OESJD IV.10; on Eccles. 12.1

[fol. 56r] Eccles. 12. 1.
Remember nowe thy Creator in the dayes
of thy youth.

We may consider two greate vertues, one for the society of this life, Thankefulnes, and the other for attaininge the next life, Repentance, as the two pretious mettalls, syluer and gold. of this syluer, of the vertue of thankefulnes, there are whole mynes in the earth, bookes written by morall men, by p[hilosop]hers, and a man may growe ritch in that mettall, in that vertue, by digginge in that myne, in the precepts of morall men; but of this gold, of this vertue of Repentance, there is noe myne in the earth; in the bookes of p[hilosop]hers noe doctrine of Repentance. This gold is for the most part in the washes; this repentance for the most part in the waters of tribulac[i]on: but god directs thee to it in this text, before thou comest to those waters: Remember nowe thy Creato[u]r, before those euill dayes come, and then thou wilt repent, that thou didst not remember hi[m] till nowe. Heere then the holy ghost takes the neerest way to bringe man to god, by awakinge his memory. For the vnderstandinge requires longe instruction, and cleare Dem[onst]ra[ti]on, and the will requires an instructed vnderstandinge before, and is of it selfe the blindest and boldest faculty: but yf the memory doe but fasten vpon any of those thinges wch god hath done for vs, thats the neerest way to hi[m].

Remember therefore, and remember nowe. though the memory be placd' in the hindermost part of the brayne, defer not thou thy rememberinge to the hindermost part of thy life, but doe that Nowe, and nunc in die, nowe while thou hast light; and nunc in diebus, as it is in the text, nowe, whilst god presents thee many lights, many meanes to come to hi[m]; and in diebus Iuventutis, in the dayes of thy youth, of thy strength, whilst thou art able to doe that wch thou proposest to thyselfe, and as the originall word, Bimei Becurotheica, imports in diebus electionu[m] tuaru[m]; whilst thou art able to make thy choice, whilst the grace of god shines soe brightly vpon thee, as that thou mayst see thy way, and soe powerfully upon thee, as that thou mayst walke in thatway; Nowe in thy day, Nowe in these dayes Remember; but whome? first the Creato[u]r; that all those thinges wch thou labourest for and delightest in, were Created; they were nothinge, and therefore thy [fol. 56v] thy memory lookes not far ynough backe, yf it sticke only upon the creature, and reach not to the Creato[u]r;. Remember the Creato[u]r, and remember thy Creato[u]r; and in that remember that he made thee, and then what he made thee. He made thee of nothinge; but of that nothinge he hath made thee such a thinge, as cannot returne to nothinge againe, but must remaine for euer; whether euer in glory, or euer in torment, that depends upon thy Remembringe thy Creato[u]r nowe in the dayes of thy youth.

MementoFirst Remember: wch word is used often in scripture for consideringe, and takinge care for: God remembred Noah and eu[er]y beast Gen: 8:1: with him in the Arke; as the word contrary to this, forgettinge, is also vsed for the affection contrary to that, neglectinge. Can a woman forgett her child, and not have compassion on the Es: 49:15: sonne of her wombe? But heere we take not remembringe soe largely, but restrayne it to the exercise of one faculty, Bern.the memory. For it is stomachus animaæ; it receives and digests and turnes to good bloud all the benefitts formerly exhibited to us in particular, and to the whole Church of god. Present that wch belonges to the vnderstandinge, to that faculty, and the vnderstandinge is not presently settled in it. Present any of the prophecyes made of in the captiuity, and a Iewes understandinge will take the[m] for a deliuerance fro[m] that bondage, and a Christians vnderstandinge will take them for a sp[irit]uall deliu[er]ance from sinne and death by the Messias, by Christ Iesus. Present any of the prophecyes of the Reuelation concerninge antichrist, and a Papists vnderstandinge will take them of a single and a suddaine, and a transitory man, that must last but three yeares and a halfe, and a Protestants vnderstandinge will take it of a succession, and continuance of men, that have lasted a thousand yeares at least; already. Present but the name of Byshop or elder out of the Acts of the Ap[ost]les, or out of their Epistles, and other men will take it for a name of parity and equality, and we for a name of Office and distinction in the Hierarchy of gods Church. Thus it is in the vnderstandinge; thats often perplexed. Consider the other faculty, the Will of man, and there, by those bitternesses wch have passed betweene the Iesuites and ye[fol. 57r] the Dominicans in the Romane Church, euen to the imputa[ci]on of the crime of heresy vpon one another, in questions concerninge the will of man, and howe that concurres with the grace of god; particularly, whether the same proportion of grace beinge offered by god to two men equally disposed towards hi[m] before, must not nec[ess]arily worke equally in those two: and by those bitternesses amongst persons neerest vs, euen to the drawinge of swords in questions of the same kind; particularly, whether that proportion of grace wch doth effectually conuert a particular man, might not haue byn resisted by the perversnes of that mans will, whether that grace were irresistable or noe, by all these and infinite such difficultyes, we may see, howe vntractable and vntame-able a faculty the will of man is. But leaue the vnderstandinge and the will, and come to the memory. Come not wth matter of lawe, but matter of fact; let god make his wonderfull workes to be had in remembrance, as DD sayeth. Present the history of gods protection of his children in the Arke, in the wildernes, in the Captiuities, in infinite other dangers; present this to the memory, and howesoeuer the vnderstandinge be beclouded, or the will perverted, yet both Iewe and Chr[ist]ian, Papist and Protestant, refractory and conformitant, are affected wth a thankfull acknowledgment of his former mercies and benefitts. This yssue of that faculty of ye Memory, is alike in them all: and therefore god in givinge the Lawe, workes vpon noe other faculty but this. I am the Lord thy God, wch brought thee out of the Land of Egypt: he only presents to their memory, what he had done for them: and soe in deliv[er]inge the gospell, in one principall seale thereof, the participa[ci]on of his body and bloud in the sacrament, he proceeds soe too; he recom[m]ends it to their memoryes, Doe this in remembrance of me. This is the faculty that god desires to worke vpon, and therefore yf thy vnderstandinge be too narrowe to comprehend or reconcile all differences in all Churches (as, what vnderstandinge is large ynough to doe soe?) yf thy will be too scrupulous to subitt it selfe to the ordinances of thine owne Church (as sometimes a zeale, though not p[er]verse, yet vndigested may worke yt) yet have recourse to thine owne memory; for as st Bern: calld yt[fol. 57v] the stomacke of the soule, soe we may be bold to call it the gallery of the soule, hunge with soe many and soe liuely pictures of the goodnes and mercyes of thy god to thee, as that euery one of the[m] may be a sufficient Catechisme, to instruct thee in all thy particular dutyes to god for those mercies: and then as a well made, and well placd' picture lookes allwayes vpon hi[m] that lookes vpon it; soe shall thy god looke vpon thee, whose memory is thus contemplating him, and shine vpon thine vnderstandinge, and certify thy will too. yf thy memory cannot comprehend his mercy at large, as it hath byn shewed to his whole Church (as it is almost an incompr[e]hensible thinge to consider, that in a fewe yeares, god hath made euen vs, euen in number and temporall strength. to our aduersaries of the Romane Church) yf thy memory have not receiued and held that greate picture of our generall deliuerance fro[m] that invincible navy (yt that mercy be written in the sands and in the waters where it was acted, and not in thy hart and memory) yf thou remember not out later, but greater deliu[er]ance from that artificiall hell, that vault of powder (in wch, though the Deuills instruments lost their plott, they did not blowe vs vp, yet the Deuill goes forward with his plott, yet he can blowe that out, and bringe vs to forgett that mercy, or not to hate them wth a perfect hatred, who were the true roote and occasioners of it) yf these be too large pictures for thy gallery, for thy memory, yet euery man hath a pockett picture about hi[m], a manuall, a bosome-booke, and yf he will but turne ouer one leafe of that booke, but remember what god hath done for hi[m], euen since yesterday, he shall find by that litle branch, a navigable riuer to saile in to that greate and endles sea of the mercyes of god towards hi[m], from the beginninge of his beinge. Doe but Remember then, but remember Nunc. NOWE, sayeth the text.

Iames: 1: 18:Of his owne free will begate he vs wth the word of truth, that we should be primitiæ, the first fruites of his creatures; that as we consecrate all his creatures to hi[m], in a sober and relligious vse of them; soe, as the first fruites of all, we should principally consecrate ourselues to his seruice betimes. [fol. 58r] Nowe there were three payments of first fruites appointed by god to the Iewes: the first were primitiæ spicaru[m], the first fruites of their eares of corne, and this was early, about Easter. The second, primitiae panum, the first fruites of their loaues, after the corne was conuerted to that vse, and this, though it were not soe soone, yet it was early too, about Whitsontide. The third were primitiæ frugu[m], of all their later fruites in g[ene]rall, and this was very late in Autumne, in the fall, about September. In the two first of these three, in those that were offered early, god had his part; but in the later fruite he had none: he had his part in the corne and in the loaues, but in those that came last, god would have noe portion. Offer thy selfe to god then, as primitias spicaru[m] whether thou gleane in the world, or bind vp whole sheaues, whether thy encrease be by litle and litle, or thou be rich at once, by the devolution of a rich inheritance and patrimony vpon thee: offer this to god, in an acknowledgement that this proceeds from the treasure of his goodnes, and not from thine industry. And offer thyselfe againe, as primitias panu[m], when thou hast kneaded vp riches, and honour and favor in a settled, an established fortune, offer that to god too, in an acknowledgment that he can scatter and moulder away that state againe, howe safe soeuer it seeme to be settled. offer at thy Easter, whensoeuer thou hast any resurrection, any sense of raysinge thy soule from the shaddowe of Death; offer thy confession to god, that that is the sunne-shine of his grace, and not the strength of thy morality. Offer at thy Pentecost, at thy Whitsontide, whensoeuer the holy ghost descends vpon thee in a fiery tongue, that thou feelest thy selfe melted by the powerfull preachinge of his word; offer thy confession then, that that is the proceedinge of his grace, and not the disposition, or concurrence, or tendernes of thy nature. for yf thou defer thy offeringe till September, till thy fall, till thy winter, till thy death, howesoeu[er] those may be thy first fruites, because they be the first that euer thou gauest, yet they are not such as are acceptable to god, god hath noe portion in them yf they come soe late. Offer thy selfe nowe, nay, doe but offer to thy selfe nowe, that's but an easy [fol. 58v] Basil.request, and yet there is noe more askd'; viximus mundo, viuamus reliquum nobis ipsis; thus longe we have seru'd the world; let vs serue o[u]r selues the rest of our time: but this is the best part of our selues, our soules Id[e]mexpectas vt febris to vocet ad p[œ]n[itent]iam? hadst thou rather a sicknes should bringe thee to god, then a Sermon? hadst thou rather be beholdinge to a Physitian for thy saluac[i]on, then to a preacher! thy busines is, to Remember; stay not for thy last sicknes, wch may be a Lethargy, in wch thou mayst forgett thy owne name, and his that gaue thee thy best name, the name of a Christian, Chirst Iesus himselfe; thy busines is to remember, and thy time is, nowe; stay not Apoc:20: 6:till that angell come, wch shall say and sweare, that time shalbe noe more

In die.Remember then, and Remember nowe; and nunc in die, nowe whilst it ps:20: 20: is day. The Lord will heere thee in die qua invocaueris, sayeth DD, ps:137: 4: in the day that thou callest vpon him; and in quacunq[ue] die, what ps:202: 2: day soeuer thou callest vpon hi[m], and in quacunq[ue] velociter exaudiet, in any day he will heere thee quickly. But still it is opus diei, it is a worke of the day, to call vpon god: for in the night, in our last night, there thoughts that fall vpon vs, are rather dreames then remembringes; vpon our death-bed, we rather dreame we repent then repent indeede. To him that trauells by night, a bush seemes a horse, and a horse a man, and a man a spirit; nothinge hath the true shape to him: to him that repenteth by night, on his Death-bed, neither his owne time, nor the mercyes of god haue their true proportion. This night they will fetch away thy soule (sayes Christ to the secure man) but he neither tells hi[m], who they be, that shall fetch it away, nor whether they shall carry it. He hath noe light, but lightninge, a suddaine flash of horrour, and soe translated into the Chrys: hom: 5 ad pop. Ant: fire wch hath noe light. Nunquid deus nobis ignem istu[m] pr[e]parauit? non nobis, sed dia[bo]lo et angelis eius. god made not this fire for vs, but for the Deuill and his angells. And yet we, who are vessels soe broken, that there is not a sheard left to fetch water at the pit (as the prophet Es:30:expresseth an irreparable ruine) noe meanes in our selues to deriue one drop of the bloud of Christ Iesus vpon vs, noe meanes to wringe out one teare of true contrition fro[m] vs, we that are vessells thus [fol. 59r] broken, as that there is not one shoard left to fetch water at the pit, haue plunged our selues into this darke, this euerlastinge fire, wch was not prepared for vs. O wretched couetousnes! to be intruders vpon the Deuill: a wofull ambition to be vsurpers vpon damnation. God did not make that fire for vs, but much lesse did he make vs for that fire, make vs to damne vs: god forbid. but yet though it were not made for vs at first, nowe it belonges to vs. The iudgement takes hold of vs; whosoeuer beleiueth not is already condemned. There the fire belonges to our infidelity: and the Iudgement takes hold of vs, Ite maledicti: you haue not fed me, nor clothed me, nor harboured me, and therefore, goe ye cursed; then that fire takes hold of our omission of nec[ess]ary dutyes and good workes. What's our remedy nowe? why still this is the way of gods iustice and his proceedinge, Chrys: id[e]m vt sententia lata sit invalida, that yf he publish his iudgement, his iudgment is not executed. The iudgments of the Medes and Persians were irrevocable, but the iudgments of god yf they be giuen and published, are not executed. The Nineuites had p[er]ished, yf the sentence of their destruction had not byn given, and the sentence preserued them, by bringinge them to repentance. soe, euen in this cloud of Ite maledicti, we may see a day-breake, and discerne beames of savinge light in this iudgment of eternall darkenes, yf the contempla[ci]on of gods iudgments bringe vs to a remembrance of him. It is but a darke an stormy day, but yet spirituall affliction and apprehension of gods anger, is one day, wherein we may remember god, and this is copiosa redemptio, the ouerflowinge mercy of god, that he affords vs many dayes to remember hi[m] in. For it is not in die, but, in diebus.In diebus

For this remembringe wch we inte[n]d, is an ainchoation, yea it is a greate step vnto our conu[er]sion and regenerac[i]on, whereby we are newe creatures, and therefore we may well consider as many dayes in this newe creac[i]on, as were in the first, sixe dayes. The first day was the makinge of light; and our first day is the knowledge of hi[m] who sayes of himselfe, ego sum lux mundi, and of whome st Iohn testifies, erat lux vera. He was the true light, lightninge euery man yt comes into the world. This then is our first day, the light, ye knowledge, [fol. 59v] the profession of the gospell of Christ Iesus. Nowe god made light August: first, vt operaretur in Luce, sayes Aug:, that he might worke in the light, in producinge his other creatures; not that god needed light to worke by, but for our example. God hath shed the beams of the light of the gospell first vpon vs in our baptisme, that we might haue the light to worke by, and to produce our other creatures, that all our actions might be tried by our selues, by that light, ant that in eu[er]y enterprise we might examine our owne consciences, whether we cold not be better contented, that that light went out, or were eclipsed, then the light of our owne glory. whether we had not rather that the gospell of christ Iesus suffered a litle, then our owne ends and preferments. God made light first, that he might make his other creatures by that light (sayes Aug:) and he made that first too, vt cernerentur quæ fecerat (sayes st Ambr:Ambrose) that those creatures might see one another: for frustra [es]cent, si non viderentur (sayes the Father) it had byn to noe purpose for god to haue made Creatures, yf he had not made light, that they might see one another and soe glorify him. God hath giuen vs this light of the gospell too, that the world might see our actions by this light. For the noblest creatures of Princes. and the noblest actions of Princes, Warre, and peace and treaties, and all our creatures and actions, who moue in lower spheares, frustra sunt, they are good for nothinge, they will come to nothinge, they are nothinge, yf they abide not this light, yf there appeare not to the world a true zeale to the preseruation of the gospell, and that we doe not in any thinge erubescere Euangeliu[m], be ashamed of makinge and declaringe the loue of the gospell our principall end in all actions. Nowe when god had made light, and made it to these purposes, he sawe that the light was good, sayes Moses; this seinge implyes a considerac[i]on, a deliberac[i]on, a debatement. That a relligion, a forme of professinge the gospell be not taken and accepted blindely nor implicitely, we must see this light: and then ye seinge that it is good, implyes the acceptinge of such a relligion, as is simply good in it selfe, not good for ease and convenience, not good for honour or profitt, not good for the present and the state of other businesses, not good for any collaterall or by-respects, but simply, absolutely, positiuely, and in it selfe good. And then when god sawe [fol. 60r] sawe this light to be good soe, then he seuered light fro[m] darkenes, as it is in the text. Our light must be seuered fro[m] darkenes soe, as that noe darkenes by mingled with the light, noe dreggs, noe raggs of Idolatry and superstition mingled wth the true relligion. But god seuered them otherwise then soe too; he seuered them, as we say in ye schoole, not tanqua[m] duo positiua, that light should haue a beinge heere, and darkenes a beinge there, but tanq[uam] positivu[m] et priuativu[m], that light should have an essentiall beinge, and darkenes be vtterly abolished. And this seueringe must hold in the profession of the gospell too; not soe seuer'd as that theere shalbe a sermon & there a Masse, but that the true relligion be really professed, and corrupt relligion be vtterly abolished: and then, and not till then, it was a day, sayth Moses. And god hath giuen vs this day, the light of the gospell to these vses, to try our owne purposes by in o[u]r selues and to shewe and iustify our actions by to the world: since we see this relligion to be good .1. professe it advisedly, not implicitely, but see that it is able to abide any triall that the aduersary will put vs to, of Antiquity, Fathers, and Councells; since it is soe seuered fro[m] darkenes, as that noe corrupt parts are mingled wth it, and soe seuered, that there are sufficient lawes and meanes for the abolition of sup[er]stition vtterly; since god hath giuen vs this day, qui non humiliabit Leuit: 23: anima[m] in die hac, (as Moses sayes of other dayes of gods instituc[i]on) he that will not throwe downe himselfe before god in this day, in humble thankes that we haue it, and in humble prayer that we may still haue it, he doth not remember god in his first day, he doth not consider howe greate a blessinge the profession of the gospell is.

To make shorter dayes of the rest, (for we must passe through the sixe in a fewe minutes) god in the second day made the firmament, to deuide betweene the waters aboue and the waters belowe and this firmament in man, is terminus cognoscibiliu[m], the limit of those thinges wch god hath given a man meanes and faculties to conceiue and vnderstand of hi[m]. He hath limited our eyes wth a starry firmament, we cannot see beyond that; he hath limited o[u]r vnderstandinge wth a starry firmament too, wth the knowledge of those thinges, quæ ubiq[ue], quæ semper, wch those starres whome he hath [fol. 60v] hath kindled in his Church, the Fathers and Doctors, haue, euen fro[m] the beginninge proposed, as thinges necessary to be explicitly beleiued for the saluac[i]on of our soules. For the leternall decrees of god, and his vn-revealed mysteries, and the knotty and inextricable perplexities of schooles, they are waters aboue the firmament; Heere Paul plantes, Heere Apollo waters, heere god rayseth vp men to convey to vs the dewe of his grace, by waters vnder the firmament, by visible meanes, by sacrements, and by the word soe preached and soe explicated, as it hath byn vnanimely and constantly fro[m] the beginninge of the Church. And therefore this second day is consum[m]ated and perfected in the third. For in the third day God came to that, congregentur aquæ, let 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 day god came to his producat terra, that heere vpon earth all herbs and fruits necessary for mans foode, should be produced, that heere in the visible Church should be all thinges necessary for the spirituall foode of our soules; and therefore in this third day God repeates twice that testimony, vidit quod bonu[m]; he sawe that it was good that there should be a gatheringe of waters into one place, that noe doctrine should be taught that had not byn received in the Church; and then vidit quod bonu[m], 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 for a time, for collaterall doctrines, temporary, interlineary marginall doctrines, wch belonged not to the body of the texte, to fundamentall thinges nec[ess]ary to saluac[i]on, for these, there is noe vidit quod bonu[m], noe testimony that they are good. Howe, si in diebus istis, yf in these thy dayes, when god giues thee a firmament, a knowledge what thou art to learne concerninge hi[m], and when god giues thee this collection of waters, and this fruitfulnes of earth; the knowledge where to receiue these necessary doctrines [fol. 61r] yf in these dayes thou wilt not remember god, it is an inexcusable and irreocable Lethargy.

In the fourth dayes worke, wch was the makinge of the sunne and Moone, Let the sunne to rule the day, be the testimonye of gods loue to thee in the sunne-shine of temporall prosperity, and the Moone to shine by night, be the refreshinge of his comfortable promises in the gospell, in the darkenes of aduersity. Remember in this thy day, that he can make thy sunne to sett at noone, blowe out that taper of prosperity, when it burnes brightest, and he can make thy Moone to turne into bloud, make all theAmos. promises of the gospell, wch should comfort thee in aduersity, turne to despaire and obdurac[i]on.

Let the first dayes worke, wch was the creac[i]on omniu[m] reptibiliu[m], et omniu[m] volatiliu[m] of all creeping thinges and of all flyinge thinges, signify eyther thy humble deuoc[i]on, wherein thou sayest vnto god, vermis ego et non homo, I am a worme and not a man; or let it signify the raysinge of thy soule in that security Pennas columbæ dedisti; that god hath giuen thee the winges of a Doue to fly to the wildernes, from ye tempta[ci]ons of this world in a retyred lyfe and in contempla[ci]on. Remember in this day too, that god can suffer euen thy humility to stray and degenerate into an vncomely deiection and stupidity, and senselesnes of the true dignity and true liberty of a Chr[ist]ian: and he can suffer the retyringe of thy selfe from the world; to degenerate into a contempt and despisinge of others, and an ouer valuinge of thine owne perfection, thine owne purity and imaginary righteousnes.

Let the last day, in wch both man and beast were made of earth, but yet a livinge soule breathd' into man, remember thee, that this earth that treads vpon thee, must returne to that earth that thou treadst vpon, this body that loades thee and oppresses thee, must returne to the graue, and thy spirit must returne to him yt gaue it. And let the Sabboth day remember thee too, that since god hath giuen thee a temporall Sabboth, placd' thee in a land of peace, and an Ecclesiasticall Sabboth, placd' thee in a Church of peace, thou mayst p[er]fitt all in a Sp[irit]uall Sabboth in a conscience of peace, by Rememberinge nowe thy Creato[u]r in all, in some, in one of these [fol. 61v] these dayes of thy newe weeke; eyther as god hath created a first day in thee, by givinge thee the light of the gospell; or a second day, by givinge thee a firmament, a knowledge of those thinges that concerne thy saluac[i]on; or a third day, accesse to that place where those doctrines and waters of life are gathered together, ye Church; or a fourth day, where thou hast a sunne and Moone, thankefulnes in prosperity, comfort in aduersity; or a first day, in wch thou hast reptilem humilitatem, et volatilem fiducia[m], an humble deiectinge of thy selfe before god, and yet a secure confidence in god; or as in the sixt day, thou considerest thy composition, that thou hast a body, that must dy, though thou wouldst have it liue, and thou hast a soule that must liue, though thou wouldst haue it dy.

Nowe, all these dayes are contracted into lesse roome in this text, into two; for heere the Originall word, Bimei Becurotheica, is eyther in diebus Iuventutis, in the dayes of thy youth, or in diebus electionum, in the dayes of thy harts desire, when thou enioyest whatsoeuer thy hart can wish. First therefore, yf thou wouldst be heard in DDs prayer, Delicta Iuventutis, O Lord remember not the sinnes of my youth, remember to come to this prayer in diebus Iuventutis.29: 4: Iob remembers wth sorrowe, howe he was in the dayes of his youth, when gods prouidence was vpon his tabernacle; and it is a sad, but a late considerac[i]on, with what tendernes of conscience, what scruples, what remorses we entred into the beginninges of sinnes in our youth; and howe indifferent thinges those sinnes are growne vnto vs, and howe obdurate we are growne in them nowe. It was 1: 4:Iobs sorrowe to consider his youth, and it was Tobias comfort when I was younge, sayes he, all my tribe fell away, but I alone went often to Hierusalem. For it is good for a man to beare his yoke in his youth, sayes Ieremy. And euen then, when god had deliuered ou[er] his people to be afflicted purposely, yet himselfe complaines in their behalfe, that the persecutor layd the very heaviest yoke vpon Es: 47: 6:the auncientest men. Age is vnfitt for burdens, and to reserue ye waight and burden of our conuersion and repentance till our age, is an irregular, an incongruous, and a disproportion'd thinge. Labore Basil:fractu instrumenta ad deum ducis, quoru[m] nullus vsus? wilt thou [fol. 62r] wilt thou pretend to worke in gods buildinge, and bringe noe tooles, but such as are blunted and broken in the seruice of the world before? Noe man would present a lame horse, a disordered clocke or a torne booke to the kinge: Caro iumentum, thy body is thy beast, thy flesh Aug: is thy horse, and wilt thou present that to god, when it is lamd' and tyrd' wth excesse of wantonnesse? when thy clocke, the whole course of thy life, is disordered wth passions and perturbations, when thy booke, the history of thy life is torne, a thousand sinnes of thine owne torne out of thy memory, wilt thou then present this clocke, this booke soe defacd' and soe mangled to thy god? Thou pretendest to present that, wch indeede thou dost not: Temperantia non est temperantia in Basil: senectute, sed impotentia intemperantiæ, thou pretendst to pr[e]sent temperance and continence vnto god; and in age, temperance is not temperance, but only a dis-ability of beinge intemp[er]ate. It is often and well sayd, senex bis puer, an old man returnes to the Ignorance and frowardnes of a child againe: but it is not senex bis Iuvenis, that he returnes to the dayes of youth againe to present first fruits acceptable vnto god, soe late in his yeare. Doe this then in diebus Iuventutis, in thy best strength, and when thy naturall faculties are best able to concurre wth gods grace: but doe it too in diebus electionum, whilst thou mayst chuse; for yf thou hast worne out this word in one sense, that it be too late to remember hi[m] in the dayes of thy youth, thats' sinfully and negligently spent already, yet as longe as thou art able to make a newe choice, to chuse a newe sinne, that when the heates of youth are not ouercome, but burnt out, then by middle age chuseth ambition, and thy old age chuseth couetousnes, as longe as thou art able to make this choice, thou art able to make a better then this: for god testifyes the power wch he hath giuen thee, I call heauen and earth to record this day, that I haue set before Deut: 30.19: thee life and death, chuse life; yf this choice like you not, sayth Iosuah, to the people, yf it seeme euill in your eyes to serue the Lord, chuse ye this day whome h you will serue: Heer's the election-day; bringe that wch you would haue into ballance and comparison with that wch ye should haue; bringe that wch the world keeps fro[m] you, into ballance wth that wch god presents to you, and tell me what ye would chuse to pr[e]ferre before god. for honour, and favour, and health, and riches, [fol. 62v] perchance you cannot haue them, though you chuse them; but if you haue can you haue more of them, then they haue had, to whome those very thinges haue byn occasion of ruine? It is true, the markett is open till the last bell ringe, till thy last bell ringe, 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 at the end of the markett, that heauen may be had for a breath at last, when they yt stand by thy bed, and heere that breath, cannot tell whether it be a sigh or a gaspe, whether a relligious breathinge and anhelation after the next life, or only a naturall breathinge and exhalation of this. But find thou a spirituall good husbandry in that other rule, that the best of the market is to be had at the beginninge. for howesoeuer in thine age there may be by gods workinge, dies Iuventutis, god may make thee a newe creature, and soe giue thee a newe youth (for as god himselfe is antiquissimus dieru[m], soe with god, noe man is superanuated) yet when age hath made a man impotent for sinne, those are not properly dies electionis, when he forbeares sinne out of impotence toward that sinne: and therefore whilst thou hast a choice, meanes to advance thine owne purposes, meanes to defeate other mens purposes, by euill meanes, Remember, but whome?

Creatore[m]For we haue done wth the faculty to be excited, the memory, and wth the time nowe, and we come to the obiect, the Creato[u]r and there, remember first, The Creato[u]r, and then Thy Creato[u]r and remember the Creato[u]r first, first because the memory can goe noe further then the creac[i]on. The memory reaches farre, but it must finde some thinge done, and what was done before the creac[i]on? We haue therefore noe meanes to conceiue or appr[e]hend any of gods actions before that. For when men will speake of decrees of Reprobation, decrees of condemna[ci]on before a Decree of creac[i]on, this is not the holy ghosts pace they goe before him; they remember god a iudge, and a condemninge iudge, before the Creato[u]r. This is to put a preface before Moses his Genesis. God will haue his Bible beginne wth the creac[i]on, and we will not be content wth that, in principio, but we will seeke out an ante principiu[m], to knowe what god did, before he begunne to doe any thinge, ad extra. The in principio of Moses we can remember, [fol. 63r] that god created heauen and earth in the beginninge; but the in principio of St Iohn, the beginninge that he beginnes his gospell wthall, the eternall beginninge, we cannot remember. We can remember gods fiat, in moses, but not gods erat, in St Iohn. What god hath done for vs, is the obiect of our memory, not what god did before we, or any thinge els was: for when it is sayd in our translation, the H. ghost was Ioh:9: 39: not giuen, because Christ was not glorified, though that supplement seeme necessary, for the clearinge of the sense, yet that word (given) is not in the text, but it is simply sp[iritu]s s[an]cti non erat, the H: ghost was not: non erat antequ[am] operaretur, sayes Aug:, he was not to Aug: this intendment and purpose, he was not manifested nor declared vnto vs, till he wrought in vs: and soe we say of god in g[ener]nall, not considered in any one person, we cannot remember him, but in ye producinge of his workes in the creac[i]on: thy Bible beginnes there, and thy Creede beginnes there, and thou hast a good and perfect memory, yf thou remember all that is presented to thee by those wayes, and those wayes goe noe higher then the Creac[i]on. Remember the Creato[u]r then, because thou canst remember nothinge beyond hi[m], and remember hi[m] soe too, that thou mayst sticke vpon nothinge on this side of him; that soe, neither height nor depth, nor any other creature may Rom: 8: vlt: separate thee from god, not only not separate thee finally, but not retard thee any other wayes, but as the loue of the Creature may leade thee to the Creato[u]r. We see faire ships in the riuer, but all theire vse were gone, yf that riuer lead not out into the Sea. we see men fraighted wth honour and ritches, but all there vse is gone, yf that lead them not to the honour and glory of the Creato[u]r. And therefore (sayth the Ap[ost]le) let them that suffer com[m]itt their soules 1. Pet: 4: vlt: to god, as to a faithfull Creato[u]r. He had gratious purposes vpon vs in our Creac[i]on, and yf he bringe vs backe againe, to as good a state, as we had in our Creac[i]on, we enioy the very redemption too. This is then the true contractinge, and this is the true extendinge of this faculty of the memory, to remember the Creato[u]r, and stay there, because there is noe prospect further: and remember the Creato[u]r and gett soe farre, because there is noe safe footinge, nor relyinge vpon any Creature.

[fol. 63v] Tuum.Remember then the Creato[u]r, and thy Creato[u]r; yf thou desire wisedome, Basillquis prudentior sapiente? where wilt thou seeke it but of hi[m] that is wisedome it selfe? yf thou desire profitt, quis vtilior bono? who can profit thee more then goodnes it selfe? and yf thou wouldst remember that wch is neerest thee, Quis coniunctior Creatore? who is soe neere as he that made thee, and gaue thee thy beinge? what purpose soeuer thy parents or thy Prince haue to make thee greate, howe had all these purposes byn frustrated, yf god had not made thee before? Thy very beinge is thy greatest degree. As in Arithmeticke, howe greate a number soeuer a man expresse in many figures, yet when all is done, and that we beginne to reckon and name this number, the first figure of all, is the greatest of all: soe what degrees or titles soeuer a man haue in this world, the greatest of all, is the first of all, that he had a beinge by creac[i]on. For the distance fro[m] nothinge to a litle, is infinitely more, then fro[m] that litle to the best degree in this life: and therefore, remember thy Creato[u]r, as by beinge that, he hath done more for thee then all the world beside; and remember hi[m] soe too, wth this considerac[i]on, that since thou hadst a Creato[u]r, thou wast once nothinge. He made thee, gaue thee a beinge, ther's matter of exaltation; he made thee ex nihilo, thou wa'st lesse then a worme, ther's matter of humiliation: but he did not make thee, ad nihilum, to returne to nothinge againe, ther's matter of study and considerac[i]on, howe to make thine im[m]ortality profitable to thee; for it is a deadly im[m]ortality, yf thou beest im[m]ortall only for im[m]ortall torment. That beinge wch we haue from god, shall not returne to nothinge, nor that beinge wch we haue fro[m] men neyther. As St Bern: sayes of the image of Bern: god imprinted indelebly in mans soule, vri potest in Gehenna, non exuri; that soule that descendes to hell, carryes the image of god thither too, and that can neuer be burnt out in hell: soe those Images and those impressions wch we haue receiued from men, from nature, fro[m] the world, the Image of a Lawyer, the Image of a Lord, the Image of a byshop, may all burne in hell, but they cannot be burnt out: not only not those soules, but not those offices shall returne to nothinge, but o[u]r condemnac[i]on shalbe euerlastingly aggrauated for the ill vse of those offices. And therefore, Remember thy Creato[u]r, who as he made thee of nothinge, shall hold thee still, to this glory, though to thy confusion, in a [fol. 64r] state capable of his heaviest iudgement. For the Court of god is not like other Courtes, that after a surfett of pleasure and greatnes, a man may retyre; after a surfett of sinne, there is noe such retyringe, as a dissolvinge of the soule into nothinge; and therefore remember that he made thee, thou wast nothinge, and what he made thee, thou canst not be nothinge againe./

To shutt vp this circle, and to returne to the beginninge, to excite this particular faculty of the memory; as we remember god; soe for his sake, and in him, let vs remember one another. In my longe absence and farre distance, 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 the left eare in one of vs: we heere wth both eares at once, he heares in both places at once. Remember me, not my abilityes; for when I consider my Apostle-ship to you, that I was sent to you, I am in St Pauls quorum, quorum ego minimus, I am the least of them yt haue byn sent vnto you. And when I consider my infirmityes (I knowe I might iustly lay a heavier name vpon them) I know I am in his other quorum, quorum ego maximus, sent to saue sinners, of whome I am the cheifest. But yet remember my labours, my endeavours, at least my desires, to doe you that greate seruice, of makinge sure your saluac[i]on: and I shall remember your relligious cheerefulnes in hearinge the word, and your Christianly respect of those who bring this word vnto you, and of me in particular, soe farre aboue my merit. And soe, as your eyes that stay heere, and mine that must be farre of, for all that distance, shall meete euery morninge in lookinge vpon the same sunne, and meete eu[e]ry night in looking vpon the same Moone; soe our harts may meete morninge and eueninge in that god, who sees and heeres alike in all distances; that you may come vp to hi[m] wth yo[u]r prayers in my behalfe, that I, yf I may be of any vse for his glory and yo[u]r edifica[ci]on in this place, may be restored in this place to you againe, and I may come vp to hi[m] wth my prayers in yo[u]r behalfe, that what Paul soeuer shall plant heere, or what Apollo soeuer shall water, he himselfe wilbe pleased to giue the encrease. And that, yf I neuer meete you [fol. 64v] till, by seu[er]all wayes, we haue mett in the gates of Death, yet wthin ye gates of heauen I may meete wth you all, and there say to my Savio[u]r and your Savio[u]r, that wch he sayd to his Father and our Father, Of those whome thou gauest me, have I not lost one. Remember me thus, you that stay in this kingdome of peace, where noe sword is drawne but the sword of Iustice, as I shall remember you in those Kingdomes, where ambition on one side, and a necessary defence against im[m]inent persecution on the other side, hath drawne many swords already; and christ Iesus remember vs all in his Kingdome: to wch, though we must sayle through a sea, yet it is the sea of his bloud, in wch neuer soule suffered shipwracke: though we must be blowne with stronge windes with vehement sighes and groanes for our sinnes, yet it is the spirit of god that blowes all that wind in vs, and shall blowe away all contrary windes of diffidence in his mercy. It is that Kingdome, where we shall all be souldiers, but of one army, the Lord of hosts, and all children of one Quire, the god of harmony and consent: where all clyents shall retaine but one aduocate, the aduocate of vs all, Christ Iesus, and yet euery clyent receiue a sentence on his side, not only in a verdit of not guilty, a non imputac[i]on of his sinnes, but a venite benedicti a reall participa[ci]on of an im[m]ortall crowne of glory: where there shalbe noe difference in affections, nor in voyce, but we shall all agree as fully and as p[er]fectly in ou Halleluiah, and our Gloria in excelsis, as god the Father and god the sonne and god the holy ghost agreed in their faciamus hominem, we shall prayse the whole Trinity as vnaminely, as the Trinity concurrd' in making vs. To end, it is the Kingdome where we shall end, and yet beginne but then; where we shall haue continuall rest, & yet neuer growe lazy; where we shall haue more strength and noe enemies; where we shall liue and neuer dy; where we shall meete and neuer part,   But heere we must.

Preachd' at Lincolnes Inne before his departure with my L. of Doncaster. 1619

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 Elizabeth Williamson and Sebastiaan Verweij

Transcription proofread by Sebastiaan Verweij.

Transcription coded by Elizabeth Williamson and Sebastiaan Verweij

The Manuscript

Institution: Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Shelfmark: MS Eng 966.4
OESJD siglum: Dob

Manuscript Content

Item no: 1
Locus: ff. 2r-8v
Title: Psalme. 38. 9. Lord all my desire is before thee, and my groninge is not hid from thee.
Incipit: The whole psalme hath two parts, 1 a prayer and then Reasons of
Explicit: and a feast not of diuine Institucion, but ordained in ye Church./
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.8; P&S Vol. II.6

Item no: 2
Locus: ff. 56r-64v
Title: Eccles. 12. 1. Remember nowe thy Creator in the dayes of thy youth.
Incipit: We may consider two greate vertues, one for the society of this
Explicit: part, But heere we must.
Final Rubric: Preachd' at Lincolnes Inne before his departure with my L. of Doncaster. 1619
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.10; P&S Vol. II.11

Item no: 3
Locus: ff. 68r-78v
Title: Matth: 21.44. Whosoeuer shall fall on this stone, he shalbe broken, but on whomesoeuer it shall fall, it will dash him in pieces.
Incipit: Almighty God made vs for his glory; and his glory is not ye
Explicit: all glory and honour and praise now and foreuer
Final Rubric: Amen
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.1; P&S Vol. II.8
Note: Preceding the sermon proper is Donne's letter 'To the right hono:ble Countesse of Montgomery'.

Physical Description

Material: Paper, folio. 287 X 200 mm.
Foliation: The manuscript is foliated in pencil in the left bottom corner of the rectos. It is also paginated in pencil both on versos and rectos on pp. 1-16, 214-218, 232-244, and 426-437; on the remaining leaves it is only paginated on the rectos. Pagination is accurate up to p. 245, from where it jumps ahead to p. 251, and runs until p. 535. Since only the foliation is accurate and consistent, folio numbers are followed here.
Collation: Folio. The first six quires are bound in sixes (I-VI:6); with the first leaf of quire I pasted down. The final leaf f. 266 is a single bifolium with its conjugate pasted down. It seems that the remainder of the manuscript is largely quired and bound in sixes, but because of an increasingly tight binding this cannot be verified throughout.
Condition: The manuscript is in excellent condition.

Hand(s) description

All of Dob’s original early seventeenth-century content was written by a single scribe. This semi-cursive mixed hand is accomplished and very legible, and somewhat varying in size. The smaller script of the first sermon transcribed (ff. 2r-8v) is slighly cramped compared to the remainder of the manuscript. Reversed secretary ‘e’ and greek ‘e’ are used interchangeably. Initial ‘th’ is sometimes formed by a single pen-stroke, and sometimes written as two distinct letter forms. The prose texts are written closely to the margin of the ruled text-block, necessitating frequent hyphenation (by means of a double hyphen =). For some initial letter forms, especially ‘s’, ‘c’ and ‘l’ it is not always clear whether a majuscule or miniscule form was intented. There is no easy distinction to be made between roman and italic letter forms, but the scribe does seem to favour italic forms when transcribing, for example, Latin quotations and marginal glosses. The scribe concludes most items with either a single or three small trefoils. Punctuation is relatively full and unproblematic, with the use of full stops, commas, colons, semi-colons, and question marks. Abbreviated forms are frequent but common, including, for instance: ‘wch’, ‘or’. In word endings, ‘i’ is frequently elided in ‘cion’ or ‘tion’, and ‘m’ in ‘from’ or ‘him’. Similarly, ‘pre’, ‘pro’, and ‘par’ are mostly abbreviated. ‘DD’ or ‘DDs’ is sometimes written for ‘David’ or ‘David’s’.

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