OESJD VII.1; on Gen. 2.18

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The Text
And the lord sayd It is not
for the man should be alone
I will
Make him a helpe meete for
Gene: 2: 18:

In the Creation of the World when God had Stock’d the Earth, and the Sea, with those Creatures wch were to be the Seminarye and foundation and roote of all yt should ever be p[ro]pagated in either of those Elemts, And when hee had made man to rule over them, he spake to man and to other Creatures in one and the same phrase, and forme of speeche Crescite et multiplicamini, Bee fruitefull and multiplye, and thereby imprinted in man and in other Creatures a naturall desire to conserue and propagate their kinde by waye of generation. But after God had imprinted in man the same naturall desire of propagation wch hee had infused into other creatures too, after he had Com[m]unicated vnto him that blessing (for soe it is said God blessed them and sayd, Bee fruitefull and multiplye, Ge: 1: 22: 28 till an abilitye and desire of propagating theire kinde was infus’d into the Creatures there is noe mention of anye blessing in the Creation) After God had made men p[ar]takers of that blessing, that naturall desire of propagation, hee takes a farther care of man, in giving him a proper a peculiar blessing, in Contracting and limiting that naturall desire of his. Hee leaves all other Creatures to their generall vse & execuc[i]on of that Comission, Crescite et multiplicamini, the male was to take the Female when and where their naturall desire provoked them. But for man, Adduxit deus ad Adam, God Gen: 2: 22: left not them to goe one to another, but God brought ye Woma[n]
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to the man, and soe this coniunction this desire of propagatio[n], though it be naturall in man as in other Creatures by his Creatio[n], yet it is limited by God himselfe to be exercised onelye betweene such persons as God hath brought togither in marriage, according to his Instituc[i]on and ordinance. Though then Societyes of men doe growe vp, and spred themselves into Townes and Cittyes, and kingdomes, yet the roote of all Societyes is in familyes, in ye relatio[n] betweene man and wiffe, Parents and Children, Masters and Servants. Soe though the state of the Children of God in this world be dignifyed by the name of a kingdome (for Soe wee praye by Christs Institution, Thy kingdome come, and soe Chr: luk: 17: 17: sayes, Ecce Regnu[m], The kingdome of God is amongst you). And Apoc: 21: 2: thoughe the State of Gods Children heere be called a Cittye, a psal: 87: 3: newe Ierusalem coming downe from heaven, and in David, Glorious thinges are spoken of the ȏ Cittye of God; yet for all these glorious Titles of Cittye and kingdome, wee must remember, that it is called a Familye too, the houshold of the Faithfull. And soe the Apostle sayes heb: 5: 6 in pr[e]ferring Christ before Moses, that Christ, as the Sonne was eu[er] Gods house, whose house wee are, Soe that both of Civill & Spirrituall societyes the first roote is a Familye, and of Familyes the first roote is Marriage, and of Marriage the first roote that growes out into wordes is in this Text. And the Lord sayd It is not good etc/

If wee should employe this exercise onelye vpon the 2: generall Considerations, First that God even putts his Care and Studye to find out what is good for man, and Secondly that God doth provide and furnish whatsoever he findes to be necessarye, faciam, I will make him a helper, though they be como[n] places, wee are bound to thanke God that they are soe, That it is a com[m]on place to god that he ever does it towards vs, That it is a como[n] place to vs that wee ever acknowledge it in him; But you maye be pleased to admitt a more particular distribution; For vpon the First will be grounded this Considerac[i]on, That in regard of the publique good God pr[e]termitts private & p[ar]ticular respects; for God doth not saye, Non bonu[m] homini, It is not good for man to be alone, Man might haue done well enough So, Neither god does not saye, Non bonu[m] hunc homine[m], It is not good for this or that p[ar]ticular man to bee alone, but Non bonu[m] homin{e[m]}, It is not good in the generall, for the whole frame of the world, yt man should bee alone, because then, both Gods purposes had bine frustrated of being gloryfied by man heere in this world, and of gloryfyinge man in the world to come; For neither of theise could haue bine donne wthout a Succession, and p[ro]pagatio[n] of man, And therefore non bon[um] homine[m], It was not good that man should be alone And then vpon the Second considerat[i]on will arise these branches, First That what soever the defect bee, there is noe remedye but from God, for it is faciam, I will doe it Secondlye that even ye workes of God are not equallye excellent, This is but faciam, And then that yt is made heere is but Adiutoriu[m], but an accessorye, not a principall, but a helper, First the wiffe must be so much shee must helpe, and then shee must be noe more, Shee must
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not governe, but shee cannot be that, except shee haue yt quallitye wch God intended in the First Woman, Adiutoriu[m] semile tibi, A helper fitt for him, For otherwise he will returne to the bonu[m] esse solum, It had beene better for him to haue bene alone then in the likenesse of a helper to haue had a Wiffe vnfitt for him

First then, that in regard of the publique good God pr[e]termitts private respects, If wee take examples vpo[n] yt Stage, vpon that Scene, the Face of Nature, wee see that, for the co[n]servatio[n] of the whole, God hath imprinted in the p[ar]ticulars a disposition to dep[ar]t from their owne nature, Water will clamber vp hills, & ayre will sincke downe into vaults rather then admitt vanitye. But take the Example neerer in Gods Bosome, and there we see that for the publique, for the redemption of the whole world, God hath (shall wee saye pr[e]termitted) derebated, forsaken, abandoned his owne and onelye Sonne, doe you see too! Regn[um] dei intra nos, the kingdome of god is wth in you, planted in yo[u]r election, watered in yo[u]r baptisme, fatned wth the bloud of Christ Iesus, ploughed vp wth many calamityes and Tribulac[i]ons, weeded wth often repentance of p[ar]ticular Sinnes. The kingdome of God is wth in you, And will not ye dep[ar]te from private affections! From Ambition, fro[m] Covetuousnes, fro[m] excesse, and voluptuousnesse, fro[m] Chambring, & wantonnesse, in wch the kingdome of God doth not consist! will you not praye for this kingdome in your publique & private devotions! will yee not fast for this kingdome, in cutting of Superfluityes! will yee not fight for this kingdome in resisting Suggestions! will yee not take cou[n]sell for this kingdome in consulting wth religious freinds! will not yee giue Subsidyes for this kingdome, in releeving /their/ necessityes for who[m] God hath made you his Stewards! weigh  & measure yo[u]r selves, and Spend that, & be negligent of yt wch is worst in you. Is yo[u]r Soule lesse then yo[u]r bodye because it is in it! How easilye lyes a letter in # a boxe, wch if it were vnfoulded would cover that boxe! vnfould yo[u]r Soule, & you shall see yt it reaches to heaven. from whence it came, and thither it should pr[e]tend, whereas the bodye is from the Earthe, and /for/ that Earth, vpon wch it is nowe, wch is but a Shorte and inglorious progresse. To contract this, The Soule is larger then the bodye, and the glorye and the ioyes of heave[n] larg[e]r then the hono[u]rs & pleasures of this world. What are 70: yeares to that latitude of continewing as long as the au[n]tient of dayes! what is it to haue spent our tyme wth the great ones of this tyme (when the Angells shall come and saye yt tyme shalbe no more) wee shall haue noe being wth him whoe is yesterday & todaye and the same forever! Wee see how ordinarilye Shipps goe many leagues out of their directe waye to fetch the winde! Spiritus spirat vbi uult, Sayes Christ, the Spirrit blowes where he will, and as ye Angell tooke Habacuk by the hayre of the head & plac’d him where he would, this Winde, the Spirritt of God can take thee at last by thy graye hayres and place thee in a good Station /then/ Spirat vbi uult. Hee blowes where thou wilt too, if thou beest applyable to his Inspirac[i]ons. They are but hollow places yt returne Ecchoes, last Sillables. It is but a hollowenesse of harte to answere God at last. Bee but as liberall of thy bodye in thy mortificacons as in thy excesse & licentiousnesse, and then thou
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shalt in some measure haue followed Gods example, for the publique to pr[e]termitt the private, for the larger and better to leaue the narrower and worser respects

To proceed, when wee made that obseruation yt God pr[e]termitted the private for the publique, wee noted yt god did not Saye Non bonu[m] homini It was not good for man to be alone, man might haue done well enough in that state, Soe that his Solytarynes might haue bene supplyed wth a further Creation of More men, In making the Inventaryes of those goods wch man possesseth in yezenophon world, wee see a greate Author Sayes. In possessionibus sunt amici et inimici, Not onelye our Freindes, but even our Enemies are p[ar]te of our goods, and wee maye rayse as much profitt from these as from those. It maye be as good a lesson to a mans Sonne. Studye that Enemye, as obserue that Freind. As Davyd Sayes psal: 99: 8: Propitias fuisti et vlsciscens. Thou heardest them o Lord our God, and wast favourable to them, and didst punish all theire inventions. It was parte of his mercye, parte of his Favour that he did correct them Soe wee maye saye to our Enemye, I owe you my watchfullnesse vpon my selfe, and you haue given mee all the goodnesse that I haue, for you haue caluminated all my indifferent actions, & kept mee from enormous ill ones. And if then our Enemyes be in possessionib[us] to be inventaryd amongst our goods, might not man haue bine aboundantlye ritch without this addic[i]on of a woman! Quanto congruentius, Sayth Augustine, How much more convenientlye might two Freindes liue togither then a man and a woman! God doth not then saye Non bonu[m] homini, man gott not soe much by the bargane (especiallye if wee co[n]sider how that wiffe carryed her selfe towards him) but that for his particular, he had bene better alone. Nor he does not say now, non bonu[m] hunc hominem esse qui potest capere capiat, Sayth Chr, Math: 19: 12: Hee that is able to receaue it, let him receaue it! That some make themselves Enucks for the kingdome of heaven, that is, ye better to entangle themselves fro[m] those Impedymts wch hinder them in the waye to heaven, they abstayne from Marriage, and let them that can receave it, receaue it. Now certaynelye few trye whith[e]r they can receave this or noe, few strive, fewe Fast, few praye for the guift of continencye, few are content wth yt Incontinency wch they haue, but are sorrye they can expresse noe more inco[n]tine[n]cy There is a vse of marriage nowe wch God never thought of in the first Instituc[i]on of Marriage, That it is a remedy agst burning. The 2: mayne vses of Marriage wch are propagatio[n] of Childre[n] and mutuall assistance, were intended by God at the pr[e]sent, at First, But the third is a remedye against that wch was not then, for then there was noe inordinatenesse nor irregularitye in the affection of man. And experience hath taught vs nowe that those Clymates wch were in reputac[i]on hottest, are not vninhabitable, they maye be dwelt in for all their heate. even now in the corruption of our nature, the clymate is not soe hote as yt everye one must of necessitye marrye. There maye be fire in the house and yet not the house on Fire, there maye be a distemper of heate and yet noe necessitye to let bloud. The Roman Church iniures vs when they saye that wee preferre
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marriage before Virginitye: & they iniure the whole state of Christianitye when they oppose marriage & chastitye, as though they were incompatible and might not consist togither. They may For heb: 13: 4: marriage is honorable among all men and ye bed vndefiled, and therefore it maye be Soe. St August: obserues in marriage Bonu[m] fidei, a tryall of one anothers truthe, & that’s good; and Bonu[m] prolis, a lawfull meanes of Propagac[i]on, and that’s good, And Bonum Sacramenti, a misticall repr[e]sentac[i]on, of that Vnion of two natures in Christ, and of him to vs, and to his Church, and that’s good too, but yet for all these goodnesses, God doth not saye, non bonu[m], It is not good for man to be alone, but qui capere potest capiat, according to Christs coment vpon his Fathers Text. Hee that can co[n]tayne and continue alone, let him doe soe. but though god doth not Saye, non Homini. It is not good for the man that he be alone, non hominem, It is not good for everye man to be alone, yet co[n]sidering his generall purpose vpon all the world by man, he sayes non bonu[m], For that end, it is not good that man should be alone, because those purposes of god could not consist wth that Solitude of man. In that production, and in that Survey that god made of all yt hee had made, Still he giues the Testimonye, that he saw all was good, excepting onlye in his Second dayes worke. and in his makinge of man. Hee forbore it in the making of ye firmamt, because ye firmamt was to devide betwixt waters & waters. It was an Embleme of diuision of disvnion. Hee forbore it in the making of man allsoe, because though man was to bee an Embleme of Gods vnion to his Church, yet because this Embleme & this repr[e]sentac[i]on could not be in man alone till ye woman were made too, God does not pronounce, vpon the making of man, that the worke was good. But vpon gods conte[m]plac[i]on yt it was not good yt man should bee alone, there rose a goodnesse in hauing a companio[n]. And from that tyme, if wee seeke bonu[m] quia licitu[m], marriage is that. If thou takest a wife thou Sinnest not Sayth God by ye Apo: 1: Cor: 7: 28 If wee seeke bonu[m] quia Bonus Author, If wee call yt god whose Author is good, Marriage is that. Adduxit ad Adam, God brought Gen: 2: 22: her to man. If wee seeke such a goodnesse as hath good wittnesse, good testimonye, Marriage is that. Christ was present at a marriage Ioh: 2: and honoured it with his first miracle. If wee seeke such a goodnesse as is a constant, and not a temporacye, not an occasionall goodnesse, Christ hath put such a ciment vpo[n] marriage/ what God hath ioyned let noe man put asunder. If wee Math: 19: 6: seeke such a goodnesse as no man (that is noe sorte, noe degree of men) is the worse for hauing accepted, wee see the holyest of all, the high Preist in the old Testamt is onlye lymitted what woman he shall marrye, And the Bishopp in the new Testamt what kinde of husband he must haue bene, but not yt he must haue bine noe husband. To contract this, as marriage is good, in haueing the best Autho[u]r god, the best wittnes Christ/ the longest terme, liffe, ye largest extent, event to the highest p[er]sons, Preists & Bishopps, As it is all these wayes positively Good, Soe it is good in comparison of yt wch iustlye seemes ye best State, that is Virginitye In St August: opinion non . imparmeritu[m]Iohannis et Abrahæ. If wee could consider merritt in man,
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the merrit of Abraham the Father of the nations, & ye merritt of Iohn whoe is was noe Father at all is æquall. But that where in wee consider ye goodnesse of it heere, is that God proposed this way to receaue glorye from the Sonnes of men. here vpon Earthe, and to giue glorye to the Sonnes of men in heaven

But what glorye can God receaue from Man yt he should be soe carefull in his p[ro]pagation. what glorye more fro[m] man then from the Sunne & Moone & Starres wch haue noe p[ro]pagac[i]on. why this yt St August obserued, musca soli pr[e]terend quia viuit, A Flye is a nobler Creature then ye Sunne because a Flye hath liffe & ye Sunne hath not. for ye degrees of dignitye in the Creature are Esse viuere et intelligere; To haue a being, to haue liffe & to haue vnderstanding. And therefore man whoe hath all three is much more able to glorifye god then any other Creature is, because he onlye can chuse whither he will glorifye God or Noe. The Glorye wch the others giue, they Rom: 12: 1: /must/ giue; but man is able to offer to god a reasonable sacrifice, 1: Cor: 12: 2: when yee were Gentiles, Sayes the Apostle, yee were caryed awaye to dumbe Idols; even as ye were ledd. This is reasonable Service, out of reason to vnderstand, and out of our willingnesse to doe Gods Service. Now when god had spent infinite millions of millions of Generations from all vnimaginable eternitye, in Contemplating one another in the Trinitye & then (to speake humanelye of God, wch god in his Scriptures abhorrs not) out of a Satietye in that contemplac[i]on would create a world for his glorye, and when he had wrought the first daye, and created all the matter & substance of the future Creatures, & wrought 4: dayes after & a great p[ar]te of the Sixth, & yet nothing p[ro]duc’d wch could giue him any glorye (for Glorye is rationabile obsequiu[m], reasonable s... Service, & nothing could giue that but a reasonable Creature yt vnderstood it, and would giue it) at last, as ye knott of all, created man. Then, to perpetuate his Glorye, hee must p[er]petuate man, and to that purpose, non bonum It was not good for man to be alone, As wthout man God could not haue bine glorifyed; Soe wth out woman Man could not haue bene p[ro]pagated

But as their is a place cyted by St Paule out of Davyd wch hath some p[er]plexitye in it, wee cannot tell whith[e]r Christ be said to haue receaved guifts fro[m] men, or for men, or to haue giuen guifts to men (for Soe St Paule hath it) Soe it is not easye for vs to discearne whither God had a Care to p[ro]pagate man, yt he might receave glorye from man, or that he might giue glorye to ma[n], When God had taken it into his purpose to people heaven againe depopulated in the fall of Aungels, by the substituc[i]on of man in their places, when God had a purpose to spend as much tyme wth man in Heaven after, as he had done wth himselfe before (for o[u]r p[er]petuitye after ye resurrectio[n] shall noe more haue end, then his ext..ernitye before ye Creation had beginning) and when god. to pr[e]vent yt tyme of the 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 enough Soe, would take vs vp to him, & sett vs, in his Sonne, at his owne right hand (where as he never did, nor never shall saye to any of his angells, Sitt thou heere) That God might not be frustrated of his greate & gratious, & glorious purpose of his, Non bonu[m], It is not good that man should be alone, for wthout man, god could not giue this Glorye, & wth out Woman, there could be
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noe p[ro]pagac[i]on of man, And soe though it might haue bene Bonu[m] homini, man might haue done well enough alone, and Bonu[m] hunt hominem Some men maye doe better alone; yet God how ever, for o[u]r example, pr[e]ferres the publique before ye pr[i]vate, because all conduced to his generall end of having and giuing glorye; Saw & said Non bonu[m] homine[m], It is not good that man should be alone, And soe wee haue done wth ye branches of o[u]r first p[ar]te

Wee are come nowe to o[u]r Sec[ond] p[ar]te, In wch as wee sawe in ye form[er] that God 2: part Studyes man, & all thinges necessarye for man is defectiue, his only Supplye & reparation is fro[m] god faciam, /I/ will doe it. Saule wanted cou[n]sell, he was in a p[er]plexity, & he saught to ye witch of Eudor, & whats the issue! he heares of his owne & of his Sonne Ianathans death ye next daye; Asa wants health, & he seekes to ye Phisitian, & not to God, & wts the issue, he dyes. Doe not saith St Chrisost: Quaro necessaria I desire nothing but yt wch is necessary for my birth, necessarye for my place. Quod non dat Deus, not et necessariu[m], God hath made himselfe thy steward, thy baliffe, & wt soeu[er] God p[ro]vides not for thee is not necessarye to thee. It was a poore thinge waye yt Mahomett found out in his Alioran, yt in ye next liffe all women should haue eyes of one bignes, a stature of one size, He could find no meanes to auoyd co[n]tention but to make them all alike. But that’s thy complexio[n], that’s thy p[ro]porc[i]on wch God hath given thee. It may be true yt St Herome notes (whoe had soe much co[n]u[er]satio[n] amongst women yt it did him harme) I know sayes hee, as honest women as any are in the world, yt take a delight in making the[m]selves handsomely ready, though for noe other bodyes sake then but for their owne, But manus deo inferant, They take the Cyprian Pencill out of Gods hand whoe goe about to mend any thing of his making. Quod nascitur Dei est, Quod mutatur Diaboli Saith the same Father. God made vs according to his image, and shall he say to any of vs non Imago mea, This picture was not take by ye liffe, not by mee, but is a coppy of ye pr[e]sent distemper of ye tyme! All good remedyes are of God. none but hee would eu[er] haue co[n]ceaved such an Inventio[n] as ye Arke, wthout yt Modell, for ye rep[ar]atio[n] of ye world, & he hath p[ro]vided yt meanes for ye co[n]servation of ye world, Marriage, ye association of one to one plures costie Adce nec futeguta manus dei; Ada[m] had more durtull: ribbs then one, & yet he made noe more for him for him whoe first exceeded that, Lamech who had 2: wives The first was Adah, & Adah signifies cætum congregatione[m], There is companye enough, Societye enough in A Wiffe, His other was but Zillah, & Zillach was but vmbra, but a Shadowe, but a ghost that will terrifye at last

To proceed, Though God alwayes p[ro]vides remedyes & Supplyes of defects, it is not allwayes in the greatest measure, nor in ye pr[e]sentest manner yt we co[n]ceave to o[u]r Selves, So much maye be intimated even in this, yt in this remedye of Gods provision, ye woma[n], God p[ro]ceeded not as he did in ye making of man. It is not faciam[us] wth such a co[n]sell, Such a deliberac[i]on as was vsed in yt case, when ye Creation of all ye Substance of ye whole world is expressed, His Creauit Dii, Gods Created, as though more Gods were imployed, & in the making of him; whoe was ye Abridgmt of all, of man, it is faciamus, Let /vs/ make him, as though more p[er]sons were imployed. It is not soe in the Woma[n] For though ye first translac[i]ons of ye bible yt eu[er] were, & ye translac[i]ons of ye Roman Churche haue it in the purall, yet it is not soe in ye originall, it is but faciam. I presse no more vpon this but one lesson to our selves, That if God exercise vs wth temporall afflictio[n]s, narrownes in o[u]r fortunes, infirmities in o[u]r constitutions, or wth spirrituall afflictio[n]s, Ignorance in our vnderstandings, Scruples in our consciences. If God come not alltogith[e]r in his faciamus to poure downe wth both hands abundance of his worldly treasures, or of his spirrituall light & cleerenes, Let vs co[n]tent o[u]r selves wth one hand fro[m] him, wth that man[er] & yt measure yt he giues, & yt tyme & yt leasure wch he takes. And the[n] one lesson allsoe to ye other Sexe, That they wilbe content, even by this forme & chang of phrase, to be remembred yt they are ye weaker vessell, & yt Adam was not deceaud but ye woman was, For whither you ease yt wth Theodorets exposicion, Adam was not first deceau’d but the woman was first deceau'd, or wth Chrisost: expositio[n], Ada[m] was not deceau'd by a Serpent, A Creature loathsome, & vnacceptable, but by A louelye p[er]son wth who[m] he was transported, or wth Oecumenius his expositio[n], Adam was not deceau’d because there is noe charg laid vpo[n] him in ye Scripture, no me[n]tion yt he was deceau’d in them, as it is said yt Melchesedech had no Father nor Moth[e]r, because there is noe record of his pedigree in ye Scriptures, or in Ambrose his exposition that Adam was not deceau’d in pr[e]vacitatione[m], not soe deceau’d as yt he deceau’d any body else, Take it any waye, & it implyes a weakenes in ye woman, & an occasion of Supplying her selfe to yt iust estimatio[n] of her Selfe, That she wilbe content to lear[n] 1: Timo: 11: 7: in silence with all subiection, that as shee is not a Servant, but a Mother in ye house, Soe shee is but a daughter, not a Mother of ye Church/

This is pr[e]sented more fully in ye next, That she is but adiutoriu[m], & noe body valewes his Staffe as he doth his leggs. Is it not an ordinary disease nowe to be too vnorious, That needs noe great dissuasion But if any oen man in a co[n]gregatio[n] be obnoxious to any one infirmitye, one note is not ill spent. And let St Hierome giue this note, Sapiens iudicio amat non effectu, Discretio[n] is the waight of loue in a wise mans hand, and not affection. St Ierome cannot staye there, he addes
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much more, nihil fordius quam amare vnorem tanquam adultera[m], Ther is not a more vncomelye, a poorer thing then to loue a wiffe like a mistris St August makes the Comparison, that when soever ye Apostles preached, they were glad when their auditorye liked their preaching, Non amditate consequendæ caudis sed charitate seminandæ cau virtutis, not that they affected the prayse of the people, but that there by they saw they had done more good vpon the people. And in another place he makes that comparison That a righteous man desired to be desolved, and to be wth Christ, & yet this righteous man dynes and Suppes, takes ordinarye refections, & ordinarye recreations. Soe for Marriages, Sayes hee, In temperate   officiosum non libidinosum, It is to paye a debt, not to satisfye appetite, least otherwise shee proue in ruinu[m] whoe was giuen in Adiutoriu[m], & he be put to the first mans plea Mulier qua[m] dedisti, The woman whom yu gauest mee, gaue me my deathe/

Soe much then shee should bee, a helper, for, for yt she was made. Shee is not soe if she remember not those duties wch are intimated in ye Stipulac[i]on & co[n]tract wch shee hath made Call it coniugiam, & yts derivd a Iugo, It is an æquall patience in bearing the Incomodityes of this liffe, Call it nuptius, and that’s derivd A Nube, a Vayle, a Coveringe, and that’s an estranging, a wthdrawing hir selfe from all such Conversation as maye violate his peace or hir hono[u]r Call it Matrimoniu[m], and that’s deriv’d from a Mother, and yt implyes a religious educatio[n] of hir Children, De latere sumpta non discedat a latere Sayth August: Since shee was taken out of his Syde, let her departe not fro[m] his Syde, but shew herselfe soe much as shee was made for Adiutori, A helper/

# But shee must be noe more. If she thinke hirselfe more then a helper, She is not soe much, Hee is a miserable Creature whose creato[u]r is his Wiffe. God did not staye to ioyne her in Comission wth Adam So farre, as to giue names to Creatures, much lesse to giue essence, Essence to the man, Essence to hir husband. when the wiffe thinkes hir selfe husband owes hir all his Fortunes, all his discretio[n], all his reputac[i]on, God helpe that man himselfe, for he hath given him noe helper. yet I knowe there are some Glasses stronger then some Earthe[n].... vessells, and some Earthen vessells stronger then some wooden dishes, Some of the weaker Sexe stronger in Fortune & in cou[n]sell too, then they to whom god hath given them. But yet let them not impute that in ye Eye or Eare of ye world, or repeate it to their owne hearts, wth such a dignifying of themselves, as exceeds the quallitye of a helper St Hierome Shall he hir Reme[m]brancer. Shee was not taken out of ye Foote to be trodden vpo[n], nor out of ye head to be an overseer of him. But out of his Syde where shee weakens him enough, & therefore should doe all Shee can, to be a helper/

To be soe, soe much, and noe more. Shee must be as God made Eue, similis ei, meete and fitt for hir husband, She is fitt for anye if shee haue those virtues wch allwayes makes the p[er]son good that hath them, as Chastitye, Sobriety, Taciturnity, Veritye, and such. For, for such vertues as maye be had, and yet not the professo[u]r the better for them, as Witt, Learning, Eloquence, musique, memorye, Cunni[n]g, and Such, these make hir never the fitter. There is A harmonye of dispositions, & yt requires p[ar]ticular Considerations, vpo[n] Emergent occasions, But the fittnes that goes through all is a Sober Continency for wthout that matrimoniu[m] iurata fornicatio, Marriage is but a co[n]tinuall fornication Seal’d wth an Oathe, And marriage was not instituted to p[ro]stitute the Chastitye of the woman to one man, but to pr[e]ferre hir Chastitye, fro[m] the temptac[i]ons of more men. Berseba was a litle to fitt for David, When shee had tryed him soe farr before, for there is noe fittnes where there is no co[n]tine[n]cy

To end all, there is a morrall fittnes consisting in these morrall vertues of wch wee haue spoken enough, and there is a civill fittnes consisting in discretion, and accomodating hirselfe to him, and there is a spirrituall fitnesse in the vnaminitye of Religio[n], that they be not of divers p[ro]fessions that waye. Of wch since we are well assured in both these whoe are to be ioyned nowe, I am not Sorrye, if eyther the hono[u]r, or the pr[e]sent occasion call me, fro[m] Speaking any thing at all, because it is a Subiect too misinterpr[e]table and vnseasonable to admitt an enlarging in at this tyme. At this tyme therefore this be enough, For ye explicac[i]on, and applycacion of these words

of a Sermon preachd by D: Donn at Sr Francis
Nethersoles marriage


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 of sermons 1-15 by Emma Rhatigan.

Transcription of sermon 16 by Mary Morrissey

Transcription proofread by Peter McCullough (sermon 10), Mary Morrissey (16), Phil West (2, 6, 12), Hugh Adlington (5, 9, 11, 13), and Sebastiaan Verweij (1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 12, 14, 15, 16).

Manuscript description by Mary Morrissey.

Transcription coded by Sebastiaan Verweij.


Institution: Bodleian Library, Oxford
Shelfmark: MS Eng. th. c. 71
OESJD siglum: M


Item no: 1
Locus: ff. 53r-59v
Title: The Text Remember nowe thy Creator in the dayes of thy youthe 12:1: Ecclesiastes
Incipit: Wee may consider Two greate
Explicit: meete and never parte, but here wee must
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.10; P&S Vol. II.11

Item no: 2
Locus: ff. 60r-65r
Title: The Text Father forgiue them for they knowe not what they doe, Luke 23:34:/
Incipit: The word of God is either
Explicit: Father which art in heauen &c.
Final Rubric: finis
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. VI.8; P&S Vol. V.12

Item no: 3
Locus: ff. 67r-72v
Title: The Text The Father iudgeth noe man But hath committed all Judgment to the Sonne John 5:22:
Incipit: When our Sauiour Christ forbidds
Explicit: to you when for your sakes, he committed all Judgmt to the Sonne/
Final Rubric: Finis of the First Sermo[n] prached at Lincolnes Inn in ye forenoo[n]e by Doc: Dunn on Sunday 30:Ja:1619
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.11; P&S Vol. II.15

Item no: 4
Locus: ff. 72v-76v
Title: The Text Iuidge noe man John 8.15
Incipit: The Riuers of paradice did not all
Explicit: yet, The Sonne iudgeth noe man
Final Rubric: Finis of the second Sermon preached at lincolnes In the afternoone by Doc: Dunn on Sunday 30:Jan:1619
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.12; P&S Vol. II.16

Item no: 5
Locus: ff. 78r-84v
Title: The Text Blessed are the people that bee soe yea blessed are the people whose God is the Lorde Psale 144:15:
Incipit: The first parte of this Text hath re:
Explicit: of his incorruptible blood. In wch glorious Sonne of God &c.
Final Rubric: Finis of Doctor Dunns sermo[n] preach'd at Wit-hall before the kinge the thirtyeth of Aprill 1620
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. II.5; P&S Vol. III.9

Item no: 6
Locus: ff. 86v-93v
Title: The Text Whosoeuer shall fall on this Stone shalbe broken, But on whom Soeuer it shall fall it will grinde him to powder Math: 21:44
Incipit: Allmightie God made us for
Explicit: manifest vnto vs To whome wth blessed Spirritt &c
Final Rubric: Finis of a Sermon of docter Donne preach'd at ye Cockpit
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. VI.1; P&S Vol. II.8

Item no: 7
Locus: ff. 95r-101v
Title: The Text Lorde all my desire is before thee and my Groninge is not hid from thee Psal:38:9:
Incipit: The wole Psalme
Explicit: but ordained by the Church
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.8; P&S Vol. II.6

Item no: 8
Locus: ff. 103r-109r
Title: The Text Whoe now reioyce in my sufrings for you and fill vp that wch is behinde of the Afflictions of Christ in my fleshe for his bodyes sake which is the Church Colos:1:24
Incipit: Wee are to enter into the
Explicit: and Christ Jesus a Crowne of Everlasting glorye to vs all
Final Rubric: Amen
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. IV.2; P&S Vol. III.16

Item no: 9
Locus: ff. 110r-115r
Title: The Text Woe vnto you that desire the daye of the
Incipit: For the presenting of the woes and Iudgmts of God
Explicit: To which glorious sonne of God &c
Final Rubric: Finis of Doc: Donns Sermon at white hall before the kinge the 30: of March 1619
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. II.2; P&S II.18

Item no: 10
Locus: ff. 116r-122r
Title: The Text I loue them that loue mee & they that seek me earlye shall finde mee Pro:8:17:
Incipit: As the Prophetts and other secretaryes of the holye
Explicit: incoruptible bloode
Final Rubric: In whom &c/
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. I.4; P&S Vol. I.5

Item no: 11
Locus: ff. 123r-129r
Title: The Text And without Contruersye greate is the Mistery of Godlynes God was manifest in the Fleshe: Iustifyed in the Spirit: Seene of Angles: peached vnto ye Gentils: Beleeued on in the worlde: receyued vp into Glorye 1:Timo:3:16:
Incipit: This is no Text for an hour glasse: If god woud
Explicit: blood: To which glorious Sonne of God &c
Final Rubric: Finis of Doc: Donns Sermon at Whithall before the kinge ye 16: February 1620
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. II.6; P&S Vol. III.10

Item no: 12
Locus: ff. 130r-137v
Title: The Text Hee that beleeuth not shalbe damned Mar:16:16
Incipit: The first words that are recorded in the
Explicit: God shall himselfe in an everlasting presence & Fruition./ Amen./
Final Rubric: Finis of A Sermon of Do: Duns lincolns I
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. VI.9; P&S Vol. V.13

Item no: 13
Locus: ff. 139r-145r
Title: The Text The last Enemye that shall be distroyed is Deathe 1:Cor:15:26:
Incipit: This is a Text of the Resurrection, and tis not
Explicit: Consummacion both in Bodye and Soule in his everlasting glorye Amen
Final Rubric: Finis of D: Dunn before the kinge on Frydaye before lent 1620
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. II.8; P&S Vol. IV.1

Item no: 14
Locus: ff. 146r-149v
Title: The Text And the Lord says It is not good for the man should be alone I will make him a helpe meete for him Gene:2:18:
Incipit: In the Creation of the world when God had
Explicit: therefore this be enough, For ye explicacion, and applycacion of these words
Final Rubric: Finis of a Sermon preach'd by D:Donn at S Francis Nethersoles marriage
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. VII.1; P&S Vol. II.17

Item no: 15
Locus: ff. 150r-155v
Title: The Text And I will marrye thee vnto mee for euer Hos:2:19:
Incipit: The word wch is the Kinge vpon wch
Explicit: his incorruptible bloude to whom &c
Final Rubric: Finis of a Sermon preach'd at St Clements danes by D:Dunn at Mr Washingto[n]s marriage
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. VII.2; P&S Vol. III.11

Item no: 16
Locus: ff. 156r-171r
Title: The Text For God who Commaunded light to shine out of darknes, hath shined in our hartes to giue the light of ye knowledge of the glory of God in ye face of Je: Christ 2:Cor:1:6:
Incipit: The First Booke of ye Bible begins wth the
Explicit: of God in the face of Jesus Christ
Final Rubric: Finis of Doc:Donns Sermo[n] at ye Spitle on Easte Mu[n]day 1622:
Bibliography: OESJD Vol. VIII.2; P&S Vol. IV.3


Material: Paper, folio, i + 177 leaves (1 stub, f. 59b). 313 X 210 mm.
Foliation: Foliation in pencil consecutively. The final sermon is individually paginated in ink, not by the main scribe.
Collation: The volume is too tightly bound to provide collation.
Condition: The volume is in excellent condition.


The hand which transcribed the sermons in this manuscript is almost certainly that of a professional scribe. This is a very neat, very consistent hand. The letters are small (minims are approx. 2mm high, capitals and letters with ascenders only approx. 3-4 mm high); this allows the scribe to fit approx. 50 lines of text within the writing block. The scribe uses a predominantly secretary script, with some italic features. The scribe also uses a kind of non-cursive print-hand, with some italic forms but less pronounced in its use of that script that write the passages in italic. The distinction between this and the italic scripts can be harder to discern. Punctuation is sparse, consisting mostly of commas and full-stops, with virgules sometimes marking the end of a paragraph. Virgules are not easily distinguished from commas, especially mid-paragraph. On the whole, what may be rather short virgules have been transcribed as commas. A capital often indicates the beginning of a new sentence in the absence of a full-stop, or following a comma. The Merton scribe occasionally writes square brackets. Since these are also used for editorial interventions in the text, in transcription they are replaced with parentheses (see for instance ff. 150v, 151r). Abbreviation is typical for a hand of this time. The scribe commonly employs word-final superscript 'r' with an abbreviation mark. These letters have mostly been expanded ('ur', 'er'), except where no vowel could have been implied (although the same superscript 'r' was still used by the scribe): especially in 'nor' and 'for'. Catchwords are used throughout, and these have only been indicated when the catchword is different from the word following on the next page, in terms of spelling, punctuation, or capitalisation.

The rubricator may be distinguished from the main scribe. It is clear that marginal notes were added in pencil first, and then re-done in red ink. In some cases, the pencil is still visible, and in a couple of instances, the pencil has not been inked over (see esp. f. 163v, marginal note 'Nicephor’. In one case, in the margin of f. 169r, the rubricated marginal note reads ‘Nariani’. This is presumably a mistake for ‘Nazianzen’ (or a shortened form thereof). The underlying pencil mark is not visible, but it is difficult to believe that a scribe who had written ‘Nazianzen’ so many times in this manuscript would not have recognised the word when rubricating the marginal notes. This may indicate that the rubricator did his work on the text after the scribe had completed his work. This might explain some of the inconsistencies in the rubrication throughout the manuscript.

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