OESJD I.4; on Prov. 8.17

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The Text
I loue them, that love mee & they
that seek
me Earlye shall finde mee
Pro: 8: 17

As the prophetts and other Secretaryes of the Holye Ghost in penning the Bookes of Scripture doe for the most parte retayne and expresse in their writting Some impressions, and some ayre of their form[er] p[ro]fessions, (those that had bene bred in Cou[r]te or Cittyes those that had bene Shepehards and Heardesmen, Those that had bene Fishers, and soe of the rest) ever inserting into their writtings, Some Phrases, Some Metaphors, Some allutions taken from that p[ro]fession wch they exercised before, Soe that Soule, that hath bene transported vppon any perticuler worldlye pleasure, when it is entirelye turned vpon God, & ye Contemplac[i]ons of his alsufficiencye and abundance, doth finde in god fitt Subiects & iust occasions to exercise the same affections pyouslye & Religiouslye wch had before soe sinnefullye Transported and posest it, A Covetuous Person whoe is now truelye converted to god, he will exercise A Spirrituall Covetuousnes still, hee will desire to haue him all: he will haue good Securitye, the Seale and assurance of the Holy Ghost, & he will haue his Securitye often renued, by newe testimonyes and encreases of those graces in him, he will haue wittnesses ynowe, he will haue the testimonye of all the world by his good liffe and Conversation, hee will gaine everye waye at Gods hand, he will haue wages of god for he will be his Steward, he will haue a
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portion from god for he will be his Sonne, he will haue a Reu[er]tion, he will be sure that his name is in the booke of liffe, Hee will haue Pawnes the Seale of the Sacraments. Naye he will haue a present possession. All that God hath p[ro]mised, All that Christ hath p[u]rchased, All that the holye Ghost hath the Stewardshipp and dispensac[i]on of, he will haue all in pr[e]sent, by the appropriac[i]on and investiture of an actuall and applying Faithe/

A Coveteous person converted wilbe spirritually covetuous Still, Soe will a voluptuous man whoe is turned to God fynd plentye and delitiousnes enough in him, to feed his Soule, as with marrow and wth fatnes as Dauid expresses it, And soe an angrye & passionate man will fynd zeale enough in the house of God to eate him vpp, All affecc[i]ons wch are comon to all men and those to which in perticuler, p[ar]ticuler men haue bene addicted vnto shall not onlye be iustlye employed, because wee cannot exceed nor goe to farr in employinge them

Colos:1: According to this Rule St Paule whoe had bene Soe vehement a p[er]secutor had ever his thoughts exercised vpon that and therefore after his conversion, he fullfills the rest of the Sufferinges of Christ in his Flesh, he Suffers most, he makes most menc[i]on of his Sufferings of any the Apostles, And according to this Rule too Solomon, whose disposition was amorous, and excessiue in the loue of women, when he turned to god he departed not vtterlye from his old Prase and Language, but having put a newe and Spirrituall tincture, and forme and habit into all his thoughts and wordes he conveyes all his loving approches and approbac[i]ons to god, and all gods gracious answeares to his amorous Soule into Songs and Epithalmions and meditac[i]ons vpon Contracts and marriages betweene god and his Church and god and his Soule as wee see soe evidentlye in all his other writtings, and perticulerlye in my Text I loue them etc In wch wordes is expressed all that belongeth to love, All wch is to desire and enioye wthout for, to desire wth out fruition is a Rage, and to enioye with out desire is a Stupiditye, In the first alone wee thinke of nothing but that wch wee then would haue, And in the Second alone wee care not for it when wee haue it. In the First wee are wthout it, In the Seconde wee are as good as if we were wthout it, for wee haue noe pleasure in it Nothing then can giue vs satisfacc[i]on, but where these two p co[n]curre August: Amare & frui In sensuall love it is soe Quid erat quod me delectabat misi amare, et amari. I  tooke noe ioye in this world but in loving & being loved. In sensuall loue it is soe, but in sensuall love when wee are come soe farr, there is noe satisfacc[i]on in yt, The same Father Confesses more of himselfe, then any Com[m]ission, any oath woulde haue put him too, Amatus sum et p[er]ueni occulte ad fruendum, I had all I desired, and I had it wth that advantage of having it secretlye, but what got I by all that vt Cæderer virgis ardentibus ferris zeli suspicionem vt rixarum, Nothing but to be scourged wth burning Iron Rodds/ Rodds of Iealousye and suspition, & of quarrells. But in the loue, and enioying of this Text, there is noe Rome for Iealeousye nor suspic[i]on nor quarrellsome complayning

Diuisio In this Text then you maye be pleased to consider these
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two thinges Quid amare Quid frui what the affection of this loue is, what is the blessednes of this enioyinge/

But in the first of these wee must first consider ye p[er]sons whoe are the lovers in this Text: for there are persons that are incredible though they saye they loue because they are accustomed to Falshood, And there are persons wch are vnrequiteable, though they be beleeved to Love, because they loue not where and as they should, When wee haue found the p[er]sons, in the second Considerac[i]on, Wee shall looke vpon the affecc[i]on it selfe what is the love in this Text, And then after that vppon the Band and vnion and Condic[i]on of this Love, that it is mutuall I loue them that loue mee, And hauing past these three branches of the first part, wee shall in the Second (wch is enioying) consider, First that this enioyinge is expressed in the word finding, and then that this finding requires 2: Condic[i]ons, a Seeking, and an earlye Seeking And they yt seeke mee earelye shall finde mee

The person that professes love in this place is wisedome her selfe, as appeares at the begin[n]ing of the Chapter, Soe ytSapere et amare to be wise and to love (wch perchance never mett before nor Since) are mett in this Text, But whether this wisedome soe frequentlye mentioned in this booke of Proverbs be Sapientia creata or moreata; whether the vertue Wisedome, or the roote of wisedome Chr: Iesus, hath been diverslye debated. The occasion grewe in the greate Councell of Nice: where the Catholicke Fathers vnderstood this wisedome to be intended of Christ him selfe. And then the Arian hæritiques prest some places of this Booke where such things seemed to them to be spoken of wisedome, as could not be applyable to any but to a Creature, and that therefore if Christ were this wisedome, Christ must necessary be a Creature and not god, wee will not dispute those thinges over nowe, They are cleerelye enoughe and larglye enough layd downe in that Councell. But there is nothing said of wisedome in all this booke wch hath not been by good expossitors applyed to Christ, much more maye wee pr[e]sume the lover in this Text (though presented in the name of wisedome) to be Chr: himselfe, And soe wee doe, to shewe the Constancye and durablenes of this loue, the lover is a hee, that is Christ, to shew the vehemencye and earnestnes of it , the lover is a Shee, that is wisedome as it is often expressed in this Charge, shee cryeth shee uttereth her uoyce, yea in one place of the Bible (and onlye in that one place I thinke) where Mosses would expresse an extraordinarye and vehement and passionate indignac[i]on in god against his people whe[n] as it is in yt Text His wrath was kindled. There and only there Numbers 11: 19 doth Moses attribute even to god himselfe, the feminine Sexe, and speakes to God in the originall language as if he should haue called him Deam natam an angrye shee god. All that is good then, either in the love of man or woman is this lover, for he is exprest in both Sexes of man and woman, And all that can be ill in ye loue of either Sex is purged awaye, For the man is noe other man then Christ Iesus, and the woman noe other woman then wisedome
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her selfe, even the vncreated wisedome of god himselfe/

wh Now all this is but one p[er]son, the p[er]son that p[ro]fesses loue, whoe is the other, whoe is the beloved of Christ, that is not soe easelye descerned. In the love betweene p[er]sons in this world; and, of this world wee are often deceived wth out ward signes, wee often  miscall and misiudge, civill respects, and mutuall Curtesyes, and a delight in one anothers conversac[i]on, and such other indifferente thinges as onlye malignitye, and curiositye, and selfe guiltynes makes to be misinterp[re]table, wee often call this loue, but neith[e]r amongst o[u]r Selves, much lesse betweene Christ and o[u]r Soules, are these outward apparances allwayes signes of loue, This person then, this beloved Soule, is not everye one, to whom Christ sends a lovinge message, or writts too; For his letters, his Scriptures, are directed to all, Not everye one that he wishes well to, and sweares that he doth soe (for soe he doth to all, As I liue saith the Lord I would not the death of a sinner) Not everye one that he sends Iewells and p[re]sents too, for, they are often Snares to Corrupt aswell as argumts of loue, Not though he admitt them to his table and supper, for, even there the Devill entred into Iudas wth a Sopp. Not thoughe hee received them wth a kisse, For even wth that Familiaritye Iudas Osea 2: 14 betrayed him, Not though he betroth himselfe, as he did to yeIewes sponsabo te mihi in æternum, Not though he makes Ioyntures in pacto salis in a Covenant of Salt, an everlasting Covenant, Not though he haue Comunicated his name to them wch is an Act of Marriage, For to how many hath he said Ego dixi dii estis, and yet thy haue been Reprobates, Not all these outward thinges, amount soe farr as to make vs discerne whoe is this beloved p[er]son, For himselfe sayes of the Israellits (to whom he had made all these demonstracons of love, yet after for these abhominac[i]ons divorced Ier: 12: 7: himselfe from them) I haue forsaken my house I haue left my heritage, I haue giuen the dearelye beloued of my soule into the handes of her Enemyes/

To Contract this, the Person beloved of Christ is onlye that Soule that loues Christ, but that belonges to to the third branch of this First part, wch is the mutuall loue; and hauinge found the persons wee are to Consider the Affection it selfe, the loue of this Texte/

Amor It is an observation of Origens that though these thre wordes Amor, delectio, & chanitas, Love and affection and good will be all of one Signification in the Scriptures yet (sayes he) wheresoever there is dau[n]ger of representing to the Fancye, a Lacivious and Carnall love, the Scriptures forbeares the word loue, and vses either affection or good will. And where there is noe such daunger, the Scripture ames directlye to this word loue, of wchorigens examples are that when Isaack bent his affection vpon Rebecka, and Iacob vpon Rachell in both places it is Cant: 5: 8: Dilexit, And where it is said in the Canticles. I charge you daughters of Ierusalem to tell my beloued, it is not to tell him that shee was in loue but to tell him Quod vulneratæ chari
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tatis Sum, that I am wounded wth an affecc[i]on and good will towards him, but in this booke of Prov: in all the passages betweene Christ and the beloved Soule there is evermore a free vse of theis worde Amor, Loue, because it is even in the First appr[e]henc[i]on, a pure, chast, and vndefiled Loue, Eloquia domini casta sayes Dauid. All ye words of the Lord, and all their wordes that love the Lord, All discourses, all that is Spoken to, or from the Soule, is all full of Chast loue, & of the Loue of Chastitye/

Now though this loue of Christ to o[u]r Soule be too large, to shutt vp or Comprehend in any definition yet (if wee content our selves wth the definition of the Scholes Amare, est velle alicui quod bonum est Loue is nothing but a desire, that they whom wee loue should be happye) wee maye easilye discerne the advantage and p[ro]fitt, wch wee haue by this Loue when he that wishes vs that good by loving vs, is author of all good himself; and may giue vs as much as pleaseth him, wthout impayring his owne infinite treasure, he loves vs as this auncient inheritance, as ye first amongst Creatures in the Creation of the World, wch hee created for vs, He loues vs more as his purchase, who he hath bought wth his blood, for even man takes most pleasure in things of his owne getting, but he loves vs most for our improvemts, when by his plowing vpp of o[u]r hartes, and the dewe of grace, and the seed of his word, wee come to giue a greater rent in the Fruites of Sanctificacion then before, And since he loves vs thus, and that in him, this love is a velle bonu[m], a desire that his beloved should be happye, what Soule amongst vs can doubt that when god hath such an abondant and infinite Treasure, as the merritts and passion of Christ Iesus (sufficient to saue millions of worlds, and yet many millions in this world, All the heathen excluded from any interest therein) when god hath a kingdome soe large, as nothing lymitts it, and yet he hath banisht many naturall Subiects thereof (even those legion of Angells wch were created in it, and are fallen from it) what soule amongst vs shall doubt, that he that hath thus much, and loves thus much will denye her a porc[i]on in the blood of Christ, or a roome in the kingdome of heaven, Noe Soule can doubt it, except it hath been a wittnes to it selfe, and be soe still, that it loues not Christ Ie: for thats a Condic[i]on necessarye, and it is the third Branch to wch wee are come orderlye. That this loue be mutuall, I loue them that loue mee/

If any man loue not our Lord Iesus let him be accused, Mutuus Now the First p[ar]te of this Cou[r]se is vppon the indisposition to Loue, he that loues not at all is first accursed, That Stupid in considerac[i]on wch passes out drowselye, and negligently vpon gods Creatures, That sullen indifferencye oin ones disposition not to haue one thinge more then another, not to vallewe,
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not to choase, not to p[re]fere, that stonishnes that inhumanitye not be affected, not to be entendred wch hath made obiects and Rom: 11: 10 Subiects of affeccons, that wch St. Paule places in ye bottomes and lees and dreggs of all the Sinnes of the Iewes to be wth out naturall affections, This distemper, this ill Complexion, is this ill natures of the Soule is vnder the first part of this If any man loue not, for he that loues not, knowes not God for God is loue/

But this Curse determins not vpon that, neither is it principallye directed vpon that not Louing, for, as wee saye in the Schooles, Amor est primus actus voluntatis, the First thing that the will of man does is to affect, to choose, to loue some thing and it is scarse possible to fynd any mans will soe ydle, soe barre[n], as that it hath p[ro]duced noe act at all, and therefore, the first act being loue, Scarce any man can be found but doth not loue some thinge, but the Curse extends (yea is principallye intended) vpo[n] him that loves not Christ Iesus, though he loue the Creature and orderlye enough, yea though he loue god as a great and incomprehensible power, yet, if he loue not Christ Iesus, if hee acknowledge not that all that passes betweene God and him, is in, and for Christ Iesus, let him be accursed for all his loue,

Now there are but 2: that can be loved, God and the Creature, and of the Creatures that must necessarylye be best loved wch is neerest vs, wch wee vnderstand best, and reflect most vpon, and thats our selves, for, for the loue of other Creatures, it is but a Secondarye loue, and if wee loue god, we loue them for his sake, If wee loue o[u]r Selves wee loue them for our Sakes, Nowe to loue ones selfe is onlye allowable, onlye proper to god himselfe, for this loue is a desire, that all honro & prayers and glorye should be attributed to one selfe, and it can be only{e} proper to god to desire that, To loue o[u]r selves then is ye greatest treason, that wee can committ against god, and all the loue of the Creature determyns in the loue of o[u]r Selves for though Some tymes wee maye saye wee loue them better then our selves, though wee giue soe good (that is indeed soe ill) Testimonye that wee doe soe, that wee neglect our selves, both our Religion, & o[u]r discretio[n], for their sakes whom wee p[re]tend to loue, yet all this is but a Secondarye loue, and wth relation still to o[u]r selves, and o[u]r owne contentment, For is this Loue wch wee beare to other Creatures wth in that definition of loue velle bonum amato, to wish yt wch wee loue happye, doth any ambitious man loue hono[u]r or office, therfore because he thinkes, yt..Title or that place should receiue a dignitye by his hauing it, or his excellencye by his executing of it, doth any Covetous man loue a house or a Horse therefore because he thinges that house or Horse should be happy in such a master or such a Rider? Doth any licentious man Covett or Solicite a woman therefore, because he thinkes it a happynes
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for her to haue such a servant, Noe it is onlye himselfe that is wth in the definition vult bonum sibo, he wishes well (as he mistakes it) to him selfe, and he is content that the slaverye and dishono and Ruyn of others, should contribute to make vp his ymaginary happynes/

Odementiam nescientem amare ho[m]i[n]es humaniter, what a perverse madnes is it to loue a Creature, and not as a Creature wth all the adiuncts, and circu[m]stances, and quallityes of a Creature, of wch the principall is yt love raise vs to the Contemplac[i]on of the Creato[u]r, for if it doe soe, wee maye loue o[u]r selves as wee are the images of god. And soe wee maye love other men as they are the ymages of vs and our nature, yea as they are members of the same bodyes, for omnes homines, una humanitas And soe wee loue other Creatures, as wee all meete in one Creato[u]r, in whom Princes and subiects, Angells and men, and wormes are fellowe Servants/

Si male amaueris tunc odisti, If thou haue loved thy August: selfe or anye bodye els principallye, or soe that when thou doest any acte of loue, thou canst not saye to thyne owne conscience. I doe this for gods sake, and for his glorye; if thou haue not loved Soe, thou hast hated thy Selfe, and him whom thou hast loved, and God whom thou shouldst, Si bene oderus, sayes the same Father, if yu haue hated thine owne internall Temptac[i]ons and the outward Solicitac[i]ons of others, Amasti, thou hast expressed an acte of loue, of Loue to thy God, and to his Image, thy selfe & to thyne ymage, that man whom thy vertue hath declined, from that wch kept him from his and thy God/

And as the affecc[i]on Loue, doth belong to god principally (that is rather then any affection els) for the feare of God is the beginn[n]ing of wisedome, but the loue of God is the Consumac[i]on that is the marriage and vnion of thy Soule, and thy Saviour/

But can wee loue god when wee will./ doe not wee find, that in the loue of some other thinges, of some Courses of liffe, of some wayes in our actions, yea and of Some p[ar]ticuler p[er]sons, yt wee would faine loue them and cannot, when wee cannot obiect any thinge against it, yea when wee can multiplye argumets, why wee should loue them, yet wee cannot

But it is not soe toward god, every man maye loue him that will: But can every man haue this will, this desire, certeynelye wee cannot begin this loue except god loue vs first wee cannot loue him

But god doth loue vs all soe well from the begin[n]ing as that every man maye see, the fault was in the p[er]versnes of his owne will that he did not loue god better

If wee looke for the roote of this loue it is in ye Fath[e]r for, though the death of Christ be towards vs as a Roote, as ye cause of our love and of the acceptablenes of it, yet meritum
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christi est effectu amoris dei erga nos The death of Christ was but an effect of the loue of God towards vs So god loued the world that he gaue his Sonne, If he had not loved vs First wee had never had his Sonne, heere is the roote then, the love of the Father, and the Tree, the mirritt of the Sonne, except there be fruits too, Loue in vs to them againe, both roote and tree will wither towards vs. Howsoever Ier: 31: 3 thy growe in god, I haue loued thee with an everlasting loue said god) therefore wth mercye haue I drawne thee If therefore wee doe not perceive that wee are drawne to loue againe by this loue, it is not an everlasting loue that shines vppon vs/

All the Sunshine, all the glorye of this liffe, though all these be Testimonies of gods loue towards vs yet all they bringe but a winters daye, and a short daye and a cold daye, and a darke daye, for except we loue too, god doth not loue wth an everlasting loue/ God will not suffer his Loue to be Idle, and since it p[ro]fitts him nothing, if it p[ro]fitts vs nothing neither, he will with drawe it, Amor dei, ut lumen ignis, ut splendor solis, ut odor lucis, non præbenti proficit, sed utenti, The Sunne hath noe benefitt by his owne light, nor the Fire by his heate, nor a perfume by his sweetnes but onlye they whoe make their vse, and enioye this heat and Fragrancye: and this brings vs to one other parte, to passe fro[m] loving, to enioyinge.

The 2: part Tulerant dominum meum, They haue taken away my Lord, and I knowe not where they haue laid him, was one strayne of marye Magdelens lamentac[i]on when shee found not her Savio[u]r in the Monument, It is a lamentable case to be fain{e} to Crye soe, Tulerent, other men haue taken Christ awaye by a darke & Corrupt Educac[i]on (wch was the state of o[u]r Fathers to the Romaine Captivitye: But when the Abiecerunt domin[um] wch is soe often complayned of by god in the Prophetts is p[ro]nounced against them, when thou hast had Christ offered vnto thee, by the motions of his grace, and Sealed to thee by his Sacramts, and yet will cast him Soe farr from thee, that thou knowest not where to fynde him, when hou hast powred him out at thine eyes in p[ro]phane and cou[n]terfeit teares wch should be thy Soules Rebaptizac[i]on for thy Sinnes, whe[n] thou hast blowne him awaye in Corrupt and ill intended Sighes wch should be Gemitus Columbæ, the voyce of the Turtle, to sound thy peace and reconciliac[i]on wth thy god, yea when thou hast spitt him out of thy mouth in execrable and blasphemous Oathes, whe[n] thou hast not onlye cast him soe farr, as that thou knowest not wh where to fynde him, but hast made soe ordynarye and soe indifferent a thinge of Sinne, as thou knowest not when thou didst loose him, noe, noe dost not remember that ever thou hadst him, noe, nor doest not know that there is any such a man as Domin[us] tuus a Iesus yt is thy Lord, the Tulerunt is dau[n]gerous, when others hide Christ from thee this Abiecerunt is dau[n]gerous when thou thy selfe dost
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cast him awaye/

To loose Christ maye befall the most righteous man that is, but then he knowes where he left him, he knowes at what tyme hee lost his waye, and where to seeke it againe, Even Christs imagyned Father and his true Mother Ioseph and Marye lost him at Ierusalem, they lost him and knewe it not they lost him, and went a dayes Iourney wthout him, and thought him to be in the Companye, but as Soone as they deprehended their erro[u]r they sought and found him, when his Mother told him, his Father and shee had sought him wth a heavye harte: Alas wee maye loose him at Ierusalem even in his owne house, even at this p[re]sent whilst wee p[re]tend to doe him Service, wee maye loose him by suffering our thoughts to looke backe wth pleasure vppon the Sinnes wch wee haue comitted, or forward wth gredynes vpon some sinne, that is nowe in o[u]r purpose & prosecution, wee maye loose him at Ierusalem, how much more if o[u]r dwelling be a Rome, of sup[er]stic[i]on and Idolatrye, or if it be a Babilon in Confusion, and mingling god and the world togither, Or if it be a Sodome, a wanton and intemperate misvse of gods benefitts to vs, wee maye thinke him in the Companye where he is not, wee maye mistake his house, wee maye take a Co[n]venticle for a Church, wee maye mistake his apparrell, that is ye outward forme of his worshipp, wee maye mistake his p[er]son (that is) associate our selves to such as are noe members of his bodye, But if wee doe not returne to o[u]r deligence to seeke him, and seeke him wth heavye hearts, though wee begine wth a Tulerant, other men oth[e]r temptac[i]ons tooke him awaye, yet wee end in an abiecerunt wee o[u]r selves cast him awaye since wee haue been told where to fynd him, and haue not sought him, And let noe man be afraid to seeke or finde, for feare of the losse of good Companye, Noe Religion is noe sullen thinge, it is not a malancholye, there is not soe sociable a thinge as the loue of Chrst Iesus, It was the first word wch hee whoe first found Christ of all the Apostles St Andrewe is noted to haue said Invenim[us] messiam, and it is the first act hee is noted to haue done after he had found him to seeke his brother Peter et duxit ad Iesum Soe co[m]municable a thing is Iohn 1: 34: the loue of Iesus when wee haue found him/

But where are wee likelyest to fynd him, It is said by Moses of the wordes and pr[e]cepts of god They are not hide Deut: 10: 11 from thee, neither are farr off, Not in heaven that thou shouldest saye, whoe shall goe vpp to heaven for vs to bringe them downe, nor beyond the Sea, that thou shouldest goe over the Sea for them, but the word is verye neere thee even in thy mouth, and in thy hart, and soe neere is Christ Iesus, or thou shalt never fynd him, thou must not soe lincke him in heaven, as that thou canst not haue imediate accesse to him wth out intercession of others, nor soe beyond
[fol. 120v]
Sea, as to seeke him in a forraine Church, either where ye Church is but an Antiquaries Cabinett full of ragges and fragmentes of antiquitye, but nothing fitt for that vse for wth it was made at first, or when it is soe newe a built house wth Bare walles, that it is yet vnfurnisht of such Ceremonyes as should make it comely and Reverend, Christ is at home wth thee, he is at home with in thee, and there is the neerest waye to finde him

It is true, that Christ in the beginning of this Chapter shaddowed vnder the name of wisedome, when he discovers wher hee maye be found speakes in the person of humaine wisedome, as well as devine, doth not wisedome Crye and vnderstandinge vtter a voyce, where those two wordes wisedome & vnderstanding Signifye Sapientiam & prudentiam, that wisedome whose obiect is good, and that wch concernes our conversac[i]on in this world, for Christ hath not taken soe narrow a dwelling as that he maye be found but one waye in one p[ro]fession, for in all p[ro]fessions, in all Stac[i]ons, in all vocac[i]ons, when all our acc[i]ons in one seu[er]all Courses, are directed principallye vppon his glorye, Christ is eminent and easye to be found, To that purpose, in that place Christ in the person of wisedome offers himselfe to be found in the topps of high places, and in the gates of Cittyes, to shewe that this Christ, and this wisedome (wch must saue our soules) is not confinde to Cloysters, and monasteryes & speculatiue men onlye, but is allsoe evidentlye and eminentlye to be found in the Courts of Religion in the topps of high places, and in ye Courtes of Iustice, in the Gates of the Cittye, Both these kinde of Courtes maye haue more diversions from him then oth[e]r Places but in these places he is allsoe gloriouslye, & Conspicuously to be found. for wheresoever he is he cryes a lowde, as ye Text sayes there he vtters his voyce. Temptacons to Sinne are all but whisperings, and we are afraid that a Husband, yt a Father that a Competito[u]r, that a Rivall, that a pr[e]tender at least the magistrate maye heare of it

Temptac[i]ons to Sinne are all but whisperings pr[i]vate Conventicles, and Clandestine worshipping of god, in a forbidden manner, in Corners, are all but whisperings. It is not ye voyce of Christ, except thou heare him crye aloud, and vtter his voyce, Soe as thou maist confidentlye doe what soever he comaunds thee in the Eye of all the world, Hee is everye where to be found hee calls vpon thee everye where, But yet there belongs a Qirere deligence one thy part thou must seeke him, Esaias is bolde saith St. Paule, and sayes I was found of them that sought mee not, when that the Prophett derives the loue of god to the Gentiles, whoe could seeke god noe where but in the booke of Creatures, and were destitute of all other lights to seeke him by, and yet god was found by them afterward by ye preachinge
[fol. 121r]
of the Gospell Esayas is bold (sayes the Apostle) that as it, was a Esay. 65:1 great degree of Confidence in Esay as to saye that god was found of Rom: 10: 20: them that sought him not. It was a boldnes, and a Confidence wch noe perticuler man maye haue, that Christ will be found, except he be sought, he giues vs light to seeke him by, but he is not found till we haue sought him. It is true, that in that Com[m]andement of his Primu[m] quærite regnum dei, The Primu[m] is not to pr[e]vent god, to seeke it before he shewes it, thats impossible, wth out the light of grace wee dwell in darkenes, and in the shadowe of death, but yePrimu[m] is, that wee should seeke him before wee seeke any thinge els, that when the Sunn of grace is risen to vs, the First thinge that wee doe, be to seeke Christ Iesus Querite me et vinctis why! wee are Amos 5: 4: aliue before, els wee could not seeke him, but it is p[ro]mise of another liffe, of an æternall liffe if wee seeke him, and seeke him earlye, Marie wch is our last Considerac[i]on

The word heere vsd for earelye signifies p[ro]p[er]ly auroru[m] the morning, and is vsuallye transfered in Scriptures to anye beginning, Soe in p[ar]ticuler. Euill shall come vpon thee and thou shalt not Esay 47: 11 knowe (Shakrah) the morning, the beginning of it, And therefore this Text is elegantlye translated by one Amorantes ad me. they that haue their breake of daye towards mee, they that send forth yir first morning beames towards mee, their first thoughts they shall be sure to finde mee, St Ierome expresses this earelye diligence required in vs, well in his Translation Qui mane vigelauerint they yt wake betymes in the morning shall fynd mee, but the Caldee Paraphrase better, Qui mane consurgunt they that rise betymes in the morninge shall finde mee, for wch of vs doe not knowe that wee wakt long agoe, that wee sawe daye, and had heretofore some motions to finde Chr: Iesus, But though wee were awake, we haue kept our bed still, wee haue continued still in our former Sinnes, Soe that there is more to be done then wakeing, wee see the Spouse her selfe sayes In my Cant: 3: 1 bed by night I sought him whom my soule loued, but I found him not, Christ maye be sough in the bed, and missed, other thoughts may exclude him, he maye be sought there and found, wee maye haue good meditacons there, and Christ maye be neerer vs when wee are a sleepe in our bedds then when wee are awake. But howsoever the bed is not his ordynarye Station, he maye bee, and he sayes he will be at the making of the bed of the Sicke, but not at ye marringe of the bed of the wanton and licentious

To make hast, the Circu[m]stance onlye required there is, that he besought earelye, and to invite thee to it, consider how earlye he sought thee, It is a great mercye, that he stayes soe longe for thee, It is more to seeke thee soe earelye, dost thou not feele that he seekes thee now in offering his Loue, and desiringe thine, Canst thou not remember that he sought thee yesterdaye that is that some Temptac[i]ons be seet   thee then, and he sought thee out by his grace, and pr[e]served thee, and hath he not sought
[fol. 121v]
thee soe earlye as from the beginning of thy liffe, Naye dost thou not remember, that after thou hadst comitted that Sinne, he sought thee by imprinting some remorse, Some appr[e]hension of Gregorie his Iudgments and so Miro et Diuino modo, et quando te oderat dilegebat, by a miraculous and powerfull working of his spirrit hee threatned thee when he comforted thee, he loved thee when hee chidd thee, he sought thee, amongst the infinite when he drove thee from him, he hath sought thee amongst the infinite numbers of false and fashionall Christians that he bringes thee out fro[m] the Hipocrit, to serue him in earnest, and in holynes and in righteousnes, he sought thee before that amongst the hearde of the nations and gentiles whoe had noe church to bring thee into his inclosures and pastures his visible Church and to feed thee wth his word and Sacramts, he sought thee before that, in ye Catalogue of all his Creatures, where he might haue left thee, a Stone, or Plant, or a Beast, and then he gaue thee an immortall Soule, Capable of all his future blessings, yea before this he sought thee, when thou wast noe where, nothinge, he brought thee then the greatest Step of all, from being nothing, to be a Creature, how earlye did he seeke thee, when he sought thee in Adams confused loynes, and out of that leavened and sower loaffe (in which wee were all kneaded vpp) out of that massa damnata, that refusd and Condemned lump of Doung, he sought and severed out that graine, wch thou shouldest bee, yea Millions of Millions of generac[i]ons, before all this hee sought thee, in his owne eternall decree, and in that first Scripture of his, wch is as old as himselfe, in that booke of liffe hee wrote thy name, in the blood of that Lambe wch was slaine for thee, not onlye from the beginning of the world, but from ye writting of that eternall Decree of thy Salvation/

Thus Earelye had hee sought thee in the Church amongest  Hipocrittes, out of the Church amongst the heathen, in his Creatures, amongst Creatures of an ignobler nature, and in the first vacancye, when thou wast nothing, he sought thee soe earlye as an Adam, Soe Earlelye as in the booke of liffe, and whe[n] wilt thou thinke it a fitt tyme to seeke him

prou: 1: 28: There is an Earlynes wch will not serue thy turne, when affliccons, and anguish shall come vppon thee, They shall seeke mee earlelye and shall not fynd mee, earlelye in respect of the punishmt at the begin[n]ing of that, but this is late in respect of thy fault, or of thine age, when thou art growne old in ye Custome of Sinne, for thus wee maye misvse this earlye, and make it serue to all ill vses. If wee will saye we will leave Covetousnes earlye, that is assoone as wee are ritch enough. Incontinence early, that is assoone as wee are old or sicke/ Ambic[i]on earlye, that is assoone as wee haue overthrowne and Crushed our Enemyes yrrecoverablye., For thus thus wee shall by this habitt carrye on this earlye to our late and last howre, and saye we will repent
[fol. 122r]
earlye, that is assoone as the bell beginns to touldl for vs

It is good for a man that he beare his yoake in his youth Esay 46: 6 that hee seeke Christ earlye, for, even god himselfe, when he had giuen over his people to be afflicted by the Caldeans, yet complay[n]s of them that they layd heavye loads vpon old men, though this yoake of this amorous seeking of Christ be a light yoake, yet it is to heavy for an old man, that hath never vsed himselfe in all his liffe to beare it, even this spirrituall loue will not sute well with an old man, if he never began before, if he never loved Christ in his youthe, even this loue wilbe an unweldlye thinge in his age,

Yett if wee haue omitted our first earlye, our youthe yet there is one earlye left for vs, this munite seeke Chr: early nowe, now as Sooe as his Spirritt begins to shine vppon yo[u]r hartes Now as soone as you begin yo[u]r daye of Regeneration, seeke him ye first munite of this daye, for you knowe not whether, this day shall haue 2: mynutes or noe, that is whether his Spirritt yt descends vpon you nowe, will tarry and rest vpon you or noe, as it did vpo[n] Christ at his Baptisme

Therefore shall everye one that is godlye make his pray[e]rocea 32: 6: vnto thee o[u]r god in a tyme when thou mayst be found we acknowledg this to bee that tyme, and wee come to thee now earlye wth ye Confession of thy Servant Augustine, Sero te amaue pulcritudo tam antiqua, tam nouo. O Glorious beautye in-finitelye reverend infinite Fresh and young, wee come late to thy loue, if wee consider the past dayes of o[u]r liues, but earlye if thou beest pleased to reckon wth vs, from this howre of the shining of thy grace vppn vs, And therefore O God as thou hast brought vs safelye to the beginning of this daye, as thou hast not given vs over to a finall p[er]ishing in the workes of night and darkenes, As thou hast brought vs to the beginning-of-this daye of grace Soe defend vs in the same wth thy mightie power, and graunt that this daye, this daye of thy visitac[i]on, wee fall into noe sinne neither run into any kind of dau[n]ger, Noe such sinne noe such daunger as maye seperate vs from thee, or frustrate vs of o[u]r hopes in that æternall kingdome wch thy Sonne o[u]r Savio[u]rChr: Iesus hath p[u]rchased for vs wth the inestimable price of his incorruptible bloode/

In whom etc/


PublisherThe Oxford Edition of the Sermons of John Donne
General Editor: Peter McCullough
Funder: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Availability: This XML document is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License.


Transcription of sermons 1-15 by Emma Rhatigan.

Transcription of sermon 16 by Mary Morrissey

Transcription proofread by Peter McCullough (sermon 10), Mary Morrissey (16), Phil West (2, 6, 12), Hugh Adlington (5, 9, 11, 13), and Sebastiaan Verweij (1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 12, 14, 15, 16).

Manuscript description by Mary Morrissey.

Transcription coded by Sebastiaan Verweij.


Institution: Bodleian Library, Oxford
Shelfmark: MS Eng. th. c. 71
OESJD siglum: M


Item no: 1
Locus: ff. 53r-59v
Title: The Text Remember nowe thy Creator in the dayes of thy youthe 12:1: Ecclesiastes
Incipit: Wee may consider Two greate
Explicit: meete and never parte, but here wee must
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.10; P&S Vol. II.11

Item no: 2
Locus: ff. 60r-65r
Title: The Text Father forgiue them for they knowe not what they doe, Luke 23:34:/
Incipit: The word of God is either
Explicit: Father which art in heauen &c.
Final Rubric: finis
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. VI.8; P&S Vol. V.12

Item no: 3
Locus: ff. 67r-72v
Title: The Text The Father iudgeth noe man But hath committed all Judgment to the Sonne John 5:22:
Incipit: When our Sauiour Christ forbidds
Explicit: to you when for your sakes, he committed all Judgmt to the Sonne/
Final Rubric: Finis of the First Sermo[n] prached at Lincolnes Inn in ye forenoo[n]e by Doc: Dunn on Sunday 30:Ja:1619
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.11; P&S Vol. II.15

Item no: 4
Locus: ff. 72v-76v
Title: The Text Iuidge noe man John 8.15
Incipit: The Riuers of paradice did not all
Explicit: yet, The Sonne iudgeth noe man
Final Rubric: Finis of the second Sermon preached at lincolnes In the afternoone by Doc: Dunn on Sunday 30:Jan:1619
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.12; P&S Vol. II.16

Item no: 5
Locus: ff. 78r-84v
Title: The Text Blessed are the people that bee soe yea blessed are the people whose God is the Lorde Psale 144:15:
Incipit: The first parte of this Text hath re:
Explicit: of his incorruptible blood. In wch glorious Sonne of God &c.
Final Rubric: Finis of Doctor Dunns sermo[n] preach'd at Wit-hall before the kinge the thirtyeth of Aprill 1620
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. II.5; P&S Vol. III.9

Item no: 6
Locus: ff. 86v-93v
Title: The Text Whosoeuer shall fall on this Stone shalbe broken, But on whom Soeuer it shall fall it will grinde him to powder Math: 21:44
Incipit: Allmightie God made us for
Explicit: manifest vnto vs To whome wth blessed Spirritt &c
Final Rubric: Finis of a Sermon of docter Donne preach'd at ye Cockpit
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. VI.1; P&S Vol. II.8

Item no: 7
Locus: ff. 95r-101v
Title: The Text Lorde all my desire is before thee and my Groninge is not hid from thee Psal:38:9:
Incipit: The wole Psalme
Explicit: but ordained by the Church
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.8; P&S Vol. II.6

Item no: 8
Locus: ff. 103r-109r
Title: The Text Whoe now reioyce in my sufrings for you and fill vp that wch is behinde of the Afflictions of Christ in my fleshe for his bodyes sake which is the Church Colos:1:24
Incipit: Wee are to enter into the
Explicit: and Christ Jesus a Crowne of Everlasting glorye to vs all
Final Rubric: Amen
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.2; P&S Vol. III.16

Item no: 9
Locus: ff. 110r-115r
Title: The Text Woe vnto you that desire the daye of the
Incipit: For the presenting of the woes and Iudgmts of God
Explicit: To which glorious sonne of God &c
Final Rubric: Finis of Doc: Donns Sermon at white hall before the kinge the 30: of March 1619
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. II.2; P&S II.18

Item no: 10
Locus: ff. 116r-122r
Title: The Text I loue them that loue mee & they that seek me earlye shall finde mee Pro:8:17:
Incipit: As the Prophetts and other secretaryes of the holye
Explicit: incoruptible bloode
Final Rubric: In whom &c/
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. I.4; P&S Vol. I.5

Item no: 11
Locus: ff. 123r-129r
Title: The Text And without Contruersye greate is the Mistery of Godlynes God was manifest in the Fleshe: Iustifyed in the Spirit: Seene of Angles: peached vnto ye Gentils: Beleeued on in the worlde: receyued vp into Glorye 1:Timo:3:16:
Incipit: This is no Text for an hour glasse: If god woud
Explicit: blood: To which glorious Sonne of God &c
Final Rubric: Finis of Doc: Donns Sermon at Whithall before the kinge ye 16: February 1620
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. II.6; P&S Vol. III.10

Item no: 12
Locus: ff. 130r-137v
Title: The Text Hee that beleeuth not shalbe damned Mar:16:16
Incipit: The first words that are recorded in the
Explicit: God shall himselfe in an everlasting presence & Fruition./ Amen./
Final Rubric: Finis of A Sermon of Do: Duns lincolns I
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. VI.9; P&S Vol. V.13

Item no: 13
Locus: ff. 139r-145r
Title: The Text The last Enemye that shall be distroyed is Deathe 1:Cor:15:26:
Incipit: This is a Text of the Resurrection, and tis not
Explicit: Consummacion both in Bodye and Soule in his everlasting glorye Amen
Final Rubric: Finis of D: Dunn before the kinge on Frydaye before lent 1620
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. II.8; P&S Vol. IV.1

Item no: 14
Locus: ff. 146r-149v
Title: The Text And the Lord says It is not good for the man should be alone I will make him a helpe meete for him Gene:2:18:
Incipit: In the Creation of the world when God had
Explicit: therefore this be enough, For ye explicacion, and applycacion of these words
Final Rubric: Finis of a Sermon preach'd by D:Donn at S Francis Nethersoles marriage
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. VII.1; P&S Vol. II.17

Item no: 15
Locus: ff. 150r-155v
Title: The Text And I will marrye thee vnto mee for euer Hos:2:19:
Incipit: The word wch is the Kinge vpon wch
Explicit: his incorruptible bloude to whom &c
Final Rubric: Finis of a Sermon preach'd at St Clements danes by D:Dunn at Mr Washingto[n]s marriage
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. VII.2; P&S Vol. III.11

Item no: 16
Locus: ff. 156r-171r
Title: The Text For God who Commaunded light to shine out of darknes, hath shined in our hartes to giue the light of ye knowledge of the glory of God in ye face of Je: Christ 2:Cor:1:6:
Incipit: The First Booke of ye Bible begins wth the
Explicit: of God in the face of Jesus Christ
Final Rubric: Finis of Doc:Donns Sermo[n] at ye Spitle on Easte Mu[n]day 1622:
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. VIII.2; P&S Vol. IV.3


Material: Paper, folio, i + 177 leaves (1 stub, f. 59b). 313 X 210 mm.
Foliation: Foliation in pencil consecutively. The final sermon is individually paginated in ink, not by the main scribe.
Collation: The volume is too tightly bound to provide collation.
Condition: The volume is in excellent condition.


The hand which transcribed the sermons in this manuscript is almost certainly that of a professional scribe. This is a very neat, very consistent hand. The letters are small (minims are approx. 2mm high, capitals and letters with ascenders only approx. 3-4 mm high); this allows the scribe to fit approx. 50 lines of text within the writing block. The scribe uses a predominantly secretary script, with some italic features. The scribe also uses a kind of non-cursive print-hand, with some italic forms but less pronounced in its use of that script that write the passages in italic. The distinction between this and the italic scripts can be harder to discern. Punctuation is sparse, consisting mostly of commas and full-stops, with virgules sometimes marking the end of a paragraph. Virgules are not easily distinguished from commas, especially mid-paragraph. On the whole, what may be rather short virgules have been transcribed as commas. A capital often indicates the beginning of a new sentence in the absence of a full-stop, or following a comma. The Merton scribe occasionally writes square brackets. Since these are also used for editorial interventions in the text, in transcription they are replaced with parentheses (see for instance ff. 150v, 151r). Abbreviation is typical for a hand of this time. The scribe commonly employs word-final superscript 'r' with an abbreviation mark. These letters have mostly been expanded ('ur', 'er'), except where no vowel could have been implied (although the same superscript 'r' was still used by the scribe): especially in 'nor' and 'for'. Catchwords are used throughout, and these have only been indicated when the catchword is different from the word following on the next page, in terms of spelling, punctuation, or capitalisation.

The rubricator may be distinguished from the main scribe. It is clear that marginal notes were added in pencil first, and then re-done in red ink. In some cases, the pencil is still visible, and in a couple of instances, the pencil has not been inked over (see esp. f. 163v, marginal note 'Nicephor’. In one case, in the margin of f. 169r, the rubricated marginal note reads ‘Nariani’. This is presumably a mistake for ‘Nazianzen’ (or a shortened form thereof). The underlying pencil mark is not visible, but it is difficult to believe that a scribe who had written ‘Nazianzen’ so many times in this manuscript would not have recognised the word when rubricating the marginal notes. This may indicate that the rubricator did his work on the text after the scribe had completed his work. This might explain some of the inconsistencies in the rubrication throughout the manuscript.

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