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A17129 A buckler against the fear of death; or, Pious and profitable observations, meditations, and consolations: by E.B. Buckler, Edward, 1610-1706.; Benlowes, Edward, 1603?-1676, attributed name. 1640 (1640) STC 4008.5; ESTC S101669 42,782 142

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on their prey do fasten So would they flock about me Or if I Could learn the art of popularity I might be rich in friends yet all my store Would not know how to keep Death out of doore Meditation 1. OF Proteus 't is fained that he could Transform himself to any kind of shape Into a Dove or Lamb and when he would Into a Tiger Lion Bear or Ape Or a Mountain Rock or Spring Or Earth Water Fire Air Into any forms that are Stampt in any kind of thing And Aristippus could exactly flatter He had the art of winning gainfull friends And that his fortune might be made the fatter Had all behaviours at his fingers ends He could grene when 's friend was sickly And could weep when he was sad Any humour good or bad Did become him very quickly Did I believe that metempsychosis Pythagoras did dream of I should swear That Proteus ghost to this day neither is In hell nor yet in heaven but doth wear Now a body and the base Ghost of Aristippus dwells In a thousand bodies else How could thousands have the face To personate so many humours act So many parts at once and balk no sinne Yea perpetrate with ease the bas●st fact That hell e'r punished to wind them in to great friendsh●ps though they misse Heavens favour all the while Dreaming that a great mans smile Is on earth the onely blisse And yet when that last enemie shall come And grind their aching bones with griping throes To bring their bodies to their longest home There 's not a man 'mongst all their friends that know How to take away their pain In comes ghastly Death among The midst of that friendly throng And turns them to dust again Meditation 2. THere 's none among the sacred troup of Saints Yet militant below but doth desire Gods favour most and most of all lamen●s When it is lost and alway sets a higher Estimate upon the rayes That are darted from above By the God of peace and love Then on all he here enjoyes Ne'r doth the chased hart in hottest weather When horse and hound pursue him o'r the plains And hunt him sweating twentie miles together That all his bloud is boil'd within his veins When he 's to the hardest driven Pant so much for water-brooks As a soul deserted looks For a kind aspect from heav'n Once did Elias zealous prayers climb To heav'n and made the windows there so fast This came to passe in wicked Ahabs time That one and twentie months twice told were past E'r there fell a showre of rain Or a drop of morning dew In the meadows nothing grew Nor was any kind of grain Fed by the parched mold How do ye think That thirstie drie and barren land did yawn And gape to heav'n-ward for a draught of drink Just so whene'r Gods favour is withdrawn From a soul it doth distresse her Ne'r earth thirsted more for rain Then doth she for God again To relieve her and refresh her Have you not seen a mothers wofull tears Embalm the carcase of her onely sonne How to all comfort she stops both her eares Wrings both her hands and makes a bitter moan Fain in sorrow would she swim Or be drown'd it is so deep She hath heart enough to weep Heaven full up to the brim But this is nothing to that matchlesse anguish That breaks in pieces ev'rie pious heart And makes the soul with darkest sadnesse languish If from 't a sense of Gods good will depart O how strangely David's troubled When God hid away his face Though but for a little space See how his complaints are doubled How long for ever Lord wilt thou forget me How long wilt thou thy gratious visage hide How long be angrie wilt thou never let me Enjoy thy face again shall I abide Thus for evermore bereft Of all comfort joy and peace Shall my soul ne'r dwell at ease Hast thou Lord no mercy left O once again be pleas'd to turn and give My soul a relish of thy wonted grace There 's nothing can my sadded heart relieve If thou dost hide thy comfortable face Thou in tears thy servant drown'st Thou dost fill my che●ks with furrows And my soul with ghastly sorrows Whensoever Lord thou frown'st The world doth value at a precious rate Things here below Some highly prize their sport Some jewels some a plentifull estate And some preferments in a Princes court But for life we so esteem it Above whatsoe'r is best That with losse of all the rest We are ready to redeem it But none of these Gods children do regard So much as Gods love by a thousand parts Feel they but this to 〈◊〉 't is spar'd The best and highest room in all their hearts They 〈◊〉 no wordly pelf In comparison of this Kindnesse yea to them it is Better fa●re then life it self Have they no reason for this eager thirst After Gods love and friendship sure they see Gods favour and his kindnesse is the first And chiefest good all other friendships be Most deceitfull trustlesse rain When the pangs of Death do scise us Mortall favours cannot ease us God can rid us of our pain But grant he do not yet these pains shall send Our souls to him that loves us to enjoy A painlesse life that ne'r shall see an end He whom God loves can on a death-bed say I know my Redeeme● liveth For me there 's laid up a crown When this clay-built house is down God a better mansion giveth I 'll never woo the smile of man whose breath Is in his nostrils by sinister wayes 'T will not advantage at the houre of Death All my supportment on these carnall stayes At the length will but deceive me 'T is to have a friend above 'T is Gods favour and his love Or else nothing must relieve me Lord make thy graces in my soul appear My heart from ev'rie lothsome blemish cleanse That I may clearly see thine image there For that 's an undeceived evidence Of thy favour which when I Once am certain to obtein I 'll not faint for any pain Nor will care how soon I die Sect. 5. Youth cannot protect us from the stroke of Death A Young man may die but an old man must This may die quickly that cannot live long Often are graves fill'd full with youthfull dust Though youth be jocund lustie merrie strong Yet is it subject unto Death-bed-pains 'T is mortall bloud that runnes along their veins In all appearance old mens halting feet are Mov'd to the grave-ward with the greatest speed Like that disciples which did outrunne Peter But sometimes younger men step in indeed And peradventure twentie years or more Sooner then those that looked in before Graves gape for ev'rie sort The butcher's seen Often to kill the youngest of the flock Some long to pluck those apples that are green Death crops the branches and forbears the stock Children are wrapp'd up in their winding-sheets And aged parents mourn about the streets
dissimulation and could be Leaders in the hatefull train Of those monsters who by heart Had learn'd perfectly the art To dissemble lie and ●eigne Good Constantine's example fill'd the land With Christians like himself and Julian's did Beget a troup of Atheists such command Examples have In holy writ we reade That examples either way For God or against him for Great Jehovah's worship or Baalim's did the people sway If Israel's or Judah's King were good The people presently destroy'd their groves Scarce in the land a graven image stood High places owls did rest in each man loves At the least in shew that Jealous God that in the desert fed them And from Egypt's bondage led them For him onely are they zealous If Israel's or Judah's King were bad So were the people Altars straight were rear'd To senselesse Idoles not a house but had Their graven Images and no man fear'd Unto Baal to bend his knee Men live by similitude More then law and most conclude Upon what their Princes be If Nebuchadnezzar the mightie King Be pleas'd to fall down to a golden image Thither with speed do their devotions bring People of ev'rie kingdome tongue and linage Three excepted all adore him There 's not one enough precise To refuse it doth suffice That the King did so before him Thou art a King if thou a parent art Each family 's a pettig kingdome and The parents Monarch 't were a kingly part To make thy little subjects understand How in vertue to excell By thy practice that 's a skill 'Bove all other children will No way else be taught so well Look how the primum mobile doth move Accordingly do move the other spheres As in a Jack the wheel that is above With its first mover just proportion bears In a familie 't is so Look what way the parents take That the rest their rule will make Chiefly there the children go Not any godly precept so exact is Which you shall teach your children to obey But that if you shall thwart it by your practice Thus will your junior houshold-members say At least they will whisper thus If vertue be good then why Do not you live vertuously If not why d' ye presse 't on us If by these wayes you strive to educate Whom God hath blest with fruitfull progenies Your children well their early Death or late Shall not a jote augment your miseries A childs death is not a rod To afflict a parents heart He that dies well doth depart Hence that he may live with God Lord if thou make my wife a fruitfull vine Make it withall my chiefest care to dresse The branches well the glorie shall be thine And if they die my grief shall be the lesse A childs death 's a precious savour In thy nostrils that was here Taught to live Lord in thy fear For he dieth in thy favour Meditation 4. IF youth it self may drop into the grave When children die methinks they should bequeath Surviving parents comforts Sure they have No cause were not affection strong to grieve Overmuch as many do For Death is impartiall By his stroke all ages fall Both the old'st and youngest too Think duly on 't Why should your eyes runne o' t For what you have no way to remedie If you should heav'n eternally implore It would not send them back But you 'll replie 'Cause there 's no way to be found That may help us to recover Them again our eyes runne over And our tears do so abound Nor ever will your highest floud of sorrow Transport them back into the world again Your selves may follow them before to morrow Those deep-fetch'd sighs are smok'd out all in ●ain So are all those drops you mourn Shed in vain hap'ly you may Soon go after them but they Are too happie to return Is it your love that doth produce such grones How easily alas is love mistaken Methinks you cannot love and grieve at once To love were to rejoyce that they have shaken Hands with miserie to dwell In a world of blisse above Grief at this is farre from love It seems not to wish them well Or is 't because that they are dead you weep I do not think that when they were begotten You dream'd them death-free or had hopes to keep Them here for ever that they would be rotten In their graves you could not choose But consider for a span To be quickly ended can Never go for any news Nor with good reason can you lay the blame On Death at all but on your selves that did Beget them mortall for the very same Matter wherewith they were begot and fed Fits them for an alteration By the hand of Death If you Grudge that Death hath ta'n his due You may blame their generation Or do you grieve because they di'd so soon If wayes be foul and journeys perillous Who taketh up his lodging e'r t be noon Is best at case 'T is like God loveth those Whom he takes betime away Sad experience let● us know That the happi'st here below Have a miserable stay Or is your onely child deceas'd that passion Doth domineer so here I could allow Methinks your tears a free immoderation But that on better ground then Jephtha's vow I remember what was done By that parent who is penn'd Down for great Jehovah's friend In case of his onely sonne Ev'n when 't was dead a miracle did fill His Sarahs womb but it was fill'd but once Isaac was all Yet Abraham must kill This all himself God did it for the nonce That he might his graces prove Yet the man made no denyall But did by so strange a triall Manifest his faith and love This case must needs strike nearer to the heart Then yours yet he doth presently submit Love I confesse is very loth to part With what it loves but grace doth put a bit Into natures mouth that she May not grumble nor repine At what 's a decree Divine But subscribe it chearfully Just like the Autumn sap of fruitfull trees So love descend● and it is a●dent when Dispersed b●t by infinite degrees More arde●t when it is contracted men That have but an onely sonne If Death take him hence their losse Is a great one but this crosse Must be born Thy will be done Is what your selves do pray for every day And when this will of God's declared you Greatly offend if you do murmure May Not God and Sinne and Nature claim their due Very ill you do behave you If you give not heav'n leave Thankfully for to bereave You again of what it gave you Lord if thou please to stock my table round About with children yet I will be glad Nor shall my sorrow over much abound Though I do see them in their grave-clothes clad For the sooner are they blest And within the shortest space Whom thou help'st to winne a race They the sooner are at rest Meditation 5. VVE do not die by chance nor yet by fortune But how and when the
Lord will have us die He numbers all our dayes we cannot shorten Nor lengthen them a minute Destiny Neither spinnes nor cuts the thread God a certain period sets No man shorter falls or gets Further then the bounds decreed If God vouchsafe to number out the hairs That do adorn and cloth our sinfull heads Who doubteth that his providence forbears To count our dayes If not a sparrow treads On the earth's face thus or thus But his providence awaketh For to note it sure he taketh Greater care by farre of us If any godlesse wits so curious be To talk of Hezekiah's fifteen years His sentence God did change not his decree The answer is yet Esay's tongue appears To speak not a jote the lesse Truth 't was with a supposition God doth th●eaten with condition Either 〈◊〉 expresse When Pestilence that lothsome dreadfull hag Bepatch'd with botches wanders up and down And into ev'ry houshold drops the plague Scarce any Turk in an infected town But will wise and friend afford Daily visits and imbraces They flie no contagious places Nor fear either bed or bord Their reason is Gods providence doth write Their fortunes on their foreheads neither can Their day of life be longer nor their night Of Death come sooner then God wills it Man Must yield 's ghost when God will have it For health and life if God will Save it 't is not plague can kill If not 't is not they can save it Such block-heads have not brains enough to think That as the time so God withall decrees The means of life as physick meat and drink Clothes recreations and what else he sees Needfull They themselves destroy And are to their safety strangers That runne into mortall dangers And not shun them when they may Howe'r imploy'd Lord grant I may have leisure Religiously to meditate that thou My dayes dost number and my life dost measure And make me think Lord that this very now That this twinkling of an eye Is the period thou hast set Lord grant I may ne'r forget That this moment I may die PART III. Of Deaths suddennesse THough sometimes Death doth stay till it be late At night untill our most decrepit years And when he comes doth like a King in state Send harbingers before yet Death appears Sometimes unlook'd for early in the morning And takes us up before he gives us warning When at full tide our youthfull bloud doth flow In every vein and when our pulses dance A healthfull measure when our stomachs know No qualms at all as we would say by chance Snatch'd are our bodies to their longest homes And Death is past before a sicknesse comes How many sleepie mortals go to bed With healthful bodies and do rise no more How many hungry mortals have been sed Contentedly at dinner yet before Against a second meal they wh●t their knives Death steals away their stomachs and their lives How many in the morning walk abroad For to be breath'd on by the keener air Perhaps to clarifie their grosser bloud Or else to make their rougher checks look falt But e'r they tread a furlong in the frost Death nips them so their former labour 's lost Nature is parsimonious Man may live With little but alas with how much lesse A man may die There 's nothing but may give A mortall blow small matters may undresse Our souls of clay A thousand wayes we have To send our crazie bodies to the grave The elements con●eder how they may Procure our Death the Air we suck to live It self hath poi'sned thousands in a day And made such havock that the slain did strive For elbow-room in Church-yards houses were Good cheap and onely shrowds and coffins dear If we could come to speak with Pharaoh's ghost 'T would tell how many met with sudden graves Beneath the water that a mighty host Was slain and buried by the surly waves Except a few which surfeted with store The crop-sick sea did vomit on the shore Sometimes our mother Earth as if she were So hunger-bitten that she needs must eat Her children gapes as for some toothsome cheer And multitudes one swallow down doth let Which either in her womb she doth bestow Or else doth send them to the world below That usefull creature Fire whose light and heat Doth comfort and when Earth doth penance warm us Whose cookerie provides us wholesome meat Yet mortally this element doth harm us One morning sent from heav'n such dreadfull flashes As did intomb five cities in their ashes We may remember some that have been kill'd By falls of buildings some by drunken swords By beasts both wild and tame our bloud is spill'd There 's not a creature but a death affords 'Bove fourti● childrens limbs God's anger tears In pieces with the teeth of savage bears But there 's some likelyhood that sudden Death By mean like these may easily befall us But many times we mortalls lose our breath By wayes lesse probable The Lord doth call us Upon a sudden hence by petty things Sometimes the meanest means Death's ●rrand brings Our staff of life may kill a little crumb Of bread may choke us going down aw●y A small hair in their drink hath caused some To breath their last By any thing we die Sometimes a sudden grief ●r sudden joy Have might enough to take our souls away Meditation 1. HOw weak's the thread of life that any thing How weak so e'r can break it by and by How short 's the thread of life that Death can bring Both ends of it together suddenly Well may the scriptures write the life of man As weak as water and as short 's a span How soon is water spilt upon the ground Once spilt what hand can gather 't up again Fome that doth rise to day is seldome found Floting tomorrow When the wanton rain Gets bubbles to make sport with on the water A minute breaks them into their first matter Such is our life How soon doth Death uncase Our souls and when they once are fled away Who can return them As upon the face Of thirstie ground when water 's shed to day The morrow sees it not so when we die None can revive us as we fall we lie Our life 's a vapour Vapours do arise Sometimes indeed with such a seeming power As if they would eclipse the glorious skies And muffle up the world but in an houre Or two at most these vapours are blown o'r And leave the air as clear as 't was before We look big here a little while and bristle And shoulder in the smiling world as though There were no dancing but as we would whistle So strangely domineer we here below But as a vapour in a sun-shine day We vanish on a sudden quite away Our life is like the smoke of new-made fires As we in age and stature upward tend Our dissolution is so much the nigher Smoke builds but castles in the air ascend Indeed it doth aloft but yet it must At high'st
A The mind of the Frontispice THat Buckler which you see at top No Cyclops fram'd for if you look Underneath't you see the shop Where 't was made that open Book The use of 't is those ghastly fears And pale terrours to withstand That assault when Death appear● Pictur'd here at your left hand Time on the other side doth pray you To imbrace 't and use it well So Death shall not though it slay you Hurt each sand's your Passing-bell When the last is out you know That 's your picture quite below A BUCKLER against the fear of DEATH Or Pious and Profitable Observations Meditations and Consolations By E. B. Printed by Roger Daniel Printer to the University of Cambridge And are to be sold by M. Spark junior in the little Old-Daily in London 1640. To the Right Worshipfull Mris Helena Phelips and Mris Agneta Gorges grandchildren to the Right Honourable Lady Helena late Lady Marchionesse of Northampton now with God E. B. wisheth the happinesse of grace here and of glory hereafter Gentlewomen THough there be nothing more certain more impartiall more sudden then the stroke of Death yet is there nothing so seldome thought upon especially of those whose youth and health seem to suppose their graves a great way off But I may not harbour such a thought of you The piety of that Family whereof you are very suitable members is a sufficient prohibition Piou● hearts are never barren of profitable thoughts and amongst all those wherewith even a gratious heart doth most abound none are certainly more advantageous then thoughts of Death which have ever more thoughts of Repentance Iudgement Heaven and Hell for their companions Yet the best may be bettered and what I present you with may make your meditations more and peradventure more usefull then they were before Some consolations you shall light upon which is you suffer to work effectually they will go nea● to 〈◊〉 a chearfull expectation of that King of terrours which otherwise you might be sinfully afraid of The poeme if it may be called so is a plain one because I meant to profit not to puzzle you and yet it is a poeme that your profit might come in the pleasingest way To assure you that the rhythme is no disparagement to the divinity of the matter were to question your ingenuity a great part of that wherein you exercise your selves both day and night being written in verse * which notwithstanding is the mighty power of God unto salvation If you accept and gain by this poore present and withall give it leave to wear your names into the world my ends are accomplished and your selves with all that honoured and religious familie shall be remembred as often as I kneel before the throne of grace And I will importunately beg of him that sitteth thereon to increase the good gifts and graces of his spirit within you What if your proficiencie in the wayes of piety be already famous yet if my prayers find good speed with God you may sit in glorie a degree the higher Thus prayeth Your humble servant to be commanded E. B. Profitable and pious thoughts of Death Part I. Of Deaths certainty IN heav'ns high Parliament an act is pass'd Subscrib'd by that eternall Three in One That each created wight must one day tast Of Deaths grim terrours They exempted none That sprang from Adam All that red-earth-strain Must to their earth again An ancient Register of burialls lies In Gentsis to let us understand That whosoever is begotten dies And every sort is under Deaths command His Empire 's large Rich poore old young and all Must go when he doth call Mans life 's a book and some of them are bound Handsome and richly some but meanly clad And for their matter some of them are found Learned and pious others are too bad For vilest fires Both have their end There 's a conclusion penn'd As well as title-page that 's infancy The matter that 's the whole course of our lives One 's Satans servant walking wickedly Another's pious and in goodnesse thrives One 's beggerly another's rich and brave Both drop into the grave One man a book in solio lives till age Hath made him crooked and put out his eyes His beard doth penance And death in a rage Mows down another whilst the infant cries In 's midwives lap that 's an Epitome Both wear deaths liverie God made not death Whence are we mortall then Sure Sinne 's the parent of this pale-fac'd foe Nought else did hatch it and the first of men He was Deaths grandfather And all the wo That in this or the next life we are in Is caused by our sinne Meditation 1. IF I must dye I 'll catch at every thing That may but mind me of my latest breath Deaths-heads graves knells blacks tombs all these shall bring Into my soul such usefull thoughts of death That this sable King of fears Though in chiefest of my health He behind me come by stealth Shall not catch me unawares When-e're I visit any dying friend Each sigh and 〈◊〉 and every death-bed-grone Shall reade me such a lecture of mine end That I 'll suppose his case will be mine own As this poore man here doth lie Rack'd all o're with deadly pain Never like to rise again Time will come when so must I. Thus ghastly shall I look thus every part Of me shall suffer thus my lips shall ●hrivel My teeth shall grin and thus my drooping heart Shall smoke out sighs and grones and all the evil Which I see this man lye under What sinne earns and death doth pay I shall feel another day Sinne from torment who can sunder Thus will my mournfull friends about me come My livelesse carca●e shall be stretched out I must be packing to my longest home Thus will the mourners walk the streets about Thus for me the bells will toll Thus must I bid all adieu World and wife and children too Thus must I breathe out my soul At others fun'ralls when I see a grave That grave shall mind me of mortalitie I 'll think that such a lodging I must have Thus in the pit my bones must scattered he Here one bone and there another Here my ribs and there my scull And my mouth of earth be full I must call the worms my mother When I do look abroad methinks I see A fun'rall Sermon penn'd in every thing Each creature s●●aks me mortall Yonder tree Which not a quarter since the glorious spring Had most proudly cloth'd in green And was tall and young and strong Now the ax hath laid along Nothing but his stump is seen And yonder fruitfull valleys yesternight Did laugh and sing they stood so thick with corn In was the sickle and 't was cut down quite And not a sheaf will stand tomorrow morn Yonder beauteous imp● of May Pretty eye-delighting flowers Whose face heav'n doth wash with showers To put on their best aray I saw the fair'st the Lily and
Carnation And coy Adonis particoloured sonne Subject to such a sudden alteration That in a day their fading beauty 's gone This tree this corn and this flower Or what things else vainest are To my self I do compare Who may die within this houre Meditation 2. I 'LL ne'r be proud of beauty if I must Be blemish'd when I die And if the grave Will mix my beauty with the vilest dust What profits pride Reader I 'll pardon crave Here to set you down a story Of as rare and fair a She As the Sunne did ever see Whom Death robb'd of all her glory I once saw Phoebus in his mid-day sline Triumphing like the Sovereigne of the skies Untill two brighter rayes both more divine Outblazed his and they were this Nymphs eyes Forthwith Sol curtain'd his light Looking very red for shame To be vanquish'd by this Dame And did slink out of her sight I once saw silver Cynthia nights fair Queen In her full orb dimming each lesser flame Till this Nymphs beauty-vying front was seen Outshining hers then she look'd wan for shame The man in her knew he how But to quit that giddy place She had so divine a face Would have dwelt upon her brow Once was this woman pleas'd to walk the fields Then proudly fragrant with Dame Flora's store The damask rose unto her beauty yields And was contented to be fair no more Sure I cannot say how truly Yet 'mongst many 't was a fame That the rose did blush for shame And the violet look'd most bluly Once did this woman to the temple go Where doth fair Venus marble-statue lie Cut to the life that one can hardly know But that it lives indeed When she came nigh He who then the temple kept After would be often telling She was so super-excelling That for mad the marble wept Melodious musick 's warbled by the spheres Swans sing their Epitaphs in curious layes Once with a singing Swan a part she bears As soon's those corall doores dismiss'd her voice The poore Swan held his peace and di'd And the spheres as men do say Dumbly move unto this day This was by a rivers side What think you now of such a glorious woman This Phoenix sure was she if any might That might be proud And yet the tongue of no man Can well expresse nor any pen can write What grim death hath done unto her Now she 's of another feature Hardly can you know the creature Stay a while and we will view her Th' almighty King that dwells above in heaven Directs to 's high Shrieve Death a certain writ Wherein a strait imperiall charge was given At 's utmost peril forthwith on sight of it To arrest that piece of beauty And to wrap her up in clay 'Gainst the last great judgement-day Death address'd him to his duty And with great care gives warrant by and by Unto his baillifs Fever Pox and Gout Phrensie Strangury Colick Squinancy Consumption Dropsie and an ugly rout Beside these for to assail her Deaths command was that they must Tie her fast in chains of dust He gave charge that none should bail her You would not think with what a furious pace These catchpoles flie to pull this creature down But Pox was nimblest she got to her face And plow'd it up This hag goes in a gown Rugged and of colour tawny Button'd o're from top to toe Skin-deep beauties deadly foe Uglier hag was never any Fain would the rest have fastned on her too But that this hag had frighted out her soul Now looks her carcase of another hue Grim ugly lothsome ghastly and as foul As did ever eye look on What 's become of that complexion Which held all hearts in subjection In a moment all is gone If we might be so bold to dig the grave Some few years hence where this good woman lies Sure we should find this beauty but a slave To pallid putrefaction and a prize For those silly vermine worms As they crawl in stinking swarms She doth hug them in her arms And doth give them suck by turns Here 's a deformed lump indeed and this Must be the fortune of the fairest face None then are proud but fools They love amisse Whose hearts are chain'd to any thing but grace From the beauty of the skin In the loveliest outward part Lord vouchsafe to turn my heart To love that which is within Meditation 3. IF Death will come sure there will come an end Of all this worlds deep-biting misery Nothing adverse that 's here on earth doth tend Beyond the grave that 's a delivery From the pow'r of men and devils And what-ever other wo May befall us here below Death's a ●helter from all evils Here I am poore my daily drops of sweat Will not maint●in my full-stock'd family A dozen hungry children crie for meat And I have none nor will words satisfie Could I give their belly ears 'T were a comfort or could fill Hungry stomacks with good will Or make daily bread of tears Here the oppressour with his griping claws Sits on my skirts my racking land-lord rears Both rent and fine with potent looks he aws Me from mine own Scarce any man but bears In his bosome Ahabs heart Horse-leach-like that 's ever craving Other mens and sick of having Right or wrong will catch a part Here in these clay-built houses sicknesse reigns I have more maladies then I can name Each member of my body hath its pains Moreover weeping groning sadnesse shame Slanders m●lancholy fear Discontents disgraces losses And a thousand other crosses Must be born if I live here But these are finite all When I am dead My poverty is ended and my care I heare my samish'd children crie for bread No longer Then I drink I lodge I fare Just as well as Caesar doth There ends cold and nakednesse All my former wretchednesse Death is meat and drink and cloth There 's no face grinding There the mighty cease From troubling there the weary be at rest The servant 's freed the pris'ner is at ease All 's still and quiet no man is oppress'd For incroachers there are none Not a poore man's wronged nor Is his vineyard longed for Every man may keep his own Sicknesse there 's none when-ever Death shall take My body hence and lodge it in the clay I shall not feel a tooth or finger ake Nor any other misery that may In the least degree displease me For all sores the grave hath plasters And it cureth all disasters Of all burdens Death will ease me Malicious tongues fired below in hell There will not hurt me nor the poisonous breath Of whispering detractours I shall dwell Securely in the dust One stroke of Death Sets me out of gun-shot quite Not the deepest piercing tongue Can there do me any wrong Bark they may but cannot bite Lord I am thine and if it be thy will While I do live a stranger here below Brim-high with bitternesse my cup to fill And make me
drink 't yet Lord withall bestow But thy grace and thou shalt see me Patient and my comfort 's this That a short affliction 't is In a moment Death may free me Meditation 4. IF I must die it must be my endeavour So to provide that every thought of Death May be a thought of comfort that when-ever That aged sire shall take away my breath I may willingly lay down This old house that 's made of clay Gladly welcoming the day That brings an eternall crown But of all things a holy life 's the way Must lead me to a comfortable end To crucifie my lusts and to obey Gods sacred will in all things This doth tend Unto comfort joy and ease Mark the man that is upright And sets God alwayes in a sight That mans end is ever peace What makes me fear a serpent 't is 〈◊〉 sting The mischief 's there When that is taken out I can look on him as a harmlesse thing And in my bosome carry him about What makes Death look 〈◊〉 No● Deaths self it is his sting That doth fear and horrour bring And makes men so loth to die The sting of death is sinne but there 's a Jesus Hath pluck'd it out The guilt 's done quite away The stain is wash'd He sent his Spirit to ease us In some good measure of that kingly sway Which o're us sinne held before Blessed work of grace now I Strongest lusts can 〈◊〉 In my soul sinne reigns no more Now in me holinesse is wrought which is A pious disposition of the heart Inclining me to hate what 's done amisse In me and others never to depart From God to left hand or right Nor one of his laws to break But to think and do and speak What 's well-pleasing in ●us sight Each act from faith and love ariseth and The end I aim at is my Makers praise His word 's my rule my warrant 's his command Thus am I fitted Death cut off my dayes If thou wilt within this houre I will thank thee for thy pain For to me to die is gain I 'll not fear a jote thy power What canst thou do that justly may affright me Though with thee in the dark I dwell a space Yet canst thou not eternally benight me Thou art my passage to a glorious place Where shall not be any night My rais'd ashes shall enjoy There an everlasting day And an uneclipsed light I fear not death because of putrefaction Nor if I might would willingly decline it My body gains by 't 't is the graves best action God as a founder melts it to refine it Death cannot annihilate And in despite of the grave Yet I shall a body have Fairer and in better state Gods second work excells his first by ods Our second birth life Adam to repair Our bodies is a second work of Gods To make them better then at first they were Glorious immortall sound Nimble beautifull and so Splendid that from top to toe Not a blemish may be sound What begger weeps when 's rags are thrown away To put on better clothes Who is 't will grieve To pull a rotten house down that it may Be fairer built Why should we not receive Death with both hands when he comes To pull off those rags that hide us To unhouse us and provide us Richer clothes and better homes The griping pangs of Death do not affright My heart at all I have deserved mo And if upon no other terms I might Enjoy my God I to my God would go Through hells self although a throng Of an hundred thousand juries Of the black'st infernall Furies Claw'd me as I went along Nor can those inward terrours make me quake Which Death-beds often on the soul do bring I have no Death-bed-reck'nings for to make 'T was made while I was well and every thing Was dispatch'd before that I Nothing in the world now save Home-desiring longings have Then to do but just to die Nor doth it trouble me that Death will take me From those delights that are enjoy'd below Alas I know that none of them can make me One jote the happier man nor can bestow Any comfort Carnall gladnesse Mirth delight and jolli●y This worlds best felicitie All is vanity and madnesse Mere empty husks Had I as many treasures In my possession as the muddiest wretch Did ever cover and as many pleasures As from the creature fleshly men can fetch Had I this or if I were Supreme Monarch onely Lord Of what earth and sea afford Yet I would not settle here To be dissolv'd is better Death doth bring A fairer fortune then it takes away It sets us in a world where every thing Is a happinesse a full and solid joy Not to be conceiv'd before We come thither but the blisse Which exceedeth all is this That there we shall sinne no more Lord grant a copious portion of thy Spirit The more I have of that the lesse I fear What Death can do for sure I shall inherit All joy in heaven if I am holy here Nought suits with heaven but sanctitie Let my God thy Spirit and grace Fit me for that holy place And that holy companie Meditation 5. IF Death will come what do men mean to sinne With so much greedinesse me thinks I see What a sad case the godlesse world is in How fast asleep in her securitie Fearlessely in sinne men live As if Death would never come Or there were no day of doom When they must a reck'ning give Observe a little yonder black-mouth'd swearer How 's tongue with oathes and 〈◊〉 pelts the skies 'T would grieve the heart of any pious hearer But to bear witnesse of his blasphem●es He darts wounds at God on high Puts on cursing as his clothes And doth wrap his tongue in oathes To abuse Eternity In law lesse lust the fornicatour fries And longs to slake it 'twixt forbidden 〈◊〉 Ne'r sets the sunne but his adulterous eyes Observes the twilight and his harlot meets That which follows when the night Draws its curtain o'r the air To conceal this goatish pair Modesty forbids to write And I could shew you were it worth the viewing In that room three or foure drunkards reeling In this as many more that sweat with spewing Some that have drunk away their sense and feeling Men of all sorts in their wine And their ale sit domineering Cursing railing roring swearing Under every baser signe 'T is said so vile is this big-belly'd sinne That in a day and lesse some foure or five Of lustie drunken throats will swallow in More then hath kept two families alive A whole forthnight yet made they Merrie with 't Had I my wishes Such gulls should not drink like fishes But their throats should chāge their trade The covetous man with his usurious clutches Doth cat●h and hold fast all the wealth he may He leans on 't as a creeple on his crutches The miser studies nothing night and day But his gain he 's like a
swine Looking downward like a mole Blind and of an earthen soul Minding nothing that 's divine These and beside these other sorts of sinners In every parish you may dayly see As greedy at their sinnes as at their dinners And wallowing in all impiety Sure these miscreants do never Entertein a thought of dying Nor yet are afraid of frying In hell flames for altogether Thou God of spirits be pleas'd to aw my heart With death and judgement that when I would sinne I may remember that I must depart And whatsoe're condition I am in When I sink under Deaths hand There 's no penance in the grave Nor then can I mercy have So must I in judgement stand Meditation 6. Lord what a thief is Death it robs us quite Of all the world great men of all their honours Luxurious men of all their fond delight Rich men of