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A04816 The burthen of a loaden conscience: or the miserie of sinne set forth by the confession of a miserable sinner. Kilby, Richard, d. 1617. 1608 (1608) STC 14950; ESTC S100262 42,020 107

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folk that if I offer to say grace among them they wil thinke scornfully of me and reckon me a precise foolish bodie I answer first if you be the disciple of Christ you serue a good master be not ashamed of him and his seruice least he be ashamed of you at the day of iudgement Secondly if you for seruing God be ill thought of a blessed soule are you ●tth 9.10 ●● It is a great fauour of God if hee vouchsafe to giue you the grace to suffer any wrong for his sake For great is their reward in heauen that are any waie persecuted for righteousnesse sake Grace before meate O blessed Lord God I humblie beseech thee to pardon my sinnes and to blesse the foode which it pleaseth thee to giue me that I may be thereby nourished made able to doe thee true seruice in my calling through Iesus Christ thine onely sonne our Lord and Sauiour Amen Grace after you haue eaten and drunken O most mercifull Lord God I am bound to giue thee humble and heartie thankes for thy manifold blessings giuen vnto me and to all mankinde Therefore I beseech the to giue me grace that I may be continually thankfull vnto thee thorough Iesus Christ thine onely sonne our Lord Amen Vse often to say the Lords praier so called because our Lord Iesus Christ made it and taught it his disciples It is a most heauenly praier short and sweete containing all that we neede in fewe wordes Therefore you must say it very leisurely and also vnderstandingly According to my weake vnderstanding I will by the grace of God briefly open vnto you the meaning of the Lords praier O father of Iesus Christ The L● pray●ned and thorough him the father of all true Christians of which number I trust that by thy grace I am one Thy glorious maiestie and powerfull greatnesse filleth heauen and earth but in heauen thy ioyfull countenance is to be seene Thy name is holy O let the holinesse thereof be euery day more and more set forth that al the world may honor thee in heart word and deede Thou art the onely rightfull King of heauen and earth but the Deuill by temptation hath made vs rebell against thee O let the kingdome of thy grace come into our hearts and put out Satan for euermore Thine Angels and Saints in heauen doe altogether obey thy will O graunt that we children of men here vpon earth may likewise be obedient vnto thee in all things Our bodies doe daily neede the comfortable supplie of foode raiment lodging and such like O giue vs therefore such continuall comfort as thou knowest we cannot be without and because it is dangerous to our foules to haue too much or too little of worldly goods we beseech thee to giue vs neither more nor lesse but iust so much as by thy grace may best fit vs to serue and please thee Our sinnes doe deserue thy wrathfull vengeance and euerlasting torment in hell fire yet of thy wonderfull mercie thou doest offer vnto vs thy gracious pardon thorough Iesus Christ with condi●●on that we shall heartily forgiue all that ●ffend vs O good Lord we doe forgiue ●hem from the bottome of our hearts and ●s we doe forgiue them and not seeke re●enge against them so wee praie thee to forgiue vs and not to late thy heauie vengeance vpon vs. The deuill by meanes of this world and our owne naughtie inclination can easily ouercome vs and tempt vs to his pleasure Therefore we beseech thee that thou wilt not giue vs ouer into his handes but by thine almightie goodnesse preserue vs from Satan and all his partakers For the kingdome of all blessednesse is thine thou art the right owner of all goodnesse all power commeth from thee and therfore all glorie and praise is due onely to thee O father almighty with thy sonne and thy holy Ghost for euermore Be it euen so Amen Pray often and with great deuotion vnto God that all Christian people may be knit together by the holy Ghost in one faith and one charitie and shew forth the mightie power of God in their liues and conuersations that the Iewes Turkes and all misbeleeuing people may thereby take knowledge that Christian religion is the onely true worshipping and seruice of God and thereupon turne to be true Christians For it is not warre nor worldly conquest that turneth people vnto God but the holy praiers and heauenly liues of them that serue God IF God will not hold him guiltlesse that taketh his name in vaine what shall become of me who haue all my life time most grieuously taken his name in vaine euery kind of way For first I professed my selfe a Christian that is a child of God thorough Iesus Christ but indeed I haue been heretofore the child of the deuill because I haue done his will and not Gods will Secondly I tooke vpon me to be a minister of Christ that is a messenger sent of God to ioyne with the holy Ghost in trayning people to be children of God but indeede I ioyned in worke with the deuill to make people his children The verie name and word of God I vsed vainely rashly vnreuerently and vndiscreetly to glorifie and please my selfe not to glorifie and please him All Christians take heede to your selues if you weare the Kings liuerie serue not the Kings enemie You were christened in the name of the father and of the sonne and of the holy Ghost therefore serue God and not the Deuill least it be prooued against you at the day of iudgement that ye tooke Gods name in vaine and so ye be found guilty At that daie neither shall the onely preaching nor the onely hearing of Gods word be allowed for both take the name of God in vaine because the one preacheth and practiseth not the other heareth and doth not the will of God therefore both shall be cast away with this grieuous sentence I knowe you not Matth. 23. Luk. 13 27. awaie from me ye workers of vnrighteousnesse Therefore frame your selues to be obedient vnto your Lord God and doe not think speake write heare or professe his name or his word without due discretion and groat reuerence Doe not make so light reckoning of your God as to vse his name or his word in idlenesse It is idle to call vpon the name of God without good cause and reuerent manner as some will say O God what a iest is this O Iesu who euer hard the like In any such speaking you are too bold with your God It is also a vaine taking of Gods name to praise him in scorning or blaming oothers as some will not be content to say of an idle bodie he liueth idlelie but they will say God be thanked he liueth idlelie O doe not thank God for any sinne because you should so doe him great wrong and of all things he cannot abide it to be noted as the cause of sinne which is farre from his most holy
word or deede first consider well whether you haue giuen anie cause either speciallie touching that partie or by anie misbehauiour examine your heart before the face of God as he shall iudge your soule and if you finde your selfe anie waie in fault crie God mercie both for your owne sinnes and for his that hath thereupon done you harme for if you had not giuen cause he had not sinned in harming you by word or deede But if your conscience be cleare that you be hurt by them to whome you haue giuen no cause then if you can haue true patience you are Gods owne childe If a man were by the lawes of the Realme condemned to die a grieuous death and might escape with condition that his coate should be beaten and he take it patientlie it is to be thought that he would be verie glad of the condition and striue to be patient you are a sinner and therefore by the law of God worthie to suffer death in hell fire where the damned are euer in extreame pangs of death and yet they neuer die God of his mercie offereth you pardon through Iesus Christ vpon condition that you shall patientlie suffer the aduersities and iniuries of this world Therefore looke well to your selfe and by your patience keepe your soule Matth. 1 23 24 25 least breaking the condition you forfeit your pardon and so be tormēted Take heed how you iudge of any bodie for you may be many waies deceiued euen in that which you see much more in that which you heare and most of all in that which you surmise Doe not wish no nor imagine any euill to happen vpon any of Gods people but thinke and wish well to all yea to your e-enemies praie earnestly to God for them Doe not reioice to see or heare any euill of others but sorrow and grieue at it nor grieue to see or heare of the prosperitie of others but reioice at it Then are you in charitie els not Whatsoeuer aduersitie happeneth vnto you humble your selfe to God and take it patientlie least you hurt both body soule with worldlie sorrow as I haue done Haue a good conscience towards God and be in charitie and peace with all people then nothing can ouercome you Be slowe to speake and when you speake let your speach be gracious powdred with heauenlie salt that you may harme none of Gods people in any word that you vtter Before you speake be well aduised what you say of whome and to whome what you say for you must giue a reckoning of euerie idle word One needles word draweth out an other and commonly causeth much euill communication Take heede of whome you speake for you must not call any bodies name into question vnlesse it be to some good and charitable purpose It is an hellish propertie of mine to occasion speach of any in place where they are likelie to be ill spoken of whereby I set them as a marke for others to shoote at Take heede to whome you speake for some are of that qualitie that you can hardlie saie any thing to them but they wil pick some euill out of it Therefore let your words be few and wiselie spoken Neuer speake word to reproach any man woman or child It is naught to reuile our enemie worse to speake ill of him that neuer did you harme but an horrible wickednesse to disgrace your friend Some will say Is it not lawfull to call a spade a spade I answer you by a notable example S. Iude writeth that Michael the Archangel beeing in strife with the deuill durst not giue any reproachfull word Whie durst he not Surelie for displeasing God If it be displeasing to God that an holie Angel should speake any reproach to the deuil how can we safely quip taunt revile defame curse and banne one an other A word of reproach is grieuous to him of whome it is spoken maketh others to thinke hardlie of him and may cause his destruction Cursers are murderers for if it please God to suffer their curse to take effect the partie cursed is murdered by the deuill They that sooth and flatter others in euil are murderers for they thrust them forward into destruction Neuer practise any deceit to draw an other into danger for God hateth blood thirstie and deceitfull men Be not double tongued to speake faire to ones face and foule behind his backe Make no debate nor be a tale-carrier for all such are set a work by the deuill to cause mischiefe and murder in the world Vse no man woman or child vncharitably be kinde to all and cruell to none Be carefull to succour the needie least they perish through want of that which you might doe for them Goe often to them that are sicke but goe with a good intent to good purpose Sicknesse warneth the sicke to prepare towards heauen Therefore you must not talk much of earthly matters for a small touch plucketh him downeward that is weakely going vp the hill but helpe him vpward the best that you can with heauenly communication Take heede that you giue none euill example in word or deed for it is like the poysoned infection of the plague which may goe farre and cause the destruction of many If you would be cleere from all blood-guiltynesse flee from enmitie and labour to be in peace and to make peace To be in peace first and foremost with God for if there be enimitie betweene God and you you take the waie to murder your owne soule Secondly if you can possiblie with a good conscience haue peace withall people yea sue and seek for it Because enmitie can hardly be without much vncharitablenesse And greeuous is the danger thereof as I finde and feele by woefull experience If your waies please God as mine did neuer he will make your enemies to be in peace with you And then you shal prosperously practise to be a make-peace betweene God and your neighbour and betweene neighbour and neighbour by your godly life and good counsell When you see or heare that anie are in enmitie pitie their case as if their houses were a fire and they themselues liklie to be burned pray vnto God for them that they may be rightly agreed and practise what good meanes you can to quench the fire but come not to neere it least you be also fired meddle not to much with the pointes in controuersie for it is a very dangerous businesse Keepe your selfe alwaies indifferent not holding with one nor with the other for a partaker cannot be thought to beare an euen hand betweene them Remember well the saying of Salomon Prov. 10 It is honour for a man to keepe himselfe out of contention but fooles will be medling Striue to liue quietly So shall you escape many troubles preuent much mischeefe and inioy many blessings ALas how shall I doe without holinesse none shall see God I haue alwaies possessed my bodie in vnholinesse and dishonour for euen from my childehoode I was
finde fault with them If any thing seeme amisse pray humblie to God that he will mercifully cause it to be amended and doe you carefully endeuour to amende your owne selfe For it may be that your sinne is some part of cause why there is any want of grace in your gouernors This is your best waie and not to speake euill of those which are in authoritie as I haue wickedly done You must honour Archbishopps and Bishops and all Christs ministers as fathers For their office is to feede your soules specially the minister of the parish wherein you liue who in matter of saluation is as a mother to nurce you ●s 2.7 ●11 12 and as a father to traine you and teach you Haue alwaies a reuerent opinion of your minister for otherwise you shall greatly indanger your soules as I haue done If your heart be possessed with a dislike of your minister goe to some other Church to heare the seruice of God vntill you be in a better minde least the ill conceit of the minister make you to mistake and be distasted with that which he preacheth readeth or prayeth For then you should be in a fearefull case and the deuill woulde enter into you and make you loath the holy seruice of God Whiles you liue blesse your selfe from saying and doing any thing that may disable the minister of Christ Luk. 10. ● for that were to despice Christ himselfe If you saie he is thus and thus vnfit for his calling I answear as before if hee be so you are bounde to praie that he may be amended What warrant haue you to iudge Gods minister Take heede I was once a naughtie seruant and therefore doe intreat all seruants to honour them whose seruants they are as if they were their fathers and mothers reuerencing obeying and seruing them faithfully Blessed are all good seruants For whether their masters vse them well or no God will not faile to powre his blessing vpon them But he will surelie punish naughtie seruants and naughtie masters Honour all your friends and well willers for they are or would be as your parents meanes to preserue you Hate my barbarous propertie and neuer be vnkind to any that hath beene kind to you although he be turned from a friend to an enemie One vnkindnesse yea many times a false suspicion of vnkindnesse hath made me dishonour my kind freinds But if you will please God practise the contrary let not many vnkindnesses cause you to forget one kindnesse but let one kindnesse put many vnkindnesses quite out of mind Reuerence your elders and all that are in any gift or grace of God better then you for they are as fathers and mothers vnto you to doe you some good at least by example God made all people in his owne likenesse and their is none so low but that he may one way or other doe you good at least by excercising your patience if he be faultie or your enimie much more by praying for you if you giue him cause so to doe therefore honour all people euen your enemies And let your owne conuersation be wise vertuous least you doe as I haue done dishonouring God that made you your parens that brought you forth and norished you your gouernours that haue the ruling of you your freinds that fauour and further you for you doing euill are a discredit vnto them all yea if your behauiour be not good you dishonour all the world for if you doe respect them as Gods people ought to be respected you will be ashamed that any should see or heare euill of you All parents and bringers vp of children nurture them while they be young to feare God and honor you for so they will be framed to honour all others But if in fonde loue you make your children your fellowes or by ill behauiour cause them to thinke vnreuerently of you how can they kindly performe their dutie vnto you O that parents did so loue their children that their speciall care might be to make them lowely and louely to God and to all people O Lord Iesu I humbly beseech thee to say Amen I am a murderer in heart in tongue in outward works therefore euerlasting life is not in me my heart is full of vncharitablenesse readie to mislike any bodie to surmise euill of them and so to entertaine furious anger hellish hatred and all deadly enmitie my tongue is a sharpe sword wounding euen my freinds yea I am like a foole that blindfoldeth himselfe and hurteth he careth not whom when I conceaue that any is adversarie vnto me I spare no poyson but reuile him bitterly I haue murdered many with an euill eie enuying their prosperitie I haue stricken and flung at others with a murderous mind I haue caused quareling and fighting I haue caused some to loose the meanes whereby they liued I haue hindred others from obtaining helps of preseruing their life I haue greedily kept in store and vainely wasted that through the want whereof many poore haue pined with hunger and cold I haue indangered the saluation of others by ill example liuing among them as one infected with the plague yea many sinnes like plague sores breaking and running out cōtinualy All people take warning by me if you will not be guiltie of murder shunne all the causes and occasions thereof Doe not endure to take any dislike of man woman or child nor be too well conceited of your selfe for then you shall be apt to thinke ill of any bodie O that you knew into how many dangers you put your selfe when you begin to dislike or despise any bodie for euen as when your mouth is out of tast you cannot relish any thing be it neuer so good so if your mind be ill conceited of an other whatsoeuer he saieth or doeth you condemne it But you may say shall I not dislike such as I doe see and heare to be euill I answere first you may by sight and hearing take your tast amisse Luk. 18. as the Pharise did in disliking the publican whose heart was better liked of God then the Pharises that disliked him Secondly although an other be indeede so bad as you see and heare that he is yet you must dislike him none otherwise then for your owne sinnes you dislike your selfe Sorrie you are and much displeased with your sinnes if you be a true christian but yet you hate not your selfe you doe not raile vpon your selfe but louing your selfe you hide your faults So must you doe to others for if you loue them loue couereth a multitude of sinnes But if you hate any of Gods people you are a murderer 1. Ioh 3 therefore take heede Eph. 4.2 follow the counsell of the holy Ghost whatsoeuer cause is giuen you to be angry pacifie your selfe and let not wrath stay long in your heart least you entertaine the deuill who will fill you with hate and desire of reuenge If anie doe hurt you in
ignorance and with the wicked infection of pride enuy wrath couetousnesse and all sinnes euery vice vpon occasion putting it selfe into my sermons Moreouer if I preached anie thing according to the word of God I vtterly vnpreached and denied it in my life and conuersation Alas how many soules may iustly challenge me before the face of Iesus Christ for giuing cause of their damnation I cannot say vpon my conscience that in all this time wherein I haue taken vpon me to be a minister I haue done my duetie so much as to the sauing of one soule A true minister of Christ should be a meanes to turne all euill from his sheepe and to procure all blessings vnto them But I contrarily haue beene a meanes to turne blessings from them and to bring miserie vpon them It had bin better for me to haue gotten my liuing by begging from doore to doore yea lesse had bin my sinne if I had liued by stealing and robbing for he that is a minister and doth not discharge his dutie is a theefe and a robber in the highest degree because he robbeth God of his people and robbeth people of their saluation How is it possible for me to escape the vengeance of hell fire All you that purpose to be ministers in the Church for Christs sake take warning by me Before you enter into the ministerie examine your heart according to your conscience in the sight of God what mooueth you to be a minister and what you principally desire and intend for looke what you minde that you will follow and to compasse the same neglect all other things Therfore if you perceiue that your mind is chiefly set vpon worldly gaine or glorie take no soules to keepe for you will let them sink or swim and notwithstanding what shew soeuer you make they shall be sorily respected and many waies vnfitted But if you doe chiefly aime at the glorie of Christ in the saluation of Christiās you are the blessed of the Lord God increase the number of you for you wil not sticke to loose any worldly commodity yea your owne life rather then hazard the losse of one soule Enter therfore in the name of Iesus Christ But before you take a charge of soules vpon you giue all diligence that you may haue a good vnderstanding in the word of God and that the power of godlines may be in your life and conuersation for if the blind lead the blind they fall both into the ditch and he is gracelesse that hauing sight doth lead the blind out of the way because the blind will follow their leader The peoples eyes are neuer well opened vntill the light of their minister doe so shine before thē that they may see his good works and glorifie God in following his ensample O happie is that minister that euer he was borne who before he vndertaketh a charge of soules Matth. 4. hath the grace to ouercome the temptations of Satan as Christ did Beeing made a minister and hauing a charge of soules beare alwaies in mind that you must be answearable to Christ for euery one of them So that whatsoeuer a minister might possibly doe to saue them you shall deerely abuie it if you performe it not This mooued S. Paul to warne euery one 〈◊〉 28. teach euery one in all wisdome that he might present euery one perfect in Christ Iesus Therefore you knowing the terriblenes of the Lord must approoue your selfe vnto God and to euery conscience of man woman and child in the sight of God carefully and discreetely waiting vpon your charge that you may giue to euery one their portion of meate in due time You must truly teach Gods people the waie of saluation out of his word Therefore in vnderstanding and expounding the holy Bible follow the consent of auncient and learned writers those especially who are reported to haue liued an holy life for God in all ages doth most respect them that feare him and they haue most certen knowledge of his will Others although they seeme exceedingly learned yet they are full of errors because the spirit of deceit hath power in them Therefore take heede Desire not to be singular nor to differ from others for it is a signe of a naughtie spirit which hath caused much euill in the world from the beginning Teach people that which doth necessarily concerne their saluation for it is a temptation of the deuill to busie folkes minds with by-matter that they may neglect the maine worke of sauing their soules A minister ought diligently to take particular knowledge of his charge who be yong in vnderstanding who be ripe in discretion who be sick in sinne and who be sound in soule that he may accordingly diet them Much preaching and teaching doth not take that good effect which it might if peoples vnderstanding were ripened to heare it There is a certaine teaching called the A b c of Gods word because euen as a scholler must learne to know letters and to spell them together before he can read Heb. 5.12 so must a Christian first learne the ground worke of religion before he can well proceede in the vnderstanding practise of Gods word I haue found elderly people that seemed to be much delighted in hearing the word of God preached yet notwithstanding strangely ignorant in the foundation of faith As for example they did beleeue in the sonne of God and yet did not thinke that he was in time before the virgin Marie How is it possible that people should be ignorant of such points commonly preached and printed Because they are not instructed orderly pithily and plainly orderly as children are taught to read pithily for many wordes and toilesome circumstances doe bring an ignorant hearer into a wood where he looseth himself plainly for tearms of art and fine eloquence are not sutable to the gospel of Christ because in darkning the vnderstanding of some tickling the eares of others they hinder the working of the matter Fie vpon all vaine glorious shewes for the kingdome of God is not in word 1. Cor. 4.20 but in power If you doe not so teach the will of God that the verie ignorant may well vnderstand it and keepe it in rememberance what answer can you make to Iesus Christ when he calleth you to a reckoning Although a scholler be taught to knowe his letters yet many times he is not well instructed to spell them together So the foundation points of religion may be taught and yet not put well together for example Rom. 3.28 Christians are iustified by faith in Iesus Christ without the works of the law This is one point ●at 16.27 ● Cor. 5.10 Christ will iudge all people according to their works answerable to the practise of their liues This is an other point Now vnles these two points be rightly ioyned together the deuil wil make some vtterly neglect works and other altogether to presume vpon their owne deserts Iustifying faith