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ty, except this, that fuch perfons are bound by a certain kind of neceffity, not to degenerate from the probity, or stain the glory of their ancestors. But alas! how many in our times, have not only expofed Christianity to contempt, but obscured * the glory of their own families, and the kingdom in which they had their birth and breeding; fo that if you will take right marks of your way to heaven you will have little direction from thofe of your own rank, but as † mariners take their direction at fea, by looking up to the heavens, fo muft you. In this general corruption it is very hard to escape infection; (many as Salvian complained) are compelled to be evil, left they should be accounted vile, and incur the offence of God, to avoid the flights and cenfures of men. Although there is no more reason why they should be offended at the rational and religious picafures, you, and other pious gentlemen take in the ways of godliness, than there is, that you should envy the finful pleasures they take in the ways of wickedness. It was an excellent apology, that Tertullian made for the Chriftians of his time, against the Gentiles, "Wherein (faith § he) do we offend you, if we believe "there are other pleafures? If we will not partake with you in your delights, it is only our own injury: we reject your plea"fures, and you are not delighted with ours."

But by how much the infection fpreads and prevails among

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quadam neceffitate conftringuntur, ne ab antiquorum probitate dés generent. Hieron.

* God grant that the end propofed may be obtained, that the an cient and truly venerable nobility may at length return, who by the honour of prudence and knowledge, and luftre of renowned deeds, may obfcure the fame of progenitors, and quite remove and wipe off the ftain brought on its auguft name. Humph. on Nobility.

In the fame manner, you ought to feek the path of life, that the mariners at sea feek the defigned courfe for their fhips, who, if they obferve not fome luminary in the heavens, fteer but an uncertain courfe, but whofoever is refolved to keep in the right path of life, must not look down to the earth but to heaven; and (to fpeak more plainly) he ought not to follow men but God; therefore if thou would't always keep thine eyes fixed on heaven, and obferve the fun whence he arifeth, and take him as thy guide, thy feet of themselves will keep ftraight in the way. Lactant. lib. 1. c. 8.

Mall effe coguntur ne viles habeantur. Salv. de Gubernat.

Quo vos offendimus fi alias præfumimus voluptates ? fi oblee tari nolumus, noftra injuria eft: reprobamus quæ placent vobis, Rec vos noftra delectant. Tertul. Apolog, adv. Gent.


thofe of your order, by fo much the more we have reason to va lue you, and all thofe that remain found and untainted, both in religion and morality, as perfons worthy of fingular respect and honour and bleffed be God there is yet a number of fuch left.

Sir, It was a fpecial happiness, which Chryfoftom earnestly recommended to perfons of quality, that they would fo order their converfations, that their parents, might rather glory in them, than they in their parents; "Otherwife (faith * he) it is "better to rife to honour, from a contemptible parent, than to "be contemptible from an honourable parent ;" but bleffed be God, you and your worthy anceflors, mutually reflect honour upon each other.

Had God fuffered you to degenerate, as many do, it would have been but a poor confolation to have faid, My progenitors were men of honour, the love and delight of their country. This, as one excellently expreffeth it, would be the fame thing, as if one that is blind himself, fhould boast what à sharp and piercing fight his father had; or one that is lame himfelf, fhould glory in thofe feats of activity his grandfather performed; but God (to whose bounty therefore you are doubly obliged) hath made you the inheritor of their virtues, as well as of their lands, and therein fulfilled many thoufand prayers, which have been poured out to God upon your account. But I must forbear, left I provoke others to envy, and draw upon myself the fufpicion of flattery. What hath been already faid, may ferve for a fufficient reafon of this dedication. I know the ‡ agreeableness of such difcourfes, to the pious difpofitions of your fouls, is of itself fufficient to make it welcome to you. It is a treatise of Chrift, yea, of the method of grace, in the applicati

* Melius eft de contemptibili fieri clarum, quam de claro genere contemptibilem effe, Chryfoft. în Mat. 4. Nec fieri poteft quin hunc comitetur ignobilitas etiamfi vel avis, vel proavis natus fit vita in culpatis, qui ab eorum ftudiis alienus eft, feque longiffime tum dictis, tum factis a nobilitate disjungit.

† What profit is the sharp-fightedness of ancestors to the offspring, which is deprived of fight? What help can it give the man that is dumb, for attaining the power of speech, that his parents and grandfathers had the voice of orators? In like manner, just parents cannot help their unjust children; nor the temperate, those who are luxurious nor at any rate, can the good communicate goodness to the bad. Philo. περι Ευγένειας.

When the mind of the hearer is good and gracious, it easily affents to fpeeches of truth. Chryfoft. Hom. 26. in Mat.

on of Christ; than which no subject can be more necessary to tudy, or fweet to experience. * All goodness is attractive, how powerfully attractive then muft Jefus Chrift be, who is the ocean of all goodnefs, from whom all streams off goodness are derived, and into whom, they all empty themselves? + If Pindarus could fay of the lovely Theoxenus, that whofoever faw that auguft and comely face of his, and was not surprised with amazement, and inflamed with love, must have an heart of adamant or brafs, what then shall we refemble that man's heart unto, that hath no ferverous affections kindled in it by the incomparable beauty of Chrift! a beauty, which excels in luftre and brightness, that visible light which fo dazzles our eyes , as that light doth darkness itfelf; as Plato fpeaks of the divine light Chrift is υπερβαλλοντως καλος, an inexpreffible beauty, and all other beauties are but unov, xas σxia an image, nay, a fhadow of his beauty. How was holy Ignatius ravished with desires after Chrift, when he cried out, O how I long to be thrown into the jaws of those lions, which I hear roaring for me! and if they will not dispatch me the fooner, xai @poobiaσojai, I will en force them to it by violence, that I may enjoy the fight of my blessed Jesus. O my heart, (faith || another) how is it thou art not drawn up by the very root, by thy defires after Chrift? The neceffity, and the trial of our union with, and interest in, this lovely LORD JESUS, is the main fubject of this difcourfe. Without the perfonal application of Chrift by faith, our hopes of heaven are but deluding dreams, Heb. iii. 11. "I fware in my "wrath, XuGovtar, if they shall enter into my rest:" What then? Nay, there is all: but it is a dreadful Apofiopefis (as one calls it) fuch a paufe, as may justly shake every vein of the unbeliever's heart: If they fhall enter; as if he had faid, If ever they come into my glory, then fay, I am no God, for I have fworn the contrary.


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* Ουδεν αλλο εσιν και ερωσιν άνθρωποι η τι αγαθε ανελκει πάντα καὶ α νασπα ταις οικείαις ελαμψεσιν ως ηλιος. Plato.

† Ακτίνας προσωπο μαρμαρτιζὅσας δρακεις ος μη ποθω κυμαίνεται, ως αδάμαντος.

†' Το νοητον φως, το αρχέτυπον σαν]ων τοσότῳ το ορατό λαμπρότερον τε και αυξοειδες ερον ώσπερ ηλιος σκοτες. Plato.

5. Ο εμος έρως ες αύρωται και εκ εςιν εν έμοι το πυρ το φιλουλον, αλλ υδωρ αλλομενον, &c. ωναιμήν των θηρίων, ίνα το Ιησέ Χρισε επιτυχω. Ignatii Epift.

O cor meum quomodo non te evellis poft tantum decorem? Nieremberg. Vivere renuo, ut Chrifto vivam...

I will not be tirefome, but conclude all in a few requests to you and to God for you both. That which I request of you is,

(1.) That you will fearch and try your own hearts by these truths, especially now, when fo great trials are like to be made of every man's root and foundation in religion. Account that your first work, which Bellarmine calls the first error of

Proteftants," to make fure your intereft in Chrift; *every thing is as its foundation is: a true diamond will endure the Imarteft ftroke of the hammer, but a falfe one will fly.

(2.) That you be humble under all that dignity and honour, which God hath put upon you; be ye cloathed with humility, It was the glory of the primitive Chriftians, that they + did not fpeak but live great things: humility will be the luftre of your other excellencies: eftates and honours are but appendants and fine trappings, which add not any real worth, yet ‡ how are fome vain minds puffed up with these things! But ye have not fo learned Chrift.

(3.) That you fteadily perfevere in thofe good ways of God, in which you have walked, and beware of heart, or life apoftacy, You expect happiness whilst God is in heaven, and God expects holiness from you whilft you are one earth. It was an excellent truth which Toffanus § recommended to his pofterity in his last-will and teftament, from his own experience: "I beseech "you (faith he) my dear children and kindred, that you never be afhamed of the truths of the gospel, either by reasons of "fcandals in the church, or perfecutions upon it; truth may la"bour for a time, but cannot be conquered; and I have often "found God to be wonderfully prefent with them that walk be"fore him in truth, though for a time they may be opposed "with troubles and calumnies,"


*Primus Hæreticorum error eft, poffe fideles eam notitiam habere de fua gratia, ut serta fide ftatuant fibi remissa esse peccata. Bellarm. de Juft. lib. 3. cap. 3.

+ Non elaquimur magna, fed vivimus. Tertul. Apolog.

They report that Bucephalus without his furniture, would fuffer a groom on his back, but when dreffed with royal trappings and ftudded bridles, would fuffer none to mount him but the king him · felf; fo it is truly the cafe with these upftart nobles among us, &c. Obtefter etiam vos liberos, et generos cariffimos ne illius veritaris evangelicae unquam vos pudeat: poteft enim laborate, fed non vinci veritas: et non femel expertus fum Dominum Deum mirabiliter adeffe iis qui coram ipfo ambulunt, et in fua vocatione fedulo et integre verfantur ; licet ad tempus, odiis, aut fimultatibus, aut çalumniis agitentur. Melch. Adamus, in vita Toffani,

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(4) Laftly, That you keep a strict and conftant watch over your own hearts, left they be enfoared by the tempting, charming, and dangerous fnares, attending a full and eafy condition in the world. There are temptations fuited to all conditions. Those that are poor and low in estate and reputation, are tempt ed to cozen, cheat, lie, and flatter, and all to get up to the mount of riches and honours; but thofe that were born upon that mount, tho' they be more free from thofe temptations, yet lic expofed to others no lefs dangerous, and therefore we find, “ Not แ many mighty, not many noble are called," 1 Cor i. 26. Many great and stately fhips, which fpread much fail, and draw much water, perish in the ftorms, when small barks creep along the fhore under the wind, and get fafe into their port. Never aim at an higher ftation in this world, than that you are in : Some have withed in their dying hour, they had been lower, but no wife man ever wished himself at the top of honour, at the brink of eternity.

I will conclude all with this hearty with for you that as God hath fet you in a capacity of much service for him in your generation, so your hearts may be enlarged for God accordingly; that you may be very inftrumental for his glory on earth, and may go fafe, but late to heaven. That the bleffings of heaven may be multiplied upon you both, and your hopeful springing branches; and that you may live to fee your childrens children, and peace upon Ifrael. In a word, that God will follow thefe truths in your hands with the bleffing of his Spirit; and that the manifold infirmities of him that minifters them, may be po prejudice or bar to their fuccefs with you, or any into whose hands they shall come; which is the hearty defire of

Your most faithful Friend,

and Servant in CHRIST,


* Hermanus, when dying, bewailed, that he had bestowed more time and pains on his palace than on the temple of God, and encoùraged the luxury and wickedness of the court, which he ought to have restrained: Thus, with much grief for fin, his hope of mercy from God greatly wavering, by-ftanders being filled with great horror, and himfelf doubtful of his ftate, his foul entered into eternity. Hift. Bohem. lib. IIA

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