OESJD IV.8; on Psal. 38.9

[fol. 2r] Psalme. 38. 9. Lord all my desire is
before thee, and my groninge is
not hid from thee.

The whole psalme hath two parts, 1 a prayer and then Reasons of that prayer. The prayer hath 2 p[ar]ts, 1 a deprecatory prayer in ye 1 verse, and then a postulatory in the 2 last and the reasons also are of 2 kinds, 1. intrinsecall arisinge fro[m] considerac[i]on of himselfe, 2 extrinsecall in the behaviour and dispo[sit]ions of others towards him. The reasons of ye 1 sort determine in the 10 verse, wch we haue handled but this we reserued to be handled after, because we are to obserue some things out of the site and place of the verse, as well as out of ye words. First out of the place, this: that DD having p[er]secuted the intrinsecall reasons of his deprecatory prayer, Lord correct me not for I haue suffered these and these corrections already, and nowe pr[e]sentinge his humble referringe of all to Alm: god D[omi]ne o[mn]ia desideria Lord all my desire is before thee, this comforts me, this confirmes me, this establishes me, that all is knowne vnto thee, yet for all this sufferinge and this willinge sufferinge, for all this passion and all this patience, God doth not pr[e]s[e]ntly take of his hand, nor end his misery, but (as we see) all the extrinsecall occa[ci]ons of this misery, the scornes and ye reall iniuries of other men followe and fall vpon hi[m] after all these afflictions, and all this submission. This considerac[i]on ariseth out of ye place of this text, that though afflictions bringe the godly to prayer for deliu[e]rance, yet that prayer doth not pr[e]s[e]ntly bringe deliu[e]rance; and that wilbe out first part. for a 2 p[ar]t we shall take all the wordes all together in theire whole frame, and thereby consider ye g[ene]rall doctrine arisinge out of them, that all thinges are pr[e]s[e]nt to god, videt o[mn]ia; and then yf he sees all thinges as god, he did euer see all thinges, for he was euer god, prævidit o[mn]ia, and yf he foresawe all thinges, he foresawe o[u]r sinnes, and there we shall haue occa[ci]on to see howe farre o[u]r sinnes are nec[ess]ary and howe farre god is any cause of o[u]r sinnes; and these wilbe the branches of our second p[ar]t. In the third we shall descend to a more p[ar]ticular considerac[i]on of the wordes, and see Dauids p[ro]fession, that, 1, desideria, the first internall moc[i]ons of his heart, and then gemitus, the first externall moc[i]ons of his sorrowe are knowne to god; and yf o[u]r thoughts be knowne much more o[u]r actions, yf o[u]r sighes & groanes be knowne, much more o[u]r prayers and confessions, our conferences and deuotions, wch are more manifest wayes of seekinge and establishinge our reconciliac[i]on wth god. But then these wch Dauid considered, are desideria sua, and sui gemitus, he reveales not, he enquires not after other mens sinnes, nor sorrowes, nor iudges vpon their actions, nor censures their repentances: he is his owne Library, he studyes himselfe. Nowe these desires and these groaninges sayes he, they are ante te, not only as they are desires and groaninges, but as they are mine, and therefore I haue brought them before thee, I haue opened them, I haue pr[e]sented them to thee by way of Confession, the matter is brought before thee, the cause depends before thee; soe they are ante te; thou coldst see them wthout me, but yet I haue brought the[m] to thy sight too, and they are soe brought before thee, vt nihil absconditum, [fol. 2v] my sinnefull desires are not hid fro[m] thee, thought I haue laboured sometimes to couer them, and my sorrowfull repentance is not hid from thee, though my vnworthines and ye abhominac[i]on of my foulenes might haue drawne a curtaine, yea built a wall of separac[i]on betweene thee and me, yet nothinge is hid fro[m] thee, nay not nothinge is hid by me. For all this that I haue done, all the sinnes that I haue com[m]itted, and all this repentance that I haue begunne and proceeded in is ante te d[omi]ne, it is ante te, for my sinnes are only against thee, and my confession belongs only to thee, but yet ad te d[omi]n[u]m, to thee as thou art Lord and hast a dominion, and exercisest a goverment, to thee that art Lord of a sp[irit]uall Kingdome, of a visible and establisht Church; and soe many considerac[i]ons ye p[ar]ticular words will minister vnto vs in the third part./

1. Part:First then, out of the site and place of these words, as they stand betweene ye narrac[i]on of miseries of 2 kinds, some before it, some after it, we collected that god does not allwayes put an end to o[u]r miseries, assoone as we take knowledge of his purpose vpon vs, by those miseries, we pray and yet are not deliuered. it is true, omne desideriu[m]Gregor: in pana[m] conu[e]rtit[u]r, si non cito euenerit quod optatur, when gods corrections haue brought vs to a relligious desire of beinge deliu[e]red, then not to be deliu[e]red is a newe, and the greatest correction, yea the most dangerous tempta[ci]on of all. cupiditati ipsa celeritas tarda Id[e]mest. When I pray to be deliuered, and beginne to thinke that god hath bound himselfe by his promise to giue me the yssue wth the tempta[ci]on, that he maketh the wound and bindeth vp, he linketh and his hand maketh whole, that he will deliuer me in sixe troubles the euill shall not touch me, that he will pr[e]serue me fro[m] despayre in all afflictions of my life, but in the seauenth, that is when I am come to my Sabboth to my rest and confidence in his mercy, that then it shall not touch me, it shall passe away pr[e]s[e]ntly; when I beginne to come to these medita[ci]ons, ipsa celeritas tarda est, though god deliuer me sooner then I deserue, yet it seemes longe in doinge, yf it be not assoone as I haue conceiued that wch appeares to me to be a relligious desire. But ye Lord is not slacke in his p[ro]mise as (2. Pet: 3.9.) some men count slackenes. In that place of the Ap[ost]le his promise is, iudgment, punishment for sinne; and yf god be not slacke in that promise, much lesse is he slacke in the dispensinge of his mercyes, and removinge those iudgments againe. The mistakinge areseth out of ye different computac[i]ons betweene Hieron:god and vs, annos centum æternitatem putamus; we neu[e]r reckon beyond a 100 yeares, because that is ye longest life, we thinke there is noe more, noe other life but that. But wth god a 100 yeares is as one day, and one day as a hundred yeares. whensoeuer he comes to iudgment, he comes soone to thee, yf he come before thou beest pr[e]pared, and whensoeuer he comes in mercy, he comes soone to thee too, consideringe howe farre thou wast runne away fro[m] hi[m]. It is all one when [fol. 3r] that fire beginnes, wch shall neu[e]r goe out. yf the torments of hell must take hold of thee, they beginne soone yf they beginne in thy desperac[i]on vpon thy death-bed, and yf thy tribulac[i]ons end vpon thy death-bed they end soone, consideringe howe much rust and drosse there was to be burnt of of thy soule. It was longe in ye Romane state before they came to a distinction of houres; all their reckoninge for some hundreds of yeares was ab arto sole ad occasum, this was done after ye risinge, and this after the settinge of ye sunne. But the distinction of houres in ye degrees of ye ascendinge or descendinge of ye sunne they had not: we reckon all thinges soe too; we reckon fro[m] ye risinge of the sunne when any greate fortune fell vpon vs, when we came to yeares, when ye Father dyes and leaues ye estate, when ye mother dyes and leaues ye Ioynture, when ye pr[e]decessor dyes and leaues ye office; and we reckon fro[m] ye settinge of ye sunne, when any greate calamity falls vpon vs, when a decree passed against vs and swept away such a Mannor, when a shipwracke impou[er]ishd vs, when a fire, a rott, a murraine, a feauer ou[e]rthrewe o[u]r bodyes or o[u]r estates this risinge and settinge of ye sunne, height of prosp[er]ity, and depth of adu[e]rsity we obserue, but we obserue not ye degrees of ye ascendinge of this sunne, howe god hath led vs eu[e]ry step and pr[e]serued vs in many p[ar]ticular dangers in our risinge, nor ye degrees of ye descendinge of the sunne we obserue not, we obserue not that god would shewe vs in ye losse of our children, ye sinnefull wantonnes in wch they were begotten and conceiued, in the losse of our health, ye sinnefull voluptuousnes in wch it was pamp[er]ed, in ye losse of goods, ye sinnefull extortion in wch they were gathered, we consider sometimes in g[ene]rall Iobs nudus egressus, that we came naked out of o[u]r mothers wombe, that we rose of nothinge, and in g[ene]rall Iobs nudus reuertar, that we shall returne naked againe, that we shall carry away noe more then we brought, but we consider not in p[ar]ticular the d[omin]us dedit, and d[omin]us abstulit, that it is ye Lord yt gaue, and ye Lord yt takes away, and therevpon blesse ye name of ye Lord for it, in all his stepps and degrees of risinge and fallinge. god hath not only giuen thee a n[atu]rall day, fro[m] period to p[er]iod to consider thy byrth and thy death, this thou wast borne to, and this thou dyest worth, but he hath giuen thee an artificiall day, and a day wch he hath distinguished into houres by continuall b[e]n[e]fitts, and a day wch thou hast distinguished into houres by continuall sinnes, and he would haue thee remember those houres when and howe and by what degree, by what meanes he raysed thee, and humbled thee againe, and at what time and place, with what actions thou hast p[ro]voked his anger, and then thou wilt find that it was in ye coole of ye eueninge, it was late before god came to conue[r]t Adam, but he hath filled vs wth mercy in ye morninge that we might be glad and reioyce all ps: 19.4 ye day. God is not slacke in his promises sayes ye Ap[ost]le there, for he is, as it is sayd there in ye Originall ό κὑριος τῆς ἐπαγγελίας dominus promissionis, it is not only ye Lord is not slacke of his promise, but the Lord of his promise is not slacke; he is Lord of his promise and in that sense we are sure that he can and may be sure yt he will p[er]forme his promise, Delayes in Courts of Iustice, and in Courts of Princes [fol. 3v] proceede out of this, that men are not Lords of theire promises nor of their words, foris pugnæ intus timores may welbe applyed heere, there are affections within! and feares of offendinge without, letter from aboue, kinred from within, money from both sides, wch keepes them fro[m] beinge domini promissionis Lords of their promises, makers of their words; eyther they thinke that yf they dispatch a suitor too soone, ther's an end of his observance, of his attendance, of his respect, he vndervalewes ye favor, yf it be so soone shewed, and ther's a delay out of state, to giue a dignity a maiesty to the busines; or els they see that when there is an end a dispatch of the cause, theres an end of ye profitt too, that Mine is exhausted, that vine is dryed up, that Cowe giues noe more milke, and therefore by references and conferences, they keepe open that wch howesoeuer it be an vdder to them, it is a wound to them that beare it, and here's a delay to keepe open ye way to extorc[i]on and bribery. Perchance abundance of wealth (or els of honour and com[m]and if not of wealth) may make them ouer indulgent to their owne ease, and heer's a delay out of lazines; Perchance corrupt meanes haue brought an insufficient man to ye place, and then he must putt of busines, till he be better informd', till he hath consulted wth more sufficient men, and heere's a delay out of ignorance: and therefore (to contract this) euery man hath made a promise to god and to ye state to doe ye dutyes of his place, and eyther for feare, or loue, or money, for state, for ease, or ignorance he is not dominus promissionis Lord of that promise, Master of that word, he is not able to p[er]forme it. God only is soe; and therefore non tardat (sayth ye Ap[ost]le) whatsoeuer thou countest slackenes, yet as that is natura rei quam indidit deus (soe yt yf god would imprint a cold quality in fire, the nature of fire were cold) soe that's ye time of thy deliu[e]rance wch god hath appointed. Yf thou prayest for deliu[e]rance and beest not deliuered, doe not thinke that thou art not heard, nay doe not thinke that thou art not deliuered for god deliuers thee in continuinge thee in that calamity from some greater. When mans sinne extorts iudgments fro[m] god, that it concernes him for his glory, or for ye edifica[ci]on of his Church, to inflict those iudgments, if Noah Daniel and Iob were amongst them, they should not deliuer them from those iudgments, but yet (sayth ye prophet there) there shalbe a remnant in whome ye shalbe comforted. Though ye hand of God ly heavy vpon thee yet there shalbe a remnant to wrap vp ye wound of thy hart, yeGodseede of god, ye balme of Gilead an humble confidence in him that he will pr[e]serue thee. St Paul prayed and prayed thrice that that stimulus carnis might be remoued fro[m] him, and it was not, god did not giue hi[m] that, but he gaue him as good a suite, an equivalent thinge, gratia mea sufficit: St Paul desired peace, God sawe [fol. 4r] it to conduce more to his glory to make him able to hold out ye warre, and therefore he remoued not ye enemy, his concupiscence, but assisted him wth grace against yt enemy. Thus St Paul prayed longe for one thinge and had another. Abraham prayed and seemed to haue all yt he asked, and yet had nothinge; he prayed in ye behalfe of ye citty of Sodome, and he had charge to goe on in his prayer, for he found yt he wonne and gayned vpon god in euery petic[i]on, that he bated much of gods first price, and that he beate that holy bargayne fro[m] 50. to 10., and yet when all was done he rescued none, ye iudgment was executed vpon ye citty. Limit not therefore God in his wayes or times, but yf you would be heard by him, heere him, yf you would haue him graunt your prayers, doe his will. We pray you in Christs steed that you would be reconciled to god, and are ye reconciled? dare you heere ye trumpet nowe? Christ Iesus prayes for you nowe to his Father in heauen, that ye might be conu[e]rted and are ye conu[e]rted? Yf ye prayers of all ye church militant and ye church triumphant and ye head of both churches Christ Iesus, be not heard effectually on your behalfe yet they shalbe in his time, his eternall election shall infallibly worke vpon you. soe yf your owne prayers for your deliuerance in any temporall or sp[irit]uall affliction be not pr[e]s[e]ntly heard, p[er]seuere for your selues as ye churches and the heade of them p[er]seuere in your behalfe, and god will certainly deliuer you in his time, and strengthen you to fight out ye battle all the way./

We passe nowe from ye occasion, taken iustly by ye place of these words 2. Part. Videt to ye words themselves; and first; takinge them alltogether in ye g[ene]rall doctrine, Videt o[mn]ia. for since he made all thinges, he hath a care of all thinges, a prouidence (wch (in such p[er]fection as becomes vs to ascribe to god) he cold not haue, except he sawe all thinges. Our seinge of god heereafter is ye blessednes we hope for, and our comfort in ye ye way to that, is, that he sees vs; for soe we neuer are, neuer shalbe out of sight of one another. Yf any sinner can conceite that wish, that god did not see him, he would loose more by it then he should gett. Though he would be glad not to be seene by him in his sinnefull pleasures yet he would be sorry not be seene by him in his miseries and afflictions, and ye miseries ye afflictions of this life are more then ye pleasures in ye most habituall sinner. A man yt would be glad if god sawe not his extortions, his oppressions, his grindinge of ye poore by colo[u]r of an office, would yet be sorry yf god sawe not those privy whisp[er]inges, those machina[ci]ons and plotts and enequitiæ in cælestibus (as we may call them) practises aboue in high places to traduce him, to defame him, to supplant him and wringe his office fro[m] him, p[er]chance for thinges he neuer did, though he hath done as ill: and then we make our selues sup[er]visors, ou[e]rseers of god, yf we will appoint, soe farre as in our wishes, what he should see and what not. you knowe howe certaine and howe speedy a conuiction it is yf a man be taken in ye manner, and you knowe howe heavily ye fault is aggrauated wch is done in ye face of the ye Court. All out actions are soe in Facie Iudicis, [fol. 4v] and there needs noe euidence, we are depr[e]hended in ye manner, in corners where nothinge sees vs, god sees vs, and in hell where nothinge sees vs Prævidet.he shall see vs too, videt o[mn]ia. And præ[v]idet omnia. he sees as god and Ro: 4.17. though they were, sayes ye Ap[ost]le, he looketh vpon all things after they are Ecclus. 23.20.brought to passe, sayes ye wiseman, and he knewe them or euer they were made. you would thinke him a weake lawyer that cold not foresee what would be ye yssue of a cause, wch depended only vpon ye lawe, wthout relation, to ye opinion of ye iudge, or to ye affection of ye Iury: and a weake Astrologer that cold not foresee Eclipsis and po[sit]ions of ye heavens; and an ill Councell yt cold not foresee ye good or ill of such a place, or such a warre, or such a marriage. and shall ye sight and knowledge of god depend vpon our actions? omniscience is an attribute of his, as well as omnipotence, god can be noe more ignorant of a thinge then impotent in it; and whatsoeuer was his attribute allwayes was soe; was not god omnipotent, had he not all power till I was made, vpon whome he exercised part of that power, wch he did not before I was? was he not omniscient, did he not knowe all thinges before those thinges were produced into action and execution? god euer knewe all thinges that were, that are, that shalbe, and that may be, and that may not be, because he will not haue them be. And he knowes them otherwise then they are, for he knowes future thinges as pr[e]sent, and he knowes contingent thinges as certaine and necessary. It is true, he shall say at ye last day to Hypocrites, nescio vos. I doe not knowe you, neuer did knowe you, but that is that knowledge of wch St Gregory speakes, scire dei est approbare, soe god neuer knewe ye Hypocrites, nor euer shall, as to accept them, to allowe them, to approue them, and soe also it is sayd of Christ non nosse peccatum; he who knewe noe sinne was made sinne for vs. experimentally, actually, p[er]sonally he knewe noe sinne, but in his eternall knowledge he knewe all our p[ar]ticular sinnes, and he knewe ye g[ene]rall roote of all the sinnes of Adam, before that sinne was, or before that man was. but was this knowledge or foreknowledge ye cause of it? god forbid! Aug: detestanda, abominanda opinio quæ deum facit cuiusq[uam] malæ voluntatis autorem, the opinion is detestable, abhominable, nefas est ascribere deo causas pe[cca]torum, sayes the same Father, and therefore let vs be afraid of com[m]inge soe neere this detestable and abhominable opinion as to expresse our selues in mis-interp[re]table termes, and phrases too bold and too different from ye modest and sober vse of ye ancient doctors and Fathers, that there is in god an effectuall and and actuall, and a positive and a consulted and a deliberat reprobac[i]on of certaine men, before their sinnes, yea before their creac[i]on was considered, or that there is in man a necessary damna[ci]on, wch he was made for and created to gods knowledge of sinne prints not a necessity of sinne. an Astrologers knowledge of an Eclipse causeth not ye Eclipse; my knowledge that he yt will fall from a steeple will breake his bones, did not thrust him downe, neither pr[e]cipitate him to that ruine. But god might haue pr[e]served him fro[m] sinne, and soe cannot an Astrologer worke vpon an Eclipse, nor I vpon a desperate man that will cast himselfe downe. It is true, god might haue pr[e]served him fro[m] sinne by makinge him better and soe he might by makinge him worse too; He might [fol. 5r] haue pr[e]servd him by makinge him an angell in a confirmed estate, and he might haue pr[e]servd him, by makinge him a beast without a reasonable soule, for then he cold not haue sinned, and he had byn ye better for it. but gods will (cuius qui quærit rationem aliquid maius deo quæarit) was to make him a man, and as a man he find ye reason of his sinne to be ye p[er]versenes of his owne will. who p[er]verts that? did god? Abominandum, detestandu[m]. but god might haue pr[e]vented this perversnes, he might haue made him soe stronge that he cold not haue p[er]verted himselfe. but then god had not made him man. god did abundantly ynough in makinge him good, and able to continue soe; and he does abundantly ynough in givinge those g[ene]rall declara[ci]ons of his decree, that we should all returne to that goodnes, that he would haue noe man to p[er]ish, but that all men should come to repentance. He sees all thinges, euen sinnes, and foresees them, but yet his foresight is noe cause of them.

3. PartWe are nowe come ye third p[ar]t, the p[ar]ticular considerac[i]on of ye words. God sees and foresees 1 Desideria ye desires and all desires. For Dauid doth not speake this by way of discomfort, as though god did watch only our ill desires to punish them, and not our obedience, to cherish and reward that. It is true that ye prophet Ieremy testifyes, Our iniquity is marked before ye Lord, but it is also true wch Dauid sayes, that our teares are put into his bottle and intoPs:56. 9 his Register, soe that (as st Ambrose enlarges this desire) it may bePs: 84. 3. Dauids desire, concupiscit et deficit a[n]i[m]a mea, my soule longeth and fainteth for ye Courts of ye Lord, a desire to liue in ye Church of god. and it may be ye Ap[ost]les desire, concupiscite lac as newe borne babes desire ye milke of ye word1. Pet. 2.2. a desire to be fed wth such knowledge in ye Church as is fit and p[ro]portionable to my vnderstandinge. Consider desiderium beatorum, ye desire of ye blessed saints in heaven, who though they be in full possession of happines, haue yet a further desire of a consum[m]ac[i]on and Re-vnion of body and soule. Consider desiderium iustorum, ye desire of ye righteous: ye desire of ye righteous is only good (sayth Salomon) it is good, as it is a desire to knowe good. My hart breakethPro: 11. 23. for ye very desire of thy iudgments allwayes and it is good as it is a desire toPs: 119. 20. propagate this ^their^ knowledge of god to others by instruction, or at least by good example. For god hath giuen euery man a com[m]andement concerninge his neighbour.Ecclus. 17. 12. And it is good, as it is a desire to be vnited to god, as Simeon expressed it in his Nunc dimittis, Lord nowe lettest thou thy servant dep[ar]t in peace. and St Paul in his cupio dissolui, I desire to be dissolued and to be wth christ. Consider it lastly as desiderium peccatorum, ye diuers and contrary desires of sinners, euery way, euery desire, Dauids desire to liue in the Church, ye Ap[ost]les desire to be satisfied wth thinges necessary in ye Church, ye desire of ye Saints in heauen for ye consum[m]a[ci]on, ye desire of ye saints in earth to knowe god, and make him knowne to others, and to be vnited to him, ye desire of ye sinnefull man too, all these mett in ye Center, in ye eye of god; All our desires are before him. But principally this is intended of corrupt and sinnefull desires, for though it be omnium desiderium, yet all ye imagina[ci]ons of our hearts are only euill continually. ye Imagina[ci]ons, ipsa figmenta, as ye Originall word Ietzer- imports, before it came to be a formall and debated thought. and then ye thoughts themselues, when I haue discouered them, debated them, and in my hart at home seriously, not only in tentation pr[e]sented to my fancy or senses. these imagina[ci]ons and all these imagina[ci]ons they are euill. Yf any good be mingled wth them, yet it is soe litle, as that denominat[u]r a maiori, they are euill, because they are euill for ye most p[ar]t, but it is worse then soe, for [fol. 5v] for they are only euill, noe dram[m]e, noe tincture of good in them; all euill and only euill, and this continually, euill in the roote and euill in ye fruite, in ye growth and in ye p[e]rseu[e]rance. soe that Desideria heere are most p[ro]p[er]ly figmenta, the first Imagina[ci]ons, and they are euill and their sinnefull affection is in ye sight of god. But soe are gemitus our groaninges too, hee sees them, and what is good or euill in them, as well as in our desires./

Gemitus.First then, as Dauid had expressed before in ye verse pr[e]cedent, It is gemitus cordis, ye groaninge of ye hart, cordis non carnis, as St Austin makes ye difference, a harty groaninge and not meerely sensuall. Abstulit deus filium, vxorem (sayth ye same Fa:) god hath beaten downe thy greene fruite from thy beloued tree, god hath hewen downe ye beloued tree it selfe, thy young children and the mother of thy children he hath taken fro[m] thee, grandinata vinea, (as he enlarges this considerac[i]on) thy vine is stroken wth ye haile, ye raine hath drownd' thy meadowes, nowe thou lackest heate to make thy hay, and then that heate takes hold of it in ye stacke, and setts it on fire and then thou lackest water to quench it; vnseasonable weather, negligence of servants, casuall accidents, violence of theiues, greatnes of neigbours, all concurre to thy impou[e]rishinge, and then thou comest ad gemitum, to a groaninge, but not fro[m] ye hart, or not fro[m] ye hart soe disposed towards god as it should be. It must be then cordis and not carnis, and it must be gemitus not rugitus, a groaninge and not a roaringe, the voyce of a Turtle and not of a Lyon. yf we take it heere for ye voyce of sorrowe in worldly crosses, we must not pr[e]sently roare out in petitions, in suites, in complaints for eu[e]ry such crosse. There is a fault amongst you sayth ye Ap[ost]le) because you goe to Lawe one wth another. why rather suffer ye not wronge, why rather sustayne ye not harme? The Ap[ost]le would not call it expressely a sinne but he calls it a fault, and in a word wch signifies weakenes and imp[er]fection. The streame of ye Fathers runnes somewhat vehemently in thatis point, for they scarse excuse any suite at Lawe fro[m] sinne, or occa[ci]on of sinne, and they will not dep[ar]t fro[m] ye literall vnderstandinge of those words of o[u]r Saviour; yf any man will sue thee at lawe for thy coate, let him haue thy cloake too, for yf thy adu[e]rsary haue it not, thy aduocate will. howesoeuer, eu[e]ry man feeles in his owne conscience whether he be not ye lesse disposed to charity, ye lesse fitt to come worthily to ye Sacrament, and ye more apt to corrupt and bribe an officer by havinge suits in lawe then otherwise. and at last (as st Ambrose reports ye words and behavio[u]r of st Laurence) at his martirdome that he came to that constancy to say to ye p[er]secuto[u]r, assatum satis, versa et manduca, soe ye Deuill will haue his martyrs too, who out of desp[er]ate impatience after longe delayes will come to that desp[er]ate yssue towards ye adu[e]rsary, or ye Councell, or ye Iudge, you have taken my livinge, take my life too. To end this, for eu[e]ry damage, eu[e]ry trespasse, euery iniurious word to call one another wth ye Kings l[ett]re, ye Kinges writt, this is rugitus leonis (for ye voyce of ye Kinge is like ye roaringe of a lyon) whereas gemitus columbæ, such a mild complaint as might referre it to men of lesse quality, but more leasure, would make a better end. soe then yf we consider the groaninge to be ye voyce of sorrowe for worldly losses, it must not be rugitus, a vocifera[ci]on, a cryinge out, as though we [fol. 6r] were vndone, as though we cold not be happy except we were rich, as though we cold not be rich except we had iust soe much; It is not an im[m]oderate complayninge for worldly losses to ye magistrate for remedy for eu[e]ry petty iniury, it must be but gemitus both these wayes. And take it, as it is most p[ro]p[er]ly to be taken, for ye voyce of sp[irit]uall sorrowe a sorrowe for our sinnes, soe it must be but gemitus neyther, it must not be an im[m]oderate sorrowe that terrifyes, and argues a distrust in gods goodnes. Drowne that body of sinne wch thou hast built vp in thee, drowne that world of sinne wch thou hast created (for we haue a creac[i]on as well as god) dominem fecit deus, p[ec]catorem homo, man is gods creature, and the sinner is mans creature, spare thy world noe more then god spared his, who drowned it wth ye floud, drowne thine wth repentant teares. but when that worke is relligiously done, miserere animæ tuæ, be as mercifull to thy soule as he was to mankind, drowne it noe more, suffer it not, to ly vnder ye water of distrustfull diffidence, for soe thou mayst fall too lowe to tugge vp against ye tide againe, soe thou mayst be swallowed in Cains whirlepoole, to thinke thy sinnes greater then can be forgiven. God deales wth vs as he did wth Ezekiah, vidit lachrimas, yea as it is in ye Originall vidit lachrimam in ye singular, god sees eu[e]ry teare our first teare, and is affected wth that. when ye child was dead, Dauid arose fro[m] ye ground and eate bread; when ye sinne is dead by true repentance, rayse thy selfe fro[m] thy sad deiection, and come and eate ye bread of life, ye body of thy Saviour for ye seale of thy pardon. For there in this repentance and this seale, Finem Litibus imponis thou leaviest a Fine vpon thy sinnes, wch concludes and cutts of all titles. and when god hath prouided that thy sinnes shall rise noe more to thy condemna[ci]on at ye last day, yf thou rayse them vp heere to ye vexac[i]on of thy conscience, thou art a litigious man to thine owne destruction. This was then Dauids comfort, and is ours, Desideria et gemitis, the beginninge of o[u]r sinnefull concupiscences and ye beginninge of our repentance is seene to god, and god of his mercy stoppes those desires at ye beginninge, eyther he keepes away ye Deuill or ye woman, he takes away stimulum or obiectum, eyther my lust to that sinne, or ye occa[ci]ons and oportunities for that sinne. In his mercy he stops me at the beginninge of my desires, and in his mercy he p[er]fitts ye beginninges of my Repentance he sees Desideria and gemitus./

Nowe these desires these groanes they are sua, his; ye study of o[u]r conu[e]rsion to god, is in this life ye study of o[u]r p[ro]fession, it requires a whole man for it. It is for ye most p[ar]t losse of time in you to diuert vpon other studies, and it is for ye most p[ar]t losse of charity to diuert fro[m] our selues to ye considera[ci]on of other men, to prognosticate ill for ye future of any man. I see by his couetous desires, I see by his carnall desires, I see by his sinnefull courses this man can neuer repent, or to collect ill fro[m] that wch is past, I see his repentance his sadnes, his deiection of Countenance and spirit, his approaches towards desp[er]a[ci]on, surely this man is a more greivous sinner then we tooke hi[m] for. To prognosticate thus, to collect thus vpon others is an intrusion and an vsurpa[ci]on vpon them and a dangerous dereliction and abandoninge of o[u]r selues. when ye disc: of christ would needs call into question ye sinnes of that man wch was borne blind, rather then let them goe on in that, although there be no punishment inflicted wthout sinne pr[e]cedinge, yet christ sayes there, neyther this man nor his parents haue sinned, not that he or they were simply wthout sinne, but he would [fol. 6v] drawe his disc: fro[m] that wch concernd' not them, ye sinnes of others, to that wch concernd' them more, ye Contempla[ci]on of his omnipotence, who would recouer that man of his blindnes in their sight. Thinke you, (sayes christ) that those vpon whome ye tower of Silo fell, were ye greatest sinners in Hierusalem? no; christ had a care to deliuer the[m] fro[m] that mis-interpr[e]ta[ci]on then, and ye holy ghost hath not suffered the names or ye sinnes of those men soe slayne to come to our knowledge, In all the Euangelists, all other histories of ye Iewish na[ci]on and affaires there is noe mention, noe word, noe record of the death of those men nor of ye fall of this Tower. God would not haue posterity knowe their names or theyr sinnes soe p[ar]ticularly, after he had inflicted that extraordinary punishment vpon the[m]. Bee thine owne text then, be thine owne com[m]ent, watch thine owne desires, and god shall stop them, and thine owne groanes, and god shall p[er]fitt them wth his vnexpresseable comfort./

Ante teBut all this must be Ante te, before god, in his pr[e]sence and soe before hi[m] vt nihil absconditum, that nothinge be hid fro[m] him; Nowe quale desideriu[m]Aug:debet e[ss]e, quod ante deum? as vt moriant[u]r inimici, is that thy desire, that thine enemies might come to confusion? and is that a fitt desire for ye pr[e]sence of god? is this a writinge after thy coppy, after thy master Christ? His coppy is, Pater ignosce, Father forgive them, for they knowe not what they doe. or is it after his vsher, his disc: Stephen? his copy is, Domine ne statuas illis, O Lord lay not this sinne to their charge. yf thou wilt needes pray for thine enemies death, the same Father teaches thee a good waye, ora vt corrigantur, et morientur inimici, pray for their amendment, and ye enemy is dead, when ye enmity is dead. But this phrase of Dauid heere, that all this is ante te, imports not only gods seinge of it, but it implyes our bringinge of o[u]r desires and groanings Ps: 10.17.into his sight. Loe thou hast heard ye desire of ye poore, sayth Dauid, but howe? thou pr[e]parest their hart, and bendest thine eare to heere them; first gods pr[e]ventinge grace pr[e]pares, enables vs, and then he bends downe wth a further supply of concurringe grace, but that is to heere vs. for yf we doe nothinge then, yf we speake not then, he dep[ar]ts fro[m] vs. He hath looked Ps.102. 18.downe fro[m] ye height of his sanctuary, sayth he in another place, heer's his first grace, that he lookes towards vs, and then he heeres ye mourninge of ye prisoner, and he deliuers the child of Death. but first this prisoner must knowe himselfe to be in prison, and send forth a voyce of mourninge. He sawe and succoured Ezekiah, but not till he sawe his teares, he lookes for outward dem[ar]ca[ci]ons of our sorrowe, for confession and amendment of life. It is one thinge in a Iudge to knowe, and another to knowe soe, as he may take knowledge and Iudge vpon it. God knowes thy desires and thy groanes, but he will not take knowledge of them to thy comfort, to stop thy desires, to p[er]fect thy repentance, except thou bringe them Iudicially before hi[m], thy desires by way of confession, and thy groanes by way of thankefulnes. It is nothinge for a rich man to say in g[ene]rall, Lord all I haue is fro[m] thee, & yf thou wilt haue it againe, I am ready to p[ar]t wth it. This is hypocriticall complement to say to god or man; all is at your service; but giue god some p[ar]t of that, house christ where he is harbour-lesse, helpe to beautify and build that house where his name may be glorified, and his Sabbothe sanctified, cloth him where he is naked, feede him in his hunger, deliuer hi[m] in his [fol. 7r] imprisonment, when he suffereth in his afflicted members. All your recognitions to god wthout Subsidyes. wthout benevolences, wthout releivinge him in his distressed children, art but ceremoniall hypocriticall complements. So thy tellinge to god that hee knowes all thy desires and thy groanes, this is an easy matter for any man, it is a word soone said. but bringe all those before him, shewe him where and howe & when by neglectinge his grace thou hast strayed into these and these desires, and where and howe and when thou hast taken light at his visita[ci]on to returne towards him, and then he shall ouerthrowe thy worke, and build his owne extinguish thy desires, and p[er]fect thy Repentance.

This Dauid intends in that word ante te, and more fully in ye next non absconditus.Non absconditus for I may be content to bringe some thinge before god and yet hide others, or hide circumstances that may aggrauate, yea that may alter ye very nature of ye fact. We must not hide our desires vnder our groanes, nor our groanes vnder o[u]r desires, by wrappinge vp all our sinnes in a sadnes in a deiection, in a stupidity, soe that I neuer see my sinnes in a true p[ro]portion as they ly vpon christs shoulders, and not vpon my soule, nor in theire true apparell as they are clothed wth christs righteousnes, and not wth my corruption, nor wth their true weight as they are weighed downe wth Christs merits, but as they weigh downe my soule into desp[er]ac[i]on. This is a hidinge of o[u]r desires in o[u]r groaninges. And our hidinge o[u]r groaninges in o[u]r desires, is, to wrap vp all sorrowe for sinne in a verball confession and enumerac[i]on of o[u]r sinnes, wthout any p[ar]ticular contric[i]on for ye sinne, or detestac[i]on of it. We must hide neither; but anatomize our soule in both, and find euery sinnewe, and euery fiber, euery lineament and ligament of this body of sinne, and then eu[e]ry breath of that newe spirit, eu[e]ry drop of that newe bloud that must restore and repayre vs. Study all ye history, and write all ye p[ro]gresses of ye holy ghost in thy selfe. Take not ye grace of god, or ye mercy of god as a meddall, or a wedge of gold to be layd vp, but change thy meddall or thy wedge into currant money, find this mercy and this grace applyed to this and this action. for though ye mercy of god be a sea, yet be thou content to take it in drop by drop, and to acknowledge in ye pr[e]sence of god, that at suche time (by reducinge them to thy memory and contempla[ci]on his Agony) thou wast brought to a sense of thy miserable estate, and after (by consideringe ye ministringe of angells to him there) thou lookest confidence of receiuinge succo[u]r fro[m] him: That at such a p[ar]ticular time, ye memory of his fastinge rescued thee fro[m] a voluptuous and riotous meetinge, & the memory of his proceedinge and behaviour in his tenta[ci]ons brought thee also to deliuer thy selfe by applinge his words and ye promises of his gospell fro[m] those dangerous attempts of ye Tempter. Hide nothinge fro[m] God, neyther ye diseases thou wast in, nor ye degrees of health thou art come to, nor ye way of thy fallinge or risinge; For Dominus fecit, et erit mirabile. yf I mistake not the measure of thy conscience, thou wilt find an infinite comfort in this, this p[ar]ticular tracinge of ye holy ghost, and his workinge in thy soule.

This is ye layinge open and not hidinge, but all this is limited, ante te, and tibi, before god and to god. for why should I open my sinnes to man? he cannot releiue me by way of p[ar]don. or why should I open my groanes to man? he will not releiue me soe much as by compassion. Recedit gemitus servoru[m] dei ab auribus ho[m]i[n]um, sedAug. ante Deum Semper. there therefore they are only well placed, fro[m] whence they neu[e]r p[ar]t,/ [fol. 7v] But yet consider to whome all this is directed. It is ante te, and tibi, but tibi domine. Nowe there are two names of god wch are ordinarily in ye scriptures translated by this word Dominus, ye Lord. one name is Iehouah, and ye other is Adonai. and Iehovah signifies essence, beinge, Adonai signifies p[ro]p[er]ly basin, fundamentu[m], that vpon wch some buildinge rests, and in this place thats ye word, Adonai. soe that this is an openinge of our desires and groanings, of our wounds and scruples of conscience to god, as god is ye Lord, as ye basis and foundac[i]on, ye cornerstone, and ye piller of our buildinge, and that buildinge is the Church. All power of remission of sinnes is in ye Lord, but in ye Lord in his church. and therfore since that church in wch god hath sealed thee to him in both sacraments, accordinge to ye direction of ye holy ghost, hath ordayned that sicke p[er]sons shall make a speciall confession, yf they feele their consciences troubled wth any weighty matter and yt after that confession, ye Preist shall absolue them, let noe man thinke himselfe wiser then that church, and for ye abuse of a thinge in ye a corrupt Church, goe forward in an ignorance of what ye true church holds in that point, or defraude himselfe of nourishment out of a false feare of poysons and fumes, when there are none. Let noe man thinke himselfe out of ye pr[e]sence of god, by puttinge himselfe into ye pr[e]sence of his minister, nor doubt but that confession is ante dominu[m], and that absolution is a Domino, and fro[m] that Lord who is pr[e]sented heere, not of Iehouah ye Lord of essence and beinge, and soe in his g[ene]rall p[ro]uidence and sustayninge of all creatures, But as Adonai, a Lord that is ye basis and foundac[i]on of his Church. And let noe man deale soe niggardly soe penuriously with his owne soule, as to contract this ease and discharge of his conscience only to ye point of Death, but let vs all thinke o[u]r selues deadly sicke whensoeuer we are vnder ye burden of any deadly sinne. I am not vpon that frivolous and yet impious doctrine of ye Romane Church of Veniall & deadly sinnes, as though there were any sinne wch deserued not death, or might be washed out by our selues without ye applica[ci]on of ye merits of Christ; but agreable to ye modesty and sobriety of ye Ancients, I call that deadly sinne wch is peccatum vastans conscientiam, such as yf they be not rooted out, destroy ye conscience, and in their owne nature oppose ye workinge of gods grace in vs, as longe as they are in vs. To end this, God knewe where Adam was, and yet he asketh him, Adam Ubi es, he would fayne haue knowne it fro[m] himselfe. God knewe that ye sodomites had done accordinge to yt cry wch was come vp, and yet he would come downe and see. God knowes our desires and our groanes in heauen as god, he would knowe them vpon earth in his Church too, as Lord./ Nowe ye conclusion of all, accordinge to our custome held in ye p[ar]ts of this psalme, shalbe a short applica[ci]on of some of ye most important passages to ye p[er]son of christ, of whome many of ye expositors vnderstand this psalme to haue byn principally intended. First then, he in ye dayes of his flesh offered vp prayers and supplica[ci]ons wth stronge cryings and teares vnto him yt was able to saue him fro[m] death; and was also heard in that wch he feared. he was heard, but when? first, when prayed he that vehement prayer? All agree yt that place of ye Ap[ost]le hath relac[i]on to christs prayer in his Agony in ye garden, quando non contentus lachrimis oculorum, totius corporis sanguineis lachrimis lachrimauit, when besides his teares of water, he opened as many eyes as he had [fol. 8r] pores in his body, and wept out bloud at euery one of those eyes. and they agree that that place of ye Ap[ost]le hath relac[i]on to his vehement prayer vpon ye Crosse, Eli, Eli, My god, my god &. that when his father no[n] soluit vnionem, sedAug: substraxit p[ro]tectione[m] soe that christ prayed in his affliction, and yet prayed againe. That wch was Dauids case and is ours, was his case too, he was heard, but not at his first prayinge. after his first prayer, transeat calix, he was put to his expostula[ci]on, Quare dereliquisti? The father was allwayes with him, and is wth vs, but our deliuerance is in his time, not in ours, wch was ye doctrine raysd' out of ye first p[ar]t of ye Text./

for ye second, the knowledge and fore knowledge of god, it is true, that god who sees all, and foresees all, foresawe all ye malignity of ye Iewes in crucifyinge of Christ, but yet he was noe cause of it. St Aug: pr[e]sents that passion patheticallyAug: before our eyes, propinator fontium potatur aceto, mellis dator cibatur felle, flagellatur remissio, et condemnatur venia, illuditur maiestas et irridet virtus, et perfunditur dator imbrium Sputis. And all this and more then this, euen ye sheddinge of his bloud was foreseene, for he was agnus occisus ab origine, and all this was done too vt implerentur scripturæ, and, as St Matthewe expresses it, howe els should ye scriptures be fullfilled, wch say, that it must be soe. but were these prophecyes ye cause of it? No: ye prophecyes were longe before ye execuc[i]on, but ye foreknowledge of god was longe before ye prophecyes. This foreknowledge was ye cause of this prophecy, but neyther ye foreknowledge nor ye p[ro]phecy was any cause of ye sinnefull p[ar]t of their fact. and that is as much as is applicable to christ in ye 2d p[ar]t./

In ye 3d p[ar]t, (to passe speedily through some of ye principall words) first for Desideria, himselfe tells vs, as Chrys: obserues it, what his desire was, Desiderio desideraui comedere Pascha hoc. other Passouers he did eate wth the[m] before, but this Passouer (wch was to be a memoriall (not of their departinge out of Egypt, but of his dep[ar]tinge out of this world by a bitter and ignominious death for their saluac[i]on) he had a desire to institute and celebrate and com[m]end to their desires in imita[ci]on and com[m]emora[ci]on of him.

When we consider ye next, gemitus, his mourninges, they were vehement, but still they ended in a calme. At first in the tristis anima, and si possibile, there appeare some gusts, some beginnings of a storme, but all becalmed pr[e]sently in ye veruntamen, yet not my will, but thy will be done. soe at ye first, quare dereliquisti? there appeares a gust, but in his Manus tuas, a calme againe. We doe not call that an im[m]oderate and ouer-passionate sorrowe for sinne, wch sees day, and appr[e]hends ye pr[e]sence of god, in that deiection of spirit. But exclama[ci]ons vpon destiny, imputa[ci]ons vpon necessity, aspersions vpon ye Decrees of god himselfe, (as yf any thinge but ye p[er]u[e]rsnes of my will were ye cause of my sinne) these are rugitus Leonis, ye roaring of yt Lyon, that seekes whome he may devoure, and not Gemitus columbæ, the voyce of that Doue that comes to ye Arke with an Oliue branch, settles in ye church with ye testimonies of peace and reconciliac[i]on wch are there. Moreouer christ was to be glorified with ye glory wch he had before, and nowe he longed till that was accomplished, and but all was, ante patrem, his meate was to doe his Fathers will, and till his time was come, nondum venit hora mea, sayes Christ, my hower is not yet come. To end all; he proposed all ante patrem, but ante patrem Dominum, to his Father soe, as his Father had a Church vpon earth, and there [fol. 8v] fore, though there was a newe church to be erected by him, yet he yeilded all obedience to that wch was formerly erected; In that he was circumcised, and presented; and in that his Mother was purified accordinge to ye Lawe. and in that he sent his owne disciples to be instructed by ye scribes and Pharises, And to conclude, all Refractory p[er]sons, by his example: in that church he honoured wth his presence the feast of the dedica[ci]on, wch was an Anniversary feast, and a feast not of diuine Instituc[i]on, but ordained in ye Church./

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’.

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