« VorigeDoorgaan »
Prou. 22. 13.
Psal. 49. 5.
Mat. 6. 34.
Amos 8. 9.
2 Chro. 32, 25.
in zealous preaching, professing, and wise walking vnder it, before the faces of these poore blinde Infidels. As for such as obiect the tediousnesse of the voyage thither,
the danger of Pirats robberie, of the sauages trecherie,
&c. these are but Lyons in the way, and it were well for such men if they were in heauen, for who can shew them a place in this world where iniquitie shall not compasse them at
the heeles, and where they shall haue a day without griefe, or a lease of life for a moment; and who can
tell but God, what dangers may lie at our doores, euen in our natiue countrie, or what plots may be abroad, or
when God will cause our sunne to goe downe at noone
daies, and in the midst of our peace and securitie, lay vpon vs some lasting scourge for our so long neglect and contempt of his most glorious Gospell.
Ob. But we haue here great peace, plentie of the Gospell, and many sweet delights and varietie of comforts. Answ. True indeed, and farre be it from vs to denie and
diminish the least of these mercies, but haue we ren.
dered ynto God thankfull obedience for this long peace, whilst other peoples haue beene at wars ? haue we not rather murmured, repined, and fallen at iars amongst our selues, whilst our peace hath lasted with forraigne power? was there euer more
suits in law, more enuie, contempt and reproch then Gen. 13. 9, 10.
now adaies ? Abraham and Lot departed asunder when there fell a breach betwixt them, which was occasioned by the straightnesse of the land : and surely I am perswaded, that howsoeuer the frailties of men are principall in all contentions, yet the straitnes of the place is such, as each man is faine to plucke his meanes as it were out of his neighbours throat, there is such pressing and oppressing in towne and countrie, about Farmes, trades, traffique, &c. so as a man can hardly any where set vp a trade but he shall pull downe two of his neighbours.
The Townes abound with young trades-men, and the Hospitals are full of the Auncient, the country is replenished with new Farmers, and the Almes-houses are filled with old Labourers, many there are who get their liuing with bearing burdens, but more are faine to burden the land with their whole bodies: multi.
tudes get their meanes of life by prating, and so doe numbers more by begging. Neither come these straits vpon men alwaies through intemperancy, ill husbandry, indiscretion, &c. as some thinke, but euen the most wise, sober, and discreet men, goe often to the wall, when they haue done their best, wherein as God's prouidence swaieth all, so it is easie to see, that the straitnesse of the place hauing in it so many strait hearts, cannot but produce such effects more and more, so as euery indifferent minded man should be ready to say with Father Abraham, Take thou the right hand, and I will take the left : Let vs not thus oppresse, straiten, and afflict one another, but seeing there is a spatious Land, the way to which is thorow the sea, wee will end this difference in a day.
That I speake nothing about the bitter contention that hath beene about Religion, by writing, disputing, and inueighing earnestly one against another, the heat of which zeale, if it were turned against the rude barbarisme of the Heathens, it might doe more good in a day, then it hath done here in many yeares. Neither of the little loue to the Gospell, and profit which is made by the Preachers in most places, which might easily driue the zealous to the Heathens who no doubt if they had but a drop of that knowledge which here flieth about the streetes, would be filled with exceeding great ioy and gladnesse, as that they would euen plucke the kingdome of heauen by violence, and take it as it were by force.
The greatest let that is yet behinde is the sweet fel. lowship of friends, and the satietie of bodily delights.
But can there be two neerer friends almost then Abraham and Lot, or then Paul and Barnabas, and yet vpon as little occasions as we haue heere, they departed asunder, two of them being Patriarchs of the Church of old; the other the Apostles of the Church which is new, and their couenants were such as it seemeth might binde as much as any couenant betweene men at this day, and yet to auoid greater inconueniences they departed asunder.
Neither must men take so much thought for the flesh, as not to be pleased except they can pamper their bodies with variety of dainties. Nature is content with little, and health is much
The last let.
James 3. 6.
endangered, by mixtures vpon the stomach: The delights of the palate doe often inflame the vital parts : as the tongue setteth a fire the whole body. Secondly, varieties here are not common to all, but many good men are glad to snap at a crust. The rent taker liues on sweet morsels, but the rent payer eats a drie crust often with watery eies : and it is nothing to say what some one of a hundreth hath, but what the bulke, body and cominalty hath, which I warrant you is short enough.
And they also which now live so sweetly, hardly will their children attaine to that priuiledge, but some circumuentor or other will outstrip them, and make them sit in the dust, to which men are brought in one age, but cannot get out of it againe in 7. generations.
To conclude, without all partialitie, the present consumption which groweth vpon vs here, whilst the land groaneth vnder so many close-fisted and vnmercifull men, being compared with the easinesse, plainenesse and plentifulnesse in liuing in those remote places, may quickly perswade any man to a liking of this course, and to practise a remoual, which being done by honest, godly and industrious men, they shall there be right hartily welcome, but for other of dissolute and prophane life, their roomes are better then their companies; for if here where the Gospell hath beene so long and plentifully taught, they are yet frequent in such vices as the Heathen would shame to speake of, what will they be when there is lesse restraint in word and deed ? My onely sute to all men is, that whether they liue there or here, they would learne to vse this world as they vsed it not, keeping faith and a good conscience, both with God and men, that when the day of account shall come, they may come forth as good and fruitfull seruants, and freely be receiued, and enter into the ioy of their master.