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But they that will ftill go on in their fins, and be fo partial to them as to use all endeavours to strengthen themselves in their evil course, even by these very things which the providence of God sets before them for the casting down of these strong holds of fin; what is to be said to such? It is to be feared, that, if they obstinately per fift, they will by degrees come within that curse, He that is unjust, let him be unjust fill: and be that is filthy, let him be filthy fill. But, if our Gospel is hid, it is hid to them that are lof, in whom the God of this world bath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lef the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, jould bine unto them.
Who died at Woodstock-Park, the 26th of July,
1680, and was buried at Spilfbury, in Oxfordfhire, the gth Day of August.
By ROBERT PARSONS, M. A. Chaplain to the
Right Honourable Anne Countess of Rochester..
All the lewd and profane poems and libels of the late Lord Rochester having been (contrary to his dying request, and in defiance of religion, government, and common decency) published to the world; and (for the easier and furer propagation of vice) printed in penny-books, and cried about the streets of this honourable city, without any offence or dislike taken at them : it is humbly hoped that this short difcourse, which gives a true account of the death and repentance of that noble lord, may likewise (for the sake of his name) find a favourable reception among such persons ; though the influence of it cannot be supposed to reach as far as the poison of the other books is spread; which, by the strength of their own virulent corruption, are capable of doing more mifchief than alt the plays, and fairs, and ftews, in and about this town can do together.
LU KE XV. 7.
I say unto you, that likewise joy hall be in heaven over
one finner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just perfons that need no repentance.
F ever there were a subject that might deserve
and exhauft all the treasures of religious eloquence in the description of so great a man, and so great a sinner, as now lies before us; together with the wonders of the Divine Goodness, in ma. king him as great a penitent ; I think the present occasion affords one as remarkable as any place or age can produce.
Indeed, so great and full a matter it is, that it is too big to come out of my mouth, and perhaps not all of it fit or needful so to do. The greatness of his parts. are well enough known, and of his. fins too well in the world, and neither my capacity, nor experience, nor my profeffion, will allow me to be fo proper a judge either of the one or the other. Only as God has been pleased to make me a long while a fad spectator and a secret mourner for his fins, so has he at last graciously heard the prayers of his nearest relations and true friends for bis: conversion and repentance : and it is the good tidings of that especially, which God has done for his soul, that I am now to publish and tell abroad to the world, not
only by the obligations of mine office, in which I had the honour to be a weak minister to it, but by his own express and dying commands.
Now, although to describe this worthily would require a wit equal to that with which he lived, and a devotion too equal to that with which he died, and to match either would be a very hard talk; yet, besides that I am not sufficient for these things, (for who is ?) and that my thoughts have been rather privately busied to secure a real repentance to himfelf whilf living than to publish it abroad to others in an artificial dress after he is dead : I fay, befides all this, I think I fall have lefs need to call in the aids of fecular eloquence. The proper habit of repentance is not fine linen, or any delicate array, such as are used in the court, or king's houses, but fackcloth and afhes : and the way, which God Almighty takes to convey it, is not by the words of man's wisdom, but by the plainness of his written word, assisted by the inward power and demonftration of the Spirit: and the effects it works, and by which it discovers itself, are not any raptures of wit and fancy, but the moft humble proftrations both of soul and spirit, and the captivating all human imaginations to the obedience of a despifed religion and a crucified Saviour.
And it is in this array I intend to bring out this penitent to you; an array which I am sure he more