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THE PEOPLES NEED OF A LIVING PASTOR: Aſſerted and explained in a SERMON, Preached Novemb. 4. 1656. At the ſad and ſolemn Funerals of that late, learned, pious and eminently hopeful Miniſter of the Goſpel, Mr. John Froſt, Batchelor in Divinity, late Fellow of St. Johns Colledge in Cambridge, and Paſtor of St. Olaves Hart-ſteeet, LONDON TOGETHER WITH A Narrative of his Life and Death. By Z. C. Miniſter of the Word at Botolph-Aldgate, London.

ACT. 20.38.

Sorrowing moſt of all for the words which he ſpake, that they ſhould ſee his face no more.

LONDON, Printed by E. Cotes, for Thomas Parkhurſt at the Three Crowns over againſt the great Conduit at the lower end of Cheapſide, 1657.

To the Inhabitants in the Pariſh of Olaves Hart-ſtreet, London.

Gentlemen and Chriſtian Friends,

I Know not to whom the inſcription of this enſuing Diſcourſe can more properly belong, then to your ſelves; the occaſion of it being the ſad Funerals of your deceaſed Paſtor: it being ſpoken ſpecially in your ears, and deſigned to affect your hearts, and di­rect you to a ſerious Chriſtian endevour under, and improvement of ſo ſad a providence. To you there­fore I do preſent it, not doubting your readineſſe to patronize and defend it; of which had I no teſtimo­ny of reſpects to my ſelf, yet that high reſpect you did bear to your late hopefull and learned Paſtor, wit­neſſed by your importunate deſires of him, eminent delights in and unexpected union under his Miniſtry, with your ſorrowfull celebration of his Funerals, and the importunate deſires of many among you to read theſe Obſervations when you had heard them, doth give me good aſſurance. The ſcope of the following diſcourſe was, and yet is to inform your judgements of the neceſsity of Ministers life, and ſo to affect your hearts with Miniſters death: directing your mournings to be from a right Principle, that ſo they may regu­larly ſtream into their due meaſure and proportion, and proper end: you muſt know every Miniſter falls under a double notion, as in his life, ſo in his death, as a man, and as a Miniſter; in the one a member of humane ſociety, in the other a main Pillar of Chriſti­anity, in both he is deſireable whilſt living, and deplorable when dead. But you muſt know Nature entertains him under the one, and Grace under the other. Men are apt to admire acute parts, profound judgement, amiable carriage, and learned language, where they find it, but never regard the Office in which a Miniſter ſtands, and Authority by which he acts in his place; no, this is the work of Grace: for it is religion muſt teach men to receive a Prophet in the name of a Prophet, and to account of Miniſters as the Ambaſſadors of Chriſt, and to eſteem them living and dying for their work ſake. Whileſt I would not deny you the liberty of your lamenting your loſſe in your late Miniſter, by reaſon of his naturall parts and endowments, which I have noted to have been great; I would deſire in ſpeciall to find your ſorrow Chriſtia­nized, ſeizing on your ſpirit, from the conſideration of him as a Miniſter, ſpirituall Guide, and Father, and ſo witneſſing that you lived under his Inſtructions, as under the word of God, not of man: and indeed un­der this notion you have much cauſe to lament him; for that he was unto his Miniſtry excellently qualified, in it very induſtrious: and of the duties impoſed on him by vertue of his Miniſtry, very conſciencious for your good. And his death under this conſideration is the ſad Symptome of Gods diſpleaſure, and of ſmarting influence on your Congregation. I have for ſome years obſerved your carriage in this caſe, in re­ference to a Miniſter: your ſelves know, and I hope yet remember your ſad diviſions, and ſmarting di­ſtractions into which you fell on a Miniſters relinquiſh­ing his work among you: God was pleaſed to cement all, and ſettle you in peace and unity, and good tenden­cy to order, by your now deceaſed Paſtor; by whoſe death you are again liable to the like danger. I pray that you may be warned and preſerved from it; and that you may lay to heart this hand of providence, in the loſſe not only of a man excellently qualified, but a Miniſter of the Goſpel, very hopefull in and to the Church of God; to which end, I intreat your ſerious reading of this following Sermon, and if it prove in any thing effectuall, give God the praiſe; and that ſhal be the honour of him who unfainedly condoles your loſſe: and praying that the Lord may make up this breach among you, remains

Yours in all neighbourly Offices in the work of the Goſpel. Zach. Crofton.

To the READER.

Courteous Reader,

THere is not a truer Maxim in Nature, then that Man paſſeth away like a ſhadow, and vaniſh­eth like ſmoke, as the flower of the field, it to day flouriſheth, and to morrow withereth. Nor a truer Principle in Divinity, then that the Prophets do not live for ever. Theſe are both of them witneſſed daily, not only by audible voice of Mourners for the dead, but al­ſo viſible objects, ſpectacles of Mortality. Death is a condition ſo common and inevitably certain to the Sons of men, that neither age, nor excellent endowments can ſtave it off: but young and old fools, and wiſe men, are followeed to the Grave. An evident and undeni­able teſtimony hereof is eminently hopefull Mr. John Froſt,Being 30 years old. who in his youth, ſtrength of dayes, and ſpark­lings of glory, is fallen to the duſt: and thereby calls for the diſcharge of duty due to dead men, viz. mourn­ing for him, and memoriall of him: both which as they are commended by us, by the counſels and conſtant practiſe of the wiſest Heathen, not affected with a Stoi­call ſtupidity, and ſenſeleſſe apathy; ſo alſo by Scri­pture, if Moſes or Samuel die, all Iſrael muſt mourn, and the Holy Ghost will dictate the memoriall of them. Jer. 16.5. Ezek. 24.23. Jer. 22.It is a judgement threatned againſt the wicked, they ſhall not be mourned for, and their memoriall ſhall pe­riſh from the earth; but the remembrance of the righte­ous ſhall be bleſſed, it is their priviledge to die lamented: God takes notice of it as laſie, that the righteous pe­riſh and no man layeth it to heart: Yet it is the com­mon guilt of our age, to let the Prophets die without lamentation; nay, amongst too many with high inſulta­tions for their death. God hath of late taken from us many a Samuel, and Paul, and hopefull Timothy, and yet our Iſrael are not affected with it, nor in themſelves afflicted for them; they mourn not over them, nor mind the memoriall of them. Certainly the great cauſe of this evil, is inſenſibility of their worth and ſerviceable­neſſe, and our own want of their Miniſtrations. As a cure therefore to this cauſe, this Diſcourſe is put into thy hands; let me intreat thy ſerious reading of it, and ſecond thoughts about the neceſſity of Miniſters lives, for the Churches good: And certainly if there be in thee any meaſure of Grace, thou wilt ſorrowfully bewail the loſſe of ſo many needfull and ſhining lights, and ſadly fear it to be a preſage of ſome future judgements upon our Nation and City. And to the affecting of thy heart, the memoriall of their parts and endowments, will be deſired by thee, and the Narrative thereof be read with much pleaſure. And amongſt others thou wilt find Mr. Froſt (at whoſe ſad Funerals this Diſ­courſe was uttered) not to be the leaſt lamented. Not therefore to hold thee in the Preface, or ſwell with Apo­logies, I caſt this work on thy cenſure, hoping that thou wilt exerciſe a ſpirit of candor and charity, if not to­wards the living Author, yet the dead man, of whom it is thy duty to think and ſpeak no way detractive; and whoſe life thou haſt annexed on the moſt certain and cleer account that could be had from Naturall rela­tions, Academicall acquaintance, and the Perſonall knowledge of him, who hath done his duty for the de­ceaſed, (deſiring thee to own nothing that may come a­broad under his name, unleſſe atteſted by his ſorrowfull Father, Brother, or my ſelf, who ſhall freely midwife what is fit for publique uſe) and now pray that thou mayſt have grace to do thine, and to that end, find help­full this Diſcourſe.

Thine in the Lord, Z. C.

THE PEOPLES NEED OF A LIVING PASTOR: Aſſerted and explained in a Sermon Preached Novemb. 4. 1656. at Olaves Hartſtreet, London, at the Funeral of Mr. John Froſt, B. D. and Paſtor of the ſaid Church.

PHIL. 1.24.

Nevertheleſs that I abide in the fleſh, is more needful for you.

SEnſe of worth engageth ſorrow for want:Bona a terge formoſiſſima. when once a people are affected with the abſolute and indiſpenſable neceſſity of a living Miniſtry, they affectionately rejoyce in the enjoyment; and as paſſionately lament the loſs of it: evident this is in the Philippians joyes in and2 for Epaphroditus recovery from death-threatning ſick­neſs: and the Epheſians paſſionate weeping at S. Pauls ultimum vale, laſt farewell, with a You ſhall ſee my face no more, Act. 20.38. And let me (to paſs by Londons too too late inſtances increaſed) ſay it is evident in that joy with which you of this Pariſh did begin to be tranſported in the injoyment, and that exceeding grief with which you are this day dejected in the loſs of your learned and hopeful Paſtor Mr. John Froſt, whoſe ſad Funerals we do now celebrate: on which occaſion give me leave to lay before you the neceſſity of a Miniſters life: and the greatneſs of your loſs in the loſs of this particular Miniſter of the Goſpel: the one from the text, the other by the narrative of his hopeful parts and high endowments: and firſt in refe­rence to the Text.

The Apoſtle Paul having been (by an eſpecial call from God in a viſion) acquainted with Macedonia her want of the Goſpel Miniſtry,Act. 16.9, 10. went thither and there preached the Goſpel to good purpoſe and with good ſucceſs, and planted a Church of Jeſus Chriſt at Phi­lippi, the chief City thereof: from whence being ſoon removed, his care was to confirm them in the Faith they had received; and counſel them to the due order of a Goſpel converſation: to this end he wrote to them this Epiſtle from Rome, and ſent it by the hand of Epaphroditus: and according to theſe two ends the Epiſtle divideth it ſelf into two parts.

1. A confirmation in the Faith received: and that is in this chapter.

2. Counſel unto a Chriſtian converſation in the following chapters.


The confirmation in the Faith, is in this chapter, and (not to ſtand on the analytical parts of the chap­ter) it is managed by the removal of the then great ſtumbling block of Chriſtianity (viz.) the Croſſe, to which the Apoſtle was ſubjected, to the ſtartling of the Saints in his death-threatning ſufferings; and themſelves ſeemed to be nigh unto danger for the very cauſe of their Goſpel profeſſion; now this the Apoſtle removeth by ſuggeſting to them this threefold conſide­ration.

1. The acceſs of the croſs advanceth the Goſpel of Chriſt Jeſus, verſ. 12. I would that you ſhould under­ſtand brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance:〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. the pro­greſs of the Goſpel, whileſt thereby it is ſpread in the publication of the cauſe of his calamity,Hiſt. of the Councel of Trent. Edit. 2. lib. 5. p. 418. whileſt it might be ſaid of him as of Au du Burge, a Senator of Pa­ris, that the death and conſtancy of a man ſo conſpicuous, did make many curious to know what Religion that was for which he ſo couragiouſly endured puniſhment, and made the number to encreaſe. Not only was the Go­ſpel ſpread, but hereby alſo others out of ſpite and envie, or ſincere zeal were ſtirred up to preach Jeſus Chriſt: and every good Chriſtian rejoyceth under all curſes and croſſes that advanceth the name of the Lord, ſaying with Luther,Prorſus Satan eſt Lutherus, ſed Chriſtus vivit & regnat, A­men. I am accounted a Devil and I know not what, but be it ſo, I matter not whileſt Chriſt is magnified: and therefore muſt neither diſmay them in, nor divert them from their profeſſion.

2. The acceſs of the croſs would be his advantage in life or death: in life cauſing the luſtre of his graces to ſhine; or in death giving him communion with Chriſt in glory, and therefore love to him could never lead4 them into backſliding fears: and this is urged from verſ. 19. to verſ. 27.

3. The acceſs of the croſs would be their advantage, if endured with patience: whileſt it is an honour and priviledge not only to believe, but alſo to ſuffer for the name of Chriſt: ſo that the croſs ſhould be ſo far from driving from their profeſſion,Fox his Acts and Monum. p. 1330. that they ſhould ſay as father Latimer anſwered to the ſentence of death by burning, O I thank God moſt heartily, that he hath pro­longed my life, that I may in this caſe glorifie God in that kinde of death.

The words of the Text fall under the ſecond conſi­deration propounded, to remove the ſtumblings at the Croſs of Chriſt, and is a part of an anſwer to an obje­ction from thence thus framed.

Object. Sir, It is true that in reſpect of your ſelf, we have no cauſe to be offended at your ſufferings, for if they bring you to death, yet it will be your advantage and ex­ceeding great gain, you will be with Chriſt: but what ſhall become of us? we ſhall be depriv'd of your Apoſtolical parts and power, which ſhould counſel and confirm us in ſo ſad and ſuffering ſeaſons; and there­fore, for us it were more needful that you abide in the fleſh.

Anſw. To this the Apoſtle anſwereth, It is indetd true, that in reſpect of my ſelf, it were better for me to die, but for you that I live; ſo uſeful are my parts and power in the midſt of you, that I am affectionately reduced into a great ſtraight what to chuſe between my own happineſs and your general good: yet on the reſult of all, I muſt confeſs with you, that I abide in the fleſh is more needful for you: and I hope I ſhall ſo do.

The words then we finde to be an aſſertion of the5 neceſſity of a faithful Miniſters life, which is eſtabli­ſhed by the peoples apprehenſion; the Philippians plead it, and the Apoſtles aſſent, St. Paul he grants it: and in this aſſertion we have two parts:

1. The ſubject or matter, that I abide in the fleſh.

The predicate or thing aſſerted of it, it is more needful for you.

For the explication of the termes, we may enquire what it is to abide in the fleſh? And to this we muſt note that the fleſh admits of various acceptations, which I cannot now ſtand to mention, but muſt deſire you to note that in this place it ſignifieth natural life and preſent being in the fleſh, or in the land of the living: and thus it is uſed 1 Cor. 7.28. and alſo of the natural life of Chriſt, 1 Pet. 3.18. So that to abide in the fleſh, is to continue in the enjoyment of natural life and being; to be freed from ſubjection unto death and annihilation: it is a phraſe anſwerable to that in 2 Cor. 5.6. At home in the body it is more needful for you: the termes are comparative and relate to ſomething before ſpoken, the correlate to which they are to be referred, are one of theſe two.

1. The advantage that ſhould accrue to the Goſpel by the acceſs of the Croſs, and then the meaning is this: The Goſpel will be furthered by my ſufferings, but much more by my life, for that muſt be ſpoken of eve­ry where as the cauſe of my death; yet when I have life and liberty to go up and down and preach in eve­ry place, not only would Jeſus Chriſt be mentioned, but by my Apoſtolical parts and power be convin­cingly exhibited to your confirmation and many others conviction.

2. Or the Correlate is the Apoſtles gain by dying6 under the Croſſe of Chriſt: thereby he ſhould enjoy a perſonal plenary poſſeſſion of Chriſt, which is beſt of all, and would be to him the height of happineſs; but they by his life would enjoy mediate communion with, and much edification in Chriſt, which would be the Churches very great advantage: and to this I ad­here, for certainly the Churches good by a Miniſters life, counterballanceth his own good in his death, and bringeth him into the Apoſtles ſtraight what to chuſe.

I ſhall not now ſtand to conſider the words in their comparative ſenſe, but only poſitive, as they are an aſſer­tion of the abſolute neceſſity of a Miniſters life; and therefore ſhall gather up the meaning of the Text in­to this Doctrinal concluſion, which I ſhall briefly pro­ſecute.

Doct. The life of a Faithful Miniſter is a matter of great neceſsity to a Chriſtian Church.

This Doctrine is an eſtabliſhed truth from this very Text, though it ſhould no otherwiſe be argued; for it is apprehended by the people and aſſented unto by the Apoſtle, yet for the more full demonſtration of it in this age wherein living Miniſters are accounted need­leſs burdens, and many eminent Miniſters are laid in the duſt with little or no lamentation: give me leave briefly to confirm it with theſe three arguments:

  • Gods eſteem of Miniſters lives.
  • The Devils envie at Miniſters lives.

The Churches expreſs experience of the neceſſity of Miniſters lives.


Argum. 1Firſt of the firſt, and it is the great eſteem which God hath of his Miniſters lives in reference to the Churches good: certainly God beſt knowes the neceſſities of his Church and people; he is the great father of the fami­ly, that caſts and careth for the neceſſities of his houſe; and by his eſteem the whole family may well be deter­mined; and as none may count that polluted and un­clean, which he hath called pure; ſo may no man call that needleſs, which he determineth needful: and that the life of godly Miniſters is by him eſteemed in refe­fence to his Churches good may be many waies ma­nifeſted: Miniſters in their diſcharges under the ſad­deſt events are unto God a ſweet ſavour,Patriarchas ve­lit in tuo eſſe, quia ſunt uncti, deinde quia ſunt Prophetae. Mail. in loc. yea though of death to wicked men, 2 Cor. 2.15. in all the checks and charges he giveth to the world, he provides for Miniſters, touch not mine anointed, goeth not without and do my Prophets no harm, Pſal. 105.15. Mollerus on this Text notes, that the Miniſtry was the guard of the pilgrim Patriarchs. And Piſcator thence infers,Piſcator. obſer. in Text. godly Miniſters are hereby aſſured, that God will ſave them from the tyranny of the men of the world: nay, when a Miniſters life is hunted, God will hide him, and miraculouſly feed him, as he did Elias by the Ravens, and not waſting meal, 1 King. 17. And as God did expreſs his eſteem of his Miniſters lives and perſons under the Law, he doth no leſs under the Goſpel: exceeding great is the doom that he threa­tens to ſuch as diſreſpect his poor Miniſters, that deny them entertainment, Mat. 10.14, 15. Whoſoever ſhall not receive you, it ſhall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah then for that City: abuſe of Prophets high­ly provokes: the violent ſhedding of their bloud and euding their lives, is the very apex of impiety: ripens8 a people for ruine;2 Chro. 36.16. they are ſo dear to God, that if once they be abuſed, his wrath ariſeth till there be no remedy: Eminent is that eſteem that the Lord Jeſus ſets on the leaſt courteſie that can be ſhewed a Mini­ſter, he that receiveth a Prophet in the name of a Pro­phet ſhall have a Prophets reward, Mat. 10.41. And every way remarkable are the delivering providences extended to and exerciſed about Miniſters lives, which are mentioned in ſacred and Eccleſiaſtical ſtory: What ſhall we tell you of Peters delivery out of priſon upon the prayers of the Church, Act. 12.7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. or of St. Paul's reſcue from the curſed com­bination of the Jewes obliged by oath not to eat or drink untill they had killed Paul: of which you read, Act. 23. To which we might multiply many remar­kable deliverances of Athanaſius of Alexandria, from the ſecret conſpiracies and malicious open violence of the Arrians, whileſt Paulus, Lucius, and Georgius, all Arrian Biſhops periſhed: who ever obſerved his dan­gers could have thought he ſhould have continued Bi­ſhop of Alexandria 46 years? Time fails to give an ac­count of Auſtin, of Chryſoſtom, and many other of the Fathers, whoſe dangers were death-threatning, and to the eye of reaſon inevitable, and yet they were delivered: and what ſhall we ſay of Luther, who drew on himſelf the enmity of all the Chriſtian world, that ever he ſhould die in his bed? and ſo alſo Calvin, and almoſt all our reformers, whoſe lives were fol­lowed after by Papal fury, but preſerved by God. When I conſider the heretical envie at Goſpel Mini­ſters, with which our Age and City abounds, the ma­ny opportunities that might be taken to deſtroy them, I can not but admire that a Goſpel Miniſter ſhould die9 in his bed: but we ſee very fully, that God eſteems the lives of his Miniſters at an high rate, and it is no mar­vel, for they are his ſervants, his Embaſſadors and in­ſtruments of his Churches good, as we ſhall note anon; and therefore the prayers of the people is the Preachers guard: I truſt that through your prayers I ſhall be given unto you, Philemon 22.

Argum. 22. As Gods eſteem of, ſo alſo Satans envy at Mini­ſters lives, is an evident argument of their abſolute neceſſity in the Church of God: for Satan is the ad­verſary envying the Churches good, and alwaies en­devouring to deprive them of things needful, that thereby he may deſtroy them, and conſtrain them to renounce the profeſſion of Chriſt and his truth, to their utter ruine:1 Pet. 5.8. the Devil is that roaring lion who daily goeth about ſeeking whom he may devour; he is the malicious red Dragon, who purſueth the woman into the Wilderneſs,Revel. 11. and he and his Angels maketh war againſt Michael and his Angels; he erects his Syna­gogue where ever God builds his Church, and know­ing that theſe two cannot ſtand together, ſtudieth how to hinder Gods Temple from going forward and be­ing built to perfection: and finding Miniſters to be labourers both ſtout and skilful in the work of the Lord, againſt them he levels all his malice, and im­proves his power & policy to put a period to their lives, and ſo their abilities and endevours: ſaying in all Ages,Nehem. 4. as Tobiah and Sanballat, the Arabians, Ammonites, and Aſhdodites, Let us conſpire and hinder the work: even by cruelty we will go up againſt them; they ſhall not know nor ſee till we come in the midſt among them and ſlay them, and cauſe the work to ceaſe, conſtraining the builders in Gods Temple to be working warriours, to10 labour in their armour with their ſwords gird to their ſides, and ſpears in the one hand and trowels in the other: craft in the Church of God without cruelty againſt faithful Miniſters, could never effect the De­vils deſign; hence he is a ſubtle ſeducer of ſouls from the truth, until he gain power into his hand, and then by bloudy perſecution he ever proclaims open war and purſueth with fire, and ſword, ſpecially bending his force at the Miniſters of the Church: thus he did in all the apoſtaſies of Iſrael unto idolatry, giving cauſe of Elijah his complaint, The children of Iſrael have forſaken thy Covenant, thrown down thine Altars and ſlain thy Prophets, and I, even I only am eſcaped, 1 King. 19.10. in all the Ages of the Churches of the Jewes, the falſe prophets ever ſtudied to cut off the lives of the true Prophets; and contracted that grie­vous guilt on the whole nation of the Jewes and City of Jeruſalem, with which our Saviour upbraids them Mat. 23.27. O Jeruſalem that killeſt the Prophets, and ſlayeſt them that are ſent unto thee: and as this was his courſe under the Law, we ſhall finde he forſook it not under the Goſpel: with what envy may we obſerve him acted towards the life of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, the great Prophet of Gods Church; when his tem­ptation would not ſucceed to draw him into ſin, and ſo to deſtroy the deſign of our redemption: how doth he maliciouſly engage againſt him to put an end to his daies?Mat. 2. exciting Herod to the cruel murther of all the Infants from two years old and under in Bethlehem,Melius eſt He­rodis eſſe por­cum quam fili­um. Macrob. and the coaſts thereabout; not ſparing his own ſon, giving Auguſtus Caeſar cauſe to ſay, It were better to be He­rods ſwine then ſon: and that to the end, ſo eminent an author of future good might have been cut off be­fore11 he could work, nipped in the bud, and cruſhed in the ſhell. And all the time of his appearance in the earth, what counſel and conſpiracies againſt his life? what rage and malice was continually expreſt? how many times may we obſerve they would have layed hands on him, and durſt not for the multitude? would have ſtoned and violently put him to death, if he had not miraculouſly conveyed himſelf from them; and yet they never reſted until they crucified the Lord of glory: and as they dealt with the Maſter, ſo alſo they perſecuted his ſervants with thoſe very death-threatning dangers foretold by our Saviour to attend his Diſciples: daily and bloudily perſecuting the lives of the Apoſtles on this very ground, they taught the people, and preached through Jeſus the reſurrection from the dead, Act. 4.2. Which of the Apoſtles of our Saviour did the Devil ſuffer to die a natural death? nay he did not ſo much as exempt James the Juſt, though a man beloved by the people, but brought him to a violent death to the very deteſtation of all men: and as it was thus in the firſt Age of the Church, may we not trace all the Ages of the Church, and finde the Devils deſign to deſtroy the Church of God by cutting down faithful Miniſters? what ſhall we men­tion to you the many pious and grave Biſhops of the Church, that ſuffered under Pagans; and the con­ſtant curious ſearch that was made for Miniſters to bring them to their death?As was Atha­naſius for the death of Arſe­nius hidden by the Arrians of purpoſe to deſtroy the good Biſhop. nay and if any do but read the perſecution of the Arrians and Donatiſts, what an enmity is obſervable againſt Miniſters lives? the or­thodox Biſhops and Miniſters are the men eſpecially hated, maliciouſly accuſed as guilty of murthers and villanies, deſerving death, cruelly baniſhed and put12 to death;Alphonſus Di­azius not be­ing able to re­duce his bro­ther John Di­azius from ad­vancing the truth, never reſted until he murthered him. nay if we come nearer, what ſhall we ſay of the Popiſh perſecutions, principally directed againſt Luther, Calvin, Latimer, Ridley, Cranmer, and famous reforming Miniſters. The time would fail to tell you the ſtories which might clearly manifeſt the Devils envie at the lives of godly Miniſters: and witneſs to the Church, that Miniſters are no leſs needful to them and uſeful among them, then Alexanders demand of the Orators out of Athens did witneſs them to be A­thenian guards, as Maſtiffs are the defence of the flock againſt the fury of the Wolves; and ſo engage eve­ry Chriſtian to eſteem the life of Miniſters.

Argum. 33 As Gods eſteem of, and the Devils envy at the lives of godly Miniſters, do witneſs their lives to be needful to the Churches good: ſo alſo doth the ex­preſſed experiences of Gods Saints and people in all Ages; who upon their own experimental obſervation, are conſtrained to ſay with the Apoſtle, nevertheleſs it is more needful for us that you live: they ſee the ſundry dangers to which the Church of God is obnoxious, and the ſeveral ſervices wherein the faithful Miniſters are uſeful for their good: they want counſel and cor­rection; and find Miniſters qualified for, and ap­pointed unto ſuch an end; and hence whileſt others envy, they eſteem them; whileſt others deſtroy, they endevour to defend them; and whileſt others do re­joyce in their death, they lay it to heart and ſadly la­ment it: by three eminent expreſſions the people of God have ever witneſſed their experience of Miniſters lives to be needful to the Church of God:

  • 1. Providing for their ſafety.
  • 2. Praying to God in the time of their danger.
  • 3. Praiſing God for their deliverance.

Firſt they expreſs their experience of the need of a living Miniſter, and that by providing for their ſafety in a time of danger, as the inſtruments of Satan hath in all Ages ſought the ruine, ſo the people of God have ever ſtudied the preſervation of the life of a godly Miniſter. The good Kings of Judah were no leſs ſolicitous for the ſafety and comfort of the Prieſts and Levites, then the idolatrous Kings were ſevere in ſeeking their deſtruction: and with the Princes of Iſ­rael will ſtudy to hide Jeremiah the Prophet, and Ba­ruch the Scribe, from the wrath of Jehoiakim the King that would deſtroy them, Jer. 36.19. and to deliver them from the violence of ſuch as would put them to death; pleading in their behalf, and power­fully withſtanding vulgar violence, which would deſtroy them, Prov. 26.16, 17, 18. And by this very courſe we ſhall finde that Nicodemus gave teſtimony of the neceſſity of our Saviours life, pleading for him among the Phariſees, Joh. 7.50, 51. And the Saints at Da­maſcus gave this experience of the ſenſe of this want of St. Paul's life, when diſcerning his danger, they let him down by the wall in a basket, Act. 9.25. Many are the eminent and remarkable inſtances recorded in the Eccleſiaſtical ſtory, of Chriſtians care to provide for the ſafety of Miniſters in times of dangers: Hea­then Emperors did not more deſtroy them, then Chri­ſtian Emperors defend them: Conſtantine herein be­came a reall nurſing father to the Church, cheriſhing and comforting the poor perſecuted Biſhops: he wa­ged war againſt Licinius his co-partner in the Empire,Socrates Scho­laſt. hiſt. lib. 1. cap. 4. Greek 3. tranſlat. becauſe he decreed that the Biſhops ſhould not diſcourſe of Chriſtianity to the Gentiles, and thereupon raiſed perſecution againſt them. The Princes of Bohemia14 were the Patrons of John Hus and Jerome of Prague, and the Duke of Saxony of Luther, when their lives were purſued by Papal power; and not only ſhall we finde men in place, but alſo common people accor­ding to their capacity, providing for the ſafety of their Miniſters: three daies was Polycarpus hidden by the people, when ſought for by the bloudy perſecutors: and when Chryſoſtome was to be ſent to Jeruſalem, the Prefect of Antioch was conſtrained by a ſleight to con­vey him away for fear of the people; and when to be baniſhed from Conſtantinople, the people plead for him with a Satius eſt ut Sol noluceat quam Chryſoſto­mus non doceat: better we want the ſun to ſhine, then Chryſoſtome to teach: and they watch his houſe night and day, the holy Paſtor is fain to ſteal into baniſh­ment, leſt the peoples affection betraies the City into commotion. What ſhall we ſay of the people of A­lexandria, confeſſing for their Biſhop Athanaſius againſt the Arrians? but among many others eminent is the example; the people in Merindol and Cabriers, who when by the Parliament of Provence, they with their whole town and families were decreed to be deſtroyed, ſent away their Miniſters that they might eſcape in ſafety: and admirable was the counſel of the Waldenſes to the Bohemians in the heat of perſecution, to have an eſpecial care of their Miniſters, that they might maintain a ſucceſſion. Time would fail me to multiply the many remarkable examples of peoples care towards their Miniſters, pleading their cauſe, hiding their perſons, de­fending their lives to the utmoſt of their power; and when they can do no more, expediting their flight, and haſting to give them warning of imminent and im­pending dangers, crying vigorouſly, as the Senator15 of Hale to Brentius, Fuge, fuge Brenti, cito, citius; citiſ­ſime: be gone, be gone with all ſpeed, leſt danger overtake thee: and certainly this exceeding proviſion for their ſafety, is an evident expreſſion of their experience that it is to them needful that they abide in the fleſh.

Secondly, When the Saints cannot provide, they pray for the ſafety of their Miniſters: and ce••••nly the prayers of the people of God, are expreſſions of their ſenſe, they wreſtle not with God for things of no mo­ment and value; prayer it is a moſt ſerious and ſo­lemn duty, and alſo ſignifies the ſenſible and reſtleſs deſires of the ſouls ſuing for ſuch bleſſings with grea­teſt fervor, that are found of greateſt need: the ſting of the Church her ſorrow, which gives ſtrength to her heaven-piercing prayers is, our Prophets are all gone, Pſal. 74.9. the want of a faithful Miniſter is many time the woe of heart to a wicked man, Job 33.19, 20, 21, 22, 23. when he is chaſtened with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with ſtrong pain: then a meſſenger one of a thouſand, is very deſireable: how many that in health would have been the death of a Miniſter, on their ſick beds ſeek to them, and when they come to die pray for them? pinching perplexity will convince Saul ſo far of the want of a Prophet of God, that it will provoke when he hath no hope to ſpeed with God, to complain to the very Devil, I am ſore diſtreſſed, and God is departed from me, and anſwereth me no more, no not by Prophets, 1 Sam. 28.15. How much more do the people of God who are ſenſible of, and ſubjected to miniſterial priviledges pray to God to preſerve their lives? you ſhall finde that when He­rod the King ſtretched forth his hand to kill James and impriſon Peter, the poor Chriſtians that had no other16 weapons betake themſelves to God by prayers and tears, and importuned till they obtained the life of Pe­ter, Act. 12. and St. Paul having eſcaped ſome emi­nent death-threatning danger in Aſia, directs the glory of it unto the prayers of the Chriſtians, as his only guard by civine grace, 2 Cor. 1.10, 11. Who deli­vered〈◊〉from ſo great death you helping with your prayers: and to the prayers of the Saints he flies as his fence in time of danger, as in Phil. 1.19. and Phil. 22. I truſt that through your prayers I ſhall be given unto you: Tertullian Apologizing for the Chriſtians noteth, that in all their dangers prayer was their refuge, Preces fundimus, coelum tundimus, miſericordiam extor­quemus: we beſiege heaven for mercy, and wreſtle till we prevail. Te ſupaſtitem faciat mihi Deus: hoc peto & vlo, & fiat voluntas mea. amen.When Luther came to viſit Mconius being very ſick, and conſidering how uſeful he had been in the reformation, not knowing what elſe to do, he prayed that he might outlive him: and hence Mi­conius was wont to ſay, Luther's prayers preſerved his life: and Juſtus Jonas ſaid, Luther could in prayer have of God what he would: and certainly none can obſerve the prayers put up for Gods Miniſters in the day of their danger, but muſt needs ſay, O how do they love their Miniſters, and how needful did they ap­prehend their lives!

Thirdly, As they provide for their ſafety, and pray for their deliverance, ſo alſo they praiſe God for and re­joice in it when obtained: the life of a godly Miniſter is not more earneſtly begged of God, then thankfully re­ceived; heavineſs under want, muſt needs fill with high joyes when obtained; the paſt proviſion made and prayers put up for the life of a Miniſter, muſt needs engage a very grateful receiving of them as from the17 dead: even with an extaſie of joy tranſporting their ſpirit, that they know not well how to entertain them: as the Damſel that found Peter at the door,Act. 12. for joy left him knocking, and could not open to let him in. St. Paul ſends Epaphroditus recovered from death­threatning ſickneſs with ſpeed, that the ſight of him (the fruit of all their ſighs and prayers) may fill them with joy, Phil. 2.28. The people of Alexandria and Conſtantinople did not with more complaints nor ſoun­der cries part with their faithful Biſhops Athanaſius and Chryſoſtome when baniſhed from them, then they did with joy and acclamation receive them in their return: and certainly their ſerious joy, ſenſible praiſes, ſolemn thankſgiving, and general acclamations for the lives of godly Miniſters, are legible teſtimonies that on good experience they found that it was more need­full for them that they ſhould abide in the fleſh.

I have done with arguments that may prove the Doctrine, and beſides the Philippians apprehenſion and the Apoſtles aſſent, it appears by Gods eſteem, the De­vils envie, and the Churches experience, that the life of a faithful Miniſter is of great neceſſity to a Chriſti­an Church: give me now leave to propound a reaſon or two of this neceſſity, and I will cloſe the Doctrine with a word of application.

The Reaſons why a Miniſters life is of ſuch abſo­ſolute neceſſity to a Chriſtian Church are many: I may not inſiſt upon them all, I ſhall therefore render theſe two Reaſons: Life gives them liberty unto

  • Society with the Church viſible.
  • Service in and to the Church.

Reaſ. 11. Life gives a Miniſter liberty of Society with the Church viſible, and the Saints of God here on earth; and their ſociety is exceeding ſweet and comfortable, emi­nently to be deſired and embraced: ſociety of Saints that are common and ordinary is full of comfort and content, how much more Miniſters, who are lights of an higher or be, and ſtars of a greater magnitude; who are elder brethren, and ſpecial members in the body; moſt ſupporting and uſeful to the body? Never yet did any taſte the ſweetneſs and conſider the comfort of Miniſterial ſociety, but would freely entertain it, and fervently deſire it: a faithful Shunamite will prepare a chamber,2 King. 4.10. a bed, a table, a ſtool, and a candleſtick for the man of God to turn in, that ſhe may but have his company:Act. 16. and a faithful Lydia will importune Paul to abide in her houſe. Men naturally eſteem at an high rate ſociety with ſacred perſons: hence the Heathen had their Orators, but eſpecially their Prieſts in high honour; Micah thinks himſelf happy if he have but a Levite in his houſe, Judg. 17.13. How much more is the ſociety of Goſpel Miniſters eſteemed by ſincere Chriſtians, who conſider the comfort of that relation in which they ſtand, to ſweeten their communion? they are brethren and elder brethren, and brotherly love muſt lead them to take pleaſure in their company: they are fellow ſervants of the ſame houſhold, and ſervants of more high employments then common Saints; and how ſociable are naturally ſervants in the ſame family? But further, they are fathers that beget them in Chriſt, and care for their good and comfort: well may Eli­ſha then lament the loſs of Elijah, with a My father, my father, 2 King. 2.12. and in a word, they are hus­bands, who eſpouſe us unto themſelves in Chriſt; ſo19 that if the ſociety of brethren, the fellowſhip of a fa­ther to his children, the company of an husband to an endeared wife be deſireable, the ſociety of a faith­ful Miniſter is deſirable to the Church. Not only do faithful Miniſters ſtand in a relation that ſhould ren­der their ſociety deſireable, but are alſo ſingularly qualified with thoſe things that may render their com­munion profitable and delightful; for they enjoy a ſpirit of ſenſe and ſympathy under all the eſtates and conditions of their company, they are ready to rejoyce when the people rejoyce, and mourn when they mourn, to make their condition as their own: the Shunamites ſoul cannot be troubled in her,2 King. 4. but Eliſha the man of God will be affected with it; and St. Paul declares in reſpect of his ſympathy with the Churches of Chriſt, the very care of all the Churches lay upon him: Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? 2 Cor. 11.28. Magis de eccle­ſiarum ſtatu quam de ſuis pe­riculis augeba­tur.Theodoſius the Emperor ſaid of Ambroſe Biſhop of Millain, that he cared more for the Church then for his own life: and Beza in the life of Calvin, ſaith he was no otherwiſe affected to­wards the Churches, then if he bare them on his ſhoul­ders: How much ſweetneſs doth ſympathy yeeld to friends, and ſo make their ſociety ſupporting each to other? and as Miniſters ſympathize with the Church in their condition, ſo they are ſtored with excellencies and endowments, which they freely communicate un­to ſuch as accompany them as Chriſt their Maſter. Mi­niſters, go up and down doing good, Act. 10.38. they have parts above others, gifts and graces beyond others, experiences of humane infirmities, and divine ſupport more then others; and they are free and wil­ling to diſtribute whereſoever they come, they well20 know theſe qualifications are not given to be kept pri­vate, but to communicate unto others: on this account they long for ſociety with the Saints, Rom. 1.11. I long to ſee you, to the end I may impart unto you ſome ſpiritual gift, to the end you may be eſtabliſhed: and they are ready to comfort others with the ſelf-ſame conſolations with which they were comforted them­ſelves, 2 Cor. 1.4, 5. How ardently then ſhould their ſociety be deſired by the Saints? But further, their ſociety is honourable and profitable: commu­nion with a faithful Miniſter, is neither baſe nor beg­gerly, diſhonourable nor diſadvantageous; they are company for Conſtantine: no ſerious Chriſtian King would be without the company of faithful Mini­ſters; God ever coupled the King & the Prieſt together: and indeed if we conſider them inveſted with Chriſts authority, immediately attending on his ſervice, en­gaged ever on his Embaſſie, and enjoying fellowſhip with the Father and the Son, we may well think their Miniſtry muſt needs ſucceed unto that end mentioned 1 Joh. 1.3. That your fellowſhip may be with us, and our fellowſhip is with the Father and Son: and never can any loſe by communion with Gods Miniſters, they are obſervant of all kindneſſes, ſtudious of re­quital, ſpeaking the language of the man of God to the Shunamite, Thou haſt been careful for us with all this care, what is now to be done unto thee? 2 King. 4.13. They have an affectionate ſpirit of prayer, by which they obtain bleſſings of God for men, they have autho­rity and commiſſion to bleſſe in the name of the Lord, and that which is above all, they have a tender Maſter that bleſſeth every family where Joſeph dwels, and every houſe of Obed Edom, where the Arke abides,21 that reſents kindly every courteſie that is conferred on his Miniſters, promiſing a miniſterial reward to a cup of cold water to them given, and aſſuring that ſuch as receive them receive him, Mat. 10.40.

You have ſeen that ſingularly good is the ſociety of Gods Miniſters: now it is life only that gives liberty of this ſociety, there is no communion of perſons nor communication of graces in the grave: the dead know nothing, ſaith Eccleſ. 9.5. and when David was ſhut out of communion, he counts himſelf as one among the dead: death deſtroyeth all communicative power, the living communicate not to the dead, nor the dead to the living; deareſt relations when dead are not: hence the qualifications with which friends are endowed, and communion whileſt living lie on ſurviving friends as a ſad aggravation of their ſorrow over their death. See­ing then that death doth deprive of ſociety ſo deſirable and delightful, ſo honourable and profitable, when it takes from the Church a faithful Miniſter, is it not much more needful that they abide in the fleſh?

Reaſ. 2Secondly, as the life of a faithful Miniſter is ne­ceſſary for ſociety ſake, ſo alſo in that it giveth liberty of ſervice in and for the Church: life is the principle of promotion and power enabling to every action, and when death depriveth of it, it puts a period to all pro­ceedings in duty to God, or ſervice to his people. It is the living, the living that praiſe God and preach to his people, but the dead make no mention of his name. The Miniſters of God are eminently ſerviceable, and their ſervice exceeding neceſſary to the Church of God whileſt they do live, they are qualified with parts and power for the good of the Church abilities and authority unto the adminiſtrations of Goſpel ordi­nances22 for the edification of the Church of God, and in generall they are of as much neceſſity to the Church of God as Labourers in harveſt time, Fiſhermen in a town or city, Stars and glorious lights in their orbes, Watchmen in a garriſon of war, Guides to pilgrims in a ſtrange countrey, Rulers in a Common-wealth, Nurſes, nay Fathers in a family, that if life giving liberty to theſe to be ſerviceable in their ſtations be needful to them, then is it needful to the Church of God, that Miniſters abide in the fleſh; for the faithful Miniſter is qualified to all theſe offices, given of Chriſt to theſe ſeveral ends, and authoriſed to thoſe intents and pur­poſes: and to many more which I cannot ſtand to mention: but more particularly the faithful Miniſter is qualified for, and authoriſed to theſe four eſpecial acts of ſervice, which whileſt he lives he performes to the good of the Church:

  • Curb the domineering of ſin.
  • Contradict and convince of damning errors.
  • Counſel the dark and dubious ſoul to duty.
  • Comfort the deſponding ſpirit in miſery.

The firſt ſervice of a living Miniſter is to curb the domineering af ſin:1. Service of a living Mini­ſter. ſin is ſubtle and not eaſily de­tected, and impudent and not eaſily reſtrained, but the Miniſter is appointed to ſtudy the fal­lacies and detect the deceits thereof; and is to rebuke with all authority, that diſorder and profaneneſs may be aſhamed and bluſh; nay, and as they are hereunto ap­pointed, ſo they are qualified with wiſdom, gravity, zeal, meekneſs and power to this end: ſin is ordinarily aſhamed, and the ſinner afraid of a faithful godly Mi­niſters preſence; not only are the godly whoſe ſpirits are acted by ſupernatural grace, awed by the obſer­vance23 and rebukes of their ſin by a living Miniſter, but many times thoſe that are wicked, diſorderly and unru­ly, void of the fear of God, are reſtrained by his pre­ſence, and aſhamed that their ſin ſhould come to his cognizance. It's very obſervable to this purpoſe, what is ſpoken of Joaſh the King, 2 Chron. 24.2. He did that which was right in the ſight of the Lord all the daies of Jehoiadah the Prieſt: but in verſ. 17, 18. when Jehoiadah was dead, he left the houſe of the Lord God of his fathers, and ſerved Idols: nay, the loſſe of this good Prieſt, was the loſing of a bridle to a brutiſh pro­fane ſpirit, which now ruſhed into ſin without any re­ſtraint, untill he ſlew Zachariah his ſon. The grand di­viſions and groſs diſorders and profaneneſſes which did ariſe in the Church of Corinth, did generally ſpring from that pride and profane tumor which grew in Diotrephes and others, on a ſenſe of the Apoſtles abſence, and perſwaſion, he would return to them no more, as is evident in 1 Cor. 4.18, 19. Some are puf­fed up as if I would not come unto you: and 3 Joh. 9, 10. We finde men have much need of that exhor­tation in Phil. 2.12. As ye have obeyed in my preſence, do it much more in my abſence: Miniſte­rial preſence doth by plain diſcovery, piercing rebukes, and powerful cenſures of and for ſin, much curb and reſtrain it, filling the ſinner with ſhame, and many times conſtraining them to cry out as did the wicked conſpirators againſt Athanaſius, they could not work their wickedneſs, becauſe of the good Biſhop: Miniſters preſence laying no leſs check on mens ſpi­rits and luſts, then the fathers eye layeth on a wanton childe: but when they are once dead then doth iniqui­ty break out as a land floud, and run with force and vio­lence:24 if Moſes be but apprehended by the people as ſo gone that they look for him no more, they will make Idol calves, and caſt off the worſhip of the true God.

Secondly, As a living Miniſter doth curb ſin, ſo alſo he is ſerviceable to contradict and convince of dam­ning errors in doctrine, which deſtroy the very founda­tions of Chriſtanity: The conſtitution of Goſpel Mini­ſtry gave a check to heathen oracles, conſtraining the Devil to complain, Chriſtianity hinders his Oracles from ſpeaking: ſuch is the skill of a faithful Miniſter in the diſcovery of the truth, and dexterity to defend it to the ſtopping of the mouthes of the gainſayer, and au­thority in warning the people againſt falſe do­ctrines and ſeducers, that falſe teachers many times lie lurking in the boſome of the Church, and dare not ap­pear to advance their damned errors, nor to aſſemble their followers: of this St. Paul had clear experience, and expreſſed his knowledge of it to the Elders of the Church at Epheſus, Act. 20.29, 30. For I know that after my departure, ſhall grievous wolves enter in among you not ſparing the flock, and of your own ſelves ſhall men ariſe ſpeaking perverſe things, and drawing away diſciples after them: the zeal of a faithful Miniſter in defending the truth, and condemning all falſities, doth anticipate the Devils deſign, that errors cannot ſpread and enrage his inſtruments to ſtudy the ruine and death of them: Elijah his zeal will not ſuffer Iſrael to follow and worſhip Baal; the falſe Prophets cannot pre­vail, if Micaiah and Jeremiah be at liberty; the Arri­ans cannot ſpread their blaſphemies, unleſs Athana­ſius and the Divines teaching the Doctrine of one ſub­ſtance be exiled: many are the remarkable inſtances of the contradictions and convictions of horrid Here­ſies25 by the Fathers of the Church, with which Eccle­ſiaſtical ſtory abounds: hence it comes to paſs that all Hereſies end in, and are advanced by perſecution; for the enmity of truth and falſhood is irreconcilable: and herein ſome of Gods Miniſters are more inſtrumental to the Church of God then others, as they are more eminently qualified by God and nature, for ſuch knotty and controverſial work: thus Athanaſius was of all the conteſtors for the truth of one ſubſtance accounted the〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the bulwark of truth: and of all the firſt reformers of Chriſtian Religion, none obtained the title of Conqueror of the world ſave only Luther: and laſtly we may obſerve the inſultations and tri­umphs of ſeducers from the truth at and for the death of faithful Miniſters, with their free and forward pub­lication of their damned Doctrines, when they con­ceive there is none that will or can oppoſe them and their opinions, ſaying as Flaccius Oſiander when Luther was dead, in the bold oppugning of the doctrine of Ju­ſtification by faith alone, Leonem mortuum eſſe, &c. the Lion was dead, and he cared not for the Foxes (meaning Melancthon and and others) as an evident te­ſtimony that their falſe doctrines cannot ſpring un­der Miniſterial air: and this engaged the Apoſtles to write the Doctrines they had preached with many a charge, that the Chriſtians ſhould hold it faſt, that they might have it in remembrance when they were dead, 2 Pet. 1.15. and that they might earneſtly contend for the faith once delivered to the Saints, Jude 2. For that when the faithful Miniſter is once dead he can nei­ther warn the people, inſtruct the ſeduced flock, con­vince the gainſayer, nor reject the Heretick, or uſe26 any other means to ſtay the ſpreading of error, and for the ſafety of the Church.

Thirdly, As the living Miniſter doth curb ſin and contradict error, ſo alſo he is ſerviceable to counſel un­to duty every dark and dubious ſoul: in this reſpect the covenant of God is with them, and the Prieſts lips muſt preſerve knowledge,1 Pet. 4.11. and the people muſt ſeek the Law at his mouth, Mal. 2.7. the Miniſtery of the Go­ſpel is as the Oracles of God under the Law, unto which men muſt have recourſe in all ſtraights and doubts; and by which they muſt be reſolved. When the ſtrife is great at Antioch about the Jewiſh ceremonies, an appeal muſt be made to the Apoſtles and Elders at Jeruſalem, Act. 15. and there〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, determined decrees muſt be the guidance of every Chriſtian, and all the Churches of God: and what ever doubt is in the Church of Corinth, St. Paul muſt be ſought unto, and determine it: hence Mini­ſters are called lights in darkneſs, and guides in deſerts to the people of God. The Levites were ſcattered in all the tribes of Iſrael, and had their houſes near the Synagogues, that the people might on all occaſions reſort to them for counſel and advice in matters of doubt and difficulty: the people reſorting to Calvin for counſel by colloquy in private, was one means that was obſerved to waſte his ſpirits, and weaken his na­ture, and haſten his end: and in in reſpect of this ſpe­cial ſervice, the people of God have cauſe to lament the death of a faithful Miniſter as did the Jewes in their captivity, Our Prophets are all gone, there is none to tell us how long: or as Saul over Samuel, The Lord is departed, and anſwereth me not by a Prophet.


Fourthly, As a living Miniſter doth curb ſin, con­tradict error, and counſel unto duty; ſo alſo he is ſer­viceable to comfort the deſponding ſoul in a day of dan­ger and diſtreſs: he is the meſſenger one of a thouſand,Job 33.23. ſent by God to ſhew unto man his uprightneſs when he is pained on his bed, and perplexed in his thoughts; and to this end the covenant of peace between God and man is in his mouth, and the ſupporting ſealing Sacra­ments are in his hand, and authority given to him in the name of the Lord to chear the ſoul and pronounce pardon of ſin: and it is charged on them to comfort the mourners in Zion, and they are qualified with skill to binde up the broken hearted, and to heal the woun­ded ſpirit by ſpeaking a word in ſeaſon to a wearied ſoul, ſo that the death of a faithful Miniſter may make the Church to complain, as Lam. 1.16. The comfor­ter which ſhould relieve my ſoul is far from me.

Whoſoever then ſeeth a neceſſity of ſin to be checked, error contradicted, doubtful ſouls counſelled, and de­ſponding ſpirits to be comforted, and that this ſervice is impoſed on the Miniſters of God: and life to be the twelve hours in which this work muſt be done, death to be the night in which no man worketh, muſt needs conclude, that the Miniſter abide in the fleſh is abſolutely needful.

We have done with the Doctrinal part of this ob­ſervation, and have given you by arguments and Rea­ſons to ſee that the lives of faithful Miniſters are of abſo­lute neceſsity to the Church of God: give me now leave to winde up all in one word of application: and to paſs by all other uſes that might be inferred, I ſhall only improve it by way of exhortation.

Let it then exhort every one of us in our proper28 places to carry toward the Miniſters of the Word, as convinced that their life and abode in the fleſh is more needful for us: It is our ſhame and ſin that we carry towards living, (I and dead Miniſters) as if at the beſt they were indifferencies, and matters of con­veniencies; in the enjoyment of which we ſeem to be little better, and in the want of them nothing worſe, they are certain ſpangling ornaments, but not eſſen­tial to any ſociety whatſoever: in the enjoyment of them our being is ſomething more honourable; but in the want of them, we retain our being with as much compleatneſs and certainty as needs: ſo that the Mi­niſters are to moſt that carry it fairly in the Church, glorious ſuperfluities that may well be ſpared: how far is this from the eſteem God ſets on them, and requires his people to have of them, whileſt it is an impoſed du­ty, to know them that are over us in the Lord, and that labour among us and eſteem them very highly, with an honour due to things eſſential, without which we can­not be, 1 Theſſ. 5.13. How far is this from the ex­preſſed ſenſe of Miniſterial worth in the primitive Chriſtians, who would pluck out their own eyes in pre­ſervation of Miniſters life, received them as an Angell of God, accounting themſelves bleſſed in the enjoyment of their life and preſence, Gal. 4.14, 15. and how doth this evidence our inſenſibility of Miniſterial work and ſervice? can pilgrims count their guides convenien­cies, & children their father indifferences, and garriſons their watchmen and centinels ſuperfluities, and Chri­ſtians the Ark of Gods preſence the Oracles of the moſt high, the ſtewards of the myſteries of God, the earthen veſſels in which the heavenly treaſure is brought, and without which it cannot be enjoyed,29 honourable ornaments and ſuperfluities: certainly ſuch thoughts are ſugeſtions of Satan, ſprouts of ignorance and lukewarmneſs, and certain ſignes of hypocriſie and apoſtaſie.

But much more profane and wicked are they which account Miniſters not only ſuperfluities that may be ſpared; but needleſs burdens, the peoples preſſures, the Churches excrements, that muſt be removed and rejected; that groan under their lives, and account the death of a godly Miniſter their greateſt joy: their ſtudy is to load their name with reproaches, and their lives with diſtreſs and dangers railing on their perſons and profeſſion: reviling them in all compa­nies, exciting againſt them the powers of the world, by falſe accuſations, repreſenting them troublers of Iſrael, ſowers of ſedition, and as Haman did the Jewes, men ſcattered abroad and diſperſed among the people,Eſth. 3.8. whoſe Lawes are divers from the Lawes of all people, and ſo are good for nothing. (Beloved) though the ſpirit of Satan hath appeared againſt godly Miniſters in all ages, yet in this age of ours it doth more openly and impu­dently appear then ever, making the Miniſterial office a manifeſt crime in any perſon, and give us cauſe to ſay in the complaint of the Apoſtle, 1 Cor. 4 9. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉dicebantur ho­mines viliſſimi & abjectiſſimi, item ſcelerati, & exitiales item ſacri ſeu piaculares, quo­rum nece & exitio publicae calamitates expiabantur. Tertul. apol. cap. 1.God hath ſet us forth as it were men appointed unto death, for we are made a ſpectacle unto the world, to Angels and to men: and verſ. 13. we are made the filth of the world, and are the off-ſcouring of all things unto this day: they were ſo accounted that were the vileſt and baſeſt men, wicked and to be baniſhed the ſacrifices of the people, to be offered to their gods, whoſe death expia­ted the calamities of the people. The debauched ex­preſſions and traducing termes that are in the mouthes30 of the moſt of men doe loudly witneſs the ſpirit of Campian that grand Jeſuite to poſſeſs them, whileſt they can utter of Miniſters no ſound but that of his Miniſtris eorum nihil vilius: nothing is more vile then their Mi­niſters: but (my brethren) how far is this ſhort of the Philippians frame of ſpirit, which conſtrained the Apoſtles aſſent in the Text, Nevertheleſs it is more needful for you that I abide in the fleſh: but (my bre­thren) the diſreſpect of the people in our Age con­ſtrains Miniſters to ſee a neceſſity of their death, giving them an aptitude to ſay with Melancthon the Miniſtry is Miſeria miſeriarum: the miſery of miſeries: but I would gladly hope better things of you even in this ve­ry caſe, things that concern ſalvation, and intreat eve­ry of you in your places to witneſs by your carriage that you are ſenſible that the Miniſters life is need­full to the Church of God, if ever your ſenſe of it muſt appear, this is the time when all the world almoſt ſay the contrary; and God by death takes from us not only Paul the aged, but alſo hopeful Timothy. Let me there­fore direct you in a word how to expreſs your aſſent to the Doctrine; and herein I ſhall apply a few dire­ctions to all in general; to my brethren in the Miniſtry in particular; and to you of this pariſh and congrega­tion in ſpeciall.

Firſt in general to us all:Exhort. to Chriſtians in general. Chriſtian brethren, we are all members of the Church, ſubjected to the influence of thoſe glorious ſtars God hath fixed among us, and guided by the lights which at the preſent poſſeſs Gods Candleſticks in general, we have a common advan­tage by the lives of the faithful Miniſters of God which labour in his Church in this generation: let it then be our care to carry towards them as con­vinced31 that their lives are our advantage, their being our neceſſity, and their death would be, nay and is our exceeding dammage: to this end let me com­mend to you theſe few directions.

Direct. 11. Appehend their worth: this is that which will affect your hearts with want: ſtudy therefore the au­thority by which they are appointed, and the work to which they are aſſigned, nay the neceſſity of their in­terpoſing between God and us, to the end we may en­joy communion with our God. It is not in vain that God cals Moſes into the Mount, nay when Iſrael com­eth to be a little affected with the glory of divine Ma­jeſty, and the dazling ſplendor of immediate glory, they will ſee the neceſſity of a Miniſters interpoſition, and ſay to Moſes, Speak thou unto us and we will hear, but let not God ſpeak unto us leſt we die, Exod. 20.19. Doth not our own obſervation and experience witneſs the fancy of immediate enjoyment of God and Chriſt, founds the ſlighting of the Miniſtry of Goſpel-ordi­nances. I beſeech you therefore ſee the Miniſters, ſer­vants of Gods own appointment to give you your meat in due ſeaſon, and you may not count them un­uſeful: they are the earthen veſſels by which we en­joy the heavenly treaſure ſuitable to our capacity, and as we are able to bear, and therefore not unneceſſary: Chriſt when he aſcended up into heaven,Epheſ. 4.11, 12, 13. gave Mini­ſters to perfect his Church and fit it for glory; there is no enjoyment of God here, nor expectation of God hereafter, ſave by the medium of miniſterial ende­vours, they are therefore needful: Oh ſee them to be the chariots and horſemen of Iſrael.

Direct. 22. Adore with admiration the Providences of God in the preſervation of their lives: the providences are32 many and remarkable in the deliverance of Miniſters lives, ſometimes from outward violence of the ſword, ſometime from the inward aſſaults of death-threatning diſtempers; and theſe are much to be eyed and ado­red; Miniſters that are delivered from death, ſhould be received with joy, and held in great reputation, Phil. 2.29. nay the appearance of an impriſoned Mi­niſter ſhould be to the aſtoniſhment of praying Chriſti­ans, as was Peters, Act. 12.16. Shall not children adore the providence that reſcued their fathers from death-threatning dangers? How many of us Chriſti­ans do owe our ſpiritual and eternal life, to the natural life of this or that Miniſter of the Goſpel of Chriſt; and ſhall we not admire their eſcapes, and adore the God of their deliverances? they live not for them­ſelves, but for our good; life may be their lamenta­tion and burthen, they are thereby kept from Chriſt; but it ſhould be our gladneſs and Joy, our thankſgiving unto God, for thereby we are kept from hell, and car­ried unto heaven.

Direct. 33. Actively improve their lives: the Prophets do not live for ever, it muſt make them laborious, and us attentive: the fountain that now flowes and is likely to be ſoon drawn dry, ſhould be ſealed and ſingularly improved: the ſhowres that fall from heaven are tran­ſient, and drunk into the earth with greedineſs; our Saviours hearers followed him from place to place, and hanged on his lips with conſtancy and diligence, as convinced they would not alwaies drop hony: St. Paul in his journey to Rome, from whence he muſt return no more, travelled night and day in the work of the Mi­niſtry, by reaſon of the inſatiable deſires of the people: Eliſha will not be ſhaken off by Elijah when ready to be33 taken from him: the ingenious pupill is very ſtu­dious of his art or ſcience, and inquiſitive into the myſtery of it when his maſter is dying, and he in dan­ger to loſe it for ever. Calvin being naturally thin and ſpare in body, as one expecting death daily, drew the conſultations of the people to him to his own con­ſumption: How duly, how diligently ſhould you ſit un­der and ſuck in the inſtructions of your Miniſters, ſee­king ſatisfaction to all your doubts, eſtabliſhment to all the uncertainties of your minde and weakneſs of your faith, when you conſider they are dying, and the day coming when they cannot direct you: well is it with the Miniſter that is weakned with the peoples waiting on his Miniſtry and endevours, it is an argument they ſee it needful that he abide in the fleſh.

Direct. 44. Ardently contend for Miniſters lives: and that both with men and God: with men when they by violence and cruelty endevour to pluck faithful Mini­ſters from us; you before heard how the people ex­preſſed their ſenſe of Miniſters continuance among them by their conteſt for them againſt all oppoſers; go ye and do likewiſe, but be ſure your conteſts be within your own ſphere and compaſs: in this combate keep rank and file, move in order as becomes the Goſpel of order: you muſt by your appearances with, and apo­logies for Miniſters, preſerve them: defence of faithful Miniſters I cannot own as any ground of rebellion againſt lawful Magiſtrates, though profane and hea­then: but Magiſtrates that have the ſword in their hands, ſhould be the guard of Miniſters lives, as de­fenders of the faith. Conſtantine may conteſt againſt Licinius for Miniſters lives and liberty of teaching the people; and people muſt ſtand in a readineſs32 of plucking out their eyes for their Miniſters ſafety, ſtanding in their defence, and ſupplying their wants, taking heed that the Miniſters of God be not at any time arraigned for the truth, and record that ſad in­ditement againſt the people, at my firſt anſwer no man ſtood with me, but all men forſook me, the Lord lay it not to their charge, 2 Tim. 4.16. but in our conteſts we muſt eſpecially ſtrive with God by carneſt prayer and ſupplication, beſieging heaven and not ceaſing till Paul be delivered unto our prayers: if Hered ſtretch forth his hand to kill James and impriſon Peter, the Church ſtretch forth their hearts to God, and by prayer break all bolts and bars in the priſon: prayers of the people is the Paſtors guard, the Preachers phy­ſick and moſt powerfully recovering potion.

Direct. 55. Affectionately reſent Gods providence in the death of Gods faithful Miniſters: the very heathen would lament more the loſs of one Philoſopher, then many Orators; for theſe taught them to ſpeak, but thoſe to live: Is not an houſe of Funeral ſolemnities without ſo­lemn mourning, a very ſoloeciſm in nature? ſhall a fa­ther die, and the family not be filled with ſadneſs? ſure then they are full of ſtupidity: Elijah may not be removed, but Eliſha will lament with a My father, my father! and the Epheſians are cut to the heart, and cannot but weep moſt of all for that they ſhall ſee the Apoſtles face no more: and indeed the relation in which they ſtand, the ſervices which lie on their ſhoulders, may make the loſs of any of them to be lamented; they are the horſemen and chariots of Iſrael; they are the foundations of the Church, which when removed may conſtrain us to cry, What ſhall the righteous do? nay and brethren, many times the death of the righteous33 do preſage ſome general approaching judgement; be­fore the ſacking of Hippo, Auguſtine and the other Miniſters die; and before the ſacking of Hidelberg by the Spaniards, Paraeus died: when they die, ſhall we ſee the righteous periſh, and no man lay it to heart? ſhall they be taken from the evil to come, and no man con­ſider it? My brethren, God hath of late years taken from England many eminent Miniſters, and hath come into London with many a ſad ſtroke,Iſa. 57.1. ſome aged Fathers have been followed to the grave, and hopeful young Miniſters laid in the duſt (the Lord grant this do not preſage ſome ſweeping plague) we are now ce­lebrating the Funerals of as eminently an hopeful Miniſter as our Church enjoyeth;Mr. Gataker, Whitaker, Gouge, and the never to be forgotten Biſhop of Ar­magh, Mr. Ro­binſon, Mr. Fen­ton, with ma­ny others. can I do other then call on you all to mourn over ſo ſad a loſs, and lay to heart with ſenſe & feeling Gods hand in cutting off men of parts and piety, the help and hope of his Church and people; and yet why to call to mourning a people whoſe eyes full of tears argue their hearts to be full of grief: Let me Chriſtains limit this counſel, and check your ſorrows by provoking you not to mourn over Miniſters death as men without hope: but in the midſt of your heavineſs conſider:

1. Miniſters are men; mortals, ſubject unto death:Zach. 2.5. the Prophets do not live for ever, and their death is no temptation, but what is common unto men.

2. Miniſtry ſurviveth the Miniſters perſons: they may die, but it ſhall abide; their perſons are mortal,Mat 28.20. but the Goſpel is everlaſting, their function muſt be maintained to the end of the world; I will not ſay to England, but to the Church of God: loſs of a Miniſter muſt caſt you down, Gods providence in ſucceſſion muſt cheer you up.


But I have done with the exhortation that relates to us all in common: our apprehenſion of Miniſters worth, adoration of Gods providence in their preſer­vation, active improvement of their life, ardent con­teſts for their being, and affectionate ſorrow for their loſs, are the duties by which we witneſs with the Apo­ſtle, that they abide in the fleſh is more needful for the Church: my next exhortation is to my brethren in the Miniſtry,Exhort. 2. to Miniſters. and to my ſelf: Let us ſo carry as to witneſs our ſenſe that our death might be our gain, but life our peoples advantage: our affection towards the Church for whoſe good we are appointed, muſt not only bring us into a ſtraight what to chuſe, but muſt caſt the ſcales of our thoughts, and conſtrain us to ſay and confeſs that it is more needful for them that we abide in the fleſh. To this end we muſt

1. Carefully preſerve our lives for the Churches good, not caſting our lives away: it is indeed true, if the cauſe of Chriſt and the Goſpel call for them,Act. 20.24 we muſt not count our lives dear; but readily lay them down: but yet our care muſt be to preſerve our lives in the due uſe of all lawful means, and prevent where we can do it without ſin, our ſufferings and death, and that we muſt do with the more care for the Churches good.

2 Conſcionably lay out your lives for the Churches good, not ſparing our pains in our Miniſterial duties, for fear of haſtning our end, the Miniſtery is the end of our life, and our life is the only time of our work; let us therefore work, and that with diligence; the night is coming when we cannot work, it is good to check our fainting in Gods work through fear of approaching death, with the anſwer of famous Dr. Rainolds, nec37 propter vitam vivendi perdere finem, and ſay with the Apoſtle,2 Cor. 12.15. we are willing to ſpend and be ſpent for you: we are lamps lighted up that we may be waſted in giving light to others: now that God hath taken off another painful labourer, the work lieth the more hea­vy on our hands; let us not loyter, but improve lively the time and the ſtrength we do enjoy, leſt our ſtu­dies, affections and endevous be anticipated by our death: ſed verbum ſat ſapienti.

Laſtly, I ſhall ſpeak a word,Exhort 3. to the Pariſh. and but a word to you of this Pariſh and Congregation, on whom in ſpe­cial God hath made the breach by the death of this reverend and learned Miniſter;Mr. Fenten, and Mr. John Freſt. within theſe two years God hath removed two very eminently hopeful inſtru­ments of his glory and his Churches good; you can­not but ſee the footſteps of a furious God in theſe ſad providences, I pray God ſanctfie them to you, and let me intreat you as convinced of the truth of the Do­ctrine; and in ſpecial, that it had been more needful for you, that this your reverend and hopeful Paſtor had abiden in the fleſh, carefully to diſcharge theſe du­ties.

Direct. 11. Lament your leſſe; it is great to the Church, it is greater to you, your particular edification under his Miniſtry, made him a bleſſing to the body: you were objects of his eſpecial care, ſtudy, and qualifications; and conſtant ſubjects of his able and holy adminiſtra­tions of the Myſteries of God and ſalvation; if he be layed to heart abroad, and not lamented at home, it will be the ſcandal of his name, but the ſin and ſhame of your ſouls. But ſome may be ready to object and ſay,

Sir, Why ſhould we ſo much lament the loſſe of36 this Miniſter? he was but a man as we are, and muſt die, and though he be gone, we can ſoon get ano­ther.

Anſw. This objection is too full of ſtupidity and profaneneſs to deſerve an anſwer, yet let me ſay to it thus much:

1. Though the temptation be common, he was a man and mortal, yet the breach is preſent: you are a people without a Paſtor, your ſhepherd is ſmitten, and you muſt needs be ſcattered: were it not a ſtupidity would make nature bluſh, to ſee a wife ſenſleſly, nay and ſenſually interre a deceaſed husband, rendring this reaſon, that he was mortall, ſhe may have another; ſo God loſeth the end and effect of the preſent ſmart and breach:

2. Pitiful diſtractions and diviſions may overtake you before you enjoy another:Mr. Carter ſince dead. when you were to fix one on the late reſignation of a Miniſter, you know what diſtractions and diviſions you run into before you did agree; in this your late Miniſter you did agree, I pray God his death do not ſubject you to new divi­ſions.

3. You may obtain another, but not eaſily ſuch ano­ther: Mr Froſt was not ordinary, as you ſhall hear anon: you lie open to ſeducers: Wolves in ſheeps cloathing among us abound, and may if not wiſely pre­vented become your leaders unto ruine: nay you may enjoy a lawful and pious Miniſter, but he may want Mr. Froſts parts and prudence, learning and piety.

4. It is not with ſouls as with calves, that change of paſture ſhould make them fat;Botolph Ald­gate, Sept. 15 1656. but of boyes change of School-maſters make them backward in their learning: it was his own note at my Church in the late morning37 exerciſe, the word preached doth not profit, becauſe the hearer keeps not fixed to the preacher: another muſt ſtudy your temper and diſpoſition, lay foundation work for Catechiſing and principling in Religion, before he proceed to edifying diſpenſations: this he had done, intending to leave principles and carry you forward if God would, but it is evident God will have you yet back again.

If then you are any way ſenſible of Gods hand, and ſerious in reference to your own good, you ſee cauſe to lament your loſs.

Direct. 2Let your lives and converſations now he is dead, witneſs that it had been more needful for you that he had continued in the fleſh: your union in him, your reſorting to him, your acceptance of him, and atten­dance on his Miniſtry, did witneſs the neceſſity of his life among you, there now wants the piety of your lives as an evidence of your proficiency in grace under his Miniſtry to witneſs it: let me tell you Chriſtians, he did travel in birth to have Chriſt formed in you; he ſtudied the keeping of your affections for the good of your ſouls; he delighted in your free and forward at­tentions to his Miniſtry, it was his comfort on his death-bed,So much he did declare. that he had preached to you the Doctrine of the Scriptures, and your duty to ſearch them from Joh. 5.39. for he believed it ſeized on your hearts as he preached: take heed you do not fruſtrate his hope, and witneſs to the world you loved to hear him, but would not do what he ſaid, when he ſhall meet you in the judgement of Jeſus Chriſt; how heavy will it be to you, that he ſhall ſee you deceived his hopes, and he laboured in vain among you; your practice on what he preached will make all to ſay, What pity was40 it Mr. Froſt lived not longer at the Crouched Fryers.

3. Labour to ſupply his place by a a lawful, pious and prudent Divine: bleſſed be God you may be ſtored, be ſpeedy in making up your breach, beg of God to direct your choice, agree among your ſelves, and the Lord give you a man that may ſtand up in his ſtead.

In the careful and conſcionable performance of theſe duties, you will witneſs the life of a faithful Miniſter to be of abſolute neceſſity to the Church of God; and conſtrain the Miniſters of the Word to aſſent unto your apprehenſions in the words of the Text, with which I ſhall conclude this firſt part of this diſcourſe, Nevertheleſs that we abide in the fleſh is more needful for you.

Having preſented you with the neceſſity of a Mini­ſters life in the general as it relates to the Church of God; let me now affect you with a ſenſe of the want of this Miniſter, learned Mr. John Froſt in ſpecial, by preſenting you with the hopeful parts and high endow­ments, which rendred him ſerviceable whileſt living, and may make us ſorrowful in ſuch a loſs now he is dead.

That the memorial of the juſt may be bleſſed and preſerved, whileſt the remembrance of the wicked doth periſh; it hath been the conſtant and commendable cuſtome of good men, to make honourable mention of the graces and eminent endowments of deceaſed friends; famous are the Panegyrick Orations made at the Tombs of the primitive Martyrs: memorable are the ſe­veral Orations of the two Gregories, Nyſſen and Nazian­zen on the death of Baſil the Great. This laudable practiſe hath been ever uſed, and ſtill is in the midſt of41 us; we have too too lately had publiſhed the lives of too many learned lights, and eminently pious Mi­niſters, pillars of the Church of God, not only in the Countrey, but alſo in this our City; learned Gataker, judicious Vines, acute Gouge, affectionate Robinſon, pious Whitaker and profound Uſher, with many others, have been lately added to Londons Catalogue of de­ceaſed Miniſters (the which if the Lord ſtay not his hand is like to ſwell into no mean volume) their wor­thy praiſes have ſounded in our ears, and been laid be­fore our eyes. I am this day to trace the ſame courſe, and to characterize this eminent perſon and hopefull in­ſtrument, whom God hath to our ſorrow added to this ſad Catalogue, whoſe worth deſerved to have been ad­vanced by the Tongue of ſome Angelical Doctor, or preſent Academical Orator, rather then to be depreſſed by my rude and plain expreſſions: yet ſeeing this work is caſt on my hands, I ſhall according to my ability give you an account of him, as I have recei­ved it from his neareſt relations, beſt acquaintance, or my own perſonal knowledge, and herein let me men­tion him in general and particular.

In generall I may ſay of him to the aggravation of our grief, he was from his cradle to his grave eminent­ly commendable, for he was admirably endowed by nature, adorned by the acquirements of learning, and advanced by miniſterial qualifications which might have made him exceeding uſeful as ever any our age (may I not ſay our nation?) produced and gave occaſion to many eminent Divines, to ſay of him as Eraſmus of Philip Melancthon; he is an excellent Grecian, and a moſt learned man; he is a youth and ſtripling if ye conſider his age, but one of us if you42 look on the variety of his knowledge almoſt in all Books, he is very exquiſite in learning, I pray Chriſt this Youth may live long among us.

In particular, Mr. John Froſt was ſonne and eldeſt ſonne to an antient reverend and pious Divine Mr. John Froſt, Miniſter of Fakenham in the Coun­ty of Suffolk,His relation. where he hath reſided above twenty years paſt, and yet exerciſeth his Miniſtry, ſurvi­ving, and ſadly this day lamenting the loſſe of his firſt-born, his might, the beginning of his ſtrength, the excellency of his dignity, nay the comfort of his old age, honour and hope of his gray hairs: So that if de­ſcent from, and relation to the Tribe of Levi, Mini­ſters of the Goſpel be (as bleſſed be God it hath of late been aſſerted, and publiquely appeared to be) an honour worthy a publique aſſociation, let the conſti­tuted Company of Miniſters Sons lament the loſſe of this glorious Pearle, and glittering Diamond which is fallen out of their Crown. He hath three brothers, all ſurviving. Thomas Maſter of Arts, and Miniſter of the word. James now Student in St. Johns Col­ledge in Cambridge: and Richard an Apothecary in Cambridge, (and now preſent to condole the loſſe of ſuch a Brother:) to two of them learning (his orna­ment) is become eſſentiall; and to the other, the chief ingredient that compounds his calling. May it be our hearty prayer this day to God, that the two in­tended Miniſters may revive Mr. John Froſt, and a­riſe in his ſtead, and that a double portion of his Spirit may reſt on them, as did the ſpirit of Elijah on Eli­ſha, for the good of the Church of God! Amen.

This is the perſon, and thus related in Nature, whoſe life whileſt I relate in your ears, I ſhall obſerve him43 and repreſent him to you in a threefold eſtate, Childe­hood, before his going to the Univerſity, Growth in his behaviour and acquirements at the Univerſity, and perfection in the exerciſe of his Miniſtery: in all which you ſhall ſee he was a promiſing Sprout, and primely growing Tree, plentifully bearing fruit in its per­fection.

Firſt, in reference to the firſt. In his Childehood,His Infant di­ſpoſition. even from his Cradle he was ſo well tempered by na­ture, that he was alwayes towardly and hopefull, no way ſubjected to the wildeneſſe or wantonneſſe, much leſſe to the wickedneſſe of other children: he was mild of nature, harmleſſe in behaviour, ſoon ſnub'd for any defect, and ſubmiſſive under any check even from his Fathers Servants: ſo gentle, ſweet, and ami­able was his diſpoſition, that it rendred him dear to his brethren, delightfull to ſervants, neighbours, and all that knew him, and the Darling of his Parents. So that in this reſpect, were it not a ſaying too hyper­bolicall, I might ſay of him, as it was ſaid of Bona­venture, In hoc homine non peccavit Adam. Adams depraved nature was ſcarce viſible in him. Being grown into ſome competency in years, and by his Fa­ther found docible, ingenious, and pliable to every thing that was good and religious, and greatly deſi­rous of learning, he was ſent to School, and placed under the tuition of an eminent School-maſter at Thet­ford in the County of Norfolk, where he continued till the thirteen or fourteenth year of his age, to the great improvement of his naturall parts, in the attain­ment of knowledge in the Latine and Greek Tongues, and indeed the perfection of Grammar and Rheto­rick, to the glory and comfort of his School-maſter,44 and the admiration of his School-fellowes, whom he much out-ſtripped;His School de­meanour. for Nature had endowed him with all helps to learning, an healthfull and good con­ſtitution of body, a quick capacity, a criticall and en­quiring head, an induſtrious ſtudious ſpirit, and a ſtrong memory, and that which was the Spurre of all, an exceeding love to and an inſatiable deſire of learning: and now he was apprehended by his Father, and adjudged by his School-maſter, fit to be tranſplan­ted and placed in the Univerſity, and was by his Fa­ther thither deſigned: but fearing himſelf not yet ripened for thoſe higher Studies of Logick and Phi­loſophy, and finding his youth obnoxious to tempta­tions, he appeared unwilling to go, and deſired to ſpend ſome more of his time in ſome other School, the better to fit himſelf for Academicall Lectures, and according to his deſire, his Father ſent him unto the School at Bury in Suffolk, and placed him under the tuition of one Mr. Stevens, a grave, learned, and induſtrious School-maſter, yet alive, and teaching in the ſame School. His Maſter here, from his firſt en­trance, eſteemed him the glory of his School: his mild behaviour and ſtudious ſpirit won to him much love from his Maſter, and high reſpect from his School-fellowes, among whom he was as a Maſter, rather then Companion. In this School he read Ju­venal, Perſius, and Saluſt, Homers Iliads, and Iſo­crates, by which means he attained ſuch a readineſſe in the Greek and Latine Tongue, that he was well able to encounter Ariſtotle, and all Academicall ſtudy in Logick and Philoſophy, in any art or ſcience: and in this preparation for the Univerſity, is he not an eminent pattern to ſuch as ambitiouſly affect a relation45 to it, not duely maturing themſelves for it; who when admitted, find their rawneſſe to remain, as a great obſtruction of their ſtudy, and many times the ruine and overthrow of their high intentions.

In all this his Childhood not only did his carriage beſpeak him good by nature, being obedient to Pa­rents, loving to brethren,Youthfull pic­ty. courteous to Servants and neighbours, ſubmiſſe to Tutors, ſtudious at his book, and gentle in his whole behaviour: but as one ſancti­fied from the wombe, and unto whom the water in Baptiſme was effectually and indeed the Laver of Re­generation: Religion gave a luſtre to all his naturalls; for he was a diligent Reader of the Scripture, and with Timothy knew them from his youth: a great Student in his Catechiſme, and betimes became ac­quainted with the form of ſound words, a conſtant hearer of the word, and an earneſt lover of them that feared God: a Zealous reprover of vice and profane­neſſe; his Companions Oaths and idle diſcourſe hath driven him from among them: in his youth he much eyed the Miniſtry, and with many a ſigh hath been obſerved to pray that God would fit him for it.

You have ſeen him in his Childhood, and if you have ſeriouſly obſerved it, you have good aſſurance, ſo hopefull a Plant cannot but proſper, and grow ſoon unto good perfection if placed in good Soil, and under temperate air, as indeed he was: for,

About the ſixteenth year of his age,Admiſſion in­to the Univer­ſity. he was admit­ted into St. Johns Colledge in Cambridge, where he did abide for the ſpace of 13 years. As ſoon as he was admitted, by reaſon of the acuteneſſe of his mind, the mildneſſe of his behaviour, and his intentiveneſſe at his ſtudy, he was obſerved as ardently deſirous of46 learning, and all the time of his aboad in Cambridge he was hugged in the boſome, and dandled on the knees of his mother the Univerſity, as a more then ordinary child. And when he was to remove from it, to this place, he was as one drawn from the breaſt, to no leſſe grief to the mother, then trouble to the child.

During his firſt four years in the Colledge, he was eminently ſtudious, and ingeniouſly apprehenſive of whatſoever his Tutor (learned Mr. His advancing carriage.Clark then Fel­low of that houſe) then read unto him; ſo ſubmiſſe to and obſervant of his Tutor, that an antient Fellow of that houſe ſaid of him by way of Emphaſis, he was Mr. Clarks Pupil, not only by ſubjection, but impreſſion: bearing in all things his very image; which engaged his Tutor to account him his delight, and in­deed to ſtudy to advance him. Conſtant he was at the publique prayers in the Chappell, and at all pub­lique Acts and Lectures in the Schools: and when­ever it was his turn to appear in the Schools, he failed not, but did perform his whole part with high ap­plauſe. And in a word, ſuch was his whole behavi­our, that an ancient Fellow then reſident in that houſe ſaid of him, that his four years did make Maſter, Fel­lowes, and all ſuperiors ambitious to advance him, inferiours all very much to reverence and eſteem him; inſomuch that in the whole houſe he had not any man to be his enemy; by reaſon whereof, he was ſcarſely graduated Batchelor of Arts, before a Fellowſhip was conferred upon him,His preferre­ment. and he thereby called unto Rule and Government: for which he was marvellouſly well qua­lified. Being made a Fellow, be betimes became a Tu­tor unto young Students, and read the Lectures of Lo­gick47 and Philoſophy, with ſo much diligence, plain­neſſe and judgement, that he became famous,His diligence and fame as a Tutor. and ſur­paſſed any the Fellowes of his own houſe, nay al­moſt any houſe in Cambridge; whoſoever ſends a Son to St. Johns Colledge, muſt, if poſſible, have Mr. Froſt to be his Tutor, eſpecially Gentlemen of note and quality; and if the number of Pupils be the Tutors praiſe, glorious was his Crown in this reſpect, having forty Pupils at a time, many of them fellow-Com­moners, ſuch a mixture of meekneſſe did qualifie his gravity in his carriage among his Pupils, that he al­lured ſome, and awed others to their ſtudies, and at­tracted all their affections to himſelf. Six of his fel­low Commoner Pupils gave him their Pictures, which at this day hang up in the Hall of his houſe, as Em­blems of his honour in this employment. One thing more I muſt not paſſe in ſilence,Depth and plainneſſe in his Lectures. which addeth not a little to his honour: So accurate, plain and profound were his Lectures read in private to his Pupils, that other Sophiſters under other Tutors in the houſe and other houſes, reading them, did tranſcribe them, and make them the particular maſter of their ſtudy: eſpe­cially in the crabbed ſtudy of Metaphyſicks, in which he was very accurate.

In this Colledge and Univerſity he ſerved all offi­ces, and took his Degrees,His learned progreſſe in his Degrees. Batchelor and Maſter of Arts, and Batchelor in Divinity, all in their order, and in his own perſon, and not by proxy, perform­ing all acts and exerciſes required in reference to them openly in the Schools. The laſt of theſe he took this year, at the publique Commencement, in order un­to which he preached the Commencement Sermon on that Text in Act. 17.23. To the unknown God, the48 inſcription on the Athenian Altar; this he did with that depth of judgement, clegancy of ſtyle, ardency of mind, and eaſineſſe of utterance, that he appro­ved himſelf a Workman not to be aſhamed,His publique Acts at this years publique Commence­ment. wiſely divi­ding the word of truth, and witneſſing to all his pro­ſiting in his paſt ſtudies. In his publique Act, he ex­hibited a very learned and judicious Theſis, in de­fence of that Principle againſt the contrary errors of the Church of Rome. Fides justificat ſub ratione in­ſtrumenti. And diſputed againſt the Arminian fan­cy, in defence of that Principle, Cognitio naturalis non ſufficit ad Salutem. Both which Theologicall queſtions he handled very copiouſly, and aſſerted with much plainneſſe and ſtrength of Argument; and defended them both with much acuteneſſe and learning againſt the acurate and knotty objections of the learned opponents;His ſharpneſs in diſpute. the which he did not evade, but fully reſolve with much judgement, and many times retort with much ingenuity, manifeſting himſelf to be an accurate Diſputant, and able Convincer of Gainſayers to the truth, as well as a profound and well read Divine: He was not conſtrained to anſwer with a Reverende Profeſſor ingenue confiteor me non poſse reſpondere huic argumento, and ſo to crave the clemency of the Profeſſor in the obtainment of his Degree: nor yet was he with Melancthon reduced to a Cras tibi reſpondebo, but managed the whole diſpute to admiration of all Auditors, and abundant ſatis­faction of the whole Univerſity, obtained his Degree with high applauſe and approbation, being diſcharged from his Act by the Reverend Profeſſor Dr. Love, that magnum Academia ingenium, with a Deſcende onuſtis laudibus.


Thus then you have ſeen how this hopefull Plant grew in Academicall Air and Soil, unto a very great maturity, that now the Church of God could not but expect to gather fruit in great abundance by his mi­niſteriall endeavours in the midſt of them. And this leads me to commend to you the third capacity in which he was admirably commendable, viz. his Mi­niſtry.

The Miniſtry was his aim,His entrance into the Mini­ſtry. and the ultimate end of all his ſtudies, it came not to his thoughts à poſteriori, as a recompence of his paſt ſtudy and piece of prefer­ment, into which his ſpent time gave opportunity and advantage to leap: but à priori, as the Goal unto which all his time, ſtudies and endeavours muſt run, and that employment in which all other rejected he would live and ſerve his generation, and to which all his time and diligence muſt mature and ripen him: hence ſprang his ſighing prayers in his Childhood, Oh that God would make me a Miniſter, and fit me for the Mi­niſtry! And this made Divinity the byaſſe of all his learning, and reading, his Miniſtry was the Mi­ſtreſse on which all other Arts and Sciences did at­tend as Hand-maids: and yet herein his deſires were commanded by diſcretion, that he might not make more haſte then good ſpeed, ſo as that he did not raſhly leap from his Ruſtick Study, and School-form into the Church Pulpit, nor as many wild, haſty youths in this licentious age, did he eſteem his Matri­culation into the Univerſity, his ordination unto the Miniſtry, but wiſely ſtudyed the skill of this profound Myſtery, and ſtored himſelf with all learning that might mature him for this employment, and took the honour of his diligence, the Degrees of Batche­lour50 and Maſter of Arts, and wore the Livery there­of ſome time before he durſt be ordinarily ſeen in a Pulpit. And when he would begin to go and trie his Miniſteriall ſtrength, he did not as many, run giddily into Countrey Churches, but leans on his Mothers arm, preacheth in the Univerſity, ſometimes in the Colledge, and ſometimes in the Town, and in both he approved himſelf well accompliſhed for preaching work, and gained much of approbation, and encourage­ment, and finding himſelf fitted in ſome good mea­ſure for his Maſters work, his ſpirit waxed hot, and provoked him hoc agere to Church work: and ſet­ting himſelf moſt ſeriouſly to it, he took himſelf to Bennet Church in Cambridge, where for two years ſpace he preached to the great ſatisfaction and pro­fit of his hearers, with much ſolidity and and affecti­on. And here he became famous as a Preacher, and a Teacher of Chriſtianity, as well as a Tutor in Phi­loſophy. His fame herein extended unto London, and in ſpeciall to Crowched Friers, who were deſirous to enjoy him, but being among themſelves divided, had Mr. Fenton, an hopefull pious man, put upon them, who lived but a very ſhort ſeaſon, before he was re­moved by the ſame diſtemper that took off Mr. Froſt. On his death, their affections revived towards Mr. Froſt, they choſe him to be their Miniſter, he accepted the choiſe, and place, came among them with generall acceptance of the people, and ſet his hand ſeriouſly and indeed to the Plow, intending never to look back. And as a Starre now fixed, he ſent out his beams of light with freedom, and began to be eyed by all Mi­niſters, and people in this City. But ah alaſſe, he ſhi­nea too bright to continue long: but here he did approve51 himſelf a man eminently accompliſhed for the work of the Miniſtry,

  • By the graces of his mind.
  • Gift of utterance or expreſſion.
  • Glory of life and converſation.
    Miniſteriall qualifications.

Firſt,1 Qual. he was admirably accompliſhed for the Mi­niſtry, by the graces of his mind, which were all mi­niſteriall, and he enjoyed them in an ample meaſure. Seven eſpeciall miniſteriall graces, were the Pearls that put a luſtre on his miniſterial Crown. He was

1. Sound in the faith,1 Miniſt. Grace. and well ſtudyed in Polemi­call Divinity, able to aſſert the truth, and contradict nay convince the Gainſayer, holding faſt the form of ſound words, to the eſtabliſhment of the peoples faith, and in ſpeciall againſt Popiſh and Arminian fancies, a teſtimony of which his Theologicall Diſputes gave to the Univerſity, and a taſte thereof he gave the Church of God, in his Sermon about three weeks ſince preached at St. Gregories by Pauls, where he aſ­ſerted very judiciouſly Gods free Grace againſt mans free will, in the work of our ſanctification, to the diſturbance of many of the Diſciples of this grace-darkening Doctrine: Some of them (as he himſelf told me) came to his houſe to catechiſe or rather to correct his Doctrine there delivered, but on diſcourſe with him, acknowledged their mouths to be ſtopped, they knew not what at preſent to anſwer. Oh how ſad is the loſſe of an Orthodox Miniſter in an hetero­dox age of the Church of God!

2. Singular in practicall Divinity preſſing duties with powerfull and perſwaſive reaſons, rebuking ſinne with much skill in the detection of it, and ſeverity in dehortation from it, diſcreetly directing to all Chri­ſtian52 corverſation, as became Goſpell profeſſion, prudently diſmiſſing all ſcruples of Conſcience that might darken or obſtruct our paſſage. He was well acquainted and apted for the reſolution of caſes of Conſcience, unto the cheering and quicken­ing of the ſpirits of Gods people in their holy courſe. A teſtimony hereof he gave his people in his con­ſtant preaching,Octob. 12. and a taſt to the City in generall, in his Sermon preached at Pauls, before the then Lord major and Court of Aldermen; in which with ſingular dexterity, he ſhewed the ſeverall reaſons of peoples not profiting by the Goſpell preached: the which he amplified and further proſecuted at the morning exerciſe in my Church, Octob. 15. to the abundant conviction, counſell and comfort of many of the peo­ple of God.

3. Stout in fundamentalls of Doctrine or practiſe, but ſober and ſubmiſſe in circumſtantials. Foundations of faith, and the unity of the Church, were very dear to his ſoul, and high in his eſteem. The skepticall ſha­kings of the one, and ſchiſmaticall diſtractions of the other, ſate as ſad burthens on his ſpirit. With ſtrength and much reſolution would he contend for eſſentialls of ſalvation: and things that muſt be beleeved, he would often preſſe his people to hold without contro­verſie, noting it to be the ſhame of Chriſtianity, to lay the Creed open to common diſputes. And very ſtudious he was to cement differences among bre­thren: ſlow he was in cenſures, but free in rebukes of, and complaints over brethrens diſtance. Earneſt­ly he deſired, and ſtudiouſly endeavoured an union between Epiſcopall and Presbyteriall Divines, in things relating to the diſcipline of the Church; ma­ny53 times he hath in my hearing lamented the want of Diſcipline, and obſerved the animoſity of both, as no mean hinderance to its reſtitution.

4. Solicitous to do every duty, not doing the work of the Lord negligently or to halfs, as too many do. He could not content himſelf with edifying preaching, but was alſo carefull to adminiſter the Sacraments for the ſouls ſtrength and ſupport, and was ſtudi­ous to diſcharge Catechizing work, to which he had prepared his people by ſome Sermons on Pſal. 110.139. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth underſtanding to the ſimple: nay not only did he preach, catechize, and adminiſter Sacraments, and do publique work, but alſo made much conſci­ence of private viſitation of, and conference with his people, eſpecially when ſick, he ſtayed not to be ſent for by any other meſſenger then the Bill by which the prayers of the Church were deſired.

5. He was zealous and fervent: he ever ſteered his checks and and counſels by ſobriety, but ſuffered not his ſpirit to fall into tepidity and lukewarmneſſe. His reproofs were ever awakening, and to that end many times in particulars his exhortations ardent, and af­fectionate, as if Chriſt had intreated by him; though his Doctrines were delivered with his〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, milder expreſſions, yet his application was enforced with his〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, more eager and earneſt affections, many times boyling over into holy paſſions, as one ſick of love, and travelling in birth till Chriſt were formed in the ſoul.

6. Circumſpect and wiſe: he prudently pondered all circumſtances that might make admonition accepta­ble, having reſpect to nature, temper, diſpoſition,54 not dealing with mild David, as with profane and ob­durate Saul: his reproofs were ever pinching to the Conſcience, but not provoking the ſpirit; plain and poſitive againſt the ſinne, but not perſonall to diſcre­dit the ſinners. In a word, his whole preaching did run ſo even on the wheels of Circumſtances, that they were as the words of the wiſe, Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver.

7. Senſibly affected with the worth of Souls. This was the ſpring of his motion, and ſpurre to all mini­ſteriall action, many times he would aggravate mini­ſteriall charge to his own ſpirit, and to his brethren, with an It is cura animarum. He much rejoyced in the peoples acceptance of and attendance on his Mini­ſtry, ſaying, I hope it will do their ſouls good. In any thing that he was to perform, he would ponder its neceſſity, and prudently caſt with himſelf, how to make it conſiſt with his peoples affections, ſaying often, If their hearts be once ſet againſt me, my Mini­ſtry will do their ſouls no good. And indeed his zeal and ſedulity in the whole courſe of his Miniſtry, did witneſſe, that knowing the terror of the Lord, he did perſwade men: and ſoul-ſalvation was the greateſt thing he deſigned.

You ſee then, by theſe ſeven qualifications, that his ſpirit was well ſtored with graces fuitable to his office. And now, to the end they might be ſervice­able. God had bleſſed him with the gift of utterance, which is the next thing conſiderable in his accompliſh­ment to the Miniſtry:2 Miniſt. qual. this is the Churches great ad­vantage, and therefore preſcribed as the matter of the peoples prayer, Eph. 6.19. Col. 4.3. And this is that by which all the parts and high endowments of a55 Miniſter are drawn out to the refreſhing of the Church of God: and herein he was well qualified: for whatever he preached, was

1. Engraven on his mind by meditation, and im­printed on his memory by method: he ever noted a ſtraitned Tongue to be the proper effect of a looſe and idle mind; and rude indigeſted expreſſions to ſpring from raw notions, and non-convincing apprehenſi­ons. He ſpake much in commendation of Demoſthe­nes care for the Athenians, to conſider before he ſpake: ever noting unſtudyed Sermons to be dull and obſcure in the delivery, dead and unprofitable in the ſequell and iſſue.

2. Expreſſed with eaſe, power, and plainneſſe; eaſe to himſelf, Pulpit diſcourſe was no toil or burden to him, he had hot affections, uttered high expreſſions without much ſweating or inflaming labour: his preaching paſſed from him ſo freely, that the hearer might find he took pleaſure in it: he was plain in the expreſſion of moſt profound points in Divinity, even to the weakeſt capacity of his hearers. It was a hap­pineſſe not ordinarily incident to Academicks, that he that had been ſo long converſant in School terms, ſhould ſpeak terms common to the meaneſt under­ſtanding; but he ever concluded it was the beſt Ora­tory which was the eaſieſt to be underſtood. Pow­er did ever accompany his plain expreſſions; though his words were the words of a man, yet the majeſty of the matter was manifeſted in them, pierce­ing the ſoul, pricking the Conſcience, ſtirring the af­fections, and provoking the hearers to crie out, Of a truth God is in him.

3. Enforced with preſſing words and patheticall af­fections:56 evidencing his end in preaching, to be as well to perſwade the heart, as engage the ear; and therefore he ſpake not coldly, or as one aſleep, or in­different of prevailing, but with feeling and fervor, as one whoſe entreaties aſſault with violence, and would neither be refuſed nor evaded. You ſee the graces of his mind, and his gift of utterance, give no ſmall luſtre to his Miniſteriall Crown; but it ſparkles moſt in the glory of his converſation, which was every way anſwerable to his other endowments, and won much with his people, and thoſe with whom he did converſe: for his carriage was

1. Courteous and affable unto all men, with due re­ſpect to ſuperiors, equalls, or inferiors, which ren­dred him acceptably ſociable unto all, emboldening many to come to him, which ſtood at a diſtance from others, which were more ſtrange and retired. He was in all Companies freely communicative, mildly hearing, and freely anſwering all enquiries: ſome of his Pariſh ſadly lament his loſſe on this very account. He would have come to us, been ſo familiar with us, we could have moved any queſtion to him, he would have freely reſolved us.

2. Grave and meek; he had a gravity which kept his perſon from contempt, his levity never led any to deſpiſe his youth; but the gravity of his carriage con­victed men, that he was conſiderate of the place in which he was, and work which lay on his ſhoulders, in common conference he was ready to rebuke with all authority; yet his gravity was naturall, not affect­ed, tempered with ſuch a meek and amiable diſpo­ſition and countenance as made him acceptable to all, that it might have been ſaid of him, as of Anthony57 the Monk, he might have been known among hun­dreds of his Order, by his cheerfull countenance, though an humble ſerious and mortified man.

4. Holy and exemplary. What he preached to others he firſt preached to himſelf, and after to them, by practiſe as well as in the Pulpit. I have heard him ſay, he would not deny but God might uſe a profane Minister to be the Inſtrument of Converſion, but he