Immagini della pagina
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

The next virtue, we are to make use of, is the gift of nonsense: For, perhaps, thou mayest not be a scholar, nor one of the num. ber of the learned, and it may concern thee to talk two hours to. gether; thou oughtest therefore to be well furnished with non. sense, that thou mayest be inabled to go through with thy work; to which purpose often repetitions, and telling of tales, do very much conduce; as when our departed brother told the story of his being in heaven and hell, and the tale of puss in her majesty.

The next gift is that of lying, which may be very profitable to thec, and whereof thou mayest make a very great advantage; for, if thou art bid to preach for the benefit of thy rulers, if then thou art furnished with soul-cousening doctrine; if then thou hast the right art of lying and wheedling the people, by telling them, that the cause thou speakest of is the only true cause, and that God will certainly own them in their obedience to it, then there will arise unto thee a very great emolument. With these arts our de. ceased brother furnished the parliament with basons, rings, and bodkins. Thus he, by telling them that Ireland was a place that flowed with milk and honey, and where broad-cloath of twelve shillings a yard grew upon the trees, inticed the soldiers over against the publick enemy. Thus we read in the fore-mentioned chapter of Gusman, how the same Spaniard, by relating the nobleness of his family, though he were but a cobler's son in Cordova, and by boasting of several great actions, which he never did, got of the said ambassador both money and his dinner. We find also Mr. Sterry practising this gift, when to ingratiate himself with his new master, our late protector, he assured him, that his father was sitting at the right hand of God, when most divines do affirm the contrary.

The next thing, requisite for a man that will make you of his time, is the gift of accusing and slandering: Knowest thou

man, that slanders are like the defilement of printers ink, easily laid on, but hard to rub off? If then thou seekest to work any one into disfavour with his superiors, that thou mayest obtain thy desired end, make thy first shot at him with the pot-guns of slauder; for the disgrace, thou throwest upon him, throws him out, and tosses thee into the haven of thy wishes. This our deceased brother never left accusing unsanctified Laud, till his head had satisfied his wrath; and the benevolences, which the professors bestowed on him out of his worldly profits, had appeased the hunger of his almost famished purse: Thus the brethren likewise accused the Lord Craven, being of the race of Ishmael, and got his estate.

Thy next gift is ignorance; for thou must know that there are few wise men in authority. Thinkest thou then, O foolish Gala

any man will advance such a one as is more cunning than himself? No, thou must at least pretend ignorance; and if, after such advancement, thou dost grow wiser than thy brethren, then, I say, 'make use of thy time, saith blessed Machiavel in his book of the Right Path to Preferment, “ Let erery man counterfeit that

but use

[ocr errors]

not, O

tian, that

humour which he finds most advantageous to his designs.” There. fore neither our deceased brother, nor any of his faithful brethren the triers, would advance those whom the heathen called the grave, learned, and wise, but the meanest of the people, that were of the simplest and weakest capacities. There came a learned man, and one of the weak brethren, and contended for a place; saith our deceased brother to him that was learned, “ What is faith?” Who answered himn discreetly, according to the learning of the schools. Then he demanded the same question of the other, who replied, " That faith was a sweet lullaby in the lap of Jesus Christ :” At which words our deceased brother, lifting up his hands to heaven, cried, “ Blessed be the Lord, who hath revealed these things unto the simple;" friend, thou, according to thy deserts, shalt have the living

The next thing important is the gift of cousening : for you know, my beloved, the common people are a simple sort of creatures, who must be deluded into their own good: Now their good is the good and safety of their governors : Do we not deceive children whom we would give physick unto, by anointing the brim of the cup with honey? So do we sweeten the bitter purges, which are the people's taxes and impositions, with the delicate allurements of liberty and religion. So our late Reverend Lord Oliver, of bles. sed memory, for whom our dear brother, the Lord reward his soul, hath pimped full often, as you may read in our dear sister Brisco's book of Divine Truth; so I say he, by cousening every body that he dealt with, by the right management, or the seasonable taking and breaking of his oaths and protestations, became a monarch. Thus did the devout Lazarillo cousen the priest his master of his bread: I shall give you his own words, L. I. c. 3. v. 11. I pray, my beloved, turn to the place and mark it, for it is a very precious test: Saith he, “ as I was musing how to get victuals, and feeding upon the sight of the chest wherein my mas. ter's bread was locked, there came a tinker to the door with a bunch of keys, who seemed to me to be an angel in disguise; said I to him, “have you a key that will open this chest ?' he assayed, and opened it, by which means I made many a fair loaf invisible, that my master never knew of.”

Another thing, mainly conducing to him that would make use of his time, is the gift of covetousness. Therefore, saith the text, of that blind hermit who was Lazarillo's master, that,, for all his gains, there was never a man so wretched a niggard. The reason thereof is, that there may come changes, and that the professors may

be forced to fly; it behoves them therefore, while they may, to make use of their time, that is, to hoard up and save against the day of adversity. You have the examples of most professors for it, whose doors we find continually shut, and never opening to the least expence of a crust, though a poor man should beg his heart out. This makes us not to be content with our livings, but to set up lectures and private congregations, which bringeth in unspeak. able profit: Not content with this, some of our brethren sitting in

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

the triers chair, which is the seat of authority, have privately taken to themselves the rewards of well-doing, loth to spoil the charity of men, by receiving tankards of silver, rundlets of sack, and sometimes ready money; the Lord of his mercy make them thank. ful. Our deceased brother was a mighty admirer of canes with silver heads, and, making his admiration known, he profited exceedingly.

The last important gift is the gift of hypocrisy. The reason hereof is, that he, who will compass a design, must go the best way he can to do it. Now he, that cannot get his ends by force, must seek to attain them by cunning; but it is found, that, in these days, there is no cunning like that of seeming godly, as Mr. Sedgewick hath well observed, in his book of Spiritual Experiences ; therefore is this gift very necessary: For which cause saith Tibe. rius, the best of christian emperors, that he, who knows not to dissemble, knows not to rule; and with him accords our brother Spurstow, in his book of The Privileges of the Saints. All the world knows how conducing it was, both to our deceased brother, and his dear Master, and what advantages they got thereby; I shall not, therefore, insist any more upon further examples.

Having thus made out, by reason and example, that it is the duty of every professor, while he lives in this world, to make use of his time, and the means and ways how to do it, I shall now proceed to the application. Is it so then, that every professor ought to make use of his time? Then let this serve for an use of exhortation, to exhort every one of you to make the best use of your time; that is to say, get money, get estates, get friends at court, and labour to enjoy the promises; the fät of the land, my beloved, is your fee-simple, therefore let not Canaan be taken from you. If your rulers would have you worship them, and adore them, do so, beloved, for they are gods, and ye ought to do so: If they would have you preach false doctrine, and deceive the people, do so; it is their interest, and, if their's, your's also : Do not they feed you, and clothe you, and put you into fat }ivings? Be therefore obedient to them in all things. If they would have you procure, procure for them, as your deceased brother did before you, and went down unto his grave in peace. Aye but some will say, these things are unlawful. But hear what saith our dear bro. ther Horace of sacred memory: In vetitum nefas ruimus: We ought to run into that, from which we are forbidden. To confirm this, I shall only give you two or three motives, and so conclude: First, from the inconveniencies following the neglect of your duty; and, secondly, from the conveniencies that hang upon it, even as pears hang upon a tree at the latter end of the summer. The in conveniencies, arising from the neglect of our duty, are poverty and necessity ; therefore Gusman, being in great want, and find. ing that brick bats were too hard to feed on, and that the rafters of a house were not to be roasted, thought there was no better way to thrive, than by becoming a churchman; for, saith he, then shall I have something to eat, kaowing well, that a Dominus vobiscum

never tasted of hunger. Again, if thou wert married, and thy wife should see her neighbours go finer than she, and should complain, and thou not be able to supply her, would it not be a great trouble and vexation of spirit to thee to hear the clamours of thy dear consort? The next motive is the folly and indiscretion, that men would justly accuse you of, that, when it is in your power to make use of your time, you should be such wood-cocks-combs as to refuse it. The conveniencies arising are, first, the respect of men; secondly, the respect of women; and, thirdly, the certain gain and profit, which have always belonged unto us. For, if you make use of your time, men will respect you, worship you, and place you uppermost at their meetings, while you sit a-straddle upon their consciences, as Balaam rid upon his ass, without the least wincing, or contradiction at all. The women will feast you, and cram not only your bellies, but your purses; nor shall there be a good bit eaten at the table of their husbands, of which you shall not partake, to the great envy of the wicked. When you come down sweating from your pulpits, they will put you into warm beds, and rub over your weary limbs with their soft and tender hands; and, my beloved, these are precious, I say, precious enjoyments. Therefore I shall conclude, in the words of my text, Let

US, while we live, make use of our time, taking for our pat. tern the life and manners of our deceased brother here before us; of whom, that I may make him a short encomium, I shall


thus much; That, from his youth, he followed the calling of the ministry ; and, because then the wicked prevailed, and he was a sufferer, he went about, giving consolation to those that suffered for theft, and such-like criminal offences. Afterwards he travelled, and, as he found occasion, sowed his seed, sometimes in fruitful, sometimes in barren soils; and I may say this of him, that, while he lived, such was his zeal, he laid many a whore of Babylon on her back. When the faithful began to exalt their horns in this pa. tion, he was a great fomenter of the quarrel, and gave occasion to the rest of his brethren to fish in troubled waters. To his prince he was a great assistance in all his designs, laying aside that no. tional impediment of a statesman, called Conscience, that he might be the more serviceable to his country. His charity was not un. known, he giving two notable examples thereof, in his relieving our two dear sisters, the butcher's wife and Mrs. Littleton, in both their afflictions. He died not without associates to accompany him to his last rest; for, as I am informed, on that night, that he departed, departed also a dear brother and sister of our's, the hangman and Moll Cutpurse. He was at first unwilling to die, know. ing what comforts he left behind him; but, seeing there was no remedy, he leaned his head on the pillow, and peaceably yielded up the ghost. When Tyribazus, a noble Persian, was arrested, at the first he drew his sword and defended himself; but, when they charged him in the king's name, then he yielded himself willingly. So, when death arrested our dear brother, at first he started and struggled, as a man shrinks at his first putting his feet into the cold water; but, when he recollected his thoughts, and considered, that death was sent to him as a messenger to bring him to eternity, he embraced it; and he went to his long home as willingly, as a young bride goeth from her friends into the country with her newmarried spouse.

And thus, having tired your patience, before, which time we never use to make an end, I shall conclude, still desiring you not to forget the example of our departed brother, and the words of my text: Let us, while we live, make use of our time; for the life of mun is ended in a day.





Semper ego auditor tantum ? nunquamne reponam
Vexatus toties ?
Si natura negat, facit indignatio
Omne tulit punctum qui iniscuit utile dulci.

London: Printed in the year 1659. Quarto, containing eight pages.


it Copernicus, who held that the world turns round, should be established by act of parliament, which our late changes, alterations, and revolutions, in part have veriled; and that Tycho Brache, with the gang of the contrary opinion, be adjudged heterodoxal; and that from henceforth it be enacted, that what persons soever do profess, publish, or hold-forth any other tenent contrary thereunto, be adjudged Anathema, Maranatha, and that publick thanks be given to Vincent Wing, for the great pains he took in the composure of that excellent piece called Harmonicon Coleste?

II. Whereas it is humbly conceived fit by Machiavel and his pupils, that all the gangrened members of the body politick be cut off, lest putrefaction of the whole should ensue: It is therefore worthy the consideration, whether it be not expedient to employ an ambassador to the man in the moon, to procure habitations for our new courtiers (greater antipodes to the present government, than the old constant cavaliers ?) And, for the better effecting thereof, it is deemed necessary, that the great clerk, Doctor Wil. kins, warden of Wadham college in Oxon, in regard he hath the greatest knowledge in that new plantation, be desired, with all speed, to provide his winged chariot for their convenient carriage,

« IndietroContinua »