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A20762 A guide to godlynesse or a Treatise of a Christian life shewing the duties wherein it consisteth, the helpes inabling & the reasons parswading vnto it ye impediments hindering ye practise of it, and the best meanes to remoue them whereunto are added diuers prayers and a treatise of carnall securitie by Iohn Douname Batcheler in Diuinitie and minister of Gods Word. Downame, John, d. 1652.; Payne, John, d. 1647?, engraver. 1622 (1622) STC 7143; ESTC S121690 1,341,545 1,134

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of saluation Psal 116. 12. 150. 2. and praise him who is so worthy to be praised Praise him in his noble acts praise him according to his excellent greatnesse Praise him in his power and truth praise him for all his grace and goodnesse Blesse and magnifie him for all his former benefits and his Christ through whom they are all conferred vpon thee And especially as by present occasion thou art bound for that he hath giuen vnto thee the grace of repentance and renewed and increased it by this present exercise graciously assisting and inabling thee by his holy Spirit to bring it to good issue Praise therefore the Lord O my soule Psal 103. 1. and all that is within me praise his holy Name And now with these praises offer and recommend thy selfe into the hands of thy gracious God and faithfull Sauiour who is all-sufficient to keepe thee vnto the end and in the end Thou art not worthy worthlesse soule his receiuing and owning but so much the rather offer thy selfe vnto him who is able to make thee worthy Deuote and consecrate thy selfe wholly vnto his seruice and resolue to glorifie and please him in all things for the time to come And because thy resolutions are weake thy power small and thy best indeuours full of imperfections make thy seruice as acceptable as thou canst by offering thine heart with it and doing all that thou canst doe willingly and cheerfully Desire the assistance of his good Spirit to direct and guide rule and ouer-rule thee in all thy thoughts and desires words and workes that they may in some measure answere vnto thy resolutions and bee pleasing and acceptable in his sight Especially desire his helpe that the practice of thy repentance may be suteable to thy Meditations in the whole course of thy life that more and more sorrowing for thy sinnes thou mayest haue daily more cause to reioyce in the assurance of his loue and thine owne saluation and that turning from them and returning to thy God thou mayest more and more glorifie him by bringing forth better and more fruits of new obedience And now returne vnto thy rest O my soule for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee Repose thy selfe securely vnder the shaddow of Psal 116. 7. his wings who is able to defend thee and to cause thee in the midst of garboyles and desperate dangers to dvvell in safety God is thy refuge and Psal 4. 8. strength a very present helpe in trouble He hath made thee to heare ioy and gladnesse that the bones which he had broken might reioyce Thou didst sow in teares Psal 46. 1. but he hath caused thee to reape in ioy Thou didst goe forth weeping bearing Psal 126. 5 6. precious seed but thou art come againe reioycing bringing thy sheaues with thee Blesse therefore the Lord all his workes in all places of his dominion Blesse the Psal 103. 22. Lord O my soule CAP. XXIII Of the third priuate meanes of a godly life which is consideration and examination of our estate §. Sect. 1 How consideration and examination differ THe third priuate meanes of a godly life is consideration and examination both which are in truth but branches of Meditation Yea the former if we take it in the largest extent differeth little or nothing from it seeing we may be said either to meditate or consider of any thing when we thorowly and deliberately ponder and waigh it in our mindes with all the circumstances belonging to it But heere we will take it in a more strict sense as it pondreth those things which neerely concerne our estate and so it is much like vnto examination although if we speake properly and distinctly there is some difference betweene them For consideration is yet as we heere handle it more generall extending to all things that concerne vs past present and to come but examination properly meddleth not with things to come but searcheth out those things which are past or present bringing them to be tryed by the rule according to which wee doe examine them whether they bee true or false good or euill Consideration waigheth and deliberateth before-hand what wee are about to doe and whether it be lawfull or vnlawfull expedient or vnnecessary profitable or to our losse and accordingly mooueth vs either to doe it or to leaue it vndone But in examination we consider of that which is done already whether it be well or euill done wisely and to our good or vnaduisedly and to our hurt If the former were thorowly performed the latter would not be much necessary vnlesse it were to reuiew our good actions as God did the workes of creation that we might approue them and reioyce in the conscience of our well-doing But because we often faile in it and doe things rashly and without due aduice therefore wee are necessarily to vse the latter and to examine what before wee considered not our after-wit being better then our fore-wit that so we may reforme what is amisse and returne into the right way out of which wee haue erred Yet because I would not make this already long Treatise ouer-tedious to the Reader but chiefly because many points and proofes are coincident belonging to them both I will not diuide them in my Discourse but handle them together and the rather because I haue already spoken of the generalities of consideration in which it chiefly differeth from this other of examination in the former tract of Meditation §. Sect. 2 Of examination what it is and wherein it consisteth This examination or consideration is nothing else but a serious waighing and pondring of those things which neerely concerne vs in our spirituall estate or the diligent searching and triall of our estates how they stand between God and vs in matters concerning his glory and our owne saluation The which examination is held after a solemne manner in the Court of Conscience and in Gods presence wee sitting as Iudges vpon our selues to giue sentence according to the Law of God and the euidence of our owne consciences either with or against our selues concerning those things which we haue done or left vndone good or euill In which triall by helpe of memory and conscience our Register and Witnesse we reuiew and take a suruey of all that wee haue done in the flesh of all our parts and faculties of soule and body examining how we haue imployed them to the glory of him that gaue them our vnderstandings in knowing and acknowledging him our memories in remembring him our hearts and affections in adhering and cleauing vnto him by louing fearing trusting in him and so in the rest Of all our thoughts also words and actions how wee haue by them glorified or dishonoured God Of all our course and carriage in our whole life and conuersation and how wee haue therein answered the end of our Creation and Redemption which was to glorifie him who hath made and saued vs. More especially wee may
are so bitter and vnpleasant to the flesh that they make vs immoderately sorrowfull and to breake out into some impatiency as though they were signes of Gods wrath and displeasure and not of his fatherly loue correcting vs for our amendment Seuenthly and lastly this sorrow ariseth in the hearts of weake Christians when as they compare themselues with others that haue made a better and greater progresse in the graces of Gods Spirit and in the duties of a godly life being hereby moued to think that the graces which they see in others are wholly wanting in themselues because their lesser light is obscured by a greater and seemeth nothing because it is not of equall brightnesse Or if they haue any at all yet that it is false and hypocriticall because it is but of slender growth and much inferiour to those which we obserue in many others whom notwithstanding we haue as much exceeded in meanes as they vs in the fruits of them By which sorrowes and heauinesse arising from these and such like causes the poore Christian doth more more weaken the operation of Gods graces in him in the duties of a godly life because he doth too much already apprehend their weaknesse and more disableth himselfe because he seeth his inability For hauing with immoderate griefe weakened his body and spent his spirits oppressed his heart and terrified his conscience he is made lumpish and dull vncheerfull and vncomfortable in all the duties of Gods seruice For the remouing of which impediment we must carefully take heed that we doe not disioyne faith from our repentance but as wee haue one eye vpon our sinnes that wee may sorrow for them so the other eye vpon our Sauiour Christ who hath fully satisfied for them Secondly we must not dreame vpon any perfection of sanctification in this life though we labour after it and then we shal not be too much deiected and mourne immoderately for our imperfection whereas if we fancy vnto our selues a farre greater measure of grace and holinesse then it is possible for vs to attaine it will be a cause of excessiue sorrow when we finde how farre we come short of our hopes Thirdly we must looke vpon Gods graces and the fruits of them in holy obedience as testimonies of Gods loue and euidences of our sanctification and not as being any meritorious causes of his fauour and our saluation For then we need not to stand so much vpon the quantity and degree of them as vpon their sincerity and truth which when we finde we may reioyce in the assurance of Gods free grace and loue through Iesus Christ Whereas if we looke vpon them in their worth and worthinesse the sight of their imperfections will bereaue our hearts of all sound comfort Fourthly we must consider that the first and least degrees of true grace are accepted of God and will make vs also acceptable vnto him For hee will not breake the bruised reed nor quench the smoking flax He respecteth Math. 12. 20. and tendreth his young lings and weaklings as well as those who haue attained to greater strength and he hath pronounced them blessed who Math. 5. 6. hunger and thirst after righteousnesse as well as those which are perfectly righteous Finally as we must take notice of that wee haue not that wee may labour after it so also we must not neglect what wee haue that wee may be truly thankfull vnto God from whose free grace we haue receiued it among which we may number spirituall life whereby onely we can be sensible of our wounds and weaknesse the sight and sense of our sinnes by which we are moued to deny our selues and to fly vnto Christ hungring desires of grace and holinesse seeing wee haue Gods promise that they shall be satisfied And so we shall ioyne faith with our repentance ioy with our mourning loue and thankfulnesse with our meeknesse and humility §. Sect. 5 Of desperation and that it is a great impediment to godlinesse Finally these scrupulous feares and carnall sorrow if they bee not remoued or moderated will bring vs by degrees into that fearfull gulph of deepe despaire whereby we shall cast off all hope of Gods mercy and reiect the all-sufficient merits and satisfaction of Iesus Christ through our incredulity as though the multitude and hainousnesse of our sinnes did farre exceed them And this is the very cut-throat of all piety and the diuels strongest and most horrid chaine to inslaue men in his seruice and to hinder them from entertaining so much as a thought or desire of seruing God in the duties of a godly life For it wholly discourageth a man from proceeding in such a way as offreth no hope of bringing him to his iourneys end It maketh a seruant wholly to neglect his duty when as hee is quite cut off from all expectation of reward It causeth men to giue themselues to all sensuality voluptuousnesse and prophanesse when they haue no other hopes but what this present life offereth vnto them and the rather that they may hereby put off for a little while their terrours of conscience and griefes of minde as it were by drinking of cold water in the fit of a feauer And wanting faith by which wee are vnited vnto Christ in whom a lone we can bring forth fruits of holinesse and righteousnesse how can we otherwise chuse but be vtterly barren in all true obedience and like wild Oliue trees bring forth onely fruits of impiety and wickednesse Which impediment if we would remoue we must remember that the Lord is infinite in grace and mercy as he describeth himselfe Exod. 34. 7. in his Word so that though our sinnes be many and grieuous yet they are infinitely exceeded by them for his mercies are aboue all his workes Micah 7. 18. That he taketh delight in shewing mercy toward repentant sinners seeing hereby he exerciseth his nature and magnifieth his holy name in the manifestation of his grace and goodnesse That he loued vs when we were his enemies yea so loued vs that he sent his onely begotten and dearely Ioh. 3. 16. beloued Sonne to dye for vs and therefore will not now reiect vs when as through Christ we sue and seeke to be reconciled vnto him That he hath made his free couenant of grace with vs wherein hee hath promised the remission of all our sinnes vpon the alone condition of faith bringing forth the fruits thereof in vnfained repentance and that his promises are indefinite without exception of any sinners and therefore shall assuredly belong vnto vs if we doe not reiect them through vnbeliefe That the merits and satisfaction of Christ are of infinite value and an all-sufficient satisfaction for the sinnes of the whole world if they were applyed by faith and that he hath giuen vnto vs his couenant in writing and ratified it by his Sacraments which he hath annexed as seales to the great Charter of our peace that there might no place be
saith that the redeemed of the Lord shall returne and come with singing vnto Sion and euerlasting Esa 51. 11. ioy shall be vpon their heads they shall obtaine gladnesse and ioy and sorrow and mourning shall flee away They are called to the Marriage of the Math. 22. 2. Kings Sonne and feasted with a delicious banquet of his speciall fauours and none but they haue communion with Christ that they may reioyce Cant. 2. 4 5. and solace themselues in the fruition of his loue They and none besides are iustified of Gods free grace through the righteousnesse and obedience of Iesus Christ and therefore haue cause to be of good comfort seeing Math. 9. 2. their sinnes are forgiuen them So the faithfull professe that they would greatly reioyce in the Lord and that their soules should be ioyfull in their God Esa 61. 10. because he had clothed them with the garment of saluation and couered them with the robe of righteousnesse as a Bridegroome decketh himselfe with ornaments and as a Bride adorneth her selfe with her Iewels They also haue cause aboue all others of ioy and reioycing in that they are reconciled vnto God by Iesus Christ and are at peace with him and with their owne consciences Rom. 5. 1 3. in which respect they haue iust cause of glorying in their tribulations for this peace with God passeth all vnderstanding and his loue is Phil. 4. 7. Cant. 1. 2. better then wine refreshing and cheering our harts more then all the cold qualmes of worldly crosses can daunt and dismay them seeing by Gods loue towards vs and our loue towards him wee haue this priuiledge that all things shall worke together for our good They alone haue the Spirit of Rom. 8. 28. God dwelling in them which worketh in their hearts this spirituall ioy Gal. 5. 22. and by vniting them vnto Christ and through him vnto God his Father the Authour and Fountaine of all goodnesse blessednesse and ioy doth giue vnto them cause sufficient of triumphing with ioy vnspeakable and Esa 51. 12. glorious in the fruition of all happinesse through this sweet and happy communion Finally the faithfull onely who serue and please God haue hope and assurance of eternall blessednesse in the Kingdome of heauen when all teares being wiped away from their eyes they shall bee comforted Apoc. 21. 4. after their mourning and after their weeping laugh and reioyce For Math. 5. 4. the Lord will shew them the path of life and cause them to inioy in his presence Luk. 6. 21. fulnesse of ioy and at his right hand pleasures for euermore In which regard Psal 16. 11. the godly in this assurance of faith haue as much greater and better cause of reioycing aboue all worldlings who abound in their present possessions of earthly wealth and wallow themselues in voluptuous pleasures as a young heire in his nonage who expecteth the inheritance of some goodly Lordship or if you will some great and glorious Monarchy hath more cause of reioycing then a poore cotager in a silly tenement in which for the present he dwelleth but yet onely holdeth it at the Landlords pleasure For there we shall haue riches and treasures which Mat. 6. 19 20. cannot rust with canker nor we be robbed of them by theeues there are honours subiect to no blemish of disgrace and pleasures for euermore In all which respects let the righteous be glad as the Psalmist exhorteth let Psal 68. 3. them reioyce before God yea let them exceedingly reioyce And that not by fits and flashes but at all times and vpon all occasions according to that of the Apostle Reioyce euermore Neither is there any time vnseasonable for 1. Thes 5. 16. the spirituall ioy of the righteous so long as they haue the face and fauour of God shining vpon them which is all-sufficient in it selfe to turne all their mourning into mirth and their sorrow into gladnesse euen when they are sore pinched and pressed with the waight of their afflictions and cause them to reioyce inwardly in their hearts when their cheekes are bedewed with their teares Heerein quite contrary to the wicked who reioyce in the face but not in the heart whereas the faithfull 2. Cor. 5. 12. doe inwardly glory euen in their tribulations which notwithstanding being bitter and vnpleasant to the flesh do make them to discouer nothing but griefe in their outward countenance Yea sorrow for sinne it selfe when as wee mourne as a man mourneth for the death of his onely sonne and first borne doth not abate our spirituall ioy yea in truth it doth much increase it for this godly sorrow worketh repentance to saluation not to 2. Cor. 7. 10. be repented of and causeth the true Christian exceedingly to reioyce in that he can heartily grieue because by his sinnes hee hath displeased his God And this trembling in the sight and sense of our sinnes and the Iudgements of God due vnto them may through faith assuring vs that by Christ we are freed from them be ioyned with inward gladnesse according to that of the Psalmist Serue the Lord with feare and reioyce Psal 2. 11. with trembling §. Sect. 7 An admonition to the faithfull to lay h●ld on this ioyfull priuiledge and to shake off sorrow and sadnesse By all which it appeareth that godlinesse doth not depriue any of ioy and gladnesse yea rather the more godly we are the better right and title we haue vnto it and may iustly exceed all others as much in mirth and cheerfulnesse as we haue in vs more then they the causes of all sound and solid reioycing The which as it should perswade all who are yet vnresolued to enter without delay into this Christian course that they may attaine vnto this high and excellent priuiledge and not suffer themselues to be any longer discouraged with this vaine and false conceit that they must leaue all their chiefest ioyes when they leaue and forsake the pleasures of sinne so should it mooue those who haue a desire and purpose to serue and please God to lay hold of this ioyfull priuiledge seeing God freely offereth it vnto them and not any longer to please themselues with their melancholike dumpes and affected sadnesse as though they were greatest proficients in mortification when they most exceed in lumpish heauines which needs to be mortified as well as any other carnall affection that in stead thereof our hearts may bee replenished with spirituall ioy For hereby they doe not onely exceedingly discredit and disgrace a godly life and by casting vpon it this false aspersion of sorrow and sadnes discourage others from entring into it but also make it to become so tedious and troublesome harsh and vnpleasant that they cannot proceed in it without much vncomfortablenesse nor performe the duties of Gods seruice with any cheerfulnesse and delight when as their spirits are dulled and deaded with this mournfull and deiected heauinesse
vnto his eyes nor slumber vnto his eye-liddes vntill hee might finde a place for the Lord an habitation for the mighty God of Iacob then how much more should wee bee diligent and earnest aboue all things in seeking God that wee may haue him to reside and dwell with vs in the temple of our hearts §. Sect. 3 Of the fruits and benefits which we inioy by our daily seeking of God The third point to be considered is the manifold fruits and benefits which they receiue and inioy who thus daily seeke God For first they Psal 69. 6. shall not be confounded by any shame nor with the malice and might of all their enemies according to that of the Psalmist Let not those that seeke thee be confounded for my sake O God of Israel Their infirmities shall not be laid to their charge nor their imperfections corruptions and failings in performing the duties of Gods seruice as appeareth by the prayer of Hezechias for them who had prepared their hearts to seeke God 2. Chro. 30. 18 19. whom God pardoned though they were not cleansed according to the purification of the Sanctuary They shall not lose their labour nor spend their strength in vaine for the Lord hath promised that those who thus seeke him shall surely finde him If thou seeke the Lord thy God thou shalt finde him Esa 45. 19. if thou seeke him with all thine heart So Azariah telleth Asa and the people that the Lord would bee with them while they were with him and if Deut. 4. 29. 1. Chro. 28. 9. 2. Chro. 15. 2. verse 4. they sought him he would be found of them the which he confirmeth by the experience which their fathers had hereof in former times euen as afterwards they found the Word of God in his mouth confirmed in their owne experience for no sooner did they set themselues to seeke the Lord with their whole desire but he was found of them and the Lord gaue them rest round verse 15. about And as wee shall by seeking God be freed from all euill so shall we haue the fruition of all good for we shall inioy God himselfe and hee will dwell in vs as in his Temple and communicate himselfe vnto vs as vnto his loue and Spouse Neither will he come empty-handed but bring with him his rich rewards and as he is infinitely good in himselfe so will he bee good vnto them that waite for him and to the soule that seeketh him He Heb. 11. 6. will not let any good thing bee wanting vnto them They shall receiue the blessing from the Lord and righteousnesse from the God of their saluation They Psal 34. 10. Psal 24. 4 5 6. 2. Chro. 31. 21. shall prosper in all their workes be preserued from all dangers and deliuered from all euill for the hand of the Lord is vpon them for good that seeke Ezra 8. 22. him but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him He will Psal 9. 10. not forsake them but will hide them in the day of his anger They shall Zeph. 2. 3. receiue spirituall growth in all graces through the beames of his brightnesse and the sweete influences of his fauour as the hearbes and trees receiue growth and become fruitfull by the vertue of the Sun that shineth vpon them Yea themselues shall be as the shining light that shineth more and Pro. 4. 18. more to the perfect day and in his light they shall see light and be admitted to the sight and contemplation of his secret counsels They shall haue their faith and affiance in God more and more confirmed through that familiarity and communion which they haue with him and hauing peace with God they shall haue also peace of conscience and peace with all the creatures They shall haue safety and Christian security in Gods presence fauour and protection and he will giue them rest on all sides because they 2. Chro. 14. 7. haue sought the Lord their God So as they may say with Dauid I will not bee affraide of ten thousand of people that haue set themselues against mee round Psal 3. 5. about Though I walke through the vale of the shaddow of death I will feare Psal 23. 4. no euill for thou Lord art with me thy rod and thy staffe they comfort me God Psal 46. 1 2. is our refuge and strength a very present helpe in trouble therefore will not we feare though the earth be remoued and though the mountaines bee cast into the middest of the sea c. And in the greatest garboyles of worldly troubles they may say with him I will both lay mee downe and sleepe for thou Psal 4. 8. Lord onely makest me dwell in safety They shall haue their hearts filled with ioy and gladnesse in the fruition of his fauour and shall aboue all others haue continuall cause of reioycing according to that of the Psalmist Let all those that seeke thee reioyce be glad in thee and let all such as loue Psal 70. 4. thy saluation say continually Let God be magnified And againe Glory ye in his holy name let the heart of them reioyce that seeke the Lord. They shall Psal 105. 3. 2. Cor. 1. 12. lead an holy and vnblameable life when as they are alwaies taken vp in these pious exercises and attaine daily vnto more and more perfection in all sauing graces and in the performance of all Christian duties Yea they shall haue not onely abundance of grace and all Spirituall good in this life but also of glory in the life to come For they that seeke God now shall then perfectly finde him and with him eternall blessednesse in the fruition of the chiefe goodnesse according to that of the Prophet Dauid They that seeke the Lord with their whole heart are blessed for John 17. 3. Psal 16. 11. Psal 119. 2. Amos 5. 4 6. they shall liue the life of Grace here and the life of glory in the world to come §. Sect. 4 Of the euils which follow our neglect of seeking God Finally the euils and mischiefes are manifold which follow the neglect of this dutie of seeking God for Gods power and wrath is against them to Ezra 8. 22. bring vpon them the punishment of their neglect Hee will withdraw from such his comfortable presence and by grieuous afflictions enforce vpon them this dutie which they will not doe cheerefully and of their owne accord according to that in Hosea I will goe and returne to my place till they acknowledge their offence and seeke my face in their afflictions they will Hos 5. 15. seeke me early They shall not prosper in any thing which they doe or take Ier. 10. 21. in hand as the Lord threateneth the bruitish pastors of Iudah And as the flowres and plants cannot thriue and flourish which inioy not the light and warmth of the Sun so much lesse shall they prosper
our persecutions we may well suffer with greater patience and comfort if we consider that they are not punishments for our sinnes from all which Christ hath fully freed vs but the trials of our faith which being approued shall be crowned with euerlasting ioy and happinesse In which regard we haue cause greatly to reioyce as the Apostle Peter speaketh 1. Pet. 1. 6 7. though now for a season if need be we are in heauinesse through manifold tentations that the triall of our faith being much more precious then the gold that perisheth though it be tryed with fire might be found vnto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Iesus Christ So the Apostle Iames My Iam. 1. 2 12. brethren count it all ioy when ye fall into diuers tentations of which hee afterwards rendreth this reason Because blessed is the man that indureth tentation for when he is tryed he shall receiue the Crowne of life which the Lord hath promised to them that loue him And indeed what a wonderfull priuiledge is this and what great cause doth it minister vnto vs of comfort and reioycing when we consider that the Lord hath vouchsafed vnto vs this great honour to suffer afflictions for his owne glory and the furthering and assuring of our saluation when as he might haue iustly inflicted them and farre greater vpon vs for our sinnes and to the burthen of our sufferings haue deseruedly added the vncomfortable waight of shame and infamie All which blessed priuiledges we shall lose and run into the contrary mischiefes and euen hellish condemnation if we shrinke from our profession and holy practice for feare of persecution and refuse to suffer for his sake who hath suffered so much for vs. For he that loueth his life shall Ioh. 12. 25. lose it and hee that hateth his life in this world shall keepe it vnto life eternall And againe If any man come to me saith our Sauiour and hate not his father Luk. 14. 26 27. and mother and wife and children and brethren and sisters and his owne life also namely when they come in comparison with Christ and when the loue of both cannot stand together hee cannot be my Disciple And whosoeuer doth not heare his crosse and come vnto me cannot be my Disciple §. Sect. 3 That our Sauiour hath foretold these persecutions Secondly let vs consider that our Sauiour Christ hath long agoe foretold that whosoeuer wil be his Disciples must suffer in this world troubles and persecutions and that those who will attaine vnto heauenly happinesse must trauaile vnto it by that afflicted way which himselfe and all his seruants haue gone before them If any man saith he will come after mee Luk. 9. 23 24 25 let him deny himselfe and take vp his Crosse daily and follow me For whosoeuer Mat. 16. 24 25. will saue his life shall lose it and whosoeuer will lose his life for my sake shall saue it Now what is a man aduantaged if he gaine the whole world and lose himselfe or be cast away So the Apostles first offered the Crosse vnto them who Act. 14. 22. would afterwards weare the Crowne and haue told vs before-hand that by many tribulations we must enter into the Kingdome of God And that whosoeuer 2. Tim. 3. 12. Luk. 14. 27 28 c. will liue godly in Christ Iesus shall suffer persecution And therefore our Sauiour Christ seriously aduiseth vs that before we take vpon vs the profession of Christianity we first sit downe and cast vp our accounts examining our selues whether we can be content to suffer with him that wee may afterwards raigne with him and to indure afflictions and persecutions in this world that wee may eternally triumph with him in glory and happinesse in the world to come Now what more faire dealing could be vsed then to tell vs before-hand what we must trust to and before hee entertaine vs into his seruice to acquaint vs thorowly with our worke which he requireth of vs before we can receiue our wages which wee expect from him If indeed hee had allured vs to serue him by promising that we should inioy pleasures riches and honours in the world and that for his sake wee should bee well accepted and fauoured of all men wee should haue had great cause of discouragement when wee should come so farre short of our hopes and finde nothing in the world but crosses and afflictions paines for pleasures pouerty for riches and for glory shame and disgrace for then seeing his promises faile in things that concerne this life we had cause to doubt of those that respect the life to come But now contrariwise seeing he hath foretold that we must in this world suffer troubles and persecutions and be hated of all men for his Name sake and that afterwards when by our patient suffering we haue approued our saith and loue towards him he will crowne these his graces in vs with ioy and happinesse in the life to come our afflictions and persecutions should not daunt and dismay vs yea rather wee should reioyce in them as the infallible signes of our future hopes for hauing found Christs Word verified in the first part of his predictions respecting our afflictions and persecutions we may vndoubtedly expect that we shall finde it also true in that part which concerneth our crowne of victory and heauenly ioyes which after our momentany sufferings we shall euerlastingly possesse according to the gracious promises which he hath made vnto vs. §. Sect. 4 That worldly persecutions cannot greatly hurt vs. Thirdly let vs incourage our selues against these persecutions because they cannot greatly hurt vs for first they are either light and easie if they be long and tedious or short and momentany if they be sharpe and grieuous For God hath graciously so composed and framed our natures that their frailty and weakenesse cannot hold out to beare any heauy burthens and hath made them mortall and of such short continuance that their afflictions and grieuances must needs be short and momentany Secondly the greatest persecutions which rage and malice can raise against vs can but reach vnto the body and onely extend to the time of this life but cannot at all hurt the soule nor hinder our happinesse in the life to come In which respect our Sauiour incourageth vs against these persecutions Feare not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soule but Mat. 10. 28. rather feare him who is able to destroy both body and soule in hell Thirdly these persecutions cannot much hurt vs because our gracious God keepeth and preserueth vs so as we cannot faint and fall and pulleth out their sting so as they shall neuer be able to giue vnto vs any mortall wounds And therefore as the Apostle Peter exhorteth Let them that suffer according 1. Pet. 4. 19. to the will of God commit the keeping of their soules to him in well-doing as vnto a faithfull
of that fulnesse of ioy and of those eternall pleasures Psal 16. 11. Pro. 28. 12. which are at Gods right hand for euermore So that when righteous men reioyce there is great glory as the Wise man speaketh seeing their ioy farre exceedeth the ioy of them who reioyce in their corne and wine as being not onely much more excellent both in respect of Psal 4. 7. the nature and obiect but also an earnest-penny of a greater bargaine the first beginnings and prime taste of those full riuers of diuine pleasures whereof they shall drinke their fill in Gods Kingdome and the first fruits of that heauenly and happie haruest of ioy which is reserued for them in the life to come And therefore no maruaile seeing this spirituall ioy is aboue all others most excellent that Dauid when hauing wounded his conscience with grieuous sinnes hee was depriued of the sense and feeling of it for a time did so earnestly desire to haue it againe restored Restore vnto mee Psal 36. 8. Psal 51. 12. the ioy of thy saluation and vphold mee with thy free Spirit Seeing herein hee had much more contentment sound comfort and delight then in all the earthly pleasures which a Kingdome could yeeld vnto him For they all were but slight and childish this solid and substantiall they vaine and worthlesse this excellent and of incomparable value they short and fickle momentany and mutable this durable and permanent And this is the second reason to commend vnto vs this spirituall Ioy in that it is not like worldly ioyes onely by fits and flashes but settled and constant in all estates and conditions as well in aduersity and affliction as in prosperity and all earthly aboundance For if our hearts bee once replenished with this Ioy no man shall bee able to take it from vs and being of a spirituall Rom. 5. 3. Iohn 16. 22. and diuine nature no earthly thing can quell or quench it No prison can locke it from vs no banishment can diuide and seuer vs no losses and crosses confiscations of goods Rackes or Gibbets fire or sword can take it away and depriue vs of it For in all extremities wee haue an inward Comforter euen the Spirit of God dwelling in vs which filleth our hearts with ioy and turneth our mourning into mirth and gladnesse and as our afflictions Iohn 16. 7. 2. Cor. 1. 5. doe abound so also he causeth our consolations to abound much more Wee liue the life of faith and not of sense which looketh not so much vpon things present as vnto our future hopes and certaineties and hereby wee apply vnto vs Gods Word and gracious promises which supplyeth comfort sufficient to support vs in all our sorrowes For it assureth vs that those are blessed which mourne now because they shall bee comforted and which weepe now for they shall laugh Math. 5. 4. Luke ● 21. That all things euen afflictions themselues shal worke together for the best and our momentany and light suffrings shall cause vnto vs a farre most excellent Rom. 8 28. 2 Cor. 4. 17. Act. 14. 22. 2. Tim. 2. 12. and eternall waight of glory that by these many tribulations wee shall enter into the Kingdome of heauen and if we suffer with Christ wee shall also raigne with him And this was that Word of God applyed by faith which was Dauids comfort in his afflictions without which hee should haue perished Psal 119. 50 92 This was it which made the Church of Macedonia in a great triall 2 Cor. 8. 2. of affliction and in their deepe pouerty to haue withall abundance of ioy This made the godly Hebrewes to take ioyfully the spoyling of their goods knowing Heb. 10. 34. that they had in heauen a better and induring substance Finally by this the Apostle himselfe was filled with comfort and exceeding ioyfull in all his 2. Cor. 7. 8. tribulations But contrariwise the carnall ioy of worldlings in the pleasures of sinne is fickle and false mutable and momentany like the short blaze and crackling of thornes vnder a pot or laughter in a fit of phrensie Eccl. 7. 6. or of a man tickled which laugheth in the face and countenance when he is grieued at the heart because in the middest of their mirth they haue many a cold qualme and checke of conscience being not able to forget that after all their youthfull reioycing they must come vnto Iudgement Chap. 11. vers 9. The which euen in laughter maketh the heart sorrowfull because the end of Prou. 14. 13. their mirth is heauinesse and when they glory in outward appearance to haue 2. Cor. 5. 12. no ioy at all in the heart For who but fooles can reioyce in their full barnes and abundant prouisions that remembreth This night his soule shall be Luk. 12. 20. taken from him Who can haue any sound ioy and comfort in such pleasures and delights which within a while shall end in endlesse woe and misery according to that of our Sauiour Woe vnto you that laugh now for Luk 6. 25. ye shall mourne and weepe §. Sect. 6 That this spirituall ioy is proper to the godly and belongeth to no other Finally the faithfull who resolue and indeuour to serue and please God in the duties of a godly life haue propriety in this spirituall and Psal 33. 1. Psal 111. 8 15. heauenly ioy seeing it belongeth to them all and to them alone none other hauing any part and share in this high and holy priuiledge For first this ioy in the Scriptures is appropriated vnto them onely and no other So the Psalmist Reioyce in the Lord O ye righteous for praise is comely for the vpright And againe Light is sowne for the righteous and gladnesse for the vpright in heart The voyce of reioycing and saluation is in the Tabernacles of the righteous In which regard he desireth to see the good of Psal 106. 5. Gods chosen to reioyce in the gladnesse of his Nation that hee might glory with his inheritance And the Prophet Esay ioyneth these together Thou meetest Esa 64. 5. him that reioyceth and worketh righteousnesse Secondly the faithfull can only thus reioyce because all the causes of this spirituall ioy belong peculiarly vnto them alone For they onely are elected to saluation in which respect our Sauiour exhorteth his Disciples to reioyce in this because their names were written in the Booke of life They alone are the redeemed of Luk. 10. 20. the Lord who being freed out of the captiuity of all their spirituall enemies haue exceeding great and iust cause to reioyce in this gracious deliuerance And when by the glad tidings of the Gospell the Lord proclaimeth Esa 61. 1 2 3. liberty to captiues and the opening of the prison to them that are bound then doth hee also thereby comfort them that mourne giuing vnto them beauty for ashes and for mourning the oyle of ioy So the Prophet
much I honor you for those singular vertues and graces wherewith God hath inriched you especially your piety towards him and loue of his truth much approoued as by many other fruits so especially by your loue to his Ministers and Ambassadors The which were ample matter for a larger discourse to incourage others of your ranke to imitation did not your modesty and humility attending and adorning all the rest admonish mee that such praises of you vnto you will bee thought vnnecessary if not vnpleasing and distastfull The Lord infinitely rich in all goodnesse and perfection more and more multiply all Christian Vertues and sauing Graces in you both in the light and lustre whereof you shall be euer more truly honorable in the sight of God and all those that feare him then in the highest dignities and noblest aduancements that the world can yeeld vnto you Your Honors most obliged in all Christian duetie and humble seruice IOHN DOWNAME Faults escaped in the Treatise of Securitie Pag. 6. l. 3. r. his mercies p. 64. l. 9. r. idle spectator p. 65. l. 22. r. opinion of our p. 66. l. 6. r. against them in p. 68. l. 22. r. by inuring p. 70. l. 28. r. let vs watch p 83. l. 13. r. in the vse p. 89. l. 16. r. for a spurt p. 92. l. 8. r. peace and securitie And l. 20. r. God infinite THE CONTEN