OESJD IV.10; on Eccles. 12.1

[p. 1] Ecclesiastes. 12. 1. Remember nowe
thy Creator in the daies of thy youth./.

Wee may consider two greate vertues, one for the society of this life, Thankfullnes, and the other for attayninge the next life, Repentaunce, as the pretious mettalls siluer & gould, of this siluer, of the vertue of Thankfulnes, there are whole Mynes in the earth, Bookes written by Morrall men, by Philosophers, A man may growe rich in that Mettall, in that vertue, by digging in that Myne, in the precepts of Morrall men; But of this Gould, this vertue of Repentaunce, there is noe Myne in the Earth; in the Bookes of Philosophers noe doctrine of Repentaunce; This gould is for the most p[ar]te in the washes: This Repentaunce for the most parte in the waters of Tribulac[i]on. But God directes thee to it in this Text, before thou cometh to those waters: Remember nowe thy Creator before those evill daies come, and then thou wilt repent, that thou didst not remember him till nowe. Here then the Holy ghost takes the neerest waie to bring Man to god by awaking his Memory: for the understanding signifies long instrucc[i]on and cleere demonstrac[i]on; And the will requires an instructed vnderstanding before; & is of it self, the blyndest & the bouldest faculty: But if the Memory doe fasten vpon anie of those thinges, such God hath done for vs, thats the neerest way to him./

Remember therefore, & Remember nowe, though the Memorie be plac’d in the hindermost parte of the Braine, deferre not thou thy Remembring to the hindermost p[ar]te of thy life; But doe it nowe Nunc in die, nowe while you hast light, &, Nunc in diebus, as it is in the Text, Nowe while god p[re]sents thee many lights, many meanes to come to him; And in [p. 2] diebus Juventutis, in the dayes of thy youth, of thy strength whilst thou arte able to doe that which thou proposest to thy self And as the originall word Bemei Bechurotheica, imports: In diebus Electionu[m] tuaru[m], whilst thou art able to make thy choice, whilst the grace of god shines soe brightlie vpon thee, as that thou mayst see thy waie, and soe powerfully vpon thee as that thou maist walke in that waie. Nowe in thy daie, Nowe, in theis daies, Remember But whome? first the Creator that all those things wch thou labourest for, and delightest in, were created, They were nothing, & therefore thy memory lookes not farre enough backe, if it sticke onely vpon the Creature, and 1. reach not to the Creator. Remember ye Creator, & remembr thy Creator and in that Remember, that he made thee, and then, what he made thee; he made thee of nothing, But of that nothing, he hath made thee such a thing, as cannott return to nothing againe, but must remaine for ever, whether ever in Glorie, or ever in Torment that depends vpon Remembring thy creator nowe, in the daies of thy youth./.

memento First Remember, wch word is vsed often in the Scriptures for considering & taking care for; God Remembred Noah and every beast wth him, in the Arke, as the word contrary to this forgettinge, is also vsed for the affecc[i]on contrary to it, neglecting, can a woman forgett her childe, & not have compassion on the sonne of her wombe? but here wee take not Remembring soe largely, but restraine it to the exercise, of that one faculty, the Memory for that is Stomachus Animæ, Bernard. It receives, and [catchword(s): digestes] [p. 3] digests, & turnes to good blood, all the benefitts formerly exhibited to vs in particular, and to the whole church of god. Present that which belongs to the vnderstanding to that faculty & the vnderstanding is not presentlie settled in it; present anie of the prophecyes made in the captivity, and a Jewes vnderstanding will take them for a deliveraunce from that Bondage, and a Christians vnderstanding will take them from a spirituall deliuerance from Synne, & death, by the Messias, by Jesus Christ. Present anie of the prophecies of the Reuelac[i]on concerning Antichrist, and a Papists vnderstanding will take them of a single, & a sodaine, & a transitory man, that must last but three yeeres and a haulf, and a protestants vnderstanding will take it of a succession and continuance of Men. That have lasted 1000. yeeres att least alreadie. Present but the name of a Bishop or elder out of the Actes of the Apostles or out of theire Epistles, and other men will take it for a name of paritie and equallitie, and wee for a name of office & distinction in the Hierarchy of gods Church. Thus it is in the vnderstanding thats often perplexed. Consider the other faculty the will of man, and there, by those bitternesses wch haue passed betweene the Jesuites, and the dominicans in the Romaine Church, even to the imputac[i]on of the crime of Heresy vpon one another, in questions concerning the will of man, and howe that concurres wth the grace of god, particularly, whether the same proporc[i]on of grace, being offred by God to two men equallie disposed towards him before, must not necessarily worke equally in those two; And by those [p. 4] bitternesses among the persons neerest vs, even to the drawing of swords in questions of the same kinde; particularly whether that prop[or]c[i]on of grace wch doth effectually converte a p[ar]ticler man, might not haue beene resisted by the p[er]versnes of that mans will, whether that grace were irresistable, or noe. by all theis, and infinite such other difficulties, wee maie see howe vntractable and vntamable a facultie the will of man is. But leaue the vnderstanding, & the will, and come to the memory, come not wth matter of Lawe, but wth matter of facte, Lett God make his wonderfull worke to be had in remembraunce, as david saies. Present the histories of gods protecc[i]on of his Children in the Arke, in the wildernesse, in the captivities, in infinite other daungers, pr[e]sent this to the memory, and howsoever the vnderstanding be beclouded, or the will perverted, yet both Jewe and Christian, Papist and Protestant Refractory, and conformitan are affected wth a thankefull acknowledegment of his former mercyes, and benefitts. This issue of that faculty of the memory is alike in them all; And therefore God in givinge the Lawe, workes vpon noe other facultie but this, I am the Lo. thy god which brought thee out of the land of Egypte. He onely presents to theire memory what he had done for them; And soe in deliveringe the Ghospell in one principall seale thereof, the p[ar]ticipac[i]on of his bodie and blood in the Sacrament, he proceeds soe too, he recomends it to their memory, doe this in Rembraunce of me./

This is the facultie that god desires to work vpon and therefore if thy vnderstanding be too narrowe to comprehend or reconcile all differences in all Churches (as what [catchword(s): vnderst.] [p. 5] vnderstandinge is lardge enough to doe soe?) if thy will be too scrupulous to submitt it self to the ordinaunces of thyn owne church, as sometymes a zeale, though not perverse yet vndigested may worke that) yet haue the recourse to thine owne Memory, for as Sct Barnard calls that the stomacke of the Soule, Bernard soe may wee bee bould to call it the gallery of the Soule, hunge wth soe manie and soe livelie pictures, of the goodnes, and mercyes of thy God to thee, and that every one of them may be a sufficient catechisme, to instructe thee in all thy p[ar]ticuler duetyes to god for those Mercyes: And then as a well made, and well placd picture, lookes alwaies vpon him that looks vpon it, soe shall thy God looke vpon thee; whose memory is thus contemplating him, and shine vpon thine vnderstandinge, and rectifie thy will too. If thy Memory cannott comprehend his Mercy att large, as it hath beene shewed to his whole Church (as it is allmost an incomprehensible thing to consider, that in a fewe yeeres, God hath made vs even, even in number & temporall strength to our adversaryes of the Romaine Church). If thy Memory haue not received & held that great picture, of our gen[er]all deliveraunce fro[m] that invincible Navy & (if that Mercy be written in the waters, and in the sands where it was acted, and not in thy Memory). If thou remember not or latter, but greater deliverance from that Artificiall hell, that Vaulte of powder (in wch though the devills Instruments lost their plott, they did not blowe vs vpp, yet the devill goes [p. 6] forward wth his plott, if he can blowe that out, and bring vs to forgett that Mercye, or not to hate them wth a perfecte hatred, who were the true rootes and occasioners of it) If theis be too lardge pictures for thy Galleries, for thy Memory, yet eury Man hath a pockett picture aboute him, a Manuall, a bosome booke, and if he will but turne ouer one Leafe of yt booke, but Remember, what god hath donne for him, even since yesterday, he shall finde by that little branche a Navigable River to saile into that greate & endles Sea, of the Mercyes of god towards him from the beginninge of his being./

Doe but Remember then, but Remember nowe saies the Text, of his owne will begatt he vs, wth the word of truth, that wee should be Primitiæ, the first fruites of his Creatures, that as wee consecrate all his creatures to him, in a sober & religious vse of them, soe as the first fruites of all, wee should principally consecrate or selues to his seruice betimes. Nowe there were three payments of <first> fruites <appointed> by god, to the Jewes. The first were Primitiæ Spicaru[m], the first fruites of their eares of corne; and this was early aboute Easter. The second Primitiæ Panum the first fruites of their Loaues, after the corne was converted to that vse, and this though it were not soe soon, yet it was early too, aboute Whitsuntide The third were Primitiæ frugum of all their latter fruites in gen[er]all, and this was very late in Autumne in the fall, aboute September. In the two first of [catchword(s): theis] [p. 7] of theis three, in those that offred early, God had his p[ar]te but in the latter fruites he had none: he had his p[ar]te in the corne, and in the Loaues, but in that came last god would haue noe porc[i]on.

Offer thy selfe to god then as Primitias Spicaru[m] whether thou gleane in the world, or binde vp, by whole sheaues, whether thy increase be by little & little, or thou be rich att once by the devoluc[i]on of a rich inheritaunce & patrimony vpon thee; offer this in an Acknowledgment, that this proceedes from the Treasure of his goodnes, and not from thyne industrie, And offer thy self againe as Primitias Pane[m] when thou hast kneaded vp riches, and honor, and favor in a settled and an established fortune, offer that to God too in an acknowledgement that he can scatter & moulder awaye that state againe howe safe soeuer it seemed to be setled, offer att thy Easter, whensoeuer thou hast any resurrecc[i]on, any sense of raising thy soule fro[m] the shadowe of death, offer thy confession to God, That it is the sunneshine of his grace, and not the strength of thy Moralitye. Offer att thy Pentecost att thy Whitsuntide, whensoeuer the holy ghost descends vpon God in a fiery Tongue, that thou feelest thy self melted by the powerfull preaching of his word; offer thy confession then, that, that is the proceeding of his grace, and not the disposic[i]on or concurrence or tendernes of thy Nature, for if thou deferre thy offring till September, till thy fall, till [catchword(s): thy] [p. 8] till thy winter, till thy death, howsoeuer those may be thy first fruites, because they be the first that euer thou gavyst, yet they are not such as are not acceptable to God; God hath noe porc[i]on in them, if they come soe late. Offer thy self nowe, nay, doe but offer to thy self Nowe: thats but an easy request; and yet there’s noe more askd. Basĩlla Viximus mundo, viuamus reliquum nobis ipsis: Thus long wee haue serued the world, let vs serue our selves the rest of or time. But this is the best p[ar]te of or selues, or Soules. Idem. Expectas vt febris te vocet ad Pœnitentiam? Hadst thou rather a sicknes should bring thee to god, then a Sermon? hadst thou rather be behoulding to a Phisic[i]on for thy Saluac[i]on, then to a Preacher? Thy busnes is to Remember, stay not for thy last sicknes, wch may be a Lethargie, in wch thou maiest forgett thy owne name, and his that gaue thee thy best name, the name of a Christian, Chr[ist] Jesus himself, thy busines is to Remember, and thy time is Nowe, Apoca: 10.6 Staie not till that Angell come, wch shall saie & sweare, that time shall be noe more./

In die Remember then; and remember Nowe, and Nunc in die nowe whilst it is day, The Lo. will heare thee Psal. 20.10. in die qua invocaueris sayes david in the daye that thou callst vpon him, and in quacunq[u]e die, what daye soeu[er] thou callst vpon him, Psal. 137.4. And in quacunq[u]e velociter exaudiet, in any day he will heare thee quickly; but still it is opus diei, It is a worke of [p. 9] the daie, to call vpon god for in the night, in or last night, those thoughts that fall vpon vs, are rather dreames, then Remembrings; vpon or death bed we rathr dreame wee repent, then repent indeed. To him that Travailes by night, a bush seemes a horse, and a horse a man, and a Man a spiritt, nothing hath the true shape to him, to him that repenteth by night on his death bed, neither his owne sins nor the mercies of God, haue their true proporc[i]on. this night they will fetch awaie thy Soule saies Chr[ist] to the secure Man, but he neither tells him who they bee that shall fetch it awaie, nor whith[e]r they shall carrye it, he hath noe light, but light[n]ings, a sodaine flash of horror and soe translated into the fire wch hath noe light: Chrys[o]sttom: 5 ad populum Antioch Numquid Deus nobis ignem istu[m] pr[e]parauit? non nobis, sed diabolo et Angelis. God made not this fire for vs, but for the devill & his Angells. Math. 25.41. And yet wee, who are vessells soe broken as that there is not a sheard left to fetch water att the pitt (as the Prophett expresses an irreperable ruine) Esay. 30 Noe meanes in or selves to derive one droppe of the blood of Chr[ist]Jesus vpon vs, noe meanes to wring out one teare of true contric[i]on fro[m] vs, wee that are vessells thus broken, as that there is not one sheard left to fetch water att any pitt, haue plunged our selues into this darke, this euerlasting fire, wch was not prepared for vs. A wretched couetousnes, to be intruders vpon the devill, A wretched Ambic[i]on to be vsurpers vpon damnac[i]on. God did not make that fire [p. 10] for vs, but much lesse did he make vs for that fire, make vs to damne vs, God forbidd; but yet though it were not made for vs att first, nowe it belonges to vs. The Judgment takes hould of vs; whosoeuer beleeveth not is already condemned, There the fire belonges to or infidelity and the Judgment takes hould of vs, Ite Maledicti; you haue not fed me, nor clothed me, nor harboured me and therefore goe yee accursed, Then that fire takes hould of our omission of necessarie dueties and good workes, whats or remedy nowe? Why still this is the waye of gods Justice, and his proceeding, vt sententia lata sit invalida, Chrysost. that if he publish his iudgement his Judgmt is not executed. The Judgment of the Meades & Persians were irrevocable, but the Judgments of god if they be given and published, are not executed. The Nineuites had perished if the sentence of their destrucc[i]on had not been given, and the sentence pr[e]serued them, by bringing them to Repentaunce; soe in this Cloude of Ite Maledicti we may see a daie breake, and discerne beames of saving light, in this Judgment of eternall darknes, if the contemplac[i]on of gods iudgments bringe vs to remember him, It is but a darke and stormy daye; but yet Spirituall afflicc[i]on  and apprehension of gods anger, is one daye, wherein wee may remember god, and this is Copiosa Redemptio the ouerflowing Mercy of or god, that he affoords vs many daies to remember him in; for it is not, in die, but in diebus./

[p. 11] For this Remembring wch wee intend, is an inchoac[i]on, in diebus yea, it is a great stepp vnto or conversion & regenerac[i]on whereby wee are newe creatures, and therefore wee may as well consider as many daies in this newe creac[i]on, as were in the first Sixe daies. And then the first daie was the making of light, and or first daie is the knowledge of him, who saies of himself, Ego sum lux mundi, and of whome St John testifies erat lux vera, he was the true light, lightinge eu[er]y man that comes into the world; This then is or first daye, the light, the knowledge, the profession of the ghospell of Chr[ist] Jesus. Nowe god made light first, vt operaret[u]r in luce (saies St August) that August he might work in the light in producing his other Creatures, not that god needed light to work by, but for or example. God hath shed the beames of the light of the ghospell, first vpon vs in or baptisme, that wee might haue that light to worke by, and to produce or other creatures, by that light, and that in eu[er]y enterprise wee might examine or owne consciences, whether we could not be better content, that, that light went out, or were eclipsed, then the light of or owne glory: whether wee had not rather that the ghospell of Chr[ist] Jesus suffered a little, then or owne ends and pr[e]ferrement, God made light first, that he might make his other creatures by that light, (sayeth Sct August) and he made that first too; August [p. 12] Ambr.vt cernerentur quæ fecerat (saies Sct Ambrose) that those creatures might see one another, for frustra essent si non viderentur (saies that father.) It had beene to noe purpose for god to have made creatures if he had not made light, that they might see one another, and soe glorifie him, God hath giuen vs this light of the Ghospell too, that the world might see or Acc[i]ons by this light; for the Noblest creatures of princes, and the Noblest acc[i]ons of Princes, warre, and peace, & treatyes, & all or creatures & acc[i]ons, who move in lower spheres, frustra sunt, they are good for nothing, they will come to nothing, they are nothing if they abide not this light, if there appeares not to the world a true zeale to the pr[e]servac[i]on of the ghospell, and that wee doe not in anie thing erubescere evangelium be ashamed of making & declaring the loue of the ghospell to be or principall end in all acc[i]ons, Nowe when god had made light, and made it to theis purposes, he sawe that the light was good saies Moyses, This seeing implies a considerac[i]on, a deliberac[i]on, a debatement, That a Religion, a form of professinge the ghospell be not taken & accepted blindly, nor implicitly, wee must see this light; and then the seeing that it is good, implies the acceptinge of such a Religion, as is simply good in it selfe, not good for ease and convenience, not good for honour, or profitt, not good for the pr[e]sent, & the state of other [p. 13] Businesses, not good for any collaterall or by=respects but simply, absolutely, positively, and in it self good; And then when god sawe this light to be good soe, then he sever’d light fro[m] darknes, and it is in the Texte, our light must be severed from darknes, soe as that noe darknes be mingled wth the light, noe dreggs or ragges of Idolatry and sup[er]stic[i]on mingled wth the true Religion. But God severed them otherwise then soe too, he sever’d them as wee saie in the Schoole, not Tanquam duo Positiua, that light shold haue a being there, and darknes a being there, but Tanquam positivu[m] et privativu[m], that light should haue an essentiall being, and darknes be vtterly abolished. And this severing must hould in the profession of the ghospell too, not soe seuer’d as that here shalbe a Sermon and here a Masse, but the true Religion to be really professed, and corrupte Religion be vtterly abolished; And then and not till then, it was a daie saies Moses. And since God hath given vs this daie, the light of the ghospell to these vses, to try or owne purposes by, in or selues, and to shewe & iustifie our acc[i]ons by, to the world; since wee see this Religion to be good; (That is) p[ro]fesse it advisedly, not implicitly, but soe, that it is able to abide, anie triall, that the adversary will putt vs too, of Antiquity, fathers, and counsailes, since it is soe sever’d fro[m] darknes, as that noe corrupte p[ar]tes, are mingled wth it, and soe sever’d as that [p. 14] there are sufficient lawes & meanes for the abolic[i]on of sup[er]stic[i]on vtterly, since god hath giuen vs this daie Leuit. 23 qui non humiliabit animam in die hac. (As Moses saies of other dayes of gods instituc[i]on) he that will not throw downe himself before god, in this daie in humble thankes, that wee haue it, and in humble praier that wee maie still haue it, he do’s not remember god in his first daie, he does not consider howe greate a benefitt the profession of the ghospell is./

To make shorter daies of the rest, (for wee must passe through all the sixe in a fewe Minutes) God in the second daie made the firmament, to divide betweene the waters above, and the waters belowe. And this firmament in man is Terminus cognoscibiliu[m], the limitt of those thinges wch god hath giuen man meanes, and faculties to conceave & vnderstand of him, he hath limitted or eyes wth a starrie firmament, wee cannott see beyond that, he hath limitted or vnderstanding wth a starry firmament too, wth the knowledge of those things, quæ vbiq[ue] quæ semper, with those starres, whome he hath kindled in his church, the fathers, and d[oc].trs haue euer from the beginning proposed, as things necessarie to be explicitelie belieued for the salvac[i]on of or soules. for the eternall decrees of god, and his vnrevealable misteries, and, the knottie & inextricable p[er]plexities of schooles, they are waters aboue the firmament [p. 15] here Paul plants, here Apollo waters, here god raises vp men to convaye to vs the dewe of his grace, by waters vnder the firmament, by visible meanes, by sacraments and by the word soe preach’d and soe explicated, as it hath beene vnanimely & constantly from the beginning of the Church. And therefore this second daie is consum[m]ated and p[er]fected in the third, for in the third daie god came to that congregent[u]r aquæ, lett the waters be gathered into one place. God hath gathered all the waters, all the waters of life into one place, all the doctrines necessary for the life to come into the Catholique Church. And in this third daie god came to his Producat terra. That here vpon earth, all herbes, and fruites necessary for mans food should be produced, that here in the visible Church should be all things necessarie for the spirituall food of or soules. And therefore in this third daie god repeates twice that testimony. vidit quod bonum. he sawe that it was good, that here should be a gathering of waters into one place, that noe doctrine should be taught, that had not been receaued in the Church, and, then vidit qd bonum, he sawe that it was good, that, there all herbes, and trees should be produced, that bore seede, all doctrines that were to be seminall, to be proseminated, and propagated and continued to the end should be taught in the Church. but for such doctrines, as were but to vent the passions, of vehement men, or to serue the turnes of greate men [p. 16] for a time, for collaterall doctrines, temporary, interlineary, Marginall doctrines, wch belonged not to the bodie of the Texte, to fundamentall things necessary to Salvac[i]on; for theis, there is noe vidit qd bonum, noe testimonye that they are good. Nowe si in diebus istis in theis thy daies, when god giues thee a firmament. a knowledge what thou arte to learne concerning him, and when god giues thee this collecc[i]on of waters, and this fruitfillnes of earth, the knowledge where to receave theis generall necessary doctrines, if in theis daies thou wilt not remember god, it is an inexcusable and irrecouerable Lethargie./

In the fourth daies worke, wch was the making of the Sunne & Moone, lett the Sunne rule the Daie, be the testimonies of gods loue to thee in the sunneshine of temporall prosperitie, and the Moone to shine by night, be the refreshing of his comfortable promises in the ghospell, in the darknes of adversitie Remember in this thy daie, that he can make thy Sunne to sett att Noone, Amos blowe out that taper of prosperity when it burnes brightest, and he can make thy Moone to turn into blood, make all the promises of the ghospell, wch should comfort thee in adversitie, turne to despaire, and obdurac[i]on. Lett the fift daies worke, wch was the Creac[i]on omnium Reptibiliu[m] et omniu[m] volatilium, of all creeping things; and all flying things, signifie either thy humble devoc[i]on, wherein thou saist to god vermis ego et non homo [p. 17] I am a worme, and not a man, or lett it signifie the raising <of> thy Soule in that securitie, Pennas Columbæ dedisti, that god hath given thee the winges of a doue to flie to the wildernes, from Tentac[i]ons of this world, in a retired life, and in contemplac[i]on, Remember in this daie too, that god can suffer, euen thy humilitie to straie and degenerate into an vncomely deiecc[i]on, and stupiditie, & senselesnes of the true dignitie, and true libertie of a christian, and he can suffer thy retiring of thy self from the world, to degenerate into a contempte & despising of others, and an overvaluing of thine owne perfecc[i]on, thyne owne puritie, and imaginary righteousnes. Lett the last daie, in wch both man & beast were made of earth, but yet a liuing soule breath’d into Man, Remember thee, that this earth wch treades vpon thee, must returne to that earth thou treadst vpon, this bodie that loades thee, and off oppresses thee, must returne to the grave, and thy spiritt must returne to him that gaue it; And lett the Sabouth Remember thee too, that since god hath given thee a Temporall Sabouth, plac’d thee in a land of peace, and an ecclesiasticall Saboath, plac’d thee in a Church of peace, thou maist perfecte all in a spirituall Saboath, in a conscience of peace, by remembring nowe thy Creator, in all, in some, in one of theis daies of thy newe weeke, either as god hath created a first daie in thee, by giving thee the light of the ghospell, or a second daie by [catchword(s): giueinge] [p. 18] giuing thee, a firmament; a knowledge of those thinges that concerne thy Saluac[i]on, or a third daie, accesse to that place, where those doctrines and waters of life are gathered together, the Church: or a fourth daie, where thou hast a Sunne & a Moone, thankfullnes in prosperitie, comforte in adversitie; or a fift daie, in wch thou hast Reptilem humilitatem & volatilem fiduciam; an humble deiecting of thy self, before god, and yet a secure confidence in god: or as in thy sixth daie thou considerest thy composic[i]on, that thou hast a bodie, that must die, though thou wouldst haue it liue, and thou hast a soule that must liue though thou wouldst haue it dye./

Nowe all theis daies are contracted into lesse roome in this Text; into two, for here the originall word Bimei Becurotheica, is either in diebus iuventutis, in the daies of thy youth, or in diebus electionum, in the daies of thy hartes desire, when thou enioyest whatsoeuer thy hearte can wishe, first therefore, if thou wouldst be heard in dauids praier, delicta Juventutis, O Lord remember not the sinnes of my youth, Remember to come to this praier 29.4 in diebus Juventutis. Job remembers with sorrow howe he was in the daies of his youth, when gods prouidence was vpon his Tabernacle, and it is a sad, but a late considerac[i]on, wth what tendernes of conscience, what scruples, what remorses, wee entred into the beginning of sinnes in our youth, [catchword(s): and] [p. 19] And howe indifferent those sinnes are growne to vs, and howe obdurate wee are growne in them, Nowe; it was Jobs sorrowe to consider his youth, and it was Tobias comforte, when I was younge, saies hee, 1.4 all my Tribe fell awaie, but I alone went often to Jerusalem, for it is good for a man to beare his yoake in his youth, saies Jeremy; And euen then when god had deliuered ouer his people to be afflicted purposely, yet himself complaines in their behaulf: That the persecutor laid the heauiest yoake Esai 47.6 vpon the ancientest Men; Age is vnfitt for burdens, & to reserue the waight & burden of or conu[er]sion and repentaunce till or age, is an irregular, an incongruous, and a disproporc[i]ond thinge,: labore fracta instrumenta ad deum ducis quorum[m] nullus usus? Basill wilt thou pr[e]tend to worke in gods building, and bring noe tooles, but such as are blunted, & broken in the seruice of the world before? Noe Man would present a lame horse, a disordered Clocke, or a torne book to the kinge, Caro Jumentu[m]: :Aug:[ustine] thy bodie is thy beast, thy flesh is thy horse and wilt thou pr[e]sent that to god when it is lam’d and tried wth excesse of wantonnes? when thy clock the whole course of thy life, is disordered with passions and perturbac[i]ons, when thy booke, the historie of thy life, is torne, 1000. synnes of thine owne torne out of thy Memory, wilt thou then pr[e]sent, this clocke this booke, soe defac’d and soe mangled, to thy God? [p. 20] thou pretendst to present that, wch indeed thou dost not Basill. Temperantia non est Temperantia in Senectute, sed impotentia intemperantiæ Thou pr[e]tendst to pr[e]sent Temperaunce and continence to god, and in Age, Temperaunce is noe Temperaunce, but onley a dissability of being intemperate; It is often and well said, Senex bis puer, an ould man returnes to the ignoraunce and frowardnes of a childe againe, but it is not Senex bis Juvenis, that he returnes to the daies of youth againe, to pr[e]sent first fruites acceptable to god, soe late in his yeares. Doe this then in diebus electionu[m], Elect. whilst thou maiest chuse, for if thou hast worne out this worde in one sense, that it be too late to remember him, in the daies of thy youth, thats sinfully, and negligently spent alreadie, yet as longe as thou arte able to make a newe choice, to chuse a newe Synne, that when the heates of youth are not overcome, but burnt out, <then> thy middle Age chooses Ambic[i]on, and thy ould age chooses covetousnes: As long as thou art able to make this choice, thou arte able to make a better this then this, for god testifies the power wch he hath giuen thee, I call heauen and earth to record this daie, Deut. 30.19 that I haue sett before thee, life & death ~ chuse life, if this choice like you not, saies Josua to the people, if it seeme evil in yor eyes to serue the Lord, chuse yee, this daie whome yee will serue. [p. 21] Here’s the election daye, bring that wch yee would haue into the ballaunce, and comparison wth that wch yee should haue, bring that wch the world keepes from you, into the ballance; wth that wch God pr[e]sents to you, and tell me what you would choose to pr[e]ferre before god, for honor, and favor, and health, and riches, perchaunce you cannott haue them, though you chuse them; but if you haue, can you haue more of them, then they haue had, to whome those very things haue beene occasions of ruine? It is true, the Markett is open, till the last Bell ringe, Till thy last bell ring, and ringe out, the Church is open, and grace offered in the sacraments of the Church: but trust not thou to that rule, that men buy cheapest att the’nd of the Markett, that heauen maie be had for a breath att last, when they that stand by thy bed, and heare that breath cannott tell, whether it be a sigh, or a gaspe, whether a Religious breathing an anhelac[i]on after the next life, or onely a naturall breathing & exhalac[i]on of this. But finde thou a spirituall good husbandrie in that other rule, that the best of the markett is to be had att beginning, for howsoeuer in thine age there maie bee by gods working. dies Juventutis, god may make thee a newe creature, and soe giue thee a newe youth (for as god himself is Antiquissimus dierum) soe wth god noe man is superannuated) yet when age hath made a man impotent for sinne theis are not properly, dies Electionis, when he forbeares sinne, out of impotence towards that synne, And therefore whilst thou hast a choice, meanes to advance [catchword(s): thyne] [p. 22] thine owne purposes, meanes to defeate other mens purposes by evill meanes, Remember, but whome?

Creat. For wee haue done wth the facultie to be excited, the Memory, and wth the time, Nowe: and wee come to the obiecte, the Creator: and there remember, first the Creator, and then thy Creator,: And remember the Creator first, because the Memory can goe noe further then the creac[i]on; the Memory reaches farre but it must finde something done, and what was done before the Creac[i]on? Wee haue therefore noe meanes to conceaue or apprehend anie of gods acc[i]ons before that: for when men will speake of decrees of Reprobac[i]on, decrees of condemnac[i]on, before a decree of Creac[i]on, this not the Holie ghosts space, they goe before him, they remember god a Judge, a condemning Judge, before the Creator, this is <to> putt a pr[e]face before Moses his Genesis; God will haue his Bible begynn wth the creac[i]on, and wee will not be content wth that in Principio, but we will seke out in Ante Principiu[m], To knowe what god did, before he beganne to doe anie thing, ad Extra. The in Principio of Moses wee can Remember, that god created heauen and earth in the beginning; but the in Principio of Sct John, the beginning that he beginnes his ghospell withall, the eternall beginning wee cannott Remember. Wee can Remember gods [p. 23] fiat in Moses, but not gods erat in Sct John, what god hath done for vs is the obiect of or memory, not what god did before wee, or anie thing els was; for when it is said in our translac[i]on. John 7.39 The H: ghost was not giuen, because Chr[ist]. was not glorified, though that supplement seeme necessarie, for the cleering of the sense, yet that word (giuen) is not in the Text. but it is simplie, Sp[i]r[i]tus sanctus non erat, The Holy ghost not; non erat antequa[m] operaretur saies Sct Augustine, August. he was not to this intendmt. & purpose, he was not manifested nor declared to vs, till he wrought in vs: and soe wee saie of god in generall, not considered in anie one p[er]son, wee cannott remember him, but in the producing of his workes in the Creac[i]on: The bible beginnes here, and thy creede beginnes there, and thou hast a good, and a perfecte Memory, if thou remember all that is pr[e]sented to thee, by those waies, and those waies goe noe higher then the Creac[i]on./

Remember the Creator then, because thou canst remembr nothing beyond him, and remember him soe too, that thou maist sticke on nothing on this side of him; that soe neither height, nor depth, nor anie other creature may separate thee from God not only, Rom. 8.ult not separate thee finally, but not retard thee anie other waies, but as the loue of the Creature may lead thee to the Creator. Wee see faire Shippes in the River, but [catchword(s): all theire] [p. 24] All theire vse were gone, if that riuer lead not out into the Sea; wee see men fraighted wth honor, & riches but all theire vse is gone, if that leade them not to the honor and glorie of the Creator./

And therefore saies the Apostle, lett them that suffer comitt theire soules to god, as to a faithfull creator. he had grac[i]ous purposes vpon vs in our creac[i]on; and if he bring vs backe againe, to as good a state as wee had in our creac[i]on, wee enioy the verie Redempc[i]on too. This is then the true contractinge, and this is the true extending of this facultie of the Memory, to remember the Creator, and staie there, because there is noe prospect further: And remember the creator, and gett soe farre, because there is noe safe footing, nor relying vpon anie creature./.

Remember then the Creator, and thy Creator, if thou desire Wisedome. quis prudentior sapiente, where wilt thou seeke it, but of him that is Wisdome it self? If thou desire profitt. quis vtilior bono. Who can proffitt thee more then goodnes it self? and if thou wouldst Remember that wch is neerest thee. quis coniunctior Creatore, who is soe neere thee, as he that made thee, and gaue thee thy beeing? What purpose soeuer thy Parents, or thy Prince haue to make thee greate; howe had all those purposes beene frustrated, if god had not made thee before? Thy very being is the greatest degree, As in Arithmetique howe great [p. 25] a number soever, a Man expresse in many figures, yet when all is done, and that wee begin to reckon and 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 the first of all, that he had a being by creac[i]on: for the distance of nothing to a litle, is infinitely more, then from that litle to the best degree in this life, and therefore Remember thy creator, as by being that, he hath done more for thee, then all the world beside and Remember soe too, wth this considerac[i]on, that since thou hadst a Creator, thou wast once nothing. He made thee, gaue thee a being, there’s matter of exaltac[i]on, he made thee ex nihilo; thou wast lesse then a worme, there’s matter of humiliac[i]on, but he did not make thee ad nihilum, to returne to nothing againe, there’s matter of studie, & considerac[i]on, howe to make thine imortallity profitable vnto thee, for it is a deadly imortality if thou beest imortall onely for imortall torm[en]te; That being wch wee haue from god shall not returne to nothing, nor that being wch wee haue from men neither; As Sct Bernard Bernard saies of the image of god imprinted indelibly in mans soule, vri potest in Gehenna, non exuri, that Soule that descends to hell, carries the image of god thither too, and that can never be burnte out in hell, soe those images, and those impressions wch wee haue received fro[m] men, [p. 26] from nature, from the world, the image of a Lawyer, the image of a Lord, the image of a Bishoppe, maie all burne in hell, but they cannott be burnte out; not onely, not those soules, but not those offices shall returne to nothing, but or condemnac[i]on shall be everlastingly aggravated for the ill use of those offices. And therefore remember thy creator who as he made thee of nothing, shall hould thee still to this glorie, though to thy confusion, in a state capable of his heaviest Judgment; for the courte of god is not like other courtes, that after a surfett of pleasure or greatnes, a man may retire, aftr a surfett of sinne, there’s noe such retiringe, as a dissoluc[i]on of the Soule into nothing: and therefore Remember, that he made thee, thou wast nothinge and what he made thee, thou canst not be nothing againe./

To shutt vp this circle, and to the returne to the begining, to excite his particular facultie of the memory, as wee remember god, soe, for his sake, and in him, lett vs remember one another. In my longe absence, and farre distaunce remember me, as I shall doe you, in the eares of that god, to whome the farthest east, and the farthest west are but as the right, and left eare in one of vs; wee heare wth both eares att once, he heares in [p. 27] both places att once, Remember mee, not my abillities for when I consider my Apostleship to you, that I was sent to you, I am in Sct Paules quorum, quorum ego minimus, I am the least of them that haue been sent to you; and when I consider my infirmities (I knowe I might iustly laie a heavier name vpon them). I knowe I am in his after quoru[m], quorum ego Maximus, sent to saue synners, of whome I am the cheifest. But yet remember my Labors, my endevors, att least my desires, to doe you that seruice, of making sure yor saluac[i]on. And I shall Remember ior religious cheerfullnes in hearing the word, and yor christianly respecte of those who bring this word vnto you, and of me in particular, soe farre aboue my meritt. And soe, as yor eies that staie here, and mine that must be farre off; for all that distaunce, shall meete eu[er]y morning in looking vpon the same sunne, and meete eu[er]y night in lookinge vpon the same Moone, soe our Hearts may meete, morning, and evening, in that god, wch sees, and heares alike in all distaunces that you maie come vp to him, wth yor praiers, in my behaulf, that I, if I may be of anie vse, for his glorie, and yor edificac[i]on, in this place, may be restor’d in this place to you againe, and I may come vp to him, wth my praiers in yor behaulf, [p. 28] that what Paul soever shall plante here, or what Apollo soever shall water, he himself will be pleased to giue the increase. And that if I neuer meete you till by seu[er]all waies, wee haue mett in the gates of death, yet wthin the gates of heauen, I may meete you all, and there saie to my Sauior, and yor Savior that wch he said to his father, and or father, of those whome thou gauest mee, haue I not lost one, Remember me thus, you that staie in this kingdome of peace, where noe sword is drawne, but the sword of iustice, as I shall remember you in those kingdomes, where ambic[i]on on one side, and a necessary defence against imminent persecuc[i]on on the other side, hath drawne many swordes already And Chr[ist] Jesus remember vs all in his kingdome, To wch. though wee must Saile through a Sea, yet it is the sea of his blood, in wch neuer Soule suffred shipwracke. though wee must be blowne wth stronge windes, wth vehement sighs and groanes of or Synnes, yet it is the Spiritt of god, that blowes all that wind in vs, and shall blowe awaie all contrary windes of diffidence in his mercie, It is that kingdome where wee shall all be Souldiers, but of one Armie, the Lord of Hostes; and all children of one quire, the god of harmonie and consent, where all clyents shall [p. 29] retaine but one Advocate, the Advocate of vs all Chr[ist] Jesus; and yet every Client receive a sentence on his side, not onely in a verdict of not guilty, a non imputac[i]on of his sinnes, but a venite benedicti a reall p[ar]ticipac[i]on of an imortall crowne of glory: where there shall be noe difference in affecc[i]ons, nor in voice, but wee shall all agree as fully, and as p[er]fectly in orAlleluiah, and orgloria in excelsis, as god the father, and god the Sonne, & god the H. ghost, agreed in their faciamus hominem: wee shall praise the whole Trinitie as vnanimely as the Trinitie concured in making vs. To end: it is the kingdome, where wee shall end, and yet beginne but then; where wee shall haue continuall rest, and yet neuer growe lazye; where we shall haue more strength, and noe enemyes: where wee shall liue, and never die: where wee shall meete, and never parte, but here wee must./

Publishing statement

Publisher: The 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 notes

Transcription by Hugh Adlington.

Transcription coded by Sebastiaan Verweij.

The Manuscript

Institution: Cambridge University Library, Cambridge
Shelfmark: MS Add. 8469
OESJD siglum: E

Manuscript Content

Item no: 1
Locus: ff. 1r-18r
Title: Pro: 8th: ver. 17. I Loue them that Loue mee: And they that seeke mee earely shall find mee.
Incipit: As the Prophetts and other Secretaries
Explicit: vncorruptible blood. In whom &c./
Final Rubric: Finis./
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. I.4; P&S Vol. I.5

Item no: 2
Locus: pp. 1-29
Title: Ecclesiastes. 12. 1. Remember nowe thy Creator in the daies of thy youth./.
Incipit: Wee may consider two greate vertues, one for the
Explicit: and never parte, but here wee must./
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.10; P&S Vol. II.11

Item no: 3
Locus: [ff. 1r-19r]
Title: Hsa. 2. 19. And I will marrie thee vnto me for euer
Incipit: The word wch is the hinge vpon wch all this text
Explicit: incorruptible blood. To whom, &c.
Final Rubric: Finis
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. VII.2; P&S Vol. III.11

Item no: 4
Locus: [ff. 1r-11r]
Title: Luke 23.24: Father forgiue them, for they knowe not what they doe./
Incipit: The Word of god is either the coeternall and coessentiall sonne
Explicit: Our father wch art in heauen &c.
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. VI.8; P&S Vol. V.12

Item no: 5
Locus: [ff. 1r-16r]
Title: 1.Cor: 15.26./ The last Enemie that shallbee destroyed is Death.
Incipit: This is a text of the resurrection, and it is not Easter yet: but
Explicit: of body and soule in his euerlasting glorie. / Amen.
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. II.8; P&S Vol. IV.1

Item no: 6
Locus: [ff. 1r-10r]
Title: John. 5.22. The father iudgeth noe man, but hath comitted all judgment to the Sonne.
Incipit: When our Sauior Christ forbidds vs, to cast Pearle
Explicit: iudgment to the Sonne./
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.11; P&S Vol. II.15

Item no: 7
Locus: [ff. 1r-16v]
Title: The Sermon in ye Euening of the same daie./
Incipit: The Rivers of Paradise did not all runne one waie, and
Explicit: Sonne, and yet The Sonne iudgeth noe man./
Final Rubric: Att Lincolne’s Inne. 30o Jan 1619
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.12; P&S Vol. II.16

Item no: 8
Locus: [ff. 1r-12v]
Title: Coloss. 1.24. Who nowe reioice in my sufferings for you, and fill vp that wch is behinde of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh, for his bodies sake wch is the Church./
Incipit: Wee are nowe to enter into the handling of the
Explicit: a Crowne of eternall & everlastinge glorie to vs all. Amen./.
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.2; P&S Vol. III.16

Physical Description

Material: Paper, quarto, 390 leaves. 250 X 200 mm.
Foliation: The volume is a composite of a large number of different small manuscripts that have been bound together, among which are eight of Donne's sermons. Sermon 1 is foliated individually, and sermon 2 is paginated. Sermons 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 are unfoliated/unpaginated in the manuscript, and editorial foliation has been provided in our transcription.
Collation: Since the manuscript is a composite, it has not been collated in full.
Condition: The manuscript is in reasonably good condition.

Hand(s) description

H1, writing Sermon 1, is a clear secretary hand with a number of italic letters, though these are not always easy to distinguish. Insertions above the line are in the same hand. No other items written by H1. This sermon is quite carelessly written. Standard contractions and abbreviations; very few brevigraphs or ligatures. Frequent use of ‘ɛ’ form of letter ‘r’ in contractions (rendered in transcription as ‘r’).

H2, writing Sermon 2 and very possibly also Sermons 6, 7, and 8, is a fairly clear secretary hand, with a number of italic letters. Insertions above the line are in the same hand. Bibliographical similarities between this sermon and 6-8 raise interesting questions about the textual transmission of Donne’s sermons. Analysis of the hands reveal very close similarities in letter forms, contractions, and styles of recording marginal citations; in addition, they are all written on the same paper stock, with a watermark similar to Heawood 481, or Gravell: Arms 020.1. Furthermore, these four sermons were all preached at Lincoln’s Inn, suggesting perhaps a common, now lost, manuscript source for all four.

H3, writing Sermon 3, is a secretary hand in brownish ink, with a number of italic letters; a different hand from that of any other of the Donne sermons. Bleed through on first page; faint on most verso pages. H3 becomes increasingly loose as sermon progresses. Expansive underlining of ‘Finis’. Insertions above the line are in darker ink, but also made by H3.

H4, writing sermons 4 and 5, is a closely written but clear Italian hand.

H5, not otherwise encountered in the manuscript, makes some small corrections to sermon 3, using black ink and a small, scratchy pen. These corrections are highlighted by a grey background.

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