OESJD VII.1; on Gen. 2.18

[fol. 12r] Gen:2:18. And the L: God sayd
it is not good, that the man should
bee alone; I will make him a helpe
meete for him

In the Creation of the world, when god stockd the earth, and the sea with those Creatures, wch were to bee the seminarie, and foundation and roote of all that should euer bee propagated in eyther of those elements, And when hee had made man, to rule ouer them, hee spoke to man, and to other Creatures in one and the same phrase, and forme of speach Crescite et multiplicamini; Bee fruitfull and multiply; and thereby imprinted in man and other Creatures, a naturall desire to Conserue, and propagate there kind, by way of generation. Butt after God had thus imprinted in man ye same naturall desire of propagation, wch hee had infus'd into other Creatures too, after hee had Communicated to him that blessing, (for so yt is said, God blessed them, and sayd, Bee fruitefull, and multiply)) Gen.i.22.28 till an Ability and a desire of propagating there kind was infus'd into the Creature, there is no mention of any blessinge in the Creation. After God had made man partakers of that blessing, that naturall desire of propagation, hee takes a farther Care of man, in giuing him a proper and peculiar blessing, in Contracting [catchword(s): and] [fol. 12v] limiting that naturall desire of his: Hee leaues all other Creatures to there generall vse and execution of that Commission Crescite et multiplicamini, The Male was to take the female, when and where theire naturall Gen:2:22. desire provoked them; But for man, Adducit deus ad Adam; God left not them to goe to one another, but God brought the woeman to the man: and so, this Coniunction, this desire of propagation, thoughe it bee naturall in man, as in other Creatures by his Creation, yet it is limited by God himselfe to bee executed only betweene such persons, as God hath brought together in mariadge, according to his institution, and Ordinance. Thoughe then societies of men do grow vp, and spread themselfs into Townes, and into Citties, and into kingdomes, yet the roote of all societies is in families, in ye relation betweene man and wife, Parents and Children Masters and Seruants, so thoughe the state of ye Children of god in this world bee dignified by the name of a kingdome, (for so wee pray by Christs owne institution, Thy kingdome come, and so Christ sayes Eccc Regnum, The kingdome of God is amongst yow) And thoughe the state of gods Children there bee Called a Cittie, a new Apoca:21.2 Ierusalem, coming downe from heaven, and in Dauid, Glorious things are spoken of thee O Cittie of god, Psalme: 87.3. yet for all these glorious titles of citty and kingdome, wee must memember, that it is Called a family too, The houshold of the faythfull: And so the Apostle Hebr:3.6 sayes, in preferring Christ before Moses That Christ [fol. 13r] as ye sonne was ouer Godes house, whose house wee are. So that both of Civill and of spirituall societie, the first roote is a family; and of families, the first roote is Marriage; and of marriage, the first roote, that growes out into words, is in this text; And the L God sayd, it is not good &c.

Iff wee should employ this Exercise only vpon these two generall Considerations, first that god puts euen his Care and his study to finde out what is good for man, and secondly that God does provide and furnish whatsoeuer hee finds to bee nessessary, Faciam, I will make a helper, thoughe they bee common places, wee are bound to thanke God that they are so; that is a common place to God that he euer does it towards vs, That it is a Common place to vs, that wee euer acknowledge it in him. But you may bee pleasd to admitt a more p[ar]ticuler distribution. For vpon the first, will bee grounded this Consideration, That in regard of ye publique good, god pretermitts privat and particuler respects; for God doth not say Non bonum homini It is not good for man to bee alone, Man might haue donn well inoughe so; Now god does not say Non bonum hunc hominem, it is not good for this, or that p[ar]ticuler man to bee alone; But non bonum hominem It is not good in the generall, for the whole frame of the world, that Man should bee alone, because then [fol. 13v] both Gods purposes had bin frustrated, of beeing glorified by man, heere in this world, and of glorificing man in the world to come; for neither of these could haue binn donne without a succession, and propagation of man; and therefore Non bonum hominem, it was not good, that man should be alone. And then vpon the second Consideration, will arise these branches; First, that whatsoeuer the defect bee; there is no Remedy, but from God; for yt is Faciam I will doe is Secondly, that euen the workes of God, are not equally excellent; this is but Faciam, it is not Faciamus; In the Creation of man, there is intimated a Consultation, a deliberation of the whole Trinitie; in the making of woeman, it is not expressed so; it is but Faciam. And that, then that is made here is but Adiutorium, but an Accessory, bot a principall but a helper, first, the wyfe must bee so much, she must helpe; and then shee must bee no more, shee must not governe. But shee cannot bee that except shee haue that quality, wch God intended in ye first woeman Adiutorium simile sibi, A helper fitt for him: For otherwise hee will euer retourne, to the Bonum esse solum, it had binn better for him to haue been alone, then in the likeness of a helper, to haue had a wife vnfitt for him.

First then that in regarde of the publique good God 1 Part pretermitts private respects, if wee take examples vpon that stage, upon that scene, the face of nature, [fol. 14r] wee see that for ye Conseruation of the whole, God hath imprinted in the p[ar]ticulers, a disposition to depart from theire own Nature: water will Clamber vp hills, And Ayre will sinke downe into vaultes, rather then admitt vacuity. Butt take the example nerer, in Gods bosome; and there wee see, that for the publique, for the redemption of the whole world, God hath (shall wee say pretermitted;) Derelicted, forsaken abandoned his owne, and only sonn. doe yow so too. Regnum dei intra nos; The kingdome of god is with in yow; planted in yo[ur]Election; watered in your Baptisme; fatned with the blood of Christ Jesus:, ploughed vp with many Calamites and tribulations; weeded with often repentances of particular sinns; The kingdome of God is with in yow; and will ye not depart from priuat affections, from Ambition and Coveteousnes, from excesse, and voluptuousnes, from Chambering and wantonnesse in wch the kingdome of God doth not Consist, for the conseruation of this kindome? will ye not pray for this kingdome, in yo[ur] pryvat, and publique deuotions; will ye not fast for this kingdome, in cutting of superfluities; will ye not fight for this kingdome in resistinge suggestions; will ye not take counsayl for this kingdome, in consulting wth religious friends? will ye not giue subsidies for this kingdome, in reteininge theyr necessites, for whome God hath made yow his stewards, waighe and measure yo[ur][fol. 14v] selfe, and spend that, be negligent of that, wch is least, and worst in yow. Is yo[ur] soule lesse then yo[ur] body, because it is in yo[ur] body? How easily lyes a letter in a box, wch, if it were vnfoulded, would Couer yt boxe? Unfold yo[ur] soule, and yow shall see that it reaches to heauen; from thence it Came, and thether it should pretend; whereas the body is but from that earth, and for yt earth, vpon wch it is now; wch is but a short, and an inglorious progresse. To contract this; the soule is larger then the body, and the glory and the Ioyes of heaven, larger then the honors and the pleasures of this World: what are 70 yeares, to that latitude, of Continuing as long, as the Ancient of dayes? What is it to haue spent our tyme, wth the great ones of this tyme, when, when the Angell shall Come and say, that tyme bee no more, wee shall haue no beeing with him, who is yesterday, and to day, and ye same for ever? wee see ordinarily how shipps go many leagues out of there derect way, to fetche the winde. Spiritus spirat ubi vult, sayes Christ; The spirit blowes weere hee will: and, as the Angell tooke Abacuc by the haire, and plac'd him where he would, this winde, the spirit of God, can take thee at last, by the gray haires, and place thee in a good Station then. spirat ubi vult, hee blowes where hee will, and spirat ubi vis, hee blowes wheir thou wilt too, if thou beest appliable to his inspirations. They are but hollow places that retourne Ecchoes; last syllables: It is but a [fol. 15r] Hollownes of hart, to awnswer God at last. Bee but as liberall of thie body in thy mortifications as in thie excess; and licentiousnes, and thou shalt in some measure, haue followed gods Example, for the publique to pretermitt ye priuate, for the larger, and better to leaue the narrower and worser respects.

To proceed, when wee made that obseruation that Non ho[min]i God pretermitted the priuate for the publique wee noted yt God did not say, Non bonum homini, It was not good for man to bee alone; Man might haue donn well enoughe in that state, so as his solitarines might haue binn supplied with a farther Creation of more men. In making the Inventoriys of those goods wch man possesseth in the world, wee see a greate Autor says, In possessionibus sunt Amici Xenoph:. , et inimici, Not only our freinds but euen o[ur] enemies, are part of o[ur] goods, and wee many raise as much profitt from these, as from those. It may bee as good a lesson to mans sonne, to study yt enemy as obserue that freinds. As Psa. 99.8 Dauid says, propitius fuisti, et vlciscens, Thou heardest them o Lord God and wast fauorable vnto them, and didst punish all there Inventions: it was part of his mercy, part of his favour, that hee did Correct them so wee may say to our enemy, [fol. 15v] I owe yow my Watchfullnes upon my selfe, and yow haue given mee all the goodnes that I haue; for yow haue Calumniated all my indefferent actions, and that kept mee, from Committing enormous yll ones. And if then our enemies bee in possessionibus, to bee inventaried amongst our Goods, might not man haue binn aboundantly riche in freinds, wth out this Addition of a woeman? quanto congruentius, says St August; how much more conveniently might two freinds liue together, then a Man and a Woman?

God doth not then say, Non bonum homini, man got not so much by the bargaine (especially if wee Consider how that wyfe Carried herselfe towards him) but that, for his particuler, hee had been better alone: Nor hee does not say now, Non bonum hunc hominem esse solum, It is not good for any man to bee alone; for Qui potest capere capiat, says Christ: hee that is able to receiue it, let him receyue it. what? That some make themselfs Eunuchs for the kingdome of heauen: that is, the better to vntangle themselfs from those impediments, wch hinder them in the way to heauen, they abstaine from Mariage; and let them that can receyue it, receiue it. Now Certainly few try, whether they can receiue this, or no. few striue, few fast, few pray for the gift of Continency; few are content wth yt inContinency wch they haue, but are sory they expresse no more incontinency. There is a vse [fol. 16r] of Mariage now, wch God neuer thought of in ye first institution of Mariage; that it is a remedy against burning. The two maine vses of mariage, wch are propagation of Children, and mutuall assistance, were intended by God at the present, at first; but the third is a remedy against that, wch was not then; for then there was no inordinatenes, no irregularity in the affection of man. And expreience hath taught vs now, that those Clymates wch are in reputation, hottest, are not vninhabitable; they may bee dwelt in for all there heate. Euen now, in the Corruption of our nature, the Clyme is not so hott, as that euery one must of necessity, marry. There may bee fire in the house, and yet that House not on fire: theire may bee a distemper of heate, and yet no necessity to let bloud. The romayne church iniures vs, when they say that wee prefer mariage before virginity; and they iniure the whole state of Christianity, when they oppose mariage and Chastety, as thoughe they were incompatible, and might not consist together. They may; for Mariage is honorable, and the bed vndefiled; and therfore Hebr:13.4 it may bee so St August: obserues in mariage, Bonum fidei, a tryall of one anothers truth, and that's good; And Bonum prolis, a lawfull means of propagation; and that's good; And bonum Sacramenti, a misticall representation of that vnion of two natures in Christ, and of him to vs and to his Church; and that's good to. So that dyvers [fol. 16v] there are dyvers degrees of good in Mariage. But yet for all these goodnesses, god does not say, Non bonum, It is not good for any man to bee alone, but Qui capere potest, capiat: according to Christs Comment, vpon his fathers text, hee yt can containe, and continue alone, let him do so. But though god do not say, Non homini, It is not good for the man, that he bee alone, non hominem, It is not good for euery man to bee alone, yet considering his generall purpose vpon all the world, by man, he says non bonum; for yt end, it is not good, that man should bee alone, because those purposes of god, could not Consist with that solitude of man. In that production, and in that suruay, wch God made of all that he had made, still hee giues the testimony, that hee saw all was good excepting only in his second dayes worke and in his making of man. He forbore it in the makinge of the firnament, because the firnament was to deuid betweene waters and waters; it was an emblem of deuision, of disvnion. Hee forbore yt allso in the makinge of man, because thoughe man was to be an Embleme of Godes. vnion to his Church, yet because this Embleme and this representation, Could not bee in man alone, till the woman were made too, god does not pronounce vpon the making of man, that the worke was good: but vpon gods contemplation, that it was not good that man should bee allone, then arose a goodnes in hauing a companion. And from that tyme, If wee seeke Bonum quia licitum, if wee will call that good, wch is [fol. 17r] lawfull, Mariage is that, If thou takest a wyfe, thou 1.Cor: 7.28 sinnest not, says God by the Apostle. If wee seeke Bonum quia bonus autor if wee call that good, whose Autor is good, Mariage is that; Adduxit Gen:2 22. ad Adam, God brought her to man. If wee seeke such a goodnes, as hath good witnes, good testimony, Mariage is that; Christ was present Joh:2 at a mariage, and honord it wth his firste miracle. If wee seeke such a goodnes, as is a Constant and not a temporary, an occasionall goodnes Christ hath put such a Cyment vpon Mat: 19 6. Mariage, what God hath ioyned, let no man put asunder. If wee seeke such a goodnes, as no man, (that is, no sorte or degree of men) is the worse for hauing accepted, wee see the holiest of all, the high preists, in the O: test: ys only limited, what woman he shall not marry; And the Bishop in the New Test what kind of husband he must haue been, but not that hee must haue been no husband. To contract this, as mariage is good, in hauing the best Autor, God, The best witnes, Christ, The longest terme, life, The largest extent, euen to the highest persons, preistes, and bishops, as it is, all these ways. Positiuely good, so yt is good in Comparison of that, wch iustly seemes the best state, that is verginity, in St. Augst: opinion Non impar meritum Joannis et Abrahae: If wee could consider merit in man, the merit of Abraham, the father of nations, and the merit of John, who was no father at all, is equall But that wherin we Consider ye goodnes of it here, ys, that god proposed this way, to receiue glory from the sonns of men, here vpon earth, and to giue glory to the sonns of men in heauen. [fol. 17v] But what glory can god receyue from man, that he should bee so carefull of his propagation? what glory more from man, then from the sunne, and moone, and starrs, wch haue no propagation? why this, that August: obserues; Musca soli proferenda, quia viuit; A fly is a nobler Creature then the sunne, because a fly hath life and the Sunne hath not. for the degrees of dignity in the creature, are, Esse, viuere and Intelligeri: To haue a beeing; To haue lyfe and to haue vnderstanding: and therefore man, who hath all these, is much more able to glorify god, then any other Creature ys, because hee only can chuse whether hee will glorifie god or no; the glory that the others giue, they must give; but man is able to offer to god a reaRo:12.1. sonable sacrifice. When ye were Gentils, says 1.Cor: 12.2 the Apostle, ye were Carried away vnto dumbe Idolls, euen as ye were led. This is reasonable seruice, out of reason, to vnderstand, and out of our willingnes to do god seruice now, When god had spent infinite millions of millions of generations, from all vn-imaginable eternity, in contemplating one another in the trinity, and then (to speake humanely of god, wch, God in his scriptures abhorrs not) out of a Satiety in that contemplation would create a world for his glory, and When hee had wrought the first day, and Created all the matter and substance of the future Creatures, and wrought 4 dayes after and a greate part of the sixth, and yet nothing producd, wch could giue him any glory (for glory is [catchword(s): rationable] [fol. 18r] rationabile obsequium, reasonable seruice,) and nothing could giue that but a Creature that vnderstood it, and would giue it, at last, as the knott of all, created Man, Then, to perpetuate his glory, he must perpetuate man: And to that purpose, Non bonum, it was not good for man to bee alone; as wthout man God could not haue bin glorified, so without woman man could not haue been propagated

But, as there is a place cited by St. Paul out of Ps:68 .18. Dauid, wch hath some perplexity in it, wee cannot tell, whether Christ bee said to haue receiued gifts from men or for men, or to haue giuen giftes to men, (for so St Paul hath it) so it is not easy for vs to discerne, whether God had a Care to propagate man, or that hee might recuyve glory from man, or that he might giue glory to man when God had taken it into his purpose, to people heauen againe, depopulated in the fall of Angells, by the substitution of man in their places, when God had a purpose to spend as much tyme wth man in heauen after, as hee had donn wth himselfe before, (for our perpetuity after the Resurrection, shall no more haue an end, then his eternity before the Creation, had a begining,) And when God to prevent that tyme of ye Resurrection, as it were to make sure of Man before, would send downe his owne sonne, to assume our nature here, And, as not sure inough, so would take us vp to him, and set us, [fol. 18v] in his sonne, at his owne right hand, whereso he neuer did nor shall say, to any of the Angells, sit thou there, That God might not bee frustrated of this greate, and gracious, and glorious purpose of his Non bonum, it was not good, yt man should bee alone; for wthout man god could not giue this glory, and without woman there could bee no propagation of man. And so though it might haue been Bonum homini, Man might haue donn well inough, alone, And Bonum hunc hominem, some men may do better alone, yet, God, who euer, for our Example prefers the publique before the pryuate, because it conducd not to his generall end, of hauinge, and of giuinge glory, saw and said, Non bonum hominem it Was not good that man should be alone. And so we haue donne wth the braunches of or first part. 2 Part

Wee are come now to our second generall part: In wch, as wee saw in the former, that God studies man, and all things necessary for man, we shall also see, that wherein soeuer man is defectiue, his only supply, and reparation is from God; Faciam I will do it. Saul wanted counsaile, he was in a perplexity, and he sought to ye witche of Endor, and not to God; and what's the issue? he heares of his own, and of his sonns Johathans death, the next day. Asa wantes health and he seeks to ye phisician, and not to God; and whats ye issue? He dyes. Do not say, Says St. Chrysost. Quaero necessaria, I desire nothing but that [fol. 19r] Wch is necessary for my birthe, necessary for my place: Quod non dat deus non est necessarium: God hath made himself thie steward, thy bayliff; and what soeuer God provides not for thee, is not necessary to thee. It was the poore way that Mahomet found out, in his Alchoran, that in ye next life all woman should haue eyes of one bignes, and a stature of one sise; he could find no meanes to avoyd Contention, but to make them all alike. But that's thy Complexion, thats thy proportion, wch God hath giuen thee. It may be true ytSt: Hierom notes, who had so much Conversation amongst women, that it did him harme, Multas insignis pudicitiæ, quamuis nulli vororum, sibi scimus ornari; I know, says he, as honest women as are in the world, that take a delight in making themselfs handsomely readly, though for no other bodys sake, but for theyr own. That Cyprian may bee, but, Manus deo inferunt, they take ye pensill out of Gods hand, who go about to mend any thing of his making. Quod nascitur dei est, quod mutatur Diaboli, says the same father; God made vs according to his image; and shall he be put to say to any of vs, Non Imago Mea, this picture was not taken by the lyfe, not by me, but is a Copy of the present distemper of the tyme? All good remedys are of God; None but he would euer haue conceyud such an Invention as the Arke, wthout that Modell, for the reparation of the world; and he hath provided that meanes for the conseruation of the world Mariage, [fol. 19v] Tertul: the association of one to one plures costæ Adæ, nec fatigatæ manus Dei: Adam had more ribbs then one, neither were Gods hands wearied Wth making one; and yet he made no more, for him, who first exceeded yt, Lamech, who had two wyfes, the first was Adah, and Adah signifies Cætum, Congregationem; there is Company inough, society inough in a wyfe: His other wyfe was but Zillah and Zillah is but vmbra, but a shadow, but a Ghost, yt will terrify at last

Faciam To proceed Though god allways provide remedies, and supplies of Defects, it is not allways in the greatest measure, nor in the presentest Manner, that wee conceyue to our selfs. So much may bee intimated euen in this, that in this remedy, of gods prouision, the woman, God provided not as hee did in the making of man; it is not Faciamus, wth such a Counsayle, such a deliberation, as was vsed in that case. when the Creation of all the substance of all the whole world is expressed, it is Creauit Dij, Gods created, as though more Gods were employd; and in the making of him, who was the abridgment of all, of Man, it is faciamus, let vs make him, as though more persons were employd: It is not so in the woman; for though the first transslation of the bible that euer were, and the translation of ye Romane Churche haue [fol. 20r] it in the plurall, yet it is not so in the Originall; it is but Faciam. I presse no more vpon this, but one lesson to our selfs, That if God exercise vs wth temporall afflictions, narrownes in our Fortunes, infirmities in our constitutions or wth sp[i]r[itu]all afflictions, Ignorance in our understanding, scruples in o[ur] Conscience, if God come not alltogether, in hys Faciamus, to powr downe wth both hands aboundance of his worldly treasures, or of his spirituall light and clearnes, let vs Content our selfes wth one hand from him, wth that Manner, and that measure, that he giues, and yt tyme, and that leaysure wch he takes. And then one lesson also to the other sexe, That they will be Content, euen by this forme, and Change of phrase, to be remembred, that they are the weaker vessell, and that i Timo. 2. 14 Adam was not deceiued, but the woman was for, whether yow will ease that wthTheodorets exposition, Adam was not deceyued first, but the woman was first deceyued, Or wthChrisostoms exposition, Adam was not deceyued by a serpent, a Creature loathsome, and vnacceptable, but by a louely personn, wth whom he was transported, Or wthOecumenius hys exposition, Adam was not deceyued, because there is not chardge layd vpon him in the scriptures, no mention that he was decyud in them, as it is said, that Melchisedec had no [fol. 20v] Father nor mother, because there is no record of hys petigree in the scriptures, Or in Ambrose hys exposition, that Adam was not deceiued pruaricationem, not so deceiued as that he deceyud any body els, Take it any way, and it implies a weaknes in the woman, and an occasion of souplinge her to that iust 1 Timo 2.11. estimation of her selfe, That the will be content to learne in silence, wth all subiection; That as shee is not a seruant, but a mother in ye House, so she is but a daughter, and not a Mother of the Churche

Aduitorium This is presented more fully in the next, That she is but Adiutorium, but a helpe: and no body values his staffe, as hee does hys legge. It is not an ordynarie disease now, to bee too vxorious that needs no greate dissuasion. But if any one man in a Congregation be obnoxious to any one infirmity, one note is not ill spent: And let St Hierome giue this note; Sapiens iudicio amat, non affectu, Discretion ys ye waight of loue in a wise mans hand, and not affection, St Hierome Cannot stay there; he adds thus much more, Nihil fœdius, quam vxorem amare, tanquam adulteram there is not a more vncomely, a poorer thinge, then to loue a wyfe like a mistris St. August: makes that Comparison, That whensoeuer the Apostles preachd, they were glad when their auditory liked their preaching, [fol. 21r] Non auiditate consequenda laudis, sed charitate seminandæ uirtutis, Not that they affected ye prayse of the people, but that thereby they saw, that they had donne more good vpon the people. And in another place he maks that Comparison, That a righteouse man desires to bee dissolud, and to bee wthChrist, and yett this righteous man dynes, and supps, takes ordinary refections, and ordinary recreations. So for Mariage, says he, in temperate men, officiosum, non Libidinosum, it is to pay a debt, not to satisfie appetite; least otherwise shee proue in Ruinam, who was giuen in Adiutorium and hee be put to the first Mans plea, Mulier quam dedisti, The woman whom thou gauest me, gaue me my death

So much then she should be, A Helper; for for that she was made. she is not so, if she remember not those duties, wch are intimated in the stipulation and contract wch she hath made. Call it Coniugium, and that’s deriud a Iugo, It is an equall patience, in bearing the incommodities of thys lyfe. Call it Nuptias, and that's deriud a nube, a vayle a Couering; and that's an estranginge, a wthdrawing herselfe from all such Conuersation as may violate his praise peace, or her honor Call it Matrimonium, and that’s deriud from a Mother, and that implies a religious education of her Children Delatere [fol. 21v] sumta, non discedat a latere, says St August: since shee was taken out of his side, let her not depart from his side, but show her selfe so much as she was made for, Adiutorium A Helper.

But she must be no more; If she thinke herselfe more then a Helper, she is not so much. He is a miserable Creature, whose Creator ys his wyfe. God did not stay to ioyne her to in Commission wth Adam, so far, as to giue names to the Creatures; much less to giue essence; Essence to the man, Essence to her Husband. When the wife thinks, her husband owes her all his fortune, all his discretion, all his reputation, God helpe that man himselfe, for he hath giuen him no helper yet. I know there are some glasses stronger then some earthen vessells, and some earthen vessell[e]s stronger then some wodden dishes; some of the weaker sex, stronger in Fortune, and in Counsayle too, then they to whome god hath giuen them, but yet let them not impute that, in the Ey nor ear of the world, nor repeate it to theyr own harts, wth such a dignifienge of them selfs, as exceedes the quality of a Helper. St Hierom shall bee her remembrancer, she was not taken out of ye foote, to bee troden vpon, Nor out of the head, to bee an overseer of him; but out of his side, where she weakens him inough, and therefore should do all she Can to bee a Helper

[fol. 22r] To bee so, so much, and no more, she must bee, as God made Eue simili ei, meete and fit for her Husband. she is fitt for any, if she haue those vertues, wch allwayes make the person that hath them, Good; as Chastity, sobriety, taciturnity, verity, and such: for, for such vertues, as may bee had, and yet the possessor not the better, for them, as witt, learning, eloquence, Musique, memory, Cunning, and such, those make her never the fitter. There is a Harmony of Dispositions, and that requires particuler consideration, vpon emergent occasions; but the fitnes that goes through all, is a sober continency; for without that, Matrimonium iurata fornicatio, Mariage is but a continuall fornication, sealed wth an Oath : and Marriage was not instituted to prostitute the Chastety of the woman to one man, but to preserue her Chastity, from the tentations of more men Berseba was a litle to fitt for Dauid, when he had tryed her to far before; for there ys no fitnes, where there ys not Continency. To end all, there is a Morall fitnes, consisting in those morall vertues, of wch we haue spoke inough; And there is a Civill fittnes, consisting in those morall vertues) And there is a Ciuill fittnes consisting in discretion, and accommodating herselfe to him; and there is a spirituall fitnes, in the vnanimity of Religion, that they bee not of dyuers professions that way. Of wch since we are well assurd in both these, who are to bee ioyned together now, I am not sory, if eyther the houre, or the present occasion [fol. 22v] Call mee from speaking any thing at all, because it is a subiect to mis-interpretable, and vnseasonable to admitt an enlarging in, at this tyme. At this tyme therefore, this be inough for the explication and application of these words


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


Transcription by Jeanne Shami and used with kind permission of the author.

Transcription checked and amended by Erica Longfellow.

Transcription coded by Sebastiaan Verweij.


Institution: British Library, London
Shelfmark: MS Harley 6946
OESJD siglum: H1


Item no: 1
Locus: ff. 1r-11r
Title: Prou: 8: 17: I loue them that loue mee and they that seeke mee earlie shall finde mee.
Incipit: As the Prophetts and other Secretaries of ye holie Ghost in
Explicit: whome &c.
Final Rubric: Finis
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. I.4; P&S Vol. I.5

Item no: 2
Locus: ff. 12r-22v
Title: Gen:2:18. And the L: God sayd it is not good, that the man should bee alone; I will make him a helpe meete for him
Incipit: In the Creation of the world, when god stockd the
Explicit: words
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. VII.1; P&S Vol. II.17

Item no: 3
Locus: ff. 23r-34v
Title: And I will marry thee vnto mee for euer
Incipit: The word wch is ye hinge vpon wch all this text
Explicit: Blood to whome &c.
Final Rubric: Finis
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. VII.2; P&S Vol. III.11

Item no: 4
Locus: 35r-48v
Title: John 11.35 Ihesus wept Preached at Whitehall, first Friday in Lent: 1622
Incipit: I am nowe but vpon ye Compassion of Christ There is as much
Explicit: teares hereafter, in the triumphant Church
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. II.9; P&S Vol. IV.13

Item no: 5
Locus: 49r-60r
Title: The. I° Thess: chap. 5 ver: 16 Reioice euermore
Incipit: Wee read in ye naturall story, of some flotinge Ilands
Explicit: inestimable price of his incorruptible bloud
Final Rubric: Amen
Bibliography: OESJD [...]; P&S Vol. X.10


Material: Paper, quarto, i + 66 + i leaves. 198 X 155 mm.
Foliation: Modern and consecutive. Blank pages between sermons (separate inserts) are not numbered, so the total comes to 60 numbered pages. Contemporary page numbers survive in the top right margins: 1 (f. 35r), 2 (f. 39r), 3 (f. 43r), 4 (f. 47r), and once more 1 (f. 49r), 2 (f. 59r), 3 (f. 57r).
Collation: I:12, II:12, III:12, IV:16, V:12
Condition: The manuscript is in good condition, but the pages have been cropped resulting in some loss of text, and the binding is tight, resulting in occasional loss of text in the gutter. Front and back boards have been reattached.


Each of the five sermons is written by a different scribe (H1 to H5). Characteristics of their hands are as follows. H1: small, slanted secretary hand with italic forms. The scribe uses ligatures for 'pro', 'per/par', 'pre', 'er', 'uer'; tildes for 'cion'; macrons for 'n' or 'm'. A common feature of this hand is the use of tildes (~) to fill out a line. There is no ruling or pricking, but in order to demarcate the writing space the scribe folded the paper vertically twice (for left and right margins). There are no catchwords when the paragraph ends at the bottom of the page.

H2: small, secretary hand with italic forms. The scribe uses a ligature for ‘par’ and tildes to abbreviate Latin words in the marginal notes. The scribe frequently puts commas and semi-colons at the beginning of the line.

H3: Small, upright, and clear secretary hand with some italic forms. Lowercase 'e' and 't' are very similar. The scribe uses macrons for 'm' and 'n' and abbreviations for 'ur' and 'par'. Mistakes are commonly corrected by means of strikethroughs, followed by supralinear emendations.

H4: The scribe uses a fine, sloping secretary hand with some italic forms. The scribe uses ligatures for 'our', 'par', 'per', 'pro', 'er', 'es', and macrons for 'm', 'n', and 'ion'. Because the manuscript is very tightly bound, occasionally letters or punctuation have disappeared into the gutter. Where these letters can reasonably be guessed they are given in curly brackets.

H5: A neat, slightly slanting secretary hand with some italic forms. The scribe uses ligatures for 'our', 'par', 'per', 'pro', 'er', 'es', and macrons for 'm', 'n', and 'ion'. Because the manuscript is very tightly bound, occasionally letters or punctuation have disappeared into the gutter. Where these letters can reasonably be guessed they are given in curly brackets.

Occasionally in the manuscript later hands intervene to make small corrections and emendations. Where this occurs, the insertion is marked with a light-grey background. For more detail about the corrections, see Jeanne Shami, 'New Manuscript Texts of Sermons by John Donne', English Manuscript Studies, 13 (2007), pp. 77-119.

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