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The anatomie of mortalitie deuided into these eight heads: viz. 1 The certaitie of death. 2 The meditation on death. 3 The preparation for death. 4 The right behauiour in death. 5 The comfort at our owne death. 6 The comfort against the death of friends. 7 The cases wherein it is vnlawful, and wherin lawfull to desire death. 8 The glorious estate of the saints after this life. Written by George Strode vtter-barister of the middle Temple, for his owne priuate comfort: and now published at the request of his friends for the vse of others.
Strode, George, utter-barister of the Middle Temple.
STC 23364; ESTC S101243
so good a Master in purenesse and newnesse of life that thou mayest be made partaker thereof Psal 37.24 and pray with the Prophet that the Lord would guide thee with his counsell and afterwards receiue thee into his glory Iohn 16.24 Aske and yee shall receiue saith our Sauiour that your ioy may be full And also labour and endeauour to bring as many as thou canst to this glory Dan. 12.3 For they that be wise saith the Prophet Daniel shall shine as the brightnesse of the firmament and they that turne many to righteousnesse as the starres for euer and euer Lift vp your heads O yee heauenly gates and be yee lift vp yee euerlasting doores that the King of glory may bring vs in Psal 24 7. I might much further amplifie and inlarge this matter but the worke growing bigger then I thought it would I forbeare but as Painters when they haue many millions and armies of men to set downe in a small mappe vse onely to draw out some number of heads of men and set them together leauing the whole number of heads and all the other parts and lineaments to the meditation of the beholders euen so am I constrained through aboundance of matter to propound only some general heads and to leaue the amplification of them to your priuate meditations and I hope wise man will not refuse precious Iewels though they bee brought in a plaine and homely receptacle Iude 1.24,25 Now vnto him saith the holy Apostle Saint Iude that is able to keepe you from falling and to preserue you faultlesse before the presence of his glorie with exceeding ioy to the onely wise God our Sauiour bee Glory and Maiestie Dominion and Power now and for euer Amen Psal 72.18,19 Blessed bee the Lord God the God of Israel who only doth wondrous things And blessed be his glorious name for euer and let the whole earth be filled with his glorie Amen Amen To the which most blessed place of glory the Lord bring euery one of our soules at the day of our death and dissolution and that for Iesus Christ his sake to whom with God the Father and God the blessed Spirit three glorious Persons but one immortall God be ascribed all honor and glorie both in heauen and earth this day and euer Amen FINIS An admonition to the Reader ALthough the Printer hath beene very carefull yet hath he sometimes failed not onely in mis-pointing or not pointing omitting or adding sometimes a letter which the Readers iudgement and diligence must helpe but in omission or alteration of words obscuring the sence in some few places which the reader shall doe well to correct before he reade the Booke as they stand here-vnder Page 2. line 5. for causes reade cases p. 9. l. 20. r. consequence for consequently p. 15. l. 11 r. vnhappines for happines p. 22. l. 22. r. Conquerer of all Asia p. 26. l. 28. r. peasant for pleasant p. 70. r. still for skill p. 77. l. 30. r. proclus for produs p. 82. l. 26. r. faltereth for flattereth p. 101. l. 2. r. vnwholesome for wholesome p. 125. l. 5 r. waining for wayings p. 133. l. 10. of the vse of reason p. 146. l. 3. r qualmes for quauers p. ibid. l. 7. r. moderately for immoderately p. 186 l. 4. for hem r. them p. 216. l. 35. for remuneration r. renumeration p. 235. l. 4. put out with you p. ib. l. 36. r. in time of need for of need p. 238. l. 7. r see for so p. ibid. l. 14. r. shall I not p. 270. l. 3. r. winne for shunne p. 284. l. 9. r. bodily for body
and considered the shortnesse of their life so fraile so inconstant and transitorie and vpon Death so black and vgly how soone would they let fall their proud plumes forsake their arrogancy and change their purposes their manners their mindes their liues In that they tend and hasten as fast as they can to death some at one miles end some at two some at three and some when they haue gone a little further And thus it commeth to passe that some are taken out of this life sooner and some tarry a little longer Abhorre therefore thy haughtines auoid thy vanities leaue off thy lusts amend thy life For he that is godly wise vieweth his death present and by the meditation and remembrance thereof he armeth himselfe to amend If the greatest man in the world doe in a holy meditation strip himselfe out of his robes and ornaments of state and haue the scanning of this one poynt often in his minde hence I must as great as I am and whether then Like men who trauelling no sooner come to their lodging but they are talking of their next Inne the debating of this question in the minde would bring forth most excellent fruite and so likewise if euery man would thus meditate and reason I must remoue and whither then Hell is my desert how shall I escape it Heauen is the onely place I desire to goe to how shall I come to it And thus one good meditation and thought would make way for another and so lead vs on by degrees vnto the kingdome of God Marke the life and behauiour of the wicked to auoid their steps and of the godly to prouoke thy selfe to a holy imitation of the like course as a thing best pleasing to God It is one way whereby wee honor those that are departed in the faith when wee resemble them in those heauenly graces which like the stars of heauen did shine within them while they were aliue Mark also their death with like diligence think seriously vpon thy owne death how thou must shortly dye and lie downe in the dust and part with whatsoeuer delight thou doest here enioy that this may breede in thee a contempt of the world and a longing after a better life Gregory said that the life of a wise man must be a continuall meditation on Death and he onely is euer carefull to doe well who is euer thinking on his last end It were good that Christians which tender their saluation would among so many houres of the day as they mispend in idle vaine and wandring thoughts talke play or fruitlesse exercise imploy but an houre of the day after the example of a holy man in reading meditating and pondering of one little booke trium foliorum but of three leaues which I wil commit to your Christian coÌsideration I haue read of a certaine holy man who at first had led a dissolute life and chancing on a time into the company of an honest godly man he in short time so wrought by his holy perswasions with his affections such is the force of godly societie that he vtterly renounced his former course of life and gaue himselfe to a more priuate austere moderate and secluse kinde of liuing the cause whereof being demanded by one of his former companions who would haue drawne him such is the nature of euill company to his vsuall riot hee answered that as yet he was so busied in reading and meditating on a little booke which was but of three leaues that he had no leisure so much as to think of any other businesse and being asked againe a long time after whether hee had read ouer these three leaues he did reply that these three leaues were of three seuerall colours red white and black which contained so many misteries that the more he meditated thereon the more sweetnesse he alwayes found so that he had deuoted himselfe to reade therein all the daies of his life In the first leafe which is red I meditate quoth he on the Passion of my Lord and Sauiour Iesus Christ and of his precious bloud shed for a ransome of my sinnes and the sinnes of all his Elect without which we had been all bondslaues to Satan and fewell for hell fire In the white leafe I cheere vp my spirit with the comfortable consideration of the vnspeakable ioyes of the heauenly Kingdome purchased by the bloud of my Lord and Sauiour Iesus Christ a great motiue of thankfulnesse In the third leafe which is blacke I meditatate vpon the horrible and perpetuall torments of Hell for the wicked and reprobate prouided and kept in store who if they behold the heauens from thence they are iustly banished for their sinnes If they looke vpon the earth there are they imprisoned on the right hand they haue the Saints whose steps they haue not rightly followed on the left hand the wicked whose course they haue ensued before them they haue Death ready to arrest them behind them their wicked life ready to accuse them aboue them Gods iustice ready to condemne them and vnder them Hell-fire readie to deuoure them From which the godly are freed by the death of Iesus Christ This booke of three leaues if we would alwayes carrie in our hearts and meditate often therein assuredly great would be the benefit which we should make thereby to restraine our thoughts words and actions within the bounds and limits of the feare of God 1. Sam. 24.10.11 But we are on the other side so busied like Nabal about white earth and red earth and blacke earth in gathering and scraping of transitory trash and in vncharitablenesse and so deuoted vnto fleshly pleasures and deceitful vanities and spending our houres like Domitian in hunting of flyes others like little children in catching of Butterflies and playing with feathers the rest like fooles in toyes and leasings that we haue not leasure at all to reade and meditate on that booke of three leaues nor to thinke on death And so on the sudden the sunne of our pleasure setteth the day of our life doth end the night of our death commeth and we chop into the earth before we be aware like a man walking in a greene field couered with snow not seeing the way runneth on and suddenly falles into a pit Lam. 1.9 When the Prophet Ieremie had remembred all the calamities and sinnes of the Iewes at the last he imputed all to this Shee remembred not her end so if I may iudge why naturall and carnall men care for nothing but their pompe their honor and dignitie why couetous men care not for any thing but their golden gaine why voluptuous Epicures care for nothing but their pleasures and Delicates whose posie is that Death hath nothing to do with them I may say with Ieremiah They remember not their end And with Esay Thou diddest not lay these things to thy heart Esay 47.7 nor diddest remember the latter end of it Deut. 32.29 O that they were wise saith