OESJD VII.2; on Hos. 2.19

[fol. 23r] And I will marry thee vnto mee for euer

The word wch is ye hinge vpon wch all this text turnes is Erash And Erash signifies not only a betrothing as our later translation hath it but a maryage; And so it is vsed by Dauid, deliuer 2 Sam: 3.14 me my wife Michal whom I married; and so our former Translation had it, and so we accept it, and so shall handle it. I will marry thee vnto mee for ever.

The first marriadge yt was made, God made, and hee made it in paradise: And of that mariage, I haue had the like occasion as this to speake before, in ye presence of many honorable persons in this Company The last marriage wch shalbe made, God shall make to; and in Paradise to; in ye kingdome of heauen; and at that marriage, I hope in him, yt shall make it, to meete not some, but all this Company. The mariage in this Text hath relac[i]on to both those mariages: It is it selfe ye spirituall and misticall mariage of Christ Iesus to the Church, and to euery mariageable soule in the Church: And it hath a retrospect, it looks backe to ye first marriage; for to yt ye first word carries vs, because from thence God takes his Metaphore, and comparison sponsabo, I will Marry; And then it hath a Prospect to ye last mariadge, for to yt are wee carried in ye last

[fol. 23v] word In æternum, I will marry thee to mee for euer. Be pleased therefore to give mee leaue in this exercise to shifte ye scene thrice, and to present to your religious considerac[i]on three obiect[e]s three subiects: first a seculer mariage in Paradise, secondly a spirituall marriage in ye Church And thirdly an eternall marriage in heauen And in each of these three wee shall present three Circumstances; first ye persons Me and Tibi, I will marry thee And then the Action, Sponsabo, I will marry thee: And lastly the TermeIn aeternum I will marry thee to mee, for euer.

1 Parte In the first acceptation then, in the first, ye seculer Marriage in paradise, the persons were Adam Persons and Eue: Euer since they are He, and she, man and woman: At first, by reason of necessity without any such limitation, as nowe: And now wthout any other limitation then such as are expressed in the law of God. As ye Apostels say Acts: 15. 28 in ye first generall Counsell, wee lay nothing vpon yow, but thing[e]s necessarie, so wee call nothing necessary, but yt wch is commanded by God. If in heauen I may haue a place of a man yt hath performed ye Commandement[e]s of God, I will not change with him that think[e]s hee hath done more then the Commandement[e]s of God enioyend him. The rule of marriage for ye degrees and distance in blood is yo[ur] lawe of God: but for Conditions of men, there is no Rule giuen at all, when God had made Adam [fol. 24r] and Eue in Paradise, God did not place Adam in a Monastery on one side, and Eaue in a Nun[n]ery on the other and so a Ryuer betweene them. They yt built walls and Cloysters to frustrate Gods institution of mariage aduance the doctrine of Devills in forbidding marriage

The divell hath advantages inow against vs in bringing 1 Timo: 4.3. men & women together: It was a strange and superdivelish invention, to give him a newe advantage against vs, by keeping men and women asunder, by forbidding Marriage. Betweene ye heresy of the Nicholaitans, yt indur'd a Com[m]unity of weomen, any might take any, And ye heresy of ye Tatians that forbad all, none might take any, was a faire latitude Betweene ye opinion of yo[ur] Manichaean heritiqus, that thought weomen to bee made by the Devill, and yo[ur] Colliridian heritiques yt sacrific'd to a woeman, as to God, there is a faire distance. Betweene the denying of them souls wch SAmbrose is Charg'd to haue donne, and giveing them such soules, as that they may bee Preists, as yo[ur] Pepentian heritiques did, is a faire way for a moderate man to walke in To make them Gods, is vngodly, and to make them Deuills, is divelish; To make them mistresses is vnmanly, And to make them seruants is vnnoble; to make them, as God made them, wifes, is Godly and manly to. when in yo[ur] Roman Church they dissolued marriage, in naturall kindred, in degrees where God forbids it not, when they dissolue marriage vppon spirituall kindred, because my [fol. 24v] Granfather Christened yt womans father when they dissolue marriage, vpon legall kindred because my granfather adopted yt womans father they seperate those whome god hath ioyned so as to give leaue to ioyne in lawfull marriage. when men haue made vowes to abstaine from marriage I would they would be content to try a little longer then they do, whether they could keepe that vowe or noe: And when men haue Consecrated themselues to ye service of God in his Church I would they would be content to try a little farther then they would, whether they could abstaine or not: But to dissolue marriage made after such a vowe, or after orders is still to seperate those whom God hath not seperated. The persons are hee and shee, Man and woeman; they must be so much; he must be a man, shee must bee a weoman; And they must be no more; not a brother and a sister, not an Uncle and a Neece; Adduxit ad eum, was the cause betweene Adam and Eue: God brought them together; God will not bring mee a pr contracted person hee will not haue me defraud another; nor God will not bringe mee a misbeleeuing a superstitious person, hee will not haue mee drawne from himselfe. But let them be persons yt God hath made, man and woman, and persons yt God hath brought togeather, yt is not put asunder by any law of his, and all such persons are capable of this first, this seculer Marriage.

Sponsabo In wch our second consideration is the Action sponsabo where the Actiue is a kinde of Passiue I will marry thee, is I will bee married vnto thee; for

[fol. 25r] wee marry not our selues They are some what hard driuen in ye Ro: Church when making Marriage a Sacrament, and beeing Bella{r} de Matri{m} l.1.C.6 prest by vs with this question If it bee a Sacrament who adminersters it, who is the Preist, they are faine to answer the Bridegroome and the Bride. Hee and shee are the Preist in yt Sacrament. As Marriage is a Civill contract, it must bee done soe in publique, as that it may haue ye testamony of men; As Marriage is a religious Contracte it must bee soe donne, as that it may haue yt benedixion of the Preist. In a marriage without testimony of men they Cannot cleyme any Benifitt by the lawe: In a Marriage wthout ye benediction of ye preist they Cannot Clayme any benefite of ye Church: for how Matrimonially soeuer, such persons, as haue married themselues, may pretend to loue and liue togeather, yet all that loue, and all yt life is but a regulated Adultery it is not Marriage.

Now this institution of Marriage had 3 Obiects:first In vstionem In vstionem, it was giuen for a remedy against burning, And then, In prolem, for propagation, for Children; and lastly In Adiutorium for mutuall helpe. As wee consider it ye first way In vstionem, Euery heating is not a burning; euery naturall Concupiscence does not require a marriage; any euery flayming is not a burning; though a man continue vnder the flame of Carnall tentation; As longe as St Paul did, yet it needes not come presently to a Sponsabo I will marry. God gaue St Paul other phisicke, Gratia mea sufficit: Grace to stand vnder that Tentation: And St Paul gaue himself [fol. 25v] other Phisicke Contundo corpus, convenient discipline to tame his body These will keepe a man from burninge Ambros. for Vixi est disiderijs vinci, Desideria pati, illustris est, et perfecti. To be ouercome by our concupiscences, thats to burne, but to quench yt fire by religious wayes thats anoble thats a perfect worke. When God at ye first institution of Marriage had this first vse of mariage in his contemplation, that it should bee a remedy, against burning, God gaue man ye remedy, before hee had the disease; for marriage was instituted in ye state of Innocency when there was noe inordinatenes in ye affections of man and so noe burning. But as God Created Reubarbe in the world, whose quallity is to purge Choller, before there was any Choller to purge, so God according to his aboundante forwardnes to doe vs good created a remedy before the disease, wch hee foresaw coming, was Come vpon vs. Let him then yt takes a wife in this first and lowest sence In medicinam but as his Phisicke yet make her his Cordiall Phisicke, take her to his heart And fill his hart with her, let her dwell there, and dwell there alone, and so they will bee mutuall Antidotes and preseruatiues one to another against all foraine tentations And with this blessing, blesse thou o lord, these whome thou hast brought hether for this blessing: Make all the dayes of there life, like this day [fol. 26r] vnto them; and as thy mercyes are newe euery morning, make them so to one another; And if they may not dye together, sustaine thou the surviuo[ur] of them in that sadd houre, wth this comfort, yt hee that dyed for them both, will bring them together againe in his euerlastingnes.

The second vse of Mariage was in prolificationem for Children: And therefore, as StAugust: puts the case, In prolem to Contract before, yt they will haue no Children, makes it not mariage but an adultery. To deny themselfs to another is as much against mariage, as to give themselfe to another: To hinder themselfes by Phisicke or any, or any other practis, nay to hinder it so far, as by a deliberate wishe, or praire against Children, consists not well wth this second vse of mariage. And yet in this second vse wee doe not so much consider Generation as Regeneration not so much procreation as education, nor propagation as transportation of Children, for this world might be filled full inough of Children, though there were no mariage; but heauen could not be filled, nor the places of ye fallen Angells supplied wthout yt care of Childrens religious education, wch from Parents in lawfull marriage they are likeliest to receyue How infinite, and how miserable a Circle of sinne doe wee make, if as wee sinned in o[ur] Parents Loynes, before wee were borne, so we sinne in o[ur] Childrens Actions, when wee are dead by haveing giuen them eyther example, or [fol. 26v] libertie of sinning. we have a fearefull Cominnation from God, vpon a good man, vpon Ely, for his not restrayning 1 Sam:3. ii. ye licentiousnes of his sons; I will doe a thing in Israel, sayes God there, at wch euery mans eares yt heares it, 4.18 shall tingle: And it was executed; Ely fell downe, and broke his neck: wee haue allso a Consolation to weomen 1 Timo2.15 for Children, she shall bee saued in Childbearing; sayes ye Apostle: but as Chrisostome and others of ye ancient, obserue and interpret yt place (wch interpritation arises out of yo[ur] very letter) It is Si permanserint ; not if shee, but if they, yf ye Children Continue in faith in Chairty, in holines, and sobriety: The saluation of yee parent[e]s hath so much relac[i]on to ye Childrens goodnes, as that if they bee yll by the Parents example, or indulgence, ye parents are as guilty as ye Children. Art thou afraid thy Childe should be stonge wth a snacke, and wilt thou let him play with the ould serpent, in opening himself to all tentations? Art thou affraid to let him walke in an yll ayre, and art thou content to let him stand in yt pestilent ayre, that is made of nothing but of oathes, and execrations of Blasphemous mouths round about him? It is St Chrisostomes complainte, perditionem magno pretio emmit Salutem nec dono accipere volunt: wee pay deare for our Childrens damnation, by payeing at first for all their Childish vainties, and then for there sinfull insolences at any rate; and wee might haue them saued, and [fol. 27r] our selfe to the bargaine, (wch were a frugall way, and a debte well hedged in) for much lesse, then ours, and there damnatio[n] stands us in. If yow haue a desire says yt B. father, to leaue them certainly with Deum ijs relinque Debitorem Do some such thinge for Gods service, as yow may leaue God in there debte. Hee cannot breake; his estate is inexhaustible; hee will not breake promise, nor breake day, Hee will shew mercy vnto Thousands, in them yt loue him and keep his commandement[e]s. And here also may another showre of his benedictions fall vpon them whome he hath prepar'd and presented here; let ye wife bee as a fruitefull vine Psa:128 .3. and their Children like Oliue plants: To thy glory, let ye parents expresse ye loue of parents, and the Children, to thy glory, the obedience of Children, till they both loose that seculer name of parent[e]s and Children, and meete all alike in one newe name, all saints in thy kingdome, and fellowe seruants there

The third and last vse in this Institution of seculer mariage, was in Adiutorium, for mutuall helpe. There is noe state, In A{d}iutoriu{m} noe man in any state, yt needs not the helpe of others. Subiects neede King[e]s; and if king[e]s doe not neede their subiects, they need alliances abroade; and they need Counsell at home. Even in Paradies, when the earth produc’d all things for life wthout Labo[ur], and the beasts submitted themselfs to man, so that hee had no outward enemy And in the state of Innocency in Paradise, wherein man, all the affections submitted themselfes to reason so that he had no inward enemy, yet God in this aboundannt Paradise and [catchword(s): in this] [fol. 27v] secure innocency of Paradise, Even in the suruay of his owne workes, saw that though all yt hee had made, was good yet hee had not made all good; he founde thus much defect in his owne worke, that man lackd a helper. Euery body needes ye helpe of others; and euery good body does giue some kinde of helpe to others. Euen into ye Arke it selfe, where God blessed them all with a powerfull, and an im[m]ediate protection, God admitted onely such, as were fitted to helpe one another, Couples. In the Arke, wch was the Tipe of our best condition in this life, there was not a single person. Christ saued once one theife, at ye last gaspe, to shew that there may bee late repentances; but in ye Arke he saued none but maried persons, to show, yt hee eases himeselfe in making them helpers to one another. And therefore when wee come to ye Posui Deum adiutorium meum, to rely vpon God primarily, for our helpe, God comes to ye Faciam tibi Adiutorium, I will make thee a helpe like thy selfe: not allwayes like in Complexion, nor like in yeares nor like in fortune, nor like in birth, but like in mynde, like in disposition, like in ye loue of God, and of one another or else there is no helper. It was no kinde of helpe that Dauids wife gaue him, when she spoke by way of counsayle, but in truthe, in scorne, and derision, to draw him from a religious act as the dauncing before the Arke, at that tyme was; It is not helpe, for any respect, to slacken the husband in his religion It was but a poore helpe that N Nabals wife was faine to giue him by telling Dauid, Alas, my Husband is but a foole, like his name, and what will [fol. 28r] yow looke for at a fooles hand. It is ye worst helpe of all to raise a Husband by deiecting herselfe, to helpe her husband forward in this world, by forfayting sinfully and dishonourably, her owne Interest in the next: The husband is ye helper in the nature of a foundation, to sustaine and vphold all, The wife in ye nature of the roofe, to Couer imperfections and weakenesses. The husband in ye nature of ye head from whome all the sinews flowe, The wife in the nature of ye hands into wch these sinews flow, and enable them to doe there offices. The husband helpes as leggs to her, she moues by his motion; The wife helpes as a staffe to him, he moues ye better by her assistance. And let this mutuall helpe be a parte of our present benediction too; In all the wayes of fortune, let his industry helpe her, and in all ye crosses of fortune, let her patience helpe him, and in all emergent occasions and daungers spirituall and temporall, O god make speede to saue them, O lord make haste to helpe them.

Wee haue spoken of the persons, Man and woman him and In æternum her, And of the action, first as it is Phisick, but Cordiall phisicke, And then for Children, but Children to bee made ye children of God, and lastly for helpe but true helpe and mutuall helpe; There remaynes yet in the seculer mariage, the terme how long, for euer, I will mary thee for euer. [fol. 28v] Now thoughe there bee properlie no eternitie in this seculer Mariage, nor in any thinge in this world, (for eternity is yt onely wch never had beginning, nor ever shall haue end) yet wee may consider a kinde of eternity a kinde of Circle, without beginning, without end, euen in this seculer mariage. for first, mariage should haue noe beginning before mariage; no halfe-mariage noe lending away of the minde, in Conditionall præcontracts before, noe lending away of ye body in vnchaste wantonnes before. The body is the temple of ye holy ghost; and wheren two bodys, by mariage are to bee made one Temple, The wife is not as the Chancell, reseru'd and shut up, and ye man as the walkes below, indifferent and at libertie for euery Passenger. God in his Temple looks for first fruits from both; that so on both sides mariage should haue such a degree of eternity, as to haue had no beginning of mariage before mariage. It should haue this degree of eternity too this quality of a circle, to haue no interruption, no breakeing in the way of by uniust suspitions and ialosies, where there is spiritus immunditici as St Paul calls it a spirit of vncleanes, there will necessarily be spiritus zelotopiae, as Moses calls it, A spirit of Jealousy. But to rayse the Deuill in ye power of ye Diuell, to call vp one spirit by another spirit, by the spirit of Jealousy, and suspition, to induce the spirit of vncleanesse, where it was not, yf a man [fol. 29r] Coniure vp a Devill so, God knowes whyo shall coniure it downe againe. As ialousy is a Care and not a suspition, God is not ashamed, to protest of himeselfe that he is a iealous God. God commaund[e]s yt noe Idolatry be com[m]itted Thou shalt not bowe downe to a graven Image and before: Exo:20 he accuses any man to haue bowed downe to a grauen Image, before any Idolatry was committed, he tells them yt he is a iealous God; God is iealous before there be any harme done. And God present[e]s it as a curse, when He sayes, my iealousy shall depart from thee, and I wilbe Ezech: 16.42 quiet, and no more Angry; that is I will leaue thee to thy selfe, and take no more care of thee. Jealousy yt implyes, care, and honor, and counsayle, and tendernes, is rooted in God, for God is a iealous god, and his seruants are iealous seruants, as St Paul professes of himselfe, 2.Cor.ii 2.I am iealous ouer yow wth a godly iealousy. But Jealousy that implies diffidence and suspition, and accusation, is rooted in ye Deuill, for he is the accuser of the bretheren.

So then this seculer Marriage should bee in eternum, eternall, for ever, as to haue noe beginning before, And so too, as to haue no iealous interuption by the way; for it si so æternall, as yt it can haue no end in this life: Those whome God hath Joynd, no man, no Deuill, can seperate so, as yt it shall not remaine a marriage so far, as if those seperated persons will liue togeather againe, yet they shall not bee new married; so far, certainly, the band of marriage continues still. The Deuill makes no marriages; Hee may haue a hand in drawinge [fol. 29v] Conueyances; in the temporall Conditions their may be practise; but the mariage is made by God in heauen. The Deuill can breake no mariages neyther, thoughe he cann by sinn breake of all the good vses, and take away all the Comforts of marriage. I pronounce not now whether Adultery dissolue mariage, or no; It is St. Augustines wisedome to say, where the scriptures is silent, let me bee silent too: And I may goe lower then hee; and say where the Churche is silent, let mee be silent too; and our Church is so far silent in this, as yt it hath not sayd, That Adultery dissolues mariage. Perchance then it is not ye death of marriage, but suerly it is a deadly wound. we haue Autors in the Romane Church yt thinke fornicationem non vagam, That such an incontinent lyfe, as is limited to one Certaine person, is no deadly sinn But there is none euen amongst them; yt diminish the Crime of Adultery. Habere quasi non haberes, ys Christs Counsell To haue a wife as though thou hads none, that is continency, and temprance and forbearance and abstinency vpon some occasions: But non habere quasi haberes, is not so; not to haue a wife, and yet haue her, to haue her that is anothers, this is ye Deuills counsale. Of yt salutation of the Angel to the B: virgin Mary, Blessed art thou amongst weomen, wee may make euer this interpretation not onely that she was blessed amongst weomen, that is aboue weomen, but yt shee was Benedicta, Blessed [fol. 30r] amongst weomen, that all weomen blest her, that no woman had occasion to curse her, And this is the eternity of this seculer mariage as far as this world admitts any eternity, That it should haue no beginning before, no Interruption of Jealousy in the way, no such approache towards dissolution, as that incontinency, in all opinions, and in all Churches is agreed to bee. And here allso without any scruple of feare or of suspition of the Contrary, their is place for this benediction, vpon this Couple, Build O Lord upon thine owne foundations, in these two, and establish thy fourmer Graces, with future: that no person euer complaine of eyther of them, nor eyther of them of one another, and so he, and she, are maried in æternum for euer

Wee are now come in our order proposed at first, to our 2 Parte second part; for all is sayed that I intended of the seculer mariage. And of this second, the spirituall marriage, much needs not to be sayed: There is another Preist that Contracts that, another preacher that Celebrates that, the spirit of God, to our spirit. And for the third Mariage, the eternall mariage, yt is a boldnes to speake any thing, of a thinge so inexpressable, as the ioyes of heauen; it is a diminution of them to goe about to heighthen them, it is a shadowing of them to goe aboute to lay any Colours or light vpon them. But yet yo[ur] patience may perchance last to a word of each of these 3 Circumstances, The persons, The [catchword(s): Action] [fol. 30v] The Action The Terme, both in this spirituall, and in ye eternall Mariage /

Persons First then as in the former part, the secular mariage, for the persons there, we considered first Adam and Eue and after euery man and woman, and this couple in particuler, so in this spirituall mariage, we Consider first Christe and his Churche, for the persons and more p[ar]ticularly, Christ and my soule And can these persons meete in such a distance, and in such a disparagement can persons meete the sonne of God, and the sonne of man? when I consider Christ to bee Germen Jehoua The bude and blossome, the fruite and ofspringe of Jehouah, Jehouah himselfe, And my selfe; before hee toke mee in hand, to bee, not a potters vessell of earth, but that earth of wch ye potter might make a Vessell, if hee would, and breake it if hee would, when he had made it: when I consider Christ, to haue been from before all beginning[e]s and to be still the Image of the father, The same stampe vpon the same mettall, And my selfe a peece of rusty copper, in wch those lynes of the image of God wch were imprinted in mee, in my Creation, are defac'd and worne, and washd and burnt, and ground away, by my many, and many, and many sinns; when I consider Christ in his Circle, In glory with his father, before he came into this world, establishing a glorious Churche when he was in this world And glorifieing yt Church with yt glory, wch himselfe had before [fol. 31r] When he went out of this world; And then consider my selfe in my Circle, I came into this world wash'd in my owne teares, And either out of Compunction for my selfe or compassion for others, I passe throughe this world as throughe a valley of teares, where teares settle and swell, And when I passe out of this world I leaue their eyes, whose hands close myne, full of teares too, Can these persons, this Image of god, this God himeselfe, this glorious God, and this vessell of earth, this earth it selfe, this inglorious worme of the earth meete without disparagement.

They doe meete and make a marriage; because I am Action not a body onely, but a body and soule, there is a mariage, and Christ marryes mee. As by the law a man might marry a Captiue woman in the warrs, if he shau'd her Deut. 21.12 head, and pared her nayles, and Changed her Clothes, so my Savyour hauing fought for my soule, fought to blood, to death, to the death of the Crosse for her, hauinge studied my soule so much, as to write all those epistles, wch are in the N Testament, to my soule, hauinge presented my soule, with his owne picture, that I can see his face, in all his temporall blessings having shau'd her head in abateinge her pride and payr'd her nayles in contracting her greedy desires, and Chang'd her Clothes not to fasion herselfe after this world, my soule being thus fitted by himselfe, Christ Iesus hath maried my soule: maried [catchword(s): her] [fol. 31v] maried her to all the 3 intendments mentioned in ye In vstionem secular Marriage; first in ustionem Against burning; That whether I burne my self in ye fires of Tentation, by expeossing my selfe to occasions of tentation or be reseru'd to be burnt by others in ye fires of persecution, and Marterdome, whether the fires of Ambition, or envy, or lust, or ye everlasting fires of hell offer at mee in an apprehension of the iudgm[entes] of God, yett as the spirit of God shall wipe all teares from myne eyes, so the teares of Chr: Iesus shall extinguishe all fires in my hart, and so it is a mariage In vstionem, A remedy against burning.

In prolem It is so to, In prolificationem, for Children first, Væ soli, Woe vnto that single soule; yt is not maried to Christ; that is not Come into ye way of haueing issue by him, that is not incorporated in ye Christian Church, and in the true Church, but is yet in the wildernesse of Idolatry, amongst ye Gentiles, or in ye laberinthe of superstition amongst the Papists Væ soli, woe unto that single man yt is not maried vnto Christ in the Sacraments of ye Church; and Væ sterili, woe unto them that are barren after this spirituall mariage: for thats a great curse in the 22.30 Prophet Ieremy, Scribe virum istum sterilem, write this man Childeless, that implyed all Calamities vpon him; And assone as Christ had layed that Mat: 21 19 curse vpon the figg tre let no fruite grow upon thee, [fol. 32r] for euer, presentlie the whole tree withered. If noe fruite, noe leafes neyther, nor body left. To be incorporated in the body of Christ Iesus and bring forth noe fruits worthy of that profession, ys awofull state tooVæ soli woe vnto the Gentiles, not married vnot Christ and Væ sterili, woe vnto inconsiderate Christians, that thinke not vpon their Calling, that Conceyue not by Christ, but there is a Væ pregnanti too, woe vnto them that are Mat:24 19. with Child, and are never deliuered; that haue good conceptions, religious dispotitions, holy desires to the aduancement of Gods truth, but for some collaterall respects, dare not vtter them, nor bring them to their birth, to any effect, The purpose of his Mariage to us, is to haue Children by us: and this his aboundant and his present fecundity, that working now, by mee in you, in one instant hee hath Children in mee, and Grandchildren by mee. Hee hath maried me In vstionem, and In prolem Against burning and for Children, but can he haue any vse of mee, In Adiutorium for a helper? suerly, if I bee able to feede him, and Clothe him, and harbor him, (And Chr: would not condemne men at the last day; for not doinge these, if man could not doe them,) I am able to helpe him to. Greate persons can helpe him ouer sea; conuay the name of Christ where it hath not been preach'd yet: And they can helpe him home againe; restore his name and his truth where superstition wth violence hath disseis'd him: And they can helpe him [fol. 32v] at home, defend his truth their against all Machinations to displante and diposses him. Greate men can helpe him thus; and every man can helpe him to a better place in his owne hart, and his owne actions, then he hath had there; and to bee so helped in mee and help'd by mee, to haue his glory thereby advanced, Christ hath maried my soule And he hath maried it in æternum, for euer; wch is the third and last Circumstance in this spirituall , as it was in the secular Marriage.

And heere the æternum is enlarg'd; In the secular marriage it was an eternity, Considered only in this life; butt this eternity is not begonne in this world, but from all eternity in the booke of life; in Gods eternall decree for my election, there Christ was married to my soule. Christ was never in Minority, nevuer vnder yeares; there was never any time, when he was not as ancient, as the ancient of daies, as old as his father. But when my soule was in a strange Minority, infinite Millions of Millions of generations, before my soule was a soule did Christ mary my soule in his eternall decree. So yt was eternall, It had no beginning. Neither doth he interrupt this by giuinge me any occasion of iealousy by the way, but loues my soule as thoughe there were no other soule, and would haue donne and suffered all that he did for mee alone, if there had been no name but myne in the booke of life. And as he hath [fol. 33r] maried mee to him In æternum, for euer, before all begin[n]ing and In æternum for euer, without any interruptions, so I knowe yt whome he loues, he loues to the end, and yt he hath giuen mee not a presumptious impossibility, but a modest infallability, yt noe sinne of myne shall devorce or seprate mee from him. for yt wch ends the secular mariage ends not ye spirituall, not death; for my death does not take me from that husband; but that husband being by his father prefer'd to higher titles, and greater glory in another state, I doe but goe by death, where he is become a Kinge, to haue my part in that glory, and in those additions wch he hath receiued there. And this hath ledd vs to our third and last mariage, our eternall mariage in the Triumphant Churche.

And in this thrid Mariage; The persons are the lambe 3 Part Persons. and my soule; The mariage of the Lambe is come, and blessed are they that are Called to ye mariage supper of the Lambe sayes St John speaking of o[ur] state in ye Apoc.19 7. 9. generall resurrection. That lambe yt was brought to ye slaughter and opened not his mouth, And I who haue Esai 53.4. opened my mouth and powred out imprecations and curses vpon men, and execrations and Blasphemies against God vpon euery occasion That lambe who was slaine from ye beginning, and was slaine by him who was a murderer from the beginning, That Lambe wch tooke away the sinns of the world, and I who brought more sinns into ye [fol. 33v] world, then any sacrefice, but the blood of this lambe, could take away, This lambe and I (these are the persons) shall meete and marry, there, the Action.

Action This is not a Clandestine mariage not ye priuate seale of Christ in the obsignation of his spirit; And yett such a Clandestine mariage is a good marriage: Nor it is not such a parish mariage, as when Christ married mee to himselfe at my Baptisme in a Church here; And yet yt mariage of a Christian soule to ye Christ in yt Sacram:t is a blessed mariage. But this is a mariage in that greate and glorious Congregation, where all my sinns shalbe laid open to the eyes of all the world; where all the blessed virgins shall see all my vncleanenesse, and all the Martirs see all my tergiuersations and all ye confessors see all my duble dealings in gods cause; where Abraham shall see my faithlesnes in gods promises, And Job my impatience in Gods Corrections, And Lazarus my hardnes of hart in distributinge Gods blessings to the poore And those virgins, and Martyres, and Confessors, and Abraham & Job, and Lazarus, and all yt Congregation shall looke vpon ye lambe and vpon mee, and vpon oneanother, as though they would all forbidd those Baines and say to one another, will this lambe haue any thing to doe wth this soule, And yet theire and then this lambe, shall marry mee, In æternum for euer wch is our last Circumstance.

In æternumIt is not well done to Call it a Circumstance for the [fol. 34r] eternity is a greate part of ye Essence of yt Mariage. consider then how poore and needy a thing all the riches of this world, how flat and tastles a thing all the pleasures of this world, how pallid and fainte, and dilute a thing, all the Honors of this world are, when the very Treasure, and Joy, and glory of heauen it selfe were vnperfect, if it were not eternall, and my Mariage shalbe to In æternum, for ever.

The Angells were not married so; They incur'd an irreparable Diuorce from god, and are seperated for euer, and I shalbe maried to him, in æternum for ever. The Angells fell in loue; when there was noe obiect presented, before any thinge was Created; when there was nothing but God, and themselues, they fell in loue with themselfes and neglected God, and so fell in æternum, for euer. I shall see all the beauty, and all the glory of all the Saints of God, and loue them all, and knowe yt the Lambe loues them to, without Iealousy, on his parte, or theirs, or myne, and so bee maried In æternum, for euer, wthout interruption or diminution, or change of Affections. I shall see ye sunne blacke as Apoc:6. 12. sackclothe of hayre, and the Moone become as blood, and the starres fall as a figg tree casts her vntimely figges, and the heauens rolde vp togeather as a scrolle. I shall see a diuorce betweene Princes and their Perogatiues, between nature and all her Elements, betweene all the spheres, and all theire intelligences, Betweene nature it selfe, and all her formes, and my Mariage shalbe In æternum, for euer. I shall see and end of [fol. 34v] faith nothing to bee beleeued yt I doe not knowe, And an end of hope, nothing to be wisht yt I doe not enioye but no end of that loue in wch I am maried, to yt lambe for euer. yea I shall see an end of some of the offices of the Lambe himselfe; Christ himselfe shalbe noe longer a meadiato[ur], an Intercessar, an Aduocate; and yet shall continue a Husband to my soule for euer. where I shalbe rich inoughe without Ioynture, for my husband cannot die; and wise inoughe without experience; for no new thing can happen theire; and healthy inoughe without Phisicke, for no sicknes can enter; And (wch is by much ye highest of all) safe inoughe without grace, for no tentation yt needes particuler grace, can attempt mee There, where the Angells, wch cannot dye, could not liue, this very body wch cannot chuse but dye shall liue, and liue as longe, as that God of life yt made it. Lighten our darknes wee beseech thee O Lord yt in thy light wee may see light: Illustrate or vnderstanding, Kindle our affections, powre oyle to our Zeale yt wee may come to ye mariage of this lambe and yt this lambe may come quickely to this mariage: And in the meane time blesse these thy seruants, wth making this secular mariage a Tipe of ye spirituall, and the spirituall, and earnest of yt eternall, wch they and wee, by thy mercy, shall haue in yt Kingdome, wch thy sonne our Sauyour, hath purchased wth ye inestimable price, of his incorruptable Blood. To whome &t. Finis


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