OESJD IV.10; on Eccles. 12.1

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Remember now thy Creator in the dayes of thy
youth Ecclisast: 12.1

Wee may consider, 2. great vertues, one for the society of this life, Thankfulnes. and the other for the attaining of the next life. Repentance, as the pretious mettalls of Silver & gold, of this silver of this vertue of Thancks. There are whole mynes in the earth, Bookes written by morrall Menn by Philosophers, and a Mann may grow rich in that Mettall in that vertue, by digging in that myne in the pr[e]cepts of morrall men; But of this gold, of this vertue of repentance, there is no myne in the earth, in the books of Philosophers. no doctrine of Repentance, This gold is for the most parte in the washes, this Rep[entance] for the most parte is in the waters of Tribulation, but God directe thee to it in this text. before thou comest to those waters, Remember now thy Creator, before the evill day is come and then thou wilt repent thou didst no remember him till now: Here now the holy Ghost takes the nearest way to bring Men to God, by awaking his memorie for the vnderstandinge requires longe instruction & clear demonstrac[i]on & the will requires an instructed vnderstandinge before, and is of it selfe the blindest & boldest facultie, but if the memory do but fasten vppon any of those things wch God hath donn for vs, thats the nearest way to him, Reme[m]ber therfore and reme[m]ber now, Though the memorie be placed in ye hindermost parte of thy braine. defer not then thy reme[m]bring to ye hindermost p[ar]te of thy life. but doe it now et nunc in die now whilst thou hast light et nunc in dieb[us] as it is in ye text, now whilst God pr[e]sents thee manie lights many meanes to come to him, et in dieb[us] Juventutis in the dayes of thy youth of thy strength whilst thou art
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able to do that yn pu[r]posest to thy selfe and as the originall words imports Bimed Bicharotheia In diebus electionu[m] tuaru[m], whilst thou art able to make thy chaire whilst the grace of God shynes so brightly vppon thee, as yt thou maiest see thy way & so powerfully vppon thee as yt thou maiest walke on yt way, now in this day, now in these dayes. Rememb[er], but whome first ye Creator that all those things wch thou labourest for & delightest in were Created, they were nothinge, and therfore thy memory looks not farr enoughe back, if it stick onely vppon the Creature & reach not to the Creator, Rememb[er] me the Creature & reme[m]ber thy Creator, and in yt first rememb[er], that he made thee, he made thee of nothinge, but of that nothinge, he made thee such a thinge, as cannot returne to nothinge againe, but must remaine for ever whether ever in glory or ever in tormt./

memento That dependes vpon thy remembring thy Creator now in ye dayes of thy youth, first rememb[er], wch word is often vsed in the Gen. 8.1 Scriptures for consideringe & takeng Care for God remembred Noah & everie beast wth him in yeArke as ye word contrarie to this, Forgetting is alsoe vsed for ye affection Issa: 49.19 Contrarie to yt neglecting: Can a woman forget her Childe & not haue Compasion on ye son of her wombe, but here wee take not remembring so largly, but restraine it to ye exercise of yt one facultie, the memory for yt is, Stomachus animi: It receiues & digests & turnes into good blood all ye benefitts form[er]ly exhibited vnto vs in p[ar]ticuler and to ye whole Church of God pr[e]sent yt wch belongs to the vnderstandinge to yt facultie, and ye vnderstandinge is not pr[e]sently setled in it Present any of yeProphecies made in the Captiuitie and a Jewes vnderstanding will take them for a deliverance from yt bondage, and a Christan vnder
[catchword(s): standinge]

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standing will take ym for a spirituall deliverance from sinn & de(ath) by yeMesias Christ Jesus, Present many of ye p[ro]phecies of the revelac[i]on Concerninge Antichrist, and a Papist vnderstandinge will take them of a single, and a sodaine & a transitorie man, that must last but 3 yeares & a halfe, but Protestants vnderstandinge will take it of a succession & continuance of men yt haue lasted a 1000 yeares at least already. Present but a name of a Bishop or elder out of yeActs of ye Apostles or out of yeEpistles and other menn will take it for a name of Pa  & equallitie, and wee for a name of office or distinc[i]on in the Hierarchie of Gods Church Thus it is in ye vnderstanding that is is often p[er]plexed, Consider ye other faculty ye will of man and therby ye bitternesse wch haue passed between yeJesuits & ye Dominicans in ye Roman Church. even to ye imputac[i]ons of the ruine of heresie vpon one annother in questions conc[er]ning ye will of Mann, and how yt concernes wth ye grace of God p[ar]ticularly whether ye same p[ro]porc[i]on of grace being offered by God to two men equallie disposed towards him must not necessarily worke equally in those 2. And by those bitternesses amongest Persones neerest even to ye drawing of swordes in questions of ye same kind, p[ar]ticularly, whether yt p[ro]porc[i]on of grace wch doth effectually convert a p[ar]ticular Man[n] might not haue him resisted, by ye p[er]versnes of that Mannes will whether yt grace were irresistable or no, By all theis & infinite such difficulties wee may see vntractable & untamable a facultie of ye will of mann is: But leaue ye vnderstanding & ye will and come to ye memory. Come not wth ye matter of law but matter of fact. Let God make his wonderfull works to be had in reme[m]brance. As David saies Present the historie of Gods p[ro]tec[i]on of his Children in ye Arke in ye wilderness in ye Captivitie. in infinite other daingers pr[e]sent these to ye memorie, whowsoever the vnderstanding be beclouded or ye will or ye will p[er]verted, yet both Jew and Christian Papist & Protestant Bifractoru[m] & Conformitan are
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asserted wth a thankfull acknowledgmt of his former mercies & benefitts, this issue of yt facultie of the memorie is alike in them all, And therfore God in giuenge ye law workes vppon no other facultie but this I am the Lord thy God wch brought ye out of ye land of Egipt he onely pr[e]sents to thee memorie what he donn for them And so in deliveringe yeGhospell in one principall seale therof the p[ar]ticipiation of his body & blood in the Sacrament he p[ro]ceeds so to ye recommends it to their memory Doe this in remembrance of me. This is ye faculty yt God desires to worke vppon, and therfore if thy vnderstanding be to narrow to compr[e]hend or reconcile all differrences in Churches (as what vnderstanding is large enoughe to do so) if thy will be too scrupulous to submitt it selfe, to the ordinance of thy owne Church as somtymes a zeale Thoe not p[er]verse Yet vndigested may worke that, Yet haue a reconverse to thy memorie For as St Barnard calls that ye stomack of the soule soe wee may be bold to call that ye gallerie of ye soule hung wth so many & so divers pictures of the mercies & goodnes of the God towards thee, that everie one of them may be a sufficient Chatisme to instruct thee in all thy particular duties to God for all those mercies and then as a well placed picture looks alwaies vpon him yt looks vpon it, so shall thy God looke vpon thee whose memorie is thus contemplating him & shine vpon thyne vnderstandinge & certifyed thy will too, If thy memory cannot comprehend his mercy at large as it hath bin shewed to his whole Church, as it is almost an incomprehensible thinge to Consider that in a few yeares God hath made vs even; even in number & temporall strength
[catchword(s): to o[u]r ad.]

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to o[u]r adversaries of yeRomane Church: Yf thy memory haue not yet receiued & held that great picture of o[u]r genn[er]all deliverrance from yt invincible Navy if that mercy be written in ye waters & sandes where it was acted & not in thy hart & memory, if thou reme[m]ber not o[u]r late but greater deliu[er]anc from yeArtificiall hell the vaults of Powder in wch though ye devills instrumts lost their plott they did not blow vs vpp. Yet ye ewell goes forward wth his plott, if he can blow it out & bringe vs to forgett ye mercy or not to hate them wth a p[er]fect hatred who were ye true roote & occasioners of it, if these be too large pictures for thy galleries for thy memory, Yett every man[n] hath a pockett pickture aboute him, a Manuall a bosome booke, and if he will but turne over but one leafe of yt booke but remember what God hath donn for him since yesterday, he shall find by yt little branch a navigable river to saile into ye great & endles sea of ye mercies of God towards him from ye begininge of his beinge, doe but remember then, but Nunc Iam: 1.18 remember but reme[m]ber now saies ye text, and his owne will he begett vs, that wee should be Primitie the first fruits of his Creatures, that as wee Consecrate all his Creatures vnto him in a sober & a religious vse of them, soe as ye first fruits of all wee should principallie Consecrate o[u]r selues to his service betymes: Now there were 3 paymts of first fruits appinted by God to ye Jewes. the first were Primitie Spicaru[m] the first fruits of ye eares of Corne, and this early about Easter, the second was Primitie panu[m] the first fruits of their loafe after ye Corne was Converted to that vse & this it was not so soone Yet it was early too aboute witsuntide: the third was Primitie frugu[m] of all their latter fruite in genn[er]all, and this was very late in Autum, in ye fall about Septemb[er], In ye 2 first of these 3 in those yt wee offerred early, God had his parte in ye Corne & in ye loaues but in those ye Same last God would haue no por
[catchword(s): tion: offer]

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offer the selfe then to God as Primitias Spicaru[m] whether yn glean in ye world or bind vp by whole sheaues whether thy increase be by little & little or thou be rich at once by the devolution of rich inheritanc & patrimonie vppon thee, offer this to God in acknowledgmt, that this p[ro]ceeds from ye treasure of his goodnes, & not from thine industrie And offer thy self againe as Primitie Pann[um] when thou hast kneaded vp riches & honor & favo[u]r in a setled & established fortune, offer yt to God too in an acknowledgmt that he can scatter & mouder away that state againe how safe soever it seemes to be setled offer at thy Easter whensoever thou hast any resurrection any sence of rasing the soule from ye shaddow of death, offer thy Confession to God yt is the sonnshine of his grace & not ye strength of thy mortalitie, offer at thy Pentecost at thy whitsontyde, whensoever the holy ghost descendes vppon thee in a fiery toung, that thou feelest thy selfe melted by the powerfull preaching of his word, offer thy Confession then, that it is ye p[ro]ceeding of his grace, & not ye disposition & Concurrenc or tendernes of thy nature for if thou deferr thy offerringe till Septemb[er] till thy fall till thy Winter till thy death howsoever, those may be the first that ever thou gavest, & soe be thy first fruits, yet they are not such as are not acceptable vnto god, God hath no portion in them, if they come so late, offer thy selfe now: Nay but doe but offer to thy self now, that is but an easy request, & yet there is no more asked Bassill viximus mundo vivamus religuu[m] nobis ipsis, thus long haue we s[er]ued ye world let vs serue orselues the rest of o[u]r tyme, But Idem this is ye best of o[u]r selues, o[u]r soules, Expectas vt foveis te vocat ad penetentiam, hadest thou rather a sickness should bring thee to God then a s[er]mon hadest thou rather be behoulding to a Phisitian for thy salvac[i]on then to a preacher, Thy buissines is to remember stay not ye last sicknes in wch may be a lethargy in wch thou maiest forgett thy awne name & his yt gaue thee thy best name the name of a Christian, Christ Jesus himself thy
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Apoc. 10.6 buissines is to reme[m]ber, & thy tyme is now, stay not till ye Angell come, which shall say and sweare tyme shalbe no more Reme[m]ber then & reme[m]ber now, et nunc in die now whylst it is day the lord will hear thee In die qua vocaris saith david in ye day yt thou callest vppon him. et in quacunq[ue] die. what day soever Psal: 20.10 thou callest vppon[n] him. et in quæcunq[ue] die velociter exaudiat in any day he will heare thee quickly, but still it is opus diei Psal: 137.4 it is a work of ye day to call vpo[n] God for in the night in o[u]r last night those thought that fall vppon vs ar rather dreames then Remembrings, vppon o[u]r death bedds wee doe rather dreame theyn repent in deed, To him yt travailes by night a bush seemes a horse & a horse a man[n], & a man[n] a spirritt nothing hath ye true shape to him, To him yt repents by night or on his deathbed neither his owne sinnes nor ye mercies of God haue their true p[ro]porc[i]on, This night will they fetch thy soule saith Christ to ye secure man[n], but neither tells ym who they be yt shall fetch it away nor whether they shall Carrie it, he hath no light but lightning a suddaine flashe of horror & soe translated into a fire that hath no light. Chr: hom. 5 ad pap Anto nunquid Deus ignem istum prepatravit non nobis sed Diabolo et Angelis. God made not this fier for vs but for the devill & his Angells, And yett wee are vessells so broken as yt there is not an sheard left to fetch Mat: 25.41 Water in at ye pitt (as yeProphett expresseth in an insep[er]able ruin) noe meanes in o[u]rselues, to deriue one dropp {of} the blood of Christ Jesus vppon vs. no meanes to wring out teare of true Contric[i]on from vs, wee yt ar vessells thus broken, as yt there is not one sheard left to fetch water in at any pitt, haue plunged o[u]r selues into this darke, this everlastinge fire. wch was not pr[e]pared for vs, A wretched Covetuousnes to be intruders vppon ye divell, a wofull ambic[i]on to be vsurpers vppon damnac[i]on. God did not make it for vs: but much lesse did he makes for yt fire makes vs to damne vs, God forbid but yet thoe it were not made for vs at first, now it belongs to vs the Judgmt takes holde of vs, whosoever beleeueth not is alreddy Condemned there ye fire belongs to o[u]r Infidelitie & ye Iudmt takes hold of vs Ite maledicti yn haue not fed me nor Clothed me nor harboured me and therfore goe yn accursed
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there yt fire takes hold of o[u]r omission of necessarie duties & good works what o[u]r remidy now is. why still this is ye way of Gods iustice & his p[ro]ceedings vt sententia lata sit invalida that if he publish his iudgmts his iudgment is not executed, The iudgmt of yeMedes & Persianes were Irrevocable but ye iudgmts of God if they be giuen & published they were not executed The Ninevytts had p[er]ished if ye sentenc of their destruc[i]on had not been giuen. & the sentence pr[e]serued them by bringing to Repentance, so even in this cloyd of Ite maledicti wee may see a day breake. & discerne beames of a sauing light In this iudgmt of eternall darknesse, if ye Contemplac[i]on of Gods iudgmts bring vs to reme[m]ber him it is but a dark and a stormy day, Yet spirituall affliction & apprehension of Gods anger is one day wherin wee may reme[m]ber God. & this is Copiosa redemptio the overflowing mercy of God, that It affords vs many tymes & dayes to reme[m]ber him In, for it is not in Die but in Dieb[us]. For this reme[m]bring wch wee entend is an inchoation, Yet it is a great step into o[u]r Conversion & regenerac[i]on wherby wee are new Creatures and therfore wee may well consider, as many dayes in the new Creac[i]on as were in ye first six dayes, And then the first day was ye makeng of the light, and o[u]r first day is the knowledg of him who saies of him Ego sum lux mundi and of whome St John testifies erat lux vera he was the true light, lightning every man[n] that Comes into the world, This then is o[u]r first day. the light ye knowledge the p[ro]fession of ye Ghospell of Christ Jesus, Now God made light first. vt operatur in Luce saies St August that he might worke in ye light in p[ro]ducing his other Creatures. not that God needed light to work by but for example God hath shed ye beames of yeGhospell, first vppon vs in o[u]rBaptisme that we might haue yt light to work by and to p[ro]duce o[u]r other Creatures that all o[u]r actiones might be tryed by o[u]r selues. By yt light, and that in every enterprise wee might examine o[u]r owne Consciences whether we could not be better content that, that light went out or were eclipsed then ye light of
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our owne glorie whether wee had not rather that yeGhospell of Christ Jesus sufferred a little then o[u]r owne ends & pr[e]fermts God made a light first that he might make his other Creatures by saies St August. & he made it first vt cernerentur quæ fecerat saies St Amb; that these Creatures might see one an other for frustra essent sinon viderentur saie the Father, it had bin to no pu[r]pose for God to haue made Creatures if he had not made light, yt might see one an other & soe glorifie him. God hath giuen vs this light of yeGhospell too that the world might see o[u]r actiones. who moue in lower sphears frustra sunt they ar good for nothing they will come to nothing if they abide not this light, if there appeare not to the world a true zeale to ye pres[er]vac[i]on of yeGhospell and that and yt wee doe not in any thing Erubiscere Evangelu[m] be ashamed of the makeng & declaringe the loue of yeGhospell to be o[u]r principall end in all o[u]r actiones. Now when God had made light & made it to these pu[r]poses he saw yt the light was good saies moses this seeng implies a Considerac[i]on a deliberac[i]on a debatmt yt a religion a forme of p[ro]fessing yeGhospell be not taken & accepted blindly or implicitelie wee must see this light, and then ye seeng that is good implies ye acceptinge of such a religion as is simply good in it selfe. Not good for ye pr[e]sent & ye state of other buisnesse, Not good for any Collatorall or buy respects, but simply absolutly positiuly good & in it selfe, And then when God saw ye light to be good: soe then he severed light from darknes as it is in the text. our light must be seu[er]ed from darknes, soe as yt noe darknes must be mingled wth the light no dreggs, no raggs of Idolatry & sup[er]stition mingled wth ye true religion. But God serued them otherwise, then so too, he severed ym as wee say in ye schooles not tanquam Deo positiua that light should haue a beinge there, and darknes a beinge there but tanqua[m] positiu[um] et privatu[m] that light haue an essentiall beinge & darknes vtterly abolished, And this severing must hold in ye p[ro]fession of yeGhospell too, not soe severed as yt there shalbe a s[er]mon & there a Masse, but that true religion be really p[ro]fessed & Corrupt religion vtterly abolished and then and not till then it was a day saies Moses, and sinc God hath
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giuen vs this day ye light of the Ghospell to those vses to try o[u]r owne pu[r]poses by in o[u]r selues & to shew & Justifie o[u]r actiones by to ye world since wee see this religion to be good yt is p[ro]fes advisedly not implicitly, but he yt is able to abide any triall that ye aduersarie will put vs to of Antiquitie & Fathers & Counsells, Since it is so severed from darknes, as yt no Corrupt p[ar]ts ar mingled wth it, and so severed as yt there be sufficient lawes & meanes for ye abolishinge vtterly, Since God hath giuen vs this day. Qui non humiliavit anima in die hac, as Moses saith, of other dayes of Gods institution, he yt will not throw downe himselfe before God in this day in humble thanks that wee haue it in humble prayers, that wee may still haue it; He doth not remember God in his first day, he doth not Consider how great a the p[ro]fession of yeGhospell is, To make shorter, dayes of ye rest, for wee must through all ye stix in a few minutes, the waters aboue & the Waters below, and this Firmamt in Man[n] is Termi[n]us Cogi nosci abliu[m], the limitt of those things wch God hath giuen Mann meanes & faculties to Conceaue & vnderstand of him, he hath limitted o[u]r eyes wth a starrie Firmamt, wee cannot see beyond that, he hath limitted o[u]r vnderstandinge, wth a starrie Firmamt too, wth ye knowledge of those things Qua vbiq[ue] que semper, wth those starres whome he hath kindled in his  . the Fathers & doctors haue ever fro[m] the beginninge p[ro]posed, as things necessarie to be explicetly beleeued for ye salvation of o[u]r soules, For the eternall decrees of God & his vnrevealed misteries, and ye knottie & inextricable p[er]plexities of Schooles, they are waters aboue ye Firmamt. here Paule plants heare Appollo waters here God raseth vp men[n] to Convay to vs the dew of his grace by waters vnder the Firmamt, by visible meanes of Sacraments. by ye word so preached & so explicated, as it hath bin vnaniculy & constantly from ye begininge of yeChurch. And therfore this second day is p[e]rfected, and Consumated in ye third. For in ye third day God Came to that Congregentur aque[m]. Let the waters be gathered into one place, God hath gathered all the waters of life into one place all ye doctrynes necessary for ye life to Come into yeCatholique
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Church and in ye third day God came to his p[ro]ducat terra that here vppon earth all herbes & fruites necessary for mannes foode should be p[ro]duced, that here in this visible Church should be all things necessarie for ye spirituall food of o[u]r soules. And therfore in this third day God repeates twise that Testimonie vidit quod Bonum. He saw it was good, that there should be a gatheringe of waters into one place, that no Doctrine should be sought that had not bin receaued in ye Church and then vidit quod bonu[m] he saw it was good, that there all herbes & trees should be p[ro]duced that bore seed, All doctrines that were to be seminall, to be p[ro]seminated, & p[ro]pagated & Continewed to yeLord should be taught in yeChurches, But for such doctrines, as were but to vent the passiones of vehemt men, or to serue ye turne of great Men for a tyme for Collaterall doctrynes, temporarie interlineallie Marginall doctrynes, wch belonged not to ye body of ye Text to fundamentall things necessarie to salvac[i]on; fo these there is no vidit qd bonum no testimonie that they were good. Now Si in dieb[us] istis. If in these thy dayes when God giues thee a Firmamt or knowledg what thou art to lerne concerneng him, and when God giues thee this Collection of waters this fruitfulnes of earth the knowledge where to receiue these necessarie doctrines if in these dayes thou wilt not reme[m]ber God it is an inexcusable & irrevocable lethargie, In ye 4th dayes worke wch was the makeng of yeSunn & Moone. Let the Sun be to rule the day be the testimony of Gods loue towards thee, in ye sunshine of temporall p[ro]sperity & the Moone to shyne by night be the refreshinge of his comfortable p[ro]mises in the Ghospell in ye darknes of adversitie Rememb[er] in this thy day that he can make thy Sun to sett at Noone. Blow out yt taper of p[ro]sperity, when it burnes brightest And he can make thy Moone turne into blood make all the p[ro]mises of thy Ghospell wch should Comforte thee in adu[er]sitie, turne into dispaire & obdurac[i]on. Let ye first dayes work wch was the Creationomnium Reptiliu[m] et omniu[m] volatiliu[m], of all creeping things and of all flyeng things. signifyeng either thy humble devotion wherin thou saiest to God vermis ego sum et non homo. I am a worme & no man[n], or let it signifie a Rasing of thy soule in yt security   that God hath giuen the wings of a doue to fly to the wildernesse from the temptations of this world
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in a retyred life & in Contemplac[i]on: Rememb[er]: in this day that God can suffer even thy humiltie to stray & degenerrate into an vncomlie deiection &   & senclessnes of the true divinitye & true lib[er]ty of a Christian, And can suffer thy retyring thy selfe from the world to degenerate into a Contempt & despising of others and vndervaluing of thine owne p[er]fectiones, thine owne puritie & imaginarie righteousnes, Let the last day in wch mann & beast were made of earth but yet a liveng soule breathed in man[n] remember thee that this earth wch treadest vppon thee, this bodie yt loades thee & oppresse thee must returne to ye graue. and thy spirit must returne to him yt gaue it, And lett yeSabboth remember thee too that sinc God hath giuen a temporall Sabboth placed thee in a land of peace & a Ecclesiasticall Sabboth in a Conscienc of peace. by remembring now thy Creator in all in some in one of these dayes of thy new week, Either as God hath Created a first day in thee by giuenge thee the light of the Ghospell or a second by giueng thee a Firmamt a knowledg of those things that conc[er]ne thy salvac[i]on, or a third day accesse to that place where those doctrines & Waters of life ar gatherred together, the Church or a fourth day when thou hast a Sun[n] & Moone, thankfulnesse in prosperitie Comforte in adu[er]sitie. Reptile humilitate et volatile fiducia. an humble deiecting of thy selfe before God, and yet a secure Confidence in God: or as in the sixt day thou Considerrest thy Composition that thou hast a body yt must dy thoe thou wouldest haue it liue and then hast a soule that must liue thoe thou wouldest haue it dye, Now all these dayes are Contracted into lesse roome into this text into two for heere ye originall word Binei Bemrothica is either in dieb[us] iuventutis, in the
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dayes of thy youth, or in dieb[us] electionu[m] in the day of thy harts desire when thou enioyest whatsoeuer thy hart can wish First therfore if thou wouldest be hard in Davids prayer delicta inventutis, o Lord rememb[er] not ye sinnes of my youth, reme[m]ber to come to this prayer in Job the 24.4. diebus iuventutis. Job reme[m]bers wth sorrow how he was in the dayes of his youth, when Gods p[ro]vidence was vppon his tabernacle, And it is said But a late Considerac[i]on wth what tendernes of Conscience, what scruples what rumores wee enterred in ye beginenge of sinnes in o[u]r youth and how indifferrent things those sin[n]es ar growne to vs, and how obdurate wee are growne in them now. It was Jobs sorrow to consider in his youth, and it was Tobias Comfort whe[n] I was (saies he all my trbe fell away but I alone went often to Jherusalem, for it is good for a Man[n] to beare his yoke in his youth saies Jeromy, and even when God had delivered over his people to be afflicted pu[r]posly, Yet himselfe Isay.47.6. complaines in their behalfe, that yePersecutor laid the very heavyest yoake vppon the very aintienst Men, Age is unfitt for burdeins, and to reserue the weight & burthens of o[u]rBasill. Conversion & repentance till o[u]r age, as an irregular, an ingruent & a disp[ro]portionable thing labore fracta instrumenta ad deu[m] diuis quoru[m] nullus vsus. wilt thou pr[e]tend to work in Gods building & bring no tooles but such as are blunted and & broken in ye s[er]vice of ye world before. No man[n] would pr[e]sent a August: laime horse a disordered clock, or a torne booke to yeKinge, Caro iumentu[m], thy body is thy beast, thy flesh is thy horse, and wilt thou pr[e]sent that to God when it is lamed & tyred with accesse of wantonnesse, when thy Clock thy whole course of thy life is disordered wth passiones & p[e]rturbationes when thy the historie of thy life is torne. 1000 sinnes of thy owne torne out of thy memorie, wilt thou pr[e]sent this Clocke this booke soe defaced & so mangled to thy God thou pr[e]tendest to pr[e]sent that wch in deed, thou dost not Temperantia Basell non est temperantia in Senectute sed impotentia temporantie thy pr[e]tendest to pr[e]sent temporance & continuance to God and in age temporance is not temporance but only a disability of being intemp[ora]te, It is often and well said, Senex
[p. 14]
bis puer a old mann returnes to ye ignorance & frowardnes of a Child againe, but it is not said, Senex bis Juvenis that he returnes to ye dayes of his youth againe. to pr[e]sent first fruits acceptable to God so late in his yeares, do this then in dieb[us] juventutis in thy best strength, and when thy naturall faculties are best able to concurr wth Gods grace but doe it too in dieb[us] electionu[m] whilst thou maiest chose for if thou hast worne out ye word in one sence that it be too late remember him in ye dayes of thy youth thats sinnefully & negligently spent already, Yet as long as thou arte able to make a new choice, to chose a new sinn, that when ye heate of youth, are not overcome but burnt out, then thy midle age chooseth ambition, and thy old age chooseth Coventuousnes as long as thou art abell to make this choice, thou art able to make a better then this for God testifies the power wch he hath giuen thee: I call heaven & record this day I haue sett before thee, life & death choose life; if this choice like yn not Deut: 30.19 Saies Joshua to ye people if it seemes evill in yo[u]r eyes to serue ye lord. Choose yn this day whome yn will serue heres ye election day, bring yt yn would haue into ye ballanc & Comparison wth yt yn should haue, bring yt wch the world keepes from yn into the ballanc wth yt wch God pr[e]sents to yn & tell me what yn would choose, to pr[e]ferr before God for honor & favo[u]r & riches & health p[er]chanc yn cannot ym thoe yn choose them, but if yn haue, can yn haue more of them, then they haue had to whome those very things haue bin very occasion of ruine, It is true the Markett is open[n] till the last bell rings till the last rings & rings out, the Church is open and grace is offerred in the Sacramts of the Church. but trust not thou to yt rule that men buy cheapest at the end of the markett that Heaven may be had for a breath at last, when they that stand by thy bed and heare yt breath cannot tell whether it be a sigh or a gaspe whether a religious breathing
[p. 15]
& anheliation, after ye next life or onely a naturall breathing & exhalac[i]on of this but find thou a spirituall good husbandry in that other rule, that ye best of ye Markett is to be had in the begineng, for howsoever in thy age, there may be Gods workinge dies iuventutis God make thee a new Creature & so giue thee a new Youth, for as God himself is Antiquissimus dieru[m], so wth God no man is sup[er]anuinated, Yet when age hath made a man[n] impotent for sinn theis are not p[ro]perly dies electionis. when he forbeares sinn out of impotencie to that sin. And therfore whilst thou hast a choice meanes to advanc thy owne pu[r]poses, meanes to defeat other men[n]es pu[r]poses by evill meanes Remember but whome Creatoru[m], For wee for wee haue donn wth ye facultie to be excited, the memory & wth the time now, and wee come to ye obiect the Creator, And there, Reme[m]ber first yeCreator then thy Creator, And reme[m]ber thy Creator first, first because the memorie can goe no further then the Creac[i]on: The memorie reaches farr but it must find somthing don & what was don before the Creac[i]on; wee haue therfore no meanes to conceit or appr[e]hend any of Gods actions before yt: for when men will speak of decrees of rep[ro]bation decrees of Condemnac[i]on before a decree of Creation this is not ye holy Ghosts pace, they goe before him, they Remember God a Judge & a Condemning iudge before the Creator, This is to put a pr[e]face before Moyses his Genisis God will haue the the Bible begin wth ye Creation, and wee will not be content wth that In principio But wee will seek out a Ante principiu[m], to know what God did before he begon to do any thing Ad extra, the In principio of Moses wee can reme[m]ber that God created Heaven & earth in the begineng, but in the In principio of St John the begineng yt he begins his Ghospell wth all the eternall beginenge wee cannot remember, wee can remember God that in Moyses but not God erat in St John what God hath don for vs, the obiect of o[u]r memorie, not what God did before wee or any thinge else was: For when it is said in o[u]rTranslac[i]on the holy Ghost was not giuen because Christ was not glorified, thoe yt happines seeme necessarie for ye clearing of the sence, yet that word
[p. 16]
giuen is not in ye text, but it is simplie Spiritus Sanctus non erat, the holy Ghost was not, Non erat Antiqu[am] operaterum Saies St August: he was not to this intendend & pu[r]pose he was not manifested nor declared in vs till he wrought in vs: And soe wee may say of God in gen[er]all not considerred in any one parson, Wee cannot reme[m]ber him but in the p[ro]ducinge of his worke in yeCreation. Thy Byble begines there, and thy Creede begines there, and thou haste a good & p[er]fect memorie, if thou reme[m]ber, All that is pr[e]sented thee by these waies, goe no higher then yeRom: 8 vlt. Creation: Reme[m]ber thy Creator then because thou canest reme[m]ber nothinge beyond him, and reme[m]ber him so too, that thou maiest stick vppon nothing on this side of him thoe so neither heyght not deph nor any other Creature may sep[ar]ate thee from God, not only sep[ar]ate finally; but not returned thee any other wayes, but as the loue of the Creature, may lead thee to the Creator, wee see fair shipps in the River, but all their vse were gon if yt river lead not out into ye sea wee see men[n] fraught wth honor and riches, but all their vse if gon, if that lead them not to the honor & glory of the Creator; And therfore saies the 1 Pet: 4:vlt Apostle let them that suffer Comitt their soules to God, as to a faithfull Creator, He had gratious pu[r]poses vppon vs in o[u]r Creation, and if he bringe vs back againe to as good estate as wee had in o[u]r Creation wee enioy ye very redemption too This then is ye true contractinge & this is ye true extending of this facultie of the memorie to remember ye Creator & stay there because there is no p[ro]spect further & reme[m]ber ye Creator & yett soe farr there is no false footinge nor relyeng vpon[n] any Creature Rememb[er] then the Creator & thy Creatour if thou desire wisdome Quis prudentior sapiente where wilt thou seek it but of him yt is wisdome itselfe, if thou desire proffitt Quis vtilior bono what can proffitt thee more then goodnes itselfe, and if thou wouldest reme[m]ber yt wch is nearest thee quis Coniunctior Creatore who is so nere thee as he yt made thee & gaue thee thy beinge, what
[p. 17]
pu[r]pose soever thy parents or thy Prince haue to make thee great haue had all these pu[r]poses bin frustrated if God had not made thee before, Thy verie being is the greatest degree a in Arithmatique how great a number soever a man[n] expresses in manie figures Yet when as is donn, and yt wee begin to reckon & name this number the first figure of all is the greatest of all: soe what degrees or titles soever a man haue in this world, the greatest of all is ye first of all that he had a beinge by Creation: for ye distance from nothing to a little is infinitly more, then from yt little to the best degree in this life and therefore reme[m]ber thy Creator, as by beinge, that he hath don for thee then all ye world besides, and remember him soe too wth this Considerac[i]on, that since, that since thou hadest a Creator thou wert once nothing he made thee gaue thee a being; Theres matter of exaltation he made thee a nihilo, thou wast lesse then a worme theres matter of humilation: but he did not make thee ab nihilu[m] to returne to nothing againe, theres matter of studie & considerac[i]on how to make thine imortalitie p[ro]fitable vnto thee: for it is a deadly imortalitie, if thou beest immortall for only immortall tormts, That being wch wee haue from men, neither as St Barnard saies of the image of God imprinted in mannes souls dei potest in Gehenna non exurit yt descendes to hell Carries the image of God thither too and can never be burnt out in hell, soe those Images & those Impressiones, wch wee haue receiued, from men, from nature, from the world: The Image of a Lawyer the Image of a Lord, the Image of a Bishopp may all burne in hell, but they cannot be burnt out, not onely not those soules but not those offices, shall retorne to nothinge; but o[u]r Condempnac[i]on shalbe everlastingly aggrevated for ye ill vse of those offices, and therfore remember thy Creator, whoe as he made thee of nothinge shall hold thee still to his glorie, thee to thy confusion in a state capable of his heauiest iudgmts, for the Court of God is not like other Courts, that after a surfett of pleasure or greatnes, a man may retyre after a surfett of sinn there is no such retyringe, or disolvinge the soule into nothinge and therfore reme[m]ber he made thee, that wast nothinge, and what he made thee thou canest be nothing againe, To shutt vpp this Circle and to retorne to ye beginenge: to excyte this p[ar]ticuler facultie of the memorie as wee remember God, so for his sake and in him let vs reme[m]ber one an other, In my long absence & farr distance, reme[m]ber me as I shall doe yn, in ye eares of yt God, to whome ye farthest east and ye farthest west ar as but ye right & left eare in one of vs wee heare wth both vs eares at once He heares in both places at once remembere me
[p. 18]
not my abilities, for when I considerrred my Apostlshipp to yn yt I was sent to yn, I am in St Paules Quoru[m] quoru[m] ego minimus. I am ye least of them that hath bin sent vnto yn, and when I iustly consider my infirmities, I might iustly lay a heavyer name vppon them, I know I am in his other Quoru[m] quoru[m] ego maximus sent to saue sinners of whome ye Cheifest, But yet remember my laboures my endevoures at least my desires to do ym that great s[er]vice of making sure yo[u]r salvation. And I shall remember yo[u]r religious Chearfulnes in hearing the word & Christianlike respect of those who bringe yn this word & of me in p[ar]ticuler too farr aboue my meritt, And so as yo[u]r eyes that stay here, and mine yt must be farr of for all yt distanc, shall meete eu[er]y morning in looking vppon ye in looking vppon ye same Sun: and meet every night in lookinge vppon ye same Moone, soe o[u]r harts may meete morninge & eveninge in yt God who sees & heares alike in all distances: that yn may come vpp to him in yo[u]r prayers in my behalfe, that if I may be of any vse for his glory & yo[u]r edification in this place, may be restored in this place to yn againe And I may come vp to him wth my prayers in yo[u]r behalfe, that what Paule soever shall plant heere, or what Appollo soever shall water, heere he himselfe wilbe pleased to giue the increase. And if yt I never meete yn till by seu[er]all waies wee haue mett in ye gates of deathe Yet wthin the gates of Heaven I may incyte yn all & then say to my savio[u]r & yo[u]r savio[u]r, that wch he said to his Father & o[u]r Father, of these whome thou gauest me, haue I not lost one; Remember me thus yn that stay in this kingdome of peace where no sword is drawne but the sword of Justice, as I shall reme[m]ber yn in those kingdomes where ambition on ye one side, & a necessarie defenc against imminen p[er]section on the other side hath drawne many swordes already & Christ Jesus reme[m]ber vs all in his kingdome to wch thoe wee must saile through a sea Yet it is a sea of his blood in wch soule never sufferred shipwracke Though wee must be blowne wth strong winds wth vehement sighs & groanes for o[u]r sin[n]es, Yet is the spirritt of God that blowes all that winde in vs, & shall blow away all Contrarie windes of differrence in his mercy, It is that Kingdome where wee shalbe all souldiers of one army, the Lord of Hosts and all Children of one Quire the God of Harmonie & Consent, when all Clyents shall retaine but one
[catchword(s): advocate]

[p. 19]
Advocate the Advocate of vs all, Christ Jesus, and yet every Clyent receiue a sentence on his side not onely in a verdict of not guilty a non imputation of his sin[n]es, but a venite Benedicti a reall p[ar]ticipation of an imortall Crowne of glorie, where there shalbe no differrences in affectiones nor in voice, but wee shall all agree as fully & as p[er]fectly in o[u]rHalleluiah & o[u]r gloria in excelsis as God ye Father & God ye Sonn & God ye holy Ghost agreed in their Faciamus homine[m] wee shall praise the whole Trinitie as vnanin   as yeTrinitie concurred in makenge vs so end it is ye kingdome where wee shall end & yet begin but then where wee shall haue continuall rest and never grow lazie, where wee shall haue more strength & no enemies, wee shall liue & never dye, where wee shall meete & never p[ar]te, but here wee must./

Finis Dr Dun./

This sermon he preached at Lincolnes Inn before
his goeng with vicount Doncaster./


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 by Sebastiaan Verweij.

Transcription proofread by Emma Rhatigan.

Transcription coded by Sebastiaan Verweij.


Institution: Bodleian Library, Oxford
Shelfmark: MS Ashmole 781
OESJD siglum: A


Item no: 1
Locus: pp. 1-19
Title: Remember now thy Creator in the dayes of thy youth Ecclisast: 12.1
Incipit: Wee may consider 2. great vertues, one for the society of
Explicit: never parte, but here wee must./
Final Rubric: Finis Dr Dun./ This sermon he preached at Lincolnes Inn before his goeng with vicount Doncaster./
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.10; P&S Vol. II.11


Material: Paper, quarto, 85 leaves. 193 X 150 mm.
Foliation: The manuscript is paginated i-ii, 1-70, 73-170. Pagination from 1-162 was added in the seventeenth century and corresponds to the list of contents on pp. 167-68.
Collation: I:7, II-IV:8, V:8(-1), VI-X:8, XI:7
Condition: The manuscript is extremely fragile, due to the corrosive effect of highly acidic ink. In the more badly affected places the paper is darkened to the point of illegibility, and many leaves are split down the middle where the ink has literally eaten away the paper. Fortunately, the Donne sermon is the first item in the manuscript, and this remains relatively unaffected. For conservation purposes the manuscript was unbound, and individual bifolia are now retained in melinex. A MS film has been produced (Bodleian Library, MS Film 579), which itself now is also badly damaged. A MS photocopy is available for general consultation, MS Ashmole 781*. A physical description and conservation report is kept with the original manuscript, including beta-radiographs of two leaves showing watermarks.


The Donne sermon is written in a single hand of the early seventeenth-century. It is somewhat various in size, especially when more text had to be fitted onto the bottom of the page. Some occasional blank spaces have been left, there where the scribe could presumably not read the copytext. Secretary and italic scripts are freely mixed. Single or double strokes (resembling equation marks) frequently fill out the end of a line. Punctuation is erratic, but not uncommonly so for a manuscript of this period. Very lightly inked dots frequently appear in between words, but they appear not to be punctuation, but rather pen-rests (for this reason, they have not been reproduced). Typical scribal abbreviation include 'yn' for 'you' (that is, 'thou'); and word-final superscript 't' or 'ts' for words ending in 'ment' or 'ments', like 'Sacramts'. Other commonly abbreviated words include 'that', 'the', 'with', and 'which'.

This XML document is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License