4. It is the language of all nations.--5. The
     original of the present customs defends our disuse of it.--6.
     If custom should prevail, in a sense it would be on our
     side.--7. It cannot be uncivil or improper, for God himself,
     the fathers, prophets, Christ, and his apostles used it.--8. An
     instance given in the case of Peter, in the palace of the high
     priest.--9. It is the practice of men to God in their prayers:
     the pride of man to expect better to himself.--10. Testimonies
     of several writers in vindication of us.--11. The Author's
     convictions; and his exhortation to his reader.

I. There is another piece of our nonconformity to the world, that
renders us very clownish to the breeding of it, and that is, _thou_
for _you_, and that without difference or respect to persons: a
thing that to some looks so rude it cannot well go down without
derision or wrath. But as we have the same original reason for
declining this, as the foregoing customs, so I shall add, what to me
looks reasonable in our defence; though it is very probable height
of mind, in some of those that blame us, will very hardly allow them
to believe that the word reasonable is reconcileable with so silly a
practice as this is esteemed.

II. Words of themselves are but as so many marks set and employed
for necessary and intelligible mediums, or means, whereby men may
understandingly express their minds and conceptions to each other:
from whence comes conversation. Now, though the world be divided
into many nations, each of which, for the most part, has a peculiar
language, speech, or dialect, yet have they ever concurred in the
same numbers and persons, as much of the ground of right speech.
For instance; _I love_, _thou lovest_, _he loveth_, are of singular
number, importing but one whether in the first, second, or third
person: also _we love_, _ye love_, _they love_, are of the plural
number, because in each is implied more than one. Which undeniable
grammatical rule, might be enough to satisfy any, that have not
forgotten their accidence, that we are not beside reason in our
practice. For if _thou lovest_, be singular, and _you love_, be
plural; and if _thou lovest_, signifies but one; and _you love_,
many; is it not as proper to say, _thou lovest_, to ten men, as to
say, _you love_, to _one_ man? Or, why not, _I love_, for _we love_;
and _we love_, instead of _I love_? Doubtless it is the same, though
most improper, and in speech ridiculous.

III. Our next reason is; if it be improper or uncivil speech, as
termed by this vain age, how comes it that the Hebrew, Greek, and
Roman authors, used in schools and universities, have no other? Why
should they not be a rule in that, as well as other things? And why,
I pray then, are we so ridiculous for being thus far grammatical? Is
it reasonable that children should be whipped at school for putting
you for thou, as having made false Latin; and yet that we must be,
though not whipped, reproached, and often abused, when we use the
contrary propriety of speech?

IV. But in the third place, it is neither improper nor uncivil,
but much otherwise; because it is used in all languages, speeches,
and dialects, and that through all ages. This is very plain: as
for example, it was God's language when he first spake to Adam,
viz. Hebrew: also it is the Assyrian, Chaldean, Grecian and Latin
speech. And now among the Turks, Tartars, Muscovites, Indians,
Persians, Italians, Spaniards, French, Dutch, Germans, Polonians,
Swedes, Danes, Irish, Scotch, Welsh, as well as English there is
a distinction preserved, and the word _thou_ is not lost in the
word which goes for _you_. And though some of the modern tongues
have done as we do, yet upon the same error. But by this it is
plain, that _thou_ is no upstart, nor yet improper, but the only
proper word to be used in all languages to a single person;
because otherwise all sentences, speeches, and discourses may be
very ambiguous, uncertain, and equivocal. If a jury pronounce a
verdict or a judge a sentence, three being at the bar, upon three
occasions, very differently culpable, and should say, You are here
guilty and to die; or innocent, and discharged: who knows who is
guilty or innocent? May be but one, perhaps two; or it may be, all
three: therefore our indictments run in the singular number, as
Hold up thy hand: thou art indicted by the name of, &c., for that
thou, not having the fear of God, &c. And it holds the same in
all conversation. Nor can this be avoided but by many unnecessary
circumlocutions. And as the preventing of such length and obscurity
was doubtless the first reason for the distinction, so cannot that
be justly disused till the reason be first removed; which can never
be whilst two are in the world.

V. But this is not all; it was first ascribed in way of flattery to
proud popes and emperors, imitating the heathens' vain homage to
their gods; thereby ascribing a plural honour to a single person:
as if one pope had been made up of many gods, and one emperor of
many men; for which reason, _you_ only to be used to many, became
first spoken to one. It seems the word _thou_ looked like too lean
and thin a respect; and therefore, some bigger than they should
be, would have a style suitable to their own ambition: a ground
we cannot build our practice on; for what began it only loves it
still. But supposing _you_ to be proper to a prince, it will not
follow it is to a common person. For his edict runs, _We will and
require_, because, perhaps, in conjunction with his council: and
therefore _you_ to a private person is an abuse of the word. But as
pride first gave it birth, so hath she only promoted it. Monsieur,
sir, and madam, were originally names given to none but the king,
his brother, and their wives, both in France and England; yet now
the ploughman in France is called monsieur, and his wife madame: and
men of ordinary trades in England, sir, and their wives, dame; which
is the legal title of a lady, or else mistress, which is the same
with madame in French. So prevalent hath pride and flattery been in
all ages, the one to give and the other to receive respects, as they
term it.

VI. But some will tell us, custom should rule us; and that is
against us. But it is easily answered, and more truly, that though
in things reasonable or indifferent, custom is obliging or harmless,
yet in things unreasonable or unlawful, she has no authority. For
custom can no more change numbers than genders, nor yoke _one_
and _you_ together, than make a man into a woman, or one into a
thousand. But if custom be to conclude us, it is for us; for as
custom is nothing more than ancient usage, I appeal to the practice
of mankind, from the beginning of the world, through all nations,
against the novelty of this confusion, viz. _you_ to one person. Let
custom, which is ancient practice and fact, issue this question.
Mistake me not: I know words are nothing, but as men give them a
value or force by use; but then, if you will discharge _thou_, and
that _you_ must succeed in its place, let us have a distinguishing
word instead of _you_ to be used in speech to many: but to use the
same word for one and many, when there are two, and that only to
please a proud and haughty humour in man, is not reasonable in our
sense: which we hope is Christian, though not modish.

VII. But if _thou_ to a single person be improper or uncivil, God
himself, all the holy fathers and prophets, Christ Jesus, and his
apostles, the primitive saints, all languages throughout the world,
and our own law proceedings are guilty; which, with submission, were
great presumption to imagine. Besides, we all know it is familiar
with most of our authors to preface their discourses to the reader
in the same language of thee and thou: as, Reader, thou art desired,
&c. Or, Reader, this is written to inform thee of the occasion,
&c. And it cannot be denied, that the most famous poems, dedicated
to love or majesty, are written in this style. Read of each in
Chaucer, Spenser, Waller, Cowley, Dryden, &c. Why then should it be
so homely, ill-bred, and insufferable in us? This, I conceive, can
never be answered.

VIII. I doubt not at all that something altogether as singular
attended the speech of Christ and his disciples: for I remember it
was urged upon Peter in the high priest's palace, as a proof of his
belonging to Jesus, when he denied his Lord: "Surely," said they,
"thou art also one of them: for thy speech bewrayeth thee." (Matt.
xxvi. 73.) They had guessed by his looks but just before that he had
been with Jesus; but when they discoursed with him, his language put
them all out of doubt: surely then he was one of them, and he had
been with Jesus. Something it was he had learned in his company that
was odd and observable; to be sure, not of the world's behaviour.
Without question, the garb, gait, and speech of his followers
differed, as well as his doctrine, from the world; for it was a part
of his doctrine it should be so. It is easy to believe they were
more plain, grave, and precise, which is more credible from the way
which poor, confident, fearful Peter took to disguise the business;
for he fell to cursing and swearing--a sad shift. But he thought
that the likeliest way to remove the suspicion, that was most unlike
Christ. And the policy took; for it silenced their objections, and
Peter was as orthodox as they. But though they found him not out,
the cock's crow did; which made Peter remember his dear suffering
Lord's words: and he went forth, and wept bitterly; that he had
denied his Master, who was then delivered up to die for him.

IX. But our last reason is of most weight with me, and because
_argumentum ad hominem_, it is most heavy with our despisers, which
is this: it should not therefore be urged upon us, because it is a
most extravagant piece of pride in a mortal man to require or expect
from his fellow-creature a more civil speech or grateful language,
than he is wont to give to the immortal God and his Creator in all
his worship to him. Art thou, O man, greater than he that made thee?
Canst thou approach the God of thy breath and great Judge of thy
life with _thou_ and _thee_, and when thou risest off thy knees,
scorn a Christian for giving to thee, poor mushroom of the earth,
no better language than thou hast given to God but just before? An
arrogancy not to be easily equalled! But again, it has either too
much or too little respect; if too much, do not reproach and be
angry, but gravely and humbly refuse it; if too little, why dost
thou show to God no more? O whither is man gone! To what a pitch
does he soar! He would be used more civilly by us than he uses God;
which is to have us make more than a God of him: but he shall want
worshippers of us, as well as he wants the divinity in himself
that deserves to be worshipped. Certain we are, that the Spirit
of God seeks not these respects, much less pleads for them, or
would be wroth with any that conscientiously refuse to give them.
But that this vain generation is guilty of using them, to gratify
a vain mind, is too palpable. What capping, what cringing, what
scraping, what vain, unmeant words, most hyperbolical expressions,
compliments, gross flatteries, and plain lies, under the name of
civilities, are men and women guilty of in conversation! Ah! my
friends! whence fetch you these examples? What part of all the
writings of the holy men of God warrants these things? But, to
come nearer to your own profession, is Christ your example herein,
whose name you pretend to bear; or those saints of old that lived
in desolate places, of whom the world was not worthy: (Heb. xi.
38:) or do you think you follow the practice of those Christians
that, in obedience to their Master's life and doctrine, forsook the
respect of persons, and relinquished the fashions, honour, and glory
of this transitory world; whose qualifications lay not in external
gestures, respects, and compliments, but in a meek and quiet spirit,
(1 Pet. iii. 4,) adorned with temperance, virtue, modesty, gravity,
patience, and brotherly kindness; which were the tokens of true
honour, and only badges of respect and nobility in those Christian
times? O no. But is it not to expose ourselves both to your contempt
and fury, that we imitate them, and not you? And tell us, pray, are
not romances, plays, masks, gaming, fiddlers, &c. the entertainments
that most delight you? Had you the spirit of Christianity indeed,
could you consume your most precious little time in so many
unnecessary visits, games, and pastimes; in your vain compliments,
courtships, feigned stories, flatteries, and fruitless novelties,
and what not; invented and used to your diversion, to make you easy
in your forgetfulness of God: which never was the Christian way of
living, but entertainment of the heathens that knew not God? Oh!
were you truly touched with a sense of your sins, and in any measure
born again; did you take up the cross of Jesus and live under it,
these, which so much please your wanton and sensual nature, would
find no place with you. This is not seeking the things that are
above, (Col. iii. 1,) to have the heart thus set on things that are
below; nor working out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
to spend your days in vanity. This is not crying with Elihu, "I
know not to give flattering titles to men; for in so doing my Maker
would soon take me away." This is not to deny self, and lay up a
more hidden and enduring substance, an eternal inheritance in the
heavens, that will not pass away. Well, my friends, whatever you
think, your plea of custom will find no place at God's tribunal:
the light of Christ in your own hearts will overrule it; and this
Spirit, against which we testify, shall then appear to be what we
say it is. Say not I am serious about slight things; but beware you
of levity in serious things.

X. Before I close, I shall add a few testimonies from men of
general credit, in favour of our nonconformity to the world in this

Luther, the great reformer, whose sayings were oracles with the
age he lived in, and of no less reputation now, with many that
object against us, was so far from condemning our plain speech,
that in his Ludus, he sports himself with _you_ to a single person
as an incongruous and ridiculous speech, viz. _Magister, vos estis
iratus?_ Master, are you angry? As absurd with him in Latin, as My
masters, art thou angry? is in English. Erasmus, a learned man,
and an exact critic in speech, than whom I know not any we may so
properly refer the grammar of the matter to, not only derides it,
but bestows a whole discourse upon rendering it absurd: plainly
manifesting that it is impossible to preserve numbers if _you_, the
only word for more than one, be used to express _one_: as also, that
the original of this corruption was the corruption of flattery.
Lipsius affirms of the ancient Romans, "That the manner of greeting
now in vogue was not in use amongst them." To conclude: Howel,
in his History of France, gives us an ingenious account of its
original; where he not only assures us, "That anciently the peasants
thou'd their kings, but that pride and flattery first put inferiors
upon paying a plural respect to the single person of every superior,
and superiors upon receiving it." And though we had not the practice
of God and man so undeniably to justify our plain and homely speech,
yet, since we are persuaded that its original was from pride and
flattery, we cannot in conscience use it. And however we may be
censured as singular by those loose and airy minds, that through
the continual love of earthly pleasures, consider not the true rise
and tendency of words and things; yet to us whom God has convinced
by his light and Spirit in our hearts of the folly and evil of such
courses, and brought into a spiritual discerning of the nature and
ground of the world's fashions, they appear to be fruits of pride
and flattery; and we dare not continue in such vain compliances to
earthly minds, lest we offend God, and burden our consciences. But
having been sincerely affected with the reproofs of instruction,
and our hearts being brought into a watchful subjection to the
righteous law of JESUS, so as to bring our deeds to the light,
(John, iii. 19-21,) to see in whom they are wrought, if in God or
not; we cannot, we dare not conform ourselves to the fashions of the
world that pass away; knowing assuredly, that "for every idle word
that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of
judgment." (Matt. xii. 36.)

XI. Wherefore, reader, whether thou art a night-walking Nicodemus,
or a scoffing scribe; one that would visit the blessed Messiah,
but in the dark customs of the world, that thou mightest pass as
undiscerned, for fear of bearing his reproachful cross; or else
a favourer of Haman's pride, and countest these testimonies but
a foolish singularity; I must say, Divine love enjoins me to be
a messenger of truth to thee, and a faithful witness against the
evil of this degenerate world, as in other, so in these things; in
which the spirit of vanity and lust hath got so great a head, and
lived so long uncontrolled, that it hath impudence enough to term
its darkness light, and to call its evil offspring by the names
due to a better nature, the more easily to deceive people into the
practice of them. And truly, so very blind and insensible are most
of what spirit they are, and ignorant of the meek and self-denying
life of holy Jesus, whose name they profess; that to call each other
Rabbi, that is, master; to bow to men, which I call worship; and
to greet with flattering titles, and to do their fellow-creatures
homage; to scorn that language to themselves that they give to God,
and to spend their time and estate to gratify their wanton minds;
the customs of the Gentiles, that knew not God, pass with them for
civility, good-breeding, decency, recreation, accomplishments, &c.
O that man would consider, since there are but two spirits, one
good, the other evil, which of them it is that inclines the world
to these things; and whether it be Nicodemus or Mordecai in thee,
that doth befriend these despised Christians, which makes thee
ashamed to disown that openly in conversation with the world, which
the true light hath made vanity and sin to thee in secret! Or if
thou art a despiser, tell me, I pray thee, what dost thou think thy
mockery, anger, or contempt dost most resemble, proud Haman, or
good Mordecai? My friend, know that no man hath more delighted in,
or been prodigal of those vanities called civilities than myself;
and could I have covered my conscience under the fashions of the
world, truly I had found a shelter from showers of reproach that
have fallen very often and thick upon me; but had I, with Joseph,
conformed to Egypt's customs, I had sinned against my God and lost
my peace. But I would not have thee think it is a mere _thou_ or
_title_ simply or nakedly in themselves we boggle at, or that we
would beget or set up any form inconsistent with sincerity or true
civility: there is but too much of that; but the esteem and value
the vain minds of men do put upon them, that ought to be crossed and
stripped of their delights, constrains us to testify so steadily
against them. And this know, from the sense God's Holy Spirit hath
begotten in us, that that which requires these customs, and begets
fear to leave them, and pleads for them, and is displeased, if not
used and paid, is the spirit of pride and flattery in the ground;
though frequency, use, or generosity may have abated its strength in
some: and this being discovered by the light that now shines from
heaven in the hearts of the despised Christians I have communion
with, necessitates them to this testimony; and myself, as one of
them and for them, in a reproof of the unfaithful, who would walk
undiscerned, though convinced to the contrary; and for an allay to
the proud despisers, who scorn us as a people guilty of affectation
and singularity. For the eternal God, who is great amongst us,
and on his way in the earth to make his power known, will root up
every plant that his right hand hath not planted. Wherefore let me
beseech thee, reader, to consider the foregoing reasons, which were
mostly given me from the Lord, in that time, when my condescension
to these fashions would have been purchased at almost any rate;
but the certain sense I had of their contrariety to the meek and
self-denying life of holy JESUS, required of me my disuse of them,
and faithful testimony against them. I speak the truth in Christ;
I lie not: I would not have brought myself under censure and
disdain for them, could I, with peace of conscience, have kept my
belief under a worldly behaviour. It was extremely irksome to me
to decline, and expose myself; but having an assured and repeated
sense of the original of these vain customs, that they rise from
pride, self-love, and flattery, I dared not gratify that mind in
myself or others. And for this reason it is, that I am earnest with
my readers to be cautious how they reprove us on this occasion;
and do once more entreat them that they would seriously weigh in
themselves, whether it be the spirit of the world or of the Father,
that is so angry with our honest, plain, and harmless _thou_ and
_thee_: that so every plant that God our heavenly Father hath not
planted in the sons and daughters of men may be rooted up.


     1. Pride leads people to an excessive value of their
     persons.--2. It is plain, from the racket that is made about
     blood and families: also in the case of shape and beauty.--3.
     Blood no nobility, but virtue.--4. Virtue no upstart: antiquity
     no nobility without it, else age and blood would bar virtue in
     the present age.--5. God teaches the true sense of nobility,
     who made of one blood all nations; there is the original of
     all blood.--6. These men of blood, out of their feathers, look
     like other men.--7. This is not said to reject, but humble
     the gentleman: the advantages of that condition above others.
     An exhortation to recover their lost economy in families,
     out of interest and credit.--8. But the author has a higher
     motive; the gospel, and the excellencies of it, which they
     profess.--9. The pride of persons respecting shape and beauty:
     the washes, patches, paintings, dresses, &c. This excess would
     keep the poor: the mischiefs that attend it.--10. But pride
     in the old and homely yet more hateful: that it is usual. The
     madness of it. Counsel to the beautiful to get their souls like
     their bodies; and to the homely to supply want of that in the
     adornment of their lasting part, their souls, with holiness.
     Nothing homely with God but sin. The blessedness of those that
     wear Christ's yoke and cross, and are crucified to the world.

I. But pride stops not here; she excites people to an excessive
value and care of their persons: they must have great and punctual
attendance, stately furniture, rich and exact apparel. All which
help to make up that pride of life that John tells us is not of
the Father, but of the world. (1 John, ii. 16.) A sin God charged
upon the haughty daughters of Zion, (Isaiah, iii.) and on the proud
prince and people of Tyrus. (Ezek. xxvii. xxviii.) Read these
chapters, and measure this age by their sins, and what is coming on
these nations by their judgments. But at the present I shall only
touch upon the first, viz. the excessive value people have of their
persons; leaving the rest to be considered under the last head of
this discourse, which is luxury, where they may be not improperly

II. That people are generally proud of their persons is too visible
and troublesome; especially if they have any pretence either to
blood or beauty; the one has raised many quarrels among men, and the
other among women, and men too often for their sakes and at their
excitements. But to the first: What a pother has this noble blood
made in the world:--antiquity of name or family, whose father, or
mother, great grandfather, or great grandmother was best descended
or allied:--what stock or what clan they came of:--what coat of
arms they gave:--which had, of right, the precedence! But methinks
nothing of man's folly has less show of reason to palliate it.

III. For, first, what matter is it of whom any one is descended,
that is not of ill fame: since it is his own virtue that must raise,
or vice depress him? An ancestor's character is no excuse to a man's
ill actions, but an aggravation of his degeneracy: and since virtue
comes not by generation, I neither am the better nor the worse for
my forefather; to be sure, not in God's account, nor should it be in
man's. Nobody would endure injuries the easier, or reject favours
the more, for coming by the hand of a man well or ill descended. I
confess it were greater honour to have had no blots, and with an
hereditary estate, to have had a lineal descent or worth; but that
was never found: no; not in the most blessed of families upon earth,
I mean Abraham's. To be descended of wealth and titles, fills no
man's head with brains or heart with truth: those qualities come
from a higher cause. It is vanity then and most condemnable pride
for a man of bulk and character to despise another of less size
in the world and of meaner alliance for want of them: because the
latter may have the merit, where the former has only the effects
of it in an ancestor: and though the one be great by means of a
forefather, the other is so too, but it is by his own: then, pray,
which is the braver man of the two?

IV. O, says the person proud of blood, It was never a good world
since we have had so many upstart gentlemen! But what should others
have said of that man's ancestor, when he started first up into
the knowledge of the world? For he, and all men and families, aye,
and all states and kingdoms too, have had their upstarts, that is,
their beginnings. This is being like the true church, because old,
not because good: for families to be noble by being old, and not by
being virtuous. No such matter: it must be age in virtue, or else
virtue before age; for otherwise a man should be noble by the means
of his predecessor, and yet the predecessor less noble than he,
because he was the acquirer: which is a paradox that will puzzle
all their heraldry to explain. Strange! that they should be more
noble than their ancestor that got their nobility for them! But if
this be absurd, as it is, then the upstart is the noble man: the
man that got it by his virtue; and those are only entitled to his
honour that are imitators of his virtue: the rest may bear his name
from his blood, but that is all. If virtue then give nobility, which
heathens themselves agree, then families are no longer truly noble
than they are virtuous. And if virtue go not by blood, but by the
qualifications of the descendants, it follows blood is excluded:
else blood would bar virtue; and no man that wanted the one, should
be allowed the benefit of the other: which were to stint and bound
nobility for want of antiquity, and make virtue useless.

No, let blood and name go together; but pray let nobility and virtue
keep company, for they are nearest of kin. It is thus profited by
God himself, that best knows how to apportion things with an equal
and just hand. He neither likes nor dislikes by descent; nor does He
regard what people were, but are. He remembers not the righteousness
of any man that leaves his righteousness; (Ezek. xviii.;) much less
any unrighteous man for the righteousness of his ancestor.

V. But if these men of blood please to think themselves concerned
to believe and reverence God in his holy Scriptures, they may learn
that "in the beginning He made of one blood all nations of men
to dwell upon all the earth;" (Acts, xvii. 26;) and that we all
descended from one father and mother. A more certain original than
the best of us can assign. From thence go down to Noah, who was the
second planter of the human race, and we are upon some certainty for
our forefathers. What violence has reaped or virtue merited since,
and how far we that are alive are concerned in either, will be hard
for us to determine but a very few ages off us.

VI. But, methinks it should suffice to say, our own eyes see that
men of blood, out of their gear and trappings, without their
feathers and finery, have no more marks of honour by nature stamped
upon them, than their inferior neighbours. Nay, themselves being
judges, they will frankly tell us, they feel all those passions in
their blood, that make them like other men, if not further from the
virtue that truly dignifies. The lamentable ignorance and debauchery
that now rages among too many of our greater sort of folks, is too
clear and casting an evidence in the point: and pray tell me of what
blood are they come?

VII. Howbeit, when I have said all this, I intend not, by debasing
one false quality, to make insolent another that is not true. I
would not be thought to set the churl on the present gentleman's
shoulder; by no means: his rudeness will not mend the matter. But
what I have written is to give aim to all where true nobility
dwells, that every one may arrive at it by the ways of virtue
and goodness. But for all this, I must allow a great advantage
to the gentleman, and therefore prefer his station: just as the
apostle Paul, who after he had humbled the Jews, that insulted the
Christians with their laws and rites, gave them the advantage over
all other nations in statutes and judgments. I must grant that the
condition of our great men is much to be preferred to the ranks of
our inferior people. For, first, they have more power to do good;
and if their hearts be equal to their ability, they are blessings
to the people of any country. Secondly, the eyes of the people
are usually directed to them; and if they will be kind, just, and
hopeful, they shall have their affections and services. Thirdly,
they are not under equal straits with the inferior sort; and
consequently they have more help, leisure, and occasion to polish
their passions and tempers with books and conversation. Fourthly,
they have more time to observe the actions of other nations: to
travel and view the laws, customs, and interests of other countries,
and bring home whatsoever is worthy or imitable. And so an easier
way is open for great men to get honour; and such as love true
reputation will embrace the best means to it. But because it too
often happens that great men do but little mind to give God the
glory of their prosperity, and to live answerable to his mercies;
but on the contrary, live without God in the world, fulfilling the
lusts thereof, his hand is often seen, either in impoverishing or
extinguishing them, and raising up men of more virtue and humility
to their estates and dignity. However, I must allow that among
people of this rank there have been some of them of more than
ordinary virtue, whose examples have given light to their families.
And it has been something natural for some of their descendants
to endeavour to keep up the credit of their houses in proportion
to the merit of their founder. And to say true, if there be any
advantage in such descent, it is not from blood but education:
for blood has no intelligence in it, and is often spurious and
uncertain; but education has a mighty influence and strong bias upon
the affections and actions of men. In this the ancient nobles and
gentry of this kingdom did excel: and it were much to be wished that
our great people would set about to recover the ancient economy of
their houses, the strict and virtuous discipline of their ancestors,
when men were honoured for their achievements, and when nothing more
exposed a man to shame, than being born to a nobility that he had
not a virtue to support.

VIII. O, but I have a higher motive! The glorious gospel of Jesus
Christ, which having taught this northern isle, and all ranks
professing to believe in it, let me prevail upon you to seek the
honour that it has brought from heaven, to all the true disciples of
it, who are indeed the followers of God's Lamb, that takes away the
sin of the world. (John, i. 29.) Receive with meekness his gracious
word into your hearts, that subdues the world's lusts, and leads
in the holy way to blessedness. Here are charms no carnal eye hath
seen, nor ear heard, nor heart perceived, but they are revealed to
such humble converts by his spirit. Remember you are but creatures,
and that you must die, and after all be judged.

IX. But personal pride ends not in nobility of blood; it leads
folks to a fond value of their persons, be they noble or ignoble;
especially if they have any pretence to shape or beauty. It is
admirable to see, how much it is possible for some to be taken with
themselves, as if nothing else deserved their regard, or the good
opinion of others. It would abate their folly, if they could find in
their hearts to spare but half the time to think of God and their
latter end, which they most prodigally spend in washing, perfuming,
painting, patching, attiring, and dressing. In these things they are
precise, and very artificial; and for cost they spare not. But that
which aggravates the evil is, the pride of one might comfortably
supply the need of ten. Gross impiety that it is, that a nation's
pride should not be spared to a nation's poor! But what is this
for at last? Only to be admired, to have reverence, draw love, and
command the eyes and affections of beholders. And so fantastic are
they in it, as hardly to be pleased too. Nothing is good, or fine,
or fashionable enough for them: the sun itself, the blessing of
heaven, and comfort of the earth, must not shine upon them, lest it
tan them; nor the wind blow, for fear it should disorder them. O
impious nicety! Yet while they value themselves above all else, they
make themselves the vassals of their own pride; worshipping their
shape, feature, or complexion, whichsoever is their excellency.
The end of all which, is but too often to excite unlawful love,
which I call lust, and draw one another into as miserable as evil
circumstances: in single persons it is of ill consequence; for if it
does not awaken unchaste desires, it lays no foundation for solid
and lasting union: the want of which helps to make so many unhappy
marriages in the world: but in married people the sin is aggravated;
for they have none of right to please, but one another; and to
affect the gaiety and vanity of youth, is an ill sign of loving and
living well at home: it looks rather like dressing for a market.
It has sad effects in families: discontents, partings, duels,
poisonings, and other infamous murders. No age can better tell us
the sad effects of this sort of pride than this we live in; as,
how excessively wanton, so how fatal it has been to the sobriety,
virtue, peace, and health of families in this kingdom.

X. But I must needs say, that of all creatures, this sort of
pride does least become the old and homely, if I may call the
ill-favoured and deformed so; for the old are proud only of what
they had, which shows, to their reproach, their pride has outlived
their beauty, and, when they should be repenting, they are making
work for repentance. But the homely are yet worse, they are proud
of what they never had, nor ever can have: nay, their persons seem
as if they were given for a perpetual humiliation to their minds;
and to be proud of them is loving pride for pride's sake, and to be
proud, without a temptation to be proud. And yet in my whole life I
have observed nothing more doting on itself: a strange infatuation
and enchantment of pride! What! Not to see right with their eyes,
because of the partiality of their minds? This self-love is blind
indeed. But to add expense to the vanity, and to be costly upon that
which cannot be mended, one would think they should be downright
mad; especially if they consider, that they look the homelier for
the things that are thought handsome, and do but thereby draw their
deformity more into notice, by that which does so little become them.

But in such persons' follies we have a specimen of man; what a
creature he is in his lapse from his primitive image. All this,
as Jesus said of sin of old, comes from within; (Mat. xv. 11-20;)
that is the disregard that men and women have to the word of their
Creator in their hearts; (Deut. xxx. 14; Rom. x. 8;) which shows
pride and teaches humility, and self-abasement, and directs the mind
to the true object of honour and worship; and that with an awe and
reverence suitable to his sovereignty and majesty. Poor mortals! But
living dirt! Made of what they tread on: who, with all their pride,
cannot secure themselves from the spoil of sickness, much less from
the stroke of death! O! did people consider the inconstancy of all
visible things, the cross and adverse occurrences of man's life, the
certainty of his departure, and eternal judgment, it is to be hoped
they would bring their deeds to Christ's light in their hearts,
(John, iii. 20, 21,) and they would see if they were wrought in God,
or not, as the beloved disciple tells us from his dear Master's
mouth. Art thou shapely, comely, beautiful--the exact draught of
a human creature? Admire that Power that made thee so. Live an
harmonious life to the curious make and frame of thy creation; and
let the beauty of thy body teach thee to beautify thy mind with
holiness, the ornament of the beloved of God. Art thou homely or
deformed; magnify that goodness that did not make thee a beast; and
with the grace that is given unto thee, for it has appeared unto
all, learn to adorn thy soul with enduring beauty. Remember the
King of heaven's daughter, the church, of which true Christians are
members, is all glorious within. And if thy soul excel, thy body
will only set off the lustre of thy mind. Nothing is homely in God's
sight but sin; and that man and woman that commune with their own
hearts, and sin not; who, in the light of holy Jesus, watch over the
movings and inclinations of their own souls, and that suppress every
evil in its conception, they love the yoke and cross of Christ, and
are daily by it crucified to the world, but live to God in that life
which outlives the fading satisfactions of it.


     1. The character of a proud man: a glutton upon himself: is
     proud of his pedigree.--2. He is insolent and quarrelsome,
     but cowardly, yet cruel.--3. An ill child, subject, and
     servant.--4. Inhospitable.--5. No friend to any.--6. Dangerous
     and mischievous in power.--7. Of all things, pride bad in
     ministers.--8. They claim prerogative above others.--9. And call
     themselves the clergy: their lordliness and avarice.--10. Death
     swallows all.--11. The way to escape these evils.

I. To conclude this great head of pride, let us briefly see, upon
the whole matter, what is the character of a proud man in himself,
and in divers relations and capacities. A proud man then is a kind
of glutton upon himself; for he is never satisfied with loving and
admiring himself; whilst nothing else, with him, is worthy either
of love or care: if good enough to be the servant of his will, it
is as much as he can find in his heart to allow: as if he had been
only made for himself, or rather that he had made himself. For as
he despises man, because he cannot abide an equal, so he does not
love God, because he would not have a superior: he cannot bear to
owe his being to another, lest he should thereby acknowledge one
above himself. He is one that is mighty big with the honour of his
ancestors, but not of the virtue that brought them to it; much less
will he trouble himself to imitate them. He can tell you of his
pedigree, his antiquity, what estate, what matches; but forgets that
they are gone, and that he must die too.

II. But how troublesome a companion is a proud man! Ever positive
and controlling; and if you yield not, insolent and quarrelsome: yet
at the upshot of the matter, cowardly: but if strongest, cruel. He
feels no more of other men's miseries than if he were not a man, or
it were a sin to be sensible. For not feeling himself interested, he
looks no further; he will not disquiet his thoughts with other men's
infelicities; it shall content him to believe they are just: and he
had rather churlishly upbraid them as the cause, than be ready to
commiserate or relieve them. So that compassion and charity are with
him as useless as humility and meekness are hateful.

III. A proud man makes an ill child, servant, and subject; he
contemns his parents, master, and prince; he will not be subject. He
thinks himself too wise, or too old, to be directed; as if it were a
slavish thing to obey; and that none were free that may not do what
they please; which turns duty out of doors and degrades authority.
On the other hand, if he be a husband, or father, or master, there
is scarcely any enduring: he is so insufferably curious and testy
that it is an affliction to live with him; for hardly can any hand
carry it even enough to please him. Some peccadillo about his
clothes, his diet, his lodging, or attendance quite disorders him:
but especially if he fancies any want of the state and respect he
looks for. Thus pride destroys the nature of relations: on the
one side, learns to contemn duty; and on the other side, it turns
love into fear, and makes the wife a servant, and the children and
servants slaves.

IV. But the proud man makes an ill neighbour too; for he is an enemy
to hospitality: he despises to receive kindness, because he would
not show any, nor be thought to need it. Besides, it looks too equal
and familiar for his haughty humour. Emulation and detraction are
his element; for he is jealous of attributing any praise to others,
where just; lest that should cloud and lessen him, to whom it never
could be due: he is the man that fears, what he should wish, to wit,
that others should do well. But that is not all; he maliciously
miscalls their acts of virtue, which his corruptions will not let
him imitate, that they may get no credit by them. If he wants any
occasion of doing mischief, he can make one: either they use him
ill, or have some design upon him; the other day they paid him not
the cap and knee; the distance and respect he thinks his quality,
parts, or merits do require. A small thing serves a proud man to
pick a quarrel; of all creatures the most jealous, sullen, spiteful
and revengeful: he can no more forgive an injury, than forbear to do

V. Nor is this all: a proud man can never be a friend to anybody.
For besides that his ambition may always be bribed by honour and
preferment to betray that relation, he is unconversable; he must not
be catechised and counselled, much less reproved or contradicted:
no, he is too covetous of himself to spare another man a share,
and much too high, stiff, and touchy: he will not away with those
freedoms that a real friendship requires. To say true, he contemns
the character; it is much too familiar and humble for him: his
mighty soul would know nothing besides himself and vassals to stock
the world. He values other men, as we do cattle, for their service
only; and, if he could, would use them so; but as it happens, the
number and force are unequal.

VI. But a proud man in power is very mischievous; for his pride is
the more dangerous by his greatness, since from ambition in private
men, it becomes tyranny in him: it would reign alone; nay live so,
rather than have competitors: _Aut Cæsar, aut nullus_. Reason must
not check it, nor rules of law limit it; and either it can do no
wrong, or it is sedition to complain of the wrong that it does. The
men of this temper would have nothing thought amiss they do; at
least, they count it dangerous to allow it to be so, though so it
be; for that would imply they had erred, which it is always matter
of state to deny: no, they will rather choose to perish obstinately,
than by acknowledging, yield away the reputation of better judging
to inferiors, though it were their prudence to do so. And indeed, it
is all the satisfaction that proud great men make to the world for
the miseries they often bring upon it, that, first or last, upon a
division, they leave their real interest to follow some one excess
of humour, and are almost ever destroyed by it. This is the end
pride gives proud men, and the ruin it brings upon them, after it
has punished others by them.

VII. But above all things, pride is intolerable in men pretending
to religion; and of them in ministers; for they are names of the
greatest contradiction. I speak without respect or anger, to persons
or parties; for I only touch upon the bad of all. What shall pride
do with religion, that rebukes it? Or ambition with ministers, whose
very office is humility? And yet there are but too many of them,
that, besides an equal guilt with others in the fleshly pride of the
world, are even proud of that name and office, which ought always
to remind them of self-denial. Yea, they use it as the beggars do
the name of God and Christ, only to get by it: placing to their own
account the advantages of that reverend profession, and thereby
making their function but a political handle to raise themselves
to the great preferments of the world. But O then! how can such be
his ministers, that said, "My kingdom is not of this world"? (John,
xviii. 36.) Who, of mankind, more self-conceited than these men? If
contradicted, as arrogant and angry, as if it were their calling to
be so. Counsel one of them, he scorns you: reprove him, and he is
almost ready to excommunicate you: 'I am a minister and an elder:'
flying thither to secure himself from the reach of just censure,
which indeed exposes him but the more to it: and therefore his fault
cannot be the less, by how much it is worse in a minister to do ill,
and spurn at reproof, than an ordinary man.

VIII. O, but he pleads an exemption by his office: what! Shall he
breed up chickens to pick out his own eyes! Be rebuked or instructed
by a layman or parishioner! A man of less age, learning, or ability!
No such matter: he would have us believe that his ministerial
prerogative has placed him out of the reach of popular impeachment.
He is not subject to vulgar judgments. Even questions about
religion are schism: believe as he says: it is not for you to pry
so curiously into the mysteries of religion: never good day since
laymen meddle so much with the minister's office. Not considering,
poor man, that the contrary is most true: not many good days since
ministers meddled so much in laymen's business. Though perhaps there
is little reason for this distinction, besides spiritual gifts, and
the improvement of them by a diligent use of them for the good of

Such good sayings as these, Be ready to teach: answer with meekness:
let every man speak as of the gift of God that is in him: if
anything be revealed to him that sits by, let the first hold his
peace: be not lords over God's heritage, but meek and lowly; washing
the feet of the people, (1 Cor. xiv. 30,) as Jesus did those of his
poor disciples;--are unreasonable and antiquated instructions with
some clergy, and it is little less than heresy to remind them of
these things: a mark of great disaffection to the church in their
opinion. For by this time their pride has made them the church, and
the people but the porch at best; a cipher that signifies nothing,
unless they clap their figure before it: forgetting, that if they
were as good as they should be, they could be but ministers,
stewards, and under-shepherds; that is, servants to the church,
family, flock, and heritage of God: and not that they are that
church, family, flock, and heritage, which they are only servants
unto. Remember the words of Christ, "Let him that would be greatest
be your servant." (Mat. xx. 26.)

IX. There is but one place to be found in the Holy Scripture, where
the word _Clerus_, can properly be applied to the church, and they
have got it to themselves; from whence they call themselves the
clergy, that is, the inheritance or heritage of God. Whereas Peter
exhorts the ministers of the gospel, "Not to be lords over God's
heritage, nor to feed them for filthy lucre." (1 Peter, v. 2,
3.) Peter belike, foresaw pride and avarice to be the ministers'
temptations; and indeed they have often proved their fall: and to
say true, they could hardly fall by worse. Nor is there any excuse
to be made for them in these two respects, which is not worse than
their sin. For if they have not been lords over God's heritage, it
is because they have made themselves that heritage, and disinherited
the people: so that now they may be the people's lords, with a
_salvo_ to good old Peter's exhortation.

And for the other sin of avarice, they can only avoid it, and speak
truth thus; that never feeding the flock, they cannot be said to
feed it for lucre: that is, they get the people's money for nothing.
An example of which is given us, by the complaint of God himself,
from the practice of the proud, covetous, false prophets of old,
that the people gave their money for that which was not bread, and
their labour for that which did not profit them: (Isaiah, lv. 2:)
And why? Because then the priest had no vision; and too many now
despise it.

X. But alas! when all is done, what folly, as well as irreligion, is
there in pride! It cannot add one cubit to any man's stature: what
crosses can it hinder? What disappointments help, or harm frustrate?
It delivers not from the common stroke; sickness disfigures, pain
misshapes, and death ends the proud man's fabric. Six feet of cold
earth bounds his big thoughts; and his person, that was too good
for any place, must at last lodge within the streight limits of so
little and so dark a cave: and he who thought nothing well enough
for him, is quickly the entertainment of the lowest of all animals,
even worms themselves. Thus pride and pomp come to the common end;
but with this difference, less pity from the living, and more pain
to the dying. The proud man's antiquity cannot secure him from
death, nor his heraldry from judgment. Titles of honour vanish at
this extremity; and no power or wealth, no distance or respect, can
rescue or insure them. As the tree falls, it lies; and as death
leaves men, judgment finds them.

XI. O! what can prevent this ill conclusion? And what can remedy
this woeful declension from ancient meekness, humility, and piety,
and that godly life and power which were so conspicuous in the
authority of the preachings and examples of the living, of the first
and purest ages of Christianity? Truly, nothing but an inward and
sincere examination, by the testimony of the holy light and spirit
of JESUS, of the condition of their souls and minds towards Christ,
and a better inquiry into the matter and examples of holy record.
It was his complaint of old, "that light is come into the world,
and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were
evil." (John, iii. 19.) If thou wouldst be a child of God, and a
believer in Christ, thou must be a child of Light. O man, thou must
bring thy deeds to it and examine them by that holy lamp in thy
soul, which is the candle of the Lord, that shows thee thy pride and
arrogancy, and reproves thy delight in the vain fashions of this
world. Religion is a denial of self; yea, of self-religion too.
It is a firm tie or bond upon the soul to holiness, whose end is
happiness; for by it men come to see the Lord. The pure in heart,
says JESUS, see God: (Matt. v. 8:) he that once comes to bear
Christ's yoke, is not carried away by the devil's allurements; he
finds excelling joys in his watchfulness and obedience. If men loved
the cross of Christ, his precepts and doctrine, they would cross
their own wills, which lead them to break Christ's holy will, and
lose their own souls, in doing the devil's. Had Adam minded that
holy light in Paradise more than the serpent's bait; and stayed his
mind upon his Creator, the rewarder of fidelity, he had seen the
snare of the enemy, and resisted him. O do not delight in that which
is forbidden! Look not upon it, if thou wouldst not be captivated by
it. Bring not the guilt of sins of knowledge upon thy own soul. Did
Christ submit his will to his Father's, and for the joy that was set
before him, endure the cross and despise the shame (Heb. xii. 2) of
a new and untrodden way to glory? Thou also must submit thy will to
Christ's holy law and light in thy heart, and for the reward He sets
before thee, to wit, eternal life, endure his cross, and despise the
shame of it. All desire to rejoice with Him, but few will suffer
with Him, or for Him. Many are the companions of his table; not many
of his abstinence. The loaves they follow, but the cup of his agony
they leave: it is too bitter, they like not to drink thereof. And
divers will magnify his miracles, that are offended at the ignominy
of his cross. But O man, as He, for thy salvation, so thou, for the
love of Him, must humble thyself, (Phil. ii. 7,) and be contented to
be of no reputation, that thou mayest follow Him, not in a carnal,
formal way, of vain man's tradition and prescription, but as the
Holy Ghost, by the apostle, doth express it, in a new and living
way, (Heb. x. 19, 20,) which Jesus had consecrated, that brings all
that walk in it to the eternal rest of God: whereunto He himself is
entered, who is the holy and only blessed Redeemer.


     1. Avarice, the second capital lust, its definition and
     distinction.--2. It consists in a desire of unlawful things.--3.
     As in David's case about Uriah's wife.--4. Also Ahab's about
     Naboth's vineyard.--5. Next, in unlawful desires of lawful
     things.--6. Covetousness is a mark of false prophets.--7.
     A reproach to religion.--8. An enemy to government.--9.
     Treacherous.--10. Oppressive.--11. Judas an example.--12.
     So Simon Magus.--13. Lastly, in unprofitable hoarding
     of money.--14. The covetous man a common evil.--15. His
     hypocrisy.--16. Gold his god.--17. He is sparing, to death.--18.
     Is reproved by Christ and his followers.--19. Ananias' and
     Sapphira's sin and judgment.--20. William Tindall's discourse
     on that subject referred unto.--21. Peter Charron's testimony
     against it.--22. Abraham Cowley's witty and sharp satire upon it.

I. I am come to the second part of this discourse, which is avarice,
or covetousness, an epidemic and a raging distemper in the world,
attended with all the mischiefs that can make men miserable in
themselves, and in society; so near akin to the foregoing evil,
pride, that they are seldom apart: Liberality being almost as
hateful to the proud, as to the covetous, I shall define it thus:
Covetousness is the love of money or riches; (Ephes. v. 3, 5;)
which, as the apostle hath it, "is the root of all evil." (1 Tim.
vi. 9, 10.) It branches itself into these three parts: first,
desiring of unlawful things; secondly, unlawfully desiring of lawful
things; and lastly, hoarding up, or unprofitably withholding the
benefit of them from the relief of private persons, or the public.
I shall first deliver the sense of Scripture, and what examples are
therein afforded against this impiety: and next, my own reasons,
with some authorities from authors of credit. By which it will
appear, that the working of the love of riches out of the hearts
of people, is as much the business of the cross of Christ, as the
rooting out of any one sin that man is fallen into.

II. And first, of desiring, or coveting of unlawful things: it is
expressly forbidden by God himself, in the law He delivered to
Moses upon Mount Sinai, for a rule to his people the Jews to walk
by: "Thou shalt not covet," said God, "thy neighbour's house: thou
shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his
maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy
neighbour's." (Exodus, xx.) This God confirmed by thundering and
lightnings, and other sensible solemnities, to strike the people
with more awe in receiving and keeping of it, and to make the breach
of these moral precepts more terrible to them. Micah complains in
his time, "They covet fields, and take them by violence;" (Mic. ii.
2;) but their end was misery. Therefore was it said of old, "Woe to
them that covet an evil covetousness:" this is to our point. We have
many remarkable instances of this in Scripture; two of which I will
briefly report.

III. David, though otherwise a good man, by unwatchfulness is taken;
the beauty of Uriah's wife was too hard for him, being disarmed,
and off from his spiritual watch. There was no dissuasive would do;
Uriah must be put upon a desperate service, where it was great odds
if he survived it. This was to hasten the unlawful satisfaction
of his desires, by a way that looked not like direct murder. The
contrivance took; Uriah is killed, and his wife is quickly David's.
This interpreted David's covetousness. But went it off so? No, his
pleasure soon turned to anguish and bitterness of spirit: his soul
was overwhelmed with sorrow: the waves went over his head: (Psalm
li. lxxvii. xlii. 7:) he was consumed within him: he was stuck
in the mire and clay; he cried, he wept: yea, his eyes were as a
fountain of tears. (Ibid. lxix. 2, 14.) Guiltiness was upon him,
and he must be purged; his sins washed white as snow, that were as
red as crimson, or he is undone for ever. His repentance prevailed:
behold, what work this part of covetousness makes! What evil! What
sorrow! O that the people of this covetousness would let the sense
of David's sorrow sink deep into their souls, that they might come
to David's salvation! Restore me, saith that good man: it seems he
once knew a better state: yes, and this may teach the better sort to
fear, and stand in awe too, lest they sin and fall. For David was
taken at a disadvantage; he was off his watch, and gone from the
cross; the law was not his lamp and light, at that instant; he was a
wanderer from his safety, his strong tower, and so surprised: then
and there it was the enemy met him, and vanquished him.

IV. The second instance is that of Naboth's vineyard: (1 Kings,
xxi.:) it was coveted by Ahab and Jezebel: that, which led them to
such an unlawful desire, found means to accomplish it. Naboth must
die, for he would not sell it. To do it they accuse the innocent man
of blasphemy, and find two knights of the post, sons of Belial, to
evidence against him. Thus, in the name of God, and in show of pure
zeal to his glory, Naboth must die; and accordingly was stoned to
death. The news of which coming to Jezebel, she bid Ahab arise and
take possession, for Naboth was dead. But God followed both of them
with his fierce vengeance. "In the place where the dogs licked the
blood of Naboth," said Elijah, in the name of the Lord, "shall dogs
lick thy blood, even thine; and I will bring evil upon thee, and
take away thy posterity;" and of Jezebel, his wife and partner in
his covetousness and murder, he adds, "The dogs shall eat her flesh
by the walls of Jezreel." Here is the infamy and punishment due to
this part of covetousness. Let this deter those that desire unlawful
things, the rights of others: for God that is just, will certainly
repay such with interest in the end. But perhaps these are few;
either that they do not, or dare not show it, because the law will
bite if they do. But the next part hath company enough, that will
yet exclaim against the iniquity of this part of covetousness; and
by their seeming abhorrence of it, would excuse themselves of all
guilt in the rest: let us consider that.

V. The next, and most common part of covetousness is the unlawful
desire of lawful things; especially of riches. Money is lawful, but
the love of it is the root of all evil. So riches are lawful, but
they that pursue them, fall into divers temptations, snares, and
lusts; He calls them uncertain, to show their folly and danger,
that set their hearts upon them. Covetousness is hateful to God;
he hath denounced great judgments upon those that are guilty of
it. God charged it on Israel of old, as one of the reasons of his
judgments; "For the iniquity of his covetousness," saith God, "was
I wroth and smote him." (Isai. lvii. 17.) In another place, "Every
one is given to covetousness, and from the prophet to the priest,
every one dealeth falsely;" (Jer. vi. 13;) "therefore will I give
their wives unto others, and their fields to them that shall inherit
them." (Ibid. viii. 10.) In another place God complained thus: "But
thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness." (Chap.
xxii. 17.) By Ezekiel, God renews and repeats his complaint against
their covetousness: "And they come to thee as the people cometh, and
sit before thee as my people: they hear thy words, but will not do
them; with their mouths they show much love, but their heart goeth
after their covetousness." (Ezek. xxxiii. 31.) Therefore God, in
the choice of magistrates, made it part of their qualification, to
hate covetousness; foreseeing the mischief that would follow to
that society or government where covetous men were in power; that
self would bias them, and they would seek their own ends at the
cost of the public. David desired, that his heart might not incline
to covetousness, but to the testimonies of his God. (Psalm cxix.
36.) And the wise man expressly tells us, that "he that hateth
covetousness shall prolong his days:" (Prov. xxviii. 16:) making a
curse to follow it. And it is by Luke charged upon the Pharisees as
a mark of their wickedness: and Christ, in that evangelist, bids
his followers "Take heed and beware of covetousness:" (Luke, xii.
15:) and he giveth a reason for it that carrieth a most excellent
instruction in it; for, saith he, "a man's life consisteth not in
the abundance of the things which he possesseth:" (Mark, vii. 21,
22:) but he goeth further; he joins covetousness with adultery,
murder, and blasphemy. No wonder then if the apostle Paul is
so liberal in his censure of this evil: he placeth it with all
unrighteousness, to the Romans; to the Ephesians he writeth the
like, adding, "Let not covetousness be so much as named among you:"
(Rom. i. 29; Eph. v. 3:) and bids the Colossians mortify their
members; (Col. iii. 5;) and names several sins, as fornication,
uncleanness, and such like, but ends with covetousness: which, saith
he, is idolatry. And we know there is not a greater offence against
God: nay, this very apostle calls "the love of money the root of
all evil;" "which," said he, "whilst some have coveted after, they
have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many
sorrows. For they that will be rich, fall into temptation, and a
snare, and many foolish and hurtful lusts. O man of God," saith he
to his beloved friend Timothy, "flee these things, and follow after
righteousness, faith, patience, and meekness," (1 Tim. vi. 9-11.)

VI. Peter was of the same mind; for he maketh covetousness to be
one of the great marks of the false prophets and teachers that
should arise among Christians, and by that they might know them,
"who," saith he, "through covetousness shall with feigned words
make merchandise of you." (2 Peter, ii. 3.) To conclude, therefore,
the author to the Hebrews, at the end of his epistle, leaves this,
with other things, not without great zeal and weight upon them:
"Let," says he, "your conversation be without covetousness;" (Heb.
xiii. 5;) he rests not in this generality, but goes on, "and be
content with such things as ye have; for God hath said, I will
never leave thee nor forsake thee." What then? Must we conclude
that those who are not content, but seek to be rich, have forsaken
God? The conclusion seems hard; but yet it is natural; for such,
it is plain, are not content with what they have; they would have
more: they covet to be rich, if they may: they live not with that
dependence and regard to Providence to which they are exhorted, nor
is godliness, with content, great gain to them.

VII. And truly it is a reproach to a man, especially to a religious
man, that he knows not when he hath enough; when to leave off; when
to be satisfied: that notwithstanding God sends him one plentiful
season of grain after another, he is so far from making that the
cause of withdrawing from the traffic of the world, that he makes
it a reason for launching further into it; as if the more he hath,
the more he may. He therefore reneweth his appetite, bestirs himself
more than ever, that he may have a share in the scramble, while
anything is to be got: this is as if cumber, not retirement; and
gain, not content, were the duty and comfort of a Christian. O that
this thing were better considered! for by not being so observable
nor obnoxious to the law, as other vices are, there is more danger
for want of that check. It is plain that most people strive not for
substance, but for wealth. Some there be that love it strongly, and
spend it liberally when they have got it. Though this be sinful, yet
more commendable than to love money for money's sake; that is one
of the basest passions the mind of man can be captivated with; a
perfect lust; and a greater, and more soul-defiling one there is not
in the whole catalogue of concupiscence. Which considered, should
quicken people into a serious examination, how far this temptation
of love of money hath entered them; and the rather because the
steps it maketh into the mind, are almost insensible, which renders
the danger greater. Thousands think themselves unconcerned in the
caution, that yet are perfectly guilty of the evil. Now can it be
otherwise, when those that have, from a low condition, acquired
thousands, labour yet to advance, yea, double and treble those
thousands; and that with the same care and contrivance by which they
got them? Is this to live comfortably, or to be rich? Do we not
see how early they rise; how late they go to bed? How full of the
change, the shop, the warehouse, the custom-house; of bills, bonds,
charter-parties, &c. they are? Running up and down, as if it were
to save the life of a condemned innocent. An insatiable lust, and
therein ungrateful to God, as well as hurtful to men, who giveth
it to them to use, and not to love: that is, the abuse. And if
this care, contrivance, and industry, and that continually, be not
from the love of money in those that have ten times more than they
began with, and much more than they spend or need, I know not what
testimony man can give of his love for anything.

VIII. To conclude: It is an enemy to government in magistrates; for
it tends to corruption. Wherefore those that God ordained were such
as feared Him and hated covetousness. Next, it hurts society: for
old traders keep the young ones poor: and the great reason why some
have too little, and so are forced to drudge like slaves to feed
their families, and keep their chin above the water, is, because the
rich hold fast and press to be richer, and covet more, which dries
up the little streams of profit from smaller folks. There should be
a standard, both as to the value and time of traffic; and then the
trade of the master to be shared among his servants that deserve it.
This were both to help the young to get their livelihood, and to
give the old time to think of leaving this world well, in which they
have been so busy, that they might obtain a share in the other, of
which they have been so careless.

IX. There is yet another mischief to government; for covetousness
leads men to abuse and defraud it, by concealing or falsifying the
goods they deal in: as bringing in forbidden goods by stealth: or
lawful goods, so as to avoid the payment of dues, or owning the
goods of enemies for gain; or that they are not well made, or full
of measure; with abundance of that sort of deceit.

X. But covetousness has caused destructive feuds in families; for
estates falling into the hands of those whose avarice has put them
upon drawing greater profit to themselves than was consistent
with justice, has given birth to much trouble, and caused great
oppression; it too often falling out, that such executors have kept
the right owners out of possession with the money they should pay

XI. But this is not all; for covetousness betrays friendship; a
bribe cannot be better placed to do an ill thing, or undo a man.
Nay, it is too often a murderer both of soul and body; of the soul,
because it kills that life it should have in God: where money
masters the mind, it extinguishes all love to better things: of the
body, for it will kill for money, by assassinations, poisons, false
witness, &c. I shall end this head on covetousness, with the sin
and doom of two covetous men, Judas, and Simon the sorcerer.

Judas's religion fell in thorny ground: love of money choked him.
Pride and anger in the Jews endeavoured to murder Christ; but till
covetousness set her hand to effect it, they were all at a loss.
They found Judas had the bag, and probably loved money; they would
try him, and did. The price was set, and Judas betrays his Master,
his Lord, into the hands of his most cruel adversaries. But to do
him right he returned the money, and to be revenged on himself, was
his own hangman. A wicked act, a wicked end. Come on, you covetous:
what say you now to brother Judas? was he not an ill man? did he
not very wickedly? Yes, yes: would you have done so? No, no: by
no means. Very well; but so said those wicked Jews of stoning the
prophets, and that yet crucified the beloved Son of God; He that
came to save them, and would have done it, if they had received
Him, and not rejected the day of their visitation. Rub your eyes
well, for the dust is got into them; and carefully read in your
own consciences, and see if, out of love to money, you have not
betrayed the Just One in yourselves, and so are brethren with
Judas in iniquity. I speak for God against an idol; bear with me.
Have you not resisted, yea, quenched the good Spirit of Christ in
your pursuit after your beloved wealth? Examine yourselves, try
yourselves; know ye not your own selves: if Christ dwell not, if He
rule not, and be not above all beloved in you, ye are reprobates: in
an undone condition! (2 Cor. xiii. 5.)

XII. The other covetous man is Simon the sorcerer, a believer too:
but his faith could not go deep enough for covetousness. (Acts,
viii. 9-24.) He would have driven a bargain with Peter: so much
money for so much Holy Ghost; that he might sell it again, and make
a good trade of it; corruptly measuring Peter by himself, as if
he had only a better knack of cozening the people than himself,
who had set up in Samaria for the great power of God, before the
power of God in Philip and Peter undeceived the people. But what
was Peter's answer and judgment? "Thy money," says he, "perish
with thee; thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: thou art
in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity." A dismal
sentence. Besides, covetousness tends to luxury, and rises often out
of it: for from having much, they spend much, and so become poor by
luxury: such are covetous to get, to spend more, which temperance
would prevent. For if men would not, or could not, by good laws well
executed, and a better education, be so lavish in their tables,
houses, furniture, apparel, and gaming, there would be no such
temptation to covet earnestly after what they could not spend: for
there is but here and there a miser that loves money for money's

XIII. Which leads to the last and basest part of covetousness,
which is yet the most sordid, to wit, hoarding up, or keeping money
unprofitably, both to others and themselves too. This is Solomon's
miser, that makes himself rich, and hath nothing: (Prov. xiii.
7:) a great sin in the sight of God. He complained of such as had
stored up the labours of the poor in their houses; he calls it
their spoils, and it is a grinding of the poor, because they see
it not again. But he blesseth those that consider the poor, and
commandeth every one, to open freely to his brother that is in need;
(Psalm xli. 1; Deut. xv. 7, 8;) not only he that is spiritually,
but naturally so; and not to withhold his gift from the poor. The
apostle chargeth Timothy, in the sight of God, and before Jesus
Christ, that "he fail not to charge them that are rich in this
world, that they trust not in their uncertain riches, but in the
living God, who giveth liberally; and that they do good with
them, that they may be rich in good works." (1 Tim. vi. 17, 18.)
Riches are apt to corrupt; and that which keeps them sweet and best
is charity: he that uses them not gets them not for the end for
which they are given, but loves them for themselves, and not their
service. The miser is poor in his wealth: he wants for fear of
spending; and increases his fear with his hope, which is his gain;
and so tortures himself with his pleasure; the most like to the
man that hid his talent in a napkin, of all others, for this man's
talents are hid in his bags out of sight, in vaults, under boards,
behind wainscots: else upon bonds and mortgages, growing but as
underground; for it is good to none.

XIV. The covetous man hates all useful arts and sciences as vain,
lest they should cost him something the learning: wherefore
ingenuity has no more place in his mind than in his pocket. He lets
houses fall, to prevent the charge of repairs: and for his spare
diet, plain clothes, and mean furniture, he would place them to the
account of moderation. O monster of a man! that can take up the
cross for covetousness, and not for Christ.

XV. But he pretends negatively to some religion too; for he always
rails at prodigality, the better to cover his avarice. If you would
bestow a box of spikenard on a good man's head; to save money, and
to seem righteous, he tells you of the poor: but if the poor come,
he excuses his want of charity with the unworthiness of the object,
or the causes of his poverty, or that he can bestow his money upon
those that deserve it better; who rarely opens his purse till
quarter-day for fear of losing it.

XVI. But he is more miserable than the poorest; for he enjoys not
what he yet fears to lose; they fear not what they do not enjoy.
Thus is he poor by overvaluing his wealth: but he is wretched that
hungers with money in a cook's shop: yet having made a god of his
gold, who knows, but he thinks it unnatural to eat what he worships?

XVII. But, which aggravates this sin, I have myself once known some,
that to get money have wearied themselves into the grave; and to
be true to their principle, when sick would not spare a fee to a
doctor, to help the poor slave to live; and so died to save charges:
a constancy that canonizes them martyrs for money.

XVIII. But now let us see what instances the Scripture will give us
in reproof of the sordid hoarders and hiders of money. A good-like
young man came to Christ, and inquired the way to eternal life:
Christ told him, he knew the commandments: he replied, he had kept
them from his youth: it seems he was no loose person, and indeed
such are usually not so, to save charges. And "yet lackest thou one
thing," saith Christ; "sell all, distribute it to the poor, and thou
shalt have treasure in heaven, and come and follow Me." It seems
Christ pinched him in the sore place; He hit the mark, and struck
him to the heart: who knew his heart; by this He tried how well he
had kept the commandment, "To love God above all." It was said, the
young man was very sorrowful, and went his way; and the reason which
is given is, that he was very rich. The tides met, money and eternal
life: contrary desires: but which prevailed? Alas! his riches. But
what said Christ to this? How hardly shall they that have riches
enter into the kingdom of God! He adds, "It is easier for a camel to
go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom
of heaven:" that is, such a rich man, to wit, a covetous rich man,
to whom it is hard to do good with what he has: it is more than a
miracle: O who then would be rich and covetous! It was upon these
rich men that Christ pronounced his woe, saying, "Woe unto you that
are rich, for ye have received your consolation here." What! none
in the heavens? No, unless you become willing to be poor men, can
resign all, live loose to the world, have it at arm's end, yea,
under foot; a servant, and not a master.

XIX. The other instance is a very dismal one too: it is that of
Ananias and Sapphira. In the beginning of the apostolical times, it
was customary for those who received the word of life, to bring what
substance they had and lay it at the apostles' feet: of these Joses,
surnamed Barnabas, was exemplary. Among the rest, Ananias and his
wife Sapphira, confessing to the truth, sold their possession, but
covetously reserved some of the purchase-money from the common purse
to themselves, and brought a part for the whole, and laid it at the
apostles' feet. But Peter, a plain and bold man, in the majesty of
the Spirit, said, "Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to
lie to the Holy Ghost; and to keep back part of the price of the
land? Whilst it remained, was it not thine own? And after it was
sold, was it not in thine own power? Why hast thou conceived this
thing in thine heart? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God."
(Acts, v. 3, 4.) But what followed this covetousness and hypocrisy
of Ananias? Why, "Ananias hearing these words, fell down, and gave
up the ghost." The like befel his wife, being privy to the deceit
their avarice had led them to. And it is said, that "great fear came
upon all the church, and those that heard of these things:" and
also should on those that now read them. For if this judgment was
shown and recorded that we should beware of the like evils, what
will become of those who, under the profession of Christianity, a
religion that teaches men to live loose from the world, and to yield
up all to the will and service of Christ and his kingdom, not only
retain a part, but all; and cannot part with the least thing for
Christ's sake? I beseech God to incline the hearts of my readers to
weigh these things. This had not befallen Ananias and Sapphira,
if they had acted as in God's presence, and with that entire love,
truth, and sincerity that became them. O that people would use the
light that Christ has given them, to search and see how far they are
under the power of this iniquity! For would they but watch against
the love of the world, and be less in bondage to the things that
are seen, which are temporal, they would begin to set their hearts
on things above, that are of an eternal nature. Their life would be
hid with Christ in God, out of the reach of all the uncertainties of
time, and troubles, and changes of mortality. Nay, if people would
but consider how hardly riches are got, how uncertainly they are
kept, the envy they bring; that they can neither make a man wise,
nor cure diseases, nor add to life, much less give peace in death;
no, nor hardly yield any solid benefit above food or raiment, (which
may be had without them,) and that if there be any good use for
them, it is to relieve others in distress; being but stewards of the
plentiful providences of God, and consequently accountable for our
stewardship; if, I say, these considerations had any room in our
minds, we should not thus post to get, nor care to hide and keep
such a mean and impotent thing. O that the cross of Christ, which
is the Spirit and power of God in man, might have more place in the
soul, that it might crucify us more and more to the world, and the
world to us; that, like the days of paradise, the earth might again
be the footstool, and the treasure of the earth a servant, and not
a god to man!--Many have written against this vice; three I will

XX. William Tindall, that worthy apostle of the English reformation,
has an entire discourse, to which I refer the reader, entitled, "The
Parable of the Wicked Mammon." The next is--

XXI. Peter Charron, a famous Frenchman, and in particular for the
book he wrote of wisdom, hath a chapter against covetousness;
part of which take as followeth: "To love and affect riches is
covetousness: not only the love and affection, but also every
over-curious care and industry about riches. The desire of goods,
and the pleasure we take in possessing them, are grounded only upon
opinion: the immoderate desire to get riches is a gangrene in our
soul, which with a venomous heat consumeth our natural affections,
to the end it might fill us with virulent humours. So soon as it
is lodged in our hearts, all honest and natural affection, which
we owe either to our parents, our friends, or ourselves, vanisheth
away: all the rest, in respect of our profit, seemeth nothing;
yea, we forget in the end, and condemn ourselves, our bodies, our
minds, for this transitory trash; and as our proverb is, We sell our
horse to get us hay. Covetousness is the vile and base passion of
vulgar fools, who account riches the principal good of a man, and
fear poverty as the greatest evil; and not contenting themselves
with necessary means, which are forbidden no man, weigh that which
is good in a goldsmith's balance; when nature hath taught us to
measure it by the ell of necessity. For, what greater folly can
there be than to adore that which nature itself hath put under our
feet, and hidden in the earth, as unworthy to be seen; yea, rather
to be contemned, and trampled under foot? This is that which the
sin of man hath only torn out of the entrails of the earth, and
brought unto light to kill himself. We dig out the earth, and bring
to light those things for which we would fight: we are not ashamed
to esteem those things most highly which are in the lowest parts of
the earth. Nature seemeth even in the first birth of gold, after a
sort, to have presaged the misery of those that are in love with it;
for it hath so ordered the matter, that in those countries where it
groweth there groweth with it neither grass nor plant, nor other
thing that is worth anything: as giving us to understand thereby,
that in those minds where the desire of this metal groweth, there
cannot remain so much as a spark of true honour and virtue. For
what thing can be more base than for a man to degrade, and to make
himself a servant and a slave to that which should be subject unto
him? Riches serve wise men, but command a fool: for a covetous man
serveth his riches, and not they him: and he is said to have goods
as he hath a fever, which holdeth and tyrannizeth over a man, not he
over it. What thing more vile, than to love that which is not good,
neither can make a good man? Yea is common, and in the possession
of the most wicked in the world; which many times perverts good
manners, but never amends them: without which, so many wise men
have made themselves happy; and by which so many wicked men have
come to a wicked end. To be brief; what thing more miserable, than
to bind the living to the dead, as Mezentius did, to the end their
death might be languishing, and the more cruel; to tie the spirit
unto the excrement and scum of the earth; to pierce through his
own soul with a thousand torments, which this amorous passion of
riches brings with it; and to entangle himself with the ties and
cords of this malignant thing, as the Scripture calls them, which
doth likewise term them thorns and thieves, which steal away the
heart of man, snares of the devil, idolatry, and the root of all
evil? And truly he that shall see the catalogue of those envies and
molestations which riches engender into the heart of man, as their
proper thunderbolt and lightning, they would be more hated than they
are now loved. Poverty wants many things, but covetousness all: a
covetous man is good to none, but worse to himself." Thus much of
Charron, a wise and great man. My next testimony is yielded by an
author not unlikely to take with some sort of people for his wit;
may they equally value his morality, and the judgment of his riper

XXII. Abraham Cowley, a witty and ingenious man, yieldeth us the
other testimony: of avarice he writeth thus: "There are two sorts
of avarice, the one is but a bastard-kind, and that is a rapacious
appetite of gain; not for its own sake, but for the pleasure of
refunding it immediately through all the channels of pride and
luxury. The other is the true kind, and properly so called, which
is a restless and insatiable desire of riches, not for any further
end or use, but only to hoard and preserve, and perpetually increase
them. The covetous man of the first kind, is like a greedy ostrich,
which devoureth any metal, but it is with an intent to feed upon
it, and in effect, it maketh a shift to digest and excern it. The
second is like the foolish chough, which loveth to steal money,
only to hide it. The first doth much harm to mankind, and a little
good to some few: the second doth good to none; no, not to himself.
The first can make no excuse to God or angels, or rational men, for
his actions: the second can give no reason or colour, not to the
devil himself, for what he doth: he is a slave to mammon without
wages. The first maketh a shift to be beloved, aye, and envied too,
by some people: the second is the universal object of hatred and
contempt. There is no vice hath been so pelted with good sentences,
and especially by the poets, who have pursued it with satires
and fables, and allegories and allusions, and moved, as we say,
every stone to fling at it; among which I do not remember a finer
correction than that which was given it by one line of Ovid's:

    Luxuriæ desunt, omnia avaritiæ."

Which is,

    "Much is wanting to luxury, all to avarice."

To which saying I have a mind to add one member, and render it
thus: poverty wants some, luxury many, avarice all things. Somebody
saith of a virtuous and wise man that having nothing, he hath all.
This is just his antipode, who having all things, yet hath nothing.

    And O! what man's condition can be worse
    Than his, whom plenty starves, and blessings curse?
    The beggars but a common fate deplore,
    The rich poor man's emphatically poor.

"I wonder how it cometh to pass, that there hath never been any law
made against him: against him do I say? I mean for him. As there are
public provisions made for all other madmen, it is very reasonable
that the king should appoint some persons to manage his estate,
during his life, for his heirs commonly need not that care, and
out of it to make it their business to see that he should not want
alimony befitting their condition; which he could never get out of
his own cruel fingers. We relieve idle vagrants and counterfeit
beggars, but have no care at all of these really poor men, who are,
methinks, to be respectfully treated, in regard of their quality.
I might be endless against them, but I am almost choked with the
superabundance of the matter. Too much plenty impoverisheth me, as
it doth them." Thus much against avarice, that moth of the soul, and
canker of the mind.


     1. Luxury, what it is, and the mischief of it to mankind.
     An enemy to the cross of Christ.--2. Of luxury in diet, how
     unlike Christ, and contrary to Scripture.--3. The mischief it
     does to the bodies, as well as the minds of people.--4. Of
     luxury in the excess of apparel, and of recreations; that sin
     brought the first coat: people not to be proud of the badge
     of their misery.--5. The recreations of the times, enemies
     to virtue: they rise from degeneracy.--6. The end of clothes
     allowable; the abuse reprehended.--7. The chief recreation of
     good men of old was to serve God, and do good to mankind, and
     follow honest vocations, not vain sports and pastimes.--8. The
     Heathen knew and did better things. The sobriety of infidels
     above Christians.--9. Luxury condemned in the case of the rich
     man.--10. The doctrine of the Scripture positively against a
     voluptuous life.

I. I am now come to the other extreme, and that is luxury, which is
an excessive indulgence of self, in ease and pleasure. This is the
last great impiety struck at in this discourse of the holy cross of
Christ, which indeed is much the subject of its mortifying virtue
and power. A disease as epidemical, as killing: it creeps into all
stations and ranks of men: the poorest often exceeding their ability
to indulge their appetite; and the rich frequently wallowing in
those things that please the lusts of their eye and flesh, and the
pride of life: as regardless of the severe discipline of JESUS,
whom they call Saviour, as if luxury, and not the cross, were the
ordained way to heaven. What shall we eat, what shall we drink,
and what shall we put on? once the care of luxurious heathens, is
now the practice of, and which is worse, the study of pretended
Christians. But let such be ashamed, and repent; remembering that
Jesus did not reproach the Gentiles for those things, to indulge
his followers in them. They that will have Christ to be theirs,
must be sure to be his; to be like-minded, to live in temperance
and moderation, as knowing the Lord is at hand. Sumptuous apparel,
rich unguents, delicate washes, stately furniture, costly cookery,
and such diversions as balls, masques, music-meetings, plays,
romances, &c., which are the delight and entertainment of the times,
belong not to the holy path that Jesus and his true disciples and
followers trod to glory. No, "Through many tribulations," says none
of the least of them, "must we enter the kingdom of God." (Acts,
xiv. 22.) I do earnestly beseech the gay and luxurious, into whose
hands this discourse shall be directed, to consider well the reasons
and examples here advanced against their way of living; if happily
they may come to see how remote it is from true Christianity, and
how dangerous to their eternal peace. God Almighty, by his grace,
soften their hearts to instruction, and shed abroad his tender love
in their souls, that they may be overcome to repentance, and to the
love of the holy way of the cross of Jesus, the blessed Redeemer
of men. For they cannot think that He can benefit them, while they
refuse to lay down their sins for the love of Him that laid down
his life for the love of them. Or that He will give them a place in
heaven, that refuse Him any in their hearts on earth. But let us
examine luxury in all its parts.

II. Luxury has many parts; the first that is forbidden by the
self-denying Jesus, is gluttony, "Take no thought, saying, What
shall we eat, or what shall we drink?--for after these things do the
Gentiles seek:" (Mat. vi. 31, 32:) as if He had said, The Heathen,
such as live without the true God, whose care is to please their
appetite, more than to seek God and his kingdom: you must not do
so, but "seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness,
and all these things shall be added unto you." (Mat. vi. 33.) That
which is convenient for you will follow: let everything have its
time and order.

This carries a serious reprehension to the luxurious eater and
drinker, who is taken up with an excessive care of his palate, what
shall he eat, and what shall he drink: who being often at a loss
what to have next, therefore has an officer to invent, and a cook to
dress, disguise, and drown the species, that it may cheat the eye,
look new and strange; and all to excite an appetite, or raise an
admiration. To be sure there is great variety, and that curious and
costly; the sauce, it may be, dearer than the meat; and so full is
he fed, that without it he can scarce find out a stomach; which is
to force a hunger, rather than to satisfy it.--And as he eats, so
he drinks: rarely for thirst, but pleasure: to please his palate.
For that purpose he will have divers sorts, and he must taste them
all: one, however good, is dull and tiresome; variety is more
delightful than the best; and therefore the whole world is little
enough to fill his cellar. But were he temperate in his proportions,
his variety might be imputed rather to curiosity than luxury.
But what the temperate man uses as a cordial, he drinks by full
draughts, till inflamed by excess, he is fitted to be an instrument
of mischief, if not to other persons, yet always to himself, whom
perhaps at last he knows not: for such brutality are some come to,
they will sip themselves out of their own knowledge. This is the
lust of the flesh, that is not of the Father, but of the world; for
upon this comes in the music and dance, and mirth, and the laughter,
which is madness; (Eccl. ii. 2;) that the noise of one pleasure may
drown the iniquity of another, lest his own heart should deal too
plainly with him. Thus the luxurious live: they forget God, they
regard not the afflicted. O that the sons and daughters of men
would consider their wantonness and their iniquity in these things!
How ill do they requite the goodness of God in the use and abuse of
the plenty He yields them! How cruel are they to his creatures, how
lavish of their lives and virtue, how thankless for them: forgetting
the Giver, and abusing his gifts, and despising counsel, and casting
instruction behind them! They lose tenderness and forget duty, being
swallowed up of voluptuousness, adding one excess to another. God
rebuked this sin in the Jews, by the prophet Amos: "Ye that put far
away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near; that
lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches,
and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the stall;
that chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves
instruments of music, like David; that drink wine in bowls, and
anoint themselves with the chief ointments; but they are not grieved
for the affliction of Joseph." (Amos, vi. 3-6.) These, it seems,
were the vices of the degenerate Jews, under all their pretence to
religion; and are they not of Christians at this day? Yea they are,
and these are the great parts of luxury struck at in this discourse.
Remember the rich man, with all his sumptuous fare, went to hell:
and the apostle pronounces heavy woes upon those "whose god is their
belly: for such glory in their shame." (Phil. iii. 19.)

Christ places these things to the courts of worldly kings, not his
kingdom: making them unseemly in his followers: his feast therefore,
to the multitude, which was his miracle, was plain and simple;
enough, but without curiosity or art of cookery: and it went down
well, for they were hungry; the best and fittest time to eat. And
the apostle, in his directions to his much-beloved Timothy, debases
the lovers of worldly fulness; advising him to godliness and content
as the chiefest gain: adding, "and having food and raiment, let us
therewith be content." (1 Tim. vi. 6, 8.) Behold the abstemious,
and most contented life of those pilgrims, the sons of heaven,
and immortal offspring of the great power of God; they were in
fasts and perils often, and ate what was set before them; and in
all conditions learned to be contented. O blessed men! O blessed
spirits! Let my soul dwell with yours for ever.

III. But the diseases which luxury begets and nourishes, make it an
enemy to mankind: for besides the mischief it brings to the souls
of people, it undermines health, and shortens the life of man, in
that it gives but ill nourishment and so leaves and feeds corrupt
humours, whereby the body becomes rank and foul, lazy and scorbutic;
unfit for exercise, and more for honest labour. The spirits being
thus loaded with ill flesh, and the mind effeminated, a man is made
inactive, and so useless in civil society; for idleness follows
luxury, as well as diseases. These are the burdens of the world,
devourers of good things, self-lovers, and so forgetters of God: but
which is sad, and yet just, the end of those that forget God, is to
be turned into hell. (Psalm ix. 19.)

IV. But there is another part of luxury that has great place with
vain man and woman, and that is the gorgeousness of apparel, one
of the most foolish, because most costly, empty, and unprofitable
excesses people can well be guilty of.

V. Nor is it otherwise with recreations, as they call them; for
these are nearly related. Man was made a noble, rational, grave
creature; his pleasure stood in his duty, and his duty in obeying
God: which is to love, fear, adore, and serve Him; and in using the
creation with true temperance and godly moderation; as knowing well
that the Lord, his judge, was at hand, the inspector and rewarder of
his works. In short, his happiness was in his communion with God;
his error was to leave that conversation, and let his eyes wander
abroad to gaze on transitory things. If the recreations of the age
were as pleasant and necessary as they are said and made to be,
unhappy then would Adam and Eve have been, that never knew them. But
had they never fallen, and the world been tainted by their folly and
ill example, perhaps man had never known the necessity or use of
many of these things. Sin gave them birth, as it did the other; they
were afraid of the presence of the Lord, which was the joy of their
innocency, when they had sinned; and then their minds wandered,
sought other pleasures, and began to forget God; as He complained
afterwards by the prophet Amos, "They put far away the evil day:
they eat the fat of the flock: they drink wine in bowls: they anoint
themselves with the chief perfumes: they stretch themselves upon
beds of ivory: they chant to the sound of the viol, and invent upon
themselves instruments of music, like David," (Amos, vi. 3-6,)
not heeding or remembering the afflictions and captivity of poor
Joseph: him they wickedly sold, innocency was quite banished, and
shame soon began to grow a custom, till they were grown shameless
in the imitation. And truly, it is now no less a shame to approach
primitive innocence by modest plainness, than it was matter of
shame to Adam that he lost it, and became forced to tack fig-leaves
for a covering. Wherefore in vain do men and women deck themselves
with specious pretences to religion, and flatter their miserable
souls with the fair titles of Christian, innocent, good, virtuous,
and the like, whilst such vanities and follies reign. Wherefore to
you all, from the eternal God, I am bound to declare, you mock Him
that will not be mocked, and deceive yourselves; (Gal. vi. 7;) such
intemperance must be denied, and you must know yourselves changed,
and more nearly approached to primitive purity, before you can be
entitled to what you do now but usurp; for none but those who are
led by the Spirit of God are the children of God, (Rom. viii. 14;
Gal. v. 23,) which guides into all temperance and meekness.

VI. But the Christian world, as it would be called, is justly
reprovable, because the very end of the first institution of apparel
is grossly perverted. The utmost service that clothes originally
were designed for, when sin had stripped them of their native
innocence, was, as hath been said, to cover them; therefore plain
and modest: next, to fence out cold; therefore substantial: lastly,
to declare sexes; therefore distinguishing. So that then necessity
provoked to clothing, now, pride and vain curiosity; in former times
some benefit obliged, but now, wantonness and pleasure: then they
minded them for covering, but now, that is the least part; their
greedy eyes must be provided with gaudy superfluities: as if they
made their clothes for trimming, to be seen rather than worn; only
for the sake of other curiosities that must be tacked upon them,
although they neither fence from cold, nor distinguish sexes; but
signally display their wanton, fantastic, full-fed minds, that have

VII. Then the recreations were to serve God, be just, follow their
vocations, mind their flocks, do good, exercise their bodies in such
a manner as was suitable to gravity, temperance, and virtue; but
now that word is extended to almost every folly; so much are men
degenerated from Adam in his disobedience; so much more confident
and artificial are they grown in all impieties: yea, their minds,
through custom, are become so very insensible of the inconveniency
that attends the like follies, that what was once mere necessity,
is now the delight, pleasure, and recreation of age. How ignoble
is it, how ignominious and unworthy of a reasonable creature! Man,
who is endued with understanding, fit to contemplate immortality,
and made a companion (if not superior) to angels, that he should
mind a little dust, a few shameful rags; inventions of mere pride
and luxury; toys so apish and fantastic, entertainments so dull and
earthly, that a rattle, a baby, a hobby-horse, a top, are by no
means so foolish in a simple child, not unworthy of his thoughts, as
are such inventions of the care and pleasure of men! It is a mark of
great stupidity that such vanities should exercise the noble mind of
man, and image of the great Creator of heaven and earth.

VIII. Of this many among the very Heathens of old had so clear a
prospect that they detested all such vanity, looking upon curiosity
in apparel, and that variety of recreations, now in vogue and esteem
with false Christians, to be destructive of good manners, in that
it more easily stole away the minds of people from sobriety to
wantonness, idleness, effeminacy, and made them only companions
for the beast that perishes: witness those famous men, Anaxagoras,
Socrates, Plato, Aristides, Cato, Seneca, Epictetus, &c., who
placed true honour and satisfaction in nothing below virtue and
immortality. Nay, such are the remains of innocence among some Moors
and Indians in our times, that if a Christian (though he must be
an odd one) fling out a filthy word, it is customary with them, by
way of moral, to bring him water to purge his mouth. How much do
the like virtues and reasonable instances accuse people, professing
Christianity, of gross folly and intemperance! O that men and
women had the fear of God before their eyes; and that they were so
charitable to themselves, as to remember whence they came, what they
are doing, and to what they must return: that so more noble, more
virtuous, more rational and heavenly things might be the matters of
their pleasure and entertainment; that they would be once persuaded
to believe how inconsistent the folly, vanity, and conversation
they are mostly exercised in, really are with the true nobility of
a reasonable soul; and let that just principle, which taught the
Heathens, teach them; lest it be found more tolerable for Heathens
than such Christians, in the day of account. For if their shorter
notions, and more imperfect sense of things could yet discover so
much vanity; if their degree of light condemned it, and they, in
obedience thereunto, disused it, doth it not behove Christians much

IX. Again these things, which have been hitherto condemned, have
never been the conversation or practice of the holy men and women of
old times, whom the Scriptures recommend for holy examples, worthy
of imitation. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were plain men, and princes,
as graziers are, over their families and flocks. They were not
solicitous for the vanities so much lived in by the people of this
generation, for they pleased God by faith. The first forsook his
father's house, kindred, and country; a true type or figure of that
self-denial all must know, that would have Abraham to their father.
They must not think to live in those pleasures, fashions, and
customs they are called to leave; no, but part with all hopes of the
great recompense of reward, and that better country which is eternal
in the heavens. (Heb. xi. 26, 15; Rom. v. 1.) The prophets were
generally poor; one a shepherd, another a herdsman, &c. They often
cried out unto the full-fed wanton Israelites to repent, to fear and
dread the living God, to forsake the sins and vanities they lived
in; but they never imitated them. John the Baptist, the messenger
of the Lord, preached his embassy to the world in a coat of
camel's-hair, a rough and homely garment. (Matt. iii. 4.) Nor can it
be conceived that Jesus Christ himself was much better apparelled,
who, according to the flesh, was of poor descent, and in life, of
great plainness; insomuch that it was usual in a way of derision to
say, "Is not this Jesus, the carpenter, the son of Mary?" (Matt.
xiii. 55; Mark, vi. 3.) And this Jesus tells his followers, "That
as for soft raiment, gorgeous apparel and delicacies, they were for
king's courts:" (Luke, vii. 25:) implying, that He and his followers
were not to seek after those things; but seems thereby to express
the great difference that was betwixt the lovers of the fashions and
customs of the world, and those whom He had chosen out of it. And He
did not only come in that mean and despicable manner himself, that
He might stain the pride of all flesh, but therein became exemplary
to his followers, what a self-denying life they must lead, if they
would be his true disciples. Nay, He further leaves it with them in
a parable, to the end that it might make the deeper impression, and
that they might see how inconsistent a pompous, worldly-pleasing
life is with the kingdom He came to establish and call men to the
possession of: and that is the remarkable story of Dives, who is
represented first, as a rich man; (Luke, xvi. 19. &c.;) next as a
voluptuous man, in his rich apparel, his many dishes, and his pack
of dogs; and lastly, as an uncharitable man, or one who was more
concerned to please the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and
the pride of life, and fare sumptuously every day, than to take
compassion of poor Lazarus at his gate: no, his dogs were more
pitiful and kind than he. But what was the doom of this jolly man,
this great rich man? We read it was everlasting torment; but that of
Lazarus, eternal joy with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom
of God. In short, Lazarus was a good man, the other a great man: the
one poor and temperate, the other rich and luxurious: there are too
many of them alive; and it were well, if his doom might awaken them
to repentance.

X. Nor were the twelve apostles, the immediate messengers of the
Lord Jesus Christ, other than poor men, one a fisherman, another
a tent-maker; and he that was of the greatest, though perhaps
not the best employment, was a custom-gatherer. (Matt. iv. 18;
ix. 9; Acts, xviii. 3.) So that it is very unlikely that any of
them were followers of the fashions of the world: nay, they were
so far from it, that, as became the followers of Christ, (1 Cor.
iv. 9-14,) they lived poor, afflicted, self-denying lives; bidding
the churches to walk as they had them for examples. (Phil. iii. 1,
7; 1 Pet. ii. 21.) And to shut up this particular, they gave this
pathetic account of the holy women in former times, as an example of
godly temperance, (1 Pet. iii. 3, 4,) namely, that first they did
expressly abstain from gold, silver, plaited hair, fine apparel,
or such like; and next, that their adornment was a meek and quiet
spirit, and the hidden man of the heart, which are of great price
with the Lord; affirming that such as live in pleasure, are dead
whilst they live: (1 Tim. v. 6; Luke, viii. 14:) for that the
cares and pleasures of this life choke and destroy the seed of the
kingdom, and quite hinder all progress in the hidden and divine
life. Wherefore we find that the holy men and women of former times
were not accustomed to these pleasures and vain recreations; but
having their minds set on things above, sought another kingdom,
which consists in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit:
who having obtained a good report, and entered into their eternal
rest; therefore their works follow, and praise them in the gates.
(Rom. xiv. 17; Heb. xi. 2; iv. 9; Rev. xiv. 13.)


     1. The judgments of God denounced upon the Jews for their
     luxury; all ranks included.--2. Christ charges his disciples
     to have a care of the guilt of it: a supplication to the
     inhabitants of England.--3. Temperance pressed upon the churches
     by the apostles.--4. An exhortation to England to measure
     herself by that rule.--5. What Christian recreations are.--6.
     Who need other sports to pass away their time are unfit for
     heaven and eternity.--7. Man has but a few days: they may be
     better bestowed: this doctrine is ungrateful to none that
     would be truly blessed.--8. Not only good is omitted by this
     luxurious life, but evil committed, as breach of marriage and
     love, loss of health and estate, &c. Playhouses and stages
     most instrumental to this mischief.--9. How youth are by them
     inflamed to vanity: what mischief comes of revels, gamings, &c.
     Below the life of noble heathens.--10. The true disciples of
     Jesus are mortified in these things: the pleasure and reward of
     a good employment of time.

I. But such excess in apparel and pleasure was not only forbidden
in Scripture, but it was the ground of that lamentable message by
the prophet Isaiah to the people of Israel: "Moreover the Lord
saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walked with
stretched-forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they
go, and making a tinkling with their feet; therefore the Lord will
smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion,
and the Lord will discover their secret parts; in that day the Lord
will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments, and their
cauls, (or net-works in the Hebrew,) and their round tires like the
moon; the chains and the bracelets, and the mufflers; the bonnets,
and the ornaments of the legs, and the head-bands, and the tablets,
and ear-rings, the rings and nose-jewels; the changeable suits of
apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping-pins;
the glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods and the veils; and
it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell, there shall be
a stink; and instead of a girdle, a rent; and instead of well-set
hair, baldness; and instead of a stomacher, a girding of sackcloth,
and burning instead of beauty: thy men shall fall by the sword,
and thy mighty in the war; and her gates shall lament and mourn,
and she being desolate, shall sit upon the ground."[4] (Isa. iii.
16-26.) Behold, O vain and foolish inhabitants of England and
Europe, your folly and your doom! Yet read the prophet Ezekiel's
vision of miserable Tyre, what punishment her pride and pleasure
brought upon her; and amongst many other circumstances these are
some: "These were thy merchants in all sorts of things; in blue
clothes and broidered work, and in chests of rich apparel, emeralds,
purple, fine linen, coral and agate, spices, with all precious
stones, and gold, horses, chariots," &c.; for which hear part of
her doom: "Thy riches, and thy fairs, thy merchandize, and all thy
company, which is in the midst, of thee, shall fall into the midst
of the sea in the day of thy ruin; and the inhabitant of the isles
shall be astonished at thee; and their merchants hiss at thee; thou
shalt be a terror, and shalt be no more." (Ezek. xxvii.) Thus hath
God declared his displeasure against the luxury of this wanton
world. Yet further the prophet Zephaniah goes, for thus he speaks:
"And it shall come to pass in the day of the Lord's sacrifice,
that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all
such as are clothed with strange apparel." (Zeph. i. 8.) Of how
evil consequence was it in those times, for the greatest men to
give themselves the liberty of following the vain customs of other
nations; or of changing the usual end of clothes, or apparel, to
gratify foolish curiosity!

  [4] The very practice, and garb, and vanity of this age being as
  liable to the wrath of God, which hangs over England and Europe, and
  is ready to be executed on their rebellious inhabitants.

II. This did the Lord Jesus Christ expressly charge his disciples
not to be careful about: insinuating that such as were could not be
his disciples: for, says he, "Take no thought, saying, What shall
we eat? or What shall we drink? or Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
for after all these things do the Gentiles seek: for your heavenly
Father knoweth that you have need of all these things: but seek ye
first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things
shall be added unto you." (Matt. vi. 31-33.) Under which of eating,
and drinking, and apparel, he comprehends all external things
whatsoever; and so much appears, as well because they are opposed
to the kingdom of God and his righteousness, which are invisible
and heavenly things, as those very matters he enjoins them not to
be careful about, are the most necessary, and the most innocent
in themselves. If then, in such cases, the minds of his disciples
were not to be solicitous; much less in foolish, superstitious,
idle inventions, to gratify the carnal appetites and minds of
men: so certain it is that those who live therein are none of his
followers, but the Gentiles; and as He elsewhere says, "The nations
of the world who know not God." (Luke, xii. 22-30.) If now then the
distinguishing mark between the disciples of Jesus and those of the
world is, that one minds the things of heaven, and God's kingdom,
that "stands in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost;"
(Rom. xiv. 17;) being not careful of external matters, even the most
innocent and necessary: and that the other minds eating, drinking,
apparel, and the affairs of this world, with the lusts, pleasures,
profits, and honours that belong to it; be you intreated for your
souls' sakes, O inhabitants of England, to be serious, to reflect
awhile upon yourselves what care and cost you are at of time and
money, about foolish, nay vicious things: so far are you degenerated
from the primitive Christian life. What buying and selling, what
dealing and chaffering, what writing and posting, what toil and
labour, what noise, hurry, bustle, and confusion, what study, what
little contrivances and overreachings, what eating, drinking, vanity
of apparel, most ridiculous recreations; in short, what rising
early, going to bed late, expense of precious time is there about
things that perish! View the streets, shops, exchanges, plays,
parks, coffee-houses, &c. and is not the world, this fading world,
written upon every face? Say not within yourselves, How otherwise
should men live and the world subsist? The common, though frivolous
objection. There is enough for all. Let some content themselves
with less: a few things, plain and decent, serve a Christian life.
It is lust, pride, avarice, that thrust men upon such folly: were
God's kingdom more the exercise of their minds, these perishing
entertainments would have but little of their time or thoughts.

III. This self-denying doctrine was confirmed and enforced by the
apostles in their example, as we have already shown; and in their
precepts too, as we shall yet evince in those two most remarkable
passages of Paul and Peter; where they do not only tell us what
should be done, but also what should be denied and avoided: "In
like manner I will, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel;
with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with broidered hair, or gold,
or pearls, or costly array (then it seems these are immodest)
but which becometh women professing godliness, with good works."
(1 Tim. ii. 9, 10.) Absolutely implying, that those who attire
themselves with gold, silver, broidered hair, pearls, costly array,
cannot in so doing, be women professing godliness; making those
very things to be contrary to modesty, and consequently that they
are evil, and unbecoming women professing godliness. To which the
apostle Peter joins another precept after the like sort, viz. "Whose
adorning, let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair,
and of wearing of gold, and of putting on of apparel:" what then?
"But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not
corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which
is in the sight of God of great price." (1 Pet. iii. 3-5.) And as
an inducement, he adds: "for after this manner in the old time the
holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves." Which
doth not only intimate that both holy women were so adorned, and
that it behoves such as would be holy, and trust in the holy God,
to be so adorned; but also, that they who used those forbidden
ornaments, were the women and people in all ages, that, for all
their talk, were not holy, nor did trust in God. Such are so far
from trusting in God that the apostle Paul expressly says, that
"she that liveth in pleasure is dead whilst she liveth." (1 Tim. v.
6.) And the same apostle further enjoined, that Christians should
have their conversation in heaven, and their minds fixed on things
above: (Phil. iii. 20; Col. iii. 1-4; Rom. xiii. 13:) "walk honestly
as in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering
and wantonness, not in envy and strife:" (Eph. v. 3, 4:) "let not
fornication, uncleanness, or covetousness be once named among you:
neither filthiness, nor foolish talking nor jesting, which are not
convenient; but rather giving of thanks:" (Eph. iv. 29:) "let no
corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is
good, to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the
hearers. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision
for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." (Rom. xiii. 14; Eph.
iv. 30.) And, "Grieve not the Holy Spirit; (intimating such
conversation doth;) but be ye followers of God, as dear children:
walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise; redeeming the time,
because the days are evil." (Eph. v. 1, 15, 16.)

IV. By this, measure yourselves, O inhabitants of this land, who
think yourselves wronged, if not accounted Christians: see what
proportion your life and spirit bear with these most holy and
self-denying precepts and examples. Well, my friends, my soul mourns
for you: I have been with and among you; your life and pastime are
not strangers to my notice; and with compassion, yea, inexpressible
pity, I bewail your folly. O that you would be wise! O that the just
principle in yourselves would be heard! O that eternity had time
to plead a little with you! Why should your beds, your glasses,
your clothes, your tables, your loves, your plays, your parks,
your treats, your recreations, poor perishing joys, have all your
souls, your time, your care, your purse, and consideration? Be
ye admonished, I beseech you, in the name of the living God, by
one that some of you know hath had his share in these things, and
consequently time to know how little the like vanities conduce to
true and solid happiness. No, my Friends, God Almighty knows, and
would to God, you would believe and follow me, they end in shame
and sorrow. Faithful is that most holy One, who hath determined,
that every man and woman shall reap what they sow: and will not
trouble, anguish, and disappointment be a sad and dreadful harvest
for you to reap, for all your misspent time and substance, about
superfluities and vain recreations? Retire then; quench not the Holy
Spirit in yourselves; redeem your precious abused time: frequent
such conversation as may help you against your evil inclinations;
so shall you follow the examples, and keep the precepts of Jesus
Christ, and all his followers; for hitherto we have plainly
demonstrated, that no such way of living, as is in request among
you of the land, ever was, or can be, truly Christian.

V. But the best recreation is to do good: and all Christian customs
tend to temperance, and some good and beneficial end; which more or
less may be in every action. (1 Pet. i. 15; Heb. x. 25; 1 Pet. iv.
9-11; Matt. xxv. 36, 37; Phil. ii. 4; Ibid. iv. 8.) For instance, if
men and women would be diligent to follow their respective callings;
frequent the assemblies of religious people; visit sober neighbours
to be edified, and wicked ones to reform them; be careful in the
tuition of their children, exemplary to their servants; relieve
the necessitous, see the sick, visit the imprisoned; administer
to their infirmities and indispositions, endeavour peace amongst
neighbours: also, study moderately such commendable and profitable
arts, as navigation, arithmetic, geometry, husbandry, gardening,
handicraft, medicine, &c.; and that women spin, sew, knit, weave,
garden, preserve, and the like housewife and honest employments,
the practice of the greatest and noblest matrons, and youth, among
the very heathens; helping others, who for want are unable to keep
servants, to ease them in their necessary affairs; often and private
retirements from all worldly objects, to enjoy the Lord: secret and
steady meditations on the divine life and heavenly inheritance;
which to leave undone and prosecute other things, under the notion
of recreations, is impiety; it is most vain in any to object, that
they cannot do these always, and therefore why may not they use
these common diversions? for I ask, what would such be at? what
would they do? and what would they have? They that have trades
have not time enough to do the half of what hath been recommended.
And as for those who have nothing to do, and indeed do nothing,
which is worse, but sin, which is worst of all, here is variety of
pleasant, of profitable, yea, of very honourable employments and
diversions for them. Such can with great delight sit at a play, a
ball, a masque, at cards, dice, &c. drinking, revelling, feasting,
and the like, an entire day; yea turn night into day, and invert the
very order of the creation, to humour their lusts; (Amos, vi. 3-8;)
and were it not for eating and sleeping, it would be past a doubt,
whether they would ever find time to cease from those vain and
sinful pastimes, till the hasty calls of death should summon their
appearance in another world: yet do they think it intolerable, and
hardly possible, for any to sit so long at a profitable or religious

VI. But how do these think to pass their vast eternity away? "For
as the tree falls, so it lies." (Eccl. xi. 3.) Let none deceive
themselves, nor mock their immortal souls with a pleasant, but
most false and pernicious dream, that they shall be changed by a
constraining and irresistible power, just when their souls take
leave of their bodies; no, no, my friends, "what you sow, that shall
you reap:" (Gal. vi. 4-9; Eph. v. 6:) if vanity, folly, visible
delights, fading pleasures; no better shall you ever reap than
corruption, sorrow and the woful anguish of eternal disappointments.
But alas! what is the reason that the cry is so common, Must we
always dote on these things? Why most certainly it is this, they
know not what is the joy and peace of speaking and acting, as in
the presence of the most holy God: (Eph. iv. 18-20:) that passes
such vain understandings, darkened with the glories and pleasures
of the god of this world; (Rom. x. 2;) whose religion is so many
mumbling and ignorantly devout said words, as they teach parrots;
for if they were of those whose hearts are set on things above,
and whose treasure is in heaven, there would their minds inhabit,
and their greatest pleasure constantly be: and such who call that
a burden, and seek to be refreshed by such pastimes as a play, a
morrice-dance, a punchinello, a ball, a masque, cards, dice, or
the like, I am bold to affirm, they not only never knew the divine
excellency of God, and his truth, but thereby declare themselves
most unfit for them in another world. For how is it possible, that
they can be delighted to eternity with that satisfaction, which is
so tedious and irksome for thirty or forty years, that, for a supply
of recreation to their minds, the little toys and fopperies of this
perishing world must be brought into practice and request? Surely,
those who are to reckon for every idle word, (Matt. xii. 36,) must
not use sports to pass away that time which they are commanded so
diligently to redeem, considering no less work is to be done, than
making their calling and election sure: (Eph. v. 16; Phil. iii. 14;
2 Pet. i. 10; Col. iv. 5:) much less study to invent recreations
for their vain minds, and spend the greatest part of their days,
and months, and years therein, not allowing a quarter of that time
toward the great concernment of their lives and souls, for which
that time was given them.

VII. There is but little need to drive away that, by foolish
divertisements, which flies away so swiftly of itself; and when
once gone, is never to be recalled. Plays, parks, balls, treats,
romances, music, love-sonnets, and the like, will be a very invalid
plea, for any other purpose than their condemnation who are taken
and delighted with them, at the revelation of the righteous judgment
of God. O my friends! these were never invented, but by that mind
which had first lost the joy and ravishing delights of God's holy
presence. So that we conclude first that of those many excellent
employments already mentioned, as worthy to possess such minds as
are inclined to these vanities, there is store enough of time, not
only to take up their spare hours, but double so much, and that with
great delight, diversion, and profit, both to themselves and others;
were they but once weaned from vain and fruitless fopperies, and
did they but consider, how great the satisfaction, and how certain
the rewards are, which attend this, and the other life, for such
universal benefits and virtuous examples. The second conclusion is,
that what is alleged by me, can be displeasing and ungrateful to
none, but such as know not what it is to walk with God, to prepare
for an eternal mansion, to have the mind exercised on heavenly and
good things, to follow the examples of the holy men and women of
former happy ages: such as know not Christ's doctrine, life, death,
and resurrection, but only have their minds fastened to the flesh,
and by the objects of it are allured, deceived, and miserably
ruined: and lastly, that despise heaven, and the joys that are not
seen, though eternal, for a few perishing trifles that they do see;
though they are decreed to pass away. (Rom. vi. 3-8; 1 Cor. xii. 13;
Gal. iii. 27; Col. ii. 12, 13; Eph. iv. 13.) How these are baptized
with Christ, into his holy life, cruel sufferings, shameful death,
and raised with him to immortal desires, heavenly meditations, a
divine new life, growing into the knowledge of heavenly mysteries,
and all holiness, even unto the measure of the stature of Jesus
Christ, the great example of all: how, I say, these resemble most
necessary Christian qualifications, and what share they have
therein, let their consciences tell them upon a serious inquiry in
the cool of the day.

VIII. But in the next place, such attire and pastimes do not only
show the exceeding worldliness of people's inclinations, and their
very great ignorance of the divine joys; but by imitating these
fashions, and frequenting these places and diversions, not only
much good is omitted, but a certain door is open to much evil to
be committed: as first, precious time, that were worth a world on
a dying bed, is lost: money that might be employed for the general
good, vainly expended, pleasure is taken in mere shame; lusts
are gratified, the minds of the people alienated from heavenly
things, and exercised about mere folly; and men become acceptable
by their trims and the à-la-modeness of their dress and apparel;
from whence respect to persons doth so naturally arise, that to
deny it is to affirm the sun shines not at noon-day; (James, ii.
1-9;) nothing being more notorious than the cringing, scraping,
sirring, and madaming of persons, according to the gaudiness
of their attire: which is detestable to God, and so absolutely
forbidden in the Scriptures, that to do it is to break the whole
law, and consequently to incur the punishment thereof. Next, what
great holes do the like practices make in men's estates! How are
their vocations neglected, young women deluded, the marriage-bed
invaded, contentions and family animosities begotten, partings of
man and wife, disinheriting of children, dismissing of servants! On
the other hand, servants made slaves, children disregarded, wives
despised and shamefully abused, through the intemperance of their
husbands; which either puts them upon the same extravagance, or
laying such cruel injustice to heart, they pine away their days
in grief and misery. But of all these wretched inventions, the
playhouses, like so many hellish seminaries, do most perniciously
conduce to these sad and miserable ends; where little besides
frothy, wanton, if not directly obscene and profane humours are
represented, which are of notoriously ill consequence upon the minds
of most; especially the youth that frequent them. And thus it is
that idle and debauched stages are encouraged and maintained; than
which scarcely a greater abomination can be thought on of that rank
of impieties, as will anon particularly be shown; and truly nothing
but the excessive pleasure people take therein could blind their
eyes from seeing it.

IX. But lastly, the grand indisposition of mind in people to
solid, serious, and heavenly meditations, by the almost continual,
as well as pleasant rumination in their minds, of those various
adventures they have been entertained with, which in the more
youthful can never miss to inflame and animate their boiling and
airy constitutions. (Job, xxxv. 13.) And in the rest of the common
recreations of balls, masques, treats, cards, dice, &c. there are
the like opportunities to promote the like evils. And yet further;
how many quarrels, animosities, nay, murders too, as well as expense
of estate and precious time, have been the immediate consequences of
the like practices! In short, these were the ways of the Gentiles
that knew not God, but never the practice of them that feared Him:
(Eph. iv. 17-25:) nay, the more noble among the heathens themselves,
namely, Anaxagoras, Socrates, Plato, Antisthenes, Heraclitus, Zeno,
Aristides, Cato, Tully, Epictetus, Seneca, &c. have left their
disgust to these things upon record, as odious and destructive, not
only of the honour of the immortal God, but of all good order and
government; as leading into looseness, idleness, ignorance, and
effeminacy, the great cankers and bane of all states and empires.
And the pretended innocency of these things steals away their minds
from that which is better, into the love of them; nay, it gives them
confidence to plead for them, and by no means will they think the
contrary. But why? because it is a liberty that feeds the flesh and
gratifies the lustful eye and palate of poor mortality: wherefore
they think it a laudable condition to be no better than the beast,
that eats and drinks but what his nature doth require; although the
number is very small of such, so very exorbitant are men and women
grown in this present age: for either they do believe their actions
are to be ruled by their own will; or else at best, that not to be
stained with the vilest wickedness is matter of great boasting:
and indeed it is so in a time when nothing is too wicked to be
done. But certainly, it is a sign of universal impiety in a land,
when not to be guilty of the sins the very heathens loathe, is to
be virtuous, yes, and Christian too, and that to no small degree
of reputation: a dismal symptom to a country! But is it not to be
greatly blinded, that those we call infidels should detest those
practices as infamous which people that call themselves Christians,
cannot or will not see to be such, but gild them over with the fair
titles of ornaments, decency, recreation, and the like? Well, my
friends, if there were no God, no heaven, no hell, no holy examples,
no Jesus Christ, in cross, doctrine, and life, to be conformed unto;
yet would charity to the poor, help to the needy, peace amongst
neighbours, visits to the sick, care of the widow and fatherless,
with the rest of those temporal good offices already repeated, be a
nobler employment, and much more worthy of your expense and pains.
Nor indeed is it to be conceived, that the way to glory is smoothed
with such a variety of carnal pleasures; for then conviction, a
wounded spirit, a broken heart, a regenerate mind; (Prov. xviii.
14; Psalm li. 17; Matt. v. 4; Luke, vi. 25; Rom. ii. 7; Psalm
xl. 8; Rom. vii. 22; Heb. xi. 13-16; Rom. i. 25-30;) in a word,
immortality, would prove as mere fictions as some make them, and
others therefore think them: no, these practices are for ever to be
extinguished and expelled all Christian society. For I affirm, that
to one who internally knows God, and hath a sense of his blessed
presence, all such recreations are death; yea, more dangerously
evil, and more apt to steal away the mind from the heavenly
exercise, than grosser impieties. For they are so big they are
plainly seen; so dirty, they are easily detected: which education
and common temperance, as well as constitution in many, teach them
to abhor: and if they should be committed, they carry with them a
proportionable conviction. But these pretended innocents, these
supposed harmless satisfactions, (Job, i. 4,) are more surprising,
more destructive: for as they easily gain an admission by the
senses, so the more they pretend to innocency the more they secure
the minds of people in the common use of their evil consequences,
that with a mighty confidence they can plead for them.

X. But as this is plainly not to deny themselves, (1 John, ii.
15-17,) but on the contrary, to employ the vain inventions of
carnal men and women, to gratify the desire of the eye, the desire
of the flesh, and the pride of life, (all which exercise the mind
below the divine and only true pleasure, or else, tell me what
does,) so be it known to be such, that the heavenly life and
Christian joys are of another kind, as hath already been expressed:
yea, that the true disciples of the Lord Christ must be hereunto
crucified, as to objects and employments that attract downwards,
and that their affections should be raised to a more sublime and
spiritual conversation, as to use this world, even in its most
innocent enjoyments, as if they used it not. But if they take
pleasure in anything below, it should be in such good offices as
before mentioned, whereby a benefit may redound in some respect
to others: in which God is honoured over all visible things, the
nation relieved, the government bettered, themselves rendered
exemplary of good, and thereby justly entitled to present happiness,
a sweet memorial with posterity, as well as to a seat at his right
hand, where there are joys and pleasures for ever: (Job, xxxvi. 7;
Psalm v. 12; Prov. x. 7, 11:) than which there can be nothing more
honourable, nothing more certain, world without end.


     1. Luxury should not be used by Christians, because of its
     inconsistency with the spirit of Christianity.--2. The cup of
     which Christ's true disciples drank.--3. O! who will drink of
     this cup!--4. An objection answered of the nature of God's
     kingdom, and what it stands in.--5. Of the frame of the spirit
     of Christ's followers.

I. But the luxury opposed in this discourse should not be allowed
among Christians, because both that which invents it, delights in
it, and pleads so strongly for it, is inconsistent with the true
spirit of Christianity; nor doth the very nature of the Christian
religion admit thereof. For therefore was it, that immortality and
eternal life were brought to light, that all the invented pleasures
of mortal life, in which the world lives, might be denied and
relinquished: and for this reason it is, that nothing less than
immense rewards and eternal mansions are promised, that men and
women might therefore be encouraged willingly to forsake the vanity
and fleshly satisfactions of the world, and encounter with boldness
the shame and sufferings they must expect to receive at the hand of,
it may be, their nearest intimates and relations.

For if the Christian religion had admitted the possession of this
world in any other sense than the simple and naked use of those
creatures, really given of God for the necessity and convenience
of the whole creation; for instance, did it allow all that pride,
vanity, curiosity, pomp, exchange of apparel, honours, preferments,
fashions, and the customary recreations of the world, with whatever
may delight and gratify their senses; then what need of a daily
cross; a self-denying life; working out salvation with fear and
trembling; seeking the things that are above; having the treasure
and heart in heaven; no idle talking, no vain jesting, but fearing
and meditating all the day long; undergoing all reproach, scorn,
hard usage, bitter mockings, and cruel deaths? What need these
things? And why should they be expected in order to that glorious
immortality and eternal crown, if the vanity, pride, expense,
idleness, concupiscence, envy, malice, and whole manner of living
among the called Christians, were allowed by the Christian religion?
No certainly; but as the Lord Jesus Christ well knew in what foolish
trifles and vain pleasures, as well as grosser impieties, the minds
of men and women were fixed, and how much they were degenerated from
the heavenly principle of life, into a lustful or unlawful seeking
after the enjoyments of this perishing world, nay, inventing daily
new satisfactions to gratify the carnal appetites, so did He not
less foresee the difficulty that all would have to relinquish and
forsake them at his call, and with what great unwillingness they
would take their leave of them, and be weaned from them. Wherefore
to induce them to it, He did not speak unto them in the language of
the law, that they should have an earthly Canaan, great dignities, a
numerous issue, a long life, and the like: no, rather the contrary,
at least to take these things in their course; but He speaks to them
in a higher strain; namely, He assures them of a kingdom and a crown
that are immortal, that neither time, cruelty, death, grave, or
hell, with all its instruments, shall ever be able to disappoint or
take away from those who should believe and obey Him. Further, that
they should be taken into that near alliance of loving friends, yea,
the intimate divine relation of dear brethren, and co-heirs with Him
of all celestial happiness, and a glorious immortality. Wherefore,
if it be recorded that those who heard not Moses were to die, much
more they who refuse to hear and obey the precepts of this great and
eternal Rewarder of all that diligently seek and follow Him.

II. And therefore it was that He was pleased to give us, in his
own example, a taste of what his disciples must expect to drink
deeply of, namely, the cup of self-denial, cruel trials, and most
bitter afflictions: He came not to consecrate a way to the eternal
rest, through gold, and silver, ribbons, laces, prints, perfumes,
costly clothes, curious trims, exact dresses, rich jewels, pleasant
recreations, plays, treats, balls, masques, revels, romances,
love-songs, and the like pastimes of the world: no, no, alas! but
by forsaking all such kind of entertainments, yea, and sometimes
more lawful enjoyments too; and cheerfully undergoing the loss
of all on the one hand, and the reproach, ignominy, and the most
cruel persecution from ungodly men on the other. He needed never
to have wanted such variety of worldly pleasures, had they been
suitable to the nature of his kingdom: for He was tempted, as are
his followers, with no less bait than all the glories of the world:
but He commanded to seek another country, and to lay up treasures in
the heavens that fade not away; and therefore charged them never to
be much inquisitive about what they should eat, drink, or put on,
"because," saith He, "after these things the Gentiles," that know
not God, "do seek;" (Matt. vi. 29-33;) (and Christians that pretend
to know Him too,) but "having food and raiment, therewith to be
content:" (1 Tim. vi. 11:) He, I say, that enjoined this doctrine,
and led that holy and heavenly example, even the Lord Jesus Christ,
bade them that would be his disciples take up the same cross, and
follow Him (Luke, xiv. 26, 27, 33.)

III. O who will follow Him! Who will be true Christians? We must
not think to steer another course, nor to drink of another cup, than
hath the Captain of our salvation done before us: (Heb. ii. 10:) no,
for it is the very question He asked James and John, the sons of
Zebedee of old, when they desired to sit at his right and left hand
in his kingdom, "Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink
of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?"
(Matt. xx. 22.) Otherwise no disciples, no Christians. Whoever they
are that would come to Christ, and be right Christians, must readily
abandon every delight that would steal away the affections of the
mind, and exercise it from the divine principle of life, and freely
write a bill of divorce for every beloved vanity; and all, under the
Sun of Righteousness is so, compared with Him.

Objection 1. IV. But some are ready to object, who will not seem to
want Scripture for their lusts, although it be evidently misapplied.
The kingdom of God stands not in meats, or in drinks, or in apparel,
&c. Answer. Right; therefore it is that we stand out of them. But
surely you have the least reason of any to object this to us,
who make those things so necessary to conversation, as our not
conforming to them renders us obnoxious to your reproach; which how
Christian, or resembling it is of the righteousness, peace, and joy
in which the heavenly kingdom stands, let the just principle in your
own consciences determine. Our conversation stands in temperance,
and that stands in righteousness, by which we have obtained that
kingdom, your latitude and excess have no share or interest in.
If none, therefore, can be true disciples but they that come to
bear the daily cross, but those who follow the example of the Lord
Jesus Christ, (Phil. iii. 10; 1 Pet. iv. 13; Tit. ii. 11-13; John,
i. 9; Rom. vi. 6; Gal. ii. 20; v. 24; vi. 4,) through his baptism,
afflictions, and temptations; and that none are so baptized with
Him but those whose minds are retired from the vanities in which
the generality of the world live, and become obedient to the holy
light and divine grace with which they have been enlightened from
on high, and thereby are daily exercised to the crucifying of
every contrary affection, and bringing of immortality to light;
if none are true disciples but such, as most undoubtedly they are
not, then let the people of these days a little soberly reflect
upon themselves, and they will conclude that none who live and
delight in these vain customs and this un-christ-like conversation
can be true Christians, or disciples of the crucified JESUS: for
otherwise, how would it be a cross; or the Christian life matter of
difficulty and reproach? No, the offence of the cross would soon
cease, which is "the power of God to them that believe;" (Gal. v.
11; 1 Cor. i. 18;) that every lust and vanity may be subdued, and
the creature brought into a holy subjection of mind to the heavenly
will of its Creator. For therefore has it been said, that Jesus
Christ was and is manifested, that by his holy self-denying life and
doctrine, and by the immortality He brought, and daily brings to
light, He might stain the glory of their fading rests and pleasures;
(1 Cor. i. 27-29;) that having their minds weaned from them, and
being crucified thereunto, they might seek another country, and
obtain an everlasting inheritance: for "the things that are seen
are temporal," (2 Cor. iv. 18,) and those they were, and all true
Christians are, to be redeemed from resting in: but the things that
are not seen are eternal; those they were, and all are to be brought
to, and have their affections chiefly fixed upon.

V. Wherefore a true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ is to have his
mind so conversant about heavenly things, that the things of this
world may be used as if they were not: that having such things as
are necessary and convenient, he be therewith content, without the
superfluity of the world; (1 Tim. vi. 8;) whereby the pleasure that
in times of ignorance was taken in the customs and fashions of the
world, may more abundantly be supplied in the hidden and heavenly
life of Jesus: for unless there be an abiding in Christ, it will be
impossible to bring forth that much fruit (John, xv. 4, 7, 8,) which
He requires at the hand of his followers, and wherein his Father is
glorified. But as it is clear that such as live in the vanities,
pleasures, recreations, and lusts of the world, abide not in Him,
neither know Him, for they that know Him depart from iniquity; so
is their abiding and delighting in those bewitching follies, the
very reason why they are so ignorant and insensible of Him: Him who
continually stands knocking at the door of their hearts; (Rev. iii.
20;) in whom they ought to abide, and whose divine power they should
know to be the cross on which every beloved lust and alluring vanity
should be slain and crucified; that so they might feel the heavenly
life to spring up in their hearts, and themselves to be quickened
to seek the things that are above; that when Christ shall appear,
they might appear with Him in glory who is over all, God blessed for
ever. (Col. iii. 1; Rom. ix. 5.) Amen.


     1. The customs, fashions, &c. which make up the attire and
     pleasure of the age, are enemies to inward retirement.--2. Their
     end is to gratify lust.--3. Had they been solid, Adam and Eve
     had not been happy, that never had them.--4. But the confidence
     and presumption of Christians, as they would be called, in the
     use of them is abominable.--5. Their authors further condemn
     them, who are usually loose and vain people.--6. Mostly
     borrowed of the Gentiles, that knew not God.--7. An objection
     of their usefulness considered and answered, and the objectors
     reproved.--8. The best heathens abhorring what pretended
     Christians plead for.--9. The use of these things encourages
     the authors and makers of them to continue in them.--10. The
     objection of the maintenance of families answered. None must
     do evil, that good should follow: but better employments may
     be found more serviceable to the world.--11. Another objection
     answered: GOD no author of their inventions, and so not
     excusable by his institution.--12. People pleading for these
     vanities show what they are. An exhortation to the weighty and
     considerate. A great part of the way to true discipleship, is to
     abandon the school and shop of Satan.

I. Next, those customs and fashions, which make up the common attire
and conversation of the times, do eminently obstruct the inward
retirement of people's minds, by which they may come to behold the
glories of immortality: who instead of fearing their Creator in the
days of their youth, and seeking the kingdom of God in the first
place, (Eccl. xii. 1; Luke, xii. 31,) expecting the addition of such
other things as may be necessary and convenient, according to the
injunctions of God and the Lord Jesus Christ; as soon as they can
do anything, they look after pride, vanity, and that conversation
which is most delightful to the flesh, (Jer. xviii. 18-20,) which
becomes their most delightful entertainment: all which do but
evidently beget lustful conceptions, and inflame to inordinate
thoughts, wanton discourses, lascivious treats, if not at last to
wicked actions. To such it is tedious and offensive to speak of
heaven or another life. Bid them reflect upon their actions, not
grieve the Holy Spirit, consider of an eternal doom, prepare for
judgment; and the best return that is usual is reproachful jests,
(Eph. v. 3, 4,) profane repartees, if not direct blows. Their
thoughts are otherwise employed: their mornings are too short for
them to wash, to smooth, to paint, to patch, to braid, to curl,
to gum, to powder, and otherwise to attire and adorn themselves;
(Psalm xii. 2; Isa. v.; xii.; lix. 3, 4;) whilst their afternoons
are as commonly bespoke for visits and for plays; where their
usual entertainment is some stories fetched from the more approved
romances; some strange adventures, some passionate amours, unkind
refusals, grand impediments, importunate addresses, miserable
disappointments, wonderful surprises, unexpected encounters, castles
surprised, imprisoned lovers rescued, and meetings of supposed dead
ones; bloody duels, languishing voices echoing from solitary groves,
overheard mournful complaints, deep-fetched sighs sent from wild
deserts, intrigues managed with unheard-of subtlety; and whilst
all things seem at the greatest distance, then are dead people
alive, enemies friends, despair turned to enjoyment, and all their
impossibilities reconciled: things that never were, nor are, nor
ever shall or can be, they all come to pass. And as if men and women
were too slow to answer the loose suggestions of corrupt nature; or
were too intent on more divine speculations and heavenly affairs,
they have all that is possible for the most extravagant wits to
invent; not only express lies, but utter impossibilities to very
nature, on purpose to excite their minds to those idle passions,
and intoxicate their giddy fancies with swelling nothings but airy
fictions: which not only consume their time, effeminate their
natures, debase their reason, and set them on work to reduce these
things to practice, and make each adventure theirs by imitation;
but if disappointed,--as who can otherwise expect from such mere
phantasms?--the present remedy is latitude in the greatest vice. And
yet these are some of their most innocent recreations, which are
the very gins of Satan, to ensnare people; contrived most agreeable
to their weakness, and in a more insensible manner mastering their
affections by entertainments most taking to their senses. On such
occasions it is their hearts breed vanity, and their eyes turn
interpreters to their thoughts, and their looks do whisper the
secret inflammations of their intemperate minds; (Prov. vii. 10-21;)
wandering so long abroad, till their lascivious actings bring night
home, and load their minds and reputations with lust and infamy.

II. Here is the end of all their fashions and recreations, to
gratify the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of
life: (1 John, ii. 15, 16:) clothes that were given to cover, now
want a covering for their shameful excess; and that which should
remind men of lost innocency, they pride and glory in: but the
hundredth part of these things cost man the loss of Paradise, that
now make up the agreeable recreation, aye, the accomplishment of the
times. For as it was Adam's fault to seek a satisfaction to himself,
other than what God ordained; so it is the exercise, pleasure,
and perfection of the age, to spend the greatest portion of their
time in vanities, which are so far from the end of their creation,
namely, a divine life, that they are destructive of it.

III. Were the pleasures of the age true and solid, Adam and Eve
had been miserable in their innocency, who knew them not: but
as it was once their happiness, not to know them in any degree;
so it is theirs, that know Christ indeed, to be by his eternal
power redeemed and raised to the love of immortality: which is yet
a mystery to those who live and have pleasure in their curious
trims, rich and changeable apparel, nicety of dress, invention and
imitation of fashions, costly attire, mincing gaits, wanton looks,
romances, plays, treats, balls, feasts, and the like conversation
in request: for as these had never been, if man had staid at home
with his Creator, and given the entire exercise of his mind to the
noble ends of his creation; so certain it is, that the use of these
vanities, is not only a sign that men and women are yet ignorant
of their true rest and pleasure, but it greatly obstructs and
hinders the retirement of their minds, and their serious inquiry
after those things that are eternal. O that there should be so much
noise, clutter, invention, traffic, curiosity, diligence, pains, and
vast expense of time and estate, to please and gratify poor vain
mortality! And that the soul, the very image of divinity itself,
should have so little of their consideration. What, O what more
pregnant instances and evident tokens can be given, that it is the
body, the senses, the case, a little flesh and bone covered with
skin, the toys, fopperies, and very vanities of this mortal life and
perishing world, that please, that take, that gain them; on which
they dote; and think they never have too much time, love, or money
to bestow upon them!

IV. Thus are their minds employed; and so vain are they in their
imaginations, and dark in their understandings, that they not
only believe them innocent, but persuade themselves they are good
Christians all this while; and to rebuke them is worse than heresy.
(Luke, viii. 14; Prov. i. 30, x. 17, xii. 1, xv. 14; Isa. lvii.
1-10; Jer. xvi. 19-21; Mat. vi. 7.) Thus are they strangers to the
hidden life; and by these things are they diverted from all serious
examination of themselves: and a forced zeal of half-an-hour's talk
in other men's words, which they have nothing to do with, is made
sufficient; being no more their states, or at least their intention,
as their works show, than it was the young man's in the Gospel, that
said, he would go, and did not. But alas! why? O there are other
guests! What are they? Pharamond, Cleopatra, Cassandra, Clelia; a
play, a ball a spring-garden; the park, the gallant, the exchange,
in a word, the world. These stay, these call, these are importunate,
and these they attend, and these are their most familiar associates.
Thus are their hearts captivated from the divine exercise; nay,
from such external affairs, as immediately concern some benefit
to themselves, or needy neighbours; pleasing themselves with the
received ideas of those toys and fopperies into their loose and airy
minds; and if in all things they cannot practise them, because they
want the means of it, yet as much as may be, at least to dote upon
them, be taken with them, and willingly suffer their thoughts to
be hurried after them. All which greatly indisposes the minds, and
distracts the souls of people from the divine life and principle of
the holy Jesus; but, as it hath been often said, more especially
the minds of the younger sort: to whom the like divertisements
(Jer. ii. 5,) (where their inclinations being presented with what
is very suitable to them, they become excited to more vanity than
ever they thought upon before,) are incomparably dearer than all
that can be said of God's fear, a retired life, eternal rewards,
and joys unspeakable and full of glory: so vain, so blind, and so
very insensible are men and women, of what truly makes a disciple
of Christ. (Rom. xiii. 11, 12; Matt. xv. 7-14.) O! that they would
ponder on these things, and watch against, and come out of all these
vanities, for the coming of the Lord, lest being unprepared, and
taken up with other guests, they enter not into his everlasting rest.

V. That which further manifests the unlawfulness of these numerous
fashions and recreations is, that they are either the inventions of
vain, idle, and wanton minds, to gratify their own sensualities,
and raise the like wicked curiosity in others, to imitate the
same; by which nothing but lust and folly are promoted: or the
contrivances of indigent and impoverished wits, who make it the
next way for their maintenance: in both which respects, and upon
both which considerations, they ought to be detested. For the first
licenses express impiety, and the latter countenances a wretched
way of livelihood, and consequently diverts from more lawful, more
serviceable, and more necessary employments. That such persons
are both the inventors and actors of all these follies, cannot
be difficult to demonstrate: for were it possible, that any one
could bring us father Adam's girdle, and mother Eve's apron, what
laughing, what fleering, what mocking of their homely fashions
would there be! Surely their tailor would find but little custom,
although we read, it was God himself that made them coats of skins.
(Gen. iii. 21.) The like may be asked of all the other vanities,
concerning the holy men and women through all the generations of
holy writ. How many pieces of ribbon, and what feathers, lace-bands,
and the like, did Adam and Eve wear in Paradise, or out of it?
What rich embroideries, silks, points, &c. had Abel, Enoch, Noah,
and good old Abraham? Did Eve, Sarah, Susannah, Elizabeth, and the
Virgin Mary use to curl, powder, patch, paint, wear false locks, or
strange colours, rich points, trimmings, laced gowns, embroidered
petticoats, shoes with slip-slaps, laced with silver or silver lace,
and ruffled like pigeons' feet, with several yards, if not pieces of
ribbons? How many plays did Jesus Christ and his apostles recreate
themselves at? What poets, romances, comedies, and the like did the
apostles and saints make, or use to pass away their time withal? I
know, they bid all redeem their time, to avoid foolish talking, vain
jesting, profane babblings, and fabulous stories; (Eph. v. 1-5, 15,
16; 2 Tim. ii. 16, 22; Matt. xxv. 13; Phil. ii. 12, 13; Col. iii.
1, 2, 5;) as what tend to godliness: and rather to watch, to work
out their salvation with fear and trembling, to flee foolish and
youthful lusts, and to follow righteousness, peace, goodness, love,
charity; and to mind the things that are above as they would have
honour, glory, immortality, and eternal life.

VI. But if I were asked, Whence came they then? I could quickly
answer, From the Gentiles, that knew not God; for some amongst
them detested them, as will be shown; they were the pleasures
of an effeminate Sardanapalus, a fantastic Miracles, a comical
Aristophanes, a prodigal Charaxus, a luxurious Aristippus; and the
practices of such women as the infamous Clytemnestra, the painted
Jezebel, the lascivious Campaspe, the immodest Posthumia, the costly
Corinthian Lais, the most impudent Flora, the wanton Egyptian
Cleopatra, and most insatiable Messalina: persons whose memories
have stunk through all ages, and that carry with them a perpetual
rot: these, and not the holy self-denying men and women in ancient
times, were devoted to the like recreations and vain delights.
Nay, the more sober of the very heathens themselves, and that upon
a principle of great virtue, as is by all confessed, detested the
like folly and wanton practices. There is none of them to be found
in Plato, or in Seneca's works: Pythagoras, Socrates, Phocion,
Zeno, &c. did not accustom themselves to these entertainments. The
virtuous Penelope, the chaste Lucretia, and the grave Cornelia, with
many others, could find themselves employment enough among their
children, servants, and neighbours; they, though nobles, next to
their devotion, delighted most in spinning, weaving, gardening,
needlework, and such like good housewifery, and commendable
entertainment: who, though called Heathens, expressed much more
Christianity in all their actions, than do the wanton, foolish
people of this age, who notwithstanding will be called Christians.
But above all, you playmongers, whence think you, came your so
passionately beloved comedies; than which, as there is not any one
diversion that is more pernicious, so not one more in esteem, and
fondly frequented? Why, I will tell you; their greatgrandfather was
a Heathen, and that not of the best sort: his name was Epicharmus.
It is true, he is called a philosopher, or a lover of wisdom; but he
was only so by name; and no more in reality than the comedians of
these times are true Christians. It is reported of him by Suidas, a
Greek historian, that he was the first man who invented comedies;
and by the help of one Phormus, he made also fifty fables. But would
you know his country, and the reason of his invention? His country
was Syracuse, the chief city in Sicily, famous for the infamy of
many tyrants; to please and gratify the lusts of some of whom, he
set his wits to work. And do not you think this an ill original?
And is it less in any one to imitate, or justify the same, since
the more sober Heathens have themselves condemned them? Nay, is it
not abominable, when such as call themselves Christians, do both
imitate and justify the like inventions? Nor had the melancholy
tragedies a better parentage, namely, one Thespis, an Athenian poet;
to whom they also do ascribe the original of that impudent custom
of painting faces, and the counterfeit, or representation of other
persons, by change of habit, humours, &c., all which are now so much
in use and reputation with the great ones of the times. To these let
me add that poetical _amoroso_, whom an inordinate passion of love
first transported to those poetical raptures of admiration, indeed
sordid effeminacy, if not idolatry; they call him Alcman or Alcina,
a Lydian: he being exceedingly in love with a young woman of his own
country, is said to have been the first person that gave the world a
sight of that kind of folly, namely, love stories, and verses; which
have been so diligently imitated by almost all nations ever since in
their romances.

Objection 2. VII. I know that some will say, But we have many
comedies and tragedies, sonnets, catches, &c. that are on purpose to
reprehend vice, from whence we learn many commendable things. Though
this be shameful, yet many have been wont, for want of shame or
understanding, or both, to return me this for answer. Now I readily
shall confess, that amongst the heathens it was the next remedy
against the common vices to the more grave and moral lectures of
their philosophers, of which number I shall instance two: Euripides,
whom Suidas calls a learned tragical poet, and Eupolis, whom the
same historian calls a comical poet. The first was a man so chaste,
and therefore so unlike those of our days, that he was called one
that hated women, that is, wanton ones, for otherwise he was twice
married; the other he characters as a most severe reprehender of
faults. From which I gather, that their design was not to feed the
idle lazy fancies of people, nor merely to get money; but since
by the means of loose wits the people had been debauched, their
work was to reclaim them, rendering vice ridiculous, and turning
wit against wickedness. And this appears the rather, from the
description given, as also that Euripides was supposed to have been
torn in pieces by wanton women; which doubtless was for declaiming
against their impudence: and the other being slain in the battle
betwixt the Athenians and Lacedæmonians, was so regretted, that a
law was made, that never after such poets should be allowed to bear
arms: doubtless it was because in losing him they lost a reprover
of vice. So that the end of the approved comedians and tragedians
of those times was but to reform the people by making sin odious:
and that not so much by a rational and argumentative way, usual
with their philosophers; as by sharp jeers, severe reflections,
and rendering their vicious actions shameful, ridiculous, and
detestable; so that for reputation sake they might not longer be
guilty of them: which is to me but a little softer than a whip or a
bridewell. Now if you that plead for them will be contented to be
accounted heathens, and those of the more dissolute and wicked sort
too, that will sooner be jeered than argued out of your sins, we
shall acknowledge to you that such comedies and tragedies as these
may be serviceable; but then for shame abuse not the name of Jesus
Christ so impudently as to call yourselves Christians, whose lusts
are so strong, that you are forced to use the low shifts of heathens
to repel them: to leave their evils not for the love of virtue, but
out of fear, shame, or reputation. Is this your love to Jesus, your
reverence to the Scriptures, that through faith are able to make the
man of God perfect? Is all your prattle about ordinances, prayers,
sacraments, Christianity, and the like, come to this; that at last
you must betake yourselves to such instructors as were by the sober
heathens permitted to reclaim the most vicious of the people that
were amongst them? And such remedies too as below which there is
nothing but corporal punishment?

VIII. This is so far from Christianity, that many of the nobler
heathens, men and women, were better taught, and better disposed;
they found out more heavenly contemplations, and subjects of an
eternal nature to meditate upon. Nay, so far did they outstrip
the Christians of these times, that they not only were exemplary
by their grave and sober conversation; but for their public
benefit the Athenians instituted the Gynæcosmi, or twenty men,
who should make it their business to observe the people's apparel
and behaviour; that if any were found immodest, and to demean
themselves loosely, they had full authority to punish them. But
the case is altered; it is punishable to reprove such: yes, it is
matter of the greatest contumely and reproach. Nay, so impudent
are some grown in their impieties, that they sport themselves with
such religious persons: and not only manifest a great neglect of
piety, and a severe life by their own looseness, but their extreme
contempt of it, by rendering it ridiculous, through comical and
abusive jests on public stages. Which, how dangerous it is, and apt
to make religion little worth in the people's eyes, besides the
demonstration of this age, let us remember that Aristophanes had not
a readier way to bring the reputation of Socrates in question with
the people, who greatly reverenced him for his grave and virtuous
life and doctrine, than by his abusive representations of him in
a play: which made the airy, wanton, unstable crowd, rather part
with Socrates in earnest, than Socrates in jest. Nor can a better
reason be given why the poor Quakers are made so much the scorn of
men, than because of their severe reprehensions of sin and vanity,
and their self-denying conversation, amidst so great intemperance
in all worldly satisfactions: yet can such libertines all this
while strut and swell for Christians, and strut it out against
precept and example; but we must be whimsical, conceited, morose,
melancholy, or else heretics, deceivers, and what not? O blindness!
Pharisaical hypocrisy! As if such were fit to be judges of religion;
or that it were possible for them to have a sight and sense of
true religion, or really to be religious, whilst darkened in their
understandings by the god of the pleasures of this world; and
their minds so wrapped up in external enjoyments, and the variety
of worldly delight: no, in the name of the everlasting God, you
mock Him, and deceive your souls; for the wrath of the Almighty is
against you all, whilst in that spirit and condition; in vain are
all your babbles and set performances, God laughs you to scorn; his
anger is kindling because of these things: wherefore be ye warned to
temperance, and repent.

IX. Besides, this sort of people are not only wicked, loose, and
vain, who both invent and act these things; but by your great
delight in such vain inventions you encourage them therein, and
hinder them from more honest and more serviceable employments. For
what is the reason that most commodities are held at such excessive
rates, but because labour is so very dear? And why is it so, but
because so many hands are otherwise bestowed, even about the very
vanity of all vanities? Nay, how common is it with these mercenary
procurers to people's folly, that when their purses begin to grow
low, they shall present them with a new and pretendedly more
convenient fashion; and that perhaps before the former costly habits
shall have done half their service; which either must be given away,
or new vamped in the cut _most à-la-mode_. O prodigal, yet frequent

Objection 3. X. I know I am coming to encounter the most plausible
objection they are used to urge when driven to a pinch, viz. But
how shall those many families subsist whose livelihood depends upon
such fashions and recreations as you so earnestly decry? I answer:
it is a bad argument to plead for the commission of the least evil
that never so great a good may come of it: if you and they have
made wickedness your pleasure and your profit, be ye content that
it should be your grief and punishment till the one can learn to
be without such vanity, and the others have found out more honest
employments. It is the vanity of the few great ones that makes
so much toil for the many small: and the great excess of the one
occasions the great labour of the other. Would men learn to be
contented with few things, such as are necessary and convenient,
(the ancient Christian life,) all things might be at a cheaper rate,
and men might live for little. If the landlords had less lusts to
satisfy, the tenants might have less rent to pay, and turn from poor
to rich, whereby they might be able to find more honest and domestic
employments for their children than becoming sharpers and living by
their wits, which is but a better word for their sins. And if the
report of the more intelligent in husbandry be credible, lands are
generally improvable ten in twenty: and were there more hands about
more lawful and serviceable manufactures, they would be cheaper,
and greater vent might be made of them, by which a benefit would
redound to the world in general; nay, the burden lies the heavier
upon the laborious country, that so many hands and shoulders as have
the lust-caterers of the cities, should be wanting to the plough and
useful husbandry. If men never think themselves rich enough, they
may never miss of trouble and employment; but those who can take the
primitive state and God's creation for their model, may learn with
a little to be contented; as knowing that desires after wealth do
not only prevent or destroy true faith, but when got increase snares
and trouble. It is no evil to repent of evil: but that cannot be,
whilst men maintain what they should repent of: it is a bad argument
to avoid temperance, or justify the contrary, because otherwise
the actors and inventors of excess would want a livelihood; since
to feed them that way is to nurse the cause instead of starving
it. Let such of those vanity hucksters as have got sufficient, be
contented to retreat, and spend it more honestly than they got it;
and such as really are poor, be rather helped by charity to better
callings: this were more prudent, nay Christian, than to consume
money upon such foolish toys and fopperies. Public workhouses would
be effectual remedies to all these lazy and lustful distempers,
with more profit and a better conscience. Therefore it is that we
cannot, we dare not square our conversation by the world's: no, but
by our plainness and moderation to testify against such extravagant
vanities; and by our grave and steady life to manifest our dislike,
on God's behalf, to such intemperate and wanton curiosity: yea, to
deny ourselves what otherwise perhaps we lawfully could use with a
just indifferency, if not satisfaction; because of that abuse that
is amongst the generality.

Objection 4. XI. I know, that some are ready further to object: Hath
God given us these enjoyments on purpose to condemn us, if we use
them? Answer: But to such miserable, poor, silly souls, who would
rather charge the most high and holy God with the invention or
creation of their dirty vanities, than want a plea to justify their
own practice, not knowing how, for shame, or fear, or love to throw
them off; I answer, that what God made for man's use, was good, and
what the blessed Lord Jesus Christ allowed or enjoined, or gave
us in his most heavenly example, is to be observed, believed, and
practised. (Luke, viii. 14; xii. 28-31.) But in the whole catalogue
the Scriptures give of both, I never found the attires, recreations,
and way of living, so much in request with the generality of the
Christians of these times: no certainly, God created man a holy,
wise, sober, grave, and reasonable creature, fit to govern himself
and the world: but divinity was then the great object of his reason
and pleasure; all external enjoyments of God's giving being for
necessity, convenience, and lawful delight, with this proviso
too, that the Almighty was to be seen, and sensibly enjoyed and
reverenced in every one of them. But how very wide the Christians
of these times are from this primitive institution is not difficult
to determine, although they make such loud pretensions to that most
holy Jesus, who not only gave the world a certain evidence of a
happy restoration, by his own coming, but promised his assistance
to all that would follow Him in the self-denial and way of his holy
cross; (John, viii. 12; xv. 7, 8; xvii. 20;) and therefore hath so
severely enjoined no less on all, as they would be everlastingly
saved. But whether the minds of men and women are not as profoundly
involved in all excess and vanity, as those who know Him not any
further than by hearsay; and whether being thus banished the
presence of the Lord, by their greedy seeking the things that are
below, and thereby having lost the taste of divine pleasure, they
have not feigned to themselves an imaginary pleasure, to quiet or
smother conscience, and pass their time without that anguish and
trouble which are the consequences of sin, that so they might be
at ease and security while in the world, let their own consciences
declare. (Rom. ii. 8, 9.) Adam's temptation is represented by
the fruit of a tree, (Gen. iii. 6,) thereby intimating the great
influence external objects, as they exceed in beauty, carry with
them upon our senses: so that unless the mind keep upon its constant
watch, so prevalent are visible things, that hard it is for one
to escape being insnared in them; (Mark, xiii. 33-37;) and he
shall need to be only sometimes entrapped, to cast so thick a veil
of darkness over the mind, that not only it shall with pleasure
continue in its fetters to lust and vanity, but proudly censure such
as refuse to wear them, strongly pleading for them, as serviceable
and convenient: that strange passion do perishing objects raise in
those minds where way is made, and entertainment given to them. But
Christ Jesus is manifested in us, and hath given unto us a taste
and understanding of Him that is true; and to all such a proportion
of his good spirit, as is sufficient, would they obey it, to redeem
their minds from that captivity they have been in to lust and
vanity, and entirely ransom them from the dominion of all visible
objects, and whatsoever may gratify the desires of the eye, the lust
of the flesh, and the pride of life; (1 John, ii. 15, 16;) that they
might be regenerated in their minds, changed in their affections,
and have their whole hearts set on things that are above, where moth
nor rust can ever pass, or enter to harm or destroy.

XII. But it is a manifest sign of what mould and make the persons
are who practise and plead for such shameful Egyptian rags, as
pleasures. It is to be hoped that they never knew, or to be feared
they have forgotten, the humble, plain, meek, holy, self-denying,
and exemplary life, which the eternal Spirit sanctifies all obedient
hearts into; yea, it is indubitable that either such always have
been ignorant, or else they have lost sight of that good land,
that heavenly country, and blessed inheritance they once had some
glimmering prospect of. (Gal. v. 22-25; Eph. v. 8-11, 15, 16.) O
that they would but withdraw a while, sit down, weigh and consider
with themselves where they are, and whose work and will they are
doing! that they would once believe the devil hath not a stratagem
more pernicious to their immortal souls, than this of exercising
their minds in the foolish fashions and wanton recreations of the
times! Great and gross impieties beget a detestation in the opinion
of sober education and reputation; and therefore since the devil
rightly sees such things have no success with many; it is his next,
and most fatal design, to find some other entertainments, that
carry less of infection in their looks, (though more of security,
because less of scandal,) and more of pleasure in their enjoyment,
on purpose to busy and arrest people from a diligent search and
inquiry after those matters which necessarily concern their eternal
peace: (Eph. vi. 12-19:) that being ignorant of the heavenly life,
they may not be induced to press after it; but being only formally
religious, according to the traditions and precepts of others,
proceed to their common pleasures, and find no check therefrom,
their religion and conversation for the most part agreeing well
together, whereby an improvement in the knowledge of God, going on
from grace to grace, growing to the measure of the stature of Jesus
Christ himself, is not known; but as it was in the beginning at
seven, so it is at seventy; nay, not so innocent, unless by reason
of the old saying, "Old men are twice children." (Eph. i. 16-23; iv.
12, 13.)

O! the mystery of godliness, the heavenly life, the true Christian,
are another thing. Wherefore we conclude that as the design of the
devil, where he cannot involve and draw into gross sin, is to busy,
delight, and allure the minds of men and women by more seeming
innocent entertainments, on purpose that he may more easily secure
them from minding their duty and progress, and obedience to the
only true God, which is eternal life; (John. xvii. 3;) and thereby
take up their minds from heavenly and eternal things; so those who
would be delivered from these snares should mind the holy, just,
grave, and self-denying teachings of God's grace and Spirit in
themselves, that they may reject, and for ever abandon the like
vanity and evil; (Tit. ii. 11-15;) and by a reformed conversation
condemn the world of its intemperance: so will the true discipleship
be obtained: for otherwise many enormous consequences and pernicious
effects will follow. It is to encourage such impious persons, to
continue and proceed in the like trades of feeding the people's
lusts; and thereby such make themselves partakers of their plagues,
who by continual fresh desire to the like curiosities, and that
way of spending time and estate, induce them to spend more time in
studying how to abuse time; lest, through their pinching and small
allowance, those prodigals should call their father's house to mind:
for whatsoever any think, more pleasant baits, alluring objects,
grateful entertainments, cunning emissaries, acceptable sermons,
insinuating lectures, taking orators, the crafty devil has not ever
had, by which to entice and insnare the minds of people, and totally
to divert them from heavenly reflections and divine meditations,
than the attire, sports, plays, and pastimes of this godless age,
the school and shop of Satan, hitherto so reasonably condemned.


     1. But if these customs, &c. were but indifferent, yet
     being abused they deserve to be rejected.--2. The abuse is
     acknowledged by those that use them, therefore should leave
     them.--3. Such as pretend to seriousness should exemplarily
     withdraw from such latitudes: a wise parent weans his child of
     what it dotes too much upon; and we should watch over ourselves
     and neighbours.--4. God, in the case of the brazen serpent, &c.
     gives us an example to put away the use of abused things.--5.
     If these things were sometimes convenient, yet when their use
     is prejudicial in example, they should be disused.--6. Such as
     yet proceed to love their unlawful pleasures more than Christ
     and his cross; the mischief they have brought to persons and
     estates, bodies and souls.--7. Ingenuous people know this to be
     true: an appeal to God's witness in the guilty: their state,
     that of Babylon.--8. But temperance in food, and plainness in
     apparel, and sober conversation conduce most to good: so the
     apostle teaches in his epistles.--9. Temperance enriches a
     land: it is a political good, as well as a religious one, in
     all governments.--10. When people have done their duty to God,
     it will be time enough to think of pleasing themselves.--11. An
     address to the magistrates and all people, how to convert their
     time and money to better purposes.

I. But should these things be as indifferent, as they are proved
perniciously unlawful; for I never heard any advance their plea
beyond the bounds of mere indifferency; yet so great is their abuse,
so universal the sad effects thereof, like to an infection, that
they therefore ought to be rejected of all; especially those whose
sobriety hath preserved theta on this side of that excess, or whose
judgments, though themselves be guilty, suggest the folly of such
intemperance. For what is an indifferent thing, but that which may
be done, or left undone? Granting, I say, this were the case, yet
do both reason and religion teach that when they are used with such
an excess of appetite as to leave them would be a cross to their
desires, they have exceeded the bounds of mere indifferency, and are
thereby rendered no less than necessary. Which being a violation of
the very nature of the things themselves, a perfect abuse enters;
and consequently they are no longer to be considered in the rank of
things simply indifferent, but unlawful.

II. Now that the whole exchange of things, against which I have so
earnestly contended, are generally abused by the excess of almost
all ages, sexes, and qualities of people, will be confessed by many,
who yet decline not to conform themselves to them; and to whom, as I
have understood, it only seems lawful, because, say they, the abuse
of others should be no argument why we should not use them. But to
such I answer, That they have quite forgotten, or will not remember,
they have acknowledged these things to be but of an indifferent
nature; if so, and vanity never urged more, I say, there can be
nothing more clear, than since they acknowledge their great abuse,
that they are wholly to be forsaken: for since they may as well be
let alone as done at any time, surely they should then of duty be
let alone, when the use of them is an abetting the general excess,
(Phil. iii. 17,) and a mere exciting others to continue in their
abuse, because they find persons reputed sober to imitate them, or
otherwise give them an example. Precepts are not half so forcible as

III. Every one that pretends to seriousness ought to inspect
himself, as having been too forward to help on the excess, and can
never make too much haste out of those inconveniencies that by his
former example he encouraged any to; that by a new one he may put
a seasonable check upon the intemperance of others. A wise parent
ever withdraws those objects, however innocent in themselves, which
are too prevalent upon the weak senses of his children, on purpose
that they might be weaned: and it is as frequent with men to bend
a crooked stick as much the contrary way, that they might make it
straight at last. Those that have more sobriety than others should
not forget their stewardships, but exercise that gift of God to the
security of their neighbours. It was murdering Cain that rudely
asked the Lord, "Was he his brother's keeper?" (Gen. iv. 9.) For
every man is necessarily obliged thereto; and therefore should be so
wise as to deny himself the use of such indifferent enjoyments as
cannot be used by him without too manifest an encouragement to his
neighbour's folly.

IV. God hath sufficiently excited men to what is said; for in the
case of the brazen serpent, (2 Kings. xviii. 3, 4,) which was a
heavenly institution and type of Christ, he with great displeasure
enjoined it should be broken to pieces, because they were too
fond and doting upon it. Yes, the very groves themselves, however
pleasant for situation, beautiful for their walks and trees,
must be cut down: and why? Only because they had been abused to
idolatrous uses. And what is an idol but that which the mind puts an
over-estimate or value upon? None can benefit themselves so much by
an indifferent thing as others by not using that abused liberty.

V. If those things were convenient in themselves, which is a step
nearer necessity than mere indifferency, yet when by circumstances
they become prejudicial, such conveniency itself ought to be put
off; much more what is but indifferent should be denied. People
ought not to weigh their private satisfactions more than a public
good; nor please themselves in too free a use of indifferent things,
at the cost of being so really prejudicial to the public as they
certainly are, whose use of them, if no worse, becomes exemplary
to others, and begets an impatience in their minds to have the
like. Wherefore it is both reasonable and incumbent on all to make
only such things necessary as tend to life and godliness, and to
employ their freedom with most advantage to their neighbours. (2
Pet. i. 3.) So that here is a two-fold obligation; the one not to
be exemplary in the use of such things, which though they may use
them, yet not without giving too much countenance to the abuse and
excessive vanity of their neighbours. The other obligation is, that
they ought so far to condescend to such religious people, who are
offended at these fashions, and that kind of conversation as to
reject them. (Rom. xiv. 1, to the end.)

VI. Now those who, notwithstanding what I have urged, will yet
proceed; what is it but that they have so involved themselves and
their affections in them, that it is hardly possible to reform them;
and that for all their many protestations against their fondness
to such fopperies, they really love them more than Christ and his
cross. Such cannot seek the good of others, who do so little respect
their own. For, after a serious consideration, what vanity, pride,
idleness, expense of time and estates have been and yet are! How
many persons debauched from their first sobriety, and women from
their natural sweetness and innocency to loose, airy, wanton, and
many times more enormous practices! How many plentiful estates
have been overrun by numerous debts, chastity ensnared by accursed
lustful intrigues; youthful health overtaken by the hasty seizure of
unnatural distempers, and the remaining days of such spent upon a
rack of their vice's procuring, and so made slaves to the unmerciful
but necessary effects of their own inordinate pleasures! in which
agony they vow the greatest temperance, but are no sooner out of it,
than in their vice again. (Lam. iv. 5; Job, xxi. 13, 14; Psalm lv.
23; xxxvii. 10; Eccl. viii. 12; Psalm xxxvii. 1, 2; Prov. ii. 22.)

VII. That these things are the case, and almost innumerable more,
I am persuaded no ingenuous person of any experience will deny:
how then, upon a serious reflection, any that pretend conscience
or the fear of God Almighty, can longer continue in the garb,
livery, and conversation of those whose whole life tends to little
else than what I have repeated, much less join with them in their
abominable excess, I leave to the just principle in themselves to
judge. (Jer. xvi. 5-9.) No, surely! this is not to obey the voice
of God, who in all ages did loudly cry to all, Come out of--_of
what?_--the ways, fashions, converse, and spirit of Babylon. (Isa.
iii. 13-16; Jer. l. 8; xv. 6, 7; Amos, vi. 3-7.) What is that?
The great city of all these vain, foolish, wanton, superfluous,
and wicked practices, against which the Scriptures denounce most
dreadful judgments; ascribing all the intemperance of men and women
to the cup of wickedness she hath given them to drink; whose are the
things indifferent, if they must be so. And for witness, John in
his revelation says in her description: How much she hath glorified
herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her.
And the kings of the earth, who have lived deliciously with her,
shall bewail her and lament her; and the merchants of the earth
shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth her merchandise any
more; the merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and
of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and
thyine-wood, and all manner of vessels of ivory, and all manner of
vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble;
and cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine,
and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and
horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. (Rev. xviii.
7, 9, 11-13.) Behold the character and judgment of luxury: and
though I know it hath a further signification than what is literal,
yet there is enough to show the pomp, plenty, fulness, idleness,
ease, wantonness, vanity, lust, and excess of luxury that reign
in her. But at the terrible day, who will go to her exchange any
more? Who to her plays? Who will follow her fashions then? And who
shall traffic in her delicate inventions? Not one; for she shall be
judged. No plea shall excuse or rescue her from the wrath of the
Judge; for strong is the Lord, who will perform it. (Rev. xviii.
8.) If these reasonable pleas will not prevail, yet however I shall
caution such in the repetition of part of Babylon's miserable
doom: mind, my friends, more heavenly things, hasten to obey that
righteous principle which would exercise and delight you in that
which is eternal; or else with Babylon, the mother of lust and
vanity, the fruits that your souls lust after shall depart from you,
and all things which are dainty and goodly shall depart from you and
you shall find them NO MORE: O Dives! No more. (Rev. xviii. 14.) Lay
your treasures, therefore, up in heaven, O ye inhabitants of the
earth, where nothing can break through to harm them; but where time
shall shortly be swallowed up of eternity. (Luke, xii. 33, 34.)

VIII. But my arguments against these things end not here: for the
contrary most of all conduces to good; namely, temperance in food,
plainness in apparel, with a meek, shame-faced, and quiet spirit,
and that conversation which doth only express the same in all godly
honesty: as the apostle saith, "Let no corrupt communication proceed
out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying,
that it may minister grace to the hearers; neither filthiness, nor
foolish talking, nor jesting, but rather giving of thanks: for let
no man deceive you with vain words, because of these things cometh
the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience." (Col. iv.
5, 6; 1 Thes. iv. 11, 12; 1 Pet. iii. 1-4; Eph. iv. 2; v. 3-6; 1
Tim. iv. 12; Phil. iii. 16-20.) And if men and women were but thus
adorned after this truly Christian manner, impudence would soon
receive a check, and lust, pride, vanity, and wantonness find a
rebuke. (1 Pet. ii. 12; Prov. xxxi. 23-31; James, ii. 2-9.) They
would not be able to attack such universal chastity or encounter
such godly austerity: virtue would be in credit, and vice afraid
and ashamed, and excess not dare to show its face. There would be
an end of gluttony and gaudiness of apparel, flattering titles,
and a luxurious life; (2 Pet. iii. 11; Psal. xxvi. 6;) and then
primitive innocency and plainness would come back again, and that
plain-hearted, downright, harmless life would be restored, of not
much caring what we should eat, drink, or put on, (Luke, xii.
22-30,) as Christ tells us the Gentiles did, and as we know this age
daily does, under all its talk of religion; but as the ancients,
who with moderate care for necessaries and conveniencies of life,
devoted themselves to the concernments of a celestial kingdom, and
more minded their improvement in righteousness than their increase
in riches; for they laid their treasure up in heaven, (Matt. xxv.
21,) and endured tribulation for an inheritance that cannot be taken

IX. But the temperance I plead for is not only religiously but
politically good: it is the interest of good government to curb
and rebuke excesses: it prevents many mischiefs. Luxury brings
effeminacy, laziness, poverty, and misery; (Prov. x. 4; Eccl.
x. 16-18;) but temperance preserves the land. It keeps out
foreign vanities, and improves our own commodities: now we are
their debtors; then they would be debtors to us for our native
manufactures. By this means, such persons who by their excess, not
charity, have deeply engaged their estates, may in a short space
be enabled to clear them from those incumbrances which otherwise,
like moths, soon eat out plentiful revenues. It helps persons of
mean substance to improve their small stocks, that they may not
expend their dear earnings, and hard-got wages upon superfluous
apparel, foolish May-games, plays, dancings, shows, taverns,
ale-houses, and the like folly and intemperance, of which this land
is more infested, and by which it is rendered more ridiculous than
any kingdom in the world: for none I know of is so infested with
cheating mountebanks, savage morrice-dancers, pick-pockets, and
profane players, and stagers, to the slight of religion, the shame
of government, and the great idleness, expense, and debauchery of
the people: for which the Spirit of the Lord is grieved, and the
judgments of the Almighty are at the door, and the sentence ready
to be pronounced, "Let him that is unjust be unjust still." (Rev.
xxii. 11; Eccl. xii. 1.) Wherefore it is that we cannot but loudly
call upon the generality of the times, and testify both by our life
and doctrine against the like vanities and abuses, if possibly any
may be weaned from their folly, and choose the good old path of
temperance, wisdom, gravity, and holiness, the only way to inherit
the blessings of peace and plenty here, and eternal happiness

X. Lastly, supposing we had none of these foregoing reasons justly
to reprove the practice of the land in these particulars; however,
let it be sufficient for us to say, that when people have first
learned to fear, worship, and obey their Creator, to pay their
numerous vicious debts, to alleviate and abate their oppressed
tenants; but above all outward regards, when the pale faces are
more commiserated, when the famished poor, the distressed widow,
and helpless orphan, God's works, and your fellow-creatures, are
provided for; then, I say, if then, it will be time enough for you
to plead the indifferency of your pleasures. But that the sweet and
tedious labour of the husbandman, early and late, cold and hot, wet
and dry, should be converted into the pleasure, ease, and pastime
of a small number of men; that the cart, the plough, the flail,
should be in that continual severity laid upon nineteen parts of
the land, to feed the inordinate lusts and delicious appetites of
the twentieth, is so far from the appointment of the great Governor
of the world, and God of the spirits of all flesh, that, to imagine
such horrible injustice as the effects of his determinations, and
not the intemperance of men, were wretched and blasphemous. As
on the other side, it would be to deserve no pity, no help, no
relief from God Almighty, for people to continue that expense in
vanity and pleasure, whilst the great necessities of such objects
go unanswered; especially since God hath made the sons of men but
stewards to each other's exigencies and relief. Yea, so strict is
it enjoined, that on the omission of these things, we find this
dreadful sentence partly to be grounded, "Depart from me, ye cursed,
into everlasting fire," &c. (Matt. xxv. 34-41.) As on the contrary,
to visit the sick, see the imprisoned, relieve the needy, &c. are
such excellent properties in Christ's account, that thereupon He
will pronounce such blessed, saying, "Come, ye blessed of my Father,
inherit the kingdom prepared for you," &c. (Matt. xxv. 34-41.) So
that the great are not, with the leviathan in the deep, to prey upon
the small, much less to make a sport of the lives and labours of the
lesser ones, to gratify their inordinate senses.

XI. I therefore humbly offer an address to the serious consideration
of the civil magistrate, that, if the money which is expended in
every parish in such vain fashions as wearing of laces, jewels,
embroideries, unnecessary ribbons, trimmings, costly furniture, and
attendance, together with what is commonly consumed in taverns,
feasts, gaming, &c. could be collected into a public stock, or
something in lieu of this extravagant and fruitless expense, there
might be reparation to the broken tenants, workhouses for the able,
and alms-houses for the aged and impotent. Then should we have no
beggars in the land, the cry of the widow and the orphan would
cease, and charitable relief might easily be afforded towards the
redemption of poor captives, and the refreshment of such distressed
Protestants as labour under the miseries of persecution in other
countries: nay, the Exchequer's needs, on just emergencies, might
be supplied by such a bank: this sacrifice and service would please
the just and merciful God: it would be a noble example of gravity
and temperance to foreign states, and an unspeakable benefit to
ourselves at home.

Alas! why should men need persuasions to what their own felicity
so necessarily leads them? Had these _vitiosos_ of the times but a
sense of heathen Cato's generosity, they would rather deny their
carnal appetites than leave such noble enterprises unattempted.
But that they should eat, drink, play, game, and sport away their
health, estates, and, above all, their irrevocable precious time,
which should be dedicated to the Lord, as a necessary introduction
to a blessed eternity, and than which, did they but know it, no
worldly solace would come in competition: I say, that they should
be continually employed about these poor, low things is to have the
heathens judge them in God's days, as well as Christian precepts
and examples condemn them. And their final doom will prove the
more astonishing, in that this vanity and excess are acted under a
profession of the self-denying religion of Jesus, whose life and
doctrine are a perpetual reproach to the most of Christians. For
He was humble, but they are proud; He forgiving, they revengeful;
He meek, they fierce; He plain, they gaudy; He abstemious, they
luxurious; He chaste, they lascivious: He a pilgrim on earth,
they citizens of the world: in fine, He was meanly born, poorly
attended, and obscurely brought up; He lived despised, and died
hated of the men of his own nation. O you pretended followers of
this crucified Jesus! examine yourselves, try yourselves, know
you not your own selves; if He dwell not, if He rule not in you,
that you are reprobates? Be ye not deceived, for God will not be
mocked, (at last with forced repentances,) such as you sow, such
you must reap. (1 Cor. xiii. 5; Gal. vi. 8.) I beseech you to hear
me, and remember you were invited and entreated to the salvation of
God. I say; as you sow, you reap: if you are enemies to the cross
of Christ,--and you are so if you will not bear it, but do as you
list, and not as you ought;--if you are uncircumcised in heart and
ear, and you are so, if you will not hear, and open to Him that
knocks at the door within, and if you resist and quench the Spirit
in yourselves, that strives with you, to bring you to God, (and
that you certainly do who rebel against its motions, reproofs,
and instructions,) then you sow to the flesh, to fulfil the lusts
thereof, and of the flesh will you reap the fruits of corruption,
(Rom. ii. 8,) woe, anguish, and tribulation, from God, the Judge
of quick and dead, by Jesus Christ. But if you will daily bear the
holy cross of Christ, and sow to the Spirit; if you will listen to
the light and grace that comes by Jesus, and which He has given
to all people for salvation, and square your thoughts, words, and
deeds thereby, which leads and teaches the lovers of it to deny all
ungodliness and the world's lusts, and to live soberly, righteously,
and godly in this present evil world, then may you with confidence
look for the blessed hope and joyful coming, and glorious appearance
of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. (Tit. ii. 11-13.)
Let it be so, O you Christians, and escape the wrath to come! Why
will you die? Let the time past suffice: remember, that No Cross,
no Crown. Redeem then the time, for the days are evil, (Eph. v.
16,) and yours are but very few. Therefore gird up the loins of your
minds, be sober, fear, watch, pray, and endure to the end; calling
to mind for your encouragement and consolation, that all such as
through patience and well-doing wait for immortality, (Rom. ii. 7,)
shall reap glory, honour, and eternal life in the kingdom of the
Father: whose is the kingdom, the power, and the glory for ever.













No Cross, No Crown, should have ended here; but that the power which
examples and authorities have put upon the minds of the people,
above the most reasonable and pressing arguments, inclined me to
present my readers with some of those many instances that might be
given, in favour of the virtuous life recommended in our discourse.
I chose to cast them into three sorts of testimonies, not after
the threefold subject of the book; but suitable to the times,
qualities, and circumstances of the persons that gave them forth;
whose divers excellencies and stations have transmitted their names
with reputation to our own times. The first testimony comes from
those called Heathens; the second from professed Christians; and
the last, from retired, aged, and dying men; being their last and
serious reflections, to which no ostentation or worldly interests
could induce them. Where it will be easy for the considerate reader
to observe, how much the pride, avarice, and luxury of the world
stood reprehended in the judgments of persons of great credit
amongst men; and what was that life and conduct, that in their most
retired meditations, when their sight was clearest, and judgment
most free and disabused, they thought would give peace here, and lay
foundations of eternal blessedness.


     _The Testimonies of several great, learned, and virtuous
     personages among the_ Gentiles, _urged against the excesses of
     the age, in favour of the self-denial, temperance, and piety,
     recommended in the first part of this discourse._


     1. Cyrus.--2. Artaxerxes.--3. Agathocles.--4. Philip.--5.
     Ptolemy.--6. Xenophanes.--7. Antigonus.--8. Themistocles.--9.
     Aristides.--10. Pericles.--11. Phocion.--12. Clitomachus.--13.
     Epaminondas.--14. Demosthenes.--15. Agasicles.--16.
     Agesilaus.--17. Agis.--18. Alcamenes.--19. Alexandrides.--20.
     Anaxilas.--21. Ariston.--22. Archidamus.--23. Cleomenes.--24.
     Dersyllidas.--25. Hippodamus.--26. Leonidas.--27. Lysander.--28.
     Pausanias.--29. Theopompus, &c.--30. The manner of life and
     government of the Lacedæmonians in general.--31. Lycurgus their

I. Cyrus, than whom a greater monarch we hardly find in story,
is more famous for his virtue than his power; God calls him his
shepherd. Now let us see the principles of his conduct and life.
So temperate was he in his youth, that when Astyages, urged him
to drink wine, he answered, "I am afraid lest there should be
poison in it, having seen thee reel and sottish after having drunk
thereof." And so careful was he to keep the Persians from corruption
of manners, that he would not suffer them to leave their rude and
mountainous country, for one more pleasant and fruitful, lest
through plenty and ease, luxury at last might debase their spirits.
And so very chaste was he, that having taken a lady of quality, a
most beautiful woman, his prisoner, he refused to see her, saying,
"I have no mind to be a captive to my captive." It seems, he claimed
no such propriety; but shunned the occasion of evil. The comptroller
of his household asking him one day what he would please to have
for his dinner; "Bread," said he; "for I intend to encamp nigh the
water:" a short and easy bill of fare: but this shows the power he
had over his appetite as well as his soldiers; and that he was fit
to command others, that could command himself: according to another
saying of his, "No man," saith he, "is worthy to command, who is
not better than those who are to obey." And when he came to die,
he gave this reason of his belief of immortality; "I cannot," said
he, "persuade myself to think that the soul of man, after having
sustained itself in a mortal body, should perish when delivered out
of it, for want of it;" a saying of perhaps as great weight, as may
be advanced against Atheism, from more enlightened times.

II. Artaxerxes Mnemon, being upon an extraordinary occasion reduced
to eat barley bread, and dried figs, and drink water, "What
pleasure," saith he, "have I lost till now, through my delicacies
and excess!"

III. Agathocles becoming king of Sicily, from being the son of a
potter, always to humble his mind to his original, would be daily
served in earthen vessels upon his table: an example of humility and

IV. Philip, king of Macedon, upon three sorts of good news,
arrived in one day, feared too much success might transport him
immoderately; and therefore prayed for some disappointments to
season his prosperity, and caution his mind under the enjoyment of
it. He refused to oppress the Greeks with his garrisons, saying,
"I had rather retain them by kindness than fear, and to be always
beloved, than for a while terrible." One of his minions persuading
him to decline hearing a cause, wherein a particular friend was
interested, "I had much rather," says he, "thy friend shall lose
his cause, than I my reputation." Seeing his son, Alexander,
endeavouring to gain the hearts of the Macedonians, by gifts and
rewards, "Canst thou believe," says he, "that a man that thou hast
corrupted to thy interests, will ever be true to them?" When his
court would have had him quarrel with and correct the Peloponnenses
for their ingratitude to him, he said, "By no means; for if they
despise and abuse me after being kind to them, what will they do if
I do them harm?"--a great example of patience in a king, and wittily
said. Like to this was his reply to the ambassadors of Athens, whom
asking after audience, if he could do them any service, and one
of them surlily answering, The best thou canst do us is to hang
thyself, he was nothing disturbed, though his court murmured; but
calmly said to the ambassador, "Those who suffer injuries are better
people than those that do them." To conclude with him: being one day
fallen along the ground, and seeing himself in that posture he cried
out, "What a small spot of earth do we take up, and yet the whole
world cannot content us!"

V. Ptolemy, son of Lagus, being reproached for his mean original,
and his friends angry that he did not resent it; "We ought," says
he, "to bear reproaches patiently."

VI. Xenophanes being jeered for refusing to play at a forbidden
game, answered: "I do not fear my money, but my reputation: they
that make laws, must keep them." A commendable saying.

VII. Antigonus being taken sick, he said, it was a warning from
God to instruct him of his mortality. A poet flattered him with
the title of the Son of God, he answered, "My servant knows the
contrary." Another sycophant telling him, that the will of kings
is the rule of justice: "No," saith he, "rather justice is the rule
of the will of kings;" and being pressed by his minions to put a
garrison into Athens, to hold the Greeks in subjection, he answered,
"he had not a stronger garrison than the affections of his people."

VIII. Themistocles, after all the honour of his life, sits down with
this conclusion, "That the way to the grave is more desirable than
the way to worldly honours." His daughter being courted by one of
little wit and great wealth, and another of little wealth and great
goodness; he chose the poor man for his son-in-law: "For," saith he,
"I will rather have a man without money, than money without a man;"
reckoning, that not money, but worth, makes the man. Being told by
Symmachus, that he would teach him the art of memory; he gravely
answered, he had rather learn the art of forgetfulness: adding, he
could remember enough, but many things he could not forget, which
were necessary to be forgotten: as the honours, glories, pleasures,
and conquests he had spent his days in: too apt to transport to vain

IX. Aristides, a wise and just Greek, of greatest honour and trust
with the Athenians;--he was a great enemy to cabals in government:
the reason he renders is, "Because," saith he, "I would not be
obliged to authorize injustice." He so much hated covetousness,
though he was thrice chosen treasurer of Athens, that he lived
and died poor, and that of choice: for being therefore reproached
by a rich usurer, he answered, "Thy riches hurt thee more than my
poverty hurts me." Being once banished by a contrary faction in
the state, he prayed to God, that the affairs of his country might
go so well, as never to need his return: which however caused him
presently to be recalled: whereupon he told them, that he was not
troubled for his exile with respect to himself, but the honour of
his country. Themistocles, their general, had a project to propose,
to render Athens mistress of Greece, but it required secrecy: the
people obliged him to communicate it to Aristides, whose judgment
they would follow. Aristides having privately heard it from
Themistocles, publicly answered the people, "True there was nothing
more advantageous, nothing more unjust:" which quashed the project.

X. Pericles, as he mounted the tribunal, prayed to God that not a
word might fall from him, that might scandalize the people, wrong
the public affairs, or hurt his own. One of his friends praying
him to speak falsely in his favour; "We are friends," saith he,
"but not beyond the altar;" meaning not against religion and truth.
Sophocles being his companion, upon sight of a beautiful woman, said
to Pericles, "Ah, what a lovely creature is that!" To whom Pericles
replied, "It becometh a magistrate not only to have his hands clean,
but his tongue and eyes also."

XI. Phocion, a famous Athenian, was honest and poor, yea, he
contemned riches: for a certain governor making rich presents, he
returned them; saying, "I refused Alexander's." And when several
persuaded him to accept of such bounty, or else his children would
want, he answered, "If my son be virtuous, I shall leave him enough;
and if he be vicious, more would be too little." He rebuked the
excess of the Athenians, and that openly; saying, "He that eateth
more than he ought, maketh more diseases than he can cure." To
condemn or flatter him, was to him alike. Antipater pressing him to
submit to his sense, he answered, "Thou canst not have me for thy
friend and flatterer too." Seeing a man in office to speak much, and
do little, he asked, "How can that man do business, that is always
drunk with talking?" After all the great services of his life, he
was unjustly condemned to die; and going to the place of execution,
lamented by the people, one of his enemies spit in his face; he
took it without any disorder of mind, only saying, "Take him away."
Before execution, his friends asked him, whether he had nothing to
say to his son? "Yes," said he, "let him not hate my enemies, nor
revenge my death: I see it is better to sleep on the earth with
peace, than with trouble upon the softest bed: that he ought to do
that which is his duty; and what is more is vanity: that he must not
carry two faces: that he promise little, but keep his promises: the
world does the contrary."

XII. Clitomachus had so great a love to virtue, and practised it
with such exactness, that if at any time in company he heard wanton
or obscene discourse, he was wont to quit the place.

XIII. Epaminondas being invited to a sacrificial feast, so soon
as he entered he withdrew, because of the sumptuous furniture and
attire of the place and people; saying, "I was called at Leurtra to
a sacrifice, but I find it is a debauch." The day after the great
battle he obtained upon his enemies, he seemed sad and solitary,
which was not his ordinary temper; and being asked why, answered,
"I would moderate the joy of yesterday's triumphs." A Thessalian
general, and his colleague in a certain enterprise, knowing his
poverty, sent him two thousand crowns to defray his part of the
charges; but he seemed angry, and answered, "This looks like
corrupting me;" contenting himself with less than five pounds,
which he borrowed of one of his friends for that service. The same
moderation made him refuse the presents of the Persian emperor,
saying, "They were needless if he only desired of him what was just;
if more, he was not rich enough to corrupt him." Seeing a rich man
refuse to lend one of his friends money that was in affliction,
he said, "Art not thou ashamed to refuse to help a good man in
necessity?" After he had freed Greece from trouble, and made the
Thebans, his countrymen, triumph over the Lacedæmonians, till then
invincible, that ungrateful people arraigned him and his friends,
under pretence of acting something without authority: he, as
general, took the blame upon himself, justified the action both from
necessity and success, arraigning his judges for ingratitude whilst
himself was at the bar, which caused them to withdraw with fallen
countenances, and hearts smitten with guilt and fear. To conclude,
he was a man of great truth and patience, as well as wisdom and
courage; for he was never observed to lie in earnest or in jest. And
notwithstanding the ill and cross humours of the Thebans, aggravated
by his incomparable hazards and services for their freedom and
renown, it is reported of him that he ever bore them patiently,
often saying that he ought no more to be revenged of his country
than of his father.

XIV. Demosthenes, the great orator of Athens, had these sentences:
"That wise men speak little, and that therefore nature hath given
men two ears and one tongue, to hear more than they speak." To one
that spoke much he said, "How cometh it that he who taught thee
to speak, did not teach thee to hold thy tongue?" He said of a
covetous man, "That he knew not how to live all his lifetime, and
that he left it for another to live after he was dead. That it was
an easy thing to deceive one's self, because it was easy to persuade
one's self to what one desired." He said, "That calumnies were
easily received, but time would always discover them. That there
was nothing more uneasy to good men than not to have the liberty
of speaking freely; and that if any one knew what he had to suffer
from the people, he would never meddle to govern them. In fine, that
man's happiness was to be like God; and to resemble Him, we must
love truth and justice."

XV. Agasicles, king of the Lacedæmonians, or Spartans, which are
one, was of the opinion that it was better to govern without force:
and, says he, the means to do it is to govern the people as a father
governs his children.

XVI. Agesilaus, king of the same people, would say, that he had
rather be master of himself than of the greatest city of his
enemies: and to preserve his own liberty than to usurp the liberty
of another man. "A prince," says he, "ought to distinguish himself
from his subjects by his virtue, and not by his state or delicacy
of life." Wherefore he wore plain, simple clothing; his table was
as moderate and his bed as hard as that of any ordinary subject.
And when he was told that one time or other he would be obliged to
change his fashion: "No," saith he, "I am not given to change even
in a change: and this I do," saith he, "to remove from young men
any pretence of luxury, that they may see their prince practise
what he counsels them to do." He added, "That the foundation of
the Lacedæmonian laws was to despise luxury, and to reward with
liberty; nor," saith he, "should good men put a value upon that
which mean and base souls make their delight." Being flattered by
some with divine honour, he asked them if they could not make gods
too? If they could why did they not begin with themselves?--The same
austere conduct of life made him refuse to have his statue erected
in the cities of Asia: nor would he suffer his picture to be taken;
and his reason is good: "for," saith he, "the fairest portraiture
of men is their own actions."--Whatsoever was to be suddenly done
in the government, he was sure to set his hand first to the work,
like a common person. He would say, it did not become men to make
provision to be rich but to be good. Being asked the means to true
happiness; he answered, "To do nothing that should make a man fear
to die:" another time, "To speak well, and do well." Being called
home by the ephori, or supreme magistrates, the way of the Spartan
constitution, he returned, saying, "It is not less the duty of a
prince to obey laws than to command men." He conferred places of
trust and honour upon his enemies, that he might constrain their
hatred into love. A lawyer asking him for a letter to make a person
judge that was of his own friends; "My friends," says he, "have
no need of recommendation to do justice."--A comedian of note,
wondering that Agesilaus said nothing to him, asked if he knew him;
"Yes," said he, "art not thou the buffoon Callipedes?" One calling
the king of Persia the Great king, he answered, "He is not greater
than I unless he hath more virtue than I."--One of his friends
catching him playing with his children, he prevented him thus: "Say
nothing till thou art a father too."--He had great care of the
education of youth, often saying, "We must teach children what they
should do when they are men." The Egyptians despising him because he
had but a small train and a mean equipage; "Oh," said he, "I will
have them to know royalty consists not in vain pomp but in virtue."

XVII. Agis, another king of Lacedæmon, imprisoned for endeavouring
to restore their declining discipline, being asked whether he
repented not of his design; answered, "No; for," saith he, "good
actions never need repentance." His father and mother desiring of
him to grant something he thought unjust, he answered, "I obeyed you
when I was young; I must now obey the laws, and do that which is
reasonable."--As he was leading to the place of execution one of his
people wept, to whom he said, "Weep not for me; for the authors of
this unjust death are more in fault than I."

XVIII. Alcamenes, king of the same people, being asked which was
the way to get and preserve honour; answered, "To despise wealth."
Another wondering why he refused the presents of the Messenians, he
answered, "I make conscience to keep the laws that forbid it." To a
miser, accusing him of being so reserved in his discourse, he said,
"I had rather conform to reason than thy covetousness; or, I had
rather be covetous of my words than money."

XIX. Alexandrides hearing an exile complain of his banishment, saith
he, "Complain of the cause of it, to wit, his deserts, for there
is nothing hurtful but vice." Being asked why they were so long in
making the process of criminals in Lacedæmon, "Because," saith he,
"when they are once dead they are past repentance." This shows their
belief of immortality and eternal blessedness; and that even poor
criminals, through repentance, may obtain it.

XX. Anaxilas would say that the greatest advantage kings had upon
other men was their power of excelling them in good deeds.

XXI. Ariston hearing one admire this expression, "We ought to do
good to our friends and evil to our enemies;" answered, "By no
means; we ought to do good to all; to keep our friends and to gain
our enemies." A doctrine the most difficult to flesh and blood in
all the precepts of Christ's sermon upon the mount: nay, not allowed
to be his doctrine, but both an eye for an eye, defended against
his express command, and oftentimes an eye put out, an estate
sequestered, and life taken away under a specious zeal for religion
too; as if sin could be christened, and impiety entitled to the
doctrine of Christ: O, will not such heathens rise up in judgment
against our worldly Christians in the great day of God!

XXII. Archidamus also, king of Sparta, being asked who was
master of Lacedæmonia; "The laws," saith he, "and after them the
magistrates." One praising a musician in his presence, "Ah!" saith
he, "but when wilt thou praise a good man?"--Another saying, that
man is an excellent musician: "That is all one," saith he, "as if
thou wouldst say, there is a good cook:" counting both trades of
voluptuousness.--Another promising him some excellent wine; "I care
not," saith he, "for it will only put my mouth out of taste to my
ordinary liquor;" which it seems was water.--Two men chose him an
arbitrator; to accept it, he made them promise to do what he would
have them: "Then," said he, "stir not from this place till you have
agreed the matter between yourselves," which was done.--Dionysius,
king of Sicily, sending his daughters rich apparel, he forbad them
to wear it, saying, "You will seem to me but the more homely." This
great man certainly was not of the mind to breed up his children at
the exchanges, dancing-schools, and play-houses.

XXIII. Cleomenes, king of the same people, would say, "That kings
ought to be pleasant; but not to cheapness and contempt." He was so
just a man in power, that he drove away Demaratus his fellow-king,
(for they always had two,) for offering to corrupt him in a cause
before them, "Lest," saith he, "he should attempt others less able
to resist him, and so ruin the state."

XXIV. Dersyllidas perceiving that Pyrrhus would force a prince
upon his countrymen, the Lacedæmonians, whom they lately rejected,
stoutly opposed him, saying, "If thou art God, we fear thee not,
because we have done no evil; and if thou art but a man we are men

XXV. Hippodamus seeing a young man ashamed, that was caught in bad
company, he reproved him sharply, saying, "For time to come, keep
such company as thou needest not blush at."

XXVI. Leonidas, brother to Cleomenes, being offered by Xerxes to
be made an emperor of Greece, answered, "I had rather die for my
own country, than have an unjust command over other men's;" adding,
"Xerxes deceived himself, to think it a virtue to invade the right
of other men."

XXVII. Lysander being asked by a person, what was the best frame of
government; "That," says he, "where every man hath according to his
deserts." Though one of the greatest captains that Sparta bred, he
had learned by his wisdom to bear personal affronts: "Say what thou
wilt," says he to one that spoke abusively to him, "empty thyself,
I shall bear it." His daughters were contracted in marriage to some
persons of quality, but he dying poor, they refused to marry them;
upon which the ephori condemned each of them in a great sum of
money, because they preferred money before faith and engagement.

XXVIII. Pausanias, son of Cleombrotus, and colleague of Lysander,
beholding, among the Persian spoils they took, the costliness of
their furniture, said, "It had been much better if they had been
worth less, and their masters more." And after the victory of
Platæa, having a dinner dressed according to the Persian manner, and
beholding the magnificence and furniture of the treat; "What," saith
he, "do these people mean, that live in such wealth and luxury, to
attack our meanness and poverty?"

XXIX. Theopompus saith, "The way to preserve a kingdom, is to
embrace the counsel of one's friends, and not to suffer the meaner
sort to be oppressed." One making the glory of Sparta to consist
in commanding well, he answered, "No, it is in knowing how to obey
well." He was of opinion, that great honours hurt a state; adding,
that time would abolish great, and augment moderate honours among
men; meaning, that men should have the reputation they deserve,
without flattery and excess.

A rhetorician, bragging himself of his art, was reproved by a
Lacedæmonian; "Dost thou call that an art," saith he, "which hath
not truth for its object?" Also a Lacedæmonian being presented with
a harp after dinner, by a musical person, "I do not," saith he,
"know how to play the fool." Another being asked, what he thought
of a poet of the times, answered, "Good for nothing but to corrupt
youth." Nor was this only the wisdom and virtue of some particular
persons, which may be thought to have given light to the dark body
of their courts; but their government was wise and just, and the
people generally obeyed it; making virtue to be true honour, and
that honour dearer to them than life.

XXX. Lacedæmonian customs, according to Plutarch, were these:
they were very temperate in their eating and drinking, their
most delicate dish being a pottage made for the nourishment of
ancient people. They taught their children to write and read, to
obey the magistrates, to endure labour, and to be bold in danger:
the teachers of other sciences were not so much as admitted in
Lacedæmonia.--They had but one garment, and that new once a year.
They rarely used baths or oil, the custom of those parts of the
world.--They accustomed their youth to travel by night without
light, to use them not to be afraid.--The old governed the young;
and those of them who obeyed not the aged, were punished.--It was
a shame not to bear reproof among the youth; and among the aged,
matter of punishment not to give it. They made ordinary cheer, on
purpose to keep out luxury; holding, that mean fare kept the spirit
free, and the body fit for action. They permitted not their youth
to travel, lest they should corrupt their manners; and for the same
reason they permitted not strangers to dwell amongst them, that
conformed not to their way of living. In this they were so strict,
that such of their youth that were not educated in their customs,
enjoyed not the privileges of natives. They would suffer neither
comedies nor tragedies to be acted in their country. They condemned
a soldier but for painting his buckler of several colours: and
publicly punished a young man for having learned but the way to a
town given to luxury. They also banished an orator for bragging,
that he could speak a whole day upon any subject: for they did not
like much speaking, much less for a bad cause.--They buried their
dead without any ceremony or superstition; for they only used a red
cloth upon the body, broidered with olive leaves; this burial had
all degrees. Mourning they forbad, and epitaphs too.--When they
prayed to God, they stretched forth their arms, which with them was
a sign that they must do good works, as well as make good prayers.
They asked of God but two things, patience in labour, and happiness
in well-doing.

This account is mostly the same with Xenophon's: adding, that they
ate moderately, and in common: the aged mixed with the youth, to
awe them, and give them good example.--When they were fifteen
years of age, instead of leaving them to their own conduct, as
in other places, they had most care of their conversation, that
they might preserve them from the mischiefs _that_ age is incident
to. And those that would not comply with these rules, were not
counted always honest people.--And in this, their government was
excellent; that they thought there was no greater punishment for a
bad man, than to be known and used as such, at all times, and in all
places; for they were not to come into the company of persons of
reputation.--They were to give place to all others; to stand when
they sat; to be accountable to every honest man that met them of
their conversation.--That they must keep their poor kindred.--That
they used not the same freedoms that honest people might use: by
which means they kept virtue in credit, and vice in contempt.--They
used all things necessary for life, without superfluity or want;
despising riches, and sumptuous apparel, and living: judging, that
the best ornament of the body is health, and of the mind, virtue.
"And since," saith Xenophon, "it is virtue and temperance that
render us commendable, and that it is only the Lacedæmonians that
reverence them publicly, and have made it the foundation of their
state; their government, of right, merits preference to any other
in the world. But that," saith he, "which is strange, is, that all
admire it, but none imitate it." Nor is this account and judgment

XXXI. Lycurgus, their famous founder and lawgiver, instilled these
principles, and by his power with them, made them laws to rule
them. Let us hear what he did: Lycurgus, willing to retire his
citizens from a luxurious to a virtuous life, and show them how
much good conduct and honest industry might meliorate the state of
mankind, applied himself to introduce a new model of government,
persuading them to believe, that though they were descended of noble
and virtuous ancestors, if they were not exercised in a course of
virtue, they would, like the dog in the kitchen, rather leap at
the meat than run at the game. In fine, they agreed to obey him.
The first thing then that he did to try his power with them, was,
to divide the land into equal portions, so that the whole Laconic
country seemed but the lots of brethren: this grieved the rich;
but the poor, which were the most, rejoiced.--He rendered wealth
useless by community; and forbad the use of gold and silver: he made
money of iron, too base and heavy to make a thief. He retrenched
their laws of building, suffering no more ornament than could be
made with a hatchet and a saw: and their furniture was like their
houses. This course disbanded many trades: no merchant, no cook, no
lawyer, no flatterer, no divine, no astrologer, was to be found in
Lacedæmonia. Injustice was banished, their society having cut up
the root of it, which is avarice, by introducing a community, and
making gold and silver useless. To prevent the luxury of tables, as
well as of apparel, he ordained public places of eating, where all
should publicly be served; those that refused to come thither, were
reputed voluptuous and reproved, if not corrected. He forbad costly
offerings in the temple, that they might offer often; for that God
regardeth the heart, not the offering.--These and some more, were
the laws he instituted; and whilst the Spartans kept them, it is
certain they were the first state of Greece; which lasted about five
hundred years. It is remarkable, that he would never suffer the
laws to be written, to avoid barratry; and that the judges might
not be tied religiously to the letter of the law; but left to the
circumstances of fact; in which no inconvenience was observed to

II. _The_ ROMANS _also yielded us instances to our point in hand_,

     1. Cato.--2. Scipio Africanus.--3. Augustus.--4. Vespasian.--5.
     Trajan.--6. Adrian.--7. Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.--8.
     Pertinax.--9. Pescennius.--10. Alexander Severus.--11.
     Dioclesian.--12. Theodosius.

1. Cato, that sage Roman, seeing a luxurious man loaded with flesh,
"Of what service," saith he, "can that man be, either to himself,
or the commonwealth?" One day beholding the statues of several
persons erecting, that he thought little worthy of remembrance, that
he might despise the pride of it, "I had rather," said he, "they
should ask, why they set not up a statue to Cato, than why they
do."--He was a man of severity of life, both example and judge.--His
competitors in the government, hoping to be preferred, took the
contrary humour, and mightily flattered the people: this good man
despised their arts, and with an unusual fervency cried out, "That
the distempers of the commonwealth did not require flatterers to
deceive them, but physicians to cure them;" which struck so great
an awe upon the people, that he was first chosen of them all.--The
fine dames of Rome became governors to their husbands; he lamented
the change, saying, "It is strange that those who command the world
should yet be subject to women."--He thought those judges, that
would not impartially punish malefactors, greater criminals than
the malefactors themselves: a good lesson for judges of the world.
He would say, That it was better to lose a gift than a correction;
"for," says he, "the one corrupts us, but the other instructs
us.--That we ought not to separate honour from virtue; for then
there would be few any more virtuous." He would say, "No man is fit
to command another, that cannot command himself. Great men should
be temperate in their power, that they may keep it. For men to be
too long in offices in a government, is to have too little regard
to others, or the dignity of the state. They that do nothing, will
learn to do evil. That those who have raised themselves by their
vices, should gain to themselves credit by virtue." He repented him,
that ever he passed away one day without doing good. And that there
is no witness any man ought to fear, but that of his own conscience.
Nor did his practice fall much short of his principles.

II. Scipio Africanus, though a great general, loaded with honours
and triumphs, preferred retirement to them all; being used to say,
That he was never less alone, than when he was alone: implying,
that the most busy men in the world, are the most destitute of
themselves; and, that external solitariness gives the best company
within. After he had taken Carthage, his soldiers brought him a most
beautiful prisoner; he answered, "I am your general;" refusing to
debase himself, or dishonour her.

III. Augustus eating at the table of one of his friends, where a
poor slave breaking a crystal vessel, fell upon his knees, begging
him that his master might not fling him to the lampreys; as he had
use to do for food, with such of them that offended him: Augustus
hating his friend's cruelty, broke all his friend's crystal vessels,
both reproving his luxury and his severity. He never recommended any
of his own children, but he always added, If they deserve it. He
reproved his daughter for her excess in apparel, and both rebuked
and imprisoned her for her immodest latitudes. The people of Rome
complaining that wine was dear, he sent them to the fountains,
telling them they were cheap.

IV. Vespasian was a great and an extraordinary man, who maintained
something of the Roman virtue in his time. One day seeing a young
man finely dressed, and richly perfumed, he was displeased with
him, saying, "I had rather smell the poor man's garlic, than thy
perfume:" and took his place and government from him. A certain
person being brought before him, that had conspired against him,
he reproved him, and said, "That it was God who gave and took away
empires." Another time conferring favour upon his enemy, and being
asked why he did so, he answered, that he should remember the right

V. Trajan would say, "That it became an emperor to act towards his
people, as he would have his people act towards him." The governor
of Rome having delivered the sword into his hand, and created him
emperor; "Here," saith he, "take it again: if I reign well, use it
for me: if ill, use it against me." An expression which shows great
humility and goodness, making power subservient to virtue.

VI. Adrian, also emperor, had several sayings worthy of notice: one
was, "That a good prince did not think the estates of his subjects
belonging to him." He would say, "That kings should not act the
king:" that is, should be just, and mix sweetness with greatness,
and be conversible with good men. "That the treasures of princes
are like the spleen, that never swells, but it makes other parts
shrink:" teaching princes thereby to spare their subjects.--Meeting
one that was his enemy before he was emperor, he cried out to him,
"Now thou hast no more to fear:" intimating, that, having power to
revenge himself, he would rather use it to do him good.

VII. Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, a good man, (the Christians of
his time felt it,) commended his son for weeping at his tutor's
death, answering those that would have rendered it unsuitable to
his condition, "Let him alone," says he, "it is fit he should
show himself a man, before he be a prince." He did nothing in the
government without consulting his friends, and would say, "It is
more just that one should follow the advice of many, than many
the mind of one." He was more philosopher than emperor: for his
dominions were greater within than without. And having commanded his
own passions by a circumspect conformity to virtuous principles,
he was fit to rule those of other men. Take some of his excellent
sayings, as followeth: "Of my grandfather Verus I have learned to be
gentle and meek, and to refrain from all anger and passion. From the
fame and memory of him that begot me, shamefacedness, and manlike
behaviour. I observed his meekness, his constancy without wavering,
in those things, which, after a due examination and deliberation,
he had determined. How free from all vanity he carried himself in
matters of honour and dignity! His laboriousness and assiduity: his
readiness to hear any man that had ought to say, tending to any
common good. His moderate condescending to other men's occasions
as an ordinary man.--Of my mother, to be religious and bountiful,
and to forbear not only to do, but to intend any evil. To content
myself with a spare diet, and to fly all such excess as is incident
to great wealth.--Of my grandfather, both to frequent public schools
and auditories, and to get me good and able teachers at home; and
that I ought not to think much, if upon such occasions I were at
excessive charge. I gave over the study of rhetoric and poetry, and
of elegant, neat language. I did not use to walk about the house in
my senator's robe, nor to do any such things. I learned to write
letters without any affectation and curiosity; and to be easy, and
ready to be reconciled, and well pleased again with them that had
offended me, as soon as any of them would be content to seek unto me
again. To observe carefully the several dispositions of my friends,
and not to be offended with idiots, nor unreasonably to set upon
those, that are carried away with the vulgar opinions, with the
theorems and tenets of philosophers. To love truth and justice,
and to be kind and loving to all them of my house and family, I
learned from my brother Severus: and it was he that put me in the
first conceit and desire of an equal commonwealth, administered by
justice and equality; and of a kingdom, wherein should be regarded
nothing more than the good and welfare, or liberty of the subjects.
As for God, and such suggestions, helps, and inspirations, as might
be expected, nothing did hinder, but that I might have begun long
before to live according to nature: or that even now, that I was
not yet partaker, and in present possession of that life, I myself
(in that I did not observe those inward motions and suggestions;
yea, and almost plain and apparent instructions and admonitions of
God) was the only cause of it.--I that understand the nature of
that which is good, that it is to be desired; and of that which is
bad, that it is odious and shameful: who know moreover, that this
transgressor, whoever he be, is my kinsman, not by the same blood
and seed, but by participation of the same reason, and of the same
divine participle, or principle: how can I either be hurt by any
of these, since it is not in their power to make me incur anything
that is reproachful, or be angry or ill affected towards him, who by
nature is so near unto me? For we are all born to be fellow-workers,
as the feet, the hands, and the eyelids; as the rows of upper and
under teeth: for such therefore to be in opposition, is against
nature."--He saith, "It is high time for thee to understand true
nature, both of the world, whereof thou art a part, and of that Lord
and Governor of the world, from whom, as a channel from the spring,
thou thyself didst flow. And that there is but a certain limit of
time appointed unto thee, which if thou shalt not make use of, to
calm and allay the many distempers of thy soul, it will pass away,
and thou with it, and never after return.--Do, soul, do abuse and
contemn thyself yet awhile, and the time for thee to repent thyself
will be at an end. Every man's happiness depends upon himself;
but, behold! thy life is almost at an end, whilst not regarding
thyself as thou oughtest, thou dost make thy happiness to consist
in the souls and conceits of other men. Thou must also take heed of
another kind of wandering; for they are idle in their actions who
toil and labour in their life, and have no certain scope to which
to direct all their motions and desires. As for life and death,
honour and dishonour, labour and pleasure, riches and poverty, all
these things happen unto men indeed, both good and bad equally; but
as things, which of themselves are neither good nor bad, because of
themselves neither shameful nor praiseworthy. Consider the nature
of all worldly visible things; of those especially, which either
ensnare by pleasure, or for their irksomeness are dreadful; or for
their outward lustre and show, are in great esteem and request; how
vile and contemptible, how base and corruptible, how destitute of
all true life and being they are. There is nothing more wretched
than that soul, which in a kind of circuit compasseth all things;
searching even the very depths of all the earth, and, by all signs
and conjectures, prying into the very thoughts of other men's
souls; and yet of this is not sensible, that it is sufficient for
a man to apply himself wholly, and confine all his thoughts and
cares to the guidance of that Spirit which is within him, and truly
and really serve him. For even the least things ought not to be
done without relation unto the end; and the end of the reasonable
creature is, to follow and obey him who is the reason, as it were,
and the law of this great city, and most ancient commonwealth.
Philosophy doth consist in this, for a man to preserve that spirit
which is within him, from all manner of contumelies and injuries,
and above all pains and pleasures, never to do anything either
rashly, or feignedly, or hypocritically: he that is such is surely
indeed a very priest and minister of God, well acquainted, and in
good correspondence with him especially, that is seated and placed
within himself; to whom also he keeps and preserveth himself;
neither spotted by pleasure, nor daunted by pain; free from any
manner of wrong or contumely. Let thy God that is in thee, to rule
over thee, find by thee, that he hath to do with a man, an aged
man, a sociable man, a Roman, a prince, and that hath ordered his
life, as one that expecteth, as it were, nothing but the sound of
the trumpet, sounding a retreat to depart out of this life with all
readiness. Never esteem anything as profitable, which shall ever
constrain thee, either to break thy faith, or to lose thy modesty:
to hate any man, to suspect, to curse, to dissemble, to lust after
anything that requireth the secret of walls or veils. But he that
preferreth, before all things, his rational part and spirit, and
the sacred mysteries of virtue which issue from it, he shall never
want either solitude or company; and, which is chiefest of all, he
shall live without either desire or fear. If thou shalt intend that
which is present, following the rule of right and reason carefully,
solidly, meekly; and shalt not intermix any other business, but
shalt study this, to preserve thy spirit unpolluted and pure: and
as one that were even now ready to give up the ghost; shalt cleave
unto him, without either hope or fear of anything, in all things
that thou shalt either do or speak, contenting thyself with heroical
truth, thou shalt live happily: and from this there is no man that
can hinder thee. Without relation to God, thou shalt never perform
aright anything human; nor on the other side anything divine. At
what time soever thou wilt, it is in thy power to retire into
thyself, and to be at rest: for a man cannot retire any whither to
be more at rest, and freer from all business, than into his own
soul. Afford then thyself this retiring continually, and thereby
refresh and renew thyself. Death hangeth over thee, whilst yet
thou livest, and whilst thou mayest be good. How much time and
leisure doth he gain, who is not curious to know what his neighbour
hath said, or hath done, or hath attempted, but only what he doth
himself, that it may be just and holy. Neither must he use himself
to cut off actions only, but thoughts and imaginations also that
are not necessary; for so will unnecessary consequent actions the
better be prevented and cut off. He is poor that stands in need of
another, and hath not in himself all things needful for his life.
Consider well, whether magnanimity rather, and true liberty, and
true simplicity, and equanimity, and holiness, whether these be not
most reasonable and natural. Honour that which is chiefest and most
powerful in the world, and that is it which makes use of all things,
and governs all things: so also in thyself, honour that which is
chiefest and most powerful, and is of one kind and nature with that;
for it is the very same, which being in thee, turneth all other
things to its own use, and by whom also thy life is governed. What
is it that thou dost stay for? An extinction or a translation; for
either of them, with a propitious and contented mind. But till that
time come, what will content thee? What else, but to worship and
praise God, and do good unto men?" As he lay dying, and his friends
about him, he spake thus: "Think more of death, than of me, and that
you and all men must die as well as I." Adding, "I recommend my son
to you, and to God, if he be worthy."

VIII. Pertinax, also emperor, being advised to save himself from the
fury of the mutineers, answered "No: what have I done that I should
do so?" Showing that innocence is bold, and should never give ground
where it can show itself, be heard, and have fair play.

IX. Pescennius seeing the corruption that reigned among officers of
justice, advised, "That judges should have first salaries, that they
might do their duty without any other bribes or perquisites." He
said, "He would not offend the living that he might be praised when
he was dead."

X. Alexander Severus having tasted both of a private life, and the
state of an emperor, had this censure; "Emperors," says he, "are ill
managers of the public revenue to feed so many unuseful mouths;"
wherefore he retrenched his family from pompous to serviceable.
He would not employ persons of quality in his domestic service,
thinking it too mean for them and too costly for him: adding, "That
personal service was the work of the lowest order of the people."
He would never suffer offices of justice to be sold; "For," saith
he, "it is not strange that men should sell what they buy;" meaning
justice. He was impartial in correction: "My friends," says he, "are
dear to me; but the commonwealth is dearer." Yet he would say, "That
sweetening power to the people made it lasting. That we ought to
gain our enemies as we keep our friends:" that is, by kindness. He
said, "That we ought to desire happiness and to bear afflictions;
that those which are desirable may be pleasant; but the troubles
we avoid may have most profit in the end." He did not like pomp in
religion: for it is not gold that recommends the sacrifice, but the
piety of him that offers it. A house being in contest betwixt some
Christians and keepers of taverns, the one to perform religion, the
other to sell drink therein, he decided the matter thus: "That it
were much better that it were any way employed to worship God than
to make a tavern of it." Behold! by this we may see the wisdom and
virtue that shined among the heathens.

XI. Dioclesian would say, that there was nothing more difficult than
to reign well: and the reason he gave was, that those who had the
ears of princes do so continually lay ambushes to surprise them to
their interests, that they can hardly make one right step.

XII. Theodosius the younger was so merciful in his nature, that
instead of putting people to death, he wished it were in his power
to call the dead to life again.

These were the sentiments of the ancient grandees of the world, to
wit, emperors, kings, princes, captains, statesmen, &c. not unworthy
of the thoughts of persons of the same figure and quality now in
being: and for that end they are here collected, that such may with
more ease and brevity behold the true statutes of the ancients, not
lost or lessened by the decays of time.

III. _I will now proceed to report the virtuous doctrines and
sayings of men of more retirement; such as philosophers and writers,
both Greeks and Romans, who in their respective times were masters
in the civility, knowledge, and virtue that were among the Gentiles,
being most of them many ages before the coming of Christ_, _viz._

     1. Thales.--2. Pythagoras.--3. Solon.--4. Chilon.--5.
     Periander.--6. Bias.--7. Cleobulus.--8. Pittacus.--9.
     Hippias.--10. The Bambycatii.--11. The Gynæcosmi.--12.
     Anacharsis.--13. Anaxagoras.--14. Heraclitus.--15.
     Democritus.--16. Socrates.--17. Plato.--18. Antisthenes.--19.
     Xenocrates.--20. Bion.--21. Demonax.--22. Diogenes.--23.
     Crates.--24. Aristotle.--25. Mandanis.--26. Zeno.--27.
     Seneca.--28. Epictetus.

I. Thales, an ancient Greek philosopher, being asked by a person
that had committed adultery if he might swear, answered, "By no
means; for perjury is no less sinful than adultery; and so thou
wouldst commit two sins to cover one." Being asked what was the best
condition of a government, answered, "That the people be neither
rich nor poor:" for he placed external happiness in moderation.
He would say, "That the hardest thing in the world was to know a
man's self; but the best to avoid those things which we reprove in
others;" an excellent and close saying, "That we ought to choose
well and then to hold fast. That the felicity of the body consists
in health, and that in temperance; and the felicity of the soul in
wisdom." He thought "That God was without beginning or end; that
he was the searcher of hearts; that he saw the thoughts as well as
actions: for being asked of one if he could sin and hide it from
God, he answered, 'No: how can I when he who thinks evil cannot?'"

II. Pythagoras, a famous and virtuous philosopher of Italy, being
asked when men might take the pleasure of their passions, answered,
"When they have a mind to be worse." He said the world was like a
comedy, and the true philosophers the spectators. He would say,
"That luxury led to debauchery, and debauchery to violence, and
that to bitter repentance: that he who taketh too much care of
his body makes the prison of his soul more insufferable: that
those who do reprove us are our best friends; that men ought to
preserve their bodies from diseases by temperance, their souls from
ignorance by meditation, their will from vice by self-denial, and
their country from civil war by justice: that it is better to be
loved than feared; that virtue makes bold: but," saith he, "there
is nothing so fearful as an evil conscience." He said, "That men
should believe in a Divinity, that he _is_, and that he overlooks
them, and neglecteth them not; there is no being nor place without
God." He told the senators of Croton, being two thousand, praying
his advice, "That they received their country as a depositum, or
trust from the people; wherefore they should manage it accordingly,
since they were to resign their account, with their trust to their
children; that the way to do it was to be equal to all citizens, and
to excel them in nothing more than justice; that every one of them
should so govern his family that he might refer himself to his own
house as to a court of judicature, taking great care to preserve
natural affection; that they be examples of temperance in their
own families, and to the city; that in courts of judicature none
attest God by an oath, but use themselves so to speak as they may
be believed without an oath: that the discourse of that philosopher
is vain, by which no passion of a man is healed; for as there is
no benefit of medicine if it expel not diseases out of bodies, so
neither of philosophy if it expel not evil out of the soul."

III. Solon, esteemed as Thales, one of the seven sages of Greece, a
noble philosopher, and a lawgiver to the Athenians, was so humble
that he refused to be prince of that people, and voluntarily
banished himself when Pisastratus usurped the government there;[5]
resolving never to outlive the laws and freedom of his country.
He would say, that to make a government last the magistrates must
obey the laws, and the people the magistrates. It was his judgment,
that riches brought luxury, and luxury brought tyranny. Being
asked by Croesus, king of Lydia, when seated on his throne richly
clothed and magnificently attended, if he had ever seen anything
more glorious; he answered, cocks, peacocks, and pheasants; by how
much their beauty is natural. These undervaluing expressions of
wise Solon, meeting so pat upon the pride and luxury of Croesus,
they parted; the one desirous of toys and vanities, the other an
example and instructor of true nobility and virtue, that contemned
the king's effeminacy. Another time Croesus asked him who was
the happiest man in the world; expecting he would have said
Croesus,[6] because the most famous for wealth in those parts: he
answered, "Tellus, who, though poor, yet was an honest and good
man, and contented with what he had: who, after he had served the
commonwealth faithfully, and seen his children and grandchildren
virtuously educated, died for his country in a good old age, and was
carried by his children to his grave." This much displeased Croesus,
but he dissembled it. Whilst Solon recommended the happiness of
Tellus, Croesus, moved, demanded to whom he assigned the next place;
making no question but himself should be named, "Cleobis," saith
he, "and Bito, brethren that loved well, had a competency, were of
great health and strength; most tender and obedient to their mother,
religious of life, who after sacrificing in the temple fell asleep
and waked no more." Hereat Croesus growing angry, "Strange!" saith
he, "doth our happiness seem so despicable that thou wilt not rank
us equal with private persons?" Solon answered, "Dost thou inquire
of us about human affairs? Knowest thou not that Divine Providence
is severe, and often full of alteration? Do not we in process of
time see many things we would not? Aye, and suffer many things
we would not? Count man's life at seventy years, which makes[7]
twenty-six thousand two hundred and fifty and odd days, there is
scarcely one day like another: so that every one, O Croesus! is
attended with crosses. Thou appearest to me very rich, and king over
many people; but the question thou askest I cannot resolve till I
hear thou hast ended thy days happily: for he that hath much wealth
is not happier than he that gets his bread from day to day, unless
Providence continue those good things, and that he dieth well.
Solon, after his discourse, not flattering Croesus, was dismissed,
and accounted unwise that he neglected the present good out of
regard to the future. Æsop, that wrote the fables, being then at
Sardis, sent for thither by Croesus, and much in favour with him,
was grieved to see Solon so unthankfully dismissed, and said to
him, "Solon, we must either tell kings nothing at all or what may
please them:" "No," saith Solon, "either nothing at all, or what is
best for them." However it was not long ere Croesus was of another
mind; for being taken prisoner by Cyrus, the founder of the Persian
monarchy, and by his command fettered and put on a pile of wood to
be burned, Croesus sighed deeply,[8] and cried, "O Solon! Solon!"
Cyrus bid the interpreter ask on whom he called. He was silent;
at last pressing him, answered, "Upon him who I desire above all
wealth, would have spoken with all tyrants." This not understood,
upon further importunity he told them, "Solon, an Athenian, who
long since," says he, "came to me, and seeing my wealth, despised
it; besides, what he told me is come to pass; nor did his counsel
belong to me alone, but to all mankind, especially those that think
themselves happy." Whilst Croesus said thus, the fire began to
kindle and the outparts to be seized by the flame: Cyrus, informed
of the interpreters what Croesus said, began to be troubled; and
knowing himself to be a man, and that to use another, not inferior
to himself in wealth, so severely, might one day be retaliated,
instantly commanded the fire to be quenched, and Croesus and his
friends to be brought off: whom ever after, as long as he lived,
Cyrus had in great esteem. Thus Solon gained due praise, that of
two kings his advice saved one and instructed the other. And as it
was in Solon's time that tragical plays were first invented, so
he was most severe against them; foreseeing the inconveniencies
that followed upon the people's being affected with the novelty of
pleasure. It is reported of him that he went himself to the play,
and after it was ended he went to Thespis, the great actor, and
asked him if he were not ashamed to tell so many lies in the face of
so great an auditory. Thespis answered, as it is now usual, "There
is no harm nor shame to act such things in jest." Solon, striking
his staff hard upon the ground, replied, "But in a short time we who
approve of this kind of jest shall use it in earnest in our common
affairs and contracts." In fine, he absolutely forbade him to teach
or act plays, conceiving them deceitful and unprofitable; diverting
youth and tradesmen from more necessary and virtuous employments. He
defined them happy who are competently furnished with their outward
callings,[9] that live temperately and honestly: he would say that
cities are the common sewer of wickedness. He affirmed that to be
the best family which got not unjustly, kept not unfaithfully,
spent not with repentance. "Observe," saith he, "honesty in thy
conversation more strictly than an oath. Seal words with silence;
silence with opportunity. Never lie, but speak the truth. Fly
pleasure, for it brings sorrow. Advise not the people what is most
pleasant, but what is best. Make not friends in haste, nor hastily
part with them. Learn to obey, and thou wilt know how to command.
Be arrogant to none; be mild to those about thee. Converse not with
wicked persons. Meditate on serious things. Reverence thy parents.
Cherish thy friend. Conform to reason, and in all things take
counsel of God." In fine, his two short sentences were these:[10]
"Of nothing too much;" and "Know thyself."

  [5] Plut. Herod.

  [6] Plut. Laert.

  [7] According to the Athenian account.

  [8] Herod. Halic.

  [9] Stob. Sent. 3.

  [10] Clem. Alex. Strom.

IV. Chilon, another of the wise men of Greece, would say, that it
was the perfection of a man, to foresee and prevent mischiefs; that
herein good people differ from bad ones, their hopes were firm and
assured; that God was the great touchstone, or rule of mankind; that
men's tongues ought not to outrun their judgment: that we ought
not to flatter great men, lest we exalt them above their merit
and station; nor to speak hardly of the helpless. They that would
govern a state well, must govern their families well. He would say,
that a man ought so to behave himself, that he fall neither into
hatred nor disgrace. That that commonwealth is happiest where the
people mind the law more than the lawyers. Men should not forget the
favours they receive, nor remember those they do. Three things, he
said, were difficult, yet necessary to be observed: to keep secrets,
forgive injuries, and use time well. "Speak not ill," says he, "of
thy neighbour. Go slowly to the feast of thy friends, but swiftly
to their troubles. Speak well of the dead. Shun busybodies. Prefer
loss before covetous gain. Despise not the miserable. If powerful,
behave thyself mildly, that thou mayst be loved rather than feared.
Order thy house well: bridle thy anger: grasp not at much: make not
haste, neither dote upon anything below. A prince," saith he, "must
not take up his time about transitory and mortal things; eternal and
immortal are fittest for him." To conclude: he was so just in all
his actions, that Laertius tells us, he professed in his old age,
that he had never done anything contrary to the conscience of an
upright man; only, that of one thing he was doubtful, having given
sentence against his friend, according to law, he advised his friend
to appeal from him his judge, so to preserve both his friend and the
law. Thus true and tender was conscience in heathen Chilon.

V. Periander, prince and philosopher too, would say, that pleasures
are mortal, but virtues immortal.[11] "In success be moderate, in
disappointments, patient and prudent. Be alike to thy friends, in
prosperity, and in adversity. Peace is good; rashness dangerous;
gain sordid. Betray not secrets: punish the guilty: restrain men
from sin. They that would rule safely, must be guarded by love, not
arms. To conclude," saith he, "live worthy of praise, so wilt thou
die blessed."

  [11] Baart. Suid. Protag. Stob. xxviii.

VI. Bias, one of the seven wise men, being in a storm with wicked
men, who cried mightily to God; "Hold your tongues,"[12] saith he,
"it were better He knew not you were here:" a saying that hath great
doctrine in it; the devotion of the wicked doth them no good: it
answers to that passage in Scripture, "The prayers of the wicked are
an abomination to the Lord." (Prov. xv. 8.) An ungodly man asking
him what godliness was, he was silent: but the other murmuring,
saith he, "What is that to thee, that is not thy concern?" He was
so tender in his nature, that he seldom judged a criminal to death,
but he wept; adding, "One part goeth to God, and the other part I
must give the law." "That man is unhappy," saith he, "that cannot
bear affliction. It is a disease of the mind, to desire that which
cannot, or is not fit to be had. It is an ill thing, not to be
mindful of other men's miseries." To one that asked what is hard,
he answered, "To bear cheerfully a change for the worse." "Those,"
says he, "who busy themselves in vain knowledge, resemble owls that
see by night, and are blind by day; for they are sharp-sighted
in vanity, but dark at the approach of true light and knowledge."
He adds, "Undertake deliberately; but then go through. Speak not
hastily, lest thou sin. Be neither silly nor subtle. Hear much;
speak little and seasonably. Make profession of God everywhere;
and impute the good thou dost, not to thyself, but to the power of
God." His country being invaded, and the people flying with the best
of their goods, asked, why he carried none of his; "I," saith he,
"carry my goods within me."--Valerius Maximus adds, "in his breast;"
not to be seen by the eye, but to be prized by the soul; not to be
demolished by mortal hands; present with them that stay, and not
forsaking those that fly.

  [12] Laert. Stob.

VII. Cleobulus, prince and philosopher of Lyndus:[13] he would
say, "That it was man's duty to be always employed upon something
that was good." Again, "Be never vain nor ungrateful. Bestow your
daughters, virgins in years, but matrons in discretion. Do good to
thy friend, to keep him; to thy enemy, to gain him. When any man
goeth forth, let him consider what he hath to do; when he returneth,
examine what he hath done. Know, that to reverence thy father is thy
duty. Hear willingly, but trust not hastily. Obtain by persuasion,
not by violence. Being rich, be not exalted: poor, be not dejected.
Forego enmity. Instruct thy children. Pray to God, and persevere in

  [13] Laert. Plut. Sympos. Sap. Sep. Stob. Ser.

VIII. Pittacus being asked what was best, he answered, "to do the
present thing well."[14] He would say, what thou dost take ill
in thy neighbour, do not thyself. Reproach not the unhappy; for
the hand of God is upon them. Be true to thy trust. Bear with thy
neighbour: love thy neighbour. Reproach not thy friend, though he
recede from thee a little. He would say that commonwealth is best
ordered where the wicked have no command, and that family, which
hath neither ornament nor necessity. To conclude: he advised to
acquire honesty; love discipline; observe temperance; gain prudence;
mind diligence; and keep truth, faith, and piety. He had a brother,
who, dying without issue, left him his estate; so that when Croesus
offered him wealth he answered, "I have more by half than I desire."
He also affirmed that family the best who got not unjustly, kept not
unfaithfully, spent not with repentance; and that happiness consists
in a virtuous and honest life: in being content with a competency
of outward things, and in using them temperately. And to conclude,
he earnestly enjoined all to flee corporeal pleasure; "for," says
he, "it certainly brings sorrow: but observe an honest life more
strictly than an oath: meditate on serious things."

  [14] Plutarch. Stob. xxviii.

IX. Hippias, a philosopher: it is recorded of him[15] that he would
have every one provide his own necessaries; and, that he might do
what he taught, he was his own tradesman. He was singular in all
such arts and employments, insomuch as he made the very buskins he
wore. A better life than Alexander's.

  [15] Cic. lib. de Orat.

X. The Bambycatii[16] were a certain great people that inhabited
about the river Tigris, in Asia, who, observing the great influence
gold, silver, and precious jewels had upon their minds, agreed
to bury all in the earth to prevent the corruption of their
manners.--They used inferior metals, and lived with very ordinary
accommodation; wearing mostly but one very grave and plain robe to
cover nakedness. It were well if Christians would mortify their
insatiable appetites after wealth and vanity any way, for heathens
judge their excess.

  [16] Plin.

XI. The Athenians had two distinct numbers of men, called the
Gynæcosmi and Gynæconomi.[17] These were appointed by the
magistrates to overlook the actions of the people: the first
were to see that they apparelled and behaved themselves gravely;
especially that women were of modest behaviour; and the other were
to be present at their treats and festivals, to see that there was
no excess, nor disorderly carriage; and in case any were found
criminal, they had full power to punish them. When, alas! when shall
this care and wisdom be seen amongst the Christians of these times,
that so intemperance might be prevented? But it is too evident
they love the power and the profits, but despise the virtue of
government, making it an end instead of a means to that happy end,
viz. the well ordering the manners and conversation of the people,
and equally distributing rewards and punishments.

  [17] Vid. Suid.

XII. Anacharsis, a Scythian, was a great philosopher;[18] Croesus
offered him large sums of money, but he refused them. Hanno did the
like, to whom he answered, "My apparel is a Scythian rug; my shoes,
the hardness of my feet; my bed, the earth; my sauce, hunger: you
may come to me as one that is contented; but those gifts which you
so much esteem, bestow on your citizens."

  [18] Cic. Tusc. Quest. 5; Clem. Alex. Strom.

XIII. Anaxagoras, a nobleman, but true philosopher,[19] left his
great patrimony to seek out wisdom; and being reproved by his
friends for the little care he had of his estate, answered, "It is
enough that you care for it." One asked him why he had no more love
for his country than to leave it; "Wrong me not," saith he, "my
greatest care is my country," pointing his finger towards heaven.
Returning home, and taking a view of his great possessions, "If
I had not disregarded them," saith he, "I had perished." He was
a great clearer and improver of the doctrine of One Eternal God,
denying divinity to sun, moon, and stars, saying, "God was infinite,
not confined to place; the eternal wisdom and efficient cause of
all things; the divine mind and understanding; who, when matter was
confused, came and reduced it to order, which is the world we see."
He suffered much from some magistrates for his opinion; yet dying,
was admired by them.

  [19] Plut. contra Usur. Lysand. Cic. Tusc. Quest. 5.

XIV. Heraclitus was invited by king Darius, for his great virtue
and learning, to this effect: "Come as soon as thou canst to my
presence and royal palace; for the Greeks, for the most part, are
not obsequious to wise men, but despise the good things which
they deliver. With me thou shalt have the first place, and daily
honour and titles: thy way of living shall be as noble as thy
instructions." But Heraclitus, refusing his offer, returned this
answer: "Heraclitus to Darius the king, health. Most men refrain
from justice and truth to pursue insatiableness and vain glory,
by reason of their folly: but I, having forgotten all evil, and
shunning the society of inbred envy and pride, will never come to
the kingdom of Persia, being contented with a little according to
my own mind." He also slighted the Athenians. He had great and
clear apprehensions of the nature and power of God, maintaining his
divinity against the idolatry in fashion. This definition he gives
of God: "He is not made with hands. The whole world, adorned with
his creatures, is his mansion. Where is God? Shut up in temples?
Impious men! who place their God in the dark. It is a reproach to
a man to tell him he is a stone, yet the god you profess is born
of a rock: you ignorant people! you know not God: his works bear
witness of him." Of himself he saith, "O ye men, will ye not learn
why I never laugh? It is not that I hate men, but their wickedness.
If you would not have me weep, live in peace: you carry swords in
your tongues; you plunder wealth, poison friends, betray the trust
the people repose in you: shall I laugh when I see men do these
things? Their garments, beards, and heads adorned with unnecessary
care; a mother deserted by a wicked son; or young men consuming
their patrimony; others filling their bellies at feasts more with
poison than with dainties. Virtue would strike me blind if I should
laugh at your wars. By music, pipes, and stripes you are excited
to things contrary to all harmony. Iron, a metal more proper for
ploughs and tillage, is fitted for slaughter and death; men raising
armies of men, covet to kill one another, and punish them that quit
the field for not staying to murder men. They honour as valiants
such as are drunk with blood; but lions, horses, eagles, and other
creatures, use not swords, bucklers, and instruments of war: their
limbs are their weapons,--some their horns, some their bills, some
their wings; to one is given swiftness, to another bigness, to a
third swimming. No irrational creature useth a sword, but keeps
itself within the laws of its creation, except man, that doth not
so, which brings the heavier blame, because he hath the greatest
understanding.--You must leave your wars, and your wickedness, which
you ratify by a law, if you would have me leave my severity. I have
overcome pleasure, I have overcome riches, I have overcome ambition,
I have mastered flattery: fear hath nothing to object against me,
drunkenness hath nothing to charge upon me, anger is afraid of me:
I have won the garland in fighting against these enemies."--This,
and much more, did he write in his epistles to Hermodorus, of his
complaints against the great degeneracy of the Ephesians. And in an
epistle to Aphidamus he writes, "I am fallen sick, Aphidamus, of a
dropsy; whatsoever is of us, if it get the dominion, it becomes a
disease. Excess of heat is a fever; excess of cold, a palsy; excess
of wind a cholic: my disease cometh from excess of moisture. The
soul is something divine, which keeps all these in a due proportion.
I know the nature of the world; I know that of man; I know diseases;
I know health: but if my body be overpressed, it must descend to
the place ordained; however, my soul shall not descend; but being
a thing immortal, I shall ascend on high, where a heavenly mansion
shall receive me."

A most weighty and pathetical discourse: they that know anything
of God may savour something divine in it. O that the degenerate
Christians of these times would but take a view of the virtue,
temperance, zeal, piety, and faith of this heathen, who
notwithstanding that he lived five hundred years before the coming
of Christ in the flesh, had these excellent sentences! Yet again,
he taught that God punisheth not by taking away riches; he rather
alloweth them to the wicked to discover them; for poverty may be a
veil. Speaking of God, "How can that light which never sets be ever
hidden or obscured?" "Justice," saith he, "shall seize one day upon
defrauders and witnesses of false things." Unless a man hope to the
end for that which is to be hoped for, he shall not find that which
is unsearchable; which Clemens, an ancient father, applied to Isaiah
vi. "Unless you believe, you shall not understand." Heraclitus lived
solitarily in the mountains; had a sight of his end; and as he was
prepared for it, so he rejoiced in it. These certainly were the men
who, having not a law, without them, became a law unto themselves,
showing forth the work of the law written in their hearts; (Rom.
ii. 14;) and who for that reason shall judge the circumcision, and
receive the reward of "Well done," by him who is Judge of quick and

XV. Democritus would say, that he had lived to an extraordinary age
by keeping himself from luxury and excess. That a little estate went
a great way with men that were neither covetous nor prodigal. That
luxury furnished great tables with variety: and temperance furnished
little ones. That riches do not consist in the possession, but right
use of wealth. He was a man of great retirement, avoiding public
honours and employments; bewailed by the people of Abdera as mad,
whilst indeed he only smiled at the madness of the world.

XVI. Socrates, the most religious and learned philosopher of his
time, and of whom it is reported Apollo gave this character, that
he was the wisest man on earth,[20] was a man of a severe life,
and instructed people gratis in just, grave, and virtuous manners;
for which, being envied by Aristophanes, the vain, comical wit of
that age, as one spoiling the trade of plays, and exercising the
generality of the people with more noble and virtuous things,[21]
was represented by him in a play, in which he rendered Socrates
so ridiculous, that the vulgar would rather part with Socrates in
earnest than Socrates in jest; which made way for their impeaching
him as an enemy to their gods; for which they put him to death. But
in a short space his eighty judges and the whole people so deeply
resented the loss, that they slew many of his accusers: some hanged
themselves; none would trade with them nor answer them a question.
They erected several statues to his praise; they forbad his name to
be mentioned, that they might forget their injustice: they called
home his banished friends and scholars; and by the most wise and
learned men of that age it is observed, that famous city Athens was
punished with the most dreadful plagues that ever raged amongst
them, and all Greece with it never prospered in any considerable
undertaking, but from that time always decayed. Amongst many of his
sober and religious maxims upon which he was accustomed to discourse
with his disciples, these are some:

He taught everywhere that an upright man and a happy man are all
one. They that do good are employed; they that spend their time in
recreations are idle.[22] To do good is the best course of life; he
only is idle who might be better employed. A horse is not known by
his furniture, but qualities; so men are to be esteemed for virtue,
not wealth. Being asked who lived without trouble, he answered,
"Those who are conscious to themselves of no evil thing."[23] To
one who demanded what was nobility, he answered, "A good temper and
disposition of soul and body. They who know what they ought to do,
and do it not, are not wise and temperate, but fools and stupid." To
one that complained he had not been benefited by his travels, "Not
without reason," says Socrates, "thou didst travel with thyself:"
intimating, he knew not the eternal mind of God to direct and inform
him. Being demanded what wisdom was, said, "A virtuous composure of
the soul." And being asked who were wise, answered, "Those that sin
not." Seeing a young man rich, but ignorant of heavenly things, and
pursuing earthly pleasures; "Behold," says he, "a golden slave.[24]
Soft ways of living beget neither a good constitution of body nor
mind. Fine and rich clothes are only for comedians." Being demanded
from what things men and women ought to refrain, he answered,
"Pleasure." Being asked what continence and temperance were, said,
"Government of corporeal desires and pleasures. The wicked live to
eat, &c. but the good eat to live. Temperate persons become the
most excellent: eat that which neither hurts the body nor mind, and
which is easy to be gotten." One saying it was a great matter to
abstain from what one desires; "But," says he, "it is better not to
desire at all." This is deep religion, even very hard to professed
Christians. "It is the property of God to need nothing;[25] and
they that need and are contented with least come nearest to God.
The only and best way to worship God is to mind and obey whatsoever
he commands. That the souls of men and women partake of the divine
nature: that God is seen of the virtuous mind: that by waiting upon
him they are united unto him in an accessible place of purity and
happiness; which God he asserted always to be near him."

  [20] Plat. Apolog. Diog. Laert. Helvic.; Cic. Tusc. Quest. 1;
  Xenoph. Brut. Cic. Orat. Liban.

  [21] Apol. Varro. Hist. Schol. Artist.

  [22] Clem. Alex. Strom. ii. 417; Xen. Mem. iii. pp. 720, 778, 779,
  780. Stob. Ech. Strom. i. 11.

  [23] Stob. iv. 6; Ibid. ii. 18; Xenoph. Mem. 3; Seneca Epist. i.
  104; Stob. 28; Ibid. 32; Xen. Mem. 1; Ælian. 9; Stob. 37.

  [24] Stob. 37; Ibid. 87; Xen. Mem. 34; Ælian. Ver. Hist. 9.

  [25] Stob. 37; Xen. Mem. iv. 802.; Plat. Phæd.

Many more are the excellent sayings of this great man, who was not
less famous for his sayings than his example, with the greatest
nations; yet died he a sacrifice to the sottish fury of the vain
world. The history of his life reports that his father was told[26]
he should have the guide of his life within him, which should
be more to him than five hundred masters; which proved true.
Instructing his scholars herein, charging them not to neglect
these divine affairs which chiefly concern man, to mind or inquire
after such things as are without in the visible world. He taught
the use of outward things[27] only as they were necessary to life
and commerce; forbidding superfluities and curiosities. He was
martyred for his doctrine, after having lived seventy years, the
most admired, followed, and visited of all men in his time by kings
and commonwealths; and than whom antiquity mentions none with
more reverence and honour. Well were it for poor England if her
conceited Christians were true Socrateses; whose strict, just, and
self-denying life doth not bespeak him more famous than it will
Christians infamous at the revelation of the righteous judgment,
where heathens' virtue shall aggravate Christians' intemperance; and
their humility, the others' excessive pride: and justly too, since
a greater than Socrates is come, whose name they profess, but they
will not obey his law.

  [26] Xen. Mem. i. p. 710.

  [27] Xen. Mem. 4.; Plat. de Legib.

XVII. Plato, that famous philosopher and scholar to Socrates,[28]
was so grave and devoted to divine things, nay, so discreetly
politic, that in his commonwealth he would not so much as harbour
poetical fancies, much less upon stages, as being too effeminate,
and apt to withdraw the minds of youth from more noble, more manly,
as well as more heavenly exercises. Plato seeing a young man play at
dice, reproved him sharply; the other answered, "What, for so small
a matter?" "Custom," saith Plato, "is no small thing:[29] let idle
hours be spent more usefully. Let youth," said he, "take delight
in good things; for pleasures are the baits of evil. Observe, the
momentary sweetness of a delicious life is followed with eternal
sorrow; the short pain of the contrary, with eternal pleasure."
Being commanded to put on a purple garment by the king of Sicily,
he refused, saying he was a man, and scorned such effeminacies.
Inviting Timothy, the Athenian general to supper, he treated him
with herbs, water, and such spare diet as he was accustomed to eat.
Timothy's friends next day, laughing, asked how he was entertained,
he answered,[30] "Never better in life; for he slept all night after
his supper:" thereby commending his temperance. He addicted himself
to religious contemplations: and is said to have lived a virtuous
and single life, always eyeing and obeying the mind, which he
sometimes called, "God, the Father of all things;" affirming, "Who
lived so should become like him, and so be related to, and joined
with the Divinity itself." This same Plato, upon his dying bed,
sent for his friends about him, and told them the whole world was
out of the way, in that they understood not, nor regarded the mind,
assuring them, those men died most comfortably that lived most
conformably to right reason, and sought and adored the First Cause,
meaning God.

  [28] Plato de Rep.

  [29] Diog. Laert. in vit.

  [30] Xen. Crat. Stob. Ælian.

XVIII. Antisthenes, an Athenian philosopher,[31] had taught in the
study of eloquence several years; but upon his hearing Socrates
treat of the seriousness of religion, of the divine life, eternal
rewards, &c. bid all his scholars seek them a new master, for he had
found one for himself: wherefore selling his estate, he distributed
it to the poor, and betook himself wholly to the consideration
of heavenly things; going cheerfully six miles every day to hear
Socrates.--But where are the like preachers and converts amongst
the people called Christians? Observe the daily pains of Socrates;
surely he did not study a week to read a written sermon; we are
assured of the contrary; for it was frequent with him to preach
to the people at any time of the day, in the very streets, as
occasion served, and his good genius moved him. Neither was he a
hireling, or covetous, for he did it gratis: surely then he had
not fat benefices, tithes, glebes, &c. And let the self-denial
and diligence of Antisthenes be considered, who of a philosopher
and master became a scholar, and that a daily one; surely, it was
then matter of reproach, as it is now; showing thereby both want
of knowledge, though called a philosopher, and his great desire to
obtain it of one that could teach him. None of these used to go to
plays, balls, treats, &c. They found more serious employments for
their minds, and were examples of temperance to the world.--I will
repeat some of his grave sentences, as reported by Laertius, and
others; namely, "That those are only noble, who are virtuous.[32]
That virtue was self-sufficient to happiness: that it consisteth
in actions, not requiring many words, nor much learning, and is
self-sufficient to wisdom: for that all other things have reference
thereunto. That men should not govern by force, nor by laws, unless
good, but by justice."[33] To a friend, complaining he had lost his
notes, "Thou shouldst have written them upon thy mind," saith he,
"and not in a book. Those who would never die, must live justly and
piously."--Being asked what learning was best, "That," saith he,
"which unlearneth evil."[34] To one that praised a life full of
pleasures and delicacies:[35] "Let the sons of my enemies," saith
he, "live delicately:" counting it the greatest misery. "We ought,"
saith he, "to aim at such pleasures as follow honest labour; and
not those which go before it."[36] When at any time he saw a woman
richly dressed, he would, in a way of reproach, bid her husband
bring out his horse and arms: meaning, if he were prepared to
justify the injuries such wantonness used to produce, he might the
better allow those dangerous freedoms: "Otherwise," saith he, "pluck
off her rich and gaudy attire." He is said to exclaim bitterly
against pleasures; often saying, "I had rather be mad than addicted
to pleasure, and spend my days in decking and feeding my carcase.
Those," says he, "who have once learned the way to temperance
and virtue, let them not offer to entangle themselves again with
fruitless stories and vain learning, nor be addicted to corporeal
delicacies, which dull the mind, and will divert and hinder them
from the pursuit of those more noble and heavenly virtues." Upon
the death of his beloved master, Socrates,[37] he instituted a sect
called Cynics, out of whom came the great sect of Stoics; both
which had these common principles, which they daily, with great
and unwearied diligence, did maintain and instruct people in the
knowledge of, viz., "No man is wise and happy but the good and
virtuous man.[38] That not much learning nor study of many things
was necessary. That a wise man is never drunk nor mad: that he never
sinneth; that a wise man is void of passion: that he is sincere,
religious, grave: that he only is divine. That such only are priests
and prophets that have God in themselves. And that his law is
imprinted in their minds, and the minds of all men:[39] that such
an one only can pray who is innocent, meek, temperate, ingenuous,
noble, a good magistrate, father, son, master, servant, and worthy
of praise." On the contrary, "that wicked men can be none of these:
that the same belongs to men and women."

  [31] Laert. vit. Socr. Ælian.

  [32] Laert.

  [33] Stob.

  [34] Stob. 177.

  [35] Diog. Laert.

  [36] Agel. lib. c. 5.

  [37] Laert. vit. Mem.

  [38] Laert. Plut. de Rep. Stoi. Cic. de aut. Deo, lib. ii.

  [39] Lactant. de Ira Dei, cap. 10.

Their diet was slender, their food only what would satisfy
nature.[40] Their garments exceeding mean. Their habitations
solitary and homely. They affirmed, those who lived with fewest
things and were contented, most nearly approached God, who wants
nothing. They voluntarily despised riches, glory, and nobility, as
foolish shows and vain fictions, that had no true and solid worth
or happiness in them. They made all things to be good and evil, and
flatly denied the idle stories of fortune and chance.

  [40] Plat. Pl. Ph. 16. Cic. Tul. Quest. 4. Diog. Laert. vit. Mem.

Certainly these were they who, having no external law, became a
law unto themselves, and did not abuse the knowledge they had of
the invisible God, but to their capacities instructed men in the
knowledge of that righteous, serious, solid, and heavenly principle
which leads to true and everlasting happiness all those that embrace

XIX. Xenocrates refused Alexander's present,[41] yet treated his
ambassadors after his temperate and spare manner, saying, "You see I
have no need of your master's bounty, that am so well pleased with
this." He would say, "that one ought not to carry one's eyes or
one's hands into another man's house:" that is, to be a busy-body.
That one ought to be most circumspect of one's actions before
children, lest by example one's faults should outlive one's self.
He said pride was the greatest obstruction to true knowledge. His
chastity and integrity were remarkable and reverenced in Athens:
Phryne, the famous Athenian courtezan, could not place a temptation
upon him, nor Philip, king of Macedon, a bribe, though the rest sent
in the embassy were corrupted. And being once brought for a witness,
the judges rose up, and cried out, "Tender no oath to Xenocrates,
for he will speak the truth." A respect they did not allow to one
another. Holding his peace at some detracting discourse, they
asked him why he spoke not: "Because," saith he, "I have sometimes
repented of speaking, but never of holding my peace."

  [41] Laert. Val. Max. 4, 3, 2, 16. Cic. Pro. Fal. Val. Max. 7, 2.

XX. Bion would say, that great men walk in slippery places: that
it is a great mischief not to bear affliction; that ungodliness is
an enemy to assurance. He said to a covetous man, that he did not
possess his wealth, but his wealth possessed him; abstaining from
using it, as if it were another man's. In fine, that men ought to
pursue a course of virtue, without regard to the praise or reproach
of men.

XXI. Demonax seeing the great care that men had of their bodies,
more than of their minds; "They deck the house," saith he, "but
slight the master." He would say, that many are inquisitive after
the make of the world, but are little concerned about their own,
which were a science much more worthy of their pains. To a city that
would establish the gladiators, or prize-fighters, he said, that
they ought first to overthrow the altar of mercy; intimating the
cruelty of such practices. One asking him why he turned philosopher;
"Because," saith he, "I am a man." He would say of the priests of
Greece, if they could better instruct the people, they could not
give them too much; but if not, the people could not give them too
little. He lamented the unprofitableness of good laws, by being in
bad men's hands.

XXII. Diogenes was angry with critics that were nice of words
and not of their own actions; with musicians, that tune their
instruments but could not govern their passions; with astrologers,
that have their eyes in the sky, and look not at their own goings;
with orators, that study to speak well but not to do well; with
covetous men, that take care to get but never use their estates;
with those philosophers that despise greatness, and yet court great
men; and with those that sacrifice for health, and yet surfeit
themselves with eating their sacrifices. One time, discoursing of
the nature, pleasure, and reward of virtue, and the people not
regarding what he said, he fell a singing, at which every one
pressed to hear; whereupon he cried out, in abhorrence of their
stupidity, "O God, how much more is the world in love with folly
than with wisdom!" Seeing a man sprinkling himself with water
after having done some ill thing, "Unhappy man," saith he, "dost
thou not know that the errors of life are not to be washed away
with water?" To one who said, "Life is an ill thing;" he answered,
"Life is not an ill thing, but an ill life is an ill thing." He was
very temperate, for his bed and his table he found everywhere. One
seeing him wash herbs, said, "If thou hadst followed Dionysius,
king of Sicily, thou wouldst not have needed to have washed herbs;"
he answered, "If thou hadst washed herbs, thou needest not to have
followed Dionysius." He lighted a candle at noon, saying, "I look
for a man;" implying that the world was darkened by vice, and men
effeminated. To a luxurious person, that had wasted his means,
supping upon olives; "If," saith he, "thou hadst used to dine so,
thou wouldst not have needed to sup so." To a young man, dressing
himself neatly; "If this," saith he, "be for the sake of men, thou
art unhappy; if for women, thou art unjust." Another time, seeing
an effeminate young man; "Art thou not ashamed," saith he, "to use
thyself worse than nature hath made thee? She hath made thee a man,
but thou wilt force thyself to be a woman." To one that courted a
bad woman; "O wretch!" said he, "what meanest thou to ask for that
which is better lost than found?" To one that smelled of sweet
unguents, "Have a care," saith he, "that this perfume make not thy
life stink." He compared covetous men to such as have the dropsy;
those are full of money, yet desire more; these of water, yet thirst
for more. Being asked what beasts were the worst; "In the field,"
saith he, "bears and lions; in the city, usurers and flatterers."
At a feast, one giving him a great cup of wine, he threw it away:
for which being blamed, "If I had drunk it," saith he, "not only the
wine would have been lost, but I also." One asking him how he might
order himself best, he said, "By reproving those things in thyself
which thou blamest in others." Another demanding what was the
hardest, he answered, "To know ourselves; to whom we are partial."
An astrologer discoursing to the people of the wandering stars;
"No," saith he, "it is not the stars, but these," pointing to the
people that heard him. Being asked what men are most noble; "They,"
saith he, "who contemn wealth, honour, and pleasure, and endure the
contraries, to wit, poverty, scorn, pain, and death." To a wicked
man, reproaching him for his poverty; "I never knew," saith he, "a
man punished for his poverty, but many for their wickedness." To one
bewailing himself that he should not die in his own country; "Be of
comfort," saith he, "for the way to heaven is alike in every place."
One day he went backwards; whereat the people laughing, "Are you
not ashamed," saith he, "to do that all your lifetime, which you
deride in me?"

XXIII. Crates, a Theban, famous for his self-denial and virtue,
descended from the house of Alexander, of great estate, at least two
hundred talents, which having mostly distributed amongst the poor
citizens, he became a constant professor of the Cynic philosophy.
He exceedingly inveighed against common women. Seeing at Delphos
a golden image, that Phryne, the courtezan, had set up by the
gains of her trade, he cried out, "This is a trophy of the Greeks'
intemperance." Seeing a young man highly fed and fat: "Unhappy
youth," said he, "do not fortify thy prison." To another, followed
by a great many parasites; "Young man," saith he, "I am sorry to
see thee so much alone." Walking one day upon the Exchange, where
he beheld people mighty busy after their divers callings; "These
people," saith he, "think themselves happy; but I am happy that have
nothing to do with them; for I place my happiness in poverty, not in
riches. Oh! men do not know how much a wallet, a measure of lupins,
with security, is worth." Of his wife, Hipparchia, a woman of wealth
and extraction, but nobler for her love to true philosophy, and how
they came together, there will be occasion to make mention in its

XXIV. Aristotle, a scholar to Plato,[42] and the oracle of
philosophy to these very times, though not so divinely contemplative
as his master, nevertheless follows him in this, "That luxury should
by good discipline be exiled human societies."[43] Aristotle seeing
a youth finely dressed, said, "Art thou not ashamed, when nature
hath made thee a man, to make thyself a woman?"[44] And to another,
gazing on his fine cloak; "Why dost thou boast thyself of a sheep's
fleece?" He said it was the duty of a good man to live so under laws
as he should do if there were none.

  [42] Stob. Strom. 45.

  [43] Stob. 161.

  [44] Ibid. 46.

XXV. Mandanis, a great and famous philosopher of the Gymnosophists,
whom Alexander the Great required to come to the feast of Jupiter's
son, (meaning himself,) declaring, that if he came he should be
rewarded, if not, he should be put to death; the philosopher
contemned his message as vain and sordid: he first told them, that
he denied him to be Jupiter's son; a mere fiction. Next, that as for
his gifts, he esteemed them nothing worth; his own country could
furnish him with necessaries; beyond which he coveted nothing. And
lastly, as for the death he threatened, he did not fear it; but of
the two, he wished it rather, "In that," saith he, "I am sure it is
a change to a more blessed and happy state."

XXVI. Zeno, the great Stoic,[45] and author of that philosophy, had
many things admirable in him; who not only said, but practised.
He was a man of that integrity, and so reverenced for it by the
Athenians, that they deposited the keys of the city in his hands,
as the only person fit to be entrusted with their liberties; yet
by birth a stranger, being of Citium in Cyprus. Antigonus, king of
Macedonia, had a great respect for him, and desired his company, as
the following letter expresseth:

"King Antigonus to Zeno the philosopher, health: I think that I
exceed thee in fortune and glory; but in learning and discipline,
and that perfect felicity which thou hast attained, I am exceeded
by thee; wherefore I thought it expedient to write to thee, that
thou wilt come to me, assuring myself thou wilt not deny it. Use all
means therefore to come to us, and know, thou art not to instruct
me only, but all the Macedonians; for he who teacheth the king
of Macedonia, and guideth him to virtue, it is evident that he
doth likewise instruct all his subjects in virtue; for such as is
the prince, such for the most part are those who live under his

  [45] Stob. Laert.

Zeno answered thus: "To king Antigonus, Zeno wisheth health: I
much esteem thy earnest desire of learning, in that thou aimest
at philosophy; not popular, which perverteth manners, but that
true discipline which conferreth profit; avoiding that generally
commended pleasure, which effeminates the souls of men. It is
manifest that thou art inclined to generous things, not only by
nature but by choice; with indifferent exercise and assistance, thou
mayest easily attain to virtue. But I am very infirm of body, being
fourscore years of age, and so not well able to come; yet I will
send thee some of my chief disciples, who in those things concerning
the soul, are nothing inferior to me; and whose instructions, if
thou wilt follow them, will conduct thee to perfect blessedness."

Thus Zeno refused Antigonus, but sent Persæus, his countryman, and
Philonides, a Theban. He would say, that nothing was more unseemly
than pride, especially in youth, which was a time of learning. He
therefore recommended to young men modesty in three things; in their
walking, in their behaviour, and in their apparel: often repeating
those verses of Euripides, in honour of Capaneus:

    "He was not puff'd up with his store,
     Nor thought himself above the poor."

Seeing a man very finely dressed, stepping lightly over a kennel:
"That man," saith he, "doth not care for the dirt, because he
could not see his face in it." He also taught, that people should
not affect delicacy of diet, no, not in their sickness. To one
that smelt with unguents; "Who is it," saith he, "that smells so
effeminately?" Seeing a friend of his taken too much up with the
business of his land; "Unless thou lose thy land," saith he, "thy
land will lose thee." Being demanded, whether a man that doth wrong
may conceal it from God: "No," saith he, "nor yet he who thinks it;"
which testifies to the omnipresence of God. Being asked, who was his
best friend, he answered: "My other self;" intimating the divine
part that was in him. He would say, the end of man was not to live,
eat, and drink; but to use his life so as to obtain a happy life
hereafter. He was so humble that he conversed with mean and ragged
persons: whence Timon thus:

    "And for companions, gets of servants store,
     Of all men the most empty and most poor."

He was patient, and frugal in his household expenses; Laertius
saith, he had but one servant; Seneca avers he had none. He was mean
in his clothes: in his diet, by Philemon thus described:

    "He water drinks, then broth and herbs doth eat;
     Teaching his scholars, almost without meat."

His chastity was so eminent, that it became a proverb; "As chaste as
Zeno." When the news of his death came to Antigonus, he broke forth
into these words, "What an object have I lost!" And being asked, why
he admired him so much? "Because," saith he, "though I bestowed many
great things upon him, he was never therewith exalted nor dejected."
The Athenians, after his death, by a public decree, erected a statue
to his memorial; it runs thus: "Whereas Zeno, the son of Mnaseas,
a Cittian, has professed philosophy about fifty-eight years in
this city, and in all things performed the office of a good man,
encouraging those young men who applied themselves to him, to the
love of virtue and temperance, leading himself a life suitable to
the doctrine which he professed; a pattern to the best to imitate:
the people have thought fit to do honour to Zeno, and to crown him
with a crown of gold, according to law, in regard of his virtue and
temperance, and to build a tomb for him, publicly, in the Ceramick,
&c." These two were his epitaphs, one by Antipater:

    "Here Zeno lies, who tall Olympus scal'd;
     Not heaping Pelion on Ossa's head;
     Nor by Herculean labours so prevailed;
     But found out virtue's paths, which thither led."

The other by Xenodotus, the Stoic, thus:

    "Zeno, thy years to hoary age were spent,
     Not with vain riches, but with self-content."

XXVII. Seneca, a great and excellent philosopher, who with Epictetus
shall conclude the testimonies of the men of their character, hath
so much to our purpose that his works are but a kind of continued
evidence for us: he saith, "Nature was not so much an enemy, as
to give an easy passage of life to all other creatures, and that
man alone should not live without so many arts; she hath commanded
us none of these things. We have made all things difficult to us,
by disdaining things that are easy: houses, clothes, meats, and
nourishment of bodies, and those things which are now the care of
life, were easy to come by, freely gotten, and prepared with a
light labour: for the measure of these things was necessity, not
voluptuousness: but we have made them pernicious and admirable: they
must be sought with art and skill. Nature sufficeth to that which
she requireth.

"Appetite hath revolted from nature, which continually inciteth
itself, and increaseth with the ages, helping vice by wit. First
it began to desire superfluous, then contrary things: last of all,
it sold the mind to the body, and commanded it to serve the lusts
thereof. All these arts, wherewith the city is continually set at
work, and maketh such a stir, do center in the affairs of the body,
to which all things were once performed as to a servant, but now are
provided as for a lord: hence the shops of engravers, perfumers, &c.
Hence, of those that teach effeminate motions of the body, and vain
and wanton songs: for natural behaviour is despised, which completed
desires with necessary help; now it is clownishness and ill-breeding
to be contented with as much as is requisite. What shall I speak
of rich marbles curiously wrought, wherewith temples and houses do
shine? What of stately galleries and rich furniture? these are but
the devices of most vile slaves; the inventions of men, not of wise
men: for wisdom sits deeper; it is the mistress of the mind. Wilt
thou know what things she hath found out, what she hath made? Not
unseemly motions of the body, nor variable singing by trumpet or
flute; nor yet weapons of wars, or fortifications: she endeavoureth
profitable things; she favours peace, and calls all mankind to
agreement: she leadeth to a blessed estate; she openeth the way to
it, and shows what is evil from what is good, and chaseth vanity out
of the mind. She giveth solid greatness, but debaseth that which is
puffed up, and would be seen of men: she bringeth forth the image
of God to be seen in the souls of men: and so from corporeal, she
translateth into incorporeal things." Thus in the 90th epistle to
Luculius. To Gallio, he writeth thus: "All men, brother Gallio, are
desirous to live happy, yet blind to the means of that blessedness.
As long as we wander hither and thither, and follow not our guide,
but the dissonant clamour of those that call on us to undertake
different ways, our short life is wearied and worn away amongst
errors, although we labour to get us a good mind: there is nothing
therefore to be more avoided, than following the multitude without
examination, and believing anything without judging. Let us inquire,
what is best done, not what is more usually done; and what planted
us in the possession of eternal felicity; not what is ordinarily
allowed of by the multitude, which is the worst interpreter of
truth. I call the multitude, as well those that are clothed in
white, as those in other colours: for I examine not the colours
of the garments, wherewith their bodies are clothed: I trust not
mine eyes to inform me what a man is; I have a better and truer
light, whereby I can distinguish truth from falsehood. Let the
soul find out the good of the soul; if once she may have leisure
to withdraw into herself, Oh! how will she confess, I wish all I
have done were undone; and all I have said, when I recollect it, I
am ashamed of it, when I now hear the like in others. These things
below, whereat we gaze, and whereat we stay, and which one man with
admiration shows unto another, do outwardly shine, but are inwardly
empty. Let us seek out somewhat that is good, not in appearance,
but solid, united, and best, in that which least appears: let us
discover this. Neither is it far from us: we shall find it if we
seek it. For it is wisdom not to wander from that immortal nature,
but to form ourselves according to his law and example. Blessed is
the man who judgeth rightly: blessed is he who is contented with
his present condition: and blessed is he who giveth ear to that
immortal principle, in the government of his life." A whole volume
of these excellent things hath he written. No wonder a man of his
doctrine and life escaped not the cruelty of brutish Nero, under
whom he suffered death; as also did the apostle Paul, with whom,
it is said Seneca had conversed. When Nero's messenger brought
him the news, that he was to die; with a composed and undaunted
countenance he received the errand, and presently called for pen,
ink, and paper, to write his last will and testament; which the
captain refusing, he turned towards his friends, and took his leave
thus: "Since, my loving friends, I cannot bequeath you any other
thing in acknowledgment of what I owe you, I leave you at least the
richest and best portion I have, that is the image of my manners
and life, which doing, you will obtain true happiness." His friends
showing great trouble for the loss of him; "Where," saith he, "are
those memorable precepts of philosophy? And what is become of those
provisions, which for so many years together we have laid up against
the brunts and afflictions of Providence? Was Nero's cruelty unknown
to us? What could we expect better at his hands, that killed his
brother and murdered his mother, but that he would put also his
tutor and governor to death?" Then turning to his wife Pompeia
Paulina, a Roman lady, young and noble, besought her for the love
she bore him and his philosophy, to suffer patiently his affliction:
"For," saith he, "my hour is come wherein I must show, not only by
discourse but by death, the fruit I have reaped by my meditations;
I embrace it without grief, wherefore do not dishonour it with thy
tears. Assuage thy sorrow, and comfort thyself in the knowledge thou
hast had of me, and of my actions; and lead the rest of thy life
with that honest industry thou hast addicted thyself unto." And
dedicating his life to God, he expired.

XXVIII. Epictetus, contemporary with Seneca, and an excellent man,
thought no man worthy of the profession of philosophy, that was
not purified from the errors of his nature. His morals were very
excellent, which he comprised under these two words, _sustaining_,
and _abstaining_; or _bearing_, and _forbearing_; to avoid evil,
and patiently to suffer afflictions, which do certainly comprise
the christian doctrine and life, and is the perfection of the
best philosophy that was at any time taught by Egyptians, Greeks,
or Romans, when it signified virtue, self-denial, and a life of
religious solitude and contemplation.

How little the Christians of the times are true philosophers, and
how much more these philosophers were Christians, than they, let
the righteous principle in every conscience judge. But is it not
then intolerable, that they should be esteemed Christians, who are
yet to learn to be good Heathens? That prate of grace and nature,
and know neither? Who will presume to determine what is become of
Heathens, and know not where they are themselves, nor mind what may
become of them? That can run readily over a tedious list of famous
personages, and calumniate such as will not, with them, celebrate
their memories with extravagant and superfluous praises, whilst
they make it laudable to act the contrary: and none so ready a
way to become vile, as not to be vicious? A strange paradox, but
too true; so blind, so stupified, so besotted, are the foolish
sensualists of the world, under their great pretences to religion,
faith, and worship. Ah! did they but know the peace, the joy,
the unspeakable ravishments of soul, that inseparably attend the
innocent, harmless, still, and retired life of Jesus? Did they but
weigh within themselves, the authors of their vain delights and
pastimes, the nature and disposition they are so grateful to, the
dangerous consequence of exercising the mind and its affections
below, and arresting and taking them up from their due attendance
and obedience to the most holy voice crying in their consciences,
"Repent, return, all is vanity, and vexation of spirit:" were but
these things reflected upon; were the incessant wooings of Jesus,
and his importunate knocks and entreaties, by his light and grace,
at the door of their hearts, but kindly answered, and He admitted
to take up his abode there: and lastly, were such resolved to give
up to the instructions and holy guidance of his eternal Spirit, in
all the humble, heavenly, and righteous conversation it requires,
and of which He is become our Captain and example; then, O then,
both root and branch of vanity, the nature that invented, and that
which delights herself therein, with all the follies themselves,
would be consumed and vanish. But they, alas! cheat themselves by
misconstrued Scriptures, and daub with the untempered mortar of
misapplied promises. They will be saints whilst they are sinners;
and in Christ, whilst in the spirit of the world, walking after
the flesh, and not after the Spirit, by which the true children of
God are led. My friends, mind the just witness and holy principle
in yourselves, that you may experimentally know more of the Divine
life, in which, and not in a multitude of vain repetitions, true and
solid felicity eternally consists.

IV. _Nor is this reputation, wisdom, and virtue, only to be
attributed to men: there were women also in the Greek and Roman
ages, that honoured their sex, by great examples of meekness,
prudence, and chastity; and which I do the rather mention, that
the honour, story yields to their virtuous conduct, may raise an
allowable emulation in those of their own sex, at least, to equal
the noble character given them by antiquity, viz._

     1. Penelope.--2. Hipparchia.--3. Cornelia.--4. Pompeia
     Plautina.--5. Plotina.--6. A reproof to voluptuous women of the

I. Penelope, wife to Ulysses, a woman eminent for her beauty and
quality, but more for her singular chastity. Her husband was absent
from her twenty years, partly in the service of his country, and
partly in exile; and being believed to be dead, she was earnestly
sought by divers lovers, and pressed by her parents to change her
condition; but all the importunities of the one, or persuasions
of the other, not prevailing, her lovers seemed to use a kind of
violence, that where they could not entice, they would compel: to
which she yielded, upon this condition, that they would not press
her to marry, till she had ended the work she had in hand: which
they granting, "she undid by night what she wrought by day;" and
with that honest device she delayed their desire, till her husband
returned, whom she received, though in beggar's clothes, with a
heart full of love and truth. A constancy that reproaches too
many of the women of the times. Her work shows the industry and
employment, even of the women of great quality in those times;
whilst those of the present age despise such honest labour as mean
and mechanical.

II. Hipparchia, a fair Macedonian virgin, noble of blood, as they
term it, but more truly noble of mind, I cannot omit to mention:
who entertained so earnest an affection for Crates, the Cynical
philosopher, as well for his severe life as excellent discourse,
that by no means could her relations, nor suitors, by all their
wealth, nobility, and beauty, dissuade her from being his companion.
Upon which strange resolution, they all betook themselves to Crates,
beseeching him to show himself a true philosopher, in persuading
her to desist: which he strongly endeavoured by many arguments; but
not prevailing, went his way, and brought all the little furniture
of his house, and showed her: "This," saith he, "is thy husband;
that, the furniture of thy house: consider on it, for thou canst not
be mine, unless thou followest the same course of life:" for being
rich above twenty talents, which is more than £50,000, he neglected
all to follow a retired life: all which had so contrary an effect,
that she immediately went to him, before them all, and said, "I
seek not the pomp and effeminacy of this world, but knowledge and
virtue, Crates; and choose a life of temperance, before a life of
delicacies; for true satisfaction, thou knowest, is in the mind;
and that pleasure is only worth seeking, that lasts for ever."
Thus was it she became the constant companion both of his love and
life, his friendship and his virtues; travelling with him from
place to place, and performing the public exercises of instruction
with Crates, wherever they came. She was a most violent enemy to
all impiety, but especially to wanton men and women, and those
whose garb and conversation showed them devoted to vain pleasures
and pastimes; effeminacy rendering the like persons not only
unprofitable, but pernicious to the whole world. Which she as well
made good by the example of her exceeding industry, temperance, and
severity, as those are wont to do by their intemperance and folly:
for ruin of health, estates, virtue, and loss of eternal happiness,
have ever attended, and ever will attend, such earthly minds.

III. Cornelia, also a noble Roman matron, and sister to Scipio, was
esteemed the most famous and honourable personage of her time, not
more for the greatness of her birth, than her exceeding temperance.
And history particularly mentions this, as one great instance of her
virtue, for which she was so much admired, to wit, that she never
was accustomed to wear rich apparel, but such apparel as was very
plain and grave; rather making her children, whom her instructions
and example had made virtuous, her greatest ornament: a good pattern
for the vain and wanton dames of the age.

IV. Pompeia Plautina, wife to Julianus the emperor, commended for
her compassion to the poor, used the power her virtue had given her
with her husband, to put him upon all the just and tender things
that became his charge, and to dissuade him from whatsoever seemed
harsh to the people: particularly she diverted him from a great tax
his flatterers advised him to lay upon the people.

V. Plotina, the wife of Trajan, "a woman," saith a certain author,
"adorned with piety, chastity, and all the virtues that a woman is
capable of." There are two instances; one of her piety, the other
of her chastity; the first is this: when her husband was proclaimed
emperor, she mounted the capitol after the choice, where, in a
religious manner, she said, "Oh, that I may live under all this
honour, with the same virtue and content, that I enjoyed before I
had it." The second is this: her husband being once exiled, she
caused her hair to be cut short, as the men wore it, that with less
notice and danger she might be the companion of his banishment.

VI. Thus may the voluptuous women of the times read their reproof in
the character of a brave Heathen, and learn, that solid happiness
consists in a neglect of wealth and greatness, and a contempt of all
corporeal pleasures, as more befitting beasts than immortal spirits:
and which are loved by none but such, as not knowing the excellency
of heavenly things, are both inventing and delighting, like brutes,
in that which perisheth: giving the preference to poor mortality,
and spending their lives to gratify the lusts of a little dirty
flesh and blood, that shall never enter into the kingdom of heaven;
by all which their minds become darkened, and so insensible of more
celestial glories, that they do not only refuse to inquire after
them, but infamously scoff and despise those that do, as a foolish
and mad people: to that strange degree of darkness and impudence
this age has got. But if the exceeding temperance, chastity, virtue,
industry, and contentedness of very Heathens, with the plain and
necessary enjoyments God has been pleased to vouchsafe to the sons
and daughters of men, as sufficient to their wants and conveniency,
that they may be the more at leisure to answer the great end of
their being born, will not suffice, but that they will exceed the
bounds, precepts, and examples, both of Heathens and Christians;
anguish and tribulation will overtake them, when they shall have an
eternity to think upon, with gnashing teeth, what to all eternity
they can never remedy; these dismal wages are decreed for them, who
so far affront God, heaven, and eternal felicity, as to neglect
their salvation from sin here and wrath to come, for the enjoyment
of a few fading pleasures. For such to think, notwithstanding their
lives of sense and pleasure, wherein their minds become slaves to
their bodies, that they shall be everlastingly happy, is an addition
to their evils: since it is a great abuse to the holy God, that men
and women should believe Him an eternal companion for their carnal
and sensual minds: for "As the tree falls, so it lies; and as death
leaves men, judgment finds them;" and there is no repentance in the
grave. Therefore, I beseech you, to whom this comes, to retire:
withdraw a while: let not the body see all, taste all, enjoy all;
but let the soul see too, taste and enjoy those heavenly comforts
and refreshments proper to that eternal world, of which she is an
inhabitant, and where she must ever abide in a state of peace or
plagues, when this visible one shall be dissolved.


     _The doctrine and practice of the blessed Lord Jesus, and his
     Apostles; the primitive Christians, and those of more modern
     times, in favour of this discourse._

     1. The Doctrine of Christ, from Mat. v. about denial of
     self.--2. John the Baptist's example.--3. The testimonies of
     the apostle Peter, &c.--4. Paul's godly exhortation against
     pride, covetousness, and luxury.--5. The primitive Christians'
     nonconformity to the world.--6. Clemens Romanus against
     the vanity of the Gentiles.--7. Machiavel, of the zeal of
     the primitive Christians.--8. Tertullian, Chrysostom, &c.
     on Mat. xii. 36.--9. Gregory Nazianzen.--10. Ambrose.--11.
     Augustine.--12. Council of Carthage.--13. Cardan.--14.
     Gratian.--15. Waldenses.--16. What they understood by daily
     bread in the Lord's Prayer.--17. Their judgment concerning
     taverns.--18. Dancing, Music, &c.--19. An epistle of Bartholomew
     Tertian to the Waldensian churches, &c.--20. Their extreme
     suffering and faithfulness. Their degeneracy reproved, that call
     them their ancestors.--21. Paulinus, Bishop of Nola, relieving
     slaves and prisoners.--22. Acacius, Bishop of Amida, his charity
     to enemies.

Having abundantly shown how much the doctrine and the conversation
of the virtuous Gentiles condemn the pride, avarice, and luxury of
the professed Christians of the times; I shall, in the next place,
to discharge my engagement, and farther fortify this discourse,
present my reader with the judgment and practice of the most
christian times; as also of eminent writers, both ancient and
modern. I shall begin with the blessed Author of that religion.

I. Jesus Christ, in whose mouth there was found no guile, sent from
God, with a testimony of love to mankind, and who laid down his
life for their salvation; whom God hath raised by his mighty power
to be Lord of all, is of right to be first heard in this matter;
for never man spake like him to our point; shot, clear, and close;
and all opposite to the way of this wicked world. "Blessed," says
he, "are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God:"
(Mat. v.:) He doth not say, blessed are the proud, the rich, the
high-minded: here is humility and the fear of the Lord blest.
"Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted:" He doth
not say, blessed are the feasters, dancers, and revellers of the
world, whose life is swallowed up of pleasure and jollity: no; as
He was a man of sorrows, so He blest the godly sorrowful. "Blessed
are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth:" He doth not say,
blessed are the ambitious, the angry, and those that are puffed up:
He makes not the earth a blessing to them: and though they get it
by conquest and rapine, it will at last fall into the hands of the
weak to inherit. Again, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst
after righteousness:" but no blessing to the hunger and thirst of
the luxurious man. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain
mercy:" He draws men to tenderness and forgiveness by reward. Hast
thou one in thy power that hath wronged thee? Be not rigorous; exact
not the utmost farthing; be merciful, and pity the afflicted, for
such are blessed. Yet further, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for
they shall see God." He doth not say, blessed are the proud, the
covetous, the unclean, the voluptuous, the malicious: no; such shall
never see God. Again, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall
be called the children of God." He doth not say, blessed are the
contentious, back-biters, tale-bearers, brawlers, fighters, makers
of war; neither shall they be called the children of God, whatever
they may call themselves. Lastly, "Blessed are ye when men shall
revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against
you, falsely for my sake: rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great
is your reward in heaven." He blesseth the troubles of his people,
and translates earthly sufferings into heavenly rewards. He doth not
say, blessed are you when the world speaks well of you, and fawns
upon you: so that his blessings cross the world's. For the world
blesseth those as happy, that have the world's favour; He blesseth
those as happy that have the world's frowns. This solveth the great
objection, Why are you so foolish to expose yourselves to the law,
to incur the displeasure of magistrates, and suffer the loss of
your estates and liberties? Cannot a man serve God in his heart,
and do as others do? Are you wiser than your forefathers? Call to
mind your ancestors. Will you question their salvation by your
novelties, and forget the future good of your wife and children,
as well as sacrifice the present comforts of your life, to hold up
the credit of a party? A language I have more than once heard: I
say, this doctrine of Christ is an answer and antidote against the
power of this objection. He teaches us to embrace truth under all
those scandals. The Jews had more to say of this kind than any,
whose way had a more extraordinary institution; but Christ minds
not either institution or succession. He was a new man, and came to
consecrate a new way, and that in the will of God; and the power
that accompanied his ministry, and that of his followers, abundantly
proved the Divine authority of his mission, who thereby warns his to
expect and to bear contradiction, reviling, and persecution: for if
they did it to the green tree, much more were they to expect that
they would do it to the dry; if to the Lord, then to the servant.

Why then should Christians fear that reproach and tribulation, that
are the companions of his religion, since they work to his sincere
followers a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory? But
indeed they have great cause to fear and be ashamed, who are the
authors of such reproach and suffering, so contrary to the meek
and merciful spirit of Christ: for if they are blessed, who are
reviled and persecuted for his sake, the revilers and persecutors
must be cursed. But this is not all: He bids his disciples follow
Him, learn of Him, for He was meek and lowly: He taught them to
bear injuries, and not smite again; to exceed in kindness: to go
two miles when asked to go one; to part with cloak and coat too;
to give to them that ask, and to lend to them that would borrow;
to forgive, aye, and love enemies too; commanding them, saying,
"Bless them that curse you; do good to them that hate you; and pray
for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." (Mat. v.)
Urging them with a most sensible demonstration, "That," saith He,
"ye may be the children of your Father, which is in heaven: for He
maketh his sun to rise upon the good and the evil, and his rain to
descend upon the just and the unjust. He also taught his disciples
to believe and rely upon God's providence, from the care that He
had over the least of his creatures: "Therefore," saith He, "I say
unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, and what
ye shall drink, nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on: is
not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the
fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather
into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them; are ye not much
better than they? Which of you, by taking thought, can add one cubit
unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the
lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they
spin: and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the
grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into
the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat, or what shall
we drink, or wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these
things do the Gentiles seek, for your heavenly Father knoweth that
ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of
God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added
unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow
shall take thought for the things of itself: sufficient unto the
day is the evil thereof." (Mat. vi.) Oh! how plain, how sweet, how
full, yet how brief are his blessed sentences! They thereby show
from whence they came, and that Divinity itself spoke them: what
are laboured, what are forced and scattered in the best of other
writers, and not all neither, is here comprised after a natural,
easy, and conspicuous manner. He sets nature above art, and trust
above care. This is He that himself came poor into the world, and so
lived in it: He lay in a manger, conversed with mechanics; fasted
much, retired often: and when He feasted, it was with barley loaves
and fish, dressed doubtless in an easy and homely manner. He was
solitary in his life, in his death ignominious. The foxes had holes,
the birds of the air had nests, but the Son of Man had not a place
whereon to lay his head. He that made all things as God, had nothing
as man; which hath this blessed instruction in it, that the meanest
and poorest should not be dejected, nor yet the richest and highest
be exalted. In fine, having taught this doctrine, and lived as He
spoke, He died to confirm it, and offered up Himself a propitiation
for the sins of the whole world, when no other sacrifice could be
found, that could atone for man with God, who, rising above the
power of death and the grave, hath led captivity captive, and is
become the first-born from the dead, and Lord of the living; and his
living people praise Him, who is worthy for ever.

II. John the Baptist, who was the fore-runner of Christ's
appearance in the flesh, did by his own abstinence sufficiently
declare what sort of person it was he came to prepare and bespeak
people to receive. For, though sanctified from his birth and
declared by Christ to be the greatest of all prophets; yet his
clothing was but a coarse garment of camel's hair, and a leathern
girdle; and his food, only locusts and wild honey: a life very
natural, and of great simplicity. This was all the pomp and retinue,
which the greatest ambassador that ever came to the world was
attended with; about the best of messages, to wit, Repent, for the
kingdom of God is at hand: and, there is one coming after me, whose
shoes-latchet I am not worthy to unloose, who shall baptize you
with fire, and with the Holy Ghost; and is the Lamb of God that
taketh away the sin of the world. (Mat. iii. 11; John, i. 29.) Did
the fore-runner of the coming of God, for Immanuel is God with men,
appear without the state, grandeur, and luxury of the world; and
shall those who pretend to receive the message, and that for glad
tidings too, and confess the Immanuel, Jesus Christ, to be the Lord,
live in the vanity and excess of the world, and care more for their
fine clothes, delicate dishes, rich furniture, stately attendance,
and pleasant diversion, than for the holy cross of Christ, and
blessed narrow way that leadeth to salvation. Be ashamed, and repent!

III. PETER, ANDREW, PHILIP, and the rest of the holy apostles, were,
by calling as well as doctrine, not a luxurious people; for they
were made up of poor fishermen and mechanics; for Christ called not
his disciples out of the higher ranks of men, nor had they ability
any more than will to use the excesses herein reproved. You may
conceive what their lives were, by what their Master's doctrine was;
for they were the true scholars of his heavenly discipline. Peter
thus speaks, and exhorteth the Christians of his time, "Let not your
adorning be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and the
wearing of gold, and of putting on of apparel; but let it be the
hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the
ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God
of great price; for after this manner, in the old time, the holy
women, who also trusted in God, adorned themselves." (1 Pet. iii. 3,
4.) Wherefore gird up the loins of your minds, be sober and hope to
the end, as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according
to your former lusts, in your ignorance, but as He which hath
called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation:
(1 Pet. i. 13-15:) and giving all diligence, add to your faith,
virtue; to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to
temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness,
brotherly-kindness; and to brotherly-kindness, charity; for if
these things be in you and abound, they make you, that you shall
be neither barren nor unfruitful: for so an entrance shall be
ministered unto you abundantly, into the everlasting kingdom of our
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; (2 Pet. i. 5-8, 11;) not rendering
evil for evil, or railing for railing; but contrariwise, blessing;
knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye shall inherit a
blessing: (1 Pet. iii. 9:) for even hereunto were ye called,
because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye
should follow his steps, who did no sin, neither was guile found
in his mouth; who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when
He suffered, He threatened not, but committed himself to Him that
judgeth righteously. (1 Pet. ii. 21-23.)

IV. Paul, who was also an apostle, though, as he saith, born out
of due time: a man of great knowledge and learning, but, "I count
it," saith he, "all loss for the excellency of the knowledge
of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of
all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.
Brethren, be followers of me, and mark them which walk so, as ye
have us for an ensample: for many walk, of whom I have told you
often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of
the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction; whose god is their
belly; they glory in their shame, and they mind earthly things. For
our conversation is in heaven; from whence we look also for the
Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ." (Phil. iii. 8, 18.) In like manner
also, "I will that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with
shame-facedness and sobriety, not with broidered hair, or gold, or
pearls, or costly array; but with good works, as becometh women
professing godliness." (1 Tim. ii. 9, 10.) "Be followers of God,
as dear children, and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us:
but fornication, and all uncleanness, and covetousness, let it not
be once named amongst you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness
nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient; but
rather giving of thanks: for this ye know, that no whoremonger,
unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any
inheritance in the kingdom of Christ, and of God. See, then, that
you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the
time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but
understanding what the will of the Lord is; and be not drunk with
wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking
to yourselves in hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making
melody in your hearts to the Lord." (Ephes. v.) "Rejoice in the Lord
always; and again, I say rejoice. Let your moderation be known to
all men, for the Lord is at hand." (Phil. iv. 4-6.) "Be careful for
nothing, for we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain
we can carry nothing out: and, having food and raiment, let us be
therewith content; for godliness, with contentment, is great gain:
but they that will be rich, fall into temptation, and a snare, and
into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in perdition
and destruction; for the love of money is the root of all evil,
which whilst some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and
pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of
God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness, godliness,
faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith,
and lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and
hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I give thee
charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before
Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession,
that thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until
the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. Charge them that are rich
in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain
riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to
enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready
to distribute, willing to communicate, laying up in store for
themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may
lay hold on eternal life. O Timothy, keep that which is committed
to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions
of science, falsely so called, which some professing, have erred
concerning the faith. Grace be with thee, Amen." (1 Tim. vi. 7, to
the end.) This was the blessed doctrine these messengers of eternal
life declared, and what is more, they lived as they spoke. You find
an account of their reception in the world, and the way of their
living, in his first epistle to the Corinthians; "For I think,"
saith he, "that God hath set forth us, the apostles last, as it
were, appointed to death; for we are made a spectacle to the world,
to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake: we are weak,
we are despised: even unto this present hour we both hunger and
thirst, and have no certain dwelling-place, and labour, working
with our hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted we suffer
it; being defamed, we intreat. We are made as the filth of the
world, and are as the off-scouring of all things unto this day." (1
Cor. iv. 9.) This was the entertainment those faithful followers of
Jesus received at the hands of an ungrateful world; but he who tells
us of this, also tells us, it is no unusual thing: "For," saith he,
"such as will live godly in Christ Jesus, must suffer persecution."
Besides, he knew it had been the portion of the righteous in
preceding ages, as in his excellent account of the faith, trials,
and victory of the holy ancients, in his epistle to the Hebrews
he does largely express, where he tells us, how great a sojourner
Abraham was, even in the land of promise, a stranger in his own
country, for God had given it unto him and his posterity, dwelling,
saith he, in tents with Isaac and Jacob. And why not better settled?
Was it for want of understanding, or ability, or materials? No; he
gives a better reason; for, saith he, Abraham looked for a city
which had foundations, whose builder and maker is God. And speaking
of Moses, he tells us, "that, by faith, when he was come to years of
discretion, he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter,
choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than
to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, esteeming the reproach
of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he had
respect unto the recompense of reward; nor feared he the wrath of
the king, for he endured, seeing him who is invisible." He adds,
"And others had trials of cruel mockings and scourgings; yea,
moreover of bonds and imprisonments; they were stoned, they were
sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword; they wandered
about in sheep-skins and goat-skins, being destitute, afflicted,
tormented, of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in
deserts, and in mountains, and in dens, and caves of the earth, and
these all have obtained a good report." Methinks this should a
little abate the intemperance of professed Christians. I do not bid
them be thus miserable, but I would not have them make themselves so
hereafter; for this afflicted life hath joys transcending the utmost
pleasure that sin can give, and in the end it will be found, that it
were better to be a poor pilgrim, than a citizen of the world. Nor
was this only the life and instruction of apostolical teachers; the
same plainness and simplicity of life was also followed by the first

V. "The primitive Christians,"[46] Ouzelius, in his animadversions
on Minutius Felix, saith, "were reproached by the Gentiles for their
ill-breeding, rude and unpolished language, unfashionable behaviour,
as a people that knew not how to carry themselves in their addresses
and salutations, calling them rustics and clowns, which the
Christians easily bore, valuing their profession the more for its
nonconformity to the world: wherefore it was usual with them, by
way of irony and contempt, to call the Gentiles, the well-bred, the
eloquent, and the learned." This he proves by ample testimonies out
of Arnobius, Lactantius, Isidorus Pelusiota, Theodoret, and others.
Which may instruct us, that the Christians' behaviour was not
regulated by the customs of the country they lived in, as is usually
objected against our singularity: no, they refused the embellishment
of art, and would not wear the furniture of her invention, but
as they were singular in their religion, so in the way of their
conversation among men.

  [46] Animad. in Min. Fel. p. 25.

VI. Clement Romanus,[47] if author of the constitutions that
go under his name, hath this among the rest, "Abstain from the
vain books of the Gentiles. What have you to do with strange and
unprofitable discourses, which only serve to seduce weak persons?"
This Clement is remembered by Paul in one of his epistles, (Phil.
iv. 3,) who in this exactly follows his advice to Timothy, about
vain questions, doubtful disputes, and opposition of science. Let us
see how this moderation and purity of manners continued.

  [47] Constit. Clem Rom. l. 1, chap. 2.

VII. Machiavel,[48] no mean author, in his Disputations, assures
us, "That the first promoters of Christianity were so diligent in
rooting out the vanities and superstitions of the Gentiles, that
they commanded all such poets' and historians' books, who commended
anything of the Gentile conversation or worship, to be burned;" but
that zeal is evidently extinguished, and those follies revived among
the professors of the religion of Jesus.

  [48] Mach. Dis. l. 2, chap. 5.

VIII. Tertullian,[49] Chrysostom, Theophylact, Gregory Nazianzene,
upon these words of Christ, "But I say unto you, that every idle
word that men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the
day of judgment:" (Mat. xii. 36:) thus reflect upon vain discourse:
"These words mean," saith Tertullian, "of all vain and superfluous
speech, more talk than is necessary." Says Chrysostom, "of such
words as are not convenient or profitable, but move immodestly."
Says Theophylact, "of all lies, calumnies, all inordinate and
ridiculous speeches." Says Gregory, "such words men shall account
for, which want that profit ever redounding from modest discourses,
and that are seldom uttered from any preceding necessity or cause;
things frivolous, fables, old wives' tales." All which sufficiently
reprehend the plays, poetry, and romances of the times, of great
folly, vanity, and sin.

  [49] Tert. lib. de Patien. Chrysost.

IX. Gregory, and this a father of the church, a very extraordinary
man, was so zealous for the simplicity and purity of the mind,
language, and lives of the Christians of his time, that he
suppressed several Greek authors, as Menander, Diphilus,
Apollodorus, Philemon, Alexis, Sappho, and others, which were the
recreations of the vain Gentiles: thus Cardan. Hear his judgment of
fine clothes, none of the least part of the luxury and vanity of the
age. "There be some," saith he, "are of opinion, that the wearing
of precious and sumptuous apparel is no sin; which if it were no
fault, the Divine word would never have so punctually expressed,
nor historically related, how the rich man, that was tormented in
hell, was clothed in purple and silk: whence we may note, that,
touching the matter or subject of attire, human curiosity availeth
highly. The first substance of our garments was very mean, to wit,
skins, with wool; when it is we read, God made Adam and his wife
coats of skins; that is, of skins of dead beasts. Afterwards, to see
the growing pride and vanity of men and women, they came to pure
wool, because lighter; after that to flax: then to dung and ordure
of worms, to wit, silk; lastly, to gold and silver, and precious
stones, which excess of apparel highly displeased God: for instance
whereof, which the very Pagans themselves observed, we read that the
very first among the Romans that ever wore purple was struck with a
thunder-bolt, and so died suddenly for a terror to all succeeding
times, that none should attempt to live proudly in precious attire."
This was the sense of Gregory Nazianzene, that ancient Christian
writer, who wore commonly a poor coat, like to a frock; so did
Justin Martyr, Jerome, and Austin, as their best robe.

X. Ambrose, called a father, who was lieutenant to the province
and city of Milan, and upon his discreet appeasing the multitude,
disordered upon some difference amongst them about electing a
bishop, was by their uniform consent chosen himself: although this
person, of all others, might have been thought to plead for the
accustomed recreations, especially not having been long a Christian,
for he was a Catechumen, or one but lately instructed, at the time
of his being elected; yet doth he in so many words determine the
matter thus: "Plays ought not to be known by Christians;" then not
made, heard, and defended by Christians; or they must be none that
do so.

XI. Augustine,[50] more famous for his many books, and knowledge in
church affairs, whose sentences are oracles with some, gives this as
his opinion of plays, and the like recreations, that they were more
pernicious and abominable than those idolatrous sacrifices, which
were offered in honour of the pagan gods. Doubtless he thought the
one not so offensive to reason and the impressions divinity hath
made on every understanding, as the other were very pleasant to the
senses, and therefore apt to steal away the mind from better things;
for it was his maxim,[51] that everything a man doth, is either a
hindrance or furtherance to good. This would be esteemed intolerable
doctrine in a poor Quaker, yet will the Quaker rejoice, if it be
esteemed and followed as good doctrine in Augustine.

  [50] August. de Civit. Dei. l. ii. c. 7.

  [51] De ira Dei. l. 9, c. 7.

XII. The council of Carthage, though times began to look somewhat
mistier, and the purity and spirituality of religion to be much
declined by the professors of Christianity; yet there was so much
zeal left against the worst part of Heathenism, that I find an
express canon against the reading of vain books and comedies of the
Gentiles, lest the minds of the people should be defiled by them.
But this age either hath no such canon, or executeth it not, to the
shame of their profession.

XIII. Cardan more particularly relateth,[52] how even Gregory
the Great was so zealous of preserving purity of manners among
Christians, who lived almost two hundred years after the
Carthaginian council, that he caused many Latin authors to be
burned, as vain and lascivious; as Cæcilianus, Affranius, Navius,
Licinus, Ennius, Attilius, Victor, Lucian's Dialogues; nor did
Plautus, Martial, and Terence, so much in request both in the
schools and academies of the land, escape their honest zeal,
although the multitude of copies so far frustrated their good
intentions, as that they are multiplied of late.

  [52] Cardan de Sapient. l. 2.

XIV. Gratian also[53] had such like passages as these, "We see that
the priests of the Lord, neglecting the gospel and the prophets,
read comedies or play-books, and sing love verses, and read Virgil,"
a book in which are some good expressions. Strange! that these
things should have been so sincerely censured of old, and that
persons whose names are had in so much reverence, should repute
these their censures the constructions of Christ's precepts, and the
natural consequences of the Christian doctrine; and yet that they
should be so far neglected of this age, as not to be judged worthy
an imitation. But pray let us hear what doctrine the Waldenses teach
in this affair.

  [53] Jac. Laurentio de lib. Gentil. p. 40, 41.

XV. The Waldenses[54] were a people so called from one Peter Waldo,
a citizen of Lyons in France, in the year 1160, who inhabited
Piedmont, elsewhere called Albigenses, from Albi, a city of
Languedoc in France; Lollards in England, from one Reynard Lollard,
who some time after came into these parts, and preached boldly
against the idolatries, superstitions, and vain conversation
of the inhabitants of this island. They had many other names,
as Arnoldists, Esperonists, Henricians, Siccars, Insabaches,
Paterenians, Turlupins, Lyonists, Fraticelli, Hussites, Bohemians
(still the same;) but finally, by their enemies, damnable heretics,
though by the Protestants, the true church of Christ. And to omit
many testimonies, I will instance only in Bishop Usher, who in
his discourse of the succession of the Christian church, defends
them not only as true reformers, but makes the succession of the
Protestant church to be mainly evincible from their antiquity. I
shall forbear all the circumstances and principles they held, or in
which he strongly defends them against the cruelty and ignorance
of their adversaries, particularly Rainerius, Rubis, Capetaneis,
&c. only what they held concerning our present subject of apparel
and recreations, I cannot be so injurious to the truth, their
self-denial, the good of others, at whose reformation I aim, and
my own discourse, as to omit it. And therefore I shall proceed to
allege their faith and practice in these matters, however esteemed
but of a trifling importance, by the loose, wanton, and carnal
minded of this generation, whose feeling is lost by the enjoyment
of their inordinate desires, and that think it a high state of
Christianity to be no better than the beasts that perish, namely,
in not being excessive in Newgate and mere kennel enormities. That
these ancient reformers had another sense of these things, and that
they made the conversation of the gospel of a crucified Jesus to
intend and require another sort of life, than what is used by almost
all those who account themselves members of his church, I shall
show out of their own doctrines, as found in their most authentic

  [54] XII. Cap. Hist. de orig. Walden. Vignia Hist. Bibl. p. 130.
  Dubran Hist. Bohem. 14. Thuan. in Hist. sui. temp. p. 458. Mat.
  Paris Hist. of Eng. Angl. 1174; Bellar. tom. 2, lib. 1, cap. 26, co.
  86. Ecchius. com. loc. c. 28. Apl. l. 6. con. Hieret. p. 99.

XVI. To be brief, in their exposition upon the Lord's prayer,
that part of it which speaks thus, "Give us this day our daily
bread:"[55] where, next to that spiritual bread, which they
make it to be the duty of all to seek more than life, they come
positively to deny the praying for more than is requisite for
outward necessities, or that it is lawful to use more; condemning
all superfluity and excess, out of fashion, pride, or wantonness,
not only of bread, but all outward things, which they judge to be
thereby comprehended; using Ezekiel's words,[56] (Ezek. xvi. 45,)
that fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness were the cause
of the wickedness and the abominations of Sodom, for which God by
fire destroyed them off the earth. Whereupon they conclude with an
ancient father of the primitive church, after this manner, that
costly apparel, superfluity in diet, as three dishes when one will
serve, play, idleness, and sleep, fatten the body, nourish luxury,
weaken the spirit, and lead the soul unto death; "But," say they,
"a spare diet, labour, short sleep, plain and mean garments, help
to purify the soul, tame the body, mortify the lusts of the flesh,
and comfort the spirit." So severe were they, that, in the chapter
of the instructions of their children,[57] they would not suffer
them to converse with those of strange places or principles, whose
conversation was gaming, plays, and the like wanton recreations; but
especially concerning young women. "A man," say they, "must have a
great care of his daughter. Hast thou daughters? Keep them within to
wholesome things; see they wander not; for Dinah, Jacob's daughter,
was corrupted by being seen of strangers." They affirm no better to
be the general event of such conversation.

  [55] Jo. Paul. Per. Hist. Wald. l. 1. in p. 37, 38. Dona nos le
  nostre pan quotidian. en choi. Memor. Morrel. Vign. Mem. f. 7.

  [56] Thesaur. fed. Ap. Wald.

  [57] Thesaur. fed. Ap. Wald. l. 2, c. 3. Lifill. sign. nassion ali
  patrons carnals de non esser rendus, &c.

To which I shall add their judgment and practice concerning
taverns,[58] public houses for treats and pleasures, with which the
land swarms in our days.

  [58] Ibid. l. 2, c. 3.

XVII. "A tavern is the fountain of sin,[59] the school of the
devil; it works wonders fitting the place. It is the custom of God
to show his power in his church, and to work miracles; that is to
say, to give sight to the spiritually blind, to make the lame to
leap, the dumb to sing, the deaf to hear: but the devil doth quite
contrary to all these in taverns, and the like places of pleasure.
For when the drunkard goes to the tavern, he goes upright: but when
he comes forth, he cannot go at all; he has lost his sight, speech,
and hearing too." "The lectures that are read in this school of
the devil," say these poor Waldenses, and first reformers, "are
gluttonies, oaths, perjuries, lyings, blasphemies, flatteries, and
divers other wicked villanies and pernicious effects, by which the
heart is withdrawn further and further from God." And, as the book
of Ecclesiasticus saith, the taverner shall not be freed from sin.

  [59] La taverna de maisons de pleisirs es fontana de pecca e schola
  del diavolo, &c.

But above other recreations, do but seriously observe, of what
danger and ill consequence these first reformers thought dancing,
music, and the like pastimes to be, which are the greatest
divertisements of the times, viz.:

XVIII. "Dancing is the devil's procession,[60] and he that entereth
into a dance entereth into his procession, the devil is the guide,
the middle, and the end of the dance; as many paces as man maketh
in dancing, so many paces doth he make to go to hell.[61] A man
sinneth in dancing divers ways, for all his steps are numbered, in
his touch, in his ornaments, in his hearing, sight, speech, and
other vanities. And therefore we will prove, first by the Scripture,
and afterwards by divers other reasons, how wicked a thing it is to
dance. The first testimony that we will produce is that which we
read in the gospel, where it is said, it pleased Herod so well,
that it cost John Baptist his life. (Mark, vi. 22-28; Exodus,
xxxii. 4-7, 19.) The second is in Exodus, when Moses, coming near
to the congregation, saw the calf, he cast the tables from him,
and broke them at the foot of the mountain; and afterwards it cost
three thousand of their lives. Besides, the ornaments which women
wear in their dances, are as crowns for many victories which the
devil hath got against the children of God: for the devil hath not
only one sword in the dance, but as many as there are beautiful and
well-adorned persons in the dance; for the words of a woman are a
glittering sword. And therefore that place is much to be feared
wherein the enemy hath so many swords, since that only one sword of
his may be justly feared. Again, the devil in this place strikes
with a sharpened sword; for women, who make it acceptable, come
not willingly to the dance, if they be not painted and adorned;
which painting and ornament is as a whetstone on which the devil
sharpeneth his sword.--They that deck and adorn their daughters,
are like those that put dry wood to the fire, to the end it may
burn the better: for such women kindle the fire of luxury in the
hearts of men. As Sampson's foxes fired the Philistines' corn, so
these women, they have fire in their faces, and in their gestures
and actions, their glances and wanton words, by which they consume
the goods of men." They proceed, "The devil in the dance useth the
strongest armour that he hath: for his most powerful arms are women;
which is made plain unto us, in that the devil made choice of the
woman to deceive the first man; so did Balaam, that the children of
Israel might be rejected of God. By a woman he made Sampson, David,
and Absalom to sin. The devil tempteth men by women three manner of
ways; that is, by the touch, by the eye, by the ear; by these three
means he tempteth foolish men to dancing, by touching their hands,
beholding their beauty, hearing their songs and music."--Again,
"They that dance break that promise and agreement they have made
with God in baptism, when their godfathers promise for them, that
they shall renounce the devil and all his pomp; for dancing is
the pomp of the devil; and he that danceth maintaineth his pomp,
and singeth his mass. For the woman that singeth in the dance is
the prioress, or chief of the devil, and those that answer are
the clerks, and the beholders are the parishioners, and the music
are the bells, and the fiddlers the ministers of the devil. For,
as when hogs are strayed, if the hogherd call one, all assemble
themselves together; so the devil causeth one woman to sing in the
dance, or to play on some instrument, and presently gather all
the dancers together."--Again, "In a dance, a man breaks the ten
commandments of God: as first, Thou shalt have no other God but
me, &c., for in dancing, a man serves that person whom he most
desires to serve, after whom goes his heart; and therefore Jerome
saith, 'Every man's god is that he serves and loves best;'[62] and
that he loves best which his thoughts wander and gad most after.
He sins against the second commandment when he makes an idol of
that he loves. Against the third, in that oaths, and frivolously
using God's name, are frequently among dancers. Against the fourth,
for that by dancing the sabbath-day is profaned. Against the
fifth, for in the dance parents are many times dishonoured, since
thereby many bargains are made without their counsel. Against
the sixth, a man kills in dancing, for every one that sets about
to please another, he kills the soul as oft as he persuades unto
lust. Against the seventh, for the party that danceth, be it male
or female, committeth adultery with the party they lust after;
for he that looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath already
committed adultery with her in his heart. Against the eighth, a
man sins in dancing when he withdraweth the heart of another from
God. Against the ninth, when in dancing he speaks falsely against
the truth, and for some little honour, or secret lascivious end,
denies what is true, or affirms what is false. Against the tenth,
when women affect the ornaments of others, and men covet the wives,
daughters, and servants of their neighbours, which undeniably
attends all such plays and sports."--Again, "A man may prove how
great an evil dancing is, by the multitude of sins that accompany
those that dance; for they dance without measure or number;" "And
therefore," saith Augustine,[63] "the miserable dancer knows not,
that as many paces as he makes in dancing, so many leaps he makes
to hell. They sin in their ornaments after a five-fold manner:
First, by being proud thereof. Secondly, by inflaming the hearts
of those that behold them. Thirdly, when they make those ashamed
that have not the like ornaments, giving them occasion to covet the
like. Fourthly, by making women importunate in demanding the like
ornaments of their husbands: and, Fifthly, when they cannot obtain
them of their husbands, they seek to get them elsewhere by sin.
They sin by singing and playing on instruments; for their songs
bewitch the hearts of those that hear them with temporal delight,
forgetting God; uttering nothing in their songs but lies and
vanities; and the very motion of the body which is used in dancing,
gives testimony enough of evil.--Thus, you see that dancing is the
devil's procession, and he that enters into a dance, enters into the
devil's procession. Of dancing, the devil is the guide, the middle,
and the end; and he that entereth a good and wise man into the
dance, if it can be that such an one is either good or wise, cometh
forth a corrupt and wicked man: Sarah, that holy woman, was none of
these."[64] Behold the apprehensions of those good old reformers,
touching those things that are so much in practice and reputation in
these times, with such as profess their religion: thus far verbatim.
But I cannot leave off here, till I have yet added the conclusion of
their catechism and direction, and some passages out of one of their
pastor's letters, fit to the present occasion.

  [60] La bal es la proces. del diavol, e qui intra en la bal, &c.

  [61] Sp. Alm. fol. 50-54.

  [62] Jerom. in dec. int. oper.

  [63] August. de Civit. Dei.

  [64] August. l. 2.

They conclude with this direction, namely, how to rule their
bodies,[65] and live in this world as becomes the children of God.
Not to serve the mortal desires of the flesh. To keep their members,
that they be not arms of iniquity and vanity. To rule their outward
senses. To subject the body to the soul. To mortify their members.
To fly idleness. To observe a sobriety and measure in eating and
drinking, in their words and cares of this life. To do works of
mercy. To live a moral or just life by faith. To fight against the
desires. To mortify the works of the flesh. To give themselves to
the exercise of religion. To confer together touching the will of
God: to examine diligently the conscience. To purge and amend, and
pacify the spirit.

  [65] Concl. p. 68. Encaren qual manier fidel debian regir li ler
  Corps: non servali desirier mort. &c.

To which I add the epistle of one of their pastors, as I find it
recorded amongst other matters relating to these poor afflicted

XIX. An epistle of pastor Bartholomew Tertian, written to the
Waldensian churches of the valley of Pragela, thus translated:

                       "JESUS BE WITH YOU.

     "To all our faithful and well beloved brethren in christ jesus,[66]
     health and salvation be with you all: amen! these are to put you
     in remembrance, and to admonish you, my brethren, hereby acquitting
     myself of that duty which i owe unto you all, in the behalf of god,
     principally touching the care of your souls' salvation, according
     to that light of the truth, which the most high god hath bestowed
     on us, that it would please every one of you to maintain, increase,
     and nourish, to the utmost of your power, without diminution, those
     good beginnings and examples which have been left unto us by our
     forefathers, whereof we are no ways worthy. for it would little
     profit us to have been renewed by the fatherly visitation, and the
     light which hath been given us of god, if we give ourselves to
     worldly, carnal conversations, which are diabolical; abandoning the
     principle which is of god, and the salvation of our souls, for this
     short and temporal life. for the lord saith, 'what doth it profit
     a man to gain the whole world, and to lose his own soul?' for it
     would be better for us never to have known the way of righteousness,
     than having known it, to do the contrary. let me therefore intreat
     you, by the love of god, that you decrease not, or look back; but
     rather increase the charity, fear, and obedience, which is due unto
     god, and to yourselves, amongst yourselves; and stand fast in all
     these good principles, which you have heard and understood of god,
     by our means: and that you would remove from amongst you all vain
     conversation and evil surmises, troubling the peace, the love,
     the concord, and whatsoever would indispose or deaden your minds
     to the service of god, your own salvation, and the administration
     of the truth, if you desire that god should be merciful to you in
     your goods temporal and spiritual: for you can do nothing without
     him; and if you desire to be heirs of his glory, do that which he
     commandeth: if you would enter into life, keep my commandments.
     (matt. xix. 17.)

       [66] hist. wald. l. 4, c. 11, p. 55-57.

     "likewise be careful that there be not nourished among you any
     sports, gluttony, whoredom, dancings, nor any lewdness, nor riot,
     nor questions, nor deceits, nor usury, nor discords; nor support nor
     entertain any persons of a wicked conversation, or that give any
     scandal or ill example amongst you; but let charity and fidelity
     reign amongst you, and all good example; doing to one another as
     every one desires should be done unto him; for otherwise it is
     impossible that any should be saved, or can have the grace of
     god, or be good men in this world, or have glory in another. and
     therefore, if you hope and desire to possess eternal life, to live
     in esteem and credit, and to prosper in this world, in your goods
     temporal and spiritual, purge yourselves from all disorderly ways,
     to the end that god may be always with you, who forsakes not those
     that trust in him. but know this for certain, that god heareth
     not, nor dwelleth with sinners, nor in the soul that is given unto
     wickedness, nor in the man that is subject to sin. and therefore let
     every one cleanse the ways of his heart, and fly the danger, if he
     would not perish therein. i have no other things at this present,
     but that you would put in practice these things; and the god of
     peace be with you all, and go along with us, and be present among
     us in our sincere, humble, and fervent prayers, and that he will be
     pleased to save all those his faithful, that trust in christ jesus.

       "entirely yours, ready to do you service in all
       things possible, according to the will of god.

       "bartholomew tertian."

XX. Behold the life and doctrine, instruction and practice, of the
ancient Waldenses.[67] How harmless, how plain, how laborious, how
exceeding serious and heavenly in their conversations! These were
the men, women, aye children too, who, for above five hundred years,
have valiantly, but passively maintained a cruel war, at the expense
of their own innocent blood, against the unheard of cruelties and
severities of several princes, nuncios, and bishops; but above all,
of certain cruel inquisitors, of whom their historians report, that
they held it was a greater evil to conceal a heretic than to be
guilty of perjury; and for a clergyman to marry a wife than to keep
a whore. In short, to dissent, though never so conscientiously, was
worse than open immorality. It was against the like adversaries
these poor Waldenses fought, by sufferings throughout the nations,
by prisons, confiscations, banishments,[68] wandering from hill to
valley, from den to cave; being mocked, whipped, racked, thrown
from rocks and towers, driven on mountains,[69] and in one night
thousands perished by excessive frost and snow, smothered in caves,
starved, imprisoned, ripped up, hanged, dismembered, rifled,
plundered, strangled, broiled, roasted, burned; and whatsoever could
be invented to ruin men, women, and children. These Waldenses, you
Protestants pretend to be your ancestors: from them, you say, you
have your religion; and often, like the Jews of the prophets, are
you building their praises in your discourses: but, O look back,
I beseech you, how unlike are you to these afflicted pilgrims!
What resemblance is there of their life in yours? Did they help to
purchase and preserve you a liberty and religion, can you think, at
the loss of all that was dear to them, that you might pass away your
days and years in pride, wantonness, and vanity? What proportion
bears your excess with their temperance;[70] your gaudiness with
their plainness; your luxury and flesh-pleasing conversations with
their simplicity and self-denial? But are you not got into that
spirit and nature they condemned in their day; into that carnality
and worldly mindedness they reproved in their persecutors, nay,
into a strain of persecution too, which you seem to hide under a
cloak of reformation? How can you hope to refute their persecutors
whose worst part perhaps was their cruelty, that turn persecutors
yourselves? What have you besides their good words, that is like
them? And do you think that words will send off the blows of eternal
vengeance? That a little by-rote babble, though of never so good
expressions in themselves, shall serve your turn at the great day?
No, from God I tell you, that whilst you live in the wantonness,
pride, and luxury of the world, pleasing and fulfilling the lust
of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, (1 John,
ii. 14-17,) God detests you all, and laughs you and your worship
to scorn. Never tell me, I am too rash; it is the devil that says
so; he has got two scriptures by the end in these days: one, that
there is none that doth good: and why?[71] That he may persuade all
it is impossible to overcome him: which is the reason so many are
overcome; although glory is promised to none but conquerors. The
second, that we must not judge, lest we be judged: that is, whilst
we are guilty of the same things that are equivalent, lest we are
judged. But away with Satan and his hypocrisy too: I know what I
say, and from whom I speak: once more I tell you all, whether you
will hear or forbear, that unless you forsake your pride, luxury,
avarice, and the whole variety of vanities, and diligently mind the
eternal light of God in your hearts, to obey it; wrath will be your
portion for ever. Trust not your souls upon misapplied Scriptures;
he that is a child of God must be holy, for God is holy; and none
are his sons and daughters but those who are adopted by the eternal
Spirit, and led thereby. (1 Pet. i. 15, 16; Rom. viii. 1-16.) It was
a holy, plain, humble, divine life, these poor suffering Christians
both professed and practised, refusing to converse with such as
lived in the superfluities and excess of the world; for which, if
you will believe their very adversaries, they were persecuted:
"For," says Rainerius,[72] a great writer against them, "they used
to teach, first, what the disciples of Christ ought to be, and that
none are his disciples but they that imitate his life; and that the
popes, cardinals, &c., because they live in luxury, pride, avarice,
&c., are not the successors of Christ; but themselves only, in that
they walk up to his commandments; thus," says he, "they win upon the
people." But if so, that none are Christians but those that imitate
Christ, what will become of those who call themselves Christians and
yet live at ease in the flesh, not regarding the work of the holy
cross of Christ in their hearts, that crucifies them that bear it
to the world, and the world to them? This was the true ground of
their sufferings, and their loud cries against the impieties of the
greatest; not sparing any ranks, from the throne to the dunghill, as
knowing their God was no respecter of persons. And now, if you would
follow them indeed, if you would be Protestants in substance, and
learn your enemies a way worth their changing for--else better words
go but a little way--if you would obtain the heavenly inheritance,
and you would be eternally blessed, be ye persuaded to forsake all
the pride and pomp of this vain world. O mind the concerns of an
everlasting rest! Let the just and serious principle of God within
you be the constant guide and companion of your minds, and let
your whole hearts be exercised thereby, that you may experience an
entire reformation and change of affections, through the power of
that divine leaven which leavens the whole lump, viz. body, soul,
and spirit, where it is received; to which, and its work in man,
our blessed Lord likened the kingdom of God which He came to set up
in the soul: that so having the joys and glory of another world in
your view, you may give your best diligence to make your calling and
election to the possession of them sure and certain; lest, selling
that noble inheritance for a poor mess of perishing pottage, you
never enter into his eternal rest. And though this testimony may
seem too tedious, yet could it by no means be omitted.--To authorize
our last reason, of converting superfluities into the relief of
distressed persons, although one would think it so equal and sober,
that it needs no other authority than its own, yet I shall produce
two testimonies so remarkable, that as they ever were esteemed truly
good, so they cannot be approved by any that refuse to do the same,
without condemning themselves of great iniquity. Oh, you are called
with an high and holy call; as high as heaven, and as holy as God;
for it is He that calls us to holiness through Christ, who sent his
Son to bless us, in turning us from the evil of our ways; and unless
we are so turned we can have no claim to the blessing that comes by
Christ to men.

  [67] Bern de Gir lora. de Hail. Hist. de la Fr. 1. 10. Vesemb. Orat.
  in Wald. Beza Hist. hom. dig. virer de ver. et fals. Rel. 1. 4, c.
  13, p. 249, Cat. Test. ve. 334, Vigin, Bibl. Hist. p. 1.

  [68] Vieaux Mem. fol. 6, 7.

  [69] Mut. Par. in Hen. 3, Anno, 1220. Sigonius de Reg. Ital. 1, 7.

  [70] Sernay, c. 47, Chef. 1. 3, c. 7.

  [71] The devil is a Scripturian sometimes.

  [72] Rain. cap. de stud. pervert. alios et modo dicendi. l. 98.
  Baron. Eccl. Annal. tom. 18, an. 1176, p. 835. Kranz. in Metrop. l.
  8. sect. 18, and in Sax. l. 8, cap. 16.

XXI. It is reported of Paulinus,[73] bishop of Nola in Italy, that,
instead of converting the demesnes of his diocese to particular
enrichment, he employed it all in the redemption of poor slaves and
prisoners: believing it unworthy of the Christian faith, to see
God's creation labour under the want of what he had to spare. All
agree this was well done, but few agree to do the same.

  [73] Eccl. Hist. p. 5, 393.

XXII. But more particularly that of Acacius,[74] bishop of Amida,
given us by Socrates Scholasticus, in this manner: "When the Roman
soldiers purposed in nowise to restore again unto the king of
Persia such captives as they had taken at the winning of Azazena,
being about seven thousand in number, to the great grief of the
king of Persia, and all of them ready to starve for want of food:
Acacius lamented their condition, and calling his clergy together,
said thus unto them, 'Our God hath no need of dishes or of cups,
for He neither eateth nor drinketh; these are not his necessaries;
wherefore, seeing the church hath many precious jewels, both of
gold and silver, bestowed of the free-will and liberality of
the faithful, it is requisite that the captive soldiers should
be therewith redeemed, and delivered out of prison and bondage,
and they perishing with famine should therewith be refreshed and
relieved.'" Thus he prevailed to have them all converted into money;
some for their immediate refreshment, some for their redemption,
and the rest for coastage or provision, to defray the charges of
their voyage. Which noble act had such an universal influence, that
it more famed the Christian religion among the Infidels, than all
their disputes and battles: insomuch that the King of Persia, a
Heathen, said, "The Romans endeavour to win their adversaries both
by wars and favours;" and greatly desired to behold that man, whose
religion taught so much charity to enemies; which, it is reported,
Theodosius, the emperor, commanded Acacius to gratify him in. And
if the Apostle Paul's expression hath any force, that "He is worse
than an infidel who provides not for his family;" (1 Tim. 5;) how
greatly doth his example aggravate your shame, that can behold
such pity and compassion expressed to strangers, nay, enemies, and
those infidels too, and be so negligent of your own family; (for
England, aye, Christendom, in a sense, if not the world, is no
more;) as not only to see their great necessities unanswered, but
that wherewith they should be satisfied, converted to gratify the
lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life? But
however such can please themselves, in the deceitful daubing of
their mercenary priests, and dream they are members of Jesus Christ,
it is certain that things were otherwise in the beginning; for then
all was sold, and put into a common purse, to supply indigences:
(Acts, iv. 32-37:) not mattering earthly inheritances, further than
as they might, in some sense, be subservient to the great end for
which they were given; namely, the good of the creation. Thus had
the purest Christians their minds and thoughts taken up with the
better things, and raised with the assurance of a more excellent
life and inheritance in the heavens, that will never pass away. And
for any to flatter themselves with being Christians, whilst so much
exercised in the vanities, recreations, and customs of the world,
as at this very day we see they are, is to mock the great God, and
abuse their immortal souls. The Christian life is quite another

  [74] Socrat. Scholast.

And lest that any should object, many do great and seemingly good
actions to raise their reputation only; and others only decry
pleasure, because they have not wherewithal, or know not how to take
it; I shall present them with the serious sayings of aged and dying
men, and those of the greatest note and rank, whose experience could
not be wanting to give the truest account, how much their honours,
riches, pleasures, and recreations, conduced to their satisfaction,
upon a just reckoning, as well before their extreme moments as upon
their dying beds, when death, that hard passage into eternity,
looked them in the face.


_Serious dying, as well as living testimonies of Men of Fame and
Learning, viz._

     1. Solomon.--2. Chilon.--3. Ignatius.--4. Justin Martyr.--5.
     Chrysostom.--6. Charles V.--7. Cardinal Wolsey.--8. Sir Philip
     Sidney.--9. Secretary Walsingham.--10. Sir John Mason.--11.
     Sir Walter Raleigh.--12. H. Wotton.--13. Sir Christopher
     Hatton.--14. Lord Chancellor Bacon.--15. The great Duke of
     Montmorency.--16. Henry Prince of Wales.--17. Philip III. King
     of Spain.--18. Count Gondamor.--19. Cardinal Richlieu.--20.
     Cardinal Mazarine.--21. Chancellor Oxenstiern.--22.
     Dr. Donne.--23. Jo. Selden.--24. H. Grotius.--25. P.
     Salmasius.--26. Fran. Junius.--27. A. Rivetus.--28. The late
     Earl of Marlborough.--29. Sir Henry Vane.--30. Late Earl of
     Rochester.--31. One of the family of Howard.--32. Princess
     Elizabeth of the Rhine.--33. Commissioner Whitlock.--34. A
     Sister of the family of Penn.--35. My own Father.--36. Anthony
     Lowther of Mask.--37. Seigneur du Renti.

I. Solomon, than whom none is believed to have more delighted
himself in the enjoyments of the world, at least better to have
understood them; hear what he says, after all his experience:
(Eccles. ii. 1-11:) "I said in my heart, Go to now, I will prove
thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and behold, this also
is vanity. I said of laughter, it is mad: and of mirth, what doth
it? I made me great works, builded houses, planted vineyards, made
gardens and orchards, planted trees in them of all kinds of fruit: I
got me servants and maidens, also great possessions: I gathered me
silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and provinces;
also men and women, singers, and the delights of the sons of men,
as musical instruments, and that of all sorts. So I was great,
and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem, and
whatsoever mine eyes desired, I kept not from them: I withheld not
mine heart from any joy. Then I looked on the works which mine hands
had wrought, and behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit."
The reason he gives in the 18th and 19th verses is, that the time
of enjoying them was very short, and it was uncertain who should be
benefited by them when he was gone. Wherefore, he concludes with all
this: "Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is the whole
duty of man: for God shall bring every work into judgment, whether
it be good, or whether it be evil." O that men would lay this to

II. Chilon,[75] one of the seven wise men of Greece, already
mentioned upon another occasion, affords us a dying testimony of
great example. It is related thus by A. Gellius: when his life
drew towards an end, ready to be seized by death, he spoke thus to
his friends about him: "My words and actions, in this long term of
years, have been, almost all, such as I need not repent of; which,
perhaps, you also know: truly, even at this time I am certain I
never committed anything the remembrance of which begets any trouble
in me, unless this one thing only: which, whether it were done amiss
or not, I am uncertain. I sat with two others as judge, upon the
life of my friend: the law was such, as the person must of necessity
be condemned, so that either my friend must lose his life, or some
deceit be used towards the law. Revolving many things in my mind,
for relief of a condition so desperate, I conceived that which I
put in practice to be of all others the most easy to be borne:
silently I condemned him, and persuaded those others who judged,
to absolve him: thus I preserved in so great a business, the duty
both of a judge and a friend. But from that act I received this
trouble: that I fear it is not free from perfidiousness and guilt,
in the same business, at the same time, and in a public affair, to
persuade others contrary to what was in my own judgment best." Oh,
tender conscience! Yet an Heathen's. Where dwells the Christian that
excelleth? Hard to be found among the great rabbies of Christendom.

  [75] Severus Apop. p. 175.

III. Ignatius,[76] who lived within the first hundred years after
Christ, left this, amongst other things, behind him, who was torn in
pieces of wild beasts at Rome, for his true faith in Jesus, "There
is nothing better than the peace of a good conscience;" intimating
there might be a peace to wicked consciences, that are past feeling
anything to be evil, but swallowed up of the wickedness of the
world. And in his epistles to the churches at Ephesus, Magnesia,
Trallis, and Rome, upon his martyrdom, saith, "Now I begin to be a
disciple, I weigh neither visible nor invisible things, so that I
may gain Christ." Oh, heavenly-minded man! A blessed martyr of Jesus

  [76] Ignatius Epist. ad Ephes. Mag. Trall. Eus. 1. iii. c. 32, Rom.

IV. Justin Martyr, a philosopher who received Christianity
five-and-twenty years after the death of Ignatius, plainly tells us,
in his relation of his conversion to the Christian faith, that the
power of godliness in a plain, simple Christian, had that influence
and operation on his soul, that he could not but betake himself to a
serious and strict life; and yet, before, he was a Cynic, a strict
sect: and this gave him joy at his martyrdom, having spent his days
as a serious teacher, and a good example. And Eusebius relates,
that, though he was also a follower of Plato's doctrine,[77] yet
when he saw the Christians' piety and courage, he concluded, no
people so temperate, less voluptuous, and more set on divine things:
which first induced him to be a Christian.

  [77] Euseb. Eccl. Hist. 1. 4, c. 8.

V. Chrysostom, another father, so called, lays this down for
necessary doctrine, "To sacrifice the whole soul and body to the
Lord, is the highest service we can pay unto Him. God promiseth
mercy unto penitent sinners; but He doth not promise them they shall
have so much time as to-morrow for their repentance."

VI. Charles V. Emperor of Germany, King of Spain, and Lord of the
Netherlands, after three-and-twenty pitched fields, six triumphs,
four kingdoms conquered, and eight principalities added to his
dominions, a greater instance than whom can scarce be given,
resigned up all his pomp to other hands, and betook himself to his
retirement; leaving this testimony behind him, concerning the life
he spent in the honours and pleasures of the world, and in that
little time of his retreat from them all: that the sincere study,
profession, and practice of the Christian religion, had in it such
joys and sweetness as courts were strangers to.

VII. Cardinal Wolsey, the most absolute and wealthy minister of
state this kingdom ever had, that in his time seemed to govern
Europe as well as England, when come to the period of his life,
left the world with this close reflection upon himself: "Had I been
as diligent to serve my God, as I was to please my king, He would
not have left me now in my grey hairs." A dismal reflection for all
worldly-minded men; but those more especially, who have the power
and means of doing more good than ordinary in the world, and do it
not; which seems to have been the case and reflection of this great

VIII. Sir Philip Sidney, a subject indeed of England, but they say
chosen king of Poland, whom Queen Elizabeth called her Philip; the
Prince of Orange, his master; whose friendship the lord Brooks was
so proud of, that he would have it part of his epitaph, "Here lies
Sir Philip Sidney's friend;" whose death was lamented in verse by
the then kings of France and Scotland, and the two universities of
England; repented so much at his death of that witty vanity of his
life, his Arcadia, that, to prevent the unlawful kindling of heats
in others, he would have committed it to the flames himself: and
left this farewell amongst his friends, "Love my memory, cherish
my friends; their faith to me may assure you that they are honest;
but above all govern your wills and affections by the will and word
of your Creator. In me behold the end of this world, and all its
vanities." And indeed he was not much out in saying so, since in him
was to be seen the end of all natural parts, acquired learning, and
civil accomplishments. His farewell seems spoken without terror,
with a clear sense, and an equal judgment.

IX. Secretary Walsingham, an extraordinary man in Queen Elizabeth's
time, towards the conclusion of his days, in a letter to his
fellow-secretary Burleigh, then lord-treasurer of England, writes
thus: "We have lived enough to our country, our fortunes, our
sovereign: it is high time we begin to live to ourselves, and to
our God." Which, giving occasion for some court-droll to visit and
try to divert him: "Ah!" said he, "while we laugh, all things are
serious round about us; God is serious, when He preserveth us, and
hath patience towards us; Christ is serious when He dieth for us;
the Holy Ghost is serious, when He striveth with us; the whole
creation is serious, in serving God and us; they are serious in hell
and in heaven: and shall a man, that has one foot in the grave,
jest and laugh?" O that our statesmen would weigh the conviction,
advice, and conclusion of this great man, and the greatest man,
perhaps, that has borne that character in our nation! For true it
is, that none can be serious too soon, because none can be good too
soon. Away, then, with all foolish talking and jesting, and let
people mind more profitable things.

X. John Mason, knight, who had been privy-counsellor to four
princes, and spent much time in the preferments and pleasures of the
world, retired with these pathetical and regretful sayings: "After
so many years' experience, seriousness is the greatest wisdom;
temperance the best physic; a good conscience is the best estate.
And were I to live again, I would change the court for a cloister,
my privy-counsellor's bustles for a hermit's retirement, and the
whole life I lived in the palace, for one hour's enjoyment of God in
the chapel. All things else forsake me, besides my God, my duty, and
my prayers."

XI. Sir Walter Raleigh is an eminent instance, being as
extraordinary a man, as our nation hath produced; in his person
well descended; of health, strength, and a masculine beauty; in
understanding quick: in judgment sound; learned and wise, valiant
and skilful; a historian, a philosopher, a general, a statesman.
After a long life, full of experience, he drops these excellent
sayings, a little before his death, to his son, to his wife, and
to the world, viz.: "Exceed not in the humour of rags and bravery,
for these will soon wear out of fashion: and no man is esteemed for
gay garments but by fools and women. On the other side, seek not
riches basely, nor attain them by evil means: destroy no man for
his wealth, nor take anything from the poor; for the cry thereof
will pierce the heavens: and it is most detestable before God, and
most dishonourable before worthy men, to wrest anything from the
needy and labouring soul: God will never prosper thee, if thou
offendest therein; but use thy poor neighbours and tenants well."
A most worthy saying. But he adds, "Have compassion on the poor and
afflicted, and God will bless thee for it: make not the hungry soul
sorrowful; for if he curse thee in the bitterness of his soul, his
prayer shall be heard of Him that made him. Now, for the world,
dear child, I know it too well to persuade thee to dive into the
practices of it; rather stand upon thy own guard against all those
that tempt thee to it, or may practise upon thee; whether in thy
conscience, thy reputation, or thy estate: resolve, that no man
is wise or safe but he that is honest. Serve God; let Him be the
Author of all thy actions: commend all thy endeavours to Him, who
most either wither or prosper them: please Him with prayer; lest if
He frown, He confound all thy fortune and labour, like the drops of
rain upon the sandy ground. Let my experienced advice and fatherly
instructions sink deep into thy heart: so God direct thee in all thy
ways, and fill thy heart with his grace."

_Sir Walter Raleigh's Letter to his Wife, after his Condemnation._

     "You shall receive, my dear wife, my last words, in these my
     last lines. My love I send you, that you may keep when I am
     dead; and my counsel, that you may remember it when I am no
     more. I would not, with my will, present you sorrows, dear Bess;
     let them go to the grave with me, and be buried in the dust:
     and, seeing that it is not the will of God that I shall see
     you any more, bear my destruction patiently, and with a heart
     like yourself. First, I send you all the thanks which my heart
     can conceive, or my words express, for your many travails and
     cares for me; which, though they have not taken effect as you
     wished, yet my debt to you is not the less; but pay it I never
     shall in this world. Secondly, I beseech you, for the love you
     bear me living, that you do not hide yourself many days; but
     by your travails seek to help my miserable fortunes, and the
     right of your poor child: your mourning cannot avail me, who
     am but dust. Thirdly, you shall understand, that my lands were
     conveyed, _bona fide_, to my child; the writings were drawn at
     Midsummer was at twelvemonth, as divers can witness: and I trust
     my blood will quench their malice who desired my slaughter,
     that they will not seek to kill you and yours with extreme
     poverty. To what friend to direct you, I know not, for all mine
     have left me, in the true time of trial: most sorry am I, that,
     being surprised by death, I can leave you no better estate: God
     hath prevented all my determinations, that great God, which
     worketh all in all. If you can live free from want, care for
     no more, for the rest is but a vanity. Love God, and begin
     betimes; in Him shall you find true, everlasting, and endless
     comfort: when you have travailed and wearied yourself with all
     sorts of worldly cogitations, shall you sit down by sorrow in
     the end. Teach your son also to serve and fear God, whilst he
     is young, that the fear of God may grow up in him; then will
     God be a husband to you, and a father to him; a husband and a
     father that can never be taken from you. Dear wife, I beseech
     you, for my soul's sake, pay all poor men. When I am dead, no
     doubt but you will be much sought unto, for the world thinks I
     was very rich. Have a care of the fair pretences of men; for
     no greater misery can befal you in this life, than to become a
     prey unto the world, and afterwards to be despised. As for me,
     I am no more yours, nor you mine: death has cut us asunder, and
     God hath divided me from the world, and you from me. Remember
     your poor child, for his father's sake, who loved you in his
     happiest estate. I sued for my life, but God knows, it was for
     you and yours that I desired it: for know it, my dear wife,
     your child is the child of a true man, who in his own respect
     despiseth death, and his misshapen and ugly forms. I cannot
     write much. God knows how hardly I steal this time, when all
     are asleep, and it is also time for me to separate my thoughts
     from the world. Beg my dead body, which living was denied you;
     and either lay it in Sherborne, or in Exeter church, by my
     father and mother. I can say no more; time and death call me
     away. The everlasting God, powerful, infinite, and inscrutable,
     God Almighty, who is goodness itself, the true light and life,
     keep you and yours, and have mercy upon me, and forgive my
     persecutors, and false accusers; and send us to meet in his
     glorious kingdom. My dear wife, farewell; bless my boy; pray for
     me; and let my true God hold you both in his arms.

     "Your's that was, but not now mine own,

     "Walter Raleigh."

Behold wisdom, resolution, nature, and grace! How strong in
argument, wise in counsel, firm, affectionate, and devout! O that
your heroes and politicians would make him their example in his
death, as well as magnify the great actions of his life. I doubt
not, had he been to live over his days again, with his experience,
he had made less noise, and yet done more good to the world and
himself. It is a sad thing to consider, that, men hardly come to
know themselves or the world, till they are ready to leave it.

XII. Henry Wotton, knight, thought it the greatest happiness in this
life, "to be at leisure to be and to do good;" as in his latter end
he was wont to say, when he reflected on past times, though a man
esteemed sober and learned, "How much time have I to repent of, and
how little to do it in!"

XIII. Sir Christopher Hatton, a little before his death, advised
his relations to be serious in the search after "the will of God in
the holy word:" "for," said he, "it is deservedly accounted a piece
of excellent knowledge, to understand the law of the land, and the
customs of a man's country; how much more to know the statutes of
heaven, and the laws of eternity; those immutable and eternal laws
of justice and righteousness; to know the will and pleasure of the
great Monarch, and universal King of the world: I have seen an end
of all perfection, but thy commandments, O God, are exceeding broad."

Whatever other knowledge a man may be endued withal, could he by a
vast and imperious mind, and a heart as large as the sand upon the
sea-shore, command all the knowledge of art and nature, of words and
things; could he attain a mystery in all languages, and sound the
depth of all arts and sciences; could he discourse of the interests
of all states, the intrigues of all courts, the reason of all civil
laws and constitutions, and give an account of all histories; and
yet not know the Author of his being, and the Preserver of his life,
his Sovereign, and his Judge; his surest refuge in trouble: his best
Friend; the support of his life, and the hope of his death; his
future happiness, and his portion for ever; he doth but _sapienter
descendere in infernum_, with a great deal of wisdom go down to Hell.

XIV. Francis Bacon, lord high-chancellor of England, some time
before his death, confessed, that, to be religious, was to live
strictly and severely; for if the opinion of another world be false,
yet the sweetest life in this world is piety, virtue, and honesty;
if it were true, there be none so wretched and miserable, as loose,
carnal, and profane persons.

XV. The great duke de Montmorency, colleague to the duke of Orleans,
brother to the French king, Lewis XIII., in the war by them agitated
against the ministry of Cardinal Richlieu, being taken and convicted
at Lyons, a little before his beheading, looking upon himself, then
very richly attired; "Ah!" says he, "this becomes not a servant of
the crucified Jesus! What do I with these vanities about me? He was
poor, despised, and naked, when He went to the cross to die for my
sins;" and immediately he stripped himself of all his finery, and
put a more grave and modest garment on him: a serious reflection, at
a time when he best knew what was best.

XVI. Henry, Prince of Wales, eldest son to king James I., of whom
others say many excellent things, hear what account he gives of
himself at last: a person whom he loved, and that had been the
companion of his diversions, being with him in his sickness, and
asking him how he did, was, amongst many other sober expressions,
answered thus: "Ah, Tom! I in vain wish for that time I lost with
thee and others in vain recreations." So vain were recreations, and
so precious was time to a prince, and no ordinary one neither, upon
a dying bed. But why wished he with others for more time, but that
it might be better employed? Thus hath the just principle and holy
Spirit of God in men, throughout all generations, convinced them of
their vanity and folly upon their dying beds, who before were too
much taken up to mind either a dying bed, or a vast eternity; but
when their days were almost numbered, when mortality hasted on them,
when the revelation of the righteous judgment was at the door, and
that all their worldly recreations and enjoyments must be parted
with, and that eye for ever shut, and flesh turned to worm's-meat,
that took delight therein; then, O then, was it the holy witness had
room to plead with conscience: then nothing but a holy, strict, and
severe life was valuable; then all the world for a little time, who
before had given all their time for a little of a vain world. But if
so short a representation of the inconsistency of the vanities of
the world with the Christian life, could make so deep an impression;
oh! to what a noble stature and large proportion had they been grown
in all pious and heavenly knowledge; and how much greater had
their rewards been if they contentedly had foregone those perishing
entertainments of the world betimes, and given the exercise of their
minds to the tuition and guidance of that universal grace and Holy
Spirit of God, which had so long shined in darkness, uncomprehended
of it, and was at last but just perceived to give a sight of what
they had been doing all their days.

XVII. Philip III. King of Spain, seriously reflecting upon the
life he had led in the world, cried out upon his death-bed, "Ah!
how happy were I, had I spent these twenty-three years that I have
held my kingdom, in a retirement." Crying out to his confessor, "My
concern is for my soul, not my body. I lay all that God has given
me, my dominion, power, and my life, at the feet of Jesus Christ my
Saviour." Would kings would live, as well as die so!

XVIII. Count Gondamor, ambassador in England for that very king,
and held the ablest man of his time, took great freedom as to his
religion in his politics, serving his ends by those ways that would
best accomplish them. When, towards his latter end, he grew very
thoughtful of his past life, and after all his negotiations and
successes in business, said to one of his friends, "I fear nothing
in the world more than sin;" often professing, he had rather endure
hell than sin: so clear and strong were his convictions, and so
exceeding sinful did sin appear to him, upon a serious consideration
of his ways.

XIX. Cardinal Richelieu, after having been first minister of state
of Europe, as well as of France, confessed to old Peter de Moulin,
the famous Protestant of that country, that, being forced upon many
irregularities by that which they call reason of state, he could not
tell how to satisfy his conscience for several things, and therefore
had many temptations to doubt and disbelieve a God, another world,
and the immortality of the soul, and thereby to relieve his mind
from any disquiet, but in vain. So strong, he said, was the notion
of God on his soul, so clear the impression of Him upon the frame
of the world, so unanimous the consent of mankind, so powerful the
convictions of his own conscience, that he could not but taste the
power of the world to come, and so live as one that must die, and
so die as one that must live for ever. And being asked one day why
he was so sad, answered, "Monsieur, Monsieur, the soul is a serious
thing; it must be either sad here for a moment, or be sad for ever."

XX. Cardinal Mazarin, reputed the most cunning statesman of his
time, and who gave great proofs of it in the successes of the French
crown, under his ministry: his aim was the grandeur of the world,
to which he made all other considerations submit: but, poor man! he
was of another mind a little before his death: for, being awakened
by the smart lashes of conscience, which represented his soul's
condition very dismal, with astonishment and tears he cried out,
"Oh, my poor soul, what will become of thee! Whither wilt thou go?"
and spake one day thus to the Queen-mother of France, "Madam, your
favours have undone me. Were I to live again, I would be a Capuchin,
rather than a courtier."

XXI. Count Oxenstiern, chancellor of Sweden, a person of the first
quality, station, and ability in his own country, and whose share
and success, not only in the chief ministry of affairs in that
kingdom, but in the greatest negotiations of Europe during his
time, made him no less considerable abroad. After all his knowledge
and honour, being visited in his retreat from public business, by
commissioner Whitlock, ambassador from England to Queen Christiana,
in the conclusion of their discourse, he said to the ambassador, "I
have seen much, and enjoyed much of this world, but I never knew how
to live till now. I thank my good God that has given me time to
know Him, and to know myself. All the comfort I have, and all the
comfort I take, and which is more than the whole world can give,
is feeling the good Spirit of God in my heart, and reading in this
good book," holding up the Bible, "that came from it." And further
addressed himself thus to the ambassador: "You are now in the prime
of your age and vigour, and in great favour and business; but this
will all leave you, and you will one day better understand and
relish what I say to you; and then you will find that there is more
wisdom, truth, comfort, and pleasure, in retiring and turning your
heart from the world, to the good Spirit of God, and in reading the
Bible, than in all the courts and favours of princes." This I had,
as near as I am able to remember, from the ambassador's own mouth,
more than once. A very edifying history, when we consider from
whom it came; one of the greatest and wisest men of his age, while
his understanding was as sound and vigorous, as his experience and
knowledge were great.

XXII. Dr. Donne, a great poet, taking his farewell of his friends,
on his dying bed, left this saying behind him, for them to measure
their fancies and their actions by: "I repent of all my life, but
that part of it I spent in communion with God, and doing good."

XXIII. Selden, one of the greatest scholars and antiquaries of his
time: one who had taken a diligent survey of what knowledge was
considerable amongst the Jews, Heathens, and Christians; at last
professeth this toward the end of his days, in his conference with
Bishop Usher, that, notwithstanding he had been so laborious in
his inquiries, and curious in his collections, and had possessed
himself of a treasure of books and manuscripts, upon all ancient
subjects; yet he could rest his soul on none, save the Scriptures,
and above all that passage lay most remarkably upon his spirit,
(Titus ii. 11-15,) "For the grace of God, that bringeth salvation,
hath appeared unto all men, teaching us, that, denying ungodliness
and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly
in this present world: looking for that blessed hope, and glorious
appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave
Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and
purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works: these
things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority." And indeed
it is one of the most comprehensive passages in the Scripture; for
it comprises the end, means, and recompense of Christianity.

XXIV. Hugo Grotius, than whom these latter ages think they have not
had a man of more universal knowledge, "a light," say the statesmen;
"a light," say the churchmen too; witness his Annals, and his Book,
De Jure Belli et Pacis; also his Christian Religion, and elaborate
Commentaries. He winds up his life and choice in this remarkable
saying, which should abate the edge of other men's inordinate
desires after what they falsely call learning; namely, "I would
give all my learning and honour for the plain integrity of Jean
Urick, who was a religious poor man, that spent eight hours of his
time in prayer, eight in labour, and but eight in meals, sleep, and
other necessaries." And to one that admired his great industry, he
returned this by way of complaint: "Ah! I have consumed my life in
laboriously doing nothing." And to another, that inquired of his
wisdom and learning, what course to take, he solemnly answered,
"Be serious." Such was the sense he had, how much a serious life
excelled, and was of force towards a dying hour.

XXV. To whom I join Salmasius, that famous French scholar, and the
other's contemporary, who after his many volumes of learning, by
which he had acquired great veneration among men of books, confessed
so far to have mistaken true learning, and that in which solid
happiness consists, that he exclaimed thus against himself: "Oh! I
have lost a world of time; time, that most precious thing in the
world; whereof, had I but one year more, it should be spent in
David's Psalms, and Paul's Epistles. Oh, Sirs," said he to those
about him, "mind the world less, and God more: the fear of the Lord,
that is wisdom; and to depart from evil, that is understanding."

XXVI. Francis Junius, an ingenious person, who hath written his own
life, as he was reading Tully de Legibus, fell into a persuasion,
_Nihil curare Deum, nec sui, nec alieni_; till in a tumult in Lyons,
the Lord wonderfully delivered him from imminent death; so that
he was forced to acknowledge a divine Providence therein, and his
father hearing the dangerous ways that his son was misled into,
sent for him home, where he carefully and piously instructed him,
and caused him to read over the New Testament; of which himself
writeth thus: "When I opened the New Testament, I first lighted upon
John's first chapter, "In the beginning was the word," &c. I read
part of the chapter, and was suddenly convinced, that the divinity
of the argument, and the majesty and authority of the writing, did
exceedingly excel all the eloquence of human writings: my body
trembled, my mind was astonished, and was so affected all that day,
that I knew not where and what I was. Thou wast mindful of me, O my
God, according to the multitude of thy mercies, and calledst home
thy lost sheep into the fold." And, as Justin Martyr of old, so he
of late professed, that the power of godliness in a plain simple
Christian wrought so upon him, that he could not but take up a
strict and a serious life.

XXVII. A. Rivetus, a man of learning, and much reverenced in the
Dutch nation, after a long life of study, in search of Divine
knowledge, upon his death bed, being discoursed by his friend of
heavenly things, brake forth in this manner: "God has learned me
more of himself in ten days' sickness, than I could get by all my
labour and studies." So near a way, so short a cut it is to the
knowledge of God, when people come into the right way, which is to
turn, in their minds and hearts, to the voice of God, and learn of
Him, who is a Spirit, to be taught of Him, and led by Him: For in
righteousness such shall be established, and great shall be their

     _A Letter from James, Earl of Marlborough, a little before his
     Death, in the Battle at Sea, on the Coast of Holland, &c._

XXVIII. "I believe the goodness of your nature, and the friendship
you have always borne me, will receive with kindness the last
office of your friend. I am in health enough of body, and, through
the mercy of God, in Jesus Christ, well disposed in mind. This I
premise, that you may be satisfied that what I write proceeds not
from any fantastic terror of mind, but from a sober resolution of
what concerns myself, and earnest desire to do you more good after
my death, than mine example (God of his mercy pardon the badness of
it!) in my lifetime may do you harm. I will not speak aught of the
vanity of this world; your own age and experience will save that
labour: but there is a certain thing that goeth up and down in the
world, called religion, dressed, and pretended fantastically, and
to purposes bad enough, which yet by such evil dealings loseth not
its being. The great good God hath not left it without a witness,
more or less, sooner or later, in every man's bosom, to direct
us in the pursuit of it; and for the avoiding those inextricable
disquisitions and entanglements our own frail reasons would perplex
us withal, God in his infinite mercy hath given us his holy word, in
which, as there are many things hard to be understood, so there is
enough plain and easy to quiet our minds, and direct us concerning
our future being. I confess to God and you, I have been a great
neglecter, and, I fear, despiser of it: God of his infinite mercy
pardon me the dreadful fault! But when I retired myself from the
noise and deceitful vanity of the world, I found no true comfort in
any other resolution than what I had from thence: I commend, from
the bottom of my heart, the same to your, I hope, happy use. Dear
Hugh, let us be more generous, than to believe we die as the beasts
that perish; but with a christian, manly, brave resolution, look to
what is eternal. I will not trouble you further. The only great God,
and holy God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, direct you to a happy end
of your life, and send us a joyful resurrection! So prays your true


XXIX. The late Sir Henry Vane must be too fresh in memory to need a
character; but it is certain, his parts were of the first rate, and
superior to the generality of men; but he would often say, he owed
them to religion. In his youth he was much addicted to company, and
promised little to business; but in reading a book, called, "The
Signs of a Godly Man," and being convicted in himself that they were
just, but that he had no share in any one of them, he fell into that
extreme anguish and horror, that for some days and nights he took
little food or rest, which at once dissolved his old friendships,
and made those impressions and resolutions to religion, that
neither university, courts, princes, nor parents, nor any losses
or disappointments that threatened his new course of life, could
weaken or alter. And though this laid him under some disadvantages
for a time, his great integrity and abilities quickly broke through
that obscurity; so that those of very differing sentiments did not
only admire, but very often desired him to accept the most eminent
negotiations of his country, which he served according to his own
principles with great success, and a remarkable self-denial. This
great man's maxim was, Religion was the best master, and the best
friend; for it made men wise, and would never leave them that never
left it; which he found true in himself: for as it made him wiser
than those that had been his teachers, so it made him firmer than
any hero, having something more than nature to support him: which
was the judgment as well of foreigners as others, that had the
curiosity to see him die. Making good some meditations of his own,
viz.: "The day of death is the judge of all our other days: the very
trial and touch-stone of the actions of our life. It is the end that
crowns the work, and a good death honoureth a man's whole life.
The fading corruption and loss of this life is the passage into a
better. Death is no less essential to us, than to live or to be
born. In flying death, thou fliest thyself; thy essence is equally
parted into these two, life and death. It is no small reproach to
a Christian, whose faith is in immortality, and the blessedness of
another life, to fear death much, which is the necessary passage

XXX. The late earl of Rochester was inferior to nobody in wit, and
hardly anybody ever used it worse, if we believe him against himself
in his dying reflections; an account of which I have had from some
that visited him in his sickness, besides that larger one, made
public by the Bishop of Salisbury. It was then that he came to think
there was a God, for he felt his lashes on his conscience, and that
there was such a thing as virtue, and a reward for it. Christianity
was no longer a worldly or absurd design; but Christ, a Saviour, and
a most merciful one; and his doctrines plain, just, and reasonable,
and the true way to felicity here and hereafter. Admiring and
adoring that mercy to him, which he had treated with so much
infidelity and obstinate contempt: wishing only for more life to
confute his past one, and in some measure to repair the injuries he
had done to religion by it; begging forgiveness for Christ's sake,
though he thought himself the most unworthy of it for his own,--thus
died the witty Lord Rochester, and this retreat he made from the
world he had so great a name in. May the loose wits of the times, as
he desired, take warning by him, and not leave their repentance to a
dying bed!

XXXI. A noble young man of the family of Howard, having yielded too
much to the temptations of youth, when upon his sick bed, which
proved his dying bed, fell under the power and agony of great
convictions, mightily bewailing himself in the remembrance of his
former extravagancies; crying strongly to God to forgive him,
abhorring his former course, and promising amendment, if God renewed
life to him. However, he was willing to die, having tasted of the
love and forgiveness of God; warning his acquaintance and kindred
that came to see him to fear God, and forsake the pleasures and
vanity of this world: and so willingly yielded his soul from the
troubles of time, and frailties of mortality.

XXXII. The late princess Elizabeth of the Rhine of right claimeth a
memorial in this discourse, her virtue giving greater lustre to her
name than her quality, which yet was of the greatest in the German
empire. She chose a single life, as freest of care, and best suited
to the study and meditation she was always inclined to; and the
chief diversion she took, next to the air, was in some such plain
and housewifely entertainments as knitting, &c. She had a small
territory, which she governed so well, that she showed herself fit
for a greater. She would constantly, every last day in the week,
sit in judgment, and hear and determine causes herself; where her
patience, justice, and mercy were admirable; frequently remitting
her forfeitures, where the party was poor, or otherwise meritorious.
And what was excellent, though unusual, she would temper her
discourses with religion, and strangely draw concerned parties to
submission and agreement; exercising not so much the rigour of her
power, as the power of her persuasion. Her meekness and humility
appeared to me extraordinary; she never considered the quality,
but the merit of the people she entertained. Did she hear of a
retired man, hid from the world, and seeking after the knowledge
of a better, she was sure to set him down in the catalogue of her
charity, if he wanted it; I have casually seen, I believe, fifty
tokens sealed and superscribed to the several poor subjects of her
bounty, whose distances would not suffer them to know one another,
though they knew her, whom yet some of them had never seen. Thus,
though she kept no sumptuous table in her own court, she spread
the tables of the poor in their solitary cells; breaking bread
to virtuous pilgrims, according to their want, and her ability.
Abstemious in herself, and in apparel void of all vain ornaments.

I must needs say, her mind had a noble prospect; her eye was to a
better and more lasting inheritance than can be found below: which
made her often to despise the greatness of courts, and learning of
the schools, of which she was an extraordinary judge. Being once at
Hamburgh, a religious person, whom she went to see for religion's
sake, telling her it was too great an honour for him, that he
should have a visitant of her quality come under his roof, that
was allied to so many great kings and princes of this world, she
humbly answered: "If they were godly as well as great, it would be
an honour indeed; but if you knew what that greatness was as well as
I, you would value less that honour." Being in some agony of spirit,
after a religious meeting we had in her own chamber, she said, "It
is a hard thing to be faithful to what one knows: Oh, the way is
strait! I am afraid I am not weighty enough in my spirit to walk in
it." After another meeting, she uttered these words: "I have records
in my library, that the Gospel was first brought out of England
hither into Germany, by the English, and now it is come again."
She once withdrew, on purpose to give her servants the liberty
of discoursing with us, that they might the more freely put what
questions of conscience they desired to be satisfied in; for they
were religious: suffering both them, and the poorest of her town,
to sit by her in her own bedchamber, where we had two meetings. I
cannot forget her last words, when I took my leave of her: "Let
me desire you to remember me, though I live at this distance, and
that you should never see me more: I thank you for this good time;
and know and be assured, though my condition subjects me to divers
temptations, yet my soul hath strong desires after the best things."
She lived her single life till about sixty years of age, and then
departed at her own house in Herwerden, in the year 1680, as much
lamented as she had lived beloved of the people: to whose real
worth, I do, with a religious gratitude, for her kind reception,
dedicate this memorial.

XXXIII. Bulstrode Whitlock, has left his own character in his
"Memoirs of English affairs;" a book that shows both his employments
and greater abilities. He was almost ever a commissioner and
companion with those great men that the lords and commons of
England, at several times, appointed to treat with King Charles
I. for a peace. He was commissioner of the great seal, ambassador
to the crown of Sweden, and sometimes president to the council: a
scholar, a lawyer, a statesman; in short, he was one of the most
accomplished men of the age. Being with him sometimes at his own
house in Berkshire, where he gave me that account I have related of
chancellor Oxenstiern, amongst many serious things he spoke, this
was very observable, "I have ever thought," said he, "there has
been one true religion in the world, and that is the work of the
Spirit of God in the hearts and souls of men. There have been indeed
divers forms and shapes of things, through the many dispensations
of God to men, answerable to his own wise ends, in reference to the
low and uncertain state of man in the world; but the old world had
the Spirit of God, for it strove with them; and the new world has
had the Spirit of God, both Jew and Gentile, and it strives with
all; and they that have been led by it, have been the good people
in every dispensation of God to the world. And I myself must say,
I have felt it from a child to convince me of my evil and vanity,
and it has often given me a true measure of this poor world, and
some taste of divine things; and it is my grief I did not more
early apply my soul to it. For I can say, since my retirement from
the greatness and hurries of the world, I have felt something of
the work and comfort of it, and that it is both ready and able to
instruct, and lead and preserve those that will humbly and sincerely
hearken to it. So that my religion is the good Spirit of God in my
heart; I mean, what that has wrought in me and for me." And after
a meeting at his house, to which he gave an entire liberty for all
that pleased to come, he was so deeply affected with the testimony
of the light, spirit, and grace of Christ in man, as the gospel
dispensation, that after the meeting closed in prayer, he rose up,
and pulled off his hat, and said, "This is the everlasting gospel I
have heard this day: and I humbly bless the name of God, that He has
let me live to see this day, in which the ancient gospel is again
preached to them that dwell upon the earth."

XXXIV. A sister of the family of Penn, in Buckinghamshire, a young
woman delighting in the finery and pleasures of the world, was
seized with a violent illness that proved mortal to her. In the
time of her sickness she fell into great distress of soul, bitterly
bewailing the want of that inward peace which makes a death-bed
easy to the righteous. After several days' languishing, a little
consolation appeared after this manner. She was some hours in a
kind of trance; she apprehended she was brought into a place where
Christ was; to whom, could she but deliver her petition, she hoped
to be relieved. But her endeavours increased her pain: for as she
pressed to deliver it, he turned his back upon her, and would not
so much as look towards her. But that which added to her sorrow,
was, that she beheld others admitted: however, she gave not over
importuning him. And when almost ready to faint, and her hope to
sink, he turned one side of his face towards her, and reached forth
his hand, and received her request: at which her troubled soul found
immediate consolation. Turning to those about her, she repeats what
had befallen her, adding, "Bring me my new clothes, take off the
lace and finery;" and charged her relations, not to deck and adorn
themselves after the manner of the world: for that the Lord Jesus,
whom she had seen, appeared unto her in the likeness of a plain
countryman, without any trimming or ornament whatever; and that his
servants ought to be like Him.

XXXV. My own father, after thirty years employment, with good
success, in divers places of eminent trust and honour in his own
country, upon a serious reflection, not long before his death,
spoke to me in this manner: "Son William, I am weary of the world:
I would not live over my days again, if I could command them with a
wish: for the snares of life are greater than the fears of death.
This troubles me, that I have offended a gracious God, that has
followed me to this day. Oh, have a care of sin: that is the sting
both of life and death. Three things I commend to you. First,
Let nothing in this world tempt you to wrong your conscience; I
charge you, do nothing against your conscience, so will you keep
peace at home, which will be a feast to you in the day of trouble.
Secondly, Whatever you design to do, lay it justly, and time it
seasonably; for that gives security and dispatch. Lastly, Be not
troubled at disappointments; for if they may be recovered, do it;
if they cannot, trouble is vain. If you could not have helped
it, be content; there is often peace and profit in submitting to
Providence, for afflictions make wise. If you could have helped
it, let not your trouble exceed instruction for another time:
these rules will carry you with firmness and comfort through
this inconstant world." At another time he inveighed against the
profaneness and impiety of the age; often crying out, with an
earnestness of spirit, "Woe to thee, O England! God will judge thee,
O England! Plagues are at thy door, O England!" He much bewailed
that divers men in power, and many of the nobility and gentry of the
kingdom, were grown so dissolute and profane; often saying, "God
has forsaken us; we are infatuated; we will shut our eyes; we will
not see our true interests and happiness: we shall be destroyed!"
Apprehending the consequences of the growing looseness of the age
to be our ruin; and that the methods most fit to serve the kingdom
with true credit, at home and abroad, were too much neglected:
the trouble of which did not a little help to feed his distemper,
which drew him daily nearer to his end: and as he believed it, so
less concerned or disordered, I never saw him at any time; of which
I took good notice: wearied to live, as well as near to die, he
took his leave of us, and of me, with this expression, and a most
composed countenance: "Son William, if you and your friends keep to
your plain way of preaching, and keep to your plain way of living,
you will make an end of the priests to the end of the world. Bury me
by my mother: live all in love: shun all manner of evil: and I pray
God to bless you all: and He will bless you."

XXXVI. Anthony Lowther, of Mask, a person of good sense, of a sweet
temper, a just mind, and of a sober education; when of age to be
under his own government, was drawn by the men of pleasure of the
town, into the usual freedoms of it, and was as much a judge as
anybody of the satisfaction that way of living could yield; but
some time before his sickness, with a free and strong judgment, he
would frequently upbraid himself, and contemn the world for those
unreasonable as well as unchristian liberties that so much abound
in it; which apprehension increased by the instruction of a long
and sharp sickness, he would often despise their folly, and abhor
their guilt; breathing, with some impatience, after the knowledge of
the best things, and the best company; losing as little time as he
could, that he might redeem the time he had lost; testifying often,
with a lively relish, to the truth of religion, from the sense he
had of it in his own breast: frequently professing, he knew no joy
comparable to that of being assured of the love and mercy of God;
which, as he often implored with strong convictions, and a deep
humility and reverence, so he had frequently tastes thereof before
his last period; pressing his relations and friends, in a most
serious and affectionate manner, to love God, and one another more,
and this vile world less. And of this he was so full, it was almost
ever the conclusion of his most inward discourses with his family;
though he sometimes said, he could have been willing to have lived,
if God had pleased, to see his younger children nearer a settlement
in the world; yet he felt no desire to live longer in the world, but
on the terms of living better in it. For that he did not only think
virtue the safest, but the happiest way of living: commending and
commanding it to his children upon his last blessing.

I shall conclude this chapter of retired, aged, and dying persons,
with some collections I have made out of the life of a person of
great piety and quality of the French nation.

XXXVII. Du Renti, a young nobleman of France, of admirable parts,
as well as great birth, touched with a sense of the vanity of
the world, and the sweetness of a retired and religious life,
notwithstanding the honours and employments that waited for him,
abandons the pride and pomp of the world, to enjoy a life of more
communion with God: do but hear him: "I avow," saith he, "that I
have no gust in anything where I find not Jesus Christ; and for
a soul that speaks not of Him, or in which we cannot taste any
effect of grace flowing from his Spirit, (which is the principle of
operations, both inward and outward, that are solidly Christian,)
speak not to me at all of such an one: could I, as I may say, behold
both miracles and wonders there, and yet not Jesus Christ, nor
hear any talk of Him, I count all but amusement of spirit, loss of
time, and a very dangerous precipice. Let us encourage ourselves
to lead this life unknown, and wholly hid from men, but most known
to and intimate with God; divesting ourselves, and chasing out of
our minds all those many superfluities, and those many amusements,
which bring with them so great a damage, that they take up our mind,
instead of God. So that when I consider that which thwarts and cuts
into so many pieces this holy, this sweet, and amiable union, which
we should have continually with God, it appears, that it is only
a monsieur, a madame, a compliment, and chatting, indeed a mere
foolery; which notwithstanding doth ravish and wrest from us the
time that is so precious, and the fellowship that is so holy, and so
desirable. Let us quit this, I pray you, and learn to court it with
our own Master; let us well understand our part, our own world, as
we here phrase it, not that world I mean, which we do renounce, but
that wherein the children of God do their duties to their Father.
There is nothing in this world so separate from the world, as God;
and the greater the saints are, the greater is their retirement into
Him. This our Saviour taught us whilst He lived on earth, being in
all his visible employments united to God, and retired into the
bosom of his Father. Since the time that I gave up my liberty to
God, as I told you, I was given to understand to what a state of
annihilation the soul must be brought, to render it capable of union
with Him: I saw my soul reduced into a small point, contracted and
shrunk up to nothing: and at the same time I beheld myself, as if
encompassed with whatsoever the world loves and possesseth; and, as
it were, a hand removing all this far from me, throwing it into the
ocean of annihilation.

"In the first place, I saw removed all exterior things, kingdoms,
great offices, stately buildings, rich household-stuff, gold and
silver, recreations, pleasures; all which are great encumbrances
to the soul's passing on to God, of which therefore his pleasure
is, that she be stripped, that she may arrive at the point of
nakedness and death, which will bring her into possession of solid
riches and real life. Assure yourself, there is no security in any
state, but this of dying and annihilation; which is to be baptized
into Christ's death, that we live the life of mortification. Our
best way is therefore to divest ourselves of all, that the holy
child Jesus may govern all. All that can be imagined in this lower
world is of small concernment, though it were the losing of all our
goods, and the death of all the men in it; this poor ant-hill is
not worthy of a serious thought. Had we but a little faith, and a
little love, how happy should we esteem ourselves in giving away
all, to attend no more, save on God alone; and to say, _Deus meus et
omnia_; my God, and my all! 'Being,' saith he, 'in a chapel richly
wainscotted, and adorned with very excellent sculpture, and with
imagery, I beheld it with some attention, having had some skill in
these things, and saw the bundles of fleurs-de-luce, and of flowers
in the form of borders, and of very curious workmanship; it was on
a sudden put into my mind, The original of what thou seest would
not detain thee at all in seeing it. And I perceived, that indeed
all these, and those flowers themselves, not in pictures, would
not have taken me up; and all the ornaments which architecture and
art invent are but things most mean and low, running in a manner
only upon flowers, fruits, branches, harpies, and chimeras, part
whereof are in their very being but things common and low, and part
of them merely imaginary; and yet man, who croucheth to everything,
renders himself amorous and a slave of them; no otherwise than as
if a good workman should stand to copy out, and counterfeit some
trifles and fopperies. I considered by this sight how poor man was
to be cheated, amused, and diverted from his sovereign good. And
since that time, I could make no more stand to consider any of these
things; and if I did it, I should reproach myself for it, as no
sooner seeing them in churches or elsewhere, but this presently put
upon my spirit. The original is nothing; the copy and the image is
yet less; each thing is vain, except the employment of ourselves
about God alone. An absolute abnegation will be necessary to all
things, to follow in simplicity, without reserve or reflection, what
our Saviour shall work in us, or appoint for us, let it be this or
that. This way was showed me, in which I ought to walk towards Him:
and hence it is, that all things to me ordinarily are without any
gust or delight. I assure you, it is a great shame to a Christian
to pass his days in this world more at ease than Jesus Christ here
passed his: ah! had we but a little faith, what repose could we take
out of the cross!'"

I will conclude his sayings with his dying blessing to his surviving

"I pray God bless you, and may it please Him to bless you, and to
preserve you by his grace from the evil of the world, that you may
have no part therein: and, above all, my children, that you may live
in the fear and love of God, and yield due obedience to your mother."

Expressions of that weight and moment to the immortal good of man,
that they abundantly prove to all sensible readers, that the author
was a man of an enlightened mind, and of a soul mortified to the
world, and quickened to some tastes of a supernatural life: let his
youth, let his quality, adorned with so much zeal and piety, so much
self-denial and constancy, become exemplary to those of worldly
quality, who may be the readers of this book. Some perhaps will hear
that truth from the several authors I have reported, whose names,
death, and time have recovered from the envy of mess that would
hardly endure it from me, if at all from the living. Be it as it
will, I shall abundantly rejoice, if God shall please to make any
part of this discourse effectual to persuade any into the love of
holiness, without which, certain it is, no man shall see the Lord:
but the pure in heart shall behold Him for ever.

To conclude, I cannot pass this reflection upon what is observed
of the sayings of dying men, and which to me seems to have great
instruction in it, viz.: All men agree, when they come to die,
it is best to be religious; to live a holy, humble, strict, and
self-denying life; retired, solitary, temperate, and disencumbered
of the world. Then loving God above all, and our neighbours as
ourselves, forgiving our enemies, and praying for them, are solid
things, and the essential part of religion, as the true ground of
man's happiness. Then all sin is exceeding sinful, and yields no
more pleasure: but every inordinate desire is burthensome, and
severely reproved. Then the world, with all the lawful comforts in
it, weighs light against that sense and judgment, which such men
have between the temporal and the eternal. And since it is thus with
dying men, what instruction is it to the living, whose pretence for
the most part is a perpetual contradiction? O that men would learn
to number their days, that they might apply their hearts to wisdom!
of which, the fear of the Lord is the true and only beginning. And
blessed are they that fear always, for their feet shall be preserved
from the snares of death.


     1. Of the way of living among the first Christians.--2. An
     exhortation to all professing Christianity, to embrace the
     foregoing reasons and examples.--3. Plain dealing with such as
     reject them.--4. Their recompenses.--5. The author is better
     persuaded and assured of some: an exhortation to them.--6.
     Encouragement to the children of light to persevere, from a
     consideration of the excellency of their reward; the end and
     triumph of the Christian conqueror. The whole concluded with a
     brief supplication to Almighty God.


I. Having finished so many testimonies as my time would give
me leave, in favour of this subject, No Cross, No Crown; no
temperance, no happiness; no virtue, no reward: no mortification,
no glorification: I shall conclude with a short description of the
life and worship of the Christians, within the first century or
hundred years after Christ: what simplicity, what spirituality,
what holy love and communion, did in that blessed age abound among
them! It is delivered originally by Philo Judæus, and cited by
Eusebius Pamphilius, in his Ecclesiastical history;[78] that those
Christians renounced their substance, and severed themselves from
all the cares of this life; and forsaking the cities, they lived
solitarily in fields and gardens. They accounted their company who
followed the contrary life of cares and bustles, as unprofitable
and hurtful unto them, to the end that with earnest and fervent
desires, they might imitate them which led this prophetical and
heavenly life--"In many places," says he, "this people liveth, for
it behoveth as well the Grecians as the Barbarians, to be partakers
of this absolute goodness; but in Egypt, in every province, they
abound: and especially about Alexandria. From all parts the
better sort withdrew themselves into the soil and place of these
worshippers, as they were called, as a most commodious place,
adjoining to the lake of Mary, in a valley very fit, both for its
security and the temperance of the air. They are further reported
to have had meeting-houses, where the most part of the day was
employed in worshipping God: that they were great allegorizers of
the Scriptures, making them all figurative; that the external show
of words, or the letter, resembleth the superficies of the body; and
the hidden sense or understanding of the words seem in the place of
the soul; which they contemplate by their beholding names, as it
were, in a glass." That is, their religion consisted not chiefly in
reading the letter, disputing about it, accepting things in literal
constructions, but in the things declared of the substance itself,
bringing things nearer to the mind, soul, and spirit, and pressing
into a more hidden and heavenly sense; making religion to consist
in the temperance and sanctity of the mind, and not in the formal
bodily worship, so much now-a-days in repute, fitter to please
comedians than Christians. Such was the practice of those times: but
now the case is altered; people will be Christians, and have their
worldly-mindedness too; but though God's kingdom suffer violence
by such, yet shall they never enter: the life of Christ and his
followers hath in all ages been another thing; and there is but one
way, one guide, one rest; all of which are pure and holy.

  [78] Philo Judæus, of the worship of Egypt and Alexandria. Euseb.
  Pam. Eccl. Hist. 1. 2. c. 17.

II. But if any, notwithstanding our many sober reasons, and
numerous testimonies from Scripture, or the example or experience
of religious, worldly, and profane living and dying men at home and
abroad, of the greatest note, fame, and learning in the whole world,
shall yet remain lovers and imitators of the folly and the vanity
condemned: if the cries and groans, sighs and tears, and complaints,
and mournful wishes of so many reputed great, nay, some sober men;
"O that I had more time! O that I might live a year longer, I would
live a stricter life! O that I were a poor Jean Urick! All is vanity
in this world! O my poor soul! whither wilt thou go? O that I had
the time spent in vain recreations! A serious life is above all:"
and such like. If, I say, this by no means can prevail, but if yet
they shall proceed to folly, and follow the vain world, what greater
evidence can they give of their heady resolution, to go on impiously
to despise God, to disobey his precepts, to deny Christ, to scorn,
not to bear his cross, to forsake the examples of his servants, to
give the lie to the dying serious sayings and consent of all ages;
to harden themselves against the checks of conscience, to befool
and sport away their precious time, and poor immortal souls to woe
and misery? (Exod. xxxii. 6; Amos, vi. 3-6; Ephes. iv. 17, 24.) In
short, it is plain to discover, you have neither reason to justify
yourselves, nor yet enough of modesty to blush at your own folly;
but as those that have lost the sense of one and the other, go on
to eat and drink, and rise up to play. (Matt. xix. 16-22.) In vain,
therefore, is it for you to pretend to fear the God of heaven, whose
minds serve the god of the pleasure of this world: in vain is it
to say, you believe in Christ, who receive not his self-denying
doctrine: and to no better purpose will all you do avail. If he
that had loved God and his neighbour, and kept the commandments
from his youth, was excluded from being a disciple, because he sold
not all, and followed Jesus; with what confidence can you call
yourselves Christians, who have neither kept the commandments, nor
yet forsaken anything to be so? And if it was a bar betwixt him and
the eternal life he sought, that, notwithstanding all his other
virtues, love to money and his external possessions could not be
parted with, what shall be your end, who cannot deny yourselves many
less things, but are daily multiplying your inventions to please
your fleshly appetites? Certainly, much more impossible is it to
forsake the greater. Christ tried his love, in bidding him forsake
all, because he knew, for all his brags, that his mind was rivetted
therein: not that if he had enjoyed his possessions with Christian
indifferency, they might not have been continued; but what then is
their doom, whose hearts are so fixed in the vanities of the world,
that they will rather make them Christian, than not to be Christians
in the use of them? But such a Christian this young man might have
been, who had more to say for himself than the strictest Pharisee
living dare pretend to; yet he went away sorrowful from Jesus.
Should I ask you, if Nicodemus did well to come by night, (John,
iii. 1-5,) and be ashamed of the great Messiah of the world? and if
he was not ignorant when Christ spake to him of the new birth? I
know you will answer me, he did very ill, and was very ignorant; but
stay a while; the beam is in your own eyes: you are ready doubtless
to condemn him, and the young man, for not doing what you not only
refuse to do yourselves, but laugh at others for doing. Nay, had
such passages not been writ, and were it not for the reverence
some pretend for the Scriptures, they would both be as stupid as
Nicodemus in their answers to such heavenly matters, and ready to
call it canting to speak so, as it is frequent for you, when we
speak to the same effect, though not the same words: just as the
Jews, at what time they called God their Father, they despised his
Son; and when He spake of sublime and heavenly mysteries, some
cried, He has a devil; others, He is mad; and most of them, These
are hard sayings, who can hear them?

III. And to you all that sport yourselves after the manners of the
world, let me say, that you are of those who profess you know God,
but in works deny Him; living in those pleasures which slay the
just in yourselves. (Tit. i. 16.) For though you talk of believing,
it is no more than taking it for granted that there is a God, a
Christ, Scriptures, &c. without further concerning yourselves to
prove the verity thereof to yourselves or others, by a strict and
holy conversation: which slight way of believing is but a light
and careless way of ridding yourselves of further examination; and
rather throwing them off with an inconsiderate granting of them to
be so, than giving yourselves the trouble of making better inquiry,
leaving that to your priests, ofttimes more ignorant, and not less
vain and idle than yourselves, which is so far from a gospel faith,
that it is the least respect you can show to God, Scriptures, &c.
and next to which kind of believing, is nothing, under a denial of

But if you have hitherto laid aside all temperance, reason, and
shame, at least be entreated to resume them now on a matter of
this importance, and whereon no less concernment rests, than
your temporal and eternal happiness. Oh, retire, retire; observe
the reproofs of instruction in your own minds: that which begets
sadness in the midst of mirth, which cannot solace itself, nor be
contented below immortality, which calls often to an account at
nights, mornings, and other seasons: which lets you see the vanity,
the folly, the end and misery of these things; this is the just
principle and holy Spirit of the Almighty within you: hear Him, obey
Him: converse with them who are led by Him, and let the glories of
another world be eyed, and the heavenly recompense of reward kept in
sight. Admit not the thoughts of former follies to revive; but be
steady, and continually exercised by his grace, to deny ungodliness
and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in
this present world: (Tit. ii. 12:) for this is the true and heavenly
nature of Christianity, to be so awakened and guided by the Spirit
and grace of God, as to leave the sins and vanities of the world,
and to have the affections regenerated, the mind reformed, and the
whole man so baptised into purity and faithfulness towards God and
man; as to act with reverence, justice, and mercy: to care for very
few things; to be content with what you have: to use all as if you
used them not; and to be so disentangled from the lusts, pleasures,
profits, and honours of the world, as to have the mind raised to
things above, the heart and affections fixed there: that in all
things you may glorify God, and be as lights set on a hill, whose
shining examples may be conducing to the happiness of others, who,
beholding such good works, may be converted, and glorify God the
Father of lights, in whom you all would be eternally blessed.

IV. But if the impenitence of any is so great, their pursuit of
folly so earnest, and notwithstanding what has been thus seriously
offered to reclaim them, they are resolved to take their course, and
not to be at leisure for more divine things, I have this further
to leave with them from the Almighty, who first called me to this
work: that tribulation, anguish, and sorrow, (Rom. ii. 4, 5, 6,
9,) shall make their dying beds; indignation and wrath shall wind
up their days, and trouble and vexation of mind and spirit shall
be the miserable fruits which they shall reap, as the reward of
all their wretched folly and rebellion! Be not deceived, God will
not be mocked: (Gal. vi. 4-8,) it is so irreversibly decreed,
Whatever is sown here, shall be reaped hereafter. And just is the
Almighty, to make good his determinations upon such, who, instead of
employing the time given them to work out their salvation with fear
and trembling, have spent it in the pleasures of the flesh, which
perish; as if their heaven were here. Nor can it seem unreasonable,
since He hath thus long waited with remission of sins, and eternal
life in his hand, to distribute to them that repent: that if
such will not, to recompense so great obstinacy and love of this
perishing world, with everlasting tribulation. (Rev. iii. 20, xxi.
27, xxii. 13-15.)

V. But I am otherwise persuaded of many: yes, I am assured the
mercies of the everlasting God have been so extended to many, that
this will prove an effectual call to bring them out of the ways
and customs of this corrupted and corrupting world; and a means of
establishing such, who hitherto have been unfaithful to what they
have been already convinced of. And you, my friends, whose minds
have received the alarm, whose hearts have truly heard the voice of
one crying in the wilderness, where you have been straying from the
Lord, Repent! repent! To you, in the name of the great and living
God, I speak, I cry, Come away, come away: ah! what do you do there?
Why are you yet behind? That is not your rest; it is polluted with
the sins and vanities of a perishing world: gird up your loins: eye
your light, one in all, Christ Jesus, the same yesterday, to-day,
and for ever: who hath enlightened every one: (John, i. 9:) follow
Him, He will lead you to the city of God, that has foundations, into
which the wicked cannot enter.

VI. Mind not the difficulties of your march; great and good things
were never enterprised and accomplished without difficulty, which
does but render their enjoyment more pleasant and glorious in the
end. Let the holy men and women of old be your examples: remember
good old Abraham, (Gen. xii. 1, 2,) the excellency of whose faith
is set out by his obedience to the voice of God, in forsaking his
father's house, kindred, country, &c. And Moses, that might in
probability have been made a king, by faith in God leaves Egypt's
glory and Pharaoh's favours, and chooses rather a sojourn and
pilgrimage with the despised, afflicted, tormented Israelites in the
wilderness, than to enjoy the pleasures of that great court for a
season; esteeming Christ's reproaches greater riches than Egypt's
treasures. (Heb. xi. 24-27; Isaiah, liv. 3.) But above all, how
great was the reproach, how many the sufferings, how bitter the
mockings, which Jesus suffered at the hands of his enemies! Yet
with what patience, meekness, forgiveness, and constancy, did He
in all his actions, demean himself towards his bloody persecutors,
despising the shame, enduring the cross, for the joy that was set
before him! (Heb. xii. 12.) And hath left us this glorious example,
that we should follow his steps; (1 Peter, ii. 22, 23;) which hath
in almost every age been imitated by some. The apostles sealed their
testimonies with their blood, and multitudes after the example of
their constancy, esteeming it the greatest honour, as it was always
attended with the signal demonstration of the Divine presence. How
memorable was that of Origen: "If my father were weeping upon his
knees before me, and my mother hanging about my neck behind me, and
all my brethren, sisters, and kinsfolk lamenting on every side, to
retain me in the life and practice of the world, I would fling my
mother to the ground, run over my father, despise all my kindred,
and tread them under my feet, that I might run to Christ." Yet it
is not unknown, how dutiful and tender he was in those relations.
Not much unlike to this was that noble and known instance of latter
times, in Galeacius Carraciolus, marquis of Vico, who abandoned his
friends, estate, and country, resolutely saying with Moses, that
he would rather suffer afflictions with the first reformers and
Protestants, than enjoy his former plenty, favours, and pleasures,
with his old religion. (2 Tim. iii. 12; 1 Peter, iv. 1-5.) Nor is
it possible for any now to quit the world, and live a serious,
godly life in Christ, without the like suffering and persecution.
There are among us also some who have suffered the displeasure of
their most dear and intimate relations and friends; and all those
troubles, disgraces, and reproaches, which are accustomed to attend
such as decline the honours, pleasures, ambition, and preferments
of the world, and that choose to live a humble, serious, and
self-denying life before the Lord: but they are very unequal to the
joy and recompense that follow. For though there be no affliction
that is not grievous for the present, yet, what says the man of God?
it works a far more exceeding weight of glory in the end. This has
been both the faith and experience of those, that in all ages have
trusted in God, who have not fainted by the way; but enduring, have
obtained an eternal diadem.

Wherefore, since we are compassed about with so great a cloud of
witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and burden, and the sin
and vanities that do so easily beset us, and with a constant holy
patience run our race, having our eye fixed upon Jesus, the Author
and Finisher of our faith, not minding what is behind; (Heb. xii.
1; Rom. v. 1-4;) so shall we be delivered from every snare. No
temptations shall gain us, no frowns shall scare us from Christ's
cross, and our blessed self-denial. (Phil. iii. 13; Rom. ii. 7.)
And honour, glory, immortality, and a crown of eternal life shall
recompense all our sufferings in the end.

       *       *       *       *       *

O Lord God! thou lovest holiness, and purity is thy delight in
the earth; wherefore I pray thee, make an end of sin, and finish
transgression, and bring in thy everlasting righteousness to the
souls of men, that thy poor creation may be delivered from the
bondage it groans under, and the earth enjoy her sabbath again: that
thy great Name may be lifted up in all nations, and thy salvation
renowned to the ends of the world. For thine is the kingdom, the
power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.





  Adrian, 250

  Agasicles, 240

  Agesilaus, ibid.

  Agathocles, 234

  Agis, 241

  Alcamenes, ibid.

  Alexander Severus, 256

  Alexandrides, 242

  Anaxilas, ibid.

  Antigonus, 235

  Archidamus, 242

  Aristides, 236

  Ariston, 242

  Artaxerxes Mnemon, 234

  Augustus, 249

  Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, 251

  Cato, 248

  Cleomenes, 243

  Clitomachus, 238

  Cyrus, 233

  Demosthenes, 239

  Dersyllidas, 243

  Dioclesian, 257

  Epaminondas, 238

  Hippodamus, 243

  Leonidas, ibid.

  Lysander, 244

  Lacedæmonian Customs, 245

  Lycurgus, 247

  Pausanias, 244

  Pericles, 237

  Philip of Macedon, 234

  Phocion, 237

  Ptolemy, 235

  Themistocles, 236

  Theodosius, 257

  Theopompus, 244

  Trajan, 250

  Vespasian, ibid.

  Xenophanes, 235


  Anacharsis, 267

  Anaxagoras, ibid.

  Antisthenes, 275

  Aristotle, 281

  Bias, 264

  Bambycatii, 266

  Bion, 278

  Chilon, 263

  Cleobulus, 265

  Crates, 281

  Democritus, 270

  Demonax, 278

  Diogenes, 279

  Epictetus, 288

  Gymnosophistæ, 343

  Gynæcosmi & Gynæconomi, 266

  Heraclitus, 268

  Hippias, 266

  Mandanis, 282

  Periander, 264

  Pertinax, 256

  Pescennius, ibid.

  Pittacus, 265

  Plato, 274

  Pythagoras, 258

  Scipio Africanus, 249

  Seneca, 285

  Socrates, 271

  Solon, 259

  Thales, 258

  Xenocrates, 277

  Zeno, 282


  Cornelia, 292

  Hipparchia, 291

  Penelope, 290

  Plotina, 292

  Pompei Plautina, ibid.


  Acacius Bishop of Amida, 322

  Ambrose, 307

  Augustine, 308

  Cardan, ibid.

  Clement Romanus, 305

  Council of Carthage, 308

  Gratian, 309

  Gregory, 306

  Jerome, 119

  Luther, 128

  Machiavel, 306

  Malorat, 118

  Ouzelius, 305

  Paulinus, Bishop of Nola, 322

  Tertullian Chrysostom, 306

  Theoph. Greg. Nazianzene, 396

  William Tindall, 163

  Bartholomew Tertian, 316

  Waldenses, 309, 318

  ---- of Taverns, 312

  ---- Dancing, ibid.

  Bacon, Lord Chancellor, 334

  Charles V., 328

  Chrysostom, ibid.

  Dr. Donne, 338

  Princess Eliz. of the Rhine, 344

  Hugo Grotius, 339

  Count Gondamor, 336

  Henry Prince of Wales, 335

  One of the family of Howard, 344

  Sir Christopher Hatton, 333

  Ignatius, 327

  Justin Martyr, ibid.

  Francis Junius, 340

  James, Earl of Marlborough, 341

  Anthony Lowther, 350

  Sir John Mason, 330

  Cardinal Mazarine, 337

  The Great Duke de Montmorency, 334

  Count Oxenstiern, 337

  Philip III. King of Spain, 336

  A Sister of the family of Penn, 347

  Sir William Penn, 348

  Sir Walter Raleigh, 330

  Cardinal Richelieu, 336

  Du Renti, 351

  Earl of Rochester, 343

  A. Rivetus, 340

  Solomon, 325

  Sir Philip Sidney, 329

  Selden, 338

  Salmasius, 339

  Sir Henry Vane, 342

  Secretary Walsingham, 329

  Sir Henry Wotton, 333

  Cardinal Wolsey, 328

  Bulstrode Whitlock, 346


Joseph Rickerby, Printer, Sherbourn Lane.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note.
Irregularities and inconsistencies in the text have been retained as

Mismatched quotes are not fixed if it's not sufficiently clear where
the missing quote should be placed.

The cover for the eBook version of this book was created by the
transcriber and is placed in the public domain.

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