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sun almost set upon my displeasure; but I have been as a dove, free from superfluity of maliciousness. Thy creatures have been my books, but thy Scriptures much more. I have sought thee in the courts, fields, and gardens, but I have found thee in thy temples.
Thousands have been my sins, and ten thousands my transgressions: but thy sanctifications have remained with me, and my heart, through thy grace, hath been nn unquenched coal upon thine altar. 0 Lord, my strength, I have since my youth met with thee in all my ways, by thy fatherly compassions, by thy comfortable chastisements, and by thy most visible providence. As thy favours have increased upon me, so have thy corrections; so as thou hast been always near me, O Lord; and ever as my worldly blessings were exalted, so secret darts from tfiee have pierced me; and when I have ascended before men, I have descended in humiliation before thee. And now, when I thought most of peace and honour, thy hand is heavy upon me, and hath humbled me according to thy former loving-kindness, keeping me still in thy fatherly school, not as a bastard, but as a child. Just are thy judgments upon me for my sins, which are more in number than the sands of the sea, but have no proportion to thy mercies; for what are the sands of the sea, earth, heavens, and all these are nothing to thy mercies. Besides my innumerable sins, I confess before thee, that I am debtor to thee for the gracious talent of thy gifts and graces, which I have neither put into a napkin, nor put it, as I ought, to exchangers, where it might have made best profit, but misspent it in things for which I was least fit: so I may truly say, my soul hath been a stranger in the course of my pilgrimage. Be merciful unto me, 0 Lord, for my Saviour's sake, and receive me into thy bosom, or guide me in thy ways.
MADE AND USED BY THE LORD CHANCELLOR. BACON.
O Eternal God, and most merciful Father in Jesus Christ: Let the words of our mouths, and the meditations of our hearts, be now and ever gracious in thy sight, and acceptable unto thee, 0 Lord, our God, our strength, and our Redeemer.
O eternal God, and most merciful Father in Jesus Christ, iri whom thou hast made a covenant of grace and mercy with all those that come unto thee in him; in his name and mediation we humbly prostrate ourselves before the throne of thy mercies' seat, acknowledging that by the breach of all thy holy laws and commandments, we are become wild olive-branches, strangers to thy covenant of grace; we have defaced in ourselves thy sacred image imprinted in us by creation; we have sinned against heaven and before thee, and are no more worthy to be called thy children. O admit us into the place even of hired servants. Lord, thou hast formed us
in our mothers' wombs, thy providence hath hitherto watched over us, and preserved us unto this period of time: O stay not the course of thy mercies and loving-kindness towards us: have mercy upon us, O Lord, for thy dear Son Christ Jesus' sake, who is the way, the truth, and the life. In him, O Lord, we appeal from thy justice to thy mercy, beseeching thee in his name, and for his sake only, thou wilt be graciously pleased freely to pardon and forgive us all our sins and disobedience, whether in thought, word, or deed, committed against thy divine Majesty; and in his precious blood-shedding, death, and perfect obedience, free us from the guilt, the stain, the punishment, and dominion of all our sins, and clothe us with his perfect righteousness. There is mercy with thee, O Lord, that thou mayest be feared; yea, thy mercies swallow up the greatness of our sins: speak peace to our souls and consciences; make us happy in the free remission of all our sins, and be reconciled to thy poor servants in Jesus Christ, in whom thou art well pleased: suffer not the works of thine own hands to perish; thou art not delighted in the death of sinners, but in their conversion. Turn our hearts, and we shall be turned j convert us, and we shall be converted; illuminate the eyes of our minds and understanding with the bright beams of thy Holy Spirit, that we may daily grow in the saving knowledge of the heavenly mystery of our redemption, wrought by our dear Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; sanctify our wills and affection by the same Spirit, the most sacred fountain of all grace and goodness; reduce them to the obedience of thy most holy will in the practice of all piety toward thee, and charity towards all men. Inflame our hearts with thy love, cast forth of them what displeaseth thee, all infidelity, hardness of heart, profaneness, hypocrisy, contempt of thy holy word and ordinances, all uncleanness, and whatsoever advanceth itself in opposition to thy holy will. And grant that henceforth, through thy grace, we may be enabled to lead a godly, holy, sober, and christian life, in true sincerity and uprightness of heart before thee. To this end, plant thy holy fear in our hearts, grant that it may never depart from before our eyes, but continually guide our feet in the paths of thy righteousness, and in the ways of thy commandments: increase our weak faith, grant it may daily bring forth the true fruits of unfeigned repentance, that by the power of the death of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ we may daily die unto sin, and by the power of his resurrection we may be quickened, and raised up to newness of life, may be truly born anew, and may be effectually made partakers of the first resurrection, that then the second death may never have dominion over us. Teach us, O Lord, so to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom; make us ever mindful of our last end, and continually to exercise the knowledge of grace in our hearts, that in the said divorce of soul and body, we may be translated here to that kingdom of glory prepared for all those that love thee, and shall trust in thee; even then and ever, O Lord, let thy holy angels pitch their tents round about us, to guard and defend us from all the malice of Satan, and from all perils both of soul and body. Pardon all our unthankfulness, make us daily more and more thankful for all thy mercies and benefits daily poured down upon us. Let these our humble prayers ascend to the throne of grace, and be granted not only for these mercies, but for whatsoever else thy wisdom knows needful for us; and for all those that are in need, misery, and distress, whom, Lord, thou hast afflicted either in soul or body; grant them patience and perseverance in the end, and to the end: And that, O Lord, not for any merits of ours, but only for the merits of thy Son, and our alone Saviour Christ Jesus; to whom with thee and the Holy Spirit be ascribed all glory, &c. Amen.
THE STUDENT'S PRAYER.
To God the Father, God the Word, God the Spirit, we pour forth most humble and hearty supplications; that he, remembering the calamities of mankind, and the pilgrimage of this our life, in which we wear out days few and evil, would please to open to us new refreshments out of the fountains of his goodness, for the alleviating of our miseries. This also we humbly and earnestly beg, that human things may not prejudice such as are divine; neither that from the unlocking of the gates of sense, and the kindling of a greater natural light, any thing of incredulity, or intellectual night, may arise in our minds towards divine mysteries. But rather, that by our mind thoroughly cleansed and purged from fancy and vanities, and yet subject and perfectly given up to the divine oracles, there may be given nnto faith the things that are faith's. Amen.
THE WRITER'S PRAYER.
Thou, O Father, who gavest the visible light as the first-born of thy creatures, and didst pour into man the intellectual light as the top and consummation of thy workmanship, be pleased to protect and govern this work, which, coming from thy goodness, retnrneth to thy glory. Thou, after thou hadst reviewed the works which thy hands had made, beheldest that every thing was very good, and thou didst rest with complacency in them. But man, reflecting on the works which he had made, saw that all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and could by no means acquiesce in them. Wherefore, if we labour in thy works with the sweat of our brows, thou wilt make us partakers of thy vision and thy sabbath. We humbly beg that this mind may be stedfastly in us; and that thou, by our hands, and also by the hands of others, on whom thou shalt bestow the same spirit, wilt please to convey a largess of new alms to thy family of mankind. These things we commend to thy everlasting love, by our Jesus, thy Christ, God with us. Amen.
THE CHARACTERS OF A BELIEVING
In paradoxes and seeming contradictions.
1. A Christian is one that believes things his reason cannot comprehend; he hopes for things which neither he nor any man alive ever saw: he labours for that which he knoweth he shall never obtain; yet in the issue, his belief appears not to be false; his hope makes him not ashamed; his labour is not in vain.
2. He believes three to be one, and one to be three; a father not to be elder than his son; a son to be equal with his father; and one proceeding from both to be equal with both; he believing three persons in one nature, and two natures in one person.
3. He believes a virgin to be a mother of a son; and that very son of hers to be her maker. He believes him to have been shut up in a narrow room, whom heaven and earth could not contain. He believes him to have been born in time, who was and is from everlasting. He believes him to have been a weak child, carried in arms, who is the Almighty; and him once to have died, who only hath life and immortality in himself.
4. He believes the God of all grace to have been angry with one that hath never offended him; and that God, that hates sin, to be reconciled to himself, though sinning continually, and never making, or being able to make him satisfaction. He believes a most just God to have punished a most just person, and to have justified himself though a most ungodly sinner. He believes himself freely pardoned, and yet a sufficient satisfaction was made for him.
5. He believes himself to be precious in God's sight, and yet loathes himself in his own. He dares not justify himself even in those things wherein he can find no fault with himself, and yet believes God accepts him in those services wherein he is able to find many faults.
6. He praises God for his justice, and yet fears him for his mercy. He is so ashamed as that he dares not open his mouth before God; and yet he comes with boldness to God, and asks him any thing he needs. He is so humble as to acknowledge himself to deserve nothing but evil; and yet believes that God means him all good. He is one that fears always, yet is as bold as a lion. He is often sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; many times complaining, yet always giving of thanks. He is the most lowly-minded, yet the greatest aspirer; most contented, yet ever craving.
7. He bears a lofty spirit in a mean condition; when he is ablest, he thinks meanest of himself. He is rich in poverty, and poor in the midst of riches. He believes all the world to be his, yet he dares take nothing without special leave from God. He covenants with God for nothing, yet looks for a great reward. He loseth his life, and gains by it; and whilst he loseth it, he saveth it.
8. He lives not to himself, yet of all others he is most wise for himself. He denieth himself often, yet no man loveth himself so well as he. He is most reproached, yet most honoured. He hath most afflictions, and most comforts.
9. The more injury his enemies do him, the more advantages he gains by them. The more he forsakes worldly things, the more he enjoys them.
10. He is the most temperate of all men, yet fares most deliciously; he lends and gives most freely, yet he is the greatest usurer; he is meek towards all men, yet inexorable by men. He is the best child, husband, brother, friend; yet hates father and mother, brother and sister. He loves all men as himself, yet hates some men with a perfect hatred.
11. He desires to have more grace than any man hath in the world, yet is truly sorrowful when he seeth any man have less than himself; he knoweth no man after the flesh, yet gives all men their due respects; he knoweth if he please man he cannot be the servant of Christ j yet for Christ's sake he pleaseth all men in all things. He is a peacemaker, yet is a continual fighter, and is an irreconcilable enemy.
12. He believes him to be worse than an infidel that provides not for his family, yet himself lives and dies without care. He accounts all his superiors, yet stands stiffly upon authority. He is severe to his children, because he loveth them; and by being favourable unto his enemy, he revengeth himself upon him.
13. He believes the angels to be more excellent creatures than himself, and yet accounts them his servants. He believes that he receives many good things by their means, and yet he neither prays for their assistance, nor offers them thanks, which he doth not disdain to do to the meanest christian.
14. He believes himself to be a king, how mean soever he be: and how great soever he be, yet he thinks himself not too good to be a servant to the poorest saint.
15. He is often in prison, yet always at liberty; a freeman, though a servant. He loves not honour amongst men, yet highly prizeth a good name.
16. He believes that God hath bidden every man that doth him good to do so; he yet of any man is the most thankful to them that do aught for him. He would lay down his life to save the soul of his enemy, yet will not adventure upon one sin to save the life of him who saved his.
17. He swears to his own hinderance, and changeth not; yet knoweth that his oath cannot tie him to sin.
18. He believes Christ to have no need of any thing he doth, yet maketh account that he doth relieve Christ in all his acts of charity. He knoweth he can do nothing of himself, yet labours to work out his own salvation. He professeth he can do nothing, yet as truly professeth he can do all things: he knoweth that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, yet believeth he shall go to heaven both body and soul.
19. He trembles at God's word, yet counts it sweeter to him than honey and the honey-comb, and dearer than thousands of gold and silver.
20. He believes that God will never damn him, and yet fears God for being able to cast him into hell. He knoweth he shall not be saved by, nor for, his good works, yet he doth all the good works he can.
21. He knoweth God's providence is in all things, yet is so diligent in his calling and business, as if he were to cut out the thread of his happiness. He believes before-hand that God hath purposed what he shall be, and that nothing can make him to alter his purpose; yet prays and endeavours, as if he would force God to save him for ever.
22. He prays and labours for that which he is confident God means to give; and the more assured he is, the more earnest he prays, for that he knows he shall never obtain, and yet gives not over. He prays and labours for that which he knows he shall be no less happy without; he prays with all his heart not to be led into temptation, yet rejoiceth when he is fallen into it; he believes his prayers are heard, even when they are denied, and gives thanks for that which he prays against.
23. He hath within him both flesh and spirit, yet he is not a double-minded man; he is often led captive by the law of sin, yet it never gets dominion over him; he cannot sin, yet he can do nothing without sin. He doth nothing against his will, yet maintains he doth what he would not. He wavers and doubteth, yet obtains.
24. He is often tossed and shaken, yet is as mount Sion; he is a serpent and a dove; a lamb and a lion; a reed and a cedar. He is sometimes so troubled, that he thinks nothing to be true in religion; yet if he did think so, he could not at all be troubled. He thinks sometimes that God hath no mercy for him, yet resolves to die in the pursuit of it. He believes, like Abraham, against hope, and though he cannot answer God's logic, yet, with the woman of Canaan, he hopes to prevail with the rhetoric of importunity.
25. He wrestles, and yet prevails; and though yielding himself unworthy of the least blessing he enjoys, yet, Jacob-like, he will not let him go without a new blessing. He sometimes thinks himself to have no grace at all, and yet how poor and afflicted soever he be besides, he would not change conditions with the most prosperous man under heaven, that is a manifest worldling.
26. He thinks sometimes that the ordinances of God do him no good, yet he would rather part with his life than be deprived of them.
27. He was born dead; yet so that it had been murder for any to have taken his life away. After he began to live, he was ever dying.
28. And though he hath an eternal life begun in him, yet he makes account he hath a death to pass through.
29. He counts self-murder a heinous sin^ yet is ever busied in crucifying the flesh, and in putting to death his earthly members: not doubting but there will come a time of glory, when he shall be esteemed precious in the sight of the great God of heaven and earth, appearing with boldness at his throne, and asking any thing he needs; being endued with humility, by acknowledging his great crimes and offences, and that he deserveth nothing but severe punishment.
30. He believes his soul and body shall be as full of glory as them that have more; and no more full than theirs that have less.
31. He lives invisible to those that see him, and those that know him best do but guess at him; yet those many times judge more truly of him than he doth of himself.
32. The world will sometimes account him a saint, when God accounteth him a hypocrite; and afterwards, when the world branded him for a hypocrite, then God owned him for a saint.
33. His death makes not an end of him. His soul which was put into his body, is not to be perfected without his body ; yet his soul is more happy when it is separated from his body, than when it was joined unto it: and his body, though torn in pieces, burnt to ashes, ground to powder, turned to rottenness, shall be no loser.
34. His Advocate, his Surety shall be his Judge; his mortal part shall become immortal; and what was sown in corruption and defilement shall be raised in incorruption and glory; and a finite creature shall possess an infinite happiness. Glory be to God.
It is but ignorance, if any man find it strange, that the state of religion, especially in the days of peace, should be exercised and troubled with controversies: for as it is the condition of the church militant to be ever under trials, so it cometh to pass, that when the fiery trial of persecution ceaseth, there succeedeth another trial, which, as it were by contrary blasts of doctrine, doth sift and winnow men's faith, and proveth whether they know God aright; even as that other of afflictions discovereth whether they love him better than the world. Accordingly was it foretold by Christ, saying, " that in the latter times it should be said, Lo here, lo there is Christ:" which is to be understood, not as if the very person of Christ should be assumed and counterfeited, but his authority and pre-eminence, which is to be the truth itself, should be challenged and pretended. Thus have we read and seen to be fulfilled that, which followeth, " Ecce in deserto, ecce in penetralibus:" while some have sought the truth in the conventicles and conciliables of heretics and sectaries; others in the external face and representation of the church; and both sorts have been seduced. Were it then that the contro
versies of the church of England were such, as they did divide the unity of the spirit, and not only such as do unswathe her of her bands, the bands of peace, yet could it be no occasion for any pretended catholic to judge us, or for any irreligious person to despise us; or if it be, it shall but happen to us all as it hath used to do; to them to be hardened, and to us to endure the good pleasure of God. But now that our contentions are such as we need not so much that general canon and sentence of Christ pronounced against heretics; "Erratis, nescientes Scripturas, et potestatem Dei;" "you do err, not knowing the Scripture, and the power of God:" as we need the admonition of St. James, " Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;" and that the wound is no way dangerous, except we poison it with our remedies: as the former sort of men have less reason to make themselves music in our discord, so I have good hope that nothing shall displease ourselves, which shall be sincerely and modestly propounded for the appeasing of these dissensions. For if any shall be offended at this voice, " Vos estis fratres;" "Ye are brethren, why strive ye?" he shall give a great presumption against himself, that he is the party that doth his brethren wrong.
The controversies themselves I will not enter into, as judging that the disease requireth rather rest than any other cure. Thus much we all know and confess, that they be not of the highest nature, for they arc not touching the high mysteries of faith, such as detained the churches for many years after their first peace, what time the heretics moved curious questions, and made strange anatomies of the natures and person of Christ; and the catholic fathers were compelled to follow them with all subtlety of decisions and determinations to exclude them from their evasions, and to take them in their labyrinths; so as it is rightly said, " illis temporibus, ingeniosa res fuit, esse christianum;" "in those days it was an ingenious and subtle thing to be a christian."
Neither are they concerning the great parts of the worship of God, of which it is true, that " non servatur unitasincredendo, nisi eadem adsit in colendo;" there will be kept no unity in believing, except it be entertained in worshipping; such as were the controversies of the east and west churches touching images, and such as are many of those between the church of Rome and us: as about the adoration of the sacrament, and the like; but we contend about ceremonies and things indifferent, about the external policy and government of the church; in which kind, if we would but remember that the ancient and true bonds of unity are "one faith, one baptism," and not one ceremony, one policy; if we would observe the league amongst christians that is penned by our Saviour, " he that is not against us is with us ;" if we could but comprehend that saying, " differentiae rituum commendant unitatem doctrinse;" "the diversities of ceremonies do set forth the unity of doctrine;" and that, " habet religio quse sunt seterni tat is, habet quae sunt temporis f "religion hath parts which belong to eternity, and parts which pertain to time:" and if we did but know the virtue of silence and slowness to speak, commended by St. James, our controversies of themselves would close up and grow together: but most especially, if we would leave the overweening and turbulent humours of these times, and revive the blessed proceeding of the apostles and fathers of the primitive church, which was, in the like and greater cases, not to enter into assertions and positions, but to deliver counsels and advices, we should need no other remedy at all: "si eadem consulis, frater, que affirmas, consulenti debetur reverentia, cum non debeatur fides affirmanti;" brother, if that which you set down as an assertion, you would deliver by way of advice, there were reverence due to your counsel, whereas faith is not due to your affirmation. St. Paul was content to speak thus, " Ego, non Dominus," "I, and not the Lord:" " Et, secundum consilium meum j" "according to my counsel." But now men do too lightly say, "Non ego, sed Dominus;" "not I, but the Lord:" yea, and bind it with a heavy denunciation of his judgments, to terrify the simple, which have not sufficiently understood out of Solomon, that "the causeless curse shall not come."
Therefore seeing the accidents are they which breed the peril, and not the things themselves in their own nature, it is meet the remedies be applied unto them, by opening what it is on either part, that keepeth the wound green, and formalizeth both sides to a farther opposition, and worketh an indisposition in men's minds to be reunited: wherein no accusation is pretended; but I find in reason, that peace is best built upon a repetition of wrongs; and in example, that the speeches which have been made by the wisest men, " de concordia ordinum," have not abstained from reducing to memory the extremities used on both parts; so as it is true which is said, "Qui pacem tractat non repetitis conditionibus dissidii, is magis animos hominum dulcedine pacis fallit, quam eequitate componit."
And first of all, it is more than time that there were an end and surcease made of this immodest and deformed manner of writing lately entertained, whereby matter of religion is handled in the style of the stage. Indeed, bitter and earnest writing must not hastily be condemned; for men cannot contend coldly, and without affection, about things which they hold dear and precious. A politic man may write from his brain without touch and sense of his heart; as in a speculation that appertained not unto him; but a feeling christian will express in his words a character of zeal or love. The latter of which, as I could wish rather embraced, being more proper for these times, yet is the former warranted also by great examples.
But to leave all reverent and religious compassion towards evils, or indignation towards faults, and to turn religion into a comedy or satire; to search and rip up wounds with a laughing countenance, to intermix scripture and scurrility sometimes in one sentence, is a thing far from the devout reverence of a christian, and scant beseeming the honest regard of a sober man. "Non est major confusio, quam serii et joci." "There is no greater confusion than
the confounding of jest and earnest." The majesty of religion, and the contempt and deformity of things ridiculous, are things as distant as things may be. Two principal causes have I ever known of atheism; curious controversies, and profane scoffing: now that these two are joined in one, no doubt that sect will make no small progression.
And here I do much esteem the wisdom and religion of that bishop which replied to the first pamphlet of this kind, who remembered that a fool was to be answered, but not by becoming like unto him; and considered the matter which he handled, and not the person with whom he dealt.
Job, speaking of the majesty and gravity of a judge in himself, saith, " If I did smile, they believed it not:" as if he should have said, If I diverted, or glanced upon conceit of mirth, yet men's minds were so possessed with a reverence of the action in hand, as they could not receive it Much more ought not this to be amongst bishops and divines disputing about holy things. And therefore as much do I mislike the invention of him who, as it seemeth, pleased himself in it as in no mean policy, that these men are to be dealt withal at their own weapons, and pledged in their own cup. This seemed to him as profound a device, as when the cardinal Sansovino counselled Julius the second to encounter the council of Pisa with the council of Lateran; or as lawful a challenge as Mr. Jewel made to confute the pretended catholics by the fathers: but those things will not excuse the imitation of evil in another. It should be contrariwise with us, as Csssar said, " Nil malo, quam cos similes esse sui, et me mei." But now, "Dum de bonis contendimus, de malis consentimus j" "while we differ about good things, we resemble in evil."
Surely, if I were asked of these men, who were the more to be blamed, I should percase remember the proverb, that the second blow maketh the fray, and the saying of an obscure fellow; "Qui replicat, multiplicat:" he that replieth, multiplieth. But I would determine the question with this sentence; "Alter principium malo dedit, alter modum abstulit;" "By the ona means we have a beginning, and by the other we shall have none end."
And truly, as I do marvel that some of those preachers which call for reformation, whom 1 am far from wronging so far as to join them with these scoffers, do not publish some declaration, whereby they may satisfy the world, that they dislike their cause should be thus solicited; so I hope assuredly, that my lords of the clergy have none intelligence with this interlibelling, but do altogether disallow that their credit should be thus defended. For though I observe in one of them many glosses, whereby the man would insinuate himself into their favours, yet I find it to be ordinary, that many pressing and fawning persons do misconjecture of the humours of men in authority, and many times, "Veneri immolant snem," "they seek to gratify them with that which they most dislike:" for I have great reason to satisfy myself touching the judgment of my lords the bishops in this matter, by that which was written by one of them, which I