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A GUIDE TO SALVATION, Bequeathed to a Perſon of HONOUR, By his Dying-Friend The R. F. Br. Laurence Eaſon, Ord. S. Franc. S. Th. L.

Seek, firſt the Kingdom of God, and his Righteouſneſs, and all other things elſe ſhall be added unto you,Mat. 6. ver. 33.

BRƲGES, By Luke Kerchove, 1673.

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE HENRY Earl of Norwich, and Earl Marſhal of England; Baron HOWARD of Caſtleriſing, &c.

My Lord,

I purpoſe not, in this my Preliminary E­piſtle, to publiſh un­to the World, the large Catalogue of your Charitable Works, and your other Chriſtian Virtues, Et laudent eam in porta opera e­jus: Theſe without Flattery commend better than I am able. My deſign is, to expreſs here, ſome ſmall Teſtimony of my ma­ny great Obligations for thoſe large favours I have, and ſtill do receive from your Bountiful and Generous Heart: This I preſume, I can no way better perform, than by endeavouring to promote the eternal Well-fare of your Soul, that grand Duty you ought moſt to mind in this World, as being the only end of your Beeing therein.

For I am not of Cicero's opini­nion, That we are born, partly for our Country, partly for our Pa­rents, partly for our Friends; but rather, That we are All born for our ſelves; not but that we have many high Obligations beſides, which in Conſcience we are to diſ­charge; but that the End of all is, The good of our own Souls, in or­der to eternal Salvation, which I conceive to be the meaning of that of the Apoſtle, Whither you Eat, or Drink, or whatſoever elſe ye do, let All be done to the Glory of God.

Wherefore, if you deſire Riches, what greater can you have, than the Treaſures of Heaven? of which, none can deprive you, without your own conſent. If you Aſpire to Honours, what higher can there be, than to be a Servant, a Friend, a Child of a moſt Glorious God? Nimis ho­norati ſunt amicitui Deus: And if you affect Pleaſures, there are none ſo True, ſo Permanent, ſo Satisfying, as the joys of an up­right Conſcience; to drink of the indeficient Torrents of Pleaſure, and to be inebriated with the ful­neſs of Gods Houſe.

The greateſt Plenty this World can afford to and earthly Heart, is extream Poverty, accor­ding to St. Auguſtine, if it be without God; and what-ever Pleaſures or Honours may be en­joyed in this Life, will ſtill end in Miſery and Confuſion, if they advance not the good of the Soul, in order to its endleſs bleſs­ed Life with God in Heaven; Ʋbi ſalutis damnum, ibi luerum nulium, ſaith Eucherius; there is no gain to be valued, if there­with our Salvation be endam­maged; for, if this miſcarries, all is loſt, for an Eternity.

My Lord, Heavens Providence hath placed you in a very emi­nent Condition amongſt Men, as well by your Noble Extracti­on, as by the propitious influen­ces of a Gracious Princes Fa­vours; That your High Rank of Nobility ſhould powerfully bend your vaſt Soul to the per­formance of ſuch Heroick Acti­ons of Virtue, as may befit a per­ſon of your Illſtrous Riſe and Endowmen

God hath•••ed you by his grace, to be a••mber of the Ho­ly Catholick Church; this emi­nent Prerogative amongſt True Believers, ſhould oblidge you to glorifie God in that ſaving Profeſſion; that (as our Bleſſed Saviour adviſeth) your Light may ſo ſhine before Men, that they ſeeing your good Works, may be moved thereby to give glory to your Heavenly Father, in the ſame Profeſſion with you.

God hath moreover bleſſed you with a hopeful Iſſue; advance them by a Vertuous Education, and your own fore-running good Examples; for, the holy lives of Chriſtian Parents are over the moſt powerful Attractives, where­by Children are induced to compoſe theirs to the Love of God, and the Rules of Morality. Thus doing, you will pur­chaſe to your ſelf and Poſterity, the bleſſings of this Li••〈◊〉the next, that which is aymed a〈◊〉ſmall Treatiſe, and ſhall ever be th••rneſt Petition of your dying Friend〈…〉

Right Honorable,
Your Honours moſt devoted Servant, Laurence Eaſon.



The Importance of Mans Salvati­on, manifeſted by divers Mo­tives and Conſiderations.

IT is an obſervation of St. Bonaventure, that there are two things which God doth allow, which are the Creation and Conſerva­tion of the world; there is one, which is the work of Man alone, and that is Sin; to the production of which, God doth not formally concur, as the2 Pſalmiſt affirms of him [Pſal. 44] in theſe words, He loves Juſtice, and deteſteth Ini­quity, and therefore is far from being the Author and cauſe of it; There is yet a third thing which God and Man work to­gether, which is our Salvation; for the obtaining of which, to his Grace we muſt joyn our endeavour, according to that common ſaying of St. Auguſtine, Qui fecit te ſine te, non ſalvabit te, ſine te. He who made thee without thee, will not ſave thee without thee; this is the work of Grace and our Will together, as the Apoſtle affirms of himſelf; Non ego ſed gratia Deimecum; not I alone, but the grace of God with me; and therefore we are ſtiled by him Coadjutors and fellow-Labourers with God in this work.

Hence is that of St. Auguſtine, [St. Aug. lib. Hypog. c. 3.] Nec gratia ſine libero arbitrio facit hominem habere vitam beatam, nec liberum arbitrium ſi­ne gratia. Grace without our free will cannot make us bleſſed, nor our free will without grace, though it be true3 what the Prophet ſaid of the Son of God; operatus eſt ſalutem in medio terrae; he wrought Salvation in the mid'ſt of the Earth. Yet it is as true, that he re­quires, that we ſhould deny our ſelves, and aſſiſt him in carrying his Croſs, the inſtrument of our Redemption; and ſo fulfil, as the Apoſtle ſpeaks of himſelf, In our fleſh, thoſe things which are want­ing of the Paſſion of Chriſt; that is, we ſhould apply his merits and benefit of his Paſſion, and render them efficatious to us by our cooperation: Wherefore it highly concerns us ſeriouſly to conſi­der this grand affair of our Salvation, that we become not deficient in our en­deavours concerning it.



Containing divers Conſiderations and Motives concerning the Importance of this Affair.

The firſt Conſideration and Motive.

THe important Conſequence of this, firſt appears, in that it ſeems to be the greateſt of Gods works, and the end of all the reſt. This our bleſſed Saviour inſinuated in his Anſwer to the people, when they thus demanded of him in St. John, [John 8. 9. ] what ſhall we do, ut operemur opera Dei? to perform the works of God? he replyes, Hoc eſt opus Dei, this is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he ſent. 5As if he ſhould have ſaid unto them, you demand what are the works of God? in the Plural number. I anſwer you in the Singular number, that there is but One, for which he doth all the reſt, and that is the Salvation of man.

Hence Tertullian conſidering all things in this world, ſaid, Horum bono­rum unus eſt titulus, ſalus hominis: they all carry this Title upon them, The Sal­vation of man. When God had Cre­ated this ſenſible world with the Hea­vens, Elements, and all Creatures in it, he put this Title upon them, Salus ho­minis; this was the end of their being, to which they were ordered; when he Created the Angels, he placed this as a Frontiſepiece upon them, Salus homi­nis, The Salvation of man; this is the affair in which they are imployed, as the Apoſtle [Heb. 1.] informes us, Om­nes adminiſtratores Spiritus; All of them are adminiſtrating Spirits, ſent for thoſe who are to receive the inheritance of Sal­vation. They labour inceſſantly in this affair, knowing it is the greateſt work6 of God, in which they can be imploy­ed.

If God became Man, if he Preached, gave us examples of all Vertues, inſti­tuted the Sacraments, theſe and the like Marvels, have this Inſcription upon them, Salus hominis, having no other end but this.

If he dyed on the Croſs, it was for this deſign, he ſuffered Death to give us Life. It was from this conſideration that Tertullian ſaid, Nihil tam dignum Deo, quam ſalus hominis; nothing ſo worthy, or beſeeming God, as the Salva­tion of man: and St. Thomas gives this Reaſon of it; becauſe the whole Uni­verſe, with all the Orders, Diſpoſitions, and Marvels in it, do not ſo clearly and fully manifeſt his grandeurs as the Salva­tion of man; for here he makes appear his Attributes and Perfections, which are his Power, Wiſdome, Love, in a moſt eminent manner; which cauſed the holy Doctor to affirm, In rebus creatis nihil poteſt eſſe majus quam ſalus rationalis creaturae; In all Created things, there7 is not any greater than mans Salvation. God could have Created Heavens more extended, and more richly adorned, than thoſe which now rowl over our heads; an Earth more fruitful, than that which now ſupports us: Angels more intelligent, than thoſe which now ſing his Praiſes in Heaven; but he could not do any thing more Great, Noble, and Divine, than the Salvation of man: this is it, which after a ſoveraign manner, manifeſts his Attributes and Perfections. This conſideration ſhould cauſe us high­ly to eſteem, & inceſſantly to endeavour our Salvation which concerns ſo much the glory of God, which we are obliged to advance to our power. And ſeeing that God, on his part, ſo really and ſeri­ouſly deſires our Salvation, and ſo high­ly eſteems it, that he Created and Or­dered all things in this univerſe for it; ſurely, by our neglecting it, we fruſtrate as much as in us lyes, all his deſignes, and diſſolve and reduce to nothing the Creation of the world, with all things in it; for all things have their being, and8 conſervation, for no other end but this; what a ſtupendious ingratitude and con­tempt of God and his benefits are invol­ved in this neglect, who is ſo blind as not to diſcern it; and therefore moſt incon­ſiderate and inſenſible to be guilty of ſuch a crime.

The ſecond Conſideration and Motive.

The ſecond is taken from our own proper Intereſts, which is no leſs than our Salvation; the loſs of which, ren­ders us miſerable for all Eternity.

We will begin this conſideration with thoſe remarkable words, with which the Wiſe man concluded his Eccleſiaſtes, Deum time; fear God and obſerve his Commandements: hoc eſt omnis homo; for this is every man; or as St. Jerome tranſlates it, This is the end of every mans Birth and Being; from which St. Ber­nard draws this Conſequence, Ergo abſque hoc nihil eſt homo; then without this, man is nothing: Popes are not in the world to be Popes, nor Kings to be9 Kings, nor Wiſe men to be Learned, and the like; but all univerſally to be ſaved. All the conditions and employ­ments which poſſeſs the Spirits of men, ought to give place to this, and aime at it, as their proper object and end, without which they are in vain. This our Bleſſed Saviour affirms in thoſe words of St. Matthew, [cap. 16.] quid prodeſt ho­mini; what will it advantage a man, to gain the whole world, and to ſuffer detri­ment in his Soul? what will it profit a man to have all the pleaſures of the vo­luptuous? all the riches the world can afford him? all the honours that men can confer upon him? if he were abſo­lute Monarck of the whole world, if at laſt he loſeth his Soul. If he had all the knowledg of things natural and Divine; all the beauty that the body is capable of, ſuch health for ſo long a time as he could deſire, all the advantages of the world which men ſo ardently thirſt after; all theſe, in the judgment of Chriſt, the Divine Wiſdome of his Father, will be unprofitable if he comes not only to10 loſe, but to ſuffer detriment in his Soul: For this reaſon, the Royal Prophet ſtiles his Soul, his Darling, or his One; Erue a framea Deus animam meam, & de manu canis unicam meam: Deliver my Soul from the power of the Sword, and my One from the hand of the Dog: He calls his Soul his One, not only becauſe as o­ther men, he had but one Soul, but be­cauſe it was moſt dear unto him, he lo­ved it, and procured the conſervation of it with all the care and diligence; which one imploys to preſerve things; the rarity and worth of which, renders them preti­ous and amiable. This cauſed St. Chry­ſoſtome [Hom. 12. de po. ] to ſay, God hath given us two Eyes, two Ears, two Hands, two Feet, that if any Misfortune deprive us of the uſe of one, we may help our ſelves by the uſe of the other. Animam vero unam dedit nobis; but he hath given us but one Soul; if we loſe this, we loſe all irrevocably.

The Prophet David [Pſal. 116.] well conſidered this, when he ſaid Ani­ma mea in manibus meis ſemper; my11 Soul is always in my hands, to hold it faſt, that I might not loſe it, but exerciſe it in good works, defend it from all Enemies who would ruine it, and always conſider the condition of it, according to that of St. Bernard, Non facile obliviſcimur; We do not eaſily forget thoſe things which we hold in our hands: the care of our Souls ſhould always thus be preſent to us. That Holy Father thus continues his diſcourſe about this ſubject; If thou art ſo ſollicitous as not to neglect ſmall things, ſo vigilant to preſerve thy Corn, thy Cattel, thy Money, thy Earthly poſſeſſi­ons, ſuch inferiour and tranſitory things; art thou not then fooliſh and unreaſonable to neglect the Salvation of thy Soul, which is thy true treaſure? This as St. Gregory ſpeaks, is to pervert Reaſon into extream Folly.

The excellence of true reaſon and judgment conſiſts, in diſcerning the price of things, and eſteeming them ac­cording to their worth, and conſequent­ly to make more acccount incomparably of the Soul than of the Body; of things12 Eternal than Temporal; of the affair of his Salvation, than of all other things; and he who doth not do this, is as one without ſence and judgment, ſeeing he judgeth ſo ill of things, which with ſuch an exceſs are diſproportionable in va­lue. Plato ſaid true, that the effect of true Wiſdom, is, to be Wiſe for one's own good. Solomon affirmed [Pro. 9. 12. ] as much before him, Si ſapiens fueris, tibimetipſi eris; true Wiſdom conſiſts in being Wiſe to ones ſelf. The Devil hath more knowledg than all the Learn­ed men on Earth, but not one grain of true Wiſdom, being miſerable for E­ternity, and ſo infinitely diſtant from eſſential Wiſdom, which is God himſelf. For this reaſon, Sinners unmindful of their Salvation, of what ſpirit and know­ledg ſoever they be, are ſtiled in ſacred Scripture, Fools and Inſenſible Creatures; ſo great is the concern for the Salvation of our Souls, that it is ſtiled by the A­poſtle, and commended by him to the Theſſalonians [1 Theſ. 4.] as properly and particularly our affair; ut veſtrum13 negotium agatis, that you may do your work: as though we had but only this to attend to; for other things, about which we employ our labour and care, deſerve not this name; they are affairs in which the ſucceſs oftentimes doth not correſ­pond with our deſigns; affairs which paſs away with little profit, and often contrary to the grand affair of our Sal­vation.

This great affair of our Salvation would make us admire that manner of ſpeech ſo frequent amongſt us, when ſeeing any one buſied amongſt the intri­gues of Courts, in the commerce of Mer­chandize, in the negotiation of treaties and alliances, and the like; we uſe or­dinarily to ſay, that he is a man of great buſineſſe and affairs; it is an improper ſpeech to give this name to imploy­ments, which are but petite amuſements, in which one for the moſt part loſes his time, and often Heaven. We do not give the name of affairs to the employ­ments of Children; as when they build their little houſes of dirt, when they14 ride upon a ſtick, and contend with ſuch earneſtneſs to carry away the glory, and to be Kings in their ſports; theſe pueri­lities and paſtimes deſerve not the name of affairs, being in themſelves ſo little, and ſo momentary: In like manner the enterpriſes of men, to build houſes, to purchaſe honours, to amaſs riches and the like; being not much more greater and durable than thoſe of Children, de­ſerve not the name of affairs: All men in the world have but one affair, about which they ought continually to imploy themſelves, which is their Salvation; and if they mind this, then one may ſay, they are wiſe and able men, and buſied about a grand affair.

This Tertullian well conſidered, when he ſaid, In me unicum negotium: I have but one buſineſs in the world to at­tend unto, which is the Salvation of my Soul: I abandon what the world calls af­fairs, I decline the intrigues of the Court, the School of Philoſophy, the company of Friends, to be vacant to this one affair, which I treat of with my ſelf, and con­cerning15 which I am intereſſed. Our Bleſſed Saviour confirms all this, in call­ing the young man in the Goſpel to follow him; for when he required leave, firſt to go bury his Father, our Bleſſed Savi­our replyed, Dimitte mortuous ſepelire mortuos; let the dead bury the dead: as if he ſhould have ſaid, as St. Peter Chry­ſogolus obſerves, to bury the body of your Father, is not the moſt important affair you have to do; it is to follow me, and to look after your Salvation, which ought to be the firſt in execution, as it is in worth and merit; Terrenus pater poſt ponendus eſt patri coeleſti, as that Holy Father concludes, The care of a Tempo­ral Father is to come after that of our Heavenly.

The third Conſideration and Motive.

We may diſcern the importance of our Salvation, by the many crafts and endeavours the Devil uſeth to hinder it, which are ſo many and ſo great, that he hath his name given him from them, be­ing16 called the Tempter; and as Tertullian ſpeaks, Everſio hominis, operatio ejus; his only work is the ruine of man. The Prophet Hab. ſaith, that cibus ejus e­lectus; his food is very choice, he deſires to devour the Elect: he loves theſe deli­cate morſels; he labours not, but to re­ſiſt the Salvation of men, and to procure their Damnation; this is his joy and triumph: And in the eſtate of miſery, in which he is plunged, if he be capable of any ſatisfaction, it is the Damnation of man; for which reaſon, he is ſtiled by our Bleſſed Saviour in the Goſpel, Inimi­cus hominis, the Enemy of man; for be­ing not able to revenge himſelf on God, he turns his fury againſt his Servants; and thinks he commits a great outrage againſt him, if he can reverſe the deſign he hath for the Salvation of man, and de­face Gods Image in our Soul. He is the Enemy of man, becauſe he knows man is to poſſeſs the place he left vacant by his revolt. He is the Enemy of man, becauſe by this, he thinks to find ſome ſolace in his miſery, having Compani­ons17 with him in his ſufferings, and ſub­jects upon which to exerciſe his fury; he uſeth all artifices, employs all his po­wer; he is Prodigal in promiſes to com­paſs this, and to be an Uſurper of Souls. He ſpeaks as the King of Sodom did to Abraham, Da mihi animas, caetera tolle tibi; Give me the Souls, and take all the reſt.

The pleaſures of the Fleſh are not for me; I miſpriſe Riches, I leave Honours to the Ambitious; but for Souls, I con­tinually thirſt, and can never be ſatisfied. He was ſo bold, as to attempt againſt our Bleſſed Saviour himſelf, and to perſwade him to adore him; he promiſed to give him Honours, Riches, Pleaſures, all the Kingdoms of the Earth to do it; haec om­nia tibi dabo; All theſe will I give thee if thou wilt fall down and worſhip me. See here the eſteem he makes of one Soul, from which Salvianus takes an oc­caſion to condemn the ſtupidity of men, who truly conſider not the price of their Souls; Quis furor? viles habere ani­mas, quas diabolus putat eſſe pretioſas? 18What madneſs, to have a vile eſteem of our Souls, which in the opinion of the Devil are judged ſo pretious? To ſell that for a little money, for a momentary pleaſure, for a blaſt of Honour, which the proper Enemy of it, valued above the whole world, ſeeing he preſented that to pur­chaſe it. This extream folly moved the ſaid Salvianus, thus to exclaim, No­vum genus emptionis & venditionis! A ſtrange kind of buying and ſelling! the Devil gives nothing, and takes all! man receives nothing, and parts with all! When a Merchant contracts for any Ware, he receives the price agreed up­on for it, and the buyer receives the Mer­chandize: But here is the contrary. See the fooliſh traffick of Sinners, the Devil ſells them the pleaſures of the ſences, he promiſeth them Honours, which are but ſmoak; Riches, which a Theif, a Violence, an Injuſtice may de­prive them of; and in ſelling theſe, he gives them nothing, becauſe theſe are not at his diſpoſal, he being not Lord of them; and for theſe, he receives from19 us all the pretious things which concerns our Salvation. What a deplorable blind­neſs is this of Sinners, to eſteem ſo lit­tle of their Souls? I earneſtly deſire, that every one of them would follow that Counſel of the Wiſe man, [Eccleſ. 10. 31.] Serva animam tuam & da illi honorem ſecundum meritum ſuum: Save thy Soul, and give it that honour which is due unto it, according to its worth and dignity. And he adds, Quis honorifica­bit? Who ſhall honour him, who diſhonours his Soul? and who can defend or excuſe him againſt the juſtice of God, who offends againſt his own Soul?

The laſt Conſideration and Motive.

We may clearly diſcern the worth of our Soul, and the eſteem and care we ought to have of the Salvation of it, by what Chriſt did do, and ſuffer, for this end.

The Salvation of our Soul avails as much as it coſt; but it coſt the Blood, the Merits, the Life of Chriſt, which are in­finite;20 from which we muſt neceſſarily conclude, that it is of an infinite value. I advance in this further; for ordinarily we value a thing, more than the price we paid to make it ours, if we be not de­ceived in it; but the Son of God, who hath an infinite Wiſdome, and ſo cannot be deceived in the eſteem and valuing of things, gave his Life and Merits to purchaſe the Salvation of our Souls; may we not then ſay, that in ſome man­ner, he eſteemed them more than the price he gave for them.

I can declare unto you a clearer mani­feſtation of this; Having redeemed our Souls with his pretious Blood and Mer­rits, he eſteemed this infinite price ſo little, as he eſteemed them given him gratis by his Heavenly Father, Quos dediſti mihi, [John 10] whom thou haſt given me. Again, to know what e­ſteem the Son of God had of our Souls, after having purchaſed them with ſo great a price, he calls the Angelso Feaſt and Congratulate, not only man, but himſelf, as St. Thomas obſerves,21 [Opuſc. c. 63.] and to ſpeak with him, as if man were the God of God, and that the felicity of the Soveraign Majeſty de­pended on the Salvation of man; as if he could not be happy, if man were mi­ſerable.

Having ſhewed the price of thy Sal­vation, the great eſteem the Son of God had of it, that as St. Chryſoſtom ſpeaks, Nihil indignum ſe putat, quod nobis pro­ficiat ad ſalutem; He thought not any thing unworthy of him, which might con­duce to our Salvation. If thou comeſt now to neglect this, by this Crime thou committeſt two grand outrages, One a­gainſt the Son of God, the Other againſt thy ſelf: for the firſt St. Auguſtine obſerves, [St. Aug. Sermo. 37. de temp. ] qui dat pro modica delectatione: He who gives to the Devil for a ſhort pleaſure or tranſitory ſatisfaction, that, for which Chriſt gave no leſs than himſelf. Stultum reputat Chriſtum mercatorem; By that very acti­on, condemns Chriſt as a fooliſh and ig­norant Merchant. Who hath not light to diſcover, nor wiſdome to eſteem the22 true value of Souls, ſeeing he did give an infinite price for the Salvation of them, which thou eſteemeſt as a thing of nothing. What an affront is this offered to Chriſt? it is no leſs, as the Apoſtle affirms, than to trample his ſa­cred Blood under our feet; of which he complained by the Pſalmiſt, Sicut aqua effuſus ſum; I am poured out as water: as a thing of no eſteem, trampled under the feet of all.

Ah Sinner! this outrage againſt the Son of God will fall heavy upon thy ſelf, when thou comeſt to loſe thy ſoul, and to ſell it to the Devil for a tranſitory pleaſure: Haſt thou any thing ſo preti­ous wherewith to purchaſe it again, as the price that was given for it, and is ſo contemned by thee? St. Chryſologus aſſures thee, no. Quando eam tanti emptam perdideris, quomodo poteris eam deinceps emere? When thou loſeſt that which was bought with ſo great a price, how can'ſt thou purchaſe it again? O Chriſtians! after we have ſeen the eſteem that God makes of our Salvation, the23 price he hath given for it, the labours and ſufferings that his only Beloved Son did undergo to procure it for us; the crafts and endeavours the Devil uſeth to deprive us of it, what remains but to conclude? that this is the only thing in which you ſhould be employed; the grand affair which deſerves the applicati­on of your Spirits; the affections of your wills, the force of your bodies: when you have effected this, you have done all; if you miſcarry in this, all is loſt though you ſhould gain the whole world by it.



Containing the Manner, how we muſt behave our ſelves in pro­curing our Salvation.

HE who deſires any thing efficaci­ouſly, labours to obtain it ſeriouſly, diligently, and with perſeverance; which are the three Conditions to be ob­ſerved in this work of our Salvation.

The firſt Manner or Condition.

We muſt labour in it ſeriouſly, accor­ding to the example of our Bleſſed Savi­our, who out of zeal to convert the Sa­maritan Woman, travelled half a day in the heats of the Sun, with great wea­rineſs25 and thirſt to be at the place whi­ther ſhe was to come, to meet with an opportune occaſion for her Converſion: To make, of another Sinner, a Peni­tent, he went to a banquet, and expected there her coming; and he travelled up and down, and frequented the company of ſinners to effect this great buſineſs, which was the end of his coming into the world. St. Paul had the perfect knowledg and practice of this truth, and therefore travelled ſeriouſly with the whole application of his Spirit, for the Salvation of his Brethren. Hear how he ſpeaks unto them, [2 Corinth. 12.] Ego autem libentiſſime impendam, & ſu­perimpendar, pro animabus veſtris; I will gladly ſpend, and be ſpent for your Souls ſake: There is not any thing which I will not do, to advance your Salvati­on, which is ſo dear and pretious to me, that I am ready to give my ſelf to pro­cure it. Upon which, is that of St. Am­broſe; Non ſolum ſua, pro eis impendere paratum ſe dicit, ſed etiam ſeipſum pro ſa­lute animarum: He is not only content to26 give thoſe things which are his, but alſo to expoſe and give himſelf for the ſalvation of their Souls. This Zeal of his, he more fully expreſſed in that to the Ro­mans, [Cap. 9.] Optabam, ego ipſe, Anathemaeſſe a Chriſto, pro fratribus meis. I did deſire to be ſeparated from Chriſt, for the Salvation of my Brethren. His own intereſts drew him to be with Chriſt as his Cupio diſſolvi, I deſire to be diſſolved, ſufficiently teſtifies; but for the Salvation of his Brethren, he was content for a time, to be ſeparated from the glory of Chriſt, and to remain here on Earth, to labour in this work.

By this we may eaſily apprehend how we ought to employ the things of this world, and expoſe our life too, if it be neceſſary for our Salvation, our great af­fair in this world. But this which con­cerns us ſo much is ſo ſlightly paſſed o­ver, that we may juſtly complain with thoſe Prophets, [Jerem. Daniel. Oſee.] Deſolatione deſolata eſt omnis terra, quia non eſt qui recogitet corde; The whole Earth is become deſolate, becauſe there is not any27 one who ſeriouſly conſiders in his heart. We may find many who think of their Salvation, but it is only ſuperficially, not with the heart, and ſo their thoughts are cold and barren; cold, becauſe they produce not an ardent deſire to execute what they think; they are barren, be­cauſe they produce not holy motions and actions. The Devil and Reprobate have the like; the thought of their Beauti­tude loſt, is continually preſent to them, they know the excellency of it, by ſuf­fering the privation thereof; but this is not with the heart, with a conſideration which is affective, ardent, effective: When we Will a thing efficatiouſly, it doth not only buſie our thoughts, but employs our hands, and induſtry, to la­bour, our tongues frequently to ſpeak of it; the heart, the hand, the tongue, are joyned in this work; the heart to medi­tate, the hand to execute, the tongue to publiſh it. Ex abundantia cordis os lo­quitur: Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth ſpeaketh.


The ſecond Manner or Condition requiſite in this work.

From the Zeal and ſerious conſidera­tion of our Salvation, ordinarily pro­ceeds an exquiſite diligence for the pro­curing of it; which is the ſecond Conditi­on neceſſarily required in this work.

Our B. Saviour hath given us an ad­mirable example in this kind; the ſa­cred Scripture [Heb. 10.] ſaith of him, that entring into the world by the miſte­ry of his Incarnation, he ſaid unto his Heavenly Father, You Will not the Sacrifices of the Law, therefore I offer up the body you have given me for a Victime, to honour your Majeſty, to ſatisfie your Juſtice, to appeaſe your Anger. He did not delay his ſufferings to the end of this life, but the firſt moment he entered in­to the world as Man, he preſented him­ſelf as a Victime. And when he was then adored by the Angels, at the command of his Heavenly Father, even then he would honour him as his Servant and29 Victime. In the whole courſe of his life, he travelled in this affair with ſuch diligence, as the Pſalmiſt reſembles him to a Gyant exulting to run his courſe, with an incredible vigour in all the wayes, wherein he might work our Salvation. His Eſpouſe admiring this in her Canti­cles, [Cant. 2.] compares this courſe of his to the ſwiftneſs of a Roe and Hart. The Angels deſcended and aſcended in Jacobs Ladder without repoſe, in the ex­erciſe which they continue indefatigably for the Salvation of men. Job by his own example ſhewed us with what fer­vour and diligence we ſhould proceed in this affair, [Job 29.] Cauſam quam ignorabam diligentiſſime investigabam: If I did not underſtand the rights between parties to accord them, I uſed moſt exqui­ſite diligence to underſtand it.

I did not defer till to morrow what I could do to day, but apply'd my ſelf with­out delay to all the good works I could perform for the advance of my Salvati­on.

Tobias did often riſe from the Table,30 left his refection, quitted the Company of his Friends; to bury the dead, and to exerciſe works of mercy towards the poor and needy. Abraham ſtood in the common ways, to find and invite Pil­grims to his houſe, where his Wife and Domeſticks were buſied in preparing a refection for them. St. Paul [Acts 5.] proteſted to the faithful, that he uſed all poſſible diligence in his Apoſtolical function. That which the examples of the Saints inform us, the Wiſe man Councelled in his Proverbs, Diligenter exerce agrum tuum; diligently cultivate thy field. We muſt not imagine that he ſpeaks here of good Husbandry, but un­der the ſymbol of a field, he inſinuates that we ſhould labour with diligence to extirpate vices, to acquire vertues; to increaſe in grace which God beſtows up­on us, to work out our Salvation by: Beſides the Examples and Inſtructions of the Saints for our diligence in this af­fair, reaſon perſwades alſo this truth; we ſee that a man applyes himſelf with diligence, to affairs of importance, and31 to things of conſequence, which have an indeterminate and uncertain time, of which he knows not the length or ſhort­neſs: Our Salvation hath theſe two cir­cumſtances, the thing is moſt pretious, and of the greateſt concern; the time to compaſs it, is altogether uncertain; Death, after which we cannot work, often ſteals upon us, as a Thief in the Night, when we think our ſelves moſt ſecure of life; and therefore it concerns us to attend to our Salvation with all di­ligence, leſt we be ſurpriſed unexpect­edly, as the fooliſh Virgins were, and the rich Glutton in the Goſpel.

If we have a Suit in Law, for the gain­ing of a poſſeſſion, for the reparation of an injury, or the like, we apply all our endeavours, we regard not the rigour of the ſeaſons, nor the ſuffering of our bo­dies, nor length of ways; we move e­very ſtone that might obſtruct or further our deſigns; but for our Salvation, which is the greateſt concern we have in the world, we think much to ſpend an hour at a Sermon, where we may be in­ſtructed32 in this, and the means to obtain it; to ſpend half an hour in a day to hear Maſs, or to Pray where we may re­ceive grace to carry on this affair with fervour; we are loath to give an Alms to a poor body, to merit the divine ſuc­cours; ſuch is our blindneſs and ſtupidi­ty. When we ſuffer any maladies in our bodies, as St. Chryſoſtom [Hom. 22. ad pop. ] affirms, we preſently ſend for Phyſitians, we think no coſt much for the cure of them, Animam vero vitiis laborantem negligimus; But we ſuffer our Souls to corrupt and putrifie in ſin. To procure a remedy, and to purchaſe an immortal life, for them we are ex­tream negligent.

This unreaſonable preferring of the Body before the Soul, the immortal and divine part of us ought to cover us with Confuſion in this world, where we would appear judicious & wiſe; & in the mean time, we ſhew our ſelves to be un­reaſonable and ſenceleſs.

It was a complaint of St. Bernard, A­ſpicio genus humanum; I behold mankind33 walking from the riſing of the Sun, to the going down of it, through the ſpatious Mart and Market of the world, where ſome hunt after Riches, others gape for Honours, many purſue Pleaſures, moſt ſpend their time in Vanities and Imperti­nencies; few mind the eternal good of their Souls, for which they came into the World. Seneca diſcovered this truth, ſi volueris attendere; if thou wilt conſider, thou maiſt diſcern that a great part of mens lives paſs away in doing Ill, the greateſt part in Idleneſs and nothing, the Image of Death, and pomp of Vices; the whole in minding and doing another thing than which they came for. We read of a Phyloſopher, who buſied himſelf thirty years in obſerving the Oe­conomie of Bees, of a Graver who ſpent his whole life in Carving and Polliſhing one Statue of Iſocrates, who ſtudied ten years to compoſe an Oration which he was to pronounce at the Olympick Exer­ciſes; of many Phyloſophers, who Tra­velled divers Countries, with many dangers and inconveniences to acquire34 humane knowledg and experience; ſhall not theſe riſe up in judgment and con­demn us, if we think any time tedious to imploy in the affair of our Salvation?

The third and laſt Condition, neceſſary for this work.

If we deſire efficatiouſly to be ſaved, we muſt labour with perſeverance, accor­ding to the example of our B. Saviour on the Croſs, who would not deſcend from thence to put an end to his ſufferings, and to the incredulity of the people who de­ſired it; but as he ſays himſelf, he would there finiſh and conſummate the work his Father had recommended to him; which was the Salvation of men for his glory. The Wiſe-man ſaid, that omnia tempus habent, there is a time for all things; a time to Sow, and a time to Reap, and the like; and out of theſe Seaſons, they are not to be done.

But the affair of our Salvation hath no certain time aſſigned for it; but the whole courſe of our life, from the firſt35 moment that we have the uſe of reaſon, to the laſt, is to be employed in it. Rea­ſon perſwades us this truth, and gives us to underſtand of what importance the aſſiduity of this work is; becauſe our Salvation depends on the laſt action of our life; if that be good, meritorious and agreeable to God, it will ſave us; if bad, ſure enough we ſhall be damned, for as the Tree falls, ſo it ſhall lie: But here our death is uncertain, and every moment of our life may be the laſt, and the fatal ſtroke may ſurpriſe us when we think leaſt of it: have we not reaſon then to travel inceſſantly in the affair of our Salvation, to ſecure it as much as poſſi­bly we can? for unleſs we perſevere unto the end in it, we cannot be ſaved. And the breaking off this work, and declining out of the right way, though it be but for a time, may be the cauſe of our not perſevering to the end, and conſequent­ly of our eternal perdition.


Many examples in this kind, Sa­cred and Eccleſiaſtical Hiſtory afford us; and happy are we, if we become ſo wiſe by them, as at all times to be vigilant about this affair.


The Manner of Life to obtain Salvation.SECOND PART.


Of the divers Lives of Chri­ſtians.

ST. Auguſtine ſpeaking of the An­tient Patriarks and Prophets, ſayes, Re, non nomine Chriſtiani; they were not Chriſtians in Name, but in effect and action. But we may affirm the contrary of many in our times, who ſtile themſelves Chriſtians; they are not ſuch really and in effect, but only by Baptiſme and Name.


To diſcover fully this truth unto you, I ſhall ſhew you the divers lives of Chri­ſtians; and what is the true one neceſſa­rily required to obtain Salvation. For we be ſuch, as the lives are we lead; good, if they be ſuch; bad, if they be bad. To have life, ſaith St. Thomas, is to have in one the principle and cauſe of Motion; when a Woman with Child perceives the fruit ſhe bears in her, begin to move, ſhe ſayes, I know well my Infant is alive; when one is on his Death-bed, if we ſee he hath not any more motion, neither in hands, eyes, lips, or pulſe, we ſay, he hath no life in him. From hence we give by a Metaphor, the name of Life; to a running water; to a flame aſ­cending in the Air; not that they have properly life in them, but becauſe they move, being not in their Center, but tending to it. We find in the world four ſorts of Lives, according to four divers principles, which give motion to all the actions of living Creatures. The Vege­tative Life, which is that of Plants, which is imployed to nouriſh and in­creaſe. 39The Senſitive Life, that of Beaſts and Animals, which conduct themſelves by ſence. The Rational Life, which is guided only by Natural Reaſon. The true Chriſtian Life, which is governed by Faith. If we look amongſt Chriſti­ans and Catholicks with the true eye of the Spirit, we may diſcover many fair Plants, good Beaſts, and honeſt Men, as the world ſtiles them; but few true Chriſtians.

Of the Vegetative Life of Chriſtians.

We may begin this with the ſaying of the blind Man in St. Mark; when Chriſt had open his eyes, he ſaid, Video homines ſicut arbores ambulantes; I ſee men walking as Trees. Many perſons who are in eſteem in the world, have no other Life but that of Plants; no other principle of their actions, than that of Trees. Behold a Merchant, who with care and diligence Travelleth by Sea and Land, coucheth late, riſeth early; what is the principle of this Motion? why40 doth he all this? to purchaſe a Houſe, a Farm, a Poſſeſſion, or the like; to e­ſtabliſh himſelf on Earth, as a Tree which ſpreads its Roots on every ſide, to encreaſe and fix it ſelf deeper and firmer in the Earth; and ſo, of a petty Mercer at the firſt, in time become a rich Mer­chant; as a Plant, which of a petty Shrub at the firſt, grows up into a great Tree in time.

See here again, Parents of no great extraction, and of ſmall revenue at the firſt, but ſo vigilant and active in managing their affairs, that they come to be a great Family, and Marry their Children to perſons of honour and qua­lity One may ſay here, behold an ex­cellent and fruitful Tree, which pro­duceth ſo many fair graffs to propagate withal; what is this, but the life of a Plant? and in the mean time, have no more ſpirit in them, than a Plant, nay in ſome reſpect, far worſe: See a Tree placed by a Wall, it doth not extend its branches on that ſide where the Wall caſteth its ſhadow, but which is warmed41 and heated moſt by the comfortable and cheriſhing beams of the Sun: You breed up, and diſpoſe of your Children, which are your branches, Quorum filii ſicut no­vellae plantationes: [Pſal. 144.] Whoſe Children as young Plants, amongſt the Grandeurs of the world, which are but ſhadows of true greatneſs, and leſs re­garded, and viſited by the Sun of Juſtice, and gratious influence of Heaven, and not on the ſide of Humility and Vertue, which God moſt willingly reſpects; for which, many of them thrive ſo ill. The like Errour we may diſcover in multi­tudes, whoſe aime and endeavour here, is only to advance themſelves and their Families in worldly wealth and great­neſs; to extend and dilate themſelves and their Poſterity on Earth; do not Trees do the like? and can we eſteem better of the life of ſuch, than of that of Plants, which naturally covet a deeper root and greater growth in the Earth. Give me leave to ſay, that ſuch are worſe than Trees and Plants, which at laſt come to a term and ſtand in their growth42 and extent: but theſe worldlings are without bounds and limits in their de­ſires and endeavours, never ſatisfied with the earth, till they be buryed in it. O Earth, Earth, Earth, hear the word of our Lord, as the Prophet Jeremy ad­moniſheth, [Jerem. 22. 29. ] and fol­low that advice of the Apoſtle, Seek and ſavour thoſe things which are above, and not thoſe things which are on Earth; for which you were not Created, nor have your being here.

Of the Senſitive lives of many Chriſtians.

Many others lead only a ſenſitive life, and in the judgment of God are eſteem­ed no better than Beaſts, conducted only by ſence; of ſuch a one, the Pſalmiſt thus ſpeaks, Comparatus eſt jumentis in­ſipientibus: He is compared to the fooliſh Beaſts. A Labourer works couragi­ouſly, becauſe he is well fed and re­warded, he doth no more than a Horſe; your Servant is faithful to you in his im­ployment, becauſe you are a good Ma­ſter to him; ſo will your Dog be for a43 piece of bread. A young man ſpends his whole Morning in Combing, Curl­ing, Powdering his Hair; in compoſing himſelf according to the Mode; and one praiſeth him, ſaying, See what a fine head of hair he hath, what a handſome body, how neatly adorned; one may give the like commendations to a Horſe which is well Limb'd, Curried and Dreſſed. You may ſee a young Virgin, or Wo­man vainly attired and trickt up, and ſet out exactly to the faſhion, by theſe allu­ring charms to draw the eyes of others to behold her, having no ſpirit of Vertue or Prudence to be commended or de­ſired with judgment or reaſon; ſuch a one in the judgment of the Pſalmiſt, is to be no more eſteemed than a Horſe or a Mule, & by the Wiſe man in Eccleſiaſticus, is compared to a fair & fat-body'd Bullock. what reproach ſhal ſuch have in the judg­ment of God? what Shame & Confuſi­on? when they ſhall ſee, that being en­dued with Reaſon; & further, that being Chriſtians & Catholicks, they have fol­lowed nothing but the conduct of ſence. 44In fine, conſider the reſort of the thoughts of moſt, and the motive of their actions, and you ſhall find them to be nothing but the contentment of the ſences, the eaſe and conveniency of their bodies. They labour, eat, drink, ſleep, ſport for their ſenſual pleaſures; Lyons, Bears, Bruits do the like: They go to reſt at Night to repoſe their bodies, becauſe they are weary; ſo doth a Horſe after a hard Journey, or labour, if he finds good Litter: They eat, becauſe they are hun­gry; ſo will an Aſs if you give him Provender: They breed up their In­fants and Children becauſe they are theirs, ſo do Beaſts and Birds; We are ſuch as our lives are; if the principle of our actions is properly our life; if the Motive, out of which we act, is the prin­ciple of our actions, then, if we do our actions out of no other Motive, but that of Beaſts, without doubt in the judg­ment of God, and men of Reaſon, we are no other than Beaſts. Hence is that Councel of St. Ambroſe; Tibi ergo attende: Mind and know thy ſelf, not45 what body, power, dignities, poſſeſſions thou haſt; ſed qualem animam & men­tem: but what manner of Soul and mind, from which thy Conſults proceed, and the fruits of them are to be referred. The Apoſtle councelleth men, not to be de­ceived and deluded in this kind of life, [Gal. 6.] Que ſemina verit homo: That which a man ſows he ſhall Reap. He who ſowes in the fleſh, from it, ſhall reap Cor­ruption and Death.

Of the meer Moral lives of Chriſtians.

We find others, not ſo brutiſh as the former, but yet far from true and good Chriſtians. They think they are per­fect, becauſe rational, humane Reaſon, Prudence, natural and moral Vertues are the principle of their Actions. They do hold aright the Ballance of Juſtice, they will do no injury, be­cauſe naturally they love Equity; They aſſiſt the afflicted, becauſe they think it reaſon to relieve their like, and they deſire to be aſſiſted in the like Conditi­on. They abſtain from ſenſual Plea­ſures,46 from carnal Contents, becauſe they are Noble, and aſpire to greater Things, than to be ſlaves to their Bo­dies. Major ſum, & ad majora natus, quam ut corpori me Servitutem exhibe­am. Said a Moral Pagan, I am born to greater things than to be a drudg to my Body. They patiently endure the injuries and affronts offered, becauſe they eſteem it proper to a generous Courage, to miſpriſe feeble Spirits, and to eſteem them not worthy their Choller; As a Lyon and Elephant con­temn the barking of little Doggs. All this is, to be but an honeſt Man, and one of Honour, but far from a good Chri­ſtan; a true Diſciple of Chriſt and Faith. Dorotheus one time viſited the Sick of his Monaſtery of which he was Abbot; The Informarian addreſſing himſelf to him, ſaid Father, I have a great Tempta­tion of vain Glory, conſidering that you admire my diligence, ſeeing all the Rooms and Beds ſo clean and orderly compoſed: The Saint thus replyed, Brother, one may affirm, that you are a good Ʋalet and47 Groom of the Chamber, but one cannot ſay, for all this, that you are a good Reli­gious. So if you are a man of honour; juſt, zealous for the common good, out of a natural inclination only, or out of a moral and philoſophical Probity, one may ſay, that you are a good juſtice of Peace, a good States-man, Wiſe, Poli­tick; but for all this, a man cannot ſay, that you are a good Chriſtian. I do not condemn this morral Life as bad, but I rather commend it, as laudable to be Practiſed. Becauſe it hinders a man from committing many Evils; it affords good examples to others, and renders a man leſs indiſpoſed for further helps: And God of his mercy will ſooner have com­paſſion on ſuch, then on thoſe that are vitious, and corrupt in naturalls, and offend againſt the manifeſt light of Rea­ſon: but I only affirm this kind of life to be Inſufficient for the obtaining of Salvation. Becauſe man is ordained to a Supernatural end, to which nature can­not reach, nor diſcover the means which God hath ordained to obtain this48 end by, nor the manner how he will be worſhipped or ſerved in order to it. The greateſt importance of this life is to ſerve God in a manner agreeable to himſelf; which a man cannot do, unleſs God ma­nifeſt his Will to him by Divine Reve­lations, which Pagans endeavouring to do by their natural judgment commit­ted unſupportable extravagancies, and monſtrous errours in the manner of their Worſhip. Ariſtotle generally eſtee­med the greateſt man for humane lear­ning, and one who penetrated further the ſecrets of nature, then others; yet as Theodoret relates of him, [Theod. lib. 8. de cura graec. affect.] He was ſo deplo­rably blind in the conduct of his Con­ſcience, that he Sacrificed to his de­ceaſed Woman, who had been a Servant to a Tyrant; and that not once, but of­ten is his life, and in that manner that the Athenians ſacrificed to Ceres, which was with the moſt Religious Ceremonies, which were uſed in the ſuperſtions of the Gentiles; And therefore he ſaid truly, that natural reaſon is as weak49 and blind towards divine things, as the eyes of a Batt or Owl are to behold the brightneſs of the clear Sun. And do we not manifeſtly ſee the truth of this now amongſt us, by the diverſity of Sects and Opinions in Religion, every one fol­lowing the dictamen of their natural reaſon, and ſo run into many abſurdi­ties in this kind, and are continually changeing their judgments, without certainty in any thing. And we ſee that natural reaſon is weak and de­fective, even in things within its own Sphear, as appears in the divers and contrary Opinions among Philoſophers and Scholaſtick Divines, and in the differences in the judgments of men in ordinary occurrences; what a blind Guide then muſt this needs be in divine and ſublimer things? From this then we muſt neceſſarily conclude, that the light of Faith is required to direct us without errour in theſe Affaires. The Apoſtle affirms, that Fedes eſt ſubſtan­tia rerum ſperandarum: That Faith is the ground of things we hope for in the next50 Life, and the foundation of our Spiritu­al Edifice; if that be wanting, there can be no building; if that be not ſound, all muſt fall to the ground. And the Apoſtle further declares the neceſſity of this. Accedentem ad deum oportet crede­re; he that will come to God he muſt be­lieve aright: And captivate his under­ſtanding and reaſon to the obedience of Faith; to which Reaſon muſt be a Hand­maid not a Miſtris. And our Bleſſed Saviour tels us, that he who doth not be­leeve is condemned. And this Faith can be but one; ſo the Apoſtle affirms Una fi­des: One Faith, one Baptiſm, one Lord of all. Hence is that of St. Fulgentius [lib. de fide c 38.] omni enim homini &c. to a man that holds not firmly the faith and unity of the Catholick Church, neither his Baptiſm, nor Alms, nor Death for the name of Chriſt, will profit him to Salvation. And St. Athanatius informs us in his Creed, that he who will be Sa­ved, above all things, muſt hold the Ca­tholick Faith, entirely and inviolably; From hence it neceſſarily follows, that51 a man, though our Politicians imagine the contrary, cannot be Saved in any ſort of Religion, for all theſe cannot be the only true one, neceſſarily required to Salvation. I will conclude this diſcourſe concerning a meer honeſt Life, with the judgment of St. Auguſtine; [Serm. 13. de verb. Apoſt.] The Epicurian Phi­loſophers, ſaith he, practiſed vertue, for the conveniency of the Body; uſeing mo­deration in their eating and drinking, in their proſperities and adverſities, and in their whole conduct, for the welfare of their body, that it may in no man­ner ſuffer dammage. The Stoick Phi­loſophers, being more Spiritual, practi­ſed Vertue for the natural good of the Soul, and Reaſon; to which Vertue is conformable and agreeable; in fine, he blameth them both, that their ver­tues were defective; and as the firſt were Senſual in their moderation and temperance, ſo the ſecond were proud in their Vertue, which they practiſed for it ſelf, and the good of reaſon to which they ordred it. The firſt, ſaith he,52 lived according to the fleſh, the ſecond according to the reaſon of the Soul, but neither according to God. So according to St. Auguſtine, one is not to reſt in the utility and honeſty of vertue; but he will, that a Chriſtian Soul ſhould raiſe it ſelf higher, to practiſe Vertue for God, to glorify him by it; So that the body ſhould not be the end, nor alſo the ra­tional Soul, but only God, to whom it muſt be ordered and referred, He on­ly being our ſoveraign good, and ſo a­lone deſerves to be deſired and ſearched for himſelf, and in that manner as he hath preſcribed, without which there can be no true Vertue acceptable to him; and the light of Faith is neceſſary to direct us in this, ſeeing humane rea­ſon cannot do it. Therefore Chriſt ſends us to his Church, to receave from her his Doctrine and Inſtructions, and com­mands us to obey her, under the penal­ty of being rejected as Heathens and Pub­licans, which he Incurs, who makes his imagination his Oracle, his proper ſence his Doctor, and himſelf the Church he followes.



The true Life of a Chriſtian, which is that of Faith.

JUſtus autem meus ex fide vivit; my juſt one (ſaith God by the Prophet) ſhall live by faith. There are too Sorts of juſt men, one according to the world, the other according to God; the juſt according to the world are thoſe, who are ſo by Humane reaſon, maxims of Eſtate, or temporal Intereſt. The juſt according to God are thoſe, who have Faith for the Principle of their actions, and rule of their lives. A juſt man according to the world doth not injury to any, becauſe the light of reaſon dictates to him, what he would54 not have done to himſelf, that he ſhould not do to another; one juſt according to God, doth no injury to any, out of a further motive, which is becauſe Jeſus Chriſt commanded and practiſed it, for our example. A juſt man ac­cording to the world gives alms to an indigent perſon, out of a natural com­paſſion and tenderneſs of heart; A juſt man according to God doth it, be­cauſe Jeſus Chriſt ſaith, What you ſhall do to one of theſe little ones, you ſhall do to me, becauſe they are members of Chriſt. Whoſoever gives a cup of could water, ſhall not loſe his reward; it is the promiſe of Chriſt; but he doth not promiſe this reward, if you give an alms to one, becauſe he is one of the ſame country, condition, or nature you are of; but if you give it to him, becauſe he is a Chriſtian, a diſciple of Chriſt, becauſe he required it of you, & you gave it in the name of Chriſt; or becauſe he is ordain'd as a companion to glorify God with you in heaven. A good Servant according to the world,55 ſerves his maſter faithfully, becauſe he expects a reward from him for it: a good ſervant according to God doth it becauſe St. Paul exhorts ſervants, to obey theirs Maſters, as Jeſus Chriſt, and for conſcience ſake. One juſt according to the world nouriſheth and brings up his children, becauſe they are his: A juſt parent according to God, doth it becauſe they are members of Chriſt, creatures ordained for his glory. The reaſon of this truth is evident, The life of a true Chriſtian is a Supernaturall life; faith is more above reaſon, then reaſon above ſence; and as one who lives as a man, is not go­verned by his ſence as beaſts, but by reaſon; ſo he who will live as a true Chriſtian, muſt not follow the con­duct of naturall reaſon only, as men do, but he muſt be directed in his life by faith and Evangelicall maxims; The glorious name we carry, obligeth us to this; The name of Chriſtians comes from Chriſt, and by it we pro­feſs to be diſciples and followers of56 him; and he who belongs to Chriſt, ought to live and walk as he did; ſo the Apoſtle informs us. Platoniſts and Epicurians were ſo called, becauſe they were diſciples of Plato, and of the ſchool of Epicurus. We ſay one is a Ciceronian, becauſe he imitates Cicero in writing and ſpeaking. St. Ma­thew called thoſe ſouldiers Herodians, who belonged to Herod: we are called Chriſtians, and if we will be ſuch in effect, we muſt be true diſciples of Chriſt; enter into his ſchool, ſtudy his doctrine, obey his commands, pra­ctice his maxims; ſo his heavenly Fa­ther commands, Ipſum audite; hear and obey him.

In my Judgment, the beſt reaſon, the righteſt intention, the holyeſt diſpoſition, we can have in our acti­ons, is to practice them, becauſe Chriſt taught them, recommended and practiced the like, for our example. When the diſciples of Pythagoras ad­vanced any propoſition, they allead­ged no proof for it, nor gave any o­ther57 reaſon then, ipſe dixit; he ſaid it; ought not the word, and the au­thority of Chriſt, to prevail as much with us Chriſtians? ſure it ought, if we had but ſuch an eſteem and reſpect for him, as they had for their Maſter. If you ask a Schollar in paynting or writing, having a modell before his eyes, why he paints this viſage ſo, or frames that letter after ſuch a man­ner? he will anſwer you, becauſe his pattern and example is ſo. If you de­mand of a Souldier, why he goes on this ſide, or that; ſometimes in the wing, ſometimes in the reer; he will reply, becauſe his Enſign makes the like martches. So he who is a true Chriſtian, a diſciple, and Souldier of Chriſt, practiſeth this or that Vertue, not as Philoſophers, becauſe it is excel­lent and befeeming a great courage, but becauſe Jeſus Chriſt, his pattern, example and captain, taught it, com­manded it, practiſed it; ſome are of­tentimes in care, to know what is the will of God, what moſt pleaſing58 to him, and what to do moſt for his honour and glory? no man knew bet­ter the will of God, then Chriſt, who obeyed it, and fulfilled it in every thing; no man knew ſo well as he, what moſt conduced to the glory of God, ſeeing (as he teſtifieth of himſelf) he did not ſeek his own glory, but his Fathers in every thing; we have then no more to do in this affair, then to conſider, what Jeſus Chriſt did teach, command and practice, for our exam­ple? For God hath made him the pattern and example, of all the pre­deſtinate, as the Apoſtle informs us [Rom. 8.] in theſe words, Whom he did foreſee to be his, he did predeſtinate them: conformes fieri imagini filii ſui; to become conformable to the image of his Sonn. God hath called us of his mercy to be Chriſtians, we are not ſuch by generation, but by regeneration; nature, by all its power, cannot make a good Chriſtian; it is a work of grace: let not a day paſs without praiſing God for this benefit, and let us often59 demand of him, ardently and humbly, his grace, to become good Chriſtians; without which, the benefitts of our creation, conſervation, redemption, and of the Sacraments, will not pro­fit us. What profit, to beleeve God, and what he ſayes, if we do not do his Will? to conſent to his Word, if we obey not his command? to pro­feſs his verities, if in practice we fol­low our vanities?

By this doctrine delivered, we may diſcover the errour of many miſtakes, who ſpeak of Chriſts humanity, in the like manner as they do, of other in­firm creatures; affirming, that the conſideration of it, obſcures the bright rayes of the Divinity in Contempla­tion; and therefore to become a per­fect contemplative, a man muſt ab­ſtract from that and tranſcend it, as he would do from that of other crea­tures. This miſtake of theirs, they ground upon the doctrine of St. Denys, not well underſtood by them; that H. Father affirms it neceſſary, to the60 perfect Contemplation of the Divini­ty, to tranſcend all Creatures, either by denying them, or adding ſomthing, to ſhew that they are not God, and ſo that we ought not to reſt in them, if we ſeek God. But this reaſon holds not good in Chriſt, who is both God and Man; and ſo as St. Auguſtine ſpeaks, by the ſame pace we go to him as Man, we aſ­cend to him as God: And by the ſame act, we love him as Man, we love him too as God. But it is not ſo in the love of other Creatures; for here is neceſſa­ry, a reflection, and an affirmation, that I love them not for themſelves, but for God, becauſe they contain not God in­timately in them; and ſo in loving them, my mind directly by this tends not God. But when I love Chriſt, who is perſo­nally God and Man, that act tends to him as God and Man, becauſe he is both, inſeparably. Hence ſaith St. Bernard, The Divinity ſhadowed it ſelf in a body, the better to be ſeen.

So though the humanity of Chriſt is61 not a pure ſpirit, yet it is not ſo fleſh, as to be an impediment to the ſpirit. This is the Doctrine of St. Auguſtine, [Lib. 9. de civit. c. 15.] who ſays, that God being made partaker of our huma­nity, Compendium praebuit participandae divinitatis ſuae; ſhewed a compendious way to become partakers of his Divinity, is that by touching him man, we touch alſo God; what more compendious? Chriſt inform'd us as much in his Tranſ­figuration on the Mount, where he did ſpeak of his exceſs which he was to accompliſh at Hieruſalem, [Luc. 9.] ſeeing in ſuch a Splendour, Majeſty, and Glory, he would ſolemnly mention his Death and Paſſion; Moſes and Elias would not be amid'ſt the rayes of Divi­nity, without the meditation of Chriſt Crucified; glory became more pleaſing to them by it, and that moſt reſplendant Viſion was thereby the more eaſily ſup­ported, without fear of being oppreſſed by the raviſhing violence of its delight­fulneſs.


And hence is that of St. Bernard, Marceſſit divinitatis contemplatio, ubi languit paſſionis meditatio; The con­templation of the Divinity will ſoon fail, when the Meditation of the Paſſion languiſheth and decays.



The Lives of the Primitive Chri­ſtians propounded, as an Ex­ample in this kind of Life.

TErtullian affirms, that the Chriſti­ans in his time, were of ſuch an innocent Life, that they had no other crime pretended againſt them by their Enemies, than their Religion; And he gives the Pagans the defiance, if they ſay, they have Chriſtians in their Priſons amongſt them for any thing elſe but for their Religion. Athenagoras ſayes in his Apology, Nullus Chriſtianus malus; There is not any Chriſtian bad, unleſs he diſſembles his Religion. Eu­ſebius relates, that in the time of Diocle­ſian, the Oracle of Apollo anſwered, that64 the Juſt had hindered him from ſpeak­ing; Diocleſian demanding who theſe Juſt were, the Idolatrous Prieſts replyed, that they were the Chriſtians, who led an Innocent life.

Pliny Junior, writing to Trajan, ſayes, that he had no Crime to object a­gainſt Chriſtians, but their Superſtition. If he had known the Truth, he would have ſaid, then their Devotion; we have the ſame Faith, the ſame Ceremonies, the ſame Myſteries which the Primitive Chriſtians had; but their interiour diſ­poſitions, their ſubſtantial devotions, their ſolid virtues are ſo ecclipſed in our time, that ſcarce any thing of them ap­pears amongſt us; ſo that we ſeem in re­ſpect of them, to be Chriſtians only in Name. When St. Hierome was called before Chriſt his Judg in a Viſion, and the Judg asking him, who he was, he replyed, I am a Chriſtian; the Judg ſaid unto him, thou lyeſt, Ciceronianus es, non Chriſtianus: Thou art a Cicero­nian, not Chriſtian; thou takeſt more delight in reading the works of Cicero,65 than books of Piety & Devotion; and the Judg commanded an Angel to ſcourge him ſeverely for it; the marks of which remained for a long time in his body, as he writes of himſelf to Euſtochium.

Are they then to be eſteemed true Chriſtians, who ſpend moſt of their time in reading frivolous Romances, idle Play­books, and ſuch fopperies? Voluptuous Man, if God ſhould demand of thee, what art thou? as ſure enough he will one day; if thou ſayeſt unto him, thou art a Chriſtian, he will give you the lye; and ſay, you are not a Chriſtian, but an Epicurian; you obſerve the pre­cepts of Epicurus, not of Jeſus Chriſt; you have made a God of your belly, and your chiefeſt pleaſure hath been to ſatisfie your bruitiſh paſſions. Vindica­tive perſon, if God ſhould demand of thee, who art thou? dareſt thou ſay, thou art a Chriſtian? God will con­found thee preſently, in ſaying, thou art not a Diſciple of Jeſus Chriſt, but rather of Cicero or Demoſthenes; to re­pel injury with injuſtice; to curſe them,66 who curſe you; to take Revenge for words ſpoken amiſs, are the maxims of Cicero, or of Demoſthenes, or other Pa­gans; not of Jeſus Chriſt, who taught and practiſed the quite contrary; as to forget Injuries, to pray for our Perſecu­tors, or render good for evil. What will your Vain Dame anſwer at the hour of Death, which may happen ſooner than ſhe expects, when God will demand of her what ſhe is? will ſhe have the bold­neſs to anſwer, ſhe is a Chriſtian? no ſure, ſhe knows too well in her Con­ſcience, that ſhe is a Worldling, that ſhe lived according to the Laws and Mode of the World; that ſhe hath a heart plunged in vanities; and that ſhe feared more to diſpleaſe a perſon of the world, than to offend God; that ſhe thought it not te­dious to ſpend every day, three or four hours to adorn and compoſe her ſelf, to appear grateful; I know not to whom, and thought much, even on a day of Communion, to ſpend one hour, to pre­pare her ſelf to appear agreeable unto God. In fine, many perſons amongſt67 us, who make profeſſion of the true Faith, will appear then to be no true Chriſtians, but rather Antichriſts, having lived contrary to the Evangelical Rules and Maxims delivered to us by Chriſt, and faithfully practiſed by the Primitive Chriſtians, his true followers, and whom we challenge for our Predeceſſors in Re­ligion. Habentes Igitur, [Hebr. 12.] having ſuch a Cloud of Witneſſes put upon us, let us lay aſide every weight that cloggs us, and ſin that beſet us, and let us with Patience, run the Race that is ſet before us, looking unto Jeſus, the Author and Finiſher of our Faith.

It is the admonition of the Apoſtle: ſuch a Cloud of Witneſſes, who ſhew to us by their lives, how we ought to live, to obtain Salvation. An antient Monk, called Machaire, having viſited the Cells of other Religious, who lived in great perfection, returning from thence with great Confuſion, humbly ſaid, vidi Mo­nachos: I have ſeen true Monks and Religious, in compariſon of whom, I am not one, I deſerve not to carry that name.


When I conſider the lives of the an­tient Chriſtians, I cannot but ſay, vidi Chriſtianos: I have ſeen true Chriſtians, in reſpect of whom, we are but ſuch in name and appearance only, not in effect, in manners and life. But as St. Chry­ſoſtom adviſeth, if that we cannot arrive to ſo high a perfection, as the antients did, yet at leaſt let us do what we can to imitate and follow them; talem nubem, ſuch a Cloud; If we endeavour to imi­tate them to our power, they will be Clouds which will diſtill down upon us, benigne influences, refreſhing dews from Heaven; otherwiſe, they will be Clouds, which at the day of Judgment will caſt forth againſt us Thunder-bolts of Ven­geance; they will Accuſe, Confound, and Condemn us by the oppoſition of their former Lives and Vertues. Were they not frail, as we are? compoſed of the ſame matter? clogged and oppreſſed with the ſame fleſh? as ſenſible and de­licate as we? have we not the ſame God? the ſame Jeſus Crucified? Have we not the ſame Sacraments? Are we not in69 the ſame Church? And yet we expect the ſame Paradice for a little, which coſt them ſo dear. Is there any reaſon, that without a lawful Fight and Victory, we ſhould poſſeſs the ſame Kingdom which they Conquered by ſo many Combats, and poſſeſſed by ſo holy a Violence: Curramus ad propoſitum certamen: Let us run to the Fight ſet before us; The A­poſtle doth not ſay, Ad coronam, To the Crown propoſed; for if there were no Crown to be obtained, no Sallary to be received, yet it would be highly honou­rable for us to Combate in the cauſe of God.

How many generous Spirits are in the world, who hold it glorious to be em­ployed in the occaſion of venturing their blood and lives without any other re­ward, than to have the honour of ſerving their Prince and Country? and can we be of ſo baſe and ſervile a Spirit, as to be inferiour to them, in order to God, in whom we move and have our being? Let us caſt our eyes on Jeſus Chriſt, Aſpicientes in Authorem fidei; He is the70 Authour of our Faith, and ought to be the Idea and Model of our life; let us look upon him, not only to imitate him, but to implore his ayde and ſuccours; that as he is the Authour of our Faith, he may be alſo the Finiſher of our Hopes; as he is the Alpha and firſt principle, he may be alſo the Omega and laſt end; as he is our liberal Saviour by grace, he may be our full recompence by glory.


This Treatiſe, Containing the Principal means of Preſer­ving and Encreaſing this Life of a True Chriſtian.THIRD PART.


The firſt Means is, the Mortifica­on of the Principal Powers and Faculties of the Soul, with the Paſſions of the ſenſitive Appe­tite.

THe greateſt Impediment in the affair of our Salvation, is inte­riour, which conſiſts in the diſ­order of the powers and facul­ties of the Soul and Paſſions, Rebellion72 of the fleſh, & infidelity of our Sences; all which enemies ſeem to conſpire to our Perdition, & to deſtroy all Spiritual Life in us. For the preſerving of which, a­gainſt them, we muſt practiſe Mortifica­tion; by this means to ſubdue and regu­late them, that we be not carried head­long by their violence to our utter ru­ine. In the firſt place it is neceſſary, to reform the three Spiritual Powers of the Soul, which are the Intellect, Will, and Memory, which are the principles and origine of humane Acts, from which they proceed and depend, if they be done knowingly and voluntarily; if theſe be infected and corrupted as ordinarily they are, no good can be expected to proceed from them. Concerning the Intellect, we ought to eſteem the purga­tion of it, as St. Auguſtine informs us. [St. Aug. lib. 1. de doctrin. Chriſt.] Quaſi ambulationem & navigationem: As a walking and navigation to our Heaven­ly Country. For it is the guide of the will which in it ſelf is a blind power, and being troubled and diſordered, cauſeth73 an irregularity in all the other faculties. In the Intellect one may diſcover many faults to be reformed, as ignorance of things, one is obliged to know: Incon­ſideration and imprudence in executing; Errour, by which one apprehends whats falſe, for a truth: obſtinacy, to defend and perſevere in a miſtake, after good infor­mation and inſtruction, to which one ought to Acquieſs; Temerity, to judg of the intentions, actions and deſigns of another; Carnal and ſenſual Pru­dence and Craft, to circumvent others, and contrive (by ill expedients) worldly affaires. Curioſity, to know things, which it were more profitable to us to be ignorant of. The Intellect vitiated by theſe and the like faults, ought dili­gently to be mortified and reformed, or els it will be the cauſe of many defor­med humane Acts; This reformation may be made by divers means; the chief is, a diligent practiſe of Vertue, which produceth true intelligence, as the Pro­phet David affirms [Pſal. 128.] Man­datis tuis intellexi: I got underſtanding74 by obſerving thy Commands. The cu­ſtome of doing well, and experience in Devotion, is the beſt Miſtreſs, by which one apprehends and profits moſt. A­nother means is, reading Spiritual Books, with an intention to obtain Purity of Mind, interpoſing Affective Prayers. A third means may be, conferrence with Illuminated Perſons, from whom, they may receave good inſtructions of Salva­tion, and directions for their conduct in all Doubts, Temptations, & ocurring Difficulties. As for the Memory, it ought to be reformed about the variety of I­mages and Repreſentations of terrene and vain objects, by which it is often ſoiled; and in puſuit of which, it im­portunes the Will to evil deſires and actions; one muſt labour in this Refor­mation, by exerciſing himſelf in the frequent meditation of Divine things; which if a man exerciſe conſtantly, he will in time deface and race out the Phantaſies and imaginations of vain Objects: ſo that after a faithful labour in this, the Soul will find it ſelf, as it75 were abſorpt in God, and will entertain and delight it ſelf in nothing ſo much, and ſo often, as in God. The Will pur­chaſeth it ſelf proper ſatisfactions and in­tereſts by the motive of ſelf-Love, with which it is dangerouſly impoyſoned, and which is the Mother and Nurſe of all Sin and Vices; it perverts the recti­tude of intentions, Rebells againſt the commands of God and Superiours; it is the Enemy of perfection, the Mur­derer of an interiour and Spiritual Life. This Mortification and Reformation muſt be affected by a Dolorous Con­trition for Sin, by Acts of Abnegation, by a total Submiſſion and Conformity to the divine Will: In fine, the practiſe of all moral Vertues, with purity of in­tention, embelliſheth it, as Stars do the Firmament. Next, the ſenſual Appe­tite (which is the inferiour portion of the Soul inclin'd to the commodities of the body) is to be mortified, with its Paſ­ſions; which in the eſtate of corrupt Nature ordinarily are culpable: they are not to be condemned in Beaſts, becauſe76 they are not governed by Reaſon; but it is far otherwiſe in Man, endued with a rational Spirit, able to diſcern between good and evill, and to unite himſelf to God his Soveraign good, whom he ought to prefer above all Created things; and by his ſuperiour Reaſon, imploy and order all the powers and faculties of his Body, to attain this Good. But we ſee the contrary arrive to man, by means of his paſſions which turn him from the true love of God, repleniſh him with impetuous Solitudes, for the pur­chaſing of terrene things, and with fears and anxieties, for the loſs of them. They fill him with impure phantaſies, Imaginations and Delights, precipi­tate him into many Errours and Irregu­larities, employ him more for the cor­ruptible Body, which is meat for Worms, then for his immortal Soul, the Divine Particle in him; cauſeing con­tinually Rebellions in the interiour Ap­petite, againſt the Superiour, preventing Reaſon and Judgment, and tyrannizing over the Spirit; ſo that they are the77 ſource and origine of Sins, which ruine our Salvation, and further a Soul towards her Damnation; and as Lactantius ſpeaks [Lactan. lib. 6. Inſtitut. c. 5.] Omnia fere, quae improbe fiunt, ab his af­fectibus oriuntur: Almoſt all evils com­mitted, proceed from theſe paſſions and affections. If one would repreſs the im­petuoſity of choller, all clamours and contentions would be appeaſed, not any one would endamage an other; if one would moderate the deſire of having, there would be no Theeves by land, no Pyrates on Sea, no Arms taken up to in­vade others Dominions; if one would mortify the concupiſcence of the fleſh, every Age and Sex would be Holy; no perſon would do, or ſuffer, what is in­famous in this kind; all theſe and the like diſcords come from the paſſions, not mortified and regulated according to reaſon. Paſſions thus ordered, are good, and about lawful Objects.

Thus they are Souldiers, which Se­cond the endeavours of their cheif, the Spirit: they are Ornaments of ver­tuous78 actions; Ardours of the heart, without which it would languiſh. But the moſt part of men, by the corrup­tion from original ſin, follow their naturall inclinations and paſſions, by which they are hurryed into many diſorders and damages, irreparably; therefore a ſtrict mortification of theſe, is neceſſary to a good and well ordered life, and to conſerve the in­teriour ſtate of the ſoul entire: with­out the regulating of theſe, a man is ſo far from tending to perfection, that at laſt he will find himſelf, to become uncivil, barbarous, brutiſh, wholly governed by humours and phantaſies, without repoſe in his Soul; continual­ly agitated by diſquiets, cauſed by his ſenſual affections, to which he hath reſigned the dominion and empire of his affairs, not capable to govern them with any order. For which the An­tients compared ſuch a man unto an uncultivated field, over-run with weeds, thorns, bryars; as ſuch a one or­dinarily is, with ſins and vices. Theſe79 paſſions and affections may often be hindred, from riſeing and breaking forth, by a prudent foreſight and pre­vention of the occaſions of them; for oftentimes when they ſeem to be mor­tified in us, they lurk Secretly in the heart as fire under aſhes, which will break forth, with a violence upon oc­caſions preſented, if there be not a ſtrong and vigilant guard ſet over them; for which reaſon St. Gregory Nazianzen aſcribes the deſtruction of Saul, to one ſpark of his former paſ­ſions, ſtirred and blowed up by occa­ſions: In this we ſhould imitate a cunning Pylot, who ſhuns a tempeſt, when he ſees he cannot eaſily reſiſt it. Again, one may Suppreſs theſe paſſi­ons, by combating generouſly againſt them, not once or twice, but as often as theſe aſſault us; for this reitera­tion of reſiſtance, will moderate and debilitate their violence and forces, according to that advice of St Augu­ſtine, that we muſt fruſtrate by this means their attempts, that they may80 not preſume any more to riſe; having ſo often aſſaulted us in vain. One may mortify and moderate paſſions and af­fections, by yeilding ſomething to them, and by making uſe of them a­gainſt themſelves; which is done, by giving them ſupernaturall and right objects. This courſe our Bleſſed Sa­viour took; St. Paul was of a choler­rick-hot humour, but our Saviour Jeſus converted it, he turned this fire into a flame of Apoſtolical Zeal; he did not Suppreſs this paſſion, but changed its object; ſo that by the ſame arms with which he perſecuted his Name, he preached his Goſpel; St. Mary Magdalen's paſſion was Love, he did not deſtroy it, but converted it, preſenting himſelf to be the object of it; this is an eaſy cure, & an admirable triumph, to uſe paſſions themſelves, for an inſtrument, whereby to gain a con­queſt over them. St. Auguſtine teach­eth us this Art, councelling us, to over­come fear by fear; the fear of the evills of the world, by fear of offend­ing81 God, of incurring hell, and loſing Heaven. St. Iſidore affirms the ſame, ex­plicating thoſe words of the Pſalmiſt Iraſcimini, et nolite peccare: be angry, but Sin not: overcome (ſaith he) choller by choller it ſelf; give ſomthing to this paſſion, but to the end to delude it; turn thy choller againſt thy bro­ther, to a hatred againſt your ſelf, and your paſſion; this was the advice of St. Baſil, ſaying, Turn thy anger againſt the devil the deſtroyer of Souls, but have mercy upon thy Brother offending thee.

Some hold, that the greateſt expe­dient to mortify theſe paſſions is, to Chaſtice the body, by faſting and rigo­rous auſterities; for which reaſon many of the Saints treated their bodies very rudely, that by this means, they being debilitated, their Souls might be more vigorous in their functions, and the fleſh leſs rebellious & refractory to the decrees of reaſon. From hence proceed the auſtere Vows of religious, crucifying our carnal af­fections, thereby to chaſtiſe the inſo­lencies82 of the ſenſuall appetite, and to render the body a ſlave to the ſpirit. However, not to condemn corporall mortifications, if uſed with diſcretion, according to the Cuſtom of all an­tiquity, and not takeing Chriſt down from the Croſs: In my judgment, the beſt and moſt efficatious means, is not to tame the ſpirit by the body, but to ſubject the body by the ſpirit; for the fleſh is not the only and principal criminal to be thus handled; wherefore it is more ex­pedient, to mortify theſe paſſions by the Superiour part of reaſon and the ſpirit; which, conſidering what is pro­fitable, and what hurtful to its ſalva­tion, from generous reſolutions of purſuing the former, and declining the latter, and ſo ſweetly draws the ſenſitive appetite after it, and forceth it to deſiſt from following its vitious inclinations. For example, a man re­flecting upon the motions of the ſen­ſitive appetite, and perceiving it en­gaged in the deſire of things ſuper­fluous, and troubled about them, diſ­approoving83 ſuch a conduct; flyes to interiour repreſſions, conſidering that we were created for paradice; not inordinatly to deſire and purſue tem­poralls, but covet and ſeek eternalls; and that it is to little purpoſe, to diſ­quiet ones ſelf, for the tranſitory af­fairs of this world, but that rather we ought to poſſeſs our ſouls in peace and patience. After ſuch conſiderations and interiour repreſſions, the ſoul with a great reſolution frames deſires of ſpiritualls, and forceth it ſelf to re­main in peace and ſilence; by which it attracts after it the ſenſitive appetite, and rationally orders the paſſions of it, at leaſt as long as it remains in that condition. O my Soul, thou haſt a difficulty to Suffer a diſgrace, thy paſſions ſpur thee forward to reveng; conſider with thy ſelf, that it is far more reaſonable for a Chriſtian to imitate the clemency of his Saviour, and benignity of the ſame God. By the like conſiderations, according to the diverſity of paſſions, a man will84 become more vigilant over them, and more powerfull to ſuppreſs and mor­tify them. This methode is more ſweet and humane, more generall and eaſie for a good regimen of life, and is alſo a moderate chaſtiſement for the body. I will conclude this firſt means with that of the Apoſtle [Rom ch. 8.] If you live according to the fleſh, you ſhall dye; but if by Spirit, you morti­fy the deeds of the fleſh, you ſhall live.



Of Interiour and Affective Prayer.

BY ſpeaking here of Interiour and Mental Prayer, I intend not to exclude Vocal, if it be performed with the attention of the mind, and the affection of the heart; for if theſe be wanting to it, I eſteem it not worthy the name of Prayer. The neceſſity of Pray­er, to ſuſtain this ſpiritual life of ours, appears by this, That in Sacred Writ there is not any precept ſo often repeat­ed, nor ſo ſeriouſly recommended to us, as this, Non impediaris orare ſemper; [Eccleſ. 18. 22.] Be not hindred from Praying alwayes. It is the Councel of86 the Wiſe Man; no buſineſs howſoever profitable or neceſſary ſhould hinder thee from the aſſiduity in this exerciſe. The Prophet David in many places of his Pſalms, commends to us not any thing more than the ſtudy of Prayer, and praiſing God; our B. Saviour often and carefully puts us in mind of this, Oporter ſemper orare: [Luc. 18.] Ye ought alwayes to Pray; there is a neceſſi­ty of it, not ſome time, not often, but you muſt alwayes Pray: And again, Vi­gilate ſemper orantes, [Luc. 21.] Watch, alwayes Praying. He did not only teach us the neceſſity of Prayer, by words, but alſo by his own example; he often aſ­cended Mountains, and retyred into de­ſert places to be more vacant to Prayer; and as St. Luke teſtifies, he often ſpent whole nights in Prayer; not for his own neceſſities, but for our inſtruction. St. Paul ſeriouſly commends and com­mands this: [1 Theſ. 1.] Be inſtant in Prayer, pray without intermiſſion. And a­gain, [1 Tim. 2.] Volo vos orare, &c. I will that you pray in every place.


But ſome may ſcruple here, how this precept of alwayes praying can be obſer­ved and practiſed? ſome expound it, that we ought to be always employed in ſome good, to the honour of God; eve­ry good work, as they ſay, being a kind of Prayer: But this cannot be the true ſence of it, becauſe Chriſt maketh a difference between prayer and good works, and maketh Alms, Prayer, and Faſting, diſtinct things; therefore there is ſome other way how this may be un­derſtood. St. Auguſtine [St. Aug. E­piſt. 112. c. 9.] expounds it thus, To pray without intermiſſion: what other thing doth it mean, then to deſire without inter­miſſion, Eternal Life? Let us deſire this of our Lord, and we always pray; and by this we may eaſily conceive any man al­ways to pray, and to ſpend both day and night in Prayer: And this deſire in the heart of the godly doth never ceaſe, but they alwayes ſeek and implore the Di­vine aſſiſtance, whether they eat or drink, or what elſe ſoever they do; as a man in Priſon clogg'd with Irons, al­wayes88 deſires his Freedom. Others an­ſwer to this doubt in this manner; we muſt not underſtand this ſo ſtrictly, that we ſhould not in a moment of time ceaſe from prayer, but that very often and di­ligently we ſhould employ our ſelves in it, nor for other works leſs neceſſary, o­mit it; as if a Phyſitian ſhould ſay to his Patient, ſee that you always eat this kind of dyet, and never intermit it; he doth not mean by this manner of ſpeech, that he ſhould ſit day and night at the Table eating; but that at convenient times, as at Dinner and Supper, he ſhould not ab­ſtain from it: So he is ſaid always to pray, who every day hath ſet-times con­ſecrated to prayer, and permits not him­ſelf to be called or hindred from thence. We may eaſily continue this exerciſe all the day, by the help of jaculatory prayers, which we may uſe at all times, in all places and company; for which St. Au­guſtine commended certain Monks in Egypt.

What work or company can hinder thee from lifting up thy heart to God, with89 the Pſalmiſt [Pſ. 37] in theſe few words, Intend unto my aid O Lord God of my Salvation. Which words Caſſianus affirms to bemoſt powerful & efficatious; or one may uſe a variety of ſuch ſhort ſpeeches. This thou maiſt do ſaith St. Chryſoſtom, whereſoever thou art, no place can hin­der thee from lifting up thy heart to God; if thou wert dreſſing meat, waſh­ing diſhes, ſweeping the houſe, or the like, thou may'ſt thus pray. I could wiſh that they who are delighted in pray­er, and willingly ſpend their time in it, would not burden themſelves with a multitude of Vocal prayers, and diſcour­ſive Meditations; but give more to the affection of the Will, than to the ſpecu­lation of the underſtanding; ſpending moſt of that time in ſetting their affecti­ons on fire towards God, which is the true end of prayer.

A man may underſtand the neceſſity of prayer, who truly conſiders the miſe­rable eſtate of man, reduced to ſuch a miſery and poverty in ſpirituals, that he cannot of himſelf act, ſpeak, or think a­ny90 thing that is grateful to God, unleſs aſſiſted by his holy Spirit. What re­mains for an infirm Beggar, who hath no art, no patrimony, nor ſtrength to labour for his being? What remedy in this condition, but to beg, or elſe to periſh? Doth not then our condition, like to this, enforce us continually to fly to God by prayer, and by this means to beg of him (who is rich in mercies) a ſupply of all neceſſaries for this our life, as we are inſtructed in the Pater Noſter, by asking our daily bread? The Salvation of every Chriſtian depends on God, whom we muſt daily implore for the ob­taining of it, and becauſe this Salvation of ours is in continual danger, and that every one is bound to procure it with all care and diligence he can; hence it is, that always we are bound to pray to God for it, ſeeing it is not to be obtained by any other means, than from him, and by him. Again, there is no man, who hath not ſomtimes ſinned, nor that hath any warrant or ſecurity hereafter not to ſin; and in this reſpect, it is moſt neceſſary91 for us, by daily prayer, not only to ſeek that he would gratiouſly pardon and for­give our former ſins; but alſo that he would be pleaſed to prevent with his grace, leſt we fall again into other ſins, through which we may incur eternal Damnation. We have a continual War, as the Apoſtle informs us, with in­viſible and powerful Enemies, and of our ſelves we are weak and unable to reſiſt and conquer; how can we be for a mo­ment ſecure, if we neglect to implore aid and aſſiſtance from God? this St. Chry­ſoſtom ſets out to us by that of Exodus; [Exod. c. 17.] where it is ſaid, that when Moſes lifted up his hands in prayer, Iſrael did overcome: but when he was remiſs in it, the Amalekites his Enemies did prevail; from hence that Holy Fa­ther concludes, that he is not to be ex­cuſed, who would not have his Enemy o­vercome, and yet ceaſeth from prayer; O­ratio jugis, infirmitas hoſtis, as he ſpeaks, Continual Prayer is a weakning & worſt­ing of our Enemy. He affords weapons againſt himſelf, who ceaſeth to weary his92 Enemy by the inſtancy of prayer: and laſtly, he concludes with this exhortati­on; If thou deſireſt to be freed from dan­gers, to overcome the Devil, to ſubdue the Fleſh, to ſuppreſs the ſenſual Appe­tites, to root out Vices, to procure Vertues, to contemn Temporals, to love and poſſeſs Eternals, give thy ſelf ſeriouſly to Pray­er. But prayer, to be powerful and efficatious, for a ſupply of all neceſſaries, muſt be qualified with theſe two conditi­ons eſpecially: Firſt, it muſt be done with attention and recollection of Spirit; Chriſt by his own example in the Prayer he made in the Garden, immediately before his Paſſion, taught us this; he would not proſtrate himſelf there to his Heavenly Father, before he was abſtract­ed and ſeparated from his Diſciples there with him, Quantum jact us eſt lapidis, [Luc. 22.] as far as the caſt of a ſtone; to inform us, that in this exerciſe of prayer, we ſhould abſtract our ſelves from all Creatures.

This at the firſt was a defect in St. Au­guſtine, as he confeſſeth, [Lib. 10. 93Conf. c. 27.] Mecumeras, & tecum non eram: Thou wert with me, but I was not with thee. God was with him by his immenſity, but he was not with him, by reaſon of his Diſtractions. St. Chryſoſtom Councelleth that our prayer ought to be Myſterium, a Miſtery; ſo ſecret and intimate, as known only to God, and not ſo much as to our ſelves. Caſſianus affirms, that not to be a per­fect prayer, in which a man reflects up­on what he prays, he ſhould be not only diſtracted, but alſo ſo retired and ab­ſtracted, as to be, not only ſeperated from others, but even from himſelf by Union with Gods will; and ſuch a pray­er is a true Miſtery and ſecret. It is the advice of Origen, that the Soul ſhould have always a fixed Altar in it ſelf, in which it ſhould offer up unto God the Sacrifices and Victims of praiſes and prayer: It is the admonition of our B. Saviour in the Goſpel, that when thou prayeſt, Intra in cubiculum, Enter into thy Chamber or Cloſet; which is not only to be underſtood of a94 material Chamber, or place of Retire­ment, but of entering into the Heart, & remaining incloſed there from all the World, as St. Chryſoſtom Expounds it, In cubitulo orat: He prays in his Chamber, though it be in the Church. Qui Solum Deum attendit: who there only attends to God. St. Ambroſe renders the ſame ſence of our Saviours words, Habes ubiquecubi­culum: Thou haſt thy Chamber, which is thy Heart, every where; into that thou muſt Retire, and remaine there­in incloſed, in the time of Prayer; the doors of the Sences being ſhut, and all diſtracted occaſions and imaginations Excluded. This Chamber hath three Cells, into which thou muſt enter; theſe are the three Powers, Memory, Intellect, and Will: enter into the Memory, being only mindful of God, and what thou art to meditate of; into thy Intellect, con­ſidering God preſent in thy Soul, and contemplating thoſe things only, which belong unto him, and being very atten­tive what he ſpeaks there, to thy Soul: into thy Will, produceing there, Acts95 of Affection towards God. True Devo­tion is of the nature of a Turtle, which ſeeketh ſolitary places, that there ſhe may not be interrupted in her amorous Sighes and Languiſhings; which one ſhould principally practiſe in Domeſtick and ordinary Prayers, not as many do, who ſay their Prayers in dreſſing them­ſelves or by the fire-ſide in haſt, and ſo their Prayers vaniſh as Smoak. As for Prayers in publick, as in Churches, where one cannot enjoy the retreat of a place, they muſt retyre the ſo much the more, to the retreat of their Heart, as the Alcyons, which in their little Neſts injoy a calm in the midſt of Waves, a repoſe in the Sea, tranqui­lity in an Element troubled with Winds and Storms: which we may do, if we ſhut our Eyes, and regard not the objects which inviron us; our Ears by not hearkning to the diſcourſes of o­thers; our Mouths in talking only with God, our Imagination chaſing away vain and imperfect Thoughts, by which we ſhall enjoy Peace and Retyrement in96 the midſt of Aſſemblies. Joſeph would not manifeſt himſelf to his Brethren, till all the Aegyptians were out of the place, neither will Chriſt communicate his Comforts and Sweetneſs to a Soul, if Aegyptians be preſent, vain imagina­tions and diſtractions, which diſturbs the Peace of it. The ſecond condition Required to the efficacy of Prayer, is purity of Mind, from the affection of Sin, as Women who go to fetch clean Wa­ter, are careful to carry Pots or Veſ­ſels cleanſed from other Liquors. This God required of his People, by the Prophet Iſay [C. 1.] Lavimini, mundi eſtote. Waſh, and be clean. remove the evil of your thoughts, from my Eyes; Luxurious, remove thy im­purity. Vindicative, thy Anger and Choller; Malitious, thy Envy; Proud, thy Arrogance; Covetous, thy Ava­rice; Sinner, thy Abominations; for if thou come thus defyled and polluted before the face of God, he will reject your Prayers, as he aſſures you by his Prophet, Cum multiplicaveris orationes. 97When you ſhall multiply your Pray­ers, I will not hear you; Manus enim veſtrae Sanguine ſunt plenae. Becauſe your Hands are full of Blood; your Hands are defiled with the Blood of your Neighbours by many injuſtices; with your own Blood, by Sin, which Murders your Souls. By the Blood of Chriſt, ſo unpriſed by you: and thus you preſume to preſent your Prayers to me, with bloody Hearts and Hands, full of iniquity, without having clean­ſed them by the waters of true Contri­tion, I will turn my Eyes from your de­filed Hands, my Ears from your im­pure Prayers, my Heart from your polluted Hearts; I will not hear you.

This informs us, that we muſt come to prayer with contrition for our ſins, with hearts pure from affection to e­vill. As they report of the Viper, that when ſhe goes to the fountain to drink, ſhe vomits up her poyſon, that ſhe may not be endangered by it; or as the Oyſter caſteth our the ſalt water,98 when ſhe will open her ſhell, to re­ceive the celeſtial dew, to conceive pearls: or as the place on which man­na was to fall, was firſt purged from duſt and filth by a precedent blaſt of wind; or as the victims which the an­tient Jews offered to God, were waſh­ed in a ciſtern of water, placed at the port of the temple, for that uſe. In like manner, Waſh, and be clean, before you come to pray, if you will have your prayers gratefull to God, and be­neficiall to your Souls.

This is the ground of that incou­ragement, in holy Job. [c. 11.] ſi ini­quitatem abſtuleris à te; if thou wilt remove from thee thy iniquity, then thou mayſt lift thy face to God boldly, without offence.

The conditions requiſite to prayer are comprehended in thoſe few words of our Bleſſed Saviour to the Samaritan woman, Spiritus eſt Deus; God is a ſpirit, and ought to be adored in ſpirit and truth: in Spirit, by the interiour affection; in truth and verity, by the99 purity of mind and intention; in ſpirit, without voluntary diſtractions; in truth, without hypocriſie; in Spirit, fervently and humbly; in truth, ſin­cerely and cordially.

O Soul! if thou didſt but conſider the benefit of ſpirituall prayer, how rich and liberall God is towards them, who truly invocate him, then would'ſt thou be diligent, fervent, per­ſeverant to knock at the door of his mercy; thou wouldſt not permit whole dayes to paſs without pray­er: this would be thy exerciſe in morning, mid-day and night; pray­er would open the begining, con­duct the progreſs, conclude the end of all thy enterpriſes.

The reaſon, why moſt people in the world, are plunged in a carnal, and ſenſuall life, is the defect of In­ternal and ſpirituall prayer, by the exer­ciſe of which they would enter into their hearts, to diſcover the true cauſes of their diſtempers, and ſo be excited to apply convenient re­medies100 againſt them. If every one would be ſolicitous, to demand of God all graces neceſſary, for his ſouls conduct in his vocation and condition, it is impoſſible that God ſhould re­fuſe him, or that he ſhould ſuffer ſhipwrack of his Salvation; becauſe God cannot lye, becauſe he is enga­ged by his word to give his grace; and his light, to conduct thoſe, who demand it of him; if their prayers be accompanied with requiſite con­ditions, with confuſion for their ſins, a deſire of his grace; with interiour attention, humility, perſeverance. Dabit Spiritum bonum; he will give his good ſpirit, to thoſe that demand it, and every one who ſeeks, ſhall find, ſi petiiſſes; if thou hadſt asked, he would have given thee the water of life. But many ſpend whole days entirely, without thinking that there is a God, or that they have a ſoul to ſave, riſeing and lying down with­out once lifting their hearts to hea­ven, Sicut equus et mulus; as horſes and101 beaſts: others come to Church, to ſee and be ſeen, to prattle rather then to pray; others for the moſt part, pray for temporalls, as honours, riches, health and conveniences of the body, rather then for the grace and light of Gods ſpirit, to enable and direct them, in the affairs of their Souls Sal­vation; The prayers of others, are ac­companied with ſuch diſtractions, ima­ginations, and negligence, that we muſt conclude with St. James, [cap. 6.] petitis, et non accipitis; ye pray, and receave not, becauſe you ask not as you ought. Of all prayers, all things equally conſidered, the morning pray­ers are moſt profitable; and the earlyer, the better. It is a reprehenſion of St. Chryſoſtome [St. Chriſoſt. deoran­do Deo] qua fronte: with what face do'ſt thou behold the riſeing Sun, un­leſs thou firſt adore God, who ſends thee that gratefull light? Hence in the primitive times, the Chriſtians, reſorted to the Churches early in the morning, before day-light, as Ter­tullian102 and Euſebius relate; conforma­ble to which, is that exhortation of St. Athanaſius [St. Athana. do virg.] Oriens ſol videat: let the riſing Sun behold a prayer-book in thy hand. St. Baſill informs us, it was the cuſtome of Chriſtians in his time, to prevent the riſing Sun in their prayers. The Gentiles and Pagans, by the light of reaſon, did thus adore their Gods. Vergil [Li. 11. Aen. ] relates of Aeneas, that firſt of all he did pay his vows to God; we read in Exodus [c. 7.] that God thus commanded Moſes, vade; Go to Pharaoh early in the morning: behold, he goes then forth unto the waters, to perform ſome kind of a­doration to them, as Abulenſis and o­thers affirm, upon that place: this Pagan underſtood, that morning ado­ration was moſt proper for God. Elias [Reg. 3. 18. ] granted to the prophets of Baal, the morning to ſacrifice to him, for this reaſon, as Theodoret ob­ſerves, left being confounded by his not hearing them, they might excuſe103 themſelves, by ſaying that he did not firſt of all in the Morning receive a Sacrifice from them. The Prophet David found the benefit of this Morning Prayer, when he ſaid, Domine mane: Lord in the Morning thou ſhalt hear my Prayer; this may be one Reaſon why theſe Prayers are moſt grateful to God; Becauſe the firſt fruits, by all right, are due to him: ſo he offends againſt this, who gives them to another. Is it not a perverſity in Chriſtians to invert this order, to be intent and buſied about o­ther things? St. Chryfoſt. confounds Chriſtians, negligent in this, by this Ex­ample: A King comes into a place, and men think it honour to prevent others, and to be the firſt in rendring homage to him, and think it a neglect to ſuffer In­feriours to go before them in it: But this diligence, ſaith he, is wanting in Chriſtians, in rendring their Devotions and Service to God: they do not care if they be prevented in it, even by unrea­ſonable and inanimate Creatures: what is this but to prefer, and eſteem more of104 an Earthly King, than of the King of Heaven; but many here, ſaith the Ho­ly Father, pretend excuſes, by reaſon of neceſſary employments; but if the love of God were fervent, and the eſteem of him the chiefeſt above all, ſuch frivolous and cold excuſes would not prevail: who more employed in neceſſary af­fairs than King David was? and yet in the Morning he did conſecrate the firſt­fruits to God; lay thou aſide all ex­cuſes, and ceaſe to palliate Sloath and Tepidity under the Cloak of Neceſſity, which is ſo diſpleaſing to God, that he is, as it were ſtreightned and oblidged by it, to be ſparing in beſtowing bene­fits, as he ſpeaks by his Prophet Za­chary, [c. 11.] Contracta eſt anima mea in eis; My Soul is ſtreightned in them. Another reaſon, why theſe morning and early prayers are ſo grate­ful to God, may be