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Universitie Divines especially, are prohibited “all curious search, to print or preach, or draw the Article aside by our own sence and Comments, upon pain of Ecclesiastical censure," I will surcease, and conclude with * Erasmus of such controversies: Pugnet qui volet, ego censco leges majorum reverenter suscipiendas, & religiosè observandas, velut à Deo profectas ; nec esse tutum, nec esse pium, de potestate publica sinistram concipere aut serere suspitionem. Et siquid est tyrannidis, quod tamen non cogat ad impietatem, satius est ferre, quàm seditiose reluctari.
But to my former taske. The last main torture and trouble of a distressed mind, is not so much this doubt of Election, and that the promises of grace are smothered and extinct in them, nay quite blotted out, as they suppose, but withall God's heavy wrath, a most intolerable pain and grief of heart seiseth on them: to their thinking they are already damned, they suffer the pains of hell, and more then possibly can be expressed, they smell brimstone, talk fainiliarly with divels, hear and see Chimeraes, prodigious, uncouth shapes, Bears, Owls, Antiques, black dogs, feinds, hideous outcries, fearfull noises, shreeks, lamentable complaints, they are possessed, and through impatience they roar and howl, curse, blaspheme, deny God, call his power in question, abjure religion, and are still ready to offer violence unto themselves, by hanging, drowning, &c. Never any miserable wretch from the begin. ning of the world, was in such a wofull case. To such persons I oppose God's mercy and his justice; Judicia Dei occulta, non injusta : his secret counsell and just judgement, by which he spares some, and sore afflicts others again in this life; his judgement is to be adored, trenibled at, not to be searched or enquired after by mortall men: he hath reasons reserved to himself, which our frailty cannot apprehend. He may punish all if he will, and that justly for sin; in that he doth it in some, is to make a way for his mercy that they repent and be saved, to heal them, to try them, exercise their patience, and make them call upon him, to confess their sins and pray unto him, as David did, Psal. 119. 137. “ Righteous art thou, O Lord, and just are thy judgements.” As the poor publican, Luke 18. 13. “ Lord have mercy upon me a miserable sinner." To put confidence and have an assured hope in hiin, as Job had, 13. 15. “ Though he kill me I will trust in him:" Ure, seca, occide 0 Domine, (saith Austin) modo serves animam, kill, cut in pieces, burn my body (Lord) to save my soul. A
* Epist. Erasmi de utilitate Colloquior. ad lectorem. Vastatâ conscientia sequitur scapus iræ divinæ. (Hemingius) fremitus cordis, ingens animæ cruciatus, &c.
small sickness; one lash of affliction, a little miserie many times will more humiliate a man, sooner convert, bring him home to know himself, than all those parænetical discourses, the whole Theory of Philosophy, Law, Physick and Divinity, or a world of instances and examples. So that this, which they take to be such an insupportable plague, is an evident sign of God's mercie and justice, of his love and goodness : periissent nisi periässent, had they not thus been undone, they had finally been undone. Many a carnall man is lulled asleep in perverse securitie, foolish presumption, is stupified in his sins, and hath no feeling at all of them : “I have sinned (he saith) and what evill shall come unto me," Eccles. 5. 4. and " tush, how shall God know it?” And so in a reprobate sense goes down to hell. But here, Cnythius aurem vellit, God pulls them by the ear, by affliction, he will bring them to heaven and happiness; " Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted," Matth. 5. 4. a blessed and an happy state, if considered aright, it is, to be so troubled. “ It is good for me that I have been afflicted,” Psal. 119. “ before I was afflicted I went astray; but now I keep thy word. Tribulation works patience, patience hope.” Rom. 5. 4, and by such like crosses and calami. ties we are driven from the stake of security. So that afflic. tion is a School or Academy, wherein the best Schollers are prepared to the commencements of the deity. And though it be most troublesome and grievous for the time, yet know this, it comes by God's permission and providence, he is a spectator of thy groans and tears, still present with thee, the very hairs of thy head are numbred, not one of them can fall to the ground, without the express will of God: he will not suffer thee to be tempted above measure, he corrects us all, * nu. mero, pondere, & mensura, The Lord will not quench the smoaking flax, or break the bruised reed, Tentat (saith Austin) non ut obruat, sed ut coronet, he suffers thee to be tempted for thy good. And as a mother doth handle her child sick and weak, not reject it, but with all tenderness observe and keep it, so doth God by us, not forsake us in our miseries, or relinquish us for our imperfections, but with all piety and compassion support and receive us; whoin he loves, he loves to the end. Rom. 8. “ Whom he hath elected, those he hath called, justified, sanctified, and glorified,” Think not then thou hast lost the spirit, that thou art forsaken of God, be not overcome with heaviness of heart, but as David said, “I will not fear though I walk in the shadows of death.” We must all go, non à delitiis ad delitias, but from the cross to the crown, by hell to heaven, 'as the old Romans put vertue's Tein
ple in the way to that of honour : we must endure sorrow and miserie in this life. 'Tis no new thing this, God's best servants and dearest children have been so visited and tryed. Christ in the garden cryed out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me :" his son by nature as thou art by adoption and grace. Job, in his anguish, said, “ The arrows of the Almighty God were in him," Job. 6.4. “ His terrors foughtagainst him, the venom drank up his spirit,” cap. 13. 26. He saith, “ God was his enemie, writ bitter things against him, (16.9.) hated him." His heavy wrath had so seized on his soul. David complains, “ His eyes were eaten up, sunk into his head," Ps. 6. 7. “ His moisture became as the drought in Summer, his flesh was consumed, his bones vexed :" yet neither Job nor David did finally despaire. Job would not leave his hold, but still trust in him, acknowledging him to be his good God. “ The Lord gives, the Lord takes, blessed be the name of the Lord,” Job 1, 21. “ Behold I am vile, I abhor my self, repent in dust and ashes,” Job 39. 37. David humbled himself, Psal. 31. and upon his confession received mercy. Faith, hope, repentance, are the soveraign cures and remedies, the sole comforts in this case; confess, humble thy self, repent, it is sufficient. Quod purpura non potest, saccus potest, saith Chrysostome; the King of Ninive's Sackcloth and ashes did that which his purple robes and crown could not effect ; quod diadema non potuit, cinis perfecit. Turn to him, he will turn to thee; the Lord is neer those that are of a contrite heart, and will save such as be afflicted in spirit, Psal. 34. 18. “ He came to the lost sheep of Israel,” Mat. 15. 14. Si cadentem intuetur, clementice manum protendit, he is at all times ready to assist. Nunquam spernit Deus Penitentiam, si sincerè & simplicitèr offeratur, he never rejects a penitent sinner, though he have come to the full height of iniquity, wallowed and delighted in sin ; yet if he will forsake his former waies, libenter amplexatur, he will receive him. Par. can huic homini, saith * Austin, (e.c persona Dei, quia sibi ipsi non pepercit; ignoscam quia peccatum agnovit. I will spare him because he hath not spared himself; I will pardon hiin, because he doth acknowledge his offence; let it be never so enormous a sin, “his grace is sufficient,” 2 Cor. 12. 9. Despaire not then, faint not at all, be not dejected, but rely on God, call on him in thy trouble, and he will heare thee, he will assist, help, and deliver thee; “ Draw near to him, he will draw near to thee," Jam. 4. 8. Lazarus was poor and
* Suner Psal. 52. Convertar ad liberandum oum, quia conversus est ad peccatum sirum puniendum.
full of boyles, and yet still he relied upon God, Abraham did hope beyond hope.
Thou exceptest, these were chief men, divine spirits, Deo chari, beloved of God, especially respected; but I am a contemptible and forlorne wretch, forsaken of God, and left to the merciless fury of evil spirits. I cannot hope, pray, repent, &c. How often shall I say it! thou maist performe all these duties, Christian offices, and be restored in good time. A sick man loseth his appetite, strength and ability, his disease prevaileth so far, that all his faculties are spent, hand and foot performe not their duties, his eyes are dimme, hearing dull, tongue distasts things of pleasant relish, yet nature lies hid, recovereth again, and expelleth all those fæculent matters by vomit, sweat, or some such like evacuations. Thou art spiritually sick, thine heart is heayy, thy mind distressed, thou maist happily recover again, expell those dismal passions of fear and grief; God did not suffer thee to be tempted above measure ; whom he loves (I say) he loves to the end; Hope the best. David in his misery prayed to the Lord, remembring how he had formerly dealt with him; and with that meditation of God's mercy confirmed his faith, and pacified his own tumultuous heart in his greatest agony. “O my soul, why art thou so disquieted within me,” &c. Thy soul is eclipsed for a time, I yeeld, as the Sun is shadowed by a cloud; no doubt but those gratious beams of God's mercy will shine upon thee again, as they have formerly done: those embers of faith, hope and re. pentance, now buried in ashes, will flame out afresh, and be fully revived. Want of faith, to feeling of grace for the present, are not fit directions; we must live by faith, not by feeling ; 'tis the beginning of grace to wish for grace: we must expect and tarry. David, a man after God's own heart, was so troubled himself; “ Awake, why sleepest thou? O Lord, arise, cast me not off; wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest inine affliction and oppression? My soul is bowed down to the dust. Arise, redeem us,” &c. Psal. 44. 22. He prayed long before he was heard, expectans expectavit; endured much before he was relieved, Psal. 69. 3. He coinplains, “ I am weary of crying, and my throat is dry, mine eyes fail, whilst I wait on the Lord;” and yet he perseveres. Be not dismayed, thou shalt be respected at last. God often works by contrarieties, he first kils and then makes alive, he woundeth first and then healeth, he makes man sow in tears that he may reap in joy; 'tis God's method : He that is so visited, must with patience endure and rest satisfied for the present. The Paschal Lamb was eaten with sowr hearbs; we shall feel no sweetness of his blood, till we first feel the sinart of our sins. Thy paines are great, intolerable for the time; Q93
thou art destitute of grace and comfort, stay the Lord's leasure, he will not (I say) suffer thee to be tempted above that thou art able to bear, i Cor. 10. 13. but will give an issue to temptation. He works all for the best to them that love God, Rom. 8. 28. Doubt not of thine election, it is an imınutable decree; a mark never to be defaced: you have been otherwise, you may and shall be. And for your present affliction, hope the best, it will shortly end. “He is present with his servants in their affliction,” Ps. 91.15. “Great are the troubles of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth thein out of all.” Psal. 34. 19. “ Our light affliction which is but for a moment, worketh in us an eternal weight of glory,” 2 Cor,-4. 17. “ Not answerable to that glory which is to come; though now in heaviness,” saith 1 Pet. 1. 6. “ you shall rejoyce."
Now last of all to those external impediments, terrible objects, which they hear and see many times, divels, bugbears, and Mormeluches, noysome smels, &c. These may come, as I have formerly declared in my precedent discourse of the Symptomes of Melancholy, from inward causes; as a concave glass reflects solid bodies, a troubled brain for want of sleep, nutriment, and by reason of that agitation of spirits to which Hercules de Saxonia attributes all Symptomes almost, may reflect and shew prodigious shapes, as our vain fear and crased phantasie shall suggest and faign, as many silly weak women and children in the dark, sick folks, and frantick for want of repast and sleep, suppose they see that they see not: Many times such terriculaments inay proceed from natural causes, and all other senses may be deluded. Besides, as I have said, this humour is Balneun Diaboli, the divel's bath, by reason of the distemper of humours, and infirm Organs in us: he may so possess us inwardly to molest us, as he did Saul and others, by God's permission; he is Prince of the Ayr, and can transform himself into several shapes, delude all our senses for a time, but his power is determined, he may terrifie us, but not hurt; God hath given “his Angels charge over us, he is a wall round about his people,” Psal. 91. 11. 12. There be those that prescribe Physick in such cases, 'tis God's instrument and not unfit. The divel works by mediation of humours, and mixt diseases must have mixt remedies. Levinus Lemnius cap. 57. & 58. exhort. ad vit. ep. instit. is very copious in this subject, besides that chief remedy of confidence in God, prayer, hearty repentance, &c. of which for your comfort and instruction, read Lavater de spectris part. 3. cap. 5. & 6 Wierus de prestigiis dæmonum lib. 5. to Philip Melancthon, and others, and that Christian armour which Paul prescribes; he sets down certain Amulets, hearbs, and pretious stones, which have marvelous vertues all profligandis demonibus, to drive away Divels