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to repent, and such detestation of them, this is true repentance indeed; and a manifest worke of God's spirit in us. I told him that albeit God doth find many things in us, that he likes not; yet he ever loves and likes this in us, that we do dislike and loath that in ourselves, which God dislikes. God doth not so much respect our state, as our purpose, neyther doth he regard so much what we are, as what we desire to be: and such we are in God's account, as we are in our own desires and purposes. A desire to be good is a good steppe to, yea, a good part of goodnesse. I shewed him, that he was no sinner, that did desire to be holy, and who is sorry from his heart, that he hath beene a sinner. For sinnes past shall not damne us, if they doe not delight us: and that the judgements of God never light but upon those onely that doe reject the mercies of God: And that as there is no sinne so little, but without repentance it is in God's justice damnable; so is there no sin so great, but it is in his mercie pardonable, yea, pardoned to all that truely repent for it. And therefore I desired him, that he would not eyther wrong himselfe so much as to imagine, that he did not repent, when he did hate sinne, and did pray for true sorrow for it: neyther offer that indignitie to God's mercie, as to fear that God would not forgive sin to him that was so willing to foregoe it, or to pardon it to one that had such a desire to part from it: sith God ever receives all sinners that truely returne to him, and still satisfies the hungrie soule with goodnesse: and also sith that God's mercie is like himselfe infinite, and that the least drop of Christ's blood is more sufficient to save us, then all our sinnes are of power for to condemne us.
“Then he told me that he felt a marvelous want of faith : and that he doubted whether he had it, for that he did not feel it. , I answered him, that that is the best faith, that beleeves without feeling; and that makes a man crie with Job, Though he kill mee, yet will I trust in him; yea even, when he hides his face, and takes him for his enemie : Heere is tried faith. I shewed him moreover that our own feeling is no fit judge of faith, for that our feeling is often overwhelmed with temptations : but faith must be judged of by the word of God. Now the word telles us, that faith is not alwaies a burning lampe, but sometime and often a smoaking flaxe: which is so weake that it sends out ueyther heat nor flame, but onely a smoake. And yet will not the Lord quench this small sparke of faith, neyther can it perish, because it is begotten of immortall seede, the word
of God that abideth for ever: and such as the seede is, such also is faith, the fruit of it. And as a little or sicke man is a man, as well as a great or sound one: so little or weake faith is faith as well as great or firme faith. Neyther must we imagine that faith doth justifie us, because it is a strong and perfect vertue: but it justifies us, for the object, which it apprehendes, that is, Christ the mediator. It doth not justifie us legally or causatively as a worke of the law, or as a cause producing our righteousnesse; but evangelically or correlatively, as a meane, instrument, or hand, that apprehends, or applies unto us, the correlative of our faith, Christ, who is our justification. So then, if our faith doe not erre in the object which is Christ, but if it doe eyther apprehend, though in much weaknesse, or endeavour, or desire to apprehend Christ for our justification; it is true faith, though it be very weake faith, and doth as truely apply Christ as doth a strong faith : even as a foule or feeble hand may as well receive an almes as a fair and strong hand. And though faith doth faint many times, yet shall it never faile, but Christ will increase it if we crie with the man in the gospell, Lord, I beleeve, help
my unbeleefe. I shewed him out of the fourth of Luke, That Christ's commission was to preach the gospell to the poore, to heale the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blinde, and to set at liberty those that were bruised; and to preach the acceptable yeere of the Lord. And that he did call those to come to him that did labour and were heavie loden with the insupportable weight of their sins, and did promise to refresh and ease them. I told him that he was so tender a physician that he would not bruise a shaken reed, nor quench a smoaking faxe. All which, with some other places, when I had expounded unto him, who heard me with extraordinairie attention, sitting by him at his beds head, and shewing them him out of the bible (which he greatly desired, and which did much confirme and comfort him) he brake out at last into these words : 0 comfortable sayings, O sweet speeches, will he not quench a smoaking Haxe? will he not breake a broken reed? And then he cried aloud with armes stretched up towards heaven: O sweet Jesu, break not my bruised reed; quench not my smoaking flaxe : repeating these words often and earnestly. He told me againe, that this did much comfort and revive him: but yet he was now and then troubled with doubtings, neyther did he feele that comfort that he had felt before.
“I answered, that I should have more feared, and doubted of him, if he had not sometime beene troubled with feare and doubting in himselfe : for those whom the devill tempts to doubt and despaire, it is, because he doubts and despaires of them. But when the devill, the strong man armed, keepes his pallace, then (as the truth tels us) the things that he possesseth are in peace; where hee hath quiet possession, he keepes no stirre. All they are secure, and doubt nothing that are a going to hell in his net, captives at his will. But where he is assaulting the fort without, it is a certaine signe, that he is not yet within: neyther hath he any commaund of that castle, that hee hath not in quiet obedience. And hence it is that the best men of God have been tempted to doubt of God's mercie and their owne salvation : and have beene many times left of God without present feeling of his grace and favour, though never without his grace and favou I shewed him this in Job in the thirteenth chapter, who saith, Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and takest mee for thine enemie? And in David in divers Psalmes; especially; Psalm 77.7, 8, 9. where hee saith, Will the Lord absent himselfe for ever, and will he shew no more favour? Is his mercy cleane gone for ever? doth his promise faile for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious ? and will he shut up his tender mercies in displeasure? and I said, this is my death, &c. Whereupon he said, What! did Job doubt, did David doubt of God's favour? But why doth God so loving a father leave his deare children in such distresse?
“I answered, That it is for God's glorie, and his childrens good, that God as a wise father is not alwaies a kissing his sonne: but many times a correcting of him. And the same God that doth mercifully exalt us by giving us a sweet taste and a lively feeling of his grace, and the efficacie thereof in us: doth in much love many times very wholesomely humble us when he leaves us without that sense in ourselves. For then doth he cure us of the most dangerous disease of pride and confidence in our selves: Then doth he settle in us a sure foundation of humilitie: Then doth he cause us to denie ourselves: to depend upon him, to cast ourselves into the armes of his mercie: to hunger for his grace: to pray most zealously and with greater feeling of our wants : and to set an high price upon the feeling of God's favour, and to make more esteem of it when once we have it againe: and to kill some speciall sinne or sinnes, for which we had not before so seriously repented of. Therefore let us with
David, hope in the Lord and be strong, and hee will comfort our hearts, if we trust in the Lord.
“ After many such conferences and often praying, God gave him a great measure of comfort and assurance againe. He prayed with David, Make mee to heare joy and gladnesse, that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoyce: Restore to me the joy of thy salvation, and stablish, stablish mee with thy free spirit, &c. He tooke great comfort by hearing many promises of the gospell, which were then to him as the Aqua Vita of God, that revived his fainting spirits. Among others, he said this was a most comfortable promise of Christ. Rev. 3. 21. “ To him that overcommeth will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I overcame, and sit with my Father in his throne.” He much rejoyced at that which Saint Peter assures us, that our inheritance or crowne is in deposito, in the hand of God, reserved in heaven for us, because we shall not lose it: and that we also our selves are kept by the power of God thorow faith unto salvation: so that we shall not lose our selves in earth, which otherwise we should doe, if the Lord did not keep us.
“He cryed often before his speech failed him, “ Lord strengthen me in this last battel: Lord fortifie me against all temptation: Lord loose my soule out of the prison of this body: Sweet Saviour send thine holy angels to fetch my soule, and carry it into Abraham's bosome: Lord, receive my spirit: Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” And this last was the last sentence that he uttered with his tongue: by which he did surrender his soule into the hands of his Lord and Maker. And after his speech fayled him, yet did he understand and heare us perfectly, giving us divers times signes, that he continued full of comfort in the sense and assurance of God's favour, wringing my hand, and lifting up both eyes and hands when hee felt any comfort by our words to him, or prayers for him. Thus did hee die in the words of pietie and prayer, moving his dying lips in prayer, and his halfe-dead hands, as Paulinus writes Saint Ambrose did, when his speech was gone, I may conclude of him, as Ambrose did of Acholius, Non obijt, sed abijt: he is not dead, but gone away. This was the manner of the loosing, or to speake more properly, of the assumption of this christian Lord. Thus did his soule depart and flye from us, carryed no doubt by the angels into Abraham's bosome, where it rests with Christ in eternall glory.
“Let us not mourne then as men without hope; we have not lost him, but sent him before. And though he be gone before, yet his honourable name, and many of his worthie actions, remayne behinde him, and shall live when we are dead. And let us not so much thinke, quod abierit, sed quo, that he is
gone, into heaven. “And now, noble Lord, who art a sonne every way worthy of so worthy a Father, let me say to you, as Saint Hierome once did to Heliodorus, Ne doleas, quod talem amiseris, sed gaudeas quod talem habueris : Be not sorrowful because God hath assumed your father to himselfe, but give God thankes for his favour in giving you so good a father : this was God's gift to you, the other to him ; who is not taken from us so much, as from perils and miseries; being freed from his warrefare, and having received his pasport; nay, his crowne rather: and by his leaving of us, he hath wonne more then we have lost, for indeede all the loss is onely ours. You, noble Lord, have lost a most loving and worthy father: his servants have lost a most carefull and loving lord and master: the poore have lost a good patron : his neighbours their best neighbour: his friends their truest friend: his right honourable sister, her most honourable brother: the warres have lost a right wise and valiant commander, of long and much experience: the church, a truely religious and right christian childe, that did expresse in his life, what hee did professe with his lips, and was zealous for the truth and true religion: the common-wealth hath lost a prudent and faithful servant, a fayre limbe of state, of much use and worth : and the King hath lost a right trustie and serviceable subject of inestimable value, Sicinillo vno, non vnum, sed plures amissos requirumus: Thus in this one have we lost, not one, but many a one, many a worthy one. And therefore though his buriall be in comparison private, yet the bewalying of him is publike: and albeit his funerals be celebrated in (to speake without offence) a private corner, yet the lamentation for him runnes thorow the whole kingdome, which doth partake with us in the loss of so excellent a member of Christ, and so useful-a hand of state to the King and commonwealth. The losse then you see is publike, and toucheth all; the gaine is private, and is onely his owne.
“Hee is not to be sorrowed for, who hath fought the good fight, finished his course, and received his crowne: but our state is to be bewayled, who (besides the losse of him, and other excellent men now conquerours, and in heaven,) doe yet stand still in the battell, and are hourely soyled with our